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  #51  
Old 07-27-2019, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by TonySinclair View Post
But all of this is moot. Might makes right, that's the way it's always been, that's the way it still is. The Israelis were strong enough to drive the Palestinians out of what is now Israel, and are strong enough to hold it, especially with the unwavering support of the US. That's how they got it, that's why they'll keep it, that's why it's pointless to pretend that things that happened thousands of years ago matter, or that fairness matters. If the UN had wanted to be fair, they would have given the Jews some prime land in Germany.
You might recall who attacked first. In 1948 and in 1967. Who kept the Palestinians in refugee camps before 1967, when the West Bank was in Jordanian hands.
As I said, if the Arabs had not tried to destroy Israel, there would likely be a much smaller problem.

You might also recall that Jews in Germany had finally gotten some rights after hundreds of years. And they found the true feelings of many Germans. The suggestion that the few remaining ones should be given land in Germany surrounded by former Nazis borders on the anti-Semitic.
We're not talking about the current generation of Germans here, but the ones that supported Hitler.
BTW, I'm in favor of a two state solution, which would be a lot easier if the Palestinians acknowledged Israel's right to exist. The current relationship of Israel and Egypt would have been considered a fantasy when I was a kid. So it is possible.
  #52  
Old 07-27-2019, 01:42 PM
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So is that the standard: it must have been taken from someone living? If in 2065 there is one 118 year old person who was still alive when Israel was established, the case is still good? If the lawyer is in court and gets an email that the person died, is the case over?

I'm not trying to be a smartass, but there comes a point in time where even an illegal action becomes final, like a statute of limitations. This argument to me seems no different than sovereign citizens saying that the Constitution wasn't ratified properly therefore we are still under the Articles of Confederation.
I may be losing track of the argument you're having with Little Nemo, but that's not how sovereignty works. It works when you have land you can defend and other nations recognize you and let you keep it. The Socratic question makes no sense in this case, because it's a category error -- if you have property and someone steals it from you, that's one thing. A new nation being formed, defended, and recognized is a different thing entirely.
  #53  
Old 07-27-2019, 02:21 PM
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Like which "other nations", for example?

I'm not sure if this was intended as a gotcha, or cornering me into making questionable statements or somesuch ? Either way : any other nation ; but more realistically those nations that currently support and guarantee Israel's sovereignty. If international opinion suddenly reversed itself and declared Israel's government to be some sort of autocratic rogue actor on par with e.g. the Viet Cong then it would become much, much harder for Israel to argue for its legal existence, much less physically enforce it or find support for that.


Kind of like Palestinians find out every day .
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  #54  
Old 07-27-2019, 02:46 PM
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The argument has as much weight as arguing that, since the US illegally left the UK, it has no right to exist.

All nations formed in any form of armed conflict will be a violation of the previous laws.
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Old 07-27-2019, 02:59 PM
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So is that the standard: it must have been taken from someone living? If in 2065 there is one 118 year old person who was still alive when Israel was established, the case is still good? If the lawyer is in court and gets an email that the person died, is the case over?

I'm not trying to be a smartass, but there comes a point in time where even an illegal action becomes final, like a statute of limitations. This argument to me seems no different than sovereign citizens saying that the Constitution wasn't ratified properly therefore we are still under the Articles of Confederation.
I don't think there's a bright line. But I think a claim based on "You evicted me from my land and I want it back" is stronger than "You evicted my grandfather from his land and I want it."

And the balance does shift over time. There may be Palestinians who can say their grandfathers were born in a land. But there are now Israelis whose grandparents were born in that same land. These Israelis can make their own claim that the land in question is their ancestral homeland.
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Old 07-27-2019, 04:11 PM
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The argument has as much weight as arguing that, since the US illegally left the UK, it has no right to exist.

All nations formed in any form of armed conflict will be a violation of the previous laws.
Or that since the USA illegally stole native land, it has no right to exist.

Human history is the history of Human migration. It isn't going to stop happening just because we try to nail borders to the ground and insist that everyone stay where they are.
  #57  
Old 07-27-2019, 04:47 PM
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Is there any historical reason to believe the modern day Palestinians are the descendants of the Canaanites who were living in the region 3500 years ago? They are more plausibly descendants of the Arabs who entered the region over a thousand years later.
I'm not a historian, but I'm unaware of any mass migration of indigenous people out of that area in ancient times other than the Roman expulsion of Jews, so I would expect that the original Canaanite blood was no more diluted by Arabs than Ashkenazi Jews were diluted by Europeans. My guess would be that most Palestinians are descendants of (among others) the Israelites who did not become Jews, i.e. the so-called lost tribes. Contrary to popular belief, the Assyrians did not deport the bulk of the northern tribes, just the leaders who were most likely foment rebellion.

You would think that DNA testing would easily settle the matter, but googling yields so many tendentious articles that I've given up, because as I said in my previous post, it doesn't matter. The Israelis have powerful, nuclear-equipped armed forces and US backing, and that pretty much settles it.
  #58  
Old 07-27-2019, 04:51 PM
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The suggestion that the few remaining ones should be given land in Germany surrounded by former Nazis borders on the anti-Semitic
That borders on the idiotic.
  #59  
Old 07-27-2019, 04:52 PM
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True, but irrelevant. Muslims were not an ethnic group that moved into Palestine, any more than Catholics were an ethnic group that moved into France. The people in Palestine who converted to Islam were already living there.

If you believe the Bible stories, they were living there long before the Jews, or even the Israelites. However, scholarly consensus now seems to be that the Exodus and the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites never happened, they were just a subgroup of Canaanites who developed a distinct identity and religion. So at best, it's a tie.

