Views From Within

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Israel Deserves Scrutiny

Posted by jeremiasx on January 23, 2007

There has been much talk about Israel since it became a nation under a UN Mandate back in the post-WWII era. In fact, Israeli politics and US policies in the Middle East are so intertwined that one might wonder where Israel begins and the US ends…it leads one to bear a few pertinent questions in mind.

1. Did the UN have the authority to superimpose an entire country upon an existing people and nation? (Some claim Palestine to not have been a “nation” but then if you use that reasoning, neither was Iraq, Jordan, Syria, etc. they were all protectorates of various European powers.)

2. If Israel is a bastion of democracy and a “model” for all in the Middle East, why does it do things like practice virtual apartheid against a significant section of it’s population? The Israeli Knesset has been so bold as to pass a law exterminating the citizenship of those who are political dissidents or are “unpatriotic.” If this is a model for democracy, will the US soon follow with similar legislation?

3. Does ANY people, any race, any color, any creed…have the right to a homogenous culture and country? So far, I don’t believe any country has worked as hard through political, military, and social programs to achieve such hegemony in the history of mankind, barring one…Nazi Germany.

4. Will Israel continue to garnish unfettered support by labeling every person who questions their policies as “Anti-Semitic?” We’ve seen this policy in practice in smear campaigns against former US President Jimmy Carter, who was instrumental in securing Middle East peace in the past, yet now that he has raised questions is being slurred as an, “Anti-Semite.”

5. Can we as Americans afford to stand idly by and continue our unfettered support for a state that has been accused of numerous human rights organizations as one of the worst offenders against basic human liberties? Should we continue to dump billions in aid to a regime which practices abuses of the worst kind against an entire race of people due to the wrong actions of a group of radicals in their midst?

I think these are serious questions that beg being answered, and while I empathize with the Jewish people for the atrocities they suffered under the despotic reign of Hitler, let me mention that they are not the only people who have suffered under the policies of genocide and racism…numerous cultures have dealt with the same problems. If you use the reasoning of the pro-Zionist movement, you can come to all kinds of conclusions about the future of many other “peoples” i.e. the Native Americans, the Pols, the Slavs, the Gypsies…the list could go on endlessly.

It’s time for us to reconsider our blanket support of a regime that has oppressed, killed, and sought to completely weed out an entire race of people who previously lived in the land they now occupy. Two wrongs, after all…do not make a right.

If you’re curious about the evolution and encroachment of the Israeli state, this map might hold a little information you may not have been aware of previously:

israelrising.jpg

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7 Responses to “Israel Deserves Scrutiny”

  1. hairybeast said

    Well if all their neighbors were not out to drive them into the sea ,the Israelis might act a bit differently. If Palestine had ever agreed to the many deals offerred them over the decades, ditto.

    Mongeaux

  2. jeremiasx said

    Why would they accept an obviously inequitable agreement? Any person who views the situation from a detached perspective can easily see that the solutions which have been offered provide little relief to the Palestinian people in their efforts to survive as an autonomous people!

  3. Jayson Elliot said

    You’re missing an important point when you look at the map of 1947 vs. 1949.
    One day after Israel declared its independence, it was attacked by five armies at once.
    Every Arab neighbor of Israel attacked with the same goal – to destroy the Jewish state, and create a 100% Muslim nation in its place.

    The Arabs rejected the map that you see in 1947, choosing to go for the all-or-nothing option of all out war instead. When they lost that war, they also lost land as the Israelis pushed back. I suppose that Israel could have been magnanimous and decided to give back whatever they won in the war, but given the aggressive nature of their neighbors, it’s not surprising that they opted for security over generosity.

  4. jeremiasx said

    They certainly opted for more than just security…they also have managed to carve up the natural resources (especially water and access to it) with the annexation of the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip…these acquisitions have much farther implications than simple “security” may dictate, especially given the access Israel has to spy satellites and other early detection systems of possible invasions.

