The Israeli-Palestinian conflict
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Started by metmike - May 16, 2021, 2:38 p.m.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is exposing a deep schism in the Democratic Party

Democrats have moved left on Israel. Biden hasn’t.

In March, a Gallup poll showed that 53 percent of Democrats favored placing more pressure on Israel to make compromises to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — a 10-point jump from 2018, and 20 points higher than in 2008.

That finding tracked with poll after poll showing liberal Democrats are less sympathetic to Israel than they were in years past, although most Americans still say they support Israel and America’s alliance with it.

By metmike - May 16, 2021, 2:45 p.m.
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The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is an ongoing violent struggle between Israelis and Palestinians.[3] Various attempts have been made to resolve the conflict as part of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.[4] It has been referred to as the world's "most intractable conflict", with the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip reaching 54 years.

Occupied Palestinian Territories.jpg

DateMid-20th century[3] – present
Main phase: 1964–1993
LocationMiddle East
Primarily in Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip and Lebanon
StatusIsraeli–Palestinian peace process
low-level fighting, mainly between Israel and Gaza
Establishment and dissolution of Palestinian administration (1948–1959) in Gaza
Jordanian annexation of the West Bank (1948–1967)
Occupation of West Bank and Gaza by Israel in 1967
Transition of "A" and "B" areas from Israeli Civil Administration to the Palestinian National Authority in 1994–1995
Israeli disengagement from Gaza in 2005
By metmike - May 16, 2021, 2:48 p.m.
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Israel-Gaza violence: The conflict explained

Map of Israel's boundaries today

By WxFollower - May 16, 2021, 5:28 p.m.
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 The US' longtime ally Israel has the right to defend itself. Hamas is a far right Islamic fundamentalist, anti-Semitic terrorist organization going back decades. From Hamas wiki:

“According to Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, ‘The Hamas credo is not just anti-Israel, but profoundly anti-Semitic with racism at its core. The Hamas Charter reads like a modern-day Mein Kampf.’ According to the charter, Jewish people ‘have only negative traits and are presented as planning to take over the world.’[37] The 1988 Charter claimed that the Jews deserved Allah's enmity and wrath because they received the Scriptures but violated its sacred texts, disbelieved the signs of Allah, and slew their own prophets.”

 Here is a good write up on Hamas from the BBC:

 Hamas: The Palestinian militant group that rules Gaza - BBC News

 So, Hamas is no saint by any means and they have long practiced putting innocents in harm’s way to make Israel look bad. Also, there is plenty of antisemitism amongst the far left in the US who is supporting Hamas that they try to hide by calling it anti-Israel. Don’t be fooled. It isn’t just the far right that has problems with bigotry amongst some of its folks. The self-righteous far left has plenty of it and they’re hypocrites.

 The Jewish people have been the target of lots of hatred for many hundreds of years from various countries/groups, which is unfortunate and needs to be fought. Modern Israel was created mainly to give Jews a haven due to the dangers of antisemitism. 

 All of the above being said. I do wonder about the incidents in E Jerusalem from the last few weeks. Was Israel right to evict those Palestinian families? It is a complicated situation that precipitated Hamas to start shooting the rockets though Hamas was obviously wrong to do so.

“On 6 May 2021, Palestinians began protesting in Jerusalem over a forthcoming decision of the Israeli Supreme Court regarding the eviction of four Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood of East Jerusalem.”


 It is VERY complicated and it might involve as many as eight families. I recommend you read this article in full to appreciate how complicated it is (it isn’t a black and white situation as best as I can tell), but it clearly has a lot to do with leading to events that resulted in the Hamas rockets. Again, I’m not at all condoning Hamas for doing that. Hamas is horrible for the reasons I stated. It is a terrorist organization going back to the late 1980s and they want Israel to be destroyed, nuff said! The Palestinians in Gaza shouldn’t have teamed up with them. But I’m just trying to say what complicated situation lead up to Hamas shooting the rockets:

How Evictions in Jerusalem Led to Israeli-Palestinian Violence | Council on Foreign Relations (

 The actual evictions haven’t happened yet as they have been delayed til the Israeli Supreme Court rules on it next month.

 Many Dems (especially far left) are supporting Hamas over Israel here, but Biden and most moderate Dems are certainly not doing so. None of this mess is Biden’s fault imo.

By WxFollower - May 16, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
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 Hamas has a history of putting Palestinian innocent citizens in harm's way. How much do they value human life? Not much based on them having been the leading organization performing suicide bombings:

By metmike - May 16, 2021, 7:19 p.m.
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Great points in this thread Larry!

So how about Jewish people that commit terrorism?

Jewish religious terrorism

"However, unlike jihad networks, Jewish terrorists have not engaged in mass-casualty attacks (except for Baruch Goldstein).[8]"

The difference between this/them and Muslim terrorism would be something like comparing a sandlot baseball team with the MLB, Kansas City Royals.

What about this group?

