Isreal/Palastine conflict

28 Oct 2023 01:43 #374609 by Cornilion Seadragon

Fog of war is pretty daunting to say the least.
I think this is the most certain thing about this conflict: the uncertainty of it all. So many more questions than answers, and I'm not even sure which questions to ask. There's so many different nuances to this conflict that escape most of us (or at least escape me). The tragedy that has befallen civilians on both sides of it is the other clear reality. No matter where blame lands or how blame is being divided, a lot of innocent people are suffering in the middle of this.
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02 Nov 2023 14:51 #374670 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
Yeah... so I have a thought as to who would fill the void. And I think this is key because the US already tried to get involved in the Middle East after 9/11 and that didn't go so well. Hopefully this time no one is silly enough to think that there wont be far-reaching consequences. I feel like Americans are a little spoiled when it comes to our democracy. We're not used to being under a religious government. That's why I said sometimes you have to kill a god to save the people because humans end up as slaves to the will of other humans who claim to speak for the gods. These atrocities are basically the foundation of the Old Testament.

I've said it before. I'll say it again. Moses was a genocidal dictator. If anyone were to do what he did in 2023 they would be talked about like Hitler or Kim Jung Un. However, how the story of Moses sounds depends on your beliefs. It's funny, if not crazy, how this actually works. If you're a strong believer then you see Moses as a heroic savior who was chosen by God to free his people after hundreds of years of brutal slavery. And of course, if he were overseeing his own story why would he make himself out to be the bad guy? So we have to understand that having control over the pen of history is huge. The pen is mightier than the sword. On the flip side, if you're not a believer and therefore you're not secretly afraid of Moses's invented god, YHWH, then you may read the story very differently. And you may not see the same justification for why he ordered the deaths of his own people for the crime of not believing. And of course, if the only people who get to survive are those who accept or those who have to fake acceptance to survive, then it will always look like they were all willing participants. In reality, if you had the choice... "believe or die" you'd probably lie and decide that it's not worth dying for. We see the exact same thing in North Korea. Do the North Koreans like all the restrictions and Kim-approved haircuts? You'll never know because they're not allowed to speak freely unless they defect and we saw how hard that was to do.

What does this have to do with Hamas?

Let's say Moses calls a timeout and the coach (also Moses) sends in the second-string QB. This guy's name is HAMAS. Same team. And the fact that Moses is heading to the bench means that Hamas can take over his role without Moses standing in his way, saying he's not the chosen one. And as long as the role is vacant and there's no religious opposition, Hamas can speak for the same god and who is going to be brave enough to question when the role Hamas is stepping into has already created the precedent of silencing critics? Hamas has been around since 1987. That means that for almost 40 years there hasn't been anyone to dethrone it. Why not? Because imagine someone trying to dethrone Moses. Oh wait, we don't have to. An entire generation of people were, according to the story, tortured to death by starvation in the desert. This is no different from a massive gang. A lot of people are born into it and can't simply just leave.

This harsh reality is not limited to one culture or ethnic origin. This is simply the danger of combining church and state. The people are split. Some will believe out of love and others will believe out of fear. Those who believe out of fear may seek positions of power where they can in turn make others afraid. And any psychopathy can easily be masked behind righteous indignation. In Europe, we had the Inquisitions and the Crusades. It's self-regulating because anyone who opposes the power is attacked as opposing almighty God. And since God somehow cannot strike down individuals with bolts of lighting (what with not existing and all) it falls on other humans to punish and make examples out of those who they believe have offended God.

If there is a big enough split, as with Sunni and Shia, then you get Hamas and Hezbollah (1982). The US government labels these groups "terrorists" but that is strategically far from intelligent. They are only "terrorists" when operating inside the sovereignty of the US. When they're at home, they are the home team who is responsible for protecting their people and making sure the evil West with all of its sinful offenses to Allah... doesn't take over. And they will if those military forces weren't there. I'm not saying the US would have any such desires. I'm saying this would be the narrative on the ground in those countries. They're going to say whatever they have to in order to maintain support from the people. But once you understand how religions operate you see this is no different from the maintenance done on Christians who still wait for persecution and for Jesus to return. And so they pay billions (more than enough to maintain an army) to their churches.

