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Israel and the “occupied territories”
Posted: 01 February 2009 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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VYAZMA - 31 January 2009 12:49 PM

I wonder if this little conflict here in this forum is a direct spill-over from the actual Middle-East,kind of like a little mini-Arab-Israeli conflict.Just the mention of this far-away,and completely Human/Life Draining,now-mundane,squabble;has the power to get people arguing about it right here.Just like the TV talk shows.What a waste!

It is not the mention of the conflict that piques my interest but the obvious spin on history I saw.  There’s no serious doubt that Nasser played a gigantic role in provoking Israel’s attack in the 1967 war, and TA’s own source backed me up on that point.  Most likely TA simply wanted to emphasize and/or exaggerate Israel’s political failures in terms of achieving peace in the region.  That, in fact, seems to be the point of the book he referenced and I certainly wouldn’t argue that Israel is beyond all blame in the situation.  I simply found it amusing that TA would work so hard to minimize Nasser’s foolhardy provocations and ultimately fail to even acknowledge them even after his own source did so.

[ Edited: 02 February 2009 09:06 AM by Bryan ]
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Posted: 02 February 2009 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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BRYAN: There’s no serious doubt that Nasser played a gigantic role in provoking Israel’s attack in the 1967 war, and TA’s own source backed me up on that point.

Translation: Bryan had no leg to stand on when it comes to the criminal perpetuation of the zionist land-grab and ethnic cleansing policies against Palestinians, or their continuation since 1967, so he had to change the subject of the discussion to an irrelevant side issue.

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Posted: 02 February 2009 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Bryan - 01 February 2009 05:26 PM

I simply found it amusing that TA would work so hard to minimize Nasser’s foolhardy provocations and ultimately fail to even acknowledge them even after his own source did so.

I find it amusing that you have to use straw man arguments like the one above and that you continue to rely on self-serving and cherry picked facts that do not represent what the author actually wrote. And anyone who read the book would know this.

PS: You should also note that more details about the war and Israel’s role is gone into in subsequent chapters. You would know this just by reading the conclusion I advised you to read. But it’s apparent that you looked for the section solely on Egypt and ignored all else that doesn’t hold to your distorted predisposition.

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Posted: 02 February 2009 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Fine, Bryan. Here’s some bones to gnaw on. On page 82, Maoz wrote:

Israel’s policy had an important impact on the process that led to the Six Day War.

What was that “policy”? Border disputes with Syria over water projects (which were already stopped by spring 1966), Al Fatah raids (which were already on a big decline and small in scale) and other Israeli provocations (which were big, escalating and ongoing, and which led to Egypt’s involvement).

On page 84 Maoz writes:

By the fall of 1966 and the spring of 1967, things seemed to be getting out of hand. Israeli-initiated encroachments into the demilitarized zones (DMZs) along the Syrian border became more frequent and intense… At this point Egypt entered into the picture… When the Israeli-Syrian clashes became increasingly intense, Syria asked for Egypt’s assistance (pg.85)… [T]he events of spring 1967 suggested to Nasser that Syrian concerns were not far fetched. On April 7, the IAF shot down six Syrian-Mig-21 jets, two of them over Damascus. Second, Israel intended to hold its nineteenth independence day parade in Jerusalem, in an apparent show of strength, across the street from Jordan. Third, a number of interviews by Israeli leaders contained explicit threats directed at the Syrian regime. Finally, the Soviets provided Egypt with intelligence suggesting large Israeli troop concentrations in the north (pg. 86).

And though the book doesn’t quote the Egyptian order to UNEF on requesting their withdrawal it can be easily found online:

To your information, I gave my instructions to all U.A.R. armed forces to be ready for action against Israel, the moment it might carry out any aggressive action against any Arab country [sounds like aggressive intent to me, not!]. Due to these instructions our troops are already concentrated in Sinai on our eastern border. For the sake of complete security of all U.N. troops which install OPs along our borders, I request that you issue your orders to withdraw all these troops immediately.

