Where in my posts did you find any evidence that I can't admit that Israel isn't working in her own best interests? Just to make it clear, I do believe that Israel often doesn't act in her own best interests - just like every other country and people on the planet, including the Palestinians. And I firmly believe that people are most inclined to act against their own best interests when they cling to grievances rather than look for solutions. As to Freeman's view of the "big picture" - his picture may be big, but it's only half the picture. MainStreet has the same half-of-the-picture view. The reason he thinks no one has answered his question about wrongs on the Palestinian side is that he will never be able to see any.
Freeman clearly doesn't have a balanced position on Israel, but wherever did you get the idea that he has a balanced position on China? Did you even read what Freeman said about Tiananmen Square? See my original email above for the exact quote. Seems as if some people are so eager to canonize this poor, oppressed victim of Israel and her all-powerful lobby that they conveniently ignore the evidence that Freeman is not a human rights advocate in any sense of the word. He's just another garden variety Israel-hater. There really are qualified people out there who recognize that there are rights and wrongs on both sides of the IP issue and that we'll never get anywhere if we can't figure out a way to get beyond enumerations of grievances. How about finding one of those people to head the NIC?
Even if I conceded your points, it just looks to me like Pelosi and Freeman are opposite sides of the same coin. Pelosi criticizes China's human rights abuses but ignores Israel's. Freeman criticizes Israel's human rights abuses but ignores China's. But Ms Pelosi is a politician; she can take political positions. The head of the NIC isn't supposed to be a politician. When Mr Freeman took controversial political positions, about Israel OR China, he ruled himself out of the job.
Sheesh! You'd think from all of this that Freeman's only sin was offending the "Israel Lobby." Try this one on for size: In 2005, Freeman was quoted as writing in a public e-mail about the Tiananmen Square massacre: "[T]he truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud ... In this optic, the Politburo's response to the mob scene at 'Tian'anmen' stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action. I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be. Such folk, whether they represent a veterans' 'Bonus Army' or a 'student uprising' on behalf of 'the goddess of democracy' should expect to be displaced with despatch [sic] from the ground they occupy."
Of course, you're right, but this really lets everyone off too easily. The problem is that we let these people define what they do as true Islam. Because Americans value religious pluralism and respect religious differences, we are reluctant to criticize what others do in the name of religion. So, when these monsters kill and maim girls and women and call it "Sharia Law," or deny women the vote or a driver's license in the name of "Wahhabism," we don't call them on it, or if we do, it's just to say, "Oh, well, these guys are an aberration - just a bunch of medieval thugs." We should expect Muslims to hold accountable those who practice abominations in the name of their religion; but, if they don't, we should. One of the truest sayings in the Christian Bible is, "By their works you shall know them." If Muslims continue to tolerate these horrors, these are the works by which they will be known.
The hallmark of religious fundamentalism is the oppression of women. Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Mormon - you name it, the first thing these creeps want to do is control the lives of women. But, when you compare the methods used by these various religious extremists, those used by Muslim fundamentalists clearly stand out for their brutality. Honor killings, female genital mutilation, throwing acid in the faces of girls who dare to seek an education, stoning, beheading - there is no other religion whose fundamentalists use such tactics on a regular basis and who justify them in the name of so-called "religious law." Yes, there are abhorrent things done by other religious extremists, but for sheer horror none of them come close to Muslim extremists. Anyone who excuses or supports their actions is no better than they are.
Speaking of not providing credible evidence, why should we believe "body counts" provided by Hamas? Hamas wants a high civilian body count because that serves its propaganda purposes, both by painting Israelis as murderers of innocents and by hiding the actual damage that Israel has done to Hamas's fighting forces. We know Hamas hides behind civilians in a deliberate effort to escalate civilian casualties. Furthermore, Hamas gunmen are not all grown men, and they don't all wear uniforms, which makes it easy to count a lot of their dead as civilians and/or children. Let me say clearly that any civilian deaths on either side are a tragedy, but it is Hamas that seeks civilian deaths on both sides. They deliberately fire rockets at strictly civilian targets in Israel, and they position themselves in Gaza so as to generate maximum civilian casualties among their own people. The problem is not that Israel doesn't value Palestinian lives; the problem is that Hamas doesn't value Palestinian lives.
Sorry, I meant the above to be a reply to Jay R , but I did want to assure you that there is no requirement for worshiping Jewish stuff, psychodrew. Your own religious things are wonderful enough. As we say, "The righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come."
PS - one of my grandsons is named Drew - and sometimes I call him psychodrew when he's being particularly silly. I have a warm spot in my heart for you for that reason (I also enjoy your posts.) Merry Christmas.
Well, I'm a vegetarian, so I'd probably agree with you about gefilte fish. It sounds horrible anyway. On ordinary days, I eat pretty much what any other vegetarian eats. I love Thai and Indian food and a lot of other things, but for the holidays there's just nothing like latkes and matzoh ball soup (made with vegetable broth, of course) - not to mention challah and blintzes and matzoh brei and hamantaschen and Sephardi-style charoset. Oh, yum! Hungry again!
I'm willing to concede that Christians have better religious music than we do, but we have the best holiday food. Every Chanukah when I make latkes, and every Passover when my husband makes matzoh ball soup, I just feel sorry for the poor dears.
So this is the centerpiece of our holiday dinner - latkes, sour cream, applesauce and honey mustard! (I confess the latter was added to the repertoire by my non-Jewish son-in-law, but it was a great addition.) The latkes go well with a nice crisp white wine and a big Greek salad.
Now I've made myself hungry. I wonder if there's any latke batter left?
Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year - and a fabulous whatever for whatever else any one may celebrate!
I just emailed Sen McCaskill. The point I stressed with her is that Lieberman shouldn't be in any position in which he can make mischief for our new President. Since she was one of Sen Obama's earliest and most active supporters, I hope that argument will carry weight with her.