The middle-east conflict - We’ll take any excuse to avoid peace!

Now for a thematic which is pretty likely to get tempers up, but which nontheless never seems to show up here on SEB: Israel/Palestine.

In this article we see once again, that of both sides neither will restrain itself – and both (this time the Israelis) will take any excuse to continue fighting.

(Abstract: Israel cut off negotiations with the new Palestinian prime minister again, because militants ‘linked’ to his government killed several people).

I don’t claim to have the answer to this long fight, though I will admit that I slightly – oh so slightly – favor the Palestianians, for they have a valid case (a foreign-occupied country) whereas Israel… it’s difficult to say without seeming to defend the horror of a suicide attack. But if today, everyone ceased fighting, the Israelis would still be in the wrong (controlling and opressing the Palestinians) whereas if the fighting stopped, the only wrongs the Palestinians would have commited would be in the past.

And wasn’t it Martin Luther King who said that waiting and peaceful protest alone would never create change? Again, I am not supporting Palestinian suicide attacks against civillians, but I consider their struggle itself a valid fight.

I’m sure that some people will rip into these arguments, but I’d like to hear the opinions, especially of the regulars.

The only way I see is a full withdrawal of Israel from Gaza and the West Bank. Then again, Israel has done it’s best to seed those areas with settlers, making this unlikely. I fully expect this war to go on 20-40 years longer. But Israel will lose it for simple demographic reasons.

37 thoughts on “The middle-east conflict - We’ll take any excuse to avoid peace!

  1. I can’t rip into your arguments, Ingolfson.  I’ve always thought that if the Palestinians had Ghandi instead of Arafat, they’d have had their own independent state years ago – for exactly the reason you say.

    Peaceful protest doesn’t work on a ruthless and inhuman opponent but against basically decent people (like the British in India or the Israelis today) it makes continued oppression a burden impossible to bear.

    Yes, I know both the British then and the Israelis now have done things that are not decent but as a people they have a better nature that can be called upon.

    My 2 cents from the comfortable prairie of USA.  We have several regulars who have been there – some lived there – who may pitch in with more insight and solid information.

  2. …but against basically decent people (like the British in India or the Israelis today…

      Ariel Sharon has never been decent.  Do some research on him and he turns out to be as much a terrorist as any of the suicide bombers.  Starting way back in his army days when he countermanded orders to force an Egyptian unit into a fight… the list goes on and on.  We can’t forget that the Israelis also bombed the hell out of a US Navy communications ship and then tried to pretend it was a case of “mistaken identity”.

  3. I second DOF’s opinion, I really do think that the Israelis would be far more likely to respond to peaceful protest than to violence.  Arial Sharon is a bit of a kick ass than ask questions later type, but it seems to me that Israelis in general (at least the ones I’ve met) only want the violence to end and are willing to try to meet some of the Palestinians demands.

  4. I really do have a problem here.  Historically, this area of the world has been occupied by many ethnic groups, so many that its possible for both the Jews and “Palestinians” to claim the exact same area as the Homeland. 

    To put it another way, How long do you have to live in an area before it becomes yours, and not the previous owners?  If you steal something, and someone comes and steals it from you, do you have a right to cry theif?

  5. I agree with all of the above.  It would be silly, given the nature of Israel’s establishment, to assume that the Palestinians would just move over and say, “Sorry, was that your seat?”
    Even if the Israel/Palestine conflict were to end tomorrow, someone else would come along and want themselves a piece of that.

    I find it irritating that many US Jews support Israel blindly and cry Nazi when anyone criticizes.  The Israelis have made as many wrongs as the Palestinians.

    One of my favorite pet peeves is that they use faulty archaeological evidence to support their occupation of the land and use it to rally their troops.  Though the Masada myth was described on many sites I read as falling out of popularity, it’s still a good example of Israeli propaganda.

    Read about Masada in Wikipedia

    I don’t know if they still do this, but they used to train their troops on the hill around Masada to raise morale and give a sense of justification.  Sadly, the archaeological evidence to support the heroic suicide story is sorely lacking. 

    I have 2 problems with this myth:
    1. it smacks of Nazi manipulation of archaeological evidence because many have ignored any evidence which contradicts the story and some have used their desire for its truthfulness to shape their archaeological findings.

