I Have A Dream

 

And it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established at the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all of the nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come. And let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. And he will teach us of his ways, and we shall walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of God from Jerusalem — Isaiah 2:2:3

Something shifted in me this past October, after learning about the assassination-attempt on Rabbi Yehuda Glick. The Temple Mount — where Jewish access is restricted — had represented an ache in my heart, but stayed there, as elusive as a dream. Every time I visited the The Western Wall, I would feel sadness and loss, knowing that I was so close, yet so far away, but somehow I had accepted the status quo and settled for this state of silent complacency.

Then someone drove up on a motorcycle and tried cutting down a man who had kept the dream alive for all of us, and I knew in my heart that this could not stand.

A few months later, I went to the Limmud conference in England to give lectures and to learn. Between planning my own sessions and giving them, I went to listen to a British orthodox Rabbi talk about Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. I knew it was a liberal crowd, and perhaps I should have stayed away. I didn’t, however, and — 45 minutes later — I found my stomach turning.

In the middle of the lecture, the Rabbi showed a short clip of Rabbi Glick speaking about our right to pray on the Temple Mount, and why there should be consequences for the denial of this right. The audience murmured, and — as the video faded to black — the Rabbi asked:

“What is it he is really saying? “

In my opinion, Yehuda Glick is to the Jewish world what Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the Civil Rights movement. Mr Glick is putting the Temple Mount in the context where it belongs: as an issue of human rights, making the injustice of it all so blatantly clear. Much like King in his day, Glick is being criticized for challenging what is now the status quo and putting the issue on the top of the agenda; as with King, the critiques against him come from the police, politicians, and religious leaders.

As I sat there in London, I heard a predominantly Jewish audience call Glick a troublemaker and the inciter of a 3rd Intifada, I felt like I was losing my footing. I was heartbroken, but I couldn’t really pinpoint why.

I ended up arguing with the Rabbi after the session, louder and more angrily than I had ever expected. I felt betrayal, disappointment, and rage. Within me the decision formed, slowly: I have to ascend the mountain. I have to find out for myself.

As the days drew closer, I felt the trepidation, swinging like a pendulum inside of me. I had read about the violence, the riots, and the threats and I feared that I would not be able to reach the places I wanted to inhabit. Not merely physically, but more importantly, spiritually.

I met my guide by the Kotel plaza early one Sunday morning, and — within minutes — we were there, at the place I had painted pictures of in my mind. I’m not sure what I had expected, but I know that was not what I saw. Yes, there were the expected criers, yelling “Allahu Akbar!” as we passed. There were strangers and neighbors, friends and foes, but none of it mattered because I had arrived and I stood in the sun wondering why I had not always been there.

I asked my guide why he kept coming and he told me it was in order to keep the dream alive. I knew what he meant, immediately, and as we walked up the steps I also knew what had broken my heart in that session in London weeks earlier.

The voices I heard in that room had given up on the dream. The Rabbi, the audience, all the people calling to indict the man whose blood was spilled for holding on to a dream we cried out for over centuries; they had resigned to living in yesterday, whereas my soul cried out for tomorrow.

They say that the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. What I felt before I went up on Har Habayit, the fear that dwelled in me, it was the dream being silenced by the criers on the mountain. That is terror, at its core, to make fear so prevalent that we end up thinking that we chose to stay away.

I did not know until I got there how right it was to go. But I know now, and I will keep returning, until the dream becomes reality, speedily and in our days.

We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  1. user_124695 Inactive
    user_124695
    @DavidWilliamson

    Vectorman:

    David Williamson:Before we get on our high horse, we should remember that, by a strange quirk of fate, this was also the site where a certain someone ascended to heaven.

    You’re welcome to dismiss my comment in #20, but you should do more research on your own to prove your point. Good luck.

    http://www.templemount.org/allah.html

    Short version:  It is the seventeenth Sura, entitled “The Night Journey.”

    It’s kinda famous.

    • #31
  2. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    James Gawron:Considering just how huge the place is I can’t see how it couldn’t accommodate just ten men. Why from the air you wouldn’t even notice they were there. What possible objection could there be to ten Jews praying.

