I tend to lose a few followers every time I post about Israel’s actions in Gaza. If you haven’t realized I don’t support an apartheid state that has a fetish for collateral damage, you should probably jump ship at this point.
i have posted my opinion of the “Palestine” vs Israel clash and why I believe what I believe about Israel.
What are your thoughts on the history of Israel and the mythological country of Palestine that led to the current situation?
To claim that Palestine is mythological or lacks backing in history is profoundly ignorant and blatantly false. Mandatory Palestine was a British administered state that existed from 1920-1948, and was occupied predominately by Arabs, with an ethnic Jewish minority.
The region has been called Palestine since Roman times. That does not in any way indicate that there was a country or “political state” called Palestine. There was no government and there was no infrastructure or political or cultural identity of being Palestinian until the 1970s.
Regardless of past national identity, before the migration of European Jews into Mandatory Palestine, the vast majority of the population was composed of Arabs, both Christian and Muslim. With the exception of ancient and very recent history, the vast majority of people living in what is now Palestine and Israel have been Arabs, native to the land. While Palestine has had a different identity in the past, to claim that the Jews who lived in the area should own it simply because they were there first is a poor argument at best. The Kingdom of Israel, which was supposedly founded around 1020 BCE, was controlled by Neo-Assyria and Neo-Bablyon in succession, around 740 and 620 BCE, respectively.
Palestine was granted state status by the UN in 1988. Neither Israel nor the US recognize this formally. Israel claims (and has proven to hold) military control over this region.
The remainder of the world, however, disagrees with the United States and Israel. 134 of the UN’s 193 member states recognize that Palestine is a sovereign entity. Military control and the word of the state’s occupier do not mean that a country is no longer legitimate. Numerous states have had governments in exile that were more widely recognized than those put in power by their occupiers. The “They control it so they get to say who owns it” argument has no solid ground.
The notion of the “Land of Israel”, known in Hebrew as Eretz Yisrael, has been important and sacred to the Jewish people since Biblical times. According to the Torah, God promised the land to the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people. On the basis of scripture, the period of the three Patriarchs has been placed somewhere in the early 2nd millennium BCE, and the first Kingdom of Israel was established around the 11th century BCE. Subsequent Israelite kingdoms and states ruled intermittently over the next four hundred years, and are known from various extra-biblical sources.
Theocratic promises from an unverified and non-intervening higher power are not basis for international legitimacy. States that claim legitimacy based on this are invalid in the eyes of international law and the majority of people in the world. I’m sorry, but Biblical scriptures and four millennia old promises do not hold up in court.
Israel existed as a culture and a state as long as 2500 years ago, based upon the Bible and the Julian calendar. Show me evidence of a Palestinian government two millenia ago.
As I mentioned, the argument is not about ancient history. After the ancient Kingdom of Israel ceased to exist, Palestine fell under the control of dozens of states, the majority of which were Pagan or Muslim, before only recently falling back into Jewish hands in 1948. If we want to claim the “They were here longer!” card, you’re going to lose to the Ottomans, Medieval Islamic Caliphate, and Neo-Babylonians.
Israel was designated as a state by the UN shortly after WWII…
I am not arguing against Israel’s right to exist. I am arguing in favor of an equal two-state solution. The original Palestine Mandate was to have two states, one for Arabs, and one for Jews, with Jerusalem under United Nations control, as so neither party could control it. I have no issue with a Jewish homeland, but I have an issue with forming one at the cost of millions of lives displaced, destroyed, or lost.
What it doesn’t say is that when Egypt and Jordan and Syria and Lebanon and Iran and Saudi Arabian forces invaded Palestine at the end of the Palestinian Mandate they took the land for themselves.
Yes, and they were not right to do so. This does not give Israel the right to illegally settle in territories that, by all means, were dictated to belong to the Palestinian people. Nor does it give them the right to treat the entire populace of Gaza like criminals.
Egypt claimed the Sinai Peninsula and Syria and Jordan also grabbed up pieces of the remaining bits of Palestine. There was violent skirmishing between Israel and the United Arab States for twenty years, with bombs being planted in apartments and cars being blown up and assassinations. The key is that The UAS would attack an Israeli and then the Israelites would retaliate.