You can find other information available on Israeli provocations against Syria like what was referenced above. For example, Moshe Dayan wrote in the mid-late 1970s:

We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn’t possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance farther, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was…

Also, as noted by Finklestein in a previous topic I created:

Ordinary Israelis no doubt felt threatened in June 1967, but—as Morris surely knows—the Israeli leadership experienced no such trepidation. After Israel threatened and laid plans to attack Syria, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser declared the Straits of Tiran closed to Israeli shipping, but Israel made almost no use of the Straits (apart from the passage of oil, of which Israel then had ample stocks) and, anyhow, Nasser did not in practice enforce the blockade, vessels passing freely through the Straits within days of his announcement. In addition, multiple U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that the Egyptians did not intend to attack Israel and that, in the improbable case that they did, alone or in concert with other Arab countries, Israel would—in President Lyndon Johnson’s words—“whip the hell out of them.” The head of the Mossad told senior American officials on 1 June 1967 that “there were no differences between the U.S. and the Israelis on the military intelligence picture or its interpretation.”

So here is the requested answer to your question which you were too lazy to find out by doing some brief reading of a book you had already found online. So, either you read this and chose to ignore it or you cherry picked what complimented your predisposition and disregarded the rest:

The countries were already at odds with one another, but Israeli provocations against Syria carried a “major portion of the blame” (pg 110) in escalating that conflict. Keep in mind that Syria and Egypt signed a defense pact to aid each other in case Israel attacked one of them. So, as Maoz wrote on page 90, “The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.”

In the “conclusion” on page 110 I repeatedly asked you to read and which you refrained from acknowledging, you could/should have learned:

The Six Day War was an inadvertent war. Everybody could have done much to prevent it; instead, almost every action by each of the parties accomplished just the opposite – making the war inevitable. Yet, the “everybody was guilty” notion serves only to minimize the role of Israeli policies and practices [which you, Bryan, have been extremely guilty of. Worse, you have ignored Israel’s role and distorted Egypt’s] in the process leading up to the crisis and the management of the crisis itself. My argument focuses on several points.

1. Israel carries a major portion of the blame for the deterioration and escalation of Israeli-Syrian relations…
2. These actions may have designed to compel Syria to stop the diversion project and the Al Fatah raids into Israel…
3. Israeli adventurism was affected by three principle factors [i.e. loosened political control over the military, internal political competition allowed the IDF to act freely, and “overzealous use of power”]…
4. A key conclusion of this analysis is that Israeli military adventurism vis-à-vis Syria fed into, and interacted with, the domestic weakness of the Syrian regime and the inter-Arab political competition that drove Nasser into escalation…
5. The reduced political control over the military backfired during the crisis and in the conduct of the war…

And this doesn’t even get into the “implications” of the war, of which Maoz wrote that later chapters will get into.

Here is what you kept doing. You kept self-servingly using the removal of UNEF as the beginning point. Not only did you ignore what and how Nasser ordered the removal, but other details in the book and that were not mentioned in this post, all of which is damaging to your argument, showed Nasser’s actions were deterrence, not aggression, but you also ignored that Israel was carrying out severe provocations against Syria that initiated Egyptian involvement to defend an ally they had a defense pact with. And you claimed that I worked “so hard to minimize Nasser’s foolhardy provocations and ultimately fail to even acknowledge them even after his own source did so.”

First, this is a weak straw man argument since I never said or asserted any such thing. You asked a question and I referenced a book because I didn’t want to go into all the details necessary to address this question. And considering the length of this comment and that I still have not gone into all the details but chose to stick with more specifics that should say something. And as for your comment that my “own source” countered my alleged view (i.e. your straw man), clearly the extensive quotes in this comment show how wrong you are.

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Posted: 04 February 2009 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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truthaddict - 02 February 2009 11:10 AM
Bryan - 01 February 2009 05:26 PM

I simply found it amusing that TA would work so hard to minimize Nasser’s foolhardy provocations and ultimately fail to even acknowledge them even after his own source did so.

I find it amusing that you have to use straw man arguments like the one above

So you’re saying that you agree that Nasser played a key role in provoking Israel?  That will be a first in this thread if you acknowledge it.

and that you continue to rely on self-serving and cherry picked facts that do not represent what the author actually wrote.

I used the example of Nasser from very early in the conversation and you have yet to deal with it (unless we count evasion).

And anyone who read the book would know this.

