I am pro-Israeli due to many reasons, but all of my many reasons are rational and based on facts. I have yet to hear a rational argument from those who support the Palestinian side.
I am very puzzled by the desire to possess a land that one’s ancestors may or may not have controlled 2000 years ago. If the “Jews”, whatever that means, have a right to what constitutes the State of Israel I am compelled to bring up the following points and ask several very relevant questions. Why are these situations different?
The Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire occupied some combination of the following countries from roughly 27BC-1453BC:
France, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, the sub-entity that constitutes England within the United Kingdom, Macedonia, etc. Why do the Italians not have a right to conquer these lands and return them to the Roman Empire? After all they had possession of many of these lands over 1000 years after the “Jews” occupied Israel.
But, you respond, the Roman Empire conquered these lands and took them away from their original owners. My question to you is, why then do the “Jews” who purportedly conquered the land of Canaan by gross acts of genocide have a right to Israel?
What also of the Native Americans. Under the same logic they should be given all of the lands in the Western Hemisphere. Furthermore they should be given the most of Siberia because that is where they came from 12,000-15,000 years ago before populating the Americas. It is highly probable that all of the inhabitants of Europe, Asia, and the Americas are descended from Homo sapiens who at some point in the last 150,000 years lived in our past through what now constitutes Israel. Perhaps we should break Israel up into 194 pieces and give part to each of the countries on the planet. Then the decision would be, should they be divided, equally, according to current population (differing and mixed ethnicities need to be considered), current countries landmass, etc. etc. etc.
Why not this solution? What makes the 700-1300 year of occupation by the “Israelites” different than any other migration, conquest, change of boundaries, etc? What of the lands controlled in the past by the Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, and Mongols? That would mean we need to return lands to Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and Mongolia. How far back do we need to go? How about the Great Rift Valley and the very beginnings of the Homo sapien experience?
The decisions surrounding the State of Israel are based largely on a book, the Tanakh, that is of questionable origin. As you yourself state large portions of the Tanakh are patently false and other portions grossly overstated. You claim to be an atheist, if there is no god then how can the “Jews” be the chosen people of god? How can there be a land promised to them if there is no god? I fail to see anything rational surrounding the creation of the State of Israel. Perhaps you can explain the rationale of which you speak.
You also state:
To snakechic Yes, I am aware of the problems Australia is facing, and it is unfortunate that a great deal of the media is based on the Middle East. However, as you might be aware, there are a great deal many Arab countries and they are not of a small size. Hence, their incredible (although not credible on many points) P.R.. It is due to the fact that a good percentage of the world is of arab ethnicity that the media is revolving around the Middle East Conflict. Unfortunately, there tends to be sanity in numbers. Majority, unfortunately, has the floor. Personally, I feel that many issues must be addressed in the media, but being an Athiest, one learns that he/she cannot have it his/her way in most cases. lol However, I do feel that Israel is under great scrutiny. Additonally, I do not feel that the opposing side receives even one-fifth of the scrutiny Israel does. Although I can understand why this is so, we have yet to mass produce alternative energy cars, and oil is a greatly desired import product. However, I do not feel that the corruption of present-day politics justifies the fact that Israel is always being critisized for the majority of its actions, and the “Palestinians”, or Iran or Syria are not. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has blatantly said that his wish is to wipe Israel off the map, and all of the U.N. remains silent. Then he pursues nuclear weapons when the U.N. specifically forbid it, and nonetheless nothing is being done. But “god” forbid that Israel enters into a war with Lebanon to retrieve its soldiers, who were kidnapped by Hezbullah, then everyone starts protesting and yelling genocide all of the globe. Even when the day after the kidnapping, the leader of Hezbullah states on television (I was in Jerusalem at the time) that he was completely justified to kidnap the soldiers and if their requests (the release of hundreds of terrorist prisoners) are not fulfilled, those two soldiers are going to die. I have yet to see Israel try such a tactic with the Arab countries. Not only is it completely unjust to release hundreds of dangerous men and dangerous for Israel, it is dangerous for the rest of the world, as well. This is how I feel about the situation as a whole, the Arab countries are bears, who are very angry with the human (Israel) standing in front of them. It is useless to try “diplomacy” or to try to talk to the bears, and tell them not to attack him, because it won’t help. However, if the human takes a weapon of some sort and threatens the bears with it, the bears will think twice before attacking.
I live and travel extensively in the United States. I have not witnessed the media speaking in any substantial way in support of Islam. The media in the U.S. presents a case that is almost exclusively pro-Israeli. In my 40 years in the U.S. I have seen only a handful of people placing “Israel under great scrutiny”. Chomsky, Mearsheimer, Harrison, and Walt are the only ones who come immediately to mind. Furthermore, I do not know any citizens of the U.S. that think radical Islam is in any way sane or that terrorists are justified in their behaviors.
My experience has been that the adherents of Judaism and Islam both suffer from the same problem. Both groups are trying to view the world through “lenses” based on theological fictions created centuries ago. Until the adherents of Judaism and Islam realize that large parts of their “histories” and sacred texts are fabrications the Middle East will continue to be problematic.
I have seen very few rational discussions concerning the situation in Israel and Palestine. Most interactions seem to come from the amygdala rather than the prefrontal cortex because the topic is so emotionally charged. As with most such situations the “thinking” if you can call it that is being done by the emotional centers in the reptilian portion of our brains rather than in the more aptly suited “higher” brain regions.
An additional problem is that the U.S. populous in general and much of the media has a strong pro-Israel bias. Calling on the U.S. to mediate the situation given population trends, historical opinions, and U.S. dealings in the Middle East creates a serious conflict of interests. Most of the U.S. populous believes in the same ethnocentric myths presented in the Tanakh (Old Testament) as do many of the more hard line Israelis. Asking people who believe in a 6000-year-old earth, the creation of the earth in six days, the universal deluge, etc to make balanced and rational decisions is seemingly flawed from the start.
In short there are many factors contributing to the violence in the Middle East. Unfortunately most solutions appear to be focusing on irrelevances and purposely yet unwittingly skirting the real causes of the problems. In my opinion the biggest causes are our 4,000,000+ million-year-old tribal mentality, the human propensity to seek religion, and the cognitive dissonance that makes it very difficult for us to realize that we suffer from the first two problems.