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Ocean 11-10-2011 08:51 AM

Re: Earth Calling Onederment
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 230978)
God agrees to grant Hyman a wish, with the condition that whatever he asks for, his brother-in-law will get double.
“Okay,” Hyman says, “I wish I were half-dead."

LOL!

That's exactly what I was trying to get at.

chamblee54 11-10-2011 12:27 PM

Re: The Unmaking of Israel (Robert Wright & Gershom Gorenberg)
 
This comment inspired this blog post. Thank you.
Of course, the text at Chamblee54 is just something to put between the pictures.
chamblee54

stephanie 11-10-2011 12:29 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 230951)
There was a black separatist movement in the 60s whose most visible advocates where the Nation of Islam. A small group to be sure, but like the Jews in Palestine as old as any.

Not a significant movement, not significant numbers. African Americans were citizens of the US, simply deprived of their rights as citizens, and most wanted those rights, not to start a new state or split the US.

But I'd oppose the splitting of the US because of the precedent -- it would be bad for the remaining country. Like I said before, the more analogous situation is the Native Americans, and of course I see why they would be upset about events and how things would seem more different still if there were a larger population remaining.

Quote:

So I suppose for the analogy to be perfect American is occupied by the British again, and it allows black immigration from Europe and promises them their support in dividing the nation, the matter goes to the UN and the UN agrees. So now I have tailored the analogy, you would support the partition, and object to any likening to colonialism?
Okay, how about this -- a "US" that never had a successful War of Independence and which has been a British colony through 1955. The South and North are structured legally roughly as in that time, with lots of de facto segregation in the big cities of the North and de jure segregation in the South. The British and UN decide to deal with the territory by promising independence only if partitioned between the North, the South, and a larger African-American majority state (which promises automatic citizenship to African immigrants and sees itself as a refuge for those harmed by African colonialism and slavery or some such and which has a larger black population than we do now because the British opened the door/looked the other way to immigration, etc.), with the UN and British saying that this is necessary because of lasting differences between the North and South and failure by the white population to treat the blacks fairly. (Maybe we should write an alternative history.)

Under this scenario, no, I have no problem with the partition, although depending on where I lived I might be upset about the boundaries. Of course, I might feel more attached to my state of residence under your scenario and less open to moving if it gets put in another country simply because my current attachment is to "the US" which would not then have existed. But either way the mere existence of other states within the boundary of what is now the US does not seem to me the kind of thing that would justify war until they are driven out, not under the kind of scenario suggested.

My attachment to the current boundaries of the US is a result of real history, the fact that the land in question is part of my country. I see no inherent reason why "the US" need have had the shape and extent it does to be acceptable. (Similarly, it's entirely possible that if I'd grown up in a "US" that was part of Britain I'd be a patriotic citizen of a different country, as opposed to desiring independence for my colony. Who knows. And if the South had won the CW, although I think that would have been bad for the US's self concept and just because of the continued existence of slavery, etc., I think the Confederacy would be accepted as a legitimate country and I doubt I'd feel a need to claim the land in 2011.)

I am not claiming any of these things are relevant to the Israel-Palestinian situation, but you asked.

Oh, as for likening the situation to colonialism, the only colonialists in the scenario are the British. The African Americans and subsequent black immigrants clearly are not, and nor are the others who have lived on the land, whether for generations or as more recent immigrants. If we were talking about Native Americans this might be different, but in 1955, probably not.

Quote:

Unless you are a native american, it might not have the same emotional resonance, especially when the dilemma is set in a period when much of America is unrecognizable to the one who is being questioned.
I think you are wrong here. I don't think it's hard for people to understand why the Native Americans felt wronged by what happened or that the US (and colonists before then) were in the wrong in many cases.

I think we discussed before that there is probably a reasonable comparison to the settlements, even, in that the US as a whole (and Britain before) was often not thrilled with expansion and the resulting wars, but when settlers moved into Native American territory and basically provoked wars, the government felt compelled to protect them or provide support/revenge killings. Even when the settlers were seen as wrong, there's a group loyalty thing that comes into play, which is unfortunate.

Quote:

With regards to A I'm really at a loss as to what you would call colonialism. Certainly America was a colonial project and at the time the Native people where not really a state as we would call.
Yes -- first a mea culpa. I had the accusation "imperialist!" in my mind and was failing to distinguish between the claims. That said, I'd call colonialism the intent to claim land for a country that was not previously the recognized territory of that country. I don't think it matters whether the land is the territory of another in that scenario (colonizing uninhabited planets, say), although it typically is.

Still, in that scenario, the Zionists were not acting for another country, they wanted to eventually set up their own. Also, they hoped to obtain the permission of the then-government of the territory in question (the Ottoman Empire), who of course had taken the land themselves (imperialism). Part of this depends on whether we recognize national claims to land, which is ironic, since it seems like part of the anti-Zionist argument is that nationalism should have no claims, is entirely a retrograde, negative force. But to analogize, should the US Congress decide, through legal means, to grant a section of the current US to another group to settle (i.e., the whole "we should have put Israel in Illinois"* thing), I would not consider that colonialism, even if it irritated me as a resident of Illinois.

I don't see the decision to settle in a land that has a majority of another people, even if you hope to eventually be able to start your own sovereign state, is "colonialist" in the bad sense. Maybe it fits the term, but if so I simply don't see the importance of the term -- there's simply nothing morally wrong with the action. It's not imperialist, for example.

