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Anomaly

Jerusalem as Capitol

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Era Might
19 minutes ago, PhultonSheen said:

I can see what you're saying, but the saddest part is there's really no solution. 

We live in a modern day of terrorism, wherein atrocities (not tragedies, but human-made atrocities) are happening almost on a weekly basis, preceded by a call to a higher power.

We can bring up Western violence, sure... but in THIS instance regarding Jerusalem, we're talking about one group threatening to ramp up their violence, that of which they're already committing in a disproportionate amount compared to the West at the moment.

To NOT acknowledge Jerusalem as the capitol is to not support our Jewish brethren, and to impose the bigotry of low expectations on the Islamic world, in that they cannot handle without violence something that is going to happen irregardless. It's a tough conundrum, in that we're proverbially damned if we do, damned if we don't.

Given that we're talking about the City of Peace, this seems to be a recurring theme of Jerusalem... and it saddens the soul of almost everyone in some way or another.

I can tell by your tone your outright dismissal of the concept of the US leading the "free world"... but we mustn't look much further back than the incredible role that  America played in keeping communism at bay. That was a very real threat to freedom everywhere, and hence the origins of the moniker.

And when we have hate speech laws instituted in most Western nations with the exception of the USA, many of which can misconstrue many of our own Catholic doctrines, I don't believe it's beneficial for us to deride the intentions of keeping dictators, atheistic regimes, and dogmatic tyrants at bay as something silly. It's a very real necessity.

I have a lot to say on the subject of the USA, Communism, etc. but don't want to derail the thread. Terrorism seems like it's a special problem today, but actual terrorist attacks are rare. In terms of everyday violence, the world is much less violent than it used to be. The Western world is directly responsible for the situation in the Middle East. After the breakup of Western empires (and the Ottoman empire), the West basically created a fictitious Middle East (e.g., in Iraq).

Which leads to an important point, I think, that the USA is not the savior of the world. The USA does not exist to fix the world. The USA has interests, like everyone else, and is pursuing those interests. I don't think the rest of the world is obliged to recognize the USA's interests as unique or somehow having primacy. The USA likes to think of itself that way, but the rest of the world doesn't.

There's a great documentary on YouTube called Cuba Libre, check it out if you're interested. It's about the USA's more or less colonization of Cuba and pursuit of American business interests on the island. There are a lot of forces at work in the world. The Middle East is a volatile situation, it can't be reduced to a simple worldview where, because the USA has developed a certain way, the rest of the world has to catch up. The Romans once conquered Jerusalem. Christians and Muslims fought over Jerusalem. Now it's Palestinians and Israelis. I think it would be silly to look at any of those fights and say either side was "right."

A capitol is a symbol. I don't think we want to return to a world dominated by symbols, because then everyone doubles down on their symbols. My God vs. your God. My holy site vs. your holy site. My ancestors vs. your ancestors. We need a collaborative and free international order, not fanatical insistence on symbols. That's part of the appeal of ISIS, the symbol of the caliphate and what it represents historically as a unified Muslim world. People are willing to die for symbols, whether it's an American flag, a city or a book. We need to get beyond that kind of mass delusion.

Edited by Era Might

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Seven77
On 12/10/2017 at 8:39 AM, Anomaly said:

The Muslims  have many countries.  The Palestinians could too if they fundamentally were not fixated and committed to the elimination of the Jewish people. 

1

Not all Palestinians are Muslims... and certainly, not all Palestinians desire the elimination of the Jewish people. 

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Anomaly
23 hours ago, Seven77 said:

Not all Palestinians are Muslims... and certainly, not all Palestinians desire the elimination of the Jewish people. 

Yes, I’m quite aware of this.  But pragmatically, would of you support it if Israel conceded in other issues, or is there no reasonable set of circumstances to allow Jerusalem to be within Israel.    What is your stance on the existence of Israel (granted, it was a creation of Britain extricating themselves but trying to leave some stability)?

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beatitude

I lived in Palestine/Israel for years, and may soon be returning. I generally avoid all online conversations on this topic because I have a great many friends, Palestinian and Israeli, who have experienced suffering; over the past week I've spent hours each day in contact with people there. (That's why I'm awake at nearly five in the morning.) After spending so much time listening to them, it can be difficult to see people who live half a world away and who are unlikely to have a personal connection to any human there giving opinions that often make a two-dimensional caricature of the situation. This happens even when opinions are made in good faith. I'm sure I do it too when I talk about countries that I've never had the chance to get to know extensively, so I'm not criticising anybody here. I also don't want to post a bunch of details about life in J'lem.

