(From one who has actually been there...)
This is the first post I have written in English. I have decided to do so, for two main reasons: one, after hearing the podcast of Stefan Molynuex A great philosopher, A historian and a true anarchist about "The truth about Israel and Palestine" I felt sick to my stomach from what he has done, and I will explain momentarily. And the second is due to the fact that so few articles and explaining is being done by the Israeli side, trying to explain where we stand, and why we do what we do.
Let us start with the great Stefan, and I am not being sarcastic. I truly think that he is one of the best philosophers of our century. He advocates non violence in families and child raising, he saves millions of kids from parents who are stupid or mean enough to hit them. He changed my way of thinking completely from being a former patriot, army officer, who thinks the great state is there for us...into a thinker, a critic, an anarchist and especially a better parent. so thank you for that.
Stefan has waited quite long to say something about the current situation in Israel and Palestine, and when he finally addresses the issue,he goes for the history, only the history. Where it all began. Since he is a historian, and he bases his arguments on facts, its very logical. I have not checked all his facts, but having done so in the past, I can say it is most likely to be accurate. My problem with the podcast was with what it didn't say, and not what it said. Furthermore, the podcast about Israel and Palestine, is not only one sided, it is deceitful and creates a false reality to the listener.I will try to explain every argument:
Israelis portrayed as national religious fanatics
In his podcast Stefan speaks for about 45 minutes about how Judaism came to be what it is, what made it, so harsh and inhuman, how Zionism and the religious people made all the wrong moves and came to killing and torturing thousands of people in the name of a flag, A symbol, A god, an idea...every word true.
But why may I ask, Stefan, don't you address the Islam and the Palestinians standpoint in the same devotion? You give the Islam about 3 sentences, explaining you don't believe they are much better, having their religion sunk its claws deep into every aspect of their life, but you go right back to saying that we, the Zionists, the religious people, have made their life what it is.
So let me clear a few current details you neglected to mention:
43% of Israelis are non religious, 23% traditional nonreligious (which means they basically celebrate holidays for their kids) 15% are traditional religious, 10% are religious and only 9% ultra orthodox. Comparing this to the Palestinians statistics you find a much more religious society. Not only is it religious, its getting more and more religious every year (see Islam versus Secularism in Palestine: Hamas vs. Fatah, By Mkhaimar Abusada ). 75% of Israel's Knesset is secular! so while telling the whole story about Israel and its religious roots, today, people are way beyond that, and are trying to solve (as usual) the problems their ancestors created. The point is, most of the citizens today in Israel are not motivated by any of this nonsense, and are just trying to do whats best for their children's future.
I know, many are still very patriotic, stupid, but I was there 5 years ago. I was an officer in the Israeli air force. I grew up in military air force bases, drinking the importance of this country's existence, just as, I believe, every Palestinian kid is made to believe his existence depends on my destruction. So yes, nationalism exists sadly on both sides. It exists worldwide, in the US and in every other country. Because that's the foundations and only reason for their existence. As Stefan said, The rabies needed a new "story" to get everyone back on track. Nationalism was and is, what happens when a story is told to an orphan child. Its his ray of sunlight. It makes his life worthwhile. It gives him a purpose. We are all children, mostly stupid enough to be satisfied by this "story". So its true, many here are patriotic, but they do not see their country based on the death of another. Checking just a little about Palestinian declarations and the Hamas treaty in the lead (Hamas treaty main points), you can see how fanatics look like, and how a real religious society acts.
1947 - 1948 a "campaign " or a war
On the 30th of November 1947, A Jewish bus was attacked by Arabs. 6 Jews were killed, others injured. This was the first of many attacks that followed, on the Arabs side and following that, on Israels side. Attacks which main purpose was to hurt the main roads and take control over them.
On 1948 the day when the deceleration stated, 6 well equipped armies attacked Israel: Lebanon (1000 troops+2000 later), Syria (4000 troops), Jordan (about 8000 troops), Iraq (5000 and later 18,000 troops) Egypt (10,000 and later 20,000) and Saudi Arabia (1500 troops) all in all about 90,000 soldiers. Also 10,000 Palestinians. on Israel's side joined at the beginning 30,500 soldiers and later 115,000 soldiers.