I tend to think we assume that this kind of thing is colonialism and that there's something wrong with it because of events such as in what is now the US, but there are distinguishing features. First, there was simply disagreement over what land ownership meant such that settlers might think land was unowned but end up occupying land in a way that destroyed how it had been used by the native population. Second, there was not merely a desire to have a place to live free, but a view that the settlers' way of life and religion had to be imposed on the existing population. Third, there was an effort to claim land for the country back home very soon in basically all examples, even when the original settlers had mainly wanted to be left alone. And, fourth, there were existing recognized nations or governmental units that were on the land in question in ways that I don't think it really true for the land that became Israel because it had previously been conquered by a different group. That the Palestinian Arabs didn't control the territory in terms of deciding who could immigrate, etc., was not the fault of the Zionists.

[cont.]

*Obviously, not Illinois, but some western state. I just happen to live in IL. Another problem with this suggestion, of course, is that it incorrectly assumes the UN as the major actor, and not the Zionists themselves, from the 19th c on.

stephanie 11-10-2011 12:56 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 230951)
One doesn't need to be European, but it certainly helps in the 19th and 20th century.

This is where I think we fundmentally disagree, and an underlying concept of the leftwing view on the question that I think is just wrong. There seems to be an assumption that white/European vs. non-European must always have a certain kind of power relationship with one party being the victim and one the victimizer. Based on this assumption, I think there's an assumption of likeness between various European imperialist and colonialist projects and what happened in "Palestine" that is simply not at all similar.

(Indeed, if part of the support for Israel is people making the Palestinian Arabs pay for past anti-semitism by Europeans, part of the anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian position is clearly making Israel pay for colonialism by Europeans.)

Quote:

This is very odd, I'm not sure what you mean. 'Civilizing the natives' certainly has it's echoes in britains colonial past, and once again I must ask whether that is something you would accept on your own doorstep.
It is something I'd accept on my own doorstep. It's something I do accept, as the US has changed quite a lot due to the various immigrants here.

Quote:

The paranoia about creeping sharia would suggest many Americans would not.
The paranoia about creeping sharia is, obviously, paranoia. I have no problem with others trying to convince me that their culture is superior, although obviously legally-imposed sharia is neither a thread in the US nor a danger to our existing culture which I'd defend.

Quote:

Because they operated under the auspices of the colonial power/occupier?
In part. In part because they didn't claim the territory in advance (even if they hoped to eventually be able to do so). They just moved in. When they did demand a state, they could be more properly compared to residents of, say, Mississippi, who might be sick of the current US gov't and demand independence. While I would oppose this, I wouldn't call it morally wrong or colonialism. So I don't see why I'm supposed to be against the Zionists for what they did. (Setting aside all the hypocrisy involved in holding them especially blameworthy for it.)

Quote:

The former is pointless as it exists and has been recognized by the PLO, but the US does the same with it's foes such as Cuba.
The US doesn't say that Cuba lacks a right to exist or, especially, that Cuba should be part of the US, obviously. We don't have diplomatic relations with them or recognize the legitimacy of the current gov't. While that might be a stupid policy -- I don't have strong feelings about it -- it's not the same as those who claim Israel is not entitled to exist at all. But if we agree it's pointless, I'm not sure what we are disagreeing about.

Quote:

Sadly they often are
Not reasonably, IMO -- like I said before. But I don't think that's the main argument against them that has currency in the US. I know it has currency in Israel (based on some Israelis I know) and I think it is increasingly becoming part of the dialogue in the US as we see on this thread, but only as a justification, as a latter argument for the position that is still I think the dominant one -- that two states are desired but Israel needs to preserve its safety due to the various wars/terrorism. (And as I said before, I think the US tends to see the situation in a far too one-sided way. That just doesn't mean I think the left-wing argument on the topic isn't at least as one-sided and distorted the other way.)

Quote:

Cain recently said 'the so called Palestinian people' I doubt he arrived at this viewpoint on his own.
I'm sure he didn't. I doubt he had a position on it until he was asked questions as part of his run.

Quote:

Huckabee I expect is much better informed on the history and very influenced by his faith, going as far as to call for Palestine to be created in Egypt or Saudi Arabia. Not much fuss was made over either comment, but say that about Israelis or Israel and you are toast.
Huckabee's comments get no attention because they are irrelevant. (I do think the "interloper" view may be significant in Christian Zionism these days and Christian Zionism more significant to US views on Israel now that the right has decided Israel is our BFF and all, but even on the right I think 9/11 probably has more to do with it.)

On Cain, Cain didn't even get much fuss about his ignorance about what "right of return" meant or, hell, the fact that he seems to think we should worry about China getting nuclear weapons. Maybe he's hoping Israel will bomb them for us and take care of this problem.

Re Obama, I don't think that supports the "interloper" idea. I think it just speaks to the politics in the US, which are weird, but not because most people actually think the Palestinians are "interlopers."

Quote:

I'm unconvinced that this is the reason.
Then we disagree, although if you wish to elaborate I'd be interested. (I think you have to look at the public opinion over time, however.)

thouartgob 11-10-2011 01:00 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 230976)
Yes, the "Bob solution" has been around for a while: If you Israelis don't negotiate two states, one state will be the only option. Both Jimmy Carter (Christian Zionist US president) and Ehud Olmert (right-wing former PM of the State of Israel) have used the Apartheid metaphor to describe what Israel will become absent a Palestinian state. By this logic, Israel should take two states while the option is still on the table, before it's too late. My opinion is that it's already too late. The international diplomatic community consensus is a lagging indicator (i.e., living in the past).

Part of the beauty of one state is that the Settlements DON'T stand in the way of a resolution. Leave the Settlements alone. The Settlers can still vote, serve in the IDF and exercise all other rights of citizenship. But so can the other human beings who live in the Occupied Territories.

