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Obama and the Israeli borders (Page 3)
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May 23, 2011, 12:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
So you're saying that to be Jewish, you must have access to Jewish synagogues, schools, and restaurants? That seems quite different from the days when Jews would practice their faith quietly in their homes when faced with oppression.
Oppression? I thought the Arab nations are all about religious tolerance? Well that argument dropped fast.

Anyway, of course you are still Jewish as long as your mother is Jewish, but statistics have shown that not practicing Judaism is the fastest way to intermarriage and future generations not being (or identifying themselves as) Jewish. This is a huge problem with Reform and Conservative Judaism in the United States so I can't imagine Jews in Arab countries who can't practice openly lasting many generations.

The reality is that yes, to have a successful and long lasting Jewish population there needs to be synagogues, schools, and kosher food. A handful of people whose great-grandparents were Jewish, but who don't do anything Jewish doesn't count for much in my book because it won't last long.
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May 23, 2011, 12:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
It's the same thing with Palestinians. Why doesn't Egypt or Saudi Arabia proffer land for Palestinians, instead of giving them millions of dollars? The world would rather they stay in the back yard, instead of invite them inside. Even though Iran funds many Palestinian militants, remember that Iran HATES the idea of Arabs just as much as Jews. Arabs may be the lesser evil to them, because of Islam, but Iran distinctly claims a different identity than that of an Arab.
And at the same time the Iran government funds one of 3 Jewish Hopistals go figure. Did you read the article I posted on Jews in Iran?
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May 23, 2011, 07:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
Whats the problem with a new Israel being placed in America. Oh right, forgot like most of the world its happy the Jews are self exiling so its not their problems any more. Why the hell are Jews hated so much. Can some one please explain this to me. And I dont mean the Muslims, I mean Europe in the 1900's including North America.
BZZZT - the US comprises the second largest population of Jews on the planet; second only to Israel. For perspective, that's 13 times more Jews in the US than in Canada. Jews are most definitely not "hated so much" in the US.

What's wrong with Israel being Israel in the same manner as any other nation-state and how on earth would your racist notion of uprooting Jews yet again and moving them to another country seem reasonable?

Try again.
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May 23, 2011, 07:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
Oppression? I thought the Arab nations are all about religious tolerance? Well that argument dropped fast.
This is the 2nd time he's accidentally done this. At least the truth is in there, it just comes out at the least opportune times for him.
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May 23, 2011, 08:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
Oppression? I thought the Arab nations are all about religious tolerance? Well that argument dropped fast.
What is your inability to recognise the past-tense? I gave the examples of Roman, Greek, and Ottoman Empires. WHICH ARE GONE.

The reality is that yes, to have a successful and long lasting Jewish population there needs to be synagogues, schools, and kosher food. A handful of people whose great-grandparents were Jewish, but who don't do anything Jewish doesn't count for much in my book because it won't last long.
Sorry to invoke Godwin's law, but the Jews who quietly practiced their faith for years in Western and Eastern Europe got their own state in the end, so it apparently does last and make a change.

Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
This is the 2nd time he's accidentally done this. At least the truth is in there, it just comes out at the least opportune times for him.
Like I said, historical precedent. That doesn't mean it's happening NOW. How hard is this to understand?
     
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May 23, 2011, 08:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Sure. I am finding academic sources now that have pretty much those same numbers now through academic search engines (EBSCOhost, etc).

Concrete numbers for any of this (even today) is difficult to find.
I looked at the link you provided and noted the following:
1. Most importantly, as I privately assumed, the numbers that you're going by are for the entire Palestine Mandate land - the main chart on that page is labeled "Population of Ottoman and British-mandate Palestine." Do you understand why that is significant? The Palestine Mandate didn't become Israel even though the whole Mandate was originally supposed to be the future Jewish country. Transjordan was taken from the Mandate, which amounted to 3/4 of the landmass of the Mandate. It's entirely understandable if there were many more Arabs in the Mandate as a whole (meaning mostly the future Transjordan state), but the Mandate land west of the Jordan couldn't have possibly had such an overwhelming numerical advantage, or else it would have made Israeli independence and Israeli majorities absolutely numerically and logistically impossible.

2. When you look at that chart, you see that the non-Jewish population supposedly remains substantially larger than the Jewish population through 1950. That's even after the War of Independence. Again, it's obviously not talking about Israel (as constituted by the land west of the Jordan River) because if the Arabs had that kind of numerical superiority, they would have easily overwhelmed and destroyed the young country; there most certainly wouldn't be an Israel today with a 75% Jewish population majority. The page makes it seems like Israel never achieved a majority Jewish population. Also, the author relies on population figures from Syria to further paint a misleading picture about the population of Israel.

3. Perhaps most importantly, when you look further down the page at the numbers it quotes on actual Israeli towns, the Jewish percentages given are much higher and sometimes majorities. When you look objectively at population centers west of the Jordan, you see the fact that Jews were counted in large percentages historically and not just dropped from UFOs in 1940.

