Thursday, September 26, 2013

Expanding the Focus

Mike L.


{Cross-posted at Free News of the World and News and Views from Jews Down Under and The Times of Israel.}

Perhaps the biggest problem that we face in understanding the Arab-Israel conflict has to do with focus.

That is, among western liberals the typical understanding of the conflict is that it is one between Israelis and Palestinians fighting over a bit of turf, since November of 1947, on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea.  We tend to think that Israel is largely at fault because it is occupying and causing innumerable sufferings for the indigenous population.  We tend to oppose tactics like suicide bombings or the violent targeting of innocent Israeli civilians, but we also tend to understand that a people under occupation will do what is necessary to free themselves, which is what the Palestinians are trying to do.

This, in a broad kind of way, represents the sort-of middle-of-the-road western liberal view of the conflict.  This western liberal view, which was my view until fairly recently, seeks balance and even-handedness.  It comes from an ideological standpoint in which peoples around the world are viewed as more-or-less the same in that we all want the same things.  We all want to live decent lives and have decent jobs and to take care of our families and to get along with our neighbors and to have a little fun now and again.  The basic idea is that everyone wants these things and that if we would simply treat one another fairly than we could all get along in peace.

As applied to the Israel-Palestine conflict this means that since the Israelis are the occupying power, who are persecuting the indigenous minority population, it is up to the Israelis to cease and desist in order to bring about a peaceful and just resolution to the ongoing problem.  If only Israel would end the occupation then resistance to the occupation would also end and we could see a Palestinian state living in peace and thriving alongside the Jewish state of Israel.

It's a matter of freedom and justice for the Palestinians and security for the Jewish people of Israel.

This is essentially where Barack Obama is coming from and while this view is more or less monolithic on the western center-left it is also significantly present on the western political right.  It represents a general consensus among people who bother themselves with the issue and it explains why so many friends of Israel throughout the world, including very many Jewish people, tend to think that both sides are largely to blame, but that the real burden is upon Israel to make the peace.

This very moderate, very reasonable, very rational take on the conflict is also, sadly, entirely wrong.

The conflict is much longer in time and much wider in scope than the typical well-meaning western liberal understanding of it.

This never-ending fight is not one between Israelis and "Palestinians," but between Jews and the much larger Arab world that has persecuted those Jews for centuries.  Furthermore, the conflict did not begin in November of 1947 with UN Resolution 181 calling for recognition of the Jewish State of Israel.  The timeline for the ongoing war against the Jews of the Middle East begins not in the twentieth-century, but in the 7th century with the rise of Islam, because Islam, itself, has hatred and contempt for the Jew hard-coded into the faith as written within both the Koran and the Hadiths and as acted upon by innumerable Arabs from that day to this.

The fact of the matter is that the Arab-Muslim world has persecuted and stoned and murdered and harassed the Jewish people for religious reasons since the time of Muhammed.  There are 60 to 70 Muslims in the Middle East for every Jew and the Jews have been driven out of every Muslim country throughout the Arab Middle East within living memory.  Our numbers are tiny compared to the vast hostile majority precisely because that hostile majority has succeeded very well in keeping our numbers small.  Living for thirteen hundred years under the system of dhimmitude a Muslim could beat or kill a Jew and that Jew, or his family, would have little, or no, recourse within Muslim jurisprudence.

So, if you honestly wish to understand the conflict then you have to understand that it is not a matter of post World War II militaristic Israelis persecuting a small allegedly indigenous minority, as most on the progressive-left, including the Jewish left, would tend to think.  Nor can it, from an historical standpoint, be reasonably characterized as "the Jews have done bad" and "the Arabs have done bad" and that if only both sides would take the measure of their own guilt then we could finally move beyond the problem.

The truth is that one side is far, far larger than the other and has been far, far more aggressive than the other over the course of fourteen centuries.  Although it is not politically correct to say so, and although it flies in the face of commonly accepted wisdom, the fact of the matter is that it is the tiny Jewish minority in the Middle East which has been, and continues to be, the victim of the Arab-Muslim majority population.  The Jews of the Middle East are no more the aggressors against the hostile Arab majority than black people in the United States were the aggressors against the hostile white majority during the period of Jim Crow.

