26 thoughts on “Gaza: The Noose Tightens – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
task-attention.png
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
 

  1. i am glad to see the british are leading in this revolution to once and for all put an end to this sixty year old war on an entire people, the south africans are participants also….Richard maybe you can be the influential american that gets a boycot going here in the states….can you imagine the shallacking that person would get here from the powers that be that are and that will never willingly allow for dissention.

    Major British workers’ union joins moves to boycott Israel

    By Haim Bior, Haaretz Correspondent

    Britain’s Transport and General Workers’ Union has called upon its 800,000 members to boycott Israeli-made products based on what they term Israel’s “criminal policies in Palestinian territories.”

    The decision to call for a boycott, reached at a union conference in Brighton, is declarative and does not include concrete steps to implement the boycott.

    The TGWU is the second British union to call for a boycott on Israel this year – last month the British public services union UNISON also urged its members to refrain from purchasing Israeli products, basing the call on Israel’s “criminal behavior in the territories,” and Israel’s responsibility for the Second Lebanon War.

    In the last six months, Ontario, Canada’s public services union also proposed a similar anti-Israel boycott, as did several professional unions in South Africa. In addition, Britain’s University and College Union called upon its members earlier this year to consider an academic boycott of Israel, which would include holding funding from research projects run by Israeli professors and preventing Israeli lecturers from participating in seminars.

  2. If HAMAS is so concerned about the welfare of the people in Gaza, and claim that they want the crossing points open, why do they repeatedly carry out terrorist attacks on the crossing points such as Karni?

  3. Dear Mr. Silverstein,
    Since you propound that evil (hatred?) is something “inherently human,” why do you not condemn the religion of Islam, which promotes hatred of the non-Muslims, especially Jews? As a Gentile who has studied the Holocaust for years, I cannot see any difference between the tendentious hatred of the Koran and that of Nazism. I do not want to sound unfriendly in asking this, but I am puzzled by those (yourself included) who promote dialogue with Muslims and yet obfuscate the fact that Muslims follow a religion which deems as ignominious the very concept of dialogue with non-Muslims.

    Respectfully,
    Michael Devolin, Canada

  4. This is just propaganda for the Hammas. What Israel is trying to impede is the flow of arms and terrorists into Gaza. Israel has agreed to allow transferof food,aid and Palestinians stuck in Sinai through the border crossings it controls. But Hamas is willing to starve theri people to continue the war against Israel.

    Hamas’s Finance Ministry on Monday barred Israeli fruits and vegetables from entering the Gaza Strip on Monday

    The fruit and vegetable ban is the latest in a set of anti-Israel moves by Hamas, including continued mortar fire on the crossing, to keep Kerem Shalom closed. On Saturday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said, “We are against opening the Zionist-controlled crossing of Kerem Shalom.” But according to the United Nations, the use of Kerem Shalom and Sufa as alternative crossings has been a lifeline that has allowed the UN to provide food staples to 1.1 million of the 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza.

    source:http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1183980036217&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
    In the meantime Gazans are attacking Israeli civilians in the Gaza periphery on a daily basis, but you wouldn’t know it reading this blog.

  5. why do you not condemn the religion of Islam, which promotes hatred of the non-Muslims,

    Michael: Your view of Islam is about as narrow-minded as an Islamic extremist’s view of Judaism or yr own religion for that matter. Every religion in the world contains objectionable, intolerant and hateful elements. I object to these elements & criticize every religion, including Islam, in which I find them. But I see no reason to single out Islam as the only religion that contains these elements.

  6. This is just propaganda for the Hammas. What Israel is trying to impede is the flow of arms and terrorists into Gaza.

    No, what you write is propaganda for Israel. Israel is trying to do much more than you claim & we have it straight fr. the mouths of Israeli officials themselves. They are trying to topple Hamas by creating such privation that the Gazans will rise up against it. Yr. problem is that you’re so busy reading the tendentious propaganda at JPost that you either don’t bother reading articles like that of Jackson Diehl in the Wash Post or Haaretz or else you do read them & ignore them. Diehl quotes an Israeli senior official confirming that this is the government’s policy.

    Israel has agreed to allow transferof food,aid and Palestinians stuck in Sinai through the border crossings it controls.

