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This Judaism related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


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Origin of Six Day War[edit]

This article doesn’t mention that Egypt committed an act of war by blocking’s Israel’s access to the Red Sea via the Straits of Tiran.

Torture Section missing citations?[edit]

Just noticed that there is some uncited paragraphs in the bottom half in this section. The first half appears to be fine and correlates with the citiation, but the bottom half just don't have any references anywhere.

Did anyone forget to add it or was it accidentally deleted? --Mofosyne (talk)

interesting article[edit]— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

"What used to be Palestine"??[edit]

"A lot of stress also arises because Israel currently occupies the territory of what used to be Palestine; the Muslim Palestinians demand their own state and want Israel to stop treating them like garbage."

How come the so called Rational Wiki talks about a non existing past state? Until the establishment of the PA (Palestinian Authority) through the Oslo accords in the 90s, "Palestine" never existed. It's as simple as that. The second part of the statement is also incorrect, and written in a way that doesn't fit a serious wiki.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

There is so much wrong with this, but first of all, Palestine was a British mandate before the creation of the modern state of Israel. Palestine was also guaranteed its own territory through the UN partitioning, which is all (to varying degrees) occupied by Israel. Also, attempts to deny the injustices faced by Palestinians is pure denialism. You might want to read RationalWiki:What is a RationalWiki article? Plutocow (talk) 20:20, 9 April 2022 (UTC)
Regardless, that was neither well phrased nor cleverly phrased. I have tried to touch it up. --Bertrc (talk) 02:19, 10 November 2022 (UTC)

Are there any decent attempts to justify the settlements in Palestinian land?[edit]

Has anybody seen any decent (or, at least, not completely awful) attempts at justifying the settlements on Palestinian land? It doesn't need to be perfect and can have serious flaws and/or lack of being thought through. I just want to try to get some insight into the mentality. Sure the temple mount might have some complexities, but I want to understand any thoughts, fears, what-have-you of the political block pushing the settlements other than "Manifest Destiny", "Because we can" and/or "It's our turn, now" (and/or "because it gins up our base") --Bertrc (talk) 01:23, 10 November 2022 (UTC)

