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16-02-2014, 11:35 AM
RE: Israel
(13-02-2014 11:28 PM)Youkay Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 05:47 PM)Vlad Wrote:  So a bunch of scattered people want to return to their mostly-empty land controlled by a foreign nation (the British). After much effort, they manage to get their state recognized. Yeah, such a good proof of the Bible.

That is what you think?! That the land was "mostly empty"?! That is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard! That land was crawling with Palestines before Israel was founded on that very land, leading to a massive depossession of the local people, the ruination of the Palestine nation and ultimately to all the hate and war that is governing that conflict. Just so you know.

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In my oppinion, it would have been a MUCH better solution, if Israel was founded in todays Bavaria, or any other part of Germany. Or even better, USA. They have plenty of land, which is on top supposed to be "promised" too, and they assumingly have a huge sympathy for jews. By forcefully founding Israel where it is now, only because the bible foretold it, was the origin of all the tension and the hate.

The pictures on this map showing "Green" for Palestinian land does not reflect population sizes - most of the south for example is desert.
In any case - the Jews accepted a partition favouring a majority Arab Palestinian division cutting the Jewish state into sections with narrow land bridges (as is obvious from the pre 1948 war photo for UN partition.)
Arabs rejected ANY partition whatsoever - even an 8% partition for a jewish region and 92% Arab.
Also remember - there was no Palestinian Arab state prior to 1948 - this is a region which was a province of other empires be it British prior to 1948 or Ottoman and various other empires before, never a sovereign Arab state !!!
Prior to the Arab conquests in the 7th - 8th century it was a Byzantine province and prior to that Roman who Hadrian named the place Palestinia after utterly destroying the Jewish sovereign state (called Judah at the time)
No Arabs prior to Jewish nationalism at the beginning of the 20th century considered "Palestine" as a sovereign country.
Even in the 1948 war of Israeli independence Arab countries were fighting to extend their own borders be it the south of Israel/Palestine as an extension of Egypt, the North an extension of Syria (pissed off about Lebanon not incorporated into Syria) or Jordan extending to the Mediterranean.
The only people who still had the concept of a sovereign nation is the region were Jews - (regardless of whether the bible was made up & even more so if it was true - I am certainly not defending the biblical model as an atheist.)
...and Jews were the last people to have a sovereign country prior to the Roman conquest. The fact it was a long time ago (I'm not defending prophecy or the bible) is irrelevant because it is still maintained as a national identity for Jews to have a nation. This is unlike for example American Indians displaced in the entire West USA conquered just some 160 yrs ago - who had a very weak notion of national sovereignty. Saying that what if they returned from mexico (most probably killed and left no descendent longing for national identity in the West USA) or formed a "USA occupation" movement ???
What if the American indians gained independence and then the US population fought back saying they developed the land and settled it whilst the population was sparse (but not empty ?)

The fact is both peoples have legitimate claims to Israel/Palestine and hence why a partition is the only solution. Eg The Mamluks & Ottomans rebuilt parts of Jerusalem and settled there restarting the Islamic pilgrimage & reviving the city - however without the Jews to start with there would be no mosques or any significant Jerusalem. Jerusalem is central to the Jewish religion but not mentioned once in the Quran*. The big mistake for Jews was not to return after the destruction of the Arab Empires by the Mongol Hordes ! Then Jews would have little conflict with the Arabs who virtually abandoned the region and avoid the Christian pogroms and destructions in Europe !!!
(saying than the Mongols were not a friendly bunch)


* Jerusalem is NOT mentioned in the Quran !
Not even once !


Qur'an (17:1) describing the Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey to heaven (isra'):

Glory to He who took His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the furthest mosque. (Subhana allathina asra bi-‘abdihi laylatan min al-masjidi al-harami ila al-masjidi al-aqsa.)
When this Qur'anic passage was first revealed, in about 621, the place called the Sacred Mosque already existed in Mecca. In contrast, the "furthest mosque" was a turn of phrase, not a place. Some early Muslims understood it as metaphorical or as a place in heaven. And if the "furthest mosque" did exist on earth, Palestine would seem an unlikely location, for many reasons. Some of them:

Elsewhere in the Qur'an (30:1), Israel is called "the closest land" (adna al-ard).
Israel had not yet been conquered by the Muslims and contained not a single mosque.

