Monday, January 19, 2009

Gaza rising

There is a an unfamiliar stillness in Gaza today, says my father. No F-16s ripping through the sky. No ravaging explosions. There is time to hear yourself think. All a sort of anesthetic. A pause in a sick calculated brutality- to allow the caged disposables a moment to contemplate their options- to create the illusion they even have options.

"This siege will endure until we are truly persuaded
into choosing a harmless slavery
but in total freedom!"

And so the cowering uncower. The homeless return to no homes. The decomposing dead are unearthed from the rubble, only to buried once again.

The damage is surveyed.

Uprooted trees. Entire groves. A city eviscerated. People burned to a cinder. Disemboweled streets. And more tales of horror on every corner.

A woman's 5 sons are killed in the assassination of Saeed Siam. they lived in the building over.

25 more bodies recovered from Samouni family. An ethnic cleansing.

Reports of executions by young trigger happy Israeli soldiers, cheerleaders on the borders. A boy, 15 years old. And in between air force pilots on playstation. " I want to destroy the city" said one gleefully. And sub-contracts are handed out to further enforce the siege. Hands are shaken. Lives taken.

"They destroyed anything in their path-people, buildings, streets...nothing was left untouched" my father said. "It is calm, for now. We sleep, for now. But the siege continues. And make no mistake- Gaza will rise."

47 Comments:

Blogger Chevalier de la Rose Blanche said...

Could you help a group of us to donate anonymously to the medical bills of the young lady in the BBC story here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7836596.stm? Her name is Amira al-Girim and she is in Gaza City's hospital. We just want to do something to help the Gazan people and this story gave us an idea. Thanks for any help you can offer.

Salaam, Peace,

Scott

7:29 AM  
Blogger Karin said...

YOU BET Laila ... there is NO DOUBT in my mind whatsoever! Yesterday, miraculously, I succeeded to chat with my friend in Gaza ... you can't imagine how relieved and happy I was to hear her voice!! She and her family are alright but she told me over and over how widespread and horrendous the destruction is ... and how MANY people were killed!

I am so glad your parents are alright ... and send truckloads of strength and love to ALL Gazans!!

7:59 AM  
Blogger dancewater said...

Don't know if you heard about the Palestinian doctor who was on an Israeli TV station just after his home was shelled. Three of his daughters were killed, two were seriously injured.

It is harrowing listening to his grief. I posted on my blog:

http://dancewater.blogspot.com/2009/01/palestinian-doctor-another-view.html

There is another clip of the incident and a clip from a press conference held the next day. He was confronted by some angry Israelis who accused him of having snipers in his home. He said:

"They don't want to know the truth."

This doctor worked in Israel and was a peace activist.

9:44 AM  
Blogger edumontesanti said...

dear Laila, I'm Brazilian, have a journalistic bog, and write to www.nolanchart.com, USA. I this article I write about the genocide in Gaza and war on terror. I'd be very glad if you publish it. If so, I just ask you for noticing me, OK? I'd like to keep in touch with you, we should do a noce job, and I could also create a blog in Portuguese for you, tranlsating your materials... Thanks and God bless you!! Edu Montesanti Goldoni


BEHIND THE SUPERPOWER CURTAINS - Genocide in Gaza, and What the World Does Not Know About the US, Al-Qaeda and the "War on Terror"

Palestine and Afghanistan bleed. Children has been killed, beheaded, raped - including by the Coalition forces. Until when will they pretend they fight terror, in the name of God, or oil, and we pretend we believe it? Explosive (and documented) revelations involving the US policy in the Middle East, from Mr. Carter to Bush the son, contesting the "war on terror" and the Israel bombardment in Gaza. The UN and the world media trumpet about individual and group terrorism acts. Nothing about terrorism of State. Hiding behind democracy speeches and liberation to others, Bush today carries Branham's teology too far, based on "American sword power", exterminating nations. We unmask the superpower and its "war on terror", describing as well the childish suffering in Palestine and Afghanistan. A generation lost. A future lost

by Edu Montesanti Goldoni


We have been seeing on TV Palestinian children panic-driven, rushing headlong away, totally discouraged among endless wreckages, many of them even killed. An image has shown an about 3-year-old beheaded child in Gaza, victim of Israel's bombardment. There is neither electricity nor water in Gaza, and the Palestinian people have scarcely food. A Palestinian psychiatrist has said that traumas will be with his compatriotic children for ever, implicating all their lives. A generation lost. A future lost. What can we expect to the future?

From Afghanistan, we receive long ago reports that children have been forced to commit suicidal attacks, tortured and raped including by the Coalition forces, and been arrested (eight Afghan minors have been carried to Guantanamo since 2002, and the US recognizes that there are 10 minors, one of them a 12-year-old boy, on the Bagrom base in Afghanistan). Young girls cannot attend school or go to hospital, running the risk of being captured, hit, raped, burned or killed. What to conclude about this all?

An Exclusive War

The present Israel's response to Hamas is the only conflict all over the world in which the attacked people cannot cross the border to flee to another land. After being expelled from their homes by the Israeli Army, thousands of Palestinians found escape on schools of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency). For 33 of them, it was in vain: 30 died on January 6, under a bombardment on a school in Yabalia; 55 were wounded. In another attacked school in Gaza, three civilians died. The British John Ging, chief of the UNRWA, said that this conflict is inhuman: acoording to him, entire families with more than 10 members has been exterminated in their homes. But it is not the first conflict in the world which war crimes are committed - and they have been committed in two ways: 1. The brutal differences between both sides; and 2. The death of civilians. Up to date, died 919 Palestinians, and 13 Israelis.

Israel does not permit press to cover the conflict and report the real situation in Gaza, and barely permit humanitarian aid there. It is NOT impressive how the world media only analyses Israel's side in this conflict, or even creates facts, is it? No, it is not, and we are going to show why in the lines below, after some other preview considerations. Mr. David Brooks wrote in his column to The New York Times, on January 6: "When Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran became leading players in the Middle East, that land-for-peace game was suspended (...). The extremist groups believe in the eventual extermination of Israel. The extremists's goal is to kill as many Jews as possible, and wait for God (or Iran) to kill the rest. Israel's goal is to restrain the brazenness of the extremists until their movement somehow burns itself out or is destroyed from within Arab society. Israel's realistic immediate goal is not to achieve some permanent resolution, but to merely suppress terrorism week by week, and month by month."

Well, it is NOT impressive how innumerable international observers ignore history and reality, is it? No, it is not. First of all, a commentator or politician that still believes in military means to win terror, in terror against terror is just kidding. And if the facts involving Israel in Gaza cited above, which are not new to the world, are not sufficient to condemn this conflict, it is really difficult to understand, discuss and solve the problem.

Israel x Palestine - A Cruel History

Well, we have to remember that the United Kingdom (UK) occupied Palestine in the end of the I World War, and in 1917 the British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour supported the idea of a homeland to Jews in the region, defending as well the Arab community rights on the ground. Mr. Balfour promised Palestinians an independent state, never created. Three years later, the UK received a mandate from the United Nations (UN) to rule over Palestine. So, the Arab leaders considered themselves betrayed by the UK and threatened by the Jews.

After the II World War, the devastated UK gave the UN the responsability of solving the problems in the region. In 1947, without listening to Palestinians who had lived the region for ages, the UN approved the division of Palestine into two States - one to Jews, and another to Arabs who rejected the deal. In 1948 was created the State of Israel, and in the following year the war ended with Israel's victory. 700 thousand Palestinians took refuge in Cisjordan, in the Gaza Strip and in Arab countries. Egypt took office of Gaza; Jordan took office of the Eastern Jerusalem and Cisjordan, and since than Palestinians have had no land. The Arab-Palestinian State promised was not proclaimed, and up to date the Jews rule over more than 75% of the Palestinian territory.

