Iran vs. US/Israel?

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Postby BrianBlessed » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:43 pm

I don't see your point. European countries used to have very religious government. New member states to the EU wanted the inclusion of religious values and were denied. What's your point? And technically that wouldn't even be seperation of church and state, as it's the European Union not a national government.
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Postby Xocrates » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:52 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:I have to ask why you think that Jesus would be placed on the "left"?


On most definitions of the political term "left" is usually more concerned with the people while "right" is more concerned in (at a lack of better terms) making money. That clearly makes Jesus a lot more "left" than "right"

Ace Rimmer wrote:While this may be the case now, 200 years ago when the US was being created it certainly was not. In order to not be vague here, I cite the Civil Constitution of the Clergy as one example of Europe's fondness for religion and state to be one. If you need more, just take a look at any of the Holy Roman Emperors.

Current events you ask... One Two Three.


If you're going to cite the Holy Roman emperors, you can pretty much also cite every king/emperor/whatever since the stone age. Keep in mind that the US is a relatively new country. It was founded pretty much about the time separation from state and church took place.

As for the links, there is a tiny difference. There are appeals from the church so that religion is not removed from the European constitution, and there is pressure from the people to do just that. That's because a lot of people are religious: the state can't forbid then that. This means that if they agree, they will be doing the will of the people, not the church.

Also, from that article on the civil constitution of the clergy, it seems that its purpose was to place the church under the state. Agreed, it does not shows separation of church and state, but it is a big reversal of the usual order.
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:08 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:Fair enough. How about the Ten Commandments issue with the courthouse in OK.


Do you mean the situation where a private group put a big granite slab of the Ten Commandment on the courthouse grounds?

If so that seems like a fairly clear cut case. There is not reason for that monument to be on the grounds of the courthouse. It was placed there for purely religious reasons.

Ace Rimmer wrote:Also fair enough. Left in the context of this conversation would be people like Ted Kennedy or Hilary Clinton. You could also place most of the mainstream American media in the category.


Is it possible for you to not be vague? You seem to be doing all you can to avoid anything specific. Ted Kennedy and Hilary Clinton don't agree on everything and the mainstream American media doesn't have any one position. Cite some specific beliefs and not nebulous entities.

Ace Rimmer wrote:I have to ask why you think that Jesus would be placed on the "left"?


Jesus got in trouble in his own time for being too liberal. Virtually all his teachings are still very much in the liberal camp (concern for the poor, disagreement with the conservative religious establishment, opposition to commercial exploitation, lack of interest in economic competition, etc.)
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Postby Radiant Caligula » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:08 pm

niksonpsi wrote:
Radiant Caligula wrote:Isreal having nukes (which scares me more than anything)

why does that scares you???


Because Israel is THE biggest military aggressor in the middle east. Any unstable region with one or more states having nuclear capabilities scare me. But Israel has always had a "holier-than-thou" outlook on the world and it's surroundings. I don't find it strange at all that Israel is armed to the teeth, sitting in that pit of hate. But they are certainly not making it easier on themselves killing at least 10 palestinians for every Israeli victim. The political and strategical mechanics are very complex in this region, but it's solutions should not be. If Israel finally gave the Palestinians some room and started treating them as human beings instead of cattle, I'm 100% sure that alone would relieve some pressure.

The reason why Israel's nuclear capabilities scare me is that any such capability is indeed an active one, meaning that once in possesion such a capability would be worthless if no one was willing to actually use it. The cold war mechanics doesn't apply to microcosms of nuclear "balance" (which this region soon might have). The world survived the cold war simply because the mounting balance of terror kept the parties from pushing the button in fear of the world ending consequences.

The middle east (or India/Pakistan for that matter - although different geopolitics), doesn't have any stabilising factors. The situation in Iraq only adds to the destabilisation and having loons leading Iran and Israel (until they learn some manners Israel is by definition a psychopathic state) isn't very helpful to establish a sphere of peace and enlightenment.

