Author Topic: Oh, Israel...  (Read 1091 times)

Cain

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2012, 05:53:11 am »
Well, I went by other sources in regards to the Chinese industrial revolution.  It was on the cusp of happening, but the social and political context was very different to Europe at the time.  The Song Dynasty came to power after one of China's periods of dissolution and warlordism - the Five Dynasties period - and their main fear was that if the Army and the provincial governors who commanded those forces became too powerful, that the Song might be overthrown like the Tang.

Therefore the military technology which might have aided the army was neglected in favour of traditional weapons training and the Navy.  Crossbows were favoured despite the existence of gunpowder and discovered schematics from the period for weapons like flamethrowers, grenades and land mines.  Some of these weapons were used, but without the economic output to allow for the mass production of such complicated and expensive weapons, their use was limited...  Designs for what could have been the first factories were also discovered but, I believe, the traditional Confucian view of such things was not positive and so the potential benefits were ignored. 

Europe, by contrast, tended to take greater advantage of such things because of the endemic warfare on the continent.  Turning down any advantage, be it organizational, technological or economic had historically proved to be a very risky move.  The greater centralization of political authority in each state, coupled with the anarchic regional system (in contrast to the Asian region - which had a Chinese hegemon, but whose authority was severely decentralized) also made it easier for each state to mobilize its resources in such a way to take advantage of potential innovations. 

I'm sure if China's Warring States Period had persisted, the Industrial Revolution would have taken place there...just in time for the Mongol invasion.  Which would have meant instead of the Islamic Kingdoms, Russia and Europe facing the world's most formidable cavalry, armed with Chinese siege weapons and basic gunpowder based devices for breaching fortifications, it might have ended up facing the world's first gunpowder empire.  Russian history shows the definitive advantage conferred on nations with such weapons engaged in empire building...emerging from a Muscovy backwater to ruling from the Baltic to the Pacific.  Despite their nomadic nature, the Mongol empire made great use of conquered settlements for arms and supplies....a mobile force with that kind of concentrated firepower would have blasted through the Middle East and Caucasian Mountains far quicker than they did, and probably would have ended up on the Atlantic coast before the death of Ghenghis Khan.

Or even more world-changing, the Mongols themselves may have been wiped out by a Chinese state during their attempted invasion, or before by invasion from such a powerful state.

The Mongols were initially shamanistic and pluralistic when it came to relgiion, but eventually embraced Islam and its most warlike manifestations.  Successor states to the Khanate plauged Russia for decades before the Russian government used a clever mix of diplomacy, trade and advanced military engineers to break the Tatar threat.  I'm sure if the military-technological position had been reversed, an upstart prince like Ivan Vasilyevich would have been killed, Moscow razed to the ground and mosques built in the city rather than the reverse in Kazan.

Colonialism and religion is a trickier one, but I believe that Islam initially dominated African colonies after the collapse of the Roman Empire, only to be displaced by Christianity in the 19th century.  A similar story exists in South Asia, excusing the existence of former Roman colonies and unified political rule.  Assuming this counterfactual history, Islam would have been the predominate global religion in terms of political and military power, and I'm fairly certain that Islamic states would have been just as venal and cynical in using religion to advance their colonial interests...one only needs to look at how current rulers in the Middle East use Islam right now to see how that would play out.

And speaking just generally, if a religion like Buddhism can be used to advance militarism and messianic political movements, as it was in China, Japan, Tibet and Thailand, chances are the problem isn't religion but one of human psychology and sociology.

And that is this morning's counterfactual history history lesson.

On the plus side, I doubt Mongols, whether shamanistic or Islamic, would've cared much for the idea of Israel, one way or the other.  Also, while randomly browsing Wikipedia the other day, I discovered that Stalin created a Jewish-only Autonomous Oblast after WWII...on the far side of the Soviet Union, near Vladivostok.  I can only wonder if Stalin's anti-Semitic paranoia was insisting he get every Jew as far away from him as possible...
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Juana Go?

