When people say Israel’s response to Hamas aggression must be “proportionate”, they don’t mean it. What they actually mean is that Israel shouldn’t respond at all.
Which is fine: everyone’s entitled to their view. But Israel’s critics should at least be honest about what they’re really proposing. And what they’re proposing is that while Israel has a right to defend itself in principle, it shouldn’t do so in practice. It should just turn the other cheek.
Archive for the ‘Israel/Palestine’ Category
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 29, 2014
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on January 11, 2009
First, Israel is the only UN member state whose very right to exist is under constant challenge. Notwithstanding the fact that Israel was created with the imprimatur of the UN and has been a member of the world body since 1949, there is a relentless chorus of nations, institutions and individuals denying Israel’s very political legitimacy. No one would dare question the right to exist of Libya, Saudi Arabia or Syria. Why is it open hunting season on Israel, as if we didn’t know the answer?
Second, Israel is the only UN member state that’s been publicly targeted for annihilation by another UN member state. Think about it. The Iranian president calls for wiping Israel off the map. Is there any other country that faces such an open call for genocidal destruction?
Third, Israel is the only nation whose capital city, Jerusalem, is not recognized by other nations. Imagine the absurdity of this. Foreign diplomats live in Tel Aviv while conducting virtually all their business in Jerusalem. Though no Western nation questions Israel’s presence in the city’s western half, where the prime minister’s office, Knesset and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are located, there are no embassies there. In fact, look at listings of world cities, including places of birth in passports, and you’ll often see something striking – Paris, France; Tokyo, Japan; Pretoria, South Africa; Lima, Peru; and Jerusalem, sans country – orphaned, if you will.
Fourth, the UN has two agencies that deal with refugees. One, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), focuses on all the world’s refugee populations, save one. The other, the United Nations Refugee and Works Administration (UNRWA), handles only the Palestinians. But the oddity goes further than two structures and two bureaucracies. They have two different mandates. UNHCR seeks to resettle refugees; UNRWA does not. When, in 1951, John Blanford, UNRWA’s director, proposed resettling up to 250,000 refugees in Arab countries, those countries refused, leading to his resignation. The message got through. No UN official since has pushed for resettlement.
Moreover, the UNRWA and UNHCR definitions of a refugee differ markedly. Whereas the UNHCR targets those who have fled their homelands, the UNRWA definition covers “the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948,” without any generational limitations.
Fifth, Israel is the only country that has won all its major wars for survival and self-defense, yet it’s confronted by defeated adversaries who insist on dictating the terms of peace. In doing so, ironically, they’ve found support from many countries who, victorious in war, demanded — and got – border adjustments.
Sixth, Israel is the only country that has been censured by name — not once, but nine times — since the new UN Human Rights Council was established in June 2006. Astonishingly, or maybe not, this UN body has failed to adopt a single resolution critical of any real human rights abuser. When finally discussing the Darfur situation, the Council shamefully balked at pointing a finger at Sudan.
Seventh, Israel is the only country that, in violation of the spirit of the UN Charter, isn’t a full member of one of the five regional blocs — Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and West Europe and Others (WEOG) — that determine eligibility for candidacy for key UN posts. While Israel achieved a breakthrough in 2000 and joined WEOG, its membership is limited to New York, not other UN centers, and is both conditional and temporary.
Eighth, Israel is the only country that’s the daily target of three UN bodies established solely to advance the Palestinian cause and to bash Israel — the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People, and the Division for Palestinian Rights in the UN’s Department of Political Affairs.
Ninth, Israel is the only country that is the target of a boycott by the British-based National Union of Journalists. An earlier British boycott against Israeli academic institutions was voided on a technicality because the union that adopted the measure merged with another. There is now an incipient call by some in the British Medical Association to exclude its Israeli counterpart from the World Medical Association.
