Oznia, a blog of Israel things


~War, Even for the Right Reasons, Is Wrong by zionismlives
January 13, 2009, 3:09 pm
Filed under: opinion, politics | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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)

There is also the issue of the humanitarian crises in Gaza that world leaders have gone on about and Israel denies. Yes, Israel is letting in tons and tons of food and supplies into Gaza, but there are two questions. Is it enough to supply more than 1.5 million people who are under constant ground and air attack and have been living under a blockade (that any other country would consider an act of war) for the past 2 years? And, once it is actually into Gaza will it be able to get around the military crawling on the ground to actually get to the civilians? (A good example of lack of mobility) To me, neither of those questions have been answered by Israel.

To me, the only real solution to this war right now is for Hamas to stop firing rockets on innocent civilians, Israel to end their blockade of the people of Gaza, and Egypt to step up their border security so that rockets from Iran cannot get into Gaza.

A longtime solution can come with dialogue between Israel and Hamas. If they need an intermediary, so be it, and President Obama should make it a point to be that person. But, the cease-fire this summer proved that Hamas would greatly limit their rocket-firing even when Israel did not lessen the blockade that is collectively punishing the Gazans. Fatah was once as extreme as Hamas in its treatment of civilians on both side of the conflict. And now Israel, America, and the Western World place our hopes for peace upon the small shoulders of Mahmud Abbas. That is because all extreme movements will eventually die out when they see their failure and turn more moderate. Hamas is no different. If Israel can make sure it is next to impossible for Hamas to rearm from Iran, a cease-fire would work and continue for years and years until Hamas chose to accept peace, not war.

Until that day, I wait. Along with all lovers of Israel who cannot stand to see it fighting wars that could be avoided with some open discussions with the other side.

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9 Comments so far
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A good pondering post there. Yes, love is the way to live; war is not the answer.

Comment by sulochanosho

Can you explain how you expect this to happen?
“To me, the only real solution…is for Hamas to stop firing rockets on innocent civilians, Israel to end their blockade of the people of Gaza, and Egypt to step up their border security so that rockets from Iran cannot get into Gaza.”
Egypt hasn’t stepped up their border security–how can Israel convince them to do that? Hamas hasn’t stopped launching rockets–what will make them stop now? Israel went to war as a last resort–what can you show Israel to make it think there’s another solution?

“A longtime solution can come with dialogue between Israel and Hamas.”
Between who and who? Hamas isn’t willing to talk. The ceasefire ended when Hamas didn’t want to renew the ceasefire. How can you expect an extremist group to sit down for a dialogue? What will they talk about? What concessions do you think would come from this? Hamas wants to destroy Israel. Their charter says so.

“That is because all extreme movements will eventually die out when they see their failure and turn more moderate. Hamas is no different. If Israel can make sure it is next to impossible for Hamas to rearm from Iran…”
What will make them see their failure? How can Israel make sure that Hamas and Iran aren’t trading weapons?

Comment by Abby

Good post. continue to get the message out.. Thanks

Comment by joeland7

Thank you for putting this opinion out there. For anyone looking for Jewish groups against the war, take a look at JStreet.org.

Comment by brandon

I’m sorry to say this, but you are falling into Hamas’s trap. They are the ones that want people to sympathize for all of the civilian deaths, and therefore support Hamas over Israel. In no way am I saying that civilian deaths are ok, but Israel was put in a situation where Hamas didn’t want to discuss anything with the Knesset. Hamas refused to renegotiate the ceasefire, and when more rockets continued to flood the southern half of Israel, the IDF was forced into war.

As far as the humanitarian “crisis,” most of it comes from the fact that Hamas turns civilians away from the humanitarian aid that Israel provides. Hamas also hides with women and children in schools, mosques and hospitals after firing Qassam’s so that the civilian death rate rises (another way to use propaganda).

I understand that you believe war is wrong, but Hamas wants Israel to retaliate so that it can release propaganda that affects people. I wish I could join you in saying that we should move to peace right now, the fact is that Hamas does not want Israeli’s or Gazans alive right now. Each death on both sides supports their propaganda. Because of this, it is impossible to negotiate with this terrorist organization.