I don't fear a (nuclear) first strike by Israel, but if the nuclear cat is let out of the bag anywhere near it's borders/region I don't doubt a second the Israeli military/political forces would hesitate much to retaliate. Knowing that nearby enemies don't possess 1000s of nukes will also make nuclear exchange more likely.
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Postby xander » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:34 pm

Xocrates wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:I have to ask why you think that Jesus would be placed on the "left"?

On most definitions of the political term "left" is usually more concerned with the people while "right" is more concerned in (at a lack of better terms) making money. That clearly makes Jesus a lot more "left" than "right"

Do you mind if I have a crack at defining left and right? In the US, the "right" represents conservatism. In the broadest sense, the conservative message seems to be one of laize faire capitalism (i.e. the government should stay out of business and keep taxes low) and social conservatism (i.e. the government should control how people behave (e.g. with regards to sexuality, drugs, &c.)). The stated goal of conservatism is to keep government small, and let people sink or swim on their own. Personally, I find the socially conservative aspects of the US right to be at odds with their statements about non-interference, but I think that has a lot to do with the influence of the religious right in the last several decades.

On the other hand, the left represents liberal philosophy. That is, a philosophy of progressive ideas that attempts to reshape the status quo. Most on the left feel that government can be a constructive force in society, to regulate the excesses of the powerful (i.e. economic controls, environmental regulation), and to level the playing field a bit for the severely disadvantaged (the very poor, the disabled, &c.). The goal of classical liberalism, in contrast to conservatism, is to shake up the existing authority structures a bit.

At the time of Christ, the Jewish people were very conservative. They knew their Torah, by gosh, and were going to abide by it. They were upholders of the status quo. Jesus, on the other hand, questioned the authority of this structure, and sought to shake it up a bit. In that sense, he was the very definition of classical liberalism, which is, in the US, a part of the left.

Thus, Jesus was a lefty liberal. There really are no two way around that.

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Postby Ace Rimmer » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:36 pm

More fun, three, er now four (Thanks Xocrates!) at a time! sorta... :wink:
xander wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:Fair enough. How about the Ten Commandments issue with the courthouse in OK.

Two comments:

1) If the "In God we trust" on our currency, or the "One nation, under God" bit in the Pledge of Allegiance are superficial and, thus, trivial, how are the 10 Commandments being posted in a courthouse any different? And, if they are trivial, why should it matter if they are removed.

In God we trust and One nation under God are superficial because they are both false and a misrepresentation of this nations real beliefs and ideals. As a nation, we don't trust in God and are certainly not under one God. You only need too look at the nations behavior to see its real beliefs. Materialism and consumerism are far more important than any religion.

The Ten Commandments come directly from the Bible. Even if you don't believe in the Bible, but respect it as a religious document, then you can surely see the difference. The Ten commandments should be the core of Christians. "In God we trust" and "One nation, under God" are statements made in the political arena as you have already stated.

xander wrote:2) Posting the 10 Commandments is a clear endorsement of the Judeo-Christian religion. It favors believers of the Bible over other faiths, and is, therefore, a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Perhaps true of the 10 Commandments, but I could argue that "In God we trust" could be defined as "In money we trust" in todays society.

xander wrote:It would make me, as an atheist, question the impartiality of a judge presiding over a case in which I was involved. Flip it around for a minute: let us say that you were arrested. You walk into the courthouse, and notice that the Sharia laws are posted in the lobby. How would you feel about your chances, as a Christian, of getting a fair trial? Would it be appropriate to post the Sharia laws in a courthouse, or would that violate the establishment clause?

First, I don't think my chances of getting a fair trial are any greater just because the judge has part of the Bible posted. Second, not being a member of any denomination, if the courthouse had Sharia laws posted I would do as I would do under any other circumstance... use established US Law and precedent to defend myself (supposing I'm innocent).

