Thursday, September 10, 2009

Random Sightings on the Internet

There is a song by the Israeli singer Yehudit Ravitz which says:

Things you see from there
you cannot see from here.

Sometimes I wander about the Internet and stumble upon some comment or post that for some reason draws my attention. So, I decided to visit a few Arab blogs written in English. Here are a few of the comments that caught my eye. If I had to describe what mostly strikes me about the positions expressed in these blogs, I would have the say first of all "cognitive dissonance":

"
.. an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas, attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one's behavior, and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors" (wiki)


Here:


I was happy when 9/11 happened...

Am I sad that 3000 people had to die for them to learn this lesson? NOPE. People die every day. The US has CAUSED more deaths in the last 3 decades than any terrorist, combatant, or whatever has. ...

Still not sorry it happened. Infact I kind of wished a 3rd plane had hit the statue of liberty.

***

The words "Innocent" and "American" dont go together in my mind. Sorry. NO American is innocent.

... As for Islam, technically it means Submission to the will of God. Salam is peace.

.... islam is a religion that is peaceful EXCEPT when you are in a state of war.

We are in a state of war. And every time I see an American soldier die on CNN I laugh my ass off.

It really is what they deserve.

The above two comments were made by a blogger whose profile is for the most part a rather predictable catalogue of American movies, American music, American authors. Ironically, he who laughs his ass off whenever he hears about the death of an American soldier cites C.S. Lewis as one of his favourite reads. Go figure.

Here is from a post on a blog named "Muphrida"
:

She is not only Jewish, but a flamin’ Zionist and proud of it. Israel all the way and by any means. She is aware of her impartiality and doesn’t hide it. However living in North America has given her a taste of what it is like to live outside a conservative society where everyone knows who you are and what you’re doing and your business is everyone and their mother’s business. She dated some non -Jews and she liked them. But her zionism prevented her from admitting to herself that she was okay with dating and marrying a non-Jew. Actually, what really prevented her was her family’s view on the topic. As an Arab girl I could completely relate to the threat of death, hanging and sequestration if we so as much look at a guy, let alone if he was a foreigner . Every trip back to the Jewish quarter renewed her allegiance to the Israeli cause, and she repeated again and again that she DID want a Jewish husband because he will be the only one that understands her. What’s funny is that all the Jewish guys she dated didn’t.

And:

"I treat every person with the same respect that they deserve and I wish all Emaratees would do the same. When I ask the dekan guy for Chips Oman from my cushiony car seat, I say please and thank you, and I don’t yell because a lot of locals seem to think those guys are deaf. When I enter the bathroom and there’s the Napkin woman sitting in the corner, I acknowledge her presence with a smile. I’m not better than her. She’s sure as hell stronger than me to take a job inhaling people’s stinky odors all day to participate in the survival race. I would be twitching by the gutter by now."

34 Comments:

At 12:56 PM EDT, Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

You may be interested in the current chatter and discussion about Cass Sunstein as a public official Noga. I know you have an affinity for him.

And these Arabs you keep quoting are creepy. One can only pray that they arent representative of these "Emiratees"....but alas...

 
At 10:46 PM EDT, Anonymous Gibson Block said...

I haven't read much but Mulphrida seems to have an interesting blog.

I especially liked the film clip from 1926 right above the article you pointed us to.

I think she's writing in a slightly ironic note that you might be missing.

She admits that she does notice who people are in terms of race, class and ethnicity. And she does share the standard attitudes against them. She just doesn't show it.

I think she's telling the truth and joking about it at the same time.

The only thing I found odd was her rejection of intermarriage as being on the same basis as that of her Jewish girlfriend, the disappearance of a people.

The Emiratees are a small regional group but are in fact part of a much larger community.

 
At 4:40 AM EDT, Blogger BuJ said...

Hello CC,

I hope you're well.

It's kinda scary to see you quoting A Blessing in Tragedy not once but twice! He's well-known in Emirati blog circles, is a complete nut case and very schizophrenic as documented on at least half a dozen blogs. He even threatened to kill a female blogger not once but twice. She is an Arab.

I hope you don't only quote the most crazy and extreme blogs, for after all you call yourself a "centrist", even though you're "contentious" as well.

I wrote a post about 9/11 on my blog, it would be interesting to see what you make of it.

 
At 4:40 AM EDT, Blogger BuJ said...

