What are your thoughts on the opposition of the government of Israel's actions?

United States
April 21, 2009 1:17pm CST
Do you believe that it is anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic to speak out against Israel's colonialism, violations of international law, and oppression and killing of innocent civilians on a massive scale? I have been accused as such, and of being a Muslim "apologist," although I have not apologized or made excuses for any bigotry or terrorism of Muslims. I simply judge Muslims and Jews and Christians on the same scale. Does this make me anti-Semitic? Do I have a Biblical responsibility to back Israel? What about the prophets - why is no one calling them anti-Semitic for calling Israel out on its sins and lack of social justice? If Israel is in fact a land chosen by God, then don't I as a Christian and all Christians and Jews have a responsibility to hold Israel accountable for its crimes and sins? Or am I supposed to sit back and watch because this is necessary for the rapture? Any thoughts?
2 people like this
11 responses
@katran (590)
• United States
21 Apr 09
The fact of the matter is, neither side is clean. Both sides have done horrible things. It doesn't matter which one you support, because the opposing side can come up with a very compelling argument about why you are supporting the wrong side. It is a sad situation, bleak from the beginning, and the solution depends completely upon the willingness of the Israelis and the Palestinians to stop their fighting and come to a solution. Interesting factoid for you though. We just learned in psychology about a study was done wherein a group of Israelis and a group of Palestinians were each given a solution to the conflict that was written by their own people, but they were told that it was written by the opposite side. Then they were given a solution that was written by the opposite side and were told it was written by their own people. Both groups liked the solution that they thought was from their own group and rejected the one that they thought was from the other group, even though they really had it backwards! That just goes to show you that they are both so used to hating each other and fighting each other, that there may be no way to fix it. My problem with the way you go about things is not that you are a Muslim "apologist". It is that you have a tendency to say, "Well, they started it!" or "Well, they do it too!" That is a childish and immature argument. Saying that the Israelis participate in violence too does not excuse the Muslims from their violence, just like saying that the Muslims are violent does not excuse the Israelis. Why do you think that you have a responsibility to hold Israel accountable but not Palestine? Why should you hold one to a higher standard than the other? It is not fair for you to justify what one group does by saying the other does it too. That is like the tendency of Obama supporters to defend him by citing the bad things Bush did. It has nothing to do with what the other side did/does. Personally, I would suggest that you research AT LENGTH both sides of the coin before you try to side with one and point the finger at the other. Perhaps you do not fully understand the psychology of it. I recommend this site: http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/viewtopic.asp
• United States
22 Apr 09
I agree with pretty much all that you say. The reason I have a tendency to hold Israel at more criticism is because I am a citizen of a country that chooses sides, and that aides Israel in its war crimes. I am a citizen of a country with a government that jails and fines people who give money that reaches Hamas even indirectly, but gives money directly to the IDF. Furthermore, what reason do I have to dwell on the terrorism and injustices committed by Palestinians that are already dwelled upon in detail by politicians and the media? I acknowledge them, and I acknowledge their severity, and I wish for them to stop. But I also realize that dominating them with oppressive power is only going to make the terrorism in the world more prevalent. Israel has given itself immense responsibility by colonializing the West Bank and controlling the Gaza border. As someone who helps give them billions in aid every year, I expect them to act within the geneva conventions and to treat Palestinians as more than the Jews were treated in Nazi Germany.
