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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Three Simple Questions on the State of Israel

Jamin Hubner tells us again how uber-Reformed he truly is. With his latest series of posts, he attempts to uncover the political machinations Dispensationalism has had upon American foreign policy in the Middle East.

I don’t wish to try and untangle the facts from the leftist propaganda Jamin has put forth for his argument. I do wish, however, to address his challenge he has offered in the form of three questions.

1. Is it even possible for the modern-day nation of Israel to do anything worthy of condemnation?

2. And have they done anything that is worthy of condemnation in the past?

3. If they have, would it not be helpful to acknowledge and understand those events before blindly conceding to every effort to “support Israel”? (Because, if my neighbor commits sin, I don’t want to be responsible for having helped that sin to occur. Wouldn’t you agree? Or is present-day Israel incapable of doing something wrong as a national entity?)

Before I will respond, I will say this: I believe Jamin did himself a disservice when he chose to cut off commenting on his blog, thus isolating himself from any thoughtful criticism from well-meaning bloggers. These challengers could hardly be labeled "trolls" and "hacks."

As an aspiring internet apologist, I believe this was a bad mistake on Jamin's part. I have benefited greatly from the various critics who have wandered onto my blog and challenged my arguments. Not only have they sharpened my thinking, the smarter critics have helped me evaluate my arguments and caused me to refine them. Atheist trolls, for example, may be annoying, and take a bit of time to answer, but they can be helpful in a number of ways in these regards.

At any rate, on a previous occasion, Jamin had a lot of the interaction with Steve Hays on the question of Israel and the Palestinians and their responses to one another were played out on the front pages of their individual blogs. (See TF's review of the exchange).

I think it is important to note that Jamin has an ax to grind with Dispensationalism. His current posts attacking Zionists and uncritically retelling the leftist narrative on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and implicating Dispensational conspiracy influencing American political policy regarding Israel is a shining example of Jamin's ax.

Regrettably, this blind spot prevents him from interacting with meaningful Dispensational positions on the modern state of Israel, Israel and the NT Church, and Israel’s future restoration, veering him off into a ditch of sloppy strawman argumentation and misrepresentation. Moreover, uncritically citing left leaning “evangelical” NT scholars, like Gary Burge, as one of your sources, also doesn’t help your credibility.

Now with that being stated, I'll offer my own "Dispensational" answers to his three questions.

1. Is it even possible for the modern-day nation of Israel to do anything worthy of condemnation?

Yes, certainly it is possible. Jamin, I guess, thinks all Dispensationalists believe the current State of Israel is above any condemnation for actions the government may take against their enemies. Does he really believe John Hagee speaks for all Dispensationalists who support Israel? This is just fallacious reasoning.

I recognize, as the Scripture teaches, that Israel, the people of God, will experience a future restoration in a promised kingdom; however, they are currently in a state of apostasy. Paul says as much in Romans 11:7-10. I believe an initial fulfillment of Ezekiel's dry bone prophecy has taken place with the Jews returning to their promised land. Even Reformed guys who see no “future” kingdom for Israel in a millennial kingdom, cannot just dismiss the unquestionable and unique circumstances that has taken place in the land of Israel the last century or so.

Yet, in spite of that unique history, this does not mean they are in a right relationship with God at this point. They won't be, at least I believe they won't, until Christ their true Messiah returns (Zechariah 12:10ff.).

2. And have they done anything that is worthy of condemnation in the past?

I am sure they have, though no immediate examples come to mind. Just like there have been things Americans have done that we could perhaps be condemned for. Say for example our country’s involvement with slavery and the deplorable way our government has treated the Indian nations, essentially “enslaving” them to total government dependency on reservations.

But the fact that America has done things in history past that is worthy of condemnation does not mean we need to halt the American experiment and adopt dull-minded, European socialism as our political worldview.

In the same way, the Israeli government has done things worthy of condemnation, but does that mean we dismiss the threat Palestinian Muslims are against the Jews in Israel? In spite of those things Israel could be condemned for, they pale in comparison to those things the PLO-Hamas and the leaders of the Palestinian movement can be condemned for. For instance, the last I saw, no Jews were teaching their three year-olds to be suicide bombers against Arabs.

