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  1. #71
    Member Isis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Ordinarily I would agree with you. It certainly is problematic to claim people don't know what they're talking about rather than accept they have a legitimate argument. And I also get sick of people blaming everything on the media. But I feel like this conflict is an exception in many ways.

    The media shapes the impressions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so much - not just by what the media covers but what informations and perspectives it leaves out. Have you seen this comparison of British and American media coverage? The difference in the language used to describe events and in the way they humanise one side or the other is startling. Start watching at 3:15 if you want to skip to the crux of the matter:



    This documentary is much more critical of Israel and American news organisations portrayals of events, but the European media has the same level of bias toward the Palestinians. We seem to get mainly UK media reports on the conflict here on NZ news, so I'm often frustrated by a lack of humanising stories about the Israelis.

    The misconceptions the media create are not necessarily intentional either. It can be a simple as not reporting on what happens on the 'down' periods when there isn't outright conflict going on. People then tend to mentally fill in those gaps: often they either think all out war has continued during that period or they think there hasn't been any conflict at all. Both are inaccurate and they shape the way people react to the media reports they do receive. For example: if you believe that conflict has been intense and constant up until recent events, you're going to see Israel's present actions as more justified (ie. it's not just aggression coming out of nowhere), but if you think it's been completely peaceful, the Israelis look inexcusably ruthless and bloodthirsty.

    Knowing about it the history and the issues in play is also incredibly important. There are some crucial aspects that you must at least be vaguely aware of for any of it to even make sense, and I don't think the media does enough to outline it. The conflict parameters have shifted so much over the last 60 odd years but people forget about how and why things have changed. The media only report on immediate events and assume people will know why it is happening and how it came to this - which they often don't.


    Arafat walked away from negotiations and I've read varying accounts as to why. Some say there was a misunderstanding; others say his ego got in the way; some even say he wanted to prolong the conflict because it was more beneficial to him as a leader. It's hard to know what really happened, but apparently many of the other Palestinian negotiators were furious about how he went about it.

    And yes, I think even Hamas realise this can't go on forever. The leaders must know it's not possible for them to retake greater Israel/Palestine and that the Israelis are not leaving. I think they actually want to make a deal but don't know how to appease (delusional) hard-liners or justify any peaceful shift in policy without looking weak. I think a lot of what these rocket attacks are about is a show of strength, so that when a (long term or short term) ceasefire/peace deal is eventually negotiated they can drive a harder bargain with Israel. Although, I may be wrong and they're all insane and delusional, but I think it's too easy to dismiss them as being so.

    There is a plan to deal with Jerusalem that can work. In fact the way the borders of Palestinian territories will be determined, the way the reparations/compensation will be outlined, the way the refugee issue will be addressed etc, basically the reality of how all the broad issues will be resolved, is already pretty much understood and accepted by the governments and much of the population of both sides (again, sometimes behind closed doors). A lot of the reason it doesn't go ahead is that lingering anger, fear and distrust. Neither wants to give and inch because they fear being screwed over.
    Great video- thank you.
    Media has blood on their hands.

  2. #72
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post

    I think all Western countries apart from Canada and America are decidedly pro-Palestinian. They inevitably support the underdog, which is perfectly understandable, but I wish they weren't so closed off and rigid in that view. I remember when I came back from Israel someone asked me, "Do the Israelis know how much they oppress the Palestinians?". It was such a loaded question I didn't even know how to begin to answer it.
    This level of media bias can lead to the sort of thing where a friend of mine, who claimed to not be taking sides in the issue at all, said "what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians is worse than what was done to the Jews in the Holocaust." (This is someone I know in the UK, although she's Spanish.) She actually visited Israel a few years ago, as well as a few other Middle Eastern countries including Syria. Her opinion was that the Israelis were generally rude, nasty people, but it was fairly obvious that she had gone there with that opinion. I also know people who visited Israel and said everyone was almost uniformly pleasant and courteous (and they weren't all Zionist settler types, either) so it has a lot to do with the type of attitude you go in with.

