General Question

shilolo's avatar

How far back in history does an event have to happen before something becomes "fixed" in the past?

Asked by shilolo (18038points) May 26th, 2008

As an example, Israel is locked into the idea that the West Bank and Gaza must be returned to Palestine, but the conflicts leading to that happened 40 and 60 years ago. In contrast, the US defeated Mexico in 1847 and took Texas, California and the entire Southwestern US. If Israel is expected to return lands captured in war, shouldn’t other countries be expected to do the same? Does the fact that the Mexican war happened more than 150 years ago change things? If so, what is the time cutoff and why?

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8 Answers

Mtl_zack's avatar

i think that everyone is just too stubborn over there. the Israeli government offered a great deal to the Palestinians after before 1967 and then hell broke loose. many people were against this offer on both sides. the israelis wanted the entire country and the palestinians wanted the entire country. i heard that israel is now negotiating with seria to give away the north, which includes most of the forested area, the main water supply (lake kinneret) and many kibbutzes which are formed mainly of israelis. there are many israelis who are opposed with this because they think that the serians will destroy the forests and the water supply. the palestinians are also concerned because they think they can get more. one of my friends had an idea: if you make the israelis buy their cigarettes on the palestinian side and make the palestinians buy their cigarettes on the israeli side, lung cancer would be almost completely gone in that region.

to get to the point, its just because of the stubborness of the two nations. one wins, and the other gets up and keeps on fighting. the u.s. finished off mexico in that war, so they cannot stand up, even if they tried.

by the way, i am jewish and am a zionist, so there might be a lot of bias here. dont take my word for whats going on.

shilolo's avatar

I like your answer, but I was simply using the Israel-Palestine, US-Mexico example as one that would stir up debate, since they reflect similar conflicts separated by about 100 years. Why one (US-Mexico) is accepted as distant history while the other remains fresh is unclear to me. That is why I want to know the historical “cutoff”. Is it 100 years? etc.

Mtl_zack's avatar

“its just because of the stubborness of the two nations. one wins, and the other gets up and keeps on fighting. the u.s. finished off mexico in that war, so they cannot stand up, even if they tried.”

susanc's avatar

I don’t think there’s a statute of limitations
on conquest or reconquest. Force is the
key, not righteousness, throughout history.

marinelife's avatar

The resentments don’t end until the hearts of the people weary sufficiently of conflict to force that viewpoint on their leaders or put leaders in power who accept the will of the people to end conflict. 100 years is nothing sometimes. The resentments of Serbs and Croats go back a lot further than 100 years (since the 14th century),and yet burst out afresh in the 1990s.

I think the role of religion, which plays a part in their conflict as well (Orthodox vs. Catholic) as well as in the Middle East, cannot be overlooked. It was really not a factor in the U.S.-Mexican conflict.

To my mind, Blaise Pascal had it right when he said: “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction”

susanc's avatar

Religion is often used as a pretext for
conquest, but it’s usually an economic issue or an issue of imperial pride.
Look at Xerxes. Look at Alex the Great. Look at Saladin. Look at us.

Arglebargle_IV's avatar

no statute of limits for the power of human rationalization
otherwise, I agree with the chorus, its a matter of might makes right

edmartin101's avatar

@shilolo You have two kinds of questions in one. Which of these questions you want answers to: How far back in history does an event have to happen before something becomes “fixed” in the past? or these ones: If Israel is expected to return lands captured in war, shouldn’t other countries be expected to do the same? Does the fact that the Mexican war happened more than 150 years ago change things? If so, what is the time cutoff and why? Or Are you looking for answers to all of them in the same thread?

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