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Obama and the Israeli borders (Page 4)
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May 25, 2011, 12:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
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.
I'm the one being educated (and with the degree) on this subject, not the one who has his own vested, personal interests at stake, so maybe I can take part in the discussion.
     
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May 25, 2011, 10:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
@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?
Interesting point. I believe that the Arabs with Israeli citizenship would be given a choice to remain Israelis or move to Palestine. My gut tells me they will remain Israeli. On the other hand I think that every last Jew in the new Palestine would opt to move to Israel.

@imitchellg5 Have you ever been to any of the countries the Middle East? I'm also curious to know more about your classes and what possible leanings your professors have. I'm not trying to attack you or them, but this isn't a subject where reading the most books grants you the most knowledge. There is a lot of misinformation and I'm skeptical that your professor (or any other) is impartial in this matter.
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May 25, 2011, 10:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
@imitchellg5 Have you ever been to any of the countries the Middle East? I'm also curious to know more about your classes and what possible leanings your professors have. I'm not trying to attack you or them, but this isn't a subject where reading the most books grants you the most knowledge. There is a lot of misinformation and I'm skeptical that your professor (or any other) is impartial in this matter.
Not yet, next month I'll be in Cairo and the month after that Beirut.

My school is fairly small, out of ~200 professors, only two are Middle East postmodernists, like I am, and neither have been educated and are very familiar with Judaism or Islam. One specifically studied the usage of cocaine in 20th century Istanbul among the elite class, and the other studied Ottoman resource management. So basically the classes I've had are a year of a Making of the Modern Middle East general survey class, Arab/Israeli conflict survey (which was sadly useless because the professor never lectured once), and a few Ottoman and Istanbul classes.
     
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May 25, 2011, 10:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
I'm the one being educated (and with the degree) on this subject, not the one who has his own vested, personal interests at stake, so maybe I can take part in the discussion.
I'm sorry for being harsh, but as you understand I have vested interests in the conflict and take it very personally. It's not just an academic or philosophical exercise for me. I'm very sensitive to attacks on Israel, especially illegitimate ones (as most are) because they are attacks on things I love - my religion, my people and the country (however imperfect it may be) they built up against all odds and which is crucial to my future. These are things near and dear to my heart and more beloved to me in an abstract sense than my own life.

I have a small family and only a few blood relatives who I know of in Israel, but I have a lot of very good friends there. After the time I've spent in the country I've developed very strong friendships and bonds with teachers and peers who are like family to me. I want to feel confident that Israel is doing what is necessary to defend their lives, not imperil them in the vain pursuit of peace with a population that desires war and genocide against the Jews much more than coexistence.

Israel is going to make another attempt to give away land for peace to an enemy that truly doesn't want it based on the objective evidence. Every time the land for peace strategy has been tried in the past with the "Palestinians" it has not only failed, it has led to increases in bloodshed and decreases in Israeli security. The only time land for peace worked in any demonstrable way for Israel was in trading the Sinai for a cold peace with Egypt. That peace has at least endured up to this point, but it looks like the new leadership in Egypt is intent on breaking it. As PM Netanyahu said, the only peace Israel can agree to is a credible, realistic peace that can be maintained and defended. I don't think the "Palestinians" are prepared for such a peace. They may move for a unilateral declaration of statehood with temporary borders, but they're not prepared to give up their aspiration to replace Israel with "Palestine" completely, which would include massacres and subjugation of the remaining Jewish population if it were to occur.
( Last edited by Big Mac; May 25, 2011 at 10:43 AM. )

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May 25, 2011, 10:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I'm sorry for being harsh, but as you understand I have vested interests in the conflict and take it very personally. It's not just an academic or philosophical exercise for me. I'm very sensitive to attacks on Israel, especially illegitimate ones (as most are) because they are attacks on things I love - my religion, my people and the country (however imperfect it may be) they built up against all odds and which is crucial to my future. These are things near and dear to my heart and more beloved to me in an abstract sense than my own life.
And nothing is wrong with that. But unfortunately, policy makers can't base decisions off of that and they have to take into account that Palestinians feel the same way about their people and country, however imperfect it may be. That's why, in my opinion, for this conflict to be solved, BOTH sides are going to have to lose something. I don't know what that looks like, but neither side can have everything they want and have a lasting peace, because then it's just a facade, like parents who buy their kids some ice cream to get them to behave.
     
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May 25, 2011, 11:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
And nothing is wrong with that. But unfortunately, policy makers can't base decisions off of that
I don't know how true that notion is. Netanyahu expressed much the same sentiments and would agree with what much if not all of I wrote. One of the most important duties of a country is that it protects and values the lives and property of its citizens. If Israel sacrifices too much of that on the peace altar, the country will lose its legitimacy as the Jewish state.
and they have to take into account that Palestinians feel the same way about their people and country, however imperfect it may be.
1. The "Palestinians" have similar feelings, yes, but I'll be pedantic and correct you in that they have never had a country called Palestine in history up to this point, and they exist as a political entity because they weren't absorbed into the country created for them from the vast majority of the Palestine Mandate, Trans-Jordan.
2. You're resorting to blind moral equivalence here. The "Palestinians" are not morally equivalent to Israel.
That's why, in my opinion, for this conflict to be solved, BOTH sides are going to have to lose something.
But another crucial point is that Israel has been on the losing end and the conceding end for nearly the last two decades if not longer. Israel has already sacrificed a lot - far too much in my opinion - for peace. What valuable positions have the Arabs west of the Jordan sacrificed to Israel? The process thus far has been almost completely one sided, and the few obligations placed on the Arabs they have failed to live up to (namely an end to organized political incitement against Israel and Jews, which was mandated by Oslo and completely violated.)

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May 25, 2011, 11:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
2. You're resorting to blind moral equivalence here. The "Palestinians" are not morally equivalent to Israel.
From where I sit as a disinterested observer, it's hard to tell what's more damaging to the peace process: blind moral equivalence or blind moral superiority.

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May 25, 2011, 11:44 AM
 
As a disinterested observer you may be so disinterested that you're blinded to the truth. Yes, Israel is morally superior. Every day for the last 63 years that Israel has refrained from expelling all Arabs to the East Bank makes Israel morally superior alone. When the nascent Israeli government accepted the crap-ass, nearly worthless partition plan of the UN that gave the proposed Arab state the choicest lands and the Jews the dessert, Israel was morally superior. When Israel actively prevented more Arabs from fleeing in 1967 because it wanted to keep them around to live inside Israel to display its peacefulness, Israel was morally superior. When Israel gave away the Sinai for peace with Egypt even though strategically it would have been very beneficial for Israel, the victor in a defensive war, to keep the land, Israel was morally superior. When Israel allowed PLO forces to flee to inside its borders because they were being killed by Jordan after a failed coup detat against the Hashemite kingdom, Israel was morally superior. When Israel made concession after concession in the name of peace over the last two decades, it was morally superior. When Israel uses precision attacks to kill terrorists before they get to attack, thereby saving many lives on both sides, Israel is morally superior. The fact that Israel affords its Arab citizens the highest standard of living of any Arabs in the entire Middle East and gives them political rights, including the right of political representation in the Knesset, makes Israel morally superior. When Israel guarantees the ability of all religious groups to worship in Jerusalem and even restricts Jewish access to the Temple Mount because it doesn't want to offend Muslim sensibilities, Israel is morally superior. When Israeli medical teams help deliver an Arab baby right in the aftermath of heinous attacks by Arab terrorists on Israeli civilians, Israel is morally superior. When the Israeli Prime Minister declares he's prepared to do the very painful thing of giving away large portions of the Jewish homeland in Judea and Samaria in order to get a peace deal, Israel is morally superior.

In contrast, the "Palestinians" as a group venerate hatred, death and destruction. They refuse in large majorities to truly consider the peace option. They become ecstatic when their terrorists murder civilians. They suicide bombed buses, pizza shops, and Passover seders. They celebrated 9/11 with satanic glee. They dress their children in suicide bomb vest attire and aspire to have their children grow up to be terrorists and suicide bombers. They deny the undeniable truth of 4000 years of Jewish history of that land and perpetuate appalling myths that Jews have no holy sites in their ancestral homeland. They want Israel to return to the indefensible pre-67 "Auschwitz borders" as a pretext to the final war of annihilation they plan to wage. They also don't want to give up on their demand that multiple generations of descendants of Arab refugees should be granted the right to flood Israel's borders even after a "Palestine" is carved out of tiny Israel. Their true group aspiration is Israel's elimination and genocide, not a tiny demilitarized mini-state.

Is it really that difficult for you to figure out the morality of the matter?
( Last edited by Big Mac; May 25, 2011 at 12:02 PM. )

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May 25, 2011, 11:45 AM
 
As with every Israel vs Arab thread, i'm sure the same thing has happened here, so i hope you forgive me for now reading through the last 4 pages.

On Obama and his pre-Nethanyahu speech:
1. Premature and extremely inhospitable as a host of a foreign ally.
2. The comment on the borders would not have been so bad, if he explicitly stated Israel's demands as well, such as a demilitarized arab state, no return for "refugees", or an undivided Jerusalem for Israel.
3. Hence the speech came off as lopsided in favor of the Arabs (is anyone really surprised at this point?)

Obama should never have stipulated the borders or any of the finer details that are meant to be addressed in negotiations. He gambled that Nethanyahu would have to deal with a PR nightmare by disagreeing with him, but it seems like he lost that gamble.