But all of this is moot. Might makes right, that's the way it's always been, that's the way it still is. The Israelis were strong enough to drive the Palestinians out of what is now Israel, and are strong enough to hold it, especially with the unwavering support of the US. That's how they got it, that's why they'll keep it, that's why it's pointless to pretend that things that happened thousands of years ago matter, or that fairness matters. If the UN had wanted to be fair, they would have given the Jews some prime land in Germany.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but with your last line are you espousing some sort of theory that the only legitimate reason Jews were in the Levant is because of some Western "correction" for the Holocaust? So we could just as easily fix it via giving them land in Germany.

Like I said, maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but that is extremely false.

If we talk pre-Zionism, there were hundreds of thousands of Jews living in the Ottoman Empire. They just were not concentrated specifically in lands that make up the modern day State of Israel--however, Jerusalem for example still had a significant Jewish population in 1860. But there were large Jewish communities in Istanbul and several other smaller cities in Northern Anatolia--some of these communities traced their histories back to the 15th century when large numbers of Sephardi Jews had left Spain as conditions worsened for them in that country (as most casual students of history know, for most of world history before the 20th century, Muslim ruled countries had historically been far more tolerant of Jews than Christian ruled countries.) Aside from that, there were many ancient Jewish communities that had existed in the Levant region for centuries, and which had been mostly tolerated for centuries of Ottoman and even earlier Muslim rulership. Now, they were certainly a "small minority", but they were a relatively widespread and meaningful one, smaller than for example, the Christian population (particularly the Arab Christian) population in the Ottoman Empire, but it was a significant minority group.

While not all of these Jews were concentrated in "Israel" that's a meaningless discussion in any case. Prior to the 20th century there was essentially no form of "nationalism" that mapped to modern Middle Eastern countries. That is because historically the historical administrative/political/legal divisions of the land in this region didn't map to nationalities or "historical countries" or anything like that. From about the 14th to the early 19th century the Ottoman Empire was divided into a number of Eyalets, ruled over by a number of Pashas. A large one that covers small portions of modern day southern Turkey, much of Syria, all of Lebanon, much of Jordan, and much of Israel was simply called "Syria" in Ottoman times, however this eyalet was sub-divided several times into different divisions.

When the eyalet system was replaced with the Vilayet system, three Vilayets covered area that today contains parts of Israel, the Vilayets of Jerusalem, Syria, and Beirut.

The people who lived in these regions did not view themselves as citizens or residents of specific "country", so there is no organic history of Palestinian nationalism any more than there is Israeli nationalism. These concepts really did not exist. There were Arabs who lived in this region, some in villages, some were still Bedouin nomads. There were Jews who lived in this region, there were Arab Christians who lived in this region. And a large number of other small ethnic groups and religious groups, including a large variety of non-Catholic "Eastern Christian" groups (most of these Christians were ethnically Arab, although not all.)

The Ottoman Empire was multi-ethnic, polyglot, and multi-religious, largely the only way it worked for so long is because most of the areas it ruled lacked any meaningful national identities. They had religious, ethnic, cultural, regional/village/tribal identities for sure. And they were allowed to largely adhere to those as they pleased, while being obedient to Ottoman suzerainship.

Now, starting the late 19th century obviously you have the Zionist movement. However almost all of the early migration here came from Russian Jews and Eastern European Jews. Conditions in these regions had deteriorated quite badly for Jews in the 30-40 years leading up to it. A large number of Russian Jews had emigrated to the United States, however U.S. immigration law started to tighten down on this in the 1920s, which accelerated the pace of Russian Jewish immigration to the Middle East in lines with Zionist motivations. In the 1920s, obviously the Ottoman Empire had ceased to exist, and the British had control of much of its former territory in the Middle East. While at first they were fine with immigration of what, in modern terms, would be seen as Jewish refugees fleeing oppression in Russia and Eastern Europe, you started to see the first early signs of Arab nationalism in the region. This made the further importation of Jews relatively controversial, and is when the British formally restricted it in the 1920s--after the British restricted Jewish immigration to the region you could still immigrate there as a Jew, but you had to meet certain financial obligations, which meant those who continued to come in trended towards more middle class families. It should be noted at this time around 100,000 Jews died in massacres in Ukraine and Russia, and around 40,000 immigrated to the region making up modern Israel.

By the time 1947 rolled around and the UN had decided it was basically going to oversee the carving up of the British Mandate into various countries, there was a significant, and more concentrated Jewish population in the area making up modern day Israel. However the majority of these Jews had arrived before the Nazis ever took power in Germany. Some had been fleeing earlier humanitarian crises in Russia and Eastern Europe, some were the early idealogical Zionists of the late 19th early 20th century, and again--significant numbers were historical Jewish communities that had existed in the Ottoman Empire for centuries. "Moving them all to Germany" was both unrealistic and largely ignorant of where these people had come from, and was not a very realistic solution.

The UN had recognized from recent history that nationalism was a real and serious force, and that countries mostly liked to have borders that mapped existing "national ideas." But there were also practical problems with this. There were a lot of minority ethnic groups in the mandate, and a lot of religious groups. They didn't live in solid contiguous blocks of land. They were all mixed in with each other. So just drawing lines around areas would be extremely difficult. There are no real natural or historical boundaries of importance here. You could use the old Ottoman provincial boundaries, but those changed all the time, and had subdivided the region a great number of times of hundreds of years. This was not an easy task. Some ethnic groups (like the Kurds for example) got screwed very badly in the situation, some got screwed but not as bad (the Arabs), and some probably came out "better than was fair" (the Jews.) That mostly is because of Western guilt over the Holocaust. The reason I use the term "more than was fair", is largely because of the relative population sizes and the geography involved. I do not think, given their desire to at least try to build states that wouldn't implode, and to at least try to protect the various differing ethnic/religious communities in the region, having a Jewish state was a bad idea. But it was given far more land and high quality land that likely was "fair", given the population numbers involved.