I would have to read the establishment clause to answer that specifically.
xander wrote:In summary, I don't see how removing the 10 Commandments from a courthouse is any indication that the state is separating itself from churches.

xander

I stated there is a push to do so, not that the state as a whole is actually separating itself from religion.

BrianBlessed wrote:I don't see your point. European countries used to have very religious government. New member states to the EU wanted the inclusion of religious values and were denied. What's your point? And technically that wouldn't even be separation of church and state, as it's the European Union not a national government.

But as I understand it (forgive me if I'm wrong here) the European Union, once firmly established as a governing body, will take precedence over any member states laws and governments.

Xocrates wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:I have to ask why you think that Jesus would be placed on the "left"?


On most definitions of the political term "left" is usually more concerned with the people while "right" is more concerned in (at a lack of better terms) making money. That clearly makes Jesus a lot more "left" than "right"

I suppose if you look at it in those terms maybe. I contend that He would be in neither corner.

Xocrates wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:While this may be the case now, 200 years ago when the US was being created it certainly was not. In order to not be vague here, I cite the Civil Constitution of the Clergy as one example of Europe's fondness for religion and state to be one. If you need more, just take a look at any of the Holy Roman Emperors.

Current events you ask... One Two Three.


If you're going to cite the Holy Roman emperors, you can pretty much also cite every king/emperor/whatever since the stone age. Keep in mind that the US is a relatively new country. It was founded pretty much about the time separation from state and church took place.

As for the links, there is a tiny difference. There are appeals from the church so that religion is not removed from the European constitution, and there is pressure from the people to do just that. That's because a lot of people are religious: the state can't forbid then that. This means that if they agree, they will be doing the will of the people, not the church.

Also, from that article on the civil constitution of the clergy, it seems that its purpose was to place the church under the state. Agreed, it does not shows separation of church and state, but it is a big reversal of the usual order.

The US being a relatively new nation doesn't discount the history of Europe. Europe's governments have had and do have significant ties to religion and I would venture to say those ties will only become increasingly stronger if terrorism and the US's handling of world affairs continues along the path both are currently on. Stronger to the point of becoming directly involved in governmental affairs. :shock:

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:Fair enough. How about the Ten Commandments issue with the courthouse in OK.


Do you mean the situation where a private group put a big granite slab of the Ten Commandment on the courthouse grounds?

If so that seems like a fairly clear cut case. There is not reason for that monument to be on the grounds of the courthouse. It was placed there for purely religious reasons.

I don't remember the specifics anymore so I'll let this article answer that.. Article

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:Also fair enough. Left in the context of this conversation would be people like Ted Kennedy or Hilary Clinton. You could also place most of the mainstream American media in the category.


Is it possible for you to not be vague? You seem to be doing all you can to avoid anything specific. Ted Kennedy and Hilary Clinton don't agree on everything and the mainstream American media doesn't have any one position. Cite some specific beliefs and not nebulous entities.

Of course nobody agrees totally with anybody else, but those two are certainly in the same boat when you're talking overall political ideology. Mainstream American media tends to lean one way or the other, the "established" media obviously leans more to the left (CNN, the 3 big networks, etc) while the "new" media leans the opposite (Fox News for example). I was speaking of the "established" media.

Specific beliefs: Ted and Hillary I'll let the speak for themselves. You can look at their voting record as well to get a better idea.
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:48 pm

I think the Supreme Court was right to not absolutely prohibit the display of the Ten Commandments on government property (courthouses). The Supreme Court building has the Ten Commandments included in its decoration in fact. This use of the Ten Commandments however is as part of a larger decoration scheme chronicling the evolution of law and the Ten Commandments were certainly part of that evolution. However displaying the Ten Commandments just for their own sake is should really be prohibited as it is only serves to promote Christianity (which is something the government should not be in the business of doing).
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Postby xander » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:53 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:In God we trust and One nation under God are superficial because they are both false and a misrepresentation of this nations real beliefs and ideals. As a nation, we don't trust in God and are certainly not under one God. You only need too look at the nations behavior to see its real beliefs. Materialism and consumerism are far more important than any religion.