    No, Israel is NOT willing to allow commerce to cross at Karni, the only terminal designed for mass transport of food & other materials Gazans need in bulk. Israel has opened crossings that are much smaller & require much more complicated & time consuming logistical truck transfers before material can be delivered to Gaza.

    I note that JPost did not quote the UN but merely stated what IT claims the UN said. I’m absolutely certain that the UN would vastly prefer that Karni be open rather than the much less well suited crossings mentioned in the JPost report.

  7. why do they repeatedly carry out terrorist attacks on the crossing points such as Karni?

    Because that is where the Israeli are & they wish to attack the IDF. They object to Gaza being under siege & the crossing points are symbols of their imprisonment & of the brutish Occupation.

  8. Because that is where the Israeli are & they wish to attack the IDF. They object to Gaza being under siege & the crossing points are symbols of their imprisonment & of the brutish Occupation.

    That’s right. I see we agree. And if their people are starving, that’s a small price to pay. Infact, its a benefit for them since they feed off of Palestinian misery and Westerners like yourself only encourage them. The crossing points, though, are not only a symbol. They are also the point where they want to smuggle the hardware and cash they need to fight their war of terror against Israel. Why you think Israel,or any otherpeace loving people need to cooperate with them, is beyond me. The Hamas should let the supplies in where possible and then decide if it is adequate or not. But they won’t because the humanitarian needs ofthe Palestinians don’t interest them.

  9. I note that JPost did not quote the UN but merely stated what IT claims the UN said

    And yet Jackson Diehl did the exact same thing with the un-named “senior israeli officer” explaing what Olmert’s plan is. And this you feel is reliable?

  10. they feed off of Palestinian misery

    No, let’s be clear about something. While I don’t endorse Hamas’ tactics by any means, it is NOT Hamas that is causing this misery. It is Israel, the U.S. & the EU by trying to starve Gaza & Hamas into submission. Israel makes clear that its strangulation policy is not primarily motivated by security concerns as you claim. Israel clearly says that Gaza is isolated because it is the home of Hamas and Israel finds it unacceptable that Hamas runs the PA. Israel’s policy is politically motivated rather than security-motivated. Hamas is not a security threat to Israel.

    Hamas may make decisions that do little to alleviate Gazan suffering. But that is a secondary issue. The primary issue is what causes the suffering in the first place. And those are the parties I list above.

    And I reject entirely the terms of yr argument. What Gaza and all Palestinians deserve is an end to the Occupation. And end to strangulation and privation. An end to the brutality of checkpoints and the indignity they foist on Palestinians. They deserve a state of their own. And both Israelis and Palestinians deserve security that could be provided much more effectively by a negotiated settlement of the conflict & an international peacekeeping force to take over these checkpoints & guarantee they are open to commerce & free from causing security threats.

    In arguing with me about which crossings are open and what is coming through them you’re entirely missing the bigger point which is that none of this matters a damn compared to solving the conflict in its entirety.

    Jackson Diehl did the exact same thing with the un-named “senior israeli officer” explaing what Olmert’s plan is. And this you feel is reliable?

    Let me see…which is more reliable–the JPost or the WashPost. Umm, that’s a hard one. The first is largely a journalistic backwater of pro-Likud propaganda. The second one of the most important national newspapers in this country. Such a hard question to answer.

    Second, the JPost noted “the UN” thanked Israel for opening the two crossings. The UN is the largest international agency in the world. Who in the UN wrote or said this? What did they say precisely? Where did they say it and when? None of those questions are answered making the JPost statement practically useless as journalism.

    While Diehl described a conversation with a specific Israeli official during Olmert’s last trip to Washington. Besides, the sentiments expressed by said Israeli official have been stated time and time again explicitly by many Israel officials in many Israeli & international publications. Why don’t you just Google “Olmert policy to bring Gaza to its knees” or some such phrase. In two minutes you can confirm that Israeli officials have explicitly endorsed this policy.

  11. “Your view of Islam is about as narrow-minded as an Islamic extremist’s”

    That’s quite an estimation of me and my religion on such a short notice, Mr. Silverstein. I’m quite at a loss as how to respond to this. I thought I asked a simple question, really. As for my religion, I’m a B’nai Noach. I apologize, if I offended you.

