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The Positions Page, previously positions.destiny.gg, was a sub-section of the Destiny.gg website used by Destiny to provide a written log of various aspects of his political positions, personal life, and interactions with others in the streaming space. Destiny's Blog functioned similarly to his positions page.

Currently Destiny uses Obsidian to consolidate his thoughts and outline debate points/questions.

The following sections are the archived contents of the Positions page and the currently published Obsidian notes written by Destiny.

Get It From Me



The Message
The Message
Book Book Book

As a content creator, I am often misrepresented by people who disagree with me.
Form an opinion about me based on my actual positions.

The real world is complicated and the best answers are usually found between two extremes.
My positions can be better understood if you avoid black and white and allow for nuance.

Online political discourse has become increasingly unhealthy.
I want debate to be grounded in facts and research. You can see some of the resources that I base my positions on here.

Positions Page Archive:

Who am I? My name is Steven Bonnell and my online handle across Twitch, YouTube and Instagram is Destiny. I'm most well known for my political content online, but I started my career as a Starcraft 2 livestreamer. Today I livestream most aspects of my life, including gaming, online debates, and canvassing for political change. Throughout my life I have always tried to ensure the consistency of my beliefs, and to test my ideas I would argue with others.
My political advocacy Starting in November of 2020, I attempted to spin up an organization to mobilize youth into direct, local political action. Our first efforts were in Georgia, where we knocked on over 20,000 doors in support of Jon Ossoff and Reverend Warnock. For my next effort, I wanted to focus on my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska to see if we could mobilize enough volunteers to get a progressive candidate elected to office. Unfortunately because of how people and news organizations mischaracterized my actions, I was forced to stop campaigning for my mayor of choice. I've also interviewed a number of individuals (1,2,3,4)running for state and local offices while exposing fraud in other candidates.
Why this page exists Many things are said about who I am or what I believe in. Oftentimes, people make absurd claims about my beliefs, such as that I advocate for the indiscriminate killing of BLM protestors, that I'm a nazi, that I'm a communist, etc. This is partially my fault as I have a history of being hyperbolic in some circumstances, and I often engage with people who aren't really interested in good faith conversations. Part of this is also due to my huge backlog of content and the nature of the internet - I understand that sifting through thousands of hours of debates to find my fully fleshed-out views is not a practical demand to make of people.

As I've evolved both in my political and social views, and as I've continued to produce more hours of content, it is now possible that you could cherry pick almost any 30 seconds of me to claim I represent any given political or social viewpoint. As such, it is necessary to take preventative measures against this, as I have dealt with such behavior already. In 2021, I committed myself to a strategy of being more rhetorically effective, especially concerning how people represent me or my beliefs.

As a part of this strategy, the following pages are my effort to "set the record straight" insofar as my actual beliefs, as opposed to what others claim them to be. I'll include within these pages a record of most of my political and philosophical positions, as well as any positions I have relating to current events.

Current Events...
Breonna Taylor It is stated that Breonna Taylor was killed in her bed or while asleep almost ubiquitously across social media (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) despite this not being the truth. What happened to Breonna Taylor was wrong, and the police conduct that day deserves to be called into question. However, starting that discussion with an incorrect description of what happened weakens our arguments against those on the right that disagree with us. This is because we now have to begin by making concessions about lies or misrepresentations from people who purport to agree with us. Furthermore, it casts doubt about the truth of the rest of the argument for those in the middle who are unsure of where the fault lies.

A user in my community, "DaSkrubKing," provides a detailed breakdown of what happened the night of Breonna Taylor's death. The key takeaways for what happened are:

1.Louisville police were serving a "knock and announce" warrant at Breonna Taylor's apartment thinking she would be the only one present.
2.Police officers knocked on Breonna's door, awakening her and causing her to answer through the door asking who was there, though the police deny hearing anything.
3.Breonna returns to her bedroom and wakes up her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, and they both get dressed. Walker and Taylor believe that the ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover (a suspected drug trafficker), is at the door.
4.Walker and Taylor exit the bedroom, police knock the door in, then Walker fires a single shot hitting one officer in the leg.
5.Walker drops his gun and crawls into a bedroom, Taylor is struck multiple times by police returning fire, and the injured officer is rushed off to the hospital.

Breonna Taylor was neither asleep nor was she in bed when she was killed by police officers. This does not excuse their actions or make her death any less tragic, but stating that she was killed while she was asleep in her bed is simply incorrect.

The claims we should be making about Breonna Taylor's death, which are grounded in the reality of the situation, are as follows:

•It seems obvious that insufficient notice was given before the door was broken in. Only one neighbor reported hearing anything at all before police broke in the door.
•Brett Hankison, one of the officers involved in the raid, was rightfully fired and charged for exiting the building and blindly firing 10 rounds into the apartment complex through a window and a patio, penetrating the apartment into the next unit where another occupant and their child slept.
•Even if they aren't used for every single interaction, this incident shows the value of having police body cameras in specific, high-risk scenarios.

The GameStop short squeeze I've written extensively on my view of the wallstreetbets "fight" with Melvin Capital over the GameStop stock. The summary of my position is essentially the following:

There was never any reason to believe a massive short squeeze was coming. The big winners were not "little retail traders." Robinhood did not halt trading to "protect hedge funds." Most alternative media figures/outlets got many fundamental facts of the case wrong. For a longer and more formal write-up of my view on the GME situation, see my write-up here: BrainStop. I've also done a video review of said document on my YouTube channel.

Kyle Rittenhouse ("mowing down protestors") In general, I do not support vigilantism. I think Kyle Rittenhouse was clearly misguided in his attempts to cross state borders and should have stayed home. I also think there are steps he could have taken to minimize the risk of him needing to discharge a firearm.

Of a larger 20+ minute debate with someone, a short 16 second clip was cut to make it sound as though I support violence against Black Lives Matter protesters when this couldn't be further from the truth. I am incredibly heated in this clip, but I am clear when I state that my main frustration is with the few rioters burning down private businesses and the idea that Trump's only path to victory was with continued arson and destruction of privately owned businesses across the US (full conversation in August of 2020 with context part clipped).

I have always defended the existence of BLM and its purpose, sometimes in front of live audiences as the only liberal member on a panel. (Jesse Lee Peterson panel in October of 2020|Conversation with call-in defending the existence and effectiveness of BLM's protests|Panel debate in August of 2020|Support in November of 2018 of Kaepernick kneeling in the NFL|Attacking Dave Rubin's criticisms of Kaepernick's protests in September 2017)
I've consistently pushed back against "white lives matter" and similar types of irresponsible rhetoric from the right. (Jesse Lee Peterson panel in October of 2020)

I have continually defended protesting, and even rioting against public institutions while condemning the rioting/looting of private businesses, as I believe the latter feeds into Republican tactics to draw attention away from the overwhelmingly positive protests. (Discussion about Minneapolis protesting/looting in May of 2020|Debate with conservative/Neo-Nazi(?) Ethan Ralph in June 2020|Discussion on my stream in September of 2020)

My specific issue in this debate was that I didn't believe it was morally acceptable to defend rioters destroying private businesses, regardless of their legitimate grievances with the local police. When I think of rioters attacking and destroying private property, I generally support citizens' rights to defend that property. I think back to the Korean-Americans that were defending their property in the '92 LA Riots, the Black Panthers in California defending their communities, or the tragedy of the "Black Wall Street" Tulsa massacre in 1921. I was especially moved by the frustrated, black local business owner who was screaming out in frustration about looters and rioters destroying his business in the '92 LA Riots.

It's incredibly frustrating that people have intentionally and maliciously misconstrued a 16 second cut from a larger conversation to make it sound as though I don't support the BLM protests or somehow approve of racist white people indiscriminately killing protesters when this is an issue that I have been ruthlessly consistent on throughout the years. I unequivocally support BLM's right to both protest and riot against the public institutions that they view as oppressive. I have not changed or wavered on this stance in years.

The State of Political Discourse In 2016, as Donald Trump was rising as a contender in the Republican primary, I noticed the political discourse online was so far removed from reality, people weren't having conversations in the same universe. My main goal in entering politics was to bring reasonableness into online political conversations, or to at least ground the disagreements in fact so the conversations could be more productive. Unfortunately, most of my conversations have been unproductive and hardly qualify as "intellectual discourse."

I believe most content creators suffer from the following problems:

•They tend to be uninformed about the ideas they are discussing (e.g.: many lefties don't know Labor Value Theory; many online Republicans don't know anything about immigration or sociology).
•They don't read any of the material they are covering (e.g.: many people only read headlines, or just take a Twitter thread and repeat the information from it without reading the linked articles or sources).
•They are more concerned with monetary gain, optics, and advancing their careers than they are with advancing their expressed ideologies (e.g. they will eschew politically effective or more righteous actions in favor of things that further their own career, such as collaborating with only the most popular politicians they can or promoting causes which will also grow their own popularity).
•They are often blatantly hypocritical when comparing their lifestyles to the ideas they advocate for (e.g.: they will oftentimes talk about the importance of transparency in public figures or make fun of celebrities for donating very little money to social causes while they will hide their income and commit little to no resources to causes they support).
My general goal with online politics is to:

•Give an informed opinion about, or bring in experts or expert material concerning, current events and interesting topics.
•Have an informed discussion that involves reading through the articles or sources being discussed on stream.
•Move people to take politically effective action.
•Exemplify my political and ethical values in the way I live my life.
I think that political positions should be the result of a consistent system — namely, an underlying ethical and epistemic framework. For a more in-depth explanation of this, please see the page on why philosophy is important.

Affirmative Action I don't have a strong position on affirmative action. It can be a powerful tool, but only when implemented properly; it is a political lightning rod which makes it very hard to reasonably discuss.

Affirmative action tends to run into trouble in universities where huge mismatch problems occur — minority students who are given too much preferential treatment in admissions will massively under-perform their peers, causing them to dropout at disproportionately high rates. Though some argue (1,2) in favor of aggressive affirmative action for higher education, they often only look at the enrollment rates as indicators of success, rather than actual college achievement.

Outside of universities, one can go too far in forcing integration as well, for example: California's "woman quota" for corporate boards.

Affirmative action programs that incentivize students to take part in additional education opportunities to prepare them for a college environment would be more in-line with my view of effective policy rather than simply shoving them into classrooms with more qualified peers and expecting them to perform at competitive levels.

Additional reading:
50 Years of Affirmative Action: What Went Right, and What It Got Wrong — by Anemona Hartocollis, published on March 30, 2019

-The author tracks down many of the black students in Columbia's class of 1973, some of the first who were enrolled as "affirmative action" became a more important social issue for universities to focus on.

Diversity Diversity is a good thing, and has been shown time and time again to benefit both countries (1,2) and companies (1,2,3,4,5,6). Countries and companies that engage in high levels of diversity seem to outperform their less diverse counterparts, and it seems to be the case that having a more diverse representation across your population and workforce can be an advantage in and of itself.

Though it seems hard to imagine, just having a more diverse workplace can be predictive of your ability to outperform average returns in a given environment (1,2). There are modern examples of avoidable problems that boil down to a company simply lacking a diverse team. One well-known example is racial discrimination that occurs in face recognition technology. Another example is soap dispensers not recognizing black hands over white hands.

Global Warming Global warming is real and anthropogenic (i.e.: caused by humans).

It seems that the best approach to dealing with climate change is with the aggressive incentivization of greener energies and the implementation of carbon pricing policies. The former polls incredibly well with Americans and the latter is almost universally agreed upon by economists to be effective in moving markets to aggressively seek out more carbon-neutral ways of operating (1).

The Green New Deal I do not support the Green New Deal, a policy championed by the Justice Democrats.

While I support strong action being taken to curb the effects of climate change, I don't necessarily think it's appropriate to pair these changes with other, non-environmental policies, e.g. a federal jobs guarantee. I think that climate change is a serious issue that needs to be addressed both through policies that have been demonstrated to work (e.g. cap and trade) and through innovative policies and technologies.

Immigration Coming soon!
Illegal Immigration It's incredibly hard to precisely measure the impact of illegal immigration, although it does appear that undocumented workers have a negative impact on state and local budgets and can apply some downward pressure on native wages (1,2).

The most effective way of dealing with illegal immigration would likely be some form of amnesty, similar to the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) signed into law by Ronald Reagan in 1986. The IRCA conferred benefits unto the workers who were able to adjust their status as well as to the state and local governments who were able to more effectively levy taxes, though it also had a small, negative impact on competing native workers and future immigrants and caused an increase in government transfer to the newly legalized population (1). Any well-designed amnesty program would do well to pay attention to these benefits and drawbacks to ensure that we can appropriately capture the benefits of any such amnesty in order to benefit the population as a whole, without causing targeted harm to more vulnerable sections of the labor force.

International Trade Agreements I am highly in favor of international trade agreements, especially large binding agreements like the now-dead Trans-Pacific Partnership that Obama championed. This is mostly for two reasons:

1.International cooperation — International trade agreements lay the groundwork for even more international trade agreements. Ever-increasing cooperation is one of the only hopes we have at solving global warming.
2.American soft power — In forfeiting the TPP, America cedes ground to China and their Belt and Road Initiative. Soft power is more important than you might think. Without it, we lose the ability to exert pressure on other countries to respect the values of democracy, personal freedom, political freedom, and basic human rights.

Reparations After the civil war, former slaves were promised 40 acres and a mule by William T. Sherman. This was approved by President Lincoln. Later, the federal government reneged on this promise, which seems pretty unfair.

There are many different reasons for wanting reparations, but I think that the best one is purely for the purposes of finally repaying a debt that was promised.

Logistically, implementing reparations would be difficult (Who exactly gets the money? How much money is equivalent to 40 acres, adjusted for inflation?). I acknowledge that reparations are probably not politically feasible.

Social Justice It is incredibly important to incorporate notions of equity into our view of the world when it comes to enacting policy or new laws. I think it is vital to recognize that many people have had disadvantages throughout US history and that the outcomes of those disadvantages are still noticeable today. Any policy we design should take these differences into account.
Systemic Racism Systemic racism is racism embedded into a system. The important thing to note about systemic racism is that no-one in the system is necessarily to blame. For example, say that the hypothetical police force of Oceania was systemically racist — it had a computer system programmed to assign more police patrols to black neighborhoods than white neighborhoods. In this system, it is possible that every single police officer in the force is a black-loving certified anti-racist, yet the police would still be functioning as a racist institution.

We have strong evidence that there are some lingering forms of systemic racism in the United States. For example, by looking at maps of where redlining was practiced, we can see that the effects of redlining still affect outcomes (in a statistical, on-average way).

Just like in Oceania, this doesn't necessarily mean that ordinary people are to blame. Of course, there are probably racist people in the country somewhere still in charge of bank loans or city planning — but, for the most part, I think that we have that sorted out. We need to focus on the more complicated problems.

I believe that systemic racism clearly exists in some forms. I don't have a strong opinion on the best policies to address it.

Voting Voting is important.

People in America (and around the world) have problems right now that need to be solved. And that's best done by working within the current system, building coalitions with like-minded people, and voting for the best candidates (at both a local and a national level).

The Alt-Right I do not support the alt-right, nor any of the prescriptions they make for society. I do believe it is important, however, to acknowledge some of the conditions that lead people to becoming radicalized (feeling disconnected from society, having no sense of purpose, feeling economically left behind, etc.) and how these beliefs translate into political action. I believe some on the alt-right are effective at identifying frustrations that one might have with our current economic or social system, but they offer no realistic solutions to any of these problems, and their explanations for said phenomena are often mired in anecdotes.

My debate with Erik Striker & James Allsup is emblematic of most discourse that I've had with alt-right figures; when confronted with challenges to their ideas, they retreat to anecdotes and offer no solutions. Most concerningly, the policy positions they offer for political change generally require some extreme amount of state-sponsored violence and are highly unrealistic in achieving any positive end.

"Protecting our Demographics" Many on the far right express a great concern over protecting the demographic make-up of whatever community they reside in. They might allude to "western values," "white values," "euro-centric values" or some other type of "values" that they are trying to protect. Generally they state the reason to protect these values stems from both an earnest desire to preserve their culture as well as protecting their voting interests.

I believe that this endeavor is futile for several reasons:

•I reject the notion that there is a consistent and coherent definition of "American values."
-e.g. City dwellers from San Francisco aren't going to have very many "shared values" with rural inhabitants of midwestern states.
•I don't believe there is any way for an individual community to control who is allowed to immigrate there without it violating the rights and interests of other states.
-Immigration policy is set for the benefit of the nation at the federal level; states exercising local immigration policy would run counter-intuitive to the rest of the state's rights to determine federal immigration policy.
•I don't believe a group of people have a right to indefinitely maintain their representation irrespective of immigrants (from other states, or countries).
-The idea that one group of people can live somewhere forever and reject foreign immigrants simply because they have a different voting preference is nonsensical.