It is also worth remembering that such a land-for-peace game was closer more than ever in the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin years (1992-1995), killed by a ultra-rightist Jew after a manifestation for peace in Tel Aviv, on November 4, 1995. We have to remember as well that the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (2002-2006) caused a strong radicalization among Palestinians: he expanded the Jewish communities, suspended negotiations with Palestine and intensified the siege to the Arab territories, causing a genocide against Palestinians. So, it is clear that the roots of the problems are not Palestinians.

Distorting Reality

Mr. Brooks went on: (...) "In this game, violence does not necessarily beget violence", referring to the assassination of Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Ahmed Yassin in 2004 which, according to Mr. Brooks, temporarily suppressed Hamas suicidal bombings".

At last, he stated that, "The new game is not a war of attrition. It is a struggle for confidence, a series of psychological exchange designed to shift the balance of morale (...). What is really important is how each episode ends (the material destroyed and the psychological effects), because ending defines the meaning". Mr. Brooks cooly and tendentiously states that ending defines the meaning, forgetting all the civilian losses in Palestine. But if Mr. Brooks, reflecting the world press viewpoint as he does, is so sure about this, why could not Palestinians and any local party, taking history into account, respond the same way? Does ending define the meaning only to one side? Why? The terror of State practiced by the great powers is previous to Hamas, which is a subproduct of it fighting for liberation. Why can Israel and the US defend their interests through Army and bombs, while a people who has not even a land, taken away from them, cannot defend themselves through the armed fight? We are totally against war and any kind of violence, but in the present world reality, why does a coward genocide practiced by State is not considered terrorism? This has been motive of divergence at the UN. Another point of discussion is if legal definition about terror should take into account conditions that cause it, such as poverty, social differences and injustice. We do not defend Hamas, as we do nor defend any war, but we contest contradictions. All this circus of information we have been watching and reading on the media is not "for nothing", but has serious motivations, what we are going to understand exactly in the explosive lines below.

They Pretend They Fight Terror, We Pretend We Believe It - Behind the Superpower Curtains

Actually, the messianic American disposal to the global domination is based on William Branham's teology (1909-1965). Considered a prophet by some evangelical ramifications in the country, Mr. Branham preached that the world salvation had to be promoted by the American "sword power", that is, through permanent war against the nation enemies. Such a theory is very timely to the American thirst for oil, and George Bush the son has been carried this teology too far.

To the US and Israel, its allied in the Middle East, there is no more excuses but they insist on defending the indefensible. Why do they insisist on fighting terror thorugh military ways? Why do they insist on calling us fool? What is exactly behind the superpower curtains? Many things.

Michel Chossudovski is the director of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Canada, and professor of International Economics Development at the Ottawa University. His interview with the Brazilian magazine Caros Amigos in July, 2004, telling about his book War and Globalization - Before and After September 11, 2001, answers fully our questions. Let us read some passages of Mr. Chossudovski's statements in the interview:

"Al-Qaeda was created by the US. It was a CIA project, launched during the Jimmy Carter administration in 1979, when the National Security Counselor was Mr.Zbigniew Brzezinski. Later, this initiative got stronger during the Reagan administration, when some agents was sent to support the mujaheedins recruting (Muslim guerrillas) to finance madrassas, or canonic schools, where the talibans studied (...).

"If you ask about this to the CIA, they say, "Yes, we created Islamic brigades, but for a good cause". The official explanation presented, unbelievable, is that in the end of the Cold War these Islamic brigades turned against the US. So, the CIA recognizes that it created Islamic brigades, in other words created Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

"Several men who are today in the Bush administration were involved in the Islamic brigades architecture. Richard Armitage, sub secretary of State, was responsible for financing and supporting the mujaheedins. Collin Powell was also involved when came to surface the scandal Iran-Contra (...), he was the military commander who authorized that sale [of weapons to Iran in the war against Iraq], and with the money the American government financed the contra in Nicaragua, as well the mujaheedins.

"(...) Brzevinski tells that the American government created the Afghan insurgency the same way it created the contra. (...) The CIA encouraged such sects to build schools in Afgfhanistan and to develop a holy war against the Soviet invaders, who were secular. But if you remember the 70's, you will see that there was in Afghanistan a secular post-colonial government supported by the Soviet Union (USSR), and the Afghan society was also secular, it was starting to build government institutions, and what Americans actually did was to create essentially insurgency and incite the Soviets to intervene. In my book, in an interview with Mr. Brzezinski, he says very clearly: 'We created the Islamic jihads and carried support and financing to them'. In time, Al-Qaeda cells was used in several countries, including after the Cold War (...). It was used by the US to destabilize the ex-USSR. One of the important strategic passages is Chechnya. Why is it important? Because it is in the Soviet oleoduct crossing (...) and the US tried to destabilize the Russian control over these oleoduct routes, and using Al-Qaeda supported insurgencies in the region. And the Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) played a very important part in all this.

"(...) The ISI became prominent exactly in the beginning of the Reagan administration, in 1981, 1982, when started recruting radicals from all around the Middle East (...). Bin Laden was created by the CIA during the Soviet-Afghan war, in the 80's. (...) I proved in my book that there was a collaboration between Al-Qaeda and the American government in Yugoslav, starting in Bosnia in 1993. I reproduced in the book a document of the Republican Party Committee in the US Senate, from 1997 which accuses President Bill Clinton of collaborating to Bin Laden. And this is a very explicit document saying clearly: 'The Clinton administration collaborates to the terrorism net called Al-Qaeda'. And there were other events in the 90's. (...) There are other evidences of collaboration, but these are the most crucial, in Kosovo and in Macedon. In Macedon, it happened some weeks before September 11, 2001. Inside the same semimilitary array, there were American military counselors of the Pentagon working side by side with the mujaheedins designated by Al-Qaeda (...). It happened in August, 2001, and was denounced by the Macedonian Prime Minister at the time [Mr. Branko Crvenkovski].

"(...) There are documents in my book which prove the collaboration of the ISI to the CIA (...), General Ahmad was received by the Bush administration high echelons, had meetings with Mr. Powell, with Mr. Armitage, with the director of the CIA, Mr. George Tenet, and also met important members of the Congress in September, 2001.

"(...) Senator Bob Graham and Deputy Peter Gross went to Pakistan on August, 29 and had meetings with the local government, and with Mr. Massoud [Mr. Ahmed Massoud, Northern Alliance chief, killed in a suicidal attempt on September 13, 2001], later identified by the FBI as involved in financing the attacks of the 9/11.

"(...) The US supported Taliban in 1996 to promote a radical Islamic government, conservative in Afghanistan, Mr. Massoud and the Northern Alliance were supported by Russia. But later the US realized that could not manipulate Taliban as once imagined, and needed the Northern Alliance to substitute it. We do not know what was exactly the goal of the General Ahmad's visit to the US, but on the American media there was kind of a silence about his presence in the country (...) In the following day to the attempt [9/11], as if the meeting had been planned before, he was in Mr. Armitage's office! And was there to discuss the terms of the Pakistani co-operation to the war on terror, on running behind Taliban and Al-Qaeda. And such negotiations were completed on September 13, when he met Mr. Powell. In the morning of 9/11, Mr. Ahmad had a breakfast with Mr. Graham and Mr. Gross, this was reported by the American media.

"(...) The FBI wrote a report in the end of September, affirming that he transferred money to Mohamed Atta, pointed out as the head of the 9/11 attempt."

Mr. Obama and the Middle East

The President-elect Barack Obama has said that the US has one president at a time, and he is right. But on the other hand, he was wrong, so vague in the presidential campagin about the Middle East affairs, especially about Palestine. As well, he is wrong for choosing Mr. Hillary Clinton as his secretary of State.

Mr. Obama is planning to commit thousands of additional American troops to the "war on terror" in Afghanistan, which is already more than seven years old, has cost billions and billions of dollars, many lives (including American ones), and long ago turned into a total failure. What will be the US mission there? The Afghan people is pleading the foreign forces led by the US to leave the country. Mrs. Malalaï Joya, an ex-Parliamentary from Afghanistan, observed: "The U.S. could easily get rid of a bunch of medieval-minded, illiterate and ignorant people like Taliban. Actually, the U.S. is not serious in its fight against the Taliban and just needs an excuse to prolong its presence in Afghanistan to threaten Iran, China, Central Asia and other Asian powers" (Read more in our article Anna Politkovskaya Award' 2008 to Malalaï Joya, the Bravest Woman in Afghanistan, here).

