Thursday, November 27, 2014

Israel, Apartheid and Generalizations

While there is no doubt that Israel is an apartheid state and that I personally believe an open and transparent democracy to be an optimum form of government, I am also aware that there are circumstances under which democracy fails to achieve the goals required.
In this case, Israel was created specifically to be a sanctuary for Jewish people so that Jews being persecuted unto death in other nations might have a place to flee to rather than be turned away as so many Jewish refugees were before and during WW2.
U.S. history does not document it's failures well and one of those failures was the refusal to allow Jewish refugees into the United States both before and during WW2. I'll post a link about one such story.
Since the primary purpose of the Jewish State of Israel is to create a sanctuary for Jewish people the conversion of the current apartheid government to an open and transparent democracy would prevent the nation from achieving its one and only true purpose. Sanctuary.
If there ever comes a time in the history of this world where people are no longer violently bigoted against each other, then I would support the concept of Israel becoming an open democracy. As long as national leaders such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, as well as a list of others much too long to post, continue to politicize antisemitism I will support both the right of Israel to exist and the right of Israel to maintain itself as an apartheid state.
The problem I see is that international politics, as well as internal politics in the United States, are trending to eliminating support of Israel on the basis of apartheid. There are internal protests in Israel by Jewish people who support the concept of an open democracy. There are those in Israel who advocate for the establishment of a more open immigration policy. Israel faces internal opponents to their original purpose just as they face external opponents to the political policies developed to achieve Israel's original purpose.
I don't believe Israel can stand against the tide of international and internal political opinion. I am of the opinion that Israel will probably cease to exist as a Jewish Sanctuary State sometime in the next 100 years.
The original terrorists or insurgents or freedom fighters who fought for an independent Jewish State during and after World War 2 created underground factories where they produced firearms and ammunition, including an open bolt, fixed firing pin, blow back operated, sub-machine gun called the Sten.
Israel is an excellent example of what determined people can do when motivated by an oppressive and even genocidal political system such as that which occurred in Germany prior to World War Two.
That motivation is gone from the minds of people today. People have replaced this genocidal motivation for a Jewish Sanctuary with dreams of “peace, love and good will towards all”. Others have maintained the dream of an antisemitic Jewish genocide where the bane of their existence is eliminated from the face of the Earth.
Growing up in a Jewish neighborhood and having many Jewish friends and family I am well aware that some Jewish people, like some “ugly americans” and some people from many other cultures, can adopt an attitude of superiority and condescension towards others. If one's only experience, or the majority of memorable experiences, are with these “ugly culture” individuals a person may categorize all of the members of the culture as “ugly”. In fact, this happens often.
This categorization is not a symptom of hatred, rather it is a symptom of limited intellectual capacity. People make categories under which they assign people based on their experiences, their education and their intellectual capacity. No one is capable of infinite categorization. Typically we categorize the people closest to us as individuals. The farther from our personal orbit a person is, the more likely they are to be categorized using some generalization or generalizations.
There is usually some truth to generalizations. For example, there is a generalization that Blacks like watermelon. This is a true generalization. People like watermelon is also a true generalization. Blacks are people so Blacks like watermelon. There is a caveat that not all people like watermelon and so not all Blacks like watermelon. Every generalization has exceptions.
In psychology there are several personality traits and many psychologists differentiate between these personality extremes using either/or categorization. A person is either this or that.
The theories of personality traits depends on what is called a bi-modal distribution. An individuals personality will 'rank” somewhere along this bi-modal distribution. We could say that the total distribution is twelve standard deviations long. Six standard deviations for each end of the personality spectrum.
From reading and conversations over the years with psychologists it is interesting to listen to how they describe these personality traits. In my experience psychologists use four categories, extreme trait, trait, alternate trait, extreme alternate trait. Occasionally two other categories will be added, mild trait and mild alternate trait. Rarely do psychologists seem to add a seventh category of “borderline”, meaning within the central tails between the traits or a seventh and eighth category of extremely mild trait and extremely mild alternate trait.
In a normal distribution there should be just as many extremely mild traits as there are extreme traits, yet, rarely do we hear psychologists speak about individuals who fall in the center tails and probably exhibit behavior attributes of both traits and alternate traits. These “centrists” are probably the most confusing people for psychologists to work with.
I explained all that to explain why I believe that even the most educated and experienced use a finite number of categorizations for people.
Politically I am a centrist. I have very strong opinions on political issues. I am opposed to the existence of prisons, but, I believe strongly in the death penalty. I am pro-choice and pro-second amendment. I could go on, but, I believe I have communicated that my opinions typically balance each other such that I am neither a liberal not a conservative, but, to many people on each side I appear to belong to the other because they have a limited capacity for categorizing and they place me in the category they choose. If a person of limited intellectual capacity believes in the generalization that only conservatives support the individual right to bare arms, I become a conservative in their eyes. If a person believes that only a liberal would be against the concept of prisons, I become a liberal in their eyes.
If we accept that all people have limited intellectual capacity and cannot create infinite categories where each person is evaluated on an individual basis, then we also assume that there are some criteria for inclusion into these categories. There are some criteria which people believe are “absolute”. This is “right” and that is “wrong”, regardless of the individual involved.
The currently popular anti-apartheid sentiment in the world is one such “absolutist” criteria. Apatheid is “wrong”, regardless, and must be eliminated.
In addition, some people have an antisemitic absolutist criteria where Jews are “wrong” and must be eliminated.
In addition, we have some people who have an occupation absolutist criteria where any nation which is occupying the land of another nation is “wrong”.
I could go on listing these absolutist generalizations to explain how international public opinion is turning against Israel based on these absolutist generalizations, or stereotypes, or bigotries.
Where does propaganda stop and discussion begin? What exactly is a fact? How can the average person develop an opinion about what Israel is and should be based on the conglomeration of propaganda, facts and absolutist drivel designed to appeal to those of limited intellectual capacity?
I just don't think Israel can survive the political onslaught over the next hundred years, unless, God takes a hand and delivers Israel. Will God accept that Israel is faithful? What does that even mean? Who can interpret the mind of God except God?
I can't predict what God will do. I believe the actions of large groups of people are fairly predictable though, and I believe international public opinion will continue to build against Israel.

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