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Criticism of Israel or Jews?


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#1 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 01:37 PM

[I am]... saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps, be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk...litics-23361380

So, a Lib-Dem MP has been expelled from the party for the above comment. He said it on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, or rather, he wrote it on his website. He refused to apologise and then went on to post:
 

Am I wrong or are am I right? At long last the #Zionists are losing the battle - how long can the #apartheid State of #Israel last?

Now although he had something of a point, he used entirely the wrong words. It's not, the Jews. It's a section of Jewish Israeli society, partially funded by Jewish and Christian fundamentalists. Even then, it's not all Jewish and Christian fundamentalists that are funding this section of Jewish Israeli society. It's probably not as hard hitting though.

And of course, he probably chose the wrong moment to say it. Or did he? Was he wrong to choose that moment to criticise the Israelis for what they're doing?

Edited by Wolf O'Donnell, 18 July 2013 - 01:38 PM.


#2 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 06:54 PM

I think if he had said "some Jews" instead of "the Jews" I'd be fine with the statement.

#3 Egann

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:32 PM

I don't get why people treat offensive statements like they're a big deal. Back in the fifties, a movie showing a married couple in bed together was offensive unless one of them had their feet on the ground. That's how arbitrary being offensive can be.

 

Tangent time!

 

In its simplest form, a right is a rule physical bodies interact. Life, liberty, and property, the good old Lockian three rights, are about physical interactions: no one will murder you, impinge upon your actions, or unreasonably interact with your personal effects. Heck, even the right to vote is basically a right to put a specific person's body into a specific position, or to modify a rule about physical interaction.

 

Your ideas and beliefs, however, are a fundamentally different thing. They're not physically present the way your body is. They are, fundamentally, a metaphysical entity. In fact, as that ideas shape how government is arranged and not the other way around, ideas are metaphysically superior to government and therefore government has no authority over them. Ideas and beliefs are literally outside of the government's jurisdiction.

 

 

So, in this case? A statement can only be offensive as much as it is true--and we call it slander as much as it is false. This guy is saying something patently false: he implies the Jews are all evil-doers and the Palestinians are mostly innocent victims. That's not anywhere close to true. Why are we calling this offensive when it is more accurate to call it slander?



#4 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:50 PM

So, in this case? A statement can only be offensive as much as it is true--and we call it slander as much as it is false. This guy is saying something patently false: he implies the Jews are all evil-doers and the Palestinians are mostly innocent victims. That's not anywhere close to true. Why are we calling this offensive when it is more accurate to call it slander?

Because he probably didn't MEAN to imply those outrageous things, he just inadvertently did so because he didn't care to use more sensitive language. Or at least I would hope.

#5 Selena

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 08:15 PM

Criticizing Israel is generally considered taboo in both the UK and the US, because we were the largest forces behind its creation. To speak out against it, acknowledging that the Israeli government is actually kind of a problem, indirectly faults us as well. And, as a matter of pride, that simply will not do. Criticizing Israel automatically labels you as being "anti-Semitic" by the political media due to how touchy the west is about the subject. It was doubly bad on his part due to the timing of his statements.

 

Ugh. Israel. Politically, it was one of the worst decisions the UN ever made - at least in how it went down. A major force behind creating Israel was the simple fact that a ton of first world nations were, oddly enough, legit anti-Semitic at the time and didn't want to take in refugees from the War. So they created Israel as a sinkhole for all the displaced Jews, but in doing so made all those Jews the immediate enemy of all surrounding Arab nations, resulting in continual war.  Also resulted in an increasingly hard-lined Israeli government in order to survive all that violence, which only served to worsen the problem.

 

Well done, guys.



#6 arunma

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:26 AM

OK, let's be honest with ourselves.  Most Jews support the state of Israel, the same way most blacks hate Zimmerman, the same way I'll support India even though it's government is stupid, etc.  It's not so much about race (i.e. skin color) as national identity.  As Americans we're all a nation of immigrants; everyone other than the native Americans are from somewhere, and we're going to support our perceived "motherland" at some level.  For Jews it's Israel.  To me this is natural and shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.  Most Americans are probably biased towards some foreign country when it comes to international politics.