Until we can expand our focus, both in time and space, on the conflict than we can never make the Jewish case to the larger world and making that case is imperative.  The only way to understand the conflict is through the lens of Jewish history in the Arab world and the history of the persecution and submission of non-Muslims in territory conquered by Muhammed's armies.  Furthermore, the only way to understand the conflict is not that it is about Jerusalem versus Ramallah, but Jerusalem versus Ramallah and Cairo and Beirut and Tripoli and Mogadishu and Khartoum and Damascus and Riyadh.

Finally, all peoples are not the same and we do not all want the same things.  This is not due to issues of "race" - there is no such thing as a scientific biological category known as "race" - but because of culture.  Those among the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world who would like to see al-Sharia as the basis of government - Daniel Pipes puts the estimate at maybe 10 percent or 150 million people - may very well want to live decent lives and raise their children to be decent people, and so forth, but they also want to impose a system of government upon the rest of us in which women are chattel, Gay people are slaughtered outright, Christians are driven from their lands, and the Jews are either third class citizens... or dead.

11 comments:

  1. Al Qaeda released a video in which a Pakistani cleric explained the reason why Muslims hate us... is because we refuse to become Muslim or become their slaves.

    That's why peace between them and us is impossible! It has nothing to with what the West has done to the Muslim World or with any alleged crimes we have committed against them. Even if we renounced everything near and dear to us, they would still hate us.

    And seek to take over the world in the name of Islam!

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    1. That's not really true because calling another a "Jew" is sufficient justification for them to mass murder one another. I'm afraid all the Jews in earth could bow to Allah tomorrow and they'd all be massacred because according to Islam they're really all still Jews. Arab Islam is hands down one of the most racist belief systems in the world, ever. Certainly no less so than the Spanish Inquisition which burned more conversos than Jews - because, again - they weren't and never could be 'real' Catholics and therefore were worse than heretics and apostates.

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  2. http://www.memrijttm.org/content/en/report.htm?report=7428&param=UPP

    Info on said video.

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  3. The single most important and detrimental problem of and about Jewish leaders of the government of Israel is that they look to the political leaders of other countries as being people from whom they must get approval for their country, Israel, to exist, and that they, Jewish leaders of the government of Israel, look to the political leaders of other countries as being the primary people to whom they must communicate. This mindset that Jewish leaders of the government of Israel (particularly ethically European-Jewish leaders of the government of Israel) have is a hold-over of the mindset and behavior of Jewish people in Europe for the past over one thousand years (the "court Jew" mindset and behavior, and the "ghetto Jew" mindset and behavior). Therein, Jewish leaders of the government of Israel feel that they and their people are under threat by, and are under the thumb of, and are at the mercy of, hostile ignorant bigoted sanctimonious anti-Jewish, but potentially protective, powerful culturally European non-Jewish leaders of culturally European non-Jewish other peoples; and Jewish leaders of the government of Israel feel that they have to "play a game" of accepting false charges against themselves and their own people by those hostile ignorant sanctimonious bigoted anti-Jewish, but potentially protective, powerful culturally European non-Jewish leaders of culturally European other peoples, and that, as part of that, they, Jewish leaders of the government of Israel, in order to protect their own people, need to somehow finagle those hostile ignorant sanctimonious bigoted anti-Jewish, but potentially protective, powerful culturally European non-Jewish leaders of culturally European non-Jewish other peoples in order to get those hostile ignorant sanctimonious bigoted anti-Jewish, but potentially protective, powerful, culturally European non-Jewish leaders of culturally European non-Jewish other peoples to protect their people, the Jewish people, and that, as part of that, they, Jewish leaders of the government of Israel, need to not verbally stand up for themselves and their own people, the Jewish people, to those hostile ignorant sanctimonious bigoted anti-Jewish, but potentially protective, powerful culturally European non-Jewish leaders of culturally European non-Jewish other peoples, and that, as part of that, they, leaders of the government of Israel, need to therein not tell the truth about the situation that their people, the Jewish people, are in to those hostile ignorant sanctimonious bigoted anti-Jewish, but potentially protective, powerful culturally European non-Jewish leaders of culturally European non-Jewish other peoples.

