Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Analysis: The Catastrophe

The Fanatics of Tangiers by Delacroix

Last Sunday, the Palestinians staged a well prepared plot: to celebrate what they consider “Yawm al-nakbah” (Day of the Catastrophe), they decided to swarm into Israel, in a concerted action, to prove they are united, ready to invade and reclaim the State of Israel at their will. 

Hamas and Fatah have recently signed a reconciliatory agreement in order to achieve UN recognition for independent state in September 2011 and to avoid tensions similar to those occurring in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain for instance. Will it work? 
Palestinians should protest against Fatah and Hamas for not being able to serve the people instead of themselves; for not being able to stop violence and recognise the Jewish State of Israel; for not being able to ensure that Gaza borders would be considered safe enough so that the blockade would be lifted and finally commence the development of their Palestinian State. Palestinians should protest against its corrupt government to demand for schools, for hospitals, for freedom of expression, for the rights of women and for the ban of theocracy and authoritarianism. 
Palestinians should turn within and think about what they need. They should shun the voices of those who pretend to be their brothers but reveal themselves to be a jealous cousin: they use their situation for their own selfish political purposes. 

I am totally for the establishment of a Palestinian State; nevertheless I wonder what kind of nation it will be: a country that instead of developing itself, rather than setting a position in the financial and technological market, in lieu of developing its agriculture or even tourism (with all that sea in Gaza they could do wonders)...what does it do? It wastes time and money on focusing upon Israel and on violence – this strategy is obsolete and leads them nowhere. I also wonder about the Palestinian Anthem.

I love anthems. The Portuguese anthem lauds its past accomplishments and encourages for future ones; the Italian anthem reminds the Italian People that they are stronger united; the Israeli anthem chants the deep love and commitment for Zion and Jerusalem; the British anthem asks God to keep the Queen/King safe in order to guide and protect the People against knavish tricks; and the American anthem is a true ode to democracy and patriotism. 
However the Palestinian anthem doesn’t remind people of its strength, it doesn’t encourage people to grow and develop themselves, it doesn’t call for democracy, it doesn’t evoke Divine protection and peace...no, the Palestinian National Anthem invokes revenge, violence, guns, blood, pain, destruction.
Any country’s anthem is the reflection of its spirit...

My country, my country
My country, my land, land of my ancestors
Revolutionary, revolutionary
Revolutionary, my people, people of perpetuity

With my determination, my fire and the volcano of my revenge
With the longing in my blood for my land and my home
I have climbed the mountains and fought the wars
I have conquered the impossible, and crossed the frontiers

With the resolve of the winds and the fire of the guns
And the determination of my nation in the land of struggle
Palestine is my home, Palestine is my fire,
Palestine is my revenge and the land of endurance

By the oath under the shade of the flag
By my land and nation, and the fire of pain
I will live as a revolutionary, I will remain a revolutionary,
I will end as a revolutionary - until my country returns

Revolutionary

...And if this is the spirit of Palestine, then indeed it is Al-Nakbah and may God save us all.

60 comments:

  1. Thanks for educating me on the Palestinian anthem. Wondering if it will ever inspire them to have a revolution against Hamas and Fatah ... or Hezbollah for those residing in Lebanon.

    I was learning recently that the US anthem has four verses. We only were taught one in school. The last one is the reference to God.

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  2. In the book The Geopolitics of Emotion, by Dominique Moisi, three emotional states are identified by him as driving the modern world. Roughly speaking, East-Asia and the successful Gulf States represent a feeling of hope, whereas the Middle-East has still not recovered from its colonial history. These feelings of humiliation and isolation led to the growing popularity of terrorism in the 1990 and 2000s. The West, which includes both Europe and the United States (though drifting apart), represents `fear`: fear of losing its grip on the international scene, but also, more acutely, of economic outsourcing and the inability to transform our societies to overcome the problems of an ageing population, a drop in productivity, migration and the excessive costs of our welfare system.

    What drives the Palestinians is a sense of humiliation and isolation to a people originally of high status in the Arab world. Their anthem reflects this emotion very well.

    In a world where conspiracy theories abound about oligarchies running the Western world financed by oil, arms and ammunition industry and banks, one needs to look at the anthem from a perceptive of a deprived people who are mostly refugees from thier own lands.

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  3. Hey Looney :D!

    "Thanks for educating me on the Palestinian anthem. Wondering if it will ever inspire them to have a revolution against Hamas and Fatah ... or Hezbollah for those residing in Lebanon."

    You are too generous, my friend *bowing*. Yes, that is one good question...

    "I was learning recently that the US anthem has four verses. We only were taught one in school. The last one is the reference to God."

    Really? So, did they take the last one to stress the separation between State and Church? Britain is a laic society and yet God is mentioned and even invoked in its national anthem; so I don't understand why take the reference to God from the US anthem. Moreover, dollar bills have "In God we trust" printed on them, so...

    Looney, excellent comment: thank you so so much :D.

    Cheers

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  4. Hey Rummy :D!

    "Roughly speaking, East-Asia and the successful Gulf States represent a feeling of hope, whereas the Middle-East has still not recovered from its colonial history."

    Of course, I cannot agree with it. "Hope is the light at the end of a long tunnel" therefore how can East-Asia and Gulf States represent a feeling of hope when they violate the rights of women (= darkness)? Well, if we look deeper they even disrespect Human Rights (= further darkness throughout the tunnel) in general. What hope (i.e. light) can it represent?

    "These feelings of humiliation and isolation led to the growing popularity of terrorism in the 1990 and 2000s."

    It serves not as a justification. This reminds me of the Black Americans when they used to cling to slavery in order to justify their unwillingness to rise, move forward and progress. It also reminds me of the Africans when they used to use colonisation as an excuse to play the victims and suck financial aid from the West...etc.
    It is not an excuse, I'm afraid: the world has changed and so must politics.

    "The West, which includes both Europe and the United States (though drifting apart), represents `fear`: fear of losing its grip on the international scene, but also, more acutely, of economic outsourcing and the inability to transform our societies to overcome the problems of an ageing population, a drop in productivity, migration and the excessive costs of our welfare system."

    The West represents not fear. It represents: planning, organisation, implementation, development, growth, freedom. And that is why it will find a way to solve all its present issues.
    I haven't read the book, but from what you are telling me "The Geopolitics of Emotion" sounds like the Chant of the Left: emotional, dramatic and hysterical. However, I will check it out :D.

    "What drives the Palestinians is a sense of humiliation and isolation to a people originally of high status in the Arab world. Their anthem reflects this emotion very well."

    The Palestinians never had a High Status in the Arab World; au contraire, the Arabs living in Israeli Land (formerly called Palestine, a name given by Romans) were puppets in the hands of the Arabs that wanted to expand their position in the Middle East (taking advantage of the fact that the Jewish People had been forced into exile). Now, were the Arabs humiliated and isolated? Who wasn't? Ask Black people, Hispanic people, Indian people, Jewish people, or even the Irish people...but do they focus mainly in the dark past to perpetrate violence?
    Emotions don't solve pressing issues; Reason does. As for the Palestinian Anthem: it calls for blood, thus for murder...that goes beyond a sense of humiliation and isolation; it goes to reveal a violent nature.

    "In a world where conspiracy theories abound about oligarchies running the Western world financed by oil, arms and ammunition industry and banks, one needs to look at the anthem from a perceptive of a deprived people who are mostly refugees from thier own lands."

    You said it all: conspiracy theories (i.e. paranoia).
    I look at the anthem for what it is: victimisation and a call for blood.

    Rummy, a challenging comment for which I thank you immensely :D.

    Cheers

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  5. Hi Max,

    The Palestine situation is like watching a foreign film with no subtitles. I can see certain actions but I don't know what they are saying. I am impressed however that among your other skills, you are also an anthematologist. Is there anything you can't do? Did you know that Greece has the longest national anthem with 158 stanzas.

    More national anthem trivia.

    The Congo national anthem asks: “And if we have to die/ Does it really matter?” The opening line of Ukraine’s anthem is: “Ukraine is not yet dead.”

    The composer of Costa Rica’s anthem, Manuel Maria Gutierrez, was thrown into prison in 1853 until he came up with a suitable tune.

    Spain is one of the few countries with a wordless anthem. A competition to write words for it was held in 2007, but they proved so unpopular they were withdrawn.