3. If they have, would it not be helpful to acknowledge and understand those events before blindly conceding to every effort to “support Israel”? (Because, if my neighbor commits sin, I don’t want to be responsible for having helped that sin to occur. Wouldn’t you agree? Or is present-day Israel incapable of doing something wrong as a national entity?)

I am not really sure how to answer this last question. It's almost superfluous. The idea of "condemnation" begs a question: How is Jamin defining it? What does it mean "to be condemned?" Is Jamin saying that if Israelis have done some terrible things against civilian Palestinians, their overall defense of their country and people in a sea of rabid, Islamic Jew haters who want to wipe them off the face of the earth is some how questionable? Then we can no longer support them as a nation? Or perhaps he thinks this is some big theodicy for Dispensationalism?

I am all for acting neighborly, but if acting neighborly mean I have to become a martyr, to paraphrase what the Israeli prime minister recently said in a speech to the UN: “I would rather have the bad press today, than an eulogy tomorrow.”


Okay. I have answered his questions. Are my replies sufficient? I don’t expect him to like my answers, but he has been answered.

Labels: ,

29 Comments:

Blogger Jon said...

I am sure they have, though no immediate examples come to mind.

A few options for you to consider:

Blocking a peaceful settlement year in and year out (last time I knew peace was supported 164 nations in favor, 7 against). Also rejecting the Arab Peace Initiative, which goes even further in it's offer of peace.

Punishing residents of Gaza with a crushing embargo that goes so far as to prevent the importation of pasta, shoes, plastic toys, and fruit juice.

Killing over a thousand children, demolishing thousands of homes, detaining thousands of prisoners without charge and passing laws that permit them to be tortured. For some of the sources on that go here.

Launching an unprovoked aggressive war that killed 17,000 civilians in Lebanon in 1982. Proceeding to invade Lebanon another 5 or 6 times since then with pretexts that aren't taken seriously by anybody.

Launching an aggressive and unprovoked war in 1967.

Rejecting Egypt's peace offer in 1971 which lead directly to the 1973 October War.

Using massive terrorism in their establishment and subsequent expansion. Terrorism was openly advocated and used against indigenous Arabs (see here). UN Ambassador Folke Bernadotte was assassinated by an Israeli terrorist group headed by Yitzak Shamir who would later become Prime Minister.

During the recent aggression, initiated by Israel, in 2008-2009 Israel used chemical weaponry. They destroyed chicken coups. Destroyed cement factories. Destroyed the only functioning flour mill. This is war on civilians. Kind of hideous. They killed about 1400, almost all civilians, many women and children. All started because Israel violated a cease fire and invaded Gaza, killing 6 Hamas gunmen. Hamas retaliated with rockets that killed zero. This was Israel's pretext, a pattern that has been repeated many times.

Any of that worthy of condemnation in your view?

2:57 PM, September 29, 2011  
Blogger Coram Deo said...

Hi Fred,

Steve Hays had your post linked from T-blogue; interesting thoughts.

What's your opinion about encouraging Jews to return to Israel? You mentioned Hagee, and of course this is one of his major initiatives, encouraging and supporting the return of Diaspora Jews to Israel, and of course he's joined in this activity by many likeminded American Evangelicals of the Dispensational persuasion.

What say you?

In Him,
CD

S

4:54 PM, September 29, 2011  
Blogger Jacob said...

Wow, Jon, that's quite a strange view of events you have going on there. It boggles the mind how someone can have such an inverted view of reality and ignore the actual scorecard. Maybe if I read enough of that sort of propaganda, I'll be inclined to go persecute me some Jews.

Anyway, to address something worthy of response, from the blogpost:
I believe an initial fulfillment of Ezekiel's dry bone prophecy has taken place with the Jews returning to their promised land. Even Reformed guys who see no “future” kingdom for Israel in a millennial kingdom, cannot just dismiss the unquestionable and unique circumstances that has taken place in the land of Israel the last century or so.

Yet, in spite of that unique history, this does not mean they are in a right relationship with God at this point. They won't be, at least I believe they won't, until Christ their true Messiah returns (Zechariah 12:10ff.).


