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"O Lord make my enemies ridiculous."

A little while ago, I discussed why I am a supporter of Israel. It sparked a rather interesting discussion that lasted a decent while. But one commenter -- "JP" -- decided to wait until last Saturday to answer my 12/30 piece.

Given that he waited over a week to answer my posting, I don't feel too guilty about taking a day or two to properly answer him. And considering how poor his alleged "argument" against Israel is, I'm tempted to just ignore it. But in the spirit of making silk purses out of sow's ears, his blather gives me an easy chance to smack around some of the more persistently stupid myths he perpetrates.

This fisking isn't going to be pretty, and it's going to be boring to some people, so I'm stuffing it below the fold.

The jews have never been treated well by Christians. It was Christians who kicked them out of Spain and the Muslim turks who gave them sanctuary. Once again it was Christian Germany who tried to massacre them during WW2 but the ultimate irony is that it is the Muslims who get punished for it.

Yes, that's true. The history of Christianity starts with being persecuted, and evolves into becoming the persecutors. The historic treatment of Jews by Christians is shabby, to put it kindly. "Atrocious" would probably fit certain aspects, as well.

But they outgrew it. The relations between Christians and Jews are, nowadays, the best they've ever been. The Vatican has formalized relations with Israel.

Citing Nazi Germany as a "Christian" state was a bit of a stretch, though. If you'd cited the Vatican's complicity in fascism during World War II I might have respected your argument a smidgen more, but the Nazis were NOT representative of Christianity -- not even to themselves.

Why force a State of Israel onto a place where mostly Muslim, Christian and Jewish Arabs (Yes they exist They are treated as second class citizens by the Ashkanazi Jews who came from Europe) were living. Sure in historical times Jews lived in the Levant. So what?

Let's see. After World War II, the Jews looked around and realized that Europe had persecuted them for millenia, culminating in an outright attempt at exterminating them. A good number of them decided at that point "screw this, we're outta here" and wanted out. They decided that they wouldn't really feel safe unless they had their own homeland, preferably in the land where they started out as a people, a land where they'd had a presence for several thousand years, a land where their holiest sites were located. And the UN (in a decision they've tried to undo ever since) agreed, and allowed a modern-day Israel to come into being upon the lands of the ancient one.

Also, according to the CIA Factbook, 80.1% of Israelis are Jewish. 15.9% are Muslim, and less than 5% are Christian.

In Historical times Muslims lived in Spain and Apaches lived in Southern United States. Noone is forcing the Christians of Spain or the WASPs of America to vacate the land for the original owners so why target the Muslim and Christian Arabs for the special treatment. If Europe needed to salve its concience about the holocaust why not setup a Jewish homeland somewhere in Europe or for that matter America.

One difference is that a lot of those who fled Israel at its founding weren't driven out, they voluntarily left. Hell, some actually SOLD their holdings -- even before the founding, Zionists were buying up lands around Israel and paying fair prices for it.

And as I pointed out, Israelis didn't WANT to be beholden to any nation, or take charity. They wanted their own land, where (to them) God had given them and where they had maintained a presence for millenia.

It is sheer hypocricy to salve the European concience by forcing Arabs out of their homes to create an apartheid state of Israel. I personally say lets end apartheid in Israel.


Ah, the "apartheid" argument. PG overlooks that non-Jews are full citizens of Israel, with all the rights -- but without all the responsibilities. Only Jews are required to serve in the military; non-Jewish citizens are allowed to volunteer, but are not conscripted.

What this means is that Israel should absorb the West Bank and Gaza and give all Palestinians a vote in the Israeli elections. Also all special benefits for housing, schools etc given to Jews should be removed and everyone should be treated as equal. Given that the Arab population of such a combined state would be a majority I wouldnt be surprised to see Abbas being elected President of Israel.

Hmm... gee, that sounds like a blueprint for wiping the nation of Israel off the map. Kind of like the plans of Iran's president, without the threat of nukes. But that would be a bit paranoid of me, wouldn't it? PG wouldn't really be calling for the extermination of the nation of Israel, would he? Nah.

And once that happens most probably the country will revert to its historical name of Palestine.

Whoops, my bad. He is.

And as far as the name "Palestine" being historic -- it is, kind of. But as recently as the 1930's, "Palestinians" was used to describe the Jews living in the area. And let's not forget the origin of the name -- it was a corrupted form of "Philistine," imposed by the Romans after they destroyed the Jewish state. Oh, and what was the name the Romans wanted obliterated from history?

Oh, yeah. "Israel."

Hey, if it was good enough for the Romans in their attempt to crush the Jews, why not try it again?

This would also remove the root cause of 80% of the terrorism in the Middle East and lead to a safer America.

