Gaza and the Liberal Conscience- The realities of Colonialism (Part III)

By Farish A. Noor

Consider the following scenario: A band of thieves break into your home while you are out, and help themselves to your property. When you return you find them comfortably installed in your home and enjoying themselves. Just as you are about to do the logical thing by doing whatever is necessary to kick them out, they say to you: “No, don’t attack us. We want peace. We want peace because we want to watch your DVDs on the DVD player; we want peace because we want to enjoy the food in your kitchen; we want peace because we want to sleep in your bed tonight.” Then as soon as you lose your temper, you are accused of being a terrorist, terrorising their peace!

It may sound ridiculous, but that is precisely the ridiculousness we are hearing from illegal Israeli settlers and Zionist propagandists who are telling the world that Israel wants peace and is the victim of Palestinian terrorism.

The realities of colonialism have been the same throughout history. Every imperial colonising power from the Romans to the Europeans have sought to justify, rationalise and normalise the realities of colonial expansionism by resorting to the discourse of peace. When the Europeans colonised Africa and Asia in between the 17th to 20th centuries, they did so on the grounds of ‘progress’, ‘civilisation’ and even the rule of law. Africa and Asia were to be colonised ostensibly to bring progress to the natives, to expand the scope of free trade, to establish modern governance. Yet colonies are never modern, free, democratic or progressive in the first place: they are little more than the expression of primordial greed, lust for power, hatred of Others, racism, bigotry, sexism and common prejudice.

The pathetic moral dilemma of the wishy-washy liberal is compounded by the invented dilemma of the colonialist who dreams to live in peace while residing on stolen land and stolen property. It is this double-hypocrisy that has to be addressed and exposed once and for all. The liberals among us are ever-so-sensitive to the plaintive emotional appeals of the Israeli settlers who claim that they have been victimised by the Palestinians, but at the same time conveniently fails to recognise the simple fact that no illegal settlement can ever be left in peace.

Once again we can turn to our own colonial history in Asia for pointers:

During the bad old days when the European Imperial powers were installed across Asia and Africa, there were incessant wars and rebellions when the colonised subjects rebelled to gain their freedom. It has to be remembered that the creation of modern post-colonial independent states across Asia and Africa did not come naturally or without pain and struggle. Thousands of Africans and Asians fought and died, thousands were imprisoned, exiled, tortured and made to ‘disappear’ by the colonial powers that refused to vacate their stolen colonies.

Today of course we celebrate these freedom fighters who fought and died as the martyrs and heroes of our respective countries and count them among the founding fathers and mothers who gave birth to our independent states.

Now during our own anti-colonial struggles, did we (or rather our forefathers) bother about the discomfort and fear of the colonialists whom they constantly and relentlessly opposed by all means necessary? Let us recount our own past with honesty. We did not negotiate or dialogue with imperialists: we opposed them, fought them, and when necessary attacked and killed them. Independence was not won in a game of cards or polite conversation. It came through years of guerrilla warfare, ambushes, assassinations, acts of sabotage, strikes and boycotts. That’s how we became free. And wasn’t that how the first Americans gained their independence from the colonial government of Britain too?

Now if that was the case for practically every country that has been colonised in the past, why doesn’t it apply today for the people of Palestine?

Let us not, therefore, be taken in by the glib rhetoric and sweet appeals of the Zionists and their American backers. The modern colonial state of Israel today is a proxy for superpower interests and in its dealings with the Palestinians it has been nothing more than a violent, expansionist, colonial state bent on expanding its colonial possessions and territorial outreach. The modern colonial state of Israel has been at the forefront of working and collaborating with the most reactionary Arab pro-American regimes and helping them retard the development of democracy in their own countries.

The realities of colonialism are that any and every colonial state has been built on force, violence and coercion, and that their continued existence into the future rests on the continued use of such violence and coercion. But like the band of thieves who have stolen into your home and robbed you of your property, they cannot expect to be left in peace and they will never enjoy peace as long as they exist as a colonial power. Israel is no exception to this rule, for this was the lesson learned by every imperial power throughout human history: No colonial state has the right to safety and safe boundaries, as long as those boundaries are drawn on land that has been illegally and forcibly stolen on others. You will never have safe frontiers as long as your frontiers are drawn on the land of another.

End of part III.

  1. #1 by Lee Wang Yen on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 11:40 am

    Who are the colonialists?

    That depends on who are the legitimate owners of that land.

    Are Palestinians the legitimate owners of that land? On what grounds do we think that this is the case?

  2. #2 by Lee Wang Yen on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 11:43 am

    There is nothing wrong in Noor’s sentiment expressed in that analogy except that he has problematically assumed that the Israelis are analogous to the thieves and the Palesitinans the legitimate owners.

    For that analogy to work, he has to answer a host of historical questions about who legitimately own that land.

  3. #3 by Lee Wang Yen on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 11:46 am

    Why are there only articles sympathetic to the Palestinians? This sounds one-sided.

  4. #4 by k1980 on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 12:00 pm

    By the same reasoning, the native American Indians must take control of the USA and Canada. Also India must be handed back lock, stock and barrel to the Mughals. All the descendants of the Spanish conquistradors must get out of Latin America and the Russians must return Siberia to its original inhabitants. All the non-aborigine Australians and New Zealanders must pack up and leave. And Yunnan must open its doors to welcome home the Malays. Wake up, Farish!

  5. #5 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 12:41 pm

    Bend down and we’ll show another side!

  6. #6 by k1980 on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 12:51 pm

    //A band of thieves break into your home while you are out, and help themselves to your property. When you return you find them comfortably installed in your home and enjoying themselves. Just as you are about to do the logical thing by doing whatever is necessary to kick them out, they say to you: “No, don’t attack us. We want peace. We want peace because we want to watch your DVDs on the DVD player; we want peace because we want to enjoy the food in your kitchen; we want peace because we want to sleep in your bed tonight.”//

    That’s precisely what transpired between the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide victims and their would-be rescuers

  7. #7 by OrangRojak on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 2:20 pm

    doing whatever is necessary to kick them out
    You’ve been living in Malaysia too long. Were you among the group that beat the motorcyclist who demanded compensation for his smashed motorbike, shredded clothes and bleeding body from the driver of the car who drove out in front of him without looking or stopping at the stop sign? Too bad for him my neighbours felt a strong affiliation with the driver of the car! I know you weren’t among the crowd, unless your name is a pseudonym.

    Revenge is illegal in any country with working, decent laws. Nobody ‘kicks anybody out’ in any place any sensible person would want to live. When you ‘lose your temper’ and resort to personal action you are a terrorist. My neighbours are terrorists, albeit small-scale ones: perhaps a more accurate description, since I’ve only seen them beat and shout at the occasional hapless passer-through, and I don’t know they’re responsible for the 1 beaten-to-death person per year in the storm drain near my house would be ‘thugs’. I don’t like living in Malaysia – too few Malaysians appear to me to understand why ‘law and order’ are good things. Too bad, my wife and children are Malaysians, I would be neglecting my duty if I ignored it.

  8. #8 by Pikachu on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 2:36 pm

    Farish seems to have mixed the history a bit. He seems to be thinking that the 1947 UN partition actually happened; which it didn’t. But first, the start of today’s Palestine (which was renamed from Judaea to Philistine by Hadrian in 132, to try and root out the Jews after the first Jewish–Roman war). In 1923 the British divided the “Palestine” portion of the Ottoman Empire into two administrative districts. Jews would be permitted only west of the Jordan river, which in effect “chopped off” 75 percent of the originally proposed Jewish Palestine to form an Arab Palestinian nation called “Trans-Jordan”. This territory east of the Jordan River was given to Emir Abdullah, who was even not Arab-”Palestinian”. Then that portion of Palestine was renamed to Jordan in 1946. Or in other words, the eastern 3/4 of Palestine was renamed twice, erasing all connection to the name “Palestine”. And the bottom line is that the Palestinian Arabs had their “Arab Palestinian” homeland. The remaining 25 percent of Palestine (then west of the Jordan River) was to be the Jewish Palestinian homeland. However, that wasn’t part of the Arab psychological makeup then, nor now.

    Encouraged and incited by growing Arab nationalism throughout the Middle East, the Arabs of that small remaining Palestinian territory west of Jordan River launched never-ending murderous attacks upon the Jewish Palestinians in an effort to drive them out. Most terrifying were the Hebron massacres of 1929 and later during the 1936-1939 “Arab Revolt”. The British at first tried to maintain oder, but soon (due to the large oil deposits being discovered throughout the Arab Middle East) turned a blind eye. It became painfully clear to the Palestinian Jews that they must fight the Arabs and drive out the British.

    The Palestinian Jews were forced to form an organized defense against the Arab Palestinians, thus formed the “Hagana”, which were the beginnings of the IDF. There was also a Jewish underground called the “Irgun” led by Menachem Begin (who later become Prime Minister of Israel). Besides fighting the Arabs, the Irgun was instrumental in driving out the “pro-Arabs” British. Finally the British had enough and they turned the Palestine matter over to the United Nations.

    Which bring us a year later; the United Nations General Assembly partition plan in 1947, which wanted to divide the remaining 25 percent of Palestine into a Jewish Palestinian state and a SECOND Arab Palestinian state (the first being the Trans-Jordan) based upon population concentrations. The Jewish Palestinians accepted and the Arab Palestinians along with the Arab countries surrounding Israel didn’t agree with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 in 1947 – just because that would mean they recognized of Israeli’s right to exist as a sovereign state. But the assembly resolution was approved by a vote of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions and on May 14, 1948 the “Palestinian” Jews finally declared their own state of Israel and become “Israelis”.

    On the next day the surrounding Arab countries Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq (with the aid of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Libya) invaded Israel and as well as areas designated as part of the Arab state by the UN partition plan; Which started the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and as a result most of the Arabs living within the boundaries of the newly declared “Israel” were encouraged to leave by the invading Arab armies to facilitate the slaughter of the Jews and were promised to be given all Jewish property after the victorious Arab armies won the war. The Palestinian Arabs thought that the Jews will be exterminated and they will get out of the way while that messy and dangerous business goes forward and will return afterwards, to reclaim their homes and to inherit the Jewish properties as well.

    Well, they guessed wrong. When the 19 month war ended, Israel survived despite one percent loss of it’s entire population. Those Arabs who did not flee became today’s Israeli-Arab citizens and those who fled, became the seeds of the first wave of “Palestinian refugees” because the Arab countries that promised them a victory and land, couldn’t deliver them (the refugees) it and didn’t want them on their own land. They left them in the occupied land by Egypt (Gaza Strip), West Bank and Jerusalem that was occupied by Jordan (which formally merged the land into itself in 1950). And from 1949 to 1967 when all West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip were 100 percent under Arab (Egyptian and Jordanian) control, no effort was ever made to create a second Palestinian State for the Arabs living there.

    Now we’re in May 1967 and the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian armies along Israel’s borders are in preparation to a a massive invasion to eliminate the State of Israel (the Six-Day War). The battle cry heard through the Arab world was then, as is the same as today; “Slaughter the Jews”, “Throw the Jews into the Sea” and etc. But the war was won by Israel yet again, because of a successful preemptive strike against Egypt. In two hours, the Egyptian air-force didn’t exist. Most of its planes destroyed still on the runways and unaware that the Egyptians had no more air force for backup, King Hussein of Jordan launched his attack from West Bank and Syrian troops, prepared to descent down the Golan Heights high ground into northern Israel.

    Which bring us to the “occupation”. Where the Egyptians, Jordanians and Syrians lost Gaza, West Bank and Golan Heights, by participating in a failed attempt at genocide against Israelis. Had Israel lost the defensive war in 1967, the Arab-Palestinians and their Arab allies would have certainly wouldn’t butchered the Israelis and gobbled all of Israel… right?

    But anyways, lets not play the “guessing game” here. We’re now 37+ years later and in September 2005, Israel uprooted 8500 settlers and withdrew from Gaza unilaterally, without any concessions from the Palestinians. This could have been the beginning of Arab-Palestinian state building, but instead, they looted the Greenhouses that Americans had bought for them, almost immediately started digging infiltration tunnels into Israel and smuggling weapons through the Rafah border with Egypt and launching rockets and suicide bombers into Israel. They even turned down Bill Clinton’s offer which the Israeli’s also agreed to. And in case you don’t know what that offer was: President Clinton proposed that the Palestinians would get all of Gaza, about 97 percent of contiguous West Bank territory, East Jerusalem as the capital of a State of Palestine, three out of four quarters in the Old City, sovereignty over the Dome of the Rock Al Aqsa mosque and a 30 billion dollar fund to compensate Palestinian refugees.

    Which brings me to this obvious question (and I’m sure all the above will be ignored, and just answered with a nifty “stop the occupation” smart a** answer): What Israel can do more to stop the attacks on them and live in peace with its “friendly” neighbors?

  9. #9 by Malaysian on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 3:01 pm

    Hypocrites! The Arab world wants all the Israel land.

  10. #10 by pulau_sibu on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 3:34 pm

    Islamic world allows existence of very rich countries in Arabs (such as Saudi, Kuwait,…) and very poor people else where (Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan,..). We don’t even know how these royal families came out in these super rich countries. This is very much like using the Bumiputra argument, and then they gain all the wealth. They dare to see so many poor bumis around without helping them, but marginalizing them.

    So please don’t tell us more about helping the Palestinians. YOu have been talking for decades and nothing worked out. Don’t try to gain political mileage whenever many Paletinians died. That is too late for you to say anything.

  11. #11 by yeeyuket on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 3:35 pm

    First and foremost, tracing back to the history of Israel the land does not belong to Palestinian. In fact, it is the land of Israel and is belong to the Jews. One should not go back to UN convention only but to historical findings. But, Israel is willing to give the land for Palestine to rule. Instead of developing the land for social-economic activities for their people, the Hamas uses the land as a missile lauching pad to infiltrated damage and killing of Jews in Israel.

    Hamas, Iran and other muslim nations want to wipe off Israel off the map as a nation and take over Jerusalem as the third Muslim holy site according to Koran. In fact, those familiar Koran knows that the conflict is arising from religion belief. Israel as a nation has every right to defense itself from this aggression towards the nation just like any other nations.

    What is the rationale behind Malaysia parliament condemned only the Israel and not Hamas? Does Malaysia support killing by Hamas to Israel civilians or so call terrorism activities? Israel has said it very clear, the attacked will stop if, only if Hamas stop launching its rockets/missile towards its nation. Hamas has started and wants the war with Israel and the people who vote them to power have to face the consequences as it is now happening. If both refused to settle and arguing that the land belong to them, the only solution is the war. No nation in the world can stop it until Hamas or other supporing nations like Iran and syria wants peace. Note that Israel want peace in exchange for lands but the Muslim countries want to wipe off Israel and want all the land of Israel. Not only that they have the ultimate aim of converting people in the whole world to Islam.

