To think being anti Israel isn't the same as being anti semetic

(178 Posts)

Just like being anti extremist terrorist isn't the same as being anti Muslims.

GalaxyInMyPants Sun 27-Jul-14 10:11:16

I would agree with you. I know Jewish people who are against what Israel is dong.

DogCalledRudis Sun 27-Jul-14 10:12:18

Been to a Gaza demo. Quite a few Jews. Try calling them anti-semitic.

softlysoftly Sun 27-Jul-14 10:13:07

YANBU at all

Revenant Sun 27-Jul-14 10:14:57

Yanbu. Jewish and Israeli are not interchangeable terms, and it is a bit of spin by the Israeli government to equate any criticism of its actions or policies as an attack on all Jewish people.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 27-Jul-14 10:17:32

YANBU.

Revenant Sun 27-Jul-14 10:22:34

And I would add, you can oppose the actions of the Israeli government without being anti-israel. There are a fair few Israeli citizens who disapprove of their own government, just as there are plenty of people in the UK who oppose the coalition.

Hoppinggreen Sun 27-Jul-14 10:24:28

Agreed

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 27-Jul-14 10:31:08

You mean anti Israel as in you don't believe in the right of Israel to exist or you mean anti Israels current policy?

Hoppinggreen Sun 27-Jul-14 10:32:15

Oops, pressed too soon
Israel and it's supporters seem to think that due to past events they always hold the moral high ground.
You would think that their past would make them less likely to commit genocide but seemingly not

QuintessentiallyQS Sun 27-Jul-14 10:32:49

Agreed.

I disagree with anyone trying to harm their enemy through killing their children. Bombing hospitals and schools is disgraceful!

What is this going to do with the young Palestinian population and future relationship building wigh Israel long term ?

Latara Sun 27-Jul-14 10:35:46

Sadly some people are both anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. For example some pro-Palestinian protestors in France have attacked synagogues which is a horrible link to the past. sad

But yes, you can be anti-Israel's actions (assuming that's what you meant) without being anti-Semitic.

Lots of Jews are not Zionist, or they oppose Israel's current actions. As posters above have said - many Israelis oppose their own govts actions. Because the current govt. of Israel is very hardline and many Israelis did not vote for them.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 27-Jul-14 10:36:19

Gosh so everyone here is anti- Israel not anti-Israels govt or policies etc.
well, well, well.

YANBU.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 27-Jul-14 10:38:02

So when you opposed the war in irag, you said you were anti- England? Or when you oppose the war in Syria you said you were anti Syrian?

It's funny I never heard people say it like that.

Jinsei Sun 27-Jul-14 10:38:29

I'm not anti-Israel or anti-Semitic, but I am opposed to Israel's stance with regard to the Palestinian issue. I'm sure that many Jewish people share my concern about this.

somewheresafe Sun 27-Jul-14 10:38:52

Yadnbu. I'm Jewish and on other threads I've been accused of being anti semitic when I've criticised the current massacre israel is committing.

Every Jewish person I know is an to Israel at the moment.

somewheresafe Sun 27-Jul-14 10:39:38

Anti Israel that should read

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Sun 27-Jul-14 10:40:15

I'm not sure what you mean OP. Are you against Israel as a country? Or their actions towards the Palestinians?

HelenBrx Sun 27-Jul-14 10:41:23

YANBU of course - though being "anti-Israel' is a useful little dog whistle to appeal to people who are anti-Semitic - same as being anti-immigration can be used as an acceptable way to present racism. When you see people saying 'How can Israel do this sort of thing when they have the history of the Holocaust' - it's pretty obvious they're conflating the ideas of Israel and Jewishness when it suits them.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 27-Jul-14 10:42:40

Anti israels current policy or anti Israel?

Jinsei managed it. I struggle to understand why people can't state clearly what they mean.

I'm against their actions towards the Palestinians.
I don't know enough about the formation of Israel as a state to comment on how 'fair' it is but I hope to read more about it and understand it more.
I find the borders of countries and the idea of separate states/countries etc a weird concept anyway. We all live on one world it's possibly a simplistic view but I don't really see why we need to separate the world so much.

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Sun 27-Jul-14 10:47:45

I absolutely agree Helen.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 27-Jul-14 10:48:43

So whenever you're anti a countries actions you call yourself anti that country - like anti- Afghanistan, anti Sudan, anti Russia, anti America?

O-kayyy

meltedmonterayjack Sun 27-Jul-14 10:53:16

I'm Jewish but cannot agree with Israel's policies in this situation. Then again I can't agree with Palestine's either. This is a war of attrition and neither side seems able to think "this is absolutely terrible, isn't get either of us anywhere" and work towards peace.

Perhaps I worded it wrong, most people seem to have understood what I meant by it though...

QuintessentiallyQS Sun 27-Jul-14 11:03:24

Don't worry John is being deliberately obtuse and pedantic, I suspect. Everyone else get what you meant!

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Sun 27-Jul-14 11:07:35

I asked the same question as John as did one or two others.

Nothing obtuse or pedantic about checking exactly what the OP meant.

AlpacaYourThings Sun 27-Jul-14 11:08:23

YANBU. I do not agree with what the Israeli government are doing, that doesn't make me anti semitic.

ThisOneAndThatOne Sun 27-Jul-14 11:09:49

Agree. It was not clear to me what Jazz meant

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 27-Jul-14 11:09:55

Er, some/many people believe Israel does not a right to exist.

Why wouldn't people want to be clear about whether they are anti Israel or anti Israels policies. They manage with other countries don't they?

MrsRuffdiamond Sun 27-Jul-14 11:13:24

I can completely see why Israel as a nation has got itself into this moral anomaly. I imagine that the history of The Jewish people means that they never again want to expose themselves to the vulnerability which has led to horrendous atrocities against them.

The irony being that the power they now have to protect themselves is currently being used to commit horrendous atrocities in turn against vulnerable Palestinians.

I wish Israel felt confident enough about itself to display some magnanimity in its dealings with

QuintessentiallyQS Sun 27-Jul-14 11:14:03

But that I'd not what Is bring questioned, I thought it was pretty obvious that the thread was in light of current atrocities, not the country's right to exist, which is currently not debated anywhere as far as I know.

ThisOneAndThatOne Sun 27-Jul-14 11:16:04

Being anti-Israels policies does not make you anti-Semitic.

But all anti-Semites are jumping on the anti-Israeli policy bandwagon.

So it's important to be clear with your language.

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Sun 27-Jul-14 11:18:45

It was the question posed though, and it is a position that many people have sympathy with. Hence the query, which the OP answered clearly enough.

MrsRuffdiamond Sun 27-Jul-14 11:18:47

Hamas. (Posted too soon!)

Probably a simplistic analysis, but it's what I think.

FairPhyllis Sun 27-Jul-14 11:19:10

Of course it's not anti-Semitic to criticise Israel's actions or policies. It is however anti-Semitic to imply or question whether Israel has a right to exist as a state, to say that Israelis have a special duty to behave in a saintlier way than anyone else because of the Holocaust, or to conflate Jewishness with Israel and suggest that non-Israeli Jews have a duty to oppose or have any kind of stance on Israel's actions.

I have seen posters do all of the above in the various Israel/Palestine threads over the last week.

Helen is right that the phrase 'anti-Israel' is a dog whistle phrase. If you use it without really thinking about it, what anti-Semitic bigots take from it is that you are secretly on their side. It reinforces their hatred of Jews.

I also think John is raising a fair point. I think most of the people in the UK who are horrified by Gaza are not anti-Semitic or anti-Israel but just objecting to the current violence. But many people protest Israeli actions from a standpoint that sees the Israeli state itself as illegitimate, and some do cross the line into anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery.

I don't think criticising Israel is per se anti-Semitic, but I think people are naive if they think everyone criticising Israel is purely thinking of their actions and not their identity.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 27-Jul-14 11:24:32

Quintessential, you're joking, right?

chocolatemademefat Sun 27-Jul-14 11:24:43

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Sun 27-Jul-14 11:27:26

I don't think there's any need for that chocolatemademefat. Plenty of other posters have agreed with John and explained why. Why single out one poster?

Quint of course Israel's right to exist is debated and disputed, all over the world. It doesn't even appear on maps you buy in the Middle East. Most Arab governments still do not recognise it as a country. And believe me, plenty of people in the UK do not accept it as a legitimate state either.

So within that reality, it is helpful to be extremely clear when it comes to the language we use.

larrygrylls Sun 27-Jul-14 11:37:33

It is definitely not anti-Semitic to question Israel's current actions. Many Jewish people have their reservations about many of Israel's policies, including many Israeli Jews.

