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No Israel in Expansion Pack?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by JoshuaOst, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. cuchulain

    cuchulain Warlord

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    Carter, I think it would help your arguement if you clarify what you do think a civ needs to have in order to be included. Not all of the civs included were vast Empires- though I do agree that USA is basically an Empire, and Birtain and France obviously were. Some civs were included because of military might or empires, but not all. ie Egypt doesn't really compare to England's Empire, but its still obviously civ worthy.

    My basic opinion on this whole issue is this: Celts, Arabs, Vikings describe cultures, not historic Empires - so why not the Hebrews. (I'm saying Hebrew not Israel because I feel theres less controvery that way) Hebrews have the culture, history, and presently have one of the best militaries in the world- the only thing they haven't done is had a huge land empire, but they aren't alone.

    I don't think the developers have some score card that they use to rate real life civs. Some people say Civs need a strong military, others resource consumption, others land empires, others just a strong culture... Given the civs that were included so far, I think everyone would agree that the inlcluded civs were chosen because they are recognizable and fun: I think Hebrews fit the bill. (BTW I know a lot of others civs do too, and I'm for as many civs as possible.)
     
  2. Sharule

    Sharule Chieftain

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    This is a re-post from a similar thread:

    Starting at 1030 BCE Ancient Israel as a whole survived for Aprox. 100 years. The Northern Kingdom of Israel survived for 210 years after that. The Southern Kingdom of Israel(Judah) survived for 345 years after that. Bringing the Autonomous State of Ancient Israel to aprox. 445 years. However, this discounts Israel as a semi Autonomous state. Babylonian Exile ended in 537 BCE. Israel would exist as a semi-autonomous state from 537 BCE to 70 CE, which comes out to 607 years. As a whole, the Israelites occupied Israel for aprox. 1052 years. Impressive, considering that Babylon lasted for only 305 years at max. The Arabian Empire only (arguably) lasted for 635 years, and are also a people you could say are far more defined by a religion(Islam) than any actual Empire.
    For the time that Israel was around, they controlled 9,375 Square Miles, an impressive state, considering that A: They were at the strategic Crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe(The Canaanites were constantly being Invaded and Plundered by all their neighbors, and until Israel no state had lasted long in that area). B: In the Ancient world most States were city based(Sparta, Rome, Yin) If not Completely undeveloped(Japan, Africa, Northern Europe). Most 'Empires' at this time were rather small. Take a look at Ancient Egypt: Here
    Looking at Ancient Israel in a modern Paradigm is rather hind-sighted. For their time they forged something very difficult, A viable state making up a civilization, at a time where The Celts were just learning to farm, and the Japanese were making clothes out of bark. The Israelite Empire also created one of the most enduring Cultures in the Western World. Both Israel and Greece are responsible for the foundations of the European world. Israel has also had a large impact on the Arabian world. The Diasporia obviously disrupted the State of Israel, but does that make it different? Not Really. China was ruled by mongols, so did China cease to exist? India ceased to exist under Arabian and British rule, so did their people Cease to be Indian?
    Just because a people were exiled from their native land does not make them into 'new' people. The Ancient Israelite blood flows through the Modern Israeli's. Their culture has many similar traits, The use of Hebrew, the Sheckel, Jerusalem, Judaism among others. Id say that the Israelite Empire made the biggest comeback in the history of man, they went from Complete destruction to regional power. With a Diasporia of over 1800 years, most civilizations would become footnotes(the Philistines anyone?), I think the fact that the Israelites did survive in Diasporia from their homeland just makes their case that much stronger. Few Empires could do that, if any in the modern world.

    And BTW: Peoples use of the Hebrew people is incorrect. After the Hebrews conquered the Canaanites they were renamed to the Israelites(After Jacob, who became known as Israel, or 'One who struggles with G-d')
     
  3. Xineoph

    Xineoph Prince

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    Extremely impressive post. I completely forgot about city-states.
     
