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Israel's Supreme Court Says Yes To Internet Anonymity

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-probably-in-hebrew dept.

Privacy 198

jonklinger writes "The Israeli Supreme Court ruled this week that there is no civil procedure to reveal the identity of users behind an IP address, and that until such procedure shall be legislated, all internet postings, even tortious, may remain anonymous. The 69-page decision acknowledges the right to privacy and makes internet anonymity de facto a constitutional right in Israel. Justice Rivlin noted that revealing a person behind an IP address is 'an attempt to harness, prior to a legal proceeding, the justice system and a third party in order to conduct an inquiry which will lead to the revealing of a person committing a tort so that a civil suit could be filed against him.'"

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198 comments

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Wow! (-1, Flamebait)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645266)

A country that appears to have so little respect for the rights of other folks in it's region appears to hold the rights of it's own folks in very high regard.

I don't know whether to applaud or to cry at the irony.

Re:Wow! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645298)

Seriously? Talk about flame bait. All the other people in the region have tried to wipe them off the map several times, and continue to espouse the total destruction and death to every last Israeli.

Seriously... if you lived with those kinds of neighbors, you'd be a bit cranky as well.

If Israel was more like it's neighbors, the media would be controlled and all the locals would be driven out, like has happened to most of all the jews in Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Eqypt, etc, etc, etc.

Stick to the topic.

Kudos to Israel for respecting privacy rights.

Re:Wow! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645542)

Prehaps every one of their neighbors hates them for a reason?

Re:Wow! (4, Insightful)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645580)

"Perhaps everyone hates them for a reason?"

And following your logic, perhaps the Nazis killed them for a reason, right? Yeah, it's called antisemitism and stupidity. It's found on both the far left and far right, both in great abundance.

Re:Wow! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645598)

And following your logic, perhaps the Nazis killed them for a reason, right? Yeah, it's called antisemitism and stupidity. It's found on both the far left and far right, both in great abundance.

Not stupidity. Real reasons. But, you are right to say that doing something as drastic as mass extinction is evil. However, you people who use the holocaust and anti-semitism to shield Israel from criticism are the stupid ones. There are reasons to criticise, maybe hate is a little strong, but I can say that easily because I don't live in the Iron Cage.

Re:Wow! (4, Insightful)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645630)

Uh seriously? Can we please mention Israel without getting into a Zionists vs Hamas flame war?

Re:Wow! (1)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645684)

posting to undo mod - my hand slipped from insightful to redundant (skutz!). Sorry bout that ;-)

Re:Wow! (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646020)

Don't worry just fixed that for you ... o shit...

Re:Wow! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645654)

"...antisemitism..."

Their neighbors are semitic, you idiot.

Re:Wow! (1, Informative)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646248)

Their neighbors are semitic, you idiot.

Irrelevant. It was invented with a specific meaning - hatred of Jews (basically a bad translation of German "Judenhass"). Modern words don't always mean what's literally implied by breaking them down into their Latin/Greek components.

Nazis killed Jews. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645656)

They weren't trying to kill Israelis. There really is a difference.

Of course, Hitler would no doubt have targeted Israel had it existed at the time, but you need to stop with the Godwinism, because a, say, '30s-era Krakow optician had little in common with any Israeli you're ever likely to meet.

Example: I have many Jewish friends, which is hardly surprisingly, since I too am Jewish. But I have very few Israeli friends. The reason? Because I've met few Israelis I care to be associated with. The majority of non-extremist Jews probably share a similar view.

Interestingly - at least, I think so - I and many other Jews have Muslim friends. Jews and Muslims have much in common, and we get along rather well, generally speaking, but the same cannot be said about Israelis and Muslims, unless you include the fact that they are vying for the same dirt.

Too many Israelis, all of them really, roll out the Nazis, and the Holocaust, and all of those other terribly emotive images whenever they or their motives and behavior is questioned or challenged, but the truth is that Israelis are their own worst enemies.

Now watch the mods spill their crack as they scramble to consign my post to the oblivion of -1 land, because we all know that Israel is sacred.

Re:Nazis killed Jews. (2, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645848)

yuo are antisemute!