Uh, it's basically what European settlers did to indigenous folk all around the world. There's no justifying this blatant land theft. "But they can always leave!" Says the one with the privilege of not being subjected to apartheid just because of their ancestry, and who the entire world sees their ethnicity as vicious, barely-human savages. A lot of Palestinians did leave, and most of those are still stuck in the same camps they were forced into ever since the Naqba. There ain't no justifying this. It's ugly, it's brutal, and it's entirely supported by the champions of humans rights here in the West. Vee (talk) 01:29, 10 November 2022 (UTC)
@Vee, Yeah, see, that doesn't give me a decent or non-completely-awful attempt at justifying the Settlements! :-D Believe me, I have no shortage of arguments for why they are not justified! However, I do not need to leave my own head to find why they are not justified. I am trying to get beyond my blind spots and beyond my echo chamber. In all honesty, I can think of at least a few justifications for land theft (perhaps not perfect, but not entirely indefensible) Unfortunately, none of them apply to this situation. There must be some settlement supporter out there who has a justification that doesn't boil down to "Might makes Right". Srsly, I am looking for any nuance to the argument because I cannot see any nuance. I never trust my brain when I think something this large is so clear cut. --Bertrc (talk) 01:52, 10 November 2022 (UTC)
Well I think (though I disagree with this argument) that the Palestinian support for terrorist organizations like HAMAS, and the HAMAS occupation of Palestinian territory justifies the presence of the IDF in Palestinian land from the perspective of the Israeli state. Especially given HAMAS expressed genocidal intentions against Jewish people. That can come to justify the military occupation of Palestinian territory in the eyes of the Israeli state. The settlements themselves are often framed under the belief that many Jewish people are in actuality descendent of those who were indigenous to that land, and that the "arabs" are the true colonizers. This has some shaky historical grounding (read: next to none), but it is what fuels many of the claims of "birth right" to occupy say land. From the perspective of many Jewish people living in Israel and many Jewish Americans, the only reasonable and moral response to widespread antisemitism is the establishment of a country for Jewish people -- and especially one that has the military defense against the many hostile populations to Jewish people that exist outside of it. There is also the idea that Jewish people are only returning to the home they hailed from, and so no one has the right to tell them they are illegally occupying the territory of a foreign nation. This specifically in reference to the west bank.
There are problems with this argument as it oversimplifies the relationship that Palestinians have with HAMAS, over-states the military threat that Palestinians actually have, is used to justify ethno-nationalism, relies on historical narratives that are widely contested, and over-states the religious significance of the land being occupied, etc. But it is no doubt an argument that many supporters of Israel's occupation believe in. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 06:41, 10 November 2022 (UTC).
Sure, the military occupation has some arguments in its defense, and the need for a Jewish homeland definitely has some points that can be raised in its favor, but I do not see how those could apply to the settlements. Israel doesn’t need the land, since there is enough space using the 1967 borders and the settlements actually reduce the buffer between Israeli citizens and those who want to wipe them out. As for the manifest destiny angle, I don’t see how that is anything other than a “because we can”/“might makes right” argument. --Bertrc (talk) 23:39, 10 November 2022 (UTC)
Framing it as manifest density is inaccurate because it's not so much that the land is some pre-ordained God given right... but rather that the land itself is where Jewish people originally hailed from are are in fact indigenous to. This is used to undermine the narrative that Palestinians use to describe their struggle, as a struggle against colonization. I have have got into arguments with Zionists who fully believe the establishment of Israel AND the settlements in the West Bank is in fact an act of decolonization. That the presence of the Palestinians is only such because they displaced Jewish people from the land and colonized Israel. This narrative extends to the North Africans who see themselves as Jews, seeing themselves as having been displaced from the land by the "Arabs". There is a lot wrong with this narrative, but to frame it as "might makes right" or "manifest destiny" is fairly inaccurate. -Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:50, 11 November 2022 (UTC).
It should be said that this "justification" is very ad hoc and has like fuck all to the original motivations behind establishing Israel; which DOES NOT extend past the 19th century. Zionism as a movement is fairly young historically and the motivations have always been purely about escaping antisemitism elsewhere. The idea of Jewish people being indigenous to the land, or the land itself having religious significance have all been very recent narratives that have only ever come after the establishment of Zionist settlements. I don't think the people who espouse these narratives are bullshitting though, or doing it out of ill intent. There is a genuine existential fear underlying this, and we can't ignore the significance the holocaust has impacted the psyches of many a Jewish persons. All that being said there is still a period of thousands of years to which the ethnic Palestinians occupied that land. Jewish Palestinians are also a thing, though the Zionists I have spoken too are extremely reluctant to acknowledge that. The Palestinians also claim themselves to be indigenous to that land, and they view the Jewish settlers and in fact Israel as a whole as nothing more then the product of settler colonialism. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:50, 11 November 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, that doesn’t quite hold up. According to the Torah, the Israelites, themselves, were colonizers. So we are back to manifest destiny: “We were and are allowed to be colonizers, but the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Europeans, etc. (I think the seleucids and sassinids are in there somewhere) do not get to be colonizers.” Besides, the Romans ran roughshod through the area in, what, the 100’s? That was almost 2 millennia ago. I’m pretty sure that Arabs were present well before the Rashiduns brought Islam to the area. --Bertrc (talk) 21:17, 16 November 2022 (UTC)