  4. necrolyte

    necrolyte Warlord

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    Actually, Shaka fought similair odds as Israel did :D

    The thing is that the Hebrews were not a particularly impressive group historically, they were like the Thracians or the Lydians or the Mitanni-really, if it wasn't for the bible and their impact on Christianity, they would be little more than a footnote.

    That said, I think since Judaism is a religion, the Hebrew state would be appropriate as the "Inventors" of each faith should be represented by a nation. But they are NOT by any standard the most important civ to put in.

    Modern Israelis are not really a civilization worth putting in because they have existed 50 years as a state. Civ likes more history, the only exception is Mao.
     
  5. CarterField

    CarterField Chieftain

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    You're post is dilluted with an inflated sense of national importance. Modern Israel has nothing to do with Ancient Israel. Egypt, though "small", had the most dominating military of its time and no ancient culture (aside from Imperial Rome) could rival its religion and influence. The Celts were a federation of peoples tied together by language, religion, and culture. Their influence extended across from the British Isles to northern France, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Stonehenge represents one of the key architectural triumphs of Western Civilization and the Celtic language is still used in Ireland today. Even the might of Rome sought to seperate Brittainia from the Celts by way of Hadrian's Wall. This is not a suitable comparison.

    Israeli political culture did not survive the diaspora; the nation ceased to exist as an independent political state. The Hebrew culture and Judaism did persevere; there is a big difference.

    Your accusations that Israel and Greece are the two founding nations of Western Civilization can be described as hyperbole and would be dismissed by any serious academic. Spain under Charles V, Gaul/France under Charlemagne and Napoleon, England under Victoria and Elizabeth, and Prussia/Germany under Bismarck, each have had just as an important role in shaping the foundations of Western Civilization as the Greeks and Romans had. Historically speaking, Israel's cultural geophraphy is placed in the Middle East, not Western Europe. Aside from its original influence on Christianity, Israel has had very little effect on shaping the foundations of Western culture. And once again, no serious intellectual would place modern Israel and ancient Israel as equivocal political forces. That is akin to saying that Gaul and France are both one and the same; history shows that they are not.

    As for the requirements for the inclusion of a civilization into Civ IV I believe that the developers looked at it as follows:

    1. The civilization must have endured independently for quite some time; militarily, culturally, politically, and scientifically. The extent of a civilization's imperialism is the foremost manner in which to measure these factors. Religion cannot be used as a quantitative tool because it does not reflect the strength of the four aforementioned factors. Therefore, religion has been included to reflect its influence and role in shaping historical events.
    2. The influence that was pronounced by the said independent civilization must have not only dominated its era but also must be resonant within modern society today.
    3. The largest, most balanced sample pool of civilizations must be used to ensure that only the globally strongest and most dominative cultures are included in the game; an attempt to include mediocrely successful political entities, by comparison, would be impossible given the present size, scale, and scope of Civ IV. The developers simply don't have the time, money, or technology to please everyone. Hence, the successful inclusion of user created mods for those who wish to play as Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, Austria, Israel, Pakistan, etc.

    Finally, it is clear that nationalism is the primary motivation behind the continued existence of this thread. For example, a comparison between ancient Greece and Israel in terms of their influence on Western culture is laughable. Israel did not create Judaism. Judaism spawned Christianity and Islam, however, each religion was responsible for its own independant development henceforth from its creation. I have spent seven years studying Western Civilization and not once did a professor speak of the two ancient political entities (Israel and Greece) in the same sentence. Nor did my Jewish friends, by comparison, make a similar attempt. Furthermore, since the exclusion of Israel as an original playable nation in Civilization IV proves that I am correct on this issue, I will henceforth exclude myself from this debate.

    EDIT: I still feel that Israel would be a fun civilization to play though. However, I still contend that there are more deserving civilizations that should be included in Civ IV beforehand. I look forward to playing some mods.
     
  6. Xineoph

    Xineoph Prince

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    The same thing can be said for any culture. Had the Egyptians not build monuments they would be a footnote in history. Had the American revolution been put down, it would have just been a footnote in history, etc, etc.

    The point is, because of what they did and the events, they did not become a footnote, but a great unified nation with a huge impact in history on par with the Ancient Egyptians, Chinese etc.
     
