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In The World: Israel

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C17 - may I suggest playing the race card?  The only reason anyone is wholly supportive of Israel is because they hate people of color.  Even out the rhetoric before continuing.

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Can I ask you exactly why you hate Israel so much? I'm saying this not because it shouldn't be okay to disagree with their policies, but your rhetoric is so venomous and way over the top that you seem to bear a lot of personal animosity over its very existence. You know perfectly well why Israel was created, despite your allusion to earlier proposals (at this point a little silly) that it should have been created in some other part of the world, the fact is that Israel is only seeking to live peaceably on a small, narrow strip of land (their ancestral homeland), while the Arabs (which of course includes the Palestinians) have the entire Middle East. But you seem to seek to deny them even that. Why? Or, like Hamas, ISIS, etc. do you wish that Israel be destroyed? It almost seems you have some other agenda going on besides the cessation of violence in Gaza.

 

I'm a (secular) Jew. It can be verified that my "ancestors" are from Europe, not Israel. That said, your post is a stretch on a number of levels:

 

-I don't "hate" Israel. That's a weasel word and a twisting of my point of view.  However I am disgusted by Israel's actions and America's enabling. But most of all, I'm annoyed that otherwise reasonable people have been duped into thinking that Israel has a moral high-ground and cannot be criticized or asked to make concessions.

 

-In your post you seem to be implying that Israel should get all of the land that is the former Mandatory Palestine because the "Arabs have the entire Middle East." Is that correct? I hope you realize what that would entail, on top of everything else that Arabs there have had to put up with.

 

-Do I wish for Israel to be destroyed? Again this is the type of silly "either-or" rhetoric that people that challenge Israel's actions are accused of. Of course not, I simply wish for them to do their part in bringing peace to the region. I'm not just talking about a cease-fire, but I'm talking about accepting a two-state solution with borders that are less like those that exist today and more like those that were established in 1948.

 

 

Now that I've answered these questions, please answer mine in the above post. How is Israel an ally? What have they've done for us?

 

If you're Jewish and your ancestors are from Europe, where did they come from before that? :wtf: :wtf:

 

Israel is the only bastion for democracy in the Middle East. Canada, Britain, Italy, etc. etc. etc are also allies. What have they done for us?? I didn't know in order to be a US ally you were required to do something for us, except maybe to act in accordance with principles that generally mirrors ours--freedom, liberty, equality, to be a responsible member of the family of nations, etc--all of which characterizes Israel in abundance. Israel, by its very existence, provides a barrier against the out-of-control forces of terrorism that now rule the Arab world (which, probably according to you, are our fault). If that isn't enough to call Israel an ally, I don't know what is. Although you're so steeped in knee-jerk anti-Israel boilerplate (the whole bit--"imperialists," "racists," yadda yadda yadda...) that you will never see this.

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Canada, GB, and Italy all committed troops to Iraq/Afghanistan.  Remember when France refused?  Remember the reaction of the American "Patriots" to that decision?

 

Lebanon, Turkey, and Kuwait are also examples of democratic systems in the Middle East.  But Jordanians, IMHO and at least the ones I have met, seem to come closest to our values.  Maybe I have been lucky in the ones I have encountered.  I have never been, but I do have a sister who lives there.

 

If you're Jewish and your ancestors are from Europe, where did they come from before that? :wtf: :wtf:

 

My Jewish side is from what would now be considered Ukraine and parts of western Russia.  As far as we can tell, they are native to those lands.  Jews around the world are not direct descendants of ancient middle-eastern Jews...... or at least the connection is about as tenuous as the claim that we are all from Africa.  Yep.... you too.

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C17 - may I suggest playing the race card?  The only reason anyone is wholly supportive of Israel is because they hate people of color.  Even out the rhetoric before continuing.

 

Is that the same for anyone wholly supportive of the United States in our foreign entanglements? Even the premise of "wholly supportive" is difficult to define. One can hope for American success in Afghanistan and Iraq, because otherwise could mean the death of more American troops at minimum, even if you dislike or even protest the tactics.

 

I hate to see Palestinians die in Gaza. But I see Israel as fighting an existential war and I support its right to exist. I want to see different tactics and I want to see peace. But somehow Israel is the only nation that has to not only defend its tactics but also its very existence.

 

I'm not just talking about a cease-fire, but I'm talking about accepting a two-state solution with borders that are less like those that exist today and more like those that were established in 1948.

 

And the vast majority of Israelis want this too! And they support the destruction of Hamas tunnels and rockets. Why do you think that is?

 

We can go round and round in the history game, but Israel is there and will probably fight to its dying breath to remain. Israel has made mistakes that have caused its enemies to become ever more hateful and vengeful, but it didn't invent the very opposition to its existence. Smarter (and dumber) people than any of us have worked their entire lives for peace and have achieved next to nothing. Ask the vast majority of Israelis if they could wave a magic want, dismantle the settlements and hand over half of Jerusalem in exchange for permanent peace - and they would say yes.

 

Why has Hamas failed to drum up enough international pressure to end the blockade? If they weren't wasting their time with rockets and tunnels that could go a long way.

 

Your average joe Israel supporter, who would be moved by the images of death and destruction and the disproportionate casualty numbers, is quickly won back over by the fact of the rockets.

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If you're Jewish and your ancestors are from Europe, where did they come from before that? :wtf: :wtf:

 

My background is Ashkenazi. The lineage goes to Europe and some researchers argue an ancient link prior to that to the "Levant" region, which may or may not be what is now Israel, but could also include areas that are currently Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, etc. I don't feel any loyalty to any of that area, however.