Christian terrorism

There is actually  alot of terrorism from this group of people that supposedly identify as Christians but, c'mon now. Jesus and MLK taught us to love our neighbors AND our enemies. Anybody killing their perceived enemies that claims they got it from something they interpreted in the bible is either mentally ill or pretending to be a Christian. You don't kill people out of hate if you follow the religion of the most non violent, anti terrorist mentor/leader in history.  

This is like rioters who are destroying peoples property and killing cops, while using MLK  to justify their actions.

Do we blame MLK when they do this? Of course not.

So don't blame Christianity for terrorists that are USING Christianity to justify their actions. There's absolutely nothing wrong with Christianity and what it teaches............just the opposite.......which is for us to love our neighbors AND our enemies.

Regardless, the Jewish people have the least terrorism compared to the other 2 religions.

By WxFollower - May 21, 2021, 2:38 p.m.
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 Here is a story of an antisemitic incident in LA precipated by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

"The incident was captured on video and shared with KTLA by a viewer who wished to remain anonymous.

A witness to the incident said she was sitting with a group of friends when people in a caravan of vehicles displaying Palestinian flags drove by and began shouting at diners. The witness said that at one point a group of men jumped out of their vehicles and asked some men if any of them were 'Jews.' The fighting broke out when two men replied that they were, according to the witness." 

"Video of the incident was sent to L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz.

'We’re not going to bring the conflict from the Middle East here and allow people to be attacked on our streets because of what they look like and what they appear ethnically,' Koretz said."

  Related to this, it is good to see these reactions:

"California's Governor Gavin Newsom said there is 'no place' for antisemitism in the state as Los Angeles police investigate a violent fight outside a sushi restaurant as an antisemitic hate crime.'

"Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti condemned the 'organized, anti-Semitic attack.'"

"The Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) Los Angeles chapter also condemned the attack."

 Gavin Newsom Condemns Antisemitic Attack on Jewish Diners in L.A. (

By WxFollower - May 21, 2021, 2:42 p.m.
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 Here's some more...very sad: 

"For many British Jews, the video highlighted an issue they have long grappled with: Whenever tensions between Israel and Palestinian militants fare up, Jews, regardless of their politics, end up taking blame and paying a price for the actions of the Israeli government.

'The level of anger and hate that is directed at Israel always spills over into anti-Semitism at times like this,' read a statement by the Community Security Trust, an organization dedicated to keeping British Jews safe.

In fewer than two weeks, antisemitic incidents in London alone increased by roughly 500 percent, according to data from the CST.

In the county of Essex, a rabbi was hospitalized after being assaulted and robbed as the wider community celebrated the holiday of Shavuot. Two men were arrested and charged in the attack. Police said they are treating it as an antisemitic hate crime but did not directly link it to the conflict unfolding overseas.

Another rabbi, speaking anonymously, told Britain’s Evening Standard that he had asked his children to hide their Jewish identity and not to wear their skull caps when they left home. 'We have not had cars driving through Jewish neighborhoods shouting ‘Kill the Jews’ before," he said, adding that this was the worst abuse the community had faced in decades.'"

"With the United Kingdom confronting a rise in antisemitic crime, countries across Europe are also grappling with a surge in protests, boycotts and hatred toward Jews.

 Felix Klein, the federal government commissioner for Jewish life in Germany and the fight against antisemitism, said that there had been a notable uptick in hatred toward Jews in Germany amid rising tensions in the Middle East."

 Amid Israel-Hamas conflict, British Jews come under physical and verbal attack (

By WxFollower - May 21, 2021, 2:48 p.m.
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 And unfortunately even more but it is good to see the leaders immediately speak out against this hate based attack and in support of the victim:

"A 29-year-old Jewish man was beaten by a group of people in New York City's Times Square on Thursday evening, police said.

The victim is a resident of Nassau County on Long Island, according to Nassau County executive Laura Curran, who said she was 'appalled' by the attack.

'We stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and against vile anti-Semitism that will never find comfort in our communities," Curran said in a statement Friday. "I have asked the Nassau County Police to continue to communicate with synagogues and yeshivas, as well as other houses of worship, to ensure all of our residents are protected.'

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he is directing the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to offer assistance in the investigations of such attacks, saying, "justice needs to be done."

'I unequivocally condemn these brutal attacks on visibly Jewish New Yorkers and we will not tolerate anti-Semitic violent gang harassment and intimidation,' Cuomo said in a statement Friday. 

Speaking to WNYC radio station on Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the attack 'absolutely disgusting and unacceptable.' He said police have 'reinforced' synagogues, the Museum of Jewish Heritage and other Jewish sites throughout the city.

'We had a man viciously beaten, simply because he appeared to some individuals to be Jewish,' de Blasio told WYNC."

Jewish man beaten in NYC amid dueling protests over Israel and Hamas, police say (

By WxFollower - May 21, 2021, 2:58 p.m.
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 This is a good to see and Gunter may find this extra interesting:

  German lawmakers host 'Solidarity with Israel' rally (

"German lawmakers host 'Solidarity with Israel' rally"

"Politicians reiterated the country's 'special responsibility' at a Berlin demonstration, which aimed to show solidarity with Israel and reject antisemitism. For some onlookers, the government response was 'one-sided.'

