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Louis Theroux of the BBC: The Ultra Zionists

Louis Theroux spends time with a small and very committed subculture of ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers. He discovers a group of people who consider it their religious and political obligation to populate some of the most sensitive and disputed areas of the West Bank, especially those with a spiritual significance dating back to the Bible.

Throughout his journey, Louis gets close to the people most involved with driving the extreme end of the Jewish settler movement - finding them warm, friendly, humorous, and deeply troubling.


 

Comments

If we could just drive off or kill those other people, we would have peace.

I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but the interview with the winemaker putting out the fires really got to me. The way he sees the fires as an unavoidable, almost natural consequence of Arab actions seems like a bit of a microcosm for the way this conflict continues to spiral out of control.

It is amazing. Laws passed by Isreali democracy: Arabs' fault. Jewish soldiers enforce laws: Arabs' fault. Jewish Settlers retaliating burn Jewish farm: Arabs' fault.

not so amazing. although your last point here is fair enough, and as i said, not a source of pride for the ADULT israeli settler population. these acts are indeed shameful- but cannot be compared to, say, shooting jewish civilians on their way to work- which is what the arab "teenagers" do.

Well, to say some of this behavior isn't the pride of the adult community, isn't the full story.

The guy with the burned out door. He was young and from what little honest dialog there was about why he is there, we can pretty much surmise that he is not there because he is thought it would be a nice place to live, work, and raise a family. He is there because an adult told him that that land should belong to Jews. So they bought him a house, paid to have security there 24/7 and encourage the isreali militaty to protect him.

Now maybe the racist kid in the tent and the young couple setting wild fires have taken it beyond what your average adult thinks is tasteful and smart, but thier actions are clearly not that far outside the norm and the guy with the winery basicly says that he thinks there is nothing wrong with what they did and he seems adult enough.

Well, to say some of this behavior isn't the pride of the adult community, isn't the full story

no, i believe i said "almost". yes, there are freaky religious fanatics among the adults, too, but i can tell you from 17 years of living here- they are unsupported by the vast majority and mostly keep their opions to themselves- unlike the arab parents in question.

The guy with the burned out door. He was young and from what little honest dialog there was about why he is there, we can pretty much surmise that he is not there because he is thought it would be a nice place to live, work, and raise a family. He is there because an adult told him that that land should belong to Jews. So they bought him a house,

he pays rent on that house. and he is an adult (how many kids do you have to have before you're considered an "adult"?) and he isn't living in the west bank, rather a formerly jewish neighborhood of jerusalem. and he ain't living there because of the cheap rent, obviously, but is ideologically motivated- and sounds a hell of a lot more sane then his arab neighbors- who are all essentially squatters who moved into these jewish houses after the jordanian army managed to capture and hold onto the area for 19 years after the '48 war- causing the jews to flee and leaving all this "free housing".

> Now maybe the racist kid in the tent and the young couple setting wild fires have taken it beyond what your average adult thinks is tasteful and smart, but thier actions are clearly not that far outside the norm

outside the norm? says you, kimosabe. the "racist kid", as i describe below, is living on clearly jewish owned land. the "young couple" weren't setting any wildfires, and their kids were obviously to young to be doing so- rather its "our" kids, (meaning the kids of 40/50somethings) doing these things and, shameful as they are to us, they haven't killed anyone and are doing just as much damage to "jewish" land as "arab", as the video makes clear.

the adult vinyard guy was interviewed in the very midst of putting out a fire damaging his own land, which he did not deny was started by "our headstrong youth" and judging him from this perspective is simply unfair. the guy was in obvious pain, and trying at the same time to be honest, and not blame his own kids, or those of his community, for their rash actions. a tightrope walk i highly doubt many of you could make in a similar situation, while being interviewed by a hostile reporter. fucking armchair idiots. why do i bother? oh, i know: because i'm just as "crazy" as the "imperialist jewish coquistidors" interviewed here.

except to most of them, i'm a heretic. i don't suppose this makes you like me any better, and it doesn't make me any less on their side here, either.

the "racist kid", as i describe below

Why the quotes? He says that palestinians aren't equal people. Because Jews are chosen. Do you think he meant that the arabs are better?

why the quotes? because i was quoting from YOUR comment. you didn't mention the quotes i put around "young couple", for the same reason.

if you want to talk about the "chosenness" of the jewish people being a racist idea, again- bring it to the forum so as not to bore the people here. and i'll kick your ass there too. :)

a little heads up: look into what this "chosenness" has brought us, as a people, over thousands of years. weigh the good against the bad- try to be honest, i know how hard it is- and then we can talk about it, if you want.

