Gilad Shalit – Three Years On

 

Three years after he was snatched by Hamas terrorists, and young Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is still missing.

And that’s the only thing we can say for sure. Because Hamas, with their typical hatred for all things Israeli and Jewish, are still refusing to allow Gilad even one visit by an international aid agency such as the Red Cross.

Assuming he’s still alive and could even receive a visit, that is.

Imagine with me, for a minute, the international outcry if Israel was treating Palestinian prisoners like this?

If Israel snatched a young Palestinian man, aged 20, and held him for three years – and refused to tell his frantic family a single thing about whether he was alive or dead?

Can you picture what the media would do with that?

Yet Hamas – which remember is the elected government of Gaza – gets away with this brutality and the media is silent. Not a word. Oh, sure, Jewish newspapers speak of Gilad Shalit. But where is the concern for ‘human rights’ that the Guardian (UK) and the New York Times, to give but two examples, are always expressing about their beloved Palestinians…?

It seems that ‘human rights’ only matter when they are Palestinian rights.

Who cares if one young Israeli soldier spends three years in the hands of Hamas?

Not the international media, that’s for sure.

 

Let’s all say a prayer for Gilad Shalit.

And G-d help him – because it doesn’t look like anyone else is going to.

 

Gilad Shalit
Gilad Shalit

 

Gilad Shalit
Gilad Shalit

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Gilad Shalit – Three Years On

  1. WENNINGTON:

    1 – I already stated, clearly, that I would be answering your points re Amnesty in a separate response, when I had time.
    So it’s not a question of my deleting your posts, I just happen to feel that the Amnesty issue is an important one and as you raised it, I want to give it a FULL and fair response.

    Here is my response, though, to to the rest of your most recent comment. Please do read it all.

    Your accusations of bias are unfair and unfounded. I get my facts from a wide variety, added to which I have spent considerable time working in the middle east, and living in Israel. That’s how I know that Israeli Arabs – all one million + of them! – are equal citizens and what you say is blatantly untrue.

    Every single time I have offered a resource which adds some more *facts* that overlook, you find a ‘reason’ to ignore them.

    http://www.arabsforisrael.com is a case in point. It’s run and written BY the very group of people that YOU claim to feel bad for! Yet you ignore what THEY themselves say and instead come out with absurd propaganda that can be easily disproven.

    You totally IGNORED all the quotes FROM Arab leaders that I gave you. You totally ignored all the questions I asked you in an earlier response.

    For the record, I would LOVELOVELOVE to see a peaceful Palestinian state alongside Israel. And I agree – the Pals have been treated badly by the OTHER Arab states.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    You clearly don’t, as you claim, ‘know the basics’.

    If you did, you would have known that the Palestinian Jews were given a tiny piece of Palestine precisely BECAUSE they had the ONLY continuous history and had BEEN living there ALREADY FOR 3500 YEARS.

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    Don’t presume to know what *I* read or don’t read.
    I can guarantee you, I read and study a wider range of reports on Israel, from a bigger and more diverse range of sources than you can even imagine.

    Finally:

    I mean this in the nicest possible way, but unless we can move on to some kind of productive debate, I just cannot
    keep spending all this time countering the misinformation you keep offering.

    You are VERY welcome always to post on my blog IF we can stop going round in circles. But as you will appreciate, I only have limited time to address people’s posts and thus far I’m spending virtually all that time on yours:)

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Re your INACCURATE accusations on how Israel ‘treats the Palestinians’:

    Oh, that would be this you mean, would it….? This, that was going on EVEN AS the Palestinian Arabs were PUBLICLY CELEBRATING as ISRAELIS DIED because of Palestinian Arab terrorism:

    Source United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Integrated Regional Information Networks

    http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/RMOI-7B2R9Z?OpenDocument

    HOLON, ISRAEL, 17 January 2008 (IRIN) – With violence in the Gaza Strip and along Israel’s southern border escalating, a small hospital in Israel offers a ray of hope for a handful of seriously ill Gazans.

    “This child would have died without surgery,” said Dr Alona Raucher-Sternfeld, as she simultaneously looked at the small Palestinian baby, Jamal, and the echo machine checking his heart.

    Six-month-old Jamal came with his grandmother, Haifa, from the Dir al-Balah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip to get a check-up on 15 January at the Wolfson medical centre, an Israeli governmental hospital in Holon, a suburb of Tel Aviv.

    Jamal was operated on here when he was two months old, suffering from two heart defects. His tiny size further complicated the surgery, which was ultimately a success, the doctor said.

    “When he came here, he was blue. It was an emergency,” Raucher-Sternfeld said, reviewing the initial referral from Al-Awda hospital in Gaza.

    Haifa now asked the questions typical of all grandmothers: why is he not talking or rolling over yet? Before the operation the queries had more to do with his chances of survival.

