Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Liberal american Jews Rethinking Israel: Never Knew It to Begin With

by Nadene Goldfoot
Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss wrote in "The Nation" that there is a dramatic shift in American Jews' attitudes toward Israel. They were shocked by the Gaza war. they felt that Israel used "overwhelming force against a mostly defenseless civilian population unable to flee. The way this article is written makes me think of sitting ducks being shot at in a carnival booth.

What has happened to our young people? Have they watched so much football or basketball that they feel the real world evolves around rules of a game? For eight years Israel has been attacked by missles. Just because the number of casualties suffered by Israel was not extremely great is not a good reason to continue to suffer. There are other cruel ways in which the Israelis suffered besides death after being under attack for so long. Do our young people think that Israel should have used the very same type of missiles and had shot them at exactly the very same distance from the border line like a shot at a basketball net? Tit for tat? You get one shot and then we get one shot? You get a kill count of one and then we get the same? How about percentages? Does anyone have any idea how that works?

For eight years Israel tried to get the Palestinian terrorists to stop, and for eight years the only thing that happened was that the terrorists were getting stronger and more brazen. The world sat back like spectators at a Roman arena no doubt betting that Israel would be wiped out soon.

Israel warned the whole world that they were tired of being shot at and that they had been patient at the expense of their own citizen's welfare and could not hold out any longer without taking steps in stopping the attacks. Whereas citizens of Israel are not expendable items to Israel, the Arabs in Gaza are expendable to the terrorists. They have been and always will be pawns ready to be sacrificed in this new type of battle.

Peres was a weak Prime Minister in that he wanted to be liked by his peers, leaders of other countries. The only problem is that leaders of other countries do not benefit from such a friendship and had more to gain by befriending the terrorists. Netanyahu won because he is a strong individual who can see the trees from the forest and is not interested in any popularity contest. He understands how the chess game is played and is sticking to his goal, putting Israel's few people in a safe situation despite being surrounded by a sea of murderers.

As far as their statement of "traditional Jewish resistance to criticizing Israel", Israelis are the first to criticize themselves. It's not that we can't take criticism, but it should be fair and not just repeated words from our opponents. Like children, people sometimes take a side that seems to be the popular one just to be accepted. Here, the popular mode is that of being against Israel.

Bashing Jews has been the popular thing in the world to do for centuries. Do our young people think the world has changed all that much? What happens is that it simply changes color each generation. It takes on different forms. We're not accused of poisoning the wells anymore because science could disprove that, but now it's "using overwhelming force".

The seemingly "overwhelming force" caused more consternation to Israel's commanders than to the Hamas terrorists. Hamas purposely located amid populated centers in order for people to be killed just to gain the sympathy vote. "Oh, those mean Israelis. See how they shoot poor defenseless people. Look at them drop dead. Oh my! "

No doubt many Israeli soldiers suffered right along with it all. Most are just out of high school. We are raised with a very high morality. We don't even shoot a cow and then eat it. We don't eat meat unless it has been killed in a specified way giving the least amount of pain. We don't eat milk products with meat so as not to make the mother animal feel badly. We are taught from birth to consider other's feelings. We have a huge conscience. Has anyone read Portnoy's Complaint? How other Jews can be sucked into thinking that we are the bloodthirsty conquerers painted by the terrorists just shows how little they know about their own people or history.

I suggest that people supporting "J Street" pick up a few books and start studying. They're throwing out the baby with the bath water. There was a need and a right to create Israel in 1948. Goals do not become passe because we're in a new decade. This cannot change like presidents. The need is still there. What has M.J. Rosenberg done to improve public relations for Israel besides criticize her? I doubt if he has been on the front lines in the line of fire. I doubt if he's a colonel or general. Has he ever been in the army? It really helped to hear Roger Cohen say he was "shamed" by Israel's actions. I'm shamed at how little he understands. He can rectify that by moving to Sderot for the next five years. I think we'll hear a different tune.

I guess I'm tired and disgusted to hear all the whiners blame Israel when they've been the ones trapped in an untenable situation. American Jews don't have the guts to pick up and move to Israel because it takes a lot of bravery to do so. Those remnents of society, those that were half starved were able to pick themselves up and beat all the odds of becoming a state. They were not to be toyed with nor trampled on. They molded themselves into a fighting force of warriors who mean to stay alive and will not be bent.

If American Jews have any fortitude, they'll have to show me by doing something in their lifetime that is for the good of their people, and that doesn't mean continuing to give into people who only want their destruction. Israelis have been pretty slow in realizing that giving up land doesn't mean peace-in fact it means just the opposite as Gaza has proven. If anything has become passe, it's the Peace Now movement. Some American Jews are behind the times and haven't picked up on this at all. If they really want to be modern, they'll have to learn and think. They'll have to walk the walk and talk the talk.

Added 10/27/09:


LC said...

Excellent article, Nadene.
The Israel bashers are ignorant of history and ignorant of geography. Hamas openly calls for the destruction of Israel and for war, war, war. The people of Sderot, Israel were under missile fire for eight years. When a missile comes in, an alarm goes off. The residents have 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter. The alarms can go off at 1:00 am, at 3:00 am, at 5:00 am. You try having a normal life under those circumstances. Israel should have reacted after a few months of missile fire, not wait 8 long years to retaliate.
Israel is 2/10ths of 1% of Arab lands. It is tiny. Peace will come when the Arabs stop being so greedy and racist that they cannot abide a Jewish nation that tiny in their midst. If the Arabs of Gaza preached peace, they would get peace. They not only preach war, but they preach a war of annihilation against Israel. They got the war they work for and pray for, but Israel did not annihilate them. They got a lot less than they deserved. Only by being ignorant of the history and geography of the place, can you believe that Arabs are victims.

Nadene Goldfoot said...

Thank you, LC. I couldn't agree more. I just wish more people would wake up to these facts.