My Favorite Hitchens Speech

Many people are posting video compilations of Christopher Hitchens delivering his famously amusing retorts, often called Hitchslaps. But my favorite speech of his is from a debate about free speech in Canada, in which he defends the right even of Holocaust denialists to speak their minds. It is well worth viewing again. My favorite line, speaking of Austria’s arrest of David Irving:

Now to this proud record they can add that they finally had the courage finally to face their past and lock up a British historian who’s committed no crime except that of thought and writing. And that’s a scandal. And I can’t find a seconder usually when I propose this, but I don’t care. I don’t need a seconder. My own opinion is enough for me and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, at any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get on line and kiss my ass.

httpv://youtu.be/jyoOfRog1EM

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  • slc1

    Rather fine of Mr. Hitchens who, before becoming aware of his Jewish ancestry and doing a 180, was a borderline Holocaust revisionist and a two fisted Israel basher.

  • dingojack

    SLC – Citation required.

    Dingo

  • As I said the first time you left this comment, the notion that Hitchens was ever a Holocaust revisionist, borderline or otherwise, is simply ridiculous. He has consistently defended the right of people to deny the Holocaust, as he should, but he has never come close to denying it himself. You just have a massive blind spot the moment anyone dares to criticize Israel for anything.

  • Michael Heath

    slc1,

    You seem perfectly willing and capable to support others or yourself laudably criticizing the U.S. when it behaves poorly relative to our stated ideals. Why do you employ a far looser standard for Israel? I perceive your standard for Israel as far more defective even from xenophobic conservatives who publish and promote horribly crafted arguments for American exceptionalism.

    What’s your motivation for such two wildly varying standards? One which demonstrates you employing excellent critical thinking skills and another that suggests you’re using a completely different part of your brain when the subject is even peripherally about Israel?

    Do you realize how stark the difference is in the quality of your arguments between these two subjects? I’d argue you fail on Israel even more than Aquaria whenever she feels the need to conjure-up her nightmarish and absurdly drawn caricature of Ronald Reagan.

  • dingojack

    Ah our two favorite shibboleths in one post! Delightful!

    Dingo

  • SLC,

    Interesting, I’d forgotten about that. I enjoyed his writing, but I didn’t think Hitchens was a very profound thinker. He had the delivery of a very smart, extraordinarily eloquent alcoholic, which is to say that he could make unwarranted certainty sound brilliant while humiliating a delivery that wasn’t lubricated by liquid narcissism. I can’t think of anything he ever said that was most memorable for the unusual insight rather than the slashing delivery.

    Even this quote isn’t what it seems. Hitchens knows implicitly that the human tendency to identify with aggression means his certainty and belligerent delivery will draw lots of seconders. An entire faux news network is built on the same foundation. In my own experience, this kind of attitude turns up more among the knuckleheads of this world than defenders of the good because the tendency to give consideration to the feelings of others tends to incline people toward decency.

    Now I do think Hitchens was more on the right side of things than the wrong side of things, and it’s fine to admire his great work as a writer, but the cult of personality doesn’t sit well with me. Like a large swathe of alcoholics, he was something of a narcissistic bully, which I don’t find admirable in the least.

    Perhaps the real measure of the man’s courage and intelligence came in the end when all he had to say about his position was that it sucks. Mortality frames everything in our lives, and it is critical to so much of who we are and what we do; staying alive is pre-rational, in our bones, driving for example the tendency to identify with the aggressor who slices others to ribbons literally or figuratively. They die, we live.

    Hitchens lived his life drinking and thumping his chest and I don’t think the man knew what he was doing and why he was doing it. Instead of looking death in the face and explaining what it does to us, the eloquent genius just said there’s nothing here folks, just move along.

  • dingojack

    Dr. X – is it possible to forget the non-existent?

    Although, like you, I find this ‘hitch hagiography’ uncomfortable.

