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Palestine Action Group - Forum this Saturday

Come hear 2 activists who recently visited Palestine as part of the International Solidarity Movement - this Saturday, 6pm, Koinonia House.
Palestine Action Group
Forum on Palestine
6 pm Saturday 15 June 2002
Koinonia House
633 Sw Montgomery at Broadway

The Palestine Action Group will present the fifth in a series of forums
on Palestine, 6 pm Saturday 15 June 2002, at Koinonia House, 633 Sw
Montgomery Street at Broadway.

"Law, Justice, Ethics, and Palestine" presented by Laurie Knightly:
"What motivates an activist group dedicated to justice for Palestine, even
to directly facing bullets of the Israeli military, is the gross
immorality of the uprooting and spoliation of the people, including the
usurpation of their homeland. Even more enraging than the acts themselves is
the hypocrisy existent in the justifying arguments and bogus
comparisons to obliterations of other peoples. The challenge of our time is the
urgent need to establish fundamental principles and a rule of law that
would prohibit such actions. We will discuss some aspects of the right
and wrong inherent in this issue." Laurie Knightly is a semi-retired
gerontologist who recently visited Palestine. She has widely lectured in
areas of public policy, having taught a course at San Francisco State
University. She was clinic co-ordinator of San Francisco's Pregnancy
Control Center, monitored federal grants for Alameda County in Oakla!
nd, and was an admissions officer for foreign medical students in New
York.

John Reese will present a slide show of his recent experiences in
Palestine < http://www.seattlecan.org/>. Mr Reese went to Palestine in April
and May with the International Solidarity Movement to witness the
persecution of Palestinians and to provide an accurate and reliable source
of information about the atrocities taking place. Mr Reese started the
Community Action Network in Seattle, was a co-ordinator of the
Nonviolent Action Community of Cascadia, has been a nonviolent action trainer
since the 80s, worked with the Seattle Independent Media Center, and has
been an activist since the Vietnam War.
nazi murderers 19.Jun.2002 16:59

Anonymous

FROM ANDI ARNOVITZ, JERUSALEM:

I have a list, that I have made since before Passover, of all the
various things, good and bad I wanted to tell everyone about. The
simple things, like all the blue and white flags on all the cars
before Yom Haatzma'ut, more flags than I've seen in previous years,
and the way Jerusalem smelled like a perfume factory the entire month
of May, with all the jasmine, orange and lemon blossoms competing to
fill the air with their heavy scents.I wanted to write about our
cherry trees in our back yard that produced bright red sweet cherries
for the first time ever. What we got to eat after the birds had their
fill were divine. I wanted to remember to write about the bombs that
sounded like fireworks and the fireworks we prayed were not bombs. Or
the way entire neighborhoods rallied and cooked for the soldiers
called up for Operation Defensive Shield. There was 110% return of
soldiers called up for duty, more than the army asked for, fathers of
six trying desperately to button their old army uniforms, anxious to
serve, to patrol, to do something, anything for their country, their
children, and so the army kitchens were caught unawares, during
Pesach, with not enough food to go around, and people all over
Israel, in their just kashered-for-Pesach kitchens started cooking
and filling the backs of station wagons and minivans and driving to
army bases and passing out extra chickens and potatoes.They took
Pesach cakes and kugels out of their refrigerators, things they had
made for their own families, and sent them to the soldiers, their
husbands, fathers, brothers.

I wanted to write about how the schools instituted extra security,
calling on each parent to come and watch at the school gates. How our
synagogues, all of them, have instituted guard duty, sent our
husbands to gun school and target practice. My pacifist husband
David, the man who refused to see "Finding Private Ryan" because of
the violence, now carries a rifle along with his siddur and tallit to
shul, when it is his turn to patrol.

My four-year-old carries his "rifle" too, standing alongside his
father, thinking that shul has now become an action sport and far
more interesting.

