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Letters to the Editor

Not religious war

September 13, 2010

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To the editor:

There is a lot going on in the world concerning the Middle East conflict of Arabs and Israelis. Naturally some people bring up religion as a major factor because most of the Arabs are Christians and Muslims and the Israelis are mostly Jewish. So we all think that it is a religious war. Well, it is not. It is the political ideology of Zionism that divides the Arabs and Israelis. It has nothing to do with their religion, although both lay claim to the land because it was promised (according to the Old Testament) to the Children of Israel.

Israel was a man, not a country, and he bore 12 sons, one of whom was named “Judah” and Judah’s religion came to be known as Judaism. He was one of the Children of Israel. Most of those children became, over time, Christians and Muslims converting to what they saw as the religion of their own choice. In essence, the Israelis are fighting their own ancestors, but refuse to admit that their brethren have converted to other faiths.

It appears that the solution lies in the partitioning of the land based upon an equitable settlement for both sides, however, not based on a religious text, or dogma, but upon fairness and justice. If one researches this topic, one will find injustice over the division made by the British Mandate and the unconventional and continuous support by the U.S. Had these two entities not interfered with the politics and geography of the region and not arming one and leaving the other to rock throwing, this conflict would have taken a different direction and may have been settled long ago — perhaps with justice and equity on both sides.

If we back up to this premise and go forward from there, both Israel and the Palestinians can save face, find justice and, above all, find a peaceful solution that will bring lasting peace and posterity to both peoples.

Comments

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

" Had these two entities not interfered with the politics and geography of the region and not arming one and leaving the other to rock throwing, this conflict would have taken a different direction and may have been settled long ago — perhaps with justice and equity on both sides."

But more likely there would have been an additional chapter in the history books detailing how Jews were slaughtered and driven from that land 3 days after its foundation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

"But more likely there would have been an additional chapter in the history books detailing how Jews were slaughtered and driven from that land 3 days after its foundation."

And this is the gist of the defense of the status quo-- rather than focusing on what really happened, an untestable hypothesis is trumpeted as proven fact.

But what really happened? Israel was founded on territory 98% of which had very recently been owned and occupied by Arabs, through a decree of the nascent UN that came after extreme arm-twisting from the US and Britain, who were anxious to take care of their "Jewish problem." After that decree, which showed little or no concern for the Arabs that would soon be displaced, the new state of Israel increased the intensity of a terroristic campaign of ethnic cleansing that was underway even before its official founding.

But for those invested in the hero-myth of Israel's founding, such as jaywalker, inconvenient facts such as these can never be acknowledged.

To be fair, there had been also Arab violence on even Jews before the founding of Israel, and since then it's been a tit-for-tat exchange of terrorist attacks from both sides. None of the supporters of violence, on either side, have any claim to a moral higher ground.

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

"After that decree, which showed little or no concern for the Arabs that would soon be displaced, the new state of Israel increased the intensity of a terroristic campaign of ethnic cleansing that was underway even before its official founding."

Increased the intensity of a terroristic campaign? Oh. You must be talking about the war that was declared AGAINST Israel 3 freakin' days after its foundation, right? How many Arab neighbors were involved in that? And that was due to a Jewish "terroristic campaign"?? Um, yeah, suuure.

And please give those of us who can actually smell the torofukundia you're shoveling with that last, incredibly ...umm...succinct? ...... and wholly transparent lip service toward "being fair", if you please. When you begin the preceding paragraph with "But what really happened", and then oh-so-impartially lay out YOUR blue-print (ya think your phrasing and word choice might have been a clue?)

And "hero myth" is a funny choice of words considering your take is purely "victim myth", with the "victims" incessantly acting the aggressor. Yup, you're sharp. No, really, you got it goin' on. Mm hmm.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

Unlike you, I can acknowledge mistakes made, no matter who made them.

And in this sad affair the Arabs have made them, the Jews/Israelis have made them, the Americans have made them, the Russians/Soviets have made them, the British have made them, the French have made them. The list is nearly endless.

But what will ensure that there will never be a resolution is the insistence by folks like you that Israel and the US are infallible, and the Arabs are just evil subhumans who deserve nothing less than total annihilation.

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

Brilliant response. Countries have made mistakes? The list is endless? That's deep.
And so so sorry, bozo, but just because you can't find anything to like about your home country doesn't make me as intellectually dismissive as yourself. I've never, ever posited that Israel or the U.S are "infallible" nor that Arabs are blah blah blah and deserve blah. What exactly is wrong with you?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

And next you'll tell me that just because it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, that doesn't mean it's not an aardvark.

