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. TeeJaw Inactive
    TeeJaw
    @TeeJaw

    I’m not Jewish but I’ve been to the Western Wall. I wrote a prayer for something I desperately needed at the time (transportation back to the United States) and stuck  the paper between rocks, as I was told would be the thing to do.

    I had been all over the Middle East for a couple of months and while Israel is always a welcome relief and sort of a return to normalcy, I really wanted to go home.

    The next day the thing that was beguiling me was lifted, miraculously it seemed.  I was soon on my way to Frankfurt and the Lufthansa daily nonstop to Denver.

    I know I’m indulging in the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy, but I’ll continue to believe that my unexpected good fortune had something to do with that mundane prayer I inserted between some rocks in the Western Wall.

    • #91
  2. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    TeeJaw: I know I’m indulging in the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy, but I’ll continue to believe that my unexpected good fortune had something to do with that mundane prayer I inserted between some rocks in the Western Wall.

    I don’t mess with the power I feel there. It is the place where Isaac was sacrificed, where Jacob had his dream… where heaven and earth connect.

    I was in Israel 2 weeks ago (almost saw Annika), and went to the Wall Saturday night. I had much to discuss with G-d. But first things first. When I pressed my forehead up against the wall, a dam broke. The feeling of connection was all-encompassing. I must have been there for an hour before I even started praying.

    • #92
  3. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    iWc: #84 “To end the war, one must decisively win it. Rebuilding the Temple would effectively end the conflict, because it would be a clear and decisive symbol.”

    One might take exception to this because

    1.  The politics as practiced in Israel itself is not in favor of your position, and those elected officials haven’t acted.  (One might posit this on elected official cowardice which we’ve seen in other quarters as it is not limited to the Knesset, yet that fact remains.)

    2.  The conflict never ends but if the Dome is removed and replaced by the third Temple  you might in fact galvanize Islam in a way that works against the idea of “effectively end the conflict,” and

    3.  Israel is on a slope which finds anti-Jewish sentiment being expressed regularly and with at least some physical hostility on what appears to be an expanding front.

    4.  While any number of American Christians openly sympathize with the desire to re-build the Temple, sympathy is not enough.  Cash to do the work is not enough.  Something more is required and whatever that is, I haven’t seen it appear and would hope to recognize it should it do so.

    5.  I am not your enemy and don’t wish to see you suffer any more.  I think suffering to  be unavoidable for everyone for various reasons but some ideas can be put in abeyance until they are able to be realized.  This idea would seem to be one of those items for abeyance.

    • #93
  4. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    iWc:

    Danny Alexander:We will not merit the restored Temple by some other modality — including not by short-circuiting the priorities Hashem continuously makes so plain to us.

    Danny, with apologies, this is Hipposcat. And precisely the kind of hipposcat that leads to inaction and passivity.

    I think your beef is with Chaza”l (the rabbis of the Talmud, for those unfamiliar with Jewish history and law) rather than Danny. Consider the blessings of the Shmoneh Esreh (the central prayer, consisting of 19 blessings recited 3 times a day). Tractate Megillah explains that the blessings were deliberately ordered to correspond to the required chronology: There will be a Teshuvah movement; God will forgive the people; they will escape persecution; the Land will once again bloom and give its blessings; the exiles will be ingathered; Jewish leadership will be restored; (Israel’s enemies will be defeated;) Torah will flourish and its teachers placed in leadership; Jerusalem (i.e. the Temple) will be rebuilt; the Davidic dynasty will be restored.

    The idea that the required action at this point is to clear the Mount for the Temple is, by tradition, premature. The way I read history, our next steps are to defeat Israel’s enemies and encourage widespread (Jewish) commitment to Torah.

    • #94
  5. TeeJaw Inactive
    TeeJaw
    @TeeJaw

    iWc:

    I don’t mess with the power I feel there. It is the place where Isaac was sacrificed, where Jacob had his dream… where heaven and earth connect.

    I’m not particularly religious and I’m not Jewish (because I’m not anything, really) but I did feel something down there. I stayed for quite a while, walked into the tunnel a ways.  But out at that wall is where I felt the presence of something. Probably just my excitement at being near something so old, so connected with things we can read about in the Bible.  A physical connection. There is definitely something real there.