Re:Nazis killed Jews. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645878)

Example: I have many Jewish friends, which is hardly surprisingly, since I too am Jewish. But I have very few Israeli friends. The reason? Because I've met few Israelis I care to be associated with. The majority of non-extremist Jews probably share a similar view.

Does this mean to imply that all Israeli Jews are extremist?

Re:Nazis killed Jews. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645918)

There are Jews and then there are Israelis. Jewish or not Israelis aren't like other Jews. Israelis use the atrocities committed against Jews in the past as excuses for committing their own atrocities. This is why so many Jews prefer to live outside Israel, including me. Israel represents Israelis, not Jews, and many Jews do not like what Israel represents. Including me.

Re:Nazis killed Jews. (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646236)

Too many Israelis, all of them really, roll out the Nazis, and the Holocaust, and all of those other terribly emotive images whenever they or their motives and behavior is questioned or challenged, but the truth is that Israelis are their own worst enemies.

The world is lacking a Jewish Ali-G - "Iz it becoz I iz Jewish?"

Re:Nazis killed Jews. (3, Insightful)

MobyTurbo (537363) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646240)

Example: I have many Jewish friends, which is hardly surprisingly, since I too am Jewish. But I have very few Israeli friends. The reason? Because I've met few Israelis I care to be associated with. The majority of non-extremist Jews probably share a similar view.

I have Israeli friends here in America, simply because they are much like Americans; other than a slight bit of cultural Israeli chutzpah. They even tend to want peace, as many elections, and governments, in Israel have demonstrated. (Yes, even Netanyahu's previous government.) I suspect you, Anonymous Coward, are actually not Jewish at all, and are just using this as a form of the "my best friends are Jewish but..." argument, and have a political axe to grind.

Re:Wow! (0, Troll)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645590)

Yeh, it's fully justifiable to commit war crimes...

Preserving rights for their own country while destroying the lives of the Palestinians, sounds like the same rhetoric we've always heard. From what I can gather, the Israelis themselves are getting kind of fed up with this bullshit.

FYI, it is on topic - can't praise someone's steps forward without discussing their steps backward.

Re:Wow! (-1, Troll)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645716)

I hate replying to myself, but it seems the zionists have mod points today, not enough to mod everyone else down in the thread. GL with that.

Re:Wow! (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645700)

Seriously. Read the entire history of Israel, not just the propaganda that you learned in Sunday School, and in the mostly biased United States media outlets.
Israel has the utmost contempt for a non-Jew's life and/or rights. They've proved that repeatedly.
GP's irony is on target.

Re:Wow! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645922)

It's amazing how you talk about "Israel" as if it's one living entity with emotions and prejudices. Do you think that all the Arabs in Israel and in the Knesset feel that way about non-Jews too? Can you point to laws on the books that show such "utter contempt"? Can you tell me why so many Jews were forced out of their homes in Gaza and their land taken and given to Arabs, if Israel hates non-Jews so much?

FYI: Pretending to site "history" doesn't make your racism and ignorance any less obvious.

Re:Wow! (4, Insightful)

daniel_i_l (1655579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646114)

Seriously. Read the entire history of Israel, not just the propaganda that you learned in Sunday School, and in the mostly biased United States media outlets. Israel has the utmost contempt for a non-Jew's life and/or rights. They've proved that repeatedly. GP's irony is on target.

Seriously. Get out of your cave and look at some of the current news. If by "Israel" you mean the government then I can find quite a few examples disproving your statement. A nation with utmost contempt for a non-Jew's life probably wouldn't send a response team to Haiti [latimes.com] , which isn't exactly known for it's thriving Jewish poplulation, accept and provide aid to Somali refugees [bartamaha.com] or send relief units to Kenya [somalilandpatriots.com] . How many other western countries have done that? And if by "Israel" you mean the population then you just made a gross over-generalization. I live in Israel and neither my friends nor myself have an "utmost contempt for a non-Jew's life and/or rights". Quite the opposite actually. You accuse the OP of listening to biased news outlets, but it seems as if you prefer to extrapolate from your narrow understanding of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to Israel's view of the entire world. Wow.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31646154)

unmod

Re:Wow! (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646172)

You're one very misinformed person.

Re:Wow! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645772)

All the other people in the region have tried to wipe them off the map several times, and continue to espouse the total destruction and death to every last Israeli.

