Israel

FulltimeDefendent
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Israel

Before I was a skeptic I was a pagan, and before I was a pagan I was a Jew. Among many- though not all- Jewish families, I've found that there is an assumption that if you are Jewish you support Israel. You know, "my country right or wrong." I do not support Israel, and I will list my reasons, but first: I am considering doing Birthright. My younger sister just came back and it sounded like something I'd enjoy, but I'm worried about feeling uncomfortable in a country which I feel has no right to exist, and being among other visitors who probably don't share the following perspective, so I wonder if going is really a good idea. I can only do it once before I'm too old, and it's free, so it's not like I'd be giving money to a state which I feel has no right to exist, but I'd be there with "other" Jews, who I find rather alien these days much as I find all religious thinkers to be alien. I know it's a secular trip and there's no proselytizing, but that's not the issue. The issue is that I am a very opinionated person who knows nothing of sports and can't make small talk and gets bored very quickly unless the subject is science or politics or history or punk rock, AND...

 

1. The UN should not respect land claims based on scripture. I don't care if the land was won in a war, the basis of that war was a fucking biblical claim.

 

2. As a secular humanist I cannot support a "Jewish State" anymore than I could support a "Christian Nation."

 

3. Just because I am not pro-Israel does not mean I am pro-Palestinian. First, I despise all nationalism (anything less would be intellectual dishonesty), and second, they're like two children fighting over a toy and if they can't share it properly they shouldn't be able to play with it.

 

I believe in challenging my preconceptions. I don't think my opinions will change, but I am willing to go anyway and to try to have a good time regardless of my political feelings about the situation. But I needed to vent, and this seemed the best place, and I'd like to hear some feedback from you guys on 1-3 as well as the prospect of my going to Israel.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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Quote:1. The UN should not

Quote:

1. The UN should not respect land claims based on scripture. I don't care if the land was won in a war, the basis of that war was a fucking biblical claim.

 

If I remember my history/politics correctly, you should thank the English/French for the current conflict.


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They give special tours to

They give special tours to people of Jewish decent right? Like IDF bases and stuff? Do you get a T-shirt too?

 

I'd say go and while you're at it head to Lebanon afterwards. I assume you speak Hebrew, but do you speak Arabic or French?

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:They

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

They give special tours to people of Jewish decent right? Like IDF bases and stuff? Do you get a T-shirt too?

 

I'd say go and while you're at it head to Lebanon afterwards. I assume you speak Hebrew, but do you speak Arabic or French?

Umm... why would you assume I speak Hebrew? I speak better Spanish than Hebrew and I live in Philadelphia. LOL.

Not sure if you get to go an IDF base. That would be cool, though.

About the history/politics, it goes way deeper into the past than European involvement, and is intimately connected the disgusting belief in a "chosen people," which always made me uncomfortable with Judaism.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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Israel or bust

 FulltimeDefendent wrote ; just because I'm not pro Israel does not mean that I'am pro palestinian. Have you ever read Norm Finkelstein or Noam Chomsky or Ilan Pape' an academic at Haifa University,who is a very critical voice,(in my opinion).

 

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You should go. Israel is a

You should go. Israel is a really nice place. It's also over 50% atheist/agnostic and has some of the best scientists and scientific and academic institutions in the planet.

My only other advice is: If you're going to jump into the Dead Sea, close your eyes.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod wrote:You should

deludedgod wrote:

You should go. Israel is a really nice place. It's also over 50% atheist/agnostic and has some of the best scientists and scientific and academic institutions in the planet.

My only other advice is: If you're going to jump into the Dead Sea, close your eyes.

Good points. I still think any country that is officially a "Jewish State" needs to dump that title. I know Israel is not a country full of orthodoxy, it's just a very specific political problem I have with something being called a "Jewish" or a "Christian" state/nation.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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But like I said, my main

But like I said, my main reason for going would be to challenge my preconceptions. That's largely my motivation for most things these days.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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FulltimeDefendent

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

Umm... why would you assume I speak Hebrew? I speak better Spanish than Hebrew and I live in Philadelphia. LOL.

Not sure if you get to go an IDF base. That would be cool, though.

About the history/politics, it goes way deeper into the past than European involvement, and is intimately connected the disgusting belief in a "chosen people," which always made me uncomfortable with Judaism.

