Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Six Battalions, the United Nations, ' - - - and it is the Fault of the Jews'

Israel has an ancient history - but it's a very new country. The most recent diaspora was a very long one. Descendants of Abraham and Israel didn't manage to re-establish a national government until the mid-20th century, after a hiatus of nearly 1,900 years. Quite a bit happened in their absence, and the current government is a new entity, not a continuation of what was around when the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire.

I think some problems in the Middle East stem from a domestic dispute that happened about 7,000 years after Jericho's founding, and 4,000 years before our time. (October 8, 2007) Israel's current government is new: the area Israel is in is anything but.

Israel isn't America

"Israeli politics in tailspin over Iran"
Jon B. Alterman, CNN (May 2, 2012)

"Israel, by necessity, has developed one of the most able security and intelligence apparatus in the world. There has been no necessity to develop a world-class political apparatus, however, and it shows.

"In a single week, the Israeli army's chief of staff, the former head of internal security and the former head of external security have all publicly questioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's judgment on Iran. While the current army chief spoke narrowly about the Iranian government, the former security officials directed their fire at Israeli politicians. On Friday, the former internal security chief told an Israeli audience, 'I don't believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings' -- and he was speaking not of Iran, but of Israel.

"Last week was Israel's independence day, traditionally an occasion of pride and celebration. Instead, Israelis are in a deep funk...."
America has a two-party system that's lasted as long as it has because folks in both parties have been moderately competent at appealing to a fairly wide swath of the voting public. My opinion.

Not all countries have a stable two-party system. When folks from the 'Dental Floss Party,' the 'Union of Thatch Roof Owners,' and whatever other outfits have enough backing to get a foot in the local equivalent of Congress: politics won't look like politics in America. But I think a system like that can work. Take France, as an example.

Israel doesn't have a generations-deep tradition of two-party politics. On top of that, America is over three and a half times as old as Israel's current government. We've had time to thrash out a modestly adequate system. When the country I'm in was as old as Israel is now, filibusters were new; war with Mexico was brewing; a major internal war wouldn't come for a couple decades: and that's almost another topic.

I think it takes time for a country to work out a system as comparatively practical and SNAFU-free as what America has.

I realize that CNN has to attract readers, and that criticizing the way foreigners run their country is a perennial crowd pleaser. Oh, well.

The United Nations is "Appalled" by Israel: Again; Still

"UN 'appalled' by Israel treatment of hunger strikers"
Yolande Knell, BBC News (May 2, 2012)

"A UN expert has said he is appalled by the 'continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons', as Palestinian inmates continue a mass hunger strike.

"Special Rapporteur [!] Robert Falk said Israel had to treat hunger strikers in line with international standards.

"Israel's Prison Service says some 1,550 Palestinians in jail are on strike.

"Doctors have expressed serious concern about two men who have been refusing food for 63 days in protest at being detained without charge or trial...."
"Without charge or trial" may or may not be a valid complaint.

The hunger strikers, who decided to be hunger strikers? I suppose Israel's government could force them to eat. Which could be showcased as appalling indifference to the hunger strikers' conscience, or religious feelings, or whatever.

Given the sort of knee-jerk 'blame the Jews' reaction to unpleasant realities I've come to expect from the United Nations and other 'civilized' folks: this latest complaint sounds like more of the same.

'The Jews starve people' is another perennial favorite in some circles. (April 19, 2008)

Moving on.

Sinai Peninsula: Remarkable Coverage

"Tel Aviv boosts troops at borders with Egypt and Syria"
RT (May 2, 2012)

"Israel is to deploy at least 22 reserve battalions on its borders with Egypt and Syria, claiming the growing instability in the two countries makes it necessary to be ready for possible external security threats.

"The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has been given an approval of a call-up of additional force by Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee although they exceed the average. Reservists from six battalions have already received their orders, even though many of them are soldiers who have already completed their annual reserve duty.

"Israeli generals say these troops are needed to deal with security threats which are coming from Israel's borders with Egypt and Syria, and also because of growing instability in those countries.

"The situation on the Sinai Peninsula which borders Israel is becoming unmanageable, RT's correspondent Paula Slier reports from Israel. Since the ouster of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, she said, Sinai police have been attacked more than 50 times by local Palestinian jihadist groups, as well as by the local branch of Al-Qaeda which is operating in the region. ..."
RT's coverage is remarkable, I think, for not trotting out 'experts,' 'concerned citizens,' and the United Nations being appalled, for the usual 'and it is the fault of the Jews' show.

Maybe they're part of that vast conspiracy of Jews we keep hearing about. Or, not.

The Wall Street Journal: 'Well! What Do You Expect?'

"Israel Fortifies Border Fence With Lebanon"
Associated Press, via The Wall Street Journal (May 1, 2012)

"Israel has begun fortifying a fence along its volatile border with Lebanon, reinforcing an especially dangerous section that has been susceptible to sniper fire and other threats, military officials said Tuesday.

"The military said the project was strengthening a half-mile (one kilometer) section of an existing fence in Israeli territory, and no modifications to the route were being made. Even so, to avoid friction, it said construction was coordinated with the Lebanese army and the U.N. peacekeeping force in the area, UNIFIL.

"Israel has no diplomatic relations with Lebanon. The two countries have been in a state of war for six decades.

"The project is taking place near the spot where an Israeli officer was killed by a sniper two years ago. The shooting took place as the Israeli army was clearing brush that it said Lebanese guerrillas could use for cover...."
This Associate Press article, on The Wall Street Journal's website, is another fairly calm discussion of what sadly is business-as-usual in the Middle East. I suppose a dedicated conspiracy buff could be convinced that 'the Jews' really control the AP and The Wall Street Journal - and the Internet - and the brains of everybody who doesn't have aluminum foil inside his hat.

A bit more seriously, I don't like the way Egypt is developing, now that the old strongman got booted out. Still, it could be worse. A lot worse. Iran is a case-in-point.

If I seem indifferent or unconcerned: sorry about that. What's been happening for the last several decades in that part of the world is not good news. But what I've seen in the news recently, although reason for concern, isn't all that different from what I've been seeing for most of my life. I'm not going to go ballistic over 'more of the same.'

Related posts:
Background, the United States at 64:
A tip of the hat to Patty Garza, on Google+, for the heads-up on news from the Egypt-Israel border.

No comments:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.