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Gaza-Israel: for the record

Yerda

Veteran Member
We pray for the healthy return for all Israeli children, families and others taken hostage in the Gaza Strip as we pray for the cessation of collective punishment upon innocent Palestinian families.

We call upon our politicians to support an immediate end to the full blockade on Gaza and a humanitarian corridor for relief for families inside Gaza. Among the things we were reminded of by many people of all faiths and backgrounds on this journey is the interconnected and interwoven reality of all our collective experiences, suffering and dreams for justice.


These days, I don't know what to say or if I should say anything...but this is what I want.
 

LuisDantas

Aura of atheification
Premium Member
Avoiding partisanship is often healthy and admirable.

Then again, so is having clear goals and plans.

The article in the OP is a serious and well meaning effort.

But I fear that ultimately there is no avoiding the need for political decisions and therefore political awareness and support.

That is quite the scary thought. Globally we have very much failed to deal with 9/11, and if anything we are even less equipped to deal with the true issues now.

There is a very real need to refuse power and even hear to demagogues, populists and warmongers. Unfortunately, that also means that we can't keep just hopíng for the best and avoiding pointing certain fingers and dealing with certain very ugly truths.
 

Revoltingest

Pragmatic Libertarian
Premium Member
What about

Pressure Hamas ...
- Immediate stop of terrorist attacks
- End oppression of Palestinians (i.e. allow elections)

... at the same time?
Good question.
Good answers....
- USA has no leverage over Hamas, eg, no financial support,
no military support, no ability to threaten worse treatment
than already receiving from Israel.
- Political impossibility for any USA politician to offer any
positive inducement to Hamas.
 

Heyo

Veteran Member
Good question.
Good answers....
- USA has no leverage over Hamas, eg, no financial support,
no military support, no ability to threaten worse treatment
than already receiving from Israel.
- Political impossibility for any USA politician to offer any
positive inducement to Hamas.
What about offering humanitarian aid?
(Not that that would impress Hamas, it's about not taking sides - or at least not appearing to.)
 

Brickjectivity

wind and rain touch not this brain
Staff member
Premium Member
President Biden has called for a pause in the fighting. He says it will help get hostages out and help get aid in.

If we pressure Israel to cease fighting and open borders, what are their options? Also won't this open our ally up to attacks?
 

Revoltingest

Pragmatic Libertarian
Premium Member
What about offering humanitarian aid?
Any USA politician offering aid that could possibly
be seen as benefitting Hamas would be driven from
office by the Israeli lobby here. Even being pro
Palestinian is dangerous to people here.

Moreover, I find it highly unlikely that Hamas would
be motivated by offers of USA aid to either them or
Palestinians. Because the fundamental problem of
Israel's oppression of Palestinians would remain.

All roads to peace lead back to Israel, the singularly
powerful party to the conflict, over whom USA
could exercise influence.
 

LuisDantas

Aura of atheification
Premium Member
I can't help but feel that there is are many invitations for wishful thinking breeding around these subject matters.

How much influence can really be applied, by whom, and towards whom in this whole quagmire?

What can Israel actually do, and how do their options distribute once we take into account how divided and conflicted its politics and its people are?

Similarly, what are the real options available to other parties - including Hamas and the population of Gaza, which I am constantly reminded not to consider too aligned with each other?

I have my own perceptions, of course, but it is scary how mismatched the samples I have been reading are to each other and to my own.

One of the main challenges, I think, is that for true solutions to be found we have to transcend otherwise convenient oversimplifications and operational fictions.

It is very true that Netanyahu isn't Israel and that its actions and goals do not necessarily reflect the collective wishes of either Israelis or the Jewish People. But in order to work with that we end up having to either question the legitimacy of his mandate as Prime Minister and attempt to explain why he is in charge or, instead, pursue ways ahead that somehow work around or against the actions of Israel's Prime Minister. Either way, it is a choice between working with him or against him, and neither option is very confortable, albeit for very different reasons. Pointing out what he is not does not make him either irrelevant nor fitting to pursue a proper resolution to this conflict.

Similar considerations can be made about pretty much all other parties directly or indirectly involved that do not speak primarily Arabic or Farsi - and more than likely, some version of them also apply to many of the parties that do as well.

