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GNU is Not Unix Politics

RMS Cancels Lectures In Israel 609

Posted by timothy
from the tunes-called-by-piper-payers dept.
Eesh writes "Globes and Haaretz report that Stallman cancelled his plans for lecturing in Israeli universities as part of a visit to the Palestinian Authority, due to threats by the Palestinian organizers that they won't be paying for his trip if he does so. Globes write: 'Stallman was scheduled to visit Israel in July and to speak at Haifa University, Tel Aviv University and Shenkar College. The Palestinians initiated the visit, but when they understood that Stallman would also be speaking at Israeli universities they told him they would no longer fund the trip. In response, Stallman announced that he would cancel the speaking engagements in Israel, and would be satisfied with visiting the Palestinian Authority regions only.'" Here's the email from RMS and response from the Israeli organizer. Hopefully RMS will brush off being named "Linux founder" by Haaretz. Update: 05/29 19:39 GMT by T : Oops! As user Windrip points out below, it's Globes, not Haaretz, which attributed Linux to RMS.
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RMS Cancels Lectures In Israel

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  • makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:23AM (#36279820) Homepage Journal

    Maybe if universities in Israel want to have him speak there, they should invite him at a different time and by him some other tickets?

  • Re:So cheap (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:25AM (#36279830) Homepage Journal

    What are you talking about, it's RMS, I am even surprised he takes a plane at all unless it's Free (and also free).

  • Re:makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrxak (727974) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:27AM (#36279842)

    Exactly. Is it a dick move by the Palestinians? Absolutely. But it really is their right, after all, they are paying for his trip and they can put whatever conditions on it they'd like.

    Now, whether or not he should have, at that point, decided not to go at all, because he's being used as a political pawn, I suppose we can argue about that. But at the end of the day, he agreed to the trip as the Palestinians wanted, then decided he'd also do some other things on their dime, they said no way, so he decided to stick to the original agreement. I can't really fault him for that.

    If Israeli universities want to pay for him to come in a week later, then they are free to do that.

  • What a mess. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <(jcr) (at) (mac.com)> on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:28AM (#36279848) Journal

    I think in that situation, I'd be inclined to say "a plague on both your houses", and go to Brazil.

    -jcr

  • It's Ironic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:32AM (#36279870)

    Stallman expects the rest of us to live some live of software purity, never compromising on closed software, despite the fact that we often do so for pragmatic reasons like getting paid, getting the job done etc. Yet here is he, quite prepared to give into bullying terms when it suits him.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GCsoftware (68281) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:37AM (#36279906) Homepage
    Unlike the Israelis who don't get any foreign funding whatsoever, especially not for weapons. Nope, perish the thought.
  • Re:makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:44AM (#36279944)

    Israeli ? Not really. Their land was stolen.

    All land was stolen, ultimately.

  • Re:It's Ironic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:45AM (#36279954)

    Stallman expects the rest of us to live some live of software purity

    I am not so sure about that one:

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html#ProprietarySoftware [gnu.org]

    in particular,

    We don't insist that users of GNU, or contributors to GNU, have to live by this rule. It is a rule we made for ourselves. But we hope you will follow it too, for your freedom's sake.

    Yes, he hopes that other people will follow in his organization's footsteps, but it is not something he insists on. Elsewhere on the GNU and FSF websites, I have seen remarks that indicate an understanding that some people may not have a choice in using proprietary software. Yes, RMS campaigns for a further expansion of free software use, and tries to make people aware of what they are forfeiting when they agree to proprietary software licenses, but that does not mean that he insists that everyone agree with him or that he has no concept that people may be forced to use proprietary software.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:51AM (#36279984)

    yeah. After all, Palestinians are not Semites!

  • Re:It's Ironic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:53AM (#36279992)

    despite the fact that we often do so for pragmatic reasons like getting paid

    +1

    How does Stallman pay his bills, anyway? AFAIK, MIT doesn't pay him. Is it all from paid speaking gigs? BTW, Speeches Want To Be Free.

  • by t2t10 (1909766) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:54AM (#36279996)

    Stallman expects the rest of us to live some live of software purity, never compromising on closed software,

    Free software is about receiving source code along with software and being able to modify and redistribute the software. There is nothing inconsistent about Stallman's behavior: you can get paid for software, you can create proprietary software, etc. if you like. Some of your business models may not work with free software, but that's not Stallman's intent, that's just a consequence.

    Yet here is he, quite prepared to give into bullying terms when it suits him.

