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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Doc I know. I was responding to what I thought JC was trying to convey.

Doc,

I was giving the perspective on things as I believe JC has. Have read all about blood libels and pogroms and institutionalized racism, protocols of the elders. . . It was a bit of sarcasm.

When you encounter the JCs of the world do you bother to debate? It reminds me of talking to a zealot.

When I can, I answer, providing historical, cultural, and other legitimate and researchable background so that even if the zealot refuses to understand, someone else, coming later, might read and think and hopefully verify and learn.  It is always my contention that they should verify what they don't want to believe.  If I find the sources, they can say my sources are tainted.  If I give them the keywords for a search engine, and they research for themselves, they've earned some respect for going that far, more if they read and learn, and if they come back with another argument based on that reading, I might get to learn something, too.

Then why don't you start doing that? Where is your historical, cultural, legitimate, and researchable background into my psychological state, Doc? Giving each other group hugs don't make it true.

Again, you miss the point.  If I were to research it for you, you'd claim my sources were unacceptable.  You must learn to educate yourself, grasshopper.

Really? You're going to try to pass off your childish insults as researched fact? You need some soul searching.

If you're addressing me (partially, I assume), I reject that Judaism is no longer a religion; it is a religion and it is an ethnic group and it is a country (I mean Israel). When you conflate all of these, it makes it impossible for someone to criticize one without criticizing all. Contrary to what you say, my point is not the inferiority of the Jewish race, but the inferiority that many Jews project onto other races. The problem is by pointing this out, I become an "anti-semite", because some Jews have a persecution complex -- they view any criticism as an existential threat.

So if I criticize settlements, it is re-framed into the idea that I must hate Jews because I disagree with the superior Israeli government making more land accessible for the superior Israeli citizens, at the cost of the inferior Palestinians, when it is so clear that Palestinians are generally warmongering, racist people who have declared to wipe Israel off the map.

If it were anyone else in the world saying something like, "These Somalians are so inferior and inefficient, we must build houses in their country and innovate their land and put these resources to better use, because they are doing more harm than good." These people would be called "racists" -- to put it bluntly.

You might be interested in knowing that before the British started playing Jews and Arabs against each other -- and notwithstanding Arafat's Nazi uncle who was mayor of Jerusalem during WWII -- the Jews and local Arabs got along well, each helping the other, each learning from the other.  These were not people in power, though, just people.  The Arabs who intended to amass great power had to put a stop to it.  Can you imagine an Arab monarch allowing all his citizens a good education and income?  How can he maintain control if they decide to be free of his reign?  And why bother to reign if not to be the wealthiest by far?  The concept of a middle class didn't exist, back then and there.

Can you imagine an Arab monarch allowing all his citizens a good education and income?

Yes, as a matter of fact I can. It's called the United Arab Emirates...

How can he maintain control if they decide to be free of his reign?  And why bother to reign if not to be the wealthiest by far?

What country are you talking about exactly? Or are you saying all Arab governments are inherently inferior? And what does that mean exactly, that you could go build illegal settlements in their land and make military raids without account for collateral damage?

The UAE is an interesting case.  It is so tiny, its native population so small, and its wealth so extremely large, they just imported a lower class and raised their own up too high for a real middle class in between.  Fascinating, really.

There is a key misconception which you include and I'd like to counter.  It is the perception that Israel, before becoming a modern state in May of 1948, was completely bereft of Jews, had no Jews living in it for centuries, maybe even since shortly after Jesus, and that it was filled with Palestinians who were pushed out of the way to make room for the Jews.  At least one person has posted on this forum that there never were any Jews living on that land, ever, and that they actually came from somewhere else, that the whole of the Torah is made up, so Jews, then are a made up entity, too.

I took a college course on the History of Zionism which covered the period from the turn of the century over 112 years ago until a couple decades into the current State of Israel.  The textbook is not at hand, but it had many legitimate references.  This was at a state university, not a religious institution, and the course was a history course, not a religious course.  There was no religious curriculum, there, outside of the usual "Comparative Religions" class, which I also took.

Antisemitism didn't suddenly sprout under Hitler, either.  My eyes were opened wider when, a couple years ago, I saw the documentary "Constantine's Sword."  Church policy officially began to indoctrinate antisemitism into Christians during the era of Constantine.  Jews, of course, didn't kill Jesus.  The Romans did, and for political reasons.

Back to Israel, hundreds if not thousands died well before 1948 clearing swamps infested with malaria-carrying mosquitos to make productive the only land they could afford to purchase, that and land which had turned to useless desert.  They found trees were key to reclaiming both.  They dry out the swamps and hold moisture in the desert.  The Jews whose families had been able to stay in Israel, particularly Jerusalem, since before Jesus time stayed.  Others came from Europe, bringing donations to buy bits of land to resettle.  So, before the Holocaust, there was a sizable Jewish population developing in reaction to a growth of European antisemitism.  (The Inquisition wasn't forgotten, after all.)

As Jews moved in and made the land productive, developing a growing economy, Arabs moved in to find work -- just like today, in America, when people move to the cities to find work, but on a smaller scale.  

So, there was no magic to this, no sudden shift in population, and as May of 1948 came close, the British shut down and blocked all the Jewish immigration they could, allowing more Arabs to move in to shift the balance.

Read the history.  It's there.  Current propaganda hides it.  You can find it, though, easily, if you look.

Actually, I never even said this. You just had this straw man prepared for anyone arguing in detriment of the Holy Land so that you could be racist but call other people racists for your racism.

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