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[P]
Religious-Run Governments and Restriction of Freedom

By theboz in Op-Ed
Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 07:21:53 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

There is a country in the middle east that has a history of murders, religious oppression, theft of private property, and treating women as second class citizens. We often hear about this country on the news, yet the United States does nothing to help bring an end to the tyranny of this nation. In fact, the U.S. has been known to support this nation and its leadership in the past.

While most people would think I am talking about Afghanistan, I am, in fact, describing Israel.


Before reading the rest of this article, I would suggest learning about the history of Israel, and the history of Afghanistan's Taliban. Understanding how these countries came into existance, who their leaders are, and why they act in such an extreme manner is crucial to seeing how their governments make their crimes seem rational.

Both Afghanistan and Israel have many things in common. Both have a bloody and violent history that has continued to this day. Both nations have many problems that should be addressed in order to catch up with the civilized world. I would say that the biggest problem in both are the lack of seperation of church and state, which more progressive countries like the United States placed into law from the beginning. This allows religious leaders to make their laws based on religious fairy tales and intolerance, rather than good will and rational thought.

Israel has a fairly long history of treating Muslims and Christians as second-class citizens. They do treat the Christians better than the Muslims, but that is generally because there is strong support from the U.S. to Israel. The government there likes to have the U.S. on its side so they will not harm visitors from our country. However, you don't need to look very far to see that the Israelis treat Muslims in a completely different manner. The israelis consider Muslims to be little more than dogs, and things are increasingly dangerous for Muslims who live in occupied areas. Many people throughout the world understand that Israel is a racist and religiously run country, but there are still those that refuse to look at it this way.

This is much like the Taliban, who have came into the world's view by first destroying ancient Buddhist statues, and now are detaining Christian relief workers for simply trying to follow their religion.

There is also the issue of the oppression of women in both countries. Israel has a better reputation, because they treat women fairly well in Judaism, however they have no respect for the life of pregnant women and children in what they consider sub-human animals like the Arabs. However, the Taliban is much worse in their views of women. They have gotten the attention of feminist groups for their oppressive laws.

Violence is a staple of the governments of both Israel and Afghanistan. Political forces often use violence as a way to bring about extreme laws and shifts in power. Genocide is often a result of political problems when one group of people is looking for another to blame. Many innocents have died as a result of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, yet it rarely makes the news. This is an issue that is common in Afghanistan as well. The Taliban has murdered many innocent people, and in a shorter time span than Israel. However, both countries are committing atrocities that should be scrutinized by the rest of the world and dealt with by the U.N. or another group that can step in and prevent more murders by the governments.

There are many causes for both countries to be in constant conflict with others, but the one I would like to focus on now is Israel. Since its founding in 1948, Israel has continued to seize more land that belonged to Arabs. It it said that around 80% of the land that once belonged to the Palestinians has been stolen by the Israelis. This does not just involve stealing the Palestinian lands, but also involves brutal measures to prevent the Palestinians from entering the areas that they live, and a continual process of bulldozing new shelters that the Palestinians raise up for themselves. Their land is stolen, along with their property, then when they build a new home, that is bulldozed along with their property as well. I also would like to point out that the Taliban is guilty of doing the same thing, but on a smaller level.

Although I can not yet see a bright future for what is going on in Afghanistan, I do see some hope for the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Even though the Israeli government uses the excuse of anti-semitism to try and get out of the spotlight, there are Jewish groups who are against the occupation of Palestine. In fact, some Israeli youths are standing up against the tyranny of their fathers to promote freedom for all people. There are also Muslims against the Taliban, but most of them do not represent the extremists within Afghanistan.

Religiously run governments cause problems for all of the people living in the countries they run, whether you belong to the majority or not. Suffering is a universal problem for everyone, not just for Jews, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, or anyone more than another. As forward thinking and intelligent people, we should learn about the oppression caused by Israel and Afghanistan so that we can fight against it, and prevent it in our own countries. With such examples as George W. Bush meeting with The Pope to ask scientific questions, we can see that religious dogma can easily be tied to law or the decision making process of governments. While these people should be permitted to believe the way they do, it takes the vigilance of us all to make sure that these decisions are fair to those that are not like us.

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Poll
Who is more wrong?
o Israel 11%
o Afghanistan 35%
o U.S.A. 17%
o China 11%
o slashdot 23%

Votes: 117
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o history
o Israel
o history [2]
o Afghanista n's
o Taliban
o increasing ly dangerous for Muslims
o Israel is a racist and religiously run country
o those that refuse to look at it
o destroying ancient Buddhist statues
o detaining Christian relief workers
o pregnant women and children
o gotten the attention of feminist groups
o Genocide
o Many innocents have died
o common in Afghanistan
o murdered many innocent people
o Israel has continued to seize
o brutal measures
o Taliban is guilty
o Jewish groups
o against the occupation
o Israeli youths are standing up
o Muslims against the Taliban
o Also by theboz


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Religious-Run Governments and Restriction of Freedom | 194 comments (181 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Where is my oppression??? (1.57 / 21) (#1)
by gisano on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:33:07 AM EST

I am being oppressed by the pigdogs of my Ulzamastan government. Yet you write no articles for me. I live in filth and sleep with the goats and you write nothing about me. Where is my freedom? Where is my day of fame for oppression?
HELP! I AM BEING OPPRESSED!
whiner (3.45 / 11) (#6)
by anonymous cowerd on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:17:00 AM EST

I am being oppressed by the pigdogs of my Ulzamastan government. Yet you write no articles for me. I live in filth and sleep with the goats and you write nothing about me. Where is my freedom? Where is my day of fame for oppression?
HELP! I AM BEING OPPRESSED!

Here you are, one of the only seven elite citizens in all Ulzamastan so wealthy as to possess:

a.) A functioning telephone line
b.) a powerful 386-25 computer (with 4 MB of RAM and a 110 MB hard drive, no less!), and
c.) a high-tech 2400 baud modem

and you're complaining about oppresion! Whiner. Why even those warm, cuddly goats you sleep with are sleek and fat!

Better watch out, bud. "Let them eat cake," indeed. One of these days the truly oppressed impoverished masses of Ulzamastan will rise and trample you elitists underfoot. Your private goats will become the communal goats, and your selfishly sequestered modem will be shared equally, one baud per peasant.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

The one thing that really disturbs me about America is that people don't like to read. - Keith Richards
[ Parent ]

Filthy peasants! (3.50 / 4) (#34)
by Scrutinizer on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:24:01 PM EST

I still say that watery tarts lying about in ponds distributing cutlery is no basis for a system of government!

We're a loose coalition of wild-eyed syndicalist/anarchists, and change rulers weekly...

[ Parent ]
The difference between Israel and Taliban... (4.20 / 20) (#5)
by WombatControl on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:05:46 AM EST

Israel is a participatory democracy, Afghanistan is a totalitarian regime in the guise of theocracy. There is a huge difference between the two. Israel has free elections, and a system of representative democracy. Afghanistan has no such thing. Afghanistan is a closed country, Israel is an open one. These differences are important to the legitimacy of a state. I'm a follower of the Hobbesian/Lockian ideal that true legitimacy in government is based solely on the consent of the governed. The Israel government was created by the people, the Afghani government was created through a long civil war and takeover by the Taliban regime. Finally, and most imporantly, if anyone dissented with the Taliban, they would be summarily executed on the spot. Those who stand against the policies of Israel are allowed to speak.

Furthermore, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is spurred on by the fact that the Palestinians want a state of their own. This is not necessarily problematic until one realizes that the state that they want is Israel. The Palestinian vision of "peace" is not the absence of conflict with Israel, it is the absence of Isreal itself. This is not something that is conjecture, but something that Arafat and the other members of the Palestinian Authority constantly repeat in their internal news sources. While many of the reactions of the Israel government have been extreme, I would be hard-pressed to say I would not do similar in the wake of constant terrorist bombings. The Palestinians have a far, far worse record of human rights than do the Israelis, yet you fail to mention that fact.

Finally, you say "The israelis consider Muslims to be little more than dogs, and things are increasingly dangerous for Muslims who live in occupied areas." The fact that the Israelis have tried repeatedly to find some kind of sustainable peace with Palestine, had signed the Oslo Accords, had armed the Palestian Authority with US-made weapons to try to allow them to be self-sufficient, and were willing to make many more concessions shows that this is simply not true. It has been the constant Palestianian attacks against Isreali civilians, the training camps where young boys are transformed into killers, and the desire to exterminate the state of Israel that has brought on this state of war in the Middle East. Until the Palestinian Authority puts down their arms, the situation in Israel can only be blamed on them.



Israel is not Blameless (4.57 / 14) (#10)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:49:30 AM EST

There are indeed many problems with the Palestinian Authority and the PLO, and the article above is way OTT in its comparison with Afghanistan, but Israel is not blameless for the current troubles.

The biggest problem is settlement building, which undermines both Palestinian property rights and the worth and defensibility of any future Palestinian state. Even when Israel had "dovish" governments, the settlement building program continued. This is a flagrant and unjustified breach of international laws that make it illegal to settle people on occupied territory. On top of that, its stupid. Israel is building a future Northern Ireland for itself.

On top of that, we've got the willful and wholesale destruction of the property of innocent palestinians (for tactical reasons, apparently) and a program of assassinating political opponents (obviously its OK to oppose Israeli policy as long as you're not a palestinian).

While, of course, its true that the Palestinian millitants say they won't surrender until Israeli is driven off the map thats not likely to accurately represent their position. They have to say that. In practice, given that they signed the Oslo accords that gave them, at best, bits of the West Bank and Gaza, its clear they would settle for much less.

The blame for the breakdown of the Oslo process clearly belongs on both sides. Its a shame, to say the least, but its no more clearly the fault of the Palestinians than it is of Israel.



Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
Reality Check needed! (4.33 / 9) (#57)
by ritlane on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:29:26 PM EST

I am dismayed by your statement because it severely lacks any grounds in reality, and acts as if Israel was an established nation, and then the Palestinians tried to invade it!
Do you think no one was living there before 1948? It is easy to say:
"Israel has free elections, and a system of representative democracy."
when Israel has systematically driven out the people on that land. In that light, the government can not be said to be legitimate, because it is derived by those who had the guns, and not the will of all the people.

As for the "Mad Palestinians wanting to destroy Isreal" routine, please put that to rest. If you want to see who is to blame, honestly answer these questions:

1) What is the official policy of population control in Jerusalem?
(answer, 70% jewish to 30% palestinian... problem... palestinian have more children, what does the Israeli government do? Tear down their houses)

2) Why are jewish Settlements not allowed to erect walls to protect themselves?
(answer, the Israeli goverment fears any such walls would eventually form borders, and thus a Palestinian state. These is, by the way a movement within Isreal to try to change this, I forget its name, but it is the Hebrew translation of "there is a border")

3) This is the final, and most important one: If the Palestinians were offered a chance to return to their land, and participate peacefully in the Israeli democracy, would they?
(answer: of course, their population greatly outnumbers the current jewish Israeli population, and that is what the Israeli government fears. That is why there will not be peace in the Middle East. It is also why Israel constantly tries to exterminate the Palestinians, and gather Jewish immigrants)




---Lane
I like fighting robots
[ Parent ]
Reality check indeed (3.50 / 4) (#137)
by kzin on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 03:23:47 AM EST

Do you think no one was living there before 1948?

Slight clarification: although 1948 was the year the State of Israel was formally established, an informal Jewish establishement/autonomy has existed in Israel under the British (and before that, Ottoman) colonial rule for well over a century, while many Jews had been living in Israel for just about forever.

"Israel has free elections, and a system of representative democracy." when Israel has systematically driven out the people on that land. In that light, the government can not be said to be legitimate, because it is derived by those who had the guns, and not the will of all the people.

Over 20% of Israel's citizens are Arabs (some Christians, most Muslims). They have full rights as citizens, and have full representations in the Knesset (the Israeli parliament). Indeed, Sharon is the first Israeli Prime Minister to appoint a Muslim minister (Taleb Sana) to his cabinet.

This does not include Palestinians living in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Eastern Jerusalem, who are not Israeli citizens but residents of the Palestinian Authority.

2) Why are jewish Settlements not allowed to erect walls to protect themselves?

(answer, the Israeli goverment fears any such walls would eventually form borders, and thus a Palestinian state.

This is misinformed. Israeli Settlements already do have walls around them. These walls unfortunately do not stop artillery shells shot over them, nor do they stop snipers targetting vehicles travelling on the roads outside the fences. The idea you are referring to is actually walling the the settlements out, not in, by erecting a wall to separate the Settlements and Palestinian areas from pre-'67 Israel. The Israelis who would be walled out by this plan oppose it vehemently, of course.

3) This is the final, and most important one: If the Palestinians were offered a chance to return to their land, and participate peacefully in the Israeli democracy, would they? (answer: of course, their population greatly outnumbers the current jewish Israeli population, and that is what the Israeli government fears. That is why there will not be peace in the Middle East. It is also why Israel constantly tries to exterminate the Palestinians, and gather Jewish immigrants)

Your facts are correct but your interpretation is backwards. What you are suggesting is the old "bi-ethnical state" idea. The alternative idea, the one that actually decided on by Rabin and Arafat in the Oslo agreements, was to instead establish a separate Palestinian state. It would receive independence and assitance from Israel, and make sure to stop military and terrorist actions against Israel in return. This is not going very well at the moment; however, making all Palestinians Israeli citizens would require annexation of all currently held Palestinian authority territories and the end of the Palestinian Authority. This is clearly unacceptable to Palestinians too.

[ Parent ]

Right back at ya (3.90 / 11) (#65)
by generaltao on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:56:12 PM EST

Israel is a participatory democracy, Afghanistan is a totalitarian regime in the guise of theocracy.

ie: Israel's attitude is a reflection of the attitude of its citizens, while Afghans are blameless for their government's actions. (Actions which have been almost entirely aimed at Afghans)

Furthermore, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is spurred on by the fact that the Israelis want a state of their own. This is not necessarily problematic until one realizes that the state that they want (and took)is Palestine. The Israeli vision of "peace" is not the absence of conflict with Palestinians, it is the absence of Palestinians themselves. This is not something that is conjecture, but something that Begin, Ben-Guiron and other members of the Israeli government throughout its history have constantly repeated in public!(eg: 'after we become a strong force, as a result of the creation of a state, we shall abolish partition and expand into the whole of Palestine' - Ben-Guiron, 1938) While many of the reactions of the Palestinians have been extreme, I would be hard-pressed to say I would not do similar in the wake of constant oppression and occupation.

The fact that the Palestinians have tried repeatedly to find some kind of sustainable peace with Israel, had signed the Oslo Accords, and were willing to make many more concessions, including conceding the fact that they have lost the majority of their homeland to Israel for ever, shows that this is simply not true. It has been the constant Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians, the illegal settlements where young Israelis are taught to kill Palestinians, and the desire to exterminate the Palestinian people and deny them their most basic human rights that has brought on this state of war in the Middle East. Until the Israeli government abandons their colonialist and racist ways, the situation in Israel can only be blamed on them.



[ Parent ]

Opinion and prejudice (3.00 / 2) (#149)
by kzin on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 06:29:14 AM EST

Your entire post seems to carry the implicit assumption that the Palestinians are the natural inhabitants of the land, while Israelis have no real rights in it other than rights as visitors or immigrants. In this light, your conclusion is indeed inescapeable.

However, if you reverse this assumption, like Israeli extremists do, you will arrive at the exactly opposite conclusion.

[ Parent ]

Oops (2.50 / 2) (#150)
by kzin on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 06:40:25 AM EST

Sorry, I didn't notice you were being sarcastic yourself.

[ Parent ]
Hmmm (4.25 / 12) (#7)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:27:02 AM EST

Well, I'm no great fan of Israel's behaviour, specifically with respect to the last year or so, however some of the language you use seems rather bizarre, to the extent that I'm not sure whether you're trolling or maybe have a very close attachment to the middle east. Since accusations that Israel is "racist" (and equally bizarre accusations that Arabs are "anti-semitic") seem to be in the news of late, it may be worth commenting. For the avoidance of doubt: I have no connection to the middle east other than ordinary human concern, although I do have family links to situations elsewhere that have at times been equally bad.

So, firstly, what is a "religiously run state" ? I suspect the word you're looking for is "Theocracy", in which case Israel isn't one. Its a secular democracy that doesn't even have an established state religion (unlike, say, England). Although Orthodox Jewish fundamentalism has become influential in Israel, the ideology behind the state is Zionism, not fundamentalism. Zionism, in its original form, is the secular, and broadly socialist, project to refound a Jewish state in Israel. For these purposes we need to be careful to distinguish the Jewish people from the Jewish religion. Zionism has nothing to do with Jewish religion.

Arabs can, and do, have Israeli citizenship, although their political freedoms are limited by the fact mainstream Israeli parties refuse to bring Arabs into government. Note here that we're talking about Arab Israelis, not West Bank or Gaza Palestinians, who can't have Israeli citizenship, and most of whom wouldn't want it if they could get it. This was always the intention. as you'll see if you read Theodore Herzl's "The Jewish State", which usually gets the blame for starting the whole thing. It was, perhaps, not the most well thought out or practical of intentions, but it was there, and was partially carried through.

As to racism, its an odd word to choose, coined as it was to describe the attitude of Europeans towards "inferior" peoples (including Jews). By the largely arbitrary distinctions of European racists, Jews and Arabs are both semitic peoples, so to say one is racist towards the other is odd. Can't we just say "Israel disriminates against its Arab minority" or "Israel's and cut out the bad-word throwing ?

As to your analogy with Afghanistan, I don't really see how it works. The Taliban aren't fighting to keep a subject people in a state of dependency, nor has Israel outlawed televion sets, or tried to force Orthodox practices on its population.

So, I basically fail to see your point. Israel's behaviour can't be explained as religious, or as racist (although the Taleban's isn't really either). Other than the fact the Taleban are very unpleasant, and Israel is varyingly unpleasant depending on who you are, what is it you're saying ?

