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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby shasan » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:50 pm UTC

Speaking as a Palestinian, I can say that one of the main implementations problems with this plan is the discord that currently exists between Jordanians and Palestinians in Jordan. My cousins at Uni Jordan have told me of some pretty nasty and violent squabbles between the students of Palestinian descent and Jordanian students. It's really quite complicated, and there is a lot of animosity between the Palestinians and Jordanians there. Contrary to those in the Occupied Territories, Palestinians in Jordan tend to be better off financially than most Jordanians, which as you could imagine creates some tension. Despite their close ties with the US, Jordan is still a pretty poor country, with many people only getting water to their homes two or three days a week. I think there is also some animosity left over related to Black September as well: [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_September_in_Jordan[/url].

I'm really happy to be seeing this discussion here, particularly being treated so rationally! My university is in the middle of Palestine Week, and I have to say that it's been hard for me as an organizer to have to face some of the virulent criticism from some members of our community (in particular former IDF members).

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Re: Israel

Postby Yakk » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:24 pm UTC

What happens if Israel loses the next war?

Ie, it's tank corps and air force are crushed in the field, and there is no longer a sufficient conventional force between it and the attacking armies.

Does it use nukes? Does it say "back off or I nuke your army and cities to kingdom come"? Or does it accept the dictates of the victors?

Now, suppose you are a state that wants to crush Israel, and wipe it off the map (they exist!). Doesn't having your own nukes sound like a tempting response in case the above ever happens?

So here is a proliferation problem.

That is why Israel's nukes are a political issue. Because Israel's victory is not a given, and in defeat it might be tempted to use them. After all, why else own them?
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Dream » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:04 am UTC

mosc wrote:I basically agree with you but it's not that easy. Giving them a state is important yes but it doesn't really fix much. Lebanon is a great example in recent years. Nothing short of a temporary (but full) Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon was sufficient to reduce attacks. Lebanon may be a sovereign country but that fact did little if anything to reduce the attacks in and of itself. Israel still had to use the blunt end of the stick to restore relative peace. Of course going through Israel's short history, there are dozens of other similar examples. Governments that are not strong enough to control their own country are not an effective deterrent in protecting the nations that border them. Again, I agree with you but giving them their own state is far from the only issue.

This assumes that the Israeli invasion achieved anything of significance. Hezbollah are no less powerful now than before the invasion, and Israel would have great trouble in repeating their actions if Hezbollah decided to resume attacks. It is more likely that internal Lebanese issues are causing Hezbollah to turn away from Israel for the time being. Lebanon is teetering on the edge of civil war, and this is most likely a more pressing issue for Hezbollah than Israel is. As such, it seems that if you assume a functioning, complete state for Palestine, attacks from there will also be more governed by internal issues than with enmity with Israel. As yelly said, if the attacks continue, then military action could easily be an option to deal with them. This action would most likely be more legitimate and effective were it directed at a complete state than at the miasma of groups and factions within current Palestine.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby superglucose » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:10 am UTC

Speaking for someone who's lived there:

Israel and Palestine are controlled by very vocal minorities who are adamantley opposed to each other because...

well the equivalent would be "Your girlfriend gave me the stinkeye in math class yesterday."

Honestly, for both us and his mother (Soraya Nelson, for you NPR listeners. I highly suggest trying to find something, anything done by her she's brilliant), watching the situation in Palestine is like watching Jr. High School.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Jack21222 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:21 am UTC

shasan wrote:Speaking as a Palestinian, I can say that one of the main implementations problems with this plan is the discord that currently exists between Jordanians and Palestinians in Jordan. My cousins at Uni Jordan have told me of some pretty nasty and violent squabbles between the students of Palestinian descent and Jordanian students. It's really quite complicated, and there is a lot of animosity between the Palestinians and Jordanians there. Contrary to those in the Occupied Territories, Palestinians in Jordan tend to be better off financially than most Jordanians, which as you could imagine creates some tension. Despite their close ties with the US, Jordan is still a pretty poor country, with many people only getting water to their homes two or three days a week. I think there is also some animosity left over related to Black September as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_September_in_Jordan.

I'm really happy to be seeing this discussion here, particularly being treated so rationally! My university is in the middle of Palestine Week, and I have to say that it's been hard for me as an organizer to have to face some of the virulent criticism from some members of our community (in particular former IDF members).


My Arabic professor last semester was Palestinian. It was difficult to hear about some of the things he witnessed as a child. He was actually an Israeli citizen, from Lod; his family refused to move in 1948. He had us watch the documentary Gaza Strip, which was even harder to watch. From there, I started listening to DAM, and I've been interested in the Palestinian struggle ever since.

It's an incredibly complicated situation. The current situation isn't working, a one state solution wouldn't work, and I can't picture a 2 or 3 state solution working either. The total extermination of one side or the other is obviously a horrible "solution," so we're kinda stuck for answers.

It's a shame to read about the strife between Jordan Palestinians and Jordanians. I guess it's the bleeding heart liberal in me that wishes people would see each other as individuals instead of members of one group or another. For one person to hate another just because he's "Palestinian" or "Jordanian" is sad, the same way it is in America when some Americans hate people of Mexican decent because they're "Mexicans," without taking the time to get to know them.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby superglucose » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:26 am UTC

yelly wrote:The way I see it, there is only one solution to the Palestinian problem. Give them a fucking state!. The borders aren't even that important to me, just get it done.


See, the problem is one side is willing to kill off the entirety of the other side before giving any states to anyone. And the other side will fight just as hard to get their state. Where it all falls apart is this: no one wants to compromise. Again, Jr. High all over again.

What needs to happen, and probably will happen in the next 50-100 years (if Iran is any indication) is that eventually the fundamentalists in charge of each group will lose sway to the moderates. And then the moderates will sit down and compromise.

of course... that's 50-100 years down the line, and there's no sense in not trying to solve it now. Just saying there IS a beacon of hope.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby yoni45 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:13 am UTC

Dream wrote:This assumes that the Israeli invasion achieved anything of significance. Hezbollah are no less powerful now than before the invasion, and Israel would have great trouble in repeating their actions if Hezbollah decided to resume attacks. It is more likely that internal Lebanese issues are causing Hezbollah to turn away from Israel for the time being. Lebanon is teetering on the edge of civil war, and this is most likely a more pressing issue for Hezbollah than Israel is. As such, it seems that if you assume a functioning, complete state for Palestine, attacks from there will also be more governed by internal issues than with enmity with Israel. As yelly said, if the attacks continue, then military action could easily be an option to deal with them. This action would most likely be more legitimate and effective were it directed at a complete state than at the miasma of groups and factions within current Palestine.


This war wasn't an occupation - if we're referring to an occupation vis a vis Lebanon I'm pretty sure the previous occupation would be the measuring stick (80's), which did indeed put an end to attacks against the Israeli north at the time and even managed to uproot the PLO from Lebanon.

In fact, the only reason Hezbollah is as strong as it is today is arguably *because* Israel withdrew from Lebanon.
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Re: Israel

Postby Azrael001 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:42 am UTC

The same reason that the USA and Russia had them. So that the other can't use them. MAD worked then, it should work now.
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Re: Israel

Postby yelly » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:39 am UTC

@Yakk: nukes are not a defensive weapon, ever. We have other threatening mid-range ballistics that are big enough to use as a threat. And then again, I don't really think the case in which Israel losses a conventional war is realistic. We are the biggest power in the region hands down, and to use local street terminology, we have "a bigger back" (USA and the EU predominantly featuring the UK, and I'm sure the UN wouldn't be to happy at the prospect of Israel being wiped off the map if it gets that far, and even though Russia might fond and help whoever we might be fitighing, they would never head on attack Israel and other western forces).
As to your concern of proliferation, this is exactly the reason why Israel is doing whatever it can to make sure the countries that do want to wipe it off the planet don't get said weapons. So far Israel has been the most successful agent keeping nuclear weapons out of the region (see Iraq and Lebanon) and I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was left up to them to make sure Iran doesn't get nukes either.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Dream » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:48 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:This war wasn't an occupation - if we're referring to an occupation vis a vis Lebanon I'm pretty sure the previous occupation would be the measuring stick (80's), which did indeed put an end to attacks against the Israeli north at the time and even managed to uproot the PLO from Lebanon.

