Staredit Network > Forums > Serious Discussion > Topic: Israel/Palestine
Israel/Palestine
Nov 6 2009, 12:44 am
By: CaptainWill  

Nov 6 2009, 12:44 am CaptainWill Post #1



There has not been a lot of news coverage of Palestine recently, with the media preferring to focus on Iran and Afghanistan. However, I was thinking about the whole fine mess that has been Israel-Palestine for so many years.

I want to go right back to 1914 and the First World War. The Ottoman Empire declared war on Britain, France and Russia and, despite some initial successes, was rapidly collapsing by 1916 in the face of Russian advances into Anatolia, and Arab and British forces pushing up from Egypt.

At the end of the war the Ottoman Empire's territory in the Levant was divided up between Britain and France. France received modern Syria and Lebanon, while Britain received Palestine and modern Jordan. Pressure from Woodrow Wilson's US government led to the creation of the League of Nations, and Britain and France were obliged to run the territories they had received in the Middle-East as League of Nations 'Mandates'.

A Mandate, essentially, was an agreement between the imperial power (i.e. Britain or France) and the League of Nations that they would govern the new territory, develop it and introduce political institutions with a view to establishing independent states in the fullness of time (i.e. when the people were judged as fit to self-govern). Britain undertook the Mandate of Palestine officially in 1922. It began with the statement that Britain would seek to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine, without prejudicing the civil and religious rights of the existing community of Palestine (i.e. the Arabs).

This was unworkable. Riots broke out in 1929, in 1936 the Arabs went on general strike and between 1937-39 the Arabs rose in open revolt as Jews fled en masse from Nazi Germany. They objected strongly to large-scale immigration of Jews, the fact that Jews would only employ Jewish labour, and the purchase of large amounts of land by Jewish interests, leading to many Arab peasants becoming landless. The Jews on their part were mainly Zionists and wanted to form a Jewish state in Palestine, without any restrictions on immigration. They resented the Arabs for using outdated agricultural techniques and for attacking their settlements, and the British for restricting their immigration and land purchases, and refusing to entertain the idea of a Jewish state.

Neither group would compromise with the other, despite repeated efforts by the British to find a solution. During the Second World War Britain armed sections of the Jewish population, giving ample opportunity for them to smuggle weapons to their militias - the Haganah, Irgun and LEHI. The latter group were terrorists - in 1944 they assassinated Lord Moyne, a friend of Winston Churchill, in Cairo, leading to a serious crackdown on their operations by the British authorities cooperating with Haganah, who believed LEHI to have gone too far.

After the end of the war, Haganah and Irgun pretty much waged an undeclared war on Britain. A serious insurgency began, culminating in the bombing of the head of British administration, the King David Hotel, in 1948. Britain, effectively bankrupt and under pressure from Harry Truman to give the Zionists what they wanted, transferred authority to the UN and hastily evacuated the country. The Jews and Arabs immediately turned on each other and the former group, being far better organised and armed, crushed the native Arabs and expeditionary forces sent by Egypt and other adjacent states. The state of Israel was thus formed.

Now, I haven't given the full story. Far from it, but I wanted to gather opinions on why Palestine/Israel has turned out the way it is. Who is responsible? I will give my opinion later, and I may expand on certain points. :P



None.

Nov 6 2009, 2:15 am rayNimagi Post #2



Humans. Humans are responsible. If it were not for human greed they wouldn't be in this situation.

I'm only half joking. There are some groups whose rivalries date back for hundreds of years. Jews and Muslims/Arabs is just one example. They each want something, and neither side is willing to give up what they believe they rightfully own. But even if you take away religion, money, land rights, water rights, and anything that people could possibly fight over, I guarantee that Jews and Arabs will still find something to fight over.

One of my history teachers once said, "The British are responsible for most of the suffering in the world." (Yes, he was American, but he lived in London for a time.) It's possible the British could have evacuated 100% of the Arabs to surrounding territories, or set up a Jewish homeland in a safer area. But in this case, I don't blame the British. The Arabs would still fight the Jews in Palestine.

The conflict in Palestine is just the culmination of thousands of years of discrimination against Jews. The Jews are finally fighting back.



Win by luck, lose by skill.

Nov 6 2009, 3:41 am Centreri Post #3

Relatively ancient and inactive

Except that the Jews also discriminated against the Arabs.

My stance on this is pretty simple:
Arabs won the land by conquest a long time ago, and it should be theirs. Israel is directly or indirectly responsible for worldwide terrorism, Arab tensions, and is a country that hurts neighbors who have rights to Israeli land. However, I think that the Jews are better people than the Muslim Arabs, and because I have relatives in Israel, screw the Arabs rights, Israel is stronger and has been able to prosper in a difficult environment (albeit with US help) and should stay, killing all the Arabs it needs to.

As for whose fault it is, I would lay it at the feet of whoever (Britain, US, UN) thought that Israel should exist as a state in the Middle East. Everyone has a right to the land, but the Israelis would be less inclined to start a Jihad over not having it.

Also, I like the quote about the British causing the suffering in the world. They raped Europe, America (How many Native Americans in North America, again?), Africa (directly and indirectly, through US slave trade), India, China, Australia...
See, Russia didn't do this. Everyone it conquered it tried to raise to its standard of living. Even Germany.

Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Nov 6 2009, 3:52 am by Centreri.



None.

Nov 6 2009, 5:57 am CaptainWill Post #4



Quote from rayNimagi
Humans. Humans are responsible. If it were not for human greed they wouldn't be in this situation.

I'm only half joking. There are some groups whose rivalries date back for hundreds of years. Jews and Muslims/Arabs is just one example. They each want something, and neither side is willing to give up what they believe they rightfully own. But even if you take away religion, money, land rights, water rights, and anything that people could possibly fight over, I guarantee that Jews and Arabs will still find something to fight over.

