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The Middle East

What should be done about Jerusalem? It's sacred to so many different people, and the issue needs to be resolved before we have a Nuclear Crusade on our hands. What is your standing on the importance of religious values? Which religion is more valuable? Who gets Jerusalem? Why?

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    Jul 13 2012: Paul, This question is rift with emotional, political, you name it problems. First you must go back in history to the 1947 resolution that gave the land to the Jews. The logic was, in my opinion, valid. There is no other group that has suffered the attempt to obliterate them to the extent of the Jews. This is a jahad, religious war, that is steeped in hate. Your concern of nuclear actions are directly infered by Iran that publicly states that Jews and non-believers must die.

    A discussion on the value of relious beliefs, which is more valuable, what is written, will not resolve anything as the countries involved have already established hard lines.

    The state of Isreal exists and is recognized by most of the world. Why should anything "be done" about Jerusalem?

    What are you looking for in this conversation? Is this really an "IDEA WORTH SPREADING".
    • Jul 13 2012: Interesting point. I'm mainly focused here on the fighting over such areas as the Dome of the Rock, which has religious significance for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. I personally enjoy a good argument, and hope that this debate does create emotional, political, and religious tension. The mention of nuclear weapons might have been a mistake. I do not mean to come across as a radical who believes that we are all doomed to nuclear war. I'm asking if people believe the religious conflicts in Israel will lead to another Crusade that might wind up involving nuclear weapons, and if not, why? What is your opinion on the importance of sacred sites to all religions, and who do you think should win the religious debate. It's more than asking what religion you believe in. Statements like the one from Iran definitely prompt the idea of holy global war. With religious values so rigid, we are on the verge of organizations of radicals starting a fight nobody can stop. I'm questioning your opinion on the three big monotheistic religions and what can be done to still the water before another crusade is started by somebody in the age of nuclear weapons.
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        Jul 14 2012: As a visitor I was amazed to see that the Christians, Jews, and Muslims have a schedule for maintenance and visitation that allows each to enter independently.

        As long as radicals from any side are involved the issues will not be put to rest. From my view the Christians and the Jews seemed to play well together. But that could be on the surface as I was only there a short time. The Palistians and the Muslim community do not accept the Jews and wish them either gone or dead. They do nor accept Christians as they are non-believers and also must die. There is no love lost in that issue. I felt very uncomfortable in a place where love and peace should dwell.

        I also enjoy a good debate... however ... I was always taught to avoid arguments involving religion and politics as there can never be a agreement. With that said I will depart this conversation as I cannot see a end to the "argument" and feelings will be hurt.

        • Jul 14 2012: Sorry to see you go bob. I created this discussion to create a place where people could voice their different opinions about this subject. I actually have encountered very few people who do not share your reserves of politeness when it comes to religion and politics (especially when the two are intertwined). So, I have not had much experience from other's POV, so i feel that I cannot form a proper opinion on this matter. This is not a place to attack and argue, but to propose different POVs for other intellectuals to consider.
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      Jul 14 2012: I disagree re 1947 splitting the land in two. Why not give half of New York to the Jews instead. What gives the UN security council the right to decide what happens to Palestine. Power. There is nothing right about what happened then. The correct response should have been reducing Christian intolerance and persecution of the Jews going back to when the Holy Roman empire kicked them out of the Levant.

      A Western/Eastern Christian human rights failure should not have been addressed as it was.

      The idea of a religious state is abhorrent to me.

      But we are where we are now.

      Who else has suffered. Maybe the Canaanites or other original inhabitants of the Levant that were obliterated by the Jews if you believe the bible.

      What about the Kurds. The Armenians.

      What about the Carthaginians obliterated by the Romans.

      Or so many indigenous peoples overrun by Western Powers. Native Americans.

      The industrial murder of Jews, slavs, gypsies, homosexuals etc is horrific. But many have suffered, some have disappeared. Many peoples are dispossessed of a land to call their own. The killing fields of Cambodia. Sending Irish prisoners to the gulag of Australia.