1 person likes this
@katran (590)
• United States
22 Apr 09
Do you really think that if Israel backs off, Palestine will just leave them alone? Do you think that if Israel reaches out with a peaceful hand that Palestine will say, "Oh, we're sorry too" and then everyone will go about their business? The reason we support Israel is that someone has to. They are a cornered animal there in the Middle East. They are surrounded by countries that hate them and would give their collective right hands to be able to blow Israel to smithereens. If you don't think that is true, you have your head in the sand. If there is anything that Muslims hate more than the Christian westerners, it is the Israeli Jews. So what do you suggest they do? That is not to say that the Israelis don't hate in return. Yes, the hate is definitely mutual, and Israel is about as far away from spotless as you can get in all of it, but as for the choosing sides thing....the friendship between the US and Israel goes way back to just minutes after the nation was created. We have been their only ally in the UN for pretty much the entirety of history. That being said, we never sold a single weapon to Israel until 1962, and we did not really get involved in their conflicts until 1973 when Egypt refused to enter a cease-fire agreement with them. Since then we have worked with them because we have common interests - keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of other Middle Eastern countries, combating the state-sponsored terrorism that is widespread in that area, and stopping the spread of Islamic extremism (emphasis on extremism). As for the Fourth Geneva Convention, which you keep bringing up....I'm sorry, but this is what REALLY makes me mad about the whole situation. Not only is Israel bullied by the nations that surround them, they are also bullied and harassed by the UN. Some of the meetings convened by the UN to "investigate" whether Israel was breaking the Fourth Geneva Convention lasted UNDER AN HOUR and contained NO evidence, investigation, or anything else other than the hearsay of Arabic nations. There have never been ANY discussions of Palestinian terrorism. Also, the Fourth Geneva Convention, in over 50 years, has NEVER MET TO DISCUSS ANY NATION BUT ISRAEL. It has never met for Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, Congo, Tibet, or any other nation where the atrocities far outnumbered the things Israel does to defend itself from an entire WORLD full of hostility. The UN is a joke. It is a tool of harassment and bullying, and never there when it is really needed. Israel has become the whipping boy of the world. I, for one, am glad that we as a nation have the balls to stand up for them when no one else will.
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• United States
23 Apr 09
I didn't suggest that Israel just back off and pretend that there isn't pervasive terrorism surrounding their land. I suggested that they stop targeting and oppressing civilians, stop building new settlements in Palestinian land, and start working toward real comprehensive peace and reconciliation processes. And Israel is "bullied" by the UN? That's funny, because it was Israel who specifically targeted UN buildings during the last war in Gaza in an attempt to force the UN out. I don't see the UN causing violence to Israel, only attempting to hold them accountable for their war crimes. I bring up the 4th Geneva Convention because it is an extremely important document in international law that is meant to prevent another holocaust. The decisions by those on a committee are irrelevant, because even a plain person such as myself can see the huge violations that Israel has committed that are specifically banned in the 4th Geneva Convention.
1 person likes this
@ulalume (714)
• United States
22 Apr 09
This is why I just outright despise religion. Historically and politically speaking, it is not Israel's land as they claim it to be. So many Christians and Jews rally together and insist it is the "promised land" that God gave the Jews thousands of years ago. I am not going to debate this as it is entirely a different debate. I do, however, think if we were to rationally think we could come to a fair conclusion. For example, I know that if I were to leave my home and then someone else moves into it; it is no longer my home. If a decade later I return and insist to the family who now lives there that "this is my home", I would likely be accused of doing something illegal (assuming I am like the Jews and just steal the land back). What bothers me most about this situation is how much heat the Muslims have garnered from fighting back for the land that was rightfully theirs (or should I just say, the Arabian people living in that region; as land should not be defined by the religious preference). If people stop being so stupid and thinking "This is Jewish land" or "This is Muslim land", than the rationally political world would be able to actually step in and say "This land belongs to the Arabians who lived here prior to be thrown out and murdered by the Jews." It is unfortunate that so many religious people are very ignorant as to what occurred, just to hold up some "prophecy" of the Jews returning to Israel. If I was living in the region at the time when the Jews began returning, I would have been appalled; especially if I was aware that they were offered a good chunk of land in Africa to settle. Many people agreed with these Jewish people that they needed a physical land to congregate, otherwise they would have been wiped out through genocide (this was shortly after the Holocost).
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@ulalume (714)
• United States
22 Apr 09
Oh, and to answer your question more specifically. No, it is not anti-semitic or anti-Jewish to speak out about this kind of stuff. Even if it was, the truth shall set you free (so says your Bible). Whether or not a person thinks the Jews were justified in their actions is almost unimportant, the fact of this all is that the Jews have acted unjustly towards others. Stealing land and killing many does not feel very "holy" or "god-like" to me (but then again, this is the same god of the Old Testament we are talking about who was all for things such as this).