    I actually wrote a sort of history of Israel for children some years ago, when already living in Europe (I used to write educational children's material, though this particular book got sidelined and didn't get published eventually - I wonder why, actually) and while I was writing it a friend of mine at the time, who really should have known better, said "so obviously, while researching you must have concluded that the Israelis are in the wrong and the Palestinians are in the right." He was surprised when I got mad at him and told him that I was actually attempting to be as unbiased as possible in either direction.

    Equally, growing up in Canada I had a distinct idea that the Palestinians were generally terrorists and I remember being shocked when I learned that many more Palestinians than Israelis had died in the ongoing conflict. Before I moved to Ireland ten years ago, and later England, and met more Muslims and got to know some of them, I also had more or less the idea that Muslims were pretty much uniformly fanatics and supporters of terrorism. (Although Canada is very multicultural, I grew up in an area where there are very few Muslims.) And I should add that I was raised in a VERY unprejudiced environment - my parents were very careful not to let racism and prejudice slip into their discussion of other nationalities or races, by and large, and it also ties into our beliefs and worldview. I know well that these attitudes of mine, which were reshaped by living abroad, had a great deal to do with the media.
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  3. #73
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    Always good to chat with an INFP

    Let me save my ass here: I never intended my sentence in a buddist or otherwise spiritual way. I'm talking about history, and the key motivators in history are power and money, not spirituality. Thus, I'm saying "look at where the economic interest lies, you'll know what the cause of the problem is". I thought this was clear with my 911 example!? Maybe not.

    Anyway, you have a point with Hamas and it made me think twice. However, I still feel as if Hamas is not the main issue, but part of something bigger, which is what I'm trying to analyse. Also, you naming them "terrorists" is almost like trying to abandon a debate, in that "terrorists" don't exist, I mean, even so-called "terrorist organisations" have a goal, which is not pure terrorism. I mean, the goal of Hamas might be Palestine independence or what have you, but their goal is not terrorism, terrorism is a tool to achieve a goal. So, even if you call them terrorists, it's interesting to investigate what lies beneath, what their motivation is, etc. And there you have the bigger problem I was talking about. Which to me, personally, the answer is Israel. But that's a question of personal opinion.

    Lastly, you've just said that the most important thing is that people are dying (and I agree, I mean, that's my whole point). So here you are not being very coherent, because in that sense the weight is clearly shifted into Palestine and you can't compare a provocation of Hamas with the response of Israel, regardless of whether they have the resources or not for heavier military machinery. I mean, if I throw a stick at you, it does not justify that you nuclear bomb me.

    Whatever. Bye bye.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I have no problem admitting the Israelis have have much to answer for and that they hold the trump cards - but what you're saying is totally simplistic.

    For one thing Hamas intentionally fire rockets from suburban areas, knowing that when the Israelis strike back, and civilians die, they can play the victim card. This is nothing new. During the second intifada, Hamas set up bomb making factories next to primary schools, because even if they get hit, it will be a PR coup - lots of dead school children is a victory for Hamas. And you know what that means: sympathy from the rest of the world and a whole raft of pissed off Palestinians who decide to sign up with Hamas. It's win-win for them.

    Just tread carefully when you go down this path. There's a reason why terrorists kill people - it's to win sympathy from people like you. This is how terrorism works. Some disgruntled group cast themselves as the underdog, and some government as the big bad oppressors, and then before you know it, rational people are defending the right for that group to target and kill innocent civilians.

    There are no straight-forward victims in this conflict other than the civilians dying and losing loved ones. I know it's tempting to point the finger and look for easy answers, but there is so much blood on the hands of both sides that neither can be held blameless. Beside the fact that your rationale could be used to prove the case for either side. By that simplistic reasoning you could say the Palestinians must have brought the conflict on to themselves, otherwise this wouldn't be happening to them - ie they must be the cause of the problem. It's ridiculous.

