Israel

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Sertorio
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Re: Israel

Post by Sertorio » Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:23 am

EllenS wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:04 am
1. You keep mentioning how "useful" Israeli brains and treasure would be to the EU, so whats in it for Israel they don't already have?
2. What would Israel gain by giving up its sovereignty to the EU? More important to Israelis is what might it lose?

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This is a very interesting question that should be a thread unto itself. Feelings in Israel as to whether it should be interested in joining the EU have evolved significantly since the mid-1990's when over 70% of Israeli citizens supported joining the EU and much of the political leadership did as well.

Today, only about 35% support entering the EU, and that number has steadily been declining. Arab citizens strongly support this, while Jewish citizens strongly oppose it. What is even more interesting is that even among Ashkenazi Jews - the group that used to enthusiastically endorse closer ties to Europe, there is now strong opposition to the EU. This mostly has to do with the changing culture and identity of the Jewish state, and the travails of Jewish history as they are still manifested today, and not economics. Economically speaking, Israel has no interest in tying itself to a demographically and economically declining Europe. India, China, and the rest of Asia, as well as Israel's greatest ally the US, are all much more auspicious economic partners for the future.

But, it is the emotional and cultural identity issues that have been most responsible for changing the views of the Jewish citizens, in my view. Israel today is not ruled by a secular Ashkenazi elite that views itself as European and craves approval from its former persecuters. Many of the culture and political activists today are Mizrachi (middle eastern) and even Ethiopian. The current Ashkenazi leadership comes also from former Soviet citizens and former Americans. None of these people identify with Europe.

Who identifies with Europe? The discredited leftist Ashkenazim who gave us the murderous Oslo "peace" process. And the nonZionist Arab Muslim citizens who applaud the anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic basis for much of the European attitude toward Israel. We all know, both Arabs and Jews, what Europeans think about the Jewish People, its culture, its tragic history in Europe, and its perilous condition in the Middle East. EU spokesmen never fail to remind us how much they despise us and our success. Every utterance that comes out of the EU foreign policy leadership reconfirms this view. Does anyone really think that binding Israel to this collection of people with their never changing contempt for Jews could possibly be good for Israel? The minute the Palestinians declare another intifada or participate in another war with one of our neighbors, the EU will threaten Israel with an economic boycott if it dares to defend itself.

Also, the EU is an opponent of US influence in the world. If Israel has to take a side, obviously and correctly, it would support the US over the EU. So, clearly, it cannot join the EU with that set of priorities and preferences.

Hence, Israel will never join the EU. In my view, it should join an Asian economic and defense group, because that is the continent it actually belongs to. Perhaps when Bibi retires, he can start a new pan-Asian organization that won't be throttled by Arab blackmail, and that could serve as a useful place for international cooperation of states that want progress for their citizens, not endless war and hatred. The Arabs have their Arab League to promote war and hatred, and the Iranians have their Shiite axis for the same purpose. And soon, Erdogan will have his neo-Ottoman group of colonies and sycophants. Israel belongs to the rising and optimistic nations of Asia that want progress.
Ellen,
I do sympathize with your views and I'm afraid most Israelis see it that way. But one thing are Europe's rulers, another are the various European peoples.

Coming from Portugal, where 25% of the population has Jewish ancestors and where a law was passed a few years ago recognizing Portuguese citizenship to all descendants of the Sephardic Jews who were expelled in the 15th century from Portugal, and who wish to obtain our nationality, I may not be representative of the European public opinion. I can only say that there is no antisemitism whatsoever in Portugal, and that having Israel joining the EU would be welcome by most of us.

But even in countries where antisemitism is still visible, like France, I have no doubts that the overwhelming majority of people are not antisemitic, even if they may not agree with current Israeli policies. Most people would welcome Israel in the EU if the so-called "Palestinian problem" was solved. Muslim terrorism has, I'm sure, somewhat changed our view of that "problem", so I wouldn't be surprised if an increasing number of people in Europe were ready to accept the one state solution, provided Palestinians living in the West Bank were given Israeli citizenship and equality of rights with the Jewish Israelis.

Having the US as allies, would Israel need Europe? I think it would, because the US is not only generally detested everywhere in the world, but because it is highly unreliable. Any friends of the US will also be the targets of all that hatred, and American decadence will make any dependence on the US a very risky business in the future. A diplomatic solution for the Israeli-Arab conflict is a lot easier with Europe as an intermediary, than with the help of the US which is not seen as an honest power broker. The US is only useful - for the time being - because of its military might. But the Israeli-Arab conflict cannot be for ever solved by military means alone. Besides, I am not even sure that the US will be able to impose its will by force in the ME for much longer.

neverfail
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Re: Keep Europe compact and managable.