    • #95
  6. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Son of Spengler:

    iWc:

    Danny Alexander:We will not merit the restored Temple by some other modality — including not by short-circuiting the priorities Hashem continuously makes so plain to us.

    Danny, with apologies, this is Hipposcat. And precisely the kind of hipposcat that leads to inaction and passivity.

    I think your beef is with Chaza”l (the rabbis of the Talmud, for those unfamiliar with Jewish history and law) rather than Danny.

    Bar Kochba aimed to rebuild the  Temple, did he not? If so, then the ensuing changes were in response to the defeat, not to any underlying religious precept.

    • #96
  7. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    James Gawron:

    I think it is a banal cliche to place blame at the door of religion in general.

    Jim, it seemed the polite thing to do when talking about ethnic cleansing in Palestine.  You mentioned many other things which I would agree are examples of religion or ideology being used for an evil end.  But only one of us seems to be (am I misunderstanding?) defending one of these.  I’m not defending any of them. Regards

    • #97
  8. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    iWc:Indeed, I would argue that the single BEST thing Israel could do to end the conflict would be to bulldoze the dome, and rebuild the Temple. The muslims do not fight because they must. They fight because they have not yet accepted that they have lost.

    To end the war, one must decisively win it. Rebuilding the Temple would effectively end the conflict, because it would be a clear and decisive symbol.

    I don’t know iWc, it didn’t work out that way when the Romans destroyed the Temple.  It’s kind of depressing if we just keep repeating history, jmho.

    • #98
  9. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    iWc:

    Son of Spengler:

    iWc:

    Danny Alexander:We will not merit the restored Temple by some other modality — including not by short-circuiting the priorities Hashem continuously makes so plain to us.

    Danny, with apologies, this is Hipposcat. And precisely the kind of hipposcat that leads to inaction and passivity.

    I think your beef is with Chaza”l (the rabbis of the Talmud, for those unfamiliar with Jewish history and law) rather than Danny.

    Bar Kochba aimed to rebuild the Temple, did he not? If so, then the ensuing changes were in response to the defeat, not to any underlying religious precept.

    I was unaware of any specific plans to build. My understanding was that his first priority was overthrowing the Romans and restoring Jewish sovereignty. Even so, Rabbi Akiva believed that Bar Kochba may have been Mashiach — and the imprimatur would have important if the Temple was to be rebuilt.

    Regardless, the defeat did carry religious meaning, as did the ensuing exile. Judaism incorporates theological responses to events. If we overlook rabbinical developments, then we are left with something like the Saducees or the Karaites or another related movement that is not properly understood as Judaism.

    • #99
  10. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Zafar:

    Calvin Coolidg:

    It seems like one religion is borrowing from another to place a marker on history. Am I wrong?

    You could be right. It all depends on which particular book you buy into – the view of the other book flows from that. None of it is really testable or falsifiable.

    I don’t “Buy” into my belief in God. I know it to be true because it has been proven through historical documentation, and the Bible’s accuracy of those events. “Those” events were recorded in the Bible prior to them ever happening.

    It’s much bigger than that Zafar. One interpretation, if proven, could disprove the other and erase hundreds of years of a seemingly credible struggle, based on a lie. It could expose a fraud that would leave hundreds of millions of people without a religion that they have sworn a sacred oath to.

    • #100
  11. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Zafar:  I don’t know iWc, it didn’t work out that way when the Romans destroyed the Temple.  

    Of course it worked. Jews stopped fighting when we were defeated. We did not fight from Bar Kochba until 1948. Indeed, we institutionalized the belief that we should not fight – and that the Temple must come about through passivity instead of action (see Danny and SoS comments).

    • #101
  12. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    iWc:

    Of course it worked. Jews stopped fighting when we were defeated. We did not fight from Bar Kochba until 1948. Indeed, we institutionalized the belief that we should not fight – and that the Temple must come about through passivity instead of action (see Danny and SoS comments).

    No it didn’t work, because you didn’t give up.

    Why do you expect the Palestinians to respond differently?

    • #102
  13. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Zafar,

    When Pakistan and India were partitioned. What happened?

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #103
  14. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Zafar:

    iWc:

    Of course it worked. Jews stopped fighting when we were defeated. We did not fight from Bar Kochba until 1948. Indeed, we institutionalized the belief that we should not fight – and that the Temple must come about through passivity instead of action (see Danny and SoS comments).

