Isreal/Palastine conflict

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19 Oct 2023 18:49 #374501 by Cornilion Seadragon
Perhaps I'm opening up too big of a can of worms here, but this has been on my mind a lot lately (and probably has for many others as well). Is there an appropriate Jedi response or perspective on this conflict.

I have to acknowledge that I don't understand it very well. I've been trying to dig into both the history and the current events to get a better handle on it. It seems that on some level the conflict is spurred by the reality that the same place is the ancestral home and spiritual center for two different groups of people, and geopolitics over the past century have only further muddied the waters of what part of that place should belong to each of them. The limited resources and in particular water and energy resources which are particularly critical are in short supply in the region and so distribution of natural resources is no small component either. Regardless of where one sits on the current events of the last few weeks, it seems clear according to pretty much any international authority or human rights organization that the situation the people in Gaza have had forced upon them is untenable and clear violation of human rights with some estimates putting the number still living as refugees as high as 80%. Without control of their own airspace or coastline, and with basically no imports/exports/or people leaving to pursue things like education permitted, on top of the already limited natural resources in the area, there is pretty much no hope for a stable economy or any reprieve for the desperate situation in Gaza.

On the other hand, the acts the spawned the present conflict of the past few weeks are abhorrent no matter what they are in response to. At first I was hesitant to believe the stories, figuring they were at the very least exaggeration or representing a few isolated incidents as representative of the whole ordeal. As more and more nations and organizations confirm more and more details though, it seems pretty clear that the initial attack targeted children and schools. They beheaded and kidnapped any civilians they could. These were not the acts of a desperate people fighting for survival. These are the most heinous atrocities they could think of, seemingly in a bid to get as much attention and provoke as strong a response as possible (largely because of how that would play out amid bigger geopolitical events). There are certainly those who understand this conflict better than I do in my brief attempt at researching it, so I'd welcome feedback on where my understanding of the situation is inaccurate.

Still, the question becomes this: Can we simultaneously hold two seemingly opposing views? One a view of sympathy for the citizens of Gaza who have been living in inhumane conditions and are now desperately trying to find a way to flee their home in fear for their lives when the paths out are restricted and they have no place to go. The other view a condemnation of the Hamas military who serves the government in charge of Gaza and the atrocities they committed, and a sympathy for the citizens of Israel who themselves have also been living in fear and are recoiling from the trauma of the terrorist strikes. So much of the world right now seems to be roiled in debate between these two seemingly opposing views: Which side is right and which side is wrong? Who is the villain here that should be condemned? Those taking opposing stands on this issue are finding themselves at political and financial odds with each other. In truth, it doesn't seem this is as black and white as many conflicts, or as stories like Star Wars. Perhaps leadership on both sides bear blame, and citizens on both sides require sympathy and support. How does that blame and sympathy play out though? Does that mean finding a way to take out Hamas while finding ways to support Gaza citizens? How does all this play out into the larger situation? How do we ensure that after the dust settles, everyone has the resources they need to live, on both sides of the conflict? This isn't even getting into the larger geopolitical issues around the world and how it is effecting or may effect groups and individuals throughout the world.

All of this comes back to my first question: Is there a Jedi way of looking at all of this? There's a lot to look at, a lot of emotions, and - no matter what side of the debate one sits on - very much a lack of peace and harmony, both short term and long term.

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19 Oct 2023 20:42 #374506 by Wraith
Replied by Wraith on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
not one person here is able to speak on the matter, because its beyond the scope of so many to even imagine how bad this has gotten. 

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19 Oct 2023 21:45 - 19 Oct 2023 21:49 #374509 by Zero
Replied by Zero on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
Anyone can speak on this matter. You have no clue what experiences people have been through. Trying to shut down a thread because YOU don’t feel anyone is qualified or experienced enough to talk about it just advertises how huge your ego is. People are allowed to have opinions on this topic based on their views and experiences. Just because you deem them not good enough doesn’t make them any less valid. I personally spent 20 months in the Middle East when the war in Iraq first started, and I’ve spent a lot of time in other middle eastern and 3rd world countries. I’ve seen and experienced things so grotesque, and inhumane that it would make most people not sleep for a year. So please let’s reframe from telling other people what their minds can comprehend.

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Last edit: 19 Oct 2023 21:49 by Zero.

