A friend of theirs once took Christopher Hitchens and his wife Carol Blue to dinner at Palm Beach's Everglades Club, notorious for its exclusion of Jews. "You will behave, won't you?" Carol anxiously asked Christopher on the way into the club. No dice. When the headwaiter approached, Christopher demanded: "Do you have a kosher menu?"
Friday, December 16, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
If you look to the right end of the chart, you will notice two countries which have been told they risk isolation for their actions and policies, yet of all the countries who have experienced major anti-government unrest amongst their people, they have experienced, by far, the fewest relative deaths.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
As the hours tick down to sunset here in America, the holiday of Succoth has essentially begun in The Land of Israel. For the most of us celebrating the holiday two days plus shabbat, we won't know whether the deal to return Gilad Shalit to his family has been completed until Saturday night. Hopefully, this will be the last holiday he and his family are forced to spend apart.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I'm not willing to celebrate just yet, but it would appear that the long lost son of Israel Gilad Shalit is alive, if not well, and will soon be returned to us after five-plus long years in captivity. I myself, won't believe it until I see him home, safe and with his family.
It should hardly shock anybody, but the deal to get Gilad Shalit back is rumored to include an exchange of 1000+ Arabs in Israeli prisons. This poses the obvious moral dilemma, which has been debated thoroughly. Specifically: letting dangerous criminals out of prison; sacrificing justice for victims of terror; and putting Israeli citizens at risk for kidnapping.
However, there is another moral conundrum which has gone ignored for many years. When 100 Arab prisoners are exchanged for 1 Israel hostage, doesn't it implicitly devalue the lives of all Arabs? Doesn't it cast a shadow on those arguing for the Palestinian cause, when they point out (accurately) that more Arabs have died in this decades-old conflict than Israelis? This is of course ignoring that Israeli treatment of their prisoners has been far superior to the PA's treatment of its kidnapping victims.
In any event, we should take a small solace in the fact that Aviva and Noam Shalit will be reunited with their son after too long a time. Maybe we will be able to see new photos of him in happier times.
Monday, September 26, 2011
It is now, in the 21st century, that history my repeat itself. If the Palestinian Authority is allowed legitimacy and membership in the United Nations, unconditionally, the results could be catastrophic. One of the most crucial conditions that the Palestinian Authority must meet to be granted full statehood, is full and disarmament and an agreement to not form any military alliances.
Without these conditions, the alliance of Hamas and Fatah would likely continue to arm and engage in attacks on the population of Israel. It is also very likely that they would form alliances with Iran, Lebanon and Syria; possibly others. Israel already has a military alliance with the United States. If in this state of affairs, there were any sort of incident, a terrorist attack, assassination, or incursion of any kind, it is likely that Palestine, whose military capabilities are far inferior to that of Israel would call upon its new allies for assistance. In this case, the United States would be forced to come to aid of Israel seeing as they'd be at war with four other nations. Furthermore, it is not unreasonable to expect that other countries allied to the U.S. would be compelled to offer material assistance. Germany, England, Canada could all be drawn into the conflict.
Of course this is all hypothetical, but the distinct possibility exists. The winner would by unknown, although the Israel/U.S. alliance would have a distinct advantage. In any event, thousands if not millions would die.
In short, the notion of Palestinian statehood may be inspiring to those who see the potential of Arab Spring as a beautiful renaissance, but there are real world dark consequences that would be bad for all sides.
The important question is how can there be peace when Fatah and Hamas have not ceded the right to all of the land of Israel? How can liberty be attained, when they have not pledged to give up violence and terrorist attacks? How does a state equal peace, when the peoples of Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and others have had states for decades, but they haven't quite completely figured out peace, liberty or democracy?
This is of course hyperbole; and the preceding chain of events represent but one possible outcome. However, it is much more likely than a utopian peace where all sides choose to multilaterally give up violence and ancient grievances.
Friday, September 23, 2011
What's really disturbing, is that within a day, youtube removed the video based on its policy against hate speech. This was a very disturbing turn of events, because it hides the truth. It hides that there is a vicious and hateful attitude towards Jews in the Arab world. Pretending that it doesn't exist does nobody any favors.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Recognition of a "Palestinian" state, wouldn't lead to peace; but it would almost certainly cause a war; and this is likely what Fatah and Hamas want.
