Is Israel 'special'?

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  • Thread starter Zero
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  • #1
I've been around here since the last days of PF V1. Since my first days, I have noticed a knee-jerk reaction to Israel, and the Jewish people in general, that has absolutely nthing to do with reality. For many people, either they hate Israel with a huge passion, or they feel that any criticism of Israel makes you a racist.

Can someone explain it to me? Why is it that people cannot see that, just like any other country, Israel can be wonderful or horrible, depending on the context? How can people pretend that Israel is blameless in their dealings with Palestine? And how can others pretend that there aren't Israelis who are willing to compromise with the Palestinians, willing to live in harmony with the Arab world, if only the suicide bombings would stop?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Mulder
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Why have all the Muslims in this country I've spoken to made out Israel (and Sharon) to be terrorists, when non-Muslims generally have a much less biased perspective and usually see both sides of the argument (with Palestine)?
 
  • #3
In the UK, views may be balanced. In the US, there seem to be a lot of people who see Israel as being some sort of Holy Land, and perfect because of it.
 
  • #4
Originally posted by Zero
In the UK, views may be balanced. In the US, there seem to be a lot of people who see Israel as being some sort of Holy Land, and perfect because of it.
From my own experiences I'd have to agree. It doesn't just stop with believing that Israel is special but extends to Jewish people too (as I think someone mentioned in another thread). The majority of the Christians I have ever spoken to on this matter held such views. These are racist views, IMO, and often translate into anti-anothergroupofpeople. I hold no individual or collective group of individuals inherently more worthy than any other. When America is accused of being ‘pro Israel’ and biased, I think it is merely the simple truth.
 
  • #5
It's the human tribal impulse to slice up the world into "us" and "them." Then it is very comforting to think that our side is justified, and their side is to blame. Happens on almost every issue, on both sides. This forum provides lots of excellent examples. :wink: eg

Many Moslems construct a worldview where imperialist Zionists came and took their land, and now oppress the Palestinians in order to protect their ill-gotten gains.

Many Jews construct a worldview where they are merely trying to live in peace and defend themselves against terrorism from the Palestinians, who will nver make any concessions and only be satisfied with their complete annihilation.

The same thing happens in the USA with liberals vs conservatives... and once such a worldview has been created, it becomes easy to see every new piece of information as supporting it. Those that disagree, well, they're either stupid, victims of deception, or downright evil.

Read Anne Coulter (right) and Ted Rall (left) for extreme examples of this.... most liberal/conservative writings and opinions do basically the same thing, but to a lesser degree and with more intelligence.

my 2 cents,
damgo
 
  • #6
my 2 cents,
Money well spent.
 
  • #7
Thanks for the responses, folks... Isreal seems to be a hot issue for a lot of people, and reasoned discussion is often difficult.
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Zero
Thanks for the responses, folks... Isreal seems to be a hot issue for a lot of people, and reasoned discussion is often difficult.
It is certainly a hot issue and neither side is completely blameless, but for me, its pretty clear: Only one side of the conflict seeks to annihilate the other. Only one side specifically targets civilians.
 
  • #9
Originally posted by russ_watters
It is certainly a hot issue and neither side is completely blameless, but for me, its pretty clear: Only one side of the conflict seeks to annihilate the other. Only one side specifically targets civilians.

Ok...which side are you talking about?


(Do you guys see my point? One side must be 1000 times worse, right? But which one? It depends on who you ask...)
 
  • #10
drag
Science Advisor
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Greetings !
Originally posted by damgo
Many Moslems construct a worldview where
imperialist Zionists came and took their
land, and now oppress the Palestinians in
order to protect their ill-gotten gains.
Indeed.
Originally posted by damgo
Many Jews construct a worldview where they
are merely trying to live in peace and
defend themselves against terrorism from
the Palestinians, who will nver make any
concessions and only be satisfied with their
complete annihilation.
Indeed.
Originally posted by damgo
Those that disagree, well, they're either
stupid, victims of deception, or downright evil.
How about - simply wrong ?
(What you discribed above is quite correct,
so what's the problem ? (It is correct
because you included words like most/many.)