    The surgery, hospital stay and logistics in bringing him out of Gaza were coordinated and partially funded by Save a Child’s Heart, an Israeli humanitarian organisation, with some European Union donations. In 2007, 128 Palestinian children from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, all suffering from heart conditions, were treated by the programme and the hospital.

    Oh, and let’s see how Israeli Arabs fare, shall we?

    Israeli Arabs Muslims, often First class citizens above Jews – preferential treatment for Arabs over Jews

    Introduction: Critics point out to the reversed unevenness, some have summed it up in one phrase: “If Arabs Can Live in Jewish Neighborhoods, Why Can’t Jews Live in Arab Neighborhoods?” In fact, many have raised the issue of Arabs not only being equal citizens as Jews in Israel, but often as first class citizens, Arabs, Muslims first class citizens in Israel whereas Israeli Jews are second class citizens.

    Land issues: an example: Israeli Police evict Jews from Jewish-owned Hebron home as applauding Palestinian Arabs looked on , there are complaints of Jews who proclaim that they are sick and tired of being second-class citizens, while all Arabs in Judea and Samaria are treated like first-class citizens. , in another case An Israeli Supreme Court ruling did not deny that the land was Jewish-owned, but ordered the Jews to be moved out. In another case, a lawyer for Y. Herskovitz, owner of property in Jerusalem, said his client will sue Jerusalem police for failing to execute court orders to evict Arab squatters from his property.

    In court (broader issues), the Israelis routinely decide in favor of the Palestinians against their own government, applauded by U.S. Justice Brennan, preferential treatments to Israeli Arabs, Palestinian-Arabs include steps on the expense of security, such as the ‘Democracy in action’, Israel’s Supreme Court took up the grievances of Palestinians and required the government to move the fence in the area near Jerusalem to make things easier for the Palestinians Even the NYTimes acknowledges that at least periodically, Israeli courts rule in favor of Palestinians (instead of security/government officials).

    Voting: the Arab minority are full citizens who enjoy equal rights despite not being required to serve in Israel’s army . and decry: Israel is the only country in the world that endows a community of its citizens with full voting rights on both local and national levels without also requiring them to serve in the army, adding that Israeli Arabs even refuse the alternative National Service. They even refuse a national service in their own communities and exercise intimidation against members of their community that raise the subject.

    Employment: Israel has enacted affirmative action policies to help its minority citizens achieve full social and economic equality. in an example: if an Arab candidate received the same number of points as the Jewish candidate, the Arab doctor was preferable, in keeping with the policy of affirmative action in government ministries.

    In academia: a professor has written about Israel’s “affirmative action”, quotas and preferences for Arabs Israeli universities… instituting programs that discriminate in favor of Arabs and against Jews and that Israel already has a system in place whereby Jews are often treated as second-class citizens.

    Checkpoints: From May 2009, All Israeli citizens – including Jews – must now show their ID cards at the large Tarkumiyeh checkpoint, at the same time, life is being made easier for Arabs in the region – despite the several murders that have been perpetrated by Arabs. The IDF explained that the decision was made to “reward” the Arabs for not rioting or attacking during the recent Israeli offensive in Gaza.

    Media freedom: while the Arabs have unlimited freedom of broadcast and the Hebrew radio stations like Kol Yisrael and Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio) systematically broadcast from an Arab point of view, yet the Arutz Sheva radio station, often called “Free Israel Radio” (because it is the only independent news network in the Middle East), has seen restricting steps from the Israeli government.

    Access to holy sites, often Israeli police closes the Temple Mount to non-Muslims Like: Temple Mount shut to non-Muslims on election eve – was closed to Jews today in response to Muslim threats of violence and on more occasions.

    http://freedemocracy.wordpress.com/2009/05/10/israeli-arabs-muslims-often-first-class-citizens-above-jews-preferential-treatment-for-arabs-over-jews/#comment-362

  2. 1.) look, i’ve already told you about my thoughts about UN and possible ‘double standards’ i have there (together with israel, as i told you why) before, but unfortunately that part of the post was misteriosly deleted, just like was the part of my previous post, when i talked about Amnesty international report about crimes commited by IDF (and Hamas)… i don’t know who’s responsible for deleting parts of my posts, but if it is in fact you, then you’ve really dissappointed me, because i think it’s not fair play.

    2.) And yes, i’ see we’re running round in circles, but i can’t help, because in big conflicts there are always more than one ‘truths’, so i guess it’s up to you which one would you pick.

    3.) No, I didn’t dismiss the invasion of six Arab armies and i know that it were Palestinian Arabs who rejected their own state in 1947, i never denied this.
    I also agree that Arab states a must share in the solution of the problem of palestinians refugees. Because yes, arab states have to take thier own part of blame for what happened. I understand that. But israel has its own part, too. Look how they treat palestinians today, do you think it’s fair? Put yourself in a place of young palestinian living in Gaza, if only just for a moment… Would you like that kind of life under the occupation and no future ahead?

