What to do about………………. Israel?

Raquel_Israeli_Flag.jpg picture by WSClark52

“Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?

Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?

Where have all the flowers gone, young girls picked them ev’ry one.

Oh, when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”

Pete Seeger, 1955.

Interestingly enough, there is a Hebrew version of “Where have all the flowers gone?” called “איפה הפרחים כולם” or Eifo Haprachim Kulam.

Of late, not much seems to get folks worked up more than the situation with Israel. Nominally, they are our primary ally in the middle East, but like a wayward child, she has a way of testing our patience.

The recent tragedy on the Rachel Corrie, enroute to Gaza, highlights the divide between Washington an Tel Aviv. Perhaps Israel had a right to stop the ship from Turkey and inspect the cargo. Perhaps they had a right to board the ship for that purpose.

But most definitely, nine people did not need to die.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a drop more than a quarter ethnic Jew. My first (known) European ancestor left England about 1620 because he was married to a Jewish woman. My paternal grandfather was an ethnic  German Jew that had converted to Christianity and changed his name to hide his Jewishness.

The history of Israel is long and complicated and much of it depends on who is telling the story.  In very simple terms, the U.N., led by the British, partitioned Palestine in July 1947 and in May, 1948, the State of Israel was formally born.

And then the fight that began in 1020 BCE resumed and a 3,000 year old battle between  Arabs and Jews was rejoined once more, a battle that continues to this day.

Arabs and Jews are ethnic cousins, both being Semites, although the term “anti-Semite” is used to reflect an anti-Jewish bigotry. Some would make the conflict in Palestine to be religious Jew v Muslim, but Islam wasn’t born until 610 CE and the conflict arose more 1,500 years earlier.

In my view, there will always be conflict in the middle East, but it can be mitigated by the establishment of a Palestinian homeland. Until there are two equal states in the Holy Land, this three thousand year old conflict will continue.

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under WAR, World Politics

35 responses to “What to do about………………. Israel?

  1. Here is the issue.

    I spoke with a Palestinian professor who thought the only way to peace is a one state solution. Israel won’t go along with that because their birthrate is actually lower and fear of being outnumbered and shipped out.

    A two state solution won’t work because Israel will never give up Jerusalem and the Arab world will continue to called it occupied.

    I wonder about a 3 state solution. Israel, Palestine and Jerusalem as a whole that is almost its own country like the Vatican where a coalition of Jews, Palestinians and Catholics maintain the historic sites. I am sure there are holes in this as well.

    • WSClark

      Jerusalem will always be point of conflict since three religions claim her as their holy city, but the idea of a three state solution has merit.

      Since it seems logical, it probably will never be considered.

      Nothing about the middle East is logical.

    • tosmarttobegop

      “I wonder about a 3 state solution. Israel, Palestine and Jerusalem as a whole that is almost its own country like the Vatican where a coalition of Jews, Palestinians and Catholics maintain the historic sites. I am sure there are holes in this as well.”.

      That is a thought to me too, in a real sense the fighting does not make sense.
      All major religions worship the same God, or did Abraham worship more then one God?
      They could since all of them hold Jerusalem as a wholly site recognize as the wholly site for all.
      Separate yet together for the worship of the one true God.

      True it would be like a solution of separate but equal bathrooms where one race comes in through the door on the right and another race comes in through the door on the left. All using the same toilets, the end result is served. (Hee sure sounds like I am calling Jerusalem a toilet huh?)

      Perhaps it is the objection to sharing the same God?

  2. It amazes me how uneducated Americans can be on issues and even more amazing that they prefer to remain ignorant. Most people that I’ve encountered that vehemently criticize anything that doesn’t support Israel fail to understand the history as you have stated here. Their whole argument is bible based and, as far as I’m concerned, it depends on who’s interpreting it as to what it means.

    On YOUR Jewishness, you do know that the Jewish line was/is passed down through the mother, don’t you? If you have a maternal line that is Jewish, then YOU’RE Jewish. I got a whole education on this about 15 years ago from a Rabbi that had done some amazing historical research in an area of Russia that my German ancestors had lived for a couple 100 years. There were Jewish settlements in the same area that German families were placed in to teach them to farm and manage the land. Jews had never been allowed to own land, they were forced into occupations like money lending and such, they ran the shops. That’s another thing that I find “funny”. The reason that the Jews ended up running the banks was that money-lending was dirty business, an honorable man would never do this. But the Jew had no choice, with no land they couldn’t farm. They had to do SOMETHING to survive.

  3. tosmarttobegop

    Every time somebody at work would be blaming the “foreigners” for the problems with the United States.

    My dad would reply “Yeah and I wish all you foreigners would go back to where YOU came from so we could get the good land back!”.

    Things are what they are, the Israelis in Biblical times came into the area and killed, slaughtered, massacred every living thing. Man, Woman, Child, Goat, Sheep anything living within the area they could catch and kill. Without morality or conscious all because they believed that God told them to.

    Both the Israelis and the Palestine fought the British for the right to be self-governing and had equal claim to the land.

    Using the same tactics as the Palestine’s use today, but it was a toss of the coin and the Israelis won. So be it….

