Another Painful Israeli Confidence Building Measure Rejected by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

May 31, 2012

Today, Israel has transfered 91 terrorists bodies to the possesion of the Palestinian Authority.

It is the bodies of terrorists who personally killed men, women and children with the sole purpose of killing as many as possible, as brutally as possible.

Teorrists who began randomly shooting at innocents.

Who boarded buses, went to crowded places with explosive belts wrapped around their waist and blew themsleves up.

Cold, blooded, vicious, blind to any part of humanity murders.

Israel dug their bodies after burying their remains, conducted DNA testing to verify that each body is labeled with the correct name, and transported them to the Palestinian Authority for burial.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the bodies, rejected the chance for peace.

He doesn’t want to talk.

Doesn’t want to negotiate.

And why should he? He enjoys the vast amount of world legitimacy of not ending this conflict, of not entering peaceful way. In the meantime, Israel is only hurt. Why should he have to even consider making any kind of consessions, when Israel can be blamed for everything?

You see, Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t see this as a confidence building measure.

Apparently, to him it’s easy for Israel to do this. To return the bodies of the people who sought mostly to hurt as many innocent civilians as possible.

That it’s easy and not at all painful for families and friends to see their loved ones’ killers recieve an honorable ceremony, a hero’s welcome. Their murder praised. Their blood celebrated.

Then again, he must feel that way.

Because it’s so easy for him to celebrate murder, and bloodshed. To teach kids that the killers blowing themselves up are heros.

Again – why should he even confess to his own atrocities and parts in this conflict, when everything can be blamed on Israel?

Who cares if it’s not true?

With this kind of education, peace must be so easy and so in Israel’s hands alone. How easy it is for many to think that. How easy it is to be so so wrong.

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The Truths Left in the Shadows: Palestinian Governments are Serial Human Rights Violators

May 24, 2012

Israel oftenly receives harsh criticism and is accused of systematically violating the Palestinians’ rights and general human rights as well. Now, I’m not saying that everything’s perfect (then again, look at what we know that most modern, western and free countries around the world are doing at the same time), that these claims are 100 percent false (nor am I saying they’re 100 percent right), but as Israel receives less than proportionate global focus, condemnation and criticism, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about something that is oftenly kept in the dark – the incredible human rights violations committed by the Palestinian governments.

You see, unlike many nations and people under opression throughout the world (and of course in the Middle East region, as we’ve come to see in the past year and a half), the Palestinians have active governments. Two, in fact. Because of the Palestinian fued, de-facto there are two seperate Palestinian governments in power. One in the West Bank (the Fatah government) and one in the Gaza Strip (the Hamas government).

Many people who enjoy (this is my verb of choice and I am sticking to it!) criticising Israel, like to quote from Amnesty reports. And while the report clearly shows that there are millions of people around the world who need international help and support and get ingnored while the Palestinians receives ho so many spotlight, and there are much harsher human rights violations going ignored by most of the world’s attention everyday, the people who like to quote Amnesty reports, neglect to account for the Palestinians own violations.

Personally, I have mixed feelings regarding these reports. But for those who quote them, you might as well quote them in full!

Anyway, when Amnesty released their annual report today, I found it important to remind these people that they are advocating not for the relief of the suffering of the Palestinians, but for them to stay under constant rules that systematically violates thier human rights.

What are the Palestinians violations, according to Amnesty? Well, for instance –

  • The Palestinian governments don’t allow freedom of assembly, freedom of press, freedom of speech.
  • Journalists, bloggers and other critics of the Palestinian governments are prosecuted and sentenced to jail.
  • The Palestinian factions make arbitrary political arrests of the other party’s people (according to the report, the number of arbitrary arrests is roughly 1,700).
  • Palestinian people trialed in Palestinian courts are only put to trial in military courts with judges that have poor to no understanding of the law.
  • They have no seperation of power. The justice system has no justice in it.
  • Many prisoners are tortured and abused. Among the tortures mentioned in the report are savage beatings, hanging by the wrists and ankles, forced to stand in painful positions for long periods of times and so on.

And there’s more. The report cites four deaths in Gaza prisons the organization find to be suspicious. The previous annual report of Amnesty, by the way, also details 8 journalists who were tortured in Palestinian prisons.

So for those who blame Israel and only Israel for the suffering of the Palestinians, there’s another truth out there. Another villian.