"Safety and security can only exist in the shadow of Islam." - Hamas charter article 31
So we shall not, cannot and must not allow any action that would legitimize a cabal of racist terrorist gangsters, until they first cede their campaign of annihilation.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Justice Minister Abdul Aziz Al-Jundi said after the attacks that they were the result of "external forces." Al Jundi is likely delusional. To deny that there is significant anti-Israeli sentiment amongst Islamist groups within their borders is silly. There can be no doubt, that the provisional leadership council needs to take more responsibility for internal security. However, this could be an opportunity for moving forward. First, the Egyptians must formally absolve Israel for liability in the deaths of the Egyptian forces earlier in the summer; then, they must go to the Egyptian people and explain why maintaining the tentative agreements with Israel is in their best security and economic interests.
The hard question is what to do with proto-militant groups who may arise now that the Mubarak regime is not around to suppress them.
This question is harder asked than answered. Outright banning of the groups would likely do little to curb their activities; and would possibly garner them sympathy amongst the public. Strong support must be given to the progressive groups in Egypt who want real reforms that will help their country progress; and not the same Nationalistic demagoguery that has never done anything to help the people.
For Israel the question of the next course of action is quite more difficult.
These events come at a time when Israel has a full plate diplomatically. They upcoming UN vote on Palestinian Statehood promises to be headache that won't go away anytime soon; and Israel's continuing tensions with Turkey do not look to be getting easier anytime soon. Israel can hardly afford to lose another ally, even if it is an ally in name only.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
On Sepetember 1, a group of about twenty protesters stormed into London's Royal Albert Hall during an Israeli Philharmonic Performance of Max Bruch.
What is particularly disturbing about the PSC's campaign against classical music, is that it's not against any Israeli product, its against expression, against art and beauty. As despicable as some of the boycotts of Israeli goods are (some of them are just vandalism and theft), there is at least the small glimmer of logic amongst the nonesense. They say don't buy Israeli goods; fine don't buy them that is your right as a human being. But, the protests in concert halls are something new and disturbing, they aren't free expression, they are the denial of expression; and they arent't even in opposition to political speech. They are against classical music, out highest form of expression. Art is the one true thing that separates us from beasts. In this sense, their campaign for "human rights" is nothing short of inhumane.
No word yet if they plan on protesting a performance of Wagner at Royal Albert Hall this Tuesday. Wagner's music of course was the soundtrack of the Third Reich and the Holocaust.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
In the 11th and 12th centuries. It was an alliance of Jews and Muslims that defended Jerusalem, unsuccessfully, from Christian Crusaders.
At the dawn of the 21st century we Israelis like to think that things have changed; little has though. Evangelical christians still covet the holy land as the place where their messiah roamed. What has changed, is that instead of a sword, they now use a smile. Instead of the pope, they now have Glenn Beck, the smug, irritating proselyte.
Forget the fact that he has no chance of swaying anybody in support of Israel. He is so hated by those left-of-center (including yours truly), that he only stands to bolster those who are critical of the Jewish State. How has he bolstered any sort of unity amongst those who do support Israel? The only unity he has been able to foment is between leftists who don't like his polemic rhetoric and the right who are rightfully skeptical of his motivations.
Also, let us momentarily ignore that he has no concept of the true meaning of the Jewish state; he merely wishes to use Israel as a talking point in his continuing crusade against Muslims; a crusade that he sees as a continuation of the work of a millenium ago, when the Christian world believed that they were the true owners of Jerusalem and the holy land.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Responsibility. If anything like this were to happen while "Palestine" was a sovereign state, a terrorist attack, like the one we saw today, would be an act of war. It wouldn't be the act of a loose non-state actors. It would be one nation invading another; then Israel would have no choice but to invade and the UN could say nothing to stop them.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
There Are Battles Worth Fighting; This Isn't One of Them.
Yesterday I sent an email to Nivea inquiring about their leaving Israel of the list of countries in the Middle East, but including the Palestine Territories. I just received this email in response to my inquiry.
Hello Mr. Faben,
There have been several recent inquiries as to why NIVEA does not have a local website for Israel. We are deeply sorry that this has offended people.
Beiersdorf is constantly launching local country websites and the list is growing year by year. The NIVEA international website provides only the links to our currently available local NIVEA websites. It does not include our complete list of the countries where NIVEA is sold. We currently have websites for 89 of the 150 countries where NIVEA is sold.
