Israel pushes settlement plan ahead; EU summons envoy

Comments (41)
bobber1956 wrote:

If my wife and I are having an argument and you get in the middle of it I am going to kick your a–. The world needs to get out of this and let these people work things out-or not. It is on them.

Dec 05, 2012 10:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
jcfl wrote:

israel and the gop have very similar stances – we are committed to compromise as long as you do exactly as we say.

Dec 05, 2012 10:15am EST  --  Report as abuse

Yes, Bibi, we’ve seen your ‘commitment’. Strange, with such commitment one would think you might actually move towards a solution, rather than further away from it. Yes, by illegally punishing the Palestinians (illegally withholding their tax returns, starving them further, and continuing to build illegal settlements as punishment for seeking recognition by the U.N.), you are acting in direct contradiction to what you claim. Yeah, we’ve seen your ‘commitment’. You, sir, are a liar. Sarkozy was right.

Dec 05, 2012 10:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
jcfl wrote:

@bobber1956
it’s a little more complicated than that i’m afraid – do you and your wife have access to undeclared nuclear weapons and a centuries old distrust of each other?

Dec 05, 2012 10:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
reality-again wrote:

@TangledUpInBlue,

Let’s get the facts straight, shall we? -

Israel collects taxes for the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), and the Israeli Electric Company, which is owned by the state of Israel sells power to the P.A.
The P.A. has accumulated a debt of 200 million dollars in unpaid electric bills, so it basically owes the state of Israel $200 million, which Israel has the right to collect. The alternative would be to stop selling the Palestinians electricity, and there’s no one around that can replace Israel for this matter. Israel is simply acting responsibly in this case.

Nobody is starving the Palestinians – not even in Gaza, where the ruling Hamas has declared war on Israel, whose right to exist as a state the same terrorist organization refuses to acknowledge.

FYI, Sarkozy was booted out office by the French voters who got tired of him, especially of his personal style.

Dec 05, 2012 10:37am EST  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

“We remain committed to a negotiated settlement between us and our Palestinian neighbors,”

It’s double talk.

This is from the Permanent Palestinian Observer for the UN.
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/ga11026.doc.htm

Dec 05, 2012 10:45am EST  --  Report as abuse

Netanyahu has continued the illegal settlement policies (instituted by the current Israeli president, Shimon Peres, when he was a government minister and offering to sell nuclear weapons to the then apartheid regime in South Africa.

To date, the Israeli government has offered financial inducements for over a half a million (500,000) Israeli citizens to leave their homes in Israel to illegal settle on Occupied Palestinian land, in contempt of the UN, international law, the Geneva Conventions and the ruling of the International Court of Justice.

By so doing, Israeli has deliberately established ‘facts on the ground’ in an attempt to frustrate the will of the United Nations and, in particular, the governments of the member states of the European Union.

Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Italy, Poland and Hungary – to name but eight of the EU states, condemn Israel’s illegal settlements which are designated a war crime under the Geneva Conventions on Human Rights.

Netanyahu has no intention of departing from the Likud Charter which requires a ‘Greater Israel’ with all Muslims, Christians and others forcibly ‘transferred’ to adjoining states. The correct term is ethnic-cleansing.

Netanyahu is committed to a peace deal in the same way as Herr Shicklgruber was committed to a free Europe.

Dec 05, 2012 10:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
pavoter1946 wrote:

Israel maintains the fiction that the settlements have not been legally ‘declared’ illegal, since they were not a party in the dispute. And then, they continue to do the one thing that hampers any possible peace deal, and that is expand the settlements. If one is to withdraw closer to the borders, then one would not have settlements that chop to pieces a future Palestinian State.

Hamas comes out an apparent winner in the Palestinian eyes by poking Israel. Abbas gets continually rebuffed by the Israelis, and has nothing to show for moderation. So that makes Hamas showing the way forward, which is not what needs to happen for a lasting solution to the bloodshed.

Hamas can show there are no Israelis in Gaza. Abbas can only point to more and more incursions and settlements on the West Bank.

Israel plays the role of the oppressor, and it only results in a simmering resentment. Israel controls the life in Gaza, through their cutting off of the economy, and determining what Gaza needs to exist. Gaza is a massive prison, control by Israel.

Dec 05, 2012 11:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
Norm204 wrote:

Bobber1956 is correct. Both sides are going to have to share this tiny piece of land together. The Palestinians have to shut the hell up, stop playing to the international media, and decide once and for all that they will live with Jews, not kill them. Until then, the Israelis are going to keep making Jerusalem into a Jewish city.

