Tue 12 Feb, 2013 11:01 pm
It to me that everyone who takes a hard-line stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict, particularly on the pro-Israel side, is driven by religion. Am I incorrect in this assumption?
In the US, my theory is that most of the opposition to the peace process comes from Bible believing Christians who believe that Israel's control over territory is key to the return of Jesus.
Of course there are also people who believe the Jewish scriptures that God gave the land to them and so it is exclusively theirs.
Are there people who don't hold one of these religious beliefs who oppose the peace process?
Zionism is, for the most part, a secular nationalist ideology that holds the view of an ethnic entitlement to Palestine based on the mythologies found in the Bible. This nationalism stems from the European nationalist ideologies of the 18th century that regarded "races" and ethnicities as nations. It was only towards the latter part of the 20th century that Zionist ideology dropped its notions of racial entitlement.
Although there were small groups of religious Zionists that had organized to settle in Palestine before the massive organized efforts of the secular Zionists, religious Jews, especially the Orthodox, were largely against the formation of the state of Israel by secular Jews. Religious Zionism came after the secular Zionists had established the state of Israel.
In the US, fundamentalist Christianity is a much more significant cause of pro-Israel militancy than Zionism is.
You're right about Christian Zionism in the US.
I was responding to your supposition about the hard-line stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict in general. Much of that stance isn't connected to religion, especially outside of the US.
Where is your proof to back up this allegation?
A general trend I see is that it's mostly political rather than religious. America, or at least politicians, seems to gain less by going against Israel rather than siding with Israel. It's a matter of saving face in front of the few allies or the only legitimate ally (Israel) that America seems to have found in the middle east.
Then there is the matter of stereotypes after the 9/11 incident, and how many of the Americans stereotypically depict the followers of allah.
I don't know what you mean by America gaining less by going against Israel, but the politicians are pro-Israel because their constituencies are, by and large, pro-Israel.
Also, I don't know what you mean by "legitimate," but the US has other allies in that area of the world, e.g. Jordan that can be termed "legitimate." Israel is more of a liability than an asset when it comes to the politics in that region of the world. Israel is the source of much of the animosity against the US and the West precisely because of our alignment with that state.
The militants are a detriment to their cause and have merely served, largely, to obfuscate the issues at the core of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian peoples.
Legitimate in the sense of weapons technology and crowd control; and possibly linkage of common values, democracy for example. It's all a matter of convenience. It's also true that with an ally like Israel USA doesn't need to make any enemies in that part of World.
Now I'm not supporting Israel's bully program against Palestine, but just pointing out in the USA, most the people don't even care about the Israel-Palestine conflict, and there is not evidence to postulate that this support gathered in America for the prosperity of Israel is based mainly by the influence of fundamental religious nuts. Sure religion might be responsible for this war to even begin with over there, the classic Jewish religion vs Islam scenario that's been going on for ages. But in America, most of the support which creates opposition to peace in the Israel-Palestine conflict is largely driven by politics rather than by some hand of religion.
Not completely sure of what you are asking, Max...but I have often stated:
There will never ever be peace in the Middle East so long as there is a State of Israel there...and any Arabs alive.
I may be wrong...but I would only bet in that direction...and I would bet despite the odds.
If Israel would agree to give that part of palistine back to the people it who origionally owned it their might be some slight chance that peace might come to the region. As long as the settlers keep stealing Palistianian land it will never happen. And bible thumping christians have much to do with encouraging the conflict.
If by politics you're referring to weapons technology and crowd control you're putting end results before the causes. It would be like creating a disease to make a drug to treat its symptoms. I don't think that people support Israel so as to have a conflict to test weapons technology and crowd control. Support for Israel comes first and then because of the conflict weapons technology and crowd control are rationalized.
If you're referring to the idea of democracy as politics, yeah, supporters of Israel in the USA buy into the propaganda. Israel itself refers to itself as a "Jewish democracy," in other words, a democracy for "Jews" with certain rights afforded the non-Jewish population within Israel and outright oppression for the non-Jewish population in the lands that it occupies. As far as democracies go, this is a farce.
In regard to the people in the USA who don't caring for or about this conflict they don't factor in to the opposition to peace in this conflict to which max was asking about. They're irrelevant to the issue.
Whatever the political cause, blindly saying that bible believing religious folks in America are the major leading cause of what's fueling the pro-Israel movement in America therefore fueling this opposition, is ridiculous as saying the Illuminati are behind all of it.
I dont think anyone cliams that they are a major cause, but I have heard more than one bible thumping christian and their religious leader claim that Jesus cant return untill the Jews have their own homeland.
I don't think 9/11 changed much as far as religious support of Israel militancy. I was a Bible-believing Christian in the 1980's (long before 9/11) and the belief in God's will for Israel, the denigration of Palestinians, and opposition to the peace plan was as strong back then as it is now.