We really need to achieve not only better understanding of the Arab perspectives involved, but also better general awareness of what they are and what their consequences are. It would really help if we - the very people who have afflicted ourselves with very dysfunctional politics of our own, regrettably - could somehow also at least encourage constructive solutions to the anxieties and dilemmas of those parties.

Dealing with uncertainty is difficult as well as demanding, and I don't expect too many people to keep dwelling on uncertainty out of a deep sense of fairness, nor do I truly advise for that. But we certainly should brace ourselves for difficult situations and hard prices to be paid. If for no other reason because the alternatives are either unavailable or have proven insufficient already.

And again, @Jayhawker Soule , I dearly hope I can be proven wrong. Utterly wrong if at all possible. But I am not holding any breath, and I can't very well blame people for trying to deal with the reality of facts. Attempting to avoid open conflict and hoping for the best has repeatedly failed Israel and others. I have no reason to expect that it can be different this time.
 

LuisDantas

Aura of atheification
Premium Member
Moreover, I find it highly unlikely that Hamas would
be motivated by offers of USA aid to either them or
Palestinians. Because the fundamental problem of
Israel's oppression of Palestinians would remain.

IMO, more to the point, the perception of said oppression would remain. Hamas can't very well be satisfied with reasonable actions, as we saw so often in the last 15 years or so.

And indeed, if anyone believes that anything that the USA (or the EU, UNO, etc) could ever do would somehow make Hamas easier to deal with - I guess I want to spare a minute to hear that, but I am not having high expectations.
 

Revoltingest

Pragmatic Libertarian
Premium Member
IMO, more to the point, the perception of said oppression would remain.
I don't understand your point there.
The perception exists because Hamas perceives
the reality of Israel brutalizing Palestinians.

Hamas can't very well be satisfied with reasonable actions, as we saw so often in the last 15 years or so.
There would be disagreement about what is or isn't "reasonable".
But the view you expressed reflects the entrenched Israeli view
that Hamas & Palestinians cannot be reasoned with, so violent
oppression must continue....& occasionally some war crimes.
And indeed, if anyone believes that anything that the USA (or the EU, UNO, etc) could ever do would somehow make Hamas easier to deal with - I guess I want to spare a minute to hear that, but I am not having high expectations.
Hamas exists because of Israel's oppression of Palestinians.
So dealing with Hamas isn't the path to peace. Israel should be.
 

LuisDantas

Aura of atheification
Premium Member
I don't understand your point there.
The perception exists because Hamas perceives
the reality of Israel brutalizing Palestinians.

My! You have quite a lot of faith in Hamas's discernment and good faith, don't you?

Not due to anything that it actually did, does or ever said, I have to assume.

Or am I misreading you somehow?


There would be disagreement about what is or isn't "reasonable".
But the view you expressed reflects the entrenched Israeli view
that Hamas & Palestinians cannot be reasoned with,

Israel is far from monolithic. But yes, as it happens I have long concluded that Hamas is very unreasonable.

I wonder why. No, wait, I know why.


so violent
oppression must continue....& occasionally some war crimes.

Spare me from that gratuitous judgement, thank you very much. There is no constructive goal to be had from that.

If you disagree, you should probably attempt to demonstrate and support your claims of violent oppression.

I am well aware that many people think that is somehow easy and even self-evident. Hopefully you will surprise me.


Hamas exists because of Israel's oppression of Palestinians.
So dealing with Hamas isn't the path to peace. Israel should be.

Bold claim. Bold, reductionistic, and I will generously call it unsupported as well, because I am in a good mood.

But if you want to be listened to, you will have to put the effort into it.
 

Jayhawker Soule

-- untitled --
Premium Member
From Aljazeera: Celebrations in Gaza as ceasefire takes hold

Don't worry about reading it. The article is from 20 May 2021, roughly 900 days ago, over which time Hamas was developing and securing its terrorist infrastructure in preparation for what we see now, and during which time untold numbers of civilians lived to see October 7th solely thanks to the effectiveness of Iron Dome.

When we talk about a humanitarian pause or a cessation or a ceasefire, this too is context.
 

