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Author Topic: On violence and the Intifada
Moredreads
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posted 30 January 2003 08:48 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 22 January 2003

quote:
It has now become standard to say that the Palestinians will make no progress unless suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians end.

... ...

Neither the cheap and easy occupation that Israel enjoyed prior to the first Intifada, nor the vastly better security that Israelis had, ever induced Israel to loosen its military dictatorship over the Palestinians, or to slow the pace of violent land confiscations and colony construction.

... ...

All Palestinians have an interest in immediately ending attacks on Israeli civilians, just as they have a genuine self-interest in developing democratic governance. But those who have seized on these two issues and made them the litmus test for further progress, as well as an excuse to avoid talking about the urgent need for international action to end the occupation, are not helping either the Palestinians or Israelis who want peace.


[ 30 January 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


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josh
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posted 30 January 2003 09:44 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't suggest making it a litmus test, but why not give massive nonviolent resistance a try? What is there to lose?
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Moredreads
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posted 30 January 2003 09:53 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The point is that they are practicing massive non-violence, it is just that a very small minority get fed up and go blow themselves up. The point is being made that desperation find its voice in violence.

quote:
From the beginning of Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, through the first Intifada into the early 1990s, there were no suicide bombings.

And let me point out that this person agrees with you... did you read the whole article carefully?

quote:
What is needed is a strong, popular campaign of resistance, based on non-violence and civil disobedience, involving the entire population. Such a strategy would be unable to eliminate all violence, but it would offer an alternative to the hopeless, and a powerful moral challenge to the occupier.

[ 30 January 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


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josh
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posted 30 January 2003 09:58 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Lack of suicide bombings does not mean they are practising massive non-violent resistance. Marches, hunger strikes, sit-ins and other symbolic actions are what will get the world's attention. If someone led a massive march to East Jersusalem from the west bank, say, and that was met with brutality, the outcry would be enormous. Especially in the U.S. which, face it, would have the most impact.
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darkhorse
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posted 30 January 2003 10:48 AM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Josh, if you're going to preach non-violent resistence do it from the front lines; otherwise its totally meaningless. Unless you are willing to stand with the Palestinians in the front ranks while the IDF take aim, your preaching and your advocation don't mean a thing.
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Moredreads
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posted 30 January 2003 10:50 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Again the author of the article AGREES with you. But he is trying to make you aware of your role in this. Four things are being pointed out:

A) 'They' are not a monolithic group, where a leadership has absolute command and control over the situation. No one can stop the bombing, because there will always be a fraction of a militant population that will pursue it. He wants you to stop thinking that they are a they, so to speak.

B) That to focus on an issue (the bombing,) that persons such as himself have very little control over, other than the moral suasion of his pen, is to help perpetuate the trap that he is trying to get out of when you lump him in with the they that does not exist.

C) To ask that that they put an end to the bombings is to put demands on him that he can not acheive, despite the fact that he might want to acheive it, as well. Therefore, he is fucked either way.

D) That the relative violence or no-violence of Palestinians has had next to no 'real' impact on Israeli policy. If this is so, the cause of the occuaption must not be Palestinian violence.

Conclusions:

1) Violence by some Palestinian is impossible to stop.

2) The cause of the occupation is not Palestinian violence.

Why suggest that peace should be conditional on the end of Palestinian violence, when it is neither preventable nor the cause of the occupation?

As he says: "Peace, after all, must be made during conflict."

Our job is to preassure Israel to make the next move (no ifs, ands, or buts) not call upon the Palsetinians to do the impossible.

[ 30 January 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


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WingNut
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posted 30 January 2003 10:51 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Josh, if you're going to preach non-violent resistence do it from the front lines; otherwise its totally meaningless. Unless you are willing to stand with the Palestinians in the front ranks while the IDF take aim, your preaching and your advocation don't mean a thing.

Well, that would be true no matter what position you take, wouldn't it? So why don't we all, including you, shut up and move on to topics over which we are on the front lines and are more germaine to our immediate lives and that we can control like local garbage pick up.

