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This latest skirmish between Israel and its enemies makes one wonder whether this conflict will ever end. More importantly it makes you wonder whether anyone wants it to end. Many polticians seem to need this never ending conflict as political fodder.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That describes 60 years of Mid-East "peace" proposals. Do the Jews belong in the Middle East? They certainly did 2000 years ago, but maybe this is a different time.

Israel was supposedly founded as a secular state. However, its leaders keep saying that "this is the land God gave to us". You can't have it both ways. We have been applying secular solutions to this problem. Can you apply secular solutions to "The Holy Land"? This is not a secular issue like abortion or gay rights.

Whenever anyone opposes Israel, Jewish Leaders immediately Point To The BIBLE and say that the fact that the land was promised to them is all that matters. There is a however a later passage in that same OLD Testament that few are aware of. It reads:

"Moreover, I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more."  2Samuel 7:10 and 1Chronicles 17:9

This is definitely not referring to the land of Canaan because they were already firmly planted in that land at the time that this was written. To what new promised homeland could it be referring?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    rmx2630, ladybug4you
    Hidden by:
  •  Jews have always been in the Middle East (7+ / 0-)

    Since classical times, there have been strong Jewish communities in Iran, Iraq, Egypt, North Africa, Asia Minor, Central Asia... and Palestine.

    The problem was never Jews; it was colonists. Under the British mandate, large numbers of Europeans settled in Palestine; in 1948 the colonists proclaimed the state of Israel, and they and their descendants have controlled it ever since, effectively annexing the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights in 1967.

    In this light, the modern state of Israel can be seen as the successor of the medieval Kingdom of Jerusalem.

    At this point, there can be no question of sending the colonists back where they came from; all but the oldest Israelis know no other homeland. Like the Afrikaners of South Africa, they have every right to live in peace, but then so do the Palestinians.

    The Bible is a collection of ancient writings by authors who could never have foreseen the modern world and would be utterly at sea in it. No one should accept that the Bible has any special authority
    or wisdom concerning Israel or Palestine today. To its modern residents who only want to live without fear of violence, Jerusalem's holy status is something of a curse.

  •  Two things (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, ExStr8, MBNYC, IndieGuy

    1) We're well past the point where some Biblical claim is the basis for Israeli policies. I haven't heard that since the 70s.

    2) Since the Bible is gibberish, who cares what it says?

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:40:48 AM PST

    •  Not true, unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dogs are fuzzy

      Israel is not monolithic, and they have right wingers that make ours look like progressives.   The settlement movement consists of some of the most extreme humans on the planet;  god gave them the land and they are going to take it no matter who else happens to be in the way (including other Jews.)  

      Whenver you hear someone from Israel talk of "Judea and Samria" instead of "West Bank" you have people relying on religious (not Biblica) claims to the land.

      Israel is incredibly complex.   There are religious Jews in Israel who oppose the whole idea of a Jewish state and there are Haredi Jews who seem to be trying to create some sort of throwback to the fifth century (they riot against businesses open on Sabbath or when women ride on the same bus as men.)

      Ultra-Orthodox activists hung posters throughout religious neighborhoods in Jerusalem Thursday announcing a demonstration Friday against the opening of a parking lot in the city center on the Sabbath. ...

      The proposal to temporarily close the parking lot is intended to prevent an outburst of violence similar to last week, when thousands of ultra-Orthodox residents clashed with police.

      Protesters said the opening of the parking lot violated the Sabbath and upset the status quo in the city, while Barkat maintained the lot was badly needed to address a serious parking shortage caused by the closure of parking lots elsewhere in the city over the weekend in response to ultra-Orthodox demands.

      (just one example, I first heard of the issue when Haredi rioters attacked Intel for being open on Sabbath.)
  •  your house (10+ / 0-)
    To what new promised homeland could it be referring?
    please have some chinese food in the frig. we love chinese food.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:53:29 AM PST

  •  Erm. (11+ / 0-)
    Do the Jews belong in the Middle East?
    Oh shit, please tell me I don't have to go back to England.

    Fuck you, I put on pants yesterday.

    by MBNYC on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:00:12 AM PST

  •  Serious answer? (3+ / 0-)

    You are misreading the texts of 2Sam and 1Chron. The issue there isn't whether Canaan is the "right" place but whether David, as a man of war, is the right leader to build the Temple.

    Less serious answer? Pffffffffffffffffffffffffffffft...

