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Edit: I'm done with this thread.
I feel like I'm the only who actually tries to look at more than one side of this conflict. I understand there are other people trying to look bigger parts of this, but you guys don't TALK like you are. It makes me really frustrated.
I have to sound like a zionist, because people only seem to want to heap blame on Israel, but I'm far from it and heavily disagree with the very concept.
I'm really, really opposed to the atrocities committed by Israel, but that's all you guys want to talk about. As if nothing else is going wrong over there.
Because you're connecting dots that aren't connected.
The insistence on a Jewish state is one of protection, because in every other country in the Middle-East, Jews have been stripped of their property, deported or murdered, to the point that essentially there are no Jews living in any country in the region except Israel.
Israel took Jewish refugees from every country in the region.
Why not have all those countries take a proportionate number of Palestinian refugees?
And before you jump on me for supporting this (cause I don't really), this is just pointing out what the stumbling block to negotiation is. Israel FEELS like it is constantly under siege, even if it necessarily isn't any more. The only way to get them to lower their guard is to make the region more tolerant and less militant against them.
Ah, I got confused then... cause he starts off talking about Gaza and Hamas, then talks about the West Bank to make a point about Hamas in Gaza... I get it... I think.
That politician's statement contains an error which is pretty big. There are no Israeli settlements in Gaza. None. When Israel unilaterally decided to withdraw from Gaza in 2005, they forcefully removed all Jewish settlers.
Even at the height of Jewish settlement in the strip, there were fewer than 7000 Jews living in Gaza, not 500,000.
There certainly are still lots of settlers in the West Bank.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
From the Hamas charter:
“The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”
Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
I was a little disappointed this didn't have a reference to Ursula K. Le Guin's book of the same name. Which I enjoyed when I read it... probably 20 years ago.
Again, pointing out that Hamas endangers their own civilians is NOT to place the blame on Hamas for their deaths. Israel is to blame for the bullets it fires, the missiles it launches, etc.
Rather, it is to show that Hamas has a stake in continued fighting instead of being an agent of peace.
Israel needs just enough civilian deaths to hold up to their people and say "This could be your son or daughter, will you vote for us to do what is necessary?"
Neither side is looking for peace. They both want victory over the other, to drive them into the sea as it were.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Last week, a vacant UN school was found to be storing rockets. It was directly in between two other schools that were being used as shelters for 3000 civilians.
Putting civilians in danger is a matter of inevitability though, whether Hamas puts rockets near them or not... because there's no where else to put them. So then it comes down to the simple fact that the very act of resistance means that civilians are endangered.
Just curious, does your worker's revolution have a plan for abolishing religion in the region?
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Sorry, I completely misread your post.
No, so far the relationship doesn't appear to be breaking down between Israel and Egypt. The lack of partnership between Hamas and Egypt is pretty evident though. Dead civilians will eventually take their toll in the Egyptian news cycle if the military is seen as supporting Israel though.
Israel is still responsible for the deaths of those civilians, but Hamas plays a role and it isn't the one of savior.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
The Syrian civil war has been a drain on Hamas, both politically and financiall. For one, in 2012 they started backing the fundamentalist rebels. This put them at odds with Iran, a major political backer and funder, because Iran still supports the regime in Syria. Hamas headquarters used to be located in Damascus, but had to relocate to Qatar. They've since worked at rebuilding their relationship with Iran though.
Something else that's interesting is the division between the Egyptian military government and Hamas. The Egyptian military sees Hamas as allies of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group they don't particularly like, and has been very cooperative with Israel lately.
With the recent dead children in Gaza though, the Egyptian military has started to try and distance itself from Israel due to public opinion hating Israel more than the Muslim Brotherhood. This has pushed Hamas back into being stronger player in Middle-East politics.
Intermittent violence serves the political agenda of both sides. As long as that's true, enduring peace isn't an option.
Except no one expects your version of 2 to happen. The Israeli's aren't stupid, they know violence is a possibility. What they want is mechanisms to stop it and find those committing it.
Hamas doesn't do anything to stop rocket attacks. They hand out order forms for more rockets.
Your point in this post is that...
1) Violence is being committed, whether Hamas exists or not
That sum it up?
Yes it can. Hamas can stop digging tunnels. They can stop smuggling weapons into their territory. They can stop paying out money to the families of suicide bombers.
Yes, other extremists could continue fighting against the wishes of people like Hamas. But Hamas could cooperate with law enforcement in finding and bringing those people to legitimate justice. Stop offering safe haven.
All of these things are extremely possible and would take away many of Israel's concerns about safety and security.
You, Bob and I are at a bar. Bob and I start a fight against you, but you manage to beat us both up. Later, Bob and I keep picking fights with you, so you don't trust us.
