FAQ Memberlist Usergroups Register Log in
Profile Log in to check your private messages Search

Israeli-Palestine Conflict - Opinions? (Keep it civil!)
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic     Forum Index -> General Discussion
Author Message
sunshine



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 592
Location: Up in the Clouds

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Tamir - I sincerely wish my dad were as rational as you are. I can't even suggest that maybe the other side isn't completely to blame without him spamming my e-mails with anti-Hamas propaganda.


@ Nem - So... what you're basically saying is that people go to war because they want something?


@ Alli - Propaganda's a royal pain, isn't it? I'm especially fond of the stuff you can find on YouTube - poorly shot night-time scenes of people-shaped figures chasing down other people-shaped figures, with a narrator voice emotionally explaining to you that it's a video of terrorists shooting down a wedding party, or a school group, or church/temple goers in an act of senseless and inhuman violence...

what's really fascinating about it all though is how ingenious the stuff is. Most people get so caught up in the shock and awe act that they never even think to step back far enough to realize they're being manipulated. Absolutely genius tactic, incredibly effective, and utterly terrifying, all in one.
_________________
I do commissions!
Interested? Let me know! :D

My deviantART page

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sunshine wrote:
@ Nem - So... what you're basically saying is that people go to war because they want something?


If you want the shortened version my main point is you can't reduce the motivation for war to simply wanting something, there's a lot of surrounding value system that goes into the decision. What's the difference between thieves and workers? They both might want a muffin but they go about getting it entirely different ways.
_________________
Never forget,
We stroll along the roof of hell
Gazing at flowers.
- Issa
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
sunshine



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 592
Location: Up in the Clouds

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem wrote:
my main point is you can't reduce the motivation for war to simply wanting something, there's a lot of surrounding value system that goes into the decision.


Why not? A system of values does not remove the fact that war is caused by people who want a thing (religious/racial/cultural dominance and/or freedom, land, wealth, etc.) deciding the only way to get that thing is to take it by force from someone else, but rather provides the structure and guidelines for how those people will behave in the process. The core logic of "I want, therefore I take" is changed only in how it is worded and thus made to fit within a given value structure; the meaning remains the same.

Edit by Tam: Fixed the tags. =)
_________________
I do commissions!
Interested? Let me know! :D

My deviantART page

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you two are saying remarkably similar things, really. Razz

Nem's point, if I understand correctly (and feel free to correct me, Nem), is that understanding the problem of what people want will require understanding why they want it. For instance, while an average American citizen may want television, food, and money; those may be much different concerns for a Palestinian or Israeli. Why? Because those are culturally important to Americans, whereas Israel and Palestine have different cultures.

I've heard this before, though with different groups. The main point here is that the group wants the violence as much as we want good television, financial security, or healthy(or tasty) food. Why do they want to continue the violence? Because they have been raised to see that this violence, this war, is a good thing. It's something that they, culturally, believe they should pursue.

The second part to that is that their experience and upbringing (culture) dictate how they go about getting what they want. Does their culture value honorable, in-the-open combat between gentlemen? Most don't, in fact most are pretty open to the idea of subterfuge and guerrilla tactics.

So the problem becomes this: Americans (Or Europeans, but since I'm not one of them I can't speak for them) may think that whichever side is "evil" or "bad". Hamas, Al-Queada, Saddan Hussein, whichever group or person. We may view them as evil, but we do so because they fail to fit our criteria for a "good person" as defined by how we were raised. However, those same people in their own culture may be lauded as heroes, great leaders, strong moral people, and so on.

And then you can get into the lengthy topic of what, individually, makes up each of their desires. Is it entirely motivated by self-interest, or cultural acceptance?

The take-home message here: It's not enough to understand what a person has done. Instead, you must understand why they have done it. Often, they believe they have done a good/positive thing. Until you understand why, you're very unlikely to ever be able to change the [/i]what[/i].

Again, if I'm wrong, correct me. Smile
_________________
. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Tamir



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1629
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tenshi wrote:
Until you understand why, you're very unlikely to ever be able to change the what.