[ 30 January 2003: Message edited by: WingNut ]


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Smith
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posted 30 January 2003 10:58 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
A) 'They' are not a monolithic group, where a leadership has absolute command and control over the situation. No one can stop the bombing, because there will always be a fraction of a militant population that will pursue it. He wants you to stop thinking that they are a they, so to speak.

B) That to focus on an issue (the bombing,) that persons such as himself have very little control over, other than the moral suasion of his pen, is to help perpetuate the trap that he is trying to get out of when you lump him in with the they that does not exist.

C) To ask that that they put an end to the bombings is to put demands on him that he can not acheive, despite the fact that he might want to acheive it, as well. Therefore, he is fucked either way.

D) That the relative violence or no-violence of Palestinians has had next to no 'real' impact on Israeli policy. If this is so, the cause of the occuaption must not be Palestinian violence.


Amen.


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josh
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posted 30 January 2003 11:01 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thank you Wingnut.

I'm not saying peace should be conditional on the cessation of violence. Putting aside the moral considerations, what I am saying is that massive non-violent resistance may be a more successful TACTIC. One film clip on CNN of Israeli soldiers beating nonviolent marchers would, in my view, do more to the end the occupation than all the suicide bombings put together.


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Smith
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posted 30 January 2003 11:03 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Amen to that too.
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WingNut
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posted 30 January 2003 11:07 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree.

I think that Palestinian violence or lack of is not the reason behind the occupation is obvious to anyone.

However, I think back to Northern Ireland. Everytime the civil rights movement organized and were met with violence, Bloody Sunday being the most infamous reactions, international support for the national cause soared. Until another IRA bomb was detonated.

I think people throughout the world have a natural and genuine sympathy for the Palestinian cause. But what prevents them from excercising that sympathy as they did for South Africa is the bombings.


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Moredreads
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posted 30 January 2003 11:15 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Abi Abuminah agrees. I do not.

But either way our job is to "...help transform the passive global support for the Palestinian cause into concrete actions."

Not to add credibility to "...those who have seized on these two issues and made them the litmus test for further progress, as well as an excuse to avoid talking about the urgent need for international action to end the occupation..."

By empahsizing Palestinian violence because it provides "...Israel with cover to continue a colonial occupation that guarantees the death count will continue to climb on all sides, with no end in sight."


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Moredreads
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posted 30 January 2003 11:17 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I think that Palestinian violence or lack of is not the reason behind the occupation is obvious to anyone.

I don't think it is. Where is CJ?

quote:
But what prevents them from excercising that sympathy as they did for South Africa is the bombings.

The ANC was very violent. Nelson Mandela was only ever passive becasue he was in jail.

[ 30 January 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


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josh
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posted 30 January 2003 11:18 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I do not think anyone can seriously suggest that Palestinian violence is the reason for the occupation. The reason is right-wing Zionist zealotry, which believes that the land belongs to them based on the Torah. Unfortunately for them, the Torah has not been ratified by international law.
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WingNut
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posted 30 January 2003 11:27 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The ANC was very violent. Nelson Mandela was only ever passive becasue he was in jail.


Yes and no. The ANC could be quite violent to their own especially those accused of collaboration. Certainly there was terrible violence between the ANC and their rivals.

But in terms of guerilla warfare, the ANC basically attacked remote economic targets (hydro towers, for example) and seldom directed violence at civilain Afrikaaners in urban centers.

I can't think of a single cafe bombing for example, although that doesn't mean one never happened.


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Moredreads
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posted 30 January 2003 11:29 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here is my beef:

Wingnut (from The next Obvious Question thread):

quote:
I think the change must come from Palestinians. As unpopular as they may sound to some, they must turn their backs on violence.

Is sounds very much as if the solution lies with the Palestinians and that the cause is Palestinian violence. How could it be otherwise if 'change must come from them and they must turn their backs on violence.


