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RemovedDec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023
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>So... you support the Palestinian struggle right up until the moment it succeeds?

In an earlier article on this topic (https://freddiedeboer.substack.com/p/a-bad-partner-is-worse-than-rain), Freddie once asserted “Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg. Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg.” Freddie doesn't care whether Israel is right or Palestine is wrong, he will support the Palestinian cause without qualification - provided they are the loser/underdog. As soon as they win, they become the bad guys again, I guess. (Feel free to click on that link to see if my gloss of Freddie's position is fair or charitable.)

I don't pretend to understand Marxism.

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Fixed it for you: "I don't support your goals, but I do support your right to use violence to achieve them as long as you are weaker than your enemy."

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Or the qanon pizza gate crowd. A tiny oppressed minority if ever there was one.

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Getting rich on the labor of people they enslave would put slave owners in the position of the wall. Not the egg.

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The Northern states were and are richer than the southern states.

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That's a great distillation of the oppressor/oppressed false dichotomy that's been so strongly embraced.

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I originally had a comment here responding to you and it seems to have disappeared, but there's nothing saying "comment removed" like I see above. Has anyone seen this happen before? I have a hard time imagining that Freddie deleted it, since it was at least as civil as anything still existing in this thread.

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Freddie saying that in one article and then, in another, criticizing the woke for their glorification of victimhood is certainly An Opinion, as the kids say.

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Cf. Video clips of Hamas “fighters” shouting “allahu akbar” as they dismember Israeli women and children…

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In Israel's absence the factions within the Arab population would be killing each other. Hamas tossed Fatah party members off rooftops upon winning their election. This is a culture with little respect for life. They've simply deduced that Westerners value life more and it is a weakness that can be exploited.

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I feel like this is what a lot of Western Progressives are missing. This is a bronze age culture that plays by bronze age rules.

It is very hard for cultures with a Judeo-Christian respect for life, the vulnerable, and who regard women and children as not just valuable but worth men sacrificing their lives for, to compete with that in war, especially when you bring human shields and propaganda into things.

Westerners I don't think realize how much even those values we consider "secular", such as "women and children have value and dignity as humans", are very much dependent on a the Jewish and Christian tradition.

They are not just not universal values - they are fairly unique.

Most cultures historically have treated like chattel and even murdered even their own inconvenient children and women without blinking, much less the enemy's.

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I don't even view it in that light. Disrupt the supply chains to the extent that people go hungry and have no idea where their next meal is coming from. How do you think the bulk of the population would behave?

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We're all 3 meals away from anarchy...I forget who said it

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founding

I see nothing in Israel's response to the 10/7 attacks, or the preceding two decades or so, that leads me to believe they `respect for life, the vulnerable, and who regard women and children as not just valuable but worth men sacrificing their lives for'.

In fact we have over 10,000 (~70% of the 16,000 killed in Gaza) examples of them explicitly not caring for the lives of women and children.

`Westerners I don't think realize how much even those values... are very much dependent on a the Jewish and Christian tradition.'

If those values allow one rationalize the completely expected murder from above of other humans by a far, far superior force then they ought to be condemned.

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“ If those values allow one rationalize the completely expected murder from above of other humans by a far, far superior force then they ought to be condemned.”

Probably not a good idea to start a war with a vastly superior foe on your doorstep.

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founding

Like the Jews did with the Romans? =)

I understand the strategies of the NLF/VPA in Vietnam and the Iraqi insurgents, but I am still at a loss to understand the strategic value of what Hamas was hoping to accomplish with 10/7.

What I've heard in the press isn't exactly convincing (e.g., wanted to prevent the Saudi-Israeli talks) because I can't see it motivating young men to sacrifice themselves.

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Dec 7, 2023·edited Dec 7, 2023

They really seem to believe that the Israelis are leaving if they make their lives miserable enough, I guess. They’ve been trying since the 1960s and it hasn’t been working for them. When the Israelis came to the negotiating table in the 1990s, the Palestinians didn’t take the deal and it seems unlikely they’ll be offered another one anytime soon unless there’s some new Palestinian leadership movement that emerges with popular support.

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If 1/3 of those killed are fighters and the rest civilians that this would be an incredible accomplishment that no modern army can do. US ration in Iraq was way way worse. I'm not even going to talk about wars Muslims wage against each other.

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founding
Dec 7, 2023·edited Dec 7, 2023

Those are just the women and children. Every Palestinian man killed cannot possibly be a Hamas militant.

The US achieved a combatant-to-civilian kill ratio of 1.5--2.5 in the Second Battle of Fallujah, so yes it can be done.

Please stop trying to diminish the completely predictable (I would say intentional) and excessive collateral damage caused by Israeli tactics. The Israeli public has made it clear that they do not care about Palestinian lives or suffering and the IDF is giving them exactly what they want: unmitigated brutality towards all Palestinians.

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Conflating the murder of individuals face to face by Hamas with collateral damage from air strikes/artillery by the IDF is lazy thinking and betrays a lack of seriousness. By co-locating their weapons infrastructure, command posts, et al in civilian areas, Hamas is deliberately trying to maximize the number of Gazan civilian deaths. The IDF is making extraordinary efforts to prevent civilian casualties, but given the way Hamas has set things up, civilian deaths will occur. Calling these deaths murder is unsupported by any modern law of war.

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founding

`Conflating the murder of individuals face to face by Hamas with collateral damage from air strikes/artillery by the IDF is lazy thinking and betrays a lack of seriousness.'

If this were but a single incident then I'd agree with you; however, over the past almost two decades Israel has consistently killed ten times as many Palestinian civilians as their enemies have killed Israeli civilians. Because of this consistency, and the fact that the populace of Gaza was left to suffer and settlers allowed to arrogate ever larger parts of the West Bank through violence and murder, I am led to believe that the Israeli populace simply does not care about Palestinian life.