How do we know that the support is there? Age. Operating a military isn't cheap. And they don't have a bunch of 60 year olds running around with sticks. So they have a recruitment pipeline that has allowed both groups to still be able to fight 40 years later. And never, in all that time, was a secular movement able to convince the people that these groups were no longer necessary. And when Saddam was alive the thing we hate to admit is that he maintained checks and balances in that region. By taking him out we destabilized it because we allowed local interests to not only fight over the remnants but also to see that the guy they feared could easily be defeated and pulled out of a hidey hole.

And these... the non-secular people, are brave. What if the Storm Troopers were such terrible shots because they were scared that if they got too close to actually hitting a Jedi their shots would be delivered right back to them? Sorry, that was random. However, fear makes people behave differently. I am absolutely convinced that "Jesus" was a pawn for a lot of people who wanted a strong leader to unite the 12 tribes in order to fight for their independence against Rome. And so the story is written in such a way that makes him sound like Moses. Because if he can do miracles then the people would think that God was with him. And that was the whole point. If the people could be deceived in that way then they might be willing to fight without fear of dying. That's why people in the Middle East aren't necessarily afraid of America. As long as they can see that we still bleed they will believe that they can win. All they have to do is convince themselves that it is a battle between good and evil that God/Allah will judge. The worse thing you can do to someone like that is back them into a corner.

So who would take over for Hamas? Hamas. It wouldn't die. As long as there's no reason to change the name it will keep coming back with new people because the people will not want to let it die. If the leadership has to hide in a hole they'll do that but they're fighting for more than just the name Hamas. They're fighting for faith and for justice. And as long as you cannot kill their faith, they will simply replace lost warriors and every casualty will be a recruitment tool.

The only way to handle these organizations is to address their concerns. If they expect you to be evil, be the opposite. In their minds, they are "resisting" Israel. That's the thing. Israel has not been this "righteous chosen people" like Christians may want to believe and therefore support unconditionally. And yes, some of that support is simply religious and falls into the same logic as a Hamas supporter. Israel takes advantage of this and exploits this chosen people belief as justification to do whatever they want in the region. It would be one thing if they were completely innocent. But they're not. And therefore, you have to consider the fact, that because we've been funding Israel forever, then just like how Tony Stark's weapons ended up in the hands of terrorists? Our money... our weapons... have been used to terrorize the Palestinians in their own lands. So what is their perception? What's their narrative? If I were in their shoes and under their indoctrination I would have to agree with the dark picture painted of Israel because if they were the chosen people of God wouldn't they treat people with love and righteousness? Therefore, they must be false (like a "false prophet") and so God would want us to destroy them and stop them from pretending to be his people, receiving endless blessings that should be "ours" similar to Jacob (Israel) stealing his brother Esau's birthright by pretending to be Esau.

I think it's interesting that the bible has poetically already set up Israel to be a pretender.

As long as they feel justified to fight back and they have the financial resources and willpower to do so, this isn't going to end unless Israel stops and the US jumps in to create a fair 2 State Solution. You have to let the Palestinians govern themselves because Israel will not do that fairly. Neither can be trusted to govern the other. Israel should have authority over Israelis. Palestinians should have authority over Palestinians and no more taking people's houses and land. Seems like they considered this back in 1947 but they ultimately failed to create the Arab state. What Israel has done would be acts of war except for the fact that it wasn't happening to a Palestinian-controlled state. Israel just said they had a right to do it because the land was theirs. 

But was it? I have sympathy for the original Jewish immigrants displaced by the Nazis. However, that should have taught them something about how not to treat the Palestinians. I think we should consider it almost miraculous this hasn't happened sooner.

