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Author Topic: Jews of the Middle East  (Read 8532 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jennifer
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« on: November 30, 2002, 11:57:58 PM »

There's a common misconception that most Israelis are Europeans who 'invaded' the Middle East.  Jews are the forgotten refugees of the Middle East.  

In 1948, the Jewish population of Egypt was approximately 75,000.  Today there are only 200 Jews in Egypt.  In 1956, the Egyptian government expelled 25,000 Jews and confiscated their property.  Approximately 1000 Egytian Jews were sent to prisons or detention camps.  In 1967, the homes and property of the few remaining Jews were confiscated.  

The Jewish community in Libya was one of the world's oldest.  Jews had lived there since the 3rd century BC.  The last surviving Jew in Libya died in 2002.  The 7000 Libyan Jews were expelled from the country and all Jewish property was confiscated in 1969.  

The situation in Syria is somewhat different in that Syria won't allow its Jews to emigrate to Israel.  In 1948, approximately 30,000 Jews lived in Syria.  It was a 2500 year old community.  After the partition, Arab mobs murdered many Jews and burned synagogues, homes and shops to the ground.  The Syrian government placed travel restrictions on the Jews.  Jews caught trying to flee to Israel were put to death or imprisoned.  Jewish bank accounts were frozen and Jews were prevented from buying property.  Jewish schools were closed and handed over to Muslims.  Syranian Jews were only allowed to travel abroad if their family members served as hostages ensuring their return.  The Jews were allowed allowed exit visas if they agreed not to emigrate to Israel.  The Jews were finally free to leave the country in 1994.  

In 1948, Tunisia had a Jewish population of about 105,000.  Today the Jewish population is about 1300.  

In 1948, Iraq had a Jewish population of about 150,000 and now only approximately 100 remain .  

In 1948, Morroco had a Jewish population of approximately 265,000.  Today the Jewish population is about 5,800.  

In 1948, Algeria had a Jewish population of about 140,000.  Today there are less than 100 Jews.  

Do the Arab nations that expelled them owe them compensation for their property?  Are these people any less "Arab" than the "Palestinians?"  

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Aklie Semaet
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2002, 12:07:38 AM »

What about the Ethiopian Jews; what's your version of their story?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2002, 12:15:36 AM »

Aklie,

What's yours?

Jennifer,

What are your sources, please?

Dan Lauffer
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Jennifer
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2002, 01:49:24 AM »

Aklie,

What's yours?

Jennifer,

What are your sources, please?

Dan Lauffer

Nothing I wrote is revolutionary.  It's fairly well documented.  It discussed in every credible history of modern day Israel.  For example, from Paul Johnson's History of the Jews:
"...there were the Jews encouraged or forced to flee from Arab states where, in some cases, Jewish communities had existed for 2,500 years.  In 1945 there were over 500,000 [probably more like 800,000] Jews living in the Arab world.  Between the outbreak of the war on 15 May 1948 and the end of 1967, the vast majority had to take refuse in Israel..."  There's also this little gem:
"The Arab governments, with the assistance of the UN, kept the Arab refugees in camps, pending a reconquest of Palestine which never came."  

BTW, Paul Johnson is a respected historian and (I shouldn't even have to add this) is a Christian.  

You might also want to check out this website http://www.jimena-justice.org/links/links.htm

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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2002, 10:04:44 AM »

Jennifer,

Thank you.  I didn't doubt the veracity of your dates and figures but only wished to have you show the sources to end the claims of some here that Jews can be safe anywhere.  It isn't so.  

Dan Lauffer
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Aklie Semaet
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2002, 03:42:09 PM »

Ethiopian Jews were safe in Ethiopia as Jews. They were just poor like everyone else. Don't universalize European behavior. I think that is called ethnocentrism, at least it was last time I checked. Obviously the creation of Israel and the resulting turmoil in the Middle East has everything to do with what happened to Jews in the Middle East.
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Jennifer
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2002, 05:22:01 PM »

Ethiopian Jews were safe in Ethiopia as Jews. They were just poor like everyone else. Don't universalize European behavior. I think that is called ethnocentrism, at least it was last time I checked. Obviously the creation of Israel and the resulting turmoil in the Middle East has everything to do with what happened to Jews in the Middle East.


Safe?  I don't think so.  Almost 2,500 Ethiopian Jews were murdered after the coup in 1973 and about 7000 were made homeless.  In the early 1980's, Ethiopia forbad the practice of Judaism and the teaching of Hebrew.  Numerous Jews were imprisoned on charges they were "zionists spies."  Jewish religious leaders were closely monitored by the police.  More inconvenient facts for you to address which you will probably ignore.  

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Aklie Semaet
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2002, 05:48:14 PM »

In the early 1980's, Ethiopia forbad the practice of Judaism and the teaching of Hebrew.

Judaism was never forbidden, that is a wild claim. Hebrew was forbidden along with all other Ethiopian languages like Tigrignya, Oromingya, Guragingya, and Ge'ez as a language of instruction. The government privileged Amharic as the national language and that is that.

Almost 2,500 Ethiopian Jews were murdered after the coup in 1973 and about 7000 were made homeless.  

There were tens of thousands of Christians murdered and made homeless. The Patriarch of the Church was put in jail and murdered. Tens of thousands of Muslims were murdered along with students and others. The land of the Church was confiscated and the seminaries for the religion closed.

Ethiopian Jews were killed for the same reason as everyone else; not because they were Jews and there for certain is no ‘anti-Semitism’ in Ethiopia. Even the word sounds bizarre all of the languages I mentioned above, with the exception of Oromingya, are Semitic.

Another thing, no Christian in Ethiopia ever tried to re-circumcise an Ethiopian Jew like European Jews argued needed to happen to them (and a few Jews tried to commit on a poor Ethiopian fellow). They never chased them through out the street yelling “Cooshi” or any other racially charged insults at them.

Take your Zionist propaganda and place it elsewhere, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about when it comes to Ethiopia.

Don’t mistake the crimes of YOUR European culture against Jews and try to universalize them and apply them were they are irrelevant.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2002, 06:02:33 PM by Aklie Semaet » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2002, 06:16:45 PM »

Alkie, all of the facts you don't like are "zionist propaganda" just like with the anti-semites.  But you have Jewish friends, right?  The many anti-Zionist Jewish activists.  I've yet to meet a Jew who didn't support the state of Israel but according to the internet they exist.  And I understand your need to dismiss the claims of Ethiopian Jews because their existence challenges your claim that zionism is racism.  

BTW, it's interesting that you justify the persection of Ethiopian Jews by pointing to the persecution of other ethnic minorities.  The fact remains that Ethiopian Jews were persecuted because they were a minority faith and have to flee.  The persecutions unfortunately continue.  A pogrom of sorts took place in a village.  Jewish homes only were burned to the ground.  But you'll dismiss this as "zionist propaganda" because it doesn't fit your agenda.  
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Aklie Semaet
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2002, 06:38:00 PM »

Lord have mercy, now a man who is deeply involved in the Ethiopian Human Rights movement is justifying the persecution of Ethiopian Jews and other minorities.

BTW, it's interesting that you justify the persection of Ethiopian Jews by pointing to the persecution of other ethnic minorities.

Keep babbling on. You clearly don’t know a thing about Ethiopia, and know even less about the history, sociology and culture of the Beta Israel, also known as the Falashas and labeled by European Jews as “The Black Jews.” I pointed to the consistency of the state’s persecution of all Ethiopians in general and especially the Christians. Everyone was persecuted and killed without discrimination. The military government promoted atheism and did not like Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any traditional African religions. BTW the other groups I mentioned are not ‘ethnic minorities’ at all. The Oromo are the majority and had their language, culture and religion suppressed. Christianity is the biggest religion and the state tried to end its existence and ‘turn Monasteries into Museums’ as documents revealed after they were overthrown. In other words Jews are not discriminated against in Ethiopia AS JEWS. To the extent that they are it is the same with all other religions, languages and ethnic groups.

You outrageous perspective of Ethiopia makes me question your credibility in dealing with other areas that I know less about.  

Its like being a scholar of astronomy and having to argue with a nut case talking about alien abductions who cites all sorts of ‘alternative’ sources, suppressed by the government.

I've yet to meet a Jew who didn't support the state of Israel

That says more about you and your claustrophobic social milieu than it does Jews.

Zionism being racism is not contingent upon what happened to the Beta Israel, Zionism is racism as is proven by the oppression of the Palestinians by the Israeli state.

But you'll dismiss this as "zionist propaganda" because it doesn't fit your agenda.

My only agenda is justice.


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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2002, 07:47:17 PM »

Lord have mercy, now a man who is deeply involved in the Ethiopian Human Rights movement is justifying the persecution of Ethiopian Jews and other minorities.

BTW, it's interesting that you justify the persection of Ethiopian Jews by pointing to the persecution of other ethnic minorities.

Keep babbling on. You clearly don’t know a thing about Ethiopia, and know even less about the history, sociology and culture of the Beta Israel, also known as the Falashas and labeled by European Jews as “The Black Jews.” I pointed to the consistency of the state’s persecution of all Ethiopians in general and especially the Christians. Everyone was persecuted and killed without discrimination. The military government promoted atheism and did not like Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any traditional African religions. BTW the other groups I mentioned are not ‘ethnic minorities’ at all. The Oromo are the majority and had their language, culture and religion suppressed. Christianity is the biggest religion and the state tried to end its existence and ‘turn Monasteries into Museums’ as documents revealed after they were overthrown. In other words Jews are not discriminated against in Ethiopia AS JEWS. To the extent that they are it is the same with all other religions, languages and ethnic groups.

You outrageous perspective of Ethiopia makes me question your credibility in dealing with other areas that I know less about.  

Its like being a scholar of astronomy and having to argue with a nut case talking about alien abductions who cites all sorts of ‘alternative’ sources, suppressed by the government.

I've yet to meet a Jew who didn't support the state of Israel

That says more about you and your claustrophobic social milieu than it does Jews.

Zionism being racism is not contingent upon what happened to the Beta Israel, Zionism is racism as is proven by the oppression of the Palestinians by the Israeli state.

But you'll dismiss this as "zionist propaganda" because it doesn't fit your agenda.

My only agenda is justice.




So the other Arab nations are also racist?  They also persecute the Palestinians?  You do know about the Jordanian massacre of Palestinians, don't you?  Probably not because that doesn't serve your agenda.  Or how Arafat was expelled from Egypt?  Again probably not.  

Your agenda is not justice because your agenda is the eradication of Israel.  What of the thousands of Jews who have lived in Israel for centuries?  Is it "just" to make them leave?  What of the Jews who were expelled from Arab countries?  I have yet to see you express any remorse about that.  BTW, I guess that's further proof of Arab racism but I bet we won't see you describe Arab leaders as "racist war criminals."  
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2002, 08:40:53 PM »

I'm stepping in as administrator before this gets out of hand.

This discussion is rapidly escalating into a bunch of ad hominems. I ask that the respective parties involved in this debate cool it down and try to keep somewhat on topic.

Bobby
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Aklie Semaet
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2002, 09:07:29 PM »

Thank you Bobby; I will try to keep calm and refrain from responding to ad hominems with ad hominems.

To Jen,

Can you stay on the topic? We are talking about Ethiopia and Ethiopian Jews and how your comments on them and their history are flawed. Since you obviously know nothing about Ethiopia you invoke analogies from other parts of the world. You jump around to Arabs and Arab statesmen treatment of Palestinians. By you even pointing to the behavior of Arab governments as if it is new news is evidence that you don’t read much Arab literature or news.  Read some articles by Palestinians like Edward Said; nothing that you mention is new and is part of the political discourse in the Middle East.

The apologist of apartheid used to use the same types of arguments and resort to the same types of responses. You are denouncing the treatment and conditions of Blacks in South Africa and they start talking about Idi Amin way the hell over in Uganda. It is the method of charlatans. You mention  an anti-Apartheid activist who they arrested or killed (like Steve Biko) and they respond by telling you how some U.S. puppet African government has also arrested an exiled South African leader, on and on to dodge around the subject at hand.

What of the thousands of Jews who have lived in Israel for centuries?