Our products are sold in Israel and a Hebrew/English website is already in development with plans to launch by 4th quarter 2011. It is important to us that we can serve our consumers in Israel with a local website.
We take your comments seriously and appreciate your taking the time to voice your concerns.
Begrudgingly, I have to admit, that the explanation, while strange, is plausible. Although it does leave the question of why include the Palestinian Territories. However to that there is another plausible explanation. Bare in mind, that the page says "Palestine Territories" and not Palestine. The Israeli government does give control of the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinian Authority. Therefore, the company's inclusion of the Palestine Territories on their international page does not necessarily represent an endorsement of Palestinian Statehood. On Coca-Cola's international site there are links to the West Bank and Gaza; it doesn't make them Anti-Semitic because they don't call it Judea and Samaria.
In a way, this development doesn't bother me. If you give Nivea the benefit of the doubt about the Israel omission, it would seem that their motives are bushiness based. It bothers me a lot more when companies are over political, than when they have political apathy.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
What was behind this bizarre turn of events? I think it is apparent that the company's restoration of the page is due to public outcry; but what sparked the omission in the first place.
Was it consciousness over alleged human rights violations? Maybe, but if so their standards are pretty inconsistent. Some of the countries on their list are:
Did they omit Israel because very few people in the world speak Hebrew?
Also, of the thirty some-odd languages listed on the page, only two of them (Norwegian and Lithuanian) rank below MIH; and both of those are in Europe where Nivea's reach is the strongest.
Also, countries like Pakistan, Algeria,
One could easily argue that it was merely a business decision; that it wasn't profitable to spend advertising dollars on an Israeli market with low sales potential.
So, why is this argument wrong? Well, Nivea has a page in MIH. The link was merely removed.
Also, all of the pages for the Arabic countries link to a central page for the Middle East. It begs the question: why were "The Palestinian Territories" listed? If all the links point to the same page, what's the point of including a country that technically doesn't exist? Also, why are recognized countries such as Mauritania and Algeria not included in the list?
So, the question must be asked. Is Anti-Semitism to blame?
Let's look at history. Nivea creme was conceived as a product of the German company Beiersdorf in the early 20th century. In the early 1930's during the rise of the Nazis, the Jewish board members were forced to resign. This doesn't prove anti-Semitism, but it does allow the notion of anti-Jewish prejudice into the argument.
Proving anti-Semitism is especially difficult, but its hard to ignore,with the lack of any alternative explanations.
Or maybe it was just a simple clerical error...
Well, I don't know about you, but I am not satisfied with Nivea's quick fix. They need to offer a reasonable explanation or make positive ammends. Until then, I won't be using any of their products and neither should you.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Well I'm calling bs on that. Nobody has said he can't use Hitler analogies. But he really shouldn't."
Monday, July 25, 2011
Seriously folks, this is not a guy we want on our side.
Today, Glenn Beck took a principled and courageous stance attacking victims of terror who are too dead to defend themselves. Continuing a long streak of bizarre Nazi references, he compared the Norwegian camp where a(non-Muslim) terrorist gunned down about sixty youths. The camp was a yearly retreat organized by Norway's Labor party.
Beyond the trivialization of Nazism. HE JUST ATTACKED TERROR VICTIMS. Not to mention they were children. I really wonder if it was because this guy was not-Muslim and white.
Let's get something straight terrorism is evil. No matter what your political views are, using civilians as a target to further your goals is wrong. Terror needs to be denounced at every avenue, especially if its done for a cause you have sympathy for. If you don't denounce terror, you devalue the biggest political argument the Israelis have against the PA.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Hasidim. The ultra-orthodox in Israel are amongst the most maligned groups in the country. Most of the country is moderate and non-religious and critical of them. They face criticism for non-army service. Also many of them protest vehemently against the state, while receiving protection from the state as well as social services while not working so they can study torah. Anybody who read that last sentence would have to admit that takes balls.
Politicians, David Ben-Gurion once told Truman that he had an easy job because Truman was the president of several million citizens, while he was the Leader of a nation of Presidents. Any politician who has the audacity to even open his mouth will face attacks from the left front and center. They will face subpoenas from the international criminal court, to assassination attempts from Arabs and Israelis.
Basically everybody who lives in Israel stays in a country that is always facing breaches of its borders, suicide bombers, missile attacks, boycotts and elements with in its on populace that wish to see it destroyed. Courage has never been in short supply.