`By co-locating their weapons infrastructure, command posts, et al in civilian areas'

They should be meeting the IDF on which battlefields in Gaza? It's all civilian territory. And what of the command center under Al-Shifa hospital? Was a smattering of weaponry, smaller than what many Americans possess, found in a vehicle onsite and an incidental tunnel justify the deaths of even in single Palestinian baby?

`The IDF is making extraordinary efforts to prevent civilian casualties'

Name one effort and don't give me that QR code/app line. Gazans don't have potable water or food, let alone electricity or Internet access to be able to move to where Israel says they *probably* won't be killed. Not to mention that there's no support for them in the places they're directed to.

`Calling these deaths murder is unsupported by any modern law of war.'

Those deaths are completely predictable and serve no military purpose other than retribution and to reduce Gaza to an uninhabitable pile of rubble.

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I mourn the deaths of innocent Gazans in this conflict. However, unlike you I consider Hamas as well as their jihadi fellow travelers responsible for them. Maximizing civilian casualties is Hamas’ strategy since they are unable to militarily defeat the IDF. Hamas is counting on international pressure to keep Israel from destroying Hamas’ ability to conduct another attack. I don’t think it’s going to work. On 10/7 Hamas wrote a bunch of checks they can’t cash. Now they have to deal with the results of their actions.

I was listening to a podcast the other day. The speaker was a liberal and generally sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians. He posited that Hamas could have avoided much of this if on 10/8 they had held a news conference, declared that their legitimate 10/7 objectives were the IDF positions along the border and that the brutal attacks on civilians were not authorized. Further on 10/9, Hamas rounds up 50 or so “ring leaders” and publicly executes them. In the his opinion that would have gone a long way towards muting the Israeli response (or at least western support for the response). Interesting thought experiment.

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Which culture has little respect for life? Palestinians? Muslims? Arabs? The culture within the upper ranks of Hamas? Could you be a little more specific in your description of which group of people I should hate? How does the U.S. stack up in the “respect for life” contest? Should our respect for life be judged based on Bush’s rendition program or Obama’s drone strikes?

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I mean Palestinians brag that while Israelis love life they love death. The entire religion of Islam is based on the belief that life on non-believer is worthless.

You don't have to hate it. Hell, lots of people love it.

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When people ask me what they think is gotcha questions, I always wonder if they are aware of Google. It took me less than a minute to get this.

https://www.memri.org/reports/ideology-hamas-%E2%80%93-its-own-words

I don't know who your people so I don't know what respect, if any, they have for life.

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deletedDec 7, 2023·edited Dec 7, 2023
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There is the whole martyrdom/paradise thing. There are folks who subscribe pretty strongly to the belief that being killed while slaughtering unbelievers gets you a free ticket to paradise. I think they’re called Jihadists. Christians on the other hand tend to mourn the fact that unbelievers will not share in the joy of eternal life. They also have this creed that all are sinners and have fallen short of the Kingdom of God. This is not to say that there weren’t some pretty ugly religious wars in the past. We’ve pretty much got past them. Islam, not so much. Are all Muslims jihadists? Nope. It with about 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, if only 0.1% are jihadists, that gives 1.8 million jihadists. Not a trivial number.

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That's really close to Cesar Chavez's attitude towards the farm workers. Once they had obtained a bit of traction and bargaining power, and wanted even better working conditions and pay, he turned against them. He only supported them when they were wretchedly abused. I highly recommend the book "The Union of Their Dreams: Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez's Farm Worker Movement" if you care about Chavez.

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The overriding principle is that people should not be imprisoned, bombed, and starved. Once that stops, Palestinians would be free to overthrow their state as they wish, ala the Iran example.

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Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023

Don't keep people in a concentration camp, for one.

And if you do take a pro-IDF position, they could've interdicted the attack. They had actionable intelligence.

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Removed (Banned)Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023
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There are other options besides killing everyone or keeping people in a cage, starving, and bombing them. I'm not sure why this situation has to foreclose all political possibilities.

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Concentrate camp? “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” (H/T to Inigo Montoya).

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founding
Dec 6, 2023Liked by Freddie deBoer

`It seems to me there's no question, at all, that in a world in which Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian people achieved what they regarded as a victory, or at least acceptable peace, they would be living in a theocractic Palestinian ethnostate.'

Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian people are not the same thing. The fact that you seem to think so, and that there's no question in your mind about their collective ambitions, or apparently the the tens of people who liked your post, tells me that you and they are incapable of seeing the humanity and individual worth of Palestinians.

The Hamas social-religious agenda is not popular in Gaza. The Iranian social-religions is not popular with Iranians. These populations can do very little, but have bravely and heroically tried, to oppose their oppressors. The Palestinian struggle has historically been a secular one (Fatah is tinged with a bit of Islam), at least until Israel started supporting Hamas as a counter to the secular forces.

Palestinians as a whole do not want a theocratic state. Some Palestinians do. Hamas does. We will need to fight them once the occupation ends to ensure that this minority does not prevail, but we cannot do so effectively until the occupation has ended.

You're painting Palestinians as nothing more than a collection of crazed, religious fanatics. That's rank bigotry.

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Thank you. If someone can equate Hezbollah, Hamas, and *all Palestinians* ... there are issues beyond arguing for the viability of nationalism at play

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When civil order collapses what typically happens is that everyone that can grab a gun does so. Whoever's left standing gets to make the rules. In Gaza does anybody doubt that would be Hamas?

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founding

The collapse of civil order is not inevitable, though, and I certainly don't think it practicable that that Israel would become a liberal democracy overnight.

But a peace process that has that as a goal, over perhaps a 10--15 year horizon, with intervening milestones, plenty of investment, and international oversight, would have popular support by Palestinians (who've already agreed to settle on something like the 1967 borders).

Right now Israel is causing the create collapse of civil order---they'd mainly accomplished it before 10/7 in any case.

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Hamas already purged their political enemies once in recent history. Speculate all you want but given events in the recent past I see no reason to expect any chance of democracy in Gaza unless it's imposed by force by outsiders ala Iraq or Afghanistan.