    2. it’s a glorification of suicide as heroism.  perhaps it doesn’t involve the killing of many “innocents”—except for the women and children who didn’t want to die (some of which supposedly hid, others of which had to be convinced in an additional speech to kill themselves), but it calls to mind those others who commit suicide in the name of heroism, the suicide bombers.

  6. Yes, this is a real mess, for all the reasons given above.  Unfortunately, I think the Grim Reaper is right about the crux of the problem- two peoples claim the same land.  This of course is a large part of human history and misery, and the problem is insoluble.  It’s always possible to construct ad hoc theories giving one group or the other the “right” to the land, but any such theory is ultimately subjective in the extreme.

    Even supposing that there was a historical Jewish state occupying the land Israel claims today, did that give the Zionists and the British the “right” to drive out 750,000 Palestinians in 1948?

    If prior possession of land, whatever that means (a whole nother can of worms, also insoluble), gives a people the right to get it back, then all the blacks and whites and yellows in America should leave, and the reds should get it back. All of it.

    Sadly, there are no easy or just solutions here.  All we can hope for, and work for, is to disarm the conflicts as far as possible.  This requires seeing our enemies as human.  Not easy.

  7. Basically agreement all around. I should learn not to discuss with reasonable people wink

    But bad jokes aside:

    How long do you have to live in an area before it becomes yours, and not the previous owners?

    Exactly. The Israelis certainly got a right to their state. Two wrongs don’t make a right. But I wonder if they realize (really realize, not only think about it sometimes) that they can’t continue that way. I mean, they are losing ground demographically, both compared to the surrounding countries as well as internally (Israeli arabs, who probably won’t be very supporting of occupation). They HAVE to find a solution.

    I actually thought the wall idea might have worked. But only if they Israelis had withdrawn behind that wall at the same time (giving the Palestinians a state worth the name). Now they want it both ways. Have a wall AND control the ‘barbarians’ beyond the gate.

    I don’t think any Israeli government will have the guts to either forcibly remove the settlements or leave them to fend on their own (=be overrun). The situation is already way to complicated and there’s too much religion and ‘destiny’ involved.

  8. I lived in Israel from 1974 to 1975, and I have been to Masada.

    Shana, your Wikipedia entry says that “some historians no longer believe that there was an organized mass suicide at Masada.”  This is a far cry from “Israeli propaganda.”  There is no need for that kind of hyperbole.  When I was there, and toured the ruins, yes, it was a heartening story that was fervently believed, and may still be as far as I know.  But that’s like saying that George Washington and the cherry tree was propaganda too.

    Let me throw out a hypothetical here for consideration.  As we all know, the Europeans stole this country from the native Americans who lived here.  They killed them by the thousands and millions, drove them into the least hospitable lands, and denied them a way to make a living there, plunging them into poverty so grueling that alcoholism and drugs are now rampant among the population.

    Now, after the British were defeated and the colonists considered America theirs, suppose that the country was immediately attacked by an overwhelming force from Canada and Mexico, which the colonists managed to defeat (more than once).  Suppose that from that day to this, those two countries maintain that their goal is to drive the Americans into the sea.  They fund the native Americans, who attack schools, take athletes hostage at sporting events, fire rockets at homes, and send desperate suicide bombers onto subways and into malls.  They will not stop until ALL of America is vacated.

    Tell me, how would you resolve this?

    It’s very easy for me to understand the Israeli point of view, since the only playground I had there was a bomb shelter.

    Shall we all pack up and move to countries where we might be persecuted for being Americans and still targeted for terrorist attacks?

    Suppose there were nearly more native Americans than conquering Americans.  Should we integrate them into the rest of the country, knowing that at least half of them still want to drive the rest of us out by any means necessary, and that Canada and Mexico would help them?

    It’s a complicated situation, and there have been atrocities perpetrated by both sides.  I don’t have an answer to it, certainly not one that everyone in the region would support.

  9. Actually, if you read the OT as history, you find that the Israelites basically killed many of the tribal inhabitants of the palestinian area, claiming that “GOD” gave them the land.