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2012, 03:46:31 pm »
Aaaad I just learned more in Cain's post than I did in my entire Asian history class last fall.
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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2012, 05:30:46 pm »
That was very informative. There is a theory floating around, though, that Calvinism is at the root of Capitalism as it is practiced today, which has pretty extensive social ramifications when you examine the distribution of wealth across the globe. One thing that becomes immediately apparent is that all of the most-developed nations are either colonial nations or highly successful colonies, and all of the least-developed nations are areas that were colonized with poor success.
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Dodo Argentino

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2012, 05:39:02 am »
Not too keen on rigor, myself - reminds me of mortis

Cain

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2012, 08:02:00 am »
That was very informative. There is a theory floating around, though, that Calvinism is at the root of Capitalism as it is practiced today, which has pretty extensive social ramifications when you examine the distribution of wealth across the globe. One thing that becomes immediately apparent is that all of the most-developed nations are either colonial nations or highly successful colonies, and all of the least-developed nations are areas that were colonized with poor success.

In regards to the colonies, I think that is a function of geopolitics as much as anything else.

When you look on a map, America is far closer to Europe than it is to China or the Middle East.  While China generally led the world in naval technology, due to the edicts of certain Emperors and due to the distance, America was much further away for them to reach - almost double the distance I believe, when ships were permitted to explore.

As such, the European powers took the Americas and plundered its wealth.  Eventually, between the American colonists and Simon Bolivar they were forced out, but in the meantime the trade in silver, coffee, timber etc made a lot of fortunes.  And while they might have lost America, there were places in Africa and Asia which were still, while not as rich or climatically temperate as America, were ripe for the taking.

From the data I have, economic output between Europe and China, for example, was fairly equal right up to the industrial revolution.  The most advanced areas of China were pretty comparable to England and the poorest parts of China were pretty much like rural Europe.  The industrial revolution made the difference in wealth output which then translated into military power which led to expansionism and colonies, which led to further wealth (pointless arguments about "whether imperialism paid" aside - it sure as fuck paid for the ruling classes, if not the state).

I strongly suspect if the Chinese Empire had ironclads, western Europe would have been subjected to the same humiliating terms of defeat and control that the Chinese were from the 1840s onwards.  In fact, IIRC, a story along those lines forms the opening chapter of Ian Morris' Why the West Rules....for now, which is a good introduction to the topic of why the western nations have the greatest share of military and economic power right now.

Morris is an archaeologist by training, so the ancient historical data is really interesting.  He tends to skip over the more complex data points of more modern history, which is frequently annoying, but he is trying to condense all of history into a 500 page book while making a point.  The two essential schools of thought among archaeologists are that western dominance was "locked in" due to geographic advantages (temperate climate, heavily segregated territory, proximity to the USA) or that western dominance was a function of short term luck (the industrial revolution).  Morris suggests it was both, but favours the short-term.  He also suggests that the presence of the American colonies allowed for a certain...acceptance of new ideas which did not necessarily happen in China, which allowed for capitalism to flourish and for Europeans to capitalize on the colonies more effectively.

I tend to disagree with that last point.  I think it was, again, the strong competition between European states which spurred on the development of new economic models.  Perhaps if China had been facing nations as persistently warlike as the British, French and Spanish, it too would have been more accepting of different ideas on how to utilize wealth and labour.  Necessity forces even the most sluggish of hands.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Dodo Argentino

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2012, 09:54:42 am »
Also, this, from the "liberal" Israeli guy interpreting the survey:

"If such a survey were released about the attitude to Jews in a European state, Israel would have raised hell. When it comes to us, the rules don't apply."

