@ The New Republic: a discussion of the Walzer and Margalit's article ( parts of which I translated for the benefit of those interested posters) in which a case is attempted to be made that IDF soldiers were following morally-flawed rules of engagement during the Gaza war. I outline my critique of the weaknesses of this case as it is presented by the two intellectuals.
@ The Magnes Zionist: treats the same Michael Walzer and Avishai Margalit article, celebrating Walzer's condemnation as " carefully worded but uncompromising". I took issue with some of Mr. Haber's expressed positions, based on some peculiarly misleading interpretations of Hebrew slang terms and what not.
I'm going to park here my latest comment to the Magnes Zionist until such time as it makes through his moderation. He has already banned one poster because he didn't like his line of thinking, so I get the impression that Mr. Haber is not too tolerant of people disputing his truths.
I’m sorry to belabour the point. I get the feeling that you get very impatient with posters who take issue with your so confidently-stated accounts.
I took your advice and googled the term "lech-le-azza". It took a few attempts at different transcripts to get a substantial number of results. Here is what one of them says:
"Faced with attacks from the Gaza Strip since the early 1950s, Israelis were cursing “Lech le’Aza” – literally “go to Gaza” and figuratively “go to hell” –
years before their conquest of the coastal strip where their sworn enemies lived in the largest numbers and worst conditions. Now, as Israel leaves the Strip after nearly four decades of strategic disorientation, Gaza is showing no signs of shedding its dubious distinction as hell’s synonym. Indeed, a vast majority of Israelis – including ones who would not part with its Jewish settlements – woke up this morning happily Gaza-less. To them, this part of the surgery they have just undergone feels less like an amputation and more like the removal of a tumor. Though this rule has had its exceptions, on the whole when Israelis heard “Gaza” what came to mind was hostility, fanaticism, violence and irredeemable destitution. The place author Amos Elon once described as “the Middle East’s
armpit” was where most years, most Israelis would not go unarmed, if at all.
It was the sprawling maze of makeshift alleys, shanty towns and open sewage channels that two generations of Israelis patrolled incessantly and recall traumatically. It was the place that a succession of Israeli administrations tried, and failed, to rehabilitate;"
So your characterization of this colloquialism as a "double entendre" (the etymology of which you neglected to mention in your original post, leaving the reader with the impression that "lech le-azza" was a malign invention of the average Israeli mind, meant to express utter contempt, disregard, and indifference to the life of Gazan Palestinians) is indeed closer to the linguistic meaning. However, you fail to identify properly the rationale of this abbreviated form of "Lech le-azazel", namely, that the misery of the place had less to do with it than the fact that since the early fifties Gaza was the place from which terrorists infiltrated into Israel, always leaving behind death and destruction.
The ill wish conveyed in this expletive has more or less the same function as "Go to hell". People tell each "go to hell" when they hope their enemy will go to a place in which they will feel very uncomfortable and maybe even their life will be endangered. “Lech le-azza” has less to do with Gazza than with the fate that awaits Israelis should they attempt the excursion without protection.
@ Bob's: the thread on Hannah Arendt generated a long long comment exchange which I hesitate to call a discussion. By 'long long comment exchange" I mean a long thread with excruciatingly long comments left there by posters whose thought processes I cannot begin to fathom, and whose staunch loyalty to historical revisionisms would not shame even Holocaust denial aficionados. One needs to read it to believe it.
@ Terry Glavin's about Galloway's banning from entering Canada - the story that never happened