Monday, January 5, 2009

What About the Children?

I truly can't express my feelings about the attacks on Gaza. I have tried but everything I write seems so explosive - I am that outraged.

I plead with anyone thinking this is a 'war' - thinking Isreal is 'protecting its own' to do a little research. That is the crap the mainstream media is feeding us.

And - this action does NOT have the support of all Isrealis. We do not see much coverage of the soldiers refusing to go in - of the demonstrations against this terror.

It seems to me that the leadership in Isreal is doing a great injustice to the people of Gaza and to their own people. Much like our leaders have.

This world needs less blood thirsty bullies.

Now that he is finally unemployed perhaps Dick Cheney could start a club for them all, buy an island where they could all go and fucking blast each other into another realm.

It stuns my soul ...

71 comments:

Raven said...

The whole situation in Israel/Gaza is so disturbing and tragic. The bulk of the people - adults and children - victims of the insanity of a small collective of maniacs on both sides. Neither willing to give an inch or take any responsiblity for their own actions, all justifying obscene behavior. Makes me sad. While I sympathize with Israel about being bombed and can't imagine what it is like to live that way, I think the violence of their response - as always - is outrageous, inhumane and counter-productive.

I haven't been able to find the words to post on this subject, though I have wanted to. Thanks for doing it.

On a cheerier note, I love the elephant video below and almost posted it myself but wound up doing nothing all day. Certainly seems like if an elephant and a dog can be best friends, the Arabs and the Israeli's ought to be able to find some middle ground too, doesn't it?

Dianne said...

Raven - I almost didn't even post this - especially after how uplifting the elephants were - but the Queen of Jordan touched me and I had to say something.

I know that terror has been perpetuated against Isreal as well but their response is so extreme - it's akin to the police coming into my neighborhood and blowing up all the houses because in one of them someone did something wrong.

And the timing!! while Bush is still in charge!!

The powers that be in Isreal have created much of the Gaza problems. I can't help but feel that they would prefer to kill as many there as they can.

Linda said...

I was trying to express my outrage about this to my mother yesterday when we were watching the news but I just didn't know how to put it in terms that didn't have a lot of spots that had to be bleeped out. I told my mother that if Israel couldn't get along with their neighbors perhaps they could find a place that didn't border anyone else but alas, I guess they can't leave the Holy Land (which is merely a bit of land and not worth dying - or worse yet - killing over).

When land becomes more valuable than people then priorities need to be reevaluated and leadership needs to be changed.

I am sick of all the violence in this world and like Rodney King wonder why we just can't all get along?

Mrs. C said...

Okaaaayy...

I've read the end of the book and I know how this one turns out. But meanwhile, I'm not really so keen on listening to people from the UN tell me about human rights, you know? :p

For all our troubles here in America, we can at least say that *most* of the people who cross in from Mexico just want a job and don't want to bomb us.

Sylvia K said...

We all need to do some re-evaluating and frankly, Dianne, I like your idea of putting the bullies from everywhere on an island and let them kill each other, then maybe the rest of the world would have a chance, slim maybe, but a chance to live in peace, find a way to love all people. We're really not that different, most of us basically want the same things -- except for the above mentioned ass holes!

Liberality said...

I am right there with you Dianne. I think it is disgusting how the MSM feeds us propaganda rather than telling us the news/truth. At least now with the Internets and some digging we can find out what is really going on as it is happening rather than read a book about it years after it occurred with pertinent analysis.

Linda Reeder said...

It's hard to take sides in a situation where no one is right, but if you look at the death tolls for the Gaza vs. Israel, it certainly shows whi is the bigger menace to humanity.
I broached this subject today, too, as part of an essay on new beginnings, old baggage.

The Quiet Rage said...

Thanks for posting this stuff... All I can say is, GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!

Maithri said...

Thanks so much for opening our eyes and hearts to this situation my friend.

May we all continue to raise our voices for justice across the world...

Blessings, M

Dianne said...

linda - you bring up a whole new aspect that makes my blood boil - religion - i.e., Holy Land. More blood has been spilled in the name of man made Gods than for any other reason.

mrs c - UNICEF has always done good work as far as I know.

sylvia - I'm really warming up to the idea ;)
and I keep thinking of more and more 'leaders' who can have a spot on the island.

liberality - the evening news is downright obscene - 2 minutes vignettes of carnage and absurd statements by that pig in the White House. sadly it is where far too many Americans get their 'news' - those who bother to be informed at all

linda r - the people of Gaza have basically been penned in and then assaulted.

quiet rage - hopefully the new administration can get some diplomatic solutions working but I have my doubts with Clinton as Sec. of State

Dianne said...

maithri - I was thinking of you and your comment appeared! How do you do that :)

the walking man said...

In reading the Jerusalem Post yesterday and especially the editorial "No Apology to the World" I don't believe that the Israeli's intend to leave anything of Hamas.

I get the impression that if they felt they could do it they would further section off the land and make the entire of the place controlled by Abbas a series of concentration camps where they could control every aspect of Palestinian life.

What bothers me is that Hamas was elected in what all the world sees as fair elections, yet them who don't agree with the vote set out from the outset to destroy them elected in the democratic process they had worked to institute.

This does not bode well for anywhere that people vote in a government contrary to the availing opinion of the powerful.

Robin said...

I can't help but wonder how many of you have ever set foot in this land and seen things for yourselves, rather than waiting for the media to hand it to you with whatever spin they choose to put on it.