This was WAR! when 6 armies try to wipe you from the face of the earth- you fight for your existence! so please, don't you dare call this war an "ethnic cleansing campaign" and don't degrade the Arab's fighting of 6 countries and 100 thousand soldiers to "militias who were trying to defend their homes not a bloodthirsty army".
(by the way, on the Israelis casualties we faced 2400 civilians+3600 soldiers killed, so please don't make it a one sided war...)
Dir Yasin in the war
While no one sane will agree to any of the horrible stuff done in Dir-Yasin, there were many sides concerning the true happenings of the slaughter that went on their. Many soldiers have said that Arabs were shooting from everywhere and it was difficult to say who was a soldier and who wasn't, some even say part of them were dressed as women therefore the many women who got killed there. these arguments would have seemed far fetched to me, but after seeing for weeks, how Hamas uses its citizens as human shields, I am not so very sure any more (see Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf-son of Hamas).On the whole, it doesn't really matter, it was an unjustified slaughter and even the Jewish agency condemned it. It created a big tear among the Jewish forces fighting those days.
Since Stefan took the time to investigate all the details on how the "great" Jewish army fought 66 years ago and its cruel methods, it was quite shocking to see how much time he spent investigating Israel's army today and its methods of fighting. Israel's army today canceled many operations that were too dangerous to the local population. Prior to every bombing, the locals were warned ahead and were given sufficient time to leave. Also on the outskirts of Gaza first aid camp was built and the citizens were welcome to use it.
One last word about this war, or as Stefan phrased it - "Ethnic Cleansing Campaign" :
6,373 Jews were killed in these horrible war! 2,373 civilians and 4,000 soldiers (from "Politics and Society in Modern Israel: Myths and Realities" ) That's just another small detail you forgot to mention after saying "The results of the campaign (really? "campaign"? really Stefan????) were devastating for the Palestinians...thousands of Arabs massacred..." and still no word about the Jews...
Are you seeing a pattern here?
By telling the history that created the situation, by not telling both sides of the story, and by neglecting to point out where we stand today, you misled many people into thinking that Israel and its citizens, and you know what? me! , we want the war upon us. Our history as murders and religious fanatics dictates the fact that today we want them all dead.
Well, we don't! I don't! My brother doesn't either!, and right now he was "called to duty" or better - "forced to duty".
So let me enlighten some facts, you neglected to mention concerning today.
On 2006, the Palestinians, have chosen themselves democratically, under UN authority, a government which is religious, vengeful, and states in its basic agenda to wipe out Israel and all its citizens. Innocent or not. They CHOSE the Hamas! under democratic rule. It is very understood to anarchists why this "deal" is bad, since no good can come out by ordering people against their will... but democracy is as "good" as it gets in this era, so if they chose a body that is ultra religious and fanatic, most of their opinions are somewhere around there.
But you know what? I think I prefer looking at it differently.
The uprising of the Hamas in 2006 by killing many of its opposition in the Fatah movement, has led the Palestinians today to a horrific situation- they are all prisoners of the Hamas. I am pretty sure most of them do not want all of us dead. They are ordinary humans, just like us. If they know the history you spoke of, its because its been infiltrated to their heads from childbirth... to my opinion they are being kept hostage under a totalitarian government, whose main code of honor is: "Some of you may not come back, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make..."
I can tell hundreds of stories explaining the delicacy of which Israel is trying to bring to this war. But before I do that, I would like you to tell me whether the US will consider for one second the possibility of rockets sent on its civilians for more than 7 years?
Would you consider raising your daughter in such a place? Where you need to explain to her that people who don't know her, are trying to kill her because 70 years ago her great grandparents might have lived in an ere where many people tried to kill them? and that's why she needs to leave the car right now, run and sit with you behind a wall, so she doesn't blow up if it hits?
Because I needed to explain this to my 5 year old daughter a week ago when the siren went off in Tel Aviv when we were in the park...
