Its a real downer for me, as an American Jew to click on the "Issues beyond Palo Alto" section of this board. Frankly, I don't even know why I do it. Every day, this board is filled with messages of hatred towards Israel. Its really disturbing to see some of the comments lately that accuse Israel of using the holocaust to justify all the "terrible things" Israel does.
I've never been there. I'd like to go, however. I've met several Israeli people. I just had a nice conversation with an Israeli woman last week. Was I just brainwashed growing up in Hebrew school to believe that Israel is a just and democratic nation, as well as a peacful, sacred homeland for Jewish people? In the post-holocaust era, didn't it seem like a good idea to have a place that the eternally persecuted Jewish people could return to?
I'm sure an Israel hater will respond with their typical citing of this scholar or that scholar, but I'd love to hear from other Israel supporters out there!
Posted by Pro-Israel, a resident of another community, on Jan 30, 2007 at 10:41 am
My suggestion is to ignore posts from folks you deem are not trying to advance the dialog in a constructive way. I too am saddened by these anti-Israel posts. Unfortunately, there is world wide disapproval of US actions in Iraq. The linkage between the US and Israel has inflamed anti-Semitic sentiments in both Europe and the Middle East (and to a small degree even liberal corners of the world like Palo Alto).
See the US State Department’s December, 2004 “REPORT ON GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM” See Web Link
As an American Jew I am troubled, as you are, by some of the recent “Israel-bashing” posts on this forum. Rest assured that the vast majority of people here in Palo Alto support Israel and have a very different understanding of the facts than this “Robin” person.
The goods news, however, is that “Robin” and others who share her views are contained within our large pluralistic democracy. I am frankly much more concerned about other parts of the world where people with similar anti-Israel orientations are surrounded by communities that condone these attitudes and have among them more extremist elements willing to resort to violence.
As such, I am actually thrilled that “Robin” and others have a forum to vent their frustrations in writing. In our democracy, “Robin” has the right to express her opinions. Likewise, we have the freedom to monitor these posts and then choose NOT to respond.
Like all civil minded folks, we hope and pray for peace in the Middle East knowing full well that the history and depth of hardened emotions has made this an elusive goal.
My belief is that not until Bush 43 is out of office and the US military substantially out of Iraq, will it be possible for the next US President (Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Biden, etc.) to help move the conversation forward towards a viable two State solution.
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2007 at 1:13 pm
I suppose that in the deadly logic of the middle east, an Israeli bakery is as much much a military target as a 10 year old Palestinian girl who is shot in the head and killed by an Israeli border patrolman while walking home from school.
Posted by Christian, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2007 at 1:22 pm
Strangely enough, the Bible speaks a lot about all of this.
The trouble started back in Genesis when Abraham and Sarah were around. God had promised them that they would become the founding fathers of a great race that would outnumber the stars in the sky. As the years went by and they were childless, Sarah decided to take things into her own hands and offered her maid, Hagar, to Abraham as a surrogate so that they could have children this way. Hagar conceived and had a son Ishmael. This was unfortunately not God's way. To cut a long story short, Hagar and Ishmael were sent away and God told them that the descendants of Abraham (jews) and the descendants of Ishmael (arabs) would both be great nations and continually against each other. Abraham and Sarah did have a son and through this son (Isaac) came the jews.
What is happening in the middle east today is a fulfilling of this prophecy. The Bible also prophecied that the nation of Israel would happen. The Bible also prophecies that this will continue.
As those of us who are Christian and read the Bible know this, I am sure that any devout jews and arabs (muslim) study their holy scripures, are also aware of this. For any of you reading this and are not aware, if you are interested enough to read this then you may be interested enough to read some of these scriptures and find out just how relevant they are to today's news.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Jan 30, 2007 at 2:38 pm
I absolutely support Israel's right to exist.
I absolutely understand the context of much of what she does.
I absolutely believe that if the surrounding countries and areas would simply live and let live, that Israel would become their best friend.
They just have to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, and stop trying to kill Israelis. I am certain that in gratitude the Israelis would bend over backwards to help the surrounding countries pull themselves up.
I support any democracy over any dictatorship, because I trust the will of the people to be right.
Posted by Uri Kimmelman, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2007 at 2:41 pm
Palestinian children don't dare throw stones at the Israeli military because they know that the military and border police will use the slightest excuse to shoot at them with the intention to kill. The incidents of fatal shooting of palestinian children without any provacation are becoming more and more frequent. For any light sentense handed out to an israel soldier we are talking about fines or a few weeks in military jail, thousands go unpunished. Ftal shooting of children and civilians go unpunished a 100% of the time. An Israeli officer, captain R, was recorded as saying, after shooting an 8 year old girl to death for no reason that he would have shot her even if she were 3. He was acquitted of course, the normal MO whenever an Israeli soldier murders a palestinian civilian, child or adult. I and many of my fellow officers who opposed sensless murder of civilians had witnessed a number of those murders during my military service but never bothered to arrest the killers since it was common knowledge that they will not be punished and those who arrested or reported them would be labeled as 'arab lovers' and 'leftists', the aboslute worst derogatory label in Israel, guaranteed to turn one into an outcast. It also meant that the whistle blowers would have to watch their back for the rest of their military service. Occasionally, a soldier or border patrolman who committed a non-fatal crimes and caught by CNN or other network cameras, is tried and receives a very light sentense that is commutted once the media and public attention have gone away. Then the Israelis can claim that they discipline their renegade soldiers, which is of course a big joke.
