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Middle East Crisis


Rayvin
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3 hours ago, Dr Gloom said:

People who feel compelled to do this really are beneath contempt 

 

 

 

The most charitable interpretation I can come up with on this is that these people are offended or upset that these hostages are being given more visibility than the thousands of Palestinians killed both before and after the Hamas atrocity. 

 

Or they think it's propaganda designed to justify more death?

 

I find it very sad that this is what it's come to, we're all human and none of these labels actually do matter in the end (IMO). I share your outrage at this.

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I would have to talk to them to know that. I think there's a worrying incursion of a set of right wing narratives into this to discredit the left and I'm not endorsing that until it becomes clear that we have left wingers hating Jews rather than hating Israel.

 

EDIT - actually I suspect given the videos that the left has little to do with this element and it's more an Arab world response. I think the question remains the same though, although the right wing narrative is arguably more insidious for this one.

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So I'm going to for a moment try to set out what I think the current position is here being taken by people who think what Israel is doing is ok - I will be as charitable as possible:

Prior to October 7th Israel was a subjecting Palestinians to sporadic displacement and occasional acts of violence were committed unlawfully as part of disputes and so on. Palestinians in Gaza were governed by Hamas who were responsible for ensuring basic utilities and functioning of the state. People in Gaza otherwise lived fairly normally. On October 7th, Hamas killed 1400 people in a terrorist act that was motivated only by irrational hatred of Jewish people and the desire to impose an Islamic caliphate, and Israel consequently had to 'invade' (unsure of the right word since Gaza technically belongs to Israel) Gaza in order to eliminate Hamas altogether. Over 5000 civilians have been killed in this process so far, including 2,300 children, but this is an unfortunate consequence of the pressing need for Israel to defend itself. Ultimately in Israel's position, the lives of Palestinians are worth less than the lives of their own people - this is simply how it is, and any other country would behave the same way.

 

Is this a fair characterisation of the non-left wing position?

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My sense is that any time Israel lets its guard down there are an endless supply of pro Palestinians who will attack anything Jewish that it can.

 

Israel tries to keep pro Palestinians at arms length but this inflicts enormous harm on Palestinians and makes them more determined to attack anything Jewish.

 

So unless Israel “gives up” I don’t see it ever ending.

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I'm not sure it's fair to say the far left hate Jewish people, though I do think a large proportion of the far left hate Israel. This is true of Corbyn and anyone who absolutely loves the bloke. I think it's only natural for a nation to value the lives of it's own people over others, every country is the same - however I would say the ultra far left value the lives of Palestinians over Israelis.

 

Leaning too far politically will always end up in the same way, someone has to be dehumanised. It's far too simple to say when it comes to humanity Palestinians = Israelis and and atrocities are atrocities no matter who is responsible.

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I think the more nuanced argument (and you have to be careful here as most generalisations are problematic) is that large elements of people supporting Palestinians are unwittingly antisemitic. Which I think is true if you go down the route of one side being completely at fault. There’s a valid counter argument to unwavering support for Israel of course 

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To my eyes the left wing position (attempting to summarise charitably) is:

 

Israel is a terrorist state that routinely executes and oppresses Palestinians, having made them second class citizens in a legal sense, in their own country. Israel essentially strives to become an ethnostate and imposes apartheid to be able to deliver this. The Israeli government rations electricity, water, food, medical supplies to Gaza as a mechanism of control. It prevents people freely entering and leaving Gaza, essentially transforming the region into a prison for 2 million people. Israeli settlers frequently commit acts of terrorism against Palestinians, with many more of the latter having been killed through terrorism than the former. The IDF has a long history of murdering children both in Gaza and in the West Bank. Palestinian people are routinely and violently evicted from their homes as Israel seeks to effectively take over the land upon which the people of Gaza now live. Israel's ultimate objective is total ethnic cleansing of the region.

 

Hamas are terrorists who committed some unspeakable atrocities on October 7th, but that this didn't happen in a vacuum, and claims that this is motivated somehow by a dynamic entirely apart from everything laid out above are fanciful. That the above crimes by Israel could absolutely result in this sort of a response by militants in any other part of the world, and that the path to ending suffering for everyone concerned is for Israel to stop brutalising people. Israel discontinuing the oppression of Gaza would be a path towards safety and security for Israelis as well as Palestinians.

 

I don't think you have to hate Jewish people to believe the above.

