Israel vs Middle East

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    Unseen requested that the topic of Israel not derail his topic that focusses on Taiwan, so I’ve split out off-topic posts from his topic to this one. (I like to treat most topics as if they’ll be relevant for years to come, and I’m especially thinking of future newcomers to AZ.)

    Feel free to post to this new topic.


    The following quotes are excerpts from three different posts in the topic “War with China over Taiwan. Inevitable?“:

    Israel has almost 75 years experience facing down and defeating much bigger and more powerful enemies.  Perhaps we could provide the hook-up between Israel and Taiwan. Israel could consult with Taiwan on how to build a “Titanium Dome” (like Israel’s “Iron Dome” against Hamas rockets, only used against nuclear missiles.)  Our industries, of course, could sell Taiwan at least some of the materiels for this venture. After that gets successfully built, then Israel could consult with Taiwan’s intelligence agency on how to infiltrate and sabotage Red China’s air force and missiles, just like Israel has done and is doing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Emperor Xi’s forces can’t easily attack Taiwan if his fighter jets and missiles can’t get off the ground or if the computers or satellites can’t guide them, or even if the planes and missiles explode on the ground. Just exploring one of many possibilities.


    BTW, Israel isn’t facing anything like the third largest superpower in Hamas.


    Hamas is the Proxy for Iran and is armed and financed by Iran, so really, Israel is up against a big regional power.  And although technically Israel is at peace with Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States, that could easily be just Hudna, an Islamic temporary truce with the unbeliever, while the Jihadis rearm and regroup.

    So really, it’s still Israel against a hostile Islamic World, an indifferent Europe, and Russia and China plying influence with Israel’s enemies.  For the sake of Secularism and Freedom in the Middle East, I hope Israel stays on as a thorn that will impale any beast that dares to stomp it.




    For the sake of Secularism and Freedom in the Middle East [blah blah blah Israel]

    Hearing the word secularism and Israel together is cute. While they have a superficial secularism, religious racism is embedded in their laws and policies. Muslims do not serve in their military. Jewish customs take overwhelming precedence over Christian and Muslim ones. Religious based political parties are the norm. Their flag is a religious symbol. Israel is defined as a Jewish state, and countless exceptions are made for religious customs in laws and policies. On top of that is the unofficial blatant and systemic discrimination towards Muslims within Israel. And let’s not even get into religious motivated discrimination per their occupation in Palestine.

    Yes, they are relatively secular compared with neighbours, but I wouldn’t for a second call it a secular state.

    As for freedom, tell that to Israeli Arabs who face daily discrimination and tell that to the millions of Palestinians who need permission just to make a 5km journey, to those evicted from their lands and the double standards in the Israeli justice system (both in Israel and Occupied territories). It is one thing to talk about a relative level of secularism and freedom in Israel, it is another to talk about it as though it is some sort of example for the rest of the Middle East. What the fuck?



    Israel has anti-racism and anti-discrimination laws. I am not aware of any Arabic countries having similar protections for Jews. Unfortunately they do not have separation of church and state. And the Hassidim are a pernicious influence on their politics. The religious nuts also are not required to serve in the military. Speaking of separation of church and state i don’t think Germany has the wall that the USA pretends to have. And having a friend from Syria who is an atheist and forced to leave and settle in Germany he relates how much discrimination he faced from Christians in Germany who may not play much of a role nationally but do play a big role in local politics. Oddly it is according to this guy better to be a hard core muslim than an atheist trying for citizenship and rights.

    I would not characterize Israel’s treatment of Muslims as strictly religious or religious racism. Druze are in the military and have an offshoot of Islam religion. So if the equation were Jews or fuck off then there would not be separate treatment for a different religion and different ethnicity. Further while there is no gainsaying that Israel was founded as a Jewish state the reasons are as much if not more secular than religious. all the way back in the 19th century there were Jewish writers asserting that Jews would have to find their own homeland. Assimilation simply did not work out…anywhere. The Spaniards were horrible to Jews (and Muslims). Germany was insanely racist towards Jews for centuries before the holocaust. And the rest of Europe was no picnic either. Eastern Europe and Russia same fate. Denmark is an obvious exception. USA turned back a ship filled with Jews escaping the holocaust. So the zionist writers were pretty damn prescient long before the holocaust.

