Israel/Palestine discussion

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:45 pm UTC

... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby morriswalters » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:50 pm UTC

Consider these links in context. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), Peter Beinart. Make what you will of them.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Lazar » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:31 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:Zionists frequently attempt to sell the narrative that the Palestinians are indistinguishable from other Arabs, because they hope thereby to both make their enemies seem bigger and more powerful than they are, and to make stealing the Palestinians' homeland and ethnically cleansing the Palestinians seem less morally repugnant.

There is a massive difference between a) claiming that the Palestinians are indistinguishable from all other Arabs, and b) claiming that the Palestinians are indistinguishable from some other Arabs. The first claim is patently false, as there are clearly differences between Peninsular, Mesopotamian, Levantine, Egyptian and Maghrebi Arabs. The second claim, being far more limited in its scope, is totally reasonable: the burden of proof is on the person who contends that administrative lines made up by the British government in 1921 perfectly delineate a distinct, pre-existing national or cultural group. In linguistic terms, the Palestinians, as a coherent group, are not distinguishable from their neighbors: as you can see here, their speech belongs to the Levantine dialect complex, and the subdialects of Palestine overlap with those of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. In religious terms, their profile is the same as that of Jordan: mostly Sunni Muslim, with a modestly sized minority of denominationally diverse Christians. And politically, there was no precedent for an Arab state consisting of the land between the Jordan and the Sinai. To address your objection to this point earlier in the thread, I'm not saying that a prior history of statehood is a necessity for any group claiming national status - but in the absence of any other distinguishing features, it becomes a necessity. This is the exact same argument I've been making in my last three posts in this thread, so I won't even bother re-repeating the Haifa analogy.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby EMTP » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:41 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:
EMTP wrote:Zionists frequently attempt to sell the narrative that the Palestinians are indistinguishable from other Arabs, because they hope thereby to both make their enemies seem bigger and more powerful than they are, and to make stealing the Palestinians' homeland and ethnically cleansing the Palestinians seem less morally repugnant.

There is a massive difference between a) claiming that the Palestinians are indistinguishable from all other Arabs, and b) claiming that the Palestinians are indistinguishable from some other Arabs.


Both claims, however, are false.

The first claim is patently false, as there are clearly differences between Peninsular, Mesopotamian, Levantine, Egyptian and Maghrebi Arabs. The second claim, being far more limited in its scope, is totally reasonable: the burden of proof is on the person who contends that administrative lines made up by the British government in 1921 perfectly delineate a distinct, pre-existing national or cultural group.


Nope, the burden of proof in on the person making the extraordinary claim that Palestinians are indistinguishable from other Arabs.

In linguistic terms, the Palestinians, as a coherent group, are not distinguishable from their neighbors: as you can see here, their speech belongs to the Levantine dialect complex, and the subdialects of Palestine overlap with those of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. In religious terms, their profile is the same as that of Jordan: mostly Sunni Muslim, with a modestly sized minority of denominationally diverse Christians.


That map does not in any sense show that the Palestinians are not distinguishable linguistically. The Palestinians are very distinguishable linguistically -- Palestinian Arabic uses numerous Hebrew loan words, for example, and has for decades.

The reason there are a lot of Christians in Jordan is precisely because hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled into Jordan and live there as refugees. How many Christians lived in Jordan at the time of the Mandate?

And politically, there was no precedent for an Arab state consisting of the land between the Jordan and the Sinai. To address your objection to this point earlier in the thread, I'm not saying that a prior history of statehood is a necessity for any group claiming national status - but in the absence of any other distinguishing features, it becomes a necessity. This is the exact same argument I've been making in my last three posts in this thread, so I won't even bother re-repeating the Haifa analogy.


Your motivated ignorance of the difference between the Palestinians and other Arabs in no sense means the differences aren't there. You're simply saying "They all look alike to me." That reflects on you, not on them. Jordanians, Syrians, and Egyptians can tell the difference, as can historians and anthropologists. You need more than than a map from wikipedia -- a map, furthermore, that clearly identifies a "Palestinian dilalect" that stretches to the Jordan River and stops cold -- to support the claim that "there were no cultural, dialectal or religious characteristics which distinguished the Palestinians from their neighboring Levantine Arabs."
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:08 am UTC

EMTP wrote:Your motivated ignorance of the difference between the Palestinians and other Arabs in no sense means the differences aren't there.


A cannot believe that a straight line in the sand, drawn by imperialistic colonizing exploitive overlords, was able to perfectly divide two distinct cultural groups.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:20 am UTC

So, EMTP, tell us. Prior to 1947, other than location, what was the difference between the Palestinian people and the other Arabs in the region?

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby EMTP » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:29 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
EMTP wrote:Your motivated ignorance of the difference between the Palestinians and other Arabs in no sense means the differences aren't there.


A cannot believe that a straight line in the sand, drawn by imperialistic colonizing exploitive overlords, was able to perfectly divide two distinct cultural groups.


That's not the claim Lazer made. He claimed they were "indistinguishable" from other Arabs. That's a much broader claim. If he would like to narrow it to something more like "the borders of the Palestinian Mandate do not perfectly describe the extent of culturally distinct features of the Palestinians" that would be fine. But he's not trying to make a reasonable, sane point like that. He's trying to deny the existence of the Palestinian people because they are related to the people they live next to.

And all on behalf of an absolutely fabricated national group, which migrated to Palestine from all over the world, spoke dozens of different languages, and had essentially no common culture at all beyond the bounds of a seder plate or a Minyan. That's not only factually wrong, it's hypocrisy of the highest order.

CorruptUser wrote:So, EMTP, tell us. Prior to 1947, other than location, what was the difference between the Palestinian people and the other Arabs in the region?


I don't accept the shifting of the burden of proof, but in the interests of being friendly and helpful, here are some of the major differences:

1. The Palestinians had been occupied by the British for thirty years. This affected their language, their economy, and their culture.
2. The Palestinians have always had a large Christian population, not Copts as in neighboring Egypt, but a wide variety of Christian denominations. Inhabiting Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and other key Christian sites, they had the experience of being exposed to and sharing in pilgrimages, missionary work, and the monastic life in a distinctive way.
3. While there were and are Bedouin Palestinians, the culture was not primarily nomadic, unlike the Kingdom of Jordan.
4. By 1947 the Palestinians had lived for forty years with an aggressive Zionist presence that aspired to drive them off the land and claim it for themselves. Inevitably, the presence of hostile outsiders trying to take over affected the Palestinian people profoundly.

I should point out that regardless of their linguistic distinctiveness, cultural similarities or lack thereof, the central problem of the ethnic cleansing is no different. Murdering a man and stealing his home is wrong whether or not the widow and the orphans created are culturally unique or not.
Last edited by EMTP on Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:43 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Diadem » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:38 am UTC

EMTP wrote:And all on behalf of an absolutely fabricated national group, which migrated to Palestine from all over the world, spoke dozens of different languages, and had essentially no common culture at all beyond the bounds of a seder plate or a Minyan. That's not only factually wrong, it's hypocrisy of the highest order.

Did you... Did you just deny the existence of Judaism?

But you are right. Your claim that Jews have or had no common culture is factually wrong and hypocrisy of the highest order. So bonus points for self awareness.

CorruptUser wrote:So, EMTP, tell us. Prior to 1947, other than location, what was the difference between the Palestinian people and the other Arabs in the region?

Thing is: It doesn't really matter whether there was a difference in 1947. There's a difference now.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Lazar » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:43 am UTC

EMTP wrote:Nope, the burden of proof in on the person making the extraordinary claim that Palestinians are indistinguishable from other Arabs.

