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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Livni: "'your national solution lies elsewhere."

Livni: "'your national solution lies elsewhere." (Page 2)
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OreoCookie
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Dec 19, 2008, 08:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Demographics aside, there is absolutely nowhere else in the Middle East for the Jew to enjoy the kind of freedom they have in Israel.
You're right, although that should change once the Middle East is modernized.
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
This is not the case for Arabs as there are a wealth of options available to them. If you'll argue that Arabs in Israel also cannot enjoy this freedom elsewhere, you'll have to ask yourself who owns the source of the struggle.
Just because Arabs could live elsewhere doesn't justify displacement of people by another people -- especially if the basis for that is demographics. If one people forces its will onto another, it's always illegitimate.
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Dec 19, 2008, 09:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by selowitch
I think we can all agree that a single-state solution in all of the territory west of the Jordan would not work, because demographics would one day dictate that this country would cease to have a Jewish majority, which is essential for retaining its Jewish character and purpose.
I disagree with your premise that Israel has to be a Jewish State. As far as I’m concerned, Israel should no more be a Jewish State than it should be Arab Nationalist or Islamic. There is no place in the world for nation states based upon ethnicity or religious superstition. Remember, modern Zionism has its roots in German Volk-ism. If everyone agrees that the Aryan Nazi German should not have an ethnic state based upon his supposed superiority and uniqueness, the people calling themselves Jews today logically should not have one, either. A proper democracy would accept the change in demographics.
     
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Dec 19, 2008, 09:32 AM
 
@red rocket
The root motivation is very different: in one case it was a delusional belief that somehow one race is superior to another, in case of Israel it's fear of prosecution/the desire for safety.

Very early Zionists were in favor of a mutual respect and peaceful coexistence with other people who have been living there up until then.
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ebuddy
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Dec 19, 2008, 09:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You're right, although that should change once the Middle East is modernized.
Never put a proposed bonus into your budget. In other words, your optimism for a "modernized Middle East" is noble, but this long-term proposal does not solve the immediate problems in Israel today.

Just because Arabs could live elsewhere doesn't justify displacement of people by another people -- especially if the basis for that is demographics. If one people forces its will onto another, it's always illegitimate.
If the foundation of the struggle is in fact the demographics, ignoring them will not solve the issue. I suspect Livni believes that the "national solution" is the forcing of one will onto another and equally illegitimate. There's a long historical precedent of strife in the region founded on deep-seeded cultural differences and her proposal while unfortunate, is quite pragmatic. In a region as tiny as Israel and a people with absolutely no options for peace and prosperity elsewhere in the Middle East; a proposal that seeks to impose a condition that jeopardizes this peace and prosperity will be regarded as illegitimate. This is unfortunate, but it is the way of things.
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Dec 19, 2008, 09:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Never put a proposed bonus into your budget. In other words, your optimism for a "modernized Middle East" is noble, but this long-term proposal does not solve the immediate problems in Israel today.
Without striving for ideals, there is no change.
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
If the foundation of the struggle is in fact the demographics, ignoring them will not solve the issue. I suspect Livni believes that the "national solution" is the forcing of one will onto another and equally illegitimate.
To me it seems that she really wants to push for a solution by attacking tough problems. I doubt she sees the problem of demographics as pressing, but from what I've read in the media, she would like to settle the matter, i. e. she'd like to `draw borders.' Once Israels draws its own borders, it has drawn borders of a Palestinian state. So no matter what she does, she'll face very strong opposition from both sides: Jewish settlers who do not want to give up their settlements on the one extreme, Palestinians who claim it's too little on the other.

So I think her comment is more marketing speech to win the election (to show `she's tough,' although I think any women who has succeeded like her in the world of politics is a very tough cookie) rather than an indication that she is planning to exile non-Jewish Israelis.
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Dec 19, 2008, 10:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
I disagree with your premise that Israel has to be a Jewish State. As far as I’m concerned, Israel should no more be a Jewish State than it should be Arab Nationalist or Islamic. There is no place in the world for nation states based upon ethnicity or religious superstition.
The problem with this is that you and I don't get to make this call. The reality is people segregate by interests, cultures, etc... and is actually quite natural.

Proposals that seek to put the Hatfields and McCoys together under the same roof might be noble at the surface, but unrealistic in practice.

Remember, modern Zionism has its roots in German Volk-ism. If everyone agrees that the Aryan Nazi German should not have an ethnic state based upon his supposed superiority and uniqueness, the people calling themselves Jews today logically should not have one, either. A proper democracy would accept the change in demographics.
Couple of things here;
- it was not the "Aryan nature" (while reprehensible) or cultural/religious tradition of Nazi Germany that made them an enemy. They placed the demonization of others over their own self-realization. Imperialism and their mastery of it begged intervention. It took a great deal of convincing in the US for example, that Germany was indeed a threat that needed to be addressed.
- I will not attempt to guess whether or not Jews feel themselves superior as there are many who believe their world view makes them superior to others. What I can say is that opposition to the "national solution" is founded on a baser, very logical and natural survival instinct. Not a notion of superiority, but a need for peace. Peace they simply cannot enjoy elsewhere in the Middle East. The problem is a long historical precedent suggesting no "proper democracy" for a Jewish minority. The most ideal situation for this region wrought with less than ideal historical precedent is a two-state solution.
- Definitions of "proper" cannot be taken seriously if they do not account for reality.
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Dec 19, 2008, 10:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
@red rocket
The root motivation is very different: in one case it was a delusional belief that somehow one race is superior to another, in case of Israel it's fear of prosecution/the desire for safety.
I’m not so sure. I keep hearing pronouncements that jews are the chosen people, that some supernatural being has granted them land, seems pretty similar to the idea of Lebensraum for the master race to me.
     
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Dec 19, 2008, 10:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Without striving for ideals, there is no change.
The Middle East is not defined by the Israeli-Palestinian strife. I agree that we should continue to strive for the modernization of the Middle East while also resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

To me it seems that she really wants to push for a solution by attacking tough problems. I doubt she sees the problem of demographics as pressing, but from what I've read in the media, she would like to settle the matter, i. e. she'd like to `draw borders.' Once Israels draws its own borders, it has drawn borders of a Palestinian state. So no matter what she does, she'll face very strong opposition from both sides: Jewish settlers who do not want to give up their settlements on the one extreme, Palestinians who claim it's too little on the other.
Jewish settlers have already been displaced at the request of her leadership in the interest of peace. I agree that she will likely face strong opposition, but frequently among those without a more plausible solution. At some point, the difficult and courageous conversations simply must occur and you touch on this below.

So I think her comment is more marketing speech to win the election (to show `she's tough,' although I think any women who has succeeded like her in the world of politics is a very tough cookie) rather than an indication that she is planning to exile non-Jewish Israelis.
I agree here as well and in this, the true intention of a politician is usually difficult to discern. From her verbiage cited by Sayf, she clarified that there is no question of transfer or removal. My guess is that those who truly feel marginalized or disenfranchised under the Israeli system of governance will flock on their own accord to the Palestinian State. This may be naive, but I see little else by way of plausible solutions to this complex issue.
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Dec 19, 2008, 10:19 AM
 
There are racist elements in every society or people. Israelis are no exception. But to generalize this to all members of a society is simplistic and false. At least the Jews I've met have not thought in that manner (they weren't particularly religious, though).

