Senate Israel/Palestine

Discussion in 'Community' started by Obi-Wan McCartney, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    That's a very difficult question to answer, OBM, because of the cultural heritage of the Jews during and before WWII in Europe.

    My grandparents, and my mother and late uncle, were Eastern European Jews. My grandfather was born in Poland, my grandmother (both deceased now) was born in the same city, Vilnius, when it was the independent capital of Lithuania (and not part of Poland), and my mother and late uncle were born in Vilnius, capital of the Soviet republic of Lithuania.

    Same city, different borders, worlds apart.

    My grandmother spoke Lithuanian, Russian, and six other languages fluently for most of her adult life. My grandfather considered himself Polish, and my mother did (and still does) consider herself Russian.

    Think about that for a moment. An entire family, born in the same geographic location, within one generation of each other, having three separate identities? When my mother was in school, it was Russian cultural lordship over all. She was raised to be a Russian, learned Russian history and language; it was illegal to learn the native history and culture. They shot people for teaching it back then. This was despite the fact that she had two parents who were decidedly not Russian. This situation was common all over Eastern Europe, and even worse after the Holocaust, when families were destroyed and survivors scattered.

    Now, where am I going with this? With all the chaos in their lives, what held them together as a family? What held all the lives torn apart together, and brought them through the horror that was the holocaust? Their identity as Jews. This was a very common theme during that time; identity was everything, it was the glue that held everyone together through the war and its' aftermath.

    So, what could "the Jews" have done? Not very much, once Hitler rose to power in Germany. That was the real chance to stop him, and most Jews who were able saw the writing on the wall and left the country. Given the economic conditions of the Weimar Republic, and the Nazis' success in painted the Jews as pariahs, nothing short of armed conflict by a united German Jewish population-with fighters from other countries coming in-could have made a difference. In other words, nothing short of civil war in Germany would have stopped the Holocaust. Culturally, Jews back then were a very nonviolent people, so that was never going to happen. Oh, Jews weren't pacifists; my grandmother's brothers all fought in Lithuania's army, and my grandfather was an officer in the Polish army who was exiled to Siberia once the Russians conquered the country, but a "Jewish unity" aka the "Palestinian unity" wasn't going to happen.

    So I hope that answers your question OBM. I'm not sure that it does, but it's the best one I can give.

    I agree with your analysis on how the Palestinians would best accomplish their goals. I don't see it happening anytime soon, though.

    Peace,

    V-03
    Darth Geist likes this.
  2. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    I think the issue of "the Jews" also assumes the Jews have a collective mind. Ben Gurion admitted that, given the chance, he would only save Jews who would join him on the Zionist project. Over in the States, Harold Ickes had a plan to settle Jewish refugees from Europe in Alaska (And yes, this was the inspiration for Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union. Why do you ask?) But most of the Roosevelt administration didn't want to bother, and American Jews were afraid it would look like the Jews were taking over.

    Surprised? Most of the world's leaders play politics with people's lives on a daily basis.
  3. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Vader, I think you missed my point, but in your response you've helped demonstrate what I was trying to get accross. Given your suggestion, is it surprising that many Palestineans feel armed conflict is their only hope against being wiped out? You can't deny that there is a part of Isreal that would like to see a completely unified greater Isreal without any Palestine whatsoever. Given that there are people on both sides of the conflict that wish for the other nation to cease existing, it gets very difficult for anyone to trust anyone or to go "non-violent."

    Personally, I personally think non-violence is the answer for both the Palestineans and Isrealis. Both countries pay a price for the use of violent tactics, one way or another. In this charged conflict, a violent response ultimately hurts both countries.

    I agree DarthI's comment, and the same goes for any group of people, Palestineans, Americans, Germans, etc.
  4. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    Basically, the problem is when evil becomes so banal.

    Interestingly, Newt Gingrich, who still parrots the Zionist line that Palestinians don't exist that, the line even the Israelis have abandoned (and it mirrors the British view of Australia as terra nullius), recently praised Andrew Jackson in South Carolina.

    Also, wrt: Israeli spies, I just want to add that if you let people do what they want, they'll abuse that right.
  5. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    OBM, I get what you're saying, but you missed my point as well, as did DI.

    Jews per se don't have a collective mind, but european jews during the pre-WWII era very much did. The cultural zeitgeist of the early 1930s was one of collective identity, and to an extent, collective victimization.

    After the Holocaust, this transformed into "collective strength", with the first generation of Israeli Jews-not just their leaders-who established, fought, and died for the existence of Israel. In modern times, that zeigeist is fragmented between not only jews of different nationalities, but within the same national borders. Look at American Jews; some are very conservative, but most are liberal on the American political scale, and most support a Palestinian state.