    The Palestinians are paying for the trip and they get to set the conditions they pay for; that's the way all invited talks work. "No side trips" is a common condition for invited talks.

    What's actually going on is that Israel is forcing foreign scientists wanting to visit the Palestinian territories to travel through Israel, and then saying "oh, we made you come here, why don't you also give some lectures for free". Imagine the US used military force to keep international planes from landing in Canada and then asked foreign scientists diverted through the US to also give free talks in the US; it would be quite outrageous.

    The situation is made even worse because the Palestinians are so poor compared to Israel. For Israeli universities to piggy-back on a trip paid for by the Palestinians ought to be a huge embarrassment for Israel.

    The obvious thing would be for Israel to pay for the entire trip, including the trip to the Palestinian territories. That would be the obvious, right and peaceful thing to do. Apparently, Israel isn't interested in that.

    I hope Israel will turn around and do the right thing.

  • Re:Bad call IMO... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @11:58AM (#36280026) Journal

    You're drawing a pretty broad conclusion from this one specific event. Had he agreed to *never* have any dealings with Israel then I'd agree there's a problem. All he did was to cancel lectures on this specific trip that is being paid for people kind of entitled to make such a demand - regardless of how petty it may be. I don't see how this is a civil liberties or freedom thing when he's voluntarily traveling on their ticket.

  • Easy solution;

    Both parties want him to Speak, let both parties pay half each. If both parties refuse, stay home, if only one accepts, then go there.

    I fully understand why the Palestinians do not wish to pay the "Israeli" share, and the other way around. However, splitting the costs is fair, and all parties win.

    Sure, I realize it might be impolite if the Palestinians had already been promised a visit, but I think at least the option of splitting costs should be proposed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2011 @12:10PM (#36280098)

    Rockets =/= rocks. The Palestinians toss plenty of those. You should also check the definition of a WMD before spouting more worthless bullshit.

    That said, I don't favor either side. They are equally culpable. Just because one has more powerful toys does not make them the worse of the two. If you support either side, you're a sucker.

  • by Meneguzzi (935620) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @12:15PM (#36280136) Homepage Journal
    Well, opinions about the right or wrongness of Israel aside, it is a well known fact that Israeli universities are pretty well funded and staffed (especially if compared to Palestinian ones).
    They already have top class academics working for them and plenty of funding to bring other academics to visit them pretty regularly. I have had the privilege to meet many famous Israeli academics, but I am yet to meet a Palestinian one.
    If we just ignore the politics for a little while, I can see why an underfunded Palestinian university might feel cheated if they are paying for a guy to come from across the world to give a lecture, and the guys across the border who have lots more funding and better staff than they have tried to amortize Israeli costs of bringing a foreign academic by using Palestinian money. After all, they could have offered to split the bill or something.
    On top of that, I'm not sure about the situation right now, but until very recently, Israel (which controls Palestinian borders and tax collection) was withholding tax money from the Palestinian Authority because they were in reconciliation talks with Hamas. Again, ignoring politics, but looking at a very real cashflow issue that their universities might be having, I can see why they might resent this move.
  • by SchroedingersCat (583063) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @12:15PM (#36280144)

    The Palestinians are paying for the trip and they get to set the conditions they pay for; that's the way all invited talks work. "No side trips" is a common condition for invited talks.

    Nonsense. Are they requiring him to get on a plane and land in US? I don't know what kind of deal RMS got for himself but I am pretty sure it is quite uncommon that organizers require you to go back to country of origin after the engagement is over. He should have negotiated fee for giving talks like 1k/hour and pay for his trip himself and not be restricted in his movements.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2011 @12:18PM (#36280154)

    Stop firing missiles into Israel, and maybe the world takes you more serious.

    Also, sick of moslim taqqiya. Fuck off, the lot of you.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:2, Insightful)

    by medcalf (68293) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @12:19PM (#36280166) Homepage
    Um, peacefully waging a campaign of pressure [nationalpost.com]? I think not.
  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @12:21PM (#36280190) Homepage

    There's nothing in the free *software* philosophy about what conditions can be put on plane tickets. There's a hint in the name - it's about software, not planes.

    His lousy options were to cancel the Israel gigs, or cancel the Israel and the Palestinian gigs. He went for the former, and apologised.

    This isn't news at all. This part of his work must be pretty frustrating for him.

  • by deblau (68023) <slashdot.25.flickboy@spamgourmet.com> on Sunday May 29, 2011 @12:24PM (#36280204) Journal

    The Palestinians don't believe in freedom of speech. RMS should cancel his entire trip; his talk would be wasted on them anyway.