    Personally I like the lyrics from the Trinidad and Tobago national anthem, "Forged from the love of liberty/In the fires of hope and prayer/With boundless faith in our destiny/We solemnly declare/Side by side we stand/Islands of the blue Caribbean Sea/This our native land/We pledge our lies to thee/Here every creed and race/Find an equal place/And may God bless our nation/Here every creed and race/Find an equal place/And may God bless our nation.

    Excellent Piece my dear. Keep the thought provocation going.

    Anthem Cheers!

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  6. Hello, Lady A :D!

    "The Palestine situation is like watching a foreign film with no subtitles. I can see certain actions but I don't know what they are saying."

    You know? I do try to watch the action with a dictionary at hand, but still...I can't understand what they are saying...

    "I am impressed however that among your other skills, you are also an anthematologist. Is there anything you can't do? Did you know that Greece has the longest national anthem with 158 stanzas."

    LOL you are so generous, Alexys *bowing*. I simply like national anthems for the information they can provide on the spirit of a nation.
    158 stanzas? My goodness...

    "The Congo national anthem asks: “And if we have to die/ Does it really matter?”"

    LOL oh my God, they are ready for war and to die for their nation, eh? What about development...?

    "The composer of Costa Rica’s anthem, Manuel Maria Gutierrez, was thrown into prison in 1853 until he came up with a suitable tune."

    LOL yes, that used to happen: prepotence at its best.

    "Spain is one of the few countries with a wordless anthem. A competition to write words for it was held in 2007, but they proved so unpopular they were withdrawn."

    I know. But then again with a melody like that one, it would be very hard to add words to it. It would be like singing the Brazilian anthem: too hard (although beautiful).

    "Personally I like the lyrics from the Trinidad and Tobago national anthem, "Forged from the love of liberty/In the fires of hope and prayer/With boundless faith in our destiny/We solemnly declare/Side by side we stand/Islands of the blue Caribbean Sea/This our native land/We pledge our lies to thee/Here every creed and race/Find an equal place/And may God bless our nation/Here every creed and race/Find an equal place/And may God bless our nation."

    And may God Bless their nation indeed. It is a gorgeous anthem and it tells us a lot about the spirit of Trinidad and Tobago. God bless them!

    "Excellent Piece my dear. Keep the thought provocation going."

    Thank you, Lady A *bowing*! LOL I will try... ;)

    Alexys, thank you so much for your comment and for the support :D.

    Anthem Cheers

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  7. Hey Max! How are you sweetie? Hope all is well.

    I've been quiet but I'm still here. :)

    Kisses and hugs.

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  8. MAX - This post is so powerful that I'm going to share in on Facebook and Twitter. Let me know if that's good with you. I'll wait to hear, so please email me.

    Amen to what you have said.

    Hope all is well, my dearest Max.

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  9. the Brazilian anthem is too long but I love it.-

    I am the kind of person who believes that EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE but when the subject is the power...NOT...we are too far away to find it.
    nice sunday, Max.

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  10. I see Palestine as dysfunctional and hell bent on antagonising Israel to a point where they're unable to solve anything peacefully.

    That said, as for an eye for an eye, Israel also counters back with the same attitude by continuing to inflame matters by building further homes in the West bank, which I see can only put residents at further risk.

    Alexys Fairfield says, “The Palestine situation is like watching a foreign film with no subtitles” and I say it's like watching the same movie over and over again, on the lines of the movie, “Groundhog Day”; just that in the case of Israel and Palestine, there will be no final and peaceful resolution, unless of course they get rid of the many cooks that are stirring the pot in both Palestine and Israel.

    Take Care,
    Peter

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  11. Hi Liza :D!

    "How are you sweetie? Hope all is well."

    I am doing just fine, thank you. And how're you? I'll be stopping by your place this week :).

    "I've been quiet but I'm still here. :)"

    Aaah, isn't that grand? :)

    Liza, my dear friend, thank you ever so much for having dropped by :D.

    Cheers

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  12. Hi Lynda :D!

    "This post is so powerful that I'm going to share in on Facebook and Twitter. Let me know if that's good with you."

    Thank you *bowing*. It is fine, you do not need my permission for that :).

    "Amen to what you have said."

    ^5!

    "Hope all is well, my dearest Max."

    All is super well, thanks :).

    Lynda, thank you ever so much for your support :D.

    Cheers

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  13. Hey Grace :D!

    "the Brazilian anthem is too long but I love it.-"

    And you should cause it is gorgeous! And I like the motto on the Brazilian Flag as well "Ordem e Progresso" (Order & Progress) - now that is inspiring! :D

    "I am the kind of person who believes that EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE but when the subject is the power...NOT...we are too far away to find it. nice sunday, Max"

    I still believe that everything is possible despite all the apparent impossibilities in the world. Nevertheless, I understand what you mean.

    My dear Grace, thank you so much for your input and I wish you a nice week ahead :D.

    Cheers

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  14. Hi Peter :D!

    "I see Palestine as dysfunctional and hell bent on antagonising Israel to a point where they're unable to solve anything peacefully."

    At the moment they are dysfunctional indeed, and they do insist upon focusing on Israel (for obsolete propaganda purposes); however I still think that one day a good Palestinian leader will rise and recognise Israel as a Jewish State, he will work on/in/at Gaza, develop it and create a Nation (with defined borders) for his People. He will be a wise focused man free of the customary victimisation stance (which is pitiful).

    "That said, as for an eye for an eye, Israel also counters back with the same attitude by continuing to inflame matters by building further homes in the West bank, which I see can only put residents at further risk."

    I am sure Israel will also come to an agreement with Palestine on the West Bank Issue. The problem is: the Arab League made a pretty good job on convincing the world that Israel was occupying their own land (which they are not; in the conflict of 1967 they simply reconquered what was theirs).
    But anyway, a comprise is in order if peace is to take place.

    "Alexys Fairfield says, “The Palestine situation is like watching a foreign film with no subtitles” and I say it's like watching the same movie over and over again, on the lines of the movie, “Groundhog Day”; just that in the case of Israel and Palestine, there will be no final and peaceful resolution, unless of course they get rid of the many cooks that are stirring the pot in both Palestine and Israel."

    LOL LOL I see what you mean.

    Peter, excellent comment for which I thank you a million times :D.

    Cheers

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  15. As always, the Palestinian narrative is made to seem uniquely violent and radical. Yet a quick perusal of statements by Zionist leaders who orchestrated the establishment of Israel gives a different take on the Palestinian zeal for justice.

    David Ben-Gurion (Prime Minister 1948-53 and 1955-63 and chief architect of the state of Israel; considered the Father of the Nation) spoke bluntly, "If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been anti- Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?"

    "We must expel Arabs and take their places." —David Ben Gurion, 1937, "Ben Gurion and the Palestine Arabs", Oxford University Press, 1985.

    "Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves ... politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves... The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country." —David Ben Gurion, quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky's Fateful Triangle, which appears in Simha Flapan's "Zionism and the Palestinians pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.

    "We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!" —Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

    "[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs." —Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the 'Beasts,"' New Statesman, June 25, 1982.

    Part two follows.

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  16. Part two

    "The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized .... Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever." —Menachem Begin, the day after the U.N. vote to partition Palestine.

    "(The Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls." —Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) Yitzhak Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

    "Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories." —Benyamin Netanyahu, then Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister of Israel, speaking to students at Bar Ilan University, from the Israeli journal Hotam, November 24, 1989.

    "I would have joined a terrorist organization." —Ehud Barak's response to Gideon Levy, a columnist for the Ha'aretz newspaper, when Barak was asked what he would have done if he had been born a Palestinian.

    "It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands." —Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

    My only reason for posting the above quotes is to expand the dialogue and demonstrate that things are not always what they seem on the face of it.

    For those who are interested in giving some time to the "other narrative," there are so many informative Jewish and Jewish/Palestinian websites, some of which are as follows:

    http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/

    Rabbis for Human Rights: http://www.rhr.israel.net

    Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions: http://www.icahd.org

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/

    http://peace.mennolink.org/articles/israelpeacegroups.html

    http://calsjp.org/about/

    http://bu-sjp.blogspot.com/2011/03/brandeis-hillel-excludes-jewish-peace.html

    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/index_en.html

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  17. Part three

    Martin Buber once wrote to Ben Gurion, referencing the massacre in April 1948 of over 100 Arab men, women, and children by Jewish paramilitaries (terrorists?) in Deir Yassin near Jerusalem. He wrote,

    "The time will come when it will be possible to conceive of some act in Deir Yassin, an act which will symbolize our people's desire for justice and brotherhood with the Arab people."

    Shalom...salam...peace!

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  18. Hi Sarah :D!

