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Ed Hudgins

Obama Endangers Israel

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My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the numbers. Imagine five hundred million Jews and five million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not. Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting. No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

That most excellent point strikes at the heart of the lie of moral equivalence between Jews and Moslems. There's just no comparison.

Greg

But might not that shift if there were 500 million Jows vs 5 million Muslims?

--Brant

No. While I don't know any Jows, it wouldn't be true for the Jews. :wink:

That's another commonly believed lie that more people means as a group they are more evil. Might doesn't necessarily make wrong any more than it makes right. Moral values, being objective, cannot be affected by how many people hold them. Jews generally have a strong moral code because of their unique relationship to God.

Greg

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My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the numbers. Imagine five hundred million Jews and five million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not. Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting. No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

That most excellent point strikes at the heart of the lie of moral equivalence between Jews and Moslems. There's just no comparison.

Greg

But might not that shift if there were 500 million Jows vs 5 million Muslims?

--Brant

No. While I don't know any Jows, it wouldn't be true for the Jews. :wink:

That's another commonly believed lie that more people means as a group they are more evil. Might doesn't necessarily make wrong any more than it makes right. Moral values, being objective, cannot be affected by how many people hold them. Jews generally have a strong moral code because of their unique relationship to God.

Greg

You think Jews can't break down into warring sects? And I didn't say evil would manifest itself but only that something might shift. What? Dunno. I'm sure it would be quite a different world to say the least--maybe a more dangerous one. All relationships to "God" are unique--Jewish, Christian, Muslim and individuals within those groups. What they have in common are their relationships to an imaginary being. Doesn't mean they aren't powerful. Obviously they can be and have been or not so much, depending. For instance, culturally I am a WASP. It doesn't matter in the least that I don't believe in an old white man up there in the sky or what have you.

--Brant

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Comedian Dennis Miller on Israel

A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need. Don't thank me.

I'm a giver. Here we go:

The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, and there were no "Palestinians" then, and the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians" then. As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the Palestinians," weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation."

The statement above is nonsensical. It states that "Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years" and that "There are no Palestinians."

Does the author believe then that the area was uninhabited?

The following paragraph is from The Handbook of Palestine published in 1922 by the Royal Asiatic Society. It is available online through Wikisource:

Palestine, the land which has given to the world Judaism and Christianity and has played an important part in the early development of Islam, is now inhabited by representatives of many races. The largest element of the population is composed of Arabs and Syrians, both separately and in every degree of combination. The language of this element is Arabic ; its religions are Islam and Christianity. Next in numerical strength are the Jews, whose languages will be referred to below. Immigration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has contributed the bulk of the present Jewish population of Palestine ; the sole representatives of ancient Israel continuously inhabiting the country are to be found in the small remnant of the Samaritans {cf. infra). Other races are only represented on a small scale, and will be referred to below under their religious classifications.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex, with legitimate grievances on both sides. Nothing is accomplished by ignoring or rewriting the historical record.

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The Palistinians are pretty much identified as people displaced by the establishment of Israel and their decendants. It's of no value to give them another name--if they would take it. The neighboring Arab countries refused to assimulate them in order to use their growing population as a weapon against Israel. The other reason they are butted up against Isreal is to benefit economically by interaction with Israel. If Israel had a king back them he would have invaded Jordan and forced assimulation of the Palestinians into Jordan proper. The Middle East mess is mostly England's fault respecting WWI and the arbitrary colonialism of European powers setting up political borders for sovernign states. What happened after WWII was a consequence of geo-political inertia. WWI defines consequently in all important ways today's political world. More than any other country the United States has been holding the whole mess together, economically, politically, militarily, just as its stupid moral hubris got it into and prolonged The Great War.

--Brant

yours is not to reason why--just fight and die

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My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the numbers. Imagine five hundred million Jews and five million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not. Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting. No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

That most excellent point strikes at the heart of the lie of moral equivalence between Jews and Moslems. There's just no comparison.

Greg

But might not that shift if there were 500 million Jows vs 5 million Muslims?

--Brant

No. While I don't know any Jows, it wouldn't be true for the Jews. :wink:

That's another commonly believed lie that more people means as a group they are more evil. Might doesn't necessarily make wrong any more than it makes right. Moral values, being objective, cannot be affected by how many people hold them. Jews generally have a strong moral code because of their unique relationship to God.

Greg

You think Jews can't break down into warring sects?

No.

In Israel there's a constant political war going on, as Jews completely cover the political spectrum. There's just no mass murder suicide bombings.

All relationships to "God" are unique--Jewish, Christian, Muslim and individuals within those groups.

