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Even Adversaries see the Threat

By Patrick Van Roy On June 5th, 2015

The story speaks for itself. It’s a shame the fool we have elected is deafened to it by his arrogance and ignorance.

Israelis and Saudis Reveal Secret Talks to Thwart Iran

Bloomberg:

Since the beginning of 2014, representatives from Israel and Saudi Arabia have had five secret meetings to discuss a common foe, Iran. On Thursday, the two countries came out of the closet by revealing this covert diplomacy at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

Among those who follow the Middle East closely, it’s been an open secret that Israel and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in thwarting Iran. But until Thursday, actual diplomacy between the two was never officially acknowledged. Saudi Arabia still doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. Israel has yet to accept a Saudi-initiated peace offer to create a Palestinian state.

It was not a typical Washington think-tank event. No questions were taken from the audience. After an introduction, there was a speech in Arabic from Anwar Majed Eshki, a retired Saudi general and ex-adviser to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Then Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations who is slotted to be the next director general of Israel’s foreign ministry, gave a speech in English.

While these men represent countries that have been historic enemies, their message was identical: Iran is trying to take over the Middle East and it must be stopped.

Eshki was particularly alarming. He laid out a brief history of Iran since the 1979 revolution, highlighting the regime’s acts of terrorism, hostage-taking and aggression. He ended his remarks with a seven-point plan for the Middle East. Atop the list was achieving peace between Israel and the Arabs. Second came regime-change in Iran. Also on the list were greater Arab unity, the establishment of an Arab regional military force, and a call for an independent Kurdistan to be made up of territory now belonging to Iraq, Turkey and Iran.

Gold’s speech was slightly less grandiose. He, too, warned of Iran’s regional ambitions. But he didn’t call for toppling the Tehran government. “Our standing today on this stage does not mean we have resolved all the differences that our countries have shared over the years,” he said of his outreach to Saudi Arabia. “But our hope is we will be able to address them fully in the years ahead.”

It’s no coincidence that the meetings between Gold, Eshki and a few other former officials from both sides took place in the shadow of the nuclear talks among Iran, the U.S. and other major powers. Saudi Arabia and Israel are arguably the two countries most threatened by Iran’s nuclear program, but neither has a seat at the negotiations scheduled to wrap up at the end of the month.

The five bilateral meetings over the last 17 months occurred in India, Italy and the Czech Republic. One participant, Shimon Shapira, a retired Israeli general and an expert on the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, told me: “We discovered we have the same problems and same challenges and some of the same answers.” Shapira described the problem as Iran’s activities in the region, and said both sides had discussed political and economic ways to blunt them, but wouldn’t get into any further specifics.

Eshki told me that no real cooperation would be possible until Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, accepted what’s known as the Arab Peace Initiative to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The plan was first shared with New York Times columnist Tom Friedman in 2002 by Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah, then the kingdom’s crown prince.

Israel’s quiet relationships with Gulf Arab states goes back to the 1990s and the Oslo Peace Process. Back then, some Arab countries such as Qatar allowed Israel to open trade missions. Others allowed an Israeli intelligence presence, including Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

These ties became more focused on Iran over the last decade, as shown by documents released by WikiLeaks in 2010. A March 19, 2009, cable quoted Israel’s then-deputy director general of the foreign minister, Yacov Hadas, saying one reason for the warming of relations was that the Arabs felt Israel could advance their interests vis-a-vis Iran in Washington. “Gulf Arabs believe in Israel’s role because of their perception of Israel’s close relationship with the U.S. but also due to their sense that they can count on Israel against Iran,” the cable said.

But only now has open cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel become a possibility. For Gold, it represents something of a sea change. In 2003, he published a book, “Hatred’s Kingdom,” about Saudi Arabia’s role in financing terrorism and Islamic extremism. He explained Thursday that he wrote that book “at the height of the second intifada when Saudi Arabia was financing and fundraising for the murder of Israelis.” Today, Gold said, it is Iran that is primarily working with those Palestinian groups that continue to embrace terrorism.

