The Democratic Convention and The Illusion of Democracy

While Democracy and the Democratic Party may sound similar, the party leaders again showed yesterday that one has little to do with the other. President Obama and party leaders wanted the party’s platform changed to include a reference to both Jerusalem being the capital of Israel and God. The omissions however were not accidental and a high number of delegates opposed the change, which had to be agreed to by two-thirds of the delegates. As shown in the video below, in calling for a voice vote, the leadership was shocked when it appeared that more people voted no than yes — certainly well short of two-thirds in support of the changes. That did not matter. The leadership just declared the vote as having passed by two-thirds acclamation.

Many wanted to be neutral on the divisive issue of Jerusalem but Obama was worried about the political backlash among Jewish voters. Many others wanted a secular platform and to stand apart from faith-based politics. Obama himself has relied on faith-based politics and policies, as discussed in earlier columns. Obama objected to the removal of the word God and seemed to miss the secular purpose of the move, asking him “Why on earth would that have been taken out?” It appears that no one had the courage to answer that question by explaining to Obama that it is not necessarily that delegates do not believe in God but were standing against the use of God for political advantage. Instead, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz insisted that “the platform is being amended to maintain consistency with the personal views expressed by the President and in the Democratic Party platform in 2008.”

The problem is that the platform actually reflects the views of the party members and they did not agree. The GOP had already pounced on the omissions in the platform and the Democratic leadership wanted the issues removed regardless of the opposition of the membership. Waserman Schultz dismissed the omitted language as a “technical oversight” ignoring the obviously high number of delegates supporting the omission. When combined with the rejection of the clear vote, the statement left the convention looking like a Chinese Party Congress. The “technical oversight” in this case proved to be the views of the delegates who were told that they would decide the content of the platform to reflect the views of the party base rather than the party bosses.

In fairness to the Democratic Party, the GOP has relied more heavily on faith-based politics in the past as shown most vividly by George Bush in his first successful run for the White House. The GOP also did not show much commitment to participatory politics in their treatment of Ron Paul supporters. However, many of us have criticized the use of faith in politics as not only demeaning faith but often also injecting sectarian divisions into our political system. It also undermines principles of separation of church and state when politicians run on their intent to advance religious values in government. Yet, it is how the leadership forced through the changes that was the most unnerving for those who watched yesterday.

Party leaders dispatched former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland to push through the changes. Strickland started out by noting his credential as an “ordained United Methodist minister.” Strickland announced “I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the values we’ve expressed in our party’s platform. In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party’s platform should as well. The 2008 platform read, “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”

It took three voice votes and the opposition was clearly loader than the support for the changes. Yet, Strickland simply declared the measure passed despite all appearances to the contrary.

For those long unhappy with the Democratic leadership, it was a telling symbolic moment. Once again, it appeared that Democratic voters (even delegates representing the most loyal activists) are given only the appearance of participation in their party. For years, Democratic leaders lied to their members about their knowledge and even support for Bush’s torture program and surveillance policies until it was revealed that key Democrats were briefed on the programs. The party leadership then worked with Bush to scuttle any effort to investigate torture and other alleged crimes to avoid implicating key Democratic members. Likewise, while the majority of Democratic voters opposed the continuation of the wars, the Democratic party leaders blocked efforts to force a pull out under both Obama and Bush. These controversies were seen by many that the Democratic Party is primarily run to ensure the continuation of a small number of leaders in power with voters treated as ignorant minions. It was a particularly poignant moment in an uncontested convention after Democratic voters were not given any alternative to Obama.

The image of the chair just ignoring the obvious opposition from the floor of the conventional symbolized this long simmering tension. For full disclosure, I have long been a critic of both parties and have argued for changes to break the monopoly on power by the two parties. It is really not the merits of these two changes that is most bothersome. Arguments can be made on both side of such issues. It is the disregard of the views of the members and the dishonesty in how the matter was handled. The illusion of democracy was all that the leaders wanted in the vote.

