Saturday, July 08, 2006

British Jews Advertise Against Gaza Debacle

Although I didn't see it myself until a couple of hours ago, some three hundred British Jews have chipped in together to buy a full page, £10,000 ad in The Times, denouncing Israel's recent actions in Gaza. See the ad in PDF format here.

The Jewish Chronicle has this to say about it:
MORE THAN 300 Jews publicly condemned Israeli actions in Gaza in a £10,000 full-page advertisement in Thursday’s edition of The Times.

Headlined “What is Israel doing? A call by Jews in Britain,” the text denounced “the collective punishment of the people of Gaza” and the use of Israel’s “enormously superior military might to terrorise an entire people.”

Signed by academics and figures from the arts, including playwright Harold Pinter, director Mike Leigh and actress Miriam Margolyes, the petition alleges that kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit “has become a pawn in the Israeli government’s ongoing battle to topple the democratically elected government of the Palestinians.”

Calling for the immediate release of Hamas MPs arrested by Israel, the advertisement urged readers to protest to their MPs and to the Israeli embassy. Ms Margolyes told the JC she had signed the statement “because I want Israel to survive, and it won’t survive if it is destroying Palestine. The problem is that Jewish people feel any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, so it’s very difficult to get across that we are proud of being Jewish but ashamed of the actions of the Israeli government.”

Marxist historian Professor Eric Hobsbawn felt it “very important for a number of Jews who agree with the sentiments of the statement to stand up and be counted. The predominant view associated with the Jewish com­munity in this country and elsewhere is to almost automatically support the present government of Israel.”

Writer Lynne Reid Banks — who is not Jewish but married to an Israeli and who lived on kibbutz for 10 years — hoped Palestinians would hear about the advert as “it might change their views that everyone in the world, and especially Jews, are against them.” Describing herself “more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli,” she argued that kidnapping an IDF soldier was a legitimate tactic. “I regard Corporal Shalit as a prisoner of war because he was captured by guerrillas, rather than terrorists, acting against a military and not a civilian target.”

Pyschotherapist Susie Orbach said her concern “is for the safety of the State of Israel and I’m worried that the actions of the Israeli government is threatening the security of its people.”

Author Moris Fahri said: “When you hit the infrastructure, you endanger the lives of quite innocent people.”

It's certainly getting increasingly clear that Israel's disproportionate response to the capture/kidnapping/abduction (delete as appropriate, according your own views) of young Gilad has little to with saving their Corporal's life. Nothing they have done so far has been constructive towards that goal, quite the opposite.

No, poor Gilad here is being used as an excuse. An excuse to dismantle the PA and destroy Hamas. How, for example, could the IAF's flapping its wings at Damascus possibly have contributed anything to the objective of getting their man back safe and sound?

When all this is over and Gilad hopefully has returned home safely and in one piece, I'd really like to know what him and his family really think of their Government's near idiotic course of action...

3 Comments:

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

I commented about your use of the phrase "dispraportiante force" in my post to....well, your other post, but let me make one additional statement. The main difference between you and me is that I'm here, and you're not, and if you think that very fact gives you obstinately more objectivity than me, you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, it gives you less. We have die-hard Israeli peaceniks here, even more so than you, and I respect their critical views a hell of a lot more than yours. You see, if the Palestinians were to win this war and detroy Israel, those peaniks throats would be shlashed just as much as mine. Until that day, Israelis from all walks of life, religiously and politically, are getting murdered by Palestinians. Those little things aren't exactly taken into consideration when they decide to blow themselves up or shoot rockets or sneak into some-one's house and kill the parents and children as they lay in their beds. You and the rest of your foreign pundits can criticize and "tut-tut" all you want over Israel's actions or Israel's destruction, but the next week you'll on your merry way to something else, and won't give us poor Israelis and Jews one more thought. You will forget our plight as fast as the next commericial break leads into the Soccer sports report. You don't have to wake up to the sounds, sights, and threats of death every single morning. Being Israeli, and a Palestinian for that matter, means that you pay for your decisions and for those of your society, possibly with your life. Being a foreign observer, you can pontificate all you want and then simply go some-where and do something else. For you, there is no price for being wrong at our expense. So, you can keep talking about "disproportinate use of force" all you want, but your life is not on the line. The fact is, whether you like to see or not, that when Operation Defensive Shield was launched in the spring of 2002, after over a year of Israel restraining her military against the daily terrorist attacks occurring on her siol, and Israel used its might, death on BOTH SIDES went down dramatically. Not doing so increases the number of casualties on BOTH SIDES. That fact is simple and irrefutable. I dare you to try.
-OC

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Olah:

I am not going to spend more time on rebutting your riposte to my riposte, as we would be wasting our time: no common ground is to be found. We've both had our say, so let's leave it there.

