Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Israeli funding for Hamas plus: note to Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

Part I: Conversations with bigotry: on Israel, Islam and Ideologues (Sigmund Carl and Alfred)

Part II (Updated, links added)

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”
— John Kenneth Galbraith

It can be a jarring experience having your entire world-view questioned, all your underlying premises and taken for granted and on faith assumptions confronted and turned upside down. Some would rather cling to their prejudices than subject them to honest scrutiny, and hit back in a confused and vociferous manner when challenged.

We see this with Sigmund, Carl and Alfred and his continued misrepresentations and willful evasion of my arguments. I welcome views contrary to mine, and have engaged in civil dialogues with those who have quite disparate viewpoints on this site. I would have liked to think we could have had a productive discussion, but encountering willful denial precludes that possibility. The following takes apart, examines and responds to his latest comments.

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred again selectively raises the morality of Hamas (Sigmund, Carl and Alfred never applies the same standard and equal due scrutiny to Israel). Let’s see what the overlooked results are on the moral-meter: clean government (as opposed to the historically corrupt Fatah); kept a ceasefire for nearly two years (unlike Israel keeping up its end of the bargain); past religious tolerance despite themselves being Islamists; supporting genuine national self-determination and refusing to be a quisling for Israel or the Quartet.

Any group who dares to stand up for independence and against hegemonic state terror are profligately labeled terrorists (aka other peoples patriots) by SCA. What also escapes his attention entirely (and which he has had to retrospectively address and attempt to explain away) is Israeli funding support for Hamas. You read right, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Israel gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years. How unsurprising to some of us that a terror state would support what it calls a terror organization, in addition to repeatedly sabotaging peace and a Jewish terrorist assassinating the only Israeli PM who ever came even close to justice for and with the Palestinians.

Israel’s support for Hamas “was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,” according to a former senior CIA official interviewed by Richard Sale of UPI.

Israel “aided Hamas directly — the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),” said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies. “The thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the others, if they gained control, would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place,” according to an anonymous U.S. government official cited by Sale.


According to former State Department counter-terrorism official Larry Johnson, “the Israelis are their own worst enemies when it comes to fighting terrorism.”

“The Israelis are like a guy who sets fire to his hair and then tries to put it out by hitting it with a hammer.”

“They do more to incite and sustain terrorism than curb it,” he said.

Thank you, you said it, Mr Johnson — yes, the Israeli establishment has in fact done more to incite and sustain terrorism than to curb it, and to which I would only add Israel’s own directly state-sanctioned terrorism.

When will the present Israeli government renounce terror, stop sabotaging peace for a certain path of perpetual war, arm and then shun groups it helped build up itself, finally end the occupation and economic strangulation and recognise the native inhabitants of Palestine?

Yours truly does not support indiscriminate killing by anyone anywhere, and it does not follow that by recognising the legitimacy of a democratically elected government that one advocates indiscriminate killing. The current US President is responsible for policies that result in much indiscriminate killing (as do many other regimes) and yet he is recognised, despite being selected, not elected in 2000.

NOTE TO “Sigmund, Carl and Alfred”

“Sigmund, Carl and Alfred” disingenuously claims that I am saying that anyone defending Israel’s interests are themselves racist. Hardly. The ones defending Israel’s racist policies may be racists, but Israel’s enlightened self-interest is peace and dialogue and this site is on record as featuring Israeli voices and dialogues.

And contrary to his claims, Arab world reformers are important in my repertoire of interests and concerns. Not the very few discredited ones that toe SCA’s ideological line such as co-opted and western Islamophobe-acceptable Nonie Darwish and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (see also here and here), but the genuine reformers, a subject about which SCA have so far evidenced little awareness or understanding.

“Sigmund Carl and Alfred” argues in circles, repetitively flogging his already raised points that I’ve already addressed. The fact that I’ve addressed them directly doesn’t stop him from repeating them ad nauseum and claiming dishonestly that points were ignored — willful evasion and deceit that he tellingly attempts to project here. He claims I do not repudiate institutionalized hate in the Arab world. On the contrary, I repudiate all institutionalised hate, including in Israel, also well documented and that conveniently escapes his notice.

The whole point of my writing was that both need to be seen, yet he excuses and justifies Israel’s atrocious behaviour on a clearly racist basis: to him, there is no moral equality between Jews and Palestinians, and he throws in Arabs as well.

He also wholly and repeatedly ignores the recognition furphy.

SCA is fixated on trying to retrospectively redeem his argument after every point was already met with facts. By his own admission, he failed to addressed many of my points. (“People’s Geography has noted that we did not address all the points she made in her various comments. That is true. We are certainly under no obligation to address all the blatant distortions and deliberate deceit.”)

SCA’s posts read as an attempt to try to convince himself and preserve his own worldview bubble. He resorts to couching his continued tirade in psychopathic terms because he can not demonstrably address the straightforward political issues, addressed clearly by people who are schooled in the subject, and on the occasions when they do on his blog, they only invite slanderous, nonsensical rants and stock retorts such as ‘doubleplusthinkgood’. Goodness, what nuanced and sophisticated argumentation and analysis, from an anonymous blogger with no declared credentials and no credibility!

In terms even he might understand then, “Sigmund Carl and Alfred” displays obsessive-compulsive racist bigotry and common hypocrisy. For someone “Sigmund Carl and Alfred” claims to consider inconsequential, his several obsessive rants about this blog(ger) continue.

“Sigmund Carl and Alfred” keeps claiming my site is easily dismissible, yet it mysteriously seems to merit continued elaborate and pretentious diatribes. The dance of deception phrase SCA is so fond of describing is his alone.

