Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not sure what is going on when a Ghandi writes things like this...

Gandhi's grandson blasts Israel, Jews | Jerusalem Post


"Apparently, in the modern world, so determined to live by the bomb, this is an alien concept," he wrote, concluding: "You don't befriend anyone, you dominate them. We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that culture of violence is eventually going to destroy humanity."

Later on this clarification/retraction/ass covering...

"I am writing to correct some regrettable misimpressions I have given in my comments on my blog this week. While I stand behind my criticisms of the use of violence by recent Israeli governments - and I have criticized the governments of the US, India and China in much the same way - I want to correct statements that I made with insufficient care, and that have inflicted unnecessary hurt and caused anger," he wrote.

I think part of the problem is that Ghandi and company don't understand the situation which goes back well over a thousand years. How can they? Modern Israelis and Jews at large have precious little understanding themselves, but they're closer to the problem and more in a position to feel their way through. It's sort of like my own town. We haven't got a clue how to fix our town, but we still have more relevance than the state much less federal government.

One parallel however is that the modern state of Israel has whether they like it or not become as occupational a government as the apartheid government of South Africa was, even though they were all native to that land as much as those who were oppressed. It matters not at all that the Israeli people have a long-standing claim to the land predating the Arab peoples there now, but you could also say that the Italians via their Roman predecessors have a claim as well. They were also occupiers too even if they were there long enough for citizens of the empire to be born, raised, and serve there. It didn't matter. The fact is, you have a government making a claim to rightful dominion and a very large number of governed people in opposition.

Some might wonder what my view are of the whole place and the solutions. I'll tell you.

First, I am for a one state solution with a constitution protecting the freedom of religious practices of all who live there within reason of doing no harm. Human sacrifice for instance would be right out. I am inherently against religious states be they Islamic, Christian, Jewish, etc. It is not a matter of the dominant religious affiliation of the citizenry. Anyone can by simple choice separate their religious beliefs from their secular beliefs. I see people do it without even trying every single day in the USA. We're not some strange mutant variety of people here. If we can do it, any humans can.

Second, while I believe on a religious basis in the right of Israel to exist, I am more concerned with the rights of collectives* in most cases needing to be earned. Otherwise they are privileges at best, and onerous burdens to the rest of the planet's population at worst. Does Israel deserve another chance at existing? I believe that the answer is most surely yes. No one else who has governed the area has done very much with it if anything, treating it as an afterthought on a day to day basis while holding on to it for dear life at the cost of much bloodshed in the name of religion. Vatican City for instance is ornate and well taken care of. Jerusalem under it's emissaries never was. Mecca is well maintained by Muslims. Jerusalem under them never was.

Who has bothered to install proper water, sewer, gas, and electrical infrastructure? Who has bothered to put in multilingual schools? Who has bothered to build an economic system with international ties of long term and deep substance? You know that answer and it wasn't Great Britain, Turkey, Egypt, etc.

I therefore would leave the current Israeli system largely intact, but with a reformed constitution and system to absorb and embrace the Muslims, Christians, and others. Some will say that Jews exclusively by prophecy have a right to the land, but G-d has put to us that charity, piety, love, and compassion are important to Him. How can we deny anyone their home, which they under various rulers have lived in for centuries, and say we cannot be denied a home? G-d so loved us that He gave us a whole world to our selves with no other intelligent creatures on it. He spoiled us by not making us right up front learn sharing with an entirely other intelligent race. Perhaps He believed we'd sooner or later learn to share amongst ourselves, but sadly we seem ill able to figure it out. Our ability to relate to others and have empathy for them seems running out and all of us taking inflexible positions.

Do I expect the Palestinians to go along with it? No. I only wish they'd see that as much as the returning Jews coming back from centuries in other places, everyone there has a right to live in peace. Nor do I expect Israel in reflexive defensive position to embrace the Palestinians either. Yet... If they do not all learn to get along soon, the rest of the world may involve itself to death.