If you truly want to help the Palestinians, you should aim your work for the benefit of the Palestinian people, rather than against Israel.

Because even though it’s extremely hard for some to acknowledge this, Israel is not the only problem and the only side in this conflict. It simply isn’t. There’s another side. Who is refusing to enter any kind of negotiations for more than two years now. A side that tortures its’ people. Forcing them to live in war. Taking away their freedoms. And that side ain’t Israel.

Related Posts:

Nakba Day 2: An Obstacle for Peace!

May 18, 2012

Earlier this week, on Nakba Day, I wrote about my feelings towards the “Palestinian disaster”. In short, while I don’t take away from the devastating outcome of the Arab / Palestinian refusal to the partiotion plan (the two states for two people which the Jewish Community accepted and founded Israel upon, and which the Palestinians rejected and started a war which they’ve lost).

Did you know? The term Nakba was first set to describe the outcme by Syrian author Constantin Zureiq, who refered to the disaster as the “shameful” lost of Seven Arab nations against one entity (Israel, or in his words “Zionism“).

I also mentioned, but more on the sidelines, the many issues this issue raises. Some of them are essential to why peace is so hard in this conflict. I’d like to summarize it in short:

  1. The Palestinians demand a fictional right they call “The Right of Return”. Basically, they’re demanding a return to their old homes from before the war. This so-called “right” has never been granted in any conflict!
    (moreover, many Jewish people were either forced by the government or were treated horribly to basically having no choice but to leave their possesions and homes in the Arab nations where they lived at the same time).
  2. The Palestinian “Refugees” are handled in a seperate special and unique agency, that doesn’t help them but works to keep them refugees in grave and dire situations.
  3. To that extend, Palestinians refugees are the only refugees around the world whose offsprings recieve refugee status.
  4. A Palestinian coming to money or success, granted citizenship and so on are still called refugees (as do their offsprings).
  5. There are many Palestinian refugees who have been living in camps in Syria and Lebanon (Egypt’s camps are now called The Gaza Strip). No one is helping them improve their lives, even when 64 years have passed since the war. They’re only concerned with keeping them poor and in poor condition to demand a fictional right from Israel.
  6. Granting the “Right of Return” would mean to demographically extinct the state of Israel (especially with refugee offspring status).
  7. Each year the Palestinians organize marches and have themselves and kids walk around with keys, symbolizing this fictional right. With that kind of education, how can you really teach your children peace and not violence (especially when its’ rooted in half-truths to complete lies)?

At the end of the day, the 67-borders is not the main issue of this conflict.

Israel has made many territorial compromises throughout the years (including Israel’s current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu):

  1. To achieve peace with Egypt, Israel gave Egypt the entire Sinai Peninsula, whose size is more than twice the size of Israel (Egypt refused to take back the Gaza Strip territory, rending it belonging to no state but de-facto under Israel’s military rule, due to Egypt’s refusal to accept the Palestinians and their territory back to its’ own territory as it was before the war).
  2. Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.
  3. The establishment of Territory A, most of which is in complete civilian control of the Palestinian Authority (originally included military and security control as well, but when the Palestinian were unable or unwilling to stop suicide bombings, Israel reclaims military control).

And there’s more. Israel can, has and will make territorial compromises. But territory is not the issue!

This is! The hatred, the educations to hatred and lies, the thought of a fictional right that asks to abolish Israel completely, and the endless lies ensuing, this is the real issue. This is the real reason peace cannot be made.

This is the key issue in which Palestinian leaderships are still speaking out and saying they will never make compromises. This is the key issue in which Palestinian leadership organizes marches and instills false beliefs and lies, starting from the very early ages, against Israel and against peace. The false stories of the “evil Jews who came to steal our land when we were all innocnet in all of this” is a lie! And In his article last year in the New York Times, Palestinian Authority President, told the world this false narrative.

If you don’t know the truth, you might believe he was telling the truth! But he’s not!!! And these lies are what children on the other side are taught to believe is the truth!

So while it might be easy to blame Israel for everything, and while it may be super-easy to see this is as nothing more than a territorial dispute, IT IS NOT A TERRITORIAL DISPUTE!

This Nakba, this education of lies and hatred – that is!