Post by neverfail » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:20 am

I believe that the EU should establish clear geographic bounds for itself. The bigger it grows with the inclusion of more states then the more unmanagable it will become.

The Baltic Republics should be included as should Poland - but nothing to the east of that. These really belong in and to the West, not to any body dominated and led by Russia, for the simple reason that their religious heritage is respectively Lutheran and Catholic - both sub-branches of western Christianity. Further to the south the eastern frontiers of (respectively) Slovakia, Hungary and Romania along with the Western shoreline of the Black Sea should be as far as the EU should extend. The one hitch here is that in the case of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece their religious heritage is eastern Orthodox - so these might yet prove to be a permanent mismatch.

Turkey, whose civilisation is not and never has been Western except in recent pretense, should be permanently excluded as should Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Even including Cyprus in membership is possibly pushing the envvelope a bit too far.

As for Europe's other bounds these are marked by the sub-continent's Mediterranean, north Atlantic and Arctic Sea coastlines: no problem there.

Israel? Located where two continents connect and where the Mediterranean leads to yet a third one Israel is located astride an ancent global crossroads where trade routes and invasion paths intersect. It might not find itself best served by committing unequivocally to Europe: especially as Ellen so eloquently points out Europe seems to have entered a somewhat moribund phase of its history with the prospect of becoming something of a backwater in the centuries to come.

Apart from its awkward geographic location I do not believe that Israel should be given a place in the European Union for another reason - the same one as Turkey. Turkey's Islamic heritagte means that spiritually it is a mismatch to Europe and therefore would likely be destined to be for Europe nothing but a constant future source of trouble.

What do Jews have in common with Muslims - apart from both being believers in one God (monotheist) and tracing their religious tradition back to Abrahan?

Both deny the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Abscent therefore is any semblance of spiritual bonding that could lead them to become good Europeans.

Jim the Moron
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Re: Israel

Post by Jim the Moron » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:44 am

Basing alliances between nations on religion is a medieval construct, mostly practiced today by nations under the yoke of Islam.

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Sertorio
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Re: Israel

Post by Sertorio » Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:07 am

EllenS wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:22 am
Israel will never join the EU and does not want to. The issue is not just survival but maintaining the Jewish religious and national culture. Jews fought for 2000 years in dispersion to sustain this culture and suffered greatly because of it. Now with their own national state, fought for by blood and courage, the idea that Israel will Europeanize itself by abandoning the historic culture that it fought for all these years, is beyond ludicrous. No Asian organization that Israel might join in the future would require abandonment of its national religion and culture.
Jews are mostly intelligent, modern people. Sooner or later they will understand that religions - whether Judaism, Christianity or Islam - are diseases of the mind which can only contribute to violence and fanaticism, never mind if they are theoretically meant to achieve the opposite of that. A true community can never be achieved as long as in their midst there are several religions. The only thing preventing Jews and Muslims living together in a common state of Israel is their idea that their respective religions are the only true ones, and that those who profess a different faith are the "enemy" which must be destroyed. Tolerance and solidarity can only exist once religious exclusivism disappears. Only secular societies can be peaceful. With the exception of the orthodox Jews, most Israelis may be close to achieving that ideal state. Unfortunately Arab Muslims are not...

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Re: Israel

Post by neverfail » Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:46 pm

Jim the Moron wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:44 am
Basing alliances between nations on religion is a medieval construct, mostly practiced today by nations under the yoke of Islam.
No Jim! I was thinking in terms of spiritual affinity and mutual compatibility for which confessional heritage serves as a indicitave loose guideline (though not an infallible one).

Why (for instance) do you think that Poland is so keen to belong to the Western alliance? Polish and Russian are both regional dialects of the same Slavonic mother-tongue so Poland should be a natural for inclusion in a bloc led by Russia. The fact that is religion is Catholic (western christianity) instead of Russian Orthodox makes a hell of a difference.

neverfail
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Re: Israel

Post by neverfail » Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:30 pm

EllenS wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:22 am
I agree with the comments by Neverfail on why Israel cannot be part of Europe. Yes, it is right at the crossroads of 2 continents, or really 3. All the historic trade routes and invasion routes in the Levant passed through Israel, which explains why no permanent national state by anyone was ever built and survived for very long. The only independent state that ever existed in the Land of Israel was the Kingdom of Israel in ancient times and the State of Israel in modern times. Neither the Arabs nor Turks nor any other Muslim society ever established a viable state in this land. Their territories was always part of a broader empire to the east or west.