4. Less importantly, the author of the site is clearly biased against the Israeli position. The author only refers to a single Israeli source and does so in a plainly negative fashion, calling the alleged Israeli position ludicrous, and then further down the page it refers to a supposed piece of anti-Israel correspondence received from an Australian reader largely for the purpose of vilifying Israel/Jews/Jewish supporters. But even from a biased source such as this one the truth is easy to see. Your view was definitively incorrect mitchell.
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Sorry to invoke Godwin's law, but the Jews who quietly practiced their faith for years in Western and Eastern Europe got their own state in the end, so it apparently does last and make a change.
This wasn't our part of the conversation, but I wanted to respond to it. I may not be seeing the full context of your claim here, but most of the Jews of Western and Eastern Europe didn't get their own state in the end. The vast majority of them perished in the Holocaust.
Like I said, historical precedent. That doesn't mean it's happening NOW. How hard is this to understand?
I think objections are being raised because you strongly seemed to imply that the Arab/Islamic world is friendly to Jews in today's world. At one time things were friendly, relatively speaking, even though Jews were still second class citizens in those countries. Non-Muslims in Muslim ruled areas are "dhimmis," which means institutional discrimination. Non-Muslims had/have severely restricted rights in Muslim countries. I encourage you to read up on the topic. Some make it seem as if Jews and Christians enjoyed full rights in the "Golden Age of Islam" when the Islamic world was at its most tolerant and forward-thinking. That's a falsehood. While Jews weren't treated to campaigns of widespread genocide in Islamic lands historically (like they often were in medieval Europe), they weren't treated well.

You appeared to be arguing against Israel and in favor of Arab encroachment on it because, to paraphrase what you appeared to say before, most of the Arab world knows and is friendly to Jews. Then when pressed you changed that to an historical claim (which I point out isn't even that true). That's why ebuddy and others took issue with your argument.
( Last edited by Big Mac; May 23, 2011 at 09:07 AM. )

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May 23, 2011, 09:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
BZZZT - the US comprises the second largest population of Jews on the planet; second only to Israel. For perspective, that's 13 times more Jews in the US than in Canada. Jews are most definitely not "hated so much" in the US.
The US is a relatively excellent place for Jews to live, which is why I think the American system could make an excellent model for reforms to the Israeli government. However, the US is not perfect and anti-Semitism is a still a problem here, though mostly so outside of big cities and in the South. To some extent, the general acceptance and success of Jews in the US actually makes things worse, as it leads a lot of people to overlook things or just find some way of justifying it as 'ok' in their head because 'that sort of thing just doesn't happen anymore'.

Though, to be fair, it took ~28 years before I was ever actually personally confronted with anti-Semitism here in the US. Also, a lot of it is born simply from ignorance: there are a lot of people in the US who have never (knowingly) encountered a Jew in real life. But ignorance can also breed intolerance.
     
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May 23, 2011, 10:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
BZZZT - the US comprises the second largest population of Jews on the planet; second only to Israel. For perspective, that's 13 times more Jews in the US than in Canada. Jews are most definitely not "hated so much" in the US.
They're close. Wikipedia has The US with a larger population. The other countries have larger numbers well. Wikipedia is including converts. Other sites have the same stats as JVL
The Jewish Population of the World
1 Israel 5,703,700 42.5%
2 United States 5,275,000 39.3%
3 France 483,500 3.6%
4 Canada 375,000 2.8%
5 United Kingdom 292,000 2.2%
6 Russia 205,000 1.5%
7 Argentina 182,300 1.4%
8 Germany 119,000 0.9%
9 Australia 107,500 0.8%
10 Brazil 95,600 0.7%
11 Ukraine 71,500 0.5%
12 South Africa 70,800 0.5%
13 Hungary 48,600 0.4%
14 Mexico 39,400 0.3%
15 Belgium 30,300 0.2%
Jewish population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1 United States (2009)[1] 6,544,000 2.1% 45%
2 Israel (2010) [2] 5,800,000 75.5% 42%
3 France 606,000 1.0% 4.2%
4 Canada 393,660 1.2% 3.0%
5 United Kingdom 350,000 0.57% 2.3%
6 Argentina [3] 280,000 0.8% 2.3%
7 Russia 228,000 0.14% 1.7%
8 Australia 120,000 0.56% 0.9%
9 Germany 118,000 0.14% 0.88%
10 Brazil 96,500 0.05% 0.70%
11 Ukraine 80,000 0.16% 0.60%
12 South Africa 72,000 0.15% <0.5%
13 Poland 50,000 0.6% <0.5%
14 Hungary 49,700 0.4% <0.5%
15 Spain 48,409 0.12% <0.5%
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May 23, 2011, 10:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
The US is a relatively excellent place for Jews to live, which is why I think the American system could make an excellent model for reforms to the Israeli government.
That's an interesting topic for another thread. Prima facie my response would be that Israel isn't that different from the US and other liberal democracies as far as civil rights and liberties are concerned, even for minorities. At least in the area of free speech, Israeli Arabs often have more rights than Jews, particularly in the area of controversial speech. There are many lessons Israel could learn from American government, but in the areas I think you're referencing the country is much less Jewish and much more secular/pluralistic than is popularly understood or appreciated.