However, you cannot take things out of context: the idea of Israel as a safe haven for Jews from around the world came from their prosecution (mostly Europe, first Russia, then obviously also Germany and other European countries). They wanted to be in a place where they'd be safe from prosecution, because they'd be the majority (at least locally). This also plants a seed for distrust in non-Jews in that region, but this will not be overcome, unless there is safety and peace in the region.
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Dec 19, 2008, 10:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
I’m not so sure. I keep hearing pronouncements that jews are the chosen people, that some supernatural being has granted them land, seems pretty similar to the idea of Lebensraum for the master race to me.
Even the KKK is allowed to commune together. As historically cruel as we've been to the Native American in the US, we've granted them plots of land that dwarf Israel. If their desire to demonize those not like them supersedes their self-realization and they begin to perfect imperialism, they will be addressed. While they've done well with 8500 square miles of this God-given territory flanked by hostility, equating them with "master races" is hasty and in context of Lebensraum is patently mistaken.
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Dec 19, 2008, 10:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
The Middle East is not defined by the Israeli-Palestinian strife. I agree that we should continue to strive for the modernization of the Middle East while also resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Well, yes and no. The Israeli-Palestinian-neighboring states conflict is a proxy war which is IMHO symbolically very significant. A solution would bring more stability to the whole region. (Even if it is just to make some people stop using this conflict as a justification for furthering their own interests.)
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Jewish settlers have already been displaced at the request of her leadership in the interest of peace. I agree that she will likely face strong opposition, but frequently among those without a more plausible solution. At some point, the difficult and courageous conversations simply must occur and you touch on this below.
Among all Israeli administrations, new settlements have been approved. Quite a few are not self-sustainable (e. g. in Hebron where 800 Israeli settlers are guarded by just as many Israeli soldiers, because they are surrounded by 180,000 Palestinians).

I'm very pragmatic, and it seems so is Livni. There is no way these small `dot-like' settlements can be included within hypothetical borderlines, because otherwise tens of thousands of people would need to be displaced. I think this will be a major achievement if she could reach a compromise.
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
While they've done well with 8500 square miles of this God-given territory flanked by hostility, ...
The territory wasn't God-given, it was given to them by the British.
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ebuddy
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Dec 19, 2008, 10:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Well, yes and no. The Israeli-Palestinian-neighboring states conflict is a proxy war which is IMHO symbolically very significant. A solution would bring more stability to the whole region. (Even if it is just to make some people stop using this conflict as a justification for furthering their own interests.)
We seem to be saying the same things and in general agreement. We definitely appear in agreement on the solution.

I'm very pragmatic, and it seems so is Livni. There is no way these small `dot-like' settlements can be included within hypothetical borderlines, because otherwise tens of thousands of people would need to be displaced. I think this will be a major achievement if she could reach a compromise.
Pragmatists unite.

The territory wasn't God-given, it was given to them by the British.
You may not have detected the tinge of sarcasm (or as one of faith, in the least a tinge of frustration at the will of God) in my statement, but the statement was in response to red rocket. Still, dig deep enough into that "British-given" land and you'll find that archeology suggests a richer history than the British mandate.
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Dec 19, 2008, 11:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
You may not have detected the tinge of sarcasm (or as one of faith, in the least a tinge of frustration at the will of God) in my statement, but the statement was in response to red rocket.
Wasn't quite sure.
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Still, dig deep enough into that "British-given" land and you'll find that archeology suggests a richer history than the British mandate.
The region is one of the cradles of modern occidental civilization, you're bound to find all kinds of stuff there.*
I just don't think `playing back history' is a very useful approach (just think of the `and before that?' argument). Has no basis in pragmatism either.

* That's obviously one of the problems, very, very important religious sites are located in that very tiny spot -- which makes it impossible to treat them `just like any other strip of land.'
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Dec 19, 2008, 12:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The region is one of the cradles of modern occidental civilization, you're bound to find all kinds of stuff there.*
True. However, when the British mandate is cited in any way that implies it is the genesis of the struggle, it marginalizes the fact that the history of the region and its people is actually much richer than this.

I just don't think `playing back history' is a very useful approach (just think of the `and before that?' argument). Has no basis in pragmatism either.
I agree entirely. Unfortunately, human nature has generally answered the 'and before that' argument with military conquest. It's not enough to take ground, you must hold ground. Unfortunate, but true. The situation in Israel is now much more politically complicated than the days of old. It is now about ensuring they have a place, albeit tiny, to live in peace.

* That's obviously one of the problems, very, very important religious sites are located in that very tiny spot -- which makes it impossible to treat them `just like any other strip of land.'
True and with such differing and often conflicting perceptions, the only good solution must address reality.
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Dec 19, 2008, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I agree entirely. Unfortunately, human nature has generally answered the 'and before that' argument with military conquest. It's not enough to take ground, you must hold ground. Unfortunate, but true. The situation in Israel is now much more politically complicated than the days of old. It is now about ensuring they have a place, albeit tiny, to live in peace.
"They" seem to be living quite well in the US. In fact more of "them" live in the US than anywhere else.

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Dec 19, 2008, 01:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sayf-Allah View Post
"They" seem to be living quite well in the US. In fact more of "them" live in the US than anywhere else.
Right, but we're not talking about "their" living conditions in the US as we'd have to include the fact that an Arab's living conditions in the US are quite well too. We're talking about "their" conditions in the Middle East.

Unless of course you're suggesting that the Israeli's national solution is on the other side of the globe.
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Dec 20, 2008, 08:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
There are racist elements in every society or people. Israelis are no exception. But to generalize this to all members of a society is simplistic and false. At least the Jews I've met have not thought in that manner (they weren't particularly religious, though).
Was I generalising? Didn’t mean to, at any rate. I usually expressly use the word ‘Zionist’ to criticise Zionists. Non-Zionists who want to pretend they’re ‘Jews’ I have no particular problem with.

However, you cannot take things out of context: the idea of Israel as a safe haven for Jews from around the world came from their prosecution (mostly Europe, first Russia, then obviously also Germany and other European countries). They wanted to be in a place where they'd be safe from prosecution, because they'd be the majority (at least locally). This also plants a seed for distrust in non-Jews in that region, but this will not be overcome, unless there is safety and peace in the region.
I think there is an element of spin (or ‘Zionist propaganda’, if you will) in that idea. Sure, safe place for ‘Jews’, nice idea, but first of all, they shouldn’t have sited ‘Israel’ where they did, and secondly, the way they have been treating the natives since they stole their land should be taken into account. The big bloody lesson of the holocaust was supposed to be that ethnic cleansing is wrong, just because someone is a ‘Jew’ doesn’t mean the lesson doesn’t apply to them. The Zionists’ justifications for continuing their nasty little apartheid regime stink to high heaven, being a grotesque combination of racism and religious madness.
     
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Dec 20, 2008, 01:56 PM
 
I'm apparently on someone's ignore list.
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Dec 20, 2008, 02:42 PM
 
This whole "'your national solution lies elsewhere", sounds vaguely like what people converting from Islam hear in some muslim countries. Except "'your national solution lies elsewhere" is more like "a bullet to the head" or "life in prison".
     
