Israel has become a sacred cow, and you can guess what I think of such beasts


Unbelievable. The state of Texas requires people to affirm a loyalty oath to Israel in order to be employed in education.

A children’s speech pathologist who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told she can no longer work with the public school district after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel or “otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm” on that foreign nation.

This is an attempt by lawmakers to coerce citizens to hold certain political views. It’s an odious law and a disgrace to any country that tries to enforce it. But it’s not just Texas: 17 states have passed similar laws, including the blue state of New York.

The law, known as HB 89, charges the Texas Comptroller’s Office with making a list of “all companies that boycott Israel” and provide the list to state agencies. Those agencies will then be barred from contracting with those companies. State pension funds are also prohibited from being invested in firms involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

The bill passed the state House 131-0 and the state Senate 25-4.

Texas is now the 17th state to pass such a law, with other such states ranging from California to South Carolina. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo implemented a similar measure by executive order.

That is sickening. How can such a law have such overwhelming support from legislatures? What next? Laws demanding that you be fired if you don’t eat beef, that you have to hold a concealed carry permit to be a teacher, that Communists can be blacklisted…oh wait, they already tried that one.

I had to look to see if any of the usual Freeze Peach Warriors had anything to say about this story. Not much; 4chan has a long ugly thread about it, in which a few people do stand up for principle, reluctantly, but the majority are screaming slurs and insisting that no Muslims ought to be allowed to even exist in America. Sam Harris has just resigned from Patreon…because they banned a couple of racist, misogynistic scumbags, Milo Yiannopoulos and Sargon of Akkad, from their service, so we can guess what side he’d take, and we know what he considers pressingly important — the privileges of bullies and racists over the rights of citizens.

Comments

  1. William Webb says

    Israel:

    – is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist Jewish State;

    – has been stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land and
    oppressing, torturing and killing Palestinians for over 60 years;

    – refuses to honor its obligations under international law;

    – refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going war crimes; and

    – refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

    See http://www.ifamericansknew.org and http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/photos/maps/landloss.html for more information.

  2. says

    New York has a lot of PEPs (Progressive Except for Palestine) so it’s not a big surprise there.

    I’m also not surprised by the hypocrisy of the usual Freeze Peach crowd. They’re also usually oddly silent when Orange Yeller attacks the free press.

  3. davidnangle says

    Is this some sort of bleed-through evangelical thing where they need Israel to exist so that all Jews can die horribly in the whole Judgement Day thing, thus offering eternal life for “good” “Christians”?

  4. jrkrideau says

    Part of a comment I made at Mano Singham’s blog:I as a ferriner often get the impression that members of the US Congress are more loyal to Israel than the USA.

    This seems to reinforce my opinion. I had not realize the rot had spread this far. It reminds me of the old days (1960’s?) when an academic getting a job at a US public university apparently had to take a loyalty oath but at least then it was to the USA, or so I assume.

    Messianic Jewish Lobbying Group Builts Support for U.S.Funded Ethic Cleansing Plan In Palestine.</>
    https://theintercept.com/2018/12/16/israel-messianic-jews-ethinic-cleansing-palestinians-pence/

    Oh yes and then there is this fascinating little thing
    Senate Passes Bill to Enshrine $38-billion Military Aid Package to Israel Into Law but this is over a ten year period so it’s really only 3.8 billion a year.
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/senate-passes-bill-to-enshrine-military-aid-package-to-israel-into-law-1.6340748

    Here in Canada, I get the feeling that asking for an oath like the Texas one might very well be considered treason or damn close to it.

  5. Bruce says

    Here’s where I think and fear all this is going.
    Soon, the official position of the USA will be that Netanyahu is alaways right, as is his political party in Israel. Thus, Labour and all other political parties in or regarding Israel are thereby declared to be anti Semitic and illegal. Thus, Israel will now permanently be a one-party state, and all of Israel’s founders and past leaders who were not Likud will be declared non-persons and erased from history. All religious and political conflict in Israel has now been resolved and we know who the winners are. Nobody in the USA is allowed to remember Golda Mier from Milwaukee or any other non persons because they are now retroactively known to be anti Semitic.
    In other news, the USA has resolved the 1300-year-long dispute between Sunnis and Shiite Muslims. All Sunnis, including those who attached us on 9/11 will thus be declared our friends and allies. Anyone who wants to talk with the enemies of bin Laden such as the Shiites will now also be declared Unamerican.
    While the above is still technically satire, I fear things are moving in that direction. Strangely, the media, who loves to talk about everything in the USA as being between two exactly equal sides, continues to be unable to detect that a second side exists that is worth mentioning.