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
Re: Hmmmm (4.87 / 8) (#12)
by TheophileEscargot on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:00:11 PM EST

Israel's behaviour can't be explained as religious, or as racist
If one racial/religious bloc (Israelis of the Jewish religion) denies human rights to another racial/religious bloc (West Bank Arabs of the Moslem religion), I think it's pretty safe to say that it can be explained as either racial or religious.

By the largely arbitrary distinctions of European racists, Jews and Arabs are both semitic peoples, so to say one is racist towards the other is odd.
In Apartheid South Africa the race tests included finding out whether a persons hair was tightly curled enough to hold a pencil in place. Would you say that since the tests were actually pretty arbitrary, Apartheid was not actually racist?

The point seems to be that an excessive religious influence on a goverment tends to produce human rights abuses. I think that is an interesting point.

Incidentally, the Taleban have carried out large-scale massacres of rival tribes, who they perceive as being of a different race. This, however, seems to be generally considered less important than their destruction of tourist attractions.
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death
[ Parent ]

Point Missing (3.75 / 4) (#16)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:14:08 PM EST

You missed my point. I consider the concept of race to be rediculous. Its rather hard for me to work out whether something is "real" racism or "just" cultural discrimination, because to me its the cultural discrimination thats the important bit. Given that the concept makes no sense, I'm not going to spend time thinking about how to define it.

There's not much more religious or racial influence on Israel's government than there is on that of most Western states. From Israel's perspective, and from that of most Palestinians, the conflict is about territory. If the territorial dispute could be sorted out, the two groups would get on just fine, as Israelis do with non-Arab muslims, and some non-Palestinian Arabs.

This was basically my point. This isn't a racial or religious conflict in any real sense, and there's therefore no point in trying to see it as one, especially if it involves tortured analogies.



Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
Which bloc gets the land? (4.20 / 5) (#38)
by TheophileEscargot on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:43:59 PM EST

The problem is over which group gets the land, the racial groups being the same as the religious groups.

You could argue whether the hatred is mainly religious, or mainly racial, or an equal mixture. but you can't say it's neither

. Imagine they were all the same race and religion, but the Israelis were Linux users, and the Palestinians were Mac users. It would then be an OS conflict, regardless of the fact that they were fighting over which OS group gets control of the land.

You can't have a territorial conflict without different groups to fight over the territory!
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death
[ Parent ]

Of course (3.66 / 3) (#42)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:58:31 PM EST

You need different groups to fight over territory. That doesn't require the two sides to differ in either race or religion. Plantagenate England and France fought for most of their history, and yet they were racially and religiously identical.

You're oversimplify massively in order to force the conflict into a framework you can deal with it in. While there are differences in culture and history between the Palestinians and Israelis, but there's no racial difference, and not much of a religious difference (there are Arabs on the Israeli side, and Christians on both).

The borderlines in the conflict are not drawn along straightforwardly racial or religious lines, but by people's relationship to the Israeli state. You can see this most clearly in the case of the Israeli Arabs - those Palestinians who accepted Israeli citizenship, who vote and serve in the army in the same way as Israel's Jewish citizens. This isn't a war about ethnic biggotry and hatred. Its a war about Israel's boundaries and relationship with its neighbours.

Now, unless you actually put forward some kind of argument as to why this is a war of racial or religious hatred, rather than one about Israel's borders, I'm not going to reply to any more of your posts.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
Don't trivialize the issue here (5.00 / 4) (#51)
by emok on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 03:51:04 PM EST

Please don't trivialize this issue. This is obviously not just about territory. If it were just about territory, then we could just relocate one of the groups and everyone would be happy. This has been tried in the past by the UN and others. It has never worked. If this was just about territory, then the two sides would not be argueing about small plots of land that are worthless except for their religious value. If this was just about land, then there would not be suicide bombers. People don't go on suicide missions over land disputes, they do this because they feel some of their fundamental rights and beliefs are being jepardized.

This issue has a _long_ history and is much more than a territorial squabble. The palestinians want to be able to visit their religious sites without being persecuted. (Don't even try to say they aren't persecuted. How many times have you seen a Hollywood movie with a crazed Israeli terrorist? Have you ever even heard the Israelis called terrorists?) The Israelies want to visit their religious sites without being bothered by the Palestinians. Until both sides can feel safe in their homeland, the fighting won't end.



[ Parent ]
Territory (4.00 / 3) (#62)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:44:32 PM EST

As you say, this is not a simple territorial dispute, that would be oversimplifying, and its not what I said. Its a lot more complicated than that, but as I did say, the key issue is the relationship of Israel and the Arab world, Palestinians included. Access to the holy places is only one, fairly small, aspect of that.

Its emphatically not a war of racial or religious hatred: once again thats triviliasing the issue. This is the point I was trying to make. Thats trivialising the issue by trying to characterise the issue in way that doesn't fit. This isn't a "racial" conflict unless Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Falasha Jews can somehow belong to the same race, and at the same time be different from Arabs. Similarly, it isn't a religious one unless Christian and Muslim Palestinians suddenly all decide to convert to the same faith, and those non-practising Jews and Israeli Arabs suddenly go Orthodox.

The conflict about a bundle of political issues. A very difficult one, in which hundreds of desires, some of them religious or cultural, play a role, and somehow need to be catered for. Its neither a simple territorial dispute, nor a war of simple bigotry.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
apology (none / 0) (#69)
by emok on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 05:09:55 PM EST

Ok. Thank you for clairfying. I can agree with most of what you said above.


[ Parent ]
Lets see... (4.00 / 2) (#63)
by TheophileEscargot on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:46:22 PM EST

I say it's about religion, race and territory. You say it's purely about territory. Therefore I'm oversimplifying???!!!

Why do I get the feeling you've been reading this?
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death
[ Parent ]

Another reply (4.50 / 2) (#68)
by emok on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 05:05:20 PM EST

Oooooo....

This comment has made me so mad I had to post again. I didn't get it all in that first reply. More comments:

This IS a war about ethnic biggotry and hatred. Some of your points are true: it is also about neighbour relations and land. And yes, there are exceptions; sometimes Arabs fight on the Israeli side. However, _you_ are oversimplifying when you say that is all the conflict is about.

One more time: it IS religious/racial. Have you seen how Jewish and Arab groups outside the area (especially in the US) rally around their respective sides? These people are not fighting for homes in the Gaza Strip, they are fighting for their culture.

Perhaps what you are forgetting is that racial/religious conflicts ARE absurd. They usually DO involve disputes over secular property like land. And the exceptions, like Arabs fighting for Israelis, make it seem more absurd. Actually compared to other comparable conflicts, this one is less absurd than the rest.

[ Parent ]
Excuse me once more, but.... (3.00 / 1) (#171)
by CoolArrow on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 08:12:19 PM EST

You're oversimplify massively in order to force the conflict into a framework you can deal with it in.

Sir, While I wholeheartedly agree that this is a "Massive Oversimplification", I must request that you look at the origin of this "Massive Oversimplification", which is historically and unmistakeably at the very root of the problem, stemming from historical leadership, religious and otherwise. Said leadership has "sought long to maintain its hold on leadership [and money]", by finding effective mechanism's like "Religion", with which to steer the masses to their bidding.

This is not the "framework" which I would personally choose so that I might "deal with it", (by the way - there's no need to sound all nasal and condescending about it bud!) However, it damn well is the framework that the born to believe citizen will cite as reason, or "reason enough".

On the plus side to this, if there truly is one, as the majority of the populations age, those who had some significant event in their lives which forged said "frameworks" into their reality are being replaced by their offspring, who have said "frameworks" as their reality because it is their birthright. Much like the "Religious Right" in the U.S. these latter can quickly tell us all What it is that they believe, but they have no real idea as to Why they believe. That being the case, it doesn't take much "subversive thought" to abandon that framework for what appeals to them as a more realistic "Framework so that they can deal with it."

Thanks again for the insight,

---
Caller: "That's Raht! It saiys so raht here in mah Bahble!"
Host : "Oh, don't tell me about whats in the Bible you don't read it!"

[ Parent ]

With all due respect: (none / 0) (#169)
by CoolArrow on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 07:35:39 PM EST

  1. It does not require either, a high degree of education or thought process to understand, (exhibit a: Myself). Dr. Suess addressed it with his "Star On" "Star Off" Machines.
    I humbly submit, I don't think the point is to split fine hairs on the differences between cultural influence and racism so much as to understand that they lead to the same ends, when left unchecked in the hands of their devoted practitioners.
  2. To quote the good Dr. "You Can't Teach a Sneech!" - I must disagree vigorously on your statement that this is strictly a property line issue. One does not become enraged to kill over property, but when one may be risking Eternal Damnation (as they have come to understand it), one can get down right PISSED , especially when dealing with the Infidel/Barbarian/Great Unwashed/Unholy Demon Seed ..... ahhh...they get the point....

Thanks for making me think a bit...
Especially about politics... I HATE Politics...

---
"Settle for Nothin! We gotta Take the Power Back!"

[ Parent ]

Racism is racism (4.50 / 2) (#80)
by ZanThrax on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 08:00:48 PM EST

As to racism, its an odd word to choose, coined as it was to describe the attitude of Europeans towards "inferior" peoples (including Jews). By the largely arbitrary distinctions of European racists, Jews and Arabs are both semitic peoples, so to say one is racist towards the other is odd. Can't we just say "Israel disriminates against its Arab minority" or "Israel's and cut out the bad-word throwing ?
I suppose you don't believe that blacks can be racists either then? Just because a group has been the victim of racism doesn't mean they can't become the originator of racism at a later time (or, in many cases, at the same time).


Intolerant people should be shot.


[ Parent ]
Racism is ? (none / 0) (#143)
by Simon Kinahan on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 04:28:00 AM EST

I just don't think its a very useful word, to be honest. Just because two groups are, or are not, of the same race, doesn't make the discrimination of one against the other any worse or any better. I never said that a group's having been the victims of discrimination excused their own discrimination, and indeed anyone playing the anti-semitism card in the discussion will get a sound beating with clue stick.

There's also the question of just what "race" means. The traditional pseudo-biblical explanation splits the worlds peoples in 3, with Jews and Arabs happening to fall in the same third. As I said elsewhere, the whole thing is silly.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
afghanistan keeps good company (3.50 / 2) (#129)
by eLuddite on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:42:12 AM EST

But it aint Israel.

Although Orthodox Jewish fundamentalism has become influential in Israel, the ideology behind the state is Zionism, not fundamentalism.

Having been to Tel Aviv, I can tell you the influence of religious fundamentalism in Israel does not compare to the influence of fundamentalism in the US before, during and since the Moral Majority in America.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

How to be totally wrong, by theboz... (4.43 / 16) (#9)
by trhurler on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:46:10 AM EST

Disclaimer: I'm not of either Jewish or Arab descent, and I adhere to neither Judaism nor Islam.

Now then, on to business. First off, Israel is not overtly hostile to the religion of Islam. This, contrary to US media reports, is a genetic lineage issue, not a religion issue. Sure, religion is the excuse used by Muslims when they blow up buses full of innocent little kids, and religion motivates roughly 20-50% of Israel's electorate, but that's not really relevant; non-Arab adherents of Islam get along just fine in Israel on a routine basis. Christians, with a few religious frictions over holy ground, get along remarkably well there - but not Arab Christians.

Until you understand that basic fact, you have no hope of getting any analysis right.

Now then, the next problem is that you believe Israel is at fault for the violence in the Middle East. This is partly true, but not entirely; if both sides behaved like Israel, for all the atrocities and injustices that would still have occurred, peace would have already happened. Instead, the Palestinians insist on slaughtering innocents and then making demands, then agreeing to talks, then storming out after being granted everything they ask for and slaughtering more innocents. Israel is not innocent, but even if it were, things would not get any better, and for Israelis, they'd get a lot worse.

You cannot, however, blame your average Palestinian or average Israeli citizen. The Israelis elect their leaders, but just as in the US and elsewhere, there is a limited selection of candidates mainstream enough to win, and that's very hard to change. On the other hand, your average Palestinian has no say whatsoever in the dealings of Arafat or his assorted "security" agencies and other terrorist militia groups disguised as "government" and or "independent freedom fighters."

The easiest way to peace in the Middle East is for Israel to pull out of their settlements, which should never have been built, and for the Palestinians to wholesale reject Arafat, Hamas, and the other instruments of terror which pose as their "leaders" and saviors. However, that isn't likely to happen.

Meanwhile, comparing Israel to Afghanistan is a demonstration that either you don't know what the fuck you're talking about or that you're a hatemonger. Israel is a veritable paradise of justice, understanding, and compassion by comparison to Afghanistan, and a representative democracy to boot. Sure, it isn't the urban US, where you can get away with almost any religion you like, be whatever color, and at worst maybe you don't make quite as much money as the next guy, but when you consider that Israel is fighting just to survive, it is a wonder the whole country isn't locked down under martial law with curfews, armed checkpoints at every street corner, and orders to shoot first and ask questions later. That the border areas live that way is merely a sign of what's going on there - whether you like it or not, government reacts with force to unrest and violence. That's what it is for, really.

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

No, it's religion (3.33 / 3) (#49)
by strlen on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 03:24:22 PM EST

Actually, I'd say its religion rather than ethnic lineage. There's a Jewish tribe that about 15 hundred years ago converted to Islam, and they're among the strongest muslim fundamentalists too. Also, a slavic tribe which has converted to judaism , was known to be rather anti-semistic, and many of its decendants served as concentration camp guards during World War II.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
secular Jews (3.50 / 2) (#102)
by Delirium on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:45:07 PM EST

While those are a few examples that show it's not race-based (i.e. descendents of the ancient Jewish tribes are not all "Jewish" nowadays), I don't think it's religion either, but rather culture. A large portion of Israel's population consists of "secular Jews," who do not believe in Judaism, but who consider themselves Jewish in a cultural sense. If it were only about religion, the secular Jews would have no place in Israel.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (3.00 / 3) (#104)
by strlen on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:50:45 PM EST

Perhaps the people of Israel are about culture. But the conflict isn't.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
hmm (3.33 / 3) (#106)
by Delirium on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:04:37 AM EST

While to some people it's about religion, I still think it's more about culture - for example, both the Arab Christians and Arab Muslims are united in their opposition to Israel, as they are both groups of Arabs (in Lebanon, on the other hand, where the conflict truly was religious, the Muslims opposed the Christians).

[ Parent ]
Also (2.66 / 3) (#111)
by strlen on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:22:01 AM EST

To say the truth, I don't know about Xian arabs in Israel, I'll have to research that. But Xians in Lebanon received quite a lot of support from Israel.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
P.S. (3.00 / 3) (#50)
by strlen on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 03:25:20 PM EST

For once, I am agreeing with truhler. Building the settlements was sheer lunacy, and pulling out is the best thing to do.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
If religion wasn't the issue... (3.60 / 5) (#52)
by Electric Angst on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 03:51:59 PM EST

...Than you wouldn't have Jewish fundamentalist groups here in the US sending people to occupy newly-built settlements on land Israel had stolen from Palestinians.

Oh, by the way HAMAS (its an aconym) has nothing to do with Arafat. As a matter of fact, they are currently working against Arafat's security forces.

I don't have enough time here to trounce the rest of you uninformed rant, but suffice it to say that you are really off base and do not know what you are talking about. I'll come back later with some more information (or get someone with better information) for a reply later...


--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
Wow (4.00 / 5) (#54)
by trhurler on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:12:03 PM EST

If I had a nickel for every time EA used the term "uninformed" to describe anyone who disagrees with him, I'd be rich!

Anyway, I didn't say no religious wackos were contributing to the mess; I said the mess is not primarily a religious one. There's a difference. And as for HAMAS, which is never put in all caps in any Western media of which I'm aware, acronym or no, they're what's known in the media manipulation business and professional wrestling leagues as a "convenient foil." They mostly harm the same people Arafat is after, but occasionally they "fight" him in order to prevent anyone from politically ganging against them as a whole.

Israel does the same thing, though somewhat more subtly; it is embedded in their political process. For that matter, so does the US and probably every other representative democracy. That the Palestinians do it is somewhat odd, really; it demonstrates a political aptitude they don't normally seem to possess.

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

[ Parent ]
a few comments (4.33 / 6) (#58)
by Delirium on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:31:20 PM EST

Well, despite being a general supporter of a Palestinian state, I still find your analysis a bit too extreme:

...Than you wouldn't have Jewish fundamentalist groups here in the US sending people to occupy newly-built settlements on land Israel had stolen from Palestinians.

This part I agree with - the settlers are mostly religious fundamentalists, mainly because no sane person would want to live in a small enclave of 500 Israelis in the middle of 130,000 Palestinians (as in the settlement in Hebron). Only a religious fundamentalist bent on "recapturing the Holy Land" or some-such would want to.

However, the phrase "stolen from Palestinians" is not entirely accurate either. From 1948 until 1967, the West Bank and Gaza Strip (including East Jerusalem) were occupied by Jordan and Egypt - neither country allowed the creation of an independent Palestinian state. So if it was stolen from anyone, it was stolen from Egypt and Jordan, and Israel is merely continuing their long-running tradition of treating it as territory and disallowing an independent Palestinian state. In addition, when you say "stole," you make it sound as if Israel decided it wanted more land, and invaded to take it, which is not the case. The 1967 war was started by the Arabs because they gambled that they had accumulated enough military force to destroy Israel. They lost the gamble, and Israel captured the West Bank, Golan Heights, southern Lebanon, Gaza Strip, and Sinai Peninsula as they pushed back the by now quickly retreating invaders (they've since pulled back from the Sinai and Lebanon). While one might argue that they should've just repelled their invaders to the pre-existing (1948) borders, and not continued to push further, it does seem reasonable that after just suffering a massive invasion they would want to establish some buffer zones to keep it from happening again. So while I don't disagree with their original capture, I do think they should be returned, as the Sinai and southern Lebanon were, especially since now there is very little chance of another massive Arab invasion of Israel (especially since Egypt and Jordan would now be unlikely to join such an invasion).

Oh, by the way HAMAS (its an aconym) has nothing to do with Arafat. As a matter of fact, they are currently working against Arafat's security forces.

