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Old 10-22-2002, 06:47 PM   #1
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The Israel / Palestine situation

I used to be very pro-Israel. I figured Israel was the chosen land, and it's one of the United States' closest allies. The way I saw it, Palestine should just get over it and let the Israelis live in peace. I was a good American.

Then I met a guy named Khalil. I work at the university where I also attend classes, and one of my jobs is to teach how to make web pages. Khalil signed up for my class. Repeatedly. And he wanted to use Front Page. I knew nothing about Front Page at the time, and it was pretty common for me to tell my students I teach pure HTML. He insisted that we use Front Page, and I agreed reluctantly. Together we put together a pretty informative web page with lots of opinion pieces he wrote for various classes, the school newspaper, the city newspaper, and so on, and there were also lots and lots of pictures. We put them all together to make a pretty nice site. I'm pretty pleased with it, although there are a few cosmetic changes I'd like to make. You can look at the site .here

But I'm digressing.

Khalil is from Palestine, and he's very proud of his heritage. He's also very passionate about his stance that Israel shout leave Palestine for good (since they've been occupying it since 1967). He likes to write letters to the editors of various newspapers, expressing his views and experiences. After reading some of his articles, I've come to realize that Israel is clearly in the wrong about many things, and most Americans are either unaware of them or choose to ignore them.

In a recent letter to the school newspaper, a student wrote this, which, I have noticed, tends to be a typical American view of the situation:

Quote:
I would like to commend Israel and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for the remarkable job they are doing in their “war on terrorism”. Israel is in the same situation that the United States is in. They are simply defending themselves from suicide bomber terrorists that are attacking them. Suicide bombers attacked us on September 11, using planes as bombs, and we are currently at war defending ourselves and protecting against any further terrorist attack. I find it disgusting that someone like Khalil Azar can defend Palestine and accuse Israel of “bullying” them. They are simply defending themselves just as we are doing. If you are against Israel, then you must be against America and our war on terrorism - our war for freedom. As far as Israel not relenting to U.N. resolutions because they possess nuclear weapons, America also possesses nuclear weapons, but we are certaintly not going against any U.N. resolution in doing so. The reason is simple: the United States and Israel are not terrorist countries, and we do not support terrorism like Saddam Hussein and Yasar Arafat. Also, the United States and Israel are not a threat to use nuclear weapons as a form of terrorism. I wonder why Kahlil moved here in the first place, if he is against the freedom and the right to defend that freedom that America and Israel stand for? I think Kahlil could write an article about Major League Baseball and end up talking about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Give us a break! Cowardice people are undermining America if they do not support the right to defend the freedom that America stands for. If Khalil wants to defend his Palestinian people so badly, then he should get out of America and move back to Palestine!

Jeff Jellum
Now, I'm not going to come right out and say that this Jeff Jellum is an ignorant waste of skin whose death I would celebrate. That would be unprofessional and useless. Instead I want to point out a few flaws.

1. Ariel Sharon is hardly a hero. He encourages terrorism against Palestinians. He's wanted for war crimes in multiple countries. He has done nothing to preserve peace in that region. While Yasser Arafat is not the greatest of men, he does condemn terrorist activity, and he has done a lot of work in the past to try to preserve peace. You may even recall that Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, along with Shimon Peres and Yitzak Rabin, "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East."

2. Israel is not simply defending itself from suicide bombers. Israel has had a military occupation in Palestine for the last 35 years. Military occupations are by nature violent. These so-called terrorists are not trying to bring down the capitalist Americans. They're trying to get equal rights for their people. They don't want radical Islam to dominate the world. They want their famlies to be able to walk the streets without being harrassed or shot at. Furthermore, Israel is in violation of countless UN treaties and agreements and is responsible for multiple human rights violations, including (but not limited to) treating anyone who isn't Jewish (Muslims, and Christians alike) as second-class citizens, threatening, injuring, and killing doctors, nurses, and paramedics, shutting off water and electricity in hospitals, forcibly removing Palestinians from their homes at gunpoint, to make room for Israelis, and shooting Palestinian children for sport. And yet, somehow, it's unamerican to stand up to that?