Palestinians are NOT Israel's enemy. The Hamas, a TERRORIST organization which is launching MISSILES at KINDERGARTENS from within civilian homes and schools, forcing them to themselves become targets, is. For that I, a dyed in the wool bleeding heart, peace-loving liberal whose heart is breaking at the price we are ALL paying and who has been crying out for peace on my blog long before this war, make no apology.

How many other armies do you think actually call their victims on their cellphones to warn them that the building they are in is about to be bombed and give them time to leave safely if they choose? The Israeli army, these "bullies" you want to throw out of their homes, do that. They call the very people who are shooting at them and ask them to leave safely. If they choose instead to go up to the roof to show they're inside, a small warning charge is fired to disperse them before the building is bombed. It's called "knocking on the roof". How many others would give up the element of surprise to do this? The Hamas terrorists you're so quick to defend certainly don't - they aim for schools and shopping malls for maximum damage.

Those "poor little Hamas rockets" injured a three-month old baby in his own home just this morning. What could he possibly have done to deserve that. We have endured this deadly rocket fire for eight long years already. At what point does it become legitimate in your eyes to say enough tell me?

Put yourselves in our shoes for a moment and tell me you wouldn't react.

Let's Play Pretend

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I'm with Robin on this one, my dear. I am NOT a lover of War in any way, shape, or form...But I believe in fighting back, IF Needed....These Terrorists will destroy Israel and every Jew, if they could. That is their mission. This is a very complicated complex situation. And the attempted destruction and elimination of The Jews has been going on for centuries....Sometimes the ONLY thing to do is to stand up and fight back.

Matt-Man said...

Fuck em' both. The Israeli gov't and Hamas are both full of religious idealogues. Just another example of religon helping to produce violence.

I do believe Israel has a right to protect itself as does any other country.

Perhaps if the leaders of Hamas were more interested in trying to supply the citizens with housing, roads, food, electricty rather than just screaming "Israel is our enemy" thngs might be better.

Other Arab countries are as much to blame for this problem as well. They don't help the Palestinians economically. They use their plight for propaganda.

But back to Israel fro second. I say we cut off aid to them. That frickin' country is a money pit. And we fund it because of some biblical prophcey. Fuck that!!

Cheers!!

Bedlam said...

Qassam and Qud-2 rockets can make any country pull out the big guns. Dont point that thing at BEDLAM. Tick-Tock = This situation in Gaza was going to happen regardless. Ding Dong, Anyone in the Arab League would have told this. eerrrr Hamas has formed a legitimate government. sssshhh...remember who they are..... and POP, ha, haaaBEDLAM HERE, goto add my seven and a half cents here. Blog world there are people that care, Bedlam , I mean BEDLAM!!! glad to see some interest. There is more to come from this. Human Rights watch out what till the methylpyridinium bromide dimethylcarbamate reports come out. Whooo !!!! that when you call MAMA. Hold on
456f-dgjer95dfgyth.ls0reirjf, that was Baby BEDLAM, him wanted to type too.

BEDLAM

Dianne said...

mark - I can't add to anything you've said.

robin - I'm sorry if you have the impression I am defending Hamas - I don't defend terror. I am asking about the timing of the attacks and the severity of the attacks. As for warning innocent people first - all the research I have done says that YES their are warnings BUT there is no where for the civilians to go. Once again I ask the question I posed to Raven - if one of your neighbors was shooting at the police would it be OK for the police to gate off your entire neighborhood and attack you all?

oldold lady of the hills - I can't say more than what I have said to Robin other than perhaps to add that there are many cases of people who have been persecuted all their existence - look at Africa - yet we (the US) would never condone an all out attack by an army against civilians who have been penned in and cut off from the world. What do we replace the persecution of the Jewish people with? The extinction of Islam? The denial of Muslims as decent people? To some degree - especially since 9/11 that is exactly what is going on. Leads back to my belief that man made religion is at the heart of so much of this world's misery. I have already been told, by many friends, that I'm not a good Jew for my beliefs and to me that speaks volumes to the mindset.

matt-man - I wish saying 'fuck-em' would be enough but unfortunately we are in that region forever - and we certainly did our best to add to the problems.
I will give you a giant Amen re. religion producing violence.

Dianne said...

Bedlam - I fear the "more to come from this" - and wish for a better solution - for BOTH/ALL sides.

Robin said...

They can come out of the buildings. Many have. Others choose not to.

As for the timing, if you're going to cast blame then cast it where it belongs. There was a ceasefire, such as it was, in place. HAMAS made the decision to end it and drastically stepped up their rocket attacks on defenseless towns and villages. Israel, who had given up Gaza to it's elected government, who had not been firing, had no choice but to respond. Would you have us sit by as they continue to murder and terrorize? Entire populations in the South suffer from post traumatic stress disorder from living under these attacks for EIGHT YEARS. Children sent home from school at a moment's notice, their parents at work in another town forced to scramble to decide if it's safer to drive to get them or tell them to find shelter where they are, children afraid to keep the windows closed on a stormy day for fear they won't hear the warning sirens... Children in Sderot have only 15 seconds warning before the rockets hit. 15 seconds. Less time than you'd have for a game of hide and seek.

Israel is not fighting a holy war, we are fighting to give our people the basic safety they need to be able to get up in the morning and send their children to school, knowing that their kindergarten won't be bombed like the one in Beersheva yesterday.

All Hamas needs to do to stop this is stop the rocket fire on innocent civilian populations and stop smuggling long-range missiles into Gaza via tunnels. Just that, and it ends. Even other Arab countries are telling them this has to happen. They overstepped badly this time. They went too far, and it has to stop here.

