I received (elsewhere) a reply to a post in which I provided a Pat Condell video and transcript which had nothing to do with the "Palestinian Problem".  I received the following reply (edited for grammar):

I also was subscribed to Pat Condell’s YouTube channel but just was shocked and couldn’t agree with  his views on Israel.  I really don't see how anyone who often goes on about human rights can talk as if Israel can do no wrong – AND he gets the real news on the matter in the U.K; not the suppressed U.S Israel lobby news the Americans get.

The following is my response:

Hi Justin,

My website is http://AtheistExile.com.

As for Israel . . . I hope you're up on the history of that region. There was NO country there when Israel was created . . . and "created" is the appropriate word.  The United Nations granted the  territory to Israel after WWII.  Israel took control after a short war.

This is not to say that the Israeli/Palestinian problem is not important.  What it means is that Israel is legitimate in its own right: both by international agreement AND by military conquest.  It's hypocritical to condemn Israel's possession by Jews, through war, when Muslims previously occupied the same land, through war.

Possession is now a moot point.  The question is: How does Israel address the needs of the Palestinian people?  First of all, the Palestinian people need to cease hostilities against Israel.  As an autonomous state, Israel has the RIGHT to protect its own security.  Peace, obviously, can't begin until hostilities cease.  Missiles and suicide bombers must become an artifact of history before Israel can loosen its controls on the Palestinians.

The Palestinians will argue the opposite: that they can't cease hostilities until Israel ceases its crack-down.  I obviously side with Israel on this chicken-and-egg conflict.  A large part of my position is the fact that Palestinians are predominantly Muslims who teach hatred of Jews and Israel to their children . . . who then grow up to be adults who continue the cycle.  Israel is a tiny democracy surrounded by despots and terrorists.  Until their neighbors learn to govern their own citizens democratically, I can't, with clear conscience, support them over Israel.

If Egypt and Jordan can negotiate meaningful peace with Israel, then so can Palestinians -- IF they have the will.

I can't speak for him, of course, but I think Pat Condell would make a somewhat similar argument.

I know such a position is sacrilegious among a large portion the uber-liberal atheist community but I believe it is right.  Liberals want to be inclusive.  And that's normally a good thing.  But inclusion is not a goal in its own right.  All considerations need to be addressed with dealing with complex issues.  Personally, I believe that non-democratic, Islamic, states have major issues with peaceful co-existence with non-Muslims and that it's pointless to capitulate to them unless you actually WANT to appear weak.

Israel certainly makes mistakes and is not blameless.  But the same could be said for any other powerful nation.  Israel has offered significant concessions for the sake of peace -- only to have them rejected.  This is not the way to trust.

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Comment by Doc on September 17, 2011 at 6:34pm

Would you clearer-thinking folks mind taking a look at someone's else's blog, here on A/N?  It's not mine, but I have responded to it, as I find it quite disturbing:  http://www.atheistnexus.org/forum/topics/someone-please-explain-thi...

I'm new to social networking, naive in ways I don't yet recognize, and could use advice on these things, too, by the way.  Thank you.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on September 17, 2011 at 3:22pm

Agree with your take Prog Rock, any pan-arab sentiment is ersatz and political. Picture a reversal of ethnicity and identical boundaries. Any chance that the Jews would not be assimilated by her Jewish neighboring countries? Instead we have seen instances of slaughter by other Arabs against Palestinians.

Good point on stealing land as well. Except in the case of Jews there is greater justification than settlers in North America had.

Comment by Patrick Moore on September 17, 2011 at 3:05pm
Right!  Stop killing each other first!  Worry about concessions and blame-placing later!
Comment by Prog Rock Girl on September 17, 2011 at 2:23pm

Exile, this is one issue where I go entirely against the far left, too. A few Christian fundamentalists believe Israel can do no wrong, but other than that, leftists believe Israel can do no right. If the left is supposed to be against violence and racism, they overlook, make excuses for, or downright support violence against Israelis and anti-Semitic propoganda by Palestinians. I haven't come across Palestinian-sympathetic propoganda that didn't rely heavily on buzzwords and sensationalism. The countries surrounding Israel were in support of Hitler (indirectly supporting Israel's creation), were determined to hate Israel since its inception, deny the Holocaust (but don't all Holocaust-deniers basically say "it didn't happen but it should"). Arab countries use Palestinians as pawns, pretending to care while really keeping them as miserable as possible to vilify Israel. (Palestinian solidarity is practically a tenet of Islam anymore.) Speaking of hypocrisy, I think it's rather hypocritical for anyone living in the U.S.A. to lecture someone else about stealing land, and in a few generations it will be Palestinians basing their claim to Israel on ancestors living there--which is just what everyone was angry at Israel for in the first place.

