Thursday, November 30, 2023

Is there a religious war in Western Asia? It certainly isn’t a simple war between two “countries”.

I want to encourage people to gain the context of these events rather than believing what happened this year is new or surprising.

The following is based on a post I made to LinkedIn. I’m reposting for anyone who doesn’t have a LinkedIN account. I am also posting thoughts about the context of the violence in Western Asia on Substack.

This is what I do: I analyze policy like I analyze software, and look for interactions between policies as well as operating systems and other aspects of the environment. I don’t blindly accept what I’m told by marketing material, but analyze the actual policy/code. I look for logical fallacies in claims being made, and try to figure out the truth under those fallacies.

A previous LinkedIN connection wanted to talk about “Hamas” and the most recent skirmish, rejecting that there could be any context required to understand what was happening. They were responding to a post that suggested, “If you have ever wondered what you would do during The Holocaust, Slavery, or the Civil Rights Movement: You’re doing it NOW.”

The previous LinkedIN connection posted: “What do you believe the appropriate response to the Hamas war crimes, as you admitted they are, should have been?”

This is a pretty typical loaded question logical fallacy.

This is the nature of most discussions on this topic: loads of logical fallacies. There is a desire for this to be black-and-white (it isn't even close), that it is clear what "started it", for there to be "two sides" to pick from, and so-on.

It is possible to recognize and mourn the deaths of people on both sides of today's borders between land declared the jurisdiction of a UN created UN member (Government of Israel) and those in the Gaza Strip where self-determination has been blocked by external forces.

Any attempt to "two sides" discussion of this centuries-on Holy War is false, as this is not a "war" between two countries, and has been ongoing since long before “Hamas” formed. While I strongly condemn the violence from all belligerents, I rightfully hold UN member states – especially those which claim to be democratic and protective of human rights – to a higher standard than angry mobs or terrorist groups.

I am aware that the “Change and Reform list“ that “Hamas” campaigned within was “elected” in 2006 under a Plurality Block Voting system. I have been critical of claims that brand-centered “elections” are representative of populations for a very long time. However, to claim that Gaza is currently under a democratic government, or that residents of that region (not “citizens”) should be held accountable in the same way for actions carried out under the “Hamas” brand as citizens of a “democratic” UN member state branded "Israel", is a total misrepresentation of reality.

I’m not a fan of the electoral system or other weak democratic institutions of Israel any more than I'm a fan of Canada’s weak democratic institutions. However, I do not believe this is about Benjamin Netanyahu or any other individual. If Israeli citizens feel their government doesn’t represent them and is inducing violence and making them less safe, they have mechanisms to fix that which residents in regions that don’t have an alleged “democratic” government claiming jurisdiction do not. If citizens of other nations recognize the Israeli government is in violation of International Law, they can push their governments to hold the Government of Israel to account (including holding governments like the US, which regularly blocks accountability, to account for regularly disrespecting International Law).

The previous LinkedIN connection suggested this is about “Radical Islam”. The Government of Israel was created via “Radical Zionism” and “Radical Christianity”. The then-Christian Empire dominated United Nations (formed 1945) created the Government of Israel in 1947 via partitioning British occupied Palestine.

In the 1970’s that government was faced with a choice between security and expansion, and it chose expansion with the help of the United States who will veto any resolutions to try to hold the Government of Israel accountable at the more modern United Nations.

We should discuss the Balfour Declaration of 1917

We should discuss the Likud Party Platform (such as from 1973) and its genocidal call for "between the Sea and the Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty".

We should discuss oil under the Gaza Strip.

We should discuss how Evangelical Christians believe Jews having exclusive control over that land will lead towards the Rapture / Second Coming of Christ. From that randomly chosen article: "What happens to the Jews and Palestinians is, to put it very mildly, collateral damage."

It is obvious that the United States and other parts of the Christian Anglosphere are as much a part of the violence in the region as “Jews” and “Arabs” (including Arab Jews, given those aren't distinct categories). This is not what we under Christian Anglosphere governments are indoctrinated to believe are the only belligerents.