    Also, many Jews, my husband included, believe that the West Bank and Gaza belong to Israel now by right of conquest after the War of Independence in 1947 (or was it 48?).

    Population growth being what it is, with both groups claiming the same piece of land, I don’t see how there can ever be a peaceful settlement.  Yasser Arafat said the best weapons the Palestinians have is the Palestinian woman’s womb.  And the way the orthodox Jews breed, they’re surely in competition.  Pretty soon, Israel would have needed to annex the WB and Gaza for “lebensraum”

    SG

  10. There was a very interesting scene in one “West Wing” episode (I’m paraphrasing, because I can’t find it right now).  One character says, “Do you know the origins of the conflict in the Middle East?” 

    The other starts to launch into an explanation of the religious and ethnic strife going on for thousands of years—

    The first character interrupts and says, “It’s hot there, and there isn’t enough water.”

    Food for thought …

  11. With so much deep-rooted hate in the region, it’ll take a new generation to make any real progress. The children need to be taught how to work for peace and co-existence and not kill for it. Any resolution of this mess will come from them in the future (if at all) and not from the buffoons of today too busy trying to save face.

  12. I don’t think it’s hyperbole at all to say that the Masada myth is propaganda.  Hyperdictionary defines propaganda as “information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause”

    Definition at Hyperdictionary

    Jews today claim the sands of time have not worn away the message of Masada. The tragedy has inspired both a mini-series and a rock opera. And, next to Jerusalem, Masada has become Israel’s most visited site and its most profitable tourism venue.
    For years the young Israeli state used Masada as the site to swear in their soldiers. After finishing basic training, they would climb the crest of Masada at dawn and take a solemn oath, “We shall remain free men; Masada shall not fall again.

  13. Im somewhat stunned that all you fine young Atheist are missing the real reason for all this strife, death, war, hatred.
    It’s religion of course, this insanity is based solely on religiously driven hatred.

    Christian Zionist, mostly from the USA & horrifyingly a very large percentage right here in the Federal & State Government where these nutjobs have weaseled into power are & have been for over 50+ years been fueling this conflict with million upon millions of US dollars, picking the scabs, festering the wounds, doing everything possible to keep this conflict going.
    So much money & intense interest in this delusional psychopathic world view is there that Israel actually made a position in the Government solely to handle Christian Zionist money & influence.

    This Zionist insanity goes back to at least the 17th century, this culminated in the creation of the Israeli state in 1948

    Most of the books written on Zionism focus on the writings of early Jewish leaders like Moses Hess, who in 1862 wrote Rome and Jerusalem, and mark Theodor Herzl¹s The Jewish State (1897) as the seminal Zionist text. Ironically, however, the Zionist dream was articulated by Christian Zionists many years before Jewish involvement in the dream of restoring a “Jewish state” in Palestine. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, for example, British Puritans (and Americans like the theologian Increase Mather) wrote several treatises on God¹s plan to restore the Jews to their homeland.

    By the early nineteenth century, theological and philosophical works proposing the return of land to Jews had proliferated so widely as to have an effect upon contemporary politics. A long line of British politicians ‹ Palmerston, Lloyd George, T.E. Lawrence and Allenby ‹ were Christian Zionists (or fellow travelers). The Christian Zionist project became political reality when Arthur Balfour proclaimed in his famous “Declaration” of 1917 that Palestine become the homeland for the Jewish people. He believed a modern state of Israel was part of the divine plan announced in Old Testament prophetic literature. However, the Arabs were basically excluded from God¹s promise to Abraham: “I give you this land [Palestine] to your descendants” (Genesis 12:8). Palestinians were not permitted their own narrative or sacred myths.

    http://www.canadiandimension.mb.ca/v37/v37_2mw.htm

    http://www.historicist.com/articles2/zionscofield2.htm

    http://www.icej.org/about/about_doctrines.html

    Just like they have for the last 2000 years Christians are quite often the tap root of War & hatred, this is the product of religious delusions, fervor, obsession, and it will never stop. You can not “Reason” with someone that does not acknowledge reason, someone that is delusional, would be like trying to reason with Charlie Manson, do you think somehow you would get through to him, no matter how long you yak or how logical you are?

    These people are absolutely INSANE.