    Fear of Muslims is rationally based in Israel There are a whole bunch who would love to live up the early promises of driving the Jews into the sea. The Arabs rejected the partition in 1947 or 48 i forget. They attacked almost instantly. So the policies are understandable as existential insurance in a sea of hostility. There is some fucked up shit about Israel too as there is every country.



    Israel has anti-racism laws, but that doesn’t mean they are remotely enforced. There is even pernicious racism towards African Jews which leads to terrible police violence and discrimination against them (despite there being laws on paper against that). There are multiple arab countries which have “in theory” anti-racism laws protecting Jews, including Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. I would venture to guess they are as good in Morocco enforcing anti-Jewish discrimination as Israelis are the other way around. For non-arab Middle East countries, Turkey is in the same boat. Every time I hear people say: “At least Israel has x”, there is a Middle Eastern country that also has it, with the only exception I can think of being gay marriage. Lebanon has democracy. Turkey has secularism (as secular as Israel is), Jordan has personal safety, Qatar is an advanced economy, the UAE has a strong tech/security/media industry. Israel has some elements of Western humanist society, they also have absolutely outrageous racism and cruelty embedded in laws and policies that are no better than what you find in Turkey or Lebanon. So the “at least” argument is a TERRIBLE one which I could use with China with similar futility. Anyone who points to Israel as an admirable example of how to deal with rights, religion or justice have an extremely warped idea of what those are. There is simply no reason for Israel to not start implementing true equality, secularism and justice. The only reason a wealthy country doesn’t do something after so many decades, is because they don’t want to.




    The Zionist movement which brought about modern-day Israel, founded by Theodor Hertzl, was a Secular movement and Hertzl and the majority of his cohorts were Secular Jews.  There is a whole, neutral, non-hostile entry on Zionism in The Encyclopedia of Unbelief Edited by Gordon Stein, available on

    Orthodox Jews actually do not accept the legitimacy of the modern state of Israel because they say, IIRC, that the Messiah has to come and the Temple that was destroyed by the Romans has to be rebuilt before Israel can be re-established.  Since they don’t believe a Messiah has come and since the Temple is still rubble, modern Israel is considered ersatz.

    Israel also is a multi-Party parliamentary form of government whose major parties, Labor and Likud, are Secular, as are many minor parties. Despite not granting legitimacy to Israel, there are also Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox parties and function basically as Israel’s version of the Religious Right but they are not big spokespeople for many Jews in Israel.

    Back around 1986, a coalition of Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox parties proposed to restrict immigration to Israel to Orthodox Jews.  This brought a storm of protests by both Non-Orthodox and Secular Jewish groups like The World Jewish Congress, The American Jewish Committee, The Anti-Defamation League, B’nai Brith International, plus groups representing Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and Humanistic Judaism.

    Most notably, there are also Arab and even Islamist parties in the Israeli Knesset.  The Arab Party got third place in a recent election.  Arabs and Muslims also serve in the Judiciary and the Military.  (It’s not that Arabs and Muslims can’t serve.  They are simply not required.)

    Arabs of the Druze religion also serve in the Israeli Mossad and are preferred because they look like the enemy and they are secretive and eclectic about religion, so they infiltrate and defeat Islamic terror cells easily.

    And on all government road signs and in all government documents, the official Israeli languages are Arabic, English, and Hebrew.  Except for a few ballot boxes in California, nowhere in the U.S. is anyplace that officially multilingual.

