Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

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Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:14 am UTC

I generally don't post on this forum because the extremely serious nature of it scares me a little, so please excuse me if when I screw up. I checked to see if a thread already existed to discuss this issue and I couldn't find one made in the past year.

I have created this thread to discuss what areas of land Israel has a right to own, which areas it doesn't, and what's still there to be decided. This thread in particular is not made to discuss very modern Israeli conflicts (e.g. the Gaza War) as the issues involving those conflicts generally aren't as much about land as they are about what constitutes reasonable force and strategy. This discussion will probably go up to about the conclusion of the 1967 war, seeing as since then Israel control over the territories has been reasonably consistent.

So, here is history as I understand it, starting at about the mid-19th century. I plan on making a mistake or two:

In the mid 19th century, the Jews were being oppressed and rejected to some degree in most European countries, which lead to the creation of the Zionist movement. Feeling dehumanized, the Jews wanted to go elsewhere and many of them naturally chose the place that they were culturally and ancestrally attached to: Israel. Back then, that area was an ungoverned and virtually unpopulated area of the Ottoman empire. There were about 450,000 people in an area that, today, has 11.5 million. (The earth's population has risen about seven-fold in that time). The Jews went to what was a desert and swampland, and transformed the area into fertile farmland. Life alongside the Palestinians was mostly fine, but there certainly upsets like the 1920's Palestinian riots.

Anyways, after World War I, England gained the mandate of Palestine and decided that they were going to Establish a Jewish state in it. In 1922, the British separated the Palestinian mandate in two, giving what was east of the Jordan River to a royal family whose name escapes me now, and designating the Jordan River and what was west of it to Israel. The British didn't really govern the area well: what with their failing to secure the peace and imposing quotas on the amount of Jews that could go to Israel (despite the fact that they had no where else to go). Jews and Palestinians pretty much set up their own government and security organizations, like the Haganah and such.

After the Holocaust and the emigration of more Jews, the international community felt that it was time to designate what land went to whom, and so the UN partition plan was drawn, designating the current Palestinian territories plus some to Palestine, Jerusalem as international territory, and the rest to Israel. Israel declared independence, willing to go with that plan, but the Arabs had rather different ideas. 22 Arab nations attacked Israel, while ethnically cleansing their Jewish populations and driving out Palestinians and Jews in the area. Israel managed to recover most of its Jews, while Palestinian refugees were pretty much screwed with no place to go. Israel, not having conceived of the possibility of the refugees wanting to return, and not wanting to welcome in a very anti-semitic and anti-Israel population, passed the infamous absentee laws, making it nearly impossible for most Palestinians to return to where they lived. The armistice lines left Israel with a bit more than the UN Partition plan gave them, though the Arabs requested that the armistice lines not be used as official borders.

Israel claimed that, as it had absorbed it's Jewish refugees, it was up to the Arab nations to absorb fix the refugee problem that they created for themselves. Of course, they didn't. Anyways, fast forwarding a few years, the Arabs start amassing troops around Israel and cutting off Israel's trade, at which point Israel strikes first to gain the advantage in the utterly certain war that was about to happen. After defeating the Arab nations and taking the land that Egypt and Jordan had annexed, Israel took some control over all of the Palestinian territories, but only annexed East Jerusalem, as the Jews (who mostly made up the population there) had been kicked out of there 19 years beforehand, and as it was the holiest site of all the major monotheistic religions. Israel, by the way, was the only country to allow joint access to that area in nearly two millenia. Israel offered all Palestinians in that area permanent Israeli citizenship, though most turned it down for political reasons. The West Bank and Gaza are supposed to be made into a homeland where the Palestinian refugees can live, but the peace process has been constantly derailed by violence from the Palestinian leadership. But I'm getting into more modern things now.

I'm sure I forgot some important things, please feel free to add.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:16 am UTC

Formation of PLO in 1964, the 1956 war, the 1973 war. Return of Sinai to Egypt.

Anyway, the question I have for all the people who say that either "Jews have no claim to the land" or "Arabs have no claim to the land", I ask, what land DO they have claim to?
Last edited by CorruptUser on Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:20 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:20 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Formation of PLO in 1964, the 1956 war, the 1973 war. Return of Sinai to Egypt.


Some of those I specifically didn't include because they didn't affect Israeli land possession and such. But yeah, I think I probably should have mentioned Israel's gaining of the Sinai and then return of it to Egypt for peace.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby LaserGuy » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:48 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I have created this thread to discuss what areas of land Israel has a right to own, which areas it doesn't, and what's still there to be decided. This thread in particular is not made to discuss very modern Israeli conflicts (e.g. the Gaza War) as the issues involving those conflicts generally aren't as much about land as they are about what constitutes reasonable force and strategy. This discussion will probably go up to about the conclusion of the 1967 war, seeing as since then Israel control over the territories has been reasonably consistent.


It's not clear to me that nations have "rights" in the conventional sense of the term. National borders are generally decided by mutual agreements with neighbours combined with a nation's ability to actually project its influence over those borders and defend them if necessary. In that sense, Israel has claim to its current borders inasmuch as it has a strong enough army and nuclear deterrent that it maintains stable borders with its neighbours and has for many years. Or are you arguing that Israel has some sort of intrinsic claim to its borders? That, even if it were incapable of enforcing its borders, say, that there is some part of land that is intrinsically Israeli rather than that of nation X?

I'll set aside my thoughts on the historical side of things for the moment. There's probably a Ph.D thesis and a half worth of argumentation over the details, but it's not abundantly clear to me that such lines of reasoning are particularly relavant to your query.

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:09 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I have created this thread to discuss what areas of land Israel has a right to own, which areas it doesn't, and what's still there to be decided. This thread in particular is not made to discuss very modern Israeli conflicts (e.g. the Gaza War) as the issues involving those conflicts generally aren't as much about land as they are about what constitutes reasonable force and strategy. This discussion will probably go up to about the conclusion of the 1967 war, seeing as since then Israel control over the territories has been reasonably consistent.