However, the US is not perfect and anti-Semitism is a still a problem here, though mostly so outside of big cities and in the South. To some extent, the general acceptance and success of Jews in the US actually makes things worse, as it leads a lot of people to overlook things or just find some way of justifying it as 'ok' in their head because 'that sort of thing just doesn't happen anymore'. Though, to be fair, it took ~28 years before I was ever actually personally confronted with anti-Semitism here in the US. Also, a lot of it is born simply from ignorance: there are a lot of people in the US who have never (knowingly) encountered a Jew in real life. But ignorance can also breed intolerance.
You went 28 years before personal experience with antisemitism. Pretty extraordinary. Were you open about your Jewishness growing up? I grew up going to upper-middle class schools, but I was first confronted with antisemitism at 9 or 10. It was mild but real, even though I attended a small, sheltered private elementary school. Then in public middle school in a very well-off district I had a few more brushes with anti-Jewish sentiment, usually out of the blue and in one case from another minority student, which was unexpected. I wasn't a very outwardly observant Jew in school, but the fact of my Jewishness was known. It's hard for me to envision growing up in a secular environment and not experiencing some form of antisemitism unless a person is very low key about being Jewish.

Back on topic, I found this to be an interesting excerpted commentary on Obama's policy shift on Israel:
Originally Posted by IsraelNN
Bad for Israel, US, and Peace

Ari Shavit, columnist for left-wing Haaretz, wrote that the manner in which Obama introduced the concept of the 1967 borders into the fray was “very bad for Israel, and very bad for the United States, and very bad for peace.” Shavit wrote that instead of “presenting the 1967 borders as the end of the process, Obama made them its start. Instead of tying them to the end of demands and the end of the conflict, they were tied to greater demands and continued conflict.”

This, Shavit continued, “presented Israel with a suicidal proposition: an interim agreement based on the 1967 borders… a proposal that will result in certain conflict in Jerusalem and in the inundation of Israel with refugees. It's a proposition that spells an end to peace, an end to stability and an end to the State of Israel.”
( Last edited by Big Mac; May 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM. )

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May 23, 2011, 11:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
That's an interesting topic for another thread. Prima facie my response would be that Israel isn't that different from the US and other liberal democracies as far as civil rights and liberties are concerned, even for minorities. At least in the area of free speech, Israeli Arabs often have more rights than Jews, particularly in the area of controversial speech. There are many lessons Israel could learn from American government, but in the areas I think you're referencing the country is much less Jewish and much more secular/pluralistic than is popularly understood or appreciated.
I agree, and you're probably right that this should go in another thread. I'll just say that the changes I think should be made aren't necessarily to the status quo of life in Israel, so much as adding greater safeguards to the fabric of the government; protections against abuse and populism, essentially.

You went 28 years before personal experience with antisemitism. Pretty extraordinary. Were you open about your Jewishness growing up? I grew up going to upper-middle class schools, but I was first confronted with antisemitism at 9 or 10. It was mild but real, even though I attended a small, sheltered private elementary school. Then in public middle school in a very well-off district I had a few more brushes with anti-Jewish sentiment, usually out of the blue and in one case from another minority student, which was unexpected. I wasn't a very outwardly observant Jew in school, but the fact of my Jewishness was known. It's hard for me to envision growing up in a secular environment and not experiencing some form of antisemitism unless a person is very low key about being Jewish.
I was never particularly forward about being Jewish, but I've always been in areas and schools with relatively large Jewish populations, so i don't think that's the explanation. It's really only been since moving to DC that I've become aware of the extent that anti-Semitism still exists out there and come face to face with it personally. More specifically in rural Virginia where my sister-in-law now lives. Even more specifically: her husband and his friends.
     
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May 23, 2011, 11:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Back on topic, I found this to be an interesting excerpted commentary on Obama's policy shift on Israel:
I've been seeing a lot of different opinions on this in the Israeli media. I try and read pieces from across the spectrum (mostly Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, and Arutz Sheva), and it seems that, regardless of politics, there isn't much consensus on what the impact of Obama's speech will be. There are people from both the left and right finding good and bad in his speech, including the controversial '1967 lines' bit.

I did see a short piece from JTA today saying that Hammas' response was that they still refuse to recognize Israel. Seeing as we're now faced with a Hammas/Fatah unity government (regardless of what Abbas claims about the government listening to him and following his direction), I really can't see how piece can possibly made to work so long as there is refusal to official recognize the legitimacy of Israel to exist from the party in power.

If there is one thing that certainly must be a precondition to negotiations it's that both sides must recognize that the other is a legitimate negotiator.
     
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May 23, 2011, 11:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
The US is a relatively excellent place for Jews to live, which is why I think the American system could make an excellent model for reforms to the Israeli government. However, the US is not perfect and anti-Semitism is a still a problem here, though mostly so outside of big cities and in the South. To some extent, the general acceptance and success of Jews in the US actually makes things worse, as it leads a lot of people to overlook things or just find some way of justifying it as 'ok' in their head because 'that sort of thing just doesn't happen anymore'.

