Sunday, May 16, 2021


 "Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with love." Dr. Martin King, 1958. 

First, if we are going to have this discussion, lets do away with the basic facts which you dear readers can refrain from emailing us in outrage. The latest round of violence began with Hamas shooting rockets into Israel targeting and killing innocent civilians, including children. Hamas is a terrorist organization. 

Those are the facts and they do not excuse Israel's actions. This conflict did not just begin now. It has a long history. There are two peoples that were Stateless in the first half of the 20th century- the Jews and the Palestinians. Both laid historical claim to the land known as Palestinian. When the political and diplomatic dust settled Israel was formed. Several wars later, Israel has survived and thrived. Peace has been achieved with Egypt. Earlier this year several Arab states opened diplomatic relations with Israel. 

Meanwhile, Palestinians remained packed into tiny refugee camps. Children were born to the second and third generation of parents who were born and grew up in the refugee camps. The ability to survive and thrive and for Palestinians to create for their children the simple goal of every parent-  a better life for their children, died in the hopelessness of the refugee camps.  For example, in the Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza, known as "The Beach Camp" there are almost 100,000 people crammed into a half square kilometer. 

Along the way in this tortured history both sides committed acts of violence. Each side can point to tragedies- innocent children killed or left orphans by the acts of the other side. "Violence begets violence."  The circle must be broken. Israel has the power to kill every single occupant in the Gaza strip where many Palestinians live. They can destroy every building, one at a time, missile by missile. They can destroy the power plants and water plants and plunge the citizens into darkness without food or water. They can, as they appear to be doing, ratchet up the violence until Hamas and the other Palestinian organizations give up. For now. The memory of this defeat, along with their dead, burned into their memories, where it will fester for years until the next Intifada erupts. "Hate begets hate."

The current conflict has several causes; the same way a fire needs several starters. There is a court case to evict six Palestinian families from homes they own in East Jerusalem based on an Israeli law that allows families to reclaim property lost during the division of Jerusalem at the end of the war of 1948 with Jordan.  The Israeli police restricted access at the Damascus Gate of Palestinians to the Old City just as the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan was beginning.  These were the cinders among others that began to burn. 

Israel has the power to break the cycle of violence. Just because they can utterly defeat and destroy their enemies doesn't mean they should. We have seen the horrors of the last century when one group of people set forth  to wipe another off the face of the earth. 

Israel has two choices. They can continue on the same path, responding to attacks with greater attacks until they "win" and the violence ebbs for now. How is that strategy working out? Israel did the exact same thing in the first Intifada that ended in the early 1980s and the second Intifada that began in 2000 and slowly ended in 2005 with over 1000 Israelis and over 3500 Palestinians dead.  If this is the Third Intifada, the death tolls will be worse. The axiom that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result comes to mind. 

So we are at a tipping point. Israel has been attacked again. It has responded with overwhelming force. It can continue to do so. Hamas can continue to shoot off more rockets terrorizing and killing innocent people, or they can try a third way. And to do that, someone has to make the first move. 

Perhaps Israel will say "why should we make the first move? They started it." 

And the simple answer is "because you can." Otherwise when this cycle of violence ends, the dead and the destruction will merely serve as fertilizer for the next round which will surely come. 

Well, the blog has been a bit too quiet. This should liven things up.   


Anonymous said...

With due respect and sincere admiration, you may be a bit unrealistic with this analysis. The world has neither cared about the welfare of Jews nor their oppression so Jews must do it for themselves. Can you imagine if this country was attacked and we didn't respond with authoritative might? What you are saying sounds cozy in an esoteric manner but don't you think the time for "turning the other cheek" would be applicable during peacetime but hardly during a warfare that Israel didn't initiate? In my tenure on Earth, I have never witnessed the Palestinians ever be an advocate for peace. Hasn't the other Arab countries been just as much or even more condemning than Israel? Yes, conflict in the Middle East has been nonstop but what has Israel's foes (other than Egypt) even done to facilitate anything?

Anonymous said...

as a goy with lots of friends in the tribe i like to shovel my foxhole deep and only peep out when necessary. now is the time. all i have is what's going on needs to be looked at more closely than we did in the last 30 years. netanyahu is an authoritarian thug and my prior lens/primsm for following needs a reboot. im italian american, my grandparents came from italy in the early 1910s. if i can call out berlusconi for being a fascist cunt, why cant i call out netanyahu and not be slurred as a rascist? personally, i think netanyahu is a friend of putin and not biden, which is problematic.

Anonymous said...

The US should cut off all support for Israel until Israel recognizes a Palestinian state along the boarders agreed by the UN, and it discontinued “settlement” activity. Any settlements on the Palestinian side can be Palestinian cities for all I care.