At the end of the day however, going from the old system where you have a mish-mash of varied peoples, all in communities scattered around the region, to hard-defined states was never going to be easy. The only way to rectify all those mish-mashed settlements with the new borders would be for people to be moved out of their homes, either voluntarily or by force--this is a recipe for disaster, and it was a disaster. It should be noted it affected Jews, some in communities hundreds of years old, across the region, not just in the mandatory lands but even in the broader Arab world there was such a negative reaction that you saw new waves of Jewish immigration from places like North Africa and etc to get inside the borders of the new state of Israel, because these Jews suddenly were much less welcome in their old homes than they had been before.

There's a common belief that the Middle East was somehow "ruined" by the British or the UN, but that's really not true. It was ruined because a growth of ethnic nationalism and religious intolerance happened as the Ottoman Empire died. The Empire was able to stay "above the fray" of differences between its subject peoples, and mostly being allowed to live how they wished in their own communities, while dutifully paying taxes and fealty to the Ottomans, kept some degree of peace. Without this, the region was fucked regardless of anything the British or the UN were going to do. Transitioning this region of polyglot Ottoman administrative subdivisions into "modern states" simply was and is a non-trivial task that was almost guaranteed to cause extreme ethnic and religious strife no matter how it was managed. The British to their credit actually predicted the UN map was going to cause extreme strife for being overly favorable to the Jewish population, and that is what happened. The British never really signed off on the UN borders and were happy after the deadline passed to get the fuck out of there and wash their hands of the matter.

There are lots of bad people in the story of the modern Middle East, and the development of the modern states of Israel, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon etc; but there aren't any easy "bad guy groups", the Jews weren't the bad guys and neither were the Arabs. They were largely victims of circumstance and petty bigotries that are fairly endemic to humans, especially humans of the time. But simply saying we could've just carved off part of Bavaria or something and moved all the Jews into it, is shockingly ignorant of how this region got the way it is and the actual rational mechanics of how such a proposition would have worked.
  #60  
Old 07-27-2019, 05:28 PM
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That borders on the idiotic.
Just think about it for a second from the context of 1947. The proposal would be for a Jewish state surrounded by people who had just exterminated millions of them. To be protected by a bunch of nations who did shit to protect them before, and who were even then blocking the movement of refugees to Palestine.
From the perspective of today we know the Germans have (mostly) turned their back on evil, but from back then their defeat in 1918 hardly made them moral players in 1933 - 1945.
Not to mention Germans with 12 years of hatred burned into them and then expelled from their homes by Jews could well be the core of a Nazi revival.

I dare you to defend this offensive idea.
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Old 07-27-2019, 05:33 PM
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Contrary to popular belief, the Assyrians did not deport the bulk of the northern tribes, just the leaders who were most likely foment rebellion.
No, like many other empires of the time, they carried off the learned and the skilled craftsmen to better their own empire. Others were carried off as slaves. Those who were left were the farmers and the unskilled who somehow avoided slavery.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:41 PM
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Just think about it for a second from the context of 1947. The proposal would be for a Jewish state surrounded by people who had just exterminated millions of them. To be protected by a bunch of nations who did shit to protect them before, and who were even then blocking the movement of refugees to Palestine.
From the perspective of today we know the Germans have (mostly) turned their back on evil, but from back then their defeat in 1918 hardly made them moral players in 1933 - 1945.
Not to mention Germans with 12 years of hatred burned into them and then expelled from their homes by Jews could well be the core of a Nazi revival.

I dare you to defend this offensive idea.
First, even if all of your arguments were correct, all you would have shown that it was impractical. That is miles from being anti-Semitic, and you are the one who is offensive for suggesting that.

Second, your arguments are not correct IMO. You act as if

a) the default behavior for post-war Germans would be to murder Jews
b) there would be no bar to them doing so
c) this contrasts with the flowers and candy they received from the Arabs and Palestinians in Israel

IMO they would have been much better protected in Germany. Even in the 70's, when I was stationed in Germany, there were US troops in almost every town of any size. Immediately after the war, there were probably a lot more. It is highly offensive for you to suggest that US troops would turn a blind eye to Nazi murderers massacring the Jews, after they had knowledge of the death camps. In fact, it's highly offensive to assume that the post-war Germans would immediately go on a killing spree if Jews immigrated into their towns.

Besides, they needn't be "surrounded by Nazis," they could have been given, say the corner of Baden-Wurttemberg that is lightly populated, has access to the Rhine, and has a longer border with France and Switzerland than Germany. There would be no need to expel the people already living there -- unlike you, I imagine the average German would want to make amends for the insane people who ran his country during the war, and would do what he could to help the immigrants.

I picked that after about two minutes of googling, so It's probably not the best location, but I don't see how it could be worse than a desert surrounded by hostile Arabs, who as you pointed out yourself, tried to wipe them out in 1948.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:49 PM
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding you.
Yes, you are. I was isolating one of many reasons advanced for justifying the establishment of Israel, namely reparations for the Holocaust. I'm well aware, as I imagine everyone over ten years old is, that Jews feel a connection to Israel that has nothing to do with the war, and that there was significant Jewish immigration to Palestine before the war.

And in my wildest imagination, I didn't think anyone would consider that if a homeland were established in Germany as reparations, it would be mandatory for Jews living elsewhere to pack up and move there.
  #64  
Old 07-27-2019, 07:00 PM
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Another point: is there a statute of limitations on what is "legal"? Let's assume that the 1947 resolution was "illegal." How far back can we go? Can we go back to an Anglo-Saxon UK because the invasion in 1066 was illegal? If that is too far back, and 1947 isn't, then what is the limit?
Debatable, but modern geopolitical legitimacy probably began to take shape after the treaty of Westphalia (1648), the principles of which have been incorporated by the UN.
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:58 PM
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I picked that after about two minutes of googling, so It's probably not the best location, but I don't see how it could be worse than a desert surrounded by hostile Arabs, who as you pointed out yourself, tried to wipe them out in 1948.
I think in a way, the location of Israel in such hostile territory was a good thing in the sense that it forced the newly-created nation to put its military chops to the test right away. The next several decades saw Israel become such a military powerhouse that it was taken seriously by the rest of the world in a way that I can't imagine would have been true of some cordoned-off section of Germany presided over by American peacekeepers.