Dec 05, 2012 11:31am EST  --  Report as abuse

Lebensraum is lebensraum whether it is practiced by Israel or, as in the past, by Europeans who used attempted genocide to steal the Americas from indigenous peoples, or the Japanese invaders who, centuries ago, did the same to Japan’s original peoples.
All people, nations and races practice lebensraum at one time or another, now and in the future, especially now that we number more than seven billion, growing to 10-12 billion in a few decades, compared to the paltry but incredibly vicious few 400-500 million of us planet-wide at the time of Christopher Columbus.

Dec 05, 2012 12:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse

let’em pull all of them. they were dirty little cowards during world war two, and they are still!

Dec 05, 2012 12:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
EthicsIntl wrote:

I’m afraid the Israelis have outdone themselves this time. The more territory they steal & the more Arab civilian killings, the more the world is turning against them, and the more the acquisition of nuclear weapons by their enemies becomes a reality.

Israel is an outlawed & illegitimate state, and the sooner it goes, the better for our world.

Dec 05, 2012 12:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
UauS wrote:

jcfl: did Israel ever said that it’ll wipe out Iran from the map, or that Iran doesn’t have the right to exist? Yes or No please…

Dec 05, 2012 1:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

@Norm204 – Bobber1956 isn’t correct in his analogy. It isn’t very apt. It falls apart when one takes into account that the Israeli side actively enlists super power support and funding for it’s side of the argument and the UN and donor countries are continually asked to provide for the needs of the beaten and aggrieved weaker side. The Palestinians can never quite get their act together to the complete satisfaction of the Israeli side. The Israeli side has the incontestable upper hand and does everything to can do to maintain that upper hand. They know that if they ever relax that stand they could be demoted, if not annihilated. They fear what the apartheid South African regime, the plantation owners of the Old South, and even the ancient Romans feared about loosing the dominant hand to an underclass they created to their own benefit and profit. It isn’t going to get any easier for them.

The Palestinians have never been properly introduced, let alone married to Israel in this argument, either. The Israeli’s are not masters of public “charm” campaigns with the Palestinians. They are very clumsy suitors if they ever really tried, actually. They really don’t want a “happy marriage” but only “the brides girls dowry”.

It has been extraordinarily stupid of the western powers to maintain that suicide bombers are the result of religious teachings. Anger and frustration can lead to suicide (bombers) and that is a result of powerless and fear.

One really has to go against the grain of decades of well laid public relations campaigns and media coverage, that always tended to paint the Israeli’s as the injured party, to argue for the Palestinian side. The Israelis are, without a doubt, the most masterful at manipulating that opinion, and even events, in that area. The UN never quite fell for the PR campaigns but its opinions are held under the control and veto power of the five big “lords” of the Security Council. The UN is not a democracy but an affiliation of the world’s countries dominated by the five major “warlords”.

What they may have to do is start from scratch. But where does scratch start?

Dec 05, 2012 1:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
OPadilla wrote:

Meanwhile, the American taxpayers are financing Palestinian oppression with > 3 billion dollars in foreign aid we send to Israel. Here’s a good place to start cutting spending to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Dec 05, 2012 1:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Butch_from_PA wrote:

Funny how a gift turns into and audacious right to absolute control.

Audacity has it’s drawbacks – it eventually creates a massive backlash – as it has throughout history.

Dec 05, 2012 1:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
drmorocco wrote:

Netinyahoo is lying. Everyone knows he is lying. He doesn’t want peace, he wants to kill all the Palestinians so it will be easier to steal their land.

Dec 05, 2012 1:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
BioStudies wrote:

Personally I don’t see where they UN has legal or moral ground to do anything, in any country, anywhere in the world. They are terribly inept at stopping human rights abuses and they constantly state that they legally can’t do such and such until it suites their political agenda.

Dec 05, 2012 1:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

another mistake – “the poor girls dowry”

Dec 05, 2012 1:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

Israel – the evil empire.
Nutandyahoo should walk around dressed like Darth Vader.

Dec 05, 2012 1:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SayHey wrote:

Prior to 1967, the West Bank and Gaza were in the complete control of Arab countries. Did they establish a “Palestinian State” – did they even remotely suggest that such should be created?