The "furthest mosque" was apparently identified with places inside Arabia: either Medina or a town called Ji‘rana, about ten miles from Mecca, which the Prophet visited in 630.

The earliest Muslim accounts of Jerusalem, such as the description of Caliph ‘Umar's reported visit to the city just after the Muslims conquest in 638, nowhere identify the Temple Mount with the "furthest mosque" of the Qur'an.

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


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16-02-2014, 11:46 AM (This post was last modified: 16-02-2014 11:56 AM by Youkay.)
RE: Israel
(16-02-2014 11:35 AM)Baruch Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 11:28 PM)Youkay Wrote:  That is what you think?! That the land was "mostly empty"?! That is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard! That land was crawling with Palestines before Israel was founded on that very land, leading to a massive depossession of the local people, the ruination of the Palestine nation and ultimately to all the hate and war that is governing that conflict. Just so you know.

[Image: sGkjaCv.jpg]



In my oppinion, it would have been a MUCH better solution, if Israel was founded in todays Bavaria, or any other part of Germany. Or even better, USA. They have plenty of land, which is on top supposed to be "promised" too, and they assumingly have a huge sympathy for jews. By forcefully founding Israel where it is now, only because the bible foretold it, was the origin of all the tension and the hate.

The pictures on this map showing "Green" for Palestinian land does not reflect population sizes - most of the south for example is desert.
In any case - the Jews accepted a partition favouring a majority Arab Palestinian division cutting the Jewish state into sections with narrow land bridges (as is obvious from the pre 1948 war photo for UN partition.)
Arabs rejected ANY partition whatsoever - even an 8% partition for a jewish region and 92% Arab.
Also remember - there was no Palestinian Arab state prior to 1948 - this is a region which was a province of other empires be it British prior to 1948 or Ottoman and various other empires before, never a sovereign Arab state !!!
Prior to the Arab conquests in the 7th - 8th century it was a Byzantine province and prior to that Roman who Hadrian named the place Palestinia after utterly destroying the Jewish sovereign state (called Judah at the time)
No Arabs prior to Jewish nationalism at the beginning of the 20th century considered "Palestine" as a sovereign country.
Even in the 1948 war of Israeli independence Arab countries were fighting to extend their own borders be it the south of Israel/Palestine as an extension of Egypt, the North an extension of Syria (pissed off about Lebanon not incorporated into Syria) or Jordan extending to the Mediterranean.
The only people who still had the concept of a sovereign nation is the region were Jews - (regardless of whether the bible was made up & even more so if it was true - I am certainly not defending the biblical model as an atheist.)
...and Jews were the last people to have a sovereign country prior to the Roman conquest. The fact it was a long time ago (I'm not defending prophecy or the bible) is irrelevant because it is still maintained as a national identity for Jews to have a nation. This is unlike for example American Indians displaced in the entire West USA conquered just some 160 yrs ago - who had a very weak notion of national sovereignty. Saying that what if they returned from mexico (most probably killed and left no descendent longing for national identity in the West USA) or formed a "USA occupation" movement ???
What if the American indians gained independence and then the US population fought back saying they developed the land and settled it whilst the population was sparse (but not empty ?)

The fact is both peoples have legitimate claims to Israel/Palestine and hence why a partition is the only solution. Eg The Mamluks & Ottomans rebuilt parts of Jerusalem and settled there restarting the Islamic pilgrimage & reviving the city - however without the Jews to start with there would be no mosques or any significant Jerusalem. Jerusalem is central to the Jewish religion but not mentioned once in the Quran*. The big mistake for Jews was not to return after the destruction of the Arab Empires by the Mongol Hordes ! Then Jews would have little conflict with the Arabs who virtually abandoned the region and avoid the Christian pogroms and destructions in Europe !!!
(saying than the Mongols were not a friendly bunch)


* Jerusalem is NOT mentioned in the Quran !
Not even once !