    4.) As for your kind suggestions for me… right, I may not be as educated in all the history of israel as you are, but i know the basics and – what’s more important – i know how to use internet to find informations i look for. Thanks for your advices, but to tell you the truth, i don’t like sites like “www.arabsforisrael.com” or similar ones. The name itself suggests me that it’s not the right site for the objective and unbiased information. Just like i don’t like some pro-arab sites like al jazeera or similar, because of the very same problem. Just to let you know… you can find similar sites, just from different side. I’m talking about many ISRAELI human right organisations, that are describing IDF crimes against palestinians, but I bet YOU wouldn’t like to read it or cite from their reports… so i’m mostly reading reports coming from non-arab and non-israeli sides. i hope you got my point.

  3. WENNINGTON:

    Your attitude is really strange. You dismiss the invasion of six Arab armies because it was 60 years ago – OK, then by YOUR ‘logic’, the Palestinian Arabs shouldn’t refer to anything that happened to THEM 60 years ago either! You can’t have it both ways. But so far, you only care about what the Arabs say, and you totally ignore or dismiss the fact that it was the Palestinian Arabs who REJECTED their OWN state in 1947! You can’t blame Israel for that – much though you’d clearly like to.

    Secondly: kindly get your facts straight. There were not ‘one million’ Palestinian Arabs that lost their homes and no, Israel did not ‘occupy’ anything – how can you ‘occupy’ land YOU ARE ALREADY LIVING IN AND THAT YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN LEGALLY? After all, YOU’RE the one who repeatedly states that what the UN decides is ‘fair’. So you can’t, at the same time, decry the fact that the UN agreed a tiny bit of land for the Palestinian Jews who were ALREADY living there. Again, your double standard is shameful, frankly.

    And if you knew your facts, you would know that the Arab leaders themselves admit that they , not Israel, created the refugee problem:

    “The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the act of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agree upon this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem.”
    Emile Ghoury, secretary of the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee, in an interview with the Beirut Telegraph Sept. 6, 1948.

    “The Arab state which had encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees.”
    – The Jordanian daily newspaper Falastin, Feb. 19, 1949.

    “Who brought the Palestinians to Lebanon as refugees, suffering now from the malign attitude of newspapers and communal leaders, who have neither honor nor conscience? Who brought them over in dire straits and penniless, after they lost their honor? The Arab states, and Lebanon amongst them, did it.”
    – The Beirut Muslim weekly Kul-Shay, Aug. 19, 1951.

    “The 15th May, 1948, arrived … On that day the mufti of Jerusalem appealed to the Arabs of Palestine to leave the country, because the Arab armies were about to enter.”– The Cairo daily Akhbar el Yom, Oct. 12, 1963.

    “For the flight and fall of the other villages it is our leaders who are responsible because of their dissemination of rumors exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs … By spreading rumors of Jewish atrocities, killings of women and children etc., they instilled fear and terror in the hearts of the Arabs in Palestine, until they fled leaving their homes.”
    – The Jordanian daily newspaper Al Urdun, April 9, 1953.

    As for Arab countries ‘losing land’ – oh please, do get your basic information correct!

    When the Arab nations ATTACKED Israel in 1948, she DEFENDED herself and as she pushed the attacking armies back, she acquired more land. That IS what tends to happen in war!

    Perhaps you’d like to show us all a list of countries who have RETURNED land they GOT while UNDER ATTACK from other nations…?

    WENNINGTON: I’m always more than happy to engage in debate and discussion, but much as I enjoy many of your posts, we are now going round in circles. You keep repeating decade-old Arab propaganda which plenty of Arabs and Muslims themselves reject as nonsense! Go and check out http://www.arabsforisrael.com for instance.

    I also recommend the book by Joan Peters, a journalist who started out with many of the same misinformation as you – then she did her research. Her book is called ‘From Time Immemorial’.

    ***Re Amnesty:

    I will address your comments on this later today, or tomorrow, when I have the time to do it properly.

  4. How can you say no Arabs lost land to Israel? Many arab countries lost land to israel. And Palestinians who lost land to Israel in 1948 remain refugees, living in camps in the West Bank and in one big prison in Gaza Strip.

    as for scary stories and history… yes there were many wars, but you should know that both sides have blood on their hands, as there were no angels. So there you have some scary bloody stories, too. And they’re quite fresh, not some 60 years old, like yours.

    But even if you insist on the events from 1948, don’t you know that Israel ethnically cleansed majority of the Palestinians from the land they occupied and destroyed /depopulated more than 400 Palestinian villages, killed hundreds of Palestinians and made almost million Palestinians refugees? how about that?

  5. WENNINGTON:

    You realise you have contradicted yourself?

    You say we should take seriously the opinion of Palestinian Arabs – then you say we should ignore what Hamas says.

    But Hamas is the OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT of all the Pal Arabs in Gaza!

  6. WENNINGTON

    Your analogy makes no sense – because NO LAND WAS ‘TAKEN’ FROM EITHER ARABS OR PALESTINIAN ARABS.

    You seem utterly unwilling to accept this vital point.