Dec 05, 2012 1:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dtschuck wrote:

Israel, once again, thumbs its nose at the world….and wonder why its considered a pariah. Amazing.

Dec 05, 2012 2:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Butch_from_PA wrote:

Greed is good!

Dec 05, 2012 3:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse

More UN Human Rights resolutions condemning Israel than all other countries combined. Rogue nation. Illegal settlements. Time to take action against this criminal state. Embargoes now!

Dec 05, 2012 3:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
usagadfly wrote:

This is really an American problem, not an Israeli one.

The only reason Israel can even consider this, or virtually anything else, is because the pro-Israeli lobby, who are virtually Israeli Government agents, controls the American political machinery and can extract money and arms to do as it pleases. Of course the cost is that Americans cannot do as they please, in spite of having pro forma political independence.

Israel is taking steps to leave no reasonable alternative to their creeping expulsion of Muslims from the Jewish State other than a single state, everyone gets an equal vote solution. If they would like to “continue to exist” as an ethnically exclusive State, they would be wise to reconsider this move. Such behavior makes the fall of their American political operatives more likely, which really would be catastrophic for them. The checks and sweetheart contracts might stop.

Dec 05, 2012 3:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

How many settlements has the Israeli Government bulldozed over the past 4 decades?

What has happened every time the Arabs have tried to destroy Israel in the past 50 years?

What would be the condition of the Palistinian people if they would have signed a peace agreement recognizing Israel’s right to exist like Egypt did?

Ask the Jordanian government how accepting tens of thousands of Palistinian refugees has worked out for Jordan?

Dec 05, 2012 3:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Eric.Klein wrote:

Even after E1 is built up the Palestinians will have a 10 mile contiguous state – as wide as parts of Israel.

If Abbas had not left the negotiations 4 years ago then he could had his own boarders or even a country by now.

Dec 05, 2012 3:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Eric.Klein wrote:

Even after E1 is built up the Palestinians will have a 10 mile contiguous state – as wide as parts of Israel.

If Abbas had not left the negotiations 4 years ago then he could had his own boarders or even a country by now.

Dec 05, 2012 3:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Dear Bobber1956. You are precisely correct, Palestine and Israel were fighting and the United States stepped in and decided to act as mediator way back in the days. Numerous attempts at peace talks and one sided negotiations followed by continued illegal settlements all while we were supposedly brokering a peace deal (not to mention our continued Billions of dollars in aid at a time when we are going broke)FORCED Palestine to go the United Nations which is the same platform the United States has used to impose sanctions on any country it deems fit. I find it hilarious how all of a sudden the same body we the United States use to impose our will on other countries all of a sudden becomes irrelevant. Israels arrogance has gotten to the point of no return, and if you don’t like Arabs or Palestinians then that’s fine. But for crying out loud, be able to differentiate between what is right and wrong. How is Palestine getting non-member status interfering with the peace process and Israel building new settlements not??

Dec 05, 2012 3:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
KaosHiker wrote:

@ SayHey.
hmmm that is a good question.But it is against the rules to ask it.
Didnt You get Your copy of Political Correctness for Dummies.

@ BioStudies.
Correct You are, The United Nations is NOT the Supreme Government of the Planet. and it never can be.
Every Country involved in the U.N. has its own best interest in mind.
with so many different conflicting agendas. How can there ever be any Resolutions worth the paper written on.If it goes against the countries best interest. It will be ignored.
What has the U.N. done for the world lately.
Besides distribute relief supplies paid for by the U.S. and they dont do a very good job of that either.

Dec 05, 2012 4:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Butch_from_PA wrote:

If this, if that. It’s all speculation.

Israel wants, needs and is determined to expel all Palestinians so Jewish only immigrants under the “Law of Return” can fill in the land which encompasses the 12 tribes of Israel from historical maps. This map is on Bibi office wall for God sakes. Wake up.

Dec 05, 2012 4:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

Anyone else notice Israel is always doing something horrible to people near Christmas time? That is not an accident because they do it every year. Kind of an “in your face, Christians” thing Israel likes to do.

Dec 05, 2012 4:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Reuters1945 wrote:

Imagine if the buyers of 500,000,000 Lotto tickets, woke up the next day and discovering they had chosen the wrong Lottery numbers, suddenly rose up en mass and demanded their money back. Would anyone take them seriously. The Arabs likewise, bet the wrong numbers in 1947 but that was their choice, was it not ?