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

Mares eat oats and goats eat oats and little lambs eat ivy. Perfect. Nonsense meets nonsense.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

OK, tell me what errors the US and Israel have made over the last several decades.

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

So now you want a thesis? I'm not gonna waste time with a synopsis of the "last several decades" for you, bozo. But for placation's sake, I'd say the U.S. turning a blind eye or just plain pretending that Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands captured in the '67 war can be overlooked merely to hold the 'prospect for peace' together is a tremendous blunder.
I'd also say that having someone as biased as Dennis Ross playing the role of 'Middle Eastern affairs' negotiator throughout the '90's is just plain myopic.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

So if I follow you line of reasoning, you must hate Jews and Americans. Why do you hate Jews and Americans?

devobrun 4 years, 3 months ago

Or it could be, bozo, that ensuring irresolution of the conflict is simply that they are all humans.

It could be that people are not only composed of rational thoughts, but irrational feelings as well. It could be that the Arabs, Christians, and Jews are all behaving in a very natural and predictable way toward each other.

I know too many university professors who are educated beyond the level of 99% of the world.....and they still do stupid stuff, like date grad students who blackmail them. Or fudge those numbers a little bit on that paper that is soon to make them famous.

Humanity, bozo. We are doomed to it. Homeless, druggies, Arabs and Jews, Pagans and monks.....all being quite human and violent, untrustworthy, irrational and angry, humiliated, fearful and.............

So, bozo, is your prescription to cease to be human by giving up your own wants and needs? Asking the Jews to do the same?

Heck, if there were no Jews then the Arabs wouldn't have the Jews to fight. They'd find someone else. Ditto for the Jews and everybody else.

Love exists in the world, bozo, peace does not. War does solve problems, bozo. If your enemy is totally defeated, then war resolved the conflict. It may not be just. It may not be good for humanity. But a war that defeats the enemy ceases the conflict. The obvious has long been rejected as wrong. It has been a long time since a war was won, by anybody.

Peace is negotiated and the conflict simmers and reignites periodically. This is true in Sudan, Indonesia, Columbia, Palestine.........everywhere. Rwanda is becoming violent again. Yikes!

I have two new little kittens. They attack each other and bite and tussle until one of them screams out in pain. Half hour later they are curled up and licking each other until they fall asleep.

But violence was rejected by the hippies and we still don't know how to deal with violence. It is a modern form of purity.......ignoring the obvious. Violence is as real as sex. Your parents prudishly hid sex. Now you old hippies prudishly reject violence, as if it should never happen.

Tell it to kittens....or the Arabs and Jews. See where it gets ya.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

BTW, when you have personal differences with someone, do you try to work them out, or do you just shoot them?

notaubermime 4 years, 3 months ago

"If one researches this topic, one will find injustice over the division made by the British Mandate"

Where are the complaints over how the British decided Jordan's borders? The British (as well as the other European countries) redrew the lines on the maps as they pleased. What makes Israel different?

Israel exists. There is no way to change that. The conflict continues not because of events that happened over half a century ago, but because people like this LTE author insist on blaming the past for their current misfortunes. The true blame for the current misfortunes of the Palestinians, though, has more to do with the violence they engage in.

independant1 4 years, 3 months ago

and the 'kill all jews' plank in the Palestinian political platform

Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

the real problem in the middle east is ignorance. If half the people in the middle east would spend half their time working on a solution to the problem instead of worshiping the invisible man or harboring resentment towards another group of people and their idea of the invisible man, then perhaps the boundaries that were set in place so long ago wouldn't seem so important.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 3 months ago

"It appears that the solution lies in the partitioning of the land based upon an equitable settlement for both sides, however, not based on a religious text, or dogma, but upon fairness and justice."

I thpnk that this is the crux of this letter. The israelis have taken the West Bank and are building settlements there. I think most Palestinians are sure that Israel exists but let them exist on land given to them from the mandate. This LTE is wrong in assuming that the land is divided along lines prescribed in the Bible. It was won in the 1967 war and if there is to be peace, they should give up the spoils of war to ensure that peace.

"But more likely there would have been an additional chapter in the history books detailing how Jews were slaughtered and driven from that land 3 days after its foundation."