Revoltingest

Pragmatic Libertarian
Premium Member
My! You have quite a lot of faith in Hamas's discernment and good faith, don't you?
No faith required.
If I have a keen sense of the obvious, ie, Israel's
long time brutal oppression of Palestinians, then
Hamas will certainly see the same thing.
Not due to anything that it actually did, does or ever said, I have to assume.
Is this a claim that Israel has not
violently oppressed Palestinians?
Or am I misreading you somehow?
I've been finding your posts less than clear.
But this one has fully illuminated your position.
Israel is far from monolithic.
It is nonetheless a country.
When a country does wrong, eg, Israel, USA, Russia,
then that country should be criticized for doing wrong.
But yes, as it happens I have long concluded that Hamas is very unreasonable.
No doubt. But even unreasonable people have
their basis for being that way. The basis here
is Israel's human rights violations & war crimes
against Palestinians. That basis should be
addressed. Simply exterminating Hamas will
only give rise to Hamas 2.0.
Israel has now killed 9,400+ in retaliation &
pursuit of Hamas. They've made hundreds of
thousands homeless. Is it such a stretch to see
that this heinous behavior will spark violent
retaliation?
I wonder why. No, wait, I know why.
You may state why you believe so.
Spare me from that gratuitous judgement...
I know English isn't your first language.
"Gratuitous" doesn't apply as you used it.
There is no constructive goal to be had from that.
Does this mean that you believe justice
for the Palestinians is no solution to the
persistent hostilities?
If you disagree, you should probably attempt to demonstrate and support your claims of violent oppression.
If you read news, & see no violent oppression,
then I'll not be able to persuade you there is.
I am well aware that many people think that is somehow easy and even self-evident. Hopefully you will surprise me.
You & I have very different values
about civil & human rights. I've
no surprises for you there.
Bold claim. Bold, reductionistic, and I will generously call it unsupported as well, because I am in a good mood.
I've offered much support in other threads.
But I suspect you'll have no truck with news
items critical of Israel, and didn't read them.
But if you want to be listened to, you will have to put the effort into it.
Back at ya, bub.
Offer more than Israeli propaganda.
 
Last edited:

Evangelicalhumanist

"Truth" isn't a thing...
Premium Member
Just to be clear, the USA Today Op-Ed


is, in my opinion, an admirable reflection of my position on the current conflict.
I am deeply troubled by what is happening to innocent people in Gaza, as well. However, as I read the article, I came across these words:

"Palestinian people are not the enemy; Jewish people are not the enemy. The true enemy is any ideology that degrades and diminishes the sacred light resident in all humanity.

"We recognize the fear, anger and helplessness so many feel at this precarious and violent time, but our traditions teach us to turn to prayer, loving support of one another, and working for justice and peace as outlets for these feelings and not violence."

While I agree that ordinary people, of whatever faith or none, are not the enemy, I cannot but acknowledge that far too often, those ordinary people are de facto captives of the ideologies that degrade and diminish the light in humanity." (Sorry, I can't use the word "sacred."

And I also recognize something that has always troubled me about religions -- the turning "to prayer, loving support of one another, and wokring for justice as peace" are generally ineffective while the said ideologies are in full play. Ordinary folk, I think we can see from history, do not stop wars. They can pray and love all they want, but their leadership drives them with fear and doubt to do what they might otherwise not, to accept what they would usually abhor. A perfect example of this is the cultural war being brought to the U.S. by Trump and his MAGA supporters, who have been whipped up through the usual lies and propaganda to fear themselves being "replaced," or threatened by who people sleep with or how they dress -- when not so very long ago those same supporters were moving towards more comfortable acceptance.

It takes good people i positions of power or influence to take the risk of standing up and speaking truth to the powers that are causing all the harm -- on both sides. To appeal to their "better angels," speak to them in their own terms and remind them of what their own religions and cultural philosophies tell them -- that what they are doing is wrong at every level. Such "good people," unfortunately, are sometimes difficult to find.
 

Revoltingest

Pragmatic Libertarian
Premium Member
My! You have quite a lot of faith in Hamas's discernment and good faith, don't you?
No faith required.
If I have a keen sense of the obvious, ie, Israel's
long time brutal oppression of Palestinians, then
Hamas will certainly see the same thing.
Not due to anything that it actually did, does or ever said, I have to assume.