Notably, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa seemed to be ready to acknowledge that the delegates clearly rejected the change on the first vote. He then insisted on a second vote and it got worse. He seemed about to admit the failure of the motion and then called for a third vote which sounded even more lopsided (with not just a failure to get two-thirds but even a majority). Yet, he declared the motion passed to the boos and jeers of the delegates.

In creating the illusion of democratic voting, the delegates might have just as well bleated like sheep in protest. It did not matter. The message was clear that the delegates are just a backdrop to be used by party leaders to celebrate their reign.

Source: CNN

278 thoughts on “The Democratic Convention and The Illusion of Democracy”

  1. TonyC,

    Do all palestinian want to kill the israeli?
    In your words it sounds like you beieve so. Guess you were trying to simplify your argument in view of my limited intelligence. True or not, it is nice of you.

    I don’t believe in Heaven with angels or houris.
    I hope mankind will develop its cooperation instinct sufficiently and its need for dominance as solutions.

    Faint hope.

  2. Below is repeated my original comment. How many have read it? Not so many I fear. I gave a kick at the israeli’s semitic cousins through Ishmael at the end.
    How many saw that. The Arab nations are despicable and have been so since 632 AD. But the people are the ones who suffer, whoever their leader/suppressors are.

    I questioned the value of the UN, said that bigotry counts for naught, and that facts are what should be evaluated.

    My use of the A, B, and C names for Britain, Israel and Palestines was an evident oversimplification which I acknowledged in a later comment. Not the names but an oversimplification the events leading to today.
    That of course irritated Israel’s supporters or those who simply are better informed.

    So, what is to complain about in what I wrote.
    Bad facts, but a fair summary of today’s situation as perceived by millions around the world who badmouth Israel and the jews. MikeS alludes to that as a motive. Think the videos and the view of white phosphorous is a better choice of motivation.

    1, September 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    If we take the bigotry out of the Palestine vs Israel question there are logical arguments which must be addressed.

    If party C makes decisions effecting parties A and B on the basis of the rights of a protectorate holder, how compelling are those decisions?

    If Party B takes over Party C’s territory and refuses to obey a UN mandate to retire, but insteads impedes, seizes, destroys, kills in the name of revenge, etc. then how do we judge this?

    You get my drift, of course.

    Might makes right, that’s just it. The Americn theme song as well. But I am afraid that the semitic cousins via Ishmael would sing the same theme.

    Does the UN have any value? Is John Bolton right? Is he Romney’s ambassador to Israel?

  3. MikeS and others,

    I am wading slowly, comment by comment, down.

    “The “West Bank”and Jerusalem were supposed to be Israel’s under the terms of the UN partition, but were seized by the Arabs in the 1948 war, and when the cease fire ending the war was negotiated by the UN, the Jordanians were allowed to keep the “West Bank” and part of Jerusalem. When Israel was attacked again in 1967 they won back the land they lost in 1948, only to have the UN declare they should give it back.”

    This was indeed news. I assume that you have at least some source which supports this very well. The UN decisions on the original partition borders of the British mandate should be crystal clear. I therefore assume the rest of you statements are too.

    With my tail between my legs and my head held high, I must retire and study the facts. That’s what I get for making an opinion without good support in knowledge.

    Any suggestions to read? BettyKath suggested Zinn for American history. You deny him credence as a historian on this matter.

    Were it not for the people involved, I would content myself with saying a pox of the whole of it. Both sides deserve to live in peace, with access to bread and water and olive trees. So do all, and then dissension begins.

    I am not of the learned class, only the opinionated with a certain flair for spouting. And I won’t play victim here. Go screw if that is expected.

    Israeli soldiers go try to create or experience another world outside on Israel (chiefly in India).
    The trauma of enforcing the policies cause them to despair. Of exactly what I do not know. I hope their suicide rate is less than in our veterans and active soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Now must stop spouting. For now.