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darkhorse
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posted 30 January 2003 11:49 AM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Putting aside the moral considerations, what I am saying is that massive non-violent resistance may be a more successful TACTIC.
Put that way, I agree.
quote:
So why don't we all, including you, shut up and move on to topics over which we are on the front lines and are more germaine to our immediate lives and that we can control like local garbage pick up.
My point was hardly meant to apply across the spectrum Wingnut. I argued that its easy to preach that others risk their lives in non-violent protest as long as its not us that are risking our lives.

[ 30 January 2003: Message edited by: darkhorse ]


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WingNut
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posted 30 January 2003 11:52 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, yes, but don't misunderstand me.

The Israelis are not interested in change. The Israelis essentially want to make life so unbearable for Palestinians they will eventually either abandon their land claims and move on or settle for a sliver of land over which they excercise no control over resources, security, or anything nearing meaningful self-government. The Israel of Sharon and Benji is one that is quite open to an apartheid state. So, in effect, we can not expect change to originate from Israel.

We cannot expect change from the power broker, the US. As I said before, the US will talk forever. Deal or no deal is of no interest to them. They require Israeli and Palestinian silence at times, so they will light up the facade of progress, and let them fall again when whatever crisis passes. They are quite happy to continue supporting Israeli repression until the end of time while appearing to care.

This leaves us with the Palestinians. The most to lose and to gain. It is Hamas violence that allows Israel to maintain a moral highground in the dispute. No one argues Israel does not have a right to defend itself. And Israel says it is only defending itself. We might say but Israel goes to far. And they retort Israel is restrained. The West Bank and Gaza are hives of terrorist activity so we must attack the hives. And we say but it is the occupation and the settlers that instigate the violence. and they say there would be no occupation were it not for the violence and the settlers can only be dealt with when there is no violence. And on and on it goes.

I have argued previously that Hamas and Sharon are political allies. They need each other. Sharon needs Hamas to legitimate his violence and Hamas needs Sharon to legitimate theirs.

Which is why, in the end, Palestinains must put the Israeli claims to the lies they are. Through mass, non-violent, protest.

When Israeli forces assualt unarmed, peaceful protestors, the world will also recognize the lie.


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josh
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posted 30 January 2003 12:00 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, the "evil" face of the occupation will be exposed. Much as the "evil" face of apartheid was exposed by the non-violent resistance in the American south in the 1960s.
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darkhorse
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posted 30 January 2003 12:03 PM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Israel has fired rubber-bullets on peaceful protesters in the past. No one makes much of a fuss about it in the media.
In the end, when the IDF see no violence to respond to, they try their best to provoke it. And the cycle starts over and over.

What is really needed is a new secular Palestinian leadership with some idea of how to use the international media to draw attention intelligently to the crisis.

[ 30 January 2003: Message edited by: darkhorse ]


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Moredreads
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posted 30 January 2003 12:08 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
...rubber coated steel bullets...
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josh
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posted 30 January 2003 12:08 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree completely with the last point.
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Moredreads
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posted 30 January 2003 12:51 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What is really needed is a new secular Palestinian leadership with some idea of how to use the international media to draw attention intelligently to the crisis.

Again! Now the emphasis is on democratizing the PA., as if that is the problem. That is the Sharon line, too. All the Palestinian leadership, intelligent or otherwise, other than Arafat and Yassim are in jail or dead, Sharon has made it so.

The future leadership such as young Maher al-Jizmawi , who wanted to be a lawyer and was a member of an Arab-Israeli peace society, are being gunned down on a daily basis.

How can people be expected to conduct democratic reform and elect media savvy politicians under these condition?

If anything it is the media that should be doing intelligent reproting. But that is just too much to ask.

I just think that rather than siting here and chatting about how the Palestinians should do this or that, when we know that he occupation is the central problem is to miss the target entirely, and to mislead people as well.

From the article:

quote:
All Palestinians have an interest in immediately ending attacks on Israeli civilians, just as they have a genuine self-interest in developing democratic governance.