  6. jrkrideau says

    @ 2 Tabby Lavalamp
    It is often better to read the Israeli press such as Haaretz to get an idea of what is happen in North America(north of Mexico) re Israel.

  7. johnson catman says

    Thanks mikehuben @6. I was wondering how the hell this could be anything but unconstitutional and illegal.

  8. colinday says

    This reminds me of the old joke:

    Q: Why doesn’t Israel become part of the US?
    A: Because then it would only have two senators instead of 100.

  9. thirdmill301 says

    I am a free speech supporter who thinks this law is unconstitutional and should be struck down on free speech grounds. I can’t speak for any other free speech supporter, but I don’t see how anyone could claim to be in favor of free speech and not oppose this law. But then I haven’t seen much about it in the press, so it may simply not be on people’s radar.

    On the merits, I don’t think it’s as obvious as some here that Israel is entirely in the wrong. Its neighbors launched four wars against it between 1948 and 1973, it is at the receiving end of non-stop missiles from Gaza, it routinely endures terrorist acts from the Palestinians, and much of the world doesn’t even think it has the right to exist. A significant number of Palestinians don’t want to make peace with Israel; they want the Jews driven out altogether. To all the anti-Israel posters here, I would ask: Given that reality, if you were the prime minister of Israel, responsible for Israeli security, what exactly would you do different?

  10. F.O. says

    @thirdmill301: Israel has invaded the land where Palestinians have been living for generations, and the Palestinians are fighting to get it back.
    Against international law and its own defence interests, Israel has built settlements on this land.
    Why do you support a war of invasion?

  11. kestrel says

    @thirdmill301, #11: If it were me, I’d try something that’s never been tried there before. Something new and different. I’d try treating the Palestinians and all the people in the neighboring countries like human beings.

  12. thirdmill301 says

    F.O., I lived in the Middle East for three years. There is plenty of land for both Jews and Arabs. The problem is that both sides want all the land to themselves.

    Also, please look at historical context. After centuries of Christian anti-Semitism, pogroms, inquisitions, and finally the Holocaust, it was clear as crystal the Jews needed a homeland for themselves. Whether it should have been placed in the middle of the most anti-Semitic place on earth is a different question. However, that homeland having been placed there, do you seriously expect people who have lived through centuries of pogroms, inquisitions and the Holocaust to do anything other than defend their homeland? Creating Israel may have been a mistake, but trying to get rid of it now would make the entire Middle East a moonscape. One way or another, the two groups are just going to have to make peace with each other. And my sense is that Israel is far more willing than the Arabs. Israel already tried land for peace.

  13. thirdmill301 says

    kestrel, and you think they would then stop lobbing missiles at you and agree that you have the right to exist?

  14. says

    After centuries of Christian anti-Semitism, pogroms, inquisitions, and finally the Holocaust, it was clear as crystal the Jews needed a homeland for themselves.

    It’s weird that instead of saying “Here’s a chunk of Europe, it’s all yours,” the usual imperialist powers instead said, “You can have that chunk of land there, don’t worry about the people already living there.”

    Also odd – one of the the typical arguments is along the lines of “this land belonged to the Jewish people first” and often comes from people living on stolen First Nations/Native American land. (I’m also curious how many Palestinians come from Jewish ancestors who converted.)

  15. jrkrideau says

    @10 Tabby Lavalamp
    Oh a “do not support BDS” law might pass but probably not survive a court challenge. An oath directly supporting a single foreign country was what I saw as very close to treason. A Canadian in Canada swearing an oath to anyone but the Queen strikes me as very dubious. But IANAL.

  16. says

    jrkrideau @17

    I know you were referencing the oath, but I was just pointing out that we’re not that far away.

    And fortunately it hasn’t come up, but I would refuse to swear any sort of oath to the queen. (Damn the GOP for ruining the word “republican”.)

  17. unclefrogy says

    I will not go through the long train of ideas and events that lead to the situation we now have but the basic dispute is completely supported by religion, god gave “The Holy Land” the jews.. Israel/Palestine was not in Europe nor was it controlled by the people who had been living their for 1000’s of years. It was a completely undemocratic decision rationalized by religious belief, and an imaginary self-serving historical perspective.

    uncle frogy

  18. unclefrogy says

    an other thought came to mind. “lets give the f’n jews to the f’n Moslem’s in Palestine let them fight each other for ever and leave us alone”
    uncle frogy

  19. thirdmill301 says

    Tabby, given hundreds of thousands of years of human migration patterns, I will be very surprised if there is anyone anywhere in the world who isn’t living on land that was stolen from people who had been living on it earlier. So if you’re going to make the argument that the Jews are living on stolen land, apply it consistently: The Palestinians originally stole it from someone else, who stole it from someone else, who stole it from someone else.