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02 Nov 2023 16:08 #374673 by Cornilion Seadragon
From what I've seen, I feel like your assessment might be a bit off base. First, I don't know that Hamas is claiming religious authority, which is kind of the crux of your argument. Religion plays a role in that the contested territory, particularly East Jerusalem is home to some of the significant religious sites for both sides, but that's not the same as Hamas claiming their leader is some great prophet who is carrying out the will of God. Hamas may have been around for nearly 40 years, but that doesn't mean it's because people have been afraid to topple them for that long. The first half of that they weren't someone worth toppling. The second half of that they had the support of the people of Palestine, because the people of Palestine who are desperate to throw off the shackles of Israel view Hamas as the ones who will meet that objective.

Your football analogy could work, but needs some restructuring. Israel and Gaza are opposing teams. Essentially until a couple decades ago, though, both teams were manned with members of Israel's team whose job really was to make sure Israel wins. A couple decades ago Israel said Gaza could pick their own quarterback. Much of the team is still made of members of the Israel team who want to make sure Israel wins, but at least Gaza now gets their own quarterback and a few other members of their time (mostly chosen by the new quarterback). Hamas was chosen as that quarterback. This is a particularly problematic quarterback who likes to foul a lot and push the boundaries to see what they can get away with, but that's the sort of strategy that the people of Gaza thought would be needed to overcome the uneven teams. Now as long as Hamas remains the quarterback Hamas is going to continue to do what Hamas does, but even if that quarterback is removed the teams are still uneven which will prompt the people of Gaza to put someone else in the quarterback slot who is equally aggressive to overcome the uneven teams. There are two problems: the inhumane conditions imposed on the citizens of Gaza, and the Hamas leadership.

Now distilling Hamas actions down to "fouling" is way underselling the horror of their acts. At the same time attributing perceived divine authority to them is overselling their influence. They are put in power because the people have had enough and believe this is the group that will deliver them.

It's also worth noting again that this conflict massively predates WW2. It's a conflict that literally goes back to the time of Moses. This is now viewed as their ancestral land, the holy place, and the only home by both groups. They both have thousands of years of history here, dating back about 4000+ years.

I agree that a 2 state solution, where Palestine is truly free to govern themselves, is necessary (notably that is not a call for the entire land between Sinai and Jordan to be turned over to Palestine as some Zionist supporters interpret calls for a free Palestine to mean, but it does mean they are given enough land to function and total control of that land - including its airspace, coastline, and all government functions). I also agree that Hamas being destroyed could potentially just open the door for others to step in and don the same banner as a new Hamas that continues with the same goals and priorities of wiping out all of Israel.

All of this also overlooks one of the bigger complications that I don't think I've seen in this thread yet: access to fresh water. Fresh water is in short supply throughout the entire region and because of the geography. Israel is upstream from Gaza, so they can control how much water they take versus how much they leave for Gaza. Because water is in short supply for both groups, the temptation to take an unfair amount is very tempting. The West Bank has other water sources, but those living in Gaza do not have access to them.

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03 Nov 2023 16:11 #374686 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
Your criticism is fair. The reason why I paint Hamas as a religious authority is the following:

The Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” is a Palestinian Islamic national liberation and resistance movement. Its goal is to liberate Palestine and confront the Zionist project. Its frame of reference is Islam, which determines its principles, objectives and means.


(again... this is not me saying this)

quote: Palestine is a land whose status has been elevated by Islam, a faith that holds it in high esteem, that breathes through it its spirit and just values and that lays the foundation for the doctrine of defending and protecting it.Palestine is the cause of a people who have been let down by a world that fails to secure their rights and restore to them what has been usurped from them, a people whose land continues to suffer one of the worst types of occupation in this world.Palestine is a land that was seized by a racist, anti-human and colonial Zionist project that was founded on a false promise (the Balfour Declaration), on recognition of a usurping entity and on imposing a fait accompli by force.-end quote-

Hamas is Sunni Islam. Because this region doesn't separate religion from state like America does (at least for now) we don't need to see some declaration of "I am the messiah" to come from them to see how their religion influences their position. Even with Yeshua ("Jesus"), the "messiah" title wasn't a religious title. It was a national title of being king. And likewise, that movement sought freedom from Rome. However, it played upon religious beliefs in the people in order to do that. 