    Secondly: I didn’t offer you ‘scare stories’ re 1947 – those were actual quotes BY the Arab leaders and BY other people out there at the time! You also seem to be ignoring that SIX ARAB ARMIES attacked Israel simultaneously. That is not a ‘scare story’ – it is HISTORY.

    Finally – it’s clearly very easy for you to dismiss what Hamas says. Tell you what – how about you try telling the same thing to any one of the THOUSANDS of families in Israel, who have lost loved ones courtesy of the LAST EIGHT YEARS OF HAMAS TERRORISM.

    I’m getting exasperated because you are refusing to accept some basic facts that are *objective*, verifiable history.

    Arab terrorism against Palestininan Jews existed BEFORE Israel – so you can’t blame Israel.

    No Arabs lost land to Israel – so you can’t blame terrorism on that either.

    The reality – which you are refusing to accept – was stated BY virtually every Arab leader, at one time or another. In other words: they do not want ANY Jewish state in the entire Middle East.

    Arabs = 99.99999% of the Middle East

    Jews = 0.01% of the Middle East

    So no, it is irrational for you to keep insisting that we have to take seriously the Arab ‘anger’. You imply, when you say that, that we have to ‘take seriously’ their OPENLY STATED WISH of getting rid of all Jews from the Middle East.

  7. ok, first of all, my previous post was somehow shorten, only half of it is shown here. The missing part is the one i was talking about israel’s double standards as it comes to UN. i don’t know who’s responsible for that ‘accident’, but it’s pitty, because i couldn’t tell everything i wanted in that debate…

    But anyway, let me respond to your thoughts and questions… I’m not sure why are you implying i share the opinion of “wiping out ALL Jews from the region”, when i only said that it’s important fact that Arab leaders REJECTED the UN plan and all independent Muslim and Arab states voted AGAINST it. I mean, one shouldn’t be surprised at their anger today. I’m not supporting them in that kind of ideas, i only try to understand them and their anger.

    Try to look at the situation from arab point of view…I’ll give you an example: If UN suddently decided to take a piece of israeli land and give it to palestinians, israeli leaders and their allies would surely be against it and would reject the plan. But if the land would still be somehow taken away, wouldn’t all israelis be angry and would try to get it back?

    As for the ‘opinion of Palestinian Arabs’, i wasn’t talking about Hamas’s , which by the way shouldn’t be taken too serious, as it’s only part of their propaganda and not the reality. As long as the violent occupation will last, they can score some points with statements like that. But if israel ended the occupation, hamas would lose half of their political program and statements like that one you’ve mentioned would be useless.

    And you didn’t convince me with your scary stories from 1947, because they showed only one side of the story back then.

  8. WENNINGTON:

    We’re still talking at crossed purposes.

    The Palestinian Arabs were a group in Palestine, along with the Palestinian Jews. The region was partitioned and the Palestinian Jews got a tiny sliver which then became Israel. This area was already home to a Jewish majority. You still haven’t explained why you support the Palestinian Arabs being ‘angry’ over this! Remember that 80% of the region was given TO the Arabs – JORDAN.

    You seem to be saying that because all of the Muslim states and Arab states opposed Israel, that somehow makes them ‘right’? So you agree with their demands, back then, that ALL JEWS be wiped out of the Middle East??? Because let’s be clear: THAT is precisely what they WERE demanding.

    I’d still appreciate your answering this question: given that the Palestinian Jews had been living IN Palestine for LONGER than ANY other group, continuously, WHY do you support the Palestinian Arabs, and the Muslim and Arab world demands that the Jews NOT be given that tiny sliver of land for Israel…?

    Sorry, but what you are saying just does not make any sense. If you support the Muslim and Arab demands for wiping out ALL Jews from the region, then just come out and say so!

    Why do the Palestinian Arabs have a ‘right’ to be ‘angry’ just because the NATIVES of the region were given an official homeland there???

    As for your implying that the opinion of Palestinian Arabs is ‘not important’ – listen, with all due respect, do you actually know WHAT their opinion is???

    Their opinion, as expressed by their official government, Hamas, is that they have a ‘religious duty’ to ‘kill jews’.

    So this ‘opinion’ is something that we should ‘respect’ is it?

    So let’s see what Arab ‘opinion’ was, shall we, in 1947? After all, you’re saying it should have been respected…

    Here it is and remember: Palestinian Jews had already been living in Palestine continuously for 3500 years:

    Abdel Qader Husseini stated that “the Palestine problem will only be solved by the sword; all Jews must leave Palestine.”

    Arab League Secretary-General Azzam Pasha May 15, 1947 called for “jihad” against the Jews, saying:

    “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades”.

    Arab mobs were already attacking Jews on a regular basis:

    U.S. consul-general in Jerusalem, Robert Macatee, in December 1947:

    ‘Innocent people are picked off while riding in buses, walking along the streets, and stray shots even find them while asleep in their beds. A Jewish woman, mother of five children, was shot in Jerusalem while hanging out clothes on the roof. The ambulance rushing her to the hospital was machine-gunned, and finally the mourners following her to the funeral were attacked and one of them stabbed to death.”

