J Street Pimps Noa’s U.S. Concert Tour, Israeli Performer Who Supported Gaza War, Accused Hamas of Rape
Lately J Street has made a few lame political decisions, one of them being joining with Stand With Us and the ADL in denouncing the Berkeley student divestment initiative. I’ve also been annoyed to discover that J Street is promoting Noa’s national concert tour:
STG Presents NOA with special guest MIRA AWAD
The Moore Theatre, Thursday, April 29, 2010, 8:00pm
Please join xxxxx in supporting the work of J Street:
Welcome Israeli artist Noa (Achinoam Nini) and Palestinian artist Mira Awad to Seattle. Noa and Mira will speak about their music and why they support J Street. This is a great chance to meet two talented artists face-to-face, and learn more about the work of J Street , in a beautiful lakefront setting.
Achinoam Nini, also known by her professional name Noa, is Israel’s leading international concert and recording artist. Over the span of a 15 year career with Gil Dor they produced four successful Israeli albums and four international albums.
Mira Awad, a Palestinian actress, singer and songwriter living in Israel, collaborated with Noa (Achinoam Nini) in her album “Now”, Idan Raichel in his second album “Mema’amakim”, Greek singer George Dalaras, and with hip hop artist Guy Mar. Mira is an actress with the Tel-Aviv Cameri Theatre, and on the TV series “Arab Labour”. She is featured in the movie “The Bubble”, recorded the theme songs for the films “Forgiveness” and “Lemon Tree.” Her debut album “Bahlawan-Acrobat” was released in May 2009, and was musically produced by guitarist Amos Ever-Hadani.
They’re apparently unaware that Noa voiced strong support for Operation Cast Lead, claimed Gazans sought Hamas’ overthrow, and expressed a devout wish that Israel would accomplish the task for them. She also called Hamas “Nazi-like” and ” a cancer,” accusing it of acts of rape and other heinous crimes which were baseless accusations. Here’s a taste of her ranting in case Jeremy Ben Ami didn’t do his due diligence before endorsing this woman’s performances:
I see the ugly head of fanaticism, I see it large and horrid, I see its black eyes and spine-chilling smile, I see blood on its hands and I know one of its many names: Hamas.You know this too, my brothers. You know this ugly monster. You know it is raping your women and raping the minds of your children. You know it is educating to hatred and death. You know it is chauvinistic and violent, greedy and selfish, it feeds on your blood and screams out Allah’s name on vain, it hides like a thief, uses the innocent as human shields, uses your mosques as arsenals, lies and cheats, uses YOU, tortures you, holds you hostage!!
I know this is true my brothers!! I know YOU know the truth!! And I know you cannot say it for fear of life so I will say it for you!!
…I know that deep in your hearts YOU WISH for the demise of this beast called Hamas who has terrorized and murdered you, who has turned Gaza into a trash heap of poverty, disease and misery. Who in the name of “allah” has sacrificed you on the bloody alter of pride and greed.
…I can only wish for you that Israel will do the job we all know needs to be done, and finally RID YOU of this cancer, this virus, this monster called fanaticism, today, called Hamas. And that these killers will find what little compassion may still exist in their hearts and STOP using you and your children as human shields for their cowardice and crimes.
Here is how Noa attempted to justify Israel’s election of the rightist Netanyahu government. She explained that the result shouldn’t be surprising in light of:
…The INCREDIBLE propaganda spread around the world by the ENORMOUS amount of Anti-Semites and Jew- haters who are bent on destroying Israel. When the Israeli population sees the lies spread around, the hypocrisy of the world who sees Israel as the aggressor rather than a country acting in self defence, a world whose eyes are blind to the killing and the massacres by the MUSLIM fanatics of the Palestinian people, of Fatah, of women who dare to raise their head, of ANYONE who does not agree with them, when the Israeli people who number 7 million, 1.5 million of them Arabs, see around them 1.5 BILLION Arabs, with hardly ONE voice raised in peace, compared to the ENDLESS Israeli and Jewish voices raised in peace
I realize that Noa is a performer and not a political analyst. But if she wants to make public political statements she has a responsibility to speak the truth and use facts rather than lies and prejudice. The passages above reveal her to be woefully uninformed about issues on which she claims to have some expertise and certainly some passion. Given the venom in these statements, why would J Street want to support her?
J Street also doesn’t seem to realize that the Israeli government, through the Israel Broadcasting Authority, cooked up the idea of Noa and Israeli Palestinian performer Mira Awad entering the Eurovision song contest singing a banal There Must Be Another Way. They also sing a baleful version of the Lennon-McCarthy, We Can Work it Out, as if solving the Israel-Palestine conflict was as easy as repairing a lover’s quarrel. For this they were “rewarded” with 16th place in the competition–a lackluster showing helped by the fact that the audience clearly saw through the hasbara nature of the performance.
J Street appears to believe that Noa and Awad together represent the best of what Israel is capable. Under other circumstances I might agree. I quite like Noa’s music and I find Mira Awad a compelling performer and I’ve written this here before. But I do not see how an American Jewish peace group can lend support to this enterprise given Noa’s shameful behavior during the Gaza war and her co-optation by the government to do its bidding in the propaganda wars subsequently.
Udi Aloni wrote a powerful critique of Noa’s support for the Gaza war.
I want to make clear that when J Street stands up for the right thing, I’m there to support it and I have done so. But when it steps in dog-doo as it has here, it deserves criticism and will hear it from me.
89 thoughts on “J Street Pimps Noa’s U.S. Concert Tour, Israeli Performer Who Supported Gaza War, Accused Hamas of Rape – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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j street unaware? j street is a collaborator. j stands for jews only israel.
J Street is moving closer to Aipac every day and everyone should lambaste them for it. I’m glad you’re condemning this move and other backward moves they made which defy reason.
What can I say about an artist who promotes hateful propaganda? Her gift should have been given to somone more deserving! Someone who practices Tikkun Olam!
I applaud your article!
Hello Richard Silverstein, hope you won’t mind my pointing out that this piece reads as though Mira Awad was responsible for those statements about Hamas and she wasn’t. These are dangerous times in Israel. Maybe it would be prudent to rectify by adjusting:
“They’re apparently unaware that she voiced strong support for Operation Cast Lead….”
“They’re apparently unaware that Noa (Achinoam Nini) voiced strong support for Operation Cast Lead….” ?
Always interesting to read you.
I will note that. Of course, Awad didn’t support the war, though I never read any statement she made about it. I had hoped she would’ve said something publicly. If anyone has read anything in this vein pls. let me know.
No, Mira Awad did not support the Gaza massacre (it was not a war, Richard, please stop calling it that), but she identifies as Palestinian, and has chosen to associate herself closely with someone who did support it very adamantly and very vocally, and to make matters worse, she does so with the apparent pretense that the two of them are seeking peace. That is simply despicable. In her position, I would find it impossible to even look at Noa or hear her voice, let alone collaborate with her. That Mira Awad does so makes me feel sick to my stomach.