To clarify, do you believe that there was a pre-existing Palestinian national group, exactly coextensive with the future administrative borders drawn by Britain in 1921, already in place before these borders were drawn? Do you believe that such a group came into existence in the 1920s, as the result of the imposition of these borders? Or do you believe that such a group came into existence after 1948, as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict? The strongest case for Palestinian ethnogenesis would appear to rest with the third view, which would mean that Palestine didn't comprise a natural ethnic homeland when the Israelis allegedly stole most of it. And thus, my Haifa analogy applies: Israel and the territories contested in the war could have been one tenth the size that they were, and Israel could still retroactively be said to have stolen most of some people's homeland.

[That map does not in any sense show that the Palestinians are not distinguishable linguistically… You need more than than a map from wikipedia -- a map, furthermore, that clearly identifies a "Palestinian dialect" that stretches to the Jordan River and stops cold -- to support the claim that "there were no cultural, dialectal or religious characteristics which distinguished the Palestinians from their neighboring Levantine Arabs."

The Palestinian subdialect in question was not coextensive with the administrative borders of Palestine: both of the subdialects of Transjordan, for example, were also spoken in much of Palestine. This is exactly what I meant when I said in my last post that the subdialects of Palestinians overlapped with those of neighboring countries, and that the Palestinians could not be distinguished as a coherent group by dialect. I'll concede that this particular map is a bit sketchy, but the important points are that the speech varieties of Palestine, Transjordan, Syria and Lebanon were, and are, all part of the closely related Levantine dialect complex, and that there doesn't seem to be any evidence indicating that pre-1948 Palestine was coextensive with a subgroup of this. The Hebrew loanwords that you cite as making modern Palestinian Arabic distinct are the result of Jewish settlement and Israeli occupation, and can't be said to indicate the existence of a distinct cultural group predating Jewish settlement.

How many Christians lived in Jordan at the time of the Mandate?

10% of the population, more than there are today.

Your motivated ignorance of the difference between the Palestinians and other Arabs in no sense means the differences aren't there. You're simply saying "They all look alike to me." That reflects on you, not on them. Jordanians, Syrians, and Egyptians can tell the difference, as can historians and anthropologists.

Few anthropologists would support the position that European-imposed colonial boundaries, here or elsewhere, accurately reflected the distribution of pre-existing cultural groups.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby EMTP » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:50 am UTC

Diadem wrote:
EMTP wrote:And all on behalf of an absolutely fabricated national group, which migrated to Palestine from all over the world, spoke dozens of different languages, and had essentially no common culture at all beyond the bounds of a seder plate or a Minyan. That's not only factually wrong, it's hypocrisy of the highest order.

Did you... Did you just deny the existence of Judaism?


Obviously not. Judaism is a fine religion. It's not a nationality. That's a fabrication. Now all nationalities are invented in some sense, but Zionism is a particular bald and blatant example of this.

Judaism is a religion. When religions start making claims to land, bad things typically follow, as they have in this case.
But you are right. Your claim that Jews have or had no common culture is factually wrong and hypocrisy of the highest order. So bonus points for self awareness.


I obviously didn't say that. I said they had no common culture beyond their shared religious practice. Beyond that Russian, French and Iraqi Jews (for example) would have had very little in common -- not a language, not a culture, not where they lived or how they lived there.

Diadem wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:So, EMTP, tell us. Prior to 1947, other than location, what was the difference between the Palestinian people and the other Arabs in the region?

Thing is: It doesn't really matter whether there was a difference in 1947. There's a difference now.


Well said.
To clarify, do you believe that there was a pre-existing Palestinian national group, exactly coextensive with the future administrative borders drawn by Britain in 1921, already in place before these borders were drawn?


Before I answer that question -- and I'm happy to -- I'd like to know how you came to the conclusion that a national group must be "exactly coextensive with the future administrative borders" in order to be considered a national group with the right of self-determination. That would seem to cast doubt on whether Americans and Canadians, for example, could be considered nationalities.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Lazar » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:12 am UTC

EMTP wrote:Before I answer that question -- and I'm happy to -- I'd like to know how you came to the conclusion that a national group must be "exactly coextensive with the future administrative borders" in order to be considered a national group with the right of self-determination. That would seem to cast doubt on whether Americans and Canadians, for example, could be considered nationalities.

I didn't say anything about self-determination: I believe that the Palestinians have as much right to self-determination as anyone else, and in particular I think there should be a Palestinian state. I'll quote one of my earlier posts:

In particular, this right of state-carving that you allude to seems like a wholly nebulous thing: states may be created by democratic negotiation, power politics, or any other means under the sun, but to assert that there's a comprehensible right to forming a "state in place", which some people have and some people lack, by virtue of their ancestry - this doesn't make any sense, and doesn't seem to have any precedent in human rights discourse or in actual history. If a group of people live in a certain place, they may endeavor to make a state, and they may succeed or fail - it's as simple as that.

As I've said elsewhere, a history of separate political development can be a component of national identity for otherwise similar groups, like the Germans and Austrians, or the Americans and Canadians. Thus I don't think that the Americans and Anglo-Canadians constituted separate nationalities before the American Revolution, and I don't think that the Palestinians and Jordanians constituted separate nationalities before the Arab-Israeli War. In my posts, I've chiefly been arguing against your contention that Israel can meaningfully be said to have stolen 78% of a pre-existing national homeland. The Palestinian national identity of today essentially translates to the national identity of whichever areas Israel has settled or occupied, meaning that Israel could have been the size of a postage stamp and still be said to have stolen 78% of a supposed homeland.
Last edited by Lazar on Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:27 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:18 am UTC

It's distinctly why appeals to who was there first are wholly and utterly irrelevant. The Israelis and the Palestinians are there now, and neither are going to magically vanish.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby EMTP » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:29 am UTC

Lazar wrote:As I've said elsewhere, a history of separate political development can be a component of national identity for otherwise similar groups, like the Germans and Austrians, or the Americans and Canadians. Thus I don't think that the Americans and Anglo-Canadians constituted separate nationalities before the American Revolution, and I don't think that the Palestinians and Transjordanians constituted separate nationalities before the Arab-Israeli War. In my posts, I've chiefly been arguing against your contention that Israel can meaningfully be said to have stolen 78% of a pre-existing national homeland. The Palestinian national identity of today essentially translates to the national identity of whichever areas Israel has settled or occupied, meaning that Israel could have been the size of a postage stamp and still be said to have stolen 78% of a notional homeland.


It's precisely that claim I asked you to provide evidence for, a while back. Are there any historians, anthropologists, or political scientists that agree with you?

I've chiefly been arguing against your contention that Israel can meaningfully be said to have stolen 78% of a pre-existing national homeland.


I don't think your argument has been very successful. The Palestinians had, and have, a right to self-determination in Palestine. They don't have any right to self-determination at the expense of Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese or Egyptians. They have no territorial claims there.

The forced colonization of Palestine by Zionists did not change that at all. The Jewish community can be argued to have a right to participate in that self-determination by voting in elections for a democratic government. This is exactly what the Palestinians proposed, and the Jewish community refused, over and over from 1918-1948, and again from the early 80s until the two-state detour.

Israel stole, in fact, 100% of the Palestinians' homeland, and they've held on to those stolen goods for 46 years. They have a golden opportunity at present to negotiate permanent possession of 78% of what they stole. I'm not seeing either the relevance or any compelling evidence for the claim that they are "indistinguishable" from other Arabs.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:41 am UTC

EMTP wrote:Israel stole, in fact, 100% of the Palestinians' homeland, and they've held on to those stolen goods for 46 years.
This is where it gets so fun! The Palestinians who were there, NONE of them became Israelis! NONE of them were Jews!