  • by hackus (159037) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @12:25PM (#36280210) Homepage

    However, even a turkey could see that would cause problems given the plans the "New World Order" has for the region.

    I would have not accept funds in the first place from any political organization over there for transportation.

    I would have a independent source of funds for travel expenses. I would then ask for donations from both sides when I got there to pay for the trip.

    Richard runs the risk of looking like he is choosing sides by doing this, even though he might not feel that way about the politics of the region.

    I say that because his mission is somewhat political due to the economics he will be discussing and social systems that make open source software very profitable as well as technically superior than close source commercial software.

    -Hack.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @12:32PM (#36280256)

    Trying to pick a bad guy in the region is pretty easy. It's pretty much all bad. I've seen no one that doesn't have blood on their hands.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2011 @12:41PM (#36280316)

    I hope Israel will turn around and do the right thing.

    Israel could say "oh, we still want you to visit us, so we will fund your trip if Palestinians withdraw their funding. And we will allow you to visit them too."

    Now that would be the right thing.

  • The "Free" in "Free software" stands for freedom, not cost; RMS has been very clear on this point, but he also seems to be ignorant of the fact that the best beer is also Free as in Freedom. IMHO, the saying should be "Free as in Freedom not Free as in promotional".

    It would be best to get the message out as broadly as possible, in this case RMS is taking what he can get to give as best he can. Better to speak to some than to none.

    I make Free Software. I also make Free Beer. At the local brewers club we exchange our carefully recorded recipes for different brews. We bring free samples of our fee free beer, and we share it Freely with anyone in attendance, both in bottle and in recipe. We have a great time "tasting" different brews: Some do wind up in the swill bucket, while other brews are favored, and their recipes are copied and reproduced again later by those who favor the beer. We make improvements and offer suggestions; Some of my brews have come back to me after being improved and I've had better beer, and better friends, because of it.

    It does cost us to make the beer, much like it costs us to make the software, or to make the speeches -- I think it's only fair trade that we receive reimbursement for our labors. In RMS's case: In exchange for speeches about Software Freedoms he accepts money and/or travel expenses. In the case of our brew club I exchange my beer for theirs; For friends and neighbors I exchange free beer for camaraderie and the occasional tool loan.

    "Free as in Beer" means something very much like "Free as in Freedom" to a home brewer like myself.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @12:57PM (#36280452)

    That is true, but when your government charter specifically and explicitly calls for the murder of all JEWS and blames them for secretly being behind pretty much every war or revolution that ever happened in the world while referencing the protocols of the elders of zion it's pretty obvious that in this case they are anti-israel specifically because they are anti-jew.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @01:05PM (#36280526) Journal

    Unlike many other countries ... also funded by the USA. But people like you never mention that when talking about other countries, only Israel gets called on the carpet for that anytime money is in question. Funny that.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @01:16PM (#36280590) Homepage

    Isreal, this nation of "victims" has been growing its borders "in defense" of itself for decades. To see how Israel started and what it has become is astounding. When China does it, its wrong. When the US does it, it's wrong. When Israel does it it's wrong.

    And it's good you know something about the bulldozer story. Did you catch how she was alive the first time they ran her over? Yeah, they ran her over three times. That story by itself was enough to polarize me against Israel and what they are doing. The complete lack of humanity behind such actions are beyond my imagination and seriously remind me of the atrocities claimed by the Jews in WW2. The victims of cruelty and disgusting slaughter have become the victimizers and butchers.

    Could they have pulled her away by force? You bet! Where the occupants of that location even armed? No, they weren't. What could possibly excuse it? "the bulldozer driver couldn't see"??? Are you kidding me? The driver and the person who gave the order both knew what was going on.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bjourne (1034822) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @01:16PM (#36280594) Homepage Journal

    'In 2010 he was due to play a gig in Tel Aviv, but this attracted criticism from Palestinian groups who stated "Your performance in Israel would be the equivalent to having performed in Sun City during South Africaâ(TM)s apartheid era... We hope that you will not play apartheid Israel." In response he cancelled the gig.'

    There is no factual error in that quote. Israel is an apartheid state.

  • Re:It's Ironic (Score:1, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @01:20PM (#36280622) Homepage Journal

    Also from the same source [kerneltrap.org] you can figure out that the man is totally ignorant of the way economy functions, of what the sound monetary and economic policy should be (free market capitalism):

    JA: You mean what if all the programming jobs were outsourced to foreign countries?