Will you quit; Samer already made that case clear. We are not talking about Jews that lived in Israel for this or that many years. We are talking about a racist state that has stolen land and lives by the oppression of the native inhabitants.

What of the Jews who were expelled from Arab countries? I have yet to see you express any remorse about that

I have said consistently, and repeatedly both this time around and previously that I am opposed to anti-Jewish discrimination. That does not mean I have to be a supporter of the racist state of Israel.  

but I bet we won't see you describe Arab leaders as "racist war criminals."

Why would I not? The Arabs who cut off the tongues off Copts for speaking Coptic are racist, the Turks that launched a wholesale genocide against the Armenians (killing 1.5 million) are racist, the African Americans who settled in Liberia during slavery and acted like any white colonizer and began oppressing native Africans were racist, Israel and it’s theft of Palestinian land and oppression of the Palestinians is racist. I don’t have any problem with stating that; YOU have a problem with stating that. Opposing a racist state, rather it is South Africa or Israel is Just.





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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2002, 09:50:34 PM »

Dear Jennifer,

As an administrator, I would also like to step in here with a question for you.  

You are, of course, welcome to this forum as is everyone else, and also to post in the various folders, including "Free For All".  But this is a forum whose function primarily is to discuss Orthodox Christianity.  If this is not true, please forgive me, but from the time you have started posting, it seems all you've been doing is writing pro-Israel posts (granted that this is in "Free For All").  You are entitled to your view as is everyone else, but I wonder what you are trying to accomplish here with your posts.  

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2002, 11:11:58 PM »

Alkie, you wrote that Zionism was racism because the Palestinians were oppressed.  So I asked if the Arab nations that oppress the Palestinians were also racist because they do the same thing?  BTW, the topic is Jews in the Middle East not Jews in Ethiopia.  

I pointed to the Arab oppression of Palestinians because it is never mentioned by the Palestinian apologists.  And I don't read Arab news sources because I don't have much respect for garbage like the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion which is currently being made into a mini-series on Egyptian television.  

Now I'm confused.  I didn't mention anything about Idi Amin.  What are you talking about?  

When did these "stealing zionists" enter into Israel then?  As I wrote Jerusalem was a majority Jewish city in 1900.  But yet despite that Israel gave up control over Jerusalem when they accepted the Partition.  The Partition recognized that there were hundreds of thousands of Jews living in the Holy Land.  It gave historic Jewish cities like Hebron and Jerusalem to the Arabs.  Jews who had lived in Jerusalem for centuries left their homes.  How is that "stealing?"  But then the Arabs attached and the Jews defended themselves and conquered additional land to provide a buffer zone so they could be protected.  Arabs living in those lands fled without even seeing an Israeli soldier.  They were told to do so by irresponsible war-mongering Arab leaders who thought they could push the Jews into the sea.  Do you really think that had the Arabs won the hundreds of thousands of Jews living in Israel would have been allowed to stay?  Then the West Bank was also captured in war that was not initiated by Israel.  Why is Israel condemned for protecting itself against nations that attack them?  

What you keep dancing around is the historic presence of Jews in the Holy Land since the time of Christ.  There was no point where all of the sudden Europeans attacked and stole land from the Arabs.  It was a graduation emigration.  Jews fleeing persecution in Europe and unable to enter the US after the quota system was established.  Can you blame them?  Death or emigration to Israel?  I suppose you'd rather that they died back in Ukraine or later in the gas chambers so they couldn't 'trespass.'  

Mor, I've been reading this board for a few months.  A friend who is a regular contributor (I won't 'out' him) told me about it.  I love Eastern Orthodoxy.  I was briefly an Orthodox Catechumen but decided to remain a Catholic although I still consider conversion.  I just had a conversation with a ROCOR priest about conversation, BTW.  I started posting because I hate anti-semitism.  I just couldn't let a statement like "let's rid the Holy Land of zionist Jews" go by without expressing my outrage.  

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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2002, 12:03:21 AM »

I suppose you'd rather that they died back in Ukraine or later in the gas chambers so they couldn't 'trespass.'  

Mor, I've been reading this board for a few months.  A friend who is a regular contributor (I won't 'out' him) told me about it.  I love Eastern Orthodoxy.  I was briefly an Orthodox Catechumen but decided to remain a Catholic although I still consider conversion.  I just had a conversation with a ROCOR priest about conversation, BTW.  I started posting because I hate anti-semitism.  I just couldn't let a statement like "let's rid the Holy Land of zionist Jews" go by without expressing my outrage.  


Dear Jennifer,

Very well.  You are entitled to your opinion, and to express it here.  This is "Free For All", and so things are allowed to get a little heated here, but I want to remind everyone that this isn't an excuse for being uncharitable.  On the contrary, it demands more charity on everyone's part.  I've gotten complaints about the lack of this from a few, and want it to be stopped.    

I have questions about all this stuff, and you'll pardon me if they sound ignorant...I am not well informed on these things (and admittedly haven't really paid too much attention...my own country has problems with its neighbours, why bother with someone else?).  

The assumption above seems to be that after the Nazis were defeated, in order to protect the Jews, they needed their own homeland.  Why?  Why is there the need to live in a country of one's own to escape one's enemies if those enemies have been crushed (and indeed, to take that country from others)?  

Or do you believe that the Jews are in danger wherever they are found?  I assure you, they were never in danger in India, where they have been for quite a long time.  If I'm not mistaken, a number of Jews emigrated to Israel from India shortly after the former was formed (the number I heard more than once was in the tens of thousands, but I cannot confirm that).  There are some still there today, and the world's oldest continually-in-use synagogue is in Kochi (Cochin).  I'm sure there are other places in the world where the Jews aren't a persecuted minority.  

The point someone made about bringing a European problem to the Middle East is something I can relate to.  European colonialists have made a mess in many places.  They divided up the one India into two countries, and we have been dealing with the repercussions ever since.  I've heard that in Africa they divided up the countries without consideration for tribes, their lands, etc., and so we have heard of problems of that sort.  Europeans seem to have a knack (or once did) of making their problems the problems of others who have plenty of their own and don't need more.  How is this case different?  What was the basis for picking the geographic location of Israel for the new state, rather than cutting away a section of Germany or another European country?  Was this indeed based on some need, or was it simply a bunch of people of the Judaeo-Christian tradition saying "Well, the Bible says they came from there, so we should put them there"?
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« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2002, 12:03:35 AM »

Economan,
       I hope you didn't think your post was ignored.  I am replying here because the moderators have very reasonably asked that we move the discussion from the thread about Cardinal Law.

<<Given the treatment of Christians under Muslim rule,
<<why do people think that a Palestian state would
<<treat its Christian minorities better than Israel?

         Personally, I do not think that they necessarily would be.  It seems to me that we may be seeing the dying gasps of Palestinian Christianity, and I don't personally think they would fare much better under Muslim Palestinians than under the state of Israel, though I could be wrong.  I pray that it is not so, but I have a feeling that Jennifer's analogies may be all too apt.  There may come a time in the near future where visitors look at Palestinian Christians as tourists to the American Southwest sometimes look at Native Americans: a quaint piece of living history with some interesting customs and crafts.
         The fact that this is so in no way excuses the often barbarous actions of the Israeli state toward the Palestinian people.  I do not believe that anything that has been done to the Jewish people historically justifies bulldozing Palestinian homes.  I do not believe that anything Arab nations have done historically justifies attacks like Deir Yassin.  I look at Israel, a nation that claims to be a western democracy, and I expect it to live up to its supposed high ideals.
          Christians must speak truth to power.  We must do so with love and peacefully.  We must be realistic, not utopian, but we must follow the commands of Christ, seeking justice and showing forth mercy.



[The caption reads: An Assyrian-Orthodox monk, holding an olive branch, symbolizing peace, after he and other Christian priests, monks and pilgrims, were prevented by Israeli forces from marching into the West Bank town of Bethlehem at the checkpoint between Jerusalem and the biblical town, Wednesday, April 3, 2002. Senior Christian clerics urged Israel to let religious leaders mediate between the Israeli army and Palestinian gunmen holed up for a second day inside Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)]

       Regardless of one's personal affinities toward Jewish or Palestinian culture, imagine how it might change the face of Palestine/Israel if all Christians provided such a brave witness.

<<Prior to 911 I could technically see how one could be
<<anti-Israeli but not anti-Jewish. Now, I fail to see the
<<difference.

         I am sorry, Economan, but I just don't see the connection.  Could you please explain how September 11th is related to the question of whether one can oppose the state of Israel and not be anti-Jewish?
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2002, 12:53:00 AM »

Mor Ephrem,

Where does one begin?  Should we recount the enslavement of Jews by both Arabs and Europeans throughout the Middle Ages?  Shall we recount the pogroms against the Jews in Orthodox Russia and the rest of Eastern Europe throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries?  What of France, Spain, Germany, and much of South Asia?  

In the 18th century Mendelsohn recommended a reform of Judaism.  Mainly it was an attempt to gut Judaism of its religious trappings and make it rather a simple ethical witness. The Enlightenment was a heady period for rationalists.  The hope was that the reform would make it possible for Jews to blend it and would stop the pogroms. It didn't work.  In the 19th century Theodore Hertzl championed the idea of Zionism which was postulated upon the assumption that without a state to defend Jews could not survive.  Many trickled into the Middle East to join the other Jews who were already there.  But Zionism did not get its real impetus until the 1940's when it became clear that no nation would ever accept the Jews as the sought to run from Nazi persecution.  Not only were the Germans their enemies but so were the Brits, Americans, Italians, French and Russians.  Where could they go?  Must people all emigrate to India in order to find security?  

There was no country called Palestine except as a controlled area ruled by the Romans in the first centuries of this era.  It came under the forced protection of Britain in the early 20th century but the area was not a country.  Perhaps it should have stayed that way.  I do not know.  At any rate it did not.  Jews and the Arabs of the area could have lived in peaceful coexistence but the surrounding Arab nations wanted none of it.  Jews had always been mere Dhimmis in their eyes, just as Christians have always been.  They could never be treated as equals.  

Convert or become slaves or die...that has been the way for many of the Arab nations since the time of Mohammed.  When the Jews were naturally unwilling to experience more slavery war broke out.  

I wish someone who wants the end of Zionism would suggest a place where Jews could live in peace.  It would be nice.  But I don't know of any other place than where they are.

Dan Lauffer

"The assumption above seems to be that after the Nazis were defeated, in order to protect the Jews, they needed their own homeland.  Why?  Why is there the need to live in a country of one's own to escape one's enemies if those enemies have been crushed (and indeed, to take that country from others)?  

Or do you believe that the Jews are in danger wherever they are found?  I assure you, they were never in danger in India, where they have been for quite a long time.  If I'm not mistaken, a number of Jews emigrated to Israel from India shortly after the former was formed (the number I heard more than once was in the tens of thousands, but I cannot confirm that).  There are some still there today, and the world's oldest continually-in-use synagogue is in Kochi (Cochin).  I'm sure there are other places in the world where the Jews aren't a persecuted minority"
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2002, 12:56:55 AM »

Apropos the disappearance of the Palestinian Christian, from a recent  Zinda Magazine:

PALESTINIAN CHRISTIANS FACE ETHNIC CLEANSING

The Palestinian Christian is an endangered species. When the modern state of Israel was established there were about 400,000 of us. Two years ago the number was down to 80,000. Now it's down to 60,000. At that rate, in a few years there will be none of us left. Palestinian Christians within Israel fare little better. On the face of it, their number has grown by 20,000 since 1991. But this is misleading, for the census classification "Christian" includes some 20,000 recent non-Arab migrants from the former Soviet Union. So why are Palestinian Christians abandoning their homeland? We have lost hope, that's why. We are treated as non-people. Few outside the Middle East even know we exist, and those who do, conveniently forget.

I refer, of course, to the American religious right. They see the modern Israel as a harbinger of the Second Coming, at which time Christians will go to paradise, and all others (presumably including Jews) to hell. To this end they lend military and moral support to Israel. Even by the double-dealing standards of international diplomacy, this is a breathtakingly cynical bargain. It is hard to know who is using whom more: the Christian right for offering secular power in the expectation that the Jewish state will be destroyed by a greater spiritual one, or the Israeli right for accepting their offer. What we do know is that both sides are abusing the Palestinians. Apparently we don't enter into anyone's calculations.

