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Israel , flags etc

Reader comment on item: Accepting Israel as the Jewish State[: Public Opinion in Four Arab Countries]
in response to reader comment: Flags, etc

Submitted by the Grand Infidel of Kaffiristan (Australia), May 21, 2010 at 05:57

K.M writes:

"Thanks for responding to my little soliloqy...but I wish the Grand Vizier had chosen to respond substantively to my points instead of somewhat superficially..."

Thank you, but actually I'm not here for your amusement, nor you mine.

".My principal points: (1) how silly it is to use descent over more than 3 generations for citizenship, selectively allowing people of one religion in."

That is your subjective opinion though. I'm sure the legislator's in the country concerned had perfectly rational reasons (to them) behind them.

"...Why not we all have the right to move to Ethiopia since that is our true ancestral home? ..."

Recent scientific discoveries have created a lot of doubt about that theory. Humanity might have several homelands and several progenitors. In any case I'm sure if you really wanted to go to Ethiopia - they'd find ways to let you in.

"....(2) The point was not whether there exist some nations who have religion-centric flags (there are, but not India's) - but whether Israel's national icons are appropriate for a modern nation that has 74.6% Jews and a 16% Muslim minority (not counting West Bank or Gaza). (3) how non-Western the values underpinning Israel's laws on different religions/ethnicities are....."

Not so different from non-EU countries who have foregone experiencing the wonderful joys of multiculturalism - such as Norway and maybe Liechtenstein. Or looking further afield - China and Japan.

"I for one disagree with that statement. Most Westerners would agree that Israel will remain in their perception a Western country, despite its location, whether they call themselves Jewish or not."
That's a perception based on optics, not values. A perception because most Israelis look like Westerners (white), and have a standard of living close to the West. So, yes, they look Western. If you look at values, an ethnicity and religion neutral orientation in a nation's laws and constitution is a bedrock principle in modern Western jurisprudence and the Western sense of fairness. No amount of spin will change the fact that Israel does not share those values (yet).

A huge number of Jewish people in israe lcome from Eastern Europe and the former USSR countries. And to a lesser extent the US , the UK, and even Australia. Laws in Israel are comparavle to laws of any westsern democracy. There is an underlying Judaic influence but not anywhere near as much as you seem to be making out. The Orthodox have their sway - but life for young people in places like tel Aviv can be as decadent and hedonistic as Berlin or Los angeles.

"I guess a case in point is your own Indian flag - with its ashoka chakra very evident at its centre."
I'm writing from India but am not Indian.

OK, then THE Indian flag - and the south korean - one has a buddhist symbol, the other taoist.

"....Even then, the point should be about the argument, not me, right? "

You shouldn't feel persecuted already - I was talking about the Indian flag , not you. I

"....The Star of David and the colours are unambiguously and forthrightly religious. .."

I take your point on the star of david - but whatis the significance of the cours - blue and white are on many national flags?

"...The Indian flag is almost equivalent to having a Muslim crescent on the Israeli flag. You'll see why. I wish you had read through the link you provided,.... "

Your wish was already granted - I had read it before posting it - I assume most people do that when posting links.

"....because (1) the Ashoka Chakra is uncontroversial and is not seen as a religious symbol in India but stands for "righteousness", (2) is unrelated to Hinduism - it actually is, to whatever extent "religious", linked to Buddhism (Ashoka converted to it) which is a MINORITY religion in India, and (3) that article clearly says "a few days before India became independent on August 1947, the specially constituted Constituent Assembly decided that the flag of India must be acceptable to all parties and communities." That doesn't sound like something Israel will do, even though it should.

In your opinion and no doubt the opinion of all Muslims (not that I'm sayin you are a muslim - though it doesn't matter to me if you are. But I'd say most people are quite happy to allow israel to have their own national flag. Just like most people are probably OK with China having its national flag with the coulour associated with its former national religion - communism.

"I'd be happy to just settle for a world where Islam was recognised for what it is."

Well, there's the supremacist "we're better than them" tendency coming out!

Oh, but sir, just a few paragraphs ago - you stated :

""....Even then, the point should be about the argument, not me, right? "

You really can't call everyone with a different opinion to your own a 'racist', 'supremacist' - or whatever flavour of the month 'ist' is fashionable at the time.

in your humble opinion "....The sooner we realize all old cultures and peoples have equal amounts of good and bad in them, the better off we'll be. It's dangerous to start blaming one religion, or assigning blame with a broad brush, .."