I meant unique in regards to moral standards of behavior. For example, there are no 72 virgins rewarded for mass murderers in Judaism as there are in Islam. But what you say is true individually. I know some fine decent Muslims who don't buy the radical crap peddled in the name of their religion.

What they have in common are their relationships to an imaginary being.

Well, that's the thing about God. While He is utterly objective, how everyone chooses to relate to Him is completely subjective... and that includes subjective denial.

Everyone is just as free to choose to deny as to believe. For denial is exactly the same kind of belief... just that God does not exist. The purposeful lack of external proof preserves the sanctity of our free choice either to believe or to deny. The beauty of God's love can be seen in the design of faith where absolutely nothing interferes with our free choice. For if there was any external positive proof that free choice would no longer exist, and we would no longer be free.

Doesn't mean they aren't powerful. Obviously they can be and have been or not so much, depending. For instance, culturally I am a WASP. It doesn't matter in the least that I don't believe in an old white man up there in the sky or what have you.

--Brant

But I'll bet that you are basically a decent person who generally lives by White Anglo Saxon Protestant moral values... just like the Jews in Israel generally live by the moral values of Judaism.

Behavior is all that matters, Brant. Believe whatever you want. :smile:

Greg

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It's complex alright. Some simple facts are forgotten or not mentioned, one being that the whole bangshoot was part of the Ottoman Empire for a long time. Early Zionists actually bought parcels of land at top dollar from absentee Turkish land owners.

The Turks backed Germany in WW1 and lost it all. Britain (in this case, a reluctant colonist) doled some out to create Trans-Jordan, and gave a little sliver to the Jews, ratified by the L.O.N./U.N.

Historically, what's done is done - above board and legal. Bought, court and fought for. When Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank) wake up to this reality and accept it: it, not Israel, will be the greatest benefactor of an ensuing peace.

But Europe has been so much in love with the image of the romantic Palestinian 'freedom fighter', it has extended and morally supported this conflict - and must be taken to task for whatever the outcome.

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex...

It's actually quite simple. The conflict is between two completely different moral standards of behavior. One moral standard seeks to totally annihilate the other, while the other seeks to coexist in peace.

with legitimate grievances on both sides.

In your view, there is no difference between those two moral standards of behavior.

And in my view, they are as different as good and evil.

Greg

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It's complex alright. Some simple facts are forgotten or not mentioned, one being that the whole bangshoot was part of the Ottoman Empire for a long time. Early Zionists actually bought parcels of land at top dollar from absentee Turkish landlords.

The Turks backed Germany in WW1 and lost it all. Britain (in this case, a reluctant colonist) doled some out to create Jordan, and a little sliver to the Jews.

Historically, what's done is done - above board and legal. Bought, court and fought for. When Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank) wake up to this reality and accept it: it, not Israel, will be the greatest benefactor of an ensuing peace.

But Europe has been so much in love with the image of the romantic Palestinian 'freedom fighter', it has extended and morally supported this conflict - and must be taken to task for whatever the outcome.

They'll never stop fighting Israel until they are denied state sponsorship. Israel itself let Arafat back in when he was flat on his back and Hamas logically followed. Right now where are the arms and money coming from?

--Brant

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex...

It's actually quite simple. The conflict is between two completely different moral standards of behavior. One moral standard seeks to totally annihilate the other, while the other seeks to coexist in peace.

with legitimate grievances on both sides.

In your view, there is no difference between those two moral standards of behavior.

And in my view, they are as different as good and evil.

Greg

"Good and evil" = war, the real evil.

--Brant

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex...

It's actually quite simple. The conflict is between two completely different moral standards of behavior. One moral standard seeks to totally annihilate the other, while the other seeks to coexist in peace.

with legitimate grievances on both sides.

In your view, there is no difference between those two moral standards of behavior.

And in my view, they are as different as good and evil.

Greg

Quite true, Greg. There is a breach here. Double standards, you might say. Golda Meir expressed it (something like): I don't hate you so much for killing our children, I hate you for forcing us to kill yours.

But how inherent are the respective moralities in religions? I'm suggesting morality isn't -ultimately- about "which God?" "Which religion?"

Largely, Judaism is enmeshed with the sanctity of life. As is, but not always in the past, Christianity. Muslims assure us they are too, though ambivalently at times.

As a counter example, it's not an impossibility for a fringe element among ultra-Orthodox Jews to be fanatically murderous under some circumstances, citing God's Word for whatever they did.

One can read a variety of 'morals' into any religion.

Therefore, it is men and women who interpret and apply their chosen morality - mostly granting credit to, or under pretext of, their specific religion. A man is moral or not, by his choice alone - according to how he perceives existence and how truthfully he acts on it - not primarily due to his religion.