It's not clear to me that nations have "rights" in the conventional sense of the term. National borders are generally decided by mutual agreements with neighbours combined with a nation's ability to actually project its influence over those borders and defend them if necessary. In that sense, Israel has claim to its current borders inasmuch as it has a strong enough army and nuclear deterrent that it maintains stable borders with its neighbours and has for many years. Or are you arguing that Israel has some sort of intrinsic claim to its borders? That, even if it were incapable of enforcing its borders, say, that there is some part of land that is intrinsically Israeli rather than that of nation X?

I'll set aside my thoughts on the historical side of things for the moment. There's probably a Ph.D thesis and a half worth of argumentation over the details, but it's not abundantly clear to me that such lines of reasoning are particularly relavant to your query.


So, I suppose that to define borders you don't think about the rights of countries as much as the rights of people. Who do the people want to be governed by, who lives where? I suppose you have to take some historical context into account, but given the fact that it's such a mess in the area, the best you can say is that holy sites are here, Israelis live there, and Palestinians live in another place, let's draw the borders such that Israelis live in Israel and Palestinians live in Palestine and nobody is blocking anybody else from accessing holy sites.

So, for example, I think that East Jerusalem (which is the main area that's contested right now) should go to Israel because there are so many Jews there, but also because it was a largely Israeli area before the '48 war, so when Israel regained that area it made sense to implement things in such a way that borders were organized approximately as they were before. One could also make the argument that, if Egypt and Jordan could annex the Palestinian territories then Israel has the right to, but whether or not gaining territories via self-defense is an appropriate is ultimately irrelevant as Israel has nothing to gain from the annexation of those territories. Arguably, the only reason the Palestinians didn't rebel against Egypt and Jordan is because they would have just slaughtered them.

I'd like to say that the rights of countries exist only insofar as the rights of its people do, but that's not entirely accurate. If a country's governed over an area for a long amount of time, then I suppose that country has a right to keep governing it: the USA can hold onto Montana even if a bunch of Canadians want it. On the other hand, when borders are being drawn, it doesn't make sense to say what the rights of a country are as the location of that country isn't established. So, asking what Israel has a right to own is asking what they should be able to own now, not what they should or shouldn't have been assigned. The discussion of whether or not East Jerusalem should have gone to Israel is a much different discussion than whether or not Israel should hold on to East Jerusalem.

Long story short: shit's complicated, but when drawing borders you consider the rights of the people more than the rights of a country.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Diadem » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:43 pm UTC

Part of the problem is that there is no universally agreed upon right way to solve land claims. Before we can talk about the legitimacy of particular claims, you have to talk about the legitimacy of claims in general.

Land ownership is different from ownership of other goods. Land is, like sunlight or air, fundamentally a public good. It was always there, it wasn't made by anybody. The morality of ownership of ordinary goods is not hard to establish. Someone made that table you're sitting at. Either he still owns it, or he gave it to someone else out of his own free will (usually in exchange for money). Ownership logically follows from that. But land is different. Only we Dutch make land, the rest of the world has to make due with what was already there.

Even on an individual level it's not easy to say who owns land. The people who have live there? The people who use it most? The people who once bought or conquered it generations back? Most societies have over the centuries reach a more or less stable equilibrium, based usually more on tradition, and who happened to have the upper hand when the relevant laws were passed, then on what is morally right. Even here in our democratic and socialist Europe there are vast tracts of land owned by wealthy individuals who do not even use it - except sometimes and rarely to torture animals for entertainment. I can not think of a single good moral reason why vast and beautiful forests should be deemed private property of the queen, when she doesn't even use them in any meaningful way. But well, her family conquered those lands in the distant past, and has remained powerful enough ever since to defend those claims. I think the best system for determining land ownership looks at a combination of history, who currently uses the land and how much value they add to it. If my family has been using a certain stretch of land to farm patotoes for generations, my claim to that land seems entirely valid. But if I've left it bare and did nothing with it for the past 40 years, it seems entirely reasonable to say I've lost my claim, and someone else can move it and utilize it. If I've just gained possession of a new piece of real estate because I bought it, my claim seems valid, if I got it by murdering the previous owners it is not. Unless perhaps if this happened several generations ago, and my ancestors have been living there peacefully ever since. But how many generations is a good question.

On the level of nations land ownership is even murkier. The world mostly follows horribly outdated rules laid down by the peace of Westphalia, a time when countries were still considered pretty much private property of the rulers, and the rules recognize that. Germany started WOII and lost, so Alsace is now owned by France. Simple. Who exactly live in Alsace and what they want is not important. As a world we are trying to get away from this idea, but it's not easy. And what exactly to replace it with is not clear either. Look at who lives in a place? Sounds fair. But what if Germany today invaded Elsace, simply killed everybody living there or threw them across the border, and shipped in ethnic Germans to repopulate the area. Would ownership of the Elsace then morally pass to them? Or could we say "no, the opinion of the people who live there now is not relevant, because of how they ended up living there". But in that case, how long does that argument remain valid? If Germany had done this 500 years ago, could France still legitimately keep claiming Elsace, despite all people living there for the past 500 years wanting nothing to do with them? And what if the new population living there didn't end up there by choice, but was forcibly moved there by their government?

There are no clear guidelines for this in international law. And morally the situation is not very clear either. I certainly wouldn't know a solution that doesn't screw over anybody.