    Arabs make up 20 percent of the population and while there are always tensions between some people in every group, Israel is definitely not an Apartheid state as characterized by the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement.  (There is a Jewish racist group called Kahane Chai that wants Israel expanded from Egypt to Iraq with all Arabs and Non-Jews expelled, but Kahane Chai is also classified as a terrorist organization by Israel.)

    Israel is also pro-equal rights and opportunity for women and was so from the beginning.  Dr. Ruth Westheimer “The Good Sex Doctor” once recounted her youth in Israel learning how to shoot Sten Guns, throw grenades, and lay mines.

    Israel is also pro-LGBTQ+ rights and LGBTQ+ people are in the Military, Civil Service, and private industry.  Arab Gay men prefer life in Israel over life among their Muslim “brothers” who threaten them with death.

    Israel also has free and critical searching news media outlets and the eyes of the world on it at all times.  It’s media are so free, Tel Aviv is considered the porn capital of the world.  Rule #34 is alive and well in The Promised Land.

    Is Israel perfect?  Certainly not.  Does it have room for improvement?  Of course.  (My own criticisms of Israel are it’s version of the Religious Right, the occasional Kahane Chai racist, and the fact that it’s economy is too Socialist, but, of course, I’ll say that of every nation.)

    The main thing that makes Israel such a great nation is that it has the dynamic culture and free institutions to make change for the better possible.  A chip off the old block, I’d say.




    Fret not, we haven’t forgotten either you or Taiwan.  I just thought Israel could be part of a solution to Taiwan’s woes and it just went off from there.

    Taiwan and the rest of the world has just recently seen what happened when Red China finished shutting down Hong Kong.   That in itself is motivation to put on a mean game face with Emperor Xi and his CCP/PLA minions.  Taiwan’s takeover by Beijing would mean another Asian Tiger declawed, defanged, and gelded and maybe skinned and put on the wall.

    Red China isn’t as big on naval power or amphibious transport as other superpowers.  Maybe this is a Yin where Taiwan could place it’s Yang along with airpower.



    The main thing that makes Israel such a great nation is that it has the dynamic culture and free institutions to make change for the better possible.

    With the sole exception of “gay marriage”, I could say the very same thing about Turkey and Lebanon. They both have dynamic culture and they both have free institutions to make change for the better possible. That doesn’t mean that either of those countries, nor Israel are doing so. All three easily have the potential to end the misery of millions of people living within those countries but they don’t, because they don’t want to. I do not admire any country in the Middle East at the moment, including Israel. I do not care about the notably accomplishments in any ME country in comparison with the serious human rights violations, humanitarian horrors and injustice that happens there, including Israel. No number of seemingly unique qualities outweighs their indefensible qualities.

    • This reply was modified 6 days, 16 hours ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 6 days, 9 hours ago by  PopeBeanie.
    • This reply was modified 6 days, 9 hours ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: weird, i only meant to move this post... i didn't actually edit it


    Oh hey Unseen, hope it won’t cause Taiwanese dyspepsia but Enco and Davis opened the door.

    Israel is never going to be understood without context. The anti-Israeli contingent will point to its abuses. They conveniently omit the abuses of their country and the greater nations of the world. (Not always of course but often) It is also clear that many who hate Israel are motivated by antisemitism. However the supporters of Israel are often right wing conservatives or far right Christians. The Christians have a stupid religious basis of support for Israel.

    I have no idea why no one discusses it or writes about it (at least within my purview) but it is very fucked up to be Jewish in that the word Jew is in and of itself a dirty word. There is no similar word with its connotations unless it is a slur. In addition it is the one descriptor that conveys ethnicity, race, culture and religion. It is misleading and ambiguous. I for one do not want my identity conflated with religion. A Jew can as easily be a Buddhist or an atheist or you name it. How things evolved to the current state of linguistic confusion and conflation i am not aware.