    I admired his elan more than his arguments (which were often infuriatingly wrong-headed and shallow). I admire the courage to bully the bullies, but not so much as to ignore the man’s enormous faults and foibles. I admire his dignity in facing death (as we all will), but not enough to disguise a feeling of unease over his studied belligerence.

    Remember Hitch was but a man.

    Dingo

  • slc1

    Re Michael Heath @ #4

    Mr. Michael Heath raises a fair question that deserves a response. The answer is that there is a fundamental difference between the situation that the USA finds itself in and the situation that Israel finds itself in.

    1. The State of Israel is a small country surrounded by hostile regimes which threaten its very survival. Therefore, the fact that the Government of Israel at times takes what would appear to the casual observer to be extreme actions against its foes is perfectly understandable.

    2. The USA is a very large country surrounded by wide oceans and has friendly nations on its borders. There is no conceivable threat to its survival and thus no need to behave as Israel sometimes is forced to do.

    Re Ed Brayton @ #3

    Mr. Hitchens, like Noam Chomsky, has gotten into bed with notorious Holocaust revisionists like David Irving and Robert Faurisson and even spoke favorably about Mr. Irving’s views on what happened at Auschwitz, questioning the testimony of the camps commandant, Rudolf Hoess. He only distanced himself from Faurisson and Irving after he became aware of his Jewish ancestry. One who gets into the pen with the pigs may expect to emerge with a coating of mud.

  • dingojack

    SLC – Again, citation required.

    Dingo

  • Michael Heath

    slc1,

    You’ve provided me with that response prior. We’ll have to disagree it is in any way compelling or even directly addresses what you write. So from my perspective my questions submitted above remain unanswered.

  • slc1

    Re Michael Heath @ 310

    In this, Mr. Michael Heath and I are in complete agreement, namely that we disagree. Hopefully, not disagreeably.

    Re Dingojack @ #9

    Mr. Hitchens formerly wrote for the Nation Magazine, a notoriously anti-Israel left wing publication, and subscribed to their views on that subject. I suggest that Mr. Dingojack avail himself of Google where he will find numerous references to Mr. Hitchen’s dalliances with Irving and Faurisson, all of which occurred prior to his discovery of his Jewish antecedents.

    To his credit, he changed his views about Israel and distanced himself from the Irvings and Faurissons of the world, after he became aware of his ancestry, instead of turning into a misanthrope like Noam Chomsky. In fairness, by no means did he associate himself with the extreme religious nutcases in Israel nor with Bibi, who was quite accurately characterized as a liar by French President Sarkozy (the only surprise is that it took Sarko 4 years to figure that out).

  • slc wrote:

    Mr. Hitchens, like Noam Chomsky, has gotten into bed with notorious Holocaust revisionists like David Irving and Robert Faurisson and even spoke favorably about Mr. Irving’s views on what happened at Auschwitz, questioning the testimony of the camps commandant, Rudolf Hoess. He only distanced himself from Faurisson and Irving after he became aware of his Jewish ancestry. One who gets into the pen with the pigs may expect to emerge with a coating of mud.

    Your accusations keep getting more vague. First he was a “borderline Holocaust revisionist” and now he “has gotten into bed” with Faurisson and Irving. He did speak out in defense of Irving’s right to speak and to publish, as he should; he did so in the video I posted above. But that is hardly the basis for an accusation that he agrees with him. He has also agreed with one claim that Irving made about an alleged inaccuracy at a Holocaust museum, I believe based on the fact that Irving had actually made public a document that no one had ever found before. None of that makes him a Holocaust revisionist. Nor have you provided any evidence at all, not a single quote from Hitchens himself either before or after that mysterious conversion you claim he had, showing that he had changed his position on the matter. Your only other piece of “evidence” is that he has criticized Israel, but that is hardly evidence of anything; half the citizens of Israel take the same positions he has taken on the matter.

    Hitchens has addressed these accusations in great detail himself:

    http://users.rcn.com/peterk.enteract/corrintro.html

  • slc1

    Re Ed Brayton @ #12

    He has also agreed with one claim that Irving made about an alleged inaccuracy at a Holocaust museum, I believe based on the fact that Irving had actually made public a document that no one had ever found before.