  4. #74
    Whisky Old & Women Young Speed Gavroche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    You could just as easily say the problems started when the Romans destroyed the Second Temple.
    Your analogy fails because the roman Empire was not led by a racist ideology which implies that the territory must be ethnically purified as much as possible of thoses who are not jews. But it's the case for Israël.
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  5. #75
    Doesn't Read Your Posts Haight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speed Gavroche View Post
    Your analogy fails because the roman Empire was not led by a racist ideology which implies that the territory must be ethnically purified as much as possible of thoses who are not jews. But it's the case for Israël.
    So, you believe that's true for Jews but not true for the nations around Israel? In other words, have you ever read about people in the Middle-East wanting Israel wiped off the map? It’s fairly common knowledge, actually.

    You should do a little more research before boldly displaying such ignorance.
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  6. #76
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    other nations have been in that area for a much longer time and developed in a more organic way.
    this shit with israel is like when Europe decided to divide Africa into artificial countries in the late 1800s. they are responsible for dividing several natural tribes and for many conflicts that have risen since then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haight View Post
    So, you believe that's true for Jews but not true for the nations around Israel? In other words, have you ever read about people in the Middle-East wanting Israel wiped off the map? It’s fairly common knowledge, actually.

    You should do a little more research before boldly displaying such ignorance.

  7. #77
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    This level of media bias can lead to the sort of thing where a friend of mine, who claimed to not be taking sides in the issue at all, said "what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians is worse than what was done to the Jews in the Holocaust." (This is someone I know in the UK, although she's Spanish.)
    Yes, people use these sorts of hyperboles in such a despicable way. It's like when people call Israelis a bunch of Nazis.

    She actually visited Israel a few years ago, as well as a few other Middle Eastern countries including Syria. Her opinion was that the Israelis were generally rude, nasty people, but it was fairly obvious that she had gone there with that opinion. I also know people who visited Israel and said everyone was almost uniformly pleasant and courteous (and they weren't all Zionist settler types, either) so it has a lot to do with the type of attitude you go in with.
    Several people told me the same about Israelis before I went there. Often it's because people go there after travelling through surrounding Arab nations which have highly courteous tradition of hospitality, and the contrast in culture can be quite startling. The Israelis are very blunt, assertive and not overly interested in niceties, which many tourists misinterpret. The truth is that it comes from a good place and is down to two basic reasons: a) they live for the moment and want make the most out of life (because you don't know if this day is you last), so they don't like to beat around the bush; and b) they are extremely familiar with other people, even strangers, and treat them like they are literally family. And treating people like family cuts both ways: they'll dispense with civilities, butt in on your life, and tell you what's good for you; it also means that everyone is extremely approachable and they will go out of their way to help you. I found it very comforting because you felt like you are safe and amongst friends.

    Often when I was trying to get back to my Kibbutz after doing some travelling (which was hard because there were few buses out there) I'd be standing at a bus stop when a Kibbutz member that I'd never even spoken to, would pull up and offer me a ride. They just recognised me and without a second thought, stop and yell at me to get in. When I was in Israel I did things I would never dream of doing elsewhere. This extremely shy and independent INFP went up to complete strangers asking for, what I would normally consider, an unreasonable degree of help. I was stuck somewhere in the middle of the desert with shabbat approaching (ie. everything is about to come to a complete standstill in a few hours) and I just walked up to a family cooking outside a B&B and asked if they'd drive me to the bus stop. The guy did not only that, when he got there, he waved down a family coming out of the nearby Army base and asked them to give me a ride to the nearest city. Unbelievable.

    I could tell you just as nice stories about Palestinians too. When I was in Jericho on a very hot day, the attendant at a historical site offered me and my friend water and sat and had a great chat with us. A (very young and handsome) policeman came along too and offered us fresh home-made lemonade. The attendant invited my friend and I to have dinner with his family, which we politely declined as we had to get back to Jerusalem. He then insisted on setting us up a ride back into the town centre so we could get a taxi back. In Palestine you typically give a few shekels in payment for hitch-hiking but we didn't have any small change. This very poor attendant flagged down a car, explained to the driver what to do, gave the driver money out of his own pocket and waved us a friendly goodbye. I was so touched and embarrassed to think a man with so little would help a couple of comparatively wealthy and spoiled Westerners.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkgraffiti View Post
    Anyway, you have a point with Hamas and it made me think twice. However, I still feel as if Hamas is not the main issue, but part of something bigger, which is what I'm trying to analyse. Also, you naming them "terrorists" is almost like trying to abandon a debate, in that "terrorists" don't exist, I mean, even so-called "terrorist organisations" have a goal, which is not pure terrorism. I mean, the goal of Hamas might be Palestine independence or what have you, but their goal is not terrorism, terrorism is a tool to achieve a goal. So, even if you call them terrorists, it's interesting to investigate what lies beneath, what their motivation is, etc. And there you have the bigger problem I was talking about. Which to me, personally, the answer is Israel. But that's a question of personal opinion.
    Oh, I'm sorry if I sounded like I wanted to blanket label Hamas as terrorists (and dismiss them in the process). I know it's more complicated than that. They do have a background of terrorism but it becomes so much more complicated when such organisation then are involved in politics and are democratically elected.