Gold went on to say that Iran is now outfitting groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon with precision-guided missiles, as opposed to the unguided rockets Iran has traditionally provided its allies in Lebanon. He also said Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps forces propping up the Bashar al-Assad regime are now close to the Israeli-Syrian border.

A few years ago, it was mainly Israel that rang the alarm about Iranian expansionism in the Middle East. It is significant that now Israel is joined in this campaign by Saudi Arabia, a country that has wished for its destruction since 1948.

The two nations worry today that President Barack Obama’s efforts to make peace with Iran will embolden that regime’s aggression against them. It’s unclear whether Obama will get his nuclear deal. But either way, it may end up that his greatest diplomatic accomplishment will be that his outreach to Iran helped create the conditions for a Saudi-Israeli alliance against it.

70 Responses to “Even Adversaries see the Threat”

  1. Saudi Arabia still doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. Israel has yet to accept a Saudi-initiated peace offer to create a Palestinian state

    So, the rogue state is forming relations with the biggest funder of Wahhabi Sunni Islamic terrorism to combat a common enemy which they state ‘is trying to take over the Middle East’

    The rogue state is also calling for ‘ regime-change in Iran’. That has worked out well so far hasn’t it? I wonder will the IDF be doing the regime changing or will they be doing it varcariously with more young American lives?

    Both the rogue state and the terrorist funders are allies of the US, but that’s hardly surprising is it?

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/us-isis-syria-iraq

  2. //Israel has yet to accept a Saudi-initiated peace offer to create a Palestinian state//

    If Israel accepted that peace deal, which is the only serious proposal around, the Israel-Palestine conflict would be over.

    The Saudi proposal has been accepted by all Arab states in the region, even by the US (albeit at time, under GW Bush, when it wasn’t so in thrall to Israeli whims as it is today), but because it promises peace and recognition of Israel in return for an end to Israel’s colonising antics, the Israelis dismissed it out of hand, and now get in a tizzy if the proposal is even mentioned.

    “He also said Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps forces propping up the Bashar al-Assad regime are now close to the Israeli-Syrian border.”

    LOL

  3. which is the only serious proposal around

    why because it is what you want?

  4. Bombing Iran is not on.

    Especially sustained bombing by Israel, for multiple reasons, repeatedly stated.

  5. Bombing Iran is not on.

    keep telling yourself that

  6. Obama won’t do it, and he won’t support Israel if it does it.

  7. Israel now has 6 dolphin-class subs, each equipped with long range nuclear and/or conventional weapons. All undetectable, thanks to Germany.
    The terror state will do what it wants, when it wants.

  8. Mobile giant Orange to join the international boycott of the rogue state.

  9. I guess Israel’s mobile coverage will improve now 😉

  10. Any other countries you’d like to see as subjects of boycotts, or is Israel the only bad one?

  11. Ask the CEO of Orange! BDS going mainstream buddy, ain’t nothing you can do.

  12. I did ask him. He said he is not leaving Israel.

    http://news.yahoo.com/orange-ceo-says-sincerely-regrets-israel-controversy-000133071.html

  13. It’s nonsense. These were just comments by the CEO, for which he has apologised. This related to a commercial decision to end a partnership with an Israeli licencee nothing to do with a total boycott of Israel.

  14. Israel is a good market and for a major company to boycott it would be stupid.

    They’d please a few but would permanently alienate very many others.

    Boycotting is usually a really dumb strategy esp as the morality is so very selective. There are dozens of countries much worse than Israel and the rent a mobs don’t care about them.

  15. Phantom

    Petr isn’t an independent spirit. He is a blind follower of leftie orthodoxy. Or if not, then he is simply a big wind-up merchant, seeking to rile the largely conservative ATW ethos.

  16. Many of us oppose the US embargo against Cuba. The Euro lefties agree with us on that.

    But they want us to think that boycotting Israel is a great idea.

    Israel is accused of doing many of the things that the Cuban regime is undoubtedly guilty of – human rights abuses, the unilateral seizing of land and buildings etc.

  17. Colm — I usually appreciate your comments here on a range of subjects but am somewhat surprised by that silly and insulting comment above.

