I was reading an article in the "Atheist Revolution" blog and I came across this snippet:

When I encounter a parent telling her children about Santa Claus, I may find it unfortunate that someone would lie to one's own child merely for entertainment purposes. The potential for harm here seems trivially small. I cannot say the same for the Muslim parent instructing his son in the virtues of martyrdom or the Christian who tells her daughter that her Jewish friends will go to hell because they have not been "saved."

Could we not add something like the following to the last sentence:

...or the jew who tells his kids that he's "chosen" and has a covenant with god that entitles him and his "people" to the land of Israel, and then uses that as justification for a bloody occupation of Palestine.

The one-year anniversary of Operation Cast Lead is approaching (Dec. 27th) and I think we should take a look at where we've come since then. The Goldstone Report: buried. Settlements: expanding. Palestinian house demolitions: continuing.

As atheists, we should be appalled whenever religion is used to justify actions that result in suffering or death. We do not seem to hesitate to speak out when a child dies because a Christian Scientist eschewed Western medicine in favor of prayer. We do not seem to hesitate to speak out when a Muslim nutjob finds motivation in his religion to grab some firearms and gun down some people. Why are we silent when an ethnic group uses a story about chosen people and covenants in The Big Book of Jewish Fairy Tales (aka, the Old Testament) to justify what is looking more and more like a slow, methodical ethnic cleansing campaign? Why do the Jews need to have Jerusalem all to themselves? Why is it so important to them to have a Jewish majority that they'll turn Gaza into a prison camp and The West Bank into Swiss cheese where the Palestinians are forced to live on smaller and smaller plots of land and endure more and more restrictions on their movement? If this were being done to a Jewish population they'd be screaming about a second holocaust.

The bottom line is that all three major religions are guilty of many modern-day atrocities and have a great deal of blood on their metaphorical hands. Why do we only bewail the actions of two of those three major religions?

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It was actually 44% who voted Hamas. But they won. I realize there is a high amount of Palestinians willing to live next to Israel in peace. But even the thought of voting in a party that is for the destruction of its neighbour is mind numbing in today's day and age.
Here's the deal. Hamas talks about destroying Israel while Israel is destroying Palestine. Israel is destroying Palestine, not talking about destroying it. I believe Israel's approach is much smarter and more effective than the hot air that Hamas is blowing around about destroying Israel. We know that won't happen although some people actually want to destroy Israel. Yet, bit by bit, Palestine is being destroyed. Where's the outrage about anti-Palestinianism?
Talk about simplifying things. First off, there is no Palestine. There is Israel, the Wet Bank and Gaza. Every move Israel made militarily has been in defense of bombings.
All technically true, and pretty much beside the point. There is a de facto Palestine. Israel has responded disproportionately to the attacks from Gaza. It's good to hear that Israel is supplying humanitarian aid to Gaza, but there is no excuse for shutting off the water supply, period.

Notice that the subject of the recent war against Hezbollah in south Lebanon has not come up. For my part, that's because Hezbollah's attacks were a serious threat, doing serious harm. Israel's reaction was more appropriate in that case. The problem is that Israel can't seem to distinguish between rock-throwers and existential threats. Much in the same way that the US couldn't distinguish between an utterly defanged Saddam Hussein and a "smoking gun in the shape of a mushroom cloud". When a country operates out of fear, it does bad things.
You do realize there was a death toll in Israel caused by the "rock throwers"
I also think if you investigate the water supply cut offs, you'll see reasons behind it, and if I'm not mistaken, the cut offs have been on and off and have not led to any deaths.

I could do a search, but I'm getting tuckered out from debating real anti-semites over here: http://www.arguewitheveryone.com/
OK, that's pretty funny that there's a web site called arguewitheveryone.com. Reminds me of Monty Python's argument sketch.

Let's say a trailer park was harboring a handful of killers who would occasionally venture into nearby neighborhoods and off people. Would that justify shutting off the trailer park's water supply intermittently, without actually causing anybody to die of thirst? Bulldozing any of the trailers? Building a wall around the trailer park and not allowing commerce in or out? No. It would invite a targeted, proportional response to root out the killers while doing the least amount of collateral damage. Is it easy to do this? No. That's why we hire professionals like cops and soldiers to do the tough jobs. Does Israel carpet bomb Gaza? No, they're not that over-the-top. Is it a judgment call whether Israel goes too far? Sure. I think they go too far in dealing with Gaza. The extent of their reprisals is not justified by the attacks.
I know all that. How does it contradict what I wrote? The Gaza pullout was an unilateral decision the Fatah had no say in. IMO that was a big mistake from Sharon. At least he could have involved Abbas in the pullout and not make him look like a powerless puppet. Would you vote for a powerless puppet?