 

What I'd propose is that we set accusations of racism aside and look at this objectively.  Specifically, though, let's look at it in terms of what's best for America.  Supporting Israel does have it's advantages because it gives us some level of influence in the Middle East.  On the other hand it can be harmful because it makes Muslims hate us.  Truthfully, I don't really know whether it's in America's best interest to support Israel, or tell them they're on their own.

 

Here's what I do know.  The statement "Israel is God's chosen nation and we need to get as many Jews as possible there to make Jesus come back" is absolutely not a good reason to support Israel.  Neither is atonement for the holocaust, since we weren't remotely responsible for that.  And in the interest of further honesty, it is simultaneously true that Israel treats the Palestinians like shit and that they respond by firing rockets at Israeli settlements.  Neither action is good, but to be fair the Palestinians were there first when the Israelis displaced them.

 

The muddy waters here are yet another reason I must ask why America's even getting our hands dirty in any of this.  When it comes to the international level, I really have no problem with saying that America comes first.  Let those guys kill each other, and how about we stay out of it.  This is a half-century old conflict and we probably aren't going to solve it with meddling.



#7 Egann

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 11:18 PM

 

So, in this case? A statement can only be offensive as much as it is true--and we call it slander as much as it is false. This guy is saying something patently false: he implies the Jews are all evil-doers and the Palestinians are mostly innocent victims. That's not anywhere close to true. Why are we calling this offensive when it is more accurate to call it slander?

Because he probably didn't MEAN to imply those outrageous things, he just inadvertently did so because he didn't care to use more sensitive language. Or at least I would hope.

 

The implication is a bit strong and one-sided for me to buy it was entirely unintentional. The comparison to the holocaust may be unintentionally too drastic, and implying that both sides have uniform mindsets may just be an oversimplification for twitter, but he never once acknowledges or even implies that Palestinians may be partly to blame. He clearly thinks the lions share of the blame resides with the Jews. That cannot possibly be an unintentional implication.

 

 

OK, let's be honest with ourselves.  Most Jews support the state of Israel, the same way most blacks hate Zimmerman, the same way I'll support India even though it's government is stupid, etc.  It's not so much about race (i.e. skin color) as national identity....

 

What I'd propose is that we set accusations of racism aside and look at this objectively.  Specifically, though, let's look at it in terms of what's best for America.  Supporting Israel does have it's advantages because it gives us some level of influence in the Middle East.  On the other hand it can be harmful because it makes Muslims hate us.  Truthfully, I don't really know whether it's in America's best interest to support Israel, or tell them they're on their own.

I like the idea of Israel being there. The Arab world is violent, unstable, and irrational. It's like having a rabid dog as a next door neighbor. If those disorganized and unstable Arab states suddenly organize themselves into a World War IV adversary, their first move will be to eliminate Israel if it's there. If Israel weren't there, we would likely see much more terrorist action and possibly even organized military assaults directed at us in the West, because the Arab demagogues have made it relatively clear they don't like us.

 

Put another way, there's a narrow window while the world is being weaned off Arab oil when a lot of Saudi princes will find themselves still rich, but their nations declining quickly as Western wealth leaves. In the West, this would be no big deal: logging dried up? Switch to farming. But the Arabs? These people have never had an industry which the West did not hand them on a silver platter. They don't understand making a new living. They will understand their old living is gone, they will be upset, and they will want to go to war because they understand war. And the primary target of that war? Me, and the rest of the Western world that made them wealthy only to take that wealth away again.

 

I want Israel to be there distracting them from this as long as possible. If they exhaust their wealth on a war against Israel, it won't wind up turned against me.

 

Now that you are convinced I should be wearing a tin foil hat, I will shut up.