I hate to say I told you so, Richard. But how many times have I? Ben Ami, in an email exchange last year even admitted to me that J Street IS a part of the Lobby.
Of course it’s part of the Lobby. It’s a “kinder, gentler” AIPAC.
Or as Omar Barghouti describes J-Street: “Aipac Lite”
I think Omar Barghouti is wrong about many things including this one. I’m perfectly prepared to criticize J St. & have done so. But it is NOT Aipac, not nearly.
I usually agree with you on everything but I too feel that J Street is Aipac Lite.
J-Street is doing what it is supposed to do, stand where “left Zionists” have always stood, peaceful ethnic cleansing in collaboration with a few “display only” natives.
I always suspected that J Street exists for the left-leaning Zionists who can’t admit to themselves that Israel is killing the Palestinians and will not stop until it has taken all the land. It’s a salve to the conscience; one can “support Israel” and still be a peacenik, disavowing any responsibility for the slow genocide of Palestinians.
Let’s get some facts straight now, shall we?
Foreign ministry was totally against it, and still is against their collaboration today.
The Eurovision Song contest is a contest of NEW songs, so they of course did not sing that song. but a song called “There Must be Another Way”. Placed 16th of 37 songs, so no drubbing either. If this is how you get your trivial facts across, you probably fabricate the really important facts as well.
As for the rest of the crap you wrote, luckily, all three of you don’t really mean anything in the real world.
They were nominated by the Israel Broadcasting Authority, the government media association. They are representatives of the Israeli government. Can you present any evidence that the MFA is against their participation in Eurovision?
I wrote much of this post from memory of events that occurred some time ago. I erred in some details. It appears you are right & they ranked 16th & not 27th. But for Israel’s pre-eminent international pop artist to finish 16th is an embarrassment. Not to mention that Israel’s contestant last yr finished 9th.
Noa & Awad have sung an especially lame version of We Can Work It Out. But you are correct that they sang There Must Be a Way at Eurovision, also not an especially impressive song (watch the video) as their ranking in the competition showed.
I dare you to find any.
I’m still unclear as to how Israel qualifies to be have an entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, or is it open to all Middle Eastern states?
Israel gets some sort of dispensation. I’m not sure how that happens.
A Although geographically not in Europe, Israel is within the European Broadcasting Area and can thus participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. The “European Broadcasting Area” includes the northern part of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and part of the territory of Turkey so the reason why Israel participates (and not Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Jordan) is political/ethnic/emotional.
The boon for Israel (even if not winning) is that it can have some vamp call in to announce the Israeli votes with the introduction: “Shalom, this is Jerusalem calling, the eternal capital of the Jewish state.” (Followed by the announcement: “Irelande douze points.”)
The Zionists intended to found a European Jewish state, and that is what they did. They didn’t even really want non-European Jews, whom they looked down on almost as much as they looked down on Arabs. Due to a combination of factors, including the fact that they desperately needed to get the Jewish population numbers up quickly, they ended up recruiting and transporting hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab and other eastern countries, and set about trying to ashkenize them, mostly unsuccessfully. Some of them fought it very openly, others more quietly and privately, and still others either tried to fit in, or just stayed to themselves while their children born in Israel were embarrassed by them.
Israel still wants to think of itself as a European country, and “oriental” Jews, who it seems just can’t easily be turned into nice Europeans, still very much occupy a lower stratum where they are looked down upon by the Ashkenazim. Their communities receive fewer government funds, their schools are of a lower quality, and they have tended to be shuttled off to marginal areas and “development” towns such as Sderot.
Mira Awad is a despicable sellout.
I think you’re being unfair. I don’t see her as being an equal partner in this project. Yes, she may be exploiting Noa’s greater fame & access to music industry goodies. I’m sure she rationalizes this by saying she can do more for her people on the inside than by being righteous & on the outside. She may be wrong in this, but I don’t think it’s fair to see her as equally bad in this transaction. She has far less power in this relationship than Noa. And the sad truth is that at least partially due to her involvement w. Noa she has produced her first record in Israel. Very few Israeli Palestinians have produced solo records. And she is a gifted performer & actress. So it’s a mixed bag.
Noa is the bad one because of her statements during the war. She obviously is exploiting Awad & using her to say what a good Israeli she is to partner w. an Arab.
I don’t think I am being unfair, at all, Richard. Would you be making these kinds of excuses for a Jewish artist who had ridden to success on the coattails of someone who expressed support for the attack on the Warsaw ghetto? I think not.
If Awad has expressed support for the Gaza massacre then I would agree with you completely. But she hasn’t. I don’t think she’s done the right thing in this. And I don’t think she really understands fully the political implications of what they’re doing & how it aids Israel’s hasbara image. But I still find it difficult to blame her to the degree that I blame Noa. Perhaps they’re both being morally blind, but if it can be said that the blind lead the blind then Noa is leading Mira.
Richard, seriously, if a Jewish artist had attached herself to someone whom she knew made strong statements in support of the Warsaw Ghetto massacre would you be so forgiving? I am not a Jew, and I would not. In fact, I would have serious issues with a gentile who attached herself to such a person.
That Mira Awad has sold out her Palestinian heritage and her Palestinian brethren to strongly identify herself with this Noa person is a blot on her as a human being, a Palestinian, and an artist. It is particularly odious given that their shtick is so at odds with Noa’s attitude toward Palestinians. How can Mira Awad seriously sing about “a better way” or whatever it is with someone to whom massacring hundreds of Palestinian children – or children of any sort – and destroying the lives of the survivors is something to be endorsed? Either Mira Awad is naive to the point of being completely stupid, or she is willing to sell her soul for success. Either way is completely despicable.
Contrast Mira Awad with the wonderful classical Iraqi musician Amer Tawfiq, who stuck to his principles and destroyed what might have been a brilliant career by refusing to perform for Saddam Hussein. He preferred to keep his honour intact and gave up fame and fortune to do so. He is still well-known and respected by music lovers within Iraq, but has had a very, very limited career as a performer. He still has his integrity, though. Mira Awad has sacrificed hers, and has betrayed her heritage by collaborating with someone who endorses the mass murder and horrific collective punishment of Palestinians.
J Street has been a real disappointment. Probably getting that glowing article in the NYT Sunday Magazine some time back should have told me that they were going to turn out this way.
im sorry, but because you disagree with her statements, she must not be speaking the truth?
will you call for a boycott of her music the way the republicans did to the dixie chicks?
btw, when she uses the term, “raping your women” could it not be more allegorical, as in, strict islamic code removes much of the freedoms of women?
would you not agree that teaching children to hate as is seen in hamas tv shows does indeed rape children’s minds?
Would you not agree that the constant sight and sound of soldiers and violence rapes children’s minds?
nice attempt at moral relativism
take away the soldiers and hamas still makes their kiddy programs, where they explain the change of funny animal characters by telling the story of how the cute mickey mouse clone was martyred
but no, i dont believe the very sight and sound of soldiers alone rapes childrens minds
I cannot endorse the Farfour series, but the MEMRI translation, upon which I am sure you base your view of it, was fraudulent to say the least, and gave a very badly distorted idea of the message. Some of the translations were shockingly wrong, and could not have been inadvertently mistranslated. In other words, MEMRI had to have intentionally misrepresented what the characters were saying.