Capitalism I consider myself to be a capitalist.

At a high-level, capitalism seems to be the best-known economic system to generate wealth. I believe the responsibility of any economic system should, first and foremost, be to allocate resources in an economy as efficiently as possible to create the largest possible base from which to draw taxes to redistribute to those who need it most. I recognize in many western countries, especially the United States, we seem to have a big problem with the "redistribution" part.

There are different kinds of capitalism, ranging all the way from laissez-faire (e.g. free market) to state capitalism (e.g. China). Completely free-market systems have serious downsides (e.g. monopolies, unequal bargaining power) and don't properly account for negative externalities (e.g. pollution, global warming) without government intervention. Thus, I believe that capitalism should be tempered by a strong government that tries to correct for these problems, similar to how Nordic countries function. Not surprisingly, this is the economic model of nearly all advanced economies in the West.

Libertarianism Libertarianism is concerned with maximizing liberty and personal freedom. I viewed myself as a libertarian when I was a teenager and have read books by Ayn Rand.

I am still pro liberty and pro freedom, but my political views have evolved. Libertarianism does not seem to do a very good job at solving some major problems, like social inequality and global warming. The latter, in particular, seems likely only to be solved by regulation and governmental cooperation at a global level.

"Omniliberalism" In politics, it can be useful to know which particular ideology someone subscribes to. However, I do not fall perfectly in-line with any particular ideology. I describe myself as an Omni-Liberal, which is a made-up, tongue-in-cheek term to encapsulate the general position of:

•Having the core values of liberalism (e.g. freedom and equality).
•Taking the best parts of all different kinds of political ideologies and using them together in a pragmatic way.

I don't feel dogmatically attached to any particular form of government or economic system. If it can be demonstrated that some economic system (socialism, capitalism, etc.) can consistently produce better economic and social outcomes for a given society, that would be the economic system I would advocate for. As of right now, I believe that free markets with strong social safety nets (see: Scandinavia) are the most effective way of achieving these ends.

Populism I do not support populism.

Populism is usually defined as "the people" versus "the elites." This happens on both the right (e.g. the alt-right & Donald Trump) and the left (e.g. Bernie-or-Busters). Populism is powerful because it feeds off negative emotions, but is often not based on facts.

Socialism/Communism -The Academic Arguments-

While exploring more socialist ideas I've come across a number of people attempting to defend their ideologies. I've had discussions with many people who identify as socialists, including Michael Albert (an economist, see this video), Ben Burgis (Jacobin columnist, see this video), and many, many more (Search YouTube for "destiny socialism").

My primary disappointment with most socialists is the broader lack of understanding concerning the general functions of their economic systems. A few issues without satisfactory answers are:

•What level of violence is acceptable to attain a socialist state?
-It is often stated that capitalists are to be expected to side with fascists in order to defend their capital interests, and it's stated that capitalists will use any means necessary to defend the status quo. If that is true, then does the advocation of a socialist state necessarily advocate for violent revolution? If this is something we could simply achieve through voting, and if the people truly wanted such a state, why have we not realized it by now?

•How do we decide which businesses are allowed to exist in a socialist society without allowing capital investment?
-Is this done via some government bureaucrat or citizen council? If one cannot get their idea approved, or find sufficient other workers to operate their business with them, is that new business simply not allowed to exist?

•Is any form of investment whatsoever allowed in a socialist society? -How do businesses raise additional capital for expansion? If one wants to expand their business and open new stores, is it contingent upon them finding other workers willing to buy in and own part of one's new expansion of business? If that new expansion grows, is one diluting the ownership of one's current work force? Does one need to dilute every employee's ownership every time a new worker is brought in? How does that affect one's democratic leverage in the business?

•How are labor markets determined in a socialist society? What if everyone wants to become a teacher?
-What if everyone wants to become a teacher? If we remove profit incentives and wages from society and socially dictate where goods and services are allocated, what incentive would anyone have to pursue a socially necessary job that they do not wish to pursue?

•How can we calculate which goods/services a nation needs if we do away with the commodity form?
-The calculation problem has never been adequately addressed or solved for any country, and even in the case where it is brought up within businesses, your final inputs and outputs are still decided by market conditions, not votes or councils.

Online Socialist Activism-
A lot of the online discourse (e.g. on Twitch, YouTube, and Twitter) around socialism comes from people who are willfully ignorant or misinformed on economics and how capital markets work. A number of prominent, socialist content creators seem to display fundamental misunderstandings of fact, such as Philosophy Tube's video on housing, and tend to respond negatively to even the slightest bit of push back against their beliefs.

While there are plenty of highly intelligent people who identify as socialists, my interactions with "online socialists" or "online lefties" from 2018 to 2020 have generally left me with a very low opinion of the community at large.

Co-ops, or cooperatives, are businesses owned by the workers. Many socialists, especially market socialists, seem to point towards co-ops as being an effective step away from a fully capitalist society, or one where businesses have private ownership

I don't believe anything is inherently wrong with co-ops, and I support them in the cases where they lead to greater economic productivity. Despite the slight increase in productivity, however, there doesn't seem to be any good way for co-ops to effectively raise capital. Also, I still question whether co-ops would retain their benefits if everyone in society were to join one, rather than the select few people that have the necessary capital and/or skills to join one of the few co-ops that exist today.

Political Ineffectiveness-
A major gripe that I have with "online socialism" is that it is politically impotent.

All government policies have pros and cons. As citizens, our best course of action is to debate these policies to determine which will be the most effective and to pressure our representatives to push those that are politically feasible.

Inversely, most socialists that I talk to have no actual policy positions. They:

•live in a land of fantasy where all capital is abolished
•lack meaningful plans to achieve that end
•have no plans for solving real world problems that we face right now

Why Philosophy is Important When doing online debate about politics, it is extremely important to have a philosophical foundation from which to draw practical conclusions. Politics is downstream from philosophy, and you could argue that it is simply the practice of applied philosophy on a societal level. While I have no formal education in philosophy, through the use of resources such as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Wikipedia articles, I have taken pains to construct some sort of philosophical heuristic to solve policy issues. This has allowed me to more effectively understand my own and others' arguments through the underlying philosophical values and processes at play, as well as create a consistent set of rules to abide by when evaluating various political issues.

My applied political positions always follow from my moral system. I think the world would be a better place if people reflected more on their internal, fundamental values and used those as guiding principles to establish their political values, rather than blindly following an ideologue, or using inherited positions from their parents, religion, country, or party.

A lot of political debate boils down to either having some differing, fundamental position, or a disagreement on some empirical claim. Instead of two people arguing at a surface level about an issue, it is sometimes more useful to dive down to try and figure out what the other person actually believes at a fundamental level. A great example of this is abortion — people will often debate back and forth about the legality of abortion while ignoring that they fundamentally disagree on whether or not a fetus should carry the same (or similar) moral consideration as an infant child.

My Foundational Beliefs I have a video where I break down how I construct my philosophical worldview, which I highly recommend watching for a fleshed-out understanding of my position. However, if you don't have the time to watch now, here is a short and incredibly basic summary of my philosophical foundations:

•Part I

i.I exist.
ii.I have an experience.
iii.I want to maximize my experience.

•Part II
i.Other humans exist.
ii.Other humans have an experience like mine.
iii.Other humans want to maximize their experience.

•Part III
i.Humans synergize to create better experiences.
ii.If I synergize with others, it will maximize my experience.
iii.Others will synergize with me to maximize their experience.

I don't believe that moral facts exist, or if they do, I don't believe they are perceivable to us. Therefor, I build all of my policy positions from this fundamental moral framework. I think about policy positions in a similar way that Rawls' veil of ignorance would demand of us — society should be constructed in a way that maximizes the experience of as many people possible. This means satisfying as many people's needs and desires as possible, so as to incentivize everyone's participation in our society. I view this as being similar to a sort of Pareto efficiency that could exist in how we reallocate goods and services with government policy.

On Maximizing One's Experience Within the statements of my foundational beliefs, I often talk about maximizing one's own experience and helping others maximize theirs. I often run into a problem where people assume the most naive construction of this idea possible. It is assumed, especially when words like "hedonism" and "egoism" get used, that I conceptualize a moral world to be one where everyone just does whatever they want, be it murdering, stealing, etc. because it makes them happy. It is also assumed that I make no distinction between "lower and higher" pleasures. This is obviously a ridiculous position to hold, and just a slightly fairer reading will get us to construct more reasonable interpretations of what it means to "maximize" one's experience.

A thought experiment I often use is the following: You and four friends enter a room with five candy bars. You can either eat all of the candy bars because it would "maximize your experience," or you could share the candy equally. The naive construction of my belief would entail the former, but let's think about the consequences of this. My friends are now unhappy, they might not want to be friends with me anymore, next time they won't share with me, and really the outcome is in the long run (and potentially even immediately) I have certainly NOT maximized my experience. My friends being sad would make me sad, them not being friends with me anymore would be upsetting, you can imagine the rest.

It's clear then, when I say "maximizing experience," that we have to take a more intelligent, long-term, holistic view towards what this actually means. If I start with 0 utils, and I can get 100 now or 25 every year for the rest of my life, in four years I have already surpassed the experience maximization potential of the first option. If I do something that makes me happy at the detriment of those around me which makes my experience at the end a net negative anyway, clearly I haven't maximized my experience.

I would hope that this is straightforward and obvious to understand, however it appears to be a tripping point either due to lack of thought or bad faith on the part of many people I interact with.

Violence I am generally opposed to violence as I don't believe it is an effective way to accomplish political change, at least not at this point in time in the United States. That being said, I believe there are plenty of groups of people who could, at points, justify the use of violence in self-defense, even if I don't believe it would be a pragmatic or politically effective thing to do.
Defense of Property I believe that people have a right to defend their property insofar as three important criteria are met:

1.You possess the property in a way that your state and community recognizes your possession.
2.You have reasonably exhausted non-violent options to protect your property.
3.The other person is effectively "on notice" and understands they exist in an environment where another person will protect their property.

-For example, if someone wants to destroy your local business or your house, then you have a right to defend your property by all means necessary.

Many disagreements over whether or not defense of personal property is justified sometimes appear to boil down to a difference of underlying values. The value in question is whether "property can be valued over human life", or some statement to that effect. In my experience, middle-class and well-off people may underestimate the personal sacrifice and the years of time invested into obtaining a business, a car, or even something as simple as a stereo system or a school instrument. As such, they will argue that no matter the value and sacrifice associated with some property, even in the case of people living in poverty, the life of the thief always outweighs said value. This is a conclusion I take issue with.

Protesting & Rioting I ardently believe in a people's right to protest and I will always support the right to protest, even if I don't necessarily agree with positions being advocated for by any particular protest. For example, I would support the right of a pro-life group protesting the right to an abortion, but I wouldn't agree with the message of the pro-life group: that abortion is immoral, or should be outlawed.

Rioting is a slightly more complicated matter. When I speak about rioting, I am more precisely talking about protest that have some level of violence involved, namely that of property destruction. I do not support riots which seek to harm individuals in the United States at this point in time. I only support rioting against institutions that represent some oppressive force in society, so I generally only support rioting against public institutions, e.g. a police department, city hall, etc. It's not inconceivable that I would support a riot against a private institution, but only if that private institution was acting in an illegal manner.

MLK & Riots-

MLK is commonly cited as opposition to my position on riots, however, I believe this is due to misunderstanding selective quotes from MLK. I believe a broader understanding of his speeches reveals to us that he was opposed to violent riots throughout his life, even as he condemned the conditions bringing them about.

September 1966 talk with Mike Wallace
-KING (interview): I will never change in my basic idea that non-violence is the most potent weapon available to the Negro in his struggle for freedom and justice. I think for the Negro to turn to violence would be both impractical and immoral.

MIKE WALLACE: There's an increasingly vocal minority who disagree totally with your tactics, Dr. King.

KING: There's no doubt about that. I will agree that there is a group in the Negro community advocating violence now. I happen to feel that this group represents a numerical minority. Surveys have revealed this. The vast majority of Negroes still feel that the best way to deal with the dilemma that we face in this country is through non-violent resistance, and I don't think this vocal group will be able to make a real dent in the Negro community in terms of swaying 22 million Negroes to this particular point of view. And I contend that the cry of "black power" is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we've got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.

April 1967 speech to Stanford University
-Let me say as I've always said, and I will always continue to say, that riots are socially destructive and self-defeating. I'm still convinced that nonviolence is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom and justice. I feel that violence will only create more social problems than they will solve. That in a real sense it is impracticable for the Negro to even think of mounting a violent revolution in the United States. So I will continue to condemn riots, and continue to say to my brothers and sisters that this is not the way. And continue to affirm that there is another way.

-But at the same time, it is as necessary for me to be as vigorous in condemning the conditions which cause persons to feel that they must engage in riotous activities as it is for me to condemn riots. I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.

1967 lecture "Nonviolence and Social Change"
-Many people believe that the urban Negro is too angry and too sophisticated to be nonviolent. Those same people dismiss the nonviolent marches in the South and try to describe them as processions of pious, elderly ladies. The fact is that in all the marches we have organized some men of very violent tendencies have been involved. It was routine for us to collect hundreds of knives from our own ranks before the demonstrations, in case of momentary weakness. And in Chicago last year we saw some of the most violent individuals accepting nonviolent discipline. Day after day during those Chicago marches I walked in our lines and I never saw anyone retaliate with violence. There were lots of provocations, not only the screaming white hoodlums lining the sidewalks, but also groups of Negro militants talking about guerrilla warfare. We had some gang leaders and members marching with us. I remember walking with the Blackstone Rangers while bottles were flying from the sidelines, and I saw their noses being broken and blood flowing from their wounds; and I saw them continue and not retaliate, not one of them, with violence. I am convinced that even very violent temperaments can be channeled through nonviolent discipline, if the movement is moving, if they can act constructively and express through an effective channel their very legitimate anger.

March 1968 speech at Grosse Pointe High School, "The Other America"
-Now I wanted to say something about the fact that we have lived over these last two or three summers with agony and we have seen our cities going up in flames. And I would be the first to say that I am still committed to militant, powerful, massive, non-violence as the most potent weapon in grappling with the problem from a direct action point of view. I'm absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results. But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.

Public vs Private Humor I enjoy all types of comedy, even if it's dark or offensive. Regardless of how I feel, there is a wide chasm between the types of humor that I enjoy privately and the types of humor I believe are responsibly enjoyed publicly. I believe that public figures have to be more careful when engaging with potentially problematic types of humor because one cannot control the audience that may engage with particular types of humor. As public figures, we should avoid empowering groups of people who have ideologies rooted in values contradicting our own, even in speech/actions where we do not intend to do so but it still has that effect.

An example of a type of "edgy joke" might be the way I engage with a close friend relating to gender/sexuality/race. It might be an "inside joke" in private where my friend and I have cleared with each other that it's okay to joke about certain topics (e.g., my friend joking about me being Cuban, me joking about them being black, etc.). If we were to engage in these types of humor publicly without a large number of disclaimers, it's entirely possible that people could take these jokes the wrong way and engage with them problematically, e.g. "I heard Destiny make fun of xyz for being gay, now I'm going to make fun of other gay people because it was funny!"

Because of certain people obsessively trying to get "optics victories" over me, this entire argument becomes reframed by them as "Destiny wants to say the n-word in private." I don't regularly use any hateful language in private, especially because I just don't know many jokes involving hateful language. However, that's not to say that that there aren't any examples of such jokes.

Incest "Incest" as a topic has been explored quite extensively on my stream as a way to illustrate the concept of "moral dumbfounding", i.e. you have a feeling that something is immoral or "wrong," but find you're unable to explain exactly why you feel that way. It seems hard, when pressed, to explain exactly why an incestuous relationship is wrong without appealing to other arguments that aren't intrinsic to these kinds of relationships. For example: parent/child (these are wrong due to power differences or underage parties, not necessarily the fact that they are incestuous), or situations involving reproduction (these may be "wrong" due to the potential for offspring with increased risk of birth defects being created, though this could have logical implications for other kinds of eugenics).

I've used this topic several times on stream to see if someone is capable of actually engaging with the topic, though it generally devolves into people screaming at me while claiming I want "fathers fucking daughters" or something similarly absurd. It is a useful measure of someone's ability to engage with arguments in good faith, question their own worldview, and engage with the logic of ethical matters. While I usually frame the argument from a position of moral neutrality, I have previously made clear that I am not in favour of incestual relationships and provided what I believe to be logical arguments for this.