Facts EMPT, how do they work?
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Lazar » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:54 am UTC

EMTP wrote:It's precisely that claim I asked you to provide evidence for, a while back. Are there any historians, anthropologists, or political scientists that agree with you?

Frankly I haven't checked. Are there any that agree with your claim, that the Jordan river constituted a national boundary before 1921?

I don't think your argument has been very successful. The Palestinians had, and have, a right to self-determination in Palestine. They don't have any right to self-determination at the expense of Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese or Egyptians. They have no territorial claims there.

They have a right to self-determination where they are, but they don't have a right to self-determination over any area where their ancestors might have lived. As I've already mentioned many times, almost all of the world's nations are built on stolen territory, and if they all started pursuing their various irredentist claims (such as a Palestinian claim over Israel, a German claim over western Poland, or a Native American claim over the entire United States), we'd have total chaos. I place Israeli claims over Palestinian-majority areas in the same category, which is why I oppose the settlements and favor a return to the pre-1967 borders.

The forced colonization of Palestine by Zionists did not change that at all. The Jewish community can be argued to have a right to participate in that self-determination by voting in elections for a democratic government. This is exactly what the Palestinians proposed, and the Jewish community refused, over and over from 1918-1948, and again from the early 80s until the two-state detour.

Once again, you're begging the question by assuming that a 1921 administrative contrivance is the same thing as a self-evident set of national boundaries. Let me restate what I've already said: when the British left Palestine, there was no historical precedent for where national boundaries should be drawn in the area. With the agreement of the United Nations, a Jewish state was established within territory that already had a Jewish majority, and a (sadly, abortive) Arab state was established within territory that had an Arab majority. This would have been an exercise in democratic self-determination on the part of both communities. (And before you object, once again, to the way in which this majority came to exist, please refer to what I said about Singapore.)

Israel stole, in fact, 100% of the Palestinians' homeland, and they've held on to those stolen goods for 46 years. They have a golden opportunity at present to negotiate permanent possession of 78% of what they stole. I'm not seeing either the relevance or any compelling evidence for the claim that they are "indistinguishable" from other Arabs.

And I will repeat, once again, that if Israel had been the size of a postage stamp, you could still make a comparable claim that they stole 78% 100% of someone's homeland. I will also repeat that almost all nations are built on stolen land. Israel no more needs to negotiate permanent possession of itself than does Argentina or France.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:05 am UTC

EMTP wrote: They have a golden opportunity at present to negotiate permanent possession of 78% of what they stole.


The Palestinians have never made such an offer. In fact, where is the last offer for a two state solution that the Palestinians have proposed?

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby EMTP » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:38 am UTC

Lazar wrote:
EMTP wrote:It's precisely that claim I asked you to provide evidence for, a while back. Are there any historians, anthropologists, or political scientists that agree with you?

Frankly I haven't checked. Are there any that agree with your claim, that the Jordan river constituted a national boundary before 1921?


So without reading anything by a professional or doing any subject research, you somehow arrived at the conclusion that Hashemite Jordanians were the same thing as mandate-era Palestinians? That's . . . I don't know what to say to that. Do you not see anything wrong with how you're proceeding here?

Are there any that agree with your claim, that the Jordan river constituted a national boundary before 1921?


And where did I say that the Jordan river constituted a national boundary before 1921? Be specific, please.

They have a right to self-determination where they are, but they don't have a right to self-determination over any area where their ancestors might have lived.


Sorry, the United Nations has specifically recognized that Palestinian refugees do not stop being refugees because Israel has kept them off their land for generations. They have a right to self-determination in Palestine, legally and morally.

As I've already mentioned many times, almost all of the world's nations are built on stolen territory, and if they all started pursuing their various irredentist claims (such as a Palestinian claim over Israel, a German claim over western Poland, or a Native American claim over the entire United States), we'd have total chaos. I place Israeli claims over Palestinian-majority areas in the same category, which is why I oppose the settlements and favor a return to the pre-1967 borders.


I'm glad you recognize that Israel is based on stolen territory. Progress! And you've correctly determined that the best way to keep that stolen territory is to give back 22% of what was stolen! It seems we largely agree.

I wonder, though, if you've worked through the moral logic of what you're saying. All Palestine, save a few small scattered patches, was Palestinian majority in 1947, just as the West Bank and Gaza were in 1967. In 1947 Zionists carried out a program of what is conventionally called ethnic cleansing (although, like other instances labelled "ethnic cleansing," it met the legal definition of genocide.) In 1967 they tried to induce the population to flee, but were unsuccessful. By saying that it is "irredentist" to oppose the one and not the other, you are essentially arguing that ethnic cleansing gives you the right to the land in question. Which is not only not what international law says, but it is pretty morally repugnant as well.

Once again, you're begging the question by assuming that a 1921 administrative contrivance is the same thing as a self-evident set of national boundaries.


Nope. That's nowhere in what I wrote. You are somehow trying to argue that the arbitrariness of borders means they don't exist. Like it or not, Palestine existed and it had borders. It had a native Palestinian population with the right of self-determination. The thought experiment where the borders could have been other than what they were doesn't advance your argument at all.

Let me restate what I've already said: when the British left Palestine, there was no historical precedent for where national boundaries should be drawn in the area. With the agreement of the United Nations, a Jewish state was established within territory that already had a Jewish majority, and a (sadly, abortive) Arab state was established within territory that had an Arab majority. This would have been an exercise in democratic self-determination on the part of both communities.


No. Again, the Jewish minority, created through forced colonization, did not have a right to "democratic self-determination." Religious minorities do not have the right to carve their own states out of the territories they inhabit. The absurd gerrymandering which created, on paper, a state with a 40% Palestinian minority, was not agreed to by the inhabitants of Palestine, the only people with any right to divide the land. (And the Zionist movement, in fact, never had any intention of allowing a Palestinian state to come into existence alongside them, but that's a story for another day.)

And I will repeat, once again, that if Israel had been the size of a postage stamp, you could still make a comparable claim that they stole 78% 100% of someone's homeland.


And if you're aunt had balls, she'd be your uncle. In reality, they stole 78% of Palestine. Simple fact. If the borders had been different then the calculation would be different. So what?

I will also repeat that almost all nations are built on stolen land. Israel no more needs to negotiate permanent possession of itself than does Argentina or France.


Oh, but those countries did not expel the native inhabitants within living memory. And the native inhabitants are not still a majority inside those countries' de facto borders. Like it or not, ethical standards change, and behavior that was acceptable to Attila the Hun is not acceptable in the modern world. The Palestinians are a majority today in the territory of the mandate. The Palestinian refugees have a legal and moral right to return. So we can fight this battle until they get what belongs to them, or Israel can get smart and make a deal. Because while the occupiers of Argentina and France may have their happy ending, the occupiers of Algeria, South Africa, India, Nigeria, the Congo, and dozens of others have not. The modern world is not kind to colonial projects. Better for the Zionists to cut a deal.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:46 am UTC

EMTP wrote:
To clarify, do you believe that there was a pre-existing Palestinian national group, exactly coextensive with the future administrative borders drawn by Britain in 1921, already in place before these borders were drawn?


Before I answer that question -- and I'm happy to -- I'd like to know how you came to the conclusion that a national group must be "exactly coextensive with the future administrative borders" in order to be considered a national group with the right of self-determination. That would seem to cast doubt on whether Americans and Canadians, for example, could be considered nationalities.


