Tuesday, January 16, 2007

thought for tuesday

i am not a particularly religious person- and i am certainly not jewish. my family has been protestant from day one and the only reason i am at all familiar with anything in the jewish religion- is because i had a friend who converted to orthodox judaism. so- my perspective is one of skepticism and a decidedly non religious point of view. i have a tendency to boil things down to their simplest terms- in my world- so that i can lay them bare and try to understand.

so- here is the middle east in my nutshell. i know ahead of time that folks will not agree with me- and i know ahead of time that i will piss some folks off. i may be wrong in my assumptions but this is where i am at right now.

the western folks- namely britain- should not have offered up palestine to the jewish folks without giving the arab folks some notice. it wasn't theirs to give- except under western law. since they did- the arab folks could have cut the refugees some slack- but didn't- hence starting a war. since the 1948 united nations resolution, neither side has done what it was supposed to. in fact, with just a suspicion of threats, israel began pre-emptive strikes in 1967- which led to un resolution 242-which to this day israel has not complied with. the arab folks, distrustful of westerners and western backed jewish folks, continued to refuse to acknowledge israel's right to exist- and so the band played on.

well, the deal of the thing is- and where i am having a hard time coming to grips with the whole thing- the israeli government- right wing, of course- is treating the palestinian folks- muslim and christian fyi- abominably. the palestinian government agreed at least 3 times on 3 different occasions to abide by agreements that the western world came up with. israel has declined. they continue to treat the palestinians as they were treated in the ghettos of europe in world war 2. now, tell me if i am wrong here- but for highly religious people- isn't this wrong? or do they have the same mandate as bush and cheney? i understand the need for the arab world to acknowledge the existence of israel- and again, they have done so in several public statements. hamas and hezbollah are not recongnized by the western governements but hamas has indicated willingness to work with the israeli government and to acknowledge israel- but israel has declined.

what i have seen is israel continuing to ignore the united nations resolution 242; the camp david accords- which begin signed; and the geneva convention number 4. no war crimes charges have been filed against the israeli government either for cutting off food, water, housing, medical care, and financial aid for the palestinians. they are also denied legal aid. does the punishment fit the crime? do hezbollah's missles from lebanon and the suicide bombers justify starving and isolating people who are mostly under the age of 16? you tell me. my other thought is- why is it such a taboo topic to talk about? why are people not allowed to be as critical of israel as they are of the arabs? both sides have been negligent in the peace process but recently, it has been pretty one sided. israel is the alleged democracy in the middle east- but what kind of a democracy imprisons millions of its inhabitants and considers them aliens? oh- right- the american kind.


D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

Hmmm...I wonder what American sentiment would be if the Reconquesta armed themselves and starte lobbing home-made missiles into major American cities.

Well...we know what SOME would do...blame America!

Donnie McDaniel said...

I often wonder why it is taboo also. Any statement agaist israel is considered to be anti-semite. The thing is being an israeli and being jewish is two different things. One does not have to be jewish to be an israeli.

That seems to be the common miscoception. If they do something foolish, they should be called on it just as we should. It's just that simple.

Kvatch said...

In my intemperate youth I was an ardent supporter of Isreal, but as I got older my thinking has swung around largely due to the same thoughts that you've outlined here, and...I've lost friends over it. Tha taboo of supposed 'anti-semitism' is very strong.

betmo said...

i don't condone terrorist attacks against israel if that's what is being implied. i guess i didn't make that clear in the post. the arab countries did not embrace israel and did indeed attack israel in the past. of that- there is no dispute. however, my bigger point is this:

the nation of israel was started as a safe haven for jewish folks who had been through the horrors of the holocaust. how can they turn around and commit the same atrocities towards a group of people whom they took the land from? make no mistake- the palestinians had their homes and land and livlihoods taken away from them so that predominately jewish settlers could emigrate to israel.

i have a feeling that if canadians decided to emigrate to america and started settling in and kicking out americans from prime real estate- we would choose to fight back too. especially if we were rounded up and herded onto reservations with big walls around to cut us off to the outside world- against the mandates of the geneva convention.

so- my question is- why does america and israel get to do whatever we want without regard to international laws which we have ascribed to in the past? why aren't there ramifications and accountability- and why is the rest of the world held to standards that we are not?