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5 minutes ago, Rayvin said:

To my eyes the left wing position (attempting to summarise charitably) is:

 

Israel is a terrorist state that routinely executes and oppresses Palestinians, having made them second class citizens in a legal sense, in their own country. Israel essentially strives to become an ethnostate and imposes apartheid to be able to deliver this. The Israeli government rations electricity, water, food, medical supplies to Gaza as a mechanism of control. It prevents people freely entering and leaving Gaza, essentially transforming the region into a prison for 2 million people. Israeli settlers frequently commit acts of terrorism against Palestinians, with many more of the latter having been killed through terrorism than the former. The IDF has a long history of murdering children both in Gaza and in the West Bank. Palestinian people are routinely and violently evicted from their homes as Israel seeks to effectively take over the land upon which the people of Gaza now live. Israel's ultimate objective is total ethnic cleansing of the region.

 

Hamas are terrorists who committed some unspeakable atrocities on October 7th, but that this didn't happen in a vacuum, and claims that this is motivated somehow by a dynamic entirely apart from everything laid out above are fanciful. That the above crimes by Israel could absolutely result in this sort of a response by militants in any other part of the world, and that the path to ending suffering for everyone concerned is for Israel to stop brutalising people. Israel discontinuing the oppression of Gaza would be a path towards safety and security for Israelis as well as Palestinians.

 

I don't think you have to hate Jewish people to believe the above.

 

But the reality is that if Israel stop occupying more and more of Gaza / West Bank and leave the Palestinians to fend for themselves it would have absolutely zero impact on Hamas' beliefs and decision making. Hamas exists to exterminate Jews, and create an Islamic state of Palestine. As long as Hamas is in power they will always be a very real threat to Israel.

 

The problem is when you have terrorists running one region and a bunch of nationalist nutcases running the other then you are always going to have conflict. The only way for peace to reign supreme is to remove both and have people in charge who actually believe in, and strive for peace. That's not the case here.

 

In reality it's the real Muslims in Gaza and the real Jewish in Israel who suffer equally. Neither want this conflict, and the people should be able to see the humanity in both groups of people and the evil in both sets of "rulers".

 

Anyone who believes Palestinian lives matter more than Israelis or vice-versa are driven by agenda IMO - you are either an anti-Semite or an Islamaphobe. 

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2 minutes ago, Dazzler said:

 

But the reality is that if Israel stop occupying more and more of Gaza / West Bank and leave the Palestinians to fend for themselves it would have absolutely zero impact on Hamas' beliefs and decision making. Hamas exists to exterminate Jews, and create an Islamic state of Palestine. As long as Hamas is in power they will always be a very real threat to Israel.

 

The problem is when you have terrorists running one region and a bunch of nationalist nutcases running the other then you are always going to have conflict. The only way for peace to reign supreme is to remove both and have people in charge who actually believe in, and strive for peace. That's not the case here.

 

In reality it's the real Muslims in Gaza and the real Jewish in Israel who suffer equally. Neither want this conflict, and the people should be able to see the humanity in both groups of people and the evil in both sets of "rulers".

 

Anyone who believes Palestinian lives matter more than Israelis or vice-versa are driven by agenda IMO - you are either an anti-Semite or an Islamaphobe. 

 

I don't disagree about Hamas.

 

I think the fact that we are being asked to accept tens of thousands of Palestinian deaths here and that we did nothing about the tens of thousands before this, show that some lives do matter more to the mainstream consciousness. I agree with your final statement in full.

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1 hour ago, Rayvin said:

 

I don't disagree about Hamas.

 

I think the fact that we are being asked to accept tens of thousands of Palestinian deaths here and that we did nothing about the tens of thousands before this, show that some lives do matter more to the mainstream consciousness. I agree with your final statement in full.


All a question of interpretation. It feels to me like we, on the left, care more about Palestinian people.

 

There was a march for Palestine just one week after the Hamas massacre in Israel. There was less solidarity shown for innocent Israelis who lost family or were taken hostage. I haven’t seen many people protesting against Hamas either.

