I was reading an article in the "Atheist Revolution" blog and I came across this snippet:

When I encounter a parent telling her children about Santa Claus, I may find it unfortunate that someone would lie to one's own child merely for entertainment purposes. The potential for harm here seems trivially small. I cannot say the same for the Muslim parent instructing his son in the virtues of martyrdom or the Christian who tells her daughter that her Jewish friends will go to hell because they have not been "saved."

Could we not add something like the following to the last sentence:

...or the jew who tells his kids that he's "chosen" and has a covenant with god that entitles him and his "people" to the land of Israel, and then uses that as justification for a bloody occupation of Palestine.

The one-year anniversary of Operation Cast Lead is approaching (Dec. 27th) and I think we should take a look at where we've come since then. The Goldstone Report: buried. Settlements: expanding. Palestinian house demolitions: continuing.

As atheists, we should be appalled whenever religion is used to justify actions that result in suffering or death. We do not seem to hesitate to speak out when a child dies because a Christian Scientist eschewed Western medicine in favor of prayer. We do not seem to hesitate to speak out when a Muslim nutjob finds motivation in his religion to grab some firearms and gun down some people. Why are we silent when an ethnic group uses a story about chosen people and covenants in The Big Book of Jewish Fairy Tales (aka, the Old Testament) to justify what is looking more and more like a slow, methodical ethnic cleansing campaign? Why do the Jews need to have Jerusalem all to themselves? Why is it so important to them to have a Jewish majority that they'll turn Gaza into a prison camp and The West Bank into Swiss cheese where the Palestinians are forced to live on smaller and smaller plots of land and endure more and more restrictions on their movement? If this were being done to a Jewish population they'd be screaming about a second holocaust.

The bottom line is that all three major religions are guilty of many modern-day atrocities and have a great deal of blood on their metaphorical hands. Why do we only bewail the actions of two of those three major religions?

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There is no doubt that there is. The fact is that the worst enemy of the Palestinian is the Palestinian themselves. That is not to say Israel is perfect; but Israel a democracy that respects the rights of minorities such as Arab Muslims, homosexuals, atheists, etc. The fact is that Israel is a democracy that values women's rights and when the ultra-orthodox fanatics try to play games on these fundamental rights, the authorities stay on the side of freedom. Just a few weeks back there was a gay-pride parade in Jerusalem. The fact is that 20% of Israelis are Arab Muslims. The fact is that Israel has succeeded through their societies intelligence and whit. Israel is a beacon in a region of fascists and despots. And I am not Israeli, nor born Jewish. I am an Iranian-American "technically" born Muslims. I say "technically" as the vast majority of the Iranian people (the people, not the regime) are a secular people and are not religious. I find it mind boggling that we have these leftist apologists of Islamic extremists (i.e. Palestinians) when the reason that there hasn't been a peace is because their side has not wanted peace. Until the Palestinians learn to stop glorifying martyrdom and jihad and instead value peace and a two-state solution, they will never have a state of their own.

very nice reply sassan. 

@Sassan K., thank you, applaud you, and highly respect your courage to speak up and speak the truth.  You are what we need more of, in this world.

Doc I know. I was responding to what I thought JC was trying to convey.

Doc,

I was giving the perspective on things as I believe JC has. Have read all about blood libels and pogroms and institutionalized racism, protocols of the elders. . . It was a bit of sarcasm.

When you encounter the JCs of the world do you bother to debate? It reminds me of talking to a zealot.

When I can, I answer, providing historical, cultural, and other legitimate and researchable background so that even if the zealot refuses to understand, someone else, coming later, might read and think and hopefully verify and learn.  It is always my contention that they should verify what they don't want to believe.  If I find the sources, they can say my sources are tainted.  If I give them the keywords for a search engine, and they research for themselves, they've earned some respect for going that far, more if they read and learn, and if they come back with another argument based on that reading, I might get to learn something, too.

Then why don't you start doing that? Where is your historical, cultural, legitimate, and researchable background into my psychological state, Doc? Giving each other group hugs don't make it true.

Again, you miss the point.  If I were to research it for you, you'd claim my sources were unacceptable.  You must learn to educate yourself, grasshopper.

Really? You're going to try to pass off your childish insults as researched fact? You need some soul searching.

speaking as someone who comes from a jewish past and who when to jewish school her whole life my perception may be a little skewed but ill give this a try. the real reason that jews chose israel to be their land is mostly from scripture however, since the nationalism aspect of judaism is what gives people more to descriminate against then a religion we must also consider that jews are no longer just considered a religious group. ill explain what i mean. in the early days of jew hatred people discriminated against jews because they had supposedly killed jesus. now, of course, we know that all jews cannot be blamed for killing jesus however, jew hatred still existed after they were pardoned. the reason for this is, since people had made jews money lenders (because christians can't charge other christians intrest), people hated them even if they didn't kill jesus and needed to find a reason to justify that. heres where the genetic hatred of jews comes in (aka. antisemitism) this is the kind of hatred that lasted all the way through the holocaust and still exists today. it is the kind that basically turns jews into a race of people that are inferior to others. now, since jews are no longer just a religion they need a sort of "protection", if you will, in the eyes of the government and, since arabs have plenty of land, it was suggested that jews have some "biblical right" to israel (which i dont believe they do) and after the holocaust there were so many displaced people and so many people were already setting up shop in israel that they just... took it. we give jews a pass many times because they never prosthelytize to people other then jews so they aren't doing harm like christians and they dont want to kill infidels so they aren't doing harm like muslims. they are however doing harm like nationalists, they aren't taking anymore land and they have made plenty of peace attempts that the arabs dont agree to because they dont give back every last drop of israel, they are innovating the land and putting the resources to better use then the arab countries ever have so they are doing more good then they are harm. thats the simplest explanation i can give, im not an expert. as for the "horrible and bloody" occupation i would recommend you read The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz, that should explain a lot about what is going on in israel and why the war seems so unfair. 

If you're addressing me (partially, I assume), I reject that Judaism is no longer a religion; it is a religion and it is an ethnic group and it is a country (I mean Israel). When you conflate all of these, it makes it impossible for someone to criticize one without criticizing all. Contrary to what you say, my point is not the inferiority of the Jewish race, but the inferiority that many Jews project onto other races. The problem is by pointing this out, I become an "anti-semite", because some Jews have a persecution complex -- they view any criticism as an existential threat.

So if I criticize settlements, it is re-framed into the idea that I must hate Jews because I disagree with the superior Israeli government making more land accessible for the superior Israeli citizens, at the cost of the inferior Palestinians, when it is so clear that Palestinians are generally warmongering, racist people who have declared to wipe Israel off the map.

If it were anyone else in the world saying something like, "These Somalians are so inferior and inefficient, we must build houses in their country and innovate their land and put these resources to better use, because they are doing more harm than good." These people would be called "racists" -- to put it bluntly.

You might be interested in knowing that before the British started playing Jews and Arabs against each other -- and notwithstanding Arafat's Nazi uncle who was mayor of Jerusalem during WWII -- the Jews and local Arabs got along well, each helping the other, each learning from the other.  These were not people in power, though, just people.  The Arabs who intended to amass great power had to put a stop to it.  Can you imagine an Arab monarch allowing all his citizens a good education and income?  How can he maintain control if they decide to be free of his reign?  And why bother to reign if not to be the wealthiest by far?  The concept of a middle class didn't exist, back then and there.

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