Rumours of Israel’s isolation in the Middle East are dead wrong

The crash of civilizations by A.F. Branco at Legal Insurrection

Israel is constantly being warned by its erstwhile allies and their wagging fingers that if we don’t correct our behaviour, or if we don’t agree to suicidal ceasefires with an implacable genocidal enemy, we are going to become isolated.  There are two answers to that:

  1. We tried “correcting our behaviour” with the pullout from Gaza – and look where that got us. Not only that, but we received no credit for it once we had committed that almost suicidal act. Israel is still accused of being the “occupier”, of laying an “illegal siege”, and generally being the cause of all the mayhem and misery in the Middle East.
  2. Despite our “bad behaviour” (you’d think we were a nation of 2 year olds) Israel’s isolation has only grown from our Western “allies”. Our former enemies however are almost all onside in our fight against Hamas and its extremist Muslim Brotherhood proxies and allies, up to and including Iran.

Here are a series of links that I’ve been collecting since this war began (and never had a chance to post as the news kept overtaking me as I blogged).

A Saudi official accused Hamas of being responsible for the deaths in Gaza and called for peace with Israel.

The former head of Saudi intelligence services Turki al Faisal said that Hamas was responsible for “the crimes Israel has committed in the Gaza Strip,” according to a report by Israeli news website NRG.

Faisal said that “Hamas is responsible for the slaughter in the Gaza Strip following its bad decisions in the past, and the haughtiness it shows by firing useless rockets at Israel, which contribute nothing to the Palestinian interest. The Hamas rockets pose no threat to the Israeli occupation, even when they reach Tel Aviv.”

Faisal further blamed Qatar and Turkey for their mediation efforts, saying that instead of preventing Israel from destroying Gaza, these two countries were destroying Egypt’s leadership role in the Arab world. He also attacked the US and Europe for giving Israel the diplomatic credit to continue its campaign.

Earlier over the weekend, an influential Saudi wrote an op ed published by Al Arabiya headlined “Peace with Israel is the solution.”

Several weeks ago, a Saudi intellectual, Abdallah Hamid a Din, wrote in Al Hayat that Israel cannot be forcefully defeated. In his words, the Palestinians have been missing opportunities since 1947, and all the while Israel grows stronger while the Palestinians weaken and their territory shrinks. Hamid said many of the Palestinians’ demands were unrealistic, like the right of return for refugees, which he compared to an Indian demand to return native Americans to cities in the US.

The Egyptians are hoping that Israel will destroy Hamas

Some Egyptians are even openly expressing hope that Israel will completely destroy Hamas, which they regard as the “armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.”

Sisi’s Egypt has not forgiven Hamas for its alliance with Muslim Brotherhood and its involvement in terrorist attacks against Egyptian civilians and soldiers over the past year.

An uncomfortable moment during an April 2014 meeting between PA President Abbas and Egyptian President Sisi. (Image source: Video from President Abbas’ Office)

The Egyptians today understand that Hamas and other radical Islamist groups pose a serious threat to their national security. That is why the Egyptian authorities have, over the past year, been taking tough security measures not only against Hamas, but also the entire population of the Gaza Strip.

Famous Egyptian TV presenter and journalist Amr Adeeb has been told by many Egyptians to “shut up” after his criticism of Sisi’s “silence” toward the war in the Gaza Strip.

One Egyptian reminded Adeeb that “Hamas is responsible for the killing of Egyptian soldiers.”

Her colleague, Azza Sami of the newspaper Al-Ahram, went as far as thanking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for ordering the attack on Hamas. “Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more [people] like you to destroy Hamas,” she wrote.

In response, an Egyptian wrote: “May God make the State of Israel victorious in its war against the terrorist movement Hamas during this holy month of Ramadan.”

Echoing the widespread sentiment among Egyptians, journalist Mustafa Shardi said: “No Arab country has done for the Palestinians as Egypt did. Why doesn’t Hamas go to (Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip) Erdogan? Where is Erdogan when you need him? Why is he silent? If he opens his mouth they (Israel and the US) will hit him with a shoe. The Egyptian people are asking: Where are our people who were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip? Hamas should apologize for the 1000 tunnels that were used to smuggle the resources of Egypt. They all have their own planes and accounts in Swiss banks.”

Watch this MEMRI TV video of various Egyptian TV hosts lambasting Hamas during the first weeks of the war:

The Egyptians are furious not only at Hamas but at their supporters, mainly Turkey and Qatar.