    Having said that, after World War II the borders of Europe, Africa and South America were being re-drawn, and I would prefer, in hindsight, that the Jewish homeland had been placed somewhere where they weren’t surrounded by people who hate Jews. And candidly, anti-Jewish bigotry is a big part of why Arabs don’t want to have Jewish neighbors, and I’m no more sympathetic to Palestinian racism than I am to anyone else’s racism. “I hate Jews” just doesn’t strike me as a compelling reason to tell the Jews that they can’t live somewhere.

  20. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’ll say that I find Texas’s law and New Yorks’s law to be abominations, and that I suspect that there is no chance that they could survive first amendment scrutiny in federal court. As PZ said, they re trying to coerce people into certain political views, and this is definitely not allowed under the first amendment.

  21. christoph says

    @Thirdmill301, # 14: Yes, Israel does have the right to defend itself. That doesn’t mean they get a pass on war crimes or atrocities. Reprisals against civilians are still considered war crimes, and a group of off-duty Israeli soldiers essentially shooting the feet off of an unarmed soccer player is an atrocity.

  22. CJO says

    One way or another, the two groups are just going to have to make peace with each other. And my sense is that Israel is far more willing than the Arabs. Israel already tried land for peace.

    Horseshit. Israel’s MO for decades has been to give lip-service to a two-state solution, all the while pursuing settlement policies that make any such solution impossible in practice. I’m not saying, if you look at the current state of affairs in a historical vacuum, that Palestinians are obviously “more willing” either; there’s a lot of bad blood and, yes, anti-semitism, if you want to concentrate exclusively on that while pretending that Israel’s stance isn’t racist toward Arabs. But the asymmetry of the situation, the idea that people forced to live in apartheid concentration camps surrounded by illegal enclaves of militant Zionists, deprived of basic services and opportunities for development, deserve their lot in life because they have dared to violently resist their captivity is so patently racist respectability politics that it’s sickening, never more so as when it’s being enforced in the US as unquestionable dogma.

  23. CJO says

    “lets give the f’n jews to the f’n Moslem’s in Palestine let them fight each other for ever and leave us alone”

    This is exceptionalist and harmful. There is no ‘us’ that excludes the Palestinians. Their plight is a humanitarian disaster and Israel is not ‘the f’n jews’, it is a nation state, subject to international law. Jews, people who identify as Jewish, are not universally Zionists, inside or outside Israel.

  24. monad says

    @15 thirdmill301:

    kestrel, and you think they would then stop lobbing missiles at you and agree that you have the right to exist?

    Interestingly, about a decade ago now there was a truce where the missiles almost stopped. Not entirely, but they went from hundreds fired each year to only one or two, enough that it was plainly the work of individual criminals rather than an organized thing. The Palestinian government didn’t accept Israel’s right to exist, but neither did the Israeli government accept theirs, and kept up their technically-illegal blockade that prevented weapons and incidentally enough food and medicine from entering the country.

    Then at some point, someone dug some tunnels to circumvent the blockade. The Israeli government decided it was a planned attack and responded by pre-emptively sending the military in. So the truce ended, and more people were killed, and the high numbers of missiles returned, and here we are now. But I think it is worth remembering, because it says a lot about whether the conflict is really impossible to de-escalate or whether there are people who don’t actually want to do that.

  25. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    If I was in a concentration camp like the Palestinians are in, with no good faith from the Israelis, then I would probably support throwing missiles at the Israelis too.

    The fact is that the Israelis has all of the military power, which means the ball is in their court, and instead of moving towards a solution, they keep moving away from the solution such as by building illegal settlements. For this reason, the Israelis are primarily to blame in my view.

    From some of the experts that I hear, there are so many settlements now that a two-state solution is practically impossible. That means the only acceptable solution is a one-state solution. Obviously it would have to be secular, or at least equal treatment of Muslims and Jews. That means that the Israeli experiment has failed. The Jewish people were giving a piece of land to set up a religious government, and they fucked themselves so hard that apparently the only ethical thing to do is to take away their toys, e.g. a Jewish government. The Jewish nation has destroyed themselves, IMHO. It’s only a matter of time now. And even if they happen to exist now, they exist only as a farce, as an immoral imperialist nation.

