Thursday, August 10, 2006

Our Defense Minister Isn't Very Popular today...

Amir Peretz is showing his dovish tendencies again by declaring that diplomatic efforts to curb fighting must be exhausted before expansion of military operation in Lebanon. I just returned home and I can tell you people all over are saying the government should let the military move forward and get this business over with. The feeling is that the IDF is holding back, not using its full power and the result is the continuing erosion of our military and civilians alike. Soldiers are killed everyday, and as I mentioned before, this in Israel is as bad, sometimes even worse, than when civilians get killed (funny, I know, but there you have it).

I just hope the diplomatic efforts will move forward in full speed. I always prefer peace to war, there is not a question there. If there's a chance of acheiving Israel's goal (basically, disarming Heabulla or moving them away from the border) by using diplomacy, then I'm all for it. However, if we find out that this is not even possible, then maybe holding back and waiting will only cause more suffering on both sides.

On another note, a mom and her five year old son were killed today from katyusha rockets in Israel. The younger brother is severly wounded. Read about it here and note how you won't see any carbonated or torn bodies in the article, only pretty pictures of how the mom and sweet boy should be remembered.

8 comments:

Maddy said...

I have published the story of this wonderful mother and teacher on my blog too. Such a tragedy.

Stay safe.

Jean said...

hey Annette,
like usual, very simple yet direct and informative article ! Nice to have peek into the israeli public opinion.

I don't know if you have read my last thread on my blog.
If not, go ahead, it's a bit lengthy, but worth it ! (the one about the most hypocritical people on earth).

I hope we can chat soon !
Jean
--

Ryan said...

It is very sad about the israeli civilian deaths.
i don't understand why you take every opportunity, though, to act like Israel has moral superiority with your comment on their photographs. I have been learning more and more about the Occupation in Palestine, and I don't think Israel can claim moral superiority on any level. I read your husband was in Golan Heights. Do you think Israel should withdraw from its occupatin of Golan heights and Shebaa Farms?
Also, could you comment on the Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank and the massacres in the refugee camps in the 80's? Could you also comment on the Lebanese army abandoning Christian town in the south recently without even fighting? or how the Lebanese army refused to protect shiites during the Israeli invasion in the 80's which caused Hezbollah to be created?
again, israel has no moral superiority here.
i have much sympahty for the israeli civilian dead, however. they are innocent people.

IsrealiMom said...

Ryan, here are some answers. These represent my own views, of course.

i don't understand why you take every opportunity, though, to act like Israel has moral superiority with your comment on their photographs. I have been learning more and more about the Occupation in Palestine, and I don't think Israel can claim moral superiority on any level.
You're the one using the term moral superiority. I just commented on a cultural difference. As it happens, I do believe Israel can claim moral superiority in many levels, over Arab culture and values. It doesn't mean that Israel is perfect. I have a lot of criticism towards my country, Ryan. I just think a liberal Western democracy like Israel is generally morally superior to most cultures around us. Need examples? how about the way women are treated, the way gays are treated, open media and civil rights in general, not to mention the small issue of democracy. Is Israel perfect in these respect? far, far from it. But it is also lightyears ahead of its neighbors in those areas. Ask someone living in Syria, Iran, or even Jordan or Egypt, and see what they tell you. Try finding an openly gay person, or an outspoken political dissident.

I read your husband was in Golan Heights. Do you think Israel should withdraw from its occupatin of Golan heights and Shebaa Farms?
Yes, I do. I always have thought that. The same goes for the West bank and the Gaza strip. Oh wait, we already withdrew from the Gaza strip, where they keep firing Qassam rockets at us as if we never did. Sigh.

I actually think the Golan Heights would be easier in that respect. Syria is a sovereign country and can probably make sure that the border remains peaceful. It will be a very very painful withdrawal for Israelis. People have built homes there and some of those settlements are absolutely gorgeous. I think it was a mistake, letting civilians build homes in any of the occupied terriotories, but the mistake has been done. Withdrawing from the Gaza strip was painful in that respect. The Golan Heights will be even more painful. But still, IMO, has to be done at some point.

