Israel/Palestinians: Your Take

Why is this thread in elections? Simple: because its a big electoral issue, hence why all the serious candidates went to AIPAC (Bernie is not serious, IMO, hence his absence, as well as pandering to the far-left).

Additionally, Israel is extremely popular among the American people of all stripes, and has been consistently over the years.

Majorities of each major political affiliation, ages, church-frequency, sex sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, and by wide margins. Margins so big they’re usually ratios. Older polls have it popular across ethnic/racial groups.

Heck, in fact, if a presidential candidate won the popular vote by 47% points (margin of victory, not raw vote percentage), he would win every single state and DC, if after all, 18% and 22% margins were enough to give Reagan and Nixon 49 states.

But I’m here to tell why I support the Jewish State of Israel, and hear other takes.

Why I support Israel:

  1. Its the only country in the Middle East that Freedom House ranks as “free,” opposed to “partly free” or “not free” (think every Muslim majority country on Earth except Tunisia, only “free” for last 2 years). Israel has been ranked “free” since Freedom House’s inception. You can see for yourself.

1A. It has that rating because there is rule of law, independent media and judiciary, free/fair and competitive elections, not show elections like its neighbors, women are neither forced to wear traditional clothing nor do they on a widespread basis (NOTE: Ultra-Orthodox are a small minority of the Jewish and overall population, thus aren’t representative of Israel at large). Gays are not thrown off balconies or imprisoned for their sexuality in Israel. Non-Jews sit in the same parliamentary body as Jews, which is the essence of democracy. They have capitalism, not statist mercantilism like their neighbors.

  1. During the Cold War, it was our proxy, instead of being one for the Evil Empire like Egypt did with Nasser, a “Hero of the Soviet Union,” Hafez Assad and his predecessors, or the PLO (Bolsheviks were Arafat’s main patron, and sponsored the “Zionism is racism” resolution).

2A. Call it cynical, but us supporting Israel actually gave/gives us leverage with Arab countries; we manipulated them to side with us instead of the USSR if they let us mediate peace deals with them and Israel, whereas had we not got involved in the ME at all, the Bolsheviks woulda had the whole region, a mostly 3rd world one, and those were very fertile ground for communism. Today, this is true, but for radical Islamists.

  1. It stands against Radical Islamic Terrorism today, which is America’s foremost foe. Radical Islamic Terror does not exist because Israel exists; it exists because of irrendentism because radical Islamists are sad the Caliphate was vanquished, almost like Putinists are sad the USSR is gone.

  2. Israel achieves things; they’re winners. They have an economy which consists of more than oil (and don’t start me on US AID; fact its their oil producing neighbors also get high US aid.) Israeli innovation still stands up to its neighbors. They are at the forefront of pharma, tech, and has produced elite innovations/inventions.

  3. Israel has had one manifestation of its Republic since its official formation in 1948; most nations nearby have had constant coups, different state setups, secessions, etc. Part of why the US maintains its world superpower status is that it has more reliable and stable allies in more diverse places than others. Israel is the cornerstone of that in the Middle East.

What is my thoughts on the Palestinians? Well, the Jews bought land from absentee landlords, who gladly sold it, the Jews created a local economy, which Arabs benefited from too, but they rejected the Peel Commission, the 1948 partition, I mean what did they expect? In 1948, Israel defended itself against the Arab countries and one crazed Nazi collaborator Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, a Mufti. The Muslims have a million holy sites; boo hoo if they have one less (Jerusalem). They then hijacked tons of planes, killed Olympic athletes, and blow themselves up.
In 2000, Arafat turned down a great deal, and BSed Oslo, which Israelis and Americans (of both parties back then) believed in. Turned down Annapolis in 2007 too.
As Israel was on the right side of the Cold War, the Palestinians were on the wrong side. They cheered Saddam when he invaded Kuwait (Israel wanted to help but Bush Sr. stopped them). Not to mention, the West Bank was Jordanian land before Israel defended itself in 1967, yet the Jordanians relinquished their claim. Ditto Egypt in Gaza. They cheered on September 11, 2001. They spread/subscribe to anti-American ideas, mixed with anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. Independent of the partial occupation, their society is another repressive Islamic society.
Worse, they claim they want a two-state solution, but their rationale for turning it down is this “right of return” bit; Turks and Greeks never got that from Lausanne, Germans never got that from Czechoslovakia (or its successors) and Poland, nor did Indians and Pakistanis from their partition. Why are the Palestinians so special?

