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Tags Israel issues , Israel-Palestine conflict , US-Israel relations

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Old 22nd May 2018, 06:34 PM   #401
TubbaBlubba
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You should reserve judgment until you have evidence that it was or wasn't.
You are right only in a very pedantic sense - I do have evidence, it is the actions and statements of Israel.

Quote:
That is not something the IDF can do.
Again you pull the sleight-of-hand of only looking at the IDF in this particular engagement, not the broader political context. I don't know if this is news to you, but the IDF answers to the Israeli government, which can do these things.


Quote:
When you compared me to people who commit genocide, what exactly did you expect people to think? Nazis are the sine qua non of genocide.
I compared your rhetoric to the rhetoric of those who commit genocide. My go-to example here would actually be the Armenian genocide, where the rhetoric is precisely, "No, we were just defending ourselves against the mean insurgent Christian bullies!!"

Quote:
And why do you place these obligations on the Israelis, but not the Palestinians?
I have already explained why, you dismissed this with your convenient theory of moral obligation, remember? I'm not going to debate those ideas of yours, it is obvious that any notion of obligation can be negated by going back to the events surrounding the creation of the Palestinian mandate and Israeli state.

But in case your memory fails, what I said was that Israel has such an enormous advantage that it can do this without exposing itself to undue risk. The Palestinian Authority/Hamas/Fatah on the other hand would be handing away their last bargaining chips in a horribly lopsided situation.

There is also the fact that Israel is a relatively functional democratic state (something that the pro-Israel crowd only seems to remember in the context of bashing its neighbours). What's the point of championing democracy if we expect no better from states that operate under it?

And let also that answer once and for all the ever-recurring whataboutisms of "where is the outrage over the actions of the Islamic world?" There is such outrage, from me and others, all over the place, in appropriate contexts. The actions of Israel carry a significant moral weight because of the moral value we attach to democracy. Much of the prevailing narrative of the Western world rests on the idea that democratic, open societies are ultimately better than undemocratic ones. Not only in the sense that we tend to attach a slew of things we already deemed positive to the notion of democracy, but also in the sense that democracy is supposed to lead to better national interests, a greater desire for peace, more cooperativeness, more respect for human rights, perhaps even more empathy. The attitude shown by Israel is, in this context, disturbing. It forces us to question whether democracy really leads to these things, whether democracy will really prevail and ultimately improve the world. If we're just going to throw up our hands and accept that this is the way things work (which is what you appear to be advocating), then we are going to risk engaging in a self-fulfilling prophecy. I haven't given up that hope yet - I believe Israel can do better; I believe that as a democracy, it can be expected to do better. And that expectation makes it meaningful to raise my voice in outrage.

The problems in extremely flawed democracies and authoritarian states exist on other levels entirely, and as such the contexts of discussions about their crimes are different. A state like Iran is disturbing in its own right, because it has been broadly successful in spite of having a government deliberately engineered to be to a great extent the many things a Western democracy is not, or is not supposed to be. Similarly, turns toward authoritarianism in Turkey and China, which seemed to be on the "right path" in the broader narrative, must also be calls for alarm.

We must ask ourselves what this means for the future of the open, democratic state. Maybe you think the atrocious actions taken by Israel are the correct response, because they are acting in defense of this society. But I will never accept such disregard for societal ethics. And not just the actions - the killings - matter, but also the way Israel presents them. I would have been more sympathetic toward the pro-Israel point of view if their starting point had been "This loss of life is a profound tragedy which we must take action to prevent from ever happening again". But instead, the starting point is blame-shifting and even derision. That is why I do not reserve judgment - Israel has already spoken for itself, and what it has said earns no benefit of the doubt from me.


And that's it from me in this thread. Seeing the excuses and the cynicism levied here is disturbing and exhausting, and only strengthens my nagging feeling that there is something deeply, deeply wrong with modern society.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 06:41 PM   #402
Giz
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
You are right only in a very pedantic sense - I do have evidence, it is the actions and statements of Israel.


Again you pull the sleight-of-hand of only looking at the IDF in this particular engagement, not the broader political context. I don't know if this is news to you, but the IDF answers to the Israeli government, which can do these things.




I compared your rhetoric to the rhetoric of those who commit genocide. My go-to example here would actually be the Armenian genocide, where the rhetoric is precisely, "No, we were just defending ourselves against the mean insurgent Christian bullies!!"


I have already explained why, you dismissed this with your convenient theory of moral obligation, remember? I'm not going to debate those ideas of yours, it is obvious that any notion of obligation can be negated by going back to the events surrounding the creation of the Palestinian mandate and Israeli state.

But in case your memory fails, what I said was that Israel has such an enormous advantage that it can do this without exposing itself to undue risk. The Palestinian Authority/Hamas/Fatah on the other hand would be handing away their last bargaining chips in a horribly lopsided situation.

There is also the fact that Israel is a relatively functional democratic state (something that the pro-Israel crowd only seems to remember in the context of bashing its neighbours). What's the point of championing democracy if we expect no better from states that operate under it?