    It won’t be a revelation to indicate that Jews are the world’s scapegoats. If you’ve ever seen the percentage of citizens of every nation as it pertains to antisemitism it is quite alarming. I think Laos was a major exception. Maybe 1 percent but hey 99 percent of Laotians would no more know of a Jew than a Martian.

    So anyway ya got this cultural ethnic group that is not completely homogeneous but compared to most groups other than Gypsies it is fairly uniform. They have a diaspora and encounter major hostility on their meanderings. Safety is the priority but it is a chimera cuz there are only occasional period in sundry locations where Jews can thrive. I suppose that causes a greater cultural and religious identity when the world is hostile to ya. Same thing happened to Gypsies who are also reviled in many places. If you have not read the history of Jews you can not get a sense of the degree of persecution endured.

    Anyways when ya fast forward to the culmination of the antipathy towards Jews in the holocaust it has to be understood that it was not just Germans that wanted to exterminate Jews. So many countries had citizens frothing at the mouth to turn over Jews. After it was over who dafuq do you as a Jew trust? If you don’t create your own home among your own people you will never be safe.

    Turns out the middle east is hostile to Jews just like Europe and Russia is. As soon as you get statehood you are attacked by Arabs. THEY WANT YOU DEAD! Tiny country bout size of Rhode Island and neighbors who don’t like each other but all hate you. Attacked and attacked. Terrorist groups rain shit on your party. How do you avoid right wing response? It is a constant existential threat. And you as a people have fought to stay alive and preserve your identity all these centuries and now ya gotta postage stamp of land. Think about how Europe had gotten all multicultural and good sentiments towards Muslims. Especially Germany. And now the introduction of Muslims to those multicultural nations has caused the pendulum to swing right. And it is not like there is a threat to the sovereignty of any of these nations or a genocide. What is it, a few rapes and malcontents and efforts to bring Muslim customs to the natives. Yet the response in terms of government and some citizen groups is distinctly to the right.

    Consider what the USA did during the second world war to its loyal Japanese citizens. Interned. Not based on any evidence of Japanese Americans being traitors. Just the thought was enough to end the civil rights and deprive the freedom of good citizens. Again a threat not on the same level Israel faces constantly.

    Also consider how quickly nations suspend or end civil rights at the drop of a terrorist attack. Not on a par with Israel’s threats. There is no other way for Israel to have turned notwithstanding the humanitarian sentiments of so many Jews. I discovered for myself beyond my reading of conventional books about Jewish philanthropy and civil rights when i wrote a term paper in law school for a class on Immigration Law. One Jewish group after another in those endeavors. Yeah microfiche so i must be old…



    Anyways when ya fast forward to the culmination of the antipathy towards Jews in the holocaust it has to be understood that it was not just Germans that wanted to exterminate Jews. So many countries had citizens frothing at the mouth to turn over Jews. After it was over who dafuq do you as a Jew trust? If you don’t create your own home among your own people you will never be safe.

    So, who’s safer now? A Jew living in Paris, New York, or Copenhagen, or a Jew living in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or Haifa?




    You did a great job of piecing it back together.

    Rest assured, it wasn’t my intention to derail Unseen’s thread on Taiwan.  It’s just that Taiwan is a tiny nation against a behemoth Red China and what came to mind was Israel vs. the Islamic world, and I thought Israel’s plight. would be a source of help for Taiwan’s crisis.




    If it’s any assurance, if I were Theodor Hertzl back in the day, I would have told my fellow Zionists:

    Look, guys.  Right about the time we started this movement, there came out this new thing called an offshore platform.  It’s like the firmament of Genesis, only it’s man-made and juts out of the sea on stilts made out of steel!

    What say we build a series of modular interconnected platforms?  With see-through thick glass bottoms so the Sun can shine through and the plankton can get nourishment, the fish can get plankton, and we can get fish?  And we can use the small fish to catch big fish, we can use the fish heads to fertilize soil or other plant media and then grow hanging grape vines and hanging herbs and greens on our structures, just like the Ziggurats of Babylon!

