16 June 2007

Hamas & Alan Johnston

The battles between Hamas & Fatah in Gaza and the West Bank are a disaster in nearly every respect. It is hard to see how average Palestinians benefit from this violent conflict. That said, it is promising that Hamas has called for the release of Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist who was abducted in Gaza roughly three months ago. Let's hope that their intervention will be effective.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not a disaster in one important respect: if they're killing each other, they're not killing Israelis. I have no sympathy for people intent on a 50 year old hostility towards the legitimate existence of Israel.

18 June, 2007 16:20  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Anon, This in no way makes Israel more secure. I agree that Israel has a "right to exist" in the common parlance. Israel, however, hardly is pure in all of this. It is blind to suggest otherwise.

And over the past half century the Palestinians have gotten screwed every which way from Sunday by the former Colonial powers, The US, Israel and all the Arab states.

Best, Jim

18 June, 2007 21:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are probably right, overall. However in an immediate structural way, if less Hamas are alive, and anyone with similar sympathies (and they got a majority Palestinian vote), then anti Israeli hostility is less strong. Its like an internal argument in a political party you dislike: it benefits the opposition.

I know the Palestinians have suffered. And what happens, and what I object to, is when this conflict constantly gets construed in those terms: Palestinians are suffering, so their position is valid. No, wrong. Palestinians are suffering, because Israel is a massively superior military and political power, and have dominated them. Not the same thing.

The fact is, the CAUSE of this dates back over 50 years ago and rests on Muslim hostility towards the existence of Israel: and that problem remains, and it is a seperate issue from the fact that Israel has overpowered that territory and its people, making them suffer.

I have no sympathy for people intent on a 50 year old hostility towards the legitimate existence of Israel. And as you point out/include, their suffering is partly because of the behaviour of their fellow Muslims: which, in respect of the latter's hostility towards the West, means they use Palestine as a deliberate and convenient excuse for Jihad; they don't try to help Palestinians as they could (probably more effectively than anyone), they choose to exploit the situation as a reason for Jihadic hostility.

And that hostility is worldwide - an Ummah grievance, where they invoke the Ummah for political victimhood, while failing to demonstrate Ummah assistance. Which is disgusting; more so when it concerns religion and thus ideologies about divine reality, love, etc.

In fact Islam is pretty much a supremacist/racist/expansionist political institution, and always has been ever since Mohammed started it that way with his war on the Infidel. The decent Muslims we find in our midst are that way because the West has diluted their ideologies; the terrorists, and the Muslims we see in places like Iran and Palestine, the heartland Islamic countries, are a closer approximation to the heart of Islam as exemplified by Mohammed himself.

19 June, 2007 06:41  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

I agree that the underlying cause is 1948 and the fact that, having driven the Jews out of Europe, the EUropeans promised the Jews land in Israel. Of course, as good colonial powers they neglected the fact that there were already people living on the land. SO the cause may actually go back further than 50 years.

I think we just disagree about whether Islam is fundamentally more oppressive and violent than other world religions like Christianity and Hinduism.

19 June, 2007 11:42  
Blogger Hans said...

Christianity is just so goddamn more effective since it does not have to rely on physical threats. Its values are so internalized that its oppression is self-enforcing from within.

19 June, 2007 13:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Christianity is just so goddamn more effective since it does not have to rely on physical threats. Its values are so internalized that its oppression is self-enforcing from within."

Interesting idea, but the "internalisation" is just as vicious and deep in Islam. Worse, in fact: as a form of indoctrination its the most severe. The fact that there are no physical threats does not mean, in the strange way you are suggesting, it is equally as bad or worse. No physical threats is a good thing; less or no violence is better.

As for its "values" - apart from attitudes towards sexuality and women, Christianity is not too bad. They do help each other, and lots more people all around the world. They do practice compassion, charity, and love. Nothing wrong with that. Its when they get all happy-clappy about Jesus, heaven, and praying and talking rubbish about superstitious ideas I object: but those aren't "values", they're delusions.

Jim likes to believe that Islam is no worse than anything else, as part of his egalitarian, support the minority idealism. Its just not true - and such an absurd proposition is like throwing a heavy weight at someone asking them to catch it. Its too much hard work.

Mohammed's murdering, and the ideology and hostile practices of Islam ever since, and their treatment of women, and their attitudes about apostasy, free speech and Islamic criticism, and finally, in 2007, their worldwide and growing terrorism, and the barbaric oppressive societies we see in the Middle East...are just a snapshot refute to Jim's idealism, based on notions of what Christianity *used* to be, on a lesser scale, but - the point is - now isn't! - and that's all I will say. I don't want to catch such a heavy weight being thrown at me - its just too damn heavy to carry.

20 June, 2007 03:44  

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