I will, however, comment on the remarks above.

"I commented about your use of the phrase "dispraportiante force" in my post to....well, your other post, but let me make one additional statement. The main difference between you and me is that I'm here, and you're not, and if you think that very fact gives you obstinately more objectivity than me, you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, it gives you less. We have die-hard Israeli peaceniks here, even more so than you, and I respect their critical views a hell of a lot more than yours."

I'm not a peacenik. I do believe that a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians is badly needed, is possible and should be strived for.

"You see, if the Palestinians were to win this war and detroy Israel, those peaniks throats would be shlashed just as much as mine. Until that day, Israelis from all walks of life, religiously and politically, are getting murdered by Palestinians. Those little things aren't exactly taken into consideration when they decide to blow themselves up or shoot rockets or sneak into some-one's house and kill the parents and children as they lay in their beds. You and the rest of your foreign pundits can criticize and "tut-tut" all you want over Israel's actions or Israel's destruction, but the next week you'll on your merry way to something else, and won't give us poor Israelis and Jews one more thought. You will forget our plight as fast as the next commericial break leads into the Soccer sports report. You don't have to wake up to the sounds, sights, and threats of death every single morning. Being Israeli, and a Palestinian for that matter, means that you pay for your decisions and for those of your society, possibly with your life. Being a foreign observer, you can pontificate all you want and then simply go some-where and do something else. For you, there is no price for being wrong at our expense. So, you can keep talking about "disproportinate use of force" all you want, but your life is not on the line."

The "destruction of Israel" is a pipedream held by very few Palestinians and is an unachievable goal. Most of the violence directed at Israel has nothing to do with that goal either. There are a host of reasons for the violence, not in the least the "cycle of violence which according to Oleh doesn't exist. Denying the existence of what someone (rather smartly) called "the causality palindrome", simply serves for some to try and get to moral high ground, thereby leaving any Israeli blame behind and below. In this view you're practically alone.

That Kassam missiles cannot reach Bridlington is of course a fact but the Middle East is a powder keg: what happens there may have repercussions anywhere else in the world. This is one of the reasons the conflict in Israel/Palestine is so closely followed by so many from all over the world.

I've been watching, interpreting and debating the conflict for well over 20 years now and I'm not about to stop anytime soon. Whilst it's possible some pundits will quickly move on to another "problem area", this is generally not true of those who take an interest in Israel like myself.

"The fact is, whether you like to see or not, that when Operation Defensive Shield was launched in the spring of 2002, after over a year of Israel restraining her military against the daily terrorist attacks occurring on her siol, and Israel used its might, death on BOTH SIDES went down dramatically. Not doing so increases the number of casualties on BOTH SIDES. That fact is simple and irrefutable. I dare you to try."

It's not for me to refute something that sounds highly contentious but for which you present no evidence whatsoever.

In the current operation against Gaza, one of the most suicidal I've seen in a while, already 20 to 30 times more Palestinians have been killed than Israelis. And almost a hundred or so times more Palestinians have been arrested, compared to one lone Corporal. Now, all this wouldn't be so bad if it actually served a purpose but it doesn't. To believe so is to be extremely naive. Pressuring the Palestinians to rid themselves of a Government they elected themselves isn't going to work: instead they will rally around their own people, in exactly the same way Israelis bond together when Kassams are fired or a suicide attack kills many innocents. Palestinian violence is pointless precisely for that reason, but reacting to it with such brute force is almost like falling into trap: it's a self-defeating fallacy. With a peacenik perspective this has nothing to do, with realism; everything.

Israel really needs to develop a long term vision for its security concerns, instead of knee-jerking all over the place and actually making matters worse for itself. THAT is in the Israeli self-interest, not vaingloriously hoping that destroying an elected Government will make the opponent say: "yeah, well, OK then. What do you want us to do?"

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous BB said...

olah, just one question. Do you truely believe ALL Palestinians - each and evry one of them - want the destruction of Israel;anymore than each and every Israeli wants to see the destruction of Palestinians?

You don't, I hope. It is time to talk to Palestinians, for both sides to see the other as human - which the vast majority on both sides do. It is the only way for a longstanding peace that removes the furtile ground foor the extremists and their rhetoric on both sides.

 

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