However, there does seem to be an upsurge in anti Semitism across the UK and especially mainland Europe. Many 'anti Israel' protests seem full of anti Semitic slogans and to be Jewish (as I am by descent) is not a comfortable place to be right now.

Is being pro Hamas to be anti Semitic? Hmm, I actually think that it is, given that their stated aim is that Israel has no right to exist at all. In addition, there seem to be many people who don't think Israel has a right to retaliate against rocket attacks on civilians. To me, again, that is anti Semitic. To question how to respond and a degree of proportionality, on the other hand, seems reasonable.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 27-Jul-14 11:41:15

Yanbu it is nothing to do with being Jewish, Jewish people are against what Israel are doing to the Palestinians. It was Palestine to begin with, Isrealies started occupying Palestine, and have treated the Palestinians very badly. I am against any terror and bombing, but if this continues we are going to see more of it! America I don't know, there are many pro Isrealies in power in the US supporting Israel.

DogCalledRudis Sun 27-Jul-14 11:46:11

I believe Israel has a right to exist WITHOUT violating international law.

Dog do you believe Britain's right to exist is conditional on its adherence to international law? Because that could be trouble.

FairPhyllis Sun 27-Jul-14 11:55:55

Quint

"But that I'd not what Is bring questioned, I thought it was pretty obvious that the thread was in light of current atrocities, not the country's right to exist, which is currently not debated anywhere as far as I know."

Israel's right to exist is currently disputed by many people all over the world, including here in Britain. Hamas does not recognise Israel's right to exist. That is what the Israelis believe is at stake here: the very continued existence of their state.

AnnDaloozier Sun 27-Jul-14 11:57:07

Semitic

HTH

larrygrylls Sun 27-Jul-14 11:59:30

The huge interest in Palestinians seems to be almost entirely focused on Israel. It is funny that the Kuwaiti expulsion of 200,000 Palestinians in 1991 elicited no big reaction. Equally there seems little interest in how Palestinians are treated in Jordan (actually also a part of 'Palestine' pre the 1948 partition).

So, is it really concern of Palestinians or anti Semitic sentiment that motivates people? I am sure a mixture of both, but why so little interest in what is happening to Palestinians outside the Israeli border?

Unfortunately far right extremism is on the rise in Israel itself

"Israeli journalist Gideon Levy was very nearly lynched" after writing an article critical of the Israeli military. He has received death threats. And he is far from alone.

FairPhyllis Sun 27-Jul-14 12:05:11

It's funny how in recent months I haven't seen anyone suggest that e.g. Russia's right to exist is contingent on it obeying international law. Only Israel. I wonder why that is.

QuintessentiallyQS Sun 27-Jul-14 12:06:00

FairPhyllis, thanks for responding without patronising.

Not sure what planet I have been on to not realise that Israel as a state was still disputed. blush

Hoppinggreen Sun 27-Jul-14 12:09:15

To be honest I am not entirely sure I do believe Israel has a right to exist as a country where is it now
Why were the Jewish people given a home nation right in the middle of their traditional enemies? Is there a genuine historical reason why Israel is where it is? I did do this at school many years ago but I can't remember, all it can remember is being taught that Isreal was created partly out of guilt at the rest of Europe either standing by or trying to destroy them as a race and partly because of the backing of wealthy American Jews .
If there are other reasons please can someone tell me as I honestly don't know.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 27-Jul-14 12:13:40

I accept your apology quint ;)

caroldecker Sun 27-Jul-14 12:22:51

There is a lot of history here but basically the UK, when they ruled the area, promised the land to a number of peoples. It was granted after WWII to solve the crisis of where Europe's displaced Jewish population would go.
Many of the younger Jews and survivors disliked the pre-WWII Jewish attitude of appeasment and decided they would defend themselves going forward.
Israel would bomb less schools and hospitals if Hamas did not base their rocket silos in them. Also note that not one report I have read says the number of Hamas dead - oddly they become innocent civilians as soon as they die.

I also don't know hopping, I also don't know why it is seen as anti Semitic (sorry I've spelt it wrong up till now - Ty poster up thread!) if people are disputing the right of Israel as a state?
Is there a big reason that Palestinians and Israelis can't co exist? Many countries are multicultural now? I'm uneducated about it all but would like to learn more!

alAswad Sun 27-Jul-14 12:29:27

Hopping, to simplify it a lot, there was already a growing Zionist movement and migration of Jews to that part of the world in the late 19th century thanks to the fact that they were already facing persecution in Europe back then (nothing on the scale of the Holocaust of course, but that didn't happen in a vacuum). After WWII there was a huge amount of immigration, largely illegal, to the region, which was at that point under British mandate, with many Jews calling for an idependent state. There was violence between the Jews and the British, who were coming down hard on the immigration, and between the Jews and the Arabs, who weren't particularly happy about the immigration either, and in the end the UN decided that the best way to sort it would be to partition the land into two states, one Arab and one Jewish.

A lot of people tend to think of the creation of Israel as something that was just decided on after the Second World War, with the existing Arab population being forcibly moved out and Jews being shipped in to replace them, but in reality it was more like the conclusion to a process that had been going on for decades already (I don't know if conclusion is the right word as obviously a lot of things happened after that, but that's probably how it was thought of at the time).

DogCalledRudis Sun 27-Jul-14 12:35:07

Its not about right to exist, its about NOT VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL LAW. Nobody said "Lets dismantle Israel, Jews are free to leave"

MilkandCereal Sun 27-Jul-14 12:38:28

I do think some use it as an excuse for anti semitism. I've definitely heard anti Semitic remarks in regards to this issue,but I don't think the majority are. The increase in anti semitism in Europe is extremely worrying though.

A friend,Jewish, lost a very close friend to a suicide bomber in Tel Aviv some years ago,which devastated her,but she still doesn't agree with what Israel are doing,while detesting Hamas. She's far from being the only Jewish person who feels this way.

It's complicated,but personally I don't think either Hamas or the Israeli officials really care about their people,but instead their agenda/politics.

Actually it goes back a couple of millennia -- Jerusalem and the holy land are the ancestral home of the Jewish people, going back thousands of years. Many of them were killed or expelled by Roman times but there has always been a Jewish community in Palestine. It became a predominantly Arab/Muslim territory after the 7th century, when the Arabs expanded across the region from the Arabian peninsula. Decolonisation and Western guilt in the 1940s created the mess we have today.

This is why the conflict is fundamentally unresolvable -- both sides can claim ancient and vital links to the same territory. It can't be split in a way people will like, and decades of conflict means there's no trust for living together in peace.

alAswad Sun 27-Jul-14 12:50:00

As for the right of Israel to exist where it does... in hindsight (always a wonderful thing of course), maybe we can look back on it and say the creation of a Jewish state was always going to lead to trouble in the region and it should have been handled differently. But we're stuck with it now, so we can only decide what to do with what we've got. Kicking all the Jews out of Israel obviously isn't an option, so you're left with the idea of a 'one-state solution', as Jazz is suggesting, where Israelis and Arabs coexist under a single government (as opposed to a 'two-state solution', which is the idea of keeping Israel its own state and having Palestine be an independent state as well, which seems to be what we're very slowly heading towards).

The main problem with that is the fact that it won't get rid of the existing tensions between Jews and Muslims - arguably it will lead to better conditions for the Palestinians, although tbh I don't know much about what they're like now, but there are still a whole lot of historical issues to be resolved. One is the fact that a lot of Muslims in the region don't think the Jews should be there at all, but there'll probably also be demands for the Palestinians to be allowed to return to properties that they were forcibly removed from decades ago, for example. And as the Jews will essentially be an ethnic minority in their own country, the worry is that they'll again face persecution from a largely Muslim government, negating the whole point of Israel's creation, and there'll be a return to the violence and maybe civil war.

(Sorry, this is all a bit off-topic but hopefully someone will find it interesting!)

alAswad Sun 27-Jul-14 12:58:05

dreamingbohemian you're right of course, it does go back millennia, but a lot of people don't see that as a valid reason for Israel to be formed there now - many people have the idea that it was the Jewish homeland in ancient times, after which few or no Jews lived there for thousands of years, then suddenly at the end of WWII it was decided arbitrarily that the Jews should have a state there based on spurious historical reasons. I was just trying to correct the perception that the modern history of Jews in Israel only began when the state was created smile

prh47bridge Sun 27-Jul-14 13:00:15

Is there a genuine historical reason why Israel is where it is

I will assume this is a serious question and not a wind up.