It's hilarious this got modded insightful. Can you name the specific times "all the other people in the region have tried to wipe them off the map"? Please don't embarrass yourself and say the 1967 war. Israel started that war, and it takes 30 seconds of googling to see their own leaders at the time admit it was not a "defensive attack". They attacked because they wanted "Judea and Sumeria" which they consider theirs based on some God or other "giving" it to them. They also wanted a security buffer against the people whose land they had ethnically cleansed (though I will admit they did so with a minimum of bloodshed).

Furthermore, nobody has espoused the total destruction or genocide of the Israeli people, at least nobody with any power. Even Ahmadeenanutjob didn't do so, he's called for the destruction of the "Zionist regime", meaning the theocracy and near-apartheid government that currently runs Israel.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31646056)

Try November 1947, before the state of Israel was even founded, to mid 1949. On the day the state was founded, all countries in the region declared war on it: Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and invaded.
Also Ahmadeenjahd can go on all he wants about the theocracy in Israel, they choose their government through democratic votes, unlike the Ayatolla regime in Iran. As far as apartheid goes, please do look at the number of Israeli Arabs, and at their lifestyle. Note how many percent of the students at universities are arab.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645384)

so true.

Topsy Turvy World We Live In (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645284)

Ok. Let me get this straight. Israel, one of the most right wing western countries has explicitly approved internet privacy, while France, one of the most left wing western countries, is actively trying to put the internet genies back in the bottle [spiegel.de] .

Maybe my political analysis toolset needs to move out of the 20th century....

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645300)

Perhaps we can hope this idea spreads out of Israel in the same manner some other ideas did, but quicker.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (2, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645430)

Like the idea of creating your own nuclear deterrent to prop up a theocracy that operates under the guise of a democratic country? I think it may already have spread.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (2, Insightful)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645612)

"Prop up" implies that the people of Israel don't support it. Indeed, they do - it's a democracy. The people support it by definition. If you want a theocracy, look around at the neighbors.

And no, Israel is under no obligation to give citizenship to the Muslim Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. If you think they are, maybe you should push for the surrounding Muslim population to give citizenship to their Muslim Palestinian populations first. Funny how the UN doesn't pass resolutions for that to happen.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645642)

I'm not talking about the Palestinians living in Israeli-occupied lands, I'm talking about the Bedouin and the other Israeli Arabs who have lived in Israel proper for generations who are prevented from participating in the democratic system because of the obstructionist and corrupt political system there. In our lifetimes the Arab citizens of Israel [wikipedia.org] will constitute the largest population in Israel, what then? Do they get to call Israel a Muslim state like the Jews call it a Jewish one?

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (0, Troll)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645824)

Of course you fail to mention how Israeli-Arab run municipalities and districts are in dire-debts because of the corruptions of the leaders they chose for themselves.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31646258)

OK, I'm pointing out that this thread has been hamasandwiched (similar to godwined, substituting israel for hitler)

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645830)

Last I checked, there are Muslims and Arabs in the Knesset. As for Israeli corruption, it certainly exists and needs combating, much like in any nation. In comparison to their neighbors, corruption is pretty darn low. In comparison to the US, it's likely higher.

As for non-Jewish Israeli citizens outpacing Jewish growth, I think it's not going to happen.

As for Muslim states, there are plenty in the region. Too bad none of them want the Palestinians, treating them far worse than Israel does.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (5, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645930)

Token members are in the Knesset but Israel by over half [haaretz.com] admitted they want to deny rights to Israeli Arabs including the right to vote. This coming generation in Israel is leaning ever harder to the right and I would not be surprised if they start instituting Jim Crow laws.

    The average age of a Jew in Israel is over 40 and 10,000 under the age of 55 leave Israel every year. The average age of an Arab is under 20 and they have almost twice amount of children. There is simply no way for Israel to stay Jewish unless they have significant uptick in immigration because most of the Jewish population is past child-bearing age.

    Why should another state "want" the Palestinians, they deserve their own state and they will have both the Palestinian territories and Israel itself just by outbreeding the Jewish population within 30-40 years. That is of course as long as the Jewish population does not continue in their bid to delegitimize the claims of the Arabs to a full and open democratic system. In our lifetime there will be an Arab prime minister of Israel, let that sink in.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1)

SecondaryOak (1342441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645836)

I'm not talking about the Palestinians living in Israeli-occupied lands, I'm talking about the Bedouin and the other Israeli Arabs [...] who are prevented from participating in the democratic system [...]

