Thursday, January 08, 2009

More on Israel

My opinions about Israel have been developed over many years and are pretty well informed. They are quite a bit more complex than it is possible to express in the usual discourse about the subject. ME: "I disapprove of Israeli policy X." INTERLOCUTOR: "Antisemite!"

Some of my conspecifics seem to be of the view that Israel is infallible, and it is not really possible to discuss Israeli policies or activities except to praise them. I am perplexed by this view, and I can't figure out what has informed such an opinion. On the other hand, some reckon Israel can do nothing right, and this is equally perplexing.

Here are the core principles that I have developed in thinking about the conflict in Palestine:

1. God loves both the Jews and the Arabs, and both categories of people are entitled to the same consideration.

2. Peace is good, and violence is bad.

3. Violence in the name of a state is not morally distinguishable from violence by non-state actors.

I am at a loss to figure out what it is about these principles that is antisemitic or why they are so difficult to discuss.

1 comment:

iceberg said...

Allow me to copy and paste a comment I wrote a few minutes ago over on the Libertarian Forum (a google group).

"Ummm... Let me preface this by saying that I really detest this ongoing conflict with innocents being murdered by thugs in uniform. I have as much disgust for Hamas as I do for the IDF (and the fu#$$%-up socialist state of Israel)...

But all this is irrelevant to the conflict in Israel/Gaza. If someone homesteads an unowned tract of land, I really can give a flip whether he has Arab or Jewish lineage, and where that land is geographically located. The same principle applies if someone purchased land from an earlier owner. I don't think that Jews, qua Jews have any *right* to land in that geographic region any more than any other person would, and I object to anyone who thinks that being Jewish is sufficient to
homestead property already belonging to somebody else.

If an Arab individual can prove that certain land was illegitimately transferred or stolen from his ancestor, I would treat the present occupier as a possessor of stolen lands and would advocate repatriation. Likewise it upsets me when Israel/IDF, in the name of advancing the peace process will declare certain lands as being off-limits to people of Jewish ancestry and forcibly remove them, regardless of the fact that they may have legitimate title to that land."