Monday, January 5, 2009

Tutorial: How To Extend Your Wi-Fi Coverage; Bloomberg Goes But Misses The Point

Hope that other news, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Representative Gary Ackerman to Sderot. While they were there, they were witness to a rocket attack. They actually had to run for a shelter.

Oh, those bad DARE they send rockets into OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

Bloomy, I love ya...but you're on the wrong side of this issue.

From Travis Kelly (via Samizdat):

BACKSTORY —long before the current invasion and the intifadas:

"I recall the first time I heard first-hand about the type of torture that is the daily bread of people in Gaza. It was more than 20 years ago, while I was living in Japan as a student, a young Israeli who I mistook for a friend shared the following story from his days of service as an officer in Israel's "glorious" naval special-forces, or as Israelis call it, "The Commando." He told us how, as a matter of routine he and his unit would patrol the Gaza coast aboard their naval warships. As they came upon a Gazan fishing boat they would stop the boat and force the fishermen to jump into the water. Then, they would blow up the boat. Once the boat was blown to bits, the Israeli sailors would shift their attention to the helpless fishermen in the water. Under gunpoint, one by one, they would force the fishermen count from one to a hundred. One by one these men, who eventually could no longer hold themselves above water, drowned to death. This, the young Israeli officer said, was done "to instill fear in the Arabs, and to teach them who was boss."

— Miko Peled, Israeli peace activist and writer living in the US. He is co founder of the Elbanna Peled Foundation in memory of Smadar Elhanan and Abir Aramin. Peled is the son of the late Israeli General Matti Peled.


Editor's note: The above is reminiscent of Menachem Begin, who was forced to watch his father, bound and pushed into a river to drown by the Nazis. Meanwhile, the 3-year blockade of Gaza is having consequences as dire as the Nazi strangulation of the Warsaw Ghetto, as U.N. Human Rights envoy Richard Falk has struggled to convince the world, calling it a "crime against humanity." For the benefit of assholes who equate any criticism of Zionazi excesses with anti-Semitism, I will note that Falk is Jewish, as is every writer quoted in this selection.


"We all live with a sense of suppressed rage. You can't look at this and not wonder how the world can stand by and watch as Jews are attacked for being Jews, by people who want to destroy them. How do people not understand there is no justification for the course Hamas is taking? There's no issue here except how quickly we can destroy them."

— Kenneth Bialkin, New York lawyer visiting Sderot

Christopher Hedges writes that Richard Falk (the U.N.'s top human rights official, who is Jewish) told him Israel’s siege has unleashed “an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe that each day poses the entire 1.5 million [population] Gazans to an unspeakable ordeal, to a struggle to survive . . . This is an increasingly precarious condition. A recent study reports that 46 per cent of all Gazan children suffer from acute anemia. There are reports that the sonic booms associated with Israeli overflights have caused widespread deafness, especially among children. Gazan children need thousands of hearing aids. Malnutrition is extremely high in a number of different dimensions and affects 75 per cent of Gazans. There are widespread mental disorders… Over 50 per cent of Gazan children under the age of 12 have been found to have no will to live."
"The Democratic party grandee Ann Lewis said recently: "The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel." The statement is absurd. No country ever gave another country so blind a endorsement. Such a pure identification of interests would amount to the signing away of the conscience of the nation that granted it. We cannot make our fidelity a pawn for another's injustice; and more than conscience forbids it. Prudence also does. Even in the depths of the Second World War the U.S. never said it would support every decision made by the people of Britain, nor did it say in the Cold War that it would do whatever the people of Formosa wanted, or what the people of West Germany wanted. Such a surrender of judgment, even if it were practicable, would be a curse that harms the receiver as much as the giver."

— David Bromwich
"It was Israel at its best. In response to random attacks aimed at civilians, Israel launched precise attacks aimed at terrorists."

— Yossi Klein Halevy, New Republic column posted on December 29.
"It is important to show the people of Israel we're with them, and with the IDF. We're also here to witness this. Our own front line is the battle for the hearts and minds of the American people."

— Malcolm Hoenlein, the conference's executive vice chairman.

I was trained from an early age to view this group as my group, to identify with them emotionally, culturally, religiously. Maybe that -- and not an objective assessment of these events -- is why I continuously side with that group and see everything from its perspective and justify whatever it does, why I find the Dick Cheney/Weekly Standard/neoconservative worldview repellent in every situation except when it comes to Israel, when I suddenly find it wise and vigorously embrace it.

— American Jewish writer, in email to Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald

Is there any other significant issue in American political life, besides Israel, where (a) citizens split almost evenly in their views, yet (b) the leaders of both parties adopt identical lockstep positions which leave half of the citizenry with no real voice? More notably still, is there any other position, besides Israel, where (a) a party's voters overwhelmingly embrace one position (Israel should not have attacked Gaza) but (b) that party's leadership unanimously embraces the exact opposite position (Israel was absolutely right to attack Gaza and the U.S. must support Israel unequivocally)?

Ultimately, what is most notable about the "debate" in the U.S. over Israel-Gaza is that virtually all of it occurs from the perspective of Israeli interests but almost none of it is conducted from the perspective of American interests.

Though the ins-and-outs of Israeli grievances and strategic considerations are endlessly examined, there is virtually no debate over whether the U.S. should continue to play such an active, one-sided role in this dispute. It's the American taxpayer, with their incredibly consequential yet never-debated multi-billion-dollar aid packages to Israel, who are vital in funding this costly Israeli assault on Gaza. Just as was true for Israel's bombing of Lebanon, it's American bombs that -- with the whole world watching -- are blowing up children and mosques, along with Hamas militants, in Gaza. And it's the American veto power that, time and again, blocks any U.N. action to stop these wars.

It's one thing to argue that Israel is being both wise and just by bombing the densely populated Gaza Strip. It's another thing entirely to argue that the U.S. should use all of its resources to support Israel as it does so. Those are two entirely separate questions.

— Glenn Greenwald, in Salon

Orwell, blinding tribalism, selective Terrorism, and Israel/Gaza

by Glenn Greenwald

More to the point: for those who insist that others put themselves in the position of a resident of Sderot -- as though that will, by itself, prove the justifiability of the Israeli attack -- the idea literally never occurs to them that they ought to imagine what it's like to live under foreign occupation for 4 decades (and, despite the 2005 "withdrawal from Gaza," Israel continues to occupy and expand its settlements on Palestinian land and to control and severely restrict many key aspects of Gazan life). No thought is given to what it is like, what emotions it generates, what horrible acts start to appear justifiable, when you have a hostile foreign army control your borders and airspace and internal affairs for 40 years, one which builds walls around you, imposes the most intensely humiliating conditions on your daily life, blockades your land so that you're barred from exiting and prevented from accessing basic nutrition and medical needs for your children to the point where a substantial portion of the underage population suffers from stunted growth.

Still, there is a substantial difference between, on the one hand, basically well-intentioned people who are guilty of excessive emotional and cultural identification with one side of the dispute and, on the other, those who adopt the Goldfarb/Peretz psychopathic derangement of belittling rage over widespread civilian deaths as mere "whining" or even something to view as a strategic asset. The latter group is a subset of war supporters and evinces every defining attribute of the Terrorist.

As George Orwell wrote in Notes on Nationalism — with perfect prescience to today's endless conflicts (h/t Hume's Ghost):

All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side ... The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.

So...let's see what occurs.

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