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Provocation

Posted Sunday, June 6, 2010, at 4:22 PM

For the past several years, Egypt and Israel have maintained a joint blockade of the Gaza Strip. Gaza is a small rectangular portion of Israel that borders Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. The people of Gaza are predominantly Muslim who were Jordanians and Egyptians before 1948 when the U.N. started carving the new nation into sections based on religion.

Why do so many Islamic people, particularly Arabs, hate the Jews?

First, Mohammad was a Jew rejected by the Jewish people for his radical religious ideas. He was driven into the Arabian Desert where he later became a military leader and conqueror. Because of his rejection by his native people, he and his followers despised them.

Second, the Ottoman Empire backed the Axis powers during World War I. At the end of the war, the empire was carved up by the European powers and France occupied Syria (which included Lebanon) and England occupied Egypt and Transjordan. At the end of the Second World War, large Jewish populations had been driven from their homes. Many migrated into the relative safety of the British Empire to the land occupied by their ancestors before Rome drove them into the wilderness (the Diaspora, A.D 70-130). In 1948, the United Nations recognized the existence of Israel and decreed it to be a Jewish homeland. Deciding to create an Israel approximating the one in the Old Testament, they drew the nations boundary lines arbitrarily severing parts of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.

It is worth noting that prior to the British occupation of Transjordan there was no Palestine and no people known as Palestinians. The British named the costal Provence of Transjordan Palestine in 1921 after the Roman term for the Province after the Diaspora.

In 2008, more than 10,000 rockets and missiles were fired from Gaza into other parts of Israel. Most of the missiles fired from Gaza originated from Syria and Iran and were smuggled into Israel either across the Egyptian border or by small boats on the Mediterranean Sea. Imagine Ohio firing 10,000 rockets and missiles into Indiana and Kentucky. What would you do?

After Israel attacked and wiped out militant sites in Gaza, Israel and Egypt agreed to blockade Gaza to reduce the number of weapons smuggled into that part of Israel. This blockade is perfectly legal under International law.

Israel has intercepted hundreds of boats headed to Gaza in the past couple of years. In this particular case, the "flotilla" of six boats left with fanfare from Turkey and declared that they were an humanitarian mission to Gaza to break the blockade. When intercepted by the Israelis, they were instructed to pull into Israel's Ashdod port where they would be inspected and any humanitarian aid would be taken to Gaza by truck. The flotilla declined. When the lead vessel was boarded, the Israeli soldiers were attacked.

What if the U.S. government allowed a flotilla of boats from Canada to pass through a several year-long blockade of Ohio? Wouldn't other boats begin to cross from Canada to Ohio? Wouldn't some of those boats attempt to smuggle in rockets and missiles? Doesn't the U.S. Government owe a duty to the citizens of Indiana and Kentucky to protect them from attack by Ohio? The same is true with Israel.

What does it mean when many of the "peace activists" on the boats wrote letters to their families stating that they were leaving on a martyrdom mission and had prepared new wills? Does that sound like an intentional provocation to lay the foundation for another Islamic war against Israel? Is it a coincidence that Iran recently announced that it now has enough fissionable material to make two nuclear warheads? A fact that has been quietly known for about a year while Iran continues to refine material for more nuclear weapons.

Why is it that Israel, enforcing a blockade of a portion of its own country where eight people were killed, creates international outrage and vehement condemnation. Yet a North Korean submarine torpedoes and sinks a South Korean warship, killing 46 crew members, and little is said in the news and there is no international outrage or condemnations.

Could it be because North Korea has nuclear weapons and everyone believes that they will use them? What about Iran, which continues to insist that it will wipe out Israel and the United States?

Before Germany invaded its neighbors at the outset of World War II, it sent in agents provocateur to provoke the other nation into firing the first shot. That justified the following invasion.

Could it be that places like Iran are trying to manufacture an excuse to nuke Israel? Is it possible that the seat of the old Ottoman Empire, Turkey, and other nations or radical elements within Syria, Jordan, and Egypt would be all too happy to help?


