Category Archives: Israel

Death Of The Innocent

There is nothing new to report concerning conditions in Israel or the Palestinian Authority or from Gaza Strip which is under control of Hamas. Leaders of Middle Eastern nations have but one thought in their minds–how to ensure their followers recognize they hate “the enemy.” Hamas leaders hail the death of three innocent Israel teenagers even as West Bank Jewish settlers hail the death of a Palestinian Muslim child. The only thing that can bring leaders of Israel or Palestinians is the cause of death. Each will spread hate and revenge. In their minds, the only alternative to stalemate is to create a new crisis, and, by what better method than killing someone. Unfortunately, in cases of REVENGE the innocent, more likely than the guilty, are the ones who die. For over sixty years the cause of REVENGE has guided leaders in the Middle East. The tragedy of the Middle East is failure of a leader with the mindset of Nelson Mandela to appear.

New reports indicate the Israel police have arrested 3 to 6 men who may be responsible for the tragedy. Not only did they beat the boy, but they burned his body while Abu was still alive! Burning Bodies! Oh, my God, this is what the Nazis did to Jews and now Jews do it to others!!

Nelson Mandela had ample reason to preach the doctrine of REVENGE, but he preferred the doctrine of FORGIVENESS. In turning his back upon REVENGE he enabled the people of South Africa to avoid further violence and death of the innocent. Jewish mobs, Muslim mobs, heck, Christian mobs, surge through the streets oF Israel or Gaza Strip or Palestine, and this evening mothers and fathers will mourn their dead children. REVENGE only gives birth to one child: DEATH. Some will rejoice that a child from ‘THE OTHER GROUP” died. Unfortunately,the only death is the death of peace and the end of Death.

As a person of the Jewish faith who helped found a Holocaust center, in my mind are words told me at Yad Vashem. Let me pass them on. As one enters the Yad Vashem Holocaust Center in Jerusalem, one encounters the Forest of Righteous Gentiles which contains trees planted in memory of Christians who save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. As one leaves, again there are the trees. I asked the head of education at Yad Vashem why one on entering and leaving is confronted with acts by Christians. He replied in words to this effect: He said, “once in the museum an individual is confronted by incredible hate and horror. If one leaves with such feelings, then Hitler won.” I fear all too many Jewish Israelis have forgotten the lesson of the Holocaust. Jews can not murder the innocent in the name of revenge!

Revenge Not Sweet, Just Revenge

I am a citizen of the United States of America so it is normal in my society for people with anger to murder the innocent. Each year hundreds die due to someone whipping out a gun and blasting away at someone else because he feels justified in engaging in the act of murder. Three Jewish boys were murdered in Israel,and their bodies placed in shallow graves. Murder is a horrible act, the murder of children even more so. No one can comfort a parent whose child was killed by those who have hate in their hearts and lack any sense of compassion. Since the kidnapping occurred, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been engaged in raising the level of hate in his country by promises of revenge. He has made quite clear that revenge against the killers must occur. Unfortunately, at this moment, no one knows for certainty exactly who are the murderers. Netanyahu blames members of Hamas. There is a high probability his guess is correct. Hamas contains thousands of young men whose goal in life is to murder innocent Jews. However, at this moment, there is no evidence that Hamas leaders ordered or sanctioned the murders.

Two nights ago hundreds of Israelis roamed the streets of Jerusalem chanting, “death to Arabs.” Seventeen year old Mohammad Abu Khdar was on his way to prayers. Suddenly, a dark colored car drove up to him, three men got out and shoved him into the car. About an hour later his dead body was found in another part of Jerusalem. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkakt made clear, “this is a horrible barbarous act which I strongly condemn.” Netanyahu termed it a “reprehensible murder.” However, for days he has charged that Palestinian President Abbas is somehow responsible for the behavior of men seeking revenge against Jews. I wonder if we can now hold Prime Minister Netanyahu responsible for the death of this innocent child?

Of course not, Benjamin Netanyahu did not kill Mohammad Abu Khdar. People incited by cries of “revenge” decided to commit an act of what they termed to be, “revenge.” As usually occurs, when people are driven by “revenge,” the innocent die. Always the innocent!

Three Children Died–Dozens More Also Will Die

Three sweet innocent young boys were found dead in Israel or Palestine or whatever one seeks to term a piece of land in what is known as the Middle East. These boys simply wanted to live a life filled with learning and prayer hoping in this process to become closer to God. Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, Naftal Fraenkel were Jews, they were teenagers, they were innocent of any injustice or hatred, but they are dead. Even as I write these words, Israel bombers are blasting the Gaza Strip in the anger and fury that ordinarily follows when a loved one is murdered in the Middle East. A few innocent Muslim boys are already dead, and there is scant doubt that others will follow. As so often is the case in what we term, the Middle East, the death of one must be avenged by the death of a dozen. ALL sides in this conflict are determined that Death must be the answer to any hurt committed to one of their own. For ALL sides in this conflict, God urges them to take revenge, at least that is their interpretation of God.

