Atheists for the Gaza

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Atheists for the Gaza

This community is dedicated to spread awareness on the grave injustice the Israeli state has enacted on its occupied people. We stand in solidarity with the Gazans who war has deprived of every decent livelihood and every ounce of normalcy.

Members: 39
Latest Activity: Sep 7


Discussion Forum

Lost cities of Palestine

Started by Napoleon Bonaparte May 15. 0 Replies

The Lab

Started by Napoleon Bonaparte May 8. 0 Replies

15 years of age in Gaza

Started by Napoleon Bonaparte Feb 10. 0 Replies

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Comment by Against All Fanatics on September 14, 2010 at 7:14am
TNT666 -- I don't believe in the Bible or any other "holy" book any more than you do, but I do believe in people. Israel exists whether you like it or not, just as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and a host of other "Islamic" states exist as well, and they aren't disappearing tomorrow. At least Israel is much more democratic than these other states although it isn't perfect. The fact that you harp on that imperfection and ignore everything else makes you a fanatic. Palestinian governments (even Fatah which I largely support) aren't perfect either, but you can choose to look at the positives, which I do.
Comment by TNT666 on September 14, 2010 at 3:23am
It is what is so entirely ludicrous about the mere existence of Israel! A bunch of atheists convinced a bunch of religious people to use biblical lore to steal land from another group of people of same blood line!!!!!!!!!

And they havn't "always" seen themselves as an ethnic group, mostly only since the past century's zionist movement has this been the case. Before zionism, "autonomy" groups were little splinter groups. Last century's zionism coalesced "ethnicity" to bliblical homeland. This modern planet of ours is not one where "groups of people" no matter their religious inclination, can just declare homelands for themselves just because "they feel like it", over the backs of other residents. What a pompous attitude.
Comment by Al-KADIM on September 13, 2010 at 9:29pm
Considering that the vast majority of early Zionists, the people who pushed for the creation of a Jewish state, were socialist atheists, that's a fairly uninformed statement. Jews always saw themselves as an ethnic, not a religious minority. This was an attitude shared by virtually all Jews in Europe, including the non-Zionists. Bundists, for example, were socialists who supported Jewish autonomy in Europe. Territorialists supported Jewish independence in places other than historic Palestine (Australia, Argentina, etc.). Anti-Zionist Orthodox believed in a "return to Zion," though autonomy and independence would only come under some Messiah figure. For a period, Jews in Russia supported a Jewish autonomous territory in Birobidzhan.

The problem is that Jews as a group are not the same as most Christians as a group or Muslims as a group. It is exclusive to an ethnicity and in that construct, ethnic identity has always come first.

What you are actually doing though is taking a very colonialist approach by which the outsider defines the group. The principle of self-determination is that the group has the inherent right to define itself. It should be pretty easy to understand though. It is the same principle by which Palestinians define themselves as a distinct group as opposed to members of some amorphous "Arab" ethnicity.
Comment by TNT666 on September 13, 2010 at 8:38pm
For me the buck stops here, the only reason Jews are in Israel is because of biblical nonsense. As atheists, it stands to reason that the mere existence of Israel is an insult to humanity at large.
Comment by Against All Fanatics on September 13, 2010 at 3:56pm
For some reason, anti-Semitic and Islamist rhetoric has replaced pro-Palestinian advocacy among many (if not most) of those who call themselves Palestinian supporters today. These individuals demonize Israel and Jews but never have anything constructive to say in support of the Palestinians. One would have expected that among Atheists at least this would not be true, but alas it seems to be.
Comment by Against All Fanatics on September 13, 2010 at 3:38pm
Quinn wrote sarcastically "Clearly anyone who opposes the continued theft of Palestinian land must be an anti-Semite or a self-hating Jew".

This is a pretty stupid comment since I already told you that I oppose all settlements including existing ones. What I do not support is violence. Clearly, you do not read before you write, which is not surprising considering your extremist stance.
Comment by Against All Fanatics on September 13, 2010 at 3:28pm
Quinn -- I can't say that I am surprised to see your abusive comments. Terrorist sympathizers often act like cornered rats when questioned. The fact that there is no Palestinian state isn't only Simon and Steve's fault; it is also yours. It is the fault of all those who encourage violence rather negotiation. The fact that you think that your position is pro-Palestinian would be funny if it wasn't so dramatically wrong.
Comment by Al-KADIM on September 13, 2010 at 6:05am
Well, I thought this was a group about Gaza, not Nablus (there are vast differences between the two), but we can go there if you like.

Actually, it is more the case in the West Bank and Jerusalem than it is in Gaza. Most settlements were built on state land, but instead of Egypt occupying it, it was de facto occupied by Jordan (though this was only recognized by two countries, the UK and Pakistan). Other settlements were built on purchased land.