The views of the Israeli right are well known: They want us gone. Less well known are the views of the American religious right. Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla., said: "God appeared to Abraham and said: 'I am giving you this land,' the West Bank. This is not a political battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true." House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, was even more forthright: "I'm content to have Israel grab the entire West Bank... I happen to believe that the Palestinians should leave."

There is a phrase for this: ethnic cleansing. Why do American Christians stand by while their leaders advocate the expulsion of fellow Christians? Could it be that they do not know that the Holy Land has been a home to Christians since, well ... since Christ? Do not think I am asking for special treatment for Christians. Ethnic cleansing is evil whoever does it and to whomever it is done. Palestinian Christians - Maronite Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Armenians, Baptists, Copts and Assyrians - have been rubbing shoulders with each other and with other religions - Muslims, Jews, Druze and most recently Baha'is - for centuries. We want to do so for centuries more. But we can't if we are driven out by despair.

What we seek is support: material, moral, political and spiritual. As Palestinians, we grieve for what we have lost, and few people (the Ashkenazi Jews are one) have lost more than us. But grief can be assuaged by the fellowship of friends.

Prof. Abe Ata
Palestine

[Z-info: Prof. Ata is a ninth-generation Christian Palestinian born in Bethlehem. He is a visiting Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia and author of 11 books, including Intermarriage between Christians and Muslims.]
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2002, 01:13:42 AM »

Dan,
      I really do appreciate what you are trying to say.  However, I think that some of us still can't understand why the Jews in particular should have been given a special homeland when other groups have also been severely persecuted, including but not limited to the Gypsies.  You see, the fact that Jews have been persecuted in many areas simply does not mean that they necessarily have a "right" to a homeland.

<<Where could they go?  Must people all emigrate to
<<India in order to find security?

       Why is the Middle East a more acceptable alternative?  Regardless of whether there was ever something called the "Palestinian state" before the arrival of the Zionists (there was not), there were, how shall we put it, native people there of non-Jewish speakers of a Semitic language, along with the native Palestinian Jews.  I think that it is easier to just refer to those non-Jewish Semites as "Palestinians."
       The Palestinians as individuals and families had homes and property.  Have you no respect for the private property of these people?  Why should they be driven out to make room for Europeans fleeing oppression?  If this is acceptable, why is the idea of moving to India so crazy?  If I decide to bulldoze your house and kill your friends and neighbors to make room for a Gypsy homeland, bidding all survivors to start over again in four non-adjacent communities will you say, "Well, it's messy business of course, but the Gypsies had to be given a homeland and there was no place else for them to go"?  Or would you rather express your sympathy for the suffering of the Gypsies, but object that such suffering doesn't in any way justify making you suffer?
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2002, 01:37:33 AM »

Thank you for your sensitive and thoughtful post.  It makes possible a sensible response.

The Gypsy situation is hardly comparable to the Jewish situation.  Nor am I an evangelical dispensationalist Protestant.   Nor do I support the frequent demolition of homes by the Jewish government. I wish that Israel had not gone ahead with more Kibbutzim on occupied territory.  

Nevertheless, there was and still is area enough for both peoples to live side by side in peace.  There is little evidence that any of the parties involved are going to let that happen.  

Let the Gypsys wander about Eastern Europe.  Don't hassle them.  If another acceptable place had been found for Jewish people which could be called their homeland then few would have objected.  But there was no place for them to go.  No place.  The Gypsys have not been wiped out.  They are not the founding people of Monotheism.  But the Jews could easily have been wiped out in the 1940's and few in the world would have cared one way or the other.  

If I'm forced to weigh the relative value of an accordian and the Torah I guess there's not much of a debate.  The love letter from the Father of all beats a squeeze box everytime.

Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2002, 01:57:50 AM »

But Zionism did not get its real impetus until the 1940's when it became clear that no nation would ever accept the Jews as the sought to run from Nazi persecution.  Not only were the Germans their enemies but so were the Brits, Americans, Italians, French and Russians.  Where could they go?  Must people all emigrate to India in order to find security?  

Dear Dan,

I think this is the point made earlier about this being a European problem.  They created the war, our people just fought in it (my grandfather was with the Royal Army in Burma, then in the Indian Army, and finally a UN peacekeeper in, you guessed it, Israel).  So if the Europeans created the problem, and don't want anything to do with it, is it right to solve it by throwing it onto someone else?  

Why shouldn't the Germans get a part of their country taken away from them and given to the Jews?  Did the Palestinians deserve this more than the Germans?  Allied forces defeated Germany...they could've put the Jews in their own country taken from German land.  For that matter, why not do this with the Italians?  The British?  The Americans?  The French?  The Russians?  Why couldn't any of these sacrifice land for a new Jewish homeland?  They had more to do with the problem than the Palestinians.  But why give New Jersey to the Jews when you can take someone else's land and give it to them?  

The choice of Palestine as opposed to any of these other places or parts of these places for a Jewish homeland was not the arbitrary "We need a homeland to protect our people and we can't afford to waste anymore time on discussing this so let's just pick a place and go there" decision people make it out to be.  

If it was, then why not India?  By and large everyone lives together in harmony.  It wasn't arbitrary...sounds more like it was based on "Well, the Bible says they belong here".  Jews moving to India to find security might not be such a bad decision.  They would have more peace there than they enjoy currently in Israel.
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« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2002, 02:01:54 AM »

If I'm forced to weigh the relative value of an accordian and the Torah I guess there's not much of a debate.  The love letter from the Father of all beats a squeeze box everytime.


So the people don't matter, it's what they have offered to us?  That might not be what you mean, exactly, but it sure sounds like it.  Suffering people are suffering people, no matter who they are.  They have a value all their own, whether they are Israelis or Palestinians.  Because the Torah comes from one and the Qur'an from another (relatively speaking), does that mean that it is better to support the Israelis?  To look at and evaluate people based on what they have given to us, and not on principles of justice, seems rather wrong, no?
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« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2002, 02:30:06 AM »

Dan,
       Forgive me, but I am not yet convinced of the sensibility of your response.  First of all, I agree with the point that Mor has made, and I hope that isn't what you meant.  I'm just not sure how to interpret your comments in another way.
       Secondly, you didn't answer my question.  You see, the Palestinians who were "relocated" didn't get to give their opinion of whether non-Palestinian Jews had made a particularly important contribution to world culture.  The Palestinian Christians in present day Ramallah who are forced to endure house arrest and military occupation are not asked if they would rather that accordion makers do the occupying.  In my little hypothetical situation, you weren't given the opportunity to object to the Gypsy occupation on similar grounds.  
      Perhaps you did answer, though.  I suppose you are saying (in a roundabout way) that if all the Gypsies were moved to the land around your home, you would reject this occupation, because you don't feel that the Gypsies deserve to be given such a homeland.  And yet you feel the Muslim and Christian Palestinians can't rightfully make the same claim with regard to the Jews?  Why not?
       I realize that you are not a dispensationalist Protestant, which is why I am at a loss as to why you seem to think that Palestine was the "only place" the non-Palestinian Jews could have gone.  There is plenty of room in Wyoming and Montana.  I am sure that European Jews could have lived peacefully with the inhabitants of those places as well.  (And by the way, at what point were the Jews in danger of being _entirely_ wiped out?  If your answer is "during WWII," because Hitler could potentially have taken over all of Western and Eastern Europe and the United States and then sent all of the Jews to concentration camps, then weren't the Gypsies in similar danger?)
       So did the Palestinians especially "deserve" the situation they were put in, for some reason?
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« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2002, 03:40:15 AM »

Dear Mor Ephrem,

The ‘history’ that was recounted to you sounds more like a PR dossier from the Israeli Embassy than it does anything that actually happened. I offer you some other facts that supporters of Israel choose to ignore while they were preoccupied with crusades era his-story.

You were given the impression that Arabs, simply because they don’t like Jews and want them to be their slaves woke up one morning and decided to attack Israel and thereby ending the peace that the European Jewish colonizers supposedly intended. The Deir Yassin massacre was not mentioned at all. Deir Yassin was a Palestinian village of 750 residents. This village was slated for European Jewish occupation under Plan Dalet. Unconventional terrorist forces were authorized to take over and ‘clean house.’ Anywhere between 120-250 villagers were slaughtered in cold blood. All of the houses were knocked down and Jewish immigrants from Poland, Rumania, and Slovakia were settled there.

The Jewish terrorist groups that were involved in this massacre were Irgun and the Stern Gang. The Igrun was the military arm of the Revisionist party which was led by Menachem Begin. Menachem Begin sent his congratulations to these murderers: “Accept my congratulations on this splendid act of conquest....” Menachem Begin, this Zionist thug and mass murderer, later became the Prime Minister of Israel.[1] This was one of the war criminals I was talking about who lead or led Israel. (Btw, this information is in the same book, Paul Johnson’s A History of the Jews that was favorably cited yesterday by one of the pro-Zionist posters).    

Another one is Yitzhak Shamir. Count Folke Bernadotte, who was appointed by the United Nations to mediate between disputing Arabs and Jewish settlers, was assassinated in cold blood in September of 1948. The man who organized the assassination was Yitzhak Shamir who later became prime minister of Israel.[1]

This catastrophe led to more killing and a refugee crisis whereby 700,000 Palestinians were displaced and their lands taken over by Europeans.

“It [the massacre] greatly stimulated Palestinian Arab refugee flight and appears to have been critical in the final decision of the Arab states to intervene directly in Palestine in 1948 to thwart the creation of the state of Israel.” Matthew Hogan, historian[2]

Back to these Zionist terrorist groups, the Ingrun. This is from “Wikipedia” the online “Free Encyclopedia:

“Irgun was secretly supported from 1936 by the Polish government, who hoped that establishing a Jewish state would help emigration of Jews from Poland, who by that time constituted one of the poorer segments of Polish society. Irgun received guns from Poles as well as military training.”[3]

So, the racist and anti-Semitic poles had a role in pushing their problem and inability to treat Jews decently onto Palestinians.

Did the Palestinians deserve this more than the Germans?

Here is an opinion from an Israeli professor. Dr. Beit-Hallahmi says the following:

It was easy to make the Palestinians pay for 2,000 years of persecution. The Palestinians, who have felt the enormous power of this vengeance, were not the historical oppressors of the Jews. They did not put Jews into ghettoes and did not force them to wear yellow stars. They did not plan holocausts. But they had one fault. They were weak and defenseless in the face of real military might, so they were the ideal victims for an abstract revenge...[1]

Sources:
1] http://www.spectacle.org/495/deir.html
2]http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m2082/2_63/72435149/print.jhtml
3] http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irgun

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« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2002, 04:02:08 AM »

YirmiYahu, I strongly second what you said in your next to last post.

You should know that there are elder Palestinians who still wear a necklace around their neck, with the keys of the houses they were evicted from attached to it.

I'm afraid a proper discussion on the topic is futile without taking into consideration two important points.

First this false Jewish/Arab (or Palestinian) dichotomy.  I frankly do not wish to bother pursuing the discourse if we continue to employ this erroneous terminology and misleading suggestion of two mutually exclusive categories (Language is the first casualty in a war, whether of words or of arms) The idea of a Jewish "people" rests entirely in the lofty flights of people's imaginations.  The proper classifications would speak of Arabs or Palestinians (and by Palestinians I mean the native inhabitants of the land that goes by that name, using the word isolated from any modern nationalist or statist context) who hold to the Jewish religion.  In my conversing with Israelis (which include Arabs; an indication that Israeli is an artificial identity and appelation whose entire legitimacy and worth rests solely on its connection with the entity known as the Israeli government), I make a crucial and sharp distinction between Palestinian Jews (regardless of their loyalties to the Israeli state) and Jews of foreign origins.  The entire matter rests upon this discussion which makes all the difference in the crux of the issue, determining whether the core matter is a Palestinian civil war or a war between colonizers and colonized.  Were the country known as Israel set up by native Palestinian Arab Jews, not involving immigrants, you would have what in essence is a civil war, an entirely different scenario altogether.  That is not the case as reality bears it out.

