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too weak to stand up

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From an op-ed by Rashid Khalidi Wednesday in the NYT:

This war on the people of Gaza isn’t really about rockets. Nor is it about “restoring Israel’s deterrence,” as the Israeli press might have you believe. Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”

From the WSJ today:

Aid workers used a second, three-hour humanitarian cease-fire Thursday to reach neighborhoods that have seen some of the heaviest fighting. Health officials in Gaza said 50 bodies were recovered Thursday from rubble.

The International Committee for the Red Cross said it found four small children, too weak to stand up, lying next to their dead mother and 11 other corpses in a house that had come under heavy Israeli shelling.

Should go to the demonstration tomorrow. Went to basically all of them in NYC before my daughter was born, as uncomfortable as they make me, but I haven’t been since. When we were in Memphis we took her to the Lorraine Motel, and now she’s obsessed with MLK, the marches, his time in prison, and his death. (MLK might well be her introduction to the very concept of death…. There was at first a lot of “and then what did he do” after the point in the story when he dies…) And people with “black skin” and what this means and has meant in a place like Memphis… Or really anywhere we’ve ever been. Classical liberal parenting, whatever whatever. Maybe if my parents had taken me to this sort of thing (just the thought!) I’d be a bit better person in some ways than I am today. Or maybe not. Who knows, who knows….

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January 9, 2009 at 11:51 am

Posted in war

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  1. Spoke to my in-laws yesterday. Hung up the phone when they told me they had to go attend a rally in defense of Israeli actions. Apparently “no one is presenting the Israeli point of view.”


    January 9, 2009 at 8:59 pm

  2. Went to a talk yesterday about this, had Norman Finkelstein, John Mearsheimer, and a Palestinian guy whose name I forget (Ali Abumineh? Something like that) but who was much more interesting than his two more famous intellectual counterparts.

    Summary: Mearsheimer and Finkelstein were much more on the Khalidi side of the debate. Likened the end-result of successful Israeli campaign–less the restoring deterrence capability aspect, more the expansion to a Greater Israel encompassing most of the West Bank–as similar to the state of apartheid South Africa. Consensus between the two that this would be a humanitarian disaster with significant international backlash, advocated for a two-state solution, that “everyone knows what that would look like”. Interesting response by the Palestinian that there really was no consensus on a two-state solution, that “no one asks the Palestinians about this”.

    Anyway I’ll stop paraphrasing; there’ll be a podcast of the entirety of the discussion up soon that’s worth checking out. Also of interest was the audience’s responsiveness: the ~1000 seat venue was full to the brim, and apart from a few rather zealous–and somewhat irritable–Zionists that kept spewing hateful remarks during the talk, it was a very receptive audience. People are starting to get it, even outside the sequestered academic space. If one could only say that about the press we’d be set.


    January 10, 2009 at 6:33 am

  3. I took Noah (age 5) down to the protest here in SF, the first time I’d ever brought him to something like that.

    He was certainly overwhelmed, but I could tell he was enjoying himself. He told his mom last night that, for his next birthday, he “wanted there to be no more war.”

    How’s that for leftist parenting? I always fear a backlash, though, as if, if I were cross a certain threshold in exposure to my views, he’ll end up becoming a banker. . . I grew up with the children of hippies, you know, and can remember very clearly the profound zeal which these vegetarian-raised kids brought to eating Big Macs.



    January 11, 2009 at 5:55 pm

  4. Will,

    Ah thanks for that, sounds interesting.


    It’s complicated, isn’t it? This is new for me, as I grew up in a household that wasn’t, um, left at all. And I know how that worked out for me. I guess I think, beyond direct position provision, the idea is to model certain patterns of behavior. Like, dunno, caring about the world and what happens to people. Doing things. Taking an interest. Thinking about things. It’s actually very similar to the question of how to handle politics when you’re a university teacher….


    January 12, 2009 at 12:29 am

  5. Finally, there is a videorecording up of the talk. A lot of it is not new stuff if you’re familiar with any of the panelists’ work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the Q&A is definitely worth checking out. is where the videos are located, the site is rather poorly designed so I can’t link directly to the post containing the videos but for the time being they should tend toward the top of the page.


    January 21, 2009 at 6:58 am

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