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Dec 21, 2008, 06:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
Was I generalising? Didn’t mean to, at any rate. I usually expressly use the word ‘Zionist’ to criticise Zionists. Non-Zionists who want to pretend they’re ‘Jews’ I have no particular problem with.
Huh? You equate Jews and Zionists?
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
I think there is an element of spin (or ‘Zionist propaganda’, if you will) in that idea.
I have no idea what you mean here.
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
Sure, safe place for ‘Jews’, nice idea, but first of all, they shouldn’t have sited ‘Israel’ where they did, and secondly, the way they have been treating the natives since they stole their land should be taken into account.
Even so, they're there now and -- like it or not -- it'd be equally wrong to displace several million Israelis. And they're there, because Europeans have mistreated them for centuries -- which culminated in displacement and genocide.
There isn't going to be a dogmatic solution, just a pragmatic one. Israel's neighbors have to accept that it's there to stay. Israel has to start making serious efforts to not start needless fights (e. g. second Lebanon war) or cripple the Palestinian people and then act surprised if they continue to live in poverty and are seriously ticked off.
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Dec 21, 2008, 07:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
The big bloody lesson of the holocaust was supposed to be that ethnic cleansing is wrong, just because someone is a ‘Jew’ doesn’t mean the lesson doesn’t apply to them.
I was once out with a friend and we both got ethnically cleansed from a bar because he was being a twit.
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Dec 21, 2008, 08:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Huh? You equate Jews and Zionists?
Of course not, where did you get that idea? When I use the word ‘Zionist’, I am referring to anyone who supports the existence of a racist state for ‘Jews’.

I have no idea what you mean here.
I mean that it appears to me that it is in the interest of Zionists to push the notion of the state of ‘Israel’ as a sanctuary for eternal victims, and to vilify anyone who dares to remember that the founders of the state were a bunch of racist thieves.

Even so, they're there now and -- like it or not -- it'd be equally wrong to displace several million Israelis.
Who has suggested displacing several million Israelis? You’d obviously have to displace settlers from their illegal settlements, but beyond that, I personally do not see the logic of additional displacements, as that would appear to actually justify Zionist victim culture. The way I see it, and I don’t think most people are asking for anything more, the only thing that the Israeli government should do is abandon its apartheid system and grant full and equal citizenship to every resident of the entire region, regardless of ethnicity or religion. Yes, that would mean Israel would no longer be a ‘Jewish State’. Yes, I do think that would be a good thing. Zionists appear to be suggesting that those evil Arabs and terrorists whose land they have stolen would use that newfound freedom to throw all the ‘Jews’ into concentration camps or drive them into the desert, or something, but quite frankly, I think that’s completely ridiculous, unfounded, and racist.

And they're there, because Europeans have mistreated them for centuries -- which culminated in displacement and genocide.
No excuse for them to act like a bunch of Nazis.

There isn't going to be a dogmatic solution, just a pragmatic one. Israel's neighbors have to accept that it's there to stay. Israel has to start making serious efforts to not start needless fights (e. g. second Lebanon war) or cripple the Palestinian people and then act surprised if they continue to live in poverty and are seriously ticked off.
Agreed, with caveats. Israel’s neighbours do not have to accept an apartheid state in their back yard, why should they? They should have to accept the existence of a truly democratic ‘Israel’, yes, but expecting them to endorse a criminal and racist regime seems like lunacy to me.
     
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Dec 21, 2008, 08:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I was once out with a friend and we both got ethnically cleansed from a bar because he was being a twit.
People are trying to have meaningful conversations about actual ethnic cleansing, I find it disappointing that a moderator should attempt to sabotage that noble endeavour by applying the term to something it clearly is not and making silly jokes.
     
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Dec 21, 2008, 09:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
Of course not, where did you get that idea? When I use the word ‘Zionist’, I am referring to anyone who supports the existence of a racist state for ‘Jews’.
Well, from your own words, you wrote `Non-Zionists who want to pretend they’re ‘Jews’ I have no particular problem with.' That means you wrote that non-zionists are at best pretending to be Jews and that real Jews must also be zionists.

Anyway, I don't want to sidetrack the discussion.
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
I mean that it appears to me that it is in the interest of Zionists to push the notion of the state of ‘Israel’ as a sanctuary for eternal victims, and to vilify anyone who dares to remember that the founders of the state were a bunch of racist thieves.
That's the premise under which Israel has been created. Perhaps it will outlive this premise (e. g. by demographics), because in large parts of the world (civilized) world, the conditions have changed.

However, from what I can tell, both sides like to show off how much they are victimized `by the other side'. On a personal level, you have sympathy for a family in Gaza that was forced out of their home or had a relative shot. Or with an Israeli mother who lost a child during a terrorist attack. But from a bird's perspective, you don't see this anymore. Both sides have plenty of blood on their hands.
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
Who has suggested displacing several million Israelis? You’d obviously have to displace settlers from their illegal settlements, but beyond that, I personally do not see the logic of additional displacements, as that would appear to actually justify Zionist victim culture.
Saying that `... they shouldn’t have sited ‘Israel’ where they did, and secondly, the way they have been treating the natives since they stole their land should be taken into account.' means that they should rather go to some `less problematic place' (the US, I suppose).
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
Agreed, with caveats. Israel’s neighbours do not have to accept an apartheid state in their back yard, why should they? They should have to accept the existence of a truly democratic ‘Israel’, yes, but expecting them to endorse a criminal and racist regime seems like lunacy to me.
Well, most of the other states are actually worse with no democratic rule of law anyway. It's phony if you blame Israel for the problems in the region, complain how badly they're treated, but you refuse to grant basic human rights to your own citizens and accept Palestinian refugees.

The problem is that most of the arguments are vetted with convenient half-truths.
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Dec 21, 2008, 10:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
People are trying to have meaningful conversations about actual ethnic cleansing, I find it disappointing that a moderator should attempt to sabotage that noble endeavour by applying the term to something it clearly is not and making silly jokes.
He seems to be suggesting that you're being so loose with the term "ethnic cleansing" that you're not really to be taken more seriously than he has.
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red rocket
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Dec 21, 2008, 10:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Well, from your own words, you wrote `Non-Zionists who want to pretend they’re ‘Jews’ I have no particular problem with.' That means you wrote that non-zionists are at best pretending to be Jews and that real Jews must also be zionists.
That isn’t what I was trying to convey.

If I wanted to phrase that sentence more colloquially, it would read ‘Non-Zionist Jews I have no problem with’.

Because I don’t recognise the people who are calling themselves ‘Jews’ nowadays as a coherent tribe, I am placing the word in apostrophes.

The word ‘pretend’ is intended to accentuate my view that people who see and feel themselves as ‘Jews’, ‘Vikings’, ‘Jedi’, whatever, part of some epic genetic legend, whether their ancestors have been converted or not, are engaging in identity building. To me, that is a game, they are telling themselves they are something, presumably to make themselves feel better about themselves. I do not have a problem with the fact that they are playing this game, most people do it. Well, I have a small problem with it, indicated by my signature image, therefore I included the word ‘particular’.

Saying that `... they shouldn’t have sited ‘Israel’ where they did, and secondly, the way they have been treating the natives since they stole their land should be taken into account.' means that they should rather go to some `less problematic place' (the US, I suppose).
Should have gone. Past tense. I’m opposed to displacing them from Palestine in the present or future, not least because that would give Zionists reason to bitch about it.

Well, most of the other states are actually worse with no democratic rule of law anyway. It's phony if you blame Israel for the problems in the region, complain how badly they're treated, but you refuse to grant basic human rights to your own citizens and accept Palestinian refugees.

The problem is that most of the arguments are vetted with convenient half-truths.
That would seem to be a problem that occurs with most colonisation efforts. Most African countries appear to be run badly, that does not justify saying that any of them would not have been well within their rights to berate the Rhodesian government for being a pack of white racists.
     