    Freaks like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, just to name the top 3 out of many are every bit as dangerous if not moreso than Ossama Bin Laden.
    http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/TheDespoilingOfAmerica.htm

  14. Geekmom quoted West Wing: “It’s hot there, and there isn’t enough water.”

    geohydrologist Arie Issar has been working that issue for years, trying to lower the emotional temperature and bring economic and technological solutions to the table.  Wonder if he’ll have any success with that.

    As Nynya pointed out, though, it won’t fix the religioius problem.  Wrong versions of the invisible man in the sky.  If we could just get them arguing over Mac vs. PC, or great taste vs. less filling, or the designated hitter rule (which I understand is something in baseball that people don’t like.)

  15. If prior possession of land, whatever that means (a whole nother can of worms, also insoluble), gives a people the right to get it back, then all the blacks and whites and yellows in America should leave, and the reds should get it back. All of it.

    Actually there is quite a bit of evidence to show that the “red” men pushed each other here and there on the continent, and all of us other colors just joined in with the program.  You say red man as if there was only one type of native american. And that is just not so.  All the rest of us leaving would just allow the “native” americans

    to return to pushing each other here and there.

  16. Apologies for double posting.. i had a line in the above post mentioning that many anthropologist believe the native americans migrated here from eastern asia.  Must remember that a “<>” block gets vaporised by your software.

  17. The Israeli-Arab conflicts aren’t quite as simple as have been made out by commenters prior to me. Here’s some bullet points that try to express the situation in as simple a form as seems to be possible.

    – Massive genocide was carried out by the Nazi’s during World War II, which was just an extension of the already existing prejudice and pogroms of the Europeans against the Jewish people.
    – England, the League of Nations, the USA and other countries had agreed, in the 1920’s, that the Jewish people should have their own homeland and tentatively identified portions of Palestine for that homeland.
    – Ethnically speaking, the “Palestinian people” don’t actually exist. The people referred to as Palestinian are ethnically from Jordan (formerly Trans-Jordan), The Lebanon and Egypt and no one identified them as anything but Arabs prior to 1967.
    – The United Nations agreed that the Jews should have their own nation, which led to the creation of the State of Israel after WWII.
    – Arabs living in Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and the Arab League declared their intention to destroy Israel as soon as it came into existence. Most of the leadership of these countries were, to some extent or another, allied with the Nazis by the way.
    – From that time onwards several conventional and unconventional wars have been launched against the Israelis with the intention of destroying the state of Israel. Such continues to be the aim of radical Palestinian elements even today (the radical elements of the “Palestinian people” are the ones running the show, by the way).
    – The Israelis have offered extremely good terms (like 95% of the publicly stated demands) to reach a compromise agreement, which have been rejected out of hand by the Palestinian leadership.

    This has been going on for a long time now and the Israelis aren’t the ones who swore to commit genocide against their enemies. If you were surrounded on all sides by enemies who outnumbered you and swore to kill you, do you suppose that you might take strong actions to protect yourself? I realize that the media no longer presents the whole story on Israel, but there are plenty of good sources out there. Maybe go check some out before you label the Israelis as the bad guys or even wash your hands and declare both sides are bad. One side of this is a reasonably liberal and democratic state, the other is terrorists and extremists intent on the destruction of a group of people and their nation.

  18. I am too tired to give all points I’d like to adress full consideration, so I guess I’ll just post a few remarks and do the rest tomorrow:

    Massive genocide was carried out by the Nazi’s during World War II, which was just an extension of the already existing prejudice and pogroms of the Europeans against the Jewish people.

    Are you implying that this old predjudice is still in effect when ‘we’ criticize Israel? I’m not saying you do, this is a question.

    I’m probably not helping any such suspicions of yours if I state that I’m German ;-/

    Ethnically speaking, the “Palestinian people

  19. GM,

    Now, after the British were defeated and the colonists considered America theirs, suppose that the country was immediately attacked by an overwhelming force from Canada

    That did in fact happen, Canada is still the only country to have ever successfully invaded the US.  We did it back during the war of 1812, we even burned down the White House.  Then we went back home.  I think that Canada was trying to do you guys a favor.  If it wasn’t for us, you’d still have the Pink House.