 

2 hours ago, Rayvin said:

So I'm going to for a moment try to set out what I think the current position is here being taken by people who think what Israel is doing is ok - I will be as charitable as possible:

Prior to October 7th Israel was a subjecting Palestinians to sporadic displacement and occasional acts of violence were committed unlawfully as part of disputes and so on. Palestinians in Gaza were governed by Hamas who were responsible for ensuring basic utilities and functioning of the state. People in Gaza otherwise lived fairly normally. On October 7th, Hamas killed 1400 people in a terrorist act that was motivated only by irrational hatred of Jewish people and the desire to impose an Islamic caliphate, and Israel consequently had to 'invade' (unsure of the right word since Gaza technically belongs to Israel) Gaza in order to eliminate Hamas altogether. Over 5000 civilians have been killed in this process so far, including 2,300 children, but this is an unfortunate consequence of the pressing need for Israel to defend itself. Ultimately in Israel's position, the lives of Palestinians are worth less than the lives of their own people - this is simply how it is, and any other country would behave the same way.

 

Is this a fair characterisation of the non-left wing position?


I don’t think you could describe life in Gaza under Hamas as normal. I don’t know. I’ve never been there but it sounds like hell on earth.
 

Blockaded by Israel, denied access to the international economy and subjugated by Hamas. It’s one of the most impoverished and densely populated places on earth. I’m sure people there try to get on with daily life but normal is a bit of a stretch. It sounds shit.
 

Does that make it okay to fire rockets at Israeli civilian targets? Hamas has been doing this for decades. I guess you could make a case for it. They’re freedom fighters, according to Chris Williamson. 


Does that make the indiscriminate massacre of innocent Israelis ok? No I don’t think so.

 

I don’t think everything Israel is doing is ok.


The blockade of Gaza - not ok

 

The continued illegal settlement expansion - not ok. The Israeli government argues it has no option but to keep it in place in order to contain the terrorist threat. And now containment is no longer an option. 

 

Illegally occupying parts of the Palestinian Territories - not okay. 
 

Does that make the war to remove Hamas ok? I don’t know. I do know that Israel can no longer exist alongside a terrorist group committed to wiping it off the map.
 

I deplore the idea that thousands more innocent civilians have to die to achieve the goal. I’d like to think Gaza’s people would overthrow Hamas but I suspect most people there hate Israel even more than they hate Hamas. 
 

Hamas, in my view, has to go. It presents an existential threat to Israel, a sovereign state. 
 

I don’t know if the war can be won without massive civilian casualties. The early evidence suggests not. And if Hamas is removed I don’t know what comes next. I forlornly hope it might kickstart the peace process. But neither side are interested in a two state solution as it stands. We need new leadership on both sides. 

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13 minutes ago, Dr Gloom said:


All a question of interpretation. It feels to me like we, on the left, care more about Palestinian people.

 

There was a march for Palestine just one week after the Hamas massacre in Israel. There was less solidarity shown for innocent Israelis who lost family or were taken hostage. I haven’t seen many people protesting against Hamas either.

 


I don’t think you could describe life in Gaza under Hamas as normal. I don’t know. I’ve never been there but it sounds like hell on earth.
 

Blockaded by Israel, denied access to the international economy and subjugated by Hamas. It’s one of the most impoverished and densely populated places on earth. I’m sure people there try to get on with daily life but normal is a bit of a stretch. It sounds shit.
 

Does that make it okay to fire rockets at Israeli civilian targets? Hamas has been doing this for decades. I guess you could make a case for it. They’re freedom fighters, according to Chris Williamson. 


Does that make the indiscriminate massacre of innocent Israelis ok? No I don’t think so.

 

I don’t think everything Israel is doing is ok.


The blockade of Gaza - not ok

 

The continued illegal settlement expansion - not ok. The Israeli government argues it has no option but to keep it in place in order to contain the terrorist threat. And now containment is no longer an option. 

 

Illegally occupying parts of the Palestinian Territories - not okay. 
 

Does that make the war to remove Hamas ok? I don’t know. I do know that Israel can no longer exist alongside a terrorist group committed to wiping it off the map.
 

I deplore the idea that thousands more innocent civilians have to die to achieve the goal. I’d like to think Gaza’s people would overthrow Hamas but I suspect most people there hate Israel even more than they hate Hamas. 
 

Hamas, in my view, has to go. It presents an existential threat to Israel, a sovereign state. 
 

I don’t know if the war can be won without massive civilian casualties. The early evidence suggests not. And if Hamas is removed I don’t know what comes next. I forlornly hope it might kickstart the peace process. But neither side are interested in a two state solution as it stands. We need new leadership on both sides. 