    Phantom’s comment is easily refuted. So much so I wasn’t going to bother to be honest. I recently read Peter Hain’s memoir. You might know that he was a leading figure in the anti-apartheid movement in Britain — and was hated for it by the media and much of mainstream thought, by the way.

    You know what really struck me: all the same points were made about South African apartheid as are now made about Israeli apartheid.

    Boycotting is usually a really dumb strategy

    Apart from when it works, as in the South African case. Also, if it is so dumb, why are the Israeli government trying to outlaw BDS in Israel and why do they spend billions counter-lobbying all over the world each year? Seems odd!

    There are dozens of countries much worse than Israel

    Very same was said about South Africa, and was indeed true. There were worse regimes. It’s a prize piece of warped logic to say that because there is a worse problem somewhere in the world, we shouldn’t deal with any other problem until this worse problem is solved. BDS is a strategic choice — a non-violent action that was called for by Palestinian civil society and has grown monumentally.Boycott was a tool well suited to South Africa as it is with Israel. Many other reactionary regimes don’t care at all about their reputation in the West, in fact they take pride in being disliked by Western elites. SA and Israel on the other hand, yearn to be seen as ‘normal’ ‘Western’ countries in a ‘sea of savagery’. Well Israel is not and never will be a normal country and it is becoming harder to mask that blatant fact.

    Colm — Far from blindly following anything, my assertions are based on empirical, scholarly sources. Are yours?

    As you are commenting on this subject, and accusing me of blindly following some orthodoxy which you’ve plucked from your backside, I’m certain that you have read Israel and Settler Society by Lorenzo Veracini. Therefore, you’ll be able to tell me why Israel is not a settler-colonial regime fully deserving of an international boycott?

  18. No one said that people want to be boycotted.

    The US boycott of Cuba didn’t bring Castro down, a Euro Trendy boycott of Israel won’t bring the Jewish state down.

    And some of us go out of our way to buy Israeli products as a way to boycott the boycotters. I have bought Israeli oranges couscous and pickles in recent months. Its a small gesture for freedom, the least anyone can do.

  19. Phamtom — You really need to read about the role of boycott in the amazingly inspiring anti-apartheid movement (which you probably thought was terribly Euro trendy at the time, by you’re welcome none the less!).

    A powerful, non-violent (unlike the sadistic Israeli occupation) tool, called for by Palestinian trade unions and civil society groups, the Israelis hate nothing more.

  20. Petr,

    I am happy to take credit for prompting you to flesh out your usual one liners. You have a habit of throwing typical ‘leftie’ slogans about as brief comments here on ATW but at least on this issue you have explained your reasoning in argumentative detail.

    Israel will not be budged by miniscule commercial boycotts (and no matter how much you try to promote the BDS movement it is nowhere near as big or well supported as the anti-apartheid boycott ) – Israel will and can only change its attitude to the Palestinians and the occupied territories by real US pressure. The attitudes and decisions of the rest of the world matter not a jot to Israel.

  21. and no matter how much you try to promote the BDS movement it is nowhere near as big or well supported as the anti-apartheid boycott

    This is so silly. Can’t you see the anti-apartheid boycott was minuscule for 95% of its existence, its leaders seen as extremists and fringe and all the rest. Words like “miniscule commercial boycotts” were no doubt used in reference to it.

    Accused me of blindly following orthodoxies, yet it is me who can point to historical precedent for my argument. You are just making bald statements divorced from any evidence or logic. For example:

    ” Israel will and can only change its attitude to the Palestinians and the occupied territories by real US pressure”

    Tell me why you think this. It seems very arbitrary given the history of profound social change brought about by social movements — details on request. Just stating something doesn’t make it true.

    Also:

    “The attitudes and decisions of the rest of the world matter not a jot to Israel.”

    How did you come to this bizarre conclusion? What made you think it? I’m genuinely interested because it seems that if you thought about it for ten seconds you’d roar laughing at the profound illogic at play. I’ve already stated that Israel literally spends billions on countering BDS actions with its own propaganda. If they didn’t care, why would they do this? Why would Netanyahu say things like this:

    “We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the state of Israel, an international campaign to blacken its name. ”

    Does it sound like somebody who’s not bothered?

