Senate Israel/Palestine

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

  1. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Perhaps in the interests of steering this thread a little more towards the topic it might be worthwhile looking at the influence of the 'Jewish Lobby' in American media and politics?

    http://www.rense.com/general27/jlobby.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_lobby

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_lobby_in_the_United_States

    From the article written by Mark Weber "A LOOK AT THE `POWERFUL JEWISH LOBBY':

    I've always found the Hollywood angle very interesting, particularly given that Hollywood has appararently produced 175 films on the Nazi holocaust since 1989 *source: Christian Science Monitor (2002) "The one serious subject
  2. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I thought it interesting that on NPR one commentator was saying that the Prime Minister of Israel's personal relationship with the President, which spans decades, is far more influential than any Jewish lobby.

    Also I do think the US should take a more active role in checking Israel when they do things like with their settlment policies that are clearly against our interest, but all this talk of blame and who is morally worse is useless. Israel likes us, Palestine doesn't. Our enemies support one side, we support another. This is a proxy war between the rising regional powers and the US. It is in our interest for Israel to look strong. I liked the way David Brooks put it. We should put pressure to make sure they are more careful about civilian casualties, and allow more humanitarian aid in because it would give them more moral standing in the world, even if it does or does not weaken support of Hamas.

    But even though the need for an international force to break these two up is apparent, our system has clearly failed us because no such thing is going to happen.

    Also note that it is the Democrats that should be the ones leading the pressure on Israel, but they will do no such thing. So much for change you thought you believed in. It is going to be funny watching the netroots react to Obama continuing so many policies of Bush because we don't have that many realistic alternatives.
  3. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I'm not sure if I read you post right, LoH. Are you equating making movies about The Holocaust to having a pro-Israeli bias?

    I really sorta hope not. :p
  4. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    I think what people are arguing, Espy, is that there is eventually a line. Patriotism is all well and fine, as is looking out for one's self interests and such...but there comes a point when we can't support things, no matter how beneficial they are for us. For me, what Israel is doing fits that bill perfectly. I can't, as a human being, sit back and be okay with what is happening over there, because it benefits my country.

    Further, I would argue that it's in our nation's best interest to be a strong proponent of human rights, regardless of what side of the conflicts our allies and enemies are on.
  5. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I'm not a defender of Israel. I didn't like it when SuperWatto was using the fact Hamas doesn't have UN resolutions issued against it, and after most everyone agreed that being declared a terrorist organization doesn't make them any better.

    There is a line, but the numbers of people killed is not necessarily an indication of wrongdoing. If someone shoots a gun at you, then hides in a crowd and continues to shoot at you, and you fire into the crowd, can you really place full blame on one or the other?
  6. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    And our interests in supporting Israel also have their limits -- we need to have good relationships with other countries in the area because of oil. And those relationships are severely strained (as are our relationships with Europe) when we sit back and let Israel do whatever they want. Finding a reasonable solution to the conflict is in our long term interest, and that solution is not going to be achieved through military means.

    It's absurd to try and assign "good" and "bad" labels in this -- each side has a case about how it has been wronged, and each side has made tremendous contributions to making the situation worse rather than better. A solution will only be found if one looks at the situation pragmatically -- what can be done moving forward? And I would argue that Israel's current actions (as well as Hamas's) are not only not in our interests, but not in their own, either. Is Israel really going to stop the missile attacks through it's attack on Gaza? Heck no. What they are going to do is make even more people in Gaza militant, give more people a reason to strap a bomb around their waist and walk into a cafe in Jerusalem, Haifa or Tel Aviv and blow themselves and anyone in their vicinity to smithereens.
  7. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    No, I'm never going to make light of something like the Holocaust but there is plenty of interesting arguments out there that the Holocaust has become an 'industry' to perpetuate the labelling of Jews as the eternal 'victims'. Norman G Finkelstein has written a very popular book called "The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering". I haven't read it yet but I've read other books he has written and his conclusions are always meticulously researched and well supported by documentary evidence.

