the Middle East Conflict: Which side is the agressor? - Page 6




 
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October 2nd, 2004  
Damien435
 
 
[quote="SHERMAN"]Alright, alright....Religion is a definit no-no in this topic....It has done nothing positive for this conflict.

No religion, no conflict, plain and simple.
October 2nd, 2004  
SHERMAN
 
 
No, not really. This is not a religous war. By no means is it a religous war. This is a national conflict, not a religous one.
October 2nd, 2004  
Damien435
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHERMAN
No, not really. This is not a religous war. By no means is it a religous war. This is a national conflict, not a religous one.
Was that sarcasm or are you being completely serious?
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October 2nd, 2004  
SHERMAN
 
 
I am being serious. The conflict is between Israelis and Arabs. Arab is natinality/ethnicety, not a religion. Israeli is a nationality, not a religion.
October 2nd, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Religion is, has been and will be used as a very big excuse for the conflict.
October 2nd, 2004  
Damien435
 
 
Religion plays a huge part in this conflict, you can not ignore it.
October 2nd, 2004  
SHERMAN
 
 
religion is being used to inflame the conflict. In its true nature it is about Palestinians and Israelis, not Muslims and Jews.
October 3rd, 2004  
curious
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHERMAN
I am being serious. The conflict is between Israelis and Arabs. Arab is natinality/ethnicety, not a religion. Israeli is a nationality, not a religion.
If you will forgive me, Sherman, I have difficulty agreeing with that. If what I say about Israeli society is incorrect please feel free to correct me. In what is often an embittered and sour field of discussion you and the other contributors are to be complimented for your civility and open-mindedness. (Sorry, that's NOT meant to be patronising, but a expression of pleasure at finding these qualities on a discussion board. )

Israel is the "home of the Jewish people", the "Jewish State". It's Law of Return [have I got that right?] grants automatic entry and citizenship to any Jew in the world. From what I have gleaned over the years, I understand that it's civil laws give special status to the Jewish religion - Sabbatarianism, State financing of religious-based institutions (not to mention Settlor colonisation), residential zoning law favouritism and the like. It is, in short, a [strongly] religious state with secularist aspects; not the other way around. Yes, it does have a lot in common with its Arab neighbours in this respect.

I think that the British were wrong to play God and announce the Balfour Doctrine in 1917, or whenever. The land was not theirs to give away. Even when the UK had control of Palestine-TransJordan they had those territories under a League of Nations Mandate, that is they were Trustees only. The League Mandate became a UN Mandate when the latter organisation took the place of the former post-WWII.

It could be argued that the British failed miserably in their duties as Trustees, in allowing (if not encouraging) the Zionist programme to go ahead with such gusto. The then-inhabitants, the Palestinians (Muslims, Jews, Christians of all varieties), were not asked, their consent not sought and their protests and warnings ignored. Then, as Hitler's poisonous work spread out, and the thing started to get out of control with distinctly unwelcome political consequences, the British panicked and started belatedly to talk piously about their Mandate duties. Shiploads of Jewish refugees turned back to death and worse. A shameful era, with shameful roots.

Surely, if the State of Israel has any legitimacy, then it derives from that fragile UN [for which read, Great Power] compromise which partitioned the then-Palestine and brought the political state of Israel into being? Not from some quasi-racial-***-religious claim to Biblical Nationalism. It is a sad fact that the world teems with displaced peoples and supplanted religions. I cannot recall seeing any clear indication that the Palestinian "Arabs" are simply just that - a post-7th century mass influx of "alien" displacers of the indigenous people. I suspect that the situation is very much like N.Ireland or Bosnia: mostly ethnic Celts and Slavs who converted to another "alien" religion, and then rejected as anything other than foreigners by their original ethnic groups. DNA comparisons would be fascinating....

Anyway, the "it's our land, we were here first" argument is a dead-end. Sad but true.

Where does all this lead? While it is true that "the Arabs" were unremittingly hostile to the existence of the state of Israel from day one, I think that history has demonstrated that Israel has increasingly shown itself in an expansionist light. Not always the good guy with clean hands. As early as 1956 (the little Suez "preventive war" that got no mention in earlier posts) the Israelis conspired with the British and French to manufacture a war with Egypt and topple Nasser. A conspiracy that was then lied about in the British Parliament and elsewhere, but is now accepted as historical fact. (You'll find mention of it here - http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/s...918456,00.html . And here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suez_Crisis .)

The 1973 war was Arab "aggression". And the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1982 ("Operation Peace in Lebanon" I think it was grotesquely called)? Well, they were, er, "preventive wars".