Because historically that is where Israel was in ancient times. Whilst some dispute this it is generally accepted that Israel was established somewhere around 1400BC-1200BC and the area continued, albeit under Roman occupation from 63BC, until around 150AD. There continued to be a strong Jewish presence in the area. Indeed, the Jews helped the Arabs to defend Jerusalem against the Crusaders in 1099AD.

I think it is on topic Aswad because it explains some of the pitfalls in talking about Israel.

It's easy enough to criticise the violence -- the hard part is, what should be done to resolve the conflict? The two state solution, many now say, is dead in the water. That leaves the one-state solution, which Israel will never go for because realistically it means the end of the Jewish state (if you abide by democracy and demography).

If you were to ask many people protesting against Israel what they think should happen, they would probably support many of the principles of the one state solution (end of settlements and occupation, return of refugees, equal rights, etc.) That sounds good in theory but it would pretty much spell the end of Israel, which is what Hamas and lots of anti-Semitic people want. So it's very tricky.

Hoppinggreen Sun 27-Jul-14 13:08:05

Prh47bridge
No, not a wind up at all.
I was asking about the historical background to why it was decided to create Israel where it is today.
I knew there had to be a good reason why it was situated somewhere that on first sight would look like a very bad idea!!
I could have just googled it but I thought people on here would know

x-post Aswad -- I think you explained it very well smile

Interestingly, the Jewish people fared much better under Muslim rule than they did when the Crusaders came to town. People tend to think Jews and Arabs have hated each other from the beginning but it's not the case. I think a one-state solution could have worked if that had been the plan from the beginning but naturally the colonial powers messed it up.

I do find it disconcerting that people are making such important judgments about Israel's right to exist and the overall conflict without even a basic knowledge of history though. It doesn't excuse what Israel is doing but it shows there is plenty of blame to go around. Note that countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia are hardly rushing to protest the war against Hamas either.

alAswad Sun 27-Jul-14 13:13:56

To answer the original question - finally! - yes it is of course possible to be anti-Israel and not anti-Semitic. In fact I once had a (charming) acquaintance tell me my family deserved to be killed by suicide bombers because he mistakenly believed that they lived in Israel, but as it wasn't to do with them being Jewish I wouldn't even consider him to be anti-Semitic based on that comment just a cunt. Perhaps some people would, though?

NotTheKitchenAgainPlease Sun 27-Jul-14 13:22:12

Of course one can be anti Israeli policy and indeed anti Zionist and not anti Semitic.
I think that some people may be more restrained in their critisism of the Israeli government towards Palestinians and illegal land grabs because they are concerned about being accused of anti semitism.

happytalk13 Sun 27-Jul-14 13:40:50

I'm trying to learn more about this situation too - I don't know a lot - have looked around the internet but not sure what to trust as balanced instead of one-sided information. Where is a good place to start?

I've seen a lot of illustrations of land ownership in the region - all basically showing the same thing: an initial map of Palestine, shaded green, and then subsequent maps showing Israel's appearance, in white, with each map showing more white and less green until we get to today where it's mostly white with what would look like 'settlements' almost of green. Are these maps accurate?

alAswad Sun 27-Jul-14 13:43:43

Cheers dreaming smile I lived there very briefly some years ago so I got very interested in all the history of the region, but it's a bit rusty now as I haven't looked at it in a while!

Incidentally, one of the few things I learnt about the whole situation from being there myself was that it's very hard to make any kind of judgement about what's right and wrong there without actually experiencing it first-hand. I left the UK with a solidly pro-Palestinian view and came back having realised that the majority of Israelis are normal people who just want a life that doesn't involve constant war, or the fear of suicide bombings or nuclear annihilation within decades. The place I was working in was near the wall between Israel and Gaza, and most of the Israelis I met didn't like the fact that it was there and agreed that it was probably even worse for the Palestinians. But then they also told me about how they remembered the time before it was built, how they were afraid to even leave their houses because there were so many suicide bombings in the area, and asked what else should they have done, and I didn't know the answer. The same with Israeli soldiers - at home I had heard reports of them killing and mistreating Palestinians and thought they must be horrible people, but when I got there and remembered that my close friends who were the same age as me were going to be conscripted soon I realised that most of them were just normal young people who genuinely believed they were doing the only thing they could for their country.

It's very easy to sit in the peace and safety of the UK (or wherever) and say 'Israel is inhumane, they should do X' or 'the Palestinians are terrorists, they should do Y' when you've never had the experience of being constantly afraid for the safety of yourself and your loved ones, or feeling like your basic rights are being denied by another country's government. When people are in that situation they do what's best for them, and maybe to the rest of the world it looks terrible (complicated further by the fact that it's also a propaganda war, and nothing either side says can be trusted), but for them it's the only choice they can see.

MilkAndCereal, I completely agree with your last sentence.

stopgap Sun 27-Jul-14 13:48:23

I think the current Israeli policy of heavy missile fire is heavy-handed and frankly quite disgusting and indiscriminate. But I also wonder how many English people would be so restrained if quite suddenly hundreds of rockets started being fired across our border from, say, Wales. Would we want immediate negotiations? Would we quite rightly be livid and demand immediate military action?

It is such a complex and long-running dispute, with plenty of terrible acts on both sides--suicide bombings on buses by the Palestinians, land grabs by Jewish settlers in the West Bank--that it's hard to imagine a way forward.

One thing I wonder: can someone tell me how Arabs living within Israel feel? Marginalised and second-class? Fully-integrated? We've seen protests from Palestinians within the West Bank, but nothing (far as I know) from within Israel itself.

alAswad Sun 27-Jul-14 13:49:08

happytalk, Wikipedia is actually a surprisingly good source of fairly balanced information (from what I've seen, I haven't read all the related articles as there are loads!) You can also look at the talk pages to see which parts people are disputing in terms of neutrality. It's quite in depth though, so if you don't know anything about the conflict then you might find it easier to start with basic timelines for example and work from there.

Branleuse Sun 27-Jul-14 13:54:51
PigletJohn Sun 27-Jul-14 13:59:34

Of course you are not being unreasonable.

I was however quite shocked earlier today when a long-term 'snetter described as "well balanced" a post which said

"they are a branch in a big tree of Jewish extremists who are responsible for the mass murder of torturing and killing innocent people who don't believe in their views in other countries"

and

"Israel would like to see every Muslim person on this world killed and after that they would probably like all the Christian people and people of other faiths killed."

Except that I have changed the word "Muslim" for "Jewish" and "Israel" for "Hamas"

There are certainly racists and bigots on Mumsnet.

alAswad Sun 27-Jul-14 14:37:35

stopgap it's a complex issue wrt the Israeli Arabs, not least because they aren't a homogeneous cultural group - they're largely Muslim, but there are also groups like Arab Christians, nomadic Bedouin Muslims and Druze, who for religious reasons have strong loyalty to the government of the country they are citizens of, even if it means going to war against other Druze. Some Arabs are fully integrated but many also live within their own communities in majority Arab towns.

Technically they have the same rights as Israeli Jews (apart from that they're not not conscripted), but there are still a lot of tensions between Israeli Arabs and Jews, partly just because they're an ethnic minority which tends to come with issues anyway, but also because they're generally worse off economically than the Jews and have less government money spent on them and so on. There's also a lot of outright racism from both sides, with the government making some stupid remarks that led to resentment among the Arab population and a large amount of Holocaust denial from Arab citizens.

On the other hand, there are also a lot of Arabs who feel that life is better for them in Israel than it would be in any of the predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East (for example because it's the only real democracy in the region), and of course they are also put in danger by attacks from the Palestinians. The majority of Israeli Arabs also believe in the right of Israel to exist as an independent state. So as with most political issues it depends on who you ask!

alAswad Sun 27-Jul-14 14:38:51

I'm not any kind of authority on any of this by the way blush Just having a slow day, and it's a topic that interests me...

Is being pro Hamas to be anti Semitic? Hmm, I actually think that it is, given that their stated aim is that Israel has no right to exist at all

I seem to remember reading about a Jewish religious sect/order who opposed Israel's existance. On religious grounds. They believed only God could create a Jewish state, not man.

Can't for the life of me remember the name of the group.

Neturei Karta! Thank you, Google.

An orthodox Jewish religious group, they support peaceful dismantling of the State of Irael:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neturei_Karta

FairPhyllis Sun 27-Jul-14 14:56:02

Israel was the historic homeland of the ethnic Jewish people, Jews have continuously lived there for millennia despite exile, diaspora, conquest etc, if in small numbers at times. Jewish religion and culture are heavily bound up with place and with the idea of Israel existing as a nation in that particular spot and particularly with having Jerusalem as its capital in a way which seems to me relatively unique among cultures. The place of Utah in Mormonism is the only thing I can think of as comparable, although Mormons are not an ethnic group.

