Filed under: opinion, politics | Tags: cease-fire, gaza, Hamas, Israel, peace, posted by zionismlives, Rockets, war
This is going to be more of a controversial post. Bear with me. And, keep in mind, I love Israel with all my heart. It just needs to be put in its place every now and again, especially with so many Jews spewing blind, pro-Israel propaganda these days.
I will not deny the suffering of Southern Israel. And I do not believe the world should deny it either, although it does on a daily basis. The physical damage the daily rockets, that now endanger over one million lives, inflict is nothing compared to the mental damage they inflict. I just saw a report that said more than 75% of children in Sderot and surrounding areas suffer from various forms of trauma.
However, I am fundamentally against any full out war, especially one that has caused 920 deaths—43% of them, according to CNN, civilians. That is just short of 400 innocent Palestinian men, women, and children that have died so far. Yes, we must be amazed at the precision of the IDF’s campaign in making the other 57% of the casualties Hamas. But, that previous number is still astounding, and makes the costs of this War too much. Israel has claimed that a much higher percentage of the deaths are Hamas—an obvious discrepancy that comes from different meanings of the term “civilian.” To Israel, anyone that is in some way related to Hamas is considered a militant. That means all the people working in the government and all the people working for the social branch of Hamas are considered militants. A secretary in a government office and a social worker should never be considered militants. Israel sends flyers and makes calls to the civilians that there is going to be a bombing, but, where do the civilians go when their movement is greatly restricted by IDF ground troops and the simple fact that none of them can leave the country? In addition, Israel has made a few mistakes about civilians.
The example of the Samouni family is a good one. They were living in a Hamas-controlled area, and were told by the IDF to move themselves into one house for their safety. That night, the building was shelled, killing 30 members of the family. The wounded were not able to be helped for days even though IDF soldiers and tanks were just 50 meters from the building, because the army said it was too dangerous for aid workers to enter the scene. (The article about the incedent)
Filed under: opinion, politics | Tags: barak, bibi, economics, Elections, Israel, Kadima, labor, likud, Livni, negotions, Olmert, palestinians, peace, posted by Joshman 91, war
Throughout this dreadful Olmert Administration, our ears have been tortured with the same, old rhetoric. This whole notion that we can simply trade “land for peace” has proven to be unproductive. The fundamental concept that politicians from all sides have ignored is economics. If a country goes to war, there is usually an economic justification. Hence, if we want the Palestinians to choose peace over terror, then there must be an economic incentive for them to do so.
While he may not be perfect, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu has made it abundantly clear that he understands this principle. This was evident in a Jerusalem Post article the other week that stated “Bibi pledged to help the Palestinians ‘rapidly develop their economy’ if he wins the February elections.” Although Bibi’s policies regarding negotiations are much more hawkish and hardline than those of Livni or Barak, he has vowed to continue the peace process, and, in relation to this issue, he has stated that “economic development is not a substitute for political negotiations.”
When Bibi says that he will boost the Palestinian economy, can we trust him? Yes, the record speaks for itself. As Finance Minister, he enacted many free-market reforms which revived the Israeli economy. If he can do the same thing to the Palestinian economy, there would be no need for endless negotiations. Trends in history have shown that “men are usually more tolerant when their belly’s are full.”
Filed under: arts/culture, politics | Tags: 1948, 1967, Bashir Khairi, compromise, Dalia Eshkenazi, hope, Lod, Open House, peace, posted by aklionsky, Ramle, Sandy Tolan, The Lemon Tree, בית פתוח
Looking for some summer reading? Try,The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan, a story of a young Palestinian man (Bashir Khairi) and a Bulgarian-Israeli woman, Dalia Eshkenazi.