I guess that would have depended upon who are better rock throwers than the other. But this way it was totally unfair and the Palestinians had no chance to fight for themselves. What would have happened if South Korea had no arms and the North would have wanted more land?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

So exactly what is "revisionist" history? To revise merely means to change. The history you've apparently chosen to believe was written by the winners in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Why do you choose to believe that particular version? Is believing someone else's version "revisionist?" Is that version false, merely because it contradicts the one you've chosen to believe?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

Talk about a litany of strawmen.

Here's a clue for you--

$3 billion of US tax dollars a year in mostly military aid to Israel, with which they've killed thousands of innocent civilians, not to mention a similar amount to prop up the Egyptian dictator so he'll play along.

And that's just a side show compared to the decades-long game of footsie with the tyrannical monarchy of Saudi Arabia just to maintain the flow of oil that also generously lubricates a slush fund that rewards cooperation of the right sort.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

What's the purpose of this little bit of rationalization?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

More likely is that you don't comprehend it. Regurgitation doesn't really require it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

Is all "true" history is unrevised? Unrevised from what? What sources should be included in a "true" history of the Middle East? Only Israeli, British and American sources? Can Arab perspectives be included at all? Are "liberals" always wrong, just by definition?

Flap Doodle 4 years, 3 months ago

It seems that the "if only the Israelis would let themselves be massacred, the Middle East would be peaceful" crowd is out early today.

grammaddy 4 years, 3 months ago

Not going to touch this one. It's a taboo topic at my house. We have family members on both sides and I've never been able to figure it out.Both sides will say what you just did. Icanttalkaboutit.

Jimo 4 years, 3 months ago

Rarely does anyone reveal for the world the particular biases and blind spots necessary to justify their views of this topic. Half a dozen truths mixed with half a dozen falsehoods. Congrats to the letter writer for allowing psychologists so much to work with.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

I appreciate the notion of the poor Palestinians throwing rocks at large Israeli tanks. Lost in the letter are the multiple invasions by Israel’s Arab neighbors and the use of terror weapons like large unguided rockets that kill indiscriminately. This whole mess would be easier to solve if we would consider all the historic realities and not a history bent by one side or the other.

maxhok 4 years, 3 months ago

If only we had given the jews large parts of Utah and Arizona back in '48. Would there be a problem now?

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

That was my idea too, although I originally proposed Kansas.

It's ironic that I wound up living here.

kansasmutt 4 years, 3 months ago

The whole fight is over a strip of land that has to do with religion. Pretty well sums it up.

Rex Russell 4 years, 3 months ago

There are a lot of "truths" here. After the 2nd World War, the world as a whole thought the Jews deserved a homeland. Some believed for negative reasons to get them out of Europe as a rationale was a good idea. Some good-heartedly believed they suffered a great deal and deserved a homeland, free of persecution. Unfortunately, this homeland that was carved out of British controlled lands. Lands that were traditionally Isreal, thousands of years ago. I see the logic. However, for thousands of years since that Isreali era, other people have been there and called it home. To create this Israel in 1946-1948, people had to be displaced, They were Arabs that had been there for hundreds of years. If you were Jewish, you were estatic, if you were Palastinian, you got screwed out of the land you were on. Two sides, two POVs.

independant1 4 years, 3 months ago

and those Arab/Palestinians that heeded the Arab neighbors advice, "get out while we rid Palestine of the zionists then y'all come back" got the shaft (circa 1948). Those that remained (approx 20% of current Israeli population) have a home albeit a jewish state.

One could argue they displaced themselves in a way.

Then there is greater Palestine, Palestine and Transjordan separated by Churchill 1922. Today there are approximately eight million Palestinians in that area: 1.2 millions in Israel, 1.15 millions in Gaza, 2 millions in the West Bank and 3.2 millions in Jordan.

factoids from - A greater Palestine? Perhaps "Palestine" should be declared to include Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan, writes Sharif Elmusa an associate professor of political science at the American University in Cairo.

an interesting read @ http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/792/re2.htm

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Some balance there, which is refreshing.

Although I can't imagine most Jewish people living in Israel are "ecstatic" about the situation, given the ongoing violence and instability.

snoozey 4 years, 3 months ago

Ya'd think the Treasured People would be mostly satisfied with New York CIty and Boca Raton - both seem a lot nicer than what I've seen of Palestine. I'd wager most Palestinians would trade out.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

I think moderates on both sides could actually manage to come to a decent agreement, if the extremists on both sides let them do so.

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