3. In one way, I guess America is the same as Israel. Europeans flocked to the New World and almost wiped out an entire race of people in order to claim the land as their own. Our ancestors slaughtered thousands to take their land. Israel is no different. Zionists from around the world flocked to Palestine, and saughtered the indigenous people who were already there.

4. Why did Khalil move to this country when he loves his homeland so? We may never know. Maybe he just hungered for the basic dignity and human rights awarded to all people in this country. Maybe he couldn't find a new home after the one he had was taken from him by force, with the threat of being killed. Maybe he didn't like seeing his people suffer and die every single day. Maybe he thought he would make a better impact on Americans if he were in America.

I hope all this at least makes you think about the horrible situation in the Middle East.
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Old 10-22-2002, 07:36 PM   #2
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Old 10-22-2002, 07:40 PM   #3
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I just saw John Pilger's documentary "Palestine is Still the Issue." Quite disturbing. I'm not sure where it's available in the U.S. (I was able to acquire a copy through my work) but if you get a chance, check it out. Here is an article about it written by Pilger:

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarti...22&ItemID=2342
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Old 10-23-2002, 01:10 AM   #4
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way to go GEORGE. i've know a palestinian family for about 14yrs now, and all this terrorists, anti-american behavior that ALMOST everyone attributes to their race, is something i could never understand. these people are the nicest people i've ever known in my life.
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Old 10-23-2002, 09:25 AM   #5
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Re: The Israel / Palestine situation

Quote:
Originally posted by Not George Lucas
These so-called terrorists...
So you think the suicide bombers are not terrorists...?
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Old 10-23-2002, 10:04 AM   #6
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one man's terrorist, is another man's freedom fighter. everything is subjective, including death.
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Old 10-23-2002, 11:22 AM   #7
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I think anyone who is trying to save his/her country from military occupation and governmental oppression is justified in sacrificing him/herself for that cause. Palestine has been occupied by Israeli forces since 1967. Palestine has no army. Practically speaking, suicide bombing is an effective way of getting rid of invaders.

Defending yourself, your home, or your country is never terrorism. The Israelis want land. The Palestinians want freedom. Which is more important?
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Old 10-23-2002, 11:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl


I just saw John Pilger's documentary "Palestine is Still the Issue." Quite disturbing. I'm not sure where it's available in the U.S. (I was able to acquire a copy through my work) but if you get a chance, check it out. Here is an article about it written by Pilger:

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarti...22&ItemID=2342
My goodness...what a sobering article. One of the things mentioned that really stuck me was,
Quote:
Only nine percent of those interviewed were aware that the Israelis were the occupiers.
I ashamedly admit that I am in the 91 percentile this comment refers to. Talk about misinformation!!!

I am in no way justifying the actions of the Palestinian 'terrorists', but it does definetly shed light now on the motives of these suicide bombers.
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Old 10-23-2002, 11:39 AM   #9
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I feel it neccessary to reply to this post for a number of reasons. I will list them first, then talk about them later.

1. American/Palestinian relations
2. The poor soul who wrote that article in the first place.
3. The fact that Not George Lucas posted a coherent post