    However, Jewish leaders of the government of Israel need to realize that this view that they hold is wrong, and that they, leaders of the government of Israel, are leaders of a country, as are all other leaders of all other countries, and that they, as leaders of a country, can protect their own country by influencing other people by telling the truth to those other people, and that it is not the political leaders of other countries who are the primary people to whom they must communicate, but that it is the people of the world, in general, including the citizens of their own country, Israel, who are the primary people to whom they must communicate. However, Jewish leaders of the government of Israel, in order to protect their own country, need to also tell the truth to the political leaders of other countries.

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  4. A performance of a Mizrahi song on Israeli TV:

    אבי ביטר - מלא עוד כוס חבר , חראם
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZPzmnAmvy8

    Israeli society is mainly both Western (in ideology, technology, aesthetics, food, etc.) and Middle Eastern (in aesthetics, food, etc.) and is a culturally very diverse society and is a very vibrant society. Israel is a liberal democratic country. Israel is the liberal democratic sole country of the Jewish people.

    A Night of Theatre - Ep11 Derric's Travel Video Diary
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-WU0F5-Qxw

    "...First night back in Tel Aviv, I ran into a lovely American girl Jenny who invited me out to meet up with her friend Hannah, at the Na Lagaat Theatre, a theatre comprised of deaf and blind actors and actresses. A fine night of the arts in Israel! ..."

    Google Images search: haifa israel
    https://www.google.com/search?q=haifa+israel&tbm=isch

    Google Images search: technion israel
    https://www.google.com/search?q=technion+israel&tbm=isch

    Google Images search: tel aviv israel
    https://www.google.com/search?q=tel+aviv+israel&tbm=isch

    Google Images search: jerusalem israel
    https://www.google.com/search?q=jerusalem+israel&tbm=isch

    ISRAEL START-UP NATION
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EQliG9Wsdo

    In this video:

    Bill Gates: "Israel is, by many measures, the country, relative to its population, that's done the most to contribute to the technology revolution."

    Note: The government of the United States of America requires Israel to spend on buying weapons from the U.S. most of the 3 billion dollars that the government of the United States of America gives to Israel per year. The 3 billion dollars that the government of the United States of America gives to Israel per year constitutes a small fraction of the economy of Israel. The economy of Israel is based on international private investment in Israeli technology companies. The government of the United States of America gives more money, in total, to Muslim states in the Middle East than the government of the United States of America gives to Israel.

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    1. Hi Dan,

      nice to see you here.

      I have to say, I very much wish that Israel would, in a diplomatic manner, refuse to accept American financial aid. The problem, of course, is that he who pays the piper calls the tune, as they say. Israel doesn't need financial aid from any foreign power and thus doesn't need to be under the obligation of any such power.

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    2. Hi, Mike.

      Thanks.

      "I have to say, I very much wish that Israel would, in a diplomatic manner, refuse to accept American financial aid."

      Yeah, I think it would be good if Israel did that.

      And it would be good if the U.S. government stopped supporting Muslim totalitarian oil-rich Islamic-supremacism-financing anti-Jewish anti-Israeli states in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states). And it would be good if the U.S government stopped supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, and it would be good if the U.S. government stopped supporting Al-Qaeda, etc. And it would be good if the U.S government stopped supporting Fatah-PLO -- but, first, it would be good if the Israeli government stopped supporting Fatah-PLO.

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    3. This comment is just a note about my previous comment which is the initial comment of this sub-thread.

      I, because of the existential view that I hold, think that it was wrong of me to post links to the videos to which I posted links which are videos that contain entertainment performances; and I feel compelled to express this because of, largely, the OCD that I am suffering from. I posted links to those videos because I wanted to show some aspects of Israeli culture, but I think that it may have been better if I would have posted links to other videos -- videos which don't contain entertainment performances. I realize that my thinking this that I am expressing that I am thinking may seem incorrect and strange, and I realize that my expressing this that I am expressing that I am thinking may seem inappropriate, but I feel that I need to express this that I am expressing that I am thinking. I think that my expressing this that I am expressing that I am thinking may be inappropriate, but I feel compelled to express this that I am expressing that I am thinking. I apologize if my expressing this is inappropriate.

