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Updated on Sunday, October 4

#21361

OMG: I've had this question in my head for a while, but haven't really been able to ask, because it's such a sensitive subject. Hopefully logical, non-biased, intelligent people can provide some insight.

I have several palestinian/muslim and jewish friends, and I tend to not stamp people with their religion. I wanted to know, how do people, especially westerners, logically justify the state of Israel? The reason I'm emphasizing logically is to mean that a religious prediction or context shouldn't affect the justification, and instead refer to people as people, as opposed to muslim/jew etc.

The way I see it is, people A have been living in the land A' for centuries, and people B have been living in the land B' for centuries. People B have been subject to prosecution, so a war happened and the prosecutors of B have been defeated. In the aftermath, people B leave B' and settle in land A', driving people A out, and calling the land C. In this context, how can C be logically be justified? For people who didn't understand, A = palestinian/arab, A' = palestine, B = jews, B' = various parts of europe/germany, C = israel and the war = WW2.

Please don't bring up religious books or something that happened 1000s of years ago, don't say racist/bigoted things, justify the position logically and treat this as an intellectual question/debate.

Thank you

38 comments

  1. It can only be explained by cognitive dissonance. I don't think invading a country and making it yours and kicking out people who lived there is something I consider ethical but we have been supporting Israel. Why is that? There must be something and then you get some help from the huge Israeli propaganda (and I dare anyone to deny it) to justify that.

    Everyone supported Israel's existence in the first place so let's suppose nothing happened afterwards and try to justify their existence in the first place. Hamas and all of that is irrelevant. There's no way you could justify it without mentioning the 2000 years ago Kingdom of Israel thing which is obviously bullshit because I don't see any Muslims being granted Spain because there was Muslim kingdom there for hundreds of years for example. or you could bring up the holocaust which is a moronic argument that people use to trigger an emotional response. Why weren't they granted Germany to live in? Why not France? Why not the US? Why not Canada? Why not Eastern Europe where most Jewish people used to live? Why out of infinite possibilities the land they chose is somehow their holy land? Because they wanted to live a fantasy and they succeeded in doing so and western people will have the Israeli propaganda to help them justify what they did.

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    1. By the logic of your argument the longer Israel exists the dumber the question of Palestine becomes. Palestine is dead and if her neighbours gave a shit about the Palestinian people instead of using anti-Semetic hate as an organizing political principle they'd bring Palestinians into their own land.

      But do Egyptians want Palestinians to come to Egypt? What about people in Jordan? Lebanon? Syria? Anyone feeling generous? No. They despise Palestinians right up to the point where Palestinian suffering makes for good propaganda.

      And Palestine was not some independent kingdom by the way. Palestine was a weak outpost of the Ottoman Empire that was prized from them by the Brits after WWI.

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  2. Fifty years ago there was no good justification for the creation of Israel. Today it is difficult to kick out 7 million people, which means this mess is here to stay. I have no solutions.

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  3. FINALLY I CAN POST MY FAVOURITE QUOTE

    "Look, the Jews clearly control the media and the banks. lnvestment banks, not the commercial ones, but the point is they carry out in those realms the exact same principles they display in sexuality. They undermine traditional life and they deracinate society. Deracinate. Tear out the roots. A real people derives its genius from the land, from the sun, from the sea, from the soil. This is how they know themselves. But Jews don't even have soil. There's lsrael. - Yeah. Those aren't Jews. Notice the lsraelis. lt's a fundamentally secular society. They no longer need Judaism because they have soil. The real Jew is a wanderer. He's a nomad. He's got no roots and no attachments so he universalises everything. He can't hammer a nail or plough a field. All he can do is buy and sell and invest capital, manipulate markets and it's, like, all mental. He takes the life of a people rooted in soil and turns it into a cosmopolitan culture, based on books and numbers and ideas. You know, this is his strength. Take the greatest Jewish minds - Marx, Freud, Einstein. What have they given us? Communism, infantile sexuality and the atom bomb. ln the three centuries it's taken these people to emerge from the ghettos of Europe, they've ripped us out of a world of order and reason, thrown us into class warfare, irrational urges, relativity, into a world where the very existence of matter and meaning is in question! Why?! Cos it's the deepest impulse of a Jewish soul to pull at the very fabric of life till there's nothing left but a thread. They want nothing but nothingness. Nothingness without end" - The Believer

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    1. isn't that a consequence of statistically being the smartest race?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jewish_intelligence

      you racist fuck

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    2. @3a so you didn't read any of what I posted and made your statement that isn't related to anything stating the jewish race is the smartest and called me a "racist fuck"
      Wow you win this argument.