All Israeli citizens are eligible to vote in the parliamentary elections, regardless of sex, religion, ethnicity, etc. There are enough legitimate issues with Israeli-Arabs rights you can complain about without lying.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645872)

Look up the Bedouin situation [ohchr.org] in Israel and get back to me. They are not even allowed to participate in local elections let alone national ones, but the Jewish Israelis in the same area do, if that is not unethical to an open society than what is?

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1)

SecondaryOak (1342441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645934)

The article only mentions municipal (local) elections, and not parliamentary ones (national).
Like I said, there are issues today with treatments of some communities and minorities - the shitty unrecognized settlement situation, affecting some Bedouin tribes, being one of them (and it's worse than only lack of municipal elections) - but all citizens do have the right to vote in the national elections, which is what I am stressing.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645420)

Israel, one of the most right wing western countries has explicitly approved internet privacy, while France, one of the most left wing western countries, is actively trying to put the internet genies back in the bottle.

Actually, I don't see anything in your link about the French making a blanket ruling against Internet anonymity. The French law gives the govt the power to deem websites illegal and block them, and to wiretap computers with the equivalent of a warrant, even by using a trojan. Those might be bad things, but they're not incompatible with the Israeli ruling anyways.

Despite the ruling, if you think Israel isn't trying to track down Muslim extremists trying to conceal their identities on pro-terrorism websites, well, I'm skeptical.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (2, Informative)

KIAaze (1034596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645508)

I believe the current french president, Sarkozy, is from the right wing.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31646156)

Left wing if your an American. It's all in perspective.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (2, Informative)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645510)

They didn't explicitly "approve" anything. They basically said that the legislature needs to make a law about it first. How long before that happens?

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1)

Sun (104778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646116)

They didn't explicitly "approve" anything. They basically said that the legislature needs to make a law about it first. How long before that happens?

Not long, probably. Then again, we all know absolute, unrestrained, unchecked freedom is not a desirable thing either. What I can tell you is that the Israeli parliament has a relatively open and uncorrupted law-passing procedures (which is not the same as saying that stupid, anti-democratic laws never make it through). When such a law goes through the Knesset, we (civil liberties groups) will be there to voice our concerns. Shachar

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645546)

Politicians make poor Judges and vice versa. So long as the seperation of powers is preserved it works out quite well and you can have complete fruitcakes in charge without it hurting too much.
Israel may just happen to have a bunch of Fascists that would make their grandparents roll in their graves in horror running it at the moment but it's the only place in that part of the world where the rule of law is repected at all. In other places it's simply "might makes right".

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (2, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645564)

France? Left-wing? You must be in the “We in the US hate the French” reality distortion bubble.

The government there is full of right-wingers and even nationalists!

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (2, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645620)

It could be because we mostly hear about economic issues, not cultural/nationalist sort of issues. On economics, Sarkozy is considerably to the left of even the U.S. left, being pretty openly against "Anglo-Saxon capitalism".

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (5, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645722)

Actually, that left-wing vs right-wing thing was misleading even before it became obsolete, way back in the '80's. But, it still has a catchy sound to it, and prevents people looking at the real issues.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646276)

Actually, that left-wing vs right-wing thing was misleading even before it became obsolete, way back in the '80's. But, it still has a catchy sound to it, and prevents people looking at the real issues.

The only issue of merit is correctly locating everyone within the political spectrum.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31646104)

Maybe my political analysis toolset needs to move out of the 20th century.

Left-wing means right-wing. Right-wing means left-wing. Got it? Welcome to the 21st century.

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646122)

Well in theory the right wing is all about individual freedom whereas the left wing is about what's good for everyone. This particular decision fits perfectly with that.

What is strange is all the OTHER decisions where the right wing has restricted individual freedom to do something which is good for everyone (or at least to prevent something which is bad for everyone).

Re:Topsy Turvy World We Live In (1)

ido50 (967259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646198)

Israel is one of the most right wing western countries? I've been living here all my life and I never knew that. Thanks for opening my eyes.