“, i dont believe the very sight and sound of soldiers alone rapes childrens minds”
Living under Israeli occupation as it has been conducted most assuredly rapes children’s minds, and worse, it destroys their lives.
Whether or not it’s allegorical is irrelevant; it’s vicious, destructive propaganda! Worse of all she knows that some people will take it literally.
I don’t think Hamas has an exclusive on teaching children to hate. I have Israeli Jewish friends who tell me they were taught pretty much the same about “Arabs” at school.
being a relatively recent graduate of a Israeli school, I can say that I was definetly not taught to hate arabs. However, I was taught what the Green Line is and where is it. Besides that, the modern history of the conflict, since 1967 was mostly ignored.
Let’s contrast it with what Hamas does. No hamas textbook mentions some partition of Palestine into two staets. For Hamas, there is no Israel on the map.
Not to mention that as uncle joe said above hamas tv tells children to hate Israel and another well known fact is that hamas summer camps teach 5 year-olds to disassemle and assemble rifles, besides the usual anti Israeli indoctrination
And what about woman rights? Separate beaches (mandatory!), modesty police etc.
I don’t think Israel is perfect in any of those respects but the comparison itself between Israel and Hamas is absurd.
More to the point of the article, Ahinoam Nini is mostly right about Hamas even if not in *every* factual statement.
Hamas is radical-muslim, chuvinist anti semitic movement that opresses under it’s rule pretty much anybody who is not a white straight righteous muslim male.
Whether or not members of hamas rape women or not is nitpicking.
What kind of movement Hamas is, is none of your business if it is there because the people of Gaza elected it. Separate beaches, etc., are not unusual anywhere in the Islamic world, and if you’re going to cite such instances of allegedly egregious rule, you need to do better than that. The people I know in Gaza are generally pleased with Hamas’ rule, and those who are not still say they prefer it to the corruption of the PA.
You can harp on the Hamas as Terrorist meme until you are blue in the face, but it isn’t going to help in negotiating any peace. Your boilerplate claims are pure hasbara and do not reflect the present reality.
i agree….the people of gaza elected hamas as their legal representatives
we do not have the right to tell them how to vote
however, if that is the case, then actions performed by hamas as their legal reps will have consequences on all the people
so if hamas says in their charter that israel cannot exist, the people who voted for them must support that charter
and when hamas fires rockets into israeli territory, the people must therefore support those actions
would you agree with those statements?
and if you do, would you then please explain to me why any action by israel in regards to gaza immediately becomes “collective punishment”?
“however, if that is the case, then actions performed by hamas as their legal reps will have consequences on all the people”
I see you are a proponent of collective punishment, which as you know is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.
“so if hamas says in their charter that israel cannot exist, the people who voted for them must support that charter”
How do you know who voted for them and who did not? And only hasbarists repeatedly dust off the Hamas Charter as a reason to collectively punish the citizens of Gaza.
“and when hamas fires rockets into israeli territory, the people must therefore support those actions”
First of all, this is not necessarily true, is a childish generalization and a non-argument. In addition, there is the pesky little fact that Hamas rockets have practically ceased since January 2009 and that Hamas has recently adopted the policy that the firing of rockets is counterproductive.
The main thrust of things is, Israel violates international law, including human rights laws, and these violations are classified as collective punishment under the Geneva Conventions.
I agree the comparison between Israel and Hamas is absurd.
The fans of this blog are so sensitive to Hamas’ feelings being hurt because Noa said that Hamas raped Gaza. The fact that Richard said “J STREET PIMPS NOA’S U.S. CONCERT TOUR” and is essentially calling Achinoam Nini a whore seems to bother nobody here. Or is their another definition of “pimp” that I’m not aware of.
The difference is that she actually said that Hamas rapes Palestinian women and I didn’t call Noa a whore. Other than that, you’re absolutely right (in other words–about nothing). You should look up a colloquial English dictionary if you’re having trouble understanding my meaning:
But my usage was slightly different. I meant that J Street was promoting something morally objectionable.
to be clear, not once did noa claim that hamas actually rapes women
read the statement again
I see the ugly head of fanaticism, I see it large and horrid, I see its black eyes and spine-chilling smile, I see blood on its hands and I know one of its many names: Hamas.You know this too, my brothers. You know this ugly monster. You know it is raping your women and raping the minds of your children.
fanaticism is not an actual being…unless i am mistaken and there is some guy in gaza named fanaticism…then i apologize
“fanaticism is not an actual being…unless i am mistaken and there is some guy in gaza named fanaticism…”
You are really making this entirely too easy. There is no sport in it when you disprove your own claims.
The closest preceding noun in this passage to the word “rape” is not “fanaticism” but “Hamas.” Besides, she actually equates Hamas with fanaticism & clearly she sees no difference bet. them. So sorry, She’s accused Hamas of raping women. And as other readers have commented here–it makes little diff. as to whether she’s claiming that Hamas has actually raped real women or ony allegorically done so. I know women who have really been raped and I find it deeply offensive that she would speak in these terms whether allegorical or actual. Rape is something that is sui generis & should not be used as a rhetorical device to score political pts. in a debate precisely as Noa has done.
How would you know what voices were or weren’t raised in Gaza? Do you read Arabic? Do you do anything at all to understand what the views of Gazans are? Then how would you presume to know whether such voices were raised. The fact of the matter is that public opinion polls show that a considerable portion of Palestinian society feels that suicide bombings and rocket attacks aren’t helping the Palestinian cause. That is one of the major reasons why all of these tactics have been used very sparingly. They are not generally accepted by the population.
I have a comment rule about monopolizing the threads and 8 comments in a day is quite enough. If you have anything to say you should be able to say it in 2 or 3 comments in any given day. Do not be a thread hog. Neither I nor other readers want to spend more time than necessary rebutting yr. distortions.
Hamas is fanatic. And for the most part what Noa said is true. Hamas has done things as bad as rape.
Everything you’ve said holds true of Israel as well.
Actually, Hamas is far, far more rational and far less fanatci than the present Israeli power structure and those it caters to.
if you believe in democracy, then you believe that it doesnt matter who you voted for…the ruling government is your representative
no, i do not believe in collective punishment…i believe that term is used incorrectly
“dust off the hamas charter” you must be joking
does the charter exist? is hamas not to be taken at its own word?
and you are right….rocket attacks from hamas have “virtually” ceased….but they havent stopped completely, nor have they prosecuted even one of the other factions who have also used rocket attacks
call me childish if you will, but under a democracy, the people do have a responsibilty for the actions of their government
i recall the mass demonstrations against the iraq war here in the states. i see people speaking out all the time regarding the actions that are continuing in afghanistan and pakistan
where were the voices in gaza when hamas and others were shelling sdeirot?
mary and uncle joe – the “virtual cessation” of rocket fire is a direct consequence of Cast Lead. Israel put a high price tag on rocket fire, Hamas won’t risk it. There’s no reason to believe Hamas suddenly discovered a respect for human rights.
