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with the terrible history Jews have, why is Israel behaving like this?

999 replies

ssd · 20/07/2014 23:22

I would have thought they would be showing more compassion for a repressed minority but the opposite is happening

and Netanyahu saying they told the Palestinians to leave because they were going to be fired on...where the bloody hell would they go to?? IF THEY COULD GO AT ALL

OP posts:
Voodoobooboo · 21/07/2014 14:36

I haven't read the whole thread, but my suggestions would be:
Read up on the Balfour Declaration
Read up on the UN resolution (particularly the need for 2/3 majority for Israel to become a state. Not even 50%)
Read up on the regularly repeated statements across the Gulf Region that Israel should be wiped from the map
Remember there are deaths on both sides
Remember that others who have stated that they wish to wipe out the Jewish race have made spirited and quite successful attempts, which makes us a little paranoid.

And finally, we're Jewish, not buddhists. We don't have to just turn the other cheek when faced with aggression and threat.

It is a terrible situation and there is no easy answer. There is terrible fault on both sides and the only solution is a facilitated peace which both sides have to find a way to. Saying that one side or the other should stop doing something doesn't actually help.

BeCool · 21/07/2014 14:41

Israel (rather than say, Germany) was chosen because of the Jewish ties to the Holy Land and Jerusalem.

Not chosen by the people who actually lived in Israel/Palestine at the time!

Most of the ongoing issues today stem from the fact some people mistakenly thought that foreigners "taking a country" and giving it to another people was a good idea.

Just imagine for a minute that this "committee" chose England, or Scotland, or Wales to "give" to a group of refugees? And this incoming group had all the power and money and was supported by "superpowers" while the original citizens became second class, marginalised, made to leave and become refugees in turn. And their children died in massive numbers because of this.

mathanxiety · 21/07/2014 15:06

Mooncup --
But Israel must realise that this sort of brutality drives more Palestinians to Hamas. Israel seems to have a need to escalate situations far beyond what is necessary or justifiable.
Yes Israel is sowing dragons' teeth. But Israel has concluded that it is impossible to win friends in the ME and would just as soon be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

The campaign currently under way is a means of demonstrating that any escalation of attacks on Israel or Israelis, any acquisition of better weaponry (Israel encountered at least one drone iirc) by Hamas or anyone else whose declared aim is to wipe out the state of Israel, will be met with a determined use of utmost force necessary in the situation.

It is also meant as a demonstration to ISIS as to what lies in store if its attention is turned from Iraq and Syria. There is no reason to believe ISIS will not try to have a serious go at Israel. The entire ME, including the Gulf States, Jordan, Lebanon are all worried about ISIS. The initial hesitation of the US to respond to the ISIS threat in Iraq has left the ME worried that they may all end up on their own facing ISIS.

If Israel had kept roughly to the 1947 borders or at least not occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip from 1967 then she would probably have been at peace for decades. Every time the Israelis escalate like this they make their future more dangerous, not less.
This particular escalation is taking place in a window of opportunity given by the recent suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the (de facto) takeover of Egypt by the Army. The campaign Israel is pursuing is against the MB and its clones in the West Bank. All of this is happening with the tacit backing of Egypt, which is equally keen to see the end of the Brotherhood.

OP -- the Netanyahu exhortation to Palestinians to 'leave' is a reminder to Palestinians that they are pariahs in the ME, that nobody wants them as refugees, nobody will give them military support or help them build decent housing, hospitals, schools, etc, and it is thus also a way to signal that Israel has the backing of Egypt. It is a caustic way to put all of that.

And yes, although Israel has the support of the US it is a plank of both Democrat and Republican foreign policies the statement that Israel can only rely on itself is a reference to America sitting on its hands during the Holocaust. It is also a reminder to the US (in a caustic way again) that America left it too late to help the Jews of Europe, and it is also a reference to recent American failure to act swiftly against ISIS in Iraq.

