How to think correctly about Israel and Palestine

Personally, I’m philosemitic. Jews are cool, and Israel is a pretty cool country with cool people in it. If Israel didn’t have the Palestinians constantly pissing and moaning and making trouble, it would just sit there and not bother anyone.

But the Arab world (and various fellow travellers like Iran) are antisemitic. Duh! Further, these same Arab countries have a worldview and culture that, if we Westerners are honest about it, makes our stomach turn. Let’s cut all the cultural relativism bullshit and just admit that women dressed in black whatevers is sick and that Islam is the world’s worst major religion, which is saying a lot.

I’ve met Arabs and Iranians who were the nicest and most sophisticated people, but, PC nostrums aside, can’t we just admit that the Middle East is home to some of the most violent, infantile, and just plain negative people in the world? To paraphrase Yoda and Rummy, “Dead-enders, they be.”

Then there is this issue: There’s no reason for a “Palestinian State.” There are plenty of Arab tyrannies to choose from–hmm, Egypt, Syria, Jordan (might not even be too bad, this one).

Should Israel ever have been manufactured in 1948? Probably not. It was a typical arrogant British move. Do the Israelis do plenty of mean, unjustifiable shit to the Palestinians? No doubt. So the line is, They’re both bad, slap them both on the wrist, why can’t they just work it out? Oh, and it’s Israel’s fault, anyway.

Bullshit. We return to the point about the Arab countries being infantile trouble makers. Just as you can’t make peace with a 6-year-old shortbusser with ADD and “emotional problems” (remember how those kids were?), you can’t make peace with the Palestianians. It’s just a priori not gonna work.

So the long and short of it is this: Regardless of Israel’s origin and its various sins, it’s just gotta knock Hamas and Hezbollah and Iran and whoever on their ass and make sure that they never get up. Israel then won’t bother anyone, and, if we’re lucky, the orgs and countries that got knocked on their ass will go down so hard they won’t bother anyone else, either. No loss to world culture, big gain for world order.

(And no, I don’t support Bush’s war. Afganistan good realpolitik, Iraq bad realpolitik. The point IS realpolitik, not trying to democratize countries that can’t handle it.)

All I can say is, Kick some ass, Iz!

I just don’t get why Israel seems to be bombing airports, suburbs, highways, etc. It seems that they believe as you do: all Arabs are anti-semetic, and thus collective punishment will teach them a lesson about controlling their more violent elements.

It’s worked like a charm, right?

I think they’re trying to put an economic squeeze on Lebanon, to get them to act as a state and take responsibility for militias running free in the state. It’s a way to try to containand not escalate the conflict. The alternative is invasion.

A mosquito circles around you and bites you…then another…then tomorrow at dusk…the same thing occurs…and just about every dusk thereafter.

The insurgents north, east, and west of Israel are like these constantly annoying mosquitos except they bite with kidnapping, murder day after day.

Israel in my opinion should invade Lebanon, Gaza strip, and West Bank and destroy Hamas and Hezbolah peoples once and for all.

But World Opinion would come down hard on Israel if they did the above…absolutely…But World Opinion already is down on Israel.

After years of having its people murdered by peoples in the neighboring countries, diplomacy does not work.

Send a copy of this OP to Svetaspool or whatever his name is, would you? I mostly agree you (without the bloodthirsty overtones), but this kind of a thing is bound to send him into one of his patented spittle spraying diatribes, and those are always high comedy. Go Svet, go!

Moderator’s Note: Threads about Israeli-Palestinian relations are likely enough to result in inappropriate-for-Great-Debates “spittle spraying diatribes” (from a variety of viewpoints) without people trying to stir things up and drag in posters who haven’t even posted to this thread.

So don’t do that.

I’m really pleased that you fully understand the problem. :smiley:

As we used to say about the Irish Pronlem- anyone who believes they understand the problem has really misunderstood it.

Problems like this are so complex and recalcitrant to solution, that simplistic one-sided analyses like yours totally fail to address the problem.

It is worth discussing details of policy and reactions of factions to changes in the situation, but to make broad brush statements about Israel: “just gotta knock Hamas and Hezbollah and Iran and whoever on their ass and make sure that they never get up.” and assuming that that will make the situation better, rather than drumming up more anti-Israel support, is just not realistic. The Islamic world spreads from Israel west across the north of Africa and east nearly as far as Australia. There are 1.5 billion followers of Islam- a lot of potential enemies.

The strike em hard and wipe em out strategy is hardly likely to work better with Hezbollah and Hamas than it has for Bush and Al Qaeda; in fact it is more likely to be a recruiting agent for future terror.

As with Ireland, what is needed is time. Israel’s best option is to do as little as possible to maintain its borders for a long period of time, gaining time for the Islamic world to accept Israel as a fact, but with the realization that unless they have a fifty-sixty year exit strategy from most of the occupied territories, then they may as well accept that they will remain in a state of terrorist threat for ever. As long as the Palestinians have a justified grievance and little to lose, Israel will be attacked regularly.

Two generations ago, the thought that a British Goverment would have stated that it is willing for the North of Ireland to reunite with the south (which it probably will in some way within another couple of generations) would have been totally unacceptable. Similarly the idea that the Irish Republican Army would lay down its arms and agree to wait for the political process to work its way out would have been totally unacceptable. Both things have happened.

Similarly with the Israel/Palestine problem. I suspect that by the time of the centenary of the Israeli State, there will be some move (maybe completed) toward a return of Arab land to the Palestinians and a comprehensive peace settlement.