Hamas can't perform miracles or create such a story but the foundation, in my opinion, is the same. If a religious authority is not accepted as THE authority, it will typically be replaced by THE authority. For Sunnis, no other organization has stepped up to claim that position. For Shia no other organization has claimed it over Hezbollah. The negative connotations each have is mainly with us because of our opposition. But for them... they are not terrorists. They are liberators... heroes. The fact it seems more political than religious is simply due to the nature of their religion. Because as with Moses, religion and state were the same so they shared the same issues. Was the brutality of Moses religious? Or state? If Moses told them to attack Canaan, was it religious or state? See? That's why it doesn't make a difference. Hamas doesn't need to claim to be the religious authority because the role it's stepping into has no real distinction. So when you're fighting Hamas, to them, you're fighting sunni Islam. If you're fighting Hezbollah you're fighting Shia Islam. There is a difference to us but not to them. That's why as much as we'd like to get involved; especially in cases of abuse against women, it's hard because that's their religion that is also enforced on them by the state.

Because Hamas's religion "determines its principles, objectives and means" unfortunately, these cannot be separated from the religion.

Now... note... It is true that there are tons of Muslims around the world that don't support these groups. Typically, the live in parts of the world that have secular governments which allows them to choose how much to adhere to their religion. However, they can't simply say "that's not in my religion" just like Christians cannot totally reject the Old Testament.

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03 Nov 2023 16:29 #374688 by Cornilion Seadragon
I agree that there is a religious component, and would even accept that Hamas is claiming to do the work of God, but there's still a big difference between being the people who stepped up to do God's work (or do what is seen as God's work anyway), and being appointed by God and specifically called to do it.

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04 Nov 2023 09:06 #374702 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
One of the stated goals of Hamas AFAIK is to create an Islamic state in what is now Israel and Palestinian territories. To me the whole conflict is primarily religious in nature, stemming from the loss of Islamic rule when the ruling Ottoman Empire was defeated in WW1.

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13 Nov 2023 15:45 #374784 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict

I agree that there is a religious component, and would even accept that Hamas is claiming to do the work of God, but there's still a big difference between being the people who stepped up to do God's work (or do what is seen as God's work anyway), and being appointed by God and specifically called to do it.

After studying religion, in my experience, there is no difference. The gods of these religions is a mental projection of what the people agree that god should be. Imagine an election where people elect new gods. The gods that people don't agree with they simply wouldn't "vote" for and those gods would fall out of use. Now when you have a single nation with a single god then that god is a reflection of the national interests of that people. In this case, their having a god is almost akin to having a national flag. Because their national identity is entangled with that God it becomes more difficult for them to deny the will of that God. Because, again, this god was established from the multitudes of people who believed and reinforced the belief in that god.

What you are suggesting is that there is a 2 way street; that people can step up or they can be called/appointed. These gods are not real. When a person declares that they were called/appointed by God they are simply listening to their ego speaking through their conscience. It's not like there are actual gods leading different nations. There are simply leaders of different nations establishing and reinforcing national gods because the authority of those gods can be summoned at any time to establish and reinforce their own authority. This is especially true of rules who claimed to be the offspring of different gods. And that's why there is such confusion between what "son of God" meant in the Hebrew sense vs what it meant to the Greeks and Romans.

Because NO ONE is "called/appointed" there is no check and balance on those claiming to be. It's kind of like how there is no one who can dispute life after death theories because there has never been anyone who has gone to some afterlife and came back. If such a thing did happen then that one experience could set the record straight. In the absence of that knowledge, the theories remain. So the same thing with different gods. There is no definitive "One true God" so therefore anyone who says they believe in the "One true God" can never be truly contradicted other than conflicts with the written stories, democratically accepted.

I'm suggesting the same applies to Islam. There is no true literal God of Islam. There is only that which humans claim to be the true God. Therefore, the people can always be left with the belief that this god is on their side. And that's exactly what they want to believe; because gods are more about the human desire to manipulate nature. That's why humans are constantly asking gods for favor(s). Therefore the intensity of the claims of Islamic states represents the power of said god to intervene. And this was always the case. If you go back to Moses, the bible was written such that once they had a military then God would simply aid their military rather than fighting battles for them. So first the "prophet"'s role is to try to convince the people that the god their claiming to be god is real. Then once they believe, then the people do the work,  under the direction of said prophetic leader and then the credit for success goes to that god.