Qur'an (17:1) describing the Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey to heaven (isra'):

Glory to He who took His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the furthest mosque. (Subhana allathina asra bi-‘abdihi laylatan min al-masjidi al-harami ila al-masjidi al-aqsa.)
When this Qur'anic passage was first revealed, in about 621, the place called the Sacred Mosque already existed in Mecca. In contrast, the "furthest mosque" was a turn of phrase, not a place. Some early Muslims understood it as metaphorical or as a place in heaven. And if the "furthest mosque" did exist on earth, Palestine would seem an unlikely location, for many reasons. Some of them:

Elsewhere in the Qur'an (30:1), Israel is called "the closest land" (adna al-ard).
Israel had not yet been conquered by the Muslims and contained not a single mosque.

The "furthest mosque" was apparently identified with places inside Arabia: either Medina or a town called Ji‘rana, about ten miles from Mecca, which the Prophet visited in 630.

The earliest Muslim accounts of Jerusalem, such as the description of Caliph ‘Umar's reported visit to the city just after the Muslims conquest in 638, nowhere identify the Temple Mount with the "furthest mosque" of the Qur'an.

I already corrected myself in an earlier post and admitted that it was too quick a response due to my abjection about the previous poster. (http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...pid494398)

PS: you forgot the seljuq dynasty which was after the byzantine empire and before the ottoman empire, if I am not mistaken.

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16-02-2014, 11:59 AM
RE: Israel
My post on the secularisation of Israel is really the only hope and is a potential outcome. As Arab-Israelis and Jewish Israelis (basically both secular Israelis) become more secular living in a mixed humanistic society then tribal identities become blurred - for example the mixed populations in Haifa, Jaffa/Tel-Aviv and even post 1967 East Jerusalem & West. Shared beaches, business, living districts, language and marriages eventually make the two populations indistinguishable living in a western style democracy. I have already seen this with 2nd & 3rd generation Arab Israelis who speak fluent Hebrew, work with Jews on a daily basis and their parents are frustrated they don't speak Arabic properly. Likewise ultra orthodox Jews scared that the secular Israelis have lost the plot and mixing to the point of not identifying as Jews. Eventually you get a hybrid somewhat like the British or most countries for that matter (Egypt is a mix of ethnicities from African + conquering Arabs, Lebanon is a mix from European + middle east = basically any zone which intermingles.) The Jews in Israel themselves are a mix of Middle Eastern & Europeans intermingling with each other but have had their inequalities and tensions. (Europeans thinking they are superior to the Jews from the middle-East and being elitist)

HOWEVER, all that being said - the Palestinian population in Gaza is unlikely to become secularized in the near to middle future (who knows what happens in 100yrs)
100,000's of Palestinian Gazan's used to work in Israel for good pay prior to 1996 closure of the Gaza/Israel border passage due to multiple suicide bombings in and around Tel-Aviv. The lack of mixing breads suspicion, jealousy and breaks trust creating an "us vs them" mentality which is hard to change and only gets worse with isolationism. However it is a catch 22 situation. Israel cannot open the Gaza crossing as pre 1996 otherwise Israel will be inundated with Suicide bombings and look like Baghdad. However maintaining a closed Gaza further isolates the Gazan population "justifying" their fundamentalist Islam which always blames outside forces for their troubles without reflecting that perhaps they can change the situation and take responsibility for good governance eg instead of building rockets in abandoned Jewish settlements perhaps make oranges and export them.

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


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16-02-2014, 12:02 PM
RE: Israel
I am amazed at how fast you wrote such a big body of text Big Grin

What are your thoughts about the embargo on Gaza, and Israel controlling the import of food, medicine, building material and so on. Do you think under these conditions any country could reach western standards in terms of health care, education, democracy etc.?