    So WENNINGTON – this is what you are saying you ‘respect’, is it….?

    And all because a tiny bit of land was given to the people who had been living IN it for 3500 years!

    The rest of the region – originally meant also to go to the Jews – was given TO the Arabs.

    The Jews accepted far less than they were promised and that they were entitled to and held out the hand of peace. The Arabs were given MORE than was fair, and declared war.

    And you are defending this.

  9. ok, my mistake; i should make it more clear: by ‘palestinians’ i actually ment palestinian arabs. Still, you missed my point. I will repeat just one statement, which is – in my eyes – most important: “Zionist leaders (including the Jewish Agency), accepted the (UN’s) plan, while Palestinian Arab leaders REJECTED it and all independent Muslim and Arab states voted AGAINST it.” … Can’t you see the importance of this fact? That’s why i said Palestinian Arab have right to be angry. Or do you perhaps think their opinion is not important?

  10. WENNINGTON

    I’m slightly surprised by some of your comments. Obviously, it’s one thing to disagree but – and no offence meant – if you don’t realise that the very term ‘Palestinian’ always meant Palestinian JEWS, then it’s impossible to have a logical debate on the issues.

    You wrongly state that the ‘jews forgot to ask the palestinians’ – er, hello….????

    Who do you think the Palestinians WERE?

    The term ‘Palestinian’ referred to ALL the groups living in the region of Palestine – including Palestinian Jews! Who do you think had, at the time of partition, the longest historical presence in that region? The Palestinian Jews!

    This is simple, verifiable, fact.

    The Palestinian Post newspaper – staffed by Palestinian Jews.
    – it later became the Jerusalem Post, and still exists today.

    The Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra – totally Palestinian Jews.

    The Palestine Brigade that fought with the Allies against the Nazis – 100% Palestinian
    Jews!

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    You’ve also contradicted yourself.

    You state that if the UN says something, that’s good enough for you.

    Well, the UN agreed that the Palestinian Jews, having lived there already for 3500 years continuously had the right, morally and legally, to the tiny bit of land that became Israel.

    Yet you say the Palestinian Arabs had the ‘right’ to be ‘angry’ – even though the UN supported partition?

    So apparently, you only support the UN when it’s arguing the case of the Palestinian Arabs…?

    Don’t claim to be ‘objective’ – you’re clearly not!

  11. yeah, i expected some of your answers. Regarding those checkpoints… your answers sounds logical, I understand there are security reason behind it, but checkpoints are at the same time doing harm to palestinians. I watched a great documentary from gaza and Wbank and saw what’s happening at those checkpoints. It’s terrible. And israel must know that all that daily humiliating (there were even reports about child abuse) on checkpoints and borders are only helping palestinians to hate israel even more, which is not surprising.

    Concerning Jewish presence in palestina… Let’s just remember what happened after the WW2… Jews got a piece of old ‘Palestine’ or for a homeland but I guess they forgot to ask Palestinians. In fact, what happened was: “On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted 33 to 13 with 10 abstentions, in favour of a plan to partition the territory into separate Jewish and Arab states, under economic union, with the Greater Jerusalem area (encompassing Bethlehem) coming under international control. Zionist leaders (including the Jewish Agency), accepted the plan, while Palestinian Arab leaders REJECTED it and all independent Muslim and Arab states voted against it. “(wikipedia)

    so you should understand why are palestinians angry at israel in the first place.

    And finally, about ‘illegal’ settlements’… i believe you that there are many great articles on that issue, but i don’t really need to read it, because i believe what UN say. UN said the wall and settlements are illegal and that’s pretty much all i’m interested there.

  12. DERHUNTER – you are absolutely correct. The land was either already home to a Jewish majority or was bought, fair and square by Jews, often from absentee Arab landlords who didn’t give a damn about the land because they didn’t live in Palestine.

  13. Hi WENNINGTON 🙂

    Let me respond to your comments one by one:

    The reason why some Palestinians are suffering at the check points is because – and these are documented, verifiable cases – many Hamas/Islamic Jihad/Fatah terrorists have at times disguised themselves as, among other things, pregnant women and even Orthodox Jews. That’s why both Jewish Israelis, and non Jewish Israelis and Palestinians have to go past the checkpoints.

    It’s nothing to do with ‘humiliating’ anyone. I can assure you Israel has better things to do with her time and energy! If you want to actually see how checkpoints save lives, then check out these:

    – Palestinian woman getting medical treatment in Israel – then tried to blow herself and others to bits with a bomb in the hospital – ONLY the checkpoint saved them all!

    With regard to Gaza and other areas – sorry, but you are incorrect. Israel has not violated any binding agreements whatsoever.