Yaser Arafat said “no” to Bill Clinton’s peace proposal because of this very issue! Not territory, not security… Because he couldn’t have ended the conflict. Because to end the conflict is to admit the lies. To admit, at the very least, that like in any other conflict around the world, no return right will been given.

But in the meantime, peace won’t come. And refugees around the world can only envy the kind of conditions the Palestinians receive…

Nakba Day 1: My Grandparents are Refugees too!

May 15, 2012

Today, the Palestinians (and in turn the Arab world) mention Nakba Day. Because 64 years ago today (by the Gregorian calendar), the state of Israel was formed. So they’re mentioning the catastrophe and disaster of Israel’s establishment.

The truth is, that while this day is used mainly for incitment and perpetuation of distortions and half-truths, Israel was the side that accepted the UN’s resolution of two states for two people, while it was the Arab world that rejected it and started offenses and war. The outcome of which was one state and the so-called refugee issue.

Here’s the thing though – The only issue here is why has the Arab world made cynical use of these refugees in the war against Israel? The Palestinians themselves, I can understand how it’s easy for them to not blame themselves for anything, and assume Israel is 100% at fault. But here’s the thing – you have refugees living in Syria, Lebanon and all over the region, and these countries that host them refuse to give them any kind of rights, even after 64 years of living on their territory, because their status is good for the war on Israel.

Did you know? Every real refugee in the world is treated by a UN agency called UNHCR. However, the Palestinians and only the Palestinians are treated by a seperate agency called UNRWA, which is a slap and a repeated spit in the face of real refugees.

You see, UNHCR helps people find a new home and rebuild their lives. That’s what it did after World War II, after the Yugoslvia war, and many other locations around the world. UNRWA, on the other hand, only tries to get them by on a daily basis, helping them stay in worse conditions, in order for them to remain refugees and incite against Israel.

In fact, unlike UNHCR, UNRWA gives offsprings the status of refugee as well. So pradocially enough, 64 years after the war, the 750,000 refugees became over 11 million! Have you ever heard of such atrocity?

And the thing is, the status is never lifted! If a Palestinian has been granted citizenship anywhere around the world – UNRWA still considers him a refugee! Bashar al-Masri, is a successful businessman around the world, wealthy, living in a big mansion and UNRWA calls him a refugee!! And he’s not the only one.

Now i’m not going to say most Palestinians live in great conditions. But the duplicity of the issue is that UNRWA keeps them in that situation and the Arab world gives them absolutely no right, even though they’ve been “hosting” them for over 60 years now!

The truth is, during the 1948 war, both sides hurt each other, and you might even go as far as saying both sides comitted atrocities towards each other. But the Palestinians (mostly their leadership and dependance on the Arab world) refuses to better their situation, or help them.

On the other side of the equation, while 750,000 Palestinian refugees was the result of the war, nearly 800,000 Jews where left with no choice but to leave their homes and posessions in Arab Countries.

64 years ago, my grandmother was living with her family in Syria. They were quiet wealthy. The day Israel declared independance, with according to the UN’s partition plan, they rounded all the men and put them in prison. Took their possesion. Her father’s shop was nationalized. When life became unbearable and her family was practically left with no choice but to leave, they had to escape overnight, pay Druzes to help them cross the border from Syria to Lebanon and from Lebanon to Israel. Their entire possesion was left behind. Everything they owned, except for the clothes on their backs, was nationalized as well. Today, many refugees from Sudan, Eritrea and many other African refugees, are doing the same on a daily basis. But nobody calls my grandmother a refugee. Not once. Not ever. And my grandmother is only one of over 800,000 who had to leave their homes.

My grandparents of my dad’s side, like many non-Jewish European, were left without homes or shelter after the end of World War II. From 1945 to this day, not on them, my grandparents (R.I.P), or the Europeans dealing with the outcome of war, are called refugees today. UNHCR helped them rebuild their lives and have new homes. My grandparents received a life here in Israel. Their entire posession and life from before the war was gone. Yet from 1948 to this day, all Palestinian refugees are still refugees.

Why is that? Why are the Palestinians the only people around the world the UN doesn’t help to rebuild their lives? Or at the very least, to lift the status of “refugee” from them and their children when they have? Why is the UN doing nothing for the Palestinian refugees living in camps in Syria and Lebanon? And why are the Palestinians receiving such special treatment, even in this matter.