See above. While it’s not right, it is not a justification for conquest.
Then the United Arab States started to mass military equipment and personnel on the borders with Israel They blockaded an important waterway and interfered with Israel food importation. Israel preemptively attacked Jordanian and Egyptian and Syrian forces on the land they were occupying in “Palestine”, beat their collective asses in six days and then took these lands from those countries.
The Six Day War was only truly successful because the Israelis struck first. The militaries of Syria, Egypt, and Jordan were in disarray, without significant air cover, and fighting against an army they were not expecting to attack them. While it was tactical brilliance, again, it does not justify the current occupation of Palestine, nor did it justify the lengthy occupation of the Sinai.
Here is a map of Biblical Israel. If you don’t believe in the Bible as a religious book, you should at least accept it as a historical record of the borders of Israel long ago.
Here is a historical recreation map of Israel in 1050 B.C.
As I’ve mentioned, ancient history of a society that lasted a mere three hundred years before being conquered by Neo-Babylon and Neo-Assyria, then falling into the hands of Pagan and Muslim states for nearly four millennia does not constitute legitimacy for these borders. As much as you’d like it to be, the Bible, Torah, and Qur’an are not legitimate historical documents nor are they legal frameworks for the creation of nation states. Israel’s past holdings in a time before mass expansion of the Roman Empire are entirely irrelevant in modern conversation.
In the aftermath of the 1948 war, British Mandate of Palestine was de facto divided into three parts: the State of Israel, the Jordanian-held West Bank, and the Egyptian-held Gaza Strip. Of the estimated 950,000 Arabs that lived in the territory that became Israel before the war, over 80% fled or were expelled; some 156,000 remained. Benny Morris says
Emphasis on fled or expelled. There’s a reason why the majority of Arabs in Israel and Palestine live in Gaza or the West Bank, territories that are now under military occupation.
Israel was given a tract of land by the British and the UN. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria with some Lebanese forces invaded Palestine and attempted to wipe out Israel. Israel “cleaned house” after the war, removing some villages from strategic locations. Notice that they didn’t burn the people alive in their homes or shoot them in the back as they fled. They made a number of them leave while the majority simply fled.
If you consider yourself a believer in private property and the rights of property owners, expelling people under threat of force and destroying their homes without compensation is unforgivable. Again, this is reminiscent of countries like the Soviet Union, not representative of free societies that respect individual rights.
It has been long documented that Palestine gets weapons, monetary and munitions support from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.
Palestine does not receive weapons from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Hezbollah, and more radical sects of Hamas do. Even then, the influx of American and NATO-made munitions into Israel dwarfs the primarily small-arms imports brought in by insurgent groups in Palestine.
Plus, if you don’t have the ass, don’t pick the fight.
2491 *(so far)*
The vast majority of rockets fired, as I said, were poorly constructed and shot down by the Iron Dome defense system. In the past five years, fewer than forty Israelis have been killed as the result of rockets (Not missiles, mind you) fired from Palestine. Since July 8th, 1,050 Palestinians have been killed, as of July 27th. The vast majority of those killed have been civilians, whereas the majority of Israelis killed have been soldiers engaging in combat in Gaza.
No similarity whatsoever to the Warsaw Ghetto. The walls are there to protect the Israeli from the continuous attacks by the Hamas militants from Gaza. The Hamas militants use the Mediterranean to smuggle arms and militants into Gaza and from there launch attacks on Israeli citizens.
While the walls may offer some protection against “Hamas” militants the tunnels built by insurgents and their use of rockets has made the wall vastly outdated for security purposes. Even then, the vast majority of Palestinians are no threat to Israel, given that they have been living under a blockade starving them of clean drinking water, food, and medical supplies for years. Foreign medical ships attempting to enter the strip have been boarded, shot at, and turned away by the IDF.
The Gaza Strip is not some encircled location. It borders the Mediterranean and is arguably some of the best land in the region.
