Discussion in 'World Events' started by Fairfield, Mar 30, 2002.
Did you intentionally avoid responding to the other questions?
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"Tyler, at the first criticism of Israeli policy, you go on extreme defensive. This is a common response with a close identification with, and love for Israel."
I actually have little identification for Israel. I've visited only once in my life. My reason for being on the defencive is because in my history of discussing Israel with peers I've found many, many pro-Palestinians - most of whom couldn't even tell you what happened in the '48 war. I have a problem with people being so emotionally involved in a political debate when they don't know the beginning of the history. (Keep in mind that I'm 16, so my dealings on this issue are mainly with those my age or only slightly above).
"You have nothing to fear from this process."
I fear no peace deal will truly be reached with Arafat. I know no peace deal will be reached with Sharon simply because Likkud refuse to deal with Arafat.
"Someday, some Semites will go to Synagogue, some to Mosque, but they will share the same rights and freedoms."
That day was around 3 years ago in Israel (which is, incidentally, around when I was there). Jews went to Synagogue, Moslems to Mosque - Israel was doing relatively good. Then peace talks broke and the intifada started (well, in all fairness the relative good state of Israel ended just before the intifada began).
"I don't like either, because they both lead away from the solution."
Like I've said - the difference is that Israel can change. New parties in Israel are gaining ground. New leaders are on the verge. The orthodox-right is beginning to loose some ground. It may be small, but any ground of the far-right lost is good ground.
Arafat won't hold an election as long as there's a chance he can loose (that was shown this past year). And no peace talks can succeed with Arafat. Unless Israel let's East Jerusalem go and 3 million refugees into Tel Aviv.
And I think we both know the odds of that happening.
"After enough needless bloodshed has been spilled, and nothing has changed, Jews and Arabs will begin the real process of peace: Talking"
Can't happen. The major difference between now and the relative peace experienced between around '94 and '99 is that then the world was divided on the issue - today the world except for the U.S. is pro-Palestine. This means Arafat has no real reason to go to peace talks. The militant Palestinians have clearly stated they want no less than all of Israel (and let's pretend that means the 'occupied territories', East Jerusalem and the 3 mil. refugees) and Arafat can't get that through peace talks. No matter what he can't get what he, the PLO or Hamas want. You may have faith, but I have little that these people are about to realize that fact. Not with Yassir in power. When he's gone, that's another topic altogether.
"Share a cup of tea as equals. Share some conversaton as equals"
Would love it. Sadly, Kader/Faith only actually replied to one part of my post to him.
Regardless, I may be headed to Israel soon for a second, longer trip. With the pending fact that my parents and grandparents may not contribute enough to my University; if the intifada continues to go on until I'm 19 (which would be two more years), going to Israel to fight would be an option. If it goes on past another Israeli election I can safely say that Israel is in trouble. The people will not vote further left wing during a 4 year war.
Hypewaffle: "A Jew can be a Jew, an Arab an Arab, in the same country and in peace.
ConsequentAtheist:"Which country would that be?"
Hypewaffle: "I think if you take the time to learn more, or even spend some time there, you will find that it happens every day."
ConsequentAtheist: "You presume far too much, and with symptomatic condescension."
I should have said WHEN you learn more. WHEN you are among Arabs. I have seen it, and you can too. I regret the inference that you will not continue to learn/travel, I don't wish for that, nor do I wish to condescend. I am truly sorry for clumsily stepping on your feelings.
The entire debate has been run through several times from every angle. I have supplied enough links to the history of the situation for people to be kept busy reading for weeks. I doubt very much that anyone bothered even skimming the load of links I provided for this topic.
Tyler"today the world except for the U.S. is pro-Palestine"
I am a small part of a growing world opinion that is not taking sides in your fighting, and is attempting to encourage the joining of both sides in negotiation. This may be uncomfortable to think about, but the occupation of Iraq could lead to escalation along familiar polarizing lines (disatrous enough) but more significant long range, American will to exert influence on the part of Israel could shift. Paradoxically, I believe that my country can exert more influence to protect Israel if we move away from extreme bias. Pitting the US against the Arab world, the US will eventually run, you will be left alone, and with great understatement we know that isolation is bad for Israel.