2 people like this
• United States
23 Apr 09
Thank you for your response. The problem that arises in this logic is that one would simply say that now that the land has been stolen and legitimized, it would not be right for the Palestinians to steal the land that they already lost. My thought on the matter is that the land needs to be shared, not colonized and blockaded. Now that Israel does exist, it would not be right to force the Israelis to abandon their land. But it still doesn't make it right to force Palestinians into oppression. The land should be shared. Israel/Palestine is like two women fighting over a baby in court, and the judge ordered them to cut the baby in half so they could share the baby. But without the baby as a whole, the judges decision leaves both sides angry and without hope. And while I do see how Jews could legitimize Israel's killings with the Torah, I think it's a far stretch. In the Torah, the Jews fought other soldiers, they didn't massively kill and oppress innocent civilians. And with social justice being emphasized so much by the prophets, I just don't understand why any Jew would think that would be okay.
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
22 Apr 09
That's the fact of religion, can be made as shielding for all the action, can be made as separate things, can be made for greed fullfillment, can be made for business, and each people fight for their desire in the name of religion. What do we need now is see the whole problem not in limited sight and start to revolt each ourselves. Belonging to a particular country, to any religion, to particular race or to particular ideology, tends more and more to devide people, to create antagonism hatred between people. What each one of us can do is to be non-communal. We can cease to be a muslim, christian, hinduism, or jews or to any country. But that's very difficult, because by tradition, by occupation, tendency, we are conditioned to a particular pattern of actionand to break away from its extremely hard. one must begin with oneself to act, because after all compulsion or legislation doesn't solve the problem. It's responsibility of us to break away from narrow spirit of separation. How may prophet come and go, it never bring anything, because people still in sleep conditioned. Land is land no chosen land, that's what the narrow political do, bordered the land for their greed.
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@albert2412 (1782)
• United States
21 Apr 09
I do not think that the hands of the Israeli leaders are clean since they have withheld food and medicine from the Arabs. A lot of innocent Arab kids have been killed over there. I think that the Israeli leaders want the Arabs in Israel to just get so fed up with everything that they will just leave. This is not going to happen. We should everybody treat each other with love and respect and have true freedom of religion.
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@lampar (7597)
• United States
9 Jun 09
It is always easier to say than done, any arms conflict between country will always claim innocent lives regardless children, women or men. I have the unfortunately moment of seeing million of children die in Vietnam war, Korean war and second world war, but all these unnecessarily or(rather necessary) deaths can be avoided if there is no provocation between country, if nations that signed peace treaty would to keep to their side of the bargain and adhere to the term of the treaty, then PEACE can be sustained. As everyone can see from the present conflict between Israel and Palestine, numeral treaties had been signed and push through by UN since decade ago, but war always broke out between them since one side always never keep to the term of the treaty, due to the fact that right of Israel to exist has never accepted by its neighbors and total destruction of Israel is always the goal in some of its neighbors no matter how many treaty Israel has signed into.
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@saw2207 (1363)
• United States
9 Jun 09
I could not have expressed it better! Your concise understanding is clearly shinning through here!
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@lampar (7597)
• United States
10 Jun 09
Thank for the concurring opinion, my friend. It is always very hard and sad for me to see children n baby die in any conflict initiated by militants, i can not see any joy that can ever derive from these deaths and suffering. PEACE is so hard to achieve in that region since none of them really want that to happen after the world community wasted so much efforts n time on both parties but nothing seem to be working.
• India
23 Apr 09
Being a hindu and an Indian, I of course have nothing personal to say on this. Whatever I want to say is that yes, Israel has been behaving like the big bully of the region since its inception (of course with backing of the USA) but the neighbouring Muslim countries have been no better either in their not recognizing the state of Israel at all. So both are equal perpetrators to me (I’m not pinpointing Palestine coz like Israel, Palestine too enjoys outside support). The need of the hour are those oft repeated empty words…negotiated peace. But seriously, how can and how long will people of that region go on like this? There has to be an end to the conflict and both parties should recognize each other with due respect. I am being ‘anti’ nobody but the only one thing that tilts me in favour of Israel is the abominable ways Jews were treated both by Christians and Muslims throughout history…the way they were being kicked out of virtually everywhere is really inexplicable to me. I mean WHY a particular community was being targeted time and again? And like everybody they too yearn for a homeland and when they get it, shouldn’t the neighbouring Muslims recognize that? I know that land belongs to the Muslims but the Jews have a right to it, too! So why not accept history gracefully and stop this horrific bloodbath?