  26. thirdmill301 says

    CJO, and Enlightenment Liberal, I am absolutely not saying that the plight of the Palestinians is entirely the fault of the Palestinians; I think the Israelis have significant blame too (though that then takes us back to my original point about what do you do if you’re surrounded by people who want to wipe you off the map).

    But what I would say is that on the specific issue of the existence of refugee camps, those are less the fault of the Jews than the Arabs. First of all, there is already a Palestinian state; it’s called Jordan. Second, both Jordan and Egypt do not allow Palestinian refugees to move there. And third, the PLO and Hamas have both admitted that they don’t want the refugee camps to go away because of the public relations benefit the Arabs derive from the existence of refugee camps. They would rather the camps exist to give Israel a black eye than to close them by resettling the people who live there.

    At the end of World War II, Europe was dotted with refugee camps that all disappeared within a year or two as people were resettled. If the Arabs wanted resettlement, they could have it.

  27. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To thirdmill301
    No contest to any of that from me because I am not sufficiently educated. However, I repeat my claim: Because of the locations of a large number of illegal Israeli settlements, a two-state solution appears to be impossible. Therefore, Israel as a Jewish nation needs to end. In its place needs to be a secular country that encompasses all of modern Israel and Palestine, with equal rights for all persons who now become full citizens. Israel has the power to accomplish this right now.

    It appears as though you’re saying something like “no no, it’s the moral responsibility of the other nearby nations to take in the Palestinians as refugees”. Why is that? Why is it not the responsibility of the government of the land where the people are currently at to solve the problem? The Palestinians in Palestine are under the control of the government of Israel, and therefore it’s the responsibility of Israel to solve the problem. I don’t see why it should be the responsibility of some other government to solve the problem. Your position appears to be determined in advance by certain ideological commitments, and it also appears to be quite racist, e.g. it appears as “they’re Arabs, and therefore it’s the responsibility of the nearby Arab governments to take them in”, as opposed to my plan “this is where they have lived, and their parents have lived, and it’s the responsibility of the government that claims sovereignty over that land to take them in”. To say it’s the responsibility of some particular other governments instead of Israel is a non-sequitir. It’s as much Jordan’s responsibility as it is Taiwan’s, e.g. not all that much. The people of Palestine who live there now should not be required to move to another country. (However, it would be really nice of other countries, any other country in the world, to accept them as citizens. That would be the upstanding thing to do.)

  28. CJO says

    what do you do if you’re surrounded by people who want to wipe you off the map

    This more accurately describes the Palestinian population of the West Bank than it does Israel, especially if you add the proviso “[want to] and are capable of it and are proceeding to just that with material and propaganda support from the world’s only military superpower.”

    So what should the Palestinians do? Eat shit and say it’s delicious, as is apparently the condition Israel is insisting on to engage in good-faith negotiation?

    And, yes, of course, Jordan, why didn’t I think of that? They could make the whole thing disappear if they were just willing to resettle nearly 5 million people. Again, look at the glaring asymmetry: Israel’s right to the land –this land, not just any land– is sacrosanct, but oh, the Palestinians want a place to live and a chance to prosper? Any old place in the Middle East will do, the mud people don’t know the difference from one patch of wasteland to another.

  29. says

    thirdmill301 at 29. No you are wrong the camps are not more the result of the Arabs than the Jews. That is simply not true, going back to 1947.
    As far as the location is concerned, there was a Zionist movement before the European powers (and America and the Soviet Union) agreed and they wanted to “go back” to Palestine. We essentially agreed, all of us I mean, after all it was only inhabited by brown skinned natives who don’t really count as human beings and it has worked so well for us here in the US. Let’s face it if their could have been a Jewish state in the middle of the 19th Century, they could have wiped out the people living there and no one would have minded. Not so much now.

  30. Rob Grigjanis says

    thirdmill301 @29:

    First of all, there is already a Palestinian state; it’s called Jordan. Second, both Jordan and Egypt do not allow Palestinian refugees to move there.

    How is Jordan a Palestinian state? Because all Arabs look and sound the same to you? Because they speak similar dialects of Arabic? And Jordan has already taken in more than 2 million Palestinians, and more than a million Syrian refugees.

