Israel's right to exist

This is not a troll.

Even as what many of you would consider a “wacky fundy”, I still don’t get the right of Israel to exist. I was raised with my dad’s wholehearted support of Israel, and I took it more or less as a given, until I had to read a book (at an evangelical Christian college, even) by a Palestinian Christian pastor that said the Israelis had give just days’ notice, and then bulldozed houses in 1948.

Why does a people group automatically have the right to a political homeland? The gypsies don’t have one. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone defend Israel as a legitimate payback for things like WWII. It always seems to be argued that people deserve a homeland. How does that justify the taking of the land and the refugee camps? I really do empathize with the Jews about the immense crap they’ve had, but why is this the mature response?

OTOH, is it arguable that at this point, the dissolution of the State would be more trouble all told than keeping it? I don’t think much of anyone’s arguing for the dissolution of the New World states because of the landgrab tactics of the Europeans. At this point, it’s just something we have to live with and make the best of. The chaos of “fixing” the problem is more harm than living with it.

Leaving alone looooong history lessons for the moment (that I am sure will be forthcoming anyway) – what, exactly, do you propose to do with my family, my friends and me? Oh – the same thing you’ll be willing to do in order to make amends to the Native Americans where you live, right? :rolleyes:

When you get right down to it, there are very few (if any) states whose existence is “morally right” on those terms. Iceland, maybe–even there, I think there were Irish monks before the Vikings showed up, and I don’t suppose the monks had put the place up for sale in the North Atlantic real estate classifieds. A handful of minor mid-oceanic islands like Bermuda and Mauritius really were discovered by the Europeans (and in many such instances the Europeans screwed up their nice clean moral slate by settling the islands with imported slaves; not to get into the moral rights of non-human inhabitants–remember the dodo). I think the Polynesians did genuinely discover and settle a number of places, but even there, I’m not sure if the present-day inhabitants of any particular island group are necessarily the descendants of the first wave of settlers, as opposed to later waves who showed up and beat up on the first people to settle there.

Basically, just about every place on Earth has been taken from previous inhabitants by force and violence, usually over and over and over again. In Israel, hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews live there because they were born there. And as you say, it would be “more trouble all told” to push them into the sea than it would be to try to find some way for Jews and Arabs to live next to each other as neighbors.

As Noone Special mentioned if you follow your thinking then American Indians should be able to have all (non-native American) people in the US pack up and leave. While you could probably find some who would like this idea it is a notion that simply will not happen. As MEBuckner said you could likely find the same issue in most places of the world as various populations moved about and settled (via force or otherwise) displacing the people there originally. (Isn’t Japan currently pretty much descended from original inhabitants/settlers?)

Besides…I am a bit vague but wouldn’t jews claim they were there orignially and then forced out? I need to polish up this bit of my history but it seems to me jews were there before and could say they just returned.

Ultimately though you nailed it with the practical considerations. Rightly or wrongly the Israelis are there and they are not going to leave. Can you really envision the entire population of Israel packing it up and leaving their cities and businesses and homes behind and emigrating to…where?

It is this that amazes me about some group’s insistence that Israelis simply MUST leave or be pushed into the sea. It just is not going to happen. If it does then it will take an amazingly violent war and another round of ethnic cleansing on the order of ~7,000,000 Israelis. While not admitted Israel likely has nukes so throw that into the mix (I doubt Israelis would face extermination and 7,000,000 deaths without playing the nuclear card).

FAR better if pragmatism won out and a diplomatic solution found.

No. There have been multiple waves of immigration to the Japanese islands from the mainland and the south through the course of history, with new populations tending to displace the old. See the Ainu.

When people put religion before humanity, you’re asking for a fight. Everyone has a right to live there. It’s wrong to say one group has the right to live in the region over another. It’s hard enough to deal with when it’s political pretense. When you base the issue on religion, it’s just fucking stupid. They are asking for a fight and they’ll get it…time and time again.

