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JB Globe

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About JB Globe

  • Birthday 08/01/1981

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  1. Encouraging news, but I also think this is even more encouraging: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Egyptian%E2%80%93Israeli_border_attack#Egypt Essentially you have Israel and Egypt working out a security agreement on the fly and Egypt conducting intense operations against Islamist terrorists, all spearheaded by the Egyptian President (on the Egyptian side). Not getting a lot of publicity, but very significant.
  2. I'll rephrase the title of this post a little bit - I think the case of Omar Khadr should make us ashamed to be Canadian. Let's run-down the basic facts of Omar Khadr: - Raised by a religious extremist family and terrorist father - Schooled mostly at extremist religious schools in Pakistan - Once he reached adolescence he was taken by his father to a remote camp in Afghanistan cut off from the outside world and groomed for terrorism Where in that does anyone see a realistic opportunity for Omar Khadr to be a normal kid? Nowhere. He was essentially abused by his father - it wasn't a case of being taught to be a hardline religious zealot, it was even beyond that - his father was grooming him for terrorism. If a father who's a drug dealer grooms his kid for a life of crime, we call that abuse, but when it comes to Omar Khadr, no one wants to acknowledge this. Why? Because many Canadians needed an "enemy among us" type bogeyman to project all their fears and hatred onto in the aftermath of 9/11. The only problem was that this "evil incarnate" individual happened to be 15 years old, and quite frankly, not entirely responsible for being in that camp at the time of the raid. And let's be clear, there's no clear evidence Khadr actually did anything other than be at that camp - some US military officers say he had a gun when they found him, others said he didn't. Conflicting eyewitness reports. Even if he did, there's enough precedent in regards to child soldiers that he should have never have been treated and tried as an adult and held 100% responsible for his actions. Remember, he had family members dying around him. He plead guilty in court primarily because it was a show trial - a not guilty plea could see the case dragged out indefinitely, Khadr would have died from old age awaiting a verdict. His own lawyers (who were US military personel, by the way) were very vocal about this. It was the lesser of two evils. So here you have this 15 year old kid, traumatized, crying, desperate, and what do we do? Do we try and turn him - he'd be a prime candidate given his desperation? Do we give him the opportunity to have a normal life and treat him according to our own laws, international laws, and our own policies? Do we utilize the "restorative justice" legal framework? No, we treat this kid as if he were Bin Laden himself, the Canadian public mostly foams at the mouth concocting twisted and barbaric torture fantasies. The Canadian government stops short of sanctioning mediaeval torture, instead choosing a modern varient - giving the go-ahead to the Americans to use their patented "enhanced interogation techniques" at Bagram and Guantanamo. No wonder he developed full-blown PTSD (as confirmed by a Pentagon psychiatrist). So rather than rehabilitate this kid and turn him into a positive symbol, we push him away, putting him into a situation where the only folks on earth who are reaching out to him are other inmates in Guantanamo, some still clinging to terrorist ideology. What a great situation, huh? We basically confirmed all the worst things Khadr's father ever said about Canada and the West, and betrayed our own values, violated our own policy and laws, and for what? Did we get any valuable intel? Nope. He was 15 years old - Al Qaeda isn't run by idiots, as high ranking as his father was, they're not going to divulge operational details to a kid, knowing damn well he'd crack when interrogated. This notion that if he was ever released in Canada he'd organize a terror plot is absurd - not only do we not really know his thinking at this point, he and his family are under constant surveillance for life. They can't do anything, and anyone thinking of plotting an attack would stay miles away from them because then they'd become targets for law enforcement too. So what did we get out of it? Nothing except satiate the bloodlust of that chunk of Canadians who needed a boogeyman to hate, and didn't care if they screwed up a kids life, violated their own countries values and laws, and damaged our international reputation in the process. Come to think of it, that's not really much of a benefit. And it was all for nothing really - he'll be released at some point, and he has no education, no way to support himself, and nobody else to turn to besides his radical family. And he'll probably sue the government, and he'll probably win, considering it's black and white that we violated our own laws and policies on his treatment. So really, what the hell was the point of all this?
