Tag Archives: palestine

Pesach and Freedom

So yesterday I was reading an article about how Obama has a seder night every year. Despite not being Jewish, he connects to it, because Pesach is the story of slaves being freed from hundreds of years of slavery. The Exodus from Egypt is more than just a single people being freed. It represents many different people’s stories. The plight of every slave that ever lived. And the hope that one day he will be free and free of his tormenters.

What annoyed me in the article, is that the article then went on to speak about the Palestinians one day going free and that the idea of the Palestinians being free is in fact a very Jewish idea and we should do all that we can in order to give them full autonomy.

Now, I have no problem with Palestinian autonomy. I do have a problem when Palestinian autonomy causes harm to innocent Israelis. To imply that Israelis do not want peace and that Israel is enslaving Palestinians is ridiculous in my opinion and you only have to visit Israel to know that isn’t true.

For 65 years we’ve been trying to make this two-state solution work. The Palestinians had ample opportunity to accept. Israel accepted the UN partition plan in 1947. It was the Arabs that went to war with Israel. When Israel conquered Jerusalem in 1967, it was not Israel that was the aggressor, it was our Arab neighbours.

People still talk about the “two-state solution” as if it’s a solution. IMO it isn’t and we’ve been wasting too much energy trying to solve this problem. We should try and live side by side as best as possible, but there are just to many issues that cannot be solved (such as major security concerns, hundreds of thousands of people being kicked out of their homes and many others).

But whatever you think about the road to peace, the Palestinians are not in slavery. Yes, there are security checks for bringing things into the West Bank and Gaza. There are check points all over the West Bank to stop weapons smuggling. And there is a wall surrounding the Palestinian areas stopping them from entering Israel. Would it be nicer for them if these obstacles weren’t there? Yes. But they’re for a reason. The number of suicide bombings within Israel has basically dropped to zero over the last few years. A dramatic decrease, but all thanks to the security fence. I’m sure it’s a bit of a hassle being checked every time you drive through a check point, but frankly, the same thing happens to me at the airport and we even have security check points on the roads in Israel. There’s a reason for that. To stop terrorism.

We’ll have peace when the Palestinians and the Arab world in general come to the conclusion that there is a Jewish state and it is here to stay.

So happy Pesach to you. Freedom is both a Jewish and universal value and I hope in the future we’ll see a peaceful Middle East, but it would be naive to say that day will come soon.

Pesach sameach

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Naftali Bennett on the Israel-Palestine conflict

This Tuesday are the Israeli elections. Bennett is the leader of the Bayit Yehudi party and will probably be the third or fourth biggest party in this year’s elections.

This is an important video for people to see. The international community and a lot of Israelis just don’t understand the security threats of a Palestinian state. This isn’t about making the lives of Palestinians miserable as so many people around the world seem to think.

The Palestinians are a major security threat and Gaza is the proof of it. Israel withdrew from Gaza 8 years ago and kicked 8,000 Israelis out of their homes in the process. All in an attempt to come closer to peace. The result was 20,000 rockets fired at Israeli homes in the last 8 years.

Bennett has my vote and this video is one of the reasons why.

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January 19, 2013 · 11:48 pm

Two Israeli Documentaries Nominated for 2013 Oscar

The two nominated documentaries are 5 Broken Cameras and The Gatekeepers.

I watched 5 Broken Cameras today. It’s a documentary filmed by a Palestinian living in the village of Bilin which is close to Modi’in Illit. It was produced together with Israeli producer Guy Davidi.

Definitely an interesting documentary. As a citizen of Israel, it gives you some insight into the lives of some of the Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria and what they think about Israel.

The documentary only shows a small part of the Israel-Palestine conflict. It doesn’t show the more violent Palestinians such as Hamas and other terrorist organizations, but it does show you many Palestinians would have grown up and why they would go on to join terrorist organizations such as Hamas. In the documentary you see the camera man Emad Burnat’s son ask him why he doesn’t kill the Israeli soldiers with his knife. Emad answers that he would be shot if he did.

Emad seems to be a genuinely peaceful person. I don’t think he would want to stab a soldier even if he knew he could get away with it. Many of his fellow Palestinians are also fairly peaceful in their protests and I would also add, that despite the many years of clashes between the Palestinian protesters and the soldiers, the clashes are relatively peaceful. People are shot over the years, injured and killed. The clashes are often violent, but it is mostly on the level of people being arrested and pushing each other around.