'Solidarity with Israel — against all antisemitism' was the official motto of the demonstration. Organized by a group of Jewish and non-Jewish societies and associations, several prominent politicians also gave speeches — all of them reiterating Germany's 'special responsibility' to protect Israel due to Germany's history.

Germany's Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said ensuring the safety of the Jewish state was among Germany's national goals and ambitions.

'Nothing justifies the firing of thousands of rockets on the Israeli state by a terror organization whose stated goal is the killing of Jews and the annihilation of Israel,' the Social Democrat politician went on to say."

"Anyone who burns Israeli flags in front of synagogues, throws stones, calls for rockets against Tel Aviv, isn't a so-called critic of Israel," senior Green Party politician Cem Özdemir told demonstrators, adding: "They're nothing more than a banal antisemite."

Some people, however, argue the space for legitimate criticism of the Israeli government's actions has become restricted due to the extreme actions of antisemites."


 Although I generally support Israel as our longtime solid ally, know that Hamas is horrible, and realize that much of the "anti-Israel" sentiment is really closeted antisemitism, I also think the bolded is fair, too. I mean even a good number of far left Jews in the US don't agree with Netanyahu on many things because he's very conservative. It is important to distinguish between the very radical terrorist group Hamas, which wants to destroy Israel and is awful, and Gaza Palestinians in general, who are more varied with their feelings. Not all of them want Israel to be destroyed. Also, keep in that about 20% of Israelis are Palestinians and they normally live peacefully with the majority Jews.

 But regardless of politically based views regarding Israel, the related antisemitism that I'm emphasizing in these last few posts doesn't at all belong in a civilized world.

By metmike - May 21, 2021, 4:33 p.m.
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Great posts and points Larry!

Israel has an absolute right to defend itself. 

Anti Jewish attacks, like anti Asian or any other other attacks on people based on hatred is pathetic.

People put attacks based on political ideologies in a different category and not as bad but its the same thing.... actually.

Attacking people that are different than you based on skin, nationality, religion or political affiliation. 

Why weren't the riots last Summer hate crimes? Of course they were and so are attacks on cops..........because they are cops. You don't have to be a certain race/religion for people to single you out over some defining feature and attack or even kill you. Be

Attacking a gay person is a hate crime......but attacking a fat white person or cop because they are fat or a cop out of hate is not?

Sorry to hijack your thread Larry but this is another display of the rampant and increasing amount of hatred in society and the root in the US is not race, religion or nationality its POLITICS. 

We have accepted this in our politicians and MSN and social media.

I watched both CNN and FOX last night and much of the time, they were spewing hate towards each others political enemies. Now that Biden is president and the dems have control, the hate has been ramped up on FOX big time.

Are we supposed to believe that it's ok to hate only those that are the enemies? Who decides who the enemies are? What is the criteria?  If it's ok to hate Trump as a democrat, then why isn't it ok to hate a Jew if you're an Arab? Or vice versa?

When we have a hate fest taking place before our eyes between groups that are different or disagree with each other......there will never be an end to it. Just the opposite, the hate feeds on itself.

For sure, one of the things that I like about Biden is that regardless of his actions, his words do not generate hate like Trump constantly did. 

                Words Matter!            

                        Started by metmike - Dec. 12, 2020, 11:40 a.m.    

By metmike - May 21, 2021, 4:52 p.m.
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metmike: When we think of a group(religion) of people in the world that hates another group(religion) of people because of their religion/nationality, this one ranks right at the top.

Why Middle East Muslims are taught to hate Jews


metmike: Here is a history of how we ended up where we are now. I ask you, what will cause it to stop if it's being handed down/taught to children?

Antisemitism in the Arab world has increased greatly since the beginning of the 20th century, for several reasons: the dissolution and breakdown of the Ottoman Empire and traditional Islamic society; European influence, brought about by Westernimperialism and Arab Christians;[1]Nazi propaganda and relations between Nazi Germany and the Arab world;[2][3][4][5] resentment over Jewish nationalism;[4] and the rise of Arab nationalism

By metmike - May 21, 2021, 5:15 p.m.
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Myths & Facts -The Treatment of Jews in Arab/Islamic Countries

metmike: Why the world tolerates this behavior/looks the other way or accepts this behavior by the Muslim world is beyond me. 

This would be like the government of the US, giving the stamp of approval to the ideology of the KKK and teaching it in schools and in Christian churches, encouraging it to be adopted by all white families.

I don't care how long its been going on, it's very one sided and being constantly reinforced by people in power in the Arab world.

Fortunately, I have not witnessed much of this in Americanized Muslims.

I grew up in the area that has the most Muslims in North America.

