Wednesday, October 6, 2021

When Asked to Justify a Condemnation

A few months ago, Hamas was firing thousands of rockets, yet Israel was under international condemnation from much of the world. A group of mostly Jewish academics of Jewish and Israel studies decided to effectively support Hamas by issuing a public condemnation of "the state violence that the Israeli government and its security forces have been carrying out in Gaza" (with a later tepid acknowledgement that the rockets from Hamas were unjustifiable and indiscriminate). 

This week, I noticed one of the signatories - Professor Shaul Magid, a former Orthodox rabbi with a long white beard - appearing on Facebook. (It was regarding a post about settler violence by Robby Berman, a person with the unusually nuanced view that Israel commits terrible injustices to Palestinians on a regular basis, but withdrawing from the West Bank right now would be a mistake, just like withdrawing from Gaza was a mistake.) I decided to take the opportunity to engage Professor Magid regarding Gaza. An extraordinary exchange ensued, which you can read at this link. The parallels to the 2004 Daas Torah condemnation of my books are striking!

91 comments:

  1. Rabbi Slifkin, Yasher koach. Keep at it! People who make public proclamations need to feel that someone will hold them accountable for what they say.

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  2. Just because something is "nuanced" doesn't make it right, or even good. Sometimes nuance is specifically *not* called for. Berman is capable of saying some remarkably bad things himself.

    Magid has really gone over the edge the last few years.

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    1. Totally - what one calls nuance the other calls sophistry. “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”

      ― George Orwell

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    2. Nobody could ever accuse Nachum of nuance. Having defended chants from dancing youths calling for Arab villages to be burned down and for death to the Arabs on this blog, his position was never in doubt.

      I would however venture that such extremism is a good advert for the silent majority of us who want more for their children than sectarian hate.

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    3. I'm not so sure what's so bad with Rabbi Berman's pronouncement:

      "a person with the unusually nuanced view that Israel commits terrible injustices to Palestinians on a regular basis, but withdrawing from the West Bank right now would be a mistake, just like withdrawing from Gaza was a mistake"

      Leaving the West Bank, without some sort of Plan B in place if Hamas starts firing rockets from there, is indeed an act of folly.

      And it should be remembered that there was rocket fire from Gaza, between the time of the 2005 Disengagement to the 2007 Hamas takeover (1722 rockets in 2006 alone). It wasn't like it stopped while the PA had full control, and then resumed when Hamas took over.

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    4. Hat: I'm so flattered there's someone like you who's that obsessed with me that you can bring up the same tired L-I-E-S every time I try to post something.

      Yes, lies. I challenge you to quote actual words I've used. Not something you've "interpreted" in your fevered imagination.

      It must really, really annoy you that there are people out there with different beliefs from yours. I'd say that either makes you super-Woke or super-Charedi, but as R' Slifkin ably demonstrates here, there isn't much difference between those two.

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    5. Yehudah, leaving aside things he's said on other occasions, I'll just say that it's a pet peeve of mine when people feel obligated to always include, alongside their defenses of Israel, such terms as, "Of *course* Israel isn't perfect" or whatever. It's pointless and gives succor to our enemies, for starters.

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    6. This is a vexatious challenge but

      http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2021/06/racist-zionists-and-liberal-charedim.html?m=1

      Rabbi Dr: "Yesterday, somebody challenged me to write about a horrific video in the news yesterday. It showed a group of religious Zionist youth at yesterday's Flag Parade in Jerusalem, chanting "Death to the Arabs.""

      Nachum "you know what would be nice? If people bothered to formulate actual objections rather than scream "RACIST!" all the time. But such are the times we live in, I guess."

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    7. @Nachum: "It's pointless and gives succor to our enemies, for starters."
      Yes, I notice that Palestinian voices that I read on Quora almost never criticize Palestinian policy--only maybe for being too "moderate" by not engaging more in "armed resistance"!

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    8. So are you personally obsessed with me, or do you catalog everything you find for future Cancellation opportunities? If the former, I have to inform you that I'm taken. If the latter, I've written a lot worse than that.

      In any event, just because you can't formulate a response to what I wrote doesn't give you license to completely misrepresent it and take it out of context. I was going to say "misconstrue," but maybe, nebach, you have reading comprehension problems. (The charedi angle.) Or perhaps, like most callow youth today, you can't comprehend anything out of a very narrow Overton Window. (The Woke angle.) Or maybe both!

