Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ConflictBlotter: Personal impressions from Gaza

Charles Levinson brought more amazing impressions from Gaza.

Here's an excerpt from a post he wrote 2 days ago:

... At the Erez crossing today we met a Palestinian looter who made us look at some of the looters at least in a slightly different light. He was tearing out copper wiring from under the pavement at the Erez border tunnel. He was working his way down the walk, and at every spot where an electric light had been, he had used a hand held hammer to smash through a foot of concrete. He then dug into the ground another three feet perhaps until he found the underground wiring and tore out the copper. He had done this in at least a dozen different locations so far. Each kilo of copper wire he pulled, could be sold for 10 shekels ($2.50). In four hours of digging he had pulled 3 - 4 kilos, he said.

I mean, this guy was working tirelessly and doing back breaking work to get this wiring. This wasn’t some looter who thought he’d grab a quick TV when no one was looking. I just thought it very telling that one of Gaza’s hardest working people had no other options than to loot for $2.50/hour.

Apparently Charles has left Gaza (at least for now). Dion Nissenbaum describes why he and Charles Levinson decided to leave Gaza - not necessarily the reasons you'd expect!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I ran across this video today and just had to share it. If there are any Palestinian women who undergo this kind of treatment and do not become active supporters of violence against Israelis: you have my personal admiration. [(update): I'm adding the following clarification because of Stefanella's comment below] I'm not suggesting that the Arab women should turn to violence. On the contrary. I admire any one of them who doesn't turn to violence. [end of clarification]

And my note to the settler girls in this clip: you are not defending Zionism by acting like this. You are giving Zionism a bad name, and are encouraging hate. You are have become active carriers of the same violence that you fear.

A great number of Israelis would be disgusted by this sort of behavior.

So why are the soldiers permitting it? Why is the Israeli society permitting this?

My answer: because the Israeli society is afraid of Arabs. Israelis see the Palestinian women in the video clip, and immediately associate them with the images of the Hamas militants in Gaza throwing people off rooftops, the memories of exploding buses, and the promises by Hamas to eradicate Israel.

Any change in the situation must come from reciprocal action. For us Israelis to take the Arab side - and actively prevent the behavior demonstrated in this clip - we need to witness Arabs actively taking our side too.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

If you're wondering what's happenning in Gaza

Conflict Blotter is an amazing blog by Charles Levinson, the Mideast Correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph.

He is currently in Gaza, and reporting from there.

From his latest post:

Hamas TV broadcast disturbing and gruesome footage of Fatah commander Samih al Madhoun, famed for ruthlessly confronting Hamas in northern Gaza, being dragged into the streets, shot repeatedly and the stomped by a swarm of people

I want to take this opportunity to answer a comment made almost a year ago by Mohamed Maher from Egypt to a post of mine. In my post, I wrote that Israelis are afraid of Arabs, and that the Israeli violence towards Arabs is driven by that fear. Moahmed Maher commented:
i'll tell u something about arabs, all the arabs feel that they are brothers , they talk the same language ,they have the same history same culture and allover history we there were no borders between us... so we are the same
Well, Mohamed - if you're reading this, the pictures from Gaza should explain to you why Israelis are afraid of the Arab brothers. If Arabs are willing to murder and drag their brothers, we don't want to imagine what they will do to us - people who are not their brothers, who have done many wrongs to the Arabs, and who are (mistakenly) seen by the Arab world as vicious murderers.