Help me understand Israel.
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26-07-2014, 09:32 PM
RE: Help me understand Israel.
"Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it’s true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but for the moment there is no chance."

- David Ben-Gurion as quoted in The Jewish Paradox by Nahum Goldmann, President (former) of the World Jewish Congress

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27-07-2014, 03:46 AM
RE: Help me understand Israel.
What I am surprised about is the western media's bias towards Palestinians in Gaza by repeatedly showing civilian casualties without the proper context behind how Hamas use civilians as part of their Jihad campaign for propaganda (eg as humans shields, deliberately rounded up civilians to defend military assets backed by public speeches to do so, child soldiers, public buildings including schools to hide rockets, building tunnels with entrances in public buildings etc. Hamas headquarters are supposed to be based underneath the largest hospital in Gaza ! (which has not been targeted and ironically was extended and refurbished by Israel as a gesture of good will)

Dont get me wrong, I am sympathetic to civilians who are killed or injured in any conflict and about 60-70 % of civilians in Gaza don't support Hamas. (numbers are hard to figure out - especially what civilians say publicly & privately)

However media coverage doesn't bother to mention approx twice as many civilians were killed in Iraq in July 2014 (https://www.iraqbodycount.org) and likewise in Syria (http://www.iamsyria.org/daily-death-count.html) - and this has been going on for YEARS ! Hardly any media footage of muslims butchering each other on a massive scale - in the 100,000's !

There is also little information given why Israel has a blockade on Gaza - which is allegedly the main grievance Hamas expresses to the media.
In the 1980's-1990's Gaza's borders were open to both Egypt & Israel with 100,000's palestinians crossing the border and finding employment in Israel (ironically in the same cities palestinians are now firing rockets at such as Sdorot, Ashkelon, Ashdod etc). However multiple Hamas suicide bombings ~1996 killed hundreds of Israeli's on buses, cafeterias, markets etc and the border was partially closed - at least from the Israeli side. After a Hamas coup d'etat took over Gaza in 2007 with Hamas killing over a hundred Palestinians any international monitoring agencies were removed from the Egyptian border and consequently Israel pressurized Egypt to seal the border preventing terrorist supplies to Hamas. The other goal was to make Hamas capitulate under the economic pressure and allow Palestinians aligned with Fatah shared rule of Gaza. However Hamas found a way of building tunnels and taxing supply revenue's from Egypt to bypass the blockade.
The current crisis was sparked not by the murder of three israelis but that the new Egyptian government despising Hamas, seeing them as a terrorist offshoot of the muslim brotherhood and a threat to Egyptian sovereignty and consequently blowing up some of the tunnels supplies from Egypt. This is a rare alliance were the Egyptians are more pro-Israel that the west ! Hamas was also under pressure due to abandoning its HQ abroad from Syria to Qatar. (thrown out by Assad as backing fundamentalist Islamic rebels)

However the international media has become sympathetic to Hamas - which is frightening. Hamas are the people holding Gaza as a prison camp. Rather than build up Gaza above ground and provide relief for civilians they use vast amounts of concrete to build many kilometers of tunnels systems preparing for terrorist attacks. Millions of dollars donated by relief agencies, US taxpayers and especially Qatar + Iran are used for militant purposes for rockets, arms,tunnels etc rather than helping the people of Gaza - and this is savage. Israel disengaged and unilaterally left Gaza in Sept 2005 in hope that any claims of occupation of Gaza would make a two state solution more likely - but Hamas has turned it into a military terrorist camp deliberately keeping civilians hostage to their tyrannical rule.