"going to Israel to fight would be an option"
Of course, anyone has the option of killing anyone else. But it won't bring Israelis or Palestinians what they are seeking. If you want to look into that dark abyss, you may see that Jewish immigration is on the wane, while Palestinian population is is far surpassing Israeli. After sufficient escalation, you can be at war with almost the entire Arab world again. You would surely lose a war of attrition. I am not saying this to be threatening or to say what you must do. It is simply assessing the situation.
I am no absolute pacifist, and neither does it take a pacifist attitude to see that conflict will not resolve this particular situation. I know that I can't fight with my wife and remain both of us in the same house. You're not leaving, and the Palestinians aren't either.
Wouldn't you prefer to serve Israel by increasing trust and not fear? History has many examples of intense fires of hatred being quenched. But war does the opposite.
I so fervently hope that coming crisis will force Jews and Arabs to look squarely at the greater disaster that is looming closer, and choose instead to negotiate and compromise. You are both such fantastic people in such a beautiful land, and there is no need to destroy any of the three.
links to the history of the situation
Thanks, Adam, it's good to have them close at hand like that. As you know, this debate can rumble on and on.
I think that's what needs to happen, though. I have a hope that forums like this, and interfaces that haven't evolved yet are going to change the world forever. Not that here at sciforums the world will be changed- but that the interchange not just of factoids, but perspectives- is highly significant if it expands in scale. But that (as they say) is another thread.
The inference was (and continues to be) that I have done neither to date. Rather than apologizing for your ongoing presumptions, I would much prefer that you addressed the avoided questions.
I maintain the presumption that you learn and travel. Refute it if you must.
You maintain a steadfast resistance to answering questions.
"I am a small part of a growing world opinion that is not taking sides in your fighting, and is attempting to encourage the joining of both sides in negotiation"
As one New York Times columnist commented on Israel's Green Leaf Party; "Well, it's a nice pipe dream."
I've illustrated a number of reasons why peace is impossible with Arafat in power. Unless you care to show evidence contrary or show a belief that Arafat will relinquish power any time soon...? Negotiations are futile with Arafat (and don't say ditto with Sharon - he was part of the Egyptian peace plans, don't forget). So far I see no letting up on Palestine's insistence on 3 mil. refugees and East Jerusalem. Two demands which will never be met. Israel has offered everything else, Arafat has declined. That's called hitting a wall.
Even in the remarkably unlikely case Arafat agrees to not full ownership of E.J. and not forcing Israel to take on 3 million under educated refugees - what makes you think Hamas will be so fond of giving up it's fight for all of Israel?
"Pitting the US against the Arab world, the US will eventually run, you will be left alone, and with great understatement we know that isolation is bad for Israel."
Um, I'm Canadian - for one. And Israel has seemed to manage through a great few decades of isolation before, eh?
"If you want to look into that dark abyss, you may see that Jewish immigration is on the wane, while Palestinian population is is far surpassing Israeli"
So then you perfectly understand why the 3 million refugees cannot be let in - good. I'm glad we can agree on that. Now.... if you have any evidence to suggest Arafat will back up on this demand? I personally see no reason for him to. If I was him I sure as fuck wouldn't. He's got a great little gig going right now. Hamas does all the dirty work. The Israeli's get yelled at by the whole world for murdering civilians and, god forbid, even Hamas agents; and all this while Arafat is seen as a fine man who leads the peaceful Palestinian cause. It works sooooo nicely for Arafat. Israeli's get to die and he doesn't get any blame. In fact, he gets praise. If he settles for less than all of what the Palestinian population wants Hamas will continue to fight. At this point he will have lost the backing of the true Palestinian military power (though he will likely still have Al-Fatah's wing - the martyrs brigade). So then it becomes a three-way war. Israel is at peace with Palestine and Hamas hates both. This divides the Palestinian population politically into two main sides - those that want to continue the war and those that wish to just deal with what they got. And I can guarantee that seeing how well Hamas worked in getting Israeli's to give up land the former option will not be unpopular.
Now, I ask you; if you're Arafat - does that sound like a good idea?