 

Israel is the only bastion for democracy in the Middle East. Canada, Britain, Italy, etc. etc. etc are also allies. What have they done for us?? I didn't know in order to be a US ally you were required to do something for us, except maybe to act in accordance with principles that generally mirrors ours--freedom, liberty, equality, to be a responsible member of the family of nations, etc--all of which characterizes Israel in abundance. Israel, by its very existence, provides a barrier against the out-of-control forces of terrorism that now rule the Arab world (which, probably according to you, are our fault). If that isn't enough to call Israel an ally, I don't know what is. Although you're so steeped in knee-jerk anti-Israel boilerplate (the whole bit--"imperialists," "racists," yadda yadda yadda...) that you will never see this.

 

I don't care how many "bastions of democracy" exist in each region of the world, because we've certainly been very inconsistent in applying this policy. That's a weak argument.

 

As for Britain, Canada, even Italy (I think, I'll have to double-check on them), each of those countries sent troops into Iraq alongside American troops. Again, that's a lot more than Israel did. Additionally, none of those countries is currently receiving billions in aid from us, nor are any of them putting us in diplomatically difficult situations by their behavior on the international stage.

 

In regards to terrorism in the Arab world, at least that which is targeted at the United States, much of that is based on things we've brought on ourselves. We've been meddling in their affairs for decades, of course they're going to do things to get back at us. Of course when early Israelis assassinated British diplomats and blew up British hotels, they were "freedom fighters," right?

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I hate to see Palestinians die in Gaza. But I see Israel as fighting an existential war and I support its right to exist. I want to see different tactics and I want to see peace.

 

Same here.  Same everywhere.

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There is only one solution. It is not the destruction of Israel. It is not the destruction of Gaza or the leaders of Hamas. It is not the two parties agreeing to peace. These three options will never happen.

 

The only solution is for Hamas to lose power and influence entirely.

 

This will never happen as long as Israel is indiscriminately bombing cities in Gaza. The bombing won't stop until Hamas stops bombing and tunneling to Israel and Egypt and smuggling weapons. The smuggling, bombing, and tunnels will not stop until Hamas loses power. Hamas will not lose power until there are opportunities in Gaza for citizens to support themselves economically. They will not be able to support themselves economically until trade is opened up to Gaza. Trade will never open up in Gaza until they stop firing rockets at Israel.

 

If there is economic opportunity in Gaza, Hamas loses a lot of its power. People support Hamas because they see opportunity there. Currently there is very little hope for citizens in Gaza who cannot leave the Gaza Strip and cannot afford to live there.

 

The only way to end support for Hamas in Gaza is to allow economic opportunities in Gaza. Once that happens, few people will look to Hamas for leadership. At the very least, the port to Gaza needs to reopen and trade between Egypt and Gaza needs to reopen. Israel should reopen trade to Gaza as well, but it doesn't have to be completely free or open. But allow some crossing. The longer everyone isolates Gaza, the more people are going to grow up despising Israel. If economic opportunities are available, the only people supportive of the destruction of Israel will be the nut jobs no one will take seriously. There may still remain deep resentment toward Israel and racism, but it wouldn't be to the violent, revolutionary way it currently is.

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Both nations need to recognize the other's "right to exist"....... or, as we say it in other instances when dumbed-down talking points are not necessary, they need to diplomatically recognize each other as sovereign nations.

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There is only one solution. It is not the destruction of Israel. It is not the destruction of Gaza or the leaders of Hamas. It is not the two parties agreeing to peace. These three options will never happen.

 

The only solution is for Hamas to lose power and influence entirely.

 

This will never happen as long as Israel is indiscriminately bombing cities in Gaza. The bombing won't stop until Hamas stops bombing and tunneling to Israel and Egypt and smuggling weapons. The smuggling, bombing, and tunnels will not stop until Hamas loses power. Hamas will not lose power until there are opportunities in Gaza for citizens to support themselves economically. They will not be able to support themselves economically until trade is opened up to Gaza. Trade will never open up in Gaza until they stop firing rockets at Israel.

 

If there is economic opportunity in Gaza, Hamas loses a lot of its power. People support Hamas because they see opportunity there. Currently there is very little hope for citizens in Gaza who cannot leave the Gaza Strip and cannot afford to live there.

 

The only way to end support for Hamas in Gaza is to allow economic opportunities in Gaza. Once that happens, few people will look to Hamas for leadership. At the very least, the port to Gaza needs to reopen and trade between Egypt and Gaza needs to reopen. Israel should reopen trade to Gaza as well, but it doesn't have to be completely free or open. But allow some crossing. The longer everyone isolates Gaza, the more people are going to grow up despising Israel. If economic opportunities are available, the only people supportive of the destruction of Israel will be the nut jobs no one will take seriously. There may still remain deep resentment toward Israel and racism, but it wouldn't be to the violent, revolutionary way it currently is.

 

This is largely true.  However, I think there needs to be some additional common sense on the part of the Palestinian people, as far as renouncing Hamas.  Otherwise, they will keep sneaking back into power.

 

Israel also needs to be a little bit more willing to sit on its own fanatics, the "transfer" (rka ethnic cleansing) advocates and their ilk.  There's a lot more popular support for this right now than there is for de-Hamasing Gaza.  Zionist activists in America are often shocked at the attitude of Israeli visitors towards the "settlers".  However, their parties hold disproportionate power in Israel's parliamentary system and the West Bank provides the government with a safety valve vis a vis ultraorthodox vs. secular conflict.