Dearborn Michigan is now 47%. My Dad's house is still surrounded by mostly Muslim neighbors and they are all very nice people.....likely because they were raised in an environment AWAY from the hate for Jews that is instilled in Middle Eastern Arabs.

Also the Jewish neighborhoods were much farther north(in the rich suburbs) and no Muslims live there. 

But make no mistake, their allegiance is still one sided and extremely biased.

Arab Americans plan to protest Biden's visit to Dearborn amid tensions over Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Niraj Warikoo

Detroit Free Press

By mcfarmer - May 21, 2021, 5:19 p.m.
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Setting aside the merits of either position it is a sign of a healthy political party when a difference of position is tolerated.

We can see the reverse play out with the current republican party. Interesting that the party that decries the “cancel culture” is so intolerant of differing positions within the party.

By metmike - May 21, 2021, 5:48 p.m.
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This is very true.

 Intolerance of people that have views different than yours. 

Funny how we always notice when somebody is intolerant of our views but overlook our own intolerance(this is in general and not you mcfarmer as you seem pretty objective)

I think that another element  of what's making it MUCH worse are the countless sites that attract people from just one side........intentionally.

This is the easiest and "cheapest way" to accomplish the task. You don't need a quality product as much as you provide interpretations that they like to hear/read because it reinforces their belief system. 

It would be like a trader(or producer), being long soybeans or corn. 

Does it make them happier to read bullish news or bearish news?  Smart traders will read ALL the news, even if its bad news because they have skin in the game.

But in the world of politics, you are not held accountable like that. You can have the absolute wrong position on race, or immigration or ....whatever and having that emotional position does not cost you a cent.........except it DOES affect your emotions. 

Going to the political sites that feed you positive stuff(like constant bullish news) makes you feel good about that belief system. Going to sites that tell you bearish stuff(to your belief system), that contradicts what you think that you crazy. Why subject ourselves to that?  Or to places that tell it both ways(fortunately, we've kept some people here despite us telling it both ways)

Here is another, even better analogy.

If your favorite football team is the Detroit Lions, you like to hear bullish things about their prospects. You go to places where other Lions fans go and encourage each other. But in the REAL world, you must reconcile with reality on game days. Because of this, many discussions leading up to game day put things into proper, objective perspective.

Last year, you didn't think they would be Super Bowl champs because of the facts and reconciliation every game day.

In the world of politics, if you're a Republican, when you go to FOX every night..........your team wins by a blow out every single cotton pickin night. Your team is undefeated.

Why would you go to CNN and witness your team losing every night?

Same way with liberals but flip the stations.

So what happens after awhile is that those stations give you a false sense of confidence that your team is MUCH better than it really is. Your team is infallible. Always right on everything.  365 days a year of watching your team obliterate the other team and OF COURSE you really believe it.

No amount of truth coming from somewhere else can make a dent in the well established cognitive bias that defines what you think that you know.....interpreting all new information accordingly.

This is no theory/speculation. It's a fact for most human beings and our friends at tv stations and other biased news sources not only know it, they absolutely use it to attract viewers because they are in the private business to make money.

Fortunately, I think most journalists do have ethical standards but many let their own cognitive bias, desire for ratings and power to persuade for their ideology get in the way. 

By GunterK - May 21, 2021, 11:01 p.m.
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The situation Israel/Palestine is very difficult to understand. (for me, at least)

Some sources say, Palestine is a “stateless nation”, yet a good portion of the UN members recognize Palestine as a state.

Another source says, the Gaza Strip is a self-governing Palestinian territory. Yet, Israel has control over this territory and can enter it, or do with it whatever they want ( since they conquered this territory during one of the earlier wars). I find this arrangement strange, and difficult to understand.

And, of course, both sides want a piece of Jerusalem, due to its significance to both religions (and if this was still the Middle Ages, the Christians would want a piece of this city also)

I understand that the Palestinians want to have their own country. And debates and fighting about this issue has been going on for decades.

However, it seems to me, to achieve this goal, shooting rockets into civilian areas of Israel is not the way to go. Only peaceful negotiations can achieve this goal.

Israel, as a nation, has a regular military. The fighting force of the Gaza Strip is a group called Hamas. They fight, what in the old days used to be called “guerilla warfare”. They make suicide attacks, shoot rockets any time they feel like it.

And their militias hide within the normal population. No wonder then, when Israel strikes back, there is
collateral damage (meaning women and children). Can’t blame Israel for that!!

For this reason, the US considers Hamas to be a “terrorist” organization.

Of course, one might ask, what is a “terrorist”? We would immediately think of 9/11. However, recently this term has been changed a bit, since we now also call Trump supporting protesters “terrorists”.

The last few days we have seen a regular “war” developing in this area. I don’t know if it was proper for Biden to interfere and demand a cease-fire. I thought it would haven better to let Israel make that call...(or the Palestinians, if the fighting became too much for them).

Just thinking..., we must be careful, when we watch our news. We need to be aware that our news may be biased, one way or another. Our news can easily influence our perception of this problem. I have not forgotten, how easily we were deceived by news reports out of Syria, a few years ago.