I assumed your were desputing the youngness of the couple as well, but that seemed less serious.

Jonathan i have read you choosen stuff to death, but if you are saying a religious belief that jews are chosen, makes it OK for folks to be racist/ separtist have different rights.... etc, reminds me of the crazy religious arguments by the pro slavery movement in the US and the views of the africans towards blacks.

I love your posts, but frankly you seem in the bubble of Israel and Judiasm. I just see a lot of folks in this video as crazy religious nuts. Always a bit dangerous. Nothing is more dangerous that someone knows what god wants from them, from any religion, and this includes Christians, Mormens, Muslims, Jews and scientologists.

if you are saying a religious belief that jews are chosen, makes it OK for folks to be racist/ separtist have different rights

nope, not saying that.

and i don't deny that the people this documentary is about- my own community, more or less- are crazy religious nuts, either.

thank you for your other kind words.

who are all essentially squatters who moved into these jewish houses after the jordanian army managed to capture and hold onto the area for 19 years after the '48 war- causing the jews to flee and leaving all this "free housing".

By this definition of Squatter, pretty much everyone in north america is a squatter. Or is there a time limit? If so, how long?

By this definition of Squatter, pretty much everyone in north america is a squatter.

not exactly in the same way, since europeans didn't actually kick the native americans out of their houses and then move into them. but frankly, at this point, if it weren't for my friends and family living there, i'd be happy to see a native american "uprising" bombing you, shooting you, suicide bombing you, and using the u.n. to back their claims- just to make a point, of course. i have no wish to see anyone suffer, but yes, they would be fully justified in the same way the world sees the palestinians to be fully justified- in spite of your and leftbankers claims that the world is on the side of israel, which simply isn't true. rather, world BUSINESS is on the side of israel, and that's about it. it's been enough till now, sort of (it hasn't been so easy for us, you know) so we'll see how it goes. if i'm wrong about democracy not happening in egypt, for instance, we'll see how it goes very fucking quickly. paranoia central, again: the "world" does not love the jews, or israel. we are, rather, indispensible to them. lets see how smart they are- and how dead we get. or not.

Well, we did do that to the mexicans. And we built our own homes on the indians lands probably sent some russians home from alaska. sent the spanish in florida packing, nobody really wanted the swamp so we let the cajuns stay.

JB, I'm no longer a fan.

MY GREAT GRANDPARENTS drove indians out and LIVED ON THEIR LAND. Not in a fucking tee pee, but in a half dugout in Oklahoma.

Your arguments are biased and weak. Maybe we should find a local branch of the God's Chosen club, those asshats who think God Love Them More, and GIVE THEM NUKES TOO.

Yeah. JB, you lost all my respect. bye bye now.

of course the native americans had their land stolen. i'm sorry if pointing out the difference between a city of stone houses (silwan), and the land stolen from native americans bothers you so much. i think you misread what i was saying, which was that native americans should have the same right to violently overthrow their oppressors as the palestinians. why don't they do it? beacause a. the european colonizers only stole their land but committed actual genocide upon them, and they don't have the numbers, and the few left have been bought off, etc. etc., and b. because they weren't up against jews, but rather entirely merciless people who viewed them as subhuman.

the fact that most native american tribes didn't have "houses" as we know them certainly doesn't make the crimes of the european colonizers any less, if that's what you thought i was saying.

whetever, i never knew i had your respect in the first place- you know who i am and where i live- so i'm having a hard time feeling a sense of loss. but i do dislike being misunderstood. if you wanna hate on me, fine, but do it because of your understanding of what i'm saying, not your misunderstanding.

believe me, we're on the same page re: the crimes of your great grandparents. and even some of the crimes of israel. our perspectives are obviously different re: who is the truly wicked one here? but that shouldn't shut down a conversation, rather start one.

really? you were a fan? how come you never told me? :)

I think the Romans should have the right to take back the whole mediterranian And the germans can retake England like the Saxxons once did.....

Oh wait, That can't be right. I just weighed in on the wrong side of WWII...

I just weighed in on the wrong side of WWII...

wait, that can't be right. :) your sense of humor gives me hope about your general intelligence. but, on the other hand, my ex-wife had a great sense of humor too...:)

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tipped off by JB as well? :D

A great bit of reporting and something you rarely see on American TV: any sort of negative view of Israelis.

I still like my plan of buying out one side or the other. Give every Palestinian or every Israeli $200,000 but they have to live in Arizona. Whoever chooses to stay in Israel/Palestine doesn't get another fucking penny of US aid.