In Ariel's high school they instruct the girls to leave five at a
time, no more girls than that, and not to linger in the streets.
During Pesach they canceled all the kids' tiyulim, their highlight-of-
the-year youth group trips. My eight year old son Gabi came home and
announced they were no longer allowed to play outside in the school
field at recess but had to play in the hallways, as their playground
was so large it was unsecurable. (They now play in the courtyard...
at least they are getting fresh air.) For a while Zevi's gan (
preschool) stopped buzzing parents in but made the gannenette
(teacher) come out to the gate to actually "see" the parent she was
letting in. Children here have had to cope with their teachers going
missing for weeks. Teachers called up for weeks, sometimes months of
reserve duty, have to try to establish some sense of continuity. A
friend of mine ran into her son's teacher in the hall. "How do you
think he is doing?" she asked him. Sheepishly, he apologized and said
he really didn't know, he'd just gotten back from reserve duty and
had been away a month.

I wanted to write about the lions that popped up all over Jerusalem.
Funded by the city, commissions were given to dozens of artists to
paint enormous cement lions, the symbol of the city, and so,
everywhere, in parks, public squares, busy intersections, stand
psychedelic lions, lions covered in tiny bits of mirror, lions
encased in plastic, lions standing at mock garden gates, all the
products of local artists, struggling to be innovative and inspiring
in a climate not very conducive to being wildly creative.

There has been the sudden boom in a whole new career path: security.
The fastest growing, well-paying sector of the job market:
restaurants, the pool, the grocery stores, malls, and party halls now
all have guards in their starched white shirts with their blue
security patches and hats and people won't go if they don't have one.
There are men sitting on stools with uniforms and hand-held metal
detectors all up and down Emek Refaim.

And when there is a terror alert, places order them up for the day,
or two days. When things calm down the guards disappear again.
Restaurants like Caffit and Masaryk installed security gates at the
door. You have to be let in and out of the

restaurant by the guard. And now, at the bottom of your bill for your
meal is an extra surcharge, to cover the cost of the security.
Believe me, everyone is happy to pay.

I wanted to remember to write about the Arabs who live in our
neighborhood, the old Arab ladies in their flowing black, embroidered
caftans, boxes perched on their heads who continue to proudly stroll
through these streets, often times selling cilantro and grape leaves,
plums and olives from their gardens. The old Arab men who continue to
beg and ask for tzedakah, from their Jewish neighbors and the Jews
who continue to give it. I do. David does. We give it and we mumble
under our breath, "I wonder how successful we would be collecting
tzedakah in Ramallah?" And then there is Shahir, our Palestinian
friend who continues to call, to occasionally stop by for coffee, to
see how the kids have grown. I have not laid eyes on his family for
almost two years... the length of this messy war. His daughter and my
Dena sent each other faxes, hers in Arabic, Dena's in Hebrew. The
communal language was hearts and smiling faces on tiny figures
holding hands.

They are building everywhere. Renovating all the time. You would
never know there was a crisis here. A crisis of economics. A crisis
of faith and security. Buildings are going up and coming down to be
replaced by newer versions as if there is not only no tomorrow, but
no war going on around us. We are a part of this building craze. Our
new house is going up bit by bit. They have poured the foundation,
and are building the forms that will be the side basement walls. We
have had several typicalIsraeli building crises. We received a notice
from the government that we were building illegally. We
panicked. "Oh, this is nothing," said our builder, "don't worry about
this, they send this notice out every time."

A week later it was taken care of. I have no idea what it was or what
it meant. This morning he informed us that last night a truck full of
Arabs came and stole all the old stone tiles we had piled up in the
corner of the yard to be used in our garden. Our neighbors saw them
and came out and asked what they were doing. "We work for the
builder," they replied and casually continued to load all the antique
enormous stones onto their truck. For three hours. They left us two
hand-painted broken tiles. That is all that is left of the original
old house. So now we will buy antique stones, paying a fortune for
something we already had, and probably buying stones that were stolen
from someone else's house.

I heard the bomb that killed people on King George Street in downtown
Jerusalem in April. I had just walked into our garden gate, was just
getting Zevi out of his stroller when I heard a boom so loud I was
sure it was a bomb on Emek Refiam. Before I could get my keys out of
my purse to unlock the door I heard the first wave of sirens,
confirming my worst fears. While we were up north for Pesach, at Kfar
Bloom, we heard Hizbollah firing away on Mount Dov and the Israeli
soldiers stationed there. The day after we left to go home, the
entire city of Kiryat Shemonah was ordered into their bomb shelters.

