On Israel-Palestine, Harris is a joke
Posted: 12 June 2012 05:24 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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There are a lot of people who have a tremendous amount of white guilt, and understandably so. They are attentive to every misstep that western governments make in their foreign policies. So, you get this crazy moral parity claim, which obviously the Israelis suffer from the most. The Israelis are confronting people who will blow themselves up to kill the maximum number of noncombatants and will even use their own children as human shields. They’ll launch their missiles from the edge of a hospital or school so that any retaliation will produce the maximum number of innocent casualties. And they do all this secure in the knowledge that their opponents are genuinely worried about killing innocent people. It’s the most cynical thing imaginable. And yet within the moral discourse of the liberal West, the Israeli side looks like it’s the most egregiously insensitive to the cost of the conflict.
http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/100757/qa-sam-harris?all=1

I wonder if Sam honestly believes that:

a) because the left is more critical of Israel it means they’ve overlooked or accepted the atrocities of Palestinian militants

b) The side which is far more destructive and has racked up a higher body count in this conflict (Israel) deserves less attention and criticism than the other side

c) Israel hasn’t deliberately targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure to much a greater extent than the Palestinian militants


?


It’s hard to accept that someone usually so well informed, moral and reasonable could rattle of what sounds like stock standard necon/zionist spiel.

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Posted: 16 August 2012 08:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I agree with Sam.  If you criticize Israel and promote ‘just war’ theory (a horrifying religious theory!), no war is winnable and the maximum causalities will result.  This is the current U.S. policy.  We sacrifice our soldiers for an abstract principle instead of eradicating a threat or winning a war (putting aside that our current wars are not even in our self interests).  In the Israeli-Palestine conflict it’s really modern civilization vs. stone age civilization.  Someone’s got to give.  Living side by side in peace is impossible with totally contradictory views on human nature, the value of human life and the nature of reality.

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Posted: 17 August 2012 04:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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mormovies - 16 August 2012 08:13 AM

I agree with Sam.  If you criticize Israel and promote ‘just war’ theory (a horrifying religious theory!), no war is winnable and the maximum causalities will result.  This is the current U.S. policy.  We sacrifice our soldiers for an abstract principle instead of eradicating a threat or winning a war (putting aside that our current wars are not even in our self interests).  In the Israeli-Palestine conflict it’s really modern civilization vs. stone age civilization.  Someone’s got to give.  Living side by side in peace is impossible with totally contradictory views on human nature, the value of human life and the nature of reality.


You advocate total war and want to claim the moral high ground in the same post. Nice own goal there Einstein.


Colonization, starving people, detention without charge, firing on protestors, use of torture,  targeting of civilians and civllian infrastructure, a parliament dominated by ethnosuprecist loons and religious dipshits who think they’re doing god’s work- this is your idea of a modern civilization?


More modern furnishings, opulent cities and designerwear aren’t indicative of a more civilized people. The British had all that as well but it didn’t make them any less in the wrong when they machine gunned Indian protestors.

 

0/10

 

 

[ Edited: 17 August 2012 04:10 AM by walter_m]
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Posted: 17 August 2012 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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More modern furnishings, opulent cities and designerwear aren’t indicative of a more civilized people.

Of course not but more concern with the afterlife than this life certainly is.  You cannot advance and progress when religion is your main purpose.  The Palestinians rejected reason long ago, centuries in fact.

I’m totally anti-war but when you face a real, direct threat, you destroy and eradicate the threat!  It’s moral and saves lives in the long run.

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Posted: 17 August 2012 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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mormovies - 17 August 2012 07:27 AM

You cannot advance and progress when religion is your main purpose.

You are talking about the Israelis?

Because if a lack of societal progression and an unhealthy obsession with religion is your gripe then you might save more of your spew for them, seeing as they have killed more and stolen more in their religious conquest for historic Palestine than the Palestinians have.

If you don’t believe me then I’ll supply you with the stats.