You're correct in that it has nothing to do with Arafat, but it is linked unofficially to his Fatah movement in that many Fatah members are also HAMAS members or have extensive HAMAS contacts. This has especially increased over the past year, and Arafat himself ordered the release of several hundred imprisoned Fatah members late last year, so if he's "working against" them, he's not really working very hard. Generally his policy towards them seems to be one of official condemnation but not actually doing anything (either because he doesn't want to or because HAMAS as an organization has become fairly strong, so a crackdown, like the one he undertook in 1993-94 after the Oslo peace accords, could backfire if tried again).

[ Parent ]

correction (3.00 / 3) (#60)
by Delirium on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:34:03 PM EST

...Arafat himself ordered the release of several hundred imprisoned Fatah members late last year...

I of course meant "hamas members," not Fatah members.

[ Parent ]

Israeli settlers (5.00 / 2) (#151)
by kzin on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 06:47:30 AM EST

I'd just like to point out that there are 120,000 Israelis in the territories, in many villages, and they are not a homogenous group. Some of them are insane, like the Hebron ones, but many others are simply regular people who happened to have bought a house there.

[ Parent ]
If they both behaved like Israel?? (3.33 / 6) (#61)
by generaltao on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:37:12 PM EST

if both sides behaved like Israel, for all the atrocities and injustices that would still have occurred, peace would have already happened.

If both sides behaved like Israel, then the Palestinians would be routinely anexing parts of Israel, disposessing and displacing its people, all the while chanting "Peace! Peace!". Last time I checked, it was Israel that was occupying Palestine, not the other way around. It would be an absurd situation indeed if each occupied the other, and I highly doubt that the result of a Palestinian invasion of Israeli land would result in peace.

[ Parent ]

Yeah, right... (4.33 / 6) (#64)
by trhurler on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:50:53 PM EST

And the Catholic Church is "occupying" the heart of the Roman Empire. What a stupid notion.. there IS no Palestine, in case you haven't noticed.

What I meant by "acted like" is in reference to military action; Israel attacks military targets, whereas Palestinians attack women and children, elderly people, hospitals, and so on. This is obvious, unless you're a nimrod.

As for an invasion, they tried that once. They got their asses handed to them soundly. It'd happen again; if anything, the Israelis are a lot stronger now, and the various Arab supporters of a Palestinian state are weaker and less politically unified. In addition, such an action would probably result in the hasty retreat of most of the Arab allied countries after Israel made a public declaration of intent to nuke their capital cities for participating.

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

[ Parent ]
yeah (3.50 / 2) (#101)
by Delirium on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:41:34 PM EST

Not to mention that the only reason the Arabs even had a slight chance in 1967 was that the USSR was strongly backing them, since they saw it as a good opportunity for a proxy war against the US (since Israel is so heavily US-backed militarily). Hell a lot of Egyptian and Syrian planes were even flown by Russian pilots, since there weren't enough experienced Arab pilots.

Without that Soviet support, I doubt the Arabs would be able to stand a chance against a now even-stronger Israel, even if they were to be unified (which is very unlikely to happen anyway, especially with how much Egypt depends on the US these days and Jordan's ruler being US-friendly).

[ Parent ]

A minor quibble. (4.00 / 2) (#131)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:56:46 AM EST

The USSR wanted a show of might, but not against US arms. Since in 1967 Israel was not using US armanents (French armaments, mostly), they thought it the best venue. In 1967 they already knew that tech versus tech the US would win, and preferred tactics that would make a tech advantage useless (hence that proxy war in Vietnam).


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Military targets? (4.00 / 5) (#128)
by lovelace on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:39:40 AM EST

What I meant by "acted like" is in reference to military action; Israel attacks military targets, whereas Palestinians attack women and children, elderly people, hospitals, and so on. This is obvious, unless you're a nimrod.
So, then are you saying that the children killed by the bullets of Israeli soldiers are "military targets"? Or that just because the person killed by the missles recently was justified because he was a "military target", even though there were civilians, including Americans, in the same building? I'm sorry, but assination is murder, anyway you look at it. Doesn't Israel have laws against murder? If so, it should follow them.

That doesn't mean I think what the Palentinians are doing is right too, just that there's plenty of blame to go around.

Two wrongs will never make a right.

[ Parent ]
What's the US term? (4.00 / 2) (#130)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:51:46 AM EST

"Collateral damage"? We are not targetting women and children. We are still killing women and children, because that's what happens in war.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Do you know what "attack" means? (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by trhurler on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 11:55:08 AM EST

If you threw stones at a US soldier on patrol, he'd probably shoot you. An Arab policeman wouldn't even blink an eye as he blew you away for that act. Why do you expect Israeli forces not to shoot people when attacked? Are you stupid? That's not an "attack." That's "defense." Being better armed does not invalidate your right to protect yourself.

As for "assassination," when someone is making bombs and using them against you in an organization, that's called "war," and killing him is not "assassination." If the Arabs want peace, they're going to have to quit saying it out one side of their mouths while using teeth on the other side to remove grenade pins. They are on the offensive - not the contrary.

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

[ Parent ]
Double Standard? (4.00 / 2) (#166)
by PhillipW on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 06:35:58 PM EST

If the Arabs want peace, they're going to have to quit saying it out one side of their mouths while using teeth on the other side to remove grenade pins.

Shouldn't this rule apply to the Israelis as well?

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Extrajudicial killings... (3.66 / 3) (#146)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 05:05:34 AM EST

<i>What I meant by "acted like" is in reference to military action; Israel attacks military targets, whereas Palestinians attack women and children, elderly people, hospitals, and so on. This is obvious, unless you're a nimrod. </i>

<p>Talk about selective thinking and double-speak.

Israel is killing teenagers that threaten the mighty Israeli army throwing stones.<p>

The Israeli goverment is also judging people they consider terrorists, passing extrajudicial sentences and sumarily executing them in Palestinian controlled territory. This my friend, is a barbaric act, that has been denounced by Amnesty International amongst many other organizations.<p>

------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
Um... yeah... (3.75 / 4) (#161)
by trhurler on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:16:57 PM EST

Ever had a good size stone hit you in the head? One hit can be fatal. Granted, it isn't as likely as being shot, but there's a legitimate self defense interest there, and besides, given that it is obvious that if you throw stones, you'll get shot, why do you think these idiot kids are doing it? Because THEY WANT TO BE SHOT! Go to heaven, have a whole assload of women in heaven, they want it. Their leaders cynically promote this because it furthers their goal of looking pitiable to people like you.

As for "people they consider terrorists," do you consider someone who builds bombs and sends them off to blow up school buses and hospitals a terrorist, or don't you?

And as for Amnesty International, who cares what they think? They're a bunch of morons who advocate all kinds of absurdities; if they had their way, every US citizen would presently be learning Russian.

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

[ Parent ]
Heh (1.00 / 2) (#165)
by PhillipW on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 06:32:26 PM EST

You failed to address the fact that Israelis kill pregnant women and children. I suppose we must find it in our hearts to ignore this and forgive them. After all, they're God's chosen people.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Well, (3.50 / 2) (#175)
by trhurler on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 11:45:16 AM EST

I know that they have done this in the past, but when was the last time? I don't know of a government that has not done horrible things at some point in time; nevertheless, I am not advocating anarchy. At some point, you have to get down to it and fix things instead of breaking even more of them, and the appearance to me is that Israel is willing to do that, despite some extreme right wing warmongers among their people, whereas regardless of what your average Palestinian wants, their "leaders" are deadset on prolonging the conflict for personal gain indefinitely.

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

[ Parent ]
Kill Pregnant Women and Children (4.00 / 2) (#183)
by moshez on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:32:54 AM EST

On purpose?

Any references

The (sad and unfortunate) death of pregnant women and children occurs when armed palestinians shoot out of homes, get shot back and the bullets hurt an innocent bystandard. Whenever such a death occurs, the IDF launches an investigation, and yes, occasionally soldiers have been found guilty of wrongful killing and sentenced.

The other cases are when there are blockades and the soldiers don't let sick people pass through the border to the hospitals. Unfortunate, but when the blockade is lifted, assassins also reach Israel.

[T]he k5 troll HOWTO has been updated ... This update is dedicated to moshez, and other bitter anti-trolls.
[ Parent ]

Granted. But all the same, they could at least... (3.00 / 3) (#187)
by marlowe on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:19:26 AM EST

switch back to rubber bullets and tear gas.

It's not a good thing to stoop to the level of your enemy. Especially if the level is that low.


-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Did you even bother to read this story? (2.00 / 1) (#153)
by theboz on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 07:58:12 AM EST

I included links that gave the history of the Israeli-Palestine conflict (you know, the parts about the zionists coming to town and occupying land that didn't belong to them by force), and also some examples of the Israeli soldiers murdering civilians (babies, pregnant women, etc) who were completely innocent.

As far as your "invasion" it is the Israelis who have invaded, and continue to further invade land that is not theirs and then cry about it when the people they are stealing from get mad.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Er... (3.00 / 1) (#160)
by trhurler on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 11:58:32 AM EST

Yeah, and the US is occupying British and French territory, or is it "native" territory, and Italy is occupying the seat of the Roman Empire, and a couple of Arab countries are occupying Persia, and Poland is occupying... oh, wait, this is stupid.

I'm not saying the Israelis are innocent; I have at no point suggested that and in fact have stated quite the opposite. What I'm telling you is, Israel is a fact, and you better hope everyone agrees on that, because short of a nuclear war, there's no changing it. Yes, they should pull out of the border settlements, and yes, they should go back to their 1948 borders, and yes, they should allow the organization of a real Palestinian state, but give up this talk of occupation of Israel's core territory, because quite frankly, you and I will likely both end up dead along with everything and everyone we care about if anyone tries to put an end to Israel.

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

[ Parent ]
1948 Borders (2.00 / 1) (#182)
by moshez on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:26:52 AM EST

I sure hope you mean "1967" borders (i.e., pre '67 war) then the borders Israel started with 1948, which were a bad joke by the British which the Jewish community was forced to agree to before the Independance (1948) war, which followed the formation of Israel.

[T]he k5 troll HOWTO has been updated ... This update is dedicated to moshez, and other bitter anti-trolls.
[ Parent ]
Is this editorial or topical? Oh well... (3.66 / 12) (#11)
by jd on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:56:01 AM EST

First, I'm going to challange the title of this entire thread. Religion is just what you believe. Thus, every Government, indeed every person, in the world is "religious". It has nothing to do with believing in any kind of God, philosophy, or "reality". All it requires is that you have a belief in something. Anything. Beer, caffeine, 8-track tape, it doesn't matter. If you believe in it, or have a belief regarding it, you are religious.

If you then formalize that belief, in some way, and can draw conclusions from that formalization, then you have a religion.

Currently, the largest world religion is not Christianity or Islaam, it is the religion of breathing. I believe that if I breath oxygen, my chances of staying alive are that little bit higher. I believe that if I don't, my chances of staying alive are considerably lower, becoming zero at some point. If 100% of humanity didn't share that religion at the start of my writing this, 100% of whoever's left will, by the time you read it.

Second, I'll accept that the Israeli government has done some VERY questionable things:

  • Murdering a vocal Palestinian in London, England, via a poison-tipped Umbrella.
  • Poisoning 3 Palestinians in Jordan
  • Bombing "accidently" a UN refugee camp
  • Violent retaliation against "incidents", usually resulting in the wholesale shooting of young kids.
  • Refusal to honor treaties and cease-fires on just about any pretext imaginable. Someone sneezing at the wrong time seems about good enough.
  • Allowing "settlers" to continue disposessing existing residents, to push areas over the margins needed for Israel to claim them.
  • Attempted (and sometimes successful) assassinations of political figures, whether they have anything to do with the fighting or not.

Oh, sure, the Palestinians have not exactly been on the path to sainthood, either. Car bombs, riots, burning ancient religious sites (Joseph's Tomb wasn't exactly built yesterday), terrorist attacks on civilian populations, yadda, yadda, yadda.

If France, Russia, America, etc, ever want to restart nuclear testing, there's a great place, down in the Middle East, they might want to consider. Hey - they're killing each other, anyway. It could be classed as a form of "Euthenasia".

Seriously, I am pretty convinced that Israel will cease to exist, before too long. In Biblical terms, God exiled his Chosen People every time they became corrupt with pride, greed and power. If you prefer political/social terms, it is becoming a major political embarasement, and a black hole down which US money is forever being poured. Its actions are helping destabilize the entire region, and something's going to give.

no (4.42 / 7) (#25)
by delmoi on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:51:12 PM EST

Religion is just what you believe. Thus, every Government, indeed every person, in the world is "religious". It has nothing to do with believing in any kind of God, philosophy, or "reality". All it requires is that you have a belief in something. Anything. Beer, caffeine, 8-track tape, it doesn't matter. If you believe in it, or have a belief regarding it, you are religious.

No you're not. When will people learn that you can't just define words however you feel. Religion means a specific thing. It doesn't just mean 'belief' That's what we have the word 'belief' for
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Belief and Religion (3.00 / 1) (#36)
by jd on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:31:21 PM EST

Belief, religiousness and religion describe three distinct phenomina, although they are closely related.

You'll find the argument much better presented in Dr Scott Peck's "The Road Less Travelled", but I'll give my own, here.

As I said, in your quoted section, to be religious requires a belief. Note that I did NOT say that it WAS a belief. Nor did I mention anything about "religion", there. You note that I used the term "religious", which is not merely the same word in a different part of speech.

To be religious, you must have a belief. But being religious does not require you to have one belief. In other words, the term "religious" is used to encapsulate >= 1 beliefs in a single, unified body, which is often referred to as "subjective reality".

("Objective Reality", on the other hand, is a religion, as there is no way of proving that it exists. Beliefs, in and of themselves, may or may not be provable, either at the time, or at some unspecified future time. Belief is independent of faith, which demands that proof be impossible. Faith is what differentiates a "religious" concept from a "religion".)

[ Parent ]

Religion (4.00 / 2) (#76)
by John Miles on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 07:44:18 PM EST

You'll find the argument much better presented in Dr Scott Peck's "The Road Less Travelled", but I'll give my own, here.

You'll find the argument even better presented in Dr. Merriam Webster's "The Dictionary." In fact, I don't even have to give my own here, because there's already an objective definition of the word that enables it to be used without prior semantic negotiation.

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?religious

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]

(And yes, I know it's Dr. _Noah_ Webster, LLD...) (4.00 / 2) (#78)
by John Miles on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 07:50:58 PM EST

... so don't bitch at me for my lack of a <sarcasm> tag. :)

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]
Then what should we say? (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by psicE on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 03:11:13 PM EST

Religion's dictionary definition may be anything you believe, but as used in this thread it specifically means a belief involving the supernatural creation and purpose of the world and some sort of deity, or even more specifically those beliefs which involve the semetic definition of God in some form. That is understood in this context, and though religion may mean something different in the dictionary, this thread is functioning fine with my definition, and anyway word choice isn't a valid criticism of the idea.

[ Parent ]
Israel and Afghanistan (3.00 / 13) (#15)
by streetlawyer on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:08:10 PM EST

Of course, you missed the most important point of similarity between Israel and Afghanistan:

In both Israel and Afghanistan, the current political situation is more or less entirely the fault of the United States of America.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

Explain (3.66 / 3) (#19)
by finkployd on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:26:24 PM EST

I'd love to hear how, since I'm pretty sure there were similar problems in the middle east before the Americas were even known to this area.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Weapons (4.50 / 6) (#20)
by ucblockhead on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:32:16 PM EST

Because we gave lots of weapons to both.

We should have let the Soviets keep Afghanistan and let Isreal collapse, I suppose, but then, that'd be our fault too.

Anyway, it is just eurowhining. Sure, the US screws up a lot, but we're still amateurs in mucking things up when compared to the old world circa 1492-1939.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Actually, it was the USSR... (3.00 / 1) (#170)
by Jon Doda on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 07:58:27 PM EST

The United States imposed an arms embargo on Israel during the 1948 war. The USSR was the only nation that sold them weapons.

--
"Sufficiently advanced anything is indistinguishable from utter nonsense."


[ Parent ]
Weapons (5.00 / 1) (#178)
by finkployd on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 06:00:50 PM EST

Look, I know we (US) are the largest exporters of weapons. But why does it seem like people assume that everything would be happy and peaceful in this world if we didn't make weapons? Look at some history, if we don't, someone else will. Quite frankly we don't make small arms or assualt weapons that can stand up to a desert environment anyway (H&K and the various manufactuer's of AK-47s do that). Sure we proivide "larger" weapons but why do we? Just for shits and giggles or because if we don't, our allies will be obliterated by their enemies who are also getting weapons from other sources. The problem is NOT the supply of weapons, someone else will just step up and do that if we don't, the problem is the NEED for weapons.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Soviet Union? (4.66 / 6) (#22)
by rpg25 on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:43:40 PM EST

In both Israel and Afghanistan, the current political situation is more or less entirely the fault of the United States of America.

I know we like to hate the US here at Kuro5hin, but don't you think you're forgetting a weensy matter of an invasion? Followed by years of warfare? The Soviets invaded Afghanistan, remember?

For that matter, the Soviets pumped gobs of armament into Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. So I think it's way off-base to blame the US alone for this...

I know, I know, the Soviet Union's way passe now...

[ Parent ]

soviet union been gone ten years, my friend (3.00 / 6) (#23)
by streetlawyer on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:46:33 PM EST

ten years with the USA as the only superpower .... who are you gonna blame now?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
let's hear some policy recommendations (4.00 / 3) (#28)
by sayke on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:07:34 PM EST

i'm sincerely curious. how would you have wanted the US to defuse the post-soviet middle east?


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

quite simple (3.66 / 3) (#30)
by streetlawyer on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:14:51 PM EST

To have guaranteed the 1948 borders of Israel, in return for Israel not expanding beyond those borders. Or given the fuckup that existed in 1989, to continue to bankroll the State of Israel in return for an end to the settlement of the disputed territories. The PLO would most likely even have dropped their demands on Jerusalem if they thought they could rely on the Israelis to keep their promises.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
good calls both (4.00 / 2) (#41)
by sayke on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:55:07 PM EST

although i asked specifically about defusing the post-soviet middle east (i was thinking more gulf-war-era-ish (the US had a lot of influence around there around then)), i agree with both your recommendations.

but more important then the question i asked, i think, are the questions surrounding currently viable ways the US could motavate israel to refrain from further expansion, and otherwise slack off it's repressive policies.

what useful lines can the US draw in the sand, which if crossed would trigger an end to US funding? what useful lines can the US draw in the sand, which if crossed would trigger the use of military force? should any such lines be drawn?

i dig playing policy wonk, but i'm not *that* familier with the situation, so i'm only going to make a couple of recommendations:

  • any further israeli expansion should be responded to with a complete and unequivocal withdrawl of US funding to israel.
  • the US should aggresively work towards a UN resolution legitimizing palistinian statehood.

how's that sound?


