Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

I realized that with the numerous comments on the prior post and the split between old blog and new – it made the most sense to create a new post with my responses.

These responses are to the post https://thelonesoldier.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/to-israel-or-not-to-israel as well as to http://europetowhat.com/2010/11/12/to-israel-or-not-to-israel.

Mike: You are correct in saying that the Arab-Israeli conflict started long before most people believe – therefore it is even more complicated than the majority of people think. The modern incarnation of the conflict (post 1920) is only the most recent uprising. It is ingrained in the way each society is brought up, and only grows stronger as time goes on. The longer peace talks go on without a solid negotiation, the harder a compromise will be to achieve.

Nick: Many of those reasons you listed ARE the reasons, all enveloped by a desire to protect the beauty of a country only recently founded (1948) and just as recently trying to be destroyed. A country which before the Jews/Israelis came was mostly arid lands and after which were transformed over time. It’s a desire to serve and preserve the hard work put into changing these lands for the better.

FormerLS: I agree that I will assuredly have a changed outlook after my service. I hope to never lose my morals and ideals however. As much as Gaza is an example, what about the Sinai peninsula? Israel gained peace with Egypt only after giving up that LARGE piece of land and withdrawing all troops and civilians from the land. I think giving up land can potentially work, but only if a stringent plan for both sides is set in place prior. I’m not saying to give up more land than Israel already has, but at some point the settlements will go too far and infuriate the Palestinian government and people. Clearly this is a debate that could go on for ages – and it has. I don’t have the answer and obviously there isn’t one yet, otherwise there would be peace. Please continue to comment as I would love to hear more from an informed veteran as time goes on!

Connie: Thanks for your continued support! A positive attitude is the only way to go through life, climb and strive for more; there’s no point in wallowing in a pit of sorrow when you can be basking in the light of day. Peace is attainable, but only when both sides come to the realization that compromises must be made…

P.S. I never ending up drinking at the airport… was far too exhausted from the travel time. I slept on a bench for 3 hours though!

Hansel: Firstly, let me thank you for your well thought out and well written response. Luckily I saw it in time before I published this response post. As much as the settlements are “meant to be” part of Israel, and many of them may well be included, many of them will also be dissolved into Arab land. I should have phrased that sentence to say that “not all would be included as Israeli lands”. The outliers will likely be turned over, and only those closest to East Jerusalem and other predominantly Jewish settlements/towns will remain in Israeli hands. It’s similar to when Israel was founded, with all the kibbutzim which set the general territorial lines.

I agree with you when you say that the Arab negotiators are using the settlements as a point to delay the talks, but they have the right to. They are trying to get what they want. Regardless of whether Israeli’s withdrew from Gaza as well as the Sinai peninsula, the West Bank and Jerusalem is a much more delicate area with more being at stake. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, but according to Palestinians it’s also their capital. Even though many of their main operations are out of Ramallah, how is that different from Israel and Tel Aviv?

I know that there have been plenty of peace treaties that should have been accepted (like the one with Jordan concerning the West Bank), but the fact is that they weren’t. Unfortunate, but the current talks need to start from square one and IMO shouldn’t bring up old talks – it’s just like bringing up old beef with someone you have a new problem with, it never ends well.

As for how many Arabs choose to fight, I obviously do not condone their actions and methods. I can understand how people think of them as “dogs”, but I also realize that it’s not all of them; which is why I specifically labeled terrorists as dogs, and Arabs as people. I believe that most stereotypes and generalizations come from some sort of truth,  but they can also lead to hate which is not deserved by all. It’s because of this that I thank you for your strength in holding your tongue, even against such adversity. Be better than those you don’t respect, otherwise you’re only lowering yourself to their level – but from reading your response, it doesn’t seem like I need to tell you that.

EVERYONE: I’m not sure If I responded to every point you all made, but I tried. Please keep reading and responding, as I love the debating and correspondence. I know I’m not always right, and I would love to learn from others that know more than myself. In the future I may not have as much time to respond, but rest assured I am definitely reading your responses.

Remember: for the latest updates, be sure to become a fan on The Lone Soldier Facebook Page.

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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