 

Ironically, the radical settlers are to Israel what Israel is to the US:  an ally in principle that needs reined in sometimes.  It was not the Arabs who attacked one of our ships and killed 34 sailors, and it was not the Palestinians who assasinated an Israeli PM.

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Is Israel broke?

no, we just think it's a good idea to support a close ally, especially one on the front lines fighting the same terrorists targeting us. I don't think that should be a problem, should it? :|

 

Oh so they're an "ally"? What exactly do they do for us that merits that distinction and all of our funds?

 

Significant contributions to agriculture (including irrigation techniques that they use in the desert and we use in our own less arable areas), avionics, pharmaceuticals, computer engineering, and other fields?  Not dancing in the streets when our skyscrapers are destroyed by Islamic fanatics?  Maybe a few things in between, too?

 

(Despite the above, it's true that "ally" is a misnomer, because that's a formal relationship and we don't have that with Israel the way we do with NATO and SEATO members.  But I gather you both meant it in the less formal sense.)

 

Was it all of those troops that they committed to the Iraq War?

 

This is a hypocritical and cynical argument from you, given that it's quite clear from your position here that you would not have given Israel any credit as an ally even if they *had* committed troops to that war.  More to the point, we wouldn't have *wanted* them, for the same reason Bush Sr. had no interest in Israeli involvement in the 1991 Gulf War.  The negative political consequences would have far outweighed any military contribution they could make, even if their military was ten times the size it is.

 

Also note that Israel's entire population is 6 million.  Even today, our army still has 1.4 million active and another 850,000 reserve, and in 1991, we had even more because the Clinton defense cuts had not yet happened.

 

Or how about the USS Liberty?

 

So now you're a conspiracy theorist, too.  Wonderful.

 

This argument that they're an ally needs to stop. We're their sugar-daddy and we're enabling their irresponsible behavior. I agree with Hts121, Israel can fund its own defense if it wants to engage in these actions.

 

A significant portion of our military aid to Israel dates back to the Camp David accords that produced peace between Israel and Egypt.  Since then, we have also given a massive amount of aid to Egypt annually as well ... even after the assassination of the Egyptian president who signed the Accords (which happened very soon afterward), and even through the more recent revolution and counterrevolution.

 

Anyone who paints Israel as the aggressor in 1967 is either completely ignorant of the facts or a historical revisionist with a deeply anti-Zionist or even openly Hamas-sympathetic political agenda.  Israel fired the first shot.  It did not begin the aggression.  And the notion that moving your entire air force right up to an enemy border is "defensive" is risible.  If Israel had allowed those warplanes to take off just to confirm what everyone already knew (i.e., that they were being prepared for a massive crippling strike that would have allowed Egypt, Syria, and Jordan to wipe the nineteen-year-old Israel off the map), Israel likely wouldn't be here right now (which is, of course, exactly the result that the "Israel started it all!" crowd was hoping to see then, and still regrets missing).

 

Openly Hamas-sympathetic? You're better than that, Gray. Zeeply anti-Zionist? Since when is it a negative thing to be opposed to the occupation and human rights abuses committed by one people towards another people because of a belief that one has a "God-given" right to some plot of real estate? If being anti-Zionist means that one is opposed to the idea that the Jews have the right to the whole of Israel because of some Biblical claim, then I guess I'm guilty as charged.

 

It has nothing to do with Biblical claims.  It has to do with British claims.  You can contest whether the land was actually Britain's to give, but under international law at the time of the British conquest, conquest was recognized as giving sovereignty over territory to the conquering state.  You sound as if you should be aware of that, given your knowledge that Uganda was also considered as a possible Jewish haven state.  That wasn't because of Biblical claims, either.  It was also because of British claims--specifically, it was also part of the British Empire that the British were looking to offload in their decolonization efforts.

 

Moreover, regardless of your stance on that legal history, it does not excuse your transparent revisionism of the events of 1967.  You're entitled to your own opinion, even your own legal opinion, but not your own facts.  The Egyptian actions leading up to the Israeli preemptive strike left absolutely zero room for doubt that a multi-pronged Arab invasion of Israel was a matter of days if not hours away.  You simply cannot retain any credibility when you use the word "defensive" to describe the posture of the Egyptian air force massed on the Israeli border.  They were there to minimize the amount of warning Israel would get when they took off to begin the planned blitzkrieg; if they'd been defensive, they'd have been much farther from the border so as to be able to get in the air in response to an attack.

 

And once again, your facts about '67 belie military strategy.

 

See above.  Ground forces massed on a border might be defensive.  Air forces are not.  Compare our own forces in South Korea, for example (as well as South Korea's own forces, which, like Israel's, are likely quite capable of defending themselves without our help, yet we still see fit to help them anyway):

 

SOUTHKOREA_map_all.jpg

 

We've got plenty of ground forces on the border, sure.  But the air bases (Osan and Kunsan) are set back, and in fact are even farther from the border than Seoul, South Korea's capital.

 

As for the confusion of those who don't understand the "unwavering support" some people show for Israel, it's because some things are forgivable (and indeed proper) in war that are not proper or forgivable in peace ... and Israel has basically been at war, through basically no fault of its own, since the Arabs attempted to destroy it on the day it was created.

