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Old 17 Aug 2011, 03:24 PM   #249606 / #26
columbus
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Originally Posted by cnorman18 View Post
Again, wait a minute…

Are you reversing your position now? Last time I looked, you said that the accusation that “the Jews stole the Palestinians’ land” was “clearly true.” Now you’re saying it’s so unfair, it isn’t relevant. If that’s not a contradiction and a reversal, I don’t know what one would look like. “Kinda true, but unfair” seems to be to be a little -- no offense -- weaselly?

Let me be clear; there’s certainly nothing wrong with changing your mind and conceding a point. I do it all the time, and it hasn’t left any blood on me yet. My respect for you would only grow. I've experienced that firsthand.
The accusation itself wasn't that Jews "stole" the Palestinians land. The distinction between "stole" and "displaced" is crucial to what I mean, as opposed to agreeing with the overheated rhetoric D quotes in "accusers".

For what it's worth, I have come to a better understanding of how Israelis acquired the property that became Israel. Also D describes that many Arabs moved there after the Jews arrived precisely because the Jews improved living conditions. This had never occurred to me before, but makes perfect sense. It is yet another twist in the incomprehensibly tangled situation.

There are lot's of things I understand much better now. That is part of the reason I have encouraged people to get and read the book. My fundamental beliefs are not all that different, but while I would have agreed with those first two accusations(more or less) before reading the book I do not any more.
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Why can’t you just admit that the accusation is almost wholly false? THAT would be true, AND fair. What’s WRONG with that simple statement? Are you under the impression that conceding a single point here constitutes some sort of defeat? You DO concede several points below; what's wrong with conceding this one, as opposed to rather obviously dancing around it?
Because there is an important distinction to be made between acquiring the property itself and declaring a sovereign state. This gets even worse when the borders of the state move around due to wars. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming Zionists for the wars, only that lots of people were displaced including many Palestinians.

Part of the problem here is that are a multitude of ways Jews acquired land. Some people inherited it from their ancient relatives from millenia ago. Some bought it from locals. Others bought from absentee owners and speculators who may well have less than impressive provenance. Some got it from people who fled violence, but didn't want to leave and are not permitted back. It's all a big mess.


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One big problem is that almost everything about this conflict is unusual to the point of unique. The tangled web this chapter refers to is one of the worst. The first Aliyah was pretty clearly a peaceful migration. The second probably started producing more cultural clashes and planted the seed of Zionism. But it was the flood that followed the horrors in Europe that really set the stage for the violence and war.
Wait a minute, again…

What flood? Jewish immigration was severely restricted almost until the day of partition. Exodus 1947, remember? We’ll get to that later, but unless you have some facts and reference to back that up, I’m not buying it.
I'm getting my figures from Dershowitz. I couldn't find a pre-1880 Jewish population figure. Given the description if Palestine as an empty land there couldn't have been more than a handful. On pg 33, D gives a Jewish population of 80-90,000 in 1917. On pg 47 he calls it 400,000 in 1938. On pg 81 he calls it 600,000 plus.
This may not have been a large influx by the standards of Ellis Island. But for a small, undeveloped, rural place like Palestine it was huge. It had to create upheaval and resentments and displacement.

Once again, gotta go. I'll try to get back this evening. I may even have my own machine back <insert "crossed fingers" smilie here>

Tom
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Old 17 Aug 2011, 04:08 PM   #249620 / #27
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Originally Posted by columbus View Post
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Originally Posted by cnorman18 View Post
Again, wait a minute…

Are you reversing your position now? Last time I looked, you said that the accusation that “the Jews stole the Palestinians’ land” was “clearly true.” Now you’re saying it’s so unfair, it isn’t relevant. If that’s not a contradiction and a reversal, I don’t know what one would look like. “Kinda true, but unfair” seems to be to be a little -- no offense -- weaselly?

Let me be clear; there’s certainly nothing wrong with changing your mind and conceding a point. I do it all the time, and it hasn’t left any blood on me yet. My respect for you would only grow. I've experienced that firsthand.
The accusation itself wasn't that Jews "stole" the Palestinians land. The distinction between "stole" and "displaced" is crucial to what I mean, as opposed to agreeing with the overheated rhetoric D quotes in "accusers".
That's a fair point, and I concede it; still, my remarks about the usual way the beginnings of Israel is described, as exemplified by the quoted accusations, stand. Granted that you here admit that you have learned better (which I applaud), but I might point out that you have described it in those terms yourself; "took their land away," e.g.
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For what it's worth, I have come to a better understanding of how Israelis acquired the property that became Israel. Also D describes that many Arabs moved there after the Jews arrived precisely because the Jews improved living conditions. This had never occurred to me before, but makes perfect sense. It is yet another twist in the incomprehensibly tangled situation.
Tangled, yes; incomprehensible, no. And even if it were, that would not justify entirely discounting and dismissing the needs, as well as the narrative, of one side over the other.
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There are lot's of things I understand much better now. That is part of the reason I have encouraged people to get and read the book. My fundamental beliefs are not all that different, but while I would have agreed with those first two accusations(more or less) before reading the book I do not any more.
Thank you, and I salute you for that. My own thoughts on the matter are evolving as well.

