EU poll: Israel 'biggest threat' to world peace

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Copernicus, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. Babak


    Anti-semitism is nothing new to Europe. Sadly it is having a very strong resurgence.

    Western Europe as well as Eastern Europe is now experiencing a recent new of anti-Israeli and anti-semitic cultural force.

    Did you catch the recent cuffufle over the pool of blood exhibit in Sweden named 'Snow White' honoring the Palestinian woman who blew herself up in Haifa and took 21 Israelis with her?
  2. Cutten


    Israel isn't powerful enough to threaten world peace. The only current threats to that are countries with large nuclear arsenals and/or armies, and the willingness to use them pre-emptively - primarily the US, Russia, China, India, and possibly N Korea and Pakistan (although wholesale war by the latter two would risk them disappearing from the map within a few hours, so we can probably discount it).

    Also, peace by itself is not always a worthwhile goal, otherwise surrendering to Hitler in WWII, or making peace and allowing European Jews to be completely exterminated would have been the correct policy.

    I don't think the poll is the result of anti-Jewish racism, especially given that many moderate/left-wing Jews oppose the foreign policies of the Israeli government. There are definitely anti-Jewish elements in European society, but the majority of the opposition to Israeli policies comes from people who disagree with Isreali foreign policy, not from people with racial hatred towards Jews.

    IMO the poll simply reflects the extreme pacifism of most Europeans. You have to remember that the continent of Europe has had centuries of bloodshed and conflict on a scale unimaginable to Americans, and in the last 100 years was the scene of the two most destructive conflicts in human history. As a result, most of the population have an almost pathological fear/loathing of armed conflict and the use of military force. The UK and Russia tend to be somewhat different, partly because the UK never fought a land war on its own soil, and also because both countries saw that military action could ensure national survival and the defeat of evil - whereas Italy, France, Germany, Spain etc saw only that war created massive suffering and defeat. That is why they formed the EU and have largely pacifist governments and societies.

    Therefore when they look at Israel aggressively defending itself through violence (which is necessary when your neighbouring states want to destroy you), they have an instinctive reaction that this is wrong, as they think you should always pursue the path of compromise and negotiation. They are generally ignorant of the history of Israel and do not understand that negotiation and compromise are a deliberate goal of the arab/PLO factions who want Israel to be defeated bit by bit using salami tactics (as Hitler used them in Europe - never attack full on, but threaten bit by bit, until eventually you have all the bits). They then conclude that because of the huge power disparity between Israel and the Palestinians, that Israel must be in the wrong.

    This ignores the fact that Isreal has far stricter and more ethical rules of engagement, and display far more restraint, than the PLO, Hamas, etc. This restraint would not exist if Israel was the real bad guy as often portrayed. The occasional infractions by Israeli armed forces (inevitable in any conflict due to accidents and some gung ho morons) are seized upon as evidence of national policy to kill Palestinian civilians for the sake of it. But if Isreal was really as bad as Arafat, and the Arab nations, then they would be blowing up far more civilians than the PLO, and the latter organisation would cease to exist within a few days.
  3. doesn't israel have a nuclear weapon or is close to having one?

    it seems like every nation on the planet trying to work on a nuclear project has been sanctioned to death and put down by the us with one exception of israel?
  4. Interesting how the meaning of words get corrupted over time.

    Some terms are used incorrectly for so long that people think they're correct (e.g., most people think the word's flammable - but the correct word is inflammable - they had to start using the corruption "flammable" because there were too many people who thought inflammable meant non-combustable).

    The term "anti-semitic" has been used incorrectly ever since it was popularized as an easy to use substitute for what was really meant - first anti-Jewish and then eventually anti-Israeli. Anti-semitic became a vague enough term to paint people broadly with - like bigot or racist.

    In reality, anti-semitic means against Semites. However nearly everyone in the Middle East is a Semite. It does NOT mean only the Israelis - and of course it doesn't just mean Jews because there are people of Jewish faith around the world who are not Semites at all and most actual Semites are not Jewish.

    Someone objecting to some action or actions of the Israeli government is no more Anti-Israeli (and certainly not anti-Jewish) than someone criticizing the handling of post-war Iraq being unAmerican. Opposing actions of the Israeli government does not imply racism nor a hatred of Israeli citizens nor of Jews in general.