Because, you see, until they’ll be treated equally by the world, until this conflict will get the proportion it truly has and not the blown-up kind it has gotten, maybe… maybe the Palestinian could acknowledge their part, their fault, in the conflict. And maybe they can acknowledge that they’d have to make concessions too for peace. And then maybe… maybe peace will finally be possible. But until that’ll happen – peace will never be acheived. Calm will never come. Not until the intertional bodies start treating this conflict as they do any other. No special treatment.

Israeli Prime Minister Forms Unity Government, Reminds me of the Non-Unity of the Palestinians

May 8, 2012

Israel has been buzzing the past few weeks with the speculations regarding the intent to disperse the current Israeli Knesset and hold early elections in the coming September (rather than allowing the Knesset and government to stay in tact for one more year, bringing its’ term to a total of four years). Since Sunday, it was official and a bill to for dispersing the Knesset was in motion, as well as several “no confidence” votes, which weren’t successful.

Then, late into last night, the elections which seemed so close (set for September 4th), now seem much further away, maybe even in their scheduled date of October 2013.

Israeli leading government party, Likud, has formed a unity government with the leading opposition party, Kadima. Together, they hold 55 of the total 120 seats of the Knesset. Kadima has joined the current Israeli coalition (in power since the 2009 elections), making it the widest coalition Israel has ever had.

The chairwoman of the Labor party, Shelly Yachimovich, is expected to be nominated the new opposition leader, now that she’s the chairwoman of the biggest opposition party (after Kadima’s entrance to the government).

The unity was formed with several key issues in store, and whether or not it will hold remains to be seen.

Israeli unity government - Netanyahu and Mofaz

Israeli prime minister and Likud party chairman, Benjamin Netanyahu, [left] and former Israeli opposition leader and Kadima party chairman [and now Vice Prime Minister], Shaul Mofaz, [right] at a press conference declaring their coalition agreement, today at noon.

Why am I even writing a post about this and why should you care?

Because Israel is in focus in worldview on two issues: Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And while some speculate what this may mean regarding Israel’s stance over Iran’s nuclear program, and will this spark new negotiations with the Palestinians (the Palestinians themselves seem very unimpressed. Kadima was the ruling party in government before this current government and has conducted the offensive in Gaza. Its’ former chairman, Ehud Olmert, made the Palestinians the most advance offers ever made by Israel in order to reach peace!).

Shelly Yachimovich, Labor party chairwoman

Labor party chairwoman, Shelly Yachimovich, is expected to be nominated the new opposition leader.

I want to focus on the second – the Palestinian issue. And on their own so-called Unity.

You see, it just so happens to be that not only are we in May, but that last May (of 2011), the Palestinian factions of Fatah (in control over the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank) and Hamas (controling the Gaza Strip since a violent and bloody coup in Summer of 2007), have stood together in Cairo, and later in Doha, and announced they’re putting their “differences” aside, neverminding the fact Hamas was gunning down and punishing by amputations and torture any Fatah member in the Gaza Strip. They announced a unity.

Well, we’re one year past it and no unity in sight.

  1. They were supposed to make mutual releases of prisoners. Barely happened. All they can agree upon is that Israel should release all Palestinian prisoners (including the “heros” involved in terror and murders). Nothing about the prisoners they each have of the other faction.
  2. Elections – what elections? The so-called “democracy” of the Palestinians (as PA President Mahmoud Abbas described it in his op-ed article in The New York Times on May 16th, 2011) hasn’t held elections since 2006. The unity was supposed to bring forth elections in September of 2011 – did not happen. Moreover, since the last round of election were unaccepted in full by both large parties and led to the violent coup, who’s to say even if such elections were held they would succeed?
  3. Hamas was supposed to join the PLO, a supposed body formed in early 1960s in Jordan, to represent all Palestinians (this is the body officialy holding a seat in UNESCO and the UN, although it’s the Fatah and PA that de-facto controls it). It did not happen (which is good, the PLO recieves international recognition while Hamas refuses to follow basic international demands made by the Quartet).

And the list can go on. It seems the only thing the Palestinian factions can agree upon is hating Israel and de-legitimizing it. Each in their own way, of course.

