The Bloodshed in Gaza

January 27, 2009 at 1:37 pm 6 comments

(Written 12/30/2008)

The Gaza strip is a concentration camp whose borders are controlled by Israel. The people there live in deprivation and want, and aren’t even allowed to receive humanitarian aid in a timely manner.

For days now, Israel has responded to attacks with homemade rockets that are certainly more dangerous than fireworks with full-fledged air-strikes that have killed hundreds and severely injured hundreds more.

Not one innocent civilian should be killed with either American made munitions OR with munitions whose manufacture was made possible by U.S. funding.

The United States, as a government entity, is supposed to represent the will of the American people. As such, American-made bombs carry our implicit endorsement. Therefore, such armament should only be deployed when doing so clearly serves the interests of the American people.

A perusal of Jimmy Carter’s recent book on the topic makes it clear that Israel is acting abominably and in a fashion contrary to even basic human decency — much less upholding the ethical standards that should be required to earn our nation’s endorsement. When Israel uses American weapons to deploy unwarranted or disproportionate force or to engage in behavior such as “collective punishment” which is internationally recognized to be a war crime; it hurts us by destroying our reputation in the world and by exciting animosity against us that need not exist. In the occupied territories, practically everyone knows someone who lost a child — or a limb — to bombs made in the USA.

Allowing Israel to use our munitions and money to advance illegal and immoral behavior only serves to breed generations of dispossessed and anguished people who deeply resent the people of the United States and wish to reciprocate our largess by killing OUR children.

Clearly, this is not in the best interests of the American people.

I am not going to dispute Israel’s right to exist as an ethnic-nationalist Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders. Within that context, Israel has no lesser or greater right to exist than any other state … nor any greater or lesser claim to ethnic exclusivity.

What I WILL dispute is the uncritical support of America’s government for the illegal and immoral actions of that state. Such support effectively protects Israel from the logical consequences of its actions, thus incentivizing outrageous behavior that elicits revulsion in the hearts of millions of reasonable people worldwide — including many Jewish-Americans. With Israel billing itself as an explicitly “Jewish state,” the actions of Israel reflect back upon all of the Jewish people on earth — even those not in Israel and those who object to Israel’s actions. Thus, what should properly be anti-Israeli-government sentiment can too-easily become anti-Jewish sentiment; thereby perpetuating a cycle of anti-Semitism that Israel’s existence was supposed to stop.

In other words, America’s uncritical support of Israel CAUSES rather than diminishes anti-Jewish sentiment by protecting and promoting the most militant and extreme elements of Israeli society; while simultaneously causing anti-American sentiment. This is stupid as it could ultimately lead to the destruction of Israel and put ALL Americans — including Jewish-Americans — in unnecessary and preventable peril of terrorist attacks.

It is high time America heeded George Washington’s advice and stopped all foreign and military aid to all nations — including Israel.

And it is also high time for Israel to be a big boy, stand on its own two feet, and learn how to co-exist with its neighbors by being a good neighbor. The cessation of American support would assist the ascendancy of a more reasonable — and more humane — political class within Israel. This would ultimately be to the benefit of the Palestinians, we Americans, the Israelis, and all of the Jewish Folk.

In the long run, the REAL anti-Semites in this mess are the members of AIPAC who ceaselessly pressure American politicians to engage in behaviors that will ultimately lead to an entire world that despises Israel — not for it’s ethnicity, but for its BEHAVIOR. Intelligent people who think further ahead than next week should de-fund the AIPAC monster and its tentacles as soon as possible. Of course, if we had politicians with backbones, it wouldn’t matter what AIPAC wanted. Then again, if politicians had backbones they probably wouldn’t be politicians.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dan  |  February 2, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    One-sided mind–too bad! William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) was Prime Minister of Great Britain four times: 1868-74, 1880-85, 1886 and 1892-94. He called the Qur’an an “accursed book” and once held it up during a session of Parliament,
    declaring: “So long as there is this book there will be no peace in the world.”

