Author Topic: Israel v Hamas  (Read 2870 times)

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Offline Nubbins

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Israel v Hamas
« on: November 30, 2023, 12:32:25 PM »
So... this feels like a safe space for a discussion. Safer than social media or face-to-face conversation, anyway.

Although I have a relatively loose understanding of the history of this region, it's probably better than most Americans. I'm sure Nach could run circles around me, but I digress.

Does it feel to anyone else that there is no safe way to take a position on this conflict without being labeled either anti-Semitic or racist or both?

The way I see it, and I'm open to changing my mind, Israel is acting well within their rights in their entire campaign against Hamas since October 7th. Sure, it's terrible that innocent people are dying, particularly children, but am I the only one suspect of the numbers, images, and videos coming out of that region?

I see people who I assumed were smart liberals, albeit they're largely celebrities, who are throwing around the word "genocide" with respect to Israel's response without even a hint of irony. Like... really, it's genocide that kids are dying? You do realize that in every conflict ever in the course of history, women, children, the elderly, and the innocent usually bear the brunt of the disaster?

I mean... were you even here for 9/11? When those planes crashed into our buildings and killed 3k+ people, the US could have dropped (and did) as many bombs as they wanted on suspected targets, and the world wouldn't say shit. In fact, I did some rough Googling and found through a study at Brown University that the US has amassed over 430k+ innocent civilian casualties in their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, alone. Yet no one accuses us of genocide. Maybe given our history of slavery and eradicating Native Americans, the genocide is just assumed, I dunno.

Anyway, I see all these liberals and college students and #FreePalestine protests and I just sorta shake my head. Like I said, I'm no historian and I certainly don't have all the context of this situation able to just pull stats from my mind, but I don't think this has anything to do with a free Palestinian state. To me, it seems like Hamas has spent the last 20 years fortifying themselves underneath civilians for the express purpose of starting a war, then being able to turn the dialogue against Israel by using civilian human shields. But maybe I'm just a conspiracy theorist.

I turn on the news... NPR, CNN, etc... they're all talking about the humanitarian response. They talk about babies in hospitals being shuttled to safety. They talk about the plight of Palestinian civilians or Blinken trying to temper the Israeli response and it also seems to me that they're not acknowledging the full story. No one is talking about how brutal, singular, and explicity Hamas has been with their rhetoric about Jews nor their complete and utter disregard for Palestinian civilians. They give not a singular fuck... and as my close Jewish friend said to me, this would all be over in an instant if Hamas called a truce, returned all the hostages, and agreed to a permanent cessation of their mission to eradicate Jews from the planet... but they don't, because why would they? They're winning in the court of public opinion.

Anyway... lots of word salad there, so apologies. And I guess I do have a position, even though I started out by saying it's hard to know where to place your mental support. Interested to hear what y'all think about all of it too.     
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Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2023, 09:01:29 PM »
Here's a bunch of nonsense, none of which is probably very salient.

1.) In the U.S. a least (and on Twitter, I guess), the Pro-Zionist v. Pro-Palestine argument is just another symptom / propaganda tool of the right v. left polarization that's probably only gonna end when Trump is reelected and turns himself into a Banana Republic style dictator. There's no nuance to anybody's argument or even civilized discussion because politics in America is now pro football. Complex political issues get boiled down to "our team v. theirs." That's sort of another discussion though.

2.) The "if you're not pro-Israel, you're anti-Semitic" argument is a giant pile of horseshit that's allowed Israel as a nation-state to get away with all the bad actor occupation and relocation shit that led to Hamas being a bunch of fucking animals on October 7. Netanyahu is a fucking fascist and a monster. That Hamas did blatantly attack Israel and commit horrible war crimes doesn't change that Netanyahu's support of right-wing policies (with the help of the U.S) have turned Gaza and the West Bank into virtual prison states over the past two decades. Palestinians elected Hamas (who are also a bunch of fucking monsters) because unemployment was at 75% and there's been no quality of life in Gaza or the West Bank for over a decade. That place has been a powder keg for so long. Israel created the conditions that led to 10/7 the same way the U.S created the conditions that led to 9/11.