In the long run my plan would be a bargain.

Well, Moving a minority group to Arizona never avoids long term expense.

hey, look at me! i'm a mexican! la cucaracha, la cucaracha....

something you rarely see on American TV: any sort of negative view of Israelis

funny how people can see the same thing in such different ways. i didn't see any nevative portrayal at all, except maybe the behaviour of some of our kids and their stupid "pricetag policy" bullshit- setting fires, graffiti, etc.- which almost all of us adults condemn and try to dissuade (teenagers, ya know?)

but look at the arabs, and the arab teenagers! the rage, the hate, the insults the violence for the sake of violence- all from THEIR side. we just want to LIVE here, and they don't want us to, and it is their violence which brings the idf into play- something that, believe me, they'd rather not have to do, and do with great restraint and even good humor- hey, it's kids, after all (trying to kill you), and inciters from europe and amerrica that they're "fighting" it's an embarassment and i think they (the israeli soldiers) come off pretty well.

mah homies! i was wondering how long it would be before i started seing people i knew personally. not long, but i only counted 2, and maybe another 10 that are just "well known figures".

just a point i don't thik the documentary makes clear: the arabs of silwan/jerusalem DO have full political rights in israel, welfare benefits, etc., without the responsibility of joining the army. this is why their english is so good (israeli funded schooling) and why they are so full of shit. the houses in silwan referred to here are bought, not stolen, by jews- many of them were formerly owned by jews (pre-48) and, as pointed out, the arab sellers would be killed by their own people if the sale were public and have to "sneak out" only for this reason. under both hamas and the p.a., selling land or a house to jews is punishable by death.

the arabs of the west bank are in an entirely different situation. they don't have the vote in israel, since the west bank is not part of israel (yet) but under, as you all know, military occupation, and they are not citizens of israel. still, they have their own gov't, the p.a., which gives them full voting rights.

israeli citizens (like me) living here (in the west bank) DO have the right to vote in israeli elections, just as we would if we were living in denmark, and just as i can vote in american elections if i want to.

the bbc reporter certainly did his best to make us look bad (hey, it's the bbc, we're used to it) but didn't do a very good job, imo. they'll probably fire him. :)

and i LOVED the way they ended it.

that's right, world, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

except maybe the behaviour of some of our kids

and the arab teenagers! the rage, the hate, the insults the violence for

So the Iseali kids, move onto land not owned by them, they burn it if kicked off. Not a problem.

The Palestinian kids throw rocks and set garbage on fire. HATE!

first, i was talking about verbally expressed hate. second, throwing rocks at moving cars (i guess you think that's some kind of mellow form of "resistance") and setting garbage on fire- you really think that's all there is to it? try cement blocks, boulders, molotov cocktails, and shooting attacks- all of which i have had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of.

So the Iseali kids, move onto land not owned by them, they burn it if kicked off. Not a problem.

yeah, it's a problem when the fucking israeli army is doing it (kicking them off).

it's true it's not "owned by them". they're teenagers fercrisakes. (they are friends and family of the jew who actually DOES (or did) own the land, who was murdered by arab terrorists around 5 years ago, i think, and the place is named after him.)

i think what you meant was "not owned by israelis".

the complexities of land ownership in the west bank are deep and complicated- even without the "occupation", and i've written here extensively on this matter before.

but the specific example used in this documentary which i think you were referring to- chavat gilad- you know, the tent inhbited by 4 israeli teenagers- is one of the few examples of land completely and legitimately owned by jews in this area since before 1948,according to all relevant laws and documentation (ottoman, british etc.), and has a very interesting history which i won't go into here. still, it's odd (probably mere ignorance) that the bbc would use this as an example.

And thank you for your response. I figured this video, however interesting I found it would probably strike a few nerves with you.

I have to say, The video didn't leave me with a good view of either. side.

I do have to say that some of the striking things were the tour the Jewish folks took of the now palestinian town.

If I was sitting in a poor town and an armed group took a tour and basicly said, this used to belong to jews once, so it will again! I think I would be pretty angry about my situation.

The idea that palestine were never a people or a county seems about the most hypocritical utterance in the whole piece.

You can deny it, but its pretty hard not to see the actions of both sides perpetuating the conclict.
ANd the Jews seem to be getting more and more land, so in a sad way that is considered winning by some.