  12. #12 by Pikachu on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 4:11 pm

  13. #13 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 5:25 pm

    sometime, I wonder if the objective of wanting the whole world to follow a single doctrine or belief is really the desire of the Creator! If HE had wanted to be so, wouldn’t HE just made everyone speak the same tongue without the need to fight it out. HE had given us the power to reason so rationally HE expected us to choose not just like goats following their leaders!
    So why do they take upon themselves to change others when they can’t even feed themselves. Just look at Pakistan and Egypt and a few African nations, without the hand-outs from the Satanic State of USA, half of their population would kaput within one year!
    If you want to lead , you have to show some quality both in leadership and in substance, not just by shouting and chanting! In the process, the irritated parties hammer you, you cry for help!
    Even the Churches realized that pure propogandas do not sell any more. People have began to ask questions, pure talk about hell does not frighten anyone; least of all by showing all the negative behaviours and aspects of one’s society in this globalized environment!

  14. #14 by Thor on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 5:38 pm

    Why condemn Israel alone?
    What about Hamas?
    The rocket which they fired killed innocent civillians as well and don’t tell me those are not human.
    We can’t blame the US for siding Israel ‘cos our government too are of the same type.
    Whenever anything happens to an islamic nation, they will try to meddle in it.
    Iran wanna be a big brother and Malaysia wanna be the second.
    It’s the leaders who’re creating all the trouble while the people are the one who suffer.
    My advise to our leaders is to take care of our country’s image first.

  15. #15 by Thor on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 6:00 pm

    Hammas is using the Palestinian people as pawn and some famillies are also willing to sacrifice their very own lives to defend the Hammas. Before the offensive start, Israel have warned the Palestinians to leave but most famillies who’re Hammas supporters are willing to stayed on and offered their lives instead. In such a way, it’ll help Hammas to gain sympathy and support from other countries so that there’ll be an outrage against Israel. I believe that everything will end when Hammas is totally wiped out and then Fatah takes over. Sometimes we’ve to put aside history and religion, if we need to live happily together.

  16. #16 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 7:00 pm

    Why are you guys criticizing Farish A Noor so much?? He is not even here to defend himself.

  17. #17 by boojander on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 8:46 pm

    Palestinians keep starving since eight months ago. And still nobody from Israel seems to care about them. That’s why Hamas did so as request for foods, medicine and money. BTW, Hamas did something wrong yet they are still proven very brave with so little power and technology available. But what we see here(in this comments section) is just a bunch of cowards.

  18. #18 by monsterball on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 8:47 pm

    When you cannot solve your homeland problems for more than 50 years….why be an expert of foreign matters?
    Farish A Noor wrote three beautiful parts on this subject.
    I have avoided to comment..until the truth of it all….talk and shout as much as you like….exactly like the law markers in Parliament…….but reap no results at all.
    Donate as generous as you can afford…..and sit back…ponder…will this be the last and final time..we read war in Gaza?
    I viewed the picture of those three tiny tots dead… papers….feeling so sad…so helpless.
    But then….it was not the first time I saw such a photo. In fact not even second time…but dozens of times….in the last 35 years.
    And each time….same actions by Govt..condemn and donate money. Very generous..very right actions..but totally unproductive.
    I hope all donations will not land in few pockets…making them instant millionaires.
    So…will Farish put out a post and tell Malaysians…why so many Muslims…feel Mahathir stealing is okay? Why corruptions seems to be accepted by Islam?
    Yes….educate Malaysian Chinese and Indians on this subject. He may not support Mahathir like me….but nice to hear from a Muslim …how a crooked Muslim is thinking and why like that.
    I think most readers are not impress by Farish knowledge on foreign matters. ….that have no benefits to Malaysians..but I bet you…thousands of educated Malaysians have as good insight as good as Farish..maybe ..even better than Farish A Noor…but choose not to waste time…on this matter.
    Yes…history does repeat itself….but humans are getting much smarter and more powerful…using weapons that have never been seen 50 years ago.
    So history can be twisted and not repeat itself in the true sense……right now.

  19. #19 by sinnerconman on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 8:53 pm

    An enlightening and refreshing historical facts by pikachu.

    Many especially the Hamas, Hizbollah, Iran and many other fanatic extremist Islamists say that Israel has no right to exist. In this scenario, then which country has a right to exist. As long as many want to destroy a people is what those same people can expect for themselves. As long as their “heroes” hide behind innocent women and children, is as long as innocent women and children will be killed. These “heroes” when confronted by Israeli soldiers would make loud calls for their wives, mothers and daughters to stand between them and the Israeli force.

    As long as Arabs and fellow Muslims continue to propagandize for the destruction of Israel, there will be no peace. The Israelis have the power to destroy and kill all the Palestinians but will not use it. Hamas doesn’t have that power, but if it had, it would not hesitate to kill all the Israelis.

    Talking the conflict on religious basis, the Quran forbids mistreatment of Jews and the state is obligated to protect them. The Quran says before the end of days the Jews will return to their land and so says the Bible. Now we are seeing what was foretold in these two scriptures. When others settled there, the land stayed barren and unproductive but now the land “recognizes” its original sons and daughters and it is producing abundantly making Israel as the main supplier of fruits in Europe and we in Malaysia are also enjoying the sweet and crunchy persimmons which is much cheaper in Singapore. Since 1948, the rainfall has been steadily increasing.

    The Quran believes by all Muslim as the new revelation from Allah and the holy scripture plainly states that the Jews will be in Israel before the end of days, but then Iran, Hizbollah, Hamas and all those Islamists who have proclaimed repeatedly that they wanted to destroy Israel and wipe them out from the face of Palestine meaning they are fighting against the destiny of their own God which will never be successful.

    Remember recently, Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and now they live peacefully side by side. In 1985 Israel withdrawn from Gaza dismantling about 8000 families and the Palestinians instead of rebuilding Gaza, they voted in Hamas who proclaimed that their aim is to destroy Israel. Funds were used to smuggle rockets and weapons, and to build Qassam rockets. Many tunnels were built for smuggling and the Hamas did not even spend any fund to build air shelters for the people but bunkers for their leaders to hide. Hamas provoked Israel to attack and then refusing to fight but instead hiding in hospitals, schools and mosques. And who in his reasonable mind will do such a thing? Only Hamas!

    Almost everyone wants peace and Hamas wants peace too but first it wants to destroy Israel.

  20. #20 by Justitia on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 8:55 pm

    “Why are you guys criticizing Farish A Noor so much??” – Undergrad 2

    Simple, because he is writing an opinion piece that is highly biased. To be fair, I do not believe any Muslim or Jew is really unbiased when it comes to this conflict.

    Except for the sane, we cannot even agree that the shooting of rockets or mortars at Israel and the Israeli harsh response are both wrong. We tend to take one side or the other. Exactly what we see unfolding – action and reaction and the cycle goes on, unfortunately.

  21. #21 by sinnerconman on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 9:35 pm

    pikachu, thanks for the

    hope more readers including Farish A Noor will visit the site for a more informed views.

  22. #22 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 10:08 pm

    The analogy given by Farish is rather long winded. I’d put it this way:

    They see this house which once belonged to their parents now long deceased. They break an entry and claim the house for themselves – taking over the master bedroom and the living room. They then negotiate with the occupants telling them that they could stay but in the servant’s room at the back of the house.

    The rest is history.

  23. #23 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 10:35 pm

    Judea (southern part of ancient Palestine) was land long inhabited by the Canaanites before God suddenly promised it to the Israelites, fleeing the wrath of the Egyptian pharaoh and had nowhere to go.

    Canaan, according to the Bible (the world’s oldest history book) was the son of Ham, the son of Noah; and Ham had seen his father Noah, naked and in a drunken stupor. Ham, Canaan’s father was cursed for it – ever since referred to as the Curse of Ham.

    So go figure. Maybe you could make sense of what is happening some 3,000 or so later.

  24. #24 by jey on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - 11:46 pm

    This is not the first time Farish has come up with this type of skewered and highly biased, myopic views of the Arab – Israel war. He makes it sound as if the innocent lives killed by the Hamas terrorists are nothing and not worth two hoots.

    The point is ANY life is precious, whether the Muslim Arabs or the Israeli Jews. It is morally wrong to ignore the atrocities of the Hamas and condoning them.

    And what is wrong in the US if it wants to side with Israel when the Arab and Muslim nations want to side with Hamas which is a terrorist organization?

    Fully agree with Lee Wang Yen’s insights based on facts.

  25. #25 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 12:42 am

    The origin of the Jews was somewhere in Southern Iraq today,
    meaning the Jews are as much Middle Eastern as any other Middle Eastern people. Why should they be singled out to be made to look so different from others ? So what if their religion is not Islam ? God is mentioned in many other religious books too and not just in one. All throughout the centuries, people have been migrating from one place to another. There will never be a story whereby a group of people never migrated. Supposing if anyone takes the time and pain to investigate the origin of the Palestinians, they will find out that these people came from somewhere. Palestine or Palestinian is a very general word. As much as the Palestinians want to be recognized so too is Israel and all the other countries in the Middle East. When is it stated and who authorizes the decision that all Middle Eastern countries must be Islam ? At the end of the day, it is not because who starts the fight and who chases out who. It is religion, isn’t it ? Islam again, isn’t it ?

  26. #26 by riversandlakes on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 1:20 am

    What a horribly lopsided article. Why does Uncle Lim keep posting a Farish Noor’s article on your blog? He makes no sense. Previously Nobama, now anti-Semitic. Give us a break.

    Hamas and Hezbollah do not want peace. They are mere Iranian agents. A democratic and peaceful Palestine will spell extinction to these terrorists. Immediately after the truce, at its peak, hundreds of rockets were lobbed into southern Israel. What do you expect the Israelis to do against that? A democratic government that does nothing to protect its citizens will fall before one can say Jack Robinson.

    Go away, Farish Noor. Or learn from Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek on proper article writing. Even when he was Bush-bashing he presented very well articulated points. You?

  27. #27 by jey on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 1:37 am

    And it seems in Bolehland it is OK to march against Israel but not against Sri Lanka?

  28. #28 by sinnerconman on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 1:41 am

    Submission to the law of God/Allah brings harmony to one’s natural inclination or fitrah, while going against it brings discord.The Quran primarily exhorts human to have a strong sense of moral responsibility instead of merely demanding for your rights. It will be very interesting to use this in the present conflict in Gaza.

    We must be rational making well-informed decisions without being emotional or work into a frenzy hatred because of religion without any due consideration to the other party. No one has a right to do wrong – to do wrong is injustice (zulm) and this is not a right.

  29. #29 by Justitia on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 2:17 am

    “Judea (southern part of ancient Palestine) was land long inhabited by the Canaanites before God suddenly promised it to the Israelites, fleeing the wrath of the Egyptian pharaoh and had nowhere to go.”

    This is not accurate. According to the Bible, this was promised to Abraham that his descendants will inherit the land. This happened long before the Exodus.

  30. #30 by Lee Wang Yen on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 5:36 am

    Undergrad2’s modified analogy doesn’t work either.

    He wrongly assumes that the mention of ‘the return of the Jewish diaspora’ implies that the land was completely devoid of Jews for a certain period in history.

    While many Jews fled the land when Israel were invaded by the Assyrians, the Persians, the Babylonians, the Romans, the Muslim Arabs etc, the Jews in Israel were not completely displaced.

    So they did not break into the house ‘which once belonged to their parents now long deceased’, as alleged by Undergrad2. The Jews in diaspora came home and reunited with their brothers who still lived in the house.

    It would be good to check the facts before making an inaccurate claim about God’s ‘sudden promise’, which was received when the Israelites were fleeing the wrath of Pharaoh, and an inappropriate analogy based on an inaccurate assumption that there was a period in history when the land was completely devoid of Jews.

  31. #31 by boojander on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 6:44 am

    I would allow Jews to come into my house but I will never let any Zionist to even touch any part of my house.

  32. #32 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 7:05 am

    Zionists ? Islamists ? Take your pick.

  33. #33 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 8:43 am

    Justitia Says:

    Today at 02: 17.05 (6 hours ago)

    “This is not accurate. According to the Bible, this was promised to Abraham that his descendants will inherit the land. This happened long before the Exodus.”

    And Abraham was the great patriarch of all the three great religion – Judaism, Christianity and Islam which together are referred to as the “Abrahamic religions”.

    The Cambridge upstart doesn’t know what the Hell he’s talking about. And once again he has had to depend on ‘logical thinking’ a dubious discipline meant for the feeble minded to try to fill up gaps in his knowledge, to figure out history using logical thinking!!. Can anyone imagine that?? Sheeesh….!!

    This is a political blog. No bloviating please! That is Kit’s job and not yours.

  34. #34 by Lee Wang Yen on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 8:59 am

    Undergrad2 has again boldly assumed and asserted something he doesn’t know (He used to falsely assert that I had a PhD in the philosophy of religion, and that a certain passage I cited was written by an obscure Jew). He asserts that what I say about the Abrahamic covenant relies completely logic and not substantial knowledge about Abraham, even when he does not know me.

    He knows that I’m a philosopher. But what he does not know is that I had formal training in theology before I had received formal training in philosophy.

    According to the Old Testament, the promises of the Abrahamic covenant were meant to be inherited by the offspring of Isaac rather than Ishmael. The former is the ancestor of Jews, the latter of Arabs.

    ‘Abrahamic religions’ is a convenient term used to designate the three religions. But the fact that Jews, Christians, and Muslims have their origins in Abraham does not mean that the promised land of the Abrahamic covenant, renewed in the Davidic covenant, was not meant to be inherited exclusively by the Jews. Of course, the Christians believe that the spiritual aspect of the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants apply to them as well. But what’s relevant is the promise of land in the Abrahamic and Davidic convenants.

  35. #35 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:01 am

    Judea i.e. southern part of ancient Palestine, was land long inhabited by the Canaanites (descendants of the grandson of Noah) before Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. Noah came before Abraham. It is best that somebody checks his academic credentials before we get to read more of his intellectual gibberish.

  36. #36 by Lee Wang Yen on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:02 am

    oops ‘According to the Old Testament, SOME OF the promises of the Abrahamic covenant…’

  37. #37 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:08 am

    I shall make a phone call to the University tomorrow and expose the fraud.

  38. #38 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:10 am

    Lee Wang Yen is a fraud.

  39. #39 by Lee Wang Yen on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:15 am

    I think Undergrad2 should check his facts before multiplying his false accusations.

    If he reads my posts in several previous threads, he will find that I’ve repeatedly acknowledged that the Jews took the land from the Caananites, and are thus not the aboriginal inhabitants of the land.

    He seems to have been confused about the reference to the Abrahamic convenant (or is trying to confuse people so as to deflect others from his mistaken assertions and assumptions). The reference to that covenant is not meant to prove that the Jews had the right to the land. The reference is to defend my support Justitia’s point that Undergrad2’s claim that the land was promised to Israel when the Israelites were enslaved by Pharoah is inaccurate. The fact that the promised land in the Abrahamic covenant is meant to be inherited by the offspring of Isaac, who is the ancestor of Jews, shows that Undergrad2’s claim is wrong and what Justitia points out is correct.

    Also, that reference should refute the point that I merely filled out my knowledge about Abraham by logical inference. It also shows who is the one who argues from ignorance about some relevant facts about Abraham and Jews.

  40. #40 by Lee Wang Yen on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:17 am

    oops… ‘…defend my support OF Justitia’s point…’

  41. #41 by k1980 on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:21 am

    Response on Khairy’s protest against Israel

    When you said, you support Palestinians since it is concerning humanitarian and economic issues. My question is: where were you when you heard of all the voices of your own people, crying out to the government asking for political justice and equal treatment. I am sure you must be aware of the actions of your own party and how your fellow Malaysians have suffered the violence of various actions and racist remarks coming from your party.

