Thursday, February 22, 2007

It's not our existence - it's the way our existence is perceived by the other side

To answer Abe's question:

you also wrote: "..it's not our existence - it's the way our existence is perceived by the other side..."

i don't understand the difference

When I say "how our existence is percieved", I am talking about how Arabs interpret our actions. The problem is usually not the actions themselves, but the perceived intent of those actions.

This is perfectly human. Imagine your own reaction towards a person who has killed in self defence. Now imagine your attitude towards a psychopathic murderer. Both have done the same, but from a different motive. Our attitude is based on how we interpret the *intentions* behind the actions. What would you do if someone you know to be a psychopathic murderer was to get close to anything dear to you?

Arab attitude towards us is shaped by their perception of our intentions and our motives.

Arabs hate us because they believe our purpose is to kill them all and destroy Islam. They see us as heartless murderers - not as regular humans fighting for their existence. A huge number of Arabs seriously believe that we are as bad as the Nazis - or even worse. Every action of ours is automatically interpreted as part of a vicious plot.

We think Arabs hate us because they are evil. But in fact, they hate us because they see themselves as the good guys, and us as the evil ones.

33 comments:

Mohamed Maher said...

HI,
i totally agree with what you have said , but i don't believe about your theory of " there is no evil guys and good guys in this problem" . there must be someone of us , is defending the wrong ideas, and the other is defending the right ideas.
i believe that there are many good guys in israel like you. but israel as whole body i believe that it is a wrong idea , and it is considered the evil character for me. and on the other hand there could be a bad guys in the arabs, but the arabs as a whole body is the good character.
someone of us must be believing in the wrong concepts.
the israeli people believe that it is their land because their ancestors once lived here from thousands of years !!! and the arabs believe that it has been their land for about 1400 years ! and from 60 years only some people came and stole their land !
i think when a normal human see these two truths and he think in them , his mind would tell him that the second party (the arabs) are the who are having the right.
i know that you are trying to defend the idea of your existance on this land and if i were you i would have done the same, but that doesn't stop you from knowing where the truth belongs. i ask you to think of this dilema as if you were not an israeli person. how would you see the sitution?

Abe said...

In your opinion is Mr. Maher a moderate or extremist?
If, as he writes, ".. totally agrees with what you have said.."' then I have no idea what you said or he doesn't. What kind of agreement can I reach with him or his sympathizers, who think I'm evil because I believe in the legitimacy of a Jewish country here? As Mr. Maher writes quite clearly the problem is not what Israel does (to change his perceptions) but that Israel exists at all (even within 1967 borders).
I think dialogue is vital but it should be with our eyes open not with false assumptions. I think this link has a good attidude.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1171894494975&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Israeli Blogger said...

@Abe:

Thank you for the link. It is a very interesting article. I will post my thoughts on it soon.

I believe Mohamed Maher's disagreement with me is in reference to a previous post of mine (Good Guys and Bad Guys)



@Mohamed Maher:

Is what I wrote to Abe correct?

And why do you think that you and I are defending different ideas? We are both defending the right of people to have a home and to live in safety, aren't we?

Mohamed Maher said...

Hi ,
when i referenced to your theory , i said that based on the " good guys bad guys" article, and many other articles you have written before.
i really appreciate your way of thinking and i agree whith you in many points, but i still have different point of view than yours.
i be so sad when any civilian die, whether he was palestinian or israeli.i wish that all of us live in peace. i hate any kind of war.
but i also believe, that israel is not a right thing because it was established on other people's land. and i hate what the israeli army do with the palestinians. and i hate the zionism concept of forming a country for the jewish ,on the palestinian lands , and i heard that the zionists wish to form a country that expands from the nile till the rivers of iraq. my dream is to return our stolen lands from the israeli people, and i wish that jeursalem would return to the arabs. but these are my wishes. and i believe that israeli people don't know the real history , and they are defending wrong ideas and unjustified case. but all these things doesn't mean that i'm extremist as Abe said, should i believe in your thoughts Abe to be a moderate !! should i be an extremist because i don't believe in israel !! where is the extreme thing in that !! these are my concepts and believes that are different than yours . i like to talk in this blog in order to build a bridge, where we can communicate with eachother and to know each other, but that doesn't mean that i should believe in israel ... i still believe that there are good guys in israel , but israel is a very wrong thing , and its defenders are standing on the wrong , unjustified side.

