Discussions on Israel and Palestine

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Yiwah
Discussions on Israel and Palestine

For my second installment of 'things that make you go hmmm'...

Is the Israel/Palestine issues one of those (thankfully rare) topics that is simply not one that can be discussed from a moderate (re: not either/or) stance?

I ask this here, because the 'anti-Zionism' of leftists is relentless.  Hysterical, almost.  Then you have the rabid pro-Israel crowd who also won't budge.  I can count on one hand the number of individuals I've ran into over the years who can discuss the issue from both sides.

Deeper into this issue is the perplexing way in which normally rational human beings have a tendency to believe in a world wide Zionist conspiracy, assigning to these Zionists nearly god-like powers of manipulation and influence.  I've lost as many friends to belief in the ZOG as I have to evangelist Christian sects.

 

So.  Let us discuss the way people approach Zionism, Israel, Palestine, Antisemitism and moderation.

Yiwah

Oh, and if there is some 'accepted' fact regarding the nature of these discussions that the Babble community upholds, perhaps a Moderator could outline that for us?

Pants-of-dog

You spelt Israel wrong in the title.

Yiwah

Pants-of-dog wrote:

You spelt Israel wrong in the title.

*hangs head in shame*

Thanks, Pants. 

Foot in mouth

Maysie Maysie's picture

Pants, you spelled "spelled" wrong. Tongue out

And I fixed the thread title. 

E.Tamaran

Maysie wrote:

Pants, you spelled "spelled" wrong. Tongue out

And I fixed the thread title. 

I thought so as well but "spelt" is acceptable.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/spelt

 

It also means wheat.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Yiwah, as to the topic, I will keep it simple.

State oppression, with all the tools and powers that the state has (as well as allies of the state with their own interests) is on one side.

The other side is folks who were there long (there's a debate as to how long, let's just say long) before the state system arrived, and these folks were systematically removed from ancestral lands, placed, legally, into specific regions and given separate rights than the citizens of the imposed and much better resourced state. There are citizenship restrictions, movement restrictions, access to resources including food and potable water, that the marginalized folks are told simply to deal with and "shut the fuck up or we'll kill you". I'm paraphrasing.

Sound familiar?

Sure there's the "side" of the oppressor. In some other thread, some babblers who are snarkier than I said that every issue has a side, there's the pro-slavery perspective (good for the larger economy AND personal profits!) just to give one over-the-top and offensive example.

But that "side" has no place on a progressive discussion board. In my opinion.

Yiwah

Maysie wrote:

Pants, you spelled "spelled" wrong. Tongue out

And I fixed the thread title. 

Hahaha, thanks Maysie...but I think 'spelt' is actually an accepted spelling.  Like burnt vs. burned.

Maysie Maysie's picture

I am humbled in the correction of my correction of "spelt". Thank you E.Tamaran and Yiwah.

Yiwah

Maysie wrote:

Yiwah, as to the topic, I will keep it simple.

State oppression, with all the tools and powers that the state has (as well as allies of the state with their own interests) is on one side.

The other side is folks who were there long (there's a debate as to how long, let's just say long) before the state system arrived, and these folks were systematically removed from ancestral lands, placed, legally, into specific regions and given separate rights than the citizens of the imposed and much better resourced state. There are citizenship restrictions, movement restrictions, access to resources including food and potable water, that the marginalized folks are told simply to deal with and shut the fuck up or we'll kill you.

Sound familiar?

Sure there's the "side" of the oppressor. In some other thread, some babblers who are snarkier than I said that every issues has a side, there's the pro-slavery perspective (good for the economy AND profits!) just to give one over the top and offensive example.

But that "side" has no place on a progressive discussion board. In my opinion.

 

So it is not possible to look at the entire history of relations in that area and discuss the topic as the clusterfuck (pardon my language) that it is, rather than addressing it as cut and dry, one side wrong, the other side right?