In his article for Newsweek, Mr. Bacevich wrote: "The chief effect of military operations in Afghanistan so far has been to push radical Islamites across the Pakistani border. As a result, effects to stabilize Afghanistan [we and Afghans contest such effects] are contributing to the destabilization of Pakistan, with potentially devastating implications. One thing is right: the US and the international forces cannot deliver Afghanistan to their own fate". Yes, the US really cannot deliver Afghans to their own fate now, but cannot occupy their land any more. Not only the US focus policy has to be changed, as well the aspect of its discussion. If Mr. Obama insisists on this liar "war on terror", running behind unlimited power, there will neither be enough politics to change the present world situation, nor the US economical crisis. Bush used the "war on terror" to solve its economical problems. What then?

Terror Made in West. Until When?

An act of terror does not justify another, but the UN has developed an extensive legislation on terrorism practiced by individuals or opposition groups. However, has not defined the terrorism of State, and all around the world most victims have been pacific and disarmed civilians, inciting them to the armed fight - few people have been suffering as much as Palestinians. But this terrorism they suffer is out of fashion to the media. Underground the Middle East we find the answer to this.

Israel, supported by the US, is attacking and destroying Palestine, turning its back to the world - "we do what is better to our people", forgetting that the Palestinian children will grow someday. What to expect from them? Such a land-for-peace game, which to the unreasonable mind of many "violence does not necessarily beget violence" (but only to one side), is interrupted for a generation more, and I really pray to God that we westerners, within 10, 20, 30, 40 years still remember these infamous Israeli attacks, which bloodshed requires a careful way to be solved - the fisrt one, giving back Palestinian land.

We are the roots of world rages, let us never forget January, 2009 in the coming years - the men of tommorow will be the children of today. May we have a good memory not to cheerfully applaud politicians and the media spectacles in the future.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Roula said...

The question now is,how those people (men,women,children)will recover from this destroy...How will they forget all this death ?How will they sleep without nightmares?
Lost generation....unfortunatelly...
May we could all help them....

3:34 PM  
Blogger Assad said...

Israel recruits 'army of bloggers' to combat anti-Zionist Web sites

By Cnaan Liphshiz

Tags: Israel, anti-Semitism, blog


The Immigrant Absorption Ministry announced on Sunday it was setting up an "army of bloggers," to be made up of Israelis who speak a second language, to represent Israel in "anti-Zionist blogs" in English, French, Spanish and German.

The program's first volunteer was Sandrine Pitousi, 31, from Kfar Maimon, situated five kilometers from Gaza. "I heard about the project over the radio and decided to join because I'm living in the middle of the conflict," she said.

Before hanging up the phone prematurely following a Color Red rocket alert, Pitousi, who immigrated to Israel from France in 1993, said she had some experience with public relations from managing a production company.

"During the war, we looked for a way to contribute to the effort," the ministry's director general, Erez Halfon, told Haaretz. "We turned to this enormous reservoir of more than a million people with a second mother tongue." Other languages in which bloggers are sought include Russian and Portuguese.

Halfon said volunteers who send the Absorption Ministry their contact details by e-mail, at media@moia.gov.il, will be registered according to language, and then passed on to the Foreign Ministry's media department, whose personnel will direct the volunteers to Web sites deemed "problematic."

Within 30 minutes of announcing the program, which was approved by the Foreign Ministry on Sunday, five volunteers were already in touch, Halfon said.


http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1056648.html

3:38 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Laila:
I hope that Gaza will rebuild, and am glad that your family is safe. Now let's hope that Hamas will not give Israel any more reasons to go back into Gaza and destroy it looking for rocket launchers, tunnels, and ammunition.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Laila:

If you could please post this comment-or at least you answer this question, I'd appreciate it.

I have been very curious about something:

Why do all the Arab countries around Israel and Gaza not take the people of Gaza in (or other Arabs in Israel)? Through the few weeks of following this blog, I have read comments stating that even Arabs/Muslims who do not live in Gaza, but live in Israel, are treated as second rate citizens. There are so many Arab countries, where those people who feel slighted will not be the minority. Why do they not go there? Why do those Arab countries not take them in? Israel is TINY compared to all those countries.

The people in Gaza complain about poverty and inhumane conditions-let Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, among others, "rescue" them and take them in.

Why is that not happening? I truly do not mean to be sarcastic here-I am very curious about it.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Cláudia said...

hi laila!
thank you for your voice. i am a journalist too. i live in brasil. can i translate some of your texts and send them to my mailing list?
be safe.
best,
claudia nunes

4:19 PM  
Blogger adhocboy@mac.com said...

I give. Why would you rebuild?

This is probably just an American view, but I'd take my children and get as far from Gaza as I could. I know Pride feels good... but it is not worth it.

The world is full of friendly places and good neighbors. Gaza is not family-friendly, and Israel and Egypt are not good neighbors.

They say insanity is when you keep trying the same thing and expect a different result. One will have to wonder about the mental state of those who can leave Gaza and choose not to. Especially those with small children.

Laila, are you often bombed in North Carolina?

I say open our borders to immigration from Gaza. We have too much housing in our market and not enough youth to stabilize social security. Israel's ignorance could be our blessing. Let the people of Gaza come to America. We're not perfect, but we don't bomb our own cities.

7:32 PM  
Blogger WIVL said...

JP Morgan Chase has shares in Raytheon which manufactures the 'bunker buster' bombs, they also have shares in the South Africa Reserve bank and in Tigerbrands, which controls our food and was found guilty of raising the price of bread here is South Africa; so don't you see that WE ARE ALL GAZA. The international working class was on the rise and this forced the Israeli state temporarily back; this is only the start are surely GAZA WILL RISE FROM THE 4 CORNERS OF THE GLOBE. FROM Shaheed Mahomed Workers International Vanguard League workersinternational@gmail.com

11:20 PM  
Blogger penthimos said...

Yonit, I think we're irreparably on different sides of this issue, but I'll try to give you an answer to your question about Arab countries accepting refugees, since it's not right that you should get no answer if you're sincerely confused.

(1) Huge influxes of immigrants tend to wreak havoc on an economy. Accepting Iraqi refugees had severely impacted the economic situation in Syria and Jordan, for instance.

(2) More importantly, besides Lebanon (which, as you may have noticed, has its own problems), the surrounding Arab countries are all dictatorships run by people who are unaccountable to their own populace. So while there is deep sympathy amongst the population for the plight of Palestinians, the actions taken will be by their rulers, with only occasional sops thrown in to soothe the anger of the populace.

Egypt is an instructive example of the general phenomenon. Why does Mubarak close the Rafah crossing when told? Why doesn't he let food in an attempt to compensate for the Israeli siege? Well, the U.S. pays him $2 billion dollars a year. Mubarak is an aging dictator fighting the Muslim Brotherhood at home. The religiously-motivated Hamas looks like nothing but a nightmare to him—besides committing violence on their own orders, not his, they're apparently incorruptible. There's no way he could control them. They "destabilize" the region, and he is interested preserving the status quo. A similar thing held for the PLO, back in the day: it was an angry pan-Arab organization, angry at the region's dictators, implacable in its demands for justice for Palestinians, and not concerned with the region's borders as they were drawn.

In short, it behooves the rulers of other Arab nations to preserve the status quo, which organizations like Hamas challenge.

Tell me if you find this at all useful.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Lulu said...