Exactly. Although it can be noted that is it likely not all the relevant Jews have even been regathered yet to the land. (It will likely be some sort of conflict that drives them to aliyah, most likely the growth of persecution that we're seeing today. Note that every time economic conditions get really dire, Jews are a handy scapegoat. c.f. most of Europe's history).

In addition we can see right in the dry bones prophecy that they are first physically regathered before spiritual renewal is brought by the Holy Spirit. Thus, Israel today is a secular nation. But that doesn't somehow negate that it is a sign. It doesn't somehow mean that we should continue the Catholic tradition of persecuting them, something sadly ingrained in some Reformed circles through the amillennialism and antisemitism of the Catholic church that was generally not addressed as candidly by the reformers as the gospel itself was.

5:20 PM, September 29, 2011  
Blogger Alan Kurschner said...

Jon,

It is ironic to see atheists like yourself decry the "immorality" of a people group, since your worldview possesses no logical basis for moral judgment.

Your baseless claims against the Jews are defamatory. And throwing out what you think are "historical facts" in your comment are skewed and utterly lacks any rational context.

Here is the hard evidence that there is no moral equivalence between Jews and "Palestinians."

*Warning Graphic:

http://www.debbieschlussel.com/34164/photos-of-itamar-jewish-kids-massacred-by-palestinians-this-is-what-peace-w-muslims-looks-like/

6:23 PM, September 29, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

CD asks,
What's your opinion about encouraging Jews to return to Israel?

I understand Hagee has an agenda. Of course, his "Dispensationalism" has an odd take on salvation, even claiming Jews are "saved" differently than "gentiles." That's heretical.

The Bible is clear that God will be the one who sovereignly brings the diaspora back to the land. So I trust God over John Hagee. I guess one could argue Hagee could be the "means" God uses, however, I think Jacob is correct: There will be some sort of conflict that will drive them back, not a mega-church pastor.

7:00 PM, September 29, 2011  
Blogger Ken said...

Has anyone read these books and what do you think of them?

Blood Brothers, by Elias Chacour
(An Arab Christian from Galilee area; Anglican I think)

Whose Promised Land? by Colin Chapman

Who Owns the Land? by Stanley Ellison (was a professor at Dallas Seminary, now deceased)

Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli conflict by Mitchell Bard

From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters

7:19 AM, September 30, 2011  
Blogger Jon said...

Fred, you say you could accept the claim that Israel has done things worthy of condemnation. I wonder if that's just something that is only theoretical, never actual. You could in theory condemn an action. But nothing they've actually done will ever qualify.

White Phosphorus, which Israel used on residents in Gaza, is extremely cruel. Human rights agencies documented the effects. I read of one mother that watched her infant child melt in her arms. This experience was repeated over and over (see for example here). Are you going to condemn the indiscriminate bombing of civilians with these cruel chemical weapons?

Recently Israeli commandos shot a US citizen execution style in the head (see here). If you aren't concerned with the suffering of Arabs, are you at least concerned about the murder of Americans? Or would you condemn Israel for engaging in behavior that harms American interests as a whole.

Rachel Corrie was an American college student that traveled to the Gaza strip. She tried to prevent Israeli bulldozers from demolishing the homes of the Palestinian peasants. The bulldozer ran her over and crushed her to death.

In 1981 Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq. American physicists examined the site and determined that it was not for the purpose of developing nuclear weapons. However, in response to the attack Saddam Hussein aggressively stepped up his nuclear program (see here). That of course would generate problems for the US. Do you condemn them for that?

Israel attempted to sell nuclear weapons to South Africa
, a regime that was responsible for the death of over a million people. Is nuclear weapons proliferation good for the US?

If you won't condemn them for any of these things then the reality is you won't condemn them for anything.

8:20 AM, September 30, 2011  
Blogger Victoria said...

I appreciate this article Fred. I have just read part 3 of Jamin Hubner's article on "Questions never asked about Israel". I guess I just don't get the whole Amil position of Israel having no theological significance. We are mostly all Calvinist in this discussion-we believe God is sovereign over nations. No nation exists today apart from the will of God. So the modern state of Israel- located in the same place as the OT nation of Israel is God's will. It was not His will that modern day Israel be located in say Argentina.

