Switching Sides

                                                                     The Flip Flop Journal for Thinking People...

For The People We Despise
Though progressive talk is what KPFT 90.1FM is all about, that talk is clearly not welcome when it has an Israeli accent. Though many in that community selflessly reach out in service to many different segments of Houston's population, it is also filled with bigots. There's no other word for them. Worst of all, they betray the strongly held values of their founders through their use of double standards, fabricated history and outrageous bully tactics.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 4/11/2011 12:07 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
J-Pac
I'll argue that the days of treating Arabs as being incapable of embracing democracy are over. This is an intensely bigoted view that is being disproven in real time by current events, seemingly everywhere in the Arab world except for Palestine.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 3/30/2011 9:04 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Original Sin
For the Palestinians, the lesson is simpler still: stop being used and manipulated by others for their own agenda... Turkey is close on the heels of Iran, another player that cares even less for Palestinians.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 6/7/2010 2:53 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
A Pivotal Moment (Peel Commission Series, 4 of 4)
It took Neville Chamberlain 24 months to unwind decades of British foreign policy. Let's hope that history is not now repeating itself.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 5/6/2010 3:22 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
The Peace Plan You Never Heard Of (Peel Commission Series, 3 of 4)
I am not sure what is more astonishing, the sheer chutzpah of this proposal, or the fact that nobody in 2010 knows that it ever existed.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 4/22/2010 3:19 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Rolling Back the Clock in Palestine (Peel Commission series, 2 of 4)
It was written at a simpler time, when the slate was relatively clean, and both sides had before them an uncharted future through which to navigate as they so wished. And, what did they wish for? Let's see...
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 4/15/2010 3:15 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
When Peace was at Hand: (Peel Commission Series 1 of 4)
The report is breathtaking in scope. It looked far into the past for context, while gazing into the future in ways that only can be described as prescient.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 4/8/2010 3:11 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
The Unmissed Millions
There are 163 million missing girls and women in Asia that no one seems to miss. Their absence is met by a deafening silence, and their ranks continue to grow.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 3/11/2010 3:08 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
By the Numbers
Rice University has a problem.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 2/25/2010 3:04 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
So, do you wave in the driver or not?
The secret is to know when to be gentle, when to be tough, when to yield and when to brandish steel. There are many players in the Middle East, and only the well-meaning ones should be engaged and supported.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 12/17/2009 2:59 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
44 ways to support jihad; one way to stop it
This story really should worry our Muslim neighbors. Unlike other Americans, the fabric of their close-knit community actively is being targeted by nefarious elements that want to spread Salafi jihad.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 12/3/2009 2:55 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
The Wrong Questions
Al Awlaki's writings are nothing less than a blueprint for the weaponization of the Muslim world, and we ignore them at our own peril, as well as the peril of all decent Muslims who live among us.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 11/26/2009 2:49 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
The Greatest Generation (The Oslo Syndrome Series, 3 of 3)
Looking into the face of those that mean you harm takes courage...we must softly kiss our children on the cheek, place our hand under their young chins and gently raise their gaze in that direction, whispering not to be afraid. Look, we must say. Learn.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 11/19/2009 2:45 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
To Rise Above The Haze (The Oslo Syndrome Series, 2 of 3)
Both coping strategies are intensely delusional. These victims often are unable to rise above the emotional haze long enough to ask lucid questions, such as “Are my actions (or my country’s actions) really the underlying cause of this bloodlust?”
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 11/12/2009 2:40 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Crisp Autumn Air (The Oslo Syndrome Series, 1 of 3)
I can’t grasp why it is that the same champions of human rights that consistently bash all things American or Israeli seem to apply a more relaxed (read double) standard when discussing conditions inside many Arab dictatorships.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 11/5/2009 2:37 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Shalom, Salaam, Goldstone
If the UN continues its one- sided criticism of the Israeli military, while downplaying improper behavior by Hamas, then the ultimate losers are civilians everywhere, as well as soldiers and marines fighting for peace. Rewarding good and fighting evil on both sides is an essential precondition for peace to flourish.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 10/29/2009 2:24 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Two Nations Under Water
...and now with Obama – suffice it to say that we appear to be two nations under water, or at the least two estranged peoples lacking trust and mutual respect.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 9/22/2009 2:16 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
But not just yet
The Zeitgeist is that Israel is burdened by original sin while the Palestinians are fighting the good fight... while of course I don’t agree with that, I envy their passion and sense of loyalty.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 1/14/2009 1:21 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Creating Tension Where None Exists
Intellectual tension is a wonderful device that stimulates the growth of bright and inquisitive young minds. Yet in the absence of that equal and opposite force, intellectual tension can revert into more pernicious alternatives that include intimidation and indoctrination.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 4/14/2008 5:04 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Incoming
Anyone who paints them as all bad does not really understand the whole picture. The Hamas charter may call for the abolition of democracy and civil rights and the utter destruction of Israel, and they may target Israeli teenagers at discotheques with suicide bombers, but they are good to their mothers.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 4/1/2008 11:09 AM | View Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Brothers
Someone remarked that the Holocaust had waited for the advent of the railroad, the technological breakthrough that enabled anti-Semites to improve upon the efficiency of the simple pogroms. What would be the modern analogue to the railroad in this information age. Could it be the internet?