Regarding the Portuguese view that Israel would be welcomed in the EU once it makes a peace agreement with the Palestinians; this line of thinking has produced the failure of all the peace processes for the past 100 years. There is no possibility of a negotiated peace agreement with the Palestinians that results in another failed Arab state west of the Jordan. Someday they may get a Palestinian state in Jordan, but not more than that.

Israel will not incorporate the Arab-populated parts of the West Bank into Sovereign Israel, and give the Palestinians citizenship for the obvious reason that their goal is destroy the Jewish state. Only suicidal Europeans would do such a thing. Israel is not suicidal nor European. A future Israeli government will annex the Jordan Valley and the settlements for security and national/historical/religious reasons, and this will not change the demography by even half a percent. There are only a few thousand Arabs living in this area. So, the demographic issue is a dud.

The Europeans can go and make all the conditions they want, it doesn't matter. Israel will never join the EU and does not want to. The issue is not just survival but maintaining the Jewish religious and national culture. Jews fought for 2000 years in dispersion to sustain this culture and suffered greatly because of it. Now with their own national state, fought for by blood and courage, the idea that Israel will Europeanize itself by abandoning the historic culture that it fought for all these years, is beyond ludicrous. No Asian organization that Israel might join in the future would require abandonment of its national religion and culture. Asia has many religions and cultures and models of organization. No one is expected to abandon anything, just to cooperate for mutual benefit.

The rulers of Europe don't seem to understand this point. That is why they have tried to create a European superstate with a bland, homogenized form of superficial common identity that appeals to no one. The result is Brexit. In the future I expect other countries to leave the EU and to promote their own national destiny, not as colonies of an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels.

The Palestinians had an an opportunity to build their own national identity and institutions of government and society, and chose instead to fight a permanent jihad against what they see as an illegitimate Jewish state in a previously Muslim-conquered territory. They conquered Israel in the 7th century by military force, and then lost it also by military force in the 20th century. Too bad. To the victor go the spoils. Israel is now controlled by its historic and rightful owners. That the Europeans and Arabs don't see it that way, well, again too bad. You don't rule the world anymore nor can you determine Jewish destiny. That is now beyond your grasp.
Ellen: I do not believe that the State of Israel's right to exist can be justified either with reference to long, contiguous occupancy nor to episides past soverignty - both of which have proven fleeting, flickering experiences for the chosen people. To discover the basis of Israel's legetimacy I would humbly suggest that you need to go all the way back to the beginning - which means to Old Testament Abraham.

i.e,. God gifted this land to our forebears.


He did, but with terms and conditions attached that modern Jewry (and all others) should be aware of.

I am repeatedly surprised that you and other Israel advocates never seem to mention that.

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Sertorio
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Re: Israel

Post by Sertorio » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:33 am

Jim the Moron wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:44 am
Basing alliances between nations on religion is a medieval construct, mostly practiced today by nations under the yoke of Islam.
It's not only alliances, it is the very concept of identity. I may be repeating myself, but most of the ME problems cannot be solved as long as religion determines people's actions and reactions. Religion is important only inasmuch as it fosters a solid code of ethics which enables people to live together, work together and build their future together. Outside that religions have only fostered violence, intolerance and oppression. People who have been brought together by history, like Jews and Arabs in Palestine/Israel/Canaan, must learn to live together under a set of laws which protects each person's and each community's rights, including the right of worship in peace and without violence against non-believers. Subject to the same code of law and to the same educational system, Jews and Arabs can live peacefully together in a single democratic state, whether called Israel, Canaan or something else. If that was the will of both Jews and Arabs living in Israel/West Bank, Europe could be of assistance guaranteeing the peaceful development of such process, and keeping any ill wishers at bay. No reason this could not happen.