    1. ID707,

      My facts are correct and can be ascertained by reading contemporaneous sources if you choose. I really hate dealing with this issue because there are so many facets to it. Zinn and Chomsky for instance. Initially the Soviet Union was moderately in favor of Israel, because in its establishment as a socialist state the USSR thought they may have had a kindred spirit. However, Jews suffered at the hands of Russians and the Soviets to the extent that the leaders of Israel at the time, Ben Gurion in particular, would have nothing to do with the Russians. At that point the Russians ever competitive in the Cold War began to court the Arab Nations, more for ideology and to taunt the US. Then too, Mother Russia had always been one of the world’s most Jew hating venues and Stalin almost hated Jews as much as Hitler.

      The USSR was particularly successful with Egypt and Syria, when the two formed the UAR. Now here’s where the rub kicks in. The American Communist Party (CPUSA) began to put out the meme that Israel’s existence was the result of US Imperialism and that the Arabs from Israel, who became Palestinians after the 1967 War as part of a Saudi financed PR campaign, were displaced colonial peoples. The radical Left in the US, which was rabidly
      anti-colonial, bought that meme and its companion that Israel’s independence was due to US assistance. Zinn and Chomsky, who both rejected their Jewish heritage, were well equipped to buy that meme, especially because they could envision the US behind the “usurpation”. Unfortunately, when it comes to the US Chomsky and Zinn have it nailed on many points, so people would expect that they have it right o Israel. It is a blind spot of theirs and really counter-intuitive to both their theories of international relations. And so it goes

      The truth is, as I stated here many times before, is that Israel won its independence with the US on the sidelines. Even though all the Arab States were acknowledging that they would attack when it declared its independence, the US and the Brits had an embargo against arms going to Israel. The Israeli weaponry was smuggled in by Jews and other sympathizers throughout the world. The Brits had been supplying the Arab Legion (Jordan) with the latest arms. To everyone’s surprise, including the US, the Israeli’s, outgunned and out-manned, beat back the Arab attack, though losing some territorial ground as I previously mentioned. The UN did nothing to stop the Arab attack, but rushed in quickly when the Israeli’s were winning to force a ceasefire.

      Part of the problem for the world as I see it is that the only time most of humanity was sympathetic to the Jews was when it could view them as victims of the Shoah. You know the drill the images of Jews being marched off to the Box Cars, or the emaciated, naked, Jewish dead being pried out of the gas ovens. Since the dawn of Christianity the image of the Jews has been hook-nosed, small, weak people, who use guile to make their way in the world. The reality is that Jews never were pushovers in battle. They fought the mightiest Empire in the World of its time, Rome, to a standstill for extended periods over many years, those finally losing in the end. We have survived numerous attempts to eradicate us. Even in WWII there was not only the Jewish stand at the Warsaw Ghetto for seven weeks, there were many instances of Jews fighting off the Nazi’s and Jewish resistance groups.

      Jews were among the greatest boxers in America in the 20’s and 30’s. They were the best basketball players in the 30’s and 40’s. Arguably the toughest, most violent gang in US history was Murder Inc., which operated out of Brownsville Brooklyn in the 30’s and 40’s. We have never been the “pushovers” that the false stereotypes make us out to be. Israel, made up of Jews, shocked into consciousness in the Shoah, had their backs against the wall with the Arabs bragging they’d “push them into the sea”. They won and this was not only difficult for the Arabs to stomach, but for most of the world too. So the US got the credit and falsely accepted it. The Eisenhower
      Administration was controlled by the Oil lobby with John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State and Allan Dulles, the head of the CIA. Both of them, along with Prescott Bush were involved with a bank that helped finance Hitler’s rise, before WWII. They were in the pocket of the Saudi’s and
      became “Israel’s Greatest Friend” more to keep the Israeli’s under their heels, then as true allies. The Israeli’s couldn’t even buy Jet Fighters from the US, while Saudi Arabia and Egypt got the most up to date equipment.