In fact, the only reason Hezbollah is as strong as it is today is arguably *because* Israel withdrew from Lebanon.

Well, the poster mentioned "recent years", which puts it as the 2007 invation, not the earlier occupation. But really, neither action was sustainable in the long term as a preventative method, nor could it be said that they reduced the overall threat to Israel in the long term.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby yelly » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:56 am UTC

superglucose wrote:watching the situation in Palestine is like watching Jr. High School.

This is a ridiculous statement, watching any international or internal political situation is like watching a Jr. High School. Black kid: "hey white kid, stop being mean to me and let me in to your super secret Front Of The Bus club!", white kid: "No! You look different!", sound familiar?

superglucose wrote:What needs to happen, and probably will happen in the next 50-100 years (if Iran is any indication) is that eventually the fundamentalists in charge of each group will lose sway to the moderates. And then the moderates will sit down and compromise.

of course... that's 50-100 years down the line, and there's no sense in not trying to solve it now. Just saying there IS a beacon of hope.

I don't see why this will have to be in 50-100 years? The current Israeli government is comparatively rather moderate and are in serious talk with the Palestinians now (they are even talking about things like Jerusalem, which is, like, taboo). I think a preliminary solution is completely possible in the mid-term future, everyone just need to start trying a little harder.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby fjafjan » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:41 pm UTC

I think the Palestinians (at least the average citizen) would be more likely to support such an annexation than Egypt or Jordan would.

This is not a new idea, all the while Israel was advocating a one state solution it involved giving part of Palestine to Jordan. The Palestinians was never hot on this, and they will not be now either. Unless you have some data other than your "guts" or whatever to suggest that this would be the case.

The solution that exists and that is viable and is endorsed by the entire world barring the ruling people in the US is the solution called the two part settlement and it based along the 67' borders, it was the solution that was almost successfully reached at Taba in 2001 before Israel canceled the talks (to campaign in the upcoming election which they lost, sadly, to a much less cooperative government).

Now if you don't want to negotiate there are plenty of excuses that people can defend, but in reality a similar settlement could probably be made right now, if it wasn't for the hardliner in the Israeli parliament that would never accept such a deal.


We do, for the record, realize Israel already shares extensive borders with both Egypt and Jordan with basically no problems whatsoever?

In recent years after Egypt showed it was able to defend itself. Untill then Israeli tried the same land grabbing tactics it is currently employing against Lebanon and Palestine etc.



First of all, the average Palestinian (overall) is actually in a better position than the average Egyptian. The Palestinians have higher literacy rates, higher life expectancies, and a higher Human Development Index (which includes those two metrics among others). As much as the media might regularly put the Palestinians on center-stage, they've stayed well above much of the middle-east under Israeli occupation.

However you ignore things like getting regularily beaten at check points (as documented by B'Tselem), political sabotage, dubious prospects for the future determined by their own actions (on other words, the situation hinges, and has so for the last ca 40 years, on the Israelis willingness to seriously attempt to withdraw from the occupied territories and help for a sustainable state),

Now, this doesn't necessarily apply to Gaza, especially ever since Hamas took over, but it should put things in perspective.

Oppression - It's fine as long as they are not worst off in the world.

And also this is no different than the Israel thread so far, and thus, merge shall be commenced.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby yoni45 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:52 pm UTC

Dream wrote:Well, the poster mentioned "recent years", which puts it as the 2007 invation, not the earlier occupation. But really, neither action was sustainable in the long term as a preventative method, nor could it be said that they reduced the overall threat to Israel in the long term.


The 80's occupation is pretty recent considering the overall time-lines, but regardless, if you're questioning the viability of an occupation, you would use an actual occupation as the yardstick, not a month-long invasion.

As for reduction of threat, it can easily be shown in the short term, and is questionable in the long term. However, the purposes of an occupation isn't in long-term results, so that point is moot. In fact, as noted, it's rather easy to see that the major catalyst to Hezbollah's power today was a *lack* of an Israeli occupation over the past 8 years...

fjafjan wrote:In recent years after Egypt showed it was able to defend itself. Untill then Israeli tried the same land grabbing tactics it is currently employing against Lebanon and Palestine etc.


Erm, in recent years? Would this refer to the '67 war they lost within 6 days, immediately after which Israel offered to return all occupied territory for a peace treaty, in the '73 war they eventually lost, after which Israel gave them back the Sinai desert for a peace treaty, or in the period since then, during which Israel's capabilities increased exponentially to those of Egypt?

Interestingly enough, in the only offensive war against Egypt that Israel embarked on (the '56 Sinai Campaign), Israel had no desire to occupy any Egyptian territory...

fjafjan wrote:However you ignore things like getting regularily beaten at check points (as documented by B'Tselem)...


I would imagine metrics such as 'average life expectancy' actually would account for that, which I explicitly noted. Unless of course, such beatings were so infrequent as to be insignificant vis a vis such statistics.

fjafjan wrote:...political sabotage, dubious prospects for the future determined by their own actions (on other words, the situation hinges, and has so for the last ca 40 years, on the Israelis willingness to seriously attempt to withdraw from the occupied territories and help for a sustainable state)...

...Oppression - It's fine as long as they are not worst off in the world.


This is what we would refer to as the 'straw-man' fallacy. We could probably provide a link to this post from the 'proper argumentation' thread as an example.

Note that my post wasn't in any way concerned with when oppression is or isn't valid, but with the likelihood of Palestinian suffering being eased via incorporation into an Egyptian state considering the fact that the average Egyptian is in many ways worse off than the average Palestinian (which also, as noted, may not apply to Gazans in recent times)...


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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Yakk » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:37 pm UTC

yelly wrote:@Yakk: nukes are not a defensive weapon, ever.


False. They where used as a defensive weapon during the cold war. The USA explicitly said it would unleash nuclear fury on the Soviet Union if it attempted to advance on Western Europe.

The Soviet forces for decades of the post-war period aligned in Eastern Europe where many times that of the Allied forces in numbers. It was the nuclear option that kept the lines stable.

We have other threatening mid-range ballistics that are big enough to use as a threat. And then again, I don't really think the case in which Israel losses a conventional war is realistic. We are the biggest power in the region hands down, and to use local street terminology, we have "a bigger back" (USA and the EU predominantly featuring the UK, and I'm sure the UN wouldn't be to happy at the prospect of Israel being wiped off the map if it gets that far, and even though Russia might fond and help whoever we might be fitighing, they would never head on attack Israel and other western forces).


Now, lets look at what happens if the west turned it's back on Israel, and backed a different local power to a similar extent.

In the short term, Israel would still be strong -- but it would stop getting the technological innovations that the large US military research complex currently gives it. It would have to build a larger local arms industry, and get involved in selling arms internationally to support it (which would get it in more hot water, given a lack of political support that it currently receives).

Over 10 or 20 years, it would find itself economically weaker -- if only by 2% per year -- while it's rivals would continue to become stronger. Backed by larger powers, they start buying more modern military equipment. They try out this equipment in peacekeeping wars far from home (a good way to get practice, it has been found).

And now war breaks out, and Israel loses. The nuclear option is on the table.

Sure, in the short term, Israel is unlikely to lose a conventional war. But lots can happen over a medium length term.

As to your concern of proliferation, this is exactly the reason why Israel is doing whatever it can to make sure the countries that do want to wipe it off the planet don't get said weapons. So far Israel has been the most successful agent keeping nuclear weapons out of the region (see Iraq and Lebanon) and I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was left up to them to make sure Iran doesn't get nukes either.


Nuclear weapons are in the region, thanks to Israel. Claiming that they are successful at keeping them out is silly.

