Category Archives: Israel

Surprise! Tensions In Jerusalem

Another shooting in Jerusalem, another source of hate and violence. It was simply a matter of time before an important Jewish leader in Israel was shot by a fanatic whose heart was filled with hatred and anger. On one side in Israel is a government which has only one goal–to enhance the presence and power of Jews in Jerusalem and seize more and more areas in that city. On the other side are Palestinians who resent their lack of power, and will engage in violence in order to express that emotion. The shooting of anyone is a crime, and shooting of people is NOT acceptable behavior. However, in American when some kids shoot other kids, we devote enormous time exploring why people suddenly break out with violence. So, what happened in Jerusalem is NOT a surprise. It was bound to happen.

Rabbi Yehuda Glik was attending a conference in Jerusalem which was organizing Jews to pray at sites where previously, the Israel government had made clear that only Muslims could pray. The Temple Mount includes the Dome of the Rock and a mosque. Of course, the current Israel government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues that Jews have a right to pray anywhere they desire. I doubt if a similar right is accorded Muslims. There is no excuse to justify shooting people, I realize such an attitude is not shared by most Americans or by most Israelis.

The question that remains to be answered is: what is the policy of the Israel government to ensure peace between Jews and Palestinians? The former Jewish leader, David Ben-Gurion once said, “but we Jews are also Palestinians.” Yes, both Jews and Muslims and Christians are all Palestinians and should respect each group’s rights in the land of Palestine. If not, someone will get shot.

So, What Is Israel Policy In Middle East?

There is nothing more fruitless than seeking to discuss Israel policies toward Palestinians or in the Middle East with American Jews who are convinced any and all problems confronting the nation of Israel are the fault of Muslims who refuse to compromise and attain the end to conflict. The prevailing view of AIPAC is that Israel is blameless,and any and all problems stem from Muslims who hate Jews. I find ironic that Israel has no problem with Germany, whose former rulers murdered six million Jews, but are convinced that Palestinian leaders who never engaged in mass slaughter of Jews have hearts filled with hatred and will not end their war against defenseless Israel.

The bottom line is a simple question: what is Israel policy during the coming five years or the coming ten years toward Palestinians? At present, the only policy is to gradually gain control against Palestinians by seizing their lands. I apologize for this remark. Israel is a small nation surrounded by untold millions of Muslims whose only thought is about destroying Israel. Of course, the ONLY nation in the Middle East, along with Iran, which refuses to allow UN inspectors into nuclear facilities is–Israel. The ONLY nation which has atomic bombs is -Israel. The bottom line is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lacks any foreign policy that deals with the major need for Israel-peace with all its neighbors and economic cooperation. I do realize in writing these words I am considered to be a “Jew hating Jew.”

Oh, Israel just beat out an American offer to India, and will be selling that nation 8,000 Spike missiles and 800 launchers. Gee, I wonder if Republicans will say anything about this sale which destroyed hundreds of jobs for Americans? When is is a choice between American jobs and campaign contributions, guess which wins out?

No Surprises In Israel

It was simply a matter of time before some Palestinian did something that resulted in the death of an innocent Jewish Israeli(twenty percent of people in Israel are NOT Jewish). A Palestinian man drove his car into some pedestrians and a baby died. In an east Jerusalem neighborhood, Palestinians threw rocks at Jews who had moved into the area. Naturally, most Jewish organizations in America will cite these examples of death and hate as evidence that it is impossible for Jews to ever trust Muslims. On the other hand, these same people will insist that Muslims can always trust Jews. The bottom line is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lacks a foreign policy that would lead to permanent peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The current Israel foreign policy is based upon the concept of CONTROL. Just keep Palestinians under control and all problems disappear. Just tell Israelis that no Palestinians can ever be trusted and life will go on in peace.

This is the foreign policy of denial. Reality: those areas under control of the Palestinian Authority have NOT been areas in which violence against Jews occur. Instead of extending the power of strength of the Palestinian Authority, PM Netanyahu wants to weaken it. Reality check: A sensible peace based upon compromise IS possible.

1. Halt further West Bank settlements.

2. Halt further settlements in East Jerusalem.

3. Transform control of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority.

4. Develop economic programs between Israel and Palestinians.

These steps would move the process forward of peace.

