Blogs > Liberty and Power > Blackmail by Bombs

Jul 23, 2006 1:54 am

Blackmail by Bombs

Read Azmi Bishara’s analysis here.

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Jonathan Dresner - 7/25/2006

British and French promises

Like the Balfour Declaration?

there was no Hezbollah before Israel entered Lebanon in 1982

There were all kinds of religious militias, many of whom were involved in anti-Jewish actions; Hezbollah was a new umbrella organization, but not a terribly new thing in itself.

I'm sure there's a really good factual foundation for your outrage.... keep looking.

Sheldon Richman - 7/24/2006

Wrong. Most of the land was bought from absentee feudal landlord who kicked the farmers (the Lockean owners) off. Much of the rest of the land is "redeemed" through massacre (Deir Yassin, e.g.) and terror (threats of more Deir Yassins). Only a tiny amount was bought directly from farmers. The statehood program gradually becomes clear (although it is concealed for a while), in violation of British and French promises of Arab independence after WWI. The result is what looks eerily like a Western outpost in the Middle of the Arab world. That's the root.

Craig J. Bolton - 7/24/2006

O.K., let's get to root, Sheldon.

Let's see:

Peaceable Jews, many farmers, some urban dwellers, immigrate to Palestine in the 1880s and 1920s to try to escape from one episode after another of European progroms. They buy land, set up businesses and attempt to live a normal life.

Instead of being welcomed as new immigrants, often with valuable skills, by their Arab neighbors, they are periodically mobbed by these xenophobic and often not too bright neighbors incited by their racist and religiously bigotted leaders.

Jewish militias are formed for self-defense [gasp, what an antilibertarian thing to do].

The Arab attacks continue at the same time as the pressure builds for more immigration due to more extensive persecutions in Europe.

The British try to appease the xenophobic Arabs by limiting immigration to a trickle. The militias strengthen in number and kind.

The British, being attacked by this time by "both sides," decide to withdraw, leaving the principal military sites in Arab hands.

The UN attempts a partition, which the Jews accept and the Arabs reject.

The local Arabs and their foreign friends attack the Jews en mass. In the resulting fighting many Arabs are "displaced" through force or because they find it smart to leave.

They are not welcomed back into the territory won by war by the Jews. [Perhaps you could give us an example of where a still very hostile population is welcomed back into conquered territory by the victors in a war? Come on, just one to illustrate the unusual "injustice" here.]

That is the root, Sheldon. Why do you want to start in the aftermath of that aggression?

Sheldon Richman - 7/23/2006

Perhaps. But I do know that there was no Hezbollah before Israel entered Lebanon in 1982 to clean out the Palestinians, and the Palestinians were there because their land was occupied by Israel. If we want to look for root causes, let's really get to the root. Who is surprised that real injustices breed criminal opportunists? It's much harder for them to manufacturer issues out of whole cloth, so why are they repeatedly given real injustices to exploit?

Steven Horwitz - 7/23/2006

Maybe because they're more interested in trying to wipe Israel off the map than in peace or world opinion? Or maybe because they don't view Israeli civilians as "innocent"? Perhaps you see their means as irrational because you misunderstand their ends.

Sheldon Richman - 7/23/2006

Interesting, but the author says nothing about Hezbollah's rocketing of civilian areas in Israel. Abstaining from such war crimes would have highlighted Israel's own crimes against the Lebanese. I don't know why Hezbollah has not figured out that it would gain immensely if it declared a unilateral ceasefire. That would put Israel -- not to mention Bush -- on the hot seat in world opinion.