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    9. Yehudah: On a more practical level, you never hear someone praising any other country in the world by saying, "I think Belgium [for example] is a great place. Of course, it's got its problems, but..."

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    10. So, YehudaP, you want *them* to be nuanced but it is absolutely fine for you not to be? You have to be consistent - either the extremists on both sides are right or the nuanced people on both sides are right.

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    11. Nachum: I hear nuance about Belgium all the time. Politically disjointed but great transport links and education for example.

      I obviously don't spend enough time in far right echo chambers with the other baby boomers embarrassing myself with content so extreme you state it misrepresents you when it's quoted back.

      You are absolutely right. Your content misrepresents you.

      Log off, delete facebook. I am sure you are a respectful and considerate person - away from these toxic hellholes.

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    12. Or the extremists on one side are right.

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    13. So, YehudaP, you want *them* to be nuanced but it is absolutely fine for you not to be? You have to be consistent - either the extremists on both sides are right or the nuanced people on both sides are right.

      If you would read the stuff that they post on the "Palestine Today" space on Quora, you'd agree with me. The stuff is as nuanced as Kahane Chai people are, just that they're Palestinian. You're concerned about West Bank settlements being land theft. They think all of Israel--even the pre-'67 borders--is land theft. What's the only logical course of action? Why, "armed resistance", of course!

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  3. For all their education, Shaul Magid and Joshua Shanes are moral idiots, and I mean that quite literally. Engaging with them is like arguing with vaxxers, but thank you for your efforts!

    "Tell that to the mothers of children killed in the bombing. "We're sorry we killed your daughter, we didn't mean to."

    Yes, that's exactly what you say. The same thing you would tell a German mother whose children had been killed in 1945 by the Allied offensive.

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    1. And it's not even like the Hamas could say the same.

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    2. "Tell that to the mothers of children killed in the bombing. "We're sorry we killed your daughter, we didn't mean to."
      That would actually makes things worse because they WANT their kids to die for the "cause". It reminds me a cartoon about the conflict where an arab woman is showing pictures of their children to another who then says "Ah, they blew up so fast !".

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  4. You say Shaul Magid was "a former orthodox rabbi." According to Wikipedia, he to got ordination from Rabbi Chaim Brovender, was a fellow at the Hartman Institute, was on the faculty at JTS, and has been rabbi of a gay synagogue since 1997. The same article says he grew up non-observant, but in his 20s "became involved with the haredi movement and studied Modern Orthodoxy" but "after several years abandoned it." Some "orthodox rabbi."

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    1. He actually is/was an orthodox rabbi and got semicha from a number of prominent rabonim.

      He is likely more learned than most "Charedi" rabonim.

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    2. Okay, Chaimf. Whatever you say.

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    3. Explain for us please the quotation marks around "Charedi."

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    4. FWIW, the same Wikipedia article you quote says Magid got (Orthodox) semichah from “Rabbis Chaim Brovender, Yaacov Warhaftig, and Zalman Nechemia Goldberg” (all Orthodox rabbis), “but after several years he abandoned Orthodoxy”.

      So… former Orthodox rabbi. He was one once, he’s not anymore. What’s the kasha?

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    5. RZN Goldberg's semicha was a correspondence course and not a true semicha, and I don't know the other one. Point is, tho possibly he may have gotten a piece of paper from someone, "former orthodox rabbi" is a misleading and I would even say false description.

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    6. @Just Furious, this isn't Borough Park/Stamford Hill. "Orthodox" never meant much in the first place in the wider world to fuss over. Same with "white beard". כ"ק האדמו"ר מדרווינה had a pretty long one and he was such a liberal. Shaul Magid's white beard is also meaningless.

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  5. "The views, each citing reports on the ground, statistical data, etc offer a wide spectrum of views on the matter from 2014-2021. I can't link all the sites here. The point is, there is a wide opinion on this matter."

    The same can be said of Critical Race Theory - the establishment experts believe it so its gotta be true! Why they have such unwavering faith in the establishment is beyond me. If there is anything we've learnt from Brexit, Trump 2016 etc is that there ARE NO EXPERTS, just facts.

