A conversation about Israel and Palestine

There's a local Democratic Party mailing list that I still subscribe to, even though I'm not a Democrat or a voter. Sometimes they have interesting events that I could consider attending, and I know some of the people on the list and enjoy reading what they're saying. I don't contribute to the list very often and have occasionally been put under moderation for my comments. Anyway this is a conversation that just took place. I'll delete the names of the other commenters:

 

Person A:

 

[Name deleted] of course is right.  The U.S. gives Israel more than $7 million per day of our tax money... more than we give to any other country. Obama can tell Congress that if they don't permit the significant tax increases that are desperately needed, he will block all aid to Israel--- which he can do by declaring openly what the whole world already knows: that Israel has nuclear weapons and that these weapons are outside the purview of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Under the Kefauver Act this would make Israel ineligible for US aid. 
 
That $49 million every week that would be saved by not supporting Israel, a nation rightfully despised around the world, could allow the federal government to repair and rebuild the decaying infrastructure in America's major cities, putting hundreds of thousands of unemployed citizens back to meaningful work! But of course we all know he wouldn't dream of doing such a thing! American Zionist money and power are far too important to the Democratic Party to dream of taking such a risk.
 
 
Person B:
 
As someone who lost a childhood pen pal to bombs from Palestinian terrorists attacking innocent school children in Israel, I find this racist rant deeply offensive.  While there have been excesses on both sides, to suggest we throw Israel—a nation founded by Holocaust survivors including family members of mine who survived concentration camps—to the wolves and certain destruction by the Arab nations if the US, Israel’s only strong ally yanked all funding,  is deeply offensive.  I find it very troubling to hear so-called progressives turn their backs on the children of holocaust survivors this way.  The very term “American Zionists” implies there is something wrong with supporting Israel’s right to exist and have one place on earth where Jews can live in peace.

 

There are many Arab countries. Why don’t they help their Palestinian brethren?  They would rather keep this a festering sore in hopes that someday they can drive Israel into the sea, apparently with the full blessing of people like [Person A].

 

Me:

What racist rant, [Person B]? I lost members of my family in the Holocaust, and I have a brother living in an illegal settlement in occupied Palestine, and I saw nothing racist.  

 
Is it racist to mention how much money the US gives Israel? 
 
Is it racist to mention that Israel has nuclear weapons (and tried to sell some to the Apartheid regime in South Africa, which it continued to support after every other country in the world had stopped)? 
 

There's nothing wrong with supporting Israel's right to exist, as long as it becomes a democratic state where both Jews and Palestinians can live in peace as they do here in the U.S. To support Israel as a Jewish state is no different than supporting the US as a Christian nation where non-Christians such as Hindus, Muslims, and Jews would not have equal rights. Many right-wingers would like that. That's racist. Sterotyping all Palestinians or all Arabs as terrorists is also racist. 

 
Many Arab countries have tried to help their Palestinian brethren, only to find themselves attacked or bought off by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
 
When our own heroes marched for Civil Rights in the US, were they trying to drive all non-blacks into the sea? Israel, like the US, was founded on stolen land. The excuse in both cases was the same as the excuse used by Nazi Germany: the search for Lebensraum.
 
If somebody is homeless and has been seriously abused, does that give them the right to take over your home and to imprison or kill you to ensure that you don't try to get it back? I was homeless for many years and I never tried to steal anyone else's home. 
 
I no longer believe that Zionists can be Jewish. Hillel said that the essence of Torah is not to treat your neighbors in ways that you yourself would find hateful. In order to stray from Torah, Zionists have defined the word "neighbor" to mean "a Jew who lives near you." I live in the USA and I have many neighbors, including some from Asia, Africa, South and Central America, and they are ALL my neighbors. It would be racist for me to say that only those with the same skin color or religious beliefs that I have, are really neighbors and that the rest aren't entitled to equal rights. A Jew isn't just somebody with a Jewish mother, but also somebody who follows Torah. By treating their Palestinian neighbors in hateful ways, Zionist Israelis have proven that they do not follow Torah and are therefore not really Jewish. 
 
Yes, there are terrorists who would like to kill us. Right here in the USA. And there are terrorists who would like to kill us here just because they're angry, not because of race, religion, or any other factor. There are evil criminals in this world. More than 90% of them, like Anders Breivik, are non-Muslim, yet the US and Israel focus only on Muslims. That's racist. If a white Christian blows up a building and kills a lot of innocent children (Oklahoma), shouldn't all white Christians be put into concentration camps so that children can live in peace? I'm sure you can recognize that would be racist. If a Jew commits an act of violence, shouldn't all Jews be put into concentration camps so that non-Jews can live in peace? I'm sure you can recognize that would be racist. Why don't you consider Palestinians to be equally human and equally entitled to human rights? Is there any explanation other than racism?
 
