Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 03 May '17 21:01
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/02/hamas-charter-antisemitism

    "Why now is the time to talk to Hamas:
    Concerns remain, but efforts in the group’s new charter to distance it from antisemitism are an opportunity to be grasped."
    --Tareq Baconi

    "Unlike Hamas’s original charter, this document does not justify the
    quest for liberation using rabidly antisemitic language. Rather, it
    articulates an ideology of anti-Zionism, viewing Zionism as a “racist,
    aggressive, colonial” project that must be undone in a post-colonial
    world. The document explicitly differentiates between Jews and Judaism
    on the one hand, and political Zionism on the other, and notes that
    Hamas’s struggle is limited to the latter. It stresses that the Jewish
    people’s struggle with antisemitism is not tied to Arabs or Muslims but
    rather to Europe’s past. To confront “the Zionist project”, Hamas views
    armed resistance against the occupation as a divine right, one that is
    also legitimate within international law."

    "Given the current political stalemate, this effort should not be dismissed, even if
    concerns persist. Hamas draws on international law to underscore the legitimacy
    of its armed struggle, yet violates these laws by indiscriminately targeting civilians.
    It is imperative to condemn the murder of civilians while also placing Hamas’s actions in context.

    Israel has systematically acted in violation of international law for decades, killing
    thousands of Palestinian civilians through its occupation and in warfare conducted in
    densely populated areas. This is not to say that the two sides are equivalent
    or to present a hierarchy of suffering. Rather it is to suggest that the premise of
    engagement and diplomacy cannot be withheld from one party and extended
    to another when both commit acts that violate international law."

    Israel has killed many more civilians than Hamas has done.
  2. 03 May '17 21:05
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/01/hamas-new-charter-palestine-israel-1967-borders

    "Hamas presents new charter accepting a Palestine based on 1967 borders:
    Document aims to heal divisions within Palestinian movement and ease peace process
    but Netanhayu says: ‘Hamas is attempting to fool the world’,"
    --Patrick Wintour

    "The new document states the Islamist movement it is not seeking war with the Jewish people – only
    with Zionism that drives the occupation of Palestine.

    The new document also insists that Hamas is a not a revolutionary force that seeks to intervene in
    other countries, a commitment that is likely to be welcomed by other states such as Egypt."

    "The new charter also abandons past references claiming Hamas is part of a pan-national
    Muslim Brotherhood, to which it was closely linked when formed.

    This aspect of the statement could improve the currently difficult relations with the Egyptian
    government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as army chief overthrew his Islamist predecessor,
    Mohamed Morsi, in 2013 and has since led a bloody crackdown on the Brotherhood."
  3. 04 May '17 07:23
    In an armed conflict, any time is the time to talk.
  4. 30 May '17 03:15 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    In an armed conflict, any time is the time to talk.
    "To justify or condone Israel’s wars against the Arabs is to render Israel a very bad service
    indeed and to harm its own long-term interest. Israel’s security, let me repeat, was not
    enhanced by the wars of 1956 and 1967; it was undermined and compromised by them.
    The ‘friends of Israel’ have in fact abetted Israel in a ruinous course."
    --Isaac Deutscher (1907-1967)
  5. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    30 May '17 10:37 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    In an armed conflict, any time is the time to talk.
    The term "armed conflict" already utterly misrepresents what is taking place in Palestine.

    There is no balance of force whatsoever.

    Hamas were sponsored by Mossad and the CIA to undermine the secular Fatah movement. They would not exist without that support - Fatah had no time for Islamic politics and many Palestinians are not Muslims; indeed, some are / were Jews or married to Jews.

    Hamas are concentrated in the Gaza Strip, a small and unproductive strip of land which functions as a concentration camp for up to 2 million refugees expelled from Israeli territory in a process of violent ethnic cleansing which continues today. They are self governing in the sense that prisoners of war can manage their own affairs within a prison camp. They are entirely controlled by the IDF - an occupying power in the full meaning of international law - and their welfare is the responsibility of the Israeli state.

    Anti-semitism is part of the Zionist armoury - where it does not exist, they work to invent it, using false flag operations and propaganda. They apply it as a term of abuse for anyone opposed to the Zionist cause. It has been rendered into a meaningless political label by misuse. The correct term must be racism, and the racist nature of the apartheid Israeli state is irrefutable.