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16-02-2014, 12:09 PM
RE: Israel
(16-02-2014 11:59 AM)Baruch Wrote:  My post on the secularisation of Israel is really the only hope and is a potential outcome. As Arab-Israelis and Jewish Israelis (basically both secular Israelis) become more secular living in a mixed humanistic society then tribal identities become blurred - for example the mixed populations in Haifa, Jaffa/Tel-Aviv and even post 1967 East Jerusalem & West. Shared beaches, business, living districts, language and marriages eventually make the two populations indistinguishable living in a western style democracy.

Something which perennially frustrates me.

If those people voted as much as the orthodox hardliners and zionists they'd already control the Knesset.

(16-02-2014 11:59 AM)Baruch Wrote:  I have already seen this with 2nd & 3rd generation Arab Israelis who speak fluent Hebrew, work with Jews on a daily basis and their parents are frustrated they don't speak Arabic properly. Likewise ultra orthodox Jews scared that the secular Israelis have lost the plot and mixing to the point of not identifying as Jews. Eventually you get a hybrid somewhat like the British or most countries for that matter (Egypt is a mix of ethnicities from African + conquering Arabs, Lebanon is a mix from European + middle east = basically any zone which intermingles.) The Jews in Israel themselves are a mix of Middle Eastern & Europeans intermingling with each other but have had their inequalities and tensions. (Europeans thinking they are superior to the Jews from the middle-East and being elitist)

Yeah, intra-Jewish racism is a thing I think a lot of people don't know about.
(the Beta Israel Ethiopians were treated horribly...)

(16-02-2014 11:59 AM)Baruch Wrote:  HOWEVER, all that being said - the Palestinian population in Gaza is unlikely to become secularized in the near to middle future (who knows what happens in 100yrs)
100,000's of Palestinian Gazan's used to work in Israel for good pay prior to 1996 closure of the Gaza/Israel border passage due to multiple suicide bombings in and around Tel-Aviv. The lack of mixing breads suspicion, jealousy and breaks trust creating an "us vs them" mentality which is hard to change and only gets worse with isolationism.

Yep.

(16-02-2014 11:59 AM)Baruch Wrote:  However it is a catch 22 situation.

Understatement of the year...

(16-02-2014 11:59 AM)Baruch Wrote:  Israel cannot open the Gaza crossing as pre 1996 otherwise Israel will be inundated with Suicide bombings and look like Baghdad. However maintaining a closed Gaza further isolates the Gazan population "justifying" their fundamentalist Islam which always blames outside forces for their troubles without reflecting that perhaps they can change the situation and take responsibility for good governance eg instead of building rockets in abandoned Jewish settlements perhaps make oranges and export them.

Wait, all that and you don't have a magic bullet instant solution?

Damnit, Baruch, I was counting on you!

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16-02-2014, 12:35 PM
RE: Israel
Based on the above post - This is one reason why I can neither comprehend nor foresee a one state solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict based on some humanistic democracy incorporating Gaza (Hamas Palestinians), West Bank (PA autonomous Palestinians) and Israel (1/5 mix Arab-Israeli + 4/5 Jewish-Israeli) All together as one democratic state.

The Arab-Israelis have become somewhat used to a western style democracy, even thought they have sometimes been discriminated against (so have middle eastern Jews in the past and Ethiopian jews today, all countries have some inequality and not an egalitarian paradise)