I doubt it, and I hope folks will use the link that I provided to verify the information.

PS: You should also note that more details about the war and Israel’s role is gone into in subsequent chapters. You would know this just by reading the conclusion I advised you to read. But it’s apparent that you looked for the section solely on Egypt and ignored all else that doesn’t hold to your distorted predisposition.

You’re currently ignoring my relatively cheerful admission that I don’t see Israel as blameless.  If you’re going to focus solely on facts that damn Israel (that’s your pattern, AFAICT) then I perform a valuable role in balancing your presence.

I look forward to seeing you help destroy the straw man(?) by stating your acknowledgment of Nasser’s role in provoking Israel.

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Posted: 04 February 2009 01:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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truthaddict - 02 February 2009 03:35 PM

Fine, Bryan. Here’s some bones to gnaw on. On page 82, Maoz wrote:

Israel’s policy had an important impact on the process that led to the Six Day War.

What was that “policy”? Border disputes with Syria over water projects (which were already stopped by spring 1966), Al Fatah raids (which were already on a big decline and small in scale) and other Israeli provocations (which were big, escalating and ongoing, and which led to Egypt’s involvement).

Good grief.  You can’t even provide the context from one single sentence.  In context, it reads “This explanation suggests that Israel’s policy had an important impact on the process that led to the Six Day War.”  And the former part of the paragraph states that none of the parties (including Israel) were looking for war.  So in a section talking about the faults of all the actors, you pick out the faults of one.  If you read the book as you say then you’d be aware that Syria was permitting the PLO to stage incursions into Israel from its territory.  The sentence following the one you quoted includes this:  “Syria was to a large extent responsible for the process of escalation that evolved into the May-June 1967 crisis.”

On page 84 Maoz writes:

By the fall of 1966 and the spring of 1967, things seemed to be getting out of hand. Israeli-initiated encroachments into the demilitarized zones (DMZs) along the Syrian border became more frequent and intense… At this point Egypt entered into the picture… When the Israeli-Syrian clashes became increasingly intense, Syria asked for Egypt’s assistance (pg.85)… [T]he events of spring 1967 suggested to Nasser that Syrian concerns were not far fetched. On April 7, the IAF shot down six Syrian-Mig-21 jets, two of them over Damascus. Second, Israel intended to hold its nineteenth independence day parade in Jerusalem, in an apparent show of strength, across the street from Jordan. Third, a number of interviews by Israeli leaders contained explicit threats directed at the Syrian regime. Finally, the Soviets provided Egypt with intelligence suggesting large Israeli troop concentrations in the north (pg. 86).

The preceding paragraph emphasized again Syria’s role in provoking Israel.  It is laughable that you accuse me of cherry-picking.

And though the book doesn’t quote the Egyptian order to UNEF on requesting their withdrawal it can be easily found online:

To your information, I gave my instructions to all U.A.R. armed forces to be ready for action against Israel, the moment it might carry out any aggressive action against any Arab country [sounds like aggressive intent to me, not!]. Due to these instructions our troops are already concentrated in Sinai on our eastern border. For the sake of complete security of all U.N. troops which install OPs along our borders, I request that you issue your orders to withdraw all these troops immediately.

You don’t think that Nasser’s statement indicates that he might take, for example, an Israeli attack on PLO guerillas in Syria as a pretext for military attack on Israel?  The clear implication of the statement is that Nasser thought it likely that Egyptian troops would have to move through the UN positions in order to get at Israel, not that UN troops were at risk if Israel attacked Egypt.

You can find other information available on Israeli provocations against Syria like what was referenced above. For example, Moshe Dayan wrote in the mid-late 1970s:

We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn’t possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance farther, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was…

Didn’t the Israelis know that tractors are considered military vehicles?
wink

Here’s a NYT article that helps place Dayan’s comments in context:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06E4D91239F932A25756C0A961958260&sec;=&spon;=&pagewanted=2

Also, as noted by Finklestein in a previous topic I created:

Ordinary Israelis no doubt felt threatened in June 1967, but—as Morris surely knows—the Israeli leadership experienced no such trepidation. After Israel threatened and laid plans to attack Syria, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser declared the Straits of Tiran closed to Israeli shipping, but Israel made almost no use of the Straits (apart from the passage of oil, of which Israel then had ample stocks) and, anyhow, Nasser did not in practice enforce the blockade, vessels passing freely through the Straits within days of his announcement. In addition, multiple U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that the Egyptians did not intend to attack Israel and that, in the improbable case that they did, alone or in concert with other Arab countries, Israel would—in President Lyndon Johnson’s words—“whip the hell out of them.” The head of the Mossad told senior American officials on 1 June 1967 that “there were no differences between the U.S. and the Israelis on the military intelligence picture or its interpretation.”