Hi There.
I am happy and relieved that this war is over and glad that your parents were not physically hurt (I know that mentally and emotionally is another story).
I am truly sad for all the destruction and discoveries of loved ones beneath the rubble. It is heart breaking and I wisha speedy recovery to all of those whose hearts have been torn.
I also know and feel very strongly that Israel does not want to do any sort of "ethnic cleansing," and I find the term very offensive. I am not saying thatthis was the best way to retaliate for the rockets, obviously it wasn't. However the trigger happy coments you heard from soldiers in myopinion are just ways for them to convince themselves psychologically to "do the job at hand."(Mayve some do feel this way but many of the Israeli population do NOT.
Please do not twist these things around...in the intensity of your strong emotions and pain that you feel (which I can undersand), you are also, with all of your eloquence and intelligence and sensitivity, somewhat twisting the media.
What doyour Israeli friends have to say about it? All of mine feel that there should be peace, not fighting.
Upset By the Horror yet Standing By My Truth.
An Israeli American Gal

P.S> What was not shown in the caseof the doctor and the Israeliowman shouting at him was that afterwards they hugged and she apologized for shouting and asaid how sorry she was about his family..but I guess that won't appear on CNN or whatever

1:59 AM  
Blogger Amilia said...

Laila, may God protect your family in Gaza.I'm glad to hear that your parents are safe. Our prayers will always be with you and your family.

3:10 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Penthimos:
Thanks for your answer. It was very helpful. But like you said, Hamas is motivated by religion, and there isn't much negotiating with them. I mean, why don't they send rockets to Egypt? It seems like people in Gaza just want this tiny land of Israel. It seems like Hamas doesn't care about its people at all. It is THEIR action that causes the reaction from Israel.

I think, like someone else (adhoc?) said in a comment, people in Gaza should leave instead of rebuilding. Sometimes principles are just not worth living in poverty for, and everyone says the life of people in Gaza is bad. Like adhocboy said-let us (and other countries too) open the borders for immigrants.

But Israel is not the only country that believes that there are a lot of terrorists in Gaza-that's why it would be VERY hard for people in Gaza to come to the US ( I would think.).

4:01 AM  
Blogger ChaiTime said...

Yonit
You ask why Arab countries do not take Palestinians to their country - they do! Millions are living in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Millions who should be in their own rightful land which is currently occupied by Israel.

I ask you - why don't the Americans who give Israel a blank check to do as they please - accept all the Israelis from Sderot and these other places where people are so scared to live? Why do they continue to live in these cities? If life is so miserable for them that the Israeli's have to commit genocide to save them - surely they should just leave?

6:03 AM  
Blogger t said...

I guess what I don't understand is this; what is so hard to simply say...."we want peace with our neighbor?"
If Mexico continued to tell the USA, "we don't recognize your right to exist and we won't rest until you are wiped from the face of the earth", what would our relationship with our neighboring country be?
I truly empathize with the suffering going on in Gaza, I don't wish hardship, war and destruction on any people.
I can't help but wonder however when the people will decide that peace is better than war. When Hamas fires 3,000 rockets into Israel in one year, the Palestinian people don't say a word. When Israel attacks after months of warnings, suddenly they are practicing ethnic cleansing? I simply don't understand. I'm willing to hear anyone's responsible viewpoints.

6:21 AM  
Blogger christine said...

This message is for Yonit,

I believe a couple of people tried to answer your question on why the arab countries surrounding the area wont just take in all the palastinine people if they are so empathetic with their conditions and livelihood..

I'll try to answer this question, first of all countries like Egypt as you might know have more than their fair share of problems such as poverty , education, corruption within it's own government and is barely as i see it taking care of it's own.. as one person previously mentioned..
but this is not the issue, the way i see it is the following that even if neighbouring countries like Syria and Jordan did indeed poses thriving econmies and had all the capabilities necessary to take all the palestinian people in..

IT SHOULD NOT BE DONE..

the reason being that this is their land and they have every right to stay there but rather demand and struggle to get every inch that was stolen from them in 1948.. they are the natives of the very land that Isreal calls a state..

i recommend that you watch a BBC documentary called (the birth of Israel) it will shed some light on the history of that piece of land and perhaps you'll have a better understanding of why palestinians will never give up and will continue struggling under the poorest of conditions..
i also urge you to watch an interview with an israeli scholar Avi Shlaim by democracy now! you can find that on their website democracynow.org and this is for anyone that's interested about learning the true facts about what's going on in that region of the world..

it disturbes me a great deal that you put forth this question, since if this was the other way around, i believe that you would never even consider that as an option..
also because from what you're asking you're also insinuating that because people are going through hardships under a merciless force, they should simply give in when you're in your rightful place..

the african american people did not give in the 50's and 60's and neither will the palestinians today..

one last comment for 't', Israel does not strive for peace, it continues to build new settlements in Gaza and the West Bank (supposedly palestinian land) until today, and it was them that broke the ceasefire on Nov.4th which Hammas tried it's best to maintain...

and just so i'm not misunderstood, i think what hammas is doing is ruthless just as much as the Israelis, nothing will ever be accomplished through war and blood shed..

and to Laila, i hope you post this and thank you for giving us a place to share our thoughts..

PEACE.

Christine

9:18 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across your blog via a link from MSNBC.com. I followed it wanting to get a different perspective than all the garbage they feed us on the news. While I was, and still am, saddening by what I read, I was unsurprised by your words.

Firstly, as an American I would like to apologize for the horrible things my country has aided in happening to you, your people, and your land. It makes me sick and angry. I sincerely hope that idiot that others voted into office 4 and 8 years ago cannot sleep at night knowing what he has helped not only in Israel/Gaza/West Bank, but also this phony war about oil in Iraq and the dragging of feet in Afghanistan. This talk of young boys and girls fighting and being excited to be in a war is sick; war should be a horrible last resort, not something people look forward to. I wonder what our world is coming to now….

I am 25, agnostic on a good day (and thoroughly irritated with religions as a whole on a bad day), and live on the west coast of the US. I have many Jewish friends, but don’t dare ask what they think about the situation because I know one is a hot head and would probably disown me for speaking up as to what this all is about. I don’t dare bring up the question of why do you feel entitled to land that was unrightfully taken from others by the British and given to your people (granted they were having horrible times, but it doesn’t make it right).

Here is what I still don’t understand. With all the computer technology we have and the spy equipment, satellite cameras, etc., why do we have to blow up random things “looking” for people? I think it’s scare tactics. I think it’s bullying. I think it’s scared little boys saying “oh yeah, well we will throw the rock first so that you don’t see how scared we are!” I am ashamed. I am saddened.

What happened to human decency in America, I ask myself. It went on a 8 year vacation by a man who was NOT popularly elected but a judge decided that he got the job anyways so he could be a puppet for a garbage VP (who is creepy I would not let 10 feet from any child of mine) and completely screw up our country and much of the progress we had made. Shame on you for torturing people, but don’t look at Guantanamo Bay please. I live in a country where people are looked at funny if they dress differently than the “norm”. I remember having 3-4 young Muslim girls, probably in their teens, buying ice cream in front of me last year, and not looking at them and thinking, weirdoes and their scarves, I thought wow that one scarf is just gorgeous and I LOVE her pin, and things like that. Sadly I look around and see other people with odd looks on their faces. We claim to be a melting pot but no one likes those who dress different.

I think that the US should stop aiding Israel with their wars. I can see aiding them humanitarian wise, if needed, but also help out Gaza. Walls and checkpoints should be taken down. They don’t tell us that medicine can’t get through. My god, how inhumane; I would dig a tunnel to get things in too! And that they would stop a humanitarian aid boat from Cyprus, which of course we never heard about, from bringing medicine and food and necessities, is just not right.

I cry for you, and your babies and your husband. I feel trapped, like there is nothing I can do. I hope so much, that the change Obama has vowed to bring to America can also be spread to your people and Israelites, and you both can finally be at peace. Let there be change, let there be peace, let people not die for someone else’s skewed agenda. Obama says today that he wants to close Guantanamo within a year. I keep my fingers crossed. I don’t think bad people who viciously attack the US should be set free, but what has been done to them while there makes us no better than those we hold captive. I am glad to hear your parents survived. I hope there will not be another for them to survive, and that you see them again soon. I keep you in my thoughts. Be safe, and know there are those out there who know what is happening is not right, and will fight for it to stop.

