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Mossad Abroad

Following revelations that Australian passports were used in the Dubai assassination of a  Hamas bigwig, most likely by Israeli intel agency Mossad, Geoff Pahoff has kindly allowed Webdiary to use this comment as a threadstarter.  Over to you!

I've never really gone along with the "cycle of violence" theory. Sure I can appreciate the appeal of the " both sides are wrong" default position often adopted by those who feel they have to have an opinion on this messy subject but want to be relieved of the burden of actually knowing anything about it. Life was meant to be lazy. "A plague on both your houses" sure qualifies as lazy. And impeccably neutral too, especially if you're into moral equivalence. Nothing more to think about. But let's face. It really is bullshit in its purest form.

If the terrorist and existential threat ended tomorrow, Israel's attacks on Hamas (and therefore Iran) would end tomorrow and the Palestinians would get their state. If Israel's attacks on Hamas ended tomorrow, the terrorist and existential threat would continue unabated and the Palestinians would never get their state. In fact the threat would worsen. There is no cycle.

It has become a cliche unfortunately but Hamas is a truly fascist organisation and Iran has a fascist regime in every sense. This is fact. Its roots are in the ideology of the Nazis. I mean this literally. There is a direct link through the"Muslim Brotherhood". Of course they are a threat to Israel and the Jews. But they also enslave the Palestinian people as surely as the Nazis enslaved the Germans.

Here's some justifiable moral equivalence. Killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in 2010 is roughly equivalent to killing Heinrich Himmler in 1938. True.

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That's right (again) 86

Chief: How can we believe a man who would sell out his friends?
Siegfried: Dumkopf! Who else are you supposed to sell out? You can't betray enemies!

That sounds suspiciously like the type of joke a Jew would write...Bwaaahhhhhhhhh!!


Picking friends and enemies

I think it was Golda Meir who said: "You can't always choose your enemies. If you could we would choose the Norwegians".

Getting along

Read these and tell me what we are all doing wrong.

Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.: Mahabharata 5:1517
Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.: Matthew 7:12
Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what which he desires for himself. Sunnah
Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.: Udana Varga 5:18
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.: Talmud, Shabbat 31:a
Confucianism: Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.: Analects 15:23
Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.: T'ai Shag Kan Ying P'ien
Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good: for itself. : Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5

Ethics in a nutshell

Thanks for that Alan. It's a set of quotes I'm going to treasure. The centre of ethics, it seems to me.

Murky bucket Geoff

Thanks for that Geoff. I suppose we can expect, in the short term, more of the same; in the long term, let's hope for better things dear friend.

In the meantime it would be better if the Maxwell Smarts of Mossad carried out their "business" with a little bit more finesse, and not scare the shit out of innocent by-standers, don't ya reckon?

Let's hope the Mossad Maxwells learn to be more like James, or even better, Mother Teresa, now who would ever suspect MT?

A near perfect mission.

Missed by just that much ...

A few principles

If violence worked for Israel then why won't violence work for Palestine?

Justin, I think the best way to respond to your point is to set out a few principles. Some of these are opinions - conclusions I have drawn. Others are just facts - there for all to see if they choose.