In Israel all these issues play a role. And noone agrees about exactly what happened in the first place, making it even harder. But I do think that discussing 'the legitimacy of Israeli land claims' by only looking at the situation prior to 1967 is empty talk. Who lives there now, how long they've lived there, and how they've utilized the land, those are very relevant questions. Sure you could talk about 'who had a legitimate claim 50 years ago', and maybe that's interesting for a historian. But it simply has no bearing on the current conflict.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:02 pm UTC

For the most part, I would like to be a passive participant in this thread, since this is Serious Business and I tend to be very biased and overly emotional in my support of the Palestinians and their claims. For now, I'd just like to point out two things:

Diadem wrote:There are no clear guidelines for this in international law. And morally the situation is not very clear either. I certainly wouldn't know a solution that doesn't screw over anybody....But I do think that discussing 'the legitimacy of Israeli land claims' by only looking at the situation prior to 1967 is empty talk. Who lives there now, how long they've lived there, and how they've utilized the land, those are very relevant questions. Sure you could talk about 'who had a legitimate claim 50 years ago', and maybe that's interesting for a historian. But it simply has no bearing on the current conflict.


I think reparations for Native Americans could provide some legal precedence for compensating people's who have been dispossessed. The historical background of the issue is also relevant in the sense of the lingering socio-economic effects. Native Americans, oh man, the depressing statistics I could dredge up for Native Americans that don't even need to be compared to white Americans to seem really depressing. It would be very difficult to say that the socioeconomic status of Native Americans isn't directly caused by past US policies. The Cherokee are a really prime example of how the US screwed a group of people who were embracing Western technology (and were therefore highly likely to have been economically prosperous [I am bringing this up to head off arguments like without white colonization the Americas would be much less developed industrially or some such]) but were screwed over at one point and continue to suffer for it. Similarly, fair arguments can be made for the state of the average Palestinian and the negative effects of Israel's past and present policies on their socioeconomic status.

sourmilk wrote:Israel, by the way, was the only country to allow joint access to that area in nearly two millenia.


There are a lot of unsourced factoids that tend to come up in Israel/Palestine discussions that were started by people trying to give legitimacy of one group over the other and get repeated because we tend to have an inherent desire to believe things that are presented as facts by people we agree with. I am about 80% certain this is one of them, as I am about 80% certain a history channel documentary (from the late 90's, before they became the WWII channel and then the Paranormal Ooky Channel) claimed prior to the first Crusade and after Saladin retook Jerusalem, Jews, Christians, and Muslims had equal access to holy sites in Jerusalem.

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:59 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:
sourmilk wrote:Israel, by the way, was the only country to allow joint access to that area in nearly two millenia.


There are a lot of unsourced factoids that tend to come up in Israel/Palestine discussions that were started by people trying to give legitimacy of one group over the other and get repeated because we tend to have an inherent desire to believe things that are presented as facts by people we agree with. I am about 80% certain this is one of them, as I am about 80% certain a history channel documentary (from the late 90's, before they became the WWII channel and then the Paranormal Ooky Channel) claimed prior to the first Crusade and after Saladin retook Jerusalem, Jews, Christians, and Muslims had equal access to holy sites in Jerusalem.


A quick google search shows that you're correct. Make it "in nearly a millenium" then.

Also Diadem: that's an extremely good point, but most of it relies on borders already being established. In your France and Germany example, a lot of the issue is whether or not conquering and displacement constitutes a change in borders, but with Israel we're not actually talking about a change in borders, just their definition. When one is defining borders, you don't have to worry as much about things like who conquered whom, because that's hard to even determine if the location of the conqueree isn't specified.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Antimony-120 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:12 am UTC

Diadem I would argue that your position is valid, however less so than it was for most of history, and furthermore not intrinsically valid.

Certainly nations are lawless, but that is not in and of itself a necessity. People in "the state of nature" are also lawless, but because such force exists (the police, military, judicial, and other such govenrment bodies) to keep them bound to certain agreements, they are considered lawful. Governments for much of history were lawless, in that the ruler was not considered bound to the law in any way. (The Aragonese Oath and Magna Carta notwithstanding). These days they are not.

To that extent, One might note that the major wars occured in between powerful outside intervention in the region (NOT that I'm saying outside intervention is always a good thing, as somebody who knows about my own country's dirty history).

Specifically, the unrest in the region occured in the time when the British Mandate in the area was failing, until the time of the U.S. becoming a major power important to both sides continued survival, a time span of roughly 1918-1970s.

Again, I am NOT suggesting that outside intervention and attendant rule of law are an inherently good thing, merely suggesting such things exist. To continue on this path without that moral rider then, one might ask not just "what is the nature of state rights?" but the far more answerable "What is the nature of states rights as suggested by the de facto rules?".

Therefore, while I believe your argument holds for the period in which it was very much "My right to my land is whatever lies within reach of my sword", the more recent period shows that the U.S. and (to a lesser extent) E.U. defined boundries and rules having some effect. The U.S. support for the existance of Israel as paramount has created a very tension filled moment of "staying just inside of outright war", while the E.U.'s and some American support for the existance of Palestine has prevented Israel from outright booting the Palestinians.

That of course is all predicated on the argument that Law is defined by force.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:16 am UTC

Antimony-120 wrote: The U.S. support for the existance of Israel as paramount has created a very tension filled moment of "staying just inside of outright war", while the E.U.'s and some American support for the existance of Palestine has prevented Israel from outright booting the Palestinians.


I don't think this statement is accurate. Israel doesn't stop themselves from pushing out the Palestinians because the EU doesn't want them to, they don't push out the Palestinians because a) that would likely lead to a war, and b) because it's morally wrong.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:31 am UTC

Wait, do people in general have an inherent right to any land at all? I mean, do nomads like the Roma ("Gypsies") have the right to a land?

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Antimony-120 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:32 am UTC

And many Palestinians would be quite content with the peace deals Israel has offerred, I was merely attempting to be even-handed. Since we were taking the "realist" cynical, assume-everyone-wants-to-stab-everyone point of view I felt it only fair to stay neutral. I was framing the question, not answering it.