One difference, however, particularly in Jerusalem, is that land that was previously under Jewish ownership was taken back. This is especially true of the Jewish Quarter and several other properties in the Old City, which was seized. Other areas where this is true is the Ezion Bloc of settlements southwest of Jerusalem and especially Hebron. Beit Hadassah, for example, the first Jewish property seized in downtown Hebron, was a Jewish hospital until it was evacuated in 1929 after the First Arab Uprising and stood abandoned until 1967. Beit Romano, on the other hand, around the corner, was converted into an Islamic girl's school, which was evacuated. The Hebron Central Bus Station, however, also on Jewish registered land, was kept operational until at least the mid-1980s, when it was seized by the military following a terror attack--nevertheless, it was not transferred to the settlers. Furthermore, Jews were denied access to certain Jewish properties there because of security concerns and, frankly, because most of the Israeli government didn't want them there. The thing is, any seizure of Arab land had to face the Supreme Court, which was not sympathetic to the settlers' cause. The same is true of a small number of properties in Nablus. Ancient claims have been routinely rejected by the court, including claims to the ancient (Byzantine) synagogue in Jericho. The real problem of ownership in the West Bank is not the land on which the settlements were built, but rather the land on which roads leading to the settlements were built.

Mind you that there are, however, conflicting claims. For example, state land is based on what is registered in the Tabu, even though it is not occupied, while local villages have laid claim to the surrounding lands. In some cases, villages have lost over half of their lands in that way.

As for Right of Return, that is the right of return to Israel within the pre-'67 borders and has nothing to do with the West Bank. On the other hand, there have been families returning to the West Bank from the Palestinian diaspora, but not many, largely the families of Fatah leaders. Oddly enough, there is some animosity between the returning families, which constitute a leadership elite, and the local families, which stayed put during the occupation and waged the struggle. Then again, many of the returning families are more educated and Westernized. Tensions ensue.

Once again, though, I think we should focus on Gaza, which has very specific problems. Working quietly, Fayyad has managed to get back land in the West Bank and begin to develop the necessary infrastructures for statehood (ironically, he says that he is using the "Zionist model"). He is rooting out corruption and building schools, factories, and social and communal institutions. Gaza, which has its own parliament now, is different. Under Haniyeh, it is creating a social structure built on charitable hand-outs controlled by Hamas, i.e., if you don't support Hamas, you don't eat. the end result is an untenable situation, which will only lead to more violence (see http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/atheistsforthegaza/forum/topics/t... for instance). The real problem is infrastructure, not boundaries.
Comment by Simon JM on September 13, 2010 at 3:14am
Valid points about ownership in Gaza. I do think though that while this largely is the case in Gaza it isn't the case either in the WB or Jerusalem.

Yes justice conerns are more widespread than just private property, but like the right of return it they aren't addressed there will never be peace.
Comment by Al-KADIM on September 12, 2010 at 9:14pm
Once again, the issue isn't ownership of land. The issue is creating a solid economic base for the Palestinian people of Gaza to create a viable and independent state that is not dependent on Israel or Egypt. Anything else would be creating a Bantustan, where Palestinians are forced to work outside their national boundaries, but have none of the rights of citizens where they work--in simple terms, they work for minimum wage in Israel or Egypt, but do not get health care benefits (which are universal for citizens of both countries).

If, however, you do want to talk about land ownership, let's examine Gaza as a test case. There are two possibilities here: 1. land is state owned; or 2. land is privately owned (that allows for two sub-possibilities, which I will look at later).

Israeli settlements in Gaza, which were all dismantled, occupied ~30 percent of the land, mostly beach properties near Khan Yunis-Deir el-Balah. They were built on state-owned land, i.e., the land wasn't registered in the Tabu (the term for the land registration system in the Middle East since Ottoman times). At present, the land is owned by the PA, or rather the Gaza branch of the PA (Palestinian Authority), headed by Haniyeh. The question is, who owned it before that? Was it the Ottomans? Sorry, they were gone since 1917. The British? Gone since 1948. A Palestinian state was supposed to be established then to include Gaza, but instead, Egypt held the territory under military occupation from 1948 to 1967 (with a brief interval from 1956 to 1957 when Israel occupied it). That left Israeli military and later civilian administration. Should they have built the settlements? Absolutely not. But until the withdrawal, who actually controlled that land? There was no Palestinian authority of any kind. Soon after the PA was established the land was returned to them and the settlements were dismantled.

Then there is private ownership. Some bits of Palestinian land were privately owned. In most cases, this land that was later occupied by Israelis was first purchased. Should Israelis have purchased that land? Absolutely not. Should a law have been passed forbidding Palestinians from selling their land to Israelis? Only if you want to violate the basic principle of private land ownership.

There is also a third category, but fortunately that is negligible. You see, there was a small Jewish community in Gaza City until the Second Arab Revolt of 1936, when they were forced to evacuate for their own safety. There was also a single agricultural settlement on purchased land (Kfar Darom) which was forced to evacuate in 1948. These lands appear in the Tabu as Jewish lands. Should their owners have the right to demand their land? (Fortunately, Amira Hess only rents in Gaza).

So we've covered land ownership. You may have even learned a new word--Tabu. Now it's your turn. Let's say Israel lifts its blockade on Gaza entirely--something that I have actively worked to see happen. Let's say all of Gaza is under the control of the freely elected democratic PA, whether Haniyeh or reunited with the West Bank under Abbas (you know of course that Gaza has its own Parliament now). Then what? How do you ensure that it becomes self-sufficient? After all, if it isn't self-sufficient, it would be subject to economic post-colonization, most likely under Israel.
 

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