Category Archives: Israel

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?

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!

Collateral Damage In Iraq

Since day one of the great invasion of Iraq that was initiated by the dynamic trio of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, the collateral damage of this conflict has simply been ignored by the American government and media. For example, how many Americans know that in March, 2003 there were nearly a million Christians in Iraq who traced their ancestry back nearly 2000 years? How many Americans know these were descendants of early Christians who followed the word of Jesus Christ? Today, thanks to the Born Again Christian, George Bush, only about 400,00 of these CHRISTIANS still remain in Iraq. George and the boys created a Muslim fanatic government which did not intend to grant Christians any favors. Of course, the Kurds in northern Iraq said “goodbye” to Iraq and went their merry way of independence. In fairness to George, he is not responsible for the flight of 150,000 Jews who left Iraq by the 1970s.

Let me explain something to the Dynamic Trio–Christians were a second class minority within Muslim societies. They lacked power and existed due to sufferance of Muslim rulers. Saddam Hussein granted them equality in order to have a group that was disliked by Muslim clerics. In other words, “my friend is the enemy of my enemy.” By the way, Georgie boy, as you chop wood and go to church on Sunday in Texas, just remember, YOU are the one responsible for the flight of Iraq Christians from their homeland.

Today, yet another example of Collateral Damage. There is a minority Muslim group called the Yazidi. They are deemed heretics by Muslim clerics. They have been around for several hundred years. However, since growth of ISIS, the latest form of fanatical Muslims, the Yazidi have fled their towns. Over 100,000 are now in Kurdistan. About 40,000 are trapped on Mount Sinjar. As one refugee noted: “we are being told to convert or to lose our heads. There is no one coming to help.”

How about contacting George Bush? At least he could provide wood for your fires!

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.

Was Anyone There?

Today, for some strange reason, no one is getting killed in Gaza. The war is now in a lull moment. However, there are more important issues that remain. During the closing years of the 19th century, rulers of the Ottoman Empire decided to invite Jews to farm land in what was then the province of Palestine. An assumption was that native Palestinians were backward, and the region was in need of modern ideas, particularly in the area of agriculture. There were thousands of young Jews in eastern Europe desperately seeking to “return to the land” since Russian officials refused to allow Jews to become land owners. Thus, was created two modern ideas– Palestinians were not good guardians of the land, and Jews were interested in modern agricultural ideas. Thus, among those Jewish settlers(thousands of Jews did live in Palestine who traced their ancestry back to Biblical times, but they were poor and lacked funds to become farmers) an idea became accepted. Jews were the ones who made the land blossom because Muslim Palestinians lacked the will, the intelligence, or desire to make dessert areas bloom with crops.

Inherent among many Zionists was a belief that no one was farming the land so it stood to reason that Jews had a right to farm land lying fallow. From this belief it was a short jump to conclude that Jews were entitled to possess the land in the absence of Muslim Palestinians who were anything other than lazy, incompetent farmers. Over time, Zionists developed ideas that it was the Jews who deserved to settle in Palestine and eventually transform it into the modern state of Israel. This form of thinking was remarkably similar to English colonists who arrived in America, and discovered some people, who they called, “Indians.” Since Indians did not focus upon agriculture(there was limited farming) English colonists concluded they had a right to farm land that had been fallow.

It is time for Israel leaders to recognize that Palestinians HAVE lived in the area we term, Palestine, for a few thousand years. Establishing Jewish settlements is simply an act of stealing land from those who inhabit it. BOTH peoples are native to the region. From that point, the only issue is how to determine which people should control which areas of land?

You Spy, We Spy

The German weekly, Der Spiegel reports that Israel spies spied on American Secretary of State, John Kerry last year while he was engaged in talking with Palestinian and Egyptian leaders in san effort to bring peace to the Middle East. As you know, Israel is very concerned what people say about their land. After all, Kerry made some outrageous comments warning Israel that its policies of refusing to negotiate or compromise might result in creation of a one state society in which Muslims were second class citizens, or, in plain English, an apartheid state. It is forbidden to even mention the “A” word among Israelis or their supporters in America. In light of this news about spying on allies, this blog proposes:

1. An international conference of spies from nations which consider themselves to be friends with one another.

2. Establishment of systems that can only be used by spies who are from friendly nations. These systems will facilitate spying and eliminate the guess work.

3. An exchange program in which spies from one nation will spend time spying for the nation they spied upon in order to spy against their own nation.

4. A “you can blow up one of our facilities if we can blow up one of your facilities” exchange program. Let’s keep things fair.

5. Eventually we can create a “Spy Nation” which consists of spies from around the world. Why not just them their own nation!