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Author Topic: Another ignorant question about Israel -- "nerve" gas
Pete at Home
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Please be patient with me; I'm quite ignorant on certain subjects.

Why could the Israelis not have used tear gas to evacuate buildings in Jenin before demolishing them?

Shout over the bullhorn that they are going to wait 10 minutes and then fill the house with *nerve* gas. Do a countdown, making people come out with hands up, letting them grab a few belongings, whatever. THEN throw tear gas grenades into the house.

Only then bulldoze it.


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Baldar
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Gas has left a historically bad taste in the mouth of Israelis.

Too many parrallels as it is.


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Pete at Home
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Israelis never use tear gas?
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Baldar
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They do, but not so much in confined spaces which is much much more evocative.
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Pete at Home
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I hope that is not the reason. Seems insane to avoid a course of action that could save lives for no other reason than sentimental tradition and symbolism.
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Denelian
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i doubt that THEY see it as sentimental...

more like terrifying


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Pete at Home
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Are you serious, guys? This sounds like a morbid spoof. Tear Gas grenades channeling Cyclone B? I don't buy it. It seems really far-fetched ... at that rate, they'd be having holocaust flashbacks every time someone farted in the elevator.
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Everard
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Most militaries try to avoid gas for humanitarian reasons.
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Baldar
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Actually I know Israeli soldiers that will shoot an individual but think that gassing them goes too far.

"It becomes to easy not to see them as human when they are gassed" he told me (back in 1985). He indicated the feeling was prevelant throughout the corps.

Otherwise, you will notice that during demonstrations gas, even tear gas is not often used while a potentially more lethal use of rubber bullets takes place.

I am not saying its right, just that it seems to be that way.


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RedVW on a Laptop
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The germans used just a little too much poison gas...the jews would never forgive themselves. Death by CO or Zyklon B has to be the worst death imaginable...improved CSN gases or anything remotely like it has been removed from the civilized worlds arsenal except for last ditch scoarched earth anihilation.
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seagull
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Tactically it wouldn't work.

Even if we assume that the Israelis through some magic had a morally acceptable and safe sleepy gas that would have no side effects when you woke up.

Civilian hostages would not leave because of the gas. They would just fall asleep.
This would mean that Israeli soldiers would still need to enter the booby-trapped building to evacuate the sleeping civilians. Some of the sleepers (pun intended) could be booby-trapped. The soldiers would be exposed to any terrorists equipped with gas masks. Finally terrorists observing from another building with a remote control could detonate the whole building.


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Pete at Home
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eh??? I did not propose sleeping gas; I proposed use of tear gas BEFORE the building was bulldozed. Unless there is something I have missed, this would likely save lives since some people would run for the exits to escape the gas, and thus not be bulldozed alive.

How would it not work?


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seagull
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I am not an expert in chemical weapons. But from what I do know, it is not a precision weapon. Tear gas can be useful in dispersing a crowd in open spaces. Even in open spaces there are many cases of medical complications from exposure to tear gas. Inside buildings the variation in concentration would be even larger, it would kill or incapacitate some people while others would only feel mild inconvenience.

Children, older people and cripples would be the first to suffer incapacitating injuries that would make it impossible for them to run for the exit even if/when they want to.

Using tear gas against a mixed population in confined spaces is not a humane option. Snipers are much more effective. If tear gas were effective, swat teams everywhere would be using it in every hostage situation. Sentimentality and symbolism are secondary to that consideration.

But regardless of the moral issues here. Tear gas would be just as bad as sleeping gas in achieving the tactical goal of making them run for the exits. Those who do not run after being warned by loudspeakers to evacuate may still run when the fighting (or bulldozer) gets too close. If they do, tear gas will only slow them down and you could end up with more people bulldozed alive.


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Baldar
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Imagine the outcry if Israeli soldiers even accidently "gassed" a family to death going house to house.
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Pete at Home
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OK. Now those are good reasons.

Thanks.


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Pete at Home
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Can anyone think of a technology (real or imagined) that would motivate people to run for the exits without inhibiting their ability to do so?