    I was reading the news regarding how Khairy Jamaluddin led a group of people protesting outside Palestine embassy to show their support on Palestine due to the air strike from Israel.

    “I am here to tell you that we, Malaysians – Muslims and non-Muslims – want to show our support to the Palestinians as this is concerning humanitarian and economic issues. This is about unity, freedom and justice of the Palestinians,” said Khairy. Quoted from “Protest against Israel turns into war of words”,, Jan 2, 2009.

    Based on what you said, I have several questions for you, Khairy,

    When you said, you support Palestinians since it is concerning humanitarian and economic issues. My question is: where were you when you heard of all the voices of your own people, crying out to the government asking for political justice and equal treatment. I am sure you must be aware of the actions of your own party and how your fellow Malaysians have suffered the violence of various actions and racist remarks coming from your party. SO my question to you is: are you showing favoritism toward Palestinians, but not lending your hands out to all victims of the current BN’s policies? They would love to have you fight for them too!

    When you said, you support Palestine, in addition to the RM100,000 humanitarian aid, did you also mean that you support every form of actions Palestine (or actually Hamas) has been taking against Israel, for instance the multiple suicide bombings and the infringement in the cease-fire truce with Israel, and also their plan to take further revenge against Israel, to kill more civilians?

    Do you really know what led to the chaos in Gaza? What made Israel carry out the assault? Have you looked into the history of the conflict? Imagine of this scenario. If Sabahans get so frustrated with Filipinos and start attacking the incoming illegal labors, and Philippines government launches an attack, with the support of her allies, against Malaysia. Would you condemn the behaviors of her allies for being ignorant of the problems the incoming illegal Filipinos have posed to the local Sabahans? So, have you ever wondered why Hamas is named terrorist by so many countries?

    What’s your claim of “support from Malaysians – Muslims and non-Muslims” based on? You got the signatures from majority of Malaysians? Who are you to represent all of us? You were being a fool of yourself! Be realistic, you are not favorable by many Malaysians, including the fellows of your own party. Allow me to borrow a line from Fong Poh Kuan, MP of Batu Gajah, “find a mirror or a pail of water to see yourself”. Really, you need a thorough introspection!

    Did you apply the permit for this protest? Where were the police? Shouldn’t they have arrested you because of the potential risk the protest could have posed to the national security? Not everyone in Malaysia is pro-Palestine! Don’t get me wrong, I did not oppose the protest since Malaysians should have the rights to hold a gathering without arms. I was just deeply disappointed of the double standard held by our government. Could you please help me to verify this?

    From RPK’s website

  42. #42 by Lee Wang Yen on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:26 am

    I’ve never tried to answer the question as to who legitimately own the land by citing the Abrahamic covenant. Citing Abrahamic covenant is meant only to show that Justitia is right in pointing out that Undergrad2 has made a wrong claim about the promised land.

    The question as to who legitimately own the land has to be addressed by a complicated web of questions about what constitutes legitimate ownership of a piece of land. PART of the issue lies in the historical question of who is the aboriginal inhabitants of the land and whether the Palestinians are the descendants of the aboriginal inhabitants.

  43. #43 by Lee Wang Yen on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:30 am

    oops… ‘…relies completely ON logic…’


  44. #44 by Lee Wang Yen on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:33 am

    oops…’…and David COVENANTS’

  45. #45 by Lee Wang Yen on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:33 am


  46. #46 by Lee Wang Yen on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:44 am

    oops… ‘of who ARE the aboriginal…’

    Sorry for all these typos! I’ve been typing in haste since I’m up to my eyes in my work at the moment.

  47. #47 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 10:04 am

    ‘… we, Malaysians …’ said Khairy

    I don’t know, that seems like ‘business as usual for KJ’. I came to Malaysia for the birth of my first child, and was for a while incarcerated in my father-in-law’s house. The NST appeared every day, as if by magic. Nobody wanted the NST, or even knew why it was there, it was part of the fabric of the house, as concrete as its walls. It had always just been there. It was as inevitable as rice for dinner. It wasn’t all bad – it sometimes had articles about Nicol David.

    I came to know of KJ through the NST. They’d chosen what appeared to me at first to be a particularly unflattering picture of him to print next to his articles. In the picture he appeared to be leering, as though aroused by the sight of something nobody should be aroused by. After reading some of his articles, I began to think that the picture must be a reasonable representation of the man.

    Online, there were suggestions that he could be heir to the throne of Malaysia. I searched YouTube for some video (I refuse to watch TV) of him, and found many. One was of KJ performing an apparent publicity stunt at some public place, turning his back on the subjects of his stunt, and swaggering back to the Bandar Log. An old man rushed past the camera, holding a blunt object high above his head, as though to wreak the vengeance of his favourite god on KJ. He was wrestled to the ground by his friends. I briefly considered asking for the old man’s Paypal account so I could send him a donation, for attempting what I only fantasised about while reading KJ’s articles. I didn’t, of course: that kind of thing is illegal for good reason in most healthy legal systems. I am ashamed to admit I even have these fantasies, a character flaw which I suspect will be a lifetime’s work just to hold in check, let alone correct.

    I thought I’d completely understood Malaysian politics when a friend drew my attention to a video of RPK, saying KJ would make a good Prime Minister. I’m not a fan of RPK’s writing – I enjoy the start of his articles, but the punchlines leave me with an odd expression on my face that I worry will make me look prematurely old. Most of RPK’s article subjects suggest themselves, there’s no need to explain why he chooses to write about them. Anybody who has ever considered that there is at least one ‘right’ way to do things would have plenty to write about if they were ever subjected to Malaysian society.

    So why did RPK say ‘KJ would make a good Prime Minister’? Little puzzles me about Malaysia, but RPK saying “KJ good” on video was like seeing a scrambled Rubik’s cube for the first time. I looked for signs that RPK was drugged, or computer generated, or holding his fingers crossed behind his back, or cleverly stitched together from archive footage where he’d said something about KJ and something about deep fried chicken. I couldn’t find anything.

    So please, can someone explain what that was about?

  48. #48 by k1980 on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 10:10 am

    For KJ to be Prime Minister, he has first to win the umno youth post in March, which he is unlikely to do because his pops-in-law is beng forcibly retired

  49. #49 by tjwork on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 11:50 am

    Some facts to start off with:

    1. The Palestinian refugees were not from Palestine as stated. They were not the same kind of people form the judea christian times. eg Not the same race or people that were staying when jesus was there. They were immigrants from surrounding arab countries who settled after the muslim armies invaded Jerusalem.

    2. The war in israel is a proxy war. It was never fought by Palestinians for palestine. They were used as a cover to justify a cause to eliminate israel.

    3. The war against israel is not a holy way, but a war of pride by surrounding arab countries. Holy wars were used to instigate & provide support.

    3. Hamas = Muslim Brotherhood = Egypt

    4. Hezballah = Syria / Iran

    5. The wars are tactical formulae to divide the remaining land to the arab countries.

    6. The wars are fought in a proxy front from the arab countries that lost to the 48/67/ YK wars.

    7. Israel gave full rights to arab muslims as first class citizens that remained in Israel during the wars. The others left because of the promise that Egypt, Jordan & Syria will provide cover & citizenship to the refugees. They never did, Many that left helped the arabs against the isralies in the wars.

    8. The so called Palestine = Israel + Gaza (north & south) + Jordan + lebanon & some parts of Syria.

    9. Over 95% of Palestanians killed were killed by Arab muslims from surrounding arab countries. So the arab muslims have a permenent 007 status. Muslim killing Muslims = No problem, Jews kill Muslims = problem. (to me, anyone killing anyone = PROBLEM)

    10. Every time Hamas shouts, they raise funds amounting to billions. So WAR PAYS for hamas. Syria and Iran continues to make a bulk of money selling it to them. Its pure business. The only donation that gets to them (the victims) are the tangible items like tin food, flour & rice.

    11. Hamas policy is to create disestablishment in Gaza. Promoting violence & keeping its citizens in dire & constant fear. They constantly Mame & kill their own people in streets, kill whole families that sing songs, kill & punish people that gathers either than for hamas.

    12. Hamas brainwashed women & kids to kill jews. New generations in gaza have no ambition like what we have, they are forced into a corner, just to kill any way possible. Every 4 hours, theres a show about why how to kill the Israelis.

    13. Hamas glorifies suicide bombers & they are left forgotten, their families are forgotten after. If a person does not wish to be a suicide bomber, he/she is killed as an example.

    14. Anyone that wishes for peace in gaza is killed by hamas in gaza. Those who do not participate in ralies & talks from hamas are beaten in the road as an example.

    15. During air raids & operations from IDF & IAF, the families of innocent victims are placed in strategic locations to maximize collateral damage. The wounded are not allowed to leave & the dead are paraded for photographers many times in many locations.

    16. Schools & mosques are staging & storage centers for weapons & bombs. kids and women are forced to stay nearby. Human shields are taken to new heights.

    So, If monetary donations are made to them, it will fuel the war, someone makes the money from these wars, ask who?

    Ask, who is hamas & how it started, what is their motivation?

    Ask what happened to the jewish quarters in 1880+, 1917-1919?

  50. #50 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 12:59 pm

    I was sent a clip of what Hamas did to fellow Palestinians who were obviously not one of their gang. I am wondering as to why Muslims around the world did nothing to stop their acts against their own people!! They just kaput a bridegroom whom I suppose belong to the Fatah group. And they finished him off by chanting God is Great!!!!!!
    It does not make sense to any neutral party from the out-side. Maybe it makes sense to those who share the same doctrine. There is no rational, no reason except fighting for political power under the name of their God!
    The clip showed an Arab woman dancing after Sept 11th and the commentator said only animals could behave in such manner and concluded that being animals they should be treated as such!!
    So what is the world to be? violence begets violence, it will only end when all those proponents are no longer around!!

  51. #51 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 1:58 pm

    an Arab woman dancing after Sept 11th
    So? I went to see an English folk musician performing at a big venue a few days after the twin towers atrocity and he was laughing. He said his son wasn’t able to accompany him on stage because he fell off a wall dancing in celebration and broke his arm. A few of the audience booed and left, a few booed and stayed, most just stayed.

    September 11th wasn’t totally a Muslim / non-Muslim event, even if all the perpetrators claimed to be Muslim. Before the event there were many, many anti-globalisation (but not just anti-globalisation) protesters demanding that the USA ‘get a taste of its own medicine’. I suspect 911 either confirmed them as radicals or reminded them what it can feel like when what one wishes for comes true, but not quite in the way one expects.

  52. #52 by Justitia on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 2:30 pm

    And Abraham was the great patriarch of all the three great religion – Judaism, Christianity and Islam which together are referred to as the “Abrahamic religions”.

    That negates the dubious analogy of “breaking into the house” when the house belongs to them to begin with. How could one be breaking into one’s own house? This does not make sense.

  53. #53 by Lee Wang Yen on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 4:42 pm

    Besides what Justitia has pointed out about the analogy, Undergrad2’s reference to the fact that the 3 Abrahamic religions have their origins in Abraham also refutes his own claim that the land of Canaan was suddenly promised to the Israelites when they served as slaves in Egypt.

    If the promise of land in the Abrahamic covenant is construed broadly as applicable to all of Arahamic (physical and spiritual) descendants, including Jews, Christians and Muslims, then Undergrad2 is wrong in claiming that the promise was made suddenly to the Israelites who were serving as slaves in Egypt, long after Abraham had received that promise.

    If the promise of land in the Abrahamic covenant is construed narrowly as applicable only to the descendants of his son Isaac, then Undergrad2 is also wrong in claiming that the promise was made to the Israelites in Egypt, long after Abraham had received that promise.

    Either way, Undergrad2’s own reference to the fact that the 3 Abrahamic religions have their origins in Abraham supports Justitia’s contention that Undergrad2’s claim about the time when promise was given is inaccurate.

  54. #54 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 6:58 pm

    Hey! No more bloviating until I check out your academic credentials.

  55. #55 by sinnerconman on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 7:47 pm

    “In the fourth generation, your descendants will comeback here…” (Gen.i5:16). Later Jacob/Israel and his family went to Egypt and settled there and, “All those who went to Egypt with Jacob – those were his direct descendants, not counting his sons’ wives – numbered sixty-six persons” Gen 46:25). There were there for about 430 years.

    “To your descendants I give this land…” (Gen. 15:18).

    “…Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Issac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him. I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers…” (Gen. 17:19-20).

    These are the scripture evidence from the time of Abraham when God prophesied that his descendants would be in Egypt for about 430 years and we all know that it was Moses who brought the Israelites out of Egypt and this great Moses was even not allowed to step into the promised land and that is another story.


  56. #56 by sinnerconman on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 8:06 pm

    It is not necessary for anyone to have a degree from any institution of higher education to understand or take part in this discussion. It must be factual and if evidences can be provided credits should go to that person and when no evidence is provided, absence of evidence is no evidence of absent. Moreover a fact may be derived from more than one sources but when we talk of the “promise” we have to provide evidence from one of the two scriptures, or both the scriptures and these two scriptures might not necessarily have a common stand. And we have to accept one or both because the evidences come from two different sources.

    There is no point getting involved in name calling – no degree, fraud. or bought the degree because this is a blog and comments made are not professional in nature.

    Thanks and cheers.

  57. #57 by anti-kezaliman on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:30 pm

    Come on guys.. lets be rationale here..

    Pre-1948, the Palestinians, regardless whether they’re local Jews, Muslims or Christians, regarded the land where Israel is today as their homeland. As far as they are concerned, the lands are legitimately theirs, either they bought or inherited them.

    Should you be in their shoes, what would be your reaction to, first the mass imigration of overseas Jews to your place? And second, when the war started and the IDF started to chase you away, would you have resisted or surrendered your home meekly?

    Another thing, how sure were you about the stories that the native Palestinians left their home as they were promised their land will be returned by the Arab army? Is that a historical fact or just hearsay? Zionist is the expert in propaganda. In order not to be ultra-biased, why not you refer to sources from non-zionist Jews, as they would be a more impartial sources.

  58. #58 by anti-kezaliman on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:37 pm

    I noticed that many non-muslim in Malaysia tend to accept American view of Hamas as terrorist and Israel as the victims.

    I think this is mostly due to some degree of prejudice against Muslims, built-up due to the unbecoming behaviour of Malaysian Muslims surrounding them, as well as the success of the zionist propaganda war on Islam (islamophobia)

    On micro level, this may not be obvious, but on macro level it is so apparent that many non-Muslim Malaysians do not share the sentiment with regard to Palestine issues with their Muslim counterparts. This is a proof that the national integration in Malaysia is such at a very low level.

  59. #59 by anti-kezaliman on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 9:44 pm

    If you argue that the zionist were right when they snatched the land away from the native population in 1940s, as the lands were first snatched away from them by the Arab ancestors thousands of years ago, isnt it like saying that the Arab people were correctly punished due to the wrongdoings (if it were so) of their ancestors?

    Something is not correct here. As far as they were concerned, they did nothing wrong so why they got punished?

  60. #60 by alaneth on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 10:45 pm

    Quote “anti-kezaliman Says:
    Today at 21: 37.56 (55 minutes ago)
    I noticed that many non-muslim in Malaysia tend to accept American view of Hamas as terrorist and Israel as the victims.