It is now totally obvious when there is a bomb/terror alert, when
there is inside information about an impending attack. There are
blockades, police cars and army jeeps, lights flashing, slowly
gliding up and down the streets. On Emek Refaim they no longer make
the cars slow down: the policemen stand, two on each side of the lane
and make each car stop, identify themselves, show their ID, open
their trunks, their doors. When I left in early May to go to the
states for my grandmother's funeral, I called a cab. Exhausted, I
simply sat back in my seat and closed my eyes until we got to the
airport. Once there, the barrier of security guards asked to see my
driver's ID. Perhaps he was an Israeli Arab. Or a new immigrant. Or
perhaps he just looked suspicious, but they motioned for him to pull
over to the side and get out of the car. Then they asked to see my
passport. Then they asked me to get out of the car. Then they asked
me to identify my luggage, and then they asked me to take it all out
of the car. Then they opened all the doors, the glove compartment.

Then they examined every seat and nook and cranny with a flashlight.
Then they took a mirror on tiny wheels and rolled it under the car,
to see if there was anything amiss there. Then they loaded my luggage
back into the car, apologized and handed me my passport, but not
before putting a funny little sticker on the back of it. Then they
went into their office and while later came back out and handed my
driver his ID papers, and apologized again and then told us we could
go. My driver apologized the entire rest of the way into the airport.
I wasn't worried. The airport was deserted. I still had hours to wait
for my flight.

And then there was Yom HaZicharon, Israel's Memorial day. The
contrast of this day still makes me cry. This day that causes the
entire nation to grieve and mourn, that unites everyone, religious
and non-religious.

Grandfathers and grandsons buried side by side, fighting for the same
reasons, against the same people over and over, decade after decade.
The people who died fighting, in uniform, the freshly dug graves of
the twenty three soldiers killed in Jenin, the children, the mothers,
the daughters killed innocently, killed standing in line, waiting for
a bus, buying an ice cream. The sirens blew and everyone stood still.
Everyone stopped, pulled over, stopped mid-sentence, mid-bite, mid-
cigarette.

Everyone heard the echo of those sirens for hours afterward in their
heads. The radio stations played sad songs. People were more patient.
Quieter. More withdrawn. Everyone that is, except the ultra- religious

Jews of Mea Shearim. I was working down at the Jerusalem Print
Workshop, which is just opposite the entrance to Mea Shearim. When
the sirens wailed, I stood at the window, gazing into the street
below. Cars stopped. People stopped still. Except these ultra-
religious Jews. In their coats and hats, they stood smoking
cigarettes, walking, talking to one another in the street, chatting
about this and that, hurrying by the people standing still, hurrying
to their yeshivas, hurrying past the policemen, talking in front of
the silent storeowners. I was shocked. And angry. Very, very

angry. How DARE they? I wondered. How dare they so blatantly show
their distain for the Jewish State? How dare they casually stroll by
this woman who has perhaps lost a son, a brother, a husband this
year, last year, ten years ago, twenty? How dare they twist their
reasoning, our Torah so that instead of worrying about another's
feelings, causing another human being to suffer, they flagrantly show
this perversion of our Torah, our highly sensitized religion which
teaches something quite the opposite. Do they honestly think that
without all these soldiers, without these policemen, they could walk
on those streets, sit learning in their Yeshivot? Do they understand
there would be a wholesale slaughter of them, their wives, their
children? I wonder. I wonder why their wise and learned rabbis
haven't taught them, that it would be better to stay indoors or just
say tehillim for the sixty seconds that the sirens sound, to stay
put, out of respect for the deceased, for the grieving and the
mourners, than to carry on as if the whole world hasn't come to a
painful screeching halt.

I wanted to write about these things. I wanted to write something
balanced, something realistic and optimistic. The good and the bad,
the contrasts that exist here that are so unlike any other place in
the world. And I wanted to somehow explain how a person could still
live here, make a life here. How I am not dodging bullets on my way
to the grocery store, but strolling down little lanes with my
children, taking them to musical concerts, going out to dinner in
lovely gardens where jazz is playing, having normal crazy days like
any mother of five. I wanted to and so I did.

