April 17, 2006
My Case For Israel, As An Atheist
First, let me start off with a quote by the founder of the Zionist Movement: "When I remember thee in days to come, O Jerusalem, it will not be with pleasure. The musty deposits of 2,000 years of inhumanity, intolerance, and uncleanliness lie in the foul-smelling alleys".... The amiable dreamer of Nazareth has only contributed to increasing the hatred.... What superstition and fanaticism on every side!"
-- Theodor Herzl, after a visit to Jerusalem in 1898, from James A. Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief
Herzl was in fact an Atheist. An Atheist is someone who doesn't buy into the existence of God, as there is no proof of a God, or 2 Gods, or 500 Gods. Unfortunately, I find many Atheists out there today try to take it a step further and actually are against any conflicts on this planet that have any relation to a religious group or religious values. And many Far Left Atheists tend to believe that we are all humans deep down, and we should all be treated the same way, regardless of our actions.
This is where I break off from the Atheist Moonbats. They tend to forget why they became Atheists. Atheists are supposed to be the ultimate Realists. If it is real, we believe it
(Thanks to the Church of Reality for the concept). Well guess what?, I believe in Israel because it is real, and so is the justification of her existence.
The Zionist movement goes back to the late 1800's in Europe, where "Herzl concluded that anti-Semitism was a stable and immutable factor in human society, which assimilation did not solve....He saw the future state as a model social state, basing his ideas on the European model of the time, of a modern enlightened society. It would be neutral and peace-seeking, and of a secular nature.... He envisioned a new society that was to rise in the Land of Israel on a cooperative basis utilizing science and technology in the development of the Land." (source:Jewish Virtual Library)
Herzl was in fact desperate for a Jewish state after visiting the Jews of Russia, and actually pushed for at least a temporary state in Uganda. He died in 1904, before any such decision was made, but then again, reality took over. Just because Herzl was Godless, didn't mean that the majority of Jews were Godless, and Israel was in fact the birthplace of Judaism. The region of Palestine made sense as the location of the Jewish homeland.
80% of where Israel is situated today was barren in 1900. No inhabitants and most of it did not have land owners. The population in the late 1800's was quite small too, only around 500,000 Arabs and less than 50,000 Jews, and most of the Arabs were farmers, really unaffected by who was running the show. And 500,000 isn't a lot of people considering the population is more than 6 million in Israel today.
Now lets fast forward to WW2. The Holocaust. Yep, Herzl hit the nail on the head and his worst nightmare scenario was realized. The realization of Israel as a Jewish majority state, which had been lobbied for since the early 1900's was now fast tracked. This is where todays Arab rhetoric really gets me. 70% of the Partitioned state was British controlled. It was UNOWNED. Jews owned 6-8.8% depending on what source you read, and Arabs owned up to 20% (only just over 3% by those Arabs who actually lived there). 20% ownership does not mean it was Arab land.
The UN wasn't giving away anyones OWNED land. The Partition was made so that there would be two states. It strategically made it so that the existing Jewish population would be a majority within Jewish state lines. No Arab had to leave or be displaced. The only thing is that 400,000 Arabs would have to live under Jewish rule instead of British or Turkish rule.
The Arabs started a war immediately. They didn't accept the Partition. They wanted to control 100% of the Middle East. Again, my old friend Reality steps in. When you make bad choices in your life regardless of who told you what, there are consequences beyond your control. The Arabs who left, mostly did so because they were anticipating an Arab victory. They made their choice and lost. Had the Arabs won any war, I wonder how many Jews there would be in Israel today. Not very many, and those living there would be Dhimmis at best.
Of course, these tensions coupled with Israel's success caused around 800,000 Jews to leave Arab countries without compensation in the early 1950's, a fair trade off for the 500,000 Arabs who left Israel. Why didn't the Arab nations take in the Palestinian refugees? Why is it that of the 50 million refugees that were created since WW2, that they only people who are still whining about returning to homes, that are long gone, are the Palestinians? How many Palestinians who were displaced in 1948 are still alive today? If my grandfather made a decision to leave or was even kicked out of a place in the 1940's, I would be laughing at the idea that I would feel the need to return there, especially if he didn't own the property.
If you look at the formation of any country on this planet, none began with the acceptance of 100% of the population. New countries tend to piss off a lot of the inhabitants. Most countries weren't formed as legally as Israel was formed, most borders today reflect the spoils of war and invasion. Look at Arabia, Paliphiles conveniently forget that most of Arabia was conquered by Arabs from around the 7th to 10th Centuries. Arabia is as much stolen land as Israel is.