Because I cannot countenance such a black and white view of a situation that is particularly complex.

 

One gets rather tired of trite phrases like "You'd think after they Holocaust they'd have learned a thing or two" etc.  That kind of lack of intellectual rigour is something you expect on the comments section of cbc.ca.

Yiwah

Let me put it this way, actually.

 

I don't see slogan yelling to be progressive.  I also do not think that addressing an issue with no analysis is progressive.

I cannot in all honesty be simply 100% pro-Palestine, 100% anti-Israel, and I certainly want nothing to do with the type of people who spout "omg Zionism" over absolutely everything.  I certainly hope that the perception is not that holding all or nothing views and believing in centuries old conspiracy theories is something the left should aspire to.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Yiwah wrote:
 So it is not possible to look at the entire history of relations in that area and discuss the topic as the clusterfuck (pardon my language) that it is, rather than addressing it as cut and dry, one side wrong, the other side right?

Yiwah, there have been many many discussions on babble of the sort you're suggesting. Please see posts from the babble archives, recent and far, by Cueball and Unionist, who taught me far more than I had ever realized about the region, the history and Israel/Palestine. 

I never used the terms right and wrong. For me, social and political and personal justice is about power, and who has it and who doesn't. In the case of state power versus non-state power, it's pretty clear to me. As for the solution, that's far less clear. But given that I don't live in the region I don't think it's my place to offer solutions anyways.

Please note that nothing of what I said in post #6 refers to anything about Israel not having the right to exist. However, since my exact phraseology can be applied to Canada, it's an interesting reality to ponder, if Canada has the right to exist. But that's thread drift.

Unionist

Yiwah wrote:

So it is not possible to look at the entire history of relations in that area and discuss the topic as the clusterfuck (pardon my language) that it is, rather than addressing it as cut and dry, one side wrong, the other side right?

Your language is pardoned. But the correct expression is "cut and dried".

Maysie Maysie's picture

Yiwah, I don't feel I'm yelling slogans. And I'm not sure where anyone, including me, has said anything about a requirement of 100% pro-Palestinian and 100% anti-Israel. 

I don't think I've ever ranted about Zionism, if only because I know just a bit about what it means, and who identifies with it. My analysis is systemic, and it's about power.

And conspiracy theories that are anti-Semitic will be called out if mentioned on babble. They hold no political weight whatsoever.

I'm not sure who you're debating with, Yiwah.

Yiwah

Lol, scholars and gentlefolk abound!

Except once again, both terms are accepted.  [url=http://mw4.m-w.com/dictionary/cut-and-dry]Cut and dry, cut and dried[/url].

Yiwah

I'm not accusing you of doing these things, Maysie. 

But if you're not sure what I'm talking about, maybe you've just become immune to it, as long as you've been here?

Yiwah

Also, I don't think perhaps I've been clear enough, that when I talk about the difficulty with having any sort of balance when it comes to discussions on Israel and Palestine, that I'm not confining myself to this forum.  It's just one of those topics that you so rarely (if ever) see approached from a non-extremist position. 

 

6079_Smith_W

I'm not one for awkward silences or lurkers, so I will say that I am observing with interest.

Yiwah, if you want to know how I feel about your question all you have to do is look at some of the things I have said on the subject.

 

Unionist

Yiwah wrote:

  It's just one of those topics that you so rarely (if ever) see approached from a non-extremist position. 

It's lovely to frame debates by one's choice of terminology.

How about this definition:

Extremism (n.) - a chronic and pathological insistence that truth and virtue are to be found at the midpoint between the camp of the oppressed and the camp of the oppressors.

 

 

absentia

Also semi-present but not lurking. (Uninterested in spelt/burned/diced/dried debates, though)

Have little to add to what Maysie has said very well, except to mention that what usually starts a discussion regarding Israel & Palestine, is not the history of the region, but a particular newsworthy action. People either have an opinion about the right and wrong of an action, in which case they will state it unequivocally, or they don't, in which case they probably won't post.