EscapeVelocity:

"And these Arabs you keep quoting are creepy. One can only pray that they arent representative of these "Emiratees"....but alas..."

Creepy indeed, but not representative of Emiratis, Muslims or Arabs.

 
At 6:59 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

BuJ: "crazy and extreme" blogs are the most fun to quote (like the folks on "Hitchens Watch" to which I paid some attention a while ago). They are so raw and honest about their sentiments that they don't even bother hiding among the words. They just "tell it like it is" as they imagine they do in their own minds. Especially when they think they speak to likeminded people. I find that intriguing.

EscapeVelocity has also been scolded on my blog. But he doesn't mind it as much as you seem to do.

Being a "centrist" does not mean I'm going to ignore the nutcases. Quite the contrary. One does not know where the center it, unless one is aware of the extremes. Extremes have been known to sweep along entire peoples in the past, so we must always keep a vigilant eye on them :)

 
At 7:02 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Gibson Block:

I found Mulphrida's blog to suffer from lack of self-awareness. I found no indication that she takes herself ironically. I may be wrong, of course.

 
At 7:04 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

BuJ: I'll read your post on 9/11 later today I hope.

 
At 12:01 PM EDT, Blogger BuJ said...

Dear CC,

It's hard not to notice the first word in your name - Contentious. You certainly live up to that name :)

I agree completely that crazy and extreme people are more fun to quote, but I disagree that the quotes you provide constitute a representative sample of Arab opinion.

ABIT indeed can be described as a "nutcase". Fortunately, people like him are rare. However, they seem to be entertaining to some people!

FYI, I don't mind being scalded by you or anyone for that matter as long as one of us at least comes out a little bit wiser.

You're very welcome at my blog, anytime :)

 
At 3:01 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Well, BuJ, it would be splendid if we could agree that you would keep an eye on your nutcases and I will keep on eye on the nutcases on my side of the aisle. That means, noticing them, writing about them, scolding them, and definitely not coddling them.

BTW, about centrism. There are two articles by Trotsky about centrists, whom he held in high contempt. I found the very reason for his resentment of them (they lacked ideological backbone, in his opinion) was my best justification for choosing to call myself one. I believe you can find them on the Net if you are interested.

 
At 11:03 AM EDT, Blogger BuJ said...

Dear CC,

Are you effectively separating us with this imaginary isle? Hmmm, what happened about being a centrist? What if I wanted to be on the same side as you are?

Anyway, I will definitely keep an eye out of nut cases all over the place, both to the left and right!

As for Trotsky, I will research him (or her?), but when you say Centrist I mean you mean political centre.. between the liberal left and the conservative right?

http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1934/02/centrism.htm Is that the right one?

I have one Marxist friend, and he scared me with his ideas. He now lectures young malleable minds in a NY university.. poor kids!

 
At 12:23 PM EDT, Blogger BuJ said...

Leon Trotsky it is :) Thanks.

My dear friend.. we might disagree on a point but still be on the same side...

as for the 1929 Massacre.. I was angry at the way the BBC would report this as a massacre and yet fail to report Israeli actions of similar criminality as massacres too. That's the sticking point.

To be honest I never heard of this event before the day I blogged about it. Since I don't know any better, I can only assume that the killings took place. It was a bloody time for both Jew and Arab in Palestine at the time. It remained bloody after the 1948 war when Israel was created.

I don't support killing innocents in any shape or form and from any religion, especially minorities.

Please do not take my words out of context, and if I didn't explain my position well enough then please accept my apologies.

 
At 5:15 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

"To be honest I never heard of this event"

You never heard about it? How come?

 
At 6:45 AM EDT, Blogger BuJ said...

No idea why not.. to be honest not much is recorded or taught about British mandated Palestine (pre 1948) matters. However from my readings I get the general sense that things got increasingly bloody on both sides due to increased Jewish migration to Palestine.

Arab groups were killing Jews and Jewish groups were killing Arabs.

So I'm not surprised by the 1929 massacre, but I'm sure innocent Arabs were massacred in separate events too.

I went to school in Dubai, so I doubt we'll get a balanced history lesson. Then studied at a British university, and the Brits won't admit to anything in Palestine, just saying they left in 1948 and Israel was created when they left. No mention of Palestinians.

 
At 6:30 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

"No mention of Palestinians."

