Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | December 29, 2008

The choice of Hamas

As far as I’m concerned, they can all go to hell, those bleeding-heart armchair warriors abroad who are far too busy to condemn Hamas when Israel shows restraint in the face of thousands of rockets and missiles, yet don’t hesitate to cry foul when Israel dares to defend itself and protect its citizens. Hypocrites the lot, as you conveniently ignore the truly one-sided atrocities of the world, preferring to save your venom solely for Israel. What of the ongoing tragic situation in Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe is literally allowing his own people to starve to death? Where were your raucous demonstrations against the Russians when they invaded Georgia, or against the Turks when they attack the Kurds? Where is the mad dash for the podium at the UN, the queue of ambassadors patiently awaiting their turns to condemn the leaders of these rogue nations, in the voice that you have seemingly reserved for your blindingly one-sided condemnations of Israel?

Hundreds of Palestinians killed is indeed a tragedy. You condemn the asymmetry with regard to the numbers of casualties, but it is certainly not for lack of trying. Perhaps you would be happier with a more proportionate response; perhaps you’d prefer if the citizens of Sderot and the South had responded by firing rockets into Gazan cities, but I suspect not. After all, you must think, what are a few rockets that wreak more havoc and anxiety than physical pain and death? Surely, you say, these rockets are merely an inconvenience because they rarely kill. Suffice it to say that I would not wish it upon your towns and cities to have your lives defined by the whims of a few rocket-launchers, dictating your every thought, your every movement. I would not wish it upon you to feel the mind-numbing fear of the parents who do not know exactly where there children are when the alarm is sounded, when the missiles scream overhead before slamming into the ground in deafening, bone-chilling explosion. I would not wish it upon you to explain to your children why they spend their childhood in sealed rooms and reinforced buildings, living in a town where two-thirds of the young people are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of growing up in the shadow of rocket fire, rockets which seemingly have a penchant for falling precisely at the hour when children are making their way to school.

And lest you forget, these rockets have been falling for more than eight years – more than 8,000 of them (and counting). I’m guessing that you can’t even imagine what that must be like, nor have you even tried. It is more convenient to ignore the rockets, to place the blame for the current situation squarely on Israel’s shoulders, as though Israel woke up one day and decided to have an unprovoked go at the neighbors. The selective memory of the world is mind-blowing, in one fell swoop utterly obliterating any responsibility on the part of the Palestinians for the devastating situation in which they find themselves. It is not the Israelis’ fault that the Hamas leadership cares more about making the Israelis suffer than about the ongoing suffering of its own people. It is not the Israelis’ fault that Hamas is more than willing to sacrifice the lives of innocent Palestinians while aspiring to a goal that they will never be able to achieve – the destruction of Israel. Yet, you continue to excuse their actions, time and time again. You prefer us to remain quiet and contrite, licking our wounds in silence, expecting us to accept this and all punishments in the name of the occupation, as though our citizens in the south should be amenable to having their daily lives destroyed as some outrageous form of collective repentance.

The events of the past few days have been unfortunately predictable, and while it is certainly a shame that there are innocent civilians among the casualties, I simply do not have it in me to summon up a great deal of sorrow for this avoidable loss of life, avoidable, because the Hamas leadership purposely chose to impose this situation on its own people by opting to ignore the hints and warnings that were repeatedly issued by the Israeli government. It was Hamas who chose to destroy the ceasefire and gamble with the lives of its citizens by escalating the rocket fire into Israel, knowing full well that if they continued to do so, Israel would retaliate and many Gazans would probably die. Sadly, they have, and unless Hamas decides that saving their people is a more important goal than trying to kill ours, these numbers will continue to rise. The blood will be on the hands of Hamas, who knowingly and repeatedly chose to sacrifice their own.

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Responses

  1. Also, tell me the news about the people being “Hacked to death” in a church in Uganda is less terrible…

  2. I kind of find this funny because if you weren’t a Jew living in Israel where the issue of course effects you personally, no doubt you would share the hypocrisy of your Leftist brethren abroad.