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Dec 21, 2008, 11:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
If I wanted to phrase that sentence more colloquially, it would read ‘Non-Zionist Jews I have no problem with’.
Perhaps that's what you wanted to say, but that wasn't what you wrote.
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
Because I don’t recognise the people who are calling themselves ‘Jews’ nowadays as a coherent tribe, I am placing the word in apostrophes.
Jews, like Catholics, Sunni, Shii and Buddhists are members of a religion, not a people. You don't need to include quotation marks for that, it's a simple statement of fact. If they consider themselves to be `part of a tribe' in a religious sense, then so they shall.
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
That would seem to be a problem that occurs with most colonisation efforts. Most African countries appear to be run badly, that does not justify saying that any of them would not have been well within their rights to berate the Rhodesian government for being a pack of white racists.
As I said, it's a thick forest of half-truths (which are the most dangerous form of deception): they use the suffering of the Palestinian people to further their own goals if it suits them. Who are these generous sheiks that would rather supply weapons than a perspective, who use a people to fight proxy wars.

After the colonizing force is gone, the natives are responsible for their own actions.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Dec 22, 2008 at 10:50 AM. Reason: deleted one superfluous quote)
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Dec 21, 2008, 02:43 PM
 
You're being quite fair with most of your comments here, OC, but I just wanted to point out that Israel has been far kinder to its fifth column than almost any other power would be under the circumstances. Practically any other world power faced with the same predicament would have completely eradicated populations aiding and abetting terrorism and open warfare against it, and few in the world would even take notice. Practically any other country on earth would have depopulated a shat-hole like Gaza by now. Only Israel is held to a standard far different from the standard every other sovereign country on earth is held to.

Over the course of its history, Israel has expended massive amounts of resources in trying to get its Arab population to love it. Israel created infrastructure, schools and universities for them and brought them out of their quaint villages to give them all of these things and a vastly better standard of living than they previously enjoyed, but instead of pacifying the population and making them appreciate the reality of the Jewish state, it just emboldened and radicalized vast amounts of them. Certainly Israel has done things to anger them as well, but they would be angry and radicalized no matter what. Hamas will never eliminate from its charter the destruction of Israel. Those who support terrorism will never be happy unless the Arabs completely conquer and devour. But it most definitely would have produced far less hatred, jealousy and terrorism over the years if Israel had pursued population transfer policies instead because most of the Arabs would be living in any of the 52 Arab/Muslim countries on earth instead of being the perpetual thorn in Israel's side that the Torah predicts non-Jews will be when they're allowed to stay in the land.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 21, 2008 at 02:52 PM. )

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Dec 22, 2008, 07:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Over the course of its history, Israel has expended massive amounts of resources in trying to get its Arab population to love it. Israel created infrastructure, schools and universities for them and brought them out of their quaint villages to give them all of these things and a vastly better standard of living than they previously enjoyed, but instead of pacifying the population and making them appreciate the reality of the Jewish state, it just emboldened and radicalized vast amounts of them.
I think you're mixing Palestinians and non-Jewish Israeli citizens here. I'll focus on the latter only since they are the topic of this thread. Citizens can only actively support a state if they identify with it -- which is not the case with non-Jewish Israelis, by silent consent from both sides: the Jewish side says that Israel should be a Jewish state whereas the Arab side doesn't seem to want to change it from within. The situation reminds me of the state of denial Germany has been in with its immigrants: many of them don't really identify themselves with the place they have lived in all of their lives.

Also, even though Israel in part tries hard to give their non-Jewish population advantages, there are places when they encounter racism on a fundamental level (e. g. Palestinians living in Jerusalem are systematically pushed out).
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Certainly Israel has done things to anger them as well, but they would be angry and radicalized no matter what. ... But it most definitely would have produced far less hatred, jealousy and terrorism over the years if Israel had pursued population transfer policies instead because most of the Arabs would be living in any of the 52 Arab/Muslim countries on earth instead of being the perpetual thorn in Israel's side that the Torah predicts non-Jews will be when they're allowed to stay in the land.
By the same argument, the displacement of Jews in that region would `solve' the conflict as well. Since there are less Jews living in that region than Muslims, this is the `easier' solution.

The way you write, you imply that the land, all of it, legitimately belongs to Jews (of Israel). You assume that Jews have `more of a right' of being there than muslims. That's not the case. You also assumes that the Israeli-Palestinian territory is some piece of exchangeable land (for the Muslim side). It's not. The cultural significance of this strip of land, the cradle of Christian, Jewish and Muslim civilization, cannot be underestimated.
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Dec 22, 2008, 07:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I think you're mixing Palestinians and non-Jewish Israeli citizens here.
I don't understand the necessary distinction here. This was the same thing Sayf told me and I responded with an article that seems to suggest there is little difference other than where they're living.

I'll focus on the latter only since they are the topic of this thread. Citizens can only actively support a state if they identify with it -- which is not the case with non-Jewish Israelis, by silent consent from both sides: the Jewish side says that Israel should be a Jewish state whereas the Arab side doesn't seem to want to change it from within.
So... are you saying that the Arab side is not upset by the "your national solution lies elsewhere" statement? If yes-they are upset, why?

The situation reminds me of the state of denial Germany has been in with its immigrants: many of them don't really identify themselves with the place they have lived in all of their lives.
It works in reverse too though as evidenced by the Iranian Jew, identifying itself with Iran even though it does not enjoy the degree of freedom it has in Israel.

Also, even though Israel in part tries hard to give their non-Jewish population advantages, there are places when they encounter racism on a fundamental level (e. g. Palestinians living in Jerusalem are systematically pushed out).
See how difficult it is to separate non-Jewish, Arab Israelis and Palestinians?

By the same argument, the displacement of Jews in that region would `solve' the conflict as well. Since there are less Jews living in that region than Muslims, this is the `easier' solution.
This is not the "easier" solution or it would've been the case a long time ago. We seem to forget that this notion has been tried and it failed. This land was held through military might. I'm not saying this is a good thing as it is an unfortunate aspect of human nature, but it is so. There are those who would use the Palestinian as a pawn (not allowing them into their own regions) to perpetuate the struggle in Israel. It would be silly, almost criminally negligent to not address this potentiality given the incredibly hostile history of the region. This is the uncomfortable position of the Israeli, of course not to disregard the plight of Palestinians, but this is simply the way of things.

The way you write, you imply that the land, all of it, legitimately belongs to Jews (of Israel). You assume that Jews have `more of a right' of being there than muslims. That's not the case. You also assumes that the Israeli-Palestinian territory is some piece of exchangeable land (for the Muslim side). It's not. The cultural significance of this strip of land, the cradle of Christian, Jewish and Muslim civilization, cannot be underestimated.
Please clarify the history of this land from the Arab perspective and its cultural significance to them with the related dates. Particularly, how this land is the cradle of Muslim civilization. This seems to be the crux of the hostility and I'm not sure it's enough to simply say; "that's not the case" as a great many believe it is.
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Dec 22, 2008, 08:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Perhaps that's what you wanted to say, but that wasn't what you wrote.
I carefully consider every single word and punctuation mark, my original sentence conveys its intended meaning exactly. The fact that you misunderstood me so completely is not due to some fuzzy wording on my part, it is because you are probably more accustomed to sloppy speech than to precision semantics.