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    1. The establishment announced that those pesky liberals are trying to force Critical Race Theory down everyone's throats, and the sheep believed it hook, line and sinker.
      Of course, that is totally not true, nobody tried to teach CRT to all children, it is only sold as a theory for post-graduate sociology students. But the perennially angry GP voters needed a cause to rally around and flag-burning amendments to the constitution, as well as who gets to use which bathroom, was already used a couple of years before.

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    2. ZD 2:27AM

      US Attorney General Garland's son is selling a CRT curriculum for elementary and high school students.
      Meanwhile, his father called in the FBI to investigate parents who complain to local school boards.

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  6. "proportionality, which is stipulated in international law"

    Proportionality would be Israel responding by randomly firing rockets into residential neighborhoods in Gaza.



    "Every sovereign entity has the right to respond to attack (and that would include Hamas, do you agree?)"

    Hamas is not a sovereign entity. It is a terrorist group that regularly commits crimes against humanity.

    "you blow up neighborhoods where you know children live is not legitimate"

    It is Hamas that is doing that.

    "I can't define it but I know it when I see it."

    Obviously he doesn't.

    "I am not a military expert"

    That is really obvious.

    "most obviously choosing to operate an apartheid regime"

    And he just made it obvious that he has no idea what Apartheid actually was about in South Africa.

    "from the UN Human Rights Watch"

    Human Rights Watch is not part of the UN. He can't even source his information correctly.

    "You have proven nothing. "

    R'Slifkin doesn't have to. Magid is the one who are the one who made sladerous allegations; he now admits that he is ignorant about this entire matter.

    "offer a wide spectrum of views on the matter"

    Postmodernist BS. Just as there is a wide spectrum of views on the matter of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat COVID. The ones that say they work are not connected to reality. But hey in the new post-modern alternative facts world, all views are equally valid. As the deplorable Kellyanne Conway said, if it is possible that a statement might have been true, it isn't a lie. That is the new standard. :(

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  7. Well done. It's not just you and it's not just Israel - Magid does this with many of the topics he discusses, including Orthodox Judaism. He's a bad faith, hot take artist who fancies himself an intellectual.

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    1. Perfectly stated. Unfortunately, both Magid and Shanes are looked to as intellectual and spiritual lights by a not insignificant number of ostensibly Orthodox Jews whose social media posts display an obsession with identity politics and other manifestations of woke dogma - but hardly anything even approaching normative Orthodox Judaism.

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    2. Jason, I always enjoyed your Jewish Press articles back in the day. Some people like to call themselves "orthodox" for the veneer of authenticity they believe it confers upon them. Peter Beinart comes to mind. It's not unlike the perennial "I'm Republican, but this time I've voting democrat..." ads we are subjected to. They mistake the target audiences of such ads as being as gullible as their own audiences. It isn't so.

      In any event, its not worth worrying about such individuals. That's one thing the right has to learn from the left - not to worry so much about the other side says.

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    3. Every time Beinart tries to prove how Orthodox he is, he ends up proving the opposite. I remember the time he insisted that every Shabbat he sits with his son in shul and they "read the Torah scroll together"

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  8. "I would say it in reverse, your position is actually anti-Israel disguised as pro-Israel. But have it your way. Hasbara is not really working."

    This is that thing that self-haters do where they claim their support for Israel's enemies, its national movements, and attacks on Israel are actually "PRO" Israel. And then the swipe of "you're just doing Hasbara" as if that inherently is a form of Taqiyya...
    But then he takes glee in the fact that the hasbara isn't working. Which means he would be glad to see Israel's standing in the world drop...So he is "pro Israel" but wants the world to hate Israeli Jews (and love Hamas). This is so unfortunately typical.

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  9. " There are rules of proportionality in international law... I can't define it but I know it when I see it"

    "I am not a military expert so I don't quite know. But others who are expert in these matters have weighed in to state the disproportionality of the response. Others disagree."

    And to summarize:
    "I know it when I see it... I don't quite know"

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  10. Thank you Rabbi Slifkin for Defending Israel against disproportionate criticism.