    If you do claim what you say, why not propose to have an online poll for Malaysians?

    I am a member of the ICRC and I’m fed-up with Israel’s unjustly conduct in this Gaza attack where they refuse to let humanitarian aid in, including ICRC’s trucks initially. But they are doing so now.

    But you see, if you are on the Israeli side, living in the south and get bombarded by Hamas rockets daily, and the rocket range gets longer & further, how long will you be able to tolerate? You can’t sleep well, not knowing when the next rocket will come & there’s a slim chance it may hit your house.

    I see things in a different light – I do not support any sides in this manner. In fact I have the same opinion as UN’s chief Ban Ki Moon. Both sides are wrong and both sides must stop their autocracies and terror acts.

  61. #61 by alaneth on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 10:55 pm

    Sooooo many demonstrations against Israel. Do they all have police permit to hold demos? Ali Rustam burned the Israeli flag today. Did he get a police permit?

    Do we need permits to burn the Israeli flag, Shouting, Yelling, banners etc?

    But why do we need permits to hold much more peaceful rallies including attempts to pass roses to the PM?

  62. #62 by tjwork on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 1:36 am

    Hey anti-kezaliman,

    yea, i agree that the sentiments of non muslims seemed to be biased, but I think its not because of the vast majority of malays in malaysia. Most malays here are really good people & they want nothing more than to have a good life, find a good woman & raise a family.

    I would blame the guys that instigate matters using religious matters, moral reasons against people not alike them.

    Anyway, the significance of this is possibly due to the goverments tendency to be one sided on certain maters. For example, we dont see malaysians marching down asking pakistan to punish the mumbai attackers & planners. Or recently about the tamils in sri lanka, having tamil tigers called a terrorist organization and issues sort like that.

    While we in general feel lots of sympathy towards the victims in in any situation, especially in gaza. People seemed to think twice when the government takes an unusual stand of supporting hamas without prior intelligent investigation. Naturally, many non muslims are just tired with the one sided approach & no matter what the situation is, they would support the other camp & would find a reason to do so, again not because they hate hamas (they probably havnt met any) but because of the government policy.

    To make things worse, the reason to support hamas is due to a religious matter, if one is a muslim, there is a sentimental approach to support another muslim regardless of the truth, especially against non muslims, especially against jews.

    Yes, it was very wrong for the Israelis to rob the arabs of their homes in the 48 wars. This was pretty much misunderstood because of during the war, arabs left from israel to join the invaders against them. OK, perhaps its due to the support of the other arab nation with land & riches. It was greed that led them out in the first place. On the other hand, those who stayed were honored by the state with full citizenship. Its quite hard to fins israeli muslims complaining (besides the usual bullying from both sides). I agree they did nothing wrong in this sense & not fair to being punished. They were punished by all sides.

    I would constructively say that If the government would stand firm with their decision, then hamas & tamil tigers would be called a terrorist organization or both freedom fighters.

    As for me, anyone that uses women & children as shields and teach them to kill instead of doing themselves, they are cowards. A real man in any religion protects women, children and his society.

  63. #63 by computation on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 2:30 am

    may i know what bloviating means?

  64. #64 by computation on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 2:32 am

    i never really bother about checking a persons
    so called “credentials” academic or otherwise.
    if a person talks/writes in a manner i perceive
    to be sensible and logical i accept. if a person with
    all the “credentials” in the world is illogical and
    nonsensical i disregard him immediately.

    do not flame me!

  65. #65 by computation on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 3:01 am

    anit-kezaliman says that
    “I noticed that many non-muslim in Malaysia tend to accept
    American view of Hamas as terrorist and Israel as the victims.”

    while i view Hamas very negatively and i freely admit that
    it is irrelevant as to what the american view of Hamas is.

    i think for the Arabs to be harping on the “American View”
    is stupid. yes downright stupid. to thinking individuals it is the
    actions of violent people which influences their opinion.
    you only have to look at senseless acts of so called
    “muslim” militants in the UK and elsewhere who attack hospitals.
    for what? just because people don’t agree with them and support
    their veiws and hatred for jews and israelis?

    and what makes it worse is that you hardly ever hear a “muslim”
    speaking out and denouncing such acts against people who
    claim to be “muslims”. and that is so serious.

    and lets be fair about this. i do not hate muslims or arabs.
    when bush started the invasion of iran i can tell you i was
    so disgusted. i literally stormed into the room of one of my
    professors and launched a tirade against the americans and
    their righteous self serving ways. i can tell you that while
    i was in the lab working on assignments i was reading updates
    of the war. hoping against hope that the iraqis would whack
    the americans out. why? because i did not believe one
    word of bush about weapons of mass destruction in iraq.
    and there were none. do i hope he faces impeachment
    when he leaves the presidency? yes!
    he has to be held accountable for leading his country
    into an irresponsible war and causing untold suffering to
    innocent iraqis.

    and lets be clear also there were american service men
    who when called up refused to serve. there were people
    there going up against instituitions risking everything
    they had doing so.

    lets look at a southeast asian country. if i am not wrong it has
    been reported that the deputy prime minister of that certain
    south east asian made remarks about bathing the keris in the
    blood of chinese. i believe such remarks to be uncalled for.
    it seems to me to be a remark which incites hate against a
    particular race. and what was the reponse of malays?
    do the malays move to defend the other race?
    do they censure the deputy prime minister? a deputy prime
    minister for all races? this is serious.

    so look at your own country first. look at the behaviour
    of your own fellow country man before you make remarks
    about non-muslims supporting the “american view”.

  66. #66 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 7:39 am

    “..and lets be fair about this. i do not hate muslims or arabs.
    when bush started the invasion of iran i can tell you i was
    so disgusted.”

    Don’t feel disgusted. No one has invaded Iran the last time I checked!

  67. #67 by sinnerconman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 8:34 am

    You are very smart undergrad2 but do you need to be so petty?

    I am sure he meant Iraq and it was a typo mistake.


  68. #68 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 9:10 am

    From the Jerusalem post:

    Tuesday Jan 13, 2009
    Double Standard Watch: Israel is well within its rights

    Posted by Alan Dershowitz
    What if Israel defended its citizens the way the British, the French, the Americans and the Russians did? When German rockets hit British cities during the World War II, Prime Minister Winston Churchill retaliated by bombing German cities, killing thousands of German civilians, and promised to continue until Germany’s unconditional surrender. The United States did the same following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The French did much worse in Algeria and the Russians showed no concern for civilian life in Chechnya or Georgia.

    The IDF, on the other hand, has gone to extraordinary lengths to minimize civilian casualties, despite the reality that Hamas deliberately fires its rockets from densely populated civilian areas and hides its rocket launchers in schools, hospitals and mosques.

    Every Hamas rocket attack against Israeli civilians – and there have been more than 6,500 of them since Israel ended its occupation of Gaza – is an armed attack against Israel under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which authorizes member nations to respond militarily to armed attacks against it.

    Under international law, Israel is entitled to do whatever it takes militarily to stop Hamas rockets from targeting its civilians. Every Hamas rocket has the potential to kill dozens of Israeli civilians. Recently one hit a school just hours after the principal dismissed the students, fearing such an attack. If the rocket had hit and killed hundreds of schoolchildren, would those who protest Israeli actions acknowledge that Israel would then have the right to respond? No country needs allow terrorists to play Russian roulette with the lives of its children.

  69. #69 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 9:12 am

    In fact, under international law, Israel has the right to declare all-out war against the Hamas-controlled government of Gaza. In an all-out war, there would be no obligation to provide humanitarian assistance, electricity or any other services to an enemy who had started the war by an armed attack.

    No one condemned Great Britain and the United States for the collateral damage it caused while trying to defeat those who attacked it during the second world war. Moreover, Germany did not deny the right of Great Britain or the United States to exist. The Hamas Charter not only denies Israel’s right to exist, it calls for the complete destruction of the Jewish state. Surely Israel has as much right to defend its citizens as did the United States and Great Britain.

    Why then is Israel singled out for such ferocious criticism?

    Indeed, the only reason Israel has not won overwhelming military victories in Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza now, is that Israel has decided to engage in only limited and proportional military actions designed simply to stop the rocket attacks. Yet it is being condemned both for not winning a decisive victory and for killing too many civilians.

    Hamas has learned how to manipulate the media’s coverage of Israeli military actions. They deliberately fire their rockets from behind civilian shields in order to provoke Israel to respond and kill civilians. They are then ready to bring out the cameras to record and transmit every civilian death around the world.

    Well, not quite every civilian death. The day before Israel launched its air attack against Hamas, Hamas fired a rocket in the general direction of Sderot. The rocket fell short of its mark and landed in Gaza – killing two young Palestinian girls. Hamas, which imposes total censorship in Gaza, refused to allow cameras to record or transmit pictures of these dead Palestinian girls, because they were killed not by Israeli rockets, but rather by Palestinian rockets.

    The Hamas tactic is encouraged by selective condemnation of Israel. Such condemnation creates a win-win situation for Hamas terrorism. Every time they kill an Israeli civilian, they win; every time Israel kills a Palestinian civilian, Hamas also wins.

    The only way to defeat this cynical tactic is for the international community to place the blame squarely on Hamas for engaging in the double war crime of targeting Israeli civilians and using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

    Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. He is the author of many books, including, most recently, “The Case Against Israel’s Enemies.”

  70. #70 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 9:42 am

    Lee Wang Yen,

    I think it’s just fair that you stop quoting from the zionist source to support your pro-zionist sentiment as it is outright bias. As we’re all not part of the issues, and we’re discussing as third parties, we shouldn’t be bought by the propaganda warfare executed by the very parties that were involved in the war itself.

    In order to have credible views, I suggest that we go for more impartial sources. Of course there’s nobody really impartial though, but why not we quote from either non-zionist Jews, or Muslim/Arab Israelian who might give better and impartial insight into such conflict. Or maybe we can refer to the academists or researchers who studied the matters at hand.

    As I have already suggested in previous Mr Lim’s postings, just google for “Jew for Peace” or something like that, and you will get plenty of non-zionist Jews’ websites for you to study and quote. I havent found any pro-zionist Arab’s website so far though, but such group may exist so you might want to try your luck.

    Until then, lets pray for safety of our brothers there and peace in the long run.

  71. #71 by computation on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 9:47 am

    heh heh heh
    i meant iraq of course.
    whats bloviating?

  72. #72 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 10:14 am


    I agreed with you that our government has not been acting in the interest of the people most of the time. In fact that is the main reason we are here on Mr Lim’s blog in the first place. Despite that, we should be rationale and do not just oppose something because we do not like the proponent. In fact our politicians have shown the example by being united when the issues matter.

    I do not want to offer explanation on why the govt hasnt acted the way you wthink they should. But to say that they dont condemn the attacker may not be correct. If I’m right our leaders did condemn such attack. And for them to do more than that might be deemed unnecessary as the attack took place in a sovereigned country where their own authorities might not want our country to meddle in, unless if they ask for help.

  73. #73 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 10:27 am

    Sorry.. my second para in the prev comment refers to the Mumbai Attack issue

  74. #74 by Pikachu on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 10:38 am

    As far as I can tell, anti-kezaliman only reads what he likes to read, any pro-Israel or (pro-Zionist as what you call it), he blanks it out of his mind, never even giving a logical thought about it.

    For me, I prefer to read anything and then only give my own reasoning towards the article so that I won’t be biased.

    anti-kezaliman, if you read the articles carefully, you can see that this “war” has both sides in the wrong. When you condemn Israelis for starting the war, you should also condemn Hamas for being the terrorist (as opposed to freedom fighters) that they are. You can’t go judging that Zionist this and Zionist that without knowing the whole story, and blanking out pro-Israel articles at your own whim.

    And there’s no such thing as impartial sources, when one judges, they will have a pre-conceived perception unless the article itself sees the war from both sides and quotes from both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine sources. Now that’s what I call an impartial source.

    If you want to know why I call Hamas terrorists, look at these two videos:
    Part 1:
    Part 2:

    And for a fact, when the war broke out on late December, it is a fact that Hamas either killed or maimed Fatah supporters and indidivuals related to Fatah to prevent them from supporting Israel troops. No such “democratically elected government” does that. From that point onwards, I considered Hamas as nothing but terrorists.

  75. #75 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 10:50 am

    Anti-kezaliman suggests that some non-Muslims in Malaysia express their sympathy to Israel because of their prejudice against Muslims and the success of Zionist propaganda.

    His choices of the words ‘prejudice’ and ‘propaganda’ presuppose that any anti-Hamas and pro-Israel view must be wrong or problematic. But that’s precisely the point in contention. There is also an implicit suggestion that non-Muslims are gullible and incapable of making rational discernment when it comes to this issue. On the contrary, I think non-Muslim Malaysians are in a better position to be more level-headed on this issue given that they are neither Jews nor Muslims.

    I don’t think labelling someone’s view as the result of prejudice and propaganda advances the discussion at all. If such labelling shows any merit of any view, Anti-kezaliman has to take seriously those who contend that any pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli view is a result of anti-semitic prejudice and the success of Islamist propaganda.

    I don’t think such labelling is helpful at all. Deal directly with the merits of the view. If you disagree, point out the problems of the arguments. When we disagree with Farish Noor, we don’t respond by shouting ‘anti-semitic prejudice’ or ‘Islamist propaganda’, if we’re interested in rational discussion. We point out the problems in his arguments, his inconsistent dismissal of historical continuity, his bad analogy etc. If you disagree with Alan’s view, deal with his arguments.

  76. #76 by tjwork on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 10:52 am

    blovating = new yorkers term, see


    great, we share the same sentiments, as far as i remember, the conflict in middle east was the largest media news for the last 30 years. i think over 12% of any news is about this conflict.

    sadly, its hard to be rational in an irrational country. we tend to be civilized & research before talking (not for some). but the information is based on what you read. If you read pro zionist websites, you probably have half the story, or you read the other you get another half. Thats seems to be true to many, but its not the case.

    when a coconut falls down, there are 3 stories, Mine, yours & the coconut. Likewise, the voice of real people in palestine is often never heard. we live in dangerous times where news are crafted and not reported.

    so, depending whom you ask, you may get mixed reactions. just like how non malays feel about the government that is pro muslim without being rationale. we have muslim goverments in africa treating non muslims very badly, in pakistan and surrounding areas, some serious things are happening & reported, but nothing is done by the malaysian government. as you said, they might have a reason & i would respect that, not because i think they are better but they might know something I dont. So to many non muslims, they feel that goverment rational thinking is to support any muslim country regardless if they are right or wrong. You see my point? Generally, if we have people in the government that cant read & write, we end up with shit like this.

    personally, i feel really stupid reading & watching the news in malaysia. it sends 1 side of the story all the time & in regards to this case, hamas is the freedom fighter. but how hamas treats palestanians are not reported. only the palestanians will know.

    I also feel malaysia is taking the advantage by jumping into bandwagon to condemn israel without being rational in the first place. they refused to recognize a sovereign state, malaysians cant go to israel with a malaysian passport etc. Just because malaysia is in the oic, should they do this even its not involve them? How does malaysia justify this? rationally? Im sure they have their reasons that I as a malaysian citizen, not allowed to talk.

    ps. I know of 1 person called anti-kezaliman before, are you AJ?