The aftermath:
1. Obama's speech at AIPAC was akin to a campaign run/fundraiser. I'd be surprised if anyone bought it.
2. Nethanyahu's speeches to AIPAC and congress proved one thing.... he has far more bipartisan support than Obama.

I remember when Obama was running for president, specifically when he was courting the 'Jewish vote'...i was honestly shocked when he got it(and worried for Israel). Luckily the Israelis got Nethanyahu to balance it out, IMHO.

Ever since Nethanyahu got elected it's the Arabs who have constantly refused to negotiate. If you ask me, considering they are the ones who apparently 'want' something, they should be begging for negotiations(if they are serious about peace). Yet time and again, it's been Nethanyahu who has been defying belief by announcing support for a two-state solution, freezing settlements, etc...even then the Arabs didn't return to negotiations. Why didn't Obama and the quartet get the Arabs to the table ?

Like i've said before...if the Arabs want a state....they can move to Jordan/Egypt/Syria/Palestine and retain their 'arabhood'. Or if they like they can have a state within the currently defined borders and ceasefire lines.

Either way, it seems (and i'm just speculating) that Obama has lost the support of AIPAC and the 'Jewish vote' and seems to get far less bipartisan support in Congress than the Israeli prime minister. If the Republicans can get a decent candidate to run this time, i'm not sure Obama stands a chance at getting re-elected. IMHO
     
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May 25, 2011, 12:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
As a disinterested observer you may be so disinterested that you're blinded to the truth. Yes, Israel is morally superior. Every day for the last 63 years that Israel has refrained from expelling all Arabs to the East Bank makes Israel morally superior alone. When the nascent Israeli government accepted the crap-ass, nearly worthless partition plan of the UN that gave the proposed Arab state the choicest lands and the Jews the dessert, Israel was morally superior. When Israel actively prevented more Arabs from fleeing in 1967 because it wanted to keep them around to live inside Israel to display its peacefulness, Israel was morally superior. When Israel gave away the Sinai for peace with Egypt even though strategically it would have been very beneficial for Israel, the victor in a defensive war, to keep the land, Israel was morally superior. When Israel allowed PLO forces to flee to inside its borders because they were being killed by Jordan after a failed coup detat against the Hashemite kingdom, Israel was morally superior. When Israel made concession after concession in the name of peace over the last two decades, it was morally superior. When Israel uses precision attacks to kill terrorists before they get to attack, thereby saving many lives on both sides, Israel is morally superior. The fact that Israel affords its Arab citizens the highest standard of living of any Arabs in the entire Middle East and gives them political rights, including the right of political representation in the Knesset, makes Israel morally superior. When Israel guarantees the ability of all religious groups to worship in Jerusalem and even restricts Jewish access to the Temple Mount because it doesn't want to offend Muslim sensibilities, Israel is morally superior. When Israeli medical teams help deliver an Arab baby right in the aftermath of heinous attacks by Arab terrorists on Israeli civilians, Israel is morally superior. When the Israeli Prime Minister declares he's prepared to do the very painful thing of giving away large portions of the Jewish homeland in Judea and Samaria in order to get a peace deal, Israel is morally superior.

In contrast, the "Palestinians" as a group venerate hatred, death and destruction. They refuse in large majorities to truly consider the peace option. They become ecstatic when their terrorists murder civilians. They suicide bombed buses, pizza shops, and Passover seders. They celebrated 9/11 with satanic glee. They dress their children in suicide bomb vest attire and aspire to have their children grow up to be terrorists and suicide bombers. They deny the undeniable truth of 4000 years of Jewish history of that land and perpetuate appalling myths that Jews have no holy sites in their ancestral homeland. They want Israel to return to the indefensible pre-67 "Auschwitz borders" as a pretext to the final war of annihilation they plan to wage. They also don't want to give up on their demand that multiple generations of descendants of Arab refugees should be granted the right to flood Israel's borders even after a "Palestine" is carved out of tiny Israel. Their true group aspiration is Israel's elimination and genocide, not a tiny demilitarized mini-state.

Is it really that difficult for you to figure out the morality of the matter?
Well, gosh, when you put it like that.... No, you must be right. All of Israel's strategic and tactical calculations have actually been calculations of morality.

I'm not actually making an argument for which side is more "moral" and I'm not that interested in trying to figure it out. What I meant by what I said is that I think it is irrelevant to the negotiating process, and approaching that process with "blind moral superiority" can only hurt. I don't expect Israel's leadership to honestly sweep away that feeling themselves, nor would I expect it of the Arabs. But the idea that seems to be out there, that if the United States is going to be involved in mediating a dialogue it should recognize the moral superiority of Israel's side over the other, is ridiculous. You can't mediate a negotiation that way.

If your feeling of moral superiority is so strong that it precludes a political agreement with the other side, then what you are saying is really that the only option is akin to what the Allies decided in World War Two: unconditional surrender. Good luck reconciling that with the geopolitical "facts on the ground" today though.
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; May 25, 2011 at 12:20 PM. )

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May 25, 2011, 12:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Yes, Israel is morally superior.
Well, with that attitude, even if it's right or wrong, there can never be peace.
     
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May 25, 2011, 02:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I'm sorry for being harsh, but as you understand I have vested interests in the conflict and take it very personally. I'm very sensitive to attacks on Israel, especially illegitimate ones (as most are) because they are attacks on things I love - my religion, my people and the country (however imperfect it may be)
.
You take it too personally. I wish you could understand for a non Jew, there is a difference between Israel, Jewish Religion and People. Hating a country, critiquing and criticizing it is not the same as hating the people or the religion. For you its one in the same, for "most" none Jews Israel is just another country like Iran, Italy, Mexico and Jewish Faith and People are a different thing with populations through out the world with the largest population being in Israel. I will publicly offer my apologies to you for any insults you have taking personally from my disgruntlement with the state of Israel. I hope you will try to understand my view as a none Jewish person that the State and the Faith are separate things to me, as a outsider or at the very least not call me a Jew hater when that is the furthest from the truth. Though I doubt you will actually read this since im blocked.
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May 25, 2011, 03:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
You take it too personally. I wish you could understand for a non Jew, there is a difference between Israel, Jewish Religion and People. Hating a country, critiquing and criticizing it is not the same as hating the people or the religion. For you its one in the same, for "most" none Jews Israel is just another country like Iran, Italy, Mexico and Jewish Faith and People are a different thing with populations through out the world with the largest population being in Israel. I will publicly offer my apologies to you for any insults you have taking personally from my disgruntlement with the state of Israel. I hope you will try to understand my view as a none Jewish person that the State and the Faith are separate things to me, as a outsider or at the very least not call me a Jew hater when that is the furthest from the truth. Though I doubt you will actually read this since im blocked.
I don't block anyone here so thank you for sharing your perspective. While it is comforting to learn that at least for some, Israel ≠ Jews, the reality is that most people don't draw the distinction like you do.

Hamas wants to get rid of the State of Israel as well as all the Jews. When we talk about US politics and refer to the "Israel Lobby" we say it synonymously with the "Jewish Lobby" since their interests overlap for the most part. Some of this stems from the fact that Israel is a Jewish state, not a State for Jews.
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May 25, 2011, 03:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
I don't block anyone here so thank you for sharing your perspective. While it is comforting to learn that at least for some, Israel ≠ Jews, the reality is that most people don't draw the distinction like you do.

Why do you feel this way? The distinction seems pretty obvious to me. The same can be said for people disliking America or China in really disliking our leadership as opposed to the people themselves.
     
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May 25, 2011, 05:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Why do you feel this way? The distinction seems pretty obvious to me. The same can be said for people disliking America or China in really disliking our leadership as opposed to the people themselves.
Israel isn't the only country in the world based on a religion, but that has something to do with it, especially since Israel is the only Jewish country that has ever existed. Jews around the world naturally feel a connection to it even if they have never been there. The connection of Jews to Israel has been around longer than any other currently practiced religion to any other land in the world. Jews pray facing Israel, pray for Israel, and spend years learning about (historical and modern) Israel. The same can't really be said for any other people or country I can think of.

Americans and Chinese might miss home when they are abroad, but there is no religious connection to either land. The location itself obviously has a history, but Americans abroad don't miss home because that is where George Washington and Abraham Lincoln once lived.

With regard to the Arab countries, the fact that there are so many of them sort of takes away the uniqueness of any individual country. Israel is special because it is the only Jewish country, not because it is one of a couple dozen Jewish countries. Similarly, the majority of the Arab countries don't have the same religious history. Obviously the ones that are home to the holy cities do, but the cities aren't even all in the same country and that is my point. There is no one, single country that is home to all of their history the way Israel does for the Jewish people.

Sorry if that isn't the best explanation, but hopefully you can get the gist of what I'm getting at.
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May 25, 2011, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
Israel isn't the only country in the world based on a religion, but that has something to do with it, especially since Israel is the only Jewish country that has ever existed. Jews around the world naturally feel a connection to it even if they have never been there. The connection of Jews to Israel has been around longer than any other currently practiced religion to any other land in the world. Jews pray facing Israel, pray for Israel, and spend years learning about (historical and modern) Israel. The same can't really be said for any other people or country I can think of.

Americans and Chinese might miss home when they are abroad, but there is no religious connection to either land. The location itself obviously has a history, but Americans abroad don't miss home because that is where George Washington and Abraham Lincoln once lived.