Good discussion,
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Why can’t you just admit that the accusation is almost wholly false? THAT would be true, AND fair. What’s WRONG with that simple statement? Are you under the impression that conceding a single point here constitutes some sort of defeat? You DO concede several points below; what's wrong with conceding this one, as opposed to rather obviously dancing around it?
Because there is an important distinction to be made between acquiring the property itself and declaring a sovereign state. This gets even worse when the borders of the state move around due to wars. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming Zionists for the wars, only that lots of people were displaced including many Palestinians.
Again, a fair point.
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Part of the problem here is that are a multitude of ways Jews acquired land. Some people inherited it from their ancient relatives from millenia ago. Some bought it from locals. Others bought from absentee owners and speculators who may well have less than impressive provenance. Some got it from people who fled violence, but didn't want to leave and are not permitted back. It's all a big mess.
My remarks above apply here as well.
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One big problem is that almost everything about this conflict is unusual to the point of unique. The tangled web this chapter refers to is one of the worst. The first Aliyah was pretty clearly a peaceful migration. The second probably started producing more cultural clashes and planted the seed of Zionism. But it was the flood that followed the horrors in Europe that really set the stage for the violence and war.
Wait a minute, again…

What flood? Jewish immigration was severely restricted almost until the day of partition. Exodus 1947, remember? We’ll get to that later, but unless you have some facts and reference to back that up, I’m not buying it.
I'm getting my figures from Dershowitz. I couldn't find a pre-1880 Jewish population figure. Given the description if Palestine as an empty land there couldn't have been more than a handful. On pg 33, D gives a Jewish population of 80-90,000 in 1917. On pg 47 he calls it 400,000 in 1938. On pg 81 he calls it 600,000 plus.
This may not have been a large influx by the standards of Ellis Island. But for a small, undeveloped, rural place like Palestine it was huge. It had to create upheaval and resentments and displacement.
Not to nitpick, but where is the evidence that all those Jews did not move into areas where the Jews already were? Assumptions again; where is the evidence? Don't get me wrong; your speculations here might be wholly right. But without evidence, they remain speculations.
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Once again, gotta go. I'll try to get back this evening. I may even have my own machine back <insert "crossed fingers" smilie here>
Best of luck with that. Hmmm -- I wonder if prayers for the healing of a computer are halachically acceptable...?
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Old 17 Aug 2011, 11:43 PM   #249752 / #28
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Originally Posted by cnorman18 View Post
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Once again, gotta go. I'll try to get back this evening. I may even have my own machine back <insert "crossed fingers" smilie here>
Best of luck with that. Hmmm -- I wonder if prayers for the healing of a computer are halachically acceptable...?
I don't know what halachically acceptable means. I do know that someone looked at my computer and explained that the "blahblahblah" blahblahblahed, and so when I blahblahblahed it blahblahblahed. Therefore when I tried to get on the net it obviously blahblahblahed. He explained that I need a new mouse and better internet service and an expensive upgrade of blahblahblah. I fixed a sandwich and a beer and booted him out, with a smile and a wave.


So, how is "halacically" different from "blahblahblah"? Other than some atheist guy who got me back on line when God didn't?


I realize that I am totally off-topic, I'm just posting the first things that come into my mind as a non-religionist puts me back into direct contact with Abrahamic religionists.

Tom
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Old 17 Aug 2011, 11:47 PM   #249756 / #29
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Edited. My machine must be having sympathy symptoms -- it posts before I tell it to.
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Originally Posted by columbus View Post
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Originally Posted by cnorman18 View Post
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Once again, gotta go. I'll try to get back this evening. I may even have my own machine back <insert "crossed fingers" smilie here>
Best of luck with that. Hmmm -- I wonder if prayers for the healing of a computer are halachically acceptable...?
I don't know what halachically acceptable means. I do know that someone looked at my computer and explained that the "blahblahblah" blahblahblahed, and so when I blahblahblahed it blahblahblahed. Therefore when I tried to get on the net it obviously blahblahblahed. He explained that I need a new mouse and better internet service and an expensive upgrade of blahblahblah. I fixed a sandwich and a beer and booted him out, with a smile and a wave.
Astonishing. What are the odds that we would go to the same computer repair guy?
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So, how is "halacically" different from "blahblahblah"? Other than some atheist guy who got me back on line when God didn't?
"Halacha" or "halakhah" is Jewish law. Would it be correct in Jewish law to pray for a computer to be "healed"?

It was totally facetious. We do have a "mishaberakh" prayer for the sick, but we don't do the "faith healing" thing; we'll pray for healing, but we DO expect you to go to a doctor. We don't put computers on the list, though...
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I realize that I am totally off-topic, I'm just posting the first things that come into my mind as a non-religionist puts me back into direct contact with Abrahamic religionists.
You know Abraham? Cool! Can you introduce me?

Oh, wait...

Last edited by cnorman18; 17 Aug 2011 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 19 Aug 2011, 12:39 AM   #250110 / #30
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Let me present a hypothical.

There are three characters.

A) A Syrian merchant who is quite wealthy. He inherited some property in Palestine from his great grandfather, who got it from a Turkish emir in exchange for a political favor in 1834 CE.

B) A group of 5 Polish families, who are jewish. They are trying to escape EuroChristendom, and the horrors of anti-semitism.

C) A family group of indigenous Palestinians. They are living the life their ancestors lived centuries ago, nomadic herding.