 

"Basically at war"? So Israel "basically" gets to play the "we're at war" card whenever it's convenient to excuse their abuses? Sounds like how some politicians in this country have constantly used the "War on Terror" mantra to scale back liberties on Americans AND to engage us in endless conflicts around the world.

 

And if we actually were at war, they'd get away with it here, too.  The flaw isn't in the inherent merit of that position, at least at a general level (though some things should obviously always be out of bounds).  The flaw when American politicians use it is that they're full of crap; Al Qaeda is nowhere near the kind of threat to us that Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, etc. are to Israel.  If you look back at some of our own Supreme Court cases from the Civil War, though, when we were facing an ongoing local military threat of existential magnitude, you'll find some things there that are pretty chilling by peacetime standards.

 

It also doesn't hurt that the enemy that they're facing is highly ideologically aligned with Al Qaeda, even if technically separate.  Or that it has a parliamentary democracy with Arab participation, whereas the Arab states of the Middle East largely expelled all their Jews once Israel was created (yes, to a state they didn't recognize and were making every effort to destroy).  Or that, for the most part (leaving aside the issue of the ultra-Orthodox), fully embraces the education and independence of women to a degree that no other Middle Eastern state even remotely approaches.  The 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry went to an Israeli woman, Ada Yonath.  What are the odds of that happening if Israel had lost the Six Day War and she had lived out the rest of her life (assuming she survived at all) under Egyptian, Syrian, or Jordanian rule?  They'd have told her to keep herself covered and not try to rise above her allotted place.

 

Ada Yonath's story is fascinating because her family emigrated from Poland in 1933 to what is present-day Israel. Staying in Europe during that time period would have been risky, so they definitely needed to get out. That being said, there are lots of other free societies and lands in which she (and millions of other Jews that have emigrated over the years from Europe) could have potentially survived and thrived.

 

"Risky" is an understatement.  But then again, I appreciate understatement.

 

As for the "lots of other places" narrative, the problem is that many of them, even after the conscience-shocking horrors of the Holocaust were exposed, didn't want large numbers of Jewish immigrants.  America was the most accommodating (which is why 12 million of the estimated 14 million remaining Jews are split between the U.S. and Israel and the rest of the world has the other 2 million), but even we weren't willing to go completely open-borders.  If I'd been alive then (transplanted with the values I have as of 2014, which of course would have been shaped very differently in reality as experienced in 1945, but theoretically), I'd have been pushing to allow as many of them here as wanted to come, and possibly obviated the need for Israel entirely.  We could have had all those Nobel Prizes ourselves, not to mention several million generally high-revenue, low-crime citizens.  But the decision our political process reached here was different, and we can't take a mulligan on history.

 

I have a problem with this "Only in Israel" narrative that is being presented constantly, as if the fact that Israel is a thriving society is justification for the costs it has exacted on its neighbors (and its own citizens at times, for that matter) since Day One. It doesn't matter that the land of Palestine, the portions of which are now part of Israel, are likely more advanced than what would be if history had played out differently. Human beings have a right to self-determination and to make bad decisions about self-governance.

 

Hamas is not a "bad decision" and their power is not the result of anything I'd call "self-determination."  Rosy Wilsonian rhetoric is misplaced here.

 

Bottom line: I'd rather see no fighting.  But if there is to be fighting, I'd rather Israel win.  Nations learn from victors.  I'd rather have the rest of the region learning from Israel than vice versa.

 

Israel's chances of "winning" have been low since the day the nation was founded, considering the circumstances of its founding. However its own decisions and actions have compounded that unlikelihood.

 

I don't see how there is anything they could have done differently, other than choosing a different location (see above re: taking a mulligan on history) that has compounded that likelihood, particular considering where I came into this discussion, i.e., talking about the preemptive strike in 1967.  The notion that Israel was the aggressor in 1967 and that the proper course of action would have been to wait to see what Egypt did sounds "just go along with the people herding you into the boxcar, everything will be fine."

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There is only one solution. It is not the destruction of Israel. It is not the destruction of Gaza or the leaders of Hamas. It is not the two parties agreeing to peace. These three options will never happen.

 

The only solution is for Hamas to lose power and influence entirely.

 

This will never happen as long as Israel is indiscriminately bombing cities in Gaza. The bombing won't stop until Hamas stops bombing and tunneling to Israel and Egypt and smuggling weapons. The smuggling, bombing, and tunnels will not stop until Hamas loses power. Hamas will not lose power until there are opportunities in Gaza for citizens to support themselves economically. They will not be able to support themselves economically until trade is opened up to Gaza. Trade will never open up in Gaza until they stop firing rockets at Israel.

 

If there is economic opportunity in Gaza, Hamas loses a lot of its power. People support Hamas because they see opportunity there. Currently there is very little hope for citizens in Gaza who cannot leave the Gaza Strip and cannot afford to live there.

 

The only way to end support for Hamas in Gaza is to allow economic opportunities in Gaza. Once that happens, few people will look to Hamas for leadership. At the very least, the port to Gaza needs to reopen and trade between Egypt and Gaza needs to reopen. Israel should reopen trade to Gaza as well, but it doesn't have to be completely free or open. But allow some crossing. The longer everyone isolates Gaza, the more people are going to grow up despising Israel. If economic opportunities are available, the only people supportive of the destruction of Israel will be the nut jobs no one will take seriously. There may still remain deep resentment toward Israel and racism, but it wouldn't be to the violent, revolutionary way it currently is.

