Social Question

jca2's avatar

Should the US become involved in the war that Israel has declared it is in?

Asked by jca2 (16459points) October 7th, 2023

News today: Gaza militants have attacked Israel. Netanyahu has declared “we are at war.”

Should the US become involved?

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71 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

It is an internal matter.

janbb's avatar

Of course not. Only perhaps diplomatically to help broker peace.

kritiper's avatar

I think Israel is fully capable of taking care of itself.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Not our fight.

Caravanfan's avatar

Get involved how?

snowberry's avatar

It doesn’t matter. We can’t afford to help them thanks to our “helping” support the disaster called Ukraine.

smudges's avatar

If you mean give them financial aide or troops…fuck no! Mind our own business…we’re already giving away enough.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m pretty sure the US still supplies, or maybe we sell, a ton of arms to Israel. I guess that might be viewed as being involved. I don’t see the US sending soldiers.

I’m not sure what that declaration of war means. Remember all Israelis are soldiers (except some very religious Israelis and Arab Israelis) so that could be Netanyahu saying be ready to be called to serve in the fight.

kritiper's avatar

I think it’s moral support.

Caravanfan's avatar

1) We should absolutely give financial and military aid
2) We should not send troops.

Kropotkin's avatar

The US already materially and diplomatically supports Israel.

The only reason Israel gets to break international law for about 75 years with no repercussions is because the US vetoes every UN resolution against Israel.

The only reason Israel doesn’t care to ever negotiate a peace settlement with the people it brutalises on a daily basis, is because of its overwhelming military and diplomatic strength, largely bolstered by the US.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You know ny answer is always yes to Israel.

JLeslie's avatar

@Kropotkin So, when Arafat and Barak met in Camp David with Clinton, do you see it as Barak was the one who wouldn’t compromise?

Israel at one point did give up and move out of settlements, I don’t know all details or dates. The Palestinians kept attacking. The settlements in Eqypt were given up for the peace treaty done by Carter, and Egypt and Israel have been at peace since. The Palestinians seem most reluctant to me to compromise.

Now, with Netanyahu compromise is less likely, but for YEARS the Palestinians have seemed quite stubborn and not wanting to accept Israel at all.

Netanyahu announced where they would be bombing alerting civilians to leave. Do Palestinians do that? No, they seem fine killing Israelis.

I’m sympathetic to Arabs wanting land back that they felt was theirs, but they would be better off moving forward. Israel is a tiny part of the Middle East among huge huge Arab lands. Jews have had to leave and move over and over again. My family left antisemitism and poverty in Russia and Latvia. My husband’s paternal grandparents left Haifa and Tel Aviv because of rising antisemitism in the 1930’s and migrated to Mexico. Many family members did stay and still live there today, some are in the US.

A lot of Jewish people were already living in Israel when the UN took the original vote creating Israel. I’m for stopping the settlements, but the Palestinians need to be willing to negotiate a reasonable treaty.

JLeslie's avatar

No doubt Israel will fight back with an incredible retaliation. Are the Palestinians really thinking they are going to gain anything? Are solders from other parts of the Middle East going to come in and fight with the Palestinians?

Israel will destroy what they have built before they give it to the Palestinians.

gorillapaws's avatar

We’re already involved. We donate $3.8B annually to an extremist right-wing Israeli government who routinely violates international law and is engaging in a slow-motion ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Because the status quo is a constant rate of land dispossession, if Palestinians do nothing. they will end up like the Native Americans—corralled into small camps. or absorbed into an apartheid Israel.

The terrorist outbreaks are (a) absolutely wrong (it is never ok to murder civilians) but also (b) 100% a consequence of the actions and policies of the current Israeli administration. In fact, the right wing extremists in Israel WANT attacks like this to happen so they can justify their brutal retaliation and play the victim card. In other words, the right-wing extremist government finds it perfectly acceptable for Jews to die to maintain the status-quo of dispossessing the Palestinians from their territory.