      I apologize for any unwholesome action that I have done. Please forgive me for doing any unwholesome action that I have done.

      I think that it may be wholesome and beneficial to list the video which I am listing at the end of this message. I hope that the video that I am listing at the end of this message may be beneficial.

      I apologize for any unwholesome action that I may do. Please forgive me for any unwholesome action that I may do. I will try to not do any unwholesome action. However, it is difficult for me to not do any unwholesome action. However, I will try to not do any unwholesome action. I apologize for any unwholesome action that I may do. Please forgive me for any unwholesome action that I may do.

      Dan

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      Present Moment - มงคลปัจจุบัน - Gegenwärtiger Moment - רגע של מתנה
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5GPdQhXifQ

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  5. Were the ("uppity") Black people in Rosewood guilty, and were the White people who attacked them innocent, and were the White people who attacked them their victims? No, on all those counts.

    Were the ("uppity") Jewish people in Germany in the 1930s guilty, and were the German people who attacked them innocent, and were the German people who attacked them their victims? No, on all those counts.

    Were the ("uppity") Jewish people in Europe for the past over one thousand years guilty, and were the European people who attacked them innocent, and were the European people who attacked them their victims? No, on all those counts.

    Are the ("uppity") Jewish people in Israel guilty, and are the Arab people who are attacking them innocent, and are the Arab people who are attacking them their victims? No, on all those counts.

    However, what is different in the case of the Jewish people in Israel and the Arab people who are attacking them is that, in that case, a relatively large number of the attacked people (a relatively large number of the attacked Jewish people in Israel) have physically, with violent action (unparalleledly and unsurpassedly ethically considered and moderated and unparalleledly and unsurpassedly restrained violent action) been resisting being killed by the people (Arab people) who are violently attacking them, and, to a large extent, have, so far, been successful in resisting being killed by the people (Arab people) who are violently attacking them. However, what needs to be done, rather, is skillful non-violent action; and what most needs to be done, as part of that, is to communicate essential facts of the situation that the Jewish people in Israel are in. What most needs to be done as part of that is to communicate the fact that the founder of the 'Palestinian movement' was one of the architects of the Nazi 'Final Solution'.

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    Hitler understood propaganda, so do the Palestinians[*], by Michael Curtis

    "Faking news has become a Palestinian[*] cottage industry. The most diabolic aspect of Palestinian propaganda is the use of children as stage props. Much Western media is happy to play ball"

    http://www.thecommentator.com/article/4186/hitler_understood_propaganda_so_do_the_palestinians


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    THE NAZIS AND THE PALESTINIAN MOVEMENT

    "Traces the history of PLO/Fatah, now better known as the 'Palestinian Authority,' the organization that will govern a future Palestinian State. The video shows how PLO/Fatah emerged from the German Nazi Final Solution. Hajj Amin al Husseini, father of the Palestinian Movement, creator of Fatah, and mentor to Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, was co-director with Adolf Eichmann of the death camp system that exterminated between 5 and 6 million European Jews in WWII."

    http://vimeo.com/69991225

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    Note: * "Palestinian": 'Palestinian' Arab

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    1. The above comment (the comment to which this comment is a reply) is a repost of some of what I wrote in my previous comments [1, 2] which I deleted.

      I deleted my previous comments because some of what I wrote in them was harsh speech / harsh writing, and because I think that therefore that writing which I wrote is unwholesome, and because I think that, therein, my previous comments which I deleted which contained that writing were unwholesome and harmful. I think that the essence of what I tried to communicate in the harsh speech / harsh writing which I wrote in my previous comments that I deleted is true, but I think that it is unwholesome writing because it is harsh speech / harsh writing. I apologize for writing the harsh speech / harsh writing which I wrote in my previous comments which I deleted.

      However, I hope that the comment that I have posted above (the comment to which this comment is a reply) may be beneficial.

      And I apologize to Mike for posting and then deleting so many comments.

      Dan

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      Note: the video whose title "THE NAZIS AND THE PALESTINIAN MOVEMENT" I listed, and to which I listed a link, is a documentary.

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