    My earlier comment is really just linked to that part of the article I extracted concerning the dominance of Jews in executive positions within the film and TV industrises in the US.
  8. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I'd say that Europe's general reaction to what's going on in Gaza-and increasing numbers of Americans, too, who don't watch American news-kinda puts a major dent in that. If it's some sort of attempt to paint Jews as innocent, it's certainly failing miserably on a world basis.

  9. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    GA,

    How did Hamas fight Israel so well?

    * Well? The only reason it looks like Hamas is doing well is because Israel is fighting stupid. It's basically a Vietnam-style war, Israel is trying to fight a guerilla organisation by conventional warfare which does not work in this type of conflict.

    If ordinary Gazans decided to fight Hamas they would win. I would support funding them if they agreed to recognize Israel and work for peace.

    * Work for peace with what? There is no independence in Gaza, Israel still controls the important stuff like food, utility supplies, economic options. For peace to come about there has to be a willingness in Israel for Gaza to be independent instead of an easily controlled backwater.

    Gazans need to realize that they have only two options. Support Hamas, who likes it when you and your kids are found in pieces across a bombed out building. Or support Israel who would perfer if that they all live. Hamas is the enemy. Israel realizes this, Gazans need to as well.

    * You again make the mistake that a lack of opposition to Hamas by the people of Gaza equals tacit support for Hamas, it's not that simple.

    Hamas had public support, when they started the coup. Now that could be different.

    * And why did they get public suport at all? Because they have been doing what Fatah should have been doing but weren't. They were providing services, much in the way Hezbollh does in Lebanon.

    And as I said if the people that fought Hamas would recognize Israel and work for a peace with Israel then I would campaign for funding them. I would support my government sending them every surplus weapon we have.

    * Frankly recognition of Israel is likely to be furthest from most Palestinian minds, I don't think they could give a toss about it. Where does Hamas draw power and support from? The economic imbalance where there are few jobs available and the bulk are in Israel, who shuts down border movement frequently; whose checkpoints hinder free movement within the areas given to Palestinians. It draws support from the small things, from people being prevented building a life for themselves, stopped from engaging in civil work due to the 'bigger picture'.

    * The biggest hurdles are the settlers and the security mania. Anyone who thinks the security wall Israel is building will stop the rockets is deluded, of course it won't. So how do you get security? Disempower Hamas, act in such a way as to do that which it does but far better. Israel should treat the Palestinians on the ground as they'd like to be treated, that in turn should pay dividends as word spreads. Add into this meaningful and regular work and will Hamas get support so easily? No. Of course, this will be a hard and slow process that doesn't look anywhere near as hard or macho as sending in the army or bombing and will be sabotaged at every turn by Hamas who won't go easily.

    * Yet what is the alternative? Israel has been doing the hardline approach for near 20 years now, what has it got them? What has it achieved? Nothing that I can see as being beneficial for either side. The fact is Hamas is never going to be able to destroy Israel, it doesn't have the ability - all it can do is kill its citizens. Sure, that ain't good, but neither is it the super-strong demon it sometimes gets painted as.

    * Changing tack, a general Q to the Americans here:

    * It's easy to work out what Israel gains from the relationship with the US, while the Cold War was on, it was easy to see why the US supported Israel so much. But what about now? What concrete political benefit does the US get from Israel?

    * The reason I ask is: It looks like a 1-way street to me, whch seems odd.
  10. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    It's easy to work out what Israel gains from the relationship with the US, while the Cold War was on, it was easy to see why the US supported Israel so much. But what about now? What concrete political benefit does the US get from Israel?


    Simple: A practically guaranteed ally, and check to Iran's potential ambitions. Our "allies" in the Gulf region are unstable theocracies built on oil money and ripe with internal dissent. When the oil runs out, those countries are going to collapse because they won't have anything to fall back on.