However all the Arab surrounding states have great trouble with democracy as practiced in the West (lagging a 300yr enlightenment culture) - just take a look. Lebanon is on the brink and amazed it hasn't fallen apart again, probably the pain of the last civil is still fresh. Syria is an extreme mess - killing more of its own Arabs in 3 years than all Arab-Israel conflict combined for 60yrs. Jordan is just about managing to avoid an Arab spring (or Arab winter ?) and has had brutal crackdowns - even though I consider it one of the better monarchies, Egypt is a mess and also on the brink of a possible civil war, lets see what happens. unfortunately the Egyptian choice is either autocratic military dictatorship or religious fundamentalism.
Saudi's human rights are utterly appalling, Iraq is a supreme mess, Libya also a mess......mess...mess...mess...Do you see a pattern ? The only Arab countries with some vestige of normality are perhaps Morocco and the Gulf States (UAE, Kuwait). However take away one lucky resource of oil and the Gulf states would collapse into turmoil and become desert. [with one extremely valuable resource of oil + low population it is possible to keep the population from uprising]

Israel on the other hand adopting western values and legal system has been extremely prosperous with some cutting edge medicine and disproportional intellectual & economic success in the region. Arabs also enjoy jobs as doctors, lawyers and university education. (Hadasa hospital for example I went to had many Arab-Israeli doctors, nurses etc)

If Israeli secular Jews were to share a democracy with Danes, Swedes or Australians then it isn't much of an issue. However what would happen if Jews are a minority and Gazan Hamas Palestinians try to adopt 'democracy'......... I'll give you one guess - Arabs will destroy everything much like Syria is today.
The enlightenment philosophies are just not manifest in the education of the majority of Arabs (perhaps only some arab intellectuals.) This isn't some rant about racial superiority, FAR, far, far, from it as Arab-Israelis in some sectors have adopted values similar to secular Israelis & western values. (and like all countries there are corrupt secular people including Jews who ruin the economy, sell illicit drugs and scams)

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


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16-02-2014, 12:49 PM
RE: Israel
(16-02-2014 12:02 PM)Youkay Wrote:  I am amazed at how fast you wrote such a big body of text Big Grin

What are your thoughts about the embargo on Gaza, and Israel controlling the import of food, medicine, building material and so on. Do you think under these conditions any country could reach western standards in terms of health care, education, democracy etc.?

The people of Gaza voted for Hamas, they voted to never vote again, they voted for sharia, they voted to be an enemy of "western standerds", they voted for being a uncivilised society of fascist savages....


...... they can starve with their government.

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16-02-2014, 01:12 PM
RE: Israel
(16-02-2014 12:02 PM)Youkay Wrote:  I am amazed at how fast you wrote such a big body of text Big Grin

What are your thoughts about the embargo on Gaza, and Israel controlling the import of food, medicine, building material and so on. Do you think under these conditions any country could reach western standards in terms of health care, education, democracy etc.?

Prior to 1996 the Gaza crossing was open and 100,000+ Palestinian from Gaza entered Israel having jobs in Ashkelon, Ashdod, Tel-Aviv, Sdorot etc (West Israel coast).
Many of these Palestinians stayed in Israel as part of employment (they were Palestinian Not Israeli-Arab citizens) and the Gazan economy was doing well in the 1980's and early 1990's. The wages paid to these Palestinians was less that that in Israel but far higher that in Jordan, Egypt or most of the region - and hence kept the economy thriving.
A series of suicide bombings in the 1990's - peaking around 1996 led to the complete closure of the Gaza border. Suicide bombings after that fell to almost ZERO.
So yes, I agree that the current standard of living in Gaza is appalling and isolationism does make an 'us vs them' mentality even worse - but what does one do ?
Open the Gaza border to a pre-1996 status and Tel Aviv will look like Baghdad and Damascus.
This wont help the Palestinians in Gaza as Israel will retaliate for the suicide bombings and attack Gaza. The UN found Hamas responsible for using civilians as human shields and deliberately using civilian areas to target Israel - so it is likely there will be civilian casualties in Israeli reprisals.
Therefore an open Gaza border to Israel is not a viable option.
It is true that only UN supplies of water, medicine & food reach Gaza via protected humanitarian corridor - however this isn't going to build any Gaza economy - it just maintains poverty without creating the situation as in Syria such as Homs (the city literally starved to death with no UN humanitarian supplies for many Months if not years - literally no medicine)
The problem is that it is possible to live together for Jews and Arabs as I mentioned in a previous post - there are shared business, beaches and blurred boundaries within Israel in cities like Jaffa/Tell Aviv or Haifa or Jerusalem were populations completely intermingle and get to trust one another.

