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POLL High International Op-Ed: Gaza - YouTube

The Palestinian people (Arabic: الشعب الفلسطيني‎, ash-sha‘b al-Filasṭīnī), aka Palestinians (Arabic: الفلسطينيون‎, al-Filasṭīniyyūn; Hebrew: פָלַסְטִינִים&lrm😉 or Palestinian Arabs (Arabic: الفلسطينيين العرب‎, al-Filasṭīniyyīn al-ʿarab), are an ethnonational group. Roughly half of all Palestinians reside in historic Palestine, the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Israel. []
The 1948 exodus was a central component of the fracturing, dispossession and displacement of Palestinian society, known as the Nakba (Arabic: النكبة‎, al-Nakbah, literally "disaster", "catastrophe", or "cataclysm" ) []

The 1948 (or First) Arab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–1949 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli Declaration of Independence had been issued earlier that day, and a military coalition of Arab states entered the territory of British Palestine in the morning of 15 May.
It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli Declaration of Independence had been issued earlier that day, and a military coalition of Arab states entered the territory of British Palestine in the morning of 15 May.
The first deaths of the 1947–1949 Palestine war occurred on 30 November, 1947 during an ambush of two buses carrying Jews. There had been tension and conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, and between each of them and the British forces since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 creation of the British Mandate of Palestine. British policies dissatisfied both Arabs and Jews. Arab opposition developed into the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, while the Jewish resistance developed into the 1944–1947 Jewish insurgency in Palestine. In 1947, these ongoing tensions erupted into civil war following the 29 November 1947 adoption of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. []

Sykes–Picot Agreement. Complicating the issue was the Balfour Declaration of 1917, promising British support for a Jewish "national home" in Palestine.

The partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after the war led to the domination of the Middle East by Western powers such as Britain and France, and saw the creation of the modern Arab world and the Republic of Turkey. []

The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War announcing support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. The declaration was contained in a letter dated 2 November 1917 from the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.
It sought the support of Zionist ambitions in order to enlist the support of Jews in the wider war. Further drafts were discussed by the British Cabinet during September and October, with input from Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews but with no representation from the local population in Palestine. []

Israel (/ˈɪzriəl, ˈɪzreɪəl/; Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל‎ Yisra'el; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل&lrm😉, officially known as the State of Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל‎, Medinat Yisra'el), is a country in Western Asia. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age. The land was controlled as a mandate of the British Empire from 1920 to 1948 when Israel was recognized by the U.N. []

The Israeli Declaration of Independence, formally the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel (Hebrew: הכרזה על הקמת מדינת ישראל&lrm😉, was proclaimed on 14 May 1948 (5 Iyar 5708) by David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and soon to be first Prime Minister of Israel. It declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel, which would come into effect on termination of the British Mandate at midnight of that day. []

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rainmanjr 7 May 18

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I tried watching a few days ago and was a bit disappointed. A couple of your comments made it harder for me to watch further, so I didn't.

One of them was (unless I misunderstood) I think something about whether the Palestinians (or whatever they should be called) had represented themselves at some early 20th century important decision-making process with the authorities, and if I recall you seemed dismissive since they hadn't been there or hadn't represented.

The other point that I remember a bit better was around "squatter's rights". Blech. This is not, in my view, a valid argument, unless (I suppose) it was really very one-sided and just about the only tribes hanging out on some given land have been one single tribe, for dozens and hundreds of years. To the best of my knowledge that is not the case here. This is the 21st century, and if we're to shoot for something resembling an enlightened discussion around a grotesque and in some ways impossible to ameliorate situation involving the slaughter of civilians, then in my view we should go for something better than "God gave us this land". We should also go for something better than "our ancestors beat your ancestors in various wars, and they were sitting in this musical chair before and longer, and in greater numbers than yours, so I"m sorry that a bunch of civilians were just slaughtered and you can't also live well in the 21st century, but please just shut up and go away". This is not to say it is the argument of all Israel supporters, but I think some of that is there, for some of them.