Things get a LOT more complicated when you
project this local thing upon international
politics which strives to change that
according to other countries' internal interests.
In general, the US does the right thing because
it views the situation just as it is. Unfortunetly,
that does not sit well and apply to many other
countries because international politics and
internal interests of many kind are very powerful,
ASPECIALY when it concerns one of the most wide
spread religions on the planet and when the arab
countries have such strong material effect.

The Islamic revolution which occurred within the
past half a century in so many Islamic communities
does not honor this old and respected religion.

Peace and long life.
 
  • #11
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Zero
Ok...which side are you talking about?
You don't KNOW? [?] Zero, it is now and always has been the policy of the PLO, PA, or whatever they call themselves now that Israel must not be allowed to exist.
 
  • #12
Originally posted by russ_watters
You don't KNOW? [?] Zero, it is now and always has been the policy of the PLO, PA, or whatever they call themselves now that Israel must not be allowed to exist.

And what about teh Israelis who pretend the Palestinians don't exist, and bulldoze their homes to bulid more illegal settlements?
 
  • #13
kat
39
0
Originally posted by Zero
And what about teh Israelis who pretend the Palestinians don't exist, and bulldoze their homes to bulid more illegal settlements?

hmm I am curious which Israelis you know who pretend Palestinians don't exist? and which homes is that exactly which are bulldozed to build illegal settlements? and which of those settlements do you term illegal, and under which law do you apply that?

Please, also show me which Israeli state document it is that declares no peace until all of the Palestinian designated areas in their entirety, are wiped off the face of the earth?
 
  • #14
Originally posted by kat
hmm I am curious which Israelis you know who pretend Palestinians don't exist? and which homes is that exactly which are bulldozed to build illegal settlements? and which of those settlements do you term illegal, and under which law do you apply that?

Please, also show me which Israeli state document it is that declares no peace until all of the Palestinian designated areas in their entirety, are wiped off the face of the earth?

Kat, you've always struck me as one of those 'Support Israel, right or wrong' people. If you have somehow managed to be online for this long without knowing about the U.N. resolution that sets the legal boundaries of Israel, and the settlements that have been built in those illegally occupied areas, nothing I say will matter. International law created Israel, and Israel has violated international law ever since.

As far as Israelis who don't want peace, you can pretty much look at the entire Likud party,
 
  • #15
as for what land his is terming illegal, i consider everything that goes beyond the 1947 boarders as can be seen http://www.ccmep.org/delegations/maps/palestine.html#2. also, here is some pictures of those Palestinian houses bulldozed, and some information about an American girl who got in the way:

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article1248.shtml

oh, and if you think you are standing up for the Jewish people by supporting Israel; you are http://www.muhajabah.com/images/azj/azj10.jpg [Broken].

lastly, people are having a hard time locating nukes in Iraq, however that is hardly an issue in http://www.msnbc.com/news/wld/graphics/strategic_israel_dw.htm [Broken]. granted, you would be hard pressed to hear about any of that watching foxnews or other major media; i was shocked to stumble across that msnbc link and i highly doubt you could even find it from their frontpage.
 
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  • #16
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Zero
And what about teh Israelis who pretend the Palestinians don't exist, and bulldoze their homes to bulid more illegal settlements?
Zero, I never said Israel was perfect, but what you are saying is not even close to the policy of genocide held by their enemies. You're trying to equate two things that aren't even close to the same thing.

Israel accepts in principle the existence of a Palestinian state and has NEVER advocated genocide to deal with the issue.

Let me say it again: The PLO (and Syria and Jordan, and until recently Egypt) advocates (demands) the annihilation of Israel.

Not surprising that no negotiated peace has ever worked in light of that requirement, is it?
 
