General News/Current Affairs Thread


Student Council President
britguy said:
AF this conversation is going over your head.

The Majority of Palestinians are Muslims. The Majority of Israelis are Jews. Both believe they have a claim to Jerusalem.

I don't wish to pick on you, britguy, but it's statements such as this that sour the situation to an even greater degree. All three of the major monotheisms (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) are represented within the Palestinian/Israeli peoples, and so to paint it as Jews versus Muslims poisons the well, facilitating the sort of comments we see from AF.

That being said, AF is correct in at least one regard - a point I alluded to prior. We can turn a blind eye to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and 'let them kill one another til there satisfied of killing everyone' [sic]. In such an event, the likely outcome is the single-state solution. No Gaza, no West Bank - just Israel. Would it mean the complete genocide of the Palestinians? It's a possibility - I'm not going to deny that. Of course, they could also be assimilated into Israeli society and function as upstanding members of the community, like all the other ethnic/religious groups within the country.

Would ignoring the problem be the moral thing to do? I don't think so, however states are above the concepts of 'good' and 'bad', and will - indeed, must - act in their own best interests.

Hi Vashdaman, I have to catch up with some work now, but I'll respond to your reply in due course (I tend to read threads back to front). :)


Za Warudo
I don't think so, however states are above the concepts of 'good' and 'bad', and will - indeed, must - act in their own best interests.

A state can absolutely act morally and immorally though. And Israel is definitely and firmly on the immoral side of the fence. That's not me be biased or inflammatory ect ect, that's just the only fair conclusion one can come to after looking at the facts. The whole "they are just defending themselves from rockets" argument is a weak one when the Israel gov put its own people in harms way through its policy of illegal occupation and outright oppression. And let's not forget that Israel were still oppressing and bullying Palestinians on a daily basis before Hamas and their rockets even existed.


Death Scythe
Some buffoon on a flight from Dota to Manchester caused a bomb hoax yesterday. The plane ended up being escorted to the airport by a fighter JET. I know mostly about the jet escort and what happened at the airport, it would be interesting to know what the hell this guy did or said to cause this hoax though.

In terms of the whole Gaza/Hamas/Israel thing, some make up shop keeps having protesters outside it over their ties to over there.


School Idol
Because I want to steer clear from the whole Israeli/Palestinian conflict (Because that never ends well) and want to go to something more local, I was wondering if anyone saw the Scottish Independence debate last night? If you didn't, The Guardian was doing a liveblog of the whole thing with their analysis and according to their polls, the majority believed that Alistair Darling won the debate.


State Alchemist
vashdaman said:
I don't think so, however states are above the concepts of 'good' and 'bad', and will - indeed, must - act in their own best interests.
A state can absolutely act morally and immorally though.
See, here's the thing - There's no such thing as "the state". There are only individuals. States can't act at all because they're intangible. Only individuals can.

Claiming that this is the fault of "Israel" is just as much a generalisation as claiming something is the fault of "Britain" or "America". There are leaders who bark orders (often at the behest of other powerful people with agendas) and there are weak-willed, easily manipulated individuals who carry them out. Those people, in my opinion, are the ones to blame and the ones who frankly are legitimate targets not only for the opposing side, but also those arguably part of the same "state" who want to live in peace. Because there are plenty of those people in all countries of the world. There are Israelis, Palestinians, Britons, Americans etc. who would never dream of inflicting suffering on others and there are also ones who go out of their way to do so.

Essentially, we need to stop self-interested hate mongers from using people as their own personal armies (quite literally) because that's all "states" are - Opportunities for power for those who are attracted to that. Humanity needs to stop taking the easy option and listening to those who claim their problems are all the fault of "The Israelis" "The Palestinians" "Immigrants" "Muslims" "Men" etc. because they are never correct - You can't tar everyone with the same brush because everybody is a f*cking individual, not a preprogrammed robot based on one of the characteristics they happen to have.


Za Warudo
But when people might say things like "Israel is committing heinous war crimes" or whatever, they obviously aren't talking about every Israeli or even the majority of them (though some would argue that the fact that the majority of them seemed to support and condone the campaign makes them complicit), they are talking about the decision makers in government who either decided to commit those war crimes, or who did nothing to stop them. I'm sure there are good people who want a fair resolution in the government too, not just nut cases like netanyahu, but the fact remains that as a whole the Israeli government has (in my opinion, which I formed looking at the facts) failed to act morally, has consciously perpetuated the conflict, and committed war crimes, consistently and for a long time now.

Some people do even blame the way the entire of state of Israel works in that it places religion and ethnicity in a place of supremacy. And I don't think it's a particularly wrongful conclusion to come to or statement to make, if I'm honest. I'm not really concerned about the semantics of using the term "state", as I don't think it's misleading or anything,

But of course there are a lot of Israeli Jewish who are very active in their pro-Palestinian efforts (even if they are in a minority within Israel).


