Sunday, April 29

The Demonstrations of Gazans on the Israeli Border

 The Gazan Palestinians have been demonstrating for a number of weeks now. There is no doubt that these demonstrations are being orchestrated by Hamas. Only this time they have changed their tactics. They want to give the international media the false impression that it is a popular, peaceful uprising against the occupation and that Hamas is not responsible for this unrest but rather the will of the Palestinian People to fight the occupation. Note that there are no Hamas flags near the border.

This is a big lie and it is obvious that Hamas is behind these “peaceful” demonstrations and there have even been attempts by some Palestinian demonstrators, including children to breach the security fence and infiltrate into Israel. The purpose of this infiltration IS NOT to have “kumbaya” with Israelis. It is rather to carry out acts of terror and murder of innocent Israelis under the facade of “peaceful protest”. The scenario of unarmed, peaceful protest makes for great propaganda by Hamas against Israel and it appears to be working posing Israel as the heartless oppressor not allowing the Palestinians their right of protest. It may be argued that the use of sniper live ammunition is not justifiable. The use of non-lethal ammunition against demonstrators, who have breached the security fence, is an acceptable option. Live ammunition should be reserved only for life-threatening situations which do not appear to be the case here. The use of live ammunition strengthens Hamas in its resolve to use of women and children as human shields. This, of course, does not help Israel in its attempts to stop the violence. Hamas tactics somehow create more international antagonism towards Israel including in the UN. They have been warned by Israel not to infiltrate into Israel but to no avail. We must remember that Hamas terrorists are indiscriminate when it comes to murdering Israelis.

Many people, who view the scenario of sniper-fire, view Israel as the evil Goliath and the Palestinians armed with slingshots and Molotov cocktails as the David. This is the impression that Hamas behind the headlines portrays to the foreign media. Even the UN shows a bias towards Israel as it usually does when there is Palestinian unrest.

The Hamas mantra of seeking Israel’s total destruction as well as its refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist is the slogan behind these demonstrations. The exploitation of young children and women is a well-known tactic of the evil Hamas terrorist organization that tolerates no opposition to its tactics and Palestinians, who do not agree with Hamas are arrested and even put to death in a kangaroo court system.  Hamas is not interested in Palestinian human rights or democracy, let alone human dignity. They are fighting for a Palestinian State to replace Israel. It has nothing to do with the occupation of territory after the June Six Day War of 1967. As far as they are concerned, Israel has occupied territory since the Day it was established in May 1948.

When Israel has to deal with the Hamas Palestinian Leadership with its mindset on Israel’s destruction and using the impoverished Palestinian people to riot and kill Israelis, how can any form of negotiation even be initiated?

The tragedy in Gaza has been wrought on the Palestinians by Hamas and their multi-millionaire leadership that have pocketed all the monies donated by various countries for rehabilitation of Gaza. It is not in the interests of Hamas for the Palestinians to be rehabilitated or having a decent future. By weeping crocodile tears they enrich themselves even more. Many countries in the free world fall for this ploy which is what makes the situation in Gaza so untenable. Hamas feed their people with hatred and their religious leaders constantly preach sermons of hate against Israel and the Jewish People.

It appears that the unrest at the Gaza border is not going to subside for a while and it will continue until the Palestinians are tired of demonstrating and it will just decrease in numbers of participating demonstrators over time.

The question one should ask is: How would other countries react to demonstrations on their borders by hostile elements, who wish to achieve unrest and destruction of their respective countries as well as having a bloodlust to kill innocent people?

The cause of Israel’s total destruction and its replacement by a Hamas-ruled Palestinian State is the mantra behind all these demonstrations. Those people, who sympathise with  Hamas and its portrayal of their cause are not aware of what Hamas hopes to achieve. It is definitely not for the freedom of a democratic Palestinian State but another ISIS (Daesh)-like state slated to replace Israel. If we bear these factors in mind, Israel has the full right to defend itself by any means the IDF seems feasible under these circumstances.  

On the other hand, the Palestinians are deserving of a state that is democratic, promotes human values and dignity. Israel must recognize that an end must be made to the occupation that is eroding Israel’s democracy and human values. This can only be achieved if there is an honest desire on both sides to negotiate an end to the conflict. A desire to destroy Israel is not negotiable. Under the present circumstances, it is obvious that there is no motivation on either side to reach any form of agreement.

Sunday, April 15

Israel's Independence 70th Day Celebrations

Declaration of Independence
Israel has only one day annually that is celebrated without any religious constraints or “mitzvot”. This is a day that secular and religious Israelis celebrate as well as those who identify with Israel and its people. 

Israeli Arab Citizens do not celebrate. There are no flags or symbols of celebration in their villages. It is a great pity that the two peoples - Jewish and Arab Israeli citizens are divided in their respective narratives causing the Israeli Arab sector not to celebrate Israel’s independence. Here in Israel, we have failed to achieve a common loyalty in Israel for all its citizens - Jew and Arab alike. It could have been achieved but Israel has failed to be the state of all its citizens for a number of reasons. The most striking, perhaps, is the non-inclusive character of Israel’s Jewish majority. An example of this is the non-inclusive wording of Israel’s National Anthem “Hatikva” - The Hope.

The wording of Hatikva could be modified to include Israel’s non-Jewish minority symbols of culture without changing the wording of Jewish desires and hopes. This could go a long way in promoting a common patriotism that is all-inclusive. This could also be done through education from an early age as well as encouraging the establishment of integrated Jewish-Arab schools, where education in unity among all Israel’s peoples could be achieved.

Culture Minister Miri Regev unveils the logo for Israel's 70th-anniversary celebrations, during a press conference on January 15, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Israel’s 70 years of independence should be a nation-wide non-political affair that is inclusive of all Israeli citizens. The person in charge of all the festivities and ceremonial protocols this year is the divisive and controversial Minister of Culture and Sport, Miri Regev. She is turning the 70th Independence Day celebration into a “Likudiada” political affair with her own agenda taking preference. She is punting so hard for PM Netanyahu’s survival in the midst of all criminal investigations against him by the police.  

Regev’s invitation of the President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hern├índez, to light the annual torch, is a disgrace in itself apart from going against protocol, in order for PM Netanyahu to be also one of the participants as well as being given an opportunity to make a speech rather than the Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, as is the annual Independence Day tradition. President Hernandez is suspected of corruption as well as being an abuser of human rights. However, Hernandez is a strong supporter of Israel and has pledged to move the Honduras Embassy to Jerusalem. 
Hatikva - Israel's National Anthem

 Hernandez declined the invitation because of opposition in Israel. We must remember that Regev’s idea of democracy is her right to do what she wishes as her party is the majority party in power and this means that those who oppose her and her party are leftists and traitors to Israel. After all, Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East as Israel’s rulers and its pundits claim. Others in Regev’s view are an obstacle to her agenda and are deserving of condemnation. She has megalomaniac tendencies that are divisive, racist and a total disregard for those who do not share her worldview and agenda. She is no democrat and does not even know the meaning of democracy. In fact, she makes no bones about her Moroccan roots at every opportunity that she regards as all-embracing and superior to other cultures that form Israel’s character. The whole 70th Independence ceremony became a storm in a teacup. Eventually, a compromise was made that satisfied the Likud and its shenanigans.

It is a great pity that this year’s Independence Day celebrations will have a right-wing political slant to it which will, unfortunately, spoil its non-political nature.