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Jew, Zionist, Israeli - Friend?

  1. Oct 28, 2003 #1
    I write first to say that I believe the majority descended from Jewish heritage to be honorable, friendly and humane people. I seek what responsibility the minority have in involving the United States in a Middle Eastern Armageddon.

    I was brought up to respect and enjoy many Jewish friends (unfortunately I had no childhood Muslim friends), two being of my best. That respect, however, prevented me from asking potentially hurtful (and perhaps ignorant) questions, such as:

    1. Does the Torah justify taking land from Palestinians?

    2. What land rights did the British have in ceding Palestine to the Zionists?

    3. What effect has the cruelty of Hitler had on the relationship of Zionists with Arabs?

    4. Why did the Israelis kill scores of Americans aboard the U.S.S. Liberty?

    5. What support, financial or otherwise, do U.S. private citizens provide Israel?

    6. Why should the U.S. government furnish billions of dollars to Israel, more than the entire foriegn aid we give to over half of the Earth's population?

    7. What percentage of worldwide Jewry supports the Israeli military complex?

    8. What is the good of "settlements," or 60-ton bulldozers?

    9. How much is the press in general to blame for excessive coverage of Middle East violence?

    10. What is the difference between a Jew, a Semite, a Zionist, and an Israeli?

    Many of these questions could replace "Jew" or "Israeli" with "Muslim" or "Arab." I believe that many people do not know that Jews and many Muslims are both Semites, both are decendents of Abraham, and that both brothers have enjoyed peace together in the past.

    If either is "brave" enough to kill children, they should be brave enough to grapple at the peace table.

    I hope some good comes of this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2003 #2


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    I believe, if you restrict yourself to self-consistancy within the Torah, it does. Obviously, the rest of the world, and even most Jews, do not accept this.
    They had the least palatable and most realistic right there is. They took it with guns. When they gave it to the Zionists, the zionists kept it with guns. Not every nation was formed by guns, some were formed by swords and bows. For some reason, those formed by swords and bows seem to have more legitimacy.

    It was not just Hitler, or even Germany that perpetrated the Holocaust. Many other nations eagerly colaborated.

    In general, it lead to a great distrust by Jews of the whole civilized world. Jews, quite understandably, believed that the world would stand idly by and let them be exterminated unless those doing the exterminating were a threat to others besides Jews. To counter this threat, a consolodated nation was necessary. Dispersed Jewery could easily be annihilated by an uncaring world. The rallying point, unfortunately for Palestinians, was Palestine. The reaction from the Arab world was antisemetic. The atmosphere in 1948 was too filled with paranoia for peace to have a chance.

    The Arabs had seen their efforts against the Turks in WWI betrayed by the British and French, and the Jews had been abandoned to death camps by the world. To the Arabs, the Jews were another wave of exploiting Europeans. To the Jews, the Arabs were genocidal anti-semites.

    They believed for their continued existance they needed to occupy the Golan Heights. They knew their American allies would not approve of the action. The Liberty was a "listening" ship, and would immediately pick up on the suprise attack into Golan. The Israelis decided to take it out with unmarked planes and gunships. They thought they could put it down fast, with no survivors. They did not. America's failure to act on this treacherous act has led Israel to believe that the US will always back them in any action.

    Some, I don't know.
    The amount has decreased since the cold war. That ratio is no longer true. It might be true in individual years, but not over time. Since Camp David, the US has given almost as much to Egypt.

    Before the Camp David agreement, the Soviet Union had very good relations with the Arab world, at least compared to the US. A major war in the middle east has always been a looming prospect. Having a friendly port to land troops was always seen as a huge geo-political asset.

    I doubt anyone really knows.

    Different settlements have different purposes. Also, they have uses to different people. The most obvious use, they are a place for people to live. They are also bargaining chips. The more you build, the more you'll have left after trading some for peace. On the other hand, the more you build the less likely it is that an agreement can be made. The last purpose is in Israeli domestic politics. The settlements make peace less likely, and about 20-25% of Israelis oppose any peace without restoration of the full "biblical" Israel.

    60 ton bulldozers are 20% more effective than 50 ton bulldozers I assume.

    Is the coverage excessive? If so, the press is 100% to blame, since they are the ones who cover it. They are also 100% to blame if it is insufficient. They also get 100% of the credit if it is exactly right. I fail to see how anything else is possible.
    I'll leave that to someone who at least falls into one of those catagories.

  4. Oct 30, 2003 #3

    Thanks for you rational and objective explanations to difficult problems that have plagued me and many others for some time. I don't see a solution until our countries (materialists, capitalists, or militarists) all are at least willing to effectively support the downtrodden (the deprived, the poor, or potential terrorists) who might eventually be able to take responsibility for themselves.
  5. Oct 30, 2003 #4
    I don't have a problem with "Jews"...they are just people. I don't have a problem with people in general. I have a problem with the policies of the current government of Israel. I definitely have a problem with the idea that a religious text should dictate borders and international relations.
  6. Oct 30, 2003 #5


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    Well said, Njorl.

    A couple of things to add, the Jews have always been the oddballs of the world. They've never quite fit in because they always practiced a religion different from the majority. For most of the history of the world unitl about the time of the US Declaration of Independence, religion and government were tied together. This caused many comical shifts from Protestant to Catholic in Euorope depending on who the particular ruler was. But through it all, the Jews were always different and persecuted for it.

    The most powerful Jewish stereotypes are an ironic thing too: they come from persecution that backfired. Up until the industrial revolution, wealth was defined by land ownership. Jews were denied land ownership as part of their persecution and as a result had to find other ways to make a living (those that weren't peasant farmers). So they became merchants and bankers, which positioned them perfectly for the industrial revolution. Thus leading to the common stereotypes about Jews and money.