Turkey and Egypt have been trading insults over Gaza:

Egypt warned Ankara Saturday of “further action” as it protested for the second time in a week at the Turkish premier criticizing its president and Cairo’s handling of the Gaza conflict.

Turkish PM Recep Tayipp Erdogan

The foreign ministry said it was summoning the Turkish charge d’affaires — for the second time within a week — to protest against Erdogan’s criticism in the media on Thursday of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and Cairo’s stance on the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told AFP that the protest comes after Erdogan in an interview with US television channel CNN “repeated again that Sissi was a tyrant and that Egypt has no role” in resolving the Gaza crisis.

Erdogan also denounced Sissi on July 18 as an “illegitimate tyrant,” saying that Cairo could not be relied upon to negotiate a truce in Gaza.

Saturday’s ministry statement said Erdogan’s remarks show “the total ignorance and dismissal of the political reality in Egypt since the June 30 revolution.”

An interesting summation of the new regional configuration in which Israel finds itself was written in the New York Times (via the Times of Israel, h/t DavidinPT):

 After the military ouster of the Islamist government in Cairo last year, Egypt has led a new coalition of Arab states — including Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — that has effectively lined up with Israel in its fight against Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip. That, in turn, may have contributed to the failure of the antagonists to reach a negotiated cease-fire even after more than three weeks of bloodshed.

“The Arab states’ loathing and fear of political Islam is so strong that it outweighs their allergy to Benjamin Netanyahu,” the prime minister of Israel, said Aaron David Miller, a scholar at the Wilson Center in Washington and a former Middle East negotiator under several presidents.

“I have never seen a situation like it, where you have so many Arab states acquiescing in the death and destruction in Gaza and the pummeling of Hamas,” he said. “The silence is deafening.”

“There is clearly a convergence of interests of these various regimes with Israel,” said Khaled Elgindy, a former adviser to Palestinian negotiators who is now a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. In the battle with Hamas, Mr. Elgindy said, the Egyptian fight against the forces of political Islam and the Israeli struggle against Palestinian militants were nearly identical. “Whose proxy war is it?” he asked.

The dynamic has inverted all expectations of the Arab Spring uprisings. As recently as 18 months ago, most analysts in Israel, Washington and the Palestinian territories expected the popular uprisings to make the Arab governments more responsive to their citizens, and therefore more sympathetic to the Palestinians and more hostile to Israel.

But instead of becoming more isolated, Israel’s government has emerged for the moment as an unexpected beneficiary of the ensuing tumult, now tacitly supported by the leaders of the resurgent conservative order as an ally in their common fight against political Islam.

And here we see the utter ineptness, not to say deluded ignorance, of the American Administration as embodied by John Kerry:

For Washington, the shift poses new obstacles to its efforts to end the fighting. Although Egyptian intelligence agencies continue to talk with Hamas, as they did under former President Hosni Mubarak and Mr. Morsi, Cairo’s new animosity toward the group has called into question the effectiveness of that channel, especially after the response to Egypt’s first proposal.

As a result, Secretary of State John Kerry turned to the more Islamist-friendly states of Qatar and Turkey as alternative mediators — two states that grew in regional stature with the rising tide of political Islam after the Arab Spring, and that have suffered a degree of isolation as that tide has ebbed.

But that move has put Mr. Kerry in the incongruous position of appearing to some analysts as less hostile to Hamas — and thus less supportive of Israel — than Egypt or its Arab allies.

If Kerry would have taken proper advice from knowledgeable people rather than from his little echo-chamber coterie, he might not have found himself in this embarrassing situation.

Meanwhile, a 72-hour ceasefire was declared a few hours ago, to begin at 8 a.m. on Friday.  Perhaps the US has learned its lesson from its abortive attempt at a ceasefire last week, because this time, Israel’s security needs were taken into account:

He notes that the joint US-UN text provides that during the 72 hour truce, “the forces on the ground will remain in place.” This clause reflects Netanyahu’s insistence that he would not agree a deal that requires the IDF to stop looking for and demolishing Hamas’s terror tunnels.

And despite the announcement coming from the UN and the US, where will the ceasefire negotiations be taking place? In Egypt, considered by Israel to be more neutral than the US. Who could ever have dreamed of such a situation?

As Lewy14 says in his comment on my previous post:

It seems there is another cease fire. This one negotiated in Cairo, including representatives of the PA.