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josh
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posted 30 January 2003 01:03 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No, we're only talking PR here. No structural reform. Just "media friendlier" tactics.
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Moredreads
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posted 30 January 2003 01:27 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And I am saying that people should be more media savvy, and stop talking about how bad the Palestinians are: How their leaders are stupid; aren't savvy to (our) western media and are non-secular when people such as Arafat are, and always have been.
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darkhorse
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posted 30 January 2003 01:33 PM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I just think that rather than siting here and chatting about how the Palestinians should do this or that, when we know that the occupation is the central problem is to miss the target entirely
Of course the Occupation is the central problem but there's no point stating that each time we make a post. But Palestinian leadership has a heavy responsibility to its people, and fat, cringing Arafat who did little throughout the '90's but make more and more concessions while enjoying a decadent lifestyle on tour, is no help to the cause. And, yes, Israel makes it difficult for strong Palestinian voices to be heard, but I don't see another way except through new leadership with clear objectives, integrity, and the capacity to voice it to the world.
Edward Said envisions something along these lines and is working with Palestinian friends to bring it about
quote:
the new Palestinian National Initiative announced by its authors Ibrahim Dakkak, Mustafa Barghouti, and Haidar Abdel- Shafi answers exactly to this need, which springs from the failure both of the PLO and groups like Hamas to provide a way forward that doesn't depend (ludicrously in my opinion) on American and Israeli goodwill. The Initiative provides for a vision of peace with justice, co-existence and, extremely important, secular social democracy for our people that is unique in Palestinian history. Only a group of independent people well grounded in civil society, untainted by collaboration or corruption, can possibly furnish the outlines of the new legitimacy we need. We need a real constitution, not a basic law toyed with by Arafat; we need truly representative democracy that only Palestinians can provide for themselves through a founding assembly. This is the only positive step that can reverse the process of dehumanisation that has infected so many sectors of the Arab world. Otherwise we shall sink in our suffering and continue to endure the awful tribulations of Israeli collective punishment, which can only be stopped by a collective political independence of which we are still very capable. Colin Powell's good will and fabled "moderation" will never do it for us. Never. from Edward Said: the new Arab order / Al-Ahram

web page of the Palestinial National Inititive
Updated PNL web site

[ 30 January 2003: Message edited by: darkhorse ]


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WingNut
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posted 30 January 2003 06:11 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Again! Now the emphasis is on democratizing the PA., as if that is the problem. That is the Sharon line, too. All the Palestinian leadership, intelligent or otherwise, other than Arafat and Yassim are in jail or dead, Sharon has made it so.

I agree.

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darkhorse
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posted 31 January 2003 01:51 AM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Such a strategy cannot emerge, however, as long as Arafat and his failed Oslo leadership hang on, offering neither leadership, nor moving out of the way so that a fresh leadership -- not anointed by Israel or the United States -- can rise. Ali Abunimah
I agree with Ali, and with the need for the UN or European mediators to step in. This would have happened a long time ago were it not for the U.S. "peace process."

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xrcrguy
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posted 31 January 2003 03:35 AM      Profile for xrcrguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How does one ensure that said non-violent protest will not be used as cover for launching attacks against IDF or the killing of Palestinians?

If you keep the protest small, you can control who will be participating. However, you lose media visibilty, thus increasing your vulnerability.

If you have a large scale protest, you may unintentionally invite undesirables who may use your protest to take some sort of militant action. You have increased media coverage, but the possibility of things going quite wrong. Once a militant action has occured, it's safe to say the IDF is going to react severly.

What is the answer?

Small and many? or is there safety in numbers?

[ 31 January 2003: Message edited by: xrcrguy ]


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darkhorse
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posted 31 January 2003 11:08 AM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's why the proposition doesn't work for me. There will always be unpredictable elements under the current system. With a leadership that hardly represents its people or works on their behalf, there is inevitably going to be disunity, disorder, despair, and radical elements emerging daily among the populace. And I'm not saying Israel doesn't have a lot to do with this, they have everything to do with this. But Sharon's policies aren't likely to change. Palestinians have to deal with the existing conditions, and organization and a new leadership will help.
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WingNut
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posted 31 January 2003 11:12 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A new leadership will not address the problem you have raised any more than had the old leadership.

