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January 25, 2009

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Strange coincidence

January 25, 2009

Today I had to think about my grandmother, she was born in 1915 (and is still curious as if she was 15 – with a huge crush on Obama btw) and was about my age when the war started. It made me think about how people are indoctrinated and how we are also just following an ideology, a humanist, a good one but nevertheless an ideology. My thoughts went over to my grandfather and I realized that I didn’t know when he was born so I asked my father and, here comes a very strange coincidence – today would have been his 100th birthday. Bizarre stuff indeed, that opened pandoras box for me because thereupon I asked my father when his dad joined the Waffen SS, it was in 1933. At the age of 24. He was as old, as my brother is right now. In 1941 he eventually joined the NSDAP. At age 31 – like my cousin right now.
If you try to put the whole thing into a parallel perspective it makes everything a lot scarier, a whole lot different than if you think of it as just being “history”. If you stay close instead of keeping your distance to the past you will finally understand, that you do not understand. And with that in mind, you just made the first step to come to terms with what happened in this country 70 years ago. 

 

Dear Armelle,
thank you for your quick response to the first part of my reaction. In the following post I will continue analyzing and discussing your original comment and also comment myself on your latest blog post.  

If we look at your first comment we will clearly see that you don’t reference any of my articles on the current issue (they are only 2), make no at all, but instead make many biased and false assertions. For instance: If you talk about my political views on this situation in particular I ought to ask you: Where does your information come from? Answer: You made it all up!

Neither did I ever mention the term “Pro-Palestinian Media” in any of my blog posts, nor did I give a statement on how I feel about this war! You claim that I am a Zionist, but where is your evidence? Answer: In your head!
In my blog post I criticized the presence of Hamas flags on something that was supposed to be a “March of Peace”. I criticized the content of the demonstration but not the fact they go out and protest. You on the other hand put me down for having a different opinion because you believe to possess “the truth”. My opinion is merely a prevarication according to you.  Do you know which political factions work with such tautologies to defame their opponents? Every single radical one. Fascists, Communists, religious radicals – please choose freely as to which group you examine. Or alternatively, one may simply accept that there are other opinions that may be discussed. Without knowing the basis for your opposing viewpoint’s arguments you can not deem them false right away. 
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I am afraid that you are completely oblivious of the meaning of the term “genocide” since you keep using it freely and falsely in the context of the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict. A genocide is not constituted by the death of civilians during a war but the deliberate, targeted mass killing and eventually annhilation of an ethnicity or religious group. If we analyze the situation by that standard we can see that over the last decade the population in Gaza and West Bank has increased by a staggering 30% (Link). Now how is it possible that one of the best trained, best equipped and most efficient armies in the world is committing a genocide and still the population it seemingly targets is continously growing and not declining. Because that’s what REAL genocides do, they deteriorate the population of a certain group – but as you can see here, it is clearly not the case.
I do not deny however that there have been war crimes and that there have been violations of human rights. In fact, for me as for most Israelis and as for any decent human being, one civil casualty is one too much. Unlike you however, my political convictions do not make me blind for the human tragedy that occurs on both sites. You Armelle fail to recognize that while the Israeli government has high regards for civilian life and tries to protect it whenever possible, Hamas, Hezbollah and all the other islamist groups you root for have nothing but disregard! Why else would they stack their rockets and grenades in civilian infrastructure like schools or hospitals. Why else would they hide among families and let them die deliberately when in fact Terrorists are being targeted! Why else would they turn Palestinian men, women and children into human bombs whose sole objective is to murder Jewish men, women and children?
In November Hamas have broken the ceasefire agreement between Gaza and Israel and continusly fired rockets upon Israeli territory, notably Sderot, Ashkelon and Beer Sheva. Money that is given to Palestinian authorities by the European Union (among others) to create infrastructure is instead used to buy weapons. The current operation in Gaza (which is under Palestinian Authority btw and not under Israeli occupation as you falsely claimed) is a delayed reaction to rocket and mortar fire by Hamas. Nearly two months have passed before Israel retaliated. Nearly two months during which the Israeli government called for a stop of the attacks. Two months during which the world watched and did… nothing! Your claim that right now Israel is committing a genocide against the Palestinian people is ridiculous, historically incorrect and completely unfounded. Ask yourself why countries such as Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt which are usually beating everyone to the punch  when it comes to condemning Israel for alleged atrocities, are backing the surge and blame Hamas for the current escalation.
They do so because they acknowledge Israels accordance with international law in this case. Article 51 of the United Nations Charter reserves the right to engage in self-defense against armed attacks to every nation. A limitation placed on a democracy is that its measures must satisfy the principle of proportionality. Proportionality is no offset of casualites on both sides, in law the principle of proportionality states that measures taken must not exceed what is required in order to achieve an objective (Link). In the case of Israel, “Operation Cast Lead”‘s objective is to once and for all remove the threat that rocket and mortar fire pose to Israeli civilians . 
Looking at this surge in particular let me come back to one of your initial claims that Israel was deliberately attacking and killing palestinian civilians (you pointed out their bloodlust for women and children in particular). Well you failed to present any beliveable sources. Therefor allow me to do so myself and draw a different picture – Charlie Krauthammer published a very interesting article in the Houston Chronicle on January 2nd (Link) – Quote:
Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in advance to warn them of approaching danger. Hamas, which started this conflict with unrelenting rocket and mortar attacks on unarmed Israelis — 6,464 launched from Gaza in the last three years — deliberately places its weapons in and near the homes of its own people.
Contacting is done via cell phones (that are,very widely spread in Gaza and the West Bank against all misconceptions) and flyers. That certainly counters your perception of bloodthirsty IDF officers now, doesn’t it? Furthermore Israel has allowed supply trucks to cross the border to distribute much needed humanitarian aid (Link) but apparently not all of it is being equally given out to civilians. There are reports of raids on supply trucks by members of Hamas and the subsequent sale of goods to the highest bidder (Link). Not very charitable if you ask me.