Nota bene – not negotiated in Paris, with Qatar and Turkey as proxies for Hamas.

So, it’s confirmed: Kerry is an idiot. Not just an opinion, but a fact.

…To hell with world opinion: Israel simply needs to keep KSA/Jordan/UAE/Egypt onside. They share the benefits of a demilitarized Gaza. They also share the certain knowledge that the US is an unreliable ally.

Precisely. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Let’s hope for a quiet night and that the ceasefire holds for the full time-span, while the IDF continues on its search-and-destroy mission of the terror tunnels.

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26 Responses to Rumours of Israel’s isolation in the Middle East are dead wrong

  1. lewy14 says:

    Heh. Indeed. 🙂

    A couple points: it’s great that KSA/UAE/Jordan/Egypt are pursuing their enlightened self interest, but it does give them some leverage.

    KSA is a unique situation in that their political legitimacy is incompatible with recognizing the “zionist entity”. Can that issue be finessed? If so it will be done very carefully.

    • anneinpt says:

      Lewy, I only just now saw your comment. Of course it’s not perfect but it’s great that they are comimg round to our existence at all, and it’s good that it gives Israel too some leverage with the west.

      LOL at your clip!

  2. Reality says:

    strange days indeed when Israel needs and chooses to negotiate with Egypt ,Saudi Arabia &UAE instead of eith our Western “Allies”.
    Now having heard of the non ceasefire and a kidnapped soldier will the UN help Israel?I won’t hold my breath.
    Please pray for Hadar ben Chedva Leah the kidnapped soldier.May Hashem retutn him home quivkly and safely to his family.
    May Hashem guard and watch over all our soldiers .
    Am yisrael chai.
    Shabbat Shalom

  3. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Sadly, within less than an hour of the cease-fire starting, Hamas had broken it, killing two Israeli soldiers and capturing a third. Needless to say, no more cease-fire and a promise of no more Shalit negotiations: this time Hamas leaders’ lives are on the line – and the hunt for the tunnels also goes on. As does Palestinian flight from Shafia hospital.

    So sad, but Hamas brought it on themselves through their usual failure to recognise their own self-interest.

    • anneinpt says:

      Thanks. I’ve abandoned my Good News Friday post and am about to blog about the kidnapping. I’ll use your info as a basis. I’m running really late because I can’t tear myself away from the TV and radio. The phone calls have been crazy amongst the family – all checking on each other’s menfolk in the army etc. It’s an absolutely terrifying situation.

  4. I should have added that much of the above comes from an Algemeiner update.

  5. Philip says:

    Might I question whether being isolated by the West yet being embraced by Saudi and Egypt is wholly a good thing?

    • Brian Goldfarb says:

      Philip, given that the US Dept of Defense approved resupply to Israel of arms, etc a full 8 days ago (although it took a week to break as news and no-one seems to have further commented on it), I guess Israel can live with the “embrace of Egypt” (with whom they have a peace treaty, remember, and whom Hamas are attacking in the Sinai peninsula as well) and Saudi, especially given that Saudi are hardly lovers of Hamas or Hezbollah.

    • anneinpt says:

      As Brian says, rumours of Israel’s isolation are greatly exaggerated. The US’s support is erratic, but amongst the people themselves and certainly in both houses of Congress, bipartisan support is rock-solid.

      Europe has always been iffy about Israel. They’re very good at defending dead Jews. Their Holocaust museums are superlative. It’s live Jews, specifically Jews with guns, that they have a problem with. Too bad.

      And yes, it is indeed a wholly good thing that Israel should be supported by Middle Eastern states. It’s about bloody time, only 66 years too late. Now maybe we’ll be able to enact a real peace, one that doesn’t require Israel to commit suicide first.

      • Philip says:

        I wasn’t really commenting on whether Israel is indeed isolated in Europe and the US. I was just taking your queue. But I really must insist, finding yourself on the side of the hand-choppers in Saudi, and the protester-murderers in Egypt…that’s where you want to be?

        Europeans tend to have problems with anyone with guns. I don’t really see that as a bad thing.

        • “I wasn’t really commenting on whether Israel is indeed isolated in Europe…”. So, what were you doing when you wrote in your previous comment “Might I question whether being isolated by the West…”? Frying gefilte fish? Or indulging in your frequent habit of pretending that you said something other than the plain words state?

          • Philip says:

            I’ll explain once, but only once, for you.