Here are the rules/constraints:

It can't involve sending human beings into a building that may be booby-trapped.

Risk of permenant damage is discouraged, but possibly acceptable where the alternative is death by crushing.

Reminds me -- I need to start another thread on another technological solution to a force issue.


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seagull
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Pete, this may not be a technology, but my post to the "Why Israel rejected the UN fact finding mission" was exactly about motivating people to run for the exits. And it does not involve sending people into a war zone:

quote:

If Palestinian civilians believe the Arab propaganda about a "Jenin massacre" and Israeli mistreatment of bystanders, they will be more likely to evacuate their homes next time there is a conflict. This will make it harder for the PLO terrorists to find human shields.

Regardless of what really happened, it is in Israel's best interest that the Palestinian civilians believe in this fake massacre. It could save the lives of many Israeli Soldiers and Palestinian civilians in future conflicts.


Do you still want to start that other thread?


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Baldar
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quote:
Can anyone think of a technology (real or imagined) that would motivate people to run for the exits without inhibiting their ability to do so?

Actually the US is developing a gas that is non-lethal but smells so bad that it drives people to leave. The smell is such that on a scale of 1 - 10 vomit is a two or three.

There is also a type of non lethal liquid that is so slippery it is impossible to stand up on it. Some see this place in balloons and fired into crowds so for crowd control needs. A seperat foam is added to reduce the slipperiness of the material.


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Pete at Home
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Vomit gas. I like that.

I was thinking along the lines of orchestrated subsonics ... induced fear ... any ideas?

Seagull, I did already start that other thread -- the one on high speed chases.

Thanks!


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Baldar
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Subsonics is another area. In it you can actually make everyone fall down and pass out.
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Denelian
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the other problem with subsonics is that there is a percentage that it would not work on. mostly the old/deaf, but there ARE people who are not notably deaf who can't hear at all below a certain cycle.
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Dan Allen
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I think that most, if not all, deaf people would be affected by subsonics. We're talking about frequencies that you can actually feel.

But that said, the range of effects is so large that there is almost a guarantee of physical damage. Plus, it would be a fairly short range weapon since the power required to extend the effective range is so great.


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Baldar
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Actually the subsonics is not really lethal unless exposed for a long time.

What it will do is loosen your bowels, whether you hear it or not.


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Nathan
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Just throw in a bar of soap.

Sorry, that was mean.


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Chiu Chun-Ling
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There are a variety of non-lethal weapons that the U.S. military has been developing for crowd control.

One is a microwave/low infrared device that causes a burning sensation on exposed flesh. It is not dangerous per se, but can cause levels of pain well beyond the level associated with burning alive if mishandled, and could not be used effectively against an enclosed structure except by methods that will insure uneven concentrations of microwave energy (paranthetically, I believe that this weapon was developed from a "untracible" lethal microwave weapon).

Another option is "flashbang" grenades, essentially firecrackers designed to frighten and disperse non-combatants. These could be used against an enclosed structure, but they can injure and maim, even though the risk of death is slight.

There is an advanced weapon that uses ionizing energy to establish a path for the discharge of an electrical "stun" weapon. Though it is currently envisioned as a line of sight weapon, the ionizing energy could be provied in the form of an electrically charged gas that would be dispersed over a target, allowing an electrical shock to be delivered to a crowd or to hidden personel. The same objections as for tear gas apply to this weapon, probably on a increased scale.

Over all, 'vomit' gas may well be the most tactically sound non-lethal option for the putative use, despite the fact that it would impose greatly increased operational costs on an offensive, due to the fact that the gas would still be extremely offensive and deteriorate combat performance even at a fraction of its 'effective' concentration. It would also make any neighborhood in which it was used uninhabitable for a long period of time, a unique form of collateral damage.

Probably the best way to get personel to evacuate a structure is to make it clear that demolition is imminent, then deliberately and methodically demolish the structure using heavy armored bulldozers. This will clearly not work well if the defenders are determined to die, but neither will any other method.