The Ten Commandments come directly from the Bible. Even if you don't believe in the Bible, but respect it as a religious document, then you can surely see the difference. The Ten commandments should be the core of Christians. "In God we trust" and "One nation, under God" are statements made in the political arena as you have already stated.

The 10 Commandments are a misrepresentation of this nation's beliefs. Not everyone in the US is a Christian. And I don't see how "In God we trust" is false or a misrepresentation if the 10 Commandments are not. Christians are taught to believe in and trust their God. They are also taught that God is over everything, including this nation. I don't see how you can simultaneously state that the 10 Commandments are an accurate reflection of the beliefs of the American people, and state that the phrase "In God we trust" is not. It boggles the mind.

Ace Rimmer wrote:Perhaps true of the 10 Commandments, but I could argue that "In God we trust" could be defined as "In money we trust" in todays society.

And I could argue that the 10 Commandments could be defined as a pink bunny rabbit. That doesn't change the fact that "In God we trust" clearly means the god of a monotheistic religion, most probably Christian. It is an endorsement of monotheism, if nothing else, and is discriminatory against polytheists, agnostics, and atheists. How would you feel if the money said "In Allah we trust?" or "In Buddha we trust?" or "In the Flying Spaghetti Monster we trust?" If you tell me that doesn't bother you, then I don't think that you are being honest. Either you are lying to me, or you don't really understand what I am suggesting.

Ace Rimmer wrote:
xander wrote:It would make me, as an atheist, question the impartiality of a judge presiding over a case in which I was involved. Flip it around for a minute: let us say that you were arrested. You walk into the courthouse, and notice that the Sharia laws are posted in the lobby. How would you feel about your chances, as a Christian, of getting a fair trial? Would it be appropriate to post the Sharia laws in a courthouse, or would that violate the establishment clause?

First, I don't think my chances of getting a fair trial are any greater just because the judge has part of the Bible posted. Second, not being a member of any denomination, if the courthouse had Sharia laws posted I would do as I would do under any other circumstance... use established US Law and precedent to defend myself (supposing I'm innocent).

Again, I don't think you are really being honest. If I saw the Sharia laws posted, I would be rather scared. Right off, I would be given an indication that the court does not like my kind, and that the judge will do everything in their power to hurt my case. That may or may not be the case, but how can you help thinking that? I worry about every being put on the stand, or sworn into a jury, because they generally require you to swear an oath over the Bible, or some other religious text. What do you think that does to the credibility of a witness that refuses to swear on the Bible? if they insist on swearing an oath over the Constitution, or nothing at all?

Ace Rimmer wrote:I would have to read the establishment clause to answer that specifically.

It is one fragment of a sentence: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."

I don't know why that was so hard to read...

Ace Rimmer wrote:
xander wrote:In summary, I don't see how removing the 10 Commandments from a courthouse is any indication that the state is separating itself from churches.

I stated there is a push to do so, not that the state as a whole is actually separating itself from religion.

You are arguing semantics. I still don't see how that represents a "push" towards greater separation.

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Postby BrianBlessed » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:09 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:But as I understand it (forgive me if I'm wrong here) the European Union, once firmly established as a governing body, will take precedence over any member states laws and governments.
.....
The US being a relatively new nation doesn't discount the history of Europe. Europe's governments have had and do have significant ties to religion and I would venture to say those ties will only become increasingly stronger if terrorism and the US's handling of world affairs continues along the path both are currently on. Stronger to the point of becoming directly involved in governmental affairs.

European laws are not there to take precedence, the European regulations are supposed to be an addition rather than a confliction. Even so, such a Union would not factor into the definition of church and state in a similar way as the UN or International Criminal Court wouldn't. And I still don't understand what your point was. The fact that some nation states tried to get religious connetations into the EU Constitution and were denied, proves the seperation of church and governing if anything.