And tenth, Israel is the only country where some associated with its majority population, i.e., Jews, openly call, for political or religious reasons, to dismantle the state. Is there a comparable situation to those religious voices of Neturei Karta, for example, who traveled to Teheran to join publicly with a leader seeking Israel’s destruction, as well as those political extremists who seek to delegitimize the State of Israel and call for a “one-state” solution? Speaking of our own worst enemies… Tackling any one of these ten, much less all of them, is a daunting challenge, to state the painfully obvious. And, as I suggested, this list is far from complete. But it gives a sense of what’s going on beyond the daily headlines.
The old ad used to say that you don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s Jewish rye bread. Well, surely, you don’t have to be an ardent pro-Israel activist to be troubled by the unjust treatment of Israel. All it takes is a capacity for outrage that things like this are going on before our very eyes.
This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 14, 2008
A death is not less of a death because the person was extreme or a soldier or settler or a militant.[…]Hamas is seen as extreme but in some eyes they were elected by a fair election. They are virtually ignored in the peace process. I believe they should be listened to. Maybe after they vented long enough, perhaps they would be willing to negotiate more fairly.
Thank you Z!
On the one hand I agree with you about “A death is not less of a death because the person was extreme or a soldier or settler or a militant.”. On the other hand I personally don’t see how venting the same tirade for 60 years “Wipe Israel off the map!” is going to change within the next 60 years just because we say we listen to them. Nor do I see how venting “King David’s Israel Now!” for 60 years is going to change within the next 60 years, just because we listen to them. Hamas like Kach are legally elected, but it doesn’t mean they represent the Peoples on a grand scale. I suspect Hamas was elected in response to the corruption and mismanagement carried out by Fatah, especially under Chairman Arafat. With the death of Arafat, and the election of Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine has found a leader who is strong. Just look at how he dealt with the Violent Elements in Gaza. It may seem like he lost, however I am not so sure about that. I think it was as much a strategical move as it was a result of not being able to deal with Hamas in a rational way.
Personally I believe that ACTION, such as a stop to military aggression, aid without conditions, removal of settlements and checkpoints, expectations of responsibility and curbing of Violent Elements through policial presence will in the end bring Hamas around. I also believe that to accomplish this Israel has to step up and offer such action. Yes, initially it will cost lives, most likely on both sides, as the Extremists on both sides try to fight each other. On a unrest/violence scale of 0-150 I have no doubt that when there is finally peace, we’ll have seen a level around 75-78. But, eventually Hamas and other Extremist elements will come around because they SEE that they are given what the Palestinian People NEED, more than what they think the Palestinians need or what Plaestinian Militants have achieved during 60 years of resistance to the 1947-48 partition plan.
I know it’s just a game – but this is what I did, playing as the Israeli Prime Minister:
1. Funded education, medical aid and cross-culture projects WITHOUT conditions.
2. Gradually removed settlements and with them checkpoints and bits and pieces of the Security wall. Reminding all that it’s a process, not a one-time thing. The aim is to eventually have removed all Settlements and Checkpoints.
3. Responded to unrest and suicide bombings with Police presence in-side Israel and at the same time asking the Palestinian President to clamp down on Militants in Gaza and the Westbank.
4. Increasing the work-permits and easing the curfews, releasing prisoners convicted of non-violent crimes.
5. Responded to unrest and suicide bombings with Police presence in-side Israel and at the same time asking the Palestinian President to clamp down on Militants in Gaza and the Westbank.
6. Stimulating the Israeli Economy, focusing on Trade Initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians, Education and Social Reforms on both sides.
7. Authorizing compensation for the Refugees.
8. What I absolutely didn’t do was letting myself be drawn into calls for retaliation or respond to violence by more violence. In fact I jailed a whole bunch of Jewish/Yesha Leaders when they took to the streets and went after Palestinians. Demanding the same move by the Palestinian President on his side.