  3. Nicely written, Liza.

  4. Perfectly put. And you captured the crux of the whole conflict in this wonderfully written nutshell:

    “It is not the Israelis’ fault that the Hamas leadership cares more about making the Israelis suffer than about the ongoing suffering of its own people. It is not the Israelis’ fault that Hamas is more than willing to sacrifice the lives of innocent Palestinians while aspiring to a goal that they will never be able to achieve – the destruction of Israel.”

  5. I think a big part of the problem is the way this conflict is being presented in the world press. Hardly any background is given as to why Israel has attacked Gaza. Saying that Israel is using disproportionate force seems to be a stock-standard reaction by now. Very few people can imagine what it’s like to live in a continual war zone such as Sderot has become, and they don’t really want to think about it deeply. If we don’t defend Sderot, pretty soon we won’t be able to defend the rest of the country either, and very few people in Australia will look me in the eye and say that yes, they believe Israel has the right to exist. Because if it’s OK to shell Sderot and Ashkelon and Ashdod (and Haifa in 2006) then the whole country is up for grabs. Which indeed it would be if we ceded the West Bank, which is why this conflict will never end. Part of the conflict itself is now that world reaction will never be “proportionate” or fair when it comes to Israel. We are on our own, except maybe for the US. Get used to it.

  6. Call me crazy, but if people were regularly bombing the little town where I live in New Jersey, I would move. Far, far away. Where people wouldn’t bomb my town.

    You’re right, though. The media aren’t explaining if this is Israeli aggression or retaliation.

  7. […] mild-mannered, extremely sweet, pro-peace and love, and certainly far more left-leaning than I am, Liza in a post titled “The Choice of Hamas:” As far as I’m concerned, they can all go to […]

  8. Liza: Awesome post!

  9. Great post, Liza. Thank you!
    And to Bec’s: And what would you do if your entire country were the size of New Jersey and that someone kept improving their bombs to reach further and further into your country? Eventually, you would end up with no town left to move away to.

  10. Can I marry you?

  11. I am a U.S. citizen who has visited Israel. I love the country. My Jewish friends say I have a Jewish soul due to my loyalty and patriotism towards Israel. I am Conservative. My point is: No matter what political affiliation one has in Israel, hamas and hezbollah want everyone dead. This is unfortunately the grim reality. All Israeli citizens have to ban together and support the IDF and IAF. We are going to soon be entering Aza and our soldiers will be in harms way defending the democracy we all cherish. This is not about a cease-fire. The reality is cease-fires only buy time for hamas and hezbollah to re-arm. The Israel I once read about during Entebbe, Yom Kippur War, Operation Spring of Youth, Operation Wrath of God, etc. This is the Israel we need to be again. Jews have been persecuted since the beginning of time. And the Jews will be persecuted till the end. Israelis need to regain that “chutzpah” attitude again. When Israel almost lost that Yom Kippur War, no one was asking who’s on the Right and who’s on the Left. It was just time to kick ass and save the country. I also buy things from Israel to support it’s economy. I really enjoy the Pongo store. And I’ve also given money to Magen David Adom. I do not have much money. But I do what I can and I’m not a hypocrite. But the one thing I do the best…is educate people about Israel. I feel this is the most powerful tool. People need to know the truth about the great country of Israel. So, let’s set aside our political differences and protect Israel. Baruch Hashem.
    Go IDF!!!

    Toda Raba

    Matthew

  12. Wow. Liza and friends; you’ve finally snapped. The bastards have got you down.

    Two months ago, a post entitled “Remembering when peace seemed possible”. Now this one.

    To state at the outset; I read your blog and the comments to try and understand. The creation of Israel, the struggles and motivations of all the peoples in the region, the possible future. And I don’t understand, intellectually, culturally or emotionally; so my heart sinks, and all I have are more questions, so here goes…

    Why such horror, shock and above all surprise at the rockets and shells? All the region seemed to make it clear from the very, very outset that this would happen, that they would never get used to the existence of Israel and that rockets, shells and war would result. Given this seemingly implacable reality, hasn’t moving to Israel always come with the unfortunate and depressing understanding that any part of it could be subject to one of the neighbours firing weapons?