Abe said...

Mr. Maher,

I did not call you, or anyone, an extremist. What I did ask was "What kind of agreement can I reach with him or his sympathizers, who think I'm evil because I believe in the legitimacy of a Jewish country here?" You did not answer that question. I think you are wrong on many of your assumptions and beliefs, and I don't think they can be changed, but in spite of that I believe I could live in peace with you. The question is can you live in peace with me even if I believe that I live in Israel by right, and most of the injustices (on both sides) have been caused by the Arabs, in and out of Israel? Can we agree to disagree and still compromise, or do you see in that word disgrace and defeat? Am I a moderate or am I right wing if I believe in Zionism as just but am willing to compromise to live in peace?

Abe

Israeli Blogger said...

@Abe: You and I share the belief that Zionism is not evil. But I suspect you may have overlooked a few important elements of Mohamed Maher's last comment.

For one, Mohamed didn't say that you or I are evil. On the contrary - he makes a clear distinction between the people and the country, ending his comment with the words "i still believe that there are good guys in israel, but israel is a very wrong thing, and its defenders are standing on the wrong, unjustified side."

In a way, what you are asking of Mohamed Maher is somewhat unfair. On one hand, you correctly state that there are many things Mohamed doesn't know about us. On the other, you ask him whether he is willing to compromise. It is very difficult to compromise with someone whom you do not understand. There is no way to build trust when you do not understand someone, and compromise without trust will not end any conflict. By the way, there are many many things we do not know about the Arab culture either. I have found that much of what we "know" about the Arab world is untrue.

Abe, Will it be rude of me to ask you to read Mohamed's comment once again, keeping his last words in mind as you read it?

@Mohamed: I appreciate your words very much. Building a bridge between the two sides is what I am hoping to do as well. I think that in order to do that, we must both be able to try and see the whole situation through the eyes of the other.

Mohamed, when I read Abe's words, I sensed some anger. This anger does not come from nowhere. I think there is much you can understand about us Israelis if you try to see where this anger comes from. Will you be willing to accept a small challange from me in this regard - and try to understand where this anger originates? If you post your conclusions, we will be able to let you know whether you understand us correctly.


-I.B.

Mohamed Maher said...

Hi,
@Abe: at the begining of this dialogue, we all agreed that we have to live in peace with eachother. and i could live in peace with you knowing that you believe in israel as a legitimate country.
i'm not here to reach an agreement with you about aything, but i'm here to know who are you as an israeli !! and to let you know who am i !! because i really don't know you at all. but at the same time i have a certain beliefs that i really believe that they are totally true, as i believe that israel is not a legitimate country , and that the israeli people stole our land , and that the israeli army do many crimes with the arabs.

@isareli blogger: i want to tell u some things that we as arabs believe in.
in 1948 we heard that the jewish people are are killing the palestinians and kicking them away from their land , and that they formed a country called isreal !! , and the arabs tried to free palestine from the israeli people , but nothing happened in this war. after that we never believed in something called israel , and thought that they are some thiefs that took our lands. this feeling of neglecting israel as a country continued until 1967 , where they invaded many arab countries , and did thousands of crimes against the arabs civilians. and we felt that this "israel" became a strong thing and we felt that we are facing an organized people that they really formed a country !!! and our anger increased and we started to hate israeli people more and more, and as we hear more about the israeli army crimes , this hatred increase more and more.
at 1973 we striked the israeli army and returned many parts of our stoled lands, like sinai, and after that we wanted to live in peace for a while... and we signed a peace treaty with israel, but the arabs citizens , every day hear about the crimes that the israeli soldiers do to the palestinian citizens, and the hatred increases more.... we believe that the isreali government doesn't respect any treaty that they sign wtih the arabs, and they don't want peace , and the thing that shows that , is that israel owns thousands of nuclear weapons , while there is no arab country have only one nuclear weapon.
i want to ask you a question , and try to answer me plz, does the zionism concept says that , the israeli land should extend from the river nile to the rivers of iraq !! answer me plz

Abe said...

Mr.Maher,

You ask if "the zionism concept says that , the israeli land should extend from the river nile to the rivers of iraq" Not only is this not true, but neither is nearly every other "fact" that you stated in "things we as arabs believe in" .