I kept repeating this until I had the full approval of the Palestinans (minus the Militants) and the Palestinian President. Then I gradually allowed Refugees to return, in 100.000 increments, making clear that any unrest as a result of this would result in their deportation. By the time I had finished the third step I had 91% of the Israeli Approval and 100% of the Palestinian People, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad…who had both agreed to stop their aggressive actions and instead sit down and negotiate and done so – which was the fourth step – now given that I have not played at harder levels I have no idea what would happen if the level of violence was higher than it is today, but I am sure I’ll figure it out .
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 11, 2008
Israel is demanding that a formal calm with Hamas be preceded by a 30-day “feeling the pulse” period, the London-based daily Al-Quds al-Arabi reported Tuesday.
According to the newspaper, the demand was presented to Egyptian officials by Amos Gilad, who heads the Defense Ministry’s Diplomatic-Security Bureau.
The report quoted a “senior Palestinian source” as saying that if the 30-day period proves successful, Israel will assent to the Egyptian calm initiative, including the cessation of ground and air attacks in the Gaza Strip and refraining from retaliating for the terror attack at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva last week.
Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Aiman Taha, told Al-Hayyat that the organizations still maintains that the calm should be mutual, simultaneous and all-inclusive. He said that Hamas’s conditions included extending the calm to the West Bank, opening the border passes and ceasing assassination of Palestinian targets.
I must say I do not understand why this is so hard to agree to. Just stop fighting for 30 days, don’t do anything that will lead to violence on either side…
It’s not even a unilateral deal, it’s bilateral thing, no-one is loosing face… and still they can’t do it. Silly Babies.
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 11, 2008
Journalist: Richard Chesnoff
And while there are clear dangers in the Israeli Army reoccupying the Gaza Strip en force, it increasingly looks like the only way to cleanse Gaza of the terrorist slime that controls it.
Israel withdrew from Gaza with hopes that it might become a shining light of Palestinian independence. Instead, it’s a beacon of bedlam.Why should Israel have to supply electricity, fuel and other basics to a terror state determined to destroy it? Let Egypt and other Arab states worry about Gaza. Failing that, consider cutting a 10-mile deep trench around the benighted Gaza Strip and pushing it out to sea.
Now, it might be that one is angry, but that kind of verbal attacks leveled at the Palestinian Militants/Terrorists doesn’t do anything to give an objective picture of the events. Yes, it’s an opinion piece, I realize that, but claiming that the rockets being launched from inside Gaza at Israel are “Islamic” is not an opinion, that’s a prejudice and Islamophobic to boot. Suggesting that the entire Palestinian population of Gaza should be pushed into the sea because of the doings of what is still a minority of Palestinians, is no better than suggesting that every Jew in Israel be pushed into the sea. Richard Chesnoff, could do well to think about that.
Police is refusing to pass on the body of the terrorist who murdered eight pupils at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva last week to his family, Army Radio reported Monday. According to the report, police said they would only release the body if the family promises to hold a “humble” funeral with few participants.
The body was due to be released on Sunday, but the police against it, arguing that there were too many mourners gathered at the family home, in violation of an earlier agreement with the family.
On Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held consultations with officials regarding the mourning tent erected at the home of the terrorist’s family.
From the National Insurance Institute (NII) inquiry it emerged that the killer’s parents were not entitled to benefit payments for their son’s death. The NII also decided to withhold burial assistance.
That is sure to make tension go away… “a humble funeral”. Now, I can well imagine that the Police has convinced themselves that they want few participants to avoid any clashes and other security risks, but honestly I doubt that to be more than a simple gloss-over.
It’s a nice way of kicking the family in the groin and humiliate them. Oh, sure they raised him, and something they must have passed on – if nothing else a basic idea that taking lives is acceptable. Regardless, that doesn’t justify humiliating his family, even if all male members were somehow involved, which I honestly doubt that they were. A few cousins perhaps, but certainly not his mother and sister. It seems that basically all male members of his family are held in custody by the police, so why deprive his mother and sister of the comfort it gives to have a real funeral?