It was a trial of fire that they ultimately survived and emerged from much stronger.

I think they actually showed remarkable restraint by not just keeping all of the territory that they won in the 1967 war and telling the other countries to go shit in their hat. With that being said, they're not doing themselves any favors by stringing along the Palestinian territories indefinitely and offering them no realistic hope of political and economic viability. Their government is also corrupt as hell.
  #66  
Old 07-27-2019, 10:33 PM
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Well a very large part of the problem is that the neighboring states refuse to let the Palestinians migrate to their countries and give them citizenship.

And those particular Palestinians aren't going to accept becoming Israeli citizens (unlike the 21% of Israeli citizens who are Arabs) because they don't consider Israel to be a legitimate state.

So it leaves a permanent deadlock where those people won't accept being a part of the state that surrounds them, and can't move to neighboring states because they won't have them.
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:53 PM
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And those particular Palestinians aren't going to accept becoming Israeli citizens (unlike the 21% of Israeli citizens who are Arabs) because they don't consider Israel to be a legitimate state.
Is that so, though? There are about 6 million diaspora Palestinians, and I very much doubt that Israel would be willing to let anything like that number of them become citizens of Israel as currently constituted, so whether the Palestinians would or wouldn't accept it is kind of a moot point.

AFAICT a lot of Palestinians, both in the West Bank and elsewhere, would be perfectly willing to be citizens of a single secular democratic state in the entire territory of Israel/Palestine with equal rights for all citizens. Since the territory is their historic homeland at least as much as it is for Jewish Israelis, that doesn't seem like an unreasonable desire.
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:57 PM
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AFAICT a lot of Palestinians, both in the West Bank and elsewhere, would be perfectly willing to be citizens of a single secular democratic state in the entire territory of Israel/Palestine with equal rights for all citizens. Since the territory is their historic homeland at least as much as it is for Jewish Israelis, that doesn't seem like an unreasonable desire.
And while I'm a single individual who isn't part of either one and doesn't think highly of either, it is the only solution that I'd be willing to support when it came to US Policy and tax dollars. But I got no say in it.

My alternative (not quite serious but less than 100% joking) solution is to turn the entire region into a sea of radioactive glass so that NO ONE GETS TO LIVE THERE.
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:18 PM
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My alternative (not quite serious but less than 100% joking) solution is to turn the entire region into a sea of radioactive glass so that NO ONE GETS TO LIVE THERE.
While I sympathize with your frustration, I think "100% joking" is a far better approach to this proposed alternative than "less than 100% joking".
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:24 PM
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I'm NOT advocating killing anyone.

No, this is more of a "if none of you can play nice in this region, NO ONE can play in this region" things.

Move the people out, glass the region.
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:54 PM
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Move the people out, glass the region.
Still works better in the "100% joking" category, IMO.

Taking it seriously for a moment, part of the problem with these hyperbolically extreme proposals is that they have an unintended effect of legitimizing the status quo. If we keep emphasizing the complete hopelessness or impossibility of any satisfactory change, that just implicitly reinforces the inevitability of the current situation. "Another world is possible" by itself is admittedly pretty feeble as an effective force for change, but it's better than "Another world is impossible".
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:57 AM
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First, even if all of your arguments were correct, all you would have shown that it was impractical. That is miles from being anti-Semitic, and you are the one who is offensive for suggesting that.
I'm not saying it would be impractical. The Allies were able to do anything they wanted with German territory. There was nothing to prevent them from setting this up. It would be dangerous and insulting, but not impractical.
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Second, your arguments are not correct IMO. You act as if

a) the default behavior for post-war Germans would be to murder Jews
In 1947 no one knew what the default behavior of Germans would be. The default behavior for wartime Germans was to murder Jews or to turn a blind eye to the murder of Jews, except for a few laudatory exceptions.
Remember also that Germans had been exposed to 12 years of unremitting anti-Semitic propaganda. The amazing turn that Germany took was far from obvious in 1947.
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b) there would be no bar to them doing so
Already covered. The Allies did nothing to protect Jews during the war. It was not easy for Jewish refugees to come to the US from Nazi Germany before the war. (Sure, easy if your name was Einstein.) They were preventing refugees from going to Palestine after the war. Why would Jews trust them to change their policies to protect them?
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c) this contrasts with the flowers and candy they received from the Arabs and Palestinians in Israel
There was already a self-defense structure in Palestine, which there wouldn't be in Germany.
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IMO they would have been much better protected in Germany. Even in the 70's, when I was stationed in Germany, there were US troops in almost every town of any size. Immediately after the war, there were probably a lot more. It is highly offensive for you to suggest that US troops would turn a blind eye to Nazi murderers massacring the Jews, after they had knowledge of the death camps. In fact, it's highly offensive to assume that the post-war Germans would immediately go on a killing spree if Jews immigrated into their towns.
My father was on occupation duty after the war. The threat wasn't going to be that year, the threat was when the occupation troops left. The Air Force was conducting bombing raids all over the place, but bombing the railroad lines leading to the camps to maybe prevent more people from being moved there was considered unimportant. Are you sure that it was reasonable to expect that the Allies would rush back into Germany to protect Jews? Anti-semitism was far from dead in the 1950s, especially in the higher level of government.
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Besides, they needn't be "surrounded by Nazis," they could have been given, say the corner of Baden-Wurttemberg that is lightly populated, has access to the Rhine, and has a longer border with France and Switzerland than Germany. There would be no need to expel the people already living there -- unlike you, I imagine the average German would want to make amends for the insane people who ran his country during the war, and would do what he could to help the immigrants.
Are you serious? My father ran an officer's club and employed Germans. I can assure you that none of them said "Jewish American soldier, we are so sorry for what happened." Do you also think that southerners in 1868 just welcomed newly freed slaves with open arms?
Germany was in terrible shape. Don't you think Germans desperate to rebuild would resent a lot of resources being used on Jews who they were taught were vermin? Hell, I have a TV program filmed in Berlin in 1951 which had a drive through the city. It was not about showing rubble, but rubble was everywhere.
You sure that it was reasonable to assume that the French or Swiss would open their borders in case of trouble?
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I picked that after about two minutes of googling, so It's probably not the best location, but I don't see how it could be worse than a desert surrounded by hostile Arabs, who as you pointed out yourself, tried to wipe them out in 1948.
It so happens that my daughter spent a college year abroad in Tubingen, and her husband comes from Stuttgart. I don't know what it was like in 1947 but recently it isn't a place I'd think the Germans would be so willing to give up.
For some odd reason, Jews in 1947 didn't feel very welcome in Europe. And the proposal was not to move everyone to the Negev. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are hardly desert cities. However little land Jews owned in Palestine, it was more than they owned in Nazi Germany.