Though, to be fair, it took ~28 years before I was ever actually personally confronted with anti-Semitism here in the US. Also, a lot of it is born simply from ignorance: there are a lot of people in the US who have never (knowingly) encountered a Jew in real life. But ignorance can also breed intolerance.
The problems out side the major cities and in the south is not a jewish problem. It's a general problem of intolerance. Blacks, Muslims, gay people go through the same issues.
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May 23, 2011, 11:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
The problems out side the major cities and in the south is not a jewish problem. It's a general problem of intolerance. Blacks, Muslims, gay people go through the same issues.
But as I pointed out, antisemitism is not just confined to small towns, the mid-west and south. It can be found in affluent suburbs, major cities, etc., as I pointed out in part anecdotally. And it's probably gotten substantially worse because in recent times anti-Israel hatred is the new Jew-hatred and also leads to typical expressions of Jew-hatred.

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May 23, 2011, 11:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
The problems out side the major cities and in the south is not a jewish problem. It's a general problem of intolerance. Blacks, Muslims, gay people go through the same issues.
That's certainly a valid point, but I don't think it's entirely true. I think there is a difference between anti-Semitism and other forms of racism if only in that Jews are often not obviously Jews based on things like appearance and behavior. I have, literally, seen someone defend Muslims against prejudicial and racist comments and then, in the next breath, talk about the '****ing Jews'. This is clearly not an issue of just plain intolerance of people who are different (though it is also, clearly, anecdotal). I've also seen no evidence of racism against blacks from the very same people who have voiced definitely anti-Semitic opinions and ideas.
     
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May 23, 2011, 11:37 AM
 
No one ever explained to me why Jews are hated so much. If life growing up in the us was hard as a open Jew why. Forget the Muslims and explain every where else. Hitler did the worst to Jews but the rest of the world turned a blind eye too. Had hitler not invaded other countries no one would have lifted a finger to stop mass murders of Jews in Germany.
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May 23, 2011, 11:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
Oppression? I thought the Arab nations are all about religious tolerance? Well that argument dropped fast.
You're seeing what you want to see, and you are misunderstanding imitchellg5 as a result. He said "That seems quite different from the days when Jews would practice their faith quietly in their homes when faced with oppression." The "from the days" bit is where he's referencing the historical oppression the Jews faced. You may not be aware of this, but historically Jews have been oppressed by groups other than Arab.
     
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May 23, 2011, 11:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Oh, and the majority of Jews will likely still vote to reelect Obama, pathetically enough.
I don't know about that. It's becoming more and more obvious that Prez Pookie doesn't care about Israel, or cares less about Israel than he does his Muslim brethren.
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May 23, 2011, 11:52 AM
 
Well, I'll say that the president did the best he could to smooth over the situation in his AIPAC speech and talk us his commitment to Israel, even though he didn't walk 1967 borders back much at all. And if I'm giving him a positive rating at least in regard to his rhetoric, then he's certainly recovered a good amount of whatever domestic Jewish support he eroded with the previous speech.

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May 23, 2011, 12:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
However, the US is not perfect and anti-Semitism is a still a problem here, though mostly so outside of big cities and in the South.
My former classmate who was shot in Chicago for being Jewish disagrees with this statement. I have faced anti-semitism in Chicago on numerous other occasions as well.

As for the past tense present tense argument about oppression can someone just clarify with a yes or no whether Arab countries, today, are tolerant of Jews or not? (Also, if you answer that they are tolerant I encourage you to wear a yarmulke and walk around town in one of those areas to test your theory.)

With regard to the discussion of population numbers that I haven't been a part of I suggest using wolframalpha.com and comparing the numbers it gives to the studies that have been linked to here. I haven't done any recent research on the subject but I do remember hearing that the number of native non Jews who were displaced in 1948 was about equal to the number of Jews who were displaced from Arab countries around the same time. 700,000 if I remember correctly.
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May 23, 2011, 12:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
I haven't done any recent research on the subject but I do remember hearing that the number of native non Jews who were displaced in 1948 was about equal to the number of Jews who were displaced from Arab countries around the same time. 700,000 if I remember correctly.
The Jewish refugees of 1948 is a huge, under-discussed topic that most people are ignorant of, and I'm so pleased that Netanyahu referred to it in his response to the president. But it is only indirectly relevant to the discussion we were having with mitchell earlier, which centered on his misconceptions regarding Israel land demographics in the 19th and early 20th century. There should be better resources available on the web pertaining to the subject than there appears to be currently because other well intentioned but misinformed people must also exist on the subject. I will check on wolframalpha.com to see if it has any information on the topic. I'd also like to find an authoritative text on the subject.
( Last edited by Big Mac; May 23, 2011 at 12:28 PM. )

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May 23, 2011, 12:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
It is good that you wouldn't as the identity was birthed from a mispronounced, later contrived attempt at self-determination for a non-sect of people to perpetuate strife in the region.
We'll just note that you haven't countered my point that the indigenous people ... whatever you want to call them ... actually exist.

Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
None of this addresses the "stewardship" argument.
That's because I addressed it in the following paragraph which we both know you saw.

Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
So... we're going to have a pissing contest over who was the more oppressed in the region and who is living on who's land? You want to talk recent history, someone addresses that, now you want to pop back into the last century and earlier? Make up your mind.
We aren't having a pissing contest my friend. They ... Israelis and Palestinians ... are having a pissing contest over exactly this issue. Land. It's not about religion per se, though that certainly gets utilized to amp the conflict up to even higher levels. Religion unfortunately has always been used as a motivational force ... for good and ill. But at its core this is a conflict about land ... and who will rule it. I'm not talking ancient history. Those who are on that tip are the ones who believe that the Jews are entitled to rule this land because their ancestors once did (for a relatively brief period in the entire recorded history of the region BTW) .... even though Israel as a nation ceased to exist in 70 AD. No what I'm talking about are people who are still alive today ... who's families had lived in what is now the State of Israel for generations ... who were literally displaced from their homes and land when the modern day State of Israel was created in 1948. That is the fundamental issue.

Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
The "Palestinian" identity people keep bring up that annoys you so is critical to understanding why an 8,000 sq mi piece of land is so highly contentious today. People have been driven out an immigrated back to this region since time immemorial. If we're talking today, we're talking about a people who will not relent to the governance of the territory. They can insist on fighting it, but this will only perpetuate strife.
So what does "relenting to the governance of the territory" look like to you? Continued occupation? Single state solution where all inhabitants are equal under the law? Single state solution where the Arab inhabitants are legally second class citizens? Forced expulsion of the Arab population to neighboring countries? What would you suggest?

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( Last edited by OAW; May 23, 2011 at 12:37 PM. )
     
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May 23, 2011, 12:38 PM
 
The real mystery for me is why the United States (and to a lesser extent, Americans, as witnessed in this thread) feels the need to weigh in on the Israel-Palestinian conflict so much. Whatever you think about the topic, the United States clearly cannot be an honest broker if both sides think our loyalties lie with the other.

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May 23, 2011, 12:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
My former classmate who was shot in Chicago for being Jewish disagrees with this statement. I have faced anti-semitism in Chicago on numerous other occasions as well.
I said 'mostly' for a reason.

But I'll admit, I had no idea that people in the US, let alone in major American Cities, were getting shot over being Jewish. How recent was this? And do you know anything about the perp? My experience with Chicago leads me to believe that you get a lot more rural small towners visiting the big city than in other places I've been, which I would expect to lead to somewhat elevated instances of racism, anti-Semitism, &c.

I wonder how electing Rahm Emmanuel as mayor will affect things out there.
     
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May 23, 2011, 12:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
But I'll admit, I had no idea that people in the US, let alone in major American Cities, were getting shot over being Jewish. How recent was this? And do you know anything about the perp? My experience with Chicago leads me to believe that you get a lot more rural small towners visiting the big city than in other places I've been, which I would expect to lead to somewhat elevated instances of racism, anti-Semitism, &amp;c.
Don't forget the Illinois Nazis.

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May 23, 2011, 12:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
The real mystery for me is why the United States (and to a lesser extent, Americans, as witnessed in this thread) feels the need to weigh in on the Israel-Palestinian conflict so much. Whatever you think about the topic, the United States clearly cannot be an honest broker if both sides think our loyalties lie with the other.
Any country that professes an interest in the spread of Democracy, especially in the Middle East, should be interested in this issue. As for Americans individually, I know at least two of us are speaking as Jews who want to ensure that we (as a people) will always have a place where we are safe, and that I, at least, have an interest in Israel as a place I might someday live (if things go to plan, possibly in the next couple years).
     
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May 23, 2011, 12:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
I know at least two of us are speaking as Jews who want to ensure that we (as a people) will always have a place where we are safe, and that I, at least, have an interest in Israel as a place I might someday live (if things go to plan, possibly in the next couple years).
Do you honestly believe that Israel is presently a place where Jews are safe? Seems to me that it's a place where everyone is at risk.
     
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May 23, 2011, 12:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Don't forget the Illinois Nazis.
Oddly enough (though perhaps not?) my anti-Semitic brother-in-law who now lives in Virginia is from Illinois... Fortunately he's about to move to Guantanamo Bay leaving my wife (also from Illinois, though obviously not an anti-Semite) and I alone to try and undo the damage that he might be doing to our niece and nephew (and hopefully talk his wife—my wife's sister—into seeing why the things he says are less than appropriate and a bad influence on the kids)...
     
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May 23, 2011, 12:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Any country that professes an interest in the spread of Democracy, especially in the Middle East, should be interested in this issue.
Israel is a democracy. Mission accomplished. It's existence will have no impact on the spread of democracy in the region, IMO.

As for Americans individually, I know at least two of us are speaking as Jews who want to ensure that we (as a people) will always have a place where we are safe, and that I, at least, have an interest in Israel as a place I might someday live (if things go to plan, possibly in the next couple years).
I understand that. What I don't understand is how to reconcile that goal with the ideal of a democratic, pluralistic Israel that I've seen expressed a few times in this thread, at least in the sense that "always have a place where we are safe" seems to lead to a bunker mentality. No offense intended.

As for others, I really don't understand the fascination. Beyond the obvious goal of not wanting to see either side completely destroyed, I couldn't care less who "wins" what seems a trivial amount of territory where Israel's security is concerned.

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May 23, 2011, 12:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Do you honestly believe that Israel is presently a place where Jews are safe? Seems to me that it's a place where everyone is at risk.
If things are so bad in Israel, why are so many companies investing in the country and so much innovation coming from it? Unless you choose to live in a settlement, or within rocket range of Gaza, Israel is plenty safe. There's risk, yes, but people are walking down the street cowering in fear of an imminent terrorist attack.
     
