Re: What Have You Done to Me?



Posted by: [redacted] | Link to this comment | 11-29-04 2:55 PM
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Perhaps you could have chosen a more suitable term than "humanity" to name what Israel has lost.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 11-29-04 7:23 PM
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That's the one poem I can reliably recite from memory.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-29-04 8:13 PM
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Competitive suffering, it turns out, is a sad and dangerous game. Who knew?

Posted by: Blargon | Link to this comment | 11-29-04 8:59 PM
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Adam, can you say more about what you mean?

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-29-04 9:11 PM
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I know what you meant, but the term "humanity," in addition to meaning "basic human decency" or "moral compass" or whatever, means, you know, humanity, that of which the Palestinians are arguably being deprived, of which the Jews were deprived under Hitler, etc., etc.

Again, I know what you meant, but it seemed like there are some unfortunate resonances in the term "humanity." I'm not sure about the use of that term in general, though -- trying to figure out why.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 11-29-04 9:33 PM
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What I do not understand is why the Palestinian suffering is always measured in how it compares to the Holocaust. How is it that humanity per se is forgotten, unless of course, it is addressed in the context of Holocaust? Why do some Israelis measure the violation of human rights based on how it undervalues, overvalues, or devalues the experience of the Holocaust? Does that not undermine the existing human suffering? And is it not true that the premise of humanity is based on a universal respect for human rights? The true test of respect for human rights comes from viewing it objectively when it is violated: without fear, sympathy, or prejudice, for then its application becomes universal. How do we humanize the current suffering of the Palestinians, while acknowledging that the jews suffered through the Holocaust? Are these two mutually exclusive? I think not.

Posted by: Veiled | Link to this comment | 11-29-04 10:30 PM
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I thought adam's point was that cruelty is inherent in humanity, and so the Israelis' actions actually accord with humanity, not its loss.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-29-04 11:26 PM
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Ben, That's a good point that I should have intended, but I was more referring to the fact that "losing their humanity" could mean "becoming less than human" and thus "worthy of extermination."

Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 11-30-04 6:02 AM
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ben, I am not sure if I understand. Are you talking about humanity as being capable of displaying any and all behavior attributable to humans? Or, are you talking about humanity as a set of higher values (ironically and usually the basic human rights), violation of which is considered anti-human? And if the latter is meant, then are you saying that inherent within the respect for humanity there could be this display of cruelty, without which humanity is meaningless? I am confused. Any thoughts on this? Thanks.

Posted by: Veiled | Link to this comment | 11-30-04 6:50 AM
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Veiled, your multitude of queries have cast my mind, in questing after a suitable answer to even a part of the passel, down such a tortuous path that my confusion can certainly not be any less than your own. Nevertheless, I will attempt to unriddle my meaning: I was just being very pessimistic and suggesting that it is more natural to humans to be cruel and vicious than otherwise.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-30-04 8:05 AM
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Clearly the soldier who shot the Palestinian girl was a guy who snapped. His actions obviously do not reflect Israeli policy, as even his fellow soldiers yelled at him to stop shooting, and he is being punished by an Israeli military court:

Show me one -- just ONE -- instance where a Palestinian governing body punished a Palestinian for killing Jews. More likely they'd give him a medal.

Second, the IDF disputes the violin story. They claim Israeli soldiers asked the Palestinian to open the violin case (a reasonable precaution, since in the past bombs have been hidden in musical instrument cases), and then he started playing the violin on his own. Sounds to me like he was playing it to mock the soldiers' extreme caution.

The story is here:

It wouldn't been the first time Palestinians have spread lies about Israel.

Anyway, when Israel carpet-bombs Gaza and the West Bank into oblivion, then you can come and tell me that it's lost its humanity.

Posted by: skep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-04 10:23 AM
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Good of the IDF to clear that up for us.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 2-04 11:42 AM
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Haeretz has more complete coverage. The orignial IDF characterization is vigorously disputed.

Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 12- 2-04 12:26 PM
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So we have a dispute between Israelis and Palestinians over the true version of events. That's not exactly a shocker.

But, even if the Palestinian version is true, the worst thing that happened to this guy is he had to play his violin. Rude, maybe. Insensitive, sure. But honestly -- it doesn't exactly rise to the level of blowing up women and children in a pizza parlor, does it? (By the way, the pizza parlor suicide bomber hid his explosives in a guitar case:

My original point stands: Israel is a long, long way from losing its humanity. And, by the same token, the Palestinians (at least the ones that clap with glee at each new suicide bombing) lost theirs a long time ago.

Again, I promise to change my view as soon as Israel wipes out the Palestinians with a mass carpet bombing.

Is there any doubt that, if Palestinians had Israel's military capability, Israel would be a smoking hole in the ground?

Posted by: skep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-04 9:08 PM
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