Nothing Changes In Israel

The one constant in Israel is that nothing ever changes. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes that his policies toward Palestinians is the right one, and if he can continue the present course of action into the next century, then Israel will live in peace and security. Jewish settlers are moving into east Jerusalem which is causing anger, but Bibi insists that Jews have a right to live wherever they desire. Of course, similar rights do not belong to Palestinians. Yesterday, there were Palestinian demonstrations in the village of Beit Liqya. Boys and adults threw stones and Molotov cocktails, and the end result is no surprise. Israel soldiers returned these weapons with their own weapons and killed a thirteen year old boy. So, what next will occur? At some point, a Palestinian will kill (notice when Palestinians kill it is an act of “murder”) an innocent Israeli. What else could Netanyahu do but send the army into Gaza and blast away with the deaths of hundreds?

There is only ONE solution:

1. Israel must negotiate with the Palestinian Authority.

2. Israel must recognize that Hamas in the Palestinian Authority AIDS the cause of peace!

3. Settlements must end on the West Bank.

4. Israel must engage in economic talks with Palestinians in order to assist the development of its economy.

5. Get Palestinians working at meaningful jobs!

I realize for many Jews the state of Israel is always right. Sorry, a Jew must always be focused on social justice FOR ALL HUMANS!

Israel, My Israel!

It may come as a shock to the Israel government, but the United States of America is the only nation that enjoys the advice of AIPAC in the process of governance. The Israel lobby is not welcomed in nations throughout the world. British MPs votes 247 to 2 in favor of recognizing the state of Palestine. Naturally, this resulted in expressions of doom and disaster from Israel officials. The Israel government denounced this vote as “undermining chances for peace.” According to Israel logic, if Palestine becomes a nation it somehow poses a threat to Israel. According to Israel, recognition by Sweden of the state of Palestine, “sends a troubling message to Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make.” Wow!

1. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to make the tough choice of putting on hold any further building of settlements.

2. The government of Netanyahu has refused to put on hold building homes in east Jerusalem where Muslims live.

3. Pray tell which “tough choice” the current Israel government has made in the cause of peace?

Among the issues that create anger in Israel is decisions by President Abbas to work with Hamas. His formation of a government with Hamas BENEFITS Israel. Once Hamas is in the government, they are bound to recognize the state of Israel. As former US President Lyndon Johnson used to say, better to have your enemies in your tent than outside causing problems. It is time for Israel to make some “tough choices.” If you doubt what I write, just check with John Kerry who tried so hard to get Israel to confront reality. In the end, Apartheid will end.

Hamas Continues Being Hamas

There is one certainty when discussing Hamas as an organization. It does not have the faintest idea as how to create a viable Palestinian state. Hamas leaders believe fervently that the Gun is the weapon of success, and only through killing, bombing, and fighting can a people denied their rights achieve lasting success. Hamas has run Gaza for years, and what is the result of this leadership? Thousands are dead, untold hundreds of homes and factories destroyed, but Hamas insists that its organization is successful. When asked to disarm and work for peace, Khaled Mashaal, leader of Hamas, was quite clear about his intention. “The subject of the resistant’s weapons is not open for negotiation.” Nope, Hamas will continue fighting.

A major problem is that when Hamas “fights for freedom,” a few thousand Palestinians who simply want to continue living, wind up dead. So, Hamas will meet with Fatah Palestinians leaders, it will meet with Egyptian negotiators, but it will continue insisting that only war is the road to peace and success. Dream on.

Iran’s Role In Middle East

The American government has just decided that action must be taken against ISIS and other terror groups in the Middle East. US Secretary of State John Kerry made clear that Iran’s presence was not desired in any conference dealing with policy in the Middle East. He argued their presence “would not be appropriate” on grounds that “Iran has been deeply involved with its forces on the ground in Syria.” Kerry is absolutely correct, Iran HAS been involved in fostering the civil war in Syria by aiding dictator Bashar al-Assad. Of course, one could argue this involvement is all the more reason why Iran should be at conferences dealing with the region. Reality: Iran hates the Sunni led ISIS and wants it destroyed. Iran wants the Shiite led Iraq to be a successful entity. In other words, the foreign policy goals of Iran are the same as those of the United States of America. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, a concept that is a realistic approach to foreign policy.