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May 23, 2011, 12:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
The Jewish refugees of 1948 is a huge, under-discussed topic that most people are ignorant of, and I'm so pleased that Netanyahu referred to it in his response to the president.
Indeed. This is what he said ....

Originally Posted by Prime Minister Netenyahu
But a third reality is that the Palestinian refugee problem will have to be resolved in the context of a Palestinian state but certainly not in the borders of Israel. The Arab attack in 1948 on Israel resulted in two refugee problems, Palestinian refugee problem and Jewish refugees, roughly the same number, who were expelled from Arab lands. Now tiny Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees, but the vast Arab world refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees.

Now, 63 years later, the Palestinians come to us and they say to Israel: accept the grandchildren, really, and the great-grandchildren of these refugees, thereby wiping out Israel's future as a Jewish state.

So that's not going to happen. Everybody knows it's not going to happen. And I think it's time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly it's not going to happen.

The Palestinian refugee problem has to be resolved. It can be resolved. And it will be resolved if the Palestinians choose to do so in Palestinian state. That's a real possibility. But it's not going to be resolved within the Jewish state
.
And you know what? He's right. There's no way in hell that Israel will ever allow the Palestinian refugees to return to the former homes and lands within the modern day State of Israel. There will need to negotiate some form of monetary compensation instead. Having said that, there would be no "Palestinian refugee" problem if the land was "uninhabited desert" in 1948 as some here apparently and illogically believe.

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May 23, 2011, 12:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Israel is a democracy. Mission accomplished. It's existence will have no impact on the spread of democracy in the region, IMO.
I don't know, Israeli-Qatari relations would seem to be a beacon of hope on that front.

I understand that. What I don't understand is how to reconcile that goal with the ideal of a democratic, pluralistic Israel that I've seen expressed a few times in this thread, at least in the sense that "always have a place where we are safe" seems to lead to a bunker mentality. No offense intended.
There is definitely a tendency towards a bunker mentality for some, no offense taken at all. However there are also still a great many places in the world where Jews simply are not safe. Those that still live there should have a place that they can go. America is one option, but immigration to the US is not easy whereas, for a Jew, immigration to Israel is essentially painless.

As for others, I really don't understand the fascination. Beyond the obvious goal of not wanting to see either side completely destroyed, I couldn't care less who "wins" what seems a trivial amount of territory where Israel's security is concerned.
I agree, it seems a little strange at times. Especially when you start getting into the Evangelical Christians who's support of Israel stems from a desire for the Third Temple to be built ushering in the end times...
     
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May 23, 2011, 01:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Do you honestly believe that Israel is presently a place where Jews are safe? Seems to me that it's a place where everyone is at risk.
There are existential threats to Israel's existence that are growing in the world, but that's the way it's been for Jews both before and since 1948. Most Israelis are proud, tough and independent. They built a country out of nothing in a very short period of time in the Jewish ancestral homeland (on the only land on earth Jews expect to exercise sovereignty over). All as prophesied. They accept the fact that living in Israel can be challenging and has its threats. But with the exception of border towns that are frequently under attack, Israel when not forced into war is generally a safe country. However, shrinking its borders so that Hamas/PA terrorists and rockets can strike all parts of Israel, or granting Iran the time it needs to be complete its nuclear weapons program certainly won't do good things for the country's security.

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May 23, 2011, 01:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
If things are so bad in Israel, why are so many companies investing in the country and so much innovation coming from it? Unless you choose to live in a settlement, or within rocket range of Gaza, Israel is plenty safe. There's risk, yes, but people are walking down the street cowering in fear of an imminent terrorist attack.
I guess I'm just confused, then. If Israel is so safe, then why are we so concerned about protecting them from their neighbours?
     
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May 23, 2011, 01:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
How recent was this? And do you know anything about the perp?
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May 23, 2011, 01:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
I guess I'm just confused, then. If Israel is so safe, then why are we so concerned about protecting them from their neighbours?
Statistically, Israel is as safe if not safer than the United States. The difference is that in the US people know that if they avoid certain areas and behaviors (i.e. gang activity) they can reduce the chance of getting killed by a significant amount. On the other hand avoiding getting killed in Israel isn't as easy, although avoiding certain areas can be helpful.

Israel has also been very successful at preventing terrorist activities and at treating victims after an attack so that more people survive. If Israel were to have indefensible borders terrorist attacks would increase and not decrease.
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May 23, 2011, 02:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
I guess I'm just confused, then. If Israel is so safe, then why are we so concerned about protecting them from their neighbours?
Why does the US spend so much on defense if we're in such a better position?
     
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May 23, 2011, 02:30 PM
 
Wow, I hadn't heard about that. That's crazy. Do you know if they were ever able to find out any more information about the shooter? From that (12 year old) article it sounds like they had no info at all other than that he drove a blue car.
     
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May 23, 2011, 02:48 PM
 
Just read this interesting analysis of the situation and Obama's plan from Tablet Magazine: The Acrobat - by David Samuels > Tablet Magazine - A New Read on Jewish Life
     
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May 23, 2011, 03:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Why does the US spend so much on defense if we're in such a better position?
Excellent question.
     