I disagree with the supposed distinction between Israeli people and Israel. I also still curious as to your answer to my question before regarding your opinion on the chances as long as Israel exists.(which should be until the end of time)

Abe

Israeli Blogger said...

@Mohamed: just a quick note regarding your mention of Sinai and the 1973 war (I haven't read your comment carefully enough to respond to all of it). One of the things that really upset us Israelis is that even when our government goes to tremendous lengths towards the Arab world, these efforts are then forgotten and the facts are twisted:

You wrote "at 1973 we striked the israeli army and returned many parts of our stoled lands, like sinai, and after that we wanted to live in peace for a while... and we signed a peace treaty with israel".

For me, this is not history. I was a young child at the time, so I can tell you what I remember personally. In 1973, the Arab armies did strike Israel, and the strike was hard. Initially, the Israeli army was losing. But at some point in the war things changed, and the Isreali forces crossed the Suez Canal into Egypt. A cease fire was declared, and the Israeli forces withdrew.

Sinai remained under Israeli rule. I visited Sinai several times after the 1973 war. No passport was necessary for the visit.

In 1978, the Egyptian president, Anwar Al-Saadat, in an extremely surprizing move for us, came to Israel, and gave a speech at the Knesset. Egypt was willing to sign a peace treaty with Israel in return for getting Sinai back. Israel agreed - and evacuated the settlements it had built at Sinai. I remember seeing pictures on TV of the Israeli Army using force to evacuate those settlers who had resisted evacuating their homes. I personally know people who had lived there at the time (although the people I know did not resist the evacuation). I had also visited Sinai several times after Israel returned it to Egypt - but with a passport this time :-)

I understand that what you wrote is the truth that you know. But please understand that Israelis have a different truth. Much of the Israeli anger toward Arabs in discussions such as ours (and I believe that Arab anger towards Israelis) comes from the difference in those truths.

Abe said...

Isreli Blogger,

I don't agree with you if you are saying that all "truths" are equally valid. Saying something is true and even believing in it passionately doesn't make it so. Unlike you, I was here in 1967 as well as 1973 and I remember the events very well. I have been listening to the "truth" constantly changing and actively being changed for 40 years. If what we are discussing is a border dispute both sides can keep their "truths" because ultimately both sides will have to compromise. But if it is about the legitimacy of a Jewish state (Israel), then it is futile because there can be no compromise on this issue.
I don't think its anger you see in my comments as much as fatigue.

Israeli Blogger said...

Abe, I don't think that both truths are valid. Didn't I just write to Mohamed that his vesrion of 1973 is completely different from the reality I know - not from stories or books, but from my personal experience?

I think that the Arab version of the truth ignores facts that are inconvenient to the Arabs, just as the Israeli version of the truth ignores facts that are inconvenient to us.

I fear that in order to live peacefully with each other, both of our sides will have to accept some painful facts as true. The process has to be two-sided.

Please read my post about textbooks (especially the last paragraph, and the last comment I wrote in the discussion with EngineeringChange on that post).

Israeli Blogger said...

@Mohamed - I have now read your previous comment fully. For me, your point of view is very partial. Some of the things you wrote seem true to me. Some I know to be wrong, and there are many important facts that are missing. I won't go into details, because I fear that we will just get into a senseless argument about who's history books are more accurate.

Many Israelis now accept that there were Palestinian Arabs living in Palestine/Israel before 1948. In 1948, some were driven from their homes, some were killed, some fled, and some remained. A decade ago, most Israelis were in denial of this very sad fact about our history. This is changing. But, as I mentioned to Abe in my previous comment, the Arab world is still deeply in denial about the wrongs done to us. It is easier to think of Israel as an evil entity than it is to admit that you have done wrongs too.

No one can undo the wrongs. Not the wrongs done by Israelis to Arabs, and not the wrongs done by Arabs to Israelis. No one can bring back the murdered children from either side. Many in the Arab world want to drive us Israelis out of our homes. This will not make anything right, but only create another wrong.

Mohamed Maher said...

