Tag Archives: Gaza

Water Pipes For The Men In Gaza!

Perhaps, those supporting the Palestinian cause foolishly believed it was actions of Israelis that prevented the achievement of peace, but new evidence has come forth which accurately focuses the source of problems in the Middle East–women smoking water pipes in Public! Hamas has once again struck at women whose behavior is a cause for concern, and, in most cases, much more than that of Israel soldiers. Hamas in Gaza issued an edict regarding behavior of women in cafes. “It is inappropriate for a woman to sit cross-legged and smoke in public.” Not only do such actions destroy the goal of peace and defeat of Israel, it leads to husbands realizing they are married to a loose woman and they will seek a divorce. Actually, there is nothing in Muslim law preventing women from smoking a water pipe, at home or in public. Many middle class women in Gaza hit the water pipe when with friends and seeking to loosen up the mood. Hamas has previously forbidden women to ride on motor cycles since it claims that is forbidden.

I am confused, since there were no motor bikes in old days, how does anyone know which forms of modern transportation are or are not in accord with tradition? As Haya Ahmed, a 28 year-old accountant in Gaza notes: “Everything forbidden becomes desirable.”

I wonder if Hamas could declare peace with Israel is forbidden, hopefully, that goal will then become desirable.

Children’s Hour Popular In Israel

For over half a century, Turkey was the only Muslim nation which recognized Israel and cooperated in many areas such as commerce and joint military operations. Two years ago, Prime Minister Erdogan became furious at Israel’s invasion of Gaza and demanded an end to the blockade. This was the incident that finally drove a friend into an antagonist. The recent fleet of Turkish ships sent to block the Gaza blockade were boarded in international waters by Israeli soldiers who then proceeded to become engaged in fights with passengers. The jury is still out regarding who initiated violence, but to Israeli supermarkets it was time to add another foe to the ever increasing list of anti-Israel nations. The Mega and Rami Levy supermarket chains announced a boycott of Turkish products. As Rami Levi noted, “For reasons of ideology and conscience , it would be unacceptable for us to do anything when Turkish people behave this way… I want to give them a taste of their own medicine.”

As I recall, Israel is furious at boycotts of their products initiated in other nations. Of course, when your nation is always right and the world is always wrong, how can one go wrong for having a boycott, especially when one is against boycotts? Israel, more than any nation in the world, works hard to antagonize other nations. The entire nation should be awarded a Nobel Prize for shooting themselves in the foot. Believe it or not, people of Israel, but it is theoretically possible that your nation makes diplomatic mistakes.

Has Moral Imagination Left Israel?

Henry Siegman, a Holocaust survivor, contacted friends in Israel to inquire as to their reaction to recent events such as attacks on the Flotilla and the responses he received were shocking to a man who witnessed the horror of World War II. “He told me– in a voice trembling with emotion– that the world’s condemnation of Israel is reminiscent of the dark period of the Hitler era.” He went on to insist all Israelis share his views except for some peace activists who want good relations with Palestinians, and to him “they are all Arabs.” Seigman was stunned at the comparison by Israelis who are furious at the world because the world is furious towards actions which debase humans. He has previously heard Israelis refer to the Gaza blockade as simply “putting Palestinians on a diet.” Apparently, many Israelis are confused about Nazism. It was the Nazis who joked about placing Jews in Death Camps on a “diet.” There is something twisted in the minds of Israelis when their behavior to demonize humans winds up being the tormentor as the victim.

Any attempt to compare Gaza to Death Camps is ludicrous. Any attempt to compare Israeli behavior in seizing Palestinian property and blockading the entry of food and supplies to the Holocaust is an exaggeration. But, as Siegman notes: “If a people who so recently experienced on its own flesh unspeakable inhumanities can not muster the moral imagination to understand the injustice and suffering in its own territorial ambitions, what hope is there for the rest of us?”

There is no second Holocaust in Gaza or Palestine. However, there is injustice, horror, arrogance, inhumanity, and lack of empathy from people who should know better. The insensitivity of Israelis is most disturbing.

Israel Arrogance Or Ignorance?

Haggai Alon, writing in Haaretz, argues the Israel government has failed to grasp it is not the equal of superpower America, and, in so doing, is moving along the road to disaster. “The United States is a superpower, it is doubtful whether Israel is even a regional power.” But, religious right Jewish leaders speak defiantly of doing whatever they desire regardless of the United States, Europe or the UN because they are God’s children and He gave them the land of Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu is ready to confront the world and prove that Israel IS a world power that all nations should respect. Unfortunately, American generals like Petraeus have informed the president that military operations for US forces in the region are impacted by refusal to Israel to work for peace. At some point, that reality will impinge on the fantasy world of Israel. l

Events may well raise new security issues for Israel. What if Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank reach a compromise agreement and then invite a UN or Arab force into Gaza to ensure security. What then will be the reaction of Israel? Alon raises a realistic question as to whether the current stubborn stand of the Netanyahu government simply provides Arabs opportunities to assume leadership for peace in the Middle East.

UK MP Banned From Egypt Over Gaza Aid

The situation in Gaza is horrendous and therefore it is not surprising that people in other parts of the world seek to bring aid to those who are suffering. British MP George Galloway has been part of an effort to drive dozens of trucks loaded with food and other items into Gaza to alleviate suffering. After some initial clashes, Egyptian authorities allowed most o the trucks to proceed, but they also compelled several to enter via Israeli controlled crossings. Galloway, who once called for the overthrow of Egyptian President Mubarak was not particularly a welcome visitor in Egypt and it is not surprising that his car was halted, he was bundled into a van and escorted to the nearest airport for a flight back home.