Child Pornography I do not support child pornography and I ardently argue against all forms of adult-child sexual relationships (pedophilia).

During a longer discussion I had arguing in favor of age-of-consent laws with Amos Yee, there is a small section where Amos Yee questioned whether child pornography could ever be used in a positive manner. I'd been made familiar with some research indicating it was possible that this could be the case (1,2,3,4,5,6,7), though there would obviously be significant hurdles doing this in an ethical manner. It would be essential to ensure that no new pornography abusing minors would be created and that anything being used as part of any therapy was obtained in an ethical manner, though it's hard to imagine how this would even be possible.

In entertaining this scenario, many who argue against me online are quick to claim that I "advocate for ethical child pornography" or some other reductive statement, though none of these claims are true.

Notable Critics...
Kaceytron Coming soon!
Jack Allison Jack Allison is an internet podcaster/ex-Jimmy Kimmel writer who is definitely not mad and who is currently banned from using Twitter by his wife originalbackup.

Despite his time-out from social media, Jack still finds time to obsess over what I do both on and off stream. After I took a step back from my canvassing efforts in Omaha, Jack took it upon himself to email me to celebrate. Unsatisfied with the lack of attention he received for his wacky antics, he created a fake reddit account to further our interactions by impersonating a photographer of WOWT, a local media station in Omaha. My web dev, Cake, pulled some information from our back-end to confirm this dastardly ploy.

Jack — I mean, Brandon, flexes his prior media training and asks me what appears to be several thoughtful questions regarding my canvassing experiment in Omaha. I do my best to respond in good faith (these are the linked "off the record" logs), but little did I know...it was all a ruse!

After thoroughly owning me, Jack takes to Reddit on his account to expose me for my crimes, though he unfortunately doesn't have the required karma to post on his new account. Since he can't seem to make progress on Reddit, he decides to create a fake Twitter (backup from the now deleted account) to tweet about his fake Reddit account's fake email that he sent to me to a whole bunch of people on Twitter, himself included. Unfortunately for Jack, he accidentally leaks on his stream that he's logged in to the very Reddit account he was masquerading under.

Unlucky! And definitely not mad.

College I attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha and majored in woodwind performance but eventually dropped out due to conflict with work at the time.

In general, I do not think that people need to have a college degree in order to have good opinions or to know what they are talking about. Over the past several years of debate and conversation my respect for college-educated individuals has significantly dropped. That being said, a formal education certainly doesn't hurt. I think laymen should generally defer to the consensus of experts. A good example of this can be found in my discussion with Vegan Gains.

My Family I have a son called Nathaniel with my ex-girlfriend, Rachel. My ex-girlfriend and I broke up a long time ago due to our toxic relationship, but we are on good terms today and get along well with each other. I have an ex-wife as well, but she is not the mother of my child.
My Relationship Melina is my wife. We met in New Zealand when she was 20 years old and I was 30 years old.

Melina and I are currently in an open/poly relationship. We treat each other as primary partners, though we may pursue other sexual/romantic relationships as well.


Obsidian Notes:

Debate Notes...
Norman Finkelstein



Gaza has been illegally annexed by Israel according to international law.

  • has it been? Does the IC say that?

Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on earth, more densely populated than Tokyo.

  • is it so dense?

In 2006, Hamas participated in elections and won. Bush pressured them to have elections. People hated the PA because they were corrupt.

  • what was Hamas up to before that? Why did people hate the PA? Where did election pressure come from?

Day after elections, Jimmy Carter declared them fair, then Israel put up a blockade.

  • why did blockade go up?

50% unemployment.

  • like U3 or? Could they even work? What about work permits?

50% has extreme food insecurity in Gaza.

  • what is the number? Does this matter? What is the definition?

The Hamas people who came out of the gates were overwhelmingly 20-23, they were born into the concentration camps.

  • do we know their ages???

Finkelstein less than animals quote.

  • the quote was about Hamas, from defense minister. And it actually says the exact opposite about the Palestinian people.

Operation Cast Iron ceasefire was broken.

  • it was, but let's get more information about this.

Every international organization, including Goldstone, says that the blockade in Gaza is a war crime.

  • is it? Do they?

I use all the sources, they say Hamas uses no human shields.

  • sources even from AI and the UN say they do, so do Hamas??

47:56 Amensty International found no evidence that Hamas directed the movements of civilians to shield military objectives.

  • this and then the cringe definition of human shields

This is called "not taking precautions to shield civilians" under international law

  • no it's not???

The Gaza ministry of health is a civilian organization

  • is it???

"Nobody says anything about the Israeli numbers when the number changed after Oct 7th"

  • are we saying they have the same level of accountability??? Does Hamas have their own b'tselem

"We need to wait, I don't know how many were killed with crossfire."

  • did you wait for the hospital story???

"Israel has the best first responders in the world...how did the number keep growing?"

  • the implication being this was faked??

"A military expert called them bottle rockets."

1:03:40 Is it a war or a genocide? What are the facts? 3 statements quotes.

  • look up every single quote

97% of water is poisonous from the ground wells. It's not potable.

  • is it?

All three of these statements mean Israel has launched a war of genocide.

  • intent? Any other plausible explanation for actions?

2% of food trucks are being admitted.

  • for how long? Is this true?

The NYT says they have stockpiles of food, weapons, fuel, Finkelstein says "the officials said..."

  • so he doesn't trust the NYT officials but trusts Hamas???
  • He says again "they're all animals" and "they're all legitimate targets"
  • are these quotes accurate?

Half dozen quotes by Israeli officials "let's use this as an opportunity to get rid of the Palestinians from Gaza"

  • what are they?

They want to force Egypt to let them into the Sinai.

  • where have they said this?

People were trying to discredit the PLO back in the days. They did everything they could to get a two state solution under international law.

  • black September??? Jordan/Lebanon??? Camp David??? Geneva accord???

Beginning in 2006, there were many attempts to reach a settlement of the conflict. 30 year Truce.

  • were there??? What did they look like???

When I say Settlement, I mean based on the principals of International Law.

  • palestinian refugee situation is unique, they go back right to their homes???

Every year the UN votes on "Peaceful Settlement of the Palestine question."

  • what are the terms?

The Palestinians feel like the IC gave up.

  • why didn't the West Bank attack as well, then?

Occam's Razor for why Oct 7th happened, because of concentration camps conditions.

  • why don't we apply this to Israel and the genocide question, then???

They decided on October 7th to take their fate into their own hands.

  • what about every Hamas attack since then????

Nat Turner rebellion brought up a ton. Then John Brown inspired by him, this lead to the Civil War.

  • is slavery really comparable??? Is he justifying all civilian violence, then??? also sooo much question dodging on hard questions.

What did the Jewish Fighting Organization accomplish? Nothing good, just destruction of the ghetto.

  • is this a good comparison??

Why don't they let Palestinians out?

  • how do you migrate out of Gaza. Let them leave and never come back???

Israel is keeping all of Gaza hostage.

  • doesn't this directly contradict earlier when you said they wanted to drive them out to the Sinai?

Maybe if there wasn't a blockade in Gaza, maybe this wouldn't have happened in the first place?

  • just quote 2nd intifada weapon shipments

When quote clarification happens he says "and what is the inference?" And he keeps saying "no distinction."

  • but you ignore the Hamas charter, propaganda, and all the statements????

They announced their plan on October 8th, and then they've followed that plane.

  • cite them changing over and over again from US pressure

In the first week, they dropped more bombs than any year in the war in Afghanistan.

  • what was the Afghanistan death toll???

Wouldn't their be more deaths?

  • he DODGES again with this "facts" quote, then leads to with child quote AGAIN, this man lives in memes

Why doesn't Egypt let any out to travel?

  • dodges question and makes it about letting ALL Palestinians out

They want to release them into the Sinai to rot and die.

  • what??? Israeli settlements were popping up in the Sinai after '67, also again where is the proof for this?

So many statements from Isralies saying "this is a great opportunity to resolve the Gaza question."

  • who? Name them

Does Hamas need to be dismantled? Well if Hamas needs to be dismantled, so does the Israeli government.

  • do they really conduct themselves in the same way? Also he says he never dodges questions but this is ANOTHER DODGE.

It "mows the lawn"

  • source of this quote needed

The people in Gaza were never given a chance.

  • chance for what?!

Bush forced elections, they voted Hamas, and then Israel put up the blockade.

  • are we missing something here???

It was a dictatorship, but that dictatorship was the result of never giving the people another election.

  • didn't Hamas toss out the Fatah and cancel all elections????

Sociologist book "Politicized" called Gaza the largest concentration camp in 2003. More mow the lawn quotes.

  • look up this rationale

They did terror bombing in WWII to get the civilians to rise up against the Germans. Over 800,000 civilians killed.

  • did they?

It's expecting something amazing for the people of Gaza to not make homicidal statements.

  • the histories are not even remotely comparable here. Why the difference between the West Bank and the Gaza strip?

Hamas attacks Egypt?

Why is Hamas bad?

  • Not democratically elected. Coup'd Fatah, no elections.
  • Transmits propaganda to children.
  • Inhibits any peace process, they just want war. Remember the fighting with Abbas when he wanted truce in 2005.
  • Utilize human shields. Even IC recognizes this.
  • Hoards and diverts money from humanitarian places. Digging up pipes, stealing money, hoarding food.
  • Digs tunnels, fires rockets constantly.

Questions for Norm

  • Does Hamas have a moral justification for terrorism against Isralies?
  • Are their actions taking Palestine closer to or further from peace?
  • How should Israel respond to Hamas?
  • Why does Israel have the blockade?
  • Why didn't Egypt or Jordan make a Palestinian state in '48?
  • Do you have any criticisms at all for Hamas?
  • Is getting rid of Hamas a worthy goal?
  • Do you support a one state or two state solution?
  • Why doesn't the IDF "mow the lawn" in the West Bank?
  • Why do you say consensus says blockade illegal but only cite one footnote in chapter 4 of Method and Madness.
  • Why do you describe the Turkel report as Quasi-Official?


The Blockade in Gaza

  • Started in 2005
  • Incident - In May of 2010, attack on Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara
  • On September 27th, 2010, a UN General Assembly report from the HRC declared (on line 53/54) the blockade in Gaza to be collective punishment, or illegal under international law.
  • In September of 2011, a report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Inquiry on the 31st of May, 2010 Flotilla Incident claimed that the blockade followed international law.

Elections in the Gaza Strip

  • Background
  • 2006 elections were the second set of elections for the PLC
  • The Palestinian Cairo Declaration
  • Called for the elections to be held using a mixed voting system.
  • Under USAID, the US spent $2.3million in support for Palestinian elections.
  • Some claim that this was an attempt to influence the results.
  • Plan to overthrow Hamas
  • Bush administration approved a plan to overthrow Hamas by funneling arms and resources to Fatah in the Gaza Strip.

2008 Israel ceasefire breaking
Tunnels are a right to self-defense
Operation Cast Lead
3 times ceasefire that reduced blockade restrictions
Protective Edge

Future video



Ben Shapiro Debate...
2023.10.05 - Ben Shapiro video on Who Wants to be Speaker of the House

YouTube Link

  • 4:50 - "Donald Trump backed a bunch of really bad candidates in Purple Districts."
  • Giving one strong reason why Trump is a bad leader.
He has bad political instincts and is not effective at choosing good candidates for either his cabinet, nor candidates for other races.
  • 4:50 - Big Trumpy candidates also cost senate seats in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania because of how much swing voters dislike Trump.
  • Trump is a bad pick for Republicans because of how much he galvanizes support on the other side.
  • 8:40 - This notion that running against the entire system (like Trump did) produces good results has not been borne out.
  • This is very true, it's the failure of ALL populist leaders,
and it is EXACTLY what Donald Trump aims to repeat in the next election if he were to win.
  • 11:50 - One norm of the house is that you don't remove members from committees just because you don't like them.
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene was not removed from her committees simply because "Democrats did not like her."
If that was the case, wouldn't there be numerous other Republicans removed from committees?
What about Geatz? What about Bobbert?
  • MTG wasn't removed from her committees because people simply didn't like her, it was because
  • She supported 9/11 conspiracy theories.
  • She harassed a school shooting victim, David Hogg, about using children as shields for red flag laws.
She also claims that he's a paid actor in the same video.
  • She claimed that the Parkland School Shooting was a false flag event.
  • She supported executing Democratic leaders like Pelosi and members of the FBI before running for Congress.
  • She mentioned Jewish space lasers causing fires in California.
  • Spoke alongside Nick Fuentes at AFPAC.

Paul Gosar was also removed from committees and censured formaking an AoT spoof with Republicans attacking Democrats (tbf the video was incredibly badass).

  • 14:00 - He brings up AOC's tweets about Gaetz's lack of support for institutions.
  • Ben doesn't engage with this at all. Did McCarthy deserve infinite support from the Democrats?
  • 14:20 - Democrats suggested they could ram judicial nominees through with 51 votes.
  • Nuclear option research on history of judicial nominees.
  • 21:10 - Is Donald Trump going to whip votes? Is he going to fundraise on behalf of members of the house?
  • Donald Trump is just not good for the Republican party.
  • 32:00 - Joe Biden is running this economy into a ditch.
  • What could he be doing better?
  • 33:00 - Joe Biden encourages us to talk to us neighbors, Ben Shapiro claims he's a "dead president."
  • Biden's answer here was incredibly diplomatic and exactly what we need right now.
  • 41:10 - The reason these Kaiser strikes are happening is because Joe Biden is president of the United States.
  • Really? Did any strikes at all happen under Trump?
  • 41:27 - Economic stagnation is the real threat of the Biden administration.
  • Isn't the US outcompeting the G7?
  • 42:00 - Where's AOC crying about the border wall?
  • Are Democrats against all border security? Or just children separated from their family?
Biden wall fact check.
2023.11.01 - Oxford Union Ben Shapiro Debate with Students

YouTube Link

  • Q: How do you excuse or explain the violence in the West Bank preceding October 7th
  • A: A breakaway group from the Palestinian Authority called "Lions Den"are responsible
for many terrorist attacks from Jerusalem and through the West Bank.
  • Islamic Jihad is a terrorist group with wide presence in the West Bank.
  • My Questions
  • Does Shapiro believe all violence in the West Bank against Palestinians is justified?
Is it always while targeting a terror cell?
  • Does Shapiro believe the IDF ever commits indiscriminate violence against Palestinians in the West Bank?
  • Does Shapiro believe in unjustified Settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank?
  • Q: What do you think about IDF enacted violence against the March of Return?
  • A: Ben isn't familiar.
  • Q: Do you think the IDF shoots at civilians with total impunity?
  • A: That's not true, many of them have been arrested. "They're all currently sitting in Israeli jail."
  • My Questions
  • Do you believe the IDF or Settlers are generally held accountable when it comes to committing violence against Palestinians?
  • What about the pardons given to the perpetrators of the Kafr Qasim massacre?
  • Q: Do you think Israel is justified in killing civilians using your logic?
  • A: There is a difference between going in and deliberately killing civilians vs attacking infrastructure and killing civilians through collateral damage.
  • My Questions
  • What about
Lavon Affair
Deir Yassin massacre
Kafr Qasim massacre
Samu Incident
Sabra and Shatila massacre
  • Q: A question about the political climate in the United States.
  • A: "We should nominate somebody who's sane...on one hand, we have a geriatric old guy, on the other hand, we have Donald Trump."
  • My Questions
  • If we were truly looking to nominate someone based on their sanity,
do we feel like Donald Trump's behavior is truly a better reflection of sanity than Joseph Biden's?
  • Q: Why not support Biden over Trump? Trump's call for a suspension of the Constitution and Trump's incitement of January 6th.
  • A: In Trump's imagination, he's a serious threat to Democracy, but since Democracy survived he must not have been a serious threat.
  • A: January 6th was not a threat to American Democracy.
There is no point in time on January 6th that a military coup had been launched and that Donald Trump would retain the presidency.
  • A: Joe Biden has used the power of the executive branch in new and exorbitant ways.
For example, when he tried to use OSHA to enforce vaccination policies.
  • A: "I think Donald Trump only cares about Donald Trump."
  • A: Joe Biden doesn't believe in the Supreme Court. He's attacked the Supreme Court with alacrity. His party has talked about packing the Supreme Court.
  • My Questions
  • Does someone need to always have a clear chance at thwarting Democracy to be considered a threat to Democracy?
Does a failure to be anti-Democratic mean that you are, by definition Democratic?
  • During Jan 6th, is it inconceivable that a few more people could have caused substantial damage to the actual members of government?
Were protestors at one point not a single hallway away from lawmakers?
What would have happened if they were caught?
Did Trump's constant election denialism not fuel this riot?
  • Did Donald Trump not flex incredibly executive power?
What about in regards to restricting immigration, enacting tariffs, doing border policy, doing executive actions, etc..?
  • Isn't Donald Trump's obsession with himself a danger to all of us when he's supposed to be representing the American people instead of his own ego?
  • The Democrats literally lost a Supreme Court pick to the Republicans.
Biden has explicitly refused to consider packing the Supreme Court.
Ben Shapiro Material
Reference Material
2023.11.01 - Oxford Union Ben Shapiro Debate with Students
2023.10.05 - Ben Shapiro video on Who Wants to be Speaker of the House
2023.08.28 -"The great irony here is that Biden is getting off easy. Corrupt and dishonest are far more applicable to Biden than Trump.