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Baldar
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Gives whole new meaning to "Party till you puke"
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Pete at Home
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quote:
[Vomit Gas] would also make any neighborhood in which it was used uninhabitable for a long period of time, a unique form of collateral damage.

Sounds like the absolute DREAM weapon for the Israelis in this situation.


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Chiu Chun-Ling
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Oh, I wouldn't think so. Once people realized that this "humane" weapon was making the land uninhabitable for the Palistinians, there would be an outcry. Technology can take you a long ways, but in the end human conflict is not about technology, no matter what Star Trek writers would have us believe....
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Pete at Home
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Only temporarily uninhabitable. I'm not suggesting this as a means of clearing a whole population -- just of driving out militants. Seal an area; send in the vomit gas; give the innocents a temporary place to live, and arrest the militants as they dribble out.

Make this a routine, and I think you'd see more resistance in neighborhoods to letting the militants move in.


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Baldar
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quote:
Seal an area; send in the vomit gas; give the innocents a temporary place to live, and arrest the militants as they dribble out.

Isn't that what started the camps in the first place?


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Pete at Home
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Well, I'm a draconian bastard; personally I think that Israel should treat Jewish terrorists just like they treat the Palestinian terrorists. I think they should forcibly evacuate the whole settlement that they just caught preparing to murder Palestinians, and give their homes to Palestinian families.

Now THAT would teach a lasting lesson.

My reasoning is simple: when terrorists show that they value land more than they value human life, you need to use the leverage that actually sways their behavior: not threats to their lives, but to their land. Terrorists need to see that their actions have the opposite of their intended effect.

[This message has been edited by Pete at Home (edited May 20, 2002).]


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seagull
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quote:

the whole settlement that they just caught preparing to murder Palestinians

Links please?


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Standback
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Pete: The point isn't "destroy the terrorists' land." It's "keep the terrorists from killing people." I agree that the Jewish terrorists should be dealt with harshly, but in this case, the objective is possible to accomplish *without* the destruction.

Chiu: No, the Star Trek writers are right. If one of the sides gets transporters, they can just beam the entire other side to Antartica.


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Pete at Home
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As you requested, Seagull:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1988000/1988845.stm

quote:
Israeli police have arrested two more suspects in connection with an alleged plot by Jewish extremists to blow up an Arab girls' school in east Jerusalem.
Noam Federman, a member of the oulawed Kach party, and Menashe Levinger, the son of a leading West Bank rabbi, are suspected of helping the others acquire weapons.

Note that they use the word "extremist" for this group (even though it was a plot to murder children) rather than the correct word which is terrorism. They also called Baruch Goldstein an "extremist" rather than a terrorist.

quote:
Six people have now been detained since police thwarted what they say was a planned attack two weeks ago.

Details are only emerging now because of initial reporting restrictions imposed by an Israeli court.

Home-made bomb

Investigators say the group were planning to blow up the school and possibly a hospital next door in Abu Tor.

According to a police report, the alleged plot was foiled by chance after police arrested two men seen behaving suspciously in their car in the neighbourhood on 29 April.

The vehicle was searched and police found guns, a large home-made bomb and flammable liquid in the boot and in a trailer attached to the car.

Police said the bomb was set to go off at 0735 local time (0435 GMT) when 1,500 students at the school were lined up for morning assembly.

Jerusalem Magistrate's Court Judge Reuven Shmiya said "there is no doubt that had the bombing taken place, it would have caused grave damage to the security of the state".

Extremist activity

Mr Federman was remanded in custody for eight days, while Mr Levinger was ordered to be held for 48 hours.


Levinger's father founded the Jewish settler movement

Mr Federman, who comes from the West Bank town of Hebron, has a record of extremist activity.

He is a prominent supporter of the banned Kach party, which advocates the expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza.

Mr Levinger is the son of a rabbi who re-established Hebron's Jewish community after Israel captured the West Bank in 1967.

The four other suspects are residents of the Beit Eyin and Maon Farm settlements in the West Bank, near Hebron.

Police now say they are investigating whether the group is linked to a series of terror attacks against Arab targets carried out over the past two years.


