"Israel is our homeland  ...  we had  no homeland for thousands of years...."

Does this statement give anyone else a sick feeling? I have no intention of determining who is right or wrong in the Palestinian/Israel conflict. I don't know enough about the history to be able to make an informed decision about that. 

I am concerned about what happens to life, living things, and the water, soils and air of the planet Earth. If we do in the future what we have been doing up until now, we will not have an Earth as we know it today. Living things may die off, the Earth will continue on its journey through the universe. The Earth does not need Homo sapiens, however, Homo sapiens need the Earth to sustain us. 

Decisions that are made should include the health of the Earth as well as the political and religious demands of the people and future generations. 

What I do know is what modern archeology, written history, religious apologetics, and debunking historical records tells us. The authors of the Bible Unearthed are Israel Finkelstein, Professor of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, and Neil Asher Silberman, a contributing editor to Archaeology Magazine. Finkelstein and Silberman biography is from Wikipedia. 

Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist and academic. He is the Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University and is also the co-director of excavations at Megiddo in northern Israel. He served as Director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University from 1996-2002.[1] In 2005 he received the Dan David Prize.[2]

Neil Asher Silberman is an archaeologist and historian[1] with a special interest in history, archaeology, public interpretation and heritage policy. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and was trained in Near Eastern archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Awarded a 1991 Guggenheim Fellowship, he is a contributing editor for Archaeology Magazine and is a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Cultural PropertyHeritage Management, and Near Eastern Archaeology.

"This book looks at how the Bible came into existence. The authors assert that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never existed, David and Soloman were merely Chieftains and not kings and the Exodus never happened. They claim, through archaeological evidence, that the Bible was created by the people from the southern nation of Judah, in a last ditch attempt to keep their faith alive."

The Bible Unearthed. Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and...

Whose child is this, Israeli or Palestinian? 

How can you tell? 

If there were a god, or some sort of extreme supernatural power source who loves us and cares for us, that has his eye on a sparrow, would he not be a god for all people? Would he not instruct individuals how to live in justice and peace with others? Would he not create a process for tribes to get along with other tribes? Would he not provide the commandment that would empower each living thing to flourish? 

No! There is no supernatural power source of love, care and compassion. We create our own heaven and hell with our thoughts and our deeds. It is the decision of a mother and father whether to circumcise a newborn son or daughter, or whether to send a son or daughter off to war. A loving, caring, attentive supernatural power that makes sense to me would teach justice over domination. 

 

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Until both parties abandon their nationalism and religion, these things will keep happening. The fighting didn't simply start when Israel became a nation, it has been going on for centuries. Their children are the ultimate victims, not only being killed before being able to do anything to protect themselves, but growing up to fight and die in a neverending conflict with little or no way to escape it.

Joan, your blog touches very accurately on something I have come to believe since becoming atheist. The graphic maps would seem to prove it.

My contention is that Israel became a nation with a little help from its friends. Who are these people? They are the ones who think "god and the bible" and that Israelis are a "chosen people." Rather than Israel proving religious prophesy in 1947, the question becomes one of manipulation. Politicians had a goal in mind but the gullible public saw the hand of god. When Israel became a nation it was just more proof that "the bible was right" and that "Jesus would be returning soon." The Jews didn't see it this way but a lot of the rest of the world did.

Even today the lingering question of Palestine becoming a nation hinges on idiosity. Some claim this will happen when they "learn to be good" and stop fighting. The major question is where will they get their land? We know that nobody will give up land to give them, and that religious landmarks make this division impossible. Theists continue to believe that "some miracle" might happen and a missile might hit the Palestinian religious landmarks in Jerusalem, and that this would pave the way for the rebuilding of the temple, etc., etc.

Nobody can see the fallacy of all this and that it's a religious pipe dream. Dividing the land according to how you interpret your bible seems to have been the problem all along. This would preclude any  idea that you might be backing the wrong side. After all, Allah is not the christian god. Meanwhile, the fighting and killing goes on in a situation that cannot ever have a sensible and peaceful ending.

War is so ... I can't even find the appropriate word. A war zone tears out the hearts and minds of those who fight in it or treat those who have been directly impacted by it.  

I am surprised no one chastised me for using the photo of the slaughtered child. Obviously, I used it to horrify the reader, a nice clean child in a hospital with sterile bandages does not tell the story that needs to be told.

Whose child is this? It doesn't matter, the child lies mangled on a table as others in similar conditions lay in the filthy streets and deep jungles of war-torn lands ... any lands. 

The war mongers call for war and tax money funds The United States Army War College.  We need funded Earth Peace Colleges that teach the life-skills that educates to prevent conflicts from coming to a head and resulting in wars. There will be no peace if there is no justice. 

For those of you who feel offended by my photo, I am offended that you are satisfied by looking at the propaganda coming over the TV lines, and listen to the mongers who brew up wars. 