    Think of it like this: Palestinian Jews have been living in Gaza and other parts that are now Israel for longer than people have lived in either America or Australia. So if you’re going to argue that the Jews must get out, perhaps you’d care to apply the same ‘logic’ to Americans (who truly DID displace the natives American Indians) and Australians (who of course displaced the Aborigines).

    Jewish presence in Gaza:

    * From 1885 to World War I Jews lived in Gaza.

    * A renewed Jewish community existed in Gaza until the Muslim pogroms against Jews in 1929. Jews were murdered in many communities throughout Palestine, especially Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed – three Jewish holy cities.

    The following is a list of Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip:

    Alei Sinai, founded in 1983
    Bedolach, founded in 1986
    Bnei Atzmon (Atzmona), founded in 1979
    Dugit, founded in 1990
    Gadid, founded in 1982
    Gan-Or, founded in 1983
    Ganei Tal, founded in 1979
    Katif, founded in 1986
    Kerem Atzmona, founded in 2000
    Kfar Darom, founded in 1946
    Kfar Yam, founded in 1984
    Morag, founded in 1984
    Netzer Hazani, founded in 1977
    Netzarim, founded in 1984
    Neve Dekalim, founded in 1983
    Nisanit, founded in 1984
    Peat – Sadeh, founded in 1989
    Rafiah – Yam, founded in 1986
    Shirat HaYam, founded in 2000
    Tel Katifa, founded in 1992

    Re these ‘illegal’ settlements’ you refer to: there are some great articles on the legality of these areas here at
    SMOOTH STONE BLOG

    ; I highly recommend them!

    http://smoothstoneblog.com/2004/10/the-misrepresentation-of-jewish-communities-settlements-in-judea-samaria-gaza-and-the-golan-heights.htm

    http://smoothstoneblog.com/2008/01/are-israeli-settlements-legal.htm

    http://smoothstoneblog.com/2007/01/what-happened-in-1967-that-caused-israels-borders-to-change.htm

    Above list of Jewish communities in Gaza: also courtesy of SMOOTH STONE BLOG

  14. Wennington / AJWAV,

    Sorry to butt in here, but I found something interesting….which is…I wonder what fight against occupation is being done by the Palestinians. Fight against occupation is when you owned the land in the first place and it is yours!!

    If Palestinians allegedly are the historic inhabitants of the Jerusalem / Israel, why did they not fight for independence from Roman / Arab / Christian occupation as the Jews did? Can anybody name any historic uprisings by Palestinians during the umpteen occupations of Jerusalem OR any historic leader of the Palestinians (this great people with such a rich culture…ha ha ha)

    There was never any Palestinian land. There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.

    Let us remember, the Jews bought a lot of the land they are in today. It was land that no one wanted. They dredged it, went to work on it and made it fruitful and the hungry Arab hyenas sniffed flesh and came in for their pound of it.

  15. No, i didn’t know that. But why would Israelis go through checkpoints – to go where? They may reduce terrorism, but those checkpoints are also a way of humiliating palestinians. Not to mention that, according to wikipediay between 2000 and 2006, 68 Palestinian women gave birth at Israeli checkpoints, 5 of whom died and 35 miscarried. Sounds scary.

    As for the army t-shirts, i hope you’re right and that it really was just three or four soldiers behind it, although i’m not sure about that. I was also disappointed at idf to let those t-shirts print at all.

    Yeah, you’re right about Gaza’s borders with Egypt. But still, Gazans don’t control ALL of their borders, which makes me think that they’re not in full control of the territory.

    I believe you that Palestinian side overreacted in number of causalties, but the real number (body count) is still (too) big. And yeah, many of the Palestinians who are listed as ‘civilians’ could be considered Hamas, but many weren’t. There were many old people, pregnant women and little kids among the deaths… don’t you think the number of death civilians could/should be much smaller?

    I don’t believe israeli PM ordered leaving of Gaza simply because of Palestinians ‘promise’. It’s not that simple in the world of politics. Why would they believe them? Still, for many Israelis, leaving Gaza was a relief. For the settlers, of course, it was a personal and communal disaster, they were crying and all that. But, as i read somewhere, Israel should never have had any settlers in Gaza; the settlers were there illegally. Thus, leaving Gaza was not some “great and noble sacrifice”, but simply Israel finally obeying international law.

  16. WENNINGTON

    You are aware that Israelis also have to go through checkpoints…?

    It’s purely to reduce terrorism.

    Also: re the t-shirts; yes, I totally agree they were vile. It was three or four soldiers, though – and they were forced to get rid of them as soon as it came to light.

    The Israeli soldiers risked their lives in Gaza because: if they hadn’t phoned every home, Hamas wouldn’t have been forewarned. Israel could have gone in as a ‘surprise’ attack – that would have meant less attacks from Hamas!

    Israel doesn’t control all Gaza borders – Gaza borders with Egypt, remember?

    If Hamas didn’t keep attacking Israelis with suicide bombers and missiles, Israel wouldn’t have to monitor its border with Gaza!