    This is not an "armed conflict." Zionists entered Palestine with immense financial backing and set about settling a land that was already occupied by a peaceful, tolerant, diverse and productive people. To this end, they used diverse methods including a long term, vicious programme of terrorist violence and murders, to systematically push Palestinians off their own land and replace them with settlers from other countries. The settler movement has never come to an end - presently the number of illegal settlers in so called "Palestinian" territory (which Palestinians do not of course actually control at all) having passed 600,000 by now. The concept of a two state solution was always a temporary smoke screen for an expanding Jewish apartheid state.

    In this context, how are Palestinians actually expected to respond to the ongoing programme of ethnic cleansing?

    All the evidence shows that Palestinians have been largely non violent in the face of aggression. Where there has been violence of a terrorist nature, it has never had the most remote similarity to the levels of violence and murder to which the Palestinians are subjected.

    What is the point in talking to Hamas? What will we talk about? They are powerless and entirely under the control of the Israeli state.

    Some of us always have talked to Palestinians. They turn up at English universities as students for example. They make poetry which we read. A few, like Edward Said, make a significant cultural impact. They typically have just the one head, just the two hands. We can talk to them about anything under the sun but they can't change anything whatsoever about conditions in Palestine because they have no power and no influence.

    The US subsidises Israeli Jews per head at a level far greater than their support for their own people. Foreign support for Palestinians is siphoned off to benefit Israelis instead. What is built for their benefit is later destrohyed by the IDF. The Israelis enjoy a fine standard of living, unconcerned - or vaguely bothered perhaps if they are nice Israelis - about the fate of their Palestinian neighbours, or the Palestinians displaced from the very houses they occupy, or the Palestinian villages razed to the ground and trampled under their feet. Their education system manufactures wave after wave of bigots prepared for military service against a faceless enemy, whom they are taught to hate. Their legal system has been placed under the control of Orthodox religious authorities obsessed with foreskins and maternal lineage. Those without wealth rely on the benefits of subsidised, cheap housing in the ever expanding settlements and enjoy full military protection if Palestinians try to assert any of their own rights in land or water. (Americans get tax relief on charitable donations to fund such illegal settlements!)

    They are not going to be influenced by anything done by Hamas. They are living in a racist fantasy land in which they are the superior race and everyone else is unclean if not unhuman.
  6. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    30 May '17 15:07
    Originally posted by finnegan
    The term "armed conflict" already utterly misrepresents what is taking place in Palestine.

    There is no balance of force whatsoever.

    Hamas were sponsored by Mossad and the CIA to undermine the secular Fatah movement. They would not exist without that support - Fatah had no time for Islamic politics and many Palestinians are not Muslims; indeed, some ...[text shortened]... st fantasy land in which they are the superior race and everyone else is unclean if not unhuman.
    Although I agree with your general views, I still think talking to people is a better thing than ignoring them.
  7. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    30 May '17 15:57 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    The term "armed conflict" already utterly misrepresents what is taking place in Palestine.

    There is no balance of force whatsoever.

    Hamas were sponsored by Mossad and the CIA to undermine the secular Fatah movement. They would not exist without that support - Fatah had no time for Islamic politics and many Palestinians are not Muslims; indeed, some ...[text shortened]... st fantasy land in which they are the superior race and everyone else is unclean if not unhuman.
    God, you're one sick puppy.

    "Their legal system has been placed under the control of Orthodox religious authorities obsessed with foreskins and maternal lineage." is not only a complete whopper (the Israeli legal system is not and never was placed under the control of the Orthodox religious authorities), it's positively Streicher-esque.
  8. 30 May '17 21:34
    "Every other single place on the face of the earth is in support of the Palestinians,
    yet all of them together aren't a hill of beans compared to the United States and Israel,
    because the United States and Israel can basically do anything they please.
    They are the world superpower, they are the regional superpower."
    --Rashid Khalidi

    Rashid Khalidi, a US citizen (by birth) of Palestinian heritage, is a professor at Columbia University.
  9. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    30 May '17 22:33 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    God, you're one sick puppy.

    "Their legal system has been placed under the control of Orthodox religious authorities obsessed with foreskins and maternal lineage." is not only a complete whopper (the Israeli legal system is not and never was placed under the control of the Orthodox religious authorities), it's positively Streicher-esque.
    Well maybe you would enjoy reading "Politically Incorrect: Why a Jewish State Is a Bad Idea" by Ofra Yeshua-Lyth, from whom I take some (not all) of my thoughts on the role of the Orthodox Religious authorities in Israel.

