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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Nickhere BS: Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs (372* d) RE: BS: Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs 15 Jun 08

Robomatic, I accept of that land has changed hands over the centuries through conquest and so on. The point is of course that we are trying always to 'improve ourselves' so to speak, to find more humane ways of doing things and settling our differences. We (especially in the West) like to think of ourselves as being a bit more moral and rational than our ancestors, though that is very debateable.

For this reason we see certain steps taken to limit our wickedness, such as the Geneva convention on treatment of POWs, the banning of certain weapons of war and so on. These are just drops in the ocean of our wickedness of course, since not only do many nations find ways to circumvent these, but most wars seem to end up in one point anyway - win, however you do it, and rules go out the window.

Actually 'rules of war' have existed in the past, such as notions of chivalry. It was one of the reasons the French kept losing in the Hundred Years' War. The French knights refused to let their archers and footsloggers soften up the English first as it was considered very un-knightly to hang back. So they usually charged - straight into a hail of arrows and were mown down like new hay. They were after personal glory, whereas the English sensibly realised the object was to win.

But a further difference has occured in more recent years, under the auspices of the UN. Since the end of WW2 it has been a crime, for example, to seize land by conquest or to commit genocide. For example, the crime of genocide was not recognised as such prior to that though it certainly existed as a fact. [One of the first genocides of the 20th century was by Turks against at least 1 million maybe more Armenians. The Turks refuse to acknowledge it as such and ironically Israel (an ally of Turkey) is one of Turkey's staunchest defenders of the 'No-Armenian holocaust' claim].

The difference for Israel is that their particular conquest of land for living space is occuring at a time when such actions are deemed internationally to be a crime. Israel has in fact been censured by the UN for this on several occasions.

On a separate moral aspect, the frequency of an action historically is of course no moral justification in itself. Jews arriving in Palestine of course needed somewhere to live, but that didn't give them the right to seize the property of the people who were already living there for their own use. Nor did the anyone have the right to tell them they could take that property insofar as we accept the concept of private property. Obviously we do, or the actions of the nazis in seizing Jewish property would be acceptable and there would be no cases of stolen art etc., being returned to descendants of the robbed. [Legal title deeds and documents of ownership held be Jews of course play a major role in this repatriation of stolen goods, so there is a precedent for Palestinian Arabs to claim what is theirs by right of title deed also].

"Put most bluntly, the Jews moving to Israel took land, land they needed in order to live, and land they have an arguable right to. They did not kill beyond the actual wars, and they killed enemies"

I do have a bit of difficulty with this sentence as it seems to suggest Jews 'only killed when they had to'! I'm sure you can immediately see how it could be applied any number of ways to justify just about any side murdering anyone else on the other side in order to find a place to live and a livelihood. Palestinian Arabs could easily take that argument and make it their own. Plus 'war' is a vague term. If group A attacks group B to take what they have and group B defends themselves, we have a war. That would not make group A's attack morally acceptable.
   I'm glad to hear Jews only killed their 'enemies' as I would be worried if they killed their friends also!!

Yes, I know the Nazis were murdering so-and-sos. True, only some Jews they killed were combatants. They encountered Jews in the armies of Poland, the US and Russia and of course during the Warsaw Uprising. That last especially, proves a point: simply being armed and a combatant doesn't mean you don't have a just cause, and that somehow you are more deserving of death.

But this sentence "Almost all civilian lives, noncombatants lives. Their existence was their crime. The property, possessions, lands, were de-facto expropriated" could just as well apply today to Palestinian Arabs.

Finally, I quite agree with you on the issue of compensating Jews who were displaced since 1947. Fair is fair, and if Palestinian Arabs should receive compensation or be allowed return to their homes, so of course should Jews who fled Jordan, Iraq or wherever (though I doubt many will want to return to Iraq just now, but that's not their fault).

But further on compensation, I know of no other group of victims in history that have received so much compensation for their woes, both collectively and individually: a country and trillions of dollars. If we were to be fair about it, trillions should be paid to the various Native American Tribes (including those in South America) for the losses they have incurred over centuries of colonisation, Africans for slavery (notwithstanding the complicity of some Africans themselves in same) and of course, the IRISH!! We should get paid something for the natural resources stolen by England - whole forests of oak, gold and copper mined and taken away, the million dead in the potato famine, the money squeezed out of the peasants by absentee landlords so they could get gout with their lifestyles of excess.

How do we quantify misery? How do we put a price tag on suffering? On the loss of the people you love? I don't think we can, we can only work towards a better society and try and ensure these things happen less, and less often. Sometimes that has to mean censuring people, leaders and countries even when we'd prefer not to. We try to undo the past damage and right wrongs as far as we are able. That is part of the rationale behind compenstaing Jews for the holocaust. Is it too much to ask that Palestinian Arabs be treated fairly in the same way, or are they somehow less human? I think before God we are all the same [yes, I know about Israel being the chosen people, but since the time of Jesus that has been extended to the gentiles as well, so it no longer washes]

Sorry about the length of that post. I'm taking coures at present on how to write short posts, but it's not rubbing off yet.

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