    Are you aware that the ‘official’ body count given by the Palestinians is even now being DISproven by those monitoring the Arab and Palestinian media?

    Many of the Palestinians who are listed as ‘civilians’ were Hamas.
    -If you’d like to read more on this, tell me, I’ll get you a link.

    Israel did not want to have to drag Israeli citizens, crying and screaming, from their homes in Gaza. Why on earth do you think Israel would have done so, if there hadn’t been promises of LESS terrorism? Even if the word used by the Palestinians wasn’t ‘terrorism’ but ‘violence’ – upshot is still the same.

  17. Ok, first of all, nobody *swored* it would mean an end to “terrorism” if israel leave Gaza to palestinians. If nothing else, palestinians don’t see their fighting as ‘terrorism’ but rather as fight against the occupation. So i can’t imagine Abbas saying things like: yes, we are terrorists and we’ll stop those activities if israel leaves gaza. It’s nonsense. Leaving Gaza was completely israeli decision and neither me nor you can’t really know what was behind it. Not to mention that Gaza is still not under complete palestinian control, as israel control its borders and dictates its economy.

    I’m not sure about ‘Israeli soldiers risking their own lives by phoning every single home in Gaza’, all I know is that IDF has killed WAY TOO MANY civilians in last war. Don’t think soldiers are “angels”, because they’re not. Just remember those criminal T-shirts they’ve made after last gaza war (if you know what i’m talking about).

    At least we both agree there is fault on BOTH sides, and also that there are fundamentalist on both sides. However, I can’t agree that israel has “worked hard” for peace. There are too many issues (like daily humiliation of palestinians at israeli checkpoints , palestinians being treated as second-class citizens, body counts in last gaza massacre etc.) to actually believe your words. In my eyes, NEITHER side has worked hard for peace, which is sad.

  18. WENNINGTON:

    Let’s both hope you are right about Hamas not having killed Gilad Shalit 🙂

    Re the Gaza operation: do remember that prior to that, Israel had endured an astonishing eight years of terrorism. And the suicide bombings and missiles were sent into UNdisputed areas. Please remember also that when Israel disengaged from Gaza, the Palestinians *swore* it would mean an end to terrorism. The Israeli army had to physically drag crying Israelis from their homes in Gaza.

    And for what? The minute Israel left, terrorism INcreased. Israel had to do something. Any other nation would have gone in and levelled Gaza, I think!

    Israeli soldiers risked their OWN lives by phoning every single home in Gaza first to warn people to get out, because they wanted to target the terrorist enclaves and Hamas HQ.

    America went into two countries and killed G-d knows how many after ONE – albeit ghastly – terrorist attack. Ditto for Britain.

    Yet Israel is expected to endure years of the SAME terrorism, and do nothing?

    Double standard!

    Also, and with the best will in the world, it’s impossible for me to respond to anecdotal tales of a ‘rabbi pushing religious war’.

    Are there fundamentalist israelis?
    Answer: yes!

    I don’t claim that all Israelis are perfect nor that Israel is perfect. Of course not. But tell me: how can there be peace when the Palestinian Authority and Hamas teach four and five year olds that killing Jews is a ‘religious duty’?

    Israeli textbooks do not teach Israeli children anything remotely similar, that I can tell you for a fact.

    As you rightly note, there is fault on BOTH sides.

    But it’s fair to say that the Israelis have worked hard for peace and offered the Palestinians all they have demanded, in both 2000 and 2001, at Taba and Camp David. Even many in the Arab world blame Arafat for rejecting these offers and instead increasing terrorist activity.

  19. JWAV, I didn’t mean to insult anybody, I just disagreed with your thoughts and overreacting. Since you are Jew, you naturally think different than ordinary non-jewish people and have different views on israeli-palestinian conflict than, say, Europeans or Russians… But that’s ok, I like to hear opinions from many different sides. Now, to answer your question:

    -Israel has indeed exchanged hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for dead Israelis in the past. To be honest, I’ve never understood that move; from israeli point of view I’d say it was stupid, but I always thought it was something to do with Judaism in connection with dead jews or sth like that. Is it right for Israel to exchange hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for dead Israelis? Hard to say anything in short. I think many of Palestinian prisoners in Israel are in fact innocent and should be freed. So from that point of view, I’d say yes. But if I was israeli PM, I’d never approved such a deal, because I can’t find any good reason for it.

    -Do I think that might make Hamas realise that even if they kill Gilad Shalit, he’s still a strong bargaining chip? Well, it could be so, but Gilad alive is still much stronger card, so why kill him? I insist that Hamas didn’t kill him, but I think there is in fact much possible option that he was injured/killed in IDF bombings in the last Gaza massacre which happened some months ago, where 1000 of Palestinians were killed.