#8 TheAvengerLever

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 12:50 AM

I understood where you were coming from, Egann, but you made it sound as if you're thoughts on Israel are that they should be like child strapped to your chest to block incoming bullets in a gun fight.

 

Yeah, everywhere I go, no one is talking about what the Palestinians are doing. Everyone is just trying to paint Israel to be a country of Hitlers, and it very much bothers me. It makes me think that people believe the Palestinians should be taken care of like African children in war torn countries. You poor, poor Palestinian terrorists (that make up a tiny minority) who have killed indiscriminately, let me give you a hug and donate to your food drive.

 

Yeah, Israel has made some pretty stupid decisions against Palestinians and Palestinian refugees, but this situation is not simple and therefore there cannot be simple, effective decision making.


Edited by TheAvengerLever, 20 July 2013 - 12:50 AM.


#9 Selena

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 02:00 AM

Yes, most modern liberals heap praise upon Palestine and ignore all of its faults -- of course, most of them don't even bother to research the entire conflict and just go off of the "big fish picking on little fish" theme. ...Same reason I never really trust anyone wearing a Che Guevara shirt, really.

 

They're both awful, and neither deserve the holy lands they're fighting for any more. Assuming you place any weight upon the holiness of said lands, anyway. The "morality balance" slides from decade to decade. Some years the Palestinians are more atrocious. Other years the Israelis are. I do appreciate Palestine's (mostly failed) efforts to go through proper UN channels recently, but firing rockets isn't going to help anyone's cause.

 

Unless you have gigantic super-powerful rockets.

 

Then you can pretty much do whatever you want.

 

See the world's major powers.



#10 Egann

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 12:54 PM

I understood where you were coming from, Egann, but you made it sound as if you're thoughts on Israel are that they should be like child strapped to your chest to block incoming bullets in a gun fight.

 

It's more like our house has a machine gun nest, the Arabs have a mortar, and the Israelis between us have a concealed carry permit and a sidearm. They're not helpless, but they aren't exactly well armed, either.



#11 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 01:18 PM

I must state though, if Guy DeLisle's Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City is to be believed, the Israeli newspapers are just as critical as the Lib-Dem MP. I went to Ha'Aretz's online English-language presence and I didn't have to go very far before I saw this article where Israeli settlement movement is compared to suicide bombing.

Then I found another article where someone from within Israel itself warns that the Israeli Government's newest initiative is more fascist than ideological.

http://www.haaretz.c...4791?block=true

Then again, there's another telling story in Mr DeLisle's Jerusalem. A friend of his laments that he can't find a decent tennis player to play against, because everybody seems to exaggerate how good they are.

Edited by Toan, 23 July 2013 - 09:45 PM.
Wolf's post was HTML-encoded for some reason - I cleaned it up to fit LA's BBCode formatting.


#12 Aewon

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 01:30 PM

I don't get why people treat offensive statements like they're a big deal. Back in the fifties, a movie showing a married couple in bed together was offensive unless one of them had their feet on the ground. That's how arbitrary being offensive can be.

 

Tangent time!

 

In its simplest form, a right is a rule physical bodies interact. Life, liberty, and property, the good old Lockian three rights, are about physical interactions: no one will murder you, impinge upon your actions, or unreasonably interact with your personal effects. Heck, even the right to vote is basically a right to put a specific person's body into a specific position, or to modify a rule about physical interaction.

 

Your ideas and beliefs, however, are a fundamentally different thing. They're not physically present the way your body is. They are, fundamentally, a metaphysical entity. In fact, as that ideas shape how government is arranged and not the other way around, ideas are metaphysically superior to government and therefore government has no authority over them. Ideas and beliefs are literally outside of the government's jurisdiction.

 

 

So, in this case? A statement can only be offensive as much as it is true--and we call it slander as much as it is false. This guy is saying something patently false: he implies the Jews are all evil-doers and the Palestinians are mostly innocent victims. That's not anywhere close to true. Why are we calling this offensive when it is more accurate to call it slander?