Yes, and we won the revolution, so the answer for us is yes. Had we lost, the answer would have been no. And yeah, the US totally stole the ethnic homeland of a whole bunch of people, not just one lot. Or, as in the case of Israel, part of a group.

I think maybe you're a bit confused about how nations come to be. What determines if a nation is one is mostly handled by straight up power. Nobody is gonna bother not treating the US as a nation because we have a giant pile of money and guns. Bluntly, nobody has the power and interests to make us cease being a nation.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:00 am UTC

Judaism is a fine religion. It's not a nationality.


It is.

They have a right to self-determination in Palestine, legally and morally.


No they don't. They have a right to self-determination, but there aren't qualifiers for where.

The Palestinians are a majority today in the territory of the mandate. The Palestinian refugees have a legal and moral right to return.


The mandate is interesting to examine for the history of the conflict and how it is that the situation is what it is. But as a legal instrument it has lost all meaning. It wasn't even respected back then so why is it relevant today, as a legal instrument?

Wether or not the Palestinians have a legal or moral right to return the answer is moot. Because the region will go down in flames before Israel would allow or agree to it. It would be the death of Israel and they would fight. The question we should be trying to answer is:

"What is the solution to bring about increases in quality of life for all parties and to which all parties can agree to?"

Currently there is no solution, but that might change. But I can guarantee you that right of return won't be a part of it. Accepting the reality of the situation.

So we can fight this battle until they get what belongs to them, or Israel can get smart and make a deal.


Israel has made offers. Its the Palestinians that haven't accepted or countered. And to think these are the only two outcomes is folly. The Palestinian people have been in a situation of limbo and suffering for 67 years or so, there is little reason to think this cannot continue almost indefinitely. Its good for Israel. Its the Palestinian people that are suffering.

Because while the occupiers of Argentina and France may have their happy ending, the occupiers of Algeria, South Africa, India, Nigeria, the Congo, and dozens of others have not.


Its very easy to argue that South Africa had their near miraculous happy ending. And one of the most important differences between the South Africa issue and Palestine was that there was a very strong commitment, by the ANC to live with the white people in peace and not to seek reprisals. The TRC was invaluable to this. Past transgressions were forgiven and amnesty was granted.

The Palestinian people still speak of violence, hate and revenge.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Vahir » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:05 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Its very easy to argue that South Africa had their near miraculous happy ending. And one of the most important differences between the South Africa issue and Palestine was that there was a very strong commitment, by the ANC to live with the white people in peace and not to seek reprisals. The TRC was invaluable to this. Past transgressions were forgiven and amnesty was granted.

The Palestinian people still speak of violence, hate and revenge.


Not to mention that the situation in palestine is completely different from that in South Africa, and therefore not an apt comparison at all. Same thing for all the other overseas colonies he described.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Lazar » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:17 am UTC

EMTP wrote:So without reading anything by a professional or doing any subject research, you somehow arrived at the conclusion that Hashemite Jordanians were the same thing as mandate-era Palestinians? That's . . . I don't know what to say to that. Do you not see anything wrong with how you're proceeding here?

I've read a bit about the history of the Levant, but it's not a primary focus of mine, so no, I don't have professional sources to cite off hand. Do you have professional support for the position that a British-imposed colonial administrative boundary either created or reflected a difference of nationality between the Levantine Arabs living to the west of the Jordan and those living to the east?

And where did I say that the Jordan river constituted a national boundary before 1921? Be specific, please.

I was assuming; my apologies. When do you think the Palestinian national identity came into existence?

Sorry, the United Nations has specifically recognized that Palestinian refugees do not stop being refugees because Israel has kept them off their land for generations. They have a right to self-determination in Palestine, legally and morally.

So do you accept the United Nations' decision to partition Palestine in 1947?

I'm glad you recognize that Israel is based on stolen territory. Progress!

Yes, I've been making the observation for over 2 weeks in this thread that almost all nations are based, at least in part, on theft. The only exceptions, perhaps, are islands first settled in the past one or two millennia by their still-dominant population groups, like Madagascar.

And you've correctly determined that the best way to keep that stolen territory is to give back 22% of what was stolen! It seems we largely agree.

I don't think we have much disagreement over what should be done, except for the refugee issue. My main problem with your lines of argument is that I think you place too much focus on a selected set of past wrongs and give them far too much determinative weight on the present. You haven't addressed any of my questions about how you would apply such principles elsewhere - for example, whether Singapore is an illegitimate colonial state of ethnic Chinese, or whether Germany needs to retake the eastern provinces which were taken from it and brutally ethnically cleansed by Stalin after World War 2.

All Palestine, save a few small scattered patches, was Palestinian majority in 1947,

Dividing territories into areas of majority is a fundamentally arbitrary process. The UN partition plan showed that at the broadest level of analysis, the mandate could be divided roughly in half, with one half being Jewish-majority and the other half being Arab-majority. At the finest level of analysis, treating each household as a place, I imagine we would find roughly 1/3 of the places to be Jewish-majority as a reflection of the population. Your idea of territorial majority would, as a general point, seem to be biased against urban dwellers.

In 1947 Zionists carried out a program of what is conventionally called ethnic cleansing (although, like other instances labelled "ethnic cleansing," it met the legal definition of genocide.)

There was no legal definition of genocide until either late 1948 (when the Genocide Convention was written) or early 1951 (when it went into effect). Israel was imitating the Allied Powers, at that time the arbiters of international law, who were carrying out a forced population transfer roughly 15 times as large.

By saying that it is "irredentist" to oppose the one and not the other, you are essentially arguing that ethnic cleansing gives you the right to the land in question.

In practical terms, it does, and this is an accepted part of the international system. In Bosnia, for example, the borders of the Federation and the Serbian Republic reflect the postwar ethnic distribution, not the prewar. Do you think that Germany should invade Poland to take back Pomerania, Silesia and East Prussia, or that Italy should invade Slovenia and Croatia to take back Istria? And isn't Armenia entitled to the eastern fifth or so of Turkey? Note: "irredentist" isn't a moral judgment, it just means that one country makes a historical claim against territories controlled by another. Current Palestinian claims over Israel are irredentist, regardless of whether they're justified or not.

Nope. That's nowhere in what I wrote. You are somehow trying to argue that the arbitrariness of borders means they don't exist. Like it or not, Palestine existed and it had borders. It had a native Palestinian population with the right of self-determination. The thought experiment where the borders could have been other than what they were doesn't advance your argument at all.

You're arguing at cross purposes. You've repeatedly asserted that the only legitimate avenue for self-determination in Palestine was within the intact boundaries of the 1921-1948 mandate, and that forms of self-determination which involved changes to those boundaries were invalid. In other words, you're arguing that the administrative bounaries of Palestine constituted self-evident national boundaries, as I said.

No. Again, the Jewish minority, created through forced colonization, did not have a right to "democratic self-determination."

The Jewish minority was created through non-violent immigration and purchasing of land (your opinion of Great Britain notwithstanding), and many of those Jews were refugees who had no country to return to. You don't think they had a right to self-determination; I do.

Religious minorities do not have the right to carve their own states out of the territories they inhabit.

The Jews were an ethnic a well as a religious group. Before the expulsion of Jews by Arab countries, the Jews of Palestine were overwhelmingly of the Ashkenazi ethnicity, and largely united by their use of Yiddish or Hebrew. Also, do you think Pakistan shouldn't have been created?

The absurd gerrymandering which created, on paper, a state with a 40% Palestinian minority, was not agreed to by the inhabitants of Palestine, the only people with any right to divide the land.