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"We need to build a legitimate private sector in Gaza as a strong counterweight to extremism, To end up with a Gaza that is dependent on tunnels and foreign aid is not a good idea," [Tony Blair]

"I can't get cocoa powder, I can't get malt, I can't get shortening or syrup or wrapping material or boxes," said Mohammed Telbani, the head of Al Awda, a cookie and ice cream factory in the central town of Deir al Balah. "I don't like Hamas, and I don't like Fatah. All I want is to make food."

This is a problem for Olfat al-Qarawi, stuck in a makeshift tent with her husband and six children 18 months after their house was destroyed by an Israeli invasion. The Qarawis expected to get a donated trailer last year, but it went to a family loyal to Hamas, she said.

When a charity official told her that she would receive one of 200 prefabricated homes arriving on the aid flotilla, she was elated. When the Israeli Navy confiscated the cargo in the raid that killed nine Turks, she fell into despair. The group that had promised her the house was the Islamic Turkish charity known by the initials I.H.H., a sponsor of the flotilla.

These are excerpts from an article in today's paper. While no government is perfect what we must always remember is the people. Just as we do not always agree with our government's decisions, we must not be made numb to the fact that people like you and me live there simply trying to make a living for their families.

The more time that Gaza and other like isolated pockets of land are kept from the rest of the world, the more they will feed into the extremist's beliefs as they can see nothing else to make a comparison.

Whether Gaza or North Korea where only the can only watch government TV and NO internet at all is permitted, these people are mentally held hostage.

"I fear we will die here," she said of the rusting pipes and frayed plastic sheeting that serve as her home in the village of El Atatra, in northwest Gaza. "They won't have to move us far," she added with dark mockery. "The cemetery is up the road."

In truth, most of the postwar tents are gone now, and daily life is neither as awful as many abroad assert nor as untroubled as Israel insists. Instead, it has a numbing listlessness.

"In Gaza, no one is dying," said Amr Hamad, deputy secretary general of the Palestinian Federation of Industries. "But no one is living."

This truly sounds like the Warsaw Ghettos of the 1930's where Jewish people were cut off from making a living and the rest of the world.

If Israel even wants to attempt a semblance democracy, it needs to afford all its people equal access to a life worth living or radical groups like Hamas will continue.

[several quotes via NY Times]

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 8:04 AM

Dear Jenny,

Thanks for the reference to the article. It was a good read and presented good facts and analysis. However, I am not certain about some of its conclusions.

In my opinion, the idea of "Zionism" can never be fulfilled. It is doubtful that Israel will ever be a true democracy and also be a true Jewish state. But the ideological issues internal to Israel, and their lobby in Washington are not the problem of the moment.

Moreover, it does not change the fact that "Palestine" did not even exist as a concept, other than as a historical footnote in the Roam Empire, until 1922. (Palestine is distinct from Israel as recorded in the bible.) There is no more a Palestinian people than there is a Hoosier people and there never has been.

The number one objective of any nation is to continue to exist. That objective has been in continuous jeopardy from the first day that Israel was recognized to exist, and before. The reasons for that are outlined in my original article.

The stark fact is that root causes are not particularly important when you are dealing with a crisis. When the people of Gaza are bombarding you with rockets, you must destroy the rockets, the launch points, the supplies, and the people firing them. Now there is a public effort to break the blockade. What is Israel to do? How many of their loyal civilians are they to permit being killed to east the lives of citizens who are in revolt?

Regardless the long term consequences, they cannot permit themselves to be bullied by their enemies to lift the blockade which will make it easier to arm their internal enemies.

History matters a lot. All of the present and future is predicated on the consequences of the past. However, Jewish citizens will be killed by the internal and external enemies and that cannot be tolerated by the Israeli government regardless the reasons for the attacks.

CH

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 1:47 PM

Charles:

Read Tony Judt's recent comments on the matter. It puts into a nutshell what Dorothy Drummond of ISU has written. I believe pretty balanced and puts it out there in black and white.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/10/opinio...

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 8:06 AM

Jenny,

Yes we can insist that Iran and North Korea not have nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty specifically limited the number of countries to those that had already possessed such weapons. Iran has been a sponsor of terrorism since the 70's after the fall of the Shaw. I for one find it very frightening that a country who has held our citizens hostage for over 400 days, helps fund and provides members to many terrorist organizations to have access to nuclear technology. They have already proven that they will use any weapons at their disposal against us.