I have three options to get you to stop kicking my ass:
Now, if Bob's my friend, maybe I really don't want to do 3. But to switch from 1 to 2 would at least go a long way to fixing things between you and me.
I'm not sure how to communicate this... because I've been seriously trying....
I do not approve of most of Israel's actions. I think they've done horrible things, many of which probably amount to war crimes.
What puzzles me though, is how you guys talk as if Israel is the only side doing anything wrong. They aren't. Other sides are actively engaged in perpetuating this conflict also.
Putting the blame on Israel and saying that they have to solve the problem isn't going to solve the problem.
Please make the case of why it is in Israel's interest to cede majority control of their country to the same people who have kicked them out of dozens of other countries. Using the last 70 years of history, make a case for how they will be treated fairly and humanely, instead of how they've been killed and stripped of their property in every other country in the region.
That's actually the crux of my argument, all this stuff cuts both ways... hence: no peace.
The Arab neighbors are just as responsible as Israel for cutting off the Palestinian populations from the outside world. Jordan could reinstate passports. Egypt could open borders and allow trade. Syria... well, they have their own problems at the moment.
Then of course you have the treatment of Jewish populations across the Arab world. In 1948 there were approximately 880,000 Jews living in Middle-Eastern/North African countries (excluding Israel). Now it's estimated to be less than 9,000. While some have been killed, many immigrated to Israel.
Whole communities have been destroyed through persecution and have been robbed of billions of dollars of property, in addition to killings. Israel has welcomed these refugees with open arms.
Conversely the Arab countries couldn't care less about the Palestinians, except to use them as a pawn to try and punish Israel. The neighboring countries could do massive amounts of good if they were willing provide aid and open their borders to the Palestinians.
Israel sucks and does mean things to Palestinians.
At the same time, the 1967 borders create massive security problems for Israel. Large sections of the country are within 10 miles of the border (target-able by rockets}. Lack of water security. Ceding their very legitimate claims to land.
There never has been a "Palestinian state". Prior to WW1, it was part of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years. From 1918 to 1948, it was controlled by the British. From 1918-1922, the size of the mandate was Israel+Jordan.
The "Palestinian state" existed in name only, when the surrounding Arab nations invaded Israel, took land (Gaza, West Bank, Golan Heights) and declared it part of the All Palestinian government (all in 1948).
In 1967, Israel took back land that it had been given by the British in 1948 (but invaded the day after the British left, literally).
Jews took land from Arabs.
Everyone lives on stolen land. Everyone.
Now design a peace agreement that doesn't legitimize one sides stealing of land.
It's not the borders themselves, it's that any agreement based on borders from any one specific date will essentially formalize some form of violence against someone. There is no ideal period to reach back to and say "ah, that's when it was good, can we go back to that?" Which is what all drawings on maps are trying to do, except that every line is based on some form of violence against someone.
Peace will be forever out of reach until at least one side decides to give up using violence. But neither side will, because the other side won't.
Let's say you and I are in a fight. I hit you, and felt justified doing it. Now, you feel justified hitting me. I know you're going to do that, so I feel justified defending myself. You of course feel justified defending yourself.
It's a cycle that doesn't stop until one of us decides we don't want to hit the other person any more.
In the Middle-East, no one feels compelled to stop yet. Both sides DO have legitimate grievances and they're not going to stop unless those grievances are addressed. The problem is, the solutions for each side are mutually exclusive right now.
I disagree massively with how Israel handles this problem. The issue I have in this thread is people talk about Israel as if they don't have any legitimate grievances, which to me, demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of what is going on.
His implication is that Arab's aren't allowed to vote in Israel. All adult citizens are allowed to vote in Israel.
An accurate comparison would be African-Americans in the US. They're a similar sized minority and have about proportional representation in the federal government.
African-American 15% population and 8% representation
I agree with you, Israel doesn't want to suddenly add 4 million population, particularly when most of it is Arab and will significantly disrupt the balance of power in their government. I'd imagine the number of countries that have undertaken such an action in all of human history could be counted on one hand. Unreasonable or not, it's not going to happen.
Residents of the West Bank used to have Jordan passports, but they were revoked in 1988. Why aren't you calling for Jordan to reinstate those and take back their citizens?
Just so we're aware, the pre-67 lines would assume that we legitimize the use of force by Arab military forces in 1948 that kicked Jewish families out of their homes in those areas.
That's cool that YOU consider it part of Israel. I must have missed the day they announced you to be the arbiter of these things.