Let me remind of the Prophet Hezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are Mine. As the soul of the father, also the soul of the son, they are Mine. The soul that sins, it shall die.”
Ala Abu Dhaim is dead, he has paid and rightly so. To make his family pay for his crime is wrong.
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 11, 2008
Bethlehem, West Bank – Fadi al-Amour and his friends – high school seniors – spent more time last week on the street than in class. Every day, they marched on Rachel’s Tomb, guarded by Israeli soldiers, and, along with hundreds of other young Palestinians, pelted the nearest symbol of Israeli power with rocks and Molotov cocktails.
“We were implementing what our leaders in the prisons tell us we should be doing. Even Marwan Barghouthi has warned that this is where we’re going: the third intifada,” says Mr. Amour, mentioning the Fatah figure jailed by Israel in 2002 for his role in the last intifada, which lasted from 2000 to 2004.
From Gaza rocket strikes and West Bank riots to a deadly shooting inside Jerusalem late last week, many Palestinians are saying – or perhaps hoping – that these incidents of violence will spark a new, much broader conflict with Israel.
Those who are encouraging a further escalation say it’s overdue. Others, including many who remember the misery of past intifadas, worry that this will just drag the Palestinian cause down a dead-end street.
“There might be an escalation in the coming weeks and months, and an escalation has already been going on in Gaza in recent weeks and months,” says Ali Jarbawi, a political scientist at Birzeit University, near Ramallah.
But, he says, there might be a danger in rushing to label the events of the last few weeks as the start of another intifada. “People are feeling a sense of despair. They’re frustrated by the [new Israeli-Palestinian negotiations] leading nowhere, and [by] the internal situation between Hamas and Fatah,” he says. “But I don’t see that translating into a concrete, continuous event, which I think is something that defines an intifada. Let’s wait and see.”
Escalation?!! Ok. My wife just said: “I didn’t know the Second Intifada had ended…?!” I have to agree with her. It sounds a bit sensationalist to start talking about a Third Intifada, when the Second is still going on. But then, media has a big part in the conflict’s more virulent elements.
JERUSALEM — The government of Israel said Sunday that it had approved the construction of hundreds of homes in a West Bank settlement north of Jerusalem, a move that could further complicate a peace effort already hobbled by violence.
The announcement slightly eased pressure on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from the right wing in his government, particularly after a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem fatally shot eight students, most of them teenagers, at a prestigious Jewish seminary in western Jerusalem on Thursday.
But the move occurred days before an American envoy, Lt. Gen. William M. Fraser III, was expected to arrive in the region for the first three-party meeting with Israelis and Palestinians on fulfillment of obligations under the 2003 peace plan called the road map.
The plan calls for the Palestinians to halt all violence and for the Israelis to cease all settlement construction, including building meant to accommodate “natural growth.”
Dumb move, Olmert, dumb move. However, being the Prime Minister of Israel cannot be easy. Trying to please both the Right and the Left and the Palestinians. But if he can get the Extremist Settlers to stop their “out-posting”. The word “out-post” is some thing you have in war, along the enemy border, to keep an eye on them – it’s no place to bring your wives and children. Why not just call it un-authorized settlement? That at least would be true.
I am sure all of this is a journalist’s wet dream. Blood, gore, conflict and violence sell news papers and videos, raise the ratings and make a lot of people, including the journalists, rich. So of course it all has to be described as colorful as possible.
Why is it that media is not reporting about the regular Palestinians, Arabs and Israelis, who all go about their lives in a normal fashion. Sure building Settlements is a dumb and illegal idea, but at the same time it creates jobs – the two guys, in the picture of Givat Zeev, are Arabs, who feed their families building those Settlements. Would they have the same opportunity in Palestine? I am not too sure about that. So, every coin has two sides, which one you see is just as much up to you as to chance.