 

This is largely true.  However, I think there needs to be some additional common sense on the part of the Palestinian people, as far as renouncing Hamas.  Otherwise, they will keep sneaking back into power.

 

Israel also needs to be a little bit more willing to sit on its own fanatics, the "transfer" (rka ethnic cleansing) advocates and their ilk.  There's a lot more popular support for this right now than there is for de-Hamasing Gaza.  Zionist activists in America are often shocked at the attitude of Israeli visitors towards the "settlers".  However, their parties hold disproportionate power in Israel's parliamentary system and the West Bank provides the government with a safety valve vis a vis ultraorthodox vs. secular conflict.

 

Ironically, the radical settlers are to Israel what Israel is to the US:  an ally in principle that needs reined in sometimes.  It was not the Arabs who attacked one of our ships and killed 34 sailors, and it was not the Palestinians who assasinated an Israeli PM.

 

The settlers certainly manage to be a pain in just about everyone else's @$$.  But what ryanlammi said about the Palestinians and Hamas applies to the Israelis and the settlers.  There are a lot of people in Israel that have scathing things to say about the settlers.  But there's a lot less enthusiasm for uprooting them when rockets are still landing in Israel proper.  (In crude terms, more secular Israelis might be inclined to say that the settlers and Hamas deserve each other.)

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Because I don't feel like going through the hassle of re-quoting everything, I'll just hit a few key points in response, probably in the wrong order, but oh well:

 

1) In defining the term "ally," much of your description makes Israel seem, to me at least, more so like mutually-beneficial business partners for the United States and not much more. Again I'm not sure that justifies the amount of aid that we give to them, which is my larger point. You retort that we also give aid to Egypt, which is nice, but: a) We give annually and have given overall much more aid to Israel, and: b) In recent years we have rarely (if ever) withheld aid from Israel in an effort to twist their arm on policy, which we have done with Egypt.

 

2) The point in bringing up 1967 is again not to say that Israel did not have a right to defend themselves, even preemptively. The point is that their long-term land acquisitions as a result of the Six Day War were being justified because they were attacked, which is explicitly not the case. Further, if you want to argue that holding this land was a defensive move, fine, but then again there's a problem when Israelis are freely settling in this land and claiming it their own. There's a bigger problem when few Israel leaders--including Netanyahu, a supposed "moderate"--refuse to reign in this settlement activity. Perhaps the creation of a buffer zone would have made more sense than outright claiming the land as their own and moving in residents whose lives then become more valuable than those that were already living there.

 

3) In regards to the British, Mandatory Palestine was indeed "theirs" to give to the Jews, at least as far as the rules of the colonization went at that time. My point is in response to the more general claim that many people make that the Bible justifies further Jewish expansion of Israel. I'm annoyed that it was certainly used in 1948 to justify the initial establishment of Israel in the first place, but what's done is done. However using it as an argument for modern-day occupation and expansion should not fly.

 

4) There's a lot that Israel could have done differently, even if you think that their explicit military activities over the years have been completely justified. The biggest thing is that they could have made more of an effort to achieve the two-state solution. Most recently, the West Bank Palestinians have elected a fairly moderate leadership (by their standards at the very least) in Mahmoud Abbas, someone who by many accounts has been largely ignored and undermined by Netanyahu's actions.

 

 

*One more bonus point: I'll freely admit that I don't know much about the USS Liberty situation other than what I've read in recent days. I didn't realize that it was a "conspiracy theory" to repeat the claim that some of its actual crew-members made in believing that Israel knew it was an American vessel.  But beyond that, I do think that there are other ways that Israel's actions and policies and the United States' oftentimes stubborn support has indirectly brought harm to American citizens and soldiers.

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Not going to rehash points where I'd largely be repeating what I've already said, but on this:

 

3) In regards to the British, Mandatory Palestine was indeed "theirs" to give to the Jews, at least as far as the rules of the colonization went at that time. My point is in response to the more general claim that many people make that the Bible justifies further Jewish expansion of Israel. I'm annoyed that it was certainly used in 1948 to justify the initial establishment of Israel in the first place, but what's done is done. However using it as an argument for modern-day occupation and expansion should not fly.

 

This thread has been high-volume in the past week or so, but I haven't actually seen anyone here make the argument that Biblical claims justify Israel's origin or expansion.  The closest I've seen regards claims of ancient ethnic ancestry, which is slightly different, and I personally haven't even gone that far, since as you and some others have pointed out, there are decent-sized groups of Jews (in the scale of a 14 million worldwide population, anyway) with no more Middle Eastern ancestry than anyone else (go back far enough and we all came out of Africa, after all).  The justification was more immediate and more Western-centric: the Holocaust galvanized the Zionist movement, Britain was decolonizing anyway, and the fact that the two were happening at the same time meant that a Jewish haven state was going to likely be in someplace the British had control over and were willing to give up.  And I understand the problems that even when told properly, there is much to criticize from a modern frame of reference regarding Israel's origin, because it was indeed a lot of Western decisions made with minimal local input: Zionism was predominantly a Western European phenomenon, Britain was a Western power making history-altering decisions for non-Western lands it controlled even as it was packing up to leave, and the Holocaust that galvanized the movement was a Western event as well (though if you read some of the contemporary Arab writings and speeches of the time, you also find a lot, and I mean a lot, of sympathy with the Nazis among the native Arab population of the Mandate--these people were all in favor of killing all the Jews well before those Jews were actually given a state right there among them).