If you prefer, an Israeli-sympathetic version might be that U.S. pressure punishes Palestine for it's worst moves, and also keeps the more aggressive of the IDF from enacting the more bloodthirsty suggested counter-terrorism strategies. A Palestinian-sympathetic version would be that outside pressure prevents the Israeli's from continuing the settlement and occupation strategy outright, while also punishing the war for their independance.

The point was not how the actors behaved within the lines, the point was that the lines exist.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:49 am UTC

Antimony-120 wrote:And many Palestinians would be quite content with the peace deals Israel has offerred, I was merely attempting to be even-handed. Since we were taking the "realist" cynical, assume-everyone-wants-to-stab-everyone point of view I felt it only fair to stay neutral. I was framing the question, not answering it.


Fair enough. And yes, I think many Palestinians would be fine with those deals. Most Palestinians probably just wanted to work where they could and live in peace. It's their leadership that's the problem.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Antimony-120 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:31 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Wait, do people in general have an inherent right to any land at all? I mean, do nomads like the Roma ("Gypsies") have the right to a land?


A point of some contention for them. The U.K. attempt to document and otherwise make them into citizens was not met with much happiness. They don't really want a land, they want to be allowed to traverse land. They want the right to continue their way of living without intervention by an outside government.

Now, for sedentary peoples that same right includes a right to land. Whether or not all peoples have a right to their way of living without outside intervention is up for some debate. See: Chechnya, Kosovo, Basques, Quebec, Native American Reserves, Ainu, Non-Han Chinese, Darfur, etc. That list intentionally includes a wide variety of regions and oppressors, and a wide variety of international recognition and legitimacy.

Now, within the situation at hand, there exists a tendency towards recognizing Palestine, but not strong enough to turn support fully against Israel. Part of the problem is precisely this. With the rules being decided by an outside force, that outside force is the west. And the rules appears to be "you can't destroy eachother, but we're going to ignore anything you do that isn't accompanied by violence". We've given the Palestinians the legitimacy to fight for their cause, but not the legitimacy to win. We've given the Israeli's legitimacy to defend themselves, but not the legitimacy to win. We have in short given ongoing low-level conflict legitimacy. If we had also given peace legitimacy we might be alright, but we don't. The PLO didn't always get involved in terrorism in a big way. But, to quote the PLO observer at the U.N. (this is from 1976 mind) "The first several hijackings aroused the conciousness of the world and awakened the media and world opinion much more - and more effectively - than 20 years of pleading at the United Nations."

Whether either side has moral legitimacy is up for grabs, but the de facto result is that they both have a semi-legitimacy in the eyes of the world, and that's causing a problem.

To make a normative statement for once, I'm going to go ahead and state my support for a two-state system, and I think the Israeli offer at the 2000 Camp David accords was a good starting point. I wish the PLO had negotiated rather than outright rejected it.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:14 am UTC

Antimony-120 wrote:Whether either side has moral legitimacy is up for grabs, but the de facto result is that they both have a semi-legitimacy in the eyes of the world, and that's causing a problem.


I think you might be overestimating the role the international community has on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, at least in recent years. I'm not sure that pressures from anybody have done much to sway or provoke anything.

To make a normative statement for once, I'm going to go ahead and state my support for a two-state system, and I think the Israeli offer at the 2000 Camp David accords was a good starting point. I wish the PLO had negotiated rather than outright rejected it.

Yes, I absolutely agree. And "outright rejected" is an understatement: they started a war over it. I guess Arafat didn't think peace with Israel would benefit him. He may have been right.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby bentheimmigrant » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:35 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I think you might be overestimating the role the international community has on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, at least in recent years. I'm not sure that pressures from anybody have done much to sway or provoke anything.

The international community would achieve quite a lot if it included the power America has over Israel. Without financial/military assistance, Israel would not be in the position it is in, and by removing such support, the US could indeed have a pretty massive effect on all of it. The US has a major interest in having a stable and faithful ally in the region (although that is a discussion for another thread), and this has generally translated to America being Israel's sole defender against UN resolutions and the like - and thus stopped the "international community" from having any real power.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:41 pm UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I think you might be overestimating the role the international community has on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, at least in recent years. I'm not sure that pressures from anybody have done much to sway or provoke anything.

The international community would achieve quite a lot if it included the power America has over Israel. Without financial/military assistance, Israel would not be in the position it is in, and by removing such support, the US could indeed have a pretty massive effect on all of it. The US has a major interest in having a stable and faithful ally in the region (although that is a discussion for another thread), and this has generally translated to America being Israel's sole defender against UN resolutions and the like - and thus stopped the "international community" from having any real power.


That's probably a good thing. One the one hand, this international-community enforced stalemate isn't exactly great, but on the other hand if the UN had its way Israel would never be able to defend itself. A stalemate is better than a nonexistent or completely crippled Israel.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:45 am UTC

I think Israel should abide by the UN's mandates when the UN fights Israel's wars.

The same can be said for any country. If we really want to stop the Sudan crisis (are there any survivors left there?), then we should either put up or shut up.

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby JamesP » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:58 pm UTC

I think that Gaddafi should follow UN mandates when the UN fights the rebels for him.

See why what you just said is ludicrous? You're saying that because we don't get militarily involved in the Sudan we should just ignore it completely?

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Antimony-120 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:23 pm UTC

I...wha? The U.N. hasn't fought the rebels for Gaddafi? I am so lost by your analogy that I'm seriously wondering if I hit a dimensional gate somewhere.

The U.N. is fighting (to a limited degree) Gaddafi, at the behest of the rebels. They are doing so because the rebels are (thus far) following U.N. mandates. If the rebels were not (i.e., in the case of a military coup) the U.N. would not be nearly as interested.

Not to say that there aren't reasons to support someone you don't like (*cough* Saudi Arabia *cough*) but usually such support is considered to have strings attached (once again, Saudi Arabia).
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby JamesP » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:02 pm UTC

CorruptUser said that Israel should only follow UN mandates when the UN is fighting Israel's wars for them. That's like saying that Gaddafi is right to not follow the UN's instructions because the UN isn't helping him (and is, in fact, fighting against him).

