Shame on Israel

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Mon, May 31, 2010, 9:43 pm  //  John Servais

Shame on Israel. The arrogance and contempt they continue to show toward those who disagree with them gets worse each year. And they turn more and more to violence and murder in their frustration with the rest of the world. The country of Israel is becoming what they abhorred in Nazi Germany - in intent and purpose, if not in scale.

Israel callously continues to cause incredible suffering to the over one million people of Gaza. But that is only one of the several programs Israel uses to persecute non-Jewish residents of Palestine and Israel. They also chop down orchards that are vital to making a living. They blow up houses. They change the laws and steal land and whole villages. And they do their best to prevent reporting of these events.

Shame on Israel. A growing number of American Jewish people are becoming critical of Israel. And many of us, such as myself, who admire Jewish culture and achievements, watch with sadness as this country slowly turns itself inside out.

Well, the flotilla of aid and relief ships wanted to draw world attention to the blockade around the Gaza strip - and Israel just helped them do that. In spades - by murdering people on the ships. Israel explains that when they attacked the ships, they encountered people armed with - horrors - knives. The Israeli excuse for shooting dozens of people is that the people on the ship objected to the Israeli attack. Circular logic is normal for aggressors.

Shame on Israel. The nation thinks it is above International law. It is becoming a rogue state.

Note:  June 2 - I've added several links to news sources relevant to this post.

Related Links:

-> Treat Israel Like Iran - opinion by Stephen Kinzer
-> Aljazeera - Arab news service
-> Haaretz - Israeli newspaper
-> US Media Pull Punches on Flotilla Assault - by Esther Kaplan in The Nation
-> Informed Comment - respected blog by Juan Cole

Doug Karlberg  //  Tue, Jun 01, 2010, 11:50 am

John,

I have to respectfully disagree. This blockade is simply a border inspection to prevent arms(ie. rockets) from being imported into Gaza.

We do the same inspection at our borders, as do most
countries.

Somehow firing rockets into civilians, should enter into
your equation, before you come to a conclusion.

You call this a blockade, but this word is emotionally charged and is the wrong word. A better descriptions, is an
inspection station.

These inspections have been going on for a long time now, and nothing has been turned back, excepts arms.

By the way, they have found shiploads of machine guns and rockets in the past.

The evil Muslim country of Egypt also inspects goods flowing into Gaza from their border for arms.

When you look at the video of the attack, it is clear that the Israelis acted in self defense.

Since when have we fallen so low as to condemn someone defending themselves against knives.

I don’t know where this Politically Correct mentality comes from. We don’t have to look far to see this in our own country. In Chicago, the Mayor is considering prosecuting a Korean war veteran who shot and killed a home invader, but only after the invader was shot at twice while his wife and grandson were in the house.

I am certain that there are legitimate critisism of Israel, but when you put blinder on to the violence that the other side has directed upon the Israelis, you are only considering one side of the story, which will always lead to
demonization of Israel.

Tell both sides of the story.

Would we let rockets be imported into the US by people who have used them against us?

Never take a knife to a gun fight.

Maybe if the Hamas which is a known Iranian terrorist organization, and controls Gaza, were to stop shooting long enough to discuss peace, there would be progress.

Unfortunately Hamas, like Arafat before them, can only exist if the conflict continues.

It takes two to tango, and Hama’s hands are not clean, but I would not know this reading your article.

These inspections have been going on for a long time, and clearly this was a setup, by Turkey and Hamas. If the Israelis had not fired back, I am sure they would be dead by beating and stabbing, which is a human rights violation by any definition.

Watch the video. The Israelis were violently attacked.

Where is your outrage at their behavior?


John Servais  //  Tue, Jun 01, 2010, 9:17 pm

Well there are those who will defend Israel no matter what violence it commits and whatever wars it starts and whatever human persecutions it carries out.  For those, Israel can do no wrong.

You suggest the blockade is an “inspection station”.  Well, a blockade prevents travel and commerce and any normal travel.  It is a blockade.  Naming it something nice does not change what it is.  Gaza is blockaded.

How you can look at the Israeli armed forces dropping to the ships at 4 am from helicopters and then say that looking at the video makes it plain they were acting in “self defense” is, frankly, denying reality.  Israel attacked the ships. The people on the ships were defending themselves from an Israeli attack.  Hello.  The Israelis killed people and took over the ships in an armed attack.

