Why does Israel have a right to exist

Thank you for your post, Raoul. iirc, after the Jewish rebellion and the start of the Diaspora in 70 AD, the Romans renamed the region Palestine after the Israelites enemies, the Philistines. A move based on spite more than anything else. The Palestinians of today are Arabs who aquired their name simply by living in the region. I do not believe there is any cultural link between the two groups, though. (I am sure someone else on the board knows more about this).

Why do the US or Great Britain have the right to exist?

Surely the point is that if Israelis have a right to self-determination, then Palestinian Arabs do, too. Do the Israelis recognise a Palestinian state? Wouldn’t that be a generous thing to do?

I have to ask this because seriously I really want to know.

Mambo Quote:

Hi efrem,

You are the first Coptic Orthodox I have met on the board. Its good to know there is someone else who understands the Church’s teachings and relevance.

Just out of curiosity, the churches teachings in regard to Israel? The Jews? Or is this just a “Hi I am coptic too” kind of thing? I really do want to know. I have never met anybody who was Coptic and I have absolutly no idea what the Coptic church teaches. Forgive my ignorance.

I will ask the OP the same thing that I ask everyone who asks this question.

If Israel has no right to exist, what are you going to do with 5 million Israelis? Put them on a truck and move them back to Europe or Uganda? Put them on a truck and dump 'em in the ocean? Put them on a truck and dump them in extermination camps? Or subject them to probable repression and persecution under Arab rule?

The reason Israel has a right to exist is because there are 5 million Israelis.

Agreed. I think Israelis would (on the whole) welcome a peaceful Palestinian state, and were working toward that with Palestinians. Surely you have heard about some of the negotiations of the past 9 years. Shame on all the parties invloved for messing it up.

I am going to repeat myself with emphasis.

There was plenty of room in what had been called “Palestine” to acknowledge both claims. The Israelis didn’t force them into camps. Their brethern refused to absorb them after they left. Or to help them in any way other than to wage terror. A Palestinian state on the West Bank could have been built with Arab support any time from 1948 to 1967. The fact that it wasn’t is not Israel’s fault.

Since 1948 700,000 Jews fled Arab controlled area (Jews whose parents and grandparents had lived in those lands) abandoning all property… they were integrated into Israel; 550,000 Arabs fled Israeli areas … they were left rot on the border for use as political pawns. Why care only about the wrong done to the displaced Arabs?

Uhm, Sam Stone, I didn’t want to weigh in on this, especially since I’m mostly a lurker, but your comment that

Is just plain off base. Most European countries have condemned Israel ever since the Six-Day War. European leftists are now calling for a dissolution of Israel entirely, saying that they’ve gone from victims of a Holocaust to perpetrators of one. I’m not claiming that they’re right, I’m just saying that Israel has basically one strong ally in the world, and the United States is it (and I think the patience of the American left is wearing thin, too).

Now, I’m not sure where your bias against Arabian governments comes from, but let’s not pretend that Israel is a complete democracy that “rules by consent of the governed.” Er, you do realize, don’t you, that the reason Israel will never allow the Palestinian refugees the right of return is that it will effectively end the Jewish state, right? That is, the reason the Muslims were expelled from Israel in the first place is that, if they were allowed a vote, Israel would not be a Jewish state. So to call Israel a “democracy” seems, to me, to be as disingenuous as calling the pre-Civil Rights American South a democracy. When you rob an ethnic group of the right to determine its own fate, you have forgone any semblance of democracy.

Heck, while I’m here, I might as well answer the OP. Well, it pretty much comes down to the fact that Israel is a conquering nation. The United States was a conquering nation, had better guns, supplies and smallpox-laden blankets, so we conquered the Native Americans. Does it make it right? No, not in an absolute moral vacuum. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way, so we’re left with nations whose only claim to legitimacy is that it’s got better weapons than everyone else.


Let’s see if I understand what you’re getting at: you’re saying that because Israel doesn’t consider a particular group of folks who are not resident in Israel citizens, it’s not a democracy? That’s kind of an odd definition you have there.

I read about this theory (which apparently is highly contested), but the explanation given for these languages to be related is that the ancestors of both the Basques and the Amerindians (and it isn’t just “some tribes”, but one of the major supposed language family in the americas, Na-Dene if I’m not mistaken) would both have originated in the same area in central Asia. Of course, it still proves your point about migration, but I thought that people could figure the Basques crossing the Atlantic and populating the Americas, or the amerindians doing the reverse.

Are you sure about this? I’ve never heard this call from anyone I know, nor anywhere in the media. Personally, if I could turn back the clock and stop Lord Balfour from making his declaration, I would, but given that Israel now exists, I think the international community needs to do everything it can to assist Israel to coexist peacefully with its neighbours. This doesn’t excuse military excesses any more than it excuses Palestinian terrorism.

I don’t agree with Monty either. The reason they’re not resident is that they’re refugees.

I don’t think they’re actually refugees, though, jjimm. They didn’t have to leave the area when the State of Israel . Israel is not out to destroy Palestinians. On the other hand, there seem to be plenty of people bent on destroying Israel.

Above posting should read:

They didn’t have to leave the area when the State of Israel was formed.

Why do you think they didn’t have to? I would imagine the majority of people would have been terrified. Please read some of the quotes that were collected by Olentzero in this thread.

Back to the question:

I think anyone has a right to do anything, anywhere! But, you’d better be prepared to be meet with resistance in some cases and be willing to deal with consequences. If it’s still something you want to do, fight on.