I am a Dispensationalist-my mentor and teacher has been John MacArthur-my Pastor is a graduate of The Master's Sem. All of us who believe in the Dispensational interpretation of Scripture know this:even if the modern nation of Israel were destroyed tomorrow-that would not undermine the truth that someday unbelieving Jews will be in that very same land-and will look on him whom they have pierced and be converted.

We know that modern day Israel is in the land in unbelief-they will be in that land in unbelief when they "look on him whom they have pierced" and "mourn for him as one mourns for an only son"

It does grieve me to think that a tiny nation surrounded by huge and powerful nations that are bent on its destruction should be so much maligned by some Christian groups.

I wonder why Israel is picked out and picked on by the Amil's- especially in light of the fact that they say they have no agenda.

10:35 AM, September 30, 2011  
OpenID drreluctant said...

To me the mindset of the Jamin Hubner's of this world is more psychological than theological. But we are not free to choose Esau over Jacob, no matter what a scoundrel Jacob happens to be. God will do what He says and our only right attitude is to say "Amen."

12:48 PM, September 30, 2011  
Blogger steve said...

Well, what about the Rachel Corrie affair?

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Controls/SendFriend.ashx?print=1&type=1&item=3735

7:37 PM, September 30, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Jon,
Assuming you are an atheist as Alan pointed out earlier, you have no justification to complain about injustice and condemnation. According to an atheist world view, Israel is just a group of naturally selected, highly evolved beings who are adapting to their environment. If their enemies have no ability to adapt with them, they will be naturally selected out.

As for Corrie. I have no sympathy for her. She was a Jew hating Marxist. If anyone is to blame for her death, it was her foolish, leftist parents who indoctrinated her with the ideology that got her killed.

7:52 PM, September 30, 2011  
Blogger Jacob said...

@Victoria - Very well said. You aptly identified one of the elephants in the room: A Jewish nation re-founded on that very same land and in control of Jerusalem. My God is sovereign over that outcome. He purposed it. Given everything the prophets wrote in Scripture, when interpreted plainly and not allegorized into confusion, it is pretty clear why He did and what He has in mind.

@Ken:
"Has anyone read these books and what do you think of them?"

Israel and the Church by Ronald E. Diprose

Future Israel by Barry Horner

8:08 PM, September 30, 2011  
Blogger steve said...

Jon said...

"Punishing residents of Gaza..."

And how did that come about? Maybe because Israel returned Gaza to the Muslims, only to be rewarded by having the Gazan Muslims use that as a base of operations to attack Israel.

Oh, and let's not forget that "humanitarian aid" is a perfect cover to smuggle in contraband weapons.

7:24 AM, October 01, 2011  
Blogger steve said...

Here's a question for Jon: Why should Israel treat Muslims better than Muslims treat Muslims?

Muslims recruit young men and women to be suicide bombers. Muslims practice female genital mutilation. Muslims practice honor-killings (and gang rape). Muslim regimes practice torture. They torture their own citizens. Muslims practice child marriage and pederasty. What rights do Muslims have under sharia law?

Why should Israel be held to a higher standard in the treatment of Muslims than the way Muslims treat fellow Muslims?

7:35 AM, October 01, 2011  
Blogger Jon said...

Steve, do you read this stuff and seriously conclude that Rachel Corrie was a terrorist?

I read your link. Here is how it argues. Corrie was crushed by a bulldozer trying to prevent the home of a peasant from being destroyed. But there are 90 tunnels at the Egyptian border with Gaza. Rachel must have known. So she's a terrorist.

"From Time Immemorial" has been dismissed as a fraud for many years. Watch this extremely entertaining debate between Zionist Alan Dershowitz and Norman Finkelstein, who is known widely for his support for Palestinian rights. Dershowitz is exposed as having plagiarized from Peter's book, which itself is a fraud. Dershowitz does not dispute that the book is a fraud.

Dershowitz ultimately was so embarrassed by what happened to him in that debate that he launched a political war against Finkelstein in an effort to deny him tenure, which succeeded.