    From the Economist:

    In the ever-contested ground of the Holy Land, prayer is not just an act of personal devotion: it implies ownership. Jews were allowed to pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, another contested city. But when a settler massacred Palestinians in 1994, the site was divided into Jewish and Muslim areas. Palestinians fear a similar cycle of provocation, violence and concession to Jewish radicals in Jerusalem.

    Imho it’s that assertion of ownership that the Palestinians are contesting – just as they contest it wrt the rest of Palestine/Israel.

    You could similarly have asked what possible objection there could have been to Jews returning to Zion and establishing the State of Israel.  If you started from the base assumption that the Arabs living there had no natural rights to their homes and country then there was no possible objection at all, of course.

    The thing is, they didn’t agree with that assumption and (apparently) they still don’t.  To be honest, who would?

    • #32
  3. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Zafar:

    James Gawron:Considering just how huge the place is I can’t see how it couldn’t accommodate just ten men. Why from the air you wouldn’t even notice they were there. What possible objection could there be to ten Jews praying.

    Imho it’s that assertion of ownership that the Palestinians are contesting – just as they contest it wrt the rest of Palestine/Israel.

    You could similarly have asked what possible objection there could have been to Jews returning to Zion and establishing the State of Israel. If you started from the base assumption that the Arabs living there had no natural rights to their homes and country then there was no possible objection at all, of course.

    The thing is, they didn’t agree with that assumption and (apparently) they still don’t. To be honest, who would?

    I don’t think that is the base argument though. History has proven there has been a Jewish presence in the region as long as Arabs have been there.

    After WWII the Brits divided up the Middle East and new regions were created throughout. Arabs benefited from the division as well as Jews.

    The argument is not with Jewish acknowledgement of this. It’s with Arab acknowledgement of this.

    The Holy land is the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. So does Islam win the argument by default?

    “The thing is, they didn’t agree with that assumption and (apparently) they still don’t. To be honest, who would?”

    What if Jews and Christians don’t agree with their assumptions?

    • #33
  4. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    David Williamson: http://www.templemount.org/allah.html Short version: It is the seventeenth Sura, entitled “The Night Journey.” It’s kinda famous.

    It’s also phony and made up. Not facts but propaganda.

    • #34
  5. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Zafar: If you started from the base assumption that the Arabs living there had no natural rights to their homes and country then there was no possible objection at all, of course.

    Actually there were thousands of Jews living there and had been for centuries. Christians as well. Old Jerusalem had a Jewish section, a Christian section, and a muslim section. The Jews were there first, then the Christians, from the 1st century. Muslims didn’t arrive to conquer the area until 600+ years later. So because the Muslims conquered the country, and built a mosque on top of the Temple Mount, they have more rights than the Jews and Christians? Might makes right in your opinion? With a little research you will discover there were many Jewish Centers of study and they were established long before the muslims arrived.

    • #35
  6. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    David Williamson:

    Short version:  It is the seventeenth Sura, entitled “The Night Journey

    It’s kinda famous.

    David, for some reason in Ricochet I’m not able to properly quote your full comment here correctly, but here it goes.

    Yes, I know about the Night Journey. About 40 years ago, I read the Qu’ran quickly, but I don’t remember if it mentioned where it took place. Since then, I’ve read multiple times that the actual place has never been verified.  The person I quoted in #20, James Gawron, said that the Qu’ran does not mention Jerusalem.  I’m not arguing with you about the Night Journey, just the place.

    • #36
  7. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Calvin Coolidg: The Holy land is the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. So does Islam win the argument by default?

    The Holy Land is not the birth of Islam. Islam was born in Mecca, Arabia where they worshiped a black stone.

    • #37
  8. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Kay of MT:

    Calvin Coolidg: The Holy land is the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. So does Islam win the argument by default?

    The Holy Land is not the birth of Islam. Islam was born in Mecca, Arabia where they worshiped a black stone.

    So what is the significance of the Temple Mount to Islam?  And I misspoke. I meant the Middle East, not just the Holy land.

    • #38
  9. user_216080 Thatcher
    user_216080
    @DougKimball

    Courage.  Conviction.  These things have nothing but contempt for peace purchased with a piece of ones soul.  Once given, it is never enough. I’m not a religious man, but I love the Judeo-Christian tradition.  I bristle thinking cowards would compromise one inch of ground to appease barbarous Islam.  One inch is merely a toehold, a crack, evidence of weakness that enemies will exploit.  Israel was supposed to be a place where Jews could thrive without compromise or oppression.  Perhaps they are so used to denigration they have lost their stiff necks?  They give in even when they shouldn’t.