Actually, I think it would remove the root excuse for 95% of the terrorism in the Middle East. The cause of terrorism is militant Islam and the whole Mid-East culture that fosters and perpetuates the "shame" mentality and the fact that it is seen as effective.

As far as making America safer -- I think not. Israel is a good, reliable source of both intelligence and experience in fighting terrorism. All our betraying Israel will do is achieve us a very brief respite -- we're on their list for a LOT more than our support of Israel. After that, our actions will not be seen as principled, but cowardly -- and encourage more attacks. We learned that lesson during the Clinton administration, when numerous major terrorist attacks and open acts of war were shrugged off.

Another important point is the right of return. As Arab palestinians who fled Israel are not allowed back in it is extrremely unfair that their is an unlimited right of immigration for Jews. This kind of special treatment would also need to be removed.

Ah, yes, the "Right of Return." Never mind that most of the so-called Palestinians either fled willingly, at the behest of their Arab neighbors, or never were residents of modern-day Israel. Anyone who can gin up some vague connection to "Palestine" should be allowed to move there, unrestrained, until they simply outnumber the Jews and then pull off the time-honored totalitarian gambit of "one man, one vote, one time."

I don't know why I need to spell it out yet again, but historically speaking there NEVER WAS A PALESTINE. "Palestine" was a fabrication created by the Romans as part of their attempt to exterminate the Jewish nation. There is no history of Palestine. There were no kings or emperors or rulers of Palestine. There were no great Palestinian leaders, or explorers, or scientists, or merchants. There are no annals of Palestinian history. There isn't even a Palestinian currency. The history of the "Palestinians" dates back to the 1940's, and everything earlier is either a forgery or a hijacking of the Jews' history.

If this safety valve is absolutely required America could provide it by having a right of immigration law for Jews.

And here I thought PG was against special rights for Jews. Silly me.

But what about those Jews who don't want to live in America? True, more Jews live in the United States than in any other nation on earth (including Israel), but not all of them do. I'm rather proud that my country is seen as one of the two safest places on Earth to be Jewish (and not just because I subscribe to the "Jews as canaries in the coal mine" theory -- that when a place gets unpleasant for Jews, it's gonna get bad for everyone else soon enough), but I don't believe we should assist in the destruction of the other one and then welcome the refugees with open arms.

My support for Israel is based on that it is one of those rare occasions when pragmatism and principle coincide. It's both the right and the smart thing to do.

And heaven knows it's easier when my opponents are such idiots as PG. As Voltaire said, "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous."


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Comments (20)

A minor point to be sure, ,... (Below threshold)

A minor point to be sure, , and I'm not sure which idiot commenter you are quoting, but the Apaches never lived in the South (as typically defined as Virginia, The Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi).

The Apaches came from the plains of western Canda and migrated to the southwest as far as Mexico. They never got close to the "South," where tribes such as the Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw and Seminole lived.

As "people of the book" all... (Below threshold)

As "people of the book" all we (believing Christians and Jews) have to know is thousands of years ago God Himself gave this country to the Jews and against all probability they again inhabit this land after generations of exile.
Done.
Let everyone else follow their own beliefs, the Jews are in their land and they aren't leaving, nor can the hand of man make them.
While this simplistic explanation drives the secular world absolutely crazy, for many of us it's all we need to know.
Isaac and Ishmael...

Your detractor should also ... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

Your detractor should also look up what happened to East Prussia and Konigsberg. And the Sudetenland. Lots of Germans (several million) were forcibly moved after the war. Much worse than anything Israel has been accused of, much less actually did.

Israel was a creation of the UN, drawing lines around the majority-Jewish areas and the open desert (the Negev). There was also an Arab state. The Jews accepted. The Arabs rejected and lost the ensuing war. There are consequences for losing wars.

continuing the thought:... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

continuing the thought:

There are consequences for losing wars. Ask the Germans.

Who doesn't love a good Vol... (Below threshold)

Who doesn't love a good Voltaire quote! Ironically, Voltaire is accused of being anti-semitic. Hpwever, I think he was really anti-religion and it was more acceptable to challenge Old Testament stories than New Testamanet stories.

I sure don't want to get in... (Below threshold)

I sure don't want to get involved in an argument about Zionism, but you're wrong if you see Israel solely as a result of WWII. You need to go back to the 19th C., from the 1880s onward, to see that Jewish/Muslim friction was building and that the Ottomans, who ruled the villayet called Palestine, were concerned about Jewish immigration from Europe and tried to stop it.

As the "Sick Man of Europe," the Ottoman Empire was not able to exert enough power to enforce its own laws on its own land. Increase in Jewish immigration eventually led to difficulties with the existing majority Arab population and intersected with growing Arab nationalism.