But they are. Frequently. Israel doesn't raise hell, it nods stoically, if it even gets to hear about them.
Not too keen on rigor, myself - reminds me of mortis

Verbal Mike

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2012, 01:39:42 pm »
holist: care to name an example?
From my experience, the Israeli media and sometimes even government start frothing whenever an anti-Zionist movie is shown in some other country, even on private channels, and tend to immediately call the whole country (e.g. Sweden or Turkey) anti-Semitic. And I don't recall any data about any European state in which a majority or near majority is in favor of denying Jews the right to vote.

Cain: awesome posts, keep 'em coming.
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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2012, 01:57:51 am »
If half of what Zheng He is supposed to have done is true, China had one of most powerful navies in the world in the 14th & 15th centuries. Their records, arguably backed up by a handful of archeological finds, indicated that they had the largest wood boats ever. They were well on their way to colonizing the coasts of Africa, ME, and India when internal political philosophy resulted in the whole thing getting scrapped, and leaving China on a big enough boat became a capital offense - the new emperor decided that he already effectively owned all the wealth inside china, and there was no need for people to go picking up dangerous foreign thoughts from the Islamic nations of the time. Better to work improve the transportation network inside china, focusing on river transport over ocean transport.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/ancient-chinese-explorers.html
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Dodo Argentino

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2012, 09:37:37 am »
holist: care to name an example?
From my experience, the Israeli media and sometimes even government start frothing whenever an anti-Zionist movie is shown in some other country, even on private channels, and tend to immediately call the whole country (e.g. Sweden or Turkey) anti-Semitic. And I don't recall any data about any European state in which a majority or near majority is in favor of denying Jews the right to vote.

Given the size of the sample, the "survey" in the OP is actually a publicity stunt. I've not been able to dig out any such surveys, probably because it has not occurred to any Western pollster to ask people whether they would deny Jews the vote for quite some time, due to certain unfortunate events (you know, a good seventy years ago, they were denied the vote, and much worse, in many European countries). Also, I would not call a third a near majority.

However, there is this (as an example): http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ASInt_13/6266_13.htm

Also, there is plenty of stuff in here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_Europe

Or, for a more official approach, you could try here: http://www.eisca.eu/

What is the character of your experience of Israeli media? Do you realise that there are extremist publications representing minority views with fervour in every country?

Not too keen on rigor, myself - reminds me of mortis

Verbal Mike

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2012, 11:44:57 am »
The OP link cites 47% of Jewish Israelis in favor of stripping Palestinian Israelis of their citizenship – a near majority. A clear majority (69%) are against Palestinians receiving citizenship if the West Bank were officially annexed.
The size of the sample is normal. Israel has 7 million citizens, about 6 million of them Jews. The ADL study you linked has a sample of 500 in each European country, most of which (except for Norway, I think) have a higher, even much higher population (in some cases, as in Germany, over 10 times the population).
So is 500 out of 6 million too small a sample, thus invalidating the ADL study as well, or is it a hugely significant sample, thus making the ADL study okay?
And which statistic are you referring to when you say a third is not a near majority?

I'm Jewish-Israeli, just moved back to Israel after 5 years in Germany, and have been following the happenings here for most of that time. The media I'm talking about are the mainstream media. Including the big established daily papers, Ha'aretz (Left, high-brow, broadsheet), Ma'ariv (center, tabloid), and Yedioth Aharonoth (center, tabloid, more tabloidy than Ma'ariv.) In some instances, all three publish pieces that would qualify as right-wing fringe in Europe. Mainstream TV news is basically the same, politically, perhaps with a more centrist-left leaning altogether.
The Israeli right-wing fringe media openly calls for explicitly Holocaust-like annihilation of the Palestinians or Arabs altogether. They're a different story altogether.

Ethnic cleansing of different sorts – always with the goal of "Judaizing" parts of the country – has been an uninterrupted part of Israeli security policy since the War of Independence in which the state was founded. This has thankfully not been the case with policy towards Jews in Europe in precisely the same period.
I have always felt safer as a Jew in Germany than in Israel. I'm sure I'd feel differently in Hungary, of course.
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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2012, 12:15:43 pm »
I am referring to this sentence from the article linked in the OP:

"A third of respondents believe that Israel's Arab citizens should be denied the vote"

I think it is quite clear  :)

The OP also states that this "survey" is based on 503 that is five hundred and three persons being questioned.

