Monday, January 12, 2009

We talk in Silence; We stand together.

We decided to drive to Washington yesterday to attend what was a national "Let Gaza Live" March. It was a last minute decision, weighing the cost of driving a roundtrip of 8 hours with Yousuf and Noor, and the anticipated inclement weather, against the benefit of standing with Gaza.

Two Duke graduate students accompany us, one a Palestinian from Lydd, the other a Syrian Fulbright scholar.

On the way, Yousuf abruptly interrupts our banter to ask whether his grandfather is going to die in Gaza. He asks me to tell "them" not to shoot him.

"seedo ra7 yimoot? uleelhum may tukhoo, mama."

I ask him to make a dua, to ask God to keep him-to keep all of Gaza-safe.

"That is stronger than any bullet" I explain.

We arrive a little late, and have to march extra quickly to catch up with the group of what was estimated to be 10, 000 or so protesters. It is a diverse and civil crowd. Unfortunately, the weather was not so civil. By the end, we are drenched in freezing rain, my fingers as numb as Noor's lips are blue, plastic parkas plastered to our wet faces.

We catch up with my brother and my nephew, Zade, who is carrying a wet sign, its ink bleeding down it as though to simulate Gaza's tears and blood. The sign read:

"Obama: I shed tears when your grandmother died. Will you do the same for me? My Grandmother lives in Gaza."

After complaining he was freezing, his mother promptly told him "freezing is better than dying". He agreed.

Later, he proudly told his grandfather he marched two hours in the freezing rain for Gaza.



We walked by the hotel the president-elect was staying in (though sources say he was busy eating chili), and ended up in front of the White House before heading back to North Carolina.



On the way, I receive the dreaded 9pm call from my father. My heart skipped a beat- late night calls always bear bad news.


"More bombings, I can't sleep. Israeli navy gunships are bombarding #Gaza city's Tel il Hawa neighborhood- you know where Amo Musab lives-where he built his new house" he says, referring to his cousin.

"The suburb is in flames. Residents are calling out to the Red Cross but they can't reach them; and they say they are bombing with firebombs or something, there is a thick black smoke descending on them, choking people" continuing calmly.

I immediately have my brother update my twitter account for me. I feel better, empowered in whatever incremental way, knowing I am broadcasting this piece of information that is at once senseless and meaningful to the world. My brother struggles to condense terror and death and panic to 140 characters.

We continue speaking.

I learn that my cousin's father-in-law has been hurt. His house in northern Gaza was hit by Israeli forces, then bulldozed to the ground. He was arrested, blindfolded and tortured - including made to fall off stairs, fracturing several ribs. He then had to walk an hour to Gaza City's Sheikh Ijleen neighbourhood. His wife was also forced to leave in her pajamas in the middle of the night and walk alone to the city.

I talk to my father until the bombing subsides-until anther hour. Sometimes we don't say anything at all. We simply hold the phones to our respective ears and talk in silence, as though it were an unfamiliar technology. As though I can shield him from the hell being unleashed around him for those few minutes. However absurd it sounds, we feel safe somehow; re-assured that if something happens, it will happen while we stand together.









Yousuf holds a candle during a vigil in front of Duke University's chapel Friday night.

87 Comments:

Blogger Gregory said...

Maybe next time a large flood will come and wash all of the hateful Diet-Semites into the drain!!!

Your hands were cold from rain? Our hands are tied from blood and carnage. This is self-defense, this is a societal action of self-preservation, this is NORMAL!!!! Nobody should have to accept attacks on its land and inhabitants without response. Hamas is now getting what all just people have prayed it would get: fire from above! Sleep tight!@!

6:38 AM  
Blogger Terry Scott said...

Bravo for you to make the drive - raabina yi bariklek wa yi'hfazkon.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Pedro said...

When it comes to Israel.., it also sucks.
Hamas did propose a hudna..,provided Israel lifted the blockade.
Israel refused.
Now..,israel is playing the role of the victim.., claiming hamas did launch Qassams.
What Israel does not say is that Hamas launch Qassams because Israel did a blockade of Gaza .
A blockade is an act of war therefore the ones who declare war were the Israelis.
Hamas did respond.
When it comes to Gaza , Israel.., Israel was the agressor.
Now Israel is using Layla Weapon.
It claims to be the victim when actually it is the agressor.
A blockade is an act of agression and Israel blockade had been going since june 2007.

7:31 AM  
Blogger hijabee said...

Assalamualeikum, I just blogged about this march! My husband and I were there, didn't know you were attending too! My duas are with you and your family. May Allah protect them.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Hana said...

Allah ma3aakum and Inshallah protect your family.
The whole WORLD stands with us, even in Japan there were protests. And most important Allah m3ana, so keep writing and don't mind the small minded who love to hate.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

Laila, I've been trying to look this up on the web, but I can't find anything informative anywhere: why can't Gaza civilians flee? Is it that Israel won't let them, or that other countries won't take them, or both, or what? I also understand that some prefer to stay, but I imagine a good part of the people would rather go someplace safe. Why are they stuck?

I pray for you and your family, and all the innocent people in Gaza. I hope this carnage ends soon.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Karla: They can't flee. The borders are completed sealed- on one side by Egypt with American pressure, on other sides by Israel. Israel also has a complete land and sea blockade-having destroyed both the pier airport (a few years ago) and dominating the sea with its navy gunships.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Yes-I was there! But like I said I think b/c we came so late we really lost the "umph" of it all and spent most our time attempting to catch up to everyone!! I kept running into random people I knew from years ago, yet failed to meet the people I was trying desperately by phone to contact!! :)

7:54 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

some people argue that Hamas also has some involvement in people not being able to flee. Is there any truth to that?

8:02 AM  
Blogger Quidam said...

as salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh

Dear Laila

I have been following your blog for quite a while now. Jaazkillah khayran for sharing what must be very painful details. I make du`aa for the safety of your family and the people of Ghazza - indeed, we say that they are OUR family too.

You know your speech earlier where you said this:

"Imagine if you will a land teeming with refugees; a land of the dispossessed, closed off from the outside world; where smuggling is often the only source of subsistence; where families who are not disappeared-are on the brink of starvation; surrounded by an army and bombarded by that army.

The year was 1943. The place: the Warsaw Ghetto.

The description is hauntingly familiar. But it is now 2009.

And this is Gaza."


This is exactly what my 7-year-old keeps talking about. We have been reading many books on WW2 and the Holocaust and she cannot fathom how they could inflict such wickedness upon others after what they have been through.

Iman
imaan.net/makingmemories

8:52 AM  
Blogger Quidam said...

Nobody should have to accept attacks on its land and inhabitants without response.

Exactly Gregory... and this is why the Palestinians have been fighting.

8:55 AM  
Blogger ROULA said...

//english.aljazeera.net/focus/war_on_gaza/2009/01/200911115531127445.html
Just read it...
Oh God....
May our children learn from these terrible wars,that love,peace and humanity are the most important values in life!

11:03 AM  
Blogger B M said...

Leila, I am a secular Jew living in Israel. When this war started, I was against it, thinking Israel is guilty because of the economic blockade to which Hamas' rockets were a response.

Then I read the Hamas Charter and understood what Hamas stand for. The people of Gaza voted in a party whose official platform cites "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as truth, and blames Jews for everything. This is pure racist poison:

http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm

So now I believe there is no choice but for Hamas to be beaten, and Israel is the only one who can do it. Many Palestinians appear to agree with me.

I do not justify how Israel was created. In 47-49 there was a war to the end between two desperate peoples and the Jews won it. They did not behave well but they could have been worse. I support any humane solution to the conflict in Israel/Palestine, including the one-state solution with full return or compensation for Palestinian refugees.

But a party like Hamas has no part in any such future, and the people of Gaza voted them in. I understand that Israel can be blamed for driving the Palestinians to extremism, but that is the past, and it does not affect that facts as they are now. How would you feel if Israel voted in a government whose platform was to expel or kill all Arabs between the Mediterranean and the Jordan? Would a blockade on such a government be justified?

I would say however that Israel has the balance wrong between protecting its soldiers from Hamas, and protecting the people of Gaza from everyone. This I cannot justify. But I also cannot judge a human being who is unwilling to risk his life to protect that of someone else, and I do not know how I would behave in the same situation. (I have never been in the army.)