Iran has troops which can be directed to Iraq and quickly crush ISIS. A combination of American air power and Iranian forces on the ground would result in destruction of ISIS within a few months. It is time to bring Iran into discussions that center on how can the Middle East become a region that is at peace and economically successful? Oh, and invite Israel to participate in such discussions!

Rhetoric Of Hate And Anger Goes Nowhere!

Israel was founded upon the proposition that Jews were ready to discuss any and all issues. Over the decades all too many Jews have slipped into an anger that prevents intelligent discussion regarding problems. The South African Jewish Report produced a story that shocked most people in South Africa. A reporter named Reich compared Archbishop Desmond Tutu to HITLER! In fact, the newspaper had a picture of the famous as though he was Adolf Hitler! Tutu was accused of “preying on Jews together with Hamas” One wonders what is the intention of such rhetoric? Desmond Tutu fought for civil rights in South Africa, not with weapons of war, but with words of peace.

It is time for Jews throughout the world to recognize that opponents do not hate Jews, they dislike Israel foreign policy. Attacking Desmond Tutu only garners enemies, not friends. End rhetoric, and invite Tutu to discuss his views!

Hamas Ready To Talk?

The history of the 20th century is marked with examples of two groups which hate one another finally recognizing it is time to end disputes and live in peace with one another. Irish people fought against the British for over two hundred years before both parties agreed in the 1920s to live in peace with one another. During the 1990s, Nelson Mandela, leader of black South Africans reached an historic agreement with whites that ended apartheid. Israeli leaders insist their opponents are savages, terrorists, and it is impossible to negotiate with them. Of course, within a few years after the founding of Israel its leaders worked cooperatively with German leaders despite the fact Nazi Germany murdered SIX MILLION JEWS!

Hamas leader, Musa Abu Marzuk openly made comments of the intention of his group to discuss issues with Israel. “Just as you negotiate with weapons, you can negotiate with talk. UP to now our policy as no negotiation with Israel, but others should be aware that this issue is not taboo.” OK, Hamas is a terrorist group. So was the African National Congress led by Nelson Mandela. If Prime Minster Netanyahu would issue a statement agreeing to talk, who knows what might occur? Better to jaw, jaw, then to war, war!

Israel Jewishness Hijacked Democracy!

I was raised in a Conservative Jewish family by a mother and father who had endured incredible prejudice in Russia and Poland which led them to flee. I was raised in an East European Socialist Jewish environment in which one was taught from childhood that to be a Jew meant that one had to support the rights of all people. I was educated to believe that as a Jew it was impossible for me to oppress others or to support policies that made others suffer. Israel Sociologist Eva Illouz in a recent interview with Der Spiegel clearly outlined what has happened to Israelis as a result of half a century of being a colonial power ruling over Arabs. From the day when the West Bank became the center of Jewish settlements that, essentially drove out Palestinian land owners, the people of Israel have grown to accept their “right” to posses the land of others. Generation after generation has grown up living in a world in which Jews seize land of Palestinians, walls are constructed to prevent Jews from interacting with Palestinians, and the old dream of equality has gone bvy the boards.

According to Illouz, “Isral has a split schizophrenic self awareness. It cultivates its strengths and yet cannot stop seeing itself as weak and threatened…Israel is a colonial military power, a militarized society, and a democracy all folded into one. Israel has lost the capacity to identify with the suffering of a distant other.” Since Hamas is a vicious anti-Semitic entity, most Israelis feel justified in hating Arabs who they regard as inferior and a threat to the existence of Israel. “Fear is central to the psyche of Israel.” In other words, the “Jewishness has hijacked democracy.” Just about every action taken against Palestinians was taken against their ancestors in Europe. Just about every comment regarding Palestinians was made about Jews in Europe. Dirty, evil, criminals, can not be trusted, name any evil uttered about Arabs and it is an evil attributed to Jews in Europe.

Can any changes be made in this equation of hate? Perhaps, it is necessary for American Jews to assume responsibility for working with Israelis in an effort to connect them with their past. The “past” I refer to is that being a Jew means one fights for social justice for all. Being a Jew means that one supports the dream of a society based on equity. Perhaps, it is time for Israelis to journey to America and connect with their democratic past?