But now I have more to add. There is a painful addendum to this
letter. Two weeks ago, on Shabbat, we heard whispers in our synagogue
that there had been a terrorist attack in the Gush. Three people
killed in the early morning hours of Shabbat, in Karmei Tzur,
somewhere near Efrat. Saturday night, after our Shabbat guests left,
(the Newmarks came from Rananna to spend shabbat with us, along with
Micky Ellman) I went to the Internet to find out exactly what had
happened. The news came up that a nine month pregnant woman and her
husband were killed, along with one other man. They lived in a
caravan (a mobile home) in Karmei Tzur. My mind raced. Yael Sorek, my
ten year old's homework tutor for the last two years was nine and a
half months pregnant. She lived out in the Gush somewhere in a mobile
home. A wave of nausea swept over me. "Please," I prayed, "don't let
it be Yael." David had gone out to buy milk and fruit. I called him
on his cellphone. "I think something horrible has happened to Yael. I
think she might be dead." I continued to scour the on-line
newspapers, searching for a name. Finally on Ha'aretz the names
appeared. Yael Sorek, 24, her husband Eyal, and their unborn baby,
all murdered. I layed my head down on the keyboard. Disbelieving,
unable to swallow, horrified, wondering how on earth I would tell my
ten year old daughter her beloved tutor and her baby and husband were
dead. That past Monday Dena had told Yael goodbye for the summer. We
told her to call us as soon as she had the baby and Dena and I
promised to bring back something wonderful from Baby Gap.

Images of Yael passed through my mind. Always modestly dressed, these
last few months she arrived beaming and round, huffing up the three
flights of stairs to Dena's room, to sit patiently going over the
math and Torah, reminding Dena, cajoling and making Dena feel as if
she is capable of anything. I thought of Dena, always full of self-
confidence and enthusiasm after her sessions, recounting stories of
Yael, where she lived, what her husband did, how excited they were
for this baby. I wondered when and how we should tell Dena, what she
would do. Dena's tenth birthday party was the following day, so we
decided not to tell her. We hid the newspaper that morning, terrified
she would see the picture of the soldiers carting off bodies, might
read the cutline and discover the loss. We prayed she would not stop
and notice the cover of the Hebrew newspapers, which had Yael and
Eyal's wedding picture looming large across the front page. And she
didn't. Blissfully unaware, she had a wonderful birthday party,
opened her presents and blew out her candles, unknowing, unhurt. I
had spoken to someone who was a child psychologist. I asked her about
books. "No," she said, "There are lots of books about death,
explaining death to children. But not this kind..." The next day when
she came home from school, we sat her down and told her. She didn't
want to hear, didn't want to know. She asked over and again about the
baby, would she see the baby? No we said, there will be no baby, and
what's more, Yael will never come to our house again. It didn't
register.

Harvey Tannenbaum, a friend of ours organized a small van to make a
trip up to Kfar Pines, the small moshav where Yael's parents live
about two hours from Jerusalem. We told Dena we would go, along with
her to pay a shiva (condolence) call. The trip was long and Dena was
afraid. As we entered the moshav, small signs stating the Kendall
family name with arrows led the way to their home. We arrived and
heard the voices of many people from inside. We entered and
approached Yael's mother. Sitting in slippers, on a low stool, she
greeted us. We explained we had come all the way from Jerusalem,
because our Dena was a private student of their daughter's for two
years. We explained that their daughter had made Dena's transition
from being an olah chadasha (new immigrant) so easy and how important
she was to us. Dena had drawn a picture and written a letter. Yael's
mother immediately put her arm around Dena, pulled a chair up
alongside her and asked Dena to show her the picture and letter. In
the picture, Dena had drawn Yael with her beautiful full belly, Eyal
and their caravan. In the letter, Dena had written "To the parents of
Yael, my teacher:" She had written about how muched she loved Yael
and then made a list of the the important things Yael had taught her.
Things like eight divided by two and multiplication and other more
important things like "Take a deep breath before beginning" and "work
one problem at a time" and "go slowly and carefully..." Yael's mother
thanked Dena and kissed her and told her how important her letter was
and how Dena should keep working and then she called her husband over.

He looked at the pictures and read the letter and then, this
anguished man, this man who had lost his only daughter and her unborn
child, took my Dena's hand and kissed it. These strong, strong
people, this father who fought on Ammunition Hill in the Six Day War,
whose sons have all served in the army, this man who raises honey
bees and works the land now, who will never again reach out and kiss
his only daughter's hand, never look at her child's pictures. I was
filled with bottomless sadness.