1:
I will begin by saying that I would admit to being Zionist. That being out of the way I have to say that as much as I feel for Israelis living with the fear of being blown up on their way to school, work, to see family, wherever, I also feel for the Palestinians. I had been pro-Israel for a very long time and saw everything they did as right, and thought Palestinians were simply a bunch of terrorists trying to take back land that was never theirs in the first place. Well, my thoughts have changed, and I honestly have to blame a specific TV show for this. There was a show that was taped inside Palestinian refugee camps that showed the squallor that they live in. I do not think anyone on either side of the debate could have watched this and not felt for these people. Many of them have absolutely nothing. No food, no home, no clothes, nothing. People wonder why they are willing to kill themselves for their cause. Well, now I know. What I also know, however is that their cause is skewed. I think that may people in the world have come to the realization that Israel is a valid and prosperous state, and Palestine is not. As a matter of fact, there is no such place as Palestine, and never was. This is the crux of the Palestinians debate, that they want Palestine back and the Israelis should leave. Go back to the old testament and see who occupied the land. I can tell you it was neither Palestinians, nor Israelis, but a complete mix of both and for one side or the other to claim the land today seems ludacris. I think the Palestinian people should realize this, reorganize, and try to take on the US as an ally as we seem to be the only country willing to listen to this debate and do something about it. The fact that Yasser Arafat was awarded the Nobel Peace price is a farce. He wants peace about as much as GWBush has intelligence. For the Palestinians to achieve anything they MUST stop bombing. Those who bomb ARE terrorists in the pure form of the word. They bring about terror. How can these people expect to get anything if they act this way? They need true leadership who will squash that behavior and who will ally themselves with the EU, the US and even Asian nations, to bring about some kind of peace settlement, because as we have seen, Arafat can do nothing, the US has done nothing, and Israel is simply in the position to give, but will only give when proper political action is taken. I believe in my heart Israel will give, should give, and eventually will even be more prosperous with a friendly Palestinian neighbor when the process is complete and the Palestinians are seen by the world as a peaceful state, and not a collection of refugee camps filled with terrorists the way they are now.

2.
As for the writer of that article, all I can say is only ignorance can be the power behind a statement like:

Quote:
If Khalil wants to defend his Palestinian people so badly, then he should get out of America and move back to Palestine!
Clearly the Plaestinian movement does not have the power from whatever land they have to defend themsleves, however they need to do so in a diplomatic, and not explosive way.

3. Kudos to Not George Lucas for writing a coherent post on such a touchy topic. It is good for people (such as Americans- even Zionist Americans like myself) to be able to expand their opinion on subjects like this and try to see what the other side of the debate really is about.

HOWEVER:

NGL - you are not getting off that easy. I will state again that statements like:

Quote:
Now, I'm not going to come right out and say that this Jeff Jellum is an ignorant waste of skin whose death I would celebrate. That would be unprofessional and useless. Instead I want to point out a few flaws.
are unacceptable here as many may even agree with what he said. You have a way of speaking that simply pisses me off, and I have to assume others. I have to assume that Jeff Jellum is Jewish and a statement like "whose death I would celebrate" simply lets your ignorance shine. By even typing that in here you are actually "coming out and saying that..."

Now to your points:

Quote:
1...While Yasser Arafat is not the greatest of men, he does condemn terrorist activity...
He may condemn it, but he takes no action against it. If he truly is the leader of the Palestinian people, he would have the power to find, arrest, and imprision members of such groups as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but he does not. Somehow they are always able to blow themselves up before he is able to bring them to justice. If he was a true leader such as Tony Blair, or even GWBush, he would have this power. He does not. Do you think for one moment that a group like Hamas would be able to operate in the US? Of course not. After the first incident, the rest of the conspiritors would be arrested and imprisioned. Not so in the Middle East, though. It goes on and on...

Quote:
2...Israel is not simply defending itself from suicide bombers. Israel has had a military occupation in Palestine for the last 35 years
Please define "Palestine." Tell me where the origin of the word came from, and what Israel was before it has been recognized by the world as a state for the past 35 or so years...

Quote:
...removing Palestinians from their homes at gunpoint, to make room for Israelis, and shooting Palestinian children for sport. And yet, somehow, it's unamerican to stand up to that?
The Israeli governments doctrine is to demolish the homes of convicted and/or deceased bombers (aka terrorists). Not to make way for Israelis, but to simply punish the criminals and their families if they blow themselves up. This has to be looked at as the opposite of what Saddam Hussein is doing by paying these families $10,000 for what their criminal child has done by blowing themselves up. As for shooting Palestinian children for sport, this is just another example of how you let your feelings take over what you write and allow immature thoughts to come out in your writings. That simply is not true, and is quite offensive.