Broad Political Narratives I'd like to Outline

  1. Ben Shapiro contributes to one-sided historical analysis.
  2. The Trump leadership's downstream effects can be seen across all of the Republican leadership.
    1. The Speaker of the House fiasco is a great example of this.
  3. Donald Trump is not healthy for the Republican party or for the conservative movement.
    1. He attacks conservative leadership, "dividing Republican against Republican."
    2. He's inconsistent on his values and beliefs (are they even conservative?).
    3. He chooses poor candidates to back in races.
    4. He doesn't fundraise for candidates. (Do presidents normally do this?)
  4. Donald Trump's record on any of the large issues he ran on is not good.
    1. Foreign wars, he ended none.
    2. Border security he failed on.
    3. Balanced budget he failed on.
    4. Gun control increased under Donald Trump.

Two large strains of argumentation

  1. Donald Trump is a bad candidate to support if you are truly a conservative.
  2. Joe Biden is a better candidate for the overall health of America.



Hi Destiny,

Listening to your talk with Pisco about potential Ben Shapiro debate topics.
A couple items I think that would be good to brush up on ahead of time,
if it ends up being Trump vs Biden's record / foreign policy.

Trump | Afghanistan

My thoughts: Not only did Trump negotiate the withdrawal and pushed it to Biden's administration,
but Trump BRAGGED about how Biden couldn't have stopped the process even if he wanted to.
Trump clip in June 2021, 2 months prior to withdrawal: https://twitter.com/theNuzzy/status/1427051039404957697

Trump | refusal to pull us out of Yemen, against rare bipartisanship in Congress
My thoughts: I bring this up as an example to MAGA family whenever they say Trump is against foreign wars.

Trump | Yemen raid
My thoughts: I recalled this while watching your talk with Tim Pool when he was obsessed with Obama's "extrajudicial killings".
Immediately upon taking office, Trump called on a military raid in Yemen
(one that the Obama administration didn't do because it was considered too risky),
resulting in the deaths of women, children, and an American SEAL.

Trump | Drone Program
My thoughts: Not only did Trump expand America's drone program, but made it harder to account for civilian casualties.

2018-19 Government Shutdown
My thoughts: Trump had one of the longest government shutdowns while Republicans controlled BOTH houses.
Insane. If I recall, the Democrats were even going to give Trump all the border wall funding he wanted so long as he saved DACA.
But Stephen Miller (arguably one of the actual racists in Trump's cabinet) stopped it, receiving criticism from Lindsey Graham.

Good luck!


Hey Steven,

Thought I share this timestamped video with you from Ben Shapiro's Oxford Union QA this week (5 minutes max).
One of the audience members asks Ben why he would support Trump over Biden.
Ben goes into his rational and reasons for disliking Biden more,
I think it's an excellent starting place for formulating your arguments and research for the upcoming debate.


That said I think debating the legitimacy of settlements or Zionism seems more interesting since its a more unique view Ben holds.



  • What legislation have Republicans brought to the House floor?
  • Under Pelosi, it was a record amount of legislation. (fact check)


In April 2009, a Novel H1N1 influenza A (genetically distinct from seasonal flu virus) strain of swine origin was identified. Unlike previous seasonal influenza viruses, this pandemic influenza virus disproportionately infects a wider age-range of people. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) recommendations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has guidelines for employers to assist them in the development of a framework in preparing their workplaces in order to minimize transmission of a pandemic virus.

OSHA does expect facilities providing healthcare services to perform a risk assessment of their workplace and encourages healthcare employers to offer both the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines. It is important to note that employees need to be properly informed of the benefits of the vaccinations. However, although OSHA does not specifically require employees to take the vaccines, an employer may do so. In that case, an employee who refuses vaccination because of a reasonable belief that he or she has a medical condition that creates a real danger of serious illness or death (such as serious reaction to the vaccine) may be protected under Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 pertaining to whistle blower rights.

Source: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2009-11-09


"As Hitler controlled the masses support for the political right, the conservative elite believed that they could use Hitler and his popular support to ‘democratically’ take power. Once in power, Hitler could destroy the political left. Destroying the political left would help to remove the majority of political opponents to the ring-wing conservative elite. Once Hitler had removed the left-wing socialist opposition and destroyed the Weimar Republic, the conservative elite thought they would be able to replace Hitler, and appoint a leader of their choice."

Read this and thought it might be a useful line of attack for the biden/trump debate.

Beyond policy, what about character, values, and real leadership?


Some quotes:

"Was it stupid that, in February, Trump was tweeting about how Covid-19 was like the flu and that we didn’t need to worry?
Yes, but it takes on a different color when you listen to him tell Bob Woodward that in January he knew how bad it was,
how much worse it was than even the worst flu, and that he was deliberately going to downplay the virus for political purposes."

"I guess I just always thought you believed in the lessons you taught me,
and the things we used to listen to on talk radio on our drives home from the lake.
All those conversations about American dignity,
the power of private enterprise, the sacredness of the Oval Office, the primacy of the rule of law."

"If Donald Trump were even half-competent, one elected official told me,
he could probably rule this country for 20 years.
I have trouble figuring what’s worse—that he wants to, or that he wants to but isn’t competent enough to pull it off.
Instead, Washington is so broken and so filled with cowards that Trump just spent the last four years breaking stuff and embarrassing himself."

"Or is it worse, that my own father cares more about his retirement accounts—and I’ll grant,
the runup of the market has been nice for me, too—than the future he is leaving for his children?
Are you so afraid of change, of that liberal boogeyman Limbaugh and Hannity and these other folks have concocted,
that you’d rather entrust the country to a degenerate carnival barker than anyone else? I see all this anger,
what is it that you’re so angry about? You’ve won. Society has worked for you. My own success is proof."

"So what is it? Because it can’t possibly be that you think this guy is trustworthy, decent, or kind.
It’s definitely not about his policies… because almost every single one is anathema to what Republicans—and you—have talked about my entire life."

DON'T LET THE "trump is just dumb lol" ARGUMENT EVER FLY
Jones and Greenwald Debate...
Jones Greenwald Debate Strategy
  • Ronald Sandlin, who threatened police officers in the Capitol saying, “you’re going to die,” posted on December 23, 2020:
“I’m going to be there to show support for our president and to do my part to stop the steal
and stand behind Trump when he decides to cross the rubicon.
If you are a patriot I believe it’s your duty to be there.
I see it as my civic responsibility.”
  • Garret Miller, who brought a gun to the Capitol on January 6th, explained:
“I was in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, because I believed I was following the instructions of former President Trump
and he was my president and the commander-in-chief. His statements also had me believing the election was stolen from him.”
  • John Douglas Wright explained that he brought busloads of people to Washington, DC,
on January 6th “because Trump called me there, and he laid out what is happening in our government.”
  • Lewis Cantwell testified: If “the President of the United States . . . is out on TV telling the world that it was stolen,
what else would I believe, as a patriotic American who voted for him and wants to continue to see the country thrive as I thought it was?”
  • Likewise, Stephen Ayres testified that “with everything the President was putting out” ahead of January 6th that “the election was rigged
. . . the votes were wrong and stuff . . . it just got into my head.”
“The President was calling on us to come” to Washington, DC.
14 Ayres “was hanging on every word he President Trump was saying”
15 Ayres posted that “Civil War will ensue” if President Trump did not stay in power after January 6th.
  • There are hundreds of other statements similar to those above.
January 6th Insurrection
  • Lockdowns
BLM Riots

text here

Third party planning from outside groups
  • Q-Anon Theories
Republican "Centipede"

text here

Media Complicity

Tucker Carlson

Dominion Voting Machine Scandal
  • Dominion Case
Tucker Carlson
Whitmer Kidnapping Attempt
Comparison to BLM stuff
Donald Trump Speech Transcript
Donald Trump Speech
Amplifying anti-election claims

text here

Republican Lawmakers
Certification of the Electoral Votes
Support for Donald's Election-denial
Punishing members who speak against Trump
for her intense criticisms of Donald Trump's claims about election rigging.
  • Cheney had one of the most conservative voting records in Congress,
and voted in line with Trump's agenda 92.9% of the time.
  • Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) were censured by the Republican party for participating in the J6 House Select Committee.
Cheney would go on to get crushed in her election, Kinzinger had already announced he would not be running again.
Donald Trump
Demeanor towards political opposition
Attacks on Institutions
"The Big Lie"
  • Trump has knowingly spread false information
despite being informed multiple times exactly how election night would go down.
  • In the weeks before election day 2020, Donald Trump’s campaign experts,
including his campaign manager Bill Stepien,
advised him that the election results would not be fully known on election night.
  • Prior to the 2020 election, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien,
along with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy,
urged President Trump to embrace mail-in voting as potentially beneficial to the Trump Campaign.
Presidential advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner recounted others giving Donald Trump the same advice.
  • Donald Trump won in numerous States that allowed no-excuse absentee voting in 2020,
including Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina,
North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
  • People knew ahead of time that Trump was going to attempt to claim victory early.
  • Steve Bannon: And what Trump’s gonna do is just declare victory, right?
He’s gonna declare victory. But that doesn’t mean he’s a winner. He’s just gonna say he’s a winner . . .
The Democrats—more of our people vote early that count.
Theirs vote in mail. And so they’re gonna have a natural disadvantage, and Trump’s going to take advantage of it—that’s our strategy.
He’s gonna declare himself a winner. So when you wake up Wednesday morning, it’s going to be a firestorm . . . .
Also, if Trump, if Trump is losing, by 10 or 11 o’clock at night, it’s going to be even crazier.
No, because he’s gonna sit right there and say “They stole it.
I’m directing the Attorney General to shut down all ballot places in all 50 states.”
It’s going to be, no, he’s not going out easy. If Trump—if Biden’s winning, Trump is going to do some crazy shit.
  • Roger Stone: I really do suspect it will still be up in the air. When that happens, the key thing to do is to claim victory.
Possession is nine-tenths of the law.
No, we won. Fuck you, Sorry. Over.
We won. You’re wrong. Fuck you.
  • On election day, Vice President Pence’s staff, including his Chief of Staff and Counsel,
became concerned that President Trump might falsely claim victory that evening.
The Vice President’s Counsel, Greg Jacob, testified about their concern
that the Vice President might be asked improperly to echo such a false statement.
45 Jacob drafted a memorandum with this specific recommendation:
“It is essential that the Vice President not be perceived by the public as having decided questions
concerning disputed electoral votes prior to the full development of all relevant facts.”
  • On election night
  • Stepien: You know, very, very, very bleak.
You know, I—we told him—the group that went over there outlined,
you know, my belief and chances for success at this point.
And then we pegged that at, you know, 5, maybe 10 percent based on recounts that were—that,
you know, either were automatically initiated or could be—could be initiated based on,
you know, realistic legal challenges, not all the legal challenges that eventually were pursued.
But, you know, it was—you know, my belief is that it was a very,
very—5 to 10 percent is not a very good optimistic outlook.
  • Miller: I was in the Oval Office. And at some point in the conversation Matt Oczkowski,
who was the lead data person, was brought on,
and I remember he delivered to the President in pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose.
  • President Trump refused, and instead said this in his public remarks that evening:
“This is a fraud on the American public.
This is an embarrassment to our country.
We were getting ready to win this election.
Frankly, we did win this election. We did win this election . . . .
We want all voting to stop.”
And on the morning of November 5th, he tweeted “STOP THE COUNT!”
Halting the counting of votes at that point would have violated both State and Federal laws.
  • William Barr:
"Right out of the box on election night, the President claimed that there was major fraud underway.
I mean, this happened, as far as I could tell, before there was actually any potential of looking at evidence.
He claimed there was major fraud. And it seemed to be based on the dynamic that, at the end of the evening,
a lot of Democratic votes came in which changed the vote counts in certain States,
and that seemed to be the basis for this broad claim that there was major fraud.
And I didn’t think much of that,
because people had been talking for weeks and everyone understood for weeks
that that was going to be what happened on election night . . . ."
  • In one of the Select Committee’s hearings, former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt
was asked what the chance President Trump had of winning the election after November 7th,
when the votes were tallied and every news organization had called the race for now-President Biden.
His response: “None.”
  • After the election
  • As the Committee’s hearings demonstrated,
President Trump made a series of statements to White House staff
and others during this time period indicating his understanding that he had lost.
President Trump also took consequential actions
reflecting his understanding that he would be leaving office on January 20th.
For example, President Trump personally signed a Memorandum and Order
instructing his Department of Defense to withdraw all military forces from Somalia by December 31, 2020,
and from Afghanistan by January 15, 2021.51 General Keith Kellogg (ret.),
who had been appointed by President Trump as Chief of Staff for the National Security Council
and was Vice President Pence’s National Security Advisor on January 6th,
told the Select Committee that “an immediate departure that that memo said would have been catastrophic.
It’s the same thing what President Biden went through. It would have been a debacle.”
  • Barr: And I repeatedly told the President in no uncertain terms
that I did not see evidence of fraud, you know, that would have affected the outcome of the election.
And, frankly, a year and a half later, I haven’t seen anything to change my mind on that.
  • Exchange between Staff and Stepien
  • Committee Staff: How did he react to those types of conversations
where you told him that an allegation or another wasn’t true?
  • Stepien: He was—he had—usually he had pretty clear eyes.
Like, he understood, you know—you know, we told him where we thought the race was,
and I think he was pretty realistic with our viewpoint,
in agreement with our viewpoint of kind of the forecast and the uphill climb we thought he had.
  • Trump Campaign Senior Advisor Jason Miller told the Committee that he informed President Trump “several” times
that “specific to election day fraud and irregularities, there were not enough to overturn the election.”
  • Pence: There was never evidence of widespread fraud.
I don’t believe fraud changed the outcome of the election.
But the President and the Campaign had every right to have those examined in court.
But I told the President that, once those legal challenges played out,
he should simply accept the outcome of the election and move on.
  • The General Counsel of President Trump’s campaign, Matthew Morgan:
What was generally discussed on that topic was whether the fraud, maladministration, abuse, or irregularities,
if aggregated and read most favorably to the campaign, would that be outcome determinative.
And I think everyone’s assessment in the room,
at least amongst the staff, Marc Short, myself, and Greg Jacob,
was that it was not sufficient to be outcome determinative.
  • A group of prominent Republicans have more recently issued a report—titled Lost, Not Stolen
—examining “every count of every case brought in these six battleground states” by President Trump and his allies.
The report concludes “that Donald Trump and his supporters
had their day in court and failed to produce substantive evidence to make their case.”84
President Trump and his legal allies “failed because of a lack of evidence
and not because of erroneous rulings or unfair judges . . . .
In many cases, after making extravagant claims of wrongdoing,
Trump’s legal representatives showed up in court or state proceedings empty-handed,
and then returned to their rallies and media campaigns to repeat the same unsupported claims.”
  • Indeed, eleven of the judges who ruled against Donald Trump and his supporters were appointed by Donald Trump himself.
  • One of those Trump nominees, Judge Stephanos Bibas of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,
rejected an appeal by the Trump Campaign claiming that
Pennsylvania officials “did not undertake any meaningful effort” to fight illegal absentee ballots
and uneven treatment of voters across counties.
Judge Bibas wrote in his decision that “calling an election unfair does not make it so.
Charges require specific allegations and then proof.
We have neither here.”
Another Trump nominee, Judge Brett Ludwig of the Eastern District of Wisconsin,
ruled against President Trump’s lawsuit alleging that
the result was skewed by illegal procedures that governed drop boxes, ballot address information,
and individuals who claimed“ indefinitely confined” status to vote from home.
Judge Ludwig wrote in his decision,
that “this Court has allowed plaintiff the chance to make his case and he has lost on the merits”
because the procedures used “do not remotely rise to the level” of breaking Wisconsin’s election rules.
  • Nor is it true that these rulings focused solely on standing, or procedural issues.
As Ginsberg confirmed in his testimony to the Select Committee,
President Trump’s team “did have their day in court.”
Indeed, he and his co-authors determined in their report that of these post-election cases were dismissed by a judge
after an evidentiary hearing had been held,
and many of these judges explicitly indicated in their decisions
that the evidence presented by the plaintiffs was wholly insufficient on the merits.
  • Not a single witness ever provided proof to the J6 committee
that fraud existed on any reasonable scale in any state.
Undermining the Electoral Process
  • "Beginning election night and continuing through January 6th and thereafter,
Donald Trump purposely disseminated false allegations of fraud related to the 2020 Presidential election
in order to aid his effort to overturn the election and for purposes of soliciting contributions.
These false claims provoked his supporters to violence on January 6th."
  • "Despite knowing that such an action would be illegal,
and that no State had or would submit an altered electoral slate,
Donald Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes
during Congress’s joint session on January 6th."
  • "Donald Trump sought to corrupt the U.S. Department of Justice
by attempting to enlist Department officials to make purposely false statements
and thereby aid his effort to overturn the Presidential election.
After that effort failed, Donald Trump offered the position of Acting Attorney General to Jeff Clark
knowing that Clark intended to disseminate false information aimed at overturning the election."
  • "Without any evidentiary basis and contrary to State and Federal law,
Donald Trump unlawfully pressured State officials
and legislators to change the results of the election in their States."
  • "Donald Trump oversaw an effort to obtain
and transmit false electoral certificates to Congress and the National Archives."
  • "Donald Trump pressured Members of Congress to object to valid slates of electors from several States.
Plan to Overturn Election Results
  • "Knowing that he and his supporters had lost dozens of election lawsuits,
and despite his own senior advisors refuting his election fraud claims and urging him to concede his election loss,
Donald Trump refused to accept the lawful result of the 2020 election.
Rather than honor his constitutional obligation to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,”
President Trump instead plotted to overturn the election outcome."
Speech on January 6th
  • "Based on false allegations that the election was stolen,
Donald Trump summoned tens of thousands of supporters to Washington for January 6th.
Although these supporters were angry and some were armed,
Donald Trump instructed them to march to the Capitol on January 6th to “take back” their country."
Donald Trump Impeachment
The Protest
  • Timeline
  • Deaths on January 6
  • Actions of coordinated groups
  • Police allowed protestors in
  • Potential FBI Involvement
  • Donald Trump's failure to act
  • Aftermath
  • Prosecutions
Formation - Wikipedia
  • On May 19th, 2021, the House voted to form an independent bicameral commission to investigate the Jan 6th insurrection.
  • Vote passed 252-175 with 35 Republicans joining in favor.
  • Senate Republicans blocked the bicameral commission, leading to House Speaker Pelosi to appoint a select committee using only House members.
  • On June 30th, 2021, House Resolution 503 "Establishing the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol"
passed the House 222-190. All Democrats and only two Republicans, Kinzinger and Cheney, voted in favor.
  • On July 1st, Pelosi appoints eight members, with Cheney being the sole Republican.
  • On July 19th, McCarthy suggests Jim Banks, Jim Jordan, Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong and Troy Nehls.
  • Banks, Jordan and Nehls voted to overturn the EC results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
  • Banks and Jordan signed onto the Supreme Court case Texas v. Pennsylvania to invalidate the ballots of voters in four states.
  • On July 21st, Pelosi announced that she would reject Jordan and Banks, but would accept the other three recommendations.
  • McCarthy said it was all or nothing, costing Republicans almost all of their representation on the January 6th Select Committee.
  • On July 25th, Pelosi announced her appointment of Adam Kinzinger to the committee.
  • Notably, Kinzinger was one of only ten House Republicans to vote for Trump's second impeachment.