That is except of course for Glenn Beck. Beck is traveling around the Holy Land with a security escort giving pro-Israel speeches to pro-Israel crowds; and charging a decent amount of money at that. I'm not sure exactly where the courage plays in. Maybe it was when he moved his "Rally to Restore Courage" off of the temple mount to avoid Arabs who might be there.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Normally, dismiss such things as folly. But, this creepy. In addition to resembling WWII era propaganda cartoons, they are money grubbing and duplicitous. Even if the correlation is coincidental, it's there. It should be noted, that the resemblance cannot be attibuted directly to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. This design of the character first appeared in the first installment of the film franchise directed by Christopher Columbus. Also, one of Potter's classmates at Hogwarts was none other than the (possibly half-Italian) Anthony Goldstein.
There are also many Jewish mystical themes throughout the books. It would be quite disappointing for all those bored Jews reading through the seven-book series on those long three day Yomtovim. Rowling doesn't escape all reproach however. Dobby the house elf(Zt"L) originally had a thick West-Indian/Jamaican type screetchy accent. We can probably thank George Lucas for making that accent box-office suicide with Jar-Jar Binks.
Friday, July 15, 2011
In a Twist Beck is Accused of Being Anti-Israel
Much of Beck's anti-Jewish slant is deliniated in a recent Huffington Post article by MJ Rosenberg
Beck's Pro-Israel street-cred' includes his reporting on the "Freedom Flotilla" incident. According to Beck he was the only one in the media showing an IDF video showing Israeli soldiers being attacked by protesters. This was of course rubbish. Everybody was using that video.
One has to be at least slightly amused at this turn of events. Beck, whose Israel views are more anti-Arab than they are pro-Jew, has made a career out of baseless criticism. Many of his attacks on President Obama and others manipulate facts to create a dishonest narrative.
For once, Beck is getting a taste of his own medicine.
- His religion has become a liability. Much as he has attacked Muslims and Reform Jews.
- Small statements are manipulated to change his views. Much as he has found a way to manipulate any statement to call political opponents Nazis
- Finally, he is accused of anti-Semitism based on loose associations. (see Beck's attacks on Van Jones)
Thursday, July 14, 2011
lashon hara `läshən `härä (ערה ןושל) is the prohibition in Jewish Law of telling gossip. Lashon hara differs from defamation in that its focus is on the use of true speech for a wrongful purpose, rather than falsehood and harm arising.
The name and picture of the suspect spread quickly across the blogosphere, facebook and twitter. None of the rhetoric is terribly shocking. Many called him a "monster" and there are already a few groups on facebook calling for his execution, which won't happen (NY State has no Death Penalty statute).
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
In a matter of minutes, one man from Israel experienced the greatest extremes of Arab culture; extreme violence and benevolent hospitality. The incident highlighted disparities within Arab culture, and begs the question. Are negotiations pointless or are we talking to the wrong people?
Nir Nachshon suspected he might have made a terrible mistake, but wasn't sure until he heard the excited cries of a young boy.
Nachshon had made a wrong turn into a predominantly Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Within moments, adults responded to the child's alarms with stones and bricks. His attackers pulled him from his car and began to beat him to death. Then suddenly he was saved. A local Arab community leader, along with a couple others pulled him from the mob and brought him into a house, where he was protected until the police arrived.
Darwish Darwish, one of the men who helped save Nachson(left with Nachshon) expressed disappointment with the event, but also said he was concerned with the poor conditions of the area.
What does this mean?
Israel is ever vigilant, for violence against citizens can happen without warning and with extreme prejudice. It casts further doubt over whether or not Jerusalem could ever be divided. Sharing the city with a sovereign and hostile state, would leave citizens at risk for random attacks.
However it does give some hope. The actions of Darwish, lend credence to the idea that some Arabs are ready to live in a sovereign Israel.
Maybe instead of continuing fruitless negotiations with Hamas and Fatah, Arabs like Darwish should be invited to talks with Netanyahu. He voiced his concerns for the welfare of Arabs, but clearly demonstrated an opposition to violence against civilians.
I think clearly now
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Note: If the entire world was "anti-Israel" in this fashion. The Jewish State would be in great shape.