In relevance to this blog - I have also come across some quite anti-israeli sentiments which I find surprising considering as atheists, secularists, freethinkers etc if given the choice of living in Israel or any of the arab or predominantly muslim countries/palestinian territories surrounding Israel it would be a no brainer that atheists are likely to get executed in surrounding countries whilst Israel has a secular constitution (Gays have freedom of expression, science education as its supposed to be, secular legal & political system etc based on western values) Albeit Israel does have enclaves of ultra-orthodox communities which atheists/secularists would not be welcome.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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27-07-2014, 03:46 AM
RE: Help me understand Israel.
As for the answer to the original question - Does Israel have a right to exist/who "owns" the land.
The short answer is:
The UN recognized modern Israel giving full legal status of nationhood in 1948 post British Mandate.
prior to Modern Israel the land was under British Mandate (pre 1948).
Prior to British Mandate the region named palestine was a province ruled by the Ottoman Empire 16-19Century. (with a brief period conquered by Napoleon)
The Ottoman Empire is a long period - with different dynasties "early + late ottoman rule" quite different - ruled by Turks
Prior to the Ottoman Empire Mamluk dynasties from Egypt ruled the province ~13th C. (population very low due to abandonment of many cities post Mongol-Arab wars)
Prior to Mamluks Crusaders ruled parts of the Palestine region (~12th century, crusaders obviously from Europe).
Prior to Crusaders the Fatimids ruled the Palestine region as part of their Islamic Shiah caliphate (from Turkey)
Prior to the Fatimids the Abbasid's ruled the Palestine region as part of their Islamic Sunni caliphate from capital in Iraq.
Prior to Abbasids, the Tulunid Emirate ruled from capital in Egypt al-Qatta'i
Prior to Tulunid/Abbasid wars ruled by the Sassanid Empire (from Persia - 7th century)
Prior to Sassanid Empire (& establishment of Islam) ruled by the Byzantine Empire
Prior to Byzantine Empire(s) ruled by Roman Empire (some overlap as these are intertwined)
Prior to Roman Empire (1st century CE) there was a Jewish independent sovereign state [Judea]. This is the only independent country to ever claim sovereignty over the land as part of a national recognized land & people. - not a province of other empires as per the previous list.
Prior to Judea - rule by the Seleucid Greek empire (not allowing Jewish autonomy)
Prior to the Seleucid Empire - the Ptolomeic Greek Empire(s) - (allowing Jewish autonomy of Judea 4thC BCE)
Prior to Ptolomeic Empire(s) - Archaemenid persian empire ruled by Cyrus the Great (5thC BCE allowing Jewish autonomy of Judea)
Prior to Archaemenid empire - Judea destroyed by the Babylonian Empire
Prior to Babylonian Empire there is an independent Jewish ruled Kingdom of Judea
Prior to the Kingdom of Judah there was also a Jewish Kingdom of Israel which was destroyed by the Assyrian Empire.(8thC BCE)
Prior to The Kingdom of Judah & Israel there was a unified "Israel" - as an independent soverign country "ancient biblical Israel". (?13C or 12C CBE)
Prior to ancient Biblical Israel things get very messy because the bible (Torah) is unreliable and written historical records are sketchy, we have little historical information to rely on.
Based on archeology Israelite's [Jews] probably emerged from a mixture of indigenous people (eg Canaanites). It is unlikely that there was an Israelite exodus from Egyptian "conquering the land" as per the bible. The Exodus story is probably partly fictitious to bolster the Israelite kingdom's heritage (Given by God etc)
Prior to any Israel/israelites - region ruled by the Egyptian Empire - with some wars with Hittites & Canaanites in 1469 BC
Prior to the Egyptian Empires rule - there is little written history but likely there are a mixture of Canaanite city states - not a coherent province of any empire. (based on Merneptah Stele for example)
Prior to Canaanites - eventually get to the Neolithic first settlements - eg Jericho goes back to about 9600 BCE
Prior to Neolithic - Natufian Hunter-Gatherers >10,000 BCE
Prior to Natufian Hunter-Gatherers - other hunter gatherers.............
Prior to this some Neanderthals probably has sex with humans......>40,000 - 100,000 years ago.
Prior to this....see an evolution text book.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
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27-07-2014, 04:14 AM
RE: Help me understand Israel.
The shorter answer - what does "owning land" mean ?
Do American people of any European decent "Own" the land of the USA ? Its all stolen from indigenous people by European conquerors.
Do Canadians "Own" Canada ? Its all stolen from indigenous people by European conquerors....
Do European Australians Own Australia - it was all aborigeni lands ?
Is much of the South American continent owned by the various countries (Brazil, Peru etc) - again conquered by Spain/Portugal and Europeans settled the lands.
Is Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia etc "owned" by any Arabs ? Again - all these are conquered lands by the Various Arab Empires such as the Abbasid Caliphate (now majority Arabs and Arabs rule).
Palestine was also part of the Caliphate conquests taken by conquering the Byzantine Empire - hence do Arabs "own" palestine ? The Byzantine & Roman Empires conquered much of Europe and changed settlement populations to suit their needs and did the Greek Empires - so who owns what ? (eg Romans forcefully exiled Jews from what is modern day Israel and carried out many population changes elsewhere through the empire)
Europeans and Arabs are not the only ones to blame for massive population changes and conquests - many empires altered indigenous populations throughout history and that's part of the historical evolution of states, nations and empires. Indigenous populations also alter themselves as city states develop and national identities begin to form - that's why we are no longer hunter gatherers !

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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27-07-2014, 09:47 AM
RE: Help me understand Israel.
I'm also very interested in this subject, I picked up 'teach yourself - The israeli-palestinian conflict' from the library, really good for bringing you up to speed fast with an unbiased view point. Good luck getting your head around it all, I don't think half the politicians understand it either.
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29-07-2014, 04:46 PM
RE: Help me understand Israel.
My view is that the state of Israel act like dicks. However, anyone who says bad things about them is automatically labelled an anti-semite (because it's clearly impossible to disagree with the actions of a nation without also hating all of it's people because of their religion/race).

Palestine has been screwed over pretty bad but the international community do nothing because it's Palestine and they don't give a fuck (the reactions to world events differ wildly depending on who the participators are).