    Richard Stallman: Yes, what if they all go? This may actually happen. When you start thinking about things like total levels of employment, you've got think about all the factors that affect it, not blame it all on one factor. The cause of unemployment is not someone or society deciding that software should be free. The cause of the problem is largely economic policies designed to benefit only the rich. Such as driving wages down.

    - clearly RMS is a Marxist in his overall thinking, but MAYBE he can actually learn something about this topic if he only had an opportunity to, but he never had that opportunity.

    'Driving down wages' is not a goal in itself. Wages are often not the most significant cost to the business. The most significant cost is corporate and payroll and medical and other taxes and various governmental regulations, that are normally designed to reduce and destroy competition and to provide the politicians with a large chunk of the monopoly money.

    As to 'driving down wages' - I will argue that it is part of the thinking for a business, but in absence of government destroying free market, this part of the thinking would be very constraint, as competition would be very high without government involvement and without inflation that government causes by printing money. The companies would not get as large as they get when there is a government around, that is willing and insisting in participating in the business via various schemes - taxes, subsidies, regulations, etc. Also while wages may be going down in more developed countries if businesses move out of them, they increase in less developed countries, where businesses enter the economy and start producing and hiring there. But to be able to benefit from such a move, the business needs to have some economy of scale and very good protection against competition in the former place of business, which comes from good ties with the government, who wants the control over the business and cash flow.

    You know, it's no coincidence that we're having all this outsourcing. That was carefully planned. International treaties were designed to make this happen so that people's wages would be reduced.

    - again, this was done because the government is large and distorts the economic forces in the first place. The large corporations that benefit from the treaties certainly get various help from many governments of the world, who control their competition, reduce their taxes, making them very difficult to compete with, while raising regulations, which affects the starting businesses dis-proportionately, because they do not have such economies of scale and cannot really afford 10 more compliance officers in the company.

    JA: Can you cite specific examples?

    Richard Stallman: FTAA. The World Trade Organization. NAFTA. These treaties are designed to reduce wages by making it easy for a company to say to various countries, "which of you will let us pay people the least? That's were we're headed." And if any country starts having a somewhat increased standard of living, companies say "oh, this is a bad labor climate here. You're not making a good climate for business. All the business is going to go away. You better make sure that people get paid less. You're following a foolish policy arranging for workers of your country to be paid more. You've got to make sure that your workers are the lowest paid anywhere in the world, then we'll come back. Otherwise we're all going to run away and punish you."

    - the problem with RMS, is that he sees the government as the force, that MUST be in business of setting economic and

  • by klapaucjusz (1167407) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @01:22PM (#36280638) Homepage

    I'll give props to RMS in this case.

    So now he's set the precedent that when you pay for RMS' trip, you're entitled to dictate what he does in his free time. Smart move.

  • by Shipud (685171) * on Sunday May 29, 2011 @01:24PM (#36280648)
    Wow. So many untruths, Where to start?

    "What's actually going on is that Israel is forcing foreign scientists wanting to visit the Palestinian territories to travel through Israel, and then saying "oh, we made you come here, why don't you also give some lectures for free". Imagine the US used military force to keep international planes from landing in Canada and then asked foreign scientists diverted through the US to also give free talks in the US; it would be quite outrageous."

    It would also be outrageous is Israel is doing it, which it isn't. I would ask you to find citations for that ever happening. And what is this about "Israel paying"? When a scientist is invited to speak at an academic institution the institution is paying. There is zero government involvement. There is also no involvement from other institutes, unless they are pooling resources for an event (say, a conference).

    " 'No side trips' is a common condition for invited talks".

    I am an associate professor and I have been invited to give hundreds of talks, at institutes and companies in the US and in many other countries. I have never heard of this "Common Condition".

    At most I ask my paying hosts for accurate dates, telling them I will be travelling more. I have never encountered any kind of objection to that, nor a request to share the primary travel venue. Of course, I do not ask for extra travel or Room & Board for the "side" travels.

    "Apparently, Israel isn't interested in that."

    Again what is "Israel" the university of Tel Aviv? The University of Haifa (which, BTW, in which the majority of students are Palestinians)? The Israeli Immigration authorities? The Mossad? El-Al?

  • Re:makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @02:16PM (#36281022)

    But people like you never mention that when talking about other countries, only Israel gets called on the carpet for that anytime money is in question.

    As an AC said, two posts up is someone complaining about Palestinian money coming from the EU.

