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[P]
Israeli situation

By bjk4 in News
Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 06:48:30 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Recently, Israeli police and Palestinian mobs have been clashing all around Israel. It seems that everything escalated after an Israeli politician visited the Temple Mount, which is sacred to both Israelis and Palestinians. Since then soldiers and police have been fighting rock throwing rioters with live and rubber coated amunition, resulting in a few deaths and hundreds of injuries. This has the potential of disrupting the peace process as many people are calling for a holy war. What can we do about it?


The underlying problem is the question over who gets to control the holy city of Jerusalem. Both Israelis and Palestinians want access to the holy city, both sides are wary of sharing it, and neither side wants the other to have full access. I have an idea, that I really doubt would ever happen, but is interesting nonetheless.

What would happen if, instead of splitting the city between the two groups and risking further tension, a new government were formed with the purpose of preserving the peace, policing the city, and making the holy sites available to worshipers? The legality of it could be written out with contigencies over what happens if the government fails and what happens if fighting erupts. The constitution of the neutral government could be written in such a way as to charge the politicians with the duty of appeasing both sides. I'm not a political science student, I'm just curious. Would something like this work?

On a side note, the media is having trouble with the story. CNN misreported the type of bullets used in the conflict right on their main page. The NYTimes seems to be less sensationalistic in their reporting than CNN. Before taking sides on this issue, I suggest that people try to read between the lines of the story and ferret out biases and sensationalism in the reporting. I wonder at times what or who truly caused the rioting to start. I suspect, though could never prove, that more than a few intelligence organizations have their fingers in this incident.

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Israeli situation | 87 comments (85 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
It Won't Work.. (3.71 / 14) (#1)
by Carnage4Life on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 01:54:36 PM EST

What would happen if, instead of splitting the city between the two groups and risking further tension, a new government were formed with the purpose of preserving the peace, policing the city, and making the holy sites available to worshipers? The legality of it could be written out with contigencies over what happens if the government fails and what happens if fighting erupts. The constitution of the neutral government could be written in such a way as to charge the politicians with the duty of appeasing both sides. I'm not a political science student, I'm just curious. Would something like this work?

No.
The tension between the Jews and the Arabs in the Middle East is such that one side cannot be appeased without it negatively affecting the other. Countless administrations of the U.S. government as well as countless U.N. emissaries have tried to propose similar ideas to what you suggest but they have failed. The problem is this: the Jews believe they own the Holy Land, the palestinians believe they own the Holy Land, and only one group can truly own something. Hence, there shall always be conflict.

PS: Exactly who would choose the interim government and who would it be composed of? That alone would cause several years of haggling and wrangling if it ever was accepted, and then all that would happen is that we'd still have a situation similar to what we have now where the U.S. is trying to keep the Jews and Arabs from killing each other by attempting to please both sides and failing.

A hard proposal (3.44 / 9) (#2)
by nuntius on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 01:59:17 PM EST

The only type of "neutral" government I could see as having a hair's chance of being "neutral" would be one which was a branch of some nation from outside the area. --You're never going to get Isreali's and Palestinian's working happily together--their cultural/religious beliefs forbid it.

This brings up the problem of "what outside country?" Unfortunately, _everyone_ is interested in the mideast right now. US involvement would annoy Russia and vice versa. Smaller countries wouldn't have the clout or desire to get involved.

This will be a tough issue for many years to come.

tried that, din't they? (4.00 / 2) (#23)
by h2odragon on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 08:35:06 PM EST

I mean, from Rome on down? To exist in that part of the world is to be embroiled in those battles, it seems.

[ Parent ]
Simple... (1.72 / 18) (#3)
by _cbj on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 02:06:27 PM EST

Make Israel a giant cage match, throw in a bunch of weapons (after ensuring they can't escape - a strict monkeyhouse setting), and come back to repopulate it in a hundred years. Or just bomb them all. What am I writing a comment for, I clearly don't care? (It's neither technology nor my culture) 0.

Re: Simple... (1.00 / 1) (#70)
by omidk on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 01:11:00 PM EST

excellent idea you stupid fuck. save your spam for somewhere else you ignorant freak.

[ Parent ]
You forget (3.30 / 10) (#4)
by GandalfGreyhame on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 02:11:10 PM EST

Interesting idea, a neutral gov't. But as others have already pointed out, it wouldn't work for a variety of reasons. I won't rehash their comments.

I would like to point out however, that this isn't a new conflict. If they started believing that they each owned the Holy Land a few weeks ago, then it might've been able to be solved quickly. However, these groups have been in conflict over the same area for about thousand years, iirc, if not more. This issue isn't going to be solved in one conference, one year, a few administrations. Its going to take a long, long, long time, and I believe there's going to be a good deal of bloodshed in the process.

. My $.02.

-G

Switzerland (2.42 / 7) (#5)
by ZephyrAlfredo on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 02:24:34 PM EST

How about Switzerland? I have to admit I didnae come up with this idea myself, since it is cleverly laid out in Tom Clancy's "Executive Orders".

But Switzerland is the closest thing to a neutral country this world has. I do not believe they are biased towards one side, and they are not involved in very many international agreements. The Swiss should be able to provide even handed justice with being influenced by one half of the world or the other.



Re: Switzerland (3.00 / 7) (#8)
by FlinkDelDinky on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 03:04:45 PM EST

Except for siding with the Nazi's in WWII and stealing a lot of wealth (billions?) from the Jews. I've got nothing against the Swiss but they are not a NEUTRAL country. By and large, life itself is intolerant of neutrality. You can say you're neutral, you may be able pretend to be neutral for a while, but eventually, for one reason or another, the gun will be at your head.

When that unique moment occured for the Swiss, they chose to support the Third Reich.

As for the Middle East. That's god's country, a region of sand covered by an ever widening veneer of blood.

I'd like things to get peaceful there. I think the Israeli government has been more honest and compromising than the Arabs. I think the Arabs hate Jews period.

I don't expect much.

[ Parent ]

Re: Switzerland (none / 0) (#41)
by Paul Dunne on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 04:49:47 AM EST

Please, do us the fvour of checking your facts before posting. Switzerland did not "support the Nazis": she was neutral throughout WWII. Of course, like any neutral country, she continued normal relationships with both sides as far as the war allowed. Naturally, being surrounded by the Axis, most of her commercial relationships were with Germany. However, Swiss neutrality remained strict, and even-handed (unlike that of some "neutrals" who in fact cooperated extensively with one side or the other: the Irish Free Sates with the Allies, for example). If the Swiss were such good friends, why did Hitler plan to bring them "home to the Reich" as soon as he could spare the time and the men? Luckily for the Swiss, he never found the time.

As for stealing gold from the Jews, it is ironic that you chose just *this* discussion to bring that up. Strange that all the fuss and bother about "stolen gold", reparations for victims, etc, seems to come in waves, waves strangely synchonised with Israeli shenanigans in Palestine/Israel/whatever -- you don't think they could be trying to distract attention from something, do you? No, surely not.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]

Re: Switzerland (4.00 / 1) (#48)
by FlinkDelDinky on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 11:48:31 AM EST

Please, do us the fvour of checking your facts before posting.

The following quote is from this document.

As late as the end of 1944, Secretary of State Stettinius and his State Department colleagues concluded that, on balance, Switzerland's neutrality had been more a positive than a negative for the Allies during the War. This relatively benign judgment twas not shared by other agencies (emphasis mine), from the War Department and Treasury Department to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the Justice Department. These agencies noted that in addition to its critical banking role for the Nazis, Switzerland's industries engaged in direct production for the Axis and helped protect Axis investments; Swiss shipping lines also furnished Germany with a large number of boats for the transport of goods. Switzerland also allowed an unprecedented use of its railways to link Germany and Italy for the transport of coal and other goods. Switzerland provided Germany with arms, ammunition, aluminum, machinery and precision tools, as well as agricultural products. Swiss convoys carried products from Spain across France through Switzerland to Germany. Swiss banks serviced Nazi markets in Latin America. (emphasis mine).

