As I was surfing the internet I found this website (www.friendasoldier.com), It's aim is to bring peace & reach to areas of conflict, but the best part is that the founders are a former IDF soldiers & they are committed to answer any question you ask.
As a peacemaker I found my self in a position of helping that website to grow up by sharing with you this information.
My question here is: Do you really think It is helpful to let only a soldier answer sensitive questions related to peace and conflict in the Middle East?
There is no similarity whatever between the experiences of the people of Gaza and the experiences of the Jews who live in Israel. To suggest there is, is an attempt to disseminate the usual Zionist propaganda; propaganda that even ordinary people with no interest in the Middle East are starting to recognize as a deliberate deception.
The Jews of Israel live with confidence and comfort, whilst the people of Gaza feel isolated, neglected and forgotten. Gazans also live under some of the worst 3rd World conditions.
Sussan: I would be interested in finding out what Gaza spends on a per capita basis for rockets and other weapons. If there was no such spending, by how much would the life of Gazans have improved. It has been submitted that PTSD in Gaza is a result of pressure from armed gangs as well as the inability to destroy Israel. Gaza is not inundated with Israeli rockets or Israeli suicide bombers or other Israeli terror, it is however constantly bombarded with home grown criminals and terrorists a la the Mafia.
It may be a bone of contention in the throat of Israeli haters that Israelis live in confidence and comfort but that is not due to the Palestinians or other Arabs but rather the efforts of individual Jews and Israelis collectively.
We are a prosperous country, militarily and financially strong and that will continue while the Arab countries stagnate as a result of jealousy and the thoughts of Jihad.
Israel can help the Middle East and when the Arabs are ready, perhaps this will come about and a secondary result will be peace.
A lot of your clinical experiences, can also be obtained from Doctors Without Borders. I dealt with them on a superficial level in Gaza. We have the case studies on the demographics that have been effected. What I am personally involved in is the grandiose, herculean task of trying to enact a two-state solution, where an independent Palestine, can live along side an independent Israel. In fact, I was just on-line with a Hamas official this morning, where he thought Hamas may have internal factors in trying to solidify a position, but that position will always be resistance. I mentioned to him, that I have received communications in both English and Arabic, that there has been a lot of wavering on the Hamas position, and that it is not showing signs of definitely pertaining to the role of perpetual resistance. The information that you presented, shows indeed that people in Gaza are suffering, and with this type of suffering, how can Hamas always have a position of perpetual resistance? I know that now they are teaching Hebrew in schools in Gaza, not to know the language of the Zionist oppressors, but to know the language of the people they will be economically interacting with. For that is the only way to try to end the maladies you just mentioned, and to have open interaction between the people of Gaza and the people of Israel. I think Hamas knows this deep down inside too. Have the children of Gaza learn Hebrew, because one of these days, their customers will be speaking Hebrew. The potential of developing joint ventures between the Palestinians and Israelis is enormous. They should both get the help their need to do so.
I don't want to derail the thread but if I can make a quick comment related to your conversation to the Hamas official - "but that position will always be resistance" . I don't know if you have read Scars of war - wounds of Peace- The Israeli Arab tragedy by Schlomo Ben Avi. http://www.amazon.com/Scars-War-Wounds-Peace-Israeli-Arab/dp/B003D7... If not I recommend you try to get a copy. He is equally critical of the history of both sides, vis-a-vis the many lost opportunities, but it seems to me that Hamas is in line with Arafat and the Old PLO. Let every opportunity go by by being completely intransigent. ( Great section of President Assad as well)
There are many reasons for IDF soldiers being psychologically disturbed.
Here is one example of an experience. It is Shlomo Sands account of an incident that occurred in 1967 when he was posted to the police station at the entrance to Jericho. The soldiers there told him that Palestinians who tried to cross the Jordan at night and return to their homes were gunned down systematically, whereas those who made the attempt in daylight were arrested. Sand was assigned to guard those prisoners.
One night in September 1967 he witnessed soldiers abusing an elderly Palestinian man who had been arrested with a large amount of dollars in his possession. Shlomo says he climbed onto a crate and watched a harrowing scene through the window. "The detainee was sitting tied to a chair, and my good buddies were beating him all over and occasionally pressing burning cigarettes into his arms. I climbed down from the crate, threw up and returned to my post shaking and frightened. A little later, a pickup left carrying the body … My friends shouted to me that they were going to the Jordan River to dump the body."
Shlomo continues: “I lost my senses completely. I was afraid to intervene. The fact that I did not try to do anything to stop them depressed me for years and resonates within me to this day ... I still have guilt feelings. I am ashamed that I did not do anything. When I got back from reserve duty in Jericho, I went to see MK Meir Wilner [head of the Israel Communist Party] and told him about it. I also consulted with Dan Omer ... He and Wilner said there were too many cases like that and there was nothing to be done ... my psychological distress started then, at the age of 20.
Some facts from those times -
1937, Ben Gurion stated:
The compulsory transfer of Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish state could give us something which we never had, even when we stood on our own feet during the days of the First and Second Temple.
And in early 1948 Ben Gurion wrote in his War Diary,
"During the assault we must be ready to strike the decisive blow; that is, either to destroy the towns or expel its inhabitants so our people can replace them."
Quoting from Ilan Pappe's book, A History of Modern Palestine:
[W]hen winter was over and the spring of 1949 warmed a particularly frozen Palestine, the land which we have described reconstructing a period stretching over 250 years had changed beyond recognition. The countryside, the rural heart of Palestine, with its colourful and picturesque villages was ruined. Half the villages had been destroyed, flattened by Israeli bulldozers which had been at work since August 1948
A naming committee granted the new settlements Hebraized versions of the original Arab names . David Ben Gurion explained that this was done as part of an attempt to prevent a future claim to the villages.
