Middle East Discussion


I’ll try to do a full translation:

“Important correction: Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the Basic National Law that we passed, Israel is the homeland (literal translation would be “nation state”) of the Jewish people/nation - and their’s only”

I have no problem with that - as long as the law stresses the rights of all citizens, religions, etc.
The fact is that the national holidays are Jewish holidays, just like Australia celebrates Christmas and Easter. I didn’t feel less Australian because Yom Kippur is not a public holiday and I couldn’t attend the grand final on that day.

But Israel has a unique need to remain Jewish, so there will be things that sound distasteful when judged against countries not in the same situation.
As you said, you can’t compare Israel to countries around it, but you also can’t compare it to Sweden.


Can you please clarify a few points.

-You claim religious practice is freely available. How to you explain the Temple Mount restrictions for Muslims?

This is a an ongoing issue and is certainly not perceived as freedom of worship by muslims.

  • You keep mentioning “Israeli Arabs”. Do you include the West Bank and Gaza residents in this description and if not why not?
  • How do you rationalise the mounting death toll of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank which Aljazeera reports as 214 inside a year with many thousands wounded. If this is a democratic action, democracy has issues.

Incidentally I am not anti Israeli but I cannot see how ignoring the human tragedy of Palestine is in anybody’s interests. My visit to Israel has strengthened my sympathy for the oppressed in your nation, namely the Palestinians.


Dot point 3 - how do you rationalism the continued occupation of territory that is not yours.



You would actually need to read real history books and actually research deeply to understand this. You may have done so, but then you need to stop using simplistic slogans.
The fact is that there was never a country or nation called Palestine.
The land was captured from Jordan, Egypt and Syria in defensive wars - not from Palestine.
There is an overall acceptance and willingness to create a brand spanking new Palestinian country - which has never existed in the history of humanity, but not unless Israel’s security is ensured.


Why does securing Israel’s security involve killing so many Palestinians? Is the answer in the History books?


Dude, you’re talking about a war zone, fighting against a murderous terrorist entity hellbent on Israel’s destruction, who make an art-form of putting their poor citizens in harms way.
Even if the number of dead is 214, you have no way of judging whether that is a lot or a ridiculously low number as there is no real point of comparison.

Every situation is different, but the number of people killed by Syria is estimated between 371,222 and 570,000. Some days there were thousands killed.

Did you get the idea when meeting Israeli’s that their objective is to kill Palestinians?


Not personally but I did read of local politicians saying they were too soft in Gaza which is basically what you are saying with your war zone BS. Is that how you justify 214 deaths and 10s of thousands of casualties against a supposed opponent you have walled off and who have no real weapons? Including children.
I met Israelis who wanted peace, I respected them. People who seek to justify murder and slaughter in occupied zones I have no time for. DUDE.
Look up War Zone in your oppressor’s lexicon, DUDE.


That is suggesting that I don’t want peace. Which is absolutely false. I don’t want to control, occupy, oppress - and i desperately don’t want my daughter to have to start her army service in November.
I don’t practically support a complete Israel from the river to the sea or any of that stuff at all.

But judging numbers of deaths based on a visit to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv or even Bethlehem, and without understanding the dilemmas of the soldiers guarding the borders is just ludicrous.

It’s unbelievable that you expect us to accept missiles fired into Israel daily and expect us to run for cover rather than try to put a stop to it - and define what sort of force is acceptable to stop these random and frequent missile attacks.

Go live in Sderot for a while and ■■■■ your pants every time you send your kid to kindergarten, then judge us. What nation would accept this bull ■■■■ on a daily basis without absolutely pummeling the terrorist arseholes.
The restraint shown by Israel’s leaders because of hypocritical judges like you who think they know everything because they saw a wall, is what is causing consternation.


Thanks for the clarification.
Not questioning the Jewish homeland or non-secular status , but what is the legal purpose of “only”? On the face of it, it would seem to confer a legal head of power to pass laws discriminating on the basis of religion - whether that is practised or not, it accords superior homeland rights to one class of society on the basis of religious affiliation.
As to your reference to Sweden, all I said was that as a democratic state, issues such as Israel’s protection of human rights and minority rights should be judged against the standards of other democracies. I’m not making any judgments in that respect, but suggest that it is not enough to counter criticism of Israel’s actions by pointing to worse practices in other Middle East States.