When people, in particular the people of the EU, rush to assign blame for all the many tragedies that have befallen the Palestinians AND the Jews of the Middle East, since 1947-48, let no one be so hypocritical and such an unmitigated liar as to try to assert that this tragedy could NOT have been 100% avoided if the Palestinians had simply agreed to accept the Two State, 50/50 sharing of Palestine as the UN proposed on 29 November 1947.

The Two State solution the world keeps harping on was officially voted on and overwhelmingly approved by the International Membership and General Assembly of the United Nations on 29 November 1947.

The Jews accepted the result of the vote, but the Arabs/Palestinians did not. Repeating lies over and over and over again, do not suddenly turn them into truths.

When, at long last will the world cease misrepresenting the facts of Middle East history ?

Countless tens of millions of Arabs made a choice in 1947 to reject the solution devised, voted on and passed, by the General Assembly of the UN to end all the bickering and bloodshed with a Two State, 50/50 sharing of Palestine. Again, the date was 29 November 1947.

If anyone walked into a store and demanded a refund because they picked the wrong numbers on a Lottery ticket, bystanders would believe the person had taken leave of his senses.

But apparently no one has the pure, simple decency and honesty to point out the simple truth that the Arabs have been suffering from a bad case of buyer’s remorse ever since 1947 because they made the Mother of all bad decisions by rejecting the 1947 UN Two State proposal.
The Arabs thought: “Why settle for half of Palestine when we can easily have it all”.

And ever since they have been going back to that little store, where they chose the losing Lottery numbers, gun in hand, demanding a refund.

Of course it is someone else’s fault they refused to accept fully 50% control of British Mandate Palestine as the UN proposed.

But as history has shown, when in doubt, blame the Jews. Whatever the problem happens to be, it must be the fault of the Jews. The proverbial method of deflecting attention away from who is really responsible.

It would all be rather droll if it were not so very pathetic.

Dec 05, 2012 5:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
KaosHiker wrote:

@ Reuters1945. Excellent analogy. Too bad it will be ignored.

Dec 05, 2012 6:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Reuters1945 wrote:

@KaosHiker
I follow all your many insightful comments and am always impressed.
Thus, a compliment from you is praise indeed.

And yes, you are 100% correct that my analogy will be ignored.

Worse still, those who like to blame all Middle East problems on the relatively small State of Israel will dispute the historically verifiable fact that on 29 November 1947 the General Assembly of the UN offered the Arabs/Palestinians a full 50% control of the land in British Mandate Palestine, including 100% of all the land surrounding Jerusalem. It is amazing how few people are remotely aware of this fact.

It is one of the defining traits of most human beings to suppress and try to forget facts that are inconvenient to their personal narrative/s.

People only remember that which they prefer to remember.
Alas, such a thing as “total recall” does not seem to apply to Middle East politics- more is the pity.

Dec 05, 2012 8:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

@Reuters – it is arrogance of the former imperial managers that forced this situation on the Levant for their own convenience. Religious beliefs were the more obvious cause of the Israeli move than the Palestinian resistance to it. The Palestinians could complain more reasonably about the loss of their language in Jewish areas and the loss of lands and houses. They were flooded with destitute European refugees and any other refugees the Israeli state cared, at times, to muster. And the occupied Palestinians had no control over their own immigration. For over 60 years it has been “Jews” in, Arabs out. And if one side enjoys a right of return, so should the other. Or if one has to abandon it, both sides should. If the settlements are on the wrong side of any final boundary than there should be no argument that they are a part of the country where they are located unless Israel is trying to claim they are all embassies? No one but Israel recognizes their location as anything but occupied “foreign” soil. Israel apparently already thinks it owns the West bank. Possession is 9/10th of the law, in the Bible, perhaps? That is not the rule of law anywhere else, as far as I know. Governments and the IRS don’t recognize that right.

How can anyone study this situation and maintain that the Israeli’s were some kind of gift to the Levant or that the Palestinian complaints are not valid? The Palestinian’s can’t simultaneously be people who were sophisticated enough years ago to accept the forced situation and now can only be people who are considered not sophisticated enough to handle their own affairs without Israeli domination. You can’t really justify the occupation and the UN has an ambiguous stand on it. They seemed to realize that the Palestinians were not ready for European style government. They were villagers with headmen and very little formal government structure, from what I can understand. But the UN also recognized that the Israelis have used the occupation as an excuse to push their own expansionary agenda with no regard for those they displaced. And the UN couldn’t really do anything to reverse the situation. They weren’t permitted to by the Veto holding US for the most part. Israel still doesn’t want UN Blue helmets in their territory.

