Category Archives: Israel

Let’s Stop Fighting?

Nations of the world are gathering in Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum in which those who lead countries sit around talking, eating and boasting as to how their nations are doing just great. The jet carrying Iranian President Mohammed Rouhani was directed to a specific parking slot at the Zurich airport. A few minutes later another jet taxied right next to it. This jet contained Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Both leaders hopped into helicopters and headed for Davos, heck good food and drink was waiting for them. Staff on both planes decided to send greetings to the other plane. “How are you” was shouted and received back a “Fine, how are you” comment.

There are no reports of the sky collapsing on anyone. There are no reports of armed terrorists setting off bombs. There are no reports of anyone getting killed. Just imagine, two nations in conflict can have a private moment in peace and friendship without collapse of the world!!

Friend Of Israel?

I have repeatedly been informed by members of the Jewish community in St. Louis that I am a “self-hating Jew” who seeks the destruction of Israel, and takes the side of terrorist groups because of my repeated attacks on the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This raises the question as to what constitutes being a “good Jew” and what constitutes belonging to those who “hate Israel.” There is a difference between the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu and the nation of Israel. They are NOT synonymous. The nation of Israel emerged from a war, a war that was initiated by Arab nations, not the Jewish people of Israel. From day one of its existence, the nation of “Israel” included Jews, Christians and Muslim citizens. It definitely was a much needed place for Jews who had experienced horrible torture and brutality during WWII. It, for most, was the only place that would welcome their presence. Jews had inhabited the Turkish province of “Palestine” for hundreds of years, and the UN decision to create a state of Israel was the correct one.

The original leaders of the state of Israel had a vision that included Jews living in harmony with Christians and Muslims. Israel leaders such as Golda Meier endeavored to negotiate return of the West Bank, to Arab control, but were unable due to inept Palestinian leaders. Prime Minister Rabin and later Prime Minister Olmert offered Palestinian leaders opportunities to gain control of the West Bank only to be rejected. Jewish leaders DID work for reconciliation and peace with Palestinians. That is historically accurate. It is the arrival of Benjamin Netanyahu which has altered the situation. He represents those in Israel who, speaking bluntly, hate Palestinians, refuse to acknowledge they have rights and refuse to work for peace who I oppose.

If one loves Israel, then one must work for creation of a Palestinian state and peace between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East. My dream is creation of a Middle Eastern Union that includes Israel and Arab nations. Peace for Israelis will only emerge from such a new institution just as peace for French and German people arose from creation of a European Union. Enemies CAN come together. If one loves Israel then one must support negotiating with Iran for a peaceful outcome and working with President Abbas to initiate a Palestinian state, and then a Middle Eastern Union.

Israel Lives In Hatred

I am from a generation of Jews who awaited the birth of Israel with great expectations. It was our assumption, and that of original leaders of the new state of Israel that it would introduce into the Middle East a new model of government. The original Israel was to be a beacon of hope for all who sought the rule of democracy, a nation that brought together Jews and Muslims and Christians living together and all committed to the proposition that people of diverse origins could live and work together in peace. There is no question original Israel leaders did include those with global views, those who did not hate Muslims but endeavored to respect them as individuals who could live in harmony with Jews. As the years have passed, so have the dreams of Israel leaders, and those of Palestinians. The original Israel dream was thwarted by Palestinian leaders who committed themselves to violence and hatred. That was the past.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has visited Israel at least eleven times working for a compromise between Palestinians and Israel He has been challenged by voices both in Israel and Palestinian governments who believe talk talk and reconciliation is naive. Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon blasted the American leader. “Secretary of State John Kerry, who arrived here determined and who operates from an incomprehensible obsession and a sense of messianism -can’t teach me anything about the conflict with the Palestinians.” Another Israel Cabinet Minister described Kerry as “naive, delusional and suffers from a misunderstanding of the reality in the region.”

Nelson Mandela just died. I assume he also suffered from delusions that hate between those who oppressed dark skin people could never be overcome.

Protect The “Jewish State”

Let me make clear from the beginning that what I write is in NO way comparing actions of the Israel government to actions of Nazi Germany. Israel’s detention of refugees and asylum seekers is NOT a modern version of the Holocaust. That issue is not what concerns this blog. Israel leaders are furious at attempts by people from Africa to seek refuge in their land. Thousands are fleeing from war torn areas of Africa in hope they can find work and safety in Israel. There are about 53,000 refugees in a nation of over five million people. Israelis forget that PRIOR to the Holocaust, thousands of Jews attempted to flee Germany and seek refuge in other countries. Opponents of their requests used the exact same comment how refugees “pose a threat to the state’s Jewish character” only in the 1930s it was Jewish refugees who posed a threat to the Christian character of France or Belgium or England.

A UN Refugee agency now charges Israel for violation of international law by holding refugees in detention for at least a year or more without any legal opportunity for refugees to argue they need asylum from terrorism in their native land. During the 1930s, those who fought for protection of the rights of Jews argued for aiding those in need of refuge. Today, it is Jews who deny others protection against death. By the way, what exactly is the “Jewish character?” I was taught that to be a Jew meant one respected human dignity and aided those seeking escape from death.

A Tale Of Three People

There is something about the Middle East which engenders deceit, arrogance and defiance among its leaders, thus the result is chaos and destruction. Arab leaders for over fifty years refused to enter into negotiations with Israel leaders causing stalemate and confusion over how to resolve acquisition of land following the Israel victory in the Six Day War of the 1960s. President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority finally agreed to talk, did talk with Israel Prime Minister Olmert, and wound up rejecting a solution to the West Bank. Once Olmert left office to be replaced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu any and all sensible ideas to resolve the West Bank issues have ended. A new pattern has emerged.

US Secretary of State John Kerry rushes to the Middle East.

