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How much of Support for Israel is based on Biblical Mythology?

 
 
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 11:36 am
Many American Christians believe that Jewish people are the chosen people of God. This means that Jewish people are special in a way that no other race of people are; not Palestinians, or Germans, or Africans or Native Americans. There can only be one chosen people of God.

People who believe this also tend to believe other parts of Bible Mythology. They believe that The Kingdom of David controlled all of the areas that the Bible said it did (in spite of many places in the Bible that a shown to be wrong by modern science and archeology). And they believe that the people of Israel were enslaved in Egypt and underwent a massive 40 year migration to Caanan.

What I want to know is how much does belief in ancient myths impact people's current understanding of the Israeli/Palestinian issue.

Does anyone who understands that Jews and Palestinians share the same genetic Middle Eastern ancestors, or that knows that the Exodus from Egypt is a myth (that didn't actually happen) still support the extreme pro-Israel stance that many religous people take?

The question here is whether belief in the mythology of a race chosen by God over all other races is a pre-requisite for the view the Israel has the right to build settlements on the disputed territory.

Is there anyone here who rejects the religious myths and still supports the expansion of settlements?

(This thread assumes that people already understand the difference between historical fact and Mythology and accept that the Biblical Stories are often untrue. If you want to argue about whether the Myths are actually true, then this isn't the thread for you.)

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Type: Question • Score: 14 • Views: 3,574 • Replies: 185

 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 12:46 pm
@maxdancona,
I do not support the expansion of settlements but I can understand the use of biblical/mythological squatters rights by the Israeli government to manipulate the political support needed for what they see as a 'pragmatic' course of action in dealing with their intransigent neighbours with respect to coming to the negotiation table. Vacating settlements in Gaza had no effect so the prevailing 'logic' appears to be one of 'not falling for that one again'.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 12:47 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
What I want to know is how much does belief in ancient myths impact people's current understanding of the Israeli/Palestinian issue.

I wouldn't even know how to estimate this without understanding which "people" current understanding you are talking about.

The general public probably knows virtually nothing about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict or any of its underlying challenges.

The group of people in positions of power probably know/believe a range of different things.

Without knowing all that much myself, I would speculate that a lot of the decision making and choices being made by people in power are probably driven more by economic and political concerns than anything based in religion. For the US, Israel is largely a lynchpin in controlling the middle-east and the flow of oil resources. As the US begins to produce more of its own oil, those forces will change and probably affect policy. But I'm not really sure. I'm not an expert on this area.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 01:14 pm
@rosborne979,
On conversations here on Able2Know you hear lots of statements about Israel's Biblical claim to the land, as well as speculations on which Biblical races the Palestinians stem from. One poster recently posted a map of the purported Kingdom of David.

The idea that God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people is pretty common in discussions here on Able2know as well as other places.

And of course, this is also common rhetoric from politicians and Evangelical Christian leaders in the US advocating a hardline policy on the Middle East. Mike Huckabee is a perfect example of this. Of course there is a difference between the goals of political leaders and the beliefs of people who support them.

I would like to know if there is anyone who supports the expansion of Settlements in the disputed terroritory who rejects the religious myths in the Bible.

That's a pretty specific question.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 01:22 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Many American Christians believe that Jewish people are the chosen people of God. This means that Jewish people are special in a way that no other race of people are; not Palestinians, or Germans, or Africans or Native Americans. There can only be one chosen people of God.

Monstrously gaping flaw in this opening salvo. American Christians think they are the chosen people of God (or at least their own branch of Christianity).

For Evangelicals, support for Israel exists because the biblical call for the Apocalypse taking place in said holy land. The existence of Israel is a key component in that schizoid delusion.

Why would there be any other reason for conservative Christians to both support Israel and still be virulently anti-Semitic. Remember, the Jews killed Jesus Christ (overlooking the fact that the Romans actually were key in that equation ... or even more responsible for those holy events).
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 01:38 pm
maxdancona wrote:
Is there anyone here who rejects the religious myths and still supports the expansion of settlements?

A few of the right-wingers on A2K don't believe the mythology and support the expansion of Israeli settlements, e.g. McGentrix, giujohn.

It's based more on fascistic notions of nationalism, which themselves tend to involve certain amounts of mythology, than religion, per se.
0 Replies
 
perennialloner
 
  5  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 01:45 pm
I don't support Israeli expansion either, but I can think of many reasons why people support Israel that have absolutely nothing to do with the Bible or religious mythology. You can look no further than the prominent early Zionists whose writings express a need for a homeland for Jews so they could at last make their destiny. Many of these leaders felt no attachment to Bible stories. They simply believed they deserved the land. Many people who support the Jewish state have no qualms about the illegal settlements because they have developed an understanding that the state would fall apart if not for the protectionary measures it takes. Anyone who sympathizes with Jewish persecution could fall in this category.

Some people support Israel because they just don't like Arabs or Muslims either because they are racist or think they have acted irrationally and stupidly and therefore deserve all they have gotten.