@ israeli blogger : when i wrote about the events of 1973 , i really wrote saw fast and i didn't mention any detail about this period.
what you have said about 1973 , is totally right , we as arabs believe in it so much and know it very much, but unless we were able to do the strike of 1973 , we wouldn't have returned our land !.
i want to ask you some questions, do you believe that israel has the right to occupy other people's land !! and how do you expect that we would love the people who once occupied our lands and still occupying some parts of the arab lands. would you also try to tell me the concepts of zionism ! , also answer me about the concept of expansion of israel from the nile till the rivers of iraq.
if you want to ask me questions about us as arabs , i'm here.
@ Abe : why are you sure that you are the one who knows all the truths, and the other people are just lying ! may be you are the one who don't know the reality ! why do you want me to believe in israel, this is very hard to happen because i have my own beliefs that it is hard to be changed. try to know my thoughts , and deal with it , and don't try to convience me with things that i don't believe in.

choclosteve said...

I just heard an old song today- "There are three sides to every story- yours, mine and the truth". I was surprised to read the comment stating that many Israelis did not know that Palestinians lived in what is now Israel. The fact is that up until 1948, there were more Palestinians living in what became Israel than Jews, and the Palestinians were born there, which was not true for most of the Jews there in 1948. When I hitch-hiked around Syria and Jordan in 1964, many Palestinians told me that like any sensible peaceful people, when the fighting broke out in 1948, they fled the fighting, and when it was over, they were not allowed to return to their homes. Like Israel, we in the US stole our land from the native peoples, as happened throughout the Americas, north and south. Again, like most Israelis, most Americans were born in our countries and have no other homelands and we have no way of correcting the mistakes or bad behavior of our forefathers, but we can be honest and admit our forefathers' mistakes. As an aside, in reading the Old Testament, it seems like the story of the Jews first coming to "The Promised Land", didn't they steal it from the Caanites and commit rape, enslavement and genocide against them as God told them to do? One of the saddest things that I have been seeing for over 60 years now is the continuing fighting in Palestine/Israel. Both sides are losing and suffering. The ongoing argument over who is most wrong does not help anything- both sides have done wrong and need to admit it and move on to peace and forgiveness

Israeli Blogger said...

@choclosteve: thank you for your words.

As for my comment that "many Israelis did not know that Palestinians lived in what is now Israel" - I was tought in school that the newcomers to Israel in the early 20th century found a "barren land with a few wandering tribes of Arab robbers here and there". This has changed, and is not what is being tought in Israeli schools these days.


@Mohamed: You ask me if I believe that Israel has the right to occupy other people's land.

Israel is not a person. Israel is a collection of over 6 million people. I believe that each one these people has the right to occupy the land on which his home is built - as long as he didn't personally force anyone out of it.

I believe that as a country, Israel has an obligation to reach an understanding with our neighbors, and achieve peace. Unfortunately, I know that this will require the state of Israel to force quite a few Israeli citizens to make sacrifices, and relocate to new homes - just as it recently did in Ghaza.

I see three kinds of people in Israel:

1. Those who have shown aggression and actually stole land.

2. Those who have knowingly relocated to a disputed area shortly after the Israeli army captured it.

3. Those who were born into the situation, and did not have any choice but to live where they were born, or have relocated to a place which is recognized by the international community as a legitimate country.

I think the first kind are criminals and should be indicted.

I think the second kind knowingly took a major risk, and would be my first choice if I were to select people that Israel should force to relocate. Nevertheless, the sacrifice made by such people should be recognized, and they should be well compensated.

I think the third kind are not criminals, and that you should not see them as such. These are the vast majority of Israelis. Almost all of them are good people. I think that you are not being fair to these people when you hate them for what their forefathers did. If you force them out of their homes, you yourself will be committing the same crime for which you hate their forefathers.

As for the disgraceful "Rivers of Iraq to the Nile" slogan: this is a stupid dream held by a very small minority of extreme right-wing Israelis. The overwhelming majority of the Israeli population considers them dangerous madmen. No Israeli government has ever taken this as its goal. However, these madmen do gain some public support after successful Arab attacks on innocent Israeli civilians, and Arab threats to "wipe Israel off the map".

-I.B.

choclosteve said...

What has happened with the properties that belonged to the Palestinians who left during the 1948 war and not allowed to return? Were they paid for their properties? Who has them now, and how did they get them?

choclosteve said...