They are, however, successful at keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of their rivals.

fjafjan wrote:
I think the Palestinians (at least the average citizen) would be more likely to support such an annexation than Egypt or Jordan would.

This is not a new idea, all the while Israel was advocating a one state solution it involved giving part of Palestine to Jordan. The Palestinians was never hot on this, and they will not be now either. Unless you have some data other than your "guts" or whatever to suggest that this would be the case.


The West Bank was part of Jordan when Israel occupied it. It gave up title to it a number of decades ago, after the occupation began. Note that Jordan is the majority of the trans-Jordan part of the region of Palestine.

Now if you don't want to negotiate there are plenty of excuses that people can defend, but in reality a similar settlement could probably be made right now, if it wasn't for the hardliner in the Israeli parliament that would never accept such a deal.


Is there a strong reason to think that returning to the 67' borders would reduce attacks on Israel?

We do, for the record, realize Israel already shares extensive borders with both Egypt and Jordan with basically no problems whatsoever?

In recent years after Egypt showed it was able to defend itself. Untill then Israeli tried the same land grabbing tactics it is currently employing against Lebanon and Palestine etc.


Huh? In the last war against Egypt, Israel ended up being in a situation to take Cairo. If Egypt won that conflict, why did it switch sides from the Soviets to the Americans?

It lost. Israel then traded the land it occupied during the various wars for a sustained peace.

What is your interpretation of the peace between Egypt and Israel -- that Egypt showed it was strong enough not to mess with, and Israel backed off? I'm curious.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby cypherspace » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:41 pm UTC

yoni45 wrote:
fjafjan wrote:In recent years after Egypt showed it was able to defend itself. Untill then Israeli tried the same land grabbing tactics it is currently employing against Lebanon and Palestine etc.


Erm, in recent years? Would this refer to the '67 war they lost within 6 days, immediately after which Israel offered to return all occupied territory for a peace treaty, in the '73 war they eventually lost, after which Israel gave them back the Sinai desert for a peace treaty, or in the period since then, during which Israel's capabilities increased exponentially to those of Egypt?

The '73 war was considered a conflict which regained Egypt's pride and showed its armed forces could be a match for Israel's. You might disagree, but that's how Sadat saw it and how it was used in negotiations.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby yoni45 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:59 pm UTC

cypherspace wrote:The '73 war was considered a conflict which regained Egypt's pride and showed its armed forces could be a match for Israel's. You might disagree, but that's how Sadat saw it and how it was used in negotiations.


Considering the fact that Egypt's entire 3rd army was entrapped by Israel in the Sinai and its survival dependent on Israel's whim (with Israel airdropping basic necessities such as food), I somehow highly doubt the might of Egypt's armed forces was what was used in negotiations.

It may have regained Egypt's pride, it may have been how Sadat saw it, but the idea that it was Egypt's military might as opposed to their willingness to enter into a peace agreement with Israel that drove the peace treaty is rather questionable. While it's true that it was a rude awakening for Israel, at the end of the day, militarily, the Egyptians gained nothing and lost much more...
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby yelly » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:17 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:
yelly wrote:@Yakk: nukes are not a defensive weapon, ever.


False. They where used as a defensive weapon during the cold war. The USA explicitly said it would unleash nuclear fury on the Soviet Union if it attempted to advance on Western Europe.

The Soviet forces for decades of the post-war period aligned in Eastern Europe where many times that of the Allied forces in numbers. It was the nuclear option that kept the lines stable.

You misunderstood me. Sure nukes can be defensive when you threat to use them, but once you've fired when of 'em SOBs, you are clearly on an offence. Obliterating a city is not a defensive move.

Yakk wrote:Now, lets look at what happens if the west turned it's back on Israel, and backed a different local power to a similar extent.

In the short term, Israel would still be strong -- but it would stop getting the technological innovations that the large US military research complex currently gives it. It would have to build a larger local arms industry, and get involved in selling arms internationally to support it (which would get it in more hot water, given a lack of political support that it currently receives).

Over 10 or 20 years, it would find itself economically weaker -- if only by 2% per year -- while it's rivals would continue to become stronger. Backed by larger powers, they start buying more modern military equipment. They try out this equipment in peacekeeping wars far from home (a good way to get practice, it has been found).

And now war breaks out, and Israel loses. The nuclear option is on the table.

Sure, in the short term, Israel is unlikely to lose a conventional war. But lots can happen over a medium length term.

Even though I don't think the conversation on Israel's current and future military might is part of this discussion, I will address these claims. First of all, the west can't really afford to turn it's back on Israel overnight, we constitute to big a part of the military technology market the west depends on. All these high tech weapons you say Israel's enemies will be able to buy are either developed or built (and often both) in Israel. Nearly all of the planes in the US airforce have Israeli tech in them, and that is only the tip of the iceberg. Second, the west isn't really in a position to switch sides, especially considering the fact that this other side's prime objective is to destroy the west.
I think discussing the scenario of Israel losing a conventional war is far-fetched at best, and basically downright silly. Israel's superior military might is maybe the one thing everyone agrees on.

Yakk wrote:Nuclear weapons are in the region, thanks to Israel. Claiming that they are successful at keeping them out is silly.

Do you really think a country like Iran wouldn't try to obtain nuclear weaponry if Israel didn't have any? The way I see it, the best way to wipe a country off the map is by nuking it, and Iran has openly admitted to wanting to do so with Israel. The fact that Israel does or doesn't have nuclear weapons does not change the effectiveness of nuclear weapons at achieving said goal.

@fjafjan: What are these land grabbing tactics you speak of? As far as I am aware, Egypt is building walls between itself and the only theoretical piece of Egypt Israel is currently occupying (read: Gaza). Israel gave the Sinai desert back to Egypt in return for a very nice peace agreement we are both enjoying very much a long time ago. As to Egypt being able to "defend itself from the Israelis", even if it needed to (for some reason beyond myself), it can't. Every run in Israeli forces had with Egypt were very one-sided. Israel could have basically conquered Egypt on numerous occasions, but it didn't because, frankly, why the fuck would Israel want to conquer Egypt?
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Yakk » Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:20 pm UTC

yelly wrote:
Yakk wrote:
yelly wrote:@Yakk: nukes are not a defensive weapon, ever.


False. They where used as a defensive weapon during the cold war. The USA explicitly said it would unleash nuclear fury on the Soviet Union if it attempted to advance on Western Europe.

The Soviet forces for decades of the post-war period aligned in Eastern Europe where many times that of the Allied forces in numbers. It was the nuclear option that kept the lines stable.

You misunderstood me. Sure nukes can be defensive when you threat to use them, but once you've fired when of 'em SOBs, you are clearly on an offence. Obliterating a city is not a defensive move.


You can use nukes in the battlefield, to destroy lines of supply and the like.

It just happens that nobody has had to. Nobody has used nuclear weapons in a war that they where losing. The only use of nuclear weapons in wartime was by the US in the war against Japan, where it was used as a mixture of threat against the Soviet Union and a way to force Japan to capitulate both rapidly and unconditionally.

You don't see the military usefulness of, say, wiping out a 10 km radius of territory that the enemy is currently massed in, or has key supply lines flowing through?

If you claim that these are offensive actions (as opposed to defensive) then there are no defensive "weapons" of any significant use. Pretty much all "weapons" attempt to damage or destroy their target.

People have developed tactics for using nuclear weapons on the battlefield. Just because nobody has used them, it doesn't mean they won't be effective. It just means nobody has yet been willing to pop the cork on the nuclear genii again.

Yakk wrote:....
Sure, in the short term, Israel is unlikely to lose a conventional war. But lots can happen over a medium length term.

Even though I don't think the conversation on Israel's current and future military might is part of this discussion, I will address these claims.


It matters as a contributing factor.

First of all, the west can't really afford to turn it's back on Israel overnight, we constitute to big a part of the military technology market the west depends on. All these high tech weapons you say Israel's enemies will be able to buy are either developed or built (and often both) in Israel.