So when you get to the point where you have a ethnic Jewish nationalism - i.e. a political movement where you identify as a nation with a right to a territory - there isn't really any other part of the world where you can sensibly locate the focus of your nationalism. And as pps have said Israel didn't come about arbitrarily, it was more the result of a nationalist movement that had begun maybe a century before, compounded by the horror felt by the world at centuries of persecution of the diaspora having culminated in the Holocaust.

So the problem with saying that Israel doesn't have a right to exist, as I see it, is that you're saying that Jews uniquely among all ethnic groups of the world don't have the right to a nationalism. And singling them out as the only group in the world who are not allowed a nationalism is just, well, racist. It is very much consistent with and part of a historical anti-Semitism which asserts that Jews are "uniquely bad" in some way.

Now there are plenty of reasons why you might want to say that nationalism is a bad thing. But bear in mind that most Palestinian Arabs are nationalists too and want the same thing as the Israelis: a nation state of their own. So you can't simultaneously deny Jews a right to a nationalism while granting it to the Palestinians.

But neither can you do the reverse: so I'm of the opinion that the Palestinians need to get a proper, viable nation state too. But achieving that is likely to require sacrificial action on both sides, and I'm not confident that there are figures on either side who are capable of doing that, or capable of getting their people to accept the price of peace.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 27-Jul-14 15:02:15

Great post, fair Phyllis

Abra1d Sun 27-Jul-14 15:06:23

The illegal settlements seem to be at the heart of the problem. The UN and most western governments seem to agree. Israel has the moral/religious/historical right to exist in peace, but it would be easier to support her were it not for the settlements.

That said, Hamas is a repugnant organisation.

Backinthering Sun 27-Jul-14 15:17:00

I agree of course being anti-Israeli actions isnt' the same as being anti-Semitic. Plenty of Jewish people are very against Israel's actions.
I think the current lot running Israel are every bit as bad as Hamas - actually worse, in real terms, as they're killing an awful lot more people.

maddening Sun 27-Jul-14 15:21:23

I do wish that israel had never been created by displacing the resident population and their subsequent actions - but now they do exist I suppory their right to exist and yet can see the pov of the palestinians - i don't know how it can ever be resolved - th differences are far too wide and hatred too deeply ingrained.

Yanbu op - you can be against the actions of a nation without being against the religion in which they believe.

GodDamnBatman Sun 27-Jul-14 15:27:55

Well, "Anti-Isreal" is a bit of a loaded term. But you're not anti-semantic for thinking they're being stupid right now.

I pointed out that both sides were just as terrible for targeting civilians on a friend's fb status, and someone replied saying that Isreal defending itself and is the good guy because they warn the people to get out before firing. Basically victim blaming the civilians for not getting out in time.

I have nothing against Jews, and have Jewish friends. Both sides need to stop. But... there's not really an easy solution. Both sides want all of the land instead of sharing it.

PigletJohn Sun 27-Jul-14 15:32:30

Pumpkinpositive
Is being pro Hamas to be anti Semitic?

Have you seen many pro-Hamas people round here?

I've seen quite a few who are opposed to killing and maiming, but don't remember people saying they were Hamas supporters.

Is being anti-slaughter to be pro-Hamas?

MyFairyKing Sun 27-Jul-14 16:16:41

YANBU but there is a rise in anti Semitism, particularly in France and Germany, so I can see why so many Jews feel attacked and vulnerable.

Backinthering Sun 27-Jul-14 16:34:56

There's also a rise of some very scary stuff within Israel.
www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/26/gaza-israel-palestinian-protest

Bambambini Sun 27-Jul-14 16:44:53

"Cheers dreaming I lived there very briefly some years ago so I got very interested in all the history of the region, but it's a bit rusty now as I haven't looked at it in a while!

Incidentally, one of the few things I learnt about the whole situation from being there myself was that it's very hard to make any kind of judgement about what's right and wrong there without actually experiencing it first-hand. I left the UK with a solidly pro-Palestinian view and came back having realised that the majority of Israelis are normal people who just want a life that doesn't involve constant war, or the fear of suicide bombings or nuclear annihilation within decades. The place I was working in was near the wall between Israel and Gaza, and most of the Israelis I met didn't like the fact that it was there and agreed that it was probably even worse for the Palestinians. But then they also told me about how they remembered the time before it was built, how they were afraid to even leave their houses because there were so many suicide bombings in the area, and asked what else should they have done, and I didn't know the answer. The same with Israeli soldiers - at home I had heard reports of them killing and mistreating Palestinians and thought they must be horrible people, but when I got there and remembered that my close friends who were the same age as me were going to be conscripted soon I realised that most of them were just normal young people who genuinely believed they were doing the only thing they could for their country.

It's very easy to sit in the peace and safety of the UK (or wherever) and say 'Israel is inhumane, they should do X' or 'the Palestinians are terrorists, they should do Y' when you've never had the experience of being constantly afraid for the safety of yourself and your loved ones, or feeling like your basic rights are being denied by another country's government. When people are in that situation they do what's best for them, and maybe to the rest of the world it looks terrible (complicated further by the fact that it's also a propaganda war, and nothing either side says can be trusted), but for them it's the only choice they can choose"

Sums up exactly how I feel about it. Lived and worked in Israel for a short while over 20 yrs ago. First briefly with Palestinians and then for a longer term with Israelis. I could see both sides point of view and sympathise with both. The Palestinians are in an awful situation, there is no question - and most people In the UK have no true idea what threat the Israelis have faced from their neighbours or give any true thought to what it is like to live under the constant threat of suicide bombings and rockets.

Both sides have voted in the extreme haters - Hamas and Netanyahu's lot, so how they are me at to move forward I have no idea. Israel should never have been allowed to expand and build their illegal settlements though - not sure how more pressure wasn't put on them regarding this.

somewheresafe Sun 27-Jul-14 16:49:16

I deplore israels actions. I am Jewish. Everyone I know feels the same, especially family. We feel the massacre of the palestinian people has been done in our name and in the name of three poor teens who we now know we're not murdered by Hamas.

This is not about anti semitism. The world has a right to criticise israels military actions without being called anti semitic. Despite my horror at the completely disproportionate, illegal and immoral actions of israel I believe israel has every right to exist. But it must therefore allow palestinians a right to exist too no?

Surely israel cannot keep claiming to be the victim of rockets, not having the right to exist, peace for its citizens if it doesn't allow palestinians the same.

Bambambini Sun 27-Jul-14 17:54:01

I haven't seen that development. Who murdered the teenagers?

Backinthering Sun 27-Jul-14 18:00:30

Extremists acting independently, likely in revenge for the IDF shooting two teenagers dead.

PigletJohn Sun 27-Jul-14 18:31:20

An eye for an eye and we all end up blind.

alAswad Sun 27-Jul-14 18:41:40

Bambambini I agree with your last paragraph.

Re Hamas and the abducted teenagers, I don't really see how it makes much difference - even if they had admitted responsibility from the start, I can't see how the Israeli response over the last weeks could ever be considered proportionate. Bibi is a crazy racist who's also somewhat psychopathic, and I can't see any hope for peace while he's in power. I don't know when the next election is but unfortunately I can't see there being much of a leftward shift either in the current political climate. The chances of the Palestinians voting for a more moderate party now after what they've been through recently are also practically zero.

Incidentally this might be a really stupid question but people have mentioned Israel violating international law - are Hamas not doing the same by firing rockets at civilians? Is it that the rules are different because it's not an independent state, or are they acting illegally and no-one's mentioning it because no-one expects better from them anyway iyswim?

Wannabestepfordwife Sun 27-Jul-14 18:45:48

I'm not anti-Israel or anti-Semetic (I'm of Jewish descent) but I'm anti-Netanyahu and his administration in the same way I'm anti Blair, Bush, Putin, Gaddafi, Assad, Mugabe. I just don't feel there is any need to have war mongering psychotic leaders

PigletJohn Sun 27-Jul-14 18:47:17

Bambamini

"Israel should never have been allowed to expand and build their illegal settlements though - not sure how more pressure wasn't put on them regarding this"

Everyone knows that Israel's illegal settlements, colonising the occupied territories, is key to peace.

Israel has the mighty power of the US protecting it, so it pays no attention to international law or world opinion.

Occasionally, the thin, weak voice of the US politely suggests that maybe Israel might consider reducing the number of illegal settlements (colonies). Israel then builds some more.