BENNIE G. THOMPSON (D) Mississippi, Chairman
LIZ CHENEY (R) Wyoming, Vice Chair
ZOE LOFGREN (D) California
ADAM B. SCHIFF (D) California
PETE AGUILAR (D) California
ELAINE G. LURIA (D) Virginia
  • Majority of the witnesses involved in the J6 Select Committee Report were Republicans.
  • Two of President Trump’s former Attorneys General,
his former White House Counsel, numerous members of his White House staff,
and the highest-ranking members of his 2020 election campaign,
including his campaign manager and his campaign general counsel.

Isreal Palestine Conflict...
1936-1939 - Arab revolt in Palestine
  • Popular uprising by Palestinian Arabs in Mandatory Palestine against British mandate
due to increasing flow of Jewish immigrants.
  • Sparked by back and forth killings of two Jews by a Qassamite band,
followed by the retaliatory killing of two Arab workers.
  • First part of movement was seized upon by the urban and elitist Arab Higher Committee,
which made the revolt focus on strikes and other political forms of protest.
  • Second phase in 1937 lead to violent conflict between British Army
and Palestine Police Force against the peasant-led resistance movement.
  • Walid Khalidi estimates 19,792 casualties for the Arabs,
with 5,032 dead, 3,832 killed by the British and 1,200 dead due to intracommunal terrorism, and 14,760 wounded.
Several hundred Palestinian Jews were killed.
1937 - The Peel Commission
  • Published on July 7th, 1937
  • First time declaration that Mandatory Palestine was becoming unworkable and needed to be partitioned.
1944-1948 - Jewish insurgency in Mandatory Palestine
  • The Haganah, Irgun, Lehi all joined together to form the Jewish Resistance Movement.
  • Insurgent activities in the area were in response to the proposed 1939 White Paper.
  • On the 22nd of July, 1946, the Irgun bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem,
leading to the deaths of 91 people of various nationalities.
This hotel was the headquarters for Mandatory Palestine.
  • Was the deadliest attack against the British during the entire Mandate era (1920-1948)
1947.11.29 - The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, or Resolution (II)

The UN Partition Plan

  • A four-part document, the Partition Plan, was attached, that provided for the termination of the Mandate,
the withdrawal of British armed forces, and the delineation of boundaries between the two States and Jerusalem.
  • The Arab Higher Committee and the Arab League rejected this proposal
due to the fact that 56% of the land would be allocated to the Jewish state,
despite the Palestinian Arab population numbering twice that of the Jewish population.
  • The Jewish Agency for Palestine and most Zionist factions accepted.
1948 - Palestine War
  • Known to Israel as the War of Independence, and to the Palestinians as the Nakba
  • Israel declares [independence](- Israel declares independence at Tel Aviv on May 14th, 1948.) at Tel Aviv on May 14th, 1948.
  • War had two main phases, the first began on November 30th, 1947.
  • First phase mainly fought between Jewish and Palestinian Arab militias,
supported by the Arab Liberation Army and the surrounding Arab states.
Escalated at the end of March 1948, when Jews went on the offensive.
  • After Arabs fled Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem, the US pulled out of the Partition Plan
while the British supported the annexation of the Arab part of Palestine by Transjordan.
  • Funds raised by Golda Meir and Stalin's support allowed Israel to purchase weapons from Eastern Europe.
  • May 14th, 1948, the last British troops and personnel departed Haifa, and the Jewish leadership declared the establishment of the state of Israel.
  • Second phase of the war began in May of 1948, the Arab-Israeli War, when invasion happens after Jewish leadership declares independence.
  • Invading countries were Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan and Syria,
supported by the Arab Liberation Army and corps of volunteers from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Yemen
  • Plan Dalet
  • Forced expulsion and control of areas that extended beyond the proposed partition borders.
Some (Zionists) claim that this was a defensive action to secure the future safety and borders of the new country, Israel,
others claim this was purely an offensive territorial conquest aimed to ethnically cleanse the surrounding lands of Arabs
to make it fertile for future Jews to settle.
  • In 1949, Israel signed separate Armistice agreements with Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria to establish these temporary military borders.
  • Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip and had a demilitarized zone around 'Uja al-Hafeer.
  • Lebanon agreed to international boundary between Lebanon and Mandatory Palestine.
  • Jordanian forces remained in East Jerusalem and other positions held by them.
  • Also allowed to take over positions previously held by Iraqi forces.
  • Syria maintained 66 square kilometers in the Jordan Valley, designated as DMZs.
  • Iraq had no formal agreement as they withdrew their forces.
  • The new military borders, as set by the agreements, encompassed about 78% of Mandatory Palestine.
  • Israel lost 6,373 people (4,000 soldiers), about 1% of its population.
The exact number of Arab losses is estimated between 4,000 and 15,000.
  • Over 700,000 displaced Palestinians that fled or were expelled from their land as a result.
  • Over 700,000 Jews exodus from Arab and Muslim lands in the 3 years following the war, fleeing into Israel.
  • Established Israel as an independent state (founded by David Ben-Gurion),
recognized immediately by Truman (U.S.) and Stalin (USSR).
1956.10.29-1956.11.07 - The Second Arab-Israeli War, or the Suez Crisis
  • Lead-up
  • Suez Canal Company formed in 1858 by French Ferdinand de Lesseps
to build the Suez Canal from 1859 to 1869, opening on 1869 to allow trade.
  • Baghdad Pact in 1955, created compromising Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Iraq and the United Kingdom
  • Tripartite Declaration was a way for the US, France and the UK
to limit the amount of arms sales in the Middle East, hopefully preventing an arms race.
  • Egypt was responsible for establishing multiple Palestinian fedayeen camps inside Gaza, Jordan and Lebanon.
  • Israel was willing to work with Egypt in direct negotiations in 1956,
regardless of Egypt's aggressive demand to resettle Palestinian refugees and the annexation of the southern half of Israel.
  • Nasser (leader of Egypt) built reputation of extreme anti-Zionism in attempt to unify and be the leader of the Arab states.
  • On July 26th, 1956, Nasser nationalized and purchased all assets of the Suez Canal Company,
closed the canal to Israeli shipping, closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, and blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba.
  • Contravention of the Constantinople Convention of 1888 and most likely a violation of the 1949 Armistice Agreements.
  • Different countries had different positions on what to do
  • Eden from Great Britain wanted war, though opposition parties cautioned that
doing so without UN approval would not be supported.
  • Guy Mollet from France and the rest of the nation was eager for military action.
  • Eiseinhower from DC did not really care.
  • Canada didn't care.
  • Australia kind of cared.
  • New Zealand cared.
  • Initial proposal would have allowed Egyptian "sovereignty" to be recognized
while maintaining an international operation of the Canal. Nasser rejected.
  • British and French hungry for military intervention to solve potential Canal problems,
despite Eisenhower's disapproval.
  • Israel was interested in partaking in military conflicts.
  • Israel's interest in war was weakening a hostile state.
Egypt-held Gaza Strip (+ surrounding countries, via Egyptian supported Palestinian Fedayeen)
was responsible for attacks injuring approximately 1,300 civilians.
  • Israel was also scared about Egypt's large procurement of weapons,
and feared they'd forged a secret alliance with Jordan and Syria.
  • Ben-Gurion's "grand plan" involved Israel taking territory north into Lebanon,
having the West Bank run as a semi-autonomous state attached to Israel,
and having Iraq claim everything on the East Bank because Israel believe Jordan to be an unstable state.
They also encouraged the taking of the Sinai Penisula.
  • The Protocol of Sèvres was agreed to by Israel, France and the UK.
  • On October 29th, Israel would invade the Sinai.
  • On October 30th, Anglo-French ultimatum to demand both sides withdraw from canal zone.
  • On October 31st, Britain and France would begin Revise.
  • The Kafr Qasim massacre
  • Took place in Israeli Arab village of Kafr Qasim during the war,
where Israel Border Police illegally killed Arab civilians returning from work during a curfew they were unaware of.
48 people died.
  • The border policemen who were involved in the shooting were trialed and jailed for 7-17 years.
  • All sentences were later reduced, with some of the convicted receiving presidential pardons.
  • Every convicted person was eventually released by November 1959.
  • Total casualties
  • British 22 dead, 96 wounded
  • French 10 dead, 33 wounded
  • Israel 172 dead, 817 wounded
  • Egypt 1,500-3,500 dead, 4,900 wounded,
with 1,000 Egyptian civilians estimated dead
  • International Reaction
  • Eisenhower was very upset with Israel/Britain/France,
because the US could not reasonably oppose Soviet actions in Hungary
while remaining silent on European plans to seize territory from Egypt.
  • 300,000 protestors in Pakistan chanting anti-British slogans.
  • Syrian government blew up the Kirkuk-Baniyas pipeline to punish Iraq and Britain.
  • Saudi Arabia imposed a total oil embargo on Britain and France.
  • US calls for security council and UN meetings/resolutions
  • Resolution 997, a call for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of all forces behind the armistice lines,
an arms embargo and the reopening of the Suez Canal, which was currently blocked.
Passes with a vote of 64-5
  • West Germany was furious with the US and supported France and Britain.
  • Israel originally wanted to maintain indefinite control over the Sinai,
but was eventually forced out due to international pressure lead heavily by Eisenhower.
  • November 6th, 1956 British announced a ceasefire.
  • Anglo-French Task Force was fully withdrawn by December 22nd, 1956.
  • Israeli forces were fully withdrawn from the Sinai and Gaza in March of 1957 after destroying
and stealing Egyptian infrastructure and villages on the way out.
  • Eisenhower asked Congress for authorization to use military force
and set aside $200 million to help Middle Eastern countries that desired aid from the US.
  • The Soviet Union was given all the credit due to nuclear sabre rattling from Nasser,
though it was almost assuredly US diplomatic and financial pressure that brought the conflict to a swift end.
  • Jews had their civil liberties infringed upon in Egypt following the war,
resulting in some 25,000 (almost half) of the Jewish population leaving Egypt.
Final summary
  • In 1956 Egyptian leader Nasser, driven by his desire to be neither a puppet to the US nor USSR,
nationalized the Suez canal (in defiance of the Constantinople Convention of 1888)
while simultaneously acquiring large amounts of weapons from the USSR.
Worried that trade would be interrupted, Britain and France approached Israel,
who was worried that the anti-Zionist Egypt was amassing a massive military,
to devise a covert plan, the Protocol of Sèvres,
in order to stage an Israeli military invasion that would be disrupted by Anglo-Franco forces,
which would then give way to an international ownership of the Suez Canal.
  • Despite military success by all three parties,
intense international pressure, especially from the United States,
pressure from revolting colonies, and intense domestic pressure at home,
combined with nuclear sabre-rattling from the USSR,
forced the Anglo-Franco forces to immediately withdraw,
suffering an international humiliation.
  • Israel would withdraw its forces sometime later,
having re-established trade through the Straights of Tiran.
Egypt, and namely, Nasser, would emerge feeling as though they had single-handedly defied European imperialistic aims,
and saw itself as an emerging unaligned leader of the Arab World.
1967-1970 - War of Attrition
Ongoing border conflict between Israel and Egypt, Jordan and the PLO and their allies.
  • No territorial changes during this time.
  • In 1968 the PLO deploys suicide bombers for the first time.
  • Israel engaged in an air battle, Rimon 20,
to directly target Soviet fighter pilots to drive the USSR from the conflict.
  • In August of 1970, Israel, Jordan and Egypt agreed to an "in place" ceasefire under the Rogers Plan,
though Egyptians and Soviet allies violated the agreement shortly thereafter.
Battle of Karameh
  • 1968 Battle of Karameh involved IDF forces crossing into Jordan to attack Karameh and the village of Safi,
purportedly to eliminate PLO forces and fedayeen camps staging attacks against Israel,
and to capture Yasser Arafat, including a school bus full of children running into a mine.
  • Israel dropped leaflets to warn the Jordanian army not to intervene,
but Jordan decided to assist the PLO regardless.
  • In the aftermath, though Israel had achieved its tactical aims,
they came at international political cost, with the US condemning Israel's actions.
  • Nearly 20,000 fedayeen in Jordan due to surging recruits after the psychological victory over the IDF.
  • Iraq and Syria offered training programs for several thousand guerillas,
the Persian Gulf States and Kuwait raised money through taxes on Palestinian workers,
and a fund drive in Lebanon raised $500,000 from Beirut alone.
The PLO began to guarantee a lifetime support for the families of guerillas killed in action.
Fatah had branches in about 80 countries after the conflict.
1967.06.05 - The Six-Day War, or the Third Arab-Israeli War
  • May 1967, Nasser mobilizes Egyptian military into defensive lines along the Israeli border
and closes the shipping lanes through the Straits of Tiran to Israeli vessels,
despite Israel warning this would be a casus belli.
Nasser also orders the removal of all UNEF personnel.
  • Israel would capture the Sinai Peninsula, the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip,
the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.
  • Israel gave back the Sinai to Egypt.
  • Military: 20,000 Arab deaths vs 1,000 Israeli deaths Civilian:
20 Israeli Civilians killed in Arab forces air strikes on Jerusalem,
15 UN peacekeepers killed by Israeli strikes in the Sinai,
and 34 US personnel killed in the USS Liberty incident.
  • Following the 1956 Suez Crisis, Syria and Egypt signed a mutual defense agreement.
  • PLO activity and attacks against Israel from Arab countries continued.
  • In May, 1967, Nasser received bogus intel from the USSR that Israel was massing on the Syrian border,
so he gathered troops in the Sinai Peninsula, ejected UNEF personnel,
and once again denied passage of Israeli vessels through the Straits of Tiran.
  • On the 30th of May, Jordan an Egypt signed a defense pact.
Iraq and Egypt began deploying troops and armored units in Jordan.
  • The United States did not believe at the time that Egypt was preparing for an offensive war against Israel,
as per the Watch Committee.
  • Nasser's speech towards the Arab Trade Unionists in May 26th, 1967,
claimed "The battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel."
  • Statements made by Nasser leading up to the war
  • “The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel to face the challenge,
while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation.
This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived.
We have reached the stage of serious action and not of more declarations.” Gamal Abdel Nasser May 30th 1967
  • Nasser May 26 "The Arab people wants to fight. We have been waiting for the right time when we will be completely ready.
Recently we have felt that our strength has been sufficient and that if we make battle with Israel we shall be able,
with the help of God, to conquer Sharm el-Sheikh implies a confrontation with Israel.
Taking this step makes it imperative that we be ready to undertake a total war with Israel."
Involved Forces
  • Egypt amassing 100,000 troops in the Sinai.
  • Syria deploying 75,000 along their border with Israel.
  • Jordanian Armed Forces totaled 55,000 troops.
  • 100 Iraqi tanks and an infantry division readied near the Jordanian border,
along with two squadrons of Iraqi fighter-aircraft.
  • Saudi Arabia mobilized a few forces for deployment to the Jordanian front.
  • Arab air forces were also reinforced by aircraft from Libya, Algeria, Morocco,
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to make up for the first day losses of the war.
Volunteer pilots also came from the Pakistan Air Force.
Noteworthy Battle Things
  • Surprise attack on Egyptian airfield guaranteed all but certain victory in the Sinai for Israel.
  • IDF originally was to avoid Gaza strip/city,
but attacks from that area forced the IDF to take over that territory.
  • Jordanian Army was instructed to lay a two-hour barrage against military
and civilian settlements in central Israel itself.
  • Eshkol promised Israel would not initiate any action against Jordan if it stayed out of the way, but King Hussein refused.
  • Jordanian shelling of Jerusalem resulted in 20 dead and 1,000 wounded civilians.
  • Dayan ordered troops not to capture the Old City
due to potential international backlash plus potential outrage of being forced to give back holy sites after capturing them.
After hearing about the impending UN ceasefire, he changed his mind and captured it.
  • "Fearful that Israeli soldiers would exact retribution for the 1929 massacre of the city's Jewish community,
Hebron's residents flew white sheets from their windows and rooftops.""
  • Syria entered the war on the assumption that Israel was losing dramatically to Egyptian forces.
Nasser exaggerated/lied about Egyptian victory.
  • Dayan, after hearing of the Syrian acceptance of a cease-fire,
clears an invasion/occupation on his own into the Golan Heights.
  • Israel seizes the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula (from Egypt), the West Bank of the Jordan River,
including East Jerusalem (from Jordan), and the Golan Heights (from Syria).
  • Casualties - ~850 Israelis killed, 4,500 wounded.
10k-15k Egyptians killed, 4,300 capture.
700 Jordanian soldiers killed, 2,500 wounded.
Syrians lost between 1k-2.5k, and about 450 captured.
  • 1967 Palestinian exodus.
  • 280k-325k Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza,
mostly resettled in Jordan, the other 700k remained.
  • 100k fled in the Golan Heights.
  • Israel granted full citizenship only to those in East Jerusalem (1967) and the Golan Heights (1981).
Most Palestinians in territories declined to take citizenship.
  • Jews immigrating en masse out of the Soviet Union,
and Jews leaving en masse from Arab countries (continued from 1948),
and Jews leaving en masse from other Communist countries.
Extra links