Well, there were no Palestinians then. Only Arabs. Palestinians, as a political entity somewhat separate within the Arab Nation, came into being in 1964.

Actually, during the British Mandate "Palestinian" usually referred to Jews.

 
At 5:33 AM EDT, Blogger BuJ said...

What utter rubbish!

The population there is Arab, and they were of the Palestinian variety.

The name is actually more than 2000 years old and derives from the Greek. 1964!!! What a joke!

It's like saying Jews didn't exist until Jesus was born, which you probably do not recognise as a prophet, same with Mohammed (PBUH),

 
At 2:43 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

FYI:

http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_early_palestine_name_origin.php

 
At 5:40 PM EDT, Blogger BuJ said...

Weird, I got two comments by e-mail but the blog just displays one.. oh well.. I just wanted to make a point that Islam respects all religions and although I do not follow the Quran to the letter I do respect people from all faiths. It's important to note the difference between political differences and religious differences.

Personally I believe the Israeli-Arab conflict is a conflict about land and control, thus it is political and not religious. However you have people form both sides that use religion to justify horrendous acts.

As for the website you quoted, thank you for that, and it will make a great blog post for me in the future. These sites are pure zionist propaganda, and I wonder if they have any Arab authors on their board. If you go to the FAQ you find their words are very loose and neutral about who they are. Additionally they mention in their menu about "Israel's Independence", I don't consider that neutral. Independence from what? The Ottomans? The Palestinians? How can you be independent of a people in 1948 if you claim they only existed after 1964?

Finally, every single alarm bell was ringing when I read them quoting Golda Mayer when they were talking about Palestine.

Would you go to North Korea if you wanted fair information about South Korea? Would you ask Al Qaeda for honest advice about the USA?

 
At 6:30 PM EDT, Anonymous TNC said...

What Noga is referring to is that the Arab inhabitants of Palestine did not call themselves Palestinians until the mid-twentieth century.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/439645/Palestine/45073/Palestine-and-the-Palestinians-1948-67

"History » Palestine and the Palestinians (1948–67) » The term “Palestinian”

Henceforth the term Palestinian will be used when referring to the Arabs of the former mandated Palestine, excluding Israel. Although the Arabs of Palestine had been creating and developing a Palestinian identity for about 200 years, the idea that Palestinians form a distinct people is relatively recent. The Arabs living in Palestine had never had a separate state. Until the establishment of Israel, the term Palestinian was used by Jews and foreigners to describe the inhabitants of Palestine and had only begun to be used by the Arabs themselves at the turn of the 20th century; at the same time, most saw themselves as part of the larger Arab or Muslim community."

 
At 8:05 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

I suspect that for Buj, the Encyclopedia Britannica is probably a Zionist propaganda tool.

 
At 1:31 AM EDT, Blogger Dubai Jazz said...

The Zionists employ such tricks as "there were no Palestinians before 1948.. bla bla bla" for obvious reasons: it's easier to prosecute people who do not exist. And even if they existed, they're Arabs, they can go and live in camps in other Arab states.

 
At 8:06 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

"An inferiority complex, in the fields of psychology and psychoanalysis, is a feeling that one is inferior to others in some way. Such feelings can arise from an imagined or actual inferiority in the afflicted person. It is often subconscious, and is thought to drive afflicted individuals to overcompensate, resulting either in spectacular achievement or extreme schizotypal behavior, or both. Unlike a normal feeling of inferiority, which can act as an incentive for achievement, an inferiority complex is an advanced state of discouragement, often resulting in a retreat from difficulties." (wikipedia)

 
At 8:59 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

"Dubai Jazz" is someone who describes his blog as "about tolerance and acceptance of all others. And since I always feel uneasy about ratcheting up the rhetoric of animousity even with my darnest enemies."

http://dubai-jazz.blogspot.com/2009/09/synagogue-doubles-as-mosque-during.html

And yet as soon as you start looking for that spirit of "tolerance" and generosity towards one's worst enemies, you find this:

Israel is "Israel". You see, Syria is Syria and Palestinians are Palestinians but Israel is "Israel".

Or this:

"So, somewhere in the near future, when the illegal, venomous, cancerous Jewish settlers on the Golan heights will be forced to leave,"

"illegal, venomous, cancerous"???

