Category Archives: Egypt

Whatever Happened To?

These days I wonder about, Whatever Happened TO:

The end of the Cold War in Europe?

The balanced budget that President Clinton left newly elected President Bush?

The promise of Barack Obama to end secrecy in government?

Our failure to pay attention to the words of wisdom of Sarah Palin?

The agreement that in view of John Kennedy’s assassination something had to be done to control access to guns?

The concept that a business was just that, a business, not a person?

Michelle Bachmann who daily offered her thoughts which led to another column about nonsense?

Firing those in government who lied to the President and Americans?

When we called people, people, not folks?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Saddam Hussein was dead?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Muammar Gaddafi was dead?

Creation of the independent state of Palestine?

When people at lunch talked with one another rather than with a machine?

Arabs, An Appointment In Samarra

There is an old Arab folk tale which should be read every morning by every leader in Hamas. “Once upon a time, a servant went out into the market place to shop for his master. As he gathered up fruits, he suddenly noticed that Death was in the marketplace. He ran home and told his master that he had seen Death in the marketplace. His Master grew frightened and decided to flee to the town of Samarra. He left in a hurry. The servant returned to the marketplace and walked up to Death. He berated Death for frightening his Master. Death apologized if his presence frightened his master and told the Servant that he had merely halted for a few hours because he had an appointment in Samarra.” The leaders of Hamas have an appointment in Samarra. The problem is that they will not go to that town, but people living in Gaza will be forced to head in that direction. The 72 hour ceasefire ended, and Hamas sent 35 rockets headed toward Israel. Naturally, Israel artillery responded with shells. Naturally, more civilians in Gaza will receive a premature appointment in Samarra.

Leaders of Hamas insist they won the recent war. The last time they fought the Israel Army only about ten Jewish soldiers were killed, but during recent weeks they killed 60. A Hamas spokesperson said there would not be a ceasefire until Israel agrees to its demands. On which planet are Hamas leaders living? The only “victory” for anyone is–an end to violence!

A Jew With A Conscience!

I am the child of east European Jews who fled hatred, discrimination, and possible death from anti-Semites in Poland and Russia. From an early age, the ideals of Socialism were embedded in my mind. I was raised to believe that Jews could not be free until ALL persecuted people were free. The very concept that JEWS would inflict oppression on others had no place in my mine or thoughts. We were JEWS and thus, above all people of the world, we understood the consequences of hatred gone wild against those unable to defend themselves. Gideon Levy writes for the Israel newspaper, Haaretz. These days when he enters a restaurant, people move away from his table. It is common for Levy to be cursed when he walks in the streets of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. A member of the Israel Parliament, Yariv Levin, told Israelis that “It is time that we stop regarding despicable phenomena like this with tolerance” He was referring to columns written by Levy in which he attacks the method by which the invasion of Gaza occurred. In the Israel of 2014, if one disagrees with any action taken against Palestinians then one is a comrade of terrorists and should be regarded as a traitor to the state of Israel.

According to Gideon Levy what is different this time in Israel from other crisis situations, “is the anti-democratic spirit.” There is zero tolerance for any dissident voice. “The very young people are the worst. More ignorant. MOre brainwashed.” The young no longer convey a spirit of cooperation with Palestinians their age, now, if you are one of “them” then you are a terrorist who must be hunted down and killed. Few young Jewish Israelis have friends among non-Jew Israelis, let along among Palestinians. As the famous Israel writer, Amos Oz notes, life for them has become “black and white.” Naturally, Jews are the guys in white hats!

These are not the Jews I grew up with.

Guns Of August Are Silent

For the moment, and I do mean, the Moment, the guns of August have grown silent. Under sponsorship of Egypt both Israel and Hamas representatives are meeting to discuss what now happens? Should there be a resumption of the Guns of August resuming in order to bring into reality, the Guns of September or the Guns of October? For the first time in a month, no one got killed in Gaza or in Israel. According to a Hamas spokesperson, “Netanyahu has failed 100%.” We have now entered the stage of: we beat you, nah, nah. You can’t do anything to me, nah, nah.” I do not doubt for a moment that Hamas leaders are proud of the fight they wages, and interpret the current truce as a sign of Israel weakness, and their great victory. Of course, Israel leaders are proud they destroyed most Hamas tunnels. Naturally, on both sides there is a touch of regret at the collateral damage that occurred due to fighting. The Collateral damage is 1875 dead and thousands wounded on the Gaza side while 64 Israelis are dead.