The only thing I am quite sure about…. this week, here in Los Angeles, it was the Palestinians who organized motorized protest caravans and drove them into Jewish neighborhoods to start fights.

Such behavior will never result in peace. It will only make new enemies for them.

I just realized, that I am really not qualified to make these comments. I should let other people do the talking, people more knowledgable about this subject, than i

By metmike - May 22, 2021, 1:35 a.m.
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Those were great comments Gunter.

Thanks much!

By TimNew - May 22, 2021, 6:51 a.m.
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I wonder if McFarmer is attributing intolerance to pubs only?   Can anyone think of any examples of intolerance on the left?   (I am, of course, asking tongue in cheek).

By 7475 - May 22, 2021, 8:15 a.m.
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Thanks Gunter

 That could have just as easily been me writing your thoughts.

I have found no one who is able to explain that"situation" in a way I can wrap my mind around it.

 It's very complicated , old , religiously based in some sense - makes our Hatfields and McCoys look like child's play!

Hell, I still cant figure out how Israel came to be. Who had rights to that real estate before the UN (?) granted it to the Jewish community?

Talk about real estate law! --- 

-just sayin'     


By metmike - May 22, 2021, 12:26 p.m.
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"Hell, I still cant figure out how Israel came to be. Who had rights to that real estate before the UN (?) granted it to the Jewish community?

Talk about real estate law! --- "

Who had the rights to the United States before we took it from the Indians?

Actually, just part of it. We took a huge chunk in the Southwest from Mexico.

California reclaimed by Mexico? That's the Absolut truth –

The Mexican Cession (Spanish: Cesión mexicana) is the region in the modern-day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the U.S. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.

By mcfarmer - May 22, 2021, 3:18 p.m.
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We bought Louisiana fair and square.

May have been stolen property however. 

By joj - May 22, 2021, 8:58 p.m.
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I happen to know a lot about the Middle East and the age old conflict.  I have read dozens of books on the history and this is my summary.  I am sure I have forgotten some large events but I think I hit the important ones.

Disclaimer:  I am Jewish.  I am pro Israel.  But being a lefty I am opposed to the current Netanyahu government, as are 50% of Israelis.

I have visited Israel around 25 times going back to the mid 1970s.  I have a brother and a sister living there as well as some nieces, nephews and cousins.

The Jewish people have often been described as a religion, a race of people and a nation.  They were a nation 2000 years ago when the Romans conquered Jerusalem and many Jews scattered throughout the ME and into Europe.

When a religious Jew prays 3 times a day, he faces Jerusalem (no matter where in the world he is praying).  When a religious Muslim prays 5 times a day, he faces Mecca.  For 2000 years the Jews yearned for a return to the holy land.  Jews claim Jerusalem/Israel as given to them by God (Old Testament).  The Old Testament mentions Jerusalem over 500 times.  The New Testament less than 10 times (I think).  The Koran mentions Jerusalem just once.

Islam, under Muhammad's leadership/inspiration and even military accomplishments ushered in the religion of Islam in the 7th century.  He is not considered a God, but a prophet.  They also think of Jesus as a prophet, but not the son of God.   According to fundamentalist Islam, any territory that was ever conquered by Muslims is considered to be Muslim for ever.  Islam did conquer Jerusalem in the 7th century and hence, they claim it as theirs forever.  

Because of the above 2 paragraphs I have always said the path to peace must somehow be through the religious zealots on both sides.  If they were to somehow agree the conflict would end.  But people who are fighting for God are not usually very flexible.

From 1600-1918 the Turks controlled the ME and Jerusalem.  There were some actual land owners under their regime but essentially it was a militarily governed area.  The area was called Palestine but the Arabs who lived there did not call themselves Palestinians.  They identified with their clan or their tribe.  They only began to call themselves Palestinians after the 1967 war.  (more on that later)

Throughout all the centuries of the Jewish people's wanderings there was always at least a small community of Jews residing in Jerusalem.  Even as far back as 1850 when the first known census of Jerusalem took place, Jews were at least a plurality of the inhabitants and usually a majority.

In Czarist times leading up to their elimination Jews were not just 2nd class citizens, they were strangers.  Passport and identity papers which indicated the province of a Russian citizen would instead say "Jew".   The Czar would deflect his oppression of dissatisfied Russians by labeling the "Christ Killers" as the cause of all their problems.  Pogroms at the turn of the 19th/20th century caused many to try a life in Israel.  It was a hard life.  A pioneer's life.  Most of the Jews running from Eastern Europe from 1880-1920 came to America.  America was the 1st country to consider the Jews to be equal citizens under the law.  As my Rabbi used to say:  "July 4th 1776 was a red letter day in Jewish history".

When Jews first came to the Palestine, now being run by the British, the Arabs living there got along pretty well with the Jews.  And as Jews arrived, they brought economic growth with them.  THAT, resulted in Arabs from other areas to migrate towards opportunity.  There were still no countries in the ME as we understand the concept.  It was after the British victories over the Turks in WWI that Britain started drawing lines on a map and calling them countries.  They did so with little consideration for the various Arabs living there.