Let me express it in German for you: Ich benutze üblicherweise bewusst das Wort „Zionisten“ um Zionisten zu kritisieren. Mit Nicht-Zionisten, die sich vorgaukeln wollen, daß sie „Juden“ sind, habe ich kein besonderes Problem.

☝Daraus kann man meines Erachtens schlussfolgern, daß ich eine klare Trennung zwischen Zionisten und Typen, die sich „Juden“ nennen, durchführe.


Jews, like Catholics, Sunni, Shii and Buddhists are members of a religion, not a people. You don't need to include quotation marks for that, it's a simple statement of fact. If they consider themselves to be `part of a tribe' in a religious sense, then so they shall.
What makes one a ‘Jew’? It seems quite clear what makes one a ‘Catholic’, a ‘Sunni’, a ‘Shiite’, or a ‘Buddhist’: you just subscribe to a specific set of beliefs, then you call yourself a name. It seems to be more diffuse for some ‘Jews’ who apparently feel the need to make crazy genetic claims. Example: A few months ago, they had this settler on television who was throwing rocks at a family of Palestinian Arabs who lived in the village beneath the settlement. He was raving to the journalist that ‘God had given His Chosen People the land, why don’t you read the Bible, says so right there’. Now, anyone could tell that that guy was not a genetic descendant of the people who are being referred to in the Bible but a white guy with perhaps a little Ashkenazi in him, meaning he was at best partly descended from converts. Not one of ‘His People’ in any rational sense of the word, ergo not really a ‘Jew’ in the Biblical sense, certainly less so than the ‘Palestinians’ he was so enjoying throwing rocks at.
     
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Dec 22, 2008, 08:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
Let me express it in German for you: [i]Ich benutze üblicherweise bewusst das Wort „Zionisten“ um Zionisten zu kritisieren. Mit Nicht-Zionisten, die sich vorgaukeln wollen, daß sie „Juden“ sind, habe ich kein besonderes Problem.

☝Daraus kann man meines Erachtens schlussfolgern, daß ich eine klare Trennung zwischen Zionisten und Typen, die sich „Juden“ nennen, durchführe.
The problem with the German sentences is still exactly the same as the English sentence: you equate Zionists and Jews, because all non-Zionist Jews just try to convince themselves/pretend they're Jewish.
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
What makes one a ‘Jew’? It seems quite clear what makes one a ‘Catholic’, a ‘Sunni’, a ‘Shiite’, or a ‘Buddhist’: you just subscribe to a specific set of beliefs, then you call yourself a name.
It's the same for Jews: either you're the child of a Jewish mother or you have converted to Judaism. For Muslims, the rules are different. Ditto for Christians (which need to be baptized, for example). Again, it's not whether you agree with a particular set of religious traditions, it's just a statement of fact that people also identify themselves via their religion. For example, it's meaningless to make the argument that Bill Maher and Sarah Palin can be considered Jews, because they think of themselves as an atheist and a Christian, respectively. They feel they belong that one group or the other.
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
It seems to be more diffuse for some ‘Jews’ who apparently feel the need to make crazy genetic claims.
It's no more or less crazy than Apostolic Succession of the Catholic Church. (I do give the Catholics that they have done a relatively good job at documenting that.) If somebody's family has been Jewish for as long as it is known, then it doesn't matter whether they are `genetically Jewish' (which is a meaningless attribute anyway). You seem gung-ho about the strong sense of identification Jews get from their religion.

Genetically, we all seem to originate from Africa anyway
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
Example: A few months ago, they had this settler on television who was throwing rocks at a family of Palestinian Arabs who lived in the village beneath the settlement. ... Not one of ‘His People’ in any rational sense of the word, ergo not really a ‘Jew’ in the Biblical sense, certainly less so than the ‘Palestinians’ he was so enjoying throwing rocks at.
He was using `his people' for Jewish which makes absolute sense. After all, Jews (just like Catholics or people with blond hair and brown eyes) are just a group of people.
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Dec 22, 2008, 08:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I don't understand the necessary distinction here. This was the same thing Sayf told me and I responded with an article that seems to suggest there is little difference other than where they're living.
Huh? The distinction is obvious: one group are citizens of the state of Israel and they enjoy all the rights that come with that. If the state infringes upon the rights of their own citizens, then yes, this is a different matter. The second group are not citizens of Israel.

I don't think that's so hard to understand.
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
So... are you saying that the Arab side is not upset by the "your national solution lies elsewhere" statement? If yes-they are upset, why?
I'm not sure where you got that from. Yes, they are very upset, it's just another instance when they aren't respect as citizens with equal rights.
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
See how difficult it is to separate non-Jewish, Arab Israelis and Palestinians?
It's not difficult at all. In case of Jerusalem, the state of affairs is a little more intricate, because they have special IDs. Non-Israeli citizens also pay taxes to the state of Israel, but they do not enjoy the same rights as citizens, for instance. Just because in this particular instance, many of the disadvantages concern Israeli and non-Israeli Arabs alike, doesn't mean there is any problem making a distinction between Israelis and non-Israelis -- that is very simple.
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
This is not the "easier" solution or it would've been the case a long time ago. We seem to forget that this notion has been tried and it failed. This land was held through military might.
Displacing millions of non-Jewish citizens for such a small country will be impossible. Israel would implode (just have a look at Iraq and Afghanistan). The fact that the two hypothetical scenarios are a practical impossibility doesn't mean we can discuss the validity and the ramifications themselves.
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Please clarify the history of this land from the Arab perspective and its cultural significance to them with the related dates. Particularly, how this land is the cradle of Muslim civilization. This seems to be the crux of the hostility and I'm not sure it's enough to simply say; "that's not the case" as a great many believe it is.
Do I really have to explain the cultural significance of the Temple Mount which is a sanctuary to both Jews and Muslims alike? The Dome of the Rock is the oldest islamic structure that has survived the turn of time. And I think the significance for Christians is clear, too, right?
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Dec 22, 2008, 09:01 AM
 
It's nearly pointless to argue the facts of the Arab-Israeli Conflict in a venue such as this one. OC brings up the same hollow arguments against Israel repeatedly, in an attempt to be "fair." Earth to OC: Israel's existence is a fact of life; the modern state has existed almost as long as the modern Arab states, and there is no such thing as Palestine. The only viable solution to the conflict is the one I've outlined. A third exile for the Jewish people from their (our) land is not viable, sensible or at all justified. The Jewish people have a biblical/religious mandate, an ancient historical mandate and a modern historical mandate to enjoy sovereignty over its God given land. It's paid for the land in blood many times around two thousand years before the advent of Mohammed, not to mention all of the Jewish blood spilled in the modern defensive wars Israel has been forced to fight.

The only thing that destroying Israel would do would be to fulfill the wildest dreams of the Arabists and serve to further convince them that terrorism is the most effective tool against the "infidel" and that Sharia's dominance across the globe would not be far away. That's what you want when you advocate destroying Israel in response to my calls to repatriate the Arabs to where they should be living - any of the 52 countries God has given them to dominate. Oh, and the cradle of Islamic "civilization" is located in Saudi Arabia. Mohammed never set foot in the land of Israel, and Jerusalem is never once mentioned by name in the Koran, compared to hundreds of named references to Mecca and Medina.