So in the long term it all works out I guess.

It seems to me short to medium term not working on a 2 state strategy of some sort will lead to more problems that will push back the time when the 2 populations "properly" fit themselves together.

The settler movement and it's enablers in government will gain ground and harrass palestinians with near impunity for years to come. Surely the government will change hands every once in a while but at the end of the day these uber-zionists ( or whatever you wanna call it) and the Israeli right-wing will keep their gains and rachet their way into more and more territory. This of course puts more and more pressure on Palestinians to do soemthing about it, which increases the likelihood of a violent response which in turn increases the power and influence of the right-wing ... I need not continue.

I took notice of Gershom's response to Bob's incisive question on whether the 2 state solution is the only way to keep the concept of zionist state alive and Gershom's hedgy response. Dropping out of that mindset is gonna be way tougher than just bargaining land rights etc.

To my mind a 2 state approach, at some point, allows some mixture of international pressure ( not much from the US obviously ), bargaining, trust building exercises ( something you alluded to in another reply ) and whatever slings and arrows of fortune ( outrageous or otherwise ). This would increase the chances of something useful happening before demographics start to make options disappear.

I agree bottom up ( again from your response ) is the most robust solution and 30,40 years from now Israelis give up the Zionist Dream and Palestinians give up the Palestinian Dream and we have Israelistan or something like that.

In any case I'm all for 1 state discussions as the "Hail Mary" that wins the "Big Game" so to speak.

stephanie 11-10-2011 01:04 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thouartgob (Post 230952)
I do understand ( and forgive me if you have made this point before ) however if you are saying that there is nothing that the Palestinians can do, violent or non violent, that can stop settlements and the formal and informal annexation of Palestinian lands.

Obviously, the lack of political will is a problem, but isn't something that could theoretically be done is to refuse to let the settlements determine the borders? That is, if some of the major settlements end up in a Palestinian state, well, they assumed that risk. They can deal with the Palestinian gov't and try to be recognized as the owners of the land, despite being essentially like Americans who own land in Canada or Mexico, or they perhaps get evicted. Obviously, they might be subjected to violence or provoke armed encounters, obviously this would be difficult politically for Israel to accept.

I'm not saying I expect this to happen, but it seems like it should be the answer.

thouartgob 11-10-2011 01:13 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 230998)
Obviously, the lack of political will is a problem, but isn't something that could theoretically be done is to refuse to let the settlements determine the borders? That is, if some of the major settlements end up in a Palestinian state, well, they assumed that risk. They can deal with the Palestinian gov't and try to be recognized as the owners of the land, despite being essentially like Americans who own land in Canada or Mexico, or they perhaps get evicted. Obviously, they might be subjected to violence or provoke armed encounters, obviously this would be difficult politically for Israel to accept.
.

I guess it depends on when the 2 state type of solution comes into play but sure I will buy that if settler mindset wears out it's welcome in the mind of the average Israeli voter then these outposts will be left to their own devices. The idea of an outpost in a foreign land might even draw more settlers since they seem to fans of a challenge ( of course without govt. support they might not ) ;)

Wonderment 11-10-2011 02:59 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Yes, good post. I agree with all of that.

Wonderment 11-10-2011 03:06 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Obviously, the lack of political will is a problem, but isn't something that could theoretically be done is to refuse to let the settlements determine the borders? That is, if some of the major settlements end up in a Palestinian state, well, they assumed that risk. They can deal with the Palestinian gov't and try to be recognized as the owners of the land, despite being essentially like Americans who own land in Canada or Mexico, or they perhaps get evicted. Obviously, they might be subjected to violence or provoke armed encounters, obviously this would be difficult politically for Israel to accept.
This would maybe happen if Dennis Kucinich became PM of Israel and appointed Gandhi to Defense and MLK to the Foreign Ministry. Or another path is that suddenly all the Settlers embrace Islam and Christianity and convert.

Seriously, Settlement withdrawal (at the point of IDF guns) was maybe still feasible 20 years ago, but the Settlements are too big and institutionally solid now. The Bush administration took a lot of heat a few years ago for recognizing these "facts on the ground," but they were (for once) being realists. Of course now, the "peace" narrative is to trade land elsewhere equivalent to the Settlements, but that's a joke too (for other reasons).

Ray in Seattle 11-10-2011 03:15 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 231009)
This would maybe happen if Dennis Kucinich became PM of Israel and appointed Gandhi to Defense and MLK to the Foreign Ministry. Or another path is that suddenly all the Settlers embrace Islam and Christianity and convert.

Seriously, Settlement withdrawal (at the point of IDF guns) was maybe still feasible 20 years ago, but the Settlements are too big and institutionally solid now. The Bush administration took a lot of heat a few years ago for recognizing these "facts on the ground," but they were (for once) being realists. Of course now, the "peace" narrative is to trade land elsewhere equivalent to the Settlements, but that's a joke too (for other reasons).

Perhaps if the Palestinians had followed the spirit and intentions of the Oslo accords they signed then they would have seriously entered negotiations long ago when the settlements were smaller, fewer and easier to remove. Is nothing they do worthy of criticism? Is there ever any price they can be expected to pay for violating the agreements they made - signed with no intention of honoring them in the first place?

Ray in Seattle 11-10-2011 03:38 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 231009)
Of course now, the "peace" narrative is to trade land elsewhere equivalent to the Settlements, but that's a joke too (for other reasons).

I suspect the peace narrative is a "joke" to you because it would not end in one state whereby the Arab majority could again have a role of dominance over the few dhimmi Jews who would remain.

stephanie 11-10-2011 04:08 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 231009)
This would maybe happen if Dennis Kucinich became PM of Israel and appointed Gandhi to Defense and MLK to the Foreign Ministry. Or another path is that suddenly all the Settlers embrace Islam and Christianity and convert.