You’re not wrong that Gaza is nice land. The problem is, the density per square mile is upwards of thirteen thousand people - the total population of this tiny strip of earth is one point eight million - and it becomes even more dense when you subtract the Israeli no-mans-land that spans for three kilometers inwards in all directions.
While most Arabs remaining in Israel were granted citizenship, they were subject to martial law in the early years of the state.
Arabs that held Israeli citizenship were entitled to vote for the Israeli Knesset. Arabic Knesset members have served in office since theFirst Knesset. The first Arab Knesset members were Amin-Salim Jarjora and Seif el-Din el-Zoubi who were members of the Democratic List of Nazareth party and Tawfik Toubi member of the Maki party.
In 1966, martial law was lifted completely, and the government set about dismantling most of the discriminatory laws, while Arab citizens were granted the same rights as Jewish citizens under law
Most of the Arabs living in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed, were offered Israeli citizenship, but most have refused, not wanting to recognize Israel’s claim to sovereignty. They became permanent residents instead. They have the right to apply for citizenship, are entitled to municipal services, and have municipal voting rights.
I never said that Israeli citizens, regardless of race, lack basic legal rights. The vast majority of Palestinians are, as you said, not Israeli citizens, and as thus, are not legally protected. The IDF has a history of abusing this, and indefinitely detaining protesters or alleged militants without evidence or trial for wrongdoing. If this were to happen in the United States, it would be a flagrant violation of the constitution. Outside of the United States, it is a flagrant violation of basic human rights.
Complaints are being voiced in many circles of American Jewry about what is regarded as the disproportionate focus in much of the mainstream media on Palestinian civilian suffering caused by Israel’s response to Palestinian terror.
Israel’s response to Palestinian
terror insurgency is equivalent to a full grown man beating a toddler to death with a sledgehammer for throwing a snowball at him. Numerous Israeli politicians have admitted to Israel’s response to Palestinian rocket fire as being collective punishment - a war crime - and something practiced commonly by totalitarian regimes. One female Israeli politician declared that the Palestinian people, not Hamas, were Israel’s enemy. If that is not a call for collective punishment or outright genocide, I don’t know what is.
However, less important than whether the media has properly balanced its reportage of the respective suffering of Palestinians and Israelis is something else. Rare in many outlets and absent entirely from some is any portrayal of the screaming moral imbalance in the carnage.
How often do you watch the news? The vast majority of American and Canadian news channels focus heavily on Israeli losses, and less so on Palestinian ones. CNN and Fox claim that Israel is defending itself, and rarely mention the total number of Palestinian dead. If balanced journalism to you is completely ignoring the Palestinian side of the story, then perhaps you should go back to reading your one-sided papers about how everyone hates Israel and that’s a justification for illegal military occupations.
When Palestinian civilians are inadvertently harmed in the pursuit of terrorists (and innocent casualties, tragically, are part of every war), the Israeli reaction is anguish and regret; when Israeli civilians are intentionally murdered, there is self-satisfaction and celebration among Palestinians. Israel takes careful precautions to limit casualties on the Palestinian side; Palestinian bombers aim to slaughter Jews, and regard their successes as tickets to popularity and paradise.
While I’m sure the majority of Israeli civilians regret Palestinian civilian losses, how do you explain the right-wing mobs in Jerusalem that chant for the deaths of Arabs, and gleefully rhyme that schools won’t open in Gaza, because all the children have been killed? That is not anguish. That is glee.
The claim that Hamas hides it’s weapons in civilian areas in one of the most densely populated areas in the world as a justification for the use of bunker-busting, thousand kilogram bombs against homes, hospitals, and schools is outright cruel. Even if it was true that the Israeli military concerns itself with civilian losses, how would you explain Israel’s complicity in the Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon? Not only did they prevent victims from leaving the kill zone, but they illuminated the area at night so the militias to better conduct their massacres.
As Elie Wiesel recently pointed out in an open letter to President Bush, while Palestinian terrorists were hiding explosives in ambulances, Israeli reservists in Jenin were taking up collections to repay Palestinian families for damage done to their homes.