    Compared to the disaster looming for the Gulf states, a country with a largely stable population, non-single-source economy, and a relatively mild domestic insurgent problem is a practical godsend. Not to mention that Israel has nuclear weapons; it's the ideal check to Iran. Even if it builds them, it still risks destruction.
  11. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    DB, I don't doubt that that's indeed the rationale, but
    I'm not sure about that... Look at this:

    Today Israeli Arabs (that is, Palestinians living within Israel's pre-1967 borders and in East Jerusalem) have one of the highest population-growth rates in the world (among Israeli Arabs in the Negev, specifically, it is the highest), and they now make up about 20 percent of Israel's population; demographers project that they'll compose nearly a quarter of the population by 2020, and as much as 30 percent by 2050. (These figures don't count the approximately 150,000 Palestinian noncitizens, drawn to Israel largely by the prospect of higher-paying jobs, who live there illegally.) Such large antagonistic minorities have historically engendered conflict and calls for binationalism, which would further weaken the Jewish state.

    More troublesome still, a future Palestinian state hemmed in between the Green Line and the Jordan and in the Gaza Strip will face astronomical population growth (the population in Gaza now doubles every generation, and an enormous influx of former refugees now living throughout the Arab world?mostly in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon?is almost certain), scarce water, and dire economic conditions. (The obvious outlet for Palestinian labor?Israel?will perforce be tightly closed; otherwise the sort of creeping immigration the United States has experienced from Mexico would swamp Israel, thereby subverting efforts to maintain a Jewish state.) A host of realistic Israeli observers, including Israel's national security adviser, General Giora Eiland, doubt that the area between the Mediterranean and the Jordan contains enough land and resources to sustain two viable sovereign states. In few places in the world do conditions more demand that two peoples develop a symbiotic relationship; in no other place are the chances of building such a relationship more remote.

  12. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Dang, 20 percent and growing?

    Guess I can forget the stable-population bit. :p


    Edit: The Palestinians don't need to worry about rocketing the Israelis. They'll vastly outnumber them in less than a century anyway. :p
  13. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Heh, twenty percent, that's a larger percentage than the people who voted yes on prop 8.
  14. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Then go post in my stinking thread about that law. They clearly need help. :p
  15. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    This is a fact that does not go unnoticed in the corridors of power in Israel. Note the Israeli Declaration of Independence mandates a Jewish state. This is why Israel will never agree to any 'right of return' for Palestinian refugees, which is, has been and always will be a major obstacle in negotiating any kind of peace deal.

    Great analysis Jedi Ben!
  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Thanks Boba, so it's geopolitics as usual then? Hmm, OK but I'd still be inclined to see it as bit unequal, that israel benefits to the greater degree but that's politics for you.

    As to the demographics point, this was part of what motivated Sharon's pull-out from Gaza. It's also why Israel is trying to bolster its population by accepting Jews from anywhere, so the ones that come in like the Russians, tend to be very religious which, in regard to this situation, doesn't help matters.
  17. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    There's second key demographic to keep in mind with Israel -- the "orthodox" part of the jewish population is growing far more quickly than the more "secular" part (aggain due to birth rates). The orthodox tend to take a far more militant ("God gave us this land") stance than their more secular counterparts. So as time goes by, it's going to get even harder to get the two sides to come to a reasonable compromise.
  18. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    True, at first glance, but there is the N Ireland example where the two more hardline figures were the ones to make the deal work - Paisley and Adams - and not the relatively more moderate Taylor and Hume. Nor was it that long ago either that this happened and it's from permanently solved, the IRA are still running drugs and beating people but it's better than shooting and bombings. An acceptance of the imperfect and partial nature of any solution would go a long way in this theatre too.

    Yes, foolishly optimistic...I know.
  19. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Yeah, but I don't think of Paisley and Adams as particularly "religious". They were hard-line, but their "difference" was an ethnic one (albeit along lines of religion, but only as far as it distinguished them ethnically, for the most part). When faith/belief is taken out of the mix, even hard-liners can be pragmatic (e.g. Rabin). But someone who believes God has given them a right or has commanded them to do something (Prop 8) to something isn't going to change their mind very quickly.
  20. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Ah, Rabin.

