Inerrant Rampancy

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Israel vs. Palestine

Or…How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Hate The Middle East

I wasn’t going to weigh in on the whole Israel/Palestine thing for two reasons, 1) I know a lot of Jews who have a hard time separating critiques of Jewish religion from Nazism and 2) I’ve made my stance on religion and religious disputes fairly obvious in the past. The problem is that this conflict is religious, but in a way that most people don’t think it is, and so I feel I should comment on it in the way I think it needs to be commented on. I hope this keep my Jewish friends and acquaintances from lambasting me as anti-Semitic, but I also hope that this will again point out how ridiculous religion can be, even when wielded by people who claim to be incredibly tolerant and democratic.

And that’s the main thing, isn’t it? That Israel is the “only Democracy” in that area, and that they are our allies, and that they are only defending themselves. Those are the big arguments I see getting thrown around. Oh, and Hamas wants to exterminate the Jews. That’s a big one as well. Well, yes, they are our allies, and yes, Hamas has said it wants to eliminate Jewish people all over the world, but as for the other two, I’m not so sure. See here’s how the conflict plays out in my mind.

A long time ago, Jews were shit on by pretty much everybody. They would fight back, kick ass (God’s chosen people, don’t you know), and then do it all again when the next Jew-hating country came along. Most people were jealous of their education and their wealth (which stemmed from their education). I’m guessing there was some god envy as well. Fact is, the Jews were pariahs for most of history, being attacked by nearly everyone, and never really being allowed to set up a place for themselves. At one specific point in time, the British (being the conniving bastards that they are) decided to offer a chunk of land to both the Israelis (who are something like 99.99% Jewish and who by now had managed to scrape together some land despite everyone else trying to snuff them off constantly) and the rest of the Arab world (thinking that an uprising would screw up the Ottoman Empire, who had allied with the enemy at the time). No problem, except for the fact that by then the Jews were pissed at everyone (rightly so) and the Arabs (like most people) thought the Jews were the cause of all the world’s problems.

So, you know, not such a happy little scenario.

Cue years of fighting, intifada, and other bullshit, during which the Jews again kicked major ass and managed to gain control of a majority of the land in the area, despite making up less than 5% of the population. Now, the Jews did some sweet stuff, like taking a place that is mostly desert and managing to get water to people, and making things grow, and generally creating a very nice, Jewish nation. Problem was, Arabs still hated the Jews (most people still did, though they got really good at hiding it behind deceptive statements like “Oh, they’re very good with money, aren’t they? Let’s make them our bankers and accountants and producers and stuff.), and didn’t take too kindly to the Jews making their desert land all nice and shit. So the fighting kept going and keeps going, only this time the Jews are sick of it and are currently gorilla-stomping their way through Gaza, exacting some biblical revenge on all those motherfuckers who hated on them in the past (a very American way of doing things, if you ask me – remember the civil war?).

Ok, so that’s the situation (or part of it, anyway), and it’s easy to see why America sides with Israel (you know, aside from the fact that we give them the majority of our foreign aid budget and they send us…um…bagels or some shit like that); they are the victims throughout most of the story, right? Well, they aren’t quite so innocent. You see, Judaism is how Israel operates. While they are a democracy and claim to support freedom of religious practice, there are certain aspects of their government that favor Judaism and/or slight other religions (The Law of Return, the lack of official recognition of Muslims as a religious community, IDF exemptions for haredi-Israelis, the favoring and funding of Orthodox establishments over Reform, Conservative, or non-Jewish ones, and the eerily American practice of cementing marriage and religion together in a way that makes Orthodox Judaism the only option). This is actually one of the (many) reasons people have hated on the Jews for so long; Judaism is a very exclusionary religion (well, what religion isn’t, really?) and it’s one that hasn’t ever treated outsiders equally. So when a very small part of the population decides that they need to have their own nation right in the middle of where the majority of the population lives, and it’s going to be a nation that excludes that majority, you can see how the shit would hit the fan and quick. And that’s what happened; Jews said “You guys suck, and we’re sick of getting shit on, so we’re taking over your shit and making it our shit and fuck you if you don’t like it” and then they started to do it, first legitimately, by buying property and inserting themselves into politics and such. But then, people saw what was up and put a stop to it, sometimes on the sly and sometimes by outright exile or murder. Problem was, the Jews (as previously mentioned) can kick some serious ass, and did, and so you get those nifty transitional maps that show Israel’s eventual ownage of all that land. It didn’t hurt that we helped them out every once in a while. And why shouldn’t we have? They’re nice guys, and all they want is to kick people out of their homes or force them to convert to Judaism and live under Jewish law or pay higher taxes if they don’t convert and then still force them to live under Jewish law. How bad is that?

Um…bad. Think about it.

Would you stand it if a small, religious sect decided to build their new homeland in the middle of America and you can either like it or GTFO? No, you wouldn’t. You’d fight, possibly with rockets and shit, until those crazy, religious bastards left you alone. It wouldn’t even matter if they ran a better country than you did, because guess what: You can’t force people to do things, even if they are good for them. That’s called tyranny and it’s something we don’t generally stand for. So no wonder Hamas is all pissy, they’ve got a bunch of people trying to impose a religion on them that they don’t want. Sadly, even if Israel and Palestine left each other alone and just tried to live their desert-lives (something most people in that area want, by the way) it wouldn’t matter, ’cause Hamas is fucking insane. They hate the Jews with some wacked-0ut Mohammedan mandate (a lot of people still do, all over the world) and they won’t be cool with camaraderie or even tolerance; it’s not how they roll.