Even for torts? (3, Interesting)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645322)

Is there a good argument to cover even tortuous actions under this? I'm for a free Internet, but defamation on the Internet is still defamation (for example).

Of course, an anonymous source who defamed someone else could be judged by society; (if you're not willing to sign your name then why should we trust you?). That said, there's a strong argument for a defamation plaintiff that even if the defamer is anonymous he or she is still subject to the harm from an anonymous person's defamation.

Re:Even for torts? (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645458)

I can't believe you even bothered to make this simplistic argument, considering you are a kitten-rapist.

Re:Even for torts? (1)

ysth (1368415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645500)

OK, how long have you been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use the phrase "kitten-rapist"? Enquiring minds want to know.

Re:Even for torts? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645616)

He got the idea only a week ago when he caught the family cat eating his mother out.

Re:Even for torts? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645724)

http://encyclopediadramatica.com/A_Cat_Is_Fine_Too

Re:Kittens (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646068)

He works for the FBI. You know how they have to work strange words into conversation to signal the A-OK for the SWAT assault? Someone creating the code word had a sense of humor.

Re:Even for torts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645514)

Is there a good argument to cover even tortuous actions under this? I'm for a free Internet, but defamation on the Internet is still defamation (for example).

The problem is that the defamation (or whatever) hasn't been proven yet. If all it takes to unmask your critics is to make a baseless allegation and then drop the lawsuit after you get the name, how is that going to provide any meaningful protection for whistle blowers etc.?

The whole problem with the Internet is that you can determine, at least, who pays for the internet connection that something is posted under. In meatspace you can post a handbill anonymously on a public bulletin board and after the fact no one has any means to determine who posted it. We need an Internet where the same thing is possible.

Re:Even for torts? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645702)

We need an Internet where the same thing is possible.

You can do that right here in the USofA if you really want to. All you need to do is post from a Starbucks, McDonalds or someplace else with free WiFi.

Re:Even for torts? (1)

sigxcpu (456479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645774)

I wonder if this decision will survive if someone does a personal smear campaign against supreme judges.
   

Re:Even for torts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31646178)

dancingmad... he touched me... down there...

Hardly narrows it down (4, Funny)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645340)

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled this week that there is no civil procedure to reveal the identity of users behind an IP address, and that until such procedure shall be legislated, all internet postings, even torturous, may remain anonymous.

The occasional posting may well be tortuous, but the vast majority of postings on the Internet are torturous. Check out MySpace and Facebook to see what I mean.

Re:Hardly narrows it down (1)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645360)

Of course, some postings might even be tortious.

Re:Hardly narrows it down (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645608)

Have you tried 4chan? ^^

Re:Hardly narrows it down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645626)

But how many posts are about tortoises?

Re:Hardly narrows it down (1)

gavron (1300111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645720)

I think this discussion is turtUous...

But the quoted article discusses tort law and that's tortIous.

All of it is torturous.

Ehud

Torturous? (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645342)

No. Tortuous.

Re:Torturous? (3, Informative)

SUB7IME (604466) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645364)

Getting warmer. Tortious.

Unless they actually meant torturous - but most blogs aren't THAT bad.

Re:Torturous? (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645394)

oops...it's late for me

Re:Torturous? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645624)

A new meaning to the phrase cruel and unusual punishment.

Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union. (4, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645412)

The Israelis, yet again, demonstrate that their nation is part of the West. Israel is a Western democracy that safeguards civil rights and, in general, human rights. Wafa Sultan [nytimes.com] , a prominent American of Syrian ancestry, correctly and firmly praises the achievements of the Israelis.

Israel, not Turkey, deserves to be a member of the European Union (EU).

The Turks have long attacked human rights. In Turkey, suppressing free speech on and off the Internet is almost a national sport [jamestown.org] . You can be arrested and imprisoned for claiming that the Turks are responsible for the Armenian genocide [guardian.co.uk] .

After a Congressional committee approved a resolution ascribing responsibility for the genocide to the Turks, the Turks withdrew their ambassador from the USA.

This sort of behavior is not what we Westerners want to see in the European Union. The Israelis act more like Europeans than the Turks and deserve EU membership far more than the Turks.