Hence, posing the question as to whether Christians are better off under Muslim rule (you people have to read up on the complicated contemporary political landscape of the Middle East, involving rivalries between Islamists, nationalists, and Ba'thists; the caliphate system is gone and naively simplistic anachronisms disqualify the validity of any discussion; political history in the region entered a new era that must be ceaselessly studied) or Jewish rule is to utterly ignore the matter of one side being composed of natives, and the other of the Toms, Dicks, and Harry's from every corner of the globe, including Peru as it seems.*  And justice demands before anything that the natural inhabitants of a country be given back their own stolen land, before the matter of how rule factors in viz a viz the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim contingents of that native population, is considered.

*Ha' aretz ran a cover story on how the desperate reliance of the Israeli government on immigrants due to the typically Western contraceptive mentality of Israeli society inhibiting the maintainance of adequate reproduction replacement levels to maintain a Jewish majority, has translated into proselytizing amongst South American natives and "returning" them to Israel.

The second point involves a conflict between the old and new world orders, and an imperative need on the part of Western observers to break out of their uselessly irrelevant paradigms.  In addition to the the fact that this strip of land is impoverished and bereft of rich resources, the Middle East is not America.  The state and passport are not the cornerstones of identity (and we must cease our constant thinking within the framework of nation states), and the anomaly known as the immigrant nation is anathema in our part of the world, not to mention untenable in a poor region.  Identity is rooted in the tribe, culture, the ancestral chain of tradition, heritage, and blood, and very importantly, the land; hence, all these supposed revelations about the depravity of Arabic states and rulers means squat and is a useless tangent. Those who come from small villages, repositories of living cultures, and lived their lives toiling and farming the soil would be familiar with what I'm talking about.  If some hooligan with a weapon wishes to evict me from my property, his reward is two bullets between the eyes.  This red herring known as the "myth of the Palestinian identity" is propagandish rubbish that functions as a diversionary tactic.  What constitutes the Palestinian identity first and foremost is being a native of that land, independant of the question of whether there is such a thing as some unique Palestinian culture, the search for which is hardly germane to the issue, as opposed to a regional form of the Arabic culture. The ancestral tie to the land is what matters.

As for the British mandate, its first and primary responsibility as jurisdictional administrators of the region was towards the Palestinians: to act in accordance with the interests of the inhabitants of the region and none other's.  National sovereignty (another casualty of the new order) and a right to preservation of identity provides people with a right to consider outsiders as unwanted intruders, and to determine who is welcome and who isn't.  The British, pandering to these ambitious foreign Zionists, betrayed their role as administrators bound to act as trustees faithful to the well-being of Palestinians, and set their rediculously outlandish political arrangements with outsiders as a higher priority than the interests of the indigenous people they were supposed to be protecting, and these condemnable deeds find their start back with the Jewish immigration to Palestine that began before World War II.  1948 isn't the magical date (and neither is 1054 as we know); the British doublecrossed us from the time these influxes of immigration began.

Note: Pardon some of the bad grammar.  It's late up here.

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« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2002, 04:33:20 AM »

Thank you Samer,

This Arab/Jew false dichotomy is so ingrained that even those of us who know better are forced to employ it for convenience sake. Nationality is based on the nation-state which is a recent phenomena associated with the rise of capitalism. After this initial origin the rise of national identities are always bound to an historical process that must be understood. The biggest creator of nationality has been European colonialism itself. Why is a Gambian a Gambian and not a Senegalese? Every African country can be addressed this way.

During the time of the Roman Empire there was no entity called Italy and no concept such as an Italian. Eritrea is a nationality based on the fact that Northern Ethiopia was colonized by Italy. Based on this history the Eritrean nationality was born. But of course the Eritreans still have the right to self determination if that is what they want. That their nationality is a little more than a hundred years old is irrelevant to the 94% of Eritreans who voted for secession from Ethiopia; and their vote and decision to be Eritreans should be respected.  

For people to dwell on if there really is or is not a Palestinian, while at the same time trapped in western identity paradigms which are useless in these circumstances, comes close to denying the humanity of Palestinians. It is just as bad as those anti-Semites who try to argue that European Jews are not real Jews and that they converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages. Besides being wrong of what relevance is this?  

Last but not least I have to say this; no one has the right to define a Palestinian except a Palestinian. Palestinians are who decides what, who and were is a Palestinians; not North American Israel sympathizers.
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« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2002, 09:51:19 AM »

So far we have a prolix attempt to describe the Israeli/Palestinian problem. But what is the solution to the problem?

Any volunteers?

Abdur
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« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2002, 01:02:46 PM »

So far we have a prolix attempt to describe the Israeli/Palestinian problem. But what is the solution to the problem?

Any volunteers?

Abdur

No one here has any solutions.  They want to use abstract terms like "justice" but never deal with the fact that millions of Jews currently living in Israel.  This discussion has been good because we see that the Arab position is not compromise with Israel but the destruction of Israel, i.e. "no trespassing."  

Most of the United States was stolen from Native Americans.  "Justice" or "fairness" might suggest that it should be given back to its rightful owners.  But of course there are 250 million Americans now living there so that would be impractical.  Where would we go?  

Any solution for this problem has to address the fact of 6 million Jews who currently live in Israel.  At least half have lived in the Middle East for about a thousand years.  Their historic communities in Arab nations have been destroyed.  Their property was stolen and there's probably no way to give it back to them.  And of course there have always been Jews in the Holy Land.  Jerusalem was a majority Jewish city in 1900.  

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« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2002, 02:02:21 PM »

Selam Abdur,

So far we have a prolix attempt to describe the Israeli/Palestinian problem. But what is the solution to the problem?

Just in case you missed Samer’s comment I am quoting it below.

“justice demands before anything that the natural inhabitants of a country be given back their own stolen land, before the matter of how rule factors in viz a viz the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim contingents of that native population, is considered.”

This is the basic thrust of the Palestinian liberation movement.
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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2002, 04:43:08 PM »

Thank you for the relevant quote Aklie.

Abdur, the solution is of course a basic and pure libertarian one of property rights, the very heart of the matter.

Many other facets of this problem can be addressed with a libertarian ethos.

First, as strict constitutionalists and libertarians amongst Americans are quick to point out, following the American small "r" republican spirit of George Washington's farewell address, there must an immediate cease to the flow of military aid to Israel, unless anyone has any ideas about making it the 51st state.  No entanglements with foreign alliances.  That the U.S. has the audacity to call itself an honest broker is a laughable joke.  If folks wish to join in this conflict, let them either join the armies of both sides (excuse me, the army of one side and the rock throwing rabble of the other), or bring in their own private armies, instead of having governments' bumbling foreign policy and policing jeapordize the lives of their innocent citizens and beqeath them the rage of entire generations of peoples, some centuries old (eg. the Balkans, where, thanks to Kosovo, the anger of Orthodox Serbians towards the Western powers must be as great as towards their Ottoman oppressors of the distant past.  A side in this age old conflict coupled with the furious anger of the other side are not pleasant things for blameless citizens to inherit.  The result is aptly termed blowback.)

The other points need no elaboration; they doubtless have been heard countless times before I'm sure: withdrawal from the occupied territories, dismantling of settlements, a cutting off of the supply line of incoming colonizers (ie. repealing the ludicrous "law of return")), and above all, the granting of the right of return to those who would actually be returning (eg. not recently converted Jews from the Andes), the displaced Palestinians, all of them.  And the expulsion of whomever presently occupies the rightful homes of these refugees.  The "problem": Israel would cease to be a Jewish state by the overwhelming change in demographics brought about by the influx of so many Palestinians.  On the basis of property rights, Zionists cannot answer the question put forth to them, "So what?"  The principles of natural justice* do not care for whether Israel remains a Jewish country by majority or not where the rightful return and reacquisition of stolen property is concerned.  It is the reality of the presence of people who live somewhere that determines what kind of a country a region is viz a viz demographical composition, not what the program of some state lording over the region happens to be.  If the latter is the decisionmaker, the implementation of the decision is rightly called ethnic cleansing.

*and very poetic justice in that the implementation of these principles effectively, without spilling a drop of blood in military combat, destroys a statist entity whose identity is based on an artificial majority forcefully created through the shedding of blood, and destruction of homes and lives.

And as justice and the principles of property rights are immutable and apply to all peoples, then I without hesitation say that any Jews who have been forcibly kicked out of their homes in the neighboring Arabic countries have every right to these, no matter who presently occupies them.

Jerusalem, the summit of passions in this conflict.  Eastern Jerusalem must be returned to the Palestinians.  First, it has an overwhelming non-Jewish Arab majority.  Second its incorporation into Israel was a sordid and illegal act.  Don't ask me how.  You should take the initative and find out yourselves.

Finally, the choice between a one state and two state solution is an issue constantly debated.  If the above points are carried out, I see no point in a two state solution.  (Of course, from an anarcho-capitalist and libertarian point of view, the existance of any modern nation state is illegitimate.  A stateless Palestine?  Utopian, but some on the other side of the Atlantic ask, "Why not?")

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« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2002, 07:28:00 PM »


And as justice and the principles of property rights are immutable and apply to all peoples, then I without hesitation say that any Jews who have been forcibly kicked out of their homes in the neighboring Arabic countries have every right to these, no matter who presently occupies them.


That's easy to say because that won't happen.  Just like the Jews won't what was stolen from them in Eastern Europe.  The Palestinians are more likely to get what was taken from then.  BTW, the Jewish property in Europe was stolen first.  Why shouldn't it be returned first?  But unfortunately there are no movements dedicated to returning stolen Jewish property.  It's not a popular cause.  No one really cares.  

BTW, the "law of return" causes problems especially when Jews emigrate from places like the US where they are safe.  But Israel is one of the few places where Russian Jews can flee.  Not all of them are allowed to immigrate to the US.  I've known some Russian Jews and they suffered tremendously in Russia.  Anti-semitism is on the rise in Russia.  In fact, modern anti-semitism came from Russia.  It's true that most of the Russia immigrants are not Jewish according to Jewish law.  The Orthodox Jews are very concerned about this problem.  But the anti-semitism developing in Russia is very racist so people with Jewish origins (even those who have converted) are hated.  Look at Fr. Men.  
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« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2002, 07:53:17 PM »

<<That's easy to say because that won't happen.  Just
<<like the Jews won't what was stolen from them in
<<Eastern Europe.

        Do you agree, in principle, that the theft of the property of native Palestinians by Israeli settlers was wrong?

<<BTW, the Jewish property in Europe was stolen first.  
<<Why shouldn't it be returned first?

        Jennifer, are you honestly incapable of understanding that the two issues are separate?  The Palestinians had _nothing_ to do with European disenfranchisement of Jews.  Why should their liberation movement be concerned with the troubles of Jews when they were in Europe?
        Please let me know if I am incorrect, but you really do seem to believe that persecution of Jews _anywhere_ in the world gave the Zionists the right to take Palestinian property and kill the resistors?  (Why the Palestinians in particular should suffer for the sins of others has still not been explained.)
        So I will ask you the same question I asked Dan, considering the strange principles that you use to justify Zionism, why shouldn't the Gypsy peoples be allowed to bulldoze your and the houses of you neighbors, and kill those who would rather not be dispossessed?
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« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2002, 08:52:30 PM »

"Most of the United States was stolen from Native Americans.  "Justice" or "fairness" might suggest that it should be given back to its rightful owners."

And the other half (Utah, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, parts of Kansas) was stollen from Mexico in 1847.

Would you agree if all those states are returned to us, and the american famillies are expelled from their lands? I'm sure it wouldn't be fair.
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« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2002, 09:29:26 PM »

Samer and Yirmiyahu,

Thank you so much for your posts. You two have spoken well.  

Samer, you have answered the question succinctly and totally fairly. You have compromised more than you need to, considered more than you have to, and went further than many are willing to go. If a Zionist can’t take your post, as moderate as it is, and see the common sense of it then that leaves only one possible interpretation: they do not recognize the humanity of Palestinians, they follow the old Zionist slogan that “Israel is a land without a people for a people without a land” and have internalized the very genocidal principles that they were victims of.

