Thursday, July 26, 2012

In Defense of Israeli Imperialism

WHATEVER word you use to describe Israel’s 1967 acquisition of Judea and Samaria — commonly referred to as the West Bank in these pages — will not change the historical facts. Arabs called for Israel’s annihilation in 1967, and Israel legitimately seized the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria in self-defense. Israel’s moral claim to these territories, and the right of Israelis to call them home today, is therefore unassailable. Giving up this land in the name of a hallowed two-state solution would mean rewarding those who’ve historically sought to destroy Israel, a manifestly immoral outcome.
Read the rest here.

Caveat: I vehemently disagree with this twaddle. But I am posting it for a contrary opinion and discussion purposes. Israeli occupation of the disputed territories and its claimed annexation of East Jerusalem are illegal under international law. There is nothing moral or just here, unless your idea of moral and just is reflected by the Treaty of Versailles. And we all know how that ended.


Matthew M said...

As to your opinion I only say this: 1 - SCREW YOU!

Nuff said.

Matthew N. Petersen said...

In spite of the other Matthew's remarks, I would be interested in a post of your own addressing this issue.

M. Jordan Lichens said...

You know, John, I love your posts but the comments section sure do seem to invite a certain kind of Jack Assery.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

It's a hazard of blogging. But I am not taking it personally. MM has been commenting on this blog for a long time and this is the first time he has popped his cork. I think I have probably snapped more often than that. Yeah, the comment was intemperate but we all have subjects we feel strongly about and if the right button is pushed then there will be some venting.

Moving on...

Phil said...

Leaving aside most of the linked piece itself, I'll wade in on your comments, John. First of all, the author is right that these territories were seized as part of a war that was essentially forced on Israel. That is, it acted in self-defense; and so, I don't see the moral reasoning that says Israel is obligated to give that territory back. (And if there is a good reason, a lot of Europe that used to be called "Germany" is going to be in for a surprise.)

More to the point, what do you propose be done with the "occupied" territories? You do know there was no such state as Palestine in 1967, right? If that territory belongs to anyone other than Israel, it's Jordan - and I haven't heard them ask for it.

Jason said...

I'm sorry, they had a right to seize land simply because of supposed fiery rhetoric? Rhetoric that I seriously doubt posing any threat based on the fact that Ahmadenijad is STILL misquoted today with the "Wiping Israel off the map" to justify all of the sabre-rattling, murders and terrorism against Iran.

Tell me, what of the fiery rhetoric of the Talmud, where Arabs and Muslims are deemed "Amalek," and Judaic followers are implored to utterly destroy them? Does that in any way justify Arabs and Muslims to pre-emptively attack Israelis? If not, why the double standard? Why must Palestinians - of which many are Christians - continue to be the scapegoat for injustices against Judaic people that occurred over 60 years ago in a completely different continent?

Would that more people who consider themselves followers of Christ actually seek information on what's happening in that part of the world from sources that aren't controlled by Western filters. There are numerous resources from Christians in the Holy Land that will provide a different perspective than the one that's shoved down our throats here in America.

Phil said...


If you were in any way responding to my comment, I'd like to confine the argument to what I actually wrote. What I didn't write is that Israel was justified in seizing land due to "fiery rhetoric." In fact, the mainstream historical story of the 1967 war, in my opinion, is that both sides escalated their war preparations, leading to a war that neither side really wanted. But at the time Israel launched a pre-emptive attack on the Egyptian Air Force, Egypt and Jordan had signed a mutual defense pact (thus Israel was guaranteed a two-front war if war came) and Egypt had both expelled UN observers from the Sinai and put 100,000 soldiers - the majority of its army - on Israel's border. I suggest to you that when your country is 1/6 the size of Florida, and is surrounded by enemies that have massed troops on your border, it's best to shoot first and ask questions later.

If you're willing to get a different perspective than the one that's shoved down our throats by the mainstream media in this country, you might also want to consider the real-life context that, in response to an internationally agreed plan that would have established both Israeli and Palestinian states, all the neighboring Arab states invaded in 1948, as they preferred a Palestine state only and no Jews in their presence; then, after they lost, continued threats and hostility to Israel continuously to (and, of course, beyond) the 1967 war.