  7. CarterField

    CarterField Chieftain

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    Since this post has nothing to do with the previous debate I will take time to address it. What made ancient Egypt great wasn't the monuments or pyramids; in the middle eastern world Egypt was on par with what the United States is in North America today. In reference to ancient Israel there is no comparison.

    The same can be said about the Chinese. The treasure ship voyages marked the largest maritime expeditionary force in history up until World War II. The Great Wall is a testament to this great civilization that invented gunpowder, the compass, and cannons. Once again, in reference to ancient Israel there is no comparison.

    The idea that ancient Israel was a footnote in history is rather radical. The Israelites developed fantastic agricultural capabilities, a complex system of civil law, and exported monotheism. But aside from these accomplishments, the duration of its independence and the extent of its domination pale in comparison to ancient Egypt and China.
     
  8. Koheleth

    Koheleth Chieftain

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    That's just plain wrong. Ancient Israel's political culture survived in the diaspora for hundreds of years. In Galilee, the Sanhedrin continued to lead a semi-autonomous regime over the Israelites for hundreds of years after the final Roman conquest. In Babylonia/Persia, the Exilarch (a descendant of King David) was the head of the Israelite/Jewish community until the 11th century, and ruled his community in a similar semi-autonomous fashion.

    Diaspora Israelities went to places like Arabia, Yemen and Ethiopia, where they established independant city states and kingdoms, some of which lasted until the rise of Islam.

    Israelite (i.e. Jewish) law survives to this day, and is officially given equal weight in modern Israel with English common law. I'm not talking about religious law -- I'm talking about purely secular law such as contracts, torts, financial transactions, etc.

    So, in sum, Ancient Israel had:

    roughly 300 years of tribal, loosely-confederated independance
    roughly 400 years of independance as a kingdom
    70 years of total domination
    350 years as a semi-autonomous part of the Persian and Greek empires
    100 years as another independant kingdom
    50ish years as a semi-autonomous part of the Roman Empire
    another 250 years as a semi-autonomous part of the Roman Empire (confined to Galilee)
    Plus semi-autonmous statelets in Bablyonia and Persia for hundreds of years more, and totally independant statelets in Ethiopia, Yemen, and Arabia.

    So what if, at one point, it ceased to exist as an independant state? So did almost every civ in the game!
    Indeed, ancient Israel was much longer lived civilization than most in the game. And it was a civilization that produced literature (primarily the Bible, but also extra-biblical books still read today), law and religion that still survive today.


    About the only thing its missing is massive surviving monuments, but many civs in the game are missing those. Hell, some -- like the Inca -- weren't even literate.
     
  9. Koheleth

    Koheleth Chieftain

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    True -- but they shouldn't be compared with Egypt or China. The more appropriate comparison is with the weaker choices for inclusion, such as Carthage, the Inca, the Zulus, etc.
     
  10. UnspokenRequest

    UnspokenRequest Prince

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    Israel shouldn't be in the game because it is too controversial for a commercial product. Period. Hebrews would be a bit better, as it relates to the ancient kingdom. Still, too controversial for a commercial product.

    Arabs should be in the game because people from Morocco to Irak call themselves Arab. That's a whole bunch of states.
    It's a simple question of representation.

    The following comment wants to be devoid of any moral judgement, it's simple fact:
    There are things the state of Israel has been doing during the last few years that don't always look too well on the news sometimes (not only in the middle east, but in the West and elsewhere too).

    Suicide bombers don't look too well either, I agree, but they are not states, only individuals. Therefore, it's easy to dissociate Arabs and Islam from suicide bombers. It's not that easy to dissociate Israel's constructed wall and colonies from Israel...
     
  11. CarterField

    CarterField Chieftain

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    You're right. But my reasoning was such that the Sanhedrin were a religious leadership as opposed to a civic body. However, in hindsight, I guess they did perform both functions.
     