Do you have any other "1001 and one Nights" stories for us. Continue telling us about Ali Baba and the 40 thieves and like stories. Just when I am in a foul mood , you come along and make me laugh with your fairy tales.
If you are not ready to make peace or at least think like one, then why you are at mepeace website?, haven't you been told that this website is a platform for peacemakers?, If not, please come to our meetings and maybe you will get a better understanding about this websites and how to be a peacemaker not a joke teller!!, believe me we can find something good in you.
A wise man once said: If you treat people as you find them, you'll make them worse, But if you treated them as though they are what they should be, you help them to become what are they capable of becoming.
You are welcome anytime to say more jokes and make fun of us because we believe in the good in you no matter how bad you are trying to show.
It would seem that you believe that peace is the domain of peace groups and in its current configurations peace groups cannot do that as they do not look at both sides but rather have a tendency to lay blame on one side only-Israel.
I posted a article by a Professor that seems to think that peace groups are anything but , yet no one here is disputing his ascertions but continue with demonizing Israel.
You want to discuss peace than by all means but lets not be demeaning of the Israeli side. Israel has not started any of the wars or committed massacres prior to its creation or post its creation.Yet some people here have a tendency to call Israel a apartheid state and a state that carries on massacres.Lets get real if you want to consider yourself a peacemaker.
I attend enough meeting and believe me nothing gets decided and nothing gets done as a result of these meetings other than to hold more meetings. I want to see some action on the ground and than maybe you will persuade me that you are a bona fide player in the peace arena. Talk is cheap but real actions require a real commitment.
I am not trying to show either good or bad but dispel the myths and deal with this conflict in its ugly reality.
Going in and campaign for a two-state solution is not demonizing Israel. It is supporting Israel, and supporting Israel to coexists with it neighbors. Right now you have two people living in the same house, and they are not living there harmoniously, and more than likely they never will. So putting them in two houses is really the only solution. I think everyone wants to see Israel as a successful nation-state, and it can be one with real actions transpiring into real commitment. We all are not that removed from the fate of Israel. I had an uncle (Oh no don't start that stupid crap again) yes I will, who got through the British blockade of Palestine, where he escaped from Romania. He died in 1948. I never met this man, but to make sure that people like him did not die in vain. That Israel can no longer be a place where Jews die, but where Jews live. That is the reason why I am going on with this stupid crap.
Tim: This smacks of racism and nothing else. You are well aware that this is neigh an impossibility. What I glean from your posts that you want to create two houses where the occupants are living harmoniously. Or did I miss something?
Israel has a 20% Arab population, the Palestinians want a Judenrein state. There is very little co existence in Israel between the Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jew.
How does a two state solution solve that problem. It does not but creates the seeds for the next conflict and just manages to slice off another part of Israel .
When two neighbours can not live together they do not create zones in the house but rather one of them moves out. Not that I am suggesting this solution, but it is a solution. Lets remember that Jordan is 70% Palestinian, after all.
Racism is when you are abhorrently against a group of people. So I am not abhorrently against either Arabs or Jews. Both an independent Israel and an independent Palestine are going to have minorities, that is a given. Israel will always have an Arab minority, and Palestine, whether they want to publicly admit it or not, will always have a Jewish minority. There is not a single nation-state on this planet, that does not have some type of minority. Arabs within Israel are represented with their own political parties and representation within the Knesset, so there is some type of interaction. Israel has never formally annexed the West Bank, so relinquishing control of it, does mean Israel would be giving up territory, the same way as when Sudan split into two separate countries. So is the answer forcibly remove all the Arabs out of Israel and the West Bank? Because when Meir Kahane proposed that with his Kach Party, it got banned by the Israeli Supreme Court, and never ran in an election. That is because the Israeli Supreme Court deemed it as racist.
Hello Igor, good to hear from you.
If you want an end to the violence, you will have to negotiate an end to the war, which has now been going for more than 80 years. Israel will have to agree to a peace deal that the Palestinians also find agreeable. Israel has perpetrated more violence, and killed more people than the Palestinians, but, as usual, I am sure you will deny this fact.
It is you, Igor, and all of Israel that dreams on ... and it is your Zionist dream of a land of Zion that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Jordan that is the dreaming. This same land was, in the late 19th Century, only 3% Jewish. Think about that ... the Arabs who did live there were forced beyond the borders into refugee camps, and that is where they have been, ever since.
As Israel is quick to say, these Arab peoples could have gone and lived in the various Arab countries, but they OWNED HOUSES & LAND, and they OWNED PROSPEROUS ORCHARDS and FARMS and BUSINESSES in Israel, and they were told by the UN that they would be allowed to return, and so they WAITED and WAITED and WAITED. For many years, we all said, next year, or at the most, the year after, and this will be all over. And thus, Israel now has a massive refugee problem. Yes, it is Israel, not Palestine, that has this refugee problem, because, as we are always being told, there is no such country as Palestine.
It is the Israelis who chose to live in very close proximity to the Arabs of Palestine, so it is you Israelis who have a major responsibility to make serious endeavours to live in peace with your neighbours. Your Arab neighbours had all been residing in the country now called Israel for many generations before you European Zionists turned up in the land of Palestine.
It does not matter how many millions of Jews you accept, and it does not matter where those Jews came from or why they came to Israel, you will still have to return all the land and houses and businesses that you stole, or offer good compensation, if there is to be peaceful co-existence. Not that many of you have ever shown any inclination to embrace peace.