But by and by my take away is that religious extremists on both sides seem to be at the heart of the conflict, my trouble with the Isreali Govt is that they seem to support theirs with the militaty.

re: leftbankers proposed "solution"- there are groups in israel proposing the same thing- only for arabs, of course- and they are referred to as proponents of "transfer"- very, very not p.c.

The idea that palestine were never a people or a county seems about the most hypocritical utterance in the whole piece.

sorry, the "palestinians" never were a "people" until the jews started moving back in- and even then, not under that name for,like, 50 years. the only people to refer to themselves as "palestinians" until the '20's or so were jews. the arabs were just "arabs"- members of the "greater arab nation"- and this is how they referred to themselves.

however i (like most israelis and even settlers) have given up on this argument- which isn't an argument, rather historical fact- because we realize people can call themselves whatever they want (especially with the ENTIRE WORLD backing them) and it's pointless to tell a "palestinian" that s'hes really an egyptian, or a syrian, or whatever. althouth the "palestinians" in jordan- 70% of the population- still consider themselves "palestinians"- which makes a sort of perverse sense, since all of jordan was once palestine and is in fact a defacto palestinian state- although ruled by the british imposed minority of bedoin, or whatever they are, who aren't even native in any sense to the area. if you've been following the news closely (you'll have to look prety hard to find it) you'll see an "uprising" brewing there, too.

you're not being hypocritical red, merely accusing others of hypocricy based on your (apparently) almost non-existant knowledge of the history- and i mean fairly recent history- of this region. and buying the lies your "argument from authourity" sources are feeding you. and rooting for whoever is perceived as the underdog. which is actually noble, in a way. but you're way off. WE are the underdogs. the arabs have abandoned the "palestinians" to make it appear as if they are. and, indeed, if it were just them we were up against, they would be. but this is far from the case.

that religious extremists on both sides seem to be at the heart of the conflict, my trouble with the Isreali Govt is that they seem to support theirs with the militaty.

this may be true, although flawed by the "broad brush", because a relatively small # of those considered israeli settlers by international law are religiously or ideologically motivated. these just happen to be the ones this documentary focuses on. in any case, it's equally true of the arabs. actually more so, in many cases.

as to the perpetuation of the conflict- in my heretical eyes, this has much more to do with arab and western governments than it does with israelis and palestinians. but i'm not gonna write another essay on this.

and by the way, do tell: when was "palestine" ever a country, in any sense, with arab "palestinians" making up the population?

maybe when the romans gave it that name? but no, the population at that time were jews. no arabs in sight. oh well.

sorry, the "palestinians" never were a "people" until the jews started moving back in- and even then, not under that name for,like, 50 years. the only people to refer to themselves as "palestinians" until the '20's or so were jews. the arabs were just "arabs"- members of the "greater arab nation"- and this is how they referred to themselves.

Yawn.

Come on JB. The point does not even approach believablitiy.

The people of Pittsburgh identify as being part of a community or people. as do the people of New Jersey, as do any other cohabitating people. Somehow between the year 1 and the 1950's these people never came to care about their land and neighbors? Were never governed?

There is a much better arguement that the jewish people, the followers of a religion created by nomadic middle eastern people, were not really "a poeple" or a "country" for thousands of years. And except for some extreme believers didn't show much interest in it until after WWII and they had been the victum of organized genocide.

I think the Jewish people are free to think of themselves as a people and so are the palestinians. You become a people by how you think of yourself, not some made up standard. And the Jewish people do themselves no service by what is clearly hypocracy. Starting all discussions with a demand that others accept their right to exist, but then not accepting that palestinians have the same right.

(especially with the ENTIRE WORLD backing them)

Isreal was formed how? Foreign aid from where? These houses and settlements paid for by whom?

jewish people, the followers of a religion created by nomadic middle eastern people, were not really "a poeple" or a "country" for thousands of years. And except for some extreme believers didn't show much interest in it until after WWII and they had been the victum of organized genocide.

this is simply a lie, and and easily disprovable one (except for the part about the nomadic origins etc.)

but i'll give you the benefit of the doubt because of a. your ignorance and b. your love of fucking with me- which i kind of apprecieate, sadly, out of my current boredom and unwanted spare time which allows me to have these discussions. but you are SO WRONG. and i could linkbomb you to death on this, but i'm not THAT bored. go look it up. show me how the jewish people didn't give a shit about israel/jerusalem until after ww2. go on. i'm waiting.

Dude! I think Kes may have hijacked Red's username.

Somehow between the year 1 and the 1950's these people never came to care about their land and neighbors? Were never governed?

never by themselves, you fool. (sorry). why don't you do at least a LITTLE bit of research before arguing with me about this? pittsburghers are a "people"? come on you have to do better than that.