Despair. How can we ever heal this wound? How can we live side by
side by a people who murder pregnant women? Grandmothers and their
grandchildren out getting ice-cream? Schoolgirls going to school? I
find myself moving imperceptably to the right... I'm not so sure of
the things I was sure of two years ago. I'm not so sure these
Palestinians are capable of living in peace with us. I am not so sure
we should be so trusting. Our papers are full of interviews with
suicide bomber's mothers, overjoyed, professing ecstacy of having a
marytr in the family.

Polls are taken revealing the Palestinans do not want a state
alongside ours but our state as well. This week a poll indicated over
sixty percent of the Palestinans continue to support and believe in
suicide bombings. Over fifty percent want Israel to be eliminated.
Are we supposed to negotiate with this? Turn over land that will
bring people who hate us into closer proximity? I no longer believe
this is only about "occupation." Does anyone really believe if we
give all that land back this will stop suddenly? I am overwhelmed by
the evil in this world. By the sheer badness and madness that has
overtaken the Islamic world. When will it end? Or rather at what will
this stop? On the ride home, Dena looked at David. "I'm never going
to see Yael again am I?"

Today was Gabi's eighth birthday party. We had sent our invitations a
week ago. Knowing that he wanted his entire class (all thirty-two of
them) I decided a park would be a perfect place to give all those
eight year olds plenty of space. We hired a sports-entertainer. I
ordered a huge cake with a baseball motif. (Ordering this cake in and
of itself was hilarious: "Ma zeh baseball?" We looked through the
book, the baker and I... no, not football, not volleyball... no not
tennis. When I showed him the picture of the baseball, he shook his
head. That's baseball??)

Once you are past the beginning of May, you don't have to worry about
rain here, and sure enough today was beautiful.

Of course, the lovely morning was marred by the sound of sirens
wailing just after all our children left the house for school. The
news reported the horror of the day. A suicide bomber made it on to a
bus and blew himself and nineteen others up. Many of them kids on
their way to school. Jerusalem has been on a high terror alert for
the past two days. Last night the air was filled with the whirring of
helicopters. Police and soldiers were everywhere. But this guy
slipped through, found his crowded heaven full of young people and
ripped himself and nineteen others to pieces. I was suddenly very
tired.

Later this afternoon, the phone rang. A father called to ask what
kind of security we were having at the party. Was there going to be a
guard, or someone with a gun. Stunned, I replied no, there wouldn't
be anyone there with a weapon. I explained the park was very small
and out of the way, and I thought they would be fine."But," he asked
me, "You will have many, many children there. How can you not have
security? The parents are worried. There are more suicide bombers
loose in the city." I felt sick. How stupid we were. What were
thinking, having a birthday party for eight year olds in a park? How
foolish. David and I wondered aloud.

Who did we know that had a gun? Could we borrow one for the party? In
the end, we decided to just go ahead and have the party, and if
anyone suspicious came into the park, well, I joked, I would bring a
very sharp knife to cut the cake, we could use that. I then went to a
meeting. The woman told me she had just come from Emek Refaim, where
she was walking down the street when suddenly, an army van came to a
screeching halt, five uniformed men jumped out and with guns
pointing, ordered a man with a large bag to stop and drop the bag. It
turned out to be nothing, but again I felt worried about our
impending party.

The party was wonderful. In the end, only twenty-four kids came.
Several mothers stayed, confessing later that they were very nervous
about their child being in a public place. The evening was beautiful.
The children were wild and happy, running themselves in circles,
eating pizza and cake and ice-cream, fighting over who would get the
piece of cake with the baseball. I walked to the car halfway through
the party, to put Gabi's gifts in the trunk. I looked back over my
shoulder to see a dream. Children running free and wild, giggling and
laughing, balls flying. There were bright purple blossoms floating
down from one of the trees in bloom. Palm trees were swaying and the
addictive Jerusalem evening breeze had begun. "This." I said to
myself. "This is what is important to remember. This is a perfect
moment."

Later, at home, as I was cleaning up and putting away, Gabi opened
his gifts. David called to me, "Look at this," he said, "this kid
made Gabi a special card. Look at what he wrote: Dear Gabi, Hope you
have a great birthday. Have a wonderful summer. Have fun. I hope you
are safe from any peguahs (terrorist attacks)." Just a typical eight
year old's birthday card.

