Saturday, January 17, 2009

To Sumaiya

Sumaiya left a very emotional comment on a previous post of mine. The comment was phrased as a series of questions.

Sumaiya - I understand your pain. I feel much of it too. Nevertheless, I wish to give you my point of view by answering some of your questions.

Why are the Palestinians border closed?

 => because Hamas, which has basically declared a war on Israel, took over Gaza, and the Israelis are afraid of Hamas.
  => why did Hamas declare a war on Israel?
   => because Israel killed many Palestinians
    => why did Israel kill many Palestinians?
     => because the Palestinians killed many Israelis
.... and so on.

Why can the people of Gaza not leave or anyone go in to Gaza for the past 3 years?

=> see my answer to your previous question

Why is there a huge wall around the west bank (for how many years?)?

=> because Palestinian militants killed Israeli children by exploding themselves in civilian buses. The wall was built mostly as security measure. Nevertheless, it has caused suffering to innocent civilians.

Who builds walls around city's and keep people locked in? This is madness!

=> I agree. The situation is madness. Both sides have lost their head. Who carries explosives on their bodies, walks into a bus or a shopping mall and detonates? This is madness too.

The Palestinians have been living in horror for over 60 years and they have been locked within there own city's. The only weapon they have is homemade bombs (which is nothing compared to the weapon the Israeli army have) and there will to live on.

=> I disagree. Most palestinians have not been living in horror for over 60 years. They have been living in extremely bad conditions, but most of the time - not horror. The people of Gaza have been living in terrible despair for the past 3 years, and in absolute horror for the past 3 weeks.

Now and then just suddenly the Israeli army will open fire on the people of Gaza, just because they "suspect" that there is some kind of "terrorist" with in them! Killing innocent people and children.

=> The Israeli army has decided to regain its "deterrence". After the 2nd Lebanon war, the Israeli population began to fear that the Arabs are no longer afraid of the Israeli army. Israelis were afraid that the Iranians no longer fear Israeli retaliation, and that the Iranians will destroy Israel with a nuclear weapon. I have a feeling that the Israeli action in Gaza was also a message to Iran.

If there is to be peace then there has to be equal rights between both Palestinians and Israeli's.

=> I agree. But the Palestinians also have some work to do here. I explain more below when I suggest a non-violent struggle.

Why is there a wall around the west bank, is this how people are to live?

=> I answered this above, but I'd like to add that the wall is a border. There has also been a fence around Israel for over 60 years. It is also a wall. The wall causes more pain, because it passes through people's fields.

Why is Gaza peoples locked up in there own city. They are not given food or medical supplies or clean water. They are forced to live by digging tunnels and smuggling food and supplies though. Including weapons to fight back this oppression!

=> Fighting back violently is not the way to win. It only increases the oppression. The palestinians can win. All they have to do is renounce ALL violence - not just the Israeli violence. I suspect this will be even more difficult for them to do after the recent horrors.

You expect the people to be happily live like this and not fight back?

=> You are right. But this is also true from the Israeli side. We have been suffering from Arab violence for 100 years. I know that the Arab world doesn't see it this way, but this is how Israelis think. Israelis see themselves as fighting back.

Of course they will! What do you do watch your child starve to death and do nothing.

=> Please read my previous post.

How many Israelis died so far?


How many Palestinians died in 3 weeks?

1100 and 5000 wounded critically!

=> For the past 60 years, every time that Israel decided to increase the amount of violence, it caused more pain to the Palestinians than to the Israelis. Ironically, every time that the Palestinians decided to increase the amount of violence, it also caused more pain to the Palestinians than to the Israelis. The Palestinians have much to gain from switching to a non-violent struggle. I hope that they will understand this some day.

And don't forget 3 years ago in Janeen how many Palestinians where killed?


And the Israelis denied who killed them?

=> I have never heard of 5000 Palestinians dying in Janeen. I will appreciate references to objective sources (not Israeli or Arab - I don't trust either).

The people in Gaza are being attacked by the world strongest army, by sea, air and now land.

This is ridicules and sick the Gaza strip is such a small place and half the population are under 18 years old.

There is no food, no water, no place to live or to hide.

How can this be fair?

This is murder and all people who let this happen and support it are responsible.


It is not fair. The entire situation is not fair. I was born into the conflict - I didn't start it. That isn't fair either. We should struggle to find a solution that will be fair to the children of the future.

Doctor from Gaza who works in Israel lost 3 children

First part is in Hebrew. English translation below.

קראתי חלק מהתגובות של גולשים לכתבה ב-ynet, והוספתי בעצמי תגובה.

הנה היא.

האסון הנורא של ד"ר עז א-דין אבו אל-עייש הוא אחד מתוך כמעט 1000 אסונות כאלו בעזה, שלא לדבר על מאות אלפי ילדים תמימים שבשארית חייהם ישאו את הצלקות הנפשיות של הטראומה של שלושת השבועות האחרונים. אין לי מושג לכמה עשרות אלפים מהם יש הלם קרב.

לכל מי שהגיב כאן והרגיש צורך להאשים את השמאל או את החמאס: אני מבין לליבכם. קשה להודות באשמה. זה מאוד אנושי להאשים מישהו אחר. כל כך קשה להיות שותפים לרצח.

אני מקווה שיום יבוא ונוכל להתסכל על עצמנו במראה, ולהבין לכמה סבל אנחנו אחראים. אז נוכל להגיד לפלשתינאים: הכאבתם לנו, אבל אנחנו איבדנו לחלוטין את העשתונות וגרמנו לכם סבל שלא יתואר. אנחנו אשמים בחלק גדול מאוד מהסבל שלכם. אנחנו מקווים שיום אחד תוכלו לסלוח לנו.

אני רוצה רק להסביר ולהוסיף למה שכתבתי שם, שהאשמה היא לא רק של צד אחד. לשני הצדדים יש חלק. אני מקווה שאם צד אחד יקח אחריות על החלק שלו, גם הצד השני יתבגר ויעשה את אותו הדבר.

An article in Hebrew in ynet tells of a physician from Gaza, who works in Israel as a doctor, and 3 of his children were killed by an Israeli shell.

Many of the reader comments to the article put the blame on Hamas. Others, on Israeli peace activists. A few of the commenters realized that Israel has gone too far in the violence.

I added a comment of my own. Here's rough translation:

The terrible disaster of the doctor from Gaza is one of almost a 1000 such disasters, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of innocent children which will bear the scar of the past three week's trauma for the rest of their lives. I don't know how many thousands will suffer from PTSD.

To everyone who commented on the article and felt the need to blame the Hamas or the Israeli left: I understand you. It is very difficult to admit your guilt. It is very human to blame others. It is so difficult to be a party to murder.

I hope that one day we will be able to look at ourselves in the mirror, and understand how much suffering we have caused. Then we will be able to tell the Palestinians: "you have hurt us, but we lost our head and caused you unmeasurable suffering. we are responsible for much of your suffering. we hope that one day you will find it in yourselves to forgive us."

I also want to emphasize, that I still think that not only one side is responsible. Both sides have a part. I hope that if one side will admit its own responsibility for the pain, than the other side will also grow up and do the same.