    Why would leading Israeli thinkers say things like this about BDS?

    It’s a war on the legitimacy of the Jewish state. All reasonable forces, from right and left, must act against the economic, academic, and cultural boycott which has become a strategic threat.

  22. I have to agree with Petr on this one.
    I fully supported Israel in 1967, and again half a dozen years later, but since those days it has become an unbridled monster.
    And doubly so, as within a human lifetime it suffered the very same horrors as the people it now oppresses and tramples under foot.
    It’s country without shame, humanity, or common decency.

  23. It is an alliance of the far right and the far left, the nasty nexus of anti Jewishness.

    Boycott the Boycotters!

  24. Petr

    Give me any evidence where Israel has altered its position one iota as a result of international social pressure. Israel acts in total command of what it wants to do in regards to its behaviour towards the Palestinians. It has carried out 2 brutal and massively disproportionate recent wars against Gaza without remotely being tempered by international outrage. You are delusional if you think anything other than American pressure has the slightest affect on Israel.

  25. it’s very simple really…. where you stand on Israel is a reflection of what rules your life on the very fundamental level of good versus evil.

    If you support Israels enemies on your very simplest level you have chosen evil over good.

  26. nonsense Noel.

    They would find a way. You don’t get it. Israel is not going to change, period. Do you really think that a trade embargo or anything any outside group can do will make them not be who they are?

    They survived genocide…. but a trade embargo will break them…. lol

  27. An embargo would be morally wrong, and many Europeans know this.

    And it would split Europe from the US, which only an idiot would desire.

    And aside from that, how would you embargo Israel, and not embargo Israel, Turkey ( any of you know the history of the Turks? ) Cuba, North Korea, China?

  28. they don’t know their own history

  29. I am amazed and saddened to read some of this.

  30. Selective morality is not morality

  31. to whom do you speak….

  32. I am amazed and saddened that some people support a viciously and flagrantly racist state that brutalises, dehumanises, and murders with impunity those whose land they stole.

    the nasty nexus of anti Jewishness.

    LOL! The repost of the scoundrel. You can do better Phantom.

  33. Here, Petr Noel and Bernard.

    Who are focused on every wart of Israel but who have never heard of the land seizures and years long imprisonment of political prisoners in Cuba etc.

  34. I am amazed and saddened that some people support a viciously and flagrantly racist state that brutalises, dehumanises, and murders with impunity those whose land they stole.

    who is talking about Russia?

  35. How come you didn’t answer, Colm?

    Let’s go over it again.

    You wrote:

    “The attitudes and decisions of the rest of the world matter not a jot to Israel.”

    1.How did you come to this bizarre conclusion? What’s it based on? Present your argument.

    I’ve already stated that Israel literally spends billions on countering BDS actions with its own propaganda. If they didn’t care, why would they do this? Why would Netanyahu say things like this:

    “We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the state of Israel, an international campaign to blacken its name. ”

    Does it sound like somebody who’s not bothered?

    Why would leading Israeli thinkers say things like this about BDS?

    It’s a war on the legitimacy of the Jewish state. All reasonable forces, from right and left, must act against the economic, academic, and cultural boycott which has become a strategic threat.

  36. No he is speaking of Chinese treatment of Tibetans or Uiygurs

    Nah he never heard if them

  37. see my 9:30 comment Phantom.

    I honestly believe that, these are also the same people that support the wrong group no matter the situation.

  38. Next time anyone’s in Israel I have a phone service I recommend highly

    http://www.israelsims.com/orangesim.html

  39. Petr

    I did answer, you just don’t agree with my answer.

    Noel

    I was referring to opinion, not actions. I do agree that if the EU embargoed all trade with Israel (which is very unlikely to happen) that would have an effect.

  40. Because I detest Israeli racism, apartheid, and brutality, I do not care at all, and know nothing of, other unspeakable crimes in other parts of the world… said nobody, ever.

    It’s a prize piece of warped logic to say that because there are problems in other parts of the world, we should therefore not oppose Israeli apartheid. BDS is a strategic choice — a non-violent action that was called for by Palestinian civil society and has grown monumentally in just a few years. Of course Israel’s murderous rampages in Gaza have turned more and more people to the conclusion that this state is beyond the pale. Boycott was a tool well suited to South Africa and it is well suited to Israel too. Let’s do it all day long.