Tomorrow night we get on a plane for America. Our kids are giddy with
excitement at seeing their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents
who have not seen them for a year. They are talking about going to
camp next week, at shopping and seeing friends. My older girls are
torn, not wanting to leave their friends and their rich social lives,
but missing family very much, and looking forward to camp as well.

I have so many feelings. I too am excited, wanting to reconnect with
family and friends. I am looking forward to relaxing, to taking
things easy. And yet, I feel a certain sadness about being gone so
long. It is insane, this paradox, and yet that is what this place is.
A place of extremes. And lately, those extremes seem to be more so. I
feel guilty about leaving. I wonder what we will be coming back to,
what the autumn will bring. I wonder whether I will settle into
American life easily, or whether I will walk around feeling
completely ungrounded. Friends here asked, "Do you think you will
come back?" I look at them incredulously.

Are they serious? We are building a house here. Of course we are
coming back. I wonder if we will be safe in America. David and I have
planned four days in New York City. I wonder if this is wise. I think
about the many airline flights we will be taking. I hope the American
airlines know what they are doing.

Right now there are, again, helicopters overhead. The government
cabinet is debating a harsh reprisal for today's horror. I wonder
what turmoil we will be leaving tomorrow? I wonder what turmoil we
are headed towards.

These are strange and horrible times. David said at shul this past
Shabbat, the man he has been sitting next to for a long time came in
a short sleeved shirt. He had a number etched on his arm. He too has
seen horrors. He has seen the worst possible face of mankind. But he
smiles.

And he comes to synagogue. It is for him that we continue, and it is
for him that we will return. For the numbers on his arm and the smile
on his face. Dena and I decided that we will indeed go to Baby Gap,
and we will buy a beautiful baby outfit. We will bring it back and we
will give it to a poor family with a new baby, in Yael's honor. So it
is for this that we will also return.

ANDI ARNOVITZ, JERUSALEM: arnovitz@a...
Copyright 2002, Andi Arnovitz, all rights reserved.

Ha Ha 19.Jun.2002 17:24

Anonymous

I fooled you. I bet you didn't imagine I was referring to the PALESTINIANS being the nazi murderers. No your sick, twisted, far left wing extremist minds couldn't fathom that. Of course you are today's nazis siding with the murderers of Jews and endorsing another holocaust against the Jewish people this time by the arab muslims. No there should never be a state granted to those who murder pregnant women and children. There should never be a state for sick psychotic people who don't even value the lives of their own children whom they send off to become martyrs for allah and then celebrate their deaths. I ask you what kind of sick, demented, depraved civilization does this to their children? And how is it possible to make peace with those whose goal is to murder you and your children because they are Jewish? There will never be peace in the middle east because the palestinians hate Jews more than they love their children. They are willing to sacrifice the lives of their own children so long as they kill enough Jews along with them. This is the mark of a very, very sick culture and its people. No PC sensitivity for me, thank you. I'm telling it like it is regardless of whether or not muslims are offended.

A voice from Hebron 19.Jun.2002 18:01

Anonymous

A Voice from Hebron
by Gary M. Cooperberg gary@p...

A "Higher" Morality?
June 19, 2002

Although occasional shootings, stabbings, and even bombings with
few casualties, seem to pass relatively unnoticed, when a city bus
loaded with school children is blown to smithereens, murdering nearly
twenty people and injuring nearly fifty others, it cannot help but
have an impact upon us. For nearly two days our politicians will be
issuing strongly worded comments, including brilliant "new" ideas as
to how to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Then, once the wreckage is cleared away, the blood hosed off the
streets, and the dead buried, it is back to life as usual. One
cannot help but wonder just how much tragedy we must be made to
suffer before it becomes so intolerable that we put an end to it by
any and every means at our disposal. Clearly we haven't even come
close to that point yet.

Ever since the establishment of the state our leadership found a
way to explain its cowardly policies toward our enemies. Although
blissfully ignorant of most of the basic tenets of the Jewish
religion, suddenly they become Jewish scholars. "Judaism teaches a
higher morality," they proclaim. And then they use that vague and
undefined terminology to justify national cowardice. The real and
honest explanation as to why we refuse to destroy our enemies is not
because it is a "higher morality", rather because we are afraid of
what the United States might do. Our actions are based upon our
fear, not either "morality" or Judaism.

