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 Why Israel?

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PostSubject: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:19 am

I appreciate I'm asking a question that is not only likely to result in derailment, but probably an irreversible launch into the stratosphere, but why do so many people (online in particular) support Israel or Palestine?

I'm not asking for a whole diatribe (or set of diatribes) about the rights and wrongs of the situation - although that's probably what I'll get - but why the strength of support for either side? Does anyone have equally strong feelings about the India-Pakistan conflict? Cyprus? Sri Lanka? Iran-Iraq when that was running? The Lebanese civil war? The Balkans? The innumerable African conflicts?

What is it about Israel-Palestine?
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:27 am

Do they? Considering events, I think the amount of discussion is low and the level of knowledge scanty.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:32 am

Quick 2-second answer - I feel the Israel-Palestine conflict touches something deep in European hearts (there I go talking in general European terms again).

One point of view on Israeli history is that the State was created to salve post-WW2 European / Allied consciences. There is so much more to it, I know, but ... a leetle truth?

I have worked with an Israeli who had served in the IDF reservists and one of my very best friends only has to hear the word "Palestine" to get him out demonstrating in Whitehall / attending (pro-)Palestinian poetry readings etc(genuinely!!)- Rolling Eyes

Israel / Palestine really is a faultline.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:54 am

cactus flower wrote:
Do they? Considering events, I think the amount of discussion is low and the level of knowledge scanty.

The current conflict in Israel-Palestine has resulted in fewer than a thousand deaths in ten days. The Rwandan genocide killed ten times that number every day for a hundred days. I don't know anyone who is not a native of one of those countries who has intense feelings about that conflict in terms of which side was right or wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:00 am

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Do they? Considering events, I think the amount of discussion is low and the level of knowledge scanty.

The current conflict in Israel-Palestine has resulted in fewer than a thousand deaths in ten days. The Rwandan genocide killed ten times that number every day for a hundred days. I don't know anyone who is not a native of one of those countries who has intense feelings about that conflict in terms of which side was right or wrong.

Israel - Palestine has the same characteristic as Britain - Ireland. It is not resolved. And I'm just not convinced of your case that people are disproportionately interested. There is still a lot of discussion of the Turkish - Armenian genocide - again, unfinished business I suppose.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:07 am

Israel must succeed in order for it to play the role ordaned by it in the Bible. Surely you don't think fundamental Christians give a bollix about the Jews. They hate them just like they hate the Mormans and the Mormans did jackshit while the Jews killed Christ.

They are just concerned about getting their sorry ass raptured straigh to Heaven out of this dump and that requires a war of Armagedden
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:33 am

youngdan wrote:
Israel must succeed in order for it to play the role ordaned by it in the Bible. Surely you don't think fundamental Christians give a bollix about the Jews. They hate them just like they hate the Mormans and the Mormans did jackshit while the Jews killed Christ.

They are just concerned about getting their sorry ass raptured straigh to Heaven out of this dump and that requires a war of Armagedden

I've heard that particular one, and I accept it applies to a certain subset of people (Jack Chick, for example). It doesn't really explain many people outside the US, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:31 am

ibis wrote:


The current conflict in Israel-Palestine has resulted in fewer than a thousand deaths in ten days. The Rwandan genocide killed ten times that number every day for a hundred days. I don't know anyone who is not a native of one of those countries who has intense feelings about that conflict in terms of which side was right or wrong.

I used live with some Russians who were under the impression that semi open warfare existed for much of the 1970's 1980's and 1990's between Britain and ireland in the same way as in Chechnya. When i told them it resulted in 3000 deaths in about 30 years they laughed - and how could blame them really in light of the massive number of killings russians had to endure throughout almost every generation since the start of the 20th Century. In absolute numbers the northern troubles are in the ha'penny place but its always had an internationally high profile.

The Arab -Israeli conflict has become a faultline of our times as someone above says because of the amount of attention it recieves. It has recieved so much attention because:

Longevity - its been a trouble spot since the 1930's.

The Jewish stuggle also caputerd much of the worlds imagination in the immediate wake of WWII and the Nazi holocaust.

The involvement of superpowers in the conflict. Since 1919 western powers have involved themselves in the conflict - most recently the US. Pro Israeli lobbying has been extremely effective in keeping the issue of Israel on the adenda in the US and other western countries. Happened with Irish American politicians on a much smaller scale in the north.