With regard to the Arab countries, the fact that there are so many of them sort of takes away the uniqueness of any individual country. Israel is special because it is the only Jewish country, not because it is one of a couple dozen Jewish countries. Similarly, the majority of the Arab countries don't have the same religious history. Obviously the ones that are home to the holy cities do, but the cities aren't even all in the same country and that is my point. There is no one, single country that is home to all of their history the way Israel does for the Jewish people.

Sorry if that isn't the best explanation, but hopefully you can get the gist of what I'm getting at.


I do, I can see how many might feel the two are intertwined, but I'd still suggest that most people do not conflate the two. I obviously have no evidence of this though, this is just my gut feeling.
     
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May 25, 2011, 05:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I do, I can see how many might feel the two are intertwined, but I'd still suggest that most people do not conflate the two. I obviously have no evidence of this though, this is just my gut feeling.
I'm just explaining why the two are so often intertwined, I'm not saying it is right or wrong. The end result is that it happens a lot and is therefore worth understanding. (I assume that is why you asked in the first place.)
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May 25, 2011, 06:07 PM
 
Catholic is not an ethnic group, nor is Muslim, Shinto, Sikh, etc. Jewish is both a religion and an ethnicity.
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May 25, 2011, 06:10 PM
 
Most people I know see it as separate as well. The problem with debating politics of the State of Israel and the actions of the country comes from mixing Jewish people with the Jewish State. When Israel launches retaliation attacks on the West Bank or Gaza killing a lot of innocent people mixed in with the enemy combatants, I don't see it as those murderous Jews. I see it as a Political body given orders to the military establishment of that political body doing bad deeds for the current sitting government. No different then when Bush invaded Iraq, I was pretty vocal about the US policy, US Government and Bush himself. Im not that vocal about US politics these days because the US Government is a different government then the Bush days and doing things differently. When Israel changes its tactics and approach to the situation my hate on the Country would end as well.

The question is, when attacks are launched, is it religious leaders given the orders or elected government officials. If its elected government officials then religion does not play into it at all. It might be a Jewish State but its not Jewish religious leaders running the place. Its Democratically elected individuals who are also of the same faith. Thus I think its fair to treat Israel like any other country.
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May 25, 2011, 06:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Catholic is not an ethnic group, nor is Muslim, Shinto, Sikh, etc. Jewish is both a religion and an ethnicity.
I call BS on the ethnicity claim

Why write it better when I can steal some one elses opinion on it that lays it out better then I could
Most Jews of today are whites pretending to be Hebrews, not all but most.

Most of the Jews in Israel are Khazar Jews, AshkeNAZI Jews. The real Middle East Jews, the Sephardic Jews are secondclass citizens in Israel. They are the Semitic Jews not the Khazars. The Zionist Jews are AshkeNAZI, Khazar Jews therefore they are not Semitic people. The use of the word "anti-semetic" a tool created by the zionist ADL is fraudulent and used as a weapon of all who oppose or question Zionism or the Zionist state's(Israel) wrong doings. The only true semites are ARABS and Sephardim Jews. Khazaria is situated in Eastern Europe where even AshkeNAZI "Jewish" historians can trace their lineage to. There is no link to "Israel" whatsoever. The AshkeNAZI/ Khazar "Jew" is a 7th century convert to Judaism.
Ashkenazi Jews are white, The Sephardic/Mizrahim Hews are Semetic or Middle Eastern origins which btw generically are the same people as the Palestinians which is why I say its the same people but of 2 different faiths. Palestinians and Semetic Jews have a common genetic ancestry going back 2000 years. Basically the Jews of the day are the ones that left, and the ones that stayed became the Palestinians. DNA suggests the Khazar Jews are supposed to be Central Asian, maybe Turkish who are converts from a long time ago.

When it comes to Ethnics Semetic Jews, Syrians and Palestinians are the same people. The rest are converts of recent history or modern day and a mix like every one else of Europeans, Blacks and Asians. I believe the Falasha Jews are from Africa?
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May 25, 2011, 06:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
I call BS on the ethnicity claim
When a lost tribe has been discovered, one of the first thing that done is DNA testing for the Cohen gene.
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May 25, 2011, 06:31 PM
 
Can you explain what you mean about Lost Tribe?
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May 25, 2011, 06:35 PM
 
Apparently the purest Jews are the Bene Israel in Mumbai. Genetic testing shows the groups hereditary Israelites or Cohanims
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May 25, 2011, 06:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
Can you explain what you mean about Lost Tribe?
The Lost Ten Tribes dispersed after the Assyrian invasion of 720 BC. These were the northern Kingdom Of Israel. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin formed the southern Kingdom of Judah
Reuben
Simeon
Levi
Issachar
Zebulun
Dan
Naphtali
Gad
Asher
Joseph
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May 25, 2011, 06:43 PM
 
Im reading stuff that talks about 12 lost tribes?
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May 25, 2011, 08:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
I call BS on the ethnicity claim

Why write it better when I can steal some one elses opinion on it that lays it out better then I could


Ashkenazi Jews are white, The Sephardic/Mizrahim Hews are Semetic or Middle Eastern origins which btw generically are the same people as the Palestinians which is why I say its the same people but of 2 different faiths. Palestinians and Semetic Jews have a common genetic ancestry going back 2000 years. Basically the Jews of the day are the ones that left, and the ones that stayed became the Palestinians. DNA suggests the Khazar Jews are supposed to be Central Asian, maybe Turkish who are converts from a long time ago.

When it comes to Ethnics Semetic Jews, Syrians and Palestinians are the same people. The rest are converts of recent history or modern day and a mix like every one else of Europeans, Blacks and Asians. I believe the Falasha Jews are from Africa?
That book was discredited within weeks of its publication. There have been a number of genetic studies revealing distinctly Jewish genetic markers that transcend the various racial divisions of Jewry. While we have certainly mixed in quite a few other peoples' DNA in the past several thousand years of exile, there is still a genetic basis for claiming a Jewish ethnicity. Being forced to live in ghettos, the Russian Pale of Settlement, &c. certainly contributed to this—ironically European anti-Semitism probably has a lot to do with our survival as a distinct people, it's certainly got a lot to do with the fact that Jews are so stereotypically an urban people and tend to cluster in certain jobs (hint: in old Europe we weren't allowed to work in any other professions).

I don't particularly care whether or not you agree with me, but I certainly consider myself Jewish ethnically as opposed to religiously. Like a very large proportion of Israeli Jews (studies vary, but generally range from ~20% to ~50%) I consider myself both a Jew and non-religious. I don't believe that the Torah was handed down from some divine being, but I do believe that it, and the rest of the Tanakh, represent, essentially, an autobiography of the people from whom I am descended. Exodus has been pretty well proven to be pure fiction, but that doesn't mean it isn't a valuable story that still represents the folklore of the origins of the people who eventually became the Jews.
     
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May 25, 2011, 08:47 PM
 
The more I've researched the "Khazar" theory the more it appears it has issues. Having said that, Ashkenazi Jews are clearly European. Quite obviously, even if though some members of this community have been shown to have DNA links to ancient Israel … they seem to be pretty distant. For that matter every human on the planet has DNA links to Africa but we wouldn't say a Chinese guy is "African" from that perspective. In any event, Mahmoud Abbas or Hosni Mubarak is without question more ethnically "Semitic" than Benjamin Netenyahu. I mean let's keep it real here. Netenyahu is a white guy from Philly who just happens to have a different religion. And that is the fundamental reason why the Ashkenazi are viewed as foreigners by the indigenous people of the region. Just stating facts …

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May 25, 2011, 08:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Exodus has been pretty well proven to be pure fiction, but that doesn't mean it isn't a valuable story that still represents the folklore of the origins of the people who eventually became the Jews.
Indeed. Ancient Egypt kept more records than any other civilization of the era. Yet nary a peep about the Exodus story. I've read some interesting theories that claim that the ancient Hebrews were monotheist Egyptians who rejected the veneration of other deities other than their preferred one … and then rebelled against the Pharoah of the era and fled north to Canaan. There they variously attacked and/or assimilated with the indigenous Canaanites … and eventually developed the Exodus story to establish a separate and distinct identity. Seems plausible … but who knows?

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May 25, 2011, 08:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
The more I've researched the "Khazar" theory the more it appears it has issues. Having said that, Ashkenazi Jews are clearly European. Quite obviously, even if though some members of this community have been shown to have DNA links to ancient Israel … they seem to be pretty distant. For that matter every human on the planet has DNA links to Africa but we wouldn't say a Chinese guy is "African" from that perspective. In any event, Mahmoud Abbas or Hosni Mubarak is without question more ethnically "Semitic" than Benjamin Netenyahu. I mean let's keep it real here. Netenyahu is a white guy from Philly who just happens to have a different religion. And that is the fundamental reason why the Ashkenazi are viewed as foreigners by the indigenous people of the region. Just stating facts …

OAW
Very true, but despite being pretty thoroughly European we Ashkenazim have done a pretty decent job of maintaining our own distinct culture very obviously related to that of other Jews. Genetics aren't everything, though they certainly help.
     
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May 25, 2011, 08:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Indeed. Ancient Egypt kept more records than any other civilization of the era. Yet nary a peep about the Exodus story. I've read some interesting theories that claim that the ancient Hebrews were monotheist Egyptians who rejected the veneration of other deities other than their preferred one … and then rebelled against the Pharoah of the era and fled north to Canaan. There they variously attacked and/or assimilated with the indigenous Canaanites … and eventually developed the Exodus story to establish a separate and distinct identity. Seems plausible … but who knows?