Laughable, I think. Here in Hungary, each political party has its own pet political polling company, and they all publish wildly different political polls, all based on "representative samples" about once every two months. Even their samples are twice to four times the size of this one.

I appreciate and defer to your experience of the jingoisation of the Israeli mainstream media. But I do not believe that mainstream media is a good indicator of the sentiments and opinions of a people. It is a good indicator of the sentiments and the opinions that the power elite would like the people to have. As has been discussed a great deal on this board, in the American context. Israel is no different.

Also, while i agree that the sort of ethnic cleansing you refer to has been practised far too long, I am not so sure about the "uninterrupted". I am pretty sure, on the other hand, that the extremists and the mainstream media you describe has its mirror images in the Arab world. Which, let me add, does not exonerate Israel the least bit... but, given that all those Jews are now there (and I wish they opted for Brazil in the heydays of zionism), what to do with the situation is something of a conundrum.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 12:18:01 pm by holist »
Not too keen on rigor, myself - reminds me of mortis

Verbal Mike

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2012, 12:49:10 pm »
I am referring to this sentence from the article linked in the OP:

"A third of respondents believe that Israel's Arab citizens should be denied the vote"

I think it is quite clear  :)
The Palestinians are under Israel's control even more firmly than are we Israelis. I find the statistic regarding them more interesting and important than that regarding Palestinian-Israelis.
The OP also states that this "survey" is based on 503 that is five hundred and three persons being questioned.

Laughable, I think. Here in Hungary, each political party has its own pet political polling company, and they all publish wildly different political polls, all based on "representative samples" about once every two months. Even their samples are twice to four times the size of this one.
You cited an ADL study with the same size of samples in much larger countries. You have not addressed this inconsistency.

And "Dialog" is one of Israel's biggest polling firms. I tried to google a little and see if they're affiliate with any party, and they appear to be cited by Left-wing paper Ha'aretz (who partner with them regularly) as well as Right-wing Likkud supporters.

When a respected and established polling firm in a sophisticated political system claims to use representative samples, you believe them. There's always a margin of error, but I see no basis for your derision and incredulity, except of course trying to seem discerning about stuff.

I appreciate and defer to your experience of the jingoisation of the Israeli mainstream media. But I do not believe that mainstream media is a good indicator of the sentiments and opinions of a people. It is a good indicator of the sentiments and the opinions that the power elite would like the people to have. As has been discussed a great deal on this board, in the American context. Israel is no different.
This is true, to an extent. But It's also true that people buy into media that tells them what they want to hear, and the popularity of Yedioth and Ma'ariv speaks volumes about the currency of the views they print. That other views, possibly even prevalent ones, are marginalised, is obvious. But from my experience of actual Israeli people, the outrage over any international disagreement with our state is commonplace. My disgust at it is marginal, unusual, and gets me scorn.

Also, while i agree that the sort of ethnic cleansing you refer to has been practised far too long, I am not so sure about the "uninterrupted". I am pretty sure, on the other hand, that the extremists and the mainstream media you describe has its mirror images in the Arab world. Which, let me add, does not exonerate Israel the least bit... but, given that all those Jews are now there (and I wish they opted for Brazil in the heydays of zionism), what to do with the situation is something of a conundrum.
During the 47-48 War of Independence (an-Nakba, "the disaster"), whole villages were massacred/scared off/destroyed, whole areas of the country cleansed of Arabs. After the war ended, the Palestinians within Israeli got their citizenship, but were kept under martial law for about a decade, while property left behind by Arabs was handed out to Jews, and more and more Arab land was expropriated for Jewish use. There was, in fact, so much Arab land to redistribute, that the Jewish National Fund had to be given control over it to administrate its distribution. Many forests now cover the traces of what were once Arab Villages. The JNF continues its work to this day, and to my knowledge has never taken a break. I'm fuzzy on the specifics of the period between the end of martial law and the beginning of the Occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (about a decade) but the dispossession and slow ethnic cleansing that began almost immediately after their conquest is relatively well-known and is currently still accelerating.
Are you sure about it now?