Meanwhile rocket apparently thinks that all Jews are Zionists. Wow, if only that were the case, but until scores of demented left-wing, self-hating Jews simply disappear from the earth that's a ridiculous, comical falsehood. Sigh.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 22, 2008 at 09:55 AM. )

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Dec 22, 2008, 10:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
It's nearly pointless to argue the facts of the Arab-Israeli Conflict in a venue such as this one. OC brings up the same hollow arguments against Israel repeatedly, in an attempt to be "fair." Earth to OC: Israel's existence is a fact of life; the modern state has existed almost as long as the modern Arab states, and there is no such thing as Palestine.
Have you really read my previous posts, including the exchange with ebuddy? You're talking to the wrong person.
As for the rest of your rant, I see no obvious connection to what I have posted.
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Oh, and the cradle of Islamic "civilization" is located in Saudi Arabia. Mohammed never set foot in the land of Israel, and Jerusalem is never once mentioned by name in the Koran, compared to hundreds of named references to Mecca and Medina.
According to muslim liturgy Mohammed ascended at the place where the Dome of the Rock stands today. And Jesus (whose connection to Jerusalem needs no explanation) is the second-most important prophet in Islam.

I have a hard time believing that you are not aware of this.
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Dec 22, 2008, 10:40 AM
 
Have you really read my previous posts, including the exchange with ebuddy? You're talking to the wrong person.
As for the rest of your rant, I see no obvious connection to what I have posted.
No, I think I'm talking to the right person. ebuddy called you on the inaccuracies of your claims. I didn't see you have much of an exchange with him (admittedly I only really read his first cogent post on the subject to you), but if you withdrew those assertions then at least that's some progress.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
According to muslim liturgy Mohammed ascended at the place where the Dome of the Rock stands today.
I can show you official Egyptian newspaper articles attesting to the falsity of that belief. There's no evidence whatsoever that the "farthest mosque" in the Night Journey narrative was meant to be the Temple Mount. I know a whole lot more about Islamic theology than you assume I do, trust me. I write about these topics part time for money.

And Jesus (whose connection to Jerusalem needs no explanation) is the second-most important prophet in Islam.
That doesn't mean Jerusalem is of any important to the core of Islam. If it had been then Jerusalem would have been referenced by name in the Koran. If it had been, the land wouldn't have been left largely uninhabited for most of the centuries that Islamic powers controlled it. And after all, if you take the Muslim preachers and officials in Israel at their word, they claim to believe there never was a Jewish presence in the land of Israel. I'm sure you've heard the Arab line that goes something like, "There are no holy sites to Jews in this country." Therefore, the land should be of no importance to them because they apparently believe Jesus never existed there.

OC, as I said before, it's literally part of my business to know these things. You're in over your head debating me on this topic. It's not a fair fight.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 22, 2008 at 10:51 AM. )

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Dec 22, 2008, 10:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
No, I think I'm talking to the right person. ebuddy called you on the inaccuracies of your claims.
Apparently you've read a different conversation.
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I can show you official Egyptian newspaper articles attesting to the falsity of that belief. There's no evidence whatsoever that the "farthest mosque" in the Night Journey narrative was meant to be the Temple Mount.
… and they'd be irrelevant, because the symbolic significance to Islam isn't changed one iota. You're ignoring the real issue by trying to disprove the legitimacy of the importance of these religious sanctuaries. By the same token, taken from a Jewish perspective, the Son of God, a carpenter by the name of Jesus didn't exist and thus, all this attention on places like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is unwarranted. All the Christians could very well give up these old buildings … 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I know a whole lot more about Islamic theology than you assume I do, trust me. I write about these topics part time for money.
That doesn't make your argument any more valid. And proof by intimidation doesn't work well with me, thank you very much.


And please stop making assumptions about what I believe and where I take my information from. I don't appreciate it if people put words in my mouth. If you have questions about my opinions, please ask. But don't put the words of muslim preachers in my mouth (a demographic I've literally had zero contact to).
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Dec 22, 2008 at 11:06 AM. )
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Dec 22, 2008, 11:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Apparently you've read a different conversation.
Sure, whatever you say.

… and they'd be irrelevant, because the symbolic significance to Islam isn't changed one iota. You're ignoring the real issue by trying to disprove the legitimacy of the importance of these religious sanctuaries.
No, I'm saying that Jerusalem (and certainly the rest of Israel) is not of theological importance to Islam. Centuries after Mohammed's death his successors came to the site of the Holy Temple and built an Islamic shrine there because they knew of its importance to Judaism and Christianity. They valued it as a holy place, it seems, but they did not believe it to be the farthest mosque of the Night Journey. That explanation was made up some time afterward.

By the same token, taken from a Jewish perspective, the Son of God, a carpenter by the name of Jesus didn't exist and thus, all this attention on places like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is unwarranted. All the Christians could very well give up these old buildings …
No, Jews don't claim that. Some question whether there was an historical personage by that name. We certainly reject his messianic credentials or divine claims. But we do not deny that the religion of Christianity was largely initially based in Israel. You have no basis for making the claim that Jews would ever deny the historicity of the ancient extant churches in Israel. But Islam, which arrived in the land of Israel thousands of years after Judaism, and which never claimed at a theological level to have a connection with the land of Israel, is decidedly not deeply connected to the land of Israel. It's not, and no matter what kind of rhetoric you wish to throw around, you're not going to change historical fact. It's a shallow and superficial connection based on late historical and theological claims at most, claims vastly outweighed by the four thousand year Jewish history and connection to the land eternally given to the Jewish people.

That doesn't make your argument any more valid. And proof by intimidation doesn't work well with me, thank you very much.
As for the relative merits of my contentions, I personally know the relative value of my arguments versus yours, but others can judge for themselves. I do know that by virtue of the fact of my personal connection to the subject matter as a religious Jew, my academic study of the subject, the knowledge I've gained from writing about it in a professional capacity, and the time I've spent in Israel, I am very confident that I am far more knowledgeable when it comes to these subjects than you plausibly could be. Not a critique, not an insult, just a fact. And if I'm stepping over the line with any of these remarks, you'll let me know. But there's no attempt at intimidation here, Mr. Mod. This is your court I'm playing on. I just thought it would be kind to let you know that I do this kind of thing for a living, possibly full time in the next year. I've also lectured at universities and debated Muslim thinkers on these points IRL. That's the truth. Do with that information what you like.

. . . But don't put the words of muslim preachers in my mouth (a demographic I've literally had zero contact to).
You're basing your arguments on common myth perpetuated by Muslim preachers in an attempt to debate me. If you want to do that, then I'll give you more of their common arguments to show you the fallacy of relying on their theological claims as a basis of your arguments. I did that, and only because I followed your lead.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 22, 2008 at 11:44 AM. )

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Dec 22, 2008, 11:51 AM
 
It's difficult to give any weight to the "connection to the land" argument when it's based entirely on a religious belief that not everyone shares, regardless of which religion is making the claim. Perhaps America should be given back to the Indians and Australia back to the Aborigines; there's no question that they had very strong connections to the land that was taken from them.
     
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Dec 22, 2008, 12:00 PM
 
I'm not asking you to accept a wholly religious claim to any land. I spelled out the various claims of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, only one of which is religious. To me, that is the most important of the claims, but it is only one. Try reading more closely next time though.