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Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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29-07-2014, 04:52 PM
RE: Help me understand Israel.
(27-07-2014 03:46 AM)Baruch Wrote:  As for the answer to the original question - Does Israel have a right to exist/who "owns" the land.
The short answer is:
The UN recognized modern Israel giving full legal status of nationhood in 1948 post British Mandate.
prior to Modern Israel the land was under British Mandate (pre 1948).
Prior to British Mandate the region named palestine was a province ruled by the Ottoman Empire 16-19Century. (with a brief period conquered by Napoleon)
The Ottoman Empire is a long period - with different dynasties "early + late ottoman rule" quite different - ruled by Turks
Prior to the Ottoman Empire Mamluk dynasties from Egypt ruled the province ~13th C. (population very low due to abandonment of many cities post Mongol-Arab wars)
Prior to Mamluks Crusaders ruled parts of the Palestine region (~12th century, crusaders obviously from Europe).
Prior to Crusaders the Fatimids ruled the Palestine region as part of their Islamic Shiah caliphate (from Turkey)
Prior to the Fatimids the Abbasid's ruled the Palestine region as part of their Islamic Sunni caliphate from capital in Iraq.
Prior to Abbasids, the Tulunid Emirate ruled from capital in Egypt al-Qatta'i
Prior to Tulunid/Abbasid wars ruled by the Sassanid Empire (from Persia - 7th century)
Prior to Sassanid Empire (& establishment of Islam) ruled by the Byzantine Empire
Prior to Byzantine Empire(s) ruled by Roman Empire (some overlap as these are intertwined)
Prior to Roman Empire (1st century CE) there was a Jewish independent sovereign state [Judea]. This is the only independent country to ever claim sovereignty over the land as part of a national recognized land & people. - not a province of other empires as per the previous list.
Prior to Judea - rule by the Seleucid Greek empire (not allowing Jewish autonomy)
Prior to the Seleucid Empire - the Ptolomeic Greek Empire(s) - (allowing Jewish autonomy of Judea 4thC BCE)
Prior to Ptolomeic Empire(s) - Archaemenid persian empire ruled by Cyrus the Great (5thC BCE allowing Jewish autonomy of Judea)
Prior to Archaemenid empire - Judea destroyed by the Babylonian Empire
Prior to Babylonian Empire there is an independent Jewish ruled Kingdom of Judea
Prior to the Kingdom of Judah there was also a Jewish Kingdom of Israel which was destroyed by the Assyrian Empire.(8thC BCE)
Prior to The Kingdom of Judah & Israel there was a unified "Israel" - as an independent soverign country "ancient biblical Israel". (?13C or 12C CBE)
Prior to ancient Biblical Israel things get very messy because the bible (Torah) is unreliable and written historical records are sketchy, we have little historical information to rely on.
Based on archeology Israelite's [Jews] probably emerged from a mixture of indigenous people (eg Canaanites). It is unlikely that there was an Israelite exodus from Egyptian "conquering the land" as per the bible. The Exodus story is probably partly fictitious to bolster the Israelite kingdom's heritage (Given by God etc)
Prior to any Israel/israelites - region ruled by the Egyptian Empire - with some wars with Hittites & Canaanites in 1469 BC
Prior to the Egyptian Empires rule - there is little written history but likely there are a mixture of Canaanite city states - not a coherent province of any empire. (based on Merneptah Stele for example)
Prior to Canaanites - eventually get to the Neolithic first settlements - eg Jericho goes back to about 9600 BCE
Prior to Neolithic - Natufian Hunter-Gatherers >10,000 BCE
Prior to Natufian Hunter-Gatherers - other hunter gatherers.............
Prior to this some Neanderthals probably has sex with humans......>40,000 - 100,000 years ago.
Prior to this....see an evolution text book.

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29-07-2014, 05:06 PM
RE: Help me understand Israel.
"There will be peace when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us."
-Gold Meir
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29-07-2014, 05:07 PM
RE: Help me understand Israel.
Or when Israel kills them all.

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29-07-2014, 05:08 PM
RE: Help me understand Israel.
(27-07-2014 03:46 AM)Baruch Wrote:  However media coverage doesn't bother to mention approx twice as many civilians were killed in Iraq in July 2014 (https://www.iraqbodycount.org) and likewise in Syria (http://www.iamsyria.org/daily-death-count.html) - and this has been going on for YEARS ! Hardly any media footage of muslims butchering each other on a massive scale - in the 100,000's !

Yes, we could frame that as a disingenuous ploy, I guess... or we could step back and note that news media are always attracted to new things, and this particular flare-up as a new outbreak of violence naturally was well covered...

"Exact same situation in Syria still ongoing three years later, news at 11" is not exactly a fresh narrative.

"Doesn't bother" is an extremely poor characterisation and choice of words.

(27-07-2014 03:46 AM)Baruch Wrote:  However the international media has become sympathetic to Hamas - which is frightening. Hamas are the people holding Gaza as a prison camp.

I don't know about that, either. There is no coverage here that has been even remotely pro-Hamas, and I have seen none from any major international outlet.

If by "international media" you mean "cranks on the internet", then sure, but that's not quite the same thing.

(27-07-2014 03:46 AM)Baruch Wrote:  In relevance to this blog - I have also come across some quite anti-israeli sentiments which I find surprising considering as atheists, secularists, freethinkers etc

Why should it be surprising? Atheists have nothing at all in common besides atheism, which they may have arrived at for any number of reasons...

In this very thread we have opinions from "all Israelis are murdering fascist scum" to "all Palestinians are murdering fascist scum". Both seem dead serious.

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