Thefishewife Sun 27-Jul-14 18:59:33

Agreed but until both sides get tired of the fight things will never change in Northern Ireland people just got sick of the fighting and both side came to see power sharing was the only way

Wishyouwould Sun 27-Jul-14 18:59:39

YANBU at all.

thecatfromjapan Sun 27-Jul-14 19:04:27

YANBU. And what Revenant said.

meltedmonterayjack Sun 27-Jul-14 19:04:28

It's completely possible to be against Israeli policies but not against Jews, but as other posters have said, many people can't or won't separate the two and anti-semitic incidents are increasing as the death toll of Palestinian civilians rises. It's similar to the anti-Muslim feeling in the wake of 9/11 when Muslims were targeted. People are rightly angry, and anyone who is obviously Muslim at such a time, or obviously Jewish at this time, is more vulnerable.

Like a lot of Jews, I feel horribly uncomfortable being Jewish at the moment and feel I have a responsibility to point out that a lot of us want an end to the bloodshed. Though, I do have to say, many Jews I know won't hear a word said against Israel's policies when it comes to defense and need to put a stop to HAMAS and ISIS. There seem to be a fair number of Zionists where I am, and that really worries me.

Micksy Sun 27-Jul-14 19:14:00

We trend to express opposition to a country's policies with different words depending on how rounded a view we have of a country. People will say they are anti Russian because for most people we only hear about Russia as a political rather than cultural entity. We are very unlikely to say we are anti British as we experience Britain as a cultural entity first. People may identify as anti American as its political influence is so huge, but are much less likely as its cultural presence is of a matching size. Israel only exists to most of us in political terms, so anti Israel means anti Israeli foreign policy. It's a blunt and insensitive expression that does relate how great a degree of otherness we feel about a country, but I don't think it innately demonstrates any bigotry against a people. Its just a view of a government that has not been moderated by a more intimate knowledge of the culture as a whole.

Pumpkinpositive
Is being pro Hamas to be anti Semitic?

Have you seen many pro-Hamas people round here?

Not sure why you're quoting me. I was quoting someone else.

I haven't seen any pro Hamas people around here. Have you?

runes Sun 27-Jul-14 19:32:01

thefishewife People didn't just get sick of fighting in NIhmm The fighting ended because the side who had been oppressed, the Catholic/Nationalist community, were given equality. The PIRA always knew a United Ireland would not be achieved through an armed struggle. Had the Protestant majority not tried to oppress the Catholic community the 'troubles' would not have happened. If Israel continue to oppress the Palestinian people the violence will continue.

PigletJohn Sun 27-Jul-14 19:42:37

Thefishewife

There is a view that ethnic hatred and violence is overcome with greater brutality or "harshness" and that it the NI problem was exacerbated by insufficient brutality and oppression from the British forces.

It's my opinion that this view in wrong and bordering on insane, but it has been brought to these forums in an attempt to justify Israel's oppression. The person proposing this claims to be an Irish national.

Abra1d Sun 27-Jul-14 19:43:43

The fighting ended because the side who had been oppressed, the Catholic/Nationalist community, were given equality.

And they were also the side who killed the most people. I am not sure what the moral of that is, tbh.

PigletJohn Sun 27-Jul-14 19:44:38

Pumpkinpositive

no

I did not see from your post that it was a quote.

Piglet I don't know the gist of that other conversation, but it is true that if you're Israel and you're looking around at successful counterinsurgencies in recent decades, the only successes are things like Russia bombing Chechnya back to the stone age and Sri Lanka pummeling the Tamil Tigers in the midst of tens of thousands of civilians. Or, even now, Assad getting away with mass murder in Syria. The lesson does seem to be that ignoring international law and slaughtering civilians is more likely to lead to 'success'.

I think it's a completely immoral argument and I would never advocate a country doing so, I think it's better to adhere to international law even if you lose. But these things don't happen in a vacuum, if it looks like that's the best way to win, Netanyahu will do it. Israel is already an international pariah, he's not going to start caring now what the rest of the world thinks.

PigletJohn Sun 27-Jul-14 20:08:57

An awful lesson

I suppose Israel can carry doing this as long as it has the blind obedience of the US, and as long as no other countries try anything. Turkey got nowhere.

Yes, it is awful

But then again, Russia got away with Chechnya, Sri Lanka got away with mass murder, Assad is getting away with it -- you can't say the US is supporting them.

Israel is also getting away with it because Arab countries like Egypt and Saudi have no love for Hamas.

The lesson is that it's very rare for countries to intervene to stop leaders from killing loads of people -- whatever country is doing the killing. It's extremely rare. So it's a risk one can take.

It's horrible but that is the kind of realpolitik world leaders live in.

runes Sun 27-Jul-14 20:32:37

abra I'm not sure what your point is. In my view one killing is too many, I abhor violence. History has shown however that oppression perpetuates violence. In this case Israel is the oppressor and they have killed over a thousand people in just a few weeks shock . Surely the violence will never end whilst the Palestinian people are denied their basic rights by Israel. Re the Israeli blockade on Gaza the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, called for the blockade’s immediate lifting, citing the devastating impact it has had on the lives and livelihoods of the Strips’ residents.She said that more than 80 per cent of families in Gaza are dependent on humanitarian aid. In addition, while some steps have been taken to ease the blockade’s impact, Gaza remains subject to severe restrictions on imports, exports and the movement of people, by land, air and sea – which amounts to a “collective punishment” of all those living in Gaza and is a denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law.

Backinthering Sun 27-Jul-14 20:35:55

God that's depressing dreamingbohemian but you're right.
I remember Channel 4 had excellent coverage of Sri Lanka but by and large it was barely covered and no-one seemed to give much of a shit.

NotDavidTennant Sun 27-Jul-14 20:53:40

The fundamental problem is that the leadership on neither side really wants peace.

It's been clear for sometime now that the Israeli strategy is to expand settlements into the West Bank as far as is practically (and defensively) possible, and eventually use these 'facts on the ground' as justification for moving the Israeli border westward in order to create a buffer between the West Bank and the heartlands of Israel. A permanent peace with the Palestinians would require giving up this ambition.

And on the other side, Hamas has no reason for it's existence without the conflict with Israel.

The whole situation seems pretty hopeless to me.

happytalk13 Sun 27-Jul-14 20:56:26

What are people's opinions on the USA's part in this over the years and why they have played it the way they have? And the UK's?

I spent some time in the states and in that time I heard more than once an opinion that the USA backs Israel's actions because a) it is beneficial to keep the Middle East in as destabilised a position as possible and b) there are a lot of powerful right wing Christians that have got the government's ear (Revelations, End Times etc. etc.) What do people think about those opinions?

Someone posted much earlier in the post (in response to someone pointing out that the bombing of Palestinian schools and hospitals is deplorable) that Hamas have directly placed their missile silos in/near such establishments - is this true?

I watched the youtube video linked to earlier - and read the comments underneath it. Is this a balanced abridged version of the issues?

FairPhyllis Sun 27-Jul-14 21:03:43

The fighting in NI ended because Sinn Fein/republican paramilitaries achieved their political objectives, or close enough to them to be able to go to their people and tell them they had a good deal. If they hadn't, it would still be going on. Armed insurgencies do tend to get you most of what you wanted in the end.

Backinthering Sun 27-Jul-14 21:09:03

happytalk13 I think the answer to that will completely depend on who you speak to! Very pro-Israel people will tell you that Hamas is the cause of all of this and rockets etc were hidden in all the targets that were attacked.
I've read enough reports, both from Palestinians as well as journalists, foreign medics etc, to believe that a lot of what was bombed was not being used as weapons stores or launch sites. A few that have received media coverage, for instance, are the bombing of a hospital, a UN school, a center for the disabled and the four boys killed on the beach.
It's true that Hamas does fire rockets from populous areas (although that really is the majority of Gaza - a lot of people in a very confined area). Whether that justifies that degree of civilians deaths in retaliation is again something that you'll get differing answers on depending on the person's viewpoint.

caroldecker Sun 27-Jul-14 21:24:47

The fighting in NI ended with 9/11, when the US realised that terrism was not funny, the IRA were not jolly leprechauns, but murdering terrorists and withdrew support and funding.

runes Sun 27-Jul-14 21:35:58

fairphyllis would you like to elaborate on what exactly Sinn Fein got? Other than equality for the Catholic people which one should have expected would have been given without a need to take up arms.

Can I ask, does everyone really think the NI conflict is truly over and won't start up again? I ask because it's often held up as a model for Israel-Palestine, that even really intractable conflicts can be resolved, but I don't know how useful this comparison is. My sense is a lot of people think NI could totally kick off again at some point.