BTW, Congress passed a near unanimous resolution today that any sitting member making a anti-Zionist statement is to be construed as anti-Semtism. It's muzzling any resistance to a pro-Israel stance. It's ridiculous. You can criticize an organized political group or nation-state without criticizing the ethnic group they're closely aligned with.

3.) Which brings me to the core of the problem: Hamas is to Palestine as Proud Boys are to Idaho. (Or to bring it closer to an old conflict we all know well, al qaeda was to Afghanistan.) But decentralized guerrilla warfare has been part of the middle eastern fundamentalist playbook since the 1990s. (I know it's not a perfect metaphor since Hamas is technically the ruling political party of Gaza.)

Hamas anti-Semitic rhetoric is indeed awful. What they did on October 7 is reprehensible. Those are war crimes by any definition. Same as 9/11 was a horrific attack. Yet the more we dug to the core of Al Qaeda's motivations, the more we found that the policies of our government, the U.S government, was what had created the conditions that led to the resentment and vitriol that eventually spilled over into violence.

And the same way we had no clear idea of who was who after 9/11 so we went after whole nations (Iraq and Afghanistan) who were "harboring terrorists," Israel just launched a full on counter offensive on Gaza. (Using the same Bush-era "We do not negotiate with terrorists" rationale from the 2000s. That shit boiled my blood when Biden trotted it out.) A professional army bombing hospitals that barely have running water is a bad look. War crimes committed by one side does not give permission for war crimes to be committed by the other. There are rules of engagement for a reason. Yes, those rules got torn pretty ragged in two decades of Afghanistan, but if we all claim to be civilized nations then we should recognize them.

BTW, Hamas wanted Israel to come in and lay waste to Gaza. They're counting on people being horrified by Israel's response. All the dissension and arguing is the point. It delegitimizes Israels' claim that they're the victims. And I think Netanyahu is secretly glad to have a reason just to cut the fucking Gordian knot on this so they can quickly finish the slow colonization job they've been at for two decades.

Anyway, I guess I have a position too. Though honestly, I've just been trying to ignore it.

That you can make a compelling argument for one side and I can make one for the other illustrates what a giant mess it all is. The whole situation is terrible for both sides, and there's likely a horrible reckoning no matter how this eventually turns out. Maybe for all of us.

https://open.spotify.com/track/0EYOdF5FCkgOJJla8DI2Md?si=086337408850453c


EDIT: I ain't mad at you Nubbins. Nor do I think you're wrong. If I'm mad at anything, it's being almost 50 years old and realizing human civilization has been remaking the same movie for 12,000 years.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2023, 09:10:22 PM by RottingCorpse »

Offline nacho

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2023, 09:46:27 AM »
I've long been anti-Israel, face to face and on these forums. Though, yes, that is different than being anti-Semitic and, it seems, people can't see that.

Reading these posts now after the news today that implies that Netanyahu knew about the attacks... In fact, since we are talking about Netanyahu, who RC rightly labels as a fascist and a criminal, I wouldn't be surprised if this whole thing was orchestrated by him. He's pretty much been saying he would do this since he took office.

Saying Hamas wanted this doesn't quite sit well with me. Yes, they're a bunch of terrorist lunatics, and this will ultimately swell their numbers and legitimatize their position (as actions like this have always done since the British tried to shut down a bunch of rebel colonists). But I truly do believe the mastermind behind all of this is Netanyahu and the right wingers in Israel. And ordinary Israelis and most of the American Jews I know agree with that. We've seen the Israelis-on-the-street shouting down Netanyahu's aides and officers and criticizing the government. Largely unreported is that Israel is teetering towards civil war over this. And isn't it funny that every outraged protest in Israel is followed up by lone gunmen or bombers killing civilians? A tiny little bit like, you know, the SA did to civilians who were opposed to Hitler as chancellor in 1933. Ahem.