I would like to ask people to pray. Firstly, to thank God for the good things that he brings out of pain and darkness. I have two friends, one Palestinian, and one Israeli, who have both been expressing identical emotions to me for months  - confusion, fear, increasing despair - and whom I've been wanting to introduce for a while. Each has heard me talk about the other for years, but I never suggested a meeting because I knew they'd be too wary. A couple of days ago I finally suggested it. It felt like the right time. They met for lunch yesterday. It was very difficult to arrange - even getting to a meeting point they could both reach was hard - but the feeling that they couldn't just sit and do nothing in this painful situation made them determined to try, and they both came back with such renewed hope and a palpable joy. They told me that they were together for three and a half hours and the conversation got challenging at times, "but that's OK." They'll be meeting again. Thank God for that.

Pray for my other friends who would love the chance to have contact like that, but who physically can't, because government policies or army action make it impossible. Pray for the ones who are too hostile to want it. For all the people who were hostile but who managed to move past it, that they will put heart into others. Give thanks for the mother of one of my friends, who was courageous enough to forgive the killing of her baby after a decade of pain and anger - her healing came very suddenly, when she went to the aid of  a child from the 'other side' who had fallen over. She had a moment's struggle, where she wanted to see the child's parents suffer, and then she was in tears and holding out her arms to him. Pray for all the hundreds of children I worked with out there who are so curious about the other side but who never get a chance to play with a child who isn't from their community because the schools are separate. For students in the school at Shuafat, which is located at a real flashpoint and whose education will be disrupted by this. For the kids in the tiny (but growing!) number of mixed bilingual peace-orientated schools, their families, and their teachers. For the people of my former parish, who are frustrated that people overseas tend to see Jerusalem as an Islamic v. Jewish issue, and who feel as if they are invisible and unheard. For my friend B, who woke up in a panic in the middle of the night to find armed masked soldiers standing over her bed, having broken into her house. For my friend S, who doesn't know when she'll see what's left of her family. For my friend H, who is newly married to an army officer, probably pregnant (she's not sure yet), not daring to take medication she needs in case it harms the baby, and frightened at the idea of what her husband might be doing when he's out with his soldiers tonight. She's scared he'll get hurt. She's scared he'll hurt others. Pray for all the other people in that region who need it tonight.

I only skimmed this thread, because as I said, it's been too emotionally overwhelming for me to get sucked into specific debates. But I've learnt two things from the time I've spent in volatile places with a lot of injustice and violence going on, which I want to share here: one, that when I'm at my snarkiest or most opinionated I'm usually at my safest physically (it's easy to talk about what should and shouldn't happen in Country X when my skin isn't in the game) and that staying kind in your speech is a powerful prayer for peace. Mother Teresa used to say that peace in the world is connected to peace in the family and in each person's heart, and to knowing when to keep silent. I think it's important to remember that on the spiritual level, God has given us the amazing power to do something to help people in conflict zones through our own acts of charity to each other. That charity is a kind of prayer. If I needed the proof, I saw that today, when two people who lead starkly segregated lives (one of whom has been feeling suicidal because of her experiences) were able to lift each other up just through meeting to share salads and a cup of coffee, and through wanting to hear what the other had to say even when it was hard. So every time you bite your tongue, or say something nice when you feel grumpy and it goes against instinct, offer it up. It will be felt elsewhere in the world, God makes sure of it.

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Era Might
11 hours ago, beatitude said:

I lived in Palestine/Israel for years, and may soon be returning. I generally avoid all online conversations on this topic because I have a great many friends, Palestinian and Israeli, who have experienced suffering; over the past week I've spent hours each day in contact with people there. (That's why I'm awake at nearly five in the morning.)

How big is Jerusalem? Not geographically, but would it be considered what we would call a "big city" in the US or is it more provincial/closed in?

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beatitude

I'm not from the US and I don't really know what Americans would consider 'big'. I've visited New York and Chicago, and Jerusalem is much smaller than those. Its population is about 900,000 people, so in demographic terms it's larger than Boston.