There is one final issue concerning this conflict I’d like to address – I generally feel that any radical position towards one or the other side is counterproductive. If you feel concerned about the suffering of the Palestinian people please believe me, so do I. The Palestinians have been suffering for a long time and their woes have been exploited by many of self proclaimed allies (namely Egypt and Jordan before peace agreements with Israel and still Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran) without them making any attempt to improve their conditions. Such countries who are in a deep political and military feud with Israel do not hesitate to use the Palestinians for their cause. Many extremist groups inside the PT have been doing so as well, like Islamic Djihad or Hamas – rather than actively seeking a solution (other than the destruction of the state of Israel, which is NO solution) they sought to spread their ideology. An ideology that seeks for war, not peace; for hate, not tolerance. If you speak about freedom Armelle, let me tell you that there won’t be freedom for anybody in that region if these people win. This is a very interesting quote from an article published in Haaretz on January 9th (Link): 
Those who go into the streets claim to do so in favor of the freedom of Palestine. Well, where have they been all these years, as the fundamentalist phenomena that oppressed the Palestinians were on the rise? Does Hamas have anything to do with freedom, or rather, doesn’t it have everything to do with Islamism of a fascist tendency? Is freedom defended by training children to commit suicide attacks and by enslaving women? Is freedom defended by Iran, which supports Hamas financially? Does freedom belong to the terrorists of Hezbollah? 
What I want to say is that I will not defend every decision made by Israel for the sake of defense, that I criticize people and politics openly when I feel that they are counterproductive towards a common goal. But when it comes to taking a stand I will always be on Israels side because it represents values I believe in: Freedom, tolerance and democracy! Israels first goal has been, is and will always be to protect its citizens – Jews, Muslims and Christians and to give shelter for Jews all around the world who are faced with persecution due to increasing antisemitism. 
And that is (almost) all I have to say about Israel.
Let me just quickly give you a statement about that little caricature of yours. First off, I am a big fan of cartoons especially those that mock politicians and societal grievances – do you remember those Mohammed cartoons? What a blast! Your cartoon however really made me think and it’s not because there are Jews involved – trust me I do not thrive on such a double standards. I see your cartoon as being somewhat problematic for different reasons. It denies the singularity of the Holocaust by putting the current war into the context of a genocide of Shoa proportions and thus conducts historical revisionism of the worst kind. It depicts the Jews as being Nazis, that alone will cause some antisemitic sentiment in the viewer: Every kid knows that the Nazis were pure evil; hence if the Jews are the new Nazis they are pure evil and must be fought and destroyed just as the Nazis have been.
Nowadays antisemitism does not only derive from what we call the right wing, but also left wing radicals teaming up with Islamists. If you do not believe me have a look at this video of Dutch parlamentarian Harry van Bommel from the socialist party calling for another intifada against Israel – in the backround you can hear people chanting: “Hamas, Hamas Joden aan het gas” – I guess you can translate that for yourself.
  

Considering that all over Europe there have been reports of anti-semitic attacks for example an attempted arson on a Synagogue in Toulouse, France (Link) I am afraid that their message of racial hatred is being heard! Therefore I will always support Israels right to defend itself from it’s enemies!