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Not going to rehash points where I'd largely be repeating what I've already said, but on this:

 

3) In regards to the British, Mandatory Palestine was indeed "theirs" to give to the Jews, at least as far as the rules of the colonization went at that time. My point is in response to the more general claim that many people make that the Bible justifies further Jewish expansion of Israel. I'm annoyed that it was certainly used in 1948 to justify the initial establishment of Israel in the first place, but what's done is done. However using it as an argument for modern-day occupation and expansion should not fly.

 

This thread has been high-volume in the past week or so, but I haven't actually seen anyone here make the argument that Biblical claims justify Israel's origin or expansion.  The closest I've seen regards claims of ancient ethnic ancestry, which is slightly different, and I personally haven't even gone that far, since as you and some others have pointed out, there are decent-sized groups of Jews (in the scale of a 14 million worldwide population, anyway) with no more Middle Eastern ancestry than anyone else (go back far enough and we all came out of Africa, after all).  The justification was more immediate and more Western-centric: the Holocaust galvanized the Zionist movement, Britain was decolonizing anyway, and the fact that the two were happening at the same time meant that a Jewish haven state was going to likely be in someplace the British had control over and were willing to give up.  And I understand the problems that even when told properly, there is much to criticize from a modern frame of reference regarding Israel's origin, because it was indeed a lot of Western decisions made with minimal local input: Zionism was predominantly a Western European phenomenon, Britain was a Western power making history-altering decisions for non-Western lands it controlled even as it was packing up to leave, and the Holocaust that galvanized the movement was a Western event as well (though if you read some of the contemporary Arab writings and speeches of the time, you also find a lot, and I mean a lot, of sympathy with the Nazis among the native Arab population of the Mandate--these people were all in favor of killing all the Jews well before those Jews were actually given a state right there among them).

 

Forgive me if I'm creating a straw man for any posters here, I'm really more opining out loud on some of the things I've read from other people online, primarily in comments sections of pieces on the conflict. Though I think (and this could be overexposure to that viewpoint) someone here came close to making that argument, but it certainly was only implied at best.

 

Moving on, I would be curious as to what you think the possible solutions are to fixing this situation? If we lived in a perfect world, what actions do you believe that both sides must now take to potentially achieve lasting peace? That's an open question to anyone.

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Many people have said such things over the years, but Israel has generally productively ignored their advice.

 

For example, when Israel was constructing walls along its borders in the mid-2000s, similarly lofty, monocle-bearing Western publications either pooh-poohed the effort or called it a provocation that would further incite Palestinian violence; the volume of suicide bombings decreased something like 90% after the wall was complete.  It's true that Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist groups switched their tactics rather than giving up entirely, so we now have rockets and tunnels instead of suicide bombers, but from Israel's perspective, that's still a marked improvement, as evidenced by the far lower civilian casualty rate on the Israeli side now vis-a-vis when suicide bombers were routinely reaching soft targets deep inside Israel.  And Israel apparently was able to anticipate the strategy shift as well, given that the Iron Dome system couldn't have been built in a day.  (It remains to be seen how they'll resolve the tunnel threat.  They've proven surprisingly resistant to technological solutions, and they're very psychologically effective.  But still not as terrifying as suicide bombers.)

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Many people have said such things over the years, but Israel has generally productively ignored their advice.

 

For example, when Israel was constructing walls along its borders in the mid-2000s, similarly lofty, monocle-bearing Western publications either pooh-poohed the effort or called it a provocation that would further incite Palestinian violence; the volume of suicide bombings decreased something like 90% after the wall was complete.  It's true that Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist groups switched their tactics rather than giving up entirely, so we now have rockets and tunnels instead of suicide bombers, but from Israel's perspective, that's still a marked improvement, as evidenced by the far lower civilian casualty rate on the Israeli side now vis-a-vis when suicide bombers were routinely reaching soft targets deep inside Israel.  And Israel apparently was able to anticipate the strategy shift as well, given that the Iron Dome system couldn't have been built in a day.  (It remains to be seen how they'll resolve the tunnel threat.  They've proven surprisingly resistant to technological solutions, and they're very psychologically effective.  But still not as terrifying as suicide bombers.)

 

I don't think that piece is about defense strategies, though I will agree that the Iron Dome is the latest that allows many Israelis to live in a literal and figurative bubble. The larger point remains that eventually if Israelis want any shot as long-term survival they're going to need to put in more of an effort to ensure that a two-state solution is reached. I don't see many permutations of a "one-state solution" that bode well for Israel.

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A brief history of the Arab world post WWI by Bill Moyers.

He highlights TE Lawrence.

http://billmoyers.com/2014/06/27/learning-from-lawrence-of-arabia/

Wonder how Lawrence's map would have changed things.

 

I've seen maps that suggest that the Middle East should have been divided up even more so than that, but was based on the same idea. Either way I suspect that Lawrence would have found it crazy to introduce another "tribe" to an already tribalistic and inflamed corner of the world.

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I hate any argument which begins with the premise "Israel has a right/duty to defend itself."  Well, duh.  That is unquestionably something it must do.  The backlash it is facing is not for defending itself, but rather the manner in which it defends itself.  One way it could defend itself is to do a mass invasion where it kills every man, woman, and child in Gaza.  By using that tactic, it would be sure to destroy Hamas and kill every jihadist fighting on its side.  But would that be acceptable?  War is messy.  It is bloody.  The Nazis did mass bombings from above.  Collateral damage was of little concern to them.  It was part of the reason it was so easy to vilify the Axis right from the start.  It is sad to say, but Israel needs to come to the realization that, if it wants to fight this war, it is going to have to use tactics which might put its soldiers at greater risk.  But by taking those risks, innocent civilian casualties will hopefully be minimized, and more importantly the collateral effects (i.e. exponentially creating more terrorists) of civilian deaths will also be minimized.