Others support Israel because they admire the state and all it has accomplished despite the challenges it's faced.

Then, there's just national interest. Christians in the US who think Jews are the chosen people factor into the way the US acts regarding Israel, but that's far from the only reason the US has supported Israel for so long. At the time the US got involved with Israel, it was the height of the Cold War. The newly formed Arab countries had ties with the USSR as did Israel, but I think Ben Gurion pushed for an alliance with the US. Israel sent the US intelligence about the Soviets. Israeli American relations developed from there. I'd think many Americans of that time were suspicious of the Arab states near Israel that were also very near to Russia. Many had socialist leanings. Feelings that manifested at the time have likely colored American views on the conflict.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 01:55 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Is there anyone here who rejects the religious myths and still supports the expansion of settlements?

I reject the myths that are contradicted by science.

I support the settlements.

The converse of "land for peace" means that, since the Palestinians refuse to make peace, Israel gets to keep the land.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 01:55 pm
@tsarstepan,
The end-timers are one odd group. I have a bunch in my FB friends that got in through an evangelical A2ker. I always feel like putting a tinfoil helmet on when I read their stuff.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 02:17 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:
The converse of "land for peace" means that, since the Palestinians refuse to make peace, Israel gets to keep the land.


If Israel (hypothetically speaking of course) refused to make peace, would the Palestinians get to keep the land? Do you accept the idea that in the eyes of God all races are equal?

My queston to you Oralloy is; Do you believe that God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people?

If then answer is "no", then you have provided the answer I am looking for. That would mean that the Jewish race and the Arab race started out with at least an equal right to the land.

dalehileman
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 02:19 pm
@maxdancona,
x
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 02:21 pm
@maxdancona,
xxx
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 02:32 pm
The inverse of this thread should also be answered: How much support for Palestinian statehood is based on residual, ingrained anti-Semitism that Jews, if not under the hegemony of some Gentile demographic will supposedly be up to no-good, detrimental to the Gentile masses.

I think the ho-hum reaction of Europe's masses, after the Holocaust, shows how intractable anti-Semitism is in the world (Jews could not even return to most countries that the Reich committed genocide in). Israel just reflects the fact that decent minded Gentiles, right after the Holocaust, had a great desire to assuage their collective conscience, and give Jews a SAFE HAVEN (which proved laughable, since Arab armies then attempted to push them into the sea).

Decent minded secular Gentiles know their own. They support Israel, since they know there are always enough anti-Semites in the world to never allow Jews to live in peace as Jews. You know, like the Jewish girls that could only get a retail sales job, if they wore a cross back in the 1940's. And, don't think that Jews today don't feel a need to hide their affiliation for fear of anti-Semitism. If any Gentile cares for Palestinians, they should first figure out what makes Gentiles so attracted to Jew hatred? There are only two countries that fully assimilated their respective Jewish communities. China and India. No anti-Semitism. No need to circle the wagons. Jews assimilated; however, there might be something about the religions that evolved out of Judaism, and the people that adopted the monotheisitic faith, that correlates to a need to ALWAYS MAINTAIN A PECKING ORDER, AND THEY HAVING TO BE TOP DOG. Even the pro-Palestinian sentiments seem to have an element of "putting Jews back in their place," so to speak, in my opinion.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 02:47 pm
@Foofie,
I can answer that Foofie.

My belief is that Jews and Arabs are equal. They have equal rights to peace. Equal rights to dignity. And equal rights to the land they have been living in for generations.

If you accept this as well, then we have a starting point for a discussion. If you believe that Arabs aren't just as important as Jews (or Africans, or Nordic people or Native Americans), then we have a basic disagreement.

Saything that Arabs and Jews have the same rights as human beings is not antisemitism. My belief that neither Jews or Arabs are superior, and that neither is loved by God any more or less, isn't antisemitism either.

It seems backwards if the idea that one race is superior to others is acceptable, and to claim that all races are equal is "antisemitism".



oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 02:58 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
If Israel (hypothetically speaking of course) refused to make peace, would the Palestinians get to keep the land?

The Palestinians are not in possession of any land beyond Area A.


maxdancona wrote:
Do you accept the idea that in the eyes of God all races are equal?

Sure.


maxdancona wrote:
My queston to you Oralloy is; Do you believe that God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people?

I don't know. I've never even thought about it before. I have no idea if there even is a God.

I guess that means I don't "believe" it. But I also don't know that it is untrue.


maxdancona wrote:
If then answer is "no", then you have provided the answer I am looking for.

I have no knowledge as to the will of God, should God exist.

I guess I presume that God would want us all to be decent human beings to each other. But beyond that I have no idea.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 03:11 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:

The Palestinians are not in possession of any land beyond Area A.


That's interesting Oralloy. I didn't think you would be the answer to my question.

The reason the Palestinians are not in possession of any land (including Area A, Israel has full military control of the West Bank) is that the Israelis have superior firepower provided by Europe (at first) and the United States. This has always been the case since 1948. The Israelis have always had a distinct military advantage.