FJF

Armelle left me a comment on my post on Pro-Israeli rallies. Here is part one of my response:

Hi Fabian! I am not surprised by the way you react to the conflict! In fact, I was waiting for a post on your blog… apparently I was right!

Hi Armelle, you were indeed right. As you know I do not hide my political convictions and I am always willing to share them with anybody who is interested in a political discussion. Therefor I wrote this post on my blog hoping that somebody would react to it and guess what I was right too!

But I just want to ask you a question: You know why Palestinian protesters are more present on the media? As you said, there are more often pro-Palestinian marches and it is easier to mobilize them. But for a very simple reason: it’s never difficult to mobilize people, when the purpose is to fight genocides and exterminations.

Let me begin by discussing the last sentence of that paragraph, you say that it is never difficult to mobilize people to fight genocide and extermination (i.e. ethnic cleansing). Now, to look at that we first have to know what genocide is. International law defines genocide as the following:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

(Source: http://www.genocidewatch.org/aboutgenocide/whatisit.html )

Is the ongoing Situation in Gaza and the West Bank a genocide? Let’s have a look:

a) & b): I dismiss a&b in general but in the current situation especially since at the moment Israel is in a state of war and you and I both know that during war people die thus those deaths can not be traced back to an act of genocide in particular. In addition, Palestinian authorities claim that about half of the people killed in Gaza as of today have in fact been combatants. However even that should be quite hard to determine keeping in mind that Hamas fighters don’t wear uniforms or anything else that would distinguish them from civilians and thus they violate the Geneva convention (but we wouldn’t expect a terrorist group to abide by that anyways, now would we?).

c) In 2005 Israel withdrew its forces from Gaza. Since then Israel has more or less successfully put a naval blockade on Palestinian harbors and established stringent conditions for ships that do in fact want to dock to a port. On the other hand Israel has been delivering food, medical and technical supplies as well as fuel to the Palestinian people and set up connections from their power grid to Gaza and West Bank. Because Israels national currency, the Shekel, is also used in the Palestinian Territories (henceforward PT) the Israeli central bank ensures Palestinian money supply as well.In fact every month or so they “deliver” money to keep the monetary circulation afloat.
It is also important to note that in times of peace or when terrorist attacks are not imminent (like they were during the first and second intifada) thousands of Palestinians cross the borders every day to work in Israel. The biggest portion of Palestinians who are employed, have their employment in Israel.
(Besides that: Did you know that about 20% of the Israeli population are in fact Arabs? They do have the same rights as every other Israeli (no matter if Jewish or Christian) but they do not share all their duties. Mandatory military service ,for instance, can take as much as 3 years but is not compulsory for Muslim/Arab Israelis.)

Don’t get me wrong, life is no piece of cake in the PT but that is not the point. The point is that there is no deliberate or whatsoever attempt coming from the State of Israel or it’s military! to physically destroy the Palestinian people or the Arab population. Therefor point dismissed!

d) The fact that Palestinian birthrates are skyrocketing (the ones of Arabs in Israel too btw.) and that Gaza strip is ranked 30th in terms of global birthrates while Israel itself is only 105th clearly dismisses that point.
(Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2054rank.html )

e) I searched the internet for quite some time but haven’t found anything that would indicate a deliberate mass operation to forcibly transfer Arab and Palestinian children away from their biological parents to Jewish families. Hence dismissed!

As you can see Armelle, I tried to analyze each point but could not find anything that would clearly identify the situation in Gaza and West Bank as a genocide. Furthermore the international organization “Genocide Watch” does not even once mention the PT in the context of genocide.

But now lets come back to your original claim which was: “it’s never difficult to mobilize people, when the purpose is to fight genocides and exterminations”.
Is it? Well why haven’t there been any notable mass demonstrations in Europe that would compare to the current Pro-Palestinian protests in either scale or call for immediate action, for the following atrocities – all of which have been internationally recognized as genocides btw:

Rwandan Genocide (1994) – 800.000 – 1.000.000 people murdered in about 100 days.
Srebrenica Massacre (1995) – 8.000 people murdered by Serbian militia
War in Dafur (2003 and still continuing) – 450.000+
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org )

The masses failed to protest against any of these genocides. Today we have weekly protests against the war in Gaza. Where are the weekly protests against the genocide in Sudan that is now entering it’s 6th year?
In your statement you offered some very disputable theories, please let me return the favor and also offer you one:

The European peace movement is completely oblivious of any genocide, as long as you can’t blame the Jews for it.

 

Thank you and good night.