So the actions of a few reservists make up for the killings of unarmed civilians who cross unmarked, unstated lines? Sure.
It seems a hard pill for much of the media to swallow, but, bluntly put, the Jews and their enemies today are no more morally equivalent than are the Peace Corps and Al Qaeda.
Sure, if the Peace Corps had F-16s, AH-64s, Merkava tanks, and a massive standing army, while al Qaeda was mostly civilians and had pop rockets, then it would be an accurate comparison. Unfortunately for you, al Qaeda is a militant organization that spans continents and does not pander to a dedicated civilian populace, and the Peace Corps doesn’t drop bombs on UN hospitals.
Compare Islamic authorities’ exhortations to revenge and jihad and Jew-hatred with the words of Jewish fundamentalists like Rabbi Eliyahu Klugman, a lecturer at an Israeli yeshiva whom the Boston Globe interviewed at the scene of a Jerusalem suicide bombing in March: “Vengeance is God’s alone. The Jewish People have never encouraged the exercise of vengeance by human beings.”
Two can play at this game, friend. Let’s compare the words of Palestinian spokesperson Khaled Meshaal,
"We are not fanatics, we are not fundamentalists. We are not actually fighting the Jews because they are Jews per se. We do not fight any other races. We fight the occupiers,"
"I’m ready to coexist with the Jews, with the Christians and the Arabs and non-Arabs, however, I do not coexist with the occupiers."
Here are the words of Ayelet Shaked, a prominent Israeli lawmaker
"This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started."
Which one of these sounds more sensible to you? Hamas has denied it’s involvement in the killing of the three Israeli boys that instigated the current strikes by the IDF. Netanyahu immediately blamed Hamas, and has used their deaths as an excuse to outright burn Palestine to the ground.
La Difference is evident no less in how the dead are treated. Yaakov Ury, a member of ZAKA, the Orthodox Jewish volunteer corps whose members retrieve whatever is left of the victims of Palestinian bombings for burial, was recently asked what is done with the remains of the bombers. His response: “The Torah teaches us that, no matter what people have done, they are still human beings, and each human is created in the image of God. We treat the bodies respectfully, put them in plastic bags, and give them to the army.” Which, in turn, returns the remains to the bombers’ families or to Palestinian Authority officials.
You attempt to characterize an entire people by a few examples of humanity. What this man is doing is noble, and the right thing. When I speak of Israel and Palestine, I speak of their governments. There are Palestinian war criminals and there are Palestinian civilians. There are Israeli war criminals and Israeli civilians.
Contrast that with not only how Palestinians treat living Jews but with how they treat their own fellows whom they suspect or imagine to have “collaborated” with Israel. Photographs of such unfortunates’ dead, brutalized bodies being dragged, gaping wounds still oozing, through the streets, or hung by their feet from telephone poles, are rarely featured in the mainstream press. (A happy exception was The New York Sun, which dared recently to feature a so suspended Palestinian corpse on its front page, evoking an angry letter to the editor from a reader whose breakfast had apparently been ruined. Such is the price of truth.)
Yes, the way radical elements of the Palestinian population treat Jews and Israeli ‘sympathizers’ is wrong. I’m not arguing in favor of Hamas. I’m not arguing in favor of these people. What fucking good does it do to justify air strikes against densely populated areas by saying a small portion of the Palestinian populace does these sorts of things?
A recent New York Times in-depth offering entitled “Anti-Semitism Is Deepening Among Muslims” was a good example of how “open-mindedness” can degrade into empty-headedness. It provided several examples of contemporary Muslim anti-Semitism, including attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions, contemporary blood libels, the availability of the notorious forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in the Muslim world’s finest hotels and the ubiquity of Nazi-Israeli imagery in the Arab media.
Again with the generalizations. The vast majority of people who are critical of Israel are not anti-Semites or Nazis. You generalize the ‘rising anti-Semitism’ of Muslims, a group of over a billion people, as though it’s some sort of fact that all Muslims are suddenly starting to hate Jews more. As you tend to love ancient history, Jews under the Islamic Caliphate during the Middle Ages fared far better than those under European Christian rule.