Yiwah

Unionist wrote:

It's lovely to frame debates by one's choice of terminology.

How about this definition:

Extremism (n.) - a chronic and pathological insistence that truth and virtue are to be found at the midpoint between the camp of the oppressed and the camp of the oppressors.

 

Uh-huh.  Nice made-up definition.

Let me be even more clear.

The all-or-nothing-Israel-is-evil stance is extreme.  It also appears to be the default position of many on the left, or at least the most vocal among them.  One of the first things claimed, when this topic is brought up, is that if you are questioning it, you must support Israel and think what is happening to Palestinians is okay.

I'd like to cut that argument off at the knees, right off the bat, thanks.

Yiwah

absentia wrote:

Also semi-present but not lurking. (Uninterested in spelt/burned/diced/dried debates, though)

Have little to add to what Maysie has said very well, except to mention that what usually starts a discussion regarding Israel & Palestine, is not the history of the region, but a particular newsworthy action. People either have an opinion about the right and wrong of an action, in which case they will state it unequivocally, or they don't, in which case they probably won't post.

Well that's quite often what sparks most debates, isn't it?  Something that has happened which gets the issue out again?

However, the larger debate is still something lurking there, under the newsworthy action.  I'm originally from Alberta, where pro-Israel sentiment runs very high.  So I've heard the extremism from that side.  I was also involved in a lot of student politics where a large portion of the activists were pro-Palestine, so that too is a position I am familiar with.  Both sides unequivocally blame the other, wholly and unabashedly.

I mean, there are more topics like this, so polarised as to be impossible to navigate at times, but this particular issue is one of 'the big ones', IMO.  I'm just wondering if others have noticed that, what they think about it, and if they have dealt with it in any way that approaches the way we deal with other controversial issues?

Unionist

Yiwah wrote:

The all-or-nothing-Israel-is-evil stance is extreme.  [...]

I'd like to cut that argument off at the knees, right off the bat, thanks.

Let me try to understand that notion of "extreme" by asking you two questions:

1. All-or-nothing-Canada-should-get-out-of-Afghanistan-now-with-no-preconditions-whatsoever.

2. All-or-nothing-the-South-African-apartheid-regime-was-evil.

Would you qualify one or both or neither of those as "extremist"?

 

Stargazer

Read the main stream media, you won't get balance. I don't know what you expect to find here Yiwah. This is  left wing discussion board. For lefty ideas and discussions. It isn't a place where there has to be a balance. The oppressed have no voice so I ask you, why should babble give an even greater voice to the pro-Israel media, government and people? They have a voice and it is more than loud and clear. The balance is that we here counteract the bullshit that is thrown at us by the MSM. That is the balance.

 

 

Yiwah

Unionist wrote:

Let me try to understand that notion of "extreme" by asking you two questions:

1. All-or-nothing-Canada-should-get-out-of-Afghanistan-now-with-no-preconditions-whatsoever.

2. All-or-nothing-the-South-African-apartheid-regime-was-evil.

Would you qualify one or both or neither of those as "extremist"?

 

 

I would qualify the first as extremist, as it fails to take into account the structures Canada has deliberately set up to make an immediate withdrawl something which would almost certainly have serious and extremely dangerous effects for Afghan citizens.  Wanting Canada out is not extreme...not paying attention to what needs to be done to get out us out of there with a minimum of further damage to Afghans is.

The second is not extreme, as it discusses the regime itself.  It is possible, with that stance, to see 'positives' coming out of the practice of apartheid (whatever they might be) without undermining the stance itself.  Such as one can admit that certain Aboriginal people received an excellent education in Residential Schools, while still maintaining the entire system was unjust.

 

I'm not sure why you quoted those two sentences together, btw.  The second sentence makes no sense without the context it was framed in.

milo204

To me the extremists are the Us, Canadian and Israeli governments.  Everyone else has agreed to the two state solution and is waiting for these laggards to finally agree to it.  even Iran. hamas and hezbollah agree to it.