But let's also remember the resolution was about government, not land. A peaceful transition would have let the Palestinians keep their land.
And, by the way, how much did anyone help to preserve the UN resolution in 1948? About as many as would preserve a Jewish state in Germany, in other words none. UN peacekeepers clear out as soon as there is trouble. Not that I blame them. As was proven by events, Jews in Palestine were in much better shape to protect themselves than refugees moved to Germany would be.
The whole point of Israel is that we can't expect anyone to protect us but ourselves. Remember, from 1933 - 1939 the world did fuck all to protect Jews in Germany. Once the memory of the Holocaust dimmed, why expect the world to do anything if there was a new threat?
BTW, have any links to Jewish organizations of major size wishing to set up a Jewish state in Germany?
  #73  
Old 07-28-2019, 01:05 AM
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AFAICT a lot of Palestinians, both in the West Bank and elsewhere, would be perfectly willing to be citizens of a single secular democratic state in the entire territory of Israel/Palestine with equal rights for all citizens. Since the territory is their historic homeland at least as much as it is for Jewish Israelis, that doesn't seem like an unreasonable desire.
No doubt - but who is going to guarantee equal rights if radical factions of either side take over?
The current world environment does not make this solution seem very feasible, however much it is appealing in the abstract.
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:27 AM
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The whole point of Israel is that we can't expect anyone to protect us but ourselves.
I think that's the crux of it, and as I alluded to before, why the ensuing wars against Israel after its creation allowed the point to be made in a way that wouldn't have been possible under other circumstances. The dog that had been kicked around by everyone finally bit back, and now the world knows not to fuck with that dog. People may espouse anti-Semitic rhetoric and the odd synagogue may be vandalized but there is no way that anything like the Holocaust can happen again. Not to the Jews, anyway.
  #75  
Old 07-28-2019, 09:46 AM
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I think a better counter-argument is that what is now Israel was bestowed upon those people by the British government, which was the legally recognized owner.
Er....no.

The British Mandate was made by the League of Nations, which made the UK the custodian rather than the owner. The UK found it impossible to resolve, let alone impose, a balance between Arab and Jewish demands in relation to Jewish settlers and the governance of the mandated territory, and handed the issue back to the UNO as the League's successor. Israel created itself despite, or at least without the active agreement of, the UK, and within borders resulting from the 1948 conflict, not those originally laid down by the UNO.
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Old 07-28-2019, 11:18 AM
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No doubt - but who is going to guarantee equal rights if radical factions of either side take over?
The current world environment does not make this solution seem very feasible, however much it is appealing in the abstract.
Certainly the parties of god don't want any part of such a solution.
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  #77  
Old 07-28-2019, 06:10 PM
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Is that so, though? There are about 6 million diaspora Palestinians....
Chimera was wrong in that the neighboring countries have enabled a large diaspora. They generally don't offer citizenship, though. On that part of his point Chimera was spot on. Many of those in the diaspora aren't well integrated into their new countries. In some countries they are forbidden from holding certain kinds of jobs or owning property. Mass expulsions, and threats of them have happened. Living in relatively shitty decades old refugee camps is still very much the reality for many of them in Israel's Arab neighbors. Palestinians in the diaspora are effectively a discriminated against permanent lower class in many of the countries that have accepted them.

No way home: The tragedy of the Palestinian diaspora
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Instead, failed peace plans and shifting political priorities have resulted in a second Palestinian "Nakba", or catastrophe – this one at hands of the Arab governments. "Marginalised, deprived of basic political and economic rights, trapped in the camps, bereft of realistic prospects, heavily armed and standing atop multiple fault lines," a report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) in Lebanon recently observed, "the refugee population constitutes a time bomb."

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  #78  
Old 07-28-2019, 06:34 PM
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AFAICT a lot of Palestinians, both in the West Bank and elsewhere, would be perfectly willing to be citizens of a single secular democratic state in the entire territory of Israel/Palestine with equal rights for all citizens. Since the territory is their historic homeland at least as much as it is for Jewish Israelis, that doesn't seem like an unreasonable desire.
Do you feel the Palestinians would accept Jewish Israelis as fellow citizens with equal rights in this hypothetical country? Because I have my doubts.
  #79  
Old 07-28-2019, 06:35 PM
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From that article:

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It is a cynical but time-honoured practice in Middle Eastern politics: the statesmen who decry the political and humanitarian crisis of the approximately 3.9 million Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in Gaza ignore the plight of an estimated 4.6 million Palestinians who live in Arab countries. For decades, Arab governments have justified their decision to maintain millions of stateless Palestinians as refugees in squalid camps as a means of applying pressure to Israel. The refugee problem will be solved, they say, when Israel agrees to let the Palestinians have their own state.