    I would like to thank you for the quotes you shared, however one thing should be made clear: a quote is not the same thing as a National Anthem.
    It can be assumed that you read the part where it states that a National Anthem represents the spirit of any nation (i.e. the essence, the nature, and national goals of any People); and it inspires any national citizen to either develop or destroy.
    A quote usually represents a thought, transmitted at any given time; and when taken out of context (for political purposes) it can offer the wrong, or misleading, impression.

    Now, let the party begin :)....

    PART I

    "As always, the Palestinian narrative is made to seem uniquely violent and radical. (..)"

    The Palestinians, themselves, make their narrative seem uniquely violent and radical, by allowing terrorist groups to dictate the destiny of their own lives. The Palestinians, as a whole, should fight against and oust their radical branch and carry on with building a nation of their own (with clear borders), economically and socially developing their nation, period.

    «David Ben-Gurion (...) spoke bluntly, "If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been anti- Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?"»

    In what context was this said? With what tone? What was voice inflection?
    When reading Hitler's opus, many people also think he had a point; but when they hear him and listen to his words, their oppinion often change (unless they are fervent anti-Semites, of course).

    «"Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves ... politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves... The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country." —David Ben Gurion, quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky's Fateful Triangle, which appears in Simha Flapan's "Zionism and the Palestinians pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.»

    I could repeat the same questions (as above) but I will play along with you.
    Clear your mind of leftist emotions and propaganda, read these words again and interpret them: indeed, Israel was the political monster that allegedly "haunts" the Arabs; and naturally the latter reacted (and still react) because in their mind they are defending themselves. "The country is theirs, because they inhabit it" what does this mean? It means that the Arabs, like so many others, occupied the Jewish Land and called it their own simply because they managed to stay there longer and because the British convinced them of it (to diplomatically calm them down). Arabs and Jews lived in peace in the occupied-by-the-Arabs land. However when the original owners (to expand your cultural horizons I suggest you read [or re-read] the Pentateuch) returned to reclaim what was theirs, suddenly the Arabs couldn't live alongside their "brothers" or "cousins" (whatever makes you feel more comfortable).

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  19. Sarah,

    PART II

    «"[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs." —Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the 'Beasts,"' New Statesman, June 25, 1982.»

    Well, you needed to explain why by this time (1982) the Palestinians (yes, by this time they were already Palestinians, for political reasons) had been called Beasts. Have you watched "Munich"? I suggest you do so, so that you can have an idea of the Palestinian deportment in the 70's. Have you also forgotten the time when the Palestinians committed the most hideous crimes against Westerners in the 80's (can you say highjackers, for instance)?
    Again, these words were uttered within a historical and political context.

    We have seen, through the Palestinian National Anthem, that the Palestinian spirit does not concatenate with the word Islam (which means Peace). But then we have some thoughts, produced by Palestinians Leaders that could also shock people:

    «Their [of the Jews] opinions, their feelings, and their ways of thought – which are reflected in face and external appearance – became like their nature and like the appearance of apes and pigs» - Shaykah Ibrahim Al-Ali, 1996 (in Falastin Al-Muslima).

    «Jews are a people who cannot be trusted. (..) Go back to history. Their fate is their vanishing.» -Iman Yousid Al-Zahar's speech at a Mosque in Gaza (2008)

    «Suffering by fire is the Jews' destiny in this world and the next (...) Therefore we are sure that the Holocaust is still to come upon the Jews» - Iman (and legislator) Sheik Yunus Al-Astal.

    Instead of resorting to Reason and Diplomacy to solve a political situation, the Palestinian Leaders resort to emotions, to bigotry and violence (in its many shapes and sizes) to deflect attention and camouflage their real intentions - to get rich and powerful at the expense of the common Palestinian's suffering.

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  20. Sarah,

    PART III

    "The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized .... Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever." —Menachem Begin, the day after the U.N. vote to partition Palestine."

    What did Begin mean by illegal? Why would the Jewish people recognise the partition of its own land? And yet they accepted it, the Arabs didn't (and to think that their part included Jerusalem).

    "My only reason for posting the above quotes is to expand the dialogue and demonstrate that things are not always what they seem on the face of it."

    We appreciate your willingness to expand our horizons *bowing*.
    However, if you wanted to expand dialogue you should've done it in a less biased fashioned by showing us in what context those words had been said.
    Please allow me to offer you one:

    «Article 7: 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(...)» (Source, the Hamas Charter).

    Along with its National Antheml, overall, this is the Palestinian narrative.
    I could say it is the radical branch's narrative, but I won't because when Fatah [an allegedly moderate party] does little to fight radicalism and marries Hamas, intellectual people have to reach a simple conclusion: ils sont tous la même chose (they are all the same thing).

    «Martin Buber once wrote to Ben Gurion, referencing the massacre in April 1948 of over 100 Arab men, women, and children by Jewish paramilitaries (terrorists?) in Deir Yassin near Jerusalem. (..)»

    Underground Jewish movements (fighting to reclaim their land back) were labelled, at the time, as terrorists by the British, yes.
    What was the context of this conflict? As always, the big Leftist PR Machine just throws key words (like "Massacre/women/children") hoping to reach the hearts of the emotional and turn them against the Zionist monster...it doesn't work any longer, darling.
    The so-called massacre was a sad consequence of a civil war.
    Ask the Spanish how many of its own people were massacred in its civil war.

    How many people are being slaughtered in Syria, as we speak?

    "Shalom...salam...peace!"

    Ah, Nakhash Hadag...I love that song! :)

    I wish Shalom, Salam, Peace, Pax to all the brave people in Yemen, in Syria, in Jordan, in Bahrain, in Saudi Arabia, in Lybia and still in Egypt who fight for Democratic Values and are being persecuted and killed simply for dreaming and wanting Democracy!

    Sarah James, thank you so much for this most interesting debate; it was most interesting! :D

    Cheers

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  21. Max,
    Max,
    I think that most of the quotes speak for themselves. When David Ben-Gurion said “we have taken their country,” how many interpretations of this statement are there? "If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been anti- Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?"

    You say that you are “totally for the establishment of a Palestinian State; nevertheless I wonder what kind of nation it will be: a country that instead of developing itself, rather than setting a position in the financial and technological market, in lieu of developing its agriculture or even tourism (with all that sea in Gaza they could do wonders)...what does it do? It wastes time and money on focusing upon Israel and on violence – this strategy is obsolete and leads them nowhere. “

    How much do Americans know about the occupation? How much do they know about the history of the conflict?

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  22. How much do they know about the shame, grief, and reasons for the desire for vengeance on the part of the Palestinians? All of the following offenses committed by Israel — thoroughly documented by the UN, international human rights groups, Jewish, Palestinian, and American peace organizations — violate the Geneva and Hague Conventions and Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

    • A policy of movement restrictions including checkpoints, earth mounds, trenches, gates, roadblocks, bypass roads, the Wall, and a complex system of permits ( 74 % of the main routes in the West Bank are controlled by checkpoints or blocked entirely)
    • More than 500 villages and towns bulldozed and wiped off the map since 1948
    • Intentional destruction of Palestinian agriculture
    • Confiscation of Palestinian farms
    • Attempts to disrupt marketing of Palestinian products
    • Destruction of Palestinian industries
    • Demolition or sealing of houses
    • The prevalence of torture of prisoners
    • Administrative detention
    • Town arrests and collective punishment
    • Separation of Palestinian families and impeding or preventing of their reunification
    Israeli settler crimes of violence and sabotage
    • Curfews
    • Kidnappings and assassinations
    • Air Strikes on Palestinian Refugee Camps
    • Expulsion of Palestinians from 1948 to present
    • Ongoing building of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
    • In response to non-violent resistance the use of tear gas, concussion grenades, rubber bullets and on occasion live ammunition, showering protestors with a mixture of sewage water and chemicals

    Yet you think that the Palestinians waste “time and money on focusing upon Israel and on violence…” We know every time an Israeli is harmed or killed. We even are treated to an exploration of why someone, like the Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein, would machine-gun 29 Palestinians to death in Hebron while they were praying in a mosque.

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  23. The problem remains that we never hear from our media the other side of the story. So Americans are left with the deep-seated impression that the Israelis are the victims and Palestinians the perpetrators. A one-sided perspective precludes recognition by the decent majority of Americans as to just how damaging an uncritical support of Israeli policies is to our own country, certainly to the Palestinians, and to the entire world.

