Category Archives: Israel

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!

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!

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!

Game Of Death Enters Extra Innings!

Let me make clear the views of this blog concerning war in Gaza.

1. No nation can allow rockets from any source to land on its soil. That is a given.

2. No nation or group can place the lives of civilians at risk if it can in any way be avoided.

We begin with the above premises. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raises a key issue when saying, “Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire ..which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population of Gaza, the IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activities in the Gaza Strip.” The Israel prime minister is raising a key point, but he also fails to raise other key points.

1. Israel shells and missiles ARE killing the innocent. Which, if any, steps can be taken to reduce this situation?

2. Are there other political steps which can be taken that would lessen the influence of Hamas among Palestinians?

I am not a military expert, but certainly steps could be taken to reduce(note, I say, “reduce,” not “end.”) the killing of civilians. Netanyahu has a responsibility to those civilians just as he has a responsibility for his fighting men. Throughout the history of this human race, the innocent have always died in wars. All one can do is REDUCE the numbers of innocent people who die.

Political: This is my main complaint about Prime Minister Netanyahu. His failure to engage in meaningful negotiations with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority set the stage for growth of power in Gaza of Hamas.(Actually, there is now considerable evidence if an honest election was held in Gaza, Hamas would lose it). So, what can Prime Minister Netanyahu do at this moment?

1. Announce a freeze on any construction of new settlements on the West Bank.

2. Announce that Israel recognizes creation of a Palestinian nation.

3. Urge creation of a Middle Eastern “Marshall Plan” funded by the regions’ oil states and Israel which would be used to improve living standards within Palestine, Egypt and Syria.

4. Announce that eastern Jerusalem could become the capital of Palestine.

5. Agree to discussions concerning the ongoing refugee problem. Israel has a legitimate right to note over 700,000 Jewish refugees had to flee Arab nations. There are both a Palestinian refugee issue and a Jewish refugee issue. Thus, there is a basis for compromise.

NEGOTIATE IN GOOD FAITH. That is the best way to reduce power of Hamas!

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?

So, What Comes Later?

I thoroughly agree with the concept that a nation has the right to defend its territorial integrity. I agree that a nation has the right to wipe out any groups seeking to cause it harm. I agree that Israel has the right to make certain no bombs are headed for its people. Frankly, any nation in the world would take action to halt such violence against its territory. The government of Israel made clear “when a ceasefire proposal that answers Israel’s important needs is laid on the table, it will be considered.” Even as he spoke Israel tanks were blasting away at civilians seeking refuge in a UN school. Let me examine the Israel statement.

1. What are Israel’s “needs?”

2. What does “consider” mean?

3. What comes after the conclusion of the war in Gaza?

It is quite clear that Israel’s “needs” entail an end to bombs entering its nation. Hopefully, “consider” means address ALL issues linked to the fighting in Gaza. To simply respond to the need for an end of bombs is not enough because ceasing at that point any meaningful discussions does not address the issue of “what comes after conclusion of the war in Gaza?” Unless this issue is addressed in a “meaningful manner” a few years from now there will be more bombs and within a year there will be suicide bombers blasting away in Israel. Does anyone in the Israel government actually believe that this war has not created a new generation of suicide bombers! They are now teens and within a few years they will be ready and willing to die for Allah by killing Jews.

So, what must be done–NOW!

1. An end to further West Bank settlements.

2. Consolidation of all West Bank settlements into an area of the West Bank not to exceed 5% of the land.

3. Recognition of the new state of Palestine.

4. The right of Palestinians to have its capital in east Jerusalem.

5. Creation of a new “Marshall Plan” for the region whose aim is stimulating the economies of Palestine, Egypt and Jordan, along with that of Israel.

Get youth into meaningful education and jobs if one seeks to avoid suicide bombers!