The issue is not who is delivering supplies, the issue is the need for Israel and Egypt to end their blockade, install proper instruments that can detect weapons, and allow Gazans the right to enjoy a peaceful and productive life. All to often in the Israel-Palestinian dispute, anger, challenges to authority and lack of a willingness to compromise have prevented peace from emerging. Mr. Galloway is doing excellent service in the cause of peace, now leave and cease creating problems.

Which Way Egypt In Gaza?

Stories continue to emerge from Gaza that Egypt is in the process of constructing a wall that would make it more difficult for Gazans to use Egypt as a point of entry into the besieged land. The Egyptian government has refused entry to a convoy of supplies from other parts of the world which wanted to bring goods into Gaza. “We are willing to be responsive,” said the Egyptian government, “to demands of humanitarian organizations, but we cannot turn a blind eye to the attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas to use the situation in Gaza to stir unrest on the Egyptian borders.” The Egyptians feel trapped between demands from Palestinians to defend the people of Gaza and possible actions by the Muslim Brotherhood o use Gaza as a means of overthrowing the government.

A logical solution to this mess is ending the siege of Gaza and allowing goods and services to enter through an Israel enter point and thus obviated the need for smuggling. Egyptians blame Israel inaction on the need to end the blockade as the cause of its own problems. “Israel,” said a government officials, “wants to throw Gaza into our face and we are simply telling Israel that as an occupying power, it has responsibilities to honor.”

Yes, it is time for Israel to end the mess.

Abbas Steps Down As Leader Of Fatah-What Next Israel?

For half a century, Israel leaders complained they were unable to find people in the Arab world who were willing to negotiate for peace. Finally, President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah, became a voice seeking peace and willing to enter into diplomatic negotiations with the Israel government. So, what was the response of Israel? Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu placed one barrier after another in the path of peace and refused to abandon West Bank settlements even though he knew it was impossible for any Palestinian leader to accept the abandonment of an area that belonged to Arab people under the UN partition plan. President Obama attempted to steer an even path between Palestinians and Israelis and urged Israel to cease further West Bank construction. Netanyahu just ignored the president. Secretary of State Clinton stepped into the situation and indicated how pleased she was that Netanyahu might promise at some future time to do something about the west bank.

President Abbas announced he is not running for re-election. There is no question when Palestinians select a more radical person as their president, Israel will commence to sound the alarm and complain how could they negotiate with radicals? The reason is simple, Israel created the current problem and only Israel can solve it.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer reflections on the human condition from a 20 year old man trapped in a 79 year old body.

Nobody Asked Me But,

A woman walked by wearing long stockings. That means summer is over.

I daily receive phone calls from people offering me such nice things. For some reason, I hang up.

Fewer men wear a pony tail. Of course, forty years ago, those men beat the hell out of any man wearing a pony tail.

I like Laura Bush and bet she is happy her hubby is no longer the president.

I wrote an angry letter to President Obama. Why isn’t money set aside so people lacking medical insurance can see a doctor if they have symptoms of swine flu?

I always love women whose hair trails over their face.

I can never understand people who maintain a grudge for more than 24 hours. Life must always go on.

Native born St. Louisians evaluate people based on the high school they attended. They are among the most provincial people in America.

I often wonder if my mind would think differently if I was born very small.

After a half century of driving I still hate backing into a parking space.

When others talk I listen to words rather than day dreaming.

There is something about the glare, the angry eyes, and the cold demeanor of Dick Cheney that arouses pity in my heart.

“Clueless in Gaza” are the words that come to my mind when I think of Israel policy in that area of the world.

I am in awe of people who do cross word puzzles in ink.

I thrive on failure, it sparks my creative thinking juices.

Are Aggressive Words A Problem For Israel?

An Israel cabinet minister has raised the issue as to whether a constant defensive tone and threatening stance toward critics has damaged his nation’s standing in the world. Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog criticized fellow Cabinet members who used expressions such as “harsh response” and threatened to inflict punishment on Hamas as only presenting a view that Israel intended to punish the people of Gaza. Herzog also charged the Netanyahu government knowingly decided to destroy Gaza, and the Goldstone Report had more to do with actions by the government as much as the performance of Israel soldiers in the field. The key point made by Herzog is critical for the people of Israel. “These remarks are part of a culture of spin, which has no meaning. People have to understand that words that are said have the power to ultimately harm Israel’s interests.”

This blog has been making this point for over a year. It is time for Israel to return to the moral views of its founders.

Turkey Intends To Tell It Like It Is!

During the past several decades, Israel’s main ally among Muslim nations was Turkey. Both nations cooperated on military matters and Turkey went out of its way to support the existence of Israel although that stance damaged its relations with Muslim nations. However, during the past few years, the people of Israel have voted into power right wing demagogues who preach the greatness of Israel regardless of how their policies impact the lives of Palestinians. The disastrous invasion of Gaza simply was even too much for Turkey and its leaders denounced the assault on individual rights.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan reacted angrily to Israel complaints that a TV program depicted the Israel Defense Force in a negative manner. The program showed Israel soldiers killing children. Robert Goldstone urged Israel to conduct its own investigation of claims that civilians were killed in Gaza. But, Israel continues insisting it has never made a mistake and turned down his offer. What exactly did Israel expect would be the Muslim reaction to its policy of denial?