You already know about the various banking problems. I never said the Swiss were friends with the Nazi's, I said the were supporters. After all, it was a World War.

I believe the banking thing has been something the Jews have been working on for a long time. But like you say, odd that a fifty year old issue suddenly gets wide spread political attention.

[ Parent ]

Re: Switzerland (none / 0) (#53)
by Paul Dunne on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 02:04:37 PM EST

When I said "check the facts", I meant some reading in history, and from sources less biased than the ITA (that report you point to is a disgrace, but that's another story). However, you haven't addressed the point. Whether or not Switzerland was on balance useful or a hindrance to the Allies during the war has nothing to do with the issue. Switzerland was neutral.

Of course, as I said already in my last post, Switzerland continued normal commercial relations with *all* combatant powers during the war, insofar as it was in her power. Of course, geography means that Swiss commerce with the Axis was much easier than with the Allies. On the use of the Swiss rail system, there may have been rail traffic of goods between Germany and Italy; I am pretty sure there was no military traffic. The Swiss position throughout the war was armed neutrality, as the Luftwaffe found to its cost on more than one occasion.

I think you are making a common American mistake in presuming that the interest of the United States is overriding. Switzerland was and is a sovereign nation; whether their neutrality in WWII was genuine or not is a factual question, and furthermore is not seriously in dispute (except by a certain billionaire of a certain persuasion currently engaged in a "shake-down" against Swiss and other European companies). Switzerland's neutrality is not compromised just because their neutrality didn't benefit the US, or do harm to US enemies.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]

Re: Switzerland (none / 0) (#75)
by Osiris on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 04:07:21 PM EST

It was _The Sum of All Fears_ (I read it yesterday while doing laundry ;)) [Why the heck can't I do html underlining?].

Despite the suggestion in the book, I don't think Switzerland would be acceptable; Tom Clancy didn't have to worry about the Nazi bank account scandals when he wrote that novel. That doesn't mean the idea is a total loss, just that another nation has to be found. America is out, because it supports Israel. The UN is mostly out, because Israel keeps getting dicked over on membership issues there. Most other big powers have already demonstrably chosen sides, so they will be unacceptable to one side or the other.

However, Australia and Canada are both rather large, developed, disinterested countries, and unlike the US, nobody particularly despises them in the middle east. Why not one of them? To go farther afield, there are a variety of South American and Pacific Rim countries that fit that description. Brazil, New Zealand, Japan (except I think they're still prohibited from sending troops abroad).

Or, hell, why not China? Yeah, you can't really trust their government farther than you can throw all 1.2 billion of them, but they're too busy cracking down on Buddhists and the Falun Gong to have any strong opinions about Jews and Muslims. I'm sure they'd like the good PR something like this would give them. "China Engineers MidEast Peace!" Heh, wouldn't that be bizarre.

[ Parent ]

I disagree (3.73 / 15) (#6)
by el_guapo on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 02:58:43 PM EST

"The underlying problem is the question over who gets to control the holy city of Jerusalem" The underlying problem is closeminded religions who refuse to wake up and realize that they are being just as hypocritical as their "opposition" (btw - in an effort to tick *everyone* off, I'd just like to say I think this includes most religions). When 2 people(s) are equally convinced that A)they are right in the eyes of God B)you are wrong in the eyeys of God and C)You, you slimebag infidel who can't see that you're wrong, are alive/own something i want/speaking out against me/or basically doing ANYTHING i disaprove of, well, sorry, all bets are off. Pipe bombs, car bombs, smart bombs, anything is justifiable.
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
Re: I disagree (2.40 / 5) (#9)
by MKalus on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 03:11:30 PM EST

Amen (sorry couldn't resist ;) ).

I think the concept of religion as a political argument is done and should be put to rest.

I don't want to object the ability that religion gives people "strength" etc. but I object the idea to place real world politics on it.

For myself: I don't believe in anything, and if that gets me eternal damnation then so be it.

Michael
-- Michael
[ Parent ]
Re: I disagree (2.33 / 3) (#18)
by nuntius on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 08:06:40 PM EST

Ahh, the irony:
>For myself: I don't believe in anything, and if that gets me eternal damnation then so be it.

I have never heard anyone say anything more strongly religious than that!

[ Parent ]
Re: I disagree (3.00 / 2) (#27)
by bobsquatch on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 08:56:03 PM EST

Sigh.

More hints: "I don't believe in anything" does NOT imply "I do believe in nothing." It doesn't say anything about what the speaker believes in (if anything).

Hint #2: "If that gets me eternal damnation then so be it" merely expresses a willingness to risk. "If you were right and I was wrong, then I lose." Admittedly, the speaker is pretty sure that he's right, given that "eternal damnation" is pretty bad, but that doesn't rise to the level of "ardor and faith." Complacency about future rewards/punishment is a perfectly reasonable alternative explanation (especially given the average credit-card debt in the US, but that's already waaay OT).

Is any strong expression of opinion evidence of religion to you?

[ Parent ]

Re: I disagree (1.00 / 1) (#35)
by MKalus on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 12:50:17 AM EST

>>I have never heard anyone say anything more strongly religious than that! <<

Then you have the wrong impression.

I personally think that religion in itself is a hoax. It had its point in time as a political control system but that is long past.

If you ask me if I believe in God then I have to tell you know (and that also includes the devil). Why? Because if you look at all the different religions, they're definition of god you'll find that if only one of them can be true you've lost already anyway.

If you look into history you'll see that religion was always something that had to do with power, with control over people.

Do I believe in something higher being?

Well, maybe there is something, but I doubt that it / he / she cares about any single person down here on this little marble.

I guess we would get rid of a lot of problems if people would stop using their religion / faith as an argument to do something.

So I guess the closest drawer I fit in is Agnostic.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]
Re: I disagree (3.50 / 2) (#36)
by MKalus on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 12:59:31 AM EST

>>I have never heard anyone say anything more strongly religious than that! <<

Then you have the wrong impression.

I personally think that religion in itself is a hoax. It had its point in time as a political control system but that is long past.

If you ask me if I believe in God then I have to tell you know (and that also includes the devil). Why? Because if you look at all the different religions, they're definition of god you'll find that if only one of them can be true you've lost already anyway.

If you look into history you'll see that religion was always something that had to do with power, with control over people.

Do I believe in something higher being?

Well, maybe there is something, but I doubt that it / he / she cares about any single person down here on this little marble.

I guess we would get rid of a lot of problems if people would stop using their religion / faith as an argument to do something.

So I guess the closest drawer I fit in is Agnostic.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]
[OT] Rating (2.25 / 4) (#13)
by cesarb on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 07:07:05 PM EST

I wonder how the parent comment managed to get to just 2.50. It was a reasoned, clear, ontopic and logical comment, which deserves at least a 4. What's going on, people rating down comments they disagree with?

[ Parent ]
Re: [OT] Rating (1.66 / 3) (#16)
by el_guapo on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 07:43:35 PM EST

heheh - apparently, the general populace disagrees, as it seems to be at 2.2 and dropping now. thanks for the sentiment though....
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Re: [OT] Rating (2.00 / 1) (#51)
by cesarb on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 01:21:49 PM EST

Looks like it worked. 3.64 right now, and it's the third top rated top-level comment.

[ Parent ]
A history of the land being fought over. (3.60 / 15) (#11)
by Apuleius on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 04:48:07 PM EST

I wrote this for a different context.

In the beginning, G-d created the heavens and the earth. When he got to creating earth, he started with a single rock. That rock, according to Jewish tradition, is in the most heavily contested 10 acres on the planet. For the last several months negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have concentrated on them. Those acres have spent the last several millenia gaining a mystical significance to members of three religions, but in this century they also gained a sordid significance.

The soap-opera of Jerusalem began on a day in 1928. The Western Wall, for centuries a retaining wall for the mosque above it, was at the time running along a narrow alley. Jews came to it for various ceremonies, but only at the whim of the Muslim authorities, and Muslim youth enjoyed standing on the mosque yard above and pelting the Jews below with trash. On this particular day, Yom Kippur, attendance at the alley was high, and the Jewish community had for years been recovering from the famine of 1915, which had cut it in half. So for the first time it was necessary to put up a screen across the alley, to separate the men from the women. This gave a Muslim leader his first political break.