....

A practical solution to the crisis of the Palestinian refugees in Arab countries will focus on Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, which together play host to approximately 3 million of the estimated 4.6 million Palestinian refugees living outside the West Bank and Gaza.
It sounds like Syria and Jordan have an opportunity to step up here either by granting these people citizenship or by creating a Palestinian state out of their own territory, which is much larger than Israel. It seems to me that Israel is simply too small to be expected to give up any more territory. Lebanon is also too small, so that country should not have to contribute territory IMO. Syria and Jordan are both significantly larger than Israel.
  #80  
Old 07-28-2019, 06:45 PM
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Er....no.

The British Mandate was made by the League of Nations, which made the UK the custodian rather than the owner. The UK found it impossible to resolve, let alone impose, a balance between Arab and Jewish demands in relation to Jewish settlers and the governance of the mandated territory, and handed the issue back to the UNO as the League's successor. Israel created itself despite, or at least without the active agreement of, the UK, and within borders resulting from the 1948 conflict, not those originally laid down by the UNO.
The Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917 before the League of Nations or the United Nations existed. The creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine was a British policy; the later sanctions by international bodies were just an agreement to that.
  #81  
Old 07-28-2019, 07:09 PM
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Do you feel the Palestinians would accept Jewish Israelis as fellow citizens with equal rights in this hypothetical country? Because I have my doubts.
They might... if the Jewish people were all dead, i suppose they might let them be buried. Maybe.
  #82  
Old 07-28-2019, 07:17 PM
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...

AFAICT a lot of Palestinians, both in the West Bank and elsewhere, would be perfectly willing to be citizens of a single secular democratic state in the entire territory of Israel/Palestine with equal rights for all citizens. Since the territory is their historic homeland at least as much as it is for Jewish Israelis, that doesn't seem like an unreasonable desire.
"A lot"? They voted in Hamas, which stands for death to Israel and the Jews, and condones terrorism and the bombing of kids in school-busses to get that.

wiki "
Elections for the second Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), were held on 25 January 2006. The result was a victory for Hamas,...Co-founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin stated in 1987, and the Hamas Charter affirmed in 1988, that Hamas was founded to liberate Palestine, including modern-day Israel, from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip....Hamas Charter (1988)
Main article: Hamas Covenant
Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant provides the following quotation, attributed to Muhammad:
The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. ...On August 10, 2012, Ahmad Bahr, Deputy Speaker of the Hamas Parliament, stated in a sermon that aired on Al-Aqsa TV:
....Why? In order to annihilate those Jews. ... O Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters. O Allah, destroy the Americans and their supporters. O Allah, count them one by one, and kill them all, without leaving a single one."



Hamas has made it clear they want every Jewish person dead, and the land cleansed of them. And the Palestinians voted for them.
  #83  
Old 07-28-2019, 07:38 PM
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This is what bothers me, and makes me suspicious when people claim that their arguments against Israel are not anti-semitic. Because I don't hear a lot of protests over the horrible treatment of the Kurds, or the expulsion of large numbers of Palestinians from Arab countries, or the conditions in Palestinian areas outside of Israel.

The fact is, the Arab nations found it very useful to keep the Palestinians contained in Israel. It gave them a justification for their anti-Israel actions, and it has given them a reason for constant resolutions against Israel at the U.N. The Arab nations also encouraged the Palestinians to get out of Israel because they believed they would successfully drive the Jews out and the Palestinians could then go back. It didn't work out that way.

The Palestinians are also victims of their own leadership which has been corrupt and which has been enriching themselves on foreign aid money for decades at the expense of their people. Yasser Arafat skimmed a billion dollars from Palestinian aid for himself, and had no incentive to solve the problem and kill the gravy train.

There are bad actors on all sides of this clusterfuck. But only the Israelis seem to get the blame.

The bottom line for me is that Israel is a modern democracy with decent human rights for their citizens - including women, LGBTQ people, etc. Many of their bordering countries have abysmal human rights records, and yet escape the kind of constant censure that Israel suffers under.
  #84  
Old 07-28-2019, 07:57 PM
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This is what bothers me, and makes me suspicious when people claim that their arguments against Israel are not anti-semitic. Because I don't hear a lot of protests over the horrible treatment of the Kurds, or the expulsion of large numbers of Palestinians from Arab countries, or the conditions in Palestinian areas outside of Israel.
Or all of the myriad and heartfelt threads about the Uyghurs put in concentration camps in their millions to destroy their culture and religion (I don't even hear all of the screams of anger and anguish from the ME over this)...or Tibet being conquered, annexed and systematically destroyed and their people killed (deliberately) year after year. I see this more in terms of the hypocrisy of people, especially people on this board.
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  #85  
Old 07-28-2019, 09:21 PM
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However, the Arab nations, China, etc., are not close allies of the US the way that Israel is, and are not intimately connected to and dependent on the US in the way that Israel is. Also, many of the Americans criticizing Israel are ourselves part of the Jewish faith and/or ethnicity community, and we are constantly told that we should cherish the state of Israel as our own historical and spiritual homeland, so naturally we feel that Israel's actions reflect upon us personally more than, say, the actions of China or Yemen do.

I don't deny that there's a lot of antisemitism in much criticism of Israel, as there is always a lot of antisemitism in every widespread discussion of everything concerning Jews. But the basic principle that the US should regard itself, and is validly regarded by others, as having a greater degree of involvement and responsibility for the actions of Israel than for the actions of, say, the Arab nations or China is not per se antisemitic.