It is amazing to watch our leaders come up with the most
ridiculous proposals to end Arab terror. On the left, of course, the
goal is to stop terror by giving the Arabs what they want. What these
people refuse to understand is that the Arabs want to destroy the
Jewish State. Giving them Judea, Samaria, Gaza and even Jerusalem
will never be enough. But better to dream of an easy solution than
honestly face the reality that nothing will satisfy our enemies short
of our self-destruction.

Those who are referred to as "right wing" are just as self-
deceptive. They have ideas which range from deporting Arafat to
targeted killing of key terrorist leaders. Now we are told that our
government has decided to get even tougher and "reoccupy" area "A"
until terror stops. If terror does stop then they will leave and we
will be back to square one. If it doesn't stop what then? Either
way we do not solve the problem. We refuse to identify the real
problem which is why it cannot be addressed by any of the silly
solutions proposed, such as building a great wall to keep out
terror. Maybe we should make a lot of little walls around each and
every Arab.

The problem is not Arafat. Should he mysteriously disappear
tomorrow nothing will change. The problem is that we refuse to
recognize that Islamic ideology cannot and will not accept the
legitimacy of a Jewish State of any size in the Middle East. One
does not negotiate religious ideology, unless of course he is a
Jewish leader who hasn't the slightest idea of what Jewish ideology
is.

The Arabs are sending their children to kingdom come
for "religious" reasons. To them they are serving Allah by fighting
the Jewish infidels in an extreme effort to remove us from our
homeland. When people have so clearly demonstrated that they are
prepared to die for their beliefs, how can we continue to assume that
we can in any way influence them to change their ideology?
Certainly now, after all we have been through; after all of our self-
sacrificing and self-destructive efforts to prove the above axiom
wrong have failed, how can we still feel the need to find a way to
live with those who seek our destruction?

There is only one solution to end the murder of our children in
the streets of our cities. It is the solution which all of our
politicians are afraid to even whisper, for fear of being called a
racist. Unless all Arabs, on both sides of the so-called "green
line", are removed from our land, our children will continue to be
murdered in pizza parlors, shopping centers, and on buses on their
way to school. If our "morality" dictates that it is more important
to allow Arabs to live in Israel than to protect our own children,
then clearly, there is something wrong with that morality.
Just to set the record straight, it is certainly not Jewish
morality. Jewish morality requires us to remove our enemies, not to
live with them. And Jewish morality forbids us to negotiate with
those who seek to take our homeland from us. It certainly forbids us
to even consider permitting any foreign entity, friend or foe, from
establishing sovereignty over Jewish Land.

So those who claim to pursue peace by violating Jewish morality,
are either liars or fools. It will only be as a result of our
conforming with true Jewish morality that we will achieve the peace
we all seek.

response to israeli life article and next 20.Jun.2002 23:39

K

I appreciate the long essay on Isreali life during the conflict by ANDI ARNOVITZ. It was deeply saddening and eye opening. I was in israel last summer, and know that there are so many ways of life there and so many perspectives. thank you for yours.
The part about the tutor Yael is tragic. arrgggg whatever happens we MUST, MUST not lose hope and not stop progressing and increasing the peace in any possible way. If we lose hope of peace, then what is left? nothing is left.
what i felt was missing from ANDI ARNOVITZ's article was any sense of what was happening on the other side of the "green line." Unfortunately, their tragedies are not the only ones in the region. The proud family members serving their country must make a perfect effort to not discredit their own cause by committing gross violations of human rights and dignity. If the infrastructure of the palestinian society is destroyed any more, can you possibly imagine them having the ability to function as a sovreign or democratic nation? every small thing counts, because everything is blown out of proportion. emotions and desire for revenge spreads like wild fire in that hot dry land and we must dig "channels" to prevent its spread: dig DEEPER into the potentials of our hearts to compromise and seek peace for all people, instead of blocking out our problems with giant "walls."

about the article one after that, i do not agree with the authors wording on Jewish morality being the way to have peace. peace can exist outside of a particular faith. i don't think you came to any useful conclusion. peace must be made on the israeli side even when all people want to believe is that palestinians don't want peace. we must UPHOLD our high morality because it IS there, and we must come together to pursue tikkun olam: healing the world. we are one people and we must return to our homeland in israel without breaking every other rule we have lived by for so many generations. b'shalom v'ahavah. (in peace and love.)
from kate an 18 year old