Haj Amin Al Husseini became Jerusalem's chief Muslim cleric years earlier both despite and because of a reputation for rabble rousing. His ultimate ambition was to be a president of a republic containing Israel and most of Jordan. His way to achieve this would be to start a religious war and win it. So, on that day in 1928 he spread a rumor all around Jerusalem: the Jews were plotting to undermine the Al Aqsa mosque by dismantling the retaining wall, and were hanging up that curtain in order to conceal their work.

It is amazing (and ironic) to think that Muslims would believe Jews would dismantle Judaism's holiest shrine, but the word of Jews cannot be allowed to stand over that of a Muslim clergyman, even if he is a snake in human guise. The rumor turned to brawl within an hour, and a British crackdown commenced within two. The Palestine High Commissioner warned Husseini to pipe down or face "dire consequences," and pipe down he did. That is, until 1929, when the High Commissioner was replaced by a new one. On the day of the changeover Husseini revived the rumor with a vengeance, spreading it not just in Jerusalem but sending messengers on motorcycle all over the region. Hundreds were murdered.

The massacres of 1929 made the explosion of 1948 well-nigh inevitable. By 1948 Husseini had made himself an outlaw in British Palestine, arranged the assassinations of over 3,000 Palestinian civic leaders, escaped to Baghdad, caused a massacre of Jews there in 1941, escaped to Iran, then, just days ahead of his reputation, he finally reached Germany. There, Husseini helped Hitler by recruiting Bosnian Muslim soldiers for an auxiliary division of the S.S. This was enough to give Husseini a prominent place among the defendants in the war crimes trials following Germany's surrender, but he narrowly escaped and reached Cairo, where he safely watched the gathering firestorm.

The civil war of 1948 ended with Old Jerusalem in the hands of the Hashemite monarchy. King Abdullah I despised Husseini and never allowed him to return. For this he paid with his life. One of Husseini's henchmen killed him in the Al Aqsa mosque in 1951. This didn't get Husseini any closer to returning. He spent the rest of his life in Beirut, dying in 1974.

The Old City came to Jewish hands in 1967, and a set of houses was torn down to make the plaza that you see today in front of the Western Wall. These houses belonged to the Husseini family. They didn't protest much. As if only to prove Husseini a liar, Jews stubbornly continue not to dismantle the shrine. There's even a web cam to show that much. Just to add the final soap opera touch, the houses that were torn down include the purported birthplace of Yasser Arafat, whose real surname is, you guessed it, Husseini.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
Religion = BAD (2.30 / 10) (#12)
by ymmot on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 05:33:11 PM EST

Religion only destroy people, we have seen it everywhere.

[ Parent ]
People = BAD? (3.60 / 5) (#14)
by MenTaLguY on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 07:23:45 PM EST

Religion only destroy people, we have seen it everywhere.

People will use any excuse. Religion is only often the most convenient.


...ceterum censeo delendam esse X11.
[ Parent ]
Religion != BAD (2.16 / 6) (#17)
by nuntius on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 07:58:51 PM EST

You're post indicates a fundamental misconception commonly held in modern society. This misconception is many times more disturbing than the differences between, say, hacker/cracker or GNU/Linux.

Religion is, according to Webster's dictionary, "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith."

Humanism, Hinduism, atheism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity--all are major religions of the world. In fact, every person believes in some religion, and religion provides comfort to many who face hard times.

Yes, even the situational ethics of the 20th century are based on an atheistic religion which tells its followers that life is without any true meaning or purpose.

[ Parent ]
Re: Religion != BAD (3.00 / 4) (#20)
by PresJPolk on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 08:21:40 PM EST

<p><i>..ardor and faith.</i></p>
<p>No, not everyone has a religion. Not everyone will believe something with "faith." To believe something on faith is to believe it no matter how much evidence mounts up against it, no matter if there is a total lack of evidence in favor of it, even if your rationality and sense tells you otherwise.<p>
<p>I, for one, do not believe anything on faith.</p>

[ Parent ]
Re: Religion != BAD (1.00 / 2) (#31)
by nuntius on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 10:46:42 PM EST

Your faith is in logic and rationalism. The faith of Rome was in power. Both were forms of faith.

P.S. Next time post "HTML formatted" ;-)

[ Parent ]
Re: Religion != BAD (4.00 / 4) (#22)
by bobsquatch on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 08:33:54 PM EST

In fact, every person believes in some religion, and religion provides comfort to many who face hard times.

Bzzzzzt. Try again.

Here's a hint: "belief" implies certainty. People frequently make decisions without any certainty in the outcome.

I'll call "heads" in a coin toss without believing that I'll get heads. I'll take the Bay Bridge instead of the San Mateo Bridge, without any certainty about the relative traffic on the bridges. Ya place yer bets, ya takes yer chances.

It is quite possible to live life without any certainty in the rightness of your actions, without any belief in "what happens" after you're dead, without any belief in supernatural causes (or the absence of such). I do it.

A best guess approach is all I have -- that is not a religion, since I don't hold any beliefs "with ardor and faith." You can't even say, "This 'best-guess principle' is just a kind of meta-religion that you adhere to with ardor and faith," because if I come across evidence that a religion actually works and is plausable, my best-guess about the universe would change, and I'd drop the "best-guess" principle.

In short, stop defending your religion with the "everybody does it" argument. Not only is that argument a fallacy, it's not even based on true premises.

[ Parent ]

Religion != GOOD (4.25 / 4) (#26)
by your_desired_username on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 08:46:57 PM EST

None of this alters the fact that certain religions have done terrible harm in the past, and are very likely to do terrible harm in the future.

Whatever religions we believe in, we must all be careful, because *all* religions have the power to cause pain and suffering.

Religions are entirely human constructs; they are capable of every kind of deed - good, bad, ugly, or horrific - that humans have commited. This includes everything from the efforts of Mother Teresa to mudering of 6*10^6 jews - as well as much less dramatic (but much more common) deeds.

As for 'situational ethics', please note that such 'ethics' are not new with the 20th century, nor are they unique to atheism. 'Situational ethics', by whatever name, have been a fact of human behavior for all of recorded history (and probably longer).

Just so you know my religious biases - I am an atheist, and I support the freedoms the GPL aims to protect.

[ Parent ]
Re: Religion != BAD (3.25 / 4) (#29)
by Spinoza on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 09:36:56 PM EST

Attempting to win debates based on a definition is something of a foul. The reason for this is that it is simple enough for your opponent to introduce an alternate, less broad definition which does not allow the inclusion of atheism under the heading "religion". This leaves you in the position of arguing the relative merits of the two definitions, or even the merits of the dictionaries from which they were taken. Webster's itself includes such definitions, along with some quotes which add weight to the requirement that religions involve a belief in a "divine power", which atheism does not. Since you are not engaging in a debate on which is the best dictionary, this sort of argument is futile, and inevitably beside the point.

Furthermore, your opponent was clearly using the definition of religion as a belief in, or system of beliefs involving a divine power, seperate from the perceivable world. In this context, a discussion of atheism as a religion is somewhat irrelevant, and your introduction of it is entirely missing the (rather succinct) point.

That theistic religions (to enforce a somewhat stricter defintion) have caused, and continue to cause suffering is unarguable. The question is, do they do enough good to justify the levels of suffering they continue to cause?

A final point on atheism: Nobody ever launched an atheistic holy war.

[ Parent ]

Re: Religion != BAD (3.00 / 1) (#30)
by FlinkDelDinky on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 10:27:41 PM EST

What about communist Russia/China's various social purges? I believe they murdered more people than all holy wars put together.

Although I'm not an athiest I'm not very religeous. I just believe in a divine power (apperently we're born that way).

Since neither governments policies were based on religeon you can't blame religious faith for their brutalities. Although you could blame part of the brains religious hardware, I guess.