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

Sound? Yes... (4.00 / 2) (#43)
by ucblockhead on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 02:13:14 PM EST

Politically realistic? Not for a second.


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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

I agree (3.00 / 1) (#77)
by pyramid termite on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 07:50:06 PM EST

The only solution that has a chance of working is for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The cost of occupying these territories is going to become too high - there is not a chance in the world they will ever have peace while they are keeping millions of people under harsh martial law. Unfortunately, this withdrawal probably won't happen unless it's imposed, by force, by the major powers of the world. Then, I guess, a big wall would have to be put up. Even then, I really have to wonder about the long-term future - does anyone see a similarity between the state of Israel and the Christian Principalities of the Crusade years? Could this be the Last Crusade of all?

Of course, the real solution would be to have a world where religious, racial and ethnic tolerance took the place of hatred, and Arabs and Jews lived together without shooting at each other. It's not impossible - I know of one place where it happens now. It's called the Detroit Metro Area.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Only superpower?! (4.25 / 4) (#29)
by yosemite on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:12:24 PM EST

ten years with the USA as the only superpower
What, did all those Russain nukes turn into daisies when the USSR folded? Sure, there hasn't been money to maintain them, but some of them have to be operational.

Plus, of course, nothing has happened to diminish the power of China (remember them?).

who are you gonna blame now
Before you assume that the US can unilaterally impose its will on other countries, you might want to research how well that worked out when we tried it in Viet Nam (or when the Russians tried it in Afghanistan). But suppose for a moment that the US could unilaterally impose our will on any country of our choosing. Is that something you really want to happen?

--
[Signature redacted]

[ Parent ]
before you assume (3.00 / 3) (#31)
by streetlawyer on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:15:54 PM EST

Before you assume that the US can unilaterally impose its will on other countries, you might want to research how well that worked out when we tried it in Viet Nam

Before you assume that it can't, you might want to learn the first fucking thing about the State of Israel.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Vietnam was NOT a defeat (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by snafu on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:34:49 PM EST

"you might want to research how well that worked out when we tried it in Viet Nam"

A disclaimer: I am not an american, certainly not a conservative and am definitely not an advocate of the US government, but I like to deal with the truth.

If people actually researched into the vietnam conflict they would find that the US Army (and its Australian and Korean allies) never lost a single battle in the vietnam war. Whether they were fighting the north vietnamese armies or the vietcong they never lost anything but local skirmishes.

An excellent example is the Tet offensive, so often portrayed as a vietcong victory was actually an utter disaster for them, resulting in some grimly funny moments such as 200 vietcong attacking an airport which had 2500 South Vietnamese paratroopers sitting on the tarmac waiting for their planes. A major assault on a tank supply depot, intending to use the tanks to conquer Saigon hit the slight snag that the depot had'nt been used for 4 months.

Even the incident at the US Embassy was a cock up with all the commando's dying for the loss of three MP's and a few soldiers. They never even got into the embassy!

If you read the facts about the battles then you will soon see how distorted the media and popular culture has made them.

Jon

[ Parent ]
Victory and defeat (4.66 / 3) (#40)
by ucblockhead on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:53:03 PM EST

Winning wars is not just about winning battles. You can win every damn battle you fight and still lose the war. That's the trouble with Guerilla wars.

The goal of a military force fighting using guerilla tactics is not to win battles, but to make the fight so costly that the enemy eventually decides it isn't worth it, packs up, and goes home.

Unfortunately a lot of the idiots in the US High Command thought they were playing some sort of numbers game, unclear on the concept that perhaps comparing the number of dead enemy troops to dead friendly troops isn't so hot of a statistical measure when your troops just want to go home and their troops are damn willing to die for the cause.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Not a defeat (4.00 / 3) (#90)
by johnjtrammell on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:08:02 PM EST

Yeah! Vietnam was a tie!

[ Parent ]
Russia (3.50 / 2) (#32)
by MSBob on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:19:12 PM EST

Russia is still suspected of selling arms to Iraq plus it makes no bones about actively trading with that country.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
so what? (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by streetlawyer on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:28:11 PM EST

What on God's green earth has that got to do with either Israel or Afghanistan?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Yeah! (4.25 / 4) (#33)
by ucblockhead on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:22:10 PM EST

We should have said "Hey, you Taliban guys! Ship all your weapons back immediately!!!".

Or I guess we could have invaded them and taken the weapons by force. I mean, just because there are three nuclear armed countries within three hundred miles of it (two sharing a border with it) doesn't mean we need to avoid offending anyone in the area.


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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

10 years is not a long time.... (3.50 / 2) (#55)
by rpg25 on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:19:48 PM EST

We've long since lost our clout and been un-available for blame wrt Afghanistan. We gave them weapons to fight the Soviet Union, then they went ballistic (in the literal sense). When they beat the Soviets, we lost all pull over them. What have we done lately with respect to Afghanistan that you could possibly say makes the US to blame for their theocracy?

So let me turn your question around: Exactly what makes the US responsible for the wretched state of affairs in Afghanistan? As far as I can tell, our responsibility is limited to responsibility for dumping lots of weapons there. But that is the fault of the Soviet invasion.



[ Parent ]

curious attitude (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by streetlawyer on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:24:49 PM EST

But that is the fault of the Soviet invasion

Why was it necessary for the USA to intervene in a local struggle which did not directly concern it? Would you also claim that Soviet adventures in, say, Nicaragua were "the fault of" American military involvement there?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

I think your attitude is the curious one.... (3.50 / 2) (#71)
by rpg25 on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 05:22:10 PM EST

So, let me see. If the US were to invade Mexico in an unprovoked act of war, and the EU were to supply the hapless Mexicans with weapons to defend themselves, and then Mexico went to the dogs, it would be the EU's fault???

I'm sorry, that just doesn't make sense to me. The root cause here is clearly the Soviet invasion, the original interference in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, as I said earlier, the US intervention in Afghanistan, for all intents and purposes, ended with the Soviet exit. So why is it the fault of the US? If we're not allowed to blame the Soviets for what happened 10 years ago, why should the US be blamed for 10 year old intervention?

I'm finding your argument very hard to follow: first it can't be the Soviets' fault, because they collapsed a while ago, then it is our fault, for actions that we did 10 years ago. That just doesn't seem to me to make sense. At the very least, it requires some serious reorganization....

I think the underlying argument is that we're the only superpower, so everything wrong in the world now, is our fault. But I don't see how that jibes with your argument that we should not be intervening. If we're not supposed to be intervening in local struggles, how can it be our fault when you don't like the outcome of the local struggles?

[ Parent ]

*ahem* (4.00 / 1) (#121)
by streetlawyer on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:22:17 AM EST

It can't be the Soviets' fault that the Taliban are in charge of Afghanistan, because the Soviets didn't put them there. The Soviets put in place a form of government which was very much better than the Taliban, but which was less convenient to the interests of the USA.

Stop wriggling. Your attempt at analogy just shows how weak your case is; if the EU were to go militarily intervening in Mexico, of course they ought to be blamed for the consequences of their actions.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Funny... (4.00 / 3) (#73)
by trhurler on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 06:06:36 PM EST

Here I was thinking Afghanistan and almost all the Arab states, along with Israel and most of the rest of the world were pretty much caught in the middle for most of the last century, between the US and the USSR. I suppose that if you're an idealistic idiot you could claim that the last ten years is enough time to totally fix all the mistakes of over half a century, heal ethnic hatreds centuries old, and be home in time to make dinner, but otherwise, you might just have to admit that you're trolling for US patriotism:)

Like shooting fish in a barrel, except the fish don't move, and the barrel has been reinforced so that you can just drop in hand grenades and run like hell.

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

[ Parent ]
"caught in the middle" (2.00 / 1) (#147)
by streetlawyer on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 05:46:17 AM EST

Here I was thinking Afghanistan and almost all the Arab states, along with Israel and most of the rest of the world were pretty much caught in the middle for most of the last century, between the US and the USSR

Funny, I must be missing that land frontier between the USA and Afghanistan. And "ethnic hatreds centuries old" is pure and simple apology for US policy; the hatred which exists were not so great that they prevented peace treaties being agreed on a number of occasions, which the Israelis promptly reneged upon with US support.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Safe! (3.00 / 1) (#110)
by CoolArrow on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:20:26 AM EST

Ahh, yes - no less than Old Nick himself, incarnate here on earth, as those capitalist bastards the U.S. Government.

That will never fail to be a safe argument, but it doesn't give much of an answer does it?

Granted zealots can always be found in these situations - and there are never a lack of Governments, on this planet anyway, who are willing to step in and manipulate said zealots for their own purposes. In the end however, that argument really accomplishes very little in the way of human decency, world hunger, disease, and the like though doesn't it?

Oh I hear you, and all the rest of them too, yes of course the U.S. has been no saint when it's come to having manipulative bastards in power, with money to spend (*heh-heh you betcha...). However, trying to explain the hatered and ethnic violence in the Middle East, by crediting only the U.S. government is a bit "ABC\NBC\CBS'ish" isn't it?

In his book The Blood of Abraham, Jimmy Carter makes a fine first point on the subject at hand - which is no less than to remind the reader, that each of the "religions" in the Middle East is a Governmental/State Run institution and, perhaps more importantly, each of the "religions" has it's own "Holy Word" believed to come straight from a Monothiest Diety who has revealed to them throughout history the following:

  1. He is "Their God, ye shall have no other."
  2. This land ALL of this land is theirs, and he has given it to them alone.
  3. He will be with them and they shall "Kill In The Name" if must be to keep or retain this "holy" land with his blessing.
Now, with all of that as a solid and stable foundation to start upon - enter every ne'r do well, tyrant, dictator, despot, and crazy with a pipe bomb and a dream....

And wow! .... makes for one hell'uva read don't it?

Not that I disagree entirely, mind you, I just think that to say the U.S. is to blame is a bit too convienient for people, the world over, who need to assume some responsiblilty for their own actions - Israel included.

I appreciate your making me think,
Especially about Politics. I hate politics.

---
"If you ever breathe one word of this conversation, to anyone, I will smite your ass so badly that you will bypass Heaven and Hell, altogather, and come back as puss!"

[ Parent ]

State religion is not the same as a theocracy (4.12 / 8) (#21)
by rpg25 on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:37:18 PM EST

I'm inclined to think you're off-base in a number of ways, but I think there's one where a number of reasonable people could come to agreement.

That is the difference between a theocracy and a state with a state religion. USians are inclined to confuse the two, but they are actually quite different. Great Britain has a state religion. Norway has a state religion. These are not theocracies, and no one would try to make that argument.

Afghanistan is a theocracy. Iran is a theocracy. They are ruled by religious personnel.

Israel is most emphatically not a theocracy. It has many Jewish citizens who do not practice Judaism, and it is largely a secular state. I would put it on a par with Ireland --- more religious interpenetration than in other European states, but still not a theocracy by a long shot. As with other Western countries, Israel has a largely secular base of laws, and has institutions like an independent judiciary to police these laws and prevent the kind of slide into theocracy we've seen in Iran, Afghanistan, and occasionally even Kansas (:->).

What we do see in Israel is that the Orthodox have primacy in matters of Judaism. But that primacy is really an issue only to other Jews, like Conservative or Reform Jews, whose forms of Judaism are not accepted as valid forms of Judaism by the authorities.

No, there may be reasons to object to Israel, but it is not a theocracy. This is just a smokescreen and a name-calling mechanism.

But they are a theocracy of sorts (4.00 / 3) (#39)
by Nick Ives on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:51:52 PM EST

If you had read this article you would see that Israel is indeed at least partly a theocracy. Just because you dont *practice* judaism doesnt mean your not a jew, your born jewish. Take me for example, my father is from Lancashire in North West England, my mother is from County Donegaul in Ireland but her mother was jewish. That makes her jewish and then me jewish. By the way, I dont believe in any god, but in the eyes jewish people I am a jew and will be forever. I also have blonde hair and blue eyes which I just find damn ironic (Hitler's perfect Ayrean type person anyone? <g>).

Now, back to Israel. They have laws stating that anyone of a jewish birthright automatically more rights than anyone who isnt of jewish birthright. I could goto Israel and apparently I'd have more rights than all the non-jews living there. I think thats a pretty good example of discrimination based on religion. Like I said, you dont convert to Judaism, you cant become a Jew, your born one.

--
Nick
I have a headache, and I smell funny. Time for a ciggy...

[ Parent ]

That's not a theocracy (4.00 / 2) (#59)
by rpg25 on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:33:28 PM EST

Top level response: a theocracy is not a country where religion is just relevant, it is a country where religious personnel rule. Here's Merriam-Webster:

the·oc·ra·cy
Pronunciation: thE-'ä-kr&-sE
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek theokratia, from the- + -kratia -cracy
Date: 1622
1 : government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided

2 : a state governed by a theocracy

Some specific points:

  • Just because there's a descent by birth doesn't make a country a theocracy. Any person of Japanese descent (Fujimori, e.g.) can claim Japanese citizenship. That may make Japan racist, but it certainly does not make it a theocracy. Germany has similar laws, and I believe France does, too, but I couldn't swear to it.
  • You most certainly can convert to Judaism.
Your argument may be that Israel discriminates, but it certainly does not demonstrate that Israel is a theocracy. As I said earlier, the original poster was just name-calling, not truly talking about theocracy.

What makes me suspect that this line of discussion is anti-Jewish is that the argument seems only to apply to Israel. There are lots of countries in the world that give preference to the members of their ethnic groups or at least to issues of birth. Why is it that only Israel is subject to this kind of vehement attack? [The US is unusual in separating nationalism from concerns of ethnicity; it is not normal in doing so.] To paraphrase the Church Lady: "Could it be....anti-semitism?"

Now, we could argue about this, but I'd say that there's a pretty damn good rationale for having a state that offers sanctuary to Jews. Here's the argument: (1) if anything, even more than when Herzl was writing, Jews are subject to violence simply for being Jews (yup, you too, Nick); (2) After Bosnia and Rwanda, can you possibly look anyone seriously in the face and say that they should rely on the international community to protect them from such violence? Don't make me laugh!

[ Parent ]

Converting to Judaism (3.50 / 2) (#66)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:56:22 PM EST

I agree with all your post above. I just wanted to point out that you can convert to become a Reform or Conservative Jew (the biggest groups outside Israel) but that most (all ?) Orthodox sects disallow it, tracing "Jewishness" by matrilineal descent.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
Is a can of worms in its own right (2.66 / 3) (#74)
by kelkemesh on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 07:02:04 PM EST

as the authority in Israel who decides, for the purposes of the Law of Return, who is or is not a Jew and thus may immigrate freely, is dominated by Orthodox Jews and does not recognize Reform conversions - and, in fact, has refused to recognize the entire Jewish population of Ethiopia.
(Disclaimer: this is from memory, I may have the country wrong, note that I am not referring to allOrthodox Jews, just the ones making the decisions in question.)

[ Parent ]
Update. (none / 0) (#86)
by Apuleius on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 08:43:43 PM EST

Reform conversions are a no-no, but the Rabinnate has changes its stance about the Ethiopians.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
orthodox conversion (4.00 / 1) (#93)
by vmarks on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:21:28 PM EST

The Israeli Rabbinate doesn't recognize reform conversions, but the conservatives do recognize reform, and the orthodox recognise conservatives.

Now, the Israeli Orthodox may not like or even consider Orthodox conversions in Israel, Orthodox conversions performed outside of Israel, that are vouched for by Orthodox Rabbis do count in the Israeli Rabbinate. Basically, the rules are very clear, but there are exceptions, and you just have to go to the Rabbinate in Israel and try.

It's a lot easier if you do all marriage and conversion outside of Israel, have a Rabbi vouch for it, and go back to Israel where it has to be recognized, by the same token that such things were recognized when people came to found the country.

One of my favorite moments was when I was at the Rabbinate, (don't ask, it ended up being a waste of time in the end) and the Rabbi asked me how I knew I was Jewish. I said I'd always known it, both my parents are. He asked if I was circumsised. so I stood up and began undoing my belt. When I had my belt off, he said "no no, shev, sit, I only ask because we have Russian jews who aren't because of the communist regime."

I still start to laugh when I think about the look on his face when I took off my belt!



[ Parent ]
Not by the standards of the region. (3.50 / 2) (#70)
by Apuleius on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 05:10:43 PM EST

Israel's legal system gives the religious clergy of all the recognized faiths powers that cannot be imagined in the US, but this legal system is a residue of the Ottoman Empire, and can be found in all the countries in the area, including Greece.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Israel's Legal System (4.00 / 1) (#185)
by moshez on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:00:09 AM EST

Is a wierd mixture of Othoman law, British law and Biblical law above which exist the laws made by the parliament. Hey, what can I say, if you take a land that's been occupied by external forces forever and put in people from half-a-dozen cultures, you won't get anything coherent. There's some system to the chaos, with each subsystem being a fallback but there are some wierd parts.

The classic example is that if there is a contract where a clause contains a crime, then the contract is null and void. That's Othoman (Turkish) law speaking.

[T]he k5 troll HOWTO has been updated ... This update is dedicated to moshez, and other bitter anti-trolls.
[ Parent ]

Actually, No (3.00 / 1) (#184)
by moshez on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:50:49 AM EST

You *could* go to Israel, and become a citizen. You would receive some transitory financial aid, but you would have the same rights and duties any citizen of the state of Israel has -- exactly like Arab citizens of Israel.

And by the way, I'm sure you'd be grateful for the transitory financial aid if a white-supremacy group took over the USA and decided you were a Jew because your mother was a Jew.