Fred, atheists have differing viewpoints on morality. I believe morals are objective, but not all atheists agree with that. But what we actually believe regarding selection is that if Israel doesn't get along, and frankly if humans don't figure out how to strive for mutual aid and altruism, our whole species will be selected out. Extremely selfish behavior, like that which leads to environmental destruction, or that which escalates the threat of nuclear war, as Israel does routinely, is the kind of thing that will be selected out. Israel has 30 years of peace offers on the table, with the whole world, including the entire Muslim world, standing there ready to accept peace. Israel refuses as does the US. This is the kind of thing that will lead to destruction. Bin Laden's #1 stated reason for attacking us was our support of Israel which permits them to reject peace. It's no exaggeration to say that our support for Israel has lead to the death of thousands of Americans, not to mention the many more Arabs that have been killed.

Corrie was a Jew hating Marxist? Any evidence for that? Is it OK to bulldoze Jew hating Marxists, supposing she was one. Should we bulldoze any Marxist that is also a racist?

But OK, the Corrie example you think is great because you don't like her thoughts. People that think the wrong thoughts should be killed in your world. What about any of my other examples? Chemical weapons on children? Can you condemn that? Or trying to proliferate nuclear weapons? Prompting Saddam's nuclear program? What if Iran smuggled a nuclear weapon to Hamas or dumped chemical weapons on Israeli children, or in an unprovoked bombing run helped initiate a nuclear weapons program by the Taliban. You'd notice if they did it. Do you notice when Israel does it? It seems you don't. What would Jesus think? Here's what he said:

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."

I may be an atheist, but I take Jesus' words more seriously than you do if you can't condemn Israel for this behavior.

8:31 AM, October 01, 2011  
Blogger steve said...

Jon said...

"In 1981 Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq. American physicists examined the site and determined that it was not for the purpose of developing nuclear weapons."

Did you ever bother to ask yourself why a major oil-producing state like Iraq needed nuclear energy? Couldn't be the reactor has an ulterior purpose. Nah.

12:14 PM, October 01, 2011  
Blogger steve said...

Jon,

i) You seem to be using the dumb blond defense for Corrie. That she just didn't know what was going on. Maybe so, but that's a sexist assumption on your part.

ii) Perhaps she was just another dupe for the terrorists.

iii) In any event, she died in an accident.

iv) As far as white phosphorus is concerned, I don't think it much matters how you die. Whether you die from a falling tree, a 45 slug, or the H-bomb, dead is dead.

The morally relevant question is the provocation. Israel returned Gaza to the Muslims. The Muslims responded by turning Gaza into a base of operations from which to launch unprovoked attacks on Israel.

Israel is merely defending herself. And because Israel is such a geographically small country, she has very little margin for error.

Children of terrorists die when their terrorist parents use civilian population centers as a military base of operations. The terrorists are to blame for putting their kids in harms way.

5:22 AM, October 02, 2011  
Blogger steve said...

Jon said...

"Or trying to proliferate nuclear weapons?"

There's nothing inherently wrong with nuclear proliferation. That's only a problem if nuclear weapons fall into the wrong hands.

9:38 AM, October 02, 2011  
Blogger Jon said...

Did you ever bother to ask yourself why a major oil-producing state like Iraq needed nuclear energy? Couldn't be the reactor has an ulterior purpose. Nah.

Iraq produces oil but I don't think they refine it. Regardless Richard Wilson, chair of the physics department at Harvard, inspected the site and reported it was unsuitable for plutonium production. Imad Khadduri was in charge of experimental work at the reactor and reported the same thing. He also said that Saddam aggressively stepped up his nuclear weapons program following the bombing, which of course is not surprising.

You seem to be using the dumb blond defense for Corrie. That she just didn't know what was going on. Maybe so, but that's a sexist assumption on your part.

How so? Corrie probably knew they had tunnels. Israel knew it. You and I know it. Does this make us terrorists? They smuggle cars through the tunnels. It's not a big secret and doesn't make you a terrorist just because you know about it. You block people from getting basic food, like pasta, so they dig, and this makes them terrorists?

But if you don't like tunnels, I'm sure they'd be happy to accept chemical weapons and F-16's openly, as Israel does.