As for the question of who owes the Palestinians a place to live, I don't see much merit in claiming that Syria or Lebanon or Jordan is somehow more obligated than Israel is to offer residency and citizenship to people who were dispossessed from territory currently controlled by Israel. For Palestinian refugees whose ancestral homeland---and that means the place that they and their ancestors were living up to within the last century, not just the place that their ancestors used to live thousands of years ago---is located within Israel or the occupied territories, it is not unreasonable for them to feel that they have a right to live in that land rather than in Syria or Jordan or Lebanon.

I recognize that there are all sorts of serious practical obstacles to Palestinians' actually exercising a right of return. But that doesn't mean that acknowledging the basic justice of their wish to return to the localities that they or their parents or grandparents were unwillingly displaced from is somehow antisemitic.
  #86  
Old 07-28-2019, 10:00 PM
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Right of return is NEVER going to happen, as it would be suicidal for Israeli Jews to hand over that much political power to a group that despises them and constantly talks about destroying them.

The sooner everyone gets past that, the better the chance that some kind of other solution can be found. But the Palestinian leadership has always pulled back when any other solution was remotely at hand, as Arafat did.

In the meantime, a little less than a third of Palestinians live in the West Bank and Gaza. Of the rest in other countries, many are kept in refugee camps or treated as second-class citizens by their host countries. And no one talks about that.
  #87  
Old 07-28-2019, 10:16 PM
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Right of return is NEVER going to happen
Maybe it won't. But that doesn't negate the fundamental justice of Palestinians' believing that they have a right to live in their ancestral homeland.

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The sooner everyone gets past that, the better the chance that some kind of other solution can be found.
I doubt that insisting that millions of people should just "get past" their valid desire to live in their ancestral homeland will really do anything to improve the chances of any solution other than the ever more oppressive status quo.

People who insist that the whole root of the problem is just Palestinians hating Jews, and deny that Palestinians have any kind of a legitimate grievance due to their unjust dispossession from territory that Israel seeks to control, are being wilfully blind to reality.

I don't dispute for a moment that there are indeed a lot of Palestinians and other Arabs who hate Jews. But their antisemitism doesn't change the fundamental justice of the Palestinians' claim to live in their homeland. Demanding that everybody just has to "get past that" is selfish wishful thinking.
  #88  
Old 07-29-2019, 01:12 AM
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I am not blaming the Palestinian people. Partially I blame their leadership. But really, my point was that until the Palestinians give up the full right of return, the problem is intractable. And that's not good for the Palestinians.

In the meantime, the other Arab nations have cynically used them as pawns in their conflict against Israel. One of the reasons the Palestinians have been kept in miserable conditions is to put pressure on Israel. Another reason which people don't want to talk about is that many Arabs look down on Palestinians and don't really want them as full citizens in their own countries.
  #89  
Old 07-29-2019, 01:37 AM
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Maybe it won't. But that doesn't negate the fundamental justice of Palestinians' believing that they have a right to live in their ancestral homeland.


I doubt that insisting that millions of people should just "get past" their valid desire to live in their ancestral homeland will really do anything to improve the chances of any solution other than the ever more oppressive status quo.

People who insist that the whole root of the problem is just Palestinians hating Jews, and deny that Palestinians have any kind of a legitimate grievance due to their unjust dispossession from territory that Israel seeks to control, are being wilfully blind to reality.

I don't dispute for a moment that there are indeed a lot of Palestinians and other Arabs who hate Jews. But their antisemitism doesn't change the fundamental justice of the Palestinians' claim to live in their homeland. Demanding that everybody just has to "get past that" is selfish wishful thinking.
Arabs hated Jews in 1948 before there was a refugee problem. And before 1967 Jordan controlled the West Bank, and kept Palestinians in refugee camps. Since the West Bank was part of the Palestinian state from the UN resolution, Jordan could have set up a Palestinian homeland then and there. And let the Palestinians out. I'll let you explain why they didn't do this.
I'm not a big fan of the current Israeli government, to put it mildly. But we have an example of what happens when a former enemy of Israel accepts its right to exist. You had a rapid peace and a rapid turnover of the Sinai.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:49 AM
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But really, my point was that until the Palestinians give up the full right of return, the problem is intractable.
The key question is whether the problem would become any less intractable if they did give it up. If there's even the slightest chance that the Palestinians' claim could be useful as a bargaining chip in resolving an otherwise intractable problem, then obviously they'd be foolish not to maintain it.

I'm not claiming that insisting on the right of return will bring the Palestinians any advantage, just that they have reason to believe that simply abandoning the right of return won't bring them any advantage. Why should they assume that Israel would really cede any control or rights to them in exchange for their voluntarily making it easier for Israel to continue not ceding any control or rights to them?

I agree that the current stalemate is a very lousy situation for the Palestinians, but if they are right in thinking that Israel has no intention of making the situation any less lousy for them no matter what they do or don't do, then they're not really losing anything by refusing to relinquish their claim to the right of return.
  #91  
Old 07-29-2019, 01:56 AM
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Weren't they offered about 95% of what they wanted when Arafat inexplicably walked away from the deal?
  #92  
Old 07-29-2019, 02:05 AM
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And before 1967 Jordan controlled the West Bank, and kept Palestinians in refugee camps. Since the West Bank was part of the Palestinian state from the UN resolution, Jordan could have set up a Palestinian homeland then and there. And let the Palestinians out. I'll let you explain why they didn't do this.
Well, isn't it obvious? Jordan had formally annexed the West Bank (with the approval of the US and UK, btw). They didn't want it as a separate Palestinian homeland: they wanted it as an expansion of their own national territory, although they did extend full Jordanian citizenship to Palestinians.