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Dec 22, 2008, 01:39 PM
 
Jews are in a unique category in that they are both a ethnic group and a religion. (google Kohen gene) One can be born a Jew, but not a Catholic, I have never heard of an "Ethnic Catholic" Archeological digs continue to uncover older and older artifacts showing a Jewish presence. It was an "Arab" (a term created by the British) that discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Jordan, formerly part of "Palestine", could have absorbed those who chose to take the advice of the surrounding governments and left when the war began. Instead their brother Muslims have chosen to use them as pawns. One result was "Black September" , when Arafat declared his own government and attempted to overthrown King Hussein. The PLO was expelled and then setup shop in Lebanon, eventually resulting in the Lebanese Civil War.
( Last edited by Chongo; Dec 22, 2008 at 08:54 PM. )
     
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Dec 22, 2008, 05:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I know a whole lot more about Islamic theology than you assume I do, trust me. I write about these topics part time for money.
Now that one actually caused a laugh in me, thanks for that.


Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
That doesn't mean Jerusalem is of any important to the core of Islam. If it had been then Jerusalem would have been referenced by name in the Koran. If it had been, the land wouldn't have been left largely uninhabited for most of the centuries that Islamic powers controlled it.
Jerusalem may not be as important as Mecca and not part of a religious ritual, but nonetheless is Jerusalem very important for the muslims because:

a) it is mentioned in the torah and gospels, is part of the history of the jews and you might find it strange, but this history and interaction with God has become an inheritance for us muslims, as the Quran retells all the story of Moses and his followers from Egypt to Israel as well as Abraham's one...

b) because of a) the early muslims prayed in the direction of Jerusalem, and Muhammad had a spiritual experience with Jerusalem and the major, mostly jewish, prophets.

c) because of a) and b) the emperial muslims conquered Jerusalem (and fought many wars because of it) and allowed jews to return to it, after the roman empire banned jews from there.

So you have a three-form-connection between jerusalem and muslims: a religious history-inheritance-one , a spiritual prophet-one and a bloodletting one.

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Dec 23, 2008, 02:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Taliesin View Post
Jerusalem may not be as important as Mecca and not part of a religious ritual
Thank you for conceding that point. The important cities in the Islamic faith are Mecca and Medina, both in Saudi Arabia, and both far away from the geographic bounds of even "Greater Israel," let alone the territory of the modern state.

but nonetheless is Jerusalem very important for the muslims because:

a) it is mentioned in the torah and gospels, is part of the history of the jews and you might find it strange, but this history and interaction with God has become an inheritance for us muslims, as the Quran retells all the story of Moses and his followers from Egypt to Israel as well as Abraham's one...
It is true that Islam supposedly values the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Bible. The Koran even says that one can look at those older writings as validation of its statements. But if Islam truly valued Judaism and Christianity, it would respect the Torah when it is stated throughout that the land of Israel is given to the people of Israel as an eternal possession. It wouldn't try to co-opt, replace and usurp the possessions of the other religions it purportedly respects. It wouldn't claim that the prophets of Judaism and the founders of Christianity weren't either Jews or Christians as they truly were but were instead "Muslims." It wouldn't claim that all the holy sites to Jews and Christians in the land of Israel are actually Muslim sites, and it wouldn't claim that Jews never existed in the land of Israel.

b) because of a) the early muslims prayed in the direction of Jerusalem, and Muhammad had a spiritual experience with Jerusalem and the major, mostly jewish, prophets.
Early Muslims prayed in the direction of Jerusalem until Mohammed was rejected as a false prophet by the Jewish leaders of Arabia, after which the direction of prayer was changed so that Muslims would pray with their backs toward Jerusalem. And while I appreciate you recognizing that the prophets to which you refer were "mostly Jewish," Islamic belief about Mohammed supposedly communing with prophets does not give his followers the right to undermine the national destiny of the Jewish people and the repeatedly prophesied eventual return of my people to our eternal homeland.

c) because of a) and b) the emperial muslims conquered Jerusalem (and fought many wars because of it) and allowed jews to return to it, after the roman empire banned jews from there.
While there were some Muslim leaders who were comparatively tolerant toward Jews and even Christians (Saladin comes to mind most notably), the fact that Muslim powers conquered and held the land of Israel for a long time does not mean that Islam has an irrevocable right to the land. A lot of blood was spilled in conquests of the land. Muslim and Christian forces both slaughtered Jews in the process of slaughtering each other. In the late 19th Century Jews decided it was time to come home in a serious way, and in 1948 the process of ending non-Jewish control over the land of Israel and fulfilling prophecy in a serious way came to fruition. It took a major step forward in 1968. Since then, due to a lack of faith and courage, we've gone backward; since 1993 we've taken gigantic steps backward. But eventually the prophecies will be completely fulfilled, and all those who stand in Israel's way stand not only against the people of Israel but the God of Israel. It would be smart and prudent for Muslims to recognize that fact, and it would help speed things if Israel undertook even a fraction of the policies I describe.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 23, 2008 at 02:53 AM. )

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ebuddy
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Dec 23, 2008, 08:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
It's difficult to give any weight to the "connection to the land" argument when it's based entirely on a religious belief that not everyone shares, regardless of which religion is making the claim.
As I mentioned before, the "connection to the land" argument may work only for those who adhere to the faith however, military conquest would generally clear it up for the rest. Like I said, this is an unfortunate aspect of human nature, but it is the way of things.

Perhaps America should be given back to the Indians and Australia back to the Aborigines; there's no question that they had very strong connections to the land that was taken from them.
Should the Cherokees then give back the land they took from the Creeks who took their land from the Chocktaw who took their land from the...

... it is the way of things. With regard to giving back land, the US government has allotted exponentially more land as even the smallest reservation in the US is only 2,000 sq miles smaller than the amount of land afforded the Israeli tribes and the largest reservation is literally 27 times the amount of land given the Israeli tribes. Should we regard the Arabs of the Middle East exponentially more cruel to the Israeli tribes than the US has been to the Native American?
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Dec 23, 2008, 09:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The problem with the German sentences is still exactly the same as the English sentence: you equate Zionists and Jews, because all non-Zionist Jews just try to convince themselves/pretend they're Jewish.
The Zionists seem no more ‘Jewish’ to me than the Non-Zionists. As a matter of fact, some Non-Zionist Jews I have come across strike me as more believably Jewish (as in understanding their own religion) than their Zionist counterparts.

I am guessing our little communication failure arises from my use of apostrophes. I could leave them out in the interest of political correctness, but to my mind, that would suggest an acknowledgement of the popular but dishonest Zionist technique of equating itself with Judaism. I have never supported that insane and odious view previously, and it seems perfectly obvious to me that I have not supported it in those sentences of mine, and even if you missed that, it should still be clear from the context.

He was using `his people' for Jewish which makes absolute sense. After all, Jews (just like Catholics or people with blond hair and brown eyes) are just a group of people.
None of it makes sense to me. If someone who is a descendant of converts professes to be the genetic heir to some ancient tribe that started a religion that says they are the chosen race of a mythical deity and actively endorses ethnic cleansing based on that assumption, I think one should call him out on his lack of a rational faculty.
     
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Dec 23, 2008, 09:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
As I mentioned before, the "connection to the land" argument may work only for those who adhere to the faith however, military conquest would generally clear it up for the rest. Like I said, this is an unfortunate aspect of human nature, but it is the way of things.
Exactly my point. IMO, it's moot to argue "it's our land because: we were there first", we were there longer", we were before you took it from us", our god gave it to us". The creation of Israel is merely the most recent case of claiming this land via military conquest. Of course, the Jews have every right to live there and defend themselves against attempts of military conquest. Why they'd *want* to live in a region where they're surrounded by age-old enemies is beyond me, but that's certainly their right.