B emigrates to Palestine in 1922. They look around for a home. They find a hundred acre plot with a water source. They want it.

C has been using that water source for centuries. They don't own much of anything, they are poor, but they have used this water for their herds every year as far back as they know. They have an annual trek that returns them to the tiny plot they own every Ramadan. They don't own much of anything, they don't even get the concept of ownership of empty land much. They just do what their great-great-great- whatever fathers did. It is all they know.

B wants a home, here in the Holy Land. They offer A a price that is far and away more than he ever thought it was worth. A needs an assistant to show him where it is on a map. A is thrilled to get twenty times what he thought the property worth from an ignorant EuroJew. He sells. He has never even been there, he doesn't want the land and has no idea what goes on there.

C shows up to water their herd. B feels they own the land and the water source, having bought it. C doesn't even know who A is, much less why he could sell their ancestral grounds. But what C knows is that if they don't get some water their herds will die and so will they. And furthermore, B is a bunch of dhimmi, who shouldn't even be allowed to take over the water. God said so, it's right there in the Q'ran.

But the fucking Jewish dhimmi have rifles and they can displace the people who really live here, and have forever. C have no options, except to watch their children die, as far as they know. Nobody offers them anything, not the Brits and Yanks, and not the petro-lords. Fight or die, that is what their choices are.

They are still fighting. Their leadership has been abominable, Yasser Arafat and his billions, Mubarak, the Assads, the list is just endless. But the Palestinians aren't going to go away. Peace will require justice, justice according to the Palestinians. That will be a tough row to hoe. But the only other alternative is perpetual war.
I am not OK with that. I am particularly angry that my tax dollars are supporting Israel while the government is telling me that the USA can't afford basic needs for US citizens. I am being told that health-care is too expensive, but nobody talks about Israel. Taxes are "job-killers", except when they are funding Israel. Where did anyone in the last few years consider cutting my tax dollars to Israel? Never.

Tom
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Old 19 Aug 2011, 02:07 AM   #250133 / #31
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Let me present a hypothical.

There are three characters....
Sorry, but I'm not going to play -- unless I can introduce an equally self-serving and carefully constructed hypothetical that favors my side.

Wouldn't be hard; a Jewish family that had lived in Hebron, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, since Old Testament times; half of them are slaughtered in the Hebron Massacre of 1929, which was ordered by the Mufti, the Muslim leader of the Palestinian Arabs. The survivors are driven from their family home at gunpoint 20 years later, after Partition, and are compelled to leave all their possessions, everything but the clothes on their backs, behind...

See how easy it is to stack the deck? The difference, of course, is that I can prove that the Jewish family above actually existed and that those things actually took place.

I don't think either of us wants to play this; it's a propaganda game.
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....Peace will require justice, justice according to the Palestinians....
AND the Israelis.
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That will be a tough row to hoe. But the only other alternative is perpetual war.
With the addendum above, I agree.
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I am not OK with that. I am particularly angry that my tax dollars are supporting Israel while the government is telling me that the USA can't afford basic needs for US citizens. I am being told that health-care is too expensive, but nobody talks about Israel. Taxes are "job-killers", except when they are funding Israel. Where did anyone in the last few years consider cutting my tax dollars to Israel? Never.
Of course, US tax dollars are going to the Palestinians too -- and to Egypt, and to many other Arab nations -- and of course the US enjoys a mutually beneficial trade, IT-technical, economic, strategic and educational relationship with Israel as well, while virtually none of those apply to the Arab nations that get US dollars. US aid also goes to many other nations around the world NOT involved in this conflict at all. And then there are the subsidies and tax breaks given to huge industries that don't need it; and don't forget the under-the-table payments to corrupt officials in MANY nations, huge Congressional pensions and health plans beyond anything that is ever seen in the private sector, and...

I find your outrage curiously selective.

Let's get back to the book. If you have no comments or responses to my previous posts, Chapter 3 is next.
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Old 19 Aug 2011, 11:20 PM   #250463 / #32
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Messed up. My computer still doesn't work right.

Last edited by columbus; 19 Aug 2011 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 19 Aug 2011, 11:50 PM   #250469 / #33
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Originally Posted by cnorman18 View Post
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Originally Posted by columbus View Post
Let me present a hypothical.

There are three characters....
Sorry, but I'm not going to play -- unless I can introduce an equally self-serving and carefully constructed hypothetical that favors my side.

Wouldn't be hard; a Jewish family that had lived in Hebron, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, since Old Testament times; half of them are slaughtered in the Hebron Massacre of 1929, which was ordered by the Mufti, the Muslim leader of the Palestinian Arabs. The survivors are driven from their family home at gunpoint 20 years later, after Partition, and are compelled to leave all their possessions, everything but the clothes on their backs, behind...

See how easy it is to stack the deck? The difference, of course, is that I can prove that the Jewish family above actually existed and that those things actually took place.

I don't think either of us wants to play this; it's a propaganda game.
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I obviously failed in what I was trying to illustrate. When cultures come into conflict, and the two sides don't have the same understanding, there is a likelihood of violent resentments even though nobody did anything illegal or immoral by their lights. Especially when one is a primitive culture, like the Palestinians, and the other a wealthy and sophisticated one like the European immigrants.