Israel claims that Hamas was behind the murders. Hamas claims they had nothing to do with the murders. There is no doubt we most probably will not discover who did the killings, or whether or not Hamas ordered these killings. Israel insists the murderers are Murwan Kawasmme and Abu Ayshe. Most probably the Israel secret police are correct, I simply do not know, but must accept those who devote their lives to killing have knowledge. Bombs are falling in the Gaza Strip as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promises -REVENGE AND JUSTICE. He blames Palestinian President Abbas for the murders even though the Palestinian leader denounced these killings and offered assistance to uncover the culprits.

Perhaps, if those in charge in the Middle East would halt for a moment in their anger, in their desire for revenge and seek a true revenge for these deaths. Perhaps, these boys would best be remembered if in their deaths, both sides abandoned revenge for a moment and worked out a peaceful approach to their conflicts. If their deaths led to peace, and the end of revenge, then their deaths were not in vain.

Palestinian Authority And Peace

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has unleashed a massive program whose goal is return of the kidnapped teens. The only issue in this matter is: safe return of three teenagers who were kidnapped while hitchhiking on the West Bank. The Israel government insists that Hamas was behind the kidnapping. Most probably, this organization may have played a role. But, even in Gaza there are other terrorist Islamic groups which have refused to cooperate with Hamas on issues of not firing into Israel. Thus, the “possibility” exists that one of these groups is behind the kidnapping. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly expressed his :deep obligation to search for the abducted boys and bring them home peacefully.” In other words, he is offering cooperation, not interfering in the search.

During the search innocent Palestinians have been killed. Naturally, we employ the word, “killed” rather than murdered. Abbas IS cooperating. Instead of building upon this cooperation, Prime Minister Netanyahu is using the lives of children to pursue his foreign policy goals. He wants an end to the unity government. Let me offer arguments in support of a unity government:

1.Once a part of the Palestinian government, Hamas is now bound to uphold any agreement made by that entity.
2. Once IN the government, it is more difficult to stand apart from the government.
3. If Hamas now engages in violence, it, in effect, ends the unity government.

Focus on the children, not on politics.

America’s Middle Eastern Policy

A president of the United States is once again confronted with what to do in what we term, the Middle East. Actually, the expression, “Middle East” was invented at the turn of the 20th century by American Admiral Alfred Mahan. He was discussing the conduct of American military policy, and cited the importance of that area in our trade relations. A major problem confronting President Obama is: what exactly should be the foreign policy of the United States in the Middle East? Let me offer some suggestions:

1. It is critically important for Israel to build positive relations with Arab nations. Both Israel and Arab leaders share a joint concern about terrorist groups in the region. First step on the part of America is insisting that the Israel government cease its settlement building, and work with President Abbas to create an independent Palestinian state. That action would open doors for Israel to establish diplomatic relations with most Muslim nations in the region.
2. Iraq requires a coalition government including both Sunni and Shiite leaders. Either Prime Minister Maliki agrees to this basic concept or he is on his own. Fighting guerrilla groups depends upon winning the support of local people.
3. The situation in Syria has deteriorated to such an extent that moderate forces no longer have any power. Whatever such groups are still existing need moderate military support.
4. An agreement must be reached with Iran that includes their right to pursue nuclear development for peaceful purposes.
5. Nations such as Tunisia should be provided economic assistance since leaders in that nation have come together to work for peace and stability.
6. Egypt is now beyond our influence. It is simply too late to support moderate groups seeking to develop a democratic society. Just wait and listen.

Children Are Victims Of Adult Anger

Three frightened anxious teenagers are somewhere in the Middle East and they just want to go home. They decided to hitch hike in the night, something anyone who has ever hitched hiked knows is dangerous.(I hitch hiked across America and never once did it in the evening). They made a mistake, but a teenage mistake is no reason that children should be placed in harm’s way. The Israel government insists the kidnappers were from Hamas. This is an assumption. It might be accurate or it might not. The ONLY important issue is the safe return of these kids. Prime Minister Netanyahu has ordered the arrest of 240 Palestinians, including 50 who were released in exchange for a captured Israel soldier. Netanyahu insists these arrests “send an important message” to Hamas. It is clear that he intends to destroy Hamas.

Ironically, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority is very upset at this kidnapping. He has offered his government’s support in the search because he realizes that Prime Minister Netanyahu is using these children for his political purposes. He wants to end the Hamas -Fatah desire to end their conflict. Netanyahu WANTS Hamas to return to violence, this allows his government to build and build and build on the West Bank in the name of-SECURITY.

How about:

1. Enlisting the support of President Abbas in finding the missing children?
2. Asking Abbas to work with Hamas leaders in order to find the children?