Anti-Semitism will end in the very places that it grows and flourishes, it will not end in a state that through its very behavior is a harbinger of dispossession that results in confusion and anti-Semitism. It will end the same way that racism will end, by fighting it where it exists and never running. With the end of Zionism can be the reemergence of the peaceful coexistence in the region between Christians, Muslims, Jews and others. Ethiopians monks have been living in the Holy Land for up to a thousand years; the same with Copts, Armenians, Greeks, Russians and others.  This was not based on an intrusion or theft from the native inhabitants; it was based on living in peace and respect with the hosts (Arabs). This can be re-established and strengthened.

The precondition to all of this is the liberation of Palestinians befitsum(in the fullest sense) and the end of a racist occupation.

God Bless
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« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2002, 11:06:47 PM »

<<That's easy to say because that won't happen.  Just
<<like the Jews won't what was stolen from them in
<<Eastern Europe.

        Do you agree, in principle, that the theft of the property of native Palestinians by Israeli settlers was wrong?

<<BTW, the Jewish property in Europe was stolen first.  
<<Why shouldn't it be returned first?

        Jennifer, are you honestly incapable of understanding that the two issues are separate?  The Palestinians had _nothing_ to do with European disenfranchisement of Jews.  Why should their liberation movement be concerned with the troubles of Jews when they were in Europe?
        Please let me know if I am incorrect, but you really do seem to believe that persecution of Jews _anywhere_ in the world gave the Zionists the right to take Palestinian property and kill the resistors?  (Why the Palestinians in particular should suffer for the sins of others has still not been explained.)
        So I will ask you the same question I asked Dan, considering the strange principles that you use to justify Zionism, why shouldn't the Gypsy peoples be allowed to bulldoze your and the houses of you neighbors, and kill those who would rather not be dispossessed?

First, it wasn't really theft.  Good or bad, the partition was not at all unique.  After WWI, they redrew the maps of Europe and arbitrarly drew lines and created new countries.  For example, Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia (sp?).  All of the land where Jews lived before the partition was bought.  After the partition Jews who owned property in historic Jewish communities like Hebron or Jerusalem had to abandon their homes and move.  But Palestinians who owned property in what is now Israel who did not flee did not lose their property.  They are citizens of Israel.  The Palestinians who lost property fled land that was given to the Palestinians.  Israel took that land in the course of a war that they did not start.  It's similar to how German lands were taken from Germany and given to Poland after WWII.  Germany attacked Poland and Poland thought they needed land to provide a buffer zone for them for their own protection and because Germany lost they lost their land.  There are historic German towns now in Poland that have no German inhabitants.  The Germans that had lived there for about a thousand years were forced to move to what is now Germany.  They didn't receive any compensation from the Poles.  

Do I agree that it's wrong?  Of course.  But I'm realistic and know that's the way the world works unfortunately.  It was wrong that Jews who had lived in Jerusalem for centuries were forced out of their homes.  It's wrong that Germans who had lived in what is now Poland for centuries were forced out of their homes.  It's wrong that Native Americans who had lived here for thousands of years who forced out of their homes.  

Yes I know that the issue of Jewish persecution in Europe has nothing to do with the Palestinians but why do the Palestinians deserve their land back first?  Shouldn't the people with the older claim get justice first?  

I completely agree that this is a European problem.  Jews moved to Israel before, during and after the war because they faced persecution in Europe.  No European nation wanted them.  The US didn't open it doors until the late 1940's.  For example, many of the Germans (like Buber for example) who emigrated to Israel before the war weren't even Zionists.  They emigrated to Israel because they had no other choice.  The problem started with Europe so in all fairness the solution should start with Europe but of course that won't happen.  Why should the Jews have to do what no one expects the French or the Ukrainians or the Poles to do?  It's not fair to fix only one part of the problem.  

About your Gypsy question, why shouldn't the Native Americans be allowed to have my house back?  It was theirs first.  They did not willingly give it up.  But we know that won't happen.  No one even seriously suggests doing that.  There is just no fixing every wrong in the world, making everything fair and right.  And it is unfair to make things fair for one group at the expense of another group that doesn't get things made fair for them.  

If the UN decided to make where I live a Gypsy homeland and I was forced to move and didn't receive any compensation, I would be angry.  I would think it wasn't fair, of course.  It would be personal so I couldn't be objective about it.  But frankly it would be no different than what happened countless other times throughout history.  If it would be wrong then it would be wrong for me to even live here in the first place.  
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« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2002, 11:10:49 PM »

"Most of the United States was stolen from Native Americans.  "Justice" or "fairness" might suggest that it should be given back to its rightful owners."

And the other half (Utah, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, parts of Kansas) was stollen from Mexico in 1847.

Would you agree if all those states are returned to us, and the american famillies are expelled from their lands? I'm sure it wouldn't be fair.

Why wouldn't it be fair?  The same logic would apply.  The US fought a war with Mexico and Mexico lost and the US took territory from Mexico.  If the Palestinians deserve their land back then so do the Mexicans.  But of course nobody seriously suggests expelling Americans from California.  Why not?  Because the "theft" took place a hundred years ago?  Why is it different than the Palestinian situation?  Why is the German situation that I mentioned in another post different from the Palestinian situation?  And why is the Jewish situation different?  It's like we only want to fix one wrong in the world and that can't be fair.
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« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2002, 12:04:38 AM »

Jennifer:

Judging by the content of your posts, you seem like a rather young, uneducated, naive individual. A recent high school graduate? Your hatred for the male sex is astounding as your posts reek of sexism.

Jacob
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« Reply #38 on: December 03, 2002, 12:08:40 AM »

Jennifer:

Judging by the content of your posts, you seem like a rather young, uneducated, naive individual. A recent high school graduate? Your hatred for the male sex is astounding as your posts reek of sexism.

Jacob

Dear Jacob,

Please refrain from ad hominem attacks as even though this is a free-for-all the forum rules prohibit ad hominem attacks on all sub-boards.  Perhaps you'd like to rephrase your question in a form such as "Dear Jennifer, could you please expound on your sources and/or give us your qualifications" instead of assuming things about Jennifer.

In Christ,

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« Reply #39 on: December 03, 2002, 12:42:04 AM »

Jennifer:

Judging by the content of your posts, you seem like a rather young, uneducated, naive individual. A recent high school graduate? Your hatred for the male sex is astounding as your posts reek of sexism.

Jacob

Don't worry about it.  We all needed a good laugh.  I see that "Jacob" registered only tonight right before he posted his first and only post to this board.  It's always interesting when brand new posters drive right in to the argument while spewing insults.  I've been on-line long enough to know a troll when I see one.  "Jacob" is clearly a regular poster here who wanted to make a ridiculous insult without suffering the consequences of it so he invented a screen name.  "Jacob" will probaly unregister soon and then register under another screen-name.  If he had any real courage he would have insulted me under his real name.  



Dear Jacob,

Please refrain from ad hominem attacks as even though this is a free-for-all the forum rules prohibit ad hominem attacks on all sub-boards.  Perhaps you'd like to rephrase your question in a form such as "Dear Jennifer, could you please expound on your sources and/or give us your qualifications" instead of assuming things about Jennifer.

In Christ,

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« Reply #40 on: December 03, 2002, 03:34:02 AM »

Jeniffer, you wrote:

"If the Palestinians deserve their land back then so do the Mexicans.  But of course nobody seriously suggests expelling Americans from California.  Why not?  Because the "theft" took place a hundred years ago? "

Yeah, and the the vast majority of Jews left Palestine about two thousand years ago!!!!!

(about the war, it was a war of conquest, not a war Mex-USA. As Mr Trist, embassador at that time said: we're not here as purchasers, but because of right of conquest)
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« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2002, 03:43:33 AM »

Some of my fellow Bay Area Californians of the Jewish faith. Some of them are liberal Zionist some of them anti-Zionist but all of them approaching the issues more honestly than the apologists of Zionist oppression that have posted here recently.

http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/index.htm

Also, while I would not confine Palestinians’ “Right to Return” to their native land and homes on International Law (such is their human right period; their right regardless of what any international body has to say about it) this is an interesting article. You need adobe acrobat to access it.

http://www.badil.org/Publications/Legal_Papers/RoR48.pdf

God Bless
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« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2002, 05:16:20 AM »

Still stuck in the mindset that fails to distinguish between people as a group and people as the individuals of a group.  The difference between one situation and the other is that Palestinians are a people who can individually prove their claims to specific pieces of property.  Some still have the keys to their houses.

In many other cases of land theft, those that have been swept away by long passages of time, one no longer finds identifiable owners who can lay geneological claim to particular property or trace their inherited ownership to plots of land; with regards to the Indians, you are looking at the matter from a purely collectivist standpoint, not to mention in a grossly ineffective reductio ad absurdum fashion, if you are intent on harkening back to the stone age when caveman Bob bopped caveman Todd on his head and took his cave for himself, the very underground cave upon which your 4 1/2 flat presently stand.  Egads!

No European nation wanted them.  The US didn't open it doors until the late 1940's.

But you see, neither did we want them.  Unfortunately, Arabic revolts in the early half of the century weren't enough to convince our British rulers that we were not very pleased with the handing over of our territorial property to aliens.

Yes I know that the issue of Jewish persecution in Europe has nothing to do with the Palestinians but why do the Palestinians deserve their land back first?  Shouldn't the people with the older claim get justice first?

Poppycock.  There is no matter of precedence or order involved when wrongs are committed, regardless of where and when they happen.  Wherever a wrong is committed, the Christian is to find sorrow in its happening and joy in its just resolution.  This is by no means a call for or advocation of crusading frenzies, farcical "humanitarian military campaigns" and the like, across the globe by great powers, but a Christian certainly condemns every wrong in his heart and recognizes the moral injury every injustice inflicts upon God.

And for the millionth time, enough with these useless comparisons between the plights of Jews and Palestinians.  Each is an independant matter, and notice how when addressing this board you sound as if you're addressing the world community.  However your objections were towards the Palestinians resisting their overlords.  They have no reason to bother with the Jews' and other peoples' predicaments in other parts of the world, nor is their actions' moral permissibility in striving to end the beleaguring occupation and to fight its forces contingent upon whether matters of justice are being being pursued or carried out in equal measure elsewhere or whether the "international community" is guilty of employing double standards in what it chooses to condemn, which as a cabal of scum politicians it is inevitably capable of (after all it was the UN that created the partition when the establishment of Israel was wrong to begin with).  This is their fight and it revolves around nothing other than their own situation.

No one is arguing for governments to send troops to aid one side or another in this conflict.  I certainly am not.  But what we are arguing about here is the Palestinians and their legitimate resistance and struggle for liberation.  They have every right and are only expected to retaliate irrespective of the tallying of wrongs that have not been righted in other parts of the world.  Please refrain from employing any more non-sequitors like this.  

About your Gypsy question, why shouldn't the Native Americans be allowed to have my house back?

What house?  And which Indian descendant?  This is the problem that makes rectifying this long past but grievous injustice difficult.  The native Indians didn't even have a notion of property rights.  They collectively owned land without a concept of individual ownership, which makes tracing the descendants of yestercentury's owners impossible.  Simplifications are good, but not absurd ones.  Let's not make unrealistic parralels between a situation whose solution is more or less clear, and one that no longer presents a realistic alternative other than letting the wronged people live freely in the lands that were once theirs.

And it is unfair to make things fair for one group at the expense of another group that doesn't get things made fair for them.

Rubbish!  Now this is an asinine comment and twisted moral reasoning.  Please promptly see a priest for basic moral guidance.

If a divorced wife, Sue, uses trickery to manipulate a corrupt court system into stealing away her infant from his father, stripping him of any custodial and visitation rights, with Bob correctly realizing that "things aren't made fair for him", does that give him the right to kidnap, say, Jennifer's infant and furthermore argue in protest that it is morally impermissible that Jennifer claim her baby back because it would be at Bob's expense, who if he loses his ill gotten gain, will find himself once again in his initial predicament, without a child and with "things still not being made fair for him".

A theft cannot justify another theft.  This expense of not being recompensed for past injuries is not something that can be transferred from the Israelis--who seek an illicit solace and relief from their burdens through commiting upon others, the same criminal acts of dispossession that they have suffered--to the Palestinians, who would be told they have no right to resist being wronged by the Israelis on the ludicrous pretext that said Israelis would then as a result find themselves back to square one, dispossessed and unjustly barred from reclamation of what has been taken from them.

