You misunderstood my comment below (because I didn't state it correctly).
My point was that if a country with the same constitution as the US were in
the Middle East instead of Israel, there's no evidence that the country
would be any more successful. The key point was that the original assertion
that the problem was that Israel is a Jewish State, not a state like the
United States. I don't buy that assertion.
Israel was created as a state for Jewish people. Its formation was in some
ways like the Vatican, which is an independent state run by the Catholic
church. It wasn't originally a secular state where a group has attempted to
change it into a religious one, and thus I don't see the issues with it
remaining a Jewish state. If at some point the entire world lack prejudice
and can merge principles into a common set of practices, that would
certainly be something. But Israel wasn't created to impose religion on its
population -- it was created to provide a homeland for a terribly persecuted
population. The Islamic states are less about that -- they are all about
imposing their ideas on their population. And those countries follow all of
the rules for doing that sort of thing -- they have virtually the same
policies that the Soviet Union did when it existed -- restrict travel, both
inbound and outbound, create a fear of the government, impose your ideas on
the population, and make sure that the population can't just up and leave.
Israel clearly isn't like this -- it's a democracy with a clear Jewish
What we really need isn't the destruction of states like Israel. Instead,
we need to ensure that the population of this planet is free to live in
societies that match their ideas and with the understanding that they are
not to impose their ideas on others. Israel isn't trying to make the
Palestinians Jewish. On the other hand, the Taliban are certainly trying to
make their population fundamentalist Islamic.
From: Russell Turpin
Sent: 9/14/01 9:59 PM
Subject: Re: Israeli Religious Discrimination
.. You seem to think that putting the United States
in the center of the Middle East would be an excellent
idea, yet there is no evidence that anything like that
has ever or would ever work.
The problem is that the US -- and Britain and France
-- have been in the middle of the problem since the
end of the Great War. These western nations
created Israel. And after WW II, when the baby
took off running, the US continued to be largely
involved. And not just in Israel. Throughout the
Mideast, we have brokered deals, mediated
agreements, sent aid, sold arms, fomented coups,
and even fought wars. Given the state of things
today, I think most people would have to agree
that there is little evidence that this has worked.
But are you really suggesting a stance of neutrality
and disengagement? That we should abandon our
allies? Stop aid to Israel?
It seems to me, at this point, that we're in the
center of the Mideast, whether we like it or not.
What worries me is not the immediate threat. We
will win this war. Whatever that means. But in
2030 or 2040, will a new branch of Islamic
terrorists be set on the destruction of the west?
Subverting technologies that are even more
There are branches of Islam that hold that the
Islamic religion should be manifest through
government. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya,
and several others are not just countries with
majority Islamic populations, but are states with
an official religion. I view this movement as
one of the greatest threats to modern society
in the coming decades. Somehow, we need to
defuse it. And that means encouraging secular
rather than religious government.
Disparaging Judaism and the State of Israel
is exactly what these folks hope to accomplish
I don't think anyone here has disparaged Judaism
(beyond some disparagement of religion generally).
My own view of Israel is that they are an
important ally, that unlike their neighbors they
are a modern democracy, but that in the long
run, they also need to become a secular state.
If you think that is disparaging, you should read
some of the things I say about the US !