    Forget the proportionality of the response; that’s not what concerns me. Your government is full of corrupt crooks, most of which I’ve learned about through you. To quote you: “Mr. Prime Minister, you leave behind a legacy of war and a nation reeling from utter loss of faith in the establishment. Your actions have destroyed our belief in the system, they have completely eroded our trust in the state.” And yet today, your post seems to suggest that you have complete confidence that the government knows what it is doing with this particular operation, to the point that the loss of civilian life that Hamas makes inevitable but that Israeli bombs and trigger fingers actually make happen is not only acceptable, but will definitely result in a successful outcome. Are you sure? They really know what they’re doing? Will the rockets stop? For how long?

    And the last: understanding as I do that Gaza is full of people who will never resile from a position of wanting you dead and that this is something I want to see avoided by all possible means: are you saying that your government has done everything it had the power to do unilaterally to avoid the need for this operation, and so now we should support it, possibly even cheer on the IDF?

    Very scared that your answer to the last is going to be yes…

    If any of this sounds anti-Israel please can I say that I absolutely do not intend it to be. I haven’t visited, and I very much want to. I’m just anti-war, and death, and I’m from a country that has never been under the pressure that Israel has experienced.

    I may never understand, and if my questions are the wrong ones, or worse, offend; please excuse me. My thoughts are with you all.

  13. […] You go, girl… […]

  14. Safranit: Exactly my point. What is happening in Gaza is terrible, but it’s hardly the only tragedy happening in the world these days.

    Kevin: I’d like to think that even from far away, I’d be smart enough to see the situation for what it is, and not just join the knee-jerk reactionaries who choose to ignore certain facts on the ground because they don’t gel with their world view.

    What War Zone: Thanks!

    RR: Thanks. I’m inclined to agree with you, that this is the essence of the problem. It is most unfortunate for the regular citizens of Gaza who just want to live their lives, but the way their government treats them is not our fault.

    Miki: You are right about the way the foreign press is neglecting to present all of the requisite background information. I’ve come across a few articles (mostly in the English language press here), not to mention countless blog entries in the local blogosphere that are trying to fill that gap.

    Becs: It’s not that simple. If everyone from your town picked up and left, two things happen – the terrorists win because your town turns into a ghost town, and the terrorists work to increase their range, hitting your new town (or other towns along the way. Also, don’t forget that in a lot of those towns in the periphery, socio-economic levels aren’t very high, and many of those people who may want to move simply don’t have the means to do so.

    Jameel: Thanks! That may very well be the first time you’ve ever said that about one of my posts! 🙂

    Carol: You’re welcome!

    savtadotty: Would you let me win at Scrabble?

    Matthew: It’s great that you’re such a strong supporter of Israel, especially given how unpopular we are at the moment. That being said, it sounds like you are advocating a Israel as a militaristic state, and that’s not what people want here. When it comes down to it, we just want to live our lives, and most people would give anything for the military to play a lesser role. I’m not thrilled by what we’re doing in Gaza right now, but I’m not sure what choice we had under the circumstances. I want Hamas to stop shooting rockets into southern Israel – that’s what it comes down to.

    Finnspadre: Wow. I’m not really sure how to take your first line. I can’t speak for my other commenters here, but I think you know me pretty well, and I’d like to think that if I react in a certain way, there’s probably a reason for it.

    I think you are mistaking anger and frustration for horror, shock and surprise. There is a saying that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. When Israel pulled the settlers and the army out of Gaza, it created a opportunity that the Palestinians could have used as the springboard for building confidence and rebuilding some semblance of an infrastructure. The situation was far from perfect – Israel left Gaza, but we turned it into a big prison. But still, instead of trying to create something normal, they chose to continue their attacks on Israel. And, even though our relationships with our neighbors are not necessarily as warm as we would like, for the most part, they aren’t shooting at us.

    I definitely do not have complete confidence in our government – far from it. I have a very heavy heart over what’s happening. As I mentioned above, what it all comes down to is that I want Hamas to stop shooting rockets, rockets which, as of today, have begun to hit the towns where my husband’s siblings live. Hamas opted not to renew the ceasefire. We warned them what could happen, yet they continued to provoke, shooting more and more rockets into Israel. They have fired thousands of rockets during the past eight years. Sanctions haven’t stopped them. Pinpoint attacks on the rocket launchers haven’t stopped them. Ceasefires haven’t stopped them. They aren’t interested in peace, and they aren’t interested in recognizing our right to even exist. It truly pains me that so many innocent Gazans are dying, but it also pains me that they are trying to kill us too.