Andrea

11:53 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Andrea:
You are quite naive. Believe me, I hated Bush for many reasons, but I hate to tell ya this: Obama will keep supporting Israel and will never support Hamas because it is a terrorist organization. If Gaza wants help from the US they need to oust Hamas. Israel is a US ally, in an area where the US needs someone to keep an eye on things. The US will always support Israel.

Also, Israel absolutely has the technology you were talking about. But first, you have to understand that even the best of technology fails on occassion. And second, the Hamas planted its ammunition and rockets in residential areas. Israel knew where the bombs were, and they had to destroy those places.

I'm an Israeli living in the US. Let me just tell you that the borders USED to be open. But then Hamas terrorists and other extremists came into Israel with suicide bombs. First and foremost, Israel has an obligation to its own people to protect them. If that means closing the borders, so be it!

9:00 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Yonit:

This is a very common myth used to justify the continuation of the the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip. In fact, the borders have ALWAYS been closed in varying degrees since the days of Oslo from 1993 onwards, with Israel requiring special permits for Palestinians to travel outside of Gaza-permits which were impossible to obtain if you were between 16-35 years on a blanket reason. Furthermore, the closure intensified after Israel's much-lauded Disengagement from Gaza, even though it was Fateh, not Hamas, in power at the time (I was there and I can tell you-the borders were NOT open as you claim). let us not forget that Israel under the Geneva convention has an obligation to allow the freedom of movement of the people it is occupying.

Also, Israel did not HAVE to destroy anything- and experts have shown that the army was intentionally using weapons with a wide perimeter causality rate such as DIME and 155 mm artillery shells (in fact they were explicity given orders that allowed them to fire artillery shares withing 100 metres of civilian areas, and to shoot at any moving object, civlian or otherwise).

The only thing Israel HAS to do is end the occupation.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Laila:
The borders were closed to keep Israelis safe. Have you forgotten the Intifadah?

What experts are you talking about? Probably experts that side with Gaza. It's always going to be this way. Pro-Israelis will cite experts and pro-Gaza people will cite experts. That's one we'll never agree on.

You were in Gaza...yet you left. Life was just so unbearable there. If you left, why can't the others?

And I was there in Israel when so many suicide bombs were blown up. I was there when terrorists shot and stabbed random people, and I was there when recently an Arab Israeli who came into Israel to work took a bulldozer and murdered people, flipped cars over, etc.

How do you expect the borders to be open when there is always that danger?

And lastly, why, WHY aren't the people in Gaza, those "innocent" people rising up against Hamas? If you want the world to believe that not every person in Gaza is a terrorist, if you want US support, why not oust Hamas?

11:08 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Yes Yonit, THAT'S why I left. I am so sick and tired of people dictating why adn when Palestinains should leave Gaza; telling us that the it is only natural for the borders to closed; to "rise up" against the "terrorist" government (and the PLO/Fateh before them).

I left on MY terms- I had planned to go work there for 3 years; I then returned to joined my husband who CANNOT return to Gaza b/c Israel forbids him (while at the same time allowing anyone who can trace their Jewish ancestry 4 generations back to return to Israel).

As for the borders, I believe it was YOUR very high court that said the closures are politically motivated and not security related.

Livni herself was quoted as recent as a few days ago saying the border will stay closed until Shalit is released.

P.S.: bombing the living daylights out of people, starving them, and cutting off their electricity and water supply, while preventing them from moving freely- not a good way to "change their hearts and minds"; this is leaving aside the small fact that ITS NOT YOUR PLACE anyway to tell them who to rise up against.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Laila:
Yes, we want Shalit back.We tried to negotiate, let many prisoners, terrorists, go. But that didn't work. Maybe Hamas will have mercy on its own people and let Shalit go so that the borders will open up.

You're right-I don't have a right to tell you who to rise up against. But you and many others keep complaining. It seems to me like Hamas, the governing body in Gaza, has a lot of power-all the power, really. The US, and Israel view Hamas as a terrorist group. And no wonder! They sent rockets towards Israel for years, sent suicide bombers on missions. This is the group that the people in Gaza elected???

So if Hamas has the power to stop the terrorist activities but doesn't, it obviously does not care about the well being of its people. If it stopped its terrorist activities life would improve for the people in Gaza. So no-it's not my place to tell you who to rise up against. But it just makes no sense to me! Why would people support Hamas if they are causing so much trouble?

Also, I'm just curious-why aren't the Arab countries giving money to Gaza? Help their brothers in need???

4:43 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Laila-
I don't have your email address so I figured this was the best way to ask you...
Someone told me that you and your family are the owners of Almadina grocery store in Raleigh...is that true?
I LOVE that place and shop there all the time. They have the best things! :)

Yonit
tinoymommy@aol.com

4:47 AM  
Blogger Dragonfly said...

Bravo Laila,
If Yonit had read anything in this blog she would have known all of that.
Yonit much of the pro-Palestine material is coming from Israelis and from very well versed professionals around the world. Of course you don't want to know the truth so I expect you won't access the information in this link, but it dispels a lot of 'myths' about Hamas, occupation and many other factors of Palestine/Israel argument. http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2009/01/25/henry-siegman-israels-lies/
Perhaps if you were ALLOWED to visit Gaza, as you are ALLOWED to visit Israel, (yes Yonit is Jewish living in USA. I went to her blog before she blocked it, or me), you would have a little more insight and be more open to the truth. But neither Michael or Yonit believe a Palestinian state should exist - they belong to that very strong, large Israeli Jewish group that denies Palestine and Palestinians.
Michael has posted some interesting, self-revealing posts on my blog.
So Laila heed them not. They are both ignorant fools who accuse others of being bias when both of the wear the hugest, ugliest blinkers you've ever seen :). Yonit actually thinks she's a nice, friendly person - a facade.
Yonit and Michael go bully someone more deserving. Leave Laila alone. Maybe you can both do a 2nd round of IDF service.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Dragonfly said...

Almost forgot - Shalit, is just another excuse for Israel to use to 'justify' what they continue to do. Were any Hamas taken prisoner or were they all massacred by IDF?
I'd be incredibly surprised if Shalit survived IDF carnage. He probably became the 5th friendly fire victim of IDF.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Dragonfly:
Make no mistake about it-I'm Jewish, Israeli-American, and am proud of it. I never tried to hide my identity, but use a different screen name for convenience purposes.

And please don't go putting words in my mouth. I NEVER said a Palestinian state should not exist. In fact, if you go read some of the rest of my comments, you'll see that I am in favor of opening the borders completely, and everyone living together, and having Jerusalem be an international capital.

My concern, though, are the suicide bombers who would then have free access to Israel and its people.

I have NOTHING against Muslims, nothing against Palestinians. After 9/11 when many believed that ALL muslims were terrorists I spoke out and talked to kids at the school where I teach, talked to people around me. I by no means believe that all Arabs or Muslims are terrorists. But those that ARE are the problem, and Israel needs to take the necessary measures to to make sure they don't infiltrate.

And about me being a nice friendly person-what do you know about me? Nothing at all! Just because we have differing political views is no reason to bash my character, of which you know nothing about. Did I ever say anything about Laila's character, or yours for that matter?

I've said this before: When Laila posted the blog and then went on CNN to tell the world about it she took a risk that people with opposing views to hers would comment on it. If I didn't want to hear the opinions of people like Laila, who is on the side of the people of Gaza, I wouldn't log on and read her blog day after day.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Laila:
I've seen on your posts and from some of the comments-many times the names they use or words in Arabic have a 3 character in them. What does that mean?

6:37 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Then it seems natural to ask, why not rise up against what we consider your terrorist government? Certainly a government which instructs its army to pillage and plunder with no impunity or discrimination is terrorizing.