Well based on the furor that followed Tony Blair stating that he prayed to God over Iraq, he was essentially laughed off and he was deemed unfit to make any even basic decisions. Also it was pretty bluntly stated that politicians shouldn't make references to deities in public life. The majority of the British people, along with a vast section of the more liberal MPs (I would only be able to hazard a guess about the populus of the rest of Europe) find the US's handling of any affairs cretinous at best and frankly wouldn't trust them with a biscuit. And Europe being mainly composed of nations not overtly proud over their imperial history, there is a certain level of belief that we shouldn't give a budgie's toss what other world governments are like, as ultimately you can't just go around invading people anymore.
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Postby Xocrates » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:50 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:More fun, three, er now four (Thanks Xocrates!) at a time! sorta... :wink:


You're welcome :wink:

I'll admit my general ignorance in many of the topics discussed so far (at least, at the current depth) but I would like to point some things out:

Ace Rimmer wrote:The US being a relatively new nation doesn't discount the history of Europe. Europe's governments have had and do have significant ties to religion and I would venture to say those ties will only become increasingly stronger if terrorism and the US's handling of world affairs continues along the path both are currently on. Stronger to the point of becoming directly involved in governmental affairs.


I strongly disagree with this. One of the very few popular mantras I believe in is that those who forget history are cursed to repeat it. Europe as a whole has a very long history, having met first hand the consequences of absolutist regimes, religious fanaticism and persecution and so on.

Religion might still have a reasonable amount of power, but it is but a small fraction of what it did a few centuries ago. Europe has learned a lot of it's history. Personally, I highly doubt that terrorism will cause more people to turn to religion, I expect quite the opposite in fact. Many terrorists are religious fanatics, in a place where religion is held increasingly is less consideration what do you think that these actions might trigger?


And about you argument that "In god we trust" and "a nation under god" are meaningless. They don't have to, they just have to be there. It's a bit like holding a swastika in front of a jew: even if you don't mean it, he might get offended.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:13 pm

BrianBlessed wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:But as I understand it (forgive me if I'm wrong here) the European Union, once firmly established as a governing body, will take precedence over any member states laws and governments.
.....
The US being a relatively new nation doesn't discount the history of Europe. Europe's governments have had and do have significant ties to religion and I would venture to say those ties will only become increasingly stronger if terrorism and the US's handling of world affairs continues along the path both are currently on. Stronger to the point of becoming directly involved in governmental affairs.

European laws are not there to take precedence, the European regulations are supposed to be an addition rather than a confliction. Even so, such a Union would not factor into the definition of church and state in a similar way as the UN or International Criminal Court wouldn't. And I still don't understand what your point was. The fact that some nation states tried to get religious connotations into the EU Constitution and were denied, proves the separation of church and governing if anything.
While it may appear that separation of church and state is the current choice, I would say that it will eventually prove to turn out quite the opposite.

Article The European Union seems to like to function "Behind Closed Doors". Usually when important issues are discussed in the dark (out of public sight), it doesn't bode well for that public.

The Principality and Power of Europe by Adrian Hilton is very telling and from one of the UK's own politicians.

Xocrates wrote:And about you argument that "In god we trust" and "a nation under god" are meaningless. They don't have to, they just have to be there. It's a bit like holding a swastika in front of a jew: even if you don't mean it, he might get offended.

I never meant that those statements don't offend. It is clear that they do.

Xocrates wrote: One of the very few popular mantras I believe in is that those who forget history are cursed to repeat it. Europe as a whole has a very long history, having met first hand the consequences of absolutist regimes, religious fanaticism and persecution and so on.

Religion might still have a reasonable amount of power, but it is but a small fraction of what it did a few centuries ago. Europe has learned a lot of it's history. Personally, I highly doubt that terrorism will cause more people to turn to religion, I expect quite the opposite in fact. Many terrorists are religious fanatics, in a place where religion is held increasingly is less consideration what do you think that these actions might trigger?