And one third of those inhabitants were Jews. (If you meant something like "rightful inhabitants", then you should have said so.) Do you think it's wrong for any minority group to form its own country without the assent of the country from which it's seceding? Do you not think it's problematic to hold this as an absolute standard in colonial territories with no pre-existing indigenous state structure, where the definition of the country itself is imposed by fiat of the colonizer?

In reality, they stole 78% of Palestine. Simple fact. If the borders had been different then the calculation would be different. So what?

I'm arguing that it isn't very significant or useful to say that they stole 78% of Palestine, because Palestine was an arbitrary, 26-year-old delineation of territory that didn't have a basis in ethnography or pre-existing state structure. As I've pointed out (and proved), the original legal mandate for Palestine included Transjordan, meaning that for another definition of Palestine with not even twice the population, you could say they only stole 17% of it. You would be on much firmer ground simply stating the area of the land they stole.

Oh, but those countries did not expel the native inhabitants within living memory.

So you're saying that if Israel can wait out the status quo for about 30 more years, they will then be justified in their conquests? And if not, why?

Like it or not, ethical standards change, and behavior that was acceptable to Attila the Hun is not acceptable in the modern world.

It was acceptable to Roosevelt and Churchill in the modern age, too. Again, do you think Germany needs to take back western Poland? The transfer of those areas to Poland also took place within living memory, and involved the illegal expulsion of over 10 million people. But no one seems to agitate over it as they do Israel/Palestine.

The Palestinian refugees have a legal and moral right to return.

I presume you're including descendants of the original expellees as refugees? If so, that would seem to conflict with your "within living memory" standard. What is your basis for preferring the jus sanguinis of citizenship in a land where they've never set foot over the jus soli of citizenship in the land where they were born? Do you think that all the descendants of German expellees have the legal and moral right to return to Poland and the other countries that expelled them? Do you think that all the descendants of Jewish expellees in Israel have the legal and moral right to return to the Arab countries which expelled them? Or all the Hindus and Muslims who fled from one side to the other upon the partition of India? Or even the descendants of the Moors expelled from Spain under the Catholic Monarchs? After how many generations do these rights wear off, if at all? Over enough time, wouldn't they yield situations where almost every resident of Country A has the legal and moral right to move to Country B? Don't you think it would pose a humanitarian problem to bring (by my cursory count) the 3 million refugees living outside of Israel-Palestine into a small, semiarid region that already struggles to support 14 million people?
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby mosc » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:32 pm UTC

Zionist: A person who thinks there should be a Jewish state in the area (and including at least in part) of the City of Jerusalem. Modern Zionism, which led to the modern state of Israel dates back to the late 19th century and was a semi-secular movement. Theodor Herzl's position gave a more coherent voice to the movement in 1897. It was supported by many non-jewish European leaders wanting to relocate culturally distinct sections of their population out of their countries.

Zionists are NOT defined as:
1) All Jews
2) Violent
3) Anti-Arab
4) Anti-Palestinian State
5) Supporters of the modern day state of Israel
6) Demons with horns who drink the blood of Children

Please stop using the word Zionist like it implies some kind of Villain bent on warmongering. Herzl wanted to encourage peaceful migration of Jews from Europe to Ottoman Palestine, not displacing arabs or the removal of "Palestinians*".

If you want to use Zionist as a quick offhand for someone who thinks the state of Israel has the right to exist, I can buy that. If you want to use it as a reference to a group of immigrants to the region between 1897 and 1947 I can buy that too (though it would be nice if you clarified which you were using). If you want to use it as a term for those who want to displace someone else, I'm sorry. That's just factually incorrect.

*Note: the term "Palestinian" has no historical meaning implying a Muslim group that far back. The meaning tossed around here is closely linked to the 1920 treaty between France and England which defined the British mandate, a multi-religious and cultural zone from the very beginning. To talk about modern "Palestinians" in that context would imply something along the lines of "non-jews who lived on the west side of the Jordan River within the British Palestinian mandate of 1920". Hardly a self-referential description widely used at the time. Shortly after in 1922 "Transjordan" was formally described as a separate section making the palestinian description more distinct from Jordanian but hard to argue a cultural difference between the two already existed. I agree, the term Palestinian has little connection with the modern meaning before that date. It is based on a region with a semi-arbitrary border of convenience between France and England on the north, large bodies of water to the west and south, and a river (technically 2 rivers, the dead sea, and a gulf coast reference) which was well settled on both sides to the east. To argue any cultural identity unique to those borders prior to 1920 is unsubstantiated. Best you could do would be "Arabs near Jerusalem" which is a stretch when talking about the west bank vs the east bank of the Jordan River (some distance away and far more mono culturally driven). Arabs living near the west side of Jordan River in the 1920s had more in common with the Arabs on the east side of the Jordan River (it's not exactly uncrossable) than the religiously diverse city of Jerusalem. The Term "Palestine" itself is closely linked with the historically Jewish states in the region pre-dating the creation of Islam. I find it somewhat ironic that a term that for most of the past 2500 years would refer to a culturally Jewish person, Palestinian, became a term for a Muslim cultural group after the wars of the 1940s. The word itself points to a history of at least a co-habitation with Jews.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby mosc » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:38 pm UTC

Sorry, I find this a particularly interesting bit of Etymology...

The modern term "Palestinian" associates closely with the region described in the british mandate and the transjordan memorandum. That place, religiously, was diverse consisting of a majority of Muslims but with substantial Jewish and Christian populations along with other small minorities. To that description, we do not refer to Jews living in the region in 1920 as "Palestinian". This is particularly significant because the transjordan memorandum was created to make a distinctly non-jewish separation of the larger Palestine mandate. You would think that "Palestine" being split into "Palestine" and "Jordan" would imply a cultural and religious description of "Jordanian" to those Arabs in the entire region whither they lived on the east OR west banks of the Jordan river.

It isn't until we get to the UN partition mandate of 1947 that "Palenstine" becomes the name for an intended Arab majority state. The documents of the time show arabs and jews, not Israeli's and Palestinians. I believe both would be described as Palestinians as they were living in Palestine.

In a very real sense, the national identity of a Palestinian in modern context implies the creation of a separate and autonomous Jewish state of Israel quite nearby. The term literally differentiates one as from that specific region but NOT part of Israel, however Israel is defined geographically or religiously.

EDIT: Wikipedia links to some other works on the Etymology of "Palestinian" in it's current connotation and dates it even later, to after the 6 day war (1967) when the west bank was no longer part of Jordan. It's interesting to think about because about 3 years later, Palestinians were fighting a fairly overt civil war in Jordan (which is predominantly Palestinian by population). I don't think this is correct. My own experience is that most Palestinians feel some claim to parts or all of the non-Jordanian British Mandate. If they respect a Hashemite Jordanian state that is. In that line, Palestinian as a term dates to the split the UN was trying to institute in 1947. A Palestinian is a non-Jew who's ancestry places them in British Palestine west of the Jordan before the creation of the modern state of Israel.

The PLO doesn't share my definition. They curiously include "Palestinian Jews" as Palestinian but differentiate Jews (read: Israelis) into those that had an historical claim during the British mandate era. This is a logical construct clearly to step around the land mine that British Palestine always had Jews even though British Palestine is the main political justification for the Palestinian state in part or totality.

I guess to me, to name yourself "Palestinian" though is peculiarly inclusive of Jews. A definition like: "Arabs who live near Jews" or "Arabs who live in the Jewish homeland" wouldn't be far off. Palestine was split into two halves: The half Jews were allowed to settle and the half they weren't. "Palestinian" means the half Jews were allowed to settle in, "Jordanian" is the half they weren't. I would conclude with the most accurate description I could come up with for "Palestinian" being those who come from the half of British Palestine where Jews were allowed to settle, but weren't jews. You'd think with a name like that they'd get along better with Jews, HA!
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby engr » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:57 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I guess to me, to name yourself "Palestinian" though is peculiarly inclusive of Jews.