 

When we speak of radical anti-zionism, it's such a small proportion of the people involved i think it's a misnomer to characterize it as being a driving force in the reason a solution hasn't already been carried out.  It only seems widespread if you start to include everyone who opposes the state of israels aggressive and illegal actions to be a "radical anti zionist", which is untrue unless zionism means occupation and endless war, ethnic segregation and the like.  if that's the case than i guess you're right most people are opposed to zionism.  

add to this the fact that the voices of these lefties, and palestinians are commonly silenced, sometimes with force and yes, people start getting more and more pissed off and more vocal.

 

on the other hand, the extremist pro israel crowd commonly ADVOCATES this kind violence, they have all the most powerful diplomatic institutions and militaries on their side and are actually carrying out their policies as we speak.  

 

now who is it that refuses to budge?

Unionist

Well, Yiwah, I'm done with your "debate". Thanks for your honest replies. By the way, this is 2010, and history is marching forward. It's not a matter of choice.

Yiwah

Stargazer wrote:

Read the main stream media, you won't get balance. I don't know what you expect to find here Yiwah. This is  left wing discussion board. For lefty ideas and discussions. It isn't a place where there has to be a balance. The oppressed have no voice so I ask you, why should babble give an even greater voice to the pro-Israel media, government and people? They have a voice and it is more than loud and clear. The balance is that we here counteract the bullshit that is thrown at us by the MSM. That is the balance.

Sorry...what?

Maybe I'm a little too idealistic here.  I prefer to think that we're leftists because we ARE balanced.  To me, being left wing isn't about ignoring the other side of things, and it doesn't preclude one from engaging in critical thinking ESPECIALLY when a situation doesn't necessarily support your position. 

What I am not advocating here is some neutral ground where the opposing sides meet and are morally equal.  That isn't balance, it's just stupid.  What I am advocating is for more people to engage in the kinds of conversations where it is alright to admit things such as "wow, that was a bad move on the part of the side I support" without having be seen as undermining the ideological position you say you espouse.  Either in your own mind, or in the minds of others.

I think that goes for all topics, not just this one.  People get too emotionally invested in their positions, and then take it personally when someone points out flaws in their arguments.  I see that as a serious problem leftists need to get over.  I'm not saying right-wingers should get over it, because I could care less :P

So.  I am not asking for babble to 'give a voice to the pro-Isreal media etc etc whatever'.  I'm asking, in a leftist forum, why more leftists are unable to discuss these issues amongst themselves in order to strengthen the debate and the positions taken?  And if someone says "hold on now, that's the fault of Zionism how?" I don't see that question as somehow pro-Israel, or in any way 'silencing the oppressed'.  Conflating the two is not something we should be doing.

Yiwah

Unionist wrote:

Well, Yiwah, I'm done with your "debate". Thanks for your honest replies. By the way, this is 2010, and history is marching forward. It's not a matter of choice.

Thank you for highlighting the dismissive attitude used to silence and marginalise people who question.  It's okay though, the people asking questions are oppressors, and/or not actually left wing I'm sure.  At least, we have to assume, since we won't engage them.

Yiwah

milo204 wrote:

To me the extremists are the Us, Canadian and Israeli governments.  Everyone else has agreed to the two state solution and is waiting for these laggards to finally agree to it.  even Iran. hamas and hezbollah agree to it.

 

When we speak of radical anti-zionism, it's such a small proportion of the people involved i think it's a misnomer to characterize it as being a driving force in the reason a solution hasn't already been carried out.  It only seems widespread if you start to include everyone who opposes the state of israels aggressive and illegal actions to be a "radical anti zionist", which is untrue unless zionism means occupation and endless war, ethnic segregation and the like.  if that's the case than i guess you're right most people are opposed to zionism. 