State Alchemist
I just don't find it helpful to discuss the argument in these terms, not only for the reason that there are both fair-minded and awful people in any group, but also because attacking an entire state makes it very easy for the decent ordinary people who comprise that state to believe you're attacking them even when you're not. Which often leads them to lend their support to the nutjobs who are actually to blame in protest or defiance at the perceived slight. From the perspective of an avid observer of the way media and political spin operates, it seems counter productive.

Let's identify the individuals at fault and name them personally responsible. I think that would be a good start. Obviously these people don't like anyone doing that, because once opposition to them personally solidifies they can quite easily end up on the end of a (literal or metaphorical) rope at the hands of their own people. Which is always a Good End.

Netanyahu (and indeed any leader) loves to personify his country, because it makes any attack on him an attack on Israel. He loves to claim the things he does he does for his country, which is bollocks because he does them for himself. Cloaked in their nation's flag a leader can get away with a lot, which is why we need to rip that mantle off them and let them know in no uncertain terms they don't speak for us. This is why in my opinion nationalism can never be a force for good and individualism and internationalism is the only sane way forward for humanity.


Za Warudo
That's fair enough, and very considerate of you. But while Netanyahu should absolutely be called out, there must be countless others in Israeli government who no doubt share/support/influenced his views and decisions. There is a system that is bigger than just that one man that has enabled all this stuff to go on, and all this fear and propaganda to be spread. Netanyahu is obviously a massive part of the problem, but it's not just him alone. I do understand what you're saying though.


State Alchemist
vashdaman said:
while Netanyahu should absolutely be called out, there must be countless others in Israeli government who no doubt share/support/influenced his views and decisions. There is a system that is bigger than just that one man that has enabled all this stuff to go on
Definitely. I'm all for finding them all and purging them from the system, and indeed the planet. But you have to identify them personally, otherwise they can't be held accountable and others will be made to suffer on their behalf. They're counting on it.

In the meantime George Galloway has provided a perfect example of what I was talking about. Israeli scholars are to blame and should be targeted because of these people's actions, Israeli tourists? Ask yourself how responsible you feel for the actions of the UK government - I don't feel remotely responsible. I have no-one to vote for who shares my beliefs and the media would destroy them if they existed. I have no weapons to oppose them with. People try to influence government policy by peaceful means - The protest movement against the Iraq War was the largest in human history but in the end those with the power still do what they like and for their own benefit. The only answer is for as many people as possible to stop dancing to their tunes, and I think dismissing any calls to tar a whole group of people - whether by race, gender, sexuality or nationality - with the same brush has to be part of that.


Za Warudo
I do agree with all of that, but it's just that it might be a bit of a mission to find list the names of these people (not that it shouldn't be done at some point) when you can just say something "the Israeli gov" has committed crimes or whatever. Even when saying "the state of Israel", or just "Israel", is this that or the other, I still think most people would understand that you aren't referring to literally every single person in that state, and holding them all equally responsible. I mean, if anyone said to me "Britain is responsible for war crimes in Iraq!" I would understand what they meant and that they weren't necessarily blaming me personally, but rather the institutions that represent our country and enabled whatever atrocities to happen.

Hmm, I don't know, maybe you're right about this, but this is just the language most of us have been grown up using. On A-level exam papers the questions are "to what extent is Germany responsible for WW1", but I think most of us of course understood it didn't mean all the regular German people who lived in Germany, ya know.


theirsbailiff said:
US to go on the offensive against IS
In my mind's eye:
"Us" to go on the offensive against "is"

OXFORD, UNITED KINGDOM. Numerous leading contributors to the Oxford English Dictionary have launched a campaign to rid the English language of the word "is", arguing for a more suitable replacement to be found. The group, collectively referring to themselves as "Us", shocked linguists and philologists worldwide by describing the word as being "as outmoded as any form of auxiliary verb could become". Other leading academics have been quick to defend "is" from Us however, several of whom dismissing the group's plans as "the most complete and utter (continued page 94)


Death Scythe
Do people think Scotland should be independant?

I don't really have much of an opinion on it though.

However, I do feel the Scottish are being naive thinking they can keep the GBP if they leave us. Erm, why would you have the GREAT BRITISH POUND if you leave GREAT BRITAIN?! Bit of silly thinking there Scotland. As George has said, it'd be like sharing a bank account after a divorce! So have a big think if you're happy to suddenly see the EUR in your wallet and as your price for things in bars and shops!

I for one would hate to have the EUR hehe :p I was SO happy when we kept the GBP all those years ago when it was questioned/up for discussion/deciding.


We and scotland are brothers

Northern Ireland
Southern Ireland

We are one big family......And a family should stick together

Sure we have diffrent views
And we have had our ups and downs
But when I see these places on a map......I don't see England or Scotland ect

I see in the same family

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