For those of you who do not feel offended and think that propaganda wars are not what we want fought in our names, that dreadfully wounded child needs our voices.

"Fucked" was the word I was thinking of......

...and I know who's the child belongs to..... He belongs to all peoples of this Earth.

Joan, do you know if the wounded child in your pic is alive or dead?

I see no indication that you care one way or the other. In your distress, you are simply using her or him.

Yes, Tom, I use the child to evoke horror. What did that great statesman, Rahm Emanuel say?

"You never let a serious crisis go to waste."

I hope you read my sarcasm in my statement. 

I see that photo, and I know it could be here in the U.S., one of our children. Our massive war machines have kept such atrocities away from our shores, until now. Bombs, bullets, rockets, and missiles don't care where they hit, and I wonder if the ones directing such munitions care, either?

I hope the child died instantly; I fear that he or she lived to feel the pain of the assault and lived on, suffering because of each breath. 

Sadly, I am an utopianist in spite of the inequality and disrespect individuals have for each other and one nation has for other countries. Living in the land of A Handmaid's Tale and determined not to let the bastards grind me down, I am sometimes called, "paranoid." This feeling within me is not paranoia; it is the reality of a child laying with his or her guts hanging outside of his or her body, an arm blown away, and nothing will ever be the same for this tiny creature. In my "distress", I offer a visual image of a wounded child. Should I also provide sound effects? Or the voices of the people attempting to preserve his or her life? Or the sounds of the weeping parents? Or would you like to read of the dark cloud that lays upon my shoulders? 

In Trump's America, The Handmaid's Tale matters more than ever.

You used the child to evoke horror.

Is that what you want, or do you want to win allies to your cause?

Utopians more committed than you evoke horror when they drive cars or trucks into groups of people. Do I need to name the serious utopians, such as Pol Pot in Cambodia and even Joe Stalin?

All such people have utopias.

Joan, can I offer a suggestion? You quoted an article from "Veterans Today." Not sure if you're aware of it, but VT is a decidedly virulent anti-semitic website that relies heavily on propaganda supplied by Iran and Pakistan. It has all the same reliability, when discussing Israel, of the KKK or the White Supremacy movement discussing President Obama.

I, for one, do not believe Israel should be immune from legitimate criticism. And, legitimate criticism does not make one an anti-semite. However, a number of the comments to the article you cited discuss how Israelis kill Palestinian children and cannibalize them. The same disgusting lies as those found in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion about blood ritual committed by Jews on Christian children. And, without trying to go Godwin, the same lies used to justify the Final Solution.

As I said, I certainly believe Israel deserves criticism when warranted. What neither Israel, nor any other nationality deserve, is despicable and disgusting lies to characterize them as less than human.

That may be true, Pat, but she also quoted Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman from their book "The Bible Unearthed." I doubt that this two are anti-semeitic and we know they are Jewish. As archaeologists they have found that the bible makes claims that cannot be supported. Most of it was a myth.

My previous remarks here were to bring forward that the making of the state of Israel was mostly something that had a biblical overtone to it. This has to do with politics advancing theistic belief for its own ends, and seems to fit the standard of the last 68 years. Most of the christian world has swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. I see nothing here that is said against a race of people. Israel did not make itself and was set up in 1947 by those who had another agenda.

I don't disagree with anything you said. And, I had read "The Bible Unearthed" when it first came out. I fully realize that the majority of what is in the old testament is nothing more than mythology borrowed from other cultures, and amalgamated into one large national story of fantasy in biblical proportions (every pun intended). My criticism is the reference to one obvious hate mongering, and lying propaganda site.  As I said, it's like trying to have a discussion of legitimate criticisms against the current President and using this citation to bolster what otherwise may be a legitimate case. 

Pat, I am deeply obliged to you for pointing out my mistake. The images I used were from the Palestinian paper and I could find no other map, quickly, that described the changes. I know they exist, I just wanted to take down those images and replace them with unbiased ones. 

Under no condition do I want to cite biased sources. There is no better way to destroy my credibility with the reading public than to make those kinds of mistakes. I learned that when I was studying for my doctorate at Gonzaga. The priests were adamant I do a better job of sourcing my writings. I am indebted to them for that discipline. They just didn't like what I wrote about religion's correlation with family violence. (Correlation is no cause; the co-exist). 

The strength of this site is the attention given to details and is why I am optimistic about being able to turn this crazy nation into a critically thinking nation. 

Joan, I was glad I could point that out. Please bear in mind that things I have cited on here may not be the most accurate either. Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. Which, I might add, my mistakes were pointed out to me be others. We all do our best to keep each other on an even keel. Goodness knows, I've had my barge shoved back into the main channel more than once when I was heading to a crash on the shoals.

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