Israel/Palestine

(59 Posts)
CheerfulYank Wed 21-Nov-12 19:20:39

Um...not to be a stupid American who knows nothing about global concerns, but... blush I have pregnancy brain, does anyone want to give me a basic outline of what's happening?

Brodicea Tue 27-Nov-12 12:05:54

It is massively complex , and I certainly don't pretend to understand it all.

But the outline information I have ( I am not on one side or the other ) mainly from movies and documentaries:

British Empire 'owned' or rather ruled over the area of Palestine.
Zionists and other denominations of jews had been in the area for some time, and Britain agreed to give them a portion of the area of Palestine. People were hugely anti-semitic, and they wanted the security of having their own space.
Of course, historically the Jewish people did come from this part of the world but were expelled: like Biblical times.
BUT the land was given without the permission of the people living there and around it: agreements were drawn and re-drawn.
WW2 happened, the holocaust etc, and of course the Jewish people more than ever wanted their own state and many fled to Israel.
So the agreement with Britain was on shaky ground. Britain buggered off and left them to it: or rather the UN took responsibility for refereeing.
Then peoples homes were demolished, people were killed on both sides, everyone staking claim to the same bits of land.
LOTS of shit went down.
The in the 70s the Munich massacre (this is where my movie knowledge comes from: see 'Munich') confirmed an 'eye for an eye' approach by Israel, seeing as the international community carried on with their Olympics despite the massacre of the Israeli team: pah to them, we will get revenge, we won't take it lying down etc.
Lots more shit went down, and Israel helped with the massacre of people in the Lebanese war (See the film 'Waltz with Bashir' - VERY good on Israeli guilt and echoes of the holocaust).
Lots and lots more shit: all in a terrible tangle.

SORRY if this offends: I am very very ignorant of all of this, but seem to be confronted by people on all sides taking a black and white view. MY only view is that this is a real shitter and I'm just not sure how it will be solved.

I know this subject is like incendiary, in more ways than one.

Saski Tue 27-Nov-12 12:58:23

Here's my take on it; I read a couple of academic tomes on the matter some 10 years ago but things have changed even since then, and I've forgotten a lot as well.
Firstly, some people feel that the Jews have some kind of biblical right to return, as they were exiled from the kingdom of Judea (roughly, Jerusalem) nearly 3000 years ago, and the Jews are God's Chosen people or something like this. Now, you can see this is the first place where the issue becomes slightly fraught, as many people don't really care what the bible says and this is a matter of debate even among biblical scholars.
The Zionist (returning Jews to Israel) movement took hold roughly around the 1900's, and then of course WW2 and the Holocaust gave it even greater traction. I think this is the second part where there's a lot of disagreement, because many people rightfully point out that the Holocaust was a European atrocity that demanded a European solution (rather than forcing the Palestinians to give up their homes, why not the Germans?). I believe that Uganda was considered as an option for a while.
Then Israel was created in 1948, and Jews began immigrating according to a schedule laid out by its's creators (more or less, the Brits).
Tension naturally erupted and then there was the war of 1967, when the Israelis captured greater chunks of the region i.e West Bank and Gaza Strip, and this is where the real problems began; most of the international community views these gains as illegal.
Israel has since continued to illegally settle on Palestinian land; the UN has more censures against Israel than ANY OTHER NATION owing to its illegal settlements.
In addition to this, they left the Palestinians with relatively little water and are notorious for their blockades that prevent Palestinians from carrying on with normal life - i.e. getting to hospitals or developing businesses properly.
Lastly, the Israeli army is subsidized by the US, which is at least partly owing the HUGE Israeli lobby in the US. This of course creates a David and Goliath situation, Palestine is one of the poorest "countries" in world and they're effectively reduced to throwing rocks in the mighty Israeli army, as well as the very well publicized suicide bombings. The occupation has undoubtably radicalized the Muslims in the region because of the perceived wholesale robbery of land rights.
I'm obviously pro-Palestinian and this is ungoogled so anyone should feel free to correct my facts.