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    3. @3b, son you don't have an "argument". Go read a fucking book that is not the Elders of Zion or Mein Kampf.

      > it's the deepest impulse of a Jewish soul to pull at the very fabric of life till there's nothing left but a thread.

      I don't have to answer that. Fuck you.

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    4. huh, a real-life anti-Semite. I've seen a lot of dumb racists on here but this is a first.

      Also, in your quote, someone is angry at the Jewish people for not being manual laborers and using their heads. Not sure how someone else having an education and making a good living undermines your own "fabric of life".

      Also, Einstein gave us nothing but the Atom bomb? That's next level stupid. Honestly, I don't even know why I'm even knit-picking here, the whole quote is a pile of early 1900's excrement.

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    5. @3.a, c, and d: it's a quote from a movie you goddamn idiots.

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    6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Believer_(film)

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    7. Your point 3e? I don't think not knowing the film reference takes away from the arguments or makes me particularly stupid. I recommend using a different gauge for intelligence.

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    8. The point is that the film reference is clearly not sympathetic to the arguments in the quote.

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  4. Before Israel moved in, the region was a barren desert land. Then the Jews moved in and developed the place and even the Palestinians population grew and quality of life improved.

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    1. "the region was a barren desert land"
      Even if this was true, it doesn't justify invading the land. It's like saying Hey, your house is not very modern. I will make it mine and make it better and then say I deserve that house because I can make it better. No, you don't because it's not yours.

      "Palestinians population grew"
      Every single population grew during that period and it's not an indication of whether they were treated well or not.

      "quality of life improved"
      It didn't. Even the Palestinians that were accepted to live in what has become Israel are discriminated against and do not enjoy the quality of life the Israeli can affor. Besides, the big majority of palestenians were kicked out and are now living in an extremely poor way. They don't have constant access to electricity and the Gaza strip has the world's highest population density because that's what they were left with and if Israel could it would kick them out of Gaza and invade it as well.

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  5. PART 1/2

    First off, *persecution

    Second of all, being an Israeli I don't think I'm non-biased on this issue, but seeing the replies in the thread (thanks #3!) I feel like I should say my side of the story.

    What you've described above is a very, very simplistic view of the situation. I will attempt to clear it up without writing an entire book:

    Jews did not come to Palestine only after WWII. Not only were there communities of Jews living there continuously for centuries, but the Zionist movement really began in the 19th century, coinciding with the rise of gentile nationalist movements in Europe. Before WWI, Jewish groups and rich individuals would buy land from Ottoman lords (often unfertile or swampy ground) and attempt to reclaim it for agricultural purposes. A major problem with this is that while much of land was legally owned by Ottoman absentee nobles (typically Arab tribal leaders), it was used by shepherds and smallholders who didn't have legal rights to it. When Jews bought the land, however, they began fencing the land off for settlements and farming, thus excluding the Arabs who technically didn't own it.

    After 1918, when the area became a British Mandate, the Arab peoples were expecting the British, who had supported Arab nationalist movements during the war in order to fight against the Ottomans, to grant them that land as part of an Arab state. Meanwhile, the Zionist movement had picked up speed in Europe and a major opinion at home was for the Jews to go to Palestine so they wouldn't live in Europe. Plus, the reclamation efforts of the first settlers around what is now Tel Aviv had begun to show results, and British authorities liked the money being paid for the land as well as the land improvement efforts of the Zionists, hence the famous Balfour Declaration.

    Arab leaders were very unhappy with Britain, which the UK tried to prevent because it had its own independence movements in Arab colonies it wanted to prevent, as well as oil deals with sheikhs that it needed to maintain its empire. On the other hand, Jewish settlers and international Zionist organisations had a lot to offer and clearly weren't going away. As ethnic clashes/raids inevitably erupted, British forces inevitably found themselves as intermediaries between Zionists and Arab Nationalists, and both sides had radical elements that perpetrated terrorist acts against each other and the British in order to obtain autonomy/independence.