Posted by I dont know, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2007 at 3:58 pm
Gunbattles between Hamas loyalists and Fatah forces are killing Palestinian children. I am thinking if started resolving their differences by throwing pies more kids would survive. So I am thinking that blowing them up is a bad plan.
Posted by Uri Kimmelman, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2007 at 5:25 pm
'They just have to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, and stop trying to kill Israelis. I am certain that in gratitude the Israelis would bend over backwards to help the surrounding countries pull themselves up.'
If only life was as simplistic and reality was willing to adjust itself to your perception. In reality, Israel is already at peace with Egypt and Jordan. The PA has already recognized Israel. Hamas doesn't speak in one voice, but most of their senior leaders say that they'll never recognize Israel in her current borders, but a withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 bonders will create an entirely different reality. In reality, terror attacks hit Israel right after Israeli military or settlers kill palestinian civilians. The killing of unarmed palestinian children has been going on for years and without consequences for the killers. The policy is to give it a nod and a wink and weep it under the rug-always, without exceptions. This comes with a price.
On a more basic level, Israel offers the palestinians, in return for a formal peace, giving up the right of return and the dismantling of all terrorist infrastructure, the following:a few discontinuous areas they would be allowed to call a state. Israel will keep almost all of their settlements. In the new 'state', palestinians who want to travel from one disjointed area to another, will have to go through an Israeli checkpoint which would grant or refuse passage. Israel will control all the water resources in the new 'state' and will determine how much the arabs get. Israel will control the air space. Every plane landing or taking off in the new 'state' will need to obtain permission from the Israeli authorities first, such a deal! By the way, the Likud, which will probably return to power soon, claims that even this plan offers the palestinians too much. Is it a wonder that the palestinians will not stop fighting for their rights?
Posted by Marvin, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2007 at 7:54 pm
So, Uri, you are advocating that in order to appease the Palestinians that Israel return to the borders of June 4, 1967 and give up the Western Wall--the holiest site for the Jewish people.
All I can say is to quote what you have written--"If only life was as simplistic and reality was willing to adjust itself to your perception."
the Palestinians still do not recognize Israel's right to exist and see any concessions by Israel as a sign of weakness. the Palestinians are bot serious about peace--they are only serious aboutthe destruction of Israel.
As many others have pointed out, the Palestinians use children to fight their war, knowing that dead children will earn them sympathy. They have little regard for the lives of their own children, let alone the numerous Israeli childen murdered by Palestinian homicide bombers that you seem to support.
Considering how the Palestinians have violated agreement after agreement by smuggling weapons through hidden tunnels and have continuously fired rockets into israel from gaza, even after the withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza Strip, Israel would be foolish to grant Palestinians free passage and open use of Israeli airspace,
Perhaps you can trust your Palestinian compatriots, but I think history has shown how trustworthy they are.
Posted by Uri Kimmelman, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2007 at 7:19 am
Again, you repeat propaganda and it has nothing to do with what is really going on on the ground. I doubt very much that you hav any idea what's really beyond repeating the pro occupation propaganda verbatim. There only two viable option, one is a withrawal to the June 4, 67 borders, whith Israel keeping control of the western wall. The other is keeping all the territories as part of israel witin a democratic state of one person one vote.
Most palestinians don't use their children to fight, it's a myth. Palestinian children are killed often by Israeli troops just walking to and from school.Just like Captain R was caught on tape saying after he shot an 8 year old school girl:'I would have shot her even if she were 3. They should all be killed', a very prevailing attitude among Israeli soldiers and civilians. Captain R by the way was cleared of all chargers, a routine I had witnessed numerous times during my military service. The dead children's parents are never allowed to see copies of the autopsy, nor are inernational human rights organization-does this make you evn a little bit suspicous?
Posted by Marvin, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2007 at 7:33 am
Uri--you are entitled to your opinion. I think that you are completely wrong and have for some reason thrown your sympathies entirely to a group that is bent on Israel's destruction. that is also your choice and you will have to live with it.
As far as I am concerned, it is a fact, not propoganda, that the Palestinians wish to destroy israel--it is in their charter and in the words they speak. It is also a fact that the "brave" Palestinian fighters hide behind women and children and even have tried using them as homicide bombers. They send children out on the street to throw stones, which are deadly weapons in certain cases.
While Captain R may be a bad apple (though I have yet to see any proof besides your posts, also I have to take note of the fact that you have admitted that you should be tried by the Hague--makes me wonder what your whole point is--guilty conscience??) he is not a reflection of the brave soldiers of the IDF, who are to be admired and commended for their restraint given the nature and tactics of the enemy they are fighting.