So here is the requested answer to your question which you were too lazy to find out by doing some brief reading of a book you had already found online.

The statement you provided from Nasser contradicts Finkelstein’s account.  So what we get from a rounded account is that Nasser was rattling his saber with little intention on following through.  But your version mutes the rattle of the saber.  How long are “ample stocks” supposed to last?  Is closing the strait actually a friendly act in some sort of disguise?  By now you will have stated that you acknowledge Nasser’s provocations.  I’ll acknowledge that I have no doubt that Israel could have provoked Syria with tractors.  And if you can come up with something more dramatic than that I’ll acknowledge that as well if it bears up under examination.

So, either you read this and chose to ignore it or you cherry picked what complimented your predisposition

I was dealing with the example of Nasser, which you had failed to acknowledge.  So, yes I focused on that.  It doesn’t mean that I ignored the rest.

You have certainly avoided answering the issue of Nasser as I presented it in the OP:

The history of the 1967 war has bearing on the current situation.  Hopefully this thread can produce an informative discussion of that history.  Israel has been portrayed by some as a consistent aggressor, but the facts of the 1967 war are difficult to reconcile with that view despite the fact that Israel conducted a preemptive attack as the fighting was initiated.  Egypt’s Nasser, for example, had a UN force in Sinai creating a buffer between Israel and Egypt.  Nasser called for the withdrawal of those forces.  Does that move make sense if Nasser is expecting Israel to attack?

and disregarded the rest:

The countries were already at odds with one another, but Israeli provocations against Syria carried a “major portion of the blame” (pg 110) in escalating that conflict.

Yes, and in the following paragraph he acknowledges that Israel’s purpose may have been aimed at stopping a pair of Syrian provocations.  I cherry picked that one because that cherry was still on the tree after you were done picking.  wink

Keep in mind that Syria and Egypt signed a defense pact to aid each other in case Israel attacked one of them. So, as Maoz wrote on page 90, “The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.”

I agree with that.  But if you read the book then you’d be aware that Maoz went on to write that the decisions Egypt made after the initial decision to move troops into the Sinai don’t square well with that intent (“What it does not explain is the set of Egyptian decisions during the crisis itself that caused the crisis to escalate,” page 91).

In the “conclusion” on page 110 I repeatedly asked you to read and which you refrained from acknowledging,

I think that’s an unfair characterization.
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewreply/60810/

you could/should have learned:

The Six Day War was an inadvertent war. Everybody could have done much to prevent it; instead, almost every action by each of the parties accomplished just the opposite – making the war inevitable. Yet, the “everybody was guilty” notion serves only to minimize the role of Israeli policies and practices [which you, Bryan, have been extremely guilty of. Worse, you have ignored Israel’s role and distorted Egypt’s] in the process leading up to the crisis and the management of the crisis itself. My argument focuses on several points.

1. Israel carries a major portion of the blame for the deterioration and escalation of Israeli-Syrian relations…
2. These actions may have designed to compel Syria to stop the diversion project and the Al Fatah raids into Israel…
3. Israeli adventurism was affected by three principle factors [i.e. loosened political control over the military, internal political competition allowed the IDF to act freely, and “overzealous use of power”]…
4. A key conclusion of this analysis is that Israeli military adventurism vis-à-vis Syria fed into, and interacted with, the domestic weakness of the Syrian regime and the inter-Arab political competition that drove Nasser into escalation…
5. The reduced political control over the military backfired during the crisis and in the conduct of the war…

And this doesn’t even get into the “implications” of the war, of which Maoz wrote that later chapters will get into.