Isreal was formed how? Foreign aid from where? These houses and settlements paid for by whom?

you can start a forum thread if you really want to discuss this, but you'll need to seriously bone up on your history if you don't want to come off looking like a putz.

but a short answer: how/where/whom? all "folks" (one of your favorite and most annoying expressions, which apparantly doesn't include israelis, and certainly not "settlers") who recognized a palestinian people, some of whom recognized them as such before they did themselves, back when they themselves objected to the term, and only jews would use it, referring to themselves.

and, fyi, u.s. aid has carried the demand for many years now that it not be used for settlements. that's israeli tax money, you dickhead. (sorry, trying for friendly ribbing. is it working? :))

are you asking me this stuff to get more hits on your post? or are you really too lazy to look it up yourself, and just like pissing me off?

never by themselves, you fool.

I said, governed. Egyptians would argue that they haven't been able to govern themselves either. But they must have had local regional and some version of a country wide governance even if it was as the territory or colony of some other country. Indeed most coutries have some of that in their history.

that's israeli tax money, you dickhead

My referece was to point out that Isreal has support from all over the world. Including Jews from every corner of the globe, as well as huge industrial powers like the US that give big bucks to the isreali military. hardly fair to call out palestine for having the support of the world. They might have our pity, but the outside world could give palestinians everything they want through inaction.

is it working?

sort of

are you asking me this stuff to get more hits on your post? or are you really too lazy to look it up yourself, and just like pissing me off?

No, busy, yes.. What's your excuse for not reading what I actually write?

I said, governed.

you said governed, but you meant self-governed, and that's giving you the benefit of the doubt. because pittsburghers (the closest city to where i'm from) certainly don't govern themselves, or consider themselves a people. you're being disingenuous. or, possibly, funny.

So no town in Palestine ever had a palestinian mayor?

you're being disingenuous. or, possibly, funny.

I think you only continue to make my point about the silliness of this arguement. I am just along for the ride.

I am just along for the ride.

you too? that must be why we get along so well. :)

pittsburghers are a "people"?

Steeler Nation, baby!

this was a tough one for me- thankfully, i'm not a huge sports fan, but i was born in milwaulkee, and raised near pittsburgh.

the only other team i ever gave a damn about was "da bears"- lived in chicago for around 4 years. :)

Not too far from Squirrel hill, I hope.

40 miles from the city- but you are funny :) yeah, after my weekly 4 hours alone in the carnegie museum (heaven!) while the 'rents did their shopping in the "strip district", they would pick me up and take me to squirrel hill for (non kosher) "jewish deli", and "eddies hobby shop"- a majorly messy and unorganized place run by a genuine jewish guy of the "old school" where i bought my models (planes, tanks, whatever) and my dad bought his jewish newspapers and "schmoozed" with eddie in half english/half yiddish. place is long gone by now of course but thanks for the memories.

Eddies I don't remember being there. I would bet the Deli is one of those still in the hood.

I just googled it Eddie Millston's became, Murray avenue News and Toys.

I never went in there. THey still sell some toys.

millston. huh. never knew his last name, but i remember him like it was yesterday. he must have been in his 70's at the time.

the internet. i still don't know what the fuck to say about it. but thanks.

the deli, i think, was "rhoda's"- i forget what it was called before that, when it was actully kosher, and not just "kosher style".

hey, if you're really interested in this stuff from my childhood (?), when i was in my early teens i ditched eddie and went to hang out at a place- also on murray ave.- called "heads up waterbeds". funny name, no? but it explains why i hung out there- they had the best stocked "head shop" in the city, in the back... :)

Just trying to establish some kinship through shared geography. THe sort of thing that palestinians never did because they aren't a people.

you're kind of proving my point. i'm not a pittbugher. i grew up 40 miles away and visited once a week. the kinship of our shared memories of a place doesn't make us a people. this would be kind of like saying all those kids who pour into those huge malls out by you after school every day are a "people".

which isn't too far from what happened here. zionism in the late 1800's bacame an economic engine, drawing thousands...ahh, why do i bother. nice try though. :) and thanks again for the memories. good ole' eddie.

head shops get chased around town. Was in oakland for a long while. In think it got chased to sliberty.

I try not to weigh in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict too much. I'm more knowledgeable about it than most of my 20-something friends, who all seem to have an opinion on it one way or another. But it's really a very complicated situation.