As for the election. you really should disabuse yourself of the notion of free elections in Gaza. There were none. We all know historic examples of allegedly allegedly “free elections” in various countries. The idea of free elections requires more than the freedom to cast a vote. It requires a freedom of speech (and a respect for it) and a general respect for your political opponent.
It also requires the citizens to have some economic independence. Now, many in Gaza live on donations from Hamas and otherwise use social services provided by them to supporters only. Are these people free voters or bribed, intimidated voters fearing there might be consequences to the “wrong” vote?
Let’s consider what happened in Gaza after the elections. When tensions arose between Hamas and Fatah, the solution was a violent military revolt. During and after the revolt, many prominent Fatah members in Gaza were executed. Now, Gaza is under a single party rule with no elections in sight. In today’s Gaza, Hamas’ Gaza, one had to be a fool to publicly oppose Hamas.
Then there’s also the “technical” issue of fair vote count, which wasn’t observed and verified by anyone.
Indeed, the highest of democratic traditions, an example to us all.
Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center personally monitored the elections in Gaza. Who are you to say they were not honest? Put something credible, a link, into your comment if you are going to make such an assertion.
There has been plenty of indication recently of a change in Hamas’ politics; are you now whining as to the reason why? You sound as if you demand nothing less than love for the occupiers by the occupied.
And are you really going to sell your version of the internal politics of Palestinians as fact? And that somehow you have a leg to stand on morally to this effect?
Don’t even try to start a discussion about whether one thing or another is a democracy; it’s way off topic.
Everything you say is canned hasbara rubbish and there is no point in arguing these old canards again and again.
dude…you are preaching to the choir when you address me
i know how hamas rose to power…it is the others on this blog that choose not to accept reality
i also know why there are very few rockets raining down on sdeirot….hard to make rockets when your bomb factories have been blown to smithereens
Oh, you mean that Iran has stopped shipping rockets into Gaza? And nothing is getting through the Rafah crossing?
Are you utterly oblivious, or do you choose not to read even Israeli newspapers telling you that Hamas has deliberately stopped rockets and is fining and imprisoning people whom it catches at it? And that they have been making political progress in Europe, not by firing weapons but by engaging in diplomacy?
Find a new routine, please.
“the “virtual cessation” of rocket fire is a direct consequence of Cast Lead.”
Oh really? And do tell us to what do you attributed the complete cessation of rocket fire by Hamas during the 2008 ceasefire, and its virtual cessation by all other groups (as confirmed by the Israeli MOD)?
“you really should disabuse yourself of the notion of free elections in Gaza.”
You really should stop copying and pasting the hasbara boilerplate you get in e-mails or find on websites. The elections in Gaza were monitored and certified by Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center, and the UN. They were as fair as elections can be when they are conducted under foreign occupation.
“Then there’s also the “technical” issue of fair vote count, which wasn’t observed and verified by anyone.”
More demonstrably contra-factual nonsense without, of course, a shred of evidence to confirm it because there is none. The vote counts were verified.
“It also requires the citizens to have some economic independence. Now, many in Gaza live on donations from Hamas and otherwise use social services provided by them…”
Gosh! And why, do you suppose, the voters in Gaza do not have economic independence? Could it be because Israel intentionally and systematically deprives them of that? And frankly, sir, you haven’t got a clue what you are yammering about on any part of this subject. 1) Everyone I know who lives in Gaza voted for Hamas, and not one of them receives any donations or services from them. One of them, in fact, is employed by Fatah, and has continued on the Fatah payroll since the US and Israel-backed Fatah coup failed and Fatah was confined to the West Bank. 2) Most of the Christians I know voted for Hamas. 3) Last I knew Hamas did not only provide donations and services to its supporters. In fact, there is no way for them to tell whether someone is really a supporter or not, so they couldn’t impose that requirement even if they wanted to.
“When tensions arose between Hamas and Fatah, the solution was a violent military revolt.”
That’s right. Instigated, armed, and supported by Israel and the U.S. Fatah attempted a revolt against the duly elected Hamas government, but Hamas found out just in time to preempt the Fatah revolt, and forced Fatah out of Gaza.
“In today’s Gaza, Hamas’ Gaza, one had to be a fool to publicly oppose Hamas.”
And how do you explain the fact that so many in the West Bank voted for Hamas?
Thank you, Shirin, for your perfect response. Nothing I can add to it.
I apologize for my claim about the elections themselves, I was not aware of them being monitored by the Carter Center.
Nonetheless, there’s more to democracy than elections.
“Gosh! And why, do you suppose, the voters in Gaza do not have economic independence?”
I can think of quite a few reasons. launching rockets is one of them, using any available resources to build an army and enrich corrupt Hamas officials is also one of them.
Before the second intifada, Gaza had an airport, and an open border for trade, all a result of the Oslo accords. Their economy was growing. Now they can ask themselves who’s idea was it to launch a new intifada, and why.
However, the *reason* for their economic dependence on Hamas is irrelevant. There is a *deep dependence* on various Hamas institutions which make a democracy impossible.
“When tensions arose between Hamas and Fatah, the solution was a violent military revolt.”
“That’s right. Instigated, armed, and supported by Israel and the U.S. Fatah attempted a revolt against the duly elected Hamas government”
Do you have any evidence of a planned anti-Hamas revolt? Or of Israeli support for Fatah in Gaza? You’re probably referring to that article by David Rose in Vanity Fair. However, an article here:
claims the violence resulted from Hamas’ refusal to accept a unified police force, as it should have in any reasonable government.
Besides, the Hamas’ revolt, is a different event which took place half a year later, in June. It was unprovoked and was driven by Hamas’ refusal to accept previous treaties and agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority which made a united Hamas-Fatah government impossible.
“In today’s Gaza, Hamas’ Gaza, one had to be a fool to publicly oppose Hamas.”
“And how do you explain the fact that so many in the West Bank voted for Hamas?”
Pretty much the same way I explained it before. However, I can’t see how your reply is relevant to the issue i present here. There is no freedom of speech or freedom of organization in Gaza. You can’t voice your opinion without being afraid of retribution.
Here’s another question for you:
When are the next elections? Being such a democratic movement, Hamas surely would allow the people of Gaza to try elect someone else, right?
“You really should stop copying and pasting the hasbara boilerplate you get in e-mails or find on websites”
calling any arguments “hasbara boilerplate” doesn’t change the possibility of those arguments being correct. note that I do not call your arguments “liberal left-wing pacifism” or anything like that. Instead, I seriously try to understand them.
Your arguments are not correct. Zionism apologist boilerplate, that is all they are, and they do not reflect the situation on the ground in Gaza or anywhere else. Along with the same old mantra of “Hamas is a terrorist organization,” you are saying nothing new or worth debating. Richard will probably tell you that these arguments have been made here hundreds of times, you are way off topic and have deliberately derailed the discussion to what YOU want to talk about.