  12. Sharule

    Sharule Chieftain

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    Carterfield,
    I too study Western Civilization. However, the term Western changes throughout what age it is, Almost always the Middle East will be included as "western" until the rise of Islam, because western society in part grew out of them.
    As for Greece and Israel, Ive never had a teacher who has not discussed Israels importance to the west. So I suppose our Professors might differ in that.
    So I can see your point, but its just a matter of opinion. I study Religion and History, so perhaps I am more likely to tie in Religion directly into the development of peoples. I mean, what would Europe be like without the Great Schism? Or with out the Reformation?
    What would the world be like had Paul not converted to early Christianity?

    I think Religion has just as great of an effect as Economics and Leaders, and in that sense, the Israelites 'invented' Judaism and Monotheism(There are arguements with Zoroastrianism, but these dont really get very far, and technically its a dualism anyhow.) So since I am pre-disposed to consider that a major development, I would say its just as important as Greek-Rationalism.

    Either way, Christianity was 'invented' by an Israelite(Jesus or Paul), and since most post Constantine thoughts are inspired by the New Testament(and the Tanakh) that would make Israelite thought followed by 1/3 of Humanity(The Majority of the New Testament was written by Israelites, the Gospels and the Writtings of Paul)
    Indeed Roman and Greek thought would be shunned throughout most of Christian Europe, and they would not surface again until the renaissance. So intellectually most Philosophy past Constantine in Europe was centered around Israelite writtings. Id say thats at least equal to Greece's influence, and Id even be apt to say its more influential.
     
  13. atreas

    atreas King

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    Are you seriously studying Western civilization? Apart from the fact that one of your statements is a clear insult for the biggest part of the Western world (it's the phrase "Christianity was 'invented' by an Israelite (Jesus or Paul)", in case you have any doubt), you show a profound lack of knowledge, especially when it comes to philosophy (I could just start giving names of philosophs from Byzantium, but it would be just a waste of space).

    In case you haven't heard it, Jews were mentioned for the next MANY centuries as just "those bad people that crucified Jesus". You can call that "influence", but there are many other ways to describe it.
     
  14. CarterField

    CarterField Chieftain

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    Great post. I agree with your first paragraph but take exception to the idea that religion is on par with Greek-Rationalism. Both were attempts to understand the world, however, the latter sowed the seeds for the practical application of the Western Sciences while the success of the former is impossible to measure. While religion remained focused upon our intrinsic natures, Greek-Rationalism was able to combine both practical and metaphysical realities to acheive progress. Whereas religion was useful as a political tool in the West, providing us with the only surviving institution that survived the fall of the Roman Empire, the suppression of native European cultures and scientific progress prohibited it from exceeding the advantages that science afforded us. Both have their merits, of course, but this discussion is limited to reality; not the metaphysical realm. Rarely, in the history of Europe, did religion push events. Cultural geography, social migrations, and the politics among competing states took precedence over the influence that religion had in Europe.

    As for the "invention" of monotheism, many factors influenced its evolution. There is evidence to suggest, for example, that the supposed monotheistic tendencies of the original twelve tribes is saturated in myth. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Hebrews worshipped a variety of gods that were dieties of their neighbours; Babylon is a perfect example of this. Because of this cultural assimilation, it is fairly inaccurate to suggest that only "Israel" invented monotheism. Rather, it has become more acceptable to suggest that the modern understanding of monotheism evolved in the middle east and was most clearly expedited from, and perpetuated within, the Israeli kingdom for the purposes of cultural defence (take the restrictions on the "wasteful practices of spilling one's seed," - such as masturbation and recreational procreation, as examples that support the theory that ancient Israel was one of the proponents of monotheism because it discouraged emigration and encouraged population growth). Combined with a central religion, cultural defences become easier to implement. It is fairly illogical to suggest that the Israelites were the only people to recognize this; therefore, it is equally inaccurate to suggest that they should take sole credit for its evolution.

    Finally, Christianity was not "invented" by an Israelite. By the time of Christ's birth ancient Israel had ceased to exist. The Hebrew religion, on the other hand, was still very strong and from this, Christianity originally developed as a persecuted sect. The concept that 1/3 of humanity follows Israeli thought is racist, incorrect, and misinterpretative. Nationalism has no place in the academic study of history; the Nazis are a perfect example of that.