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex...

It's actually quite simple. The conflict is between two completely different moral standards of behavior. One moral standard seeks to totally annihilate the other, while the other seeks to coexist in peace.

with legitimate grievances on both sides.

In your view, there is no difference between those two moral standards of behavior.

And in my view, they are as different as good and evil.

Greg

"Good and evil" = war, the real evil.

--Brant

That's another commonly believed lie of those who also believe in the moral equivalence of those two completely different cultures.

When people were moral it was:

"fighting evil".

Now because people have become immoral it's:

"fighting is evil".

Greg

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The Palistinians are pretty much identified as people displaced by the establishment of Israel and their decendants. It's of no value to give them another name--if they would take it. The neighboring Arab countries refused to assimulate them in order to use their growing population as a weapon against Israel.

In the broader Arab-minded scheme of things, those Arabs who left Israel/Palestine in 1948 are still considered refugees. In Jordan and in Syria Palestinian refugees are afforded parity with citizens: this includes right to work, travel documents, education, etc (though the Syria war has brought further pain to its Palestinian refugees -- as in the Yarmouk 'camp' in Damascus). Jordan is almost alone in granting citizenship rights to the great majority of its refugees. The ostensibly Palestian-run West Bank still holds 60-odd camps.

In Lebanon, the delicate sectarian balance achieved by the Taif accord means that Palestinians still also live in 'camps' (though as in Syria, human instincts to 'settle' mean that camps sometimes resemble the urban surrounding fabric).

The territories of Mandate Palestine that were conquered by Israel but which contain Arab majorities under occupation are well known. They are in effect under British military law, as interpreted by the Israeli state. They are essentially stateless, without recognition as citizens of any country (though some few states do accept Palestinian Authority passports).

Is the state of relations between Israel and a putative Palestine complicated? I would argue yes, beyond a doubt. To reduce these relations to a simplistic good versus evil does little work, provides no road to solutions, and judges those in the 'evil' classes to be without humanity . I reject these kinds of peremptory sorting into 'blessed' and 'cursed,' as without warrant.

Everyone is just as free to choose to deny as to believe. For denial is exactly the same kind of belief... just that God does not exist. The purposeful lack of external proof preserves the sanctity of our free choice either to believe or to deny.

Greg, I am atheist. I have never had faith in the supernatural, in gods, fairies, brownies or devils or leprechauns. I do not 'believe' in any god. It just isn't there. Your own ChristianKarma faith is noted, but you make a category error when you imply that atheists all arrived to 'deny' Christian faith based on a long argument with Christ or active 'denial.' In other words, faith did not 'take' in some cases, as it did with you.

This phrase is unsound: "For denial is exactly the same kind of belief" ... because one 'kind of belief [that god/s exist]' is not a corollary to 'disbelief.' Belief in gods does not follow a structured initiation, a scholastic indoctrination, a reasoned argument ... without faith. Faith in unseen gods, forces, moral gravitation fields, heavens, hells, purgatories, perfect Karma, and eternal 'souls' is the basis for belief. Faith in a 'divine' order is predicated on faith that invisible intelligent and immortal agents exist.

For disbelievers in gods, or for those without an undergirding faith in 'scriptures,' the lack of faith is simply that: a lack. There should be no particular mental struggle inferred,

Consider one of your heroines, Ayn Rand. As far as can be told, she never acquired faith, nor needed schooling to upend a previous faith. "God" imprecations and 'spirit' faith simply did not take root.

When you discuss your idiosyncratic KarmaChrist beliefs with Objectivists or other atheists, you should be aware that what you consider 'choice' in widest connotation did not necessarily occur in the minds of those without faith.

If you and I both, Greg, do not 'believe' in Thor, Jupiter, Jehovah, Allah, or Ahura Mazda, this does imply atheism. But does your saying that ThorEtc does not exist means the same as your saying God does exist? Is it exactly the same kind of faith-statement (for you)?.

(what I do find attractive about Greg's KarmaChristology is its 'just-so' quality. Anything that happens happens because it was deserved. A bit of Calvinism, a splot of Vedic verities, a spooge of 'eternal moral law', a thumb on the scale -- and no mysteries remain!)

The beauty of God's love can be seen in the design of faith where absolutely nothing interferes with our free choice.

"The Beauty Of God's Love" -- now that would be a pot-boiler of a post on OL, with guaranteed longevity in its comment thread!

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex...

It's actually quite simple. The conflict is between two completely different moral standards of behavior. One moral standard seeks to totally annihilate the other, while the other seeks to coexist in peace.

with legitimate grievances on both sides.

