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Discussion in 'General Chat' started by HippoCrushEverything, Jan 8, 2017.
Fixed it for you.
What nation-state isn't fake/arbitrary?
Czechoslovakia? Brunei? North Korea?
Jerusalem is a fake city, the place doesn't even exist: "war of Baylonians with Judean Kingdom culminated in 586 BCE when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II and the local leaders were deported to Babylonia"
Besides, the whole region clearly belongs to the Roman Empire so stop the bickering et Laudate Imperator
The Ottomans lost it fair and square!
If the Saudis are on board with it, they are clearly sending a different public message:
Saudi Arabia called it "unjustified and irresponsible" (...) the royal court said it "represents a significant decline in efforts to push a peace process and is a violation of the historically neutral American position on Jerusalem".
As far as I know, since the inception of the nation of Israel in 1948, the international community proposed for Jerusalem to be a nationless, international city. This has been the UN position ever since. I'm pretty sure the Palestinians haven't been helping out in this situation, but the Israelis are probably the worst offenders with a lot of hypocrisy.
Israel was happy to agree with the international community when it helped establish the nation of Israel, but then they totally ignore the same international community when it comes to the issue of Jerusalem. It's a similar case with Israeli settlements in the West Bank that the whole world says are illegal. And yet Israel is not only ignoring this, but it has in fact increased their numbers over the years.
((Balfour Declaration)) ((Mandatory Palestine)) ((Partition Plan for Palestine)) ((Jerusalem Embassy Act 1995))
I found it interesting that ROC/Taiwan considers Jerusalem the capitol of Israel, but Israel doesn't recognize ROC.
Even The US doesn't have formal relations with ROC. Given that official diplomatic relations with ROC and PRC are mutually exclusive, almost every country chooses the latter. Countries that maintain relations with ROC are on The range of Tuvalu, Kiribati, Burkina Faso and the Vatican.
Just because the UN does some things right, doesn't mean it's always right. This is the same UN that's made a hobby out of condemning Israel twice a week, while ignoring far worse atrocities from around the world. While I don't agree with everything our government does or has done, I don't recall a Palestinian nation, or people for that matter, before 1967 or 1948 respectively. I also can't think of any nationless, international cities.
When a strong country like Russia or China decides to take some land, nobody has anything to say. But when Israel tries to dance between protecting itself and preserving human rights, it's the world's scapegoat to wag the dog with.
Usually, my opinions tend to lean slightly to the left, but we've been stuck in this loop since our independence. Maybe it's time to lay some facts on the ground.
Well, muslims occupied the region that is today Israel during the Ottoman Empire for 500 years, until WWI. Then it became a British territory, still inhabited in its majority by muslims. Although I don't think that the claim of being there first is grounds for ownership of a land, it still is quite clear that the Palestinians also have roots in the region and should have their demands and grievances heard. I'm not sure if Israel forcing its way through is the best solution; the problem won't disappear, it will probably increase.
And there are cases in history of cities that could work as models for Jerusalem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_separatum
They are only a handful, and some happened in the distant past, but still. Perhaps one solution would be for Jerusalem to be jointly governed by both Palestinians and Israelis -- but considering they can't agree on shit I wonder how they'd run a city together.
Well, a few points: 1) other countries behaving bad is no excuse for Israel doing the same, 2) when China and Russia take land people have lots to say. There is a lot of dispute and global worry over regions in the Tibet and the South China Sea. Also, the whole world reprimanded Russia with their last invasion; 3) by comparison, Israel has been getting away with all it has been doing, hasn't it? Russia is being sanctioned for its invasion of Crimea, and yet I haven't seen the US and its allies putting any sanctions in place for Israel. So Israel is hardly a victim here.
I think it's pretty bad that Israel finds itself in this unescapable loop, and it's probably very frustrating. Yet, any impasse can only be solved if the outcome is good for both parties involved. I don't see how Israel ignoring the other side and setting its foot on the ground unilaterally would be any good for the problems in the region. I think this would be bad for the Palestinians and the Israelis.
Muslims come in many varieties. Palestinians are a relatively recent one. The West Bank and Jerusalem were taken from the Jordanians, who were very much OK with not having to do with the salad of refugees (often expelled by the Jordanians themselves) that occupied the area.
But history aside, the Palestinians are one of those facts on the ground at the moment. Do they deserve their own country? I think so. Should that country include Tel Aviv (they'd like that)? I think not. Should Israel have built settlements? Maybe not, but it was chosen to be in our best interest to serve as another factual anchor. If they get their own country, will there be peace? Most Israelis think not.
We've agreed to talks, made agreements and gave up land in the past. Most Israelis nowadays think that Oslo in 1993 and the Disengagement in 2005 were mistakes which only cost more Israeli (and in turn, Palestinian) lives.