  20. Ingolfsson: Are you implying that this old predjudice is still in effect when ‘we’ criticize Israel? I’m not saying you do, this is a question.

    No, not at all. The point of this comment is that the establishment of an Israeli state was not because an outside group came in and conquered the area and called it theirs. No flag planting, as Eddie Izzard would say. Let’s start from the assumption that any people subjected to something like the Nazi Final Solution deserve a state of their own, especially when you consider the couple thousand years of European persecution prior to that.

    Ingolfsson: I’m probably not helping any such suspicions of yours if I state that I’m German ;-/

    The fact that you’re German doesn’t mean that I automatically assume an “old prejudice” is in play on your part. I don’t make assumptions about people based on ethnicity or national origin, I judge by words and deeds. But, let’s realize that anti-semitism (as well as many other racial prejudices) is still in play in the world. It is, at least from my perspective, still alive and well in Europe, though not at the level of 1945 and earlier. Calling it an “old prejudice” is a way of trying to downplay that prejudice. That prejudice happens to be an important factor in the history of Israel and Palestine.

    Ingolfsson: Broad sweep here. I do know that Egypt at least was very much British-affiliated. As for the others, I would have to do some research. Again, I do not see the point, except for you to imply that this is all a big anti-Jewish conspiracy.

    Read MEMRI for some very interesting current perspectives from Egypt. Very prominent Egyptians that are affiliate with state run media and universities are continuously making public statements about the “lie of the Holocaust”, repeating the horrific lies of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and accusing the Jewish leadership in WW2 of being in league with Hitler. I realize that all of this sounds ridiculous to most of us in the West, that’s why I suggest reading MEMRI. MEMRI translates Middle Eastern newspapers and broadcasts into English. Their translations have been verified several times by independent translators. The point? That there is, and has been, a long established anti-semitic culture in the Middle East, one that was allied with the Nazi’s in WW2 and that continues to this day. You are correct that Egypt was a British protectorate in WW2. But we should all know that the ruler of a country doesn’t always represent the people and their beliefs. Both Nasser and Arafat, for example, were arrested by the British for their activities in support of the Germans.

    That ought to be enough to get started with on the topic of fascism and anti-semitism in the Middle East. SEB has a saying: Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger. Well, the myth that Israel is just as bad, or even worse than, as her enemies is one of the biggest sacred cows of the left. Let’s take aim at it and see how well it holds up.

    By the way, I’m not sparing of the sacred cows of the right either, just that right here, right now I wanted to take on this set of myths.

  21. ecowper,

    I don’t think that anyone’s denying that anti-semitism is alive and kicking.  I, and I think most people here, would also agree that Jews, and more specifically Israel, gets picked on quite a bit.  Also, no one denies that anti-semitism is wrong, troubling, and that everything possible should be done to eliminate it.

    I think that the argument that Ingolfson and others are trying to make is that just because the Jews have been an oppressed and downtrodden people doesn’t mean they are justified in doing the same to others.  Now, I will grant that it is to some degree understandable that Israel reacts with force to the Palestinian insurgency.  If people were suicide bombing Canada, where I live, I would probably want to kick some ass as well.  However, there are lines, and it seems that Israel has crossed some of them. 

    The above said, I still think that perhaps the Palestinians have to take the first step towards peace.  If the insurgency shifted its strategy to passive resistance and civil disobedience they would gain much more international support.  Moreover, if they stopped resorting to violence, Israel, for the sake of global opinion, would not be able to come down nearly as hard as they do now.  I do agree with the initial post that there are some instances when civil disobedience isn’t effective, China comes to mind as a prime example.  However, I do think that passive resistance would be more effective strategy for the Palestinians. 

    Though, I think Arial Sharon needs to be voted out of office as well.  I don’t think there can be peace with Sharon at the helm of Israel, he’s too much of a hawk to ever be able to bring about peace.  It was too bad that Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, he would have been able to negotiate peace.

  22. Swine,

    If Canada were surrounded by states whose professed goal was to destroy Canada and whose newspapers and media broadcasts carried messages of hate and said that the worst things that had ever happened Canada (has anything bad ever happened to Canada?) were all lies how would you deal with it? By backing down and appeasing them to make peace? Especially if these people had, in the past, been aligned with your mortal enemy (not that you actually have one, but you get my point) and continued to espouse the philosophies and principles of that cause?