    Build this thing strong enough and we can have livestock and homes, shops, schools, and dance and theater halls just like the shtetls of the old countries!

    And a man in the United States named Thomas  Edison built a contraption called a Phonograph that records and plays voices and sound on wax disks.  We could equip all the platforms with these Phonographs and serenade ouselves with Klezmer Yacht Rock!

    (All right!  No Klezmer Yacht Rock!  Just sèeing if you’re still with me.)

    We could also have offshore platforms connected by bridges as well as directly to each other.  Connect enough of them together and we could have a homemade homeland!  The first of it’s kind!  And all on the high seas where freedom reigns and we’re away from neighbors and anyone who hates us would have to go to a ton of trouble to get us!

    Let everyone else keep the swamp and dust!  We’re making a homeland with style!



    So yeah, Imagine somehow China managed to occupy the United States. And when it pulled out, it also decided to compensate the Uyghurs and Tibetans which the Chinese had persecuted, by letting them have a homeland in the United States. So, specifically, through funding and political pressure by China, they take the state that YOU personally live in, and divide it into a patchwork, force you to leave your home and go live in a terrible make-shift house, while more and more Tibetans and Uyghurs come into your state, changing the face of everything you know, being funded and armed by China. After losing everything you have, you fight back, only China funds and arms the Tibetans and Uyghurs so heavily that they destroy your forces and then occupy your entire state. You are now moved into a terrible refugee camp and put under threat of violence, economic stagnation, racist policies and occasional brutal treatment. Meanwhile the fully occupied Tibetan and Uyghur parts of the state develop a prosperous democracy (notably through the assistance of other countries). 50 years later, nothing has changed, and nothing changes it…peace, terrorism, negotiations, outrage, boycots…you name it…nothing changes and you still live in a refugee camp. Your neighbouring states are all in disarray because of the former Chinese occupation, you have few options to develop yourself, extremism has infiltrated your culture. Meanwhile many countries in the world applaud the Tibetans and Uyghurs for the nice little pocket of democracy and gay marriage they have in their half of your state, and feel bummed out that they also occupy the half you live in, taking even more and more of your land while you still live in a worsening refugee camp…but…are so enamoured by the oasis of stability the Tibetans and Uyghurs created through the assistance of the Chinese…that they won’t say much about you, speak up for you…and when others do criticise the Tibetans and Uyghurs policies in your state…they are attacked for being racist.

    I find it extremely unlikely you would find this acceptable if it happened to your state. And yet, people applaud the accomplishments of Israel built on the back of endless, unjust, outrageous suffering and oppression of Palestinians. Just as China could have found a million other potential solutions to dealing with centuries of oppression against Tibetans and Uyghurs, Europe and the USA could have found a million solutions to addressing centuries of anti-semitism. It did not have to involve hurting, displacing another culture and creating decades of apartheid, land-grabs, dehumanisation, racism and degradation of others. Even if you accept that it has happened and that Israel has the right to exist and isn’t going away, you can at the very least support the drive to end the most abominable and cruel outrages that happen in Palestine every day, stop downplaying or excusing it and recognise the injustice.

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 4 hours ago by  Davis.


    Davis, that takes a great deal of imagination, a Trump-like expansion of reality to metamorphose the actual history of Palestinians and Israelis into a workable analogy.

    In reality a people who were persecuted for centuries, on a path to extermination by the Germans and aided by other Europeans with virtually no succor save a good citizen here and there who secreted Jews found the survivors desperately returning to their homeland; a homeland that had Jews and Arabs living in it all those centuries and subject to the hegemony of various empires who had faded into history and was at this point a British mandate. As the survivors populated their ancient homeland and violence ensued between nationalistic Arabs and Jews the hostility was finally settled by virtue of a UN resolution which divided the territory into a Jewish and Palestinian state.