Before Tolan wrote the book, however, the story was recorded as a radio documentary, which you can listen to here: http://www.thirdcoastfestival.org/audio_library_2001.asp
Dalia’s family escapes from Bulgaria to Palestine when she is a toddler. After the war in 1948, they move to a house (with a lemon tree in the back yard) in Ramle, which had been an Arab neighborhood. In 1967, when Israel acquired the territories, the soldiers weren’t guarding the borders (they were fighting or guarding the new borders), giving Arab families who had left in 1948 the opportunity to see what their old homes were like. Bashir (a few years older than Dalia) had lived in Dalia’s house before Israel was established, and in 1967 he knocked on Dalia’s door. She was 19, and home alone, and made the decision to open the door for the young man; she had often thought about whose house she was living in, and although she was told they were the Arabs’ houses, wasn’t satisfied by that answer.
Filed under: arts/culture, politics | Tags: dialog, gaza, peace, posted by viswanand, Sderot
This blog is something we should be seeing more often. It is written by 2 friends, one who lives in Sajaia refugee camp in Gaza and the other who lives in Sderot, a small town near Gaza on the Israeli side. Needless to say, the situation in both of these areas is horrendous and dangerous. Now, instead of hurling hateful comments and accusations at each other, the collaborators of this blog, known only by their usernames Hope Man and Peace Man, have found a way to communicate and agree, not surprisingly, on one thing: peace. Of course, this might seem a bit obvious, but the truth is that in this day and age where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so inflamed, people feel that they must label the other side as the enemy and work from there. This will not only be ineffective (because you will not know how individual people from “the other side” feel) but also unethical. It is our duty to work together with our brothers in Gaza and elsewhere to bridge the gap. Glancing over the description of the blog and all the posts from the last month, one thing is clear: both sides want an end to the violence and the murder. Consider this excerpt, written on March 1 when Israel was invading Gaza:
Israel is claiming that most of the Palestinians killed are Hamas and the Palestinians claim that most are civilians. Does it really matter??? Children, women and elderly were killed. This is the tragedy we were fearing. War is blind. Innocent alway are killed and to the mother or child the count has no significance…
We may be facing a long bloody future that could have been prevented if only both sides could hold back and try to prevent it.
We cannot lose sight of the fact that we are all people and that we cannot necessarily blame entire civilian populations for the actions of its leader, self appointed or otherwise. There is a peaceful solution, and dialog is the first step.
Filed under: politics | Tags: conflict, jerusalem post, peace, posted by sivan526
Color me skeptical.
According to Daoud Kuttab, Israel should relinquish her tight grip on security and try the one antidote for the violence in the Middle East that she has yet to try: speaking to the Hammas-run government in Gaza. Israel refuses to speak to the organization that has repeatedly admitted to committing acts of terror against her; that would include last Thursday’s murder of eight teenage boys studying in yeshiva (although Hamas suspiciously retracted their admission that they were in cahoots with the Palestinian gunman a few hours later). In a March 11th op-ed on the Jerusalem Post website, Kuttab explained his belief in the “futility of deterrence”. Tighter security in Gaza, he insisted, will only continue to lead to more violence against Israel and her citizens. Apparently, it is not enough that the Israeli government has allowed its continuously untrustworthy neighbors to build cities within a few feet of their own settlements- now, it must speak to a terrorist organization in order to reach peace.
One minor detail you left out, Kuttab: this same Hamas? It swore in Februrary 2006 that it would never recognize Israel.
Ah, but how quickly the world forgets. How quickly it forgets that only a few years ago we were promised peace if Israel left behind her greenhouses in Gush Katif, rolled her tanks out Gaza, gave back this prisoner, signed on that dotted line? Why is it, then, that the terror hasn’t stopped? Why is it that a few days ago, eight teenage boys, most of them under the age of eighteen, were murdered by a Palestinian gunman in their very own yeshiva? Why is it that Sderot is under a constant barrage of rockets? And why is it that world is shaking a finger at Israel? Is it any wonder that she has tightened her security- from Gaza to the Malcha Mall- over the past few months?
Sorry Kuttab, but something tells me that sitting down with Hamas to discuss peace prospects will prove as beneficial for Israel as pulling out of Gush Katif or disengaging from Gaza or giving back land after the war of (insert any war here) or… well you get my drift.