On the settlements, Israel has destroyed all Gaza settlements, and merely holds the ones in the West Bank as leverage. It worked with rational people like Sadat, who exchanged the Sinai for peace, and it worked out. Why can’t the Palestinians accept a Jewish State, and most of the settlements would go? Its not about settlements, which are just an excuse, a red herring. I would like to see a two-state solution, if mainly to preserve Israel’s demographic balance.

I’m usually a Democrat, but Obama (whose environmental and economic agenda I like) has really incensed me with his stance. He might have thought “if only we had ‘daylight’ between us and Israel, terrorism would decrease.” It failed miserable, but he had to be stubborn like Bush in Iraq. Sanders is pandering to the extreme left on this. Cruz is great on this, but thats the only thing I agree with him on. But this issue has turned me into a potential swing voter. I liked most of what Hillary said at AIPAC, and she was much more pro-Israel in 2007-2008 than Obama. His camp called her a “neo-con” for called the IRGC what they are: terrorists. And for saying she’d obliterate Iran if they nuked Israel, they likened her to Bush. So Hillary has potential. But somewhere, someone has got to pay for Obama and his treatment of Israel, refugees (who would be hostile to Israel and infect out electorate with it), etc. I might do that downballot if I can’t bring myself to go Trump. But there you have it; I wouldn’t have been a swing voter as I am now, but for Obama.

Your characterization of Obama’s stance on Israel and Palestine is false. That’s the right wing fantasy-land version of Obama. In the real world, he has had serious disagreements with the leader of Israel, who has actively campaigned against him in an unprecedented way, but that is entirely different than an anti-Israel stance, or anything like that.

Bibi only campaigned with him after he treated him rather poorly and aired dirty laundry in public in a way which only Bush Sr. had in the semi-recent years before him. Thus, as a result of Obama is Bibi and his tension extant.

I find Americans’ fawning over Israel distasteful and disturbing.

It is very easy to talk with pride about removal of settlements in Gaza if one completely ignores the fact that illegal settlements in the West Bank under Bibi have expanded and continue to expand in contravention of international agreements and to the continued detriment of Palestineans.

It is very easy to cite Israel’s track record on freedom if one completely ignores not only the fact that Palestineans Israelis don’t have the same rights as non Arab Israelis, but that Israel occupies and controls large swaths of Palestine and denies its people basic human rights.

The OP’s position on Obama with regard to Israel is comical and false. Obama has constantly offered full-throated support of Israel and its people. Yes, Obama has a problem with that maniac Bibi, as anyone with sense should as Bibi doesn’t want peace, he wants control. Right-wingers, however, always childishly equate displeasure with Bibi with hatred of Israel regardless of facts to the contrary.

I suspect the OP has never been to Israel and has a fantasy-like vision of the magnanimity of its leaders and absolutely no understanding of its people who, believe it or not, do not all walk in lockstep solidarity with that warmonger Bibi.

So the single most important issue for you is what is best for a country that is not the United States? Have I got that right, or am I misunderstanding?

Obama never treated him poorly. Disagreement is not poor treatment.

Well, the Israel situation is nothing more than a proxy war against evil Arab terrorists, doncha know!

More like creating daylight between America’s only dependable and stable ME ally has made us look weak towards our enemies and friends alike; it’s also hurt America’s moral standing at home and in the world.

The Iran deal has greatly helped our moral standing – most of our allies support the deal. I also think, as do many prominent Israeli security experts, that it helps Israel’s security in the long run.

What you’re saying about Obama’s Israel policy sounds like right-wing radio fantasy stuff, and not reality. Do you have any cites for your claims about things like America’s “moral standing in the world”, or are you just guessing?