I think my beef with the term "Zionism" is that it tends to get thrown around a little too loosey goosey.  Zionism exists, and is an extreme political agenda.  However, you then get things tossed in related to "Zionism controlling Hollywood/the banks/all media/the world" etc and suddenly EVERYTHING is Zionist. 

It's because the term Zionism gets tossed around so much, I quite often have to ask people what they mean when they use it.  That's when the trouble starts.  People get all huffy, assume you're pro-Israel and shut you down.

Actually that's my beef with the whole subject.  It happens with other subjects too, don't get me wrong...but this one is a BIG one.  You start discussing Israel/Palestine and if you aren't angry enough, or if you start asking questions, suddenly people are accusing you of support a particular point of view, of being manipulative and having an agenda, or whatever. 

Really?  That's how we're going to treat one another?

milo204 wrote:

add to this the fact that the voices of these lefties, and palestinians are commonly silenced, sometimes with force and yes, people start getting more and more pissed off and more vocal.

on the other hand, the extremist pro israel crowd commonly ADVOCATES this kind violence, they have all the most powerful diplomatic institutions and militaries on their side and are actually carrying out their policies as we speak.  

now who is it that refuses to budge?

I agree, 100%, that the mainstream media is hugely biased in favour of Israel, and that our government is as well.  I do not believe that leftists need to go out in public and say 'well I can see Israel's position too...', for exactly the reasons you've laid out here.

However, I also don't think leftists should have to retire to the Bat Cave to secretly hash out amongst themselves how to deal with some of the inconsistencies or problems with certain actions, for fear that doing so will undermine the entire leftist position.

Which is sort of how I feel this issue is approached.  As though questioning it in any way is seen as unforgivably dangerous.

Stargazer

The other side isn't ignored. The other side is shoved down or throats every single day, all day. I don't think I can be much clearer. I'm not understanding your assumption that we haven't thought of this critically. Of course we did.

 

Anyways, I also don't have anything more to say on this and it has nothing to do with being dismissive. It has to do with this assumption that we have to be "fair" and that we haven't thought critically about this and that somehow we should be more balanced. I'm not understanding what you prefer were more balanced.

Yiwah

Stargazer wrote:

The other side isn't ignored. The other side is shoved down or throats every single day, all day. I don't think I can be much clearer. I'm not understanding your assumption that we haven't thought of this critically. Of course we did.

 

Anyways, I also don't have anything more to say on this and it has nothing to do with being dismissive. It has to do with this assumption that we have to be "fair" and that we haven't thought critically about this and that somehow we should be more balanced. I'm not understanding what you prefer were more balanced.

You're right, you're not understanding what I'm saying.

I'm saying that there is a very strong pressure here (and elsewhere among leftists) not to discuss the issue AT ALL.  That the discussions that do happen are mostly at the surface, and in step with the ideological position.  That it's basically a bunch of slogan yelling.

Perhaps you don't see it that way, and that's fine.

Yiwah

By the way, I'm not saying these discussiong DON'T happen.  They do.

I just question why they get so, so ugly.

absentia

I haven't noticed anyone on this thread being 'ugly'. Obtuse, perhaps picky, but not ugly.

I also haven't read any slogans. Statements of position and principle, reasoned and patiently repeated, but no slogans.

So... What are you hoping someone will say?

 

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
However, you then get things tossed in related to "Zionism controlling Hollywood/the banks/all media/the world" etc and suddenly EVERYTHING is Zionist. 

 

I can't tell yet if your position is one of good faith or not, but this statement is complete rubbish. I haven't encountered anyone on babble (except for Stockholm, but he has his own reasons) who has equated Zionism with the kind of antisemitic worldwide Jewish conspiracy theory that you're suggesting.

NDPP

Yiwah, here's what I think would be a far more productive use of all our time:

FREE PALESTINE!

milo204

Yiwah, i totally agree that discussions on what to do about this should be open and up for debate.  At the same time, there are things like that happening, and they are open to one and all to come and participate.  Things like Israeli apartheid week are forums to discuss things like bds, different actions and tactics etc...also the world social forum provide a more global arena for this, but it's up to those who have ideas to get involved.