It's basically a pyramid scheme.

Of course, we know that when you run out of people the pyramid scheme fails. The problem is that pyramid schemes survive by constant recruiting. And so if one side is oppressing/abusing the other side then it sets up a scenario like what Moses was able to use where the people, wanting to believe in a just and merciful god, are told that god will help to free them from an evil oppressive enemy. Therefore, as long as we continue to oppress or enable oppression, we will continue to create scenarios like this where an oppressed group will fight back and/or recruit until it's strong enough to fight.

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13 Nov 2023 16:33 - 13 Nov 2023 16:33 #374787 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
Last edit: 13 Nov 2023 16:33 by ZealotX.
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14 Nov 2023 03:19 #374794 by Cornilion Seadragon
Thank you for sharing that video. I think it's a very grounded perspective on the situation.

Regarding the distinction between claiming to "do God's work" and claiming to "be appointed by God" I disagree with you that there is no difference between them. While in practice, from an atheist or agnostic perspective, there is no distinction (it is two different variants of a self appointed person claiming a religious role), to those who believe in that religion these are entirely different topics. Both carry a religious fervor and can use religion to unite supporters behind them, but one has a special and unique authority themselves while the other is only an authority so long as they continue to do the work they are claiming to be devoted to. As far as I am aware Hamas has not claimed that higher level of authority. They haven't claimed that they are appointed by God to lead these people and that everything they do carries the authority of God. They may claim that what they are seeking to do is the will of God, but that still gives people the room to judge for themselves if they are really doing the will of God. Ultimately a lot of this is in the canopy of the forest when most people are concerned about what is going on down on the ground, but in terms of who can and can't replace them, it makes a huge difference.
In the end, though it may be mute. Israeli leadership seems to have answered the question of who replaces Hamas as leaders in Gaza: Israel. The Israeli Prime Minister expressed that he intends to maintain complete control of the region after they finish eliminating Hamas.

Of course this leads into a lot of what this video is saying, about how there are two classes of citizens: one who has the right to vote and one who doesn't, one group of citizens who has freedom of movement, and one group of citizens that is less free than even visiting foreigners. Hamas is pretty clearly a problem - any group whose purpose of being is to rid the world of a different group is problematic to put it lightly - but their rise to power is a reflection of the desperate situation created, people who hear someone say they'll deliver them from the inhumane conditions they're living in and decide "yeah, that person has my vote, enough is enough."

I think one of the problems with conversations about this conflict is that there's a lot of emotion tied to it, and a lot of connecting things in ways that are inaccurate - a lot of false equivocations. This video highlights a prime example of that: protests in support of Palestinian refugees being equated to anti-Semitism and neo-Nazis. One can offer sympathy and support to one group of people that is suffering without hating the other group. While it's important to know where the line is and not cross from supporting the citizens in Gaza and asking for peace and freedom for them into supporting the terrorist actions of Hamas, hating Jews, or calling for the entire region to be turned over the Palestinians, it is equally important not to assume that somebody taking a realistic and measured response in defense of someone is also taking an extreme view against someone else. I see that in other topics, like the war in Ukraine, as well. Someone expressing concern for the wellbeing of civilians in Russia isn't a statement against Ukraine or in support of the invasion of Ukraine. It's simply an acknowledgement that these actions taken by national leaders often cause a lot of suffering even to their own citizens who (especially in cases like Russia and Palestine where elections are complicated to say the least) are also innocent victims. That isn't a statement of opposition to the other group, just a recognition of everyone who might be suffering.