  77. #77 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 10:54 am

    I still am surprised that many bought the stories told by the zionist with regard to why the Palestinians left their homes in 1940’s.

    I quote from booklet by Jews for Justice in Middle-east (The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict)


    Didn’t the Palestinians leave their homes voluntarily during the 1948 war?

    “Israeli propaganda has largely relinquished the claim that the Palestinian exodus of 1948 was ‘self-inspired’. Official circles implicitly concede that the Arab population fled as a result of Israeli action – whether directly, as in the case of Lydda and Ramleh, or indirectly, due to the panic that and similar actions (the Deir Yassin massacre) inspired in Arab population centers throughout Palestine. However, even though the historical record has been grudgingly set straight, the Israeli establishment still refused to accept moral or political responsibility for the refugee problem it- or its predecessors – actively created.” Peretz Kidron, quoted in “Blaming the Victims,” ed. Said and Hitchens.


    Arab orders to evacuate non-existent

    “The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) monitored all Middle Eastern broadcasts throughout 1948. The records, and companion ones by a United States monitoring unit, can be seen at the British Museum. There was not a single order or appeal, or suggestion about evacuation from Palestine, from any Arab radio station, inside or outside Palestine, in 1948. There is a repeated monitored record of Arab appeals, even flat orders, to the civilians of Palestine to stay put.” Erskine Childers, British researcher, quoted in Sami Hadawi, “Bitter Harvest.”


  78. #78 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:03 am

    How can we proceed with a rational discussion of this issue if any view that is sympathetic to Israel is dismissed as Zionist?

    Whenever you can’t counter an argument, just give it a label such as Zionist or Islamophobia to make it sound nasty. This strategy simplifies the discussion to such an extent that the discussion is no longer worth anything.

  79. #79 by OrangRojak on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:08 am

    whats bloviating?!
    Never need to ask again…

    We point out the problems in his arguments,
    I don’t think anybody is objecting to argument in itself, Lee Wang Yen. Some of the articles you (and others) are quoting appear to show a strong bias, and are in themselves lousy arguments, such as comparing the Gaza situation to a historical situation in which tragically well-matched states were in an already long-running formally declared War, started by an aggressor who had invaded several nations. Even as I regret the precision of your own arguments and your stamina in the intellectual fray, your own arguments are better than some you’ve copied and pasted recently.

  80. #80 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:30 am

    anti-kezaliman says:
    ‘If you argue that the zionist were right when they snatched the land away from the native population in 1940s, as the lands were first snatched away from them by the Arab ancestors thousands of years ago, isnt it like saying that the Arab people were correctly punished due to the wrongdoings (if it were so) of their ancestors?’

    anti-kezaliman suggests that the so-called ‘snatching’ of the land by the Israeli (I’m not sure if he is referring to the establishment of the Jewish homeland in 1948 or the occupation of Gaza, Westbank, Golan Heights etc after a series of wars initiated by Arab countries to wipe Israel off the map or push Israelis into the sea) is a punishment of the wrongdoings (if they were so) of the Arabian ancestors.

    According to this principle, I shall ask a parallel question. ‘Anti-kezaliman, Do you think that the Arabs were right in snatching the land from previous occupiers of the land? If you think that they were wrong, and if most Palestinians today are descendants of Arabs from neighbouring countries, what’s the injustice people have been talking about? If you think that they were right, are you suggesting that the Israelis were correctly punished (during the Islamic occupation in the past) due to their ancestors’ wrongdoings in snatching the land from the Canaanites?

    Are you suggesting that the Israelis who were born in Israel after 1948 are correctly punished due to their ancestors’ wrongdoings in snatching the land in the 1940s?

    Note that these questions are just put forward according to Anti-kezaliman’s own standards and may not imply may own view of the matter.

    If you think that the Palestinians should be seen as the legitimate owners of the land even though their Arab ancestors snatched it from other people, are you also suggesting that the descendants of the Zionists who were born in Israel after 1948 are the legitimate owners even though their Zionist ancestors had snatched the land from others?

    The moral of these questions: many pro-Palestinians Muslims have a tendency to use some arguments that actually cut both ways in a one-sided way to cut only in their anti-Israel way, without realising that in doing so their pro-Palestinian views have also been ‘cut’ by those arguments. Farish Noor’s argument against historical continuity is a good case in point.

  81. #81 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:30 am

    Lee Wang Yen,

    In the same way, I did not quote from pro-Arab sources because I know it’s biased. I have and only will refer to credibly impartial sources such as the pro-peace Jews/American groups.

    I know Hamas shouldnt do any rebellion attacks on Israel civilians but the actual situation there gives me reservation that maybe I dont understand them without being there myself.

    You remember Rachel Corrie? What made her sacrificed her life?

    Do you think any sane human being would want to end his life such way?

  82. #82 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:36 am

    Lee Wang Yen,

    The Jews were not chased away by Arabs. Palestine had been occupied by lotsa powerful nations prior to 1948.

    There’s belief among Abraham religions’ followers that whichever nation/tribe that occupy the Palestinian land signify that they’re also the world’s most powerful nation.

    But it’s just a belief.. it shouldnt justify any war to occupy it

  83. #83 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:37 am


    Analogies are never meant to be identical to their analogues. The question is, whether the disanalogies are relevant to the analogy being made.

    As I said in my previous citation of Alan’s article, my action of citing the article should not be seen as my endorsement of his view and arguments. My intention is merely to provide both sides of the story.

    My own views are expressed in my comments.

  84. #84 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:39 am

    anti-kezaliman says:
    ‘Lee Wang Yen,

    The Jews were not chased away by Arabs. Palestine had been occupied by lotsa powerful nations prior to 1948.’

    I don’t think you read my post correctly.

  85. #85 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:42 am

    I mean, the plight of Jews in the Dark Ages were not solely due to Arab. Jews were victimised by every other nations that they were squattering in, the most tragic was by Germans.

    Of course we sympathy with them. Anyone shouldnt be subject to such acts. But now they’re acting no less violent than the Nazis.. not against Germans, but against Arab

  86. #86 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:45 am

    I think you have conveniently left out the atrocities of Arabs towards Isreal.

  87. #87 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:46 am

    Ethnic cleansing of the Arab population of Palestine

    “Joseph Weitz was the director of the Jewish National Land Fund…On December 19, 1940, he wrote: ‘It must be clear that there is no room for both peoples in this country…The Zionist enterprise so far…has been fine and good in its own time, and could do with ‘land buying’ – but this will not bring about the State of Israel; that must come all at once, in the manner of a Salvation (this is the secret of the Messianic idea); and there is no way besides transferring the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries, to transfer them all; except maybe for Bethlehem, Nazareth and Old Jerusalem, we must not leave a single village, not a single tribe’…There were literally hundreds of such statements made by Zionists.” Edward Said, “The Question of Palestine.”

    Ethnic cleansing – continued

    “Following the outbreak of 1936, no mainstream (Zionist) leader was able to conceive of future coexistence without a clear physical separation between the two peoples – achievable only by transfer and expulsion. Publicly they all continued to speak of coexistence and to attribute the violence to a small minority of zealots and agitators. But this was merely a public pose..Ben Gurion summed up: ‘With compulsory transfer we (would) have a vast area (for settlement)…I support compulsory transfer. I don’t see anything immoral in it,'” Israel historian, Benny Morris, “Righteous Victims.”

    Ethnic cleansing – continued

    “Ben-Gurion clearly wanted as few Arabs as possible to remain in the Jewish state. He hoped to see them flee. He said as much to his colleagues and aides in meetings in August, September and October [1948]. But no [general] expulsion policy was ever enunciated and Ben-Gurion always refrained from issuing clear or written expulsion orders; he preferred that his generals ‘understand’ what he wanted done. He wished to avoid going down in history as the ‘great expeller’ and he did not want the Israeli government to be implicated in a morally questionable policy…But while there was no ‘expulsion policy’, the July and October [1948] offensives were characterized by far more expulsions and, indeed, brutality towards Arab civilians than the first half of the war.” Benny Morris, “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”

  88. #88 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:48 am

    Lee Wang Yen,

    I put in “solely” there, therefore I acknowledge Arabs may have its share of the atrocities in the past. But now they’re the subject of zionist violence because they’re easy target, weak/divided nation.

  89. #89 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:50 am

    anti-kezaliman says:
    ‘Lee Wang Yen,

    The Jews were not chased away by Arabs. Palestine had been occupied by lotsa powerful nations prior to 1948.’

    In a particular period in the Middle Ages, the Islamic rulers were very harsh towards dhimmis. Many Jews and Christians fled because they were faced with the choice of either conversion or death.

  90. #90 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:54 am

    Iran is still talking about wiping Isreal off the map.

    When Arab countries were powerful, and when they kept invading Israel and thought that the could win, we didn’t hear cry of Arabian violence.

  91. #91 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:55 am

    oops… ‘…that THEY could win…’

  92. #92 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:55 am

    oops… ‘…wiping ISRAEL…’

  93. #93 by OrangRojak on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:58 am

    Many Jews and Christians fled because they were faced with the choice of either conversion or death.
    I fear many contributors to this blog know that feeling.

  94. #94 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:59 am

    Jews in Nazi Concentration camps did not use civillians as human shields.

    Hamas and Hezbollah have no qualms about using civillians as humans shields.

  95. #95 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 12:06 pm

    “Iran is still talking about wiping Isreal off the map.

    When Arab countries were powerful, and when they kept invading Israel and thought that the could win, we didn’t hear cry of Arabian violence.”

    If the conflict between Palestine-Israel are resolved in the future and both Palestine and Israel live peacefully with each other, should Iran do such thing, I think Muslim world will be one of the first to condemn it.

    At the moment, as Israel has been the aggressor, I think most people find such call has basis. The zionist Israel treats Palestine not like 2nd class, but on the same level as animals.

    (Read a piece by K.K Tan in The Sun today)

  96. #96 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 12:17 pm

    Some contends that Hamas are the aggressor.

    Israel enforced a six-month ceasefire with Hamas. Hamas decided not to renew it and kept lobbing rockets and mortars into southern Israel. Israel has to defend itself.

    Of course, you will argue that Israel is the aggressor in the sense of the imposed blockade. But what led to that blockade? Hamas’ previous aggression.

    Of course, you’ll argue that Hamas’ previous aggression was provoked by Israel’s previous aggression.

    Similarly, some will argue that Israel’s previous aggression was provoked by previous Hamas aggression, and there you go, we trace back to 1973, 1967, 1956, 1948, British rule, Ottoman empire, Roman rule, Persian rule, Babylonian rule, the Davidic kingdom, Canaan….etc.

    Thus, the issue is not as one-sided and clearly-cut as many Malaysian Muslims like to paint it.

  97. #97 by rainbowseahorse on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 12:20 pm


    I supposed in that context, it’s quite ok for the heirs to the Sulu Sultanate to send home made rockets into Northern Sabah to reclaim their ancestral land from Malaysia?

    The whole Islamic world should also carry out mass protest in support of these Southern Philippine Muslim fighters when Malaysia retaliated with more modern weapons; right?

    Or is Malaysia going to advocate diplomatic dialogue with these “freedom fighters” rather than with armed forces?

    And what will the predominantly Christian Philippine government going to do in such an instance?

  98. #98 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 12:20 pm

    oops… ‘… and CLEAR-CUT as…’

  99. #99 by Pikachu on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 12:57 pm

    anti-kezaliman said:
    ‘If the conflict between Palestine-Israel are resolved in the future and both Palestine and Israel live peacefully with each other, should Iran do such thing, I think Muslim world will be one of the first to condemn it.’

    Do I hear the cries in Darfur? ’nuff said.

  100. #100 by computation on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 1:00 pm

    ahh so bloviating is pontificating lah.
    i thought it was a word that undergrad2 had
    made up…

  101. #101 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 3:42 pm

    [ deleted ]

  102. #102 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 4:29 pm

    Mark Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross (Princeton University Press), p11:

    ‘More extensive is the work of Bat Ye’or, a native of Egypt who, along with other Jews, suffered humiliation when exiled from that country in 1956. She has published several pamphlets and books that sound the theme of congenital, unremitting Arab-Islamic persecution of the non-Muslim religions, Judaism and Christianity. In The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians under Islam, her best-known work, Bat Ye’or (or “Daughter of the Nile”) marshals primary sources from all periods, documenting her thesis of the “thirteen centuries of sufferings and humiliations” that Islam heaped on the Jews and Christians. In a preface to the English edition, Jacques Ellul commends the author for showing that “in many ways the dhimmi was comparable to the European serf of the Middle Ages.”’

  103. #103 by Lee Wang Yen on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 4:57 pm

    To balance anti-Kezaliman one-sided story,
    Itamar Levin, Locked Doors: The Seizure of Jewish Properties in Arab Countries (Princeton University Press), xv:

    ‘…An opinion, handed down recently in a lawsuit currently pending in the New York courts regarding the property of an Egyptian-Jewish family, stated unequivocally that the treatment of Jews in that country was categorized as persecution on racial and religious grounds, and thus, forbidden by international law. In Syria and Iraq – two other countries this book will deal with at length – the measures taken to confiscate property were far more extreme, leaving no doubt as to their legality. 1n 1987, former US Supreme Court justice Arthur Goldberg reached a similar conclusion in an opinion in which he wrote that the measures taken regarding Jewish property in Arab countries were, without exception, violating international law. Another possible claim is that actions taken by the Arab countries against the Jews in general, and their property in particular, were nothing more than a means of taking compensation for Israel’s acts against the Palestinians, specifically confiscation of Palestinian property and transfer of ownership to the State of Israel. But historical fact refutes this claim for the simple reason that the Arab states threatened to expel the Jews well before a single Arab refugee ever left Palestine. Moreover, the Palestinian refugee problem was created mainly by circumstances surrounding Israel’s wars; Israel’s Jewish leaders generally requested that Arab citizens remain in their homes. By contrast, the Jews in Arab lands were forced to emigrate due to systematic persecution, and in some cases they were simply expelled from the lands of their birth. And so, we are left with no legal, moral, or historical justification, only hatred, on one hand, and the desire for political or material gain on the other. These are the only reasons the Arab countries had for persecuting their Jews, expelling them, and stealing all that they owned.’

  104. #104 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 9:38 pm

    Lee Wang Yen,

    I dont know whether you’re ignorant or you deliberately want to provoke Muslims here. Such serious unfounded allegation you hurled towards Prophet Muhammad, is unacceptable to any Muslim. I dont know you’re of which religion, but if you’re Buddhist, you should know that what you’ve done can be equated as saying something bad about Buddha himself, and I’m sure it’s not acceptable to any Buddhist.

    I acknowledge that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) on one occasion, evicted the Jew tribes from Medina, but mentioning that without clarifying the events leading to such occasion was really outrageous, either you were misled or you’re deliberately trying to mislead others.

    Maybe you’re ignorant. Prophet Muhammad was the first leader to make peace with Jews in Medina. He wrote the Piagam Medina which outline the responsibilities of Jews and Arabs in Medina, as such acknowledging and accepting Jews as people of Medina. But the Jewish tribes made secret pact with the Quraisy to kill Prophet Muhammad, to the extent that they were almost succesful.