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  • #17
russ_watters
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Originally posted by kyleb
as for what land his is terming illegal, i consider everything that goes beyond the 1947 boarders as can be seen http://www.ccmep.org/delegations/maps/palestine.html#2.
I consider all land "occupied" by Israel to be Israel's land. It would be nice if Israel gave it back in exchange for peace, but until then they should hold on to it for the leverage. ALL of Israel's "occupied" lands were won in defensive wars that are arguably still underway. Hell, I think its FUNNY that every time Israel's enemies try to annihilate her, Israel gets more land. Maybe they should take the hint and stop attacking Israel.
 
  • #18
kat
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Originally posted by Zero
Kat, you've always struck me as one of those 'Support Israel, right or wrong' people. If you have somehow managed to be online for this long without knowing about the U.N. resolution that sets the legal boundaries of Israel, and the settlements that have been built in those illegally occupied areas, nothing I say will matter. International law created Israel, and Israel has violated international law ever since.

As far as Israelis who don't want peace, you can pretty much look at the entire Likud party,

Well, this is wonderful. This is how we debate on this forum? name calling and evasion?

How about this zero, let's pass on the labels and the vague "if you don't know by now, I'm not going to tell you" replies and support your argument.

This is your statement
And what about teh Israelis who pretend the Palestinians don't exist, and bulldoze their homes to bulid more illegal settlements?

and these are my questions (note that I've numbered them in order to simplify it for you):

1. I am curious which Israelis you know who pretend Palestinians don't exist?
2.and which homes is that exactly which are bulldozed to build Illegal settlements?
3.and which of those settlements do you term illegal,
4.and under which law do you apply that?

5.Please, also show me which Israeli state document it is that declares no peace until all of the Palestinian designated areas in their entirety, are wiped off the face of the earth?
 
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  • #19
kat
39
0
BTW, Although in the sense that you are wanting to address Israel is not any more special then any other country, the people deserving of equal rights and also have a responsibility to consider human rights and respect of others,as we all do and as many of us fail to uphold..some fail to a greater extent then others.
However, certainly for some reason Israel MUST be special because it commands so much more attention then any other country with similar or even far more abominable situations.
Here are two very good articles that attempt to cover some of the reasons that Israel must be so very, very "special"

http://www.middleeastfacts.com/Articles/cotler.htm

http://www.indymedia.no/news/2003/03/6012.php [Broken]
 
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  • #20
Sorry, Kat...I was out of line, I suppose...feel free to edit my post and get back to me.

Still, though...the illegal occupation of teh West Bank and Gaza strip are common knowledge, as are the bulldozing of homes for illegal Jewish settlements.

*I'm having serious issues with the UN website...I'll be back with with some details as they become available*
 
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  • #21
kat
39
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Originally posted by Zero
Sorry, Kat...I was out of line, I suppose...feel free to edit my post and get back to me.

Still, though...the illegal occupation of teh West Bank and Gaza strip are common knowledge, as are the bulldozing of homes for illegal Jewish settlements.

*I'm having serious issues with the UN website...I'll be back with with some details as they become available*

Zero...I suppose we all get out of line, and I prefer to not edit anything..I do appreciate the gesture.

As you say the things are often cited as "common knowledge" and since they are so commonly known..as so many other things in this world that are "common"..surely it is not so difficult to answer my above questions?

*oops, sorry I missed the addition within the *'s, I'll wait for your next reply*
 
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  • #22
Hurkyl
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also, here is some pictures of those Palestinian houses bulldozed, and some information about an American girl who got in the way:

I'm curious what the point of linking that article was. Are you trying to tap into Americans' paternal/maternal instincts to stir up an emotional hatred of the Israeli who "killed" her, and hoping that hatred gets projected onto Israel as a whole?

All I see in that article, once I get past the sensationalized introduction, is a bulldozer driver who didn't shoulder the burden of the recklessness of a girl who kept moving into the bulldozer's path... in the midst of a military occupation nonetheless.


oh, and if you think you are standing up for the Jewish people by supporting Israel; you are wrong.