 

Also, while i disagree with it, i know that most people are going to take it personally when you challenge their views, even if you agree on larger principles.  that's when it's time to suck it up, be persistent, and stand up for what you believe is right.

 

absentia

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

Yiwah, here's what I think would be a far more productive use of all our time:

FREE PALESTINE!

Oh, hey, finally, a slogan.

Still not hysterical, extremist or ugly.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Quote:
The all-or-nothing-Israel-is-evil stance is extreme.  It also appears to be the default position of many on the left, or at least the most vocal among them.

What is the "all-or-nothing-Israel-is-evil stance"? I'm unaware of it as a standard adhered to by the 'left', except perhaps the fictitious monolithic one I read about in the most rabid of rightwing rags.

I'm inclined to echo Maysie: I'm not sure who you're debating with, Yiwah.

Yiwah

absentia wrote:

I haven't noticed anyone on this thread being 'ugly'. Obtuse, perhaps picky, but not ugly.

I also haven't read any slogans. Statements of position and principle, reasoned and patiently repeated, but no slogans.

So... What are you hoping someone will say?

 

I'm not sure how you think that this thread could be referring to statements made...in this thread?  Wouldn't I need some sort of time machine to make an OP referring to specific comments in the thread which necessarily would be posted after the OP?  I mean I'm awesome but...

I am definitely seeing that people here are taking this as an accusation.  I wanted to discuss the way people approach the Israel/Palestine debate in a more general sense.  I'm not particularly interested in how people on the Right approach it, but I am very interested in how various people on the left do.

Those approaches, in my experience as a leftist, tend to range from your basic pro-Palestine stance all the way over to the very extreme conspiracy theory approach to Zionism (controlling the world).  What I have only very rarely seen is someone, on the left, who was able to discuss the topic in what I consider a balanced way.  I have attempted to define 'balance' as not some morally neutral middle ground, but rather from the perspective that even the side you support has fucked up here and there, and how has that allowed the side you DON'T support to benefit, etc. 

So this thread questions the approach taken on the left, the general left, the left that exists here on Babble, but also on a much wider level.  This thread speaks at the level of generalisations.  This thread questions why this issue CAN NOT BE QUESTIONED without raising some sort of confused, paranoid panic.

Already I have had people question my intentions, as though I have some hidden agenda to even ask these things.  It is PRECISELY that reaction I question.  I would like to know where it comes from and why people believe it is justified, or desireable to maintain.

I hope I've managed to clear up what it is I'm asking, and why.  If it is still unclear, please feel free to clarify with me.

Yiwah

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

Quote:
The all-or-nothing-Israel-is-evil stance is extreme.  It also appears to be the default position of many on the left, or at least the most vocal among them.

What is the "all-or-nothing-Israel-is-evil stance"? I'm unaware of it as a standard adhered to by the 'left', except perhaps the fictitious monolithic one I read about in the most rabid of rightwing rags.

I'm inclined to echo Maysie: I'm not sure who you're debating with, Yiwah.

Really?

 

So if someone says "aargh, why'd Hamas have to go and do x, it really rallied support against them, undermined public opinion and gave Israel the justification to do z', that people wouldn't be saying "HOW DARE YOU!!! ISRAEL IS THE AGRESSOR, WHY ARE YOU TAKING THEIR SIDE, YOU MUST BE PRO-ZIONIST!"

I'm not talking about a 'fictitious monolithic left', I'm talking about how a great many people on the left can't discuss this issue at all because doing so gets everyone so pissed off, it becomes impossible to debate.

There are other topics like this, by the way.  Abortion, and Religion for example.  Though generally the stance on these topics split fairly well along ideological lines, so it's less likely you're going to have people on the left disagreeing. 