I think this is an overstatement, but like all the other possibilities it does require the negotiating parties to feel more need to compromise than they currently do. But this gets back to the one vs. two state solution. I don't think the changes that would be necessary to convince the Israelis that it's anything but a ploy to eventually get rid of Israel are likely to occur, although it would be nice if they did. Thus, it seems to me more likely that the Israelis would feel compelled to work out a 2-state solution that the other side would accept and that the Palestinians could be convinced of the benefits of having their own state, even if Israel remains, before the facts allowing for one state could happen. Clearly, part of this is because we predict different events.

I don't think agreeing to borders which would leave Israelis in Palestinian territory is historically all that impossible to imagine. It's happened with plenty of other border disputes, and on the US side there's not going to be much sympathy with the settlers (which shouldn't matter, granted, and I'm somewhat worried that this is going to change the wrong way, also). More importantly, it seems reasonable that plenty of Israelis wouldn't be that sympathetic to the settlers if they were otherwise willing to agree to the borders in question (i.e., they could let go of the security rationale) and the settlers were given an option to move somewhere within what would remain Israel and chose not to. Of course, again all this depends on the perceived need to resolve things.

monthofsundays 11-10-2011 04:38 PM

Re: The Unmaking of Israel (Robert Wright & Gershom Gorenberg)
 
So, one man, one vote is deemed so inappropriate as to be described as a "fantasyland" solution for the very exceptional people of this part of the world. You should be so lucky ... Perhaps this is the very heart of the problem: without dreams and aspirations big enough, everything, even the most narrow, limited version of this so-called life, becomes "fantasy". Even just peaceful co-existence.

Wonderment 11-10-2011 06:02 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Dhimmi-shariah law fear mongering is demeaning to Palestinians and has no place in a constructive dialogue about the future of the region.

Ray in Seattle 11-10-2011 07:12 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 231020)
Dhimmi-shariah law fear mongering is demeaning to Palestinians and has no place in a constructive dialogue about the future of the region.

Yes, I wouldn't want to be fear mongering. And I certainly would not want to disturb your "constructive dialog" ;-) Israel's Jews should welcome living in a state politically dominated by Palestinian-Arab-Muslim culture. What could possibly go wrong?

Also, I'd suggest that dhimmi is demeaning to Jews and sharia is demeaning to anyone forced to abide by it. Not discussing these in the context of your "one state" solution would be demeaning to anyone who respects the truth.

Hunted women of the Gaza

Gaza arrests first banned male hair stylist

Naked mannequins banned

Men banned from working in women's hair salons

Gaza bans women from riding on motorbikes

Hamas patrols beaches in Gaza to enforce conservative dress code

opposable_crumbs 11-10-2011 08:12 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle (Post 231025)
Yes, I wouldn't want to be fear mongering. And I certainly would not want to disturb your "constructive dialog" ;-) Israel's Jews should welcome living in a state politically dominated by Palestinian-Arab-Muslim culture. What could possibly go wrong?

Obviously a similar concern of the Arabs was ignored during the construction of the Israel project or it's latest expansion Eastwards. One could go so far as to call the locals goyim, and some Israelis have gone much further than that, and both lose credibility in a serious discussion, likewise those who start using dhimmi.

Ray in Seattle 11-10-2011 08:25 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 231028)
Obviously a similar concern of the Arabs was ignored during the construction of the Israel project or it's latest expansion Eastwards.

Sorry but your comment is a bit cryptic. Are you suggesting that Israel is enforcing onerous Jewish religious restrictions on Arab -Israelis? Or did? Or that Jewish Israelis treated the Arabs like dhimmi? The "Israel project" was originally a secular / socialist project as I understand it. Even before statehood they guaranteed religious freedom to all citizens of the Israeli part of the partition, as well as equal rights before the law.

Quote:

One could go so far as to call the locals goyim, and some Israelis have gone much further than that, and both lose credibility in a serious discussion, likewise those who start using dhimmi.
Likewise, I'm confused about this sentence. I'll respond if it's important enough to you to write it more clearly for me. Thanks..

Wonderment 11-10-2011 08:40 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Your comment is a bit cryptic. Are you suggesting that Israel is enforcing onerous Jewish religious restrictions on Arab -Israelis? Or did? Or that Jewish Israelis treated the Arabs like dhimmi? The "Israel project" was originally a secular / socialist project as I understand it. Even before statehood they guaranteed religious freedom to all citizens as well as equal rights before the law.
Not true. Israel prohibits civil marriage and divorce. If I'm not mistaken, Israel is the only democracy on Earth to do so. Why? Just a cowinkidink?

In addition, the whole question of citizenship and immigration policy is based on religious/genetic notions of Jewishness. An Arab must be born in Israel to be a citizen; however, a non-Arab anywhere on Earth must only be married to someone 1/4 Jewish or be 1/4 Jewish him/herself in order to qualify as an instant full-rights citizen.

Immigration of non-Jews (path to citizenship) is virtually zero.

Ray in Seattle 11-10-2011 08:58 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 231030)
Not true. Israel prohibits civil marriage and divorce. If I'm not mistaken, Israel is the only democracy on Earth to do so. Why? Just a cowinkidink?

In addition, the whole question of citizenship and immigration policy is based on religious/genetic notions of Jewishness. An Arab must be born in Israel to be a citizen; however, a non-Arab anywhere on Earth must only be married to someone 1/4 Jewish or be 1/4 Jewish him/herself in order to qualify as an instant full-rights citizen.