      I could go on with this to the length of a large tome and I could back it all up with facts, however, I get tired of constantly reiterating this material to people who despite their insight into the intrigues of the world, believe this
      “America is Israel’s Ally” meme. The best thing that Israel could do with the US is tell it to screw off. With 250 nuclear weapons, close to the world’s largest oil reserves and the missiles to deliver them with, Israel can defend itself. Problem is that Bibi is really a Neo Con tool and has allowed them and his Jabotinsky heritage, to mess up his thinking. North Korea, a far crazier and less technologically astute country then Israel has charted its own course and that with the billions in China at its back door.

  4. MikeS,

    I have enough knowledge (if we are kind and can call it that) to state an opinion from the same high ground we all claim to own. I never stated I was a solid source of facts nor that I had access to reliable one.

    In fact, there are many opinions on historical accounts, all differing on facts and bias, etc.

    Realising I was too poorly equipped with facts I retired and left a walkover with that given as a cause.
    Having stirred up a hornet’s nest. I am caused to defend myself and my views from “facts” advanced by others which support their point of view. Well, that.
    But was it my leaving the field that excited their interest. Throwing stones after a retreating army is a well-known expression of joy.

    It is odd that taking a stance here leads to being condemned by others, bearing their factual ammunition.

    I am not a supporter of either side, but only driven by a sense of justice as I perceive it from the little I know. I am not informed well nor interested to be informed well. You, MikeS and Blouise have your reasons, and I will not impugn them for any reasons. You are both smarter and better informed. But I stand for my POV. Israel is NOT helping to solve the problem. As the Prime Minister who lies in a coma said: We will slice it in very thin slices and eat it up. (my paraphrase).

    And as long as Israel persists in their white phosphorous attacks on civilian neighborhoods, and using instruments of suppression, occupying land outside of their borders, then people around the world will not favor their cause.

    I was once a heartfelt supporter of Israel, but not anymore. The Shoah insured the former stance, the white phosforous sealed the latter.

  5. @Idealist: I am not trying to win, I am trying to point out the reality of it. I think the Israelis are violating the human rights of of Palestinians, and inexcusably so.

    At this point, I think (like Mike) that a two state solution should be implemented, and I have NO PROBLEM with Israel defending its border with a big damn continuous wall (on their own property) on every inch of border, if they want to do that. They probably should, after 60 years of violence that amounts to low level war, I can think of no other solution than overt isolationism and very tightly controlled borders. As long as people bear lethal hatred toward them, their only practical choices are a suit of armor or destroying the threat. Since I oppose the aggressive option, I’d say suit up, and if and when somebody finally does attack, hurt them back as much as possible. You really cannot negotiate if all the other side really wants is for you to be dead.

  6. Blouise,

    Thanks for the site, although it clearly does not support my views, as is evident from the parts you cited. Your committment to the Jewish cause, if you have one does not obviously effect your points.
    Others make them for you. Smile!

    “the independent state they seek now could have been established in 1948 in keeping the the resolution that formed Israel, and Israel would have done nothing to oppose that, since their own state depended upon the same U.N. resolution being accepted in whole.”

    On what administration should they base their claim of nationhood? No Arab states believed in such a solution. They understood that the Palestine territory and people were too weak even if supported by Arab weapons. ¨Jordan and Syria became the exile/refugee receivers. And Jordan expelled theirs as they found them to be all too active politically for the Palestine cause for the Jordan king’s taste.

    To say that it was the Palestinian’s who defeated their own nationhood is patently ridiculous. Europe and the USA assuaged their conscience pangs, and the jews, well anchored around the world were smarter and had access to greater funds, wisdom and military minds. Good for them, but don’t blame the Palestinians for not claiming their right from the UN.
    The UN then, and now, is run by the Security Council in terms of decisions effecting the world. Of course we have UNICEF etc thanks to the GA, but no power to force or justify use of power.
    The UN was only a rubber stamp organization, of the League which expired decades before.