StripyShoes Tue 27-Nov-12 14:14:15

Just saw your responses. Interesting, thank you. Will sit down and have a proper read through later on.

breadandbutterfly Tue 27-Nov-12 19:32:55

Brodicaa - good summary. Saski - some bias, some downright lies in there eg "which is at least partly owing the HUGE Israeli lobby in the US" (no evidence for this - many factors come in to play, but that is an anti-semitic stereotype worthy of the Protocols of The Elders of Zion) or "Palestine is one of the poorest "countries" in world " (actually approx $1500 per annum GDP per capita - about the same as Nigeria, Zambia, Vietnam, who don't feel the need to bomb people just because they feel poor, or about 3X as much as in most African countries, etc) or "they're effectively reduced to throwing rocks in the mighty Israeli army" - if that's all they did, there would be no need for the Israeli army to retaliate, and there would certainly be no Israeli casualties.

breadandbutterfly Tue 27-Nov-12 19:35:29

NicholasTeaakozy - not sure how it is relevant or significant to know what some politician's son thinks - I don't know any other politician who is judged on the basis of the nutty views of their children, let alone the views of their entire COUNTRY. angry

NicholasTeakozy Tue 27-Nov-12 21:07:47

To add to what Sharon (not the hilarious Sharon usually celebrated on MN) said, he also said this:-

"The desire to prevent harm to innocent civilians in Gaza will ultimately lead to harming the truly innocent: the residents of southern Israel.

"The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences."

The bit that sticks out is The Gazans aren't hostages. They are. They've been shoved there by the Israeli state. They've been hostages since 1948.

I know that if another country invaded here (UK) I would be a freedom fighter. Of course the incumbent government would label me a terrorist.

Gilad Sharon has a voice because of nepotism. Like that would ever happen here.

breadandbutterfly Tue 27-Nov-12 21:18:06

Bollocks. I dislike Margaret Thatcher strongly but that has mothing to do with the unsavoury practices of her son Mark. Tony Blair's son may get wildly drunk but that does not colour my view of his dad, whom I dislike for quite different - and far more valid - reasons.

Feel free to have whatever views you like of Sharon junior. But they are really rather irrekevant to the discussion at hand, namely the rights and wrongs of the Middle East situation. Some people have nutty children. So what.

I fail to see how one man's son's views can be taken in any way as the 'representative voice' of his entire country. We've had plenty of loons living here but I don't regard Enoch Powell, say, or Harold Shipman or whoever as in some way the 'true voice' of my country just because they happen to live here and have been born here.

I really have no idea what your point is, Nicholas.

Oh look - you don't have one - it's just a random spewing forth of anti-Israel bile.

breadandbutterfly Tue 27-Nov-12 21:40:01

So to return to the topic at hand, Nicholas - what solution would you like to see in the Israel/Palestine situation?

And do you get as het up about the 100 people dying per week in Syria or are they not interesting as you can't blame the deaths on Israel? hmm

breadandbutterfly Tue 27-Nov-12 21:41:56

Should read 1000 people per week dying in Syria. Almost as many as have died this year in Gaza. But strangely of no interest to those who only care about deaths in Middle East they can use to blame Israel with.

donnie Tue 27-Nov-12 21:51:23

Oh dear breadandbutterfly. Bit angry are you? Do you not like this thread?
Tell me, what is your considered opinion regarding sustained and deliberate land theft by the Israelis of Palestinian land? Or should I use the word 'settlements' ? Is that word a little bit nicer? A little more palatable perhaps.

Saski Wed 28-Nov-12 08:04:55

Well, it didn't take you long to drop your anti-Semitic marker into the thread. Well done you.
What do you suppose the remit of the American-Israeli lobby is, then? I'm really interested in knowing your thoughts.
Interesting how you completely sidestep the illegal settlements and throw in a non-sequitur (Syria). People are absolutely outraged over what's going on in Syria. It doesn't excuse Israel.

breadandbutterfly Wed 28-Nov-12 08:53:16

I am not sure why you are interested in knowing my thoughts - I'm not Israeli, don't vote there and my opinions on settlements are about as relevant as yours.

