Thank you Ms. Malter, for displaying consistently impassioned, intriguing instincts. Even when you're wrong (i.e. when you disagree with yours truly) your commentary reflects an honest search for the fundaments supporting the Israeli/Arab refugee conflict.
Thank you very much for your support and your other fine posts.
I'm pretty sure we disagree on religious issues, and I'm nearly certain that you see a far, far greater difference between atheism and monotheism than I do.
As for Israeli settlements in the West Bank, I'm not sure where you stand. As a liberal, I want to see people allowed to live just about anywhere they please, subject only to some very basic restrictions about knowing the language, being loyal to the nation they are in, and obeying the laws. And I see the West Bank as disputed land, and I object to having people make ex post facto rules about it being illegal for Jews to be there. Such ex post facto laws seem extremely dangerous to the entire idea of justice.
In addition, I see Israel's role to some extent as having Permitted Jews to settle in the West Bank (perhaps "reluctantly permitted" might be a more accurate term) rather than (as some anti-Israelis would have it) having forced (!) Jews to move there in violation of the Geneva Accords!
Still, to some extent these are political views. And I'm not all that concerned about political views, as long as they are based on facts, logic, and sincere deliberation.
Yes, we no doubt disagree about some things, but I was being tongue-in-cheek and more light-hearted concerning that comment in particular. As to settlements, I disagree with some of them while am more favorably disposed toward others (e.g., reflective of Clinton's 2000 proposal).
Actually, I think that while the settlements are not really a key issue (if the Arabs want peace, there will be peace with or without them, and if the Arabs do not want peace, there won't be peace either way), it would make sense for Israel to keep big settlement blocks such as Etzion, Maale Adumim, and Ariel. And probably Kiryat Arba. I think that is not too far from the Clinton 2000 proposal. And the fact that this proposal was turned down flat probably reflects a lack of interest in a new Arab West Bank state unless that state could be used primarily to attack Israel.
As you've probably noticed, Panga Ban's comments have been deleted from Amazon - it looks like they all have. gfw's comments have also been deleted, at least the recent one's dealing with his charging Panga Ban with slander. I did note that gfw's review of Carter's book is still standing.
While this was happening I was writing a note to gfw in the discussion forum he created regarding his charge of slander about how I thought he should handle it. Basicly I recommended that he present both Panga's charges and his complaint and ask Amazon to resolve it (presumably in his favor) by first going to the backups or mirrors (if they exist) and then taking action. I thought it unlikely that legal action would be worthwhile considering that what was being attacked was a virtual as opposed to a real identity.
It looks like someone or some group at Amazon has taken notice at this time and is considering how they should handle it. It would be interesting to know what principles they will apply.
IMHO though Panga was already wrong on 2 accounts of abuse concerning you. Firstly Panga repeated harassed your posts by impugning your veracity and rationality. ;-) Once may be fair game in the process of debate - multiple incidents constitute harassment and slander. Secondly Panga denied your identity as a Pagan. You have given no cause to anyone to disbelieve that you are who and what you say you are, nor should it be part of the debate. I considered it a form of religious slander. I would be equally incensed if someone denied F. Muna's assertion of being born in Jerusalem and fleeing with the rest of his/her family after 1/4 their home was destroyed in 1948.
This issue is outside of partisanship, its about how we conduct ourselves when we discuss the issues of the day. Perhaps one day this discussion will be examined in someone's Phd thesis as to how people created a code of conduct for online debate - what tactics were applied, which were rejected and whether this type of forum was capable of on one hand resolving and on the other hand amplifying our differences of opinion.
Jill Malter is a couragious interlocutor!
Update: I did a site search of Amazon and gfw is still with us - the deletion in his case appear to be only the most recent dealing with his allegations of slander.
Yes, both Panga and Matt were abusive with their comments to me. Panga, of course, went further by repeating the same line so many times. And that was harassment.
I've written reviews of several books dealing with Paganism, and I'm perfectly prepared to answer questions about them. Once again, I think it is simply a taunt to say that I'm insincere about what I say. One of the reasons I write reviews is to say what I think!