    It it today also, the only effective Sec Gen was a Swede, Dag Hammarsköld, a spiritual man, a poet, a religious in the independent sense. AND a very effective driver of the UN. He was assassinated in the Congo, his flight shot down, in spite of secrecy measures. But I diverge.

    The problem of sephardic jew integration exists still and is recognized by the israeli contacts I have had interhantional technical conferences, ie not the politicians. As does the integration of the refugee Palestinians.

    My own knowledge does not suffice so as to say more than this little.

    Our discussion is all the result of my taking a pro-Palestinian position, which TonyC took issue with.
    Fine, but it won’t change history and the ones who did it are dead now or in a coma from a stroke.

    Even if a two-state solution had been established with the goodwill and cooperation of both sides, muslime and jewish, who the EFF can say it would have been better. But it was as it is now, and only efforts today can solve it.

    I just thought I was offering an expression of my sympathies, not a solution, past or present.
    Hope that is in line with my first comment.
    The backware glance at yourself tends to be gilded.

    I don’t care for realpolitik, although TonyC says that is how it is. But we have to live with it, in spite of the UN charter. Bolton is a buddy to Romney and Röv, sorry Rove. You know what röv is, I mentioned it before. ASS. Not the four-footed kind.

  7. TonyC,

    Back now.
    I did not give Chomsky as an authority, but as a source of facts. The man is a walking data bank.

    Einstein for his deep committment to peace and reasonably because I agree with his OPINION. Authorities don’t mean shit to me. My whole life speaks as testimony of that.

    Tenants, if you call them that, for 400 years after military takeover by the OE, could be called so, just as you and I can be called that. But I would call them survivors of a cruel ruling aggressor. Just as the Arabs did earlier in their invasion of the ME including what is now Iraq and Iran. A military rule that fell out to the advantage of the successful military commander. They often were initially like the Turks, only interested in effective
    rule of their territories, not converting souls to Allah.

    It is a tradition dating back to the taking over of Israel, ie the northern part of what today is Israel.
    by Babylon, after the Assyrians.

    The less economically favored soúthern part was Judah, good for sheepherding only. So they took the leadership to Babylon in captivity leaving a functioning economy to rule and tax. The Judans paid a tax (not right word) and ruled themselves.

    This is what the Ottomans did, the British did, and now Israel is doing to Palestine.

    Thanks for the link.

    By the way, you don’t have to claim the high ground for your use only. Others can think too.

    You conclude by saying that he who controls the land may reap what is sowed by others. Sadly, true.
    And we are suffering for that now in the USA., from out control by proxy methods, and the fear by the rest of the world’s 95 percent (?) population.

    But it was Congress that was supposed to declare war, our representitives, but does not.

    Your argumentation is effective, an expression of realpolitik, but fails to enlist my support nor function as a reason for the Israeli takeover, by British decision. Nor do I support the empirical expansionist methods in Washington.

    And Israel should have retired to their borders after the June ’66 war. A UN peacekeeping could have been setup for security.

    I return to the thread’s issue, leaving this issue to you. I know far too little to continue. Walkover win, if you wish to celebrate.

    1. ID707,

      Neither Chomsky, nor Zinn deal with this issue historically, since both of the approach it with a pre-set ideological bias. As for UN peacekeepers protecting Israel, they were in place in each and every war and retreated to safety when hostilities began. That is not spin, or opinion, merely historical fact.