            Anne made the argument that Israel is more isolated from Europe and the US, but has been embraced by regimes like Saudi and Egypt. I’ll quote her for good measure: ‘Despite our “bad behaviour” … Israel’s isolation has only grown from our Western “allies”. Our former enemies however are almost all onside in our fight against Hamas and its extremist Muslim Brotherhood proxies and allies, up to and including Iran.’

            That argument may or may not be correct. I was not commenting on the merits of that argument. Rather, I commented that IF this argument is correct THEN it does not lead to what some might call a desirable state of affairs. Being in a club with nations who shoot protesters in the streets (Egypt), lock up journalists of trumped up charges (Egypt), use state-sponsored mosques to incite anti-Shi’a sectarian hatred (Egypt and Saudi), chop hands off criminals (Saudi), etc. is not the club that I imagine many of Israel’s liberal founders imagined they would be in.

            Anne responded, first that the isolation is not so much from the US since there is strong support in Congress (though less from the president and young people). Second, that she didn’t really care about a European seal of approval. Third, she argued that it was a wholly good thing for Israel to cosy up to these countries, since it might lead to a peace agreement.

            I would come back on that final point: I don’t think that peace will come while states are in the hands of authoritarian gerontocrats, at least not a long-term peace. But we can agree to disagree.

            • “I’ll explain once, but only once, for you.” Patronising and snide in one sentence: even by your standards, that’s good.

              However, you are playing your usual game of replying to what suits your purpose, not what’s actually said. I was replying to your comment and, anyway, Anne had already taken my point on board re the US. You even manage to ignore the title of this article (Rumours of Israel’s isolation in the Middle East are dead wrong). As I said, up to your usual tricks.

              Perhaps I should have hammered home my point by extending the support in the west beyond the US to Canada, Australia (and, I believe, New Zealand) and, of course, Great Britain – PM David Cameron has thrice, in public, backed Israel’s right to defend itself as it has.

              Further, as I said in part, Egypt has a peace treaty with Israel and a common problem with Hamas, in its case in the Sinai Peninsula. Saudi Arabia also has common aims with Israel, re Hamas, but that hardly makes it an ally or supporter of Isrsel. Merely not an enemy at this time.

              Thus, we are back whereI started: with you responding to what you wish had been said instead of what has actually been said or written.

              And thank you for noting that we can agree to disagree. What you actually mean is that you will continue to say whatever you wish, irrespective of what others actually say.

              As I’ve already noted, just as always from you.

              • Philip says:

                So do you disagree with my summary of Anne’s argument?

                • anneinpt says:

                  Brian is away so he won’t be commenting any time soon.

                  My quibble with your summary of my argument is that I don’t expect “peace”, in the Western liberal meaning of the word, to break out any time soon between Israel and her Arab neighbours. But a state of non-aggression, a cold peace like with Egypt, is certainly much more desirable than a state of war with any of them. What can be wrong with economic cooperation, maybe some quiet scientific or academic collaboration, and no violence?

                  Of course good relations with the West are more reliable, but we have seen that the West are almost as fickle as the Arabs, and they’re certainly more hypocritical. At least when the Arabs want to kill us they say so loud and clearly on every forum.

                  The West declare they have Israel’s back, but… It’s the “but” that’s the killer. Literally.

                  The West loves dead Jews, erects wonderful Holocaust museums and holds beautiful Holocaust memorial services. But Jews with guns??! Heaven forfend!

                  The West have no problem with bombing Afghanistan or Serbia or Kosovo and killing thousands of civilians, saying either that they’re collateral damage (which is true and legal) or “oops” (it happens in warfare. Also true). But if Israel should dare to do such a thing – Oy Vey!

                  So, enough of all the hypocrisy, the snide comments, the smirking at Israel’s alliance with Arab dictatorships. If it’s good enough for Britain and the US then it’s good enough for us. If the world does not approve of such alliances, let them give solid support to Israel.

                  And that is the end of my argument here with you. I’m not going to comment on it any more. The news overtakes us as we write.

                  • Actually, I am away, but I remembered to take my iPad and we have wifi where we are. So:

                    What Anne says, in spades (assuming that you understand the allusion to Bridge). However, I wasn’t responding to Anne, but to you, which is what you’re failing to respond to, as usual, preferring to obfuscate the issue, also as usual.