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:38 pm UTC

Think of the UN as a police force. If the police stopped arresting burglars, stopped investigating murders, on the rare occasions they showed up they only watched, was known for blatant corruption, and the only major thing it did was issue Cease and Desist orders without actually enforcing them, why would you ever listen to them?

It doesn't matter which side the UN fights on. (Well, it does, but for different reasons.) Unless the UN is willing to intervene with blockades/embargoes, put troops on the ground, fight to end the conflict, either on behalf of Israel or the Palestinians or both (or neither, it seems), then its proclamations are worthless*.

In G'Daffy Duck's case, the UN is actually doing something. Or, NATO is. It's a nightmare over there; the US pretty much said to G'Daffy that it will take every chance it gets to destroy him, without even the pretense of an excuse like WMDs or something.

*Actually, worse than worthless in many respects.

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby mosc » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:24 pm UTC

What is with this crap that Israel wants to "boot out" Palestinians out of their homes? Did someone get it into their head that Israeli settlements require the relocation of Palestinians? The west bank is mostly unpopulated desert, please remember that. All the Israeli settlements in question may be in areas of contentious territorial debates, but they are not in areas that are currently occupied. Please don't exaggerate, you're not helping anything.

The vast majority of Israeli's favor a two state solution. In fact, the two state solution's only main opposition is on the Palestinian side where a minority refuse to accept any agreement that includes the continued existence of the state of Israel ANYWHERE. The debate isn't whither Israel should kick out the poor Palestinians or not, it's how much (or how little if you prefer) of the territory that Israeli's currently live on should be turned over to the future Palestinian state.

I'm not even getting into the subtleties here, you guys seem to be completely off base on the basics. The only people who would need to leave their homes in any of the proposed negotiations would be Israeli, please don't forget that. That's not a pro-Israel statement, it's just a fact. Nobody is proposing forceful relocation of Palestinians. Categorizing the state of Israel's position as such is warmongering.

EDIT: I also wanted to add that "The West Bank" includes suburbs of Jerusalem itself. The city has grown rapidly since 1967 and had a serious lack of residential property, especially before the real estate market bubble collapse in 08. There is a great need for new housing projects as the city grows. To a large extent, that is what's putting pressure on settlements in the west bank. It is not generally (though there are some exceptions) an attempt to stake a land claim for it's own purposes. The city is growing, it needs more condos, and it's surrounded by desert. What do you think is going to happen?
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:04 am UTC

Keep in mind that Palestinian land claims are usually historically based (the history being since 1900). Dismissing that basis has become legitimate only in the last few decades, as time makes them less and less relevant.

Even the idea that Israel shouldn't exist as a nation is a legitimate one (in the sense of based on facts, not necessarily in the politically legitimate sense) from only sixty years ago, which means the grandparents of the current generation.

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:18 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Keep in mind that Palestinian land claims are usually historically based (the history being since 1900). Dismissing that basis has become legitimate only in the last few decades, as time makes them less and less relevant.


Both sides have historically valid land claims. We aren't minimizing history as a criteria in deciding what land goes where just because it's less relevant, but because you can have contradictory views. For example: prior to the creation of the state of Israel, Hevron had a very large Jewish population, but after the Jews were expelled from that area, it went to Palestine. When Israel won the '67 war, would they have the right to annex that area in order to put the displaced Jews back, or would the Palestinians have the right to self-governance having lived there for a few decades, even if at the expense of Jewish refugees? It's ridiculous to delegate land based on those arguments as they're essentially impossible.

Even the idea that Israel shouldn't exist as a nation is a legitimate one (in the sense of based on facts)


How do you figure? I'm not necessarily disagreeing, but I'm curious.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Antimony-120 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:15 am UTC

The argument would almost certainly be that the Brits got out of there (as in other colonies and mandates) to return soverignty to the local population, and that they didn't have the right to basically carve out a chunk for the Jews to return to. Since this event is moderatly recent, it arguably diminishes the legitimacy of the soverignty of Israel.

It's a bit of a dumb argument, what with the fact that the jews didn't have anyplace to go to before then, but it is on occasion professed. I'll go on to agree that the overlapping historical claims to areas are somewhat intractable as positions even in their more moderate forms, much less he extreme "we own everything" professed by some kooks on either side.

Also, I'd like to apologize to JamesP for a misunderstanding as to what he meant (I.e., that lack of U.N. support meant one was not bound by the U.N.).
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:48 am UTC

Antimony-120 wrote:The argument would almost certainly be that the Brits got out of there (as in other colonies and mandates) to return soverignty to the local population, and that they didn't have the right to basically carve out a chunk for the Jews to return to. Since this event is moderatly recent, it arguably diminishes the legitimacy of the soverignty of Israel.

It's a bit of a dumb argument, what with the fact that the jews didn't have anyplace to go to before then, but it is on occasion professed. I'll go on to agree that the overlapping historical claims to areas are somewhat intractable as positions even in their more moderate forms, much less he extreme "we own everything" professed by some kooks on either side.


That's not even the biggest flaw in the argument: if Israel was carved out of the area, then so was Palestine, meaning that if you deny the existence of Israel on that basis, you must also deny the existence of the creation of any country in that area.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Antimony-120 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:51 am UTC

Well the usual argument would be that the older it is the more "legitimate" it is. Which of course has some bootstrapping issues. It's a pretty unusable argument at this point any way you look at it.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:13 am UTC

Antimony-120 wrote:Well the usual argument would be that the older it is the more "legitimate" it is. Which of course has some bootstrapping issues. It's a pretty unusable argument at this point any way you look at it.


Especially considering that (ancient) Israel predates Palestine by more than a thousand years, and that the region was only renamed Palestine by the Romans as an insult to the Jews (the Philistines). Yes, even the name "Palestine" is western influence in the Middle East...