  8. Tony C.,

    (The site originally started out as a history of boys’ clothing … I kid you not … a fashion guy writing on the history of the present-day Middle East. But, I spent some time checking his facts and he’s accurate. I figured you would appreciate his non-expertise expertise. 😉 )

    At any rate … this whole mess was created by those crazy Brits shortly after the end of WW I through the mandates of the League of Nations which the United Nations decided to continue. I realize that the Arab Nations threatened war all through the late 40’s discussion period and maybe no one actually thought they would do it … hell, maybe they got caught up in their own rhetoric and then felt honor bound to do it but it is true that the only really well trained Arab troops were those from Transjordan (Jordon) who were trained and equipped by the Brits and fought mainly in Jerusalem.

    Crazy, da*m Brits better be our closest ally since they’re the ones who left the mess everybody else is trying to clean up.

    Sorry, I go slightly bonkers when I start thinking about the incredible harm the British Empire did to the world.

  9. @Blouise: Another excerpt (with spelling corrected):

    “Palestinians at this time could have declared a state as Israel did. Israel was willing to accept the U.N. two-state partition plan. The Palestinian leadership was determined on having a single Palestinian-majority state for all of Palestine. The situation was further complicated by the invasion of the Arab states. They were less committed to a Palestinian state and saw the possibility of expanding their own national territory. The Palestinians showed some interest in declaring a state, but both Egypt and Jordan opposed this step.”

    It is just one guy’s writing, but if he is writing from sources it supports my contention that the Palestinian situation is brought upon themselves; the independent state they seek now could have been established in 1948 in keeping the the resolution that formed Israel, and Israel would have done nothing to oppose that, since their own state depended upon the same U.N. resolution being accepted in whole.

    Of course when I say “themselves” I mean their ancestors, when it comes to countries we are all born on paths chosen by historical figures, as future generations will be on paths chosen by us.

    1. Blouise and Tony,

      Thank you for clarifying the historical facts about the conflict that are often overlooked today. I would add the following:

      The indigenous arab population was not, except in a few instances, driven out of Israel in 1948. The socialist Israeli government begged them to stay. They mainly left at the request of the attacking Arab states so they wouldn’t get in the way of the attackers who were “going to drive the Jews into the sea”.

      The “West Bank”and Jerusalem were supposed to be Israel’s under the terms of the UN partition, but were seized by the Arabs in the 1948 war, and when the cease fire ending the war was negotiated by the UN, the Jordanians were allowed to keep the “West Bank” and part of Jerusalem. When Israel was attacked again in 1967 they won back the land they lost in 1948, only to have the UN declare they should give it back.

      The Arabs who left Israel in 1948 were kept in camps by the Arab lands they fled to purposely to keep the issue alive, rather then granting them citizenship.

      At one point in the 70’s Jordan allowed many of thos Arabs Jordanian citizenship, but had to expel them when the PLO attempted a bloody coup.

      So many people are unaware of the historical facts in this conflict. I don’t like Israel’s current leadership, but I think their coming to power was due to the people’s frustration with a world that only accepts the history that puts Israel in the worst light. There are two sides to this story, but lately many only see one. While I believe that politically a two State solution and the end of West Bank settlements represent the best path to peace, it doesn’t make it the most equitable.

  10. Tony C. & id707,

    I have found an interesting site that you might want to check out:

    “The term refugees when mentioned in reference to Israeli-Palestinian issue is normally used in reference to Palestinians Arabs. Large numbers of Palestinians fled from the areas where the areas over which Israelis gained control. Historians believe that during the 1948 war that about 0.7 million Arabs fled or were expelled from the part of Palestine which became Israel. Less well known is that a similar number of Jews were expelled from Muslim countries where their ancestors had lived for centuries, in some cases predating Islam. Rather than being a one-sided refugee problem, there was in fact an exchange of population. The essential difference is that Israel absorbed and integrated the Jewish refugees, both the European refugees and the so called Oriental Jewish refugees from Arab countries. The Arab countries, however, did not absorb or integrate the Palestinian refugees. As a result, decades after the 1948 war, we are still talking about the Palestinian refugees, who are now mostly the children and grandchildren of the 1948 refugees.”