All I know is that I feel disgust whenever I hear about what's going on over there and how the religious animosity between Jews and Muslims are fueling this conflict to the point where I don't think I'll ever see peace in my lifetime.

After watching the whole thing, I followed my nose on Youtube and watched a radio interview with Theroux about this piece. He went to great pains to get the point across that this is "the fringe of the fringe". I'm curious, JB, what is the perception of this subsect in the mainstream population. I've tried to construct analogies in my head to the fundamentalist sect here in the states, but I suspect it doesn't quite carry over. I can imagine that even if one doesn't necessarily agree with them, there would still be a tendency to feel a sort of kinship with them. I guess crises make for strange bedfellows, and the bottom line is when you're surrounded by people that hate you, there would be a tendency to say "fuck it, we're all in this together".

kagemeister: good questions, and good comments. i fear i've used up my "credit" here but as for this:

I'm curious, JB, what is the perception of this subsect in the mainstream population.

the mainstream population consider the settlers- at least the "fanatical" ones portrayed here- to be "asshats" and "obstacles to peace". but they have also come to realize, after years and years of terror attacks, wars, etc., many using this tiny group to rationalize their actions to a world press looking for easy answers, that we are the "canaries in the coalmine", and when we go (if by violence rather than negotiation) that they're next.

Re the Palestinian/Israeli situation

All in all it's all the same, but call me if there's any change or this

Some say they will and some say they won't Some say they do and some say they don't Some say they shall and some say they shan't and some say they can and some say they can't

All in all it's all the same but call me if there's any change Some say there's nothing and some say there's lots Some say they've started while some say they've stopped Some say they're going and some say they've been Yes, some say they're looking and some say they've seen

All in all it's all the same but call me if there's any change

A great bit of reporting and something you rarely see on American TV: any sort of negative view of Israelis.

People bitch a lot about American TV such a CNN and yet they have some damned good reporters. Arwa Damon is one of them.

Pedantsareus the Lurker. I watched this on BBC and thiught - should I do aomething about this on 1gm? No, it'll only get Red7 and JB going. The fact is, in my humble opinion, neither side has Right (or God/Allah/Jehovah) on their side. They are both victims of the situation who are unable to see the other's point of view. And that goes for the Israelis and Palestinians too,

You can't avoid Fate. If I didn't argue with JB would everyone else have to?

and one side has nukes and billions of American dollars.

I don't dig on violence, but people living in Israel seem to love this conflict, and rubbing salt in every wound. And is it ALWAYS the other guys fault? Always? How many 'self-hating' jews do I eprsonally know, because they don't support Israel actions? Fuck man, even when JEWS don't like JEWS they are anti-Semitic.

MOST of my best friends and close family are jews. They are smart, reasonable, and can easily see the POLITICAL folly that Israel inflicts on itself.

Go ahead, say I'm a racist because a government of religious zealots has reclaimed the land God Promised Them because They are the Chosen People. And oh yeah. They Have Nukes.

At least Scientologists are only in it for the cash and don't drag whole nations into war because 'the principal' of the matter.

Fucking asshats.

Go ahead, say I'm a racist

you're not racist, robinson,just pissed off. i hope you're willing to extend me the same understanding.

Proof positive - 'something'

you're kind of proving my point. i'm not a pittbugher. i grew up 40 miles away and visited once a week.

I was simply illustrating the value geography has in our personal sense of self, not that we are Pittsburghers by birthright.

But your commentary begs the question.

What the heck is "a people"? I mean, assuming that god didn't designate them all in the holy scripture somewhere.

What the heck is "a people"? I mean, assuming that god didn't designate them all in the holy scripture somewhere.

well, this is one of the best questions i've ever heard you ask. all i can say here (without resorting to long stuff too boring for your a.d.d. readership :) is that, whatever it means to be a "people"- or nation- the jews certainly qualify. and that the palestinian people qualify, even if only by virtue of the peanut gallery. but pittsburghers, much as i love them, do not qualify.

and yes, "god" did designate them all in "the holy scripture" somewhere. whether there is a god or not is immaterial to this point. who designated the palestinians to be a people? however you might answer this, and however "real" or "not real" the "designators" might be, the jews have been in the "people/nation" game a hell of a lot longer than the palestinians. and, in fact, longer than many/most recognized "peoples".

no, i'm not making this up just to justify my "theft" of "palestinian" land. no, really. i know you're busy, but couldn't you do just a LITTLE bit of research on this, just to keep from driving me crazier than i already am? :)

JB, a few days ago you were telling us that a woman on the streets of Chairo knew less about the conflict in Egypt than you did (arrogance). Now you are preaching about the people in your town, who only lived for two decades in a war-won neighborhood who have the AUDACITY to call it theirs. You defend the actions of God Toting Provocateurs that ANTAGONIZE residents with fire.