Let me end by saying I hope this war ends soon, and that all human suffering is minimized. I would like to remind you that half a million people in the south of Israel are also suffering, although of course nothing like the hell of Gaza. And finally, however you feel about this comment, I hope you will publish it to show the other side's opinion.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Dragonfly said...

Israel says "be patient, we have almost reached our goals".

Be patient? The audacity!
Oh yes, be patient. Let us continue killing civilians, let us continue to destroy homes, businesses, schools, mosques, infra structure.

Be patient while we rain chemicals all over your city and burn it's population alive "oops civilians again' we'll investigate.

Be patient while we rampage through your city, ignore the rules of war and muster families, civilians into 'safe' houses (declared by us) then fire upon the said safe houses. "oops' we'll investigate that.

Be patient while we fire at aid workers, hospitals, refugees, ambulances. "Oooops' we'll investigate that too.

Be patient while we blatantly ignore every rule and law of engagement/war, oh but we are 'investigating'. It's unfortunate the incidents warranting investigation are happening far more frequently and rapidly than any 'findings' of our investigations. Oh dear, some of our treasured sons/soldiers seem to be a little over zealous, it's the bloodlust. We're so proud of them, be patient with them.

Be patient while we don't allow the press into Gaza, and continue to defend our actions in war and the atrocities leading up to it.

Be patient, you know when there's another 'truce' things will go back to normal (for us). But not for you. We will still control you, occupy you, control the borders, ensure that supplies that we well allow you to have will remain just under the basic necessities.

Be patient. It is up to us what we 'allow' for you. Be patient, if we repeat the words, hamas, terrorist, defend, and mention the bombs hitting Israel enough people will believe that what we are doing is all in the name of self defense. Oooops who leaked that stuff about how we planned this before the truce ended. Oooops who leaked that information about the gas fields off the Gaza coast. Be patient we're almost done.

12:12 PM  
Blogger The said...

Hi Laila -

I have been reading your blog for sometime now (way before the Gaza war). I am Israeli and it's good for me to understand and get a perspective of my neighbors’ thoughts and experiences. I also enjoy reading your blog as I too am a mother of a boy and a girl around Yousuf and Noors age. :-)

Regardless of where you and I stand politically (and I know we have very different views) - I wish there is one thing we can do together, and that is to teach our children not to hate. I remember reading in your blog a while ago...you were at the Gaza border and wrote that Yousuf smiled at the Israeli solider and you (or was it your father) told him 'not to smile at the enemy'. I can understand why you feel this way, but there must be a way to teach our children differently - it's the only future we have.

The past few weeks have been a nightmare for us (as it has been in Gaza) - sirens going off all the time, running to the bomb shelters, no school, the kids crying and scared all the time (and me trying to be brave), the kids wetting their beds at night.....

Yesterday I was reading on the internet and there was a picture of a beautiful boy from Gaza, he looked to be about 8 years old, and he was dead. My daughter, who is 6, looked at the picture and asked me if he is dead. I said 'yes'. She said to me 'is he Arab'? I said 'yes'. She said to me 'so he deserves it!'

I was shocked that my own daughter would talk this way. I have raised my children to love and respect all races and religions, and as bad as things get, I have never said a bad word about Arabs/Muslims. I work with many Arabs/Muslims - they are my friends, we go to each other weddings, we have fun together. When I talk about the Gaza war with my kids, I only say ‘Hamas’.

I asked my daughter ‘why do you say he deserves it?! Look at him. Did he do anything wrong?’ And she looked, and said ‘no, but maybe his mommy and daddy did’. So I asked her ‘if I or daddy do something wrong, should you be punished for it?’ And she thought for a minute and said ‘no…’ and she went to bed.

This morning my daughter came to me and said ‘mommy, when I was lying in bed last night I thought about that dead boy…and he didn’t deserve it….. Maybe we could have been friends.’ I got tears in my eyes.

Anyways dear Laila, there has to be a way for our children to learn another way of life. It’s VERY overwhelming to think about because there are SO many very very very tough issues to be dealt with, but I am thinking that we have to stop looking only at the past, and stop looking for revenge, and make the lives of our children better.

شالوم / שלום / Shalom

Lynne :)

12:15 PM  
Blogger Smiley said...

Are the people of Gaza getting the humaniterian aid?


A number of reports from the Strip paint a picture of very difficult humanitarian conditions, not least because of Hamas itself. The suspicion is that the group's operatives have seized control of any supplies passing through the crossings – including those sent by Israel and international organizations.

One such incident was recorded Monday, when a convoy of trucks carrying supplies through the Kerem Shalom crossing was opened fire upon and seized by Hamas gunmen. Similar incidents occurred with trucks carrying fuel.
In other cases, civilians are simply used as cannon fodder or human shields. Reports out of Gaza say residents who attempted to flee their homes in the northern area of the Strip were forced to go back at gunpoint, by Hamas men.
The organization is presumably interested in increasing civilian casualties in order to give rise to international pressure against Israel. Arab media reported that in an IDF strike on a UN school 30 civilians were killed, but there is no legitimate way to prove gunmen were among those killed as Hamas tends to bury these bodies quickly, thus eliminating evidence in Israel's favor.
Other civilian complaints state that Hamas gunmen pull children along with them "by the ears" from place to place, fearing that if they don't have a child with them they will be fair game to the IDF. Others hide in civilian homes and stairwells, UNRWA ambulances, and mosques.
In other reported cases Hamas gunmen hold civilians hostage in alleyways in order to provide themselves with a living barricade to ward off IDF forces. Reports somewhat more difficult to verify say the group's men shot Fatah operatives in the feet to make sure the latter would not attempt a coup.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Laila
I know you're really busy, but might you have a way for me to contact Heba Zayyan (blog 'Contemplating from Gaza')? I think you know her - I've tried to email her but have not received a reply. I'm very worried about her. She and I wrote an academic article together recently about blogging in Palestine. Sorry to trouble you with this. Keep up the good work. You must be exhausted!

all best
Cindy

12:27 PM  
Blogger nindee said...

Dear The, you are the friendliest Israeli i've met today...this one fellow told me that "three less terrorists in the world" when he saw a picture of three gazan toddlers.

I live in Indonesia. And my 5 years old boy asked me, "why those children are bleeding?"
I told him, "because the bad guys are droping the bombs and firing the bullets"
I know we should teach our children how to love and not to hate. But how can we explain the massacre in Gaza right now?
But thank you for sharing your thoughts. I sincerely think that we need more people like you to end this war.

Dear Laila, i watched an interview on Aljazeera. Is Moussa El Haddad your father, Yousuf's grandfather?
I'm glad he's okay...
Please tell him and your mom that we'll always pray for them and everyone in Gaza.

Be strong.

1:46 PM  
Blogger littlehorn said...

I urge people not to mind Smiley's trash. He posted a forgery the other day and tried to sell us a lie.

B M:
Then I read the Hamas Charter and understood what Hamas stand for. The people of Gaza voted in a party whose official platform cites "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as truth, and blames Jews for everything. This is pure racist poison.
This is true, it is racist. I forward you to this piece by Tony Karon. Here's a passage that regards the point you're raising:
Nor was the crisis there created by the militancy of Hamas; instead, it’s the final bloody chapter in the failed Bush Administration-Israeli strategy to overthrow Hamas. The alternative to war, ignored by Israel but patently obvious, is simple: It will have to negotiate with Hamas. (And spare me the “but Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist” argument: No Palestinian leader would, if offered the chance to reverse history, allow Israel to have come into existence, for the simple reason that Israel’s emergence was the Palestinian Nakbah, the catastrophe that dispossessed them and made them refugees. Israel started talking to the PLO long before its charter was revised to allow for recognizing Israel; its leaders realized that Israel could not be militarily defeated. Many in Hamas have come to the same conclusion; Efraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad, argues that Hamas is moving towards acceptance of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders. The Americans are simply going to have to let go of the idea that they’re going to negotiate with a Palestinian leadership that answers to them, as Mahmoud Abbas does, rather than one that answers to the Palestinian public.)

Another point must be made regarding the racist charter: it was made a long time ago; Israel had a hand in the creation of Hamas, so it did not mind the charter then; Israel's policies themselves, and the Zionist ideology, is "racist" as well; Israel kills a lot more Palestinians than otherwise, so who should worry about being exterminated ?