Though knowing the why doesn't guarantee that you'll be able to change the what. >_<
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sunshine



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 592
Location: Up in the Clouds

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly there's nothing that can really guarantee you'll be able to change what a person wants. We'd have vastly fewer conflicts on all scales otherwise.

@Tenshi - What, can't a gal try to incite a little philosophical debate now and again? Razz

I just wanna dissect the phrase "all wars are motivated by the values inherent in a culture", independent of any possible practical applications that an understanding of such motivations may produce. To concede that my argument, which is the suggestion that the motivators are in fact much more basic and universal, is in no way adequate on its own for successfully taking action regarding a people at war would not only defeat the purpose of trying to incite a debate, but would also be wandering off-topic. Much like I've done to this thread as a whole XD


However, to bring it back around... I agree with Tam. Understanding where someone is coming from is very important for being able to change their mind, but is in no way a guarantee that you'll be able to do so. And unfortunately, it looks very much like there are people in power, on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides of this conflict, who cannot be dissuaded from their current belief that continuing the violence is the right and justified thing to do.
_________________
I do commissions!
Interested? Let me know! :D

My deviantART page

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sunshine wrote:
Why not? A system of values does not remove the fact that war is caused by people who want a thing (religious/racial/cultural dominance and/or freedom, land, wealth, etc.) deciding the only way to get that thing is to take it by force from someone else, but rather provides the structure and guidelines for how those people will behave in the process. The core logic of "I want, therefore I take" is changed only in how it is worded and thus made to fit within a given value structure; the meaning remains the same.


I want a new car, do I take it? In the absence of a surrounding value system I would do so immediately however that surrounding value system stops me from doing so, I am aware of consequencies and weigh those consequencies and the values I attach to them against the value I attach to the car. It's not as simple as, 'I want therefore I take.'

Still goal seeking behaviour is a persistent thread underlying human interaction, and I feel that may have been closer to your point that it varies only in how it is made to fit or applies to a specific value system.

Whenever you act within this world you are applying force. As you noted this varies only in the application, how you make it fit within a given value structure. And there lies the key, because you've asked me to explain a specific case of that behaviour, war. You can't explain why someone who wants a car decides to take it by economic force, going out to work getting money etc, and another person who wants a car and takes it by stealing, do so without appeal to a larger system of values than simply that they want it. They both want it but only one of them is stealing it.

Certainly if you were to remove the theif's goal seeking behaviour all together he would not steal, in fact he would not do much of anything. But it is not solely responsible.

If I give you some numbers,

1, 2, 3, and another 1

And tell you to add them together you get to seven. But which one of those numbers is responsible for the sum of their effect? They're all collectively responsible for it, and so is the addition, (in this case representing human goal seeking behaviour,) but no one factor by itself leads to seven just as no one factor leads directly to war.
_________________
Never forget,
We stroll along the roof of hell
Gazing at flowers.
- Issa
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Rolaoi



Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 247
Location: The Empire in the South

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both sides are in the wrong, but I support Palestine more than Israel. A lot of bad things have happened because the United States recognized and supported Israel.
_________________
Talked to a man who caught the
raninbow's end he found
That the pot of gold resided within
Fame~Citzen Cope

Nom d'amour~ Rolex
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tamir



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1629
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are heavy words, Rolaoi. If you think Israel shouldn't be recognized, then you're not just saying it's in the wrong, you're denying its right to exist. I'd appreciate it if you explained your opinion....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rolaoi



Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 247
Location: The Empire in the South

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tamir wrote:
Those are heavy words, Rolaoi. If you think Israel shouldn't be recognized, then you're not just saying it's in the wrong, you're denying its right to exist. I'd appreciate it if you explained your opinion....


I'm very sorry to offend. It's one thing for Jewish communities to exist in peace in Palestine, but it's another to declare it their land. Maybe I just don't know enough about pre-Israel Jewish-Arab relations. Was it violent?
_________________
Talked to a man who caught the
raninbow's end he found
That the pot of gold resided within
Fame~Citzen Cope

Nom d'amour~ Rolex
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there's an important difference here between Israel's present right to exist and whether it was right to create it in the first place.