“Israel has the right to defend itself, but they are heavy handed sometimes.”Gets information from: New York Times International Section Activities: Arab/Israeli dialogue symposiums. Examples: Barack Obama, Arianna Huffington
“Terrorist attacks are immoral, but Israeli actions may ultimately provoke them.”Gets information from: New York Times Editorial page, John Lennon's "Imagine" Activities: Visiting with Israelis, but also Arabs who have yet to renounce Terror Examples: Hillary Clinton
“Peace not Apartheid”Gets their information from: European Press, Al-Jazeera Activities: Writing books critical of Israel walking tours of Gaza Examples: Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Christiane Amanpour
“The Palestinian people are under siege and there have been war crimes committed against them. The hostilities against them need to cease and the perpetrators need to be prosecuted..”Gets information from: Biased reports by Arab civilians, Activities: Lobbying UN to prosecute Israeli "war criminals" Examples: Richard Goldstone, Amnesty International
“Be gone, hated Zionists”Get information from: Unusual interpretations of Talmud Activities: Parading with Palestinian flags, spitting on non-religious Jews Examples: Moshe Hirsch
“Not in my name.”Gets their information from: Internet message boards: Fliers Activities: On campus Protests, vandalizing Israeli products in stores
“End the occupation”Get their information from: Hamas Activities: Flotillas, Jumping in front of bulldozers Examples: Vittorio Arigoni, Rachel Corrie
“Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury.”Get their information from: They're at the top so they must be making it up. Activities: Funding terror through telethons for Hamas. Denying the holocaust Examples: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Sadam Hussein, Bashar Assad
“We are going to win because they love life and we love death”Get Their Information from: Madrassas, Radical Imams Activities: Murder, bomb making Examples: too many to mention but Osama bin Laden, Hasan Nasrallah, but in particular Samir Kuntar
“[Zionists] occupy most of the American media and now control much of the American government…It is not just the West Bank of Palestine, it is not just the Golan Heights that are occupied by the Zionists, but Washington D.C. and New York and London and many other capitals of the world.”Get Their Information From: The Protocols of the elders of Zion Activities: Spreading hatred, attempting to infiltrate government Examples: David Duke, Mahmoud Amadinejad, Mahmoud Abbas
He delineates the reality of Israel's internal politics which are largely liberal and contrasts with the politics of the majority of its neighbors whom are extremely intolerant of religious rights. This is a fact that many in the liberal wing of the anti-zionist coalition have trouble addressing.
Just try to imagine what would become of so many people if Israel were allowed to fall. If you think there are Palestinians suffering now, it would be nothing compared to what would happen if Hamas were allowed to overrun the Holy Land. All of those African refugees, gone. All of those humanitarian missions (Israel was one of the first into Haiti after the earthquake) done.
Consider the riots in Syria, Egypt, Iran, Libya (insert Arab country name here.) If anything, the objective evidence suggests that despite the Zeitgeist of anti-zionist politics, the Palestinians are better off with so-called occupation.
Yes, I had the temerity to suggest such a thing. The problem with the emotional politics, is that they don't allow you to see a few steps ahead. Geopolitics is a game of chess, not checkers.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Short answer, my political views are some what all over the map. I'm probably more of a moderate. That is not to say I'm caught in between sides, not able to make up my mind. It means that no one view is dependent on my view in other areas. Lets use an easy chart to explain.
- I believe in liberal economic policy. Low taxes for poor, moderately higher for the wealthy; Regulation and government stimulus and intervention (That's not socialism folks its Keynesian economic theory)
- I believe in Health care reform.
- I do not believe in unlimited abortion rights (and belive the best way to reduce abortions is to provide pre/post-natal services to poor and single mothers)
- I believe in aggressive military policy and strong defense.
- I think we should treat drug users rather than imprison them.
- I believe in controlled levels of affirmative action
- School vouchers (provided that public school funding isn't affected)
- I strongly believe in Federal programs to help the vulnerable and disenfranchised.
I do not believe that the President of the United States has strong influence over Israel's fate.Why? Well look at President Bush. As advocates of Israel go, he was one of the best. However, during his tenure as President of the United States, we saw the Second Intifada, the disengagement from Gush Katif, and the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.
Are these things Bush's fault? Don't be ridiculous. Of course not. But this is exactly my point. He has no influnce. It's ordained from above.