    The world will once again have to come to their aid.  A world war is brewing and the Jews, once again, are in the middle of it.

    I’m glad your spine is still stiff.  Jews in Europe may be lost, but Europe, alas, is lost for Jews.

    • #39
  10. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Calvin Coolidg:

    Kay of MT:

    Calvin Coolidg: The Holy land is the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. So does Islam win the argument by default?

    The Holy Land is not the birth of Islam. Islam was born in Mecca, Arabia where they worshiped a black stone.

    So what is the significance of the Temple Mount to Islam? And I misspoke. I meant the Middle East, not just the Holy land.

    Calvin, you’re somewhat correct, barely.  Ishmael was born in Israel and the Arabs say they were descended from him.

    • #40
  11. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Doug Kimball:Courage. Conviction. These things have nothing but contempt for peace purchased with a piece of ones soul.

    You’re a smart man Doug!

    • #41
  12. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Vectorman:

    Calvin Coolidg:

    Kay of MT:

    Calvin Coolidg: The Holy land is the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. So does Islam win the argument by default?

    The Holy Land is not the birth of Islam. Islam was born in Mecca, Arabia where they worshiped a black stone.

    So what is the significance of the Temple Mount to Islam? And I misspoke. I meant the Middle East, not just the Holy land.

    Calvin, you’re somewhat correct, barely. Ishmael was born in Israel and the Arabs say they were descended from him.

    So what is the significance of the Temple Mount to Islam? It’s clearly a Jewish holy landmark. Did Muslims decide to re-write history again to make claim to it. Or is that the place that Ishmael was born?

    • #42
  13. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Calvin Coolidg:

    So what is the significance of the Temple Mount to Islam? It’s clearly a Jewish holy landmark. Did Muslims decide to re-write history again to make claim to it. Or is that the place that Ishmael was born?

    The Wiki page said “This occurred at the well of Beer-lahai-roi, located in the desert region between Abraham’s settlement and Shur” so it is unlikely Jerusalem, which has importance when Abraham’s younger son Isaac is brought to the future Temple mount to be “sacrificed.”

    And if you read James Gawron’s, Kay of MT, and my previous posts, you’ll see what we think about re-writing history.

    • #43
  14. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Vectorman:

    Calvin Coolidg:

    So what is the significance of the Temple Mount to Islam? It’s clearly a Jewish holy landmark. Did Muslims decide to re-write history again to make claim to it. Or is that the place that Ishmael was born?

    The Wiki page said “This occurred at the well of Beer-lahai-roi, located in the desert region between Abraham’s settlement and Shur” so it is unlikely Jerusalem, which has importance when Abraham’s younger son Isaac is brought to the future Temple mount to be “sacrificed.”

    And if you read James Gawron’s, Kay of MT, and my previous posts, you’ll see what we think about re-writing history.

    That was my point Vector. Islam lays no claim to the Holy land until hundreds of years after all of that took place. I don’t know the intricate details of the Bible or Islam, but I know enough to know that the Temple Mount was no more a place originated by Islam than one originated by unicorns.

    I do appreciate your knowledge on the subject. Thanks for the education Vector.

    • #44
  15. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Mohammed was thrown out of Mecca after a short time, about 10 years I think, and he went to Medina, which was a Jewish and Christian community. That is where the Muslims claim he wrote the 2nd half of the Koran, where all the stuff about conquering the world and destroying the Jews is written. He was familiar with Jewish and Christian writings and scriptures. So, he rewrote them to make them fit his propaganda. He was by that time a thief, robbing and destroying merchant camel caravans.

    After he had stolen enough to arm his followers, they began to slaughter the people of Medina and others. He killed 900 Jews in one day, sold their wives and daughters into slavery. Then he went back to Mecca and conquered it. Islam teaches that Mohammed was the perfect man and all muslims should imitate him.

    There is a great web site: citizenwarrior.com where you can learn about Islam and Mohammed.

    http://www.citizenwarrior.com/2009/05/terrifying-brilliance-of-islam.html

    • #45
  16. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Calvin Coolidg:

    “The thing is, they didn’t agree with that assumption and (apparently) they still don’t. To be honest, who would?”