OAW
My personal favorite is the Habiru theory. Just rings true to me for some reason (which I fully acknowledge means nothing whatsoever).

From Habiru to Hebrews: The Roots of the Jewish Tradition > Robert Wolfe
     
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May 25, 2011, 09:35 PM
 
^^^

A very interesting read. Thanks for the link!

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May 26, 2011, 02:33 AM
 
I would argue that Jews at best are a culture of its own but not a race. Its no different then the difference between people from Spain and Holland. Even physical trades of pure Dutch and pure Spanish makes it easy to tell them apart but they are still the same race of people with different cultures. And considering the genetic differences between Chines and Blacks and Whites are so tiny splitting up any humans into races is silly. We really are only one human kind.
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May 26, 2011, 03:18 AM
 
lp xc uk ca bw lm hd jz jg gs vj gl jw tk jl je ug ga rc mg jb aw fr ju sy ul ip xf wj ip rg ep cn kp sy ug hj pj fr ul us ny iu mj gy ug jr ja kp fb jn pd ul ug gj cb hi dk ts ej jn pk ky jg dl pl ac rg ah nc pt je uf jf bc vo bd mr rd gy uo mw gj ld gu xs lm hz rg wd bl ea wj rj ns tu df of bw ew ug hj tw ug nr nr df ct mr rm wj gy tn da au cn fr uz ul dk lg ju cb af ug fj eb wb sa jn pd eb uc fw ga ug ju uz hd tn ef hz cl fe lm bp ty pv jg ae xt lm nk ph lm hn pu bl yt pd lp fe ul ug gr iu km jp mj rf lm ug ga fw ur ew ne we ud hz ug cr ah ga ca mj ct rn zl gc hj bc vo sc sc ic ju lb km as gr lm rc mg mr rm wj gy tn jg gs kp ut lp tu sp tn wj zi ty lm en pk ef es ib ug ga fw ur ew ne we ud tu df wj kp nj uk dw pi ga af ug nr uf jz tu df of bw ew lj gl hi di jd hi kc hc fa br rf kh wj jg gy jg xc tr wj xc tp wj es ib hu ug bf pj tu jm bc mg bp tk pd hk sa fr ew uz mg ug da ug jw dj rc cu io pu gj ng jh mp ef bn gr eb sy ug gw lm rg pa ew pj fe vj ug ug hj pj dl bc jn uf jf bc vo ad vk jg xk uj ad wj uy vl ts ej jt cn kp dp uk mz ji pt tn bk dv jg rg tn dk ag cb gi fh lp pd nr hj gy df jg gs cr oi gl cr lp uc dj gl ip wj ns fe ne mj ct sy ug jr ja rc mg kd zl pu cj dj xc tp ja lp db gj pb vp gl zl po ay lp eb ug ga uk ea wj ad am jw zl pu pj fe ul ac jf mr ij gy lm cb je tj jd sr ku sy ul ug kp ug wj me cm uz sy ug je uf jf bc vo ad dp et nr lm hg uj ad ps iu ja lp eb ml dv oj nc pl lb ug nr ug gw eb ed mw je ml cg jw ji sa jn pd ul ug jr ja kp fz ou ad jn mg ah nc pt fw dj ug jw ug gw aj wj fw jo fe ul hr uj rd lm tu je hi hk ug jw rm su uk gs df dp fv gi fw je tu ju ah nc pt hj gs df jp xs lm bk oi pj cr tp ad gv uz aj wj ac lj gl cn jn pd ne mj ct ul ps xs lm bk oi ua fa br rf ug nr kp ug da ku sn ib bi bn ib ui ag gy kh ug kp nc rg hl tw kh ue gr ju km ug nr rf fj tu uz mg jw dp ag ug gj fh lp pd cn zl gs df cr fo ga bw km jn pd ul ug gj cb hi dk ts ej jn gn lb fr up vp ef bl th gu uh gj jd wd ug fe ha tb jf fm jn pd rc en lm tu ug fh ga gr km br ug ga pl mk yn kh cr fo ga bw jk ja xc uf uz ig ef dk ml rg tn ah ac ef ea ew hj gs df xf jd gy kd km tu ph jd pf lb hj gy df bk df gl ga dr pj fr yt nl ga gr km ac sj jw xc xf jd bn ja do bf pu rg tj vg kp rs iz fr ug fe fr vp nc no ga lu ji gy eb rn uf jf bc vo ac wj hf ag pl nc ky tn ec jf rj xr ug dr pj fr yt xn jn xc uf cr tb op fh ga gr km ac sj jw xk uz mg lb ug gw bf uj bi uk ad rm xc rf eg uj cd nr df su ku lb ug nr ip tu lm ht kp do sg uj bi ug jw rj vj uf ac jg rc mg ug ku da ew jf st ew fr eb wj ip my jw zg ld du jw af gy ne fr ca lb en ky jg ug ml ak ja kp fb jn xc rf uk ks uo cb pd mo bn ot ip gl cr fo ga bw pd cz hz yg lu lm lu df wr ja kp gu pj mc kn jn xc pk dk nc pl lb tk dw jm mg kp we gj or tu cr fw rd ns fe bl pj cy bl al ja kp du iu to nr ji ct fw af ru lm oi yj dw gj xf lb pk tu ga ry lp du wj mp uz tf ga jw nr ji ct kh li eb ml dp gy jw ac sw tw lm hl pu kh rj vj uf fw kp rg bn gr df rf xf jd gy kd km ec ns rx jw fg uz mg ah nc pt fj uo cb pd eb wd wj ac lm fe me kp pl bn ut zh rf sg uj np df wj tu kh rj aw wn mg pt rb ky tn nc sw tw lm ec dp tn us me lp ji gy df lc jz jg eh gr eb sy ug gw ew fj uo cb pd ug pt dl mp gl xf jd bn gr df iu ui su tb lp ny iu uj wd ze nr rj xr eb wd nj ae xt lc jz gy uh gr sp gr df rj vj uf rs jd tu tn nk cr uf mw fr ib fr rd mk nj tx bc hl ht fd lb ju tu df nl gr ul rd se ju np eb ug ew oc cn ls lu df jp rf pw km dj gy df rg dv jg uk hu xt kh ug nr oj ag ne hj gs ga jg ew ag ew tn lb kd ug gw ew fj uo cb pd kd zl rz cb sy ul tu ew yt je ta lm en hu pu ug kp wj rf ew bf zl sb cb ah dl ay lp oz tj gu ur ga vj lj rd ip bj te vj lj xn eu ib ku ib nj cw ew lb vj lj rd ip br tj cb gp df gt kz il nr ps og sy ur xy xy ae ac bu bn ib gm nr we ip pl lb hf ag pl nc bn jd gy df au ja pf um kz il tk jl gr do uk ag ps oi sp tj gu ur xy xy xa uo ga jg mp ju el ja kp dh ga fr cb eh ga je oi ln ug fe bc bf mj bl gs we ip pl lb gu dp ut bk dv cb ji ct lp hr tj ec se uj am dj gl ec jf rj xr ef xf ga ef eg uj ad ps iu je bn lb wd su fe us om fr cr nj jg hf gp df cr fo ga bw pd li eb ml ac wj ul ug fa lb us ew wl pt rn tf ga gr km nj tn rj vj uf cr ug dj st dr eb pe km ju dp wu cn do bk tb rg sr ew ut wj en pe jg xc uk gs df jp xs lm bk oi pe kd gf wj bn fr cb ev eb ut us rh cm uz rn uf jf bc vo li eb ml dp tu sp je hu pu cr fo ga bw pd lm hf ag we jn kt jb rc ml lg ju cb ul pu pk ef tw uz zj gy eb wd ug kp lc jz jg eh ha pu mr jw uk ay ou lm rg we ns rx lp eo ja uk ge kd gf pj gl gr gb km lp jd tp km lo nt je ta tu eb ut lj bn io ju ip kc gf wj bn fr ew dw jw vn ew dl bc jn mg tp rd se km jm ig kp pl bn pl lb xc uk ad cr fo ga bw jk ja uf mw hj oj wd bk oi st lj bc mg uk ad rf ud ew ip nc mg dp wu cn do rj xr ew jr pt rn tk ld gu xs lm ag em rc uf jf bc vo nd ga jw nj tn ew je mg df fs nj ug uz hd lp ts ew jw uk ad gr gb km ew cm uf mw gj ld gu xs lm or tu oj jf cr fo ga bw pd hz yn uz we mk tu vp ft zj to gm ut nw ug gw wj ec jf ew cm xc xf jd gy kp ut ui lm ul pu ug nr xs lm bk oi pj xc xs lm ef dr cb em ac te lm nj ip kc gf wj bn fh ga gr km nj tn tr je lj gl cb gp eb sy ug jw dj pc ju fh ga gr km wm pj nr ji ay lp do ml mg pm pi rb jg ug ml mk pl fr ug cb cn uj xc pc to pl ti fw gr gb km lp jd uc pu kd zl rz cb sy ul or tu ah me jp yn we mk tu ac lj gl tb tp cu rn gy jm rg ed ew cd to we mk tu nk mj cp ne mj ct ur hj ti ha fa br rf kh ug fa io ju kh ug dj st lj gn uz ky jt da mj bc ml lg ju cb pg fr vp nc no jw cn kp us fh ew gi fr uk gs df dw pi ga af ug nr uf jz tx uz ul ah ug fg kz io zl pu sp tn ew hj bc wj jn rg gm lu gr df hf ag pl fx wj rf ew bf uf jz tu eb sy ug fa uo ga hf ag eb uc fw ga rm xc rf fv hi ya es ib cr lm lt da nj fg nr df uj gs df ga pl wj oj ag cb ev fj bl yr eb ur jw uk gy uh je ew lb ug fd ld du pj fr sy ug nr ec ns ze jw dj ct mk ga af wd pj dk fr mo no km nj us pu ou ag ca lb en et je pn cb zl ug jw pk bk to ep mj rf uf uz ig nj uk dl wd rm pt gr ib zn uj ug jw bl bg pb cb ze lu do cl tu df ul we gu cb cj do pc jw gj xn to up we in ny oh pu ug nr rc bc bn jo jn tw ac sy rg uj kc gs iu km lm ug kp ug wj me ou aj wd ta lb oz ac ml ug lm lx uz cb hi ug jw rj xr vj ug pk dp jn tj vg kp dp xc pk wd nr pl up ef tu jz ew ei ph mj pc uf uz ig bk ct pi jw ps og sy ur xy xy ae kp fb ib ip rc sy rg mg lm ly do xc rf dp bc sp tj cb zx nw ug jw cn kp ug nr fg to pi je ug nr zl rb ug ga rf tr fa jm ky tn aj wj us vl gl ul lm rj ns lm ug kp ug wj me eb uc fw ga ip tr uj wd bl ao fa pl wd tn cb ep dr je rg gi xt jb gn lb gr tw lm ly kb oj gl ul cb iv jw rd up nr gr eb pn ny do tc uh gr rg su eb gn uz we wd we hf sc sc ic da ah we ug ga xk ju nj tn uz tj fg pl tu ec sz bi we oj yn zl pt jp ew je ns rb ky tn ef et me fe we mk tu xf pb cb em ml lg ju ca pt uh mp uz tk ny df ry lu we lp rc wj tu uj gl tn bk sw wj jn rg gv uz uf uz ig ah cr eb ad hi gx uz st gj hc pu jl bl yr eb ut bi tu oj jf tn cn mr cn lp zy zl to cn is jg cr fg fw gj es fw gr ju dr ju pn fw
( Last edited by Cold Warrior; May 28, 2011 at 12:31 PM. Reason: over the line personal attacks, not pertinent to argument)