Your account also differs from what I read in the UN sites (where I saw the partition maps) and elsewhere that explained that many Palestinians were prepared to accept the partition plan and had resettled in the areas designated for them. Millions of Indians and Muslims did that before the partition of India. And the Palestinian take on the matter is that the Israelis were not satisfied with the plan either, because it didn’t have continuous borders, and in their eyes, it wasn’t defensible. The maps had been drawn so as not to disturb existing settlement patterns too much. I’ve read some of the early history and the Palestinians still blame the Israeli’s for discarding those original plans and designing a land area more suited to their own needs without consultation with them. That’s why the civil war erupted. Can you provide more light on that? I always find the Palestinian arguments much easier to accept because it is more like normal human behavior and concerns that govern people almost anywhere on earth. The Israeli arguments invariably depend on archaic practice, like right of conquest, eye for an eye, and “facts on the ground” and the Biblical assertion, that they alone stand to benefit by, that “God gave this land to me”. And that statement is somehow not the language of fanatics? .

In short: The Palestinians make the more sane claims and the Israelis are actually fogging the issues with their outrageous assertions about ancestral homelands, keeping and expanding settlements that were clearly condemned, resolution after UN resolution, or assertions that all Arabs or Muslims are crazy fanatics or terrorists and they don’t want to have to live with Islamic governmental institutions. They are all very arrogant claims coming from the descendants of Jewish refugees, it seems to me.

The settlements should belong to the territory in which they are built. That may not be a problem. The inhabitants would be governed by the new state and not the Israeli state. Why should that be a big problem except for the chauvinism of the settlers and the antagonism of many Palestinians, especially those who may have been mistreated or imprisoned for protesting the occupation? There are many others who may have been swindled.

But nothing will work if one injustice is followed by another and another or the world has to abandon notions of fairness to cater to Israeli exceptionalism and religious myths. Most civil law doesn’t touch issues like that, at least what I’ve seen of real estate law. It seems. And that’s where this issue should be decided. And keep the miserable inconsistency of religion out of it. It’s making monsters now.

Dec 05, 2012 9:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse

How can you tell when bb is lying?
He is always lying!!
End right-wing fascism in Israel!
Dump bb!!!

Dec 05, 2012 9:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Shirley777 wrote:

There never was a Palestinan state within Israel’s borders. Jews have had the continual presence in Israel since King David! The Jews have a right to build on there own land. Jerusalem is not a settlement it is the captial of Israel. I stand with Bibi 100%

Dec 06, 2012 4:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

Shirley777 wrote:
“There never was a Palestinan state within Israel’s borders.”

Wow… you mean all those historic maps showing Palestine on them are wrong? How could they all be so wrong?

You are partly right though. Palestine was not in Israels borders because there was no Israel, and no Israeli borders. Check your history. There was no state of ‘Israel’ since the Assyrians put an end to it in 750BC.

Do the maths. Before 1948, there had been no state called Israel, not even a region called Israel, for 2,700 years! Even if you try to pretend that Judah is really Israel, it ceased to exist in 538BC. If there were ever a state with no historic existence, Israel is it.

Oddly enough, through all this time, Palestine is recorded in administrative records and shown on maps, but Israel is not. How do you explain that?

Dec 06, 2012 6:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

Politics and imperial influence doesn’t operate on principals of justice or honesty, but on image, propaganda, bribery and influence peddling), the superstition of the mases, and saying one thing at the table and doing something else when the attention of the parties involved are diverted by other events or the rest of the world isn’t watching.

How could western Europe and the US, in the aftermath of their own episode of insanity and fanaticism, ever expect that they would be making rational decisions regarding a movement as odd as the idea of Zionism? The people who should have been listened to at the start were those who advised against the “Jewish” state. The seeds of the movement may go back to the late 19th century, but Hitler enabled it. All the Zionist movement did was make Hitler’s dream come true and their won communities died out in Europe. Those Jews who survived and stayed in Europe don’t live in ghettos anymore. Israel became the new ghetto for those who couldn’t adapt to the less sectarian modern world.