    Jews happy. Arabs attacked.

    You see the Arabs hated Jews for all of those centuries just like the Christians had. In some states Jews lived as Dhimmis and were ok. At other times they were persecuted. Just like it was in Europe. During the holocaust the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem had an alliance with Hitler. Their sentiments were the same as it related to the Jews. It is not a surprise that 4 or 5 nations attacked the Jews before they had a state. Nor is it a surprise that they continued their aggression against Jews after a state was created. Pure unmitigated antisemitism was the cause. Their children are indoctrinated in hate that is inextricably linked with Islamic culture.

    The Palestinians embraced the PLO which aimed to destroy Israel and kill all of the Jews. Now it is Hamas. There is no negotiating with people who want the final solution. It was apparent from the start. They wanted all of it for themselves and all of the Jews dead.

    Based on the history of the world the Palestinians are fortunate that it is the Jews and not some other people. After rejecting a state that was handed on a platter, and then failing to accomplish their objectives as to Jews and Israel it is partially on them how they are. Reverse the power and Jews would be toast. It is tragic because viruses of the mind engender endless cycles of hatred. The virus of antisemitism sent the Palestinians on a course that was utterly unnecessary. I am not excusing Jewish abuse of Palestinians but it is once again necessary to understand the context and its relation to other forms of oppression in history.



    No it doesn’t Jake. Replace the Tib etans with native Americans. Imagine the Chinese withdrew from an improveished Connecticut and armed and funded native Americans, , invited millions of native Americans to join the few natives who still live in Connecticut, and when inevitably tensions arose amid a massive influx of uninvited migrants amongst poverty, divided the state in half, force you and your family into camps. Would this be reasonable? After centuries of living and building settlements in Connecticut, you’ve been divided, are underdeveloped and now occupied? Please tell Americans (especially white Americans) would go “okay…fair enough Natives have had a hard time, we will change our lives, share our meagre resources and eventually I’ll give up my home and cities and go live somewhere else”? And after decades of occupations ..please tell me that Armed Americans wouldnt resort to terrorism? Americans occupied Congress over a perceived fake election.

    Both sides have done reprehensible things. But the Israelis were the newcomers and are now the well and and funded brutal occupiers. Both governments do terrible things worthy of extreme criticism. Neither side are praiseworthy regardless of their accomplishments. No place on Earth should be transformed against their will by occupiers, face racist segregation or brutal apartheid. Americans would behave absolutely no different, or even worse, if the same thing happened to them. Your last president won an election on building a wall to keep a small number of migrants out. Would a post occupied America invite migrants that would double it’s populations and radically transform everything with open arms?




    • This reply was modified 3 days, 10 hours ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 3 days, 9 hours ago by  Davis.


    China invading the USA would be an act of war dissimilar to Jewish survivors fleeing persecution to return to their ancient homeland. One sovereign nation is invading and overcoming another. I assume you are equating China and USA. USA voted in favor of partition if i recall. That is the extent of their involvement. The USA also deprived holocaust survivors who were docked in the USA of immigration leading to the death of most if i recall. You are already completely different in your hypothetical. But the deviation from real to the hypothetical continues.

    The hypothetical has oppressed people of the invading super power which are sent to the USA to displace Americans. That is just not at all related to what actually occurred. No super power invading a nation. No super power bringing its oppressed minorities to the defeated country. There is not even a nation that is coming or that is settled. Palestine and Palestinians never had a state. They lived their during but they were foolish and greedy enough to reject the state that was given to them. They wanted Jerusalem. They wanted all of the Jews dead. They wanted all of the land for themselves. Ya know if you contemplate that state of affairs and superimpose one person you don’t like that person much. In fact you probably despise that person.

    The hyper-focus on Zionism as some racist political ideology is a load of yak shit. It is just incredible how the detractors and haters of Jews/Israel can have such opaque glasses. Ya know what fuck it…I am not gonna continue.

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