Do you seriously think that's the only viable interpretation? What about:

"It's sad that the amount of prejiduce against Jews is so great that they feel the need to distance themselves from their homeland"
 
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  • #23
oh sure Hurkyl, and some people feel the need to distance themselves from their birthright to be a part of white supremacy groups simply because others have distaste for such things. is that sad to you as well Hurkyl?

seriously, how do you justify your assumption that they are even Israeli? besides, if they did have an issue with prejudice against them then the obvious answer would be to move to the Jewish state of Israel and support the Zionist movement from the inside, which is obviously not what they choose to do. most anti-Zionist Jews i know of were never a citizen of Israel, but like many people they do not like what is going on over there and more so they resent the fact that their common heritage is being used as justification. many of them are Orthodox Jews who believe that it is against the will of god to even set up a Jewish state before the coming of the messiah, let alone to do it by leveraging such an extreme military advantage.

also, i linked the article to show the bulldozing on illegally occupied territory as kat requested; i am not trying to stir up any hatred at all but i did have some hope that it might help put a rest to what i see as blind support for Israel and biased haltered towards Palestine.
 
  • #24
Hurkyl
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Science Advisor
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Sorry for going on that rampage... I just have an innate urge to respond to things that seem to be overly biased! Allow me to officially redirect my outrage from you to the authors of that and similar articles. :smile:
 
  • #25
oh also russ, i find it hard to believe you looked at the shifts in boarders with anything even resembling objectivity when you call the occupation defensive. it is hardly a buffer zone; the most blatant example to contest your argument is how the boarder got pushed to a deep point into Palestine where the Jerusalem is now occupied.
 
  • #26
russ_watters
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Originally posted by kyleb
boarder got pushed to a deep point into Palestine where the Jerusalem is now occupied.
Kyleb, there has never been a country called "Palestine." You can't occupy something that doesn't exist. Israel occupies parts of Syria and Jordan.

Interesting how the thread topic shifted here - let me get it back to my point:

Zero, are you saying that since Israel buldozes some homes that may or may not be on their land, it is ok for people to advocate their genocide?

Let me say it again since its the most important issue here: The PLO (and Syria and Jordan, and until recently Egypt) advocates (demands) the annihilation of Israel.
 
  • #27
Why is it, Russ, that by presenting another side, you assume that I support the opponents of Israel? Why can't I think that BOTH sides have a lot to change about the way they opperate? I could talk about the horrors of suicide bombings, but EVERYONE talks about that. Far fewer people discuss the factions within Israel that would love nothing more to push the Palestinians into the ocean.
 
  • #28
jb,

You may be going for humor...don't. This is serious, and you are pretty close to the line on this one.
 
  • #29
Hmm....
  • It's not really true to say that Israel advocates a Palestinian state, even in principle. There have always been deep division about this: certainly the left-wing parties support the creation of one; but categorical rejection of any Palestinian state has long a plank of Likud and the right-wing parties. Sharon set a precedent a few years ago by coming out and saying he would support one; but then last year Netanyahu and other Likud leadership gave him the finger by voting to reaffirm the party's categorical opposition. (Netanyahu has said many times he will never support such a state.) Recently Sharon's govt demanded that the proposed road map not refer to an "independent" Palestianian state, but instead one with "limited attributes of sovreignty." Whatever that means. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s808096.htm [Broken]

    So I suppose whether Israel supports the existence of a Palestinian state depends on who's in charge -- the left yes, the center and center-right sort of, the right never.
  • The PLO has never advocated genocide, AFAIK. Their original charter denied the right of a Jewish state to exist, a far cry from genocide. God knows I wouldn't want to be a Jew under a government run by Arafat; but he and the PLO are people, not demons. Even the most extreme Islamist governments, like Khomeini's Iran, didn't resort to slaughtering their Jewish populations: they actually afforded them a small modicum of protection once it was clear they posed no threat to the Islamists' power.