  3. Of course you'll ignore my statement - because you're a tribalist who happens to be Jewish. "Your people" do not have the same capacity for extremism or violence because, "your people" are different and better, because we're Chosen. Admittedly it was inflammatory, but it was to make a point - we clearly have a double standard if we can easily call Muslims who want to impose Muslim law and scripture on daily life and politics "extremists" but Jews who have the same desires aren't. Those efforts manifest in different ways given historical, religious, economic and political contexts - but the desire is the same: basic human morality goes out the window, no commitment to international law, and the only thing that matters is what you think your scripture says. So therefor: "Jews are apes and pigs, we should wipe them off the face of the earth" or "Arabs are barbarians with bloodlust for our people, God gave us Greater Israel, they have no right to it, we will take it from them by any means necessary" For the record, the cycle of violence and reprisals go back so long I don't really blame any one side for starting it, especially since both sides have enough blood on their hands by now. However that doesn't mean that there aren't specific places and times where one side has backed off, and even done the right thing, and the other side has been incapable of following suit and tried to keep the cycle going. ie - Hamas' decision to launch rockets following Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. Terrible from pretty much every perspective - moral, strategic, etc. And certainly the opposite move you'd make if peace was your intent. At the same time - you have had a situation in the West Bank in the last few years of a growing protest movement that utilizes civil disobedience. You have a West Bank PA leadership that has been pretty much doing everything on the checklist for the "Roadmap to Peace" and has even been supporting the protest movement and cracking down on terrorism. In Nablus you have a situation where there were protests against illegal settlements and against the larger settlement project in general, which I believe you have said you're not against (which would put you in contrast with international law, every government, and global opinion - even here in Canada or the US). And you have a bunch of thugs who believe they are on some kind of religious Imperial project, deciding to meet a democratic effort with brute force. This isn't just happening in Nablus, it's going on all over the West Bank. And frankly I think it's a perversion of Torah to be saying that God sanctions a colonial project that will disenfranchise and oppress a group of people. I also think it's a betrayal that even after Israel is established, we cannot stop there - we are doing our part to prevent a people from being able to self-determine their own future. Of course I acknowledge that, but what you refuse to acknowledge is that there are many Jews who in the beginning because of great pain and later because of religious or ideological tunnel-vision, refuse to acknowledge the humanity of the Arabs/Muslims living amongst them - and this refusal translates into things like the occupation. Accepting our own responsibility for the current situation is no dishonest - it's the definition of honest. I simply refuse to keep score any more - I found that the more I counted the wrongs, the more it was clear that there is no clear "winner" and there were far too many on my side that I was comfortable with, and I could see the occupation poisoning everything and turning us into something we'd swore we'd never become. I also did not see how the status quo will lead to peace or even, as Tom Friedman puts it "the ability to put your feet up and relax" Here's the thing - I used to be an out and out zionist: I even remember getting up and teaching the class proudly about "Israel's great expansion" in grade four: proudly marking down the annexation of Gaza, West Bank & Golan as a victory. But my views changed once I started doing my own reading, which virtually all came from Jewish scholars, most Israeli themselves, about the conflict, and it didn't pair with the black and white version I was sold as a kid. Even most of my family in that time, has gone from being ardent zionists to being "neutral supporters of Israel" including my 90 year old Zaide. And frankly, if that man can be disgusted with actions on both sides and see the good in others on both sides, after what he's been through - I really could care less about your opinion of me.
  4. As usual, there is a background of events that you're completely unaware of . . . Nablus . . . 1 - IDF soldiers dismantle a Jewish extremist settlement in the West Bank that was illegal even under Israeli law. 2 - The fundamentalist settler thugs respond by marching into Palestinian neighbourhoods and clashing with the people there, including women and children. 3 - The IDF breaks up the confrontation, several people are injured and one Palestinian dies. 4 - The settler thugs proceed to firebomb a home, miraculously no one is killed, but two children are sent to hospital. 5 - A lone Palestinian attacks and kills an entire settler family. 6 - Al Aqsa martyrs brigade claims responsibility - but most analysts don't think they had anything to do with it, considering it would be an unprecedented tactic for them to use, and also that they routinely claim responsibility for attacks they had nothing to do with in order to boost their profile. But who cares about 1-4, Palestinians were the victims. We only get outraged when Israelis die, right?