What I've always taken issue with about Israel is *how* the country defends itself. It seems to use tactics designed to *encourage" violence rather than to end the conflict while at the same time participating in peace discussions. I think there are some people in Israel who either benefit from the conflict or are just as hateful as some Palestinians and either don't want the conflict to end or want to obliterate the Palestinians and seek to aggravate the conflict to suit their goals.
     
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Dec 23, 2008, 10:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
I am guessing our little communication failure arises from my use of apostrophes. I could leave them out in the interest of political correctness, but to my mind, that would suggest an acknowledgement of the popular but dishonest Zionist technique of equating itself with Judaism.
IMO leaving out the apostrophes would do the exact opposite. But I don't want to dwell on those sentences forever.
Originally Posted by red rocket View Post
None of it makes sense to me. If someone who is a descendant of converts professes to be the genetic heir to some ancient tribe that started a religion that says they are the chosen race of a mythical deity and actively endorses ethnic cleansing based on that assumption, I think one should call him out on his lack of a rational faculty.
You don't have to subscribe to their belief system or mythology. All you need to do is acknowledge that they have criteria to decide whether or not someone is a Jew (or Muslim or whatnot) or not. It's about consistency within that religious framework. Certainly, Jews are no different than other religious groups in that respect. It's quite common to believe that their group are `the chosen ones.'
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Dec 23, 2008, 12:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Thank you for conceding that point. The important cities in the Islamic faith are Mecca and Medina, both in Saudi Arabia, and both far away from the geographic bounds of even "Greater Israel," let alone the territory of the modern state.
Mecca is the only city necessary for the religious ritual of hajj, Medina is only important because that's where prophet Muhammad lived a good part of his life and founded a city-state in and where he got buried... the Quran doesn't make Medina part of any religious ritual.

In fact Medina has about the same status as Jerusalem, it's importance only due to a prophet's doing and life there, and since the Quran teaches that we muslims should not make a difference between the prophets of God... there you go.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
It is true that Islam supposedly values the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Bible. The Koran even says that one can look at those older writings as validation of its statements. But if Islam truly valued Judaism and Christianity, it would respect the Torah when it is stated throughout that the land of Israel is given to the people of Israel as an eternal possession. It wouldn't try to co-opt, replace and usurp the possessions of the other religions it purportedly respects. It wouldn't claim that the prophets of Judaism and the founders of Christianity weren't either Jews or Christians as they truly were but were instead "Muslims." It wouldn't claim that all the holy sites to Jews and Christians in the land of Israel are actually Muslim sites
Why not? The Quran makes no difference between the prophets of God and their messages, that's why all of God's prophets are muslims, ie. people devoted/submitted to God. The holy land was promised to God's believers and servants... in the past only jews were believers and servants of God, while the rest of the world became indulged in polytheism, but things changed, the jews fell out of favour with God due to their own deviation into polytheism while God inspired newer religions to recreate the original monotheism and to restore His message...

The holy land was promised by God to Abraham and his seed, which includes arabs, the descendants of Ismaeel, the descendant of Abraham... so you have both a religious and blood-connection.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
, and it wouldn't claim that Jews never existed in the land of Israel.
If there are muslims who claim that, they are wrong, as simple as that, there is no scriptural support for such a statement.


Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Early Muslims prayed in the direction of Jerusalem until Mohammed was rejected as a false prophet by the Jewish leaders of Arabia, after which the direction of prayer was changed so that Muslims would pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
Early muslims prayed in direction of Jerusalem out of their own accord, as until then God didn't instruct them a specific praying-direction, since God exists according to the Quran in every direction, so a specific direction would have no spiritual effect in itself.

And yet, the early muslims wanted a specific direction, and so God gave us one. Who knows, if the jews had accepted prophet Muhammad as whole group, maybe God would have given Jerusalem as praying-direction, but that is purely speculation. More probable is that God wanted to restore Abraham's pilgrimage-building to its original monotheism and therefore the praying-direction was given that way. By the way the torah prophesied that there would one day be a holy sanctuary in Arabia, as there was one in Jerusalem.

That it was done in order to turn the back on Jerusalem is highly rediculous as it could only work for a slight angle when north of Mecca.

And that some arabic jewish groups rejected prophet Muhammad was not a surprise as these jews truly deviated from God's path: They were involved in trade-contracts with the polytheists of Mecca, and prophet Muhammad's message was a clear break with the polytheists and so these jews saw their riches and comfort in danger as they would have to annul the trade-contracts with the polytheists, and on top of that prophet Muhammad's message seeked to restore the moral backspine of the torah, namely to not take riba (interest) when lending money or property or whatever, and to give to charity when making profits (20%), and to free slaves when they become believers in God and want to be free, and to not sacrifice or eat pigs, but these jews dealt a lot with pigs...

So because these jews feared a major reduction of their trade-volume and riches, they allianced themselves with their tradepartners, the polytheists of Mecca and became enemies of God and His prophet.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
And while I appreciate you recognizing that the prophets to which you refer were "mostly Jewish," Islamic belief about Mohammed supposedly communing with prophets does not give his followers the right to undermine the national destiny of the Jewish people and the repeatedly prophesied eventual return of my people to our eternal homeland.
Well, at least the prophets coming after Moses until and including Jesus were jews, and yet they were muslims in the fullest sense, as the Quran tells us not to make any difference between the prophets. All true prophets of God were muslims and came with the one and same message, that's a very important concept in the Quran.

Like already said, the holy land was promised for Abraham's seed, of which arabs are part of, who are God's believers, stretching from the nile to the euphrates, including Israel, Syria, Arabia, Jordan and a part of Iraq.

The specific jewish prophecies were prophesied by prophets, ezekiel, jeremia, daniel, during the babylonian capturing, that were designed to keep the morale of the jews up, that their ordeal would one day be over and they would be able to return to Israel. These prophecies were mostly already fulfilled, and the jews returned, only to be expelled again centuries later.

Nowadays the modern recreation of Israel is being reinterpreted using these old prophecies which is rediculous.

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Dec 23, 2008, 12:57 PM
 
Isaiah 17 has yet to be fulfilled, as is Ezekiel 38-39, and the 70th week of Daniel
     
Big Mac
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Dec 23, 2008, 01:09 PM
 
To the contrary, Taliesin, many of the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures have yet to be fulfilled. Some of them did refer to the Babylonian captivity, but many obviously have yet to be fulfilled because the conditions on earth aren't anything like what is described by them. The messianic prophecies have yet to be fulfilled, for one, (ingathering of exiles from the four corners of the earth, universal peace and justice, universal belief in and knowledge of the one God, the Torah going forth to all the nations from Zion, the resurrection of the dead). If you want an exhaustive list of verses you can pay me for the research paper.

If you think the eternal promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has been fulfilled through the children of Ishmael dominating the Middle East, you're mistaken. We've gone over it before - that theology works from an Islamic point of view, perhaps, but it doesn't fly as fulfillment of the Torah. And Mohammed himself claimed that the Koran was "confirmed" by the "Torah" and "Gospel." The Hebrew Scriptures read to him in the 7th Century CE is no different from the Hebrew Scriptures we have today. He believed in what was contained in the Hebrew Scriptures. If the Koran's words are taken at face value, the claim of textual corruption was a later advent, a misinterpretation by Islamic preachers of what he apparently believed. Which means, therefore, that when the Torah and the Hebrew Scriptures as a whole make eternal promises to the Jewish people, Muslims should respect them and not try to reinterpret them in an Islamo-centric way, as you attempt to do here. That belief is untenable from a logical standpoint.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 23, 2008 at 01:21 PM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
 
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