    Excuse me, Mr. Hitchens also agreed with Mr. Irving relative to the reliability of the testimony of the Auschwitz camp commandant, Rudolf Hoess. Mr. Irving claims that Hoess was tortured by the British into confessing to the monstrous crimes that were committed at that place and that, in fact, they were greatly exaggerated. The fact is that Hoess’ statements are backed up by survivors of Auschwitz and other camp guards. Irving is a lying piece of filth and, IMHO, the Government of Austria should have locked him up and thrown away the key.

  • dingojack

    SLC –

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall

    Dingo

  • scifi1

    @slci

    OK – I’m wading in on this one.

    Can you please provide a citation, link, whatever to the writings or mouthings of Hitchens where he:

    “agreed with Mr. Irving relative to the reliability of the testimony of the Auschwitz camp commandant, Rudolf Hoess”?

    I would (genuinely) like to see it. The closest thing I could find is via Ed’s link above where he doubts, with considerable back-up, the veracity of the myth of camp victims being turned into soap.

    Irving IS a lying piece of filth, but like EVERYONE is entitled to freedom of speech and the due process of the law of the country he is visiting. It is your right to protest him and call attention to his vicious ramblings and diversionist mien.

    I strongly believe that we must NOT silence Irving and his ilk. Let them expose themselves for what they are and let the intelligent among us riposte using fact. Evidence and humanity will eventually win out in these cases.

    Ask yourself these questions:

    Do the historically literate of the world hold as true the basis of Irving’s (et al) frankly piss-poor revision?

    Is he carving out a worrisome niche amongst historians and the general public or just pandering to the minority nut-jobs that, frankly, will believe anything that supports their warped world view?

  • Michael Heath

    slc1 wrote:

    1. The State of Israel is a small country surrounded by hostile regimes which threaten its very survival. Therefore, the fact that the Government of Israel at times takes what would appear to the casual observer to be extreme actions against its foes is perfectly understandable.

    2. The USA is a very large country surrounded by wide oceans and has friendly nations on its borders. There is no conceivable threat to its survival and thus no need to behave as Israel sometimes is forced to do.

    My understanding of your position is the following, please help me on where I’m wrong:

    1) Israelis are the good guys regardless of their behavior.

    2) The Palestinians are the bad buys regardless of their behavior.

    Any effort to criticize Israel is worthy of condemnation, even when that criticism reveals Israel behaving in ways people who promote human rights find morally repugnant.

    Any revelation of the Palestinians being victimized or being mistreated by the Israelis, even when the Israelis are acting in a morally abhorrent way, is to be condemned as an attack on Israel, that because of the conditions you describe above, their behavior must be effectively perceived as above reproach. It’s best to change the subject to the misbehavior or crimes of the Palestinians to avoid confronting Israeli behavior, even if the Palestinian sins happened years ago.

    I’m not reading all of this into what I blockquote above, but instead repeating what I’ve observed you write before in light of what you write above. I do recall some exceptions, where you made some reasonable criticisms of Israel. [Which I happened to agree with but not why I bring this up now, but instead because those cogent arguments were so starkly better than your predominant arguments on Israel.]

    You seem to lump people who demand Israel adhere to high standards into a tribe that is by definition anti-Israel and therefore they are to be condemned regardless of the cogency of their position and the indefensible behavior of the Israels. In effect I find your arguments to be pure tribalism, where the in-tribe by definition is always right and ‘the other’ is by definition always wrong. In fact the more compelling the criticism of Israel, the more important it is to start slinging ad hominems and red herrings into the mix.

    I happen to think the U.S. would be a far better ally to Israel in the long run if we tied our actions to their behavior. The more secular and protective of human rights their government was, the more largess and loyalty from us. The very same standard I’d like to see us apply to all other countries and peoples, including the Palestinians. I understand exactly why some would argue this is a naive argument when it comes to this region, yet I have yet to hear a good argument on why I’m wrong. This is especially disturbing to me because I concede I’m not well-informed on the conflicts there beyond what one reads on the first page of the newspapers. My entire life I’ve observed the peoples in that region, and their allies, avoiding what I find to be the obvious standard – with horrendous results.