In your view, there is no difference between those two moral standards of behavior.

And in my view, they are as different as good and evil.

I am wondering if the next step in this illogical thought-stream is to quibble with the degree of Good and the extent of Evul in the two parties:

-- are Israelis and their actions completely/utterly Good?

-- are Palestinians and their actions completely/utterly Evul?

-- does not scripture predict Gawd's wrath?

For me, to reduce a sixty-five-year struggle to Satan versus JesusThor pays no dividends whatsoever. The tone of the statements, the lack of empathy, the camp assignment, each further portends a hammer of Jehovah upon Palestinians. Who needs that?

Edited by william.scherk

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex...

It's actually quite simple. The conflict is between two completely different moral standards of behavior. One moral standard seeks to totally annihilate the other, while the other seeks to coexist in peace.

with legitimate grievances on both sides.

In your view, there is no difference between those two moral standards of behavior.

And in my view, they are as different as good and evil.

Greg

"Good and evil" = war, the real evil.

--Brant

That's another commonly believed lie of those who also believe in the moral equivalence of those two completely different cultures.

When people were moral it was:

"fighting evil".

Now because people have become immoral it's:

"fighting is evil".

Greg

But I do not believe in moral equivalence. I believe in (outright) war as a last resort defense, essentially. I know in war there will be hell to pay. And unintended consquences, likely none of them good. To suffuse oneself with moral hubris is the necessary gasoline for unnecessary war. For someone not concerned about what happens outside his little bailiwick, why does this flower so ardently and suddenley bloom?

--Brant

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Hello William! Good to see ya.

Most complex, the Palestinians and Israel, but the complexity conceals simplicity.

Take it back 65 years, and imagine not one hand raised from then on, against the Jewish homelanders, and what would we see today?

I'm sure Israel didn't mind too much expanding their territory after the wars, but I believe most Israelis would have forfeited all the land to bring back all lost lives.

Remove the "destruction of Israel" from the Hamas Charter -now- and do you not think the Israelis will make allowance after allowance, followed by reparations to their newly friendly neighbors, until Palestinian Statehood becomes actual? I do.

Justice is the heart of it, 'they' say - but echoing Greg here, you make your own justice in the here and now.

No, it's not 'justice' being sought, it is vengeance, by some of the Gazan populace who are encouraged, armed and whipped up - while being treated as sacrificial pawns - by the terror gangs and countries backing Hamas.

The touted "complexity" of history in the region is basically smoke and mirrors, exaggerated to further the ends of some very cynical people. It can all be turned around in a jiffy with good intent from the Palestinians.

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Hello William! Good to see ya.

Most complex, the Palestinians and Israel, but the complexity conceals simplicity.

Take it back 65 years, and imagine not one hand raised from then on, against the Jewish homelanders, and what would we see today?

I'm sure Israel didn't mind too much expanding their territory after the wars, but I believe it would have forfeited all the land to bring back its lost lives.

Remove the "destruction of Israel" from the Hamas Charter -now- and do you not think the Israelis will make allowance after allowance, followed by reparations to their newly friendly neighbors, until Palestinian Statehood becomes actual? I do.

Justice is the heart of it, 'they' say - but sounding like Greg here, you make your own justice in the here and now.

No, it's not 'justice' being sought, it is vengeance, by some of the Gazan populace who are encouraged, armed and whipped up - while being treated as sacrificial pawns - by the terror gangs and countries backing Hamas.

The touted "complexity" of history in the region is basically smoke and mirrors, exaggerated to further the ends of some very cynical people. It can all be turned around in a jiffy with good intent from the Palestinians.

You're imputing western and Christian even Jewish sensibilities onto the Palestinians and their puppet masters who rule by force and terror. The con-mixture of religion and politics as with Iran creates a deadly brew hard to digest or throw up. Good luck with their "good" irrelevant "intent."

--Brant

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"Good", and "intent" as in rationally self-interested with honest purpose, Brant.

Didn't think you'd escape Objectivist ethics - even here - did you? Heh.

But sure, I take your point.

All it takes is people looking at their lives and selfishly wanting better.

(And thinking for themselves for a change. Telling Hezbollah and Iran to go to hell, would be a start.)

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex...

It's actually quite simple. The conflict is between two completely different moral standards of behavior. One moral standard seeks to totally annihilate the other, while the other seeks to coexist in peace.

with legitimate grievances on both sides.

In your view, there is no difference between those two moral standards of behavior.

And in my view, they are as different as good and evil.

Greg

"Good and evil" = war, the real evil.

--Brant

That's another commonly believed lie of those who also believe in the moral equivalence of those two completely different cultures.