    My Goodreads review included these paragraphs:

    "A Jewish state is a bad idea because, in a nutshell, the power to identify who can or cannot be considered Jewish, which laws are or are not consistent with being Jewish, has been assigned to an authoritarian religious leadership lacking any and all the necessary qualifications to deal constructively with social and political life and to an immense, hugely expensive, unaccountable yet fully state sponsored religious apparatus that ought instead to have been consigned to the margins of any rational Jewish society and left to fund itself or to wither away. Their refusal to allow space for other ethnic and religious groups in Israeli society, their demands for self segregation and abhorrence of anything that is not Orthodox has produced a narrow minded, bigoted, vicious and deeply racist body of religious laws and cultural norms that are incompatible with a modern, democratic nation.

    The comparison which she suggests best fits Israel is with Pakistan, another religious state set up after the second World War, and the comparison of Orthodox Judaism with Islamic fundamentalism is more than cutting. She lists off many common features of Islam and Judaism, and especially their more reactionary features. As a woman she shows an ability to discuss the Jewish and Islamic practice of circumcision in a detail and with an objectivity which - as she suggests - male writers (and perhaps readers) shrink from."
  10. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    30 May '17 23:13 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    God, you're one sick puppy.

    "Their legal system has been placed under the control of Orthodox religious authorities obsessed with foreskins and maternal lineage." is not only a complete whopper (the Israeli legal system is not and never was placed under the control of the Orthodox religious authorities), it's positively Streicher-esque.
    This article on the role of religious authorities in Israel is worth referring to in this context and very much reaffirms the things written on this topic by Ofra Yeshua-Lyth

    http://www.haaretz.com/st/c/prod/eng/2015/08/not-jewish-enough/

    Deciding what is religious and what is secular turns out to be a very confused thing and the confusion is central to the demand for Israel to be identified as a Jewish state and the refusal to accept such a thing as an Israeli citizen, rather than a Jewish one, which makes decisions about who is truly Jewish fundamental to civil rights there. In order to conform to this principle many key decisions are taken by religious authorities and not by secular ones. Marriage and burial are the examples discussed in this article.

    The legal problems with so called "mixed marriage" in Israeli law can be compared very easily with US segregation laws against miscegenation, the last of which was only ended in 2000 in Alabama.

    I think the article below (from Al Jazera and written by a professor of philosophy at a university in Jerusalem) is also a great discussion of what is wrong with the idea of a Jewish state by another source:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/09/201192614417586774.html
  11. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    31 May '17 05:03
    Originally posted by sh76
    God, you're one sick puppy.

    "Their legal system has been placed under the control of Orthodox religious authorities obsessed with foreskins and maternal lineage." is not only a complete whopper (the Israeli legal system is not and never was placed under the control of the Orthodox religious authorities), it's positively Streicher-esque.
    The problem for Israel is that they've had decades of governments only getting into power by sharing their platform with the Orthodox right.

    And that Orthodox right is very verbal and completely void of reality.

    Ask yourself three questions:
    - what is ethnic cleansing?
    - what are the tactical policies of Israel towards Palestinian land?
    - is this ethnic cleansing?

    And you can only conclude 2 things:
    - their strategic aims do not align with their tactical (and operational) goals.
    - it is ethnic cleansing.
  12. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    01 Jun '17 22:34
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Well maybe you would enjoy reading [b]"Politically Incorrect: Why a Jewish State Is a Bad Idea" by Ofra Yeshua-Lyth, from whom I take some (not all) of my thoughts on the role of the Orthodox Religious authorities in Israel.

    My Goodreads review included these paragraphs:

    "A Jewish state is a bad idea because, in a nutshell, the power to ident ...[text shortened]... th an objectivity which - as she suggests - male writers (and perhaps readers) shrink from."[/b]
    I made the mistake of accidentally driving into the Hasidic territory on Shabot in Jerusalem. If looks could kill, we would be dead. I just got lost and drove down a street I knew nothing about and it was a big mistake. It looked like people were going to start attacking us right on the spot, even though we had Israeli license plates. Never ventured into THAT area again. Confined ourselves to Kibbutz Tsora and the like, folk clubs and chess clubs.