    In 1993 Arafat and the PLO officialy recognized Israel's right to exist as part of Oslo. What that's worth... <shrugs> It's pretty clear that Arafat doesn't want a mutual peace, but there are many in the murky world of Palestinian politics who do. Unfortunately Arafat is still managing to hold all the cards.
  • I don't know what Zero meant, but kat surely you're aware of the various settlements that are illegal even under Israeli law? Like the one where that bizarre funeral chase started, a few months ago.
  • The UNSC resolution usually cited here is 242 -- that calls upon Israel to withdraw from the territories and for the Arab states to make peace and recognize Israel's existence. Neither of these things have happened, so I guess either everyone's in violation or no one is.
 
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  • #30
kat
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Originally posted by kyleb

also, i linked the article to show the bulldozing on illegally occupied territory as kat requested; i am not trying to stir up any hatred at all but i did have some hope that it might help put a rest to what i see as blind support for Israel and biased haltered towards Palestine.

Ummm, that's not what I requested..this is my statement: which homes is that exactly which are bulldozed to build illegal settlements? and which of those settlements do you term illegal, and under which law do you apply that?

That home was not bulldozed to build an illegal settlement.

I'm not sure why you assume any support for Israel is "blind" or why you need to use the word "hatred" in regards to palestine. I support both a palestinian state and an israeli state. What I do not support is Arafat, hezbollah, hamas, the despicable PLO and other organizations that feast upon its own people, nor do I support purposeful spreading of hate propaganda or misleading diatribes that are essentially anti-semitic hidden behind deep concern for the palestinian people. If you have such deep concern you would be equally concerned for what a crooked leadership and very, very crooked terrorist organizations that have set themselves up in civilian palestinian areas and live, like ME mafia gangsters, off the violence and anger they create, but never, ever do I see any type of condemnation or discussion on this issue..which is at the very, very root of all other issues.
Until you equally address this problem, please take your "hate" and "blind" accusations and do you know what with them.
 
  • #31
kat
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Originally posted by damgo
[*] I don't know what Zero meant, but kat surely you're aware of the various settlements that are illegal even under Israeli law? Like the one where that bizarre funeral chase started, a few months ago.

[*] The UNSC resolution usually cited here is 242 -- that calls upon Israel to withdraw from the territories and for the Arab states to make peace and recognize Israel's existence. Neither of these things have happened, so I guess either everyone's in violation or no one is.[/list]

Damgo-There's a problem with how you present 242,primarily there is no "THE" the THE and all other limiting terms were purposely left out. Secondly, "everyone" is not in violation, Israel has already turned over 91% of the terrotories it occupied when it gave up Sinai in return for the required peace. Now that peace agreements have been signed with Egypt and Jordan the only remaining territories that are disputed are with Lebanon and Syria. Israel's conflict with Lebanon is a result of fighting after 1967 and is now not relevant to 242 Israel has said it would withdraw to the international border if a treaty is signed and the central government takes control of northern border areas that are now in the hands of terrorist organizations.

The dispute with Syria is over the Golan Heights. Syria refused even a limited peace treaty with Israel unless Israel first withdrew completely. Under 242, Israel has no obligation to retreat completely until there is a peace accord. The Palestinians are not mentioned anywhere in Resolution 242. They are only alluded to in the second clause of the second article of 242, which calls for "a just settlement of the refugee problem." Which would include all refugees both Arab and Jewish.
 
  • #32
Originally posted by kat
Ummm, that's not what I requested..this is my statement: which homes is that exactly which are bulldozed to build illegal settlements? and which of those settlements do you term illegal, and under which law do you apply that?

That home was not bulldozed to build an illegal settlement.

please look at http://www.ccmep.org/delegations/maps/palestine.html#2 again and note that the UN partition plan does not call for Israeli occupation of the Gaza strip.

Originally posted by kat
I'm not sure why you assume any support for Israel is "blind" or why you need to use the word "hatred" in regards to palestine.

well i was speaking generally there as i see it as a widespread problem. but as for you personally, things like the issue above lead me to my opinion.

Originally posted by kat
If you have such deep concern you would be equally concerned for what a crooked leadership and very, very crooked terrorist organizations that have set themselves up in civilian palestinian areas and live, like ME mafia gangsters, off the violence and anger they create, but never, ever do I see any type of condemnation or discussion on this issue..which is at the very, very root of all other issues.