And finally, Hamas has evolved into a more conciliatory position. For proof of this claim, I urge you to look at the graphs of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Relations regarding the number of rockets and mortars launched; you will see that Hamas had made real efforts to observe the cease-fire (1 rocket launched in october). News agencies also reported of members of the Al-Aqsa Brigage being incarcerated by Hamas, because they violated the cease-fire.

We also know, as some have alluded to in this thread, that Hamas has proposed recognition of Israel, in return for it to return to the pre-1967 borders, and of course the end of the blockade, settlements, etc.

In conclusion, as much as I take a shit on that charter, all the things I mentioned above lead me to think that Hamas has become a lot more reasonable over the years, and Israel could very well negociate with them.

2:41 PM  
Blogger The said...

Hi Nindee -

Thanks for your reply. You wrote "I know we should teach our children how to love and not to hate. But how can we explain the massacre in Gaza right now?"

You are 100% correct; it’s really really really (!!) hard, which is why I wrote before that it's VERY overwhelming to even think about.

I guess it's the same way my kids ask me about those killed here in Israel, either from rockets, or suicide bombers (don't forget that recently we had the second-antifada and something like 1500 Israelis were killed, lots of them kids...). And now with the increase in rockets from Gaza, my kids are asking me why someone wants them dead (my 4 year old especially, he is obsessed with death, and asks so many questions... :( So I tell them there are good people in the world and bad people in the world, but in the end the good people will win...

I really don’t think any of us want this. Life would be so much easier for all if we lived in peace. (And please don’t start the “blame game” right now, which will get us nowhere.)

I am not going to apologize for being a proud Israeli – I love my country and there is nowhere else in the world I would raise my children. And yes, I am very well aware as to what is going on in Gaza and the Arab world. I read about 10 Arab newpapers daily, I follow quite a few Arab blogs (like this one :), etc. There is a LOT of anger on BOTH sides, and it’s justified. But the bottom line is, not all Palestinian Arabs are bad, and not all Jewish Israelis are bad... And our kids need to understand that. I guess I just feel like we have been fighting since the beginning of time and it has gotten us nowhere, so why not try something else? At the end of the day, no one is going anywhere. Both the Palestinian and the Israelis are here to stay.

Need to run! “Code Red” siren going off....rocket in on the way. Gotta get to the bomb shelter. :(

شالوم / שלום / Shalom

Lynne

2:46 PM  
Blogger littlehorn said...

And B M, just to drive the point further home, allow me to remind everyone that the right-wing conservative Wall Street Journal has published an article titled "Israel is Committing War Crimes"

This is right-wing American media. Will you accuse them of being anti-Semites too ? The same guys who have been pushing the war in Iraq ? Get serious.

Israel is wrong. Hamas was firing almost no rockets until Israel attacked them on november 4th. There was peace and security, and Israel broke it. That doesn't justify the rockets Hamas then fired. But if I killed a few members of Hamas, after having kept the fascist blockade on Gaza for months, by God I would expect those rockets. And Israel expected them too and got the pretext they needed to launch the war.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Dragonfly said...

If only the Gazans had such sirens and bomb shelters . . . .

2:54 PM  
Blogger littlehorn said...

But the bottom line is, not all Palestinian Arabs are bad, and not all Jewish Israelis are bad...
That's not the right bottom line. I appreciate your kindness, but this is not enough.

The bottom line should be that however bad things are, they can be improved.

Everybody who's pro-Israeli mentions the Hamas charter. The hidden meaning is this: Arabs cannot be good guys.

To say that some Arabs are, as if by accident, does nothing to counter the racist assumptions, on either side.

Arabs are neither fundamentally good, nor fundamentally bad, and the same is true of Jews; that is because they are humans before everything else.

If you treat someone with love and care, he will most probably also treat you kindly.

Again, that's what the bottom line should be.

Israel has the power and the money. What does it do with it, except build weapons, plan for war, launch offensives.

There is a potential for goodness, and it is wasted by racist Zionists. And Zionism is racist however you look at it. Judaism was not always beholden to this ideology, and it's still not completely even to this day.

There was a time when Zionism was very marginal, and it was very heavily criticized. Zionism is a nationalist ideology, and it must be questioned again and again.

So no, not all Jews are bad, not all Palestinians are bad. But that doesn't get us anywhere.

"Zionism is wrong, racism is wrong." That will produce results. Cooperation, not coercion. Freedom, not blockades. Equality, not unequal rights.

3:03 PM  
Blogger amin said...

Dear Laila
i have sent my questions to your gmail.
I'm still waiting for your answers...
thank you.

Bests,
Amin

3:26 PM  
Blogger hasan said...

Ya Ali

4:09 PM  
Blogger The said...

Littlehorn -

Regarding your reply, what does zionism have to do with racism? This is something that I often find as mis-understood.

Zionism is simply the desire to be Jewish in a Jewish homeland (Israel).

Palestinians have a desire to be Arab in an Arab homeland (Palestine). Is this racism?

You also write "Everybody who's pro-Israeli mentions the Hamas charter. The hidden meaning is this: Arabs cannot be good guys."

I have to disagree with that. I know many many pro-Israelis and I have never once heard one person say that 'Arabs cannot be good guys'. In addition, most Israelis (as well as most of the world, including the Arab world) do not view Hamas as being representive of the majority of Palestinian people (even in Gaza).

Lastly, you write "however bad things are, they can be improved." Very nicely put. :)

شالوم / שלום / Shalom

Lynne

4:09 PM  
Blogger Gregory said...

All of your opinions, starting first and foremost with the "palestinian" mother who spends all her time abroad chartering repetitive and racist protests, do NOT matter! Israel is a free and independent nation, capable of crushing each and every islamo-fascist regime that is within a "stone throw" of its borders, and beyond 1 (Baruch Hashem!)

Cast Lead is a great and justified action of self defense. The reason why you, the detractors of Zion and Zionism, are so mad is not because you really believe all of the lies people like Laila spread. You all know how the media doctors tapes and accepts the shoddy reporting done by freelance arab reporters. You know that Hamas uses civilians as a way to help justify its rhetoric and revolutionary actions. You know that 8,000 plus rockets in eight years is an abomination that any NORMAL society would have long since fired back upon.

Believe whatever you want, your songs and chants and rallies waste your energy, energy we are spending crushing the forces of evil.

Am Israel Chai!

5:11 PM  
Blogger Dragonfly said...

I would be pro Israel if the situation was reversed - but it isn't. I would be pro Israel if the holocaust was happening today - but it isn't. I am neither Jewish nor Muslim. I would speak out as loudly and passionately for those in Israel as I do for those in Gaza . . . if the situation were reversed - but it isn't.

Laila your family in Gaza, their friends and neighbors are all in my thoughts each and every day. In everything I do I think how fortunate I am to be able to. I cannot reconcile in my mind that any human being, that in any way shape or form is responsible, can justify what is happening in Gaza.

5:49 PM  
Blogger ROULA said...

Gregory....΄πλάκα κάνεις έτσι?

6:19 PM  
Blogger chris said...

more war crimes by israel - i cant believe us British were stupid enough to give them Palenstine, and a nuclear bomb. Wecome to world war 3 or as the zionists would call it - end game. I wonder if they know that most ppl in the UK would fight AGAINST them, on behalf of those they mistreat.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

You people read too much science fiction stories about jews and zionists.

So far when the fundemental muslims are not a factor in your countries, you will rage against Israel and our deeds. Just wait a few years and watch for yourself as your friendly arabs will do the same to you as they do here.

Their "harakiri" religion is leading only to death of everyone, till the last standing man will be arab.

Yes, not all arabs are terorrists, however how is it that the majority of terrorists is arabs?
Why there was not a single bombing in Germany by jews? But arabs did blast in NY, Madrid, London...

Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizbollah and all of those death organizations are made of the same material. Give them few years and you'll watch it yourself.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Growing up in Israel, I was never once taught that all Arabs/Muslims are bad. But we need to protect ourselves. If we wanted to "murder" all the people in Gaza, believe me, we could, and we would-we certainly have the weapons for it.

Instead, we drop leaflets warning to the people where we will target the Hamas, so the innocents can flee. When did Hezbollah and Hamas ever do that for us? NEVER, because all they want to do is kill, murder, maim.

If the people in Gaza stood up against Hamas, and told the Israelis where the terrorists are hiding, and turn them in, Israel would once again open the borders.