Do I support everything Israel does? No. Do I support Israel's right to self-defence, yes, I do. I would like a solution to the conflict that sees both sides living meaningful lives in harmony. Do I think it's easy to get to that point? No, sadly not.

Whilst we're discussing our (irrelevant) opinions, as opposed to historical facts, none of us being directly involved, please tell me your solutions for the Middle East, donnie and Saski, as you have apparently got it sussed.

Well done you.

And not clear why Syria is 'irrelevant' - why are tens of thousands of innocent people being murdered 'irrelevant'?

breadandbutterfly Wed 28-Nov-12 08:59:18

Re the American-Israel lobby, Saski, there are lobbies for all sorts of things, turkey breeders and oil traders and you name it, there is a lobby for it. The American-Israel lobby does indeed, obviously,lobby for Israel. What I seriously question is your assumption that it is supremely powerful or indeed the main driver of American foreign policy that you seem to blithely assume it is. As far as I am aware, there are only a few million Jewish voters in the US - pretty small fry. US foreign policy towards Israrl, as far as I am aware, owes a lot more to the views of the Christian right than they do to some sort of cosy Jewish conspiracy, which is what your post implied, whether you now try to deny it or not.

I call anti-semitism when I see it, thanks. If you don't want to be accused of it, then don't be so blatant about it.

Saski Wed 28-Nov-12 09:26:28

You're just willfully misreading my posts.
I said the Israeli lobby at least party contributes to military aid, and you accuse me of spinning conspiracy theories?
And, you don't like the way the thread is going for Israel so you throw Syria into the mix to see if it will stick. It's a non-sequitur.
My solution? Israel withdrawing from it's illegal settlements. I note that you have said nothing about Israel's illegal settlements, just random things about Syria and the Christian right (which you are correct about, but again, it was completely besides the point) and me being anti-Semitic (you do know that you should probably say anti-Jewish or anti-Israeli, though, as Semites include people who are not Jewish?).
I'll just wait for you to not respond to any point I make in my post.

breadandbutterfly Wed 28-Nov-12 10:29:08

Anti-semitic is generally taken to mean anti-Jewish, as any dictionary will tell you - although you are correct that it could be used to refer to all those of semitic origins and hence includes those of Arabic etc background too. However, in common usage (and dictionary definition) that is not how it is used, as I'm sure you don't need me to tell you.It does, however, link nicely to the facct that Jews and Moslems are very close ethnically and religiously and have far more in common than what divides them.

Re the Israeli 'lobby' - if what you are saying is that it has some impact on providing aid for Israel, well yes, I would hope so it would be rather a waste of time for those involved. A bit of a pointless truism. I daresay the turkey farmers loby provides aid for turkey farmers, too. And...?

Your solution is no solution - it solves the problem of the settlements but not of the overall conflict which of course predates the settlements. How do you propose both sides reach an amicable and long term peace? Please tell as you are clearly cut out to be a world leader - unlike all those other fools in charge of world politics over the last century or so who were sadly lacking in your foresight.

donnie Wed 28-Nov-12 15:26:15

Oh the tired old 'antisemitic' rant again. How very predictable and disingenuous. Yes I see you are happy to use the term 'settlement' though.
Does calling the Israeli govt 'land thieves' or 'colonialists' make one an antisemite in your view?

breadandbutterfly Wed 28-Nov-12 21:14:47

"I see you are happy to use the term 'settlement' though" - er...I was quoting Saski, who seemed keen on harping on the topic. As are you.

Strangely, you have no solutions to the Israel-Palestine situation. Nor does Saski, apparently. Whatever happens with the settlements or whatever word you find less offensive confused, peace is unlikely to break out just like that. As rather more insightful posts above, explained, the history of the conflict predates 1967 let alone recent settlements by a very long way.

Still, you've done a nice bit of gratuitous Israel-bashing, so I daresay you feel you've had a good day. smile

breadandbutterfly Wed 28-Nov-12 21:16:13

And thanks for proving so beautifully that there are intolerant nutters on both sides of the debate. smile

donnie Wed 28-Nov-12 22:27:38

What did you feel was gratuitous bandbfly? Which comments were undeserved? Are you having a bit of trouble defending land policy?

