To Israel, Or Not To Israel

Posted: December 1, 2010 in Before Deployment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This is a re-post from my old blog “EuropeToWhat?!“. As it pertains more to this blog than the old one I’m re-posting it along with the comments. My replies to the comments will be in the comments following the post.

The Debate (slightly edited for grammar and ease of understanding):

“The Head of United Nations in Gaza said today [10/12/10] that the purported easing of the Israeli blockades 5 months ago are only political, not real, and have not shown any improvement in the ability of 1.7 million Gaza residents to receive aid. Gaza’s industry has been devastated over the last 4.5 years since that border has been blockaded. -from BBC World News today”

My Response:

I searched the entire BBC site and can’t find anything referencing that. But nevertheless, if it is true, it’s also still true that the blockade has accomplished it’s goal of limiting qassam rocket attacks directed towards southern Israel. The occasional rockets and mortars which still continue to hit Israel are usually smuggled through Egypt.

I feel bad for the residents of Gaza who are doing nothing wrong, yet at the same time you must understand that the territory is being “governed” by a terrorist organization. Why is Hamas trying so hard to smuggle in rockets and weaponry instead of bringing aid to their own people?

Hamas ruled Gaza and Fatah governed Palestinian territories are completely and undeniably separate. Hamas seized power in Gaza by force and is not an organization which has any interest in discussing peace.

I am not an “extremist” Zionist as you seem to believe that I am, but I do believe in Israel’s right to exist. I had a half hour conversation today with a friend explaining to him how wrong he was to hate the people he refers to as “Arabs”, “they”, “Palestinians”, even sometimes as “dogs”. These words cannot and should not be used interchangeably. “Arabs” are people, “they” is a vast generalization, “Palestinians” are the people who we should be making peace with, and “dogs” are the terrorists attacking civilians.

Do I think Israeli settlements in the West Bank are a good idea? Absolutely not, it’s detrimental to the peace talks and totally pointless in the grand scheme of things. The only reason Israeli’s want to build there is 1. Either they are extreme zionists that believe ALL the land belongs to them or 2. Because in case of a two state solution, those settlements would remain part of Israeli territory (which is most likely not the case anyways).

And so in conclusion I, like another lone soldier I’ve been talking to am joining/thinking of joining the IDF because:
1. Military can be a great experience that not many people get to have
2. I have nothing better to do
3. I like it here in Israel (at least for now) and
4. Maybe, just maybe, I can change a few peoples minds about the way they view the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict.

Citations:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/14/world/middleeast/14mideast.html
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas-Fatah_conflict
  4. personal experience and/or knowledge based on prior education

Your Responses?

I would like to hear the responses to my argument, I am open to all words – so long as they are coherently written and backed by evidence. Let me know about your thoughts!

2 Responses to To Israel, Or Not To Israel

  1. Coherantly written: Of course, as you know I do not drink.
    Evidence: Living in Israel and witnessing with my own eyes.

    Now with that settled, I’ll try to keep this brief…

    One can say that the ‘Jew/Arab’ conflict started with Esau and Ya’akov (YisraEl), or even before that, IshmaEl and Yitsak – although the latter Arab-nation founder was a bit repentive to his brother…

    Arriving in Eretz Yisrael in mid-August 2001, it was a week after the gory Sbarros pizza homicide bombing, the charred remains being one of the first sights I beheld as I walked the streets of Yahrushalom (Yerushalyim). Shortly after that, I was with my now grown foster kids near the shuk when a car bomb exploded a few blocks away, and another homicide bomber ripped his cursed body to shreds on Ben Yehuda street.

    If the Arabs that are still in Israel were not being used as political pawns under the auspices of yasir arabfatlips and hamas to follow, then I would say there would be some sort of solution to the ‘problem’ … but alas, the ‘palestinian-Jordanians’ (yes, many hold passports of Jordan) , were turned away by their own countries of origin and feel stuck. Also, purging the teaching from their schools that ‘Jews must die’ and the other miscellaneous propagandic rhetoric from their schools would be a ‘show of faith’ from their leaders.

    The IDF is one of the most humanitarian military forces in the world, too soft for my liking. There are such policies and procedures in place that favor those who would dream of our annihalation.