    Within Israel, it's really only a minority who don't want peace, but they have a very loud voice and wield a disproportionate amount of power. On the Palestinian side, the average Palestinian probably just wants his or her life to get better and will happily see their government negotiate a peace settlement with Israel, but it is the facet who wants Israel completely destroyed, and their representatives in the Palestinian leadership, who are preventing any real peace process from moving forward.

    Does this shed any more light on what I am trying to say?

    Peace,

    V-03
  6. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Just bumping this up for the newcomers.
  7. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    Was combing through old threads and came across this one. I'm a relative newbie so I'm not going to go through page after page and get into the tit for tat, so I'll lead off with a fairly open-ended question:

    @LostOnHoth, I find the juxtaposition of your signature and your avatar very interesting. Let us imagine that tomorrow, miraculously, the Israelis and Palestinian governing authorities agree on territorial disputes and establish separate, self-determinate, sovereign polities. Just what kind of laws do you think would emerge in Palestine? Would freedom of thought--specifically, freedom to offend the dignity of "Allah"--be high on the agenda?
    Last edited by Condition2SQ, Oct 19, 2012
  8. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    How is that relevant to the topic of this thread?
  9. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Honestly, tolerance of blasphemy is probably going to take a while to gain acceptance anywhere in the Middle East.
  10. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I'm glad you find it interesting but it really just indicates that I am an atheist who happens to support the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. Believe it or not, there are Palestinian atheists who nevertheless identify as being "Muslim" in the same way as there are lusty teenage Israeli atheists who nevertheless identify as being "Jewish". In the "Holy Land" religion is just an unavoidable cultural, social and political reality. I guess what I'm saying is that religion is just a given in that part of the world that it is hard to fathom that there are people who do not believe in god at all, but there most certainly are. They just don't admit it on official records. All you have to do is read the preamble to the Israeli Constitution to see why it's not a good idea to be identified as anything other than "Jewish" as an Isreaeli citizen -even if you think the Torah is a load of crap.

    In terms of the kind of laws which would "emerge" in Palestine, this has been a major project for the Palestinian Authority and the previous PLO since the late 1990s when the current 'interim' Palestinian Constitution was first formally drafted. The current Palestinian "Basic Laws" is an interim Constitution which is pretty much settled, though it still contains articles which are controversial. There is a link to the Basic Laws below:

    http://www.palestinianbasiclaw.org/basic-law/2003-amended-basic-law

    The part that I think you will find interesting is Article 4 - particularly the tension between the principles of IslamicShari’a law which are stated to be the "principal source of legislation" and the rest of the Constitution which promises freedom of thought, freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Personally, I think the Basic Law has been hijacked by the Islamic fundies, as Fatah and the PA have always maintained a very secular position (compare and contrast to Hamas). So to answer your question, I would have hoped that freedom of thought and freedom of speech and religion would be high on the agenda (as these concepts are reasonably entrenched within the Constitution), but I'm not optimistic that this will be the practical outcome when a soveign Palestinian state is eventually established, as I firmly believe that the Islamic fundies (such as Hamas) have been given the opportunity to thrive. I would personally like to see all fundies of all religious denominations (including Hamas) deposited into the most forsaken, deserted corners of the world and left to duke it it with each other. I saw a quote today which I just love: "Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest" - Denis Diderot. Gruesome, but apt.
  11. epic Ex Mod / RSA

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 1999
    star 7
  12. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Well it looks like the Palestinians will be making their submission to the UN this month.

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/1236632/1/.html

    This looks to be Obama's first foreign policy dilemma since winning re-election. The position taken by the US on this just defies common sense. We are not talking about Palestinian membership on the Security Council or anything, the Palestinians are seeking upgraded 'non-state' observer status. It's a necessary and important step for the Palestinians to rehabilitiate their international image and standing and such moves should be strongly encouraged as it will also serve to further destabilise the likes of Hamas. The US 'policy' that the Palestinians may only move forward with the consent and coperation of Israel is not only ludicrous it guarantees violent extremism. It also suits Israel as Israel can continue with its illegal settlements creating "facts on the ground" whilst ensuring that peace negotiations never develop.

    I mean, Israel are seeking "sanctions" against the Palestinians for making the bid. Sanctions.

    I'm surprised Israel didn't apply for sanctions when Palestine participated in the 2012 Olymic Games.
    I must say I was very, very, very happy to see a Palestinian Olympic team:

    http://imeu.net/news/article0022832.shtml

    They can compete at the Olympics but can't enjoy 'observer status' in the UN? What a crazy, stupid world we live in.