    Times have changed a great deal. Now the votaries of the book he saw as such an impediment to peace have triumphed: an Islamic reading room is being set up at the library Gladstone founded near his home in North Wales. In this BBC audio report (thanks to Andrew), Gladstone’s great grandson Christopher Parish and Professor Richard Aldous, head of history at
    University College Dublin, tie themselves into knots trying to come up with a reason why Gladstone would have approved of this reading room. Gladstone, you see, was a man of his time, but he actually made favorable comments about Muhammad in the margins of a biography of the founder of Islam, and his remarks weren’t as extreme as those of some of his contemporaries…

    It doesn’t add up. The text of the Qur’an has not changed from the late 19th century to the early 21st. What has changed is the prevailing attitude toward the book. Now it has become a manifestation of bigotry and hatred to see in the Islamic holy book anything but peace and tolerance. But the text of the book remains the same. If it was an impediment to peace in Gladstone’s day, it is now. If it is an uplifting exhortation to peace and tolerance now, then it was in Gladstone’s day as well. Yesterday Geert Wilders said: “I view Islam not as a religion, but as a dangerous, totalitarian ideology – equal to communism and fascism. Aren’t I allowed to say so?”

    No, he isn’t allowed to say so. If he had been born two hundred years ago, he might have become Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Instead, he is a hunted man. Likewise Gladstone, were he miraculously transported to the House of Commons in 2009, would be excoriated for “hate speech” if he dared to repeat his view of the Qur’an today.

    But the Qur’an remains the same. Eventually, Europe and America are going to deal with the implications of that fact, one way or another.

    John Young Responds:
    I try to keep my blog postings focused on one subject at a time; but I (and EAU generally) am aware of the threat posed by Muslim expansion into our lands both in Europe and in the European Diaspora. In fact, we post many articles regarding radical Islam on and I even mentioned it in my most recent podcast.

    At the same time, I think it is important to distinguish between the content of a religious book (in this case the Koran) and the attitudes and behaviors of its practitioners. There are numerous sects of the various monotheistic faiths, and these differences largely pertain to divergent interpretations of the nature, role and applicability of various aspects of their holy books. The King James Bible that I have on my shelf, for example, includes a prescription that people who practice homosexuality be stoned to death. While I don’t doubt that certain extremists of both Christian and Jewish varieties actually take this to heart, the simple fact is that the far overwhelming preponderance of Christians and Jews would never even contemplate such a thing.

    If a person is inclined toward evil for whatever reason, then he can certainly latch onto the content of a religious book (or the writings of some great figure in history) to justify that evil. In a sense you could say that a person’s character is reflected in the aspects of scripture he chooses to emphasize. In other words, how you interpret the scriptures of your religion says more about you, as an individual, than it says about the scriptures themselves. For thousands of years scriptures of Judaism, Christianity and islam have variously been cited by unscrupulous individuals to justify brutality and evil; but for a similar time — and much more often — they have been cited as the justification for acts of wonder and kindness.

    Let me phrase this a bit differently.

    A loaded gun can sit on a shelf indefinitely and never harm anyone. In fact, it can serve to protect a family from a rampaging bear or put food on the table. What is required for the gun to become problematic is a person who is either ignorant of its safe handling or intent upon using it as an instrument of evil. The same applies to the Koran.

    The issue is not the Koran, but the people who use it as justification for evil.

  • 2. Linda J. Chauhan  |  February 3, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I , as a Christian American, agree totally with your article.

    When did we as a nation develop this blind support for Isreal, no matter what they do. I agree; this recent massacre in Gasza was horrible. It is a reflection upon us, as Americans, because of our blind support for Isreal with military aid and financial aid. It’s like giving a four year old child a loaded gun and saying, “Be Careful”.

    I was happy to hear that President Obama will be giving 20.3 million dollars in financial aid to Gasza for rebuilding their infrastructure.

    I for one will be giving as much as I can to help the poor, innocent civilians there.

  • 3. karl  |  February 3, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    your discripion of the behavior of israel is so correct . i dont know why so many american’s have blinder’s on when it comes to israel? no justice no peace.

  • 4. Ed Elkin  |  February 3, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Israeli response to the Hamas rockets is appropriate.
    If a single gunman is in a school, should only ONE policeman be sent in to protect our children?
    Come on now, Israeli’s want peace, but MUST protect themselves from
    the continued calls for their destruction by Hamas and other terrorist

    John Young responds:
    Ed illustrates here the importance of context for evaluating the ethical content of a behavior.

    Pretend you are watching a situation through a pin-hole camera. You observe what appears to be a deranged woman with a machete running toward another woman and screaming out her intent to kill at the top of her lungs. It is clear that the second woman is in inescapable life-threatening risk. The second woman pulls a pistol from her purse, and stops the attack by shooting her assailant between the eyes just in the nick of time to avoid her own decapitation. Was the defender’s killing of the first woman justified? Most certainly. And this is the context that Ed establishes for evaluating the ethical content of Israel’s behavior.