 

I bet a lot of Germans said something similar in 1932...



#13 Nevermind

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 09:13 PM

We've hit Godwin-speed in 0-12 posts.

 

 

Is this a record?



#14 Crimson Lego

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 09:23 PM

The gay misogyny thread had 17, so apparently so.



#15 Sir Deimos

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 09:37 PM

Pack it in. It's over. We won this whole internet game.

#16 arunma

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 10:18 PM

So, in this case? A statement can only be offensive as much as it is true--and we call it slander as much as it is false. This guy is saying something patently false: he implies the Jews are all evil-doers and the Palestinians are mostly innocent victims. That's not anywhere close to true. Why are we calling this offensive when it is more accurate to call it slander?


You sure this is true?  Slander offends people just as much as harsh language that's true.  True, someone will likely be offended when called out on the truth.  But people are likewise offended when one lies about them.



#17 Egann

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 08:18 AM

 

So, in this case? A statement can only be offensive as much as it is true--and we call it slander as much as it is false. This guy is saying something patently false: he implies the Jews are all evil-doers and the Palestinians are mostly innocent victims. That's not anywhere close to true. Why are we calling this offensive when it is more accurate to call it slander?


You sure this is true?  Slander offends people just as much as harsh language that's true.  True, someone will likely be offended when called out on the truth.  But people are likewise offended when one lies about them.

 

Well, the real difference is that slander can also be criminal. You don't go to jail for telling people the truth, no matter how painful it is to hear.



#18 Steel Samurai

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 07:13 PM

Tell that to Edward Snowden.



#19 arunma

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:19 AM

 

Well, the real difference is that slander can also be criminal. You don't go to jail for telling people the truth, no matter how painful it is to hear.

 

The "truth" is difficult to discern, and in this case is surrounded by enough ideology that no one's going to jail for anything.  If nothing else, someone who says "All Jews are evil-doers and Palestinians are mostly innocent" is going to get off on the grounds that he's employing hyperbole.  And besides, slander has to have a victim, and "the Jews" don't qualify from a legal standpoint.

 

The point here is that offensive things aren't necessarily true.  Let's not start confusing offensiveness with virtue.  Sometimes it's necessary, yes.  But it's something to be avoided when possible.

 

Tell that to Edward Snowden.

 

Heh, touche.



#20 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 03:15 PM

I understood where you were coming from, Egann, but you made it sound as if you're thoughts on Israel are that they should be like child strapped to your chest to block incoming bullets in a gun fight.

It's more like our house has a machine gun nest, the Arabs have a mortar, and the Israelis between us have a concealed carry permit and a sidearm. They're not helpless, but they aren't exactly well armed, either.


I'm sorry, I just noticed this statement. So... the Israelis having nuclear weapons is counted as not being well-armed? They're fantastically well-armed. The only problem is that they're likely to be outgunned.

#21 arunma

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 12:03 AM


 

I'm sorry, I just noticed this statement. So... the Israelis having nuclear weapons is counted as not being well-armed? They're fantastically well-armed. The only problem is that they're likely to be outgunned.

 

 

Well to be fair to him, I think that Israeli use of nukes is more or less off the table.  Most Israelis are economically well-to-do, and have something to lose from a nuclear war.  Even if they were willing to give up their breathable air, I think the use of nuclear weapons is something the United States would disallow.  And we have more nukes.



#22 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 01:05 PM

I'm sorry, I just noticed this statement. So... the Israelis having nuclear weapons is counted as not being well-armed? They're fantastically well-armed. The only problem is that they're likely to be outgunned.

 
Well to be fair to him, I think that Israeli use of nukes is more or less off the table.  Most Israelis are economically well-to-do, and have something to lose from a nuclear war.  Even if they were willing to give up their breathable air, I think the use of nuclear weapons is something the United States would disallow.  And we have more nukes.