And maybe you would actually engage the point that the only other possible rightful owner of that land is Jordan, because, again, there was no Palestine in 1967.

There's nothing here dealing with fiery rhetoric in the Talmud. So where's the double standard? And, yes, let's not have a double standard, one for Jews and one for everybody else. Do you want Poland, Russia, and France to return their territory that was pre-WW2 Germany to that country? Do you get on blogs and agitate for it? Does the UN? I wonder why not.

Yes, say a prayer for our brothers in the Holy Land, but don't deceive yourself and skip over the reality that their numbers are collapsing in every Arab-ruled territory but burgeoning in Israel. You may even want to ask yourself why in the world that might be.

Jason said...

Phil, I was not addressing your post specifically but rather the linked article.

What gets lost frequently in the "little Israel surrounded by enemies" charade holdover from '67 is that Israel has what is estimated to be the fifth largest nuclear arsenal in the world. One that is illegal, which they will not allow to be inspected, which they continue to deny, and which was built with stolen US intelligence and subsidies. None of their neighboring countries even comes close; and their supposed greatest enemy, Iran, has not even the first nuclear weapon.

And, I do not argue for returned territory as it's futile. To take that position would mean one would have to support giving this land back to the Native American tribes our forefathers conquered and stole it from. No, Israelis are there, many were born there, and many are peaceful. What I argue for is the end of American monetary and military support to the tune of about $8 million a day.

The Talmud is most definitely worthy of discussion on these matters as again, coverage of events in that area constantly portray Israel as victim versus those who want to kill them. Well, that goes both ways. They want to kill Arabs and drive them along with Muslims and Christians out of "their land." Why do we assume the Israelis have that right? Simply because there was no "Palestinian State"? There were and are Palestinian people. What are their rights?

Christians burgeoning in Israel? Where they're spat on, assaulted with bricks and other weapons, tormented by slanders against Jesus Christ and the Theotokos? Do you know what halachic law says about Christians and the New Testament? Have you heard of Saint Philoumenos (Hasapis)? If not, I'd suggest reading about him on the Orhtodox Wiki site.

Phil said...


1. Well, little Israel is surrounded by enemies. At its narrowest point, Israel is about 10 miles wide, and it is, again, about 1/6 the size of Florida. That's not a lot of strategic depth when your neighbors want you destroyed; which, in turn, is a primary reason Israel has nuclear weapons. Armies lose ground and suffer setbacks all the time during war; the UN had the whole of North Korea before being pushed entirely back beyond Seoul before recapturing what is now South Korean territory.

Israeli leaders have no luxury for anything close to that kind of a retreat; there is no margin for error. That is a military fact.

Another is that, though Israel was said to have acquired nuclear capability in 1967, they've never used those weapons, despite two major wars and a host of smaller ones. Israel has a no-first-use policy. Do you believe we'll go 40 years from the time Iran acquires nuclear weapons before its leadership (setting aside a coup or other change of government) incites, directly or indirectly, a nuclear attack against another country - maybe even ours?

2. What is your evidence for this: "They [Israel] want to kill Arabs and drive them along with Muslims and Christians out of 'their land.'" The Talmud? If that's true, why is Arabic an official language in Israel? Why are Arabs allowed to be Israeli citizens? Why are they allowed to be elected to the Knesset - even if some Arab Members use the position only to rail against their own country?

3. Yes, I'm aware of the treatment of Christians at the hands of the ultra-Orthodox; but the ultra-Orthodox are a challenge for non-Orthodox and secular Israelis as well. In fact, the Israeli government just lost a huge part of its support in the Knesset over a dispute related to the draft and Orthodox citizens. So, I would say that part of Israeli society are kind of equal-opportunity haters.