    I would caution against underestimating its potential, Netanyahu and the other criminals at the helm certainly do not.

  41. No Colm! You raised a different question. You asked me what aspects of its behaviour Israel has changed.

    You need to think about what you say. Are you just running your mouth or is it based on something. Since you insulted me at the start of this thread I will not be kind with you on this.

    You said:

    “The attitudes and decisions of the rest of the world matter not a jot to Israel.”

    So how did you come to this bizarre conclusion? What’s it based on? Surely these questions are reasonable.

    I have cited historical precedent and current facts about Israeli state behaviour that suggest it takes BDS extremely seriously. Does it make you rethink the above statement that Israel cares not a jot?

    Would you spend billions on something you didn’t care for?

  42. Nah he never heard if them

    I’ve been to Urumqi. Have you?

  43. Petr

    I don’t believe Israel spends ‘billions’ as you put it countering the BDS movement. If Israel really worried about the actions of international pressure movements it would halt the settlements and make concrete movements to end its control of Palestinian areas. I can see no evidence it is doing that at all. All historical evidence shows that Israel only acts when it decides it is in its own interests to do so or when real American pressure is put on it. Of course Israel participates in the propaganda battle internationally but I very much doubt it is seriously troubled by the BSD movement.

  44. Petr

    I do not remember you speaking of Xinjiang one time.

    You may have but I don’t remember it

  45. But when popular opinion becomes govt policy, both in the EU and the US, then obviously it would be something for them to worry about.

    Never happen. The EU is a failed Nation of States that can’t keep itself afloat economically let alone pressure any other Nation. Add to that it’s member states history with Jews an oh me oh my what a shock the Euros want to blame the failures of their society on the Jews…. we’ve never seen that before.

    The American People support Israel and Obama only has 17mths left in office.

  46. Petr Tarasov, on June 7th, 2015 at 12:35 AM Said:

    Because I detest Israeli racism, apartheid, and brutality, I do not care at all, and know nothing of, other unspeakable crimes in other parts of the world… said nobody, ever.

    It’s a prize piece of warped logic to say that because there are problems in other parts of the world, we should therefore not oppose Israeli apartheid. BDS is a strategic choice — a non-violent action that was called for by Palestinian civil society and has grown monumentally in just a few years. Of course Israel’s murderous rampages in Gaza have turned more and more people to the conclusion that this state is beyond the pale. Boycott was a tool well suited to South Africa and it is well suited to Israel too. Let’s do it all day long.

    I would caution against underestimating its potential, Netanyahu and the other criminals at the helm certainly do not.

    Look at the hate, bile, and stupidity in that comment.

    Israeli racism, apartheid, and brutality really ? There are Arabs/Muslims in Israel that own homes and live and work there. Where are the Jews in Gaza, Saudi, Syria, Iran, Iraq? I don’t recal reading about any Israeli cutting off anyones head , or burning anyone this week can you point it out where it has happened? I will gladly point out where the Arabs are doing it.

    non-violent action that was called for by Palestinian civil society I guess it’s non-violent because the missiles they launched again 3 times this past 2 weeks into the civilian teritories didn’t hit any body is that what makes firinf missiles at civilians non=violent or is just non=violent because it’s only Jews they are trying to kill?

    Petr you say Boycott but what you want is murder. You follow a religion that worships murder, you’re a communist. The religion of Communism has killed more people than the Nazis more people than any other religion in history. Your kind are the real bane to the people of the world.

  47. Troll

    The reason that Israel is targeted, rather than say China or North Korea, is because for all intents and purposes Israel is a European country with the only functioning democracy in the middle east.
    Most Israelis can trace their ancestry back to central & eastern Europe, so why, people are asking, are they behaving like some wretched third world dictatorship?

    Netanyahu must know he’s doing wrong, and that his country has become a pariah state in the eyes of most civilised people, yet he doesn’t give a damn, and that’s because he knows he has a ‘little Israel’ well ensconced in the White House.