    Furthermore, your argument that Greco-Roman thought was shunned across much of Europe is also plain wrong. Byzantium remained a stalwart of the Christian faith and the Orthodox Church, supported by the gnostics and Irish monks, retained and assimilated much of these ancient understandings with the assistance of the Muslim world during the "Dark Ages". This era, in turn, was a time of immense undertakings and you would do well to enhance your studies of Western Europe that focus on the centuries that preceded the Italian Renaissance. There is an argument today that suggests that the Renaissance didn't even exist; rather, it is the view of modern historians that our biases against the "Dark Ages" have prohibited popular history from accepting the strides and advances that Europe made during and before that time.

    When you accept popular history and twist it to support your biases, of course you would argue that one influence is more important than another. The concept that post-Constantinian European writings were focused on Hebrew writings has been debunked; Aristotle himself was a proponent of Greco-Hellenism and his writings support the reality that Greco-fashioned rationalism was extremely prominent before, during, and after his time.

    The Hebrew/Christian articles in the biblical canon were not the only monotheistic texts to circulate the Mediterranean after Christ's death. However, they were selected, scrutinized, and manipulated in order to debunct subversive cultures and increase the influence and coffers of the Bishop of Rome. The Great Purge of Native Europe is all too often overlooked and many fail to recognize that the merge between Greco-Hellenist thought and Pagan cultures produced an undercurrent that eventually swelled into the Protestant Reformation. Surely you do not believe that, aside from these Hebrew/Christian writings, nothing else was read. The intellectual impetus behind the Christian faith was that exact Hellenistic impulse that you claim Europe temporarily forgot! The idea that these philosophies disappeared, only to resurface after a given time, would earn you a failing mark in my school and a quick redirection back to the library.

    The point is that Western Pagan ideologies weren't non-factors in the evolution of monotheism; nor was Greco-Roman Rationalism. In fact, the only process that we can accurately hold responsible for the amalgamation of Hebrew, Christian, Pagan, and Greco-Roman thoughts is Cultural Syncretism; the same is true regarding the development of monotheism in the Middle East. And since we cannot accurately determine that ancient Israel was the sole precipitator of this event, we cannot sustain an argument that its supposed creation of this idea is justification for its inclusion in Civilization IV.

    I also pursued a combined degree in History and Religious Studies. I wish you great success in your courses and definitely respect your mind.
     
  15. Mott1

    Mott1 King

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    It still amazes me how so many westerners believe that the only democratic state in the Middle-East is so controversial that it should not be allowed in a game, that it is taboo to even speak in favor of Israel. This gentlemen goes even further by stating that ancient Israel is also too controversial for commmercial use.
    This collective thought seems to reinforce the alarmists theory that the west and democracy is on the verge of doom.

    This cannot be furthur from the truth. Perhaps here in the west you view all people of the Middle-East and North Africa as Arabs but as a person of Iranian descent, I can assure you that many of us do not view ourselves as Arabs, in fact many would take offence to your statement.
    Its like saying Native American indians call themselves caucasians.
    BTW Arabs are an ethnic group not a nation, so your comparison of Israelites to Arabs is severly flawed.

    So the murder of innocents, institutionalized teaching of racial hatred, and the propagation of false media by the Palestinians looks pretty good to you? or do you just turn a blind eye whenever a Palestinian mother proudly straps a belt bomb on her son.

    It also amazes me how very little people in the west know of the mind-set of the Muslim world. Iran fully supports the terrorist acts of the palestinians, in fact the majority of the Muslim world supports these terrorist acts. You would risk getting lynched if you spoke against Islamic terrorism.
    Therefore Islamic terrorism is not a movement practised by the Islamic fringe, but rather a collective movement supported by the whole.

    Again here you demonstrate the same flawed argument by comparing an ethnic group(Arabs) and a religion(Islam) to a state(Israel).
    It would be very unfair to associate Arabs with Islamic suicide bombers, however you cannot dissociate orthodox Islam with Islamic suicide bombers. Seeing that the vast majority of Palestinians are Muslim that have collectively elected a known Islamic terrorist organization as their ruling body, you cannot dissociate Palestine from terrorism.
     