What did stand out for me when I watched the documentary was that Israel is never defended. The Palestinians don’t seem to understand why the barrier was put up by Israel. I understand that the barrier is there to stop terrorists entering Israel, but Emad and his friends don’t. Since the barrier has been put up, the number of terrorist attacks in Israel has dropped dramatically. Before the barriers were put up, attacks were a fairly common occurrence. Buses were blown up left, right and center. Suicide bombings were common. Nowadays, terrorist attacks are much rarer. The main threat being rocket fire from Gaza. The barrier has prevented many potential suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks.

The barrier isn’t there to stop Emad’s son going to the beach. It’s there to save lives and it does that. Sometimes at the expense of others.

Apart from protests against the security fence, the other major complaint of the Palestinians is that Israel stole their land. They protest the building of new apartment blocks in Modi’in Illit. They believe this land to be theirs and Israeli building frustrates them. I can understand this frustration and it’s complicated topic with a long history.

Overall, I thought the documentary was interesting and important for me to watch. I’ll admit I’m slightly surprised it was nominated for an Oscar. I do think the documentary was very one-sided and made no attempt to explain the other side.

The second Israeli documentary up for an Oscar award, The Gatekeepers (or Shomrei Hasaf in Hebrew), I have not yet seen. It is about six Shin Bet (Israeli intelligence) heads. Perhaps this gives a bit of Israel’s side of the story in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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Building in E1

I personally don’t understand what the big fuss is about. Firstly, we’re nowhere near this supposed two-state solution that will solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hamas still wants all of Israel to become Palestine. A large percentage of the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Secondly, even if we were ever to have this two-state “solution”, Israel would not give up sovereignty over Jerusalem. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and will remain Israel’s capital. In any potential two-state solution, Jerusalem would remain Israel’s undivided capital.

So I really don’t understand why it’s so bad that Israel is building in E1 and in areas where no Palestinians are currently living. E1 will not be part of a Palestinian state and neither will Gush Etzion, Ramat Shlomo or anywhere else Israel is building.

Lastly, I don’t think this two state solution has any chance of working within the next twenty years, whether Israel builds or not. The Palestinians have to change their attitude towards Israel if they want a state. Yes… I am pinning this on the Palestinians. I think 99% of Israelis would happily live in peace with our neighbours. We have nothing to gain by starting wars with our neighbours. Any wars we ever get into are about self-defence. No Western country wants to be in a war with any other country. They have nothing to gain from it apart from defending themselves. It’s up to the Arab world to change it’s attitude. I don’t know how long this will take. It may never happen. But that is the root of the problem. You can’t be at peace with people that don’t want it.

(And lastly, I’m sure there are many people in these Arab countries that would prefer to have no wars and would rather develop their countries instead of being in constant turmoil and focusing their efforts on acquiring weapons, but sadly, these people are either the minority or are the ones without power.)

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The IDF – The Most Moral Army In The World

Despite Israel’s enemies doing everything they can to harm innocent Israeli civilians, the Israeli army has been doing it’s utmost to protect the lives of civilians in the Gaza strip.

You can read more about what the IDF does to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians at the IDF blog.

Here is an excellent video by Col. Richard Kemp about how the Israeli army has done more than any other army in the history of the world, to prevent the loss of civilian lives. It makes me truly proud to be an Israeli citizen. Israel is a true light unto the world, whether people see it or not.

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Pallywood at its best!

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Operation Pillar Of Defence

Today Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defence. The operation is against Hamas in the Gaza strip. Thousands of rockets have been fired into Israel at innocent Israeli citizens over the past few years since Israel evacuated the Gaza strip. In the last few days rocket fire has escalated and the IDF today killed Ahmed Al-Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing as well as launching Operation Pillar Of Defence in an attempt to severely weaken Hamas.

May the mission go successfully and may God protect the Israeli soldiers who are fighting to defend innocent Israeli citizens.

You can follow live-updates from the operation at the IDF blog.

Hamas has been terrorizing Israelis for years and has killed hundreds, if not thousands, of Israelis. I am very happy that the Israeli government has decided enough is enough and to launch this operation. I just hope none of my friends serving in the army or other soldiers are hurt in the process.

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