    But more to the point, Israel receives more US foreign aid, including military aid, then any other country. That's not even including all of the support we give to dictators in the region so that they'll take a softer stance towards Israel. That's also not including the costs of all the hate directed our way because we're supporting hated dictators.

    Supporting Israel has cost America a lot of blood and treasure, but they don't seem to respect us for it.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sun (104778) <shachar@shemesh.biz> on Sunday May 29, 2011 @03:00PM (#36281326) Homepage

    Actually, there is a great difference between apartheid (discrimination of citizens based on race), occupation (governing by military force over population) and siege (preventing/filtering produce as part of an ongoing war effort).

    The Palestinians in the west bank are under occupation (with quite extensive autonomy in most internal affairs). The Palestinians in Gaza are under a military siege. They are not occupied, at all. The Palestinians living inside Israel are equal rights citizens. No apartheid at all. If you want to contradict these statements, please bring forward the facts on which you rely.

    All of this does not matter to the question of artists canceling appearances. If an artist does not want to appear in Israel, that's fine. An artists who cancels is being suckered into making a political statement under the guise/threat of avoiding making one. A singer performing in Paris does not mean the singer supports France's laws against traditional Muslim wear. A singer performing in New York does not mean the singer supports the USA's aggressive intellectual property foreign policy. Yet, for some reason, a singer appearing in Tel-Aviv is told that this will be interpreted as supporting the occupation.

    Not appearing in Israel does not make a political statement. Appearing in Israel does not make a political statement. A statement is only made when an artist schedules an appearance, and then cancels. The statement can be interpreted as "I live under a rock and only now found out what Israel is doing", or as "I don't have a spine and am too afraid of outside pressure to tell people whom my performance schedule is none of their business to go to hell".

    Shachar

  • Re:It's Ironic (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2011 @03:04PM (#36281354)

    Eventually socialistic/Marxist type government crashes the economy by overconsumption and by not letting the market to restructure (like the 1939 and 2000 and 2008 bail outs have clearly shown in USA).

    I always think it's funny when people claim that the bailouts were somehow "socialist" - letting the tax-payer pay for the mistakes of big business by cutting support for the poor and privatizing public services and goods is probably one of the most un-socialist things I can think of.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Sunday May 29, 2011 @03:06PM (#36281358) Journal

    Well I don't know about him, and call me weird, but I don't think we should be giving a damn dime when it comes to foreign aid when our infrastructure is falling down, we are drowning in debt, we have a huge trade deficit with pretty much everybody, massive unemployment and underemployment, folks losing their homes left and right, borders leaking like sieves, blowing money like shit through a goose on pointless MIC crap like the Osprey, need I go on?

    As far as Israel goes i'm proud to say that I believe that AIPAC should be listed as a lobbying firm for a foreign power and STRICTLY controlled, and BTW I'm also damned sick of anybody that is against militaristic Zionism being labeled as antisemitic by AIPAC and Southern Poverty Law Center. As someone whose grandfather helped liberate one of the camps in Poland I find it fucking sick that these douchebags would use the dead to further their own Neocon ambitions, or that they are allowed to so blatantly bribe our elected officials and wield so much power over OUR government!

    When you have the candidates for both parties going to kiss the booty of AIPAC before running you can see where the paranoid get their ZOG ideas from because AIPAC and SPLC have too God damned much power over OUR government. If American Jews want to send their money to Israel? Fine, go right ahead. But you should be able to take money out of my pocket to support a regime I don't believe in, nor allow their lobbyists to have more control and access than We, the People do!

    Finally, just to piss off the Neocons and Xtians allow me to say this: Basing our Mid East policies on "Jesus won't come back!" is dumb as fuck! You have people dying, billions being blown, and enemies being made all over the region, because our entire ME policy is tied into whether or not a 2000+ year old dead guy, written about on sheep skins by goat herders, has a place to park his fluffy cloud on some mythical day where his dead ass comes floating on down from heaven. Protip" If your "God" is so fucking weak he can't even get a parking spot without the US MIC backing his ass up then your "God" is pretty damned pathetic. And the fact that both sides kiss the AIPAC booty and cause so much suffering because of scribblings written by primitives is fucking idiotic!

    Fuck Israel and every other country with their hand out. We should cut our military by half, quit blowing our money on bling bling MIC tech like its still the cold war, and spend OUR money on OUR people, period. As much as I don't agree with Glenn Beck on...well pretty much anything, the man did say one thing insightful. He said it is high time we in the USA decided to "Be Switzerland" and stay the hell out of everyone's business. As he said we have been sticking our noses in other people's business for a century and caused NOTHING but misery, dictators like Mubarak, and suffering wherever we went. it is high time to "Be Switzerland". Oh and before any Xtians believe that "When the Jews return to Zion" line they might just want to look up what it says about 'The Whore of Babylon" which with our sellout congress critters and stirring up shit everywhere is what we are acting like.