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:27:13 AM PST

  •  Look (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, chuck utzman, Ahianne

    There are two bases, in my view, of Israel's modern existence. The one important one is the legal creation of the nations of Israel and Palestine after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. No less valid than the creation of Rwanda and Burundi or Croatia and Serbia or Iraq and Iran or any other nation created in the aftermath of the collapse of an empire. Unless we start from scratch I see no reason to call into question the nations formed from these collapses. After all, the Empires were artificial creations to start with and there is no one valid way to carve them up. To me the existence of Israel and Palestine are as legal and binding as the existence of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and it is actually rather disgusting that so many people try to deny one or the other's right to exist.

    In terms of why Israel was carved out of the Ottoman Empire is because Jews (much like Palestinians and Lebanese) by any measure trace their ancestry back to Canaan. They have also always lived in Canaan even as they spread through a diaspora. It is the one and only place that has ever been recognized as their homeland. They are tied to the area as much as Serbs are to Serbia, Armenians are to Armenia, etc. Does not give anyone an exclusive claim to a place, but it does mean that when an Empire gets carved up it gives someone a claim. And that claim, along with that of the Palestinians, was legally recognized when the corpse of the Ottoman Empire was finally carved up.

    Bible has little to do with it. Those who take the bible most literally do not recognize modern Israel.

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

    by mole333 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:43:24 AM PST

    •  You are choosing to omit some very important (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, chuck utzman, Dogs are fuzzy

      information here - when Britain rolled back the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I it acquired responsibility for managing major areas of the Middle East through League of Nations mandates. Without getting into issues of how well the British discharged their League of Nations mandates, the legal intent was to oversee territories until they could gain their independence (here is wikipedia on the mandate for Palestine).

      The reason why Israel was carved out of Palestine had little to do with ancient claims - on that basis in no part of the planet would there be settled ownership. Israel emerges fairly directly from the Balfour Declaration which committed the British to the creation of a Jewish homeland in the soon to be acquired territory of Palestine - notwithstanding the fact T.E Lawrence was at the same time promising Arabs their own overlapping homeland. In the immediate aftermath of the war and the mandate for Palestine the territory contained roughly 85,000 Jews and 643,000 Arabs. As this article on Jewish immigration data shows, the British were caught in a balancing act between allowing increasing Jewish immigration (the high point being 1935) and growing restiveness amongst the Arab population that their also promised land was being taken away from them. The article I linked to is clearly pro-Jewish, and I could probably find other sources that are pro-Arab.

      What is clear is that the real history of modern Israel's emergence has become highly politicized and American accounts in particular tend to omit the crucial events of the British mandate during which a small initial population of Jews expands to the point they can take control of a significant portion of Palestine. Two drastically different accounts of this period can be found in the schools of Israel and the West Bank - neither of them distinguished by historical accuracy.

      The fact is that Israel was a de-facto colony built up by immigration from mostly Eastern Europe - and in that way fundamentally differs from all the historical analogies in your comment. In 1915 there would have been no significant community outside Jerusalem where Jews would have been in the majority.

      My wife's great aunt was one of those Zionist pioneers who immigrated in the 1920s to the new city of Tel Aviv, and in 1942 my wife's father had escaped the Soviet gulag when the British were finally able to press the Soviets to release 100,000 Polish prisoners via Persia. I have a photo of him strolling the promenade of Tel Aviv in a British Army uniform in 1943 with his aunt, and behind them is the new city, which had barely existed 20 years earlier, and now eclipsed the old historical town of Jaffa at the southern edge.

      The point of this detail is that the question of whether Israel should exist is not as outrageous as many would like to pretend. I personally think it should - within the 1967 boundaries - but its emergence as half of a divided Palestine in 1948 MUST be understood in the context of the mandate - and the misery and bitterness heaped upon the Palestinians needs to be understood from the same framework. I'm an optimist who can imagine Jews and Palestinians each with viable productive states (well what's supportable with climate change) living side by side - but we cannot get there by resorting to selective memories.

      •  Balfour declaration (0+ / 0-)

        For general information, not to support or contradict anyone's posts here, it is really instructive to look up the history of the Balfour declaration. In several ways it's the opposite of what you'd expect.

      •  A good book (0+ / 0-)

        "A Peace to End All Peace" -- post WW I history of the area.