 

Aye, that last point is massively important here. If Hamas were removed then it would remove the excuse (at least from Israel's side). No Hamas, no reason to do the rest of the shit you've already outlined. My gut feeling though, no Hamas would strengthen the ultra nationalists in power and would likely make things even worse in Gaza.

 

However, it would then be very difficult for Israel's allies in the West to defend them - not to mention fuck up any hope of normalisation in the region (if it's not already fucked up).

 

As it stands there are a range of outcomes given the nature of those in power on both sides, and none of those outcomes appear positive.

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Incidentally, Rayvin, I am left wing, my friends are all left wing. I’m a card-carrying member of the tofu-eating wokerati. 

 

But I do see a blind spot when it comes to antisemitism. I don’t think that necessarily makes most people on the left wantisemitic but it is a problem and it’s everywhere. I see it on social media. I hear it in conversations with friends - people whose opinions I respect - even people on this board. It’s why I keep banging on about it.
 

I think a lot of people on the left struggle with the idea of a Jewish state as much as they do with Israel’s actions. At least, that’s how it feels to me.

 

And the Israeli politician whose thread I posted earlier rightly points out that there is a certain irony when the left defends Hamas given it stands against many things the left campaign for. 

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26 minutes ago, Dr Gloom said:

I don’t think everything Israel is doing is ok.


The blockade of Gaza - not ok

 

The continued illegal settlement expansion - not ok. The Israeli government argues it has no option but to keep it in place in order to contain the terrorist threat. And now containment is no longer an option. 

 

So what would you say to the notional left winger who pointed out to you that in this list of Israeli actions which are 'not ok', you've not included the executions and murders by the IDF or Israeli settlers (many in the West Bank), which would appear to be acts of terrorism themselves? They would likely state that the fact that they're not being talked about is precisely why the left needs to make itself heard - because they worry that if they do not, Israel will act unchecked as it largely has done for years. Hamas has given Israel a "justification" to achieve all sorts of nationalist strategic objectives here, and the priority has to be on trying to save the lives we still can, assuming all lives are equal.

 

So to repeat Dazzler's point, either you treat them all equally, in which case Israel has a lot of blood on its hands too, or you're either an antisemite or an islamophobe. I actually think that is a very fair line in the sand.

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3 minutes ago, Rayvin said:

 

So what would you say to the notional left winger who pointed out to you that in this list of Israeli actions which are 'not ok', you've not included the executions and murders by the IDF or Israeli settlers (many in the West Bank), which would appear to be acts of terrorism themselves? They would likely state that the fact that they're not being talked about is precisely why the left needs to make itself heard - because they worry that if they do not, Israel will act unchecked as it largely has done for years. Hamas has given Israel a "justification" to achieve all sorts of nationalist strategic objectives here, and the priority has to be on trying to save the lives we still can, assuming all lives are equal.

 

So to repeat Dazzler's point, either you treat them all equally, in which case Israel has a lot of blood on its hands too, or you're either an antisemite or an islamophobe. I actually think that is a very fair line in the sand.


I don’t think those things are okay either. I had this conversation with my cousin the other day. He said there is no equivalence because of the manner of the Hamas atrocities and that it was a very deliberate and provocative terrorist attack. I had to duck out of the chat. I agree with you that the IDF does have the blood of innocent Palestinians on its hands. 

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21 minutes ago, Dr Gloom said:

Incidentally, Rayvin, I am left wing, my friends are all left wing. I’m a card-carrying member of the tofu-eating wokerati. 

 

But I do see a blind spot when it comes to antisemitism. I don’t think that necessarily makes most people on the left wantisemitic but it is a problem and it’s everywhere. I see it on social media. I hear it in conversations with friends - people whose opinions I respect - even people on this board. It’s why I keep banging on about it.
 

I think a lot of people on the left struggle with the idea of a Jewish state as much as they do with Israel’s actions. At least, that’s how it feels to me.

 

And the Israeli politician whose thread I posted earlier rightly points out that there is a certain irony when the left defends Hamas given it stands against many things the left campaign for. 

 

I can only speak for myself in this because I am in some discordance with the left on some issues generally anyway. If I had been in the room with Hamas leadership before the gave the order to do what they did, I would have been shouting and screaming at them not do it, to think of the innocent lives that would be harmed, that the people they would target would not deserve this, how this was not the way. I would have fucking begged them. I am sure most people would have - but no one had that chance and their hatred went unchallenged, leading us to absolute devastation.

