Tuesday, December 30, 2008


For the last 8 years, several thousand regular Israelis were living in constant fear. Every few days they were shocked by a siren and had to run to the shelter. The other 6 million Israelis were angry and somewhat afraid, but mostly in the background of their lives. With the exception of the Lebanon war, which disrupted things for a while and hurt the national pride, life went on as usual.

But the fear and anger and hurt kept building up. Like a bag being slowly filled with acid. Slowly but surely. And in the past few months, when the Qassam attacks intensified, the building up of fear and anger intensified with them. Last week, the upcoming elections, like a needle, punctured the bag of acid.

And the anger and fear, built up over 8 years, exploded. Right into the faces of the residents of Gaza.

For the past few days, a million regular residents of Gaza have been living in absolute terror. The earth is literally shaking under their feet with constant explosions. Innocent people are afraid to go outside lest they be torn apart by a ton of dynamite. They are afraid to stay at home, because they don't know if the Israeli army thinks that their neighbors are Hamas activists. They can't buy food. They don't have electricity. The 8 years-worth of mounting fear and anger inside 6 million innocent Israelis is now being hurled at 1 million innocent Gazans.

Most Israelis don't realize this yet. We can't even begin to understand the amount of pain and terror that our army's attack is causing. We are too preoccupied with thoughts about Hamas rockets now reaching Ashdod and Ashqelon and Be'er Sheva, and the fear that if we do not destroy Hamas, then their rockets will reach the rest of Israel. And there's the restored pride in our army too. When you're afraid that a billion Muslims want to kill you, it's very comforting to know that you can count on your army. Especially if you know that "some of these lunatic Muslims" are working hard to get a nuclear bomb, and keep telling you that they want to kill you.

At some point in the future, some Israelis will realize the amount of terror inflicted by the IDF on the civilians in Gaza. We have created a very painful wound in the soul of every single resident of Gaza - and it will be decades, if not centuries, before this is forgotten. Some Israelis will regret it. Most won't care, because they are too concerned with the wounds in their own souls. They will blame only the people of Gaza. Just like the people of Gaza are going to blame only the people of Israel.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rockets, casualties, Gaza, Lebanon: two points of view

The common Israeli point of view:

  • The latest killings and woundings of Israeli civilians by Hamas rockets are making the situation intolerable. The Hezbollah takeover of Lebanon is more proof that Iran is becoming a real threat to Israel. If we don't do something quickly, we'll be trapped between two Iranian entities: one in Lebanon and one in Gaza.
  • We Israelis have to do something.
  • What can we do?
    • Minority view (very small minority, actually): talk with Hamas.
    • Majority view:
      • Attack them - destroy their military capability, and make the citizens of Gaza sorry that they elected the terrorists of Hamas.
      • The goal of Hamas is the destruction of Israel. If we lower the pressure, all we're going to do is allow Hamas more time to gain power in order to achieve their goal of destroying Israel. Proof? Sure: we left Gaza, and what we got in return was more rockets than there were before.
      • If the people of Gaza want to stop sufferring, they should prove to us that they want peace. We proved it to them by leaving Gaza, and all we got in return was proof that they want to destroy us.

My guess about the Arab point of view:

  • The rockets on Israel are nothing compared to the sufferring of the innocent civilians in Gaza now and in Lebanon during the last war.
  • The Israeli talk about "proving to us that they want peace" is pure propaganda. They didn't really leave Gaza, they just put a seige on Gaza. Their helicopters and airplanes never really left.
  • The only way we can protest against the seige is by firing rockets. We'll keep firing rockets until the Israelis lift the seige.
  • These rockets aren't doing any real harm - they're just proving to those cruel Israelis that they can't beat us. If we stop firing those rockets, then we lose our pride.
  • Yes, Hamas wants to destroy Israel, but there's no way it can really achieve this in the forseable future, so the Israelis aren't really afraid. On the other hand, Hamas and Hezbollah are proof that we Arabs aren't so incapable as we used to think.

Did I get it correctly?


Saturday, May 10, 2008

And another joint blog

I don't know the people behind this one, but it looks promising: http://gnblog.com/

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A joint blog: from blockaded Gaza and bombarded Sderot

Two friends of mine have started a joint blog. It's called Life must go on in Gaza and Sderot. Usually there's nothing special about joint blogs. But this blog is being written by two people who live on opposite sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and their lives have been directly impacted by the violence.

Peace Man lives in Gaza. The Israeli blockade on Gaza made Peace Man walk 30 kilometers through the desert to buy basic goods in Egypt. He doesn't always have electricity to post.

Hope Man lives in Sderot. Rockets from Gaza frequently fall near his home. His wife and kids are already used to running to the shelters almost every day.

Nevertheless, those two people are maintaining their friendship and writing together.

Peace Man and Hope Man are two awesome and courageous people, who are able to overcome the shallow slogans and terminology of our societies and see the real human beings on the other side. They are a source of hope for me. I'm proud to be their friend.