Sound totally whacko? I'm sure that's what the Jews said in Germany, 1935

[T]he k5 troll HOWTO has been updated ... This update is dedicated to moshez, and other bitter anti-trolls.
[ Parent ]

Two minds about this... (3.75 / 8) (#44)
by ucblockhead on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 02:21:32 PM EST

I ended up voting zero for this because I was of two minds about it. On the one hand, the issue theboz is putting on the table is an important one that needs discussion. The situation in Isreal is getting worse, and it is getting worse at least in part because of Isreali government behaviors that are antithetical to both freedom and peace.

But on the other hand, the comparison is basically a crock of shit on a very basic level. Afghanistan is mostly a Muslim country, and most of the oppression there (except for a few newsworthy incidents) is directed by Muslims in an autocratic fashion against Muslin citizens. It is a dictatorial dictatorship, plain and simple. Isreal is an entirely different case. It is one ethnic group trying to essentially push others out of land that they thinks is "theirs". As others have pointed out, they government is a democracy and there is very little oppressive behavior targetted at the "good" ethnic group.

It is comparing apples and oranges.


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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

Re: two minds about this... (3.00 / 1) (#45)
by StephenFuqua on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 02:33:57 PM EST

This is an apt and quite valid remark, IMHO. But I disagree with the zero rating as it is worth discussion. Then again, it seems to be generating plenty of discussion without being on the front page...

[ Parent ]
Reasoning (4.50 / 2) (#46)
by ucblockhead on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 02:43:27 PM EST

The danger is that people will get caught up in arguing about whether or not the comparison is valid instead of discussing the real issue, which is that Isreal is doing some bad things.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Religious run.vs democracy (4.37 / 8) (#48)
by strlen on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 03:21:15 PM EST

First, a disclaimer. I'm an ethnic jew (but not an official judaist), so my views may be biased, don't count on this as the objective truth. Second, between Israel's jews there's a conflict of whether to pursue Israel as a democractic nation, founded by immigrants, or a theocracy. I believe Israel even lacks an official constitution because of that issue. The orthodox theocracy advocats are really nasty people too. Once a Ukranian soldier who fought in Lebanon, was refused a burial at a miliatary grave yard, because his father was Jewish and his mother wasn't (whether someone's Jewish or not is determined by the mother by jewish customs, but to Ukranian anti-semites it's the other way around).Of course that's not to mention that they're the type that elected Sharon and killed Rabin.

One of these two paths has a future of a prosperous middle-east country which exports high technologies and adapts desert into first-class living space. The other has the future of an apartheid regime hated at home and abroad and doomed for suffering.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
Israel, a minority enclave. (4.22 / 18) (#67)
by Apuleius on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 05:01:21 PM EST

Israel practices discrimination. But this is not racial discrimination; it is sectarianism. Any of you who want can become Jews. Furthermore, no country in the Mideast or Eastern Mediterrenean is free of sectarian discrimination. Not ONE.

There are 20-odd ethnoreligious minorities in the Arab World. Naming offhand, we have Jews, Maronites, Melkites, Shia, Alawites, Druze, Copts, Greek Orthodox Arabs, Armenians, Circassians, Berbers, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Kurds, Samaritans, Greeks, Maltese, and now my memory gets rusty from the last time I listed them. Of the ones I listed, there are only three minorities that have not suffered massacres or government discrimination by the Sunni Arab majority since 1918. These are the Samaritans, Circassians and Armenians, and of these the Circassians of Jordan are on thin ice nowadays.

Being a minority among Sunni Arabs, to be blunt, is a major health hazard. Only a portion of the Sunni Arabs are interested in kicking your ass, but that portion can seriously ruin your day, especially if the preacher in the mosque near your house wakes up one day with a bad herpes flareup and let off steam at the speaker's corner of the mosque. This is why some of the groups have carved out enclaves, in which Sunni Arabs have to toe the line or get the shit beat out of them. There's Israel, the Jewish state, there's Lebanon, a republic carved out of Syria by France in order to protect several minorities from Sunni Syrian violence, and others may be formed in the future. The Alawite minority of Syria controls the country - for now. They are intensely despised, and if they lose control they will either carve out a new state along the Syrian coast, or suffer genocide. The Shia of southern Iraq may one day form their own republic, while in the north, the Kurds may one day succeed. Iraqi Christians may join Kurdistan, but time is running out for them. THere will soon be more Iraqi Christians in the US than in Iraq. The Berbers of Algeria are similarly agitating, and their disgust with the Muslim fundamentalists there is causing conversions to Christianity (if not for the tragedy there, I would find that to be hilarious).

I am an Israeli. I don't like Israel's sectarian discrimination, but I will support this as long as it is the only way I can live with security and dignity in the village in which I was born. If Arabs want to get me to stop supporting Israel and its policies, they can stop their repression of their own minorities. This will make Israel obsolete and result in Israel being dismantled slowly. But unfortunately, Arab society is intensely hypocritical, and minority repression will only get worse in the Arab world for the next decade. And as for "Anti Imperialists" and other radical leftist idiots, I have this to say to you: when Lybia confiscated all of the homes of the Lybian Jews and made them sleep on beaches, you did nothing. Italy rescued them. While Syria oppressed her Jews, you did nothing. Before you start calling people racist, look at your own shameful record for supporting those regimes. And by the way, kiss my pasty ass.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
todah rabah (3.00 / 3) (#91)
by vmarks on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:13:20 PM EST

Ata midaber ha'emet. Todah rabah.

I'm an American all my life. I spent the last two years in Tel-Aviv, teaching English in Givatayim, and working part time in IT in Ramat-Gan.

How dare people who've never been in the country be as convinced as the poster of this story that they not only have a monopoly on the history of the country, but that they know the best solution to all problems there?

I'm sure Sharon, Peres, and Barak a year ago, would all loved to have had theBoz as an advisor.

I think Arafat would have paid theBoz the same amount of attention he pays anyone else who isn't PLO, Hamas, or another flavor of protestor- that is, none.

Thanks again Apuleius.

[ Parent ]
Yes, the Arabs are hypocritical .... (5.00 / 1) (#193)
by pyramid termite on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 10:45:35 PM EST

... and I can certainly see that you and other Israelis wouldn't want to live under their rule, but you're not going to get any security by keeping the Palestinians under your thumb as you have. You're using them as cheap, stateless laborers and refusing them true political power to select representatives who have power over borders, trade and relations with other nations. You will never have stability in the Middle East until this changes.

You can let them go or assimilate them. You can't just keep them in no man's land, neither a part of the Arab world or members of your country forever. It's one or the other - I'd advise withdrawing to the 1967 borders and arming yourself with the clear understanding that they had not better cross them in anger.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
what kind of $&^$# is this (2.88 / 9) (#75)
by adamba on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 07:41:58 PM EST

I can't believe this nonsense actually got posted to the FP.

Hey since you think the Taliban is equal to Israel, why don't you move to Afghanistan and start distributing writing like this in public. I'm sure the reaction of the authorities would be just like it would be in Isreal.

Everything biased you say about Israel you could say about the US, for crying out loud. Violent history, women as second class citizens, stealing land from natives, mistreating minorities etc, etc. Pretty damning stuff. Better move to Antarctica to be safe.

You seem convinced that a Jewish state is a religious state...just like JFK was going to run the US on the pope's orders. Last time I checked Israel was a democracy.

Anyway I'll stop now since what's the point.

- adam

Religious government (4.00 / 2) (#85)
by mmcc on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 08:38:40 PM EST

    You seem convinced that a Jewish state is a religious state
Isn't it? Judaism sounds like a religion to me.

I think the point is that the Israeli government supports and protects Zionists whose goal is clearly to "reclaim" as much land as they can from the Palestinians.

The Palestinians know that the Zionist goal is to establish a some kind of Jewish utopia, so they are doing their best(worst?) to disrupt that goal. What other choice do they have?

Perhaps the Israeli government could sign a peace treaty with the Palestinian authority, but do you think that the hardline religious zealots of Hamas or orthodox Jews are going to stand by it?

Afghanistan is a different story. There is no land in contention. The people of Afghanistan have chosen their government (passively or actively) and now they have to live with it. There's no point in anybody "rescuing" them from themselves, if they want change then they can bring it about by themselves. That way they have the experience of knowing what it is like to live under a extreme religious government and be better prepared to avoid it in the future. Maybe Israel could learn a lesson from them too.



[ Parent ]

religious state (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by adamba on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:06:43 PM EST

You seem convinced that a Jewish state is a religious state

Isn't it? Judaism sounds like a religion to me.

I think most Americans would say that the US is a Christian nation. Certainly politicians say that enough. The president ends his speeches with "God Bless America." The money says "In God We Trust." This does not mean that the US is a religious state.

What would a religious state look like...well, it would have a religious document as its law, it would be run by clerics, it would require religious observance of all its citizens. None of that is true in Israel.

- adam

[ Parent ]

But it does have a religious document as its law (3.00 / 1) (#97)
by marx on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:57:37 PM EST

it would have a religious document as its law

Why does Israel (and Palestine) think Jerusalem is so important? It's just a city like any other. The only reason it has significance for Israel is because it plays significant roles in the Torah (or Bible or whatever). If Israel is making military and socioeconomical decisions (i.e. laws) based on a book, then your requirement is fulfilled.

Note that the US also has similar problems. If the president makes a decision on embryonic stem cell research based on religious belief (which is almost always supported by referring to the Bible), then the US also has a problem with the separation of state and church.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

religious document as law (4.00 / 1) (#100)
by adamba on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:13:53 PM EST

First of all I don't think military and socioeconomic decisions are laws. Is there a *law* that says, for example, the US has to go intervene in (Haiti/Grenada/Somalia/Bosnia/etc)? No, it's just something the government decides to do.

I'm sure there are some laws in Israel that are specifically based on the Torah. There used to be a lot of laws in the US enforcing Sunday store closings. But that is different from the Taliban saying, "The Koran is law." Israel does not enforce kosher in all its citizens, allows people to work on the Sabbath (even if the busses don't run), etc.

- adam

[ Parent ]

"Legislative" branch (4.00 / 1) (#103)
by marx on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:48:05 PM EST

First of all I don't think military and socioeconomic decisions are laws.

When the parliament of a country makes a decision, they pass a law. This is why it's called the "legislative" branch. "Law" does not only mean "criminal law", or "common law", as described here, it also means "statute law", i.e. "taxes will be cut 2% this year", or whatever. This also includes military matters. If you think for a bit, "common law" and "statute law" is not very different in principle.

Here is from The Federalist (from here): GOVERNMENT IMPLIES THE POWER OF MAKING LAWS. If the legislative branch is making laws (i.e. making decisions) based on the Torah, then I would say that would pretty much make that state a religious state. Just because it's a democracy does not mean it can't be a religious state.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

baffled (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by adamba on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:31:47 AM EST

Hmmm. It occurs to me that perhaps this really is your image of Israel...the Knesset is a bunch of bearded dudes with black hats and strings on their clothing, shuffling around reading the Torah to decide whether to raise taxes?!?

Anyway by your definition, the US is a religious state also.

- adam

[ Parent ]

Re: religious state (4.00 / 1) (#99)
by mmcc on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:59:31 PM EST

    I think most Americans would say that the US is a Christian nation.
Yes, but being a Christian doesn't make me a US citizen automatically does it?

The US government is careful in its laws not to discriminate on the basis of religion. Can you really say the same about Israel, when being a Jew almost automatically makes you an Israeli citizen, no matter where you are born?



[ Parent ]

right of return (3.00 / 1) (#123)
by adamba on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:26:20 AM EST

It is true that law exists. But countries can set their own immigration policies. The US used to have immigration policies that favored certain countries.

Also I'll point out that anyone who is 1/4 or 1/8 (forget which) Jewish can return to Israel. This is contrary to the tenets of Judaism which states that someone is Jewish if their mother is Jewish. So you can't call this purely a religious law.

I would say a bigger issue is for people in Israel, are their laws that discriminate on the basis of religion? Actually I don't know this, but I doubt it.

Actually this is getting a bit away from the Taliban situation. I believe the Taliban is actually tolerant of other religions and officially lets practitioners do as they please. It is Muslims that they are hardcore with.

- adam

[ Parent ]

Difference between US and Israel (3.50 / 2) (#119)
by lovelace on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:04:38 AM EST

Everything biased you say about Israel you could say about the US, for crying out loud. Violent history, women as second class citizens, stealing land from natives, mistreating minorities etc, etc. Pretty damning stuff. Better move to Antarctica to be safe.
The difference is that the US has learned from its mistakes and tried to fix them.
  • Violent history - Although I can't argue that this isn't true, what do you think the chances of another civil war are? Nil.
  • women as second class citizens - Laws against discrimination have been passed and are enforced.
  • stealing land from natives - The US could do more here, but they have actually tried to apologize for the mistreatment of Native Americans.
  • mistreating minorities - Once again, laws against discrimination have been passed and are enforced
What I don't understand is why, if Israel has evidence that someone is planning an assination or bombing, they just don't arrest the person instead of going out and killing them. Ever hear of "due process"? It certainly doesn't seem like Israel gives Palestinians their "due process". The US, for all its faults (and I admit, they are many), even gives non-citizens due process (for example: Dimitry Sklyarov is awaiting trial instead of awaiting burial). Until Israel decides that everyone should be granted certain "inalienable rights", they will continue to be in the wrong.

That doesn't mean I agree with the Palestinians, however. I think they are just as much in the wrong. Israel, however, is the current government in the area, and that's why most of my comments are directed at them.

A society that will not abide by its own laws is doomed to failure.

[ Parent ]
how long did it take the US? (3.00 / 2) (#120)
by adamba on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:20:49 AM EST

It took about 200 years for the US to resolve some of these issues, and arguably it isn't done. Meanwhile Israel is just 50 years old. And surrounded by countries bent on destroying it. What was the US like in 1829? Women had no vote, slavery was rampant, it had recently finished a big war and was 30 years away from a civil war, was busy butchering the natives, etc, etc.

I am not trying to say the Israelis are superior to the *Palestinians*. If two peoples ever deserved each other...but the original article claimed the Israelis were equivalent to the Taliban.

- adam

[ Parent ]

Indeed. (3.00 / 1) (#122)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:25:27 AM EST

Neither Israel nor the Pallies can hold a candle to the US when it comes to setting up a functioning enlightened society. Too bad setting up a United States of the Levant is currently impossible.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (5.00 / 2) (#148)
by kzin on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 06:13:12 AM EST

What I don't understand is why, if Israel has evidence that someone is planning an assination or bombing, they just don't arrest the person instead of going out and killing them. Ever hear of "due process"? It certainly doesn't seem like Israel gives Palestinians their "due process". The US, for all its faults (and I admit, they are many), even gives non-citizens due process (for example: Dimitry Sklyarov is awaiting trial instead of awaiting burial). Until Israel decides that everyone should be granted certain "inalienable rights", they will continue to be in the wrong.

Those terrorists are not Israeli residents, they are not Israeli citizens, and they live and plan their acts in Palestinian-controlled areas, not Israeli-controlled areas. Those areas are mostly not even legally a part of Israel, (although the Oslo agreement is a bit more complicated than that.) It is not legally possible to arrest someone outside your jurisdiction, and it is certainly not militarily possible to arrest someone in an area outside your military control. Doing that would require capturing the area first. This is a bit like asking why did the US attack Saddam Hussein by force instead of arresting him legally.

That doesn't mean I agree with the Palestinians, however. I think they are just as much in the wrong. Israel, however, is the current government in the area, and that's why most of my comments are directed at them.

A society that will not abide by its own laws is doomed to failure. Even though the Palestinian Authority is not yet a fully independent state, it has a recognized government, a parliament, a jurisdiction and an army. If it cannot be held responsible for what is happening within its areas, like you say, then who is? Israel certain doesn't want to be, or else it would have to be responsible for re-capturing all Palestinian areas, and avoiding that was the motivation for the peace process to start with.

[ Parent ]

Jurisdiction (4.00 / 1) (#158)
by lovelace on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 11:34:57 AM EST

Those terrorists are not Israeli residents, they are not Israeli citizens, and they live and plan their acts in Palestinian-controlled areas, not Israeli-controlled areas. Those areas are mostly not even legally a part of Israel, (although the Oslo agreement is a bit more complicated than that.)
Okay, that explains a lot. Thank you for your response. I believe, however, that the fact that they are not Israeli citizens or residents is irrelevent. The fact that they are not within the borders of Israel, however, is relevant. So, let me ask... if these people were to be physically located within the borders of Israel at some point, would they then be arrested instead of assinated?
Even though the Palestinian Authority is not yet a fully independent state, it has a recognized government, a parliament, a jurisdiction and an army. If it cannot be held responsible for what is happening within its areas, like you say, then who is?
My quote about a society that refuses to abide by its own laws applies equally to the Palestinians as it does the Israelis. I was not aware of how much of a government they had, but if it is as you say, then they are equally at fault.

[ Parent ]
Replying To: Jurisdiction (5.00 / 3) (#174)
by kzin on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 07:10:14 AM EST

There have been numerous cases of terrorists being arrested on border checkpoints between Palestinian-controlled areas and Israel-controlled areas. Before the Al-Aqsa Intifada there were also numerous cases of Israeli soldiers going into Palestinian-controlled areas to arrest suspects in cases when the Oslo agreements permit it. For the past year, of course, this became somewhat impractical.

Regarding countries keeping their own laws, both sides see their acts as acts of war against an enemy, and so I don't think civil principles really apply.

By the way, I cannot help noticing that much of the American debate here is lacking a lot of factual background, and in particualr seems to be stuck in the mid-80's (people not being aware, or not understanding the significance, of the Oslo agreements and the Palestinian Authority, for example -- not just you, just about everybody). Maybe I should post an informative top-level comment about these things.