    I read a week or so ago about two Palestinian girls were killed when a rocket launcher malfunctioned. What on earth were two little girls doing in the vicinity of a rocket launcher? They purposely use regular citizens to shield their activities, and have no qualms about putting them in danger. Is Israel simply supposed to sit back and do nothing, taking hit after hit after hit because of the impossible conditions that the Hamas leadership has created for its population? Imagine that you had spent the last eight years dodging rockets being fired on your town, knowing that each time you hear a siren, you have 30 seconds or less to run for cover. Imagine your child in that same situation. Imagine entire towns in that situation. For eight years. You know that your only deterrent is to show that you are stronger, even though it is the last resort that you prefer not to do, because you know the death and destruction it will wreak. Then, when you are pushed into a corner, when the world seemingly couldn’t care less that your child spends his life worried about where and when the next rocket will fall, you act. And suddenly, the world that didn’t give a damn while you were under attack is falling all over itself to cry foul, because you dared to take action to try to stop the rockets that were endangering your child’s life, nearly every day, for eight years.

    I don’t claim to know if the government and the military know what they are doing. All I know is that we have to find a way to stop the rockets. You know me. You know that I want and believe in peace, that I support the right of the Palestinians to have their own state, next to Israel. At this current juncture, as long as the Palestinians are so fragmented, we do not have anyone with whom to negotiate peace. We could, perhaps reach an agreement with Abbas, but he is only responsible for the West Bank now, and holds no sway at all in Gaza, since Hamas took over in a bloody coup.

    I am not “cheering on the IDF”, as you put it. I am in reluctant agreement with actions taken, because something had to happen, our backs were against the wall and I very much feel that we were forced to act, because Hamas kept pushing. I can only hope that you are as horrified by the degree to which Hamas is willing to sacrifice its citizens as you seem to be by the response of the IDF.

    While I won’t lie and tell you that no Israelis are thrilled by what’s happening (there are definitely people here who have been waiting and hoping that this would happen), most regular citizens here are also anti-war and anti-death. We just don’t seem to have the luxury of demonstrating that, given that some of the neighboring leaders and their followers don’t share the sentiment.

  15. Liza, very good answer to Finnspadre. I wish I was as articulate as you are. I am continually confronted by and frustrated by pro-Palestinian and anti-American attitudes which seem to be an automatic, mindless Australian position. I used to spend hours patiently explaining to people, to no avail. And my friends/acquaintances are mostly educated professionals. In the end I gave up out of exhaustion, but sitting quietly while people say stupid things about Israel/America is not exactly restful either. I would like to return to Israel, even to volunteer in Sderot, to be in the eye of the storm, rather than on the outside of the storm feeling frustrated and alienated. It’s like I’m living in the middle of a BBC nightmare. I know people leave Israel to get away from the situation, but the truth is, there is no getting away from the situation entirely. At least in Israel you are surrounded by people who understand.

  16. Liza, no I would not let you win at Scrabble. I respect you too much.

  17. Liza,

    How about those of us who are and have been condemning the actions of Hamas (as only we in our armchairs can with such sad lack of effect), been appalled by the bombings in Sderot for years, and who still find it entirely possible to condemn the actions of Israel this past week? I’ve never thought of myself as a bleeding-heart armchair warrior (although it is catchy…) but I think that you read condemnation of Israel as acceptance of Hamas and that is a big leap.

    Are you raging at governments? At all of us abroad who you don’t think get it? I just wasn’t sure where your rage was directed. I understand that you feel rage, and frustration. And you know how I hate to comment on your political posts. But I think your rage was fired out there, and perhaps hit more marks than intended.

    🙂

  18. nrg, I take it you are not happy with Israels “disproportionate” response, as it’s been called?

    I really can’t understand this one. What do people expect us to do exactly? Fire makeshift rockets of our own?

    I so agree with what Liza wrote, and have blogging about the same thing for the past few days. Yes, I feel sorry for the people of Gaza, but this one is entirely the fault of the Hamas. Not the Palestinians, not even the Gazans, but the Hamas.