@Caravanfan When Israeli police use Palestinian children as literal human shields for their vehicles, that’s nothing short of monstrous. Nobody is cheering on Hamas. They’re terrorists, but your tu quote doesn’t make Israel’s war crimes and apartheid policies any less dehumanizing and grotesque.

Kropotkin's avatar

@JLeslie Arafat was given an ultimatum that was never acceptable, likely in order to frame him as unreasonable and intransigent for rejecting Israel’s “generous offer”. And by racist association, this intransigent and unreasonable trait of his would be projected onto “The Palestinians”—a racist and vulgar framing you repeat.

“Netanyahu announced where they would be bombing alerting civilians to leave. Do Palestinians do that? No, they seem fine killing Israelis.”

Palestinians don’t have F-16s and Apache helicopters. Palestinian civilians are kindly alerted to leave their residences by shots fired at the roofs of their homes and apartment blocks (sometimes schools, clinics, and other civilian buildings). After 10 minutes, they get levelled. Then you get told it’s because Hamas was firing rockets from there, because Palestinians are evil and hide behind civilians.

Your family history is irrelevant to the ongoing brutality and ritual humiliation exacted on Palestinian Arabs by the Israeli state. There also is no reasonable treaty on offer, because Israel being the vastly more powerful entity gets to act with impunity, and has no impetus to do so.

JLeslie's avatar

@Kropotkin Would you stay if you were Palestinian?

JLeslie's avatar

Netanyahu verbally warned Palestinian civilians and that has happened in the past. The Palestinians just attacked Israel with no warning on a holiday where people usually celebrate outside.

Kropotkin's avatar

@JLeslie For most Palestinians, there is no “leaving”. The border with Egypt is highly restricted, the sea is blockaded.

If I were Palestinian, I’d stay because I’d have no other choice.

I also think Palestinians are remarkably peaceful in the face of the oppressive cruelty they face. When Palestinians marched in protest, they got shot at. When non-violent strategies are suggested, like BDS, they’re dismissed as antisemitic.

Don’t act shocked that some of their resistance is expressed with violence. Certainly spare us the sanctimony that they did this on a holiday, when IDF recently attacked Palestinians on muslim holidays.

gorillapaws's avatar

From the late Michael Brooks

”...Just as like a thought experiment…If we know that if somehow a population of Jewish refugees ended up in West Bank, in Gaza, and an Arabic government in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv had an open air prison in “Jewish Gaza” which they bombed with white phosphorous and killed civilians indiscriminately and they had no provisions on medicine, they had an embargo that blocked food, that the electricity wasn’t running, that there was an over 48 percent unemployment rate, life expectancy and malnutrition statistics were horrifying, one of the major policy makers in this hypothetical Arabic Palestinian state said we need to put those Jews on a diet, in the West Bank there was another Jewish area where there was a little bit more autonomy but there was regular Arabic settlements where they pulled up the Jewish farmer’s foods and terrorized them with rocks, the security forces broke children’s bones and they couldn’t drive on their own roads, we would all have no problem understanding what that was.”

JLeslie's avatar

@Kropotkin I certainly don’t think all Palestinians are violent or that they all support Hamas.

Do you think Hamas oppresses the Palestinian people?

Do you think the Palestinians will be satisfied with Israel existing as a country if Israel pulls back the settlements? What is you impression regarding what Hamas wants? Do they want to completely dismantle Israel?

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws What do you want Israelis to do? Should they leave? All come to the US and other countries around the world and give the country 100% to the Palestinians? Do you think the Arabs will take care of the religious sights like the Jewish people have?

Do you think the Palestinian people will quickly become more prosperous and have better lives? I am not saying Palestinians are incapable, I do not think that at all, they are victims of circumstance, but the circumstance is not wholly Israel, it is also religious zealots being in charge of government and household.

Kropotkin's avatar

@JLeslie Israel should withdraw to the 1967 borders, and all the colonial settlers beyond those boundaries should be evicted and sent back to their own actual homes.