The Palestinians, themselves, must make it clear to gunmen they are not welcome at mass actions. It is possible for a mass, peaceful resistance to arise and operate separate and apart from armed resistance.

It has happened in other places at aother times. It can happen here too.


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josh
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posted 31 January 2003 11:14 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, training in non-violent resistance would help. Many of those who took part in demonstrations in the American south in the 60s trained at a school for non-violent civil disobedience.
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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 11:23 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My problem, with way you approach this issue is that you seem to believe that you are able to determine the precise nature of inter-Palestinian issues. You have summarily written of Arafat, even though he remains the most popular leader among Palestinians. Casually casting around aspirtions does nothing for the cause in general.

Arafat may be problematic for a number of reasons, and I have read a lot analysis both from within the PA and without. And certainly there is a case to be made. But it is just that, only a case, until the Palestinians are in a postion to determine what is best for them.

Sometimes, I think people take the easy way out by saying Arafat has to go, and imagining that their is some other leader waiting in the wings, but one fights with the tools at hand and works with what leadership is available.

I know there is a very good analysis, which underscores that Israel and the US essentially imposed Arafat as defacto leader and set up the PA to marginalize other leaders. But the reality is that Palestinians have accepted him, more or less, probably because their alternative is Hamas.

Possibly this situation will change and I am not a big Arafat fan, but at this time it seems like there isn't a viable alternative, so I support Arafat and recognize the PA as the most legitimate representative of the Palestinian voice.


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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 11:26 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Yes, training in non-violent resistance would help. Many of those who took part in demonstrations in the American south in the 60s trained at a school for non-violent civil disobedience.

The United States was not at war with the protestors of the sixites, they were a part of society, even if they were marginalized. Palestinians are not recognized as participants in Israeli society that have to be accomdated and respected.

You really can not make a comparison, strategic or tactical.


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josh
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posted 31 January 2003 11:27 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If your referring to me, I have never written off Arafat. He's a player, for better or worse. I think his leadership has been horrible, but that's for the Palestinians to decide. But Arafat's leadership doesn't exclude other movements or other leaders. Or is he all about ego?
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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 11:28 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry no, mine was a response to Darkhorse, you posted first is all.
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josh
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posted 31 January 2003 11:31 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The government in Washington was not at war, but all the state governments of the Deep South were. Not to mention organizations such as the KKK and the White Citizens' Council. Washington did little to protect blacks in those states until 1964 or 65.
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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 11:35 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The government in Washington was not at war, but all the state governments of the Deep South were.

No they were not. There was another authority superior to them, the federal goverment. Hence the involvement of Robert Kennedy and Hoover (even though he hated King) and the FBI. Their is no simmilar power watching out for Palestinian rights.

Furthermore, even though the National Guard came in, it was still under the authority of the Federal government. Hence official repression of the civil rights movement was curtailed.

[ 31 January 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


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lagatta
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posted 31 January 2003 11:38 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Important to remember that at least half of the white Freedom Riders were Jewish. Back then Jewish memories of the horrors of racism inspired a need to wage a universal fight against it - not the sad, insular exclusivity settlers from Brooklyn seem emblematic of.
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josh
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posted 31 January 2003 11:40 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I guess you weren't around then. Ask a black who was living in Mississippi at the time what it was like.

And even if there is a qualitative difference, that doesn't negate the use of non-violence. India is maybe a closer example.


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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 11:59 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think we've been over this before.

1) The British had come to the end of their empire. They were exhausted by WW2. They were facing a huge population, that outnumbered them. The conditions were different. Had they not given into Ghandi's demands they would have faced a huge and very militant resistance.

2) I think, if you were to ask black people in the US, they would not isolate King from the rest of the black leaders in such as Malcolm X and others who advocated militant resistance. They see all of them as being part of the same movement.