Yonit pls. read before making ignorant comments. Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries are footing over $1 billion of reconstruction- even though it is solely ISRAEL'S responsibility as the illegal occupier.

And no, in response to your warm and fuzzy email, we do not run/own Medina market- actually it is owned by a group of Palestinian refugees who were booted out of their village just outside of the Gaza Strip in 1948 (al-Jura) which was subsequently completely ethnically cleansed and destroyed in November of 1948 in Operation Yoav by your honorable army.

You should ask them about it sometime, I'm sure they would appreciate it.

http://www.palestineremembered.com/Gaza/al-Jura/index.html

6:42 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Laila:
I didn't phrase my question correctly. I know that money is being given for reconstruction. What I mean is why in the "grand scheme of things" the Arab countries don't help the people in Gaza get out of the poverty they are living in.

And with regards to my "warm and fuzzy email"-thanks for the sarcasm. You know- when I started reading your blog after seeing you on CNN, I went back to your archives and read your blog. Read about your kids, your family. I did that because I wanted to get to know you as well as possible as a human being, not just as a random woman whose family is in Gaza. In turn, I wanted you to know that just because I am from Israel doesn't mean I hate Arabs/Muslims. I don't boycott Arab products simply because they are made by Arabs. I'm sure you boycott Israeli products.

I'm curious too-what do you/will you teach your children about Israelis and Jews? Will you teach them to hate? Because I teach my son every day that nomatter our religion or ethnic backgroud we should not spread hate.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Dragonfly said...

Yonit did you read the post?
http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2009/01/25/henry-siegman-israels-lies/
I'll post some if here, sorry for the LONG post Laila.
"Middle East peacemaking has been smothered in deceptive euphemisms, so let me state bluntly that each of these claims is a lie. Israel, not Hamas, violated the truce: Hamas undertook to stop firing rockets into Israel; in return, Israel was to ease its throttlehold on Gaza. In fact, during the truce, it tightened it further. This was confirmed not only by every neutral international observer and NGO on the scene but by Brigadier General (Res.) Shmuel Zakai, a former commander of the IDF's Gaza Division."
"
The truce, which began in June last year and was due for renewal in December, required both parties to refrain from violent action against the other. Hamas had to cease its rocket assaults and prevent the firing of rockets by other groups such as Islamic Jihad (even Israel's intelligence agencies acknowledged this had been implemented with surprising effectiveness), and Israel had to put a stop to its targeted assassinations and military incursions. This understanding was seriously violated on 4 November, when the IDF entered Gaza and killed six members of Hamas."
Hamas responded by launching Qassam rockets and Grad missiles. Even so, it offered to extend the truce, but only on condition that Israel ended its blockade. Israel refused. It could have met its obligation to protect its citizens by agreeing to ease the blockade, but it didn't even try. It cannot be said that Israel launched its assault to protect its citizens from rockets. It did so to protect its right to continue the strangulation of Gaza's population.
Everyone seems to have forgotten that Hamas declared an end to suicide bombings and rocket fire when it decided to join the Palestinian political process, and largely stuck to it for more than a year. Bush publicly welcomed that decision, citing it as an example of the success of his campaign for democracy in the Middle East. (He had no other success to point to.) When Hamas unexpectedly won the election, Israel and the US immediately sought to delegitimise the result and embraced Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Fatah, who until then had been dismissed by Israel's leaders as a 'plucked chicken'. They armed and trained his security forces to overthrow Hamas; and when Hamas - brutally, to be sure - pre-empted this violent attempt to reverse the result of the first honest democratic election in the modern Middle East, Israel and the Bush administration imposed the blockade.
Israel seeks to counter these indisputable facts by maintaining that in withdrawing Israeli settlements from Gaza in 2005, Ariel Sharon gave Hamas the chance to set out on the path to statehood, a chance it refused to take; instead, it transformed Gaza into a launching-pad for firing missiles at Israel's civilian population. The charge is a lie twice over. First, for all its failings, Hamas brought to Gaza a level of law and order unknown in recent years, and did so without the large sums of money that donors showered on the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. It eliminated the violent gangs and warlords who terrorised Gaza under Fatah's rule. Non-observant Muslims, Christians and other minorities have more religious freedom under Hamas rule than they would have in Saudi Arabia, for example, or under many other Arab regimes."
There's so much more in the post, I suggest you read it.

10:50 AM  
Blogger ChaiTime said...

I;m going to come to Yonit's defense (I actually know her) but the comment about the supermarket was not to be friendly - I think she actually thought your family did own the place. And Dragonfly, no matter how ignorant her comments are politically, she never did get personal with anyone except Laila (re: the supermarket)

As for the rest of the comments - this is a SUPERB POLITICAL blog and I suggest we keep it at this. By far this is the best reportage of Gaza I have seen - I have felt the pain and suffering, cried at the wanton destruction and had my heart bleed by true stories of the IDF committing genocide.

Laila - from Canada - we send you this message - continue your work - you are doing an excellent job and I wish only we had more of people like you.

Yonit - go and have a chat with the owners of the supermarket - it may provide some answers to the questions concerning Israel's brutal occupation that you have on your mind.

Everyone - let's get back to discussing what we here in the West can do to show our support for the Palestinians and help them get their rightful state which in my opinion should be at the 1948 borders and not the later ones that Fatah is ready to accept.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

ok fair enough. my point is that when you attempt to question someone's identity, story, etc., on their OWN blog, as Yonit and others have several times attempted to do, ala "well you left, why can't others", it is a bit disingenuous.

I will then assume Yonit really ISN'T aware of the border situation, despite the numerous numerous reports put out by teh likes of OCHA, Btselem, and GISHA.

Yonit: the borders have been effectively sealed for two years, and open only arbitrarily before that time for many many years. Its not like one can simply hop into a cab and fly out of RDU, or even catch a train (or even take that same cab out of the city...let alone the state).

These are not purely security-related concerns as the High court itself has attested: in a leaked military document in summer of 07, the IDF said it was keeping RAfah Crossing closed in conjunction with Egypt (b/c remmeber the crossing was only operating with the presence of European monitors that ISRAEL could decide when or when not to allow them to monitor on any given day) as a punitive measure, to "put pressure on the civilian population" until Shalit was released.

SO let us not be naive and pretend the borders are just closed to keep Israelis safe. This is besides the fact that if Israel really wanted to operate a secure border, it could do so LIKE ANY OTHER country with safety, inspection, rules, etc.: not be just closing the damn thing. Furthermore, unlike other countries, Gaza is being controlled and occupied by Israel, and it is not just closing its own borders, it is closing Gaza's access to the entire world.

ON a different note, I agree with Chai, try to start a conversation with teh Medina Market owners sometime.

ALso might I suggest you attend one of the teach-ins and events we hold in the triangle-we had a huge teach-in at UNC last week, adn another is being planned at Duke (and one in Highpoitn Feb. 17), including 2 Jewish Americans, and 1 Israeli peace activist.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Laila-
That's a great idea. I'd love to go to one of those teach ins. If you could get me the info or website I'd appreciate it.

BTW, I did send a comment after the one you wrote about my "warm fuzzy" comment-you never published it. In it I explained that I wasn't as ignorant as you deemed me to be-I had just phrased my question wrong. It's not right, IMO if you publish some comments but not others, esepcially since I'm not using profanity, and not insulting. I take the time and read your blog-I went back and read your archived entries. If I didn't want to hear someone else's side, I wouldn't have bothered.

Please understand-I want peace. I want the borders open and I hate that so many people are suffering, on both sides. Just like you have lived in Gaza and have seen your people suffering, I have lived and Israel and have seen the aftermath of suicide bombers and other terrorists. There ARE extremists in both sides, no doubt about that. I still believe, though, that we, as a whole, have to find a way to get rid of the terrorists. I don't want the borders closed just for the sake of it being closed. I don't want the people of Gaza to suffer any more than I want the Israelis to-I just want to get rid of the terrorists.