So while I can’t agree with Israel’s motives, I have a hard time condemning their actions against people whose main goal in life is to fuck up Jewish people’s days. As a pretty peaceful person, I’m inclined to tell everyone to chill the fuck out and go grab a coffee or something, but as someone who is intolerant of irrational fuckery, I’m inclined to let people blow themselves up until all that’s left is some sand  and room for the water park. The first isn’t going to happen, and the second would most likely lead to a surviving group of nut cases, hellbent on celebrating their “victory” by launching the remainder of their missiles at the next country over (“Now we hate…*throws dart*…EGYPT! FUCK YOU!”). Sadly, this is one of those times where there doesn’t seem to be a solution, at least not one that isn’t incredibly complex and riddled with dead bodies. I can only hope that people will come to their fucking senses and maybe lose the religious bullshit; at the very least it’s a first step.

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January 9, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

4 Comments »

  1. “So while I can’t agree with Israel’s motives, I have a hard time condemning their actions against people whose main goal in life is to fuck up Jewish people’s days.”

    My disagreement with that statement in particular is that it makes the Palestinians’ struggle sound so… trivial. They’re going beyond simply trying to create an inconvenience – on the most basic level, they’re trying to survive.

    On a not-so-basic level, they’re trying to rid themselves of oppression. Unfortunately that pretty much translates into a blind religious one-track-minded crusade against Israel, but that becomes less of a mystery if you put yourself in their shoes. Children and teens on either side growing up in this environment are severely affected by the experience of war and destruction, and are conditioned to hate, and thus the cycle continues.

    So yes, it’s hard to condemn one side when both sides are fundamentally driven by religious fanaticism, but day by day, Israel’s disproportionate response looks more and more like genocide. It’s easy for us to tell everyone to chill out and discuss things over coffee, but the Palestinian who’s lost six brothers, four sisters, and two children in a mortar strike will say, “Fuck coffee. Gimme TNT. I have nothing left to lose.”

    Comment by Hisham K. | January 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. Israel faces the same problem that any group faces when fighting terrorists and that is a lack of definite boundaries. Hamas is purposefully setting up shop in civilian areas, refusing to fight out in the open, and then complaining when Israel decides to fight back anyway. It’s easy to hide behind women and children and it makes your cause seem the more moral one, but the fact is that Israel has a right to defend itself. I do NOT believe that they have the right to retribution, or to taking over the area, or to establishing a “Jewish State” through violence, but they DO have the right to eliminate those who will not rest until every last Jewish Israeli is dead.

    Sadly, you are right about the cycle, and I have no answer to that. Kids and teens aren’t always smart enough to understand when adults are being idiots, so they end up just as hate-filled. What certainly doesn’t help is religion based on implied persecution and violence towards outsiders (and I’m talking about nearly ALL religions) that makes it almost required to respond to hatred and violence with even more hatred and violence.

    Comment by josephpierandozzi | January 13, 2009 | Reply

  3. I think there’s some important things I’d like to mention about the current situation that I think are at the heart of this thing currently… You mention a good chunk of the history but there’s a lot going on right now that not all people are aware of.

    Jewish people are basically the only ones both willing to take care of the land and willing to do it fairly. Muslim Arabs would love to get a hold of it but they’d never let anyone who isn’t Muslim orthodox into Jerusalem in fear of desecrating it. Also they’d probably kill a lot of Jews and we’d have a very different yet familiar genocide on our hands.

    Israel has no problem with Arabs overall really. There are plenty in their government and even hold seats in Parliament. They recently aren’t allowed to form their own parties, which is bullshit if you ask me, but they claim it’s because all the arab-only parties are radical. Which… I’ll take their word on right now.

    Now. It’s a big deal in Israel to keep a Jewish majority. THIS is where a lot of the problems are coming from. As they took over land and co-opted it into their nation they’d leave out heavy Arab communities. When war broke out it got easier (this is before Israel was officially formed) and most of the Arabs moved to refugee camps or areas around them. That’s currently the Gaza strip and West Bank. If Israel were to nationalize all those Arabs there wouldn’t be a Jewish majority, and they can’t allow that. They’d rather concede more land to them than let them in.

    What they’re afraid of is.. well.. imagine if Mexicans outnumbered Americans in America. Imagine them taking government office and voting all their own in. They could simply decide democratically to include America in with Mexico as one nation or something… who knows.

    Anyway. The stupid thing is… if they’re on the land that’s practically a part of your nation then leaving them out is only to keep your political agenda and exclude them from the services of your nation. They’d love nice clean water, a sea port, and just… ya know… modern civilization stuff. They aren’t complete barbarians in there or anything but life isn’t great. THAT’S why the Palestinians are so angry. They feel they’ve been run off their land and now wish to fight to get it back.

    Which brings me back to… they’d be terrible landlords. Currently Israel has plenty of Muslims and Christians. They promote Jewish people to move back so much because that’ll help them nationalize Arabs without losing their Jewish majority.

    Summed up:
    Israel isn’t being very democratic with the land, but
    Palestinians wouldn’t be very democratic with the people.

    So which form of tyranny do you want, basically? lol. I think the UN should step in and call it their own sovereign nation.

    Comment by Will | January 14, 2009 | Reply

  4. too long, not enough interest, didn’t read the whole thing.

    “Honesty is next to my Cleanliness” ~Dirk

    Comment by Dirk Diggler | January 16, 2009 | Reply


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