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:56 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Antimony-120 wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:Keep in mind that Palestinian land claims are usually historically based (the history being since 1900). Dismissing that basis has become legitimate only in the last few decades, as time makes them less and less relevant.

Both sides have historically valid land claims. We aren't minimizing history as a criteria in deciding what land goes where just because it's less relevant, but because you can have contradictory views. For example: prior to the creation of the state of Israel, Hevron had a very large Jewish population, but after the Jews were expelled from that area, it went to Palestine. When Israel won the '67 war, would they have the right to annex that area in order to put the displaced Jews back, or would the Palestinians have the right to self-governance having lived there for a few decades, even if at the expense of Jewish refugees? It's ridiculous to delegate land based on those arguments as they're essentially impossible.
Even the idea that Israel shouldn't exist as a nation is a legitimate one (in the sense of based on facts)

How do you figure? I'm not necessarily disagreeing, but I'm curious.

The argument would almost certainly be that the Brits got out of there (as in other colonies and mandates) to return soverignty to the local population, and that they didn't have the right to basically carve out a chunk for the Jews to return to. Since this event is moderatly recent, it arguably diminishes the legitimacy of the soverignty of Israel.

It's a bit of a dumb argument, what with the fact that the jews didn't have anyplace to go to before then, but it is on occasion professed. I'll go on to agree that the overlapping historical claims to areas are somewhat intractable as positions even in their more moderate forms, much less he extreme "we own everything" professed by some kooks on either side.

Also, I'd like to apologize to JamesP for a misunderstanding as to what he meant (I.e., that lack of U.N. support meant one was not bound by the U.N.).

That's not even the biggest flaw in the argument: if Israel was carved out of the area, then so was Palestine, meaning that if you deny the existence of Israel on that basis, you must also deny the existence of the creation of any country in that area.


Actually the British didn't abandon Palestine with the intent to give political control to the indigenous population. The Mandate for Palestine was specifically to create "a national home for the Jewish people". The argument for Israel not existing is that the British had no right to carve a Jewish state out of the old Ottoman territories. This is also why a two-state solution was unpopular among Arabs, because it was seen as taking land (politically speaking) from indigenous Arabs.

As for the idea that Palestine is no more legitimate than Israel because it didn't exist prior to the Mandate, yes there was no Palestine, but there were Arabic speaking people there who would later come to be called Palestinians. Just because the previously existing political structure (the Ottoman Empire) ceased to exist, doesn't mean the territory should have been handed over to foreigners. Keep in mind that in 1900 Jews were a small minority in the future Palestine and as late as 1949 comprised less than half of the population. In spite of that, the British from 1922 onwards were specifically working towards a Jewish state, not a secular state which would be friendly to Jews.

The idea that Jews didn't have a place to go before Israel is not quite correct. The establishment of the Mandate in 1922 which coincided with the passage of very restrictive US immigration laws in 1921 and Hitler's 1933 rise to power in Germany all contributed to the sharp change in Jewish emigration. Prior to 1921, most Jewish emigrants were going to the US; after 1933, Jewish emigration rose dramatically. Although the British restricted immigration to Palestine, it was easier, faster, and cheaper for Jews to illegally immigrate to Palestine than the US and increasingly dangerous to remain in Eastern Europe (and Western Europe after 1940). After 1945, Europe was relatively safe for Jews but, understandably, many refugees wanted to leave and Palestine stood out as a place that many Jews had been migrating to for over 20 years and as a place that could potentially never have another pogrom or holocaust. The picture is complicated. The Mandate wasn't necessarily a place Jews could go until 1945, due to immigration restrictions, although it was a place that was intended by the British to be a place that ultimately Jews could live in at some future point. That goal became realized rather suddenly with the end of WWII, the Jewish Rebellion (as it sometimes called by British military scholars), the decision to withdraw from the Mandate, and thus the unilateral establishment of Jewish Israel.

I can not express the effort it took to prevent that from being mostly ranting and angry opinion. If it is still biased, please accept my anticipatory apology, as I tried to represent the facts fairly.

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:28 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Antimony120 wrote:Also, I'd like to apologize to JamesP for a misunderstanding as to what he meant (I.e., that lack of U.N. support meant one was not bound by the U.N.).

That's not even the biggest flaw in the argument: if Israel was carved out of the area, then so was Palestine, meaning that if you deny the existence of Israel on that basis, you must also deny the existence of the creation of any country in that area.


Actually the British didn't abandon Palestine with the intent to give political control to the indigenous population. The Mandate for Palestine was specifically to create "a national home for the Jewish people". The argument for Israel not existing is that the British had no right to carve a Jewish state out of the old Ottoman territories. This is also why a two-state solution was unpopular among Arabs, because it was seen as taking land (politically speaking) from indigenous Arabs.


What? But they didn't have that land to begin with. there was no country there. One could say with as much validity "The argument for Palestine not existing is that the British had no right to carve an Arab state out of the old Ottoman territories."

As for the idea that Palestine is no more legitimate than Israel because it didn't exist prior to the Mandate, yes there was no Palestine, but there were Arabic speaking people there who would later come to be called Palestinians. Just because the previously existing political structure (the Ottoman Empire) ceased to exist, doesn't mean the territory should have been handed over to foreigners. Keep in mind that in 1900 Jews were a small minority in the future Palestine and as late as 1949 comprised less than half of the population. In spite of that, the British from 1922 onwards were specifically working towards a Jewish state, not a secular state which would be friendly to Jews.


Yeah, they were working towards a Jewish state in the area with a majority Jewish population (at least, it turned out that way by '48.) There were Arabic speaking people who would become Palestinians and there were Hebrew and Yiddish speaking people who would become Israelis. Again, the two were there before the British took over, so both have a right to a country: you might argue that the Israeli country should be smaller, and indeed it is. Today it comprises about 15% of the mandate of Palestine. In other words, the Jews weren't foreigners. They lived there, many of them for decades. Some for thousands of years.

