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nayeight's avatar

Why were so many people upset about what Helen Thomas said about Israel? Does that land not really belong to them? I always thought it didn't...

Asked by nayeight (3347points) June 7th, 2010 from iPhone

Just wondering what everyone’s opinion on the matter is…

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20 Answers

zenele's avatar

Where are you from? Does the United States still belong to the Native Americans? Does Canada belong to the UK? Do we ignore every U.N. vote based on some other “people” complaining about it?

arpinum's avatar

“Show me settled property rights and I’ll show you someone with a bloody lip” – Richard Wagner

The point to consider is whether or not the property title is a settled matter. The Palestinians would and are slaughtered by attempts to make property claims. That settles it for me, but I can sympathize with their position.

Human history has much more bashing over the head as a way to get property rather than fair trading.

anartist's avatar

It was the reference to Gernany and Poland that got people. The implied “back to the camps and the ovens” that went with it.

Yes the Israeli/Palestinian situation is a mess. And yes the Jews of today who returned are not the Jews who lived there alongside their non-Jewish neighbors in relative peace.

And yes, in the process of asserting territorial ownership of the land granted them by the Brits forcefully, displacing rightful contemporary landowners, and depriving them of rights, they can rightfully be criticized and their policies questioned.

But Helen Thomas went over the top with the implications embedded in her remarks. She could have said the same thing without raising the ghost of Auschwitz and not gotten this response.

zenele's avatar

@anartist Uh, no. I completely ignored her bringing up the camps and ovens where my and millions of families lost our loved ones. I won’t give the anti-semites the pleasure of a figure, but lets say 10% of my family survived. (I can hear the drooling).

It was specifically that one can debate and argue and dislike certain policies of the Israeli government (as much as some despise the US governments actions in very distant lands – or perhaps the Iranian, Saudian or Syrian governments? Those who actually sided with, and lauded Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War – and later cheered Bin Laden?) – but that doesn’t mean one has to continually bring up the legitimacy of the nation. Why is the UN vote on Israel in 1947 any less legitimate than any other country’s existence? Israel was immediately attacked, on all sides, by all Arab countries after that vote – and won. Attacked again in 67 and again 73. And won. The result is hanging on to strategic territory – most of it mountanous. Right? Probably not? Smart? Probably not. But the arabs (look at free Gaza) have shown what they do as soon as they are given land back – rocket attacks from behind civillians.

It’s very complicated – I know – I live it. I would give all the land back in a minute for a real peace. I would have Jerusalem as the international capital of the world’s faiths – who would care if there was peace anyway – like Europe – I would open borders.

But until that day – Israel, mistakes and all, is still a nation. Granted after WW2 to the remaining Jews of the world. It’s smaller than New Jersey, surrounded by not one single democracy and all weapons, chemical biological and now maybe nuclear – aimed at it.

Where should the 6 million Israelis go? And why?

They’ve made the desert bloom, become the world’s most stable economy even in this recession, and have given the world more per capita PhD’s, Medical and Technological advancements than any other nation.

It began with a hope and a dream, was given legitimacy in 1947 – and has made mistakes since – but is still only 62 years young.

How quick we are to judge a country and ride the peticoats of a senile old reporter who since, and you can check her website, has profoundly apologized.

All you anti-semites can now crawl back into yur holes and wait for the next incident to rear your ugly heads.

The rest of you are welcome to visit Israel – it’s the nicest time of the year. Elton will be performing June 30, followed by Rod Stewart July 1. (Elvis Costello – kiss my butt.)

anartist's avatar

Personally I wouldn’t mind if Jerusalem were blown to hell. [Not the people!!!! Just the religious icon of a city.] Then all anyone is fighting over is a hunk of former Palestine/Lebanon that has no oil. Probably not worth it to anyone.

And I do hope you are not considering me an anti-semite.

And nobody said the Israelis should go anywhere. They made a bad job of introducing themselves to their neighbors. And that won’t be smoothed over any time soon. But yes, they have done a helluva lot to develop a little scrap of arrid land into a strong nation.

Sometimes it just seems that they may have learned a little too much from the Germans.

Nullo's avatar

Because Helen Thomas was basically saying that Israel and her population should up and off themselves.
She’s lucky that someone didn’t belt her in the face with plumbing hardware.

anartist's avatar

No one and no nation is perfect. South Africa for one. Yet look how effectively majority black rule replaced white minority rule and how power and property were transferred relatively judiciously and relatively peacefully in the end. Perhaps Israel ought to have observed that transition more carefully.

zenele's avatar

@anartist Do not confuse apartheid with the situation in Israel. Israel, a democracy yet declared a Jewish State – gives the same rights to all its citizens – in fact – one of the people aboard the Marmara flotilla was an Arab MK (member of parliament).

Gaza is not occupied.

The West Bank is under Palestinian control – almost completely. It’s gotten much better there, actually, and if not for Hamas in power in Gaza – I’d say Israel and the Palestinians are the closest they’ve ever been to peace. Now just to get Hamas out of power – and connect the two territories – which was done in the past, mind you, with a road connecting the two – up until the intifada.

I think the Hamas’ biggest fear is peace. They wouldn’t have a raison d’etre.

Like Bin Laden.

Nullo's avatar

@anartist Inicidentally, South Africa became a worse place to live overall. Just sayin’. I’m also saying that their government-run healthcare is horrbile, to the point where you’ll be lucky to see someone who even finished med school, so heavy are the financial penalties..

anartist's avatar

what does ~ mean as a comment?

zenele's avatar

It means I wrote a whole lot of stuff in response, got tired of seeing my own crap in print, and sent you a PM.

The tilde represents any sarcasm I would’ve written.

mattbrowne's avatar

Land should belong to the people who have lived there for a couple of decades. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Displacing people is wrong. We can’t undo the past, but we can shape the future.

nayeight's avatar

Thanks guys, I honestly don’t know that much about the history of the whole situation and just want to get other opinions on the matter.

roundsquare's avatar

@mattbrowne I generally tend to agree with you. Learn from the past, look to the future. The only caveat I’d add is that past wrongs still affect the present and that needs to be dealt with (and this is usually where I end up at a crossroads in thought and decide the best solution is beer…).

mattbrowne's avatar

@roundsquare – Yes, needs to be dealt with. I can understand the sorrow of 80-year-old Germans (many of which did actually not vote for Hitler) who lost their home and land in what is now Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania. What I don’t understand are a few of their grandkids screaming injustice and wanting to redraw European borders. These spoiled grandkids enjoyed the blessings of the Marshal Plan and all the federal support for refugees after WWII. They drive Mercedes and BMWs and built plenty of new houses in Germany living a very comfortable life.

roundsquare's avatar

@mattbrowne I don’t know enough of the specifics on this, so I’ll defer to your judgement (and any good sources you have). But how would you feel if, instead of spoiled kids making these claims, you had grand children of somewhat well off land owners who were displaced and now poor and would like to re-claim the land?

mattbrowne's avatar

@roundsquare – I believe that two wrongs don’t make a right. Displacing people should be a thing of the past.

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