Missiles daily? Hyperbole. What about the attacks on Gaza on a weekly basis.
Anyway I have daughters and a grand daughter and I’m sexist and I saw way too many very young women carrying semi automatics so you have me there. I wish your daughter all the best and hope she sees the folly of your Government’s path and helps to seek a solution.
I repeat, I’m not anti Israeli and I hope post election there is finally some sort of epiphany because the current path is tragic


The next country that learns how to win a guerilla war on hostile ground without committing genocide (or something uncomfortably close to it) will be the first. What Israel is doing now is no different to what the US, and the Brits, and Dutch, and Belgians, and Germans, and Russians did in their colonial wars.

However, the policy of Israeli settlement in the occupied territories that has been pursued for many years now has put a LOT of Israelis on hostile ground on a long-term basis, so the expedient of ‘giving up and going home’ that eventually got the US out of guerilla war in Vietnam and the Brits out of Kenya (and out of Palestine!) isn’t really an option any more. Not to mention that even if Israel withdrew tomorrow (which they won’t, because Netanyahu owes his poltical butt to the far-right extremist parties), Palestine will still be right next door and to all appearances Hamas will continue lobbing missiles over the border every tie they need a distraction from internal political issues.


“Only” was just a point of emphasis made by the Prime Minister to emphasise the incorrectness of the statement made by Rotem Sela. It is inflammatory and unnecessary.
There was fierce debate in the Knesset to ensure that the law cannot be used to discriminate against anyone.
In fact Netanyahu is not even necessarily correct. According to a high court ruling in April 1996 Israel can be both a Jewish State and a State of all its citizens. The lead judge sad that the fact that Israel is a democracy means that it is a State of all its citizens.
So i would conclude that Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people and a State of all its citizens.
I agree with you that Israel should be judged against other democracies in relation to to human and minority rights, rather than its neighbours.
I would accept no other way.
But it also needs to be recognized that it is not currently at peace, and in certain cases cannot be judged against countries that have no threats to their existence.


So what about the Palestinians? Collateral damage?


Or tragic and cynical victims of corrupt leaders, politics on both sides, media hunger for blood, dirty wars over land, religion, pride, nationalism.
BTW, i haven’t voted for Netanyahu or any right wing party for 15 years. I want a more practical solution, without far right and extremist parties in the government.
When i came to Israel before i was even married, when the Oslo peace process was still in existence, i genuinely thought my kids would not have to do compulsory army service.
However i don’t think israel is primarily at fault for that not happening.


Politicians in democracies are prone to abusing their constitutional powers, here and elsewhere ( like Trump invoking his Presidential powers on the basis of national security).
Have their been any efforts to pass discriminatory laws on the basis of exclusive homeland rights?


There is only going to be collateral damage on both sides while Hamas and Likud are in power. And I think that the expansion of settlements in the occupied territories since the assassination of Rabin will mean that there is no solution acceptable to both sides.

I think Israel (at the high governmental level) are low-key happy with how things are progressing. Keep shipping settlers inland until permanent rule over the occupied territories is a fait accompli. I don’t think Netanyahu gives one tiny little ■■■■ about killing Palestinians, any more than I think Hamas gives a ■■■■ about killing Israelis. And I think that his settlement policy has ensured that no future Israeli PM will be able to offer a peace settlement that is acceptable to Palestinian negotiators (if good-faith Palestinian negotiators ever get a chance to discuss it at all) without making politically impossible demands on the settler population, and losing government because of it.

There are no good guys here. On the PAlestinian side, Hamas have tried their damndest to keep the war going because it’s the only thing that makes them relevant, and on the Israeli side, Netanyahu won, and Israel/Palestine will remain at war for generations because of it.


Netanyahu seems to have one aim. For Netanyahu to be Prime Minister. And its driving 49% of the country mad, because its clear that we need a fresh perspective and fresh leadership.


What they need, is a higher wall.


Israel can’t bring peace by its own actions, but some of them aren’t helpful.
To give a minor example: With the EU taking the lead, a number of WTO members decided to give tariff and other trade preferences to the Palestine Territories consistent with WTO rules on developing countries ( don’t have to be State or a WTO member). This was part of a wider goal of assisting economic development and employment.
Israel then blocked transit trade - on imports of inputs to production as well as exports. The blanket block was unjustifiable on security grounds, Israel was entitled to do this against non -WTO members, but lost some of its credibility and influence in the WTO and UN as a result.


So you have visited Israel once and you are a farking expert ?

If you think that there are no weapons in Gaza then you are dreaming.