    “Every religion in the world contains objectionable, intolerant and hateful elements

    I tend to avoid verisms when it comes to evaluating “ancient” or “traditional” religions as these religions, in particular Islam and Christianity, have been shaped and manifested primarily by the shibboleths that perpetuate them.

    This is how I judge Islam, Mr. Sivertein: I have always maintained that one cannot judge a religion by its exceptional personalities, but only by how that particluar religion manifests itself within those masses who adhere to its tenets. In this respect Islam, both past and present, especially because of its primitive hatred of the Jew, has proven to be an insalubrious ideology. (The same can be said of Christianity precisely because, in my opinion, its Pauline theology precipitated the Holocaust).

    I cannot grasp how you can honestly and perceptively estimate the worth of a religion (in this case Islam) by profiling its so-called good while simultaneously obfuscating its more prevalent evil. This is irresponsible reasoning and sounds almost begrudging, if I may be so bold. In doing so, you inadvertantly create an imbroglio and promote a sophism.

    It has been my personal experience that at the moment I begrudge a truth, immediately I have lost a measure of my ability to think clearly and dispassionately. Why else would you insult me without knowing me?

    It is my opinion that Arabs are not the obstacle to peace in the Middle East, nor is the existence of Israel: Islam is the only obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

    “The Islamic religious teachings have incited to the rejection of the other, to the denial of the other, and to the killing of the other.” –Wafa Sultan

    Respectfully,
    Michael Devolin

  12. Islam, both past and present, especially because of its primitive hatred of the Jew, has proven to be an insalubrious ideology.

    Islam is not an ideology. It is a religion. Your characterization of Islam’s “primitive hatred of the Jew” is far off the mark. You’ve been reading too many Islamophobic/neocon tracts.

    how can you honestly…estimate the worth of a religion (in this case Islam) by profiling its so-called good while simultaneously obfuscating its more prevalent evil.

    I have NOT “obfuscated” the bad in Islam. In fact, I’ve specifically told you that I don’t. Or don’t you read what I write? Or just ignore what is inconvenient in my argument?

    Why else would you insult me without knowing me?

    I disparage yr views, not yr person. You are correct. I do not know you. But I know yr half-baked ideas about Islam & they’re not worth a hill of beans I’m afraid.

    Islam is the only obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

    Lord preserve us fr. such “wisdom.”

    Wafa Sultan is the lamest of the turncoat Muslims–the “good” Muslim trotted out by the neocons to show there are Arabs who hate Islam. She’s a slightly more credible version of Tokyo Rose

  13. While I happen to have many wonderful Muslim friends (none of whom are very religious and who detest the extremist amongst their own) there is something seriously screwed up about fundamentalist Islam and given how many fundamentalist Muslims there are it is a major world problem. Reasonable Muslims who don’t buy into the crap in the Koran that is BS are considered to be traitors and thus infidels by those Fundamentlaist Muslims who see the Koran as being all true. They terrorize the non-fundamentalist Muslims and quell any dissent by threatening to kill them. The few brave Muslims who stand up to them are sentenced to death by the Mullahs in Iran who are now the darling of the pathetic Left in this country. Rarely do we ever hear the Left wingers (of whom I for many years considered myself one) speaking out with any conviction to those modern day fascists. Quite easy to criticize the Christian and Jewish extremists as you know that you’re not going to get a car bomb on your street or a knife in your chest. Or is it the notion that the enemy of my enemy (read Bush) is my friend?

    Please Richard, spare us your rationalization on Islamic extremists. You only embarass yourself when you do so.

    Note – I am speaking specifically here about Islamic extremists. There are hundreds of millions wonderful non-extremists Muslims who are wonderful people and not inclined to want to kill the infidels. I’m curious Richard – How many Islamic extremists do you think there are currently in the world? How do you intend to influence them to a adopt a less extremist version and practice of Islam that will not demonize the infidel and provide justification for killing anyone considered to be outside of the ummah and a thus a threat to Muslim interests?