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May 23, 2011, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Why does the US spend so much on defense if we're in such a better position?
We also have enemies.
     
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May 23, 2011, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
We also have enemies.
Sure, but the implication was that Israel must somehow not be a good place to live because they're so concerned with defense. The same reasoning applied to the US would suggest that this is also a bad place to live because we invest so much in defense.
     
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May 23, 2011, 10:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
We also have enemies...and could benefit from securing our borders.
Fixed.
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May 23, 2011, 11:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Excellent question.
Is it spending money on defense for defense or for making some corporations rich which help place the people in power.
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May 24, 2011, 07:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
We'll just note that you haven't countered my point that the indigenous people ... whatever you want to call them ... actually exist.
I've countered in several ways OAW - A. We wouldn't be referring to them as indigenous had they not left mostly of their own accord in spite of a plea for them to stay and work "shoulder to shoulder" issued by the Assembly of Palestine Jewry in October, 1947; again in late November as a "desire to seek peace and its determination to achieve fruitful cooperation with the Arabs" , and again in their Proclamation of Independence in May of 1948; "full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its bodies and institutions". B. Had they not been denied visas by neighboring Arab territories, and C. Had they not been duped by the promise of spoils within mere days of an Arab conquest that would have them return to their homes victorious. They bet their homes and their livelihoods, lost, were denied to a great degree any settlement outside of Israel, and now are trying their hand at a political "right of return". Sorry, none of this makes them "refugees" nor does this give them any legitimate claim of Palestinian nativity or "right of return". What is the entire point of contention here you ask? Israel's statehood my friend. The actual notion of a State of Israel. Period.

That's because I addressed it in the following paragraph which we both know you saw.
The 'confused' emoticon is appropriate seeing as I've explained a personal account of the condition as provided by an agnostic who died in 1910 and you counter by citing conditions in 1948.

We aren't having a pissing contest my friend. They ... Israelis and Palestinians ... are having a pissing contest over exactly this issue. Land.
The Arabs were granted the lion's share of land in the Partition Plan and didn't appreciate the offer. Why? Israeli Statehood OAW. Period. It's as simple as that.

It's not about religion per se, though that certainly gets utilized to amp the conflict up to even higher levels. Religion unfortunately has always been used as a motivational force ... for good and ill. But at its core this is a conflict about land ... and who will rule it. I'm not talking ancient history. Those who are on that tip are the ones who believe that the Jews are entitled to rule this land because their ancestors once did (for a relatively brief period in the entire recorded history of the region BTW) .... even though Israel as a nation ceased to exist in 70 AD. No what I'm talking about are people who are still alive today ... who's families had lived in what is now the State of Israel for generations ... who were literally displaced from their homes and land when the modern day State of Israel was created in 1948. That is the fundamental issue.
This is an intellectual copout and has no regard for the history of the region on a wealth of fronts. If it were indeed about land there would've been nothing contentious about possessing the lion's share of it. The problem was the formal declaration of Israeli Statehood. Again, nothing more complicated than that my friend. If it were about land, was it about just another mile of it? Maybe two more miles of land would've appeased them? Three more miles? How many miles of land was it about OAW? It wasn't about land at all. It was about a State of Israel, anywhere, no matter how small.

So what does "relenting to the governance of the territory" look like to you? Continued occupation? Single state solution where all inhabitants are equal under the law? Single state solution where the Arab inhabitants are legally second class citizens? Forced expulsion of the Arab population to neighboring countries? What would you suggest?
The "forced expulsion" bit only relates to the battle over Tiberias as I understand it and the formal Jewish declaration at that time was that their flight was not forced, but chosen. They were ushered safely away by British forces. They opposed the formation of an officially recognized Jewish settlement and gambled their homes on the military prowess of their brethren and lost. How do I see it? A single Jewish state where their religious freedoms are acknowledged and respected in one of the only places throughout the entire Middle East where they could enjoy such freedoms working shoulder to shoulder with Arabs interested in peace and not bent on eliminating the nation-state of Israel. A nation-state that developed as any other nation-state on the globe in which the hostile elements are controlled or removed from society; like literally everywhere else in the world. Those who refuse to relent will meet the same fate as any other peoples who refused to relent to peaceful coexistence.
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May 24, 2011, 09:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
We'll just note that you haven't countered my point that the indigenous people ... whatever you want to call them ... actually exist.
The term "Palestinian" was not used to describe the populace of the region before the late 1960's BTW, if Chaim Witz AKA Gene Simmons was born a year earlier, he would be "Palestinian"

..Israel as a nation ceased to exist in 70 AD.

OAW
The Kingdom of Israel ceased to exist in 720 BC when it was taken by the Assyrians, and later became Samaria The Roman Client Kingdom of Judea ended with the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD
( Last edited by Chongo; May 24, 2011 at 09:50 AM. )
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May 24, 2011, 09:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
The Kingdom of Israel ceased to exist in 720 BC when it was taken by the Assyrians, and later became Samaria The Roman Client Kingdom of Judea ended with the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD
True, but a bit over-pedantic, don't you think? The two kingdoms of Israel and Judea together were home to the Jewish civilization.
     