[ Parent ]

zionists (2.50 / 6) (#79)
by nodsmasher on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 07:58:57 PM EST

the problem in isreal isn't the jews. its the zionists. the zionists are the ones who try to sieze the land of the palistians. they are the ones that think they have a god given right (literaly) to the palastinian lands. its a distinction that must be made
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
There is no difference. (2.00 / 3) (#82)
by Apuleius on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 08:28:44 PM EST

A Zionist is a Jew who isn't willing to be an Uncle Tom, and Jews who are willing to be Uncle Toms are quickly disappearing.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Zionism (4.00 / 1) (#105)
by Delirium on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:56:22 PM EST

There's a few sects who would disagree with you. For example, several groups of Hasidic Jews in the US and the UK have signs along the lines of "Jews the world over mourn the 53rd year of Zionist occupation of the Holy Land" in the windows of their synagogues. I'm not sure of the exact theological issues, but apparently these Hasidic Jews believe that creating the state of Israel in the name of Judaism is somehow blasphemy.

In addition, even amongst those who support the state of Israel (the majority by far), there's a difference between those who think that Israel's "destiny" is to occupy the entire ancient Hebrew territory (these are the sorts who refer to the West Bank as "Judea and Samaria"), and the less extreme people who merely want Israel to continue to exist in its current borders without expanding settlements into areas it doesn't currently populate.

[ Parent ]

Satmars. (3.50 / 2) (#107)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:08:31 AM EST

Yes, and these particular Hasidic sects have a long track record of behaving like Uncle Tom Jews. Anyhow, the point I was making in my comment is that in the Middle East any Jew who isn't willing to live under a thumb is seen as a ZIonist.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
i see (4.00 / 1) (#116)
by Delirium on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:52:39 AM EST

Ah ok, I had misinterpreted what you were saying - they're seen as Zionists even if they make the slightest attempt at self-assertion, even if they wouldn't really consider themselves Zionists. I had thought instead that you were arguing that any Jew who does not consider himself a Zionist is an "Uncle Tom Jew."

[ Parent ]
a random link (4.50 / 2) (#138)
by Delirium on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 03:31:24 AM EST

FWIW in some research I found this link, which might be relevant.

A disturbing assertion which the Satmars keep repeating in many of their writings is that during WWII Himmler, with the tacit approval of Hitler, wished to provide a way to allow hundreds of thousands of European Jews to escape rather than be put to death, but Zionists actively worked against his plans, supposedly following the matra "Rak B'Dam," which I've seen translated as "only by blood will we get the land."

Not being an expert on World War II and the Holocaust, I can't comment on whether this is at all accurate, but if it is it's rather disturbing that Zionists would actually actively work for the death of fellow Jews in order to further their territorial goals.

[ Parent ]

The explanation. (4.00 / 2) (#139)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 03:38:36 AM EST

This was during WW2, the war that Chamberlain had promised would not happen because he had Hitler's solemn word. In fact, this was after the end of the non-aggression pact. The Zionists would have had to be completely and utterly stupid to accept Himmler's deal. That the Satmars would have accepted the deal shows what Uncle Toms they are.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
made slightly more complete. (4.00 / 2) (#140)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 03:47:24 AM EST

The ZIonists rejected the deal because they expected a stab in the back. THe Satmars like to misrepresent the ZIonists' actions. Sorry for being blunt and rude. Can you hear my knee jerking tonight?


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
to clarify (4.50 / 2) (#162)
by Delirium on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 05:50:19 PM EST

Upon doing a bit more research, it appears that the Satmars, Neturei Karta, and a few sects of Orthodox Judaism oppose the Zionists and the existance of the State of Israel because their reading of the Torah indicates that Jews were exiled from the Holy Land by God, not because they were not militarily strong enough to defeat the Romans. This exile, by their reading, will end in the Messianic age, when the Son of God will come to earth, rebuild the Temple, and give Israel back to the Jews. So attempting to create a state before that period through military rather than spiritual force is therefore blasphemous, as it is trying to reverse the exile imposed by God before the time God has ordained.

[ Parent ]
Israel's Racist Policies (3.16 / 6) (#81)
by zastruga on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 08:03:35 PM EST

For those, like theboz, who don't know the first thing about the Middle East, you may not have heard about a suicide bombing that occurred this past Sunday in northern Israel which killed 3 Israelis. This story, from the Jerusalem Post, follows up on that bombing and lays bare the racist, tyrannous heart of the Israeli government, showing simultaneously how the Jewish State is complicit in murder, oppresses its religious minorities, steals money from its own taxpayers to fund terrorism, and mistreats women.



US is progressive? (2.00 / 7) (#83)
by compsci guy 2000 on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 08:29:59 PM EST

There are so many things wrong with this, I don't know where to begin... First off, yes israel is a racist country. They claim palestinians want to destroy Israel. As someone already mentioned, most Israeli's want to destroy the arabs. As is evident in their missile frenzied assassinations and destruction of the refugee camps. Anyone with a clear mind can see that Israel is WORSE than apartheid. The ANC didn't have to put up with the crap that palestinians and israeli arabs do. Claims that Israel must defend itself as a minority against a majority of arabs is a total crock. I'm sure the minority whites had to defend themselves against 'terrorists' like mandela and the majority blacks. As well, the Taleban is only kicking those aid workers out of the country. If they were in Israel, for all you know they would have been assassinated before anyone heard about it. The Taleban does treat women poorly. There is no excuse for this and this is something they should be held accountable for. However, calling the US a progressive country shows just how little you know about the US. The US knows exactly the kind of stuff that Israel does. Using helicopters to attack civilian areas is hardly progressive. But these are helicopters donated by America. America was also one of the few supporters of South Africa during apartheid (others included the UK and surprise, suprise, Israel). And the US has plenty of internal human rights violations as well. Just check out the Amnesty International website. You foolishy imply that simply having religion as part of the everyday workings of the government means oppression for others. Yet, for hundreds of years, the jews that lived in the middle east were treated better than in most other places in the world. They lived peacefully with Christian and Muslim neighbours under an Islamic government. It was Muslims that let jews return after they were kicked out of Jerusalem. It was Muslims that restored the wailing wall for the Jews in Jerusalem. The misgivings of a government are not determined by the religion of its leaders. But the morals of it's leaders. That's something the leaders of the US are severely lacking.

Keep villifying... (3.50 / 4) (#84)
by Apuleius on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 08:35:12 PM EST

Israel is a sectarian regime, not a racist one. Israelis are far less eager to commit violence than Palestinians. When they kill us, they dance in the streets. No Israeli would behave that way, not even the most rabid of the right wingers. Israel's assassinations are at least directed at high officials of terrorist groups. Palestinian assassinations are directed at any Jew, anywhere. Keep some perspective.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
I didn't say they would... (2.33 / 3) (#92)
by compsci guy 2000 on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:20:05 PM EST

I said most israeli's. Not all Israeli's. I know there are plenty of Israeli's and jews that don't support Israel. And many are shunned by other jews because of it. And Israel IS racist. They may like most jews (but as I mentioned not all). But they discriminate against arabs. That's based on race. Not religion. Arabs are mainly Muslims, but there are also Christians. And the palestinian people have lost all hope. There's no excuse for killing children in the streets, but the same is done to the palestinians on a larger scale. I'm sure living under an oppressive, illegal occupation has something to do with that. And likely the fact that they have to live in refugee camps while (illegal) jewish settlers live in big houses with plush green lawns and swimming pools (and machine guns). Yeah missiles are directed at high officials. And of course the children standing nearby (as occured just recently) that die as well. Well, why should the IDF give a rats ass about them? And I'm sure all the palestinian homes that are bulldozed belong to high officials? Please. Israel claims they are built illegally. Of all the stupid claims! They occupy a foreign land illegally, and they're complaining about lack of papers! Being an israeli... I can see it's real easy for you to keep perspective.

[ Parent ]
So? (4.00 / 2) (#94)
by Apuleius on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:32:02 PM EST

I was one of those Israelis, once upon a time. Demonstrated against my government and all that. But let me ask you this: when Lybia confiscated all Jewish homes and yet did not allow Jews to leave Lybia, did any Arabs speak out against this? Were there demonstrations? Of course not! I have no choice now but to admit that in my peacenik days I was nothing more than a pimply faced traitor. You have no idea how that feels.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Perspective (1.50 / 2) (#114)
by lovelace on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:47:17 AM EST

Israel's assassinations are at least directed at high officials of terrorist groups. Palestinian assassinations are directed at any Jew, anywhere. Keep some perspective.
So, let me get this straight... You're saying that Israel's assinations are ok, but the Palestinian's ones are not. Funny, I always thought murder, no matter who did it, was wrong. Didn't G*d tell Moses not to kill?

I would say that the perspective that should be kept is that both sides, at this point, are most definitely in the wrong.

[ Parent ]
Close up. (3.50 / 2) (#117)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:52:54 AM EST

So, let me get this straight... You're saying that Israel's assinations are ok, but the Palestinian's ones are not. Funny, I always thought murder, no matter who did it, was wrong. Didn't G*d tell Moses not to kill?He said not to murder. Killing's just fine and dandy, however. The people Israel kill are people that the PA has been asked to arrest and bring to trial. THe PA has refused, and so Israel's only recourse is to kill them. It doesn't make it okay, but it is not half as bad as what the Palestinians are doing.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Murder? (3.00 / 1) (#132)
by lovelace on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:58:39 AM EST

The people Israel kill are people that the PA has been asked to arrest and bring to trial. THe PA has refused, and so Israel's only recourse is to kill them.
This is what I don't understand. Why is "Israel's only recourse [...] to kill them"? Why can't they arrest them themselves? I can perhaps understand why they wouldn't want to if it meant doing it within Palestinian territory, but how many of the "assinations" are within Israel's territory and how many are within Palestinian territory? By actually killing them, Israel has shown they know who the people are (unless, of course, they're killing innocent people...), but why do they have to be judge, jury, and executioner. In an enlightened society, capital punishment, if used at all, should never be used without a great deal of reflection.

[ Parent ]
For example: restaurant bombings. (3.00 / 1) (#133)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 02:04:20 AM EST

Because the alternative to killing them is to let them continue organizing more bomb attacks, and that would be murder through inaction.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
And to answer your question, (5.00 / 1) (#134)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 02:05:27 AM EST

100% of the assassinations are within PA territory.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
100% (3.00 / 1) (#177)
by Spendocrat on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 02:31:46 PM EST

Do you mean within the recent past (last N years) or since the inception of Isreal?

[ Parent ]
100% for this Intifada. (3.00 / 1) (#180)
by Apuleius on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 08:36:41 PM EST

There.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Ahh. (none / 0) (#186)
by Spendocrat on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:36:32 PM EST

Then we shouldn't expect to see another Black September type hunt?

If so, I wonder why Isreal is still using stolen Canadian passports.

[ Parent ]

Your poll pretty much sums up your intelligence (3.25 / 4) (#87)
by Sheepdot on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 09:04:27 PM EST

You see issues as right and wrong.

We'd think umpteen years of public schooling would teach children otherwise. Boy were we wrong.

Instead we're taught to find an issue, empathize with it, and argue as if it is the "right","just", or "divine" thing to do.

Which is exactly what Zionism is. It's a claim to know more than another, often arguing that for years mistreatment has occurred on the others behalf.

For any self-declared upstanding person to pick a side in this horrible situation is a signal that the person is far from reasonable.

Martin Luthur King, Gandi, Mandela, these names ring a bell? They stopped opression through non-violence. They successfull embarassed the nations that opressed them into submission.

Info on Gandi: (read "What Happened" at the end)
http://www.kids-right.org/p_gandhi.htm

Non-violence gains you empathy and support. Violence does not.

The fact that you've picked a side shows your empathy for one of two evils. And I guarantee you no amount of argument is going to convince anyone here on k5 that you've picked the lesser of two evils.

Both sides should be ashamed. The UN should be ashamed that it picked a side. You should be as well, but alas, you aren't and never will be.

Then again, you're a product of public education.

Israel a different kind of state. (3.00 / 4) (#88)
by woliver on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 09:53:49 PM EST

Firstly a disclaimer, a lot of what I'm going to say is based on a lecture series and a book I read a long time ago, so the facts may be wrong or somewhat distorted (I have a shocking memory :-). From what I have read Israel is not a state in the sense most westerners understand it. Usually when you live in an area you are a citizen of that state, as a citizen you inhreit certain rights (and usually obligations as well). That is, citizenship and statehood have a geographic relationship (among others). From what I understand Israel was created as a state for all Jewry after the second worl war. That is the relationship (initially) between the state of Israel and its citizens was both religious and ethnic. Today it is quite difficult for Arab/Palestinian/Muslims to be "citizens" of Israel even if they live within the boarders of Israel. This leads to a sort of de-facto apartheied, which I understand is contributing to the problems. The articles author compares Israel to Afghanistan, which I don't think is really very accurate. While South Africa may be a better comparison in terms of the political power of the Palestinians, it is also important to remember the fairly unique historical origins of Israel play a huge role in the current crisis. I can feel myself descending into more of a rant, so I'll stop now. One final thought, it had been mentioned by another poster that the US was influential in the creation of Israel, Its just woth noting that many of the allied powers after the second world war had a hand in the creation of Israel, and few of them are doin anything to help. The west has a very poor track record in the middle east, and we are partly to blame for much of the current suffering.

partly? (2.50 / 2) (#95)
by compsci guy 2000 on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:32:22 PM EST

The west is completely to blame for the mess in the middle east. That asshole lawrence of arabia divided up the arab world so that it could be exploited by europe. And all the US has ever done in the middle east is exploit it to get oil. The US first used Turkey as it's strong arm in the region to control any arab resistance to american rule. Turkey has since been replaced by israel, but everything else is the same. Murder, mayhem and greed are promoted to keep the arabs from uniting and claiming their basic rights. Instead they have to deal with blood thirsty kings and leaders that are fed and fueled by the west. The only thing that matters to the western countries (mainly the US) is controlling oil. And through that, controlling most of the rest of the world. There's not much point in placing blame. Do something about it... but get your facts straight first.

[ Parent ]
Do something about it...?? (none / 0) (#98)
by mahju on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:57:51 PM EST

I think you'll find the previous post was referring to the creation of Israel and not the dissection of Arabia - and suggested that the unique nature was a cause of confusion - not the inherent problem. You may be well right in your rant on Lawrence, and the fragmentation of the area. But the cause is well passed, as has the initial effect. Israel was formed by the western powers as a solution to a problem, and MHO, if they got it wrong, they should try and fix it.
Now my little rant: I cannot foresee the formation of a new Arabia as one nation under a god, because many factions in the area demonise the others, use this justify ungodly actions to further there own.

[ Parent ]
Ignorant rant (3.75 / 8) (#96)
by scriptkiddie on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:50:03 PM EST

Everything you said is factually correct, although I think you might generalize a bit broadly. However, there's something you do need to realize: Israel was a state founded to keep Judaism alive forever, and it's doing an awfully good job. If the world tries to kill off a well-educated, fairly wealthy population, then gives the remaining members (now all fanatical survivalists) a bunch of guns, etc., and waits for their grandkids to grow up, this is more or less what you have to expect to happen.

Israel is doing an amazingly good job of being a Jewish state. They're failing miserably at trying to be a secular, modern, universal-suffrage nation. In essence, the country is doing what's best for its own survival, "it's own" not including the Palestinians.

Compounding the matter is the lack of any real desire to end this current state of war. Yassir Arafat will certainly lose the elections if the PLO becomes a real country, so he wants to hold on to power as long as possible. The Israeli government has something to prove to its citizens. I think in the early 90's Israel made major concessions because they thought a war would stop the growing economy, but now they've figured out that it helps more than it hurts. If the leadership on either side had any real desire to make peace, I think they could do so fairly quickly. But anyone who has the power to change anything has too much at stake in the current situation.

I fully support condemning Israel for the murders it has committed. However, the Palestinians did start this cycle of violence, and the PLO won't help track down the criminals on the Palestinian side. This puts Israel in a bind. They can either accept a small number of very public murders of their citizens, launch a gruesome military campaign or demand immediate justice from the PLO. The PLO will never give in to arresting the criminals, because they see the situation oppositely - they can't arrest their own citizens for doing what they feel is right.

Traitor? (1.25 / 4) (#108)
by compsci guy 2000 on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:17:32 AM EST

How nice to see that anyone who fights against an openly racist government guilty of many crimes is to be labeled a traitor.

~Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.~

Were you replying to me? (4.00 / 1) (#112)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:32:41 AM EST

Paving the way for takeover by another even more fascist regime is not much of a way to get the moral high ground. It's treason, and I will have to live with the knowledge that I engaged in it. In the meantime, go away and try to do something about the racism and sectarianism in Arab society before lecturing me.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Some questions I've had for some time... (3.20 / 5) (#109)
by Kasreyn on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:17:59 AM EST

...about affairs in the Middle-East.

1. Even given the holocaust of the Jews at Hitler's hands, what right did they and the world have to tromp down to the "holy land", shove the people living there (who had been living there for quite a few generations) out, and not only shove them out but try to KEEP them out? Look, I feel as sorry for them as anyone does, and I know they want to have a jewish nation. But couldn't they have at least TRIED to come to an agreement with the palestinians? You'd think after being forcibly deported by Hitler they'd have the humanity and empathy to not just immediately go do it to someone else...

2. We hear a lot about "anti-semitism". It's the new rallying cry of the Israelis. Let anyone protest what they do and they will be called "anti-semitic" which is of course a polite way of calling someone a Nazi. What I wonder is, why do we never hear the words "anti-islamic" on the TV news? It's "anti-semitic" this and "anti-semitic" that, but we never hear the Israelis described as "anti-islamic", which it would seem to me they generally are. Why do the Israelis get to occupy the moral high ground? Do they think they have a monopoly on pain and suffering?

I just find it amazing that two religions, both supposedly founded on the principles of wisdom, altruism, and brotherly love among all mankind, and who both believe strongly that the middle east is a sacred land, have noooooo problems with butchering each other, scorching that land with rocket blasts, drenching it in the blood of screaming women, and driving each other mad in the process. I think everyone participating in that war needs to wake up and see what they've become.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Some answers. (3.66 / 3) (#113)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:36:51 AM EST

1. Nobody "tromped" over. There was already a large Jewish population in the region before WW2, and a larger one by the 1945. As for what happened in 1948, the Arabs promised to engage in ethnic cleansing, this put the Jews in a situation of cleanse-or-be-cleansed, and the Jews chose the former of the two options.