Also, I object to the notion that Obama is anti-Israel. Don't get me wrong, I don't like his policies. But, I don't see the malice and anti-semitism That many of my friends do. Heres why:Forgive me if I don't believe that the electoral college has stronger influence over the fate of the Jews than Hashem
A majority of the reason that people believe Obama is anti- Israel is his speach to the State Department in May 2011. Most people focused on just two words of one sentence of what I thought was a complex nuanced and thought provoking speach on the current state of affairs in the entire middle-east.
1967 BordersLet me make this abundantly clear. Israel cannot return to the borders of 1967. They are indefensible and would leave Israel unacceptably vulnerable to aggression. However, President Obama shares this view. A lot of the attacks on his Israel policy are for views he doesn't have. He has advocated an undivided Jerusalem.
Finally, he stated rather emphatically that he thinks Israel and the PA should have the ultimate final word. In other words any final compromises would be obtained by negotiations between the two.
So, I find any charges that he wants to give Israel to the Arabs unfounded. In actuality, his policy is much more evenhanded than other policies. It still leans more towards Israel though. Hamas's repeated stated agenda is the destruction of Israel. Obama has stated in no uncertain terms that the survival and strong defense of Israel is a high priority. However he has stated a need for a two-state solution.
If don't like his policy, because you think he doesn't lean towards Israel enough, fine, I agreee. If you don't like is policy, because he has advocated settlement freezes during negotiations I agree. But to call him an anti-Israel, anti-semite, pro-muslim uberliberal is not fair.
He is not Jimmy Carter.I recommend re-reading/watching his speeches to AIPAC and the state department. Do it with an open mind. You might be surprised.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
- The national debt has risen by over five trillion dollars
- More than 30 Billion tweets have been tweeted on Twitter
- Michael Jackson has passed away
- 14 billion apps have been downloaded from the app store
- Nearly 17,000 have died in the protests of Arab spring
- There have been over 1,900 American Casualties in Iraq
- Alex Rodriguez hit 181 homeruns.
- 68 Stories of One World Trade Center have been built
- Twenty shuttle launches
- I personally have been to the hospital five times
- Al -Qaeda has had three leaders
- Two Soccer World Cups
- Two Presidents of America
- Two Prime Ministers of Israel
- Boston has seen Championships from its Basketball, Baseball and Hockey teams (and almost football).
- Southern Sudan has become a country
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
"One can easily see that this is in fact anti-Israel ... the application calls for an uprising against the State of Israel," Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli EdelsteinEdelstein wrote a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs urging that he delete the application from the store.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the application is the forums feature. It allows followers to post hate messages to a forum that also appears on the groups website. Potentially this could be used for people who wish to commit violence to network with each other.
The application is free to download.
Monday, June 20, 2011
If he were in PA territories protesting he would have been killed. This is why you never see a corresponding video of an American Arab protesting on behalf of Israelis. In fact, just last year a pro-palestinian activist. Read that again pro-Palestinian activist was killed in Gaza earlier this year by terrorists.
|The unidentified man being resisting arrest.|
- First, the video is edited. There is no way to tell how much time passed in between his showing up at the march and being approached.
- Second, he should have identified himself. Israel is a state that is on high-alert all the time. It is not unreasonable or absurd to be asked for your identification. Also he had his passport out for much of the time. If it was so important that he not hand it over, why did he display it so publicly?
- Third, he resisted arrest. When the police tried to take him into custody, he ran, pushed back, screamed. Any injuries he sustained were his own fault.
It was in the early days of the past decade, during the second intifada. That I began to question the logic of the people I was friends with. They claimed that Palestinian terrorists were only defending their people, that there battle wasn't about hurting Jews. Then, came the Passover bombing in Netanya; and of course there was the pre 9/11 Sbarro's bombing. I questioned actions that had no tactical purpose. They were for lack of a better term. Hate crimes.
A few years later, I visited Israel for the first time. It was in the midst of a fierce debate over the disengagement. I was shocked at how much disagreement there was between the people of Israel. I quickly came to one conclusion. No matter what I believed about Israel, this kind of dissent did not exist in the Arab countries and certainly not amongst the Palestinans. I saw people of every color living together. This was a very different picture than the one painted by people who criticize Israel.
Eventually over the years, my sympathy for the Palestinian people has not changed. Every life, no matter how disadvantaged is worth living to the fullest of its potential. What has changed is my view on who is oppressing them. The Palestinian people deserve their freedom from Hamas and Fatah, even if they don't know it.
However, it is hard to balance my social values, political ideals and religious beliefs. Come along with me and we'll take a ride.