You may want to read The Arabs and Zionism before World War I by Neville J. Mandel. The book is heavily sourced to documents from various Zionist libraries and archives around the world, but also includes a lot of internal Ottoman communications.

"Why force a State of Israe... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

"Why force a State of Israel onto a place where mostly Muslim, Christian and Jewish Arabs (Yes they exist They are treated as second class citizens by the Ashkanazi Jews who came from Europe) were living. Sure in historical times Jews lived in the Levant. So what?"
Why not?
Arabs themselves are not the indigenous population of the Arab world, but rather conquerors and occupiers of those lands,just ask the Kurds, Berbers or Copts amongst the many other peoples subjugated by the Arabs.
Since before 1967 there were no Palestinians and there are none in fact today, the Jordanians,Syrians,Lebanese and Egyptians in the so called Palestine ought to return to their respective homelands. Or end the fiction and simply revert those areas back to Egypt and Jordan.
"It is sheer hypocricy to salve the European concience by forcing Arabs out of their homes to create an apartheid state of Israel. I personally say lets end apartheid in Israel."
Do you see any churches or synagogues in Mecca? A Jew cannot lawfully own land in Jordan. First lets end apartheid in the Arab and Muslim world.
Ashkenazi Jews are descendants of Jews who were forced out of Israel by the Romans, who over the centuries migrated ( through expulsion) from Spain to western Europe to eastern Europe and finally back to Israel. In other words back home. Taking whats yours back from a thief is not stealing.

JP either you are woefully ignorant or full of shit.
Just curious is it only the Jews that get you all het up? Or do you have the same passion for for other stateless people?

Hmmm.Jews weren't ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Jews weren't "taken in" by muslims. They were allowed to live in muslim lands as long as they followed a very specific set of laws that also stipulated that they had to pay a tax just to live there, they couldn't bring lawsuits against muslims, that they couldn't ride horses or camels because it would put the head of a Jew above that of a muslim, etc etc etc.

This idiot is trying to make it seem that until those evil goddamn Christian bastards got involved the relationship between jews and muslims was one of kumbaya honey love.

Frankly there is so much that's both completely false and utterly idiotic in "JP"'s ridiculous posting that it would take a book to completely identify them all.

Hmmm.Someone try a... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Someone try and get "JP" to do some reading and educate himself on the subject before he makes an even bigger ass of himself.

He could start here.

It's a short summary that doesn't include the crazy nonsense conducted by the British against jews but as a short summary it's useful.

John, WWII was THE catalyzi... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

John, WWII was THE catalyzing event. That's what I meant to say. You're quite right when you say the Zionist movement did date back at least into the 19th century, but it took the war and the creation of a UN to close the deal. If that didn't come across, I apologize.

J.

But, <a href="http://hippoc... (Below threshold)
Todd:

But, will Pat Robertson accept 'The New Israel'?

Your commenter might want t... (Below threshold)

Your commenter might want to read up on the history of the middle east before coming in so hard on the side of 'Palestine.' (Link is to one of the more interesting and useful books I've found on the subject, though it's not specifically about Israel. That is assuming the commenter wishes to base arguments on fact rather than propagandized assertion. On second thought, nevermind - but I'll leave the link in case any thinking individual wants to see it.

"I don't know why I need to... (Below threshold)
Ken:

"I don't know why I need to spell it out yet again, but historically speaking there NEVER WAS A PALESTINE. "Palestine" was a fabrication created by the Romans as part of their attempt to exterminate the Jewish nation. There is no history of Palestine. There were no kings or emperors or rulers of Palestine. There were no great Palestinian leaders, or explorers, or scientists, or merchants. There are no annals of Palestinian history. There isn't even a Palestinian currency. The history of the "Palestinians" dates back to the 1940's, and everything earlier is either a forgery or a hijacking of the Jews' history."

It's all an arbitrary designation of which past historical claim is the most "valid". Israel sits where the Canaanites used to live. The Romans smashed Israel and called it Palestine. Arabs moved in and put up mosques. The British wound up with it through later conquests and... decided to settle Jews there and recognize an independent state.

While it may have been better for the Jews to settle in America (for us and for them), that's kind of a moot point now. By right of conquest, the modern state of Israel owns the land. Any other notion of "rightful ownership" is problematic at best. I guess Israel comes out in the right because there's no surviving Canaanites to object, but I don't see that as more obviously correct moral reasoning than "they won it fair and square in 1948".

Doesn't it bother anyone th... (Below threshold)

Doesn't it bother anyone that the trail of the Armenian genocide ended in Damascus where they were forced to march?