      Millions killed under British rule. The European take over of North America at the expense of the indigenous peoples.
      • Jul 14 2012: Interesting points. But this is mainly focused on the importance of Jerusalem and Israel to different religions who all have a rightful claim to it and what YOU think the outcome should be to the fight for the Holy Land.
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          Jul 14 2012: I guess don't think any religion has a claim to land or a city. People might. But not a religion.

          I don't consider it the Holy land.

          It's just more blood soaked land, with religions firing up tribalism.

          The old books don't make it theirs. But the old books effect what people believe.

          It is a very good question how do you determine who controls a piece of land.

          I note the US South tried a 2 state solution but the North didn't agree.

          I think one secular state for both peoples perhaps, but unlikely to happen. In the end the Jews have the muscle and they will probably make Jerusalem theirs over time.
      • Jul 15 2012: In Reply to the above >>> comment,
        I just used religion as a word to mean the people who follow that religion.
        And whether or not you believe in the Holiness of the land, the name of that geographical location is The Holy Land. The name literally comes with the territory. What do you think the solution will be Obey?
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          Jul 15 2012: Suggest it is the middle East or the Levant or Israel or Palestine.

          It is important to some cultures and religious groups..

          Man made religious beliefs and don't make anything holy unless you you believe in divine power. I don't.

          Religion just reinforces the tribalism and brings in absolute and fundamentalist beliefs.

          You/others can call it Holy if you like. I choose not to attribute more to it then there is. I prefer more precise language with less superstitious baggage.

          Also Its not holy to Asia, Pacific, Amercias, Africa etc pre European/Christian and Muslim colonisation/Conquest. Not sacred to me..

          There are more religions than the Abrahamic traditions. And also some of us with no religion.

          What is your desired outcome? How do you want to see the issue resolved? Then you can suggest a roadmap.

          RE: What is your standing on the importance of religious values? I prefer 21st century secular human values and human rights. Not those based on old books and backwards cultural traditions.

          RE: Which religion is more valuable? None to me. Equal for the believers of each I guess.

          Who gets Jerusalem? Usually the strongest, or those with the strongest friends get the land.

          The British stuffed it up for the Palestinians after kicking out the Ottomans. Go back to 1918 and the Jew had no rights to the land.

          You know some Israelis and Palestinians may not believe in gods or goddesses. To label every one according to a religion is making the problem binary. There are many different sects of people with Jewish ancestor. They are not monolithic in their views. Same for people from so called Muslim or Christian counties. Binary thinking is perhaps part of the problem
      • Jul 16 2012: Im not labeling people based on their beliefs, nor am I imposing any belief on you. The fact is that there are large groups of people out there who do believe, and those are the people I'm focusing on. What I'm asking for here is not who will "get" Jerusalem based on politics, but who YOU think deserves it based on ethics and philosophy. I'm not a deeply religious person myself, Obey. But I feel like you're avoiding actually answering the question I'm asking and instead denying everything and talking about humanistic ideas. That's fine, but not what this thread is about. I'd appreciate a straight answer to come from one of the most interesting minds I've seen so far on this forum. From your comment "some of US with no religion" I'm guessing that you are an atheist. That's fine. I'm not asking you to pick a religion. I'm asking you to look at the religious backgrounds of the people, and make your decision based on what THEY believe, not you. Think of what religion means to them, and think of how the dispute could be resolved with the least loss on all sides. And the big three Monotheistic Religions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) are the ones that have claim to Jerusalem on Holy terms, so they ARE the ones that we need to focus on. Superstitious baggage? So many wars have been fought (actual wars and just private disagreements) over religion. The world isn't going to forget religion, regardless of what you or I believe and say on this thread. So, drop the atheistic force-field and please, answer my question with as much empathy as you can muster. Otherwise, you might be as close-minded and brainwashed as those religious fools who believe in "divinity," just opinionated differently. I'm asking EVERYONE to be open-minded and look at the values of all parties involved. Stop picking apart and re-arranging the question to fit the answer you already had in your head. Answer MY question, I'm eager to hear what you have to say.
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          Jul 16 2012: I'll try.