And let also that answer once and for all the ever-recurring whataboutisms of "where is the outrage over the actions of the Islamic world?" There is such outrage, from me and others, all over the place, in appropriate contexts. The actions of Israel carry a significant moral weight because of the moral value we attach to democracy. Much of the prevailing narrative of the Western world rests on the idea that democratic, open societies are ultimately better than undemocratic ones. Not only in the sense that we tend to attach a slew of things we already deemed positive to the notion of democracy, but also in the sense that democracy is supposed to lead to better national interests, a greater desire for peace, more cooperativeness, more respect for human rights, perhaps even more empathy. The attitude shown by Israel is, in this context, disturbing. It forces us to question whether democracy really leads to these things, whether democracy will really prevail and ultimately improve the world. If we're just going to throw up our hands and accept that this is the way things work (which is what you appear to be advocating), then we are going to risk engaging in a self-fulfilling prophecy. I haven't given up that hope yet - I believe Israel can do better; I believe that as a democracy, it can be expected to do better. And that expectation makes it meaningful to raise my voice in outrage.

The problems in extremely flawed democracies and authoritarian states exist on other levels entirely, and as such the contexts of discussions about their crimes are different. A state like Iran is disturbing in its own right, because it has been broadly successful in spite of having a government deliberately engineered to be to a great extent the many things a Western democracy is not, or is not supposed to be. Similarly, turns toward authoritarianism in Turkey and China, which seemed to be on the "right path" in the broader narrative, must also be calls for alarm.

We must ask ourselves what this means for the future of the open, democratic state. Maybe you think the atrocious actions taken by Israel are the correct response, because they are acting in defense of this society. But I will never accept such disregard for societal ethics. And not just the actions - the killings - matter, but also the way Israel presents them. I would have been more sympathetic toward the pro-Israel point of view if their starting point had been "This loss of life is a profound tragedy which we must take action to prevent from ever happening again". But instead, the starting point is blame-shifting and even derision. That is why I do not reserve judgment - Israel has already spoken for itself, and what it has said earns no benefit of the doubt from me.


And that's it from me in this thread. Seeing the excuses and the cynicism levied here is disturbing and exhausting, and only strengthens my nagging feeling that there is something deeply, deeply wrong with modern society.
Democracies are better. But they are also justified in using tough measures when defending themselves against grave threats.

In Normandy, 1944, thousands of french civilians died and the Germans suffered disproportionate casualties (circa twice as many). That doesn't mean that the allies were in the wrong, or that democracy was invalidated as a concept.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 06:56 PM   #403
Ziggurat
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Again you pull the sleight-of-hand of only looking at the IDF in this particular engagement, not the broader political context. I don't know if this is news to you, but the IDF answers to the Israeli government, which can do these things.
In the broader context, Hamas is the primary impediment to peace, not Israel. Hamas wants to kill all the Jews, Israel doesn't want to kill all the Palestinians.

Quote:
I compared your rhetoric to the rhetoric of those who commit genocide. My go-to example here would actually be the Armenian genocide, where the rhetoric is precisely, "No, we were just defending ourselves against the mean insurgent Christian bullies!!"
So I'm like a genocidal maniac, just not that one?

And it's also complete bull ****. What large group has EVER not valued their own people more than their enemies? That isn't in any way unique or peculiar to genocidal maniacs, that's simply basic self-interest. You won't survive as a group if you don't believe that.

Quote:
But in case your memory fails, what I said was that Israel has such an enormous advantage that it can do this without exposing itself to undue risk. The Palestinian Authority/Hamas/Fatah on the other hand would be handing away their last bargaining chips in a horribly lopsided situation.
Listen to yourself. You're saying that Hamas can't give up terrorism because then it won't have any negotiating leverage.

You're justifying terrorism. That's just ****** up, man. I've tried to believe that you're confused about the situation because you're fed a steady diet of pro-Palestinian propaganda. But dude, propaganda exposure doesn't excuse that.

Quote:
Much of the prevailing narrative of the Western world rests on the idea that democratic, open societies are ultimately better than undemocratic ones.
Quite so. But you've drawn a perverse conclusion from this fact. It has led you to favor a non-democratic oppressive society over a Western liberal democratic society in a conflict between the two. But that doesn't encourage what you claim to prefer, it encourages the opposite.

Quote:
The attitude shown by Israel is, in this context, disturbing. It forces us to question whether democracy really leads to these things, whether democracy will really prevail and ultimately improve the world.
If you're wondering whether democracy will prevail, then why are you siding against it? And if you don't understand why Israel's victory will be better for the world, and even for the Palestinians themselves, than Hamas' victory, then you haven't actually been paying attention.

Quote:
Maybe you think the atrocious actions taken by Israel are the correct response, because they are acting in defense of this society. But I will never accept such disregard for societal ethics.
You keep playing bait and switch with this. You label the shootings as an atrocity, but when challenged for evidence that the IDF had any better option, you change the subject to the "broader context". But if the IDF had no better option, if the shootings were justified in order to protect Israeli lives from attackers intent on massacre (as Hamas has stated and repeatedly tried), then this incident is not an atrocity. And the broader context is made up of many such clashes, and your case there starts to crumble as well. You've built your entire position by never actually looking in detail at anything.

Quote:
And not just the actions - the killings - matter, but also the way Israel presents them. I would have been more sympathetic toward the pro-Israel point of view if their starting point had been "This loss of life is a profound tragedy which we must take action to prevent from ever happening again". But instead, the starting point is blame-shifting and even derision.
Why is it wrong to blame Hamas if Hamas is in fact to blame? What can Israel possibly do to prevent Hamas from sending their own people to die? And why is the public relations impression that you get, which is primarily NOT determined by Israel but by a hostile press, the relevant metric by which to judge Israel?

Quote:
And that's it from me in this thread. Seeing the excuses and the cynicism levied here is disturbing and exhausting, and only strengthens my nagging feeling that there is something deeply, deeply wrong with modern society.
Indeed there is. But you have utterly failed to grasp its actual nature.
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