"The Golan Heights Winery is an Israel winery located in the Golan Heights. Its first vintage was released 1984. The winery is jointly owned by eight moshavim and kibbutzim which also supply grapes to the winery. The winery produces a total of 6 million bottles annually, 30% of which is exported."

"The winery has won world-wide acclaim and awards at the most prestigious festivals, including wine shows in France. [5] Golan Heights Winery was named Best Foreign Winery at the Prague Trophy 2008 international wine competition. At a ceremony on January 16, 2009, the winery received the award after winning seven medals at the competition."

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golan_Heights_Winery#Awards

Methinks the lad doth protest too much... :)

(Why? See my previous comment)

 
At 9:46 AM EDT, Blogger BuJ said...

Oh, this is turning into a bit of a joke.

Unfortunately your arguments do not make sense. Like I mentioned, the word Palestine has been around for more than a few centuries and millennia actually. What the native Arabs in Palestine used to call themselves is completely not the point since first and foremost Zionists stole the land of Palestine. There is no denying that.

You guys went on and on about your no-points while ignoring what I mentioned in my last comment such as:

1- You attacked Islam and I stressed that Islam actually respects other religions.

2- The conflict is mainly over land and not religion.
The difference in religion is simply used to fuel the fires in the hearts of the ignorant.

3- Your quoted website is a complete fraud and propaganda tool. Come on, admit it. What do you say about the Golda Mayer talking about the Palestinians? Honestly it's like inviting Martin Luther King Jr to talk in support of the KKK. Or maybe trying to convince me that Hitler actually liked the Jews.

Honestly, you should see what you're saying before pointing fingers at others or twisting my arguments. Doesn't matter if you quote me a million encyclopedias, you're saying that the Arabs in British Mandated Palestine didn't call themselves Palestinians, which is completely besides the point which is:

1- Land was taken by force
2- Ethnic cleansing was done against the original inhabitants (regardless of what they called themselves). Entire villages were wiped off the map.
3- "Israel" doesn't respect any kind of power or treaty, which is why some chose to put it between quotes, just like Jerusalem is often quoted as Occupied Jerusalem and the Palestinian areas called "Occupied Territories". Israel doesn't even acknowledge that they displaced the Palestinians, let alone whatever you want to call them. Even the USA won't put its Embassy in Jerusalem and prefers Tel Aviv instead, yet no one will deny that Jerusalem is a major city in the Jewish faith. What does this say? It says that the problems in Palestine are political and not religious.

Going on and on about who calls themselves Palestinians is a redundant point.

Now I suppose the Golan has always been Israeli land and the Arabs there never called themselves Syrians? Hmmm I wonder if you have a lying website to substantiate that claim? Who will they quote? Chief peacemaker Mr Netinyahu? Who is more Lithuanian that Israeli since Israel was one when he was born.

 
At 10:20 AM EDT, Blogger Dubai Jazz said...

Contentious Delusionist,

listen, I'm trying to have a conversation with you. I raised the subject of your claim that the palestinians were not mentioned before the second half of the 20 th century, apparently, you have no riposte to that, so now you'd have to resort to ad hominem.... fine.

you must be feeling awfully smart quoting a wikipedia article about the winery in golan height, nobody is arguing that the winery exista, bright one. We know it exists and we know it's been built by israel on an occupied territories and that it gets its supplies from the vineyards of the Golan. No one is disputing this. I think if you read the letter by the Greek Parliamentarian, you will realize that some people do actually care by what means that wine is being produced, and whether it's actually lawful or not.

This is like me coming to your home and taking over it, while I force you to work on the flower beds and produce the best flowers for me to sell under my own brand. I might get a 'world wide reputation' as well. But for many, it'd be a reputation of a thief and a slaver driver, not a florist.

So yes, I call for and promote tolerance. But I wouldn't tolerate occupation, not a single sane person would. And yes, illegal settlements on occupied territories are cancerous and venomous. Suffice it to say that settlements in the west bank are today the main detriment to the progress of peace in the middle east.

 
At 10:36 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Just to remind the readers who follow this conversation:

This is the website that Buj dismisses:

ttp://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_early_palestine_name_origin.php

And this is the quote attributed to Golda Meir:

"The British chose to call the land they mandated Palestine, and the Arabs picked it up as their nation's supposed ancient name, though they couldn't even pronounce it correctly and turned it into Falastin a fictional entity. [In an article by Sarah Honig, Jerusalem Post, November 25, 1995]"

Please note that in his objection to Meir's comment he compares her to KKK and Hitler.