It's more damaging to deny the obvious and pretend it doesn't exist or that it won't affect you.

"....instead of blaming individuals for their actions (and not their "culture"). .."

Ignorance is the enemy. Their religion breeds ignorance. How many other religions can you list that breaks humanity up into 'us' and 'them' so well. OK, maybe Hinduism with its caste system - but that is purely amongst the Indians. And I'll leave you to read all the other objections to Islamic supremacist beliefs from other posts on this blog. Notice - you'll find no anti-Buddhist blogs on the Net, I've never seen an anti-Sikh or anti-Taoist one either . Why is that? What do you suspect is the reason that Islam generates so much animosity - no matter which culture it touches?

"...If I was to go down your poisonous road -..."

Oh dear - there you go again. My road is not poisonous. I have no favourites. If the Eskimos religion caused as much havoc and invked as much terror and mayhem in non-Eskimo's lives (and inded in some of the Eskimos) - I'd say the same thing. So, discount the idea this has anything to do with 'race' - if that is your angle.

"....this is what I'd see: take a simple measure of counting extra-judicial deaths (terrorism, wars, assassinations) over the last 100 years. Take the Mideast, or the whole world. And hold responsible those who actually pulled the triggers (whatever their justification/excuse - self-defense, fighting for freedom, vengeance. ...Then those deaths caused by Judaeochristian groups far outstrips those caused by Islamic groups.I've seen the numbers before somewhere. And if one factors in great power interventions and structural violence, not just trigger pullers after a stable system has been destabilized, then the Judaeochristian culpability is even higher. "

Let's not compare apples with pears. If you're talking about ww1 or WW2 - bear in mind ithese were NOT religious wars. Saying that the proponents had religion in common is as relevant as saying they all breathed oxygen. Russia was not a 'Christian' state - and neiher was Nazi Germany. Speasking of which - Communism that other great religion of the 20th century , has killed an estimated 100 million i. Another salient point is that the science and technological and engineering prowess of Western powers allowed them to develop devastating weapons - where a lot of people could be killed. And these coutries , realising the futitlity of having such weaponry - have since scaled back their further developent (I mean nuclear weapons here).

On the other hand - if Islamic society had not beeen so backward technologically (and in so many other areas) - and they had developed nuclear weapons - do you seriously think they would not have used them by now? Do you think yu'd be worried now about Israel having the flag it does?

"....For example, without the US invasion of Iraq (and the Jewish and neocon cheerleading that led to it), "

Those bloody Jooooz again eh?

"....the million plus excess deaths that have occurred (two of the most reliable studies indicate that), would have been avoided. "

And the Iran/Iraq war - what could have been done to prevent that?

"....Does that lead me to say Christianity or Judaism are violent religions or that you are violent because someone else was? No. But your line of thinking would lead down that path.".

'my' line of thinking ? Are you being 'thoughtist' now because you don't agree with the obvious fact that Islamic culture is demonstrably retrograde when compared to nearly every other major culture - Western, Chinese etc etc If it is not - why do so many muslims want to get out of their paradises?

"...I think that Judaeochristian societies are as pro-peace or pro-violence as Muslim ones,.."

Your welcome to your opinion - however wrong it might be.But underneath - if we took away all religious and social conditioning - an Iranians search for happiness would take a similar form to an Aland Islanders. Humanity shares common traits. However throw in ANY ideology that must be strictly adhered to to find allow entry into an orgiastic pie in the sky, colours its adherents' perception of the world into a dangerously dualistic 'us' and the 'great unwashed' and insists that it must be spread worldwide... What do you expect will happen? Is it possible that sane and rational human beings might actually object to it? Do you find it unreasonable?

Judaeo Christian societies do not want to take over the world or tell everyone they have the supreme religion - or force everyone in their socieites to adopt 'religious' laws or jump up and down claiming persecution when their (very, very few) expatriate minorities living in Islamic countries don't get what they want. (even such harmless things as putting up churches having a beer etc)

"....even though that violence takes forms that are deadlier (deadlier technology), involve killing from a distance (nicer guys can kill),.."

Pakistan, Iran , Syria etc etc have weapons which allow them to strike from a distance - they're all into it.

"....and killing through structural violence (suffering triggered by our actions or structures). Don't look at selective evidence that fits your worldview - please look at all of it and quantify it. .."

said as though one has the big picture no doubt. That's a supreme delusion.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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