I know it goes against our nature practically to think a conflict can't be resolved but sometimes they really can't, until catastrophe occurs in some form.

runes Sun 27-Jul-14 21:40:08

caroldecker What are you on??? The ignorance is astounding. 9/11 happened 3 years after The Good Friday Agreement was signed. Read a fucking book carolhmm

PigletJohn Sun 27-Jul-14 21:55:03
runes Sun 27-Jul-14 21:58:24

I'm Northern Irish. I'm fairly sure things won't go back. Most people hate violence, the only reason the PIRA were more widely supported was because the Catholic community were desperate. Catholics couldn't get jobs or houses and electoral constituencies were gerrymandered to ensure Unionist control. When they tried to march for Civil Rights, inspired by the US movement, they were gunned down in the streets on what has become known as Bloody Sunday. There is now proper equality and full power sharing. No one side can abuse their position to repress the other. It's not perfect there are still issues over past atrocities and flags/parades, but I think most people are relatively happy and appreciate the peace.

AlpacaYourThings Sun 27-Jul-14 23:27:28

caroldecker your post is painfully ignorant.

WTF has 9/11 got to do with NI?!

dreaming there is still conflict (my lovely cousin recently moved into a Protestant area and had her house broken into and they sprayed bigoted crap all over her walls.) but its only perpetrated by a small number of people who want to continue the violence. Thankfully they are in the minority.

Bambambini Sun 27-Jul-14 23:30:21

"I think it's a completely immoral argument and I would never advocate a country doing so, I think it's better to adhere to international law even if you lose."

See, this is the kind of statement that I think can only come from the west or a safe haven like the UK. So people would adhere to international law as it is moral - even if it meant the death or their children, the destruction of their homes and livelihoods - their lives.

The problem I have with this issue that as much as I can sympathise with the Palestinians and recognise their plight - if I was an Israeli mother living near Gaza trying to educate and keep my young children - I might think differently - I honestly don't know.

BerryBerryXmas Sun 27-Jul-14 23:34:03

Sorry haven't read whole thread but learning a lot from it. Some questions come to mind, apologies if they are stupid.

I'm looking at the situation as an Irish Catholic and trying to understand the history and the current actions. Why are Jews entitled to a state as an ethnic group? My nationality is Irish, my religion is Catholic. Similarly there are Italian Catholics, Spanish Catholics etc. Why can't Jews just be from where they are from? Why does for example, a French Jew need or have a right to live in Israel? Catholics don't necessarily move to Rome.

Also, I don't really get the historic right to the region. The world has changed in the last couple of millennia and I think sometimes you have to accept those changes in order to move on as a society. Going back that far you would say the island of Ireland should be one, but it's not and I think most people are just happy to get on with their lives in peace.

These questions are genuine not meant to be anti-Semitic or anti-Israel or anything, I just feel like Irish and British should have some understanding of this from our history, shouldn't we? Why don't we? Or am I comparing apples and oranges? Is this us 30 years ago? But I can't ever imagine British bombing an area in Northern Ireland in order to hit the IRA.

I just can't get my head around the disproportionality of Israels actions.

BerryBerryXmas Sun 27-Jul-14 23:36:07

Sorry just realised the NI comparison has already come up!

JanineStHubbins Sun 27-Jul-14 23:36:18

The conflict in NI ended because the republican movement managed to sell a change in their political objectives to their constituency and support base. A united Ireland was very much what they were fighting for, and believed they could achieve, at least up until the mid/late 1980s. Now they've sold it to (most of) their constituency that devolution, cross border bodies and 'parity of esteem' is what it was all about.

Bambambini Sun 27-Jul-14 23:46:29

I don't think you can completely compare Israel/ Palestine conflict to the NI issue. Israel was a new country surrounded with multiple enemies who wanted to wipe them out and joined up to wage war on them. These same people still feel the same even if they haven't went to war for a few decades. Also bear in mind the Israeli bunker/ siege mentality - a hangover from persecution and the holocaust - they never wants to lie down and be the victim again.

It's not the same issue.

runes Mon 28-Jul-14 00:06:55

janine Do you think all the Sinn Fein voters are thick? There was no appetite for an armed struggle to achieve a United Ireland prior to the events that occurred during the early civil rights movement. The official IRA was dead in the water. When Stormont made the North a cold house for Catholics and the British Army, who had initially been welcomed as protection for the nationalist people, shot unarmed civil rights demonstrators and labelled them as terrorists, the people turned to the IRA. They thought that they would never be treated fairly under British/ Unionist rule, so of course a United Ireland became much more important and the PIRAs ranks swelled. Obviously there is too much detail to go fully into here but the main point of relevance in referencing NI with Gaza is that peace cannot be achieved without equality. The UN have said thst Israel's blockade of the Gaza strip contravenes International law and denies the Palestinian people their basic human rights. This, not to mention the several other UN resolutions that Israel are currently ignoring, needs to be addressed for there to be a chance for a peace agreement.

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jul-14 00:14:30

Bambambini

Or, as Miko Peled put it, Israel started out as new nation wishing to remove and ethically cleanse the Arab inhabitants of Palestine, and to destroy the weak armies of the surrounding Arab countries.

It's not the same issue.

RonaldMcDonald Mon 28-Jul-14 00:34:34

YANBU

I think the NI stuff is a red herring although have noticed that certain factions of community in NI fly Palestinian or Israeli flags

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jul-14 00:39:46

Ronald

Do you suppose the NI stuff is thrown onto threads about Israel in order to derail the threads and divert discussion away from the current awful problem of the destruction of Gaza, the oppression of Palestinians, and thousands of people being maimed and killed?

RonaldMcDonald Mon 28-Jul-14 01:01:38

I think that people are frightened of being manipulated by the media or by terrorist organisations. They want to root for a 'good guy' and don't understand that sometimes that is a moveable feast. People are also terribly frightened of being seen as anti Semitic and I believe that Israel uses that incredibly well.
There seems to be a real reluctance to acknowledge that there is no reason for Israel to behave in this manner.

The NI problem has been going on as an Ireland/England problem for hundreds of years. Everyone has a different take upon it and we all think we are right.
I think that conflating NI with Gaza is utterly wrong but I am unsure that it is meant as a deliberate hijack. Perhaps people are trying to discuss their confusion over what happened in NI and are indicating that if they couldn't get their heads around that then what hope have they with Gaza?

happytalk13 Mon 28-Jul-14 07:36:12

Thank you for posting the video of Miko Peled - it was very interesting. over the past few weeks I've heard over and over again the tale of how Israel just wanted peace but they were attacked incessantly and had no choice but to retaliate but I'd also read (once) that what Miko Peled talked about (the ethnic cleansing carried out by Israel after the partition).

It seems to me history is presented in different ways depending on what the presenter's agenda is.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who is a history and politics dunce. It can be hard to know who is telling the truth when you're not sure where to start looking or what actually is reliable material to read.

WRT conflating this situation with NI - perhaps for some it is a point of reference to try to start to understand what is going on now in this conflict?

Thanks for responses to my question on NI, it's reassuring.

Bambam International law does allow people to defend themselves -- it's not the case that following international law means you're left defenceless and just have to accept being slaughtered. Indeed, Israel is arguing now that they are acting in self-defence. But you are not supposed to violate international law yourself in defending yourself -- for example, even if your enemy is using human shields, it is not 'okay' to just shoot them anyway.

Israel has options for dealing with Hamas other than indiscriminately bombing Gaza -- this was not a last resort situation.

Berry the problem with the 'people should just move on' logic is that you could equally apply it to the Palestinians. Why can't they just accept that they lost wars to Israel in 1948 and 1967 and make new homes for themselves in neighbouring Arab countries? Why are they entitled to a state just for Palestinians?

I also think it's problematic to compare the Jews, who throughout their history have been a minority population subject to horrendous persecution and death throughout the world, to Catholics, who have comprised one of the world's largest religions and strongest powers for centuries.

To be clear, I think the answer is a Jewish state and a Palestinian state -- but with events in recent years, this scenario is increasingly becoming impossible.

RonaldMcDonald Mon 28-Jul-14 10:39:53

NI could kick off again but with rebranded protagonists
Male Protestant working class boys are doing very badly in school and this will eventually result in a group of lowly paid young men from one sector of NI society.
IMO that is very worrying because it will take no time for the old rhetoric to begin
The poor in NI have been v poorly treated on both sides tbh but the majority segregated education system seems to be much more effective for RC children ATM

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jul-14 10:47:38

This is the thread about Israel. If somebody tries to derail it onto different topics, consider if you want to fall into their trap.

Princesselsaanna Mon 28-Jul-14 10:52:10

I

Princesselsaanna Mon 28-Jul-14 10:52:16

I

Princesselsaanna Mon 28-Jul-14 10:52:27

I am jewish

That's very interesting, Ronald.