  31. thirdmill301 says

    Rob, no all Arabs do not look and sound alike to me; I did live there for three years. It’s a Palestinian state in the same sense that Alabama is a Christian state; that doesn’t mean every last individual in the state is Christian (even assuming “Christian” is well defined), but you’ll find more Christians there than anything else.

  32. says

    On a related note: I came across a post recently on a blog I read run by someone who identifies as as culturally Jewish but non-practicing, which linked to a Times of Israel article about how a Conservative rabbi was taken into custody by the Israeli police for officiating at non-Orthodox marriage ceremonies which is apparently illegal under a recent law. The rabbi was released after a few hours but it has quite naturally caused a stink. That such a law could end end being passed in the first place in a country that purports to be both a modern democracy and the homeland for all Jews worldwide is to me extremely disturbing.

  33. VolcanoMan says

    I’m with Enlightenment Liberal here. Israel may play at being a secular democracy, but they’re a state founded upon a religion, and are thus a theocracy. Now I am not sure that in the case of Israel becoming a secular democracy and ending the illegal settlements that have been so contentious, the Palestinians would put aside their fear and hatred of Jews and agree to live with them in the same country…after all, many of them (including the major political players) would probably prefer a Muslim theocracy to a secular state. Sensing weakness (if Israel does reverse course and admit wrongdoing), they might very well decide to step up their aggression. It’s anyone’s guess what actually would happen.

    But I do take thirdmill301’s point. Unless you live in the Americas, there is no way to determine who has the “right” to a piece of land based on first occupancy. And even in the Americas, tribes were constantly at war, stealing land and slaves from their neighbours. To say that any descendent of Native Americans is entitled to a piece of land that their ancestors ALSO stole from someone is a bit…hypocritical. I’m not saying the descendents of Europeans are entitled to it, but I do wish that we’d give up the parochial notion of owning land altogether, and agree that in a digital economy, WHERE you live and work is pretty much unimportant. Inviolable right of travel and residency (but maybe not citizenship) should be enshrined into the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights.

  34. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To VolcanoMan
    I’ll argue that citizenship should be a basic human right. In other words, the right to vote, e.g. the right to help determine how the government that one lives under shall behave should be a universally recognized human right.

  35. unclefrogy says

    @26

    “lets give the f’n jews to the f’n Moslem’s in Palestine let them fight each other for ever and leave us alone”

    This is exceptionalist and harmful. There is no ‘us’ that excludes the Palestinians. Their plight is a humanitarian disaster and Israel is not ‘the f’n jews’, it is a nation state, subject to international law. Jews, people who identify as Jewish, are not universally Zionists, inside or outside Israel.

    I agree 100% that is the situation we have today. that thought came to me from the ether it was a comment comming from someone in the british governmet in 1949 never meant for publication. their was no identity to the exact location having never been someone who frequented any of the hallowed halls of power it could have been a cabinet meeting or the colonial office for all I know .
    that the decision was made without any concern for the people involved is pretty obvious and it was clear from the very start that there would be continuous conflict.
    uncle frogy

  36. says

    it was clear as crystal the Jews needed a homeland for themselves. Whether it should have been placed in the middle of the most anti-Semitic place on earth is a different question. However, that homeland having been placed there, do you seriously expect people who have lived through centuries of pogroms, inquisitions and the Holocaust to do anything other than defend their homeland?

    Now that a racist ethnostate exists, it has the right to defend the territory it displaced people from?

    I.e: existence confers a right of persistence and expansion?

    Imagine if a burglar in your home used that reasoning. Once they occupied your living room and killed your house-plants they then claim they have the right to self-defense against your attempts to get them to leave.

    Under international law an occupying power has no right of self-defense. They’re occupiers; it is the people that are under occupation that have the right of self-defense.

    The most disturbing aspect of the Israel situation is how Britain is given a “pass” for its imperialist post-ottoman carving-up of the land, as arbitrary, and Israel’s ethno-religious tribal claim is accepted as carrying weight through thousands of years of history. That’s absurd – like my claiming that the land I live on was not incorporated into the US as a result of a policy of genocide, or that I still have a claim on my family’s farm in Ireland. That would be bullshit, and so is the Israeli’s claim that they have historical claim to the land. It was Babylonian before it was Jew tribal land, are we going to see Babylonian remnants lodging claim to it?

    Basically, the European and America anti-semites exported the target of their hatred to the Middle East, so they were able to not deal with it at home.

  37. John Morales says

    Seems pretty clear to me that, were it not for the USA’s patronage, Israel would not get away with its behaviour. This post illustrates just how entrenched and official that patronage is.

