Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thought of the Day

In the nineties I thought that peace between Israel and the Palelstinians was round the corner. I decided to recognize Israel and shelve my boycott of pro-Israeli businesses; I entered Marks and Spencer in London for the first time in my life. Peace hopes all but evaporated after the election victory of Ariel Sharon's Likud in 2001. Still, I kept the faith. I finally lost all hope with Israel's war on Lebanon in the summer of 2006 and withdrew my personal recognition of Israel as a state. Now come the Israeli atrocities in Gaza. The survivors of the holocaust and their descendents have created the only Nazi state in the world today. I am beginning to think that Israel is not a state but an epidemic, a curse like the plagues of the Old Testament. It has no place in the Middle East. It has no place anywhere else in this world.


Blogger James said...

Think again, this time with head and heart.

The Nazi Party in Germany corraled, dehumanized, demonized, and methodically murdered some six million Jews.

Israel, in its war on Hamas-controled arms depot and warring personnel, has simultaneously produced or enabled the following:

--48,426 tons of humanitarian supplies have been transferred to Gaza in 1,903 trucks.

--Also, 2,706,351 liters of fuel have been conveyed through Nahal Oz and Kerem Shalom.

--449 dual nationals were evacuated from Gaza.

--3000 units of blood were donated by Jordan.

--5 ambulances donated by Turkey.

Turkey, incidentally, took in the Jews, about half a million, who had refused conversion to Catholicism by the sword of Queen Catherine of Spain in 1492. Those lived peacefully and mostly in Istanbul until the establishment of Israel made way for migration en masse to Jerusalem.

The two states, Muslim-majority Turkey and Jewish-majority Israel, have maintained a $4 billion annual trade economy into this decade.

--15 ambulances transferred from the West Bank on behalf of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.

--71 people evacuated to Israel for medical treatment, including two injured children.

That number has been going up as Israel has opened its hospital doors to all Gaza residents requiring that level of care, and this both for illness in the normal course of living as well as injury associated with the war.

--Numerous infrastructural repairs have taken place - sewage, water and electricity.

Unlike the Nazi's fascination with Jewry and its demise, Israel has taken across-the-board steps to produce development and jobs for Palestinians, to promote business and professional partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians, to provide throughput for humanitarian aid, and to put up its own medical systems for care.

These steps or provisions are not the sort associated with Nazis.

I follow conflict around the world every day, and most are mired in brutality and corruption on one side or another. In Gaza, Hamas has co-located arms caches with mosques, schools, and residences. It has booby-trapped blocks, petrol stations, that sort of thing, denoting a peculiar contempt for those it says it represents. It has, perhaps, taken the well-known injunction, "but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there," and made the mosque a first target of warfare, not unlike the armory and headquarters made of the Red Mosque in Islamabad not too long ago.

Hamas behavior also mirrors that of Fatah al-Islam at Nahr al-Bared in Lebanon, which tunneling and arming to do the usual romantic thing, that is save the Middle East from Israel, brought instead war with the Lebanese Defense Forces, which with tanks and bombs completely destroyed Nahr al-Bared, home to 31,000 Palestinian refugees (and those are still denied citizen rights in Lebanon).

I hesitate to recommend a virtual visit with Nonie Darwish in this area, but perhaps direction to such should be welcomed.

Muhammad, pbuh, first made peace with the Jews of his time, recognizing a common monotheism and maintaining an equal respect for practices in acknowledgment and praise of God.

5:36 AM  
Blogger Khazen said...

beckerkhazenNo one, no one in the Arab World defends the Jews more than I do. Absolutely no one. I am talking about the Israeli government and army, not the Jews. The aid was for T.V. cameras and to cover up war crimes. Otherwise, James is taking history. I wrote about the death of 1300 people, half of whom were women and children. By the way, I am also the Arab who says in writing that the holocaust was the crime of the 20th century and that six million Jews did perish in the shoa. I have repeatedly attacked David Irving and his Arab apologists.

3:07 AM  
Blogger James said...

I've been reading reports of disputed casualty numbers and disputed circumstance, but, Khazen, whether one or one thousands, there is no calculus in the world that makes one life more important than another: every Palestinian who has died as a consequence of war with Israel presents a tragedy for Israel as well as for the Arab community.

In Israel, a predominantly monotheist country, itself 20 percent Arab, it is my understanding that more than 900 people, women and children included, have died as a consequence of terrorist attacks. The trigger for Israel's most recent action: the receipt of more than 3,000 Qassam rocket attacks (13 dead, children among them). Again, whatever numbers may turn up from Israel's incursion in Gaza, certainly Hamas's invitation to urban guerrilla warfare, its co-location of arms caches and rocket launch sites with population centers, and its booby trapping, which has indescriminant effects, have contributed to them.

Also, across the range of contemporary conflicts, and not restricted to Islam, violence always comes down hardest on civilians. That much mortality and refugee figures associated with conflict underscore.

Regarding "aid for the camera", I suspect the legend of Muhammad al-Durrah more fit to such methods.

Propaganda or not, I'm inclined to believe that both Egyptian and Israeli medical industry services have been extended to Palestinians who need them, and that such support has been and continues to be conscientious and generous.

Because contemporary media has come far from the 1950's (limited networks, exclusive newspapers, not too many radio stations, etc.), I think we're going to hear from voices out of line with the players and powers who have sought to shape our impression of Middle East politics to this point.

Thank you for the reference to David Irving.

At this ancient point in my life, I'm inclined to believe anti-Semitism a form of mental illness indicative of undefined or imperfectly detected underlying personal issues or social processes having maladaptive psychological effects.

As regards the existence of Israel, between 35 and 40 percent of world's 14 million Jews reside in the state, making their fate inseparable from that of the Jews of the Diaspora.

Which one or one thousand among Israel's Jews or Arab would you expect to suffer quietly the receipt of more than 3,000 Qassam rockets on top of a too long history of attacks on school buses or suicide bombings--the same sort of horrors that from Baghdad to Waziristan to Mogadishu have tarnished Islam's image worldwide, produced casualties into the tens of thousands, and refugee populations in the millions?

Israel may turn out one among many avatars for a world deeply injured and terrified by a form of militancy that would seem to proceed blind to death and suffering as well as to goodness and to God.

2:03 PM  

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