  11. And why the hel* did President Carter give up the Panama Canal? Not intelligent decisions.

  12. You want to talk about stupidity? Why did the U.S. prevent the British and French from securing the Suez canal?

  13. Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan Can’t Say Which Tax Loopholes They’d Plug
    By Laura Bassett
    Posted: 09/09/2012

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), stressed in interviews on Sunday that they would offset tax cuts for the wealthy by closing tax loopholes. But pressed on which loopholes they would close, both of them dodged the question.

    “We think the secret to economic growth is lower tax rates for families and successful small businesses by plugging loopholes,” Ryan told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” “Now the question is not necessarily what loopholes go, but who gets them. High income earners use most of the loopholes. That means they can shelter their income from taxation.”

    When Stephanopoulos asked him why he has refused to be more specific about which loopholes he would plug, Ryan suggested that it’s because he and Romney don’t yet know. “George, because we want to have this debate in the public,” he said. “We want to have this debate with Congress. And we want to do this with the consent of the elected representatives of the people and figure out what loopholes should stay or go and who should or should not get them.”

    Meanwhile, host David Gregory tried to get some specifics out of Romney in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Give me an example of a loophole you would close,” Gregory said, after trying and failing several times to coax the candidate into giving specifics.

    Romney couldn’t give one. “Well, I can tell you that people at the high end, high income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions,” he said. “Those numbers are going to come down. Otherwise they’d get a tax break. And I want to make sure people understand, despite what the Democrats said at their convention, I am not reducing taxes on high income taxpayers.”

  14. @Idealist: With that motivation then Germany should have been divided

    No, it means Germany could have been divided, it tried to conquer and was conquered in turn. What choice would they have if their conquerors HAD decided to divide them? Go to war? They had just lost a war!

    If anything, Germany negotiated to surrender in a losing battle before all was lost, in return for not being dissolved.

    As I said, the history of the area is complex and I was describing what was true, and which you agree with when you say, “The British had the area.”

    The British Mandate For Palestine gave Britain the formal right to rule the area in 1920 as part of fallout of the WW-I defeat of the Ottoman Empire in October of 1918. There were myriad other treaties in the aftermath of WW-I, to be seen in the link I provided above, bus the Mandate was the key; Britain and France had already formerly agreed, in 1916, on territories and colonization of the area in the event they prevailed in WW-I.

    The Mandate was perpetual, Britain voluntary ended it in May of 1948. At first it had been opposed and in the U.N. could have prevented the end, but agreed after some arm-twisting and concessions by the US and others.

    Immediately upon the end of the Mandate, the Arab states initiated the 1948 Arab / Israeli War, that link provides the aggressor states: Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi-Arabia, and TransJordan. They were defeated, and again, in my opinion the aggressor in a fight or crime has implicitly accepted the risk of losing their land, lives and country, The expansion of Israel is a result of that war, and the losses of those that instigated it.

    The Jews and Arabs were not that friendly, either. For five months before the 1948 war, after the U.N. had adopted the partition plan but before the Mandate ended, 3000 people were killed in all out battles between Jewish forces and various Arab forces.

    I do not care about Zionism or any other religion, religious beliefs are false beliefs that often cause people to do unnecessary harm, to themselves and to others, in the name of illusions. To me they are just another emotionally driven motivation, just another self-serving addiction we have to deal with, like greed or hedonism or power or fame.

    I do not care what Noam Chomsky thinks, or Einstein. You are in error if you think I will ever, ever defer to the authority of anyone. I defer to logic, and reasoning, and fact. Names and reputations, fame and acclaim and agreement by others, at best, may spur me to work harder to comprehend an argument, but ultimately even if 95% of people agree (as they do on supernaturalism) and even if among them are the most celebrated intellects of all history, I am capable of rejecting their beliefs that are not backed by logic or fact.