 

Israel still has the option to not kill more people. This cannot be the way to make this better, it just can't. It's not even like Hamas leadership will even be there, they'll be in Iran. But from the current state of things as of right now, I hope that Israel find Hamas in the first tunnel they open so that this ends as quickly as possible and saves as many lives as possible. It won't happen but I hope it does. That's where I am on this.

 

As for the latter point about LGBTQ stuff and so on, I don't really find that relevant personally. Maybe some on the left might but we're talking about a different culture here and we should not be so arrogant as to assume that our ways of looking at the world take precedence over theirs.

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4 minutes ago, Rayvin said:

 

I can only speak for myself in this because I am in some discordance with the left on some issues generally anyway. If I had been in the room with Hamas leadership before the gave the order to do what they did, I would have been shouting and screaming at them not do it, to think of the innocent lives that would be harmed, that the people they would target would not deserve this, how this was not the way. I would have fucking begged them. I am sure most people would have - but no one had that chance and their hatred went unchallenged, leading us to absolute devastation.

 

Israel still has the option to not kill more people. This cannot be the way to make this better, it just can't. It's not even like Hamas leadership will even be there, they'll be in Iran. As of right now, I hope that Israel find Hamas in the first tunnel they open so that this ends as quickly as possible and saves as many lives as possible. It won't happen but I hope it does. That's where I am on this.

 

As for the latter point about LGBTQ stuff and so on, I don't really find that relevant personally. Maybe some on the left might but we're talking about a different culture here and we should not be so arrogant as to assume that our ways of looking at the world take precedence over theirs.

 

i think we can be arrogant when we compare our worldview with those of an islamist terrorist group tbh

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Just now, Dr Gloom said:

 

i think we can be arrogant when we compare our worldview with those of an islamist terrorist group tbh

 

Resistance to LGBTQ is certainly not limited to Islamic terror groups though. If we were talking about a bombing campaign through the bible belt of America, I'd like to think I'd still resist that despite the fact that their views on LGBTQ issues don't align with my own.

 

Again, I don't think the point is relevant. I can see what he's trying to do but I'm not buying it.

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1 minute ago, Rayvin said:

 

Resistance to LGBTQ is certainly not limited to Islamic terror groups though. If we were talking about a bombing campaign through the bible belt of America, I'd like to think I'd still resist that despite the fact that their views on LGBTQ issues don't align with my own.

 

Again, I don't think the point is relevant. I can see what he's trying to do but I'm not buying it.

 

i think he's trying to point out that hamas are fascist islamists and don't deserve our sympathy - what do you think he's trying to do? 

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Having a (very left wing) friend who lives in Tel Aviv I probably have a different viewpoint to most on this board, and am probably more sympathetic to Dr G position/ point of view.

Personally I don't think a two state solution is viable, and I dont think Isreal can co-exist with Hamas. You can't underestimate the psychological effect the Hamas attack has had on the population of Isreal, which was its aim.

I don't have any answers

 

 

It's easy to forget there are 2 million Arabs who already live in Isreal, and it's a mistake I believe of the West to try and assign motives to disparate population groups, most of whom are just trying to make it through another day

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6 minutes ago, Dr Gloom said:

 

i think he's trying to point out that hamas are fascist islamists and don't deserve our sympathy - what do you think he's trying to do? 

 

He's trying to reposition this so that the argument is around why the left is supporting Hamas, rather than what they are actually doing, which is trying to defend the lives of Palestinians. His opening question attempts the same thing by asking us to ignore all the death on the Palestinian side as inflicted by Israel - I found it interesting that you could flip that whole point around and it would apply to him. "How many Jewish lives will it take for your to accept that Israel are not to blame for this" is just as easily transformed into "How many Palestinian lives etc etc". I also don't think the number of people dying corresponds to the full value of useful information in a discussion around why this is happening, it's just intended to be emotive.

 

The problem I have with it is that if he successfully paints the left as antisemitic and therefore acting out of irrational hatred for Jewish people, then who is left to speak for the Palestinian people? If he had, at the same time, acknowledged Israel's contribution to why we are here, then I might have a different lens on this. But he won't do that because he is playing to the domestic audience as much as anyone else.

 

I googled him, he's the leader of a political party - useful to understand where people are coming from when looking at things like this.

 

 

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