It would be personal so I couldn't be objective about it.

Rediculous.  It is perfectly objective to realize you have been wronged and demand back what is rightfully yours, and fight if necessary, even if it involves killing the perpetrator.  That is what weapons are for where I come from.

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« Reply #43 on: December 03, 2002, 05:16:44 AM »

Now for the crucial and intersting part:

First, it wasn't really theftGǪAll of the land where Jews lived before the partition was bought.

This pathetic excuse, the standard canard of the Zionist propaganda machine, that never tires of repeating itself is probably the most misleading piece of disinformation that has been used to convince people who do not bother reading and researching the history and politics of the Middle East, that the Zionists are in the right

A point. Irrespective of the matter of land purchases, it remains to be said that national sovereignty entitles a people to decide whether to welcome outsiders (prospective buyers of land or otherwise) or not, especially when those outsiders intend on stealing land and surrending it and its inhabitants over to the sovereignty of a foreign state. And, as an acquaintance of mine well put it, the purchase of the land does not equate with purchasing control of the sovereignty, meaning, and I'm using his example, were a minority (forget for a moment the small Jewish immigrant minority that decided to sucker the world into offering it other people's lands in a grand act of burglary) to buy up the land in Belgium, would that give it the right to cede it to Holland or cut it up into smaller countries against the will of the majority of the inhabitants?

A few basics that most Arabs know of.  No more than a 10th, probably seven to eight percent of the land given to Israel by the partition was owned by Jews.  Plus for those who propogate the myth of a peaceful Israel content with its gains (which were already ill gotten from the beginning) attacked by Arabs with an irrationally Grendel-like ferocity, it was already known that Israel was planning on expanding its borders, an ambition already in thrust and already seen in both the purges of '48 and the dispossession and tactics that had been at work for decades before the creation of the State.  Settlement and dispossession had already been taking place since the late nineteenth century.  One must move beyond the theatrics of diplomatic ceremony and military showdowns that present themselves on the surface (once upon a time there were some Jews and Arabs; the UN gave each a country, and the vicious Arabs just decided to attack because they hate Jews, freedom, or something like that), and study and focus on the subtle behind-the-scenes developments that underlie everything.  Truth isn't presented ready on a plate, certainly not at all from our idiot media (that's why they call it the idiot box).

This Zionist fairytale gives the impression of a healthy consensual capitalist exchange and transaction between two parties (and some people probably assume the fellaheen were selling their land), when in fact this was nothing other than a deal between a pack of thieves, a line of illegal confiscations from rightful owners involving Zionists, the 'Usmanlee occupiers, and Arab and Turkish landlords, and that finds its roots in the statist machinery of the Ottoman State and a law it enacted which effectively transferred ownership and tenure of the land from the farmers--who have traditionally always been their owners, possessing the inviolable privileges to cultivate the land, and pass it on as inheritance to their descendants—to those who took it upon themselves to register these lands in their names as their own.  These State-enforced titles robbed the peasants of land that was theirs and gave it to absentee landlords, some of whom put entire villages in their name.  The effects of this grand theft were to be felt once the farmers found themselves dispossessed and replaced by foreigners due to the passing of the titles to Jewish parties through sale; in our region, such evictions were shocking and unthinkable.  One must understand the tie to the land that is ingrained in our culture and tradition.

I had managed to find an excellent paper on this from the ever reliable Ludwig von Mises Institute of Libertarian Studies that explains this and more better than a post could.  Give it a good read.  And a quick aside and return to the matter of Jewish deportations from Arabic countries; you will notice that the Zionists went so far as to bomb synagogues in Iraq in their quest to recruit more colonists.

http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/5_4/5_4_2.pdf

I've bet everyone's learnt enough already.  I highly suggest a lot of reading on Middle Eastern matters and at least a visit to the region to better understand how complicated things really are in that troubled region.

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« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2002, 10:09:55 AM »

I am new here but thought I would jump in as I have been following the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for at least 15 years.

First there are some incredible claims about what was and is the Palestinians. Can some one name one Palestinian King, Prime Minister, President etc. prior to Arafat? Of course you can't. Because prior to the State of Israel being created there were nomadic Jews and Arabs (who incidentally were not known as Palestinians - a term created by the Romans as a dig to the Jews in the region of Judea around 150ish A.D.) who lived in parts of what was a very dry patch of land. Jews and the local Arabs were both offered land - the (Palestinians) Arabs turned the offer down twice. Israel was created and Trans-Jordan was created.

The Jews were so successful at creating a strong economy and a democratic society that impoverished Arabs poured into Israel because of the job opportunities. This is when the number of Arabs (now called Palestinians) swelled. The nation was attacked on day one and in 1967. They were attacked not vice versa. They claimed land after being attacked, without provocation, that was necessary for security (if you do a little research it is militarily obvious).

The only major Arab control of Jerusalem in history was the Muslim Turks. And that ended after the crusades. So this nonsense that there was some how this "Palestinian" people who always lived there is a myth. There were small groups of Arabs, Jews and others in the early 20th century (and prior) but that is it. That's history you can't argue with it - you can only rewrite it. And if one chooses to believe the revisionism of Saudi Arabia and Iran over the free west then shame on you. Those who do, in my mind, have extremely questionable motives.

The anti-Semitic/anti-Israel position does not have history to back it up - only rhetoric. Since this is a message board I am not concerned with citing sources since I have not seen any for the tons of rhetoric already posted. But what I wrote can be verified with a simple internet search for primary sources if you care to be intellectually and morally honest and actually do the tough work of research instead of clinging to a historically unsupportable position and attacking those, like Jennifer, who have only presented facts and had her head handed to her for it.

Don't you get it yet? It is about Islamic extremism vs. Jews, Christians and the West. A non-Muslim state is not welcome in the mid-east. That is the real issue. A tiny minority of our Orthodox Christian brothers and sister are suffering. But they are suffering because of the actions of the Muslim terrorists who are exploiting them.

Lastly, it is appalling to see how many Christians think Jewish life is so cheap. Where is all the compassion for the Jewish men, women children and infants being slaughtered by Palestinian terrorists? Oh that's right! They are just Jews.  A Palestinian house is more precious than a baby girl’s life if she is just a Jew.

How about them awful settlements? So a Jew cannot live in Palestinian territory but Palestinians can live in Israeli territory, as many do? What hypocrisy.

West Bank -  used to be called Judea and Samaria.

Finally, remember that Jesus was a Jew from Israel.  Or was he really a Palestinian Arab as I know Palestinian children are taught. Is that true?

Ignorance is dangerous - but a little knowledge is deadly. And zeal without knowledge is scary.

The amount of Christian love towards the Jews here is very heart warming. I will stick with Jesus and pray for the Jews (and the Palestinians). Will you do the same?

Christian
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« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2002, 11:35:16 AM »

I will stick with Jesus and pray for the Jews (and the Palestinians). Will you do the same?

Christian


I think this is a great idea.  Instead of arguing and going nowhere and calling each other names, as this thread seems to be , perhaps it would be better use of everyone's time if they prayed for peace in the Middle East and for the salvation of everyone involved in this endless insanity.
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« Reply #46 on: December 03, 2002, 11:43:37 AM »

Sinjinsmythe,

Amen and amen, brother.

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« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2002, 11:57:03 AM »

The difference between one situation and the other is that Palestinians are a people who can individually prove their claims to specific pieces of property.  Some still have the keys to their houses.

I'm sure there are plenty of people expelled from their homes for one reason or the other who have proof of their claims.  

with regards to the Indians, you are looking at the matter from a purely collectivist standpoint

Actually there are some Indian nations who have very good claims to pieces of land such as treaties with the US government.  There are currently some lawsuits pending although I'm sure nothing will come of it.  There are also some Mexican Americans who have proof that they owned land that was stolen from their families in Texas in the 19th century.  

But you see, neither did we want them.  Unfortunately, Arabic revolts in the early half of the century weren't enough to convince our British rulers that we were not very pleased with the handing over of our territorial property to aliens.

Regardless of whether you wanted them or not the Jews who settled in Israel survived and had they remained in Europe they would have died.  

There is no matter of precedence or order involved when wrongs are committed, regardless of where and when they happen.  Wherever a wrong is committed, the Christian is to find sorrow in its happening and joy in its just resolution.  

So how can a Christian be offended by only one case of injustice?  The world is full of injustice and fixing one instance without fixing the others just causes more injustice.  

And for the millionth time, enough with these useless comparisons between the plights of Jews and Palestinians.

You can't discuss one without the other.  There would be Palestinian problem had there not been the holocaust.  Had the nations of Europe welcomed the Jewish survivors back after the war there would be no modern state of Israel.  North America would still belong to the Native Americans had problems in Europe not led to the migration of Europeans to North America.  15 million Germans would not have been expelled from Hungary and Poland after WWII had Hitler not attacked Poland.  

after all it was the UN that created the partition when the establishment of Israel was wrong to begin with).  This is their fight and it revolves around nothing other than their own situation.

I can agree that it was wrong for the UN to create the partition.  I've done some reading on the secular zionists recently and they're impossible to defend.  I've read many Jewish objections to zionism and they're very convincing.  For example I've just read about Buber's objection to zionism.  But I can't forget that Buber, despite his objections to zionism, emigrated to Israel during the 1930's to save his life.  Regardless of whether the creation of the state of Israel was wrong (and it probably was) six million Jews now live there and their existence has to be addressed.  To make another analogy, the war against Mexico was a war of conquest as Remie correctly pointed out but we can't address the injustice against Mexicans without addressing the fact of millions of Americans now living in the conquered territories.  

But what we are arguing about here is the Palestinians and their legitimate resistance and struggle for liberation.  

They have a legitimate right to resist but that does not excuse the murder of innocents.  

And which Indian descendant?  This is the problem that makes rectifying this long past but grievous injustice difficult.  The native Indians didn't even have a notion of property rights.

There are tribes with very good claims to land stolen from them.  Also individual property ownership was forced on the Native Americans so many Indians were property owners and despite that their land was stolen.  For example, the central part of Oklahoma was taken from what is known as the Five Civilized Tribes (five tribes expelled from southern states in early 19th century) as punishment for their support of the Confederacy.  Members of these tribes owned land individually.  Descendents of the landowners often have proof that of the ownership.  

If a divorced wife, Sue, uses trickery to manipulate a corrupt court system into stealing away her infant from his father, stripping him of any custodial and visitation rights, with Bob correctly realizing that "things aren't made fair for him", does that give him the right to kidnap, say, Jennifer's infant and furthermore argue in protest that it is morally impermissible that Jennifer claim her baby back because it would be at Bob's expense, who if he loses his ill gotten gain, will find himself once again in his initial predicament, without a child and with "things still not being made fair for him".

My grandmother was stolen from her Native American mother by a white couple.  My great-grandmother was wronged but would it have been morally right to have returned my grandmother at the age of 10 to her mother?  

A theft cannot justify another theft.

But as time goes by innocent people would suffer the consequences and why is it to fair to punish them for the thefts of others?  For example, why should my grandmother have been 'punished' by losing the only home she ever knew to punish the woman who certainly was wrong is 'kidnapping' her and to compensate my great-grandmother who was wronged?  Most Israelis were not alive in 1948.  If homes are returned to the Palestinians, then where will they go?  Giving the land back will just create another injustice.  

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« Reply #48 on: December 03, 2002, 02:02:40 PM »

A Christian position on Palestinian liberation by H.H. Pope Shenouda III and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem.

http://metimes.com/2K/issue200047/eg/pope_shenouda_iii.htm
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« Reply #49 on: December 03, 2002, 02:19:12 PM »


A theft cannot justify another theft.

But as time goes by innocent people would suffer the consequences and why is it to fair to punish them for the thefts of others?  For example, why should my grandmother have been 'punished' by losing the only home she ever knew to punish the woman who certainly was wrong is 'kidnapping' her and to compensate my great-grandmother who was wronged?  Most Israelis were not alive in 1948.  If homes are returned to the Palestinians, then where will they go?  Giving the land back will just create another injustice.  