  16. UnspokenRequest

    UnspokenRequest Prince

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    @Mott

    I don't have time now to get into the detail of your argument. I'll take care of that tomorrow.

    A few points need immediate correction, however:
    - the simple fact that this thread has been going on for 13 pages, with people arguing, insulting and getting offended by others CLEARLY PROVES that Israel is too controversial for a commercial product that want to please everyone.
    Whether or not this controversy is justified is not my point. It may not be too controversial for me, but it may be too controversial to many other people. Remember Civ4 is a product that looks for mass appeal. They don't want anything to do with politics and it is a sure fact that putting Israel in the game would have caused political backlash against the company.

    -
    You said: "Perhaps here in the west you view all people of the Middle-East and North Africa as Arabs but as a person of Iranian descent, I can assure you that many of us do not view ourselves as Arabs, in fact many would take offence to your statement"

    Do you know your geography? I went from Morocco to the west and stopped at Irak to the East... Iran is outside of the geographical area I described!!!
    + Iranian don't speak Arabic. Most of them speak Farsi. They are PERSIANS!!!!! Not Arabs!!!
    Iranians are NOT Arabs. Of course they won't feel Arab. They're not. Just like French don't feel English. BTW, are you really Iranian?

    Now about Arab identity. Do you know who Nasser is? Do you know what is Pan-arabism? Do you know what is the League of Arab States?
    Do you know that this league of ARAB states comprises Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. That's 22 states!!!!!!! (Iran is not there by the way.
    All these states contain Arab people. That is a fact.

    -Oh, and knowing if Arab is a nation (depends on how you define nation. Nations can be defined through citizenship, but it is also defined through ethnic or cultural group. On this subject, Pan-arabism is widely recognized by scholars as a form of Arab nationalism...) or not is completely beside the point. I'm comparing the controversy level of an Arab civ vs. an Israel civ. I'm quite sure that Israel is more controversial.
    O

    BTW, I'm a graduate student in International relations and I've got a major in modern and contemporary history. Therefore, I can say, without any vanity, that I know more about the middle east than the common westerner. Don't assume that everyone here is absolutely ignorant about the rest of the world.
    So stop the lecturing.
     
  17. Sharule

    Sharule Chieftain

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    Carterfield,

    Your post was very good. I agree with a lot of it. My main argument is different in nothing but enphasis. Im not saying that Greek-Rationalism disapeared, just that it was used in conjunction with the Mythos of the Christian religion. You can see the same absurd mixtures of Greek Logos and Christian Mythos up to Kirkegaard.
    Oh, and our definition of Israelite differs, so I apologize, I should clear it up. The Romans called the land of Israel Judea, after the Largest of the 3 or 4 tribes left of Israel, Yehuda(Judah). However, the people there called themselves Israelites, not Judeans. In Hebrew writting's around that time they consistantly refer to themselves as Israelites, and even the Christian testament refers to 'Judea' as Israel(it uses both interchangeably). So in conclusion, Israelites are Jews in Israel before 70CE, afterwards in the Diasporia, they are not Israelites, but rather Jews.
     
  18. Mott1

    Mott1 King

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    Clearly people who initiate insults and become offended are not mature enough to handle any controversial topic, not just this one.
    You are encouraging defeatism when you kow-tow to a minorty who opposes any form of controversy. I highly doubt that the sales of this game will drop if Israel is implemented in the game, and suggesting that Firaxis will experience political backlash is absurd.


    Yes I know very well my geography thankyou for asking. By the context of your quote, I did not undertsand that you were using geographical limits. I presumed that you were naming Morocco and Iraq as an example to include the entire Middle-East and North Africa, my mistake. However you still are incorrect by suggesting that all people from Morocco to Iraq consider themselves arab. 33% of the people in Morocco are Berber, 98% of the people in Egypt are Egyptian who are not considered Arab only 1% are comprised of Nubian, Berber, and Arab. In Iraq there is a large population of Kurds who see thamselves as Kurds not Arabs.