  14. While I happen to have many wonderful Muslim friends

    Ah, yes the old “some of my best friends are…” routine. How tiresome.

    given how many fundamentalist Muslims there are

    Interesting that you’re fixated on the number of “fundamentalist Muslims” but unconcerned by the number of fundamentalist Christians or Jews for that matter. Fundamentalist Muslims are not a problem for the world. But extremist Muslims prone to violence are. And there is a difference. There are tens of millions of what might be called fundamentalist Muslims as there are too of fundamentalist Christians. They are not the problem so much as those who are willing to turn to hate, intolerance & violence to advance their theology/ideology.

    Reasonable Muslims who don’t buy into the crap in the Koran that is BS

    I find it amazing that so many of those who know so little about Islam but claim to know so much can speak so disrespectfully about one of the world’s major religious tracts. If you said this about my own Tanach I would flay you. What gives you the right to speak so crudely about a book you know so little about except what you read at some site like Little Green Footballs or Frontpagmagazine and the like?

    the enemy of my enemy (read Bush) is my friend?

    I find it odious and a calumny that you would claim w/o a shred of evidence that I am a “friend” of the mullahs of Iran. You are treading on very thin ice.

    How do you intend to influence them to a adopt a less extremist version and practice of Islam that will not demonize the infidel and provide justification for killing anyone considered to be outside of the ummah and a thus a threat to Muslim interests?

    My job in life is not to fulfill yr expectations or yr agenda. My job in life is to fulfill my own. My role is not to be a light unto the Muslims. My job is to speak about the Israeli-Arab conflict and spread the word as a Jew that there is an alternative to violence & hatred. If you want to preach to Muslims by all means do so. But with the ignorance & condescending generalizations you’ve made about the religion I don’t believe many will take you very seriously.

  15. These extremist muslims it seems cant appreciate the wests desire to permanently occupy their lands…..it really is mindless of us in the west when we can not see the world from their perspective….and the thorn in their side that seems to bring them all together, even causing them to look past their own sectarian differences is israels occupation of palestinian lands and the mistreatment of these people. we are so conditioned by the job the press has done to dehumanize the palestinians that we can not see their plight or hear their cries…..our religions have failed us….our christianity our judaism and our secularism is tainted with hatred for other humans…it is a poc on our collective western faces that we have this hatred for a people, that causes us to see past their needs, past their cries and hopelesness…what can cause a woman to don a belt laden with explosives to destroy her own life…..alll hope has been extinguished from these lives….they are a hopelss helpless people who have been stripped of their humanity…
    were the germans right when they dehumanized the jews in europe before they proceeded to try to eradicate them from the face of the earth…
    are the israelis and the western nations right in dehumanizing the arab muslims before proceeding to try to subjugate them into submission?

    dying to win by robeTr a pape….on why suicide bombers do what they do……
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/reading-list.html

  16. Richard – you wrote in response to my question about why HAMAS attacks the Gaza border crossings as:
    ————————–
    Because that is where the Israeli are & they wish to attack the IDF. They object to Gaza being under siege & the crossing points are symbols of their imprisonment & of the brutish Occupation.
    ————————–

    If they keep attacking the Israeli personnel there, how do you expect the border crossing to function normally? You are saying that they forcing Israel to keep it closed in response to Israeli closing it? Does that make sense?

  17. Gee, now why would Hamas attack an access point that is being occupied and controlled by a foreign army that has caused them nothing but misery. . .let see, . . that one is a pickler. . . I mean if the Mexican Army put a blockade at our boarders and coasts, we Americans would be lowering our heads begging for mercy, will we not?

    Why is the Israeli/Palestinian debate populated by consummate morons?

  18. Richard, is the Amir here none other than Benador’s Amir Taheri, originator of the ‘Jews wear yellow stars in Iran’ story, and other questionable ‘propaganda’ pieces for the neocolonial con? I think we should know!

  19. “Half baked ideas about Islam…not worth a hill of beans…Islamophobic, neocon tracts”?? Excuse me? I really think you’re afraid of me. For what other reason do you insult me again? I’ve been studying since the age of 16– I’m now 52. I’ve been a body-guard and as such have been to war-crimes trials and hate-crimes trials, and now I’m a neocon? What vice, please tell me, makes me a neo-con? Why are you so discomposed by my totally transparent questions, Mr. Silverstein?