But what do you except? Since Hamas leader Khaled Mashal said in December (in order to enter the PLO) that Hamas will abandon it’s ways of terror, over 300 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel. Now true, Hamas wasn’t the one shooting these rockets at Israeli citizens. It was the other 15 terror organizations in Gaza, being armed daily by the Ayatollah regime in Iran. But, and this is a huge but, Hamas made sure to not enforce its’ governace it so claims to have and did nothing to stop these shootings, until Egypt intervened to broker a truce.

Now there’s a lot of reasons why the Palestinians won’t hold any negotiations with Israel regarding peace and ending the conflict (even after this unity government). The non-unity of Hamas is just one of them.

But here’s a key issue –

If Israel’s unity government will fail, Israel will hold fair, honest and open elections as it has done in the past 64 years. Even if the unity will succeed, Israel will hold elections in due time as set by law.

If the Palestinian unity will fail, elections can never be held. The de-facto situation of two states with two people (West Bank and Gaza) will remain. Even if elections could be held, the prior ones clearly show no party is really truly obligated to honor the results. Each faction interpreted the results as was most convient and thus a violent coup, a bloody tear, ensued.

There are many reasons why this conflict continues to exist. Israel is the not the sole, nor necessarily the main, reason!!

Summary of rockets fired into Israel, April 2012

May 1, 2012

As usual, here’s a summary of the rockets fired at Israel over the last month.

And as usual after a period of escalation, the numbers of rockets have subsided. And as usual they still exist.

Yes, Cathrine Ashton, Ban Ki-Moon, Hilary Clinton and everyone who calls this “calm” – I dare you to live with this kind of calm on your citizens!

Overall, 12 rockets and mortar shells landed in Israel in April 2012.

Rockets landed in Israel, April 2012

Rockets landed in Israel, April 2012

On April 4th, a total of 3 rockets were fired into Israel from Egypt to the resort city of Eilat.

On April 7th, Israeli airforce gunned down militants preparing to launch a rocket.

On April 14th, a rocket was fired but didn’t make it past the strip region. According to Ma’an Palestinian News Agency, the rocket was fired by a military branch of Fatah (The fraction declared “moderate” throughout the world and in control over the Palestinian Authority).

And May is going to be a troublesome month, with Nakba coming in two weeks (I’ll write a post on it, surely).

Related Posts:

Memorial Day For the Fallen Soldiers and The Victims of Terror

April 25, 2012
I’ll start with a confession. I had a really hard time deciding if I should write this post. Due to the emotional state I’m in on Memorial Day, and due to the fact that I fear I’d make some horrible cynical use of it, which is not my intention. But since this the medium I chose for myself almost a year ago, here it goes.

Tonight and tomorrow, just before the celebrations of Israel’s 64th Independance day, Israel mentions Memorial Day. Now, I don’t really know how it goes in many other countries, but for me, here, in Israel, is a day words cannot describe. 24 hours in which life nearly stops still. Whrere politics takes a nap. Where TV shuts off its’ regular programming and commercials are nowhere to be seen or heard. Where families visit graves. Where many ceremonies are held. Where sad songs of loss and death and pain are heard on all radio stations.

2 sirens echo during that day in Israel. Tonight for one minute, and tomorrow morning for two minutes.

Israel’s Memorial Day was initially called “The Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers”. In 1998, it was also decieded to officialy honor within the same capacity, victims of terror attacks (the first terror attack dated on March 17th, 1953. The last one – last night [one injured;]). Thus, today it is called “The Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and The Victims of Terror”. As of tonight, the number of people honored by this day are 22,993.

The day honors eveyone: Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Russains, Ethiopians, Religious, Secular, Druze, Beduion and more of the Israeli soceity tapestry.

In this day I constantly hear two main issues rising – the memory of the fallen with the pain of loss, and the burning desire for peace, for the end of war and bloodshed. For the number to stop rising. It echoes in the President’s speech. The Prime Minister’s voice. The Cheif of Staff’s tone. They may change throughout the years, the desire never does.

When I was little, the Camp David negotiations were taking place. I remember everyone being hopeful, so hopeful, wishing that finally some peace will come. That the army would be dismantled. The following year, of course, saw the begining of the worst round of violence and blood shed ever. And yet here we are, over a decade past it, with new changes and uprisings all around us threatening even the peace treaty with Egypt, and though many may have lost faith in the other side and in the chance for peace, the majority still holds onto the want. To the need of peace. And it echoes in this day, with everyone you talk to, so loudly.