The idea that Jews didn't have a place to go before Israel is not quite correct. The establishment of the Mandate in 1922 which coincided with the passage of very restrictive US immigration laws in 1921 and Hitler's 1933 rise to power in Germany all contributed to the sharp change in Jewish emigration. Prior to 1921, most Jewish emigrants were going to the US; after 1933, Jewish emigration rose dramatically. Although the British restricted immigration to Palestine, it was easier, faster, and cheaper for Jews to illegally immigrate to Palestine than the US and increasingly dangerous to remain in Eastern Europe (and Western Europe after 1940). After 1945, Europe was relatively safe for Jews but, understandably, many refugees wanted to leave and Palestine stood out as a place that many Jews had been migrating to for over 20 years and as a place that could potentially never have another pogrom or holocaust. The picture is complicated. The Mandate wasn't necessarily a place Jews could go until 1945, due to immigration restrictions, although it was a place that was intended by the British to be a place that ultimately Jews could live in at some future point. That goal became realized rather suddenly with the end of WWII, the Jewish Rebellion (as it sometimes called by British military scholars), the decision to withdraw from the Mandate, and thus the unilateral establishment of Jewish Israel.


Eh... unilateral? Didn't the UN create a division that the Israelis then accepted?

I can not express the effort it took to prevent that from being mostly ranting and angry opinion. If it is still biased, please accept my anticipatory apology, as I tried to represent the facts fairly.

You did rather well in that respect, but there are parts that are factually incorrect, which I pointed out above.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:59 am UTC

In terms of political control, the Ottomans had the land. The British decided to divide the Ottoman empire into several states, such as Iraq and Syria. With the exception of the Mandate of Palestine and the Kurds, those successor states gave political control to the people who were living there at the time of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. I'd prefer to avoid analogies, since this situation is too complex for it.

In terms of who was there in 1948, then yes, it was about half Jewish. In terms of who was there in 1922, it was predominantly Arab. The majority of Jews in Palestine in 1948 had immigrated in the last thirty years. I tend not to think of it terms of Israelis and Palestinians, as none of these nationalities existed from 1900-1948, which are the years relevant to the original political claims to the lands which are now Israel. I think of it in terms of individuals living there, indigenous groups and recent migrants.

I said unilateral because the UN proposed dividing the Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state with Jerusalem as an international city. Jewish groups accepted this, Arab groups rejected it. After the British formally ended the Mandate, the state of Israel declared independence the following day, and several Arab states responded by declaring war. Arabs in Palestine did not join with Jews in Palestine in forming the Jewish state of Israel.

I'm not sure where you're getting the 15% figure. Are you including Jordan? That was separated from the Mandate for Palestine in 1922. I'm fairly sure Israel directly controls most of what was the Mandate.

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:16 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:In terms of political control, the Ottomans had the land. The British decided to divide the Ottoman empire into several states, such as Iraq and Syria. With the exception of the Mandate of Palestine and the Kurds, those successor states gave political control to the people who were living there at the time of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. I'd prefer to avoid analogies, since this situation is too complex for it.

In terms of who was there in 1948, then yes, it was about half Jewish. In terms of who was there in 1922, it was predominantly Arab. The majority of Jews in Palestine in 1948 had immigrated in the last thirty years. I tend not to think of it terms of Israelis and Palestinians, as none of these nationalities existed from 1900-1948, which are the years relevant to the original political claims to the lands which are now Israel. I think of it in terms of individuals living there, indigenous groups and recent migrants.

I said unilateral because the UN proposed dividing the Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state with Jerusalem as an international city. Jewish groups accepted this, Arab groups rejected it. After the British formally ended the Mandate, the state of Israel declared independence the following day, and several Arab states responded by declaring war. Arabs in Palestine did not join with Jews in Palestine in forming the Jewish state of Israel.

I'm not sure where you're getting the 15% figure. Are you including Jordan? That was separated from the Mandate for Palestine in 1922. I'm fairly sure Israel directly controls most of what was the Mandate.


Yes, I'm including Jordan. But now, Israel controls about half (this is excluding occupied territories) of what was left of the mandate after Transjordan. The 1922 lines obviously gave Israel to an Arab majority area, but we really shouldn't worry about the '22 lines and they never reached reality. My guess would be that the '22 linse were drawn as they were because the majority of Jews lived all throughout that area. In the end though, the mandate of Palestine was divided in such a way that control was given to the ethnic groups that lived there.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:42 am UTC

Sourmilk, could you be a bit more clear what kind of claim you hope to establish?

There is the basic, reasonable claim that the state of Israel is now the legitimate sovereign of at least the non-occupied territories, simply because it controls the area, because the clear majority of the people who currently live there supports the state, because there is no other entity that could realistically take its place. There is a lot of might-makes-right in that claim, but few states really have a better claim on their territory. At most they are older.

You seem to want something more, right? Some historically-based reasoning that makes the state of Israel the single rightful claimant to the area, apart from its de facto control over it?

If that is roughly what you try to establish, I don't think you can make it work. At best, you can shift the might-makes-right claim back to the British and the Ottomans who allowed mass migration by Zionists to the region. But that doesn't help your case at all, since their claim to control the region was not based on any stronger principles than the current claim of the state of Israeli.