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  11. They are misrepresenting the rule of proportionality:

    "The international humanitarian law rule of proportionality in attacks holds that in the conduct of hostilities during an armed conflict parties to the conflict must not launch an attack against lawful military objectives if the attack 'may be expected' to result in excessive civilian harm (deaths, injuries, or damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof) compared to the 'concrete and direct military advantage anticipated'. If conducted intentionally a disproportionate attack may constitute a war crime."

    http://www.weaponslaw.org/glossary/proportionality-in-attacks-ihl

    There is no rule that you can't fire a gun if the other guy is throwing rocks through your window. The rule is, you cannot cause excessive civilian deaths if they are disproportionate to the military advantage. If you are going to stop all rock throwing, nothing wrong with shooting.

    So the issue is what are the IDF's military objectives, and are the risks to civilians disproportionate to that. If the objective is to stop rockets being launched into Israel, then you may bomb them.

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    1. You are incorrect.

      The concept of proportionality is used in two distinct contexts in international humanitarian law. First, in addressing the twin questions of whether force can be used at all and if so to what degree. Force deployed (once it is established that force is necessary altogether) must be proportionate to a legitimate military aim. If kids throw rocks, you can only use a gun if that is what is strictly necessary to stop them doing so (and perhaps deter or prevent them from doing so in the future). You cannot obliterate them, even if they are clearly combatants (insofar as they are throwing stones). This is known as jus ad bellum – the conditions under which a party can resort to violence. It is not as simple as you make out. Research it and you will see.

      The second context is referred to as jus in bello - the laws governing how you conduct yourself once you are involved in legitimate military action. It is in this context that the definition you quote above is used (a definition that is very difficult to apply in practice).

      In my opinion, much of the misuse of the term proportionality with respect to Israel stems from confusing these two uses of proportionality (deliberately, recklessly or otherwise).

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    2. Are you seriously suggesting that Israel has not met the qualification of jus ad bellum? That if Hamas is launching rockets at Israeli territory, killing a few and terrorizing millions, that military force of some kind is not justified?

      If that is your argument, then there is no point in talking to you. No nation on earth would ever tolerate such activity without responding in some fashion.

      I was indeed referring to jus in bello. And you correctly point out that such is "very difficult to apply." Which is precisely why the whole notion of such being a war crime is absurd. If the standard is so vague that no one can easily predict what the proper result is, then there is no way such can be criminal.

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    3. London Lawyer:
      If there's a pattern, deliberate plan to throw rocks indiscriminately, maybe even direction from above (not the 70 virgins, I mean Hamas administration), then proportionality changes

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    4. I think these international law concepts are unnecessarily abstruse. Don't target civilians. That is all.

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  12. The Romans would would have bombed Gaza into ruins, crucified Maggid and not lost a minutes sleep over it.

    This is how an evolutionary healthy society responds.

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    1. Your mother's basement is obviously far more exciting than mine.

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    2. Yakov - remind me what evolution did to the Romans.

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  13. 1) My main objection to the thrust of those exchange is that it is designed to miss important points. This is what I dislike about Hasbara: it is a way to avoid taking about fundamental policy problems. I don't believe it is coming from a place of truth, from the heart.

    Israel's conduct throughout the West Bank is not subject to a fearless moral inventory at all in this triumphalist declaration of victory. It is completely ignored.

    The history of the 'Dahiya Doctrine' and deliberate property damage as collective punishment or of of riot control by sniper rifle is not captured by a statistic which exclusively measures fatalities.

    This creates perverse results. For example during the 2014 war Hamas managed to achieve a higher millitary: civilian kill ratio than Israel. Does those mean Hamas is more moral than Israel? Absolutely not.

    It may be tacticially useful to frame the discourse in terms of one Gaza battle measuring one not egregiously unfavourable statistic of proportionality in that particular battle. But is avoiding the bigger conversation about the Occupation really a long term strategy?

    2) Having said this, the Rabbi does find himself in a position of aligning or otherwise minimising every last action of the Hamas regime. That is a morally wrong position and the Rabbi Doctor is right to expose it. Those of us who oppose the occupation must resist our own extremism.

    3) I have multiple quibbles. Urban combat is really an overstatement when much of the ordanance was expended in farmland and tunnels adjoining the border. Urban combat from using precision guided small warhead weapons from UCAVs in a situation of complete air supremacy is messy; but urban combat from the ground far more so. The US achieved a 1.25:1 ratio of combatant to civilian kills in Afghanistan and that is materially better than Israel managed. The 1:1 ratio proclaimed by the Rabbi Dr as such an achievement is unsourced.