They have to keep the borders closed now so that more terrorist don't infiltrate Israel.

I do pray for all the innocent victims on both sides though...

9:02 PM  
Blogger dancewater said...

I stand with you.

The idea that dropping leaflets is something other than a terror tactic is laughable.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Roula said...

I thing that everyone has the right to belive in God...But in my oppinion is at least rediculus to spread the death because someone believes that he dies like a hero and seventy something vergins are waiting for him in paradise.
I'm convinced that this is a very big part of the problem....
The religion at first place,they born and growing up in war...
lots of words and no effect...
In my oppinion always...and from a country who been occupied for 400 years from Turkish and 5 from Germans!
And this is Greece.
Whatever we say it's terrible to see all the time on Tv news children wounded,died,crying....
We can;t stand it anymore....

9:41 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

This is a terrible situation for both sides. But it is unacceptable for Hamas to keep firing rockets on Israel, for suicide bombers to keep going in and murdering. Israel must protect herself. And Israel will stop when it will finish its mission-Again-why do you think they let humanitarian aid into Gaza if all they want to do is kill everyone? Why don't they just wipe out every Arab in the area? Because that is not their goal. They just want the rockets to stop.

And the leaflets are NOT a terror tactic. The fact that people read the warnings yet choose to stay and risk their lives is their own choice. There are some times when living by principle, and saying I will stay in my house just to show my solidarity even though I KNOW Israel will bomb here soon because they said so...it's foolish.

Laila-I'm truly curious about this-I don't know the answer: Why aren't all the Arab countries around Israel willing to take in all the poor refugees? I know the borders are closed now...but they were not always closed. People in Gaza were able to go in and out of Israel freely. But if life was so bad there, have them go to Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria...they have many choices. Your parents are living in Gaza. If life there is so bad and always has been, if everyone is so poor-why didn't you bring your parents here to live with you? Why would you take your children to such a horrible and bad place? Just curious.

10:01 PM  
Blogger littlehorn said...

Regarding your reply, what does zionism have to do with racism? This is something that I often find as mis-understood.

Zionism is simply the desire to be Jewish in a Jewish homeland (Israel).

Palestinians have a desire to be Arab in an Arab homeland (Palestine). Is this racism?


The Zionists are racists, because they implement racist laws that favor Jews over non-Jews. That is, they treat non-Jews as inferior to Jews. If I were to move there, in Israel, I would have lesser rights than Jews. That's racist.

Also, I obviously oppose an "Arab homeland" as much as I oppose Zionist racism. My view is there can only be one state with equal rights for all. Racist laws lead to violence.

Zionism stole lands from Palestinians, whether you like it or not. That was their property. Zionists are thiefs. I don't want Jews to go away from Israel or Palestine. I want them to have as much right to say as Arabs. I want a situation where there's no difference between Jews and Arabs. Because they are humans before everything else, before their nationality.

Lots of Jews opposed Zionism because it was ethno-centric and Elmer Berger knew it was wrong.

10:03 PM  
Blogger littlehorn said...

Correction:
"- as much a right to stay as Arabs."

And I would add: no more, no less.

But it is unacceptable for Hamas to keep firing rockets on Israel, for suicide bombers to keep going in and murdering. Israel must protect herself.
This is a lie. There has been no suicide bombing due to Hamas for a long time. Hamas respected the cease-fire until Israel attacked them on november 4th. Remove your blinkers and learn the truth from the Wall Street Journal itself.

May I suggest that if the choice is between not killing anyone and killing bad guys and innocent people, you should go for the first option ? If you have a choice not to engage in evil deeds, will you not act as an honorable person ?

Cast Lead is a great and justified action of self defense. The reason why you, the detractors of Zion and Zionism, are so mad is not because you really believe all of the lies people like Laila spread.
This is a lie that was debunked by the Wall Street Journal, Jon Stewart, Philip Weiss, Diane Goldstein, Arthur Silber, etc.

If I may be a little agressive here, I don't give a fuck whom you got on the other side of the fence. Good is good, evil is evil. Zionism is a racist nationalist ideology and it must end. You are a fascist, an enemy to all the friends of freedom everywhere on the planet. I pray that your ideology goes down soon, and people live freely and happily at long last.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Παραπολιτική said...

Dear Laila ,

I am the adiministator of one of the most popular greek blogs .

I would like to congratulate you about your courage to survive in these conditions...

I believe that the Palestinians who live away from Gaza and West Bank can really help to solve this major problem that costs hundreds of victims....

Greek people support Palestine...

All the best ,

Parapolitikos

parapolitiki.blogspot.com

10:20 PM  
Blogger littlehorn said...

I would like to congratulate you about your courage to survive in these conditions...
Woups. There's a misunderstanding.

Laila is not in Gaza right now. Her father is.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

She ran away from the divine life of Shahada

10:33 PM  
Blogger The said...

Littlehorn,

You write The Zionists are racists, because they implement racist laws that favor Jews over non-Jews. That is, they treat non-Jews as inferior to Jews. If I were to move there, in Israel, I would have lesser rights than Jews. That's racist.

That is absolutely NOT true. We have absolutely NO such laws in Israel.

From personal experience I can tell you that some of my closest co-workers are Arab (I work in hi-tech/computers), the shopping malls, restaurants, parks, clubs, etc. are full of Arabs and Jews together..... We don't even think about it, it's the way we live - nobody has more or less rights in Israel.

I have had to have 2 surgeries/operations in the past few years and my doctor/surgeon in Tel Aviv is Arab (not that I think about the fact that he is Arab, but he is). I put my life in his hands, and I owe my life to him.

Even a few years ago our "Miss Israel" who was sent to the "Miss World Pagent" was Arab. And an Arab singer will be representing Israel in this years Eurovision contest...

All of our food-packages, medicine labels, tv-show translations at the bottom of the screen, signs on the road, etc. are all in Hebrew and Arabic (and sometimes English) - this is by law.

Bottom line, we can all disagree on a LOT of things, but Arabs and Jews in Israel have the same rights, and this isn't something that can be disputed.

شالوم / שלום / Shalom

Lynne

10:35 PM  
Blogger littlehorn said...

That is absolutely NOT true. We have absolutely NO such laws in Israel.

From personal experience I can tell you that some of my closest co-workers are Arab (I work in hi-tech/computers), the shopping malls, restaurants, parks, clubs, etc. are full of Arabs and Jews together..... We don't even think about it, it's the way we live - nobody has more or less rights in Israel.

Go here please: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid_wall#Analogy

Here's a quote for all the others who are reading this blog:
The measure known as the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law,[15] passed by the Knesset on 31 July 2003, does not enable the acqusition of Israeli citizenship or residency by a Palestinian from the West Bank or Gaza Strip via marriage.[16] The law does allow children from such marriages to live in Israel until age 12, at which age the law requires them to emigrate.[17] This applies equally to a Palestinian spouse of any Israeli citizen, whether Arab or Jewish, but in practice more Israeli Arabs than Israeli Jews marry Palestinians. The law was originally enacted for one year and has been extended, with minor amendments on 21 July 2004, on 31 January 2005, on 27 July 2005 until 31 March 2006, until January, 2007, and until 31 July 2008.[18] Justification for the law has been the alleged mass immigration of West Bank Palestinians into Israel by way of marriage, many of such marriages having been alleged to be fictitious, bigamist or polygamist, in contravention of the law.

The law was upheld in May 2006, by the Supreme Court of Israel on a six to five vote. Israel's Chief Justice, Aharon Barak, sided with the minority on the bench, declaring: "This violation of rights is directed against Arab citizens of Israel. As a result, therefore, the law is a violation of the right of Arab citizens in Israel to equality."


You seem like a very nice and honorable person. I'm really moved to be able to speak with you. But by racist, I did not mean segregated, that is, Jews on the one side, and Arabs on the other, and no mixing. I meant that Zionism just favored Jews over non-Jews, through such devices as the law cited above. I'm not a specialist, but I know that Zionism is a nationalist, and therefore a racist ideology. That's the way it is.

Doesn't mean Israelis are doomed. I hope they will some day get back to the more humanist roots of pre-19th-century-Judaism (although even Judaism has undoubtedly some flaws, but I'll accept that over Zionism any time).

10:47 PM  
Blogger Παραπολιτική said...

I mean to survive away from her country...