DivaJood said...

I truly wish it could be simplified, and explained away. Certainly, the current Israeli government seems to be an extension of Bush - and this turn to the far right really began to take shape with Netanyahu. It is not the Israel I lived in, that's for sure.

But after WW2, when Jews were released from the Nazi concentration camps, they became displaced persons. When we arrived on boats in what was then Palestine, we were denied entry - we were kept on the boats.

The biggest problem with the Balfour Declaration was not that it gave land to the Jews; it was that the British made no real provisions for the Palestinians. In actuality the Palestinians are from an area in Jordan, however, Jordan doesn't want them. Nobody wants them. They are the "Jews" of the Middle East (and here I mean "Jew" in the perjorative manner that most of the world has referred to us by.)

There are many Jews and Israelis who believe that Palestinians and Israeli Jews can and must co-exist. Unfortunately, they are not in power. We do discuss it. Jews in Israel demonstrate about it. It is not a taboo subject.

The issue most of us have, though, is that the left tends to have a knee-jerk reaction against the Jewish government in favor of the Palestinians (who are not Arabs, by the way. We also tend to identify all non-Jewish people in the Middle East as Arabs. They are not.) Muslims in general are hell bent on driving Israel into the sea. Palestinians strap bombs to their young people, who walk into schools, busses, crowded shopping areas, and blow themselves and civilians to bits.

MOST statements against Israel tend to be anti-semetic, and with all due respect, that is a problem. MOST statements against Israel tend to have many levels of disinformation. And I have yet to see anyone make a statement condemning Israel's government AND condemning Hamas, or Hezbollah.

I feel strongly about this issue. I have ideas for solutions but am not in goverment. I am not alone in my opinions.

But please visit the Anti-Defamation League, or look at the Museum of Tolerance; learn a bit more about OUR history as Jews before you condemn our homeland completely.

spadoman said...

I see the first commenter is talking about the Reconquetas, this is a Mexican group that has ideas of RE conquering the parts of the Unoted States that they feel belong to Mexico.

Not quite the same argument as the Israeli/Palestine argument. Compare apples to apples and I'll listen to your inuendo. Obviously Americans would fight if attacked by Reconquestas.

But I believe Betmo's point that Israel attacks, as a sovereign nation, and the United States backs them up. In fact, the USA has never gona against their decision to attack and punish the Palestinians.

On the other hand, the Palestinians lost the "war" that vreated the separate states, or no state as is the case, in the first place.

These factions have been fighting based on religious beliefs and principles for 4000 years. If we resolve one issue, another will rear its head. This is for all time. I don't ever see these two factions agreeing to peace in any form overall. Bits and pieces, but never overall.

One comes to your land and rapes your wife and daughter, kills your brother, takes over and lives in your house and kicks you out and leaves you with no place to go and says deal with it.

Both sides have done these things to each other at one time or another over the years, There will be no peace.

The taboo thing is for a couple of reasons as I see it. It gives the USA a foothold in the Middle East no matter what else transpires, and it is pay back to the Jews for what happened in Nazi Germany during the Halocaust.

betmo said...

diva- i quite agree with your statements. there is no denying that arabs and israelis both bear responsibility. there is no condoning hamas and hezbollah and their tactics.

we have to start somewhere. the status quo isn't cutting it. american politics is not helping matters at all in the region- and i just feel that someone somewhere has to start taking some responsibility and working towards a separate state for palestine and israel. right now- the palestinians are aliens in their own land. semantics over borders are not conducive to stopping the problems and i guess what i am wondering- is why the israelis are treating these folks so horribly. fight them as equals but don't starve them to death. arabs and israelis in general are ready for peace but the governments of both are not interested.

dawn said...

You know I love ya but can't agree on this. In my opinion they were close to peace and the palestinians attacked again because they do not want peace. They want Isreal gone. They do not recognize them as a people and would gladly obliterate them if they could. My knowledge of the land is the same as divajoods. Isreali's fight to survive surronded by enemys. I can't agree with your sentiment.
As for starting somewhere how do you start with a civilization that lives in the stone ages. They bring there children up to be suicide bombers. I don't see and end to it because Isreali will not and can not back down because it would be there destruction. When the isrealis gave the palestinians the gaza strip it wasn't enough they won't be satisfied. I'm sorry to be rambling but the truth is that is why I live here and not in the middle east.

jovial_cynic said...