    ——–
    As for your answer to my question… well, I’m glad you think so. I believe your words about Judaism, but I’m afraid IDF and Israeli politicians are often thinking different way. I remember reports from last Gaza war, when one RABBI urged Israeli troops to show NO MERCY in Gaza (there was one Israeli soldier even saying rabbis pushed ‘religious war’ in Gaza ) … But ot be honest, I need to say that the other side (Palestinians) is in fact no better. Islam is also said to be peacfull religion that values human life above everything and is against suicide etc, yet we can all see how some extremistic groups abuse the religion to reach their goals… So there’s no angels on either sides 🙂

  20. WENNINGTON:

    You make some interesting points.

    I’m going to ignore the insults that, as usual, you felt the need to include, and just respond to your comments and some of the issues you highlight. Perhaps, if you really do want an actual discussion, and if you have an open mind – which I hope and try to have! – we could stop the little digs…

    OK, your point about Hamas:

    You may indeed be right. I hope you are right. Certainly, for Hamas, a living Gilad Shalit is as you rightly note, a real bargaining chip.

    Here’s a question for you:

    Given that in the past, Israel has exchanged hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for dead Israelis, do you think that might make Hamas realise that even if they kill Gilad Shalit, he’s still a strong bargaining chip…?

    It’s something I’ve wondered about – any thoughts…?

    Also – I’m veering off topic a bit but since you’ve taken the time and trouble to post several times I’m interested to get your thoughts – in your opinion, is it right for Israel to exchange hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for dead Israelis?

    What’s your opinion on that?
    I’m very conflicted over it and I don’t envy the people having to make these kinds of decisions…

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    I’d like to answer your question about whether Jewish lives are ‘more important’ than non Jewish lives:

    NO – ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m truly sorry if anything you’ve read here – or anywhere – really does give you that impression.

    Seems to me that this is the great tragedy of the Israeli/Palestinian Arab conflict. It is tragic when anyone – Israeli OR Palestinian – dies. Especially when they are civilians.

    Judaism, as a religion, values life – any human life – above everything else. Life is sacred. During Operation Cast Lead, I attended a massive rally in London, organised by various Jewish groups. It was for BOTH Israelis AND Palestinians. We said prayers for BOTH groups. Every speaker wished for peace for BOTH groups.

    Now, you may choose not to believe me on this. That would be a great shame. Obviously I’m going to blog about Israel, and I don’t pretend otherwise. But I also have some posts lined up about the plight of Palestinians under Hamas rule – they are suffering terribly because of Hamas.

    ***I will post more, my phone is ringing, will be back

  21. I’m afraid your final conclusion is wrong, once again. But first of all, let me tell you this: I think Gilad is alive, because it’s a strong card for Hamas and I’m sure they don’t want him to die in their hands. However, I agree that Hamas should at least tell Shalit’s family if he’s alive.

    Secondly, Palestinian prisoners may have regular visits from organisations such as the Red Cross, but many of them are children and women, many of them are there because of their thoughts, views and non-violent political activities. Israeli army also kidnapped some Palestinian political leaders without any accuse and put them in jail. And yet, most of the world media only talk about one soldier, who was on mission to attack Palestinians ( ‘trying to stop Hamas terrorsts from infiltrating Israel from Gaza’ really sounds like propaganda to me; you see, the world is not that black-white as you may think), He became world’s most famous prisoner, but it’s obviously not enough for you, is it?

    Finaly, let me ask you one thing: is Shalit more important than 10,000 Palestinian prisoners? Is Jewish life more important than a non-Jewish life? Because sometimes i got such an impression when I’m reading some israeli reports or blogs, or when i see Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people.

  22. Wennington:

    Congrats on managing to miss the key point.

    The Palestinian prisoners have regular visits from organisations such as the Red Cross and various others, who check that they are not being mistreated. The families OF these prisoners KNOW that their children are still ALIVE.

    Who knows if Gilad Shalit is alive?
    Answer: nobody

    Nobody has been allowed to see him – not the Red Cross, not anyone. Of course, you would have understood this had you not been made ‘sick’ by ‘all the coverage’. Clearly you felt there was too much attention being paid to this 20 year old man who was merely trying to stop Hamas terrorsts from infiltrating Israel from Gaza.

    When Hamas has at least the humanity to TELL Gilad’s FAMILY if he IS ALIVE OR DEAD, then I’ll stop posting about the matter. Until then, afraid you’ll just have to continue getting ‘sick’ from ‘all’ the coverage. But hey, if you don’t like it – DON’T READ IT.

    Oh, and by the way – the Palestinians in prison in Israel are there PURELY because of involvement in terrorism. But again, I guess the deaths of Israeli women and children aren’t something YOU feel anyone should be in prison for…

  23. you said: “Who cares if one young Israeli soldier spends three years in the hands of Hamas?Not the international media, that’s for sure.”

    and that’s the most silly statement i’ve heard today. How could you say it, when media is/was so full of information about that soldier that many people were getting sick of it? All about his life, his parents etc. … Meanwhile, there was NO media coverage of a single of thousants Palestinian prisoners in israel, many of them as youg as that captured israeli soldier and many without ‘proven guilty’ status… So much about your double standards…

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