It is a catch 22 - without any western like enlightenment Palestinians will still keep Hamas totalitarian fundamentalists in power & not revolt.
However they have to see a light in the end of the tunnel (no puns intended) to grasp that the fundamentalist Islam is not going to become their saviour in the name of Jihad and always blame "external factors".

On the contrary when things were more peaceful Israeli's heavily traded in the west bank (and still do) boosting the west bank economy. The West bank PA autonomous Palestinian authority areas are far from a viable thriving state but no were near like Gaza - perhaps because they haven't has access to build missiles and launch them on Tel-Aviv yet.
Access to missiles is more difficult for the West Bank PA because Israel leaves the cities fully autonomous (most of the Palestinian population) but restricts the border crossing into Jordan so that heavy weapons cannot be delivered and of course you cannot build a tunnel under the river Jordan. Also the PA (Palestinian authority) isn't secular but is neither a branch of fundamentalist Islam and hence has better relations with Israel for the most part. Unfortunately Arafat was incredibly corrupt and embezzled vast amounts of money rather than further helping build the PA civilian infrastructure - but that's another issue.

So I cannot answer your question !
Opening the border to Gaza would be disastrous for both Israel and the Palestinians. If there are multiple suicide bombings Israel HAS to respond otherwise it will look like extreme weakness and bolster more suicide bombings in a perpetual cycle. Responding to suicide bombing by retaliation also increases the violence cycle as civilian Palestinians are killed. Leaving the border closed causes isolationism. In any case the trust between Israelis & Gaza Palestinians is at an appalling low and I can hardly see Israelis employing 100,000's of Palestinians especially in the current economy.

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


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16-02-2014, 01:13 PM
RE: Israel
(16-02-2014 12:49 PM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  
(16-02-2014 12:02 PM)Youkay Wrote:  I am amazed at how fast you wrote such a big body of text Big Grin

What are your thoughts about the embargo on Gaza, and Israel controlling the import of food, medicine, building material and so on. Do you think under these conditions any country could reach western standards in terms of health care, education, democracy etc.?

The people of Gaza voted for Hamas, they voted to never vote again, they voted for sharia, they voted to be an enemy of "western standerds", they voted for being a uncivilised society of fascist savages....


...... they can starve with their government.

What can I say. unfortunately this is true.

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


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16-02-2014, 01:30 PM
RE: Israel
Also recall The Germans are coming - Hamas had a civil war and forcefully removed Arafats Fatah Palestinian Authority (PA) from Gaza.

We also know that Arafat embezzled millions and had extreme corruption within the PA.
I personally know a Palestinian 'moderate' when I was at university in Manchester who's family had to flee the Palestinian Authority (PA autonomous Jenin) for having views which were more like a normal western democracy. He is fortunate because he is well educated, managed to flee and eventually got UK citizenship. He is a pragmatist with no love for Israel, but fled for his life from the PA from risk of being lynched - just for having views tolerating peace with Israel.

There are many such Palestinians in danger from the PA 'Fatah police' - I will try and find a BBC radio 4 interview with a Palestinian (not arab-Israeli) who happily works in a Jewish factory on a settlement and is happy with the wages and keeps his family healthy and prosperous. He is seen as a traitor and his life in danger for 'conspiring with the Israelis.' This person has no love for Israel and is not a traitor, just a pragmatist making a living and also building trust because he sees that the Jews are pretty normal (no horns) and the Jews see him as an ordinary Palestinian Arab civilian (not wondering if he has a suicide belt...)


[this is just an example of tensions which exist - I am not advocating there should be any extended Jewish settlements in mainly Palestinian areas - I find the right wing ultra religious orthodox Jewish nationalists a fanatical bunch of extremists which is no surprize as a secular humanist atheist on this blog ! ]

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