    You're right, there are bigger issues than Hamas. I wouldn't dismiss the larger Palestinan cause just because of Hamas's dubious methods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed Gavroche View Post
    Your analogy fails because the roman Empire was not led by a racist ideology which implies that the territory must be ethnically purified as much as possible of thoses who are not jews. But it's the case for Israël.
    Some Israelis believe it must be ethnically purified, not all. Also the Jews have a good reason to want a homeland of their own, where they are the majority. Who could blame them for wanting to minimise the threat of anti-Semitism.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkgraffiti View Post
    other nations have been in that area for a much longer time and developed in a more organic way.
    this shit with israel is like when Europe decided to divide Africa into artificial countries in the late 1800s. they are responsible for dividing several natural tribes and for many conflicts that have risen since then.
    Actually I think the former Yugoslavia is a better comparison to Israel and Palestine. Conflict and ethnic division necessitating a separation of a nation in to whole new ones along naturally defined and accepted borders.
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  8. #78
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post

    Actually I think the former Yugoslavia is a better comparison to Israel and Palestine. Conflict and ethnic division necessitating a separation of nations in to whole new ones along naturally defined and accepted borders.
    Interesting comparison.

    I also think it's very interesting that I have never or seldom heard people from other countries "take sides" regarding the Balkan conflicts/dissolution of Yugoslavia, not to anything like the same emotional and inflammatory extent that people comment on Israel/Palestine. The Serbs seem to be demonised more but I haven't seen anything like the level of bias that is constantly the norm with Israel/Palestine, in either direction.

    By the way, with the small amount of experience I have, I agree about hospitality and helpfulness of both Israelis and Arabs. I have met few Israelis, but I spent a day with a couple of Israeli guys in Wales years ago, who were extremely nice and courteous, and insisted on cooking and sharing dinner with me at the end of the day in the hostel - when we also had a very interesting and balanced convo about the Israeli-Palestinian issue (the second intifada was under way then.) And, when I travelled in Morocco and Egypt I met with some fantastic hospitality from Arabs - both locals, and some Yemeni friends who we were hanging out with in Cairo. (Of course, we also met with people who ripped us off. But I think that's going to happen in a lot of countries if you're a Westerner, and hence appear to be loaded.)
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  9. #79
    Whisky Old & Women Young Speed Gavroche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haight View Post
    So, you believe that's true for Jews but not true for the nations around Israel?
    Yes. Jews are treated far better in Iran or in Dubaï than arabs are treated in Israël where they have to endure a lot of racist law against them, due to the prevalence of the zionist ideology.

    In other words, have you ever read about people in the Middle-East wanting Israel wiped off the map? It’s fairly common knowledge, actually.
    That's the usual confusion. Many people in Middle-East want wip the state of Israël off the map. Not the people who live in that state.

    Elsewhere, if you believe that Israël have no desire to attack his neighbor to expand his land, you are stupid.

    You should do a little more research before boldly displaying such ignorance.
    From someone who is visbly informed from zionist media only, that assement is particulary laughable.
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  10. #80
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speed Gavroche View Post


    From somewhere who is visbly informed from zionist media only, that assement is particulary laughable.
    Which media are you primarily informed from?

    Also, you didn't answer the earlier question about how you believe the dissolution of Israel is going to take place, in practical terms.
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