  • Violence does work. So does terrorism. Sometimes. Other times it rebounds spectacularly on the perpetrator. Spain threw out a democratically elected government after Al Queda bombed a subway. Reagan pulled the marines out of Lebanon after Hezbollah launched a suicide attack, thereby ensuring the spread of this depraved crime all over the world . Saudi Arabia and other countries have been paying hundreds of millions to terrorists in bribes and extorted protection.  France, and much of the rest of Europe, have been cowering like cornered cockroaches in the face of Islamist violence. Newspapers all over the world refused to reprint some Danish cartoons out of sheer fear. You had to search the internet to see what the fuss was about. The foreign policy of numerous countries, including European democracies, is informed by the need to appease Islamist militants.
  • I guess your question really is if violence, or terrorism, was alright for Israel, or the Zionists, then why not for the Palestinians? Indisputably the Irgun, and the even more radical but tiny Lehi, used terrorist tactics prior to 1939 and between 1945 and 1948.
  • The short answer is this was not alright. That is also the long answer.
  • These groups were not in the mainstream of Zionism. They were small splinter groups. In fact they had split from splinter groups and then split again.  Their significance has been vastly inflated over the years to suit the analysis of some modern commentators. It has even been claimed that the King David Hotel bombing was " the start of modern terrorism". The model that the PLO, Hamas, IJ et al followed. What total bullshit. Anyone who makes that claim is not worthy of a response. There is only so much bigoted pig ignorance I can tolerate. Sure they were responsible for a lot of violence. But they were hardly on their own. They were violent times. The killings were tiny in number compared to the killings by the Monster Mufti and his gangs. The Monster of Jerusalem killed many more Arabs than Irgun and Lehi combined.
  • Irgun and Lehi were condemned by Histadrut, Haganah, the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organisation. To colour Zionism with the acts of Irgun is like colouring Irish democratic republicanism with the acts of the IRA. In fact worse. The IRA and its splinters and political fronts were far more influential within Irish republicanism than Irgun ever was within Zionism. 
  • I do not accept that these terror tactics of Irgun "worked" in the sense that they finally forced the withdrawal of the British or had a role in the establishment of Israel. Some speech by some Colonel Blimp to the Royal Empire Society carries no weight for me. He might just as well claimed that the hanging of Irgun activists by the British, which led to the retribution by Irgun, got the Brits out.  Colonel Blimp wouldn't know what got him and his colleagues out of Palestine. He was based in Jerusalem. That action was going on in London, Washington and elsewhere. 
  • The evacuation of the Brits from Palestine was a small part of a much wider process of decolonialisation. Of course the British public were thoroughly sick of war and reading about dead soldiers, by 1946. So was everybody else.They were also sick of what Churchill called "this sordid war against the Jews". British public opinion was generally sympathetic to Zionism. So was world opinion. But that is a different thing. Irgun's murders were counteractive. They did more harm to Zionism than help.
  • I think it is also worth noting just how powerful Zionism was among Jews especially in the post war period. Still is of course. Leaving aside a few religious whackjobs who claim Israel is abomination in the eyes of God or somethng  (and who I think were thrown out of the club anyway for showing up at one of Ahmadinejad's hatefests) anti-Zionism among Jews was pretty much non-existent by then. It still is very rare. That is why any attack on the concepts of Jewish national identity and homeland is seen by many Jews as an attack on Jews. Often it quite explicitly is of course.

Terror tactics? Well yeah...

 Justin :And was it not Zionists who engaged in terror tactics of their own against their British administrators?

Sheesh. You blow up one hotel and do you think you're ever allowed to forget it?


The game is...

Oh Geoff it wasn't just a hotel they blew up - there was plenty of other nasty stuff as well.

But it would seem zionist terrorism did the trick:

Colonel Archer-Cust, Chief Secretary of the British Government in Palestine, said in a lecture to the Royal Empire Society that "The hanging of the two British Sergeants did more than anything to get us out of Palestine".

Irgun was described as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, British, and United States governments, and in media such as the The New York Times newspaper,[12][13] and by the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry.[14] In 1946 The World Zionist Congress strongly condemned terrorist activities in Palestine and "the shedding of innocent blood as a means of political warfare". Irgun was specifically condemned.[15]

Menachen Begin was called a terrorist and a fascist by Albert Einstein and 27 other prominent Jewish intellectuals in a letter to the New York Times which was published on December 4, 1948.

If violence worked for Israel then why won't violence work for Palestine?

He who is most violent wins.

That is the game.

Cheers mate.

Meanwhile back on the ranch ... an Irish joke.

I will reply to this Justin when I get a moment. But in the meantime some more light relief. Apparently Sein Fein has forced through a motion to remove a page from the distinguished visitors book at an Irish town council that had been signed by the Israeli ambassador.

Sein Fein? Getting all precious about the killing of a terrorist in a foreign city? Ha ha ha heh ... guffaw ... sniff ... uncontrolled cackling ...