          In 1850 85% Muslim. 11% Christian, 4% Jewish. It wasn't Jewish. It wasn't Christian.

          1918 when the Ottomans were replaced by the British, still a great majority Muslim.

          To say that Christians and Jews had a serious claim to the land for most of the last 1,000 years is frankly ridiculous in my view. It's such a bible Judeo Christian centred view and ignores so much of the history of the place.

          The Jewish peoples only controlled that land for a small % of the last 4000 years. The religious view distorts history in my view.

          At some stage the population demographics equalled out and now those of Jewish heritage are the majority. So we are where we are. However I suggest the claims of the Palestinians have more validity to be considered given the history of the last 1000 years, compared to going back 2700 years to when the Jewish people ruled.

          So going back before70 years for over a 1,000 years people of Muslim descent had a major claim.

          I don't think Christians have any claim to the land. The Jews have the numbers now, but the Muslims are a sizable minority and have been poorly treated by the Western Powers.

          What values do 7 million Jews and 2.5 million Muslims have. I'm not going to generalise. Irrelevant to land claims like religion.

          I just don't think religious beliefs have any place in deciding who is more entitled to govern some land. Its just not a valid criteria to me. Religious analysis is not going to solve the problem and is not valid to impartial assessment of right to govern or citizenship. This is the wrong path. I suggest it is not close minded to challenge assumptions lying behind a question.

          Not the answer you were looking for, but I honestly tried.

          Giving credence to any religious claims to this land is the making it worse.

          My ideal is a secular state for all. 2 States is next best.

          Imagine if the Palestinians had border control from WW1. It would be theirs
      • Jul 19 2012: THAT'S what I'm looking for! Obey I LOVE this response! Way to go man! Break down the situation and form your own opinion on who deserves it by examining the facts! Everyone look at the above comment and model your responses on that!
  • Jul 17 2012: They have been fighting over the 'holy' land for thousands of years now. The only way the fighting will ever stop is if people can finally learn to accept that everyone has a right to believe what they want as long as they're not affecting anyone else negatively.

    Unfortunately, when you've had it drilled into your head by your parents from birth that your religion is right and the other is wrong, it's very hard to change your way of thinking. Neither religion is more correct/valuable than the other, and they need to learn that. Personally I see no reason why they can't learn to love one another and live in peace like their religions teach.
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      Jul 17 2012: People have been fighting over Europe for thousands of years too. Remember WW1, WW2, the Balkans.
      Still fighting in lots of places.

      I don't know if there was much fighting in the ancient Canaanite lands during the centuries of Ottoman rule leading up to WW1.

      And WW1 had nothing to do with religion and the current struggles go back less than a century.

      I guess there were centuries leading up to WW1 when the Jews did not fight the Muslims in the levant because they were a small minority before Zionist immigration over the last century or so.

      But agree religion does not help, especially the fundamentalist Jews and Christians. Is it true some Christians are trying to bring about conditions for end times?

      I'm not so sure how much of the Muslim reaction is just a reaction to their land being handed over to Jews, rather than full on religious. Plenty of other indignities inflicted by the West on the Middle East too.

      I don't think most Americans would be too happy if the UN gave half the USA to Native Americans.
      • Aug 4 2012: Not half of it but we can give them the Dakotas :) after all Israel only got a fraction what the extent of Biblical Israel was.
    • Jul 19 2012: Right. People have been fighting over the Holy Land for thousands of years. Who do you think should win? Who do you think will win? Why?
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        Jul 19 2012: I think they should share it, whoever is there now.

        Go back 100 to 500 years and the Palestinians should have control

        The Brits should have let them form their own nation and self govern in 1918.They should have been given the right to govern who comes into their land like everyone else.

        The Jews seem to be winning. Why, they are more powerful..

