How an abused nation behaves
A different peace approach
People who have been abused and beaten, whether physically or mentally, often become sure that it is they who are the problem and that they probably deserve all the abuse. Thereafter they do the bidding of the abuser – even over and above what they have been told to do. This in turn causes the abuser to feel only contempt for their weakness and continues the abuse.
Israel, sadly, is like the abused.
Your editorial (“White Helmets,” 25 July) sets out a scenario that made me cringe with shame at how my country has received a slap in the face yet again, something it seems to ask for over and over, as 1) when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkey for our soldiers defending themselves on the Mavi Marmara and paying compensation to the families of the terrorists killed in self defense and 2) when Netanyahu apologized to Jordan and paid compensation for our envoy defending himself against an attack. Jordan and Turkey still hate us – only with more contempt.
Israel carried out a daring operation to rescue Syrians called White Helmets, together with their families, whose lives were in danger. This is over and above what Israel does for thousands of Syrians, helping them with food, medicine, heating, hospitalization – you name it and we have done it, not for friends but enemies. Go figure.
In this instance, even though there must have been danger to the Israelis taking part in the operation to rescue White Helmets, those rescued refused to acknowledge Israel’s part, issuing a statement about the rescue mentioning that they were led to safety to Jordan through “the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.” In fact, some refused to be rescued because it was the Israelis saving them. Those paragons of virtue, France, the UK and Germany, also refused to acknowledge our part in the operation.
If Israel thought it was going to change hearts and minds with yet another gesture toward its enemies, it could not be more wrong. The abuser remains strong and the abused weak and apologetic and desperate to please.
Proud of mistakes?
I read with alarm (“IAF downs Syrian jet over Israeli airspace,” July 25) the misplaced accomplishment expressed by the IDF in destroying the Syrian jet and killing its pilot.
We now know that the jet made a navigational error, yet in spite of this fact, the IDF must have believed this was a good PR moment and published a picture of the smiling officer responsible for bringing down the jet. Why? What was their point? That it was a woman? Are they trying to dispel some “myths” with regard to the extreme male chauvinism that reigns supreme within the ranks?
Did she approve of having her picture released to the world?
I am confused as to why this is a moment of pride for Israel, not only did they destroy a jet that by all accounts made a genuine mistake, but took the life of another human.
We should not be taking pride in our mistakes or in killing – let alone publish the photograph of the young officer simply following orders to carry it out. The IDF withholds plenty of information from the press on a regular basis to try to avoid world bias.
Their choice to shout about this mistake from the rooftops is simply baffling to me.
We are subjected to anti-Israel journalism on a daily basis, the IDF should not be the ones giving hostile journalists fodder for their hate-filled reporting.
Writer lacks wisdom to know the difference
In “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” (July 26), Gershon Baskin describes his efforts for 40 years to promote peace and equality between Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs. 40 years ago the Palestinians he met, refused to recognize the right of Israel to exist; the same is true today, only worse. Mistrust between Israeli and Palestinians has grown. A Muslim Brotherhood faction (Hamas) rules Mafia-style over two million Palestinians dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
One has to sympathize with Baskin for a life both futile and wasted. He should ask himself, “Where have I failed? Why have my soft, humanist, progressive, liberal views failed to convince my Israeli friends?” The answer is simple. We are at war with a devious, cunning, bloodthirsty enemy. It may last for another hundred years or maybe a thousand years. Gershon’s abject failure can best be summarized in two homilies: “Know thine enemies” and “Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”
For many years, international diplomacy has tried to bring “peace” between Israelis and Palestinians. I think it is time to take a different approach to the problem.
Peace cannot be achieved without considering the Middle East in all its entirety and complexity. From Egypt to Pakistan, from Turkey to Yemen, all countries are interested in peace. Without peace, all the peoples of the Middle East have no future but truces between one war and another.
Thinking of peace means thinking about the future, but how can people think about the future if a war that just ended or another that is about to start occupy all thoughts? To give strength to this hope, all the countries belonging in this region must participate equally in the creation of the conditions to achieve peace between them.
These countries do not need a mediator to achieve peace; they must reflect on the current situation in the region and above all to ask what contribution each country has to offer that can lead to the desired result: peace.
Genoa, ItalyQuick disappearance on TV
I fail to understand why the editors at Kan/11 remove the names of speakers so quickly from the screen. TV programs from abroad keep the names of the speakers in place until they move on to something new. Here, I barely have time to read the name, let alone remember it, until the end of the program. Recently I watched an excellent program with Dan Meridor. It was a long program, and not every watcher who turned it on a minute after it began could have known or remembered who the speaker was. Of course, this applies as well to speakers from abroad.
Kindness to animals
Soon after Adolf Hitler seized power and made clear his plans to eliminate Europe’s Jews Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer fled Poland. The cruelty he witnessed informed his writing, and the heroes in his bestsellers championed gay rights, women’s issues and especially animal rights.
In “The Slaughterer,” Singer writes about a man trying to reconcile his compassion for animals with his job killing them. “As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony,” Singer, a vegetarian the last 35 years of his life, wrote. “Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.”
If kindness and compassion are among our options for how we treat animals, including humans, we can all take inspiration from Singer and Natalie Portman and be kind to animals. Why would we choose otherwise?
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)Bennett's major epiphany
So of all people, Education Minister Naftali Bennett now realizes – and admits – that the Nation-State Law is harmful to the Druze population (“Jewish Nation-State Law harms Druze,” July 26.) But while this may be a major epiphany for Bennett, had he and the rest of his party bothered to heed the many criticisms and objections raised across the political spectrum while the law was still in formation, its derogation of the Druze would have been obvious. And what about the thousands of Bedouin and other very loyal Israeli Arabs who serve in the army or work in the highest positions in many government agencies, ministries and public services like medicine, including some of the most senior security positions imaginable?
In its overzealous desire to pass this law no matter what, with very minor exceptions, all criticism was dismissed and even condemned as being illegitimate, disingenuous, leftist and even worse. Instead of thinking before acting, the government did the exact opposite, totally ignoring the possible – and now proven – negative consequences of this controversial bill, whether to Israel’s diplomatic status and image abroad or to our own minority populations, no matter how integrated and loyal they may be. Despite Bennett’s sudden realization of the government “making a mistake in the Jewish Nation-State Law,” I doubt whether this “mistake” can truly repair the shock and alienation it has caused to so many Israeli citizens – not to mention making a total mockery of the law itself and its supporters.
Palestinian tarnished icons
Front-page articles in today’s (July 29) issue highlight and encapsulate the willful violence and rhetoric that continues to pervade daily life in our region.
The Palestinians are threatening “fateful and dangerous decisions” via their aging empty vessel president. Meanwhile two 17-year-olds are being held up as icons of a violent society: 1) Mohammed Yousef, the terrorist who murdered a young father, Yotam Ovadia and 2) the “activist” Ahed Tamimi, now being released from prison having served her term for assaulting Israeli soldiers, whose image on a painted mural is being touted as a symbol of “resistance.”
With such leaders and revered personalities, the Palestinians are unfortunately on the road to nowhere. We who yearn for peace must hope that wiser heads will one day emerge in their society to show them the true path to a peaceful collaborative future.
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