Immigration of non-Jews (path to citizenship) is virtually zero.

I guess I don't see the problem. States have the right to establish marriage / divorce law and to establish immigration policy. All Israel's citizens have the right to vote and through representation change the laws. They also have equality under the rule of law and can appeal unfair treatment to the courts. I fail to see the problem with restricting immigration of any ethnic groups where clear majorities of those groups based on credible polling data hold beliefs calling for your annihilation and who believe that killing Jews is justified. (Just to mention a couple of little problems.)

Have you noticed that all your views on the conflict come down to anything Israel does to protect and defend itself as a refuge for Jews in the world is corrupt and racist? Now that's a coinkydink.

Added: The part about " a non-Arab anywhere on Earth must only be married to someone 1/4 Jewish or be 1/4 Jewish him/herself in order to qualify as an instant full-rights citizen" is interesting. In occupied or Vichy France just a 1/8 Jewish heredity would get you a trip to the ovens in a slow boxcar.

Sulla the Dictator 11-10-2011 10:10 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 231030)
Not true. Israel prohibits civil marriage and divorce. If I'm not mistaken, Israel is the only democracy on Earth to do so. Why? Just a cowinkidink?

Israel is cooler than I thought.

opposable_crumbs 11-11-2011 02:25 AM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle (Post 231029)
Sorry but your comment is a bit cryptic. Are you suggesting that Israel is enforcing onerous Jewish religious restrictions on Arab -Israelis? Or did? Or that Jewish Israelis treated the Arabs like dhimmi? The "Israel project" was originally a secular / socialist project as I understand it. Even before statehood they guaranteed religious freedom to all citizens of the Israeli part of the partition, as well as equal rights before the law.



You said this "Israel's Jews should welcome living in a state politically dominated by Palestinian-Arab-Muslim culture." and I presume you think this is a valid concern. But it's the same concern the local Arabs had once Zionism started having an impact on the region, and Israel is culturally different. Hebrew is the dominant language, Jewish religious holidays are central to the calendar, Arabs where second class citizens in law for long periods of Israel's history and still face discrimination. There concern doesn't necessarily need to be religious in nature, plenty of Americans are concerned about secularism and in a nation founded on those very principles.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle (Post 231029)
Likewise, I'm confused about this sentence. I'll respond if it's important enough to you to write it more clearly for me. Thanks..

One could use the word goyim in this discussion in the way you used dhimmi, but at a cost to one's credibility.

kezboard 11-11-2011 11:05 AM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Where is their right to return to Croatia? Or Bosnia? Or Albania?
ZING! Oh, wait. Actually, the UNHCR has done a lot of work in the countries of the former Yugoslavia (which does not include Albania, by the way), and been quite successful. The right of refugees to return to their homes is recognized both by the international community and by the government of Croatia and Bosnia. I'm not sure about Kosovo, I'd have to check it out, but I'd imagine the situation is a bit more complicated considering Kosovo's odd status and the rather bad relations between the Kosovo and the Serbian governments. I do know, though, that returning refugees safely to Kosovo and creating a legal framework where they can live there safely is one of the main things the UNHCR is doing in the Balkans these days.

BTW, it would be Serbian, not pan-Slavic, chauvinism sticking in your craw. Pan-Slavism created Yugoslavia in the first place.

kezboard 11-11-2011 11:38 AM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

That reminds me of something that was said years ago during the Kosavo conflict when a guest on the NPR program "The Connection" with Christopher Lydon said that Serbian newscasts played during the run up to the attack featured incidents portrayed as contemporary events but that in fact happened decades ago. By annihilating time between past Bosnian transgressions and current events the Serbs looked to stoke the anachronistic passions for their own gain.
Yup. I thought about the Balkans as well when Gershom mentioned this. This sort of thing happened during the earlier conflict between the Serbs and Croats as well, particularly with regard to atrocities committed against the Serbs by the Croatian puppet government during WWII which had either been pushed under the rug or had their ethnic element underplayed (Communist governments in Eastern Europe pretty much always spun Nazi or Nazi-allied crimes as fascist crimes against the people -- or against communists -- rather than racist crimes against specific groups). There's a story that during one of the first times Richard Holbrooke was negotiating with Slobodan Milosevic, he got fed up with Milosevic's tirades about the tragic history of the Serbian nation and basically said, "If you want to deal with me, you're going to have to forget all that historical bullshit."

I'd recommend this approach for both the Israelis and the Palestinians.

kezboard 11-11-2011 12:07 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

When no one sheds any tears for the Sudeten-Germans who were expelled from Czechoslovakia, why should I shed tears for people who are at a far lower level of civilization, culture and morality?
I've brought up the Sudetenlanders multiple times in threads on this forum relating to Israel, and I think it's an interesting analogy, but not perfect. You misread me as saying that Czechoslovakia was part of Germany prior to WWI, which is obviously not what I'd said, so I didn't bring it up again because I didn't want to get into it.

The reasons the Sudetenlanders aren't much of a political problem for the Czech Republic or Germany these days (although it is there -- it held up the CR's entrance into the EU for a while) are probably two. First, Germany did a good job of integrating the expellees from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, etc., and the states that the Palestinian refugees fled to did not. This obviously isn't Israel's fault, but it isn't the Palestinians' fault either. The other reason, which I'm sure you're going to dispute, is that the Sudetenlanders simply were German, while the Palestinians were not Lebanese, Jordanian, etc. I'm not trying to appeal to an essentialist view of nationality here, but rather to say that by 1945, the project started over a hundred years ago to build a German national identity among the German speakers and a Czech national identity among the Czech speakers of Bohemia and Moravia had succeeded absolutely. That isn't to say that there weren't also regional identities that could include members of both language groups, but they weren't politicized at all at that time. There was no common national identification shared by the Arabic-speakers of Palestine and those of Jordan or Lebanon, and the national movement that developed following 1948 was a Palestinian one.