    That is good for those with whom I argue. Fame or reputation is not a prerequisite for my analysis. In fact, I expect far more transparent exposition from somebody with Fame or reputation than I do from a novice or student. For the latter, I am willing to do more work to find their real insight, and more ready to dismiss flawed language or terminology or awkward argumentation. Insight requires creativity, proper presentation is just training in the discipline.

    Finally, you say, The Palestinians did not choose to go to war at all, it was the Ottoman Empire who did.

    I have seen claims of this flavor often; they are a logical trap for those that make them. If you logically separate the “Ottoman Empire” from the people it ruled, then the people were mere tenants without rights to the land. The land of the country BELONGED to the “Ottoman Empire.”

    The body that is empowered to declare war and send citizens to their death to fight a war, whether that is a King, Caliphate, Emperor, or Congress, is also inherently vested with the responsibility for deciding the fate of the country’s property and lands, because the risk of losing all ability to defend property rights is inherent in the decision to make war. The risk of conquest always carries the risk of being conquered.

    In all political systems the final disposition of property belongs to the rulers. A ranch on our northern border owned by an individual cannot (successfully) declare itself an independent country effective next Monday, even with free and clear title one does not have full autonomy over one’s land. Whatever rights one has are protected by OUR government, and if our government is overthrown such rights are nullified.

  15. TonyC,

    “I see the plight of Palestinians as largely self-wrought.”
    Can you provide a summary of why you think so?

    “I think, when one country instigates a war against another, that country risks everything it has; its land, its people, its treasures. The history of the region is complex, but essentially it was lost, in WW-I, by the Ottoman empire which was allied with Germany.”

    With that motivation then Germany should have been dividede arbitrarily as was done to the Ottoman empire, without in the latter case consideration of the wishes of those who had been under Ottoman deominance. Othan than Alsace no territory was lost by Germany, and that was due to a mixed population.

    “So, at least in terms of any rights to land or citizenship, tough cookie for the Palestinians, they picked a fight and lost very badly. The land belonged to Britain, to do with as it pleased, and after WW-II they chose to create Israel. The expansions of Israel have also been due to neighbors picking fights and losing.”

    The Palestinians did not choose to go to war at all, it was the Ottoman Empire who did.

    The land did NOT belong to Britain, they had a mandate to administer a “protectorate” given by treaties. It was in fact a continuation óf the colonization epoch worldwide.

    The British did not create Israel.

    Your views on reasons for expansion are to say the least highly contested. Check what the UN officially says in its UN resolutions, passed by the Security Council with America’s participation. Check what Noam Chomsky thinks. Check what Einstein said about the establishment of a JEWISH state to the Knesset.

    Zionists simply feel that they have a Manifest Destiny, the retaking of the lands that they once took by force.
    Once forced into the Diaspora in 70AD by the Romans they want to get it back. Actually Alexandra had more Jews than Palestine before 70AD, so the disaspora had begun long before. The mometakin of Jews from around the world is the other simple and compelling answer.

    ” I say countries that attempt conquest run the risk of being conquered”

    The British had the area, and contested with principally France in who would colonize it. That whole area of the ME were spoils of war, including SA, whose oil was unknown then.

    Jews had immigrated there or remained there for centuries. Their own history relates that fact.
    Thee existed in a peaceful relationsship according to some. I don’t know as I am not a scholar. But it is true that the Zionists were awarded a limited territory, and only cooquered some lands which remained under disputre since th 1948 invasion of them by Zionist forces. They were ruthlessly murderous before 1948 (Stern gant) and are so now.

    The Nazis would be proud of their dedication to the cause. And that is meant to compare their dedication to suppressing undesireable elements and expansion of their territory to what was the historically original land, said by Moses to be promised by God, but won by blood.

    The jews are a fascinating people and have an equally so history. Have read on book written by two rabbis, another by two Israeli scientists: archeolog and historian, Any recommendations covering the post-WWI era and the era 1,000 BC to 200 AD would be welcome

    Thank god there is no SHOAH……yet.

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