In WWII as you know, 6 million Jews of Europe were exterminated by Hitler and the Nazis.  The drive for the Jews going to the homeland accelerated, and not so much for the religious reasons as for nationalism.  At this point Arabs living in British Palestine began to take exception to the wave of immigration (illegal if you like that term).  Conflict and tensions resulted in a difficult situation for the British.  They put it before the newly formed UN and a partition plan was the "solution".  A state for the Arabs and a state for the Jews.  Jews, who had already for a generation had a functioning government body in exile were ready for declaring a state.  Arabs (remember they were not called Palestinians until the 1960s) were not organized or ready for statehood.  

The countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq rejected the UN partition plan and, seeing an easy opportunity to conquer the territory vacated by the British, declared war on the newly formed state of Israel, cynically claiming to be doing it for their Arab brothers.  No one in the world thought Israel would survive.  They had no air force.  They had limited weaponry.  My father, who fought for the USA in France in WWII went to Palestine in 1947.  He was given a gun that didn't work and told to stand guard over civilians.  "You'll look dangerous holding a gun", his commander told him.

Many Arabs fled their homes for safer lands, hoping to return when things settled.  They became refugees in the course of events.   Israel, in an attempt to relieve Jews in Jerusalem who were under siege, had to fight their way through Arab communities and there was some ethnic cleansing which caused more Arab refugees.  But many Arabs stayed in Israel and became Israeli citizens (20-25%) of the population.  When the dust settled, there was only Israel and no Arab country.  

What happened to the Arab refugees?  Had they been taken in by their Arab neighbors (same race, religion and language) there would be no refugee problem today.  Remember the Jews who scattered 2000 years ago when the Roman's conquered?  Many went to Arab lands where they were able to survive and grew in numbers to 900,000 to 1.2 million by most estimates.  When Israel was formed the Arabs of those surrounding countries started killing Jews.  About 98% ran for their lives leaving behind businesses and homes and generational wealth.  They fled to Israel and... were welcomed by Israel to be citizens of the new country.  Athough, some tension did emerge between European Jews (Ashkenazi) and and Jews from Arab lands (Sephardic) with the European Jews posturing in an elitist way coming from "cultured" Europe.   

Now, the Arab narrative of the Jews arriving from the ashes of Hitler's holocaust is that they are no different than other colonizers who have come and gone.  (Romans, Christian Crusades, Turks, British).  "You Jews will also go back to Europe where you came from."  But there is no home for them to go back to in Europe.  Israel is their home now.  That is why they won the long odds war of independence.  They had nowhere else to go.

In the course of time, since Arab countries wouldn't take in their soon to be labeled Palestinian brothers, refugee camps emerged which have had a somewhat unhappy result that occurs when dependency on charity is the solution.

In 1967 the Arab world under Egypt's Nasser's leadership, and with Soviet military support attempted to destroy Israel.  They outnumbered the Israeli's 60-1 with similar lopsided weaponry advantages.  At that time Israel's military supplier was not the US but France.  (Nixon was the first US president to arm Israel). Mig fighter jets from France  along with the daring pilot raid on Egypt flying less than 50 feet above water to avoid radar detection enabled the Israelis to destroy Egypt's Air Force on the ground.   With control of the skies, Israel emerged victorious.  Jordan, who until then controlled (occupied) the West bank also attacked Israel and was repelled across the Jordan river leaving Israel in charge of all these Palestinians.  

After the war, Israel's prime minister David Ben Gurion, with cabinet approval, offered to return all the land gained in that defensive war if the Arab's recognized Israel as a state with a right to exist.  The response was the Khartoum resolution of the 3 noes.  No Peace.  No recognition.  No negotiations.

In October 1973 Egypt now under Anwar Sadat's leadership (and Syria) attacked Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest of the Jewish holidays.  They over ran the thin front line defenses of the Israelis and it took Israel a couple of days to mobilize.  It is a citizen army.  Every man 18-45 is called up.  (and quite a few women).  Israel's army, instead of counter attacking, they split in two and bypassed the invading Egyptian army and crossed the Suez Canal into Egyptian territory and closed off their supply lines while they were stranded in the Sinai desert.  At this point they could easily have destroyed the Egyptian army but of course the world stepped in and pressured Israel for a cease fire. 