The reason why nobody "sheds tears" for the Sudeten Germans (or any of the other people forcibly moved, death-marched, and ethnically cleansed from eastern Europe after 1945) is because both the USA and the USSR agreed to their expulsion. In fact, the only people in the USA who discuss the Sudetenlanders are the "leftist establishment in the Academy", if by that Sulla means people who study the modern history of Central Europe. Czechs, on the other hand, discuss it all the time.

Quote:

why should I shed tears for people who are at a far lower level of civilization, culture and morality?
The Sudetenland region had the highest support for the NSDAP of any part of the Reich. I guess you can call that civilization and morality if you like. I don't think this justifies the ethnic cleansing of the Germans from Czechoslovakia, but you actually might, considering your quote in a different thread:

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Wow, if you wage wars of aggression on an innocent country three times and get your backward, sandy ass handed to you, you lose land. Who could have imagined that?
Well, the Germans aggressively annexed all of Czechoslovakia, committed all kinds of atrocities against the Czech population (and they were downright merciful in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, compared with what happened in Poland) and ultimately got their backwards, sauerkrauty asses handed to them by the Allies, so maybe you do think the Sudetenlanders deserved to be expelled. If so, maybe you ought to stop complimenting them on their level of civilization.

Ray in Seattle 11-11-2011 12:14 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Thanks for clarifying.

Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 231060)
You said this "Israel's Jews should welcome living in a state politically dominated by Palestinian-Arab-Muslim culture." and I presume you think this is a valid concern.

Yes, but to be clear - I assume you realize my sentence was sarcasm. It literally means, "Israel's Jews are completely justified to fear living in a state politically dominated by Palestinian-Arab-Muslim culture". And I was not referring to Arab holidays. I was referring to Arab racism grounded in honor-shame psychology. And that's what I presumed was a valid concern.

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But it's the same concern the local Arabs had once Zionism started having an impact on the region, and Israel is culturally different. Hebrew is the dominant language, Jewish religious holidays are central to the calendar,
I don't think that's correct (that it's the same concern the local Arabs had). Zionism started having an impact in the late 20's and early 30's - maybe earlier depending on how you define impact. At that time Arab immigration had been much higher than Jewish and so the Arab population was also much higher. For example in 1931 census data show 759,700 (73.5%) Muslim/Arabs and 174,600 (16.9%) Jews. In 1890 there were 43,000 Jews and 432,000 Muslims/Arabs. It seems unlikely to me that the Arabs were worried about people speaking Hebrew in the market. There had always been some Hebrew speakers there but smaller numbers of them.

I'm sure there were many factors but reading newspaper accounts from the thirties it seems the overwhelming motivation of the opinions of Arabs toward the Jews was racism. The problem was that Jews who were coming from Europe had no intention of becoming the dhimmi that were the only form of Jews the Arabs could possibly tolerate - and then in small numbers. It's spelled out very specifically in the Quran and had centuries of history behind it. That was the Arab's main concern. After the Jew's experience in WWII where they were shit upon by the whole world these new Jews were not humbly accepting the Arab's antisemitic crap. I'm sure they even dished out some crap of their own.

I should add: I'm sure some Jews had racist attitudes toward Arabs. The difference was that this was not part of Jewish culture and religion or history. It was the mistrust that some would feel towards others who were different. The Jews were well aware that they'd have to coexist and hoped to do so on an equal footing. They naively hoped to blend their societies. At least at first. That's well documented in the historic records. After the Arab riots of the late thirties, it was obvious to the Jews (and the whole world) that the Arabs would never let that happen (the original one state solution was the Zionist hope) - and so a few years later the UN knew that some form of Partition Plan was the only answer.

Also, it's useful to realize - because some have a very distorted view of this - that the newly arriving Jews were not kicking Arabs out of their houses and villages to take them over. They purchased their land from Arabs and they built on it using their own hands and resources. Much of the land they purchased was from absentee Arab owners and the Jews did make the Arab inhabitants move away - since the Jews were not absentee landlords but bought the land to live on and improve. But that naturally created anti Jewish feelings.

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Arabs where second class citizens in law for long periods of Israel's history
I'm not sure how true that was but I thought we were talking about before there was an Israel. The law was British law and I don't think it discriminated in favor of the Jews. It was actually the opposite in many cases.

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and still face discrimination.
Certainly you're not justifying Arab antisemitism from the thirties by (alleged) discrimination in 2011.

Added: (or maybe you're saying the Arabs had justification to think they'd be discriminated against if Jews got the upper hand.) That's reasonable IMO. I'd say by 1939 both sides definitely had that expectation. But the Partition Plan accounted for that. Jews in the new Palestine could move into the new Israel if they wished. And Arabs in the new Israel were free to move into the new Palestine - or any number of Arab states in the region. No one would be forced to relocate but if they thought they'd be treated better they were free to do so. In either case the distance had to be no more than a few kilometers.

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There concern doesn't necessarily need to be religious in nature, plenty of Americans are concerned about secularism and in a nation founded on those very principles.
As I said, I believe their concerns were more to do with racism than religion per se or political theory.

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One could use the word goyim in this discussion in the way you used dhimmi, but at a cost to one's credibility.
You lost me there. Are you saying that discussing the Arabs' long history of dealing with small numbers of Jews as dhimmi or worse through the centuries of Ottoman control and back to the beginning of Islam was not a factor in their attitudes toward the immigrating Jews in the thirties? And that if I mention it in my comments I lose credibility?