The morally relevant question is the provocation. Israel returned Gaza to the Muslims. The Muslims responded by turning Gaza into a base of operations from which to launch unprovoked attacks on Israel.

The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza was purely West Bank expansion. Why have a separate IDF contingent in Gaza? Wall them off, prevent them from getting pasta, fruit juice, shoes. Let them rot. Very magnanimous. They also destroyed all the settlements prior to leaving. Why? Why not let the poor peasants enjoy these nice homes? Nope. They need to suffer.

As far as the attacks, they attack far less than Israel. They are getting bombed and shot routinely. People sometimes react under those conditions. The US reacted after 9-11 to the tune of at least hundreds of thousands dead. Our suffering is far less than what Gazans have endured, not to mention Lebanon.

Sure, some Muslims do some awful things. Here's the difference between me and Fred. I can condemn them. Why can't Fred condemn Israel when they do things that are wrong?

And on top of that I think the first crimes you should consider are the ones you are responsible for. If my child is a bully it doesn't suffice for me to reply and say "But the neighbor kid is even worse." I am not responsible for the neighbor kid. My first concern should be dealing with behavior that I have some ability to control.

8:00 AM, October 03, 2011  
Blogger Victoria said...

Jon
if you are that concerned about innocent human life-there is a real Holocaust going on in the world. It's called abortion.

I would love to see someone as passionate as you are about innocent human suffering take up the cause of innocent humans slaughtered and butchered in the womb-right up to the time they are ready to be born.
How do you feel about sucking the brains out of a 9 month old baby about to be born? Pretty awful thought isn't it?

If you have no problems with innocents butchered in the womb-I do not care to hear another word from you about your concern for humanity.

10:18 AM, October 03, 2011  
Blogger steve said...

Jon said...

“Iraq produces oil but I don't think they refine it.”

Even if they don’t, so what? They could build a refinery. Or partner with an oil company.

“Regardless Richard Wilson, chair of the physics department at Harvard, inspected the site and reported it was unsuitable for plutonium production.”

Even if that’s true, that’s after the fact. Better safe than sorry.

“How so? Corrie probably knew they had tunnels. Israel knew it. You and I know it. Does this make us terrorists?”

Now you’re playing dumb. It’s not just that she knew it. She was abetting the terrorists.

“They smuggle cars through the tunnels. It's not a big secret and doesn't make you a terrorist just because you know about it. You block people from getting basic food, like pasta, so they dig, and this makes them terrorists?”

I understand why you sympathize with Corrie. One dupe is sympathetic to another. The notion that tunnels were only used for pasta and not for weapons is symptomatic of your incurable credulity.

BTW, if you stand in front of a bulldozer, you take a risk. If I jaywalk across a freeway, and I’m run over, who’s to blame?

“As far as the attacks, they attack far less than Israel. They are getting bombed and shot routinely.”

Yes, even though the Gazans are basically Amish, Israel attacks them for the fun of it.

“The US reacted after 9-11 to the tune of at least hundreds of thousands dead.”

But I thought you just assured us that Saddam really did have a WMD program. So I guess you agree with Bush and Cheney.

“Our suffering is far less than what Gazans have endured, not to mention Lebanon.”

Couldn’t be that Lebanon is a staging ground for Syria and Hezbollah.

“Sure, some Muslims do some awful things.”

Yes, just “some.” A few isolated incidents. Anomalous, really.

“Here's the difference between me and Fred. I can condemn them.”

You condemn them with a token throwaway line.

“And on top of that I think the first crimes you should consider are the ones you are responsible for. If my child is a bully it doesn't suffice for me to reply and say ‘But the neighbor kid is even worse.’ I am not responsible for the neighbor kid. My first concern should be dealing with behavior that I have some ability to control.”

Unilateral disarmament?

11:22 AM, October 03, 2011  
Blogger Jon said...

Victoria, I'm actually a pro-life atheist. If you are interested I reproduce some important arguments from an atheist at my blog on the issue. It's in 4 parts. Intro, Preliminaries, Equality Under the Law, and On Animals and Humans.

Even if that’s true, that’s after the fact. Better safe than sorry.