That is not to say I've seen that in this conversation. This conversation has been pretty level headed. In a lot of the headlines and news going around, however, taking extreme stands or assuming extreme stands when people aren't taking extreme stands seems to be pretty constant. I suppose that gets more to my original question of how a Jedi should approach topics like this. It seems the answer from what I'm seeing is: level-headed, recognizing that there are two sides to the story which are both important, but also recognizing that this doesn't mean that one (or both) side(s) isn't in the wrong at least partially. Also, with compassion for those who are suffering, regardless of the reason for their suffering, as well as perhaps a recognition that the first or loudest version of the story isn't always the full story or necessarily the most accurate version of events.
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15 Nov 2023 19:43 #374810 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Isreal/Palastine conflict
If I understand your point about the distinction between claims with one being
"God didn't tell me to do this but this is God's will and I'll do it" vs "God picked me to do this"

then I have to say you have convinced me with your sound reasoning. At first glance, there seems little difference or a difference so slight as to be inconsequential, but since you put it this way I have to agree with you.

As as you said, this does make a difference for who can replace Hamas.

The only push back (and I'm not even sure if this qualifies as such) I would offer is that, and it may sound somewhat cynical, but I don't think there is much of an appetite for the latter ("God picked me"). It would be different if there were a series of contiguous events where God (ver. Allah) was directing person after person, but when you're talking about the prophet Muhammad (the last guy who they would let go unquestioned for saying "God picked me") dying in 632... That has consequences. 

Imho, the consequence of that is that anyone who comes after is:
A: immediately compared to Muhammad
B: must explain the time gap
C: must dictate modern versions of religious policy, threatening to invalidate Muhammad to the same degree that Jesus invalidated Moses (I realize this is a matter of perspective and subject to interpretation) similar to how Christianity emerged out of what WAS a "Jewish" tradition

The more time passes the more difficult all of these things become and so a person would need to deeply disturbed mentally in a way that we don't already recognize and treat... in order to even make this attempt. I don't believe anyone could.

Everyone, in every religion where there is a belief in a literal god is basically acting as "pro-temp"... a place holder for "The real thing", all talking about ancient writings, ancient communications, and claiming to have some communication but nothing every rising to the level of being the next "chosen one".

Back then it was much easier to scam people. One of the last attempts to do this in the biblical tradition was Joseph Smith (which is a name so random it might as well be John Doe) and to a lesser degree, Ellen White. These people survive by downplaying their role because they don't want to be measured against the same yard stick.

So getting back to Hamas, I don't think its really possible for anyone to claim (save for undiagnosed mental illness) "God chose me" without attracting/creating so much negative inspection that it would negate any role or function that person might attempt to perform. The far smarter thing is to avoid the label and simply fulfill the role. Kind of why I think it is a distinction without a super real difference, in practicality, but I do accept that theoretically there is a difference. The more cynical part is that to a large degree I think everyone is somewhat conscious of this and therefore doesn't expect anyone to claim "God chose me". They are over that and more into the cherry-picking of what they like(d) from religion and they're working to maintain tradition and cultural norms.

However, if another society threatens that way of life by either by invocation of their own version of God or from the sheer desperation through great and tragic abuse those people have suffered, then that will awaken the religious fervor and zeal that is akin to patriotism and then a person who claims to be chosen will begin to become more of a possibility because there will be fewer questions when they appear simply because people are so abused that they don't really care if the person is crazy or not as long as they can do something.

I think the same could be said about Moses. The point in time he appears is perfect. Same with Jesus. It may be the case with other persons who claim some level of being chosen. I'm not sure one can even claim to be chosen without some great tragedy serving as the backdrop of their appearance.

Religious zeal is actually an extension of love which is why it is so often misunderstood. Passion towards one idea can be redirected against another idea that appears to threaten it. I think that's what you're seeing in conversations. But I have to give you credit. When a person, such as yourself, is as level-headed as you are, that can often form the baseline, making it more difficult for that established balance to be upset. Energy is always seeking balance but pushing it too hard one way makes it go the other. Like catalysts, we often infuse conversations with the very negativity we're hoping to combat. I have noticed your skill in conversation. You have the ability to use a soft/subtle force. This is very becoming of a Jedi and reminds me of an old favorite. I appreciate it.

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