    WWII happened, and there was an enormous refugee crisis relating to Jews in Europe. Nobody knew what to do with them, and many tried to get into British Palestine legally or illegally during and immediately after the war. While Israel seemed like a good place for Jewish refugees to go, Britain was wary of an influx of new Jewish migrants into Palestine, as this was making Arab leaders furious, but its attempts at curbing migration not only didn't appease the Arabs, but infuriated the Jews as well, many of whom organised into "national liberation" organisations in order to defend themselves and attempt to release arriving Jewish refugees from British internment camps. Terrorist and sectarian acts on both sides increased.


    (cont...)

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  6. PART 2/2

    After the war, Britain found itself increasingly in a lose-lose situation, with a rapidly weakening ability to maintain order between the two factions. In addition, political opinion at home was shifting toward just withdrawing and not wasting more men and arms on the place. As the situation was getting worse and worse, the United Nations proposed the now-famous 1947 Palestine Partition Plan, dividing the land into two parts: one for the Jewish state, and another for the Arab state, with Jerusalem being a neutral territory. The majority of Jewish groups and settlers accepted this plan, but Arab leaders completely rejected it. Violence was escalating rapidly, and Britain withdrew and the Israeli War of Independence ensued.

    Jewish militias and defense forces were up against the combined armies of most of the Arab world, and still managed to achieve a military victory, with some of the land now considered occupied by Israel having been occupied by Jordan or Egypt. Many (but not all) Arabs fled or were displaced from the territories gained by Jewish troops, and at the same time Jewish populations were exiled from Arab countries due to suspicions of harbouring sentiments for Israel. In any case, thus Israel was born.

    It wasn't so much a case of imperialist Jewish invaders displacing poor old Arab families, but rather a conflict of diametrically opposed nationalist movements which British involvement was unable to subdue as it did in some other places.

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    A question often comes up of "Why Palestine? Why not Argentina, or Germany, or wherever else?". The answer is that the Land of Israel holds a special cultural and historical significance to the Jewish people. If Israel were established in, say, Argentina or Poland, not only would the same problems of war/population displacement/ethnic tensions still exist, but there would be literally no justification for its founding. Israel wasn't meant to be a containment area for Jewish refugees after WWII (though that was certainly a point in its support), it was meant to be a permanent nation-state for the Jewish people, which would only make any sort of sense at all in Palestine. It's the same reason that so many Arab anti-Semites feel compelled to claim that Jews are actually descendants of Turkic Khazars (we're not) - they need a reason to declare the justification of the State of Israel void.

    Also, wow this turned out longer than I expected.

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    1. That was quite comprehensive and well laid out, thanks!

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    2. Thanks 5/6, that was very informative and I'm really glad I had my facts straight.

      I don't necessarily agree with many of Israel's policies pertaining to Palestinians now, but its not hard to see why they can't afford to slip up. If the countries around them weren't so bent on their destruction maybe Israel could take a breath and be more humane. Its easy for us to criticize from Canada, where the last time our sovereignty was at stake was the war of 1812.

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    3. So many ignorant responses, glad to see atleast 1 reasonable response. The persecution of Israel these days honestly disgusts me, a casual atheist dude.

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    4. Lol @ Canadian sovereignty in 1812.

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    5. Hey @6, OP here. That still doesn't quite answer the question though. Because, say, there was a muslim village somewhere (say, Spain), and now the refugees, say, Syrians all arrived in there because that place meant something to them culturally, and there was a small muslim population already there, and they started establishing a state, banishing local native spaniards. I don't think this'd really hold up or be justifiable though.
      I could still somewhat understand wanting a Jewish community/state in the villages or towns that were all Jewish, but to kick people out, who are already living there... I don't think that is acceptable.
      And, as a Jewish/Israeli yourself, are you critical of Israel's actions at all, or do you generally support them? For example, what's your stance, or justification on Israelis kicking people out and building settlements where there were Gazans/West Bank-ians (?) before?

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    6. @6.e/OP, you're a student at a Canadian university for Christ's sake.

      Our forefathers displaced a bunch of people, it wasn't fair, and it may not be justice but we're not going anywhere. Same goes for Israel.