As for how it feels - this is very much shaped by the political situation. It feels like a patchwork of different communities, rather than one cohesive city, or a jigsaw where none of the pieces quite match. There is not just separation between Palestinians and Israelis; there is also separation within the Israeli community. For instance, Jerusalem is home to a sizeable community of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who have their own neighbourhoods and distinctive way of life. There is sometimes friction between them and secular Israelis, or Jews who practise a less stringent form of Judaism, and there isn't much interaction between them and the wider community. Then there is the Palestinian refugee community at Shuafat, and how they live and their experience of the situation is very different from that of Palestinians in the nearby East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina. People who don't live in Shuafat camp rarely have a reason to go in there. So there are several groups basically leading parallel lives in multiple 'Jerusalems'. There is overspill, of course - a lot of the workers doing jobs like street cleaning or stacking shelves in supermarkets in predominantly Jewish West Jerusalem are Palestinians. But they still don't really have any meaningful contact with Israelis; they do their jobs and then come home again. I am one of very few people I know who is comfortable going to all areas of the city, and it still jolts me when I'm asked by people who were born and raised there to describe places that are two miles from their front door and that they've never seen. The bus networks are separate: Palestinians tend to use Janoub buses, and Israelis tend to use Egged, even if the buses are going down the same roads. The buses are different colours. (Funny story: as I'm white and I can speak Hebrew, I am often mistaken for Israeli, and once I was waiting at a bus stop and chatting to an Israeli mother and her children. A Janoub bus came by and I flagged it down because I was headed for Bethlehem. The mother's face as I said goodbye and got on was a picture!)

The landscape varies. There are crowded and extremely poor urban neighbourhoods within easy walking distance of affluent, leafy areas that have a suburban, almost quasi-rural feel. It can be a jolt to pass between such different worlds in a short time. Then of course there is the Old City, which is what everyone imagines when they think of Jerusalem - ancient architecture and stonework, and narrow alleyways. But that is very small in relation to the rest of the city. So the atmosphere changes depending where you are. Of course, to a certain degree this is true of all cities, but in Jerusalem it is especially striking because the differences are so pronounced, and they are in such close proximity to one another.

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Era Might
1 hour ago, beatitude said:

I'm not from the US and I don't really know what Americans would consider 'big'. I've visited New York and Chicago, and Jerusalem is much smaller than those. Its population is about 900,000 people, so in demographic terms it's larger than Boston.

As for how it feels - this is very much shaped by the political situation. It feels like a patchwork of different communities, rather than one cohesive city, or a jigsaw where none of the pieces quite match. There is not just separation between Palestinians and Israelis; there is also separation within the Israeli community. For instance, Jerusalem is home to a sizeable community of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who have their own neighbourhoods and distinctive way of life. There is sometimes friction between them and secular Israelis, or Jews who practise a less stringent form of Judaism, and there isn't much interaction between them and the wider community. Then there is the Palestinian refugee community at Shuafat, and how they live and their experience of the situation is very different from that of Palestinians in the nearby East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina. People who don't live in Shuafat camp rarely have a reason to go in there. So there are several groups basically leading parallel lives in multiple 'Jerusalems'. There is overspill, of course - a lot of the workers doing jobs like street cleaning or stacking shelves in supermarkets in predominantly Jewish West Jerusalem are Palestinians. But they still don't really have any meaningful contact with Israelis; they do their jobs and then come home again. I am one of very few people I know who is comfortable going to all areas of the city, and it still jolts me when I'm asked by people who were born and raised there to describe places that are two miles from their front door and that they've never seen. The bus networks are separate: Palestinians tend to use Janoub buses, and Israelis tend to use Egged, even if the buses are going down the same roads. The buses are different colours. (Funny story: as I'm white and I can speak Hebrew, I am often mistaken for Israeli, and once I was waiting at a bus stop and chatting to an Israeli mother and her children. A Janoub bus came by and I flagged it down because I was headed for Bethlehem. The mother's face as I said goodbye and got on was a picture!)

The landscape varies. There are crowded and extremely poor urban neighbourhoods within easy walking distance of affluent, leafy areas that have a suburban, almost quasi-rural feel. It can be a jolt to pass between such different worlds in a short time. Then of course there is the Old City, which is what everyone imagines when they think of Jerusalem - ancient architecture and stonework, and narrow alleyways. But that is very small in relation to the rest of the city. So the atmosphere changes depending where you are. Of course, to a certain degree this is true of all cities, but in Jerusalem it is especially striking because the differences are so pronounced, and they are in such close proximity to one another.

Wow very interesting, kind of sounds like the American South before Civil Rights (the segregation was just as violent, churches being bombed, etc). I imagine the breakthrough in the the Middle East will be just as surprising, it will happen spontaneously. I think younger people today, say, 50 years from now, will have very different perceptions of the world. Contact is key, as you said, even just meeting in a restaurant, but young people today already have less hangups about interracial relationships, interreligious, etc. I think that will help in the Middle East as the old world dies off. Or maybe it won't, idk, but if it's going to happen I'd think it would be more likely to happen in Jerusalem then, say, Tehran. When you have people mixed up together, they have no choice but to either kill each other or live with each other, but they still have the choice. That's less likely in an isolated or homogeneous area.

