the Middle East Conflict: Which side is the agressor? - Page 7




 
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October 4th, 2004  
Damien435
 
 
Yes, you bring up a good point Sherman, what is Jewish? Some say it is just a religion but to be honest it is more than that, I am not trying be racist here but their are some bodily features which are distinctly jewish, I am not going to go into and detail, but I can easily pick a jewish person out of a crowd.

BTW. Is the term Jew racist? I always associate with the Nazi's and so to me it seems like a taboo word that really should not be mentioned.
October 4th, 2004  
curious
 
Hi, Sherman. Insomnia (not a bad conscience ) has me up at this early hour, so I've had a chance to see your reply. To save space, let me tag my responses with simple consecutive numbering.

1. Who but a saint could be said to be truly objective? Honesty and an open mind are good enough to be going on with.

2. You asserted earlier that "Israeli is a nationality, not a religion."; you now say "What is "jewish"? Is it a religion? Or a nationality? I believe it is both."

Now, conflating the two like that has two bad consequences:

a. It makes the position of non-Jews resident in the State of Israel ambiguous to say the least. Is Israel then a state that merely includes the Jewish "nation" as one of its components, or is it the state of the Jewish nation? (The Law of Return is just one piece of evidence in support of the latter: it gives a clearly preferential and exclusive treatment to people of one religion as opposed to any other.) And if the litmus test of Israeli nationhood is "Jewishness" [you will understand my hang-ups about employing too freely these sort of adjectives and nouns, soiled as they are in non-Jewish mouths by the legacy of Streicher et al], then full civil recognition will never truly be extended to those not passing this test (save by pretence and sufferance). And as there's one particular religion that exclusively is integral to Israeli statehood and indentity, I'd say that was a pretty compelling reason for holding to my first view that Israel is "a [strongly] religious state with secularist aspects".

b. I recognise that Nationality is not always congruent with pre-existing statehood. If the Poles, the Americans, the Greeks, the Italians, etc., etc., could win recognition of their rights as first nations, and then nation states - then why not the Jews? Yet these recent historical examples had geographical locations for their assertions of right not already occupied by others. (Unfair though that may seem from your perspective.) A "nationalism" that seeks to roll back the centuries or millennia by displacing and expelling existing populations is morally not acceptable nowadays: and it lays itself open to the charge that such "nationalism" is not so very different from racism.

3. I do not necessarily disagree with all your comments on the British motivation for issuing the Balfour Declaration. Save to add that tying in the USA to the Allied side seems to have been one of the main aims. But even after including the statement's bow towards protecting the rights of the then-occupants of Palestine - "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." - it seems in retrospect a thoroughly misconceived and unprincipled assumption of a Great Power's right to redraw maps and redefine history for lesser peoples. God-like, even...

4. I take on board much of what you say. I had thought that the British only got cold feet over systematic Jewish immigration only as the 1930s got under way, and that is what I implied in my post. (Sorry if this wasn't clear.) That the rise to power of Hitler in 1933, the consequent increase in anti-Semitism as a political force, and the instigation and support in the latter half of that decade of people like the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by Hitler and Mussolini, seeking to embarrass their Anglo-French adversaries, had accelerated a British public stance of emphasising the equitable duties of a Mandate trustee.

But I invite the reader to judge for yourself the "tightness" or otherwise of the grip displayed by Britain on Jewish immigration in this period. A League of Nations report of 1945 gave the following population breakdowns for mandated Palestine:

1922: total population 752,048; of which: Muslims 549,177; Jews 83,790; Christians 71,464; Others 7,617

By 1931 these figures were: 1,023,734; 753,812; 172,028; 87,870; 10,024

And 1938: 1,418,619; 895,159; 399,808; 111,796; 11,856

[Source: http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/c...?OpenDocument]

5. I am a little disappointed by the argument you deploy: the Palestinian "Arabs" look like Arabs, ergo they must ethnically be "Arabs". This could equally be turned back: many Israeli Jews look like Europeans, ergo they cannot ethnically be Semitic. (And does an Ashkenazy Jew look more Jewish than a Sephardic Jew, because of a tendency in the latter to look darker and more "Arab"?) No, I'd still be more interested in DNA profiling comparisons with the archaeological evidence of human settlement in these areas.

6. I think we agree about this.

7. "So, we attacked first...Big deal." I'll take this as an admission of sorts.

8. "Well, 1967 is again the same story as 1956....1982, well that was a big mistake." Ditto. Traditionally, every aggressor claims to be acting purely in self-defence: "Twice armed he, who has his quarrel just; but thrice armed he, who gets his blow in first." Only the most shameless would own up voluntarily to the label, wouldn't you agree?

9. I never said that you never said that you don't........

10. I gave examples elsewhere in my first post of Israeli actions that act to shock and alienate Western opinion. As I acknowledged the right of just self-defence.

11. "Perfect nations exist in dreams only." Sadly, too true. But the impossibility of becoming perfect should not deter us from striving to be better.

Now, all this is very interesting - but inconclusive. The original question posed was who is the aggressor in the Middle East? I think I'll stick with my earlier conclusion.

Thanks for talking. Peace to you and yours.
October 4th, 2004  
SHERMAN
 
 
Quote:
7. "So, we attacked first...Big deal." I'll take this as an admission of sorts.

8. "Well, 1967 is again the same story as 1956....1982, well that was a big mistake." Ditto. Traditionally, every aggressor claims to be acting purely in self-defence: "Twice armed he, who has his quarrel just; but thrice armed he, who gets his blow in first." Only the most shameless would own up voluntarily to the label, wouldn't you agree?
As you said at the end of your post, the toppic is agression. So illjust respond to what I qouted above....

Firstly, that seriously challenged my english . I mean, really, Im not exactly from London....

Secondly,I disagree. Just because Israel attacked first, time after time, dose not make it the agressor. The agressor is the one that brings the other side to situation where it has no choice but to attack. Similarly, if someone came up to me with a knife in the street, and I shot him, I dont see me as being the agressor. Also, Like I wrote, the first shots of the 1982 were all curtesy of the PLO.
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October 5th, 2004  
Italian Guy
 
 
The point is that all the world believes that the situation could be settled through a political or territorial agreement or arrangement. this is what the world thinks.

The problem is that Israel may conceive it as a political or military problem, but the Palestinians DO NOT see it as such. the Palestinians ans the Arabs remark reasons of ethnicity, blood, biology. Go check out what they teach their kids at school http://www.pmw.org.il/ for example.

There is no political arrangement to be done with that attitude.

Military containment or unilateral withdrawal is the only way possible. At least as long as this Palestinian and Arab leadership is still there: Arafat, Assad, Hamas, Iran's mullahs.

Westerners can go on for centuries asking for a political solution. That is, speaking in vain.