      •  Yes and no (0+ / 0-)

        Line drawn at the break up of Empires often involves the movement of populations (e.g. India/ of the largest ever), immigration and emigration, etc. Israel/Palestine was not that different. There hadn't been an independent Israeli or Palestinian state since ancient times, so neither existed as an independent entity except in the context of antiquity. Furthermore, many of those who went to Israel as it was being created were expelled or had to flee from the nations they had lived in throughout the Middle East and Europe. Suffering by Palestinians was very real but so was the suffering of many Jews who were forced out of Muslim nations throughout the area. And I do think it is a context that has to be considered as well.

        I think you and I probably agree more than disagree on the whole mess. I just don't see the creation of Israel and Palestine as all that different from the creation of any other post-colonial nation...right down to the fact that post-colonialism had more in common with colonialism than most people realize. Africa in particular to this day is haunted by ethnic divides that were largely created by European meddling and before colonialism were not rigid enough to cause major problems. The Hutu/Tutsi problems that is so destructive to at least four nations in Africa today is largely due to Belgian policies that then became part of the post-colonial age.

        I guess my point is that yes, much or all of what you say is true, but I am not sure it changes what I said all that much.

        FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

        by mole333 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:39:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They are there. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, JoanMar, Ahianne

    That is the existent situation that is a reality and as such they have a right to exist.  "Where" is a moot point.  Where they are - that's what is.  And a peace must be constructed with this.  There is absolutely no argument that they have a right to exist where they are, and if one tries to go there, all bets are off.  You can't negotiate with someone who denies that most basic of rights.

    And all of this applies to the Palestinian people as well.  They are there, have been there, and have a right to exist.  A two state solution (if a one state solution with no preferential status for Jewish Israelis cannot be achieved,  a true democracy/secular state) is the only rational answer.

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:10:02 AM PST

  •  Hanukkah is just around the corner. (4+ / 0-)

    Here's a link to a good latke recipe.

    Don't make it sound like the Jews are the only crazy ones here. There is plenty of blame to go around in this several- thousand-year- old dance.

    The more we are, the less we need.

    by Fiddlegirl on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:16:52 AM PST

  •  Anyone up for solving what we are still (9+ / 0-)

    doing wrong to Native Americans before we act like experts on how to solve  similar Israel v Palestine issues?

    We've had a longer time, bigger lands, and killed off a bigger percentage of indiginous population  --- but we do not have clean hands.  Not just centuries ago.

    We are still violating treaties, and still relying via SCOTUS decision too recent to be believable  (I was certainly shocked) which is based on a very old Papal Bull declaring our right to abuse them because they were "heathen."

    Just because there are not rockets flying -- doesn't mean things are okay.

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:20:31 AM PST

    •  OT - But do you have a link (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama

      to the SCOTUS decision you reference? I would be interested in knowing more about that.

      •  Here's a good link to start with which (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        gives a good history of both the religious  specifics and Justice Marshalls' weasel wording to screen their use of religious law to justify this civil law.

        It is called the Doctrine of Discovery.  The church hasn't recanted yet.  This link gives a good synopsis in a couple of clear pages.

        I couldn't find the most recent SCOTUS case reaffirming this dumb doctrine yet.  Figured you could scan this one for background while i try again to find that most recent case.  

        De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

        by Neon Mama on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 12:32:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Found it. What shocked me is that it was (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, PeterHug

        iin 1990.  Have fun.  It is from wikipedia.

        Duro v. Reina, 495 U.S. 676 (1990), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court concluded that Indian tribes could not prosecute Indians who were members of other tribes for crimes committed by those nonmember Indians on their reservations. The decision was not well received by the tribes, because it defanged their criminal codes by depriving them of the power to enforce them against anyone except their own members. In response, Congress amended a section of the Indian Civil Rights Act, 25 U.S.C. ยง 1301, to include the power to "exercise criminal jurisdiction over all Indians" as one of the powers of self-government.

        De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

        by Neon Mama on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:17:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mideast peace. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Sue B, Dogs are fuzzy

    Israel has nothing to gain by making peace. (or only a little gain in international respect).  They don't need peace, and with nickle and diming the settlement expansions, they have at least some hope of grabbing more territory with the passage of time. And remember: this is not a contest between equals.  Israel is the tiger and Palestine is the mouse.

    •  I wonder if the Crusaders said that sixty years (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      into their temporary occupation which was decisively terminated.

      One of the points not being discussed here, which should be IMO is the difference between a right to be there and a right to be there exclusive of any rights of anyone else also there. Two entirely different issues.

  •  Okay... I'm going to post this reply from (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Kane in CA, MBNYC, protectspice

    the safety of my sub-basement, wearing my flack jacket.

