I think one problem that the International community has is that it does not understand the historical reasons for the conflict. I will admit that I am not as knowledgeable on the subject as I could be. However I never fully understood the reasons for the savagery of the terrorism in recent Irish history. I am not naïve enough to think that either conflict was or is entirely religiously “inspired” but in both cases religious convictions have helped to emphasis a “Them vs Us” mentality.
Religion can help to remove any conscientious objections that young people may hold when their handlers, often people they see as heroes, tell them that “God is on your side” and that it is a good thing that they are about to do.
Feel free to correct me on my interpretation of it. I agree it is Islamic terrorism rather than simply Palestinian terrorism. However these Islamic terrorists are mainly young Palestinians. They have been trained by Hamas with the approval of Hezbollah who are more concerned about the destruction of Israel that they are about the creation of a Palestinian state. The (Iranian funded) Islamic Jihad movement, although not entirely Palestinian is a full time terrorist organisation and has no desire for peace or peace talks.
Hamas start the indoctrination of young boys at an early age. They blatantly walk into schools and teach the Koran. Any objections are met with lethal force. Hamas will behead its own citizens in public if they are even suspected of collaboration with Israeli security. Hamas runs Jihad training camps for young men like the 17 year old shot today. This boy was most likely trained and radicalised for this all his life and most probably believed he was going to be a martyr. Hamas will be hailing him as such today and holding him up as an example for other young men to follow.
My thoughts are with the family of Hallel Yaffa Ariel.
Would you also call them animals, those psychotic-israeli-settlers who terrorise the neighbourhoods around them (which at times also results in the death of innocent people) and a handful of Israeli soldiers who get away with outrageous-unecesary-killings (murder)? It's easy to dehumanise one side and forgive your own. Both sides perpetrate horrific murders, endless suffering and bring the weekly traumatising murder of others so often it becomes normal.
Religious insanity is rampant on both sides and it is completely condemnable. The toxic poison that are religious ideas of superiority and division and ultimate truth mixed with permission for violence has maintained this conflict for decades with no end in sight, both sides completely incapable of compromising and both sides showing greater and greater dehumanising of the other side.
When you call a group of people animals, you degrade them as less than human...and when you do this, it becomes easier to see them as less worthy than others of being an autonomous equal human being like any other. Eventually this leads to those who are dehumanised as bein treated as less than others, not just those who commit unthinkable crimes...but also those associated with them with the same religion or race. Thi has been the case throughout all of history with religious minorities, women, homosexuals and the poor. It also has lead to the horrors of European religious wars and mass murders.
Palestinian-islamic-extreemists and psychotic-extreemist-Israeli-settlers/out-of-control-soldiers are not animals. They are human beings with scummy ideas and a complete disregard for the dignity of others...but they are still human beings.
The train station I use every day in Madrid was blown up by islamic terrorists. The airport I fly into several times a year in Belgium was blown up by islamic terrorists. A gay friend of mine was beaten to near death in Brussels by an islamic extremist. I was evacuated out of my street in London twice due to terrorist threats. I have seen the ruins of a Syrian town which was raised to the ground by israeli soldiers...buildings and people and all. I've walked through the most disgusting horrific palestinian refugee camp in Beirut...people displaced by the occupation living in conditions that makes India seem like a vacation spot. I still don't think of those from either sides as animals.
There are certainly jewish terrorists. There are certainly (a handful) of soldiers who have gone sadistic during their service – and prosecuted. I however don't think that the very existence of evil people within israeli society, should "level the playing field". It is pure statistical reality that within any group comprised of millions you will find liberals and conservatives, pascifists, terrorists, rapists and murderers. Claiming extremism on both sides because you "found a terrorist" leads to a false moral equivalence, that no country, including Norway for instance, will survive. "having crazies" is not enough – the question is how many are there? How does society view these people? As crazies or heroes? How does the leadership of this society treat these people? Do the leaders encourage such behavior? And also – how are the "extremist" views in society different from that of mainstream? For instance, we had a jewish nut job who thought god was talking to him stab a 16 year old girl to death in last year's pride parade. He was ostracized in every walk of society, and will serve life in prison. This one man, committing this horrible act, should not make us forget that the one place in the middle east that holds gay pride parades-state funded-and voted one of the top ten gay friendly locations in the world - is Israel. On contrast, being gay is punishable by death in 10 muslim countries, and the majority of British muslims polled in a recent survey said homosexuality in Britain should be made illegal. ISIS throwing gays off roofs is not a far step to go from mainstream muslim public opinion.