The reason I tell the story of that war is to help you understand the Arab mind.   With this tiny little gain of Israeli territory in the Sinai desert Sadat was able to claim a "victory" on the battlefield and THAT allowed him to negotiate with honor.  If he negotiated without having had a battle field "victory" it would have been a dishonorable leader begging for a gift.   Israel and Egypt negotiated a peace deal with Jimmy Carter's personal diplomacy  (his greatest accomplishment in my view).  That peace, called "the cold peace" in Israel due to little economic exchange or tourist exchange, has lasted 43 years and counting.  Interestingly, Israel was giving back the Sinai desert and tried to give back the Gaza Strip (3 miles wide and 25 miles long).  Egypt said "no thanks".  We don't want that headache.   For making this honorable peace with Israel, Sadat was shot to death (most likely by Muslim fundamentalists)

In the 1980s and early 90s an intifada broke out (essentially civil protest by the Palestinians in the West Bank and those in the Gaza).  Yitzchak Rabin, who was previously an Israeli General and had become prime minister was made aware of the Israeli soldiers being demoralized with the duties of putting down civilian unrest, decided to talk to the PLO (Yasser Arafat).  This had been against the government policy but Rabin made the big leap and the Oslo accords were signed on the White House lawn.  It was historic.  Both sides officially recognized each other's right to exist.  Then, Rabin was shot dead by a right wing Jewish zealot who didn't want anyone giving away God's promised land.

A few years later Bill Clinton was unable to pull Arafat over the finish line to statehood and a 2 state solution.  He was probably afraid of the same fate that befell Sadat and Rabin.  Back in 1948 when the Israel's prime minister was asked if he thought the division of land by the UN in the partition plan was enough for a Jewish state he replied:  "I would accept a state the size of a table cloth."  Arafat was a coward and not a visionary.  And that is the day that the 2 state solution died.  Israel's window also closed with the political pendulum shifting further to the right and the hawks.  The concept of a 2 state solution has lingered for the past 20 years but has become more and more difficult, particularly as Israeli government looks the other way while religious Jews settle the West Bank.

The Palestinian political leadership (Fatah) was not fundamentalist Muslim.  They were more nationalist in nature.  At one point in the early 2000s they lost power in the Gaza Strip and Hamas took over.  If you want to know how impossible are the Hamas objectives to the conflict just read the Hamas Charter.  They want it all.  All the land is Muslim.  All the Jews must die.  

Iran (also fundamentalist Muslim) arms Hamas with rockets and uses them as a spearhead to attack Israel.  One day, Israel may find itself in a position in which they strike back not against Gaza, but Iran itself.  Who know what explosion would follow that.

The biggest complaint I have with Israeli policy as it pertains to the Palestinians and the West Bank is not that Israel is an occupier.  They have a right to defend themselves.  My criticism of Israel is that they have been settling the West Bank with Jewish settlers.  I know the religious zealots believe this is land promised by God in the Bible but this secular Jew believes strongly that with the West Bank being more and more populated with Jewish settlers it becomes impossible to uproot them for a future Palestinian state. I am not naive enough to believe that giving the land and removing the settlers would lead to peace.  It would not.  But some future strong Palestinian leader would never be able to make a deal under such limited available land.  The right wing government of Israel knows this which is why they keep creating "facts on the ground."

Many Israelis have always dreamed of being 3 things.  A Jewish nation, a democracy and and Greater Israel.  But Israel can only have 2 of the 3.  Jewish and Democratic but giving up the West Bank land in what the Jewish zealots refer to by its biblical name of Judea.  They can have a Jewish nation over all the biblical land (Greater Israel) but cease to be Democratic as the are forced to oppress the Palestinians living there.  They can be a Democracy over all the land of Greater Israel but, due to demographics, no longer be a Jewish nation.

What is coming next.  I don't know how long it will take but a 1 state solution is probably where this is headed, with Palestinians demanding political rights.  

Final fun fact:  Jerusalem means "city of peace".   You can see it in the root salem which is close to shalom (peace).

I'm not a religious man, but I pray for peace in Israel and the ME.  It's gonna take a miracle.

By mcfarmer - May 22, 2021, 9:31 p.m.
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Amazing  summary, thank you.

By GunterK - May 22, 2021, 9:55 p.m.
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thank you, joj, for the outstanding description of this complex situation. I learned a lot from your post.  I hope you don't mind.. I'll copy and save this post, before it scrolls down, out of sight.

By 7475 - May 22, 2021, 11 p.m.
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Ive got to read this JOJ

No time right now

 Thanks for the great effort


By metmike - May 22, 2021, 11:19 p.m.
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Thanks so much Joj!

Your post is profoundly enlightening. I read several parts over a 2nd time so as to not miss any of the insightful points.........worth making it a "post of the week" to make sure others don't miss it!

Carter was my favorite president and part of that was his greatest accomplishment as you mentioned.

By metmike - May 23, 2021, 2:38 a.m.
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Israel-Gaza cease-fire holds, but it's a fragile peace as both sides dubiously claim success

By TimNew - May 23, 2021, 7:12 a.m.
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An amazing summary.  I know things today that I did not know yesterday.

Thanks JOJ.

By joj - May 23, 2021, 7:14 a.m.
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Gunter, Mcfarmer, John and Metmike.

Thanks for the kind words.