As to the latter the history of any nation is the history of the destruction of what went before it. On what grounds do you draw any moral right to destroy one people's country in favour of another?

Although I don't blame the current Israel, or think what we did to effectively create the nation reflects on Israel's current right to exist, I must agree with Rolaoi in this case, (at least as I interpret it, not sure I quite catch on to the whole of what she/he is trying to get across with the idea of recognising Israel) : We essentially gave Palestine to the Jews under the guise of the British Mandate and in all honesty it was a mistake we shouldn’t have made.

Now I'm not blaming the current Jews for this, I'm not even blaming the past Jews, it wasn't your fault and you’ve got as much right to defend yourselves as anyone else. But politically it was a mistake in that it rendered us the enemies of most of the Arab world, economically it was a mistake in that for various political reasons much money is donated to Israel for its continued survival and yet it has yielded us no strategically important resources in return, and morally - at least in so far as any moral system can hold – it was a mistake in that under a Kantian system you can't will it as a universal law, under a utilitarian system it increased the suffering in the world, and under an egoist system it didn't benefit us. Now I don't believe in morals so the last one doesn't really apply to me but that just leaves the other factors which still don't favour its creation.

No nation has an innate right to exist; nations’ existences are carved out of the blood of the nations that went before them and if nations were innately possessed of that right then it would involve a contradiction. However you choose to cut it up though creating Israel was a bit of a silly use of the British Mandate.

And I think the last of that answers the former. If you can take land and hold it by force of arms you’ve got as much entitlement to it as anyone else. While I don't believe the creation of Israel was the wisest thing we've ever done I don't begrudge it its existence.
_________________
Never forget,
We stroll along the roof of hell
Gazing at flowers.
- Issa
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Tamir



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1629
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rolaoi wrote:
It's one thing for Jewish communities to exist in peace in Palestine, but it's another to declare it their land. Maybe I just don't know enough about pre-Israel Jewish-Arab relations. Was it violent?

I'll tell you what, I'll provide you with a short summary of the creation of the state of Israel. And I'll start it by quoting Nem:
Nem wrote:
(...) the history of any nation is the history of the destruction of what went before it. On what grounds do you draw any moral right to destroy one people's country in favour of another?

So, surprisingly, the history of the state of Israel is not the history of the destruction of what was before it. Before the state of Israel was created, the land was kind of barren. Sure, there were people living there, but the land was very undeveloped, mostly desert. Meanwhile, the Jews were being prosecuted everywhere, and slowly started trickling back to the land they missed.
Many of the Jews who made their way to Israel were quite wealthy, and bought land from Arabs living there for more than it was worth. The Arabs were happy for the money, the Jews were happy to be in their holy land. However, as the number of Jews in Israel increased, the local Arabs (under Ottoman rule) started to be unhappy about it. Muslims never liked Jews much. So there was some anger there, but nothing too serious.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the Jews started emigrating to Israel in large groups. That was the point where the violence really started. The Arabs did not appreciate this influx of strangers, and they let that be known. But the Jews kept pouring in.... the two world wars were unkind to the Jews (particularly the second), and they sought refuge. No country was willing to take them in, so they defaulted to their holy land. The British were given mandate over the country, and they had a problem to deal with - massive amounts of Jews were making a home for themselves and the local Arabs were being violent about it. They weren't being driven away so much as they didn't want to share. (There also wasn't exactly a space issue, since the population in Israel was very small.)
The British tried stopping Jews from emigrating, but that didn't work out.... they just kept coming. The British proposed a plan to separate the country into two states, one for the Jews and the other for the Arabs. The Jews accepted, but the Arabs responded with violence. The Jews fought back, eventually expelling hundreds of thousands of Arabs from the country. The British decided to give the country to the Jews, and the day the state of Israel declared independence, all of its neighboring Arab countries attacked it. Israel survived, but since that day there have been many more attacks. The only time Israel acted on the offensive (i.e. not responding to an attack or terror) was as a preemptive strike when a few Arab countries gathered their forces at the borders to attack.
In order to wrap up what I started - Israel didn't destroy what came before it. We took a barren land and made it thrive. The only price was the residents who couldn't handle having Jewish neighbors, who were willing to kill those neighbors, who got expelled.

