Skip to main content

This is a brief outline of the Israel story for people who haven't been keeping up.

This is a revision to an older version, and in the event that this is HRed into oblivion, you can also find
it here, at  my site.

My contention is this is all pretty simple in outline, so I'm keeping it simple... I'll probably post some further supporting material in the next few days.  

Israel was founded in 1948 by edict of the UN.  The rationale was that after their persecution at the hands of the Nazis the Jews needed a nation of their own.

The Palestinians are the people who were living there at the time. They call this event the Nakbah, meaning "the catastrophe".

(And now you know more than most people who watch television news.)

In 1967, Israel conquered adjacent territory (the "Six-Day War"), and since then they've been a rogue state by UN standards.

(And now you know more than everyone who watches television news.)

Gaza is effectively a large refugee camp, crowded with Palestinians displaced by Israel.  They've been struggling to survive an Israeli blockade that was imposed after Hamas became the elected government in 2006.

(And now, we're way off the "mainstream" map...)

The American left does not call for the elimination of Israel, but rather for it to return to it's pre-1967 borders, aka the Green Line. Israel says those borders are "non-defensible", and has moved in "settlers" as fast as they could, which complicates any negotiations.

There's a monotonous pattern toward events in the Middle East: Negotiations collapse in out-breaks of violence, with lots of finger pointing.  Sorting out whose fault it is often seems complicated, but left-wing observers such as Chomsky argue that the blame clearly rests with Israel and the US.

(And this is not a position you'll see discussed in the New York Times, let alone on television.)

You will then hear complaints about Israel's actions being a "disproportionate response", which is to say that they've killed a lot of innocent civilians again.

Israel gets a lot of money from the US to do all this: we fund around a quarter of it's military ($3 billion per year).

It would seem that nothing would be simpler than for the US to get Israel to tone-down it's act, but instead any successful American politician is required to recite a pro-Israel line.

That includes Hillary Clinton: as Senator of New York, she invited it's citizens to consider how they were feel if they were being attacked by Canada.

(If we're doing absurd analogies, I might ask how they would feel if New Jersey were blockading Manhattan...  Or how they would feel if the UN had put Israel in Brooklyn.)

And why was a place of refuge for European Jews created in the Middle East?  This has to do with "Zionism", a doctrine based on the biblical stories about the historical Israel.  Why secular institutions like the UN and the US backed a particular biblical interpretation is another question.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site