By the way, what do you expect the halachic law to say about Christians and the New Testament? Judaism repudiates the whole foundation of Christianity. Why should it teach otherwise? And, look, there are less than flattering things about Jews in the services for Holy Friday and Holy Saturday. So Christianity and Judaism are in conflict with respect to revealed truth, and, given the origins of Christianity, it's something of a family feud, too, and those are always pretty bitter. None of this is news.

What was done to St. Philoumenos is horrific, but the record is clear that the Christian population of Israel is growing, while it's close to vanishing in Palestinian-controlled areas, Iraq, Iran - and here comes Egypt - you name it. There are a few zealots in Israel; in other places, the majority are zealots. I'm sick to death of the hatred over there on everybody's part, but I feel far better about Christians in Israel proper than I do anywhere else. I hope and pray our Father Philoumenos will constantly intercede with the Lord that it would all just stop.

Jason said...

Thank you for your dialogue on this topic. I'm afraid there are several points on which we will not agree.

Regarding Iran, if we use history as a barometer, then we should be comforted by the fact that Iran has never in its history invaded or attacked another country, without first being invaded or attacked (Iraq). Unfortunately in recent times however, Iran has been attacked with cyberwarfare in the case of Stuxnet, and has seen its scientists assassinated. In all cases, Israel was taking the lead in such provocations, at times sharing responsibility with the US. Despite Israel's benevolence of restraining their use of nuclear weapons to date, the fact remains that they could annihilate any and all surrounding enemies with the proverbial push of a button. They cede the moral high ground when they, who possess illegal nuclear weapons, dare to deny the same arsenal to a sovereign nation. That is hypocrisy in action. So, with regard to restraint, I would say that Iran is a model of such behavior.

And yes, Arabs may serve politically and be citizens, however they are now forced to swear allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish" state. And, in places such as the West Bank, they are subjected to a demeaning apartheid system, as documented by the article "Taybeh's Plea for the Last Christians of the Holy Land" from the Road To Emmaus Journal:

While portions of Christian services may be adverse to those that deny Christ, in no way is it advocated that they should be defamed or murdered. As you know, Christ demands the contrary. We are in no way on equal ground with anti-Christian Talmudic invective.

Phil said...

Thanks for your dialogue, also, Jason. And I just want to clarify that I'll take you at your word and agree with your last paragraph. My point was more limited; not to say that the two sources are equally to be criticized (or criticized at all, in the case of our services).

Jason said...

May God bless you eternally, Phil.

Phil said...

Thank you, Jason. May He bless you as well.

Alan said...

hello Jason,,we'll give Yesha & Shomron back, when Russia gives Circassia back. And when you give ==your== occupied AmerIndian land back (which tribe lived where YOUR house stands?); and when the Norsk give the stolen land back to the Saami.

By the way, if our nuclear arsonal is "illegal", which country's is "legal", and what makes it "legal"?

The Palestinians didn't suffer their nakba in 1948, it happened in 1891 when they failed to prevent the revival of Hebrew-language kindergardens.

And of course, modern Hebrew was not invented out of whole cloth; there continues to be 2000 year old Hebrew documents dug up routinely; at least one 3000-year old document exists.

When your great-grandschildren are speaking Ebonics and Azlatan, kiddies in Jerusalem will still be speaking the language that King David did. The Palestinians will fade into what the Al Andalus people did..... a historical footnote.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

A few quick points here.
1. International law (see the 4th Geneva Convention)since the end of the Second World War and the UN Charter both forbid territorial annexation as a consequence of war. Israel is a signatory of those treaties and a member of the UN. It is in violation of international law. This is incontestable.
2. The UN Security Council has declared the claimed annexation "null and void" on seven separate occasions.
3. Israel is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel lied to the international community and inspectors. It's nuclear arsenal is in direct violation of said treaty.
3. None of these treaties are retroactive. Ergo talk of returning N. America to the Indians is a straw-man argument. The United States of course has its own history of broken treaties. But that has no bearing on the situation in the Middle East.
4. No country in the world currently recognizes Israel's claimed annexations of territory including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights

Jason said...

^ Agreed.

Alan, you obviously did not comprehend my posts when you read them.

And, your racist rant is disgusting.