And yes, the Arab regimes are awful, that much is obvious. As you already noted, it's also kinda irrelevant in a discussion about Israel's treatment of minorities. Also obvious is the difficulty in resolving the conflict.

You seem to be going on very little information here, so really, what is your point and why are you making it, holist?
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Dodo Argentino

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2012, 02:39:42 pm »
I am referring to this sentence from the article linked in the OP:

"A third of respondents believe that Israel's Arab citizens should be denied the vote"

I think it is quite clear  :)
The Palestinians are under Israel's control even more firmly than are we Israelis. I find the statistic regarding them more interesting and important than that regarding Palestinian-Israelis.

I don't get this bit. Can you explain it? I re-read the OP article, and see no 49% wishing to deny the vote to Palestinians for any group. Am I being dense?

The OP also states that this "survey" is based on 503 that is five hundred and three persons being questioned.

Laughable, I think. Here in Hungary, each political party has its own pet political polling company, and they all publish wildly different political polls, all based on "representative samples" about once every two months. Even their samples are twice to four times the size of this one.
You cited an ADL study with the same size of samples in much larger countries. You have not addressed this inconsistency.

And "Dialog" is one of Israel's biggest polling firms. I tried to google a little and see if they're affiliate with any party, and they appear to be cited by Left-wing paper Ha'aretz (who partner with them regularly) as well as Right-wing Likkud supporters.

When a respected and established polling firm in a sophisticated political system claims to use representative samples, you believe them. There's always a margin of error, but I see no basis for your derision and incredulity, except of course trying to seem discerning about stuff.

I acknowledge your point, though I do note that one country (Norway) has a significantly smaller population, while Austria and Hungary are rougly on par. However, the point I was trying to make is that surveys indicating widespread anti-semitism in Europe are published. At that time I did not look at the sample sizes. Hungarian sociological surveys with much larger samples have revealed that about 10% of the population (including an alarming contingent of students) would basically like to set up the camps again, provided it didn't result in another sound beating.

I've always wondered about these opinion polls, though. How do you make a sample of 500 people representative of 8 million?? Isn't there bias already in the fact that you are only going to interview people who are willing to talk to pollsters? As I noted, the pollsters in this country, coming out with results that often differ for a particular political party by 10 or even 15 percent for the same period, all claim to be using representative samples. So, I think, even if the polling firm in question is a reputable one and there is good reason to rule out intentional distortion, there is still the question of unconscious or indeed random bias.

I appreciate and defer to your experience of the jingoisation of the Israeli mainstream media. But I do not believe that mainstream media is a good indicator of the sentiments and opinions of a people. It is a good indicator of the sentiments and the opinions that the power elite would like the people to have. As has been discussed a great deal on this board, in the American context. Israel is no different.
This is true, to an extent. But It's also true that people buy into media that tells them what they want to hear, and the popularity of Yedioth and Ma'ariv speaks volumes about the currency of the views they print. That other views, possibly even prevalent ones, are marginalised, is obvious. But from my experience of actual Israeli people, the outrage over any international disagreement with our state is commonplace. My disgust at it is marginal, unusual, and gets me scorn.

People buy into media that is easy to consume for them and which they find entertaining. The general population doesn't have many strongly held views on political and international affairs and is easily swayed by the media. This has been and is being amply demonstrated basically everywhere. Previously, we were not discussing international disagreement with Israeli state policy, but the hypothetical question of what would happen if a similar survey was published in an European country about Jews.