    With all your rote phrases and insults, it sounds to me like you’re reading “tracts.” I don’t understand your hatred of simple truths. It totally nonplusses me. You sound like a sciolist.

    “Muslim turncoat” ??? Wafa Sultan is a “Muslim turncoat”? Wafa Sultan is not a Muslim. Period. She has repudiated Islam. You’re denigrating her as a coward for this? You have no idea what you’re saying. This is irresponsible of you, and slanderous.

    InitiaIly, I really liked your blog here, Mr. Siverstein. Now I think you are not dispassionate enough to have a freindly and constructive discussion about anything. This is your example of “tikun olam”? I’ve made a mistake in visiting this blog.

    Peace.

    “He who has friends should be friendly.”

    Respectfully,
    Michael Devolin

  20. While I happen to have many wonderful Muslim friends

    Ah, yes the old “some of my best friends are…” routine. How tiresome.

    ***Richard – In my line of business I work closely with many Muslims and have developed friendships with quite a few of them over the years. They are FAR more critical of the extremists that kill others in the name of Allah than you seem to be.

    given how many fundamentalist Muslims there are

    Interesting that you’re fixated on the number of “fundamentalist Muslims” but unconcerned by the number of fundamentalist Christians or Jews for that matter. Fundamentalist Muslims are not a problem for the world. But extremist Muslims prone to violence are. And there is a difference. There are tens of millions of what might be called fundamentalist Muslims as there are too of fundamentalist Christians. They are not the problem so much as those who are willing to turn to hate, intolerance & violence to advance their theology/ideology.

    ***I never said I wasn’t concerned about Christian and Jewish fundamentalists. I think they are nuts as well and quite dangerous. The fundamentalism is what leads them to being willing to see others as being outside of the circle of acceptance. I just don’t see the Christian and Jewish fundamentalist extremists as being on a war rampage the same way extremist fundamentalist Muslims are at this time in history. Now I will concede on your semantics — Not all fundamentalists Muslims (or Jews or Christians) are extremists and willing to kill the other for their version of God.

    Reasonable Muslims who don’t buy into the crap in the Koran that is BS

    I find it amazing that so many of those who know so little about Islam but claim to know so much can speak so disrespectfully about one of the world’s major religious tracts. If you said this about my own Tanach I would flay you. What gives you the right to speak so crudely about a book you know so little about except what you read at some site like Little Green Footballs or Frontpagmagazine and the like?

    ***I’m just commenting on what extremist fundamentalist Muslims are saying it says. You got a problem with that Richard, take it up with the extremist Fundamentalist Muslims. They must have misread it.

    the enemy of my enemy (read Bush) is my friend?

    I find it odious and a calumny that you would claim w/o a shred of evidence that I am a “friend” of the mullahs of Iran. You are treading on very thin ice.

    ***I wasn’t talking about you personally Richard, but I have had more than one conversation with friends on the radical Left who are big fans of Ahmadinejad and his alliance with Hugo Chavez. They root for anyone that opposes Bush, who they see as the great satan. Read Reuven Kaminer if you don’t believe me.

    How do you intend to influence them to a adopt a less extremist version and practice of Islam that will not demonize the infidel and provide justification for killing anyone considered to be outside of the ummah and a thus a threat to Muslim interests?

    My job in life is not to fulfill yr expectations or yr agenda. My job in life is to fulfill my own. My role is not to be a light unto the Muslims. My job is to speak about the Israeli-Arab conflict and spread the word as a Jew that there is an alternative to violence & hatred. If you want to preach to Muslims by all means do so. But with the ignorance & condescending generalizations you’ve made about the religion I don’t believe many will take you very seriously.

    ***I actually admire you for speaking out as Jew to your fellow Jews about an alternative to violence and hatred. By all means keep doing so, but please Richard, don’t try to whitewash the problems with extremist Islamic Fundamentalism. It seriously undermines your credibility.

    ***btw Wafa Sultan is an incredible woman. We should all be so courageous.

  21. Yeah, Mike, let’s listen to yet another expat who is clearly running an alterior agenda. It was certainly one of the ways the neocons conned us into a Palestine-like occupation of Eye-Rack in the first place.