Which reminds me. Everybody picks on Irgun for blowing up a hotel over 60 years ago. Why not pick on the Irish for a change? They blew up dozens of pubs.


Geoff, you wrote "I have never seen this as a Palestinians versus Israelis conflict...Nothing is simple."

Would you be prepared to describe the complexities as you see them Geoff?

Your comment in relation to the British was interesting for was it not the British Mandate that caused a lot of ill will amongst Zionists? And was it not Zionists who engaged in terror tactics of their own against their British administrators?

It would seem many, regardless of race, religion or political preferences are capable of participating in acts of destruction and death for a cause they genuinely believe in (with God on their side) or for that which they have been "unjustly" treated. It would seem that is the MO for most in the ME (and elsewhere) - sad don't you think when there is heaps of land (and wealth) for all to share and for all to prosper?

Violence as a natural state

Justin, I have never seen this as a Palestinians versus Israelis conflict, let alone Jews versus Arabs. It is not. Nor is it a religious conflict. It is not even a fight over land or resources. Regrettably it is not that simple. This is the Middle East. Nothing is simple.

I do not accept that the Palestinians were made to pay the price for the Holocaust. I even dispute that Israel came into existence as a consequence of the Holocaust. Israel would have happened anyway as soon as the British were persuaded to do the first honourable thing they ever did in Palestine and leave. It should have happened twenty five years earlier. 

Of course I have sympathy for the Palestinians. But it is on the question of who and what are responsible for their condition and continuing plight, and therefore what has to be done, that we part company. 

Iran/Hamas see calls for talks and an end to the violence as surrender. Israeli withdrawals from Gaza and southern Lebanon were not courageous peace initiatives to them but military victories. Much of the Western media and left/liberal political culture is complicit in this. Israel owes Europe, for instance, nothing. So do the Palestinians.

Letter to The Australian

In the last ten years Hamas has murdered over a thousand Israelis and an unknown number of Palestinians. The victims were mostly innocent people going about their business. People driving or riding in buses.Teenagers in discos. Women shopping. Kids in restaurants. 
If you type in the words "Hamas" and "murder" in The Australian's web site search window you will get 135 results. Only two or three are references to acts committed by Hamas or to Hamas itself. All by Greg Sheridan. A quick check seems to show that The Australian's writers have never reported a Hamas killing as murder. However they have reported the recent Dubai killing of one of Hamas' chief killers as "murder" many times. More than twenty on the same quick count. Fine. Call a spade a spade. But why the sudden mass conversion to terminological precision when it comes to reporting Middle East violence?  
The Australian is one of the most balanced and unbiased sources of reports and commentary about the Middle East. One of few unfortunately. This is why it is so easy to be cynical about the quality of reports and commentary about the Middle East.

Violence begets violence

Geoff old mate, violence begets violence; this is not necessarily a cycle, rather cause and effect. Most cultures have a policy of "pay back", but in many cases the initial causes of tit for tat violence are quite often forgotten or cynically blurred by those with an agenda.

One of the big problems regarding this latest (alleged) Mossad stupidity is that the lives of innocent people could have been put at risk, but this does not appear to concern the perpetrators. And that's part of the Jewish problem; they are being increasingly perceived as wreckless and arrogant, willing to go about their agenda with poor regard for the innocent.

At the end of the day you can't but feel a little sorry for the Palestinians. They did not turn their backs on the Jews in their time of need like many a good Christian; they did not "exterminate" millions of Jews because of their faith.

But is was the Palestinians who were made to write the cheque and pay for the collective guilt of those good Christian nations that didn't give a rats about Jews or their persecution. No price to pay by the West and a very big price to pay by the Palestinians. Convenient for the West, a disaster for the Palestinians. The Palestinians like all dispossessed people have every right to be pissed off - wouldn't you?

Maybe the real existential threat to Israel is not so much Hamas or Iran but a collective mindset (and behaviour) that has been forged by persecution, violence and fear. It seems that the people of Israel have learnt little from their journey - accept that "might is right". Many of their Muslim neighbours have learnt likewise. The consequences of such "lessons" are inevitable.

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