We both seem to have Jewish upraising/background of some sort, and for some purposes this may lead us from a common starting point, though for some purposes that is not a consequential point. I'm familiar with (and am sometimes lectured a bit about, by family) the argument that there was nothing else that could be done in 1948, and a Jewish state had to be created, on that particular land. I say it's 2021 and regardless of the strengths and weaknesses of that point, what I'm focused on is:

a) limit my time focused on "Israel" because I see many intellectuals becoming obsessed with arguing about it. However, to the extent I'm able to try (at least) to lend a constructive voice, keep in mind that there are the highest possible stakes here for all involved.
b) reflect that I frequently hear valid points made by both sides. I'm willing to listen. I'm familiar with the fact that critics of Israel generally do nothing to honor the key question of what can reasonably be expected from Israel when people are lobbing bombs at them. Unfortunately, I also see broad-brush dismissive defenses of Israel which ignore that there are hard questions to be asked (and better answers to be given) as to what can reasonably be expected of the human beings trying to make lives in the Palestinian territories (or whatever those areas should be called).
c) too much money flows from around the world to financing of weapons and never-ending conflict.
d) Many of us in the US and around the world understandably want to discuss and sort out what we think. I just don't seem to run into much (if any) discussion that seems to take into account both sides not with an eye toward some sort of artificial meaningless "equality" of arguments, but with an eye toward really finding a viable secular thoughtful meaningful solution.

It's possible to argue that on balance, essentially, the Israelis, in the short-term, are right simply to defend in the manner they have. I have my doubts as to arguing that they are right to engage in what might be seen as longer-term provocations and effrontery. I also find it abhorrent that critics of Israel so often make one-sided arguments equally as offensive as any one-sided unfair unlistening approach that Israel sometimes seems to bring to the table. Notwithstanding any details to those arguments, IMO a broader discussion needs to take place, particularly among those of us who are secular and able to see past the ridiculous "god gave us this land" crapola, and try to bring a meaningful better path to the situation.

kmaz Level 7 May 22, 2021

That's a lot to unpack and my squabbles are minor so I won't try many. My point about the land is that the UK and France had ownership of it when they partitioned it out to various entities. Israel was one of those entities as part of The Balfour Dec., not because of anything God decreed. Observing Palestinian rights was in The British Mandate but that held no legal significance. It was a guideline, basically, so only Israel had ownership of the land (since 1920). UK and France recognize Israel's existence so that solidifies their relinquishment of the partition to Israel. Israel then won land from Egypt and promptly gave it to Palestine to create a state. In that way they honored The British Mandate and their duty. Palestine promptly elected a terrorist govt who doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist. THEY are the problem and the people have reaffirmed that vote a few times. It's not all to be brushed away as "Oh, that was so yesterday" because that's the argument. Nothing can or should progress until Hamas changes their attitude, imo, and this charge of Israel committing apartheid is therefore ludicrous.

Besides, Netanyahu doesn't give a damn about two states, right now. He worries about replenishing enough Jewish population to maintain a Jewish state. Unless he gets Jews to move in Israel will cease to exist from depopulation so he has to show that Israel is mostly safe. Iron Dome demonstrated that it is so this plays well for Israel. Jews have long known everyone hates us.



What I'd like to see Israel do during lulls in the action when it is not making those tough calls to shoot through innocents to kill terrorists, in order to protect their own, is something other than:

  • evicting people who (as far as I know) should be allowed to stay where they are. Squatters' rights indeed. What about the rights of those being evicted? Is this a provocation or not? Is it right for Israel to say "but we were just sitting here minding our business when they lobbed bombs on us like the terrorists they are?". Were they actually minding their business?
  • turning a blind eye to the fact that it is reasonable to expect that some of the people who live in the conditions present in the Gaza strip, watching their family and friends blown to pieces, will come out of that (rightly or wrongly) with violent antipathy toward Israel. More recruits for Hamas.
  • waiting for the Palestinians to stop supporting Hamas.

Israelis and Jews have the advantage of having lived their lives subject to lies and hatred from all quarters. Consequently, all the BS from phony SJW's, closet Nazis and other fools is readily disregarded. None of it will have the slightest effect on Israel's behavior.


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