    No it didn’t work, because you didn’t give up.

    Why do you expect the Palestinians to respond differently?

    Zafar?!?!?! What do you mean the Jews didn’t give up? When did we EVER cross swords with Rome again?!

    We lost. They won. We stopped waging war.

    If the Palestinians lose, and Israel wins, Palestinians will stop waging war.

    • #104
  15. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    I have a history book that states the Roman wars with the Jews cost them dearly, and ultimately resulted in the collapse of their empire. The first Jewish war with Rome, Masada in 70 C.E., took the Romans 4 years to defeat them. Roman troops numbered about 15,000 to overcome 950 rebels. A high price is paid when the intent is to destroy the Jews.

    • #105
  16. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Kay of MT:I have a history book that states the Roman wars with the Jews cost them dearly, and ultimately resulted in the collapse of their empire. The first Jewish war with Rome, Masada in 70 C.E., took the Romans 4 years to defeat them. Roman troops numbered about 15,000 to overcome 950 rebels. A high price is paid when the intent is to destroy the Jews.

    Eh, considering how the war resulted I would say the Romans got the better end of the stick. In essence those 950 rebels cost the Israelis their temple, and homeland for 2000 years.

    • #106
  17. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    iWc:

    Zafar?!?!?! What do you mean the Jews didn’t give up? When did we EVER cross swords with Rome again?!

    We lost. They won. We stopped waging war.

    If the Palestinians lose, and Israel wins, Palestinians will stop waging war.

    “You” didn’t give up on returning to the land, or (currently) on waging war to secure it.  Is that a fair way of putting it?

    Also, to be prosaic, the Romans were able to be so brutal because they didn’t depend on how a(nother) superpower viewed them (most moral etc.) for vital support.

    • #107
  18. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    James Gawron:Zafar,

    When Pakistan and India were partitioned. What happened?

    Regards,

    Jim

    14 million people displaced. (About 7 million in each direction).

    Upto about 1 million dead.

    Thousands abducted, missing, unaccounted for.

    At least one generation traumatised, lots of people who were damaged by the event.

    A poisonous legacy of religious nationalism and violence – embraced in Pakistan, ambiguously dealt with in India.  In turn destabilising in Afghanistan.

    An enduring source of embitterment within communities in India.

    Two neighbouring nuclear powers with chips on their shoulders, that have at least once come to the brink of a nuclear war.

    An incredible amount of money wasted having to prepare for war instead of focusing on winning the peace – the price can be counted in human misery (illiteracy, preventable diseases, sewage systems, power plants).

    A scatter shot of subsequent actual/aspirational secessionist movements, all violent and inevitably messy because there are very few naturally ethnically and religiously homogenous areas in the subcontinent, and all stubbornly long lasting.

    (At least) one failing state.

    As you can tell, I’m not an unqualified fan.  I don’t think Partition really resolved anything, and it broke many things that were good.

    The State that’s doing the best, imho (full disclosure: my own) is India – and that’s the only one that did not agree with the logic of Partition.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

    • #108
  19. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Zafar:

    James Gawron:Zafar,

    When Pakistan and India were partitioned. What happened?

    Regards,

    Jim

    14 million people displaced. (About 7 million in each direction).

    Upto about 1 million dead.

    Thousands abducted, missing, unaccounted for.

    At least one generation traumatised, lots of people who were damaged by the event.

    A poisonous legacy of religious nationalism and violence – embraced in Pakistan, ambiguously dealt with in India. In turn destabilising in Afghanistan.

    An enduring source of embitterment within communities in India.

    Two neighbouring nuclear powers with chips on their shoulders, that have at least once come to the brink of a nuclear war.

    An incredible amount of money wasted having to prepare for war instead of focusing on winning the peace – the price can be counted in human misery (illiteracy, preventable diseases, sewage systems, power plants).

    A scatter shot of subsequent actual/aspirational secessionist movements, all violent and inevitably messy because there are very few naturally ethnically and religiously homogenous areas in the subcontinent, and all stubbornly long lasting.

    (At least) one failing state.

    As you can tell, I’m not an unqualified fan. I don’t think Partition really resolved anything, and it broke many things that were good.