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dagbay
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Re: Israel

Post by dagbay » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:03 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:33 am
Jim the Moron wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:44 am
Basing alliances between nations on religion is a medieval construct, mostly practiced today by nations under the yoke of Islam.
It's not only alliances, it is the very concept of identity. I may be repeating myself, but most of the ME problems cannot be solved as long as religion determines people's actions and reactions. Religion is important only inasmuch as it fosters a solid code of ethics which enables people to live together, work together and build their future together. Outside that religions have only fostered violence, intolerance and oppression. People who have been brought together by history, like Jews and Arabs in Palestine/Israel/Canaan, must learn to live together under a set of laws which protects each person's and each community's rights, including the right of worship in peace and without violence against non-believers. Subject to the same code of law and to the same educational system, Jews and Arabs can live peacefully together in a single democratic state, whether called Israel, Canaan or something else. If that was the will of both Jews and Arabs living in Israel/West Bank, Europe could be of assistance guaranteeing the peaceful development of such process, and keeping any ill wishers at bay. No reason this could not happen.
A little late to the party, sorry about that, was busy inventing in my basement. :)
Given that the EU is hell bent on inviting Muslim immigration in while EU anti-juish actions are driving Jews out of Europe there is no credible scenario that would make Israelis want to take on the leadership of the EU and accept it's policies. Just consider the aforementioned invitation of Muslim migrants which will spell the destruction of Israel in no time. As a sovereign state Israel is in the position to leverage it's newly discovered natural gas resources to get some reprieve from destructive meddling EU policies. it can block the sale of key product to the sanctimonious EU countries which fund terrorism in Gaza and Ramalla. If the EU wants to turn Europe into Euroba then prey they should do so on their own.
As matters stand the US is a far better known quantity. Israel can relay on the Republicans for now, the Democrats not so much but those are losing anyway. Matter of fact the EU seems quit fragile after Brexit. Who knows how long it will survive in its current form. Who knows how much longer the industrialized but aging Germany,France and the nordics can rape the youths of the southern countries?
I'd rather be diving or flying alas for now I am on terra firma.

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Sertorio
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Re: Israel

Post by Sertorio » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:29 pm

dagbay wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:03 pm

Given that the EU is hell bent on inviting Muslim immigration in while EU anti-juish actions are driving Jews out of Europe there is no credible scenario that would make Israelis want to take on the leadership of the EU and accept it's policies. Just consider the aforementioned invitation of Muslim migrants which will spell the destruction of Israel in no time.
As you very well know, Europe does not "invite" Muslim immigrants, and much less invites them in order to harm Israel. There has been the immigration of Muslims - but not considered as such - in Europe, and some of those immigrants indeed want to destroy Israel and want to instrumentalize Europe to that effect. As far as I know, most Europeans have not the intention of giving those terrorists the room they need to achieve their objectives. And they are ready to expel from Europe anyone who preaches violence. Those Muslim immigrants who are peaceful and are prepared to adjust to our society and culture, are welcome. Within one generation most of them will be as European as the rest of us, and Israel has nothing to fear from them or from us.

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dagbay
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Re: Israel

Post by dagbay » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:36 pm

EllenS wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:35 am
Dagbay,

I know, to an outsider it looks like the ascendency of Israel today is just another swing of the pendulum. The Arabs were up in the 1970's and beyond due to their oil boom and blackmail, and now they're down, but soon there will be another swing of the pendulum, etc.

That is no longer the case. Their oil wealth is now an attriting asset. No country can get or remain wealthy off of oil or gas, except maybe Qatar that has almost no citizen population (eg, 300,000). Developing human capital and sensible development policies, with low corruption and a good educational system are the magic sauce for development, with no exceptions. Ask our Singaporean friends about that. Singapore is one of the leading examples (other than Israel) of how a small country made up of refugees and no resources can become rich and important. The Arabs should have emulated Singapore.

When the PLO took over Gaza strip after the Israeli withdrawal in 2005, lots of people had high hopes of turning Gaza into another Singapore. What a joke. It simply became a bigger hell hole. It turns out the Palestinians prefer waging perpetual losing wars against Israel to Singaporean style development. That explains where they are today. Ditto for Lebanon, Syria, Libya, etc.

The real challenge for Israel is to manage an emerging tripartite rivalry between the 3 real powers of the Middle East, none of whom are Arab states. I refer to Turkey, Israel and Iran. How to divide the MidEast into spheres of influence of those 3 emerging powers is the next stage of the great game. Someday, even Ethiopia may join these 3, as the fourth leg of a 4-leg table. Don't count them out.
Not an outsider but not quite an insider either...
I'd rather be diving or flying alas for now I am on terra firma.

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