“These aren’t people. These are animals.”

Legally here or not, immigrants are human.

Even gang members who do horrible things are human.

War criminals are human.

Terrorists are human.

Presidents who start wars on false intel, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths, are human.

Jews are human.

Muslims are human.

Christians, Buddhists, atheists, Druze, Baha’is, Hindus, Zoroastrians, and people of every faith and no faith are human.

Black people are human.

White people are human.

Con artists are human.

Narcissists with power are human.

Lawyers who funnel hush money to porn stars are human.

Porn stars are human.

ICE agents are human.

Cops are human.

People I see on TV and can’t stand are human.

People who rant and make statements referring to others as animals are human, and so are the people who object to those statements.

To be human is to be made in the Divine image.

This is essential.

This is the Torah on one foot.

This is the Noble Qur’an, the Gospels, and the entire wisdom of the 12 steps all in one.

Rabbi Akiva would say: “Beloved is humanity for we were made in the image of God. And doubly beloved are we for God made it known to us that we are made in God’s image, as it states (Genesis 9:6): ‘In God’s image God created humankind.’”  – Mishnah Avot 3:14

 

 

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Israel / Palestine Bogus Argument #1: “Settlements aren’t really an obstacle to peace”

This is a new series of posts I’m going to work on, in which I debunk BA’s (bogus arguments) that are often made, on one side or the other, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (or the wider Arab-Israeli conflict, etc.).

Today’s Bogus Argument: “Settlements aren’t really an obstacle to peace,” often claimed by AIPAC supporters and other apologists for the Netanyahu gov’t. Actually, even though the argument often gets stated the way I just phrased it, what those making the argument usually mean when they say this is that Israeli announcements of plans to build new housing units within the large settlement blocs abutting Jerusalem are not really an obstacle to peace.

Let’s consider this argument.

Usually it is supported by two claims: one, that Palestinian complaints are disingenuous because both sides already know that a final status agreement would preserve the major Jerusalem settlement blocs within Israel and there would be compensatory land swaps to the Palestinian state; and two, that the Palestinians had previously engaged in negotiations w/o too much fuss despite periodic new Israeli building in the blocs.

Therefore, the argument goes, these Palestinian complaints (and those made by groups like Peace Now, J Street, and various Knesset members in the opposition) are disingenuous. The Palestinians, according to this theory, only complain over this for strategic and negotiating purposes, not because they are actually upset about new Jewish housing being built in neighborhoods that everyone knows will eventually be part of Israel. No, they press these complaints fully knowing them to be without merit, because they are actually not interested in going back to negotiations with Israel, and because they are not serious about accepting Israel’s right to exist as part of a two-state final status agreement. By insisting that Israel cease and desist from new construction in all the settlements, the Palestinians are, supposedly, making an unreasonable demand they know Israel won’t accept, and by doing so they are deliberately sabotaging peace talks and building up global animosity towards Israel as part of a long-term plan to one day get back all of what was British-ruled Palestine.

This line of reasoning, and its dismissal of Palestinian objections to new settlement construction, is, in my humble opinion, completely bogus. It’s wrong.

Continue reading “Israel / Palestine Bogus Argument #1: “Settlements aren’t really an obstacle to peace””