I read your comments to my previous article, which ranged from the solution-oriented to the truly vicious.
I apologize ahead of time for presenting you with different opinions, thoughts and facts. However,
- War sucks! And we are at war.
- A state of war is also a state of mind, a way of life. Our attitudes toward our neighbors (and vice versa) are influenced by this. Most of you have no clue as to what I am talking about, certainly not from a personal experience. Lucky you!
- In the past, wars took place on traditional battlefields and civilians were rarely injured. This is not the case today, where the front is no longer in front. Civilians are harmed, injured, killed, during war, children too. It is horrible beyond belief, but it is true.
- Survivors of wars will hate the other side for the killing and the suffering, the destruction of infrastructure and disruption of routines. This means a vicious cycle that will continue until both sides decide that enough is enough.
- Israel is stronger than Hamas, so it uses more power than Hamas. The rockets fired by Hamas are not as accurate or deadly as Israel's fire power. Hamas knows this. So the real question is – why does Hamas continue with this cycle of blood and horror? Or start?
- It stands to reason that Hamas would think twice before provoking Israel. Stands not only to my reasoning, by the way. Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, warned Hamas leaders before the war, to no avail. Have you heard much from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) on this issue? Do you realize they are the two regional leaders? They both blame Hamas. Sources close to Abu Mazen say that Hamas is using the situation to kill Fatah officials in Gaza.
- During war, kids should be removed from the equation. In this case, when war was imminent, Hamas should have moved them to relatives in the West Bank. That didn't happen. You must ask yourselves why when, as you are fond of saying, Israel's response was not sudden.
- I suppose you will tell me that yes, Israel is stronger, but what happened to proportions? I agree. We should have responded proportionally. Or should we? What does that mean? Blowing up a Palestinian coffee shop? How about launching a random rocket into Gaza? Randomly? Even though Gaza is more populated than Sderot, so more people will be injured? You tell me: what is proportional?
- Israel says it wants to live in peace. I know this to be true, you don't believe it. Fine, but tell me this: It stands to reason that it will stop fighting, too, when this round is over.
- Believe it or not, this war could have ended much faster, with many more civilian casualties. How? Ask Georgians and Russians. We are not them, thank God. To minimize civilian casualties, Israeli soldiers are advancing house to house, street to street. Minimizing still means a lot, since even one is too much.
- How do you minimize civilian casualties when the terrorists are wearing civilian clothing rather than military garb, operating within civilian population? Do you have an answer? The children killed have nothing to do with this, but Hamas should have taken them out of the equation a long time ago.
- Real peace will probably not take place because of everything I mentioned before. A reasonable alternative is what we have with Syria: No peace, but peaceful relations since 1973, rather than war or hostilities.
- What you call the original sin is that Israel exists at all. However, it was the U.N. which in 1947, announced the establishment of a Jewish State and an Arab State on what we now call Israel (if you don't believe me, this is the link to the U.N. resolution announcing the establishment of a Jewish state). The only reason Israel is larger than what the resolution dictated is because of the wars we fought, those we started and those we didn't.
Here are a few responses to your comments:
- Mr. White: I read your full proposal with great interest. With your permission, I would like to forward it to a few people in Israel, but I will not do so without your permission.
- Liberalsrock: You claim Israel belonged to the Palestinians before this declaration. But why stop in the 20th Century, just because it is convenient? A classmate of mine, whose family has never left Israel, traces his family roots to the time before Jesus. Why stop there? Read the Bible. There were no Palestinians then, no Arabs and no Muslims. Muhammad only appeared in the 7th Century. Based on history alone, there is no argument, because Jews have been in Israel for such a long time. The real question is what to do now. I cannot respond to everything else you said, because calling me a liar while spreading lies and accusing me, without proof, is counterproductive.
- Mr. Whitten: If Hamas and the people are one, and Hamas is at war with Israel, that means the people are at war with Israel. You are incorrect, of course, because we have no quarrel with the people of Gaza, just with their leaders. I wish it were ludicrous to blame Hamas leaders for using their children as hostages. Unfortunately, it isn't ludicrous to blame them, but doing exactly that is a criminal act. Also, Hamas has never declared itself willing to accept a settlement with Israel. At least now, it is thinking about it.
- Mr. McKinney: It is good that participants at OpEd News have historical background. Too bad you can't handle a different opinion without attacking the writer. Your reaction is much too automatic, without thinking.
- Munich: You state that the innocent people of Gaza are being slaughtered for NO good reason. What can I say? You are right. I urge you to place the responsibility where it belongs, however. I am not familiar with Avi Shlaim, I promise to read about him and what he says. You know as well as I do that Genocide means the systematic murder of a people. Stating that this is what's happening here is utterly ridiculous. As for white phosphorous, I wonder if you read in your sources that such a bomb was used by Hamas. Or is your source as one sided as you are?
- M. Bennett: How do you know Hamas had nothing to do with the rockets fired from Gaza? What if I told you that nothing happens in Gaza without the knowledge of Hamas?
- Mr. Wedlund: Well put
- Ken: Just because you call sentences "facts" doesn't make them so. Most of your facts appear to be made up. Hamas continued to send rockets, albeit fewer, during the cease fire. On Nov. 4, Israel launched an air strike on a tunnel, which Hamas dug under the border to kidnap an Israeli soldier. The tunnel would have been similar to the one they used to kidnap Gilad Shalit on June 25, 2006. Incidentally, Shalit is still a POW and has yet to receive his first visit from a Red Cross official. Israel does not block food or fuel, unless Hamas attacks the passageways or uses the trucks to smuggle weapons. By the way, Egypt is not the enemy, we are. Give me one good reason why can't food or fuel pass through Egypt. There is no good reason.
Regarding Iran – I believe the leaders of Iran when they say that Israel should be destroyed and the country will be glad to help, and then attempt to construct nuclear bombs. I don't have a problem with Iranians, just the government. I can't argue with anyone who supports Iran or ignores its leaders' statements. So much for Mr. McKinney's announcement that participants at OpEd News have historical background
One final thought: Citing Al Jazeera as a source for Middle Eastern news is like watching Fox News exclusively to understand the U.S. Citing Uri Avneri, Amira Hess and Gideon Levi to prove anything about Israel is like equating Reverend Jeremiah Wright with all black Americans. All three Israelis have admirable viewpoints. I am glad they contribute to our political and social discourse. However, they are not the only voices, even though they seem to reflect your collective opinions.