    Israel exists today for a few main reasons: the Jews felt uncomfortable living in Europe after WWII, with some lingering latent anti-semitism (mostly gone now), that was just fine for the Europeans. The US was largely driven by guilt at having done little to stop the holocaust. Today it seems like the Europeans are ambivalent on the issue, but for the US, guilt takes a lot longer. Plus there is a rather large and vocal Jewish population in the US.

    For the sake of closure, I think we should drastically cut our aid to Israel. Israel can take care of itself.
  7. Oct 30, 2003 #6
    Jew- A member of the jewish faith. Like hinduism, one is typically born into it and not converted. Because of this and the age of the religion jews have developed distinct ethnic and racial characteristics in addition to the religious practices.

    Semite- One who speaks any of a group of semitic languages, including Hebrew and Arabic. All though this is typically just used to describe jews.

    Israeli- Technically a citizen of the state of Israel. Again, this is typically only used for jews in exclusion of the many muslims and christians who inhabit Israel.

    Israelite- an antiquated term for a jew.

    Zionist- an unfortunate word, IMHO. Many who use it for a nationalist jew who believes in a God given right to a jewish state in exclusion to muslims, ergo fascist jews. This word is also bandied about by antisemites and white supremacists. e.g. The zionist jews control the media and are morally decaying our society. I think anybody who has legitmate criticism of nationalistic israels should avoid using the word zionist to avoid being confused with antisemites. Theres no real reason why this word is needed.
  8. Nov 2, 2003 #7
    as most people who disagree with the IDEA that GOD is reality agent for any group or religion
    I think anti-zionest is a better discription of those who oppose israel as a jewish only state then the anti-semitic label

    btw many jews and most arabs are anti-zionest but NOT anti-semitic

    I fail to see any real difference in the grand plan of any cult , planning to use GOD's LAW's as a base for goverment be they jew christian or moslem, as the treatment of those not in their cult is the same
  9. Nov 2, 2003 #8
    Christian Zionists in USA

    But you have in USA of course the Christian Zionists with prominent Tom DeLay (REP) : "Geez, Likud is nothing compared to him."

    A call to violence
    Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 8 August 2003

    Quote: As President Bush met with Palestinian premier Mahmoud Abbas and his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon in Washington last week, one of Bush's closest allies in Congress was in Israel. Tom DeLay, the influential leader of the Republican majority in the US House of Representatives was accorded the privilege of addressing members of the Knesset on 30 July. His speech was so extreme it prompted Labour Party lawmaker Danny Yatom to comment, "Geez, Likud is nothing compared to him."

    In his speech, DeLay, a representative from a suburban district near Houston, Texas, dismissed the unilateral cease-fire by Palestinian factions, which has resulted in a virtual cessation of violence against Israeli civilians and occupation forces, as nothing more than a "90-day vacation" for "terrorists" and "murderers." He urged Israel to ignore the truce and go on killing Palestinian activists. DeLay informed the Israeli lawmakers that he was an "Israeli at heart," and acknowledged that Palestinians "have been oppressed and abused," though only by their own leaders, never by Israel. DeLay's central point was that the entire burden of ending the decades-old conflict lay on the shoulders of the Palestinians. Knesset members gave DeLay a standing ovation.

    DeLay is an avowed Christian Zionist and fundamentalist -- an influential constituency for the Bush administration. A key tenet of Christian Zionists is absolute support for Israel, whose establishment and existence, they believe, heralds Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ. In the final conflagration, this belief system holds, Jews gathered back into Israel would either convert to Christianity or perish and go to Hell.

    Don Wagner, professor of religion at North Park University in Chicago, explains that, "the Christian Zionist theology is really an aberration of Christian belief and it takes Biblical passages out of context and strings together a literal and futuristic interpretation that does violence not only to the historic message of Jesus but to mainstream Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christianity."

    Christian Zionism "represents an extreme wing of Protestantism," says Wagner, who has written five books on Palestinian Christianity and the responsibility of western Christians to work for justice in Palestine, "but they are organised and in alliance with the pro-Israel lobby and the right-wing of the Republican Party, hence they can put significant pressure on the president and members of Congress and undercut any hope for a just solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

    According to Wagner, DeLay and his allies, "have no interest in a just solution to the conflict, let alone the fact that Christian Palestinians continue to suffer severely as does the rest of the Palestinian population from the Israeli policies he supports."
    End of quote.
  10. Nov 6, 2003 #9
    The Palestinians , now , have as much right to Israel as the Serbs have to Bosnia ! OK so the palestinians have been there for thousands of years and the Bosnian Muslims have been there for only a little over sixty years , but there you are , the Capital of Serbia for two thousand years , namely Bosnia , has been handed over to Muslim immigrants who have lived in the country for a little less than sixty years. Then why should the Palestinians complain. Whats good for the goose is good for the Gander.
  11. Nov 6, 2003 #10


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    What? where do you get this stuff from? I might remind you that the Bosnians have been in the region for exactly the saem amount of time as the Serbs (i.e. since dark age-era Slavic migration), infact the only real differnce between the Serbs, Bosnians and Croats is that they adopted different religions (Orthodoxy, Islam and Catholisim) before that they were indistinguisable 'Southern Slavs'. The Bosnian adoption of Islam orginates several centuries ago when the region was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire (one of the main reasons for conversion is that Muslims received a more favourable tax rate in the empire).
  12. Nov 7, 2003 #11
    Don't forget the fringe Christians with cash, who feel that Israel's existance is directly tied in to certain aspects of their mythology.
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