By cutworm - May 28, 2021, 10:22 a.m.
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just now got time to read this . Many Thanks JOJ

By WxFollower - May 29, 2021, 3:41 p.m.
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Bill Maher slams 'liberal media' in Israel-Gaza conflict, backs country’s right to defend itself (

"I mean, international lawyers are pretty clear that they have a right to defend themselves … but there is a sense that their response was probably a war crime because they did not sufficiently avoid civilian casualties," the guest answered.

"But they purposely put the rockets in civilian places," Maher said, referencing the tendency of Hamas, a terrorist group that governs Gaza, to use schools and hospitals to house their weapons. "That's their strategy."

"The Jews have been in that area of the world since about 1200 B.C., way before the first Muslim or Arab walked the earth. ... I mean, Jerusalem was their capital. So, if it's who got there first, it's not even close,"
Maher said. "The Jews were the ones who were occupied by everybody; the Romans took over at some point and then the Persians and the Byzantines and then the Ottomans. So, yes, there was colonization going on there. Beginning in the 19th century, they started to return to Palestine, which was never an Arab country. There was never a country called Palestine that was a distinct Arab country."

The 65-year-old host also pointed out how negotiations in the region to quell the violence have mostly ended up empty-handed as Hamas has rejected them “time and time again.”
"I mean, they have rejected this and went to war time and time again," he continued. "And, you know, as far as Gaza goes, it's amazing to me that the progressives think that they're being progressive by taking that side of it, the Bella Hadids of the world, these influencers. l just want to say in February of this year, a Hamas court ruled that an unmarried woman cannot travel in Gaza without the permission of a male guardian. Really? That's where the progressives are? Bella Hadid and her friends would run screaming to Tel Aviv if they had to live in Gaza for one day."

By metmike - May 29, 2021, 9 p.m.
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Great point hurricane Larry!

(Larry is the L named tropical storm this year)

Islam didn't begin until the 7th century......with Muhammad being the final prophet(after the prophets that are in the Jewish and Christian faiths) .

Christianity didn't begin until after Jesus was born, just over 2,000 years ago. 

Judaism began LONG before that, with the Israelite's mentioned in history dating back to  1,500 BC.

And the current area is where they lived. in which the majority of Jews lived in exilePeriods in which the majority of Jews lived in the land of Israel, with full or partial independencePeriods in which a Jewish Temple existedJewish historyShoftimMelakhimFirst TempleSecond TempleZugotTannaimAmoraimSavoraimGeonimRishonimAcharonimAliyotIsraelThe HolocaustDiasporaExpulsion from SpainRoman exileAssyrian Exile (Ten Lost Tribes)Babylonian captivitySecond Temple periodAncient Jewish HistoryChronology of the BibleCommon Era

Ancient Jewish history (c. 1500–63 BCE)

Chronology of Israel eng.pngPeriods of massive immigration to the land of IsraelPeriods in which the majority of Jews lived in exilePeriods in which the majority of Jews lived in the land of Israel, with full or partial independencePeriods in which a Jewish Temple existedJewish historyShoftimMelakhimFirst TempleSecond TempleZugotTannaimAmoraimSavoraimGeonimRishonimAcharonimAliyotIsraelThe HolocaustDiasporaExpulsion from SpainRoman exileAssyrian Exile (Ten Lost Tribes)Babylonian captivitySecond Temple periodAncient Jewish HistoryChronology of the BibleCommon Era

By metmike - May 29, 2021, 9:20 p.m.
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One of the most famous Old Testament stories in the Christian Bible is the crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites to escape the Egyptians.

Research Supports Bible’s Account of Red Sea Parting : Weather: Gulf of Suez’s geography would make it possible, meteorologist and oceanographer say.

Sophisticated computer calculations indicate that the biblical parting of the Red Sea, said to have allowed Moses and the Israelites to escape from bondage in Egypt, could have occurred precisely as the Bible describes it.

Because of the peculiar geography of the northern end of the Red Sea, researchers report Sunday in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, a moderate wind blowing constantly for about 10 hours could have caused the sea to recede about a mile and the water level to drop 10 feet, leaving dry land in the area where many biblical scholars believe the crossing occurred.

An abrupt change in the wind would have allowed the waters to come crashing back into the area in a few moments, a phenomenon that the Bible says inundated the Israelites’ pursuers.

This explanation “should not affect the religious aspects of the Exodus,” wrote meteorologist Nathan Paldor of the University of Rhode Island and oceanographer Doron Nof of Florida State University. “Some may even find our proposed mechanism to be a supportive argument for the original biblical description of this event.”

Map of the Route of the Hebrews from Egypt

Route of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land

By 7475 - May 29, 2021, 10:22 p.m.
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Man Oh Man JOJ that's some history lesson!

 I need to expand my mind and grasp how fluid "country ownership" has been the last 2000 years or so. With the Turks Ottomans Romans The British and The Spanish and French---on and on---just claiming and taking what they want and  are able to take. Not to mention what settlers in America took from the native inhabitants here as mm reminded me. I /We have been quite sheltered from all that during our very brief life span here in safe America.

 This is quite a worthwhile thread.