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (1, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645498)

Israel was started with a clean slate, the backing of the United States and one of the world's largest immigrant populations who were already used to a certain sense of liberty in society; however it is not doing nearly as well as other countries in the EU in respecting human and civil rights. This is not just about apartheid in Palestine, religious courts or the numerous violations of the Geneva convention Israel has committed over the years but goes to the heart and soul of the government of Israel and its current majority Jewish population, " What happens when Jews are the minority in Israel? " This is going to happen sooner than later and from the past acts against the Israeli religious minorities esp the Muslims it looks like they will do everything in their power to ensure that the country is always run by Jewish laws, customs and politics. That is not a democracy, that is a theocracy. The only way you can do that is through the denial of civil rights, esp the right to participate fully in an openly democratic process and look, that is exactly what is happening [blogspot.com] .

  Turkey for better or worse is one of the most progressive Muslim majority states in the region and has a per capita GDP less than 1/5th that of Israel. Yes they have atrocious history and current operations against minorities as well that they have to account for, but I have far higher hopes that eventually Turkey will admit Genocide than Israel in my lifetime to admit its own mistakes and stop oppressing its own minorities.

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (0, Troll)

Panoptes (1041206) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645572)

"Israel was started with a clean slate"

Oh, really? Which history books have you been reading? Have you ever visited the parts of Jaffa and Jerusalem (to name but two places) where Arab properties were stolen? Have you visited agricultural areas where land was simply grabbed from Arab farmers who had owned and worked it for many generations? A clean slate indeed!

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (2, Informative)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645622)

The government was started with a clean slate, not the other political situations which abound from the illegal appropriation of Arab and Palestinian land. Their government was allowed to grow and mature under the auspices of cooperation ensured by the international community, esp Britain, France and the US. Even if Israel itself was breaking the law from day one, it felt almost no repercussions for it politically with the west. Its military strength bolstered by cold war paranoia is still unmatched in the region but it is quickly losing its ability to act against international law without at least diplomatic problems developing.

It will be a long time before Israel answers for what is has done, but let us hope that enough of those people who committed the crimes will be alive to be prosecuted for them.

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645972)

You have got to be joking. _Israel_ benefited from cold war paranoia? Compared to _Turkey_? Not to mention the Arabs and the Soviets, which alowed them to attack Israel at all...

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31646018)

Not to mention using the word paranoia for the Cold War is incredibly offensive to also East Europeans.

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (1)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645750)

You should get your history right. When Israel was given the authority from the UN to declare independence, which was followed by a deceleration of war from the surrounding Arab countries that did not like the idea; many native Arabs fled to said countries from fear of the outcome. Many places in Israel, including Jerusalem, Jaffa and Akko have mixed populations that live together in harmony to this day.

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645826)

Arab countries that did not like the idea; many native Arabs fled to said countries from fear of the outcome.

You don't actually believe that, do you? Seriously? You're buying the "Oh, they left of their own will!" bit? I guess that's marginally less asinine than the "Oh, they left because the Arab powers around them someone communicated to a bunch of backwards villagers dispersed in the area that they should leave as part of some big Arab plot!".

Do they give you guys little booklets with this claptrap? I assume you have the Mark Twain quote ready and will claim there wasn't actually anyone on the land when the Israelis came, right? Or maybe you'll helpfully claim they were really Jordanian...Syrian...some kind of Araby people and just came to Israel _after_ the brave colonists improved the land?

These lies really do get tiresome. It's the Internet age, anyone who really cares can spend a nice afternoon browsing the web and see what really happened in Israel.

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (1)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645866)

My dear naive fried. I think you must *really* be in Israel to see what *really* happens in Israel; not on the internet. If you trust everything you read on the Internet, you really must be a gullible person. The fact is that they did not all flee. Some fought, some fled and some embraced the decision. The majority that fled the country became refugees with the exact same position they have now, only in Jordan; that is until the Jordanians got sick of them and kicked them back here.

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (1)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645876)

friend*

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645952)

I've been there multiple times, not that it helps in figuring out history. I think probably Zionists hate the Internet. If not for the Internet, we'd all think that the brave Israelis came and developed the land (which was empty, of course), and then neighboring hordes of antisemitic Arabs came and attacked them. Then the brave Israelis fought them off and reluctantly held onto the land for security reasons.