To survive in a country which helps Israel to kill innocents in Gaza...

10:52 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Israel is a jewish state, jews have full rights over here.

France is a french state, french people have full rights there.

Israel is not an arabic state, they can not have all rights that jews have.

French is not an algerian state, they can not have all rights as french have.

What is the difference?

11:00 PM  
Blogger The said...

Littlehorn -

First off, Laila is going to love all of these posts on her blog. :-)

Regarding this law, I agree that it doesn't sound good, but you need to understand the full reasoning behind it - and there are two main reasons.

1)The majority of these marriages are not out of 'love' but as a way to get Israeli citizenship. (By the way, it effects Jews too.)

As much as you may hate Israel, ANYONE and EVERYONE with Israeli citizenship gets: socialized medicine (very good, free medical care for all), social-security payments, child allowances (for each child you have, you get money every month from the government automatically into your bank account), unemployment benefits, pension benefits, etc. It doesn't matter if you are Jewish, Arab, Christian, or a green alien from Mars - if you have Israeli citizenship you get these benefits.

2) The second, and main reason for this law is security concerns. The law was actually passed following a horrible terror attack in Haifa in 2002 that killed 15 people, committed by a suicide bomber who received Israeli citizenship following one of these "marriages".

It was then found out that many others 'abuse' their Israeli citizenship and that dozens of suicide bombings and terrorist activites inside Israel came from terrorists who were originally from the West Bank and Gaza - thus the real reason for their so-called "marriages".

The law is temporary until the situation calms down, and I believe that the law will soon be removed as thankfully suicide bombings and other terrorist activities in Israel has been minimal the past year.

The law was never meant to hurt honest people who get married out of love.... but like all things in this horrible conflict, the innocent also end up suffering and paying the price (as we have all seen on both sides).

شالوم / שלום / Shalom

Lynne

PS. Littlehorn - where are you from?

11:18 PM  
Blogger Gregory said...

It's so funny that the Greeks, a society that has waged war against secular Muslims in Turkey for hundreds of years......sides with religious fundamentalists who want to do the same thing in Israel as Turkey is trying to do in Cyprus. Then I talked to a few friends of mine that are from Greece. They informed me that the Greek Orthodox church and much of Greek society has anti-Semitic influences the likes that have not been seen since the CRUSADES.

So enjoy your Ouza and beers for now.....Turkey grows more fundamentalist in their Islamic expression by the day. It won't be long until you have some terrorist group lobbing missiles at your cathedrals. Just don't come crying to us for support, we're busy keeping OUR land SAFE from terrorists!

12:10 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

JohnB,

The UN security council decided in 29 Nov. 1947 to establish 2 NEW states, arabic and jewish, on a area that was not a independent country for thousands of years. The jewish people accepted the "verdict" (although some of them thought it was not fair the arab country was bigger). The arabs, well, as a whole started murderous attacks the very next morning. Nonetheless, The Jewish state was declared 6 month later (may 1948) only on the land the UN declared as belonging to the jewish state. At the same time, 5 arab armies came to fight the new state of ISRAEL (Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq). Thank the lord, Israel won. During these battles Israel conquered areas previously designed by the UN to be in the arab state, but it did not conquer it from the arab state because it was never established - they were conquered from Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Mind you, that state was never established until 1993, because Jordan and Egypt Liked the remaining areas (called today west bank and Gaza strip) so well they did not allow them to be independent. only after 1988 when Jordan officially removed their claim on the west bank did the Palestinians start to talk with Israel about a independent state and only by a agreement with Israel did they ever establish it.

And one more thing: don't sell us the bullshit that the world is concerned over the amount of dead. If so, why hasn't the world cried over the 70,000 killed in Sri-Lanka war in the last couple of years? I'll tell you why. Because It's not sexy enough when Muslims kill Muslims. The World only cares when Jews are involved.

(and by no means does Israel's civilians not care about the killings. Of course we care (and protest to our government). It's just when Hamas Shoots from neighborhoods, hides rockets (which were never handed to them by the Americans, mind you, but smuggled into Gaza) in Mosques and uses children as human shields, The IDF has little choice)).

Even one death of a civilian should not occur by saying this is a genocide is a pure racist junk.
1. Palestinians are not a race.
2. Last time I check Israel neither said or tried to kill all Palestinians (5000 dead or injured out of 1.5 million in gaza alone is barely a thousandth of a percent and that not baring in mind that this is the most dense area on earth, making such a low hit-toll pretty surgical, even if I don't like the word or it's context).

12:12 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

8 lines from the bottom, BY should be replaced by BUT

12:15 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Oh, and another thing:

The Passages from Israel to the Gaza Strip were closed after HAMAS and JIHAD terrorists blew themselves up, killing both Israelis and Palestinians (Even then, the passages were not hermetically closed - they were open for supplies once in a while, and Israel even released prisoners into Gaza in the last Id elAdcha). I don't believe that any state would have kept it's gates open when these things happen.

12:36 AM  
Blogger fxmonk said...

ARE THESE LAW RACIST OR NOT?
Citizens without Citizenship
The Israeli Law of Return grants automatic citizenship and financial benefits (oleh status) to any Jew looking to
immigrate to Israel, to her/his spouse, children, grandchildren, and their respective spouses.12 The right to
acquire Israeli nationality automatically and without preconditions, on the basis of the Right to Return,
wasnot merely granted to Jewish immigrants after the establishment of Israel, but was given retroactively to
Jews who had immigrated to Palestine or had been born there before the creation of the State. However,
Palestinian-Arab refugees who were expelled from their land and homes in 1948 are not granted the Right of
Return and not even entitled to residency or citizenship status. Indeed, even spouses of Arab citizens of
Israel can only gain citizenship of residency status thorough complicated and exhausting legal procedures.
Like other states, to be born in Israel is one of the ways of acquiring Israeli nationality, provided that one of
the parents is an Israeli citizen.13 Therefore, an Arab born in Israel who is not included under Nationality Law
and not granted the Right to Return and whose parents had not acquired Israeli nationality through residence
in Israel (i.e. belonging to an “unrecognized village” or denied status as an internally displaced person)
would also not get Israeli citizenship on the basis of being born in Israel. Yet, the Jewish child automatically
acquires Israeli nationality according to the Law of Return and is granted this nationality without other conditions.

1:39 AM  
Blogger fxmonk said...

Land Confiscation
There exists in Israel a multi-faceted framework of laws and military regulations which have granted the
State the legal authority to confiscate Palestinian land and property. In addition to legal manipulation, Arab
citizens of Israel are faced with a number of administrative practices to limit their use of the land, including
discriminatory national planning and zoning regulations, as well as forced evictions and housing
demolitions.
Absentee Property Law
In 1950 the Israeli government passed the Absentee Property Law which defined all those who were expelled,
fled or left the country in the first few years of the war (1948-1952) as “absentees” and their property as
“absentee property.”24 The lands and properties of the refugees were also confiscated, transferred to an ad
hoc custodian, and eventually used for the purposes of Jewish settlement. Those who remained within the
State, even those who became Israeli citizens, were classified as “present-absentees” and prevented from
reclaiming their lands and possessions.
Jewish National Fund Law
The Jewish National Fund Law of 1953 dissolves and re-organizes the JNF from a company in the UK to an
Israeli company, passing on its racist policies to the State. Under the said Law, the JNF was transferred to
Israel and all its assets situated in the area of Jurisdiction of the Government. Much can be said about the
racist policies of the JNF, but the story of the destroyed and uprooted Arab villages of Imwas, Yalu and Beit
Nuba for the erection of ‘Canada Park’ is an example that is indicative, not only of much of JNF activities
beyond the Green Line, but also of JNF activities inside Israel-proper.
Basic Law: Israel-Lands Law and Israel-Lands Administration Law
In 1960, these two laws were formulated on behalf of Israel government deeming that the land controlled
by the JNF would now be administered by a single authority, the Israel Land Administration (ILA).25
However, it was agreed that “the lands controlled by the ILA shall be administered according to the
principles of the JNF,” meaning that a Jew has a right to receive land controlled by the ILA, but a non-Jew
does not enjoy this right “unless the apartment or plot of land is located in the special 'zone of residence'
assigned to non-Jews.”26 The JNF effectively controls the ILA and dominates committees set up to vet
applicants to hundreds of rural communities. Given the JNF’s declared goal of “purchasing and developing
land as a national resource of the Jewish people, by the Jewish people, and for the Jewish people,” it forbids
the ILA from selling or leasing of the land to non-Jews.27 This arrangement has allowed it to discriminate
against Arab citizens on behalf of the Israeli government, denying them access in the form of leasing and
cultivation to 93% of the land.28
Although the Israeli Supreme Court itself has filed a petition that the policies of the JNF violate Israeli antidiscrimination
laws, the Israeli Knesset approved the renewal of the JNF Law in July 2007, in its preliminary
reading allowing the JNF to continue the practice of refusing to lease land to Arab citizens. Due to criticism
from Arab Members of Knesset a temporary settlement was reached where the JNF was prevented from
discriminating on grounds of ethnicity. However, every time land is sold to a non-Jew, the ILA will
compensate it with an equivalent amount of land therefore ensuring the total amount owned by Israeli-Jews
remains unchanged.29 This is indeed another instance of legal manipulation by the Israeli government

