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Gaza, the questions and answers

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What does it really mean, when F16s fly over one of the most densely settled urban areas, in the universe? What happens when these warplanes bombard schools, and hospitals? How does it feel to be one of the million and half, trapped standing without cover? What would be the last thoughts that cross your mind as you listen to the whistle of a rocket fired from a pilot, operating a dashboard with all the bells, of the latest video games?  

What happens when this five hundred pounds rocket slams in the building, a few yards away from your home? Would the news about two hundred killed, sound different if you knew ten or fifteen, of the lives that ended prematurely? How many were injured? Was it a scratch, a loss of a limb, or life threatening? Would you consider for even a second that you deserve it, that your people brought it upon themselves? Would you stop and think about the pilot landing his plane at a nearby airport, and having dinner with his wife and beautiful kids? Would you worry about their safety?

Would you ask your mother to stop crying, and your friend to quit bleeding, while you go looking for the monsters firing toy rockets? Would you then debate with these terrorists their inhumane actions sending firecrackers over the wall? Would you explain in simple terms that the wall, which confines their existence, is not such bad idea after all? Would you ask them to stop their act of aggression? Would you tell them that although the range of their toy rockets can't reach proper Israel, it bothers the peaceful civilians living on the occupied land behind the wall? 

Would you clarify that Israel has never officially annexed this land, but the innocent people of Israel just want to live in peace on these occupied territories?  Would you be fair enough to make the point that the duty of any government is to protect its own people ""even on occupied land- and this is the sole reason for the bombardment?  Would you then inform these fanatics that all the injured women and children would die in a hospital without electricity, or medicine, because of the one-and-half year old economic blockade?

None of this will happen. Instead, once again Israel will exercise severe collective punishment on one and half million starving citizens, living in no man's land surrounded by the sea on one side and a concrete wall on the other. These people that have no jobs to go to, schools to attend, or even the right to leave their misery behind, will never question the sanity of resistance, even when it brings them more punishment. 

The new round of violence in Gaza should strike all people in the world image of warplane bombarding high rising residential buildings might be debatable during a war, assuming it is a collateral damage, but when your enemy has no weapons other than homemade bombs, using F16s should be questioned!

However, the Palestinian suffering is only one part of the problem.  

With every rocket fired from an Israeli warplane, at every checkpoint that prevents food and medicine from getting to the people of Gaza, with every day passed on Palestinians confined to the walls built by their occupier, Israel is defeating its own narrative.

After all, the story of the Jewish people, and the creation of Israel is one of the most powerful narratives of human suffering, endurance, survival, and winning against all odds. 

YES, there are recorded history of people and races wiped-out, or marginalized, civilizations burnet to the ground, and ways of life destroyed forever by powerful adversaries. 

These sad stories are different; they don't left the human spirit, or display the eventuality of what we would like to think of as a natural, and just outcome of the endless struggle between good and evil. This is why the young and powerful country created by the people subjected to the worst type of collective punishment, is the culmination, and the pay back of all the victims, and the underdogs in our world. That is a problem.

Demography is another practical problem. Israel can't provide full citizenship rights to the Palestinians of the occupied land (West Bank and Gaza) without losing the Jewish identity. It can't refuse to grant these rights without losing the moral value of its existence, and that is a dilemma.

In addition to all of that, the governments on both sides lack the vision, and the political will to resolve this human crisis. America in recent history was the power behind ending apartheid in South Africa. It is time again for America, to play a constructive role in ending the last occupation on earth. 

I believe that all the conditions required to create two states are already known to experts on both sides, starting with the right to exist for Israel, as expressed in the Saudi peace proposal of 2002, which is approved by all Arab countries to the proposed compensation as an alternative to the right of return.

I believe that Jewish and Arab Americans have the right and the obligation to save Israel from itself, and provide dignity to the people of Palestine.

Now, is the time for Jewish Americans to put pressure on our government to help Israel make the tough choices, it is the time for Arab Americans to work with their Jewish counterparts to resolve the Middle East crisis through honest dialogue, and coordinated pressure on their congress representatives.  But most of all, it is the time for all Americans to reject the notion that their own tax dollars can be used to buy weapons to demolish the lives and properties of civilians living under siege, or to provide grants to expand settlements in the occupied land.  

As we celebrate a New Year, we should remember that terror stopped in Iraq only after America offered jobs and future to the insurgents, as a part of the so-called Awakenings program. We should also understand that the tiny rockets would only disappear, the day the Palestinians have jobs, schools, and a land of their own.  

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I am an Egyptian American born in Alexandria. I immigrated to the US in the late eighties, during this time lived in many places in US and Europe. I work as an IT manager and love it. I love to travel, it makes me feel young, and it awakes in me (more...)
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"The image of warplane bombarding high rising... by William Whitten on Monday, Dec 29, 2008 at 3:57:57 PM
Such an attitude is reflected in Ben Sira whose cr... by Hans-Wolfgang on Monday, Dec 29, 2008 at 4:51:50 PM
"A man with training gains wide knowledge; a ... by William Whitten on Monday, Dec 29, 2008 at 6:01:36 PM
And by the way, thank you for your reply.Were that... by William Whitten on Monday, Dec 29, 2008 at 6:04:03 PM