No, I don't have a better idea. I don't think there is a good solution, nor will one be found in the next decade or two. Here are the two major hurdles IMO:
1) No one wants the Palestinians in their country
That means they will live in a perpetual state of poverty. I don't think there's any disagreement that a society in a perpetual state of poverty is an inherently unstable one, which often results in an increase in violent crime.
In the case of the Palestinian territories, that "violent crime" manifests itself largely as attacks on Israel. It's unreasonable to expect a country to sit by and do nothing while being attacked.
Israel isn't incentivized to absorb the Palestinian population for a couple of reasons...
1) It would be a major burden on their government resources.
The first one could be mitigated by outside help, financial aid from the international community to help care for the Palestinians. The second problem is nearly intractable though. It's like saying the Black Panthers need to start admitting KKK members into their ranks. Neither side has any interesting in participating with the other.
Neither side gives a s+%& about the other side. When two people refuse to acknowledge the humanity of the other, peace is a long ways off.
Freehold DM wrote:
Yes, they do hold elections there. They don't vote for president, nor do they have a voting member of Congress.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I was calling into question inaccurate statements from someone else. I don't care if someone else said something, that's not attributable to me. Just because I'm pointing out Meatrace's inaccuracy, does NOT mean I'm disagreeing with his overall sentiment, just that I find some of his "facts" to not actually be facts.
The 2-State solution is ridiculous as well. It'd be a country that can't sustain itself as it can't provide food or water, because no way Israel gives up the water rights to the river Jordan.
Let's say it happens, it's a country that can't even provide itself a subsistence level of existence. It's utterly reliant on the neighboring economy of Israel, which would now be free to impose tariffs, taxes, levies, etc on workers coming from Palestine. Now it can profit off their labor, while denying the government of Palestine the economic flow it needs to sustain itself, crippling the government and ensuring it stays weak. But Israel will have divested itself of responsibility for maintaining it and all events inside will be at the feet of the Palestinian government.
A state of perpetual poverty that absolves Israel of responsibility. That is what the 2-state solution means. Giving all the absolute worst land to the Palestinian, while retaining control of Jerusalem and all the water they can get.
The 2-state solution is already here. Formalizing it isn't going to change anything.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I was objecting to the implication that Arab's are disenfranchised in the state of Israel. Which is provably false.
Voter turnout has even increased over the past few years. Though it's still below it's all-time high of 75% in the late 90's.
I'm not claiming the Palestinians are even treated well. They aren't. But making implications of an apartheid system is demonstrably false. The people in the occupied territories aren't Israeli. They're supposed to be Syrian, Egyptian and Jordanian. Except Jordan relinquished their claim to the land a few years back, effectively casting the West Bank to the wind.
Israel hasn't treated them well, but you don't need to imply things are worse than they are to prove that. Arabs are just as enfranchised as any other religious/ethnic group.
When Egypt took over the Gaza Strip, it didn't offer the residents citizenship.
Most people in the Golan Heights hold Syrian citizenship.
In 1988, Jordan stripped all residents of the West Bank of citizenship.
Everyone has done their best to screw the Palestinians.
The US has been occupying Puerto Rico for 116 years.
Feel free to quote where I claimed that Israel was a shining beacon of democracy.
Well, voting is a legal matter. If you aren't legally part of a country, why should you vote in it?
Large portions of Iraq were controlled by the United States, should we have let them join in our elections during that time?
The comment also implied that Arab's aren't allowed to vote in Israel, which is a common misconception. Perpetuating falsehoods doesn't help anyone.
Can you provide proof that Arab citizens aren't allowed to vote in Israel?
Hello, I'm Garret. Currently I game on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and every other Saturday, so my schedule is pretty full (though a lot of specific nights tend to fall through). Currently playing:
I play lots of boardgames:
I wouldn't be able to commit to a regular thing, but I'd be interested in either a meet and greet, boardgames, one shots or short series. I have an awesome rpg about killing gods that I love to run and evangelize about (plays perfect with 3-4 players and is contained within 4-5 hours).
I think it's less of an issue for older folk. Once you get past the age of 30 you're more likely to have a good concept of who you are and have better tools to do reexamination internally.
Children, teens, young adults, etc, are still exploring that territory. They're still building that self-image and searching for ways to explain their experiences and who and what they are. Because of that, they are much more likely to latch onto stories that include people who share some sort of similarity to them. Kids love shows with protagonists in their own age range. Add in gender, race, orientation, culture, etc... it becomes a way to explore their own story, not just the one presented.
They like stuff that doesn't relate to that as well, kids love good stories just like adults. Add in the above elements though and they become the stories that they carry with them through life.