2017.05.17 - The Secret Transcripts of the Six-Day War, Part I 2017.06.07 - Israeli Security Cabinet Secret Transcripts Part II, The Accidental Occupation

1970.10.01 - Black September, or the Jordanian Civil War
  • Jordan's population right now consisted 2/3rds of Palestinians, and only 1/3rd of Jordanians.
Nasser's political support also strengthened the Palestinians position.
  • Palestinian fedayeen enclaves in Jordan began to set up "independent republics"
where they attempted to set up checkpoints and tax citizens.
  • In September of 1970, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
hijacked four airliners bound for New York City and one for London.
Explosives were used to destroy the empty planes for the press.
  • King Hussein saw this as the last straw, and threat to his rule,
and decided to take action against the PLO presence in Jordan.
  • Jordan allowed the fedayeen to relocate to Lebanon via Syria,
where four years later they would become involved in the Lebanese Civil War.
  • The Palestinian Black September Organization was founded afterwards to punish Jordan for its expulsion,
resulting in the assassination of Jordanian prime minister Wasfi Tal in 1971
due to his command of the military during operations against the fedayeen.
  • This organization also carried out a terrorist attack during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany,
with 8 members killing 11 Israeli coaches and athletes, as well as 1 West German police officer.
  • By 1970, different factions within the PLO called for the overthrow of Jordan's king, Hussein.
  • Hussein attempted to appease the fedayeen with an edict, and with the support of Nasser,
though this failed and the fedayeen continued to grow in opposition.
Libya, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait openly supported the fedayeen.
  • Israel guaranteed Jordan that they would not push territorial boundaries
if Jordan withdraw troops from the border for a PLO confrontation.
  • On the 7th of June, Hussein's motorcade came under heavy fire
by fedayeen soldiers while attempting to visit the mukhabarat headquarters.
  • A ceasefire was attempted to be called after retaliation,
though the PFLP did not abide by it and instead held 68 foreign nationals hostage in two Amman hotels,
threatening to blow them up if Jordan did not dismiss their Special Forces and some military leaders.
  • By August, Arafat seemed to have wanted to stage a revolution in Jordan.
  • The PFLP began hijacking planes to bring attention to the Palestinian problem.
  • In September, Hussein begins to capture his capital and
attempts to push the fedayeen out of Jordanian cities and refugee camps.
  • Syrian forces, 10,000 strong, with PLA markings marched towards Irbid to support the fedayeen.
  • 17,000 Iraqi troops remained in Jordan after the 6-day war, causing concern that they may intervene.
  • The US stationed a navy fleet to be positioned off the coast of Israel, near Jordan.
  • Israel mobilized troops to begin to support Jordan, readying its air force to discourage Syrian troops with sonic booms.
  • Arafat and Hussein signed a peace deal on the 27th of September, brokered by Nasser.
  • Iranian leftist guerilla organizations sided with the PLO during the conflict,
bombing the Jordanian embassy in Tehran during King Hussein's state visit in revenge of the events of Black September.
  • Palestinians between 2,000-3,4000,
  • Syrians with 600 casualties,
  • and Jordanian Armed Forces with 537 dead.
  • In 1972, the 3 surviving PLO terrorists from the Munich massacre were traded
in exchange of the hostages taken on the hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 615.
1973 - The Yom Kippur War, or the Ramadan War, or the October War, or the Fourth Arab-Israeli War
  • After the 1967 6-day war, the Israeli government voted to return captured territory to Syria and Egypt
in exchange for peace and demilitarization,
but these proposals were never proven to have been transmitted to either Arab state.
  • In the Khartoum Arab Summit, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait and Sudan
all agreed to the "three no's," no peace, no recognition and no negotiation with Israel.
  • The War of Attrition takes place from 1967-1970, across the Egyptian and Jordanian borders,
including both their militaries and the PLO, with Arafat coming to the head of the PLO in 1969.
  • in December of 1970 in an article to the New York Times,
Anwar Sadat agreed to recognize Israel as an independent state
in exchange for a full withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula along with other occupied Arab territories.
  • Golda Meir put together a committee to examine the Egyptian peace proposal,
but rejected said proposal feeling as though it would not ensure Israel's security,
despite the committee unanimously concluding that Israel's interests would be served.
  • US was supplying Israel with military force since the 1960's and considered it an ally during the Cold War.
  • Resolution 242 called for Israel to abandon all of its 6-day war territorial gains
and for every state in the region to have an official recognition of their boundaries and right to exist.
  • In October of 1972, facing mounting domestic pressure,
Sadat declared his intention to go to war against Israel, even absent Soviet support.
  • In February of 1973, Sadat made a final peace overture towards Israel via Kissinger,
which Meir rejected, most likely with the understanding that war was invetiable.
  • Israel did not think war was coming, despite multiple repeated credible warnings,
including a warning from King Hussein himself.
Israeli Preparation
  • Meir, the Chief of General Staff, opted not to attack Syria hours before the war began
because he recognized the importance for not being blamed as starting any conflict
in order to recruit American or other international assistance.
  • Kissinger and Nixon warned Meir not to begin a pre-emptive war.
Battle in the Sinai
  • October 6th was the initial attacks from Egyptian aircraft.
  • The US held back on supplies for Israel in order to encourage them to accept a ceasefire
once hostilities began, but Sadat refused.
The Soviets began supplying arms to Egypt and Syria while the US then resumed supplying arms to Israel.
  • Israel refrained from attacking economic and strategic infrastructure
in response to Egyptian threats to fire Scud missiles onto Israeli cities.
  • Israel managed to set up bridges and break through to the other end of the Suez canal, pushing into Egypt.
  • On October 22nd, 1973, the UNSC passed a 14-0 resolution calling for a ceasefire,
negotiated mainly between the US and the USSR.
  • For the first time, three Scud Missiles were fired at Israeli targets
by either Egyptian forces or Soviet personnel in Egypt,
which was the first combat use of Scud Missiles.
All three targets were in the Sinai.
  • Ceasefire claims to have been broken by both sides during the night,
and Israel capitalized on the ceasefire break to advance beyond the UNSC ceasefire lines.
Egypt's Third Army
  • The US, seeing an opportunity to bring Egypt closer to its sphere of influence,
exerted heavy pressure on Israel to refrain from destroying the trapped Third Army.
  • Kissinger told the Israeli ambassador, Simcha Dinitz,
that the destroying of the Egyptian Third Army "is an option that does not exist."
Post-war Battles
  • The ceasefire wasn't followed closely by either side,
with the fighting not stopping until January 18th, 1974.
  • The Israeli Army was 100 km from Cairo after their advancement from the west bank.
Initial Syrian Attacks
  • The Syrians began their attacks with an airstrike against Israeli positions in the Golan Heights.
  • Syrians pushed Israeli military lines back to the Southern Golan Heights.
  • Dayan discussed the possible arming of nuclear weapons in response to Syrian military gains.
Meir rejected this option.
Syrian mechanized brigades did not advance into Israel as they had feared an Israel nuclear response.
  • Missiles from Syrian offensive lines struck civilian settlements in Israel,
and in retaliation, seven Israeli F-4 Phantoms flew into Syria
and attacked the Syrian General Staff Headquarters in Damascus.
Israeli Advance towards Damascus
  • Israeli troops advanced towards Damascus
and began shelling the outskirts of the city from 30km away.
Arab Military Intervention
  • Syria and Iraq sent expeditionary forces into Syria
to defend from further Israeli military advancement.
  • Israel was able to launch strikes all across Syria,
attacking power plants, petrol supplies, bridges and main roads.
  • On the 22nd of October, UNSC Resolution 338 called for a ceasefire.
The war would finally come to a close on the 26th of October.
  • Israel and Egypt signed a formal ceasefire on 11th of November,
and the disengagement agreement happened on the 18th of January, 1974.
  • There was a secret agreement that Jordan and Israel would not heavily engage with each other.
Hussein was pressured to enter the war to maintain his position of leadership and respect in the Arab world.
Naval Operations
  • Egyptian missile boats bombarded Israeli positions on the Sinai coast on the first day of the war.
Israeli missile boats decisively won these battles at sea.
  • Two Egyptian destroyers enforced a blockade,
preventing oil from Iran being shipped to Israel through the straights of Bab-el-Mandeb.
Participation by other states
  • The US intelligence community, including the CIA,
failed to predict the Egyptian-Syrian attack on Israel.
  • Most officials in the Defense and Statement Departments opposed financing Israel,
but Kissinger argued heavily in favor of supporting Israel so they would confirm to American views in postwar diplomacy.
  • Meir authorized the assembly of thirteen 20-kiloton-TNT tactical nuclear weapons for Jericho missiles,
done in an easily detectable way to signal to the United States.
This was done on the 8-9th of October after previously rejecting this idea on the 7th.
  • On the 9th of October, after Kissinger learned of the nuclear alert,
Nixon ordered the beginning of Operation Nickel Grass.
  • The US, over 32 days, airlifted 22,325 tons of tanks, artillery and ammunition to Israel.
  • In later interviews, Kissinger, Schlesinger and William Quandt
suggested that the nuclear aspect was not a major factor influencing re-supply.
They cite Soviet re-supply efforts and Sadat's rejection of early ceasefires as being the primary motivators.
  • The Soviet Union supplied around 80,000 tons of supplies, mainly to Syria, and also to Egypt.
  • Soviet advisors were reportedly involved in all areas of the war.
2,000 personnel in Syria, with 1,000 serving in Syrian air defense units.
They also repaired damaged tanks, SAMs and radar equipment and assembled fighter jets.
  • Soviet in advisors were reportedly present in all areas of Syrian command posts.
  • Israel may have captured and traded Soviet officers who were captured from the Syrian front,
though Israel and the USSR denies this.
  • In Syria, a Soviet cultural center in Damascus and a merchant ship, Ilya Mechnikov, was sunk by the Israeli Navy.
This all occurred during the apex of the Watergate Scandal.
Nixon was so agitated and discomposed that there were times with Kissinger
and Haif didn't bother to wake him for consultation.
  • Arab countries added up to 100,000 troops to Egypt and Syria's frontline ranks.
  • Algeria, East Germany, North Korean, Pakistan, Libya, Saudi Arabia,
Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon and Sudan all sent forces, ammo, tanks, pilots, etc...
Response in Israel
  • Israel was shaken due to initial military difficulties
and how unprepared they were in the beginning of the conflict.
  • Golda Meir resign along with her entire cabinet, including Dayan.
Response in Egypt
  • General Shazly angered Sadat for advocating the withdrawal of Egyptian forces from Sinai and was kicked out of the army,
would go into political exile and then was placed under house arrest upon his return.
  • The commanders of the Second and Third Armies, Khalil and Wasel, were also dismissed from the army.
Response in Syria
  • In Syria, Colonel Rafik Halawi, the Druze commander of an infantry brigade, was executed for his military performance.
Response from Soviet Union
  • They mad, gave lots of stuff to the Arabs and were upset that they still lost.
Arab Oil Embargo
  • Saudi Arabia declared an embargo against the US,
later joined by other oil exporters and extended against the Netherlands and other countries,
causing the 1973 energy crisis.
Israel - 2,521-2,800 KIA, 7,250-8,800 wounded, 293 captured
Arab casualties - 8,000-18,500 killed, ~35,000 wounded? Official numbers never released.
Syrian atrocities
  • Many Israeli POWs were tortured or killed.
  • Syrian Defense Minster Mustafa Tlass addressed the National Assembly in 1973
stating that he had awarded one solder the Medal of the Republic
for killing 28 Israeli prisoners with an axe,
decapitating three of them and eating the flesh of one of his victims. (Did this actually happen???)
3 with an axe and devoured the flesh of one of them in hand to hand combat.
  • A soldier from the Moroccan contingent fighting with Syrian forces
was found to be carrying a sack filled with the body parts of Israeli soldiers which he intended to take home as souvenirs.
  • Syrian soldiers removed dog tags from bodies.
  • Syria did not even officially acknowledge holding any prisoners to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Egyptian atrocities
  • Multiple Israeli claims of prisoners being shot and killed.
  • Photographic evidence of the torture/killings of Israeli POWs also exists.
  • The order to kill Israeli prisoners came from General Shazly,
who, in a pamphlet distributed to Egyptian soldiers immediately before the war,
advised his troops to kill Israeli soldiers even if they surrendered.
1978 - Camp David Accords
  • Carter Initiative
  • Carter's goal was to rejuvenate the Middle East peace process.
  • The Egyptians and Israelis secretly worked towards bilateral talks.
  • Participating Parties
  • Carter met with Sadat of Egypt, Hussein of Jordan, Hafez al-Assad of Syria, and Rabin of Israel.
Only Sadat and Rabin were interested in negotiations.
  • Sadat Initiative
  • Sadat seemed eager to make peace with Israel,
even traveling to Jerusalem and speaking in front of the Knesset about potential peace.
  • Egypt wanted to secure a future more in line with its own interests,
rather than fixating on being part of the broader Arab collection of countries.
There was also a belief that a bilateral peace agreement with Israel would cause a cascade of other peace agreements to happen in following.
  • Egyptian-Israeli talks
  • Carter pushed both leaders in Camp David for a broad peace agreement between the two.
  • Partial agreements
  • The first part of the agreement focused on UN Resolution 242.
  • Wanted to establish self-governing authorities in the West Bank and Gaza strip.
  • Deliberately left out talks about Jerusalem, and neglected the Golan Heights, Syria or Lebanon.
  • The second part of the agreement dealt with Egyptian-Israeli relations.
  • A 5 year plan was given to have the West Bank and Gaza rule themselves autonomously.
Again, Jerusalem was not mentioned nor was the Palestinian Right of Return.
  • UN Rejection
  • The UN General Assembly rejected the Framework for Peace in the Middle East due to lack of participation of the UN and PLO.
It did not comply with the Palestinian right of return,
of self-determination and to national independence and sovereignty.
  • The part of the Camp David accords regarding the Palestinian future and all similar ones were declared invalid.
1982 - The 1st Lebanon War