In conclusion, in order to declare whether a society is "healthy" or not, one must put aside such notions as "there are crazies on both sides" – because every society has crazies. The question is how many, are they encouraged by mainstream, and how far are their opinions from that of the mainstream. In my view Israel passes this test withy flying colors, while Palestinians fail it miserably.
There is indifference towards the suffering of others on both sides. And the numbers are much closer than you think. Regardless of anything you have said above...none of it justifies dehumanising people.
But there is no moral equivalence between those inflicting the suffering. Israel is responding to violence and would love for it to end in order to get back to peaceful everyday life (soldier culture), while the Palestinian militants are warrior culture. They enjoy and revel in inflicting the violence and many are even eager to give their life if they can inflict as much death and suffering as possible while doing so..They have no intention of stopping until Israel is obliterated and, if possible, every Jew in the Middle East dead. Not even you can say that Israel wants to obliterate every last Palestinian.
Israel's response may be excessive by some standards, but their goal is peace. Islamic militants want to win against Israel, but you don't think for a minute that if they succeeded in taking Israel back, they'd settle down, disband, and stop there, do you?
Excellent rebuttal Wassabi!
It would be an excelent rebuttal if it were true. But the fact that arab-israelis (who make up a large percentage of Israeli citizens) are systematically and legally discriminated against reveals a less-than-passing-with-flying-colours society.
You can have gay-bars. That's awesome. Meanwhile arab-Israelis lose their rights, are not allowed to work in the military, have perpetually lost land rights, make a much lower salary on average, their party in the keneset faces endless attacks from the judiciary. Flying colours my ass.
In the mean time...the country is under constant attack....and instead of working on a compromise...a way to secure even slight peace and give concessions...they respond to attacks at an exponential scale bringing the state of security in their own country to one that's worse than before. How on earth you can call a perpetually under threat of attack country a healthy one...is beyond my comprehension.
In the mean time...extremist Jewish representatives in the kenset actually fight gay rights, work to protect Jewish settlements (which opress the rights of their occupied foes and create more insecurity in their own country). Their practices are as extreme as those of muslims treating women as lessers, severe authority over their children and extreme homophobia. Instead of being challenged they are actually protected...being the few who don't have to serve in the military and they support coalitions getting concessions and permission to have their own regressive rules. That is a toxic society...not better.
In general...an indifference to the mass suffering of others in their opposing territory and a propensity to dehumanisation of another race/religion doesn't show sings of a healthy-society with "flying colours". While I would certainly prefer to live in Tel-Aviv than Bethlahem...and would definitely live a better life there...I wouldn't call it flying colours. Palestinians may not care or support gays being thrown off buildings. Meanwhile Israelis show next to no sympaty when little girls are shot dead because they come within 20 meters of an illegal settlement...and the soldier totall gets away with it. Is this kind of indifference somehow better or worse than the other?
Is Israel a healthier society than Palestine. Of course it is. It's incredible just how much they've been able to create a developed country with democratic institutions and a healthy economy, high standards education and universities, top class research as well as some liberal policies in the face of so much hostility and terror and despite their incapability of reducing this hostility and terror. But to call it a healthy society on par with other developed western countries is madness. On the check sheet of humanism...there are many fails.
Davis, that's the view from the weeds. I'm taking the Big Picture long-term where is the WORLD going? view. Which side are you taking? The one that ends up with ISIS or some dictator (Putin? or a Putin or Trump clone) taking us down a path to a much much worse world than we live in now, or the one where Israel is perhaps the worst example of a state in a much much better world to live in? Israel, for all of its flaws and excesses, is still aiming ultimately toward an orderly world. Hamas, ISIS, Al Qaeda and the rest are all agents of chaos.
You know, david, I don't think I've ever found myself reading something so entirely untrue. It was as if you are describing a different country. I'm going to assume that you speak from lack of actual knowledge, or at at least misinformed, and try to describe how different Israel is than the daemon you've just described:
"arab-israelis (who make up a large percentage of Israeli citizens) are systematically and legally discriminated against." – FALSE
Arab israelies have equal rights to that of jews. Israel is full of arab doctors, heads of hospital wings, pharmascists, programmers, celebrities, reality tv contestants, judges and supreme court judges, telemarketers and supermarket tellers. Discriminating against arabs, or anyone else for that matter - is illegal, and a punishable offense. The only law benefiting jews only is the law of return. Israel is the jewish homeland, a safe haven for jews. Jews are entitled to automatic citizenship. Similar laws exist in Germany, china, and other countries. The UN charter is founded on people's right to self determination. It is a profound human right. That right is not nullified once independence is achieved. The law of return, present in other countries as well, does not "cancel" the democracy. There is no discrimination of arabs in Israel.