I understand that this is your blog, and that you're angry if people question you. But I never questioned your identity or your story. I have no doubt that people in Gaza are suffering. All I'm saying is that people in Israel are too.

Chai-thanks for coming to my defense. :)

11:34 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Yonit: 3 represents the Arabic letter ع (or "ayn") which has not english equivalent. It is used often in internet shorthand transliteration.

3:44 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

FYI, I do not intentionally not publish comments (unless they are profane, lengthy, propagandist, etc.) I just honestly do not always get around to doing them all at once until the evening (but sometimes I see some that pop up in my inbox and publish them as they appear).

I need to put up a comments guidelines thing soon. *sigh*

Furthermore, this comment of yours is exactly what I mean when I referred to disingenuoussness:

"Will you teach them to hate?"

This is a very common refrain I hear from Zionists who believe they are "better" and "morally superior": We teach our children to love no matter what; to respect life; to be good; but Arabs-they teach their children to hate and we can never make peace with them until they love their children more than they hate us.

Because YONIT that's EXACTLY what I do: every morning I wake up and I school Yousuf in hate-speech and racism.

Look: to quote a fella' i interviewed once in Gaza's Deir al-Balah refugee camp: "tanks teach children to hate, not mothers or textbooks".

Hate is an awfully strong word.

My mother taught me that the Muslim scholar Ghazali said never to use the word "hate" to describe your feelings toward someone. Rather, he instructed his pupils to dislike an action or deed, not a person, because that person is God's creation in the end.

As for my kids, I teach them right from wrong, and wrong is injustice and occupation of their land; as well as their inability to return to the land of their grandparents. And instead of whining about it, I teach them to be proactive and engage in whatever way they know how: attending a protest, speaking to friends, donating money.

Anything else you'd like to know about how I raise my family?

Now, I wonder, do you tell your kids that the glorious Israeli army displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their land in 1948, killed thousands of others, completely cleansed over 415 villages from existence, and refuses to allow the natives of these lands to return while allowing anyone with a fourth generation Jewish ancestry to at the same time?

And I'm not being sarcastic.

4:01 AM  
Blogger ChaiTime said...

Yonit
How can you talk about peace? You have done nothing but say how Gaza should be de-populated, how the genocide is because of "Hamas" (even though it's Israel that used WMD and put missiles into schools).

Come on Yonit - if you were for peace - you would be saying how horrible the massacre is- not trying to find any excuse to justify it.

Sadly, the fact remains that Jews who think they are for "peace" want a peace where Israel oversees a slave labor made of Arabs. This is not peace and it never will be.

Keep in mind, the land that Israel exists on is the land of the Arabs. Jews left 4000 years ago and a vibrant civilization existed since then. This land was give to the Jews because the European Powers no longer wanted to deal with the "Jewish problem". Like most Israelis, your family has no historical roots there - most came from Europe. Your claim to the land is about as valid as the claim that American Indians have to Washington DC today! Still you took land and instead of trying to blend in, the Jews began killing and massacreing.

Now, given that Israel is there and it's going nowhere, the question remains what is to happen to the righful owners of the land? Should they not have their land back? I mean, if after 4000 years, Jews can claim land that belongs to their forefathers, surely after 60 years those in refugee camps have a much more valid claim (along with real legal papers to back it).

See, it's easy for Jews to talk about the land that is theirs but how often do you think about the people whose homes you continue to break down to make your settlements?

And for all the talk you give of Hamas and it's hatred of Jews- take a moment and look at the brutal killings of the settlers in the past two years of innocent Palestinians. Look at Hebron! Take a look at the families who lost children in Gaza. And NO - they did not ask for it. Israelis and Jews teach their children that all Palestinians are terrorists - this is a fact. Infact even one of your chief rabbis teaches this to the IDF soldiers. Still,you justify the murder of children and pregnant women.

Peace requires you to stand up against the bastards who are committing genocide - and that is the IDF and the Israeli govt - and to look at the situation and try to put aside unvalid claims and be fair to all.

4:17 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Chai:
Please do not generalize-as I have never done so. I have said, again and again, that I do not-NEVER HAVE, in fact, believe that all Arabs, or all people in Gaza are terrorists. All I have said is that Hamas is a terrorist organization that needs to be removed. Israel has waged a war against Hamas, and unfortunately in a war, civilians get hurt. But I have never said it was a good thing that all those innocent people died. It's terrible when the innocents get hurt. I believe though, (and you have a right to disagree) that Israel was justified in trying to get rid of the Hamas leaders and all the rockets, tunnels, etc. Was it right that so many got killed? No. But was Israel right in going into Gaza? I believe so.

There are right wing Israelis who believe that all Palestinians are terrorists. Unfortunately, there are extremists on both sides. But there are many many Israelis who do NOT believe that-who KNOW that most Muslims and Palestinians are good people.

I'm sure there are rabbis who teach others to hate all Muslims, just like there are Imams who teach Muslims to hate all Jews, Israelis, and Americans. Heck-there are white extremists who teach their kids to hate all blacks. I mean, this ignorance exists-that's just a fact.

I am absolutely for peace. I wish it were simple, but it's not.

and BTW-when the settlements were disengaged in 2005, I was 100% for it. I thought it was a great idea-and many of my right wing family members in Israel were very angry with me for my views (my dad refused to speak to me for some time because of it.)

4:52 AM  
Blogger ChaiTime said...

Yonit - you are correct - I am generalizing. I apologize.

I disagree with you about the hate speech. I know of almost no Muslims who tells their kids "All Jews are evil" , but practically every Jewish family I know considers Palestinians to be terrorists. It's a sad reality of your community.

However, you continue to accept what the IDF did in Gaza as though it was some way of safeguarding Israel. I am at a loss of how you can convince yourself of that. Hamas still exists. Like Hezbollah, it will only get stronger as it's the only organisation who seems to get things done there. Hatred against Jews will only increase around the world which only makes it more dangerous for Israel and the diaspora. Please - explain to me how you believe these horrific acts of genocide got Israel closer to peace? I am totally lost at that - and I am not being sarcastic here - I really want to understand your thinking.

One more point - if Israel has the right to "defend" itself and attack innocent Palestinians then why do you have a problem with Palestinians using whatever form of offense they want to protect and reclaim their land? It seems to be that both sides are wrong to kill innocent people but I don't ever hear you speaking out against what the IDF do. Was it right for them to use white phosphorous? Does this mean that even the Palestinians can use white phosphorous in bombs in Sderot? Was it right for them to blow up a whole family because they thought one Hamas person lived there? Does that mean that the Palestinians have the right to blow up buses because one IDF murderer is on it? I am at a loss to see how you are not speaking out against the IDF, yet speak quite loudly against the Intifadah (where IDF found it necessary to murder little boys because they were throwing stones at them while they were wearing riot gear).

Laila - I have a question for you - how popular is Hamas really? Do the people actually support them? Or are they the only organization that does anything for the people hence they get support? Is the military wing a key part of it? I always saw it more as a charitable institution before the bombs began falling.

I also have another question - why do the Palestinians want land that was pre-1967 and not 1948 boundaries?

7:20 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Chai:
I think it's just a different way of interperting what's going on. I don't condone just killing innocent people for no purpose, and when Israel dropped a bomb on a school when there were no terrorists there that wasn't right. I do not believe that Israel went into Gaza to simply wipe off all Palestinians from the face of the earth type of thing, and you do. I believe that Israel went into Gaza in order to destroy missile launchers and to kill Hamas leaders who were allowing the missiles to be launched into Israel. You believe Israel just went in to "have fun" and murder for the hell of it.

When terrorists come into Israel and randomly stab people, or blow up a bus, or a restaurant, their only purpose is to murder. The IDF does not "hide" in the busses or the restaurants. Hamas member hid in mosques, schools, and homes while launching their missiles from there. The missile launchers were portable-easily moved around. There is a difference between Israel bombing a site with Hamas militents in it and a suicide bomber getting revenge and randomly committing an act of terror.