    Of course the best thing the Palestinians could do would be to adopt a non-violent resistance a la Ghandi or MLK. If their leadership would do that, there wouldn’t be the problems that led to the continuing occupation of Gaza and the West Bank in the first place. Remember that Gaza/West Bank have been used to launch multiple wars of aggression and terrorist campaigns against Israel. Just what do you suggest they do? Relinquish these territories so that their enemies can once again use them in their quest to destroy Israel?

    Israel is in a horrible position. Her enemies surround her and the only chance she has against them is eternal vigilance and the willingness to ruthlessly use force against those enemies. At the same time, the rest of the West acts like Israel is a pariah state for defending herself. Again, what do you suggest they do? This idea that if only Israel will back down and all will be wonderful totally and completely ignores the reality of who their enemies are and what their goals are.

  23. ecowper,

    I never said that I thought that Israel should “back down” or appease its enemies.  I just said that Israel has committed some atrocities and unless the Israeli people hold their government accountable, it’s going to happen again.  I understand the need for Israel to protect itself.  I just don’t think the best way to do that is to launch airstrikes upon densely populated areas.  Also I do think that some effort should be made to pull the settlements out of Gaza and the West Bank.  However, I do think that what needs to happen for there ever to be peace is a unilateral ceasefire by the Palestinians and a changing of strategy from violence to civil disobedience.  At this point in time Palestine has the world’s attention (especially with the election of Mahmoud Abbas) this would be a great time for them to try using peace to get freedom.

  24. I have never understood, nor will I probably ever understand the conflict over land that seems near worthless to me.  I guess, if comparing it with an ocean of sand it might seem like milk and honey.

    That said, ecowper is right when he says that there is no such indigenious group known as the Palestinian people.  These folks are Jordianian.    In 1967 they attacked Israel along with Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.  Supplying aid to the Arab nations were Iraq, Kuwait, Saudia Arabia, Sudan, and Algeria.  Israel won and occupied a sizeable chuck of land as a result.

    Of the land that Israel occupied after this war, a very large percentage was returned.  The Israelis returned it in exchange for an agreement in which you publicly state you don’t want to exterminate us anymore.  That seems pretty damn reasonable to me, when one could legitimately claim the land via the right of conquest, Article 2 of the U.N. be damned.

    From my perspective, if the arabs in the West Bank have a bitch, it is with the Jordanian government for an ill advised war.  Yet, I never hear about that. 

    What I do hear about is a culture that oppresses women and treats them as second class citizens,  uses terrorist tactics as a means to an end, extols the Koran as a legislative agenda, and   preaches a culture of hate towards the U.S.

    Where will I come down on the issue?  Must be a rhetorical question.

    Regards,

  25. This is another issue we can argue about till the cows come home.  No solution is going to be “just”.  I understand that the Jews need a nation, given their history.  I agree that the Israelis are in a horrible postion.  I also think that they are in a position to behave better than they have so far.  Of course, it’s not easy to be surrounded by sworn enemies, but hate works both ways and escalates, epecially when fuelled by religion, if people don’t take the initiative and do the hard thing- compromise.  Hardline positions on one side beget hardline positions on the other side.

    ecowper, some of your points are good ones, others not so good.  For instance, you say

    The point of this comment is that the establishment of an Israeli state was not because an outside group came in and conquered the area and called it theirs.

    Oh? That’s pretty much what happened, as far as I understand.  750,000 people were driven out of Palestine in 1948 to create Israel.  And saying that the “Palestinian people” don’t exist ethnically is moot.  You could justify driving Americans out of America with exactly the same argument.

    Of course, the Palestinians and other Arab nations have behaved badly too.  I think it’s fruitless to attempt to say who is “better” or “worse” in this situation.  As I said, all we can hope for is to gradually disarm the conflict, and support the cooler heads on both sides.

    Actually there is quite a bit of evidence to show that the “red

  26. I’m late to this love fest, but there are a few issues that may have gone unmentioned.

    To begin with, it is a mistake to speak of Isreal as a homegenuous nation. The interaction between Palestinians, Jews, Arab Christians, Arab Muslims and the Druze is interesting, to say the least.