    Please retract your statement or I will urge the blog owner to act against what you did there.

  105. #105 by anti-kezaliman on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 9:52 pm

    Lee Wang Yen,

    Again you’re quoting from an Israel writer/journalist, for sure the writer was biased towards zionist.

    If you want to quote a credible pro-zionist views, quote from some impartial sources such as the Arab themselves, or to some extent maybe Chinese or Indian writers who did researches on the isssues. Otherwise you’re just like a loudspeaker of the zionists.

  106. #106 by alhafar on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:08 pm

    I just want to correct what anti-kezaliman says about Buddhism. When someone says something bad about Buddhism, and they have always done, it is not really of our concern. Similarly you do not see Taoists going on protest when someone says something stupid about Taoism. And so on. People who go around protesting merely do so for political reasons. And outsiders who go all moral on the Palestinian Israeli issue are just hypocrites who use the palestinian plight for their own political gains. I find that more disgusting than what the Israelis and Palestinians do to each other. I dont buy any of that sanctimony and self righteousness. So many atrocities are being carried out by people against their own kind and their neighbours right now, Palestine is but one. But you only hear that one name, because it carries the most mileage. What is disappointing though is that Farish is advocating and justifying violence through his cleverly articulated article. That is pure nonsense. Whatever the truths, we can never ever justify violence as a solution. That is what Mahatma Ghandi taught. Funny he was not mentioned in the list of anticolonialist crusades. The Palestinians and Israelis are caught in a cycle of violence created by themselves, with the help of a lot of friends with special interests. Go on, take sides and join the call for blood and get blood on your own hands.

  107. #107 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:10 pm

    Forgedabout it, Anti-Kezaliman! As the Italians say over here.

    Lee Wang Yen is allowed to sympathise with the Jewish cause but does he have to lick their asses as well??

  108. #108 by alaneth on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:31 pm

    I agree that there are lots of biasness in this country & the theory that when a coconut falls in front of a crowd, there are many stories – some blame the coconut, some blame the tree, some blame the weather, the wind & some even blame the ministry of agriculture.

    I am open in mind and get stories from BBC, CNA and Jerusalem Post. The latter is very pro-Israel. But BBC is very fair I can say. Of course I don’t want to read any news from any Arab or OIC countries as it will be very biased. Take for example a very fair & unbiased news point from the ‘middle’ country – China. You can tell from their news very clearly that Hamas instigated the Israeli attacks by first firing rockets into Israel and Hamas is the one who openly said the truce is over and they are the ones who started the attacks.

    So what does the Arab world’s news say about this Qassam rocket firing? nothing! That’s why I don’t read news from the Arab world. I only accept half of the facts from news I read from Jerusalem Post.

  109. #109 by alaneth on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:41 pm

    The Malaysian press is also fairly diversified when we talk about the coconut theory. At least they do so by not twisting facts, but by exaggerating & omitting news.

    When Pope John Paul II died, all newspapers except B.Harian carried this news in their front page. BH only have a small column of print – no photos.

    When the Sichuan quake happened, the Chinese dailies cover the disaster way into the 3rd – 4th page when BH again limits this news to a mere columns.

    But what I dislike about B.Harian’s world news (see back page) that even in peacetime, the back page is full of news about Muslims around the world being killed, tortured, attacked etc. Even the smallest attacks which no other paper would even bother to publish , B.Harian will publish in full with colour photos! I read the world news in disgust. Nothing much but always news on cruelity onto Muslims in the world news. Don’t believe me??? Try taking out Nov 2008’s issue to B.Harian and see the world news. I wrote about this issue to a local English daily’s editor, but of course my letter is not published.

    I suggest we still stick to BBC, S’pore Straits Times, USA Today, Washington Post, The Guardian…

  110. #110 by alaneth on Thursday, 15 January 2009 - 11:55 pm

    Take another point on biasness in Malaysia in focusing on world events…

    2 Events in Africa…
    The D.R. of Congo’s crisis – what have Malaysia done? -next to nothing.

    The Sudan Darfur crisis – Malaysia made much huha about it, raising funds, awareness programs, TV3 kicks in programs…

    2 Events in ASEAN…
    2004 Tsunami hit Aceh – Malaysia did astronomical contributions, aid, programs, donations etc etc.

    Cyclone Nargis – Thailand was first to help, then S’pore, China, Japan, Philippines,….. slowly, Malaysia as the strategic partner in ASEAN ‘pai seh’ must give something, then they helped a little…. but mostly from the private sector & the public, but not much from the govt.

    2 Earthquakes…
    Bam Iran earthquake in Dec 2003 – soooo far away but Malaysia’s help was very significant – mostly govt effort.

    Sichuan Earthquake in 2008 – How much help came from the Malaysian govt?????

    Malaysia accepts refugees/people displaced from:
    -Rakhine (Myanmar – mostly Muslims)
    -Southern Phillippines/Thailand
    -some Palestinians, Iraqis

    But previously the Boat people from Vietnam refugees? All got locked up at Sg.besi kem!

    Why? Why this biasness? can somebody answer? Do you see a trend? Helping these people requires the rakyat’s money…

  111. #111 by alaneth on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 12:02 am

    AAB asks Malaysians of all faith to pray for the people in Gaza.

    What is this nonsense? If a non-Muslim who do not support Hamas but may have a heart of pity for Israelis who suffer the rocket attacks were forced to pray….. this is too much for a PM to ask a multi-racial, multi-religious community to support his views.

    Pls note that I am not siding any parties. I am just a person who upholds human rights, condemns atrociousness and a person who want to behold the right for anybody to take sides with any party without being forced to and an uphold a true fair anti-bias platform.

  112. #112 by Justitia on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 12:09 am

    It’s so sad to see we cannot have a rationale discourse coming from different points of view without resorting to disparaging others. I am sick and tired of seeing this person bashing of people like Lee Wang Yen. Let’s at least debate respectfully. If you cannot do that why would anyone respect your point of view? It’s time to grow up!

  113. #113 by undergrad2 on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 12:27 am

    “I am sick and tired of seeing this person bashing of people like Lee Wang Yen” Justit

    It is called ‘freedom of speech’ my friend!

    You don’t like what you see on TV, the logical thing to do, as the proponent of logical thinking would no doubt urge, is to switch off the damn TV!

  114. #114 by tjwork on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 12:41 am

    Common guys, be cool.

    The last thing ‘they’ want us is to fight over religion, if we do ‘they’ win. Lets not be hasty, we are better than this.

    I studied islamic studies & im very fascinated by it. But the more I read, I understood the history & why things happen. To really know about it, one must study the events in chronology order. We cant accuse or defend something we dont know can we? Since facts are facts and accusations will remain accusations, its no use to argue about something that happened 1500 years ago. we were not there & we cant be accountable for, so chill+relax+drink teh tarik.

    I admire Farish noor’s writings & this guy does his homework before writing. Time has proven this. He makes total sense using an analogy suitable to us all. However, we are only here to talk about the points that was not covered by Farish.

    What many dont know is that in the brink of the 20th century, the jews were killed & driven from their quarters in ‘israel’ and jerusalem by an uprising arab whom no other arab likes. These series of events led to the support of the creation of a jewish state in middle east rather than madagascar or iceland. Many of the survivors re united and formed a world wide aliance of jewish leaders and thats how the 3rd (or 4th) installment of the zionist movement began who defeated the previous leaders that prefer to be 3rd class people to life in peace.

    We must learn from history, not repeat the mistakes our forefathers made. If we still do, we are no different that apes & pigs.

    I use a simple analogy, take a knife and prick your right palm till it bleeds, look at your blood, take a good look at it. what do you notice?
    Im happy if you say your blood is red (I think mahsuri’ is white). It would make me happier if you realised that you bleed & theres nothing special about you, we are all the same. take out your race & religion and hey, we are just like adam & eve.

    understand that what happened was just instigation. everything happens for a reason. People made us think we re different. This unfortunately motivates us in many ways. Notice that in one part of the world, people flood the streets, rampaging and what not. Here, we dont have this because even when people instigate us, we think before we react, we are smarter than that & we can settle differences some other way.

    we have to be thankful because israel is taking the hit for us all. the people that they are dealing with have no regards to king & country, if it happens in malaysia, our king will be the first to go & soon the country to the dogs. being malaysian, i will not let this happen.

    anyway, i speak too soon about israeli arabs not complaining, they are having a small demostration today in israel.

  115. #115 by undergrad2 on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 12:49 am

    “I am sick and tired of seeing this person bashing of people like Lee Wang Yen” Justit

    It is called ‘freedom of speech’ my friend!

    You don’t like what you see on TV, the logical thing to do, as the proponent of logical thinking would no doubt urge if he wants to be consistent, is to switch off the damn TV or turn to another channel.

    The continued murder of babies and maiming of children and old women are a very emotional issue as street protests the world over show. You’ll have to excuse me and some others here and the many all round the world who could not contain their emotions when seeing images of dead and disfigured babies and children. It is not the time for a course in logic and logical thinking.

    The sight of Jews celebrating in the streets serve only to aggravate the emotions felt all round the world. There are American Jews who do not agree with the action of the Israelis.

    To come to this political blog and to continue, in the name of science, to launder his points on logic and logical thinking and to sanitize murder? I find that disgusting!

    I am a practicing Christian and not a Muslim. So let’s get that out of the way.

  116. #116 by undergrad2 on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 2:47 am

    Many people are trying to cope with images they see on TV and in the media and they cannot help but become emotional. Street protests throughout the world are testimony to the pain and suffering the demonstrators feel. They feel the pain of the Palestinian people (as distinct from their leaders).

    It is not a Palestinian and Israeli issue. There are American Jews who participate in peaceful street protests right in front of the Penn Station in NYC where I would normally find myself waiting for the train. Not every Jew agrees to the actions taken by Israel.

    Engaging in the so-called intellectual discourse using ‘principles of logic and logical thinking’, in the name of science, to justify the killing and maiming of children and old women is disgusting to say the least. To come here to debate on the issues as if they are the subject of your last thesis on ‘Logic and Logical Thinking”, as if those who died are mere statistics – besides being a gross abuse of public space – is an insult to the intelligence of all right thinking people.

  117. #117 by undergrad2 on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 2:51 am

    I will continue to disparage this individual every which way I can for as long as persists in his effort to sanitize the murders of children and women in the name of logic and logical thinking.

  118. #118 by Justitia on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 3:17 am

    Undergrad 2, one can disagree without being disagreeable. Just as you advice me to turn off the TV if I do not like what I see, the same can be applied to you. If you cannot stand seeing all the suffering then turn off the channel instead of getting agitated all about it. In the same vein, one cannot claim “freedom of speech” on the one hand and deny that right to others. At best, this is viewed as inconsistent. At worst, it is called hypocrisy.

    I can understand the emotions involved as the images are intended for propaganda purposes skewed to show that. Who in their right mind do not feel for the innocent that are caught up in this unfortunate situation? I do pray for God’s mercy. I have not seen any pictures that showed Hamas fighters dying or injured. That’s how cleverly and intentionally Hamas is trying to shape world opinion.

    I have been consistent that both what Hamas and Israeli retaliation is not right. You cannot condemn only one side without condemning the other. There were over 3,800 rockets in 2008 launched into Israel intended mainly to terrorize, though it did caused some deaths. These are constructed intentionally to maim civilians or cause death, filled with nails or ball bearings. I do not see the champions of human suffering coming out shouting and getting all emotional about this.

    Hamas is as responsible for this human tragedy just as much as Israel. They have brought this on by stirring the hornet’s nest and bringing on this calamity on everyone around them. All is getting stung as well. Condemning one side only encourages such type of behaviors which brings even more human suffering in the future. Either we keep silent or we condemn both.

    Interestingly enough, there are also demonstrations for the Israelis. It did not happened in the beginning. But, it took place even after those horrible pictures on TV. This is because people are turned off by the grossly lopsided blame on Israel and are standing up to say Hamas behavior is not o.k. more than actual support of Israeli action. Of couse, this will not be reported in Malaysia.

    I do not think one would want to live in a situation of having rockets targeted at one all the time. Similarly, one would not want to be suffering in Gaza right now.

    As you claim to be a practising Christian, I would encourage you to be more Christ-like in your remarks about others.


  119. #119 by OrangRojak on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 5:00 am

    I am a practicing [sic!] Christian
    Still haven’t mastered it, huh? What belt are you now, anyway? Yah, I was a blackbelt myself, once.

    … of people like Lee Wang Yen
    Holy shjt! You mean he’s not unique?

    take a knife and prick your right palm till it bleeds,
    Shouldn’t you be on myspace?

    Let’s at least debate respectfully. is still available. Rent it, set up a blog and see how you get on.

    more Christ-like in your remarks … the images are intended for propaganda purposes
    “Love one another as I have loved you, but fukc them, they’re only doing that for propaganda purposes”. All those pictures of Christ holding his chest open to show his heart, and the crucifixes hanging on walls with the tortured-horribly-to-death guy – propaganda or not? And he’s a blue-eyed, blonde, white man, right? I’ve seen him hanging on Malaysian living room walls! With christmas trees in the background! I can’t argue with this point of view – you really know what you’re talking about! My mum has the same picture. My Jewish uncle Rube drove her crazy telling her kids “you know that Jesus was a black boy, don’cha?”.
    The reason undergrad2 is being obnoxious is because you and Lee Wang Yen and people like you are writing or worse yet, copying and pasting pro-Israel or anti-Hamas propaganda. There is no anti-Semitism nor is there Islamist bias in declaring sorrow and frustration for the occupants of the Gaza strip. They are being killed at a great rate by a large and well-equipped armed force. It is not necessary to support Hamas to say we feel sorry for the dying. If we didn’t write when Israelis were dying, well it’s a sad world, and people die for stupid reasons every day. We’re busy, so we only write when a lot of people die in a short period, or when a few die for a spectacularly bad reason.
    We are writing under Farish’s inevitably partisan article, but it is possible to argue against his view without arguing for Israel’s recent action. I would expect a Christian, even if they’re not debating respectfully, to be erring on the side of mercy, possibly even turning their other cheek to Islamist propaganda.

    Living under rockets is not similar to dying in Gaza. Even if it were, peace cannot be dispensed with a tank, nor can it be imposed by weight of comments posted on a blog.

  120. #120 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 6:02 am

    Anti-Kezaliman advises me to read the history of the relevant issues written by Chinese or Indian historians.

    But may I ask what the source of your knowledge of the historical issues related to Muslims, Arabs and Jews is.

    Do you read Islamic history written by non-Muslim Chinese or Indians?

    All the citations are meant to show that there are two sides of the story. I’m not a historian and am in no position to judge which side is closer to truth. All they show is that there are two sides of the story. If you read my previous posts in various related threads, you’ll find that I have never denied that the Israelis have their share of blame. But what I’ve been trying to point out is that there are two side of the stories.