    Given the never-ending cycle of retaliatory violence and vengeance-seeking, we should demand that our government be an unbiased broker of peace and move both sides to a peaceful solution. But Americans can only come on board if they know the other side of the story.

    A good source of info is the following http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/08/israeli-criticism-of-zionism-and-of-israels-treatment-of-the-palestinians-the-academics-and-activists/. The reason this article is so compelling an introduction to the "other" narrative is that everyone quoted is Israeli or Jewish, all of them intellectuals, academics, or human rights activists, and the article gives all the citations for quoted material. Unfortunately most people don't have the time or the interest to become genuinely informed about the most dangerous and explosive conflict of our time.

    Noam Chomsky hits the nail on the head: “The lesson is that terrorism has causes. Unless the causes are addressed, you’re not facing the problem….unless you address the grievances, you are more or less in the position of a doctor who’s injecting a patient with poison and then asking what’s the best way to deal with the symptoms. That doesn’t make any sense — first stop administering the poison. There were real grievances in Northern Ireland and Britain had a substantial responsibility for them. When Britain finally stopped responding to terror with more violence, and responded to terror by addressing the grievances, there was substantial amelioration. “
    Sarah

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  24. Sorry for the double Max at the beginning of my posts! Just a mistake.

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  25. Max and Sarah,

    This discussion is quite interesting. One thing that really impresses me about the current generation is their strong moral compass. Unlike the earlier generations, they don't like to just talk and philosophize, but truly believe that ethics and morality must be backed by action. Then there is the additional virtue of the current generation that they never demand others to do things that they are unwilling to do themselves when it comes to charity and solving problems.

    Of course the Palestinian problem as it now stands only has one solution: People will have to be executed and their property will need to be transferred to the needy Palestinian families. There is simply no other way. Even if all the settled land were returned, the Palestinians in the West Band, Gaza and various camps in Lebanon and elsewhere couldn't hope to survive on the land without massive international aid forever. Wouldn't it be better to kill one wealthy, couple with only one or two children in order to make way for a needy family with ten kids and other relatives?

    Sarah, given the conscience you have demonstrated, I presume you are volunteering?

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  26. Olá Max and Sarah James,

    I was referred to your most interesting debate.
    First of all, Max: you were extremely generous in your reply to Ms. James. Diplomacy and Democracy is your trademark and this is worthy of respect.

    As for Ms. Sarah James: why portray the American people as ignorant? Simply because they support Israel and say openly that the Jewish State is their ally and friend, suddenly America is ignorant and oblivious of the situation in the ME. Ridiculous!
    Your exacerbated defense of the Palestinians suggests that you might be a Palestinian (or a bias citizen of any Muslim country) yourself, disguised as a Westerner...

    Furthermore, "Ms James" apparently doesn't watch/read Western News because if "she" did "she'd" know that Palestinians have always been portrayed as the poor victims, and not the Israelis (who usually are portrayed as the bad guys). Of course, things are beginning to change because we are beginning to see that Palestinians do sh*t to change their situation and let those criminals (i.e. Islamists) run their lives while sucking money from the West...I refuse to continue letting my government send thousands of Euros of my tax money/year to a People who uses it to buy guns and commit purposeless violence.

    Max, I apologise for using your wonderful place to say these things but folks who share vomit under the flag of intelligent speech get on my nerves.

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  27. Looney — I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, but it appears that you are mocking the commitment to pursuit of social justice. If I knew you to be Christian, I might appeal to you with biblical exhortation: “…proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed…” (Luke 4:18-19).

    Or if I knew you to be Jewish, the wisdom of the Torah: “Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed…” (Jeremiah 22:3).

    Or if I knew you to be Muslim, I would remind you of what is true and right according to the Quran “ O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor.” (Quran 4:135).

    But maybe it’s the case that you think, like Max, that there has been no injustice done to the Palestinians, that the Jews have full right to the land. Max wrote, “However when the original owners (to expand your cultural horizons I suggest you read [or re-read] the Pentateuch) returned to reclaim what was theirs, suddenly the Arabs couldn't live alongside their "brothers" or "cousins" (whatever makes you feel more comfortable).”

    However, if we are going to use the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, as our code of law, then we have to be consistent in our application. Therefore we will support slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46); put to death any who commit adultery (Leviticus 20:10); put to death anyone who smites or curses his parent (Exodus 21:15-17); stone to death any girl who is not a virgin (Deuteronomy 22:20-21); make sure that if a man rapes an unmarried virgin, that he pay the girl’s father a monetary recompense and then marry her (Deuteronomy 22:28-29); punish a slave-owner who beats his slave to death but not punish him if the slave “gets up after a day or two” since the slave is his property (Exodus 21:20-21); put to death anyone who works on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2); never allow a man whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off to join the assembly of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 23); cut off the hand of a wife who tries to defend her husband in a physical scuffle with an attacker and grabs the attacker’s genitals (Deuteronomy 25:11-12).

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  28. Are you willing to go with full application of the Pentateuchal law? The Pentateuch is clear: “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — the blessing if you obey the commands of The Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of The Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today ( Deuteronomy 11:26-28).

    If you are not willing to apply in full the commands of the Lord your God, then we have to turn to international law, including the Hague Conventions (the laws of war and war crimes); the Geneva Conventions (international standards for humanitarian treatment of the victims of war, the basic rights of those captured during a military conflict, establishing protections for the wounded, and addressing protections for civilians in and around a war zone); the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled, including economic, social, cultural, civic, and political rights).

    So if Pentateuchal law is not our standard, then we can’t accept the argument that God has deeded the land in perpetuity to a particular tribe of people, and we have to agree to abide by international law. Then we have to go back in near history and see if there was indeed an original injustice done to the Palestinian people. What we find that the U.N. did not create the state of Israel and that the Arabs had rational and justifiable reason to reject the partition plan (which was the 1947 U.N. General Assembly proposed partition; nowhere in the U.N.'s charter was there the power to partition any country, especially based on racial or religious grounds; in addition, the resolution to partition Palestine was not binding since it was simply a recommendation by the General Assembly rather than the Security Council resolution.

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  29. Consider what Moshe Sharett, the first Israeli Foreign Minister, said in explanation of why the Palestinian people would reject the partition plan. Sharett stated behind closed doors to the Zionist Actions Committee on April 22nd, 1937:

    "...in contrast to us they [Palestinian Arabs] would lose totally that part of Palestine which they consider to be an Arab country and are fighting to keep it such ... They would lose the richest part of Palestine [referring Peel Commission Partition plan]; they would lose major Arab assets, the orange plantations, the commercial and industrial centers and the most important sources of revenue for their government which would become impoverished; they would lose most of the coastal area, which would also be loss to the hinterland [Palestinian] Arab states. .... This would be such an uprooting, such a shock, the likes of which have never occurred and could drown the whole thing in rivers of blood. "

    In fact, the partition plan allocated 60% of the land to the Jews, yet in 1947 they owned only 7% of the land of Palestine.

    Looney, you ask “Sarah, given the conscience you have demonstrated, I presume you are volunteering?” What I am able to volunteer is my time and my willingness to consider both sides of the story in order to ferret out the facts. I volunteer to speak out against terroristic activities whether it is perpetrated by individuals with explosives strapped to their waists or states pouring down death from their blackhawk and apache helicopters. I also volunteer to stand up for the rights of Israelis and Palestinians alike.

    Ana Antunes — I am a 60 year old Jewish American woman, completely up front with my identity and my views. No disguises here!

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  30. Sarah, I am a 50 something year old Christian and American with Yiddish speaking grandparents. At the same time, I spent a lot of time with Muslims, thus, having sympathies all over the place.

    Admittedly I view the word "social justice" as being code for "anarchy", which is the polar opposite of social justice. At the same time, I believe that the Palestinians have suffered and deserve better. Perhaps we agree on that? The question is how. If a husband and wife are determined to kill each other, it is probably better to separate them than to demand that they live together in harmony under the same roof.

    The Palestinians have suffered at the hands of the Israelis, but that is only the tip of the iceberg of their sufferings. Their government is a kleptocracy and most of them would probably gladly leave for America and Europe if they had a chance. They fear their thugocrats more than the Israelis. In Lebanon, third generation Palestinians who never lived in Palestine live in what is little better than a prison camp: no job and no education. We treat our illegal immigrants far better. The news recently announced that Egypt was opening the border to Gaza, but this was all posturing according to the later news. The border is still closed.