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founding

Yes they did and Hamas is despicable. And if force is necessary to prevent them from interfering with a peace plan that leads to Israel being a liberal democracy then so be it.

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I am not what the point of your reply is. Technically Israel is dealing with Hamas right now but I doubt that the aftermath will be conducive to greater peace in the Middle East.

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I mean, Hamas claims that Hamas is Palestine and Palestine is Hamas. Palestinian "civilians" all approve of slaughtering Jews. They are more than happy to tell you that.

BTW, you do know that durr OCCUPATION durr of Gaza ended in 2005. Your theory that getting rid of Jews would make things better has been tried and found to be moronic.

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"Palestinian "civilians" all approve of slaughtering Jews."

Just literally, completely made up.

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Nope. True. More than 90% of Palestinians surveyed were in favor of 10/7 attacks.

BTW, Islam teaches Muslims to hate Jews and to slaughter them. We are descendants of apes and pigs you see. Sorry that there are inconvenient facts out there.

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founding

`We are descendants of apes and pigs'

Jokes on the scientifically illiterate fundamentalists (not all Muslims, Christians, or Jews) as we're all cousins of those fine animals!

And I have a feeling that Jews and Muslims will come to like pigs when we finally succeed in transplanting their organs to humans.

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I too believe that the future looks bright. One day my descendants would read words like "Iranian" or "Palestinian" or "Islamist" the same way that I read Girgishites, Perrizites, Assyrians, Babylonians today. It will be just something bad that happened in the past. All I know, is that there's going to be a lot of winning in the future. A LOT of winning.

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founding

This is preposterous. I can claim to be the Queen of the United States and say you're under my dominion. Are you going to send me your tax dollars if I tell you to? Absurd.

Not a goat gets through that border without Israel's permission---it's still under de facto occupation. If you consult the statements of the people who initiated the withdrawal (PM Sharon and his colleagues), you will see that they did it precisely to prevent the formation of a Palestinian state. Netanyahu has also ensured that Hamas remains in power as an excuse not to re-engage in the peace process.

If you're going to put Palestinian `civilians' in quotes then to be consistent, you must allow Hamas to put Israel `civilians' in quotes. As a result you'd be forced to admit that civilians weren't killed on 10/7 and that it was a legitimate military offensive. Great, you're now agree with Hamas!

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"This is preposterous. I can claim to be the Queen of the United States and say you're under my dominion. Are you going to send me your tax dollars if I tell you to? Absurd."

Not sure what you are babbling about. So I'm going to nod politely.

'Not a goat gets through that border without Israel's permission---it's still under de facto occupation. If you consult the statements of the people who initiated the withdrawal (PM Sharon and his colleagues), you will see that they did it precisely to prevent the formation of a Palestinian state. Netanyahu has also ensured that Hamas remains in power as an excuse not to re-engage in the peace process." Did something happen to cause the blockade? Can you think of anything?

"If you're going to put Palestinian `civilians' in quotes then to be consistent, you must allow Hamas to put Israel `civilians' in quotes. As a result you'd be forced to admit that civilians weren't killed on 10/7 and that it was a legitimate military offensive. Great, you're now agree with Hamas!" Military age men vs. 10 month old baby. Not sure you are making the point you think you do.

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founding

`Not sure what you are babbling about'

You made the sophomoric point that Hamas says it is(?) Palestine therefore they must be accepted as Palestine. I tried to point out to you that just because someone says something doesn't make it true.

`Military age men vs. 10 month old baby'

A single Israel baby (or is it two at this point that have been killed) is worth how many hundreds of Palestinian babies?

What about just the four or so Palestinian babies who suffocated to death in their incubators because IDF soldiers told everyone to evacuate the hospital and that they would take care of the babies, only to leave them to rot and be gnawed on by feral dogs?

In any case, as an Israeli spokesperson said about the deaths of women and children in Gaza, collateral damage is the tragedy of war.

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I mean, widespread universal support for Hamas among Palestininans is a well recognized fact. I'm not sure what you want me to do about that.

"`Military age men vs. 10 month old baby'

A single Israel baby (or is it two at this point that have been killed) is worth how many hundreds of Palestinian babies?"

So you see there's a difference between killing Hamas members and killing children. You seem to have forgotten who have started this war. It's not Israel's fault that Hamas doesn't care about civilians.

"What about just the four or so Palestinian babies who suffocated to death in their incubators because IDF soldiers told everyone to evacuate the hospital and that they would take care of the babies, only to leave them to rot and be gnawed on by feral dogs?" That's a new one. Care to link to where you got that from?

But you are right. This is a war between civilizations. Battles are different, the war is the same. We've been fighting and beating Amelek for 4 thousand years. And all this winning that happened in the past is nothing compared to all the winning that is going to take place in the future.

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The off-hand way you suggest "Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian people" are a unified entity with the same goal makes it seem like you only heard about the middle east yesterday, a kind of shrugging "well there's brown people on one side and white people on the other, right?"

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I'm about to blow your mind: you can support ending the horrible oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people without fighting for Palestinian nationalism. But I suspect you knew that, and this comment is a piece of obtuse sophistry.

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Congress has passed a resolution assuring me that opposition to Zionism is ipso facto antisemitism.

I suppose that if Congress passed a resolution declaring me in fact to be a Labrador Retriever that I then would come when called?

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"Imagine there's no country, it isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too..."

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You rule. (Not in a nationalistic sense, of course)

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I know a Jewish guy whose worried friend is the treasurer of the county level Democratic organization. She asked him if he thought she should take the mezuzah off of her front door. When the Democrats got their asses thumped in local elections she sent him a text celebrating their losses. If Jews are reevaluating their relationship with the Democratic and Republican parties it's because of BLM fliers that feature paraglider graphics and marches on college campuses where the participants chant "Glory to the martyrs".