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I found this interesting

 

Let us remember that Israel withdrew all of its citizens, uprooted its settlements, and completely disengaged from Gaza in 2005. It wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help it economically, the Israelis left behind 3,000 working greenhouses. They also disassembled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank – a sign that they wanted to live peacefully, side by side with Gaza. And how did the Palestinians respond? They demolished the greenhouses, elected Hamas, and instead of building a state, says Charles Krauthammer in the National Review Online, spent most of the last decade turning Gaza into a massive military base brimming with weapons to make endless war on Israel.

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"spent most of the last decade turning Gaza into a massive military base brimming with weapons to make endless war on Israel."

 

Ohh come on.

 

Third world weapons vs. First world SOTA weapons.  AK's and pop rockets are no match for made in the US of A weaponry.

 

 

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I found this interesting

 

Let us remember that Israel withdrew all of its citizens, uprooted its settlements, and completely disengaged from Gaza in 2005. It wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help it economically, the Israelis left behind 3,000 working greenhouses. They also disassembled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank – a sign that they wanted to live peacefully, side by side with Gaza. And how did the Palestinians respond? They demolished the greenhouses, elected Hamas, and instead of building a state, says Charles Krauthammer in the National Review Online, spent most of the last decade turning Gaza into a massive military base brimming with weapons to make endless war on Israel.

 

That's only part of the story, I'm afraid. The reality is that Israel still has settlements on lands that were never granted to it. Israel was still limiting the movement of people and goods throughout Gaza, the true definition of a "nanny state," though in this case it being the government of one country restricting the rights and freedoms of citizens from another country.

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I found this interesting

 

Let us remember that Israel withdrew all of its citizens, uprooted its settlements, and completely disengaged from Gaza in 2005. It wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help it economically, the Israelis left behind 3,000 working greenhouses. They also disassembled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank – a sign that they wanted to live peacefully, side by side with Gaza. And how did the Palestinians respond? They demolished the greenhouses, elected Hamas, and instead of building a state, says Charles Krauthammer in the National Review Online, spent most of the last decade turning Gaza into a massive military base brimming with weapons to make endless war on Israel.

 

That's only part of the story, I'm afraid. The reality is that Israel still has settlements on lands that were never granted to it. Israel was still limiting the movement of people and goods throughout Gaza, the true definition of a "nanny state," though in this case it being the government of one country restricting the rights and freedoms of citizens from another country.

 

People forget that the Geneva Convention bans moving civilians into occupied lands, for precisely the reason we are seeing now.  While a lot of the "settlers" live immediately contiguous to Israel proper, the more radical intentionally squat in locations intended to disrupt  Palestinian life.  Hebron has a particularly troublesome bunch.  Imagine a colony of klansmen setting up shop in the middle of a black area, demanding aggressive police protection, and having the political clout to get it. 

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I found this interesting

 

Let us remember that Israel withdrew all of its citizens, uprooted its settlements, and completely disengaged from Gaza in 2005. It wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help it economically, the Israelis left behind 3,000 working greenhouses. They also disassembled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank – a sign that they wanted to live peacefully, side by side with Gaza. And how did the Palestinians respond? They demolished the greenhouses, elected Hamas, and instead of building a state, says Charles Krauthammer in the National Review Online, spent most of the last decade turning Gaza into a massive military base brimming with weapons to make endless war on Israel.

 

That's only part of the story, I'm afraid. The reality is that Israel still has settlements on lands that were never granted to it.

 

Not in Gaza, they don't.  And the West Bank has been surprisingly quiet during this Hamas offensive.

 

As for the blockade, you have to have already been squarely in Hamas' camp before this rocket barrage started to say that the Hamas offensive delegitimizes the blockade rather than validating it.  Heck, one of Gaza's borders is on Egypt, and even *they* aren't letting Hamas have an open border through there.

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Hamas is a product of the Muslim Brotherhood, so Egypt's behavior towards them isn't an appropriate benchmark for anything except for the current military regime's dislike of the MB. A regime that has been accused of crimes against humanity for killing 600-1000 MB supporters at a MB sit-in shortly after their coup.

 

 

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Hamas is a product of the Muslim Brotherhood, so Egypt's behavior towards them isn't an appropriate benchmark for anything except for the current military regime's dislike of the MB. A regime that has been accused of crimes against humanity for killing 600-1000 MB supporters at a MB sit-in shortly after their coup.

 

Pretty sure Egypt kept that border sealed even when Morsi was in power.

 

ETA: But valid point regarding the current regime.

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That's only part of the story, I'm afraid. The reality is that Israel

People forget that the Geneva Convention bans moving civilians into occupied lands, for precisely the reason we are seeing now.  While a lot of the "settlers" live immediately contiguous to Israel proper, the more radical intentionally squat in locations intended to disrupt  Palestinian life.  Hebron has a particularly troublesome bunch.  Imagine a colony of klansmen setting up shop in the middle of a black area, demanding aggressive police protection, and having the political clout to get it. 