    Israel is a country not a religion, it acts as a country not as the Jewish faith.

    Since the early twentieth century it has been a country of immigrants mainly of the Jewish faith.

    A man made Jewish homeland if you will

  4. indypendent

    I was on another blog yesterday and if anyone dared to even question Israel’s motives, they were labeled anti-Semite and then all civilized, rationale discussion flew right out the window.

    That blog had 7,000 posts by the time I left in the late afternoon.

    That is alot of people with alot of different views. Is it any wonder this problem has not been solved in thousands of years when we cannot even get a blog to come to some sort of compromise in a discussion?

  5. wicked

    History is a tool for learning. Too bad neither side of the Israel/Palestine (Jewish/Muslim) issue has bothered to use it, except to wage more war. Until they do, the killing and waste of lives will continue.

  6. indypendent

    My position on Israel has always been – the US needs to continue to be the ally of Israel but when Israel is in the wrong, then the US needs to step up to the plate and call them on it.

    Israel is like a bully on the play yard. Everything is fine when the bully gets their way but when some other kid dares to punch them in their face, then they run home to mommy (the US) and whines about how the other kid does not like them because they are Jewish. What they fail to tell mommy is that they were the bully first.

    What I want to know about this Israeli attack on that ship is – did they attack when the ship was in international waters? It was reported as such.

    If the ship was in international waters, then how can Israel claim it was only defending itself when they were the ones that boarded and overtook that ship? In that case, they were the aggressors – IMHO.

  7. Human history is one brutality after another. I know of no nation, race or ethnic group that this is not true about.

    Israel should have let the boat come in from international waters b4 boarding. Then if they are met by clubs and knives, the law is on their side.

    In any case, killing anyone is wrong. Even killing those with clubs and knives is wrong.

    • That is as may be, but why does Israel control
      Gaza ports? What gives them the right to do that?

      Also, it is more than ridiculous for anyone to claim that the people on those boats came spoiling for a fight with the Israeli military armed only with clubs and knives. Right–that would be like me raging up to my local police station and spoiling for a fight with a butter knife in hand. Quick death.

      I’m tired of apologists. There is no excuse for the Israeli embargo of Gaza and there is no excuse for terrorism. However, my sympathies must lie with the people who have fewer options open to them. It’s like a fat kid sitting on a skinny kid who is slowly losing the ability to breath. The skinny kid yells for help from those around him, to no avail. The fat kid keeps telling the skinny kid that he has to call him uncle before he will let him up. But the skinny kid can’t even get enough breath to say the word. When the skinny kid pulls a knife and stabs the fat kid in the ass, can you blame him? I won’t.

      And this is not at all about religion. I have Jewish friends. And they basically have stated that if I side with the activists, that makes me anti-semitic. I guess Israel can slowly starve a people and push them into the sea, but if I protest about the inhumanity, it means I hate all Jews.

      Whatever. They don’t illicit sympathy in this illogical, immature way. They are turning the world against themselves.

  8. Freebird1971

    IMHO We should mind our own business,there are plenty of things right here that require attention.

    • indypendent

      I agree with you. But then we have people who think we need a strong ally in the Middle East region. And those people think we need to defend Israel at all cost to keep this ally.

      As for minding our own business, that needs to be applied to not only the Israel/Palestine situation but other parts of the world – IMHO.

      The US has enough problems to keep us busy for the next 100 years and we need to stop playing the policeman to the world and get our own house in order.

      • Freebird1971

        The US has enough problems to keep us busy for the next 100 years and we need to stop playing the policeman to the world and get our own house in order.

        I have been saying that exact thing for quite some time. Seems like if you echo that sentiment there are those on both sides that will rip you a new one for not caring. That is not the case. I care about what happens here,it’s time for the rest of the world to put on their big boy pants and stop relying on the US for help everytime something goes south for them.

  9. indypendent

    When this latest Israel ruckus bursted on the scene, I’ve seen references by posters to the USS Liberty attack in 1967. Does anyone on here know much about that?

    One guy even posted that he was on that ship when the attack happened and he said that the Israelis knew who they were attacking – the US. He had no love for Israel.

    So I guess my question is – why the cover up in 1967? I know it was Lyndon Johnson in the White House but why was this never investigated thoroughly and reported.

    Again, I know this was in 1967 and the reporting we had back then was not like we have today – instantly being beamed across the globe through the internet and/or satellites.

    But that was a major confrontation and it seems there has been this cloud of secrecy about it ever since.

    Sometimes I wonder if we really do want to know all the details of how our government operates? Or are we better off not knowing?

    • G-STIR

      There are several good books in the public library- if you read them, be prepared to get really pissed!!
      According to people on the Liberty, Israeli forces attacked by air and sea seveal times in international waters in what aviators call CAVU ( Clear And Visibility Unlimited) conditions. The Liberty was an NSA ship monitoring the 7 day war in 1967. Apparantly Israel did not want what was intercepted to be analyzed or publicised.

      Read up on the subject.

      • indypendent

        “Apparantly Israel did not want what was intercepted to be analyzed or publicised.”