    You can stop using exclamation points to emphasize a point that I am already aware of. Of course most Iranians are not Arabs, that is why I consider myself Persian obviously.
    And yes my parents were born in Iran my lineage is of Iran, I however was born in Turkey hence I am of Iranian descent. If you do not choose to believe me that is your prerogative.
    French do not feel English but both assuredly are caucasian. You are utilizing a false analogy, arabs and persians are two different ethnic groups French and English are different nationalities.

    My answer is yes to all of your above questions. I really don't feel like delving into the above argument, I've discussed this so many times on other forums it gets rather tiresome, if you wish to continue the above disscussion we can do it somewhere else some other time.

    Yes, but you stated that all people from Morocco to Iraq call themselves Arab which is untrue. It is equivelent to saying all people in the United States call themsleves Caucasians which would be untrue.

    Again you are comparing an ethinc group(Arabs) to a state(Israel) with regards to controversy which is an erroneous argument. You can however, compare Saudi Arabia to Israel with respect to the level of controversy they exude. How do you determine the "level" of controversy? do we go by the status quo? I believe Saudi Arabia is more controversal in trems of politics and many who are familiar with the politics in that region would agree.

    Trumpeting your educational backround does not impress me, however a logical and convincing argument will. Your awarness of the polemics of the Middle-East does not reflect that of the enitre west. I am not lecturing anyone, I form my observation by examining the western mainstream view of that region.
     
  19. civaddict098

    civaddict098 Prince

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    Im for Israel being in 100% i think Israel is one of the most influential nations in the world today. Alot of whats going on today in the middle-east is because of the United States' support for Israel. Many of the terorists in the Middle East hate the US because of their support for Israel. I say if the Zulu got in a vanilla version then Israel is more than deserving to be in an expansion.
     
  20. UnspokenRequest

    UnspokenRequest Prince

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    First, you don't take the time to read carefully what I say.
    Here's what you responded in your earlier post:

    You quoted me saying: "There are things the state of Israel has been doing during the last few years that don't always look too well on the news sometimes (not only in the middle east, but in the West and elsewhere too)."

    You responded: So the murder of innocents, institutionalized teaching of racial hatred, and the propagation of false media by the Palestinians looks pretty good to you? or do you just turn a blind eye whenever a Palestinian mother proudly straps a belt bomb on her son.

    BUT, just afterward you quote me again saying:
    "Suicide bombers don't look too well either, I agree, but they are not states, only individuals."

    Don't you see the contradiction! You're accusing me of turning a blind eye to the atrocities done by suicide bombers. Yet, just afterwards, you quote me saying "suicide bombers don't look well".
    My point was that BOTH (suicide bombers and the acts of the Israelite army don't look too well),
    The great difference is that the Arabs, as a whole, are not responsible of the acts of the suicide bombers. However, the state of Israel is obviously responsible for the wall, the colonies and the operation of its army.
    ________________________________


    - Caucasian is NOT an ethnic group. People usually say it's a race (I don't like this concept though).
    Here's how anthropologists usually define caucasian: "Although terms like race, caucasoid, and caucasian means different things to different people, what defines caucasian or caucasoid in the sciences such as anthropology is far more clear.
    Caucasians typically have the lowest degree of projection of the alveolar bones which contain the teeth, a notable size prominence of the cranium and forehead region, and a projection of the midfacial region. In anthropology skin color is not counted when describing Caucasians because Caucasians can be from pale light brown (ie Scandinavia) to very dark brown (ie South India). Skin color is the least determinant of race as any race will have lighter or darker skin depending on how close their ancestors have lived to the equator."

    From my readings, ethnic group usually refers to cultural AND physiological differences.

    However, I'll remind you that the definition of ethnic group, nation and race are not fixed. Scholars use different definitions of these concepts. You use fixed definition of nation, state, ethnic group, as if everyone agrees with these definitions.
    Still, scholars don't agree.