As long as you support a government, a political party, and a President guilty of the crime against humanity of drone bombing innocent children in six different countries every day, you are complicit in terrorism yourself and have no moral right to call other people terrorists.
 
 
Person A: 

 

Thank you Mark for the passionate humanity of your comment. As a fellow Jewish American I too loathe the racist state of Israel.
 
Standard and Poor's downgrading of the US economy is less important than for us to acknowledge that with a large, far right-wing contingent in the US Congress that won't permit raising taxes, and with the government spending at least half of US taxpayer monies on hundred-million-dollar-a-day wars of aggression, and with an enormous unemployment problem, the US economy is in dreadful shape. Nor is there anything on the horizon that looks like it will come to the rescue.
 
I thereby humbly suggest that Democratic Clubs around the country coordinate a master plan to put so much pressure on the Obama regime that the fellow is forced to actually end all the malignant wars and bring our troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya (our bombers and billions of dollars), Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia. How about full-page ads in the NY Times and Washington Post from the "Real Democratic Party" (Democratic Clubs around the nation) excoriating Obama for his criminal foreign policy and refusing to raise a single penny for the President's forthcoming election campaign until he ends (not vaguely promises to end) our illegal, immoral, murderous wars that are creating new enemies of the US daily around the entire globe while, at the same time, destroying the Americn economy.
 
Do liberal and self-described "progressive" Democrats have the courage to stand up and save vast numbers of human lives, America's soul (what little remains of it), and our economy? My guess is, the answer is a resounding NO!
 
-----------------------------------
 
I hadn't really expected my comment to be posted. Last year a separate mailing list was opened for discussion of issues regarding Israel and Palestine, so as not to offend people on the primary mailing list. So I expected that my comment would be returned to me with instructions to post it to the other list. This may be a momentary lapse, or it may represent potential progress.
 
If there are further responses, I'll try to post them. 

 

50 years ago

....East Germany put a wall up. Less than 50 years later, Israel decided to do the same thing, perhaps for the same idiotic reasons. I'm afraid there are going to be walls in our lives as long as we live. Put em up, take em down, move em round. Funny, I recently read something someone in Mexico had to say about the walls which seperate Mexico from parts of the southwest USA....something to the extent of there not being a wall as tall as a ladder is long.

There are, duh, always two sides to a wall. And with a wall, propaganda supporting the wall - making it necessary - goes hand in hand. Like, it's there to keep the wolves and the bears out. Okay, that part, I can understand. Archaeologists here recently discovered what must be the remains of a very early, perhaps even celtic (just a phase in our history) dwelling in the woods. What remains to be seen today are the walls. As a like-minded group of families moved away from where they once lived - for whichever reasons - they would choose a new place to stay, dig in and move the earth from the center place to form walls around it. Trees were chopped down and used to increase the heigth of the wall. A gate was built and erected on the east side of the Siedlung. That had something to do with Feng Shui or whatever it was they believed in back then. One area within the walls was designated as the trash dump, the pit to put your shit in. Dead people too. That's how it was done some .....three thousand years ago. So why would anything change? Bears and wolves may not be around but the threat is still there. So we build walls. Walls to keep people in. Walls to keep people out. The USA has a wall that nobody can see. They call it "freedom" and sometimes "liberty". People on the inside think they're being protected. People on the outside want to get on the inside to get a taste of "freedom & democracy". Having said that, the highest walls are the ones in our heads, and we can carry our heads around with us no matter where we go, so why actually build physical walls to boot? Is it fear that is our master?

r

scuse me but

I though it was interesting enough to point out how Israel is imitating Germany in this one way.

Tear Down Those Walls????

Eerily good timing--just got this email from Ed Gilmore:

 

 

Mr. Gorbachev Tear down this wall.

 

A Chronology:  Two and a half years...  Gorby was not exactly shaking in his boots.  eg
 
June 12, 1987                 "Tear down this Wall!"   R. Reagan  
      
August 19, 1989           The Berlin wall becomes superfluous.   Hungary/Austria border opened. 600 East Germans walk through border crossing.  East                                                   Germans go to West Berlin by crossing from Hungary into Austria.   Circuitous but safe.       
 