Partially built, sure.

Nearly all of the planes in the US airforce have Israeli tech in them, and that is only the tip of the iceberg. Second, the west isn't really in a position to switch sides, especially considering the fact that this other side's prime objective is to destroy the west.


Some on the "other side" want to destroy the west. Demonizing the "other side" as uniformly wanting to destroy "the west" is pretty silly. There are people who are opposed to Israel and are willing to let "the west" survive.

Especially if "the west" starts throwing serious amounts of support behind them.

Sure, it wouldn't have to be all that pretty -- but "the west" at one point backed most of the major economies of the middle east, and currently the regimes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt are allies of the USA.

Yes, there are people who both want to destroy Israel and destroy "the west", but dividing the world into two parts is being blind.

Yakk wrote:Nuclear weapons are in the region, thanks to Israel. Claiming that they are successful at keeping them out is silly.

Do you really think a country like Iran wouldn't try to obtain nuclear weaponry if Israel didn't have any?


Possibly it would. It might try less hard. Regardless of that, the nuclear weapons are in the region due to Israel's actions. It has also destroyed attempts for other nuclear weapons to enter the region, but that doesn't make the statement "Israel has kept nuclear weapons out of the region" not a ridiculous statement.

The way I see it, the best way to wipe a country off the map is by nuking it, and Iran has openly admitted to wanting to do so with Israel. The fact that Israel does or doesn't have nuclear weapons does not change the effectiveness of nuclear weapons at achieving said goal.


It actually does.

First, it lends some moral credence to the wish for Iran to possess nuclear weapons: it can claim it needs them to balance the power of Israeli weapons.

Second, Israel can respond with a counter-attack if it is nuked. A successful large-scale nuclear stike could be strong enough to cripple Israel's conventional military, but nuclear assets are more portable and harder to destroy than a large scale military complex. Retaliation can matter, as noted before. It isn't a perfect deterrent, but it is a deterrent.

@fjafjan: What are these land grabbing tactics you speak of? As far as I am aware, Egypt is building walls between itself and the only theoretical piece of Egypt Israel is currently occupying (read: Gaza).


Also note that Israel recently said "given that there is an open border between Gaza and Egypt, we are going to wash our hands of Gaza and let Egypt deal with it" recently -- and Egypt responded with basically "no comment".

Egypt doesn't want Gaza.

As to Egypt being able to "defend itself from the Israelis", even if it needed to (for some reason beyond myself), it can't. Every run in Israeli forces had with Egypt were very one-sided. Israel could have basically conquered Egypt on numerous occasions, but it didn't because, frankly, why the fuck would Israel want to conquer Egypt?
NINJA'D: yeah, and what yoni said...


It is true that the 1973 war was less one-sided than previous wars: Israel, at the end of it, held less territory than it held at the start, if I remember right: it was pushed back from it's border locations.

The war was ended by fiat by 3rd parties (USA and SU) because they didn't want it to continue. At that point, there was pretty strong evidence that Israel was about to thrash the Egyptians (namely, at or about the cease fire time, they had cut off the entire 3rd army of Egypt within Egyptian territory).

So it was an example of a war in with both Israel and Egypt pulled off a surprising amount of success. @_@

The early successes of the Egyptian forces at pushing Israeli forces back was used as a propoganda tool in Egypt to make the peace agreement afterwards more palatable. However, the switching of alliances between (Egypt + SU) to (Egypt + USA) was probably a large part of the fact that the peace worked.

You will note that even to this day, Egypt and Israel are the largest recipients of American military and other aid.
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Re: Israel

Postby yoni45 » Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:31 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:It is true that the 1973 war was less one-sided than previous wars: Israel, at the end of it, held less territory than it held at the start, if I remember right: it was pushed back from it's border locations.


It was pushed from it's border locations at the start of the war, but by the end I think it's actually pretty safe to say that Israel held *more* territory than it did at the start...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur_War

Assuming the map is accurate, the lower red area would be the Egyptian trapped 3rd army, which I wouldn't particularly count as Egypt 'holding' territory...
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby yelly » Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:You can use nukes in the battlefield, to destroy lines of supply and the like.

It just happens that nobody has had to. Nobody has used nuclear weapons in a war that they where losing. The only use of nuclear weapons in wartime was by the US in the war against Japan, where it was used as a mixture of threat against the Soviet Union and a way to force Japan to capitulate both rapidly and unconditionally.

You don't see the military usefulness of, say, wiping out a 10 km radius of territory that the enemy is currently massed in, or has key supply lines flowing through?

If you claim that these are offensive actions (as opposed to defensive) then there are no defensive "weapons" of any significant use. Pretty much all "weapons" attempt to damage or destroy their target.

People have developed tactics for using nuclear weapons on the battlefield. Just because nobody has used them, it doesn't mean they won't be effective. It just means nobody has yet been willing to pop the cork on the nuclear genii again.

I do agree that nuclear weapons can have a tactical use, but most of the time you could pull off the same trick without spreading radiation all over the place.

Yakk wrote:Some on the "other side" want to destroy the west. Demonizing the "other side" as uniformly wanting to destroy "the west" is pretty silly. There are people who are opposed to Israel and are willing to let "the west" survive.

Especially if "the west" starts throwing serious amounts of support behind them.

Sure, it wouldn't have to be all that pretty -- but "the west" at one point backed most of the major economies of the middle east, and currently the regimes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt are allies of the USA.

Yes, there are people who both want to destroy Israel and destroy "the west", but dividing the world into two parts is being blind.

Can you name me one country that would be more than willing to wipe Israel off the map that likes the US?

Yakk wrote:Second, Israel can respond with a counter-attack if it is nuked. A successful large-scale nuclear stike could be strong enough to cripple Israel's conventional military, but nuclear assets are more portable and harder to destroy than a large scale military complex. Retaliation can matter, as noted before. It isn't a perfect deterrent, but it is a deterrent.

That would be true if Iran's target was military, but if they use their nuclear weapons to actually destroy the country (as in target civilians), there isn't much deterring to be done.

Yakk wrote:
@fjafjan: What are these land grabbing tactics you speak of? As far as I am aware, Egypt is building walls between itself and the only theoretical piece of Egypt Israel is currently occupying (read: Gaza).


Also note that Israel recently said "given that there is an open border between Gaza and Egypt, we are going to wash our hands of Gaza and let Egypt deal with it" recently -- and Egypt responded with basically "no comment".

Egypt doesn't want Gaza.

Hence the word "theoretical". I was trying to show that Israel isn't occupying any of Egypt.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Yakk » Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:09 pm UTC

yelly wrote:I do agree that nuclear weapons can have a tactical use, but most of the time you could pull off the same trick without spreading radiation all over the place.


The nuclear weapons do do it extremely cheaply and effectively (at least in up-front costs -- the radiation and political fallout could get expensive).

Can you name me one country that would be more than willing to wipe Israel off the map that likes the US?


Do you mean leadership of a country? Population of a country?

Can you name a country that "likes" the US? Every contry contains people who dislike it.

And yes, any country that, as official policy, says that the state of Israel should not exist, also doesn't like the fact that the US backs Israel. This doesn't mean that a reduction in support by the US wouldn't make more countries disliking Israel, or that the dislike of the US would persist after it stopped backing Israel.

One disadvantage for the US completely cutting Israel loose is that Israel would cozy up to some other partner: be it China or Russia.

That would be true if Iran's target was military, but if they use their nuclear weapons to actually destroy the country (as in target civilians), there isn't much deterring to be done.


Yes, the deterrent of a return destruction of the other nation can be done.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby fjafjan » Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:02 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
fjafjan wrote:In recent years after Egypt showed it was able to defend itself. Untill then Israeli tried the same land grabbing tactics it is currently employing against Lebanon and Palestine etc.


Erm, in recent years? Would this refer to the '67 war they lost within 6 days, immediately after which Israel offered to return all occupied territory for a peace treaty, in the '73 war they eventually lost, after which Israel gave them back the Sinai desert for a peace treaty, or in the period since then, during which Israel's capabilities increased exponentially to those of Egypt?