Jennifer, you make some interesting points.  At some point in time, we have to let by gones be by gones and accept the result of historical injustice.  However, isn't it a bit hypocritical then, for many Jews to be demanding (and getting) restitution from Germans for property seized during WWII, which happened longer ago than the injustices which they perpetrated against the Palestinians?  I mean, the Swiss Banks are paying out billions to the families of holocaust victims who's accounts were abandoned, and many holocaust victims' families have been aggressively going after museums, governments and private collectors to recover expensive artwork which their families had owned.   But when it comes to property which THEY seized more RECENTLY, we should let that pass because too much time has passed?  I don't think so.

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« Reply #50 on: December 03, 2002, 02:39:39 PM »

Theodore,

While I do question this type of reparations and think it is wrongheaded - it is only hypocritical if you take as fact the idea that Palestinians have suffered equivalent injustice. The Bible teaches that God sets up leaders and we are to be obedient to them (as far as is reasonable). Like it or not Israel is a Country and the Palestinians are under their God given rule. And it can be argued that the war-mongering and rebellion of the Palestinian Muslims is what caused them to be dealt with. They paid a price for lawless rebellion that is no more unjust than telling your child that if you disobey again you will lose privileges and then following through. The Palestinians have relentlessly murdered civilians, were warned of the consequences and paid the consequences and continue to do so for rebellion and anarchy. The Jews need to protect themselves and have every right to do so. They have shown incredible restraint considering the threat they face everyday for the crime of not being Muslim.

If some bullies from the next block over were terrorizing your children, smashing your windows and mutilating your pets indiscriminately and you took measures to protect your family and property that inconvenienced the bullies - such is the bullies problem.

The bottom line is you reap what you sow. The Muslims have sown discord and anti-Semitism in the Holy Land. They raise their children on a diet of lies and hate such as the "Blood Libel" myth and they blow up women and children on a regular basis. How would you respond to these "victims"?

Christian



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« Reply #51 on: December 03, 2002, 03:09:15 PM »

However, isn't it a bit hypocritical then, for many Jews to be demanding (and getting) restitution from Germans for property seized during WWII, which happened longer ago than the injustices which they perpetrated against the Palestinians?  I mean, the Swiss Banks are paying out billions to the families of holocaust victims who's accounts were abandoned, and many holocaust victims' families have been aggressively going after museums, governments and private collectors to recover expensive artwork which their families had owned.   But when it comes to property which THEY seized more RECENTLY, we should let that pass because too much time has passed?  I don't think so.

Individual Jews (some who live in Israel and some who live elsewhere) have sued to have property returned to them.  I doubt seriously that many of these people are living in homes that used to owned by Palestinians.  It's not "the Jews" who stole land from the Palestinians and it's not "the Jews" who are suing museums.  It's individual Jews.  BTW, the Swiss bank accounts were not abandoned.  Survivors were pervented from retrieving the contents of the accounts.  The banks did some fancy accounting to make it seem as if the counts were abandoned but that's not what happened in many cases.  Of course some of the accounts were "abandoned" because the owners all of their family members were killed.  

I'm not that too much time has passed to make this right.  Although of course it's simplistic to be for "justice" and against "oppression" because most wrongs can't be righted either it's been too long or because there's no way to make it right.  Here making it right for the Palestinians would wrong Israelis who didn't participate in the wrong in the first place.  Say for example there's a home in Jerusalem that used to be owned by a Palestian and is now owned by a Jewish family.  We make it right for the Palestinian by giving their home back but we displace the Jewish family.  50% of Israelis are Jews who were expelled from Arab countries so it's very likely that the Jewish family had a home back in Egypt or Iraq that was stolen from them.  We could make it right for the Jewish familyl by returning the Egyptian home to them but we all know that won't happen.  So what will happen is that the Jewish family will be displaced.  Essentially there were two wrongs, the Jewish family lost their home and the Palestinian family lost their home.  If the Palestinian family gets their home back another wrong will occur because the Jewish family will lose their home.  It would only not be wrong if the Jewish family themselves physically stole the home from the Palestinians who is probably not what happened.  So we start with two wrongs and then we fix one of the wrongs (not the other) and cause another wrong so once again we have two wrongs.  


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« Reply #52 on: December 03, 2002, 04:27:25 PM »

This will probably be my last post on this subject.  I just want to give a few final thoughts, and try to cut to what I understand to be the heart of the matter.

In her article, "Zionism and its Impact," Ann Lesch summarizes the fundamental tenets of Zionism, as enumerated at the Paris Peace Conference of February 1919, by Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization:
Quote
 1. The movement was seen not only as inherently righteous, but also as meeting an overwhelming need among European Jews.
   2. European culture was superior to indigenous Arab culture; the Zionists could help civilize the East.
   3. External support was needed from a major power; relations with the Arab world were a secondary matter.
   4. Arab nationalism was a legitimate political movement, but Palestinian nationalism was either illegitimate or nonexistent.
   5. Finally, if the Palestinians would not reconcile themselves to Zionism, force majeure, not compromise, was the only feasible response.

In this post, I would like to focus on point #2.

It seems clear to me that at the root of the Zionist defence of the creation of Israel, is the belief that the Jews were spiritually, culturally, and/or racially superior to the Palestinians they displaced.  This is rarely explicitly stated, and in some cases perhaps not even fully consciously believed.  However, this assumption lies at the root of the idea that the Israelis could not have moved to any other place than Palestine.  This belief leads to the idea that Jewish suffering is more significant than the suffering of other peoples, whether Palestinians or Roma or whoever, and that any means necessary to preserve Jewish culture and identity may and will be taken, even if this necessarily leads to the suffering of others.  This view is reflected in a repugnant statement of Rabbi Moshe Levinger, who, commenting the Hebron massacre of 1994, said, "I am sorry for everything that gets killed.  I am not only sorry for dead Arabs.  I am also sorry for dead flies."

The roots of this kind of belief are not hard to discover.  It must be recognized, of course, that the Israelites were in fact the "chosen people" and had a special role in salvation history (though not entirely without parallel, if we are to believe St. Justin Martyr).  At one time, God did in fact give his chosen people a command to drive out those dwelling in the land of Canaan (and "Greater Israel" is a rather larger piece of land than the modern state of Israel).  The Bible, of course, goes on to tell the story of a holy nation which through its disobedience lost its temporal power, and whose true Messiah was rather different from the one they had expeceted.

Dispensationalist Protestants and certain religious Jews believe that the same promises given to Abraham justify Jewish occupation of modern Palestine.  This is where we get statements such as that of Sen. Inhofe: "God appeared to Abraham and said: 'I am giving you this land,' the West Bank. This is not a political battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true."

This, as I began my contribution to the discussion saying, is not the traditional, historical viewpoint of rabbinic Judaism, though even many of the Orthodox have taken up this wholly untraditional concept.  Is also not the traditional Catholic or Orthodox Christian viewpoint, as we are certainly "replacement theologians," though in the former case the concept of "development of doctrine" leaves room for a bit of fudging in this and other regards.  For different reasons, the tradition of Orthodox Judaism and the tradition Orthodox Christianity would each indicate that the divinely granted territorial claims of the ancient Israelites are not applicable to modern Jews as a group.

A second source of the belief in Israeli Jewish superiority over the Palestinians is plain old European ethnocentrism.  According to this view the Palestinians should have welcomed the invaders, who would enlighten them, perhaps gently if they met no resistance, but violently if necessary.  It is a fact that the Palestinians were not a nation state before the arrival of the European Jews, but this is not the real reason they are denied ancestral property and the right to self-determination (and in the 1947 were presented with disingenous offers).  As has been pointed out by others in this thread, many other peoples who were not historically a united national or cultural group have been recognized as a unified people in modern times (the racially, culturally, and religiously diverse Israeli Jews are a prime example).  The real reason that it is considered legitimate to deny the rights of the Palestinians is the simple fact that they are seen as primitive and savage nomads, or backwards village dwellers, just they have been presented by Zionist propagandists.  Forget the fact that the Palestinians, like those of us of a primarily European ancestry, are the heirs of the moral codes of Levantine monotheism and the legal tradition of the Roman Empire; to many a Zionist they are just wogs.

Of course, European Jews believed they must also enlighten the Oriental Jews they brought in to bolster their population.  Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion wrote in 1964 that these Oriental Jews lacked "the most elementary knowledge" and were "without a trace of Jewish or human education."  As Jewish writer Les Levidow notes: "Abba Eban warned that Israel must infuse them 'with an Occidental spirit, rather than allow them to drag us into an unnatural Orientalism'."

Yes, it is true that not even all Israeli Jewish citizens have escaped the effects of the Zionist belief in European Jewish superiority.  Nor have non-Jewish Palestinians who happen to be Israeli citizens escaped the discriminatory policies of the Israeli state.  In many respects, these Israeli Arabs are second class citizens.  Policies tend to be particularly discriminatory when the Likud Party in power, giving the lie to the Israeli insistence that their state is western democracy which protects the opportunities of minorities.

The belief in Jewish superiority is why dead Palestinian children are "collateral damage" and those who kill Israeli children are "terrorists."   This is why Israeli massacres of Palestinian villages are simply the use of "necessary force" but those Palestinian Arabs who bomb buses are "crazed mujahadeen."  This is why I can be called "anti-semitic" for opposing Israeli policies, but I have often heard comments like "We should just nuke all them damned Ay-rabs" from people who are otherwise sensitive and loving individuals (and who don't understand that they are proponents of the "other anti-Semitism").  It is why pointing out that Mossad (Israeli intelligence) probably had at least some advance knowledge of September 11th will in many circles automatically win you the label of "anti-Semite," while on the other hand a Palestinian American friend of mine, on September 11th, was informed of the events that occurred in the following way, in front of a whole university class:

"Didn't you hear?  Some stupid Palestinian blew up the World Trade Center."

As an American citizen, as an Orthodox Christian, I want no part in the sickening enterprise of conquering the Palestinian people.  I do not want my tax money spent to fund Israeli military operations, nor to fund military operations of which the Israeli government is the primary benificiary.

Even our resident Christian Zionist here at www.orthodoxchristianity.net, Jennifer, has admitted that the creation of the state of Israel was "probably wrong," as I believe she put it.  So why force our taxpayers and our soldiers to support injustice?  I don't want any US tax money going to the Palestinian side either.   As Samer has suggested, led the staunch supporters of Palestine or Israel put their money and lives on the line and enlist in the military forces of either side, or at least support them directly from your own pocketbook.

For my part, I will pray, Christian and Sinjin.  I will pray for the health, peace, salvation, and deliverance of all parties involved.  I will pray for God's mercy and his justice.  

And I will speak out against my own government's support of oppressive regimes.  I will support humanitarian and peace organizations which seek safety and health of Israelis and Palestinians.

This has been a good discussion.  I have learned a lot.  My hope is that those who are unfamiliar with these topics will try to learn more, and will prayerfully consider the statements of our own Orthodox and Catholic hierarchs concerning these issues.
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« Reply #53 on: December 03, 2002, 04:40:44 PM »

I would like to see some evidence of Massacres by the Israeli's. Jenin? That was proven false. But I can point you to at least a dozen masacres by Palestinians this year alone that actually happend. A tempered response to slaughter is not a massacre.

But you are correct. We all should be united in prayer for all sides. So I join with you.

Christian
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« Reply #54 on: December 03, 2002, 04:42:31 PM »

Theodore,

While I do question this type of reparations and think it is wrongheaded - it is only hypocritical if you take as fact the idea that Palestinians have suffered equivalent injustice. The Bible teaches that God sets up leaders and we are to be obedient to them (as far as is reasonable). Like it or not Israel is a Country and the Palestinians are under there God given rule. And it can be argued that the war-mongering and rebellion of the Palestinian Muslims is what caused them to be dealt with. They paid a price for lawless rebellion that is no more unjust than telling your child that if you disobey again you will lose privileges and then following through. The Palestinians have relentlessly murdered civilians, were warned of the consequences and paid the consequences and continue to do so for rebellion and anarchy. The Jews need to protect themselves and have every right to do so. They have shown incredible restraint considering the threat they face everyday for the crime of not being Muslim.

If some bullies from the next block over were terrorizing your children, smashing your windows and mutilating your pets indiscriminately and you took measures to protect your family and property that inconvenienced the bullies - such is the bullies problem.

