The threat of Palestine

This is great.  A classic exchange between Wolf Blitzer (boooo!) and Norman Finklestein on the threat of Palestine to Israel.  Finklestein makes a great point that really there is no threat.  I believe the same of today’s Palestine.

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7 Responses to “The threat of Palestine”


  1. 1 Bradley Ross January 14, 2008 at 4:05 am

    I’m having a hard time being convinced by Finklestein’s argument. I heard him argue that countries with “two elevators and an escalator” (his example from Nicaragua) can’t be a serious security threat to their neighbors. Doesn’t guerrilla warfare make a convincing counterargument? Osama bin Laden didn’t need a modern military to cause a security threat to the United States, he just needed a handful of men willing to die for the cause.

    Can we really argue that Palestinian terrorists don’t pose a credible threat to innocent Israelis and others? They regularly fire rockets at random targets. Can we really defend or excuse that behavior? What do you mean when you say there is “really no threat”?

  2. 2 theradicalmormon January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Bradley,

    Thanks for stopping by. Guerilla warfare is usually confined to the nation the war is being fought as in Nicaragua. With Nicaragua though, it was the US backed forces that were using guerilla warfare and not the enemies of the US. Bin Laden hurt us. That is without arguement. However, it is more useful to withdraw the reasons for Al-Queda-like extremism to exist than to fight against extremism, which has been proven to increase extremism! Withdraw the reasons for people to hate the US foreign policy and see how fast groups like Al Queda shrink.

    Palestinians do indeed lob missiles at Israel and there are legitimate security concerns there. However, the missiles have killed something like 10 people over the last 10 years… extremely inneffective. On the other hand, the Israelis have killed thousands of Palestinians over the same period of time. Who is threatened more then? Palestine or Israel? Israel is the big bully that has its foot on the neck of the wimpy Palestinian nerd. However Israel is in danger of getting its ankle bitten by the nerd. Who is really in charge of the violence over there? I think that this is the point that Finklestein makes.

  3. 3 Bradley Ross January 16, 2008 at 4:55 am

    I think you are exaggerating the situation. According to this wikipedia article (which I have no way of verifying, but it seems to be well documented), there were 9 Israeli civilian deaths in 2007 compared to 36 Palestinian civilian deaths.

    If somebody is throwing rocks at my mother, I’m not going to limit myself to throwing rocks back. I’m going to do whatever I feel is reasonably justified to limit the danger to my mother. I don’t see that the Israelis should feel any differently when Palestinian terrorists blow up civilians on their buses.

  4. 4 theradicalmormon January 16, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Bradley,
    I exaggerate not. I spoke of the Qassam missiles lobbed into Israel by Palestinians and said that roughly 10 Israeli fatalities have occured over a 10 year period. The actual numbers as found here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Qassam_rocket_attacks

    are 13 Israeli deaths due to Qassams in 8 years. As you rightly point out though, there have been more Israelis who have been killed during the same period by other violent methods used by Palestinians. In fact there have been many more killed by other than Qassam rockets.

    I then stated that over the same period of time there have been thousands of Palestinian deaths in contrast. In fact there have been at least 4447 Palestinians killed by Israelis over that period of time according to the Israeli Human rights organization B’Tselem. Of these 4447 people, at least 2056 were non-combatants and the number could by as high as 3000. You can find these numbers here:

    http://www.btselem.org/english/statistics/Casualties.asp

    My friend, you are missing the root cause of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. The Palestinians have been uprooted, had their land taken away, been killed and forced to live as nomadic refugees for 60 years now. Israeli atrocities have been condemned internationally for many years and there are many outstanding UN Security Council Resolutions with regard to their dealings with Palestine that the Israelis stand in violation of. Israel locks Palestinians up in their homeland and bombs them from time to time. They bomb the utility stations in violation of the Geneva Conventions. They collectively punish the Palestinian people by withholding fuel and food and stealing their money. They steal their valuable water resources so that the lawns of the illegal settlements are green while the swimming pools are full. At the same time, water is cut off to Palestinian villages in the hottest seasons! The Israelis hold something like 11,000 Palestinian prisoners, of whom around a thousand are administrative detainees who are uncharged and held indefinitely. Recently Palestinian patients who are dying from cancer are being denied treatment in Israeli hospitals, stopped at checkpoints and turned back. Now Israel, in conjunction with the US has funded Fatah and stirred up internal strife in Palestine, providing weapons etc. to seek to split Gaza from the West Bank. The children of Palestine are growing up with their growth stunted and PTSD at the same time. Truly, Isaiah spoke truthfully about Israel when he spake the following from Isaiah 59:

    2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
    3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
    4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
    5 They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
    6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
    7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
    8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

    The view we get of the situation in Palestine is extremely distorted. One cannot expect to hear a straight story from our news sources. The following link to a study shows this fact rather glaringly.

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/net-report.html

    Stick with me and you’ll see. Read some of my past postings on the situation. It’s not like you think.

  5. 5 Muslimknight January 23, 2008 at 11:37 am

    It is a great thing to see someone like you (The Radical Mormon). You are unlike many Americans who are decieved by media and told that the Palestinians are the terrorists who kill Israelis all the time or who stole the land that belongs to the Jews and that what makes them kill Palestinians and drive them way from their homes and kill them and steal their money. The siege what is enforced against Palestinians nowdays is a proof and we see the whole world is doing almost nothing about it. Personally, I do not agree about the suicide bombings but to give up your land and right just because he claims that they belong to him as God promised him give the right to the Palestinians to defend themselves. You are another example of the good Mormons that I read about or I know as good friends in real life.

    God bless you

  6. 6 theradicalmormon January 23, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks Muslimknight,

    Your kind words are appreciated. We have a certain culture in the US that blinds people or numbs them to the rest of the world. My greatest disgust is that my government supports the oppression of Palestinians by Israel. My government does lots of lame things like that. I am sorry. I will continue to let me little voice be heard and hopefully it helps a little. I am sorry that I cannot do more.

  7. 7 Muslimknight January 28, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Your voice is not lame. It was strong enough to reach me and I really appreciate your support to the justice. I read that your Church supports or used to support the Palestinians before the economic seige against them. I even read that your past prophet Hunter showed his support to them clearly.Hopefully, people will change their minds later unlike the one above who sees firing rocks dangerous while the random shooting is a selfdefence. What you do is really appreciated by us and may God bless you for it and reward you.


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