This American involvement is then seen as being unhelpful to many people outside the US.

American involvement also means that anyone hostile to the yanks (as the most powerful nation in the world that would be a lot of people) will see the conflict through this lens.

Cold war Geo-politics. It was almost a proxy war with many of israels arab enemies getting aid from the USSR - keeping western attention drawn to the region.

Western support of Isreal was responsible for the oil embargoes on the 1970's - the trouble in israel actually hit peoples pockets in a major way.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:39 am

One other thing is a lot of the other conflicts you mention have no western involvement (at least that is immediately obvious). I mean for example the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The ethnic faultline is clear to someone from the region perhaps but not most westerners. We just see the one skin tone and fail to appreciate the centuries of history that have gone into the making of the conflict.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:41 am

A white man is worth 5 Turks, 10 Arabs, 50 Africans, 100 Indians and 50000 of the plentifull fellas.



All these things are side issues. The real reason is that during the Cold War
the US would fight a nuclear war rather than see Israel overrun. This nearly happened in 73.. It is the only war where the stakes were so high.

Even today for example nobody is overly concerned about India and Pakistan having a nuclear war. Russia is not as tied to Syria as it was but still it is dangerous.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:22 pm

youngdan wrote:
A white man is worth 5 Turks, 10 Arabs, 50 Africans, 100 Indians and 50000 of the plentifull fellas.



All these things are side issues. The real reason is that during the Cold War
the US would fight a nuclear war rather than see Israel overrun. This nearly happened in 73.. It is the only war where the stakes were so high.

Even today for example nobody is overly concerned about India and Pakistan having a nuclear war. Russia is not as tied to Syria as it was but still it is dangerous.

Yes, definately. This has been a consistant position of all western governments and is no different now than it was in victorian Britain. The US in Vietnam, Iraq etc, the French in Vietnam and Algeria, The British in East Africa during WWI (to name just one example), Germans in russia and west africa.

When the enemy is of a different race its chocks away chaps.

Have a look at the excellent documentary Heats and Minds - the ending where Westmoreland is talking about the disdain oriental people have for life is a literally shocking piece, placed as the film-maker does against the backdrop of a funeral service for an ARVN soldiers who's mother is so distraught she has to be restrained.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:30 pm

youngdan wrote:
A white man is worth 5 Turks, 10 Arabs, 50 Africans, 100 Indians and 50000 of the plentifull fellas.



All these things are side issues. The real reason is that during the Cold War
the US would fight a nuclear war rather than see Israel overrun. This nearly happened in 73.. It is the only war where the stakes were so high.

Even today for example nobody is overly concerned about India and Pakistan having a nuclear war. Russia is not as tied to Syria as it was but still it is dangerous.

Which brings us to why that was the case, why Israel has the sixth largest armed forces on the planet, and why the US pays for them.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:32 pm

cactus flower wrote:
youngdan wrote:
A white man is worth 5 Turks, 10 Arabs, 50 Africans, 100 Indians and 50000 of the plentifull fellas.



All these things are side issues. The real reason is that during the Cold War
the US would fight a nuclear war rather than see Israel overrun. This nearly happened in 73.. It is the only war where the stakes were so high.

Even today for example nobody is overly concerned about India and Pakistan having a nuclear war. Russia is not as tied to Syria as it was but still it is dangerous.

Which brings us to why that was the case, why Israel has the sixth largest armed forces on the planet, and why the US pays for them.

Yes, there's a certain amount of circularity - the conflict is important because the US and the West treat it as important...and why?
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:34 pm

Well, one might say why is the middle east important to them...
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:39 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Well, one might say why is the middle east important to them...

The Middle East being important is fine, but Israel is a standing irritant to everyone else in the Middle East. All the Western powers had protectorates and client states of various kinds in the ME - the region could very easily have been divvied up between them as it was prior to the creation of Israel, without supporting a permanent running sore.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:32 pm

i suspect a US backed jewish nation fighting a muslim nation with rockets and tanks and suicide bombers is sexier than two obscure tribes in the sudan or rwanda chopping eachother to pieces with machetes.

also, the fact that 24hr news channels can't film the action means it gets less airtime.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:57 pm

zakalwe wrote:
i suspect a US backed jewish nation fighting a muslim nation with rockets and tanks and suicide bombers is sexier than two obscure tribes in the sudan or rwanda chopping eachother to pieces with machetes.

also, the fact that 24hr news channels can't film the action means it gets less airtime.