Also, while i agree that the sort of ethnic cleansing you refer to has been practised far too long, I am not so sure about the "uninterrupted". I am pretty sure, on the other hand, that the extremists and the mainstream media you describe has its mirror images in the Arab world. Which, let me add, does not exonerate Israel the least bit... but, given that all those Jews are now there (and I wish they opted for Brazil in the heydays of zionism), what to do with the situation is something of a conundrum.
During the 47-48 War of Independence (an-Nakba, "the disaster"), whole villages were massacred/scared off/destroyed, whole areas of the country cleansed of Arabs. After the war ended, the Palestinians within Israeli got their citizenship, but were kept under martial law for about a decade, while property left behind by Arabs was handed out to Jews, and more and more Arab land was expropriated for Jewish use. There was, in fact, so much Arab land to redistribute, that the Jewish National Fund had to be given control over it to administrate its distribution. Many forests now cover the traces of what were once Arab Villages. The JNF continues its work to this day, and to my knowledge has never taken a break. I'm fuzzy on the specifics of the period between the end of martial law and the beginning of the Occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (about a decade) but the dispossession and slow ethnic cleansing that began almost immediately after their conquest is relatively well-known and is currently still accelerating.
Are you sure about it now?

I'm much surer than I was before. Thanks.

And yes, the Arab regimes are awful, that much is obvious. As you already noted, it's also kinda irrelevant in a discussion about Israel's treatment of minorities. Also obvious is the difficulty in resolving the conflict.

It's kinda irrelevant alright, but there is a bit of an indirect link, don't you think? I mean, those Arab regimes, they support the anti-Jewish variety of terrorism in Israel, don't they? I'm putting this as a non-loaded question: what would you like to see Israel, as a state, do?

You seem to be going on very little information here, so really, what is your point and why are you making it, holist?

I am certainly going on much less information than you are, which was not clear to me to begin with.

My point is two-fold: firstly, I think opinion polls with tiny samples and 3 or 4 questions need to be treated with a grain of salt because people are actually quite volatile animals (both the pollsters and their 'victims'). Secondly, I think the Western liberal summary of "Israel is a fascist state" boo-hoo is a bit of a misleading and extremely simplified gloss. As long as these people also acknowledge that the Allies, for instance, were fascist states for bombing the fuck out of large civilian populations during WWII, that can be alright. But, in my experience at least, the animosity is often directed exclusively at Israel. That I find hypocritical.

Why am I making it? Not sure. My head hurts enough to stop me from doing work, and I recently had this debate with a close friend in person, so I'm practicing... I like to naysay on PD? sort of thing. I'm no zionist and no anti-semite, at least as far as I know, though I kind of half-expect to be told I am actually both.  :lulz:
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 02:43:35 pm by holist »
Not too keen on rigor, myself - reminds me of mortis

The Right Reverend Nigel

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2012, 03:32:44 pm »
I hadn't realized that performing acts of war violence on civilian populations is what defines a "fascist State"! Thanks for the education, Holist. I can now go back to class on Monday with an essay conclusively proving that all governments ever are technically Fascist. I'm sure I'll get an A!
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Verbal Mike

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Re: Oh, Israel...
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2012, 03:38:51 pm »
The Palestinians are under Israel's control even more firmly than are we Israelis. I find the statistic regarding them more interesting and important than that regarding Palestinian-Israelis.

I don't get this bit. Can you explain it? I re-read the OP article, and see no 49% wishing to deny the vote to Palestinians for any group. Am I being dense?
The Israeli regime controls the economy and lives of Palestinians in the West Bank even more firmly than it controls the lives of anyone living within the state's actual borders. Hence, the more interesting question to me is what happens with the West Bank Palestinians, not what happens with the Palestinian Israelis.
In the list of statistics at the end of the OP article: "69% object to giving Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank"

I acknowledge your point, though I do note that one country (Norway) has a significantly smaller population, while Austria and Hungary are rougly on par. However, the point I was trying to make is that surveys indicating widespread anti-semitism in Europe are published. At that time I did not look at the sample sizes.
You linked the ADL article in the same post as that in which you slammed the Dialog poll based on its sample size. Hence my questions on the matter.