Israel has been on the defensive since her birth. The Arabs have had numerous chances to end the conflict. And yes, their land offers have gotten smaller every time, rightfully they should. They keep proving that Israel has to defend herself because they just won't stop. And nobody gets do-overs when they lose a war.
Then you have the myth of US Aid. My contention is that US Aid is the only thing that has kept the Palestinians alive. It is all political, it started off as a Cold War biproduct, and now is mostly to do with oil relations with other Arab states. Imagine what the US would do if Mexico sponsored and applauded suicide bombers to come to Texas in an attempt to get "their land" back. Mexico would be a giant parking lot. Israel existed fine without US support that in all reality became a factor in the early 70's.
No country is perfect. The settlements were a mistake. Although I believe them to be a Red Herring. But certain politicians have made such mistakes throughout history. The Reality is that many settlements today are unmovable (too costly economically), as some are medium sized cities. But there were no settlements prior to 1967, and the PLO was formed in 1964. Hamas has stated that it really doesn't matter, as retreat from the settlements would just be phase one of their plan to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Jews leaving Gaza didn't improve Israel-Palestinian relations one bit.
I've been critical when it comes to the Religious Settlers and their Fundamental mentality. However, their numbers are substantially low. Israel has a very large secular population. In fact, only 22% of the Jews in Israel regularly attend Synagogue on Saturday morning, and over 50% never do. Cultural traditions like Seders are practiced by up to 95%. Atheism/Agnoticism is estimated to be around 25%, but as high as 37% depending on the survey.
Atheists must realize that there are people out there who wish to destroy our freedoms. The Christian Fundies can be considered in the mix, however, we can still pay to listen to Howard Stern if we wish, and abortions though frowned upon don't get you thrown in jail (yet). I'm not concerned with Christian Fundies, they can be stabilized, and in the long run, they are a dying culture. As more scientific discoveries come out, future generations will look at these people as kooks. You can't continue to argue against Reality, in even a semi free society.
It is the radical Islamists that are the major threat. Their culture is one of hate and intolerance. Although somewhat improving, the scientific and technology that comes out of Islamic states (run by the radicals more or less) is next to nothing. They want to take over the world. Just look at Gaza. Do you remember any Palestinian saying "oh boy, this is great, we have our home back, now we can grow our own Arab state"? Of course not. They just looked at it as a start towards their ultimate goal of destroying Israel. Then what? They have no plan. The Arab countries know this. They use Israel as a smokescreen to give their oppressed masses a reason to hate the West( a reason to live) and not the rich Princes of Arabia with their palaces and 30 wives.
If a terrorist has a nuke, they will use it. Common sense is out the door with anyone who thinks using suicide bombs against innocent individuals is a good thing.
Voting Hamas was the last straw as far as I'm concerned when it comes to sympathy for the Palestinians. The Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss and opportunity. I don't buy into the rhetoric that they were fed up with Fatah (who incidentally was a major reason Israel pulled out of Gaza). 54% of Palestinians voted for Hamas, and 54% of Palestinians support suicide bombings. Nuff said.
Israel is unfortunately still needed as a refuge against anti-semitism. Just look at what has happened recently in France. At least now, Jews from anywhere in the planet can go to Israel if they feel they are persecuted too much or if they feel persecution is getting worse. If Israel existed prior to the Holocaust, who knows what the end result would be. I doubt the numbers of Jews who would have perished would have been that great. Maybe Hitler would have dealt with Jews slightly differently if Israel existed. Maybe. And lets not forget, that Hitler didn't care if a Jew believed in God or what degree that belief was. He murdered Jews because of their ethnicity. The anti-semites that infest the earth today don't care if Jews believe in God or not either, in probably almost every instance.
One day, whether it is 500 years from now or 2000 years from now, Atheists will be the majority. We are a majority in Denmark and Sweden, pretty much today. The trick is, we have to make to that time. Radical Islam, if left alone, will not let that happen. They must be REFORMED. And they will not reform themselves on their own. That is the REALITY of the situation. Israel is on the right side.
Now let us look at the size of Israel, the country that causes all this commotion:
Israel is 1/649th the size of all the Arab countries put together. They have 1/49th the population of all Arab countries put together.
Their GDP is 1/11th of all the Arab countries put together (must be all that Israeli oil).
If a complete cure to most cancers came out of Israel would you be surprised?
How about if it came from Lebanon or Syria?