    There have been other mass transfers of people since 1947. The partition of India. Huge movements in the former Soviet Union. The mass exits from China and Vietnam after communist takeovers. Korea. The mass migration north in the Americas. The breakup of Yugoslavia. The Palestinian situation is unique in that the only solutions that are deemed acceptable and mandatory are clearly impossible and unworkable.

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  31. Sarah,

    PART A

    "I think that most of the quotes speak for themselves. When David Ben-Gurion said “we have taken their country,” how many interpretations of this statement are there? (...)"

    Depending on the context in which they were said, there can be many interpretations of those quotes. This being said, no; the quotes alone do not speak for themselves.

    "How much do Americans know about the occupation? How much do they know about the history of the conflict?"

    You mean the so-called occupation - how can one occupy something that belongs to it? I admit that the Left has built an excellent and effective Propaganda Machine (starting by the Arabs and their cohorts, the Jewish Left [but that is another story]) - the Right Wing has much to learn from them in this department - however, the Left should not assume that Americans (or whomever) are not aware of the situation in the Middle East. In fact, you should ask yourself why Americans stand behind Israel: could it be because they know the truth about the Palestinians?
    I could ask you how much do you know about the history of the conflict?

    "How much do they know about the shame, grief, and reasons for the desire for vengeance on the part of the Palestinians? All of the following offenses committed by Israel — thoroughly documented by the UN, international human rights groups, Jewish, Palestinian, and American peace organizations — violate the Geneva and Hague Conventions and Universal Declaration of Human Rights:"

    How about the shame, grief and reasons for the intense and harsh defence politicies on the part of the Israelis? How about all the offenses committed by Palestinians against Israeli civilians (not the army, not soldiers; but children, women and the elderly)?
    The UN is not exactly an impartial organisation, therefore not everything they write is accurate. As we have recently seen, not even the Goldstone Report is to be taken into account, since Justice Goldstone himself retracted some parts of his own report (a biased one that only leaned on one side of the Operation Cast Lead: the Palestinian one, and not in its entirety).

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  32. Sarah,

    PART B

    As for the other Human Rights groups: organisations that are highly politicised and have their own agenda.
    As for the Geneva and Hague conventions: it goes both ways. I can offer you an example of a Geneva conventions violation: why doesn't Hamas allow the Red Cross to visit Galid Shalit?
    Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

    "Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights
    Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms (...) without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion."

    Hamas violates these articles everyday by not allowing women to have the same rights as men (here's a good cause for Lefty Feminists to fight for). Women, for Islamists, are not born free and equal; rather they are to be objectified. Jews are considered apes and objects of destruction; Christians are infidel dogs and, along with the Jews, the target of their hatred. Homosexuals are not considered people at all and are to be executed. Fatah members are persecuted, emprisoned and tortured by members of Hamas (for example).

    "Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person"

    According to the Radical Palestinians this is true if you are a Muslim only, and liberty is overrated (since not all Muslims are entitled to it). Jewish children in locations like Ashekalon are do not hold the right to security and thus must be rocketed everyday, simply because they are Jews.

    "Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
    Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."

    Hamas opposition begs to differ...

    "Article 11: (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence."

    Yeah, the Palestinian women that Hamas executed after outright accusing them of being spies for Israel, with no prior investigation and not public trial.

    "Article 22: Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality."

    Palestinians do not have this due to the irresponsability, corruption and lack of political will of their Leaders.

    The examples are endless. Palestinians violate the very core of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights from article 1 onwards, and you want to focus on the natural consequences of warfare?

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  33. Sarah,

    "The problem remains that we never hear from our media the other side of the story. So Americans are left with the deep-seated impression that the Israelis are the victims and Palestinians the perpetrators."

    I think that only Fox News offers the Israeli perspective; because all the rest of the mainstream media portrays the Palestinians as the victims all the time (despite the crimes they commit against civilian Israelis), and presents Israels as the big monster. Palestinians attack Israeli civilians and when the Jewish State responds to the attacks the media immediately shouts "disproportionate force/attack" (conveniently forgetting to say "counter-attack") and displaying the bloody images of the poor Palestinian children in hospitals and women covered in blood screaming their eyes out.

    Having said this, I think the world only has one perspective of the conflict: the Palestinian one.
    And you are 100% correct: only after the world has both sides of the story, it can better evaluate the situation and stop patting the head of the Palestinian Leaders.

    "(..)There were real grievances in Northern Ireland and Britain had a substantial responsibility for them. When Britain finally stopped responding to terror with more violence, and responded to terror by addressing the grievances, there was substantial amelioration."

    Poor example. Britain is occupying North Ireland. Israel is not occupying the West Bank (it occupied Gaza, but it unilaterally left it in September 2005; representing a Al-Nakbah to many Jewish settlers).
    This quote could be a suggestion that (mainly for those who believe in the so-called occupation) Israel should address the grievances and, like Britain in Ireland, "proceed with the occupation" of the West Bank...interesting.

    "Sorry for the double Max at the beginning of my posts! Just a mistake."

    It's ok, darling. These things happen :).

    Cheers

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  34. Hi Looney :D!

    "This discussion is quite interesting. One thing that really impresses me about the current generation is their strong moral compass. Unlike the earlier generations, they don't like to just talk and philosophize, but truly believe that ethics and morality must be backed by action. Then there is the additional virtue of the current generation that they never demand others to do things that they are unwilling to do themselves when it comes to charity and solving problems."

    So true.

    "Of course the Palestinian problem as it now stands only has one solution: People will have to be executed and their property will need to be transferred to the needy Palestinian families. There is simply no other way. Even if all the settled land were returned, the Palestinians in the West Band, Gaza and various camps in Lebanon and elsewhere couldn't hope to survive on the land without massive international aid forever. Wouldn't it be better to kill one wealthy, couple with only one or two children in order to make way for a needy family with ten kids and other relatives?"

    That is an excellent way to put the problem (it offers a clear image of the issue): it is exactly that! Needless to say that this is the Lefty Way, the Lefty Final Solution.
    Palestinians have not proved to be able to administrate Gaza and the parts of the West Bank they occupy, let alone the whole territory. They should beging by showing us that they can manage Gaza, that they can build basic democratic and institutional organisations, create jobs and wealth (with the money Westerners inject in the Palestinian Authority, who is about to share the gains with Hamas) and build a nation for its refugees, period.

    Looney, thank you ever so much for having joined the debate (it is quite interesting, isn't it?) :D.

    Cheers

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  35. Olá Ana :D!

    "I was referred to your most interesting debate."

    It is a very interesting one, wouldn't you say so? :D

    "First of all, Max: you were extremely generous in your reply to Ms. James. Diplomacy and Democracy is your trademark and this is worthy of respect."

    Thank you *bowing*. Sarah is just voicing her opinion and thank God we live in a free world where all opinions can be voiced and heard. Imagine if we lived under a theocracy (like Iran) or under authoritarianism...God Bless Democracy.

    "As for Ms. Sarah James: why portray the American people as ignorant? Simply because they support Israel and say openly that the Jewish State is their ally and friend, suddenly America is ignorant and oblivious of the situation in the ME. Ridiculous!"

    Most of the world does seem to have this wrong impression about the Americans (maybe because the US was closed and focused on itself; but now America is more open to the world, I think and thus much more informed) - things are changing.

    "Your exacerbated defense of the Palestinians suggests that you might be a Palestinian (or a bias citizen of any Muslim country) yourself, disguised as a Westerner..."

    I am not sure that is the case here; but I do know that this sort of thing happens a lot out there (mainly in the comment section of online newspapers).

    "Furthermore, "Ms James" apparently doesn't watch/read Western News because if "she" did "she'd" know that Palestinians have always been portrayed as the poor victims, and not the Israelis (who usually are portrayed as the bad guys)."

    This is true. And I told Sarah the same.

    "Max, I apologise for using your wonderful place to say these things but folks who share vomit under the flag of intelligent speech get on my nerves."

    No need to apologise, darling. Like I say, the MAX is a place to voice one's opinion (as long as we maintain the respect for each other's thoughts and viewpoints).

    Ana, thank you so much for your input :D.

    Cheers

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  36. Sarah and Looney,

    "But maybe it’s the case that you think, like Max, that there has been no injustice done to the Palestinians, that the Jews have full right to the land."

    Come, come: I didn't say that Palestinians haven't suffered injustices (in fact I stressed the fact that the Palestinian leaders are the mainly the ones practicing those injustices upon their own people); I say Palestinians are not saints (they also practice injustice upon others). I also say that that Land belongs to Israel and that Palestinians are occupying it (except for Gaza).