RC's points #1 and #2 are dead on.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2023, 10:58:44 AM »
EDIT: I ain't mad at you Nubbins. Nor do I think you're wrong. If I'm mad at anything, it's being almost 50 years old and realizing human civilization has been remaking the same movie for 12,000 years.

100%... I understand completely and totally appreciate any and all perspectives because trying to decipher truth in all this seems virtually impossible.

From the beginning, Netanyahu's role in this has been the one thing that's not really sat well with me. It reminds me a bit of Clinton firing rockets against the will of Congress smack in the middle of his impeachment.

But I have many close Jewish friends who are probably coloring my perspective on this considerably and all of them are terrified by the events, feel this is the tip of a giant, anti-Semitic iceberg that's been lurking for decades, and they're thoroughly baffled and depressed by the silence from many Americans on this issue. The way many of them see it, this is simply the continuation of a fight for existence they've been a part of for centuries.

A podcast sent to me by a close friend... a friend who's pushing 50 and is ready to take up arms to go fight in Israel: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/in-these-times-with-rabbi-ammi-hirsch/id1622485978?i=1000637002224

To RC's points: #1 feels spot on and I think it's accurate to say the coverage/conversation on this is largely colored by whatever position people feel "their side" is taking. #2, I'm not so sure about simply because I do feel that in many respects, Israel is held to a different standard of response than, say, the US. It doesn't sit well with me that people like Cornel West can toss around the word "genocide" on television in reference to Israel's response when their own country is guilty of so much more, and worse, in many cases. I have no illusion that Israel is perfect, but I do think a Jewish state is necessary and that much of the coverage on this (the "Netanyahu knew" angle, for example) can and is construed as thinly-veiled anti-Semitism by a swath of the American Jewish population.

Report on the Gazan War in 2014: https://jcpa.org/the-gaza-war-2014/casualties-gaza-war/
Report on Hamas Use of Human Shields: https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en/hamas-use-of-the-civilian-population-as-human-shields-and-gazas-civilian-facilities-for-terrorism/

I don't think anyone would disagree with the idea that killing women and children indiscriminately is a bad look, as is bombing hospitals. But I also think that anyone pointing to that evidence and shouting "genocide" is either turning a blind eye to or is ignorant of the fact that our country has done and continues to do that exact same thing in the name of whatever sacred cow we decide to be fighting for that month. And not only that, but they point to that evidence and quote numbers without considering for a single moment that all that information is coming from Hamas itself and can't really be trusted. As you'll read in that report up there, Hamas will report hundreds of civilians killed in an attack, but when the details are investigated it's apparent that over 50% of those "civilians" were men of a fighting age and are likely Hamas militants. Hard to discern truth anywhere, because I'm sure Israeli reports suffer from similar bias. But I do have to wonder why that is... why is Israel being held to a different standard than we were in our 20+ year wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?

In the end, I agree... Israel and the US have done their parts to help lay the groundwork for this, but I also believe Israelis and Jews when they say this fight won't be over until Hamas is eradicated because, as they see it, this is a fight for the survival of their race against a group of people dead set, by any means necessary, on eliminating them from the planet.

 
« Last Edit: December 01, 2023, 11:32:55 AM by Nubbins »
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Offline nacho

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2023, 02:39:08 PM »
Quote
In the end, I agree... Israel and the US have done their parts to help lay the groundwork for this, but I also believe Israelis and Jews when they say this fight won't be over until Hamas is eradicated because, as they see it, this is a fight for the survival of their race against a group of people dead set, by any means necessary, on eliminating them from the planet.

And the Brits! They had a huge hand in this 75 years ago.

The "this won't be over until Hamas is eradicated" is really foolish thinking for many reasons. First because Hamas will never be eradicated. If we've learned anything this century it's that the snake has no head to cut off. And the harder we try to blow it up, the more powerful it becomes. (Actually, in Israel, the western world has been learning that lesson over and over again for the past 1000 years.)

But, let's say we do eradicate Hamas and magically bring peace to Palestine. Then there's Hezbollah. And....60+ identified Islamic terrorist groups around the world.