Quote:
3...Zionists from around the world flocked to Palestine, and saughtered the indigenous people who were already there.
Again, please define 'Palestine' and tell me the beginning date as to the first people who lived in this region. You have to go back to Biblical times and I think anyone would be hard pressed to give a definitive answer to this without relying on a book written thousands of years ago. The indigenous people you refer to were a mix of nomads who existed even before organized religion was established.

Quote:
4...Why did Khalil move to this country when he loves his homeland so? We may never know. Maybe he just hungered for the basic dignity and human rights awarded to all people in this country. Maybe he couldn't find a new home after the one he had was taken from him by force, with the threat of being killed. Maybe he didn't like seeing his people suffer and die every single day. Maybe he thought he would make a better impact on Americans if he were in America.
I fully agree with this statement and do believe that for any action to be positive in that region - it has to come from the outside.

I will go back to a statement I made a while ago. I beleive that the UN must occupy Israel and the Palestinian territories with troops for a specific period of time while negotiations take place. I believe any infraction of a specific set of rules the UN dictates by EITHER side should have international action taken against them. I do not think these two groups of people can do this by themselves, and there is no reason for the violence to stop at the rate they are going. Both sides deserve better and it is going to take a third party to give this to them.

I hope everyone can imagine that region in full prosperity. Palestinian cities aglow with cafes, stores, schools and entertainment. The same for Israel. The region needs to be built so one side is not jeolous of the other, and they cannot blame religion for their differences. Hopefully this can happen in our lifetime.

peace
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Old 10-23-2002, 11:42 AM   #10
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Here we go again:

Quote:
Practically speaking, suicide bombing is an effective way of getting rid of invaders.


you make me ill


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Old 10-23-2002, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Not George Lucas
I think anyone who is trying to save his/her country from military occupation and governmental oppression is justified in sacrificing him/herself for that cause. Palestine has been occupied by Israeli forces since 1967. Palestine has no army. Practically speaking, suicide bombing is an effective way of getting rid of invaders.

Defending yourself, your home, or your country is never terrorism. The Israelis want land. The Palestinians want freedom. Which is more important?
I’d like to see you make that statement to the families of suicide bombing victims.

Actually, Israel has given up land for the sake of peace.

Israel is surrounded by peoples who would, bottom line, like to see all Jews dead. This is something that Americans, living in relative security, will never fully comprehend.
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Old 10-23-2002, 11:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Not George Lucas
Defending yourself, your home, or your country is never terrorism. The Israelis want land. The Palestinians want freedom. Which is more important?
If it were only that simple... Arafat would have signed the Camp David accord, giving Palestinians more than 95% of the territories they are asking for and there might be a Palestinian state right now. Until the beginning of the Intifada in September 2000, Palestinians enjoyed a relative freedom, they were free to go about the occupied territories and many of them even worked in Israel. Killing innocent civiilians is never right no matter how justifed your cause is. It only leads to more suffering and violence on both sides.
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Old 10-23-2002, 11:46 AM   #13
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Ouizy,

Thank you for such an intelligent, well thought out response.

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Old 10-23-2002, 11:51 AM   #14
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I simply cannot sit by and listen to someone ramble on totally one sided about a subject, especially this one without realizing the consequences of the post.

Justifying killing is never OK. Justifying suicide/homicide bombing is NEVER OK. I am positive there have been Israelis killed who have tried their best to do everything they could for the Palestinian people.
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Old 10-23-2002, 12:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Not George Lucas
I think anyone who is trying to save his/her country from military occupation and governmental oppression is justified in sacrificing him/herself for that cause. Palestine has been occupied by Israeli forces since 1967. Palestine has no army. Practically speaking, suicide bombing is an effective way of getting rid of invaders.
Invaders? Are you saying that Israel invaded Tel Aviv? Or the cities near it?
An effective way? I can't believe I'm hearing this. You are talking about murdering innocent people.
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