    First: of the fourteen million members of our tiny tribe, last I heard there were approximately six million living in Israel, seven million in the US, and a million scattered throughout the rest of the world.  So one could, based on numbers alone, argue that the US is our true (but not exclusive) homeland.

    Second... and I only ever seem to speak of destiny when it comes to us... perhaps it's our true "destiny" to never have a homeland.  We were nomads to begin with; since then we've been driven from nation and state after nation and state by pogroms  in one form or another.  I believe this as firmly as I believe it is our destiny, now that we are free (though not free from hatred), to fight for all those who are not.  

    And lastly, why was the current Israel chosen as a location?  Might it not have been a British/US plan to gain a foothold in an oil-rich region?

    I think it's a valuable question to ponder, whether we decide Israel belongs where it is or not.

    I'm gonna burrow a little deeper now, before the rotten fruit starts flying at me.

    "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

    by Yasuragi on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:06:59 AM PST

    •  Why was the current Israel chosen? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Because it is the historic homeland of the Jewish People, the same way Tibet is the homeland of the Tibetans. Jews had been declaring their intention to return to their land for almost 2000 years. You write as if the idea just popped into somebody's head once oil became important.

      Please visit:

      by Noisy Democrat on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:13:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it was a land without a people.... (0+ / 0-)

        that was it, wasn't it?  (Not that it was actually an accurate description of the place....)

        for a people without a land - true enough, and even more so post Holocaust.

        historic homeland stuff seems more recent.

      •  No, I'm not that ignorant. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, protectspice

        But the bulk of folks who emigrated there and became citizens, as I understand it, were from Europe and Russia, not the Middle East.

        "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

        by Yasuragi on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:07:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's like saying lots of Tibetans are from India (0+ / 0-)

          when in fact they were born there because their parents were pushed out by the Chinese. Jews were in exile from their national homeland and living in diaspora, including Russia and other parts of Europe. It doesn't change the fact that they considered Israel their national homeland and prayed three times a day to return there.

          Please visit:

          by Noisy Democrat on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:43:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Oil (0+ / 0-)

      The Western powers had already set up client states in the places that actually had oil, and the relations between the Zionists and the British were outright violent.

  •  phenomenal idea!!! (2+ / 0-)

    Let's ask the 6,000,000 Jews/Israelis of Jewish descent living in Israel to consider your decontextualized misreading of biblical texts (even though the majority of them do not read it literally and many see it as devoid of any authority whatsoever) to figure out the location of their biblically alluded to homeland (which might be in your parents' garage).  Then we (yes, I'm typing in Jerusalem) can self-deport there and the middle east will become a progressive humanist utopia.

    Absolutely brilliant.  Take a bow.  Blessed are the peacemakers.

    Perhaps next time you might also specify which Jewish leaders you are referring to and cite their statements so we can determine whether they are representative and relevant...

  •  How far back do we go counting "homelands." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Palestine is fairly recent name in world history.  When the British wrote the Balfour Declaration -- promising to eventually free "Palestinians" from their empire AND to establish a Jewish homeland in a portion of Palestine--->
    Palestine included a much bigger chunk of land.

    The British stalled & stirred up trouble for decades.  When it became clear they'd have to keep their promises soon, they lopped off that eastern chunk of Palestine and "freed" it as Trans Jordan.   This was just two years before UN blessed the partition of the tiny remnant of Palestine into Israel and Palestine.

    Jordan just sucked that whole country up without much fuss and herded Palestinian "refugees" in camps there ever since.  Why is there no move to give THAT land back to Palestinians?  

    I'm sick of mideast and western nations continuing to stir the hatred between  two semitic peoples -- who have more in common with each other than manipulative outsiders do.  

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:32:10 AM PST

  •  What is your point? nt (0+ / 0-)

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:40:08 AM PST

  •  You're hearing things (2+ / 0-)

    that aren't there.

    However, its leaders keep saying that "this is the land God gave to us".
    You may think that Israeli leaders use that line. But it's more often a line projected by those opposed to Israel's existence. I'm not saying it never happens, a stray MK may say it now and then (though I can't remember the last time I heard it). But it is NOT a line commonly heard from Israeli leaders.  

    You only wish it was so your narrative makes sense. It doesn't.

  •  Since my wife's family are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, angry marmot

    part of the Palestinian diaspora, does that mean that my children can (as Palestinians)  or cannot (as Jews) move there?  Or, can they only half move there?

    Really, you need to rethink the whole reason for writing this diary.  You obviously understand very little about the issue.

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:44:45 PM PST

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