From what I remember, during the British mandate that word was used primarily for the Jewish immigrants to today's Israel/Palestine.
It is said that Golda Meir liked to troll leftists by showing her British mandate period ID which listed her as "Palestinian".
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sardia » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:29 pm UTC

engr wrote:
mosc wrote:I guess to me, to name yourself "Palestinian" though is peculiarly inclusive of Jews.


From what I remember, during the British mandate that word was used primarily for the Jewish immigrants to today's Israel/Palestine.
It is said that Golda Meir liked to troll leftists by showing her British mandate period ID which listed her as "Palestinian".

What's a leftist? Left of the political spectrum? Liberal?

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yedidyak » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:07 pm UTC

The term 'leftist' is sometimes used in Israel to refer to pro-Palestinian activists. Golda Meir herself was a socialist, politics is weird.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby addams » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:12 pm UTC

yedidyak wrote:The term 'leftist' is sometimes used in Israel to refer to pro-Palestinian activists. Golda Meir herself was a socialist, politics is weird.

Weird?
Science is Weird.

Politics is Tragic.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:29 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
engr wrote:
mosc wrote:I guess to me, to name yourself "Palestinian" though is peculiarly inclusive of Jews.


From what I remember, during the British mandate that word was used primarily for the Jewish immigrants to today's Israel/Palestine.
It is said that Golda Meir liked to troll leftists by showing her British mandate period ID which listed her as "Palestinian".

What's a leftist? Left of the political spectrum? Liberal?


Eh, Liberal is at this point 'Arch-Conservative'. The US was founded by Liberals, Liberals who believed in private ownership of guns and black people. 'Left' and 'Right' have no meaning beyond being memes, tropes and tools with which to rouse your supporters or discredit your opponents.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Tyndmyr » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:50 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
sardia wrote:
engr wrote:
mosc wrote:I guess to me, to name yourself "Palestinian" though is peculiarly inclusive of Jews.


From what I remember, during the British mandate that word was used primarily for the Jewish immigrants to today's Israel/Palestine.
It is said that Golda Meir liked to troll leftists by showing her British mandate period ID which listed her as "Palestinian".

What's a leftist? Left of the political spectrum? Liberal?


Eh, Liberal is at this point 'Arch-Conservative'. The US was founded by Liberals, Liberals who believed in private ownership of guns and black people. 'Left' and 'Right' have no meaning beyond being memes, tropes and tools with which to rouse your supporters or discredit your opponents.


That's fair. The idea of a single line that everyone falls along for politics is kind of a wild oversimplification. Leftist, etc means something different in different cultures. An Israeli leftist might not match up terribly well with a US leftist.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby addams » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:32 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:
sardia wrote:
engr wrote:
mosc wrote:I guess to me, to name yourself "Palestinian" though is peculiarly inclusive of Jews.


From what I remember, during the British mandate that word was used primarily for the Jewish immigrants to today's Israel/Palestine.
It is said that Golda Meir liked to troll leftists by showing her British mandate period ID which listed her as "Palestinian".

What's a leftist? Left of the political spectrum? Liberal?


Eh, Liberal is at this point 'Arch-Conservative'. The US was founded by Liberals, Liberals who believed in private ownership of guns and black people. 'Left' and 'Right' have no meaning beyond being memes, tropes and tools with which to rouse your supporters or discredit your opponents.


That's fair. The idea of a single line that everyone falls along for politics is kind of a wild oversimplification. Leftist, etc means something different in different cultures. An Israeli leftist might not match up terribly well with a US leftist.

Jeeze. That is true!
Labels can be so difficult.
At least in a Lab the labels have constancy.

Spoiler:
I know it does not farther the discussion.
It may explain, something about labels.

When I heard the Right/Left labels, I was like a child, I asked,
"What are we? What am I? Do we all choose a side? Why?"

I was told, "An Eagle needs both a strong Right Wing and a Strong Left Wing to fly."
I was having that explained to me when someone else started making jokes about a Lame Duck.

I went back to not understanding what the Big Boys were doing, again.
Who gives a fuck about the Eagle? Or The Lame Duck.

I had what I thought were more immediate concerns.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Djehutynakht » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:50 am UTC

The more I listen to this the more I'm sure that if I had any sort of power I'd abolish both states and tell everyone to shut up.


Oh, I dunno if you guys have discussed it because walls of text, but Sharon is dead.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sardia » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:09 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:The more I listen to this the more I'm sure that if I had any sort of power I'd abolish both states and tell everyone to shut up.


Oh, I dunno if you guys have discussed it because walls of text, but Sharon is dead.

Yes, that's why it's called a dictatorship when you tell people to shut up and you abolish the previous state.

So when someone says leftist, that means pro palestinian, right? Or is that a rarely used term?

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Djehutynakht » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:38 am UTC

sardia wrote:Yes, that's why it's called a dictatorship when you tell people to shut up and you abolish the previous state.


Yeah...

Although ideally I'd spin it as saving the Israelis by abolishing Palestine and saving the Palestinians by abolishing Israel.

Actually, if they rose up and united to overthrow me I could live with that. I'd sacrifice not being allowed back in the Middle East for it being a more united place.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby addams » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:48 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:
sardia wrote:Yes, that's why it's called a dictatorship when you tell people to shut up and you abolish the previous state.


Yeah...

Although ideally I'd spin it as saving the Israelis by abolishing Palestine and saving the Palestinians by abolishing Israel.

Actually, if they rose up and united to overthrow me I could live with that. I'd sacrifice not being allowed back in the Middle East for it being a more united place.

How sweet of you.

There were people that were honestly worried, when the State of Israel was created.
They worried that Peace in the Holy Land would usher in The End of The World.

Such sweet people.
Working toward Peace when Peace might end their worlds.

You, too? You would give up your home for Peace?
It will not help. It is, still, nice of you to offer.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby morriswalters » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:11 am UTC

sardia wrote:So when someone says leftist, that means pro palestinian, right? Or is that a rarely used term?
Best left to Israeli's to define that. Anybody who is not there is too far away to make sense of it. I call them Israeli's because I can't see the differences from here well enough to know the difference. And the same for the Palestinians. Whatever is decided, if it ever is, will end up lumping together those in place wherever they might be when an agreement is reached. Palestinians will be anyone in a state recognized as Palestine no matter what it is named. The same for the Israeli's. The problem with blaming something on "Zionists" is that it isn't a label that you can make sense of. The government is a mishmash of parties, but in the end the government is who makes the call. One of the more difficult things about having two power centers in the West Bank and Gaza is that you can't negotiate and know that anybody can enforce the peace in both places.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby EMTP » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:20 am UTC

Vahir wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Its very easy to argue that South Africa had their near miraculous happy ending. And one of the most important differences between the South Africa issue and Palestine was that there was a very strong commitment, by the ANC to live with the white people in peace and not to seek reprisals. The TRC was invaluable to this. Past transgressions were forgiven and amnesty was granted.

The Palestinian people still speak of violence, hate and revenge.


Not to mention that the situation in palestine is completely different from that in South Africa, and therefore not an apt comparison at all. Same thing for all the other overseas colonies he described.


V: Plenty of South Africans spoke of and were interested in violence, hate and revenge. Huge numbers of Palestinians reject those things. Israel has been robbing, murdering, and humiliating Palestinians for many years, and it is ridiculous to point to the fact that they have successfully embittered some of them as a reason for not giving those people their rights. That's a classic example of man murders parents, requests special consideration for being an orphan.