"After sufficient escalation, you can be at war with almost the entire Arab world again. You would surely lose a war of attrition"
We've won before. Every time when we've suppose to have lost, we've won.
"Wouldn't you prefer to serve Israel by increasing trust and not fear?"
I would never make it far in Israeli politics. Besides not being a politician, or an aspiring one, I'm not Israeli-born. This is a hinderance in being big in Israeli politics (as it is in most nations).
"I so fervently hope that coming crisis will force Jews and Arabs to look squarely at the greater disaster that is looming closer, and choose instead to negotiate and compromise"
Why are you putting any of the choice on Israel's sides? It's not like peace talks got to a wall and Israel said "Let's bomb the fuckers". It was Arafat who walked away and said "kill 'em". As long as Hamas (and the martyrs brigade) keeps bombing, the Israeli's will keep retaliating. And Hamas will keep attacking as long as the intifada goes on. And that goes on as long as there's no peace. And that goes on as long as there's Arafat in power (or at least until a leader in Palestine - Arafat or not - is willing to give up on the refugees).
See where I'm goin' with this?
Like I said, it's a pipe dream - peace is. We can say all the pretty little slogans we want "war solves nothing", "negotiations are needed", it won't do any good. Arafat is the barrier. Arafat won't get out of power until Israel stops killing Palestinians. Palestinians won't stop dieing until they stop killing Israeli's. That won't happen until peace talks. Peace talks can't be successful until Arafat is out of power..... See where I'm goin' with this?
I hope to god Arafat changes his mind. I just don't think that it's a smart political move from his point of view, so I doubt he'll do it.
hypewaders Shalom and Salam to you to; I hope we all have Shalom one day in our time.
Now to some of your points:
I was refering to the Druze that live in Israel. They have equel rights and equel obligations as they accepted to take part in the jewish state and not to try to destroy it. I spent two years (1985 -1986) in Lebanon as part of the Israeli army, my regiment commneder was a Druze, a man I will never forget. Beside me in my platoon there were arabs muslims mostly bedwins some of them gave their life tp protect fellow jews soldiers. The lebanese druze welcomed at first the Israeli incursion into Lebanon only in a later stage they became hostile but I don't that to get into that country politics I can only tell you that nobody was a saint everyone fought everyone. Sabara and Shatila was done by Christians who took revange for the massacre of Tel A- za"tare, and that is a model example of what happend in Lebanon.
I agree- that is why the Palestiniens should not have a state - see how silly is this argument?
Maybe this does not belong here but I will try to expalin in a brief and very shallow way what the Jews mean by "chosen people":
First it is important to stress that in Jewish belife the fact that someone was born a Jew DOES NOT make him any better or worse than anyone else. On the contrary, the jew carries a commitment and an obligation towards God. This commitment is derived from the covenenet with Abrham and later with Moses. For a jew this means living under the BURDEN of Torah and Mitzvot (deeds) in other words life that are devoted to Gods work according to the Torah. And yet again most Jews today are secular Jews (like myself) so they, as I stated , are not better nor worse than anyone else as a mattre of principale. As for the Jews who do practice the Torah and the Jewish law, they also are not better then anyone else, they aonly fulfile an oblgation they were "chosen" to carry. According to jewish belive that does not gurantee anything - not a good life here and not heaven after. But for the men who belive, working God is the END and not the MEANS for the END (getting to heaven and such).
To stress that the whole idea that this is not a race or tribal issue you have Mgilat Ruth the story of a non Jewish women who jioned Judaism and from her line King David was born (and according to your belife Jesus) . anyone who wishes to can join the club and become a Jew. As I said he should expect HARDER life not life becuase he was chosen. That includes higher standards of moral behavior.
This whole point is also the main division between Judaism and Christianty and not (according to poular belife) the dispute about who was Jesus. Judaism does not care less who you choose to follow as a Massiah , your Rabbi, Budha or Bush, as long as you observe the laws of Torah. There were always graet disputes and schools of thoughts in Judaism but this one point was shared by all. It was Jesus followers who changed fundemantly the rules of the game and Jews could accept it. Until then, christians used to go to synagog and observe the Shabath.