    Let’s not forget another religious component of the conflict; not between Islam and Christianity, but between secular and ultra-orthodox Jews (witness the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the best hope for peace both sides had).

    Consi, here’s a question to you. The ultra-orthodox males are full-time religious students, literally couldn’t feed themselves without government handouts, are exempt from military duty, but say that without their prayers the situation would be a lot worse, and at the magic age when they are not eligible to be drafted into the military anymore, a lot of them give up their religious devotion and (try to) take on regular jobs. As voters, they support an agenda hostile to Palestinians and thus keep the conflict brewing. Given all that and your position on state-sponsored welfare, where you do come down on that issue?

    Following the US, Germany is almost certainly the close second contributor to Israels continued survival, not that this gets a lot of coverage even over there. However, the events surrounding the attack on the USS Liberty has not endearned Israel to me.

    At the end of the day, I simply want these idiots to live in peace.

    Perhaps Germany should build up its armed forces, occupy Israel, and evenhandedly enforce peace?

  27. Perhaps Germany should build up its armed forces, occupy Israel, and evenhandedly enforce peace?

    Gute Idee, Elwed!

  28. consi,

    I have never understood, nor will I probably ever understand the conflict over land that seems near worthless to me.  I guess, if comparing it with an ocean of sand it might seem like milk and honey.

    Well there is some evidence that crime rates and temperature are positively correlated (especially violent crime like assault and murder).  Moreover, the middle east is a very hot place.  Maybe that has something to do with it.  It could be just that people in the region are just pissy and irritable because they’re overheated.  Combine the heat with oppression from one side and suicide bombing from the other, its not surprising that things get a little out of hand from time to time.  You know, now that I think about it, the conflict between Palestine and Israel might not be so hard to resolve.  Perhaps we should just send a whole whack of air conditioners over there.  Let everyone cool down, maybe drink some lemonade, it might work.

  29. On a more serious note, the following really made me laugh:

    extols the Koran as a legislative agenda, and preaches a culture of hate towards the U.S.

    How is this different from the Christian fundamentalists in our neck of the woods?  Replace “Koran” with the bible, and “U.S.” with “U.S. popular culture” and you have a great description of Jerry Falwell.  Now if you add in anti-abortionists and extremist religious groups like those wacky Christian Identity people, then there’s more reason to think that your description fits for Christian fundamentalists as well (they do seem to hate the U.S. simpliciter, they do think that women are second class citizens, and finally they like to kill people and blow stuff up too).

  30. Perhaps we should just send a whole whack of air conditioners over there.

    porker- LOL

    …there’s more reason to think that your description fits for Christian fundamentalists as well

    Not to mention the Jewish fundamentalists such as Baruch Goldstein, and the plot to bomb the Dome of the Rock, which only failed because they couldn’t find a rabbi who would bless them… Yes, religious fervor is a wonderful thing…

    when one could legitimately claim the land via the right of conquest, Article 2 of the U.N. be damned.

    consi, that certainly puts a whole new spin on the idea of legitimacy.  Maybe we should cede Ground Zero to Al Qaeda for the same reason.

  31. An earlier post mentioned MEMRI. Here’s a link to an interesting discussion on MEMRI (with further links for those with the time and interest):

    http://www.prwatch.org/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=103

    And as to the issue of whether a Palestinian people lived on what is now Israel – let’s see what some Israelis said in this regard:

    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/palestinians.html

    (quotes aside, http://www.whatreallyhappened.com has a somewhat … non-mainstream view of things, heh)

  32. left wing supporters of arab terrorism deserve death! “palestinian” is a MADE UP TERM!  drop dead asswads!

  33. t=d,

    Well if you really think about it, every single word is a MADE UP TERM!  At some point in history someone had to coin the term for it to come into common usage.

  34. t=d is probably a made-up term too. Or do you think God gave it to him? Kinda hard on the kid at school:

    “Hey terrorists, you didn’t clean the board like I requested!”

    “Young Mr. Death isn’t really a team player.”

    “So you middle name is equal? Equal to what?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.