I’m curious as to why you are asking about an anti-Hamas revolt, however. Why should there be one, when the people are not unhappy with Hamas rule? Is it because YOU want a revolt, so that YOU and your Zionist cronies can continue with the colonialization and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, and you need to get Hamas out of the way first? I’m asking merely rhetorically, however.
Like what? And the same can be said for Israel btw, which has a truncated democracy at best which favors Jews and disfavors non-Jews.
Listen carefully: read my comment rules & familiarize yrself w. them. You can make any arguments you wish here provided they are true and supported by credible sources. You cannot lie. You cannot state things that are patently false esp. if you cannot support them credibly. The above statement is flat out wrong & unsupported. If you can support it do so. If you can’t don’t make it again here & don’t make ANY statements like it. This is not a freewheeling rule-free debating society. This is a forum that has rules governing accuracy & evidence. Respect that, please.
Again, not true. They had a designated LOCATION for an airport which Israel refused to allow the PA to build or operate. Once again, I value accuracy. Value it as I do or you will find yrself facing difficulties here.
That is a lie. And I simply do not countenance them. I refer you to the paragraph that immediately precedes this one. You may pass this garbage off as legitimate argument other places you go on the web, but it’s not acceptable here. Speak truth. Speak facts.
That’s a gross exagerration. What you mean to say is that there is limited freedom of speech and organization. That’s not the same as what you did say. But then again, there is limited freedom of speech and organization in Israel. Certain ideas and organizations may not be spoken or represented in Israeli discourse. Not quite as bad as Hamas perhaps, but the limits are there nonetheless.
Maybe around the time that the PA holds its next election.
The evidence of a Fatah planned coup against Hamas encouraged by Bush administration officials is so well-known & supported by articles & evidence that questioning the fact is simply not credible.
A gem from Mazin Qumsiyeh’s newsletter:
“Dear Europe, Sorry about that cloud of ash over your heads and that you can’t travel anywhere. We feel just the same. Sincerely, Gaza”
Yes, that was brilliant.
It isn’t true that Hamas has not recognized Israel’s right to exist. It’s a convenient lie for Israel which wants to preserve its image as a “defenseless little state surrounded by enemies who want to drive it into the sea,” but Hamas has many times stated it recognizes Israel, if not as a Jewish state. I can’t argue with that myself. I don’t believe Israel can claim to be a democracy so long as it insists on calling itself a Jewish state.
And it’s true, and disturbing, that the Hamas government (democratically elected by the way) does not treat its women as it should; this is something we who support Palestinian freedom intend to address once Israel does the right thing and stops occupying and stealing Palestinian land, and when Palestinians either have their own state or when– which is more likely– there becomes a single state for all its people regardless of religion.
Other than Hamas’s insistence on a return to radical islam practices, I disagree with just about everything I read here from those who demonize Hamas. I am glad they are not firing rockets now. They were not firing rockets when Israel attacked them in December 2008. Hamas has declared a truce several times, and always it is Israel which has violated it. How can you justify Israel’s repeated incursions into Gaza to attack Palestinians, regardless of what it claims the Palestinians are doing? Yesterday Israel once again invaded Gaza and shot two Palestinians and a young woman from Malta who was helping the Palestinians work their own land.
As far as Hamas teaching its children to hate Jews, it’s possible but I have not seen proof. I have spoken to thousands of Palestinians who don’t hate Jews, and none who have said they do. The only Jews they have a problem with are those who come to kill them, whether soldier or settler. I would feel the same. Jews go into the West Bank regularly; many live there. Israelis of different religions report having no problems in Palestine, so long as they go as friends.
I have seen photos of settlers teaching their toddlers how to load UZIs, photos of young Israeli girls writing messages on rockets to be fired at civilians in Lebanon. Photos of Israelis holding barbecues while watching white phosphorous clouds over Gaza. I have been personally attacked and robbed by illegal Jewish settlers young enough to be my grandsons in an olive grove in Palestine, while IDF soldiers sat in their parked jeep nearby and did nothing.
If Hamas has maps that don’t delineate Israel, Israel publishes maps that imply that all the land is Israeli. I even saw a photograph of Jerusalem on a tin of macaroons at Trader Joe’s where the Al Aqsa Mosque had been completely airbrushed out.
When I was a child in England during the war I used to hear terms like Nazi and Hun, and I didn’t much like Germans because they kept dropping bombs on us. My German friend who was growing up in Germany at the same time said they felt the same way about us.
Fifteen years later when I went to Germany I was quite surprised to find the people were friendly and welcoming, and pretty much just like me except they spoke a different language.
Palestinian children, especially in Gaza today, can’t be expected to feel warm and fuzzy toward people who destroy their homes, schools, mosques and hospitals, kill their family members with bombs and rockets, burn their flesh with white phosphorous, turn them into orphans, and deprive them of the basic things they need to survive. To paraphrase the Rogers and Hammerstein song, children have to be carefully taught to hate, and in my opinion they don’t need Hamas to teach them while Israel is doing such a wonderful job of it.
Mary, I agree with everything you say except for one thing: How the Palestinians in Gaza treat their women, whatever ideology they choose to follow, is their business and not ours. To criticize and imply that anyone should “step in” and correct them is pure colonialism.
no problem at all with honor killings? with throwing rape victims into prison and giving them lashes?
you wouldnt speak out against human rights violations such as these?
No problem with using teenaged Palestinians as human shields? No problem with forcing Palestinian shepherds to rape their donkeys publicly? No problem with throwing a boy out of a jeep traveling 40 mph & killing him? No problem w. IDF T-shirts advocating shooting women & babies? You wouldnt’ speak out against human rights violations such as these?
It’s a pathetic stupid game you’re playing. ANd you’ll only lose at it.
did you honestly just compare a tin of macaroons to an official map???
and im sorry…you cant say one thing, then have an official document that says the exact opposite
and please post the israeli map that shows the west bank and gaza as a part of israel….doesnt exist
and boy…you have spoken to thousands of palestinians? when do you get the time to do anything else?
THis is truly ridiculous. Most Israeli maps show the West Bank as part of Israel. Of course they wouldn’t show Gaza as part of Israel since even Israel concedes it isn’t (all the while essentially occupying it as defined under international law).
I find this comment offensive. Watch your tone. I don’t like snark & don’t much like you. Just because this commenter has spoken to Palestinians & knows many while you clearly hardly know a one, doesn’t mean this is an issue deserving of insult.
You clearly don’t know how easy it is to assemble a rocket. If Hamas wanted rockets raining down on Sderot they would be.
Actually what they have recognised, as you yourself note, is Israel’s existence. And that’s all that can sensibly be demanded of anyone.
What those demanding recognition of Israel’s “right to exist” mean (and often say explicitly) is of course Israel’s claim to be the state of the entire Jewish people, as opposed to it’s citizens. But precisely that’s not subject to external recognition any more than Iran’s claim to be an “Islamic Republic” or China’s as “People’s Republic”. If that’s what those countries chose to call themselves, fine. But no foreign country can be forced to formally recognise the actual policy claims behind those names.