I have another comment. It is true that there are Moslem theocracies, the Christian countries are pretty much secular, and Jews are not discriminated against any more in most western countries. Most of us are becoming more multi cultural and multi religious. From where I live, it seems that all religious states are trouble to the extent that they have religious laws, as are fundamentalists, particularly Bush. I heard that most of the illegal settlers in the West Bank are Jewish fundamentalists. Is that true?

Abe said...

choclosteve:
You wrote "The fact is that up until 1948, there were more Palestinians living in what became Israel than Jews, and the Palestinians were born there, which was not true for most of the Jews there in 1948."

You neglected to add that according to the 1947 partition plan, accepted by the Jewish leadership, the Jewish state would include only those parts where there was a Jewish majority, not including Jerusalem (which had a Jewish majority) which was to be an international city. The Arabs' reaction to acceptance of this plan by the UN was the immediate outbreak of open hostilities by Arabs against the Jews in Palestine. (At this time only Jews were called Palestinians, Arabs rejected the name). This violence was the beginning of what came to be known in Israel as the War of Independence. After the British withdrew, Israel declared independence and the Arab countries surrounding, together with Iraq, invaded.It is also important to remember that prior to 1948 the British were in charge (and before them the Turks) so obviously Jews did not "steal" any land, but acquired whatever they could legally.
Regarding what you write about Palestinians who left in 1948, you raise valid and important points. But I think you left out many as well. Context. Jews were thrown out of their homes. There were many Jews living in what came to be called "the West Bank" that were killed or taken captive and forcibly removed. They also were not allowed to return. The Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem was destroyed and its synagogues vandalized and desecrated. The Jews from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, as well as other countries, were forced to leave and their property confiscated. Their numbers were similar to those of the Palestinians, who left. Ironically, most chose to come to Israel.
I suppose your references to Israelites of the Bible is a bit tongue in cheek, but if you put that in its 3000 year old context you'd realize how ridiculous it was.
I do agree with your conclusion, however, the ongoing argument does not help anything. Both sides need to move on to peace

Mohamed Maher:
you wrote that we wouldn't have returned your land without the 1973 war. You may be right, but I think its more from the fact that the feeling of victory (in your eyes) gave confidence to Sadat to make peace. Israel already offered, following the 1967 war, to return land in exchange for peace. The reply was the 3 no's of Khartoum. No negotiations with Israel. No peace with Israel. No recognition of Israel.

Abe said...

choclosteve:
You wrote "The fact is that up until 1948, there were more Palestinians living in what became Israel than Jews, and the Palestinians were born there, which was not true for most of the Jews there in 1948."

You neglected to add that according to the 1947 partition plan, accepted by the Jewish leadership, the Jewish state would include only those parts where there was a Jewish majority, not including Jerusalem (which had a Jewish majority) which was to be an international city. The Arabs' reaction to acceptance of this plan by the UN was the immediate outbreak of open hostilities by Arabs against the Jews in Palestine. (At this time only Jews were called Palestinians, Arabs rejected the name). This violence was the beginning of what came to be known in Israel as the War of Independence. After the British withdrew, Israel declared independence and the Arab countries surrounding, together with Iraq, invaded.It is also important to remember that prior to 1948 the British were in charge (and before them the Turks) so obviously Jews did not "steal" any land, but acquired whatever they could legally.
Regarding what you write about Palestinians who left in 1948, you raise valid and important points. But I think you left out many as well. Context. Jews were thrown out of their homes. There were many Jews living in what came to be called "the West Bank" that were killed or taken captive and forcibly removed. They also were not allowed to return. The Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem was destroyed and its synagogues vandalized and desecrated. The Jews from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, as well as other countries, were forced to leave and their property confiscated. Their numbers were similar to those of the Palestinians, who left. Ironically, most chose to come to Israel.
I suppose your references to Israelites of the Bible is a bit tongue in cheek, but if you put that in its 3000 year old context you'd realize how ridiculous it was.
I do agree with your conclusion, however, the ongoing argument does not help anything. Both sides need to move on to peace

Mohamed Maher:
you wrote that we wouldn't have returned your land without the 1973 war. You may be right, but I think its more from the fact that the feeling of victory (in your eyes) gave confidence to Sadat to make peace. Israel already offered, following the 1967 war, to return land in exchange for peace. The reply was the 3 no's of Khartoum. No negotiations with Israel. No peace with Israel. No recognition of Israel.