I, could go to Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip - stick a flag in the ground and say, “It’s mine”. I have that right. Now, it’s up to me to fight for what “I” claim to be mine.

The rest of the world doesn’t have to agree with me. It would be nice. If they don’t, it just makes my fight harder.

Yeah, Monty, you’re right. They didn’t have to leave. Except that they were completely terrified of these people coming in with tanks and what-n-not. Saying that they’re not refugees is like saying that blacks in the post-war American South technically could vote. I mean, sure, there were laws in place to make sure that their votes wouldn’t be heard, and there were terror campaigns waged against them by white supremacy groups, but they could vote, as per the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Anyway, my point was not that Palestine is good and Israel is bad, because they’re both bad. I just don’t think we should delude ourselves that Israel is a democracy.

Er, jjim, I didn’t mean to imply that European governments were calling for a dissolution of Israel. I meant that leftist people in Europe have been holding demonstrations outside Israeli and American embassies and important cultural places like the Vatican whose purpose is the dissolution of Israel.

Oh blah, blah, blah. The Palestinians like to portray themselves as the eternal victims - as if that’s something to be proud of - but the fact is, they fought in 1948 (actually, they started the fight), and they fought hard. They had the Jews outnumbered, they had the Jews outgunned, and they lost. They fought for land, and they lost - so they lost the land. That’s what the war was all about; nobody had any illusions about that.

I’m sorry the world isn’t fair. I’m sorry the world isn’t nice. I’m sorry the world isn’t America.

But I’m not sorry we won. Israeli Jews are not victims; we refuse to be. We’ll do anything possible to me sure we never will be again.

So yes, we’ll try to be democratic; after all, it’s the most efficiant form of government. But that’s just a means, not an end. This isn’t about individuals here, it’s about nations, and what nations need to do to survive. Americans don’t understand nationalism, not really. You discover it every few years after a crisis, think you’ve invented it, and then let it slip softly into the background. That’s a luxury we just can’t afford. Let me be perfectly clear - the individual cannot be strong without being part of the group; the group cannot survive without being stronger than it’s enemies.

Being a member of a minority group sucks. Always has, alway will. The only thing you can do about it is to not let your group be in the minority.

Unless, of course, you enjoy being a victim.

Snideness doesn’t become you.


Oh, cry another river. “These people” didn’t “[come] in with tanks and what-n-not.” They were there and the people who really did attack were the Arab nations, offended that the uppity Jews deigned to consider themselves the equal of any other nation.

Equestrian fruit, that. And it’s not relevant to this issue.

Go crack a real history book. The government managed to prosecute a few folks who were busy preventing the Blacks from exercising their constitutional rights. The Blacks didn’t send homicide bombers out to utterly destroy the United States.

Bad? I think not. Israel is engaged in a war for its very survival. Israel has, and continues to (when the PLA participates in an honest manner), assisted in developing a government for the Palestinians. What has the PLA done? Oh, yeah. They’ve sponsored homicide bombers.

What inadequate dictionary are you using? I’d like to ensure I never encounter it again. Israel is most certainly a democracy. It has a parliamentarian representative freely-elected government.

Er… I don’t think the church has any teaches in regards to Israel (not the current one at least). Also, just in case we are clear, I just want to say again that there isn’t any anti or pro-israeli stance of the church as to my knowledge.

This was only a “Hi” thing.

So may persistent “big lies” … is the hope that they can repeated so often that they’ll be believed.

Some facts:

Jews were in no way an invading force with superior technology usurping land. In 1948 two conflicting claims to an area were acknowledged by splitting it up. The tiny state of Israel was promptly attacked by Arab forces who were widely acknowledged to have greater manpower and weaponry. In the process Jews in Arab areas fled out of fear and many Arabs in Jewish areas fled as well. How much of this fear was percieved and how much was based in fact is a matter of whose history you read. It is not questionable though that Arab massacres of Jews in Palestine predated 1948 and that the Arabs attacked Israel with superior force. Israel’s victory is a tribute to what people can do when backed against a wall. To portray these events a Jewish European powerhouse displacing a native people is just false and laughable.

After that failed attempt to destroy Israel the remaining land set aside for Palestine was annexed by other Arab countries and the residents of that area, along with thiose displaced by the war, were kept in camps. There was no effort from 1948 to 1967 to bulid a self-sustaining Palestine on that land; ample resources were available for the multiple attempts to destroy Israel by any possible means … war, terrorism, bombing of civilian settlements. Arab residents of Israel were given full voting rights. Israel is a Parlimentary democracy. This gives more power to minority groups as factions try to form coalitions. Jews who were displaced from Arab lands were absorbed into Israel.

In 1967 Israel won the West Bank in what most accept as a defensive war. This land was not annexed although the decision not to was controversal. Settlements were allowed.

The Israeli government has since ruled that land while the consensus has been that land for peace was always a possibilty. Terror attacks have originated from this area with persistence. Accusations have been made that the Israelis have not always ruled this area with kindness. Certainly it is accepted that Israeli forces in the West Bank have had no compunctions about violating what would be considered civil rights in America in pursuit of their percieved security. Death sentences have been carried out without trial or public access to evidence, in the name of defence from terrorism.

Palestinian leadership turned down what was certainly the best offer that they could ever expect from Israel during Barak’s tenure. An offer that would have allowed for the formation of a real Palestinian state with enough resources to become self-sufficient. “Leadership” opted out and for unclear reasons preferred to engage in a campaign of facilitating terror attacks.

And that is where things stand. Quit the lies and distortions.