[ Parent ]

Re: Religion != BAD (2.00 / 1) (#32)
by Spinoza on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 11:08:56 PM EST

I suspected someone would clutch at this straw. I could say that these weren't wars (I guess I just did) but I'll refrain from that sort of pedantry. If you regard the purges in communist nations as wars, then you might be excused for claiming they are examples of atheistic holy wars.

The purges were politically motivated, however. They were an element of the communist policy of eliminating all power bases in their nation other than the communist party. In this sense, they were political purges, not religious purges. The communists weren't concerned that the people believed in God. They merely saw religion as a political enemy.

Characterising it as a holy war is difficult, since it was possible for people to be both religious and communist. This made no difference in the eyes of the communist party, and communist supporters who were also religious were purged along with the non-communists.

Viewed in terms of motivations, religious purges were no different than any other of Stalin's excesses. From Stalin's point of view, they were just another bunch of people he didn't like, and were no different from his other victims.

So, in other words the purges were atheistic, but not holy, in the sense that they were not religiously motivated. It was not atheism that motivated the purges, but communist totalitarianism.

[ Parent ]

Re: Religion != BAD (1.00 / 1) (#46)
by FlinkDelDinky on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 10:38:49 AM EST

I suspected someone would clutch at this straw.

I didn't mean it as a straw, and tens of millions of murders at the hands of an athiest government is something that has to be acknowledged by atheist (as 'holy' wars have to be acknowledged by relegious people).

The purges were politically motivated, however.

I agree. But aren't holy wars (and things like the Inquisition) politically motivated as well. I mean don't Kings/Priests have specific social/political objectives as well.

They were an element of the communist policy of eliminating all power bases in their nation other than the communist party.

But aren't holy wars the same thing?

Characterising it as a holy war is difficult, since it was possible for people to be both religious and communist.

I think it wasn't a holy war because you have to believe in some kind of divine power by definition. Other than that, in every other way I think it was very much like a holy war.

I suspect athiest took part in holy wars at all levels, from foot soldiers, to military leaders, to political leaders, to religious leaders. Even so, they were still holy wars and I have no difficulty calling them such.

Just because there were religious people involved in the communist party doesn't mean the party wasn't athiest.

My point is that we're dealing with brain hardware. That hardware exists regardless of word definitions, political membership, or religeon. You can blame religeon for various things if you'd like (and you'd even be right some of the time) but I think we're talking about the brain here. Wether atheist, religeous, or agnostic doesn't change that we've got 'spiritual' brain hardware that our conscious selves must forge a relationship with.

[ Parent ]

Re: Religion != BAD (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by sec on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 07:57:00 PM EST

As I said before, atheism is a categorization based on what people don't believe, rather than what they do. It's more akin to classifications such as 'monotheism' and 'polytheism' than it is a religion itself.

Basically:

polytheism - many gods

monotheism - one god

atheism - no gods

It seems somewhat ridiculous to say that the Inquisition was a case of people being murdered in the name of monotheism, or Christians being thrown to the lions in Roman times a case of people being murdered in the name of polytheism. It is equally ridiculous to say that the Communist purges were a case of people being murdered in the name of atheism. These murders were carried out in the name of Christianity and the Roman state religion, respectively.

Does guilt for the Inquisition spread to the Jews simply because the Christianity and Judaism are both monotheistic religions? I don't think so. Likewise, does guilt for the Circus Maximus spread to the Egyptian religion? Again, I don't think so.

Actually, I would tend to regard Communism as an atheistic religion in itself. Most atheists are not Communists. You do the math here.

Addressing your last point, it does seem that people seem to like doing nasty things to other people at times. Religion is often the most convenient excuse for doing so, but it is far from the only one.



[ Parent ]

Re: Religion != BAD (1.00 / 1) (#59)
by FlinkDelDinky on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 08:39:47 PM EST

It's more akin to classifications such as 'monotheism' and 'polytheism' than it is a religion itself.

Yes, I agree with your whole point here.

It is equally ridiculous to say that the Communist purges were a case of people being murdered in the name of atheism.

Hmmm... I see what your saying but I 've heard athiest blame religeon for war and slavery and on and on. With the Communist Russia and China you had states that did not have a belief in a divine power and yet the same kinds of evil took place. So I throw this up as a case of similar tragedy but with people having no divine power as a cause.

I'm not blaming athiesm for this, just like I don't blame religeion for the evil things done in the name of various faiths. In both cases I think we're talking about brain hardware and the relationship it has with its social invironment.

Actually, I would tend to regard Communism as an atheistic religion in itself. Most atheists are not Communists. You do the math here.

As the Rusians and Chinese executed it I agree that people had a religeous type of relationship with the state. However, as an example, it would be easy for Christians or Jews to read their texts as being in support of communism.

[ Parent ]

Atheism is different... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by sec on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 04:08:04 AM EST

...because it is a grouping that's based on what it's members _don't_ believe in, rather than what they do. The only uniting theme with atheists is that they don't believe in a god or gods. In a way, it's sort of a 'garbage-can' classification -- a place to put all of the people whose belief system doesn't include a higher power.

Yes, I've seen some atheists whose belief in the lack of god surely qualifies as religious. I've seen some people who claim to be atheists, but something else -- science, money, power, etc. -- has effectively become a religion to them. Some people just don't seem to care about religious matters -- and this goes for people who do identify themselves with an established religion, as well.

So, to sum up: Just because you're an atheist, doesn't necessarily mean that you're not religious, and just because you're not an atheist doesn't mean that you are religious.

So, if you're an atheist, that means that you don't believe in a god. Ok, but what _do_ you believe in? I suspect there's close to as many answers to that as there are atheists.

[ Parent ]

WWPD? (2.66 / 3) (#24)
by bafungu on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 08:35:08 PM EST

"What Would [prophet] Do?"

Substitute "Mohammed", "Abraham", or the prophet/leader of your choice. Colour me naive, but I suspect killing people wouldn't be high on their list.

I despise mob mentalities hiding behind religion. I despise people praising Torahs, Qu'rans, and the like, while failing to realize that the one thing the principal characters in those works don't do is to kill people who disagree with them.

Getting worked up over walls and temples is even more pathetic. If your belief system relies on some bricks and mortar, it is a weak system indeed.

[ Parent ]

Re: WWPD? (2.00 / 1) (#33)
by swr on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 11:30:15 PM EST

Getting worked up over walls and temples is even more pathetic. If your belief system relies on some bricks and mortar, it is a weak system indeed.

Places and things provide a link to the past. Something tangible to make it feel real.

Maybe it's just hard for those of us in north america to appreciate. We only have a couple hundred years worth of history (we've largely paved over the history of those who were here first). We might think differently if we had tangible links to the beginnings of civilization.

Personally I'm glad we don't have thousands of years of history here. Between colonialism and slavery our history has left a big enough mess already.



[ Parent ]
Re: WWPD? (4.50 / 2) (#34)
by Carnage4Life on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 11:35:27 PM EST

Substitute "Mohammed", "Abraham", or the prophet/leader of your choice. Colour me naive, but I suspect killing people wouldn't be high on their list.

Actually you are very wrong.

Both religions have had prophets that have preached that violence in the name of God is righteous. The term jihad is an islamic term that basically translates to "making war on unbelievers". The origins of this term go all the way back to Mohammed, the founder of islam.

The Jewish books of Torah, Nevi'im and Kethuvim (Christian old testament) are full of tales of God's wrath at the isrealites because they didn't kill all the Hittites, Ishmealites, Philistines, etc when God gave them the promised land and instead intermarried and settled with these people. Most of the books of the Nevi'im (Prophets) basically state that the suffering of the Isrealites and their conquest by the Babylonians and later the Romans is due to the fact that they intermingled with the unbelievers and did not eliminate them all in times of war.

[ Parent ]
Re: WWPD? (none / 0) (#67)
by blacksun on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 12:41:25 PM EST

The term jihad is an islamic term that basically translates to "making war on unbelievers". The origins of this term go all the way back to Mohammed, the founder of islam.

Well actually, THIS is wrong. In the article you refer to, it even tells you what the term means: "Jihad is a verbal noun with the literal meaning of striving or determined effort."