Sadly, most people is the US think as Doug does - that the Israelis can do no wrong.  And this has allowed our nation to subsidize them with billions of dollars a year and protect them as they slowly drive all the original people out of Israel and Palestine. 

What is interesting is even many in Israel are horrified at what their military did this time.  Knee jerk defenders in the US are caught defending what even the Israelis themselves recognize as abhorrent military action.  The thinking that Doug presents is what causes so many wars - acting violently from a very self centered perspective and having little or no understanding or interest in others and their perspectives.


Doug Karlberg  //  Tue, Jun 01, 2010, 10:29 pm

Easy tiger. John, I never said that Israel could do no wrong.

I just think that you cannot issue a blanket condemnation of Israel without taking into account little things, like the rocket attacks.

It is hard to watch the tapes of Israels inspector being beaten with steel bars, and then accuse them of being the
agressors.

Every one who brings shipping into Israel, knows that their ships have to be inspected. Most of the inspection teams are not simply Israelis, but true multi-national inspectors with citizens from Sweden and other countries.

They are trying to stop rockets from being imported.

Frankly John, I have been boarded by our own Coast Guard in the middle of the night, unannounced, and they were armed with sawed off shotguns, not paint guns like the Israeli “commandos’.

I’ll bet you never checked to find out the fact that the
long guns that the Israelis are carrying are paintball guns,s, before you condemned them.

You are free to come to your own conclusions, but if a
bunch of facist thugs were raining down rockets in my neighborhood, I would not be carrying a paintball gun. Carrying a paintball gun is remarkable restraint.

The ships were well aware that they were going to be boarded. Come off it, there was not surprise here. All ships know they are going to be boarded, and if they have no weapons, they are quickly allowed to pass. Same as the Canadian border.

You seem to be apologizing for the poor Hamas, and to be saying it is okay to send rockets into Israeli civilians.

If you are against rocket attacks, why don’t you mention
it at least once in your article, John?


John Servais  //  Tue, Jun 01, 2010, 11:44 pm

The normal process for Israeli apologists is to change the subject and ask loaded questions that are nor relevant to the issue.  And so Doug proceeds - trying to stir up emotions instead of dealing with the facts.  He writes “I’ll bet you never checked to find out the fact…” and what follows does not matter.  He is impugning the other person’s mind set.  He tries to create doubt about what the other is writing - even while he avoids confronting the facts.  For the record, yes I did.  Gee - what did they use to kill and wound over 20 people?  Paint guns?  They also had weapons.  duh.

Doug writes a lot about rockets - 7 instances - as if rockets were involved in the peace flotilla bringing food to Gaza.  There were no rockets.  But that is an emotional issue and so I expect we will read more about them.  Easy tiger yourself, oh condescending one.  Try writing about the facts and quit doing pop psycho analysis on a writer you disagree with. 

Israel is just like any other country or nation in the world.  Yet it thinks it is above other countries and should be allowed to set its own rules.  And the US has enabled it to act as a rogue state for far too long.  This attack in International waters is a serious act of aggression and should not go unpunished.  No other country would be allowed to attack a ship in International waters.  Israel is no different than any other nation.


Doug Karlberg  //  Wed, Jun 02, 2010, 8:02 am

John,

We are just going to have to disagree. My problem is that Hama’s clear strategy is to rile up the hate-Israel crowd enough to force and end to the blockade.

Guess why Hamas wants to end the blockade?

They want to bring in arms, and kill Israelis.

John, would have you think that Hamas wants to bring in stuffed animals to the children and are not gong to kill people.

I don’t know what John’s solution to this intractable problem is.

Maybe he will share it with us, but in my view the Israeli inspections for arms is logical.

Maybe John thinks we should force Israel to end the blockade.

I hope that Johh will stand tall,
when the rockets again fall
when the blood and guts begins to flow,
I can say I told you so.


Doug Karlberg  //  Wed, Jun 02, 2010, 9:17 am

In the last ten years thousands of rocket attacks have been launched from the Gaza strip. In addition to the rocket attacks there have been hundreds of mortal attacks, and numerous suicide bombing launched from Gaza.

The Palestinians argued they only wanted their land back.

So Israel gave them back their land, forcefully uprooting their own citizens in the process. This was politically painful, but Israel did show genuine leadership in this decision.

Did giving the Palestinains back their land stop the
rocket attacks?

Nope.

Hamas is an arm of the Iranian government, and its publicly stated purpose ...