    (Makes little sense, but there it is)

  38. Zeppelin says

    @thirdmill301:

    After centuries of Christian anti-Semitism, pogroms, inquisitions, and finally the Holocaust, it was clear as crystal the Jews needed a homeland for themselves. Whether it should have been placed in the middle of the most anti-Semitic place on earth is a different question.

    There is no tradition of Muslim antisemitism comparable to the Christian one. Muslim antisemitism only really took off after the establishment of Israel. Western colonialist policy made the Middle East the most antisemitic place on earth.

    This isn’t surprising — even without the religious difference, I don’t think you could found a country the way Israel was founded and not expect their new colonial subjects to hate the colonisers. Add to this that Israel was founded as a settler colonialist state right when classic colonialism stopped working, and that it’s since been a bridgehead for US aggression in the region. You’ve got anticolonialist ideology, pan-Arabist ideology, pan-Islamic ideology, basic self-defense, and Israel standing in the way of all of them. Of course antisemitism is going to take off. You’ll also note that Muslim antisemitic narratives are built on top of Western ones. They didn’t come up with these conspiracy theories themselves, they got them ready-made from us.

  39. rgmani says

    @Zeppelin

    I’m not expressing any opinions about what should be done about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict or who bears a larger share of the blame because frankly I don’t know. There is enough blame to go around and there isn’t a single solution proposed by anyone that seems either just or workable. However, i do have to take issue with the following statement of yours

    There is no tradition of Muslim antisemitism comparable to the Christian one. Muslim antisemitism only really took off after the establishment of Israel.

    Please take a look at the following quotes

    And abasement and poverty were pitched upon them, and they were laden with the burden of God’s anger; that, because they had disbelieved the signs of God and slain the Prophets unrightfully; that, because they disobeyed, and were transgressors.

    The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.

    Neither of those quotes is from after 1948. The first is from the Quran, the second is from Sahih Muslim – one of the Hadiths considered authentic by most Muslims.

    The history of Jews under Muslim rule was far from ideal and there are plenty of instances of antisemitism. Jews were treated as inferior to Muslims through most of the Muslim world, there were numerous cases of mass-slaughter of Jews and they were expelled en masse from at least two Muslim controlled kingdoms – Spain and Morocco.

    It might be argued that the Islamic world was relatively more tolerant to Jews than the Christian world but I don’t think that there is any doubt that antisemitism in the Islamic world goes almost as far back as Christian antisemitism. Except for brief periods here and there, pretty much everyone throughout recorded history has been nasty to the Jews.

    RM

  40. wzrd1 says

    jrkrideau @17, treason in the US is extremely narrowly defined by the US Constitution. Making war against the United States and giving aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States.
    With the notion that war was declared, else, there is no enemy, merely an adversary.
    Yeah, semantics, one might say, but in matters of law, semantics are important.

    rgmani @43, the history of Jewish, Christian and Muslims in the region is quite complex, with Christians and Jews initially being thought of as natural allies of the Muslim population. But, Mohammad got a mad on when Jews from Medina declined to help him fight against a group from Mecca and their allies, who were allies of that particular Jewish tribe.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic%E2%80%93Jewish_relations
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banu_Qurayza

    In the second article, there is mention of the historicity being questionable, which I do concur, as the primary source is a religious book, rather than from documentation of events by various scribes.

  41. John Morales says

    rgmani, ahem:

    Jews were treated as inferior to Muslims through most of the Muslim world, there were numerous cases of mass-slaughter of Jews and they were expelled en masse from at least two Muslim controlled kingdoms – Spain and Morocco.

    ‘Twas not the Moorish who achieved the deed with due disgrace. ‘Twas Christendom.

    La Reconquista

    (You never expect the Spanish Inquisition!)

  42. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @45: That’s an oversimplification. Like a lot of commonly held notions about Spanish history. Things went pretty well for Jews under Moorish rule until the mid 11th century, and following years.

  43. John Morales says

    Rob, oversimplification? Simplification, I say, and specifically, correction.

    Unless you hold that it was Islam, not Christendom, that did the expelling of Jews from Spain, my criticism is apposite. Kinda hard for the Moors to have exiled the Jews and then for their (re)conquerors to do the same to the supposedly non-existent remnants.

    Things went pretty well for Jews under Moorish rule…

    Dhimmitude is preferable to the stake, sure.