The bombing prompted the nuclear program, Steve. The bombing run was the CAUSE of the progress of Saddam's nuclear program. So how is bombing the "safe" alternative?

The notion that tunnels were only used for pasta and not for weapons is symptomatic of your incurable credulity.

But I didn't say the tunnels aren't used for weapons. Why shouldn't Palestinians have weapons? Israel has an illegal embargo on them that prevents them from getting food. Israel won't allow them to fish in their own territorial waters, driving starving fishermen back with gunboats. Israel destroys their means of making food, crushing chicken coups, plowing their orchards, blocking their water supplies. They are trying to get weapons and they should be. People under siege have a right to resist violently.

But I thought you just assured us that Saddam really did have a WMD program. So I guess you agree with Bush and Cheney.

Saddam had a nuclear weapons program and it was confirmed to be dismantled by weapons inspectors in the 1990's.

Couldn’t be that Lebanon is a staging ground for Syria and Hezbollah.

That doesn't even make sense. Hezbollah was formed in response to the Israeli invasion that killed 17,000 civilians without provocation. The very existence of Hezbollah is a function of Israeli violence. The same is true of Hamas. Israel created Hamas. They actually funded their rise as a means of countering the PLO, who's peace offers were so frequent it was getting embarrassing. If you have a problem with the existence of Hezbollah and Hamas then you should be able to condemn Israel because they created them. The fact that you can't shows the level of intellectual honestly you actually have.

12:18 PM, October 03, 2011  
Blogger steve said...

Jon said...

"That doesn't even make sense. Hezbollah was formed in response to the Israeli invasion that killed 17,000 civilians without provocation. The very existence of Hezbollah is a function of Israeli violence."

Walid Phares, himself an Lebanese émigré, doesn't share your narrative:

http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/829/syrias-strategy-in-lebanon

12:54 PM, October 03, 2011  
Blogger steve said...

Jon said...

"The bombing prompted the nuclear program, Steve. The bombing run was the CAUSE of the progress of Saddam's nuclear program."

That's simplistic:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB80/wmd02.pdf

12:59 PM, October 03, 2011  
Blogger Jon said...

Steve, I don't understand the relevance of the links you provided.

2:04 PM, October 03, 2011  
Blogger steve said...

Jon said...

"But I didn't say the tunnels aren't used for weapons. Why shouldn't Palestinians have weapons? Israel has an illegal embargo on them that prevents them from getting food. Israel won't allow them to fish in their own territorial waters, driving starving fishermen back with gunboats. Israel destroys their means of making food, crushing chicken coups, plowing their orchards, blocking their water supplies. They are trying to get weapons and they should be. People under siege have a right to resist violently."

That's your spin. Here's a very different explanation:

http://www.steveemerson.com/4417/hamas-the-plo-and-terrorist-attacks-against

2:15 PM, October 03, 2011  
Blogger Jon said...

Here's another one for you. Spain built a solar plant which provides a school, medical center, and 40 families with electricity. This is in occupied Palestine, not in Israel. Israel is going to demolish it because they don't have the proper permit to build things in their own country.

If you can't condemn this than just admit that you can't condemn them no matter what they do.

7:41 AM, October 17, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Jon,
There are a number of details you left out, most notably this one:

"The Israeli NGO Rabbis for Human Rights has taken legal defense Emnaizel families in the case of the power plant and has called for the suspension of burofax demolition process."

Who took up the legal defense? Muslims? Hamas? It appears as though this is just a case if too much government, not evil Jews squashing helpless Arabs.

7:53 AM, October 17, 2011  
Blogger Jon said...

There are plenty of excellent Jewish human rights organizations that strongly object to Israeli terrorism and violence. They condemn the so called Gaza War (really should be called the Gaza Massacre since there were no battles) the use of white phosphorous, the crushing of Rachel Corrie, etc. They can do what you can't, that is condemn Israel sometimes. Will you join these organizations and condemn the settlement expansion or the rejection of the peace offers? The Arab Peace Initiative was actually supported by a majority of Israelis at the time, but still rejected by their government. Can you condemn Israel for rejecting that?

11:26 AM, October 21, 2011  

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