The Arabs refuse to heed UN resolutions? Well, so does Israel - Jerusalem was also partitioned in 1948, remember?

Add all that to covert and not so covert land purchases and takeovers (in Christian and Arab parts of said Jerusalem, for example), illegal West Bank settlements, second class citizenship for "Palestinian" Arabs, state-sponsored Mossad terrorism and espionage, and now the East German style Wall now abuilding....

I paint all this in strong primary colours, with few tints and tones, you understand, so that you can see why it is always so hard to accept the official Israeli posture of victimhood and everlasting innocence. As a Briton, whose armed forces fought from Normandy to Belsen and beyond, and as someone born long after WWII, I don't believe in "blood guilt" (let's leave that mumbo-jumbo to Nazis and fundamentalist Christians) so - hard thing to say - intellectually I am not going to regard the Holocaust as a blanket excuse and basis for remorseless unrestrained ruthlessness against Israel's opponents.

That said, and given the precarious strategic position that Israel is in, the flawed democracy that one finds there is far more attractive than the societies of those who would destroy it. And it's culture and society more receptive to positive change and betterment. The least worst of the two.

Conclusion: Israel is an aggressor; one amongst many at the moment. It has some justification and right for a robust and aggressive defence posture. But it is nearing, and crossing in some cases, many of the boundaries that should sensibly and morally - and voluntarily - constrain its actions. If it does not, then it will universally be seen as the sole aggressor. Its friends will become powerless. Those most hostile to its existence will have won. Possesson of the Bomb will not stop these people.

Sorry for the length.......
October 3rd, 2004  
Damien435
 
 
Quite frankly I think Israel was right, at least in the Six Days War, to attack their neighbors to protect them selves. They had Islamic leaders in their surrounding natons threatening to destroy Israel. They had called up their reserves, which was a huge strain on the economy, and could not keep the reserves on duty much longer, they had to either attack while they still had a slight advantge, or wait and hope that the inevitable attacks never came. What would you do if your nation was surrounded by hostile nations threatening to invade and erase you from existence, keep in mind that the Jews had suffered through the Holocuast, they experience first hand what it meant when someone threatened and went through with their planes to erase Judaism from the face of the earth.
October 3rd, 2004  
SHERMAN
 
 
Quote:
In what is often an embittered and sour field of discussion you and the other contributors are to be complimented for your civility and open-mindedness
Thanks. I do try to be as patient and open minded as possible(I am after all an Israeli and a Jew, so naturally, not objective)

Now, if I may, a compliment of my own. Your post was very thought out and intresting to read. Let me respond as I usually do, one section at a time.

Quote:
Israel is the "home of the Jewish people", the "Jewish State". It's Law of Return [have I got that right?] grants automatic entry and citizenship to any Jew in the world. From what I have gleaned over the years, I understand that it's civil laws give special status to the Jewish religion - Sabbatarianism, State financing of religious-based institutions (not to mention Settlor colonisation), residential zoning law favouritism and the like. It is, in short, a [strongly] religious state with secularist aspects; not the other way around. Yes, it does have a lot in common with its Arab neighbours in this respect.
Well, that has a slight problem(acctually a big one)....What is "jewish"? Is it a religion? Or a nationality? I believe it is both. You can be a Jew, with out being religios at all(example:me). Hence, one should try and look at the Law of Return as a pass for people of our natinality. It is like the son of an american, even if born outside the US, is automatically given US citizenship. Only we keep a much longer account of one's origins .
The Israeli civil law dose have influences from Jewish law, but this is only natural, as the population is Jewish...Israel is trying to completly take religion out of politics, but it is very diffecult(as in most countrys). The state gives funds and supervises Muslim religios ors 2, as part of the "Minstry of Religions". Note that it is "religions", not "religion". They also are incharge of church fundings and other things of the sort. It is by no means a strongly religious state, it is a state that has some religious aspects. The laws were made a long time ago, and are slowly changing. The laws about sabbath are not state laws. They are mostly municipal laws that consider the poulations feelings. Saturday is the official day of rest in Israel. So what? Other countrys have Sunday...All in all, Israel never was too religous, and it is getting more and more secular. To say that it is a highly religous state is absurd.