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19 Oct 2023 22:13 - 19 Oct 2023 22:18 #374510 by Wraith
Replied by Wraith on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
i have neither the power or ability to whats being ascribed to me. shut down a thread? if i had that power this thread wouldnt even exist. but i do not. 

i served too. and nothing, NOTHING we've seen can compare to whats happening right now, becayse unless youre over seventy, theres no conflict thats happened that can hope to come close to what we're only hearing whispers of.

edit if you dont like my opinion thats fair. but dont shut down my opinion if we're creating an effort to not shut down opinions. its self defeating.
Last edit: 19 Oct 2023 22:18 by Wraith.

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19 Oct 2023 22:26 #374511 by Zero
Replied by Zero on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
Again….maybe nothing “you have seen”. You speaking for others is the point I’m addressing. Your exact words were “nothing we’ve seen” …. You have no clue what I or anyone else has seen or experienced.

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19 Oct 2023 22:34 #374512 by Cornilion Seadragon
I doubt anyone can speak to the totality of these events. Even the people in the thick of it are still trying to grasp what is going on in a rapidly changing and chaotic situation. This occupies space in our most if not all of our minds and how we respond to it has impact, and so figuring out how to process everything we are hearing and learning about is important. This kind of goes back to my original question: how do we, as Jedi approach thinking about topics like this?

To perhaps build on what Wraith said a bit, is just staying out of it, recognizing what we don't know and leaving it at that okay? That was kind of my approach initially. I tried to dance around the topic a bit, show sympathy for the fact that I recognize people are suffering, but avoid using words that stirred things up more or indicated a judgement I was not informed enough to make. This oddly enough only stirred things up more. My lack of understanding of the conflict meant the the words I was using to describe the location and the suffering occurring themselves caused conflict. I needed to at least understand enough to speak semi-intelligently about it. I am no expert on the subject for sure, but at least for me I found completely bowing out and more or less ignoring it was not working.

On the other hand, the doctrine reminds us that it's important to understand our limitations, recognize what we don't know. That's sort of what I was doing opening this thread: recognizing that my own perspective was limited, both in terms of the current events and in terms of the Jedi approach to addressing events like this. I think that while it's important to recognize our own limitations, it's also important to knowledge to fill in those gaps within us.

Really, though, this was as much a question about Jediism as it was a question about the current conflict. How do we as Jedi process complex global conflicts like this? Recognizing our own limitations is an important first step, and trying to learn what we can is probably a good second step, but then how do we process these things emotionally, how do we decide which side to take or if we should take a side at all? After learning what we can (and asking others who know more than we do), how do we process it and come to an opinion or perspective on a topic that occupies so much of our world's mental and emotional bandwidth right now, and how do we make sure that any opinion we come to is valid and just? The current conflict is an example, but I imagine the principles can apply in many places.

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20 Oct 2023 01:01 #374513 by Zero
Replied by Zero on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
Remember jedi are aware of the world around them. Any feelings or opinions you have are valid. Your job is to gather information from credible sources, then form an opinion based on fact. But I’d say it’s every jedis job to be aware of what’s going on in the world. In fact that’s one of the driving factors behind our degree scheme. How the world works, and how the people in the world think is the most valuable information you can have as a jedi.

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”Everything that exists in this world has a hidden meaning within. When you look deeper at things, beyond initial appearance, you discover their true reality.”


The following user(s) said Thank You: Tellahane, ZealotX, Tavi, Cornilion Seadragon, Atticus

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21 Oct 2023 07:52 - 21 Oct 2023 07:54 #374524 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
Interesting perspective from someone with a unique insight;

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Last edit: 21 Oct 2023 07:54 by Adder.
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23 Oct 2023 20:05 #374561 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
You are correct. It's a complex issue and there is a way to be on both sides. Let me explain.

First, let's understand that the universe is always trying to balance itself. And often this happens through conflict. Two forces collide; both trying to survive against the other. One thing I like to do is play devil's advocate. In this case imagine removing the circumstances from their current context.

Imagine a family has been living in a house for generations. There is a terrible war that produces refugees and because of the intervention of the government, these refugees move into the same house but now they control who gets which bedrooms and who gets to put food in and take food out of the fridge; and all of this while still getting money from the government - way more than what the original family got.

It's not the refugees fault they had to be refugees. However, the allied forces, I think, allowed the bible to play too big a role in determining what should happen next. Ultimately, Nazi Germany wanted to get rid of the Jews. They started that process and then the allies resettled them in Israel under the notion that this was their ancestral home.

I also have to add that although I detest what the Nazis did with every fiber of my being, there is a part that I honestly have to admit wasn't right on the Jews part. That's because, if they were following the bible, it allowed them to discriminate within their business practices in ways that will always benefit them, as a group, possibly to the detriment of others around them. I wouldn't be lying if I said these were unfair business practices. But again... they were just following their religion as a precedent for how they live. But its also not everyone else's fault that this rubs them the wrong way.

