Too awful even to name

03 Mar

[The following appears as ad in Haaretz, today Feb. 29, 2008]

64% of the Israeli public already agree:
We must talk with Hamas about a
Cease Fire!
No Qassams! No targeted assassinations! No mortar shells! No incursions! No blockade!


gaza_black_ribbon Took that from a feed on Tikkun, and even more strong is Israeli blogger Desert Peace, from whom the image on the right comes:

Israel likes to name it’s wars, it makes them more personal I guess… The holocaust that is occurring in Gaza at the moment was just named… ‘Operation Warm Winter’…. probably to give the impression that the electrical and fuel stoppages are not causing too much suffering to the freezing population… it’s part of their new PR campaign.

Poor Israel is worried that it might be getting bad publicity at the moment so they launched the following….

Israel’s Foreign Ministry instructing embassies, consulates around world to step up PR campaign in support of ‘Operation Warm Winter’, show world incessant Qassam salvos leveled at Israel

And Olmert…. he wants the condemnations to stop!!!

After all, we are Israel! We can do what we want, where we want, when we want!…. and if you don’t like it we’ll sic Foxman on you and you know what that means!!! You don’t want to be called an anti Semite!!

We can kill civilians, we can kill children INCLUDING INFANTS, just remember every 5 month old Palestinian child is a potential terrorist… It’s self defense!

BTW… the image at the above signifies that we here at DesertPeace are in mourning for the martyred souls in Gaza and the West Bank. Please use it on your Blogs in solidarity with us.

I have said before that I don’t often blog on this topic, and on that post I commented:

I don’t want to buy into a long discussion on this, one reason I rarely mention the topic, and I do agree that it is not anti-semitic to be even very strenuously opposed to the government and policies of the State of Israel.

Israel is not supported by all Jews, and initially was only supported by a minority because most European Jews did not want to leave the lives they established in Europe.

The first part is true, and the second part depends on what years you are talking about. Immediately after World War II I think you will find that was very much a minority position, as “the lives they established in Europe” had been, to say the least, somewhat disturbed! My experience even of left-wing, even Communist, Jews, including some Israelis who don’t like being called “Jews” as that connotes a religious outlook they do not share, is that the majority of Jews do support the idea of Israel, if not always the way it is in reality.

Unfortunately it is very easy for anti-Israel sentiment to blend in with anti-semitism, and this quite frequently is the case.

One of the great ironies about the US and Israel is that initially many in the US government were far from enthusiastic about the idea.

On May 14, 1948 President Harry Truman announced that the United States would offer de facto recognition of the new State of Israel. His decision, coming only eleven minutes after the new government was formed in the former British mandate of Palestine, gave immediate legitimacy to a country that existed only on paper and in the hearts of the world-wide Jewish community.

Truman’s decision to recognize Israel was one of the most difficult decisions of his Presidency. Many on his staff and in his Cabinet argued against recognition, in part because it would anger the surrounding Arab nations and threaten access to the vast oil reserves they held. In the end, though, Truman decided to recognize Israel to provide for a Jewish homeland. The decision was largely personal, stemming from his understanding of the Bible and from his interpretation of historical texts. He was also swayed by the advocacy of longtime Jewish friends like his fellow World War I soldier and early business partner Eddie Jacobson.

But as Frank Welsh truly remarks in Great Southern Land: A New History of Australia, excepting the Truman era, “American foreign policy in the twentieth century has rarely been clear and logical.” And we all know what the root dilemma is in Israel: a raw and too often unacknowledged dispossession, even if one of considerable complexity of motive. (Browsing David Day’s panoptic history Conquest: A New History of the Modern World reduces the uniqueness many attribute to this particular story, and rightly so.)

Solutions? Not so simple. Clearly not what is being done right now, that’s for sure.

At the same time I think one must never lean towards blanket condemnation of all Jews, as some do. Even worse are those who secretly salivate over the prospect of Armageddon.

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Posted by on March 3, 2008 in current affairs, humanity, Israel, Middle East


2 responses to “Too awful even to name

  1. Oscarandre

    March 4, 2008 at 8:40 am

    This is a very difficult area to comment on – I was in Israel as an official guest of the govt. some years ago and found the dilemma of opposing Israeli policy always fraught with the sense that I was being anti-semitic (which I am not). Any concerns I expressed with govt. officials were roundly and aggressively rejected. Only with some Israeli families did I find that moderation and quiet questioning that comes when you or your children are on the front line.

  2. ninglun

    March 4, 2008 at 10:06 am

    I had a similar experience when I worked in a Jewish school in Sydney some years ago, a school which had ties with Israel, though there perhaps one encountered disquiet and dissenting opinions about Israeli policy rather more than one might on the front line.

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