    As for the Biblical concepts: it is typical of the Left to take distort the Torah or the Pentateuch at their will without making a proper exegesis and ask themselves why things were said in such way.

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  37. Sarah,

    "The Pentateuch is clear: “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — the blessing if you obey the commands of The Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of The Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today ( Deuteronomy 11:26-28)."

    Amen.

    "If you are not willing to apply in full the commands of the Lord your God, then we have to turn to international law, including the Hague Conventions (..); the Geneva Conventions (..); the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (..)."

    The laws of Men are subject to interpretation, full of loopholes and thus debatable.

    "So if Pentateuchal law is not our standard, then we can’t accept the argument that God has deeded the land in perpetuity to a particular tribe of people, and we have to agree to abide by international law."

    Are you sure the Pentateuchal law is not the standard?
    God Has given Eretz Yisrael to His Chosen People and just because Atheists (and delusional Muslims) do not believe it it doesn't make it a lie or unacceptable. This is not a question of truth by consensus, it is sheer Truth.

    "Then we have to go back in near history and see if there was indeed an original injustice done to the Palestinian people."

    If you want to be fair, why go to back to near history (which is a story, really). Go back in deep history and you will see that the original injustice was done to the Israeli People.

    "What we find that the U.N. did not create the state of Israel and that the Arabs had rational and justifiable reason to reject the partition plan (which was the 1947 U.N. General Assembly proposed partition; nowhere in the U.N.'s charter was there the power to partition any country, especially based on racial or religious grounds; in addition, the resolution to partition Palestine was not binding since it was simply a recommendation by the General Assembly rather than the Security Council resolution."

    Come now: you are trying to delegitimise the UN (when convenient the Left invokes UN resolutions, when inconvenient the UN is not legit...hmmm).
    Officially, the UN resolution was a solution to the end of the British Mandate (who had pandered the Arabs as a means of control) and a solution to the Jewish displacement caused by the Holocaust. For many centuries the return of the Jewish People to its nation was being prepared and the UN Resolution 181 was a form for Israel to be internationally recognised. As for the Arabs, they should've been smarter.

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  38. Sarah and Looney,

    "In fact, the partition plan allocated 60% of the land to the Jews, yet in 1947 they owned only 7% of the land of Palestine."

    Like I asked you earlier: "Are you sure the Pentateuchal law is not the standard?"...

    "I am a 60 year old Jewish American woman, completely up front with my identity and my views. No disguises here!"

    Good for you, darling! :)

    Cheers

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  39. Looney and Sarah,

    "At the same time, I believe that the Palestinians have suffered and deserve better. Perhaps we agree on that? The question is how. If a husband and wife are determined to kill each other, it is probably better to separate them than to demand that they live together in harmony under the same roof."

    I totally agree. True.

    "The Palestinians have suffered at the hands of the Israelis, but that is only the tip of the iceberg of their sufferings."

    Absolutely.

    "Their government is a kleptocracy and most of them would probably gladly leave for America and Europe if they had a chance. They fear their thugocrats more than the Israelis. In Lebanon, third generation Palestinians who never lived in Palestine live in what is little better than a prison camp: no job and no education. We treat our illegal immigrants far better. The news recently announced that Egypt was opening the border to Gaza, but this was all posturing according to the later news. The border is still closed."

    That is exactly my point. But I am curious about what Sarah will say about this.
    If Palestine puts its place in order (economical and politically speaking) half their problems will go away; it is this simple. But if Palestinian Leaders continue deflecting attentions (to conceal their corruption - on all levels) the Palestinian people will continue to be humiliated (and not by Israel - whose existence and thrive, per se, is already a humiliation to Palestine; since despite all the conflicts the Jewish Nation prospers).

    "There have been other mass transfers of people since 1947. The partition of India. Huge movements in the former Soviet Union. The mass exits from China and Vietnam after communist takeovers. Korea. The mass migration north in the Americas. The breakup of Yugoslavia."

    Very well said. The Palestinian Refugee issue is just another way of procrastinating what the Palestinians must do.

    "The Palestinian situation is unique in that the only solutions that are deemed acceptable and mandatory are clearly impossible and unworkable."

    No doubt.
    It is time for the Arab League to stop manipulating the Palestinians for their own political purposes; it is time for the Palestinians to realise this, be reasonable and finally resume talks with Israel and solve their issue once and for all; and it is time for the Western World to stop encouraging the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for their own twisted Diplomatic Agenda (and in many cases, for purposes of exorcising their Anti-Semitism).

    Looney and Sarah, thank you for such an exceptional debate :D.

    Cheers

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  40. Sarah,

    "Ana Antunes — I am a 60 year old Jewish American woman, completely up front with my identity and my views. No disguises here!"

    I would've preferred you to be a disguised Palestinian, because there is nothing worst than a Jew who wishes to hand Eretz Yisrael over to the Palestinians after all the troubles the Jewish People have been through to get and keep it.
    You know well, that persecution and Anti-Semitism is not over yet (and it has nothing to do with the politics done in Yisrael, it is all about Jews being who they are), so I would like to ask you one simple question: when they come after you, to hunt you down, where will you seek harbour? In Gaza?

    Israel is the Homeland for all Jews and I will be damned if the Jewish Left (the traitors) will ever take that away from me and my brothers.

    BTW I am a 25 year old Jewish Portuguese woman, nice meeting you.

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  41. Max,
    You wrote previously in response to the verses that ordain death for various offenses including a child who curses his parents or a girl who is not a virgin—
    "As for the Biblical concepts: it is typical of the Left to take distort the Torah or the Pentateuch at their will without making a proper exegesis and ask themselves why things were said in such way."

    Can you please explain what you mean by "why things were said in such way."

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  42. Ana & Sarah,

    "You know well, that persecution and Anti-Semitism is not over yet (and it has nothing to do with the politics done in Yisrael, it is all about Jews being who they are), so I would like to ask you one simple question: when they come after you, to hunt you down, where will you seek harbour? In Gaza?"

    That is so very true: anti-Semitism is not over yet and the Jewish People must be attentive to this, so that the past doesn't repeat itself.
    Well, if Gaza were developed perhaps any human being could seek harbour there. However, since it is not and it is under the rule of Hamas (a terrorist group that wastes money on weapons, instead of investing upon economic and social development; and wastes time on violence against Israel, instead of investing time on peace) I am not sure if Gaza is the place to visit even...

    "Israel is the Homeland for all Jews and I will be damned if the Jewish Left (the traitors) will ever take that away from me and my brothers."

    True, Israel is the Homeland of and for all Jews.
    Ana, you forgot to say one thing: with Jerusalem as its undivided capital.

    Cheers

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  43. Sarah,

    «You wrote previously in response to the verses that ordain death for various offenses including a child who curses his parents or a girl who is not a virgin (...) Can you please explain what you mean by "why things were said in such way."»

    First of all, those mitzvot (I know now that you are Jewish so I will try to speak in your language) are intended for the Jewish People only; why? Because they are God's Chosen People, meaning that they were separated from the nations to be Holy and since God is Hakadosh, His People must also be Kodesh. It is a hard task, but hey the Jewish Forefathers accepted that "burden" for perpetuity. Christians (cousins of the Jews, since Yeshua was born and died Jewish) have the concept of Grace, therefore they are not bound to follow the 613 mitzvot (they abide by the 10 commandments, for instance).

    Now, God is the Creator (hence, the Father) meaning that parents are an extension of His relationship with us (His children). If you, a son/daughter, disrespect or desecrate the relationship between you and your parents you are desecrating your relationship with Hakadosh - you have no right to break the sanctity of such liaison and you deserve to die (at the time the Bible was written, things had to be done literally to set the example, because by then God had already seen how stubborn and obstinated His People was. However, today people who desrespect [in any way] their parents die in different forms [often in more painful ways than death]).

    Do you think God cares with physical virginity? For heavens sake, when Israel needed to conquer the Promised Land whom did God use to save its spies? A whore. (It is said that Mary Magdala was also a harlot [although I have a theory on this] yet she was Yeshua's best friend)
    Virginity is a metaphor for Jewish women to stay kosher (i.e. not to deviate from the Jewish fate which is to serve and love Hashem with all their heart and soul). If women (who give birth and nurture babies and by nature manipulate and corrupt men) deviate from the Covenant they might take the whole Jewish People to deviate from the Pact with God; and for that they deserve to die.
    The same goes for adultery: there is the danger of deviation from the covenant. Prostitution means smearing the People of Israel with the ways of the nations and betraying God (which means death...today it may not be physical demise but spiritual one, which can be much worse).