The tough truth is that there is no easy solution right now. Some cities can't be disassembled and most Israelis don't think we should give up more ground. Jerusalem is a large Israeli city nowadays and has been the capital since day one. Perhaps there can be two Jerusalems. Perhaps the Palestinians can choose Ramallah or Jericho as their capitals.
The bottom line is that nothing has changed in the past few decades because we're more susceptible to criticism than others. Maybe it's time to be a little less of that.
Let's talk geography.
Israel is bordered by Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula to the south, Jordan and the Jordan River Valley to the east, Syria in the Golan Heights to the northeast and Lebanon in the north. All of the above spent the first few decades of Israel's existence attacking it, often simultaneously. In the Six Days War of 1967, Israel gained control over Sinai, the West Bank mountains and river valley and the Golan Heights. Since then, there was a peace treaty with Egypt in which the peninsula was given back in return to the Egyptians' agreement to leave their army out. There was another treaty with Jordan, who gave up the West Bank and all its troubles.
Sinai is separated from mainland Egypt by the Suez Canal. The West Bank and its mountains is a barrier between Jordan and the bulk of Israeli cities and population. The now Israeli part of the Golan Heights is slightly higher in elevation than the Syrian part, which makes it hard to take control over. All three made another attempt at regaining their territories in the Yom Kippur War in 1973. They lost to a very capable IDF, a bit of stupidity on their side and luck, combined with utter bravery (Ariel Sharon crossed the Suez Canal, attacked the Egyptians at home and cut the supplies to most of their army, which sat in Sinai).
The lack of a geographical border with Lebanon cost us another war in 1982, in which we gained and maintained a buffer zone for a while. After the IDF left Lebanon in 2000, we dealt with a second war in Lebanon in which we had to weaken Hezbollah into submission, at least for a while. Now they're busy with the war in Syria, also keeping the Syrians themselves at bay.
This leaves us with the unresolved issue of the West Bank. Its mountainous terrain gives it an excellent vantage point on both the Jordan River Valley from the east, and the rest of Israel from the west. For example, here's this week's view from Nablus (second largest city in the West Bank) towards Israel's coastal plains, where most of the population lives (the city in the picture is Netanya, Israel's 7th most populated city).
Geographically speaking, having yet another Arab country, with that much of a vantage point onto our cities and the threat of war constantly imminent, is something the Israeli government won't risk. To top it off, I've seen a guy shoot civilians around, killing a high school girl, basically with my own eyes. We've had buses and buildings explode, soldiers kidnapped and rockets randomly shot at us, directed at centers of population.
There's right, there's wrong, there's a large Palestinian population that's basically nationless and there are the Israeli interest in keeping the citizens safe. This area is complicated AF, but to say that Israel is an evil aggressor is unjustified with all things considered.
whats valuable about israel, if we for a second (just a second) ignore holiness
Nothing other than a possible land passage between Egypt/Africa and the rest of the world. There's no natural resources, no water, no oil.
Politically, we're making it easier to control other people. You have a problem, your people are poor, your dictatorship is on the line - blame it on the Jews. Get everybody on board a war so that it appears as though Israel is the problem.
In 70 years of existence, we built a booming nation on par with the west in most aspects. While our neighbors were busy not helping themselves and blaming their issues on the west, Israel did not sit around and whine about how everybody hates it. Instead, our grandparents and parents took charge of their own lives and made this a pretty great place to live in, despite the circumstances.
You can say that this 27,000sqm piece of land (about the size of Maryland and that's including the West Bank) is important, that our presence here is the reason for everything that's wrong in the Middle East, when in fact it's the only functioning democracy in the region. It walks like a wag-the-dog kind of trick and sounds like jealousy, and it's both.
Do you ever get to hear about how the Palestinians in the West Bank are some of the better-off Arabs (who aren't swimming in oil) in the world? Or how about the fact that Ramallah, during the last few years of relative peace, has developed into a much more modern and liberal city, with a booming hi-tech industry that's influenced by Israel? How about the highest literacy rate in the Arab world, equal to Qatar and Jordan? Or the free water and electricity that we provide? We used to live together, be able to spend time in Palestinian cities, provide tons of jobs (which are now taken by random immigrants and Chinese people), until it got too deadly.
Israel is not the reason the Middle East has problems.
Israel didn't create itself; it is the product of Western colonialism. The British decided almost unilaterally for the creation of a Jewish state. That isn't a disparaging term, and Israel is one of the most successful, stable, and prosperous products of that era of international relations. And Israel's long struggle to maintain its right to exist against hostile neighbors, and its commitment to a functioning democracy in light of those threats, are all noble and commendable. But I think attempting to view the Israel-Palestine conflict as just one of these issues without the other simplifies the issue beyond the reality of the situation.