That 1.2 million Armenian Christians were slaughtered for NOT being muslims?

That only 3 decades later the British-armed professional Arab armies attacked the British-disarmed Jewish civilians with genocidal intent just a few miles away?

There were no Jewish armies in 1948. Civilians defended what they owned that had been designated 'the Jewish partition' by the UN because it was... Jewish.

So no Arabs were turned out... there were no refugees... any Arab civilians that left their homes did so voluntarily and at the request of the Arab professional armies moving in to slaughter the Jews.

More on the Jews in the Hol... (Below threshold)

More on the Jews in the Holy Land thread: at the time the Jews started emigrating to the Holy Land (a term that nicely covers the pre-1949/post-1940 name change), the Holy Land wasn't anything to write home about. It was in dire condition, with absentee landowners (living in Constantinople, Paris, London, etc.), and dirt poor, abysmally uneducated fellaheen "farming" the land, using techniques that went out of style sometime around the Black Death. The land was usually a combination of swamps and desert wastelands. For that reason, the landlords were delighted to sell it to the Jews, usually for vast sums of money. Each landlord went off chuckling, believing that he'd done something akin to selling the Brooklyn Bridge to a willing and stupid victim.

Once they owned the land (not stole, owned) the Jews set about reclaiming it. Their labor was extraordinary, and many died of overwork and disease. The Mufti in Jerusalem, who was a terrible anti-Semite, and who saw power over the fellaheens slipping away as the latter became intrigued by Jewish efforts on the land, incited the fellaheens to violence against their Jewish neighbors. That's where the cycle of violence really began. Things got worse as the Jews demonstrated that the land actually had commercial value, at which time the same Arabs who had sold it in the first place, suddenly wanted it back.

Tnere's more, so much more to this history -- most of which the larger part of the world doesn't know or understand -- and there are a lot of interesting books on the subject. I also strongly recommend reading Big Lies : Demolishing the Myths of the Propaganda War Against Israel.

Thanks for your defense of Israel. She neesd all the friends she can get. And it's worth remembering that, in the modern age, anti-Semitism has always been a sign of a sick culture that's going to go down into the ash heap of history.

Ed, the Ottomans--rulers of... (Below threshold)

Ed, the Ottomans--rulers of the villayet of Palestine--did away with the jizah taxes on non-Muslims early in the 20th C. They offered all citizens of the Ottoman Empire equal political rights in all regards. That, in fact, was one of the problems they faced with Zionism's entry into the region. While Ottoman Jews could own land, foreign Jews (and all other foreigners) could not.

The European states demanded--successfully--that foreigners be permitted to buy, sell, and own land within the Empire. That allowed Zionist and other Jewish organizations (who did not want a Zionist state) to purchase land otherwise unavailable to them.

Ken, DANEgerous, and Bookworm need to expand their reading materials outside of Zionist texts. If we're going to start going back and draw historical borders as they were 2,500 years ago, we're opening a can of worms that will never be closed. And why draw the line then? Why not go back earlier, say to the Canaanitic days? Or that dreadful Cro Magnon invasion?

The pertinent fact is that there were Arabs living on a piece of land 100 years ago that France and England decided should be shared with Jews. From a Jewish population in the hundreds in the 1850s, it became tens of thousands by the 1940s.

Two peoples might be able to share a single piece of land. But since one of those peoples never had a voice in the matter before the decisions were made, their anger is entirely understandable.

That they need to get over that anger is also entirely understandable. But saying it won't make it so.

I think, perhaps, Mr. Burge... (Below threshold)

I think, perhaps, Mr. Burgess shows his point of view by denominating as "Zionist literature" reading materials that don't jive with his view of the situation in the Middle East. While I fully support Zionism, and believe that it came into being legally and appropriately, I am aware that, in some circles, to call something Zionist is not a compliment.

Hmmm.Frankly, and ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Frankly, and this is just my opinion, Israel has the right to that land because Israelis fought wars over and won. Quite frankly I personally think that Israel is the legitimate owner of both Gaza and the West Bank and should have evicted the current tennants decades ago. I also think that Israel should never have been forced to give up the all of the land that has been pried from them by American and European politicians.

Don't like it? Then people shouldn't start wars they aren't prepared to win.

I want to see war in the mi... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

I want to see war in the middle east. I want to see a good amount of dead and a crushing defeat for one side over the other. Only this way, will there be a final and lasting resolution to the conflict there.

Israel and all it's arab neighbours need to have it out one more time I think.

Interesting to note that Is... (Below threshold)
berlins:

Interesting to note that Israel will allow voting in East Jeruselum again as it did in 1996 and 2005. The only difference is this time members of Hamas will be on the ballot for the first time.




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