You can play the "oh you poor soul, reading the Internet, what does it know!" card all you like. The fact remains that much of the useful information on the Internet comes from other forms of documentation and proof.

The area was ethnically cleansed. They tried to be nice where possible (the world was watching), so bought as much of the land as they could. Then they intimidated where possible. Then they forced people off the land if they could. Then they burnt villages. Then they launched a war (1967, which they started and which documentary evidence proves was not a 'defensive' attack). In the end, a piece of land which had been majority Arab was turned in a very short time into majority Jewish.

Your own leaders at the time, incoluding Begin, Ben Gurion, Dayan, etc.. all had big mouths. They might have thought "the victor writes the history" but unfortunately for them we have the Internet now.

I'll leave you with this choice quote from Moshe Dayan

I know how at least 80 percent of the clashes there started. In my opinion, more than 80 percent, but let's talk about 80 percent. It went this way: We would send a tractor to plough someplace where it wasn't possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance farther, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that's how it was.

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (1, Flamebait)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645974)

Pray tell me where lies all this documented proof of Israel invoking all the wars through-out history (and I don't mean Zionism-controls-world conspiracies).

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (1, Troll)

Panoptes (1041206) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645942)

I lived and worked in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in the early nineties, initiating educational projects across the Arab/Jewish divide. I also worked with the Druze and Bedouin communities, so I have a pretty fair knowledge of both the history and the contemporary reality of the place.

I agree that Jaffa, Akko and parts of Jerusalem have harmonious mixed populations. And, yes, some Arabs who fled the country after the declaration of the state of Isreal did leave properties empty. But there are so many cases of blatantly illegal land-grabs and quasi-legal evictions that they will be a permanent stain on Israel's reputation.

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31646082)

Good thing they did it with the agreement of the United Nation, don't you think?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645592)

Whatever. Cut off our aid so that they can do what they'd like, and we won't have to care.

Re:Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union (1)

matunos (1587263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645892)

If only they could find a way to avoid treating a significant portion of their population like a leper colony...

I had no idea they wanted it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645964)

As an EU citizen who does follow politics, I'm embarrassed to notice that Israelis could be interested in membership considering how often our media criticizes Israel (IMHO too much). But your post made me do some googling and evidently Israelis have a much more positive attitude towards the EU than I had expected and indeed have expressed some interest in joining. Now, I consider Turkish membership still very, very distant and Israel much more suited to join but don't see that happening any time soon either. At the moment Turkey seems to be much more eager, though, since they're so willing to dance to the EU's pipe, which of course is good for human rights there.

However, what I do wonder is what would happen to US-Israel relations if Israel were to become a member. Especially since the EU is moving towards a common foreign policy and Israel's actions seems to be one of the main issues that the US and the EU have disagreements about and usually the EU has a gripe with how much the US sides with Israel. However, if Israel were to become a member state they would both formally and in practice (through intensified trade ties) be much more within the EU's sphere of influence (although also able to influence the EU more as a member state but one member state is still just one member state). It wouldn't surprise me if the US would try to exert pressure on Israel not to join the EU whilst the question for Israel would be how their national security would be affected, if the EU on the one hand would have more of a say yet on the other also be more interested in ensuring it. As we've recently observed, since the EU economies depend on each other, Greece is getting exorbitant help from other member states since it's in their interests to assist and similarly, regional instability would affect the Israeli economy and thus it would be much more in the EU's interests to help but the question is how since whilst you can use money to make an economy recover, money might not be a working solution, if neighbouring countries become too hostile. So the question of Israeli EU membership is quite fascinating and there's a lot of room for speculation. Especially wrt. to US interests.

From a pragmatic point of view there's still the question of much more freedom for EU citizens to live and travel in other member states and I suspect that the Israelis wouldn't approve of how EU member states grant citizenship to people with suspicious backgrounds and that such individuals then as EU citizens would have more freedom in Israel as well.

Re:I had no idea they wanted it! (1)

SecondaryOak (1342441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646010)

Regarding your subject line: some Israelis would like to be in the EU, some don't. I suspect the majority don't. I don't believe the Israeli government made any official statement about it, and I don't think the EU is particularly interested in that, so most of the discussions about that are hypothetical.