    I can’t say it was nice knowing ya.

  22. All right, let’s not get carried away by who’s to blame, who’s worse than whom and who’s more at fault. This will get us all precisely nowhere. It does not address the issue? But what then is the issue?

    The tale is one as old as time. Two groups, two tribes of marginally different ethnic backgrounds are vying for control, dominance, possession of one small piece of this big ball of mud we all happen to be living on. This is something that has occurred over and over again across the millennia. Throughout all of Earth’s history there have always been these disputes, leading more often than not to bloodshed and death. It is not one of the most edifying facets of human endeavour but, nevertheless, it does happen and still far too frequently – even in this day and age.

    What is manifestly obvious here, even from a cursory scan of the viewpoints on this website, is the likelihood that no overall improvement seems probable now or in the foreseeable future. Unless some fundamental framework is put in place that regulates the activities and attitudes of those for whom violence and victimisation have become very much the norm, that future does indeed look extremely bleak.

    Time to rethink the matter then and realise that an answer cannot be sourced entirely from within the conflict. We are all involved here; there can be no exceptions. What we really need is a more inclusive solution, some Deus Ex Machina to which we can all subscribe and which, at least, manages to unite us all in common cause.

    The point is surely that, after so long an exposure to this type of circumstance, that innate facility of the human mind to confront such problems, to seek out answers for them, should be exercised.

    You know my position on that score, Richard.

  23. I really think you’re afraid of me

    Oh, please. Don’t flatter yrself.

    I don’t understand your hatred of simple truths.

    Writing that Islam has a “primitive hatred of Jews” is neither simple nor true. You’ve boiled a very complex issue down in such a way as to render it devoid of substance or truth.

    Wafa Sultan is a “Muslim turncoat”? Wafa Sultan is not a Muslim. Period. She has repudiated Islam.

    Precisely. In order to become a “turncoat” you have to repudiate something. Hence, she is a turncoat.

    You’re denigrating her as a coward

    I never said a word about her being a “coward.” A fool perhaps, but not a coward. To take on the entire Arab world requires a certain amt. of courage, though that courage is utilized for a base & false purpose.

    “He who has friends should be friendly.”

    You have the unmitigated chutzpah to deliver presumptuous, hateful, false statements about the nature of Islam & then talk to me of “friendliness.” Puh-leeze.

  24. is the Amir here none other than Benador’s Amir Taheri

    No, not at all. The Amir who comments here is Israeli & I believe has more credibility (though I still disagree w. him much of the time) than Taheri.

  25. They are FAR more critical of the extremists that kill others in the name of Allah than you seem to be.

    And you know my attitude toward violent Islamic extremists how?? You clearly don’t have a clue about this subject given that statement. Go back & do some research here before you spout such inanities.

    I just don’t see the Christian and Jewish fundamentalist extremists as being on a war rampage

    Then you haven’t been reading the media. Jewish extremists kill, threaten, assault & perform acts of violence against Palestinians on a regular basis. I would agree that Muslim extremists are a more wide raging global threat. But don’t lose sight of the hate that exists in other religions as well.

    I’m just commenting on what extremist fundamentalist Muslims are saying it says.

    No, reread what you wrote. You didn’t qualify yr statement about the “crap in the Koran” to indicate you were referring to what Islamic extremists claim it says. You made a blanket statement about the book itself.

    don’t try to whitewash the problems with extremist Islamic Fundamentalism.

    I have NEVER whitewashed the problems with Islamic extremism. Again, you’re only showing yr ignorance of what I’ve written here & believe. I may not adhere to yr agenda, but that’s far diff. than whitewashing violence & murder–a characterization I object to strenuously.

  26. Mr. Devolin, your intellectual insecurity is quite a sight to behold. You’re in way over your head, buddy. Do you have any idea how idiotic it sounds to an objective, critically thinking observer to just blanketly state that the great world religion of Islam has “a primitive hatred of Jews”? I sometimes wonder what it would be like to inhabit the mind of someone who could write something as moronic and intellectually debilitated as that. This debate sure brings out some intellectual “moonbats” (to snarkily borrow an expression from the equally moronic Bill O’Reilly).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link