One wonders what exactly Buj knows about KKK or Hitler and more importantly, where he got his "knowledge" from.

As for this source which should have been treated with some respect since it is the Britannica, presumably compiled by scholars and scientists from authoritative sources, he says this:

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/439645/Palestine/45073/Palestine-and-the-Palestinians-1948-67

he says this:

"Doesn't matter if you quote me a million encyclopedias.."

In other words, facts, records, definitions, reliable scholarship don't matter to Buj.

 
At 10:50 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Listen, Dubai Jazz, if you want to have a conversation, on my blog, you will have to restrain your verbal animus. I do not insult you or call you names. You should have enough self-control to reciprocate in kind. If you can't contain yourself, then please don't come here.

 
At 11:31 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Buz says: "What the native Arabs in Palestine used to call themselves is completely not the point since first and foremost Zionists stole the land of Palestine."

No. The Zionists did not steal the land of Palestine. The Zionists bought land, infested, swamp land, from Arab landowners. And these land purchases continued up to the 1947 war and since 1967. Not to deny that some of the land was conquered in the war of 1947-48 and 1967, but that was a result of the Arab states' attack which miscalculated the results of such an attack.

Let me remind you that the first waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine took place from 1880 - 1922 with the permission of the Ottoman Rulers of the province of Palestine. And as His Eminence the late Haj Amin Effendi El Husseini testified in 1937:

"Under the Ottoman Regime the Arabs formed an important part of the structure of the Ottoman Empire. It is wrong to say that the Arabs were under the yoke of the Turks and that their uprising and the assistance, which was rendered to them during the Great War, were merely intended to relieve them from such yoke. The fact is that under the Ottoman Constitution provided for one from of government of all Ottoman territories and elements.


The Arabs had a complete share with the Turks in all organs of the State, civil as well as military. There were Arabs who held the high office of Prime Minister and Ministers, Commanders of Divisions and Ambassadors…. There were Arab ambassadors, provincial and district governors."

http://www.jerusalemites.org/jerusalem/ottoman/index.htm

Please note:

1. that never once does the Mufti refer to Palestinians in his testimony, but only to "Arabs". He claims no such political entity as Palestinian.

2.If, as he claims, Arabs were part of the ruling apparatus in Ottoman empire, then the decision by the Ottomans to allow the sale of land to the Zionists was shared by the Arabs.

Isn't it ironic: In a transaction between an Arab and a Jew, the Arab sells the land to the Jew, legally, but the Jew does not buy that land, he steals it.

 
At 3:07 AM EDT, Blogger BuJ said...

hello,

"No. The Zionists did not steal the land of Palestine. The Zionists bought land, infested, swamp land, from Arab landowners. And these land purchases continued up to the 1947 war and since 1967. Not to deny that some of the land was conquered in the war of 1947-48 and 1967, but that was a result of the Arab states' attack which miscalculated the results of such an attack. "

So I suppose you deny, admit then defend the Israeli land grabs? Sure, some land was bought by Jews and good for them. However, what do you say about the Separation Barrier? Who decides where it will be built and the land it annexes? Can you show me title deeds for all the settlements in the West Bank? What about random house demolitions especially of Arab homes in Jerusalem, to expand the number of Jewish homes there? This was all done in peacetime, surely not all of it was legally purchased, not even 50% or 10%.

It's all documented here:

Palestinian Walks

By a Palestinian/Israeli-based lawyer.

Also my name is BuJ or BuJassem and not Buz.

Respectfully yours,
BuJ

 
At 7:15 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

"However, what do you say about the Separation Barrier?"

Why is there a separation barrier in the first place?

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&source=hp&q=suicide+bombings+in+israel&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

 
At 8:59 AM EDT, Blogger BuJ said...

suicide bombs are wrong but two wrongs don't make a right....

let's see what happened first:

1-occupation
2-suicide bombings
3-apartheid wall

 
At 1:06 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

So you think the occupation is a justification for suicide bombings?

Do you think the Palestinians are interested in ending the occupation?

 
At 1:08 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

What is an "apartheid wall"?

What is "apartheid"?

 
At 5:02 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Is this apartheid?

http://www.solcomhouse.com/images/highwaymecca2.gif

 
At 10:19 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Or this?

http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD255109

 

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