"Will Hurd Drops Out"

He was still "in"???

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America’s response to 9/11 was not to bomb any civilian location were we thought the terrorists might be hiding. We declared a war on terror but we did not start dropping bombs on the day of the atrocity. To write off the killing of innocent Palestinians who are caught in the middle of this ongoing war is simply wrong. Wittes says the time for discussing the roots of the problem is not now. Maybe so but collective retribution by the Israelis against the Palestinians is wrong and that needs to be said now and not at some later date after Israel has satisfied its middle eastern notion of eye for an eye vengeance on people who had nothing to do with this horrible attack. The whole world is discussing the context of this attack. We are not. In fact Wittes tells us we shouldn’t and shames us if we do. My question is when is it an appropriate time to talk about the Palestinians living in pograms in the West Bank and Gaza? I subscribe to the Bulwark and read (and listen) every day. I particularly enjoy Charlie and Ben’s Thursday podcast. And I admire Ben’s activism on the Ukraine issue. But I’ve never heard a peep out of The Bulwark about the lives of the Palestinians. Once people in America are educated on their situation I think we will demand the problem is solved. And it can be solved if both sides are made to. It certainly can’t be solved if we go into negotiations saying we want Israel to come out on top. I fear that once Israel has killed enough Palestinians to where they simply can’t go on any more- probably because their own citizens will cry enough- things for the Palestinians will go back to where they were and more of the same will follow. I think this country is largely to blame for this ongoing atrocity that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We can fix it but we’re not. I think the time to discuss it isn’t later, it’s now.

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Terrorist groups do not exist outside of history. They rise only in certain environments, usually among groups who feel oppressed and humiliated. To say they’re motivated solely by brutality and chaos is absurd. This is just what the Israelis have done for decades: emphasize their behavior to justify their oppression. The emphasis on brutality enables ignoring the grievances. A Jewish state in the Middle East, what could possibly go wrong? If you’re complaining about the enemy’s tactics,you’re probably losing.

Dale Deason

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I'm one of those young folks who has lost trust in Israel. I always believed that the civilian casualties were unintentional, but the killing of that journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the coverup has me doubting that. Plus, there is the matter of the secret nuclear weapons. Perhaps I am a nervous Nellie but it seems to me that my generation is far less comfortable with the presence of nukes than people who lived through the Cold War.

Of course it pretty much doesn't matter what I think. Israel will do as it will, and we will fund it. Same as always

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I disagree that the Democrats have an Israeli problem, in fact, that position is entirely upside down. The Israelis have a Democrat problem. After decades of undeterred support, watching the oppression of Palestinians, illegal settlements in the West Bank and grinding 2 million people into dust in the Gaza strip, Democrats are logically asking if we've been supporting the right side. Bebi has been allowed to attack the Palestinians at every turn with zero resistance from the GOP and only ineffective resistance from the Dems. Terrorism is inexcusable and we must support Israel in it's time of need but a reevaluation of this relationship is long overdue.

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Re: Will Hurd drops out/endorses Nikki Haley -

I maintained about 6 months ago that the Republicans need a good win - in the same context as the (very) Hon. Rep. John Lewis invoked the phrase "finding good trouble." And that good win, I said then, would be Mike DeWine and Will Hurd. Both have minimal political blemishes. Mike DeWine won his re-election in a less pro-Trump state by 26 points (compared to Ronny In Florida's 19 points in a deep red state); maybe that had to do with his genuinely compassionate response to Covid...? Will Hurd's presence in the Vindeman appearance (and others) at the 2nd Trump impeachment was so stellar that I said to myself: "With Congresspeople like him, who needs Democrats??????" He's a very shrewd pol; I don't think he ever intended to make a real dent in the Republican field - I think his intention was never to win; he probably was looking for a VP nod all along - but with a candidate he could help make stronger. By endorsing Haley, he very clearly has sent TFG the message that he will not be available to the TFG as a VP. Smart guy. I also said 6 months ago that if the Republicans actually endorsed the smart ticket of DeWine/Hurd, I'd vote for that ticket myself, and not because they are better candidates, but because they are sufficiently conservative and sufficiently honorable to the extent that they would never indulge in the lunacy of the Trump years. This country DOES need to wean itself off of the Trump legacy - badly. And it will not happen unless they can be given an olive branch of legitmate political appeal. The Trump base will not be appeased; but if Republicans want to prevail they need the Independents and a WOKE conservative-centrist coalition. Any of the current crop of Republican candidates (maybe just maybe minus Haley) are in no position to help this endeavor

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The oddest thing about MAGA's "America First" posture is how quickly they can swing from "What happens elsewhere is none of our concern" to "Biden has failed in the president's responsibility to keep peace in the world," combined with the claim that Trump single-handedly made sure that bad things didn't happen elsewhere.