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Were there really very many who celebrated Oct 7th?

Mostly what I'm hearing and feeling is that Oct. 7th was an awful terrorist act...but that doesn't mean Israel has the right to kill and terrorize a million people trapped in a large ghetto...with my tax dollars.

I am not anti-Jewish, but I am anti-Zionist. I don't support theocracies. I don't believe that Israel has the right to be the "landlords" over all of the territory they've taken from the people who were there before.

Hamas has won. They don't care if hundreds of thousands of lives are destroyed. They've gotten Israel to act like monsters in the eyes of the world, including more and more Americans.

I can't help thinking if we hadn't given Israel unconditional support, including billions of dollars every year, they would have come to a realistic political solution with the Palestinians because they would have had to.

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The people with Nazi swastikas at marches, the ones who advertise rallies by printing fliers adorned with paragliders--they're a minority. But they're a very loud and visible minority. And when they continue to march without widespread outrage/condemnation? That is very worrying to a lot of the people I know.

Hamas will be destroyed. I would say that Iran has advanced their interests by sacrificing Hamas (and Gaza) as a pawn.

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founding

`Nazi swastikas at marches'

Didn't see a single such thing, or even see it reported, at the pro-Palestinian march in Washington, D.C., which was, I believe, the largest to date in this country.

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Come on now.

Do you really want me to post a link? What's the point of even making this statement?

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founding

I was there and did check the coverage afterwards. Lots of teenage boys with their faces covered by a keffiyeh standing around and trying to look tough, yes. Families with toddlers on shoulders or in strollers, OK. Will admit that I do not know what the chants in Arabic meant.

So If I missed the racists waving swastikas, I'd be really interested in knowing!

Note: chanting `from the river to the sea,' saying Israel is a colonizer, or an apartheid state is not anti-Semitic. And the people who say that Israel is a fascist state like Nazi Germany and use a swastika to illustrate that (e.g., Star of David/Israeli flag = swastika) are clearly implying that's a bad thing and by extension the swastika, as well.

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I would appreciate a link, not because I don't believe you but because I'm writing an article on this topic.

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I watched people like that march on the Capitol last spring. I stood up on the Modern Art building and felt disgusted at them, but I didn't say anything. There was no news coverage either and I was glad of that. They want attention.

I wonder what percentage they are? I suspect quite small. Publicizing them does increase support for Zionism and Israel's current actions. Its a good tactic to advertise your opponents worst actors as loudly as possible.

Most of the people I read, who don't agree with Israel's current course of action, also condemn Hamas's attack as strongly.

I see no way of destroying Hamas without an unacceptable amount of innocent bystanders. It's hurting Israel. Hamas has won. Israel is doing exactly what they want, becoming monsters who kill children.

Shame on Hamas. Shame on the right-wing extremist Zionists.

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With respect to Hamas I think the appropriate question to ask is "Cui bono?" Certainly not the rank and file of Hamas, who will almost certainly be slaughtered in the coming weeks and months.

But the leadership is safely ensconced in luxury hotels in Qatar and are thus able to sacrifice their underlings while experiencing no real personal discomfort. And Iran, which was facing the prospect of two regional rivals (S. Arabia and Israel) improving relations, has postponed that for at least a few years.

I think that the swastikas are an expression of genuine hostility towards Israel and Jews. Anti-zionism doesn't have to be antisemitic but some anti-Zionists are definitely antisemitic.

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founding

`Shame on the right-wing extremist Zionists.'

Both left and right governments have long subsidized and enabled West Bank settlements. Labour did it, Kadima did it, and of course Likud.

The people of Israel have consistently voted for right-wing extremists the last fifteen years or so. Something like 68% of Israeli Jews don't think that the IDF is going far enough/being tough enough in this war.

Israel is a solidly right-wing country now and we can't just say it's due to structural impediments like in the US, e.g., electoral college or two senators per state.

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I'm sure the comments are going to be a show here...but while I may disagree with a lot of what you're saying here, thank you. It is certainly helping me engage with a different POV on an intellectual level and I appreciate your writing it.

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Yes! This is where I’m at, precisely. I have tremendous respect for Freddie’s ideological consistency.

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Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023

I'll throw in further support of this.

I still disagree with Freddie. I still think these beliefs ultimately leads to inconsistencies or backwards conclusions, but I appreciate and endorse his ability to articulate his arguments in a way that makes me stop and give them serious thought.

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"It is not a conspiracy theory but rather a statement of bare fact that on no other issues are the risks of being cancelled more intense than when it comes to criticizing Israel."

Yes Freddie, and that's why you'll never see another #BLM flag again. I'm sorry that movement had to die this way...

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That line got me a LOL. People just tend to overrate anything that threatens them rather than others.

The risks of being cancelled of course are reliably lower for criticizing Israel than any of a dozen of the post-liberal left's hobby horses the last decade.

Freddie himself removes people who even bring up certain topics, and one of them is not Israel.

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Good point. Isn't it just so interesting how a guy as smart as Freddie regularly does this though? "This opinion isn't even an opinion, it's a fact." Sorry Freddie, opinions aren't facts; especially shitty opinions ;)

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I don't think being banned from commenting on a Substack is meaningfully comparable to losing one's livelihood.

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The Bretton Woods Global Order is unraveling as it always was gonna do... because it was unsustainable. If you are opposed to Nationalism, you are going to be a very disappointed political animal.

Here is the problem with those that want to claim anti-Zionism is something different than antisemitism... and you test this simply. Admit to what you really want to see with respect to Israel. And if you are honest you will admit that you want Israel to cease to exist and the Palestinians fee to go loot the land and live there to make it all the same depressed and unproductive land as is the land they currently live on.

But what will happen to those millions of displaced Israeli Jews... the same tribes that occupied that land before the Arabs did from their bloody conquests?

If you were honest you would admit the warm fuzzy feelings in your blackened heart thinking of many of these Jews having no home and being exterminated.