    I dearly hope Mr Obama can actually show some inspired leadership on this issue.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Nov 11, 2012
    Summer Dreamer likes this.
  13. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Alas the article's infestation with "Obama administration opposes the move" mentions suggests your hope is in vain, Hoth.
  14. Yodaminch Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 5
    Indeed. Remember debate 3 where Romney and Obama competed to see who could most kiss up to Israel? They are our BFFs apparently. So don't expect anything to change.
  15. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Yeah, "self determination" be damned. It's just ridiculous that the only thing that the Palestinians can do without getting permission from the US and Israel is to lob missiles over the border into Israel. As the US and Israel will not permit the Palestinians to do anything which is actually constructive then it is little surprise that missiles are still being fired over the border. Of course, Israel wants the missile strikes to continue.

    The international community needs to understand that Israel is not a genuine peace partner. Whilst the threat of Palestinian violence remains, it will have the support of US veto rights to block any progress which will allow the continuation of Israeli settlements. It is therefore in Israel's vested interests to prolong the status quo as long as possible.

    It seems like a strange thing to say but I actually held out more hope for George W Bush as a President willing to take a more common sense approach than I do for Obama, who seems to be able to make a great speech and look good in a suit but little else.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Nov 11, 2012
  16. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Now you're pushing it. My hopes for W fixing it were 0. My hope for Obama fixing it is.. more than 0.
    But if he fixes it, he will do so on his terms, not the Palestinians'. He will dictate, and that will be the best we can hope for.
    Last edited by SuperWatto, Nov 11, 2012
  17. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I don't think any one US President can "fix it" but the US can at least pave the way in the UN for concepts such as "freedom" and "self determination" to be more than just catchy election soundbytes. It seems curious that the United States of America could be on the wrong side of a vote on whether a nation has the right to self determination:

    http://www.un.int/wcm/content/site/palestine/pid/29811

    I guess the criteria for US 'self detemination' is whether the country has ever been invaded by the US and its leadership deposed. Iraq, yes. Palestine no it seems.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Nov 11, 2012
  18. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Cool! Holland is in favour.
    The past two, three years we had a government that was the most pro-Israel government in Europe. But after recent elections, suddenly the guy who's always been the most critical of Israel is Minister of Foreign Affairs. All EU countries are in favor... Maybe now's the time for the EU to take the initiative again.
  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    So, thoughts on the Israeli strikes on Hamas leadership? Is this a show of independence to Washington?
  20. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 6
    what's ol' geert wilders up to these days i wonder, superwatto?
  21. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Riling, as usual. But in the absence of local terrorist activity, now he's riling against the Polish workforce, the EU, and the State.
    His shtick is that Holland is selling out its sovereignty by complying with EU financial decisions. But most of the sponsor money for his party and his court cases come from right-wing American lobby groups and people like Pamela Geller and Daniel Pipes.
    Last edited by SuperWatto, Nov 15, 2012
  22. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 6
    well they at least share his ein blut sensibilities if not his specific nationality. its like germany aligning with italy and japan against the mongrel nations like the soviet union and the united states
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Nov 15, 2012
  23. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    My thoughts are that the media coverage of this specific event distorts the reality that there is a full blown shooting war going on in Gaza which has been going on for years and years, and so I don't really read too much into it other than the fact that the IDF are now posting their assassination vidoes on social media. Nobody will ever rival the PR machine of the Israelis. What the media coverage ignores is that this particular event is just one of thousands of exchanges of fire between Hamas and the IDF. It's a cycle of violence perpetrated by both sides. Israel says that they are responding to rocket attacks which kill civilians, the Gazans say they are retaliating against targeted bombings within Gaza which kill civilians, Israel says that dropping bombs in residential area is OK because they are targeting "terrorists" (everyone involved in armed struggle against Israel is a "terrorist"), Hamas say they are just defending themselves, Israel are just defending themselves, blah blah blah.

    The coverage of events is just a good distraction from the underlying causes of the conflict in Gaza. It is a phenomena known to the US when they invaded Iraq. People were transfixed by the images and the day to day tally of deaths and casualties that it allowed to forget why the US was there in the first place. This is now the strategy if the IDF. You will note that very little of the media coverage actually delves into any underlying issues, the coverage just focuses on the events, the quotes of "hell being unleashed" and a body count. Whilst we have live to air coverage of these events, nobody is asking why there are rocket attacks to begin with? Nobody is asking about the conditions in Gaza -the Gazans can just be porttayed as 'terrorists' and Israel can portay themselves as the defender rather than the aggressor.
    Violent Violet Menace likes this.
  24. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    I hear that the man who was executed, Ahmad Jabari, had just brokered a deal between Hamas and Israel on the day before his execution.