“What those demanding recognition of Israel’s “right to exist” mean (and often say explicitly) is of course Israel’s claim to be the state of the entire Jewish people, as opposed to it’s citizens.”
Thanks, that really clears things up for me. I am usually at a loss for words when people speak of “the right of Israel to exist” as I can never make out what is exactly implied with the expression (which is part of the purpose I sometimes suspect).
“Hamas has many times stated it recognizes Israel, if not as a Jewish state”. Excuse me? That’s the same as saying “I don’t recognize Israel”. Israel can surely both be a democracy and a Jewish state – it was decided so by a majority of Israelis who happen to be Jewish.
Would you say that France isn’t a democracy because it is a “French state” ?
Claiming you recognize an entity only if that entity gives up on an essential part of it is the same as not recognizing it at all.
“which is more likely– there becomes a single state for all its people regardless of religion”
You seriously need a reality check. Since when is being a Jew or a Palestinian is a matter of religion? It’s a matter of culture, of history, of language and most of all, of ethnic origin. Jews and Palestinians are different nations, there’s no reason why they should live in one state.
“They were not firing rockets when Israel attacked them in December 2008”. Check your facts. Sure they were- up to 60 a day, at least until Cast Lead started. here’s a source for you:
here’s a quote for you:
December 21st: “At least 50 rockets…”
December 24st: “More than 60 rockets…”
On December 27th, Israel responded with Cast Lead. Hardly an unprovoked response.
It is you who needs a reality check. As you say, Palestinian is not a religion. There are Jewish Palestinians, Muslim Palestinians, Christian Palestinians and probably a few Atheist Palestinians. For all I know there could be Buddhist Palestinians.
So far as I know there are no Christian Jews, Muslim Jews, Buddhist Jews, or Jews of any other religion except Jewish.
So of course France is a French state, and the U.S. is an American State, UK is a Brirish state. How on earth can you suggest Jewish is equal to any of these, or any other state that doesn’t name itself by its religion? In France the population is French, whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim or any other religion.
Bear in mind that most Israelis have no ethnic connection to Israel but are European converts or descendants of converts. So much for the “ethnic” argument.
This is a theory and a controversial one at that. It’s no more proven than the claim by Jews that they are direct descendants of King David & hence connected to the Land of Israel. And going this route allows Palestinian critics to argue that they are the product of tribes who migrated there & have no direct connection to the land either. I find all this theorizing to be impoverished and divorced fr. reality.
Sorry, Richard, I disagree. The “ethnocracy” of Israel is dependent upon an ethnic identity, and if you have Jews from Europe, Africa, the US, Australia and elsewhere, you have a religious commonality but not an ethnic one.
On the other hand, the Palestinians, or their ancestors, were born in Palestine.
But what bonds these Jews is more than just religion. Religion is only one factor. Being Jewish is more than merely a religious identity though that is an important part. There is language, food, literature, culture, ethnic traditions. In short, ethnicity though you don’t wish to call it that.
Do all Jews worldwide speak Hebrew and/or Yiddish? Do all, even the secular, observe kashrut? Outside of religious context, are Jewish authors appreciated by Jews more or in a fundamentally different way than by non-Jews? I’m thinking not of Israeli authors, writing in modern Hebrew, but of folks like Spinoza, Kant, Kafka etc., who seem to me to be appreciated equally by non-Jews.
I’m not being snippy, I honestly don’t know.
Yr first 2 questions are self evident I think. As for Jewish authors, I think some Jewish authors ARE appreciate more or differently by Jews than non-Jews. Not all Jewish authors. It really depends on the author, their audience, their subject, etc.
“Being Jewish is more than merely a religious identity though that is an important part.”
Given that most Jews are secular, and some probably relatively small number of non-secular Jews have embraced other religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, and, of course “Jews for Jesus-ism” come to mind immediately), I would say that religious belief or observance is not that much of a bond, though religious family history must be.
“There is language, food, literature, culture, ethnic traditions.”
This is a VERY Ashkenazi-centric notion, Richard. Arab Jews and European Jews, for example, have absolutely nothing in common in terms of language (unless, of course, you count liturgical language), food, or ethnic traditions. They do share some literature in common, but not all that much really, and most of what they share is pretty ancient stuff that comes from the Middle East, not from Europe. Even the foods served at a Passover Seder in Iraq, Yemen, or Morocco bear no resemblance to what is served at an Ashkenazi Passover table. European Jews and Jews of the Arab world don’t even share a common history really outside of the Biblical history, much of which is unverified, or have the same sense of themselves and their place as Jews in the greater society in which they have lived. As Iraqi-turned-Israeli intellectual Nissim Rejwan says, one of the differences is that unlike Europe the Arab world is one of the few places in which a Jew could live a full Jewish life while at the same time being integrated into the greater society. Something like the shtetl, or worse yet the ghetto, was never a feature of the Arab world.
Not quite true. Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Arabic–all these languages have a great deal of Hebrew in them. As for food, there are Sephardi & Ashkenazi food traditions that complement ea. other in very interesting ways. Anyone who has prepared a seder meal using recipes fr these diff. traditions would be aware of this just as an example. There is Ashkenazi & Sephardi charoset just as one example. Though using diff ingredients, they are ea. called by the same name & serve the same function. It may not be meaningful to some, but it is very meaningful to Jews attempting to be sensitive to what is shared among various Jewish ethnic traditions.
Not completely true either. Just to give one example. Rambam and other figures of Arab Jewry are revered not just by Arab Jews but by Ashkenazi as well. If you include Sephardi Jews and eras like the Spanish Golden Age, this is even more true of the literary and rabbinic leaders of that era.
Mary, I must take issue with you on this. Even if true, and it is by no means certain that it is true, the European converts argument is not really relevant, or significant. The definition of a Jew covers a lot of territory, and converts to Judaism certainly fall under it, as do Jews who are atheists, Jews who are Buddhists or Hindus, and even those kooky Jews for Jesus. And, of course, so do Jews who are also black Africans, Jews who are by every measure Arab, Jews who are Indians, Jews who are Chinese, and so on. I even knew someone who defined as Jews a group of Chinese people who hung out a lot at his synagogue, but who were not observant, and had never converted. You cannot even describe Jews in terms of a common culture given the vast cultural differences between European Jews, Arab Jews, Iranian Jews, Indian Jews, African Jews, and so on.
“The “ethnocracy” of Israel is dependent upon an ethnic identity…”
No it isn’t. It is dependent upon the obviously false notion that all Jews are of one people. I don’t think any Israeli would deny that there are many different ethnic groups among the Jews. And yes, the term ethnocracy is not really accurate, but it is the closest term I have managed to come up with so far.
“if you have Jews from Europe, Africa, the US, Australia and elsewhere, you have a religious commonality…”
No you don’t, not given how many of those Jews, including the founders of Zionism, were and are secular, and even atheist. The majority of Israeli Jews were secular last I checked.