Ever mindful, though, of her allegiance to the journalistic deity of “even-handed objectivity,” The Times’ writer went on to cite a university professor as asserting that both Jews and Muslims engage in hatemongering based on skewed reading of their holy books. To reiterate the point in case any readers had missed it, another academic was quoted later in the piece as concurring that attacks on religions take place “on both sides.”
Curiously and tellingly, though, not a single example of any Jewish demonization of Muslims or Islam was offered.
You don’t stop with the generalizations, do you? It’s ironic, considering how Jews have been historically generalized and stereotyped for thousands of years, yet you’re turning around and doing the same to others when it’s politically convenient.
Nor could it have been. The Jewish Bible, of course, predates the advent of Islam by over 2000 years and thus contains no references at all to Muslims. The Talmud is similarly devoid of references to a faith that was only beginning to spread beyond the Arabian Peninsula when that text was put into its final form.
And had the Torah been written after the advent of Islam, it would have most likely contained references to Muslims. The Torah, Bible, and Qur’an were all written thousands of years ago - while many people still follow their word, books supposedly written by beings that haven’t intervened in our affairs are hardly pressing reasons for me to justify using modern munitions to strike at densely populated areas.
To be sure, many Jews today are understandably concerned with the apparent widespread desire in much of the contemporary Islamic world to deprive us of life or limb, and are reasonably chagrined its current promotion of Jew-hatred.
"I’m ready to coexist with the Jews, with the Christians and the Arabs and non-Arabs, however, I do not coexist with the occupiers."
For the most part, it’s not about Judaism versus Islam. You claim ‘Jew Hatred’ as the primary reason for the Arab world but then casually occupy Egyptian lands, conduct preemptive strikes, brutally perform collective punishment on Palestinians with bombs and missiles, demand military intervention against Iran, oversee massacres in Lebanon, illegally settle lands by pushing out the original occupants, and even going as far as to have a nuclear strategy that involves glassing the entirety of the Middle East should your country come under dire threat. But, you know, it’s just the anti-Semitism.
But there nevertheless are no similar Jewish attacks on mosques or Muslim schools, no Jewish fabrications about Muslims drinking Jews’ blood and no copies of “Protocols of the Elders of Islam” to be found in Israeli or Jewish-owned hotels, or anywhere at all.
"Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there."
That’s another quote from Ayelet Shaked. Calling Palestinian children ‘little snakes’ and calling for the outright murder of Palestinian mothers somehow isn’t bigoted at all? I’m not condoning the asinine myths put out by Muslim extremists, but perhaps you should look at your own team before casting any judgement here.
With all due respect to the Old Gray Lady and all her cousins in the mainstream media, those are fit-to-print and trenchant facts, worth not only mentioning but mentioning again and again. Because when it comes to understanding the Middle East, they make all the difference.
I’m not even sure what this is supposed to mean, but okay.
IDF claims they were firing on locations of known Hamas use in the case of the beach killings. It is unfortunate but sometimes equipment fails or people make mistakes in time of war. But if Hamas would stop attacking Israel, Israel would not attack Hamas militants and create civilian casualties.
A beach is not exactly a cover-rich environment. Israeli warships are state of the art, with magnified thermal optics that could very easily determine that those were children playing on the sand. Had there indeed been Hamas targets there, they could have waited to fire or ordered the beach cleared. They did not, and simply fired. Claiming ignorance when it comes to modern viewing systems is rarely correct. Even had they been unsure, any competent or humane military officer would have waited for confirmation before engaging.
Because Hamas was using those locations to store munitions and launch attacks against Israel. Israel has shown that they warn civilian locations of attacks with time for them to be evacuated.
One, citation please. Two, do you honestly believe the United Nations would allow Hamas to store weapons in a school and hospital? Do you? Are you that colossally dense or has IDF replaced your mouth with a radio loudspeaker?
When Hamas has trained up a documented nine children under the age of 16 to be suicide bombers, Israeli don’t have any choice but to kill people who walk into kill-zones.