The bottom line is you reap what you sow. The Muslims have sown discord and anti-Semitism in the Holy Land. They raise their children on a diet of lies and hate such as the "Blood Libel" myth and the blow up women and children on a regular basis. How would you respond to these "victims"?

Christian
Christian, your logic can lead to many aberrations.  Substitute the words "Black South Africans" for Palestinians, and "White Europeans" for Israel, and you've just written an excellent defense of and justification for Apartheid.  After all those uppity Blacks deserved what they got because they were lawless rebels.  After all, the old South Africa was a country, and the Blacks were under the God given rule of the Whites.

You forget that there is violence and hatred on BOTH sides, and that it essentially started with the brutal seizure of Arab homes and property by colonizing European Jews.  The continued expansion of "settlements" on occupied Arab land continues on the West Bank.  The Israeli government is now reaping what it has sown.  None of the Palestinians I know (quite a few), subscribe to any "Blood Libel" myth, nor do they support those who blow up innocent people.   My parish is a majority Palestinian, and I've heard numerous horror stories from my fellow parishioners about life under Israeli occupation.  The Orthodox Christians of Palestine have suffered greatly under Israeli rule.   There is a cycle of violence perpetuated by evil crazies on both the Palestinian and Israeli side.  Rather than blindly choosing sides, we need to pray for peacemakers on BOTH sides to stop the madness and injustice.

Theodore
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« Reply #55 on: December 03, 2002, 05:49:05 PM »

Theodore,

South Africa is completely different since the Jews are the ones hated because or their ethnicity. The fact that they are the majority doesn't change the facts. I will leave it at that.

I know (or have known) both Israeli's and Palestian Christians and Muslims. And no doubt the Orthodox Palestinians have suffered. But as a result of their Muslim neighbors actions. But the Orthodox suffer because of the terrorists. The responses are necessary. If you live near Muslims and you look just like them what are you supposed to do if you are an Israeli soldier and rocks are flying from all directions? Calmly ask which kid is Orthodox and which is Muslim. They are in a tough situation but that is always the case in any conflict - innocents suffer. But it is the Muslims who started the uprising and and Hamas contiues to be sheltered by "normal" Palestinians. The uprising is two years old and came after they were offered 98% of everything they demanded. Arafat refused progress, not the Israeli's, so blame him. There was no justification for the uprising other than they did not get all of Israel and "drive the Jews into the sea". It's like saying "those oppressive Israeli's are so mean for not letting us kill them in peace".

There was no country there prior to the partition just a scattered few. It is baloney to say that there was. There was a small number of Jews and Arabs scattered about. They were both offered  their own countries and the local Arabs under pressure from neighboring Muslim countries refused. There was room for everybody who was there. No one was kicked out until they committed acts of war against the new State. The situation was identical in Trans-Jordan (Jordan) so what was different? They were Muslims and not Jews. Those are the facts.

That being said I am not choosing sides. I care about Palestinian children and Jewish children. I am sorry for the Christians being exploited and brainwashed by Arafat who only allows them Palestinian media. So they don't know what is really happening outside of their villages. They just think Israeli tanks roll in to flex their muscles for no good reason having no idea that a bus load of Jewish kids was blown up the day before by a terrorist from their village. For this I am deeply saddened. But this is what really happens. I just happen to think the Israeli's have a right to defend themselves.

I think the peacemakers on the Palestinian side must be Orthodox if there is to be peace (not likely to happen since they are not Muslim). Because those who share a world view with Al-Qaeda (the Muslim Palestinians) have no interest in peace as they have proven that time and time again. Rabin and Barak (even Netayahu) offered major olive branches (land/ half of Jerusalem etc.).

Here is the question everyone should ask themselves: Are we really that eager for another Muslim State? Every single one in existence is an oppressive dictatorship. Why so eager for another? All they have ever done is persecute the Orthodox. Jews have historically always been very kind to Christians after the first century. Be careful what you wish for.

In Peace,

Christian

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« Reply #56 on: December 03, 2002, 08:03:39 PM »

Yirmiyahu,

Thank you so much for your efforts, friend. I know it is frustrating even attempting to debate with people who start off with the chauvinist premise of denying the people hood of the Palestinians and then move on to character assassinations of Arabs in general. I know it is frustrating to be an Orthodox Christian and see a dispensationalist Protestant come into an Orthodox forum and justify racist Zionism with a twisted perversion of the Bible; and advance arguments that even hardened Zionist in Israel are not even trying to argue anymore. You have asked honest and sober questions and people have danced around them with irrelevant analogies. In spite of this frustration I beg that you not leave this forum. You have an interesting perspective and I can tell that we can learn a lot from you on many other, especially more religious oriented questions. Please stay.

Back to the topic. Listen, my fellow true Apostolic Christian, the oppression of the Palestinians is a foregone conclusion for these people. If you refute their arguments they will advance a new one. The bottom line is that in the final analysis Palestinians ain’t getting their land back (from their perspective). A friend who noticed the cyclical methodology of these people as displayed on this thread e-mailed me the following cartoon, please take a second to look at it and reflect what takes place here: http://www.salon.com/comics/tomo/2002/11/18/tomo/index.html


When faced with a situation like this, this is how I consider it. Back in segregation it would be useless for a Black man to argue with a Klansman about the merits of ending segregation, the Klan wanted Black people oppressed and that was it. They didn’t acknowledge their humanity or people hood. In fact, like all oppressors in history including Zionists, they had their own ‘just-so’ once upon a time story of how Black people became oppressed. And of course, as usual, such history (or his-story to be more accurate) completely absolved the modern oppressor from any past wrong doing. At this point action becomes louder than words and it can no longer be about arguing with people who are trying to justify the oppression of others. Now its about what we do; and as you pointed out the most that any American can do is to demand the American government to halt the billions of American tax dollars spent to keep Israel’s military on welfare. We can’t fight the battles for the Palestinians but we can make sure that their oppressor doesn’t have the upper hand because of our money.  

As we know from history, injustice, no matter if it wipes out whole villages and small towns in its attempt to survive, can not stand forever.

As far as the non-comparable Native Americans analogy. The way anyone should evaluate a liberation movement is by looking at what IT is demanding and what IT is saying; both organizations and people on the ground (who may or may not agree with ‘their’ organization). Native Americans (on any significant scale) ARE NOT demanding anyone to step out of their house that was stolen from their ancestors. Even the most radical of Native American political organizations (AIM, American Indian Movement) is simply demanding that treaties be respected and Indian culture, life dignity, and honor be upheld. Some nations have battles with huge corporations and the government over natural resources, I support the Native American side in that struggle. But in areas where there is no claim or struggle, who am I to initiate it or start making demands where the natives are not making the demands?

I know I have singed petitions demanding reparations for Jews, and that is all that I have seen. I know in my town there were no demonstrations at the Polish Embassy demanding a return of stolen Jewish property to Jews so they can move back into their house in Poland; so who am I to go and demand it when they aren’t? If it is not their concern how can it be my concern? If they launch a struggle then they have an ally; but if not then I can not advocate for what they are not.

I can not demand anyone in San Mateo to give up their lands for some Miwok Indian claims primarily because the Miwoks are not demanding that.

The historical dynamics are also different; for Native Americans we are looking at the sad result of a genocide after it already happened. In Palestine we are looking at a genocide as it is happening. I can’t stop what happened in 1790 but I can help to stop what started yesterday and continues today.

The Palestinians are demanding their land back, they are fighting for liberation and that is what we should support. The rules of self-determination dictate that the people decide their destiny, not their well wishers and friends, not their oppressors and for sure not dispensationalist Protestants in America.

Co-signing with your suggested Prayer,

God Bless
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« Reply #57 on: December 03, 2002, 09:46:16 PM »

As far as the non-comparable Native Americans analogy. The way anyone should evaluate a liberation movement is by looking at what IT is demanding and what IT is saying; both organizations and people on the ground (who may or may not agree with ‘their’ organization). Native Americans (on any significant scale) ARE NOT demanding anyone to step out of their house that was stolen from their ancestors. Even the most radical of Native American political organizations (AIM, American Indian Movement) is simply demanding that treaties be respected and Indian culture, life dignity, and honor be upheld. Some nations have battles with huge corporations and the government over natural resources, I support the Native American side in that struggle. But in areas where there is no claim or struggle, who am I to initiate it or start making demands where the natives are not making the demands?

Native Americans are a marginalized people in the US.  They've been reduced to proverty.  They are isolated from the rest of society and plagued with many serious problems.  Just because they don't have a well funded "liberation movement" so college kids can sign petitions and feel better about themselves does not mean that they don't make claims.  The outright theft of the land of Native Americans is well documented.  For example, there was a woman in Oklahoma (whose name escapes me at the moment) who wrote a series of books exposing how major oil companies stole land from Native Americans during the 1920's.  Believe me they make claims and they want their land back and nobody cares.  

I know I have singed petitions demanding reparations for Jews, and that is all that I have seen. I know in my town there were no demonstrations at the Polish Embassy demanding a return of stolen Jewish property to Jews so they can move back into their house in Poland; so who am I to go and demand it when they aren’t? If it is not their concern how can it be my concern? If they launch a struggle then they have an ally; but if not then I can not advocate for what they are not.

Signed some petitions?  Well you've done your part.  Despite what another poster wrote here, there is no serious movement to have property stolen from Jews during the war returned to them.  It would be too catastrophic to European nations that want to pretend that it's not their fault.  Most major German companies used slave labor during the war.  Some Poles and Jews have brought lawsuits against companies like Brayer but nothing significant will come of it because true "justice" would destroy every German company.  Major Japanese companies have the same legacy.  Many wealthy Americans including the Kennedys and the Bushs helped to launder Nazi money during the war.  

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« Reply #58 on: December 04, 2002, 09:34:34 AM »

Aklie,

You refuse to even acknowledge factual and historical arguments and think that if you accuse someone of being a dispensational protestant (which I am most definately not) that somehow invalidates the facts presented.

If you choose to not look at this objectively and constantly appeal to emotional arguments without even attempting to find the facts (why is that? Hmmm..).

The fact is you are on the side of the radical Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere who all have state controlled media. That alone should give you pause. Sorry I will agree with the West on this one since we have aaccess to all the facts if one actually cares about the truth.

Your diatribe above is basically saying "I will not be confused with the facts".

Obviously, Jewish lives are cheap. Just remember Jesus was a Jew.

I'm done with this. I hear nonsense spewed. And not even a reasonable attempt at objectivity. This type of hatred and onesidedness does not bode well for Orthodoxy. Christians don't get to pick and choose who we will love and who we will hate. And it is not Christ-like at all.

Christian
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« Reply #59 on: December 04, 2002, 10:52:38 AM »

The fact is you are on the side of the radical Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere who all have state controlled media. That alone should give you pause. Sorry I will agree with the West on this one since we have aaccess to all the facts if one actually cares about the truth.

We may not have state controlled media in America, but if you seriously think we are getting the whole story from our media on any situation, you are mistaken.  I am sure of this anytime I read one of a number of foreign sources regarding one or the other story and I hear things that aren't spoken of in America.  

I'm done with this. I hear nonsense spewed. And not even a reasonable attempt at objectivity. This type of hatred and onesidedness does not bode well for Orthodoxy. Christians don't get to pick and choose who we will love and who we will hate. And it is not Christ-like at all.

Honestly, I don't see anything here but people talking past each other.  You and those in support of the Israeli position in this matter present your view, with your own facts, and you accuse those in support of the Palestinian position of being in support of radical Muslims, of not being objective, of being hateful and one sided.  But when you (pl.) are presented with the Palestinian side of the story, with its own facts, you ignore these facts or excuse them with something that does not have any relevance to the region, seem awfully onesided yourselves, perhaps hateful of Palestinians and/or their supporters, etc.  In essence, both sides in this conversation are doing what you accuse one side of doing.  Hence, I wonder if the time for this conversation to be locked has come.  

I honestly don't see this going anywhere, and didn't see it going anywhere a couple of pages ago.  If there are those who are interested in this conversation continuing, they may do so, but in a charitable way, and with an effort to understand each other, rather than what has gone on in these four pages.  

Thanks for your participation.
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