Well, it's not just the nukes. Maybe it's just me being not overly versed with military equipment, but they look pretty well armed with up to date weaponry. They've got the Iron Dome anti-ballistic missile system. They've manufactured their own weapons, airplanes, tanks.

#23 JoshCube

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 10:26 PM

There are several reasons why the world hates Israel, and why Israel gets tons of criticism.

 

The first concept here is money, and it has been proven in my classes that a lot of companies in the U.S. and in other parts of the world are owned by Jewish families. Hollywood is actually one of the biggest money making revenues in the U.S., and Jews own a very large portion of this. It has also been proven as a fact that the government has close connections to these big movie corporate and corporate hot shots in order to generate money into the country. This is why you rarely see the FBI and police arresting corporate CEOs for white collar crimes they have committed, yet they are quick to arrest some Joe off the street that's robbing a gas station with a gun. When I took criminology class, it explained in my lecture that a large number of white collar crimes go untouched for this reason. In general, it's all a big money making business, and the government would rather take money from these corporations rather than throwing the owners in prison. The general thumb of rule is that if you're a rich person in the U.S., you have much to say. If you're a poor person, you have no say.

 

The second concept is religion. Christianity was a religion created by people somewhat originating around 2,000 years ago in countries like Greece and Rome; and it's main purpose was to wipe out all other existing religions. It copied many religions in the process, but the one major religion that they copied was Judaism. Not only that, but Judaism has been considered likeable in Christianity due to the events of the Old Testament, and Jesus walking around preaching about what YHWH said to the Hebrews. America and Israel are the two countries that are very influenced with these two religions, and a large amount of other countries in the world consider these to be "bullshit cults" to control the masses. The UK and Australia are two countries that I always hear having people badmouth these religions, and it is likely because these countries are known for Atheist beliefs. Israel has this motto that the "Jews are God's chosen", and people hate them for this reason (except the Christians of course). As for the Nazi party, Hitler and his men were influenced by Catholicism, which has different beliefs of Christianity. They wanted to annihilate the Jews, because the New Testament states that the Jews were responsible for having Jesus killed on the cross. The Jews didn't kill Jesus, they had him arrested, and a Roman stabbed him with a spear.

 

The third concept is politics. Because America is the backbone of Israel, it tries to police the world with these western laws, and using religion as a source to back them up. Other countries are tired of America meddling in other countries, and do not want their beliefs and laws interfering. One major example is how this country is very much against gay marriage (although this is slowly loosening up), and having sexual intercourse with a relative lands you in prison (except in the state of NJ). Other countries have completely legalized gay marriage, and having sex with a relative may not be considered to be a large offense, or even illegal in general. When America invades another country, they spam the media with this "we did this for a good cause" belief, and people actually give in to this. One example was when the media claimed that Al Qaeda caused 9/11, and America invaded due to reports of WoMDs. Bush lied about the WoMD's, so there was no reason to attack the entire country of Iraq based on an attack conducted by Iraqi terrorists. The main reason the U.S. invaded was to take oil.

 

Another example was the Boston Bombing. When the FBI arrested the two guys that conducted the bombing, there was no evidence shown that these guys were responsible. The media's "they were walking calmly" evidence is a complete joke. I am going into law school, and a video camera showing someone walking away from a crime scene is considered to not be enough evidence to convict someone. What raises more suspicion is that they claimed that the kids were related to some Islamic identity. Again, the government pointed fingers at someone, and refused to provide evidence. This is why more and more people are suspicious of the government, and are starting to believe that these terrorists attacks are influenced by government officials. For the fact that the government is willing to arrest you and put you on trial for mere suspicion breaks about five lines in the U.S. constitution. I believe that if this abuse of power continues, America is going to be punished.

 

 These are the three on the top of my head. There's more reasons that include jealousy, the Islamic hatred, and so forth, but I'll be typing here all day if I continue to go on. I just wanted to point out the major reasons.


Edited by JoshCube, 05 April 2014 - 01:34 AM.





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