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    7. @6e/OP, we are more similar than you would think under this thin layer of cultural identity created for political reasons

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    8. @6f, the issue is that it is still going on, and the big significant difference that makes this different from Canada is that, the people doing it and the victims are both alive/2nd generation, whereas Canadians today didn't have anything to do with it.
      FYI: I'm not Canadian, not that it should change anything
      @6g, I'm not sure what you mean, are you the 6, or? Sorry I'm confused.

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    9. Sorry just realized 6f and 6h are the same person

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    10. @6.h, 6.f here (not the same person), you missed my point. Two generations from now Israelis will be in something close to the Canadian position. Maybe closer to apartheid South Africa but it's hard to say. In any case, Israel will go on and the longer it does the less relevant Palestine's claims.

      And you're right, your lack of Canadian heritage makes no difference. You didn't just inherit responsibility, you chose to take it on. (Or maybe you're just here for the nice degree, who knows.)

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    11. @6e, #5/6 here again.

      PART 1/2

      Jewish settlers obtained land in Israel Proper (excluding WB and Gaza for now) in one of two ways: either through land purchases from British/Ottoman authorities, or through conquest during the War of Independence. I tried to show that it wasn't a case of one people invading and displacing another, but rather the result of conflict between Zionist groups and Arab Nationalists in the area. War results in displacement, that's a fact. If the Arabs had won, Jews would inevitably have been displaced.

      Also, Israel didn't "banish" local Arabs. All the Arabs who left either did so voluntarily (by which I mean fleeing war, not exactly a choice but still voluntary). 20% of Israel's citizen population (that means excluding WB and Gaza) is Arab, which includes both Muslims and Christians. Many Arabs, especially in the northern part of Israel, chose to remain. On the other hand, many Arab countries did exile all their Jews during and after the war, and the only place these Jews could go was Israel. Much of the land deemed not to have been voluntarily abandoned is still held by the Israeli government in trust of the owners who still technically have the rights to the land. It's been 60-something years no, so these are mostly ruined buildings in Tel Aviv's centre or now forested land plots, but they still exist legally.

      Population exchanges aren't even that uncommon in recent times. The most famous one is the exchange between Greece and Turkey of Christian and Muslim populations after WWI. Millions of people were displaced, but it was decided by international powers at the time that this was better than the very likely prospect of civil wars in former Ottoman lands. Was it unjust to the people living peaceful lives in the "wrong" nation-state? Probably, but oftentimes there is no nice solution, especially in a wartime situation as was the case in 1948.

      I don't condone war crimes and for example think Israel's use of white phosphorus on Gaza was completely unjustified. However, things like statistics comparing Israeli and Gazan civilian deaths are completely missing the point. Gaza is a densely populated area with a strong insurgent movement that poses a direct existential threat to Israel. If military targets are to be achieved in such a situation, civilians will have to die. This is a fact of urban warfare, and it's a fact of war in general. People complaining about "disproportionate use of force" on Israel's part clearly misunderstand the situation: this is not a game, where if you use OP cheats you don't capture the spirit of the game. Israel is in a state of war with Hamas. I believe that for a state to consider the lives of its citizens and the lives of enemy civilians equally when making military decisions is absolutely absurd from any militarily realistic point of view. For a government to think "better one of them than one of us" makes perfect sense from the point of view of their goals, which are to protect their state, government, people, infrastructure, and land. Of course, rights of civilians should not be unconsidered at all, but if you tell me that as a military commander you wouldn't prefer to kill than to be killed, then I don't think you understand the problem at hand.

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    12. PART 2/2

      As for WB, neither side has maintained their end of the bargain from the Oslo accords, so what's happening now is a strange hybrid of pragmatism and international law that doesn't really make much sense. People being forced from their homes is usually what happens in East Jerusalem, which Israel claims to have annexed but this is not internationally recognised. Basically what happens is that the Israeli government exercises eminent domain laws and/or rezoning laws (things I don't agree with, but which are certainly not limited to Israel. Such laws exist in Canada too). In EJ, however, it's usually Palestinians being displaced, and so that causes more of an uproar than it would have otherwise.