        Human history until very recently has been the strong doing what they want. Still is, but what they want is tempered by enlightenment human rights etc.
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        Jul 23 2012: RE: "Easy Edward"-- What "attack" is there in my comment? I merely pointed-out the Logic Law which says one cannot prove a negative. No attack there. That was done as a defense of my argument, not an attack on EG. The only other point I made is an acknowledgement of EG's right to refuse to believe my opinion (which many people exercise). No attack there. Your attempts to moderate the conversation are, in this case, heavy-handed and inappropriate. Please allow respondents to freely exchange opinions without your supervision. As to answering your question: "What needs to be done about Jerusalem?" my answer remains as stated in my initial response.
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    E G

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    Jul 19 2012: "What is your standing on the importance of religious values?" I don't think they give a damn on our standing on religious values , so the first thing that should be done about Jerusalem is to stop thinking they give a damn on our standing .
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      Jul 23 2012: RE: "I agree with you. . . "--
      Amen! EG, Amen! With man it is impossible and so the conflict will continue without interruption until the old passes away and the new is established. Thank you!
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        E G

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        Jul 24 2012: Thank you too .
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    Jul 14 2012: How about a combined secular state joining Palestine and Israel and share Jerusalem.
    • Jul 14 2012: Interesting. Would the Jews and Muslims both go for it do you think?
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        Jul 14 2012: Agree ideally you'd have the majority of both on board. I note they didn't when they created 2 states n 47 or 48.
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      Jul 14 2012: Is an idea that may end up with the complet leveling of Jerusalem. Then again if it worked you'd be the toast of the town several of them I think.
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        Jul 19 2012: How many Jews and Muslims does it take to change a lightbulb?
        Just enough that want to change
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          Jul 19 2012: It only takes a few to start a change or a movement. Countrys and wars have been started by a few.
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    Jul 13 2012: Hi Paul.
    The future of the Middle East is pretty well laid out in the bible. The whole history of the Jews is there, from beginning to end. Seems on target so far, & the end is not pretty. I know the very fact that it's in the bible is a major problem for many, but I don't think future events are written about anywhere else.

    • Jul 13 2012: Future possibilites, my friend. And I'm wondering what people think can be done to resolve the Middle East Crisis, not what they think will happen to Jerusalem itself in the future.
  • Aug 4 2012: I personally think that areas that are that influential and that have that much history should become international territory. Basically the secretary general of the united nations would act as the mayor of all of these places his role would be to keep the peace and to preserve the rich history of places like Jerusalem.
  • Jul 24 2012: My intention is not to offend but Jerusalem should be a place to visit and not to live.
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    Jul 23 2012: What should be done about Jerusalem? It should be replaced with a new one just as the Holy Bible says it will be in Chapter 21 of the book of Revelation.
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      Jul 23 2012: Hi Edward:
      Just that what you said is impossible .
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        Jul 23 2012: Oh please, EG, you know you cannot prove a negative. You may choose to not accept it as truth, but you cannot prove it to be untrue. Before 1948 you might well have said the existence of a sovereign nation called Israel is impossible. With God, nothing is impossible. Thank you!
        • Jul 23 2012: Easy Edward. This thread is about the ownership of Jerusalem, not attacking people who don't share your beliefs, or stating your religious beliefs. EG, I hope in the future, you will remind people of the topic at hand like I just have, because your comment was a little offensive as well. And an example of things in the bible that seem impossible but could have happened, Moses parting the red sea. Scientists have looked at core samples that show an earthquake of magnificent scale occued around that period of history. That earthquake could have created a land bridge. The bible is just words. The traditional visualizations aren't necessarily true to the letter. Edward is right, you can't prove a negative statement on a positive statement that has just as much trouble being proven. Religion of the individual aside, both of you please answer the question.
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          Jul 23 2012: I agree with you , Edward but for us it is still impossible (lol).