    Why do we use an inferior standard for Israel that allows them to mistreat others almost entirely due to their religious beliefs? Why do you promote this inferior standard in light of the fact there are millions of Palestinians who are effective refugees and have been for decades? Primarily due to Israel insuring they get minimal economic activity for food and shelter but have power to limit their economic activity to no more than that. The Palestinians’ collective suffering at the hands of the Israelis is far beyond what the Israeli people have suffered from them and their allies. Yes, the Palestinians partly deserved it because our culture looks with disdain on violent asynchronous which the Palestinians rely more on than the Israelis (though both are culpable). But that shouldn’t negate the enormous difference in suffering between these two peoples in this region and who is predominately meting out this suffering.

    I admit I have no horse in this game. While I’ve been indoctrinated by our culture and my religious instruction as a youth to side with the Israelis, that never caught on with me. I instead bought into demanding a standard of behavior where I perceive both are failing at and the Israelis are more culpable precisely because they have more more power and wealth and are therefore better able to end this conflict. I do find it analogous to our mistreatment of the American Indians in terms of who has the power to start doing the right thing regardless what happened prior. To break a cycle of violence someone has to stop reacting to what came before and start doing the right thing, even if their opponent continues to strike them. Israel can afford that opportunity, I don’t perceive the common Palestinians as being capable unless they’re able to ally with a well-behaving Israel against their leaders’ allies.

    What say you?

  • Michael Heath

    I wrote, Yes, the Palestinians partly deserved it because our culture looks with disdain on violent asynchronous terrorist tactics which the Palestinians have more recently relied on more on than the Israelis (though both are culpable).

    The emphasized phrases were inadvertently left out in the prior post.

  • dingojack

    Or how about:

    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”. Benjamin Frankln

  • lancifer

    Not necessarily a speech but a nice Hitchens quote,

    “Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.”

    ― Christopher Hitchens

    I am not surprised that SLC harbors some resentment for Hitchens for some alleged (perhaps imagined) slight of Israel.

    But I am a bit taken a back by the caustic words of the usually affable and circumspect good Dr X.

    I think Hitchens’ legacy will be more substantive than that of a mean spirited but erudite drunk.

    I for one admired his courage as well as his prodigious literary talent and sardonic wit. He never seemed mean spirited to me, perhaps a bit overwrought on occasion but usually in defense of a worthy cause or in the face of despicable evil.

    For months I have dreaded the news of his demise.

  • Hitchens lived his life drinking and thumping his chest and I don’t think the man knew what he was doing and why he was doing it.

    Wow. So the important take-away here is that he drank and not that he said some important things that needed saying. Got it.

    I feel compelled to remind everyone also that Billy Holiday was probably thumping her chest and didn’t know why she was a singer.

  • slc1

    Re Dingojacki @ #14

    Actually, I think that the quotation is usually credited to Voltaire.

  • Chris from Europe

    I think Hitchens’ legacy will be more substantive than that of a mean spirited but erudite drunk.

    Well, there is the substantive legacy of his support for the Iraq war and neo-conservative foregin policy.

  • slc1

    Re Michael Heath @ #16

    Mr. Michael Heath, as usual, provides a thoughtful commentary in response to my comment. However, in assessing the attitude in Israel relative to its neighbors, I will quote former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir who once said that “one who lives in a tough neighborhood must be a tough guy and we live in a tough neighborhood”.

    1. The unfortunate fact is that the occasions when the Government of Israel acted in a civilized manner towards the Palestinians it was rewarded with quite uncivil behavior by the latter (e.g. Qassems fired from the Gaza Strip into Sderot, homicide bombings of pizza parlors, etc.). The only conclusion that the citizens of Israel have drawn is that the Palestinians do not understand civility; they only understand the mailed fist.