    3) The framing of this from the prior post was really exceptionally solipsistic even by the Rabbi Doctor's standard.

    4) The Rabbi Doctor had consistently avoided engaging with my reasoned criticism of the Occupation. He doesn't owe me an answer. But be should be consistent in avoiding criticising others for doing exactly what he does: avoiding difficult questions.

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    1. Unless you advocate a full withdrawal, there's not much to say about the conduct of the army in the west bank. Military occupations of a hostile population are brutal by necessity.
      To another point, I'm not sure how many civilian lives were lost when bombing tunnels and farmland but I would guess not many.

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    2. Hat, when you talk about how you want to discuss the important points, I'm reminded of how Mao at one point declared a season of full and open exchange of views- "Let a thousand flowers bloom!" he said.

      Guess what happened to all the people who believed him and started criticizing his regime.

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    3. Mao once said something therefore I need to steal land and shoot kids. Gotcha!

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  14. My position has always been that Israel's tactical actions in Gaza have often been defensible and often absolutely and morally necessary; but the complete absence of any kind of long term strategy and vision for peace is not. The settlements grow ever larger; kids are shot near enough weekly by the IDF in circumstances which should trouble.

    I have perversely advocated that more Palestinian and Israeli lives should be lost in a decisive war in which Israel allies itself with moderates in the PA and Egypt to oust Hamas and to achieve a lasting peace.

    Even though British military deaths in both world wars are broadly equivalent numerically, those of ww1 are remembered with more trauma, as having died like cattle in a vain, pointless war. The dead of ww2, by contrast, at least are remembered as having died nobly. Not all deaths are equal. Context matters.

    It's not possible to decouple legitimate actions in Gaza from the encroaching Occupation of the West Bank.

    Hamas certainly has no right to shoot at Jews because racist laws, racist courts, racist politicians, and racist judges dispossessing Arabs in East Jerusalem. But Israel cannot pretend that the two are completely unconnected either.

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    1. "... settlements grow ever larger ..."

      How many dunams per year are added to the settlements, if ad you claim they grow ever larger?

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    2. The number of people living in settlements has increased since the Oslo accords significantly faster than the number of people who live in Israel. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_settlement_timeline

      I've previously characterised this as manifest bad faith.

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    3. Correction: something like 2.5x more combat deaths occurred in ww1 vs ww2. They are not comparable.

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    4. The population growth in the "territories" relative to that of pre-1967 Israel can probably be explained by 1) relative birth rate (settlers have the largest families outside the Haredi world) and 2) population increases in post-1967 Jerusalem neighborhoods.

      The more meaningful statistic for your point is the increase of housing stock in the settlements, which has increased at a pace that makes a snail look like a Ferrari.

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    5. I asked about dunams, not people. The issue is how much territory has been removed from potential transfer to Palestinian rule. That is quantified in land area, not population.

      Feel free to present arguments to the contrary as to the proper measure. In the absence of any such arguments, your factoids about population growth are a red herring.

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    6. I would respectfully submit that it objectively a very meaningful statistic that you simply don't like.

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    7. To state the obvious, the density of dwellings in the settlements has not changed materially in 30 years. The hundreds of thousands of extra settlers are not sofa surfing. They are building unauthorised dwellings. The steady increase in authorised dwellings is dwarfed by the unauthorised ones.

      At present, settlements cover 538,130 dunams – almost 10% of the West Bank. Their regional councils control another 1,650,370 dunams, including vast open areas that have not been attached to any particular settlement. This brings the total area under the direct control of settlements to 40% of the West Bank.

      Along with this governmental land grab, settlers have exploited the forced separation between Palestinians and their land to build houses, outposts and roads, sow fields and groves, graze livestock and take over natural water sources – all outside the vast areas already allocated to the settlements.

      https://www.btselem.org/settlements

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    8. Why don't you replace "settler" with "Jew" and see what you sound like?

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    9. Talk about playing the race card. Shameless. Explain, Nachum, why opposing land theft at the barrel of a gun is anti-Semitic?

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  15. Absolutely not worth wasting your valuable time arguing with these stupid cretins, who argue based only on sentiment and feelings and ignore data.