        This sounds eerily familiar. I distinctly remember one part of the news coverage about that Israeli attack on the aid ship. The communications to the ship was turned off shortly after the Israelis boarded.

        Hmmm…..I wonder if some one did not want any possible evidence to get out to the world?

      • G-STIR

        The books I read said the Israel was violating International law in it’s treatment of Egyptian officers captured- they were executed. That is what the Liberty supposedly intercepted.

        Later one when Israel was to reimbuse the US for the cost of the destroyed ship,at a greatly reduced price. A bill passed that increased their foreign aid by the same amount- we paid the bill for the Liberty ourselves!

        Google the USS Liberty .

  10. indypendent

    “And this is not at all about religion. I have Jewish friends. And they basically have stated that if I side with the activists, that makes me anti-semitic”

    Paula – you touched on something I was trying to point out on that other blog.

    Just because I was questioning what really happened on that ship and Israel’s motivation, I was immediately branded an anti-Semite by a few people.

    Then I had Christians attacking me because I needed to heed the Bible and defend the Jews.

    All I was asking was what really happened and if Israel was in the wrong – such as attacking that ship in international waters for one thing – then why does that make me a hater of all Jews?

    If the world cannot get past this black and white division of religions – then we are forever doomed.

    And then why bother even trying to negotiate a peace agreement in the Middle East. I think these people like to fight.

    I did offer one solution – lock up the leaders from Israel and Palestine in a sealed room and don’t let them out until they kill each other. Then tell all their supporters to line up and their turn is next.

    Hell, put it on Pay per View and get back some of those billions we have sent to both of these countries.

    • Well as long as Israel can hide behind the Jewish population of the whole world for cover for its heinous acts, there will be no change. I don’t blame Helen Thomas for what she said–taken out of context as it was, it was still ignorant to say that the Jews should go back to Europe–considering the fact that she is of Palestinian descent. I guess it is okay to defend Israel’s violent policies if you are Jewish, but it is NOT okay to defend the Palestinian people no matter what your heritage may be.

      What a load of crap!

      • indypendent

        I think Helen Thomas just spoke out of anger. That does not excuse what she said, but haven’t we all been frustrated to that point at some time in our life.

        I remember Helen Thomas was the only one in that press room that would consistently ask some question about the Middle East. I also remember how big of a thorn she was in each President’s side – and Good for Her!

  11. I see that emotions run high on this issue.
    The ‘activists’ were not peaceful.
    Israel used excessive force.

    Nuff said.
    I butt out.

    • My emotions always run high when it comes to oppression and injustice. It is not just to do what Israel is doing to the people of Gaza. And no security concern makes it right.

      What evidence do you use to base your statement that the “activists” weren’t peaceful?

      You should NEVER butt out of a conversation in which you may have valuable input. It is a disservice to your fellows. I may argue, but I AM listening to the responses.

      • indypendent

        I have been always been for being an ally of any country that wants to join with us and make the world a better place. But if that same ally is doing things that are not legally right – then it is up to us to step up to the plate and tell them they are in the wrong.

        It take more courage to take a stand against your friends than to stand by them as a group.

      • Paula the video is plenty.
        If a group claims to be peaceful, they should take a lesson from Ghandi’s pacifist victory over the Brits.

        I am butting out.
        This contentious discussion has no viable resolution.

  12. Try going to Reddit and see all the anti-Israel posts. I saw several comments where people tried to look at the situation from Israels perspective (not agreeing with the outcome) and they were shouted down by other comments calling them an Israeli shill.

    The intolerance for real communication is apparent on all sides.

    However, I always wonder why Israel has such a bad PR department. (TIC) Looking at several studies they aren’t nearly on the top of the list of human rights violaters in the world yet they seem to have the most venom directed at them while other countries are completely ignored.

    • indypendent

      I’ m curious, exactly which countries are completely ignored?

      But I agree with what you’re saying. I was called anti-Semite simply because I asked on a blog if Israel had boarded the aid ship in international waters.

      I was thoroughly attacked by Christians as a Jew hater because I questioned Israel’s actions rather than just believing them when they said they acted in self defense.

      I don’t ever believe any country or person is absolutely without guilt at all times, so what is so wrong with asking questions?

      If there is nothing to hide, then let the investigations begin.

      As for the bad PR, perhaps that is because the US has been seen as the defender of Israel regardless of what the actual truth might be. And the US has a history of some not-so-good actions of our own.

      One of the biggest mistakes we did was to allow Bush and Cheney to invade Iraq.

  13. I’d like to be on Israel’s side because of the Holocaust, but they are some real bullies. I don’t dig bullies.

    • wicked

      I’m with Lisa.

      But it isn’t the Jewish people who are the problem. It’s the Israeli government. The same goes for the Palestinians.

      Sad, very sad.

  14. indypendent

    Thanks for the links Bearman. I agree we should all be mature enough to state our opinions, be willing to listen to differing opinions and to not be a jackass.

    But, I suspect that has been a major problem since the dawn of time.

    And sad to say SEK, there are too many people laughing all the way to bank by fanning those flames. Controversy sells and the more the controversy, the higher the profits.

    It is pitiful and shameful.