It's easy to speak from far away. I used to work closely with many Palestinians. I have been in their homes, shared their food and mine. I KNOW these people meant me no harm, but they have allowed themselves to be used by a brutal gang of murderers. When someone is hiding weapons in the bathroom of a private home or in a mosque what choice is there really but to strike against that home or that mosque. Does the fact that the smugglers in the tunnels are often children mean that the weapons they are bringing in are any less deadly?

M.Kate said...

Dianne, I followed your link from Bobbi. It's a sad case. Our PM, ex PM and everyone else lobbied against it. I seriously think my current PM sucks but he has a point, too many innocent dying. I am sad beyond words, yet I try not to post anything on this as I worry that it could be sensitive to others, but you did the right thing. What is wrong is wrong and there is no beating the bush around it. I think this will only lead to worst things, worst future for them and many Islamic fundamentalist worldwide. Over here, there's only condenmation, esp when our official religion is Islam and 65% population is Islam too. I just dont understand.

Dianne said...

robin - I am sorry that you feel so offended and angered by my thoughts. And again - I don't defend Hamas. I do not believe Hamas cares at all about the people of Gaza and I am sure there are many who wanted this to happen to fan flames and cause blood shed. I wonder - since the Isreali army is so well trained and equipped wouldn't it have been possible for covert actions to be employed to rout out Hamas leaders - much the way I believe the US could have found Bin Laden if they really wanted to but his existence is such a good excuse for their actions thru-out the Arab world. As for the guns being carried about by Palestenian children - I wonder how many of those came from America - my guess would be many. Ultimately innocent people die - on all sides. And yes - it is easy to speak from far away - what would be the alternative? to not have thoughts or questions?

Bond said...

Interesting communications going on here today Dianne.

Communication...gee...now isn't that something they have tried over and over in this region - yet, it comes back to war.

Any country has the right to defend itself. Terrorists need to be put down like the mad-dogs they are.

it is up to the legitimate Palestinians to stop supporting those who bring war into their backyard.

it is time for Israel to allow those who are living peacefully to do so.

it is time for the USA to butt out and let these people settle their own feuds.

Lisa said...

It is ugly and disgusting how things get justified when innocent lives and people are involved.

The world really does need to figure out how to get along. We cannot keep going on like this.

Dianne said...

m.kate - sensitive it is! and I considered that before saying anything - but isn't that what free speech is all about - and how do any of us learn if we don't communicate. This entire situation brings out so much emotion - I have received some e-mails - I think I'll post about them once I wrap my head around it - but one of them congratulated on me on 'exposing the Jews'
WTF!? So what am I supposed to do now? support Isreal to prove I don't hate Jews? or worse yet - to prove I am a worthy Jew myself. If I have to err on one side or another I will always err on the side of opening my mouth and having thoughts and asking questions. Thanks for the kind words, they are appreciated.

bond - I hope everyone appreciates the fact that this is a good and safe place to have dissenting views. And I hope we all learn a bit from each other - I know I do.
thanks for your thoughts - which make a lot sense of course. I fear the US will never butt out - it is one of the reasons I could not support Hillary Clinton as President and believe she was a terrible choice for Secretary of State. And now I have opened a whole new can - haven't I?

Dianne said...

Lisa - well everyone thinks they have 'God' on their side. Not to mention that, through-out history, poor people have been deeemd expendable and dark skinned people have been deemed expendable. I don't know how to do a spreadsheet that determines who is more worthy of living. What I do know is that over 100 women and children have been killed and more lie beneath rubble.

Ivanhoe said...

Who really knows what is really going on there? Who started it and who is right? The regular Joe Schmoe will always suffer the most, but I think it's time to settle it there once and for all.
:o)

Cherie said...

What it is is complicated. What it is is sad. [An aside to Matt-Man: We [the US government] does not support Israel because of a biblical prophecy. We do it because of our collective guilt in permitting the Holocaust to happen during WW II. Never again.]

It's fine to be against war, but should it be to the point of suicide? Because that is what it would mean if the Israeli government did not respond. How many rockets is enough? How many before it is morally justified for them to take military action to stop it?

It's hard to come up with a diplomatic solution with a group that doesn't acknowledge your right to exist.

It's complicated. It's sad.

Jeff B said...

Dianne, thank you for allowing all of these comments to flow. I have read them all and been both, applauding and down right pissed off from one to the next.

No matter which side of the isle one is on, it's refreshing to see a forum where all opinions are welcome.

Dianne said...

ivanhoe - the 'regular Joe Schmoe' is indeed always the victim. I wish there was a clear 'side' - a clear right vs. wrong but for me there isn't. and that is torturous.

cherie - complicated and sad for sure. I think we support Isreal because of an underlying hatred (is that too strong?) should I say bigotry? for Islam, for Muslims, for dark skinned people. That and the incredible political and lobbying power of pro-Isreal groups here in the states. and I come full circle back to Hilary Clinton and other elected officials like her. In my old neighborhood in Brooklyn there is a Congress person who is on an all out crusade to scare the elderly Jewish population and to harass the Arab store owners - of course he sees it as being a community activist. During the Presidential campaign this asshole, along with many rabbis, told worshipers that if Obama were elected Isreal would be destroyed and they, here on US soil, would be in jeapordy. So I guess - in a way - Matt has a point.

jeff b - as I told bond I can't imagine it being any other way here - it has been from day one - it remained so through the long and painful election and I hope it will always be that way.
thanks for recognizing that - your opinion means a lot to me.

Shelly said...

Wanting to comment, trying to find the right words...stumbling.
Then I read Ravens comment at the very top of this comment roll...she said it all so perectly, there is nothing for me to add.

