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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No, the person or group with the least is not the victim because it is the group with the least.
If a person with a well paying job is robbed at night, his wife raped, by someone with no money and no home, the person robbed and his wife are the victims.
Israel cut off water supply because when they left Gaza, Gaza was developing arms tunnels and lobbing bombs into Israel.
If not for US support, Israel may be dealing with the Palestinians in a way that would really make you grimace. Support for Israel ensures that they don't have to go to extremes in order to defend itself from terrorism.
As for your reasoning why Darfur doesn't get attention, I don't see it if your purpose is about humanitarianism. 4 million people have died in that conflict. In the IP conflict since 1948, 35,000 Arabs and 16,000 Jews have died because of war and terrorism.
If the Palestinians dropped their arms, there would be peace in Israel. It is pretty simple. And the Jews in Israel are no different than the general population of any Western country. They are driven by the Golden Rule. In other words, there would be no reason why Gaza couldn't be Israel's major trade partner and have the same relationship Canada and the US have.
If not for US support, Israel may be dealing with the Palestinians in a way that would really make you grimace.

And the Jews in Israel are no different than the general population of any Western country. They are driven by the Golden Rule.


No contradiction in those two statements?

Are you being obtuse on purpose when you ask why Israel-Palestine grabs more interest from Westerners than say Darfur, the Congo, Zimbabwe, East Timor, Sri Lanka, Tibet, etc? Those that attempt to be informed about the world in which we live are familiar with the strife in those places. It's a shame that they don't/didn't get the attention they deserved. The IP conflict is unique because, like it or not, religion has played a major role in the the world's opinions on it- to the extent that an uneducated American Christian fundamentalist that couldn't find any of the aforementioned countries on a map quite probably has strong opinions about the importance of supporting Israel unconditionally. No one in these discussions has suggested that the conflict is only about religion. However, that deeply entrenched religious sentiment has been manipulated by the players cannot be denied with any seriousness. For a long time, organizations like AIPAC have lobbied to allow only one side of the story to be heard. That's changing now, thanks to the courageous efforts of peace-seeking Jews- some Israelis, some not.

There's a common theme in your comments- it's all the fault of the Palestinians. How can any progress towards a solution be made with such a myopic view?
It is fact that if the Arabs dropped their arms there would be peace whether you can get that in your head or not.
As for Israel defending itself. I abide by the Golden Rule, but if someone lobbed bombs into my neighborhood or blew up school buses where I live, I would go to extremes to have it stopped.
The US has helped out to let Israel solve the problem of defense in a way that they can build walls, hire more security, etc.
Without the walls and security, I can see a lot more violence by both sides.
It is fact that if the Arabs dropped their arms there would be peace whether you can get that in your head or not.
As for Israel defending itself. I abide by the Golden Rule, but if someone lobbed bombs into my neighborhood or blew up school buses where I live, I would go to extremes to have it stopped.
The US has helped out to let Israel solve the problem of defense in a way that they can build walls, hire more security, etc.
Without the walls and security, I can see a lot more violence by both sides.


You've made it clear that your street runs only one way, TAJ. I'm sure you have your reasons for that.

You can call me a liar and question my motives, but I really hope that the killing and the privations can be halted, for the sake of all the men, women and children affected.

I appreciate your contributions to the discussions on IP and must admit that you've taught me a lot. This will be my last reply on this discussion, in the interest of moving on and peace.


Be well.
Not a one way street. Israel made mistakes too. The biggie was even starting the settlements in the first place, though they are not the reason there is no peace today.

Right now, without Palestinian violence, there is a good chance that peace can be achieved.
I'm certain that if the Palestinians stopped committing acts of violence, Israel would be an honorable partner in peace. But there really isn't any possible excuse for cutting off the water supply to a population.
I was in the Navy and had a chance to visit Israel in 1992 and have also visited a few of the Arab countries.I have meet nice Israelis as well as nice Arabs.I really wish both people could live in peace.I don't agree with idea of Joe who happens to be born and raised in Idaho but is Jewish can decide to move to Israel and the house owned by a Palestinian family for generations is destroyed to make room for Joe from Idaho.Sounds like the same practice the United States did to the Native Americans.
Charles, where and when does this happen. The houses that were demolished by Israel were in response to suicide bombings. The families of the bombers were given 25k by Saddam Hussein, Israel responded by demolishing the homes.
Illegal houses have been demolished on both sides. Illegal Israeli settlements have been dismantled. Google Sderot.
Jews are encouraged to go to Israel but not at the expense of a Palestinian losing anything. I don't know where you get that stuff, but that is what the Palestinian apologists want you to think.

Arabs are coming to Dearborn Michigan the same way Jews are coming to Israel.
Yes, the settlements are potential Palestinian land, but in almost every case, Arabs haven't been moved out when Jews are moved in.
I'm with you on Israel's land-grab. However, I don't think we can lay it all at the feet of Judaism itself. Judaism may provide some people with "justification" for taking over land, but a lot of it is just people seizing land because they're greedy. It's happened for a variety of different reasons. Our own "Manifest Destiny" seized lands from Native Americans. . .

My husband recently saw a marathon in Israel in which an Israeli citizen with a thick Brooklyn accent encouraged her friends in Florida to settle there. Natives? Hardly.

The people in Israel saw a chance at a better life in Israel, I understand that. The populating of Israel is an economic one primarily, with what they view as religious justification.
Seizing land? The people of Europe in the late 1800's to the time after the Holocaust went to Israel to try to better their lives for the most part, the same reason Muslim Arabs come to the West.
Did the Muslim Arabs who now populate towns like Dearborn Michigan seize land? No, they migrated much like the Jews migrated to Israel. The difference being is that Israel was not a sovereign nation until 1948 so it was land that was up for negotiations. And sure there was conflict, but for the most part, if the Arabs and especially the surrounding Arab nations kept themselves away from conflict, nobody would have been disposed.
Jaume, the election was after the Gaza pullout, which was done with Fatah in power. They voted in a terrorist organization that has a goal to destroy Israel.
Jaume, the election was after the Gaza pullout, which was done with Fatah in power. They voted in a terrorist organization that has a goal to destroy Israel.

Was the vote 100%? Or was it more like 49% over 46%, for example? You can say America voted twice for GWB. Technically you'd be correct. Those of us that live in the U.S. know that he won by a narrow margin, and maybe only once. To suggest that "the Americans", as some sort of united monolith, voted for Bush is a distortion of reality.

But let's say, for the sake of your argument, that 100% did vote Hamas. Do you have the ability to ascertain that the principal motive for such a vote would be the unanimous desire for the destruction of Israel?

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