Saturday, February 07, 2009

To the author of

To the author of you mistranslated the writing in the first two pictures that have writing in them, and you obviously misunderstood what the soldiers who wrote them meant. Perhaps I can give you a better understanding of why the soldiers left this specific writing on the wall. Maybe it will also explain to you a little of why this sorry war happened.

The words photographed on those walls are the words of a song. This song is called "Hatikva". It is the Israeli anthem. It speaks of 2000 years of yearning for a homeland, and of being in a homeland without being subject to oppression. It embodies the collective mindset of the Israeli people, who deeply believe that our existence as a free people is seriously threatened by Hamas. Every rocket that Hamas had fired (and continues to fire) on Israel has a major effect on the Israeli collective mindset. It hits right where it hurts. It awakens our deepest fears. It strengthens our collective remembrance of being a people without a homeland, subject to the mercy or cruelty of whichever country we are refugees in, without being able to do anything about it. And it immediately awakens the protective instinct that Israeli existence is based on.

The soldiers who wrote the Israeli anthem on those walls were speaking their mind. They were not saying "we will destroy you", they were saying to you "you won't destroy us". The IDF soldiers in Gaza, just like most other Israelis, truly believe that Israel's existence is threatened by the Hamas.

If this cycle of violence is to ever end, you must understand that Israeli aggression, however terrible, is rooted in very deep fears.

The Israeli public has a mental weakness: it cannot stand being helpless. Israel cannot tolerate being fired upon without striking back. More than 10 years ago, Hamas came violently into the Israeli consciousness by killing Israeli women and children on Israeli buses. Hamas consistently claims that its goal is to destroy Israel. Hamas is holding an Israeli soldier captive for over 2 years without providing the red cross any access to him. It is seen by Israelis as a cruel and vicious organization, which did not hesitate to break the kneecaps of Gaza citizens who opposed it, and it has continuously fired Qassam rockets at Israel for over 8 years.

The Hamas has been waving a red cloth at a raging bull, and you are surprised that the raging bull has attacked.

Hamas keeps waving this red cloth by continuing the fire missiles on Israeli cities. What can you do to make Hamas stop waving this red cloth?

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.

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