I don't think talking about NI is derailing hmm comparing conflicts can be a useful way for people to learn, also useful in terms of thinking about possible conflict resolution strategies. It's not totally irrelevant.

Princesselsaanna Mon 28-Jul-14 11:00:17

I am Jewish and being Jewish in Britain is not pretty. I am not religious and I don't stand out as Jewish but in my area there are increased anti semitic sentiment. There are swastikas on the walls outside peoples houses, people are shouting anti semitic comments out of cars, children are being attacked in the street. For the first time in my life I dont feel comfortable being Jewish in Britain. I don't like Netanyahu, I never have done, I strongly disapprove of the settlements and have been very vocal about that. I'm not even crazy keen on Israel as a country but for the first time ever my friends and I have started talking about how we need to think about getting our children speaking ivrit because moving to Israel might one day be the best option for british Jews. That's the reality for many of us. I'm 4th generation British and I am scared.

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jul-14 11:05:06

I'm sorry to hear that. I have heard of such things but not seen them.

If you move to Israel and speak out against the oppression of Arabs, and the illegal settlements, will people still shout at you in the street?

HesterShaw Mon 28-Jul-14 11:05:41

I think most people are simply nauseated by the bombing and traumatising of children, who in turn will go on to hate and to kill.

HesterShaw Mon 28-Jul-14 11:09:00

Princess, that sounds deeply uncomfortable.

I have never understood this and never will. People are people. How can religion cause so much slaughter?

I have a couple of friends, who in turn are best friends. They are both women in their 30s. One is Jewish, with friends and relatives in Israel. One is Muslim with friends and family in Pakistan. For them it's friendship first, and their families are completely ok with it. If only there were more like them.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jul-14 11:11:17

Blimey john conversations do evolve you know! It's not a conspiracy it's a debate ... Which has expanded to include wider topics relating to historical religious conflict

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jul-14 11:12:48

Princess I am sorry you feel that way x it sounds very stressful and scary

TheTravellingLemon Mon 28-Jul-14 11:31:05

Princess I feel exactly the same. DH and I had a talk only yesterday about the possibility of us having to leave Europe. I am third generation and believe me when I say that it was not a conversation I ever imagined having. I don't know where we'd go.

HesterShaw Mon 28-Jul-14 11:47:58

How dreadful Lemon sadThis is like the 30s. It's awful.

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jul-14 12:10:38

hi gordy

In terms of historical comparison, I suppose we have to look at when Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany agreed to be buddies and invade and occupy Poland.

They both brutalised and deported the existing population, seizing their homes and other possessions and moving in their own people as "settlers." There was of course a great deal of oppression on racial and ethnic grounds, and the territory was ethnically cleansed.

This was prior to the building of extermination camps, so any killings would have been on an ad hoc basis, and might have averaged less than the few hundred a day which Israel is committing in Gaza. The people who had lost their homes and lands had to be concentrated into enclosures under the control of the invaders.

Even the names of towns and villages were changed from their historic names to names suiting the invading occupier. Monuments by the previous inhabitants were destroyed so that history could be rewritten.

Have I mentioned yet anything that has not happened in Israel's seizure of Arab lands?

RonaldMcDonald Mon 28-Jul-14 13:01:51

I think it is difficult for a lot of people to not see Israel and the actions of Israel as being on behalf of 'Jews'
Weirdly that means that Israel's faux vulnerable projections might in the end become a reality due to their acts of completely OTT aggression whilst trying to defend Israel <that was never in reality in any sort of danger>
If this continues I believe Israel will lose the support of the world and most importantly the US <along with its yearly $3bill stipend> and that the mass of public opinion will turn against 'Jews'

I would suggest that you and everyone you know make very clear to all and sundry that what is happening in Israel is not the actions of 'Jews' but the actions of the Israeli govt and something that you don't back in anyway
If that occurs then I believe that Jewish people will continue to happily live happily all over Europe with the understanding, sympathy and support of other communities
I know English people who were intimidated in NI due to strong anti English feeling. They made their feelings clear and people generally got the picture

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jul-14 13:07:28

$30 Billion, I believe.

ThisOneAndThatOne Mon 28-Jul-14 13:08:19

It's bec

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jul-14 13:09:30

sorry ignore that

ThisOneAndThatOne Mon 28-Jul-14 13:10:39

It's becoming increasingly common the hear French voices in both Jewish parts of London and in Israel as more and more French Jews are feeling there is no future for them in France.

ThisOneAndThatOne Mon 28-Jul-14 13:15:28

Ronald, do you also believe that it is the duty of British Muslim to speak out against atrocities happening in each of the 22 predominately Muslim countries. Or is that jut something expected by British Jews?

Actually, not to do any derailing, but that is not exactly how the killing process worked in Eastern Europe. The extermination camps were simply the apogee of organised killing -- this does not mean the other killings were ad hoc or random or small scale. In 1941, for example, the decision was taken to eliminate all the Jews of Kiev, and more than 30,000 men, women and children were marched to a nearby ravine and shot over the course of two days. The aims were different as well -- the Nazis wanted to eliminate 'sub-human' elements and settle the land with Germans, the Soviets wanted political control over lands they considered part of the Russian sphere. And then there is the scale, with about 15 million people killed in Eastern Europe.

I think some comparisons can be made, but they should be done very carefully. You can't say that Eastern Europe in WW2 was essentially just what Israel is doing now + extermination camps. There are really important differences as well.

brokenhearted55a Mon 28-Jul-14 13:20:47

It isnt the same but some groups are using ut as an excuse to attack Jews. I am fed up with some of my facebook friends sharing content from sites that are insidiously racist and antisemitic.

I have Jewish friends in Paris and they are all running scared. They experienced a mini civil war with everything destroyed in the street, cars burnt down, jewish stores closed, synagogues attacked.

the thing is that last time they heard " kill the jews and death to them all" and having some synagogues attacked and almost entirely burnt was during the Shoah.

They do not deserve that.

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jul-14 13:25:11

that's why I particularly mentioned when Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany agreed to be buddies and invade and occupy Poland.

It occurred prior to (but was trigger of) the start of World War 2.

Ware was not declared by Germany or by Russia.

Extermination camps had not yet occurred.

Hence it is a good example on occupation, oppression, land seizure, and ethnic cleansing.

I have specifically not said Israel's oppression of Arabs is like WW2.

Turning back to what I actually did say are there any points which do not match Israel's actions?

Sorry I don't understand

Germany and the Soviet Union invaded and occupied Poland in 1939 -- this was the start of WW2. If you're comparing Israel to what they did in Poland then yes, you are comparing it to WW2.

The extermination camps and ghetto liquidations did occur after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, but prior to that Poland was still subject to mass killings of a highly organised nature. The Soviets killed more than 20,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia in the Katyn massacres, the Germans killed thousands of Jews and Poles in mass actions and organised millions of Jews into ghettos. This was not just a few hundred ad hoc killings a day.

The scale, the aims and the overall context make it difficult to compare with Israel today.

A better comparison would be what the Brits did in the Boer war -- which incidentally is where the modern concentration camp first emerged. Not a lot of people know that, I find.

caroldecker Mon 28-Jul-14 15:13:08

There is a significant difference between Boer war internment camps, which were designed to hold people and the German concentration camps, designed to kill people.

SamG76 Mon 28-Jul-14 15:15:12

PJ - $30bn ????? - that's just fantasy, and it's the willingness of people to believe any c**p about the ME that makes others think that there is something more sinister at work. At least the Americans get something for their investment - most of it is spent in the US on US equipment, and the Israelis are allies, who give them decent intelligence. Compared to the amounts the US have wasted in Afghanistan, and sums they spend giving aid to al-Sisi in Egypt, it's probably money well spent.

carol -- sorry to be unclear, I meant that if you were looking for a historical analogy to compare Israeli actions, I think it's better to look to smaller conflicts from the colonial era than WW2.

Just to be pedantic though, German concentration camps were primarily meant to detain people, use them for labour, etc., it was the extermination camps that were designed for mass and immediate killing.

Sadly the extreme right is on the march in Israel too. People who have tried to protest against the treatment of Palestinian civilians have been threatened and attacked and even advised to leave the country.

Bambambini Mon 28-Jul-14 16:46:14

I had no idea that Jews were feeling worried and threatened in this way and anti semitism was rising like this. Not good. But then I've wondered how Muslims feel in the UK since 9/11. If they feel watched or mistrusted , apprehensive etc.