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May 26, 2011, 07:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
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?
The occupation of the West Bank and blockades against Gaza are and will remain a matter of security for Israelis. This is their reality. Forced expulsion sounds terrible, but of course Israel has forcibly expelled her own people from settlements as well. By granting anything West of the Jordan exclusively to Palestinians, you would be talking about a forced expulsion of Jews. The fact of the matter is that while Israel has included in its laws protections for Arabs, allows them seats in their government assembly, and grants Arabs more freedoms including women's suffrage, than virtually anywhere else in the Middle East; there is nothing that will convince them they are not second-class citizens. Policies to curb saline-seepage for example will be construed as Palestinian oppression, starving them of water. The long history of the region has shown (whether you're sympathetic to Israelis or Palestinians) there can no longer be peace in the region. There can be no acknowledged, Jewish nation-state among Palestinian leadership as this is simply unacceptable, regardless of what most Palestinians might want or think. The choices are clear; accept the fact that you're existing under the laws of the Jewish State of Israel and relent to its governance as you would a resident of any other nation-state or perpetuate violence and be killed or forcibly expelled. Palestinian leadership will not recognize a Jewish Nation-State of Israel and have never renounced their denial of a Jewish homeland. As long as this remains the case, given what Israel believes it needs for security, violence will be the call to order and peace will never exist among them.

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." ....
When I say this, I'm saying this is the only foundation for peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. Nothing else will do. If splitting your capital is not enough "land for peace", there will never be enough. It is clearly more than land and any solution such as the one you've proposed below will come to fruition due to the same problems Israel has always faced.

... 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?
In terms of second-class citizenship, is this more a concern for the treatment of Palestinians in Israel than Jews in Iran for example? Please qualify "second-class citizenship" as I'm not sure there is anything an Israeli can do to bolster a Palestinian's self-worth. Oppression can be real or perceived. As long as it is perceived in spite of any reality, there will not be peace in the region.

Or are you calling for an indefinite occupation with "Arabs interested in peace" equating to them just accepting that quietly?
Occupation occurs in response to approximately 7,000 rocket-launches into Israel annually. I would not expect the Palestinians to work any more quietly toward peace than they have been, hence the problem.

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"?
The question to Hamas is not about a "Palestinian Problem", it is about the "Zionist Problem". When two children are duking it out with bloody fists, the first thing a responsible adult does is split them apart. This is the way of things. We may continue trying to sit them down together for talking it out, but they repeatedly jump over the table to pound one another. You separate them again and again until you conclude that they simply will not relent to one another. Then you create restraining orders to maintain their separation to ensure their own safety. The Hatfields shall remain on the West Virginia-side of the Tug Fork waterway and the McCoy's shall remain on the Kentucky-side.

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?
This is a non-starter for the Palestinians. The Allon Plan was a non-starter and IMO was still too gratuitous for secure borders. (for either entity if empathetic toward the Palestinian plight) If we are not bound by the laws of reality; the restraining order should have the Palestinians remain on the East side of the Jordan, Israel on the West because they simply cannot peacefully coexist. Any plan that attempts to force them both into the same tiny region only perpetuates the powder-keg of hostility between them.
( Last edited by ebuddy; May 26, 2011 at 07:44 AM. )
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May 26, 2011, 07:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
I would argue that Jews at best are a culture of its own but not a race. Its no different then the difference between people from Spain and Holland. Even physical trades of pure Dutch and pure Spanish makes it easy to tell them apart but they are still the same race of people with different cultures. And considering the genetic differences between Chines and Blacks and Whites are so tiny splitting up any humans into races is silly. We really are only one human kind.
The concept of race is a purely societal construct with no real connection to genetics. Speaking of a Jewish 'race' is no less meaningless than speaking of an African 'race' or an Asian 'race'.

However, I don't think I've referred to a Jewish race (not sure if anyone else did), only a Jewish ethnicity. It is certainly a culture, and I think that Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan made an excellent case for a jewish civilization in his book Judaism as a Civilization.
     
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May 26, 2011, 07:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
However, nonhuman, I think you and other Jews with similarly dismissive attitudes toward Judaism should consider attending this seminar.
I wouldn't say that I'm dismissive of Judaism at all. In fact I embrace it: I celebrate the holidays, observe the fasts, follow other customs, and even engage in Torah study (as I mentioned earlier in this thread I view the Tanakh as a sort of auto-biography of the Jewish people). I just see no evidence for, and in fact a great amount of evidence against, the supernatural claims as well as some of the more fantastic stories.

We have a rich and interesting history that I think is worthy of study and celebration, but I have yet to experience anything in my life to make me even suspect that there might be some sort of divine being at the reigns, let alone the one described in the Bible. The fact that some of the stories are fictions and hagiographies doesn't make them any less valuable to understanding us as a people and where we came from, they just have to be viewed in a different light.
     
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May 26, 2011, 09:56 AM
 
For anyone questioning the ongoing need for Israel to exist as a safe haven for Jews: Egyptian activists 'to form Nazi party', n... JPost - Middle East
     
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May 26, 2011, 10:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
I wouldn't say that I'm dismissive of Judaism at all. In fact I embrace it: I celebrate the holidays, observe the fasts, follow other customs, and even engage in Torah study (as I mentioned earlier in this thread I view the Tanakh as a sort of auto-biography of the Jewish people).
Wow, well that's unusual for a person who describes himself as a non-religious Jew. Most non-religious Jews do very little to none of those things. Do you consider yourself a Reconstructionist Jew? That seems like the closest movement to the Judaism you hold.

What works for you works for you, but I would still recommend the Aish Discovery seminar. Strongly embracing the trappings of Judaism while jettisoning the L-rd seems to me to be highly illogical. Do you recite blessings and prayers to the deity you believe not to exist?
We have a rich and interesting history that I think is worthy of study and celebration, but I have yet to experience anything in my life to make me even suspect that there might be some sort of divine being at the reigns, let alone the one described in the Bible.
Orthodox Judaism teaches (and I'm paraphrasing here) that if one sincerely wishes to do a mitzvah, G-d will assist that person in doing more mitzvot in the future. In contrast, if one sincerely wishes to not do mitzvot, G-d will assist that person in doing fewer in the future.

I think the same teaching applies to perceiving G-d. With a person who seeks out G-d, G-d's existence and sovereignty will be shown to him, whereas a person who actively looks to reject G-d will be assisted in that endeavor as well, and G-d will actively conceal Himself from that person all the more so. I can tell you with all honesty and candor that in becoming more observant over the last decade but especially the last few years, I have seen the hand of G-d in my life manifested many times and in ways I cannot possibly explain away as mere chance or wishful thinking. Now you're absolutely entitled to believe I'm either telling you a pious lie or that I'm simply deceiving myself, but I tell you as i live and breathe what I say is the truth.

