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Israel- Gaza

In the spirit of full disclosure the following information was taken, nearly verbatim from the Jewish Community Relations Council

1)  In August 2005, 
Israel disengaged from the entire Gaza Strip and turned the area over to Palestinian Authority (PA) control.

2) Since 
Israel’s disengagement in 2005, more than 6,300 rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza toward Israeli civilian centers in the south. More than 3,000 were fired in 2008 alone.  

3) Despite repeated appeals by the Israeli government, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the leaders of 
Egypt and Jordan and the international community, Hamas has continued to fire rockets on Israel.

4)    During a 6-month negotiated ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, Hamas used the opportunity to rearm and increase the quantity, quality and range of its weapons. Iranian provided missiles, with a range of 20 miles, have now made it possible for Hamas to hit beyond Sderot and Ashkelon, into cities like Kiryat Gat and Ashdod. The lives of 700,000 Israelis are now at risk.   

5) Hamas ousted by force the Palestinian Authority from the Gaza Strip and rejected prior agreements regarding 
Israel’s right to exist.  

Israel has continued to supply fuel, food, medical supplies, and other humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, despite Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians. During the past six months, Israel has facilitated more than 14,624 truckloads of humanitarian assistance including more than 185,000 tons of supplies and 39 million liters of fuel.  There have been more than 4,130 medical evacuations.    

7) On December 28 alone, Israelis shipped 4 truckloads of flour, 3 of medicine and medical equipment, and one truckload of heating gas. Israelfacilitated the shipment of 15 more truckloads from the United Nations relief program, World Food Program, and Red Cross.  On December 30, another 38 truckloads were transferred at the Kerem Shalom Crossing including more medicine, medical equipment, food, 1,000 units of blood and ten ambulances. 


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
Let me put on my Devil's Advocate hat for a second: the source you quoted, the Jewish Community Relations Council, is not an entirely objective authority on the issue. That's not to say that what they're saying has no merit, nor am I saying that what they say has no merit, I'm simply stating that what they say could be dismissed merely as biased propaganda because of their name and affiliation.
One thing that really bothers me is that the tv news programs are showing, almost exclusively, footage of bombing-injured Palestinian civilians because as "news sources" that is their business (if it bleeds, it leads). They are seemingly ignoring the reasons why Israel is engaging in the current military actions. As you may recall, during the Vietnam War the tv news programs started showing daily footage of US soldiers injured and killed in the fighting, and this was attributed, in large part, to the general public turning against that war. The current coverage makes it seem as if Israel is engaging in unprovoked acts of aggression against the civilian population of Gaza.
What Israel needs in the public opinion forum is an unbiased, objective source to state the factual reasons for the actions being taken in Gaza.
Jan. 5th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
Very good point, but where does that unbiased, objected source come from?
Jan. 5th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
I don't know where it would come from since it seems that almost all sources could be traced back to one side or the other.
Jan. 11th, 2009 06:17 am (UTC)
Here's my point stated somewhat more eloquently:

Jan. 5th, 2009 08:00 pm (UTC)
I, too, found myself wanting to be Devil's Advocate as to this source, while also knowing the source is reporting what is true as to their knowledge and accounting system.

I don't think it is ever possible to find a completely unbiased, objective source even if that is the intent of the source.

We see what we expect to see. That is the problem with studies of drugs and why coffee swings between being harmful and not. A study could prove water dangerous as drinking gallons of it daily could lead to death.

How then do we acknowledge what Hamas has openly said, done, and is doing, and then, deal with what people are currently reading and seeing?

My friend who was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family was in Israel in October with a group of people of various religions. Their mission was peace. She saw both "sides." There needs to be a meeting at some "higher level," that sees above relatives killed and families divided. How do we acknowledge the pain given and received on every side and find a solution?

I have no answers for a way to bring peace to the region. It is a painful wound. The people in this area suffer from post-traumatic stress. When can we find a place to address that?
Jan. 5th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
I disclosed the source, in the way that I did, because I knew that it wasn't necessarily objective. I also omitted a good deal of its editorializing. Israel is not perfect, but where else in the world is a terrorist organization tolerated? Hamas, to this day, is still calling for the destruction of Israel.
Jan. 5th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
I know that and it is why I hesitated to reply.

I almost let it go because I don't know the answer. I know the issue is incredibly sensitive, personally sensitive, as you have said, and sensitive for the world.

I'm not sure that Bush's support for Israel is helpful at this point as he is so detested around the world and in this country. In fifteen days, we can see what Obama will have to say about how to begin to solve the problems and address Hamas. I have no solutions. I don't know how one reports objectively, especially when one is in the middle of something and caught in one's own fear.

Years ago, I went to a lecture at the Exploratorium in SF. Dr. Marion Diamond held up a human brain and spoke about perception. She then showed a video which you may have seen where you are told to watch the ball as it is passed between a group of people. I watched the ball. She then showed the video again. A man had walked through in a gorilla suit and only one person in the audience caught it and others argued that it wasn't the same scene.