  5. When has Canada ever been one of three or less countries in the world voting against a resolution against any of those countries? Canada does not unconditionally back up other nations who are in violation of international law for over 40 years. Canada goes to bat for Israel to an extent we do not do so for any other nation. And my point is that I don't see how this benefits us, and frankly I think it harms our international reputation, all in the name of very short-sighted vote grabbing at home. I think Canada should treat Israel as it does the US or UK - which is to say that we believe either country is conducting foreign policy in a way that violates international law, we should express our disagreement, like we did for the Iraq War. I don't have the time to manage dozens of different discussion that would come from a post like that, so unlike JBG I won't start what I can't finish. My basic point on that is this: friends don't enable friends engage in self-destructive behaviour. That's what Canada is doing by rubber-stamping everything the Netanyahu government does. Israel isn't made stronger by colonizing land that's supposed to belong to someone else, and by placing Jews in the middle of towns populated by people who didn't like them to begin with, but hate them even more for colonizing their land. I don't think you can make the case that this helps Israel become more secure. I don't understand how it's in Israel's interest to be engaging in a foreign policy which decreases it's international reputation, and even it's reputation among Jews. Most Jews dont' live in Israel, and aren't politically-conservative or orthodox, and therefor aren't Netanyahu supporters. American Jewish opinion of Israel has been declining steadily for decades, and it's because of things like the occupation. I can't see how any of this is in Israel's interest
  6. Thanks for jumping in to nitpick. Care to pick up where JBG has ran off from? . . . The question is: how is it in Canada's economic, political, or strategic interest to support Israel to the degree which the Harper government does? A degree which is far beyond the support we give any other allied nation? I could also ask - how is it in Israel's interest for foreign powers to support a highly politicized foreign policy that benefits one side of the Israeli political spectrum at the expense of the nation's future as a Jewish democracy? . . . But that's a whole different post.
  7. Doesn't matter, Israel doesn't have the capacity to host other nation's militaries. They don't have large army and air bases like say, Turkey, which they can rent out space at to other countries. Also - why do we need to unconditionally support Israel in order to have this option? Couldn't we just treat them like we do the US or UK and not rubber-stamp every single foreign policy move they make? Other nations we're not particularly close with let us use their bases, after all. It's pretty clear that there is no political, economic, strategic benefit to supporting Israel to the degree that we currently do.
  8. How is Israel a forward base? There are no NATO troops stationed there. Israel has never been used, even during the Iraq war, as a staging point for Western troops. During the Iraq war the US used Turkey, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, and aircraft carriers as forward bases. If anything unconditional support for Israel (to a degree we don't even reserve for the US) has marginalized Canada's already limited role in the middle east. I think it harms Canadian foreign policy more than it helps, because when it comes time to talk trade, Middle East nations are reluctant to trade openly with a lap-dog of the Netanyahu government. Turkey, they're already in NATO. Plus there appears to be lots of stability in most of the gulf states besides Bahrain. You're probably not aware of this but: Egypt isn't "letting" any nation use the canal - it's an international shipping lane and by law it can't restrict access to any nation for any reason unless they are at war with Egypt. I'm still at a loss as to why it pays to unconditionally support the foreign policy of a nation that has been roundly condemned by the whole world (even by most of our closest allies). Frankly, unconditionally support for Israel goes against Canada's national interest. The only real benefit seems to be this mistaken belief that backing Israel unconditionally will win you a few seats in an election (which, as the Jewish population in Canada falls, and Israel's popularity among Canadians continues to suffer, may not be a good long-term bet.). That and you win some evangelical votes - because of course, supporting Israel for them means bringing about the end-times.
  9. Yes you do, because you haven't answered my question, all you've done is listed two ways in which Canada and Israel are similar. You haven't explained what Canada gets out of unfailingly supporting all of Israel's foreign policy moves as we've done since Harper's come to office. What do we get about supporting Israel to a degree that we don't even reserve for the US? How does it help our economy? Examples? How does it help us politically? Examples? How does it help us strategically? Examples? Are you incapable of providing a rational for the "special relationship?"
  10. And most do. Contrary to that specific instance, most Muslim students in Canada attend public schools and participate in co-ed programming. Rather than tar and feather all Muslims - it's more productive to point out to those families "hey, if it's anti-Islamic, than how come so many other Muslims are doing it? And how come this Imam says it's fine?" But then again, that would mean solving a problem and integrating people, rather than using a problem to lobby for discriminatory immigration requirements based on race or religion.
  11. Really? Haven't drug gangs with Caribbean backgrounds killed more people in Canada than the zero people killed by Islamist terrorists? Or Italian mafia for that matter? Or white biker gangs? And why should I be freaked out about a danger that is less common than dying by lightning strike?
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