Karen said...

I understand the human rights issues and I know in my heart what I feel is logical. But at the same time, all I can feel is pity for both sides.

They are fighting for something that beyond my comprehension. Something so deeply set in their culture and religion. I don't understand sensless killings due to hatred (ie terrorism), but part of me can understand fighting for home turf, your holy land. And even if you can get the governments to reach an accord, is it impossible to get the average citizen to put those feelings aside?

I wish I knew what the answer is. I will be very interested to see how the new administration tackles this neverending issue.

Shelly said...

Oh,and yes indeed...Hilary Clinton is a dreadful choice for Secretary of State, Obama completely threw me on that one.
Shaking my head.

Dianne said...

shelly - Raven often has the right words, a balance of goodness.
a lot of Obama's choices have me shaking my head and that disturbs me, and oddly - makes me feel as if I need to apologize to him for that - questioning has become the equal of condemnation in this country - Bush saw to that - if you questioned you weren't a good American so now whenever I question Obama I feel as though I am opening doors for those who hate him - this is all such a mess.

karen - I have a hard time with it also for similar reasons. Maybe because I am so many nationalities, 3 different religious backgrounds - I also wonder if perhaps the average citizens could get along and it is the governments/leaders/whatever we call Hamas that get in the way.
I too am interested to see how the new admin. handles this - but Lord is their plate full - the economy alone is a full time disaster - and it is hard to get people to care about the world when they can't keep their jobs or homes. Suddenly I feel very sad.

gabrielle said...

Diane, thanks for speaking out about this.
Terrorism refers to the killing of innocents to achieve political purposes. Governments are often exempted from this definition. When a well funded state like Israel indiscriminately attacks Gaza with F16’s and artillery, it is called defense. When a 19 year old woman straps a bomb around her waist in a crowded market, she is labeled a terrorist. I don’t believe that any violence should be legitimized, but such an unbalanced presentation has an impact on the way people respond.
Over the past 11 days, 573 Palestinians have been killed. More than 40 Palestinians were killed in Gaza yesterday; almost half of them were children. Last night the Asma Elementary School in Gaza where families were taking refuge was hit and a clinic nearby was badly damaged. From what I’ve read, Gaza is 360 square kilometers in area with a large fence around it. So even if there is a warning to civilians to evacuate their homes, , there is no safe place to go.
There are governments and there are people. There are fundamentalists and there are those who see the world in more nuanced tones.
There are voices of resistance in Israel and in Palestine.
“My grief carries no desire for revenge, which I know to be always in vain. But, in truth, as a grieving son, I am finding it hard to distinguish between what the Israelis call terrorists and the Israeli pilots and tank crews who are invading Gaza.” Fares Akram,. Gaza correspondent for The Independent of London, who lost his father in the Israeli F-16 attack on Saturday.
This past Saturday, 10,000 people protested in the streets of Tel Aviv. Social activists sat on the tarmac of the military airfield trying to prevent the bombers from taking off. Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has used the word “pogrom” to describe the violent attacks of Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron. Anyone who is at all familiar with the history of the Jewish people will immediately understand the passionate censure behind this statement. The cycle of violence, the dehumanization, the racism…that is another discussion.
I agree that other Arab states have exploited the plight of the Palestinians to deflect attention from their own parasitic tendencies.. I mean does anyone know of another country named for the ruling family other than Saudi Arabia?
Meanwhile, Bush, the illegitimate, fails to recognize the democratically elected gov’t of the Palestinian people. Now that’s chutzpah.
Israel is the third rail in my family. So many Jewish people identify with the symbolic significance of its struggle for survival. One day, I couldn’t stand it any more. I asked my mother whether there was any difference between the life of a Palestinian child and an Israeli child. There was a long pause. “I’ll send you a nickel for a Palestinian child if you will send me a nickel for an Israeli child.” The exchange was made and the silence was broken.

I believe that is what we are doing here today.

Daryl said...

Bottomline (for me): they are both wrong. Wrong. And I wonder who will play Solomon and show them how wrong they are.

Dianne said...

gabrielle - I hope that is what we are doing here today - I would be proud if that is what we are doing here today
And thank you for those facts - I had read about the size of Gaza and I saw a woman screaming about the leaflets - "where do they want me to go!? the sea?" but I didn't convey that properly
I also did not have my facts about the protests in Tel Aviv - thank you.

daryl - and 2 wrongs make for chaos and death - are there any Solomons? I once thought - especially as a child - that America stood for all that could heal the world - now I know that isn't true - and wonder if it ever will be again.

Sparkling Red said...

I cannot take sides in this issue. I don't know enough, and also I don't think there is a clear cut right and wrong.

The winners of WWII created the new Israel, and booted out the Palestinians. Since then, many children have been born in Israel, and they have never known anything else. Any white American who feels that Israeli Jews should surrender Israel to the Palestinians should consider moving "back" to England (or wherever) and giving America back to the native/aboriginal Americans. If it's a matter of who was there first, very few of us have a right to be living where we are.

I work with a woman whose elderly, disabled mother is living in Israel. When the rockets started falling, she was terrified that her mother would be harmed. Something had to be done - you can't just let Hamas continue lobbing rockets into Israel. I'm sorry to say that I don't buy your theories about more peaceful ways of infiltrating Hamas to rout out their leaders. I'm sure there must be espionage projects in the works. Progress can be made over a period of years in that manner, but in that time how many people would be killed by the rockets?

Is Israel using too much retaliatory force? Maybe. Probably. Who can say? How much would be enough to stop the rockets? They didn't exactly start small and work up to bigger measures. But mostly I relate to Robin's prespective.