No, a war that has been mentioned repeatedly but apparently you haven't been paying attention.
I am referring to the Yom Kippur War, which was basically prompted from Israeli unwillingness to give up land for peace. In 1971 Sadat offered Israel full peace in exchange for full Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai. This was promptly rejected by Israel, on advice from Henry Kissinger. This then prompted Egypt after two years of failed attempt to negotiate to attack. Israeli veteran military corresponded Zeev Schiff wrote after the October war:
Zeev Schiff, October Earthquake(Tel Aviv 1974) pp 314, 318 wrote:Exact predictions of the nature of a future war is impossible, but the general trends may be deduced. It will be obviously be a more difficult than its predecessors, more vicious and bloodier. The civilian rear will be hit, and Israel must assume that she will have immediately to fight on three fronts...Israel's military supremacy has been placed in doubt... In the new conditions, the importance of a political settlement obviously increases. Time isn't on Israeli's side, and she must make greater efforts to achieve a true peace"

And so a peace settlement was reached, infact a worse settlement than that which was offered in 71'.
I sure hope you remember it this time around, I know I have brought it up at least once before.
Interestingly enough, in the only offensive war against Egypt that Israel embarked on (the '56 Sinai Campaign), Israel had no desire to occupy any Egyptian territory...

fjafjan wrote:However you ignore things like getting regularily beaten at check points (as documented by B'Tselem)...


I would imagine metrics such as 'average life expectancy' actually would account for that, which I explicitly noted. Unless of course, such beatings were so infrequent as to be insignificant vis a vis such statistics.

The documented beatings are not life threatening, typically a slap, a punch, in other words it's just degrading and humiliating. I imagine getting degradaded won't have a huge impoact on your life expectancy.
fjafjan wrote:...political sabotage, dubious prospects for the future determined by their own actions (on other words, the situation hinges, and has so for the last ca 40 years, on the Israelis willingness to seriously attempt to withdraw from the occupied territories and help for a sustainable state)...

...Oppression - It's fine as long as they are not worst off in the world.


This is what we would refer to as the 'straw-man' fallacy. We could probably provide a link to this post from the 'proper argumentation' thread as an example.

No, the argument you are making is, or seems to be, that the Palestinians are actually well off. A cursory glance at the number of things they are exposed to shows this is not accurate, obviously there are others who are worse off, but that is as always a poor argument.

[]Note that my post wasn't in any way concerned with when oppression is or isn't valid, but with the likelihood of Palestinian suffering being eased via incorporation into an Egyptian state considering the fact that the average Egyptian is in many ways worse off than the average Palestinian (which also, as noted, may not apply to Gazans in recent times)...

I wasn't disagreeing with your goal, I was disagreeing with the assumption that the Palestinians are "well off".



As for reduction of threat, it can easily be shown in the short term, and is questionable in the long term. However, the purposes of an occupation isn't in long-term results, so that point is moot. In fact, as noted, it's rather easy to see that the major catalyst to Hezbollah's power today was a *lack* of an Israeli occupation over the past 8 years...
It's not? You can't just go and decide things like that.
And the long run the invasions of lebanon very much were ineffective affairs. The first was trying to uproot a largely non violent Palestinian movement for their basic human rights, ie the PLO, after it had forcefully been drivven out of Israel. It then spawned Hezbollah, which subsequently Israel failed to route and instead by displaying a callous disregard for the wellbeing of its neighbor and incredibly short sighted policies it strengthened Hezbollah. (for example things like refusing to let people deal with the Oil spill is just absurd).

As for an occupation it is unlikely that an occupation of Lebanon would have led to a backlash internationally and would most likely have been difficult to contain.




Huh? In the last war against Egypt, Israel ended up being in a situation to take Cairo. If Egypt won that conflict, why did it switch sides from the Soviets to the Americans?

It lost. Israel then traded the land it occupied during the various wars for a sustained peace.

What is your interpretation of the peace between Egypt and Israel -- that Egypt showed it was strong enough not to mess with, and Israel backed off? I'm curious.

Yeah I prove this claim above, if Israel was interested in peace from the get go without any selfish considerations of "maybe we can get some more land..." then it would have accepted the 71' offer, but did not.

In the short term, Israel would still be strong -- but it would stop getting the technological innovations that the large US military research complex currently gives it. It would have to build a larger local arms industry, and get involved in selling arms internationally to support it (which would get it in more hot water, given a lack of political support that it currently receives).

Over 10 or 20 years, it would find itself economically weaker -- if only by 2% per year -- while it's rivals would continue to become stronger. Backed by larger powers, they start buying more modern military equipment. They try out this equipment in peacekeeping wars far from home (a good way to get practice, it has been found).

Is Israels GDP really that big? I though western substidies made up more of the economy than that.


Yakk wrote:And now war breaks out, and Israel loses. The nuclear option is on the table.

Sure, in the short term, Israel is unlikely to lose a conventional war. But lots can happen over a medium length term.
There is no reason to suggest America would break its strategic alliance with Israel, for one the lobby really is very powerful, second it's ideologically closer to the US. Then there is the fact that changing the local powerhouse alliance would mean arming a country at least to equal strength, so that Israel could not decide over US policy in the region, and that is quite expensive and would take some time. Basically I see no major reasons for it to occur, and plenty of reasons it is unlikely to occur.

The West Bank was part of Jordan when Israel occupied it. It gave up title to it a number of decades ago, after the occupation began. Note that Jordan is the majority of the trans-Jordan part of the region of Palestine.

This seems like a non-sequitor, as I said it has proven very unpopular in the past, is there any reason to think this has changed?

@fjafjan: What are these land grabbing tactics you speak of? As far as I am aware, Egypt is building walls between itself and the only theoretical piece of Egypt Israel is currently occupying (read: Gaza). Israel gave the Sinai desert back to Egypt in return for a very nice peace agreement we are both enjoying very much a long time ago. As to Egypt being able to "defend itself from the Israelis", even if it needed to (for some reason beyond myself), it can't. Every run in Israeli forces had with Egypt were very one-sided. Israel could have basically conquered Egypt on numerous occasions, but it didn't because, frankly, why the fuck would Israel want to conquer Egypt?

Already dealt with. As for why Israel would want to conquer Egypt, it's the same reason Israel wants to take land from any other of its neighboring states, it's usually about things like water resources or arriable land. Ofcourse the cost of invading Egypt would outweigh these benefits, but this is not true for all parts of Egypt.
As for Gaza Israel withdrew, but withholds the precious water resources, and it should be noted it has never had any huge interest in Gaza since it's not particularily profitable.

Do you really think a country like Iran wouldn't try to obtain nuclear weaponry if Israel didn't have any? The way I see it, the best way to wipe a country off the map is by nuking it, and Iran has openly admitted to wanting to do so with Israel.

can people please stop spreading this spurious claim, his claim was he wanted the illegitemate regime removed.
According to Juan Cole, a University of Michigan Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History, Ahmadinejad's statement should be translated as:

The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e eshghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad).[13]

Norouzi's translation is identical.[12] According to Cole, "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to 'wipe Israel off the map' because no such idiom exists in Persian". Instead, "He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse."[14]

He was possibly aware it was going to be spun in such a manner, but in reality Iran does not want a war with Israel.
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Re: Israel

Postby yoni45 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:33 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:No, a war that has been mentioned repeatedly but apparently you haven't been paying attention.
I am referring to the Yom Kippur War...


We do realize that the Yom Kippur War was the '73 war, which I explicitly mentioned?

And as noted, at the end of the war, Egypt was defeated in basically every way. The peace treaty they offered stated Israel would have to withdraw to what are basically the pre-1967 lines, which is what Israel refused to do.