    I'm sure French and English would be insulted to be described as the same ethnic groups. The Angles, the Saxons, the Brittons, the Francs, the Normands. Those are different tribes of ancient France and England. Some are of Germanic descent, others of Celtic, others of Scandinavian descent.
    The whole west is often said to be caucasian. However, there's clearly more than one ethnic group in Europe. The Slavs, the Basques, the Spanish, the Italians, the Corsican, the "ethnic Germans" (people in Germany, plus ethnic germans in Austria and many other eastern Europe countries), the Serbs, the Bosnians, the Croatians, etc.
    Many people and scholars would say to you that these are different ethnic groups.
    Still, this discussion of nation, ethnic group etc. is beside the point. Civ4 doesn't always chose nations.
    Whether it's a nation or an ethnic group doesn't change the fact that putting an Arab civ in Civ4 is less controversial than putting an Israel civilization.


    You said:
    "you stated that all people from Morocco to Iraq call themselves Arab which is untrue. It is equivelent to saying all people in the United States call themsleves Caucasians which would be untrue."
    That's not what I said.
    Here's what I said: "Arabs should be in the game because people from Morocco to Irak call themselves Arab"
    "People" not "all people". people is used in an indefinite way, which is designed to mean that "there are people".
    I'd add that, from my travels and from the muslim friends I have in Canada, I think MANY of them call themselves arab in these countries (Of course it varies from country to country).
    BTW, I'm French canadian. English is not my first language.

    On your % of Arab people, they are flawed and here’s why: “During the 8th and 9th and afterwards […] [m]any groups came to be known as "Arabs" not through descent but through this process of Arabization. Thus, over time, the term Arab came to carry a broader meaning than the original ethnic term: cultural Arab vs. ethnic Arab. People in Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and elsewhere became Arab through Arabization”.

    There are many other things that don't make sense or that I don't agree with in your post. For example, you said that Muslims support terrorism as whole. That is a very big prejudice for someone of Iranian descent. Do you have polls? Verifiable datas? On my side, I’ve read and seen evidences that point to the opposite. For instance, I’ve just read a book from Anne Nivat, who says that many people in the Muslim world are actually afraid of terrorists and terrorism.
    (BTW that’s another comment which made me think you were not be Iranian. I've seen and learned to expect a bit more nuance from Muslims and Arabs when they talk about their former country, cultural region or religion).

    Oh! And it’s not hard to teach young Palestinians to hate Israel, when the army destroy their homes, cut off their father shop from its client with a wall, or kills a neighbour…
    Islamic movements teach hate. That I have heard and read about. As for the Palestinian authority systematically teaching hate, I’d like to have some evidence of this SYSTEMATIC indoctrination. This is something the far right usually comes up with without any solid evidence.

    And I won’t get into the debate of what is terrorism. I think we both know that what one would dub terrorism is actually freedom fighter for someone else… I hate every form of violence, so I don’t want to go further along this line. I just want you to be aware that for many people, even people outside of the middle east, Palestinians are first and foremost freedom fighters. Those people usually recognize that the killing of civilians is a bad mean, but to them the end is just.

    As for defeatism, there are some taboos in mainstream entertainment and Israel and the Palestine is one of them. It’s sad, but that’s truth and companies have to live with that. Just remember the outcry when Kingdom of Heaven came out. It was a movie about the crusade and it’s treatment was relatively balanced according to many scholars.
    You want things changed? Get involved.

    As for Civ 4. I personally think there are many equally deserving nation/ethnic group/ancient empire that can be in the game. Why start with the one that will antagonize many people? Oceania, a whole continent, is not represented by a single civ. I say start with them! In the end, it's so easy to mod an Israel (I'd really prefer Hebrew, as there many Jews who do not recognize themselves into the modern Israel state. After all, the important contribution of the Hebrews to the world history is what motivates placing them in the game).

    On a more general note, an Israel civ won’t help dialogue between the Western and the Muslim world in any way that’s for sure.

    Finally, my use of exclamation points came from the fact that some of your arguments didn't make sense in your previous post. For instance, talking to me about Iranians to prove that there are people "from Morocco to Irak" that don't call themselves Arabs.
     

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