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....Peace will require justice, justice according to the Palestinians....
AND the Israelis.
The Zionists have their sovereign Jewish dominated state. They already have justice and then some. But they are unhappy with the current situation, because the other people involved do not have justice and continue fighting.
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That will be a tough row to hoe. But the only other alternative is perpetual war.
With the addendum above, I agree.
One of the reasons I care about this is because I see the "perpetual war" as the likeliest flash point of WWIII. I expect that to be the most spectacularly violent event in human history. The human race could well render the planet uninhabitable, especially given the precarious state of the biosphere due to global climate change.

I do not care enough about Zionists to enable them to start such a war.

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I am not OK with that. I am particularly angry that my tax dollars are supporting Israel while the government is telling me that the USA can't afford basic needs for US citizens. I am being told that health-care is too expensive, but no[quotebody talks about Israel. Taxes are "job-killers", except when they are funding Israel. Where did anyone in the last few years consider cutting my tax dollars to Israel? Never.
Of course, US tax dollars are going to the Palestinians too -- and to Egypt, and to many other Arab nations -- and of course the US enjoys a mutually beneficial trade, IT-technical, economic, strategic and educational relationship with Israel as well, while virtually none of those apply to the Arab nations that get US dollars. US aid also goes to many other nations around the world NOT involved in this conflict at all. And then there are the subsidies and tax breaks given to huge industries that don't need it; and don't forget the under-the-table payments to corrupt officials in MANY nations, huge Congressional pensions and health plans beyond anything that is ever seen in the private sector, and...

I find your outrage curiously selective.
There is a huge difference between the USA spending $500 per capita in military hardware on Israel and spending 25 cents per capita on humanitarian aid. One third of all US foreign aid is sending military hardware to Israel. AIDS victims in Africa, for example, get about 15 cents per capita.

One of the things that pisses me off about the Tea Party Right is that they want to reduce government spending, but they won't mention Israel. We could cut the deficit by 50 billions over ten years if the USA left Israel to their own devices. We could not only save the money, but also save the interest we are paying because we are borrowing the money we send Israel. Israel can sell their own damn bonds to the Chinese.


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Let's get back to the book. If you have no comments or responses to my previous posts, Chapter 3 is next.
Sure. Once again D changes his chapter title to a strawman argument in "the accusation." "WAS THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT A PLOT TO COLONIZE ALL OF PALESTINE?' is the title, but the accusation is "Even if the First Aliyah can be characterized as an immigration of refugees merely seeking a home in Palestine, the Second Aliyah was the beginning of a Zionist imperialist plot to colonize all of Palestine."

I doubt that all Jewish immigrants thought that taking over all of Palestine was a feasible goal, or even a good thing. But if you think that nobody Jewish thought that taking over all of Palestine was possible and Godly, you can't be serious. Of course some did. So once again the answer to D's strawman argument is "Yes, but No".

I gotta go, be back later. When are you and your sweety running off?

Tom
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Old 20 Aug 2011, 03:47 AM   #250523 / #34
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Originally Posted by columbus View Post
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Originally Posted by cnorman18 View Post
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Originally Posted by columbus View Post
Let me present a hypothical.

There are three characters....
Sorry, but I'm not going to play -- unless I can introduce an equally self-serving and carefully constructed hypothetical that favors my side.

Wouldn't be hard; a Jewish family that had lived in Hebron, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, since Old Testament times; half of them are slaughtered in the Hebron Massacre of 1929, which was ordered by the Mufti, the Muslim leader of the Palestinian Arabs. The survivors are driven from their family home at gunpoint 20 years later, after Partition, and are compelled to leave all their possessions, everything but the clothes on their backs, behind...

See how easy it is to stack the deck? The difference, of course, is that I can prove that the Jewish family above actually existed and that those things actually took place.

I don't think either of us wants to play this; it's a propaganda game.
I obviously failed in what I was trying to illustrate. When cultures come into conflict, and the two sides don't have the same understanding, there is a likelihood of violent resentments even though nobody did anything illegal or immoral by their lights. Especially when one is a primitive culture, like the Palestinians, and the other a wealthy and sophisticated one like the European immigrants.
Let’s stop there just a minute.

You’re assuming that the Jews who immigrated to Palestine were “wealthy and sophisticated.” Sorry, but that’s a stereotype. The “wealthy and sophisticated” Jews fled to England and the US before the war began. The ones who were left after the war were DPs, “Displaced Persons,” and much of the land they bought was with money from the Jewish National Fund -- the Zionist organization -- not their own personal money. Remember the Exodus 1947? Those people were returned to DP camps in Germany, not to their townhomes in Berlin or Prague. They had been residents of poor shtetls and impoverished ghettos in Eastern Europe and Russia, and after the war those ghettos and shtetls no longer existed.

Further, they came to Israel to work the land with their own hands, not to live in condos with swimming pools. The early Zionists, those who were not independent farmers, were kibbutzniks, young socialists who lived on communal farms and, again, did all the work themselves. You want to talk about an “agrarian economy”? These were the early Israelis.