    Unfortunately (this is definitely NOT directed at you Babak - it's just a general comment), it's become standard procedure for Israeli supporters and spokesmen to immediately condemn any criticism of Israel or Israeli government practices as "anti-semitic" which often works in the US because broad brush strokes and generalized dispursions often hide defects in arguments.

    There's a basic set of such nice broad, erroneous generalities floated all the time in the US - including:

    Being anti-semitic means that you hate all Israelis and Jews. If you criticize any Israeli government action you must be anti-semitic and therefore you must hate all Israelis and Jews. All Muslims are crazy anti-semitic terrorists seeking Israel's destruction. All non-Israeli Middle Easterners are Arabs. All Arabs are Muslims. Therefore all non-Israeli Middle Easterners are Muslims. And thus, of course, all non-Israelis in the Middle East are crazy anti-semitic terrorists seeking the destruction of Israel.

    It's similar to the tactics employed by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al to deflect criticisms of their shady or questionable actions.
  5. Well, there's a reason generalities become generalities: because they are generally true.

    The vast majority of muslims -- certainly every single one I have ever known; and they number in the dozens and I've known them on a close, personal level -- are most certainly anti-semitic; in the sense of being Jew haters and most certainly anti-Israel, in the sense that they desire such a state not to exist.

    The vast, vast majority of non Israeli Middle Easterners are both Arabs and Muslims. (Unless we include Iran as "Middle East", in which case the Muslim part is still true). Is any essential information really being deleted by this generaliazation?

    It's also true that the vast majority of Arabs, thus Muslims, in the middle east (and the world over, imo) do seek the destruction of Israel, believe that suicide bombing is morally justifiable (they freaking celebrate it!), and tend to view the world in terms of muslim and non-muslim (which, as innocent as it seems, has rather nasty consequances for the nons). Generalities, yes, but frighteningly accurate ones.

    So much for the generalities. You might want to check out events at your local university campus sometime to get a glimpse of the absurd specifics of anti-Israel protests. Those that portray the Israeli government as "new Nazis" (ridiculous but true) and that claim a "genocide" is being wrought upon Palestinians (yeah, uh-huh...) and other similar lunacy. Amazingly, such mindless blather has great appeal in the world of academia.
  6. By the way, that poll just goes to show what kind of whack jobs exist in Europe. (I'm European myself, if Eastern Europe counts as European).

    Just goes to show the US was 100% correct in ignoring the insane opinions of the Euros when it came to Iraq. These people appear wholly incapable of rational analysis.

    The only people Israel is a "threat" to are those that seek its destruction, its neighbors; who have attempted to do just that on multiple occasions. As my good buddy Error/RS7 likes to point out, if the Arabs layed down their arms, there would be no more war in the middle east; if the Israelis layed down their arms, there would be no more Israel.
  7. You've proven the point - generalities are very easy for the average person to accept and believe - because doing so means that no deeper thought is required. They can just encapsulate a large group of people into a single convenient bubble without bothering to understand their composition, myriad differences, or particular perspectives.

    It's like the common practice of labeling anyone who supports pro-choice as a Liberal and then dismissing them because (being a Liberal) they're obviously nuts. Or the converse, that support of the rights of handgun owners makes one an ultra-conservative and then assuming they're idiological clones of Rumsfeld, et al. Using such generalities, it would axiomatically be impossible for someone to support both pro-choice and handgun ownership - which of course is just stupid.

    Political, religious, and cultural generalities exist and are promulgated not because they're usually correct - but because they're almost always easily assimilated by, and convenient ways to shape the attitudes of, the feeble minded.
  8. They have had nukes for 30 years.

    Unlike N. Korea, Pakistan, and the myriad other 3rd world countries trying to obtain nukes, Israel is a US ally and has no interest in exporting nuclear weapons technology.
  9. Grasshopper: you have been studying your lessons well.

    Time has come again for you to face off the eternal adversary Traderfut2000.

    It seems like only yesterday you outscored him by only 97-3.

    I look forward to your complete domination. (100-0), and you become the master, and become obligated teach me well. This is your tuition.


    My son sends his best.

    #10     Jan 18, 2004