God Said It Is Our Land = FAIL. You know DAMN WELL that jews there antagonize and then feel the repercussions, and complain about them because after all 'it isn't our fault'.

BULLSHIT.

YOU WANT THE LAND? Then fucking BLEED for it and stop your bitching. Eradicate the opposition. KILL THEM ALL. WIN. WIN. WIN.

Or shut up.

The problem is, you can't win. Can you? Not like in the previous wars. Oh sure, you can bomb nuclear facilities in other countries, and go on your midnight raids and air-strikes. But nope, you won't EVER win this war. Why? You haven't the spine. You are weak.

If you want to win. WIN. Burn the cities to the ground, like we did the Japanese in WWII. Carpet bomb them, like we did the Germans. Fucking SHOCK AND AWE.

But wait.. that won't win.

Because you chose to compete with ANOTHER group of God's Chosen People. And they will fall on their swords and offer up their children to the fire. To Win. For God.

Hmm... after WWII, guess you guys chose the wrong land to buy up and decide was yours.

Ooops.

(I am angry because you defend stupid actions of god-driven people and make our world less safe. Apologist.)

my my. we are just a couple of guys with issues, i guess. at least i have some idea of what mine are. i also have some idea of what yours are. that apparently makes one of us.

just a factual point: if you (like many) think the people in this video or their ideas had ANYTHING to do with the creation and existence of the state of israel, you are very much mistaken.

and if you truly feel that israels existence endangers the world...well, you know what i would say to that. that is the attitude that created the people in this video and provides much of their justification. your ravings make them sound like pussycats.

but i know, you rave because you care. in this we may be alike. you do put on quite a show, though. well done.

perhaps you just meant arrogant people with bad attitudes in general?

i plead guilty. now go back to your armchair. i have land to steal, plotting to do, carpet bombing to consider. you know, important stuff. :) jk, really i'm just going to go make some bamboo flutes (you know, for kids!) and hope i don't get killed for doing it in the wrong place.

Wow. I watched that whole documentary, and read most of the comment threads here, and I have a few thoughts to share.

1st off, the very end of the video, was a revealing and sad moment. When the hardcore settler guy says proudly and smugly, "We're here, and there is nothing that you or the world can do about it it. Nothing." That's about as confrontational and childish as George W. Bush saying "bring it on" regarding Iraqi insurgents. It is the reckless attitude of a self righteous man who wants a fight and doesn't care who gets hurt. Because live or die, come what may, he knows, he is "right."

Religion is awful that way. Is there anything that can make people behave more horribly than religion? "Chosen" is the dumbest idea anyone ever had. And it's not just a Jewish thing, though "chosen" is their word for it, Christians have it (you'll go to hell if you don't accept Jesus as your savior blah blah) Muslims have their version, and it's all 100% bullshit and just mass psychosis. I know most of the people here probably agree with that. So forgive my venting the obvious. But after watching this little BBC doc, I am struck by how religion (fundamentalism specifically, but religion in general) is at the heart of the perpetual violent and dehumanizing crisis in (wait for it) the "Holy Land!"

There was so much self righteousness and arrogance in those settlers' attitudes, it's almost masochistic. Walk around with a chip that big on your shoulder, and someone will try and knock it off.

I'm glad that most of the citizens of Israel are not such idiots. But sadly, it is the extremists who provide extremists on the other side with a ready motivation for their own misdeeds and arrogance. Extremist enemies need each other, to justify each others existence. If every Arab were reasonable, then the Jewish extremists would be exposed as the simple villains. Same if the reverse were true. This Ghandi understood, and King. Jesus, for that matter understood this. Not much of that flavor of religion evident in Israel and Palestine right now, and how could it be? It is muffled and drowned out be the shrieking of hateful fools.

Jewish extremists call Arabs dogs. Arab extremists call Jews dogs. How ironic that in the "holy land," the loudest religious voices are the ones declaring others to be non-human.

If there's a God in the singular heavenly father sense, that dude has issues.

I haven't watched the video - it easier to get sucked into the comments, I guess, than to commit to an hour that is likely to depress me right now.

You're right that most of OGM is going to agree with almost everything you said. The puzzling thing, though I don't disagree is this:

Jewish extremists call Arabs dogs. Arab extremists call Jews dogs.