I think a study will reveal that Malcolm's contribution to the struggle for civil rights in the US is at least equally valued in black scholarship in the US, whereas in white society the focus will be upon the passive (non-threatening) Martin Luther King. It could be argued that the Watts riots and Malcolm's "tiger under the bed" added hidden punch to the "dream" of Martin Luther King.

The Watts riots, articulated violently what King articulated peacefully.

I think if you look at the build up to this Intifada you will see that actualy a lot of Palestinians resitance was marked by the very same tactics that you are talking about. These events went largely unreported in the western media. The Palestinians didn't just start blowing things up all of a sudden.

[ 31 January 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


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Mandos
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posted 31 January 2003 12:01 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Moredreads: Not to disagree with you, but...it's Gandhi, not Ghandi! And it's not only Gandhi's demands...
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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 12:03 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
True.
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josh
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posted 31 January 2003 12:03 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah Moredreads this does sound familiar. Unfortunately familiar.

Malcom X sat on his ass in Harlem while King was putting his life on the line everyday. That they both suffered the same fate doesn't mean they went through the same risks.

And the urban riots did more to alienate "moderate" whites and lead to the rise of people like Nixon and Reagan than anything else. Does that sound familiar?


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 12:05 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Malcom X sat on his ass in Harlem...

Go tell that story in Queens.

quote:
And the urban riots did more to alienate "moderate" whites and lead to the rise of people like Nixon and Reagan than anything else. Does that sound familiar?

On the countrary. The individual state rethought trying to undermine the civil rights legislation through state rights, and I'm not talking about Alabama, I'm talking about California.

The whole structure of your philosophy has Black people and Arabs being nice all the time, while they get kicked in the head repeatedly by white people. But we don't want to offend the moderate white people... etc.

...and then you blame them for Reagan?

[ 31 January 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


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WingNut
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posted 31 January 2003 12:28 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
None of this addresses the problem at hand.

And the problem is that the world community has, in my opinion wrongly, turned away from Palestinian suffering. And rightly or wrongly, it is mostly because the pro-Israeli lobby has been succesful in making suicide bombings the story rather than the occupation.

To get the attention back to the occupation, Palestinians must reject the bombings. As a people, they have no means to communicate except through their actions. So let them act.

Debating the leadership of a people without any real semblance of a government is meaningless.


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darkhorse
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posted 31 January 2003 12:54 PM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
To get the attention back to the occupation, Palestinians must reject the bombings. As a people, they have no means to communicate except through their actions. So let them act.
Again, you fall into the trap of calling them "they" as if they were an amorphous entity. There inevitably are going to be disparite and radical elements in Palestinian society and why should a score of suicide-bombers be made to represent the 3.2 million people living in West Bank and Gaza? Why should all those people be made to feel responsible for the actions of unpredictable extremists? They shouldn't.

For a peaceful and passive-resistent ideology to pervade the whole society and even to penetrate those radical elements, a more active and competent leadership is needed. Arafat has overstayed his welcome, and he is only popular now because of the harassment and outrages inflicted on him by Sharon.

[ 31 January 2003: Message edited by: darkhorse ]


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WingNut
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posted 31 January 2003 01:22 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Why should all those people be made to feel responsible for the actions of unpredictable extremists? They shouldn't.

No, they shouldn't. But like it or not, they are. It is not without reason that Sharon refers not to terrorists among the Palestinians but "Palestinian terrorists."

I think I have made it clear before, maybe in the other thread (why there is two I don't know) that regardless of what actions Palestinians takes individually or collectively there will be elements that will still resort to violence.

Removing Arafat will not solve that problem. It is up to Palestinians to choose their leadership. And whether the leadership is adequate or not, the Palestinians as a people can lead their leaders down the path they choose through direct action.

If the people move to reclaim the night the leadership, whoever it is, will be with them as they must.


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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 01:49 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

quote:
In Hanoi are the men who led the nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva.

... ...

These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression and out of the wombs of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. "The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light."