The posture is first of all a rejection of our traditional alliances (except perhaps for Israel). But it also comes with a belief that America's influence in the world has been destructive and that we must cede ground to the great "civilization-states" of Russia and China.

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I have neither the time nor crayons to explain this to you further.

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Headline: Will Hurd Drops Out: Haley Picks Up Two Votes

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Charlie's quotes from Noah Rothman in National Review are essential and true, but also highly selective. The article is another tedious, ultimately misleading exercise in both-sides-ism, in which any entirely justified criticism of the trumpist right must be paired with an attack on the Biden administration (typically, its handling of the border). There is *no equivalency* here. The spectacle of one of America's two major parties deliberately, systematically destroying the nation's (small d) democratic government from within has had no small part in emboldening our enemies across the world. I give thanks every moment that Joe Biden is our president and Democrats control the Senate and a large portion of the House..

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The occupied territories not part of Israel when it's convenient to Israeli apologists, but is part of Israel when they defend its apartheid practices.

Okay, let's apply your definition of apartheid to Israel.

1) Israel expelled the vast majority of Palestinians in what is now Israel proper. Those Palestinians with an actual multi-generational link to specific homes and geographic areas, do not have the right to return to their homes. However, literally ANY person of the Jewish faith can immediately gain full citizenship to Israel, and purchase and inhabit the homes that were previously held by Palestinians. Well, there's one way that different laws apply to different people on the basis of religion. I mean, I think that's a biggie.

2) Palestinians in the occupied territories are not permitted to vote in Israeli election, even though Israel controls every aspect of their lives. Israel entirely controls access into and out of the territories. You say that the occupied territories aren't part of Israel. When then is it that they continue to expand illegal settlements into the West Bank? If that's not part of Israel, then they're illegally invading a sovereign nation. If it is part of Israel, then Israel has disenfranchised millions of it's own citizens on the basis of race (after all, Orthodox settlers DO have the right to vote in Israeli elections). Pick a lane buddy. If ONLY Jewish settlers in the West Bank have the right to vote in Israeli elections, this fits squarely within the definition of apartheid that you yourself provided.

Lol, if you think I'd defend U.S. military occupations abroad, I don't. Sure, that's an apartheid occupation as well.


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I struggle to see how you could coherently claim Gaza is part of Israel. What Israeli government administers it? What Israeli forces provide security? Muslim and Arab citizens in Israel are not treated the way people living in Gaza are; in fact, they comprise 21% of the Israeli electorate.

Concerning 1) The denial of Right of Return is not a religious based distinction, unless you're claiming that Isreali immigration policy is based on a notion of right of return towards Jews from wherever. (It is not). It is simply a denial of the notion of Right of Return, a notion, I might add, which is denied in many other contexts, since you did ask to have Israel judged among the status of its peers. We are all upset about Poland not permitting a right of return or compensating Germans for being kicked out of Prussia, aren't we? Oh wait, we're not.

Concerning 2). No, people in occupied territories don't vote in their occupying countries elections. They never have. That's true of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Russian occupation of chunks of Ukraine, the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus, and yes, even the U.S. occupations.

Concerning the settlements; yes, they are illegal and are an invasion of something. I'm not sure the Palestinians have real sovereignity, but they are definitely an invasion of some sort. But again, that's not what makes something apartheid. West Bank Palestinians are not Israeli citizens. Israeli citizens are, however. You do understand the concept of people living abroad voting in elections yes? The local Syrians in Al-Tanf don't get to vote in U.S. elections, but the occupying U.S. soldiers do.

I don't care whether or not you defend or approve of U.S. military occupations abroad. But if you think that any act of occupation is de facto creating an apartheid regime, well then guess what? Israel has LOTS of company. And since you said, and I'm going to quote you directly

"I mean really, all Israeli apologists need to do is hold Israel to the same moral standard that they would any Western supposedly democratic country"

I will do just that. I am holding Israel to the same moral standard I am holding America or Poland to. And by the way, none of them are in fact apartheid regimes, despite your vigorous attempts to muddy the waters.