Bibi, the children are the issue, not your political aims!

World Turned Upside Down

I gather there are still people who believe that some sort of sanity is present on planet Earth. Let me cite some facts which should dissuade them of such thinking.

1. George Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan. Then Iranian President Khatami assisted US forces and was rewarded by being branded asa terrorist by the American president.
2. President Khatami offered a compromise with President Bush that included ending pursuit of nuclear weapons. He never received a reply.
3. Saddam Hussein was wiped out and Shiites took over Iraq.
4. Shiites proceeded to persecute and imprison Sunni leaders.
5. Americans organized Sunni Awakening Councils to fight al-Qaeda.
6. Prime Minister Maliki then proceeded to disband these groups and put in prison its leaders.
7. Sunni Iraqis have drifted into the arms of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, (ISIS).
8. ISIS forces took over the city of Mosul and were warmly greeted by Sunni residents.
9. President Obama continually offered to assist Maliki but he refused to grant American soldiers the right to be tried in a military court.
10. ISIS forces are marching on Baghdad.
11. Iran has dispatched 2,000 troops to aid the Iraq government.
12. President Obama has dispatched the George HW Bush aircraft carrier to aid the Iraq government.

In other words, American and Iranian forces will be working together. When asked about this possibility, Iran President Hassaan Rouhani replied: “If we see that the United States takes action against terrorist groups in Iraq, then one can think about it.”

I wonder if Republicans in the US Senate will block US cooperation with Iran that is designed to aid Iraq??

Suffer The Children

Acts of violence in Israel that were caused by actions of Islamic terrorist groups have declined over the past five years. Of course, during the same time period the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to cooperate with Secretary of State John Kerry in order to attain a peace accord with Palestinian leader, President Abbas. Deadlock remains the operating word for relations between Palestine and Israel. Frankly, it was simply a matter of time before the innocent wound up becoming the source of violence. Three Israel youth who were hitch hiking on the West Bank and headed back to a Jewish settlement area were kidnapped by some unknown terrorists. Prime Minister Netanyahu blames Hamas and has rounded up over a hundred Palestinians in order to discover the identity of the kidnappers.

This is a horrible act against innocent children. There are NO excuses for using children as the target of violence. Of course, this includes violence against Palestinian children. One act of evil does not justify another act of evil. One cannot argue that since Israel military has used violent tactics against innocent Palestinians it justifies kidnapping innocent children. The issue is clear:

1. Israel and Palestine must reach an agreement which restricts expansion of settlements on the West Bank.
2. Hamas has agreed to join the Palestinian government. One can assume, therefore, that any agreement reached between Israel and Palestine would be honored by Hamas.
3. The primary task of dealing with terrorist groups must fall under the jurisdiction of an independent Palestinian government that includes Hamas.

It is time to employ common sense, resolve problems,and cease endangering the lives of innocent children–Jewish and Palestinians.

Jews Cannot Torture!

I admit to my prejudice when the topic of torturing people arises. At least ten of my relatives died during the Holocaust and I spent a good part of my life working on Holocaust education. I read diary accounts by Nazi doctors who participated in actions that led to the death of innocent people. Usually, the diary notes the need to take part in an “Aktion.” No Jew can support any activity by a member of the medical profession who partakes in actions that can result in torture of the innocent or their death. I understand there are those who have seen the TV show, 24, and believe only torture of the bad guys can save New York from destruction.

Dozens of Palestinians are being held in Israel jails on grounds of “administrative detention.” In simple English, this means the Israel government regards the person as a security risk. Over one hundred Palestinians have been held on this charge for months without any formal charge being leveled at them. The Israel government is fast-tracking a new law which allows force feeding. The Israel Medical Association,(IMA) issued a statement reading: “Force-feeding is torture, and we can’t have doctors participating in torture.”

A doctor who tortures a person is behaving like doctors in Nazi Germany. How can any Jewish doctor engage in such action? It insults every Holocaust survivor.

Building Blocks Of Hate

The government of Israel is being forced to construct more settlement homes in the West Bank due to actions by Palestinians. Let me make clear to one and all the Israel government would never unilaterally construct new housing on the West Bank, but they were forced into such action because the Palestinian government led by President Abbas decided to form a unified government which included Hamas. Prime Minister Netanyahu made clear that he would never decide to engage in building if not for the new alliance. I am a bit confused, during the past ten years when Palestinians were NOT united, settlement houses went up and up and up. In other words, we Israelis build settlement homes if you are not united, and even more if you are. This clarifies the situation.

Reasons to welcome the new unity:

1. Once a part of the Palestinian government, Hamas becomes part of a government which recognizes the state of Israel.
2. If an agreement is reached between President Abbas and the Israel government, Hamas becomes part of that agreement.
3. Hamas leaders understand that if they engage in terrorism their agreement is null and void.