If it wasn’t already obvious to us that he is not interested in honest debate and only in concocting an architecture of delusion; for him, Israel can do no wrong. This is a clearly absurd position to any reasonable observer, particularly those who recognise the state’s current moral bankruptcy as much as they recognise the problems posed by Hamas. SCA even attempts to explain away the Israeli state’s support for terrorism and the demonstrable fact it never wanted peace with a secular PLO.

What escapes him is the conclusion obvious to astute observers both in Israel and elsewhere: The Israeli establishment doesn’t want peace and has sought to create the conditions to prolong its militarism, such as the spurious three preconditions obsessively repeated by SCA, which it doesn’t itself meet. All its claims to the contrary are blather, and the Israeli peace movement face the biggest challenge of any country’s movement on this good earth, including the United States.

As Gershon Baskin writes in The New Rejectionist (Jerusalem Post, 10 Oct, 2006):

… OTHER POLICIES such as the continued closure of Palestinian territories and borders, the withholding of custom and VAT clearances – money which belongs to the Palestinian people – also contribute to the image of Israel as the regional bully, not only lacking any human compassion, but also lacking any political wisdom.

The international community has no sympathy for Hamas, but even the sad reality unfolding daily in Ramallah and Gaza is, at least in part, viewed by the world as the result of Israel’s constant rejection of real peace with the Palestinians.

If Israel is demanding a renunciation of violence and an end to aggression as a precondition, then it too must act accordingly. Many people in the international community view targeted killings as state terrorism. The killing of civilians with bombs and rockets from IAF planes and helicopters is viewed no differently in many parts of the world than buses blowing up on Israeli streets.

The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore, and people of conscience and intelligence rightly ignore such hateful, self-referring tosh of the type “Sigmund Carl and Alfred” cross-posts on two blogs. What does one expect from a stooge for the Hasbara machine, whose twin thinly-veiled hate-blogs are where sub-standard snark is passed off for serious analysis?

Lastly, your humble blogger tried to keep this civil and in all our discourse was demonstrably polite to “Sigmund Carl and Alfred”. One of “Sigmund Carl and Alfred”‘s anonymous respondents even objected to my civility which was funny. I’m sure it would have been easier to discount someone who was rude. I was initially disappointed by SCA’s boorish behaviour and had expected more genuine engagement, but then I may be too accustomed to decency and intellectual honesty in my circles.

8 comments on “Israeli funding for Hamas plus: note to Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

  1. Ed Darrell
    20 June, 2007

    This emphasizes again that governments work mischief they cannot imagine when they support groups on the basis of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ instead of on the basis of real policy objectives those same groups advocate.

    Ultimately, to get peace in Palestine and Israel, all parties are going to have to swallow hard, accept that they are dealing with people who wronged them in the past, and make serious plans to stop the “wronging” in the future.

    I don’t agree with everything you write here. That’s a big part of why I come here to read what you say. Somewhere, sometime, we may find the key to establish justice and peace. Soon, I hope.

  2. peoplesgeography
    20 June, 2007

    Thanks very much Ed, I appreciate your even-handedness and willingness to consider or at least read viewpoints with which you may not agree. I share your hope despite current grim developments. It happened in Northern Ireland.

    I will take on board your wise advice, and please visit and comment again.

  3. Jon
    21 June, 2007

    Peoplesgeography, your voice of calm reason is much appreciated. Believe me, I know what you’re up against. I’m a proud American currently living in Australia, and please know that we’re not all like the ranting idiots and Arab-bashers the person (persons?) behind Sigmund, Carl and Alfred are.

    I agree with Ed Darrell about Hamas, and that they should still talked to. We fail to do so at our own peril.

    I had a look at your About page and have to wonder what Sigmund’s qualifications or credentials are. I don’t think he mentions them.

    Keep up the good work, and best wishes to you.

  4. miche
    21 June, 2007

    I read this with a smile. If you remember, we found each other through a slight disagreement. There is so much to learn when the tones are kept at a civil level.

  5. peoplesgeography
    21 June, 2007

    Thanks Miche, I entirely agree with that and its to your credit. :) I was fortunate to find a friendly and smart person whose blog is now one of my regular stop-bys.

  6. peoplesgeography
    21 June, 2007

    Jon, I am tremendously heartened by that, thank you. I’m glad it did come across that I was genuinely wishing to engage with the ideas and contest the presented-as-facts in good faith, so that I might learn, correct and improve upon my knowledge. I was offered nothing of value in this exchange except shrill and repetitive rants, excepting your and Ed’s even-handed and reasonable point on Hamas. Fortunately, I have found that 95% of the time people are good-natured and enjoy robust, honest exchange. In this case, I think I will just employ the policy of ignoring further tirades from this apparently artery-hardened ideologue.

    Hoping you enjoy your time in Australia and so pleased to add you to my growing list of wonderful Americans of honor (see, I spelled it with US spelling). Please feel welcome to come by again.

  7. richards1052
    24 June, 2007

    Ann: I’m saddened to hear of yr recent experience with this individual. I’ve never heard of this person before & being a progressive Jewish blogger I thought I’d heard of almost all of the right wing pro Israel bloggers. In fact, most of them seem to have left me a nasty comment at least once in the time I’ve been writing my blog.

    SCA’s clearly intelligent in a highly ideological sort of way. But one of those people who enjoys speaking in slogans rather than full thoughts. And such logorrhea–loves to hear himself talk.
    My God, I just noted he says he’s a psychotherapist. That explains a lot of the smug, self-regard in his writing.

    This is the type of site I personally avoid like the plague. The guy’s utterly in love w. the sound of his own prejudice & too intelligent to believe anyone can ever be smarter or more correct in their analysis than he is. My diagnosis: intellectual bully.

  8. peoplesgeography
    24 June, 2007

    I really appreciate that Richard, many thanks for your expression of support and confirmation on what this blogger is all about.

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

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-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

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to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"