Do not misunderstand me, Seagull. I am not trying to set up any moral equivalence between Palestinians and Israelis. It is not lost on me that the Israelis are the ones who catch and prevent their own from committing these atrocities, while among the Palestinian community the murderers are sheltered, supported, and showered with sickening adulation. The vast majority of the Jews that I know have more horror towards Baruch Goldstein or towards the murderer of Rabin than the have even for Arafat or Hamas. But the language that we use and the Israeli response needs to make clear that terrorism of ANY sort will not be tolerated.

The goal, Standback, is to save lives.

As long as the word "terrorism" and the associated "antiterrorist" measures are ONLY applied to Palestinian terrorists, the arab community has justification to pretend that the whole outcry against "terrorism" is purely one-sided.

When anti-terrorist force and language is used against people like Baruch Goldstein, the word "terrorism" may begin to sting the consciences of some Palestinians. The important thing is to figuratively (if not literally) hang the Israeli and Palestinian terroriss from the same rope. It's harder to hold someone in high regard when they are convincingly placed in the same category as the goon who killed your uncle Achmed while he was praying in the mosque.

[This message has been edited by Pete at Home (edited May 20, 2002).]


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seagull
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quote:
I think they should forcibly evacuate the whole settlement that they just caught preparing to murder Palestinians, and give their homes to Palestinian families.

Pete, you probably already know that you are exaggerating (you draconian bastard ), but for the benefit of others, I'd like to point out that it was not the "whole settlement" that was caught. Therefore your suggestion is that Israel apply the same collective punishment to Israeli settlers that it applies to Palestinian cities.

There are a few problems with this approach:

Israeli settlers in Hebron and Kiryat-Arba already fear for their lives every time they leave their homes.

The Jewish settlement in Hebron started in houses owned by Jews who were massacred by Arabs in the 1921 and 1929 "riots". The settlers who choose to risk their lives by living there are saying that unless they "can live in peace on that Jewish property in the middle of an Arab city" we should not believe any peace promises by the Arab leaders. Some of them are there to make that point and provide that test case.

I do not support the Hebron settlement. In fact, I object to the fact that Israeli soldiers who do not care about Hebron have to risk their lives to defend these extremists from their Arab neighbors. But I can not deny that they have a point. They have no right to require Israel to defend them, but Israel has no right to evacuate them either. I suspect that many Israelis feel the same way.

Israel is not evacuating Palestinians cities (yet).


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seagull
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quote:
They use the word "extremist" for this group (even though it was a plot to murder children) rather than the correct word, which is terrorism. They also called Baruch Goldstein an "extremist" rather than a terrorist.

I agree with you that terrorist is a better word than extremist in this case. But there is more to it than just the words:

When people go "postal" in the US we don't call them terrorist or extremists. I have not heard either word used to describe the Columbine Massacre, or the day trader who killed his office mates. What comes to mind is "crazy".

Baruch Goldstein was a crazy American!
He went Postal, he just chose to do it in a politically meaningful way.

The idea of going Postal in a politically meaningful way was not new to the Middle East.
But it was new to Baruch Goldstein who lived near Hebron and saw it being practiced for the first time.

Arabs have been doing it for years (not only in Israel). Their religious and cultural institutions are fine tuned to detect people who are about to go postal and direct them through the appropriate channels into becoming what we call terrorists. They send them to kill the enemy (me and you) and thereby avoid having them kill innocent civilians on the street.

In this respect the Arabs are much more civilized than we are and therefore have a "superior" culture to ours.
Baruch Goldstein may have been crazy, but he was smart enough to recognize this and act on it

[This message has been edited by seagull (edited May 20, 2002).]


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Pete at Home
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I actually have heard of the columbine bastards called terrorists, and that's certainly what we call Timothy McVeigh and abortion clinic bombers.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I had understood that the settlements were heavily subsidized ... that these extremists get about a 7% discount on their income tax, plus save over 30% of the cost of their homes. Furthermore, according to MSNBC, there's been little to no discussion of even removing these expensive incentives, even with the massive cuts in social spending that are affecting the rest of Israel.