    When a Muslim historian says something that contradicts what a Jewish historian says, the best thing to do for the reader of the Muslim historian is not to advise others to stop reading the Jewish historian (on the grounds that what he says does not fit well with what the Muslim historian says). If you’re in a position to assess these rival claims in history, please assess them before coming to the conclusion on which side of the story is closer to the truth. Don’t reach that conclusion simply because what the Jew says conflicts with what the Muslim says. Also, don’t simply assume that anyone with a Jew-like name such as Cohen and Ithamar must be a pro-Israeli Jew or worse still, a Zionist. If you think that Zionism is a form of extremism, as many Muslims think it is, I don’t think it is fair to accuse me of citing from extremists just because the authors I cite have Jew-like name. I’m sure you don’t think it is fair if someone accuse you of citing from Al-Qaedaist if you cite an author with an Arab name. In any case, these books are not published by ‘The Zionist Foundation’ or in an obscure website. They are published by Princeton University Press.

    I’m not sure about you. As for me, I’m contented to point out that there are two sides of the story, and to cite the other side of the story when we are constantly bombarded by one side of it. Since I’m not a historian, I’m in no position to assess which side of the story is closer to the truth.

    By the way, can you cite the author of the book or article from which you obtain your historical knowledge when you make some historical claim about Prophet Mohammad, Arabs, and Jews.

  121. #121 by Jeffrey on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 7:46 am

    It is only human to feel and express genuine sympathy for the humanitarian plight of Palestinian refugees including children and women maimed or killed in war in which Israelis are seen the party with greater weaponry and military force.

    However the humanitarian issue though connected to in the sense of arising from and being caused by Israel’s military campaign is n ot the same as the other broader question, that is, whether Israelis’ military incursion into Gaza is morally right or wrong examined from perpectives whether it is necessary or avoidable.

    There have been many points of views bearing on that issue proferred in this blog by readers/contributors. Appeals have been made to international law (resolution 181), history, Abrahamic Covenant etc. There is not one, two but many sides to a conflict that has not been solved for last 60 years.

    Here is a practical point for those who decry the current plight of Palestinian on humanitarian grounds immediately caused by Israelis military incursion, perhaps taking the view that there is no such thing as a just or unjust war – that all wars are bad and morally wrong from humanitarian criteria on assumption that even the “right” and “just” war causes collateral damage to innocent civilians – (a view I don ‘t subscribe particularly to because it would otherwise means the Allies shouldn’t resist Hitler & Japan in World War II).

    The point is: what would you do if you were Israel, as a moral and humanitarian alternative to its latest (current) military campaign to flush out Hamas in Gaza?

    Hamas have been carrying on incessant mortar and rocket attacks on Israel.

    Notwithstanding a cease-fire was agreed to by both sides on June 19, 2008, Israel claimed that rocket and mortar attacks continued throughout the cease-fire although less frequently than before the cease-fire went into effect. A total of 20 rockets and 18 mortars were launched from the signing of the ceasefire until the beginning of November. This represented a 98% reduction in rocket fire four and a half month period prior to the signing of the ceasefire during which over 1,800 rockets were fired from Gaza.

    Do we dismiss the Israelis claim as false, exaggerated or a figment of imagination?

    If not, what would you have Israel do from the humanitarian perspective? Keep on bearing stoicly the mortar and rocket attacks on her civilian population, keep trying to open up more diplomatic channels (via 3rd parties) to negotiate and talk to Hamas – is that possible? Or what ?

    If it were not Israel, had these rocket/mortar attacks being made against (say) an India led by (say) the icon of Pacificism (Mahatma Gandhi) what do you think Gandhi would do?

    There is much talk about what Israel does is wrong – but the question is what would you have Israel immediately do under such circumstances of continued rocket/mortar attacks by Hamas that will be right, from the humanitarian perspective? Can we have some constructive suggestions?

  122. #122 by Jeffrey on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 7:55 am

    Hamas takes the position that Israel has no right to exist. Like many Arabs, the creation of Israel state where it is, is not accepted. So in order to avoid humanitarian crisis, is Israel expected, upon humanitarian considerations, either keep on bearing silently the rocket/mortar attacks or agree with Hamas that it has no right to be there or if not what other options?

    I certainly like to hear about this.

  123. #123 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 8:47 am

    Thanks, Jeffrey, for your insightful piece!
    I don’t think that anyone here has appealed to the Abrahamic covenant to address the core issue discussed here. As I clarified earlier, the reference to the covenant was meant to support Justitia’s claim that Undergrad2 has made an inaccurate claim about the timing of the promise of land. Of course, one may not believe in the promise of land given by God, for one many not even believe that there is a God. The issue is not about whether there is such a promise or if such a promise is really from God, or if there is a god. The issue is that – if there God exists and if such a promise is really from God, is Undergrad2 correct in claiming that that promise was suddenly given in a certain period in history rather than an earlier period as claimed by Justitia? The best source to refer to in an attempt to clarify the TIMING of the alleged promise of land is the religious text that describes the reception of the promise.

    It doesn’t follow that the text is the best source to appeal to if one argues about the TRUTH and VALIDITY (in the legal sense) of the alleged promise. If someone thinks that the truth and validity of the alleged promise cannot be established by merely citing a religious text, he will also rationally conclude that one cannot rationally address the question of who are the legitimate owners of that land by citing the religious text.

    I don’t think we should appeal to religious text or theology to address the question of who have the legitimate right to the land here.

  124. #124 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 9:13 am

    To be fair to Anti-Kezaliman, there are certainly Muslims who denounce violence and terrorism, just as there are Jews who denounce violence against Arabs (as pointed out by Anti-Kezaliman’s citations).

    For example,
    “Mainstream theologians have come out unanimously against the terrorists. What we must now ask them is to campaign more strongly against the aberrant doctrines that underpin them”, writes British Muslim convert scholar, Abdal-Hakim Murad.

    Some Muslims also condemn violence against Jews:
    ‘Anti-Semitic attacks (whatever their origin) should be condemned just as vocally as we would condemn attacks against Muslims for their faith’

    So I have cited some Muslims who condemn violence against Jews. Anti-Kezaliman has cited some Jews who condemn violence against Arabs. On this issue I think we have the same degree of partiality/impartiality.

    I have reiterated in a series of posts in several related threads on this blog that I acknowledge that there are claims and counter claims on both sides and that both sides have their share of blame. I have never denied that there have been Jewish atrocities towards Arabs. I’m not saying to the Muslim Malaysians that the the Isrealis are completely right and that the Arabs are completely wrong (I’ve explicitly claimed that the Israelis have their share of responsibility). My urge to Muslim Malaysians is simple: don’t try to present the issue and arguments in a one-sided way, as if only one side should bear all the blame while the other side is completely justified or at least understandable. You might be right in pointing out that some Jews have done something bad to some Arabs or Muslims. But don’t ignore other sources and evidence that point to the mistreatment of Jews by Arabs and Muslims.

    Of course, another interesting issue is: while both sides have done something bad to each other, which side has done more evil to the other?

    This is an interesting historical question which I leave to competent historians (on both sides) to answer.

  125. #125 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 10:14 am

    Let’s try not to conflate issues.

    On the issue of whether one side has condemned violence against the other side, I claim that Anti-Kezaliman and I share roughly the same degree of partiality/impartiality, since he has cited some Jews who condemn violence against Arabs while I have cited some Muslims who condemn violence against Jews.

    Now, on the issue of whether one side has committed atrocities on the other side, can I be rightly accused of being biased or at least less impartial than anti-Kezaliman?

    Anti-Kezaliman may think so, because I have cited two authors with Jew-like names (Cohen and Ithamar), which he claims to be proponents of Zionism (since he accuses me of quoting Zionist sources).

    First of all, whether they are Israeli Jews or Jews with direct connection to Israel and whether they are Zionist Jews are what Anti-Kezaliman has yet to find out.

    Barring further information and evidence indicating their connection to Zionism, all we can say is that I have cited some authors that are likely te be Jews (given their names) who provide accounts of Arab atrocities on Jews. Is this action of mine biased? Well, it may be, since they are accounts given by someones who probably have connections with the alleged victims (by alleged victims I mean Jews, not Zionists). But the more relevant question is: is it less impartial than Anti-Kezaliman?

    Well, if Anti-Kezaliman can cite some non-Muslim Chinese and Indian historians who deny the atrocities of Muslim Arabs on Jews, then I’ll have to concede that I’m less impartial than Anti-Kezaliman in presenting my side of the story, if I can’t subsequently cite a non-Jewish historian to counter that denial.

  126. #126 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 10:17 am

    oops ‘…if someone ACCUSES…’

  127. #127 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 10:21 am

    opps… ‘if [strike out THERE] God exists…’

  128. #128 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 10:26 am

    oops… ‘Chinese OR Indian historians…’

  129. #129 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 10:38 am

    Dismissing everything the other side says as propaganda and promoting every propaganda or propaganda-sounding talk produced by your side as ‘truth’ does not advance rational discussion. Muslim Malaysians often talk about Zionist Propaganda. What about anti-semitic propaganda, including the following home-made version?
    ADL Calls on Malaysian Government to Denounce Anti-Semitism

    ‘New York, N.Y., June 24, 2003 … Calling the distribution of Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic book The International Jew at an official party event for the Malaysian Prime Minister, “outrageous,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged the government of Malaysia to “take immediate steps to demonstrate that anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic literature are not to be tolerated.”

    The book, which contains the anti-Semitic forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion, portrays Jews as monolithic, malicious schemers conspiring to take over the world. The official event was marked by the final speech of Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad as party president.

    “The government of Malaysia needs to take immediate steps to demonstrate that anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic literature are not to be tolerated,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “This outrageous incident which occurred at an official function of the ruling party implies official approval of the distribution and the book’s contents.” The League expressed its concern in a letter to Dato Sheikh Abdul Khalid Ghazzali, Malaysian Ambassador to the United States.

    Malaysia’s leadership in the past has propagated anti-Jewish conspiracy theories. Previous statements by Prime Minister Mahatir include a comment in 1988 that the Western media is controlled by Jews and an accusation that Jewish-owned foreign publications are attempting to destabilize Malaysia. More recently in 1997, the Prime Minister stated that “Jews are not happy to see Moslem’s progress.” ‘

  130. #130 by anti-kezaliman on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 10:50 am

    Lee Wang Yen,

    “there are certainly Muslims who denounce violence and terrorism”.. in fact, most of Muslims do!

    Before I reply on your last comment, again I urge you to retract your statement yesterday regarding Prophet Muhammad, for the sake of respect on other’s religion.

    In the last comment, you quoted a statement by an Islamic scholar. That’s the way to go. But the statement does not in any way support pro-zionist sentiment.

    I think you have now lost your focus. We’re discussing on zionism and zionist action against native people of Palestine, and the retaliation of the Palestinian.

    What you quoted was condemnation against violence and terrorism, which is shared by majority of Muslims and almost all credible Islamic scholars. I think there’s misconception within you that you think majority of the Muslims are war-loving people, except for the few who’s against it, which in fact is the exact opposite.

    You think we Muslims support the Bali bombings? I think I speak on behalf of majority Muslims that such act is sinful and against the teaching of Islam. In the same way we condemn any racist act against Jews by any other people, be it Muslims, Arabs, Germans, Russians etc. But maybe the voices are not that loud that you dont hear it, but it’s there I can assure you. We also seek knowledge and technological advancement as the means to empower ourselves, rather than to resort to military and terrorism acts. But thanks to propaganda war won by the zionists, Muslims are painted as terrorists, the same way LTTE are.

    But of course there’s always bad fruit in a basket of fruits. These bad ones are now being made to represent the majority, that’s what we call propaganda.

  131. #131 by anti-kezaliman on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 10:54 am

    Lee Wang Yen,

    In this connected world, you dont see the connection with zionist from the look of their names, rather youu google their names and there you see the whole lot of details about them.

    How lame..

    I think nobody else is bothered to continue “debating” with you, as your points are next to nonsense but I commend you on your stamina.

  132. #132 by Pikachu on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 11:14 am

    anti kezaliman,

    As I’ve asked, and I’ll ask again … where are the cries from/for Darfur?

    Until you can answer that, your standpoints are all useless and hypocritical at best.

  133. #133 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 11:21 am

    No, my citations were merely responses to your citations which show that Jews condemn violence against Arabs. If those citations are red-herring, they are merely responses to your initial red-herrings.

    Now, you claim that didn’t just see the connection with Zionism by names. You say you googled the names. Can you please show us the evidence that indicates that Mark Cohen, a professor at Princeton University, and Ithamar Levin have connections with Zionism?

    Please also give us a definition of Zionism. Don’t simply say that anyone expressing any view that is sympathetic to Jews is Zionist. Likewise, I don’t label anyone who condemns Israel’s attack on Hamas as ‘Al-Qaedaist’.

  134. #134 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 11:23 am

    Anti-Kezaliman says:

    ‘I think there’s misconception within you that you think majority of the Muslims are war-loving people, except for the few who’s against it, which in fact is the exact opposite.’

    Did I say or imply anything like what you accuse here? Please don’t read your prejudice into my mind.

  135. #135 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 11:25 am

    Have you found any evidence that links Cohen and Ithamar to Zionism from your google search?

    Your accusation of ‘how lame’ is very lame without producing such evidence.

  136. #136 by Pikachu on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 11:32 am

    What most of the comments here point out is that both sides needs to be blamed.

    What anti-kezaliman thinks is whoever is against his own religion and people who are of his religion is to be blamed, period.

    anti-kezaliman, try to use logical sense to read all articles, and don’t prejudge (by saying this or that is bias as it was written by etc etc etc) By your logic, it’s analogous to say any witness testimony of any African American done to help an African American “accused” is biased and shouldn’t be permitted in a criminal court?

    Is that in any way correct? The correct way should be to read all of the witness testimony and logically think about them before giving your judgment.

    In other words, your logic is flawed.

  137. #137 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 12:17 pm

    No one has any right to ask anyone to retract a claim unless one can show that someone has deliberately made a false claim. In rational discussion, we don’t threaten to take action or to ask someone to take action when you don’t agree with what someone says, unless you have good reason to think that your discussant has deliberately made a false claim.
    Now, I don’t agree with some of the historical or scientific claims made by my colleagues. But I don’t jump to the conclusion that my beliefs in these issues must be absolutely correct and thus to the second conclusion that my colleagues must be deliberately making false claims. They could just be misled by their evidence or they could just be using bad arguments in arriving at their conclusions. Even if you want to jump to the first conclusion, there is no good reason to jump to the second conclusion. Perhaps there is a good reason: someone who has the propensity of jumping to the first conclusion is probably irrational, and an irrational person is likely to jump to the second conclusion.
    Now, let’s apply all these to our case in hand. If you can show that my claim that Prophet Mohammad expelled and killed Jews in Medina is a deliberate false claim, then you’re well justified to take an action or to urge someone to take an action.
    The claim that Prophet Mohammad expelled and killed Jews can be backed up by academic and non-academic, and Jewish and non-Jewish sources (see, eg, Cohen, Under Crescent…163; theReligionOfPeace). Of course, I’m well aware that this is a contentious claim in the sense that others have challenged this claim by questioning the authenticity and/or interpretation of the evidence cited by those who affirm this claim. If you read the literature on this issue, you’ll find that those who affirm this claim have also challenged those who challenge this claim by questioning the authenticity and/or interpretation of their evidence. Claims and counter-claims, evidence and counter-evidence – these are the realities of rational discussion and academic research.
    When there are disputes in a historical or scientific claim in the sense that the available evidence does not exclusively or overwhelmingly support one side of the dispute, it doesn’t help advance rational discussion to threaten one side to retract a claim.
    Also, if one hopes to promote a particular religion, issuing threats to take action or to urge someone to take action doesn’t help at all. Unbelievers need to see the attractiveness of that religion, including its reasonableness. If followers of the religion constantly shut down rational discussion by refusing to engage with arguments and evidence and by issuing threats to take action, it’s very hard to win over unbelievers.