I'm not a Zionist. I'm not attached to the idea of Israel as a sacred homeland. I do think that both sides have done both right and wrong, and both sides deserve to have their stories told and heard. I don't believe that any of us who are not there can fully comprehend the situation, so we'd better not get too carried away with taking sides.

Robin said...

I am not sure what protest Gabrielle is referring to. I live just 15 minutes out of Tel Aviv and have been obsessively following a wide variety of news outlets, both Israeli and international, and I am unaware of any protest in Tel Aviv, let alone one with 10,000 attendees.

There have been several smaller protests over the past few days around the country, primarily in the Arab communities and by the Arab Students Association in Haifa University, but there was no mass protest in Tel Aviv. Even the left wing, usually quick to head to the streets, myself among them, realizes that this time is different.

Between the white of extreme pacifism and the black of war-mongering and cold-blooded murder, there are infinite shades of gray. No situation, particularly not in the volatile Middle East, is as simple as it appears in thirty second sound bites on the news. When faced with an enemy (again, Hamas, not the Palestinian people) who disguise the entrance to a tunnel meant expressly for the kidnapping of an enemy (complete with motorbike for a quick getaway) with a child's doll, it becomes clear that the rules are different here. These are the same rules that see Hamas firing mortars from the grounds of the UN school that was attacked. Firing from the grounds of the same school where they told their own people to take refuge (the IDF has released the video which shows this). My heart breaks at the loss of life, but it breaks too at the evil that Hamas is perpetrating on its own people by allowing atrocities like this to take place, even actively encouraging them.

Yes, war is abominable. On that I'm sure we can all agree. No, it should never be the first, or the easy, option. If it needs to be undertaken, it is only as a very last resort, after all other means of protecting your citizenry have been exhausted, after all other avenues are closed. There comes a time though when inaction comes with too great a price. Israel used to occupy Gaza. We gave it back. We gave back settlements in Gaza (beautiful homes, that they then destroyed rather than peacefully take over). We pulled back, didn't fire. All we asked was that they refrain from trying to kill us. They didn't.

Dianne, I agree with you completely on the dangers of religious extremism. To me, all religious fanatics, from any religion, are equally dangerous, but to equate Israel's desires or actions with what some lunatic in Brooklyn is saying is like telling the world that Pat Buchanan or Jesse Helms are the legitimate representatives of the entire US population. Israel is if anything even more politically divided than the US, on issues more immediate. No rabbi anywhere could claim to represent this country, where the overwhelming majority is both secular and extraordinarily diverse. A nutjob like that can say whatever he likes, he can't claim to speak for anyone beyond himself and perhaps a few local followers.

I'm not angered by what you've so much as disappointed. Where were all of you when the Hamas was firing on a civilian population of over 700,000 people for 8 long years? Where were you when they were sending their daughters and sons to blow themselves up at busstops and shopping malls? How many of the restaurants you frequent have armed security guards, whose sole duty is to prevent suicide bombings? All of mine do. As do my shopping malls, health clinics, movie theaters and office buildings. Does anyone need to check your trunk for explosives before you can be let into a grocery store? They check mine. They have to.

The IDF is using more force than an outside observer would deem "necessary" because these buildings are booby trapped, because they are riddled with weapons caches' and tunnels, because we have an obligation to do our best to protect the soldiers we have ordered in, so that our politicians (yes, politicians), can later look their grieving parents in the eyes and say "we did everything we could".

I've taken over your comments too much already. I don't hope to change anyone's mind, but I hope I've encouraged at least a few people to ask more questions and take fewer images at face value.

Most of all, I hope for peace, for everyone in the region.

What wonderful things we could achieve if we channeled all of this energy into working together for a better future for our children. I can only hope that that day will someday come.

Shelly said...

You and I will not join the haters...ever. I'd like to think that his choices that make us shake our heads will eventually turn that shaking of the head to the nodding of the head. In agreement.
Something has to change, including our pre-set attitudes.
I question his choices, but he's my president.
The challenges of change.

Dianne said...

sparkling - I don't think I'm taking sides - Palestenians or Isreal - overall - but I continue to question this response at this time. and perhaps I do sound more sensitive to the Palestenians - I usually identify with people I feel are victimized and mis-understood. Isreal has more than enough voices for her in this country starting with all our leaders - maybe that's what I'm sensitive to.
I don't have a theory about peacefully routing out Hamas - again it was a question - why is it not OK to ask questions? and I wasn't in any way suggesting that the routing out be peaceful. I could care less if terrorists - known terrorists - sitting on rocket equipment are killed. Think of the lives that would be saved. I wonder how in the world Bush would have ever gotten Iraq past us all if Bin Laden had been captured - or proven to be dead. He probably would not have been able to and think of all the lives saved. But that is not what he/his followers wanted - and I still can't shake the sick feeling that the current leadership of Isreal - with Bush/Cheney support and encouragement - wants as many reasons as possible to wipe out everyone in Gaza.

robin - the stories of the treatment of people in Gaza - the daily harassment, the threats, the checkpoints where people are intentionally detained to fuel the flames - stories of sick people dying because they were held at checkpoints - is any of that valid? is any of that real?