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It's interesting that people have a difficult time holding two views at the same time, where there is nothing contradictory about the two views:

1) Hamas is a murderous terrorist organization that has engaged in an unprecedent terrorist attack against Israel, its 9/11 as has been said.

2) From the letter: "Israeli violence has structured every aspect of Palestinian existence for 75 years. From systematized land seizures to routine airstrikes, arbitrary detentions to military checkpoints, and enforced family separations to targeted killings, Palestinians have been forced to live in a state of death, both slow and sudden." It's kind hard to dispute the facts on that front either. Israel also routinely commits war crimes (e.g. the torture of prisoners & use of collective punishments.

There's going to be war and conflict in the middle-east until one of two things happens:

1) Israel just continues illegally seizing land in the occupied territories until Palestine cannot be a geographically viable state and it just collapses.


2) Critics of Israel acknowledge that there is never a justification for the horrendous type of attacks that have been launched by Hamas in the past, and in particular the brutal terrorist acts of the last three days--and Israeli apologists acknowledge that it is fundamentally immoral to accept an apartheid state (I mean really, all Israeli apologists need to do is hold Israel to the same moral standard that they would any Western supposedly democratic country).

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An Apartheid regime is one in which it treats people under different standards of law on the basis of some invidious distinction like race or religion. The poster child example is South Africa, which treated people very differently on the basis of race. However, South Africa did this with South African citizens.

Israel, on the other hand, is different. The West Bank and Gaza are NOT part of Israel. They are territories that they partially occupy and blockade. Gaza in particular is the looser of the two; there hadn't been any Israeli people in Gaza since 2005 before this latest outbreak of war. Now if you want to say that occupation of an area is grounds for classifying a country as apartheid, then I'll take your challenge.

As of the time of writing this, October 10th 2023, The United States of America occupies Al-Tanf in Syria. Has done so since 2017. None of the people who live there can vote in American elections, travel to the U.S. and they are subject to martial law. America is an apartheid regime of the same moral standard of Israel. Should we dissolve both countries or neither of them over this?

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Cool, so it's just violent colonialist imperialism, cause that's so much better...

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You gotta get a little cool breeze anywhere you can find it when you live on the desert!

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From a strictly rational point of view, the terrorist attack by Hamas and its allies was as predictable as the physics of a chemical reaction. You take certain materials and apply certain environmental conditions, you are going to get an explosion. In lieu of saltpeter, charcoal, sulfur and and heat use a 140 square mile open prison, extreme poverty, lack of any hope for change, and a group of homicidal maniacs. Boom.

Note that chemistry does not care about anyone’s feelings or morality. It’s just physics. So the long term question for Israel is how to break that chain of causality without simply breaking the people of Gaza and Palestine. Good luck with that. Really.

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It's important to note that support for the Palestinian people and disapproval of the Israeli government's treatment of them is NOT the same as support for Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organization; Netanyahu's government practices apartheid. The people suffer.

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From the most learned, brilliant mind of American Judaism, Peter Beinart: "Put aside the horror of cutting off Gaza from electricity and water and food. Put aside the horror. This does not keep Jews safe. If it kept Jews safe, what happened on Saturday morning would never have happened because Israel has blockaded Gaza for more than 15 years now. Israel has pummeled Gaza, bombarded Gaza again and again and again. G-d knows if beating up on Palestinians, if brutalizing Palestinians kept Jews safe, Jews in Israel would have been safe a long time ago."

As I noted elsewhere this morning, and in a similar vein: "Following the 9/11 attack, objective observers of the Middle East noted that the United States had had a military presence in Saudi Arabia since the late 1940s, which, added the observers, was causational fuel for the twisted mind of Osama bin Laden and his like. By noting this history of U.S. military activity in bin Laden's homeland, were the observers arguing that the U.S. deserved the 9/11 terrorist attack? Of course not. Likewise, since the 10/7 attack, objective observers of the Middle East have noted that Israel has bullied and oppressed the Palestinian people since the '67 war, which, these observers have added, was causational fuel for the twisted minds of Hamas and other radicalized Palestinian groups. By noting this history of Israel's long mistreatment of the Palestinian people, have the observers argued that Israel deserved the 10/7 attack? Of course not.

"But, the modern American right exercises a rather effective method of battling whatever it finds disagreeable. The argumentum ad hominem. You who challenge us, this time on 10/7, are all Jew-haters and terrorist-lovers. The unbigoted then must spend their time batting away the idiotic charge rather than explaining the decades of religio-ethnic abuse that led to 10/7. Abuse that in no way justified it, but indeed caused it."

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