 

There are a lot of Palestinians that think that they have a right to the entirety of the former Mandatory Palestine which makes them a difficult negotiating party with which to discuss potential two-state solutions. However, what may be less known, is that there are also a lot of Israelis who believe that the entirety of the former Mandatory Palestine should be "Israel" and completely inhabited by Jews. I believe much of that claim is religious-based, but regardless many of these Israelis have taken the lack of the establishment of Palestine as a sign that they can settle there. Then they expect the Israeli government to support their actions and defend them. This type of behavior has occurred even when it's been said that Israel has been "withdrawn" from Gaza and the West Bank.

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Not in Gaza, they don't.  And the West Bank has been surprisingly quiet during this Hamas offensive.

 

As for the blockade, you have to have already been squarely in Hamas' camp before this rocket barrage started to say that the Hamas offensive delegitimizes the blockade rather than validating it.  Heck, one of Gaza's borders is on Egypt, and even *they* aren't letting Hamas have an open border through there.

 

While it's true that there aren't settlements in Gaza at the moment, I do think that part of the problem is that the original Gaza has been chipped-away at for 60+ years. My guess is that some of that territory, of which much now falls under Israeli control, needs to be given back.

 

Regarding Hamas, they are out-of-control, and they should be decommissioned by the international community if necessary (probably more politically palatable that way). However at some point if Israel wants long-term peace they're going to have to trust Gazans (of which not nearly all of them support Hamas-like behavior) enough to back off and let them control their own seas and ports. If you want to argue that now is not the time, fine, but it's not acceptable for this to continue indefinitely. Or if it does, no one should be surprised when more and more Gazans become sympathetic with the types of things that Hamas has been doing.

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Not in Gaza, they don't.  And the West Bank has been surprisingly quiet during this Hamas offensive.

 

As for the blockade, you have to have already been squarely in Hamas' camp before this rocket barrage started to say that the Hamas offensive delegitimizes the blockade rather than validating it.  Heck, one of Gaza's borders is on Egypt, and even *they* aren't letting Hamas have an open border through there.

 

While it's true that there aren't settlements in Gaza at the moment, I do think that part of the problem is that the original Gaza has been chipped-away at for 60+ years. My guess is that some of that territory, of which much now falls under Israeli control, needs to be given back.

 

I'm not aware of any remaining chipping away at Gaza following the uprooting of the Israeli settlements by Israel itself.  I'm pretty sure they're already back to the 1967 borders there.

 

Regarding Hamas, they are out-of-control, and they should be decommissioned by the international community if necessary (probably more politically palatable that way). However at some point if Israel wants long-term peace they're going to have to trust Gazans (of which not nearly all of them support Hamas-like behavior) enough to back off and let them control their own seas and ports. If you want to argue that now is not the time, fine, but it's not acceptable for this to continue indefinitely. Or if it does, no one should be surprised when more and more Gazans become sympathetic with the types of things that Hamas has been doing.

 

It's not as if the international community can just "decommission" Hamas.  (That's also a really vague word, but none of its plausible concrete substitutes are within the power of "the international community," so my point stands.)

 

As for Israel trusting Gazans, Gaza is going to need to make strides to actually be trustworthy before that happens, and one of those strides is almost certainly going to be the overthrow of Hamas.

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I'm not aware of any remaining chipping away at Gaza following the uprooting of the Israeli settlements by Israel itself.  I'm pretty sure they're already back to the 1967 borders there.

 

The 1-3km buffer zone appears to be just that. Assuming they maintain it.

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It's not as if the international community can just "decommission" Hamas.  (That's also a really vague word, but none of its plausible concrete substitutes are within the power of "the international community," so my point stands.)

 

As for Israel trusting Gazans, Gaza is going to need to make strides to actually be trustworthy before that happens, and one of those strides is almost certainly going to be the overthrow of Hamas.

 

When I say "international community," I'm talking about anyone, whether it's the U.N. or the United States. While it's unlikely that the U.N. would do anything, the United States has directly or indirectly been the catalyst for dozens of regime changes over the past few decades. If it's that important, then we should push for Gazans to get rid of Hamas, or we should do "something" ourselves to make it happen.

 

To the second point, I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree. But as long as Israel is nannying Gaza's ports and seas, I don't see how anyone can blame Gazans for being deeply aggrieved by the situation. It's a collective punishment that affects their standard of living and it really destroys any argument that Israel has about not putting its thumb on Gaza.

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The only people that can get rid of Hamas are the Palestinians, Gazans or whatever. As long as those people support the terrorist murderous Hamas. NOTHING will improve.

It's like the KKK in the US. The nationalist religionist Americans had to putdown the radical, violent, murderous nationalist religionists.

Clecelander17, you can keep moving the chickens & eggs around but you're still just shuffling.

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So long as the inhabitable conditions and utter lack of economic opportunity continues in Palestine, if it is not Hamas, then it will be some other group able to radicalize the youth and individuals of all ages who have experienced some form of tragedy or injustice. You have to get at the root cause of Hamas, part of which is the lack of a recognition (i.e. in dumbed down talk, "the right to exist") of a Palestinian state.  The blame-game and finger-pointing hasn't been too successful.  Neither has endless warfare.  Cutting off the head of a weed just allows it to grow back stronger.  It's much easier than digging up the root in the short term, but not nearly as beneficial long-term. 

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Never ever ever. You can give the Palestinians all of Jerusalem and every contested territory -- and all it would do is embolden the maniacs. Gaza was a complete freebee - and the FIRST THINGS THEY DID was blow up greenhouses and synagogues, then legitimized a terrorist group by voting it into office.

 

There will never ever be peace in that region.

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