text here

1987.12.08-1993.09.13 - The First Palestinian Intifada
General Causes
  • Israel opened up low and semi-skilled labor markets to Palestinians in occupied territory.
By the time of the Intifada, over 40% of Palestinian workers were working in Israel daily.
  • Palestinian populations were growing, but work and other opportunities were heavily restricted in the occupied territories.
  • The Jewish settler population in the West Bank grew from 35,000 in 1984 to 130,000 by the mid 1990's.
  • The occupied Palestinians likely felt themselves humiliated in a variety of ways as indefinite occupation by Israel continued.
  • Two potential causes that sparked the Intifada
  • The army tank transporter truck incident in which 4 Palestinians were killed by an Israel truck crashing into them.
  • The IDF failure in late November 1987 to stop a Palestinian guerrilla operation,
the Night of the Gliders, in which six Israeli soldiers were killed.
  • Mass demonstrations occurred a year earlier after 2 Gaza students were shot by Israeli soldiers on campus on December 4th, 1986.
  • The Arab summit in Amman in November of 1987 focuses heavily on the Iran-Iraq war,
sidelining the Palestinian issue for the first time in years.
Leadership and Aims
  • The Intifada was mainly lead by independent community councils
and advocated for a non-violent approach so that the Palestinians would not lose support from liberal Israelis.
  • For the first time Palestinians are calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,
notably departing from the standard rhetorical calls for the "liberation" of all of Palestine.
The Intifada
  • Israel had assumed that its oppressive actions against the Palestinians would cause their resistance to collapse early,
though this was a mistaken assumption.
  • On December 8th, 1987, an Israeli army tank transporter crashed into a row of cars, killing four Palestinians.
They were residents of the Jabalya refugee camp, the largest of the eight refugee camps in the Gaza Strip.
7 others were seriously injured.
  • Assumptions about the crash lead to demonstrations,
which caused back and forth violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • In the beginning of the Intifada, no Israeli settlements were attacked nor were there any Israeli fatalities.
  • The IDF used every crowd control measure available,
though disturbances continued to gain momentum.
  • Israel engaged in mass arrests and the closure of Palestinian schools and businesses,
utilities and confinement to homes, as well as damage to farms and blockage from selling agricultural produce.
Settlers also engaged in private violence against Palestinians.
  • ~1,200 Palestinians killed, 57k-120k arrested, 481 deported, 2,532 houses destroyed.
  • 179-200 Israelis killed, 3,100 Israelis (1,700 soldiers vs 1,400 civilians) suffered injuries.
  • Between 1988 and 1992, intra-Palestinian violence claimed the lives of nearly 1,000,
mainly due to the PLO killings of suspected collaborators.
  • Foreign reaction
  • The UN (including the US) drafted a resolution condemning alleged Israeli violations of human rights.
Israel declared it would not abide by SCR672 because it did not pay attention to attacks on Jewish worshippers.
Israel also blocked a delegation of the Secretary-General for investigating Israeli violence.
  • Outcomes
  • The Intifada broke the image of Jerusalem as a united city,
and the increase in international coverage was heavily critical of Israel.
  • Arafat and his followers moderated their political programme;
at the meeting of the Palestine National Council in Algiers in November of 1988,
  • Arafat won a majority for the historic decision to recognize Israel's legitimacy,
to accept all relevant UN resolutions going back November 29th, 1947,
and to adopt the principle of a two-state solution.
  • Arafat's support for Sadam Hussein's invasion into Kuwait
essentially lead to a mass exodus of 300,000+ Palestinians fleeing Kuwait, mostly to return to Jordan.
It also lead to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia cutting off financial support to the PLO.
1993 - Oslo I Accord
  • Secretly conducted in Oslo, Norway.
  • Israel and the PLO reached a mutual peaceful agreement
  • This called for the withdrawal of the IDF from parts of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank
  • Remaining issues needed to be settled,
including Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements, security and borders.
  • Letters of Mutual Recognition between the Israeli Government and the PLO were signed.
  • Israel recognized the PLO as the governing body of the Palestinians,
the PLO renounced terrorism and other violence and its desire for the destruction of the state of Israel.
  • In the Knesset a strong debate emerged between the left and right wing over support for the Oslo accords.
  • Fatah, the Palestinians present at the negotiations, accepted the accords,
but Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), all objected to the accords.
  • Israelis were nervous that this peace process would simply be a part of the PLO's Ten Point Program,
which essentially calls for escalating steps until all of historic Palestine is liberated from Israel.
  • Palestinians feared that Israel was not serious about dismantling their settlements in the West Bank, especially around Jerusalem.
  • The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin,
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat.
  • Netanyahu, in a secret recording, claims that his plan was to define "specified military locations"
in the broadest possible sense according to the Oslo Accords,
which could theoretically encompass the entirety of the Jordan Valley.
2000 - Camp David Summit
  • A Summit meeting between Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak, and Yasser Arafat.
  • This summit failed to produce any actual agreements.
  • Israel was offering in 10-25 years 91% of the current West Bank
along with a 1% land swap (from the Negev),
maintaining an enclave of settlers in Kiryat Arba (near Hebron), linked with a bypass road.
  • The West Bank would be split by an Israeli controlled road from Jerusalem to the Dead See,
with free passage for Palestinians, with Israeli right to road closure.
  • An elevated railroad and highway running through the Negev would link the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • Airspace would still be controlled exclusively by Israel.
  • US claim about what was offered - http://www.mideastweb.org/lastmaps.htm
  • Palestinians claim they were offered Bantustans,
a loaded word coming from South African apartheid divisions.
  • East Jerusalem was the center-focus for both the Israelis and the Palestinians.
  • Israel refuses the broad Right of Return for Palestinian peoples to the country of Israel,
but proposes instead a maximum of 100,000 refugees be allowed to return to Israel
on the basis of humanitarian consideration or family reunification,
while also contributing to a $30b fund to compensate Palestinian refugees for property lost.
  • Israel wanted to push for an aggressive security arrangement that would heavily favor Israeli security concerns,
including access to all Palestinian airspace,
troop presence on the Jordanian border,
the demilitarization of Palestine,
and Israeli radar installations within Palestine.
  • Negotiations continued through the Clinton Parameters, though no final agreement was reached,
despite both sides claiming they were closer than they ever had been after the Taba negotiations in January of 2001.
  • Responsibility for failure
  • The Americans, including Clinton and several observers,
claim that the failure of the talks hinged on Arafat
and the Palestinians refusal to give up on future negotiations relating to the Right of Return,
which the Americans believed would ultimately result in the Palestinians fighting
for a return to a one state solution in Historic Palestine.
  • A Clinton special advisor complains that Israel was not willing to concede a reasonable amount to the Palestinians,
considering how much they were already willing to give up,
including Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and trading favorable parts of the West Bank to Israel.
  • Some argue that the lack of religious consideration hindered discussion around Jerusalem.
  • Finkelstein argues that Israel really was giving up nothing at all that made the Palestinian concessions worth considering.
  • Polling data around the time from Palestinians and their attitude towards Israel.
More reading

Lost in the Woods: A Camp David Retrospective

2000.09.28-2005.02.08 - The Second Intifada
  • Violence continued on both sides after the Oslo accords were signed in 1993.
  • Israel engaged in regimental level exercises that were in preparation for peace talks to fail,
so it could conquer towns in Area C.
  • The failure of the Camp David Summit lead to a significant fracturing of the PLO
as many Fatah factions abandoned it to join Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
  • Netanyahu's government pushed for the construction of a new neighborhood, Har Homa, in East Jerusalem,
and continued construction within existing Israeli settlements.
Construction in the years following the Oslo Accords was still significantly less than prior, however.
  • Barak secured an agreement for the dismantling of 12 new outposts in 1998,
but continued expansion was occurring in existing settlements in the West Bank.
This continued to hurt the Palestinian peace process.
Sharon visits the Temple Mount on September 28th, 2000.
  • Sharon visits the Temple Mount, without stepping inside,
but this still angers local Palestinians living in Jerusalem.
Violence breaks out.
  • Multiple senior Palestinian officials encouraged Sharon not to visit.
Sharon was determined to make a show of Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount.
In 1982, the Kahan Commission found that Ariel Sharon was found to bear personal responsibility for the Sabra
and Shatila massacre that occurred against Palestinians in the Lebanese Civil War.
  • Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount 10 days after the annual memorial day for said massacre
is said to have been the inciting moment for the beginning of the Second Intifada.
First days of the intifada
  • Violence broke out heavily in the days following,
with losses on the Palestinian side far outweighing Israeli losses.
  • The broadcasted killing of Muhammad al-Durrah, caught by a French news crew,
was initially assumed to be the responsibility of the IDF, which they promptly apologized for,
though much controversy remains over who actually shot and killed the boy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUz55tLLXUg&t=1019s
The October 2000 events
  • Several clashes occurred within Israel and the Gaza Strip, followed by a general strike,
more escalations with police, thousands of Jews participating in violent acts in Tel Aviv,
and a recommendation from the Or Commission to dismiss Shlomo Ben-Ami from Minister of Public Security.
The Ramallah lynching
  • The PA police arrested two Israeli reservists who had accidentally entered Ramallah,
where a hundred Palestinians had been killed in the preceding weeks.
  • An Italian television crew captured and broadcasted the killings, where both soldiers were beaten,
stabbed and disembowelled, with one body being set on fire.
November and December
  • Clashes continue.
Israel settlements in Gilo come under Palestinian heavy machine gun fire from Beit Jala.
  • Palestinian deaths continue to outnumber Israeli deaths.
  • The Taba Summit failed to produce results by the end of January.
  • On January 17th, an Israeli teenager, Ofir Rahum,
was murdered after being lured into Ramallah by a 24-year-old Palestinian,
a member of Fatah's Tanzim, after an online relationship had sparked.
  • After Sharon's election in 2001 over Barak, he refuses to meet with Yasser Arafat.
  • More violence occurs through March, with 8 Israelis and 26 Palestinians dying.
In Hebron, a Palestinian sniper is reported by the IDF
to have intentionally targeted and shot/killed a 10 month old Israeli baby.
  • In May of 2001, the IDF captured a vessel carrying $10m of weapons from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,
which was destined for the Gaza coast.
  • On June 1st a suicide bombing killing 21 Israeli civilians, most high schoolers, by the Islamic Jihad,
hampered the American attempts to negotiate a cease-fire.
  • The IDF captured Karine A, a freighter carrying weapons from Iran,
believed to be intended for Palestinian militant use against Israel.
It was claimed that top officials in the PA were involved in the smuggling.
  • On the 28th of March the Arab Peace Initiative, endorsed by Arafat,
encourages a two state solution,
with Israel withdrawing all troops to the pre 1967 borders,
with a full Right of Return for every Arab Palestinian.
  • On the 29th of March, Operation Defensive Shield has the IDF making incursions throughout the West Bank.
The UN estimates 497 Palestinians killed and 1,447 wounded, with 4,258 arrested.
  • In April, the Battle of Jenin takes place.
This was a huge battle seeing fierce urban combat by the IDF to clear out the refugee camp of the city of Jenin.
  • Israeli intelligence report claimed Arafat had paid $20,000 to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.
  • US pressure caused the PA to appoint Mahmoud Abbas as the Palestinian prime minister.
  • Mahmoud Abbas has a thesis that the early Zionist leaders and Nazi leaders collaborated
to encourage Jewish migration to Mandatory Palestine.
  • On June of 2003, a temporary armistice was unilaterally declared by Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Fighting continues.
  • After an August 19th Hamas suicide bus attack,
the IDF were ordered to kill or capture all Hamas leadership in Hebron and the Gaza Strip,
with at least all of the bus suicide bombing plotters being captured or killed,
and Hamas leadership in Hebron being badly damaged.
  • In later 2003, the Israeli West Bank barrier is constructed.
Israel claims its necessary to prevent terrorists from entering Israeli cities,
while Palestinians claim it separates their communities and acts as a de facto annexation of their territory.
  • The IDF operates heavily in Rafah,
to search and destroy smuggling tunnels used by militants to obtain a variety of weapons and supplies.
Between 2000-2004, 90 tunnels connecting Egypt and the Gaza Strip were found and destroyed.
  • 16,000 Palestinians are displaced as the IDF demolishes what they are claim are empty or militant homes.
  • In February, Ariel Sharon announced a plan to withdraw all Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip.
  • Yossi Beilin, a peace advocate and the architect of the Oslo Accords and the Geneva Accord,
rejected the proposed withdrawal plan and claimed that without a peace agreement in place, it would reward terror.
  • After announcing the declaration plan, two subsequent Hamas leaders, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin,
and his successor, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi were killed.
  • Palestinian presidential elections were held on the 9th of January,
with Mahmoud Abbas winning the election.
  • Abbas was a platform of peaceful negotiation with Israel and non-violence to achieve Palestinian objectives.
  • Sharon froze all diplomatic and security contacts with the PNA
until Abbas shows a real effort to stop the terror.
  • Abbas ordered Palestinian police to deploy in northern Gaza
to prevent Qassam rocket and mortar shelling over Israeli settlements.
Attacks would decrease sharply soon after.
  • On February 8th, Sharon and Abbas declared a mutual truce.
  • Hamas and Islamic Jihad said the truce doesn't affect them.
  • 25-50 Qassam rockets and mortar shells were fired into an Israeli Gaza settlement, Neve Dekalim.
Abbas ordered the PA security forces to stop such attacks in the future,
and fired senior commanders in the PA security apparatus.
  • IDF forces arrested Maharan Omar Shucat Abu Hamis, a Palestinian resident of Nablus,
who was about to launch a suicide bus attack in the French Hill in Jerusalem.
  • On February 13th, Abbas engages Islamic Jihad and Hamas in talks to respect the truce.
  • Ismail Haniyah, a senior leader of the group Hamas, s
aid its position will remain unchanged and Israel will bear responsibility for any new violation of aggression.
  • Palestinian factions continued to attack settlements in Gaza and cities in Israel,
until July 15th, when Israel resumed its targeted killing policy.
  • Hamas militants are battling PA policemen in the streets.
  • On February 8th, 2005, Sharon and Abbas reach a truce, with Sharon releasing 900 Palestinian prisoners,
withdrawing from West Bank towns, and finishing the Gaza withdrawal.
  • Abbas reached an agreement 5 days later with Hamas and the PIJ to ensure the truce remains as long as Israeli violations did not happen.
  • A number of people from Hamas leadership and a former military commander of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
all claim that Arafat had pre-planned the Second Intifada
after realizing he would not get the concessions he wanted in the Camp David Accords.
His widowed wife, Suha Arafat also claimed the same.
  • Israeli's unilateral pullout from Lebanon was seen by the PLO as "optimistic",
and an "example for other Arabs seeking to regain their rights."
  • Israeli's military response in 2001 destroyed much infrastructure that was involved in the arming of Palestinian forces;
some 90 paramilitary camps had been set up to train Palestinian youths in armed conflict.
Some 40,000 armed and trained Palestinians existed in the occupied territories.
  • Marwan Barghouti, the leader of the Fatah Tanzim,
claimed he was attempting to instigate a second intifada leading up to the al-Aqsa visit by Sharon,
contacting all Palestinian factions throughout Palestine.
He also claimed that Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon was a factor which contributed to the Intifada.
1,053 Israelis were killed,
4,745 Palestinians were killed by the IDF,
and 44 by Israeli civilians, and 577 by Palestinians.
69% of Israeli fatalities were male, while over 95% of Palestinian fatalities were male.