So, where does the situation now stand?

1. Hamas believes it won a great victory and is entitled to fruits of success. Hamas insists Israel move away from the border and allow concrete and other weapons of war to enter in order to rebuild the tunnels.

2. Israel believes it won a great victory and wants Hamas to disarm.

3. Egypt is supporting Israel and wants an end to Hamas.

4. The US is lost. John Kerry did everything in his power to avoid this calamity, and now is hated by Netanyahu and supporters of Israel.

5. Barack Obama is out doing what he can do –raise money for an election.

6. Those who died are now voiceless.

Prediction: Another war, more deaths.

Fruits Of Gaza Invasion

For the moment, only the moment, guns of Gaza have grown silent. For the moment, only the moment, no one is dying in Gaza due to gunfire. There is no doubt, the guns of August will again resume. There is no doubt that others will die. After all, no one can be allowed to live who is a terrorist. Let me make clear that the government of Israel has every right to send troops into areas from whence come death and destruction to the people of Israel. It is a given that ANY nation has the right to wipe out sources of danger to its people. However, there is another question: what comes now? Yesterday in Jerusalem, a bus loaded with Jewish people was subject to an attack. A large yellow excavator driven by a Palestinian turned its shovel and launched it against the bus. One passenger was killed and a few wounded. An Israeli policeman happened to be on the scene and he fired, killed the driver and ended the attack. For the moment, peace reigns in Jerusalem. Just for the moment. However:

1. There will be other such suicide attacks.

2. For each attack upon Jews in Israel there will be retaliatory attacks upon Muslim Palestinians.

3. At some point the situation will escalate. Vigilantes from Israel will attack Palestinians in revenge.

4. For each Jewish revenge attack will come a Muslim Palestinian attack.

5. Finally, the IDF will cordon off areas of East Jerusalem and blast away at centers of terrorists.

And, so on and so on.

Until both sides reach an agreement to establish a Palestinian state!

When Will Hamas Ever Learn?

The topic of, “who is to blame for the carnage in Gaza” undoubtedly will be a major source of discussion and the media in the coming days, weeks, and months. Who fired the first shot? Or, who began the slaughter of the innocent? In reality, those who support Palestinians will blame Israel, and Israel will blame Hamas. Frankly, at this point such discussion engages people in the wrong issue at the wrong time. The only issue at this juncture is to end the slaughter of the innocent. There was a 72 hour ceasefire which was designed to lower anger as well as lower the number killed and wounded. So, what do Hamas soldiers do? They decide to attack Israel soldiers and kidnap one. Another example of the ineptness of Hamas leaders. Once gaining control of Gaza they should have focused their entire energy into transforming this piece of desert into a thriving community. A leader of Hamas has only one thing on his agenda–fighting and killing Israelis and destroying Israel.

At no point do Hamas leaders inhabit the world of reality. Israel will not disappear. Hey fellow, Israel has ATOMIC BOMBS. Do you jokers doubt for a moment that an Israeli government confronted with destruction would avoid using those weapons of mass destruction? The nightmare for Hamas is that Israel WOULD be confronted with losing. Such an event would result in mass destruction of Hamas and all living in Gaza. It is time for those who lead Hamas to wake up to reality. Israel is here to stay. You guys have no such guarantee. Switch from weapons of destruction to weapons of economics. Create a modern economically successful Gazas and Muslims will flock to your banner.

Modesty For Woman, Not Men.

I regard myself as a man who is open to new ideas. I enjoy engaging in open discussion with those offering differing viewpoints. But, I confess to having confusion whenever someone speaks about the need for women to be modest in their attire. For some reason, the assumption is that God or Christ spends their days gazing down on this insignificant planet checking to see if any woman has not covered her face or body. Coptic Christian Orthodox Bishop Bisboy in Egypt announced to women in his domain, that henceforth they were to behave like a good Muslim woman. He banned women from wearing trousers, blouses or using makeup when in HIS church seeking communion. Back in 2012, he advised Christian women to follow the precepts of Muslim females. “I call on Christian girls to learn from veiled Muslim women with their modesty. Some Christian women might be displeased with me, but the Virgin Mary and nuns wore modest clothes.”