Bessie123 Wed 28-Nov-12 22:38:18

Does nobody think it's relevant that Israel was attacked in 1967 and 'occupied territories' were strategically important sites? If you don't want a country to take strategic areas, don't attack the country.

Hamas uses its civilians as human shields. Israel tries to avoid hurting children and Hamas actually targets them. There are celebrations in Gaza when Israeli children are killed - disgusting.

breadandbutterfly Thu 29-Nov-12 11:35:33

Quite - the same people who celebrate in the streets in Gaza when innocent Israeli civilians are killed were celebrating in the streets when innocent Ameican civilians were killed on 9/11. Does everyone think that is fine? Imagine if you had shots of Israelis cheering, partying in the streets every time a Palestinian child dies - there would be international condemnation. But the reverse routinely happens and the silence is deafening.

Sick.

breadandbutterfly Thu 29-Nov-12 11:39:26

donnie - still awaiting your solution to the Israel-Palestine situation. You want the settlements issue resolved but clearly that does not = peace, as prior to the settlements there was not peace either. So what do you think will genuinely lead to security and quality of life for BOTH sides?? As clearly you have figured it all out...

donnie Thu 29-Nov-12 16:55:57

breadandbutterfly; I am also awaiting answers to questions I posed earlier which I see you dodged. I realise you don't want to though so don't worry. It is very difficult to justify and validate zionism isn't it? It's hard to defend the indefensible and the intrinsically racist.

My position is as follows:
- a return to pre-1967 borders

- withdrawal from all 'settlements' - or rather, land-grab

- an end to the blockade

- an end to night time air strikes and land incursions in to Gaza

- an end to deliberate stealing of Palestinian farms and orchards as a byproduct of annexing land and also the wall.

- and end to detention of Palestinians - including many teenagers and children - held in detention without any charges/convictions

- an end to the systematic starving and humiliation of Palestinians by way of total control of all medical supplies and foodstuffs entering the territories.

- Israeli agreement to recognise Palestine as an independent state and support them in their quest for UN recognition and validation of this aim.

All of the above would be a start. Now, breadandbutterfly; what would you like to see?

and maybe you can try and answer those questions now - so, what exactly is 'antisemitic' in the criticisms on this thread of the Israeli government?

ps - a little advice: don't lose your head and rant; calling people 'nutters' etc just makes you look like a t**t wink

Saski Thu 29-Nov-12 19:37:59

Breadandbutterfly I think you're pretty rude. I haven't said anything to antagonize you at all, and you're just resorting to the same old lazy criticism: I'm "anti-semitic". Of course. Can you please say why you think this? Because I'm critical of Israel? I'm curious, do you feel that there are people who are critical of Israel who are not anti-Semitic?
It's too much for me to have to swallow, this bit about how Palestinians cheer when Israelis die, and when Americans die, etc. Look guys, this is the face of radicalism - and it's a direct result of the occupation. People hate the Israelis. People hate the Americans. They're an occupying force and their enabler, respectively. Don't you think I could find an Israeli who has cheered when a Palestinian has died? Don't you think I could find several? That's all pretty subjective, isn't it? You know what isn't subjective? The legality of the settlements AND the death toll. Which side has more fatalities?
Let me make an analogy, the Native American. Twice as many died at the hands of the Americans as Jews at the hands of the Nazis. If the Americans wanted desperately to right this wrong and decided to give them let's say - Holland - how do you think this would play out in Holland? Would this mightily piss off the people of Holland and lead to all forms of violence, and wouldn't you say that they were justified in retaliating?
I'm not so quick to say that you're anti-Arab, but I'm wondering why you think it's OK to take their land.

bitofcheese Thu 29-Nov-12 19:46:46

saski - genuine question, why do you think it would appear that the palestinians remain such a poor county in that they appear to not receive any financial help from any of the many wealthy surrounding arab counties? i have often wondered this

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