Neither of these has happened, they have occurred only in your imagination. Not even all Israelis support Netanyahu (only 23% voted for his party in the last election), yet the most important issue to you is that America does so unthinkingly and in lockstep?

As an Israeli, I can’t blame Obama for loathing Bibi. After all, I loath him myself, so who am I to judge?

I wouldn’t call him a “warmonger”, though, like someone did above. Warmongers are proactive.

What hurts America’s moral standing is not standing up for Palestinian rights.

I’m fine with the way Obama has been dealing with Israel. I also don’t care much for Netanyahu. I’ve mentioned this before, but Israel has the power in how to deal with the Palestinians and the only way they’ll ever get peace is if they agree to give up some of what they’ve won. This isn’t a right or wrong judgement, its simply reality: Land for peace.

The only other alternatives are: Israel continues to oppress the Palestinians or Israel wipes Palestine off the maps and settles this once and for all. Neither of these are better choices than Israel making a deal

There is at least one other option: A one-state solution. Make voting Israeli citizens of the Palestinians. Israel would still have a Jewish majority for a while yet, but not the overwhelming majority it has now, and that would make a huge difference in daily life in the WB and Gaza.

why doesn’t the West Bank just rejoin Jordan (Jordan relinquished their claim to the West Bank in 1988, why???) and Gaza rejoin Egypt? Israel took them in the first place to try to do with them what they did with the Sinai in Egypt; trade land for peace. Thing is in Sadat they had a partner, not the Palestinians tho.

Or why don’t Palestinians ditch the “right of return” (deprived for those displaced by the India/Pakistan partition, Lausanne in Greece/Turkey, etc.) and then there could be a Palestinian state in the West Bank?

Because Jordan and Egypt respectively won’t have them. These ideas have been discussed before.

Why in the world should they do that? I’m sure it would not be a great enough concession to get the Israelis to grant them independence, and once independent they would be free to welcome all those exiles anyway – at least, welcome them to the WB, and why should Israelis care about that? The “right of return” is only relevant at all in the context of a one-state solution.

What percentage of modern day Israel was purchased?

So if the UN came up with a new plan on how to divide up Israel, would Israeli’s just go along with that?

If a colonial power did it, would that make it more or less palatable?

Whoa :eek:

Its mostly the refugee thingamabobby.

And why should THAT be important to an American voter?

So you are voting mostly on how Pro-Israel you perceive politicians to be?

Shit, I wish people would be anti-Damuri and give me 3 billion dollars and kiss my ass any time the topic of supporting me comes up.

That is an absurd “solution” that solves nothing. The core problem in the Israel/Palestine conflict is that Palestinians (or at least, the people the Palestinians choose to support as their representatives) really, really want to kill Jews. They want it more than anything else in the world, to the point where they will actively work against their own best interests if it means they can fire more artillery at Israeli cities. Giving them the right to move freely into Israel and vote in their elections does not fix the problem that they will not use that right to vote in their elections, they will use that right to go back to suicide bombing Israeli buses.

We might have already had a peaceful two-state solution if the Palestinians were at least rational enough to comprehend “They have started giving us what we want (by forcibly evicting settlers from the Palestinian territories). Let’s stop shooting them so they keep giving us what we want.” But they aren’t. You might as well try to propose a one-state solution to Korea that does not involve North Korea stopping firing artillery at South Korea and threatening to nuke them.

Probably to most Israeli’s, the long-term prospects of that is worse than either of the other options I presented. I don’t want Israel to die out as a democratic state and I think that will happen as soon as the birth rates create a Muslim majority.

DerekMichaels00, a few years ago I would have largely agreed with you. Since then, however, I have learned more about the situation and at this point I am fairly pro-Palestinian. I urge you to read Blood Brothers and/or Fast Times in Palestine.

I support a secure Israel but right now they have created a system were the Palestinians have no legal recourse correct wrongs against them. The situation has a lot of similarities with the US/Native American relationship in the 19th century.