As for the issue of people being from one city or another, including Jerusalem, and having their lives disrupted during the 1948 war, I see no reason to disbelieve it. I've met plenty of people whose lives were disrupted in World War Two. And I think you all know by now that one of my friends was maimed for life when her home in Beirut was hit by an Israeli bomb. And that another friend, an Arab from Gaza, was killed by other Arabs. I would be very annoyed to have people deny such things out of hand.
"Intriguing": yes, in the same way as one can find maniacs intriguing, in as much as they are beyond the ken of mere mortals. "Impassioned": yes, in the same vein as fundamentalists of any stripe, Al Qaeda fanatics included. As to "honest": there you go too far.
That's truly unnecessary of you. Obviously, I'm not a maniac. Nor am I a fundamentalist. And as for honesty, I think I'm not even the issue. As I explained, the big issue for me is anti-Israeli lies. And we see plenty of those lies not just in obvious sources of propaganda, but in what are supposed to be more reputable places, such as the UN, much of the media, and in some of the better American universities. Of course, you can deny that this phenomenon occurs at all, but that really would make you look a little like a maniac and a fundamentalist.
If you want to discuss anything I've said about the Arab war against Israel or the anti-Israeli lies, sure, let's do it. We can be polite on this forum, and I encourage everyone, in the future, to at least obey Amazon guidelines, as a minimum.
Jill: I'll consider revising my opinions at about the same time as you withdraw your review of that monumental and universally acknowledged hoax "From Time Immemorial". That is not the sole example, but only the most egregious, of what I find objectionable about your reviews and posts.
On the UN. The US has vetoed any resolution that might be even remotely construed as anti-Israel, so I'm not sure what you are complaining about. The US media? Every even mild critic is met with shouts of anti-semitism or self-hating-Jew or holocaust-denier/-minimizer. Universities? Despite university protests going back to Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon and 30+years of an apartheid regime in the Occupied Territories the disinvestment campaign makes little headway.
If you don't think I'm within Amazon's guidelines: report my posts as abusive.
I made the point in my review that Peters' book is mostly uncontroversial. And I stand by it. To say it is a hoax is a preposterous taunt. Yes, there are some questions about a few details she comes up with involving Arab immigration and inmigration. But the general conclusions that these were significant have not been seriously challenged, and they have been confirmed by other studies, such as Arieh Avneri's.
As for US vetoes of UN resolutions, I think the problem is the UN resolutions. And I think the US ought to threaten to upset some bilateral relations if our "allies" keep voting for such nonsense. As for even "mild critics" being hassled, be serious. People who repeat libels are indeed being taken to task for it, but that's very different from mild criticism!
I think you are within Amazon guidelines, but you are completely wrong. And I see no need for you to taunt me. Challenging my honesty without provocation is out of line in my opinion, and I think it precludes sincere discussion.
Jill: Whats uncontroversial is that Peters' book is a monumental hoax. If that other hoax "Fragmnents" were still in print I'd expect to see a glowing review of it by you. I haven't looked, but would be unsurprised to see a positive review by you of that other well-known hoax, "The Painted Bird".
As to UN resolutions. Does it strike you at all as odd that the resolutions you complain about are voted against by the US, Israel, and less than a handful of other nations like Nauru? Some 100+ other countries voted for many of these: all fanatical anti-semitic regimes I suppose.
Libel? I don't see any lawsuits as I would expect from a litigious society like ours if there was any provable libel. Only hysterical attempts to suppress discussion.
There's no shortage of irrational, fanatical, and dishonest apologists and propagandists for the apartheid state of Israel. Have at it, but don't expect those of us who find you objectionable to stand silently by.
So much of Peters' book is so boring and uncontroversial that it seems perverse to call it a "monumental hoax." Except for the fact that some people have some political reasons for disliking elementary facts, it's like calling a very ordinary fourth grade arithmetic book a monumental hoax.