And what about all the secular Palestinians who took up arms against Israel? What about the Christians who have fought against them? Inconvenient truths which lay waste to your belief that Palestinians and their armed struggle are entirely Islam based.

I’m totally anti-war

You’re an ignorant cheerleader.

 

[ Edited: 17 August 2012 08:51 AM by walter_m]
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Posted: 17 August 2012 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Israel is a secular state although there are psycho religious factions within it, much like our own.  Yes, you are correct if you dig up the past, every nation did crazy things and committed atrocities at one time or another but I don’t believe in mystical or collective guilt for past acts.  I’m only talking about right now, this second.  What’s with the nutty ‘Einstein’ and ‘cheerleader’ remarks.  Calm down.  I have zero emotion over this issue and feel no personal stake other than it’s our tax dollars funding the violence.  Bottom line, I don’t give a damn if they annihilate each other.

[ Edited: 17 August 2012 09:00 AM by mormovies]
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Posted: 18 August 2012 04:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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mormovies - 17 August 2012 08:54 AM

Israel is a secular state although there are psycho religious factions within it, much like our own.  Yes, you are correct if you dig up the past, every nation did crazy things and committed atrocities at one time or another but I don’t believe in mystical or collective guilt for past acts.  I’m only talking about right now, this second.


If you think Israel’s crimes are just in the past then all I can say is that you have more reading to do. Their most recent wars have attracted the most amount of war crimes allegations (not even Israel denies this anymore and even charged two of their soldiers with using human shields) while land appropriation has only increased in recent times:

http://www.a-w-i-p.com/media/blogs/news/Newsdirectory2/palestine_land_theft_2_jpg.jpg

It has the support of 3/4 of the Kenesset. There are no moderates in Israel.

And as for the religious mongs only constituting a few bad apples in their society, that’s just wrong as well

Secular Israelis work, pay taxes, and serve in the army. Ultra-orthodox, or Haredi Jews, don’t.

Secular Israelis are prepared to die for their country in battle, but have to travel outside it to get married in a civil ceremony.

Secular couples have, on average, around two children per couple. Haredi couples have closer to eight or nine.

And it’s changing the very identity of Israel – away from the secular, socialist civil society it was created as in 1948 – to something quite different.

To see it in action, you only need to take a peek inside an Israeli school.

Israeli’s government funds three streams of education; regular state schools, ultra-orthodox religious schools, and Israeli Arab schools.

Back in 1960, only around 15 per cent of Israeli children were enrolled in religious or Arab schools.

That figure is now around 50 per cent. In 30 years, it will be almost 80 per cent. That is a frightening statistic for the nation of Israel.

In religious schools, children don’t learn mathematics, science, or English; only the Bible. All day, every day. And Haredi men are expected to - and do - continue that Bible study for the rest of their lives.

It’s all funded by the taxpayers. And the taxpayers are… secular Israelis.

What does it mean? Well, if the figures are to be believed, in less than 30 years, Israel will have a population where the majority either can’t, or won’t join the workforce – putting an increasing, and impossible burden on the secular minority to pay the taxes and serve in the army.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-23/knight-make-no-mistake-israels-existence-is-under-threat/2935080

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted: 19 August 2012 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I tend to agree with Walter on this issue.  I have seen Sam, unwittingly or otherwise, allow himself to be interviewed on The Bill O’reilly show of Fox News in what one could only view as a dog and pony show by the religious right to get the secular genius to pro-claim for them that as far as religion goes…Islam is much worse than any of the other big 3 in this world.  O’Reilly and Fox News played him and his views on Islam like a damn Strativarius.  As though to project…“Look…even the religiously anti-religious and spiritually detached genius, Sam Harris can see that the religion of those damn ragheads is much worse then our christian beliefs.  I hope Sam didn’t think he was going to get air time to promote atheism…because if he did…I’m sure he was left scratching his head.  And I’m just as sure O’Reilly and his viewers walked away from that interview with a twisted feeling of validation for christianity because of it.

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