I don't think this has anything to do with the legendary Kingdom of David. I think it has everything to do with cultural and religious views of the United States since 1948.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 03:25 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
The reason the Palestinians are not in possession of any land (including Area A, Israel has full military control of the West Bank) is that the Israelis have superior firepower provided by Europe (at first) and the United States. This has always been the case since 1948. The Israelis have always had a distinct military advantage.

It is good to have the good guys in a militarily superior position over the bad guys.

Israel does not have any control over Area A.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 03:39 pm
@oralloy,
You are dividing the world into "good guys" and "bad guys" based on ethnicity. It is your subjective judgement of course, and almost certainly influenced by the fact that you are a conservative American.

You can take a one-sided view that justifies all of the bad things that the "good guys do" and ignores or explains any of the ways that the "bad guys" have been mistreated. When you do this, the "good guys" have rights and anything they do is justified, and the "bad guys" have no rights and are judged harshly for anything they do. That seems to be what you are arguing.

The question is how do you pick sides in this case where both sides have unquestionably done bad things?

If you believe that one side is the "chosen people of God" who deserves the land because God gave it to them, then it is very easy to pick the "good guys".

It is interesting in your case, you seem to have picked Israel as the "good guys" who have never done anything wrong that wasn't justified without a religious justification. You are willing to say the Jews are good, and Palestinians are bad without bringing God into the picture. That does answer the question in my OP. But now I would like to know how you chose sides, where you look at all of the evidence from one side and ignore all the evidence from the other, so definitively.

(In my opinion, there are no good guys or bad guys in this situation. Both sides have done things that are clearly wrong... and both sides should accept the other as human beings.)

(I would also argue with your claim that Israel has no control over Area A. The truth is that Israel can bomb any house, arrest any person or exert control over any neighborhood at will in Area A. They control the borders. They control what supplies come in our out. They control the economy. But I think the other point I am making is more important.)
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 04:50 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
You are dividing the world into "good guys" and "bad guys" based on ethnicity. It is your subjective judgement of course, and almost certainly influenced by the fact that you are a conservative American.

Based on behavior.


maxdancona wrote:
You can take a one-sided view that justifies all of the bad things that the "good guys do" and ignores or explains any of the ways that the "bad guys" have been mistreated. When you do this, the "good guys" have rights and anything they do is justified, and the "bad guys" have no rights and are judged harshly for anything they do. That seems to be what you are arguing.

I am not aware of any bad behavior on Israel's part.

I have heard accusations against Israel. In every case, the accusations have been untrue.


maxdancona wrote:
The question is how do you pick sides in this case where both sides have unquestionably done bad things?

Setting aside for a second the issue of whether Israel has done anything bad, I pick sides by looking at facts.

Israel repeatedly and endlessly tried to offer the Palestinians a state based on 1967 borders. The Palestinians have consistently answered Israel's peace offers with malice, deception, and the murder of civilians.



maxdancona wrote:
(I would also argue with your claim that Israel has no control over Area A. The truth is that Israel can bomb any house, arrest any person or exert control over any neighborhood at will in Area A. They control the borders. They control what supplies come in our out. They control the economy. But I think the other point I am making is more important.)

The US military is capable of bombing any house in Mexico, and could invade and seize someone if they tried. The US also controls our border with Mexico.

Does this mean that the US controls Mexico?

I do not agree that Israel controls the economy within Area A. There isn't much of an economy to begin with since the Palestinians devote every waking effort to trying to murder innocent Israelis. But if the Palestinians did start being constructive within Area A, they would not be under Israeli control.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 05:07 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:
I am not aware of any bad behavior on Israel's part.

I have heard accusations against Israel. In every case, the accusations have been untrue.


This is the point that I am making. You can find any list of things that Israel has done that are clearly wrong by the values of any modern democracy. This includes bulldozing the houses of the families of criminals and breaking the Geneva convention on refugees.

You can see any number of lists from unbiased sources of what Israel has done wrong. The problem is that any criticism of Israel is labeled as "antisemitism" by Israel and its religious critics.

Of course Palistinians have done bad things too (as is often the case in war both sides do atrocities), and the Palestinian leadership has been atrocious.

Whether Israel tried to offer the Palestinians a reasonable state is a matter of opinion. As I understand it, there are three big issues.

1) Whether the state being offered will truly be sovreign.
2) Whether the state being offered is economically viable and contiguous.
3) Whether there is a fair compromise on the "right of return" (which is the right os Palestinians but will need to be forfeited in any realistic settlement) and the status of Jerusalem.

It doesn't sound like you are open to a two-sided discussion about whether Israel has met these conditions. A two-sided discussion would mean that you would look at both sides with an open mind and consider the Palestinian point of view as well as the Israeli one.

As long as you keep saying "Israel is always right" and the "Palestinians are always wrong", then you can't have an open mind about this.

I am impressed that you have stated unequivocably that Palestinians have the same human rights that Israelis have. That is a step in the right direction... and not everyone on your side of the debate would be willing to state this.
 

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