The Western media has construed the meaning of this word for decades. They want to be able to tie the reasoning behind megalomaniacal leader's actions to their religion - which is ludicrous. These people are crazy. Don't damn an entire people by the actions of one lunatic.

"Jihad" does NOT mean holy war - plain and simple.

[ Parent ]
Wo, there ! (4.00 / 2) (#73)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 02:19:12 PM EST

The term Jihad is a little more complex than you imply. To quote the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Islam distinguishes four ways by which the duty of jihad can be fulfilled: by the heart, the tongue, the hand, and the sword. The first consists in a spiritual purification of one's own heart by doing battle with the devil and overcoming his inducements to evil. The propagation of Islam through the tongue and hand is accomplished in large measure by supporting what is right and correcting what is wrong. The fourth way to fulfill one's duty is to wage war physically against unbelievers and enemies of the Islamic faith. Those who professed belief in a divine revelation--Christians and Jews in particular--were given special consideration. They could either embrace Islam or at least submit themselves to Islamic rule and pay a poll and land tax. If both options were rejected, jihad was declared.

Modern Islam places special emphasis on waging war with one's inner self. It sanctions war with other nations only as a defensive measure when the faith is in danger.

Note especially the second paragraph. You can say the same thing about modern (reform and conservative, and most Orthodox) Jews, and (though its not strictly relevant here) most Christians. There's a strong tendency in all three faiths to paint religious life as a "war" against evil. In all three, also, there have been times when the "war" has been turned outwards against those persons thought to be evil, and times when it has been turned inwards against personal "sin".

You can spot, even in Westerns Christianity, people with a strong tendency not to make the distinction between the inner and outer struggle, who'll cheerfully sanction violence against sinners as part of the same program in which they aim to purge themselves of sin.

Sorry to jump down your throat here, you may already know all this, but there's a tendency to paint Islam as an unusually violent faith, which is mostly old Christian propoganda coming back to haunt us. "Jihad" is no more nececessarily a physical war than the Salvation Army is necessarily a fighting force.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

the other side of the history. (4.14 / 7) (#25)
by nevauene on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 08:40:28 PM EST

Jews came to it for various ceremonies, but only at the whim of the Muslim authorities, and Muslim youth enjoyed standing on the mosque yard above and pelting the Jews below with trash.

As soon as I read this, I knew I was in for a fairly one-sided summation of the 'history of the land being fought over'. And I was quite right.

Let's admit it, both sides have had their share of Husseinis. The same kind of hatred you ascribe to Muslim youths is in the hearts of damned near every Israelite as well.

I am getting bloody sick of the one-sided American/Brit/etc perspective on this issue. Your take could quite passably end up, near verbatim, as the narrative for a halfhour CNN wrapup on the disputed land.

The other side of the story here is that the Palestinians were booted off their land by the (cough) World Police to appease the post-war zionists. This was not arranged out of the goodness of the major powers' hearts, this was done for political gain, to have a foothold in an area that was otherwise falling out of western hands. Israel is one of the most important satellites of the US intelligence agencies in the world, if not the most important. The US keeps em happy` with guns and planes and all sortsa other fun toys to keep the Arab scum under their thumbs. The Israeli puppet governments serve the US and friends dutifully in return for the resources to hold back the Arabs and bomb em every once in awhile.

Note, I am not trying to paint the Palestinians as martyrs, far from it. This ugly situation is forever extended, and peace indefinately held back, by both sides' thirst for blood and vengeance. It really is a shame that they can't just STOP, and live together in harmony in a place that is sacred to both of them.. but it's probably not going to happen. Barak is up to his same old arrogant power-jockeying (what can I say, he's well trained). Arafat is trying hard to score brownie points with even the most xenophobic and extremist factions, and as such is also unwilling to agree on any reasonable middle-road.

Whatever you do, don't buy the US media version of this story. They are distilling a _very_ complex problem down to the usual Good Stickman vs Evil Stickman portrayal, (even when it seems objective, read between the lines) and they have their reasons for doing so.



There is no K5 Cabal.
[ Parent ]
Kosovo is the answer (1.87 / 8) (#15)
by John Jorsett on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 07:33:36 PM EST

Well, we could always use our successful Kosovo model and send in U.S. troops to police the region and place themselves between the warring factions for all eternity. Oh, and conduct the occasional murder, beating, or door-kicking raid just to keep the hearts and minds of the people with us.

View from the outside, versus the inside (3.76 / 13) (#19)
by PresJPolk on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 08:13:42 PM EST

Think of a US abolitionist in 1860. You're fighting for a total nationwide ban on slavery. You don't accept compromise with even moderate slavery supporters, because you feel that any slavery is simply wrong, and cannot be tolerated. The only right thing for you to do is fight for total abolition.

Were the abolitionists wrong for being so unyielding? Was Abraham Lincoln wrong for holding is free-soil position (banning slavery in the territories), even though the US Supreme Court had ruled against that position? These views led to a war that killed more Americans than any other war (thanks to the armies on both sides being manned by Americans).

Anti-slavery seems a clear cut position, doesn't it? Well, to the two sides fighting over Jerusalem, their positions are equally clear cut. From the outside, solutions and compromises can always be found. However, if your sense of justice and morality tells you that there is only one correct path to follow, those compromises will never work.

Sometimes, when people hold worldviews that are that much opposed, fighting does happen. Perhaps instead of trying to act like there is no difference of opinion, and trying to force a compromise that will please neither side, steps should be taken to minimize the harm. If somebody's going to get hurt, make sure it's not some innocent bystander.

Is the only way to avoid innocent bystanders to send in an occupation force, and disarm both sides at gunpoint? I sense more force used in the name of the UN. Is that the only way?

It was offered already, kindof (2.33 / 3) (#21)
by Oblom on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 08:27:37 PM EST

I belive that something like this was offered by Barak to Arafat. Barak offered that the Temple Mount and some other sensitive regions in Jerusalem will be under control of UN and some special commite that consists from US, France, Egypt, Russia and AE I think. Arafat didn't accepted the offer.

Why you should... (1.00 / 4) (#28)
by Holloway on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 09:06:52 PM EST

Write about it online in a webforum!


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

Where did those stones come from? (3.66 / 3) (#37)
by Lode Runner on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 01:46:08 AM EST

Could someone who knows how these riots work fill me in on something?

Here's the situation as I understand it:

Israeli soldiers are guarding an important mosque when people inside the mosque begin throwing stones at the soldiers and at worshippers at an important Jewish holy site (which is located directly below the mosque). The troops defend themselves and carnage ensues.

Now I understand that the armed soldiers were near the mosque to keep order; so that explains the dead Palestinians. But where did the Palestinians get their stones and other missiles from? Are there lots of stones just laying around the mosque or did somebody bring them in? Or were there any stones at all?



Who's "we"? (2.25 / 4) (#39)
by Paul Dunne on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 04:34:20 AM EST

> What can we do about it?

If you mean, "Kuro5hin users", we can't do anything about it; and what makes you think we would or could or should act as a body in any case?
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/

Re: Who's "we"? (none / 0) (#52)
by MikeRepass on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 01:58:51 PM EST

I think he meant "we" as compassionate, peace-loving humans committed to the ideals of freedom and equality, and, personally, I think the "we" he was referring to does need to do something about it.

[ Parent ]
"We" should get a sense of perspective. (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by anirog on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 05:38:28 PM EST

I think that, at the moment, "we" have a bit too much on our plate.

Why is it that sensationalistic items such as these get the most focus by "we", while they are completely ignored once the crisis is over? What about places where truly great human tragedies occur?

Why are you not decrying, for example, the thousands killed in Chechnya? The millions of people who now live among the ruins there? Or the Kurds who live in poverty and from skirmish to skirmish? Why not direct "our" thoughts there?

I'll tell you why - they are not a news item as long as there is no conflagration. "We" are not able to see beyond the immediate news, and forget too quickly once the journalists pull out their cameras and vans.

If you want to improve the world's state, start with those near to you. Let the faraway countries and front page crises sort themselves out. Is there a burning social issue in your country? Is there injustice? Poverty? Bad education? Crime? Start there.