It also shows that the Israeli-American relationship is somewhat akin to a ride on the back of a tiger. This is appreciated by some members of Congress and some sections of public opinion, but nothing will be done about it as long as the US is also assured of oil from the ME and Libya. (This harkens back to Netanyahu's 'leave' statement's meaning that Palestinians have no Muslim friends and that the very, very rich states of the ME are happy to ignore their misery).

mathanxiety · 21/07/2014 15:08

Just imagine for a minute that this "committee" chose England, or Scotland, or Wales to "give" to a group of refugees? And this incoming group had all the power and money and was supported by "superpowers" while the original citizens became second class, marginalised, made to leave and become refugees in turn. And their children died in massive numbers because of this.

This is an aside, but you should have a little think about the history of Ireland BeCool, and also ponder the origins and history of Northern Ireland.

FyreFly · 21/07/2014 15:11

My heart hardened to this conflict long ago. Israel and Palestine have been fighting ever since I can remember. Always in the news, since I was little. The Israelis and their supporters insist they are right and there is no room for manouvre. The Palestinians and Hamas and their supporters say the same. The stupidity, stubbornness and arrogance on both sides is astounding.

Even on this thread you can see it: "Palestine/Hamas does X, they're evil", "Israel does Y, they're evil" (in summary).

International intervention, diplomacy, sanctions, these have all failed. The whole world could get together to give them both a damn good shake and still neither would listen.

Both sides have become so intractable and polarised, when in reality they're both practically identical (not something either side will admit). There is no answer. There will be no happy ending. Sooner or later one side is going to nuke the other into oblivion, that is if someone else doesn't do it first, and then there might finally be a bloody end to it. Or perhaps invasion by a third party with a brutal approach and incredibly firm hand.

Until then sometimes I feel like I'd like to build a big wall around the whole place and let them get on with it. Perhaps when there's nothing and noone left to destroy there might finally be peace.

I don't wish either of them wiped out of existence; if they could make peace and live together I'd be dancing in the streets with everyone else. I don't think I'll ever see that in my lifetime though.

mathanxiety · 21/07/2014 15:12

BeCool -- the little town of Ballydehob in county Cork is a wealthy state in comparison to Palestine.

The idea that Israel is wealthy in ME terms is laughable.

somewheresafe · 21/07/2014 15:19

If the situation was equal I might agree with you fyrefly. The disparity in terms of power, wealth, weaponry and support means that no we can't just leave them to it.

We have an oppressor inflicting genocide on an indigenous population who have been dehumanised and degraded for decades. There is a moral obligation to speak out against israel just as we did for the blacks in South Africa. This is not a tit for tat situation. It is a situation involving the world's fourth biggest and richest army vs a refugee camp of people with no army, no navy, no air force. They are being attacked by land sea and air.

I am Jewish and abhor the disproportionate actions of israel. They may be winning the war in terms of body count but it's a total PR ddisaster and they have lost the respect and sympathy of the world.

ICanHearYou · 21/07/2014 15:21

There is nothing 'identical' about it.

Hamas have small rockets that barely ever cause human deaths

Israel have rockets that level schools, apartment blocks and frequently maim and murder children.

It is bias of the media that gives the illusion of them being 'the same'

FyreFly · 21/07/2014 15:24

somewheresafe - and in a few minutes I'm sure someone will come along and tell you that Hamas are terrorists / Israel is only protecting itself etc etc.

I have heard all the arguments before. Who is right? You or them? You will both insist you're correct. There will be no debate and no movement towards a common solution that works for everyone.

The power balance no longer matters. There are two sides who will not give up and both are equally at fault. I have no sympathy with either side. Civilians, yes, sides, no.

FyreFly · 21/07/2014 15:25

ICan - they are both human, both fighting for what they perceive to be their land and their rights, fighting against perceived injustices. I would call that identical.

somewheresafe · 21/07/2014 15:30

Where is the fight? To the world it is occupation and resistance.