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I think that the British were wrong to play God and announce the Balfour Doctrine in 1917, or whenever. The land was not theirs to give away. Even when the UK had control of Palestine-TransJordan they had those territories under a League of Nations Mandate, that is they were Trustees only. The League Mandate became a UN Mandate when the latter organisation took the place of the former post-WWII.
Well, the UK was not playing god at all. Palestine was under the turks when the Balfur Decleration was made. The British made the declaration(Basically saying they support a Jewish state in Palestine) for a few reasons. Firstly, they wanted the support of the Jewish bankers and buisnessmen. Secondly, they wanted to reward the Jews in Palestine who joined the British army. Third, the Jewish lobby in britain, including Dr Haim Wiseman(who developed explosives for the UK) ws preassuring the UK gov. The mandate was given to the UK after they took the area from the Turks, and the Mandate was for them to assist in the prepration for independence of palestine(not nessesarily as a Jewish state).

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It could be argued that the British failed miserably in their duties as Trustees, in allowing (if not encouraging) the Zionist programme to go ahead with such gusto. The then-inhabitants, the Palestinians (Muslims, Jews, Christians of all varieties), were not asked, their consent not sought and their protests and warnings ignored
Well, firastly, the Arabs were very unhappy and made sure the Brits take note. As a result, very serious limits were made on Jewish immigration. The British did not allow immigrents in before WWII, not during WWII, and not after WWII. Almost all imigration was illigal. The Brits were not supporters of the zionists, and they helped both sides, depending on how the local British officer felt...When they left Palestine, they made sure key stratigic points are under arab controll, and infact Supplied arab nations with weapons. They baiscally trained the Jordanian arab legion, and some Jordanain units were comanded by former(?) british officers. The brits were very hostile to Israel, and air-combat even ocuerred once, resulting in the downing of 5 british planes.

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I cannot recall seeing any clear indication that the Palestinian "Arabs" are simply just that - a post-7th century mass influx of "alien" displacers of the indigenous people.
Are you joking? Have you seen any Palesinian arabs lately? They are ofcourse of Arab decent. Some can tell you the year there tribe arrived from Saudi-Arabia. They have Arab facial features, they speak arabic, they have the same culture as the people in Iraq, Saudi and Jordan. The ones I know would take a great offence if you hinted they are not of Arab blood.

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Anyway, the "it's our land, we were here first" argument is a dead-end. Sad but true
True, but than the Arabs should not be making it either. If they do, I can prove them wrong.

Quote:
As early as 1956 (the little Suez "preventive war" that got no mention in earlier posts) the Israelis conspired with the British and French to manufacture a war with Egypt and topple Nasser.
Oh well.....If you really want to discuss that war. Nasser nationalised the Suez cannal(only a few months before it was meant to be returned to egypt anyway). He then declared that the straits of Tiran are closed to Israeli shipping. This meant Israel would not recieve any supplies from the major port in Eilat. The Egyptians were reciving arms from the USSR. Thousends of tanks, houndreds of Aircrafts. Nasser made clear he will whipe Israel of the map....So, we attacked first...Big deal. We were not the agressors. We simply made the first move after it was obvious war is about to start.


Quote:
The 1973 war was Arab "aggression". And the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1982 ("Operation Peace in Lebanon" I think it was grotesquely called)? Well, they were, er, "preventive wars".
Well, 1967 is again the same story as 1956. Both time sIsrael simply attacked first in what was already a war(Nasser had declared war before the Israeli attack, and again shut down Israeli shipping)...1982, well that was a big mistake. By the way, we did not attack first. Arab terrorists operated out of lebanon freely, attacking Israeli civilians. The Syrians were already in lebanon... We tryed(in what was a big miscalculation) to tip the balance in the Lebanese civil war back to the Christians, so that the Lebanese will stop terror attacks on Israel(and also in the way, we killed a bunch of terrorists, a good few thoused, if im not mistaken)...

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The Arabs refuse to heed UN resolutions? Well, so does Israel - Jerusalem was also partitioned in 1948, remember?
Never said we dont. But we dont coplain about loosing wars we start....


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intellectually I am not going to regard the Holocaust as a blanket excuse and basis for remorseless unrestrained ruthlessness against Israel's opponents.

remorsless? ruthles? we have done nothing that othe western nations at war havent. never have we acted unrestrained. and you are right, the holocaust has nothing to do with it. we are simply defending ourselves.

Quote:
That said, and given the precarious strategic position that Israel is in, the flawed democracy that one finds there is far more attractive than the societies of those who would destroy it. And it's culture and society more receptive to positive change and betterment. The least worst of the two.
That is true. Our democracy has flaws. All democracys have flaws. Perfect nations exist in dreams only. I belive that considering the situation, Israel cannot afford more democracy right now.