*As opposed to the rights of individuals which I feel are far more important to us as religiously, I feel that G-d's first relation to us is personal and individual, not collective, when He allots for us to be in His universe


הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...


um, while I'll agree with you that it's true that G-d is a G-d of peace and justice, and cares for the god of all mankind, including the Semitic peoples native to our holy land, I wouldn't compare Israel’s' place in Israel to the Italians on the basis of the idea that 1. Israel has never been the sole home for the Roman people, and (as you sort of mentioned) they never put that much effort into making it a place of sojourning for their people, rather a colony as any other Roman colony. 2. the peoples of the world, including Western countries in most modern times (Germany, Poland) have always made the Israeli refugees (the 'Jews' of all times) feel extremely unwelcome in their midst. and 3. -most important- historically, the Arabs are not sitting on their own land! True, they complained bitterly of the ruthless exploitation of the western Europeans of their land for centuries, but the original Saudi Arabian Muslims who 'spread Islam to the world' conquered many lands that were by far not Arab (Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq (the Persians, although they adopted Islam, were powerful enough at that time to deflect the attacks of the Arabs. So, it's not 'their own land' the Arabs officially want, it's the world (they had many failed infiltration attempts into mainland Europe.

The Americans themselves; was there ever a people so evil, so hypocritical, yet so self-praising? How much did the Cherokee people suffer by the hands of 'the Jackson administration'; ah, but when you exterminate a people or convert them to your religion, it's ok to occupy their land!

Why do we Jews ourselves always eat out of the hands of the anti-Semitic preachers?

-suitepotato- said...

Arabs and Israel/Levant/Whatever:
The people there have always been there, whether Jew, Muslim, or prior to those faiths. Hebrew and Arabic are inextricably intertwined to a time long before the first temple. This site throws some interesting but entirely logical monkey wrenches into our view of the past.

I believe the Palestinians have just as much a right to live there on an ethnic/tribal basis as Jews two thousand years removed from the area do religiously. There's not much more emotion that you can get between land and people than their homes. If someone told me my town was going to be handed back to American Indians, I'd say take it over my dead body and not just because I'm part Indian on my mother's side.

On a what-have-you-done lately basis the returning Jews have done much to build it up in a serious way that can be sustained long into the future. There's an implicit hope to their doings that when it comes down it has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with positive assumptions that life will out tomorrow.

Those digging up water pipes to turn them into rockets are destroying the land and steadily decreasing the rightfulness of their claim. The caliphate in centuries past wanted to hold the area, but wanted to do it at arm and sword's length from Damascus. Same attitude. Claim it is of vital importance and rightful claim, but treat it like garbage. This is why Israel has the superior claim: deeds, not words. They've shown the way of integrity.

As said, I am part Native American on my mother's side. So what happened to them is not missed by me. However, it is over and done with and most tribes are broken and extinct, what few remain are scattered. Those reservations that exist however, should have more autonomy but those who make mealy-mouthed pronouncements of support are many. As long as Indians make dream catchers for white tourists, they're indigenous people. If they want to put industry or casinos or whatever on their lands, those same supporters vaporize and become enemies.

I never said America wasn't an occupational government. Any government that governs against the will of its own people by using fear against them especially is an occupational government. The problem though in our case is the people themselves by way of being greedy, selfish, and short-sighted have created the situation. Only the people can solve it without a revolution.

-suitepotato- said...

I forgot to add that I don't believe America to be antisemitic, but rather in a mode that encourages similarity and commonality on a simple visual and visceral level and looks askance if not dubiously and suspiciously at noticeable differences.

Christians who are proud to practice are also not exactly the warmest received people whether Catholic or Protestant. Mass society is eschews responsibility and integrity and religion tends to have a lot to do with those and as such is an uncomfortable reminder to a bound and captive conscience.

On the subject of separating oneself from mass society on religious grounds... that's a subject for a blog entry. Suffice to say, I expect that when I wear my crocheted kippah with my beardy face the mainstream mass people will see me as sticking out... well, people either assume I am Muslim and wonder if I am a terrorist or they think I am an ultra Orthodox Jew who's walked off the black suit and hat path.

Like my blog masthead now says, I am a chinstrap on a yarmulke... Functional, but strange.