That in no way means that you must kneel down and swear that Peters has never made a mistake. But it does mean that if you want a serious discussion, you ought to treat her book with far more restraint. Deal with it as you would deal with any very ordinary book which you have a few disagreements with, and you might wind up making some contribution to a discussion.
Some of the anti-Zionists on this forum went way out of line with wild accusations and anecdotes, with inappropriate comments about other posters as well as truly over-the-top comments about books such as Peters'. That's not the way to get any credibility, and all it does is make a mess out of this forum. You don't need to do that. Why not be more reasonable?
Many of the gratuitous anti-Israeli posts, generally copied from other sources, contained what I could best describe as "blood libels." I saw comments about Rachel Corrie's death being deliberate murder (in spite of evidence, testimony, and an investigation to the contrary, and such comments were made with no attempt to refute the evidence or testimony). And there were comments about the USS Liberty, which Israel did attack in 1967, although we now can be pretty sure it was an accident, given that we know plenty about what happened. Once again, these posts insisted that the attack was deliberate, although there's no logical motive for such a suicidal attack on an ally, although no one gave any serious motive in their posts, and although no one gave any evidence for there being a motive, or evidence that such an attack on a ship known to be American was ordered deliberately, either by the Israeli government or lower officials!
What do you think the purpose of such posts might be? Anti-Israeli incitement by Hawks who want peace with everyone except Israel, perhaps? In any case, I think that such posts are dishonest (given that they ignore repeated refutations), and they are counterproductive as well. Of course, one can say that my reaction to such posts is just some sort of hysterical attempt to suppress discussion, but that would be ridiculous, given that if anyone is suppressing discussion it would be the people who make such absurd claims and then refuse to discuss them at all, but merely repeat them!
What about UN resolutions? I see them as the problem here. The UN obsession with Israel is manifest. You appear to be willing to boast about the UN resolutions as showing Israeli transgressions. But I see these resolutions as preposterous. And they indicate to me that the UN has a problem that goes far beyond Israel. And that any gang of thugs can be a threat to dominate the UN as long as they can bribe a few people, blackmail a few people, and play to some racist attitudes of some people. That means to me that a world ruled by the UN would be very likely to degenerate very quickly into a horrible global tyranny, and that the inhabitants of such a world would be rather miserable.
There are indeed plenty of irrational, fanatical and dishonest apologists and propagandists for anti-Israeli aggression. If you want to join forces with them, be my guest, but, as you yourself said, do not expect those of us who find all this counterproductive and immoral to stand by in silence.
Jill: As you almost always do in responding to your opponents, you reply to none of my points. Just rant on at great length about things never brought up: the Malter technique of "replying" to unasked questions in all its full glory. Peters claims are uncontroversial and she has seldom made a mistake? The reverse: let us, now "kneel down" and acknowledge that Peters may occasionally and then perhaps only by accident have actually stated any significant facts.
I'll add "blood-libel" to the stock phrases like "self-hating Jew" meant to intimidate and prohibit discussion and free thought. To paraphrase an ancient Jew, "The crazies are always with us".
There's no discussion here, only pure polemic: you never allow inconvenient facts to get in your way.
If you actually think that Israel is such a problem for the world that the UN really ought to be spending its time passing all sorts of resolutions against it rather than dealing with other issues a little more, sure, say so. Of course, that would imply that what we people on this planet really ought to be doing is getting a big army together and uniting the whole world against Israel and then declaring war and obliterating Israel! I guess we could indeed defeat and destroy Israel that way! But would it accomplish anything positive? Not in my opinion.
Anyway, sure, if you want to defend the UN's record, feel free to try. You can even say that you already did it, and that I didn't respond, but that's impolite to say unless you actually come up with something to respond to.
You talked about the UN, and when I mentioned it in reply you said that I ranted about things never brought up and then said that I didn't reply to you! Well, which is it? If I answer you, then you get to say both that I did not answer and that I went on too long about it!