Abe said...

sorry about the double posting

choclosteve said...

OK, To help me not get confused, can we call the people whose ancestors were in what is now Israel at the beginning of the 20th century Palestinians? So, clearly, the further we go back towards 1947, the better the deal the Palestinians could have gotten in a peace agreement. The territory that was Israel in 1949, in 1947 had more Palestinians than Jews. I believe that most of the Asian and North African Jews came to Israel after 1948- Egyptians after 1956 and Yemenis after 1967 and so on. In 1964 Palestinians proudly showed me the Jewish quarter in Damascus, telling me that their problem was with Zionism and not Jews. So it seems that the Jewish communities had big problems AFTER the creation of Israel, and if Israel had not been created, they would still exist. I am sorry for using the word "stolen" too loosely. For the Palestinians who cannot return to their homes, it is as if their homes and lands were stolen. I am still wondering what has happened to those properties. In past conversations with Israelis, they justified the creation of Israel mostly with 2 arguments: 1. Look at what we have built here. 2. It was the Promised Land of the scriptures. After hearing #2, I checked that chapter in the Old Testament, and it was not a story that looks good by today's standards, as much of the Old Testament is in my opinion. As to #1, that applies to the US as well. My ancestors did the native peoples here wrong. I should and do say I am sorry, but here I am. What we did does not meet today's standards

Israeli Blogger said...

@choclosteve: You asked if Palestinians were compensated for their pre-1948 properties.

I personally believe that the Palestinians should be compensated. Unfortunately, it seems that the Palestinians themselves do not agree with me here.

As a matter of fact, at least some of the Palestinians living in refugee camps were offered compensation in the form of new homes. They refused to accept this compensation.

The reason for their refusal was their pride in being a symbol of the struggle to return to Israel. They felt (and still do) that if they were to accept compensation, they will be forefitting what they see as their Right of Return. Today, most of these people are decendents of the original refugees. They were born in the refugee camps, but they strongly believe they have a *right* to personally return to the actual village of their forefathers. They are extremely emotional about this. For some of them, achieving this return is the purpose of their lives.

Israelis cannot accept the massive influx of Palestinians to Israel, because this will destroy Israel's identity as the Jewish Homeland.

By the way, Israel is not "a Jewish state" in the religious sense. As the Jewish Homeland it guarantees that if any person, anywhere in the world, is being persecuted or mistreated for having Jewish origins, then that person can safely come to Israel to escape such persecution.

Personally, I feel that until the world completely eradicates any traces of antisemitism, Israel has a very important role to play as the Jewish Homeland.

choclosteve, you said "My ancestors did the native peoples here wrong. I should and do say I am sorry, but here I am". It is easier for you to say this than it is for Israelis - because your country is not in danger of being destroyed. Nevertheless, like many other Israelis, I am sorry for things that my forefathers did to the forefathers of the Palestinians. I hope the Palestinians will eventually choose to accept this apology, accept compensation from Israel and from other countries, let go of their hate towards us, and recognize our need for a homeland.

choclosteve said...

Israeli Blogger, I am very thankful that it is easier for me to say I am sorry and move on. 60 years of conflict and mis understanding is difficult to overcome. However, how can it be reasonably expected that the Palestinians give up some sort of the right of return? If they were given some sort of right of return, how many would choose to stay and live in Israel? How can you gain a greater sense of security and safety without more guns and tanks? What can the Palestinians do to make you feel safer? 60 years of suffering and misunderstandings and blame sure makes things difficult to change, but also make the benefits of such change more valuable to both sides. I sometimes think I am thankful that this problem is over there, but that is not true. I do feel it and it does infect my world

Abe said...

choclosteve:
You think we need to judge the past by todays standards? I'm sorry but thats not only ridiculous, but tremendously arrogant as well. Who are you to determine that todays' standards are automatically better than yesterdays'.You are also assuming that you know the "facts" better than they did at the time, when actually the opposite is true. You should judge the Palestinian refugee problem and its solution like all the other refugees in the world from 1945 to 1950.

Abe

Israeli Blogger said...