[ Parent ]

A Comment by an Israeli (4.20 / 5) (#40)
by baruch on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 04:38:33 AM EST

As the subject says I'm an Israeli and so obviously biased.

One item in the news itself that needs mentioning is that the firing of at least the live ammunition by the israelis did not start until there was live fire from the palestinians, both palestinian cops and citizens. To the best of my knowledge (and it is limited) the Israeli soldiers did not fire live bullets without being attacked first.

About the one-sided descriptions of the history, each has his own view, we (the Israelis) see ourselves as coming and being attacked without provocation and upon the independence declaration we were attacked and fought back. In the process there was apparently an attempt to boot the palestinians off. But to that preceded a long time of being attacked by the palestinians when the british (who had the mandate over the area) helped mostly the palestinians. As I said my point of view is from the Israeli side and I haven't delved independently into the history so my view is obviously one sided too.

Regarding the conflict itself, as usual in every conflict its the extremists who lead, unfortunately as it is. This is both in the Israeli and in the palestinian side. There are moderate forces in each camp but they are not heard enough.

Barak comes as a leader of the moderate (left) camp and was given a mandate to bring a peace agreement and as far as Israeli standard go he pretty much opened all lines. Until this time there was NO DISUCSSION WHATSOEVER in Israel about giving up even partially on Jerusalem. The consensus around here was that Jerusalem is ours and will stay so. I don't necessarily agree with this consensus and I would greatly like to see a peace agreement here and now. The main trouble is the worry that exists (I believe on both sides, but I only know my own) that the peace agreement will not really bring peace, due to the existence and resurgence of the extremists on both sides, but I must admit that whats worrying me is the extermists on the palestinian side that claim that they wont stop fighting and using terrorist attacks until they will get the whole country to themselves.

It remains to be seen whether the leaders and the peoples of both nations will come to see peace as the better solution, and will really seek it instead of looking for more bloodshed.

Re: A Comment by an Israeli (3.00 / 1) (#45)
by magney on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 05:23:15 AM EST

Disclaimer: I am neither Israeli nor Arab, or even Christian or Muslim.
Until this time there was NO DISUCSSION WHATSOEVER in Israel about giving up even partially on Jerusalem.
I'd got the impression that there was no discussion whatsoever about anyone giving up on Jerusalem. It's been clear all along that there can't be peace in the Middle East until there is some agreement on Jerusalem, but up until recently, it seems, everyone seemed willing to postpone the Jerusalem question while they worked on things they could readily agree on.

Looks like they've finally got around to trying to hash out the issue, and it's proven to be every bit as intractable as everyone feared.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

GREAT post from someone actually there!! (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by el_guapo on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 12:11:55 PM EST

Sadly - I believe this episode is the latest example of how extremists (for whatever reason) rise to the top, and then manipulate the "system" such that their authority is actually strengthened. It always seems the instant a level-headed leader takes over, the extremist oposition successfully colors him as a wimp and unworthy of power.
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Re: A Comment by an Israeli (2.00 / 1) (#65)
by AftanGustur on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 11:14:43 AM EST

Since I know little of the politics in Israel, I'm glad to have this chance of asking this question.

What claim do the Israelis have to Jerusalem, or even the land we call "Israel", in that matter ?

I know, it's easy to read this question as a Troll, but, please, don't, I simply don't know that much in politics, and the media hasn't been very helpful to explain those things.



[ Parent ]

Here's a little book about it for ya... (2.00 / 2) (#78)
by anirog on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 05:24:15 PM EST

The Bible (First Testament, though there are _some_ vague references in the Second). Cheers.

[ Parent ]
Re: Here's a little book about it for ya... (none / 0) (#87)
by AftanGustur on Wed Oct 04, 2000 at 08:42:34 AM EST

Yesterday I was watching the news on television (I live in France). Some Catholic priest is on trial for child molesting (he is just called "a pedophile" in the news). He claims that since he "confessed regularly" his wrongdoings have been forgiven and he has nothing wrong to answer for. It goes without saying that the justice system is not buying this explanation and is continuing the process. But they are now also charging the priest he confessed to.

Now what has this gotten to do with your answer, you are probaply thinking ?

In todays civilized countries, religious writings or belives have no legal weight, therefore, pointing at the bible as a justification is a null and void argument. And killings of unarmed civilians and confiscation of land is just called murder and theft.





[ Parent ]
Religion has nothing to do with it. (3.00 / 3) (#42)
by Paul Dunne on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 04:54:38 AM EST

Why is it that most posts to this story are talking about religion? Surely at least some people here know that religion has nothing to do with the Arab/Israeli conflict?
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
Re: Religion has nothing to do with it. (4.50 / 2) (#43)
by magney on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 05:18:14 AM EST

Seems to me like religion has nothing to do with the Arab/Israeli conflict in the same way that it had nothing to do with the Crusades...

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Re: Religion has nothing to do with it. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by Paul Dunne on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 05:19:56 AM EST

A bad analogy; but actually, yes, religion had very little to do with the crusades.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
ok, maybe i'm ig-no-rant, but (4.00 / 1) (#47)
by el_guapo on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 11:44:49 AM EST

please elaborate. i am honestly stumped, because i always thought (apparently shallowly, now) that both situations were ALL about religion (chunk the inquisition in there as well, i thought)
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Re: ok, maybe i'm ig-no-rant, but (4.50 / 2) (#50)
by Paul Dunne on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 12:40:53 PM EST

OK, here's the "book-a-minute" version. The Jews, or more accurately Zionists, want Palestine; and are presently in occupation. So do the Palestinians; they used to have it, and they haven't all gone away. Hence, conflict. Religion is incidental. Prussians are Protestant, Catholics Poles; but no-one would ever think of trying to label the centuries-old conflict between Germans and Poles as "religious". Generally, in fact, when people start talking about "the religious divide", "sectarian conflict", etc, etc, you can be sure that something *else* is really going on.

Another example would be the North of Ireland. You may have seen the recent reports of "Protestant" death-squads armed by, and carrying out missions for, the British military. So, what's been presented to us for decades as symptom of irrational religious hatred is now revealed the all-too-rational instrument of British occupation policy. So it goes.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]

Re: ok, maybe i'm ig-no-rant, but (none / 0) (#83)
by afc on Tue Oct 03, 2000 at 08:40:54 AM EST

Paul is partly the right. The Crusades was nominally about religion, but mostly it was about third-in-line European princes trying their luck to conquer a kingdom of their own, helping the decadent Eastern Roman Empire to regain land lost to the Turks in the process.

Of course, religion was the official excuse.
--

Information wants to be beer, or something.
[ Parent ]

Israel already one the battle of Jerusalem. (1.00 / 2) (#54)
by geremy on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 03:30:41 PM EST

It's a city in the country of Isreal. No more should be said. I fail to see why the palestinians should be given anything. It's the same when Isreal captured the whole Sinai (dunno how to spell) in er, a war (either the Yom Kippur or 3 day) and the UN made them give it back. Even though they were not the aggressors in the war, they were attacked. The only reason Palestinians have anything is because of outside political pressure exerted on Isreal. The best thing that can happen for Isreal is an official war with the Palestinians so they can kick their sorry asses out of the country, take the land they GAVE back and be done with it. I say let them riot all they want.

I mean it's not like Isreal is a huge country to begin with. It's also not like the Palestinians are living there (I should say 'mostly') by choice. They tried to migrate to both Jordan and Syria and were denied entry.


-- >>>-Geremy-->
doh, I mean "won" (no message) (1.00 / 1) (#55)
by geremy on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 03:32:22 PM EST


-- >>>-Geremy-->
[ Parent ]
Re: Israel already one the battle of Jerusalem. (3.50 / 2) (#62)
by Nickus on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 01:49:15 AM EST

You can also take a different spin on this. Why should the Israeli people be given anything more? The only reasen Israel exists today is that it was given by the UN. Forcibly trying to remove the Palestinians. Both people clame that they have the right to that particular city and both are right .. and wrong.