Israel and Palestine is a bit different though, because you will have people on the left who are pro-Israel (though some would argue that immediately invalidates their 'leftiness'), or you'll have people who don't want to take a fully pro-Palestine stance.  Whereas, I think most leftists, for example, will agree that there should not be restrictions on access to abortion, even if individually people don't agree with abortion. 

Anyway, I'm questioning whether it's actually up for debate on the left, and to what extent, or if people automatically belive 'debate' means something sinister.

Yiwah

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Quote:
However, you then get things tossed in related to "Zionism controlling Hollywood/the banks/all media/the world" etc and suddenly EVERYTHING is Zionist. 

 

I can't tell yet if your position is one of good faith or not, but this statement is complete rubbish. I haven't encountered anyone on babble (except for Stockholm, but he has his own reasons) who has equated Zionism with the kind of antisemitic worldwide Jewish conspiracy theory that you're suggesting.

*sigh*

Is it possible to look outside the bubble of Babble?  Can we do that, maybe?  You know, since Babble is generally full of leftists who have experience with other leftists outside of Babble and might be able to bring some insight to this topic in a way that doesn't confine them to only discussing what happens on this particular forum?

Unionist

Yiwah wrote:

I'm not talking about a 'fictitious monolithic left', I'm talking about how a great many people on the left can't discuss this issue at all because doing so gets everyone so pissed off, it becomes impossible to debate.

There are other topics like this, by the way.  Abortion, and Religion for example.  Though generally the stance on these topics split fairly well along ideological lines, so it's less likely you're going to have people on the left disagreeing.

Ah yes, abortion. Will that be the next "why can't we talk calmly about this without getting all hot and bothered" thread?

We've already heard about unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan being "extremist", so we should consider a thread on why leftists can't talk about staying in Afghanistan a bit longer without people screaming and shouting.

And then we can re-open the residential school discussion, hopefully without catcalls and panic, because, after all, "one can admit that certain Aboriginal people received an excellent education in Residential Schools".

I can hardly wait.

KenS

Unionist wrote:

And then we can re-open the residential school discussion, hopefully without catcalls and panic, because, after all, "one can admit that certain Aboriginal people received an excellent education in Residential Schools".

I can hardly wait.

I'm going to suggest a change of Unionists words there to "you know the people running those schools were sincere and doing their best." The way he put it is too easy to dismiss. I agree with the point he is making.

KenS

Consider the fact that on every level of the body public, this IS an extremely polarized and polarizing cluster of issues.

Further, that Israel engages in a deliberate policy of making it more polarized, be that militarily, propaganda, and even in the terrain of diplomacy. Thats even handed realism by the way.

So how realistic is it to have a discussion about Israel where button pushing doesn't become the order of the day? Without a bevy of moderators on hand.

Israel has waged scorched earth on the turf of moderates. Its a wasteleand that can't support life.

Unionist

KenS wrote:

I'm going to suggest a change of Unionists words there to "you know the people running those schools were sincere and doing their best." The way he put it is too easy to dismiss. I agree with the point he is making.

Ken, I didn't choose those words. I quoted them from Yiwah's post upthread.

 

Yiwah

Unionist wrote:

Yiwah wrote:

I'm not talking about a 'fictitious monolithic left', I'm talking about how a great many people on the left can't discuss this issue at all because doing so gets everyone so pissed off, it becomes impossible to debate.

There are other topics like this, by the way.  Abortion, and Religion for example.  Though generally the stance on these topics split fairly well along ideological lines, so it's less likely you're going to have people on the left disagreeing.

Ah yes, abortion. Will that be the next "why can't we talk calmly about this without getting all hot and bothered" thread?

Um, no?  Because I just explained how abortion as a topic is split along ideological lines, and is not something that leftists tend to disagree on even if they themselves don't like the idea of abortion?  The stance is still one of choice.