  5. Jayson Elliot said

    My comments about security were related to 1948, not what is happening now. I was making the point that the maps of ’47 and ’49 were missing some crucial context.

    As far as the current borders are concerned, you are right, if it were just a matter of being safe from foreign invasion, they could probably give more land to others. There’s more to the threat, of course – suicide bombers don’t show up on spy satellites.

    Nonetheless, I think that Israel is probably not choosing the best course of action to ensure their long-term security. If I were making the decisions, I’d probably do everything I could to remove the curfews and patrols, and get rid of the stigmatizing elements like colored passes for checkpoints. Keeping the Palestinians in a state of humiliation isn’t going to solve anything.

    Let’s say Israel were to take measures to make Palestinians feel empowered and free, what, then, should the Palestinians themselves do? What about the other Arab nations in the region? If all the security measures were dropped, a Palestinian state were created, what will be the guarantee of Israel’s safety and survival? I’m seriously interested.

  6. jeremiasx said

    There could be no guarantee, express or implied, other than one which came directly from the top of the Hamas and Hezbollah organizations…the problem with that is (in my mind) that the method of negotiation between our State Department and the rest of the Quartet is that we are demanding results before offering incentives or initiatives which have a meaningful impact on the quality of life of the Palestinian people.

    Animosity breeds the same…where we approach in fear and loathing of the acts of violence of those who are obviously SO DESPERATE that they are willing to forsake their lives to achieve martyrdom, we come into the situation with the wrong attitude.

    Someone once told me in the car sales business…the definition of a great deal is where both sides walk away feeling like they’ve won. The history of the MidEast peace process has given neither side cause to believe that they have won anything…let alone advanced the cause of their constituencies. Half-measures have availed nothing, and our position of unwavering support for Israel in the face of it’s consistent abuses of power over the disenfranchised Palestinians is not helping the image that they see of our role in the negotiation process.

    The next question I have…do we even WANT a solution…or does the conflict in the Middle East actually serve for some ulterior motive which is a chance for us to be “in the mix” in the area of major oil production (which is not in Israel, but it’s warring neighbors) and the chance to make BILLIONS of dollars profiteering off the conflict?

    I’m a very skeptical person and have learned to be cynical because the people of the world have made it quite apparent that by and large they are selfish and self-centered when it comes to anything from purchasing a candy bar to considering the future for their children or grandchildren…and that’s what’s always at stake…the future.

    I thank you for your considerate and well-thought out comments. Please feel free to visit again any time.

  7. Jayson Elliot said

    Absolutely agree on the point of what makes a successful negotiation. If both sides don’t walk away happy, it only bodes ill for the future.

    I think your point as to whether the west actually wants a solution might be giving our leaders a bit too much credit, but it’s a fair question. Personally, I think they stumble into their successes as much as their failures, more like Inspector Clouseau than an Illuminati.

    Nonetheless, the final statement you make about people ultimately pursuing their own self-interests is the one that rang the most true to me. That’s why, although I tend to side with the Israelis in the matters of their well-being, I don’t pretend that they act perfectly, or even that there haven’t been very serious abuses, even crimes, committed. I would hope that you would grant the same about the Arabs.

    Ultimately, though, I believe that the society that exists in Israel is one that tends towards justice and liberty, and that the world should be encouraging their success, not looking forward to their destruction. By all means, scrutinize their actions, as all nations should be scrutinized, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the Arabs are victims in this conflict. If it were as simple as that, then why don’t the other Arab nations offer help beyond funding the militants and suicide bombers? It’s one thing to appeal to the desperation of the Palestinians, but how does that excuse the corruption, hate, and murder that comes out of the region? Were the Jews safe before the walls went up? Remember, those five armies in 1948 attacked without provocation, and with only one stated goal – destroy Israel.

    Martyrdom is the act of accepting death for one’s beliefs, not dying in the act of murdering another. I want to see Israel thrive in a region where their Arab neighbors can also thrive in freedom and prosperity. This means not only scrutinizing Israel, but getting Muslims in the region to renounce their own hatred and aggression.

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