Someone suggested the idea with a neutral goverment to govern Jerusalem. It seems perhaps like a strange idea but I think it is one that really could work out in the end.



Due to budget cuts, light at end of tunnel will be out. --Unknown
[ Parent ]
Re: Israel already one the battle of Jerusalem. (none / 0) (#66)
by geremy on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 12:18:12 PM EST

I agree partly with that statement, however it is not the Isreali ppl asking for anything more. They are defending what's theirs.

The old possession is 90% holds true.

Personally I think heavy violence is unavoidable.
-- >>>-Geremy-->
[ Parent ]
Re: Israel already one the battle of Jerusalem. (none / 0) (#76)
by Nickus on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 04:41:07 PM EST

But what about Golan that the Israel army invaded and took control over? Is Golan also theirs to defend or shouldn't they just hand it over. The same goes for all the other places the invaded during the wars.

To make peace everybody has to compromise. Some has to compromise more



Due to budget cuts, light at end of tunnel will be out. --Unknown
[ Parent ]
Religion is the problem, get rid of it. (3.00 / 4) (#56)
by h4x0r-3l337 on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 05:25:08 PM EST

As others have pointed out, any form of compromise or intervention does not solve anything. You can repress the symptoms by taking away their arms and putting UN troops between the parties involved, but the underlying dispute will still be there.

Since it is obvious that religion is at the root of the problem, I propose another solution: a total ban on religion for anyone under the age of 21. Just like drinking alcohol in the US is not allowed until you're 21 and you can't legally have sex until you're 18, religion is not something that children should be indoctrinated with at an early age. By not forcing children to commit to "the one true religion" (which is "the wrong religion" according to another religion"), but letting them decide for themselves once they have reached maturity, I believe a lot of the problems would (within one or two generations) go away.

Re: Religion is the problem, get rid of it. YES!! (none / 0) (#64)
by PhadeRunner on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 09:28:07 AM EST

I do in fact agree. Well in fact, why not implement a blanket ban on all religions in the world. There is a place for a code of ethics and practice and one would argue still a reason for living life spiritually but the fact is the majority of the time people use their religion as an excuse for bad behaviour. For example, I will drink myself to a stupor on Friday night but as long as I go to church on Sunday I will be forgiven and still go to heaven. Or more harshly, I will go fight and kill people over a piece of land but it is alright because my religion tells me it is ok. I mean come on! In the same way that the RIAA/MPAA want Napster banned as it gives people the potential to break copyright laws, I believe religion should be banned as it gives people the potential (or excuse) to break basic human rights. I could rant about this all day but I will refrain and give you this to think about, with all the grief (wars, deaths, persecution) that religion has caused over the last 2000 years I think it has to be one of the biggest killers of them all. Religion is worse than cancer, AIDs, nuclear war!!

[ Parent ]
Re: Religion is the problem, get rid of it. (none / 0) (#71)
by kingalobar on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 01:11:24 PM EST

You are both out of your minds I am by no means a religeous freak.To say we should banreligeon is insane.Whynot Ban Schools while you are at it because kids use that as anexcuse to shoot one another.Or lets ban Newspapers and websites because they eg on this kind of behavior.
my feet stink.....
[ Parent ]
Re: Religion is the problem, get rid of it. (none / 0) (#72)
by kingalobar on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 01:12:52 PM EST

You are both out of your minds I am by no means a religeous freak.To say we should ban religeon is insane.Whynot Ban Schools while you are at it because kids use that as an excuse to shoot one another.Or lets ban Newspapers and websites because they eg on this kind of behavior.
my feet stink.....
[ Parent ]
Re: Religion is the problem, get rid of it. (none / 0) (#74)
by h4x0r-3l337 on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 02:33:04 PM EST

Actually, only American schools seem to be involved in shootings, so the problem is obviously not the schools but something about the schools being in the US. Peer-pressure and easy availability of guns come to mind.
Also note that I did not mean to ban religion altogether. If somebody wants to believe in God that's fine with me, but a person should be allowed to make an informed decision of his own regarding this matter, not be brainwashed during childhood.

[ Parent ]
Re: Religion is the problem, get rid of it. (none / 0) (#84)
by reshippie on Tue Oct 03, 2000 at 11:48:34 AM EST

I'm guessing that you're not an American. Seeing as how here, the very first item on our Bill of Rights guarantees people the right to practice whatever religion they want. Besides, banning a religion doesn't work.

In Japan, sometime in the 19th Century (I think), they kicked out all of the Catholic priests. So the Catholics went underground until it was safe.

As for preventing children to practice religion until they're 18, well that's even more ridiculous. Christian, and Jewish traditions start practically at birth. There are all sorts of schools set up to educate children about their religion, which they are learning from their parents. Do you want the government to tell parents what they can and can't teach their own kids?

Yes people have done some horrible things in the name of religion, but there are also lots of people that follow their religion and it's teachings in a peaceful way.

------end rant here------

One last thing, can anyone explain to me how the Bible (Old Testament, so it applies to Jewish and Christian people) specifically states "Thou shalt not kill" as one of the 10 Commandments, yet all sorts of religious nuts use passages from the Bible to justify killing others.
Was it Marx who said "religion is the opiate of the masses?" Makes sense to me, then again, I don't think drugs should be illegal.

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)
[ Parent ]

The rest of the story (4.50 / 4) (#57)
by esjewett on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 05:48:02 PM EST

The man who should probably take most of the responsibility for starting this incident is Ariel Sharon. He is the right-wing leader of the Likud party in Israel while BB Netanyahu is sorting out his legal problems.

The whole riot situation started when Ariel Sharon took it upon himself to go up to the temple mount several days ago. This is simply not done. There is a gentlemen's agreement of sorts between the Jewish Israelis and the Muslims that the Jews will stay off the temple mount (site of the Dome of the Rock, Islam's third most holy place.)

Interestingly, it is actually against the rulings of the orthodox Jewish rabbis for a Jew to go to the temple mount since you might accidentally enter the "holy of holies" (the actual temple) which only the high priest is allowed into. Since we don't have a high priest right now (though Ariel Sharon seems to think he is him), no one is allowed on the temple mount.

Sharon's move was purely political. Frankly, he knew exactly what was going to happen and he went ahead anyway. It was an effort to undermine the current labor government and to turn Israelis against the Palestinians. The tactics used by those against giving land to the Palestinians have always been reprehencible, now they have become even moreso.


AIM: esjewettii


Re: The rest of the story (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by jkatz on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 06:29:04 PM EST

The man who should probably take most of the responsibility for starting this incident is Ariel Sharon. He is the right-wing leader of the Likud party in Israel while BB Netanyahu is sorting out his legal problems.

When Sharon did what he did, it was not a surprise. We've learned a lot about the way Sharon acts from the Lebanon incident years ago. Right now, he is indeed trying to take advantage of Netanyahu's absence to gather as many supporters as he can, hoping to take over the Likud. However, the real person to blame in this particular case is not Sharon, but Ehud Barak. Sharon needed permission from Barak to enter Temple Mount, and I find it quite disturbing that he received this permission. So far, Barak refused to comment on this issue. As is the case with Sharon, history shows us that this is not surprising on Barak's side either, considering that he voted against the Oslo agreement initially.
-- Jordan Katz
[ Parent ]

Multicultural state, not theocracy, needed (3.33 / 3) (#60)
by driptray on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 09:44:03 PM EST

Disclaimer: I am Jewish, but not especially knowledgeable about the history of Israel/Palestine.

But thats not gonna stop me from throwing my bit in.

Israel was set up as a theocracy/"state for Jews", and was designed to keep out others. Thus, it was flawed from the start, cos trying to keep out others never really works, especially when there's a whole bunch of others (Palestinians) already there.

I understand and sympathise with the reasons why Israel was formed in this way. After WWII the jews wanted (somewhat justifiably) a place of their own to get away from the persecution they had suffered for a hell of a long time. But "a place of their own" wasn't realistic, or a good idea. Rather than trying to withdraw from the world into their own heavily armed state, it would have been better to engage with the world a little more - not be so distrustful of others, and open themselves up a little. Easy to say in hindsight.