I can certainly see why Palestinians would be dissatisfied with that arrangement too (although being annexed by Jordan with full Jordanian citizenship is arguably a better deal for them than being under military occupation by Israel with no citizenship rights at all). But satisfactory or unsatisfactory, that arrangement ended more than fifty years ago. It's Israel, not Jordan, that is responsible for the policy choices of the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:16 AM
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Weren't they offered about 95% of what they wanted when Arafat inexplicably walked away from the deal?
How you figure? As I understand it, Palestinian objections to the Camp David accords (if that's what you're talking about) included imbalance in territory swaps, the proposed subdividing of the West Bank and East Jerusalem into separate blocs divided by Israeli territory, low limits on the number of Palestinians permitted to return to Israel, and skepticism about the proposed evacuation timeline for Israeli settlers.

I don't really know how to quantify that as an exact percentage of "what they wanted", but I certainly don't see how you're getting a figure as high as 95% for it.
  #94  
Old 07-29-2019, 03:38 AM
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The Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917 before the League of Nations or the United Nations existed. The creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine was a British policy; the later sanctions by international bodies were just an agreement to that.
My point was the idea raised above that Mandate Palestine was somehow legally owned by the UK, and Israel's legitimacy could be argued to derive from a British "gift".

The whole point is that the balancing act of the Balfour Declaration (made when the Ottomans still controlled the territory) as between a Jewish National Home and the rights of the existing inhabitants, turned out to be impossible for the British. Israel's statehood was wrested from, not gifted by, the British.
  #95  
Old 07-29-2019, 10:58 AM
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I agree that the current stalemate is a very lousy situation for the Palestinians, but if they are right in thinking that Israel has no intention of making the situation any less lousy for them no matter what they do or don't do, then they're not really losing anything by refusing to relinquish their claim to the right of return.
The characterisation of the current situation as a stalemate seems rather inaccurate, in that Israeli settlements are still expanding into Palestinian territory.
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  #96  
Old 07-29-2019, 01:03 PM
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This is what bothers me, and makes me suspicious when people claim that their arguments against Israel are not anti-semitic. Because I don't hear a lot of protests over the horrible treatment of the Kurds, or the expulsion of large numbers of Palestinians from Arab countries, or the conditions in Palestinian areas outside of Israel.

The fact is, the Arab nations found it very useful to keep the Palestinians contained in Israel. It gave them a justification for their anti-Israel actions, and it has given them a reason for constant resolutions against Israel at the U.N. The Arab nations also encouraged the Palestinians to get out of Israel because they believed they would successfully drive the Jews out and the Palestinians could then go back. It didn't work out that way.

The Palestinians are also victims of their own leadership which has been corrupt and which has been enriching themselves on foreign aid money for decades at the expense of their people. Yasser Arafat skimmed a billion dollars from Palestinian aid for himself, and had no incentive to solve the problem and kill the gravy train.

There are bad actors on all sides of this clusterfuck. But only the Israelis seem to get the blame.

The bottom line for me is that Israel is a modern democracy with decent human rights for their citizens - including women, LGBTQ people, etc. Many of their bordering countries have abysmal human rights records, and yet escape the kind of constant censure that Israel suffers under.
In my case, it's because of the bigotry of low expectations, probably, although it's hard to admit that about myself. What I'm saying is that I expect Israel to act better than Arab nations or even Turkey, because they're a modern Western democracy and strong ally of the US. So, I hold them to a higher standard than Egypt, Jordan, or Iraq, and certainly higher than China.

Huge chunks of the Israel population are against their current government, against the settlements, and are concerned with how the Palestinians are being treated in the West Bank and Gaza. It would be difficult argue that Israeli Jews in Israel are anti-Semitic or anti-Israel, right? They just want their own country to live up to certain ideals, and they don't expect, say, China, to live up to those.
  #97  
Old 07-29-2019, 01:27 PM
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Re. the OP, there is a so-called "one-state solution" that is supported by some Palestinians, and indeed by a minority of Israeli citizens as well. So it's not that proponents of this solution want Israel to "vanish" so much as they (Palestinians) want full citizenship including voting rights etc. Since this would result in a huge political discontinuity, opponents of the plan often say it is tantamount to Israel vanishing. Other opponents, of course, don't like the plan because they do not like Israel very much and would rather see Israel wiped out.

Last edited by DPRK; 07-29-2019 at 01:28 PM.
  #98  
Old 07-29-2019, 01:41 PM
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Re. the OP, there is a so-called "one-state solution" that is supported by some Palestinians, and indeed by a minority of Israeli citizens as well. So it's not that proponents of this solution want Israel to "vanish" so much as they (Palestinians) want full citizenship including voting rights etc. Since this would result in a huge political discontinuity, opponents of the plan often say it is tantamount to Israel vanishing. Other opponents, of course, don't like the plan because they do not like Israel very much and would rather see Israel wiped out.
The Palestinians living in Israel already have the right to vote.
  #99  
Old 07-29-2019, 01:49 PM
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But there are some Arabic Muslim citizens of Israel, and as I understand it, they enjoy all of the same legal rights that Jewish (or Christian or atheist) Israelis do.

What is the reason why not all Palestinians have this status? Is it more because Israel is unwilling to extend it to them, or because Palestinians are unwilling to accept it? Is there a sizeable population of Palestinians who are trying to gain citizenship in the state of Israel as it now exists, but are being denied?
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:56 PM
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But there are some Arabic Muslim citizens of Israel, and as I understand it, they enjoy all of the same legal rights that Jewish (or Christian or atheist) Israelis do.

What is the reason why not all Palestinians have this status? Is it more because Israel is unwilling to extend it to them, or because Palestinians are unwilling to accept it? Is there a sizeable population of Palestinians who are trying to gain citizenship in the state of Israel as it now exists, but are being denied?
AFAIK, all citizens of Israel can vote. I think she was talking about the citizens of Palestine not being able to vote in Israel.
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