I'm not so sure why you dwell on Peters' book. Yes, I think it's a good book, but there are plenty of better ones. I think it gives one a good idea about the jist of what has been happening in the conflict. And most of what it says is, as I said, uncontroversial. Yes, there have been some criticisms about what Peters says about Arab immigration and inmigration. If you have other criticisms of the book, let's hear them! Really!
After all, you went so far as to say that the book was a "monumental hoax." And you said that it is uncontroversial to say so! So maybe you would like to tell me if some criticized material about Arab immigration and inmigration makes the whole book a hoax. Before you do, you might want to look at the work by Arieh Avneri which substantiates the jist of Peters' claims that such immigration and inmigration were significant.
And then you can say that I still did not respond to what you said, and that my response was too long and ranting! But I wouldn't recommend saying that, given that I really am responding to you.
Just what am I supposed to call wild claims that Rachel Corrie was murdered, and that the Liberty was attacked as a deliberate assault on what was known at the time by the attackers and those who ordered them to attack to be an American ship?
Is it possible that someone would indeed have decided to just plain murder Rachel Corrie? Yes, but that sure does not seem to be what happened when one looks at the evidence. Could Israel have decided to commit such an act of war against the US as to attack the Liberty on purpose? Maybe, but the evidence is enormous that they did not do it, and there is also no evidence of a genuine motive to do that.
So what does it mean for you to say that when I call such posts a "blood libel" that I mean to "intimidate and prohibit discussion and free thought?"
It probably means that my argument is so strong that there's no reasonable reply except to concede my points, and that tends to end any genuine discussion! It sure is not true that if anyone has something relevant and new to say that they have no opportunity to do so! And I feel annoyed that you would imply that I am here to confuse the issue or intimidate people or prohibit free discussion! After all, I came here advising people to think for themselves and not to trust anyone, not Jimmy Carter, not the anti-Zionists, not the Zionists, and not me. That is hardly the way to prohibit discussion! And I did indeed feel that the insulting posts by some of the anti-Zionists were meant to bait, taunt, and intimidate me. I feel that there was almost no discussion, just a succession of posts that demonized Israel from them and occasional replies from those of us who took exception to them.
I suspect that you are not interested in discussing my favorite topic about the Arab-Israeli conflict, namely the anti-Israeli lies that we see in some of the media, at the UN, in some of academia, and in much of the Arab world. If you wanted to talk about that, you would have done so by now. But I am a reasonable person and I will be happy to discuss other aspects of that conflict as long as your posts are reasonable and sincere as well, even if I strongly disagree with you.
The plight of Palestinians under the Israeli-yoke of 30+years of an illegal occupation IS a problem. I'm an ex-citizen of an ex-British colony and only too familiar with imperialist, colonialist rationalizations for suppressing, exploiting, and killing off inconvenient indigenes.
Whats with the Rachel Corrie shtick? I never brought it up and its not germane.
And whats with your obsession with the UN? Even 242 dishonestly avoided mentioning Palestinians, referring instead only to "refugees".
I dwell on Peters' book because its representative of how lies and hoaxes are attempted to be passed off as truth. Criticism? Say thorough debunking and demolition instead.
In the end, I am appalled that those who have been subjected to ghettos, pogroms, and the worst kinds of discrimination, when afforded the power, inflict without compunction the same on others, those untermeschen Palestinians. Lets not forget either the illegal seizure of Palestinian land for Jewish lebensraum.
I'm not an apologist for Indian policies in Kashmir. But why is my view on one injustice relevant to my views on another?
One crucial but not the only difference is that the US taxpayer's aren't forced to provide a subsidy of $500+ to every man, woman, and child in India which is what a $3Billion+ US subsidy to Israel amounts to.
The dishonesty and rewriting of history that surrounds the essentially racist Zionist enterprise in Israel isn't comparable to Kashmir. There is probably some Peters-/Malter-esque hoaxer working on "proving" that Indian non-Muslims settled a fallow, unoccupied Kashmir and that the Muslims there are just interlopers and illegal immigrants from Pakistan or Afghanistan. Unlike Peters hoax, no one would give this any time of day,
Try Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Darfur for a more accurate comparison.