I've always wondered about these opinion polls, though. How do you make a sample of 500 people representative of 8 million?? Isn't there bias already in the fact that you are only going to interview people who are willing to talk to pollsters? As I noted, the pollsters in this country, coming out with results that often differ for a particular political party by 10 or even 15 percent for the same period, all claim to be using representative samples. So, I think, even if the polling firm in question is a reputable one and there is good reason to rule out intentional distortion, there is still the question of unconscious or indeed random bias.
Polling is often biased, for sure. But there's a kind of science behind it, the goal of which is to base polling data on representative samples. So good, honest pollsters actually know what exactly it takes to make a sample representative at minimum cost. That's their job. As far as I can tell, the sample size is not unusual and the truth is likely not far off from the survey results. Still, the article doesn't cite the margin of error, which is kinda clumsy of them.

People buy into media that is easy to consume for them and which they find entertaining. The general population doesn't have many strongly held views on political and international affairs and is easily swayed by the media. This has been and is being amply demonstrated basically everywhere. Previously, we were not discussing international disagreement with Israeli state policy, but the hypothetical question of what would happen if a similar survey was published in an European country about Jews.
Okay, well, in my experience, it is very common for Israelis to be of the opinion that other nations (as whole nations, not as individuals – Israelis often see the world that way) (a) have a strong opinion about Jews and about Israel and (b) it is negative. The general sentiment is that some countries hide it better than others, but you're all flaming antisemites. Foreign individuals one meets who are nice and seem not so racist are explained away as outliers or as very good liars. This is reflected in the way the media talks about any comment on or portrayal of Israel in foreign media or discourse.

I may be exaggerating things slightly, but believe me, a whole lot of Israelis actually think everyone in the world is out to get us, and will grab up any random tidbit to "prove" that this or that nation or government is antisemitic.

And yes, the Arab regimes are awful, that much is obvious. As you already noted, it's also kinda irrelevant in a discussion about Israel's treatment of minorities. Also obvious is the difficulty in resolving the conflict.

It's kinda irrelevant alright, but there is a bit of an indirect link, don't you think? I mean, those Arab regimes, they support the anti-Jewish variety of terrorism in Israel, don't they? I'm putting this as a non-loaded question: what would you like to see Israel, as a state, do?
That's a very difficult questions, especially as I am part of a marginalized political minority and thus spend more time thinking about how to sway public opinion here than what to have the state actually do. I have no effect on what the state does, because I am not represented by a single person in government on these issues.

But in a nutshell, I'd have Israel annex the West Bank, give Palestinians there Israeli citizenship, and establish a universalistic constitution. There might be some two-state steps on the way there, but that seems to me the only reasonable way out. Either way, there are many many "security" policies which Israel could change to make Palestinians' lives less miserable and give them less reason to want to murder us all. This could be done tomorrow, but voting Jewish Israelis usually don't care about this stuff, so the government has little incentive to do it. They have a lot of incentive to look tough, even when their policies actually weaken our position security-wise and diplomatically.

I think the Western liberal summary of "Israel is a fascist state" boo-hoo is a bit of a misleading and extremely simplified gloss. As long as these people also acknowledge that the Allies, for instance, were fascist states for bombing the fuck out of large civilian populations during WWII, that can be alright. But, in my experience at least, the animosity is often directed exclusively at Israel. That I find hypocritical.
That's true, to a point, but people generally don't form overarching political-historical analyses of different regimes. Instead they respond to what the media tells them is going on, and for some reason Israel is an object of fascination across the Western world. Israel is in many ways a lot like a fascist state, even if some people only say so for the wrong reasons.

Edited to fix quotes.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 03:42:46 pm by Verbal Mike »
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