That is unless the situation gets completely out of hand and Israel uses extreme force against an enemy and an ‘Islamic’ nuclear attack is carried out on Israel.

Israel is a country that was created with the help of Jewish terrorists committing terrorist acts that faces a homegrown terrorist problem from non-Jewish people that they’ve maltreated since the inception of their state. They receive a tremendous amount of support from the world’s major power (US) that they habitually committ espionage against and have in the past, even committed atrocities against (the USS Liberty).

…they can’t play football worth shit either. But at least least, lets give them credit for not being behind ABBA.

It’s kind of wack to accuse the Arabs of being antisemitic, and then speak of the Palestinians as the equivalent of “6-year-old shortbusser[s] with ADD and ‘emotional problems’”.

In other words, what distinguishes the OP from being out-and-out racist drivel of the Stormfront kind? Because I’m honestly not finding anything.

I’m still trying to digest the fact that a new country was created in a place where there were people already living. And this country seems to have been created as a result of a 6000 year old myth about a supposed promise to one person by a tribal god.

Oh, get over it. The U.S. is here to stay, no matter what those pesky Indians keep insisting.

Arabs are a semitic people. Are you saying they suffer from self-loathing?

Really? So we might as well not even discuss it?

It’s just *a priori * not gonna work.

You want to see “fun”? Watch what happens when Israel invades Lebanon, draws Syria into the conflict, and Iran responds. Iran has to go through Iraq to get to Israel; Israel’s “Arrow” anti-ballistic missile would short circuit an Iranian attempt to lob MRBMs at them. As soon as Iran enters Iraqi airspace, the US gets to decide whether to (a) help Israel and watch the entire Iraqi population riot and storm the Green Zone, or (b) stay out of it and hope that Israel can conduct an effective air war over Iraq without our help. None for me thanks - I’ll continue to applaud a limited conflict.

Israel’s current strategy against Hezbollah (a precision air war on economic targets) is simultaneously ruthless and humane[sup]1[/sup]. Their raids on Palestinian-held territories are despicable, however. Israel’s incursions seem designed to highlight that everytime a lone Palestinian idiot does something bad, hundreds of Palestinians will die as a result. Israel are a bunch of vicious sons of bitches, and if I were a poor and poorly-armed and angry Palestinian, I’d go shoot at a dune or something, and emigrate to Syria where I could have all the Arabic tyranny I could handle. Israel may not have the moral high ground, but Jesus, people - don’t give them an excuse! They are bloodthirsty assholes who can’t wait until the day that they wash the last Palestinian’s blood off their tank treads, and then admit that they have become the monster they fled from. Then off to Jerusalem for a quiet guilt-free kosher dinner, undisturbed by the suicide bombers.

I knew a man from the intelligence community who had a friend on the USS Liberty, and his impression of Israel was that they would commit any atrocity you name if you crossed them, and they’d do it twice if they thought they could plausibly deny it. Bayonetting babies? Napalming orphanages? Bulldozing a house with people in it? Sinking an unarmed ship and then coming back to strafe the lifeboats? Hell yes they would. Only two of those are made up.

  1. “Humane” in that they aren’t purposefully targeting population centers. I think the folks under the bridge that Israel bombed were collateral damage, and I’m cynical enough to believe that the pilot was told to drop his bombs at a busy time of day regardless of the traffic on the road. See above re: plausible deniability.

Whereas the other countries in that area aren’t based upon only slightly shorter-lived “myths” about “supposed” promises?

Don’t pretend that your backhand comment doesn’t cut both ways. That area of the world will forever be a mess because it’s sacred to three religions but only owned by one of them.

Oh I don’t lose any sleep over it-yet-but I’ll retain my wonderment at it, if that’s OK with you.

Absolutely right. However that doesn’t affect my incredulity as to the particular case in point which is Israel and Palestine.

I am always grateful to be instructed on how to think correctly about a complicated subject by one so wise. Saves me all of that painful thinking.

I say we hand it over to a neutral power to run - the Dalai Lama is short 1 country to rule as God-King. It’s a win-win!

I think 20th century Zionism is an odd mix of both secular and purely religious motivations, but the secular ones were the most prominent, by far, when Israel was being created. There’s no easy path to follow from the sky pixie’s promise to today.

I’ve pretty much come around completely to the notion of Israel as a fait accompli the rest of the world just needs to accept and deal with. It’s younger than the U.S., and many other nations where migration and invasion has displaced one nationality with another, but I don’t think it’s really much more tenable to propose dismantling Israel through violence and returning it to Arab control than returning the U.S. to First Nation’s control. If Israel does become an Arab-dominated society, it will have to happen far more slowly and organically than the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah would like, and hopefully democratically as well.

So, Israel is a sovereign nation, recognized by all responsible parties as such, and as such completely within its rights to defend itself. I’ve no choice but to view the actions of Hamas and Hezbollah, however legitimate some of their complaints with Israel might be, as woefully inappropriate, and deserving opposition.

What I am at a loss for is an effective means of opposing a party that is practically defined by its desire to see the state of Israel eradicated completely. Hamas and Hezbollah are not trying to get even with Israel, they’re bent on destroying it by any means possible, and there’s little point in beating around that bush or minimizing its relevence to this escalation of violence. If they don’t completely renounce their goal to wipe Israel off the map, how, really, does Isreal negotiate with them? Violence may or may not be an effective response, but what other response is even possible?