1 person likes this
• Pakistan
29 Apr 09
You and I share the same point of view. However, try convincing Palestinians who see their land occupied by people who do not belong to it in any way. Yes. I agree conflict can only be resolved in ways other than bloodshed. But for this to happen, people need to be a little more forthcoming and realistic. Israel does not only deny the fact they have illegally occupied a land that is not theirs, but also block every way to a peaceful resolution; because they know they will be the losing side as a result. Do you think it is Palestinians' fault Jews got kicked out by Muslims and Christians?
• India
30 Apr 09
No it is definitely not the Palestinian's fault that the Jews got kicked out of everywhere BUT the attitude of all the surrounding Muslim countries that Israel has to be wiped off the map is definitely wrong and unacceptable. Come on...we all know and they know it too that for thousands of years the Jews have been living there just as the Arabs (Palestinians) have...how can you just tell a people that they have no right to settle at a place which has been their's for all this time? I am not bringing up God's promise and all that but historically, its undeniable that the land belongs to both the Jews and the Arabs...so both sides should behave maturely and accept the truth and learn to cohabit peacefully.
• India
22 Apr 09
Your opinion on any person, country or topic should be unbiased. Anybody should judge everything objectively but that is idealism ..... but at some point of time we all can get a little biased. What you say is very true nobody can be called anti-Semitic for raising their voice against social injustice. But things are quite complex in the region. No country in their own will act in an unjust way but the behavior and outlook of a country is a product of the environment it faced for the last several decades and won't go away in a single day ....... if things start for the better today maybe our children will see the fruits and enjoy a much more peaceful world than us.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Apr 09
Yes things are complex, and I am not trying to blame Israel for the conflict, only hold them accountable for their actions. I am of course biased as a Christian based on the teachings in the Bible, that is something that I cannot avoid. But regardless of faith, judging Israel based on the 4th Geneva Convention is I think very fair.
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@mrtimharry (1182)
21 Apr 09
Israel gets a lot of bad press but what are they supposed to do just let those within and otuside their borders send rocket attacks against their cities? Who has killed more civilians the Israeli's or Palestinians? Or outside of the Middle East has the US, UK, China, France, Russia killed more civilians than Israel Also can and nation or individual judge Israel - he who has committed no sin shall cast the first stone. Tell me a country that has not broken international law and then they can sit in judgement on others - I just don't think that you will find one. Israel does what it thinks is necessary just as Britain or the US or any other nation does. I would rather they didn't blockade Palestinian land but until weapons stop getting into the hands of those willing to fire against Israel there is little other option for them.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Apr 09
Actually, I would say that Israel hasn't gotten enough bad press. And I am of course not suggesting that Israel let people send rockets in their cities. I am suggesting that their response to the rockets (which is an over-simplification of what they are actually responding to) is simply unacceptable and a complete violation of the 4th geneva convention (which was interestingly enough convened in response to the Holocaust). As for who has killed the most civilians - I assure you that Israel will win that battle with flying colors. I will have to dig up some statistics for you, but I'm sure it is much more disproportionate than you have in mind. Israel is, in fact, the one in power, so what do you think? We have to hold countries accountable for their killings and oppression. What do you think, we should have continued to allow the holocaust to take place because we have no room to judge? And I of course hold all countries to the same international standards, that is why it is international law. Israel, however, seems to think that because of the holocaust the 4th geneva convention is inapplicable to them.
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• United States
7 May 09
Israel as a country has a RIGHT to defend herself from attacks! No people on this earth have had more attrocities committed against them. I see what they are doing now as a way of saying "Hey we're not gonna let these people whop hate us just because of who we are commit genocide on us again! WE're not gonna be slaves we are humans and have the same basic human rights as anyone else on this planet!" I feel for them. and I understand why they are doing what they are doing!
• United States
8 May 09
I am not questioning Israel's right to defend itself, I am questioning the way they go about doing so, which I not only see as a major human rights and international law violation, but is also counter-productive by encouraging more terror attacks.
@fwangaa (3058)
• China
1 May 09
religions should not be discriminate is a tidal current for the world. so next world the religious will become one big ??entity. people in the world beyond the religious and all of the people in the world will be ruled by one thought.
@Astro30 (90)
• Indonesia
22 Apr 09
I was not there to watch what Israel soldiers did to children and women, all I heard or read on the news are the same, they kill them the innocent people. Should world expect that genocide as legal? To defend themselves was only an excuse for demolition.