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 3/10/2008 10:42 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
The Dimona Solution
It can be argued that there is no precedent for what we are witnessing. Though history is filled with examples of both compassionate and warlike peoples, never have such extreme traits coexisted so seamlessly... with time, this “meta-behavior” will be recognized for what it is, a hardness that can only be forged in free and democratic societies that boast a tradition of tolerance for the diversity of thought.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 2/21/2008 10:54 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Common Ground
In short, they fear their fellow Arabs much more than they fear their Jewish neighbors. For Egypt, hammering the Muslim Brotherhood trumps helping the Palestinian “victims of Israeli brutality”. It’s that simple.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 2/10/2008 12:03 PM | View Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Squandering the National Treasure
So the earliest known WMD had a name, and that name was Trofim Denisovich Lysenko. But while Lysenko's ideas devastated the communist world, they made no inroads in the United States. We're made of different stuff.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 1/15/2008 11:51 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
One Year After
Imagine the type of intolerance that must exist today in a country that still enslaved people when you were in high school. Now imagine what type of world leader could embrace the rulers of that country, reflect uncritically on their nature, accept their hospitality and friendship along with untold millions in financial support.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 12/29/2007 9:53 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Swallows and Hawks
If peace ever comes, it may very well flow from the pressures exerted by loving parents in both Israel and Palestine. They are the ones who want their children to grow up to be happy, to have good jobs, get married and get rich – and are willing to compromise to get to those goals. Like swallows.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 12/5/2007 12:23 AM | View Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Propaganda, Gullibility and Rice University
This lecture was neither illuminating nor constructive. It did not encourage the peacemakers. It did not present solutions. It is as far from religious tolerance as one can possibly get. Worse, it sucked all the oxygen out of the room, and extinguished dialogue and mutual understanding.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 11/5/2007 7:06 PM | View Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Crossing Unseen Lines: from Generation to Generation
We bathed in the warmth of those unexpected words that found our deepest insecurities and stroked them ever so gently.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 9/10/2007 9:36 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Conspiracies and Aliens: College Freshmen to the Rescue!!
The connective tissue that ties the far right to the far left and beyond is neither shared goals nor simple hatreds; rather it is their common adherence to global conspiracies as a tool by which to indoctrinate and control.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 7/15/2007 8:52 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
The Shame of Gaza, 2007
And yet, there are the families of those Palestinians being tossed off roof tops who realize that their greatest enemy has never been Israel, but rather Islamism and the intolerance it brings.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 6/19/2007 7:24 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Petrodollars and Courageous Women
The courageous thing is to voice legitimate criticism of your own people (if you must) along with equal parts valid criticism aimed at the new friends whose approval you seek. Not many have that type of courage.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 6/9/2007 8:03 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
In the same corner
The British academics of the UCU are not cut from the same cloth as our Arab cousins, even remotely. Their hatred is driven neither by honor, religion (they have none) nor a love for the same blood-soaked holy soil. It is something much darker and much older...
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 6/4/2007 7:52 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Houston, we have a problem
I’d like to think that the worst un-Texan behavior I’ve seen of late is confined largely to a small group of mean-spirited old-timers, but that’s only part of the story.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 5/12/2007 7:08 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
So what's going on? Herding our best and brightest deep in the heart of Texas
Quiz for the day: what is the one word that best describes what happens when a group of well-intended proto-peacemakers mix it up in a classroom with one crusty ideological warrior?
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 4/30/2007 9:21 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Tony Blair: From hesitant ally to fervent believer -- what happened?
Blair: "I really confess to you I have changed my view of this, that actually there are no stable relationships in the long term unless there is progress towards democracy and freedom"
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 8/16/2006 12:32 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Francis Fukuyama: ex-neocon
The same neocon that advocated punitive measures against Hussein in the wake of 9/11 has now come out vociferously against that same neocon movement.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 8/14/2006 1:55 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Pat Robertson embraces Global Warming
Robertson had nothing to gain by this... it speaks volumes about the evidence, and will probably accelerate inevitable changes in US energy policies.
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 8/13/2006 5:47 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
"Perhaps I have been naive all along"
It's not often that a literary editor reverses himself as profoundly as has law professor, essayist and author Thane Rosenbaum: a sign of things to come?
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 8/13/2006 2:24 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
The slow motion reversal of British attitudes towards terrorism -- 180 degrees in 60 years
Watching British media is indeed like viewing events in a parallel universe...
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 8/13/2006 12:20 AM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
Why we're here...
Imagine a web site that focuses on those notable politicians, thinkers and doers that recently switched sides. A "first derivative" kind of blog that charts changes in opinion rather than static opinions themselves... a tribune that reports on the epiphanies of those that see from the highest mountaintops...
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Posted by Steve Tobias at 8/12/2006 9:55 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)