The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Navigating the Rhetoric From Both Sides
Myths and half-truths prevail when it comes to the conflict in the Middle East. How does one make an informed decision? by Paul M. Green
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I've come to the conclusion that many people are just plain ignorant about the history of the Middle East, and why it is that Israel is fighting with the Arabs and Palestinians. Now, don't get me wrong, ignorance isn't always the person's fault - it stems from misinformation, upbringing, too much CNN, and just plain laziness - but it is 100% curable.
Well, I assume free and critical thinkers want to learn new things. That is the purpose of this short article. Instead of blindly believing rhetoric spewed by friends, teachers, parents, or the Mainstream Media (which is nothing more than a Pravda-style state news outlet), why not actually do some research on this issue. What I'm suggesting we all do is READ about the Middle East Conflict....
[Sound of screeching breaks]
What?? Did he say read? You mean, take an objective approach to an issue, research the history and the facts, and come to a more informed conclusion not based solely on conventional wisdom and rhetoric?
Well, I only said, "Read about the Middle East Conflict," but that's what I meant.
Down to Business
All the time we're told the Arab-Israeli conflict is "complicated," or that its been going on too long to ever change. These are two of the biggest misconceptions out there, and sad to say, they're probably not going to go away since they're easy cop-outs for apathetic people unwilling to dig any deeper than CNN or USA Today for their information.
Both sides, Israelis and Palestinians, spout slanted and emotionally driven views of what is going on over there, and you can't blame them. Socioeconomic and religious issues, mixed with violence, are emotional issues to be sure. The Mainstream Media holds on to this rhetoric, reports it, and restates the same analysis ad infinitum until myths and half-truths become conventional wisdom. For all intents and purposes, these myths and half-truths become "fact" to the average joe on the street.
So, how does one make a truly informed decision? Do we side with the underdog, or with the most powerful? What about MSM conjecture and politically motivated sensationalism? Do we assume conventional wisdom is scripture? Or do we make constructive use of our time on the internet instead of watching girls dance in their underwear on YouTube? Well, truth be told, I'm quite the multitasker, so I can do both!
Below are some web links with information and history of the conflict in the Middle East. I tried my best to get this information from a variety of sources (Google is great). I'm not here to tell you what to believe only to suggest we get our information from more places than televisions, or from some armchair warrior who's never left his hometown.
Lets face it people, this garbage going on in the Middle East isn't our fight anyway. We don't have to worry about dodging rockets or hiding from tanks, so why not take a little time to learn about what's going on from a third party's point of view - and I know how much some of you love third parties!
Want more? Google "Arab-Israeli Conflict" and you'll get 1,390,000 hits....yeah, there's lots of stuff out there.
I remind you, my objective isn't to tell you what to believe, only to put out some facts and history the politicians, Mainstream Media, and others ignore. May the reader learn something new, and hence make a more informed decision should he find it necessary to take a side in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
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Posted By: Jahfre Fire Eater
Date: 2009-01-13 11:04:09
Taking a side in the subject conflict is a personal choice; a decision based on personal priorities and interests. There is no guideline, explicit or implicit, which defines or limits how an individual should make such a choice.
The Israeli-Arab conflict is merely one example; substitute any conflict, foreign or domestic and the decision is still a personal choice.
In US politics there is a guideline. The US Constitution describes the appropriate role and function of federal government. The decision about who to support, politically, should be constrained to those who refuse to violate the Constitution.
One reason we have come to this point when the Democrat candidates and the Republican candidates are cookie-cutter versions of the same abomination is because voters make political choices as if the Constitution is irrelevant.
Individuals are free to choose any side in any conflict that they want. They should not be free to elect leaders that will pick sides then act in violation of our Constitution to support the forces on their side.
The only reason to read about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict is if it is of personal interest to you...not to determine if our government is acting within its limits and in the best interest of the citizens who lend that government authority. The only information one needs to make that determination can be found at:
Or just listen to Ron Paul. Out of 425 members of Congress he is apparently the only one who as read AND understood the limitations placed on government by the US Constitution.
If your hobby is history, or you enjoy never-ending conflict, by all means learn as much as you can to support that personal outlet. Just don't mistake anything you read about any conflict as a justification for abandoning the rule of law. That is what our elected leaders have done. Eventually their actions will result in consequences, or blowback. When the blowback comes, there will be no evidence tying me to support of either side.
I support activity that can lead to good government. Good government wouldn't have us involved in Middle East conflicts of political conquest or facing the econonic destruction of our nation to fund such conflicts.