Once Israel abides by international law and establishes this, then maybe they can have some sort of good faith negotiation on an actual peace settlement and what sort of relationship Jews and Arabs can have either in one or two countries.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorilla. You linked to a picture of a kid chilling out on the hood of a car. You’re right. That is monstrous.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan That’s a Palestinian kid tied to the hood of an Israeli police car.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie “What do you want Israelis to do?”

Return to their original borders, pay reparations for the harm they’ve caused and treat any Arabs who exist in the state of Israel with the same rights as everyone else.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws And you feel sure the Palestinians will be satisfied with that? Enough to trust them in the Israeli military? I don’t want anyone treated as a second class citizen in their own country either, don’t misunderstand, I care about any racism or prejudice.

What about the Palestinians who don’t live in Israel, who are in the Palestinian territory, do you think they suddenly vote out Hamas and their lives get much better?

Previously, Palestinians wanted right of return to Israel. Or, I should say negotiators wanted that.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie “And you feel sure the Palestinians will be satisfied with that?”

The Palestinians aren’t a monolithic entity. Some may not be happy with that outcome. I would like to believe think most would accept it, but I’m no authority on the opinions of everyday Palestinians. Most importantly, If Israel did pursue such a plan, it would once again be worthy of international respect and support. Remember that prosperous people are pretty tough to recruit for suicide bombings.

Also remember that it was a religious extremist Israeli Jewish man who assassinated Rabin. There’s plenty of discontent on both sides. Many Israelis want all of Gaza and the West Bank too. That was never what Israel was supposed to be.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorilla okay I will grant you that a blurry photo taken 20 years ago appears to show a kid tied to a car after a bunch of teens threw rocks and were aggressive to some troops. The kid doesn’t appear to be in any pain and if anything looks bored.

If you care to compare that to Hamas coming into a music festival celebrating the beginning of the reading of the Torah and murdering hundreds then I don’t know what to tell you.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan If using kids as human shields is ok, what about assassinating unarmed medics rendering medical aid with sniper rifles and not holding the perpetrators accountable?

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorilla. You’re right. That totally justifies the mass shooting of music festival goers. My mistake.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws The Israeli uber religious extreme right wing is horrible, I have no problems saying that. I want the Palestinians to be prosperous, free, and I completely agree that prosperous people are difficult to recruit for suicide bombings. I just don’t have a handle on how much the culture will change there in Palestine even if the Israeli Palestinian conflict disappears. The religious people (Hamas I view as a religious and terrorist organization) seem to be in charge of the Palestinian people even though I know it is not as strict or as oppressive as some countries in the Middle East. I just want to emphasize again I am not assuming or saying anything about ALL Palestinians. I am talking about Palestine and the entities in charge there and the specific circumstance there.

I thought about 20 years ago Israel did back out of some of the settlements as part of an agreement to work towards peace and then the Palestinians didn’t stick to their side of the agreement and started blowing things up again. Correct me if I am wrong. I can’t easily find the information googling now, because everything coming up is about the current conflict.

We can cherry pick horrible things that have been done by Israelis and by Palestinians to each other. From what I understand Israel has at least some of the time punished their people who have done heinous things to Palestinians, I have serious doubts anything happens to Palestinians, because Hamas in charge.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan I’ve never said the attack is justified! Terrorism is wrong and evil. Full Stop.

…But pointing to terrorists in no way absolves the state of Israel for its crimes, crimes which were certain to lead to acts of violence.

I can list plenty more crimes on the part of Israel. They deny 90% of building permits for Palestinians in the West Bank, Israeli settlers receive 20x more water than the Palestinians, There was a Classified U.S. diplomatic cable leak that said that Israel is attempting to keep the economy of the Gaza Strip… functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis. Israelis refer to it as “cutting the grass” when they engage in bombing the civilians of Gaza, killing scores of civilians in retaliation.