    From speaking to people in Gaza, the Hamas no longer represents the people there. The majority of people there do not support the crazy policy of constantly provoking Israel (and what for? I still haven’t figured out this one). Some democracy too – I think that once Hamas have literally thrown their opponents out of windows, or just shot down the PLO activists in Gaza, their elected government is no longer legitimate. When you shoot the opposition you cease to be a democracy, in my book.

    Anyways, great post Liza!

  19. Israeli Mom,

    No, I am not happy with it. I will never be happy with a response that results in more death and destruction. Especially when I don’t believe it will help in the long run.

    Of course, I do not have a well thought out alternative response, either, so I have no solutions here. I agree that the situation in Gaza is awful, that Hamas is not leading the area toward peace. I also believe that Israel could do more to reach a peaceful end.

    It is difficult to comment on this situation, especially on the blog of a very dear and best friend, and I know that she knows where I’m coming from.

    I just didn’t think the post was great. The writing was fabulous, as always, but we’ll agree to disagree, won’t we Liza?

  20. Miki: I completely agree; it was a good response, and I now understand more than I did before. My disquiet remains though, as it does for everyone it seems.

    A plea: do not confuse ignorance and questions as being pro-Palestinian, or worse, anti-Israeli. I look at what I see on all sides, hold my head in my hands and am simply dumbfounded and horrified beyond belief at everybody and everything involved.

    You’re Israelis, so I ask you about what Israel thinks that it’s doing.

    Can I clear something up: the US is not Israel’s only friend. Israel is rational, well off, moderate and a democracy that enjoys more support and goodwill from the developed countries of the world in trade, cultural, tourist, political and pretty much every other tie that matters.

    I make absolutely no apology for expecting far, far more of Israel than I do of the other side. For the record, my perception of the Palestinians in power in Gaza and many of Israel’s neighbours is that they are objectionable, corrupt, ignorant, fanatical, homicidal, possibly genocidal, oppressively fundamentalist and desperate.

    Forget proportionality of response Israeli Mom. I want to make it clear this isn’t the issue. I’m just personally am very troubled at how you are waging war.

    So, Hamas is hiding rockets in mosques. I think it’s fair enough for me to ask why, in order to get rid of them, the IDF is making the choice to drop a bomb from 10,000 feet that they know full well will take out a couple of combatants, the rockets, but also civilians that have been deliberately placed there by Hamas.

    I totally support the IDF’s right to destroy the rockets, but I also wonder why it is beyond their technology, their resources, their wit to find another way of doing it. So what if Hamas isn’t playing fair? Israel, with its overwhelmingly superior military power, wealth, maturity and support must care about the civilians of Gaza even if Hamas does not. It is the very definition of your civilisation in relation to theirs. Israel must care about them, it has to, or all really is lost. Isn’t it?

    Here’s a thought. Do you think that someone in the Israeli government hasn’t considered other ways of getting rid of the rockets? But here’s the catch: the other ways would probably put IDF soldiers in harms way. Maybe many troops.

    Has the government avoided military options that would unfortunately result in greater loss of life in the IDF in preference for more blunt methods, like aerial bombing, that they know will cost many more non-combatant lives on the other side, because the civilian losses can easily be portrayed as Hamas’s fault for having put the people there in the first place? In other words, has the government valued (in real and PR terms) an IDF soldiers life above a Palestinian civilian life?

    If there must be war, there should be only two groups of people featuring in the casualty lists: Hamas military wing, and IDF soldiers. Whichever side is directly responsible for the greater loss of life outside these two groups, and by that I mean the ones who actually pull the trigger, should carry the greater shame. These 2 groups are the people who have pledged to carry this kind of activity out and have accepted the possibility of a lethal consequence. Everyone else must be spared by those that have the power to spare them. It is difficult to believe, if you’re outside the situation, that the IDF doesn’t have it in their gift to spare Palestinian civilians with far lesser resulting mortal (I stress mortal) danger to Israeli civilians. Or am I wrong?