I do recall one idea though, which was for the EU to offer membership to both Israel and a future Palestinian state as an incentive for reaching a solution on the conflict between them. But I don't think such an offer was ever made by an official.

Re:I had no idea they wanted it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31646262)

Regarding your subject line: some Israelis would like to be in the EU, some don't. I suspect the majority don't. I don't believe the Israeli government made any official statement about it,

Yup, that's the impression I got too from googling. Especially younger Israelis since many have been in various exchange or youth programmes in Europe but some Israeli ministers had mentioned it too.

I do recall one idea though, which was for the EU to offer membership to both Israel and a future Palestinian state as an incentive for reaching a solution on the conflict between them. But I don't think such an offer was ever made by an official.

I find that very hard to believe and found no mentions about such a plan. The EU is first and foremost about creating an economic super power so that European countries have the same weight as China and the US and to some extent Russia (who knows what will happen to their economy?). Consequently the EU can hardly at the same time dictate rather tough economic goals for aspiring members and consider granting membership to Israel and a Palestinian state as a peace incentive regardless of their economies (even if they could be expected to improve as a consequence of peace). The conditions to improve human rights that have been dictated to Turkey are simply in addition to economic conditions because the EU (1) doesn't want any member to violate human rights so that the EU jointly can criticize violations abroad without being hypocritical (many Europeans view American criticism of human rights violations as hypocritical since in Europe capital punishment is seen as a violation) and (2) because some are undecided whether a muslim state (albeit the only at least formally secular one) is suitable as a member and they want an excuse to buy time to decide.

Now, I also view such an incentive as both impossible to implement due to security considerations (even if the Palestinians were to get a state, their fundamentalists would still engage in terrorism) and also undesirable for the Palestinians because why would they want independence just to give some of it away by joining? For Israel, it would from a purely economical point of view, be quite an incentive but other issues (which I've already mentioned before) are not unambiguously beneficial. I suppose the EU could offer Israel and a Palestinian state the possibility to start negotiations but that's about it.

No constitution (1)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645418)

Internet Anonymity may not be a constitutional right, since Israel has no constitution.

Re:No constitution (5, Insightful)

mcornelius (1007881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645480)

Capital letters make the entire difference here. It has no formal Constitution that's any more difficult to amend than any other law. It still has constitution, just not a constitution. In that regard, it's like the United Kingdom.

They still have constitutional rights, in the sense that there is no lawful means for approving some action against a citizen, which historically, has been the norm when referring to constitutional rights, rather than referring to some creative interpretation of a fundamental unabrogable Bill of Rights that take a more difficult procedure to amend.

Jefferson and Paine argued that George III was violating the English constitution, in that customs Englishmen typically enjoyed, they were being denied in the Colonies sans representation. “He has refused his Assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good” was one of the complaints in the Declaration of Independence. Not once did George III refuse royal assent to an act of the British Parliament; it was only the colonial legislatures. The last time a bill passed by the British Parliament was refused Royal Assent was in 1708, so to the Colonial governments, that was something completely unheard of, and violated their constitutional conventions (lowercase C's).

Re:No constitution (1)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645512)

Thanks for clearing that up.

Off-topic (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31645532)

I love how every article that mentions Israel, even if only mentioning the worlds largest bowl of hummus or something; is directly derailed to a political discussion.

They don't need no stinkin' civil procedure . . . (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645582)

Civil procedure only matters in judicial proceedings. When the government acts extrajudicially, civil procedure has no scope.

Business opportunities abound... (2, Funny)

rob13572468 (788682) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645606)

Isreali file sharing proxy service here I come! :)

This is silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31646012)

Is it actually impossible to post a story with the word "Israel" in it without derailing the whole thing into a political debate full of uninformed opinions?
If this was about any other country the comments would be about privacy and the usual stuff instead of this absurd "ISRAEL IS OPRESSING THOSE POOR TERRORISTS" "WELL YOU'RE ANTISIMITIC HERP DERP"

Even I'm doing it. Bah.

Death to islam. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31646166)

Alright?

Re:Death to islam. (-1, Troll)

carlhaagen (1021273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31646174)

Despite being off-topic, I just have to second it.
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