I believe in that mantra as well. I also do not believe that Europe has learned its lesson. Thousands of years of history can't just be pushed aside in one quarter century. I mean, WW1 and WW2 were fought within each other in less time than many that post here have been alive, including me. All it takes is one person with more power than they should have and a set of "extreme" circumstances. Not too difficult a task for humanity or Europe. That is exactly what many claim Bush and the war on terrorism is. Thus my original question was posed. Iran vs. US/Israel could (if it ever went full scale) certainly lead to a real WW3.

Edit: I would like to thank xander, Stewsburntmonkey, BrianBlessed, and Xocrates for this most interesting discussion.
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Postby niksonpsi » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:52 pm

Radiant Caligula:
C'mon. You know nothing about the situation on Israel.
You are only hearing what the press says.
You don't live in Israel, do you?
Like the last year with the Hezbollah-Israel conflict. Guess which side had altmost the full support of the World?:
Hezbollah
Why? Because nobody likes Israel.
Yes. Israel is armed to the teeth because any single outbreak on israel would cause a large-scale conflict. believe me
I think that the UN and Israel itself offered palestinians a lot of room in Israel, but they didn't accept it: The palestinians wanted everything.
They do treat them like human beings. But they don't want to be treated like that.
Guess how many Palestinians are doctors, lawyers, etc...
And this is an interesting fact: Maybe you are right, Israels soldiers sometimes (not always) kills more than 1 palestinians for 1 Israeli. But why? Because they want to make the rest of the world hate israel.

Oh, and Syria... thats the country you should be aware of...

that's all
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Postby xander » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:56 pm

niksonpsi wrote:Hezbollah
Why? Because nobody likes Israel.

Bullshit. The US unquestioningly supports Israel in almost everything it does. The worst thing that I have heard a US leader say about Israel is something like "That maybe wasn't very nice. You should apologize, if you feel like it."

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Postby NeoThermic » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:57 pm

niksonpsi wrote:You don't live in Israel, do you?


You know, saying that, neither do you.

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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Tue May 01, 2007 12:07 am

niksonpsi wrote:Radiant Caligula:
C'mon. You know nothing about the situation on Israel.
You are only hearing what the press says.
You don't live in Israel, do you?


To be fair the locals often know less than an educated outsider as they are often too wrapped up the situation to have any objectivity.


niksonpsi wrote:Like the last year with the Hezbollah-Israel conflict. Guess which side had altmost the full support of the World?:
Hezbollah
Why? Because nobody likes Israel.


No, actually because most people realized what Israel was doing had no chance to succeed and would only result in a lot of unnecessary deaths. The Israeli report released today on the issue says the same thing.

niksonpsi wrote:Yes. Israel is armed to the teeth because any single outbreak on israel would cause a large-scale conflict. believe me
I think that the UN and Israel itself offered palestinians a lot of room in Israel, but they didn't accept it: The palestinians wanted everything.


At virtually every point in the process Israel has given with one hand and taken with the other. The withdrawal from Gaza for example was coupled with expanding settlements in the West Bank. If someone comes into my house and steals all my belongings and then offers to give back half of them, I would be stupid to be happy with such an offer.


niksonpsi wrote:They do treat them like human beings. But they don't want to be treated like that.


Such a statement is one of the reasons the conflict continues. Such statements were also made by slave owners in America about Blacks. They are as offensive today as they were then.

niksonpsi wrote:Guess how many Palestinians are doctors, lawyers, etc...


When you are just trying to get by and have little or no access to good schools there is little opportunity to become a doctor or lawyer. It says nothing about the Palestinians. There have also been many cases of Palestinians who went abroad to become doctors and lawyers, but have been blocked from returning to Palestinian lands by Israel for no justifiable reason.

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