    2. Mr. Michael Heath brought up the treatment of Native Americans by the European settlers. The beastliness of the latter toward the former makes the treatment of Palestinians by Israel seem almost benign in comparison. I don’t recall anyone in authority in Israel saying what General Sheridan said about Native Americans, namely that the only good Indian was a dead Indian.

    Re lancifer @ #19

    Actually, Mr. Hitchens was far more critical of Israel during his tenure at the Nation magazine, which was typical of the editorial policy of that publication. After he left the Nation and discovered his Jewish roots, his attitude underwent a change and he became more nuanced in his writings about Israel. I think that, after his Nation tenure, for the most part, his criticisms of the actions of the Government of Israel were fair.

  • Michael Heath

    slc1,

    I could have responded with how you responded to me in spite of my admittedly being only casually informed on this conflict.

    I’m forced to conclude that your argument is an argument to continue the status quo of a cycle of violence where Israel lives in a constant threat of violence though enjoying vastly disproportionate responses when attacked while the Palestinians continue to suffer immensely given Israel’s ability to throttle their freedom and their economic prospects. It’s my perception that what’s played out since the late-1960s and would continue ad infinitum if the U.S. response was your’s (which it essentially has been).

    Why should the U.S. continue to enable this cycle of violence and suffering if Israel shows no willingness to embrace secularism and the equal protection of human rights? And my challenge solely to Israel does not excuse Palestinian culpability nor their allies’, it instead directs the attention at the actor most capable of changing this paradigm and the one should also know better.

  • dingojack

    SLC – Actually Hall, a biographer of Voltaire, used it as an example of what he might have said if asked to sum up his attitude to free speech.

    It was mistakenly attributed to him.

    Dingo

  • I am, along with scifi1, awaiting some actual evidence from slc on Hitchens’ alleged holocaust revisionism rather than bare assertions.

  • slc1

    Re dingojack @ #25

    Actually, Voltaire said something similar in a letter to a M. La Riche. The exact quotation is, “Monsieur l’Abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write”. That contains the essence of the quotation which Mr. dingojack attributes to Ms. Hall.

    http://wordlywisdom.net/Quotes.php

  • slc1

    Re Ed Brayton @ #26

    I would consider Mr. Hitchens’ apparent one time agreement with Mr. Irving as to the credibility of the testimony of Rudolf Hoess as to what took place at Auschwitz as evidence of borderline Holocaust revisionism. He took no exception to Irving’s charge that Hoess was tortured by the British into making a false confession. I guess that Mr. Brayton and I will just have to agree to disagree on this subject, hopefully not disagreeably.

  • slc1

    Re Michael Heath @ #24

    Excuse me, every US president starting with Mr. Michael Heath’s hero, Ronald Reagan, has made efforts to assist Israel and the Palestinians into burying the hatchet. This includes Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, and Obama.

    There efforts have thus far been unsuccessful, mainly because the Palestinians have refused to give up their demand that Palestinians living in refugee camps be resettled in Israel. Until such time as the Palestinian leadership faces reality and understands that it ain’t going to happen, President Obama and his successors will achieve only frustration.

    In addition, the charge that the Government of Israel has stifled economic development in the Palestinian territories is totally false as regards the West Bank. The fact is that the governments headed by Sharon, Olmert, and Netanyahu have all encouraged such such development and have only asked that the PA enforce law and order there. As a matter of fact, the current government, headed by PA Prime Minister Fayyad has achieved considerable success in both the reduction of lawless behavior on the West Bank and in economic development.

  • dingojack

    SLC – “I would consider Mr. Hitchens’ apparent one time agreement with Mr. Irving as to the credibility of the testimony of Rudolf Hoess as to what took place at Auschwitz as evidence of borderline Holocaust revisionism.”

    Wasn’t it full-blown holocaust denial a few posts ago (perhaps you are only just now discovering Hichens’ mother was Jewish)?