Unionist wrote:
We've already heard about unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan being "extremist", so we should consider a thread on why leftists can't talk about staying in Afghanistan a bit longer without people screaming and shouting.

I find it interesting that you left this thread without actually addressing my answers to your questions, but you've come back to mischaracterise them now.  I explained why I think an unconditional, immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan ignores the realities of the system Canada has set up in that country.  I explained that I think that's an extremist and unrealistic approach, as that particular system is set up to prevent an unconditional immediate withdrawal, and ignoring that fact is foolish.

But by all means, if you believe that we could just pull out tomorrow and avoid any negative consequences (consequences that would result from the system I previously referred to), then you are free to hold that opinion.  Hopefully, however, you will actually understand my argument, and be able to address IT rather than the false characterisation of "Yiwah said unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan is extremist omg!"

If not, I will happily refer you back to this post, and the post where I first answered your question.

Unionist wrote:

And then we can re-open the residential school discussion, hopefully without catcalls and panic, because, after all, "one can admit that certain Aboriginal people received an excellent education in Residential Schools".

Again, you seem not to understand my argument.  I thought I had made it fairly clear, but the depth of your misunderstanding disabuses me of that notion.  Let me try again.

If you take the simplistic approach that "Residential schools were all bad", then someone is going to rightfully point out to you that some Aboriginal people received an excellent education in them, were not abused, and actually enjoyed the experience.  This fact of course does not negate the more important issue of Residential schools being deliberately set up as a system intent on cultural destruction and assimilation.  However, the simplistic stance opens you up to these kinds of 'counter-examples' which the other side takes, runs with and goes 'woohoo see!  They're wrong!'

If you discuss Residential schooling as a 'bad system', then anomalous 'good results' do not undermine your argument, not even to those who want your argument to be undermined.

And THAT is why I said the one approach was extremist (because it ignores reality), while the other is not (because it acknowledges anomalies, without being undermined by them).

I like to approach life in a more nuanced manner than you were apparently prepared to recognise.  I hope that is no longer a problem.

Unionist wrote:

I can hardly wait.

You'll be waiting a while for me to defend the strawmen you've constructed, sorry.

remind remind's picture

concern trolling is getting to be an issue a babble....

Yiwah

KenS wrote:

Consider the fact that on every level of the body public, this IS an extremely polarized and polarizing cluster of issues.

Further, that Israel engages in a deliberate policy of making it more polarized, be that militarily, propaganda, and even in the terrain of diplomacy. Thats even handed realism by the way.

So how realistic is it to have a discussion about Israel where button pushing doesn't become the order of the day? Without a bevy of moderators on hand.

Israel has waged scorched earth on the turf of moderates. Its a wasteleand that can't support life.

I don't know, I suppose we could be adults about it?  We could start by not taking any questions as a personal attack.

I have very high expectations of leftists, call me idealistic.

Yiwah

remind wrote:

concern trolling is getting to be an issue a babble....

 

I'm not really up on all the lingo here, could you define 'concern trolling' for me?

Yiwah

milo204 wrote:

Yiwah, i totally agree that discussions on what to do about this should be open and up for debate.  At the same time, there are things like that happening, and they are open to one and all to come and participate.  Things like Israeli apartheid week are forums to discuss things like bds, different actions and tactics etc...also the world social forum provide a more global arena for this, but it's up to those who have ideas to get involved.

 

Also, while i disagree with it, i know that most people are going to take it personally when you challenge their views, even if you agree on larger principles.  that's when it's time to suck it up, be persistent, and stand up for what you believe is right.

 

Oh!  Sorry, I missed this post!

For the record, I am pro-Palestine. 

Though I know saying that won't matter, for as I pointed out in the OP, simply bringing up the TOPIC of Israel/Palestine is usually enough to get people calling you pro-Israel.  Which is, unless I am completely mistaken, is basically where the comments are headed.

Which is funny, because that was my opening question.  WHY does this happen, how do people justify it, and actually...do people even notice themselves doing it?

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