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign%20Rel ... 208%20Febr

In fact, unlike you claim, the peace treaty later agreed upon was not a worse settlement (for Israel), but a 'better' one, as it only required withdrawal from the Sinai. While I agree that Israel was being dumb in their flat rejection back in '71 (negotiation should have been attempted), the claim that Egypt regained the Sinai militarily is rather laughable...

And finally, the fact that in Israel's only offensive war against Egypt they had no interest in Egyptian territory (even though they successfully overran it) still stands. Feel free to continue ignoring it.

fjafjan wrote:The documented beatings are not life threatening, typically a slap, a punch, in other words it's just degrading and humiliating. I imagine getting degradaded won't have a huge impoact on your life expectancy.


In other words, they're basically on the level of occasional police abuse that we have here. I think you were trying to make a point.

fjafjan wrote:No, the argument you are making is, or seems to be, that the Palestinians are actually well off.


Quote me. Until then, I'll assume I can use this as a textbook example of a straw-man.

fjafjan wrote:
Yoni45 wrote:However, the purposes of an occupation isn't in long-term results, so that point is moot.
It's not? You can't just go and decide things like that.


Feel free to look up what an occupation generally entails. It's temporary control of a piece of land used in conflict until such conflict is resolved.

fjafjan wrote:The first was trying to uproot a largely non violent Palestinian movement for their basic human rights, ie the PLO...


It's rather amusing you continue to cite the PLO as 'non violent', not only because they were one of the first terrorist organizations out there, but also because I've already shown that to be the case.

To quote myself:

Yoni45: Oy, that's just too easy - apparently in the world of fjafjan, airplace hijackings, school shootings, school bus shootings, (all of which are but a needle in the haystack of the PLO's terrorist record) etc. don't count as terrorism...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine_ ... s_Congress


fjafjan wrote:[on Ahmadinejad's quote]...can people please stop spreading this spurious claim...


Fjafjan's right. Ahamadinejad didn't say he wanted Israel wiped off the map - he merely stated he wanted it erased from the pages of time...
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Re: Israel

Postby Yakk » Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:19 am UTC

2,687.3 million in 2004 (estimated)
150 million in 2007 (estimated)
Israeli GDP: Over 160,000 million. (up to 200,000 @ PPP)

On the other hand, claiming that Israeli technology is key to US interests is rather silly.

The US has a military budget larger than the entire economy of Israel by a factor of 2 or 3 (depending on how you measure it), and a total GDP of 13 trillion dollars -- on the order of 100 times larger than the Israeli GDP.

So sure, Israel can help -- and provides a good field testing environment. But...
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Re: Israel

Postby yoni45 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:20 am UTC

Yakk wrote:The US has a military budget larger than the entire economy of Israel by a factor of 2 or 3 (depending on how you measure it), and a total GDP of 13 trillion dollars -- on the order of 100 times larger than the Israeli GDP.

So sure, Israel can help -- and provides a good field testing environment. But...


Well, Israeli innovation is definitely up there, and much of it does go into the US military. Can the US do without it? Probably, but it's probably not so much of a concern of the US not having the stuff, as much as it is a concern of others having the stuff.

There's also the concern of competition on major projects, which for example led to Israel abandoning the Lavi fighter jet which would have created stiff competition for American jets...
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Re:

Postby ZLVT » Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:30 am UTC

tl;dr, I just wanted to reply to this post from page 1, since I saw no imediate rebuttals.

3.14159265... wrote:Jewish State of Israel: Like every other religion, Jews want their own country, with their own laws.

... its a great Idea, go for it! Specially after the holocaust, I actually recomment the world helps them go for it.
Though remember that if thats the only reason, it doesn't have to be in the middle of all the Arab states, where you have to kill civilians to defend yourself. It CAN be in Uganda, where the original zionist movement bought alot of land that no one ever used anyway and wanted to actually go, before Britain promised them Israel.


Cool, I'll get right on that after we establish a Christian state (Utah does not count and the vatican ONLY applies to 1 sub-religion and is merely 0.5Km^2 so it's hardly a nation"), A single unified Muslim state, an atheist state (got to treat everyone the same), a state for every goddamn religion. Mebe Hindu has one because technically when they separated out Pakistan and India it was a religious thing, but now, there are all faiths in both of those nations and to the best of my knowledge, Indian law and culture is not based on religion.

Many countries contain sacred religious sites and have a history for certain religions. But a nation is a powerful thing. To put such a thing in the hands of a religion is outright folly! You can't take a HUGE chunk of land and base everything on it on your religious beliefs. I'd say it's pretty much accepted in western culture that church and state should be separated (even if most people don't vote that way). Rule of thumb: you cannot take something of purely religious foundation and forcefully apply it to someone just because they happen to live nearby. If the hardcore religious want to go somewhere where they can pretend it's still 3,000BC, as long as there are no people (or animals if they have lax animal curelty laws) there, I'm fine with that, but to give a religious group political power is a problem which could put pressure on issues like abortion, gay relationships, stem cell research etc. in nations all around the world, which should be assessed on their benefits to society rather than religion

3.14159265... wrote:Also, anti-zionism is NOT anti-semitism.
Saying Israel doesn't have the right to exist is NOT the same as saying "I hate jews".


Agreed.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Turambar » Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:43 am UTC

yelly wrote:Even though I don't think the conversation on Israel's current and future military might is part of this discussion, I will address these claims. First of all, the west can't really afford to turn it's back on Israel overnight, we constitute to big a part of the military technology market the west depends on. All these high tech weapons you say Israel's enemies will be able to buy are either developed or built (and often both) in Israel. Nearly all of the planes in the US airforce have Israeli tech in them, and that is only the tip of the iceberg. Second, the west isn't really in a position to switch sides, especially considering the fact that this other side's prime objective is to destroy the west.

Careful. Sweeping generalizations like that are a big part of why this shit in the Middle East keeps going on and on. People get convinced that the actions of a small minority represent the intents and nature of the whole, and then start dividing the entire world into the West and the "other side".

What is this "other side" you're referring to? Because the only groups whose prime objective is actually the destruction of the West are al-Qaeda, Egyptian Islamic Jihad (those two merged a while back), Al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya, and maybe a few others. Even most of the rest of Islamic fundamentalist/militant organizations are concerned merely with instating Islamist governments in their home countries (especially true in Egypt) or with eradicating Israel and/or Palestinian liberation. The Arab states that warred against Israel did so because they had resentment about Israel's illegal expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their lands.

The United States has very little difficulty allying with its enemies, as our former support of al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, and our current support of Saudi Arabia shows.

Can you name me one country that would be more than willing to wipe Israel off the map that likes the US?

That's a preposterous question. Of course they don't like the US, probably the main reason Israel still exists is American and French military and financial support (look up Operation Nickel Grass, for one example). If you hadn't noticed, the primary cause of America's unpopularity among Arab states is its support of Israel (well, until the Iraq invasion, that may well have pissed even more people off).
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Re: Israel

Postby Vaniver » Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:01 am UTC

Turambar wrote:If you hadn't noticed, the primary cause of America's unpopularity among Arab states is its support of Israel (well, until the Iraq invasion, that may well have pissed even more people off).
That depends on how much emphasis you want to put on the geopolitical conflict and how much you want to put on the cultural conflict. America is the Great Satan- we believe in blasphemous things like free speech, individualism, commercialism, liberated sexuality, and the list goes on. Even if we weren't meddling militarily in the region, there's strong reason to believe that we would be hated throughout the region, and that might still have been enough to translate into terrorist attacks.
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Re: Re:

Postby Robin S » Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:43 am UTC

ZLVT wrote:Many countries contain sacred religious sites and have a history for certain religions. But a nation is a powerful thing. To put such a thing in the hands of a religion is outright folly!
I find it ironic that your objection to Israel's existence appears to be based on its being "a state in the hands of a religion" when it is one of the most secular states in the region. The laws of Torah are not enforced in Israel. The majority of the population is not religious, and because the government is democratically elected neither is the majority of the government.
3.14159265... wrote:Also, anti-zionism is NOT anti-semitism.
Saying Israel doesn't have the right to exist is NOT the same as saying "I hate jews".


