Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Sacrilege

Sometimes, all I have to do is sit back and let the proof come to me.

The Washington Post: Israeli Warplanes Pound Gaza Killing More Than 200, Ground Invasion Ready After Hamas Rocket Attack/12.28.08


Anonymous said...

There is nothing more Christian then killing.

Deacon Blue said...

Except, anon 12:40, that we're talking mostly Jews and Muslims in this case....


I'm not going to repeat my long-winded argument that religion is only an excuse in most shit like this, except to say that I'm not even sure the Jews and Muslims are really fighting over religious issues anymore. I don't even know if they're bothering to even pretend that they are.

In fact, it's not just Muslims. I mean, isn't this whole conflict and every related one with Israel really about ARABS vs. Jews?

I suspect a lot of the Arabs who really do hate Jews aren't Muslim (or aren't ardent ones) and really couldn't care less whether the Jews are really all that Jewish, either.

But aside from all that, I suppose we could all throw the world a bone and make religion the issue again...march the Catholic Church on in there and we can all squabble over Jerusalem again.

The Crusades, 21st Century style.

Ahhhh...good times that would be, eh?

Sheriff Bart said...

Beginning of first sentence, last paragraph:

In Texas, where President Bush is vacationing...

where President Bush is vacationing

President Bush is vacationing


He has 3 weeks left in office and he's on vacation?

Oh yea, religion is pretty damn stupid, too.

VOTAR said...

isn't this whole conflict and every related one with Israel really about ARABS vs. Jews?


Deacon, I know you're a smart guy, but I thought you were better informed than this. This is not an ethnic conflict, and it's not some territorial blood feud between Jews and "Arabs" (who are only a subset of all the various Semitic people in that part of the world... but I understood what you meant).

I am struck to wonder if you know any Jews. I mean, really know them, not just casually. One of the fundamental things you will learn is that to a Jew, being Jewish is not about countries or language or secular governments or cultural idiosyncrasies or territorial disputes. To a Jew, culture, nationality, tradition, and religion are inseparable.

Ask your new Jewish friend if he/she believes Israel should be abandoned and given to the Palestinians.

Then (more importantly), ask them WHY.

The state of Israel doesn't exist merely because the U.N. decided to create it on a whim. It doesn't exist because they ran out of room in Boca Raton, either. The Jews who live in Israel operate under the assumption that their little spit of rocks and dirt and olive trees was promised to them by Jehovah in some prehistoric fairy tale. And they are never, ever going to give it up, barring a nuclear war or the fabled second coming, whichever happens first. You of all people know this, Deacon.

Palestinians/Muslims/Arabs et. al. really DO CARE whether the Jews are really all that Jewish... the Jewy Jewishness of Jews is exactly what they are pissed off about. They want that filthy little spec of dirt back because their dusty old book of medieval fairy tales says it belongs to them instead.

I'm not sure how blowing up buses and discos will help make that happen, though.

Jeremy said...

OK, Votar. Granted. Zionist Jews do see things the way you describe them. Most of my secular/reform Jewish friends are not Zionist and do not see things this way.
Yet they are still hated by many simply for their heritage. And not just their distant relatives in Israel hated by their Arab/Muslim neighbors. But we're talking run out of Germany, run out of France, and run to the promised land of religious freedom in America to still wake up with swastikas burned into their lawns with gasoline. Secular people suffer this too.
So, yes. Some of it is religious nonsense. Some of it is just plain old racist anti-Semitism.
And I know by now that folks like you and Chez are going to ridicule the faith of folks like myself and Deacon Blue, and yet still I come here and read these things, because ultimately I'm one of those folks who think dialogue can lead to understanding and acceptance (even if grudging acceptance) of those with different points of view. Plus I prefer intelligent discourse with anyone over ignorant "yes man" platitudes, and I usually get plenty of that here. But I digress.

Whether religious, ethnic, or economic, you can't expect anyone, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Animist, or Atheist to live feeling like they've got a boot on their throat (i.e. how the Palestinians feel) or like they've got a gun to their head (how the Israeli's feel with the Hamas rocket launches).