The people of Israel are still precious to God. The Old Testament promised that the nation of Israel would be restored in the last times (see Ezekiel 11:17). This prophecy was fulfilled in 1948. Even though Israel was destroyed and its people scattered abroad because of their unbelief, God said He would rebuild the nation just prior to the end of the age. At the climax of history the Israelis will turn to God, and the nation will once again become a center of God's revelation to all mankind (see Zechariah 12:10). The law will go forth from Jerusalem, and all the nations will come to Jerusalem to learn the law of the Lord (see Isaiah 2:2-3). At that time, the natural sons of Abraham will be exalted, along with those who, through faith in Jesus Christ, have become sons of Abraham after the Spirit. So in the last days the Jews and the church will share a wonderful glory (see Romans 11:25-26).
The nation of Israel as a whole did not accept Jesus when He was on earth. The apostle Paul said that even their unbelief became a blessing to the rest of the world, because they were temporarily cut off from God's salvation and the Gentiles took their place. When the Jews refused to believe, the rest of us were offered a chance. But when they return to faith it will be equivalent to the resurrection of the dead (see Romans 11:1-32). Some people think that a certain sign of the return of Jesus Christ to earth will be the restoration of the Jewish people to an understanding of God's full revelation in Christ.
Right wing Christian organizations are the most ardent supporters of Israeli militancy.
I believe that religion is a convenient and reliable means of identifying the contending parties in this dispute, but is not the cause of it. This was true in the recently resolved 300 year conflict in Northern Ireland as well.
Within the area of Palestine, Jews are on one side and Christians, Moslems and Druze people are on the other. The dispute in Palestine is about the ownership of land and the denial of political rights to the Palestinians in the areas conquered by Israel in the 1967 war and other Palestinians displaced in the 1947 war. There are also issues within Israel about the lesser political rights accorded the non Jews who live there.
Israel is a religious state that systematically discriminates against non Jews who live there. This is not unusual in the region as other nations like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and others do so as well.
The issues surrounding Israel involve the following;
1. Israel was created in a mass exodus of persecuted European Jews to what they saw as their former home in Palestine. However the consent of the resident population to this mass infusion and to the creation of a state dedicated primarily to Jews (and not to them) was never sought or given. Israel was created by Zionists using armed force and terror.
2. Israel sees itself as a permanently Jewish state and refuses to accept any political organization that will yield a near-equal population of non-Jews within its borders. For this reason Israel refuses to consider any "right of return" for the many thousands of Palestinians (and their descendents) who fled Palestine (for their own safety) during the 1947 war and the Zionist terrorism that preceeded it. All this effectively precludes any single state solution for the region, and makes issues like access to water, seaports and productive land all critical issues in any alternate (or "two state") solution. Right now Israel enjoys near absolute control of all these things, and, despite all the propaganda to the contrary, Israel has never offered any solution that would involve a division of these critical assets sufficient for the existence of a viable Palestinian state.
3. All this was exacerbated when, after the 1967 war Israel found itself in control of Gaza and all of the former West Bank, including a very large Palestinian (Christian and Moslem) population. Ever since then Israel has controlled this land and all of its borders with the external world (except the Gaza-Egypt border ), but has never granted any political rights to the Palestinian population under its control.
4. Israel has pursued a "land for peace policy" in which it promises to cede political control of portions of the West Bank, for the creation of a Palestinian state, in exchange for lasting peace between the states. However Israel has never proposed ceeding either access to the sea, or the Jordan River water, borders with any other country, or even rights to control the airspace over it, to any Palestinain organization. Instead, it has used the time (over four decades now) to gradually extend its settlements of Israeli Jews and exclusive direct control over ever-larger areas of the West Bank territory. Thus, the mere passage of time steadily squeezes the Palestinian population into an ever-smaller territory, entirely surrounded, and, in effect, controlled by Israel. Moreover, Israel insists that this is exclusively and solely the result of Palestinian intransigence, and not of any ambition for more land on their part - something that sorely strains the credulity of many observers (myself included).
The Palestinians face a situation in which they can never hope to get a solution from Israel that will allow the real functioning of a viable independent state in the land they have inhabited for over two thousand years. This is an historically proven formula for perpetual conflict. It is indeed a very cruel historical irony that the Zionist dream of a refuge for persecuted European Jews has come to be based on the lasting oppression of another victim population. The initially widespread sympathy for the new Jewish state that once existed across Europe, from the USSR to France, has now largely evaporated. Two generations have now passed since the Holocaust, and increasing numbers of people everywhere are coming to the conclusion that that rationalization for continued oppression of the Palestinians is wearing a bit thin.
You are about to be labeled anti-semitic by someone. Wonder which one it will be?