So because of all that, now the problem isn't concentrated in Germany. Now they have their "own" territory that the allies handed to them based on the biblical storyline of YHWH giving that land to the Israelites. One... this assumes these Jews (which is a religion) are the same people as the tribal blood descendants of Jacob. And if that's true then their national identity of "Israeli" should have been preceded by a tribal identity (Judah, Dan, Rueben, Levi, Benjamin, etc.), not necessarily "Ashkenazi" which could simply be people who adopted the same religion. Why is this important? If they didn't live there before then it becomes more like an invasion of religious people who simply identify with (not necessarily "as") the people that (may have) and (at one time) conquered the land. 

What's important about that? Well, there are tons of people who feel like America mistreated its native inhabitants and shoved them onto reservations and so on and so forth but that there's no reason or point in "going back" because what's done is done. And that's outside the scope of this thread. But... if that is the case then why ignore the fact that even if the Israelites did, at one time, conquer the region, they certainly didn't hold it because they were conquered by Rome and by other nations before that. So to say that "God gave them the land" is... similar to the same bogus sentiment that American settlers used called "manifest destiny".

But however we may feel about what the allies did we can recognize the fact that there were 3 groups of people caught in the middle:
The natives
The refugees
The Germans (including them because it doesn't mean there was 100% agreement to everything that happened)

I don't believe in any "chosen people". I think that is a plot narrative that makes certain people feel entitled to what has been given to them, not by God, but by the world-only because the world includes many people who share in the same belief.

But from this place... of being the "chosen people" of God the world has really kind of turned its head to the abuses and mistreatment that they have done for a long long time. And part of this includes the same type of business practices they were doing before because it works for them (discrimination in general works for the people doing the discriminating). 

When the American settlers went to war against the crown it was because of they believed themselves to be treated unfairly, especially with regard to taxation. When the NT's main conflict against Rome was happening, it too, was fueled by a negative reaction to Rome's taxes on Israel as a vassal state. If they would have shut up and just paid this would have brought unimaginable wealth and prosperity to England. But here and in different other parts of the world, the English yoke was cast off in exchange for freedom.

So instead of simply saying "I stand with Israel", we need to stand with freedom and justice FOR ALL. Does it mean we should fight for everyone to be free? No. But it means we shouldn't fight against people who are fighting for freedom and self-determination; especially if they have the desire and means to self-govern. And then on top of that, we should use our foreign aid to have checks and balances on any ally who is oppressing another group of people just like if we had an ally that was known for human trafficking or drug cartels. 

And sometimes people are going to fight by any means necessary (like IEDs or drone attacks that cause collateral damage) and the people of that nation may not agree with every strike or every decision that causes harm to innocent civilians. So I would say the Jedi response would be advocating first for a cease-fire, and then to address atrocities on both sides. One thing we always have to be conscious of is which side we're simply taking because it represents the side of authority (like a Republic that turned into the Empire). This is somewhat similar to partisanship in politics. Once, you pick a side it's easier and easier to demonize the other side while what your own side does is also bad. At that point, it starts to look to the rest of the world like Jedi are bad, acting as a police force to stop people who want to fight for the very same freedoms that we enjoy. Imagine if your kid was destined to earn low wages for the rest of their lives because they were being actively denied education. How long must those atrocities escape our notice? Is it when children get killed? Seems like innocent children are always the sacrifice for the world.

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24 Oct 2023 05:21 - 24 Oct 2023 05:37 #374564 by Rex
Replied by Rex on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
I have 3 strong dislikes that all have been invoked by this:
(I) Devil's advocacy. It usually ends up on a trajectory for going pro se with extra steps.
(II) Reductive arguments. Just because one can edit a narrative down that way doesn't mean one should leave out relevant information.
(III) Ad Hitlerum. Any time that anything about Nazis is brought up, thoughts should be subject to a hard look before they're posted.

There are some points that have been edited in a way that's very prejudicial which I find at least discouraging. To answer the original prompt, I'd like to echo what Zero said and encourage awareness of the rich history behind this conflict in order to take a view that accounts for all the interests involved. This conflict has existed in its current state since WW1 because there isn't an easy solution. And unless one of us here is secretly a foreign policy buff, I think our opinions should be taken with a grain of salt.

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Last edit: 24 Oct 2023 05:37 by Rex. Reason: grammar

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