It doesn’t really excuse Nasser, either, speaking of a failure to acknowledge an issue (one that’s been left hanging by you since the OP) ...

Here is what you kept doing. You kept self-servingly using the removal of UNEF as the beginning point. Not only did you ignore what and how Nasser ordered the removal, but other details in the book and that were not mentioned in this post, all of which is damaging to your argument, showed Nasser’s actions were deterrence, not aggression, but you also ignored that Israel was carrying out severe provocations against Syria that initiated Egyptian involvement to defend an ally they had a defense pact with. And you claimed that I worked “so hard to minimize Nasser’s foolhardy provocations and ultimately fail to even acknowledge them even after his own source did so.”

Your ridiculous interpretation of Nasser’s request for the removal of the UNEF serves as a flamboyant illustration of my point.  Maoz wrote that Nasser’s behavior wrt the UNEF was reckless and provocative (”... for each step (Nasser) climbed up, the more difficult it became for him to descend without being humiliated domestically and in the Arab world” p 87, expanded at 91, 92).

First, this is a weak straw man argument since I never said or asserted any such thing. You asked a question and I referenced a book because I didn’t want to go into all the details necessary to address this question.

Here’s the question again, for those who no longer remember:

Egypt’s Nasser, for example, had a UN force in Sinai creating a buffer between Israel and Egypt.  Nasser called for the withdrawal of those forces.  Does that move make sense if Nasser is expecting Israel to attack?

TA’s apparently thinks that Nasser’s statement to the UN did not serve as a provocation.  We have yet to see Maoz concur.

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Posted: 04 February 2009 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Bryan - 04 February 2009 01:18 AM

If you read the book as you say then you’d be aware that Syria was permitting the PLO to stage incursions into Israel from its territory.  The sentence following the one you quoted includes this:  “Syria was to a large extent responsible for the process of escalation that evolved into the May-June 1967 crisis.”

Yeah, but he went on to say what? “Israel carries a major portion of the blame for the deterioration and escalation of Israeli-Syrian relations…”

The preceding paragraph emphasized again Syria’s role in provoking Israel.  It is laughable that you accuse me of cherry-picking.

In the conclusion: “Israel carries a major portion of the blame for the deterioration and escalation of Israeli-Syrian relations…”

You don’t think that Nasser’s statement indicates that he might take, for example, an Israeli attack on PLO guerillas in Syria as a pretext for military attack on Israel?  The clear implication of the statement is that Nasser thought it likely that Egyptian troops would have to move through the UN positions in order to get at Israel, not that UN troops were at risk if Israel attacked Egypt.

You keep making some reference about Israel attacking Egypt, and as pointed out: “The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.”

The statement you provided from Nasser contradicts Finkelstein’s account.  So what we get from a rounded account is that Nasser was rattling his saber with little intention on following through.  But your version mutes the rattle of the saber.

It doesn’t contradict anything and I didnt mute anything. You asked why Egypt removed the UN force and the answer was to serve as a deterrent against Israel attacking Syria. Whether Nasser desired to or intended to follow through is irrelevant to answering your question.

You have certainly avoided answering the issue of Nasser as I presented it in the OP:

The history of the 1967 war has bearing on the current situation.  Hopefully this thread can produce an informative discussion of that history.  Israel has been portrayed by some as a consistent aggressor, but the facts of the 1967 war are difficult to reconcile with that view despite the fact that Israel conducted a preemptive attack as the fighting was initiated.  Egypt’s Nasser, for example, had a UN force in Sinai creating a buffer between Israel and Egypt.  Nasser called for the withdrawal of those forces.  Does that move make sense if Nasser is expecting Israel to attack?

I didnt avoid it. I directed you to a detailed source that exposes the fallacy of your question. Egypt didnt remove the buffer because they thought Israel was goint to attack Egypt, but rather because they thought Israel was going to attack Syria, an ally. “The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.”

Keep in mind that Syria and Egypt signed a defense pact to aid each other in case Israel attacked one of them. So, as Maoz wrote on page 90, “The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.”

I agree with that.  But if you read the book then you’d be aware that Maoz went on to write that the decisions Egypt made after the initial decision to move troops into the Sinai don’t square well with that intent (“What it does not explain is the set of Egyptian decisions during the crisis itself that caused the crisis to escalate,” page 91).