If any of this were being done to Jewish people, we would all be outraged (rightly so) and demand justice.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m watching Fareed Zakaria from today. The situation is impossible. The POV’s are so different from each side, there will never be agreement. Really very sad. The extremists on both sides make it impossible. Being extreme is like a snowball. Now, that this happened more people will shift to the right in the region at least temporarily, maybe for many years.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie The right wing in Israel wants this to happen, in the exact same way the right wing in the US would LOVE another 9/11. Hamas is also to blame of course. If they go too long without doing something, people stop supporting them.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@gorillapaws You’re deluded if you think the right wing wants another 911. They want nothing more than to prevent such a thing.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws I don’t have an argument with that, but also the right wing Palestinians love it.

On Fareed Mustafa Barghouti, Leader of the Palestinian Initiative, who is saying if the Israelis back out of what he calls the occupied territories, then all the violence will stop. Ok, I am all for trying it, but if and when the Palestinians still try to kill Israels and want more, then everyone who defends the Palestinians do they then change their tune and say, ok yeah, I guess I was wrong? I hope that would never happen and the violence does stop, but just asking if then there will be an aha moment if that should happen.

Mustafa says the Palestinians want to be free. I honestly don’t completely understand everything he is talking about, I hope you can watch it.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I’m referring to the politicians. They would win in a landslide. The military contract kickbacks would be flowing.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws I’ve learned long ago in leadership training that when someone uses an argument that says an “A” clause followed by a “but” and then a “B” clause, that they are using the “A” clause to buffer their real point which was “B” clause.

I would have been less disappointed if you had just said, “I’ve never said the attack is justified! Terrorism is wrong and evil. Full Stop.” and not followed it up with a whataboutism argument.

I tire of the veiled antisemitism among so-called progressives (I expect it from the alt-right). They may loudly state that they are not antisemetic and they may actually believe it. My daughter lives among a sea of young progressive students and she generally hides her Jewishness for fear of getting a stern lecture from one of her friends because she wants to wear a Star of David around her neck.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^How many Palestinians do you think support this attack by Hamas? I don’t know Hamas. Is Hamas, Palestine’s army?

Caravanfan's avatar

I just wish people could understand how sad I am right now.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan You’re the one making the whataboutism argument! I was calling you out on it.

There’s nothing antisemitic in opposing the Israeli government’s policies and actions. Many Jewish people share the same position I do. The video I linked from Michael Brooks masterfully articulates why Israel deserves criticism: “My Jewish values teach me to oppose apartheid.”

“I just wish people could understand how sad I am right now.”

I share your sadness. There’s a video I saw of the father of that poor kidnapped girl pleading for her life. It cuts like a knife. I have empathy for all of the people there. Truly.

Caravanfan's avatar

No, I wasn’t. I initially wasn’t even replying to you but Kroptkin. But you felt it necessary to jump in.

Caravanfan's avatar

And frankly, and I mean this as nice as I can, you have no idea how deep my sadness goes. You may see this as a progressive cause for Palestinian rights and I may even agree with you (you never gave me a chance but instead came out swinging) but I have lived with the reality of Israel under mortal existential threat my entire life.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan I would disagree that Israel faces mortal existential threat. It’s THE SUPERPOWER in the Middle East (they have nukes). The US would never let it be wiped out and plenty of progressives (including myself) would be lining up to defend it from an existential threat. There is 0 chance Hamas will somehow conquer Israel.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorilla
And why do you think that is? The answer is right there. And if you think I was talking about Hamas you’re not paying attention.

I am talking about military powers far greater than Hamas

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan For the same reason the Sioux at standing rock had no chance against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Caravanfan's avatar

Again, a red herring or a strawman argument. But in either case it is incorrect. Time for bed now but if I have the time or inclination tomorrow, and I if I think you might just read and think about it instead of arguing and posting about irrelevancies, I may lay out the facts of the past and extant existential threat.

And just as a my the way my initial post to Kroptkin wasn’t a whataboutism but blatant (and admittedly jerky) sarcasm.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan You edited the post after I responded.