2. "Anti-semite" is a good way to describe someone who refuses to hold Arabs to the same standard he holds Jews.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Jews ain't the only semites (3.00 / 1) (#156)
by Rand Race on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 09:31:30 AM EST

"Anti-semite" is a good way to describe someone who refuses to hold Arabs to the same standard he holds Jews.

Arabs are semites. When the hell did the Jews become the only sons of Shem? Seems like it happened about the same time Germans became the only sons of Arius.


"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 ]

Your first point ... (3.00 / 1) (#141)
by Herring on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 04:01:58 AM EST

... about the holocaust giving them empathy. From what I recall of history, it went like this:
1) Rest of Europe (OK, and the US) kicks the shit out of the Germans (well, knackers their economy etc.)
2) Germans kick the shit out of the Jews
3) Jews kick the shit out of the Palestinians.

The abused always kick downwards.

Simplistic I know.


Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
What I know about Israel... (3.60 / 10) (#115)
by Dialup on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:51:28 AM EST

...is a weird mix of things. They're making massive breakthroughs in Quantum Computing and AI. They have neutron bombs, and are pretty open about using the damned things against their enemies if we ever stop backing them for whatever reason.

And yet, they consider themselves to be totally superior to the Palestinians and treat them like shit. To the point where it has become very obvious that they intend to either push them out of their territory or exterminate them.

Let's see... who was the last big country that did something like that? Oh yeah, Germany. Who was running the joint at the time?

Oh yeah.

Hitler.

Difference being, of course, that Germany was an established country beforehand, attempting to get rid of part of its population. Whereas in this case, the Palestinians are native to the area, have every right to be there, and are getting their asses kicked by another party that they'd just as soon left.

Hmmm.

Sounds like the plight of the American Indian a ways back, doesn't it? Of course, we didn't have automatic rifles and plastic explosives and CNN back then, did we? And it was *our* ancestors doing the wiping out. Hmmm.

Like the woman said at the end of "Night of the Living Dead" (89):

"They're us. We're them, and they're us."



Straw men... (3.00 / 4) (#118)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:58:57 AM EST

And yet, they consider themselves to be totally superior to the Palestinians and treat them like shit. No, actually, it's the Palestinians who consider themselves to be superior to us. This superiority is spelled out in Sharia law's handling of religious minorities. It's also what makes the Palestinians a royal pain in the ass.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Everyone thinks they're better than everyone else. (4.33 / 3) (#127)
by Dialup on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:33:12 AM EST

The problem is, some people KNOW they're better. And the problem with the problem is that they are WRONG! Moral supriority, ethnic superiority.... we have the same kind of bull in the US thanks to Christians and Republicans.

Fortunately, I think, the big difference for the US is that the Christians are either the minority or only do the god thing on paper and don't really care- the really militant ones (who bomb abortion clinics and work for Chick Publishing) are grossly outnumbered by the rest.

Unfortunately, in the case of Israel, it seems that the Palestinians are ALL really militant. I suppose that has something to do with a country being dropped on their heads. Realisticly, the bombing and general angst isn't going to stop until either the Israelis leave or the Palestinians are driven out or wiped out.

Given Israel's political position, it looks like the latter is more likely.

Hell, we intervined in the balkans- the people living there have hated each other since their great-great-great-great-grandfathers moved into the joint. The shitstorm of generations of racial, bred-in hatred is not going to go away because some guy with a gun points it at you and tells you to play nice or die.

It's not going to stop until one side wipes out the other entirely- politics and ethics will not allow for it, but I personally feel that the best thing to do would be to pull out ALL international aid for both parties, take their nukes, neutrons, and biologicals away, and let them both go at it with guns until only one team is left standing.

Either that or figure a foolproof method that would enable the Palestinians to realize that, just like everyone else on the planet, they bleed red and their shit stinks.

[ Parent ]
Hmm, Palestinians (4.50 / 2) (#145)
by ambrosen on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 04:48:13 AM EST

No, actually, it's the Palestinians who consider themselves to be superior to us. This superiority is spelled out in Sharia law's handling of religious minorities.
So, all Palestinians are Muslim now, are they? Could have fooled me. Unless all the Palestinian Christians have been successfully driven out.

--
Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
Superiority? (4.00 / 2) (#152)
by compsci guy 2000 on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 06:52:38 AM EST

Man do you have your history screwed up. The jews and arabs in Palestine lived peacably side by side for centuries. The asshole zionists come in and want to kick out the arabs. In fact, they even got rid of jews in the area that opposed what they wanted. And as I mentioned before. It was arabs that let jews return to jerusalem when they were booted out. It was arabs that restored the wailing wall for jews to pray at. It was arabs that treated jews with dignity and respect when most of the rest of the world treated them unjustly. And you obviously know nothing about the Sharia. Because religious minorities are to be protected under Sharia. In fact, when it comes time to defend the country, they aren't allowed to fight. But they have to be protected. Why don't you try thinking before making dumbass claims like that.

[ Parent ]
And.. (4.00 / 1) (#172)
by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 09:35:23 PM EST

Jews and Arabs lived in peace, with the Jews as third class huan beings.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Nop (2.00 / 1) (#176)
by PhillipW on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 01:08:36 PM EST

This is like me saying that a good majority of Americans want to treat other world citizenry like 3rd class citizens. Only difference being that I exaggerated it by saying a good majority, where you just told a flat out lie that you can't support with evidence.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Yep. (4.00 / 1) (#179)
by Apuleius on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 07:41:37 PM EST

Look up the Code of Omar. Look up "dhimmi."


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Goodwin's law (2.00 / 3) (#144)
by yooden on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 04:29:23 AM EST

Above that, you should keep quiet about matters you don't have a clue about.

There are a lot of obvios differences between the Holocaust and what Israel does. I will reply to your post only so that it is not uncommmented.

    • Hitler never intended to drive the Jews to the sea.
      Jews haven't bombed German busses.
      The Jews had "every right to be there."


  • [ Parent ]
    Hi (3.66 / 3) (#124)
    by cp on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:31:25 AM EST

    What would you do in their shoes?

    How comfortable would you be with the prospect of non-existence?

    What is your own country's track record on returning lands won in defensive wars?

    What is your feasible proposal for ending tribal warfare?

    Well... (3.00 / 1) (#164)
    by PhillipW on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 06:19:39 PM EST

    What would you do in their shoes?

    How comfortable would you be with the prospect of non-existence?


    This question can also be posed with the Palestinians in mind. They are actually living that nightmare as we speak.

    -Phil
    [ Parent ]
    Church & State (3.00 / 3) (#126)
    by Aztech on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:31:55 AM EST

    "This allows religious leaders to make their laws based on religious fairy tales and intolerance, rather than good will and rational thought."
    Hrm... in theory, reading the above actually reminded me of Bush's decision on embryonic stem cell research, which demonstrates that church and state aren't nearly as separated as imagined, even though there's no formal link. Of course it's highly subjective dependant on the type of president you get, but there is certainly a lot of room for religious determination in policy.

    Btw. I have nothing against Bush or his convictions, I'm just amazed he's able to influence scientific policy to such a degree. It's very dubious, you could be holding science back just because a president needs the Catholic and religious-right vote.

    Seperation of church and state is no answer... (4.00 / 5) (#135)
    by Obvious Pseudonym on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 02:42:15 AM EST

    I would say that the biggest problem in both are the lack of seperation of church and state, which more progressive countries like the United States placed into law from the beginning. This allows religious leaders to make their laws based on religious fairy tales and intolerance, rather than good will and rational thought.

    [...]

    Religiously run governments cause problems for all of the people living in the countries they run, whether you belong to the majority or not. Suffering is a universal problem for everyone, not just for Jews, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, or anyone more than another.

    You seem to be a touch confused here. Britain has no seperation of church and state (the British Queen is the head of the Protestant Church of England) and it certainly doesn't have laws based on 'religious fairy tales and intolerance' - well, not that many anyway...

    America, though, (your example paragon of rationality) has complete seperation of church and state - and is full of the sort of fundamentalists who can get into positions of power and ban the teaching of evolutionary theories and force the teaching of 'Creation Science' (a 'religious fairy tale' if ever I heard one...)

    Anyway, neither of the two countries you single out as being church-run actually are. Israel has a democratically elected government - and if you start to say that religious people should not be able to stand for office in a government then you would have to kick out most of the politicians in the world. Afghanistan, on the other hand has a military dictatorship run by the tribal elders of a minority tribe. The rulings of the Taliban bear more similarity to tribal law than they do to Islam (as has been discussed at length in previous posts here).

    Obvious Pseudonym

    I am obviously right, and as you disagree with me, then logically you must be wrong.

    The Queen (3.00 / 1) (#163)
    by PhillipW on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 06:12:26 PM EST

    The Queen is a ceremonial figurehead. She has no real political power.

    -Phil
    [ Parent ]
    Oh that is were that straight forward... (4.20 / 5) (#136)
    by Dacta on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 03:09:29 AM EST

    I'm not Jewish, nor am I Muslim (nor of either Jewish or Arab decent). However, I have lived in Israel in the past for a reasonable amount of time, and I have relations living there at the moment. Therefor, I feel I am somewhat qualified to speak on this topic.

    The first thing you need to understand about Israel is the extreme state of paranoia the whole country exists in. The reasons for this stem partly from the persecution of Jews before the establishment of Israel, and partly from the history of hostility towards Israel in the region.

    While it is simple to blame Israel for the 1982 Lebanon war, all the other wars Israel was involved in were either attacks on it (1948 and 1973) or motivated by extreme provication (1956 and 1967). 1956 was really a joint operation with British and French troops against Egyptian nationalisation of the (at the time UN administered) Suez Canal.

    1967 was a war started by Israel. However, it was provoked by missle attacks from Egypt and Syria (not by terrorists in those countries, but by the armed forces themselves). It was in this war that the Israelies took control of much of the disputed territory they currently control - the West Bank (and eastern Jerusalem) from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria and Gaza from Egypt.

    1973 was a surprise attack by Syria and Egypt on Israel - perhaps as revenge for 1967? It was around this time that the Syrian leader threatened to "drive the Jews into the Sea"

    (I wish I had time to continue this....)



    Restriction of knowledge (3.00 / 5) (#142)
    by yooden on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 04:20:22 AM EST

    While most people would think I am talking about Afghanistan, I am, in fact, describing Israel.

    Up to this point one could think of any country, including the USA, Germany, Japan, Israel, Syria, Australia, you name it.

    After that, your article has very much obvios errors; you are either biased or uninformed.



    Most of you are missing the point. (3.42 / 7) (#154)
    by theboz on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 08:18:17 AM EST

    It's interesting to see how childishly so many people are reacting to my story. I've had my intelligence insulted, I have been accused of being biased, and even anti-semetic.

    All of this, of course, is complete bullshit.

    Part of the reason I wrote this story was because I was sick of the news almost always portraying Israel as some great country of victims, and that muslims are always terrorists. This is not the truth, and I find it disgusting to see how biased the U.S. media is towards Israel. So I wrote this story, portraying Israel in a similar way that Palestine is often portrayed, and I threw in the Taliban as a reference because everyone thinks of them as very evil and backwards.

    Another point to consider is that Judaism can not really be blamed for the failures of the Israeli state to have any morals. I think the militant zionists who started the whole bloody fight in 1948 are to blame for their wrong interpretation of what Judaism is about. This is exactly the same as the Taliban, who misunderstand Islam and have created a nightmarish form of government. Either of these countries can be compared to the Spanish Inquisition for any Christians that might be reading this. Obviously the bible, torah, q'ran, etc. don't say, "put all those who do not agree with you in a vat of boiling oil and cut out their tongues." Religion should not be a tool of oppression.

    I also think that you people assume too much about me. I have no ties to Israel or Palestine other than some friends. I know a guy from Israel who is not zionist and his family has been scorned for believing that perhaps Israel is treating the Palestinians wrongly. I have many muslim friends, one who's parents lost their home and all of their property when chased out by Israeli settlers. I am not a religious person, so neither Judaism or Islam have any special place in my heart, although I do respect both as something people believe in strongly. I have also researched the history before writing an article like this, because I knew many ignorant people would feel angry about it and point out any little mistake I would have put in the article.

    Also, as to the claims of anti-semetism, I can only laugh. It is very sad that the same people who claim about Israel being a democracy that is not run by their religion turn around and say that anyone who opposes the Israeli government hates Jews. If you don't see the irony and hypocracy there you need to wake up.

    Another point is that I do not approve of terrorism by anyone. I think that it is wrong for the Palestinians to go blowing up people in restaurants or walking down the street. By engaging in these practices, that makes them guilty of indescriminate killing just like the Israelis. I think both sides have people that are guilty of attrocities and murder, but the article was not about that. The article was simply comparing the "sins" of Israel to those of Afghanistan in order to defy the notion that Israel is some country founded by a god, or whatever garbage the U.S. media spews out.

    So all of you who have commented in this article about how stupid I am, ignorant of the facts, or racist, I would suggest you re-read my article, and rather than trying to be insulting, tell me what problems you have with it. If you are not full of shit then you should easily be able to provide your opinions of why what I have posted is wrong. I may not agree with you, but I will respectfully consider it. It is more productive for a discussion site to have actual discussion rather than just childish name calling.

    Stuff.

    revisionism (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by adamba on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 07:09:02 PM EST

    OK, I did go back and read the article.

    It's nice that you wanted to write an article showing how the Israelis and the Palestinians were similar, but what you actually *wrote* was an article talking about how the Israelis and the Taliban were similar. You didn't just "throw in the Taliban as a reference."

    And when you write what many people consider to be an inaccurate article that reflects badly on Israel, you are going to be branded an anti-semite, or an idiot, or both.

    - adam

    [ Parent ]

    You are a revisionist. (4.50 / 2) (#173)
    by Apuleius on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 09:46:43 PM EST

    Zionists didn't start anything in 1948. Arabs started the violence in 1929, and it went full-blast in 1948 because the British were finally out of the way.


    There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
    [ Parent ]
    Yet you don't mention (none / 0) (#191)
    by craigtubby on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 07:52:56 AM EST

    The blowing up of the Iraqi oil pipeline, The assasination of the Middle East British Minister Lord Moyne, Blowing up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, the British Embassy in Rome being fire bombed, Two british constables killed by a bomb thrown from a taxi, A book bomb addressed to a British Army officer killed his brother, A letter bomb sent to Sir Evelyn Barker was luckily spotted by his wife.

    All commited by Isreali terrorists between 1939-1948.

    Yet I don't see these terrorist activities being mentioned anywhere else - strange that.

    try to make ends meet, you're a slave to money, then you die.

    * Webpage *
    [ Parent ]

    A Zionist speaks out (4.76 / 25) (#155)
    by Lode Runner on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 08:37:16 AM EST

    I'm exactly the sort of person that HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, and probably a sizable fraction of the rest of the Islamic world wants to see disemboweled and then sent to roast in eternal damnation. No, I am not a Jew, but I am glad the American people and their government support Israel. In short, I am a Zionist.

    I. Disclaimer:

    Before I get into the meat of my argument, I think it's only fair that everyone knows where I'm coming from. I am a geeky WASP in his mid-20s who comes from the Southeastern part of the USA. I usually vote Democrat. I am nominally an Episcopalian, but I think Christ is about as real as the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. I'm educated and I've had plenty of exposure to life outside of the USA. UNIX has taken me to Israel and while there I came to appreciate the scope of that embattled nation's problems. Lest the whole of K5 jump on me for spouting a one-sided view, I'd also like to add that I've lived and worked in Amman, Jordan and am consequently well aware of the Palestinian narrative. I may not be entirely objective but I hope to at least provide more fodder for debate.

    II. The Argument:

    I find it a little bit sad and a little bit alarming that nobody has pointed out what how much trouble theboz would be in if he'd published this article today in Kabul. Unfortunately, what we have here is a basic failure to understand what life is like in the Middle East.

    To put it mildly, theboz would be in hot water for what he wrote. Here's why... Presently in the portion of the Islamic world that actively supports the Taliban, just about the worst thing you can accuse someone of is being like a Zionist, which is precisely what theboz has done to the Taliban. When Iranians (Iran is anti-Taliban) want to vent fury at the Taliban for its slaughter of Afghan Shiites or destruction of ancient Buddhas, they blast the Talibs by comparing them to the "Zionist Regime." The underlying threat of this comparison is that many Iranians hope that the Taliban disappears from the face of the earth just as ardently as they hope for Israel's eradication. The Talibs then retort by proclaiming that the Ayatollahs themselves act like Zionists or that President Khatami is a Zionist agent, depending on which party angered them that day. If the boz had bumbled into this tempest with his clumsy attempt to cleave Israel from the USA by comparing Israel to the Taliban, he'd stand a fairly good chance of ending up in front of a Talib firing squad. And if, in a final moment of defiance, he dared to shout (albeit wrongly) that the Talibs were executing him the same way that Israel executes Palestinian "activists," he'd win himself a couple of sliced hamstrings and a nice, quiet hypothermic death on an anonymous mountain.

    That neither Afghanistan nor Iran are Arab countries should also be noted; in fact, neither has ever clashed directly with Israel. In Arab countries, Zionists are held in even lower regard. Instead of being held as the abstract bogeymen as they are in Iran and Pakistan and Malaysia, Zionists (and indeed all Jews) are publicly blamed for pretty much everything that goes wrong in the Arab world. Zionist conspiracies explain Arab poverty, illiteracy, bigotry, violence, dependence on oil, AIDS and so forth. Col. Qaddafi blames Zionists for Libya's drug problems; in Saudi, Pokemon was banned because it "promotes Zionism".

    In Jordan and Egypt, who both have peace treaties with Israel, it's bad too. One day at work in a very secular section of Amman, it was explained to me that all copies of NT were pirated because Microsoft is a "Zionist conspirator." I made the mistake of chortling at this claim and was promptly handed a list of Jews who held leadership positions at Microsoft; Steve Ballmer and is the only name I remember. Another time there was a rumor that Linus Torvalds was Jewish, which prompted a frantic purge of Linux from office machines out of fear we'd lose contracts because of it. (Someday I'm going to post a nice little K5 story about geekdom in Jordan).