Backinthering Mon 28-Jul-14 17:05:54

Yes I suspect that the UK/Europe has been deeply uncomfortable for many Muslims since 9/11.
I think right-wing extremism has increased in general over the last few years, be it towards Jewish or Muslim people or anyone with an obvious ethnic minority background. It would be so good if we could all stand together on this.

Backinthering Mon 28-Jul-14 17:06:32

Yes I suspect that the UK/Europe has been deeply uncomfortable for many Muslims since 9/11.
I think right-wing extremism has increased in general over the last few years, be it towards Jewish or Muslim people or anyone with an obvious ethnic minority background. It would be so good if we could all stand together on this.

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jul-14 17:08:08

Sam

I posted a cumulative figure in error, hence my almost immediate retraction, which you presumably saw before criticising me..

I don't know if it's right for Israel to be the biggest recipient of US aid, as there are other countries suffering actual poverty and deprivation who might need it more, but it's not my call, or yours.

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jul-14 17:11:14

dreamingbohemian

I can see it is not something you like, but looking at the characteristics I actually mentioned in my post, are there any which you think Israel has not done?

For your ease of reference:

They both brutalised and deported the existing population, seizing their homes and other possessions and moving in their own people as "settlers." There was of course a great deal of oppression on racial and ethnic grounds, and the territory was ethnically cleansed.

This was prior to the building of extermination camps, so any killings would have been on an ad hoc basis, and might have averaged less than the few hundred a day which Israel is committing in Gaza. The people who had lost their homes and lands had to be concentrated into enclosures under the control of the invaders.

Even the names of towns and villages were changed from their historic names to names suiting the invading occupier. Monuments by the previous inhabitants were destroyed so that history could be rewritten.

Have I mentioned yet anything that has not happened in Israel's seizure of Arab lands?

I would be really pleased if you can point out something that prevents them being comparable.

I said earlier why I thought the comparison was problematic: scale, aims and context.

The current conflict is horrific, no doubt, but the number of civilians who have died in the past 15 years of conflict is still less than the Nazis/Soviets might kill in a single day. These are two tiny states fighting, you can fit Gaza practically within the M25. It's not really comparable to the destruction caused by two of the biggest powers in the world.

Aims -- both the Nazis and Soviets wanted not just territory but to eliminate whole classes of people. The Nazis had elaborate categories to divide up populations into kill immediately, work to death, exploit economically, etc. By 1939 the Soviets had already murdered millions of people based on class and occupation (the Ukrainian kulaks, Red Army officers, etc.)

I don't dispute that extremists in Israel do want to eliminate the Palestinians and obviously the Israeli state is not showing any consideration for civilian deaths. But I don't think it's in the same league as the genocides conducted in WW2, Rwanda, Armenia, China, etc.

Finally the context -- as i said earlier, I really don't know why people want to compare Israeli behaviour to WW2 when it clearly resembles much more the colonial wars of old.

Even going by your bolded comments above -- is that not a good description of British colonial occupation? Why is that comparison not made more often?

I don't disagree that Israel has done these terrible things, but to be frank, these are all very common occurrences in modern warfare. The US and UK did many of the same things in Iraq. Russia did much worse in Chechnya. So we can compare everyone to the Nazis if you like, but I think it's more useful to be more specific. Israel is essentially a modern colonial state and comparing it to previous colonial wars I think gives a clearer picture of their scope and aims.

PigletJohn Tue 29-Jul-14 11:07:21

"I don't disagree that Israel has done these terrible things"

then we are agreed, on what I actually said in my post.

We might or might not agree on some other things that I did not say.

The fact that other nations also do terrible things is a different issue.

"Other people do it too" is never an excuse.

You said:

In terms of historical comparison, I suppose we have to look at when Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany agreed to be buddies and invade and occupy Poland.

I have now given many reasons why I think this is a bad comparison.

Yes, I agree with some things you have said but I disagree with your overall point.

I did not say 'others do it' is an excuse for what Israel is doing. I said these tactics should not be the only basis for making comparisons, because they are so widespread.

But we can leave it there as no doubt this is boring for everyone. We're not going to agree basically.

PigletJohn Tue 29-Jul-14 12:24:56

"Israel is essentially a modern colonial state "

I agree, but although Israel has colonised most of Palestine, I don't believe that like most other colonial states, it will ever leave.

FraidyCat Tue 29-Jul-14 12:52:32

So the problem with saying that Israel doesn't have a right to exist, as I see it, is that you're saying that Jews uniquely among all ethnic groups of the world don't have the right to a nationalism.

I'm replying immediately after reading this, without reading the rest of the thread, so hope I'm not duplicating what someone else has already said.

Surely this is completely untrue? There must be countless groups of various sizes who don't have a nation state, and little prospect of getting one?

Where is the Uighur state? The Kurdish state? The completely independent and self-governing Sioux state? The Zulu state? The San state? What state do the aboriginal (as opposed to Malay or Chinese) people of Malaysia have? Or for that matter those of Australia or New Zealand.

FraidyCat Tue 29-Jul-14 12:54:06

I'm sure there are several hundred other groups that could be mentioned.

PigletJohn Tue 29-Jul-14 13:09:16

The Palestinians?

Mumblepot26 Tue 29-Jul-14 13:15:21

YANBU

GarethCanFOff Tue 29-Jul-14 14:15:42

Thanks for posting a link to the Miko Peled talk, I'm going to watch it later.

This is a very good documentary

The Zionist Story
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufLAitMq3zI

Interestingly the Zionist originally looked to various areas across the globe as potential Jewish Homeland areas, including Uganda and parts of the US. Palestine as a potential homeland was not an automatic given, even if it looks that way to us now. The religious Zionists wanted it in Palestine (and this offered useful symbolism to the movement).

Vingtdeux22 Tue 29-Jul-14 14:32:05

There is a significant difference between being anti-Israel and being antisemitic. There is a significant difference again between being opposed to the policies of the Netanyahu government and being anti-Israel.

It is interesting that a significant number of Christian Arabs from Lebanon have chosen to make Israel their permanent home [I am sure that this will result in reference to the Sabra and Chatila massacres but many of those now resident in Israel were not even born in 1982.].

Anyone who says that Israel has no right to exist as a state is not, de facto, an antisemite, but it is probably only a short walk.

Any Israeli has the democratic right to criticise the policies of the current Israeli government. Sadly, many other residents of the Middle East do not have the same right of democratic criticism.

FairPhyllis Tue 29-Jul-14 14:42:30

Just jumping in here to answer some things I was asked directly:

Fraidy You are conflating nationalism and nation states. The former is a political movement which asserts a nation state identity. I was very careful to make the distinction in what I said. The fact that there isn't an Uighur state (yet) doesn't mean that there isn't an Uighur nationalism and that Uighurs don't have the moral right to political self-determination up to and including possibly forming their own state one day. Whether such a thing is politically achievable given the politics of China and its military power is another matter. But do I think they have the moral right to try and achieve it? Yes.

I mean I assume we all generally support the right to political self-determination. Otherwise there wouldn't be a Scottish independence referendum happening this September, would there? So why shouldn't Jews in the ME also be able to assert their nationhood if they want to? And the Palestinians as well, as I said above.

BerryBerryXmas Judaism isn't directly comparable to say Catholicism because it is both a religion and (for the most part) an ethnicity with a well-documented historical homeland. That is why it has a nationalist component to it which other religions don't tend to have. Jewish people are overwhelmingly Jewish by descent from a historical Middle Eastern population. Even a non-observant Jew might still call themselves Jewish ethnically. Conversions to Judaism are relatively rare and for the most part discouraged.

runes Sinn Fein got more or less an effectively permanent slice of power under the power-sharing set-up. And they got other things that were important to them like prisoner release and effective immunity from prosecution for some paramilitaries. None of which I see as being directly to do with civic equality for Catholics - this is not to dismiss the fact that there was real and serious systemic inequality for Catholics in NI which should never have been the case and which was caused by and promoted by the state. But what I'm saying is that NI and Israel-Palestine are comparable in the sense that both sides had to swallow things they didn't like in order to get something. Sinn Fein and the PIRA had to realise in the end that the British state couldn't be driven out of NI by violence and that a united Ireland was not on the cards anytime soon. The British government realised that it had to deal with people it thought were committing unjustifiable acts, and give them a political place. Similarly in the ME, Israel will have to recognise a Palestinian state and not obstruct its development and prosperity. The Palestinians will have to recognise Israel and not allow themselves to be drawn into regional hostility with Israel.

It is made harder though by the fact that almost all the countries in the ME do not want to see Israel survive. They have no interest in supporting Israel and the Palestinians to broker a peace settlement, even though it would be better for Palestinian Arabs from a humanitarian perspective, because they would no longer have a rallying cause against Israel.

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