“I am talking about military powers far greater than Hamas”

Egypt is the only military in the region capable of threatening Israel’s existence and Cairo would be a smoking crater if they tried it.

The biggest threat to Israel’s existence are right wing extremists like Netanyahu, who don’t want a 2-state solution and peace. They will only be happy when all of Gaza and the West Bank are annexed by Israel and the Arabs have been purged.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws “Mow the grass” is destroying stockpiles of arms and destroying tunnels that Palestinians are building up to attack Israel. Israel does it periodically to avoid larger conflicts. That’s the way I understood anyway. The Palestinians have their people, their civilians, where they keep these things and they put their people in harms way. Israel gives warnings a lot of the time so people have time to leave. Maybe the Palestinian authorities don’t help to protect their people and use it as propaganda? You don’t really think the Palestinians do nothing wrong do you?

As far as Israel being a powerhouse, you do understand that the Jewish people in Israel are barely 7,000,000 people on a tiny strip of land and the Muslims in the Middle East are over 350,000,000, most are Arab. Jews in the WORLD are maybe 17,000,000 now. We are basically under constant threat to be extinguished with moments in history where we get some safety in some corners of the world. I understand the people who identify as Palestinians are on a small strip of land too, but there are many Arab and Muslim countries. The Israelis don’t want to kill Palestinians, they just want to be able to exist and have a country.

I don’t understand how your view is so one sided. I don’t understand how you have such sympathy for minorities in the US, but no understanding of the Jewish and Israeli position. The psychology is very similar for Black people in the US, Native Americans, East Asians in the US, and Jewish people around the world.

The Arabs and Persians use the Palestinians as pawns to kill Israelis. I care about the Palestinians believe it or not. I understand why they feel they have a right to the land.

The Palestinians know the Israelis will fight back with exponential force. Life will be worse for Palestinians not better.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie 1. Israel IS a military powerhouse. It has multiple submarines, a large and very modern Air Force. It has nuclear weapons. It has the support of the US and its military. The only credible existential threat to Israel as a nation are nuclear weapons.

2. The State of Israel is not equivalent to “the Jewish People” as a group. One is a nation-state with elected leaders who make good/bad decisions and have citizens of many different faiths and ethnicities, the other is a religious/ethnic group of people around the world. One can support Jewish people, the Israeli people (as a group), oppose antisemitism and also oppose Netanyahu, his administration and his apartheid policies. In fact, there are Israelis who have the same position as I do.

3. The State of Israel has been run by right wing extremists ever since Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli zealot who wanted to prevent the two state peace process from moving forward.

4. The occupied territories under international law DO NOT belong to Israel. It is a WAR CRIME to build a settlement on occupied territories. It ain’t their fucking land. I know there are folks out there who wish that the borders were drawn differently, but they are what they are. It’s not that they “feel they have a right to it.” They DO have a right to it. Here’s the original Map See all that land in orange? That’s not Israel’s land. Arguably the 1967 borders are more appropriate, but either way, Gaza and the West Bank do not belong to Israel just as Crimea does not belong to Russia.

5. Israel has engaged in horrific practices, for decades. Don’t take my word for it though. Check out this site run by Israelis who support human rights and oppose the actions of the Netanyahu administration. The western media rarely reports this stuff.

6. This attack didn’t occur in a vacuum. Treating people the way the Israeli government has done to the Palestinian people will cause violent responses. Those responses are not justified, but they’re also not a surprise, and I don’t think the state of Israel is justified in claiming to be the victim. They are engaging in constant provocations. Ethnic cleansing is wrong.

7. I have sincere sympathy for the struggles Jewish people face, 100%. There are antisemites in the world, and I despise them (of course!). I would love for the Jewish people to thrive and grow around the world. My criticisms have nothing to do with Jewish people, any more than my criticisms of Putin have to do with slavic people or Russian Orthodox Christians.