    Firstly – You would have to demonstrate that the English SIS didn’t torture Hoess to gain a confession*, then you would have to show Irving knew his assertion was false and passed it on as the truth, then you have to show that Irving hung his entire argument on this one fact. (Because your claim concerned this piece of specific information only.)

    Then you would have to demonstrate that Hitchens also did this, knowing it were false.

    Without reading the article (sadly my Google-fu isn’t up to the task tonight) we can’t know whether Hitchens is simply doubting the veracity of a confession extracted under alleged torture, or indeed, much more than that.

    Dingo

    —–

    * I find claims of torture unlikely, but that doesn’t make them false

  • slc1

    Re dingojack @ #30

    The fact is that Hitchens and Irving ignored the fact that testimony from surviving Auschwitz inmates and camp guards supported what Hoess confessed to.

    As for the charge of inmates being boiled down to soap, that is evidently unsupported; however, skin from murdered inmates was used to make lamp shades, examples of which articles are to be found in the US Archives, and possibly also in the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, although I have not verified this latter assertion.

  • slc1

    Re dingojack @ #30

    Mr. dingojack is misquoting me. I stated that Mr. Hitchens was a borderline Holocaust revisionist which in no way, shape, form, or regard is a claim that he ever was a Holocaust denier. I think that his agreement with Irving on the subject of the accuracy of Hoess’ confession merits such a claim. As with Mr. Brayton, Mr. dingojack and I will have to agree to disagree on this issue, hopefully not disagreeably.

  • dingojack

    SLC – But was Hitchens doubting the subtantence of the claim, deploring the alledged method that the information was collected or supporting Irving’s right to have an opinion?

    We would have a better idea if we could read the article you were refering to.

    Dingo

  • jjgdenisrobert

    I love how slc brought Chomsky and his defense of Faurisson in this debate. Lovely way to underhandedly attack Chomsky with false accusations. I have no idea how Chomsky defended Irving, but based on everything I’ve read and heard, it was always with regard to his right to say what he wants, regardless of the contents.

    But with Chomsky, it’s quite explicit: Chomsky condemned in no uncertain terms the content of Faurisson’s works. He always made it 100% clear that he was not defending Faurisson’s views, but rather his right to express them. And in a democracy, the right to state one’s view is the fundamental freedom without which all others are useless.

    As for your claim that Israel has a special right to violate human rights due to its position, is nothing but a claim that Jews have some special rights that other nations do not. Do not ever forget that Germany made the same claims: that they were a weakened nation, surrounded and set upon by its enemies, and that this was the reason why the German Volk should give its Fuhrer special rights to defend the Vaterland. The one who forgets history condemns himself to repeat it.

  • jjgdenisrobert

    “I have no idea how Chomsky”… should of course read “I have no idea how Hitchens”…

  • slc1

    Re jjdenisrobert @ #34

    Do not ever forget that Germany made the same claims: that they were a weakened nation, surrounded and set upon by its enemies, and that this was the reason why the German Volk should give its Fuhrer special rights to defend the Vaterland. The one who forgets history condemns himself to repeat it.

    Shorter jjgdenisrobert: Netanyahu = Frankenberger.

  • Michael Heath

    slc1 writes:

    Excuse me, every US president starting with Mr. Michael Heath’s hero, Ronald Reagan, has made efforts to assist Israel and the Palestinians into burying the hatchet. This includes Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, and Obama.

    First, Ronald Reagan is not a hero of mine, my position on him is instead consistent with the general consensus of presidential historians. Instead I have a bug up my ass given certain people in this forum continually misrepresent him. I find using one standard to judge one’s in-tribe leaders and an entirely different and dishonest one for another tribe’s [mythical] hero to be an obvious defect in thinking and a failure of character. I instead argue we should judge people’s actions and words within a sufficiently broad framework using a consistent standard. I think Ed sets a great example which is one reason I hang out here.

    The one president I most identify with above all others is Barack Obama, probably because we’re the same age and he’s attempting to address the root cause problems I’ve seen this countrys other leaders mostly avoid since the 1980s when these challenges became evident (energy, education, health care costs, global competitiveness, the threat of conservatism as it merges into Christian fundamentalism into a religious-political movement and becomes perfectly incapable of governing).