I thought you spoke Hebrew because you said you were raised Jewish. Didn't they teach you it?

 

I take it you don't speak Arabic or French either.

 

And as Deluded pointed out, most are atheist/agnostic.

 


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Even though Israel is

Even though Israel is officially a (and the only) Jewish state, this does not mean the same thing as one would refer to when speaking of a hypothetical Christian nation. Israel was established after the Holocaust as a safe haven for Jews. As such, anyone with Jewish ancestry is automatically eligible for citizenship (although this is not a necessary condition to be a citizen). That's what it means to say that Israel is a Jewish state, not that it's government endorses Jewish beliefs and traditions. I observe no Jewish beliefs or traditions, I do not believe in God, and yet I am still entirely and automatically eligible for Israeli citizenship if I so choose, since I can demonstrate Jewish ancestry at least 4 generations back.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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No. I memorized a bunch of

No. I memorized a bunch of Hebrew words for my Bar Mitzvah, but I had no idea what they meant. By "raised Jewish" I mean that until my brother and sister and I were teenagers we had shabbat on Friday nights, said three really short prayers, ate a good dinner, and watched TV, read, played video games, or went out to the 7-11 afterward for decidedly non-kosher food. We never kept kosher, stopped doing Passover around the same time, and by the time I was 18, no one in my immediate family actually practiced. Like I said, I always had a problem with the specifics of Judaism... the near-sacrifice of children, the bio-terrorism, the notion of an elite people chosen by God... I used to think, "No wonder the Europeans hated us," when I heard that Chosen People bullshit.

For a very small group, the degree to which Jewish people practice (or don't) is pretty diverse. There are a lot of "Secular Jews" who only go to Synagogue on the high holidays if at all, and may or may not do three quick prayers in an obscure language on Fridays and eat a nice dinner and don't exactly follow the rules of shabbat. Reform Judaism is basically Jewish deism. Conservative Judaism (not necessarily politically conservative) is more comparable to Catholicism, and Orthodox Judaism is like a cross between the Amish and Fundamentalist Christians... not my kind of people. Holier-than-thou and arrogant as hell.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

Umm... why would you assume I speak Hebrew? I speak better Spanish than Hebrew and I live in Philadelphia. LOL.

Not sure if you get to go an IDF base. That would be cool, though.

About the history/politics, it goes way deeper into the past than European involvement, and is intimately connected the disgusting belief in a "chosen people," which always made me uncomfortable with Judaism.

I thought you spoke Hebrew because you said you were raised Jewish. Didn't they teach you it?

 

I take it you don't speak Arabic or French either.

 

And as Deluded pointed out, most are atheist/agnostic.

 

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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deludedgod wrote:Even though

deludedgod wrote:

Even though Israel is officially a (and the only) Jewish state, this does not mean the same thing as one would refer to when speaking of a hypothetical Christian nation. Israel was established after the Holocaust as a safe haven for Jews. As such, anyone with Jewish ancestry is automatically eligible for citizenship (although this is not a necessary condition to be a citizen). That's what it means to say that Israel is a Jewish state, not that it's government endorses Jewish beliefs and traditions. I observe no Jewish beliefs or traditions, I do not believe in God, and yet I am still entirely and automatically eligible for Israeli citizenship if I so choose, since I can demonstrate Jewish ancestry at least 4 generations back.

I understand that, and I plan on going. I still think Israel is more trouble than it's worth.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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Media representation of

Media representation of Israel in the US and Europe is pretty difference.

While its a gross generalisation I don't think its that far of the truth that

US media :   Israel are the good guys who are still good guys even when they occassionaly do something that is a bit nasty

Europe : Its the Middle East filled with nasty primitive countries that like kililng each other and Israel, Egypt, Iran are as bad as each other. A person on the street in the UK is as likely to be 'pro Arab' as they are 'pro Israel'

Even the Jewish groups in the UK are not uncritical of Israel (in fact some of its harshest critics are Jewish)

 

My background is my parents are Jewish I do NOT consider myself to be culturally Jewish either never mind a  theist. I have a strong dislike for most forms of tradition (religious or secular) for the sake of it  or anything that divides people up without any real benefit. I do like smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels because I well like the taste (Pork chops are cool too through)

 

 

 


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God worries about such

God worries about such promised lands and chosen ones  ..... all such division.