Let's say we eradicate Hezbollah and any others who may threaten Israel. Do you think that the Muslims will just shrug and say, well, it's a fair cop and play along? Maybe they would if they were actually treated like human beings but they aren't, and they won't be. RC pointed out how Palestine has been a vast dystopian prison for years. That won't change unless there simply isn't a Palestine anymore. And, if that happens, how do you think the Muslim world will react?

Israel under Netanyahu won't rest until the entire Arab world is eradicated. That's his goal, at least.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2023, 06:56:30 PM »
Quote
In the end, I agree... Israel and the US have done their parts to help lay the groundwork for this, but I also believe Israelis and Jews when they say this fight won't be over until Hamas is eradicated because, as they see it, this is a fight for the survival of their race against a group of people dead set, by any means necessary, on eliminating them from the planet.

But, let's say we do eradicate Hamas and magically bring peace to Palestine. Then there's Hezbollah. And....60+ identified Islamic terrorist groups around the world.

Let's say we eradicate Hezbollah and any others who may threaten Israel. Do you think that the Muslims will just shrug and say, well, it's a fair cop and play along? Maybe they would if they were actually treated like human beings but they aren't, and they won't be. RC pointed out how Palestine has been a vast dystopian prison for years. That won't change unless there simply isn't a Palestine anymore. And, if that happens, how do you think the Muslim world will react?

Israel under Netanyahu won't rest until the entire Arab world is eradicated. That's his goal, at least.

All very true, and good food for thought.

No good options, really. None that don?t lead to the oppression and murder of huge swaths of a particular group of people, anyway.

But I guess that?s the story of the human condition.
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Offline nacho

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2023, 11:12:24 AM »
I waffle on whether or not the human condition is truly all about conflict. I think it's more a leadership condition. Is the quest for power over others the human condition? Do we all crave it? Or is the human condition the fact that, throughout history, we've never been very focused on selecting our leadership? We've been fine with authoritarianism and monarchy and oligarchy (they do get things done, don't they?). Those inherent traits make us somewhat blase when faced with democratic choices. Minority rule has always been the human condition.

If that were to change -- if we were to suddenly become vocal, responsible, and educated about our leadership choices -- would there still be conflict?

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2023, 12:02:09 PM »
I see them as one and the same... humanity's hunger for power/money/profit over all else, prioritizing those things above all, that ensures we'll be perpetually in a state of conflict.

The ideas of leadership, logic, empathy are great, but when it comes down to it, when a new lion comes into the pack and slays the competition, the rest have no choice but to play along with the new leadership or suffer the consequences.

While I think it helps to become more vocal, responsible, and educated about leadership, the folks who choose to do that will always be in the slim minority and will still be subject to the blase apathy of the majority.

Basically, we need to go buy a patch of land in the middle of nowhere and learn to be self-sustainable off grid if we have any hope. Even then, we'll probably just be stocking supplies for the toughest kids on the block once society collapses.

« Last Edit: December 04, 2023, 11:46:30 AM by Nubbins »
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Offline nacho

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2023, 12:00:11 PM »
I am all for a well fortified compound in the middle of nowhere.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2023, 11:06:47 AM »
I waffle on whether or not the human condition is truly all about conflict. I think it's more a leadership condition. Is the quest for power over others the human condition? Do we all crave it? Or is the human condition the fact that, throughout history, we've never been very focused on selecting our leadership? We've been fine with authoritarianism and monarchy and oligarchy (they do get things done, don't they?). Those inherent traits make us somewhat blase when faced with democratic choices. Minority rule has always been the human condition.

If that were to change -- if we were to suddenly become vocal, responsible, and educated about our leadership choices -- would there still be conflict?

I think the nurture (and be nurtured) part of our survival instinct makes us want a strong authoritarian leader to make decisions and guide us. And some of that nutruring ets turned in a lust for power. (For the authoritarian.)

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2023, 12:00:05 PM »
I waffle on whether or not the human condition is truly all about conflict. I think it's more a leadership condition. Is the quest for power over others the human condition? Do we all crave it? Or is the human condition the fact that, throughout history, we've never been very focused on selecting our leadership? We've been fine with authoritarianism and monarchy and oligarchy (they do get things done, don't they?). Those inherent traits make us somewhat blase when faced with democratic choices. Minority rule has always been the human condition.