          Paul :

          The comments can be offensive and on topic at the same time , I think mine was and Edward's too , actually .
          Did the scientist prove that ? Or is just bullshit from internet ?
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    Jul 20 2012: I don't understand why the U.S. is still keeping troops over there. Osama is dead which has basically panicked if not completely finished off the Taliban. The way I see it, if the countries over there are dumb enough to kill each other, let them. Save American lives and tax dollars.
  • Jul 16 2012: As much as I know, christians were going to jerusalem to become a pligrim, but they started to come here -Turkey/Izmir- to become a pligrim before a little time esthablishing of israel.Why?I think jewishes want jerusalem.The best and easiest way of getting jarusalem individually is "making christians and muslims enemy for eachother" via media or other methods.(just an opinion)
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    Jul 13 2012: I place no value on religion and its so called values change like season. Now the big question who gets it the winner as always. Who ever wins the next big argument between x and y will get it. I could say more about how I feel but it tends to offend many so we will leave it here.
    • Jul 13 2012: This debate is meant purely to express full opinions. Please don't worry about offending people. The whole idea is for you to tell who you think should WIN this argument, and why.
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        Jul 14 2012: Thank you Paul. I believe we should butt the hell out of it. We didn't need to get involved in 1947and we damn sure don't now. The way I see it those fellers have been fighting amongest them selves for a long time. No matter what we do they will keep fightin and it is so inbeded in them it has become part.of there culture.
        No good can come of us taking a side we will be hated by the other side. So it would be best that we back out. I woud also like to say you can really blame any country in the middle east wanting nucler wepons if one has it they all will want it. The biggest problem I see in that unlike the US and russia one of them crazy basterds will push the button. Which reminds me of that feller said the next war will be fought with sticks and stone. Now I must step away something is interfering
        • Jul 14 2012: sorry to see you go. I agree that the settling of the argument is none of our business, but it's a great big puzzle, and finding the answer is a great brain exercise.
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          Jul 15 2012: That feller was Albert Einstein.
        • Jul 17 2012: I agree with Dean. accept with the fact "one of those crazy bastards will push the button" If you remember from history class, so far (and hopefully forever) the US has been the only one crazy enough to push the button.
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          Jul 20 2012: Come on, don't just criticize America for it. At that time, we had no clue of the true dangers of the atomic bomb. Besides, I would rather save American troops rather than Japanese civilians.
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    Jul 13 2012: No religion is any better or worse than all others........that's my feeling.
    The current Jerusalem issue was created in 1947......nothing religious around it....but all politics, power politics, bad politics........
  • Jul 13 2012: The obvious solution is to make Jerusalem a UN protectorate permanently. I doubt very much that any of the parties involved will agree to this. Perhaps a nonviolent children's crusade, with children from all the parties involved, could take control of the city and shame the adults into accepting a solution that none of them are prepared to accept.

    If they could find a resolution to Jerusalem, they might see that it is possible to resolve the other issues as well.
    • Jul 14 2012: Children? I'm literally talking about the wars fought at the end of the dark ages. And interesting thought about the UN. However, unless all countries that have a legitimate claim to Jerusalem were in the UN, it would not be fair. It seems like that solution would contribute to the idea of the corruption of the UN, as well. They would be getting in bed with religious values. The entire UN would have to support one religion over another, making the idea of impartiality vanish from those who were not benefitted. Religion is one thing that cannot be a priority of a global organization.
      • Jul 14 2012: The UN would not get involved in religion at all. The UN would treat Jerusalem as it does other protectorates, as a secular political entity. Access to Jerusalem would be controlled according to the same security protocols as other protectorates, ignoring religion.

        How could more than one country have a 'legitimate' claim to Jerusalem? To me, the important question is, what can be done about Jerusalem that will stop the violence?
        • Jul 15 2012: I'm not talking about countries having claims to Jerusalem, I'm talking about whole religions. And if Jerusalem was a protectorate of the UN, I think that it would offend everybody. The sacred land that you believe to be rightfully yours has been taken away from you and you are no longer allowed to enter without going through the same procedures as those Heretics that want your Holy Land. The kind of people that fight for Jerusalem would think that way, and the UN getting involved like that would just anger them more.