    My only real heros that I can think off the top of my head that were political leaders are Alexander Hamilton, Henry Waxman, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. James Madison almost makes the cut though his behavior after the Constitution was ratified has him falling short. Hamilton and Michigan’s current Republican governor is Rick Snyder are the only other political leaders I identify with besides Barack Obama. The latter most likely because he has both a background in business and the tech sector.

    slc1 writes:

    There efforts have thus far been unsuccessful, mainly because the Palestinians have refused to give up their demand that Palestinians living in refugee camps be resettled in Israel. Until such time as the Palestinian leadership faces reality and understands that it ain’t going to happen, President Obama and his successors will achieve only frustration.

    Yes, this exactly addresses my earlier argument. If Israel exercised the same principles we laud, that of secularism and government obligated to defend liberty and equal rights for all humans, Israel could solve this. So why do you give them an out from these standards? Why should the U.S. continue to enable a bigoted semi-theocracy? What you’ve done here is describe the mechanics I left unstated, but you haven’t addressed why we should enable Israel’s bigotries.

    slc1 writes:

    In addition, the charge that the Government of Israel has stifled economic development in the Palestinian territories is totally false as regards the West Bank. The fact is that the governments headed by Sharon, Olmert, and Netanyahu have all encouraged such such development and have only asked that the PA enforce law and order there. As a matter of fact, the current government, headed by PA Prime Minister Fayyad has achieved considerable success in both the reduction of lawless behavior on the West Bank and in economic development.

    This is where my generally being insufficiently uninformed comes in. I’m sure the source I was reading was credible in their reporting how Israel is effectively stifling Palestinian economic activity. And I read this sometime this year. But I forget if they parsed this out by territory. Is Israel stifling Palestinian self-autonomy in another territory like the Gaza Strip and if so, how is that justified?

  • slc1

    Re Michael Heath @ #37

    1. Notice that I specifically cited the West Bank. The Gaza Strip is another issue and, indeed, the Government of Israel has imposed an economic boycott there. The reason is that, unlike the PA Government on the West Bank, the Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza has stated that their non-negotiable demand is that the Government of Israel agree to go out of business. Indeed, they have failed to stop the rain of Qassems fired from their territory into Israel, unlike the West Bank where the PA Government has stifled the terrorists.

    2. Mr. Michael Heath evidently is of the opinion that the Government of Israel should give into the Palestinian demands of resettlement of inhabitants of refugee camps in Israel. I suggest that, in order to set an example and put his money where his mouth is (or, perhaps, more accurately put his money where his keyboard is) and cede his property in Michigan back to the Native Americans from whom it was stolen. Or is Mr. Michael Heath going to claim that the statute of limitations has run out on Native Americans as do all the Israel bashers who agree with the Palestinian demands.

    As for Mr. Reagan, I have little use for the man who, when he became president, immediately ordered a government wide RIF of federal workers, not for the purpose of saving money but for the purpose of showing them who’s boss.

    The feeling in my office was that it was unfortunate that Mr. Hinckley left his .38 back in his hotel room and tried to use a .22 on Ronnie the rat instead. Had he used his .38, old Ronnie probably would have bled to death before they arrived at the hospital.

  • dingojack

    SLC (#36) –

    P1) Hitler patted dogs and kissed babies;

    P2) American Presidential hopeful X pats dogs and kisses babies,

    C) therefore Presidential hopeful X is Hitler!*

    Sound logic!

    Dingo

    —–

    * Or could the conclusion be Presidential hopeful X behaves like Hitler (in these two respects)? Which do think more likely?

  • Michael Heath

    slc1:

    I suggest that, in order to set an example and put his money where his mouth is (or, perhaps, more accurately put his money where his keyboard is) and cede his property in Michigan back to the Native Americans from whom it was stolen.

    Indians did not settle the area where I currently live.

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