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    1. Was that comment aimed at Shaul Magid or the Rabbi Dr?

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    2. Funny you don't think of a more obvious candidate...

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    3. Intellectual consistency a bit too much to ask for?

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  16. It's totally expected that the arguments from such people would sound the same as those rabiis on the ban -
    Since the political left milieu, including its antipathy to Israel as it currently exists, is nothing less than a modern-day religion, with dogmas, catechisms, bans, apostasies, etc. They can't accept data that counters their dogmas because it's wrongthink and those who dare to think for themselves are made unpeople.
    Thus, it's only natural for the arguments to sound exactly like those coming from other religious sects.

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    1. You haven't engaged with the fact that Hamas had a better combatant: civilian kill ratio in 2014 then Israel. My conclusion is that this ratio is only part of the story, and there are reasoned criticism to be made of Israel's recent war should you wish to engage thoughtfully.

      Your conclusion, ironically reached without reference to facts, is that we are dogmatically not at all responsive to the facts.

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    2. Hamas only had a better ration because of Iron Dome, not due to lack of trying.

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    3. Abraham: Right. I agree. Simplistic measures of combatant: civilian deaths are unduly simplistic.

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    4. But Hat, it IS simplistic. Explosives are raining down on civilian towns. Do we say that because Israel has miklats and the Iron Done that they don't have to do anything if there are minimal civilian actual casualties? Nobody is dead so no retaliation for fear that there will be more Palestinian civilians dead?

      And if the rocket launchers are positioned in civilian neighborhoods [which they are], is Israel supposed to not try to get rid of them at all out of concern for their lives? Or not until enough Israelis lose their lives? What is the cutoff? Is this a one to one thing? Or maybe at least it can be like a typical Israeli-terrorist prisoner exchange: one Israeli prisoner for several hundred terrorists - so to here, one Israeli life is worth several hundred Palestinian lives?

      I'm being a little snide, but while you had a leg to stand on with the legal arguments about the West Bank and the morality of permanently keeping the Arab residents as second class citizens, I don't think there is any moral argument to NOT fight back that holds water here other than "turn the other cheek" (and certainly even Christians, who invented that phrase, don't do that in real life!).

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    5. No, you are being reductive.


      1) Don't start shedding these contrived tears about the poor children dying if the only children dying that you care about are the 3 percent who are Jewish and the 97 percent can just burn.

      2) Both sides claim the other started it and they are both right for different reasons.

      3) There is a clear political policy, articulated by an Israeli government minister who threatened to take Gaza back to the stone age, of attaching high value unmillitarised civilian targets - multi storey tower blocks - whenever Hamas hits Tel Aviv. Military necessity doesn't always enter into it.

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  17. The sef-loathing farce is strong with these ones.

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  18. Rule of thumb. Liberals by nature are always anti-Israel (but of course not all).

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  19. Traitor Jews like Berman or Magid have been with us a long time. They were around in Hasmonean times, they were around in Communist times, and they are around today. The only difference is, we used to be smarter. No one ever thought to "engage" with such people. Mattisyahu "engaged" with one such traitor by striking him down with a sword. Not saying we should do the same, but at a minimum we should not be engaging in banter or debate with such persons.

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    1. Certainly I agree with the sentiment here! Matisyahu's Sword should be the name of the next kosher restaurant.

      But:
      Some of the engagement - such as some of the engagement we lowly commentariat participate in - is not to convince the one against which we argue, but to show the silent audience that there IS a counterargument, another point of view, and some reasons why this perspective is wrong. A sort of da ma l'hashiv (l'havdil?).

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    2. Yosef - Da Ma L'Hashiv says only, and pointedly, that one must know how to respond to such people; it does NOT say one must actually respond to them. (This is not my vort, it is the poshut pshat in the mishna.) This is exactly the advice given in Proverbs אל תענה כסיל כאולתו which the Gemara emphasizes refers precisely to temporal matters like these.

      Professor Slifkin's post above is a perfect illustration of why. It's absolutely pointless, and all you end up doing is conferring legitimacy in their minds, that orthodox Jews take them seriously. They should be summarily rejected without a second thought.