                    So, it’s not a matter of me agreeing or otherwise with her, but you ignoring the points I make, preferring to comment on what you wish I’d said, also as per usual. My point was that, firstly, my view was and is that Israel is not as isolated in the west as popular opinion (and you, perhaps) wishes to believe, far from fro it, as an accurate reading of my comments on this thread will show. Secondly, the enemies of Israel’s enemies may not be exactly desirable friends, but compared with some of those who should be Israel’s friends (essentially, the Western democracies) but aren’t, they’ll do, for now.

                    Tell me, Philip, what’s so hard to understand about that that you have to continually (and continuously) misrepresent what I have said? Or is it just you and the ideology/political principles/personal philosophy that you have that makes it impossible to read what is on the page? That you do so suggests that you are incapable of doing anything else.

                    Surely, despite all your protestations to the contrary, you aren’t actually an anti-Zionist troll, are you? Heaven forfend.

                  • Philip says:

                    What you accuse me of is exactly what you yourself have done. I made one point and one alone, which was to question whether IF, as Anne argued (and has subsequently confirmed she argued, btw) Israel is isolated from the West / Europe but less so from regional states, THEN, that is not a good thing. I understand that Anne disagrees with that. That’s her right. And it’s my right to disagree with her.

                    You responded twofold. First, you appeared to disagree with Anne’s argument (not mine, since I did not express an opinion on the subject) that Israel is isolated from the West. You cited US military supplies. Since I did not make this argument to which you were responding, I see no reason why I should be the one to engage you on the topic. Perhaps you should take it up with Anne, who DID make that argument. Though judging by her latest comment, she may have commented her last on the subject.

                    Second, you argued that since, inter alia, Saudi hates Hamas and Hizbullah (though quite why Iran’s sectarian militia has crept into the picture, I don’t know) it’s no bad thing. This is similar to Anne’s argument (which by the way she made quite clearly and without fuss). I happen to disagree. Sometimes you have to hold your nose in foreign policy (and in other walks of like from time to time) but I wouldn’t normally revel in such a thing. But hey ho, we can agree to disagree. I must say that I would have imagined a left-wing union activist like you to be more on the wishy washy liberalism side of things.

                    But you did pick up on a point, which is that I didn’t really engage with your arguments. That’s true. That’s partly because I was actually engaged in a discussion with Anne, not you. It’s also because you addressed topics which I didn’t myself discuss, so it didn’t seem appropriate for me to respond.

                    However, it was also because you made slightly spiteful ad hominem remarks, we hardly made me warm to you. And you go further by then accusing me of being a troll just now. It’s unclear of course how one can be a troll when they try to avoid actually entering into discussions with a particular person. Your remarks also give the whiff of an accusation of anti-Zionism coming my way. By which of course you mean to say, antisemitism. Of course, I’m neither, but when I’m on the beach in Tel Aviv at the end of this month, I’ll ask around to see anyone agrees with you.

  6. Now now, Philip, given where you’ ve spent significant parts of your working life, that crack about “hand choppers in Saudi and the protester-murderers in Egypt” Ill becomes you. You did, after all, spend a significant number of years in Syria (176,000 dead civilians and rising plus the emergence of the literally murderous Islamic State as a result of the civil war). Rather than criticise Israel’s “choice” of allies, you might do better to consider your choice of places to pursue your chosen profession of Development Studies. What an irony: there’s Syria, rapidly “de-developing”, even as we watch.

    How’s that for a malign influence?

    • Philip says:

      I am utterly horrified at what is happening in Syria and the sectarian war that has been stoked there by Assad and Iran. I’m not really sure you know what my day to day activities are, not it seems, do you have much of a grip on the timings, so I’m a little surprised by your comments. I’m also a bit surprised that rather than rationally dealing with an argument, you instead make ad hominem assertions.

      • Ah, the old, old accusation of me using the ad hominen argument, yet again. Hang around until I get home and I’ll re-publish one of the exchanges between us from Engage which demonstrate your preference for doing anything except respond directly to the points aimed at you. Including accusing your interlocutor of using ad hominen arguments.

        Quite like old times, Philip.

        And, by the way, what argument did you present, apart from a snide statement about Israel’s allies? If there was one (which I doubt), I clearly missed it, which is quite difficult in 7 lines, including a two-line non-statement about Europeans and guns.

        By the way, after Syria, did you relocate to Liberia or Libya? The latter would make for an interesting career trajectory!