It doesn’t really excuse Nasser, either, speaking of a failure to acknowledge an issue (one that’s been left hanging by you since the OP) ...

Who said I was excusing him? You are trying to argue that Israel was not the aggressor. Israel was not attacked by either state, the UNSC didnt authorize force but Israel attacked. That is aggression. To say that Egypt put soldiers on the borders and announced they would defend Syria if Israel attacked is not aggression on Egypts part, and as Maoz noted, the Al Fatah raids were already radically reduced before Israel attacked, and as Finklestein pointed out, the Israeli and American intelligence agencies knew Egypt did not intend to attack.

Your ridiculous interpretation of Nasser’s request for the removal of the UNEF serves as a flamboyant illustration of my point.  Maoz wrote that Nasser’s behavior wrt the UNEF was reckless and provocative (”... for each step (Nasser) climbed up, the more difficult it became for him to descend without being humiliated domestically and in the Arab world” p 87, expanded at 91, 92).

I agree he could have handled it better, but that doesnt mean he was the aggressor and provocateur. You are taking Maoz’s criticisms of Syria and Egypt - and ignoring the one’s on Israel - and then implying that they were the provocateurs and aggressors despite Maoz writing:

“The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.”

“Israel carries a major portion of the blame for the deterioration and escalation of Israeli-Syrian relations…”

The book is a critical analysis of Israel’s foreign policy and its not just the Six Day War that he routinely exposes as being wars of “choice.”

TA’s apparently thinks that Nasser’s statement to the UN did not serve as a provocation.  We have yet to see Maoz concur.

Of course he doesn’t concur. He wrote: “The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.” He didnt write that it was an acto of provocation. D-E-T-E-R-R-E-N-C-E

[ Edited: 04 February 2009 12:41 PM by truthaddict ]
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Posted: 05 February 2009 12:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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truthaddict - 04 February 2009 12:39 PM
Bryan - 04 February 2009 01:18 AM

If you read the book as you say then you’d be aware that Syria was permitting the PLO to stage incursions into Israel from its territory.  The sentence following the one you quoted includes this:  “Syria was to a large extent responsible for the process of escalation that evolved into the May-June 1967 crisis.”

Yeah, but he went on to say what? “Israel carries a major portion of the blame for the deterioration and escalation of Israeli-Syrian relations…”

The preceding paragraph emphasized again Syria’s role in provoking Israel.  It is laughable that you accuse me of cherry-picking.

In the conclusion: “Israel carries a major portion of the blame for the deterioration and escalation of Israeli-Syrian relations…”

The record’s stuck.  I’m not contesting that, even though you took it somewhat out of context.  I’m simply pointing out that you leave a great deal out.  And you still haven’t acknowledged Nasser’s role in provoking Israel.

You keep making some reference about Israel attacking Egypt, and as pointed out: “The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.”

You mean by saber-rattling as though they would attack Israel unless Israel became more tolerant of PLO activity launched from Syrian territory?  If you were to say that, it would be very close to an admission of Nasser’s role in provoking Israel.  Just one more tiny step ...

The statement you provided from Nasser contradicts Finkelstein’s account.  So what we get from a rounded account is that Nasser was rattling his saber with little intention on following through.  But your version mutes the rattle of the saber.

It doesn’t contradict anything and I didnt mute anything.

Yes it does and you did, if I may be permitted to emulate your style of evidential support.

You asked why Egypt removed the UN force and the answer was to serve as a deterrent against Israel attacking Syria. Whether Nasser desired to or intended to follow through is irrelevant to answering your question.

I don’t recall asking why Egypt remove the UN force.  Feel free to remind me where I supposedly asked it, or perhaps provide a quotation of the words you took that way.

You have certainly avoided answering the issue of Nasser as I presented it in the OP:

The history of the 1967 war has bearing on the current situation.  Hopefully this thread can produce an informative discussion of that history.  Israel has been portrayed by some as a consistent aggressor, but the facts of the 1967 war are difficult to reconcile with that view despite the fact that Israel conducted a preemptive attack as the fighting was initiated.  Egypt’s Nasser, for example, had a UN force in Sinai creating a buffer between Israel and Egypt.  Nasser called for the withdrawal of those forces.  Does that move make sense if Nasser is expecting Israel to attack?