By Rev. Martin Luther King
4 April 1967

Read this speach carefully. You will see that at no point does Dr. King lecture the people of Vietnam about ending violence, as a solution to colonial invasions of the French and the US. In fact, as in the above segement, he talks in an almost laudatory manner of those "who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs."

Notice also how the word 'peace' is noticeably absent from the following sentence: "All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression...."

Was King the ultra-pacifist that all would like him to be? Or was his understanding of politics more nuanced, allowing for different stategies to arise depending on the local condtions? Perhaps, perhaps not. But one thing is very clear, he does not, in any way shape or form blame those who were the victims of US and French violence for the violent wars that engulfed their nations.

Nor does he suggest they cease it.

At no point does he say anything remotely like: "And the problem is that the world community has, in my opinion wrongly, turned away from Vietnamese suffering. And rightly or wrongly, it is mostly because the pro-American lobby has been succesful in making 'agression from the north' the story rather than the colonialism."

Even though in the west that was pretty much true, and even though in 1967 the word was that the US would win.

quote:
What of the National Liberation Front -- that strangely anonymous group we call VC or Communists? What must they think of us in America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the south? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of "aggression from the north" as if there were nothing more essential to the war?

Even if King was an 'absolute' pacifist, and did not approve of the Vietnamese taking up arms, 'politcally' at least he is very clear to lay the blame for the violence upon the agressive invader.

And so should we... no, ifs, ands or buts.

[ 31 January 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 31 January 2003 02:00 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Agreed.

But at the same time we can communicate why we believe their struggle is failing. And it is failing. Can you seriously argue the Palestinians are better off today, politically, economically, then they were even five years ago?

There was an article from a Palestinian in Ottawa that I had read a few months ago. I am not sure I could find it now as I do not recall his name. But he made a similar argument. Essentially, he said the Palestinian struggle should be based on rejection of the U.S. as an honest broker and should model itself after the black struggle of South Africa. And part of the South African struggle, as he pointed out, was the establishment of committees throughout the world to support and lobby on behalf of black South Africans. I participated with the one in Toronto, by the way. Establishing such committees and adopting such a strategy should occur regardless of the violence.


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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 02:08 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But at the same time we can communicate why we believe their struggle is failing. And it is failing. Can you seriously argue the Palestinians are better off today, politically, economically, then they were even five years ago?

The Intifada is actually succeeding in my view, and thank god I don't have to fight it. Israel is on the ropes, its economy going down the tubes, it is becoming a huge liability to the US, it is boring but distressing to read about in the papers, and more and more every day discussions like this go on.

Just think in 1968 the US wiped out the Viet Cong during the Tet offensive and the Vietnamese won. I never
thought the Berlin wall would fall and neither did Eric Hoeneker (who told us all the wall would be there in a hundred years in 1989), and I never imagined the sudden break that resulted in Nelson Mandela becoming the first black president ot South Africa.

quote:
I participated with the one in Toronto, by the way. Establishing such committees and adopting such a strategy should occur regardless of the violence.

Exactly it is a non-issue.

[ 31 January 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


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darkhorse
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posted 31 January 2003 02:16 PM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Martin Luther King, to bring the point back, also said things like:
quote:
". . . You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist.' And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--this is God's own truth.
Antisemitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently antisemitic, and ever will be so.
quote:
Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land. The Jewish people, the Scriptures tell us, once enjoyed a flourishing Commonwealth in the Holy Land. From this they were expelled by the Roman tyrant, the same Romans who cruelly murdered Our Lord. Driven from their homeland, their nation in ashes, forced to wander the globe, the Jewish people time and again suffered the lash of whichever tyrant happened to rule over them.
And what is anti-Zionist? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the Globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews. In short, it is antisemitism.]web page


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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 02:20 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Look Mishei, I am just illustrating a point. I don't think he's god. This is theology, not politcal philosophy for one thing.

[ 31 January 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


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Smith
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posted 31 January 2003 02:28 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
MLK comes at that from the perspective of a true believer in scripture.