  48. At the core of all of this are two things

    A belief that the a Jewish people, of all the peoples in the world, do not deserve a state, anywhere. The Laotians and Latvians do, the Jews don’t.

    And, hate to say it, it would be IMO ludicrous to think for a minute that the long and shameful history of anti semitism in Europe has nothing to do with the rabid, selective, monomaniacal, opposition in modern Europe to the Jewish cause, and the complete lack of sympathy for anything and everything they do, at any time.

    I think that Israel deserves plenty of criticism, and that the Arabs of Palestine should have a better deal, including a state. I also think that every fair person should be proud to call himself a Zionist

  49. I do oppose Islam, as any I oppose Naziism, Communism, Scientology, the Moonies,, and other retrograde cult. You support Islam? You don’t see it as a particular evil in the world?

    You agree that the Jews, who were a great nation when the Irish and English were swinging from the trees, deserve a nation of their own? Do you really?

    I think that most Arabs, and very many Europeans including a number here, would be delighted to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth. And you are too smart not to know this.

  50. …setting up a country on a religious basis is asking for trouble…ok to do so but don’t infringe on others…sums up my opinion.

  51. I read between the lines, and pay close attention to what people say and what they don’t say. I recommend it highly.

    A large number of Arab countries recognize Islam as – the – state religion. So I guess they will end in tears.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_religion

    England has Henry VIII ism as the state faith, but they totally don’t mean it any more. The Islamics mean it.

    So if there are a large number of explicitly Muslim states, no one will have a problem with one tiny Jewish state, in the land of their ancestors, in the cradle if the faith? Surely not one decent person will be so bigoted as to begrudge that ?

  52. I don’t see Israel as being set up as a religous-based identity but more as a state set up as a safe haven for all people who identify and equally importantly are identified and often discriminated against as Jewish people. It was not set up by religious fanatics intent on imposing and promoting the Jewish faith but much more as a home of national identitiy. People can be and are identified as Jewish despite never setting foot in a synagogue or practising the faith in any real sense, but Israel is for them and they just as Jewish as the strictest Orthodox Rabbi.

  53. Colm –

    Yes, but some people sincerely believe that Israel was illegitimately founded on stolen land and via violence. In the end this argument – whether right or wrong – is a dead end because Israel is not going away. It’s here to stay. People interested in peace must therefore look past the founding.

    Where opponents of Israel are on firmer ground is with the ongoing settler programme. It’s quite obviously illegal, unjustified, vicious, provocative and not defendable on any grounds.

    I’d like to see Israel exist peacefully, but it doesn’t help itself sometimes.

  54. Where opponents of Israel are on firmer ground is with the ongoing settler programme. It’s quite obviously illegal, unjustified, vicious, provocative and not defendable on any grounds.

    It’s ethnic cleansing, end of.

  55. Absolutely agree with regard to the settlements – it is an example of rubbing Palestinians powerlessness in their faces and has no justification or merit at all. All US administrations have been feeble in their response to it. Despite Noel and Petr thinking otherwise, only America has the power to make Israel halt the settlement building programme on Palestinian land, and should do so.

  56. Noel

    But it isn’t a theocracy. The raison d’etre for it’s existence was national security not to promote and enforce Jewish religious practise. It is not the ‘Islamic State’ of Judaism. It has a thriving secular populace living often in conflict with the orthodox. Israel’s behaviour justified and unjustified is about defending Jewish national identity and land security, not a religious war against ‘infidels’.

  57. Israel is a Jewish state – and Judaiam for the umpteenth time is not -only- a religion. It is an ethnicity, Very many Israelis hate the rabbis and orthodox laws.

    The enemies of the Jews won’t become their pals if Jewish religious practices change, or if they cease to exist. They didn’t in the thirties, they didn’t in the centuries before much, and they will not now.

  58. I’m not getting into a specific pissing contest on this. I think that a number here would welcome the destruction of Israel, and that you are way too smart not to realize it.

    It’s not for you or me to decide who the Jews are. They think that they are an ethnic group, albeit one complicated by intermarriage and conversions into it.

    Anyone born to a Jewish mother is by Jewish law a Jew, even if he or she is an atheist ( many are ), a Christian, or whatever.