Kill-zones that have dedicated and declared boundaries, when warning shots are fired, are fair game. Shooting people who cross lines that they’re not aware of, without engaging with a warning shot, it literally just murder.
These are the actions of a people who are surrounded by Arab countries who routinely call for the complete destruction of Israel in their public speeches and prayers. These are the actions of a people who have had children walk into their town markets with explosives strapped to their bodies and then blown up. These are the actions of people who have had over five thousand rockets launched at them in the last five years.
These are the actions of a rogue state, backed by America, conducting outright illegal operations, striking at UN-run hospitals and schools. These are the actions of a group of people who have taken less casualties from rocket attacks in the past five years than Palestinians have in five days. If you want to use this justification as you reason for force, the Palestinians have the same right to fire back, if not moreso, given the starvation, sickness, dehydration, illegal detention, killings, and bombings they have endured non-stop for more than a decade. If you want to justify violence of action by the amount of suffering felt, the Palestinians should comparatively have the right to wipe Tel-Aviv off the face of the world. But guess what? That’s not how the world works. Collective punishment is against international law and straight-up immoral.
Israel offered full citizenship to all Palestinian Arabs inside its borders. South Africa did not do that during Apartheid. Israel defends the Arabs in its borders as well as the Israelis.
Yes. Because nothing makes me feel more defended than an F-16 dropping a bomb on my house because someone said I may-or-may-not have Hamas hiding in my air vents. So safe.
Israel is the only non Muslim and democratic country in that region. Israel is light-years ahead of that entire region in terms of treatment of women, civil rights, treatment of criminals and prisoners of war, and morals an ethics. Israeli do not kill their daughters because the girls dated the wrong person. Israeli do not hang or stone gays. Israeli do not throw acid on the faces of women who assert their rights or are seen in public without the Hijab.
Iran is a democracy. Egypt is a democracy. Pakistan is a democracy. Iraq is a democracy. Afghanistan is a democracy. You’d better hope the latter two are, considering thousands of Americans, Brits, Canadians, Germans, and Frenchmen laid down their lives to make that so.
In the majority of Islamic states it is against the law to murder your own daughter. Women in Iran are steadily becoming more equal, and the Iranian Prime Minister has stated accurately that the Qur’an allows women equal status to men. Women in Egypt, for the most part, are equal to men. As with Pakistan, and progress is being made in Iraq and Afghanistan. The vast majority of countries in the Middle East no longer practice the death penalty for homosexuality, and while it is illegal, access to western media has created a bloom of liberalization in many formerly repressive theocracies. The Muslim world is not perfect but progress is being made, no matter how slowly.
Israel has fought for its very existence since the day it was formed. And fought well. That entire region want to kill all of the Jews and wipe out Israel simply because it is there.
Again with the generalizations. The vast majority of Arab states do not detest Israel because of it’s Jewish origins, but because it represents American and British influence in the region. Again, I have no problem with Israel existing, but I have a huge issue with how Israel’s government conducts itself.
Hamas treat people as weapons for political gain. Hamas deliberately plan for rocket emplacements in hospitals and daycare centers and playgrounds. Hamas hope that people like you will look at the numbers and believe the agit-prop instead of researching the truth.
First off, citation needed on the “HAMAS PUTS WEAPONS NEXT TO HOSPITALS ALL THE TIME” argument, second of all, even if they did, does that justify striking a school or hospital with high explosive munitions dropped from aircraft or fired from warships? Ask yourself that question.
Hamas killed over 150 children digging those tunnels into Israel. Is that something a heroic culture does?
Again, citation needed. I have never stated by explicit support for Hamas nor do I believe, if that is true, is whatsoever justified.
Hamas have used a documented nine children under the age of 16 as suicide bombers. Is that something you feel is done by heroes?
Many suicide bombers in Palestine are not Hamas agents, but acting with various smaller insurgent groups. Like I’ve said, Hamas are no heroes, but neither are the Israelis.
Please come back to me when your argument isn’t filled with falsehoods, accusations of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, IDF talking points, and Biblical justifications for modern politics.