  7. Philip, you are at it again, in spades, doubled, just as you always are: putting words into people’s mouths (which is half-way, at least, to an ad hominen attack, at which you excel): I said anti-Zionist, and I meant anti-Zionist. But, hey, if the cap fits…

    Further, you pretend that you don’t know the title of this article, and thus can, oh so faux innocently, pretend (and pretence it is, something else you’re good at: pretending people have said something other than that which they actually have – your most egregious example was pretending I had referenced a completely different book to the one I had. Oh, how we laughed at the “error” you made) that Anne and I somehow disagree on a topic, to allow you to play (and,again, play it is) the superficial logician, when what you are employing is chop logic and/or cheap rhetoric. You compound your troll-like behaviour by bringing in topics and items that I certainly haven’t mentioned (so that, presumably later you can spring some sort of “trap”, as you see it). Thus, I have nowhere in this thread so much as mentioned Hezbollah, but you did. What has that got to do with this thread, I have no idea. But do remember that you brought it up, not me.

    BTW, does one have to be a Zionist to enter Israel? Or lie on its beaches? Must be the only country in the region which permits free discussion of virtually anything with no attendant penalty: just ask all those Israel academics who support the academic boycott of Israeli and only Israeli universities. I’d like to see someone like you make comments such as you’ve made on various sites in any other country in the region. Or did you have complete freedom of speech when yu wored in Syria, and never have to guard your tongue? Perhaps that’s was why, every so often (as you let us know over on Engage) you appeared to feel obliged to visit Israel, including a completely egregious attack on Israel and the refugee camps (for which Israel has no responsibility), following a visit to Yad Vashem, and having the unmitigated gall to compare Israel’s treatment thereof (which, to repeat, they had nothing to do with: that was an is all down to UNRWA) with the ghettoes, concentration camps and death camps of the Shoah. Don’t bother to deny you did that, I still have the exchange in my documents.

    I’ve already responded to any and all pertinent points you’ve made (and they’re fewer than you think) and can’t be bothered to repeat myself. Just two final points for now: firstly, how do you know what my politics are (including any snide – yet again – references to wishy-washy liberalism)? If that isn’t an ad hominen attack, like so many of your responses to me, then nothing is. Secondly, I actually wondered if, given the way you are carrying on, you might just be such a thing as a troll. After all to anyone not familiar with your style, that’s what it might look like.

    And as I’ve already noted, if the cap fits, wear it.

    • Philip says: ‘I guess Israel can live with the “embrace of Egypt” (with whom they have a peace treaty, remember, and whom Hamas are attacking in the Sinai peninsula as well) and Saudi, especially given that Saudi are hardly lovers of Hamas or Hezbollah.’ ‘Thus, I have nowhere in this thread so much as mentioned Hezbollah, but you did.’


      • That’s a reply to my comment? Plainly, if that’s the best you can do, then my statements as to the manner of your mode of “debate” remain not only accurate but unchallenged. I notice that none of my criticisms have been responded. But then then they never are. You merely find ever more inventive ways of repeating yourself, usually (as in replies before the one above) ever more evasively and rudely.

        Like Anne, I have done with arguing with a troll who fails to debate in a manner that all reasonable people would recognise as appropriate.

        • Philip says:

          I must say, I had expected some form of mea culpa from you. Or even an acknowledgment that you had made an error.

          I don’t put words into anyone’s mouth. I try to restate your arguments and thus respond to them. This allows, among other things, the reader and / or the interlocutor to know whether I have correctly understood their arguments or not. You may find this to superficial, but I find it helps for clear argument. Reading through your comments, I can see that you’ve made some arguments, but it’s not always clear to me who or what you are responding to.

          I read the article, I responded to a particular part of Anne’s argument. In discussion it’s not necessary to debate everything or to attack every position. I don’t know who you are, and I don’t know what motivates your childish attitude towards me. I have commented on this blog perfectly happily and civilly before you started interfering.

  8. For the last time on this thread, Philip, you do not “restate (anyone’s) argument”, you reword it to suit yourself, so that it becomes what you wanted them to have to have said, all the easier for you to “refute” (I.e., distort) . The next time you appear on a comments thread where I do, my reply will be to post in full a blatant example of you doing this – and I have stored plenty of them. Plus examples of you ignoring inconvenient points, questions and evidence.

    Now bugger off, you ant-Zionist troll.

  9. anneinpt says:

    Well said Brian and thank you for fighting our corner valiantly while I’ve been otherwise engaged.

Comments are closed.