I assume the Bishop is an expert on attire two thousand years ago in the Middle East. Of course, we lack any photos about what women wore although we do have some drawings. But, definitely, we do not have a scrap of evidence about the attire of the Virgin Mary. Frankly, if God or the Virgin Mary was interested in women wearing veils, one wonders whether she wants males to also wear veils. How did this idea get going that women must cover up, but men wear whatever the heck they desire? If covering the face is a sign of respect for God or those up THERE, why aren’t men displaying similar “respect?”

It Will Not End Until No One Is Left!

In all honesty, there simply are no new words to add to what has been described and reported in Gaza. Each day more die. Each day more buildings are destroyed. Each day more tunnels are blasted to pieces. Each day rockets and shells explode. Following is the latest list:

64 dead Israeli soldiers— 1418 dead Palestinians — 3196 Israel shells into Gaza — 2842 rockets fired into Israel by Hamas

The only certainty in this fighting is that by tomorrow these figures will be higher. Each day hate and anger grow more intense. One thing is very clear, this fighting has created a new generation of Palestinians and Jews who are determined not to live in peace with one another. Both sides have become convinced the other is, and will always be, the other. Any prior work to construct bonds of friendship is now over. Both sides will continue to fight. Hamas has a special problem– no Arab nation is ready to supply weapons or economic aid. Egypt is working closely with Israel to destroy Hamas. The people of Gaza have been abandoned.

Who knows, perhaps on some future day in this unhappy region the last person will die and the entire area will be devoid of any human life. I assume on that day this last survivor will have a look of joy and happiness knowing he is the LAST survivor and with his death peace finally returns to the region! I assume he will go to his death with a feeling of triumph because HIS side had the last man standing!

John Kerry Wanded

These days Secretary of State John Kerry never gets an opportunity to sleep in his own bed, let alone work in his own office since he is on the go working to reduce violence in the Middle East or in the Ukraine. One suspects he has lost track of time and place. A few days ago, our Secretary of State found himself in Cairo at the airport since he was visiting President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on the ever required need to get an Egyptian leader to address issues of democracy in his own nation. Kerry was halted by security guards who proceeded to inspect his body with their wands. I assume they were worried about this tall, lanky man who did not speak Egyptian and was on his way to see the president of their nation. The hand held electronic device finally obtained evidence that a Mr. Kerry was NOT a terrorist and could proceed.

The Egyptian government insisted it was perfectly normal to wand a visiting American Secretary of State. After all, former Egyptian Foreign Minister, Nabal Fahmy was wanted at Kennedy air port. Oh well, a new crisis. We have now introduced the “wand” issue. Who should or should not be wanted? Another day, another foreign policy issue. Such is life in the Middle East.

Muslims Kill Muslims, Jews Kill Muslims, Who Doesn’t?

Future generations will look back on 2014 with wonder. Throughout Africa and the Middle East thousands of Muslims are engaged in the process of murdering other Muslims while leadership of Muslim societies remains remarkably silent about this carnage. In Nigeria, the nut case Boko Haram continues to sweep into Muslim villages, and either murder every Muslim in sight or they kill the men and gather up women to be used as sex slaves. Has anyone seen a single outburst in any Muslim nation about this murder of Muslims? Oh, in Pakistan a mob went wild and murdered three Muslims because they were not the right kind of Muslim. Just about every day in Iraq, hundreds are shot to death by fellow Muslims, but silence reigns from al-Ahram university. Where are Muslim clerics like Christian Martin Luther King who risked his life in order to aid fellow black Christians? Syria is a monstrosity of murder by Muslims against Muslims and no leader in any Muslim society rises to seek the end of this slaughter of Muslims. According to Muslim columnist, Harron Siddiqui: “Muslims are being killed by fellow Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Nigeria in far greater numbers(than those in Gaza). Muslim blood is cheap.

Perhaps, the lack of an outraged response from Muslim leaders throughout the world enables the Israel government to continue its policy of wiping out Hamas. Ironically, killing 1500 Muslims in Gaza is much fewer than have been killed in Iraq or Syria on any week of the year. I guess Mr. Siddiqui is right-Muslim blood is cheap. If this carnage is to end, it should begin with organization of Muslim clerics who would march into Syria or Iraq or into Gaza and demand a ceasefire in the killing of Muslims. If they do not take action, then who will?