It showed me how we see what we expect to see. I was so focused on the ball that I missed a man in a gorilla suit. I was shocked.

I understand that Israel is defending itself. The problem is how it is perceived and how what is happening there will lead to peace.

I am reading Douglas Hofstadter's book, I Am a Strange Loop. I find it fascinating.

We interact at all different levels, and maybe all this is just inspired by different atoms and molecules trying to claim their space, but maybe there is a place where we can expand out and look at it all, look at the region as it has been for thousands of years, and then, look at how it might be now. I think we have to change our perception to reach peace in this area and in the world, and that change in perception will allow a reporting that says this is complex and how do we acknowledge all the pain and hurt and what do we do now to ensure that each group of people thrives and feels safe.

People want to be witnessed. I think we need to witness the generations of pain that people in this area have endured. We need to witness pain and say, "I see your hurt. I feel your pain," and that means seeing each person's hurt and pain, justified as we perceive it, or not.

I don't know how to do this, but each bomb dropped, each person killed or hurt, on any side, hurts us all. We are connected at a molecular level and at levels beyond what we are even capable of imagining at this point. I would like to see us meet in acknowledgment of that, and I know it is easy for me to say. I am not Jewish. My daughter-in-law is Jewish though. Many of my friends are Jewish. I see the anguish in this, the pain, for those in Israel and those who are not. How do we create peace? I wish I knew. I feel your pain in my heart, gut, and soul.

I know we are all struggling to be on the side of "good" in this, but again, maybe we need to expand out beyond the idea of good and evil, right and wrong, and admit the complexity of what has gone on and meet new and fresh without the past.

I think of the words of John Lennon, "You may call me a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." I remember now the movie War Games. It was a silly movie, but the premise made sense. The only way to win is not to play. Yes, Israel needs to defend itself, but when does defense become attack?
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
I don't trust Bush's support.

What is his reasoning? Is it the same reasoning of the religious right?

I don't know the answer. I'm not as blind as I seem. Israel is not perfect. Sharon was a detestable person.

How can the people of Palestine live as they are? But if Israel eases up is she signing a death warrant for some of her citizens?

As long as Hamas and Hezbolah believe and act as they do, I'm afraid that there won't be peace.
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
That is my fear too, that there won't be peace.

I am left with tears.

I realize now that if we are here to learn acceptance, that maybe it is for me to come to acceptance of that, that there is no solution and there won't be peace.

As to reasoning, do you mean Hofstadter? He is really talking about mathematics and applying it in some way to how we may interact, to how we know we are an "I." Some reviews say he is dealing with the death of his beloved wife in this book. There is no connection with the situation in one way and in another, it is fascinating to consider from different levels, beginning at the levels of atoms and how they interact, and then, do we believe our will can control atoms, unite them in some common goal? Perhaps.

I'm sure that Hofstadter would say I am grossly misunderstanding his book. I am in the middle of it, and my intuitive hit from it is one of excitement and intention of ease. I love considering all the different "levels" on which I interact and live.
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
I don't know anything about Hofstadter.
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
I see now I missed your first line, that you don't trust Bush's support and what is his reasoning.

Bush is a puppet, though a dangerous one. I suspect that there are many who gain from dis-ease in the Middle East. Certainly the weapons manufacturers don't reach first for peace.

I think we both do more wholly see and that is why we experience this as painful.

I see that I run to my safe place, my desire, to the point of demand, for peace.

I may need to learn to accept that there are places more complex than that, and for now, we'll stay alert and return to your original concern, which was how we sift through the news and find a core of truth.
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
I am currently reading Hofstadter and somehow his discussions of mathematical proofs and such give me hope.

I see though that in my rush to respond I missed your first line about Bush, so was responding to the "wrong thing," and I think that is what often happens in dispute.

We both know we are well-intentioned, and trying to understand, but between countries where there is hurt and need for defense, it is no wonder that misunderstandings lead to escalation and so it goes.

Peace. :)
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
I don't know what the answer is. I usually don't intend to post about Israel, but then somebody posts something that gets me angry and this is a response.

I do however like discussing it with people like you. Who although, I don't always agree, try to see both sides.

I think that dialog and not vitriol is the answer.
Jan. 5th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
I agree with you.

Dialogue is the key. I'm glad we can talk about it.

For me, there is sadness. I can't figure out what can be done.

I have always imagined that I would be one of the ones who would hide my Jewish friends if it ever came to that here, as it did in Nazi Germany. I never understood how you turn on your friends, but I didn't live there and I don't know how it was for those who did. I do understand the reasons for Israel to exist. I wonder at the cost though. As I said, my friend felt that people she met were suffering from post-traumatic stress. How do we begin to ease all the damage that has been done? Again, I have no answers and I'm glad we can discuss it and now I need to get something done. :)

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )



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