I remember some years ago reading about the discussions by the early Zionists about how they were going to define the Jews for the purpose of promoting the Zionist goal of a Jewish state. What they came up with was that they needed to push the idea that the Jews were a nation because in the eyes of the European powers to which they needed to appeal, only a nation could be entitled to its own state. The reality is that the Jews do not qualify as a nation under any recognized definition of the word, but that did not stop them. And of course the irony is that the Palestinians do qualify as a nation under the word’s primary definition.
About 70% acc. to what I’ve read.
PS Of course, the Palestinians are also a diverse lot and are not all of one ethnicity or religion, despite the Israeli insistence upon lumping them all together as “Arabs”.
“So far as I know there are no Christian Jews, Muslim Jews, Buddhist Jews, or Jews of any other religion except Jewish”
But there are! First of all, most jews in Israel are secular and are not “jewish” (in the religious sense) at all! There are also others who choose other religions. Some of them try to define thier identity via these religions, like Mordechai Vaanunu (who calls himself Christian) but it’s a useless attempt. It’s a bizzare historical consequence of the Galut that throughout the past 2000 years the ETHNIC jews mostly were RELIGIOUS jews and identified themselves as such. That however, does not mean they are one and the same.
Let’s get back to my pervious example, of the French. The modern french are decendants of a tribe called the Franks that once existed in the Western Roman Empire. With time, sovereignty and a country of their own, they became French.
In modern times, jews are the decendants of another tribe, the Tribe of Judah which, like the Franks, had some dealings with the Roman Empire.
However, history happend differently for jews and for the past 2000 years they haven’t had a state of thier own. So, thier only means of NATIONAL survival was religion to try and discourge mixing with local people (which happend anyway to some degree). In the 19th century, a wave of nationalism swept through Europe and and Jews were no exception.
To make a long story short, jews decided they have the right for state of thier own, much like the French. And voila, Israel.
Now, Hamas doesn’t like seeing a nation being free, democratic and prosperous. So they don’t recognize Israel being a Jewish state in this historic sense (which in no way means discriminating other people)
No, actually it can’t. It can be an ethnocracy in which it privileges Jews over non-Jews. But that is not a full democracy, which Israel is not. Israel CAN be a state which recognizes & protects the rights of all religions of its citizens; and which recognizes the rights of citizens to study & worship their religions & follow their ethnic traditions. But it cannot be solely a Jewish state & be a democracy.
Being “French” is not a religious or ethnic identity. It is a national identity. If being French incorporated all those things & there were non-French in France who enjoyed inferior rights, then France would not be a democracy.
Absolutely not true. The U.S. recognizes Mexico. Do we state that we recognize Mexico as a Catholic nation? No. We recognize a nation, not a religion.
Againt, not true. According to the terms of yr argument a more accurate articulation would be ISRAELIS and Palestinians are different nations. Jews are not a nation except insofar as they are connected to Israel. If they are not Israeli then they are not members of a nation. They are a religion & a people.
Actually, you are wrong again. A month or two before the war broke out, Israel broke the ceasefire which Hamas had honored until the violation by Israel. When Israel broke the ceasefire then Hamas did as well. So if you back before the Israeli violation, you will find there were almost no rockets fired for an extended period of time.
Are there any Israelis who enjoy inferior rights? How is a definition of a Jewish state inconsistent with equal rights?
“Being “French” is not a religious or ethnic identity. It is a national identity. If being French incorporated all those things & there were non-French in France who enjoyed inferior rights, then France would not be a democracy.”
By this definition, France is an ethnocracy as well. By various means, there happend to be a sizeable population of non-ethincally french citizens in france.
Some of those citizens want to wear a burqa. Other citizens oppose thier right to wear whatever clothes they wish in public. At face value this seems like a simple democratic dispute.
However, what’s really happening is an attempt (justfied or not) of the “home” ethnicity to enforce it’s values and traditions on the “foreign” ethnicity since almost all potential burqa wearers are of this foreign ethnicity. How democratic is that? Does France have a title ethnicity? Apparently, when push comes to shove, it does.
“The U.S. recognizes Mexico. Do we state that we recognize Mexico as a Catholic nation? No.”
As you’ve said, The U.S. recognizes Mexico to be a country when the Mexican nation soverign. It would NOT be recognizing Mexico without this fact.
What this dicussion boils down to is two basic questions: Is there a nation of Jews and if so, how does it relate to being an Israeli.
My opinion about those two questions is that there is a jewish nation which in large part ethnic. Most jews in the world (at least 70%) are ashkenazi jews. Those who aren’t can still be related, if farther in time. Even after ethnic differences, religion, traditions, history and languages are shared (even if not all of them by everybody all of the time).
Even though some Rabbies might disagree with me on this one, You can be a secular jew, a jewish jew (an unfortunate choice of words), a christian jew and a buddhist jew. much like a Frenchman. On the other hand, if a frenchman converts to judaism, he’s still a frenchman practicing judaism, not a jew.
The jews today (to the best of my knowledge) bare some resemblence to the descendants of the Tribe of Judah.
As for the relationship between being Israeli and being a Jew, these are two separate things. The current population of Israel – the Israeli Nation, is mostly composed of jews. so, they (and other non jews!) rule accordingly and democratically so as long as human rights are not harmed in an unproportional way.
Just to clarify, an example of propotionality would be limiting my right to drive as I please to let pedestrians cross.
There are entire books written on this subject. Read one. Israeli Palestinians enjoy substantially inferior rights, quality of life, life expectancy, employment & educational opportunities. If you give Jews superior rights & non-Jews inferior rights, you have a Jewish state that is not a democracy.
BUt they don’t enjoy inferior rights if they are French citizens.
First, France has not banned the burka. Second, the status of Israeli Palestinians is far lower than Jews & in far more serious ways than being allow or prohibited fr. wearing a burka.
There is not a Jewish nation. There is a Jewish people. There is an Israeli nation composed of Jews and a very substantial minority enjoying inferior rights. It is not in fact nor should be in practice a “Jewish” nation unless it evicts the non-Jews. If it does not & continues w. its currrent practices it is not a democracy.
Which is precisely what the accepted practice is in Israel.
Do not pontificate about what Hamas opposes or supports. You haven’t a clue.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re using a halachic definition of Jewishness. Not a contemporary, secular definition. In other words, if Vanunu does not consider himself Jewish, he’s not. I’m not going to force him to define himself in a way he rejects. That is the height of arrogance.
You’re wandering about in a historical thicket & are completely lost. The French haven’t been Franks for well over 1,000 yrs. Irrelevant in a contemporary context.
You’re repeating yrself. Get onto a new thread & a new subject. You’re done in this thread. Don’t continue this discussion. It’s dry as dirt & equally boring.
The equivalent to France being French is not “Israel is Jewish” but “Israel is Israeli”. There’s currently a petition before the High Court that seeks to establish precisely that – a group of Israeli citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish, wanting their nationality to be recognised as “Israeli”, pretty much the only nationality that doesn’t officially exist in Israel. The petition is predictably being fought tooth and nail by the state.