I know Israel is everyone's favorite whipping boy (I mean, hey, they are an easy target for trashing religion and government policies. Score!), but the Israeli government has, at various times, taken huge steps to advance the peace process. When their own people, the staunchly Zionist settler types, refused to move out of territory ceded to Palestinians, they have forcefully removed them. And Hamas responds by firing more rockets at Israeli civilians. I'm not excusing any overly aggressive actions by Israel. Or ANY actions of aggression at all for that matter. Especially when they lead to death and wounding of innocent civilians and children. But I feel like the blame is always a little one sided toward Israel. Hamas needs to be giving a huge, heaping dollop of blame for refusing to accept or abide by any peace provisions that have been offered by Israel, and accepted by the Palestinian Authority, and held to task just as much as Israel.
Israel had done wrong.
But come on. You guys are smarter than that. Don't try and just lay this all at the feet of religion and back up and point and say "see, look at the crazy Jehovah freaks." It's way more complex than that.
You know that Votar. So don't take that easy shot. It's unbecoming.

Deacon Blue said...

VOTAR, I get what you're saying. But how many truly devout Jews are there even in Israel? More than elsewhere, sure, but truly devout?

I know plenty of Jews...hardly any of them are particularly religious. Much like most "Christians," my experience is that Jews are mostly secular, maybe even more so, despite that interlinking of their ethnicity and religion. I can't speak for Muslims...I don't know any personally, I'm sorry to say.

My point is that the religious aspect of this conflict goes back many thousands of years. I think the conflict itself over land and autonomy has far transcended religion at this point, and probably long ago.

In that sense, I believe it IS more like an ethnic conflict. This is about two groups of people, Arab and Jew, who have been at each other's throats so long that their leaders and most vocal members (because I think there are more than a few civilians who just want it all to end) simply see no other way. Or refuse to.

I'm not arguing your points, man...not really...but I see it from a slightly different perspective. I don't believe that most of the people in this conflict have God or religion on their minds. Nor the Torah or Koran. What they have on their minds is territorial interests, revenge, autonomy concerns, revenge, revenge, revenge.

I may be wrong, but the longer I live, the more this conflict looks little different than any clash of warlords in Africa or ethnic groups in Eastern Europe...except that we fund Israel all too well to keep hammering at the neighbors who outnumber and surround it...and we do too little to help broker solutions to a conflict that began over God and has long since lost sight of anything but payback and violent one-upmanship.

Again, I'm not saying you're wrong. I might be the one who is. But then again, I suspect we both are wrong in the end.

And we're both right, too.

VOTAR said...

Then basically we three actually agree. Because the essence of my point is buried in each of your responses.

Israel was founded in that location -- not because somebody thought it'd be a nice place to settle down and raise a family -- but because a group of people believe that spot was "promised" by a supernatural being in a fable. You can not separate that assumption from any discussion of any modern or historic conflict in the region. Americans ain't got nothin' on them when it comes to the idea of manifest destiny; Zionist Jews mastered that long ago.

We're not talking about secular reformists or more casual "only on high holiday" types, nor are we discussing all the various difficulties that Jews have suffered in other parts of the world or at other times in history. The fact of Israel's existence can not be separated academically from its alleged divine purpose for existing. If this were a conflict over territory it would have been settled long ago, co-existing cultures would inevitably intermingle, and something new would emerge. This is about ideology and xenophobia, and that is what keeps wars like this one alive for so long (and arguably, this is the longest continuous war in human history). Go destroy the Dome of The Rock, rebuild the Jewish Temple, and see how NOT secular this conflict is.

You should know that, in terms of which "side" I have more sympathy for, I come down in favor of Israel, usually. My awareness of the absurd reason for its existence does not diminish my support for its survival nor my sympathy for the people living there now. I can't imagine what it would be like if the Miccasoukee Tribe regularly rained rockets down on my house, hoping that eventually I and the other white devils might pack up and leave Florida, but after a while of living under those conditions I wouldn't cry a single tear if our government decided enough is enough and flattened every one of their Hardrock Casinos and alligator farms.

Deacon Blue said...

I think the only thing I would argue would be that the territory thing would have been settled by now if not for the God aspect in there.

I say this because of how many other countries have ended up with hostile-to-each other groups lumped together for one reason or another and then shit unravels politcally and all the old ethnic conflicts just pop the fuck up again, like some demented, possessed Jack-in-the-Box.

But yes, the location for Israel is totally based in religious history, I'll grant you that without hesitation.

And just for the record, I don't want people to think I DON'T believe that religion CAN be insanity. I just don't think it HAS to be. It does have a tendency to attract nutcases even better than public buses and subway or elevated trains do in the cities.

Jeremy said...

Amen. Extremists nutcases come in all shapes, sizes and flavors.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah and there is probably room still left in Boca Raton or Aventura for that matter