"Meanwhile arab-Israelis lose their rights, are not allowed to work in the military, have perpetually lost land rights, make a much lower salary on average, their party in the keneset faces endless attacks from the judiciary." - FALSE
No arabs in the military? Tell that to muslim arab army major Allah Wahib. While Israeli arabs are exempt from mandatory conscription, in recognition that the people in the neighboring enemy countries are well, arab- meaning they might be asked to fight family members – arabs can certainly join the military. Several thousand do, and swear on the Koran to protect it. You see- in spite of the never resting propaganda machine, many arabs have looked around the burning middle east, under "arab" rulers, and then at their own country, in which day to day life is very tranquil (relatively being the operate word) – and said "screw it – this is a great place to live and, and worth protecting."
As for "lower salaries" – it is illegal to discriminate pay in Israel. Perhaps you are referring to income per household. You should be aware that 80 percent of arab women do not work. They are stay at home moms. This is largely a conservative society. A product of choice- not discrimination.
As for attacks on the arab political party. In the late 80's an extremist Israeli party was outlawed for inciting violence. Several arab parliament members currently are easily guilty of the same. One of them, recently stated she hopes the new alestinian wave of violence will escalate to a full war – killing all jews. Not many parliaments in the world would tolerate this.
"the country is under constant attack....and instead of working on a compromise...a way to secure even slight peace and give concessions...they respond to attacks at an exponential scale" - FALSE
For this statement to be true- you would have to ignore the peace with Egypt, in which Israel gave up vast territory, evacuated a city, and gave up large oil wells- as compromise for peace. The peace with jordan, in which Israel gave up on much of it's minimal water supplies, the oslo peace accords, in which Israel agreed to give the Palestinians self rule in hope of it leading to a Palestinian nation state, the peace offers given at meetings in Sharem, Taba, Camp David and Annapolis – in which Israeli prime ministers offered close to 100 percent of the "occupied territories" in return for true peace and an end to Palestinian incitement of terror – offers to which they have all declined. The unilateral withdrawl from gaza- done after realizing that Palestinian leaders are unwilling to compromise so "lets see if they actually build a state if we just leave." 8000 jewish homes were demolished, and the Palestinians got independence in gaza – which they used to fire 10,000 rockets into Israel- leading to the current blockade.
So I guess you're dead wrong on the concessions argument as well.
"Jewish representatives in the kenset actually fight gay rights.. treating women as lessers, severe authority over their children and extreme homophobia… being the few who don't have to serve in the military"
In other words you're saying Israel is a democratic and pluralistic country. The existence of conservatives, be it in Israel, the united states or else where does not speak ill of a country. You say there are "gay bars" – gay marriage is recognized by the state if the ceremony is perfomed outside the country- however, you will get full equal rights. There are state funded IVF treatments for lesbian couples, gay organizations are state funded, pride parades are state funded- the winner of the latest Israeli trans beauty contest was an arab!
Also I love how you used the false argument of "no arabs in the military" as a sign of discrimination, only to say the same of religious jews – this time as a sign of privilege.
Friend – everything you have written is false. You are describing a different country than the one I live in. I will even go so far as to say that Israel is the best democracy in the world.
You see- values only mean something when tested. It's so easy to talk about humanism, equality, morality, freedom- when you live in a homogenous, tranquil, modern society. Your values are never truly tested. You never have to pay a price for your values. Well in Israel you do. In a reality of perpetual war – forced upon you by your neighbors, holding on to liberal values comes at a price, in which you pay with blood.
It's amazing to see how many die hard European liberals replace their values when tested. Ten yeas ago, in response to wave of suicide bombings that killed 1000 israelies in cafes ad restaurants, Israel built a security barrier between Israel and the west bank. The UN court on human rights called it an "apartheid wall." Ten years later, europe is filling up with walls of its own to keep muslims out. The far right is rising in all countries, and britian has left the EU, partly to stop muslim immigration. And this is after what- 5, 10 terror attacks? Try holding on to liberal values after 50,000 attacks.
What amazes me Is how so many liberals single out Israel for scrutiny. The double-standard Is obvious. And the historical enmity/bigotry/racism against Jews is unabated.
They are the frog in the famous parable of the scorpion hitching a ride on the back of a frog.