    What if Jews and Christians don’t agree with their assumptions?

    Well at least some of them don’t.  Hence the ongoing conflict.

    Wrt enduring Jewish presence in the area, that’s certainly true.  But in 1945 Muslim and Christian Arabs were the majority within what is now Israel (within the Green Line).  In 1900 that was even more the case.  In 1850 it was overwhelmingly so.  But in 1950 this was no longer true, and the vast majority of those Muslim and Christian Arabs were refugees.

    Put aside their political rights and aspirations to representative government (the Arab Revolt in the 1930s) – what about their traditional rights to their homes and property?  What happened can only be justified if you argue that for some reason Arabs in Palestine didn’t have these rights, despite being born there.

    The Dome on the Rock is a flashpoint, I guess because it’s both a religious site and representative of the larger struggle over space, but imho at its heart the issue is driven by a disagreement about who has the basic right to be in that land and why.  Iow about whether all those people have equal rights, and acknowledged human worth, or not.

    • #46
  17. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Calvin Coolidg:

    I do appreciate your knowledge on the subject. Thanks for the education Vector.

    No problem.  And even though I grew up in the southern suburbs of Chicago, I was always a Packer Fan, and I still have a Packer ski hat.  And one of my High School teammates played center for both U of ILL and Green Bay.

    • #47
  18. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Kay of MT:Mohammed was thrown out of Mecca after a short time, about 10 years I think, and he went to Medina, which was a Jewish and Christian community. That is where the Muslims claim he wrote the 2nd half of the Koran, where all the stuff about conquering the world and destroying the Jews is written. He was familiar with Jewish and Christian writings and scriptures. So, he rewrote them to make them fit his propaganda. He was by that time a thief, robbing and destroying merchant camel caravans.

    After he had stolen enough to arm his followers, they began to slaughter the people of Medina and others. He killed 900 Jews in one day, sold their wives and daughters into slavery. Then he went back to Mecca and conquered it. Islam teaches that Mohammed was the perfect man and all muslims should imitate him.

    There is a great web site: citizenwarrior.com where you can learn about Islam and Mohammed.

    http://www.citizenwarrior.com/2009/05/terrifying-brilliance-of-islam.html

    Sounds like not much has changed Kay. Thank you for the guidance. It’s greatly appreciated.

    • #48
  19. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Zafar:

    The Dome on the Rock is a flashpoint, I guess because it’s both a religious site and representative of the larger struggle over space, but imho at its heart the issue is driven by a disagreement about who has the basic right to be in that land and why. Iow about whether all those people have equal rights, and acknowledged human worth, or not.

    Zafar, I respect your views on this subject, and like many on Ricochet would like to see an answer.  But note the number of Jews kicked out of Moslem lands since WWII.  I know it’s naïve, but if there would have been an exchange of people between Israel and the Moslem lands, maybe the conflict would have been greatly reduced.  I never though Northern Ireland and Erie would come to terms, but it happened.

    • #49
  20. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Zafar:

    Calvin Coolidg:

    “The thing is, they didn’t agree with that assumption and (apparently) they still don’t. To be honest, who would?”

    What if Jews and Christians don’t agree with their assumptions?

    Well at least some of them don’t. Hence the ongoing conflict.

    Wrt enduring Jewish presence in the area, that’s certainly true. But in 1945 Muslim and Christian Arabs were the majority within what is now Israel (within the Green Line). In 1900 that was even more the case. In 1850 it was overwhelmingly so. But in 1950 this was no longer true, and the vast majority of those Muslim and Christian Arabs were refugees.

    Put aside their political rights and aspirations to representative government (the Arab Revolt in the 1930s) – what about their traditional rights to their homes and property? What happened can only be justified if you argue that for some reason Arabs in Palestine didn’t have these rights, despite being born there.

    The Dome on the Rock is a flashpoint, I guess because it’s both a religious site and representative of the larger struggle over space, but imho at its heart the issue is driven by a disagreement about who has the basic right to be in that land and why. Iow about whether all those people have equal rights, and acknowledged human worth, or not.

    Sounds like a pissing contest to me. (Pardon my French). At the end of the day, the “Jews” could expel as many people as they wanted to from Israel and take over a majority of the conflicting regions from areas in Jordan, Palestine, Syria and even broker a deal with Egypt to control the peninsula. Gaza could be easily retaken and on and on and on. Why don’t the “Jews” just do that? If the Arabs had a way to expel Jews from Israel would they?