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby zmatt » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:49 pm UTC

IMO the Palestinians as they are today don't have any more claim over the area then anyone else. Almost all of them were not born in "Palestine" but instead were born in refugee camps so any direct relation they may have to the area is tedious at best. If you want to get into history there never was a nation of Palestine, that is simply one of many names given to the area and the people who lived there. There are also Christians and Jews who live and have lived in the area for just as long so you can't argue that the Palestinians are morally right somehow by being there "first". At the same time though the Israelis have been pretty aggressive and kind of dickish, but for the younger Israelis, the ones how were born there, and IMO have the right to call it home, cause it is, shouldn't be held accountable for the actions of their fathers in 1948, 1967 and 1973 and are completely justified in defending their home.

let my put it in more concise terms. The only way nations can "own" land is to either take it by force, or with some kind of agreement with neighboring nations that is enforced by all parties. However, for an individual to have a right to an area, or at least to call it his home and to justify his actions in defending it he needs to be born there. Otherwise it isn't his home, someplace else is. Were the Israelis dicks when they made Israel? Yeah probably, they had weird circumstances, but just because Hitler was mean to them was no reason to take it out on the Arab world. Are the current generation of Palestinians somehow owed a right to "Palestine"? No, because they aren't Palestinians, technically they are either Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian or Israeli by nationality and should assimilate into their chosen society (you know, like how Jews have had to do since forever). I think there is room for negotiation on the occupied territories, but only to the nations they are closest too, since I have already establish that Palestine isn't a country, I have no intention to talk to the PLO or any of their groups. I think talking to the bordering Arab nations is the right thing to do though. And sense the Palestinians are also Arab, then I think the Arab world, once on good terms with Israel should get their little brother to stop making trouble. They are and always have been in my mind misguided criminals who were committing acts in the name of an unrealistic and unachievable goal. I think in exchange for an end to this silly conflict the Israelis should give them all pardons and stop going after them, The Israelis have a big problem with preemptive strikes and doing police actions in other people's territory and without their consent. That's a big no no and is unbecoming of a modern nation.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:28 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Sourmilk, could you be a bit more clear what kind of claim you hope to establish?


I want to show that Britain made the correct choice in choosing to establish a Jewish state. Jews lived there, so when you're drawing borders you have to do it to what ethnic groups exist there. There was no carving a state out of Arab land as the Arabs didn't govern the land: nobody did. They weren't carving anything out of anything, they were creating a country, and thus control wasn't taken from anybody, but rather it was given to people.


zmatt wrote:Yeah probably, they had weird circumstances, but just because Hitler was mean to them was no reason to take it out on the Arab world.


Again, you appear to be suggesting that Israel was carved out of some existing land. It wasn't. see above.

I think in exchange for an end to this silly conflict the Israelis should give them all pardons and stop going after them


How could this possibly work? The Palestinians, particularly Hamas, have shown that Israeli appeasement does nothing to stop their attacks. Israel cannot stop defending itself, that's an unreasonable request.
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:43 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Sourmilk, could you be a bit more clear what kind of claim you hope to establish?


I want to show that Britain made the correct choice in choosing to establish a Jewish state. Jews lived there, so when you're drawing borders you have to do it to what ethnic groups exist there. There was no carving a state out of Arab land as the Arabs didn't govern the land: nobody did. They weren't carving anything out of anything, they were creating a country, and thus control wasn't taken from anybody, but rather it was given to people.

But in what context is this a useful position? I doubt there is a single person in this world who thinks Israel has no right to exist, but who does agree that the Brits had the right to create a Jewish state without permission from the people who lived there.

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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby jules.LT » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:46 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I want to show that Britain made the correct choice in choosing to establish a Jewish state. Jews lived there, so when you're drawing borders you have to do it to what ethnic groups exist there. There was no carving a state out of Arab land as the Arabs didn't govern the land: nobody did. They weren't carving anything out of anything, they were creating a country, and thus control wasn't taken from anybody, but rather it was given to people.

Those jews were mostly recent immigrants, and the whole area had been Arab land for many generations (regardless of government).
This claim at the very least highly debatable.

Zamfir wrote:I doubt there is a single reasonable person in this world who thinks Israel has no right to exist

FTFY, for fear of uninteresting backlash
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby zmatt » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:04 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Again, you appear to be suggesting that Israel was carved out of some existing land. It wasn't. see above.


I have said the Palestine isn't a real country. However they did piss off the Arab world with the 1967 and 1973 wars and our support didn't help. I'm not going to try and suggest that they should have done anything different because at this point it matters not. Now just because Palestine isn't a real country doesn't mean that people weren't living there before Israel was estbalished. There was a population of Arabs and a minority of jews and Christians prior to Zionism. The start of this was of "liberation" were these Palestinian refugees who didn't want Israel in their former homeland. Fair enough, if someone started a country in my hometown that I didn't want I would be pissed off too. But those refugees are either very old or dead by now, all of the "refugees" now are people who never lived in pre-Israel Palestine, and therefore don't have a personal claim to it as their home.


sourmìlk wrote:How could this possibly work? The Palestinians, particularly Hamas, have shown that Israeli appeasement does nothing to stop their attacks. Israel cannot stop defending itself, that's an unreasonable request.


Well in a rational world it would, but both sides have proven themselves to be irrational. To use Africa as an example, in some cases the only way that people could move beyond sectarian violence and learn to be humane was to unanimously forgive everyone of the crimes they committed. Honestly at the rate they are going in Israel I think if you want peace the same has to be done. Every attack seems to be revenge for what one side did to another. All revenge breeds is more revenge and you have to break that cycle. The way to do is to find terms that they can agree on and then drop the issue.
clockworkmonk wrote:Except for Warren G. Harding. Fuck that guy.

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Zamfir
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Re: Legitimacy of Israeli Land Claims

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:22 pm UTC

jules.lt wrote:
Zamfir wrote:I doubt there is a single reasonable person in this world who thinks Israel has no right to exist [plus more]

FTFY, for fear of uninteresting backlash

To clarify: my statement was that there aren't people (or at least not many) who believe these two things at the same time:

A. That the state of Israel or something resembling the current state of Israel has no right be the sovereign entity of a part of Palestineand
B. That Great Britain did have the sovereign right to create Jewish state there, or to allow large Jewish migration to the region, without permission from a large part of the people already living there.

There are obviously lots of people who believe A. It's the combination that is weird.


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