    Just like God must be understood as a Whole (His names are mostly in Plural for a reason: Elohim, Adonai, El-Shaddai etc - because He is not an Individual, He is not a Singular, He is Perfectly Whole); just like the Jewish People must be read and interpreted as a whole (and never as an individual), the Bible too must be read and interpreted as a whole (and not word by word, not book by book).
    For example, when God said that Jews are not to prostitute themselves with the nations, He meant not to say that Jews are not to mix with other ethnicities; He meant that Jews are not to deviate themselves from the Covenant - one example of that is the Book of Ruth (the great-grandmother of King David, originally a woman of Moab who converted to the Jewish Tradition) and the Book of Isaiah where God clearly states that He'd prefer any of the nations than any deviated son of Yehudah or Ephraim.

    Cheers

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  44. Max,
    Thanks for your clarification. However, I am more confused than before. You wrote:

    “Do you think God cares with physical virginity? For heavens sake, when Israel needed to conquer the Promised Land whom did God use to save its spies? A whore. (It is said that Mary Magdala was also a harlot [although I have a theory on this] yet she was Yeshua's best friend)
    Virginity is a metaphor for Jewish women to stay kosher (i.e. not to deviate from the Jewish fate which is to serve and love Hashem with all their heart and soul). If women (who give birth and nurture babies and by nature manipulate and corrupt men) deviate from the Covenant they might take the whole Jewish People to deviate from the Pact with God; and for that they deserve to die.”

    So you are saying that the verses are not referring to stoning to death a daughter who is found not to be a virgin, but rather referring to any Jewish woman who deviates from the Covenant and that she deserves to die! Frankly, I think we are better off understanding the verse literally rather than figuratively.

    You say, “Do you think God cares with physical virginity?” and “Virginity is a metaphor for Jewish women to stay kosher. (i.e. not to deviate from the Jewish fate which is to serve and love Hashem with all their heart and soul).”

    Please consider the actual verses from Deuteronomy below:

    “If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin. Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives. If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you” (Deuteronomy 14-21).

    I am sorry, but there is nothing figurative in those verses. The literal meaning is clear.

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  45. In addition, if you are saying that the verses are not referring to stoning a daughter who is found not to be a virgin, but rather referring to any Jewish woman who deviates from the Covenant and that she deserves to die — that would mean that every non-Torah-observant Jewish woman, every Reform and secularized Jewish woman deserve to die!

    If we go with your interpretation, in fact, we have a further problem. Orthodox Judaism teaches that the return to Zion would be when the Jewish people repent for their sins and once again became Torah-observant Jews, and God, in His mercy, would deem it time to return them to Zion. Yet, according to Israeli surveys, as of 2009 —

    8% of Israeli Jews defined themselves as ultra-Orthodox
    12% as "religious"
    13% as "religious-traditionalists"
    25% as "non-religious-traditionalists" (not strictly adhering to Jewish law or halakha)
    42% as "secular"

    That means that at least 67% of Israeli citizens, according to their own admission, deviate from the Covenant and, according to your interpretation of Deuteronomy 20-22, deserve to die! It also throws considerable weight to the argument that establishing a Jewish sovereignty in the Holy land, according to human determination and design rather than God’s determination, is prohibited by the Torah. In fact, according to Jewish dogma, the Jewish people were granted right to the land only if they observed the Torah and its commandments. The reality that 67% of Israeli citizens are self-proclaimed non-Torah-observant Jews really throws a wrench into the works.

    I quote Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandl, from the website, Jews Against Zionism, “The Zionist ‘statesmen’ ridicule the sacred oath which the Creator placed upon the Jews in the Diaspora. Our Torah, in Tractate Ksubos, folio 111, specifies that the Creator, blessed be He, swore the Jews not to occupy the Holy Land by force, even if it appears that they have the force to do so; and not rebel against the Nations. And the Creator warned that if His oath be desecrated, Jewish flesh would be ‘open property’, like the animals in the forest!! These are words of our Torah; and these concepts have been cited in Maimonides' ‘Igeres Teimon’, ‘Be'er HaGola’, ‘Ahavas Yehonosson’, and in ‘Toras Moshe’ of the Chasam Sofer.”

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  46. Sarah,

    "Thanks for your clarification."

    You are most welcome *bowing*.

    "So you are saying that the verses are not referring to stoning to death a daughter who is found not to be a virgin, but rather referring to any Jewish woman who deviates from the Covenant and that she deserves to die! Frankly, I think we are better off understanding the verse literally rather than figuratively."

    You read my thoughts well. LOL you mean to say that it is easier and more comfortable to accept the verses literally than figuratively; since a literal interpretation removes self-accountability from the equation.

    "I am sorry, but there is nothing figurative in those verses [Deuteronomy 14-21]. The literal meaning is clear."

    You are quite excused...

    Girls were in fact to remain virgin as a form of control (again, with the final goal of not deviating from the Covenant).
    If young women are let on the loose then there is the danger of reproduction with men outside the Covenant and bring desruption (if not corruption). Look at Dinah's case: she had sex with a Canaanite Prince [yes, I know it is translated as rape, but if it were rape how come it says "he loved the maiden and spoke tenderly to her"? Rapists do not speak tenderly to their victims] and even though he expressed the wish to marry her and convert into Judaism; he and Dinah brought disruption and corruption to the Jews [her brothers ended up by killing the whole groom's male subjects and family members].
    Having God considered this example, He later issued a law that would prevent such plots to occur (plots, that would bring the sin of murder [which differs from killing] upon His Chosen People, breaking thus its Sanctity). This being said, the evil lies not on not being a virgin but lies upon the consequences of the young woman's actions.

    Like I said, the Bible is to be interpreted as a whole.

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  47. Sarah,

    "In addition, if you are saying that the verses are not referring to stoning a daughter who is found not to be a virgin, but rather referring to any Jewish woman who deviates from the Covenant and that she deserves to die — that would mean that every non-Torah-observant Jewish woman, every Reform and secularized Jewish woman deserve to die!"

    You said it, not me.
    But it must be recognised that disobedient Jews (including priests, like the sons of Aaron for example) have brought troubles to Israel since the day God set Israel free from slavery in Egypt...

    "Orthodox Judaism teaches that the return to Zion would be when the Jewish people repent for their sins and once again became Torah-observant Jews, and God, in His mercy, would deem it time to return them to Zion."

    Well, perhaps you should refer to Ana Antunes when it comes to Orthodox Judaism (but I see that you chose to ignore her).
    Nevertheless, I can only add my opinion on your words: in a way, the Jewish People have already paid for their sins...what do you call the Holocaust (let's not forgot why it has this name)? And didn't the biggest Alliyahs occur after that most horrid crime? As for Torah-observant Jews: Israel has much to thank to the Haredim, the Chassidim and other true observants - they do the hardest task of them all (to serve and love the Lord with all their might so that Israel can continue to deserve God's good favours and Grace), do you think their life is easy?

    "8% of Israeli Jews defined themselves as ultra-Orthodox/12% as "religious"/13% as "religious-traditionalists"/25% as "non-religious-traditionalists" (not strictly adhering to Jewish law or halakha)
    42% as 'secular' "

    It seems to me that the majority qualifies (58%, including the non-religious-traditionalists) as the Lord's wholeheartedly and loving servants.
    As for the 42% secular Jews...not all is lost for them.

    "In fact, according to Jewish dogma, the Jewish people were granted right to the land only if they observed the Torah and its commandments. The reality that 67% of Israeli citizens are self-proclaimed non-Torah-observant Jews really throws a wrench into the works."

    The Torah says you are quite mistaken: the right to the Promised Land was granted by God to Abram and then reconfirmed to Abraham "In that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: 'Unto your seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates; and the Kenite, and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite and the Repahim, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Girgashite, and the Jebisute" (Genesis 15:18-21).
    "Neither shall your name be Abram any more, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. (...) And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God." (Genesis 17:5, 17:8).
    This promised was made way before the Law was transmitted to Moses, and therefore way before God commanded the observance of the Torah.

    Thank you for Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandi's quote. I am not qualified enough to discuss his views on the writings of Maimonides, on the Talmud, on the Mishnah, or any other else Jewish Writings.
    Although I have read about the concept of "Jews against Zionism" I do not understanding and I am not sure I ever wish to.

    Most interesting conversation, Sarah, thank you *bowing*...