If you’d care to take a run at proving that most of them were “wealthy and sophisticated,” go for it. Otherwise, it’s another assumption and another unexamined buy-in of the Palestinian propaganda narrative.
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....Peace will require justice, justice according to the Palestinians....
AND the Israelis.
The Zionists have their sovereign Jewish dominated state. They already have justice and then some. But they are unhappy with the current situation, because the other people involved do not have justice and continue fighting.
Once again, I call your attention to the Israeli point of view, which was, as I recall, supposed to be the point of this thread: The Israelis are unhappy not because the other people involved “continue fighting”: they are unhappy because they continue to plan and carry out daily attempts at the mass murder of Israeli civilian noncombatants as primary targets, often successfully.

Call that “justice” if you like, but if there is ONE perspective on this conflict that is absolutely essential to understanding the Israeli point of view, that’s the one; and you keep discounting it or downplaying it or mischaracterizing it, as you do here.

“Fighting” makes the Palestinians sound like noble, brave patriots gallantly defending their people from attacks; the OBJECTIVE FACT is that they set out to murder -- not Israeli troops, mind -- not their actual avowed enemies -- but women and children at bus stops, pizzerias, synagogue services, weddings, family meals, and on city buses. Now you can say that “those are the people the Palestinians regard as their enemies,” and so JUSTIFY those murderous attacks on innocents -- people who had not yet been born when the Palestinians’ land was NOT stolen -- but let’s look at this conflict with a clear eye, and not pretend that one side is fat and happy and perfectly safe and content, and the other side is miserably oppressed and fighting valiantly against injustice.

“Fighting” is fighting; MASS MURDER is MASS MURDER. Failing to distinguish between deliberate and calculated attacks on innocent civilians and the efforts to STOP such attacks, as if they were morally equivalent, is hypocrisy of the highest order. That is PROPAGANDA, Tom, and I won’t stand by and let you speak of a bucket of shit and call it building material.

Honestly, my friend, if you can’t stop returning to slinging around this grossly slanted and one-sided polemic that totally dismisses and discards the Israeli point of view and totally endorses and cheerleads the Palestinian narrative and perspective, we have nothing more to talk about. You WILL acknowledge terrorism as a CENTRAL ISSUE in this conflict, a LEGITIMATE CONCERN of the Israelis, and that it’s fucking WRONG, or we can talk about books and movies.
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That will be a tough row to hoe. But the only other alternative is perpetual war.
With the addendum above, I agree.
One of the reasons I care about this is because I see the "perpetual war" as the likeliest flash point of WWIII. I expect that to be the most spectacularly violent event in human history. The human race could well render the planet uninhabitable, especially given the precarious state of the biosphere due to global climate change.

I do not care enough about Zionists to enable them to start such a war.
The very fact that you lay the blame for “STARTING” this potential war -- which has been hanging fire since 1948, MUCH longer than the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union -- at the feet of the Israelis alone, and apparently "starting" the war by nothing more than their very existence, rather betrays the fact that you are not at all interested in the Israeli point of view.

Let’s take a minute to talk about that word “Zionist” which is suddenly very prominent in your posts. You use it as an insult or a pejorative; you would not dare say “I do not care enough about Jews…”

A “Zionist” is one who believes that Israel has a right to exist as a nation and defend itself. That’s all. It does NOT mean one who is bent on conquering the entire Middle East, or murdering or expelling all Palestinians, or any other nefarious or evil scheme; it means one who wishes to see Israel survive as a nation. By that definition -- and, barring propaganda, it is the only actual definition -- virtually all Jews are Zionists. The overwhelming majority of Americans are Zionists (which, by the way, explains US support for Israel; the overwhelming majority of Americans think that it’s a good idea).

Let me make sure I understand what you just posted. You are perfectly OK with allowing every Jew in the Mideast to be either exterminated or expelled from Palestine in order to prevent a war from happening that has not yet happened after 63 years of conflict. Wipe out the nation of Israel; that would be “justice.” Is that about right?
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I am not OK with that. I am particularly angry that my tax dollars are supporting Israel while the government is telling me that the USA can't afford basic needs for US citizens. I am being told that health-care is too expensive, but no[quotebody talks about Israel. Taxes are "job-killers", except when they are funding Israel. Where did anyone in the last few years consider cutting my tax dollars to Israel? Never.
Of course, US tax dollars are going to the Palestinians too -- and to Egypt, and to many other Arab nations -- and of course the US enjoys a mutually beneficial trade, IT-technical, economic, strategic and educational relationship with Israel as well, while virtually none of those apply to the Arab nations that get US dollars. US aid also goes to many other nations around the world NOT involved in this conflict at all. And then there are the subsidies and tax breaks given to huge industries that don't need it; and don't forget the under-the-table payments to corrupt officials in MANY nations, huge Congressional pensions and health plans beyond anything that is ever seen in the private sector, and...

I find your outrage curiously selective.
There is a huge difference between the USA spending $500 per capita in military hardware on Israel and spending 25 cents per capita on humanitarian aid. One third of all US foreign aid is sending military hardware to Israel. AIDS victims in Africa, for example, get about 15 cents per capita.