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little2add

According to the New Testament account of the apostle Matthew, Joseph and Mary were living in Bethlehem in the southern region of Judea at the time of Jesus' birth and later moved to Nazareth in the northern Galilee region.
Bethlehem is a Palestinian town (about 30 miles) south of Jerusalem in the West Bank.
 

Screen_Shot_2017-12-14_at_6.35.31_PM.png  According to the New Testament, Jesus was crucified at a spot outside Jerusalem called Golgotha

if Jesus was born in Bethlehem does this make him a Palestinian or a jew or both by birth?  

Edited by little2add

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dominicansoul

 

On 12/11/2017 at 2:19 PM, Era Might said:

The funniest thing about all this is we're literally talking about invisible lines. Pretty much every human problem comes down to invisible lines. Nobody wants to lose their invisible lines because the lines were just as invisible when they re-drew them as they are today.

They really are invisible lines.  They don’t keep rockets from being fired from one side of the line to the other side.  

 

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CatherineM

Remind me about how Israel ended up with Jerusalem in the first place. If I remember correctly, Israel was the victim of a sneak attack, beat the aggressors in the resulting war, and kept land they won. 

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little2add

Jerusalem been the capital since Israel was founded in 1948.  Nearly 70 years ago

Trump didn’t make Jerusalem the capital of Israel any more than the U.N. made Israel the Jewish state. He simply acknowledged a fact.

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Anomaly
11 hours ago, little2add said:

Jerusalem been the capital since Israel was founded in 1948.  Nearly 70 years ago

Trump didn’t make Jerusalem the capital of Israel any more than the U.N. made Israel the Jewish state. He simply acknowledged a fact.

No, that is NOT true.    Jerusalem was intended by the creators / dividers of the British Palestine Mandate to have Jerusalem held by all/no single country and definitely not the capitol of any.   

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little2add

In 1948 the status of the capital of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel.

East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan.

West Jerusalem is Israel’s 

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Era Might
On 12/17/2017 at 3:44 PM, little2add said:

In 1948 the status of the capital of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel.

East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan.

West Jerusalem is Israel’s 

If a war 70-years ago is the basis of a claim, isn't the lesson: keep fighting, win a war, and you'll have just as much a claim as anyone. It's an interesting question that goes beyond policy, because the policy decision is, at the same time, a philosophy of history, of law, of society, etc. The idea of a "State" is something that is above, really, any truth or morality, because the State exists in and of itself. The State does not have to justify itself to the "common-wealth," it just has to refer to "reasons of state." Its claim is its force...the victors determine history.  It seems that part of the difficulty here is that the Israelis have a State, while the Palestinians are fighting solely as a people. The "two-state solution" would introduce some kind of parity, they would be able to relate state-to-state.  I don't know if it would solve the conflict, but it would at least make it a fair fight, and would recognize the right to existence on both sides...not just existence as people, but existence as political entitities, as states.

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Anastasia (L&T)
On 12/8/2017 at 8:23 AM, Era Might said:

That's the great dream of the Jews, to have a US embassy in Jerusalem? I think they'd want like peace or something.

The first rule of Jerusalem fight club is we don't talk about Jerusalem fight club.

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Kateri89

The decision to publicly announce Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol changes nothing other than to be a show of alliance with Israel.  The whole world seems to hate Trump anyway so why should this make any difference?  Every country has the right to move their embassy and now Guatemala is following in the footsteps of the US.  I think it’s fair to criticize the military strategies of both sides of the conflict but it’s an outright lie to claim that Jews stole the land from poor Palestinians.  Sephardic Jews were there at least as long as the Palestinians and European Jews legally purchased barren lands from absentee landlords in the 19th century.  It’s also important to remember the Palestinian support of Hitler during the Holocaust.  There is some measure of blame on both sides but it’s exhausting to hear people paint Israelis as purely evil and Palestinians as meek victims. 

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little2add

 When Christ was born the holy land was occupied by a foreign army, the Roman empire.  (we all know how that turned out )

 Strange that so much fighting and killing has gone on for centuries over this sacred ground 

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Era Might
5 hours ago, little2add said:

 When Christ was born the holy land was occupied by a foreign army, the Roman empire.  (we all know how that turned out )

 Strange that so much fighting and killing has gone on for centuries over this sacred ground 

But that's an arbitrary political judgment. Who is an occupier? Rome had as much claim on Jerusalem as the USA has on North America. Long after the Roman Empire collapsed the West claimed Jerusalem over Muslims and even over Jews.

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