    And I’m suspicious of the fact that the Israeli people in range of the rockets might be low socio-economic groups with no ability to move. This suggests that there’s an awareness that people would get out of there if they could. I believe Israel’s borders are secure; Hamas is not about to mount an invasion of Israel. I haven’t found an analysis that indicates that Hamas has anything other than an extremely limited supply of the long range rockets they’ve used over the last 3 days. I’m with Becs on this; is the Israeli government doing everything it can to move its citizens who want to go out of the range of the Quassams etc until they’re able to sort the situation out and make the region safe? It’s tempting to think that it’s somehow useful to leave them there. Or has it been important that they be left there on principle? If they stay by choice, do they not then accept (in the sense that they are prepared to endure but want everybody to do what is required to make it stop) the situation as it stands?

    As for Hamas then chasing on with bigger rockets if the area is evacuated for awhile, rocket science is indeed rocket science; Hamas can’t get hold of longer range ordnance without simultaneously giving you a far more obvious target to hit. Having a buffer zone will not affect your ability to strike.

    I hate it all, as I know you do too. I say again, my thoughts are with you all.

  21. Great post, Liza. Yaeli was kind enough to post a piece of mine over at GN, but yours is much better!

  22. Great post. Thanks for writing it.

  23. And what about those in the West Bank whose land has been taken, recently? And what about those whose houses are raided for no reason? What about Mohammed Omer, the Palestinian journalist BEATEN by IDF forces for no reason other than that he dared go abroad to accept an award? What about the Palestinians who’ve been denied their homes and land for 60 years?

    The rockets are terrible, and Hamas is wrong, but Israel has created far more injustice since the Nakba than Gaza alone ever could.

  24. Jillian: I’m going to be honest with you. I was very undecided about letting your comment pass through moderation for a number of reasons, but in the end I decided that I wanted to respond.

    With regard to Mohammed Omer, even the Palestinian doctor who examined him upon his return to Gaza disputed Omer’s story, claiming that he Omer didn’t have the injuries he claimed to have received.

    If you would take the time to read through some of my past entries, you would see that I am in favor of a two-state solution and that I am supportive of Palestinian rights. When you refer to the Palestinians who have been denied their homes and land for 60 years, I have no problem with them returning to the West Bank and Gaza. If a Palestinian state is created in these areas, they should be allowed to come live there. And if they have their own state in these areas, there is no need for them to “return” to Israel, unless the aim is to get rid of Israel completely, for that is what would happen.

    The rockets are terrible and Hamas is wrong. Period. This is not a mathematical equation to see who has greater suffering.

  25. Every human life is sacred, so I wont be giving you the (20 deaths in 8 years) vs. (400 in 7 days). But consider the most densely populated piece of land on the planet, besieged, starved, and cut off the rest of the world then bombed with F16s for 7 days. Put that image in your mind, then look at me in straight face and speak of the so-called morality of this whole thing. For crying out loud, are you people honestly and absolutely blind?

  26. Yazan: I can’t speak for my entire country – I can only speak for me. Why don’t you take some time to read other blog entries that I’ve written in the past and find out what my personal position is vis a vis the Palestinians before you lump me in with everyone. You don’t know me. I am not happy about what is happening, and I genuinely feel sorry for the deaths of these innocent Palestinians. Can you say the same regarding the innocent Israelis who have lost their lives in Palestinian terror attacks?

    I do not appreciate the tone of your last sentence, and almost deleted your comment without posting it based on that sentence alone. By all means, you are welcome to disagree with ideas on my blog, but I ask that you do so respectfully, as I would with you as a guest on your blog.

  27. Hi Liza,

    I’m a bit confused by your logic. You readily accept collective punishment for innocent Palestinians who you claim to be victims of the actions of Hamas, but you feel that Israeli citizens should be immune from any consequences for the brutal occupation of someone else’s land. This is what is commonly referred refer to as a ‘double standard’.

    Peter S.

  28. Can you say the same regarding the innocent Israelis who have lost their lives in Palestinian terror attacks?

    I thought I did say that in my very first sentence.

    Nonetheless, your cry foul against the rather meek (considering the amount of damage, life loss and viciousness) condemnations towards the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, is quite disturbing (I can only speak for myself too).