    Here’s the logic: It’s a one sided argument. You have the victim who is being portrayed as the perpetrator. And you have the perpetrator portrayed as the victim. The last time there was a massive uprising in the Middle East, involving Israel, they destroyed their enemies and conquered quite a bit of territory. They also gave most of it back, with the exception of strategic defense positions. Would the Arabs do the same? Answer: Not a chance.

    • #50
  21. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Vectorman:

    The Wiki page said “This occurred at the well of Beer-lahai-roi, located in the desert region between Abraham’s settlement and Shur” so it is unlikely Jerusalem, which has importance when Abraham’s younger son Isaac is brought to the future Temple mount to be “sacrificed.”

    According to Muslim tradition that was Ishmael (though there was apparently some disagreement over this) and it would have happened in Mecca, near the Kaaba, where Ishmael and Hagar lived.

    The question of whether it was Isaac or Ishmael wasn’t a particularly big deal – it was Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, and Ishmael’s assent, that is the point.  Muslim tradition doesn’t discount Isaac, he’s also a prophet (Ishaq), as were Moses (Musa) and Jesus (Isa).  Iow, it may seem like some coherent Bani Ishaq vs Bani Ishmael thing when you look at it from the Bible, but not when you look at it from the Koran.

    • #51
  22. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Calvin Coolidg:

    Sounds like a pissing contest to me. (Pardon my French).

    Ha! Yes, I think that’s a big part of it.

    Wrt re-occupying Gaza, invading Jordan and Lebanon (this last has been done several times, actually), expelling Arabs, etc. – I think there’s a cost/benefit aspect to it as well as (I hope) a moral one.  Even if you can do them (and they aren’t always easy to do) some things cost more than they’re worth (in money, lives, support from the West), and cost even more to maintain.

    • #52
  23. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Zafar:

    Calvin Coolidg:

    Sounds like a pissing contest to me. (Pardon my French).

    Ha! Yes, I think that’s a big part of it.

    Wrt re-occupying Gaza, invading Jordan and Lebanon (this last has been done several times, actually), expelling Arabs, etc. – I think there’s a cost/benefit aspect to it as well as (I hope) a moral one. Even if you can do them (and they aren’t always easy to do) some things cost more than they’re worth (in money, lives, support from the West), and cost even more to maintain.

    I agree, but the underlying premise is, is who isn’t willing to compromise? Who wants to control the narrative, all the while undermining the negotiations? Who gets to decide whether the Temple Mount allows whom, and why? And most importantly, who is the adult in the room? Is it the instigator or the victim, and which is which?

    • #53
  24. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Zafar:The question of whether it was Isaac or Ishmael wasn’t a particularly big deal – it was Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, and Ishmael’s assent, that is the point. Muslim tradition doesn’t discount Isaac, he’s also a prophet (Ishaq), as were Moses (Musa) and Jesus (Isa). Iow, it may seem like some coherent Bani Ishaq vs Bani Ishmael thing when you look at it from the Bible, but not when you look at it from the Koran.

    It sounds like the Koran borrows from the Bible, but not the other way around (with the utmost respect for both). Kind of a chicken or the egg argument.

    • #54
  25. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Zafar:

    Vectorman:

    The Wiki page said “This occurred at the well of Beer-lahai-roi, located in the desert region between Abraham’s settlement and Shur” so it is unlikely Jerusalem, which has importance when Abraham’s younger son Isaac is brought to the future Temple mount to be “sacrificed.”

    According to Muslim tradition that was Ishmael (though there was apparently some disagreement over this) and it would have happened in Mecca, near the Kaaba, where Ishmael and Hagar lived.

    Thanks Zafar, I forgot about that Muslim tradition, you’re correct!

    • #55
  26. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Vectorman:

    But note the number of Jews kicked out of Moslem lands since WWII. I know it’s naïve, but if there would have been an exchange of people between Israel and the Moslem lands, maybe the conflict would have been greatly reduced. I never though Northern Ireland and Eri[n] would come to terms, but it happened.