As for the lunatic in Brooklyn - I was NOT equating him with the views or behavior of Isreali people. In responding to Cherie I was using him as an example of the tone and power of anti-Arab factions in this country. I believe it has always been the intent of the Bush admin to cause as much harm to Islam/Muslims/whoever as possible - I don't subscribe to the insanity of thinking 9/11 was an inside job but I absolutely believe that Bush/Cheny and Co. were thrilled to have it to use. Hell Cheny was quoted a few years later as saying that the Republicans would need another 9/11 to remain in power. So - people like this lunatic in Brooklyn and these rabbis use/manipulate that fear. For heaven's sake - Obama had to constantly explain that he wasn't a 'secret Muslim' - I digress only to explain/illustrate how I feel many in this country are not truly friends of Isreal but will support anyone/anything that rids the world of Muslims. and so I feel the need to speak out about that - it is possible to be 'for' something without being 'against' something else.

which brings me to the reality of your every day. No I do not know what that is like - I know a tiny part by being in NYC on 9/11 - by knowing people who lost someone - by needing to open my trunk at river crossings - by having to speed out of the Midtown Tunnel while sirens blared - and by having my son get home just minutes before pieces of an airplane fell on his work site and killed some of his co-workers. I wish all Americans could have experienced that - they wouldn't be so blase about the rest of the world - sitting on their fat asses watching Gaza on TV and not wanting to think about it at all.

I'm glad you're not angry - I am sorry you feel let down. I have always raised my voice for anything that I felt was unjust - these days to always raise one's voice would mean to be in a state of perpetual scream. Perhaps I did not speak out over every terrorists act because it is so obvious that it is wrong. As opposed to what I see as a government - tied to my government - doing something wrong.

Perhaps that is semantics to you - and I would see your point. I don't feel you took over my comments - I am so very glad that your spoke and that you gave me so much to consider.

I hope you and your family and your neighbors are safe - tonight and always. I wish I could do more.

Dianne said...

shelly - I like that idea :)

Robin said...

It's very late and I'm too tired to make much sense, but to try and quickly answer your question - the checkpoints and the harassment (which I fully admit happens much more often than it should) and the stories of delayed access to medical care (though I believe those stories in particular are greatly exagerrated for effect, and you certainly never hear in the US of the many Palestinians who receive life-saving medical treatment in Israel) - these stories come out of the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank, not Gaza. There are no checkpoints in Gaza because there is no Israeli presence in Gaza (at least not until this week). We left Gaza, and with us went all checkpoints in the Gaza Strip. Gaza was 100% under Hamas control. There are crossings between Gaza and Israel. In times of greater tension, fewer Gazan workers are allowed inside Israel to work, but food and supplies do go through. Even last week foreign-donated supplies were allowed through by the Israelis, though I heard that Hamas nabbed them on the other side and sold what they didn't confiscate, instead of passing it out for free.

The checkpoints are in areas in the West Bank where the two populations are much more closely intermingled. They are hugely problematic, but in times of relative calm Israel does what it can to relieve the pressure there. Should it do more? Of course it should, though so could the Palestinian Authority (Abbas) do more to gain our trust as well. Distances here are small. Ramallah is easily visible from the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In better times I used to drive right into the heart of Ramallah for meetings. I understand most of my former colleagues there left for the US and Canada, but my thoughts are often with those left behind. The ones in Gaza as well. I can only hope that they too made it out, but I'll never know.

If this didn't make sense, ask me again tomorrow when I've had a few hours of sleep and I'll try again.

Pagan Sphinx said...

As an American, I HATE it that my government is effectively taking sides in this conflict by providing weapons and political support to Israel. I personally wish that we Americans didn't have so much blood on our hands.

There are a number of pro-Israel, pro-peace organizations in the U.S. and Israel itself that don't support the invasion in Gaza. Google J-Street.

Sparkling Red said...

After I published my first comment, I felt awkward and uncomfortable. The truth is that I'm embarrassed by how little I know, and I excuse myself from watching the news when I'm tired, or upset, or busy with other things, which is a lot of the time. Not to mention that I don't feel I can trust the news media to report both sides accurately.

I also feel emotional baggage attached to this issue because of what I hear from my family. It's all very messy. It leaves me feeling that my point of view in all this probably isn't worth much. I usually end up arguing the opposite side of anyone who I'm talking to on this issue, because even if I don't have a proper opinion at least we can have some kind of discussion that way, and maybe we'll both learn something.

We should ask questions. For sure. And I agree that the Palestinians don't have enough of al voice in the world. Plenty of people claim to speak for them, but how many actual Palestinians get any airtime?

I suppose what it comes down to is wanting to remember that the vast majority of the people living in both areas are innocent civilians who just want to raise their families, put food on the table, and live a decent life. These matters are controlled by a small number of powerful leaders who make all the decisions, and claim to represent everyone in their country. But they don't. It's just so sad that there are so many helpless pawns in this game, and adding insult to injury the media refers to "the Israelis" or "the Palestinians" as if they were one monolithic entity with one point of view. I hate the depersonalization that occurs in that process.

But that's the way of the world...

Dianne said...

robin - I hope you have/had - I forget the time difference - a peaceful night.

pagan - I hate just about everything our government is involved in! I have been doing some research on J Street - I'm not sure what I think yet since I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed but I'll try to sort it out
thanks Lady

sparkling - don't ever feel awkward or uncomfortable here - anywhere for that matter - you are one of the smartest and most articulate people - as I told you at New Years - your blog has given me so much to think about so often
if I sounded pissy then fuck me! I can be such a pain in the ass sometimes ...
and I was feeling frustrated since it is so hard to get the tone of my thoughts down in writing
I keep coming up with more/new thoughts - I think I'm going to take a pill ;)
your opinion is always worthy here sparkling - I'm glad you came back because you gave me a new idea - just not tonight
Peace Sparkling!!

the walking man said...