- An American Jew

Anonymous said...

Mr American jew the UN hates you and Israel..wake up

Anonymous said...

American Jew ,

There are two sides to every story. Here, Israel is our closest ally apart from England. We stand by our Israeli brothers and sisters. Down with terror. Vaporize Hamas.

Anonymous said...

If I might recommend this opinion piece from Friedman in the NYT. I found it insightful as to why now. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/16/opinion/israel-netanyahu-hamas.html

Anonymous said...

Without getting into the myriad factual errors in this blog post, let's concentrate on that which we (and the Western world) can agree: Hamas is a terrorist organization. They repeatedly and continually fire rockets into densely populated civilian areas of Israel in order to kill and maim as many Israelis as possible. Israel responds by dropping leaflets in Arabic and pinging area cell phones to let Gazans know the exact date, time and place of air strikes on military targets so they can evacuate beforehand. Hamas, however, does not allow evacuation and uses their people as human shields so that they can parade the wounded as propaganda. The biggest threat to Gazans is their leadership, not Israel.

Anonymous said...

Wait, what's that said? A 1300 year old blood feud thousands of miles from the borders of the United States?

Sounds like a great thing to jump in the middle of!

Better, let's send $3B in tax dollars over there *every year*. That sure helps American workers, families, children, schools, hospitals, infrastructure, cities, agriculture, health care, homeless, retirees, the impoverished, and foreign policy goals!

Anonymous said...

9:11 PM:

You allude to the “two-state” solution. Check your history books. The UN recommended a two-state settlement as early as 1947. It was accepted by the Jews, but rejected by the Arabs. From 1948 to 1967, the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and Gaza were all in Arab, not Jewish, hands. A Palestinian state could have been created at any time. It wasn’t.

In the final year of Bill Clinton’s presidency, Israel along with the Clinton administration, offered a viable two-state accord to the Palestinians. They refused.

In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew its forces and settlers from Gaza, giving local residents their first chance in history to govern themselves. By 2007, the Palestinian Authority was violently ousted and Hamas took control; (Hamas - a genocidal terrorist group armed & funded by Iran). Hamas has been in control of the territory ever since.

Hamas is a terrorist organization. Don’t ask me. That is the formal declaration of the United States, and the European Union. And what’s the goal of Hamas? Only Israel’s complete annihilation.

Nothing will get accomplished in the way of a two-state solution as long as Hamas is governing the Palestinian territory.

Anonymous said...

I agree with An American Jew.

- Another American Jew

To goy with lots of friends in the tribe: Allegations of anti-semitism have been used for decades to silence non-Jews critical of Israeli politicians/policies. Jewish critics are referred to as 'self-hating Jews' for the same reason. All of us must be brave in calling out apartheid, whoever its perpetrators. Israel could not engage in apartheid-like behavior without the support of our country. We all have a duty to demand that our country stop enabling the apartheid policies of our 'ally.'

Anonymous said...

This began when Israel decided to ethnically cleanse the entire neighborhood of Palestinians who Gad lived there for generations for settlers. Resulting in protests which were met by force with Israeli police. If you are going to discuss this, let’s start with what precipitated this cycle from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

So you don’t like Hamas. Neither do I. That takes care of Gaza.

Your argument completely fails when you look to the West Bank. Israel continues to seize land and build settlements there...but there is no hamas in the West Bank. The rockets are not coming from the wert bank. So what is the excuse there? Forget Jew or non-Jew.

Treat the issue as a political/state problem. Israel occupies territory that the people have very little basic rights and are not citizens. We did this to the Indians - wrongly. People have done it to the Jews, and a ton of other peoples over time. It doesn’t make it right. As an American, I think it is high time for us to pressure Israel to stop the bullshit and recognize Palestine as a state. They want to fight a war after doing so, fine.

As a Jew, I am scared for Israel. It’s policy is very shortsighted. I want Israel to thrive for a thousand years, not the next 10 or 20 until they loose all moral ground and turn into a international pariah. They are well on their way with the way they respond to, and yes, provoke violence from Hamas. People will only stand by and watch a bully beat the crap out of a weaker party for so long, no matter who started it.

When the oil dries up in the Middle East, do you really believe America, or the rest of the world will want to put up with Israel’s bullshit? We and they will not. Don’t forget that Russia was once our ally. And don’t think for a second that real bigots who hate Jews would jump at the opportunity to turn on Israel. Right now they hate Muslims more, and Israel fights Muslims and gives the US a foothold in the Middle East. But that can change very quickly.

- An American Jew

Anonymous said...

All bullshit aside , you are a not a Jew.