I'm an Australian and Australia is a successful multicultural state where a synagogue can peacefully exist across the road from a mosque. I'm sure the USA is the same. Surely this is the model that Israel (and Palestine) should be trying to emulate. If Israel wasn't just "for Israelis (jews)", but fully included Palestinians as citizens etc, then the heat over who controls Jerusaleum would dissipate.

I've never been to Israel, so I have no idea how the idea of a modern multicultural state is viewed there. But it seems like not only a good idea in theory, but possibly the only idea that will work in the long run to bring peace.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating

Re: Multicultural state, not theocracy, needed (none / 0) (#61)
by geremy on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 10:39:29 PM EST

Hi, This seems reasonable, the problem with this theory (or the supposed problem with this theory) is that if there were ever too many Palestinians in politcal power, then there would be no more Isreal. And I think that the population is like 50-50 (or thereabouts) so it is a real worry. I think currently there is one Palestinian that is an elected official in the Isreali government, and he seems benign enough...but of course Isreal doesn't even want to think about this problem.
-- >>>-Geremy-->
[ Parent ]
Re: Multicultural state, not theocracy, needed (none / 0) (#63)
by baruch on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 05:41:35 AM EST

A factual problem with the original post is that Israel is a Democracy and not a Theocracy, it was formed with a goal of being a country for the Jews. However a Theocracy is a governmental method where the laws are the religious laws, which is not the case in Israel. Though there is a foothold for religious laws in Israel, marriage and divorce are controlled almost solely by religious laws (of the peoples involved).

The ratio between Israelis and Palestinians (To the best of my knowledge) is not 50-50 there are less Palestinians than Israelis, at least inside the borders of Israel and the West-Bank. I have no knowledge as to the number of Palestinians living outside the are.

The two nations can possibly live together but most probably not inside the same country, there is too much hatred and suspicion in both sides for such an idea to work here.

One of the key problems that will be the hardest to fuse is the suspicion. After so long a time of wars, terrorist attacks, oppression and venomous education in both sides it will be something very hard to break. Just take a look at the state with Egypt and Jordan, Israel has peace with both, but there are in those countries too many elements that call to a complete disconnection between the sides, even to the point of disallowing any connection or visit in Israel. There are those that do come and visit but from what I know with relation to Egypt, the number of visitor from Egypt is by far smaller than the number of visitors from Egypt to Israel.

All in all, the problems are not a simple decision, there are many problems and obstacles in the way for complete peace in the area. And suspicion is never a good thing to have when trying to solve this problem. Jerusalem itself is only one facet of the problem, an important one to both sides, but still only one facet.

[ Parent ]
Nothing new. (none / 0) (#68)
by Rand Race on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 12:51:19 PM EST

The only people who ever made a lasting effect on the endemic violence of the area were the Romans. They took every man, woman, and child and sent them elsewhere. They then burned the place to the ground. Afterwards the area enjoyed several hundred years of, for the most part, peace. Then the arabs took it, lighting off a few centuries of warfare with the Christian west.

I say give it back to the pagans...


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

Re: Nothing new. (none / 0) (#77)
by afc on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 05:05:32 PM EST

You're pretty much mistaken on your accounts, although the Pax Romana is mostly right. Under the Arabs and/or Seljucid Turks, the Palestine enjoyed peace between the three locally grown monotheist religions profeseed by the natives. Of course, there was the occasional fratricide war for the crown now and then, but it was only when Germanic intruders, allied with the faltering Eastern Roman Empire pillaged and burned their way to Jerusalem, that harmony between the different faiths was disturbed.

The same actually happened in Spain, while the Arabs occupied it: Muslims, Christians and Jews lived and let live in peace, though, of course Muslim Arabs ran the whole show. It was only when the (Germanic descendant) crowns of the non-occupied north of the peninsula decided to join forces and expel the Arabs that trouble began.

Now I'll give exactly one chance to name the folks mostly responsible for all the trouble and strife currently going on in the Levant. Hint: they do not live in Asia.
--

Information wants to be beer, or something.
[ Parent ]

Re: Nothing new. (2.00 / 1) (#86)
by Rand Race on Wed Oct 04, 2000 at 12:02:31 AM EST

You are correct, I did exagerate to make my tounge-in-cheek point. The Muslims did control the area, from the late 8th century until the Crusades, in a fair amount of harmony. The Islamic states of the time were the height of civilization, and had a workable religously based system of governance in which Christians, Jews, and Muslims could live in harmony if not equality. Woe to those not 'of the book' though. If the Arab states had not so viscously rejected the Golden Horde's envoys they might well have avoided it's ravaging of Islam around the same time of the Crusades.

My stab at the Q is.... us! Imperialist american pigs and our running dog allies! Seriously, between european imperialism, allied blundering in the wake of WWII, the Cold War, and America's innefectual flailing of recent years we in the west, descendants of germanic tribes for the most part, do bear more than our fair share of the blame. We have fucked up a lot more places than just Israel, but it is kind of a masterpiece so to speak.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

A simple answer (none / 0) (#69)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 01:00:15 PM EST

Their problems are none of our business, unless "we" live there. The reason so much of the western world is under constant terrorist threats, has constant security concerns, and so on is that we involve ourselves in these sorts of things.
We have no interests to protect in the Middle East; oil concerns are illusory, because no matter who rules, he either sells oil(his only natural resource of any value,) or becomes poor rapidly. We have no business being there at all; our people should not be dying, our money should not be spent, and our troops should be at home. If the people in the Middle East want to beat each other into oblivion rather than act like human beings, let them. Sooner or later they'll wise up.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Re: A simple answer (none / 0) (#81)
by one61803 on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 08:41:38 PM EST

You have an interesting idea there and it indeed works (take China for example - no one there gives a damn what happens in Israel). The catch is, of course, that the Western world (including its leaders) are either Jewish, Christian or Muslim and all have a vested interest in what happens in the Middle East so I don't think we (that is the western world) will be dissociating ourselves from the Middle East anytime soon.

Another thing to note is that the Israeli economy as well as that of of Palestinians is basically supported by money flowing from various groups and individuals in the United States and to a lesser extent, elsewhere in the West.

[ Parent ]
U.S. Funding to Israel (4.00 / 2) (#82)
by 2quam4 on Tue Oct 03, 2000 at 02:05:19 AM EST

Several comments explain that there should not be a care for these events because these events should be left up to those who live there. Under most circumstances, I would agree, however, the U.S. gives an enormous amount of money to Israel (correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it amount to $500 per Israeli?). I wouldn't think that billions of dollars in foreign aid has "no-strings," and based on the opinions that Americans have of taxation, I assume the majority of Americans would like to specify how such funds are spent. Based on the funding Israel receives from the U.S., if the U.S. wants Israel to adhere to a certain compromise or plan, then Israel must have no choice but to accept a U.S. plan.

Some more commentary on the escalating situation (4.00 / 1) (#85)
by onlawn on Tue Oct 03, 2000 at 02:00:54 PM EST

Does anyone know what promted Clinton to do middle east talks? Does anyone know what is the Israeli interest in the Mount Moriah, recently that is causing such a hubbub?

Its easy to chalk the whole thing up to "They are just getting tired and frustrated so someone has to do something. Its been going on for centuries." But however interesting a generalized simplified motivation is, the details of whats been going on over there are much more interesting.

It explains some plans that were presented to put Mount Moriah in UN hands. It explains why Israeli's are all of a sudden desperate to get it out of the Waqf's hands. It explains why what the poster suggests would work, but if you could get them to agree on that, then you really don't need a neutral government in the first place.

Of course this is one sided, but thats how I think news should be portrayed. Its a misnomer to say that reporting is objective. Anything that I've had any personal knowledge and experience in has been reported on very poorly, with lots of misinformation. Yet when I don't know anything about it I feel strangley satisfied and informed.

I wouldn't call this propeganda, after reading this I am more interested in the Waqf position. Why they are doing what they are doing. I don't expect any k5er to know, but I'd be interested in seeing something.



Israeli situation | 87 comments (85 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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