Thursday, January 30, 2014

Israel and Palestine

There's been renewed discussion on Israel and Palestine following a banned ad featuring Scarlett Johansson.

From the Telegraph: 
Actress Scarlett Johansson is ending her relationship with Oxfam after being criticised over her support for an Israeli company that operates in the West Bank.
We've been trained in the U.S. to abhor and oppressor and support the oppressed.  That's not a bad thing, but the mainstream media has it wrong on Palestine.  

Here's an article from the Jerusalem Post that lays out the details, and I'll copy some below in case it's ever taken down.  This gentleman is referring specifically to the peace talks President Obama was trying to insist Israel hold.  Yes, this is from a Jewish perspective.  I'll explain why that's just fine in just a bit.
Fact 1:  There is no such thing as an Arab “Palestinian.” Before Israel’s statehood in 1948, the name "Palestinian" meant a Jewish person living in that land, not an Arab. The word Palestinian became associated with Arabs only later, when Yasser Arafat artificially created a new so-called nation of Arab "Palestinians," many of whom came from and have direct relatives in neighboring countries, such as Jordan or Egypt. By 1948 enough Jewish people had returned to the land to establish the modern Jewish state of Israel. So all the world should know that there never was a "Palestinian Arab" state, nor even a "Palestinian Arab" people. They should know that all the Arabs living in the Israeli territories came from neighboring Arab states.

Fact 2:  There is no opportunity for peace without Israel’s recognized right to exist. Israel has offered at least three times some 97 percent of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) to the Arabs, and each time the Arabs have refused. Netanyahu concludes that the Israeli-Arab conflict is not about real estate, but rather about the explicit right of a Jewish state to exist. "It is over our existence in any borders whatsoever," he stressed.

Fact 3:  Jewish settlers have greatly improved their traditional land of Judea and Samaria. Arabs claim that the Jews have stolen their land when in reality the Jewish people who have built beautiful homes and thriving communities in the areas known as Judea and Samaria have simply rebuilt the towns and villages of their forefathers. The international community also calls these settlers, "occupiers," and charges them with being obstacles to peace by seizing land that belongs to the so-called "Palestinian Arabs." They obviously blind themselves to the fact that there never was a "Palestinian Arab" state on that land. The original idea of a "Palestinian Arab" state only arose in 1993 with the Oslo Accords.  Prior to that the land was basically undeveloped swamp land until Jewish people started returning to the land around 1900 in the Zionist movement.

Fact 4:  True and lasting peace between Israel and the Arabs is unachievable until the Arabs agree to become a legitimate partner for peace. Netanyahu has pointed to the hostile rhetoric of Hamas, coupled with "Palestinian Arab" leader Mahmoud Abbas' efforts to reconcile with the terrorist group, as the primary reason that such peace is simply not possible. Last summer in Gaza Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal spoke to thousands of Gazans declaring that "Palestine is our land and nation, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, from the north to the south, and we will not cede one inch of it." He went on to insist that political, diplomatic and legal efforts to achieve control of the land "must be coupled with violence." He stressed that all non-violent methods are "senseless."
Now I'll move on to why that perspective should matter.  Israel is the only country in the region that voluntarily uses democratic principles in its governance.  We forced such governance on Iraq, and we can't be sure it will last.  

Israel is the only country in the region that won't execute you for being openly homosexual.  If you support gay rights, you should be supporting Israel.

Israel is the only country in the region that treats women as equal citizens with men.  If you support women's rights, you should be supporting Israel.

Israel is the only country in the region that offers full religious freedom.  Israel is fine with you being a Christian, Jew, Muslim or any other faith and they won't penalize you for your beliefs.  The Muslim countries surrounding it will limit your rights if you are not Muslim.  The Muslim citizens of those countries may choose to execute you, with or without government approval if you do not join their faith.  NonMuslims will at best be treated as Dhimmi.

If you support the individual right to believe or not believe, you should be supporting Israel.

Israel simply isn't the bad guy in the Middle East.  The reclaiming of ancient Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria isn't oppression, and if they'd stop sending rockets and suicide bombers into Israel, Palestinians would live in full fellowship with Israelis.  Only Arab Muslim hatred of Jews is preventing that reality.  Israel is not the oppressor and they believe in human freedom.  Women can drive and you can worship or not worship who you want there.  It's time for the American Left and Media to stop supporting the wrong side of this argument.

Here's a video from Sodastream describing their operations:

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