And thus anti-Zionism is antisemitism. They are the same.

If you want to argue that then please, please tell us what the future should like like with respect to Israeli Jews.

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This is probably the exact same rumination from 1930s Germany.

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Stop with the intellectually dishonest hyperbole. When you use these claims flippantly and inaccurately (as in genocide) you destroy their real meaning and purpose. You create word crimes and should be punished for it.

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Israel is not involved in genocide. The Palestinian terrorists are clearly interested in genocide of Israeli Jews. All Israel is doing is making their people safe and secure. They are targeting the defeat and removal of Hamas.

Claiming they are motivated to exterminate Palestinian people in general is intellectually lazy, weak and dishonest.

You seem to be a terrorist sympathizer as well as antisemite.

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yup! the antizionism is antisemitism crowd engenders waaaaaay more antisemitism than they would if that were not a thing. It's a massive motte-bailey fallacy.

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The general answer to "what happens to the Jews?" is they're free to migrate anywhere they please, or stay right where they live already. Thus no one gets displaced.

Of course, displacement can happen even in the face of open borders (gentrification is a form of displacement, after all). However, that occurs within the framework of global capitalism, and Freddie is obviously talking about a post-capitalist order here.

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I think the question is what happens to any Jew that decides to stay. The current level of animus plus the absence of any state level protections (by which I mean an army) wouldn't seem to bode well.

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I dunno if I'd agree. Post-Apartheid South Africa has all sorts of issues, but whites did not have to flee the country for fear of their lives (there has been some white emigration, but it was arguably more driven by economic opportunity). In addition, white people have maintained their position atop the economic hierarchy in South Africa, despite being entirely politically disempowered.

Putting aside the question for a moment of a post-capitalist order, I'm reasonably certain that in a unified Israel-Palestine that Jews would stay, on average, much, much wealthier than Palestinians, even if the latter formed the balance of power within government.

And the whole point of a liberal democratic order is that minority rights are respected, even when they lack an electoral majority. Of course, not all Marxists agree with liberal democratic norms, but I'm fairly certain that Freddie is one of those Marxists (as am I).

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Why? Why do you presume if there was a secular, binational state that Palestinians would move to kill or expel the Jews if they comprised 51% of the electorate?

It's worth remembering that Israel doesn't even hold the Palestinians to this standard. Yes, Israeli Arabs live as second-class citizens, but they do have rights. And the idea of expelling Israeli Arabs or Palestinians in the West Bank to Jordan (or wherever) is a stance only of the far right within Israel like the Kahanists; not something the overwhelming majority of the Israeli Jews agree on.

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"Why? Why do you presume if there was a secular, binational state that Palestinians would move to kill or expel the Jews if they comprised 51% of the electorate?"

Given the amount of bloodshed since Oct. 7 isn't that the most likely outcome?

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the germans and belgians essentially created the ethnic hatred there.

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I've seen some scholars arguing that Gourevich overstated this thesis. It's true that the Europeans practiced divide and conquer, but those divisions were already there and waiting to be exploited.

It's also quite infantilizing. The Hutus were adults with agency. If you machete a million people, I'm just not interested in hearing about how it's actually the fault of someone who's been gone for 30 years.

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I would say that the concern isn't something that looks like S. Africa as compared to Zimbabwe or Nagorno-Karabakh.

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Yes, I understand the fear. Which is why any sort of "one-state solution" would realistically have to include peacekeepers ala Bosnia, as I intimated in another reply here.

No one serious on the left really just argues to hand over all the land between the Jordan and the sea to Hamas (or even Fatah).

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If a transition without peacekeepers is unrealistic the how is it not equally unrealistic to imagine that Israel's armed forces wouldn't object to the presence of foreign soldiers on Israeli soil?

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I'm afraid you are vesting way too much confidence in peacekeepers. Their record in Bosnia is dismal - they hoisted the UN flag over Srebrenica and then completely failed to stop (or even meaningfully resist) the massacre there. NATO had to intervene and take care of business. The UN peacekeepers were also on hand in Rwanda and proved useless during the 100-day genocide. Even now, they are supposed to be keeping peace on the Lebanon border and are completely ineffectual.

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The much closer to 50/50 population mix in Israel/Palestine makes it a more dangerous brew, though.

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Yes, and I think the anti-Zionists absolutely know this and thus it justifies the label of antisemitism. They know that the huge Muslim world that surrounds the tiny sliver of land called Israel, just like the Nazis, want to exterminate Jews and would if given access to the land where Israeli Jews live.

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Cool. Cool. Cool. Now do Whites in America. I guess the Great Replacement is only a conspiracy theory unless its invoked by Zionists!

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It's really Ruy Texeira and John Judis, or I should say the misreading of their work.

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I always chuckle inside when I hear from people claiming to be anti-capitalist... especially those that own real estate. I ask why they own real estate and don't just give it to the state. Or if they want to maintain their ownership why would they sell it for market price and not lower the asking price to meet affordability interests for the average family.

If you plopped 1000 people on some isolated land and required them to make a new society, you would have capitalism naturally before any other "ism". Capitalism is simply a reality of human existence to trade for needs and wants based on a relative market value of the trading material.

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There's no way to make this happen, but if I could, I would move all 7 million (or whatever) jews in Israel to my country, the United States. And then, when we unloaded the last boat, I'd send the vessels across the Pacific to do the same with 23 million Taiwanese.

The Palestinians would move into Israel, a land for which they have some claim to. The Chinese have no claim to Taiwan, but I'd prefer peace to war.

In some sense, I'm anti-Israel, but I think it's hard to claim I'm antisemitic when I'd rather they be my neighbors than the Palestinians.

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That is completely infeasible but I appreciate the fact that you at least have an idea.

By the way, I am sure your residence is on land once occupied by another tribe of people. In fact, moving Israelis and Taiwanese people to the US just causes the same problem of people living on occupied land.