One of my favorite poems, taught in high school Literature class, is frequently mentioned in this day. A poem by Shaul Tchernichovsky, framed simply by the phrase [roughly translated: ] “You see, O Earth, how very wasteful we’ve been“. A poem written during The Arab Revolt of 1936, crying for the loss of life, cursing the earth for accepting so many bodies into it and still at the same time producing life in the form of plants.

And today. On this day. There’s something about it, and about the two main issues rising and echoing, that makes me really glad to be living here. On this side of the map. On this little next-to-nothing-yet-full-of-something piece of land. True, the conflicts go on. Wars never really end. The 126 casualties of the past year would not be the last. But taking the time, to hear the families’ stories over the news and ceremonies, to remember, to honor, to stand still and not allow life to completely go by… honestly, I hoped when i started writing that if I just keep going I’ll find the words to describe it. I didn’t.

So with the false hope that wars will end, and conflicts will be resolved, and blood won’t be shed anymore, I bid you good night.

Related Posts:

Click here for a short account of Israel’s many wars

The Radical Left: Where Activists Won’t Be Harmed, Where They Are Not Needed

April 21, 2012

Before I say anything, please let me be clear about one thing – diverdity of opinions and ideas is a wonderful thing, every society must aspire to. The following post is not about “silencing voices” – it’s about a phenomena. Earlier this week I posted about an Israeli officer who was dismissed after caught on camera hitting an activist. The phenomena of European activists, from the far left (and then a little further) of of the political view map, is the one I’d like to address here.

Why? Because it’s a growing phenomena. Because Israel is facing these activists on a daily basis. Because I truly try to understand (and fails) why someone would choose to focus all his energy on this specific conflict, when I see the world we’re living in, not to mention my neighborhood.

And before you jump of rage, let me make another thing very clear – Israel is a democracy and I, as well as these activists, enjoy this fact very much. I do not wish to be compared to a dicatorship. I am merely pointing out, that the world is a dangerous place everywhere, yet one place in particular (Israel) recieves undivided attention, numerous resources and so on, leaving many many many people around the world, nearly completely ignored! People who actually need the attention, the resources and so on.

Now, I’m not going to try and guess what these activists motives are – whether it’s anti-semetic, boredom, the need for advanture, or even if they truly care about human rights but simply afriad for their own.

I am merely going to point out the duplicity of them focusing only on Israel (and only is the keyword).

Just off the top of my head, the issues around the world getting almost completely ignored, are:

  • Famine and Hunger in North Korea, where only recently people were sentenced to hard labor in camps for no crying enough for the death of their leader.
  • Over a billion Chiense people who live under rules which among other things control the number of children they’re allowed to have, and enjoy no free choice whatsoever (not to mention that when the Olympics or Expo comes to China, they are simply moved or hidden without any regard to their human rights). China is the number one country in executions around the world.
  • The runner-up – Iran’s dicatotrship has become even more brutal since the failed 2009 uprising. Evidences (some extremely graphic and horrifying) about sentences of whip lashes, tortures and rapes in prisons of citizens, and forcing compliance to an extreme religious law (which includes deploying officers on the streets to scold women showing “too much” skin). As I’ve said, Iran has the second most executions per year around the World.
  • Muritania which hosts 600,000’s slaves.
  • Pakistan where for instance a woman by the name of Asia Bibi awaits execution for blasphemy because she’s Christian.
  • Russia’s leadership just won the elections by an obvious fake vote (99.97% of Chechnya county voted?!). St. Petersburd is working on a law that would make the act of coming out of the closet a criminal offense!
  • How about the unfree people of the Muslim and Arab world? The ones whose limbs are amputated in Saudi Arabia for misdemeanors? Or the women not allowed to drive? The protestors who were killed in Bahrain? And the other millions of people who are not allowed to vote, protest, marry, speak their minds and are been incarcerated daily for things these activists take for granted?
  • To that end – what about the people of Gaza? Who are living under an extreme Islamic law, whose rulers took power over their lives by force and bloodshed? Who force them to live in war? Where they are executed, imprisoned, denied the ability to protest or speek out against Hamas, or any other of the extreme fanatic terror groups controling their lives and stashing weapons and rockets under their pillows?
  • What about Cuba, Venezuela, Tibet, Sudan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, The Kurdish Issue, Guinea, Mianmr, Uganda, Somlia and so on and so on and so on!
  • What about the atrocities committed by their own countries? Guantanamo Bay, the continuing tortures of Afgan people for intelligence, The Iraq war (while troops were still displayed), the attacks by NATO and US army in Pakistan, Yemen and so on?