    (When it comes to intolerance, Xtianity wins hands down. Starry cult)

  44. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @47:

    Unless you hold that it was Islam, not Christendom, that did the expelling of Jews from Spain…

    It was both, ye nit. At different times and places.

    The Almohads, who had taken control of much of Islamic Iberia by 1172, far surpassed the Almoravides in fundamentalist outlook, and they treated the dhimmis harshly. Jews and Christians were expelled from Morocco and Islamic Spain. Faced with the choice of either death or conversion, many Jews emigrated.[37] Some, such as the family of Maimonides, fled south and east to the more tolerant Moslem lands, while others went northward to settle in the growing Christian kingdoms.

    If you want a body count over about 800 years, I don’t doubt that Christian regimes account for more, but saying “it was the Christians, not the Moors” is just bullshit.

  45. VolcanoMan says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    Oh, I’m not saying people shouldn’t have citizenship. I’m just questioning whether it should be tied to where you live in the first place. As the economy grows increasingly digital, and as the kinds of work people do is more and more divorced from the real world around them (and also as travel becomes even cheaper and more efficient), in a world without property ownership, why should where you happen to be matter at all? Rather, it’s the people with whom you make common cause who matter. A citizenship you choose could grant you all sorts of rights and demand all sorts of responsibilities, and when the real world matters (say in the realm of health care), these virtual countries could negotiate with real countries to ensure you get the support you need wherever you live. Or perhaps you’d get little enclaves of virtual countries popping up all over the world, where citizens are able to live and work and get services…

    …crap. I’ve just neatly outlined the plot to a Neal Stephenson book.

    God damned science fiction…always getting there before I do.

  46. John Morales says

    Rob.

    It was both, ye nit. At different times and places.

    Can’t dispute that, though the Iberian peninsula has been the same place for the entirety of humanity’s existence. Still, Christendom became hegemonic after Islam, there, and the only way it could expel Jews is if they were still around.

    (The religions of “peace” and “mercy”, those, as demonstrated by their history!)

  47. John Morales says

    PS Gotta say, at least Judaism is honest: an eye for an eye. No false peacefulness, no false mercy. No false humility, either.

    (Kudos for that, at least)

  48. witm says

    @John Morales #50

    [quote]Can’t dispute that, though the Iberian peninsula has been the same place for the entirety of humanity’s existence. Still, Christendom became hegemonic after Islam, there, and the only way it could expel Jews is if they were still around.[/quote]

    The Jewish diaspora ebbs and flows over centuries. As some areas became inhospitable, people would leave, some early, some later, some never making it out in time. As some areas become more hospitable, or just less inhospitable than other areas people would move in. There are Jews who are scouting out the possibility of moving their businesses out of the US right now, because it is growing less hospitable. Basically they outflowed when it got bad under the fundamentalist muslims, and then moved back in as things got better and more tolerant. That way they were around for round n+1 of things turning to shit again (this time under the Christians). There are several hundred years between the two events. Something like a minimum of 8 generations.

    To give a quick overview of what is going wrong in the reasoning: Everyone basically thinks the ancient world was some static place, you look at 1492 and the world was thus. 1100 and it was that way etc. etc. But the processes are always there, people move, goods move, it’s all flowing. It may have been more difficult to pack up and leave quickly in 800, but at the same time it’s not like there is fingerprinting on the border or passports or armed checkpoints everywhere, so the membranes were more permeable. The Jewish diaspora has been a continuous process from 800BCE to now, it’s not like it would take a break just because things in Iberia got a bit murderous for a couple of hundred years.

    Regarding the whole idea of ending the religious state of Israel… sign me up. I’d claim citizenship just to take part in that vote, and I used to know secular Jews who felt the exact same way. Subsidizing a bunch of misogynous religious relics who are completely useless and assholes to boot does not sit well with many people. I mean, seriously, who would you rather want in your society, hard working Arabs desperately fighting to make it out of poverty or lazy ex-rabbinical students harassing women and living on the public teat.

  49. KG says

    thirdmill301,
    #11

    Its neighbors launched four wars against it between 1948 and 1973

    Either sheer ignorance or a barefaced lie. In 1956 it was Israel (with the connivance of the UK and France) which attacked Egypt; and in 1967 Israel began the actual fighting, although Egypt’s closure of the Straits of Tiran and mobilisation of its forces preceded this.
    #22

    So if you’re going to make the argument that the Jews are living on stolen land, apply it consistently: The Palestinians originally stole it from someone else, who stole it from someone else, who stole it from someone else.