Agreed.
This depends on your definitions of anti-Zionism and antisemitism. There are multiple possible definitions of each, perhaps the latter. I agree that saying Israel doesn't have the right to exist is not the same as saying "I hate Jews", although in order to be a justified claim it does require using a definition of "right" other than "legal right". However, legal issues aside, preventing a Jewish state from existing in Israel is standing in the way of the main religious goal of most denominations of Judaism. This is a very poor analogy, but it's a little bit like illegalizing kosher meat. This is why many Jews see anti-Zionism as a form of antisemitism.
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Re: Re:

Postby Dream » Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:50 am UTC

Robin S wrote:
ZLVT wrote:Many countries contain sacred religious sites and have a history for certain religions. But a nation is a powerful thing. To put such a thing in the hands of a religion is outright folly!
I find it ironic that your objection to Israel's existence appears to be based on its being "a state in the hands of a religion" when it is one of the most secular states in the region. The laws of Torah are not enforced in Israel. The majority of the population is not religious, and because the government is democratically elected neither is the majority of the government.


You are right, of course. But bear in mind that the state of Israel was desired and created for religious reasons. There were other plans for a Jewish homeland, in Uganda, I believe, but obviously the holy land, promised by the word of God was the main motivating factor in going for the 1940's state. When Israelis refuse to consider the status of Jerusalem in negotiations, it isn't for geopolitical reasons. It is at the very least a cultural connection, and could well be described as a religious duty.
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Re: Israel

Postby Turambar » Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:55 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Turambar wrote:If you hadn't noticed, the primary cause of America's unpopularity among Arab states is its support of Israel (well, until the Iraq invasion, that may well have pissed even more people off).
That depends on how much emphasis you want to put on the geopolitical conflict and how much you want to put on the cultural conflict. America is the Great Satan- we believe in blasphemous things like free speech, individualism, commercialism, liberated sexuality...

Norway and Germany and the Netherlands believe in those things, too. Yet I've never once, ever, even heard of hard-line Islamic rhetoric against those countries, except when people talk about the monster of the "West". I contend that in many cases, at least in state warfare, ideological/religious justifications for hatred are what the rulers and leaders of countries use to motivate their people, and are very rarely the cause of a war.

Even if we weren't meddling militarily in the region, there's strong reason to believe that we would be hated throughout the region, and that might still have been enough to translate into terrorist attacks.[/quote]
Here are Osama bin Laden's fatwas, issued in 1996 and 1998.
From the 1996 one:
We have been pursued in Pakistan, Sudan and Afghanistan, hence this long absence on my part. But by the Grace of Allah, a safe base is now available in the high Hindukush mountains in Khurasan ; where--by the Grace of Allah-the largest infidel military force of the world was destroyed. And the myth of the super power was withered in front of the Mujahideen cries of Allahu Akbar (God is greater). Today we work from the same mountains to lift the iniquity that had been imposed on the Ummah by the Zionist-Crusader alliance, particularly after they have occupied the blessed land around Jerusalem, route of the journey of the Prophet (ALLAH'S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM) and the land of the two Holy Places. We ask Allah to bestow us with victory, He is our Patron and He is the Most Capable.

This entire fatwa is a statement that the United States, a non-Muslim entity, has assaulted the integrity of the Ummah (the Muslim community) by maintaining a troop presence in the "land of the two Holy Places" (Saudi Arabia) and in the Holy Place of Jerusalem, and that the Saudi government has lost its legitimacy by abandoning Sharia for civil law and by permitting Americans to defile the Holy Places. He also mentions with some disgust the Gulf war and the efforts of infidels to turn Muslims against each other.

From the 1998 fatwa:
No one argues today about three facts that are known to everyone; we will list them, in order to remind everyone:
First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples...
Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million... despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.

So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors. Third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.
...

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque [in Jerusalem] and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God."

American presence in Saudi Arabia and Israel is, in both these documents, bin Laden's main problem with America. He characterized the jihad as a defensive struggle against an assault by American infidel forces, and made no provision for a continuing jihad if America were to withdraw from the holy land. You should note that even the complaints of a right-wing extremist like bin Laden stem from American military actions.

Dream wrote:You are right, of course. But bear in mind that the state of Israel was desired and created for religious reasons. There were other plans for a Jewish homeland, in Uganda, I believe, but obviously the holy land, promised by the word of God was the main motivating factor in going for the 1940's state. When Israelis refuse to consider the status of Jerusalem in negotiations, it isn't for geopolitical reasons. It is at the very least a cultural connection, and could well be described as a religious duty.

The reason a Jewish state was created and condoned by the UN was the recognition of the danger of another Holocaust and the need for the Jewish ethnicity to have a state to represent its interests. The choice of Israel, specifically, was of course cultural and religious in origin, and a Jewish exodus to the Holy Land (partly Zionist in character, partly escaping the Nazis) had been going on for some decades before 1948. So the Jews wanted and created it for a mix of religious and saving-our-ass reasons, and the rest of the West created it for the latter reason.
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Re: Israel

Postby Dream » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Turambar wrote:
Dream wrote:You are right, of course. But bear in mind that the state of Israel was desired and created for religious reasons. There were other plans for a Jewish homeland, in Uganda, I believe, but obviously the holy land, promised by the word of God was the main motivating factor in going for the 1940's state. When Israelis refuse to consider the status of Jerusalem in negotiations, it isn't for geopolitical reasons. It is at the very least a cultural connection, and could well be described as a religious duty.

The reason a Jewish state was created and condoned by the UN was the recognition of the danger of another Holocaust and the need for the Jewish ethnicity to have a state to represent its interests. The choice of Israel, specifically, was of course cultural and religious in origin, and a Jewish exodus to the Holy Land (partly Zionist in character, partly escaping the Nazis) had been going on for some decades before 1948. So the Jews wanted and created it for a mix of religious and saving-our-ass reasons, and the rest of the West created it for the latter reason.

But it was created where it was created for purely cultural and religious reasons. For those fleeing the holocaust or hoping to avoid a future one, it was out of the frying pan and into the fire. Only religion can adequately explain why siting Israel in the holy land took precedence over considerations of stability and safety. As such, it isn't stretching the truth by very much to say that Israel exists in its present form largely due to the Jewish religion.
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Re: Israel

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:26 am UTC

There were already Jews living in Israel at the time, in the same way there were already Arab's, or people who later got called Palestinians.
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Re: Israel

Postby clintonius » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:43 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:There were already Jews living in Israel at the time, in the same way there were already Arab's, or people who later got called Palestinians.

*slap*

Turambar wrote:
Vaniver wrote:That depends on how much emphasis you want to put on the geopolitical conflict and how much you want to put on the cultural conflict. America is the Great Satan- we believe in blasphemous things like free speech, individualism, commercialism, liberated sexuality...

Norway and Germany and the Netherlands believe in those things, too. Yet I've never once, ever, even heard of hard-line Islamic rhetoric against those countries, except when people talk about the monster of the "West". I contend that in many cases, at least in state warfare, ideological/religious justifications for hatred are what the rulers and leaders of countries use to motivate their people, and are very rarely the cause of a war.

And the Dutch cartoons depicting Muhammad that incited riots and murders across the world were. . . politically expedient for Islamic jihadists? I'm sorry, I just don't see it.

Izawwlgood wrote:Even if we weren't meddling militarily in the region, there's strong reason to believe that we would be hated throughout the region, and that might still have been enough to translate into terrorist attacks.

Izawwlgood wrote:American presence in Saudi Arabia and Israel is, in both these documents, bin Laden's main problem with America. He characterized the jihad as a defensive struggle against an assault by American infidel forces, and made no provision for a continuing jihad if America were to withdraw from the holy land. You should note that even the complaints of a right-wing extremist like bin Laden stem from American military actions.

Don't these seen to contradict one another? If not, then show me how I'm misinterpreting your statements.