John Kerry talks with President Abbas and attains concessions.

John Kerry then rushes to discussions with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Some sort of agreement is attained. Usually, a few Palestinian prisoners are released.

John Kerry heads home.

As soon as John Kerry departs, Israel announces construction of new homes in the West Bank.

President Abbas becomes furious and threatens to go to the UN and complain.

John Kerry rushes to the Middle East.

The game goes on and on and on.

John Kerry Seen In Washington!

This intrepid reporter is able to report a breaking story that has yet to be published in any American media outlet. We can now confirm that American Secretary of State John Kerry is definitely in Washington D.C.! I realize this will come as a shock to people in the Middle East since he apparently spends his days shuffling between Turkey to Israel to Saudi Arabia to Jordan back to Israel where he sees Israel Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu who regales our diplomat with demands that Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state” and then must shuffle off to President Abbas who argues that one fifth of Israel is composed of Muslims and Christians so how can it be a “Jewish state” and then back to Saudi Arabia where he listens to complaints about US failure to bomb Syria. Anyway, he has decided to take a vacation from his life in the Middle East and spend some time in America with those foreigners.

Put it this way, if you were an American government employee would you prefer being in America and appearing before a Congressional committee which has members of the Tea Party or would you prefer being in Cairo watching police beat the hell out of students? Which is more interesting? Who in their right mind would turn down a meeting with Bibi Netanyahu which compels Kerry to sit with his back to the wall in order to prevent a knife going into it? It’s fun and games and the same conversation when John is in the Middle East.

Anyway, welcome back, John!

On Academic Freedom

An academic organization known as the American Studies Association voted to boycott Israel academic institutions because of policies by the government of Israel that deprive Palestinians of their human rights. In retaliation, a group of political leaders in the state of New York seek to cut off financial aid to any college in the state which supports the policy of boycott. In other words, one mistaken policy is leading to a second mistaken policy.

1. American colleges are not involved in any boycott policy.

2. The main American academic organization, the American Association of University Professors opposes the boycott on grounds it violates academic freedom.

3. Israel professors have been among the groups in Israel who have fought for academic freedom for Muslim professors.

Pro Israel groups, and by that I mean, those who seek to undermine the interests of Israel by supporting policies that only damage the reputation and interests of Israel, should support policies that result in peace between the state of Israel and Palestinians. In the end, Israel needs peace, it needs to compromise and it needs to become a partner with ALL Islamic nations in creating a Middle Eastern Economic Union. THAT, will bring peace to Israel!

The Destruction Of Israel!

Creation of a nation which would allow people adhering to the Jewish religion has been a goal of Jews for nearly two thousand years. Those who fought to establish the nation of Israel clearly understood from day one of its existence that although Jews were the dominant group in the new nation there were also Christians and Muslims who would live in peace and security as equal citizens. Capture of the West Bank from Jordan in 1967 led Israel leaders like Golda Meier to offer its return to Muslims on condition that Arab nations of the Middle East recognize the existence of the state of Israel. Arab leaders blundered by refusing to negotiate for this solution and this conflict has remained at the center of dispute for over fifty years.

There have been several attempts to resolve the dispute, but Yasser Arafat turned down a plan by former President Clinton that would have led to creation of the state of Palestine. Current President Abbas turned down a proposal by former Israel Prime Minister Olmert which would have created a state of Palestine. Unfortunately, refusal to accept compromises have resulted in emergence of the “West Bank Settlers” who not only oppose creation of a state of Palestine, but seek to annex the West Bank into the state of Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has come up with a new approach to the problem. He allows out of jail elderly Palestinian prisoners, and follows up with proposals to build more housing on the West Bank. His latest proposal is releasing a dozen or so in order to annex large swaths of the Jordan valley. Jewish settlers are torching Palestinian homes and demanding their land.

The end result of this policy is no state of Palestine and a state of Israel that would include millions of Palestinians. A higher birth rate among Palestinians ensures that at some point in the future they might constitute the majority. What then? No voting rights for citizens who live in Israel?

A Prisoner For A House

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come up with an interesting approach to halting progress on peace with Palestinian leaders. In effect, he has created a swap market by supposedly giving American negotiators something in order to continue expanding Israel presence on the West Bank. Israel Maretz leader Zehavba Gal-On terms it swapping the release of prisoners who have rotted in jail for a dozen years in exchange for building hundreds of new homes on the West Bank and making it increasingly impossible to reach a compromise agreement. As she notes, “Netanyahu is giving the American administration the finger” of scorn. I will give you some old men who have been inn prison and you will give me permission to build and build.

A peace agreement between Israel and Palestinian leader Abbas IS possible, but not until the American government makes clear it will halt all assistance to Israel until its leaders halt housing construction and reach an agreement with Palestinians. Yes, the refugee issue is difficult to resolve, but an offer that includes a Palestinian state can be accompanied with an offer of some form of financial compensation. Compromise entails EACH SIDE giving in.

West Bank Forever!

If Israeli settlers (in reality, we mean Israeli occupiers) on the West Bank had a college football team its cheers would be along the following lines:

Hold the line
Hold the line
Let them pine
Let them pine
Because, now its mine!

Let them moan
Let them moan
But, its set in stone
Its set in stone
Only over this land, we can roam
While they groan and groan!

The months of occupation has been transformed into years of verbal masturbation while Israeli officials delay and delay in hopes Palestinians will finally go away and away. During the past seven months Palestinians once again endeavored to discuss and discuss and discuss. Finally, Saeb EraKat, the Palestinian negotiator, said enough is enough. He turned down an extension because it would simply reinforce the Israel fascination with extensions and delays. As President Abbas put it: “Israel wants to replace occupation by making it permanent with a signature.”

It is time for Israel to behave based on historic Jewish values of social justice, and end social injustice!