    But now lets zoom out the camera and view the events leading up to what we just observed. Now we see that the second woman has abducted the first woman by force. She is being kept in conditions of inadequate food and poor sanitation. On occasion, she is being beaten or otherwise abused. And she cannot escape. Through an oversight on the part of her captor, she finds a machete. Understanding that if she fails to escape she is doomed to die sitting in her own excrement, she makes a desperate bid for her freedom by trying to kill her captor with a machete. The captor, being in fear of her life, kills her prisoner. Given this context, is the captor acting in self-defense or did she just commit “murder most foul?” The answer, of course, is that she committed murder because it was the prisoner who was actually acting in self-defense.

    This is the full context for evaluating the ethical content of the behavior, and the full context within which Israel’s behavior should be seen. That is, by violating numerous U.N. resolutions for decades and establishing sub-human living conditions for people living under an illegal military occupation, they are the captors rather than the prisoners. They have the power to avert risks entirely by ending the occupation and blockade and fairly compensating families who were deprived of their lands by force/threat/fraud in violation of the U.N. resolutions establishing Israel’s existence. When they choose to continue an illegal occupation they lose any standing to claim “self defense” against ANY act taken by their captives.

    And those are the fully contextualized ethics of the matter.

    Yes, I DO understand that Hamas and others have, in general, put forward a position denying Israel’s existence; and I agree that this is problematic. Unfortunately, support for the spread of this view comes from the intentional starvation and want that radicals within Israel inflict upon the Palestinians. Many, many decent and thoughtful Israelis understand that the cycle of violence will only be broken when leadership committed to keeping agreements and honoring international law takes the helm.

    If the United States were to pull its support of Israel, the pace of this would be accelerated and ultimately both Palestinians and Israelis would live in peace and prosperity. Admittedly, the radical Likudniks would have to give up their vision of a “greater Israel,” but it would be a small price to pay. Israel would end up stronger, rather than weaker, as a result.

    Unfortunately, Ed has nothing to fear in that regard. Barack Obama has surrounded himself with hardcore Israeli partisans. Rahm Emanuel is just one example — a man with feelings for Israel so strong that, during the Gulf War, he joined the Israeli IDF rather than the American armed forces.

  • 5. David S.  |  February 4, 2009 at 12:53 am

    I think civilians being surrounding Hamas during the Iraelli / Hams war being killed, were regrettable. But Hamas wanted to eliminate the state of I Isreal, by violent means. Since Hamas wanted a war with it’s nieghbor Isreal, it seems logical that Isreal was up to the task. That’s NOT to say the loss of innocent bystanders was good, It wasn’t. But when you’ve got Hamas firing rockets from right next to civilians, someone might get hurt by accident. Finally Hamas dressed ( I THI=NK(, some of it’s members in civilian garb to preclude Isreal from shooting at them. But Isreal shot at anyone who posed a threat by holding any weapon. Too Bad It Costed innocent bystanders thier lives. WAR IS A VERY CRUEL, AND UGLY THING. That’s MY PERSONAL OPINION. Speaking Strictly for MYSELF.

  • 6. Winston Smith  |  June 28, 2009 at 12:25 am

    I feel a little bit schizophrenic on this entire issue. On the one hand I abhor the political acts of the Liberal-imperialist Jews in the Diaspora, on the other hand I want Israel to continue to exist within safe borders.

    The reason for that wish is two-fold. Firstly, if Israel collapses there will be up to five million Jews scrambling for safety and you KNOW where they’ll be heading (real estate prices in New York, Miami-Dade and Toronto will never be the same).

    Secondly, the Kuran teaches all faithful Muslims to spread Islam by the sword. I’d rather have the Arab and Muslim states focus on Israel than on the United States. Remember, not until we deployed in Saudi Arabia in 1990 did bin Laden et al really started targeting us. Before that they fought Israel.

    If Israel is to survive, the key is the above-mentioned “safe borders”. An Israel without the West Bank would be nine miles wide on the tiny strip of land that connects the Galilee with the Negev. I’m just a lowly ex-NCO, but I don’t think that that would count as “safe borders”, nukes or no nukes.

    For one critical of the political activites of Western Jewry it is hard to advocate a strong Israel within its current borders, but I think it might be the least distasteful option, after all.


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