  138. #138 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 12:26 pm

    Perhaps Anti-Kezaliman should lodge an official complaint to some agency of quality control in academic publications that Princeton University Press, the publication arm of the 12th-ranked university in the world, has published at least two books which promote extremist propaganda.

  139. #139 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 12:29 pm

    oops ‘…you claim that YOU didn’t…’

  140. #140 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 12:32 pm

    Anti-Kezaliman says:

    ‘In the last comment, you quoted a statement by an Islamic scholar. That’s the way to go. But the statement does not in any way support pro-zionist sentiment.’

    I think you miss the point of the comparision. Please reread it.

  141. #141 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 12:33 pm

    oops… ‘ the COMPARISON…’

  142. #142 by OrangRojak on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 1:39 pm

    Ahhh!!! &^*&^**(*&^&^^%^((I() incompetent telecomms B*^*&ards.

    I spent an embarrassingly large amount of time on a reply and it has disappeared with a ‘Network Timeout’ message. “First class infrastructure, Third class mentality” is Mahathir’s Big Lie. He aimed for first class, got third class and blames everyone else. Where got a first world infrastructure when the phone doesn’t even work?

    Back to the topic. I can’t remember what I was saying. Something about the universal value of pacifism, but since my connection dropped, all I can think about is killing people.

    Maybe I’ll try again later.

  143. #143 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 1:44 pm

    OrangRojak, I appreciate your sense of humour.

  144. #144 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 1:51 pm

    oops… ‘…perhaps there is a good [strike our REASON] CAUSAL EXPLANATION…’

  145. #145 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 2:43 pm

    Undergrad2 criticises me for inappropriately taking the rational and logical approach characteristic of analytic philosophy to address the issue discussed here.

    Now, what’s the issue discussed here? The specific issue of Israeli-Palestinian war that raises general questions of war, peace, justice, just-war, etc. All these are topics of ethics, which is a branch of philosophy.

    Thus, the philosophical approach is not only appropriate, but essential. Of course, this is not the only dimension of the issue. There are other non-philosophical dimensions.

  146. #146 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 2:47 pm

    So don’t storm into the ethics class of your university and ask the professor and students to stop discussing the ethical issues of war on the grounds that many people are trying to cope with what the see on the TV.

  147. #147 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 4:07 pm

    Francis Peters (Professor of Middle Eastern Studies History and Religion at New York University until 2008), Islam (Princeton University Press), 78-9:
    ‘Indeed, Muhammad received a special revelation – it is not recorded in the Quran, but only as a story in the Life – commanding him to attack the Qurayza. He did, and after nearly a month of determined resistance, they saw the end was near. The Life tells another oddly heroic story about the Jews – already it had portrayed the Nadir marching off into exile with flags flying and heads held high. In this instance, the Qurayza rejected the suggestion that they convert to save themselves and likewise refused to attack the Muslims because it was the Sabbath. Finally, they appealed to their Arab patrons of the Aws. Once again, the response was unenthusiastic: no one was willing to cross Muhammad at this stage. Muhammad was conciliatory only to the extent that he allowed one of the Aws to determine their sentence. His judgment was that the males of the Qurayza deserved death and that the women and children should be sold into slavery. It was done: between six hundred and eight hundred males of the Qurayza were publicly beheaded in the main market of Medina, and, if we are to credit the Life, Muhammad himself was the chief executioner. The tribe’s real property was again divided among the Muslims. That was the end of the Jews of Medina, a not inconsiderable part of the population, we can guess, though they had recently been reduced to clientage to the paramount Arab tribes of Aws and Khazraj. There is some evidence that they were the most literate Medinese and in many cases the craftsmen of the settlement. The Muslim newcomers appropriated the Jews’ property – their lands and inventories – but not their skills. Yet they had little need for the latter; an even more profitable windfall had come upon them.’

  148. #148 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 4:07 pm

    oops ‘…with what THEY see…’

  149. #149 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 4:18 pm

    As a layman in history, I’m not qualified to provide an authoritative assessment as to which side of the story is true.

    However, as a layman in history, I have the right, as any other layman in history on any issue, to state my view according to the various resources (which are no doubt limited by the standards of professional historians) that I have come across. The right way to respond to this if you do not agree is to present counter evidence or counter arguments regarding the correct interpretation of the evidence rather than issuing threats.

  150. #150 by computation on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 4:40 pm

    perhaps we should ask raja petra for his
    views and his understanding….

  151. #151 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 4:43 pm

    Michael Lecker (1995), ‘Judaism Among Kinda and the Ridda of Kinda’ Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 115, No. 4, pp. 635-650.

    The massacre of Jews in Yemen:
    ‘Islamic sources indicate that on the even of Islam, the Jews were the largest religious community in the Yemen. Yaqubi says that all the inhabitants of the Yemen were Jewish, while Ibn Hazm says that all the Himyarites and many Kindites were Jews. Our attention is focused on Kinda, who inhabited both the Yemen and Hadramawt…The sources point to an analogy between the massacre of Kinda, at the end of their rebellion shortly after the Prophet Muhammad’s death, and the massacre of the Jewish Banu Qurayza in Medina several years earlier’ (p635).

    ‘The episode which concluded the ridda of Kinda was the siege of Nujayr and the massacre of the besieged. Hamdani lists al-Nujayr among the fortresses of Hadramawt and says that it belonged to the Banu Madikarib of Kinda. This is presumably a reference to the offspring of Ashath’s grandfather, Madikarib b. Muawiya b. Jabala. Following the siege, hundreds of men were massacred, women and children were enslaved. The sources significantly point to an analogy between this massacre and the well-known massacre of the Jewish Banu Qurayza several years earlier.’ (p643)

  152. #152 by Justitia on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 5:08 pm

    “The reason undergrad2 is being obnoxious is because you and Lee Wang Yen and people like you are writing or worse yet, copying and pasting pro-Israel or anti-Hamas propaganda. ”

    Orang Rojak, most of your post has been more or less non-partisan. So, I am a little surprised by your statement above and would appreciate very much your showing me where I have “copied or pasted pro-Isreal or anti-Hamas propaganda” in my post. In fact, take this as a challenge. I have taken a very consistent position that BOTH Hamas and Israel are responsible for this human tragedy. If there is a bias, it is to counter the one-sided position in M’sia that apportions blame only to one side and the other side is clearly NEVER, Ever Wrong. I have chosen this purposely. The reason being I do not want to encourage behaviors that can lead to situations like this or we will have a never ending story. One-sidedness means the other side thinks what they are doing is fine and is actually supported. Does any rational human think continue to shoot rockets into Israel is o.k. and acceptable? Does any rational human think that the human suffering in Gaza is right? I think the answer to both questions is a resounding No.

    If you have children, you would know what I mean below. The one beaten up and crying is never completely innocent. The one doing the beating is never completely without justification. There are better ways to handle conflicts or disagreements. History shows it over and over again that we are not good at handling conflicts or disagreements. We display it from childhood on till now and even in this blog that we are not the best in terms of handling conflicts or disagreements. :-)

    I have seen several who have posted about joint responsibility for the conflict but sadly, this is the minority. I have not seen any answers to the question often posed by Jeffrey (copied and pasted below for convenience) from those who think it is all Israel’s fault. Come out and state your stand, please.

    “So in order to avoid humanitarian crisis, is Israel expected, upon humanitarian considerations, either keep on bearing silently the rocket/mortar attacks or agree with Hamas that it has no right to be there or if not what other options?” – Jeffrey

  153. #153 by Lee Wang Yen on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 5:18 pm

    Francis E. Peters, Muhammad and the Origins of Islam, p224:

    ‘ “…Then the Banu Qurayza surrendered themselves and the Messenger confined them in the compound of Bint al-Harith, a woman of the Banu al-Najjar. Then the Messenger went out to the market of Medina – which is still the market today – and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of God Hyayy ibn Aktab and Ka‘b ibn Asas their chief. There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. As they were being taken out in batches to the Apostle, they asked Ka‘b what he thought would be done to them. He replied, ‘Will you never understand? Don’t you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away never return? By God, it is death!” This went on until the Messenger made an end to them…”(Ibn Ishaq 1955, p. 464). The penalty was a harsh one, and perhaps even somewhat surprising in the light of Muhammad’s earlier treatment of the Jews of Medina, but the later Muslim jurists took their cue from Sura 8 of the Quran, which they took to refer to this case: “The worst of beasts in the sight of God are those who reject Him: they will not believe. They are those with whom you made a pact, then they break their compact every time and they fear not God. So if you come up against them in war, drive off through them their followers, that they may remember. And if you fear treachery from any group, dissolve it [that is, the pact] with them equally, for God does not love the treacherous.” (Quran 8:55-58).

  154. #154 by Malaysian on Friday, 16 January 2009 - 8:26 pm

    Is somebody suggest that we must become fanatic in this blog?

  155. #155 by OrangRojak on Saturday, 17 January 2009 - 12:35 am

    If there is a bias, it is to counter
    I can’t remember all of what I wrote this morning before Malaysia’s First Class Infrastructure destroyed it, but it referred to this view. I think I wrote about ‘proportionate’ and what a disastrous strategy it is. The thing about a proportionate response is that it guarantees a minimum response (an eye for an eye springs to mind) but leaves an over-response to be rectified by a proportionate counter-response. Human beings being what they are, mistakes are made and the cycle goes on and on, slowly ratcheting up the number of deaths.

    A proportionate response by an individual is one that is admissible as a defence in most jurisdictions. The problems in intercommunal relations are – who is to judge what is proportionate, and if the counter-response for exceeding one’s proportion is to be avoided, what the penalty should be and which individuals should pay it. In the absence of an external judgement binding on all parties, proportionate responses inevitably beget (if you’ll pardon the biblical language) more proportionate responses.

    A person could read Farish’s article, report that they thought it was cock-eyed, give their reasons and leave it at that. The counters above alleging that the rockets are nail and ball-bearing bombs or that Hamas use human shields, while they could certainly be true in many cases, are almost certainly not uniformly true (if only due to the reliability of supplies of humans and ball bearings), and admit equally upsetting (and equally difficult to check) counter claims. The claims don’t have any readily convertible value, so it’s hard to check that they’re in proportion.

    I wrote about Ghandi this morning, and his (not always strict) adherence to ahimsa. Ghandi has already been dismissed several times on this blog. His strategy wasn’t cowardice, it takes a very brave community to stand together and accept injury or death (or a blow on the other cheek) as the price of not becoming aggressors themselves. Ahimsa is not an easy strategy to sell. Ghandi always looked quite happy to me, but his bowl was empty and he looked thin.

    Unlike the death-ratchet of proportionate responses, pacifism guarantees that at worst only one side will die – the side the strategist is on. John von Neumann (a personal hero of mine, even if I don’t think he was 100% spot on with everything) was a Cold War strategist who advocated nuclear First Strike. A brilliant man, he no doubt took no time at all to see that pre-emptive annihilation results in no more deaths than the willing acceptance of death, but the strategist and his friends all live. Also, weapons of mass destruction make great porn – something that cannot be said of spinning your own clothes.

    If pacifism has something on its side, it is that there is no need to fear it. I would love to have John von Neumann as a neighbour for all those interesting topics he could enlighten me on, while Ghandi might be equally enlightening. The difference is what happens when we quarrel. Ghandi might be irritatingly pleasant if I fall out with him, but if I upset John von Neumann I might never hear his cheerful whistle as he walks his dog past the crater where my house once stood.

    I grew up in a country where terrorists killed people at about the same rate Hamas kills Israelis. Before the ‘War on Terror’ (a now officially taboo phrase in government), I thought the UK was a leading light in dealing with the threat of terrorism. There were errors of judgement by the UK armed forces in Northern Ireland, but none resulting in deaths on the scale of the current assault on Gaza. One alternative for Israel, it seems to me, would have been a similar exercise. It took the UK more than 30 years, and families sending their favourite sons for a Northern Ireland tour of duty weighed heavily on the whole community. So perhaps military policing is not altogether an attractive option. Another alternative would have been to ask the international community for a peace-keeping force. I don’t follow Middle Eastern news in detail, so I have no idea whether Israel attempted this or not. The Gaza strip is not a big place, so a UN project there strikes me as having (would have had) a much greater chance of success than in some other places this has been tried.

    I don’t really want to get into another round of argumentation over options, especially as most options, if they were ever viable, will not be viable again for quite some time. Appealing to a ‘no other option’ argument doesn’t stand up against history, or even current affairs: Spain has yet to launch an all-out assault on the Basque separatists. I doubt there was ever a ‘right’ way to solve the problem Israel and its neighbours face, but it is my opinion that Israel has chosen one of the ‘wronger’ methods. I have made this comment before on one of these article, and don’t want to revisit it. To me, it is so self-evidently true (neither requiring historical precedents nor current analogies) that Israel had other options that I’m bewildered that people should ask for one to be described.

    People are dying at a terrible rate. While some may be interested in the relative wrongness of various aspects of the situation, I feel that competitive argumentation is counter-productive from the point of view of those dying. For those not dying or even at risk of imminent death, my fear is that competitive argumentation over dearly-held views may harden attitudes so that more deaths will seem justified.

  156. #156 by shamshul anuar on Saturday, 17 January 2009 - 12:48 am

    Dear Rainbow seahorses,

    I find that your argument well “funny”. Heirs of Mindanao Sultanate does claim Sabah. The last Sultan of Mindanao, Sultan Jamalul Kiram passed away in 1936. His heir, Princess Dnchurain did try to claim Sabah.

    But i must say that equating Farish’s analogy with Sabah is misplaced. Sabah people voted to form Malaysia. Malaysia is recognised by the whole world.

    Israel is not recognised by many countries. What happened there?Do you know that the creation of Palestine resulted in hundred of thousands killed and as many fled . That is the crux of the problem.

    It is easy asking Palestinians to find diplomatic approach in dealing with Israel. Say that again when your city burnt down, hospital bombed, villages flattened foir the past 60 years.

  157. #157 by computation on Saturday, 17 January 2009 - 4:27 am

    hi malaysian
    i don’t seem fanaticism here.

    we or at least i am waiting for anti-kelizaman’s

    wang yen has made statements about some issues
    which anti-kelizaman has taken offence to.

    but wang yen is not fanatic or extremist.
    he points out his references and even the page numbers.

    he clearly states that he is aware that his references may
    not be perfectly accurate. he would like anti-kelizaman
    to point out any possible problems with those references.

    anti-kelizaman hasn’t responded yet. perhaps he is busy.
    i am still waiting. anti-kelizaman clearly need not worry
    that wang yen will not look up or hunt down any
    references that he gives to show any errors factual
    or otherwise.
    why anti-kelizaman has even commended him
    on his stamina!

  158. #158 by computation on Saturday, 17 January 2009 - 4:28 am

    i mean i don’t “see” fanaticism here…

  159. #159 by Lee Wang Yen on Saturday, 17 January 2009 - 5:14 am

    oops… ‘ Islamic sources indicate that on the EVE of Islam…’

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