Israel: A Democracy for Jews Only
Israel purports to be an ethnic democratic state, but these terms are self-contradictory. Section 1a of the
Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom states that the purpose of the law is “to protect human dignity and
liberty, in order to establish… the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”31 However,
by establishing a hierarchy placing the interests of Jewish citizens above all others, the Israeli legal system
creates the basis for a pervasive system of legal and social discrimination against its Palestinian-Arab
citizenry.

1:41 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

I agree 100% with the idea that all good, law abiding people in Israel should have the same rights. I would love nothing more than to see people in Israel live in peace. I think the Arabs/Muslims are a warm, loving people, and the only difference between all of us is our religion (but we live in a world that has many many religions and people can live together peacefully.)

However, the situation in Gaza is such that Hamas is living among the good people, and therefore everyone there suffers. Because of the murderous acts of few, the rest of the Muslims get a bad name.

I mean, look at what happened in the US after 9/11-all Muslims in traditional dress were looked upon as terrorists, which is just so untrue and wrong.

If the people in Gaza would help Israel identify the Hamas terrorists, they would be able to put an end to the Israeli attacks. The Hamas operate within homes, mosques, and schools. They (Hamas) now have human sized dolls that they plant in houses with weapons, to lure Israelis in and have them shoot and kill.

When the people in Gaza will realize that Hamas is a terrorist group, then their lives will slowly improve.

1:55 AM  
Blogger g said...

If Palestinians are the aggressors, how come the land they r supposed to live in gets smaller and smaller?

It is a sad thought that, if Palestinians where more powerful than the Jews, they would probably do the same. They might. The powerful have done so to the weaker throughout history. This is a sad fact indeed.

At this point, however, the wrong is being done to the Palestinians, there is no question about it. Excuses like "they are bombing us" are purely hypocritical, those who claim it are either ignorant of the facts, or simply propaganda promoters, no wonder we see them "arguing" in this blog. This conflict has a long history, it did NOT start because of these bombings.

As for us, Greeks, supporting the Palestinians, even though we have a history of fighting Muslims, it is because we support the oppressed rather than the oppressors. It is a matter of justice. If the Palestinians were the aggressors and wrong doers, they would find us against them. But this is presently not the case. As i said before: If they are the aggressors, how come they get squeezed more and more throughout their recent history?

2:59 AM  
Blogger adhocboy@mac.com said...

Laila,

It was good to drive. Teaching your children to have a voice and use it. That is what it is about.

Especially here. What good would freedom of speech be if we surrendered unto something as petty as the rain? Standing outside in Gaza is a death sentence these nights. Rain is but rain. (and I think god galvanizes...)

You are a good parent. If we all spent as much time protecting our children's souls as much as we protect their bodies... this would be a better world.

3:07 AM  
Blogger goda said...

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=QJaPZLNLBu8

thought you might want to see this.

3:50 AM  
Blogger fxmonk said...

watch Israeli Arabs talk about racism

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_XptPtlJAk&feature=related



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll1nX6mN0z8&feature=related


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb7h1_FbXc8&feature=related

4:10 AM  
Blogger fathima said...

hello laila and all readers,
please check http://www.demandastance.com/gaza/ -- it helps people get in touch with their MPs/Senators/Reps about opposing the siege. i strongly urge you to visit the site. it'll take you all of thirty seconds to get in contact with your politicians.
peace and love,
-f.

4:12 AM  
Blogger ChaiTime said...

Yonit
If life is so unbearable for Jews in South Israel, why don't they all just move to USA? I'm sure Bush and his fascist govt will take in more killers - but rush - you've only got a few more days before he leaves.

4:46 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Goda:
I watched your video, and it's a shame that some Israeli soldiers behave this way. It's sad, and I'm embarrassed for them. Soldiers are human, and make mistakes (just like soldiers in Iraq tortured prisoners but then got prosecuted for it here in the States.).

I don't justify it by any means! I see a lot of hatred on both sides at this point. I have a good family friend from Israel whose brother got murdered in a suicide bomb on a bus. He, for instance, sees only black and white, no middle. He hates all Arabs, and feels all Arabs/Muslims should be killed.

By no means do I feel the same way. But when people suffer, and when you see your family suffer, you are likely to do things you wouldn't normally do, and that goes both ways, for both sides. It's not excusable, but understandable.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Oh, Chai,-your sense of humor is so refreshing!

Many people do leave Israel. They leave because they feel unsafe, or because they think they will live better economically here in the US. I left because my parents moved here, and decided to stay because I don't want my son to serve in the IDF (among other reasons.).

But many stay despite the threats, for the same reasons the people in Gaza refuse to leave their homes despite warnings that their homes are about to be bombed. They are too proud, too principled.

I know several families who live in what your Palestinians call the illegal settlements. They live in danger every day-because they live among the terrorists. But they are so convinced that they need to stay in the land, that they will expose their young children to these Hamas or Hezbollah, or whoever those monsters are called, just because of their principles.

To me that's just wrong.

And I take it you hate Bush, huh? Do you hate all US presidents, since they all support Israel? I can't stand Bush...but that's a diff. topic all together.

Nice talking with you, Chai. In Hebrew your name means "alive..."

4:58 AM  
Blogger supergrover2 said...

Laila - I'm so sorry to hear that your parents are directly in the line of fire. I have been so distraught by the events in Gaza over the last few weeks but nothing up until your blog really hit home. I had wondered what it would be like if I knew someone who had to live in constant fear.
I'm going to share your blogs with friends, may Allah give you and your family peace and shelter to endure this human rights violation. i wonder if they are waiting for the inauguration or something - this has gone too far!

4:59 AM  
Blogger Isabela said...

Hi Laila,

It's so sad to see that some people don't realize the dimmensions of this massacre in Gaza. It's not about only this massacre, it's about something that are happening on the last 60 years. Maybe some of your readers need to read the book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Illan Pappé ( a jew born in Israel). Wake up people! Israel is killing innocent civilians for some many years! Or you think that Hammas, Fatah, and whatever are just crazy people that kill themselves to go to the paradise? (I DON'T AGREE WITH ANY TYPE OF TERRORISM, EVEN THE ONE COME FROM IDF, AND ISRAEL POLITICAL SYSTEM)

Best regards dear Laila.

Isabela.

5:05 AM  
OpenID ananosa said...

Hamas this Hamas that, whoever hear what some people are parroting would think palestinians and israelis had peace or were in love with eachother before Hamas rise to power.... and there had been no injustice no killings no land theft before Hamas...

what a bunch of bullocks... I am sick of the Hamas talk.

and if Hamas really was destroyed I bet you no peace will come out of it either. because this struggle had been going on for 60 years not when Hamas was elected.

STUPID logic is stupid,
Hamas simply say STFU to israel, it could be any other palestinian group that had this treatment.

peace out, I pray to your safety Laila and your family, I am sure you are sick of the futile politics talk thats going on here.

regards,

5:24 AM  
Blogger ChaiTime said...

Yonit
I am enjoying this exchange - especially your faltering arguments on Israel and IDF.

You support what Israel is doing to the children of Gaza - seem to be almost proud of the massacres - but yet do not want your son to be part of it. Seems a bit hypocritical to me.

Personally, I wouldn't want my kid to be part of any military organization especially one that commits genocide.

As for my relationship with Bush - we need Laila to start a whole new blog devoted to his demonical regime.