    Those who see this Jewish matter as being one solely based on religion not only reach the wrong conclusions but they don’t know what the issues are.

    Jewishness is not the same as Christianity or Islam in lost of ways. They don’t seek to convert anyone ( a very admirable thing ) as Jewishness is not hinged on religion in the first place, for many. ( If one seeks to become a Jew, likely as not the first thing a rabbi will do is try to talk him out of it )

  59. You again make the basic error.

    They don’t necessarily have a common belief system. Ask one of the huge number of secular non religious Jews of Tel Aviv.

    There are loads of Jews like this in NYC. Who never go to temple, they don’t observe the holidays, but both religious and non religious Jews view them as Jewish.

  60. Interesting….Supreme Court Backs White House on Jerusalem Passport Dispute
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/09/us/politics/supreme-court-backs-white-house-on-jerusalem-passport-dispute.html

  61. I basically never say that all anything is anything else and I did not say it here.

    I have Jewish friends who think that the religion is a crock of fairy tales and bullshit, and they’re as Jewish as anyone else is. They were born into it, they’re proud of it, and they’re happy that Israel exists as the one Jewish nation, even if they have many problems with its government.

  62. Yes, you were saying that it was a religious matter.

    But that’s only part of it.

    If all the Jews of the world became atheists tomorrow morning at sunrise, very many of them would still want there to be a Jewish state.

    As Irish want an Irish state, Japanese want a Japanese state, etc.

    It is as normal a desire as one could ever have, all would agree.

  63. You may think what you please.

    They’re not a ” pure ” ethnicity but neither are a lot of groups.

    I think a lot of this is not much more than an effort to de-legitimize Jews as a group. They don’t fit the mold of the universal one size fits all faiths. They’re their own thing.

  64. Paul McMahon –

    At 4.42pm you typed:

    As a matter of fact, the only thing that the four different nationalities mentioned above is a common belief system.

    Sorry, what did you mean to say?

  65. How many times do I have to say that they do not all share a belief system

    A very orthodox Jew believes in very different things than does a less observant Jew and what they believe may be completely different that what the huge non religious community in Tel Aviv believes or chooses not to believe.

    They’re all part of the tribe, but believe in the same things at all. And again, the non believer is just as Jewish as the other fellows.

  66. http://thehumanist.com/magazine/september-october-2014/humanist-living/jewish-atheists-and-koufax-jews

    Let them define themselves if you would

  67. Eventually?

    This has been said here for years.

    Quit obsessing about these guys.

    Put Europe’s house in order, it will be more rewarding.

  68. OK Paul and Phantom lets put your 2 heads together and reach a common sense agreement on ‘Jewishness’ and Israel.

    Yes it is obvious that the core link between all those who define themselves or are defined as Jewish is the Jewish faith and its historic emergence in the middle east. The Jewish diaspora emerged from the people who practised that faith but has since then over the centuries become tied by familial links amongst Jewish populations all over the world regardless of different nationalities or ethnic identities. It is familial history and ancestry that is a stronger marker of Jewish identity now than religious faith or practise and while the Jewish faith is the single obvious heart of Israel’s existence and Judaic identity in general, it is not the raison d’etre of the state of Israel the way for example Islam is to Islamic State or Christianity is to the Vatican State. Israel and Judaism exist as the identity and homeland of a people for whom a specific religion was the base of their history and identity but throughout history has moved on to involve much more of a personal political and social baggage behind the identity of being ‘Jewish’

  69. Noel

    At the risk of disobeying Headmaster Paul’s instructions, I never said they were ‘bound’ by a common faith, only that the fairly obvious common genesis of Jewishness was the emergence of Judaism and the population who followed it in the middle east, as distinct from Christianity Islam and other religions. I agree that Jewish identity has a stronger cultural and bloodline basis today but to deny its main core religous creation is daft.

  70. Colm

    Look at who you are trying to reason with. Both Paul and Noel more Paul, but both men support killing to gain “ALL” Ireland for the Irish yet they condemn the Jews for actually doing what they dream of doing. Trying to maintain their state for themselves.