Bottom Line: Give the Palestinians enough land to farm AND make a Nation on and then recognize the New State of Palestine on the world stage. Just as Israel was recognized after its own campaign of terror in 1948-52.

Until the era of post WWII there was no Israel and the Zionists of the day, waged a very similar campaign to secure a nation for themselves.

Why is it that the Israeli's can remember 6000 years of history yet so easily forget how and what was done to raise their own modern day nation?

Robin said...

No Walking Man, you can't get away with that. You cannot blithely say that "the Zionists waged a very similar campaign". They did NOT. They did not blow themselves up in shopping malls and restaurants. They did NOT spend years lobbing rockets at innocent civilians. They did NOT call incessantly for the destruction of Great Britain, which was holding the Mandate for the area at the time.

Israel DOES negotiate, and DOES exchange land - FOR PEACE, with those who are willing to sit at the same table with us, recognize our very right to exist, and agree to stop actively trying to kill us. Case in point the West Bank, where you'll see that people are much busier living their lives. The situation still has much room to improve, but Israel and the PA were able to begin to build some mutual trust, and progress is being made. Hamas in Gaza is a different being altogether.

Israel agreed today to halt IAF operations every afternoon between 1pm and 4pm so that the Gazans can receive basic supplies without fear. Do you see Hamas offering that type of deal to the citizens of Sderot, Beersheva, Ashkelon or Ashdod?

We talk with anyone who is willing to TALK with us. Where do you think the peace with Egypt came from? We gave back the entire Sinai Peninsula. We do not give away our land to those who are sworn to then use it to destroy us, whose every daily move is based on maximizing the murder and bloodshed of innocents.

Don't you DARE say that the Zionists or the Israelis are similar to these murdering bastards who sell their own people down the river to further their own ends nearly as easily as they try to destroy the Jewish state.

Don't you DARE.

I said yesterday I wasn't angry. NOW I'm angry.

Bob-kat said...

I can't help thinking that this is an extremely complex situation politically, but the humanitarian situation is very obvious as you state so well.

I do like the idea of popping Cheney and Co. on an island somewhere though. There's one off the coast of Scotland that is infected with antrax. Will that do?

Thanks for your support and well wishes BTW. I appreciate it very much adn hope that Hector will be gone and I will be back online very soon :)

Dianne said...

walking man & robin - feel free to continue to talk here - I, for the moment, have nothing more to add. I saw a few different reports last night - NBC, CNN, Fox, and then the BBC and now have even more questions. I also got 2 e-mails last night for help - one from PFAW asking me to help support demanding a ceasefire. The other from Hadassah asking me to call my Senators and defend Isreal's right to defend itself. I donated money to Hadassah hospital once - there was a child who needed some special surgery - I didn't realize I was on their active e-mail list - especially since I never did get my e-mail for IRS purposes and I have never received a single e-mail from them until last night. I tell ya, anyone Googling or spying on me would really be confused.

bob-kat - will Scotland let us use it!? I imagine they would lol
No need for thanks - we're all here for each other - it's the point you know.
I will be thinking extra hard on the 9th - I marked my calendar - and, in my own heathen way, I'll be praying.

Spartacus said...

D... I'm with Matt-Man on this. It's always the innocents that get caught in the middle of this mess and, quite frankly, both sides of this argument are to blame. It's sad to see that our own leaders and media have taken such a one-sided view of this. It's even more saddening that none has had the political will to stand up and say what Matt-Man said... fuck 'em both.

storyteller said...

I'm reminded that about 35 years ago Albert Einstein declared war 'obsolete' ... and I can't help but wonder when we'll all realize violence doesn't solve anything ever. It just breeds more violence. My prayers for decades have been for peace ... I know it begins with each of us within ... and like in the story of The Hundredth Monkey, when enough of us practice this truth ... war will be no more.
Hugs and blessings,

Mrs. C said...

Dianne, the Obama campaign has my email along with the AFA. I'm sure anyone looking at my emails is mighty confused as well. :p

I am not sure about who on earth would want to send you such hateful email. I've seen stupid forwardings about Jews being told to get out of the Twin Towers becuase it was a Jewish plot.

(sigh)

I've also seen people who should know better talking about how Obama wants to turn our nation to Islam. Well, if he's a Muslim, sorry, but he's a crummy one LOL! Patrick heard at school he's going to be sworn in on the Koran. Just so you know and won't be surprised when it happens.

Maybe Rick Warren secretly converted to Islam, too and will be giving the benediction in Arabic.

Such misinformation out there.

Mrs. C said...

OK, I don't know if you collect blog trinkets but there's one for you on my blog. :]

Dianne said...

spartacus - as much as I would like to subscribe to "fuck 'em" - for my own sanity and because the economy is killing me - I just can't. At some point the world became a smaller place and we are there and they are here and ku-ku-ka-choo
the only think I feel certain of in terms of what we should do is what you've already addressed - stop being one sided and stop being afraid to speak up.

storyteller - at times I think of peace as a garden. it can't grow if the garden isnt't set up correctly and isn't tended. locking people into a small area and abusing them - or - lobbing rockets off rooftops - sure as hell isn't any way to tend a garden.

mrs c - I love a good trinket - thanks :)
I have heard the Koran rumors - I'm so sick of it all. first because it's not true - and second because it is viewed as such a horror if it were true.
I heard that Rick Warren will be dressing in the gown and heels he usually wears on Friday night and that after the invocation he will be doing a duet with Elton John.
the e-mails NEVER bother me - and some are not ever caused by my blogging but rather by my refusing to accept crap from people when I think they're wrong. sometimes they hurt my feeling - as in how bad a Jew I am and what a disgrace to Nana I am - and sometimes they make me angry BUT they never frighten me. I have been bullied - face to face - by the best of them. I do not scare easy.