FJF

P.S. Since this has already been a bit longer than expected I will continue my thorough analysis of your comment tomorrow.

While the Palestinian protesters are clearly more present in the media, probably due to their more frequent protest marches and their capacity to mobilize a huge crowd, there have also been a number of Pro-Israel rallies around the globe.

Paris – Several thousand people gathered near the Israeli embassy in Paris on Sunday to support the Israeli ground offensive in the Gaza Strip

 

New York – Blogger Atlas Shrugs (named after the famed Ayn Rand novel) put a lot information on Pro-Israel rallies in NYC on her blog. There are pictures, videos and reports. Enjoy!

 

More to come…

Nighthawks

December 11, 2008

  “Theine is a  hell of a drug”

 Freely adapted from the late Rick James. And what a drug it is. All those years I’ve been wrong. Wrong with a capital W and an exclamation mark at the end. All those years I’ve been constantly abusing caffeine to get my kicks in the morning, or to keep them until late at night. And what happens when you frequent your favored coffee place or keep your coffee machine working all day long? Right you get addicted! Whereas one should notice that with the demonizing of nicotine, caffeine has become the most widely spread and accepted addiction people in the Western world can thrive upon. But as I said you people and that clearly includes me, have been Wrong! 

My mom, a tea aficionado, advised me on trying tea instead of coffee tonight.  She handed me a cup of Verbena tea. The rush comes a bit slower but is much more lasting than what any fancy espresso could give you. Jesus I spent the whole night on my feet! And what a productive night it was! I did lots of calculations and research on financing structures. For most of you that alone might serve as a tranquilizer that even the praised effect of tea won’t overcome. For me finance is what keeps my dreams wet. 

Now let me pass my moms sagacious advice over to you people: If you know there’ll be a long night of studying ahead, get some tea. Darjeeling, Verbena or even Mate (which is killer btw!) and get the work done. Theine will not only keep you awake much longer but will also allow you to concentrate better than with normal caffeine (scientifically proven).

FJF

While sweeping through the internet, I found this wonderful video of a guy who (justifiably so) mocks the smugness of Apple and its user. Fun stuff,  that is when you’re no Apple user yourself!

Looks quite promising, a biopic about the greatest rapper of the 90’s. And no, it is not Tupac!

Hi folks,

again my first hello goes out to the proud workers in Detroit, who are currently facing the terrifying situation of losing their jobs. Yes, Americas backbone it’s good old industry has seen better times, that is why we as the people have to stand together and fight back!

America, more than ever needs your help! Right now is not the time for treehugging and spreading liberal, socialist agenda! Right now it’s the time for great American no spin straight talk!

Now I know that since last week many of you out there are scared. Yes the Grand Old Party has lost the election! Yes, we are facing four very long years of Democratic rule in this country. The prospect of that is not very bright, that is for sure. Well I say we shall buckle up, lick our wounds and prepare for the next battle that enevitably will come in four years time.

Furthermore I’d like to admit that while I have a feeling of great admiration for a true American patriot such as John McCain and I do comprehend why he chose somebody as Sarah Palin to team up with, I knew from the start that those two lacked what it takes to tackle down the Obama powerhouse. Let’s face it people, Obama is a too much of a political jock to be bullied by and old war heroe and a semi-retarded but sexy redneck from Alaska.

What we need is real power! What we need is real brains! Now who in the GOP is the only guy who is able to flex some serious muscle? That’s right! And who is probably the smartest rich guy in the Republican party? You got it.

Ladies and Gentleman let me present you the new Republican Powerhouse for 2012:

 

Booyakasha! It is the perfect match: Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably the most popular Republican since Ronald Reagan and Michael Bloomberg the smartest man in US politics since Henry Kissinger. Just think about it…. and now think about the alternatives. Yeah right. 

Now skeptics might add that Governor Schwarzenegger is” only” a naturalized citizen hence he is not entitled to run for presidency. That’s true, however it is not as much of a problem as some people might think. Guys, we have four years ahead of us. Four years that would give us the time to lobby for a bill that would allow American citizens, born outside of the US to run for the highest office in our country. 

Now let’s all buckle up, dry our tears and start working. We have a lot ahead of us. And damn, it’s worth it people. America will always be worth it!

Hi there people!

November 11, 2008

Hi,

my name is Fabian this blog is dedicated to all the hard working men in the American Steel Union, keep on rocking the sky and never stop fighting for your dreams. For all of you who are working just as hard as the men of the American Steel Union I have a little something to brighten up your night.

Journey – Don’t stop believin

Always remember, the Church of Fabiversity will always be with you.