Wow.  Reading the opener to this discussion, I get the impression all Jews are responsible for all Israeli actions, and all Israeli actions having nothing to do with anything except religion.  Oh, and that all Jewish atrocities against Palestinians are equivalent to all atrocities over time by Christendom and Islam.


Surely, that's not what you meant.  At least, I hope not.  For every 1,000 people in the world, there are only 2 Jews.  (CIA source online:  Christian 33.35% (of which Roman Catholic 16.83%, Protestant 6.08%, Orthodox 4.03%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 22.43%, Hindu 13.78%, Buddhist 7.13%, Sikh 0.36%, Jewish 0.21%, Baha'i 0.11%, other religions 11.17%, non-religious 9.42%, atheists 2.04% (2009 est.)


Of course, if you really think you should do all you can to block Israel and remove support from world Jewry, boycott.  Put your computer down, because the microprocessor was designed and created there.  Same for your cell phone, I'd wager.  Internet telephony:  Programming invented by a young Israeli.  Careful the medications you take and vaccinations, too.  Jewish doctors and scientists, doing what they were told was required of the chosen people, to improve the world, are responsible for many.  Anything requiring modern electronics probably has some basis in Einstein's E=mc2....


Being raised Jewish, I was taught being chosen was like being the oldest sibling.  I was responsible to our skydaddy for correcting the issues in my community and world.  If someone broke the law, it was because I didn't help prevent that with good education, a secure and safe homelife, enough to eat, etc.  I was to set the highest example of good behavior, or take responsibility for the outcomes, if I did not.  In return, I'd get the Sabbath.  That was the deal.


It has been the way of Christendom, since at least the time of Emperor Constantine, to claim otherwise.  For the sin of killing their skydaddy's Jesus, Jews were not to be wiped out as a people, as that might offend same skydaddy, but their lives were to be made hell on earth.


Sadly, this antisemitic mentality so infuses the world, today, that insight against it is rare.  Most can't see the forest for the trees:  "Of course I hate Jews!  Doesn't everyone?  Therefore, it must be right to do so.  Why bother to question it?  Other Jew haters fill the net with plenty of manipulated work to support this easy conclusion:  Let's all hate the Jews.


A true freethinker should be re-thinking this...  Anyone with a mind open to viewing a documentary of the history of anti-semitism by a former Jesuit, see or read "Constantine's Sword."  It opened my eyes.  Even I had not realized how deep and pervasive the source.

Look back over the past six decades of terrorism in the world, and you'll find Israel was rather like a test tube, the Jews being experimental specimen no one would miss (or, at least, stand up for).  As the goals and techniques of terrorism were fine tuned, they were and are ultimately being used around the world.

The world arm-twisted Israel into negotiating with terrorists for peace.  Now, those who watched and learned understand better how to approach negotiations with the west.

Terrorists have learned that, under the guise of negotiation, manipulation can be well played, as part of their armamentarium of asymmetrical warfare.  Terrorism, itself, is asymmetrical warfare, too, by the way.

So, why care about Israel?  Because it is the "canary in the coal mine."

No doubt the claim that god has a chosen people and that Jews have claim to some peice of land is ridiculous.  I have also wondered why we give Jews a pass on ritualistic genatle mutilation aka the brit milah.   In 1997, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a joint statement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) against the practice of FGM. A new statement, with wider United Nations support, was then issued in February 2008 to support increased advocacy for the abandonment of FGM.  

I realize this is in response to female mutilation which is done for religious reasons but why not come down on the Jews for essentially the same thing? 

Circumcision in adult males, for such surgical issues as pathologic phimosis, affects sensory nerve endings, thereby risking impotence or lack of sexual gratification, afterward.  

Circumcision in infants, when the nervous system is still "plastic" and able to heal with normal functional results, avoids this risk.  In ancient times, sand might have been very irritating caught between a non-retracting foreskin and the penile shaft.  Chronic irritation risks squamous cell carcinoma.  Lacking sand, pathologic phimosis carries risk of penile cancer, as well.


During medical/surgical training, I performed and/or assisted on both infant and (older) adult circumcision.  Based on that experience and concurrent medical knowledge, were I male, I would chose circumcision in infancy.  It compares to an appendectomy (though less invasive and risky):  It is the removal of vestigial flesh that will not be missed.  It carries removal of risk of surgery with serious consequences, should pathology develop.


The babies, by the way, achieve reduction in pain through a taste of sweet wine.  Science shows ingestion of sugar reduces sense of pain in children.  And, the procedure, overall, is much faster and painless than fixing an ingrown toenail.  (I've done those, too.)  Topical anesthetic is allowed, now that it's available.




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