@choclosteve: you ask what the palestinians can do to make us feel safer? Very simple: recognize Israel's right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people, so that when people of Jewish origin anywhere in the world read of events like this one, they will know that there is a country to fight for their rights - just as there are countries who protect the rights of Christians and Muslims.

choclosteve said...

Abe, When I stated that today's standards are different than yesterday's, I was thinking world wide and also about US and European history. One of my best friends in high school was a member of the first Jewish family allowed to buy a home in our upscale San Francisco suburb, and it was a few years later that the first blacks were allowed to live there. A sister and a cousin are married to Jews and I have a nephew whose father is a Ga from Ghana and my nephew's girl friend is Philipine/American, as is my son-in law. You bet we have raised our standards, and there is still more to be done. In 1964, when I was hitch-hiking around Syria and Jordan, I spent much of that time in the company of an American and an English Jew and a Danish woman that I met in Istanbul who were on their way to Israel through the Bambalbaum(?) Gate. As you can well imagine, we had to lie a lot to stay alive. I went home from those travels wondering how could there EVER be peace there, and unfortunately, more than 40 years later, I am still looking for something to feel optimistic about, and so here I am here looking

choclosteve said...

I want to add that in my travels in Syria and Jordan, that since we were successful in hiding the facts that my 3 friends were headed for Israel and that 2 were Jews, we were treated with amazing hospitality, mostly staying in Palestinian homes and getting most of our rides from Palestinians

Israeli Blogger said...

@choclosteve: speaking of optimism - my personal experience with this blog has made me much more optimistic about the situation.

Do you know the saying: "Understanding the problem is half way towards a solution"? Well, I feel that I finally understand the problem. I never really understood it before, because I saw only the Israeli side. I believe that if more people on both sides developed the ability to see things from the other's point of view, solutions will be found.

Last weekend I attended a meeting between Israelis and Palestinians. I had met some really admirable people from both sides of the conflict: Israelis and Palestinians. We opened up to each other. I learned more about how they see things, and they learned more about how we things. Both sides were often surprized by things we learned.

The key to the success of this meeting was that we related to each other as fellow human beings - not as members of opposing groups. I think this is the way to eventually find solutions to the many problems we're facing.

choclosteve said...

I like this blog thing- no one can take a swing and I can say whatever I want. I like talking and listening. I did not know about those text books. I heard of some real nasty ones in Franco's Spain-anti Jewish-I got a gung ho stardard issue America always the good guys school education. Fun to check things out. I kind of think that the native peoples of North and South America have a right to feel like Mohamed does, and many do. A Thanksgiving & Columbas Day song: "Columbas discovered America, but somebody was already there". Lyrics for those with a different view of things.

Mohamed Maher said...

there is some news which was spread in all the egyptian newspapers , two days ago.
it says that, the israeli "channel one", released a new documentry film, which says that in the war of 1967 , a troop had a leader called " benjamen aleaazer" (who is an israeli minister right now) killed 250 captured egyptian soldiers which were without any weapon , these soldiers were captured while they were runing away from sinai, after the israeli strike.
the film's name is " shked's soul" and many israeli soldiers which were a part of this troop talked in this film, and they admitted the doing of such a crminal action.
"aleaazer" said that they used to fire a large number of bullets on each captured soldier to be sure that he is dead...
the film has also some documentry movie parts , which were taken in 1967, that shows these type of criminal action....
and now, how would you think that the arabs would like you !!! their hatred to you is increasing.....
I really have no comment !

choclosteve said...

Wow- Mohamed- This happened in 1967- were you born then? Then after that someone committed suicide and 13 Jews in a restaurant or a bus dead, women and children-rock throwers and innocents and then a Jewish tank ran over ....and every Israeli has to be in the military except for some religious fanatics.How much of it? Can anyone count? Seems every body has enough to be angry and sad about. I try not to watch too many of those movies. When I was in Cambodia, I did not go to the tours of the killing fields. 2,000,000 people killed. Piles of skulls and more. I told myself that I had seen Dachau, and that was enough to see up close for one lifetime. I like to see pictures of smiling children and hope that they never play in or around tanks or a war. I've got a very cute grandson with his own blog and pictures: http://www.felixsarreal.blogspot.com/

Mohamed Maher said...

isn't there any comments about the isreali's movie !

Israeli Blogger said...

@Mohamed - I wrote a post about the film right now.

-IB.