I listened to the debate - and Daniel S does what he usually does - report lots of opinions of others as if they are valuable statistics and facts, rather than opinions. Moshe W is correct to question the the biases of many of the people and organizations that Daniel flaunts as 'reputable.'I tend to agree with Moshe - and want to distill a few things down - and Moshe alluded to them near the end.Certainly, one can argue that Israel has attacked and killed Palestinians. AND - we have seen plenty of evidence that many times, those attacks are definitely justified and the collateral damage is due to the Palestinians deliberately staging attacks so that collateral damage WILL occur. [And -we have seen evidence of filming where the same child is killed in many different staged events.](BTW - please remind me - which 'side' pays terrorists for attacks - or pays the family a large stipend if the terrorist loses his life during an attack? AND - isn't that a 'government policy? AND - didn't Trump insist that the policy be rescinded - or NO MORE US AID??)As Moshe W points out - if your nation was threatened daily with deadly attacks, it is very hard to be calm and good natured like Norway or Finland might be. When you are not being attacked, one can sit on a high moral horse and claim that Israel is not being 'moral'...but if YOU personally lived in a very small country with enemies surrounding you, declaring you have no right to exist, and their goal is to push you into the sea - how long would you sit on that high moral horse and do NOTHING.I recall that after the attacks of 9/11/2001 - the US nation wanted action taken against Al Qaeda and also the Taliban, if the Taliban continued to assist them. The US took out the Taliban to get at Al Qaeda. Perhaps we should have immediately pulled out of Afghanistan and let that $h!t hole continue on - with clan fighting clan, Taliban coming back and oppressing women...but we foolishly thought that those people actually wanted freedom and liberty more than they wanted to exact revenge on clans and tribes that were not of their own kind. Plenty of US citizens criticize the US government and the military for trying to keep that place from turning into a bigger $h!t hole....but if we left, then we would be blamed for the atrocities that would follow.When Iraq (who had invaded a nation and really had not properly paid for its war crimes, and was in violation of all the UN accords that were part of the armistice, continued to evade UN inspections, and was directly funding terrorism world-wide (even paying $25K to the family of any terrorist attacking Israelis - or Americans) - most of the nation realized that Saddam Hussein, funded by lots of petrodollars, would continue supporting terrorism - and western civilization would be at risk. The population largely supported removal of Hussein. THEN - after he was deposed, it was convenient to blame the US for problems in Iraq. Our actions were in many ways - measured and reasonable - against a very evil person...Saddam Hussein.Israel is a tiny country with a tiny population compared to the nations surrounding it. All have been hostile in the past; today - some are no longer hostile. BUT - the PA and Hamas in the immediate surrounding areas are EXTREMELY Hostile. How would you (Daniel S) deal with this type problem if you HAD to live within 1 mile of any border where the PA or Hamas were on the other side of the border? How would you talk about Israeli Army 'snipers' killing kids - when many of those kids are lighting 'fire balloons' to drift over and start fires in Israel or doing other things to attack Israel? What about digging tunnels to emerge near a settlement where deadly attacks can start? Any comments about the waste of money on arms and tunnels rather than helping the people? I haven't heard anyone really condemn the PA and Hamas...or the population that lets them remain in power.Daniel - rather than relying on all these very biased organizations - let me say that I would be willing to trust YOU personally to gather data. FIRST - go to Israel on a fact finding mission. Dress as a Muslim, carry around a Koran, and go ask questions of the Israeli military (often seen in the streets with arms at hand)...of the general population, etc. Get their inputs on what is happening.THEN - Daniel - go to the PA or Hamas occupied territories. Dress as a Jew - complete with a yarmulke, and carry a copy of the Torah. Try to dress as a Jew. THEN - go interview the common people and get their comments. When done - report back to me.I am willing to bet anyone doing the first - even if they dressed as a LGBTQ 'in drag' person - we would get an interesting report.BUT - I bet anyone dressed as a traditional Jew - or a LGBTQ in drag person showed up in the PA or Hamas areas - their life span would be in hours...or even minutes.
[Continued] - Moshe points out that Israel extends hospital help to those in the PA. They have gates in walls where people can cross - come in and work. (How many Jews go to the PA or Hamas areas to work??)Fact is - Israel has been far more measured in responses than other countries would be. China - it would go in and decimate anyone that acted the way the PA and Hamas does. Even the US would take very harsh action. (Look what the US did when invading Mexican gangs were crossing into the US near the turn of the century.I think that part of the solution is that PA and Hamas territories should lose more territory with each attack. The permanent loss of land...maybe 1 square mile for an attack, and 10 square miles for each Israeli citizen killed. Nations that get into wars - lose land if they lose the war....and the PA and Hamas should suffer loss of land - and then maybe they would realize the seriousness of what they have been doing.
@mvineyard you’re entitled to your own opinion, but it’s always interesting to watch people who are actually hopelessly biased try to criticize others as being biased. If you start with a conclusion, you’ll never find truth, which is part of the problem with many of your opinions.
@sharkb8 thus says the person with huge opinion - and little fact.Recall that you started out the discussion and listed 'metrics' of good (or great) countries - religious freedom, free from corruption, good government, good economics, gender equality, etc. And - Israel is demonstrably better than most any nearby country - Africa, the Middle East, etc. That alone should be worth agreement on - but you couldn't bring yourself to point it out.And - as I tried to point out - imagine going through any Middle East country - dressed as a Jew - with a Torah.....or going to Israel dressed as a Muslim. Which is more 'survivable' - and which would be deadly dangerous. THAT is a real important thing to consider when trying to evaluate if a country is 'great'. Israel has a better 'rule of law' than any other Middle East country....admit it FIRST before being critical.Your observation that the UN Human Rights Commission is somehow justified in its 80%+ condemnations focused on Israel and not other countries because it is a country that might be corrected - so ignore the dozens and dozens of horrible countries that are not redeemable? That is ignorance to the max. You are proof of Thomas Sowell's statement - "Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity."
@mvineyard Your comment makes it pretty obvious that you didn't even read the topic of the debate.
@sharkb8 Deflecting. I read the topic title. I understand it. You want to play hypertechnicalities. You figure if Israel is #11 - you win....because you COULD define 'most moral' as top 10. I am 'pragmatic'. A very moral country - I wouldn't mind visiting or living there for a long time. That would exclude EVERY other country in the Middle East. That would exclude most all of South America and Central America....except perhaps Chile. That would exclude most of Africa. Certainly it would exclude China and its 'satellite countries' in controls and oppresses.Where does Israel fall on your list? AND - tell me which countries you think are better - and I would likely disagree. AND - for good measure - tell me which countries are under huge risk - constant threats, rocket attacks, terrorists sneaking in for suicide bombings, etc. ….and behaves in a MORE moral fashion.Your responses tell me you haven't given the topic SERIOUS consideration. You approach it like a high school debate - rather than a serious issue for adults to discuss.
@mvineyard I thought Daniel made a much better case. Israel is being attacked because of their actions. As perhaps the best historian and scholar of the age, Norman Finkelstein said, Israel is a lunatic rogue state. They are openly and actively committing war crimes in the belief that the ends justify the means (after all, isnt how America was made? By essentially just seizing the land from the natives?).