5:37 AM  
Blogger ChaiTime said...

Michael
The problem with your comment "Israel is not an arabic state, they can not have all rights that jews have" is that 20% of Israeli citizens are Arab. By 2050, this number will be 51%. What are you going to do - be a "democracy" that denies rights to the majority?

5:41 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Chai-
I support what the IDF is doing because I believe Israel has a right to protect itself. Am I happy that innocent men, women, and children are being killed? NO! I have nothing against Arabs/Muslims. I have a lot against Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

I support Israel as my country, but I would not want my son to serve-would not want him in the front lines. Here in the US I support the troops who go to Iraq-even though I have thought from the beginning that the war in Iraq was pointless, useless, and wrong.

The operation in Gaza is needed to stop the rockets from going into Israel. If I had the power, I would make it happen without the killing of innocents. But if I had to choose between my people being targeted by Hamas rockets or the IDF stopping it at all costs, I'd choose the latter.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Let me make this more interesting for everyone. I am a supporter of a one-state solution- one country, equal rights. however you want to call it-confederation or what, but not an occupation. this is the only viable, just, and sustainable solution in my book.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Laila...
I'm 100% with you. If there was a way to make everyone in Israel live together, in peace, with no borders, no chaos, and complete equality, I'd support it all the way. After all, there are many non-Jews in Israel other than Muslims, and they live in peace. My fear, however, is that extremists from both sides would put an end to this plan pretty quickly. But ideologically, I think it's a great plan. Jerusalem can be the captial city for everyone, Hevron and Bet-Lehem can be safe again, and Israelis and Arabs can live in peace and without fear.

I would like nothing more than to be able to have Muslim friends, to expose my son to Muslim cultures. You have so much to offer...

6:40 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

One state solution is a bad plan. Remembere the cases of Bosnia war? Kosovo?

That is what happening when there are lots of minorities in the country. Most of the world's countries have a major factor of people inside of them. Qatar is for qatarians, Britain is for british. The major factor of people have full rights for their country, the minorities do not have any rights for a country of their own in Britain (muslims can not demand a state of their own in Manchester for example).
Since most of the countries do not divide its population between two (or more) types of races, why Israel should?
It will only lead us to civil war and death in the future. Just watch what happens in Sudan, happened in Turkey-Armenia, Rwanda.
And there are more of those.

The only solution is two states solution in which each race will get his own state and full normalization with the arab world.
Israel doesn't want to fight on its survival till the end of times.


PS

Yonit, what you wrote about why you left Israel is the most hypocratic thing to write here. You support the army and Israel and our citizens, but you fled away since you don't want your son to go to the IDF.
Hypocricy of the highest level is that what you do. You pave your words with deaths of our citizens and soldiers while you ran away like a coward.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Smiley said...

THERE ARE three questions concerning the One State idea: (1) Is it at all possible? (2) If it is possible - is it good? (3) Will it bring a just peace?
The two-state solution will always be the only option because the premise of "one state" where Christians, Muslims and Jews can live side-by-side and with equality, is fundamentally flawed.
It is a fallacy that can never be achieved not just because Israelis won't support it. The Arab and Islamic World don't practice it. Exactly where do Jews and Christians live in the Islamic World today side-by-side with equality? We don't even live side-by-side with equality in the Palestinian Diaspora.
While there are those who advocate a one-state solution as a means to destroy Israel, they are also aided by naive idealists. But, in a world where ethnically mixed states such as Yugoslavia have broken down in bloodshed, and Muslim states such as Saudi Arabia claim Muslim Arab exclusivity, why does the only Jewish state have to be the test case for a far-fetched utopian experiment? Why is Jewish self-determination in a state of their own illegitimate?
In the entire world there is no example of two different nations deciding of their own free will to live together in one state. There is no example - except Switzerland - of a bi-national or multi-national state really functioning. (And the example of Switzerland, which has grown for centuries in a unique process, is the proverbial exception that proves the rule.)
To hope that after 120 years of conflict, into which a fifth generation has already been born, there could be a transition from total war to total peace in a joint state, giving up all aspiration to independence - that is a complete illusion.
At its most basic level, the one-state solution denies the right of Jews to self-determination in their historical homeland and calls into question the very legitimacy of Israel as a state.
A bi-national state would have the same consequence as the "right of return" - the negation of Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinians, by virtue of a higher birthrate, would turn Jews into a minority before voting in favor of another Muslim Arab state in place of Israel.
There are also some Palestinians who delude themselves into thinking that if they talk about One State, it will frighten the Israelis so much that they will agree to the establishment of the Palestinian state next to Israel. But the result of this Machiavellian thinking is quite the opposite: it frightens the Israelis and pushes them into the arms of the Right. It arouses the fearful dog of ethnic cleansing, which is sleeping in the corner. That dog must not be forgotten for a moment.
The two-state solution may be struggling to breathe, but it is not dead. Israelis will one day recognize the futility of their hardliner policies and recognize the inevitability of a two-state solution based on justice and fairness.
But the burden is on Palestinians, who must embrace partner hope with reason. They must defeat the extremists who are among them who believe continued conflict is better than the “shame” of compromise
The majority of the Palestinian people, too, want a state of their own. It is needed to satisfy their most basic aspirations, to restore their national pride, to heal their trauma. Even the chiefs of Hamas, with whom we have talked, want it. Anyone who thinks otherwise is laboring under an illusion. There are Palestinians who talk about One State, but for most of those, it is just a code-word for the dismantling of the State of Israel. They, too, know that it is utopian.

The one-state solution is therefore simply a thinly veiled strategy for destroying the State of Israel and questioning its right to exist. As have written in the New York Sun "The "one state" solution is a euphemism for the destruction of the Jewish state - a trope of the most extreme rejectionist elements within the Palestinian movement and their allies in Syria and Iran. Terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah want to create an Islamic Republic in place of Israel.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Leyla Benkirane said...

karla

they cant flee Because all the Gates are Locked and israel has the keys . One gate is on the Egyptian border that has been locked with pressure from israel and the US . even food and medicine can not enter the gate that s why many arabs have demonstrated in front of Egyptian embassies in the world. Gaza is a real ghetto. and israel controls the air , the land , and the sea . i wonder why israel keeps throwing fliers asking people to flee , flee where ?
Iraqis could flee to syria , jordan etc.. but Palestinians are stuck in Gaza .

9:24 AM  
Blogger Leyla Benkirane said...

yonit

Because the creation of Israel Israeli terrorist groups terrorized the locals and the british , they were on wanted lists , their names were the Hagannah , the Lehi , the stern gang , the Gush emunim they killed maimed , blown places and spilled blood , later they formed the IDF . they justified their terror to create a home and they said they had every right to defend their people .

hamas has every right to defend its people , the uN chater gives it a right to defend its people .
Israel has destroyed the infrastructure , and killed hundreds of children maimed thousands and got thousands to be amputated . Im sure if you have seen the large number of kids dead and bleeding you will not justiy israel war crimes .

9:28 AM  
Blogger ima said...

leyla,

The Hagana were not on British terrorist's list.

The Jewish terror organization (Gush Emunim Underground ) operated in Israel 25 years ago is an illegal organization. Its members were put in jail for many years: Three of the men were sentenced to life in prison for the Islamic College attack. Controversially.
This terror organization no longer exists. There is no terror organization operating against Palestinians while there are too many terrorists operating against Israelis Whereas your terrorists are heroes we put ours in jail.

Once you accept an Israeli state beside you, we will be able to move forward to a realistic solution.