More Aftermath
  • On January 25th, 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian elections
with an unexpected majority of 74 seats, compared to 45 for Fatah.
In the 2001 and 2002 Arab League Summits, the Arab states pledged support for the Second Intifada
just as they had pledged support for the First Intifada in two consecutive summits in the late 1980s.
Noteworthy things for modern conflict
  • History of huge employment of suicide bombers explicitly targeting civilians.
  • History of shipments of weapons via ocean into Gaza Strip.
  • History of hiding militants inside "refugee" camps/cities.
  • History of one-sided military capability of Israel vs the Palestinians.
  • History of Israel denying UN or Human Rights groups to investigate after battles.
  • Israeli government explicit support for settler camps and refusal to remove them (Netenyahu and Sharon).
History of Israel and Palestine...
Mid-1919 - July 1922 - The Mandate for Palestine
  • Civil administration began in Palestine and Transjordan in July 1920 and April 1921, respectively, and the mandate was in force from 29 September 1923 to 15 May 1948 and to 25 May 1946 respectively.
  • Map of Mandatory Palestine
  • The White Paper of 1939 enacted until the end of British Mandated rule
  • Called for the establishment of a Jewish National Home in an independent Palestinian state within 10 years.
  • Limited Jewish immigration to 75,000 for five years, and allowed Arab majority to determine future Jewish immigration.
  • Jews were restricted from buying Arab land in all but 5% of the Mandate.
  • The Palestinian Arab parties, acting under Haj Amin Effendi al-Husseini, rejected this proposal,
but probably should have accepted.
  • The Arab counter offer wanted independence, no Jewish national home in Palestine,
replacement of the Mandate by a treaty, and the end of Jewish immigration.
1936-1939 - Arab revolt in Palestine
1937 - The Peel Commission
1944-1948 - Jewish insurgency in Mandatory Palestine
1947.11.29 - The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, or Resolution (II)
1948 - Palestine War
  • May 11th, 1949 - Israel admitted as a member of the United Nations
  • Over the next few years, lots of Jews (over 700,00) came from all over the Middle East/world to live in Israel.
  • Between 1948 and 1958, the population of Israel rose from 800,000 to 2,000,000.
1953-1956 - Intermittent clashes along all of Israel's borders
  • Terrorist attacks attempted to infiltrate Israel by sea,
multiple times from Jordan (West Bank) and other surrounding Arab countries,
and from Egypt (occupied Gaza)
1956.10.29-1956.11.07 - The Second Arab-Israeli War, or the Suez Crisis
1963-1969 - Eshkol
  • In 1964, Egypt, Jordan and Syria developed a unified military command.
  • Israel completed work on a national water carrier, Arabs responded by attempting to divert the headwaters of the Jordan,
leading to growing conflict between Israel and Syria
  • Until 1966, Israel's weapons came from France, though Charles de Gaulle ceased supplying Israel with arms post Algerian withdrawal.
The US stepped in to replace the flow of weapons.
The Samu incident
1967.06.05 - The Six-Day War, or the Third Arab-Israeli War
The 1967 Arab League summit
  • Famous for the Khartoum Resolution, known as the "Three No's"
  • No Peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel.
  • Other oil-rich Arab states will help other Arab states who lost the war and to rebuild their military.
  • The final note of the meeting asserted Palestinians rights to the whole of Palestine, meaning the total eradication of Israel.
1967-1970 - War of Attrition
1969 - The Cairo Agreement
  • Gave the PLO a free hand to attack Israel from South Lebanon.
1970.10.01 - Black September, or the Jordanian Civil War
May 1972 - Lod Airport massacre
  • Terrorist attack that occurred when three members of the Japanese Red army were recruited by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - External Operations, to attack Lod Airport, resulting in 26 people being killed and 80 others injured.
1973 - The Yom Kippur War, or the Ramadan War, or the October War, or the Fourth Arab-Israeli War
1973 oil crisis
  • Began due to massive US support for Israel, ended once Israel pulled its troops from the west bank.
May 14th-15th, 1974 Ma'alot Massacre
  • Palestinian terrorist attack that involved hostage-taking of 115 Israelis,
mainly school children, which ended with 25 hostages and 6 other civilians dead.
  • Began with three armed members of the DFLP, or the Democratic Front for he Liberation of Palestine.
  • They infiltrated from Lebanon.
  • The DFLP demanded the release of 23 Palestinian militants and 3 others from Israeli prisons, or else they would kill the students.
The Israelis agreed, but the hostage-takers did not receive an expected message in time from Damascus.
  • In response, Israel bombed DFLP and PFLP training bases.
The BBC reported that the bombings inflicted damage in seven Palestinian refugee camps and villages in southern Lebanon,
killing 27 and injuring 138.
  • The DFLP tried a second time to take hostages at a hotel in Ma'alot in 1979, but were killed by Israeli soldiers.
November 1974 - The PLO was granted observer status at the UN and Yasser Arafat addressed the General Assembly.
1974 - Gush Emunim was formally established
  • This group attempted to begin settling the West Bank,
the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.
  • After six removals from the IDF, an agreement was reached for the Israeli government to allow 25 families
to settle in the Kadum army camp southwest of Nablus/Shechem.
  • This would go on to become the municipality of Kedumim,
one of the major settlements of the West Bank.
  • This model was copied for future settlements.
  • Gush Emunim radicalized and formed the Jewish Underground,
a terrorist organization conducting terror attacks and plotted to blow up the Dome of the Rock.
Once this was uncovered, the Yesha Council took over the settler movement.
1976 - Land Day
  • On March 30th, Arab citizens of Israel and Palestine protested to object to the Israeli government
expropriating thousands of dunams (acres) of land for state purposes.
This was done through general strikes and marches.
  • The Israeli army and police would kill 6 unarmed Arab citizens,
with hundred being wounded and hundreds of others being arrested.
  • The protests leading up to this would lead to more Arabs in Israel protesting for rights
and engaging in civic action with future Israeli governments.
  • The protests did little to stop the 1975 land expropriation plan.
1976 - Operation Entebbe
  • An operation that resulted in rescuing Israeli passengers kidnapped on an Air France flight
hijacked by PFLP militants and Germany revolutionaries flown to Uganda.
1977 - Sadat addresses the Knesset.
March 1978 - Coastal Road Massacre
  • Palestinian militants coming in from Lebanon hijacked a bus on the Coastal Highway and murdered 38 Israeli civilians,
including 13 children, with 76 more wounded.
  • This attacked was planned by Abu Jihad, and carried out by Fatah.
  • The goal of the attack was to disrupt Israeli-Egyptian peace talks.
  • Israeli response was Operation Litani
  • After 1968, Palestinian militant groups formed a quasi-state in southern Lebanon
and used it to attack civilian targets in Israel.
  • Israel entered Lebanon and began hunting PLO infantry and armor forces,
though they did not succeed in engaging large numbers of them.
Many Lebanese civilians were killed by heavy Israeli shelling and air strikes.
  • The IDF military operation killed approximately 1,100 people.
The IDF claims at least 550 of the casualties were Palestinian militants.
1978 - Camp David Accords
March 26, 1979 - Framework Peace Treaty Egypt and Israel
  • Israel agreed to withdraw both its armed forces and 4,500 civilian inhabitants from the Sinai,
including the return of Egypt's Abu-Rudeis oil fields in western Sinai.
  • Egypt agreed to normal diplomatic relations with Israel.
  • Egypt guarantees freedom of passage through the Suez Canal and other nearby waterways,
such as the Straits of Tiran, and a restriction on forces Egypt would place on the Sinai.
  • Israel would also agree to limit its forces from the Egyptian border.
  • Egypt guarantees free passage between Egypt and Jordan.
  • Consequences
  • Egypt suspended from the Arab League from 1979-1989.
  • Hussein was upset that Sadat volunteered his perspective concerning the Palestinians as it continued to weaken his support in the Arab world.
  • Sadam Hussein in Iraq looked to fill the Arab vacuum left by Egypt.
  • Syria informed Egypt it would not reconcile with the nation unless it abandoned the peace agreement with Israel.
  • Israeli settlers were upset, and though they attempted to prevent the government from dismantling their settlements, they failed.
  • Anwar Sadat was assassinated on October 6th, 1981, by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad for his participation in the Camp David Accords.
  • Following the agreement, Israel and Egypt became the two largest recipients of US military and financial aid
  • 1978 the Merkava battle tank entered use with the IDF.
  • In 1979, over 40,000 Iranian Jews migrated to Israel escaping the Islamic Revolution there.
  • On June 30th, 1981, Israeli air force destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Operation Opera that France was building for Iraq.
Israel stated it would pre-emptively attack all attempts to work towards perceived nuclear weapons.
  • In 1981, after Begin wins again, the new government annexed the Golan Heights.
June 1982
  • There is an attempted assassination of Shlomo Argov,
ordered by Baghdad and carried out by a Palestinian splinter group (that was hostile to the PLO) in London.
This was the pretext by which Israel began the Lebanon War.
1982 - The 1st Lebanon War
1983-1992 - Shamir I, Peres I, Shamir II
  • In 1985 Israel withdraws most of its troops from Lebanon,
leaving a small Israeli force and Israeli-supported militia in Southern Lebanon
to fight in the coming years against Shia organization Hezbollah.
1987.12.08-1993.09.13 - The First Palestinian Intifada
1991 - The Madrid Conference
  • Hosted by Spain and co-sponsored by the United States and the Soviet Union
  • Involved Israel and the Palestinians, as well as Arab countries,
including Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
  • US Secretary of State James Baker told an AIPAC audience that Israel needs to abandon its expansionist policies.
  • Bush and Baker attempted to pressure Israel off of using any loan guarantees for settlement expansion, pushing heavily against them.
  • Shamir believed he could simply influence via the Israeli lobby politicians and the US public against Bush's wishes,
but Bush's approval rating was too high, and eventually all parties agreed to convene in Madrid.
  • Feelings internationally were hopeful from this, with two successful bilateral agreements following this,
namely the Oslo I accords, and the Israeli-Jordanian negotiations after.
1993 - Oslo I Accord
  • July 25th, 1993, Israel carried out a week-long military operation in Lebanon to attack Hezbollah positions,
dubbed Operation Accountability.
  • In February of 1994, Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Palestinians and wounded 125 at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
The Kach party has been barred from participation in the 1992 elections,
and then subsequently made illegal and designated a terrorist organization.
  • The first suicide bombing in Israel would happen in retaliation for this by Hamas.
  • On May of 1994 the Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities is signed,
beginning the transferring of authority to Palestinians.
  • On the 26th of October, 1994 the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace is signed.
  • The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement is signed on the 28th of September, 1995 in DC between Arafat and Rabin.
  • Palestinians were on the precipice of obtaining statehood,
and the Palestinian National Covenant language was changed from calling for the expulsion of Jews who migrated after 1917.
  • In July of 1995, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu took part in two demonstrations
where Netanyahu walked at the head of a mock funeral procession featuring a fake black coffin.
  • On November 4th, 1995, a far-right religious Zionist opponent of the Oslo Accords assassinates Rabin.
  • In April of 1996, Israel launches Operation Grapes of Wrath in southern Lebanon in response to Hezbollah's Katyusha rocket attacks.
  • Netanyahu continued the implementation of the Oslo Accords,
though his prime ministership saw a marked slow-down in the Peace Process.
  • Hamas continues suicide bombing throughout this time period in 1996.
  • September 24th, 1996 were the Western Wall Tunnel riots
  • First conflict between the IDF and the newly created Palestinian National Security Forces.
  • The protests overall resulted in the deaths of 59 Palestinians and 16 Israelis,
along with hundreds more being wounded.
  • On January 17th of 1997, Netanyahu and Yasser Arafat signed the Hebron protocol.
  • Partial redeployment of Israeli military forces from Hebron
in accordance with the 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip ("Oslo II"),
while Area H-1 (80%) would come under Palestinian control.
  • On May 25th, 2000, Israel unilaterally withdrew its remaining forces from southern Lebanon.
  • Hezbollah retained control of the Sheba'a Farms in southern Lebanon.
2000 - Camp David Summit
2000.09.28-2005.02.08 - The Second Intifada
2005 Gaza-Israel Conflict
  • Disengagement from the Gaza Strip
2006 - Second Lebanon War
2007 - The Battle of Gaza
2008 - The Gaza War
2023 - Israel-Hamas War
  • General Info
  • America Pressure on Israel to limit Gaza casualties
Opinions on the Conflict
  • Pro-Zionist
  • Pro-Palestinian
  • Neutral
Video Evidence of Stuff
  • Pro-Zionist
  • Anti-Zionist
Big Questions for Israel vs Palestine
  • Did Jewish people have a right to settle Palestine?
Was there immoral activity when they began moving in from Europe?
  • In 1948, was the Nakba unavoidable?
Was it always part of the Zionist agenda to expel all Arabs from Israeli controlled lands?
  • In the 1967 6-day War, did Israel truly believe the neighboring Arab countries were preparing for war?
Was a pre-emptive attack justified?
  • Has Israel and Palestine made any meaningful progress towards a 2-state solution (Oslo Accords and Camp David Summit)?
Where does the responsibility lie for the lack of solution follow-through?
  • What are reasonable peaceful resolutions to the conflict in the future?
What would have to happen for any of these things to come to fruition?
Does either side even agree on what a peaceful resolution looks like?
  • Is Israel proportionate in their response? Is the killing of civilians in Gaza justified?
What does a proportionate response look like?
  • Is there any justification for settlers in the West Bank?
Why does Israel push these so harshly?
  • Is the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees a reasonable request?
International Law...

General notes

Addressing the legality of a blockade

Three Sources of International Law

  • Treaties
  • Agreements ratified between two or more countries.
  • Customary Law
  • A group of people across time engage in a practice that is not codified into law, essentially common law?
  • They do this because they have a subjective belief that this is compulsory
  • General Principles
  • The permanent court of international justice in the league of nations was the first international court
  • Case laws by international courts and writing by international publicists
Big International Courts
  • lol there's a lot
Who even has jurisdiction?
  • Considerations
  • Applicable Law
  • What pieces of international law are applicable to this situation?
  • Jurisdiction
  • What courts can decide whether a law has been broken or not?
  • ICJ or the ICC
  • ICC litigates between individuals and the ICJ litigates between countries
  • The ICC - In Hague
  • The ICC recognizes essentially four crimes
  • Genocide
  • Intentional destruction of a group of people.
  • Crimes against humanity
  • Widespread or criminal activity by a de facto authority that grossly violate humans, usually by or on behalf of a state.
  • Includes things like apartheid
  • War crimes
  • Essentially referencing the Geneva Conventions.
  • Crimes of aggression
  • Aggressive or large-scale act of aggression using state military force, holds accountable leaders of war.
  • People or nationals who are signatories to the Rome Statue of the ICC are capable of bringing cases to this court.
  • The ICJ
  • Random Facts
  • Exists under the UN, if you become a member of the UN, you automatically a member of this court.
  • Litigates issues between nations.
  • Jurisdictions
  • Three ways to establish jurisdictions
  • Special agreement
  • Two states go before the court and sign a special agreement for the purpose of the court having jurisdiction.
  • Not valid if...
  • Coercion exists, corruption exists, bribery, etc...
  • Imperative law could be violated, meaning some international norm or law is violated.
  • Incompatibility with other agreement
  • Compromissory clause
  • The parties can bring something to the ICJ if there's a violation to another treaty.
  • Optional clause declaration
  • Article 38 says states can make unilateral declaration allowing anyone to submit cases to them against the ICJ.
  • This is subject to reciprocity, for this clause
  • States can carve out exceptions relating to other issues, say the law of the sea
ICJ Advisory Opinion



Annex Cuba Roosevelt???

Nick Fuentes
November 1st, 2023 - indefinite
Supporting a mass flagging/banning campaign
Fuentes Deplatforming.jpg
Sam Seder
November 11th, 2023 - indefinite
Unbelievably stupid summary of prior conversation we had + unbelievably stupid understanding of Rittenhouse case.