One of my history teachers once said, "The British are responsible for most of the suffering in the world." (Yes, he was American, but he lived in London for a time.) It's possible the British could have evacuated 100% of the Arabs to surrounding territories, or set up a Jewish homeland in a safer area. But in this case, I don't blame the British. The Arabs would still fight the Jews in Palestine.

The conflict in Palestine is just the culmination of thousands of years of discrimination against Jews. The Jews are finally fighting back.

I disagree. From Biblical times until the present, Orthodox Mizrahi Jews have lived alongside Arabs in Palestine. Until 1929 they lived together peacefully and without major disputes. The problem really was a big clash of cultures - the native Jews of Palestine were integrated into Arabic society; the Zionist Jews immigrating from Europe were not integrated, and more importantly, didn't want to be. On top of that you've got the penetration of capitalism and Western ideas into the Middle-East, which disrupted centuries old Islamic societies. All of a sudden you have people leaving the land to become labourers (causing them to form rather volatile gangs of unemployed men in times of recession), and ideas like nationalism flying around.

As to your further points on the lack of British action, I would point out that the Peel Commission reported back to Britain in 1937 that due to the irreconcilable differences of the two sections of the Palestinian population, partition was the most viable solution to the problem. It suggested the movement of some 225,000 Arabs in the proposed Jewish state to the proposed Arab state, and used the example of the exchange of Greek and Turkish populations after WW1 to show that it could work. The Zionists reluctantly agreed to the recommendations of the Peel Commission, but the Arabs refused it outright. Firstly, they wanted Palestine to be a unified state with an Arab majority, and secondly they were horrified at the prospect of uprooting Arab families who had lived in the same villages for centuries and simply moving them elsewhere. Any transfer of population would have had to have been made under coercion. As for finding another national home for the Jews - that was impossible after 1917 when Britain issued a (rather vague) statement that she 'looked favourably on the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine'. Prior to that, other options had been offered to the Zionists, including Uganda and Madagascar. They had refused these options and asked for the Holy Land.

Quote from Centreri
Except that the Jews also discriminated against the Arabs.

My stance on this is pretty simple:
Arabs won the land by conquest a long time ago, and it should be theirs. Israel is directly or indirectly responsible for worldwide terrorism, Arab tensions, and is a country that hurts neighbors who have rights to Israeli land. However, I think that the Jews are better people than the Muslim Arabs, and because I have relatives in Israel, screw the Arabs rights, Israel is stronger and has been able to prosper in a difficult environment (albeit with US help) and should stay, killing all the Arabs it needs to.

As for whose fault it is, I would lay it at the feet of whoever (Britain, US, UN) thought that Israel should exist as a state in the Middle East. Everyone has a right to the land, but the Israelis would be less inclined to start a Jihad over not having it.

Also, I like the quote about the British causing the suffering in the world. They raped Europe, America (How many Native Americans in North America, again?), Africa (directly and indirectly, through US slave trade), India, China, Australia...

See, Russia didn't do this. Everyone it conquered it tried to raise to its standard of living. Even Germany.

(Given the appalling standard of living in Russia during the Tsarist era, I don't think that's a particularly strong argument.)

It sounds like you blame the Zionists themselves then, be they Jew or Gentile. The US certainly supported Zionism, as did the British establishment. However it was Britain that issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917 (and was regretting it by 1922).



None.

Nov 6 2009, 9:11 pm Centreri Post #5

Relatively ancient and inactive

Quote
It sounds like you blame the Zionists themselves then, be they Jew or Gentile. The US certainly supported Zionism, as did the British establishment. However it was Britain that issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917 (and was regretting it by 1922).
Who else to blame? Current borders are set by past wars/disintegration (US control of its portion of North America for the former, Ottomans and USSR as the latter). The Arabs won that land and controlled it. After their empire fell apart, some far away power decided to take some of that land and try to devote it to Jews. Of course the Arabs fought for it, like the US would fight for San Francisco if the UN voted 191 to 1 to give the city to China (well, assuming the US had no veto power). What was done in Israel wasn't done following international norms.

Quote
(Given the appalling standard of living in Russia during the Tsarist era, I don't think that's a particularly strong argument.)
I have several responses for this. One is that being part of Russia protected an areas occupants from British exploitation, leading to a nevertheless higher standard of living than in, say, China or India. The second involves a quote I thought of but which is probably common: "Goodness relies on intentions, greatness relies on results." The third... this and this.

Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Nov 10 2009, 2:39 am by Centreri.



None.

Nov 9 2009, 12:09 pm Vi3t-X Post #6



Quote from CaptainWill
After the end of the war, Haganah and Irgun pretty much waged an undeclared war on Britain. A serious insurgency began, culminating in the bombing of the head of British administration, the King David Hotel, in 1948. Britain, effectively bankrupt and under pressure from Harry Truman to give the Zionists what they wanted, transferred authority to the UN and hastily evacuated the country. The Jews and Arabs immediately turned on each other and the former group, being far better organised and armed, crushed the native Arabs and expeditionary forces sent by Egypt and other adjacent states. The state of Israel was thus formed.

They won the war. This is what happens when you win a war. Although a land for all Jewish people is ridiculous. As with the Vatican.



None.

Nov 19 2009, 3:39 am Centreri Post #7

Relatively ancient and inactive

The thing is, just because winning a war gives you the power to take something, it doesn't necessarily give you the moral allowance to do so. Which is why I maintain that the Palestinians are in the right, but I have relatives in Israel, so... :P

Also: http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2009/07/ak-47/7/



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