Tragically, Hamas chose violence, rejecting the chance to develop Gazan society and opting instead to attack ours. Missiles from Gaza have blighted the lives of Israeli civilians since 2001. The withdrawal should have brought calm, but 5,000 missiles and mortars have since rained down on Israel


Hamas is committed to Islamism at its bloodiest, and Israel is not its only target. In June 2007 Hamas turned its weapons on its brethren, chasing the Palestinian Authority from Gaza. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 161 people died during the bloody coup, including 41 civilians. Brutality has characterised Hamas's rule. In November 2007, seven demonstrators were killed, as Hamas police fired into an unarmed Fatah rally commemorating the death of Yasser Arafat. Last summer, Hamas killed 11 Fatah members as 200 more fled to Israel for safety.
Hamas has betrayed the Palestinian cause. The Palestinian national movement, previously based on secular, nationalist aspirations has been hijacked by religiously inspired lunacy. Every missile fired at Israel, every Fatah rival shot dead, has steered the Palestinians further from statehood, and closer to brutal theocracy and interminable conflict.
As the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has pointed out, the loss of life in Gaza was "avoidable". Without the destructive actions of Hamas there would have been no reaction from Israel.
Cries of "disproportionate" fill the airwaves, based largely on the difference in death tolls. Yet Hamas's disregard for the lives of civilians is the key to the difference. Israel provides shelters underneath its communities to protect its citizens. Hamas places missiles in shelters underneath civilians.
Hamas fires missiles with the express intent of murdering civilians. Israeli intent is directed solely at Hamas combatants
For too long, Hamas has held progress to ransom, choosing war over peace, destruction over development. Israel's objective is to take the initiative away from Hamas. The pragmatic moderates of all sides need a new reality from which to find a diplomatic solution. Unless we weaken Hamas, the moderates cannot succeed. The international community, Israel and the pragmatic leadership of the Arab world must stand up to the extremism that threatens us all. We must start the New Year in the spirit of Churchill. If we are divided, we all stand to lose; "If we are together nothing is impossible."
As hallucinatory as it might sounds few decades ago. the Arab moderate world and Israel stand together in the war against Hamas.

10:32 AM  
Blogger The said...

Laila -

Can you elaborate on a "one state solution"? That isn't something I hear much about.

Thanks!

شالوم / שלום / Shalom

11:15 AM  
Blogger B M said...

Laila,

I am very interested that you support the one-state solution. From a straightforward human rights perspective, it is the best solution by far. Let's make this place Switzerland (but warmer!)

One issue that would need resolution is property. Would you support removing Jews from areas and houses that were Palestinian-owned before 1947, and compensating them? Or would you support granting the Palestinians compensation to build homes elsewhere within the new Israstine? Could this realistically be done on a case-by-case basis?

Another issue is the structure of the economy. When discussing this idea with Palestinians, many expressed a fear that because, on average, the Jews are much wealthier and have stronger professional skill sets, many Palestinians will end up taking the lower-end jobs in the economy, and this will breed racial resentment as a result. Perhaps this is politically incorrect, but I'm afraid it does appear to reflect reality in the statistics. Affirmative action is an option of course, but could it be enough to make up for the huge gap between the peoples?

Of course, the main problem is that so many people in the region are not ready for it, and will be willing to act violently to oppose it. This goes as much for Jewish as for Palestinian extremists. We'll be back to the situation in 1947, with civil war, and each population will end up being dragged behind its most extreme elements. That's what humans do.

For these reasons, while I believe the one-state solution should be aimed for in the long-term, I think we are not ripe for it. I would like to see a partition - any partition - which will give each population a chance to live in peace and security, any especially let the Palestinians build up their skills and economy. This will enable a new generation to emerge which does not feel the conflict in its veins, in the same way as happened in Northern Ireland. We can then leave it to this generation to make the real (and final) peace, and break down the walls between us.

To summarize, I think all supporters of the one-state solution need to think strategically about how it can be reached in the long term, with the minimum possible human suffering on all sides. Sadly I think it is impossible to implement it now.

BTW, has anyone here read Ali Abunimah's book?

12:54 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Michael:
You completely twisted my words around. I left Israel because my mother got divorced and remarried an American. I had no choice but to leave Israel (I was under 18).

I stayed in the US because I met my husband here ,and he is an American. My life is established here-I have been here for many years. I wouldn't go back because my life is here now-(I do go to Israel at least once a year to visit.) But like I said, I don't want my son to serve-not in any military. But just because I don't want him to serve, does not mean that I cannot fully support Israel in its efforts to defend itself. I support the military here in the States but would not want my son to serve. That's no hypocritical.

2:20 PM  
Blogger ima said...

יונית,
איך ישראלית לשעבר שמצהירה שהיא תומכת בישראל. מזדהה עם דרישתה של ליילה למדינה דו לאומית שמשמעותה מחיקה מוחלטת של מדינת ישראל?

2:40 PM  
Blogger Gregory said...

Nobody should bother themselves with Chai.......this man blames the Jews for the Shoah, Israelis for Hamas's missles, and the existence of Jews for his own feelings of homosexuality. I feel bad for him, really I do. He messaged me and asked me why he has such strong feelings for Hamas men in green, I just wish there was a way for him to express these feelings without hurting others! BE well, Chai, and try to be strong!

6:13 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Gregory-
Go to Chai's blog. I believe Chai is a female married to a non-practicing Jew. Read her entry on boycotting Israeli products.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Ima,
Since I haven't gotten a reply from you directly to my email, I'll answer your question here. You asked how an Israeli (I have dual citizenship)who says she supports Israel can be for a one country, equal rights solution for Israel.

Since I was a kid growing up in Israel there was always mention of some sort of terrorist threat. I feel like Israel is my country as in, I was born there, raised there, etc. But I don't feel like it's rightfully mine simply because I am Jewish. Israel fought for their land, just like the United States fought for their independence in 1776.

There is absolutely NO REASON Israelis and Muslims cannot live in peace. If we open the Gaza border and IF, a big IF, we are rid of Hamas terrorists, Hezbollah threats, etc. there is no reason to not share. Sharing Jerusalem Chevron, etc-sharing all of Israel will not take away from our enjoyment of it.

As a citizen of both the US and Israel, I am grateful to be able to live here in the States, where no one tries to tell me I don't belong because of my religion or culture. There is no reason Palestinians and Israelis cannot live in peace together in one united country.

Many countries in the world have fought for their independence and yet still live in peace with other cultures within the country.

I fully support Israel protecting itself from terrorists, but believe that the best solution is one nation where we all live in peace.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Dear Yonit, one state solution will be possible only in an utopean world. We don't live in one.

Wish we were, but unfortunately we aren't :(

9:24 PM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Michael-
Perhaps you're right...I think in theory the idea would work. But there would be too many people (on both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides) who would oppose the idea so much it would probably end in more bloodshed than there currently is. :( But I don't think I'm a traitor to Israel for thinking this is a good idea.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Smiley said...

Yonit

We need a realistic solution, not an utopist one

I would like to believe that you did not think it through...

Imagine a one state:

Do you believe that Laila will send her son to the Israeli Army?

Will Arabs return the Hebron house they from Jews in 1929 massacre?

Will Jews return the homes they took in 1948 war?

How long it will take before Palestinians, by virtue of a higher birthrate, would turn Jews into a minority before voting in favor of another Muslim Arab state in place of Israel?

Can't you see that it will be an occupation by other means? It will not end the conflict, but open another phase?

In this state, the Israelis will be dominant. They currently enjoy superiority in practically all spheres: quality of life, military power and technological capabilities. The annual income of an average Israeli is 25 times that of an average Palestinian: $20,000 as opposed to $800. It might leed to it that the Palestinians will be the hewers of wood and the drawers of water for a long, long time.

All over the world, the trend is not towards the creation of new multi-national states, but towards the breaking up of states into national components. There is no example of two different nations deciding of their own free will to live together in one state, or of a bi-national or multi-national state really functioning — except for Switzerland, the proverbial exception that proves the rule.

12:28 AM  
Blogger B M said...

Laila,

Looking back over the recent discussion, and my own questions, perhaps you could write a blog post which outilines your vision for a one-state solution, and how it would be implemented in practice. I'm sure many people on both sides would be interested to read it.

2:42 AM  
Blogger Yonit said...

Smiley:
I'm not saying the plan is going to work, or that it would be easy to put together. But I see no reason for Muslims and Jews to live in this separation and to fight over the land, when we really could live together in peace. I don't feel ownership over Israel just because I'm Jewish, and I believe that the Arab and Islamic cultures have a lot to contribute to the Israeli culture and way of life.

But again-the terrorists have to be disposed of first.

5:40 AM  
OpenID miscellany101 said...

In this far off land from where I blog, scanning the news daily every morning, I hadn't heard the first word on the demonstration that took you to Washington,DC. I'm appalled at the news black out of such events.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Fatima said...

I actually heard it was a 50,000 man march, so somewhere between 10,000 and 50,000, perhaps it was more like a 25,000 man march. i was there too, but my kids screaming from the rain and cold drove me to run for the car around 3/4 way through the march. Allah ma'akum.

10:24 PM  

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