    Anyone with experience in the Arab world also knows that there are other dimensions to anti-Zionist rhetoric as well. For instance, Saudi dissidents struggling for democracy and freedom of speech attack their bazillion idiotic princes for being pro-Zionist; this gives them immense rhetorical leverage and some degree of physical protection (arresting anti-Zionists is unpopular). Meanwhile, Palestinians outraged by the Arafat's corruption use ostensibly anti-Israel demonstrations to launch attacks on the Palestinian Authority. There's also British journalist Robert Fisk, who attacks Zionism but also uses Zionism as a foil to criticize any number of parties in the Middle East.

    The salient point of the above paragraphs is that in many eyes Zionists are the incarnation of pure evil. If someone finds it grievously insulting to be compared to a Zionist, then it is highly probable that (s)he will have as few qualms about Zionists being killed as a 1940s American would over Nazis or Japanese. The sad truth is that there are many Muslims out there who want Israelis (and their supporters) to die. Examples of downright genocidal anti-Israel incitement abound. Here are a few from the Arabic translation service of the pro-Israel think-tank Memri.org:

    The bottom line is that the Arab world isn't ready for primetime; in many aspects it's woefully retarded. Now, before anyone sees this as an opportunity to start a round of classic NY Times/CNN-style Muslim-bashing the problem isn't that Muslims don't have a grasp of human rights, it's that in many circles the definition of "human" does not include supporters of Israel. The generally pro-Palestinian Christian Science Monitor's incisive article, "No Condolences: A Suicide Bomber's World," about a young Palestinian graduate who wants to become either a human rights activist or a suicide bomber illustrates this point nicely.

    All of this murderous anti-Israel (and consequently anti-American) incitement begs the question, why? The standard Arab/Muslim reply is that Zionists did and continue to do horrible things to the Palestinians, other Arabs, and other Muslims as a whole. Anyone who is serious about understanding the Middle East should familiarize themselves with the Palestinian narrative. Some good sources are:

    Any historian worth his salt can see that the pro-Palestinian narrative is recklessly subjective, with the most egregious problems being: (1.) lying by omission (e.g. Failing to mention that Jerusalem is a holy city to Jews when explaining the Muslim struggle for the city and holy sites, describing the 1967 Israeli-Arab war as purely an act of Israeli aggression without mentioning Egyptian and Syrian plans for attack and troop buildup in weeks and days preceding the war, bemoaning Israeli assassinations of Palestinian leaders without ever mentioning their roles in terrorist attacks and hate crimes), and (2.) simple slander (e.g. "Zionism is Racism," "The Holocaust wasn't so bad," "Zionists want to exterminate Palestinians," "Israel is a neo-imperialist/neo-colonialist project designed to undermine the Islamic world").

    If you're looking for a concrete example of the weaknesses of the pro-Palestinian narrative, look no further than last week's farcical UN Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. Even the European Left, normally a staunch critic of Israel, found itself mortified by Arab and Muslim behavior at the conference. See, for instance, Linda Grant's article in the Guardian Unlimited or the Irish Times's burial of "this dismal charade". For me, Arab anti-Semitism (sic), even if it purely arose as a reaction to being (to paraphrase Said) poor, powerless, desperate, and oppressed, indicates a very real force of darkness.

    Although informed readers know how to take flawed histories with a grain of salt, there are countless millions whose only exposure to history is the Palestinian narrative. As scary as it may seem, the vast majority of the Islamic world is much more ignorant of Israeli (and American) history than Americans are of the outside world. (Now, don't get me wrong, most of these ignoramuses are perfectly nice people, I know, I've been there and met hundreds of them, and anyone who's really lived there can back me up on this.) But the real problem is that those who know better are reluctant to speak out, namely out of fear of economic, social, and political persecution. For instance, although quite a few Arabs were outraged that their kinsmen cheered the 1 June 2001 Tel Aviv "suicide operation" that killed "20 Zionist settlers" (in reality just a bunch of high schoolers, mainly girls, waiting in line to go dancing), precious few dared speak out against it and those who did had to be careful to couch criticism of HAMAS in heavy anti-Israel rhetoric.

    Another thing that becomes apparent to anyone who is familiar with the anti-Israel discourse is that much of the ammunition is provided by liberal Israelis as well as by American and European Jews. Plenty of pro-Arab sites point to Joel Beinin's work on the Middle East as objective; for instance, see his (and Lisa Hajjar's) Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.Pro-Palestinian sites also frequently cite Israeli journalist and social critic Israel Shamir for his outspoken views of Israeli society and policies. Noam Chomsky anyone? It is this Israeli and Jewish soul-searching that brings me back to the subject of my own Zionism.

    Israeli and broader Jewish introspection as well as their tolerance of dissent earned my profound respect for Zionism. Here's a nice A-Z list of short articles explaining what I mean by "Zionism." In short, Zionism is what enabled Israel to become a secular democracy and possess the means for peaceful change. I suppose I am a Zionist in the secular tradition of Theodore Herzl, because I want Jews to be able to live as a normal people, neither exiled nor persecuted nor privileged. I want them to have self-determination in their own land, period. The "able to live" part means that Israel must maintain its independence from a Muslim world that is still centuries away from achieving the kind of freedom and tolerance enjoyed in the West. Although the argument that Israel itself has retarded the development of human rights in the Middle East is valid to a certain extent, the region has more serious problems (poor land, poor educational values, poor standard of living, and no tradition of democracy) to overcome than simply a belligerent Jewish presence in the Levant. Meanwhile, the "nor privileged" part means that Israel must atone for its past and present crimes by taking concrete steps to ensure that Palestinians live in peace and freedom, which also means paying for the resettlement of Palestinian refugees. Honest (and I daresay primarily secular) Zionists are necessarily not racist nor are intolerant of other religions, and are therefore capable of implementing these changes.

    But like any ideology Zionism can be misinterpreted. Hence the murder, torture, and oppression conducted in Zionism's name. And hence the hateful anti-Zionist reaction among victims of Israeli oppression .Yes, Israel is currently headed by the butcher Ariel Sharon and yes, Israel has a long history of committing atrocities against the Palestinians, as well as creating a discriminatory society, but it is not is a theocracy in any way comparable to the Taliban and it is the inherently tolerant message of mainstream Zionism that will keep from sliding into that abyss.

    My experience of working alongside Israeli Jews and Arabs in Tel Aviv shaped my views on Zionism more than anything else. Though plenty of Israeli Jews uttered derogatory remarks against the Arabs and Muslims they never even came close to mirroring the commonplace Arab vilification of Jews. Indeed, Israelis commonly referred to Zionist principles when defending the rights of Palestinians. Shouts of "death to the Arabs" are in principle as un-Zionistic as shouts of "death to the Jews" are un-Islamic or un-American. In Israel the people who justified Baruch Goldstein's 1994 massacre of Muslim worshippers in Hebron constituted a fringe, and I found that mainstream Zionist criticism of Jewish terrorism was loud, unequivocal, and sustained. Meanwhile, I met Israeli Arabs who believed that Zionist principles gave them the right to speak out against and ultimately change bigoted Israeli policies without fear of retribution. It's funny how people who construct vibrant, secular democracies seem to be capable of rational decisions and meaningful dialogue. Dismissing them as genocidal racists gets you nowhere.

    As for the task of placing the present violence into the broader historical framework, all I can say is that Israel is a victim as much as it is the aggressor. The Palestinian death toll may be higher, but unlike the Israelis they purposefully target innocents. And, for what it's worth, I can see only one realistic solution to this mess: the Israelis grant the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza full, sustainable self-determination and the Palestinians make it crystal clear that they no longer wish to destroy pre-1967 Israel. Of course there will be sizable groups who will resist, namely extremist Jewish settlers (who will have to leave much of the aforementioned territories) and the Palestinian refugee diaspora that is demanding its (never to be fulfilled) "right to return."



    Blindfolds (3.77 / 9) (#167)
    by PhillipW on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 06:55:35 PM EST

    I think that the people that take sides in this all need to take off the blinds. The post which I am responding to is an extremely good example of this. You are trying to refute the article that was posted. But you didn't do that. The article that was responded to was a discussion of some of the atrocities that the Israeli state did. In response, you let us all know how evil the Palestinians are. I am going to agree that the Palestinians have done some pretty shitty things. However that is not the focus. You completely failed to address the evils pointed out that were committed by the Israelis. Like an elementary school student, you responded to accusations with a "but but look what he did" attitude. You in essence said, "Oh sure the Israelis killed a pregnant woman, but the Palestinians car bombed them."

    I will close in a completely unrelated note by saying that this entire Israel-Palastein conflict is a huge practice in disillusionment, and furthers my opinions that people are an intolerant bunch.

    -Phil
    [ Parent ]
    No tu quoque here (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by Lode Runner on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 11:20:35 PM EST

    I think you've confused me with one of those yellow journalists who cheerleads the Zionist or anti-Zionist cause without regard for logic or truth.

    You are trying to refute the article that was posted. But you didn't do that.

    I'm not trying to refute theboz's article, but rather I'm trying to keep people from being led astray by some of the claims theboz has made without providing historical perspective. I agreed with theboz when (s)he wrote, "Religiously run governments cause problems for all of the people living in the countries they run, whether you belong to the majority or not." But I found theboz's comparison of Israel to Afghanistan inappropriate and misleading.

    The article that was responded to was a discussion of some of the atrocities that the Israeli state did. In response, you let us all know how evil the Palestinians are. I am going to agree that the Palestinians have done some pretty shitty things.

    That's odd, I don't recall ever exculpating Israel for expelling the Palestinians, massacring refugees in Lebanon, or oppressing Israeli Arabs. Instead, my intention was to debunk the pro-Palestinian narratives that portray Israel as nothing but a bloodthirsty aggressor and oppressor. I wanted get people who are looking at the Middle East critically to really examine the region critically instead of just examining Israel critically.

    However that is not the focus. You completely failed to address the evils pointed out that were committed by the Israelis.

    Israel's evils have been addressed in a number of other posts in this discussion, so I felt no obligation to effectively double the length of my already long post by rehashing those valid arguments. One of my aims was to enable K5ers to become familiar with the Palestinian narrative and give them the tools to think critically about it.

    Like an elementary school student, you responded to accusations with a "but but look what he did" attitude. You in essence said, "Oh sure the Israelis killed a pregnant woman, but the Palestinians car bombed them."

    No. You have just described a tu quoque argument. I don't employ the tu quoque arguments because they make no logical sense. That's why "attacking the prosecution" almost never works as for defense attorneys in court. Knowing this full well, I never tried to claim that Israelis are the Palestinians' moral equals because Palestinians attacked them or vice versa. The whole line reasoning rests on a fallacy...

    But as illogical as tu quoque arguments are, they are frequently employed by both Palestinians and Israelis to justify violence. The words "retaliation" and "revenge" come up a lot in the Middle East... and now I'm seeing them used here in the USA too.

    As for differences between Israeli and Palestinian violence, that's a whole other story.

    I will close in a completely unrelated note by saying that this entire Israel-Palastein conflict is a huge practice in disillusionment, and furthers my opinions that people are an intolerant bunch.

    With a few reservations, I agree with you on this.



    [ Parent ]

    Very well written (none / 0) (#192)
    by elzubeir on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:19:20 PM EST

    Wow.. that was a long piece. I must be very bored today.

    Your reflection of Arab attitude toward Israel and their misunderstanding of what Zionism is (please note that I don't necessarily consider Zionism to be a good thing), is very accurate. Generally, we are under the impression that extremist zionism is what the majority of the leaders of Israel believe in. Nevermind what your average Israeli may believe or think. The folks who call the shots.. those are the ones we accuse of Zionism (the 'extremist' Zionists... similar to your extremist Taliban).

    I would have to trust your conclusion and observations on how Israeli's react to all of this, as your observations on the Arabs is nothing but accurate.

    Thank you for writing this, you have expanded my horizon a little today ;)

    [ Parent ]
    Some notes... (4.50 / 10) (#157)
    by Jon Doda on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 10:07:03 AM EST

    There seem to be a great number of misconceptions about Israel's history and policies, some of which I will attempt to clear up. First off, Israel has never forced anyone out of anywhere and Israel is not built on land that once harboured a Palestinian state. There has never been a Palestinian state in the entire history of the world. After the Jews the next people to control the region were the Romans. After the collapse of the Roman empire what was then known as Palestine ended up in the hands of the Turks. After World War 1 the British took over the area, then when it became to much trouble for them they handed it over to the UN.

    The UN came up with the "partition plan" a plan that would see Palestine divided into two parts, the somewhat larger and much more prosperous areas going to form an Arab state in Palestine, while a smaller region made up mainly of desert was to become a Jewish homeland (there were at that time more than 600 000 Jews living in Palestine). The Jews accepted the plan and on May 14, 1948 declared the State of Israel. By that time they were already being invaded by six Arab countries. Azzam Pasha, then secretary general of the Arab League called it a "war of extermination" and Haj Amin al Husseini, the spiritual leader of the Palestinian Muslim community called upon his followers to "Murder the Jews! Murder them all!". During the war Israel repeatedly sued for peace, but were only headed once it became clear that not only would the Arab armies be unable to "push the Jews into the sea" but that Israeli forces were actually gaining ground. By the time the war ended Israel was left with somewhat larger boarders then it would have had under partition.

    During the war hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled Israel due to fear of maltreatment by the Jewish forces, this fear mainly stemming from propaganda by the attacking Arab nations. Indeed those Arabs who stayed in Israeli became full Israeli citizens and enjoy more freedom and a better standard of living then those living in the surrounding Arab nations. Those who fled were put up in refugee camps along Israel's boarders because the Arab nations refused to take them in. It is worth noting that the 1948 war created more Jewish refugees from Arab nations then it did Palestinian refugees from Israel. This fact is often passed over because all of these Jewish refugees were absorbed into the new Jewish state where as the Arab nations did not accept a single Palestinian.

    Now, as for the current actions of the Israelis. Most stone throwers that are killed are killed because they are used as human shields by Fatah gunmen. It's a common tactic to set up a line of stone throwing youth with gunmen behind firing on Israeli positions. When the Israelis try to return fire they more often then not end up hitting the stone throwers. This is highly unfortunate, but is in fact an *intended* result of Fatah's tactics. Martyrs are useful both for recruiting young Palestinians to become suicide bombers or stone throwers and garner positive attention for the Palestinian cause in the foreign media. Second, the assassinations conducted by Israeli have not been on political figures, or activists, or anything like that. They have targeted men well known to both Israel and the PA as terrorist leaders and bomb makers. Most of them were in fact on a list of known terrorists that the PA was responsible for incarcerating, but who they released at the beginning of the current unrest.

    --
    "Sufficiently advanced anything is indistinguishable from utter nonsense."


    Seperation of Church and State: A Requirement? (3.00 / 2) (#181)
    by moshez on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:21:35 AM EST

    Let me just note that many "civilized", "modern" country have absolutely no seperation of church and state. One that easily springs to mind is England, where the queen is the head of the church, and there is an official state religion.

    The USA has seperation of church and state only formally -- in reality, it is one of the most fundamentalist christian states in the world today. References: burning abortion clinics, the rise of christian science in schools.

    [T]he k5 troll HOWTO has been updated ... This update is dedicated to moshez, and other bitter anti-trolls.

    Officially yes, but in practice no (4.00 / 1) (#188)
    by frabcus on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 09:22:00 PM EST

    Yes, officially Britain has a state religion. In practice this is irrelevant - the number of active, practicing Christians is declining. Certainly in England, Scotland and Wales the society is mainly secular. The state's official religion has no bearing on day to day livea - people manage to believe what they want to believe.

    Even in Northern Ireland the conflict is now really between Unionists and Republicans; people never talk about doctrinal differences between Catholicism and Protestantism on the news.

    [ Parent ]

    Favouring the Weak (4.33 / 3) (#190)
    by eliwap on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 02:34:35 AM EST

    Being an Israeli, I take great offense at everything that you have written. The news of death and dying is constantly being played on the news and the International press report continuously on the events in my home land. There are problems here, but almost everytime genuine issues of bigotry have reached the court system corrective measures have always been ordered by Supreme Court. This never gets reported in the foreign press. Where are the Lebanese citizens of Palestinian decent, or Egyptian, or Syrian, or... Only in democratic states or those that are genuinely aspiring to democracy (Jordan) are Palestinians permitted the privaleges and protections that come with citizenship; including Israel. Israel is not a religious state but a secular state giving full religious expression to all that dwell peacefully. Those that commit acts of violence or terror are arrested in what ever means that is possible. If you wish to call that oppression, so be it. Palestinian terrorist are oppressed from committing acts of terror. The excuse that is given is that they are weak and poor. And to close with a religious note: Religions promote the protection of the weak and poor, but, they also make the statement do not favour them either, lest you tolerate the kind of crimes against humanity that you have just witnessed in New York and Washington; that occur repeatedly in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel were about settling the differences between our two peoples. It was the Palestinians that lost faith in the negotiations and turned to violence and terror. All of this under the excuse of religious zeal of protecting Holy Sites that were never in danger. Muslims still go to the Al Aksa Mosque to pray every day and incite against Israel. The Taliban blow up the inheritance that belong to the whole world. While Israel is active in preserving with dignity this inheritance. You are being one sided. Nothing will be achieved here if good people like yourself do not take a look at the broader picture.

    "Understanding is the basis of communications. Enlarge your mind to multiple points of view. The world is infinitely larger than your huge ego. -- Hey I said that :)"

    Why is it, then... (none / 0) (#194)
    by broken77 on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 04:30:00 PM EST

    The peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel were about settling the differences between our two peoples. It was the Palestinians that lost faith in the negotiations and turned to violence and terror.
    Why is it that every time there are peace talks (and hence, a cease-fire), Israel increases its settlement expansion? It seems to me that they capitalize on these talks in order to further their agenda, instead of legitimately wanting to come to an agreement. Could this possibly have anything to do with the breaking down of peace talks? I think so... Not to say it's the only problem. But Israel is by no means completely innocent here.

    I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
    [ Parent ]

    Religious-Run Governments and Restriction of Freedom | 194 comments (181 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
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