The solutions proposed for the area formerly known as Palestine, weren’t built on reason or logic but on attempts to deal with a badly constructed idea that was faulty from the start and has been lied about ever since. You can’t build on garbage without the house badly settling over time. The living decide what states will exist, not the dead. If maintaining that state becomes an obscenity and cuts across too many modern ideas of fair play or honest dealings, what chance does it have to survive? You can’t argue with the symptoms of the malaise.

BTW – the world has since decided that people who are damaged by their own governments don’t necessarily get their own states. They got smarter than they were after WWII. They have also run out of cheap space where they could push the victims of their mistakes, more or less, out of sight. And the managers don’t suffer – only those they manage.

The western world bought a mania by agreeing to the state of Israel and could even die by a new one: Islamic states. And there are an ocean of Muslims and only a handful of Jews (however anyone defines who those people are). A new mistake now threatens the older mistake. It’s even possible that the idea of democratic governments could die rather than the religious mistakes.

All the Israeli’s have demonstrated is that all states are built on theft and force, but mostly because they have common cultural and linguistic roots. Only because most of them were formed so many centuries ago, we forget that. I think the Muslim world has figured that out now. And the “Jews” made a terrible mistake by trying to cling to some archaic religious ideas that should have died back in the days of the Roman Empire. Now it is threatened by a creature formed in it’s own image.

Dec 06, 2012 7:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

For decades I have heard so much about the horrible life of Jews in Europe and Russia throughout history. But it occurs to me that what may have really been happening there was a sort of protection, in the wild and very woolly hinterlands of the former Roman Empire, of a minority community. In some ways the Jews lived separate and self- contained lives much like the Amish and Mennonites do today in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Amish and Mennonites are afforded conscientious objector status by this country and, in a way; the Jews enjoyed that status in Medieval Europe.

The Jews in their own communities were not serfs. Almost everyone not living in towns or cities or a member of the nobility were classed as serfs and belonged to the feudal lord. Serfs did not own the ground they tended. The Jews were able to maintain some degree of autonomy but were very contained. They were not permitted to become soldiers or arrow fodder and could not own land, I think, outside their own communities. But I know very little about this subject so I don’t know if the lands they occupied were under the feudal lords’ control. The wars were about politics and the control of land and revenues. That was a bloody game the Christians of the west reserved for themselves alone and that ability to fight in war meant the route to land ownership and even the titles of nobility. Some countries granted titles with real estate and others granted titles by royal appointment provided the person was landed and wealthy. Sometimes land and titles were conferred together. A nobleman is a warlord. But armies could also be wiped out to the last man, towns could be burned to the ground and the surviving inhabitants slaughtered to the last man, women or child. They weren’t building castles and walled towns as a recreational pastime. People building and living outside walled towns were usually destroyed in time of war. If a Jewish community had a ghetto inside a walled town they actually were enjoying more protection and status than those Christians outside the walls.

The price for that immunity (more or less) was the loss of status in the west. Had the surviving Jewish communities that had been settled throughout the Roman Empire been forced to become a part of the Christian west’s political turmoil, it is possible the Jews would have been severely reduced in numbers, if not made extinct during the hundreds of years of turmoil. Even as late as the 18th century, villages in France, after the Seven Years War, were so severely drained of men they were nearly ghost towns.

The Jews may have suffered insult and a loss of status in the social order but they escaped with their lives. It should also be mentioned that the condemnation against usury meant the Jews had the traditional monopoly on loan sharking. I would not be surprised that the terms for loans within the community were a lot fairer than they were for those outside it (if interest was charged within the community at all). It would be an interesting thing to research with a more objective eye than is normally applied. Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” alludes to the situation and Shakespeare is far more liberal than most of his contemporaries.

The study of these subjects is hard to do with an objective eye or without being accused of anti-Semitism. I don’t want to make a career on blaming Jews for anything, but even the charge of anti-Semitism can be taken to ridiculous extremes. It would be very popular today to be Anti Arab, or French, or Asian. Anti ethnic charges seem to be like a rug that can’t quite lay flat on the floor because of a ripple that just keeps moveing around.

There was something else going on in the Middle Ages and later periods. The purges and Autos de Fe were actually a form of credibility test. It’s too disgusting to talk about but the Middle Ages had some brutal ways of testing the credence of those claiming to be “Jews” or anything else actually. They believed in testing truth to the death. So did the ancient world.

Universal civil rights are a whole lot easier to live with. And propaganda is usually milked for every advantage it can get.

Dec 08, 2012 11:09am EST  --  Report as abuse
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