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May 24, 2011, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
The "forced expulsion" bit only relates to the battle over Tiberias as I understand it and the formal Jewish declaration at that time was that their flight was not forced, but chosen. They were ushered safely away by British forces. They opposed the formation of an officially recognized Jewish settlement and gambled their homes on the military prowess of their brethren and lost. How do I see it? A single Jewish state where their religious freedoms are acknowledged and respected in one of the only places throughout the entire Middle East where they could enjoy such freedoms working shoulder to shoulder with Arabs interested in peace and not bent on eliminating the nation-state of Israel. A nation-state that developed as any other nation-state on the globe in which the hostile elements are controlled or removed from society; like literally everywhere else in the world. Those who refuse to relent will meet the same fate as any other peoples who refused to relent to peaceful coexistence.
I don't know if you are ducking the question or if I'm just misunderstanding you my friend. So I'm going to try one more time. This is what I asked ....

Originally Posted by OAW
So what does "relenting to the governance of the territory" look like to you? Continued occupation? Single state solution where all inhabitants are equal under the law? Single state solution where the Arab inhabitants are legally second class citizens? Forced expulsion of the Arab population to neighboring countries? What would you suggest?
I'm not talking about "forced expulsion" from back in 1948. My question relates to what should be done today? Should there be a "forced expulsion" of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza today? Should the occupation of the West Bank continue indefinitely? Should the blockade of Gaza continue indefinitely? Should Israel annex the West Bank and Gaza and create a single state ... with the Palestinians granted equal or second-class citizenship? Or should the West Bank and Gaza be an independent state? If so, what would that look like seeing as how Israel continues to expand its settlements there?

So when you say ....

"A single Jewish state where their religious freedoms are acknowledged and respected in one of the only places throughout the entire Middle East where they could enjoy such freedoms working shoulder to shoulder with Arabs interested in peace and not bent on eliminating the nation-state of Israel." ....

... it APPEARS that you are calling for a single-state solution? But I'm not sure. Is that what you are saying? If so, do the Palestinians get equal or second-class citizenship? Or are you calling for an indefinite occupation with "Arabs interested in peace" equating to them just accepting that quietly? Again, the State of Israel is a fait d'accompli at this stage in the game. It's not going anywhere whether people like it or not. Hell even Hamas knows that. The question on the table is .... how would you solve the "Palestinian Problem"?

I put my cards on the table. Israel annexes the West Bank and Gaza. "One person/one vote" democracy for all inhabitants of Israel ... regardless of religious affiliation. No right of return for the Palestinian refugees ... but financial compensation to the families of those who lost homes and businesses and farms.

What say you my friend?

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May 24, 2011, 10:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
You appeared to be arguing against Israel and in favor of Arab encroachment on it because, to paraphrase what you appeared to say before, most of the Arab world knows and is friendly to Jews. Then when pressed you changed that to an historical claim (which I point out isn't even that true). That's why ebuddy and others took issue with your argument.
I don't have time for the next few weeks to continue this conversation, but you didn't read what I wrote on the last page, apparently. But I would argue that the historical precedent is true, unless you're trying to imply that the entire form of history itself is biased against Israel, which is simply a ridiculous notion.
     
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May 24, 2011, 10:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
I'm not talking about "forced expulsion" from back in 1948. My question relates to what should be done today? Should there be a "forced expulsion" of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza today?
I'm not answering for ebuddy here, but I thought Netanyahu's comments from today give one clear answer to this question. In the two state solution Jews have a right of return to Israel and Arab/Palestinians/whoever they want get the right of return to Palestine. In any two state solution, no matter how you look at it, both Israelis and Palestinians will be forcibly expelled to their respective countries.
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May 24, 2011, 10:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
I don't have time for the next few weeks to continue this conversation, but you didn't read what I wrote on the last page, apparently. But I would argue that the historical precedent is true, unless you're trying to imply that the entire form of history itself is biased against Israel, which is simply a ridiculous notion.
My point was that there's a large mythic component to historical claims of Islamic tolerance toward "People of the Book." As for you wondering if I think the entire form of history is biased against Israel, it depends on which context you're referencing Israel. If you mean the state, then no, the bias against Jews has been around long before '48. If by Israel you mean the people of Israel, then yes, the sweep of history shows pervasive bias against the Jewish nation from it's founding onward. And mitch, for the record, you personally have absolutely no standing to call anything I write on this subject ridiculous based on your record of misconception, disinformation and misunderstanding, without belaboring the point.

@SSharon, are you saying you think that as part of the creation of a "Palestine," Arabs with Israeli citizenship would be involuntarily resettled in the new country? I wish that were possible, but the world would scream ethnic cleansing (although no one cares when Israel ethnically cleansed the Israelis of Gush Katif so the allegation only seems to go in one direction, against Jews).

A real peace would involve population transfers - two states for two peoples - but Israel would never be granted that allowance. Of course an even better solution is repatriation of Arabs west of the Jordan to the original "Palestine" or any of the other 21 sovereign Arab countries.
( Last edited by Big Mac; May 24, 2011 at 11:16 PM. )

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