Until you equally address this problem, please take your "hate" and "blind" accusations and do you know what with them.

it is not hatefulness or blindness as i have made no denial of the problems on the Palestinian side of the issue, i am trying to get equal concern from those who are not showing it. furthermore, i think it is a bit late to be pointing fingers as the ones who created Israel are mostly dead and gone but the fact is that Jewish people were living in that land of thousands of years without such issues; not until the formation of Israel did those organizations come to be. so how can you say the Palatines resistance is the root? is not the formation of Israel actually that not actually "the root" of this? i am not trying to insult you here by any means kat; as humans we are all blind to some things, and sometimes that can drive haltered. i am just calling it as i see it in the hopes that balance to this issue might be found; but i do not believe that is not going to happen so long as America keeps supporting Israel over Palistine the way we have been.


oh and russ, i think you know what i am talking about when i say Palestine regardless of the fact that it is not an official state. if you are not simply using political semantics to form a sophistical argument but truly don't know what i mean; look at http://quicksitebuilder.cnet.com/sa...pictures/.pond/palestine-map.jpg.w180h257.jpg and subtract what is now Israil and you will have what i am referring to.
 
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  • #33
Kyleb:

Unfortunately your map does not support your argument. Most of what your map depicts comprised the Kingdom of Judea prior to the Roman Conquest. Pagan Rome finding the Jews a threat to their religion slaughtered and decimated the population. As a further affront to the Jews, the Romans imported Philistines as settlers. Philistine people were of Greek not Arabic origin. They were eventually assimilated into the region’s population and disappeared as an ethnic group. Palestine is derived from Philistine. Not even the name on the map is Arabic.

The Israelis are willing concede that the ‘Palestinians’ have justified claim to part of their heritage to form a Palestinian State. They are willing to cede and have ceded territory to form that state. The converse, unfortunately, is not true.

Regards
 
  • #34
Dissident Dan
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kyleb, I don't see how the roman times are relevant. It doesn't matter whose ancestors were where.

--------------------------

Anyway, wasn't this thread NOT supposed to be about which side is wrong or right, or what the problem in the Israel/Palestine conflict is, BUT rather whether Israel should get some sort of special treatment?
 
  • #35
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Zero
Why is it, Russ, that by presenting another side, you assume that I support the opponents of Israel? Why can't I think that BOTH sides have a lot to change about the way they opperate? I could talk about the horrors of suicide bombings, but EVERYONE talks about that. Far fewer people discuss the factions within Israel that would love nothing more to push the Palestinians into the ocean.
Zero, *I* acknowledged that Israel isn't perfect. *YOU* have yet to address the PLO goal of genocide. Genocide is why it is perfectly acceptable to the PLO to bomb a bus full of civilians.
So I suppose whether Israel supports the existence of a Palestinian state depends on who's in charge -- the left yes, the center and center-right sort of, the right never.
Damgo, since Israel is a democracy, that is certainly true.
The PLO has never advocated genocide, AFAIK. Their original charter denied the right of a Jewish state to exist, a far cry from genocide.
Damgo, having the state not exist is part of the same idea - they did NOT intend to rule a country full of jews.

And yes, Arafat has changed his public stance on that issue, but nevertheless he has refused to condemn terrorism - his actions still actively support it.
I support both a palestinian state and an israeli state. What I do not support is Arafat, hezbollah, hamas, the despicable PLO and other organizations that feast upon its own people, nor do I support purposeful spreading of hate propaganda or misleading diatribes that are essentially anti-semitic hidden behind deep concern for the palestinian people.
Ditto, kat. No hypocrisy on this end.
Anyway, wasn't this thread NOT supposed to be about which side is wrong or right, or what the problem in the Israel/Palestine conflict is, BUT rather whether Israel should get some sort of special treatment?
Could you claify what you mean by "special treatment," dan? I think Israel deserves special treatment from the US in the form of aid as a result of the heavy and constant threat to their existence.
 

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