    It’s hard to see people agreeing to that kind of population exchange if they had a choice – I can see why Israel might have wanted it (more Jews in Israel and fewer Arabs), but I can’t see why the Palestinians or the other Arab countries would have accepted it without being militarily forced to.  Ethnic cleansing, even if it includes a population exchange, seems to be an inevitably awful and violent experience for those involved (Greece/Turkey, India/Pakistan, ??).

    And not that it makes it even vaguely justifiable, but it’s more accurate to say that Arab Jews were expelled from their homes after the Nakba.  Having done that, however, it’s certainly arguable that those countries have some sort of responsibility to either absorb Palestinian refugees from Palestine or accept back their Jewish populations if they wish to return.  The issue is choice, and who gets to make the decision.

    I’m currently in the middle of a book by Rachel Shabi, which talks about “Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands”.  Have you heard of her?  I don’t think she’s unbiased, but she’s from an Iraqi Jewish family and certainly has an interesting (and arguably informed) opinion.

    • #56
  27. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Calvin Coolidg:

    I agree, but the underlying premise is, is who isn’t willing to compromise? Who wants to control the narrative, all the while undermining the negotiations? Who gets to decide whether the Temple Mount allows whom, and why? And most importantly, who is the adult in the room? Is it the instigator or the victim, and which is which?

    Indeed Sir.  Indeed.  Hence the importance of hasbara (“propaganda” in Hebrew and in Arabic!) to the conflict.

    • #57
  28. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Zafar:

    Vectorman:

    But note the number of Jews kicked out of Moslem lands since WWII. I know it’s naïve, but if there would have been an exchange of people between Israel and the Moslem lands, maybe the conflict would have been greatly reduced. I never though Northern Ireland and Eri[n] would come to terms, but it happened.

    And not that it makes it even vaguely justifiable, but it’s more accurate to say that Arab Jews were expelled from their homes after the Nakba. Having done that, however, it’s certainly arguable that those countries have some sort of responsibility to either absorb Palestinian refugees from Palestine or accept back their Jewish populations if they wish to return. The issue is choice, and who gets to make the decision.

    I’m currently in the middle of a book by Rachel Shabi, which talks about “Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands”. Have you heard of her? I don’t think she’s unbiased, but she’s from an Iraqi Jewish family and certainly has an interesting (and arguably informed) opinion.

    Yes, I agree that other countries should absorb Palestinian refugees.  Before the 1967 war, there were many Palestinian Camps in the West Bank because other Arab states refused entry.  And many Arabs (Moslem and Christian) say they would rather be Israeli instead of being Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza, if you can believe the reports from Israel.  In demographics, it’s hard to flip from being a majority (Jewish) to a minority, but a “two state” solution might be possible.  Even in the U.S., the American Indians on reservations are considered separate nations, but I don’t hold that up as a great example.

    I have not heard about Rachel Shabi , but she does sound interesting.

    • #58
  29. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Vectorman:

    Yes, I agree that other countries should absorb Palestinian refugees.

    Do they want to be absorbed?  Do they get a choice?

    The Arab States have behaved badly on this, but they didn’t create the Palestinian refugee issue.  Should they be responsible for re-settling them or is that Israel’s responsibility?

    • #59
  30. user_1938 Member
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    Kay of MT:

    Zafar: If you started from the base assumption that the Arabs living there had no natural rights to their homes and country then there was no possible objection at all, of course.

    Actually there were thousands of Jews living there and had been for centuries. Christians as well. [….] So because the Muslims conquered the country, and built a mosque on top of the Temple Mount, they have more rights than the Jews and Christians? Might makes right in your opinion? [….]

    When prompted to write a paper on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a Christian Ethics course at my nominally Catholic college, I focused on this specifically: the so-called right of return and ownership. I concluded that no claim of any nation to its boundaries rises above kindergarten rules. “Finders Keepers” doesn’t really work because no nation exists today that was not built where others once lived, in ancient times or recently. “Might makes right” isn’t a moral premise most modern Westerners are comfortable with, but it really is the way of the world. There is no objectively measurable alternative.

    Israel tolerates many things in a flimsy hope that such allowances will spare them a perpetual large war in preference for the perpetual limited war they already fight. But they shouldn’t. They should conquer the Dome of the Rock and be done with it.

    By the way, my liberal Christian Ethics teacher failed my paper. She said my discussion of property rights was irrelevant.

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