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  48. Max,
    I guess we have reached a juncture at which any further discussion would be pointless since I see the Jews as the occupiers and you see the Palestinians as the occupiers. I've heard “it is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.” So while we've not reached any significant meeting of minds, I believe that we have engaged honestly and sincerely in discussion and disagreement; and hopefully we both leave the table more aware of the "other narrative."

    Shalom salam peace
    Sarah

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  49. Sarah :D,

    "I guess we have reached a juncture at which any further discussion would be pointless since I see the Jews as the occupiers and you see the Palestinians as the occupiers."

    A discussion is never pointless to me because it always teaches me a lot of things; however I do understand what you mean.
    On my part things are not that linear: I denounce the Palestinian attitude and strategy of victimisation and distortion of history to achieve its political goals. But I do not reject negoatiations and compromise.

    "I've heard “it is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.” So while we've not reached any significant meeting of minds, I believe that we have engaged honestly and sincerely in discussion and disagreement; and hopefully we both leave the table more aware of the "other narrative."

    Wise words. Our debate was a marvellous one and I'd like to thank you for it (we were quite a match).
    I am perfectly aware of both narratives and I choose to be on the side of Truth.

    Sarah, it was a true true pleasure *Bowing*.

    Shalom

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  50. Max,
    I feel almost like I'm losing an old friend! Perhaps we will meet again sometime in a new debate and have another stimulating encounter. And I agree, we WERE quite a match!

    Peace.

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  51. Sarah,

    "I feel almost like I'm losing an old friend!"

    No, you rather gained a new friend :D.

    "Perhaps we will meet again sometime in a new debate and have another stimulating encounter. And I agree, we WERE quite a match!"

    I am looking forward to it *bowing*. Most definitely...

    Peace, darling!

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  52. Max,
    Our extensive discussion inspired in me a renewed interest in Torah, Talmud, and Zionism. From my reading and research, one question loomed largest and I would be interested in your view — will Torah/Talmud law ultimately be instituted in all nations? And if so, why would the gentiles ever voluntarily agree to abide by such law (since the Noahide code that would govern them would in effect make it unlawful to practice a religion such as Christianity)? I have not found any satisfactory answer anywhere. Any insight?

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  53. Regarding the re-institution of the Torah, it seems to me there is a problem. It requires sacrifices and these must only be performed by priests descended from Levi. Unfortunately there are none. The only solution I see is to go to the recently discovered ossuaries of the high priests in Jerusalem and do some Jurassic Park style genetic engineering from extracted DNA! The Jews can't even follow the Torah even if they wanted to.

    As a separate note, Islam is loosely based on the Torah, and gentiles don't seem to have much of a problem with it. American history textbooks here in California begin with Mohammed!

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  54. Thanks for your thoughts Looney.

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  55. Sarah,

    "Our extensive discussion inspired in me a renewed interest in Torah, Talmud, and Zionism."

    I am glad it did *bowing*.

    "(..) I would be interested in your view — will Torah/Talmud law ultimately be instituted in all nations? And if so, why would the gentiles ever voluntarily agree to abide by such law (since the Noahide code that would govern them would in effect make it unlawful to practice a religion such as Christianity)? I have not found any satisfactory answer anywhere. Any insight?"

    My thoughts on this aren't satisfactory to many either...nevertheless:
    I personally do not think that the Torah/Talmud law will ever be instituted in all nations (unless the nations [goyim] would stop being so and converted into Judaism...which I don't think it will happen). However, I do believe that most nations will ultimately respect Israel, and others will fear it (while secretely admiring it) - and this could be viewed as some sort of conversion; although, in effect, it is not.

    When you say that Noahide laws make it unlawful to practice Christianity; are you referring to the prohibition of idolatry?

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  56. Looney,

    "It requires sacrifices and these must only be performed by priests descended from Levi. Unfortunately there are none."

    And how do you know this exactly?

    "The Jews can't even follow the Torah even if they wanted to."

    Certain Jews can't or they choose not to able to follow the Torah?

    "As a separate note, Islam is loosely based on the Torah, and gentiles don't seem to have much of a problem with it. American history textbooks here in California begin with Mohammed!"

    According to LS, the Quran is a mix of the Torah and the Christian Writings...

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  57. Yes, Max, I am referring to the prohibition of idolatry and in fact, the Noahide laws specify the Christians as idolators. The prohibition of idolatry would include any outward show of worshipping Jesus, participating in Christian rites or ceremonies, or observing any of the holidays. The punishment for breaking this law would be the death penalty.

    My understanding of the Talmudic teachings point not to conversion of the gentiles to Judaism as this is not possible according to orthodox Judaism. But that instead the gentiles of the world would be under the rule of Judaism and would be bound by obligation to follow the Noahide laws. Details of the Noahide laws are available at http://www.hasidicuniversity.org/index.php?page=hu_theocracy/th_toc.htm

    The statements that "Islam is loosely based on the Torah" or "the Quran is a mix of the Torah and the Christian Writings" are incorrect according to the Quran itself. The Quran contains stories of all the prophets of Israel up to and including Jesus as it states that the children of Israel and the followers of Jesus were communities honored by God to receive His messengers and, as such, had the opportunity and obligation to fulfill the commandments of God. According to the Quran, both communities failed in their obligations and the mantle was passed to the followers of Muhammad. Yet the Quran speaks of Jesus, not as the son of God, but as a human being and prophet.

    It is also an interesting point that the Quran does not refer to the children of Israel as Jews. In fact, once the children of Israel (descendents of prophet Jacob, i.e., the twelve tribes) split up into two kingdoms, only those of the southern kingdom, Judah — named for the tribe of Judah — were called Judeans or Jews. Their tradition came to be called Judaism. This was, again, after ten tribes split from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and constituted the northern kingdom of Israel. I have read in a number of sources that the main reason for the split (beyond the initial and ongoing rivalry of Joseph and Judah) was that the ten tribes of the kingdom of Israel were committed to an inclusive, universalist understanding of the oral traditions. The inhabitants of Judah, in contrast, were inclining toward the interpretations of their priests who were proffering an exclusivist, racial creed. So Judaism today is the bequeathment of that creed. Food for thought.

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  58. Sarah,

    "Yes, Max, I am referring to the prohibition of idolatry and in fact, the Noahide laws specify the Christians as idolators. The prohibition of idolatry would include any outward show of worshipping Jesus, participating in Christian rites or ceremonies, or observing any of the holidays. The punishment for breaking this law would be the death penalty."

    Well, I leave the judgement of Christians to God (for only He knows the purpose of having sent Jesus - a fruit of immaculate conception - to earth). Nevertheless, I do have a problem with certain Christian denominations that insist upon saying that Jesus and God are the same thing; which besides making no sense at all, it is a blasmephy. God is the Creator and Jesus was His servant & the first part of his Plan.

    "My understanding of the Talmudic teachings point not to conversion of the gentiles to Judaism as this is not possible according to orthodox Judaism."

    I agree with it.

    "But that instead the gentiles of the world would be under the rule of Judaism and would be bound by obligation to follow the Noahide laws."

    Thanks for the link. So what are you saying: that gentiles will eventually deny Jesus? I don't think that was God's purpose.

    "According to the Quran, both communities failed in their obligations and the mantle was passed to the followers of Muhammad. Yet the Quran speaks of Jesus, not as the son of God, but as a human being and prophet."

    Jews and Christians failed their obligations...how so?
    "followers of Muhammad"? Shouldn't they be followers of Allah?
    The Quran is incorrect when it refers to Jesus as a human being; because in truth Jesus was half-human being with a special task (which is why I accept it when Christians call him Messiah; for in fact that is what he is - only not the Jewish one). Was he a prophet? Well, I suppose the Quran needs to call Jesus a prophet to legitimise the fact that Muslims "follow Muhammad" instead of following Allah (and this may be considered a proof of what Looney [and another blogger, LS] mean when they suggest it may be based on Jewish and Christian Holy Books).

    Jacob was not a prophet; he was one of the forefathers of Israel.
    LOL LOL so, you are practically saying that Judah and Benjamin are an analogy to the present Right Wing and the other 10 tribes represent the present Left Wing...LOL LOL you kill me, Sarah.
    Racial creed...human race, maybe?
    Judaism, to me, although complex is much simpler than your thought: loving and serving God with all one's might; bearing in mind the sanctity of being a Jew; defending the Land of Israel.

    Sarah, it has been a pleasure. I will be absent for a few weeks; but I'll be glad to continue our fruitful dialogue upon my return :D.

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  59. Have a good and safe journey!

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  60. Sarah,

    Thank you so much :D! Have a blessed summer, darling!

    Cheers

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