    The State that’s doing the best, imho (full disclosure: my own) is India – and that’s the only one that did not agree with the logic of Partition. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

    Zafar,

    Did either India or Pakistan take the position that the other state should cease to exist or had no right to exist? Did the Indians insist that the Pakistanis be driven into the ocean? Did the Pakistanis demand the extermination of Indians?

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #109
  20. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Zafar:

    Why is it a religious issue whether Israel is a majority Jewish State or not?

    That’s where you’re wrong Zafar, because it isn’t a religious issue. Look at  the population of Israel and ask yourself if they are keeping non-Jews out for religion or for reasons that any state controls it’s population. Stop playing games. Didn’t you bring that same point up to me as to why Israel doesn’t invade and conquer its enemies and acquire their territory?

    • #110
  21. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    James Gawron:

    Did the Indians insist that the Pakistanis be driven into the ocean?

    No, but if they’d come to India from Europe and just taken half our country because the British said that they could then Indians might have felt differently.  The difference is that, outside of some extremist rhetoric, the indigenousness of subcontinental Muslims – measured by language, diet, general culture – is not seriously questioned by the vast majority of Hindus.  We are so similar that it really is often hard to immediately tell one from the other – even for us.

    Jews might feel themselves to be indigenous to the Middle East – and arguably at least the Mizrahim were and all Israelis today certainly are – but Israel is still perceived as a European, Western entity that colonised an Arab country – more like Apartheid era South Africa than Pakistan, despite religion being a formal basis for national identity for both Pakistan and Israel.

    (Or for another perspective – many Americans are freaking out over massive, demographic changing immigration to the US from Mexico.  Understandable, you might say.  Now imagine that you’re still ruled by Britain and somebody in London decides that Mexico is going to get everything East of the Mississippi to make another country.  How accepting would you be of this?)

    There are plenty of people in India who don’t think Pakistan’s reason for separating from India was a good or valid one.  The fact of Partition is accepted, the Pakistani State is (sometimes grudgingly) accepted, but the rightness of its cause is absolutely not accepted, even today.  I don’t believe Partition was justified, or right, or righteous.  Why should I have to pretend to?

    Regards

    • #111
  22. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Calvin Coolidg:

    Zafar:

    Why is it a religious issue whether Israel is a majority Jewish State or not?

    That’s where you’re wrong Zafar, because it isn’t a religious issue. Look at the population of Israel and ask yourself if they are keeping non-Jews out for religion or for reasons that any state controls it’s population. Stop playing games. Didn’t you bring that same point up to me as to why Israel doesn’t invade and conquer its enemies and acquire their territory?

    I don’t think it’s a religious issue either – so what is it?  Why does the Israeli law guarantee any Jewish person in the world entry and citizenship while still denying that to many Arabs who were born in what is Israel today?

    • #112
  23. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Zafar, can I pose an odd question to you on this?  Not sure how to phrase this, and this is of course entirely theoretical, but given that Israel has now existed de facto for almost 70 years, how could Israel possibly deal with the situation posed above?

    Why does the Israeli law guarantee any Jewish person in the world entry and citizenship while still denying that to many Arabs who were born in what is Israel today?

    The youngest possible age level for this would be 68 at this point.  The Palestinians are the only exile/refugee group in the world who are still afforded, at least per the UN, any right of return not just for themselves but their descendants too.  It would be as if, in 1904, Mexicans displaced by the Texas war, as well as their descendants, were neither permitted to be citizens of Mexico (for the Palestinians are not accorded citizenship in Joran, Lebanon, Syria, or Egypt), nor of anywhere else.  Or if in 1916 similar such people were still pressing claims on the southwest US.  The US allowed citizenship in time for those who did not leave Texas (and was automatic for their descendants) and the later ceded lands, and Israel does have Arab citizens who themselves did not leave.

    Nor have Germans been permitted any right of return to East Prussia, the Sudetenland, etc., or Poles to their lost eastern lands.

    • #113
  24. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Zafar:

    James Gawron:

    Did the Indians insist that the Pakistanis be driven into the ocean?

    No, but if they’d come to India from Europe and just taken half our country because the British said that they could then Indians might have felt differently. The difference is that, outside of some extremist rhetoric, the indigenousness of subcontinental Muslims – measured by language, diet, general culture – is not seriously questioned by the vast majority of Hindus. We are so similar that it really is often hard to immediately tell one from the other – even for us.