Also, could you comment on the Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank and the massacres in the refugee camps in the 80's?
I assume you're talking about the massacres in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla? Not related to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank really. Those massacres were carried out by the Christian militias. There wasn't a single Israeli in the camps at the time. Some claim that Israel holds some indirect responsibility, by not predicting the events and thus allowing them to happen without intervening. But the massacre itself was an internal Lebanese affair. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabra_and_Shatila
Let me tell you another thing. There is no way in the world an IDF unit could have done anything similar to that. Not a chance. Israeli soldiers would not obey a command to slaughter civilians like that. It's considered the kind of illegal command that you go to jail for following, not for disobeying. The IDF is unique in that respect.

The Jewish settlements in the West Bank are a different story altogether. I think it was a huge mistake to allow these right-winged fanatics settle in occupied territories. I think they are immoral and hurt not only Israel's moral stance, but also our security interests. Following events in Gaza, I am no longer sure Israel should withdraw its military forces from the West Bank. I used to be a big supporter of unilateral withdrawal, but seeing how quick the Palestinians were to use that to launch rockets at us, I have changed my mind. However, I think the Israeli civilian settlements should be dismantled and removed. They are a mistake, morally and in every other aspect.

Could you also comment on the Lebanese army abandoning Christian town in the south recently without even fighting? or how the Lebanese army refused to protect shiites during the Israeli invasion in the 80's which caused Hezbollah to be created? again, israel has no moral superiority here.
I'm afraid my comment on why the Lebanese army does this or that. I won't bring any amazing insights. It might be better to ask Lebaese people about that. All I can say is that Lebanon is a very very complex country. I don't see what Israel has to do with it though? How are you blaming Israel for the conduct of the Lebanese army?

Anonymous said...

"Not a chance. Israeli soldiers would not obey a command to slaughter civilians like that. It's considered the kind of illegal command that you go to jail for following, not for disobeying. The IDF is unique in that respect."

um, isn't that exactly what they're doing now to the lebanese? pretty much all of the people targeted there are civilians.

IsrealiMom said...

No, none of the targetted is civilian. Civilians come in the line of fire as they are used as human shields by the Hezbulla. Even then, when it's clear that civilians are in the way, the IDF won't shoot. There are mistakes, too many maybe, where Hezbulla is shooting out from villages that are supposed to be deserted. Or cars are detected driving away from launching areas, right after a launch. Too often they turned out to be civilians fleeing, but the assumption in the IDF was that they were the launchers. I agree that we have a problem here. Basically, the Hezbulla is manipulating the IDF into shooting at civilians to make us look bad.

I can tell you from first hand knowledge (from the current fighting, as well as in general) that nobody in the IDF will fire at recognized civilian targets.

Ryan said...

Hi Annette,
Thanks for your responses. As usual, they are very informative. Are you excited about the ceasefire? this could be the beginning of something really wonderful!
I do wonder, though, don't you think the people in Gaza would still consider themselves to be occupied, even after the withdrawal, because Isreal continues to occupy the West Bank. I mean, can you really separate the Gaza and West Bank from each other in terms of what it means for Palestinian nationalism and what it means to them psychologically? Do you think the West Bank will ever stop being under Occupation? Is that even politically possible in Israel?
r

IsrealiMom said...

Well, as Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip, it was made very very clear that the West Bank is next. So much so that Israel began dismantling some settlements already. Everybody knew this would take time, and may not be 100% complete either, but the direction was pretty clear.

It was the barrage of Qassam rockets that stopped that process. The rockets are shot by extremists. Moderate Palestinians don't support it. Nonetheless, seeing that the Gaza strip test case went off so badly, it doesn't look like Israel will be pulling out of the West Bank anytime soon. A shame really. I have always supported withdrawal from the Occupied territories, but like many left-winged Israelis I am just baffled and thoroughly disappointed at the way things went in Gaza. The Palestinians have pretty much stopped the process. The ones that did it there are simply not interested in peace. They want not only the West Bank, they want the whole of Israel, Haifa, Jaffa, everything. They want the Jewish inhabitants out of here.

I think the only chance at peace right now is for moderate Palestinians to speak up and try to take over leadership on the other side. For the Palestinians as a whole to understand that Israel isn't going anywhere, and the only solution will have to be one of compromise.