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I agree that the shelf life of a person or peoples' land claim following unfair removal is not at all clear. I really struggle to land on a coherent answer. I someone steals my land today, I'd say I deserve to come back tomorrow. In 50 years after someone else bought it legally? I'm not sure. In 300 years do my ancestors deserve it back? No.

I don't think Chinese mainlanders were displaced from Taiwan though, or at least that's not the primary argument for reunification.

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The statute of limitation for claiming rightful occupation cannot be more than a generation, because the displaced individuals would be dead and their ancestors have no connection to that land.

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It seems simple, but why do descendants of the new owners get beneficial ownership of the land just because their parents committed an atrocity? Same questions around reparations, Nazi stolen art, etc. My pat answer here is that we shouldn't really allow generational transfer of assets or liabilities, but that's getting pretty far out from current reality.

Anyway, I don't support Palestinian right of return, so basically agree.

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Stolen art is different than land occupied by conquest or other means... because

"but why do descendants of the new owners get beneficial ownership of the land just because their parents committed an atrocity?"

Just reverse the target of this question: why do the descendants of the previous generation get punished by expulsion for the actions of previous generation?

The people of Palestine today are only familiar with their lives on the land they currently occupy. Same with the people of Israel. A very small part of population were alive before the occupation.

The cognitive dissonance in the arguments of the anti-Zionists whom almost always are also advocates of borderless globalism is thick enough to cut with a knife. They want no borders and zero national sovereignty and yet claim that Israel occupies land "owned" by another tribe.

From an Israel point of view, if not for the Muslim tribes around them clearly wanting to kill them, Israel would maintain more common and civil border relationships with those Muslim people. So this isn't about national sovereignty. It is 100% about safety and security.

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That would be 3-4 generations, I think, but there should be definitely a statute of limitations. There are definitely Palestinians alive who lost property in the original Nakba or one of the intifadas, and in the West Bank they continue to lose land with the settlements. Hard to claim the statute of limitations has tolled when the displacement is ongoing.

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The settlements have followed the attempted but failed attempts by the murderous, Jew-hating Muslims bordering Israel to try and defeat Israel. That is what happens when you start a war and then lose. Safety and security of Israel requires more of a buffer between those that chant "death to Jews".

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I agree with this as well. And regret the decisions of previous administrations that did not welcome Jewish refugees with open arms pre- and post-Holocaust.

*this is how you can be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic, btw*

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In fairness, I'm sure there are lots of idealists who would reply, "When we say we want an end to Israel, we mean we want some kind of new ... community? Non-nation-like-entity? Something where Jews and Palestinians and frolicking rainbow unicorns can exist together in harmony."

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Diversity is strength! The Jews in Israel should embrace Democracy like they insist everyone else do! Think of the street food they're missing out on!

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The problem is being open to diversity to include people committed to killing the existing population. It is hard to enjoy that new street food when you are dead.

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Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023

"Admit to what you really want to see with respect to Israel. And if you are honest you will admit that you want Israel to cease to exist and the Palestinians fee to go loot the land and live there to make it all the same depressed and unproductive land as is the land they currently live on."

What I want to see is all of the people in Israel and Palestine who just want to be free and live their lives without wanting to ethically cleanse their neighbors be able to do that. And all of the people there who *do* want to ethnically cleanse their neighbors be removed from power.

I wouldn't go as far as Freddie in calling for the nation-states there to be dissolved, but I do think Israel should cease to be an ethno-nationalist state. The entire conflict is based on religious doctrine, and so we need to take steps to make Israel more of a secularized democracy. Work to de-incentivize the extremist elements running the Knesset, fix the problems caused by Netanyahu's power grabbing, stop treating its non-Jewish citizens like a lower class. None of those things are antisemitic. And the same applies to Palestine - free elections need to happen there again and Hamas needs to be removed from power. Realistically, it will take decades of work, will probably involve conflict with Iran at some point, and might not even work, but tbh I can't think of a better way to approach the problem

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I am in complete agreement with what you have said, but I want to add a lacunae to this, if you don't mind.

Zionists often argue that Israel is special in some manner because of the historic wrongs done to the Jewish people - that they deserve/need a religious ethnostate because it's the only way in which they will be safe. But anyone with a background in a small-to-midsized European nation state can tell you about the historical developments which led to nationalist resentment in their own nations. The foreign countries that invaded. The territory lost. The humiliation heaped upon them. Indeed, American patriotism is in some ways (lost cause aside) pretty strange in not having much in the way of a narrative of resentment.

Regardless, nation-states lead to nationalist resentment, and nationalist resentment in turn leads to a zero-sum mindset when it comes to how to address said resentment. My nation must win, so the other nation, therefore must lose. It's a trap that leads nowhere but genocide, if taken to its logical conclusion.

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founding

I make no apology for Israel being a Jewish state. And it is my fervent desire for it to continue to be one. For no other reason than it is important to the Jewish people, a tribe, a family, to which I belong.

Is that emotional and atavistic? Yes. But that's what's kept us surviving for millennia.

So, feel free to continue to write long posts about how nation-states are bad and marxism and whatever strikes your fancy. Write a million of them. You're not changing anything.

Am Yisrael Chai.

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I genuinely don't understand why you would reply to any article, on any subject, by saying "I refuse to engage with your arguments and will keep doing what I want because I like it." What does this comment contribute to the discussion? If you think this article is so without merit that you shouldn't even consider its viewpoint, why comment at all? Why even finish reading it?

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Freddie is being intellectually consistent in arguing that a single nation state should be dissolved because his position is that all countries should be dissolved.

But that simply isn't realistic. And you see plenty of people pointing that out here in the comments.

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You'll note that I did not reply to any of those comments.

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I think that in essence the OP is making the same argument.

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But nowhere in this article is it argued that it's "realistic" to end nation-states, or that it's likely to happen, the thrust of the article is "this is a valid argument that is not inherently anti-semetic, and treating it as such will have bad effects." To say "actually I think nation states are great" or otherwise argue with that argument is to miss the point.