    Jews might feel themselves to be indigenous to the Middle East – and arguably at least the Mizrahim were and all Israelis today certainly are – but Israel is still perceived as a European, Western entity that colonised an Arab country – more like Apartheid era South Africa than Pakistan, despite religion being a formal basis for national identity for both Pakistan and Israel.

    (Or for another perspective – many Americans are freaking out over massive, demographic changing immigration to the US from Mexico. Understandable, you might say. Now imagine that you’re still ruled by Britain and somebody in London decides that Mexico is going to get everything East of the Mississippi to make another country. How accepting would you be of this?)

    There are plenty of people in India who don’t think Pakistan’s reason for separating from India was a good or valid one. The fact of Partition is accepted, the Pakistani State is (sometimes grudgingly) accepted, but the rightness of its cause is absolutely not accepted, even today. I don’t believe Partition was justified, or right, or righteous. Why should I have to pretend to?

    Regards

    Zafar,

    Of course, if both Pakistan & India had remained British colonies they could have remained as one country. Unfortunately, when Britain left the two groups Hindus & Muslims were unable to live with one another and the partition was the result of the conflict not the cause.

    There was a Jewish presence in the Holy Land from Bar Kokhba continuously until 1948. The Romans killed about 2/3 of the population. However, there was no armed Jewish force or government until 1948. Jews bought land and often were murdered at the hands of whatever Empire was controlling the area or whatever nomadic tribal society felt threatened. The pogroms of the 1920s & 1930s were done by locals but instigated and funded by fascists. Since 1948 and the refusal of the other side, whatever you would like to call them, to accept partition, Israel has repeatedly attempted to create a new partition. This has been repeatedly rejected by the other side. However, the other side has always maintained a uniform policy. They insist upon the destruction of the state of Israel and the genocide of the Jewish population or ethnic cleansing if you would prefer. This policy conforms, of course, not to an indigenous population with some past grievance but to a Jihadist obsession with Islamic totalitarian rule.

    It seems self evident that if Islam or a majority of responsible Muslim governments were to recognize the state of Israel the conflict would be resolved very quickly. Until such time as the acceptance of the existence of the Jewish state is a common place there is likely to be no solution.

    I wonder how you feel when you see Hindu shrines dynamited that had been in existence long before Mohammed was born? How do feel when you see Christian Churches in Syria and elsewhere that have also been in existence long before Mohammed was born being destroyed?  As of this moment I don’t know of any Jews, Christians or Hindus destroying other religion’s Holy places anywhere in the world. Perhaps I am misinformed.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #114
  25. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    skipsul:Zafar, can I pose an odd question to you on this? Not sure how to phrase this, and this is of course entirely theoretical, but given that Israel has now existed de facto for almost 70 years, how could Israel possibly deal with the situation posed above?

    The youngest possible age level for this would be 68 at this point. The Palestinians are the only exile/refugee group in the world who are still afforded, at least per the UN, any right of return not just for themselves but their descendants too. It would be as if, in 1904, Mexicans displaced by the Texas war, as well as their descendants, were neither permitted to be citizens of Mexico (for the Palestinians are not accorded citizenship in Joran, Lebanon, Syria, or Egypt), nor of anywhere else. Or if in 1916 similar such people were still pressing claims on the southwest US. The US allowed citizenship in time for those who did not leave Texas (and was automatic for their descendants) and the later ceded lands, and Israel does have Arab citizens who themselves did not leave.

    Nor have Germans been permitted any right of return to East Prussia, the Sudetenland, etc., or Poles to their lost eastern lands.

    I think you answered your own question in a way. All the other displaced people while loosing their land and homes did not lose their Nation. The Palestinians don’t have a Nation to go to. America may have taken Texas (and it should be noted that Mexicans are free to come and live in Texas certainly today they are) but we didn’t abolish Mexico. The simple fact of the matter is if we hold to the ideal and justification of the need for ethnic states, where can the Palestinians really go to be Palestinians if there is no Palestinian nation?

    • #115
  26. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Valiuth: where can the Palestinians really go to be Palestinians if there is no Palestinian nation?

    There is no distinct Palestinian nation in what is now Israel. There never has been.

    Ethnicity-wise? Jordan is majority Palestinian.

    • #116
  27. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    iWc:

    Valiuth: where can the Palestinians really go to be Palestinians if there is no Palestinian nation?