I thought the IDF's use of phosphorus bombs was uncalled for. They most definitely did not have to do that.

Furthermore, I do think some soldiers went overboard in their mission-and I believe they acted out of rage. The use of torture on innocents was wrong. And I know Israel decided that it would defend any soldier that got questioned about their acts of war. However, while I do think Israel was justified to go into Gaza and I will not change my mind about that, I will say that just like the US put soldiers on trial for what they did to prisoners in Iraq (Like in Abu Griabh (sp)? there are IDF soldiers who need to answer to what they did to individuals. I'm not talking about the bombs-I'm talking about those soldiers who did go into homes and for no reason denied medical care to the elderly or to kids, etc.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Chai:
I forgot to add- I don't think Israel's purpose of this mission was to achieve some kind of peace agreement. Before there can be peace you have to stop the terrorism, which is what Israel wanted to do in Gaza.
But there are many Palestinians (as well as Israelis ) who don't want peace...they just want it "their way." That has to be changed-on both sides, before there is a chance for peace. I believe many Palestinians want to eliminate Israelis and all Jews just like the extremists on the Israeli side want to eliminate all Arabs. It's gone beyond wanting the land at this point. It's not just some Palestinians that want all Jews/Israelis dead, it's other Arab countries/leaders as well.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

We were discussing before about what we teach our kids. I wanted to share something my 8 year old son wrote in his class (it got sent home today, and was written for MLK Jr. Day.). For the record, I did not know they wrote this until this afternoon when he got it back from his teacher, and I left the spelling and everything like he wrote it:

I have a dream. My dream is: To abandon wars and stop Israel from firing rockets at Gaza, and Gaza firing back. We need a good president to help our country. We need more laws to help out. I hope gaziens stop firing rockets and have a better enviroment.

I can help my dream come true by: Saying this dream to CNN, and to Barack Obama. We need more help for the whole planet.

11:12 PM  
Blogger ChaiTime said...

Yonit, Laila, Dragonfly, Michael and all the other readers.

I want to do an experiment. Let's try to see if between us we can come to an agreement on the Middle East - If 5-10 civilized people who are obviously well educated can come to an agreement then maybe there is hope for a non-violent way of resolving the issue.

I'm going to state my stand: Pro Palestinian anti-Hamas anti-violence of any kind.

My demands:
1) Israel goes back to the 1948 borders.
2) All Jews who live in the areas that were illegally occupied between 1948 and today have the choice of leaving or becoming part of the Palestinian state. They relinquish their Israeli passports and become Palestinian citizens.
3) All Arab countries accept Israel as a state and open diplomatic missions there
4) Israel totally abandons it's nuclear weapons and it's programme of WMD. Palestine and it's neighbors including Iran are not allowed to pursue nuclear weapons. Teh UN ensures that the Missle East is weapon free.
5) The Palestinian state stops all rockets from being launched.
6) Palestinians have complete authority over their land, sea and air borders.
7) Palestinian refugees have the right to return to land (Israel is now at the 1948 borders) and where to house them is the problem of the new state of Palestine.
8) US, Israel and all Western countries accept Palestine as a soverign state whose capital is Jerusalem.

Ok - let's try to start a discussion towards something concrete here.

Where do the others stand on this and what can we do to bring this area closer to peace?

4:45 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Chai:

I think you're on to something, and you certainly have some great ideas. The problem is, what comes first? You see, I find it hard to believe that even if Israel goes back to the 1948 borders, the terrorism will stop. There are many Palestinians who want all Jews, all Israelis wiped off the face of the earth. We cannot completely disarm Israel. It has many hostile neighbors, and if you look back on its history, many of the wars were not started by Israel.

I am all for open borders, free movement back and forth. I am all for Palestinians having control over their land, sea, and air territory, provided they prove they are preventing terrorists from coming into Israel and blowing things up.

I think Jerusalem needs to be an international capital city-it has massive importance to Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

I'm going to add that there needs to be some kind of neutral party supervising all this (better than they have been, at any rate.)

All in all, I agree with a lot of what you said, and will add-pro Palestinian, Pro Israeli, anti violence, anti terrorism of any kind, regardless of what name it takes.

4:54 AM  
Blogger MIchael said...

Dear Chai,

Few questions about your plan.
1. How will you stop the anti Israel propaganda in the arab world after the so called "peace"? Israel must include that.
2. What amount of the Palestinians have the right of return to Israel (7 in your plan).
3. Why would a jewish citizen of Palestine will drop his Israeli citizenship? Why not hold a dual pasport?
4. About nuclear, can't say much since all is speculations about nuclear. UN is not powerfull enough to ensure Free missles Middle East. How will they force that?
5. Rockets will stop, but what about suicide bombings? Are they ok? Propaganda? Hate? How will you turn that into positive life?
6.If Palestine's capital is Jerusalem, what will be the capital of Israel?

1:00 PM  
Blogger ChaiTime said...

Yonit, Michael
I think both of you need to realize that Israel in it's current borders and illegally occupied territories can never be safe. Yes there will always be Arabs who want to wipe Jews off the face of earth, but there are an equal number of Neo Nazis and Venzuelans as well who want to do that. There are also probably a higher portion of Jews who would want to wipe Palestinians off the face of earth (as demonstrated in the support for the genocide of Gaza).

If Israel really wants peace it needs to ceede land. How can it be sure that even after ceeding land they will be safe? They cannot. No country can. How can the Arabs be sure that the Jews won't change their minds and nuke all of them out? How can Canadians be sure that the US or Israel will not nuke us out? We cannot be 100% sure - such a thing does not exist. Both sides need to be fairly clear what they expect in terms of security for their country and I believe that is a reasonable discussion to have.

Yonit - as for your comments about Palestinians blowing up Israelis - sorry but this is a lame excuse. The IDF today has murdered in cold blood a lot more innocent Palestinians that all the suicide bombers. No country can ever be certain that it will be safe - look at London under the IRA bombings - but you need to belive the world will be better and safer by compromise and discussion than by bombs.

Like I said - both parties need to be arms free - this is the only way to make sure they can stay together in peace.

Michael to answer your specific queries:
1) You do not have a hate campaign against someone you can make business with. Hate happens when IDF does what it does to the Palestinians. Once these killings stops and people are free to feed their families and live as they please then there is no reason to hate people. Jews cling on to the anti-Israel campaign but in many ways they perpetuate it. You cannot stop people from preaching hate against you (and several rabbis and right wind Israelis will continue to do so), but you need to create a culture which is definately more civilized than what you have now for both peoples.
2) If Israel is moved back to the 1948 borders and it has the right to NOT accept any of the refugees currently living in the camps, then the new state of Palestine is free to accept all those living in the camps - it's not an Israeli problem but a Palestinian one. The understanding is that if you want to claim land that was occupied by Israel in 1948, such a thing does not exist as all that land is now 100% Israel secured.
3) You can't have Jewish citizens living in a Palestinian country because if they start to cause problems then Israel will need to be involved and you have an international assistance. If the Jews who are currently in the occupied land care so much for Israel that they need to hold on to their passports then they need to move within the 1948 borders. Keep in mind, this is fair as Israel does not have to accept the thousands of Palestinians whose villages and homes it is currently occupying within the 1948 borders.
4) There is no speculation about nuclear or WMD in Israel - the exist and they need to dismantle their site and the UN is the only agency who can look at them. Really - no country needs to be able to wipe out the world's civilization. Not Israel, Not Iran and also not the US.
5) Ofcourse! Both Palestinians and Israelis need to stop rockets and bombs and WMD on each other.
6) Tel-Aviv - this was Israel's capital in 1948.

Concerning Jerusalem - It's not sensible to have peace when you share a capital - so I propose that East Jerusalem where the Dome of the Rock and the Arab Population is belongs to Palestine. The Wailing wall and West Jerusalem be turned into an international city for all to come and go as they please (much like Berlin was to the Germans)

Let's discuss further.

7:28 AM  

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