Sulla the Dictator 11-11-2011 03:40 PM

Re: The Unmaking of Israel (Robert Wright & Gershom Gorenberg)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 230862)
Israel launched the 67 war despite it's own intelligence service, as well as that of the US, stating that Nasser forces where not an immediate threat.

We actually know more now though, Opposable crumbs. Like the fact that Nasser had told Richard Nolte, the US ambassador in Cairo, that he would invade Israel before allowing it to develop a nuclear capability.

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The history also ignores the earlier Israeli/British/French invasion of Egypt and the Lavon affair.
Do you believe that the Suez and the Straights of Tiran are the private property of Gamal Nasser, to open and close at his whim? The United Nations disagrees with you. And to a member of the left, what higher authority is there than the blessed United Nations?

opposable_crumbs 11-11-2011 03:59 PM

Re: The Unmaking of Israel (Robert Wright & Gershom Gorenberg)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 231098)
We actually know more now though, Opposable crumbs. Like the fact that Nasser had told Richard Nolte, the US ambassador in Cairo, that he would invade Israel before allowing it to develop a nuclear capability.

That's a rather vague quote which I don't think says much about the specifics of 67.

Do you believe that the Suez and the Straights of Tiran are the private property of Gamal Nasser, to open and close at his whim? The United Nations disagrees with you. And to a member of the left, what higher authority is there than the blessed United Nations?[/QUOTE]

A casus belli is not the same thing as launching a war.

Ray in Seattle 11-11-2011 04:01 PM

Re: The Unmaking of Israel (Robert Wright & Gershom Gorenberg)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 231098)
We actually know more now though, Opposable crumbs. Like the fact that Nasser had told Richard Nolte, the US ambassador in Cairo, that he would invade Israel before allowing it to develop a nuclear capability.

And there's more. Nasser had actually given orders for the Egyptian attack on Israel by its forces in the Sinai to take place on the dawn of the 28th of May. By chance, on the 27th five Egyptian officers wandered over the line in the Sinai and were captured by the IDF and revealed the plan. Israel notified Washington that the Egyptian attack was just a few hours away and said they no choice but to preempt it. Washington contacted Kosygin and told him of this and told him to let Nasser know that the US felt relieved of its promise to Kosygin that we'd stay out of the fight (unless Egypt attacked Israel first). Kosygin did that. Nasser had to cancel because by that time the IDF had moved heavy forces opposite the Egyptians who were to spearhead the attack. "Operation Dawn" had been compromised.

opposable_crumbs 11-11-2011 04:07 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle (Post 231083)
Thanks for clarifying.
Yes, but to be clear - I assume you realize my sentence was sarcasm.

I understood it to be sarcasm and one which is used to firmly defend an obvious double standard. The Jews are forgiven if they are wary of Arab culture but if the Arabs have the same reservations following hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants many with a strong nationalist streak agitating for a separate state, it is racism.

Ray in Seattle 11-11-2011 04:17 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 231107)
I understood it to be sarcasm and one which is used to firmly defend an obvious double standard. The Jews are forgiven if they are wary of Arab culture but if the Arabs have the same reservations following hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants many with a strong nationalist streak agitating for a separate state, it is racism.

My point was they did not come there with a strong nationalist streak agitating for a separate state. The Arabs relentlessly convinced them (and 2/3 of the UN) it was necessary. But enjoy your fantasies.

stephanie 11-11-2011 04:38 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle (Post 231108)
My point was they did not come there with a strong nationalist streak agitating for a separate state.

The plan was to create a Jewish state, a homeland.

Sulla the Dictator 11-11-2011 04:41 PM

Re: The Unmaking of Israel (Robert Wright & Gershom Gorenberg)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 231103)
That's a rather vague quote which I don't think says much about the specifics of 67.

What is vague about it? It isn't the only time Nasser had said something like that. Ever since the French began aiding the Israelis with the program, Nasser was on record saying that an Israeli nuclear capability was sufficient justification for pre-emptive strike by Egypt.

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A casus belli is not the same thing as launching a war.
No, the hundreds of tanks and thousands of troops are.

opposable_crumbs 11-11-2011 04:54 PM

Re: The Unmaking of Israel (Robert Wright & Gershom Gorenberg)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 231114)
No, the hundreds of tanks and thousands of troops are.

They categorically aren't a casus belli until they violate a border, just like the Israeli forces did and continue to do.

Ray in Seattle 11-11-2011 04:59 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 231113)
The plan was to create a Jewish state, a homeland.

That's right. In 1922 the Balfour Declaration (League of Nations) gave Britain the Mandate to prepare Palestine as the homeland of the Jewish People - while preserving the religious and civil rights of all the inhabitants.

The Jews did not displace anyone from their property. They wanted sovereignty of their own state and there would be no way to do that "while preserving the religious and civil rights of all the inhabitants" except in any area that they held a majority.

Britain proceeded to give 80% of the Mandate to the Hashemites and then tried to prevent Jews from immigrating to the small remaining territory where the Brits were supposed to be "preparing a homeland" for them - indirectly sending many thousands of Jews to the gas chambers. (The Brits had a "Lawrence of Arabia" thing going.)

They did not come with a strong (exclusionary Jewish) nationalist streak. They expected to blend in with the Arabs, especially at first. And they did not agitate for a state. They lobbied for it at the UN - just as the Arabs lobbied against it.

They did not start any wars against the Arabs. The Arabs started wars against them. The Jews won their state and they won their wars. The Arabs did not accept their statehood that was offered. They were more intent on starting wars to rid the ME of Jews.