I didnt avoid it. I directed you to a detailed source that exposes the fallacy of your question.

That’s avoidance, especially when you avoid taking the opportunity to emphasize the details that would supposedly expose the fallacy of the question.  Indeed, we are still left to wonder how you think the question exhibits a fallacy unless we assume that you are admitting my point that Nasser acted in a provocative manner toward Israel.  Is that what you wish to admit?

Egypt didnt remove the buffer because they thought Israel was goint to attack Egypt, but rather because they thought Israel was going to attack Syria, an ally. “The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.”

So Egypt moved into Sinai in order to attack Israel if Israel continued to give Syria payback for PLO activity?  That sounds somewhat provocative.  Do you agree?

Keep in mind that Syria and Egypt signed a defense pact to aid each other in case Israel attacked one of them. So, as Maoz wrote on page 90, “The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.”

I agree with that.  But if you read the book then you’d be aware that Maoz went on to write that the decisions Egypt made after the initial decision to move troops into the Sinai don’t square well with that intent (“What it does not explain is the set of Egyptian decisions during the crisis itself that caused the crisis to escalate,” page 91).

It doesn’t really excuse Nasser, either, speaking of a failure to acknowledge an issue (one that’s been left hanging by you since the OP) ...

Who said I was excusing him?

I dunno.  I simply said that it doesn’t excuse Nasser, not that you said it does.  Do you agree with me, then?

You are trying to argue that Israel was not the aggressor.

Correct in a sense, but your statement can easily pass for a fallacy of ambiguity.  I stated at the outset that Israel acted pre-emptively, which automatically makes Israel the aggressor in a softer sense.  But obviously (though I haven’t seen you clearly acknowledge it yet) Israel was responding to aggressive diplomacy (including terrorism and the threat of military force) from its neighbors.  Nasser’s moves serve to illustrate, though Syria certainly can’t be counted out (as the Maoz book helps point out).

Israel was not attacked by either state, the UNSC didnt authorize force but Israel attacked. That is aggression. To say that Egypt put soldiers on the borders and announced they would defend Syria if Israel attacked is not aggression on Egypts part, and as Maoz noted, the Al Fatah raids were already radically reduced before Israel attacked, and as Finklestein pointed out, the Israeli and American intelligence agencies knew Egypt did not intend to attack.

How is Egypt supposed to “defend Syria” from Sinai?  That statement from you addresses the absurdity of your position without even delving into the rest.  Is it that Egypt can’t figure out how to send troops to Syria without going through Israel?

Oh, and Syria did attack Israel before Israel attacked Syria. 

False Egyptian reports of crushing victory against the Israeli army[54] and forecasts that Egyptian artillery would soon be in Tel-Aviv influenced Syria’s willingness to enter the war. Syrian leadership, however, adopted a more cautious approach, and instead began shelling northern Israel.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War#Golan_Heights

Same goes for Jordan.

Your ridiculous interpretation of Nasser’s request for the removal of the UNEF serves as a flamboyant illustration of my point.  Maoz wrote that Nasser’s behavior wrt the UNEF was reckless and provocative (”... for each step (Nasser) climbed up, the more difficult it became for him to descend without being humiliated domestically and in the Arab world” p 87, expanded at 91, 92).

I agree he could have handled it better, but that doesnt mean he was the aggressor and provocateur.

Ooooh.  And you were so close.  Nasser’s actions were agressive, with makes him an aggressor in a weak sense.  Nasser’s actions were unquestionably provocative—and you should admit it.

]You are taking Maoz’s criticisms of Syria and Egypt - and ignoring the one’s on Israel - and then implying that they were the provocateurs and aggressors despite Maoz writing:

“The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.”

“Israel carries a major portion of the blame for the deterioration and escalation of Israeli-Syrian relations…”

The book is a critical analysis of Israel’s foreign policy and its not just the Six Day War that he routinely exposes as being wars of “choice.”

I acknowledge the book’s aim and the legitimacy of some of its criticisms of Israel.  You fail to acknowledge the portions of the book that demonstrate that Egypt and Syria acted aggressively and provocatively.