The Palestinians have a much better status than any one of these people who actually need the activists of the world to speak and act for them, but only a small portions does!

The Palestinian people have their own leadership, with international recognition (except for Hamas in Gaza, which won a violent coup).

The Palestinian people have a seat in the UN since 1974.

The Palestinian people have their own UN agency to deal with their so-called refugees (while every other refugee is treated by one agency for all).

The Palestinian people have diplomatic delegacies in many countries around the world, including all of Europe and North America.

The Palestinian people write op-eds in Western newspapers (Like Mahmoud Abbas’, PA President, article in The New York Times last May).

The Palestinian people have engaged in numerous negotiations with Israel (and have declined all offers made to them to this day), and in fact their lack of will to end the conflict (their leadership benefits from worldwide) has even won them a UNESCO seat.

The Palestinian people have many (many!) Israeli NGOs defending them, protesting for them, filing complaints in their names (Betslem, Shalom Achshav, Yesh Din and many many more!). These organizations recieve funding from many European countries.

Even private Palestinian people recieve legal and monetary help from European countries and the aforementioned NGOs when private people of Israel sue them in Israeli court, in dispute over the ownership of their homes.

The overwhelming majority of UN decisions and condemnations are in favor of the Palestinian people, while completely ignoring the people of China, Cuba, North Korea (one condemnations in almost a decade!), Russia, Uganda, Venezuela, Tibet, Somalia, Yemen and ho so many more.

Moreover, the Palestinian people are “fighting”rockets are fired at Israeli citizens daily. Stones are thrown at moving cars daily (last September they caused a man to crash his car, killing both him and his 1 year old son). Demonstrations are taking place every week (and though it’s saddening when it happens, only a short small few of these end in casualties, and their majority are certainly handled in less violence than US police when they evicted the “Occupy Wall-Street” movement). Palestinian leaders are interviewed in Israeli media, invited to take part in Israeli panels, and so on.

Why?! Please explain to me why the Palestinian people recieve an overwhelming majority of the worlds’ activists (most of them only operating in this conflict and not in any other non-domestic conflict), while so many others get ignored? Live in famine and disease. Die untreated for AIDS, TB, malaria and more. Fear that their words would end them in torture, in prison, on death row. WHY?!

Israeli Military Cheif of Staff Dismisses Officer Caught in Violent Episode

April 18, 2012

Last Saturday, a group of activists went on a bike ride in Jordan Valley in protests of [their accusation of] Israel’s withdrawal of water from Palestinians in the territory (a complete and absurd distortion, as I’ll explain later in the post).

According to Israeli military, when they spotted the ride [approved as a legal and valid demonstration in advance with the Israeli army] was drifting off its’ course and about to block a major route and disturb the public order, they approched the activists with the attempt to block their provacation.

While many things are in dispute, one isn’t – there was a clash between the activists and Israeli soldiers. During which, one of the officers – Lieutenant colonel Shalom Eisner – was filmed by the activists hitting a Danish activist in the face with his gun.

The activists did not file a complaint against the officer or the event, they simply used the footage in the psychological warfare against Israel, in the de-legitimization process of demonizing it. They uploaded the video onto the internet.

As soon as Israeli media got a hold of the footage, it broadcasted it and brought it to the attention of both the public and the military’s higher ranks of command.

On Sunday, every major news broadcast agency (both TV and Internet, and later on on Monday morning in print) reported it first thing (first page news!).

On Sunday, The officer in question was called for questioning in his commander’s officer. His explanations were found unsatisfactory and was put on immediate leave. A military police investigation has been opened against both him and the other officers and soldiers present at the scene who failed to report it.

On Monday, The event was strongly condemned by many, including: Israeli President, Shimon Peres; Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu; Israeli Military Cheif of Staff, Beni Gantz.

On Tuesday, A preliminary report of the event and the investigation was wired to the Cheif of Staff, who requested immediate clariffications about some of its’ parts.

On Wednesday, less than 72 hours since the matter has been brought to his attention, Israeli military Cheif of Staff, Beni Gantz, dismissed Lieutenant colonel Eisner and denied him the much-coveted position he was to enter in two months.