I think, however, that perhaps the clearest external, non-personal proof of the existence of G-d that one can point to is the existence of the state of Israel. There is no way to understand not only its survival but its ability to thrive given all the forces stacked against it without recognizing that He is ultimately responsible for the country's existence. All the other ancient peoples contemporary with the founding of the Jewish people died out, but the Jewish people survived. They were ethnically cleansed by Rome and dispersed to all the other nations but continued to survive and endure despite harsh treatment and periodic massacres of various kinds culminating in the Holocaust. Then the nation that had just perished en masse in German gas chambers arose from the ashes to reclaim sovereignty over part of its homeland for the first time in more than 2000 years. An under-equipped group of people who lacked assistance from worldly powers at the time successfully fought off the combined might of six conquering Arab armies. That's a miracle. And they did it again in 1967, a double miracle. They also did it again 1973 after a devastating attack on the holiest day in Judaism, a triple miracle. Those are open, revealed miracles to me, miracles confirming the prophecies that the Jews would return to their homeland in the distant future to reclaim their national sovereignty. During each one of those wars the conventional wisdom assumed Israel was going to be conquered once again by superior force, and the conventional wisdom made all the rational sense in the world, but human logic was subverted each time.

And yet you, nonhuman, truly believe there is no G-d? That the nation bearing His covenant and surviving against all odds somehow survives without Him being real? That it's all self-fulfilling, wishful thinking and human effort alone? I'm not arguing with you, bear in mind. I'm just questioning out loud your assumptions.
( Last edited by Big Mac; May 26, 2011 at 11:42 AM. )

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May 26, 2011, 10:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Its so amazing how left-wingers like Athens and OAW....
I accept the fact that your long post was written late at night and you are passionate about the subject matter, but you made all of your points very clear even without the name calling.

One of my biggest gripes with the orthodox school systems we have today is the ignorance they foster. Most school-age, orthodox Jews don't interact with non-Jews enough and this has only led to misunderstandings, anti-smetism and general ignorance of each other's religions and cultures. I'm here to learn why the non-Jews believe what they do, not to call them out on their ignorance that is partly my fault.
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May 26, 2011, 11:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
I accept the fact that your long post was written late at night and you are passionate about the subject matter, but you made all of your points very clear even without the name calling.
Thank you for the general compliment of my post, bro. As for the name calling, I call it like I see it. I see leftists openly using racism against us, racism which they would passionately denounce if it were applied to any other minority, and I call them out on it. In debating life and death issues like these, I see little benefit to conciliatory, gentle responses to such hatred. So I'll have to respectfully differ with you concerning best tactics in responding to that kind of idiotic material. However, there's very likely a role for both the dove and the hawk in responding to such trash.
One of my biggest gripes with the orthodox school systems we have today is the ignorance they foster. Most school-age, orthodox Jews don't interact with non-Jews enough and this has only led to misunderstandings, anti-smetism and general ignorance of each other's religions and cultures. I'm here to learn why the non-Jews believe what they do, not to call them out on their ignorance that is partly my fault.
I respect your point of view and your ability to remain cool in the face of such provocation. I, on the other hand, am not that reserved. Also, I don't think it's a matter of Orthodox culture not interacting enough with the non-Jewish world that engenders ignorance and bias against Jews among some non-Jews. We can and should try to do better outreach to the general public, obviously. But rather than faulting insular Jewish culture, I'm more likely to fault the poor PR efforts of Israel in making the case for itself to the outside world. The recent tension between Israeli and US leadership I place responsibility for largely on Israel's shoulders, given that the US cannot be much more pro-Israel than Israel itself is; Israel has seriously undermined itself over the last decades with its false legitimization of "Palestinian" beliefs and aspirations.

But ultimately each person is responsible for the soundness and veracity of his or her own knowledge and views. I'm responsible for the knowledge and views I hold, so too are you for yours, and so too are OAW and Athens for theirs. If they're going to air their views on a public forum such as this one, they should be prepared for vigorous debate and for a guy like me who doesn't mince words and will tell them precisely what he thinks of their views.
( Last edited by Big Mac; May 26, 2011 at 11:30 AM. )

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May 26, 2011, 11:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Wow, well that's unusual for a person who describes himself as a non-religious Jew. Most non-religious Jews do very little to none of those things. Do you consider yourself a Reconstructionist Jew? That seems like the closest movement to the Judaism you hold.
I do find Reconstructionist Judaism to be very interesting, though am not officially affiliated with it and am less than convinced by their approach to using religious language (essentially they don't change the words in the siddur or anything, they just interpret them to mean something different; I understand the impulse, it just doesn't work for me: I prefer an honest and unambiguous statement of what I believe). I would characterize myself as somewhere between Reconstructionist and Humanistic Judaism, and I am officially a member of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, though not affiliated with the synagogue they have down the street from me.

What works for you works for you, but I would still recommend the Aish Discovery seminar. Strongly embracing the trappings of Judaism while jettisoning the L-rd seems to me to be highly illogical. Do you recite blessings and prayers to the deity you believe not to exist?
For a long time I agreed with you, that it made no sense to embrace any aspect of Judaism while being an atheist. However, largely through the influence of my wife who comes from an non-theistic but traditionally Irish Catholic family, I've come to realize that there is value in many of the 'trappings' even bereft of devine inspiration.

To me, to reject Judaism in it's entirety would be to reject part of who I am: my family, my family history, &c. Judaism has been a central part of the lives of Jews even when they have rejected it. Especially having recently discovered another whole branch of my family that survived in Ukraine after my great-grandfather left and now has spread to Canada and Israel, some of whom, it turns out, were victims of the holocaust, the fact that I am Jewish has only become more important to me over time.

I will look into that Aish seminar, though briefly skimming the description leaves me a bit wary.

Orthodox Judaism teaches (and I'm paraphrasing here) that if one sincerely wishes to do a mitzvah, G-d will assist that person in doing more mitzvot in the future. In contrast, if one sincerely wishes to not do mitzvot, G-d will assist that person in doing fewer in the future.

I think the same teaching applies to perceiving G-d. With a person who seeks out G-d, G-d's existence and sovereignty will be shown to him, whereas a person who actively looks to reject G-d will be assisted in that endeavor as well, and G-d will actively conceal Himself from that person all the more so.
It seems to me that one's intention to do mitzvot would be directly correlated with one's doing of mitzvot regardless of divine assistance. It's true that I have, at this point, ceased looking for any evidence of the supernatural or divine, but only because after looking for a long time I found none. It was not simply a decision I made to reject the belief, it was a realization that it was simply impossible for me to continue to hold such a belief.

I think, however, that perhaps the clearest proof of the existence of G-d that one can point to is the existence of the state of Israel. There is no way to understand not only its survival but its ability to thrive given all the forces stacked against it without recognizing that He is ultimately responsible for the country's existence. All the other ancient peoples contemporary with the founding of the Jewish people died out, but the Jewish people survived. They were ethnically cleansed by Rome and dispersed to all the other nations but continued to survive and endure despite harsh treatment and periodic massacres of various kinds culminating in the Holocaust. Then the nation that had just perished en masse in German gas chambers arose from the ashes to reclaim sovereignty over part of its homeland for the first time in more than 2000 years. An under-equipped group of people who lacked assistance from worldly powers at the time successfully fought off the combined might of six conquering Arab armies. That's a miracle. And they did it again in 1967, a double miracle. They also did it again 1973 after a devastating attack on the holiest day in Judaism, a triple miracle. Those are open, revealed miracles to me, miracles confirming the prophecies that the Jews would return to their homeland in the distant future to reclaim their national sovereignty. During each one of those wars the conventional wisdom assumed Israel was going to be conquered once again by superior force, and the conventional wisdom made all the rational sense in the world, but human logic was subverted each time.
I think that does a disservice to the incredible amount of work, blood, and lives that were invested by living, breathing human beings (most of whom were more non-religious than I) to create the State of Israel. For thousands of years we've wanted, and have strongly expressed our desire, to return to Eretz Yisroel. I don't see that it required any miracle for us to actually do that when the opportunity, as small as it may have seemed at the time, presented itself.

And yet you, nonhuman, truly believe there is no G-d? That the nation bearing His covenant and surviving against all odds somehow survives without Him being real? That it's all self-fulfilling, wishful thinking and human effort alone? I'm not arguing with you, bear in mind. I'm just questioning out loud your assumptions.
I would suggest that it is you, rather than I, who is holding assumptions. I (at least try to) look at the facts of what is happening and judge based on what I see. What I see does not require there to be something that I don't see in order for it to happen. It does not seem impossible to me at all that these things happen in the absence of the divine, improbable perhaps, but not impossible. However you, with the assumption of the divine, see what you assume must be there.
     
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May 26, 2011, 11:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Thank you for the general compliment of my post, bro. As for the name calling, I call it like I see it. I see leftists openly using racism against us, racism which they would passionately denounce if it were applied to any other minority, and I call them out on it. In debating life and death issues like these, I see little benefit to conciliatory, gentle responses to such hatred. So I'll have to respectfully differ with you concerning best tactics in responding to that kind of idiotic material. However, there's very likely a role for both the dove and the hawk in responding to such trash.
We can always agree to disagree
Like, I said I nearly always agree with your points, I just don't want their value to be overshadowed by the fighting. I'm sure you want OAW, athens, and others to focus on the content of your points and not their "style." You can still be the hawk, but I would stick to criticizing the misinformation of others and not the people themselves. If you are a parent, this is like telling your child that you don't like their behavior as opposed to not liking them.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I respect your point of view and your ability to remain cool in the face of such provocation. I, on the other hand, am not that reserved. Also, I don't think it's a matter of Orthodox culture not interacting enough with the non-Jewish world that engenders ignorance and bias against Jews among some non-Jews. We can and should try to do better outreach to the general public, obviously. But rather than faulting insular Jewish culture, I'm more likely to fault the poor PR efforts of Israel in making the case for itself to the outside world. The recent tension between Israeli and US leadership I place responsibility for largely on Israel's shoulders, given that the US cannot be much more pro-Israel than Israel itself is; Israel has seriously undermined itself over the last decades with its false legitimization of "Palestinian" beliefs and aspirations.
I should have been more clear. I was getting slightly off topic and really only meant to talk about the orthodox school systems in the US. Israel's lack of PR is another matter entirely. When it comes to ignorance of Americans though I think some of it is indirectly self-inflicted. There aren't enough Jews to go around spreading the good word everywhere, but even in the areas with large Jewish populations the non-Jews know very little about Judaism. Seriously, how many times can I be asked if kosher food means it was blessed by a Rabbi? The answer is NO! If I had gone to public school and explained that to my friends at age 10 they wouldn't be asking me that today.