You were the one who commented about my posts. These posts tended to be replies to some rather obnoxious anecdotal anti-Israeli posts, so I wanted to explain just what provoked me to say something in reply. Rachel Corrie and the Liberty were indeed off the subject of Carter's book, but they were brought up a number of times by others, and I refused to let such stuff go unanswered.
The plight of the Jews and Arabs under British colonial rule is well known, especially that of the Jews. The Jews, not the Arabs, probably wound up with hundreds of thousands of dead as a result of the illegal British White Paper of 1939. The White Paper was decisive in proving to Jews and others both in the Levant and elsewhere that a Jewish state was needed if Jewish rights in the region were to be permitted.
As for the UN, there is a list of all the ridiculous UN General Assembly (and some Security Council) resolutions against Israel. If you want to pretend that this reflects well on the UN, as I said, feel free to do so. To put it very mildly, I draw the opposite conclusion, and see it as a very bad sign for international organizations in general. Given the UN attitude on Israel, I would be unlikely to show support for ANY international organization of that sort, on the grounds that if it were bad, one should oppose it, while if it were good, it would soon be perverted.
As for Peters' book, my friendly advice is to deal with issues, not books. Saying that Peters' entire book is a lie or a hoax just makes you look like a fanatic who is unwilling to discuss anything whatsoever. If that's all you wish to do, why post at all?
Now, which side really looks like the Nazis and which side really looks like it is regarded as the untermenschen? And which side really looks like a bunch of greedy pigs who want "lebensraum?"
Well, in 1938, the Sudeten Germans could claim that it was the Czechs who were the greedy pigs. But we all know by now that the Nazis were the culprits. This time, it is the Arab side which is demanding extra land from the land-poor.
As I said in a comment to one of the reviews, shouldn't World War Two have taught us not to be perpetrators or even bystanders? Well, if we think that is a good idea, just what ARE we to do when those on both sides of this war insist that if we do not support them, we are simply being Nazis?
1) We can flip a coin, and wind up being Nazis half the time! I refuse to do that.
2) We can see who gives us the biggest bribe or threatens us the most. Once again, I refuse, although I suspect that this policy will get us to side with the Nazis most of the time, which is even worse. Of course, we could do the reverse, and side with those who give us the smallest bribe or threaten us the least, but even this is not good enough for me.
3) We can actually use our brains, and figure out which side is being the aggressors and bullies. We can figure out which side is relying on preposterous lies to make its "case." And that's generally not that tough to do, given that we're not up against very sophisticated untruths. That is my choice. I suggest that you try it.
If intelligent people really can't tell the difference between the aggressors who are fighting against human rights and the victims in a case like the Arab war against Israel, then I think we humans are in for some very miserable times. We humans fare poorly when we ignore truth, and we won't be able to support a complex civilization without showing at least some regard for it.
***Actually, I think that while the settlements are not really a key issue (if the Arabs want peace, there will be peace with or without them, and if the Arabs do not want peace, there won't be peace either way), it would make sense for Israel to keep big settlement blocks such as Etzion, Maale Adumim, and Ariel.***
Actually, Israel shouldn't even exist, in the biblical or Torah sense.
When mankind claims to be God himself to judge when the time to settle into a region, that's the beginning of the end of their whole argument.
It's no wonder why folks believe Zionists are Atheists (well many were communists and socialists to begin with -- complete with their Kabbutz commie living).
BTW, I detest communism and socialism. Two of the worlds greatest killers, but I'm not surprised that Zionists love each -- three peas in a pod.
Israel has some good reasons for existing, just as do many other nations. Israel provides a nation where the Hebrew-speaking people will not be oppressed for speaking Hebrew or for being Jewish. It provides a refuge for such people. And while you may dismiss these arguments as religious fanaticism (or even anti-religious fanaticism), they are quite secular. The issue is human rights.
Zionism is simply one aspect of human rights. If one wants human rights for all, there must be human rights for Jews, so if one opposes Zionism, one is unable to support human rights for all.