Debo Blue said...

I pray for both sides.

How come they don't understand, after all these years that this is all for nought?

Sparkling Red said...

Dianne: Peace! :-) I consider you a dear friend. We're allowed to disagree, or appear to disagree, and as long as we can talk about things, it's all good.

Dianne said...

debo - because they don't think it's all for nought - and I guess I get that as much as any American can since we don't live day to day in those conditions.

sparkling - I feel exactly the same way.

Bond said...

you and me kid..rocking the bloggosphere yesterday and today! LOL

Dianne said...

bond - I was thinking the same thing lol
each time I went back to add another point to your discussion I kept thinking - this feels like yesterday!
I think we are both lucky to have such great readers and IMHO I think we both create an atmosphere where people feel free to express themselves

Pagan Sphinx said...

I think the "fuck 'em both" approach is irresponsible, frankly. It's demeaning to the integrity of peace; even when peace is illusive.

Dianne said...

pagan - I can't/won't speak for anyone who said 'fuck em' but, for me, the temptation to say it (and mean it) comes from exhaustion and frustration with the number of things that need to be fixed - now - hell, yesterday. My own selfish part takes over for a moment and I become so overwhelmed with how bad things are right next to me, on top of me, that I feel like saying 'fuck em'.
I also come to a 'fuck em' feeling because I am frustrated by and saddened by my feeling that the US will never see the Palestenians as people, will never treat them fairly and will always serve Isreal above all others - and then of course we go full circle to my feelings about what a bigoted, ignorant nation we live in. As I said to Robin - to raise my voice for everything I feel strongly about would be to live in a state of perpetual scream.
On a lighter note - did you catch my comment to mrs c - I want to start an Internet rumor that Warren is a "secret drag queen"

Micky-T said...

No matter what the REAL truth is.......
if a fly keeps landing on your face and you can't get it to leave you alone, there is going to come a time when you use both hands and try with all your might, to squash that sucker right between your palms.
Just saying!

Dianne said...

micky - as a folk saying or in a cowboy movie that makes for a fine ideal but there are no flies here - just lots and lots of innocent people. I could also respond to that analogy by asking - why are the flies bothering you? are you throwing so much crap at them that they feel they have no recourse?

Micky-T said...

Dianne: Everybody is innocent and everybody is guilty. We are human, there will ALWAYS be LOVE, there will ALWAYS be COMPASSION, there will ALWAYS be HATE, there will ALWAYS be WAR. But there may not ALWAYS be humans. [on this planet anyways]

I'm not as cold as this sounds, it's just that I have no illusions of one big happy world.

Dianne said...

micky - I KNOW you're not cold, I didn't think you were. In this case I can't see this as war. Gaza does not have an army and crude rockets killing a few people does not justify locking people into a small area and bombing them to oblivion and then blaming them for it.
Which is where this whole post started. I have read all the comments, I have thought and agonized but in the end, right here and now - in the case of Gaza - Isreal is wrong and that is all there is to it. There can be no solutions if we lump everything into giant philosophies - I used to do that and I didn't feel it worked for me. At this stage of my life as I watch my life fucked over in a large part because people like me didn't speak out 8 years ago I just can't let anything important go unquestioned.
It is my version of Never Again.
Peace Micky - and give the shoulder a rub from me

Travis said...

Regrettably, I don't know enough about this conflict to leave a meaningful comment.

But I do wonder about this idea of a "good Jew" or a "good Christian" or a "good Muslim". WTF does it mean? And who gets to decide?

I'm satisfied with being respectful and kind to others, and I hope that they will return that respect and kindness to me. All I want to be is a "good human being".

Where's the manual for that?

Dianne said...

travis - you don't need a manual to be a good person and those who do wouldn't read it.
as for the "good Jew" - in this case my friends and some family feel I am being "disloyal" and "pandering to Jew haters" and "giving more understanding to Hamas" - that last one kills me. how do I go from thinking a government is doing the wrong thing to being a terrorist sympathizer? I think people hurl these accusations to make others feel guilty. As if to think the people of Gaza deserve better = the people of Isreal deserve less. A classic example of why religion and politics and governing should NEVER mix. I wonder what God thinks since apparently he's on everyone's side - if you go by those arrogant enought to speak for him/her/them ;)
Most of the Jewish people I grew up believe that to be a "good Jew" means to support whatever Isreal does/says/beleives - funny but isn't that what Hamas thinks the people of Gaza should do?
It's nice to see ya Trav ;)

CG said...

As usual, nothing but sense and compassion from you Dianne!

magnetbabe said...

dianne,
I just want you to know I've been reading and following this discussion with interest. This is such an explosive topic but you and your readers have handled it so respectfully. I can't help but always agree with what you have to have say. I wasn't going to comment, but then I read this,

At this stage of my life as I watch my life fucked over in a large part because people like me didn't speak out 8 years ago I just can't let anything important go unquestioned.

and thought I should chime in, if not to add anything new but to let my voice join in yours. Thank you for posting this.

Dianne said...

CG - thank you! I try, I try so hard and my intentions are always true and that, IMHO, is all a human can do.

magnetbabe - thank you kid :)
I love you and people like you make me feel hopeful for the future. I'm glad you let me know you were here.
I'm honored to have our voices be one so often - you're a wonderful compass for truth and fairness. and empathy.
hugs to Deano and the kids

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