Thanks for that great post, Ethan. The only part that was a sour note for me was where you responded to my statement
"it is impossible for every aggrieved party in the region to carve out a "homeland" by murderous force, and separate themselves into armed enclaves from all who have persecuted them. This would be a return to the Middle Ages."
You responded: "I agree- that is why the Palestiniens should not have a state - see how silly is this argument? "
I don't think you want me to circle around with you on that (palestinians won't have to barricade themselves in like Israelis, when you aren't fighting each other) but anyway, it was a very interesting post. I watched the battle of Tel Za'tar, by the way, from a safe but hair-raising distance. Unbelievable. And for nothing.
Anyway, Tyler is demanding some replies, so I shall get to work on those.
C-A:"Did you intentionally avoid responding to the other questions?
Sorry, C-A, I did have some catching up to do. So, where were we?
Hype: "These Jews did not want to live behind the walls of Fortress Israel. Many still do not."
Tyler:"Interesting (though demagogic) claim. Now, substantiate it."
I'll do my best- this discussion is often overpolarized and it's a subject Zionists have repressed, as they consider it discordant and even subversive. You may expect me to say that life was heaven for Sephards until Zionism mucked it up. Somewhere short of this extreme, I would say that Jews who lived all over the Mideast were emerging from the ethnic strife of the past, where upwardly mobile and proud "Arab Jews" until the departure of overt colonialism, and then the rise of Zionism mucked it up (but I'll clarify that some more). You might say "Israel has absorbed the Jewish refugees" with open arms, and neglect to mention the conditions modern Zionism created in the region that forced them to be uprooted after centuries. The myth is that the only thing drawing Jews to Israel was the mystical beckoning for the Promised Land (a valid motivation), and this is a misleading oversimplification.
It is impossible for me to tell you what the present lifestyles of Jews throughout the Mideast would be had Israel evolved in a far less violent way. But I don't think that it is a difficult assertion that thousands more Jews could have thrived where they were, had they chosen to stay- just as many Jews have stayed in Europe, and thrived. Jews were a part of the fabric - even administration in some cases- in the Middle East and Europe. I can imagine if Zionists had taken Leichtestein by force, and had the Soviet Union armed them up in their new mountain territory, European Jews would have had considerable problems all around the periphery of Zion-Leichtenstein.
I know you're probably chafing to fire back, so I'll keep this short. Like so many conversations about the middle east, it's easy for this one to get into circles: I say "the Israelis inflamed Arab racist views" You say "Arab racist views provoked Zionist violence" or some such back-and forth. The propensity for mistrust, and hatred was locally available in the Mideast, but when European colonizers stirred the embers, and then European Zionists followed in their wake to do the same, things got particularly ugly for Jews all around- Including those who in spite of all the problems preexisting, were living their lives where generations before them had. I submit to you that for these Arab Jews, the road to true equality would have been shorter without the entrance on the scene of zionist Israel.
Ella Shohat explains:
"The rise of Arab nationalism and the forceful rise of Islam did not create a less problematic condition for diverse minorities, who have also suffered, but for the Arab Jews, it has been one of the most complicated stories, precisely because of the establishment of the state of Israel. For the first time in their history, Arab Jews had to choose between being Jews and being Arabs."
Tyler:"Israel has absorbed the Jewish refugees, while these neighbors have continued to seek political capital from the Palestinian enclaves while promoting antisemitism in their press and their schools. What demands, if any, do you raise against these countries, and what is your position on the rights of an Israeli state?"
Circles again. If zionists had not forced thousands to leave their homes through violent intimidation, nobody would be using refugees as "capital" against Israel. Lebanon's less-than perfect hospitality cost them their own peace, and nearly destroyed their cosmopolitanism. Now they are left under the heel of Syria (although I can tell you it is better than war). I have already posted my position on the rights of an Israeli state, but why ask me? Israel only needs to comport herself as any progressive society. If she is threatened (and of course she is) then Israel must get international help to stop the cycle of escalation. Then Israel must seriously negotiate. Don't wait for the Arabs to do something noble. If you were a Palestinian, I would be telling you the same- don't wait for the Israelis to do something noble.