November 9 , 1989     Berlin wall opens  two years and five months after Reagan's request. 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Tear down this wall!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Tear down this wall)
In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987, commemorating the 750th anniversary of Berlin,[1][2]Reagan challenged Gorbachev (who was then the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union), to tear it down as a symbol of Gorbachev's desire for increasing freedom in the Eastern Bloc.
"Tear down this wall!" was the challenge from United States President Ronald Reagan to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to destroy the Berlin Wall.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
 
By Emmerich Koller 
 
(Published in Newsletter # 190 of the Burgenland Bunch)  
 
 
Twenty years ago, on a nice sunny August day at the border between Austria and 
Hungary, a gate was opened for a few hours during a cross-border picnic on the road 
between St. Margarethen/Margitbánya in Burgenland and Sopronköhida in Hungary. The 
picnic was held at Sopronpuszta; the event itself entered world history as the Pan- 
European Picnic of August 19, 1989. When visiting East German tourists in Hungary got 
wind of this event, they hurried there with their Trabis and Wartburgs, abandoned them at 
the roadside and fled through that open gate to Austria. Although the border guards still 
had orders to shoot, to their and their local commander’s everlasting credit, they ignored 
the order and the exodus of about 600 East Germans ended without anyone getting hurt. 
Less than a month later, on September 11, the border between Hungary and Austria was 
opened for good. This bold act on the part of the Hungarian government at the time 
initiated a process that eventually culminated in the complete removal of the Iron Curtain 
from the Baltic to the Adriatic Seas, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of the Cold 
War.  Click on Title for entire article.
 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
From BERLIN WALL,  Wikapedia
 
In 1989, a radical series of political changes occurred in the Eastern Bloc, associated with the liberalization of the Eastern Bloc's authoritarian systems and the erosion of political power in the pro-Soviet governments in nearby Poland and Hungary. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, a euphoric public and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the rest. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on 3 October 1990.  Read more by clicking on BERLIN WALL above.

Raygun

...that bastard. Mr. Russia, tear down this Hollywood farse they call the United States of Amerikuh.

That part made me sick to the stomach the day it aired and has continued to do so each time I've seen or read about it since.

Fucking actors (pResidents of the not so white house)

r

Hilarious

You said that well Rossi!

Still laughing..

glad you like it!

Raygun, in his famous speech about the wall ....simply repeated what millions of people had already been saying since the day the wall was erected. It sounded so very ......insincere. And the motherfucker was smiling when he said it!

Who brought the wall down? Two things: time and the monday demos, the people in blue.

There was more that I haven't posted.

I got an email calling me offensive and despicable for saying that most Israelis were racist.

So I posted (to the other list, the "controversial topics" list the discussion had been moved to), a story from 2007, the results of an Israel poll, taken by Israelis in Israel and published by an Israel newspaper (not the leftist one), surveying racism in Israel:

 

http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3480345,00.html

50% of Israelis said they would not befriend, or let their children befriend
Arabs. 68% of Israeli Jews would refuse to live in same building as an Arab
& 46% would refuse entry of Arabs into their homes. Over two-thirds of
Israeli youth believe Arabs are less intelligent, uncultured, violent and
unhygienic.

Among my friends are Israeli Jews who left Israel and came to the US because
they could no longer endure the racism in Israel, Jews here in the U.S. who
support human rights for Palestinians, Palestinian-Americans and
Palestinians still living in Gaza, as well as Israeli Jews still in Israel
who constantly risk bullets, beating, and arrests to support human rights
for Palestinians. They are all intelligent, cultured, nonviolent, and
hygienic.

The person who called me despicable now has me on ignore. ROFL

 

 

Great Discussion

until it got nix'd.  Well...again, I am here agreeing with the two of you.

I really don't know the particulars of the conflict, just the broadness of them.  Not because I didn't listen or that I couldn't hear, but because, what rings true is what the heart feels itself resonating..

What you wrote Folkie, was truthful.  That moderator, at some level, could feel that it was too.  And, truth is dangerous to executing an agenda.  So, of course it was moved to another list.

Damn.

Too hot!

Most mods will stifle any lively discussion involving Israel. I know the feeling. If you're not up to date on the subject, you don't stand a chance of making a correct and guiding statement. So instead of suddenly educating yourself, you would tend to stifle the discussion. And as old as the "problem" is, we've all heard it from one side or another - over and over again to the point of us closing our ears when we hear "Palestine" or "Israel".

Once a person is able to handle the heat and face the facts, it's pretty easy to a) allow such a dicussion to carry on, b) join in and add one's views and c) be fair in moderating the discussion whilst letting it grow. At least folkie makes it look easy by sticking to the facts. Simple statements set some people on fire. Why, just the mention of Kefauver Act set one person on fire! The fearful are overly defensive. And they're brainwashed. But of course.

Discussion shot down by moderator.

This morning the moderator posted a "suggestion" that the discussion be moved to the other mailing list, meaning that he will reject further posts to the main mailing list on this thread.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Discussion Forum