There is no equality of fault although Hamas are responsible for horrors too. But the fault lies with Israel. They lost the moral high ground when they starting butchering children and innocent civilians.

BeCool · 21/07/2014 15:31

I have studied the history of Ireland/Northern Ireland over the years maths.

ICanHearYou · 21/07/2014 15:56

No, one is 'human' with lots of money and guns and machines that kill people

the other is human with no access to clean water, nappies, food supplies, building materials, outside media etc etc

that is not 'identical' regardless of how much you choose to simplify it.

Mintyy · 21/07/2014 16:04

Hospital in Gaza now been hit, intensive care and operating theatres. 4 dead and 60 injured.

mathanxiety · 21/07/2014 16:17

They are not practically identical. It's a peculiarly British pov to state that sides to conflicts where the parties clearly and consistently state their aim is to wipe each other out have a lot in common.
As if that matters.

Ironically, the observation is very often made wrt places grappling with post-British-colonial legacies.

We are all human beings when it boils right down to it, but that has only made everything far worse than it would be if we were orang utangs.

One side has made itself available over the decades either through weakness and poverty and lack of organisation, or willingly aboard for the ride since before Israel's existence in fact to any and all who want to wipe out the Jews. First in recent history was Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, then Fatah/PLO (itself often the tool of Syria), now Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood (strong links with Egypt); next AlQaeda/ISIS?

The Palestinians are simultaneously outcasts and sock puppets in the Muslim ME. They are a lightning rod that nobody wants in close proximity. The conflict with Israel attracts Muslim extremists, directs the fire of fundamentalism and the anger and energy of people who have no stake in the status quo anywhere onto Israel and away from states who are heavily invested in their own stability. They are not really welcome anywhere else as refugees or as a force in political life, because rich states do not want to see what Israel did to Lebanon done to them.

mathanxiety · 21/07/2014 16:19

Well I detected no evidence of irony in your statement about treatment of minorities, etc, so maybe you need to have another look, BeCool.

BeCool · 21/07/2014 16:27

I wasn't being ironic.

mathanxiety · 21/07/2014 16:31

I don't know why there is so much bleating about who is right, who was there first, who promised what to whom, who has bigger rockets, etc.

None of that matters. The Palestinians have always been ciphers. If not invaded and dominated by Israel then they have been invaded and dominated by their fellow Arab or Muslim neighbours and used for their own purposes.

The context everyone in the ME is operating within right now is the momentum of ISIS and that is the only thing that matters.

mathanxiety · 21/07/2014 16:37

BeCool, I know you weren't being ironic. That is the problem. It is not at all necessary to fire up the imagination and to try to apply a paradigm of events in the ME to regions closer to home. Everything you stated as something posters should 'just imagine for a minute' has actually happened, in a region that is part of the United Kingdom, at the same time that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was gestated and delivered and dragging on.

'Most of the ongoing issues today stem from the fact some people mistakenly thought that foreigners "taking a country" and giving it to another people was a good idea.'

'Just imagine for a minute that this "committee" chose England, or Scotland, or Wales to "give" to a group of refugees? And this incoming group had all the power and money and was supported by "superpowers" while the original citizens became second class, marginalised, made to leave and become refugees in turn. And their children died in massive numbers because of this.'

There is no need to imagine any of this.

SamG76 · 21/07/2014 16:39

Voodoobooboo - I loved the "we're not buddhists" comment. Maybe it would be better if we were. Sri Lankan Buddhists massacred huge numbers of (Hindu) Tamils a few years ago, with barely a squeak from 99% of the people who are now claiming to be universal defenders of human rights.

topbanana1 · 21/07/2014 16:59

Great posts, mathanxiety.