BM: You can claim the situations are different, but you haven't said how. All situations are unique in some ways; I am not, unlike you, saddled with the burden of defending a historical determinist's certainty over what will happen. Maybe democracy will win out; maybe Israeli apartheid will prevail. History should give Israelis pause as they consider the many economically and militarily powerful colonizers who were overwhelmed by the native majority.

I guess to me, to name yourself "Palestinian" though is peculiarly inclusive of Jews. A definition like: "Arabs who live near Jews" or "Arabs who live in the Jewish homeland" wouldn't be far off. Palestine was split into two halves: The half Jews were allowed to settle and the half they weren't.


No, it wasn't. Palestine was Palestine; Transjordan was Transjordan. They were never a single entity that was split in two; that is pure mythology, which came directly out of the racist Revisionist Zionist movement of Ze'ev Jabotinsky, as an attempt to justify the theft of Palestine and the expulsion of the Palestinians. It's a bigoted lie of crap, sold by bigots to the gulliable. You may as well just call the Palestinians "mud people" and have done.

Palestinians, like all nations, have been shaped in part by the challenges they have faced, including the forced colonization and ethnic cleansing of the Zionist movement. But unlike the identity "Israeli," which is purely an invention of Zionism, the region has been called Palestine since the days of the Roman Empire. The Crusaders called it Palestine. And there is no reason to think the borders of Palestine would have been any different had there been no Zionist movement. Palestine would have been another British colony, like Jordan, and the British would have eventually granted them independence, as they did Jordan and the rest of their empire.

But naturally that doesn't stop racists from trying to erase the Palestinian people from history. It's really just the intellectual follow-through of destroying the Palestinians' villages, expelling the inhabitants and planting forests over the ruins. After that crime has been committed, Golda Meir comes out to the microphone and claims "There were no such thing as Palestinians. . . . It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist. "

It's just like committing a murder, and trying to hide the body. They made every effort in their power to destroy the Palestinian people, and then they claimed they were never there to begin with. And you get the gullible dittoheads repeating those discredited lies, even today.

morriswalters wrote:
sardia wrote:So when someone says leftist, that means pro palestinian, right? Or is that a rarely used term?
Best left to Israeli's to define that. Anybody who is not there is too far away to make sense of it. I call them Israeli's because I can't see the differences from here well enough to know the difference. And the same for the Palestinians. Whatever is decided, if it ever is, will end up lumping together those in place wherever they might be when an agreement is reached. Palestinians will be anyone in a state recognized as Palestine no matter what it is named. The same for the Israeli's. The problem with blaming something on "Zionists" is that it isn't a label that you can make sense of. The government is a mishmash of parties, but in the end the government is who makes the call. One of the more difficult things about having two power centers in the West Bank and Gaza is that you can't negotiate and know that anybody can enforce the peace in both places.


Using the right name for things is part of making a clear argument.

Zionism is an ideology. Believers in that ideology are called Zionists. I grant you, the existence of the state of Israel as fact rather than an aspiration complicates that a little. If you think expelling the Palestinians was wrong but are a loyal citizen of the state, does that make you a Zionist? But in general, it could not be more clear. If you think that there should be a Jew-dominated state in Palestine (even if it required ethnic cleansing) and must remain a Jew-dominated state in Palestine (even if you have to deny millions of people basic human rights and the franchise in the land of their birth, for generations), then you're a Zionist. If you would like to see that state destroyed, or like to see it evolve into a democracy in which Jews would not necessarily always be in control, or if you don't care, you're not a Zionist.

Israelis are not that hard to get a sense of, if you study the issues and the history a little. Zionism emerged from Jewish communities, so there is no lack of historians and writers and polemicists documenting the whole thing. The best general history is probably Morris'; the best single book for why things are the way they are today is "One Palestine, Complete" by Tom Segev, about the Mandate era.
"Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
-- Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby addams » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:11 am UTC

EMTP wrote:
Vahir wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Its very easy to argue that South Africa had their near miraculous happy ending. And one of the most important differences between the South Africa issue and Palestine was that there was a very strong commitment, by the ANC to live with the white people in peace and not to seek reprisals. The TRC was invaluable to this. Past transgressions were forgiven and amnesty was granted.

The Palestinian people still speak of violence, hate and revenge.


Not to mention that the situation in palestine is completely different from that in South Africa, and therefore not an apt comparison at all. Same thing for all the other overseas colonies he described.


V: Plenty of South Africans spoke of and were interested in violence, hate and revenge. Huge numbers of Palestinians reject those things. Israel has been robbing, murdering, and humiliating Palestinians for many years, and it is ridiculous to point to the fact that they have successfully embittered some of them as a reason for not giving those people their rights. That's a classic example of man murders parents, requests special consideration for being an orphan.

BM: You can claim the situations are different, but you haven't said how. All situations are unique in some ways; I am not, unlike you, saddled with the burden of defending a historical determinist's certainty over what will happen. Maybe democracy will win out; maybe Israeli apartheid will prevail. History should give Israelis pause as they consider the many economically and militarily powerful colonizers who were overwhelmed by the native majority.

It is true. I believe you.
There are people in the Middle East that want to live in Peace.

It is true, some people in South Africa wanted revenge.
Eye for an Eye is hard wired in to the human animal..

We can lift ourselves above Eye for an Eye.
It is Damned Hard!

Any one person that does that deserves credit for a difficult accomplishment.
If a group of persons decided to do that, they deserve a fucking medal.

There are examples. South Africa is not a perfect place.
I have never been there. I did not read much about South Africa.

As the Peace was breaking out, I listened to people speak.
As the Peace was breaking out, I listened to lectures on Reconciliation.

That is complex stuff.
It takes a commitment from The People.
The People hold one another.

The People must be able to tell their stories.
I am not now, nor have I ever been an expert on what those people did.

The People of Rwanda did a similar thing.
It is not too much to ask of a people.

Why would a winning team want to stop the game, kiss and make up?
It is a fuck of a lot harder than Kiss and Make-Up.

In no way have the Israeli, living at this time in their little Garden of Eden, suffered more than the people of Africa did.
Those days are in our past in Africa.

I Know! Africa is Huge!
Africa is not crime free, Africa is not a Peaceful Wonderland and Simba is not King of Africa.

Still; The ideas of Forgiveness and Reconciliation are good ideas.
I was told, "It is a fairly strict program."

It happens at a National level.
It, more importantly, happens on a personal level.

I don't know. I was not there.
It sounded like Group Therapy on a large scale.

The rules had to be respected.
The way the observant Jews do their Rules for Not Watching SunSet on Fridays.

It's True! They can't watch SunSet on Friday.
They have a standing date with God and some other family members.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_and_ ... uth_Africa)
Wiki does tend to know stuff.

If it were easy the people of the Middle East could hire a few good psychologists to moderate the Truth and Reconciliation of these Brother Tribes,
(well fuck) if it were easy they would have been done it ages ago.

Israelis have a stereotype of the successful Jewish Psychologist.
Of course, They Do!

Jewish families Need! a psychologist in the family!
Don't you know anything about Jewish stereotypes?

Maybe that is one of the problems.
The Israelis have great stereotypes..
The Palestinians don't.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby BattleMoose » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:57 am UTC

EMTP wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Its very easy to argue that South Africa had their near miraculous happy ending. And one of the most important differences between the South Africa issue and Palestine was that there was a very strong commitment, by the ANC to live with the white people in peace and not to seek reprisals. The TRC was invaluable to this. Past transgressions were forgiven and amnesty was granted.

The Palestinian people still speak of violence, hate and revenge.