As it stands, I'm not sure I see any evidence that the primary reason American has earned the ire of fundamentalist Islam is due to our country's support of Israel. In fact, even if America were to publicly decry the actions of Israel re: the occupation of Lebanon, etc, thereby seeming to "end" our unquestioning support of the state, that does not mean we would stand idle at the prospect of another Jewish holocaust. And if we're not being moved out of the way for exactly such an event, then that's likely not the reason we've earned such harsh criticism of some sectors of Islam.

I absolutely agree that Israel exists in its current geographical location because of religion. The question is, now, how does the world prevent another Holocaust while simultaneously respecting the rights and views of the Palestinians (who, in all fairness, were in possession of current Israel for a shit ton of years before the UN created the Israeli state).
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Re: Israel

Postby Turambar » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:24 am UTC

clintonius wrote:
Turambar wrote:
Vaniver wrote:That depends on how much emphasis you want to put on the geopolitical conflict and how much you want to put on the cultural conflict. America is the Great Satan- we believe in blasphemous things like free speech, individualism, commercialism, liberated sexuality...

Norway and Germany and the Netherlands believe in those things, too. Yet I've never once, ever, even heard of hard-line Islamic rhetoric against those countries, except when people talk about the monster of the "West". I contend that in many cases, at least in state warfare, ideological/religious justifications for hatred are what the rulers and leaders of countries use to motivate their people, and are very rarely the cause of a war.

And the Dutch cartoons depicting Muhammad that incited riots and murders across the world were. . . politically expedient for Islamic jihadists? I'm sorry, I just don't see it.

Okay, first of all, they were Danish. Second of all, read what I said. I didn't state that every single resentment that any Muslim has against a Western country is because of cynical political manipulation.

Izawwlgood wrote:Even if we weren't meddling militarily in the region, there's strong reason to believe that we would be hated throughout the region, and that might still have been enough to translate into terrorist attacks.

Izawwlgood wrote:American presence in Saudi Arabia and Israel is, in both these documents, bin Laden's main problem with America. He characterized the jihad as a defensive struggle against an assault by American infidel forces, and made no provision for a continuing jihad if America were to withdraw from the holy land. You should note that even the complaints of a right-wing extremist like bin Laden stem from American military actions.

Don't these seen to contradict one another? If not, then show me how I'm misinterpreting your statements.

Because the second statement was mine. I was contradicting lzawwlgood, hence the sense of contradiction :P

As it stands, I'm not sure I see any evidence that the primary reason American has earned the ire of fundamentalist Islam is due to our country's support of Israel. In fact, even if America were to publicly decry the actions of Israel re: the occupation of Lebanon, etc, thereby seeming to "end" our unquestioning support of the state, that does not mean we would stand idle at the prospect of another Jewish holocaust. And if we're not being moved out of the way for exactly such an event, then that's likely not the reason we've earned such harsh criticism of some sectors of Islam.

When Osama bin Laden incessantly refers to the Crusader-Zionist alliance as an assault on Muslims, what do you think fundamentalist Islam is getting irate about? I don't really follow your argument either. What you said, so far as I understood it, was that "if we aren't likely to stand aside for another Holocaust, then our support of Israel can't be causing most of the ire among Muslims". The implied other side of that is that our support of Israel could only be the cause of all that ire if we would stand aside in the event of a second Holocaust.
Last edited by Turambar on Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:25 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israel

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:25 am UTC

clintonius wrote:*slap*


A praiseworthy and argumentatively sound retort!
You know, EDIT: Don't pull juvenile shit like that here.

Please don't quote other peoples quips as mine.

clintonius wrote:that does not mean we would stand idle at the prospect of another Jewish holocaust.


Because the world is doing a fantastic job of preventing genocide in general?

clintonius wrote:I absolutely agree that Israel exists in its current geographical location because of religion. The question is, now, how does the world prevent another Holocaust while simultaneously respecting the rights and views of the Palestinians (who, in all fairness, were in possession of current Israel for a shit ton of years before the UN created the Israeli state).


So the Jews should be forced to leave because Arabs also have claim to religious sites?

The 'Palestinians' you cite as being in possession of current Israel were not the sole proprietors of the region, nor were they Palestinians at that point.
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Re: Israel

Postby Dream » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:58 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
clintonius wrote:I absolutely agree that Israel exists in its current geographical location because of religion. The question is, now, how does the world prevent another Holocaust while simultaneously respecting the rights and views of the Palestinians (who, in all fairness, were in possession of current Israel for a shit ton of years before the UN created the Israeli state).


So the Jews should be forced to leave because Arabs also have claim to religious sites?


No, it just means that Israel should stop claiming that they are the western/secular/democratic bulwark against the Arab religious crazies. They should face up to the fact that their claims on places like Jerusalem really do have their origins in a thousands of years old book, and as such are hardly material in present day negotiation. Or if they can't do that then respect other religion's claims on areas of the holy land equally to their own.

The 'Palestinians' you cite as being in possession of current Israel were not the sole proprietors of the region, nor were they Palestinians at that point.


Every nation in the middle east was created in the early twentieth century. The only reason that Palestine exists as it does is that it was not allowed to remain part of (Trans)Jordan. This happened scant few years after the creation of nations like Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. There seems little reason to question its legitimacy, nor the existence of "Palestinians", as you may as well question the existence of Lebanese and Iraqis. Every nation in the Middle East has identity issues stemming from the borders laid out in the aftermath of the First World War. Are you arguing that the Jews can create a nation on any land that has a minority Jewish community and a recent creation by western powers? Because that covers a great deal of the surface of the globe.
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Re: Israel

Postby akashra » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:06 am UTC

Yakk wrote:What happens if Israel loses the next war?

I hate to sounds all doomsday-ish, but my personal belief is that if Israel falls, those who seek its demise will then just look for their next target/goal. This might not be so organized however, and taken out by every individual group by whoever is closest, rather than an organized target.

Of course, this sentiment won't be shared by everyone - but I think it's fair to say it will be a bad thing regardless.

Having said that, I don't think Israel will fall.
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Re: Israel

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:12 am UTC

Dream wrote:They should face up to the fact that their claims on places like Jerusalem really do have their origins in a thousands of years old book, and as such are hardly material in present day negotiation. Or if they can't do that then respect other religion's claims on areas of the holy land equally to their own.


Can you show me some population stats as to majority living in the area pre-WWII? Frankly, people are first quick to comment on the fact that Arabs were living there, while neglecting to mention that Jews were too. If you want to make this a 'who was here first' argument, I don't think you can claim that Jews have no right to be there. If you want to make this a 'Jews have to share the region because Arabs were there AS WELL' then I agree wholeheartedly.

Secondly, the religious aspect (which is inseparable from the situation) of the Jews/Arabs rights to their sites is a pointless one. If you claim that Jerusalem is a holy city to the Arabs, then your claim is equaled by the Jews claim to it.

I don't believe Jerusalem is mentioned in the Qur'an.
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Re: Israel

Postby Dream » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:37 am UTC

Either it's a religious claim to Israel, or it's a political one.

If religious, then Israel must allow for other religious claims.

If political, then there were many parts of the world that fit the same description as the holy land before the creation of Israel. Recently created and controlled by the west, containing a Jewish minority. They chose Israel, coincidentally the place where so much of their religious history is situated.

To me this indicates that the decision was largely a religious one. As such it is hypocritical in the extreme to suggest that only the Jewish faith has real connections with the holy land. If Judaism can take Jerusalem because of an ancient religious connection to it, why can't Islam? And the connection with Islam isn't in the Quran, it's in the life of the prophet, and the centuries since then when Jerusalem was one of the centres of the Islamic world.

Yes, the holy land should be shared. But at the moment there is only one side that is encroaching on small amount of land left to the other side, with its military and settlements. There is only one side that is still occupying parts of the holy land that arebeyond its internationally recognised borders. The holy land is at the moment far from being shared. And it is Israel who must do more sharing in future to make a shared situation happen.
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