It boils down to this. The Jews have been universally persecuted, because they choose to be different. As a nation, they needed a country in order to live normal lives. That country was chosen to be Israel. Now tell me honestly, do you begrudge them that?

Nem wrote:
No nation has an innate right to exist

Well, I'm not here to argue morals with you, but if you grant humans the right to exist and live the way they like, then the Jews needed something, because they were being killed and mistreated everywhere. A country seems like the only answer.

Nem wrote:
politically it was a mistake in that it rendered us the enemies of most of the Arab world

Well, yeah. They hate us. If you support us, they're not going to like you either. That could indeed be considered a political mistake, I suppose.

Nem wrote:
economically it was a mistake in that for various political reasons much money is donated to Israel for its continued survival and yet it has yielded us no strategically important resources in return

Another "what's in it for me?" point, but to be fair, Israel is the most technologically advanced and militarily powerful country in the Middle East and will help the US if asked. We are, in a messed up way, currently serving as America's arm in the Middle East. That's worth more than you think.

Nem wrote:
and morally - at least in so far as any moral system can hold it was a mistake in that under a Kantian system you can't will it as a universal law, under a utilitarian system it increased the suffering in the world, and under an egoist system it didn't benefit us.

Y'know, I wouldn't be so quick to say that it increased world suffering. Many Jews can now lead normal, happy lives where before they could not. Many Palestinians and Israelis now suffer, too, but in the long run, we can hope that this constant conflict will end. The only thing perpetuating it now (and ever, really) is baseless hatred.

If you want a slightly more official history, I recommend Wikipedia's page on Israel, which seems mostly correct and highly informative to me after a quick glance.
(Yes, I'm too lazy to find a real source)


Last edited by Tamir on Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Tam: You're forgetting that Nem doesn't speak as if to operate under the laws of morality and such, like most people. His arguments, strictly speaking, use logic and reason instead of sentiment and emotion.

Tamir wrote:
We are, in a messed up way, currently serving as America's arm in the Middle East. That's worth more than you think.


And he's not American. Wink

On to my response, then.

I have to agree with Nem on one point more than any. Any country that has the strength to defend itself has the right to survive. If there's one thing I've learned about Israel (or, more specifically, Judaism as a whole) is that they are incredibly resilient people.

As for the Muslim/Judaism mutual hatred thing, I honestly don't know what the solution there is. Any time you have reasonable, intelligent people (of which there are many on both sides) conflict resolution is easy to find. Most of the time, these people will avoid violence at the expense of themselves, as that is the reasonable thing to do.

However, when you bring religion (ANY religion) into the equation, you're going to find that there will never be peace. For some reason, all of humanity is willing to kill for what they hold most sacred. What touches their hearts, they would gladly end the beating of another's for.

That's one of the many reasons that religion has been such a difficult thing for me to try and "return to". I see the good that religion can bring, but I see that in people who are atheists and agnostic as well. Religion, and only religion, has been one of the most dominant forces in bringing out the absolute worst in people who are already not quite right in the head. It even leads perfectly rational, intelligent, reasonable people to the point where they refuse to see any of those things.

Er, wait, what was the topic again? O_o;;
_________________
. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Tamir



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1629
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually forgot for a minute that Nem was British, but England and the US are allied anyway, so it works. ^^;;

Tenshi wrote:
Religion, and only religion, has been one of the most dominant forces in bringing out the absolute worst in people who are already not quite right in the head. It even leads perfectly rational, intelligent, reasonable people to the point where they refuse to see any of those things.

I really wish I could argue with this. Sad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Tam: So do I.
_________________
. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic     Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



Elveron phpBB theme/template by Ulf Frisk and Michael Schaeffer
Copyright Ulf Frisk, Michael Schaeffer 2004


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group