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But there's two separate issues here. One is whether anti-Zionism equates to antisemitism. The other is whether an academic argument about whether or not a state should "exist" is meaningful in the face of that state's large standing army.

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You would have tribal wars galore..................ancient DNA is pretty good at showing what such a world is like.

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"I support X for no other reason than X is important to my tribe."

This is about as dangerous as a ethos gets.

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I mentioned elsewhere I have a Jewish friend. Within his circle people are asking if they should remove the mezuzah from their doors. Is the issue "importance to his tribe" or fear that people like him are being targeted?

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I think your friend is expressing a different point than the one I responded to

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Why not ask the OP how he feels about Oct. 7?

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Why would I do that? Oct. 7th was tragic and abhorrent from any reasonable perspective, and I'm certain OP agrees.

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From my purely anecdotal experience in talking with Jewish friends and acquaintances a common thread is rage that certain segments of American society are downplaying the Oct. 7 attacks. Alongside that is a sense of betrayal that those segments are not being roundly condemned by the country at large. And finally there is the fear/worry that leads somebody to ask if they should take the mezuzah off their door.

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founding

Your friend is completely catastrophizing. This is the safest country in the world for Jews.

On the other hand, we've had what three Palestinian Americans shot and one Muslim kindergartner stabbed to death since 10/7 in this country?

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What about the rise in hate crimes that supposedly took place under Trump?

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founding

Aside from a few concrete instances, I agree with your characterization of a *supposed* increase in hate crimes.

The fact that the hypocritical and histrionic Bari Weiss wrote a book with a thesis that anti-Semitism is on the rise in the US indicates to me that the opposite is more likely to be true.

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Do you actually have any evidence to back up your supposition?

And to be clear there was no interest in hate crimes of any stripe under Trump?

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Familiar with this?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_Samantha_Woll

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founding

As it so happens, I am familiar with this despicable act. From what I've read of her, Ms. Woll was a fundamentally decent human being whose murder is truly a loss for her family and community.

You, however, appear not to actually give a shit about her death and are merely using it as propaganda. Had you actually read the page you linked to you'd know that:

`police have not found evidence that her slaying had antisemitic motivations'

Hope this was just an innocent mistake on your part.

I will say again, proudly, that this country is the safest country in the world for Jews. And it is the safest country precisely because we've largely shrugged off the ethno-religious conception of a state that Israel has unfortunately adopted.

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Dec 7, 2023·edited Dec 7, 2023

Yes, if the police has not averred any antisemitic motivations it can only be because of course there were none. Definitely not because the police finds it intersectionally inconvenient to attribute hate crimes motivations in the murder of a member of the "oppressor" category.

I take it that you know that crimes against Jews significantly outpace crimes against any other group. And yes, look at all that safety springing up throughout college campuses. Stunning, no?

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See, Charlie? These liberals are trying to assassinate my character. And I can't change their mind. I won't change my mind, 'cause I don't have to. 'Cause I'm an American.

I won't change my mind on anything, regardless of the facts that are set out before me.

I'm dug in, and I'll never change.

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If you oppose nation-states, what is the alternative? In the real world, that usually means empires. It was really nationalism that stemmed the tide of political consolidation over the past 1,000 years or so.

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I don't know why anyone assumes that abandoning one particular political formation means resumption of one that preceded it. If you believe in some kind of political teleology, capitalism would be succeeded by something new, not something old.

In fact this exact argument was used all the time by defenders of the feudal political order. "Just wait and see what happens if you throw the royalty out, it's going to be tribalism and chaos..." Doesn't make much sense.

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Well, the contention wasn’t better or worse, it was new or old. And if you do adopt your chosen binary, you’d need to much more nuanced assessment. The USSR was worse for some (the former royals, certainly) and better for others. Same goes for France. And in both cases, the new regimes were eventually assimilated into international capitalism.

As for the notion that nationalism suppressed tribal and ethnic rivalries - maybe, but it also gave rise to newer and more destructive conflicts (WWI and the sequel). Doesn’t make much sense to banish an old genie in favor of a newer, bigger one. I don’t find it persuasive that nationalism is what’s keeping us from descending into some kind of Hobbesian war.

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Removed (Banned)Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023
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Right, so there's no reason to think that it would be a form of feudalism, neo- or not.

Actually, an argument could be made that capitalism incubated nation-states, and not the other way around. Either way, they're intertwined, and I personally would have no problem with the end of either.

"how the hell do trade agreements and treaties even work without nation-states?" How did they work before nation-states? If you're under the impression that capitalism put an end to localized trade deals or piracy, I have some bad news for you.

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I think what comes after an existing "system" is deposed is always and necessarily some amalgam of old and new. There is nothing new under the sun.

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Removed (Banned)Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023
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How shocking! Who could have guessed? /shocked Pikachu face

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It’s also the libertarian view. In any case it’s pretty clear that Marx thought that the revolution in Europe would become a worldwide revolution, due to European imperialism. He didn’t say anything much, or at all, about revolutions starting outside Europe.

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And the only real stop to the rule of the oligarchs and their technocrat minions is the nation-state and state sovereignty. Internationalism is a tool of the oligarchy.

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I think the biggest conflict here is between the various nationalisms, which are clearly in conflict with the homogenized blob that seems to be the goal of left- and right-libertarians, and the idea of self-determination, which is also a cherished idea of the blob.

it seems to me the constant message from our thought-leaders is, "people must be free to do what they want, as long as it's something we approve of."

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There are plenty of countries whose charter I disagree with. But that doesn’t mean that I sympathize with the intentional slaughter of their citizens or believe that they shouldn’t be allowed to defend themselves.

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No, but do you believe the U.S. should support their military with billions in aid per year?

To me, that is the salient question as an American. Not what Israel does, but what our country does.

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While it's a salient question for Americans, military funding is orthogonal to and can be severed from the issue of how being against Israel's existence avoids applying a double standard to Jews or a Jewish state.