To get back to the "moral superiority" claim I would like to posit the following question: How should Israel respond to constant terrorist threats (weapons transfers, rockets, etc.) if not in the way they have dealt with them until now? I don't deny any loss of collateral life, but I'm curious is people have real suggestions as to how they could have been avoided entirely (or even partially).
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May 26, 2011, 12:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
I'm the one being educated (and with the degree) on this subject
I wanted to respond to this again because when I read it the first time I was sleep deprived and thought you acknowledged you were being educated to the truth through threads like these. I see that's not the case.

Mitchell, just as SSharon expressed skepticism about your "education" on the subject, I too express great skepticism. You say you're being educated and have a degree on the subject, but you've also said that the class you took on Israel specifically was largely worthless because there was no lecturing. You appear, from your own words, to only have taken one worthless course on the topic, but you somehow fancy yourself highly educated on it. You admitted you've never been to Israel. You have no knowledge of Hebrew or Arabic although you're interested in both. You have also indicated that your education on the subject has been dominated by biased sources. I thoroughly refuted your claims that Israeli towns were bereft of Jews until shortly before 1948. It comes down to this: As long as you hold the ignorant views you've spouted around here in recent times, I will continue to look upon you as ignorant despite whatever education and degree you take pride in referencing. (In fact, it seems like you've been getting more ignorant in recent times the longer you've been "educated" by whatever supposed learning institution you've been attending.) I will see you as ignorant and continue to see you as a child, which I grant is partly unfairly based on the age you were when you joined this site, but as long as your outlook remains juvenile and uninformed, that is how I will perceive you.

And for the record, simply because I have strongly vested interests in the conflict doesn't mean I'm not also highly educated on it. In truth, I can guarantee you I have studied the subject for many years more than you have, at much greater depth. My degree is in Political Science and I graduated Magna cum Laude. I've studied all arguments I can find on the topic and tremendous amounts of direct source knowledge. I have also done scholarly research and writing on the topic - including writing articles professionally on the subject for high profile, influential media sources. I get paid for my analysis and opinions on the subject. This is my field and home turf. You are a rank amateur by comparison, to such an extent that I worry at times about debasing myself by condescending to argue with you. And unless and until you do something in the future to prove it is also your field by displaying substantial, solid knowledge on the topic, your weak, non-credible self-aggrandizement and grandstanding will be thoroughly unimpressive to me and others.

And for extra measure, I'll also tell you that the notion that morality has no place in scholarly political discourse is a falsehood. Taking morality out of the equation is only beneficial to the immoral participants of the debate. Just because some wish to ignore the morality of a given political topic doesn't mean it should be ignored or discounted as subjective. There are objective moral truths that should play a role in all just political affairs. Leaving morality out of politics leads to political maladies like institutional slavery/bigotry and legalized mass murder.
( Last edited by Big Mac; May 26, 2011 at 02:13 PM. )

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May 26, 2011, 12:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
This is my field. Until you do something in the future to proof it is also yours by displaying substantial, solid knowledge on the topic, your grandstanding will be thoroughly unimpressive to me and others.
I'm not grandstanding, I'm saying that your idea that I (or anyone else, for that matter), can't participate in this discussion is completely ridiculous, but it doesn't matter, because you only see moral value as the issue at hand, which, unfortunately isn't something tangible and cannot be negotiated upon, no matter who actually has the moral high ground or who doesn't.
     
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May 26, 2011, 12:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
(And if you take issue with me lumping you in with Athens, OAW, remember, you tried to make a point in an earlier post to this thread about the Ashkenazim emigrating from Europe, with an implication that they had/have an inferior claim to the Jewish homeland because either they were exiled to Europe instead of other parts of the Middle East or because of their skin color. I assumed you were making a claim against our skin color because that is the most common component of this category of rhetoric that seeks to undermine the legitimacy of the Ashkenazi claim to the Land of Israel.)
And therein lies your problem. You assumed. The issue with the Ashkenazi is not that they are "white". The issue is that they are European. And have been for centuries! So when they then show up back in Palestine and try to act like they have a more legitimate claim to the land than the people who had been living there for centuries ... solely on the basis of their distant ancestors ruling there at some point .... well quite obviously there are many people who take issue with that. Again, it's not because they are "white" .... it's because they are foreigners!

I'm about as dark-skinned as they come. But I certainly couldn't round up several thousand of my closest African-American friends and go setup shop in Ghana or Nigeria or the Ivory Coast over the objections of the local population simply because our ancestors were taken from the region several generations ago. Sure we would all be "black" people .... but at the end of the day me and my crew would be considered American ... not African. IOW, we would be viewed as foreigners ... even though our ancestral ties are a helluva lot closer to the region (in terms of generations that have passed since our ancestors left) than the ancestral ties the Ashkenazi have to the land known as Israel.

Surely this can't be all that difficult a concept for you to comprehend?

OAW
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May 26, 2011, 01:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
I certainly couldn't round up several thousand of my closest African-American friends and go setup shop in Ghana or Nigeria or the Ivory Coast over the objections of the local population simply because our ancestors were taken from the region several generations ago. Sure we would all be "black" people .... but at the end of the day me and my crew would be considered American ... not African.
Off topic: So why do people in the US demand to be called "African American" if their connection to Africa is a few hundred years old and is as loose as yours?

How many centuries is the cut-off exactly, and how far back do we look? European Jews may not have lived en mass in Israel for a few hundred years (although some have been there continually since the first Jews) so you looked back to the Arabs who have been there for centuries. It is undisputed that Judaism is older than Islam and the first Jews lived in Israel therefore if we go back a few extra centuries the Jews were in fact there first.
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May 26, 2011, 01:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Its so amazing how left-wingers like Athens and OAW resort to discredited racist theories to try to paint the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel as illegitimate because Ashkenazim happen to have light skin, but even OAW rejects the Khazar theory that Athens apparently embraces out of ignorance.
Whats a racist theory, and what does anything I have posted have to do with illegitimate claims to land over genetics. All I said is I don't subscribe to the theory of a Jewish Race. A Culture, a religion yes but not a race. You read way more into what I posted then I had intended. Some one started talking about the Race of Jews I said I don't believe in that and posted stuff to backup my reason why I don't. I don't subscribe to anything.

Racism is obviously completely fine and legitimate on the Left as long as it's being directed against the Jews. (And if you take issue with me lumping you in with Athens, OAW, remember, you tried to make a point in an earlier post to this thread about the Ashkenazim emigrating from Europe, with an implication that they had/have an inferior claim to the Jewish homeland because either they were exiled to Europe instead of other parts of the Middle East or because of their skin color. I assumed you were making a claim against our skin color because that is the most common component of this category of rhetoric that seeks to undermine the legitimacy of the Ashkenazi claim to the Land of Israel.)
Oh now your really getting pathetic with this rhetoric about racism and anti semitism. Your like a Hockey player who gets a tap on the shoulder but grabs his face and takes a dive acting like it was a hit to the face.

Anyone stupid enough to believe the debunked claims against the genetic authenticity of Ashkenazi Jews should definitely be made aware of the scientific studies done on the "Cohen Gene" priestly genetic markers, science which utterly disproves the despicable notion that Ashkenazim are genetically fake Jews. The priestly class has unique genetic markers found on the Y chromosome (passed from father to son) that distinguish it from other Jewish males, and those markers are shared in very high percentages among all ethnic Jewish classes of Kohanim including Ashkenazim but not in other Jewish tribal classifications - Levi and Israel - just as expected, nor in non-Jewish populations except in low levels consistent with previous generations of Kohanim intermarrying out of Jewish existence. These scientific facts were found because Kohanim have remained a distinct subset from the rest of Jewry and usually carry in family tradition the knowledge that they are Kohanim, thus giving science the opportunity to prove what Jews have always known to be true. (The Jewish priestly class have some special synagogue honors they get to perform that hark back to their service in the Temple, so boys of that lineage often learn early on if they are Kohanim.) If you want to start learning about this research, you can begin with Wikipedia, and then look at books like this one or its companion site.
That does not make a race, that is just a common ancestry. Trace every one back far enough we will all show up as coming from the same general populations. I never said anything about a common ancestry being fake or wrong. By your logic every family group is a race which clearly isn't the case.


Far from being fake Jews descended from European converted tribes as alleged, the Ashkenazim Kohanim are to the contrary just as genetically Jewish as their Sephardic or Mizrachi counterparts - regardless of their skin color differences. And what's true about Ashkenazi Kohanim is true about Ashkenazim in general. Also, as an ignorant outsider you won't have this knowledge, but a person who interacts with Jews of differing ethnicities quickly learns that skin color differences are very marginal and superficial distinctions. Some Ashkenazi Jews have olive color skin, and some Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews are just as light skinned as Ashkenazim generally are. And heck, although it's rarer, some ethnic Arabs have light skin just like Ashkenazim, but you racist pigs wouldn't say they're fake Arabs. Scientists point out that skin color is skin deep and a marginal difference genetically speaking and that there is more genetic variation within individual ethnicities than across multiple ethnicities. But if you want to just be a dirty racist, making unsubstantiated, harmful racist claims against people because of the color of their skin, you'll remain an ignorant, despicable racist regardless of the evidence that shows you to be the fool you truly are.
Ok now you can STFU and your reported. Im not going to take being called a racist pig.