      WB settlements are illegal under international law. This is based on the legal status of WB as occupied territory. Occupied from whom? From a theoretical Palestinian state that should have legally come into being after the 1947 partition but didn't. By the same token, Jerusalem's status is "undetermined" as it should be a UN neutral zone by the partition plan. This is why countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem which is Israel's capital: because even West Jerusalem is not recognised as part of Israel (sorta kinda, more so than East Jerusalem). Kicking people out in WB is usually either eminent-domain type stuff for infrastructure/military shit, or is related to the 3 "zones" set down in the Oslo accord, with varying degrees of Israeli and Palestinian control over different regions of WB. Not nice or legal, but some of it is what I'd call a necessary evil and other things I'd call unjustified expansion.

      Israel justifies the occupation of WB by saying that it requires strategically defensible borders, and I wouldn't disagree there. The Judean Hills are an extremely strategically significant region, and if occupied by a hostile force, could easily cut off northern Israel from the centre by a chokepoint near Netanya within hours, and artillery stationed in the hills would be able to reach nearly every populated point in Israel. Until and unless Israel's border security is guaranteed, it cannot safely withdraw from the WB with jeopardising its very existence.

      The border wall is an example of a necessary evil in my view. Yes, it heavily restricts the ability of Palestinians to travel, but since it was built the once constant suicide bombing and terrorist attacks on Israeli soil have become much rarer, as terrorists have a much lower chance of sneaking past undetected.

      I hope that answers your question, OP.

      --------

      A quick note to 6j: the comparison to the Union of South Africa isn't very valid, since apartheid was based on race while Palestinians are defined by nationality status. There are many millions of Israeli citizens who are Arabs, just as there are Palestinians who are not Arab. Discriminating based on nationality status, especially in militarily occupied hostile territory is something that makes absolute perfect sense from a military point of view.

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    13. *either voluntarily or as a result of their homes/land being severely damaged.

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    14. 6d...buddy, please just read a whole sentence and string together the whole idea. While Canada wasn't a sovereign nation in 1812, I'm pretty sure that's the last time we fought a conflict on home soil that could have resulted in us becoming part of another country entirely. I guess "colony status" would have been more technically correct but since we all know how that colony ended up I figured "sovereignty" also worked. You can be pretty sure we'd all be "North North Dekota" or something now if that war had gone a different way.

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    15. Except "sovereignty" didn't really work in that context, so there you go. But the sloppy use of "we" is noted.

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    16. Sorry, I was assuming you knew how Canada ended up. I won't speak for you in the future.

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    17. And I was assuming "we" in regards to a nation state began with confederation. Brits don't say "we" for the Norman conquest, say.

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    18. 6q, and yet, the Brits also don't see the War of 1812 as a part of "their" history. It's a piece of Canadian history. A mere 55 years before Canadian confederation, residents of the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada defended the border against an American invasion. Saying "we" seems just fine to me, since it is a part of our history.

      Anyway, this argument over the correct use of 'we' is entirely pedantic. Even a glancing read of what 6b/n said makes their point pretty clear: Canada has never been a nation that has had its right to sovereignty constantly under attack; its very existence under threat. The only time that sovereignty *was* threatened was before the existence of the "Dominion of Canada" as a nation-state had even been formalized. Now is that enough to end this ridiculous bickering over wording?

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  7. toda hamesh, yodeo midai hegyonee

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  8. OP I have a question for you: why not bringing up things happened 1000 years ago? Just because 1000 years is too long? Why is 50 years not too long? Who should draw the line here? Who has the right to determine what's relevant & recent and whats irrelevant &distant?

    Not jew, not muslim, just as looking for some nonbiased & intelligent answer as well.

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    1. Well, for one, 50 years is short enough to have direct effects on today, whereas 1000-2000 years is not.
      For two, kind of related to #one, there are people who did horrible things 50 years ago that are still alive, or people who directly witness/were victims and are still alive, so it's not like we can blame it on the "past dead generation".
      For three, no one knows exactly what happened a few thousand years ago and even if we did, so many things happened following that to make it relevant.
      For four, we can't blame someone for what their greatx50 grandfathers did.
      For five, religion, race, ethnicity was way bigger a deal back then than simply countries. Right now it's wrong to exile/kill someone because their religion/ethnicity, back then it was the norm and the central concept behind most communities and countries.
      I could go on a bit more if you'd like, and sorry if some of the points aren't articulated enough. I could clarify if you have an issue with any of them.

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