    How many of the 1.5millions must die before it is worth of you summoning up some “sorrow” for them?

    Dear Liza,
    The problem, has and always been, the ongoing occupation (And the apartheid and humiliation that follow closely), the ongoing aggression on an impoverished and helpless population. Hamas is not the problem, it is only a symptom of the problem. Years and tears of oppression push you closer to the edge, and people who can see no future will easily give up that future.

    I have no personal beef with you, you might as well be the most charming lady in the whole of this wretched middle east, but I have a moral and ethical problem with what your country has and is doing. No condemnation is enough for what Israel has done to the Palestinians.

  29. Peter: Where did you get the idea that I readily accept collective punishment for innocent Palestinians? Have you read the post? Have you read any of the comments I’ve written here? I suspect that you simply wanted to make your point and add a snappy sentence at the end.

    Read my blog. Really read it, don’t just make assumptions based on what you’d like to believe. Then we can enter into a dialog. If I’m wrong in my assumptions about you, prove it. Don’t just drop in here to pull a comment hit and run. I don’t have a tremendous amount of respect for those, or for the people who leave them.

  30. Liza,

    I’m not sure whose blog you think I’m reading, but I assumed the following words are yours:

    “The selective memory of the world is mind-blowing, in one fell swoop utterly obliterating any responsibility on the part of the Palestinians for the devastating situation in which they find themselves. It is not the Israelis’ fault that the Hamas leadership cares more about making the Israelis suffer than about the ongoing suffering of its own people. It is not the Israelis’ fault that Hamas is more than willing to sacrifice the lives of innocent Palestinians while aspiring to a goal that they will never be able to achieve – the destruction of Israel.”

    As far as I understand, Hamas is not the one killing Palestinians, the IDF is. The phrase “sacrifice the lives of innocent Palestinians” suggests that this is the price that the Palestinians as a whole must pay-i.e.-collective punishment, for the actions of Hamas. By saying “It is not the Israelis’ fault” you’re absolving your government from the brutal, indiscriminate bombing campaign that followed an 18 month blockade which was illegal under international law. If, in the willingness to achieve its goals, the IDF bombs mosques, schools, hospitals, and residential areas, they are targeting civilians. This fits any international definition of terrorism, and is perversely seen as legitimate (by some) because of the overwhelming force accompanied by the national insignias of the perpetrators.

    I also assumed the words below are yours:

    “The events of the past few days have been unfortunately predictable, and while it is certainly a shame that there are innocent civilians among the casualties, I simply do not have it in me to summon up a great deal of sorrow for this avoidable loss of life, avoidable, because the Hamas leadership purposely chose to impose this situation on its own people by opting to ignore the hints and warnings that were repeatedly issued by the Israeli government.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by asking me to “really read” your blog,but your choice of the following words in the above paragraph-

    “I simply do not have it in me to summon up a great deal of sorrow for this avoidable loss of life”

    -appear to speak for themselves. Perhaps I exaggerated in using the word ”readily”, but if you don’t think the above sentence implies acceptance then we have really different ideas about what words mean. I can read it as many times as you want, but the implications of that statement should be quite clear to all reasonable people, regardless of how many times they process it. Was loss of life “avoidable” for those five girls who were crushed to death under bricks after a neighboring mosque was bombed, or for any non-combatants in Gaza?

    What the whole paragraph says, as far as I can tell is-“Too bad innocent civilians are imposed upon by the crushing blows that we’re clearly going to serve Hamas; Hamas should have known better, therefore, those caught in the crossfire are out of luck and do not deserve ‘a great deal of sorrow” because their deaths were ‘avoidable”.

    Again, I’m not sure why you think innocent Israeli’s deserve empathy, while innocent Palestinians do not.

    Peter S.

  31. Liza

    Turks attacking kurds? that’s Turkey’s right to defend itself, isnt it?

    As i see it, Something something is no more a liberal blog.. but I understand.. you have a child.

  32. R: Are you serious? Any chance you’d care to explain how you reached that warped, inaccurate conclusion?

  33. israel has the right to defend its people. hamas are nothing but cunning terroist using all kinds of devices to wipe out israel.can one ever forget the olympics.or mumbai terror .the jews were the targets .


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