I really think my dog would be insulted - he's is an excellent and likeable fellow. Ya know, I've heard that if a person dies in their home and they aren't discovered for a long time - their dog doesn't start in on them until the dog is starving - the cat doesn't wait long at all.

Jewish extremists call Arabs dogs. Arab extremists call Jews dogs.

Not only that. JB, for example, delights and is certain in his psychologically high-level ability to prove that Arabs really are dogs and Israelis really are the chosen ones as Jewish theology so perfectly demonstrates.

Of course, this is just an arm-chair take on my part compared to the brilliant analysis of JB who is so amazing that he understands what's going on in Egypt even better than the Eygyptians themselves do.

JB, for example, delights and is certain in his psychologically high-level ability to prove that Arabs really are dogs and Israelis really are the chosen ones as Jewish theology so perfectly demonstrates.

take it back, joann. that is totally ott slander, completely untrue and you know it. i've never said anything like that and never would.

as for how you turned your addled egyptian blogging friend into "the egyptians themselves" i have no idea. yes, i do think i understand better than she does what's likely to happen there. so do "the egyptian people.

i don't want to fight with you, joann and if you want a piece (so to speak) i'm here but straight out slander of that sort is (i had thought) beneath you.

take it back.

Okay, my comment re your thoughts about the Arabs was too much and for that I apologize. But it is my understanding that you really do believe that Jews are the chosen ones because of Moses and Mt Sinai.

As for you knowing more than the lady from Cairo about Egypt, sorry, but there you're just full of it.

ok, "full of it" may or may not be true but at least it isn't slander. we're allowed to have opposing views- as long as we don't misrepresent that of the other. thank you for your retraction. regarding this:

it is my understanding that you really do believe that Jews are the chosen ones because of Moses and Mt Sinai.

we've never really discussed this and if you're interested in my personal views on jewish "chosenness" i'll tell you the same thing i told red: the forum would be a better place.

you know what the bible says about this, and so do i. this doesn't mean we see it the same way. and i have NEVER used this idea to justify the creation of the state of israel, or the "rightness" of the settlers, or any rash/racist action of any jew or israeli, and never will.

Sygnas started a topic. I voiced my opinion on the matter.

I like the part where moses comes down with the ten commandments.. sees the golden idol, then THROWS the god-mad commandments on the ground, breaking them... and returns a short while later, with NEW ten commandments with "no idols" as item #2 on the list.

Yep, convincing story that.

Convinced that Moses was lost in the desert for years and years... and soon would have a home forever.. or at least until they got kicked out, then came and kicked out the new tenants saying "OUR LAND, GOD SAID SO."

Yep, great story.

And 'no idols' is hilarious, considering every christian I know has a friggin jesus on a cross in their house. OOPS. #2 on the no no list, people! #2! *8)

kicked out the new tenants saying "OUR LAND, GOD SAID SO."

this is not at all what happened. the fact that some jews today are using this argument (much to the consternation and condemnamtion of the majority) has nothing to do with the reasons for the creation of the state. and i personally (again and again and again) condemn the use of this argument for the "taking" of anything, or any arrogant/immoral behaviour whatsoever. i may be arrogant. but it's not because i'm "chosen".

btw i thought "thou shalt have no other gods before me" (the commandment against idol worship) appeared in both versions of the 10 commandments. maybe it's me that needs to go back and bone up a little. but i don't think so. happy to if necessary, tho, and always willing to be corrected.

"The Second Commandment" depends on which religion you are and interpretation.

Check the wiki and scroll down to "Division according to different religions" for a chart.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments

"No Idols" is either in one or two in all of them though.

You are a good guy JB, I'm sure of it. But many of your positions feel tainted by your experience and location. I don't blame you or condemn you, despite my firey rants. But I don;t think that I'm alone (Joann?) when we try to maybe nudge you a bit. Maybe wake you up to our perception of your actions.

Be well, mate.

thanks, robinson. i think you're probably a good guy too. we are all affected by events surrounding us, of course, and i don't deny this, and i don't blame you for your frustration and apologize for my part in it. i hope you'll forgive me if "robinsons's frustration" and that of many others is not really my main concern in life. but i understand it, i think.

If there's a God in the singular heavenly father sense, that dude has issues.

truer words were never spoke.

thanks for your thoughts.

Imagine no religion. It's really easy if you try. Actually, believing in religion seems like such a fucking pathetic joke for any educated adult in the 21st century.

for those interested in the truth: an ultra-zionist analysis, no religion whatsoever involved: warning: red flag/non p.c.

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=207742

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