But there’s still time.  You could acknowledge the faults of Israel’s neighbors a tad more fully than by stating that Nasser could have handled it better.

TA’s apparently thinks that Nasser’s statement to the UN did not serve as a provocation.  We have yet to see Maoz concur.

Of course he doesn’t concur. He wrote: “The Egyptian troop movement into the Sinai was an act of deterrence. Nasser wanted to send the Israelis a simple message: back off Syria.” He didnt write that it was an acto of provocation. D-E-T-E-R-R-E-N-C-E

Because, as everyone knows, an act of deterrence cannot at the same time be an act of provocation?
See pages 92 and 93 for review.

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Posted: 05 February 2009 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Bryan - 05 February 2009 12:35 AM

You fail to acknowledge the portions of the book that demonstrate that Egypt and Syria acted aggressively and provocatively.

But there’s still time.  You could acknowledge the faults of Israel’s neighbors a tad more fully than by stating that Nasser could have handled it better.

Okay, fine. They acted aggressively and provocatively. I disagree with how you use that to play apologia for Israel and to diminish their role (which is something Maoz also wrote about others doing in the “conclusion” on page 110), but whatever.

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Posted: 05 February 2009 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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truthaddict - 05 February 2009 09:14 AM
Bryan - 05 February 2009 12:35 AM

You fail to acknowledge the portions of the book that demonstrate that Egypt and Syria acted aggressively and provocatively.

But there’s still time.  You could acknowledge the faults of Israel’s neighbors a tad more fully than by stating that Nasser could have handled it better.

Okay, fine. They acted aggressively and provocatively. I disagree with how you use that to play apologia for Israel and to diminish their role (which is something Maoz also wrote about others doing in the “conclusion” on page 110), but whatever.

He didn’t mention me by name, did he?  wink

Yes, Maoz wrote to the effect that blaming everyone might minimize the blame on Israel, though he doesn’t really explain how that would work.  If a nation is to blame then it accepts its share of blame, from what I can tell.  Perhaps it was a rhetorical device Maoz used to emphasize the theme of his book, which is a piece of revisionist history intended to tease out factors which would increase the amount of blame fixed to Israel.

Oh, and I tip my hat to you for your statement above.  My hope for this thread is accomplished, I think, in that it may serve an educational purpose.

[ Edited: 05 February 2009 10:29 AM by Bryan ]
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Posted: 05 February 2009 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I told you what you wanted to hear because it was getting obnoxious to read your pathetic and never-ending apologetic arguments (i.e. “Perhaps…”). Only in your distorted world does deterring equal aggression and provocation.

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Posted: 26 February 2009 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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NYCers: I’m going to this meeting tonight, please join me if you’re interested.  I’ll be wearing a black BBQNYC T-shirt (or white Oberlin sweatshirt if it’s cold).

Human Rights in Gaza & the Occupied Territories

Thursday, February 26, 7:00 pm
http://brooklynpeace.org/events/index.html

Join Dr. Maya Sabatello, the U.S. legal advisor of B’Tselem (The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) for a discussion on the human rights situation in the Occupied Territories and for an up-to-the-minute report on the military campaign in Gaza.

Dr. Sabatello is a lawyer, member of the Israeli Bar Association, and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Southern California. Her fields of expertise include international law, human rights, and public policy. She has just returned to the U.S. after working with B’Tselem’s headquarters in Jerusalem during the recent military campaign in Gaza.

B’Tselem is an independent human rights organization which endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories.

Co-sponsors: Brooklyn For Peace; Peace & Social Action Committee of the Brooklyn Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers); Fort Greene Peace; Rabbi Michael Feinberg; Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives; The Dialogue Project; Ethical Action Committee of Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture; Brit Tzedek V’Shalom (Jewish Alliance for Peace & Justice).

Note: The speaker does not represent the view of the co-sponsoring organizations.

Location: Brooklyn Friends Meeting House, 110 Schermerhorn St (at Boerum Place). Map: http://tinyurl.com/dzey77
Train: A/C/G to Hoyt/Schermerhorn; F to Boro Hall; 2,3,4,5,M,R to Court St/Boro Hall

Admission Free.

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