    There is no distinct Palestinian nation in what is now Israel. There never has been.

    Ethnicity-wise? Jordan is majority Palestinian.

    This is another piece of the same problem – there never really was any notion of a distinct ethnic “Palestinian” state or territory.  Jordan was born of older royal claims (in fact the Jordanian Hashemites have a far more legitimate claim to Mecca and Medina than do the Sauds), but the other divisions creating Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Kuwait were all effectively arbitrary creations post WWI.  Palestine was Arabic, part of the territory conquered by the Arabs during and after Mohammed, then taken over by the Turks.

    I remember an Iraqi classmate of mine in school who effectively referred to Palestinians as being like the rednecks of the Arab world, with lower class accents and customs.  The division, culture wise, was more akin to the difference between blue collar Kentuckians and New York City dwellers – not so much “ethnic” (i.e. racial) as cultural.

    • #117
  28. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Zafar:

    Calvin Coolidg:

    Zafar:

    Why is it a religious issue whether Israel is a majority Jewish State or not?

    That’s where you’re wrong Zafar, because it isn’t a religious issue. Look at the population of Israel and ask yourself if they are keeping non-Jews out for religion or for reasons that any state controls it’s population. Stop playing games. Didn’t you bring that same point up to me as to why Israel doesn’t invade and conquer its enemies and acquire their territory?

    I don’t think it’s a religious issue either – so what is it? Why does the Israeli law guarantee any Jewish person in the world entry and citizenship while still denying that to many Arabs who were born in what is Israel today?

    Survival, Zafar.

    And Israel only denies citizenship to people who are a threat to the State. They aren’t throwing out citizens whom are Arabs. That’s nonsense.

    I have to say , it’s pretty impressive how you can hold down as many different conversations as you do. (Not that I agree with you on any of them). Never the less, impressive.

    • #118
  29. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    James Gawron:

    Of course, if both Pakistan & India had remained British colonies they could have remained as one country. Unfortunately, when Britain left the two groups Hindus & Muslims were unable to live with one another and the partition was the result of the conflict not the cause.

    Jim, it was a little more complicated than that – in addition to the Princely States that were not a part of British India, there were a lot of politics involved within the Raj.  The Indian National Congress (which included many Muslim members) didn’t want Partition, the Muslim League did, the British had their own agendas wrt whom they supported and whom they jailed.  It’s probably got some similarities to how things unfolded in Palestine from the 1930s to 1948.

    It’s notable that the Muslim population in South Asia today is basically divided into three equalishly sized groups – one in Pakistan, one in Bangladesh and one in India.  One of the differences between this and the situation in Israel  is that in India there was tremendous civil unrest, but it was localised and the State tried to protect us from it.  It didn’t try to drive us out to increase the Hindu majority.  It took this stand because of how nationality was defined in India – if it had been defined using Hinduism the Indian State would have found it harder to act imho so morally.

    When I see (read about) the destruction of temples it distresses me – because it’s a matter of culture, and also to be honest, I think it empowers the most unpleasant parts of both the society that does it (obviously) but also the society that reacts to it.   Unfortunately, destroying, or changing, houses of worship seems to be the preferred grace note to removing religious minorities – one way or another.

    • #119
  30. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    James Gawron:

    It seems self evident that if Islam or a majority of responsible Muslim governments were to recognize the state of Israel the conflict would be resolved very quickly. Until such time as the acceptance of the existence of the Jewish state is a common place there is likely to be no solution.

    From Jewish Voice for Peace:

    The much-awaited moment has come and the League of Arab States has reissued the 2002 Saudi Peace Plan with no changes or amendments.  It is important to understand what this initiative says and the great potential it has for putting the region on a course toward a sustainable peace. It is also important to understand what it is not — a take it or leave it offer with no room for negotiations.

    In fact, it’s exactly what Israel has needed for decades–a firm opening offer and invitation to negotiations from the entire Arab world. It’s not only peace with the Palestinians. It’s peace with the entire Arab world that is being offered. And not just peace, but normal relations. This is offered in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from all territories it captured in 1967, the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and an “agreed upon” resolution to the refugee issue, based on UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

    So this has been hanging around, waiting for discussion, for more than a decade.  Seems pretty close to an offer of recognition to me.  What gives?

    • #120
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