topbanana1 · 21/07/2014 17:00

mellicauli - great post and quote from Daniel Finkelstein, and am proud that he has written that. I know his family - his grandmother was at school with Anne Frank and then in a concentration camp with her, but unlike her, survived the war. You could not meet a sweeter person. What he writes lies 100% behind my views too - my family also survived childhoods under the Nazis. I know that it is only by luck and chance that my family survived, and millions of others were not so lucky. I don't think people who post here having grown up in comfortable, safe Britain from nice safe, secure British families have any idea what it is like to live in fear that there is nowhere that is safe, nowhere that will protect you and support you, when the chips are down. The whole world turned its back on the Jews during the Holocaust. So yes, the Jews learned a very hard lesson that you can rely on no-one but yourself, that those with the greatest show of military force will get their way and that ignoring threats to your own security might earn you a place in heaven but won't keep you alive on earth.

Israel don't want to be a nation of virtuous martyrs. They want to survive. And their survival is constantly threatened. By 1500 rockets fired just in the last few weeks. At a tiny sliver of a country the size of Wales.

Now the tragedy is that in some ways the Palestinians have suffered in similar ways. In that none of the surrounding nations want to help either. The problems Hamas is facing now are at least in part because Egypt has closed its border with Gaza - though I don't see any protests about that. Israel does not surround Gaza. Gazans could easily flee - but Egypt won't let them through and no other Middle Eastern nation wants them either. Israel is stopping them entering Israeli territory - understandably, since they want to blow them to pieces - but they are not in a position to stop them coming and going as they please via Egypt. That's Egypt's choice.

topbanana1 · 21/07/2014 17:12

And to address those who have complained that all Jews have a responsibility to denounce what Israel is doing: well, as a a British Jew I feel no more responsible for what Israel does than I expect every Muslim feels responsible for 9/11 or 7/7 or for the hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians being killed in inter-Muslim fighting in Syria, Irag, and many other places. I'm not Israeli, I can't vote there, Netanyahu doesn't ring me up and ask me whether I think soldier A ought to fire this way or that way or ought not to fire at all today.

The root of the problem is the idea of collective responsibility. I don't think all Israelis let alone all Jews bear responsibility for the actions of some Israelis, any more than I think all Muslims bear responsibility for the actions of some Muslims or all British people bear responsibility for the actions of some British people - or even that all Germans bear responsibility for the actions of the Nazis.

I don't feel guilty because of stuff successive British governments have done supposedly in my name and using my taxes to do. I certainly don't support lots of things this government are doing in this country and quite frankly have my work cut out trying to object to a fraction of them, without being overcome by guilt about what other governments in countries I don't live in or pay taxes to are doing in other countries far away.

I wish zealots on both sides would understand that actually most ordinary people - be they Israeli or Palestinian - just want to live in peace. Neither side is 'evil' - they just disagree about ownership of a bit of land. There are some evil people on both sides as there are around the world, but demonising your enemy as fundamentally evil gets you nowhere - and is inaccurate.

Certainly, all the Israelis I know don't hate any Palestinians or desire them hurt even a teeny tiny bit. They just desire to live in peace, do the normal stuff we all do.

ChairmanWow · 21/07/2014 17:16

Egypt isn't flattening Gaza right now though, is it? Comparing Egypt for not opening its borders to Israel which is now bombing hospitals, care homes and kids is ridiculous. You're basically saying 'well if they could just flee from their homes everything would be fine'. It's not a logical argument.

If anyone is in any doubt about what actually happens when Israel aims its firepower at Gaza read these testimonies from Israeli Defense Force veterans, as well as Israeli vets group Breaking the Silence on Facebook. I'll warn you that some of these are upsetting.

SamG76 · 21/07/2014 17:23

topbanana - the reason the Egyptians don't really want to help Hamas is that Hamas parent organisation, the Muslim Brotherhood, carried out a large number of attacks on Egyptian soldiers. If they hadn't made that choice, they would be in a better position, but everyone infantilises the Palestinians (and Arabs generally) by suggesting that they are purely passive, and never agents of their own misfortune.

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