One of the things that pisses me off about the Tea Party Right is that they want to reduce government spending, but they won't mention Israel.
Sure about that? This is from the Daily Paul, the website of Ron Paul, who came in SECOND in the Iowa GOP straw poll the other day:
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“Rand Paul, the newly elected Tea Party-backed senator from Kentucky, bluntly told the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel lobbying group, that they were going to disagree about the need for foreign aid and suggested that they move on to other topics, according to a person briefed on the meeting."
And from the father, Ron Paul himself:
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“We should be friends with Israel, and I don’t think we do a very good job at it. But I don’t think giving money to our friends is the right thing to do. I’m against all foreign aid, and if we cut out all the foreign aid today, we would cut out 7 times more foreign aid from the enemies of Israel. But I wouldn’t give foreign aid to Israel. I want Israel to have their own national sovereignty, I don’t want them to depend on us either for the money which socializes their economy and they’re in financial trouble as well, and I don’t want them to depend on us to tell them how to draw up their peace treaties or what to do with their borders. So yes, we should have friendship with them, we should trade with them, but total dependence on United States and on our money is a bad risk for them because we’re in bankruptcy, we’re not going to be there forever, we are going to come home and I think their dependency on us is very, very harmful to them.”
The Israelis are rather worried about Mr. Paul, and the Tea Party in general. From The Daily Forward:
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Growing Tea Party Movement Is Still a Great Unknown on Israel

WASHINGTON — The Tea Party movement, a loose conglomeration of conservatives angry over government spending, is considered one of the most influential groups on today’s American political scene.
For liberals and conservatives the Tea Party movement is a politically polarizing topic, but for the pro-Israel community it is a great unknown. With Tea Party activists focusing on domestic issues more than on foreign policy, and with views on Israel running the gamut from staunch support for right-wing Israeli positions to calls for a total reversal of American support for the Jewish state, pro-Israel activists are left guessing as to how the new movement could affect their cause…
Gee, maybe you should be a Teabagger.
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We could cut the deficit by 50 billions over ten years if the USA left Israel to their own devices. We could not only save the money, but also save the interest we are paying because we are borrowing the money we send Israel. Israel can sell their own damn bonds to the Chinese.
Like I said; the reason the US supports Israel is that the overwhelming majority of Americans think it’s a good idea.
This is from a guest column by a Democratic congressman, Steve Rothman, in the Star-Ledger, reprinted on NJ.com:
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Under the 2010 U.S. budget, about $75 billion, $65 billion and $3.25 billion will be spent on military operations and aid in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, respectively. Israel will receive $3 billion, in military aid only. There is no economic aid to Israel, other than loan guarantees that continue to be repaid in full and on time….
There isn’t enough space here to discuss the relative merits of the expenditures in these other countries, but we already know the critically important return the United States gets for helping its oldest, most trusted ally in the strategically important Middle East — the most powerful military force in that region, the pro-U.S., pro-West and democratic Jewish state of Israel. Here’s how.
First, it’s important to remember that about 70 percent of the $3 billion aid must be used by Israel to purchase American military equipment. This provides real support for U.S. high-tech defense jobs and contributes to maintaining our industrial base. This helps the United States stay at the very top in the manufacturing of our own cutting-edge military munitions, aircraft, vehicles, missiles and virtually every defensive and offensive weapon in the U.S. arsenal — with the added contribution of Israel’s renowned technical know-how.
Second, the United States and Israel are jointly developing state-of-the-art missile defense capabilities in the David’s Sling and Arrow 3 systems. These two technologies build on the already successful Arrow 2, jointly developed by our two countries, which is already providing missile defense security to Israel and U.S. civilians and ground troops throughout the region. The knowledge the United States gains from these efforts also has a positive multiplier effect on applications to other U.S. military and non-military uses and U.S. jobs.
Third, given Israel’s strategic location on the Mediterranean, with access to the Red Sea and other vital international shipping and military lanes of commerce and traffic, it is critically important to the United States that Israel continues to serve as a port of call for our troops, ships, aircraft and intelligence operations.
Israel also has permitted the United States to stockpile arms, fuel, munitions and other supplies on its soil to be accessed whenever America needs them in the region.
Fourth, America’s special relationship with Israel provides the United States with real-time, minute-to-minute access to one of the best intelligence services in the world: Israel’s. With Israeli agents gathering intelligence and taking action throughout the Middle East and, literally, around the world, regarding al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Iran and Hamas, among others, the United States receives invaluable information about anti-U.S. and terrorist organizations and regimes….
For about 2 percent of what the United States spends in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan this year, Americans can take pride in the return on our investment in aid to Israel. And with Israel’s truly invaluable assistance to America’s vital national security, we can take comfort that — in actions seen in Tehran and Damascus and noticed by al Qaeda and other anti-U.S. terrorists everywhere — the United States is safer and made more secure because of the mutually dependent and beneficial relationship between the United States and Israel.
You can oppose aid to Israel if you want to; Ron Paul does, and he's the Tea Party frontrunner next to Michelle Bachmann. The Democrats overwhelmingly support it. But in any case, let’s not pretend it’s a one-sided free gift with no benefits to the US. That’s propaganda, too.
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Let's get back to the book. If you have no comments or responses to my previous posts, Chapter 3 is next.
Sure. Once again D changes his chapter title to a strawman argument in "the accusation." "WAS THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT A PLOT TO COLONIZE ALL OF PALESTINE?' is the title, but the accusation is "Even if the First Aliyah can be characterized as an immigration of refugees merely seeking a home in Palestine, the Second Aliyah was the beginning of a Zionist imperialist plot to colonize all of Palestine."