Oh, can it! There are over 1,000,000 non-Jewish citizens in Israel, with full rights (including a fair-sized contingent in Parliament); they’re definitely living here. I’m an avowed atheist myself, so I’m definitely not ear-marking this particualr territiry for any kind of religious monopoly. If you want to go on about various group not mixing, then at least talk about the real issue, which is ethnicity and not religion.
And just. Get. Over. It. Israel is here to stay; citizens belonging to minority groups have full right to live, work, vote and be voted for, but we ain’t jumping into the sea for nobody :mad:

When you question the right of a nation to exist in the context that this thread is following, then you are supporting the legitimacy of racism and ethnicism as a factor. The only thing wrong with the State of Israel as far as Muslims are concerned is that there are too many Jews and they are in control. Previously, they had no problem when the Turks were in control.

I’ve never understood the “right to exist” argument. It’s not even an argument, but I don’t know what else to call it. A thing either exists or it doesn’t, and there’s not some secret overlord that hands out Right to Exist certificates to various ethnic and religious groups.

A group that can stake out some turf and hold it sovereign against the claims of everyone else…exists as a state. If they can’t, then they don’t. Rights just aren’t a factor.

While it’s true that few, if any, nations consist only of native peoples, we also recognize in the modern world that conquest is no longer acceptable. If Britain decided to recolonize the world, the internationaly community would not stand for it. So, what was perfectly acceptable 300 years ago is no longer acceptable.

The Middle East was largely carved up by the European powers after WWI and the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The British withdrew from their “Mandate” in Palestine in 1947 and the UN voted to partition the region into two states. I forget exactly how many wars were fought between then and now over the exact borders (or the right of either side to exist as a nation), but basically Israel has a “right to exist” because the international community says it does and the “big powers” are willing to defend that right. But it still comes down to agreeing on what the actual borders will be, and that is something there is not agrement over.

The right to self-determination is a fundamental right of peoples, perhaps the fundamental right.

Wikipedia has a reasonable overview of the right

So we should just accept everything without questioning ? I think the OP is debating what the right to exist is… not trying to justify racism, etc…

You do the same when you’re affirming a nation’s unique right to exist as a result of its ruling population’s ethnicity and/or religion.

Acceptance of a situation does not imply approval, for one, and for another there most certainly were Arab revolts against the Turks.

That’s simply more evidence that people of any ethnicity etc. dislike being ruled by others as less than full citizens with lesser rights. I hope that’s not a surprise.

Do the Israeli Arabs have less rights? Which rights that Americans have and that Israeli Arabs don’t?

In short, yes. Note too that we’re not only referring to codified law but to its application, to social aspects including discrimination, and even to simple atmosphere (consider that there are Quebecois who consider themselves to be discriminated against no matter the degree of verifiable facts).

It’s also worth asking if Arabs who happen to live inside the internationally-recognized borders of Israel, and hold its citizenship, actually see themselves as a different people from Arabs who live across the Wall or in refugee camps. I suspect that isn’t a generally held view.

To take a cynical view.
Israel has earned the right to exist on the basis of its successful military and intelligence organizations and by maintaining alliances with the major western powers. Should their military and alliances falter, the state of Israel will not be long for the world.

The Native Americans lost their rights my failing as a military power the onslaught of the traitorous and bloodthirsty Europeans and especially in the disease vectors that the Europeans brought with them.

All issues of redress are arbitrary and open to political debate.


And questions of redress very quickly become unresolvable without aggrieving other innocents. It doesn’t take many generations, at most, to push those matters into the vast historical swamp of bad things people have done to each other. Soon enough, the only constructive issues are about how the people of that day can get along with each other, and that necessarily entails seeing them as equals.

I’d call that a realistic view. There is no inhernet “right” for any nation to exist. It’s a mutually accepted agreement that determines which nations do and which nations do not exist. Currently, the concensus is that Israel has the right to exist.

If, for instance, some ethnic enclave of a country decides to declare independence, it only has the “right” to do this in as much as other countries recognize it. This is happening all over the former Soviet Union and the current Russian Republic. Estonia has the “right to exist”, but Ossetia does not.

Great example of how revolutions of independence depend much more on recognition by other countries than by the “host” country. International recognition of independence starts with de facto independence - if the Ossetians can kick the Russian Army out, and keep it out, they’ll get it.

Or, Kurdistan. If ever there was an ethnic group that should have a “right” to a homeland, it’s them. But the reality is they don’t have this “right”. Facts on the ground are all that matter, and there simply isn’t enough support in the world for an independent Kurdistan.