Both Gantz and Eisner’s direct commander found that though the activists were causing a provacation, it did not justify use of force, and that Eisner acted not according to protocol (who demanded he let the police handle the attempt to disturbt public order, rather than directly engage the activists).  Eisner himself claimed violence was used against both him and the other soldiers, and claims two of his fingers were broken shortly before his own violence (and has filed medical reports of his injury’s treatment from Saturday night). However, the investigation concludes that even if that were true (the Army’s own footage of the event could not prove of disprove his version due to a technical failure), the footage clearly shows he was not in danger (even if for merely a couple of seconds), when he assaulted the Danish activist.

Lieutenant colonel Shalom Eisner, a few days after the incident.
Photographed By: Omer Miron

Once again, I would like to mention that the activists in play chose to not file the any complaint (it was the military police who asked the Danish activist to do so. I am unaware if he actually did) and only use the footage against Israel as a whole! I suppose it stems from their own bias anti-Israeli belief (the same one who made them take part in the bike ride in the first place) and their unrealistic view of both the situation and the forces at play (including who they percieve to be “evil“). But the truth is different! While the reality of the territory is much more complex, Israeli military has a harsh penalty system that trials and investigates many matters [such as that and much lighter]. In fact, when the Danish government approched Israel on the matter on Monday (due to media reports), Israel’s Prime Minister has already condemned the event and the officer in question was already under investigation.

It should be said time and time again until these people get it – Israel is in a complex situation (not unlike a fairy tale one full of dichotomies), and its’ military has an etheical and legal code that all its’ members must honor or face the consequences. It is based on the British model and has evolved since and is today very similiar the one in various military around the world including Britian, France, Spain, United States, Australia and so on. Is every case brought to full justice? Not necessarily (but that’s also true for the non-military conflicts in any democratic and open society). But just like not every incident in a NATO operation is investigated to the full extent of the law as we’d like (and Wikileaks documents show major cover-ups of operations, especially in Iraq but also in Afganistan), and those photographed have a much higher chance for immediate response (like the infamous case of the American soldiers violenting Afgan bodies), the truth of the matter is Israel’s army is not different than those of most European, North American and South Down Under regions armies. Including in matters such as this.

Click here to read a few appendices to this post

The Jonathan Pollard Issue

April 11, 2012

United States is Israel’s best ally. That remains to be true, even if the current US administration does a poor job of presenting it, even if former presidents make ludicrious (sometimes racial) allegations. It’s an alliance, that despite what some may think, benefits both parties (for instance, did you know that many American soldiers, on their way to Afganistan, sometimes take training from Israeli soldiers, since the Israeli army has been facing combat in urban territory for decades, which is similiar to the challanges facing US and NATO forces these days?)

However, here’s one issue where that alliance does more damage than good to both parties.

Jonathan Jay Pollard is an American citizen (granted Israeli citizenship in 1996), and has been serving a life sentence in United States prison since November of 1987. He has been convicted of spying for Israel without the intent of actuallyharming US security.Pollard approched an Israeli official in 1984 about material he believed was vital to Israel’s security and that Israel was entitled to, due to a 1983 agreement between the countries.

In 1998, Israel officialy acknowledged Pollard as an Israeli agent.

Jonathan Pollard in his official picture

Jonathan Pollard in his official naval picture

Israel itself has formed 2 investigation committees, whose result found the Israeli Bereau of Science Relations (a branch of Ministery of Defense) to be responsible for accepting Pollard’s offer, without notifying the Defense Ministers of that time, and as a subsequent result the Bereau was dismantaled completely.
This is not a post about the rights or wrongs of the Jonathan Pollard issue.This is a post about US refusal for humanatarian release for Jonathan Pollard who is on practically on his death bed, after serving 26 years of his 30 years sentence.

A relatively recent picture of Jonathan Pollard

A relatively recent picture of Jonathan Pollard

This is also a post about the wrongs conducted by the freest country in the world, and some duplicities when it comes souley to Israel, its’ ally.

As of today, a large number of US officials, from the past and no-too-distant past (present are understandbly not allowed to speak openly about current policies, or undermine them in the press), some of which had a part in the issue back in the 1980.

Click Here to read more about US refusal and duplicity


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