Rwanda was deeply shocking and sudden, but I remember well that is was on the news constantly.

Scattered hit and run attacks in the desert - much harder to cover I agree.

I suprised that no one has mentioned the Congo, where millions have died with scarcely a mention.

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/01/22/congo.html


Last edited by cactus flower on Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:59 pm

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Well, one might say why is the middle east important to them...

The Middle East being important is fine, but Israel is a standing irritant to everyone else in the Middle East. All the Western powers had protectorates and client states of various kinds in the ME - the region could very easily have been divvied up between them as it was prior to the creation of Israel, without supporting a permanent running sore.

Or a permanent aircraft carrier/base ? What about the pan-Arab movement ? the Middle East was a very different place before '67.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:51 pm

cactus flower wrote:
zakalwe wrote:
i suspect a US backed jewish nation fighting a muslim nation with rockets and tanks and suicide bombers is sexier than two obscure tribes in the sudan or rwanda chopping eachother to pieces with machetes.

also, the fact that 24hr news channels can't film the action means it gets less airtime.

Rwanda was deeply shocking and sudden, but I remember well that is was on the news constantly.

Scattered hit and run attacks in the desert - much harder to cover I agree.

I suprised that no one has mentioned the Congo, where millions have died with scarcely a mention.

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/01/22/congo.html

It's not really about the level of media coverage, but the intensity of feeling inspired.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:04 pm

does 600,000 deaths in africa not inspire you as much as 600 deaths in palestine?
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:11 pm

1. The conflict resonates with the Irish where a poor people are oppressed and displaced in their home country.

2. The conflict has exposed a chasm between the US, the most powerful military country in the world and Israel on the one hand and the rest of the UN on the other hand.

3. The conflict is a touch paper for the ever present possible conflict between the Christians, Jews and Muslims.

4. The conflict if located at the site of centuries of conflict. The setting is familiar to people.

5. The region was of huge strategic importance in the cold war between the USSR and the USA (oil is needed for war). It is also likely to be of huge importance in any resource wars. The existence of Israel stops another nation grabbing the West by the nuts by seizing control of the oil.

6. The story of the Jews resonates with all Europeans following on from the Holocaust and the preceeding and following anti semitism.

7. The story of the Jews resonates with nationalism and with emigrants and the displaced.

8. The conflict involves huge and complex moral questions and huge and complex real politik questions.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:20 pm

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
youngdan wrote:
A white man is worth 5 Turks, 10 Arabs, 50 Africans, 100 Indians and 50000 of the plentifull fellas.



All these things are side issues. The real reason is that during the Cold War
the US would fight a nuclear war rather than see Israel overrun. This nearly happened in 73.. It is the only war where the stakes were so high.

Even today for example nobody is overly concerned about India and Pakistan having a nuclear war. Russia is not as tied to Syria as it was but still it is dangerous.

Which brings us to why that was the case, why Israel has the sixth largest armed forces on the planet, and why the US pays for them.

Yes, there's a certain amount of circularity - the conflict is important because the US and the West treat it as important...and why?
This is true, but it excites other areas too. The UN spends more tikme on the Israel-Palestine issue than any other, about 20-25% of their time goes to this conflict. Tis is largely due to the Muslim nations bringing it up the whole time. I've always wondered why Russia seems so interested. Does China have an opinion?
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:34 pm

I think its also because the Palestinians are Stateless and disposessed. That somehow makes them enormously threatening to all surrounding States, no matter what their expressed attitude might be.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:33 pm

zakalwe wrote:
does 600,000 deaths in africa not inspire you as much as 600 deaths in palestine?

Rather more, but I don't have a thing about the Israel-Palestine conflict itself, more about people's interest in it. I have a bit of a thing about Iraq, and about the Balkans, more than Israel or Palestine. I'd condemn Israel's actions more heavily on the basis purely of the gross disproportionality of death and injury, particularly to children, but I don't "support" the Palestinians as such. Both sides are in the wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Israel?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:02 pm

I told you why the US backs Israel. It is so that it can be attacked and destroyed. Do ye not have cable TV back there so ye can listen yo Pat Robertson, Gramham and Falwell.

I am not as familiar with Rick Warren but Obama is having him give the inaugeration speach. All the queers are upset. Warren has sold more copies of his book than any other book except the bible in history. He has 30 million in his church and his influence is underestimated
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