... is the eradication of Israel.

Supporting Hamas is hardly a moral stand.


g.h.kirsch  //  Wed, Jun 02, 2010, 4:55 pm

“Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves ... politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.”
—David Ben Gurion


Doug Karlberg  //  Wed, Jun 02, 2010, 8:30 pm

I guess if I follow this logic then the Europeans should go back to Europe, the Mexicans back to Mexico, and the African-Americans back to Africa.

And if every one does not leave, then the American Indians should consider it their right to lob rockets and kill indiscriminately.

This is insanity.

This is Sharia Law.


John Servais  //  Wed, Jun 02, 2010, 9:56 pm

No, Doug.  If we follow your extreme reasoning then by the same extreme thinking the Palestinians - the people of Gaza - should have International support for any violence against Israel.  They are the invaded, not Israel.  But we are not saying that.  Israel does have a right to exist - and so do the Palestinians.  And Israel must obey the same rules of conduct that they expect the Palestinians to obey.  And we in the rest of the world have been gradually getting enough of the double standard of Israeli actions and aggressions.

We in America have to look to foreign news sources for information on how terribly the Israeli government is treating the people of Gaza - and has for years.  They are starved, denied health care and denied most of the normal things of life.  Even the Israeli’s call it a blockade - and only you, Doug, call it inspection stations.  They even prevent toys for children in Gaza.  Why?  Because the people of Gaza elected Hamas as their leadership and Israel wants to cause the people to suffer until they throw off Hamas leadership.  This is calculated persecution of innocent people.  This must end.  This is the motivation behind the aid ships.  And the rest of the world now supports the people of Gaza.  And a growing number of Israelis are realizing that their country has become the persecutor of 1.5 million innocent people.


Larry Horowitz  //  Wed, Jun 02, 2010, 10:18 pm

I hope there is one thing we can all agree on:  The issues surrounding the conflict in the Middle East are far more complex than can be presented on this blog.  Regarding this confict, I agree with Albert Einstein, ?Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.?

I appreciate John Servais? perspective as well as Doug Karlberg?s.  With regard to Greg Kirsch?s comment in which he quotes Israel?s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, I believe the quote is of little value when taken out of context.  Mr. Ben Gurion?s 1938 statement refers to the 1936 ? 1939 Palestinian Arab nationalist revolt that was crushed by the British, with considerable brutality.  As a realist, Mr. Ben Gurion simply acknowledges the nature of the Palestinian revolt.  Since Greg posted the quote without any comment, one cannot determine what Greg?s point is.

The Middle East needs a peacemaker who can rise above the entrenched violence.  War has created the problems in the Middle East, but is not likely to solve them.


g.h.kirsch  //  Wed, Jun 02, 2010, 11:37 pm

I threw in the statement from Ben Gurion to try and add some historical context underscoring the futility of a situation that will never end in peace.

War has not caused the problems in the middle east.  The problems in the middle east are ancient and are rooted in the irrationality of religous thinking.  Religion is the problem that has led to war in the middle east and it is unlikely that will ever change.


Ham Hayes  //  Wed, Jun 02, 2010, 11:43 pm

Perhaps it is time to ask the warriors on both sides to step aside. So far they have just repeated the same behavior as in the past.  Then invite the mothers from both sides to meet and address the issues. They are the ones who hold the grief of lost sons, fathers and husbands.  The outcome couldn’t be any worse and it is likely to be different and possibly better.


Dick Conoboy  //  Thu, Jun 03, 2010, 11:34 am

You may wish to view this reporting entitled “Suicide Activists on the Gaza Flotilla” that was posted on YouTube today:
+ Link

And this entitled “Adam Shapiro’s Free Gaza Lies”
+ Link

I just came back from a trip to Israel in March. Never having been there, I did not have an accurate concept of the situation on the ground.  America is a very big country.  Israel is tiny, the small packet the size of a cigarette pack on the 50 yardline of the football field of the Arab world and that Arab world just has to have that little package.  The distance from Gaza to Tel Aviv or to Jerusalem is about the same as from Bellingham to Everett.  Everything takes on an immediacy there that one does not appreciate in the US.  For the Israelis, the opponents are at the door.  For them to take protective measures is eminently reasonable to me.


Shame on Israel

Mon, May 31, 2010, 9:43 pm  //  John Servais

Israel is becoming a rogue state. It is showing a disdain for International law and world opinion.

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