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An ex-schoolmate:

In order to understand why this is happening, let us explore the origins of Israel. Why do so many people, Muslims in particular, hate Israel? In contrast to what many ignoramuses think, it is not because they are jealous or racist; but it is simply because by modern definition, Israel is an illegal state. […]

By modern definition, occupying a territory by force without the consent of the locals would result in an illegal state not recognized by most countries of the world.

There is no such thing as an illegal state – the world is an international anarchy (as in, no world government, and no, the UN doesn’t count). Even if there is such a category of “illegal states”, well, Israel wouldn’t be the sole member of it. Just about every modern nation-state involved displacing an earlier population group through force.

As for shelling Israeli towns and settlements in the Negev with makeshift rockets being Hamas sole legitimate option, BOLLOCKS. Israel withdrew from Gaza. Israel was willing to end the blockade of Gaza with very simple, very basic, very reasonable requests for recognition and peace. Gaza, at a strategic location along the Levant, could prosper into a modern city-state, especially with the tonnes of foreign aid a non-violent Gaza would attract. There is no dichotomy between Israel’s continued existence and Palestinian rights and quality of life.

If Israel doesn’t deserve the right to defend its existence on the basis of “stolen land” and “displaced people”, why should states as diverse as USA (Native Americans dislocated, land stolen from, mostly by force) to France (just read a history of the Franks) to China (Tibet, Xinjiang, anyone?) have the same right.

Most of the world would have moved on had the same occurred to them. Only in the case of Palestinians do they have their own refugee agency at the UN, with its unique definition of what constitutes a refugee, and a desire to keep “refugees” in squalor as a festering sore so that Israel can eventually be destroyed.

Most of the Jews in Israel were refugees from other parts of the world (and prior to influx of Russian Jews, Jewish refugees from Arab states were the majority in Israel). Displacing them to make place for recalcitrant Palestinians is downright inhumane. Its one thing to opine that past actions (like the British Mandate to create a Jewish homeland) is wrong, its quite another to make another horrendous wrong to correct it.

Palestinians who prefer act in a way that might destroy Israel rather than definitely improve their lots should be the international pariah deserving of condemnation here. Not Israel.

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6 Comments

  1. I do agree with you that too many people seem to be blaming only Israel. My dissagreement with you comes from the fact that Israel also has some fault in this experience as well. We cannot demonify one side and not look at the other sides misdeeds as well.

    I agree with your assesment of the numerous nations that took over other people to carve out their own land. The main difference is that Israel was carved out by other nations doing it for them after World War Two. It was not done by the Israelis themselves alone.

    I do not believe that Israel is an illegal state. They have a long history of living in that area and if time is the essence of ownership then Israel’s claims are older than the United States and many other nation states in the world right now.

  2. Hi Rajan!

    I shoulda replied to this earlier but I didn’t realise you connected a link there…
    hahaha…

    welll… One thing I’d like to say is that perhaps you took my term ‘illegal state’ in the wrong way…. I agree with you there is no such thing or a proper or official definition of an illegal state in this world due to the fact there is no world government or whatever; but the term ‘illegal state’ is what many western countries would use to describe Kuwait if lets say Sadamm invaded and established a puppet state there.

    I also agree with you that displacement of the jews from Israel now is not a practical solution but the anger of the Palestinians can be understood. How would u feel if you were living peacefully in a place then suddenly a bunch of people just comes and kick you out and say “this land is mine”. Resorting to terrorism is not an excuse in our point of view but to many of them, they have been pushed to desperation in ways many of us probably would not understand. Palestine isn’t even recognized as a official state by many nations around the world.

    I have never said that Israel does not have a right to defend themselves just as I have never said that rocket firing is the sole legitimate option. All I am saying is that it is not surprising that Palestine is launching rockets into Israel because they believe their land is theirs. They are clearly incapable of an all out war and have resorted to terrorism as such. To me, it just seems to be another form of warfare. And frankly, if Israel can just enter and displace these Arabs from land that was originally theirs, I don’t see why Hamas cannot resort to rocket firing as a form of warfare (albeit a stupid, lousy way to hurt an enemy) to regain their territory.

    As for the last part, I agree with you that Gaza does have large potential for development. It’s just too bad that so many middle eastern countries have not used their resources in a proper manner that would allow them to be some of the world’s greatest nations. The situation there is indeed complex, and there is no doubt that Israel is here to stay for centuries to come.

    • O-Wern: My contention is that you describe Israel as an illegitimate (or in your words, illegal) state. My point is that there are very, very, very few modern nation states that didn’t have population displacement somewhere in its past. Israel’s main ally, the United States, is founded through displacement of Native Americans.

      As for rightful/wrongful anger/frustration: well then, the Palestinians are being a little bit greedy. Offered their own state in Gaza and West Bank and they want the whole of Israel. Remember, Gaza, and to a far greater extent, the West Bank figures greatly in Jewish sentiments (Jews got their name from Judea, which is the southern portion of the West Bank, for one).

      But as for Palestinians being the original natives, I have no doubt that some Palestinians are natives. But a lot of them are migrants, often only slightly less recent than the original Zionist settlers. Take Yasser Arafat, for example – he’s from Egypt. The Palestinians displaced native Bedouins and Druzes (ironically, a lot of Bedouins and, to the greater extent, Druzes, are fervent Israel supporters – they opted in for national service for example).

      The point is that if we always try to correct historic wrongs, we are almost always bound to create even bigger wrongs. Just because Hamas has a national aspiration that sees Israel “driven to the sea” doesn’t make it legitimate for them to attack civilians through terrorism. Indeed, it is very hypocritical to criticize Israel for civilian losses when they attack Hamas targets hiding, like cowards, in their midsts – but try to justify Hamas blatant attacks on Israeli civilians.

      As for Gaza and development, it is more than classic Middle Eastern mismanagement – Hamas has perpetuated a humanitarian crisis in Gaza (heck, in this conflict, they hijack a ninth of Israeli humanitarian trucks, selling food and medicine off to the highest bidder). Before the Oslo Accords, things were not that great, but decent in Gaza and the West Bank. Transfered to the Palestinian Authority under PLO/Fatah, it started getting worse, with massive levels of corruption and official violence. Hamas decided they could top Fatah’s record, and quite frankly, they succeeded pretty handily.

      Hamas should be the international pariah. Not Israel.

  3. So now you are telling that it was allright that the English and after them the Jews occupied the land of the Palestinians. Because they could and because others like Americans did the same with America? Because if that is what you stand for than it means according to you that it was allright that the germans occupied other countries during WW2. And also means that it is allright when Muslims kick the Jews out when they can. Or do you only give those rights to certain “good” people. Are you maybe acctually a racist?

  4. john: No, I’m not racist. My point (and it was blindingly clear from my comment and blogpost if you could understand English) is that correcting historic wrongs never work, and create even bigger wrongs.

    Quite clearly a two-state solution is the most optimum solution for both Palestinians and Israelis. Hamas preoccupation with destroying Israel is what’s wrong here. The creation of Israel in 1948 doesn’t make what Hamas is doing any less wrong.

  5. i thnk jews got wat they deserved from Hitler. 🙂


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