8. Of course I think Palestinians do the wrong things. I’m not sure how many times I condemned Hamas in this thread, but I’m happy to do it again. Hamas is wrong. Terrorism is evil. Killing/kidnapping civilians is wrong.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws Of course Israel is not synonymous with the Jewish people, I am Jewish, I am not Israeli, I also am not part of the right wing in the US nor do I support the right wing in Israel. Of course not every Jewish person thinks the same who does live in Israel, just like not every Palestinian, not every Arab, etc.

You and I mainly differ on the Israeli response to terror, which I am trying to explain to you why their response is so extreme. You see rationale for Palestinians being extreme. You also have more confidence than me that the Palestinians will stop once the settlements stop. There are still more issues, Jerusalem, right of return, I think they will want more.

The way you talk about it is similar to other people who are very far to the left on the issue, it is creating dangerous situations for Jewish people in the US. It is causing hate and antisemitism. The view is very unbalanced in my opinion.

I can’t help but wonder if the Palestinian women, gay Palestinians, and Christians Palestinians, are better off in Israel, or in a Palestinian state with the territory you say they are only asking for and finally at peace with Israel. The Arab world doesn’t do great for those groups in most countries in the Middle East and I don’t see Palestine being much better.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie I’m certain that if Israel left the occupied territories, there would still be Palestinians who are antisemitic, and some would probably still commit acts of terror. You do realize that’s an impossible standard though, right? “We’re going to occupy and settle your land until we can be 100% certain that not a single person will ever retaliate in violence towards us, ever.”

“You see rationale for Palestinians being extreme.”
I see a causal link between oppressing a people and a violent response, yes. That’s not a justification for violence or terror. As I’ve said earlier, Hamas is wrong.

I think the other area we disagree is just how extreme and provocative the Israeli government has been. Just scroll through the first few pages of B’Tselem so you can see what’s happening.
A few recent examples:

Um Safa, Ramallah District: Israeli settlers, aided by soldiers, attack local residents and set fire to homes with occupants still inside

Israeli soldier fatally shoots Palestinian toddler Muhammad Tamimi in the head while child is in a car next to his home

A 15-year-old threw stones. Soldiers shot him dead.

When you make statements like “The Israelis don’t want to kill Palestinians, they just want to be able to exist and have a country.” I think you’re ignorant of the kinds of systematic crimes being perpetuated against Arabs. There’s a lot of hate against Arabs (and I do understand where that comes from).

I’m not causing hate or antisemitism for being critical of Israel’s policies.

Kropotkin's avatar

Oh gosh. Poor besieged Israel surrounded by bloodthirsty Arabs. How could I have forgotten this?

You’re right, @Caravanfan I see how wrong I was with my analysis now. Zionist violence is obviously justified and morally correct. Defend Israel unconditionally and without criticism.

(That’s actual sarcasm)

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws “ 7. I have sincere sympathy for the struggles Jewish people face, 100%. There are antisemites in the world, and I despise them (of course!). I would love for the Jewish people to thrive and grow around the world. My criticisms have nothing to do with Jewish people, any more than my criticisms of Putin have to do with slavic people or Russian Orthodox Christians”

You really believe this, don’t you?

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gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan Absolutely. I see Netanyahu and his administration as a political entity deserving of criticism and entirely distinct from the Jewish population in Israel and around the world—which I support completely.

jca2's avatar

As of today, Monday morning, the US is moving aircraft carriers closer to Israel.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws Thanks. I appreciate you. You are not the antisemetic on this thread.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Are we ignoring history in this conversation completely? Muhammed travelled to Medina in 622 AD o attract followers. When Jews refused to convert, they were expelled and 900 men killed, women and children were divided up.
I’m confused how anyone see’s the Jews as aggressors when they’ve been in defensive positions just to SURVIVE throughout history.

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Caravanfan's avatar

And this, although I disagree with his term the “Palestinian Leadership.” This was Hamas, not tha Palestinian leadership.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1711181521460363514.html

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