V: Plenty of South Africans spoke of and were interested in violence, hate and revenge. Huge numbers of Palestinians reject those things.


The distinction is the leadership. And as I said before, and will repeat here, the ANC, particularly Nelson Mandela, was committed to live in peace with the white people, promised equal rights, respect and amnesty. If there is any lesson to learn from the end of apartheid, it is that the Palestinian people need to commit to the same things for a hope of peaceful coexistence.

Israel has been robbing, murdering, and humiliating Palestinians for many years, and it is ridiculous to point to the fact that they have successfully embittered some of them as a reason for not giving those people their rights. That's a classic example of man murders parents, requests special consideration for being an orphan.


You don't get it, Israel isn't the one complaining or asking for special consideration. Israel has never been in such an advantageous position that it is in today. And tomorrow it will be in a better position.

Its noteworthy that in a discussion about how the Palestinians can obtain peace you focus on all the evil that Israel has committed. You are so focussed on past transgressions that you cannot see a way of living peacefully with former enemies. I think fundamentally you don't want to. More so, you don't think that you should have to.


BM: You can claim the situations are different, but you haven't said how.


They are so painfully and obviously dissimilar in very many fundamental ways. But you cannot see it. Let me point out the most obvious ones.

Independence of the Boer Republics and The Republic of South Africa was essentially granted through the Treaty of Vereeniging (surrender). And independence was granted to South Africa by its former oppressor, peacefully. Racial discrimination at that time was broadly consistent with the rest of the world.

When the British terminated their mandate of Palestine, the land as it were, was up for grabs. And was fiercely contested and still is. The existence of Israel was not agreed to by the Palestinian people. And perhaps most blindly obvious, a refugee problem precipitated, that is the central cause of the problems of which absolutely no comparison can be made to South Africa. The whole area became a huge @#$%@#$@ when the British left and the origin of Israel has absolutely no comparison at all to that of South Africa. Comparisons are a nonsense.

History should give Israelis pause as they consider the many economically and militarily powerful colonizers who were overwhelmed by the native majority.


You are absolutely unable to understand what Israel is. They are not colonisers. Israel isn't their colony. Israel is their home. Colonisers could always pack up and go home if things got too troublesome and abandon their colonies. And eventually they all did. But the Israeli people have no where else to go. They cannot pack up and leave. No matter how heated and violent it becomes, they cannot leave. They won't leave. They are all in. And they will never give up their Jewish majority country. These are the ways in which this conflict can end:

1. Defeat the IDF in open battle
2. Conduct a terror/guerrilla campaign of such magnitude and violence that if forces Israel to come to terms
3. Continue indefinitely in the current situation and hope for a miracle
4. Accept the peace that Israel has offered, which I might add is a great deal more generous than the Treaty of Vereeniging

I understand these options are either infeasible or unpalatable but how much longer are the Palestinian people going to hold out on a miracle for?

And of course the conversation about Bantustan's is inevitable. The most important distinctions are that the Bantustans's were created methodically and purposefully as a permanent feature. While the Palestinian refugee problem was created because of a war, which is more similar to every war fought, ever, horrifically complicated because they aren't citizens of anywhere. See the most unsatisfactory termination of the British mandate. Further an independent Palestinian state has wide international support, while the Bantustans never did.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby EMTP » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:36 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:When the British terminated their mandate of Palestine, the land as it were, was up for grabs.


That's such a morally ignorant statement I think it should just stand without a reply. I could point out that Palestine obviously did not belong to Britain, but rather to the people who lived there, but really, who doesn't grasp that?

You are absolutely unable to understand what Israel is. They are not colonisers. Israel isn't their colony. Israel is their home.


You obviously do not understand what a colonizer is. Colonizers make their home in a new place. That's what the word means. Zionists have been running from the fact that they are a colonial movement since those went out of fashion, but it's a little hard to do when major Zionist organizations had names like "the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine_ ... ssociation).

Zionism is a colonial movement, and Zionists are colonists. Fact of history. Can't deal? Too bad.

BattleMoose wrote:The distinction is the leadership. And as I said before, and will repeat here, the ANC, particularly Nelson Mandela, was committed to live in peace with the white people, promised equal rights, respect and amnesty. If there is any lesson to learn from the end of apartheid, it is that the Palestinian people need to commit to the same things for a hope of peaceful coexistence.


People forget that Nelson Mandela led the armed wing of the ANC. He was a "terrorist." He was not a pacifist; if he committed the ANC to nonviolence, it was because that was the best way of achieving his goals.

And he had a partner in de Clerk. The Palestinians have never, ever had a partner for peace on the Israeli side. Today, Abbas has committed to a negotiated peace, but Israel will not stop the settlements.

We would all like better leadership from our leaders, but that is hardly the reason Israel is not a democracy with full rights for the Palestinian majority today. You have heard people on this very thread swearing that the Zionists will nuke the region into glass rather than let that happen. Israel has had Palestinian partners willing to make peace, but they chose not to.

Israel has been robbing, murdering, and humiliating Palestinians for many years, and it is ridiculous to point to the fact that they have successfully embittered some of them as a reason for not giving those people their rights. That's a classic example of man murders parents, requests special consideration for being an orphan.


You don't get it, Israel isn't the one complaining or asking for special consideration. Israel has never been in such an advantageous position that it is in today. And tomorrow it will be in a better position.


Again with the predicting of the future. You claimed the anger of the Palestinians was a reason with Israelis not to deal with them. I showed you the problem with that statement. I think it's unfortunate that whenever your argument comes under pressure, you retreat to the argumentum ad baculum of "Oh, the Zionists are so great and powerful and nothing will ever change that."

Whether or not Israel is in a better position than today in ten years or twenty years or a hundred years is not something you, or anyone else knows. The Israelis have rejected peace and embraced apartheid, so the Palestinians have no choice but to fight on. Regardless, the facts are what they are no matter who is stronger. A crime is a crime regardless of whether one party has nukes and the other does not.

Its noteworthy that in a discussion about how the Palestinians can obtain peace you focus on all the evil that Israel has committed. You are so focussed on past transgressions that you cannot see a way of living peacefully with former enemies. I think fundamentally you don't want to. More so, you don't think that you should have to.


Ease up on the projection, BM. I see exactly how the Palestinians can live in peace with their former enemies. In fact, I see more than one way; a single democratic state, or partition. You are the one insisting you know the future and insist that Israel will always and forever have the whip hand, and will take whatever they want regardless of what the Palestinians do. That is a vision which is both stupid and unimaginative and precludes peace.

You claim that I'm "focused on past transgressions" when in fact mostly what I have done in the last few pages is correct erroneous assertions about the past, most of which are straight out of Zionist propaganda. Jordan is Palestine. False. Israel has been invaded by her neighbors repeatedly. False, and actually the reverse is the case. Judaism is a nationality. False. The October War was an attempt to destroy Israel. False. And so on.

Zionism's crimes are ongoing; they are far from being in the past. Stealing Palestinian land. Still happening. Murdering Palestinian civilians. Still happening. Deliberately sabotaging the Palestinian economy. Still happening. When it comes to Zionists in Palestine, the words of Faulkner are very literally true: the past isn't dead; it isn't even past.

Some sort of a reality-based understanding of history is necessary if you want to have any sort of real understanding of the situation. And that, lest we forget, is the point here: understanding. Nobody here is negotiating on behalf of the Israelis; nobody is negotiating on behalf of the Palestinians. The point is to compare notes and argue and learn.
"Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
-- Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yurell » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:43 am UTC

@Battlemoose: To be fair, a combination of #2&3 worked for the IRA.
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!


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