  • by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @04:23PM (#36281818)

    You ignore the fact that rockets and mortar shells are still fired daily from Hamas controlled territory and are deliberately targeted at Israeli civilian towns with no military purpose.

    You also ignore the fact that despite this Israel transports sick Palestinians from the same hostile territory for treatment at Israeli facilities and pays for their treatment.

    Then you ignore the fact that Israel has been paying the Palestinian Authority (and arming and training their Police) for all that time and have just stopped due to the recent political union between the PA (who Israel with deal with) and Hamas (who have sworn to destroy Israel and have never stated any other intention in Arabic [they will say anything in English, but never in Arabic]).

    Then there is the fact that Israeli Universities have money because their country is hell-bent on making money, not on wiping the Palestinians off the face of the Earth (unlike Hamas). There are plenty of Arab Israeli citizens who have the same rights as everyone else (although they're not very well trusted). The Israelis actually spent their effort making things (eg. Intel CPUs and CPU designs, desalination equipment, weapons etc) that the rest of the World will pay for. The Palestinians make nothing significant for export in their territory (the first thing the Palestinians did when the Israelis unilaterally withdrew from Gaza was smash the greenhouses and infrastructure that was left in perfectly working order, when they could have made a lot of money exporting food in the region).

    Israel is far from perfect, and makes plenty of mistakes, but admit to yourself you have such a poor understanding of what is going on in the region that you come across as an ill-informed anti-Semite. Disclaimer: I come from a country about as far away as it is to be, am not Jewish, but have visited Israel and all the countries that neighbour it. Israel is trying to survive in a very rough and unreasonable neighbourhood.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nimey (114278) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @04:50PM (#36282012) Homepage Journal

    One can dislike Israel without being anti-Semitic. As I read someone say to a Jewish kid they'd grown up with, "we don't dislike you because you're Jewish. We dislike you because you're an asshole.", and he was, and Israel is.

  • Re:makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by makomk (752139) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @05:42PM (#36282378) Journal

    Actually, there is a great difference between apartheid (discrimination of citizens based on race), occupation (governing by military force over population) and siege (preventing/filtering produce as part of an ongoing war effort).

    It's not that clear a distinction. The black regions of South Africa during apartheid were nominally independent states too, just with nothing resembling an independant economy or political system - much like Palestine. What's more, there was a very definite campaign of ethnic cleansing used to drive out the non-Jewish residents of what became Israel proper. As for the difference between occupation and siege... which it's closer to at the time seems to vary depending on the mood of Israeli politicians

    The Palestinians living inside Israel are equal rights citizens.

    Nominally equal. In practice they don't really have much in the way of political representation, the major parties have to be restrained from outlawing any political party that tries to represent them by the courts, there's fairly impressive racism in employment and housing and provision of services to majority-Arab cities, etc... (To be fair, a lot of this isn't unique to Israel - the US at least has similar race problems.)

  • Re:It's Ironic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2011 @06:44PM (#36282722)

    The book No Logo explains that the Philippines have laws that protect labor standards, but these laws count for nothing any more. They decided to set up "enterprise zones" - that's the euphemism they used for "sweat shop zones" - where companies are exempt from these rules for the first two years. And as a result, no company lasts for more than two years. When their exemption runs out, the owners shut it down and they start another.

    - that's sound business but also a way for government officials to get good bribes.

    This is the kind of world you're arguing for and you think RMS is nuts? You are not rational.

    Furthmore, if disagreeing with the radical viewpoint that the 40 hour work week, child labor laws, safety standards, and all other workers' rights gains made in the last few hundred years should be thrown out because they are a strangling burden on honest corporations qualifies someone as stupid, I imagine you must encounter a lot of stupid people. The problem is on your end.

  • Re:It's Ironic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @06:54PM (#36282788) Homepage Journal

    Another AC?

    Maybe you want to log in and make the points again, I am not going to fight windmills here.

  • Re:Nope, wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Monday May 30, 2011 @01:41AM (#36284550)

    What exactly?

    Palestine citizens need special permissions to move past checkpoints. That's why the wall was built.

    And Palestine is NOT a separate state. That's also not controversial at all.

Human resources are human first, and resources second. -- J. Garbers

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