So yes, they have much more casualties. My daughter will probably forget it in a year or two. But I live up north, what about all the kids who live in fear for 7 years now? They are casualties of war for life! Believe me...they don't study, they have no ability to concentrate, they wet at night and so on... they are psychologically ruined!
current statistics and facts
On July 7th the operation "Protective Edge" began. Prior to this date, rockets were sent daily to communities and cities in the south of Israel in a district of 40 km from Gaza strip.
As you can see in the graph below for the last year, rockets have been sent monthly on innocent citizens.
Up until July nothing was done by the government. On June 12th 3 Israeli kids were abducted and murdered on their way home. A few days later an Arab kid was killed by Israeli religious kids as retaliation.
On the 8th of July 156 rockets have been fired on Israel. 88 of them hit, the others intercepted. the rockets were sent all through Israel - all the southern cities, including Beer Sheva (population 117 thousand), Shderot (21 thousand), Eilat (pop. 47 thousand), central cities such as Tel aviv (pop.414 thousand), Hadera (pop. 84 thousand) and so on...On this same first day Israel attacked 273 IDF attacks. 24 people were killed that day from the attacks.Here are more statistics of the operation:
So many kids died in vane. They had no chance, they were born in the wrong time at the wrong place. It could have easily been us. But their lives have been a chaos for ages. They hardly have schools,almost no food, no electricity, and basically their life are shit. But not all of them. If you were born to one of the leaders your situation is much better... you can live in a villa in Gaza watching the sea. Even if a war comes, you are taken care of- you have a bunker and tunnels leading right to your house,so you have where to hide... the problem is for the rest of them. Those who don't get to use the tunnels...
The problem is that these children are deprived of everything in order to build the perfect war weapon and tunnel. The concrete that was used to build those tunnels should have been used for building schools, hospitals and housing.
In order to make their life better, it wont help if you just stop the war. You need to either get the people the hell out of there or get the Hamas away. The Hamas has done nothing good to the people of Gaza, And they brought them catastrophe. The minute the war started, both of the sides lost. Does it matter if you lose your son to a bomb from the air, or you have him psychologically disabled for life? both of the sides lose. I agree the Palestinians are suffering much more, since they have chosen Satan to handle things for them.
Satan doesn't mind putting children and women as shields over rockets. Satan doesn't care if a school or a hospital is being bombed because he sends his rockets through its windows. Satan uses all money given to the people to build an underworld filled with tunnels (see "Gaza's Tunnel Phenomenon: The Unintended Dynamics of Israel's Siege") that end up in an Israeli kindergarten backyard, through which go armed people to kill whom ever they can find. man,women,child...
The terrible waste of death and innocent people occurs in every war. The difference here between the Hamas and Israel is that the Israel sees the Army as a shield who needs to protect the civilians, whilst the Hamas sees the civilians as a shield to protect their army and weaponry.
I know that more than a thousand have already died, including children and other innocent, but on the Israeli side, it is not much better, and living this reality, I'm sorry to say, leaves all the history way behind...
And to all those who are trying to think, how this truly horrible tale can come to an end, I don't pretend to have the answer, I can only say that we should not be alone in this. The Palestinians are as I said prisoners, and it might be the worlds duty to help them out. Israel has consented to every cease fire that has been asked of her. and every time the Hamas broke it by killing and attacks. Two days ago a humanitarian cease fire was broken after the Hamas killed 2 soldiers and kidnapped a soldier. Israel has built a base camp for refugees on the borders of Gaza, a place for medical attention.The Hamas forbade the people to use it. There are no sides here, only people who were provoked to fight, and cant end it right now because we "do not negotiate with terrorists".
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe we are all responsible for what we are doing. Maybe 1.5 million Palestinians held hostage is too far fetched? if its true, isn't it their responsibility to show us at list- they want out...? so we can help them? Stefan always mentions its not our responsibility to fight somebody else's war... I know its a "socialist" way of thinking, but I just don't see how the girl in Gaza or the girl in Shderot can be responsible for a history of wrongs, and I can see how it is yours and my responsibility to try to help them out. why? Because we are human.