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Thread: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

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    Senior Member dayag's Avatar
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    Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    Interesting article on ynet from a non-Jewish Portuguese kid on why he changed his mind about Israel and is now an ardent Zionist. Please check it out.

    Im a 22-year-old Portuguese gay activist and PhD student. Im not Jewish, Israeli or even religious, but I am a Zionist and strong supporter of Israel, and I want to explain why...
    source:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...213529,00.html

    Obrigado, Romeu Monteiro!
    "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy." (Ps. 137: 5-7)"

    "Any generation in which the Temple is not built, it is as if it had been destroyed in their times" (Yerushalmi, Yoma 1a).

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    Quote Originally Posted by dayag View Post
    I realized Israel is a democratic, tolerant, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, rapidly developing nation. A place I could live in free and more accepted than in my home country, and the only place I could safely set foot at in the Middle East.
    Well, I hate to be the party pooper, but this is just one-sided and unrealistic view of Israeli as the Israel-haters' one. (albeit much nicer to read).
    The truth is (as always) somewhere in the middle. Israel is democratic (with some limitations) tolerant (with some racism expressed here and there) multi-ethnic (with some minorities experiencing prejudice) multi-religious (with some favorism towards Judaism) rapidly developing (but leaving behind the lower and middle classes)

    In the end, I believe Israel is indeed the most democratic and tolerant middle eastern society. and in some aspects, it ranks high among all the world's nations, but there is still room for improvement in some areas (ask any Ethiopian Jew for instance...)

    oh, and many times (too many to my liking), Israel, both officially and unofficially, discriminates and abuses human rights of Arabs and Palestinians.

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    Quote Originally Posted by sharonbn
    oh, and many times (too many to my liking), Israel, both officially and unofficially, discriminates and abuses human rights of Arabs and Palestinians
    .... in other words, Israel is not perfect. Like amongst all other people, some people react to the hatred and atrocities of their enemies, in the case of Israel the Palestinians. The mistake they make is the same one that many Palestinians make. They place all Palestinians under the same low common denominator and dehumanize them. Which is what many Palestinians do to Jews/Israelis ...

    That's what happens in wars sharonbn. Israelis are human too and they react to the situation. Overall though, their standard of behaviour is much better than the behaviour of many other people who find themselves in a 100 year war with a surrounding people who openly advocate their destruction.
    Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.
    Author: John Galsworthy 1867-1933, British Novelist, Playwright

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    yes, Reffo, I completely agree with what you've written.
    regardless of the political situation, racism, xenophobia and prejudice seem to be human traits, part of our social genetic code, sadly.
    Israelis are no worse, (probably somewhat better) than the average Arab, Turk and Iranian.
    when a violent conflict gets mixed in, it becomes a lot worse.

    However, given that, it becomes clear how ending the conflict is really important and urgent - I believe it is THE most important goal we and the Arabs should strive to achieve. However, it seems this is not the case with the majority of people both sides. i do believe that most of the blame for prolonging the conflict lies in the hands of the Arabs, but not all.

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    Quote Originally Posted by sharonbn
    Israelis are no worse, (probably somewhat better) than the average Arab, Turk and Iranian
    I would have said no worse than the average human being.

    Quote Originally Posted by sharonbn
    However, given that, it becomes clear how ending the conflict is really important and urgent - I believe it is THE most important goal we and the Arabs should strive to achieve
    I agree. And in particular, I agree with you when you say "we AND the Arabs ...". Unfortunately though too many people pretend that the ball is only in Israel's hand and Israel alone can end the conflict. That is entirely untrue. The only way this conflict will end is when the Arabs too will want to end it.
    Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.
    Author: John Galsworthy 1867-1933, British Novelist, Playwright

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    ok, I'm glad we agree on this. (I'm 100% with you)
    lets try to take this one step further: can we agree on the terms of the solution?

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    sharonbn

    You and I probably could, at least eventually. But I don't see the point. Not as long as Hamas's position is to openly advocate the elimination of Israel (the state of the Jewish people) and the PA's position is not all that different from Hamas although they are somewhat less open about it. Why do I say that? Firstly, because they insist on the "right of return". And to show that they mean it, they insist that they will never recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

    They make other un-acceptable demands too. But the above stance is the clearest indication that peace with Israel is not an option for them.
    Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.
    Author: John Galsworthy 1867-1933, British Novelist, Playwright

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    Senior Member Aliyah1995's Avatar
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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    Reffo, you have hit the nail on the head. Even the concessions that the most far left Zionists are willing to make are non-starters for the Palestinian Authority (forget Hamas!!!!). Even most Meretz supporters, as far as I know (my cousin who was present at the Geneva summit for sure) want Israel to remain a Jewish state (both demographically and culturally), yet our "moderates" in the PA insist on flooding Israel with "refugees" born outside of Israel and refuse to recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

    Sorry to sound pessimistic, but that is the dead lock we are in now and it doesn't seem like it is going to be unlocked anytime too soon.

    Regarding the original topic of this thread, while I can agree that the truth might be somewhere in the middle (even if IMO closer to Romeu Monteiro), the Israel is all black version seems to be granted a much larger proportion of air time in the most influential media overseas (BBC, New York Times, CNN, etc.) Even in America, unless you are watching FOX News, you get the impression that Israel is some evil monster, with nothing better to do than oppressing people. Forget about Europe!!!!
    "Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." - RaMBaM (Maimonides), Guide For The Perplexed

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    Quote Originally Posted by Reffo View Post
    You and I probably could, at least eventually. But I don't see the point.
    there are actually two points:

    first one, I doubt if a formula exists on which all Zionists could agree upon (for example, it would be a challenge for Aliyah and myself)

    Second, assuming a rough outline could be formulated on which majority of Zionists could sign, it can be presented to the world in the hope that int'l pressure can force the Pals to "see the light".

    otherwise, I really don't see the point of staying here, we obviously cannot win this war in the long run...