Anyway, the racist, hateful idea that you, Athens especially, were trying to inject in this thread has been disproven objectively and repeatedly, so anyone trying to cling to and perpetuate that myth is no better than your average KKK member. Athens, for all your leftist faux-morality, you "sir" are actually degraded racist scum and an ignoramus (obviously the two traits are strongly correlated). You should be ashamed of yourself, but I know that's most likely a capacity you lack. Please feel free to report me.
Ya I take my apology back, your screwed in the head on multiple levels.
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May 26, 2011, 01:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
I accept the fact that your long post was written late at night and you are passionate about the subject matter, but you made all of your points very clear even without the name calling.

One of my biggest gripes with the orthodox school systems we have today is the ignorance they foster. Most school-age, orthodox Jews don't interact with non-Jews enough and this has only led to misunderstandings, anti-smetism and general ignorance of each other's religions and cultures. I'm here to learn why the non-Jews believe what they do, not to call them out on their ignorance that is partly my fault.
Well what do you think I believe? Don't subscribe to BigMacs false BS about me because its all lies.
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May 26, 2011, 01:54 PM
 
You should see the glee on my face in writing this reply.
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
And therein lies your problem. You assumed. The issue with the Ashkenazi is not that they are "white". The issue is that they are European. And have been for centuries!
Most who bring up that Ashkenazim were European are doing so because they're making a racist claim about skin color, so please forgive my presumption on that point. But if the Ashkenazim were merely European they wouldn't have been relegated to ghettos by European law until the liberalization of law by Napoleon. If they were merely European they wouldn't have been prohibited from most trades except for the ones Christians viewed as undignified like money lending. If they were merely European they wouldn't have experienced widespread persecution and various massacres. If they were merely European one of the great European powers wouldn't have exterminated them en masse.

They weren't merely European. They, my descendants, were Jews, just as Jewish as the Mizrachi Jews who stayed in Arab countries after the Diaspora. Simply because they moved to Europe instead of Arabia doesn't mean they lost their rights as Jews to return to their homeland as prophesied. Their geography didn't change their lineage and didn't remove their Jewishness in any respect. They had just as much right as Jews who stayed in the Middle East to return to the homeland that was stolen from their ancestors by Rome. Moreover, just because Arabs were geographically closer to the land didn't give them any superior right to hold on to it. They were offered peaceful coexistence; the Jews voted to accept the terrible partition deal offered by the UN. But instead of taking the deal they were offered, the Arabs went to war instead. A war with genocidal ambitions to complete Hitler's goal. And surprise, surprise, they lost. And lost, and lost again. But they keep wanting to go back to plan A. Sorry, that doesn't fly.

So no, the Ashkenazim weren't merely Europeans. They were Jews, as Jewish any other Jews on the planet and not disadvantaged by their geography in returning to the homeland that was stolen from them. You can call them foreigners or occupiers or whatever other derogatory term you wish to apply, any of which belies your own bias. The truth is that even at the nadir of Jewish life in the Land of Israel, there was always a Jewish presence there, and after 1850 years of being inferior and persecuted residents of the goyim (meaning nations), the modern Zionist movement was born to reclaim Jewish sovereignty over the Jewish homeland. Land that was unproductive and sparsely populated until the Jews decided it was time to start going home in a serious way.

It should also be stated that just because Ashkenazim settled in Europe doesn't mean they adopted European customs. Aside from the most assimilated reform Jews who were near the top of Hitler's extermination list, religious Jews have always maintained as much as possible and to a very high degree the societal laws, customs and traditions of the Middle East. The written Torah and the Talmud are Middle Eastern documents. Jewish culture historically took great pains to avoid adopting the customs of the host countries they lived in. They stayed in insular communities for the most part - the ghetto - and maintained lives almost entirely separate from true Europeans. They spoke Yiddish, wore distinct clothing, ate distinct food, educated their children in Jewish schools, etc. So again, your notion that they became foreigners because they left the Land of Israel and somehow became Europeans until they decided they wanted to go back and reclaim their homeland is falsehood. It's more accurate to say that Jews were foreigners in Europe than they were foreigners to the Middle East. And that has been borne out in modern day Israel in which Jews of different ethnicities are marrying each other and producing future generations of Israelis in which Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Mizrachi and other ethnic distinctions will be muted or erased entirely. One Jewish people. (Also, on a personal note, I've felt very comfortable as an American Jew interacting with common Israelis, even though I have only lived in Israel for short periods thus far. And I've seen that American Jews who move to Israel acculturate well and become essentially indistinguishable from native born Israelis very quickly.)

So when they then show up back in Palestine and try to act like they have a more legitimate claim to the land than the people who had been living there for centuries ...
You're very much misinformed. The vast majority of the Arab population migrated to the area at the same time Jews were returning the later 19th and early 20th centuries. Arab tribes prior to that point were largely nomadic and not permanently settled there. So when you argue to the contrary you're either ignorant of the true historical record or are willfully engaged in perpetuating myths and propaganda about historical Arab settlement. It was nowhere near as robust or developed as you claim. If it had been the case, there would have been a movement to declare an Arab state there when the Ottoman Empire ended officially in 1923, but that didn't happen. If it had been the case, the Balfour Declaration wouldn't have been seen as credible and wouldn't have been adopted as the policy of the Class-A powers of the League Nations at San Remo. And as I pointed out before, if it had been the case, a relatively low population of poorly equipped, isloated Jews wouldn't have been able to overwhelm and defeat not only the Arab population but also the six "conquering Arab armies" who sought to "drive the Jews to the sea."

solely on the basis of their distant ancestors ruling there at some point .... well quite obviously there are many people who take issue with that. Again, it's not because they are "white" .... it's because they are foreigners!
Again,. they were exiles returning to their homeland, which they prayed for and sought after ever since they were exiled. It's not the Arab homeland. It's not the Muslim homeland - that's 800 miles away in Saudi Arabia. It's the Jewish homeland. (And it's interesting to note that Germany, the original exiled settlement land of the Ashkenazim, is only a little more than twice as many miles away from Israel as Israel is from Saudi Arabia. Geographically we're not talking a world away. These regions are actually much closer than one normally imagines them to be.)

I'm about as dark-skinned as they come. But I certainly couldn't round up several thousand of my closest African-American friends and go setup shop in Ghana or Nigeria or the Ivory Coast over the objections of the local population simply because our ancestors were taken from the region several generations ago. Sure we would all be "black" people .... but at the end of the day me and my crew would be considered American ... not African. IOW, we would be viewed as foreigners ... even though our ancestral ties are a helluva lot closer to the region (in terms of generations that have passed since our ancestors left) than the ancestral ties the Ashkenazi have to the land known as Israel.
To the contrary. If you and your brethren decided that living in the United States was no longer tolerable and there was an undeveloped region of Africa with no sovereign statehood that could serve as a viable homeland to you, why wouldn't you contemplate returning home? And actually, that in fact did happen. I'm sure you've heard of the African country of Liberia. So the exact scenario that you paint as being preposterous actually happened in history to people you have common genetic and historical ties to. Did you not just prove my point, at least in part? Who needs the smilie now?

Of course, the point can never be made often enough - one key difference in circumstance between Liberia and Israel is that Africans have an entire continent full of countries. By the same token, there are 50+ Muslim majority countries, including 22 Arab countries that control 99% of the land mass of the middle east. The Jewish people in all the world only have one small Jewish country, and Jews are happy with that alone. And yet we're still hated and some Muslim terrorist groups aspire to exterminate all Jews in all the world, not only Jews in Israel. How preposterous is that? How evil is that? And how evil do you become when you side with them?
( Last edited by Big Mac; May 26, 2011 at 02:24 PM. )

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May 26, 2011, 01:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Thank you for the general compliment of my post, bro. As for the name calling, I call it like I see it. I see leftists openly using racism against us, racism which they would passionately denounce if it were applied to any other minority, and I call them out on it. In debating life and death issues like these, I see little benefit to conciliatory, gentle responses to such hatred. So I'll have to respectfully differ with you concerning best tactics in responding to that kind of idiotic material. However, there's very likely a role for both the dove and the hawk in responding to such trash.

I respect your point of view and your ability to remain cool in the face of such provocation. I, on the other hand, am not that reserved. Also, I don't think it's a matter of Orthodox culture not interacting enough with the non-Jewish world that engenders ignorance and bias against Jews among some non-Jews. We can and should try to do better outreach to the general public, obviously. But rather than faulting insular Jewish culture, I'm more likely to fault the poor PR efforts of Israel in making the case for itself to the outside world. The recent tension between Israeli and US leadership I place responsibility for largely on Israel's shoulders, given that the US cannot be much more pro-Israel than Israel itself is; Israel has seriously undermined itself over the last decades with its false legitimization of "Palestinian" beliefs and aspirations.
WHAT THE F### ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT HOW THE F*** DID YOU MAKE THIS INTO A RACE THING

Im racist because I don't believe in races and that we are all one people. Thats just F'ing great.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
 
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