The French, re-inventors of modern democracy, surely consider themselves lucky not to be afflicted with “democracy”, Israeli-style.
You are right of course. There are many ways to be Israeli, one of them is being a Jew. However, currently jews are the majority of the Israeli population and Israel is the national home of the jewish people. It’s said so in the United Nations Parition Plan for Palestine. What Hammas opposes is just this – the idea that a certain nation has a territory to call home and share with other people, forming a larger, more inclusive, nation as a result.
I haven’t a clue who ‘Noa’ is but if you don’t like JStreet Seattle sponsoring her concert why not join JStreetSeattle, along with people who agree with you so that you can prevent this thing happening again?
If you don’t I’ll have to assume you have little support among the people of
Seattle (and you don’t have to be Jewish to join JStreet). I doubt JStreet Seattle has so many members you couldn’t form a majority with ease.
Or do you prefer posting to doing?
In other words, Richard shouldn’t express his opinion on his own blog until he satisfies you that he is taking the course of action you recommend, though you admittedly don’t seem to have any opinion of your own on the subject. Or else you do and this is just your way of attacking him without touching the substance.
YOu don’t know who Noa is & you haven’t bothered to spend the least amt of time reading what I’ve written here about J St. I attended its first national conference in DC this past winter. I’ve been in close contact w. its leadership including the local chapter. J St’s national leadership is running an organization that is much more conservative than it’s rank & file (including me).
One piece of advice: read before you give advice.
Israel admits: “No Hamas rockets were fired during ceasefire”
Hamas maintained the ceasefire from June until November 2008. Even Israel admits Hamas fired no rockets during the ceasefire. Israel made an unprovoked attack on Gaza in November, killing 6 Palestinians, and Palestinians responded with rockets, which no doubt was what Israel was hoping they would in order to rationalize Cast Lead, which had been planned for some time and had nothing to do with rockets being fired at Israel.
“Hamas maintained the ceasefire from June until November 2008. Even Israel admits Hamas fired no rockets during the ceasefire.”
The Israeli government also praised Hamas’ mostly-effective efforts to limit the number of rockets fired by other groups who were not party to the ceasefire, who did not agree with it, and who were not under Hamas control.
Udi Alonis letter to noa after her address to the people of Gaza..
Dear Achinoam Nini,
I chose to answer you, and not the entire raging Right, because I believe that the betrayal of the peace camp, at this of all times, exceeds the damage caused by the Right a thousand fold. The ease with which the peace camp gives itself over to the roars of war hinders the creation of a meaningful movement that could [sic] a true resistance to occupation.
You roll your eyes, use your loving words in the service of your conquering people and call upon the Palestinians to surrender in a tender voice. You bestow upon Israel the role of liberator. Upon Israel – that for over 60 years, has been occupying and humiliating them. “I know where your heart is! It is just where mine is, with my children, with the earth, with the heavens, with music, with HOPE!!” you write; but Achinoam, we took their land and imprisoned them in the ghetto called Gaza.
We have covered their skies with fighter jets, soaring like the angels from hell and scattering random death. What hope are you talking about? We destroyed any chance for moderation and mutual life the moment we plundered their land while sitting with them at the negotiation table. We may have spoken of peace, but we were robbing them blind. They wanted the land given to them by international law, and we spoke in the name of Jehovah.
Who are the secular people of Gaza supposed to turn to, when we trample on international law, and when the rest of the enlightened world ignores their cry? When enlightenment fails and moderation is seen as a weakness, religious fanaticism gives a sense of empowerment. Maybe, if you think about the mental situation of the people under siege in Masada, you could get a better sense of what’s happening in Gaza.
The seculars in Gaza find it hard to speak against Hamas when their ghetto is being bombarded all day and all night. You would probably say that ‘we would not need to shell them if they held their fire,’ but they fire because they are fighting for more that the right to live in the prison called Gaza. They are fighting for the right to live as free citizens in an independent country – just as we do.
“I know that deep in your hearts YOU WISH for the demise of this beast called Hamas who has terrorized and murdered you, who has turned Gaza into a trash heap of poverty, disease and misery,” you write. But Hamas is not the monster, my dear Achinoam. It is the monster’s son.
The Israeli occupation is the monster. It and only it is responsible for the poverty and the sickness and the horror. We were so frightened of their secular leadership, which undermined our fantasy of the Land of Israel, that we chose to fund and support Hamas, hoping that by a policy of divide and conquer were could go on with the occupation forever; but when the tables have turned, you choose to blame the effect instead of the cause.
You write, “I can only wish for you that Israel will do the job we all know needs to be done, and finally RID YOU of this cancer, this virus, this monster called fanaticism, today, called Hamas. And that these killers will find what little compassion may still exist in their hearts and STOP using you and your children as human shields for their cowardice and crimes.” It is the same as if your Palestinian sister would write: “Let us hope that Hamas does the job for you, and rids you of the Jewish Right.”
So maybe, instead of ordering around a people whose every glimmer of hope we have surgically eliminated, you could help your brothers and sisters in Palestine rid themselves of the occupation, oppression and the arrogant colonialism inflicted by your country. Only then can you urge them to fight democratically and return Palestine to the mental state it was in before we pushed it into the corner of the wall that we built.
And if your brethren in Palestine choose Hamas, you have to respect their choice, just as the world’s nations respected Israel when it chose the murderous (Ariel) Sharon. Hamas is theirs to fight, just like you fought him. That is what democracy is about. Only then can you and your brethren in both Palestine and Israel share – as equals – the joy of the land, the sky and the music; only then can we fight for equality together, for every man and woman living living in our holy land. Amen.
“There are many ways to be Israeli, one of them is being a Jew. However, currently jews are the majority of the Israeli population and Israel is the national home of the jewish people. It’s said so in the United Nations Parition Plan for Palestine. What Hammas opposes is just this – the idea that a certain nation has a territory to call home and share with other people, forming a larger, more inclusive, nation as a result.”
Just as I have accepted the reality of the state of Israel, it’s pretty clear that Iran and Hamas, for all the fancy and often falsely translated rhetoric, also accept Israel’s existence. The problem we have (and I include myelf with Iran and Hamas in this) is the concept of a “Jewish” state. If as you say, one of the ways to be an Israeli is being a Jew, then you acknowledge there are non-Jews who are also Israelis (and we won’t even get into the reality of non-equality for non-Jewish Israelis.) How then can you say Israel is a “Jewish” State? It doesn’t matter if 99 percent of Israelis are Jewish, that doesn’t make Israel a Jewish State. It may be a Jewish homeland, but it was always conditioned on the new immgrants to the land respecting and protecting the rights, lives and property of the people already living there. Israel failed abysmally in this commitment.
“a certain nation has a territory to call home and share with other people, forming a larger, more inclusive, nation as a result.”
Lovely words; would that they actually represented the reality in Israel.