Dawn - if you look at some area maps that show Israeli-controlled lands and Palestinian-controlled lands, you might reconsider the "surronded by enemys" position. Remember - the focus of this post was Israel/Palestine, and the Palestinians are hardly a valid thread to the Israeli infrastruture.

As for surrounding nations, Israeli's superior military might was pretty cleanly demonstrated in their aggressive move into Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon. The immediately surrounding countries are not a threat to Israel. Iran, with their nuclear objective, may be a threat in the future, but Israel's own nuclear arsenal should provide a deterrant; nobody wants nuclear winter.

landsker said...

Ah Betmo, You speak of Israel, and the jewish religion. Therein certainly sits the solution, to so many of the worlds` problems.
The state of Israel as we know it, is the brainchild of many people, Balfour was one, as was Campbell-Bannerman before him.
Its` existence was planned long before Hitler became yet another leader who sought to expel the Jews from his homeland.
Before him, the Spanish, the Romans, the Moors, even the British, in 1290, had forbidden any jew to reside in their Kingdoms. (Usual stuff, ritual murder, usury, fraud....)

But most of all, the driving force has been the Rothschild family. They have dreams of the "greater Israel", extending from the Nile to the Euphrates.
Google searh Rothschild, but add in the word Israel.
Then google search Rothschild/Napoleonic Wars., and Rothshild/Rockerfellow, and Rothshild/freemasonry, then Rothschild/America.
Rothschild/Ottoman war is one of the most interesting.

The Rothschild family has many interests, amongst them banking and war, along with so many others, they have their visions and dreams, amongst them, the notion of a single world government, a single currency, and a single set of laws.

As a goyim, I have concerns.

By the way, Dawn.
To say that the Arabs are from the stone age, and raise their kids to be suicide bombers indicates that perhaps you have a prejudice.

For me, all organised religions are nothing more than vehicles for nepotistical prejudice and nefarious elitism.
A solution must be found, but not by building bigger armies or more powerful bombs.
We owe it to our children, to stop this madness of war and religion.

dawn said...

For those who really know me they know I am not prejudice. Maybe being in NYC at the time of 9/11 and having to fear for the lives of my kids and family and friends have given me a harsher view than most. That said I believe the whole region is backwards and that they treat women with disdain and need to come into the 21st century.
I still believe Isreal is surrounded by enemys and it is naive to think they aren't.

deuddersun said...

Okay. First let me say that there are millions of Jews, both in Israel and the US who neither support the War in Iraq nor the right wing government which is currently controlling Israel, (in my opinion, Israel is much more of a theocracy than a democracy, but that's another story), however you never hear about them here in the US, Why? The pro-Israeli lobby. Israeli lobbyists are the only one's who are not required to register as agents of a foriegn government, why?

Second, look up Operation Cleanbreak: A New Strategy For Securing The Realm. This is a right wing position paper written by Netanyahu and other Likudniks in 1996 outlining the events we are experiencing today! Including Israel's recent battles in Lebanon and our own in Iraq. Guess what the next step is? If you said War with Iran you got it!

Now go look up the Project For A New American Century. Back in 1998 this bastion of former Regan Republicans (now known as neo-conservatives) advocated the idea that war with Iraq was necessary to the survival of both Israel and the US as we entered the 21st century. Take a look at who the members of PNAC are and compare them to AEI and Operation Cleanbreak. These are right wingers who seek a "New World Order", regardless of their religious backgrounds.

I'm not making this up. The words are theirs and are there for any to read. Like Hitler in Mein Kampft, they have never tried to keep it secret.

I'll even give you the links:

PNAC: http://www.newamericancentury.org/index.html

Op Cleanbreak: http://www.rense.com/general73/might.htm

The cries of anti-semeticism we hear from the ardent supporters of Israel are meant to diminish any outrage over the policies described in these documents and ring hollow. Saying someone is anti-semetic because one is against the policies of the Israeli government is like saying that we who oppose George Bush are anti-American. It is an insult to me and one I will not tolerate.


You might also like to investigate Jewish Voice For Peace ( http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/ ) an organization you will almost certainly never hear of in the MSM