When people were moral it was:

"fighting evil".

Now because people have become immoral it's:

"fighting is evil".

Greg

But I do not believe in moral equivalence. I believe in (outright) war as a last resort defense, essentially.

Having personally been in one, so do I.

I know in war there will be hell to pay. And unintended consquences, likely none of them good.

Like defeating Germany and Japan? :wink:

To suffuse oneself with moral hubris is the necessary gasoline for unnecessary war. For someone not concerned about what happens outside his little bailiwick, why does this flower so ardently and suddenley bloom?

--Brant

Just because my energy and attention are on that which I actually have control and responsibility doesn't mean that I'm oblivious to other events outside of my sphere of personal influence. :wink:

I'm interested in Israel because it shares a spiritual bond with the United States... the same Judeo/Christian moral values. But over time that bond has been eroding, and lately the degradation has accelerated by a government which accurately represents the political majority which has abandoned those moral values which unite the two nations. This is not without consequences.

I tell you, something really big is coming...

Greg

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Greg wrote:

I'm interested in Israel because it shares a spiritual bond with the United States... the same Judeo/Christian moral values. But over time that bond has been eroding, and lately the degradation has accelerated by a government which accurately represents the political majority which has abandoned those moral values which unite the two nations. This is not without consequences . . . I tell you, something really big is coming...

end quote

Did you mean the Obama government when you wrote, “ . . . a government which accurately represents the political majority . . . .”? It is not obvious to me, because it is possible an ultra orthodox bloc and coalition could come to power in Israel. And I am not sure a majority of Americans would vote for Obama again. He has lost support according to Rasmussen’s polls. Yet, 47 percent of Americans approve of Obama, which is astonishingly high, after the havoc his policies have wrought. President Obama’s high polls may just reflect political inertia. I read that Hillary has three large “pacs” that are squeezing out the possibility of a challenger if she chooses to run. She would be a formidable candidate if 47 percent of Americans still support the policies of Obama.

What is the “big something” that is about to happen? I assume it involves Iran, but events in The Ukraine are also ominous. If Russia invades that sovereign nation everyone is predicting that the Ukrainian army will fold without a fight but I am not so sure. America or more specifically Obama’s foreign policy will fold, there and in Israel. IF Israel is attacked we may defend them or not. Who really knows? If Israel unilaterally attacks Iranian nuclear sites what will Obama do? He will bluster and fold, and we have two more years of the continual collapse of our foreign policy.

I don’t think a President Rand Paul would attack Iran, or defend The Ukraine, either.

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Greg wrote:

I'm interested in Israel because it shares a spiritual bond with the United States... the same Judeo/Christian moral values. But over time that bond has been eroding, and lately the degradation has accelerated by a government which accurately represents the political majority which has abandoned those moral values which unite the two nations. This is not without consequences . . . I tell you, something really big is coming...

end quote

Did you mean the Obama government when you wrote, “ . . . a government which accurately represents the political majority . . . .”?

Yes.

The political majority voted for an Obama government...

...so I say let them f**king CHOKE on the government they created! :laugh:

It is not obvious to me, because it is possible an ultra orthodox bloc and coalition could come to power in Israel.

They have a parliamentary system of government, so whatever the political majority is will prevail.

And I am not sure a majority of Americans would vote for Obama again.

Thank God they can't by law.

He has lost support according to Rasmussen’s polls. Yet, 47 percent of Americans approve of Obama, which is astonishingly high, after the havoc his policies have wrought. President Obama’s high polls may just reflect political inertia. I read that Hillary has three large “pacs” that are squeezing out the possibility of a challenger if she chooses to run. She would be a formidable candidate if 47 percent of Americans still support the policies of Obama.

What difference, at this point, does it make? :wink:

What is the “big something” that is about to happen?

I don't know. I only know about the highly significant events (the Crucifixion of Jesus, the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the discovery of America, the birth of Israel, and the 6 day war) which occurred during the other total lunar eclipse series of four within two years.

I assume it involves Iran, but events in The Ukraine are also ominous. If Russia invades that sovereign nation everyone is predicting that the Ukrainian army will fold without a fight but I am not so sure. America or more specifically Obama’s foreign policy will fold, there and in Israel. IF Israel is attacked we may defend them or not. Who really knows? If Israel unilaterally attacks Iranian nuclear sites what will Obama do? He will bluster and fold, and we have two more years of the continual collapse of our foreign policy.

I don’t think a President Rand Paul would attack Iran, or defend The Ukraine, either.

No matter what happens... it's gonna be a real doozy. First eclipse comes in 17 days. :wink:

Greg

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