They were. The Nabataeans were Arabs after all. Vee (talk) 22:18, 16 November 2022 (UTC)
If you are going to set the standard of sound argumentation as justification I would agree that these arguments don’t hold up to scrutiny. As I said the Palestinians have been occupying the land for thousands of years, claims of the land once belonging to the kingdom of Israel is a moot point, and regardless the west bank itself never carried with it religious significance and was not the reason why labour Zionists set up settlements in the area to begin with back in the 19th century. You have to keep in mind though curse of knowledge bias. For those who lack the historical context do these narratives in attempt to justifying occupation and settlements resonant as effective propaganda? Absolutely. The idea too that Palestinians themselves are incompatible with the existence of Israel and Jewish people as a whole also resonates a lot with people, hence why allegations of antisemitism targeted at those who openly support Palestine works so well. Political careers have been ruined that way. What seems like a obvious falsehood to you is not so for many who have heard nothing but the alternative their entire life. But the sense of existential persecution by Jewish people not only in Israel but globally is more than real. To desire a nation of refuge and even to expand that area of refuge to house more Jewish people is not by any means an irrational desire. People just don’t want to acknowledge the fact that it involves ethnic displacement and apartheid like conditions as a result, because it complicates a strong emotional narrative that makes the Israel people de facto the ones who are oppressed in this dynamic. So when you ask about decent attempts as justification, the follow up question is decent for who? Me or you? Or the average supporter of these settlements? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:12, 16 November 2022 (UTC)
I think to add to that there is a rhetorical method that aims to minimize the possibly genocidal implications by refusing to acknowledge Palestinian people as a distinct ethnicity. Instead you hear people simply refer to all of them as "Arabs" and lump them into the the surrounding Arabic populations of North Africa and the Middle East. I heard one person say to me "The Arabs already have so many of countries of their own. Why do they need this other one? Why can't they just let the Jews claim the land and have a country for themselves?". There is a purpose to that because if the Palestinians themselves are not considered a valid ethnic group then displacing them from their lands cannot be seen as potential ethnic erasure because the "arabs" can just move into the surrounding countries where "they" belong and "their" culture is sustained. A very little said about the blatant racism of this kind of rhetoric, but I think people genuinely believe it to be true. It's easy to dismiss when you are not immersed in these types of narratives, and I think that is also what makes many of us ill equipped to address it. At the same time there is no denying the explicit genocidal calls of groups like HAMAS. HAMAS is the biggest stick in the wheel for folks like myself (and presumably you) who believe the settlements need to be removed, and the occupation of Palestine ended. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:17, 17 November 2022 (UTC).
Sure, given the thoroughfare, yeah, there is such a mix that perhaps "Arabs were already there" is an over-simplification. Regardless, I just want to understand why . . . Well, probably not logical understanding but humanity understanding. What does Israel gain from the settlements? I can totally understand the desire for maintaining a Jewish state -- Regardless of any flaws in the argument, the centuries of anti-Semitism leading up to the Holocaust at least make the argument understandable (to me) -- But I cannot understand the Settlements; not even a toe-hold of grasping it, other than the human inclination of "might makes right". Heck, even "Might makes Right" is shaky, since, although they are mighty within their borders, the rest of the world is still incredibly anti-Semitic and the settlements do nothing but erode Israel's external support! Ugh, even the European ethnic cleansing of the Americas was driven by getting wealth and resources (That does not make it excusable, but at least I understand it) Are there some vast resources within Palestinian lands that I don't know about? Is Israel in danger of becoming so over-populated that supporters of the settlements feel they need the additional land? Or is it really just a belief in Manifest Destiny? --Bertrc (talk) 00:28, 18 November 2022 (UTC)
Most of Israel is pretty mountainous with very difficult terrain to farm from, the west bank has always been an attractive place for settlers because it's west of the Jordan River, with a lot of fertile farmland. Settlements have always been set up in this area by Zionists since the start of the movement in the 19th century because the land it particularly useful in growing grain. Palestinians were using the land initially to sell grain to Europe, and it was only natural that settlers would want to set up shop in the region so to be able to grow and sell food of their own (rather than risk food-shortages in historical regions associated with places like Judea). That hasn't entirely changed to this day (though now we do have the benefit of better infrastructure to transport food, the west bank still has plenty a valuable natural resources for farming.). There has never been a moment in the last 200 or so years where there hasn't been colonial settlements in the west bank -- it just started to greatly intensify after the Israeli-Arab war in the latter half of the 20th century similar in time period to when Israel was expanding settlements into Egypt. Israel had made peace deals with Egypt and pulled out of the region, but I don't there has ever been a successful follow-through between establishing a peace deal between Israel and Palestine (not with a lack of trying by the PLO). There is incentive to having access to agricultural resources, a hope that they can displace hostile nationalists groups, and possibly collateral being held as a negotiation tactic. There is also the proximity that the west back has to Jerusalem that no doubt has it's cultural value. A lot of settlements are being set up solely to house Jewish people so they can be closer to Jerusalem; which carries with it obvious religious value. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:18, 18 November 2022 (UTC).