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This debate always gets wrapped around the axle of the State of Israel having been within living memory something that could very plausibly have ceased to exist in a matter of weeks, whereas today it is a nuclear power that has to be coped with as just a fact of life, love it or hate it.

Does Israel have the "right to exist" as an existential matter? It no longer matters what people's opinions are, it's existence cannot be challenged anymore. But that "right to exist" continually gets rolled up with an implied "right to the personal safety of its citizens" which implies a different level of Palestinian oppression depending on the person and the day, and on and on down the rabbit hole we go.

It's one of those really unhelpful rhetorical lacunae.

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Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023

Gimme a break. If the torrent of US arms and weapons were cut off tomorrow, Israel would be gone as a political entity in less than a decade. They can't even manufacture toilet paper without US "aid". For all intents and purposes, they are a colony of the USA.

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Israel is not what it was in 1967, when your statement might have been true.

That hasn't been the case for some time. Even if it wasn't a nuclear state.

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Their nukes are probably as real as those 40 decapitated babies

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Dancing on graves of murdered children is not that flex you think it is.

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And in 1967, Israel defeated its enemies without any US assistance. Ditto 1948.

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But with US armaments.

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In 1948, the US didn't provide arms to either side. Israel got arms from Eastern Europe and on the black market, which was swimming in armaments from WWII.

By 1967, Israel had purchased arms from France and the US. But purchasing arms is not aid. The US sells arms all over the world. That doesn't make the purchasers "colonies" of the US, as Caek alleges.

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founding

OK. Then the US military posturing in the region, on behalf of Israel, is unnecessary and we can stop providing diplomatic cover for them.

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Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023

As much as the Israelis may welcome it, the US military is there for American foreign policy interests, not Israeli.

In a nutshell: to prevent this distraction from becoming more than a sideshow in CW2.

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Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023

Israel is quite a wealthy country with immense domestic military capacity. They also now maintain at worst tacit relations with every nearby country capable of acting against them, most of whom hate Iran even more than Israel does and who show increasing willingness to sell out the Palestinian cause, especially under the auspices of Hamas, whose clericalism is feared by Gulf monarchs as much as their militarism is feared by Israelis.

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Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023

>immense domestic military capacity

lol they just got bushwhacked by a gang of escaped inmates with paragliders, bro

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And some droopy mercenary who looks like a thumb came within a whisker of toppling the Kremlin. We're in a bit of a dead ball era for conventional military capacity it seems.

Assumptions that Team Xi could storm Taiwan at the stroke of a pen seem worth closer examination in that light, but I digress.

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Hard to hide your glee is it?

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And the US got sucker punched by 19 morons with box cutters. Does that mean the US has no military capacity?

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This is just absent any factual basis. US aid amounts to 1% of Israeli GDP. They’d be perfectly fine without it.

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I have it from a good source that you are wrong.

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Once again, an extremely well thought out argument and articulately written. I am one of those that though I share the values and analysis that lead you to Marxism, I could not disagree more with the idea that Marxism is a path forward. That said, I very much appreciate your argument to this question.

Its probably naive of me, but I do hope that those now being censored and censured for their views on this conflict will see their common cause with those who have been ringing the alarm over challenges to our civil liberties these last few years.

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Do you think most people who don't want Israel to exist do so for the same principled reasons as you? After all, you don't want any nation to exist, including the US I assume? I doubt that's where most anti-Zionists are coming from. Given that, perhaps it's understandable that being anti-Israel is correlated enough with being anti-Semetic that the two get conflated a bit? Not justified, but it shouldn't be perplexing.

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Among white Americans, people who don't support Israel aren't antisemitic, and people who are antisemitic do, with their own confused rationale, support actually existing Israel.

Weird state of play, but that's reality.

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Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023

exactly, there are similar relationships between racism and beliefs such as "affirmative action is not a good idea". If you are against affirmative action, you may find yourself having to take pains to explain why that doesn't mean you are racist. That could be frustrating. It also could be understandable. Humans suck at disentangling beliefs that are correlated with each other, and even if they can see the difference, are all to likely to deliberately misinterpret things to bolster their cause.

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founding
Dec 6, 2023·edited Dec 6, 2023

`Among ***white*** Americans'

Uh....that seems like a problematical statement. I can safely say that my Arab/Arab American acquittances who oppose Israel are not anti-Semitic.

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I knew that was more loaded than it probably should have been.

"Guys who post about this issue on the internet at great length and pomposity who have no personal connection to it" is what I was trying to express.

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founding

`Do you think most people who don't want Israel to exist do so for the same principled reasons as you?'

Many do (e.g., me) but many others don't. However, simply because they don't use Freddie's rationale doesn't mean their opposition to the state isn't principled.

It seems a bit unfair, say, to allow Europe to solve its problems with Jews by making them into a problem for Arabs/Palestinians.

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And yet Israel exists. And will continue to exist long after you men Freddie everyone you know is dead.

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founding

Do you do palm readings, too? Can you use your powers of prognostication to help me pick a few stocks?

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I do dabble in predicting the future. Here's my reading for you. Ready? Here we go.

One day you will die. On the day after the day of your death, Israel will still be there. It will be better than ever. And you will be dead. And that's how it's going to be.

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Obviously nobody can read the future with absolute accuracy. But some bets are safer than others.

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Thank you for your thoughtful perspectives. Many years of watching this issue has made it clear to me, that although the clamour of those who would disagree with your perspective is loud, the substance is often thin, with little more than a repetition of what has been seen in a biased press for perhaps all their lives. I do wonder why it is so difficult for many of them to read the books by serious scholars, who did the actual research, many of whom are Israelis, and figure this out. The adamant positions on this issue, with zero facts in support, is astounding. To equate a 19th century concept, and political movement, with a religion that is thousands of years old, is intellectually dishonest and does a disservice to every intelligent person, of whatever faith or non-faith they might have.

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