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    Senior Member Aliyah1995's Avatar
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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    Sharonb, you might be surprised at how much I have mellowed out in my old age Seriously though, I am not as "kitzoni" as I used to be (albeit I am still "right of center"). This is not to say I want to leave where I am living. I hope I don't have to, but I have come to recognize that the Greater Israel is not going to be, much as I would like it. This is not to say I don't have my same fears about the "two-state solution" or (even worse) the "bi-national" state solution. But I have come to accept that we are headed towards some kind of "agreement" like it or not and my family and I might have to give up our home one day (although I hope the chances of Gush-Etzion remaining part of Israel remain VERY high). I am not clapping, but that is what I have come to accept be-grudgingly. To be sure, there are those in my community who would probably consider me a "traitor" if they knew I made this post, but so be it....
    "Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." - RaMBaM (Maimonides), Guide For The Perplexed

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    its good to know, aliyah. I also happen to believe that Gush Etzion has high chances of remaining within Israel, given it was settled before 1948 and was actually conquered by the Arabs (the Jordanian Legion is the only Arab military force which had victories and conquests in the 1948 war)
    AFAIR, even the Geneva accord put the area in Israeli control.

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    sharonbn

    There are always benefits in forming a national consensus. And I do think that there should be ongoing discussions between the main Israeli political parties to create that consensus. However, I disagree with you about your suggestion that Israel should reveal, in detail, the outcome of those discussions (if that's what you advocate). Why? Because instead of placing pressure on the Palis, as you suggest, it would end up placing pressure on Israel by the international community to make even more concessions. Why? How? Because whatever offer Israel would come up with, it would automatically become the base position for further negotiations. All the Palis would have to do is do what they always did in the past: Dig their heels in and not accept yet pretend that they are "nearly ready" to accept, if only Israel would just make more concessions ...

    Those are the tactics that the Palis used in the past and look what happened. Things that were red lines were crossed and now represent the base line for further concessions. No credit was given to Israel for making those concessions. To the contrary, Israel is the party which is being blamed for the lack of progress even though the Palis are the ones who hardly made any concessions from their 100 year intransigent demands!!!
    Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.
    Author: John Galsworthy 1867-1933, British Novelist, Playwright

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    Oh and I don't know where this sentiment of yours is coming from:

    Quote Originally Posted by sharonbn
    otherwise, I really don't see the point of staying here, we obviously cannot win this war in the long run...
    I don't mean to be disrespectful to you but I call it nonsense. I totally disagree with you. I firmly believe that there is no way that Israel can lose this war. Nor will Israel lose, Israel will be the eventual winner. I do however agree that it may not be in our lifetime.


    PS
    When I say that Israel will be the winner, I am not saying that the Palis will be the losers because that stupid war is not a zero sum game as far as Israel is concerned. The Palis too will be better off when peace will break out, they just don't want to accept it yet. But when they will, that's when both parties will be the winners.
    Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.
    Author: John Galsworthy 1867-1933, British Novelist, Playwright

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    Reffo,

    What you say (in your first post) can be true. However, there is another option: what Israel considers "red" line is simply unacceptable.
    This did happen in the past: for example, until 1992, Israel did not accept Fatah as legitimate representative of Palestinian people (it was forbidden by law for Israelis to talk to Fatah members). Israelis who broke the law and talked to Fatah members at that time were considered radical fringe leftists.
    that is, until the 1992 elections and the Oslo meetings.
    Nowadays, Fatah looks like the more moderate Pali faction...

    Until 2000, Israel refused to discuss the division of Jer'm (some Israelis refuse to acknowledge this option till present times). Israelis who advocated this notion were considered radical fringe leftists. that is, until the 2000 Camp David summit, were Israeli PM Barak agreed to discuss this idea. Since then, the formula "Palestine is where Arabs live" first laid out by Clinton has become an acceptable idea in mainstream Israeli public opinion

    so, perhaps in 10 years time more leftist ideas will be adopted by mainstream Israeli public opinion ...
    then again, perhaps not ...
    I know who was given the gift of prophecy

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    Re: Why I No Longer Hate Israel

    Quote Originally Posted by Reffo View Post
    Oh and I don't know where this sentiment of yours is coming from:

    I don't mean to be disrespectful to you but I call it nonsense. I totally disagree with you. I firmly believe that there is no way that Israel can lose this war. Nor will Israel lose, Israel will be the eventual winner. I do however agree that it may not be in our lifetime.


    PS
    When I say that Israel will be the winner, I am not saying that the Palis will be the losers because that stupid war is not a zero sum game as far as Israel is concerned. The Palis too will be better off when peace will break out, they just don't want to accept it yet. But when they will, that's when both parties will be the winners.
    The option I was talking about (the "war" option) is if peace is never achieved, following your assertion that the Palis will never accept any Israeli offer. that makes your prediction irrelevant in this case. I ask what happen if peace is NEVER achieved?
    in this case, I believe time plays against Israel. it seems to me the Palis seem to be able to live in their condition forever. Their birthrate seem to be higher then the general Jewish population in Israel, so gradually we will come to a point where Jews are a minority inside the borders of Israel.

    the only options I believe are open for Israel in the long run are either to expel (or kill) the entire (or vast majority) of Palestinians, or relinquish the territories on which the Palis live.
    since I don't believe the ethnic cleansing option is feasible (not to mention moral) we are left with the other option.
    the other option is to give Palestinians Israeli citizenship. that, I hope we all agree, will spell the end of Israel as the Jewish national home.

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