Or am I misreading you somehow?




Israel is far from monolithic. But yes, as it happens I have long concluded that Hamas is very unreasonable.

I wonder why. No, wait, I know why.




Spare me from that gratuitous judgement, thank you very much. There is no constructive goal to be had from that.

If you disagree, you should probably attempt to demonstrate and support your claims of violent oppression.

I am well aware that many people think that is somehow easy and even self-evident. Hopefully you will surprise me.




Bold claim. Bold, reductionistic, and I will generously call it unsupported as well, because I am in a good mood.

But if you want to be listened to, you will have to put the effort into it.

From Aljazeera: Celebrations in Gaza as ceasefire takes hold

Don't worry about reading it. The article is from 20 May 2021, roughly 900 days ago, over which time Hamas was developing and securing its terrorist infrastructure in preparation for what we see now, and during which time untold numbers of civilians lived to see October 7th solely thanks to the effectiveness of Iron Dome.

When we talk about a humanitarian pause or a cessation or a ceasefire, this too is context.
We keep seeing USA, Israel, & its apologists repeating
endlessly the "terrorist" label regarding Hamas.
But consider that Israel too has an infrastructure for terrorism,
ie, "state terrorism". And it is a far larger & more extensive
structure with full backing of USA, & the west in general.
To argue for & against foes in a dispute by using labels
is an artful manipulative thing.
Denial of state terrorism is tacit approval of it, eg, group
punishment, torture, home demolition, mass eviction.
 

Jayhawker Soule

-- untitled --
Premium Member
@Evangelicalhumanist - a couple of observations:
  • While I understand your concerns about religion, I would add that those inspired by religion are not infrequently in the vanguard of movements for social change.
  • Yes, "such 'good people,' unfortunately, are sometimes difficult to find," but in some locations being easy to find is an existential threat. The demonstrations by women in Iran show remarkable bravery; a demonstration against Hamas in Gaza would be a death wish.
 

Heyo

Veteran Member
Any USA politician offering aid that could possibly
be seen as benefitting Hamas would be driven from
office by the Israeli lobby here. Even being pro
Palestinian is dangerous to people here.

Moreover, I find it highly unlikely that Hamas would
be motivated by offers of USA aid to either them or
Palestinians. Because the fundamental problem of
Israel's oppression of Palestinians would remain.

All roads to peace lead back to Israel, the singularly
powerful party to the conflict, over whom USA
could exercise influence.
You are right. The US doesn't have influence over Hamas. The US has been a partisan in the conflict, one of the "no good guys" in the conflict. (As has Germany, though to a lesser degree.) It is again a proxy war with many foreign nations having interests and aiding both sides, militarily, not humanitarian. It is Iran's and other Palestinian supporters duty to reign in Hamas while Israel supporters must moderate Israel's behaviour.
 

Revoltingest

Pragmatic Libertarian
Premium Member
You are right. The US doesn't have influence over Hamas. The US has been a partisan in the conflict, one of the "no good guys" in the conflict. (As has Germany, though to a lesser degree.) It is again a proxy war with many foreign nations having interests and aiding both sides, militarily, not humanitarian.
How is it a "proxy war"?
To me that would mean USA is using Israel
against the Palestinians or Hamas. Instead,
USA is merely supporting Israel...serivilely.
It is Iran's and other Palestinian supporters duty to reign in Hamas while Israel supporters must moderate Israel's behaviour.
Iran has no motive to reign them in, given
that Israel & USA have repeatedly attacked
& threatened to attack Iran. USA & Israel
have arguably made it in Iran's best interest
to to expand its power in the region.

The fundamental factor driving violence towards
Israel is oppression of Palestinians, yet Israel
refuses to back off on this.

I'd expect Germany to also blindly support
Israel, not just because it's largely Christian,
but also out of Nazi era guilty feelings.
 

LuisDantas

Aura of atheification
Premium Member
Personally, I find it more than a bit naive both to attempt to attribute decisive agency to the US in this conflict and to disregard the role of so-called religion to it.
 
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