    Typical racist dishonesty. There are still Palestinians alive forced from their homes in 1947, and even those who have subsequently died have mostly left obvious heirs. There are no identifiable people from whom “the Palestinians” (who did not exist as an identifiably separate population until at the earliest, the establishment of the British mandate), “stole” the land their ancestors had been living on for centuries.

  50. F.O. says

    @thirdmill301: #14
    So you are telling me that two wrongs make a right?
    How does this justify calling Palestinian resistance “terror”?
    If there is plenty of land, why is Israel invading the Palestinian’s?

    The demand of the Jewish people for a land where they are majority is legitimate, but this doesn’t mean that it’s ok for Israel to go and invade another population.
    (This should be Ethics 101. Are you a Sam Harris disciple?)

    Europe is responsible for the Holocaust.
    Sure, it’s much easier to steal the land from some poor colonized suckers than from rich, old Europe.
    It still doesn’t make it right.

  51. Saad says

    Read the title. Scrolled quickly past the comments to write this:

    This thread has become about Hamas.

  52. Anton Mates says

    @thirdmill301,

    It’s [Jordan is] a Palestinian state in the same sense that Alabama is a Christian state; that doesn’t mean every last individual in the state is Christian (even assuming “Christian” is well defined), but you’ll find more Christians there than anything else.

    What on earth?

    “Christian” is a religious category. “Palestinian” is not, any more than “French” or “Chinese” is.
    No, Jordan is not a Palestinian state in that sense. Jordan has accepted millions of Palestinian refugees, yes, but the majority of its population has been native to Jordan for several generations.
    If another country was persecuting five million of its Christian residents, would you try to solve the problem by having them all move to Alabama? Why should they have to? Why is their welfare more Alabama’s responsibility, than it is the responsibility of their current ruling power?

    Jordan’s population is over 25% refugees already. You can’t reasonably expect it to absorb all the humans that Israel finds inconvenient to have around.

  53. pacal says

    Re: Thirdmill301 No. 11

    “Its neighbors launched four wars against it between 1948 and 1973, it is at the receiving end of non-stop missiles from Gaza, it routinely endures terrorist acts from the Palestinians, and much of the world doesn’t even think it has the right to exist. A significant number of Palestinians don’t want to make peace with Israel; they want the Jews driven out altogether.”

    I actually agree that in many respects Arab policy etc., towards Israel has been stupid and immoral however Israel doesn’t get off from being pretty douche either.

    There have been more than 4 Arab Israeli wars and Israel has not been innocent in causing them. I point out that the Second Arab Israeli war was launched in 1956, after several months of planning in concert with France and Britain, in which the aim of Britain was to regain control of the Suez canal. Israel was perfectly willing to go along with those imperial goals. So in that case Arabs didn’t launch the war.

    As for never ending missiles from Gaza. Well I guess you forgot about the “never ending” Israeli attacks, by troops gunships and missiles, or the fact that Palestinian civilian dead massively exceed Israeli civilian dead. And sadly it does appear that at times Israeli forces do in fact target civilians. And of course at least some of the missiles from Gaza are retaliation for Israeli attacks, and I could mention the brutal blockade of Gaza.

    Has for routinely enduring Palestinian terrorism. Well Palestinians have been enduring Israeli terrorism for decades also, which has killed far more Palestinians than Palestinian terrorism has killed Israeli. I could mention Israel’s targeted assassination program, or the fact anti-Palestinian terrorism predates the establishment of the state of Israel. And there is of course the massive use of torture against the Palestinians which is amply documented.

    Has for denying the “right to exist” of Israel, well another example of Arab stupidity. The same with the crap of the Jews being driven out. But then even before the establishment of the state of Israel some Zionists were talking about “transferring” Arab population out of Palestine and occupying all of Palestine including Trans-Jorden. During the first Arab Israeli war the opportunity was taken to in many cases forcibly expel large number of Arabs from their homes. (Including those who didn’t want any part of the war.) Many Israeli even now fondly think of expelling the Palestinians. Has it is a great many Israeli want the equivalent of unconditional surrender from the Palestinians.

    Israel has been led in the past by disgusting former terrorists. For example Begin and Shamir. (Shamir was involved in the murder of a UN Diplomat in 1948 while he was on a Peace mission.) There is easily plenty of tar and grime on everyone in this situation, and the way the various Arab states use Israeli actions to excuse and / or deflect attention from their own atrocities is disgusting, but it doesn’t make many Israeli actions any better.

Leave a Reply