Comment by Doc on September 17, 2011 at 1:43pm

@Rob Welch, it appears you recommend we cease all support of the one democracy in the middle east where Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others live, despite terrorist attacks from Muslims in and around, and instead support the source of those terrorist attacks, Muslims who are proud to practice honor killings, circumcision of 10 year old boys (when they're old enough to know it and remember the trauma), and who have shown an unlimited supply of weapons while crying they haven't enough food and medical supplies.  How humanitarian are they, those you want us to support?

Comment by Doc on September 17, 2011 at 1:36pm
I've been running up against this same issue.  I just posted a rant about it in my own blog:  http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/opening-rant?xg_source=a....  Pat Condell and I agree on over 90% of things.  I should have listed him among the heros in my blog and will have to correct that omission.  Meanwhile, this is a critical topic, something of a 400 lb gorilla in the room -- or, better, a primate in need of further evolution.
Comment by Atheist Exile on August 25, 2011 at 4:10am
Hi Glen,

You also sound a bit emotionally vested . . . in Israel's favor.  Not as much emotion though as Rob Welch.  Otherwise, I agree with 90% of what you wrote.
Comment by Atheist Exile on August 25, 2011 at 4:07am
Hey Rob Welch,

You sound too emotionally vested to me and you either misspoke or are pretty patchy on Mid-East history.  Google the information for yourself.  I'm not here to educate you.
Comment by Frankie Dapper on August 24, 2011 at 9:55pm

Sympathy for the Palestinians is primarily founded on anti-semitism. Israel is light years more progressive than her neighbors. She has a democracy with the attendent secular rights. Arab Israelis are citizens. Education is paramount. Palestinians are in the 12th century,  brainwashed in total-perpetuating antisemitic lies from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Palestinian culture is rotten.  During the 2nd world war the grand mufti of Jerusalem was alied with Hitler. Had the outcome been different the Jews and Arabs would have been annihilated. Bottom line the palestinians and her neighbors are overflowing with anti-semitism derived from Christianity and Islam. Israel is a secular and productive state which is a diamond among feldspar.

Israel's right to exist has been challenged from the first day. Jews celebrated the mandate dividing the state. Arabs attacked the next day. Compromise in the form of a divided state was not to be tolerated by the Palestinians.

The only reason some of Israel's neighbors have relented and accepted peace is because they have been unable to destroy Israel in repeated aggressive unprovoked attacks.

While it is true that Israel is not perfect it is also the case that Israel is viewed in a way that is consistent with double standard. Human rights violations and downright genocide elsewhere is barely reported. Israel is under a microscope. The rest of the world you cant find with a teloscope. Does anyone want to examine the history of so called civilized nations and expect to see a good record? Never happen GI. As for their right to the state if ever a people had exigent circumstances it is the Jews.


Comment by Rob Welch on August 24, 2011 at 9:19pm

First, Israel has NOT offered significant concessions.  In fact, it's offered NO meaningful concessions (prove me wrong - name one).  Israel's negotiating position has always been:  "first, give us everything we want, THEN we'll negotiate with you."


Second, the jews' claim to that particular patch of dirt is founded entirely upon the bronze-age fairy tales in Exodus, for which there is NO archeological evidence.  As atheists, it seems to me we should firmly reject any claims the jews make to the area they call Israel.  They certainly have no more claim to the land than the Palestinians who had lived there for generations before the jews showed up.


Third, expressing the desire that Jerusalem be the undivided capital of Israel is tantamount to expressing the desire for (further) ethnic cleansing.  Shame on anyone who does so.


Israel is a racist apartheid theocracy controlled more and more by jewish religious nutjobs who are every bit as bad as the most extreme muslim nutjobs.  These days supporting Israel means indulging the most religious, racist extremists in the jewish settlements.  Atheists, who base their philosophy of life on secular humanism and the belief that all people are entitled to dignity and human rights, should just say 'no'.



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