There are also many varieties of Zionism, some of which are genocidal and some of which are compassionate and decent and many of which are in between. MLK does not specify which he is talking about, but I assume he would not have looked kindly on the "one thousand Arab lives are not worth one Jewish fingernail" Zionists, or the Kach Zionists, or the Herut Zionists...

Jabotinskian and apocalyptic Zionism are not the same thing as the original secular dream.


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Mandos
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posted 31 January 2003 02:39 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Moredreads, Smith, don't give in on the MLK business:

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=28&t=000089


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 31 January 2003 02:46 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sweeeeeet.

Re-posting Mandos' link:

Fraud Fit For A King

quote:
As for what King would say today about Israel, Zionism, and the
Palestinian struggle, one can only speculate.

After all, he died before the full tragedy of the occupation of the
West Bank and Gaza would be able to unfold.

He died before the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel; before the
invasion of Lebanon and the massacres at Sabra and Shatilla; before the
1980’s intifada; before Israel decided to serve as a proxy for U.S.
foreign policy--funneling weapons to fascist governments in South Africa,
Argentina and Guatemala, or helping to arm terrorist thugs in Mozambique
and the contras in Nicaragua.

He died before the proliferation of illegal settlements throughout the
territories; before the rash of suicide/homicide bombings; before the
polls showing that nearly half of Israeli Jews support removing
Palestinians via "transfer" to neighboring countries.

But one thing is for sure. While King would no doubt roundly condemn
Palestinian violence against innocent civilians, he would also condemn
the state violence of Israel.

He would condemn launching missile attacks against entire neighborhoods
in order to flush out a handful of wanted terrorists.

He would oppose the handing out of machine guns to religious fanatics
from Brooklyn who move to the territories and proclaim their God-given
right to the land, and the right to run Arabs out of their
neighborhoods, or fence them off, or discriminate against them in a multitude of
ways.

He would oppose the unequal rationing of water resources between Jews
and Arabs that is Israeli policy.

He would oppose the degrading checkpoints through which Palestinian
workers must pass to get to their jobs, or back to their homes after a
long day of work.

He would oppose the policy which allows IDF officers to shoot children
throwing rocks, as young as age twelve.

In other words, he would likely criticize the working out of Zionism on
the ground, as it has actually developed in the real world, as opposed
to the world of theory and speculation.

These things seem imminently clear from any honest reading of his work
or examination of his life. He would be a broker for peace. And it is a
tragedy that instead of King himself, we are burdened with charlatans
like those at the ADL, or the Des Moines Jewish Federation, or Rabbis
like Marc Schneier who think nothing of speaking for the genuine article,
in a voice not his own.



From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 31 January 2003 02:46 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks, mandos.
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darkhorse
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posted 31 January 2003 02:47 PM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I hope it is a fraud, because in every other respect King is admirable. But I've heard even Chomsky critisize King's zealous Zionism.
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WingNut
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posted 31 January 2003 02:54 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Do you have a link?
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darkhorse
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posted 31 January 2003 03:01 PM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry, I tried to look one up but couldn't find it. It was some time ago - an aricle on ZNet I think..
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satana
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posted 31 January 2003 03:07 PM      Profile for satana     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The way I see it, Palestinians are pawns used by foreign powers to keep Israel in check. I'm not so sure they have any real power to choose their leaders or the direction of their struggle. But I agree with Wingnut on "the establishment of committees throughout the world" to counter Zionist propaganda.

Anyway, here's an interesting article related to the discussion: Was Gandhi Anti-Semitic?


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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 03:09 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Uh oh!
From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 03:35 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Moredreads, Smith, don't give in on the MLK business:

I am not giving up on MLK, non-violence is preferable. I am simply reserving the right to punch someone in the head if they repeatedly do the same to me.


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Mandos
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posted 31 January 2003 03:46 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Moredreads: That's not what I meant. I meant on MLK's "anti-Semitism = anti-Zionism" quote.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 09:19 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was being deliberately stupid, to make a different point, for the record.
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