    I'm convinced that he would have been a hard enough bastard to not only force Arafat to do what he should do, but would also have forced Israel to do all it should too. That he would have had enough weight and history to be immune to the cries of being weak from Israelis, due to his military background and be able to use carrot-stick tactics and actually deliver on the carrots.

    Of course, that road would ultimately lead to a confrontation with the settlers and religious hardliners, so they killed him.

    Arguably the biggest setback for the peace process and it was done by a nutcase Jew. There's somethin terribly sad about that.

    And everyone in the area has paid for that act since.
  21. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    To make matters worse, he was succeeded by Netanyahu.
  22. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Obviously they have to return to the pre-1967 borders. I thought that was understood.

    If you're intent on assigning responsibility, then you need to address europe's, and especially Britain's, role in creating the current crisis. I think focusing on "ok, we have to assign blame, then we can work on peace", is a waste of time. That type of thinking allows the extremists on both sides to predominate; it leads to a rising cacophony of tit-for-tat examples of who is "worse" and who "started it", which tends not to end well, and accomplishes nothing.

    There is responsibility to be had the world over. If you're going to talk about blame solely between the two countries, I blame both sides equally.

    EDIT: Major props to Gonk for trying to say what I have been attempting to articulate this entire thread. Very well put.

    Peace,

    V-03
  23. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Both sides have hardliners that want to wipe out the other side.
    But only one of them is backed extensively by Europe and the U.S..
    That's the kind of responsibility I mean.

    Going back to pre-'67 borders is not understood in the Israeli government, and their actions and the 'facts on the ground' point in the opposite direction. So if Europe and the U.S. are to take responsibility, they have to make Israel go back to pre-'67 borders.
  24. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    If you're intent on assigning responsibility, then you need to address europe's, and especially Britain's, role in creating the current crisis. I think focusing on "ok, we have to assign blame, then we can work on peace", is a waste of time. That type of thinking allows the extremists on both sides to predominate; it leads to a rising cacophony of tit-for-tat examples of who is "worse" and who "started it", which tends not to end well, and accomplishes nothing.

    Britain's cardinal sin in the entire affair was the same as France's: assuming they had either the right or responsibility for governing the region once the Ottoman Empire was gone. They didn't do it in Audtria-Hungary, why was the Ottoman situation any different.

    Once you get over that, the British situation turned out approximately as best as it could have turned out given the situation. The Palestinians didn't want them there. The Jews didn't really want them there either. They were attacked on both sides, enaboled both sides, and tried to straddle a position in the middle where none could be afforded.

    And so, naturally, they arrived at a solution that suited them and thier needs rather than one that suited the region itself, much like the UN resolution. How that factors into the blame game of the entire scenario, I'm not sure.

    Frankly as silly as it sounds you want to know who is the MOST to blame for this entire scenario? THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

    If the Romans hadn't vacated the Jews, they'd still hopefully be there. Of course if Muhammed would have accomodated them one cannot say, but at least it would have been decided back then and not now. And if the Romans hadn't removed the Jews, the vacated land wouldn't have been used by someone else.

    So if you want to blame someone, blame the Romans. But a lot of good that will do you: you'd have to travel back well over a thousand years to even so much as just give them a piece of your mind.
  25. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Oil. (not in Palestine specifically, but in the region).

    The pre-67 borders are hardly the goal Hamas is aiming for either. Fatah now has resigned itself to those borders, or something similar, but they were offered pretty much that by Clinton and Barak, and they turned it down, because there was still enough in a belief in their ranks that nothing less than everything was acceptable.

    As for support, don't forget all the oil money that goes to supporting Hamas and Hezbollah. Not the same as the support Israel gets, but nothing to laugh at, either.