I doubt that all Jewish immigrants thought that taking over all of Palestine was a feasible goal, or even a good thing. But if you think that nobody Jewish thought that taking over all of Palestine was possible and Godly, you can't be serious. Of course some did. So once again the answer to D's strawman argument is "Yes, but No".
Like I said, this book wasn’t written to counter only sensible and rational opposition to Israel, but to counter wildly partisan propaganda too. Sure, a FEW of the original settlers, and even a FEW of the original founders of the Zionist movement, dreamed of “colonizing” all of Palestine; but that was pretty quickly dropped.

I think we can agree on Chapter 3; the accusation is hugely overstated, and therefore essentially false.

Chapter Four awaits us; you said you thought it was important. I agree with Dershowitz's remarks, but I don’t think it is. Let’s see where we go….
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I gotta go, be back later. When are you and your sweety running off?
‘Bout two weeks now. Wedding is September 4, and a week in New Orleans pigging out on cuisine francais, jazz, and each other follows.
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Old 20 Aug 2011, 09:10 PM   #250804 / #35
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Let’s stop there just a minute.

You’re assuming that the Jews who immigrated to Palestine were “wealthy and sophisticated.” Sorry, but that’s a stereotype. The “wealthy and sophisticated” Jews fled to England and the US before the war began.
I am not comparing the people who moved to Palestine to the folks in New York or Hollywood. I am comparing them to the Palestinians. By the standards of an unimportant backwater in the middle east, yes those Europeans were wealthy and sophisticated.

This is a big part of the problem talking about this issue. The words just don't have the same meanings there that they do other places. Dershowitz exploits that semantic problem like the top drawer lawyer that he is. He is a master of the strawman argument. I'm not suggesting that he is dishonest or anything, he is just making a case for a client the way he has been trained and paid big bucks to do. Dershowitz is a top professional at making biased statements for a goal. That is how he got to be a law professor at Harvard.

Tom
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Old 20 Aug 2011, 09:18 PM   #250807 / #36
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There is much more to respond to in your post. But today is Doug's birthday and we are leaving in a minute for a 38 Special concert that he wants to go to. so I can't finish my response right now.

Dang, I'm going to miss you in New Orleans by only a few weeks. A friend's daughter is getting married there the first week end of October and I'm going down to do the pictures.

Tom
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Old 21 Aug 2011, 01:42 AM   #250909 / #37
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Let’s stop there just a minute.

You’re assuming that the Jews who immigrated to Palestine were “wealthy and sophisticated.” Sorry, but that’s a stereotype. The “wealthy and sophisticated” Jews fled to England and the US before the war began.
I am not comparing the people who moved to Palestine to the folks in New York or Hollywood. I am comparing them to the Palestinians. By the standards of an unimportant backwater in the middle east, yes those Europeans were wealthy and sophisticated.

This is a big part of the problem talking about this issue. The words just don't have the same meanings there that they do other places. Dershowitz exploits that semantic problem like the top drawer lawyer that he is. He is a master of the strawman argument. I'm not suggesting that he is dishonest or anything, he is just making a case for a client the way he has been trained and paid big bucks to do. Dershowitz is a top professional at making biased statements for a goal. That is how he got to be a law professor at Harvard.
I have to wonder, then, why we're bothering to have this discussion. You have, once again, handwaved away (and deleted) the bulk of my argument and merely repeated your own. Further, if we're going to keep going back and back and back again to ad hominems about Dershowitz, his profession, and so on, as if those were somehow evidence against his actual arguments, why am I here? Yes, Dershowitz is a Harvard-educated Jewish lawyer. Even you say that that does not indicate that he is dishonest -- though "master of the strawman argument" is a pretty direct contradiction of that rather tactical disclaimer. Deal with it. If he plays semantic games, you are free to dissect and address them; but merely complaining about them in general terms repeatedly mentioning his skills in the courtroom is no more than a smokescreen. If he's playing tricks, don't say it; SHOW it, and show why he's wrong. You have not shown his arguments, nor mine, to be merely "semantics" in this case. I posted some arguments on this subject, and you deleted and ignored some of the most cogent of them.

I say again: The Jews who settled in Palestine came as small farmers who would work the land with their own hands. What was so different and superior? If they had more formal education, so what? What difference did that make in the new lives they had chosen? They were becoming PART of that "unimportant backwater in the Middle East"'; Israel would not exist for another three generations, about as long after them as the founding of Israel is before our time today.

What does your statement above do except hold up a frankly racist stereotype as an argument? Your remarks here not only paint a false and misleading picture of the Jewish immigrants; they blatantly denigrate the Palestinians, as if they were all ignorant, illiterate nomads in rags without a culture or society or customs of their own, and without a "sophistication" of their own which was FAR more suited to that environment than the Northern European "sophistication" of the Jews, who were in a totally different and very demanding land which was very strange to them. If anyone had a cultural advantage in Palestine, it was the Palestinians, not the strangers. Degrees from the University of Prague and a knowledge of tailoring or silversmithing were not of much help when it came to dry-land farming. "Wealthy and sophisticated"? They had blisters on their hands as much as the Palestinians; probably more. They were not used to this kind of work. That, I will freely admit; but that was not an advantage.