If that were to change -- if we were to suddenly become vocal, responsible, and educated about our leadership choices -- would there still be conflict?

I think the nurture (and be nurtured) part of our survival instinct makes us want a strong authoritarian leader to make decisions and guide us. And some of that nutruring ets turned in a lust for power. (For the authoritarian.)

True... I also think the strong, authoritarian leadership allows us to feel safe to focus on other things since they're "taking care" of the big stuff like defending the country, paving roads, etc. Keeps us from feeling like everything is going to come crashing down around us at any moment.

Not sure if you guys know who Brett Gelman is, but he's a comedian/actor... he plays Murray Bauman in Stranger Things. He and his girlfriend have been over in Israel and he's been posting a lot of content relevant to this conversation and articulates very well the position of the Jews I know and have been in contact with. That's not to say other positions are not valid, which I'm sure you guys understand. But he makes very clear the frustrations many Jews have with the dialogue surrounding the conflict and how Israel is being held to different standards than other countries who act to defend themselves. For them, it's very much a fight for existence against a foe who will not stop and, in fact, has planned on using the tide of public sentiment against Israel's attempts to defend itself.

Brett's post touring munitions seized: https://www.instagram.com/p/C0bkdVGuY1r/?hl=en
Brett's post as he's leaving Israel: https://www.instagram.com/p/C0a1aEquAIv/?hl=en
Brett & his girlfriend taking shelter: https://www.instagram.com/p/C0Xi-oPum9I/?hl=en

Quote
This photo was taken by one of our best friends @ronzamir tonight as he, @witchofthewestcoast, me, many of our closest friends and dozens of Israelis sheltered ourselves as Hamas rockets flew overhead. This is what Israelis live with everyday. The threat of complete terror. Walking home from dinner, playing with their children, having a drink and a laugh. Then suddenly they are reminded who their neighbors are. These rockets are not fired in the name of resistance. These rockets are not even fired in the name of revenge. These rockets are not fired at government buildings or military bases. These are rockets fired specifically at civilians in the name of radical Islamic jihad which believes Jews have no right to exist.

Basically, I'm just curious how content like this resonates with everyone... is he missing the mark in some way?
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Offline Nubbins

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2023, 02:01:31 PM »
Another Jewish perspective from Nato Green, a comedian I follow, to further muddy the waters of my mind: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0b_KbMLKM6/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==
« Last Edit: December 04, 2023, 02:24:53 PM by Nubbins »
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Offline Nubbins

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2023, 12:13:12 PM »
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Offline monkey!

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2023, 12:01:34 PM »
A fairly simplistic yet nonetheless accurate analogy for this situation can, more or less, be summed up as such:

You live in your home, with your stuff in it, maybe a dog or cat, maybe some children and/or elderly relatives who live with you. A few guys have rented out an Air B&B in your neighbourhood... these guys then do something bad. So... the military fire-bombs your whole neighbourhood 'just in case' and if your animals, children, or (grand)parents are there when this happens... well, you shouldn't have been there. If you're lucky, you'll actually receive a phone call to warn you but maybe this happens at 3am and the bombs falls earlier than the phone call stated... whoopsie!

Not to mention that real life there is basically living in an open-air-prison. You live in a shitty neighbourhood, within tall, concrete walls and you have a curfew; your children must leave the compound and 'cross the red line' to go to school and may or may not be shot, beaten and/or imprisoned between home and school for any variety of reasons; if you want water you must also cross the 'red line' because your 'town' has been separated from all elements of sustenance by walls and military controls. The incumbent government has publicly referred to your people as 'animals' and also publicly declared that military retribution is about 'damage' not finding those responsible.

There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

Offline nacho

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Re: Israel v Hamas
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2023, 11:48:18 AM »
Agreed with Monkey here.

Israel made this bed and....we're the ones who will be sleeping in it.