I frankly do not see the removal of militant squatters from the public teat in the same light as the same as a normal forced evacuation. If these settlers harbor terrorists among them, and betray their own nation to sabotage the peace, then they are no better than Robert Mugabe's savages in Zimbabwe.

In principle this is no different than blowing up a Palestinian house (and damaging all other houses on the block) because one person living in that house was a terrorist.

Also, I question that Goldstein is univerally treated as a "Postal" phenomonon (although I agree with the analysis!) Consider all the folks from New York that sent money to his widow, and also to pay for the defense of Rabin's assassin.

quote:
The settlers who choose to risk their lives by living there are saying that unless they "can live in peace on that Jewish property in the middle of an Arab city" we should not believe any peace promises by the Arab leaders.

Of course you should not believe any peace promises by the Arab leaders, but the settlers are using a poor barometer nonetheless. The analogy breaks down here: the settlers massacred in 1921 through 1929 really were on land that they had fairly purchased. The settlers beyond the green line are arguably not living on Jewish property but on seized Arab property.

That's a horrific usage of the term "civilized."

Civil lies


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seagull
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quote:
The analogy breaks down here: the settlers massacred in 1921 through 1929 really were on land that they had fairly purchased. The settlers beyond the green line are arguably not living on Jewish property but on seized Arab property.

It’s a little more complicated than that.

Sorry, I should not have assumed that just because I knew some of the background in Hebron everyone else would.

When I said:

quote:
The Jewish settlement in Hebron started in houses owned by Jews who were massacred by Arabs in the 1921 and 1929 "riots".

It was not an analogy!

Up until 1929 there was a Jewish community in Hebron who owned the houses they lived in.
Some of the 1921 and 1929 Massacres occurred in Hebron (which is “beyond the green line”).
As a result there was no Jewish presence in Hebron from 1929 to 1967.
There may have been Arabs living in on this seized Jewish property between 1929 and 1967.
The “green line” did not exist until 1948.
Jews massacred in 1929 couldn’t know they were on the wrong side of the green line.

The modern settlers consciously picked the houses in Hebron that were owned by the Jews massacred in 1929 to make their point. I don’t know how much their presence in Hebron has expanded since then. But they started in “Beit Hadassa” which was definitely “liberated” Jewish property.

[This message has been edited by seagull (edited May 21, 2002).]


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seagull
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quote:
If these settlers harbor terrorists among them …

I used to know some of these settlers. I find it hard to believe that the people I knew would consciously support Baruch Goldstein any more than the teachers at Columbine supported the murderers in their school by teaching them. But then, it has been a long time, and living so close to the Arabs, they have been exposed to Arab civilization for a long time. It is hard for me to imagine what else they may have learned from that culture.

Let me repeat that statement.

In some ways Arabs are much more civilized than we are and therefore have a "superior" culture to ours. This is how they see themselves and they are not completely wrong about it! Until we understand that, they will be varelse leaving us with the horrifying choice between suicide and genocide.

quote:
That's a horrific usage of the term "civilized."

Wake up and smell the 9/11 ashes!

Their thinking and values may always be completely alien to us. But we must strive to understand them, to think from their point of view, to try and predict their attacks. Without that understanding, we will not even have a horrifying choice to make. We will simply lose the war and the choice will be theirs.

In this battle of getting to understand them better, I find that the settlers who live close to them know them the best. My best insights into Arab culture come from talking to my Arab friends. My best insights into the cultural gap between us comes from talking to Israeli friends who spend their lives studying the Arab culture in order to find ways to co-exist with it (in either peace or war). But my best insights on how to win a war with the Arabs come from my settler friends who actually do manage to co-exist with Arab on a daily basis (without killing them all). And some of the things that the settlers and the Arabs seem to agree on are rather surprising. For example, some of the settlers seem to have accepted the Arab’s definition of Peace as given in Lisa Liel’s essay.

I may not like what the settlers are doing. But if we want our culture to survive this war, they may be our best hope.

[This message has been edited by seagull (edited May 23, 2002).]


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Pete at Home
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Yow. That's a lot to think about. Thanks, Seagull.
Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator
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