I have to note, too, that just as in this case, you have rather noticeably not replied to many of my other arguments on this thread. You put forward your arguments, I rebut them, you handwave and repeat your own. For examples: The issue of the "one-state solution" not being acceptable or even reasonable from the Israeli point of view. "How will turning Palestine into Poland help?" You STILL have not commented on that at all; you repeated that the two-state solution would not work, and no more. On the Israeli perspective of that proposal, you have had nothing to say, and have implicitly indicated more than once that that perspective is of no account whatever. You have indicated more than once that justice for the Israelis is of no interest to you, and the only justice that counts is that demanded by the Palestinians.

You alleged that the Israelis demand a "double standard" and that that was the argument in Dershowitz's book; I showed that that allegation was false, and the the Israelis quite rightly demand that they be judged by the SAME standards as other nations, as they are not judged now. You have remained silent on that subject since; no comment on what I have said.

You have alleged, twice, that Israel is, essentially, a racist state that discriminates on the basis of ethnicity and religion, highlighting the Palestinian "right of return" as proof; I showed why that issue is not as simple as you indicate, and then asked if there were others that prove your claim -- and you have since remained silent on that issue as well.

I have commented several times on your use of one-sided, polemical rhetoric which tends to paint the Israelis as the oppressive bad guys and discount or totally ignore the Israeli point of view; you have neither retracted those statements nor commented on my criticisms of them.

Here in this last, for instance, you have characterized blatant terrorist mass murder as mere "fighting," have NEVER commented on the subject of the mass murder of innocents after your long-ago endorsement of it as legitimate on another thread, and and now you are, once again, remaining silent on the subject after my rather lengthy and impassioned responses to your careful avoidance of it and to your substituting of mischaracterizations of it.

And, of course, we have my responses to your remarks about US support of Israel and the supposed total lack of debate about it in the Congress, particularly on the part of the Republicans and the Tea Party. I have addressed both of those topics with quotes, facts, and hard numbers; and once again, they just seem to have disappeared into a black hole. You speak, I respond, you change the subject. This seems to have settled into a set pattern.

What should I do here? You make claims and arguments, I respond in detail, and you either handwave my points away and repeat what you've already said, or you go on to other things as if they had never been brought up. I don't want to be combative here, but I AM growing more than a little frustrated. There are more arguments and statements of mine that have gone unanswered than just the ones I've listed here. Are you going to actually DISCUSS these things, or just throw them up in the air and then forget about them when they don't fly? I respond to your arguments; when are you going to respond to mine with more than, "Well, you're wrong"?

If you won't engage with my arguments here, I see little point in continuing. If we're going to repeatedly talk about Dershowitz personally and his supposed tactics and trickery instead of discussing his actual arguments and facts, likewise.

It's very hard to escape the feeling that it doesn't much matter what I say here; and if that's the case, I'm wondering why I should spend so much time on these posts bothering to say anything.

Any comment on any of these issues? If not -- if another change of subject, or more mere repetitions of your Israeli-dismissing position follow, I suspect we are about done with this attempt at a rational, fair-minded, and two-sided discussion. That isn't what's happening.

It's up to you, Tom. No ill will implied; you know I like you and respect you. But I'm wondering what we're doing here.
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Old 21 Aug 2011, 02:50 AM   #250935 / #38
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There is much more to respond to in your post. But today is Doug's birthday and we are leaving in a minute for a 38 Special concert that he wants to go to. so I can't finish my response right now.
38 Special? I didn't know they were still touring.

This isn't the first time. As I noted in my last, there are rather a lot of my arguments to which you have posted no acknowledgments, never mind responses.

I hope very much that that is about to change.
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Dang, I'm going to miss you in New Orleans by only a few weeks. A friend's daughter is getting married there the first week end of October and I'm going down to do the pictures.
Well, crap. I'll try to leave some red wine in the town for you, but I make no promises.
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Old 23 Aug 2011, 03:03 AM   #251919 / #39
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You're absolutely right, I haven't been keeping up my end of this discussion well at all. I apologize. There's been a lot going on lately, I haven't been here at SC much at all. This thread requires more time to post on than I generally have had lately I am sorry about that. I'll be back.

38 Special put on a great show. Two weeks from now Grand Funk Railroad is coming to town There are a couple of organizations in this town that bring some fun stuff.

Tom
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Old 23 Aug 2011, 03:17 AM   #251921 / #40
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You're absolutely right, I haven't been keeping up my end of this discussion well at all. I apologize. There's been a lot going on lately, I haven't been here at SC much at all. This thread requires more time to post on than I generally have had lately I am sorry about that. I'll be back.
No apology necessary. Like I said, we're under no deadlines. I'm pretty busy myself & getting busier -- wedding craziness, y'know.

I keep saying all this uproar is a woman thing -- if guys were in charge, it would be jump over the damn broom and go home.
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38 Special put on a great show. Two weeks from now Grand Funk Railroad is coming to town There are a couple of organizations in this town that bring some fun stuff.
One of my college roommates went to high school with some of the guys in Grand Funk. I'm hoping the Buffalo Springfield reunion tour comes to Dallas... Apparently Hell froze over and pigs flew, they're playing together again.
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Old 21 Oct 2011, 04:20 PM   #272373 / #41
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Due to no further posting, I'm concluding this debate. Thank you cnorman18 and Columbus for your participation.
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