A great example for me is Ender's Game. Often adults who read the book for the first time have some appreciation for the book, to varying degrees. They read the story and appreciate it (or not) on its merits. Give the book to a 6th grader though, and the potential for that story changes. Not all of them will love it, but for those that do, it becomes part of their life, it helps them make sense of who and what they are in some small way. They don't just read the book, they live it. This isn't an adulation of OSC's writing, but rather the subject matter and nature of the protagonist.
The diversification of protagonists is only partially for adults. It's much more important for drawing in younger readers and it can mean a lot. Validate them, tell their story and they'll be hooked for life.
It's an RPG designed specifically around the goal of teaching you a language, while still being an actual RPG. It uses a magic system built off language, which is a pretty common theme in fantasy literature. You build spells by speaking phrases/sentences. Mind you, my knowledge of this game is purely second-hand, so I don't know specifics, but I figure it's probably right up your alley.
Yeah, I really like the VA. It sucks going there, because it means something is wrong, but overall my experiences there have all been good.
It wasn't always this good though. Prior to the first Gulf War, the VA was really bad. They had high mortality rates from surgery, patients were lost, bad record keeping, etc. We actually have a very strong track record of mistreating the veterans of every war. Currently, they're getting some of the best attention this country has ever given.
I'm very happy with the care I get from the VA.
Statistically, the VA is actually a pretty good system. There are some glaring holes and problems, but even the most recent scandal would be completely negated by universal care.
The VA has higher marks on customer satisfaction. From 1996 to 2006, VA costs per patient remained steady, while private hospital costs increased 40%. During that time the VA's number of patients doubled, while they reduced staff by 10,000.
The VA system is actually incentivized to prevent illness, instead of just treating it. The VA has it's budget. Instead of charging patients who get sick, they just get a budget. It's in a hospital's interests to use preventative measures to keep patients healthy, reducing the number of illnesses they contract.
I recommend the documentary in general, it's quite interesting. It lays out the ground work for the development of the paternal state. The government wasn't responsible for everything, but it had a paternal responsibility to care for those who sacrificed for it. These seems obvious from our modern sensibility, but at the time this was a radical change. Veterans of the Revolution weren't cared for at all. Veterans of the War of 1812, the various wars with Mexico and out west were barely given anything after coming home. Dead soldiers were never sent home, they were either left to rot or buried at the battlefield.
With the Civil War that all changed. People campaigned for greater support for soldiers and their families, this was due to the massive scale of death involved. Previous conflicts had plenty of dead, but nothing even approaching the scale or severity of the Civil War. People couldn't wrap their minds around what was happening, the deaths were so far away, people couldn't believe that their loved ones were dead.
Eventually the government took responsibility for the dead. They located and transported remains, paid death benefits and essentially took on a role within families. Death is a very intimate affair and now the government was expected to take part in it for the soldiers that had died for it.
Quark Blast wrote:
It's amusing that you place the blame at ~1965 and completely fail to realize that it's 1865 is when the problem you're talking about started. The Civil War is the creation of the nanny state in which the former structure of the social contract is broken and the one which you complain about is begun.
Then of course, you're also ignoring the period where most of these reforms that actually contributed to your Uncle's paid vacation, 1900-1920. Again, well before your estimation of 1960's as the problem. The first two decades of the 20th century is when the government started to come in and mandate how companies treated workers. It was this attitude that made unemployment and similar programs possible during the depression era and later.
The problems you are attributing to this go back much deeper and further than your current explanation.
There's another phenomenon in historical analysis you're falling victim to, but I don't want to mention it for fear of clouding the issue. Cause it would.
Andrew R wrote:
You call taxes theft, but you want complete government control over the household budget for people receiving aid.
How are taxes theft, but the government taking complete control over your finances NOT theft?
Andrew R wrote:
So, your solution to this is increasing government oversight and control of people's lives? You are advocating that the government should have the authority to tell people what they can and cannot buy with their own money.
That sounds like communism.
Monsanto doesn't own the farms. That would be expensive, subject them to liability, and create lots of side issues for them. Instead, they push government regulation that allows them to own the seeds the develop and put in place contracts that keep the farmers in debt to them so that they perpetually own the output of those farms.
Why buy the cow when you can charge it for producing milk?
In no particular order
There are certain trends. I like lawful styled characters, it gives me a set of guiding principles within the context of the game world to inform the character. Otherwise I like to change up what I'm doing. If I was a martial, I tend to go caster next and vice versa. I like things that pack a punch in combat, I don't necessarily optimize heavily, but I know the combo's that work and use them. Or I go high utility, with abilities that make my allies better (we have a large group, so the indirect damage output of a mass buff spell is pretty big).
I sometimes like to try to find a trend within my characters and then purposely pick something opposed to that trend.