And so it remains today.

(Hey, I just wrote a six sentence history of the ME.) ;-)

Sulla the Dictator 11-11-2011 05:01 PM

Re: The Unmaking of Israel (Robert Wright & Gershom Gorenberg)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 231115)
They categorically aren't a casus belli until they violate a border, just like the Israeli forces did and continue to do.

Your argument was about Egyptian intent. Can I assume that this segue that you acknowledge the Egyptian intent?

opposable_crumbs 11-11-2011 05:05 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle (Post 231108)
My point was they did not come there with a strong nationalist streak agitating for a separate state. The Arabs relentlessly convinced them (and 2/3 of the UN) it was necessary. But enjoy your fantasies.

The whole point of 20th Century Zionism was to escape the persecution of Europe and set up a state for Jews, run by Jews. The words of Herzl and his contemporaries make it patently clear, as did the petitioning directed towards the British which resulted in the 1917 Balfour Deceleration. 30 years later this eventually migrated to violent attacks against them and forced the British out. But, alas, I see you have traded reality for insults.

opposable_crumbs 11-11-2011 05:16 PM

Re: The Unmaking of Israel (Robert Wright & Gershom Gorenberg)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 231118)
Your argument was about Egyptian intent. Can I assume that this segue that you acknowledge the Egyptian intent?

The intent is vague, the history of actual events less so. For example, to some the intent of Iran is to wipe Israel off the map. Despite initially claiming that it was attacked, Israel launched the 67 war - a war not even based on faulty intel, as Washington along with Israel's own analysts concluded Nasser was no threat.

stephanie 11-11-2011 05:22 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle (Post 231117)
That's right. In 1922 the Balfour Declaration (League of Nations) gave Britain the Mandate to prepare Palestine as the homeland of the Jewish People - while preserving the religious and civil rights of all the inhabitants.

This followed the planned and encouraged immigration of many Jews to the area with the intention of making it a Jewish state. It wasn't something Britain just decided to do.

As I've said before, I don't think this was some evil by the Zionists. I am not as moved by the idea that people have an absolute claim to the area in which they live, I guess. But the idea that they didn't intend to take a populated area and turn it into a Jewish state, with little focus on the existing inhabitants, is wrong.

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The Jews did not displace anyone from their property.
Sure they did. I linked this article from Gershom's book before, but it's relevant here.

And again I am not faulting the Israelis here -- it's a complicated situation and I think what happened is unfortunate but understandable. But it's rather ridiculous to try and present the Palestinians as entirely unsympathetic, as just bad people, and the Israelis as without fault in any way. Both sides are very human and acted in ways that seem to me quite understandable.

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They wanted sovereignty of their own state and there would be no way to do that "while preserving the religious and civil rights of all the inhabitants" except in any area that they held a majority.
This seems inconsistent with the position you were taking before, that the Palestinians had no reason to worry about a Jewish-controlled state, no reason to think they wouldn't be treated equally.

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They did not come with a strong (exclusionary Jewish) nationalist streak. They expected to blend in with the Arabs, especially at first. And they did not agitate for a state. They lobbied for it at the UN - just as the Arabs lobbied against it.
This is not true/not the whole story. Some of them thought they could convince the existing population to be happy about their presence, improve their life and show them the Jewish state would be a better place to live, sure. But a lot of the discussion basically portrayed the land as un or underpopulated, waiting for their return, and a lot just ignored the existing residents.

Also, just ask the Brits if they failed to agitate for a state.

Yes, the Palestinians didn't like the UN partition. This is not all that surprising. Some of the Israelis also did not. Some, of course, still do not, and demonstrate this by their involvement in the settler movement or in the arguments that there's no such thing as a Palestinian.

Wonderment 11-11-2011 05:59 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
It's important in deconstructing wht happened to bear in mind that Jews really had no more a legitimate claim to Palestine than they did to Utah. Retrospectively, it's easy to sympathize with Jews because of the Shoah, but the Shoah had nothing to do with Palestinians, and there was no reason for them to absorb European refugees, much less turn over their destiny, property and rights to a fictional, utopian, Bible-based Jewish state. To Palestinians, the Jewish invasion was just one more iteration of colonial conquest. The original Zionist claim to govern the land was bogus, and they never could have got a spustainable majority without the ethnic cleansing of 1948. Why liberal-minded people are expected to support and defend a Jewish state is beyond me. I get the realpolitik concerns, and I get the criticism of the Palestinian tactics, but I defintely don't get the moral high ground claimed by Zionist and their Western enablers.

Florian 11-11-2011 06:12 PM

Re: inconsistency?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 231122)
As I've said before, I don't think this was some evil by the Zionists. I am not as moved by the idea that people have an absolute claim to the area in which they live, I guess. But the idea that they didn't intend to take a populated area and turn it into a Jewish state, with little focus on the existing inhabitants, is wrong.

It most definitely is. Somewhere between half a million and two million Arabs fled or were driven out of Palestine/Israel in 1948. The figure seems to depend on whether you are Israeli, Palestinian, or the UN commission on refugees. But whatever the exact figure, there is no dispute that some "ethnic cleansing" took place. I have no idea how many Arabs were living in the region when it was still part of the Ottoman Empire (before 1918) or during the period of the British Mandate. I do know that from the late 19th century until the establishment of the state of Israel there was resistance to Jewish and Zionist immigration to Palestine.

How do I know this? Because I have read Semites and Anti-Semites by Bernard Lewis, a well-known historian of Islam. Lewis is Jewish and very sympathetic to Israel, but since he is also an historian he is too honest to conceal the facts.


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