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  20. Funny and pointless anecdote: Back when I was at YU, they wanted to hire a professor who knew his kabbalah (among other things). Magid was one of the ones they interviewed, but at the end settled on Alan Brill instead. But YU PR got mixed up and sent out an announcement that Magid had been hired.

    YU's student organization at this time had made up a poster of all the roshei yeshiva, "V'haya Einecha Ro'ot Et Morecha"- for your sukkah or whatever. So later that year, HaMevaser, which is the student newspaper of academic Jewish studies, for its annual Purim issue, made up a cover which was the same poster but with all the various professors of Jewish studies (as opposed to roshei yeshiva). A lot of them had cute captions under their names. Haym Soloveitchik, of course, was titled "גר"ח". And poor Alan Brill had "הרב הגאון שאול מניד" written under his name.

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  21. The post of these nature are a total waste of time. There is an evolutionary struggle between two nations for the same territory. The stronger will prevail. The obvious sane approach is to destroy the enemy and to gain the maximum advantage possible. In this struggle for the national survival and well being all means are legitimate and the only morality is the good of one's nation. This is very obvious and why would a blog preaching the Evolution waste time discussing the nuances of the international law is bewildering. Victory by all means possible is the only moral value.

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    1. I'll be discussing that in a future post, but your basic concept is correct. That's why Hamas' position is actually more internally consistent than that of Magid/ Shanes et al.

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    2. "struggle is always a means for
      improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its
      higher evolution." - Adolf Hitler

      "Social-Darwinism was the norm before the 1950s. Back then, it was allowed to say what we feel. Now, however, we have to disguise our preferences to avoid the horrible consequences of being labeled as a genetical preferentialist.” - Anders Breivik

      "Might is Right or The Survival of the Fittest" - Santino William Legan

      “I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgaces of human race and failures of natural selection.” - Pekka Eric Auvinen

      "There is no crime, there is no sin, everything is all right. Whatever is necessary, you do it. When somebody needs to be killed, there’s no wrong." Eric Kleobold

      Dead Losers: all of them. Even Breivik who is yet to begin decomposing. But those of you who cling to the Lord your God are all alive today.

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    3. I see that Godwin's Law has reared its ugly head again. Not surprised it has The Hat on top of it.

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    4. Nothing has changed. Might always makes right. UN, international law, universal human rights do not have any real meaning. China can commit genocide, US and Russia blow up civilians without suffering any consequences, Iran can execute gays and political opponents and nobody was there to help the Tutsies or the Yazidies. All this is very simple.

      Delete
    5. No way R' Natan believes this: "Victory by all means possible is the only moral value."
      R' Natan please correct.

      Delete
    6. I'd call you a troll, except I really do think you believe your insanity.

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    7. If someone writes "the only morality is the good of one's nation" apparently because of Godwin's law some Zionists think it is prohibited to be cogniscent of the antecedents of that language and thought.

      Also, the very same Zionists instantly accuse any Jew opposing settlements of anti-Semitism, being a Kapo, and self hatred.

      Delete
    8. And you forgot "useful idiot". Your definition of settlement includes East Jerusalem, the Gush bloc and others. And your solution is to make them Judenrein. And to belittle the rockets that will likely ensue by taking such unilateral action. Not to mention this little gem you wrote a while back and I quote:

      "The self pity is nauseating. You are the ones killing, wounding and harrassing little kids daily."

      The above sentence right out of the BDS playbook. A vicious lie. So yes all those adjectives are well deserved and if the hat fits...

      Delete
    9. More thoughtful engagement from the baby boomers....

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    10. Wow, you learned one of the popular insults! How, across the ocean from the US, I don't know, but you did it.

      For the record, you can call me a boomer all you want, but I was born over a decade after the baby boom. When were you born, 2009?

      Delete
  22. I'm so glad I quit Facebook. Endless arguments without anyone being persuaded of anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're describing the internet in general

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    2. The same argument applies to arguments online on ANY forum.

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    3. That's the nature of this subject, of the Palestinian-Israel conflict. It's very rare that anyone changes their minds. The "peace process" camp clings to their view that creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank is the only solution. The settlement movement clings to their view that relinquishing it will only endanger what remains in Jewish hands.

      When the topic of one of Rabbi Slifkin's posts was more about philosophy of Jewish rationalists and rationalism, I have found some eye-opening revelations.

      Delete

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