    I’ll rest it here, for now, with another snippet from the TaNaK: Yehoshua was commanded to come into the land of Canaan and wipe out all if its inhabitants, not to leave any standing. Instead, the ancient Hebrews mixed and mingled with pagans and the locals at the time. Oi vey…

    More on this as your experiences here become lengthier, and I stick to what I’ve said before: wether in the publishing business or the Israel political landscape, the opinions of those without direct experience are laughable.

    -MK

  2. I don’t have direct experience so feel free to laugh at my opinions.

    A military is a military. That’s my opinion. Draw your own conclusions.

    Now for a question. Why is it that so many people I know end up persuaded towards the IDF after living in Israel for a short time? I’m not looking for the typical response of seeing first hand the threat of safety/annihilation, requirements for citizenship, and passion brought forth by the resilience of both the Israelis and their enemies. If those ARE the reasons, fair enough.

    Come back to NY first or travel further around the world before deciding to enlist. That’s my opinion.

    Brought to you by love,

    Nick

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Comments
  1. FormerLS says:

    You will change your mind if you are lucky enough to make it to a combat unit. While I sympathize with most palestinians I don’t believe that those Israeli’s living in the west bank are all idealists. You will be guarding these settlements and keeping these people alive, whether you like it or not. You will quickly find out that the settlements in the west bank are the smallest piece of the puzzle. Giving up land for peace simply doesn’t work, Gaza IS the example.

    Nick, I could answer your question, but not having gone through the training and whole experience of the IDF I doubt you would understand.

  2. Connie Kartell says:

    Jonathan,

    I’ve followed and enjoyed your blog before you left for Europe. Inspired and concerned about your new found passion, I’m keeping a positive attitude like your mother said to do. Your wisdom and understanding is certainly hopeful. Is Peace attainable? Wishing you a wonderful and safe experience please don’t drink too much in London…Connie

  3. Hansel says:

    “Because in case of a two state solution, those settlements would remain part of Israeli territory (which is most likely not the case anyways).”

    Actually, that is the case. The settlements build in the west bank by Israel are to be part of a future Israel. The purpose of those settlements is to secure Jerusalem and to ensure that it remains the capital of Israel. Even so, there are Arab settlements in Israeli territory as defined by the 1967 borders that will become part of a future palestinian state, including multiple areas around Beit Shan.
    You seem pretty well educated, from what I can gather of your opinion towards the subject, but you must understand some things that most people dont: Settlements are not an obstacle to peace. The only reason that they are being brought up by the Arabs is because they are using it as a motive to delay the peace process.
    This is my proof that settlements are not an objective to peace. When Israel made peace with Egypt, the talks ensued despite the fact that Israel was building settlements in the sinai peninsula. Additionally, Israel was able to achieve peace with Egypt despite the build up of settlements in the Sinai until the peace treaty was accepted. Israel withdrew from those settlements.
    Proof #2: Israel was able to make strides in the peace process with the Palestinians including the unilateral withdrawal of Israel from Gaza. Never had the Palestinians requested a “settlement freeze” when making this deal, and never had Israel stopped building settlements when negotiating the deal. Nonetheless, Israel withdrew. Keep in mind, although Gaza is controlled today by Hamas, the deal was made with the PA, the current organization requesting “settlement freezes” in the West Bank.
    Israel’s peace with Jordan was similar, when Israel was building settlements in the West Bank after 1967 and offered the whole territory, with the exception of E. Jerusalem, back to Jordan (Jordan however rejected offers of the West Bank in return for peace).

    Lastly, please understand where these Israelis are coming from when they refer to Arabs as “dogs”. I for one have had multiple confrontations with arabs throughout my visits to Israel. One tried to drown me, one threw stones at me, a riot broke out on a highway from Tel Aviv to Haifa where a neighboring “Israel-Arab” village ran down to the highway and beat the cars in the traffic jam with golf clubs and bats. I have seen bus bombings, I have spent a summer in a bomb shelter (not out of choice), I have seen my friends die and I have heard of deaths in my family, all due from Arabs. I see the way they teach their children. A song I heard from an Arab “school” (a group of children singing in a circle with a teacher) “we dont want bread, we dont want butter, we want bombs bombs bombs”. It was the slogan song during the intifada and it is still taught today in PA schools in the West Bank. Never have I been able to visit the dome of the rock because Jews are not allowed in Arab territory, however they can move freely around Israeli territory. After every event I still manage to hold my tongue as to not call them “dogs”. But sometimes, they just ask for it.

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