Tyler:' Not with Yassir in power. When he's gone, that's another topic altogether.
I am amazed at how much Busheviks and Zionists are alike. They deal with "outsiders" by demonizing one personality, and then fixating on that, ignoring the thousands of others. It's just an old technique for dehumanizing groups of people.
The irony of these discussions just permeates. All that Zionists rage against, all the crimes of the past perpetrated on Jews, and so little admission of hypocrisy, when in rages they dehumanize Arabs, take their land, dignity, and lives.
The cycle that hounds us all. Revisiting who did what to whom, and when, and who first, and who was more vicious, and why, etc etc is all pointless. An eye for an eye making the world blind. Stop killing. Start talking. That's what you and I are doing now, and I know it is the answer. I enjoy doing this with you, Tyler- it helps me think and learn.
[added in later edit] Link: Arab Jews
I'm sorry, but looking back I seem to have mixed up who asked what of me. Tyler and ConsequentAtheist, please take what applies for what it's worth.
Let's try this again: interesting claim; substantiate it. Don't reword it. Substantiate it.
My my. How would you like it substantiated? I gave you a link from an uprooted Iraqi Jew, who if I remember right, lives in the UK. Would you like me to pay for one to come visit you?
OK I'll work a few minutes, tomorrow, to "substantiate it" for you, since my last tome was admittedly anecdotal. But must go now. This is getting too much like debating those who deny the Holocaust ever happened.
"If zionists had not forced thousands to leave their homes through violent intimidation, nobody would be using refugees as "capital" against Israel"
To begin with, many left Israel of their own accord. Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon... told the Palestinians in Israel to leave to prepare for a war. They were promised a win in the '48 war and the Arab nations said that once the war was won they could return to (what would then be re-named) Palestine. Secondly, it is a fact of war that when people are part of a group trying to kill you and are living in (what has recently become) your land - you don't trust them. Not too unfair a position, no?
"If she is threatened (and of course she is) then Israel must get international help to stop the cycle of escalation"
You think that's about to come?
"Don't wait for the Arabs to do something noble. If you were a Palestinian, I would be telling you the same- don't wait for the Israelis to do something noble."
There are two major Israeli parties willing to do that. One, however, is completely against dealing with Arafat.
"They deal with "outsiders" by demonizing one personality, and then fixating on that, ignoring the thousands of others."
You'll notice I've refrained as best I can from summing up Palestinians. The problem is that I'm not demonizing one person for my own purpose - there is no one else Israel can deal with! Who else of the Palestinians will negotiate peace? There is no other major peace party and, uh, well I just don't think Hamas is about to talk peace.
"All that Zionists rage against, all the crimes of the past perpetrated on Jews"
I've not mentioned an act before 1948 in this debate. On top of that, I'm not a Zionist.
"when in rages they dehumanize Arabs"
I won't speak for Zionists - but I don't believe I've dehumanized Arabs to any extent.
"take their land, dignity, and lives"
1) Jordan, Lebanon et al also took land from them. You don't hear the PLO asking for that land back. Call me a typical Jew on this point - but that kind of points to something, eh?
2) The PLO forfeited it's dignity long, long ago. Sometime around when they launched war on Hussain. And later when they launched the intifada because they're demands weren't being met 100%.
3) Come on. I could just as easily say the Pal's take Israeli lives.
"Revisiting who did what to whom, and when, and who first, and who was more vicious, and why, etc etc is all pointless"
That's why I've not truly brought history into this arguement. I'm discussing what steps can be taken to peace. The first major step would be an election in the Palestinian world. If Arafat wins, well, then we're damned. If Arafat looses (and he pulled out of an election last time around because of fear of loosing to a more moderate Palestinian) then hoorah to all - get Sharon out of power and let's start the dealing.
"I enjoy doing this with you, Tyler- it helps me think and learn."
And myself as well.
Ani v'ata neshane et ha-olam.
Substantiate what exactly? That a minority of Jews reject the state of Israel?
Your visit would allow me to apologize in person. I did not notice the URL, in part because it appeared in a section seemingly addressed to someone else.
I should have been more attentive - my apologies.
Separate names with a comma.