North Korea plays a very deadly game, they have the capability to attack targets as far away as Japan with nuclear tipped missiles. If you remember your history it was the forces of North Korea that invaded the south in 1950, they are a brutal totalitarian regime with only one goal, the forcible reunification of the Korean Peninsula. They will at some time make good on their promise and our troops in harms way will pay that price dearly.

And as for Israel, most islamic let countries only want them eliminated not just removed from their land. They want all jews exterminated, I have served with members from "Friendly" islamic nations and they freely admit that. To them Israel is the center of evil.

No one is without blame, on any subject. However, the Israeli's only want to live in peace. They have no desire other than to survive in an area where most of their neighbors want them exterminated like an unwanted pest. What you see as harsh they see as a means of survival, and I guarantee that those who protest current actions are the minority.

Anyone can armchair quarterback what is happening in that region of the world. For those of us in the Armed Forces, who have been in and out of these countries over the last three decades because of the decisions of others we can give you a picture no journalist, author, or diplomat can.

Don't believe everything you hear or see in the news. As we've learned over the last few years the mainstream media (NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN) will present what it wants and will omit the rest.

And our country is far from dictatorial on how others live, if you think we are then put on a uniform and join us to see what it's really like over there. You might just get an eye opener.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 11:26 PM

...some of what you say is dependent upon who is doing the interpretation.

The UN decision you quote was more like an agreement spearheaded by Churchill since Britain was occupying the region as one of their "colonies" at the time I believe. They almost looked at the Jews in some regard with disfavor not too much less than those of the Nazi party and wanted a place to "dump" them and get them out of Europe where they weren't wanted. I think the situation was referred to as the Jewish "problem" So let's see...The area was occupied and those occupying it "gave" it to a third party who since dawn of history almost were competing "clans" locally. Much like a father giving one son something that the other son thought was his.

So Israel is so designated by Britain and US as the official land of the Jewish people [which by the way is not necesarilly the same as the religion as many Jews did not think of themselves as Germans or Poles, or Romanians, but only as Jewish and do not necessarilly follow the rules/beliefs of the Talmud]. The religious beliefs of the Jewish faith are not always shared with all of the Israelis. What this has done is allowed those in power in today's Israel to group and segment the Arab population-for though the majority of Arabs are of the Islamic faith, not all are. There are Christian Arabs as well who are being isolated in what are surprisingly like the ghettos the European Jews were restricted to in Nazi occupied Europe, away from other family members, their jobs, and their sources of needed grocery items. In addition to this, the Israeli government continues to sponsor annexation of Arab owned lands, many of which are olive farms that have been cultivated by families for generations, and bulldoze them for more Jewish immigrant housing. It would be like one group invading Clay County and taking a farmer's land and making him live in one section of it landlocked without having permission to even travel outside of his area to go to get groceries and try to find a jab after his livelihood was taken away.

There are many Jews in Israel who are also protesting what their own government continues to do as it reeks of what happened to their family members during the early Nazi Occupation....Those Jews tolerated the slow removal and lessening of their rights as appeasement seemed better than violence. Maybe the Arabs of Palestine remember the history better and remember what that occupation led up to. It seems a tragedy that the Jewish people who were so persecuted in Europe 60 years ago would do the same to others. I just cannot understand it.

I suggest to anyone wanting to learn more read local ISU political geography professor [retired now I believe] Dorothy Drummond's book _Holy Land Whose Land_. It not only states in simple terms the recent history [since WWII] of the region but probes into more "ancient" history as well. Excellent read and Dorothy having had visited the region many times over the years has been able to talk to people from both "sides" so as not to only get one point of view. Her book is quite balanced so one can see merit and blame on each side.

...As to nukes...The US has them as does Israel. Neither government makes it hidden nor are apologetic when insisting that others should not.

While I hate that anyone has them, we cannot really insist that Iran and North Korea realistically, can we? While we are currently a superpower [as Rome once was]but if we are too dictorial and dictate that others live as we do, we will be stretched too thin and implode...I wonder if that rise and fall cycle is inevitable and it's just a matter of time anyhow?

something to think about anyhow.

HAve a good day

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 10:59 AM


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