The creation of a state from nothing inevitably removes that territory from someone else, and in this case it was land taken through the course of war, containing some of the most holy sites for all three Abrahamic religions. It's hard to make an argument that such a seizure and divestiture of land by the British was just, even if the intent to create a Jewish state was just in itself. And in turn, the modern history each and every one of the states surrounding Israel is also dictated by Western (namely British and French) colonial domination; redrawing borders, dividing people, and upending existing social and political structures; seized as prizes of war and opportunistically in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
In that context, condemnation of Israel is not a statement that Israel does not have the right to existence nor protect the bodily integrity of its citizens or defend itself from violence. Rather, it's often a statement that Israel's current actions are an effective continuation of the very policies and attitudes that created the Israel-Palestine conflict to begin with. Israel is not responsible for that conflict, for the mess it was born into, and its primary responsibility has always been the maintenance of its once-fragile existence. But Israel is much more secure than it once was, and the long-term resolution of this problem is going to take a much more sophisticated form of diplomacy than those used to create it.
It is wrong to blame Israel (or any of its Arab neighbors for that matter) for this situation. That responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of Western colonial powers. Just as the India-Pakistan nuclear standoff does (and let's hope the Middle East doesn't come to that). And it sure seems hypocritical to criticize what Israel is doing when some of its neighbors still don't recognize its right to exist. But one of the burdens of having that stable democracy is the expectation that you'll listen to reason, and reason is saying that some of Israel's current actions (and Trump's decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem right now) are not part of a long-term solution
The existence of the state of Israel is not the reason in the complex array of reasons of why parts of the Middle-East are inhabited by a theocratic bunch of twats who wouldn't think twice about going to war over semantics. This isn't an absolution of Israeli actions, though. Somehow I suspect that repeatedly attacking UN peacekeeping forces in the region isn't something that has its roots in the desire to a) have any sort of peace b) give a single **** about the Arab populations in the Levant. Lebanese forces did violate the Blue Line quite a few times but so did Israelis and there's plenty of footage of that.
As a Finn, I can appreciate the history of the struggle to build a nation with little resources and large, hostile neighbours around. And the need to be able to defend one's country by force if need be. Yes, I love soft toilet paper, reliable institutions and the 15-year extra life expectancy I have compared to my counterparts less than 400 km away.
I just have zero faith in the current Apartheid-solution, other than the belief that it will be a perpetuum mobile of sectarian violence in the region, both interreligious and intrareligious. No, post-Apartheid will not be ideal (it isn't in South Africa), but it won't change the unsustainability of the status quo, and simply repudiating Arab claims or UN solutions won't make it sustainable.
Do you ever get to hear about how the negroes in Soweto are some of the better-off negroes (who aren't swimming in ivory) in Africa? Or how about the fact that Alexandra, during the last few years of relative obedience, has developed into a much more modern and liberal township, with a booming prostitution industry that's influenced by Afrikaners? How about the highest literacy rate in the Kaffir world, equal to Benin and Sudan? Or the "free" water and electricity we provide? We used to live together, be able to spend time in negro townships, provide tons of jobs (which are now taken by random immigrants and coloured people), until it got too deadly.
On second thought, maybe the Arabs living on the West Bank don't deserve a state. An excerpt from wiki about the first illegal settlement in Hebron:
"In the spring of 1968, Rabbi Moshe Levinger, together with a group of Israelis posing as Swiss tourists, rented from its owner Faiz Qawasmeh the main hotel in Hebron and then refused to leave"
Every country in existence is a result of war and displacement. None more deserving than that one country given by the world to a people who were exterminated someplace else. The land we were given is small and was very insignificant/underdeveloped at the time. The Palestinians aren't really fighting us over that (although they would've liked to, just like out other neighbors). The rest of the land, the parts that were taken through war - I already explained that in a previous post.
You say that Israel's current course of action is a cause for more problems, rather than an attempt at finding a solution. Well, what would that solution be?
You say that we're safe at the moment. I say that this is a result of our actions. I'm a 31 years old man in a modern, western country who served in an army during war (Lebanon II), two campaigns (in Gaza), the Disengagement from Gaza/parts of the West Bank and lived through the second Intifada. Those memories are still fresh and I don't think we can rest on our laurels believing that the other side saw the light. If anything, you may have noticed that the Arab world has taken a turn to the extreme lately, not the other way around.
My parents felt real secure after 1967. Israel destroyed the competition and went into a state of euphoria. Then they surprised us in 1973 and an entire country got to know the feeling that this is the end. Can you imagine feeling that?
History is long and complex and that goes to show that what is, may not be sooner or later. Nothing is forever, but we sure as hell are going to do whatever it takes, regardless of what some far away people think is right for us, in order to maintain what we've built for as long as possible.
You're talking assimilation? I don't think the Palestinians would want that and I don't think we could maintain our glorious democracy with an Arab (almost) majority. We need to separate, but that ain't easy (due to reasons I've explained in a previous post). The Palestinians say they want us to go back to 1967, which is impossible. If it were possible, they'd claim something else that wasn't, because war and a sense of deprivation are important tools for fanatic theocracies. Ask Arafat.