This is more a war of propaganda, not a war of weapons. We need to win the media front, and not support sources that change statistics and facts. As far as your information, you should probably not read/watch CNN, which has admitted in the past to posting fake pictures during the 2nd Lebanon War. The “43%” is way lower, most likely in between 15-20%, which is astounding given the circumstances.

Comment by ronshapiro

ronshapiro,
I couldn’t agree with your comment more. This is a PR war (check out my post “where the real war is at: the media). Unfortunately, our friend here is giving into Hamas and UN propaganda.
Yes, fighting is ugly and should be avoided at all costs. That said, when you are Israel and you pushed into a corner and the rest of the world could care less, you need to take action.

As for Israel’s response and the civilian casualties. What you failed to acknowledge in your post was the fact that Hamas is committing a double war crime, meaning it targets Israeli civilians and then uses its own as shields.
“A secretary in a government office and a social worker should never be considered militants.” Well, I hate to break it to you, but it is a terrorist regime. It is perfectly legitimate for the IDF to target the guys that are giving the orders.

And finally, this whole notion that we can have a rational “sit down” discussion with a terrorist organization is absurd. Every day, they publicly shout “death to Israel.” When we negotiated with Egypt, it was because Anwar Sadat recognized Israel’s right to exist, and it was clear he wanted peace. In 1993, Arrafat recognized Israel’s right to exist. That is the difference.

Comment by joshman91

Thank you ronshapiro and joshman91. Hamas used a vast majority of the civilians as shields so that Israel would not bomb the buildings. Israel has let Hamas do this for too long. It is time to stop blaming Israel for those 43% of people and start blaming Hamas

Comment by moishale

I was alerted to a comment thread you recently ran concerning civilian casualties in Gaza. I am a researcher with CAMERA who evaluates fatality claims by Palestinian sources. I have examined in detail the casualty data that was the source of the media report that 43% were women and children. It is from a Palestinian group called Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) based in Gaza. Be very skeptical of their claims. Here is some of what I found in their data:

1) A number of slain individuals PCHR identified as civilians were identified by other Palestinian sources as militants of Hamas or Islamic Jihad or Al Aksa Martyr Brigade. Several Hamas commanders were omitted entirely or described as civilians without identifying their affiliation with Hamas. PCHR’s data lists very few Hamas fighters – see point 3 for the reason.
2) More than 2/3 of all the fatalities identified by PCHR were males aged 15 to 40. The same age range as combatants. Over 75 % of all fatalities were adult males, who make up less than 25 % of the population.
3) Hamas issued a statement on its web site that Palestinian sources should refrain from revealing or identifying Hamas fighters who were killed.
4) A disproportionate number of those identified as children were males ages 15 to 18 (about 1/3 of the total children fatalities) – an age group used by Hamas as fighters and support personnel.

Comment by Steven Stotsky

Zionismlives,

You said, “A longtime solution can come with dialogue between Israel and Hamas. If they need an intermediary, so be it, and President Obama should make it a point to be that person. But, the cease-fire this summer proved that Hamas would greatly limit their rocket-firing even when Israel did not lessen the blockade that is collectively punishing the Gazans.”

I wholeheartedly agree with Abby’s point about being unable to decide upon a solution for the Arab-Israeli problem using dialogue, when the destruction of the State of Israel is in Hamas’ charter.

Also, a cease-fire means that one must STOP firing. Although the number of rocket attacks greatly decreased, they did NOT stop. So Hamas broke this so called “cease-fire” and in response, Israel closed the borders to Gaza. Not the other way around, as you stated.

There seems to be this prominent far leftist notion that if we all hold hands, maybe the world will be in peace and harmony. Everything will be alright and everyone will be happy. In the Arab-Israeli conflict, this is not so. The reason Hamas is shooting rockets is because they wants to kill Jews and they want to disrupt the lives of Israelis. This is affecting over 1,000,000 Israeli citizens a day. Children can’t go to school in fear of being bombed. If you sympathize with Hamas that much, would you send your child to a kindergarten in Sderot?

Maybe you are a pacifist, I don’t know. But I know one thing, war for the right reasons, is right. There is a reason that the army is called the Israel Defense Forces – it has one job: Defend the citizens of Israel. If someone were to bomb your neighborhood between 20 and 80 times a day, what would you do? What would you want to be done? How would you be able to make that happen?

Comment by jpachefsky




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