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Handing Over Israel Piece by Piece for Peace

Israel is a safe heaven for oppressed Jews from around the world. Muslims can’t stand it. Neither, apparently, can the United Nations.

There is this little secular, democratic nation in the Middle East, seemingly taunting the surrounding Mullahs and dictators, while providing safe heaven for oppressed Jews from around the world. And Muslims can’t sand it. Neither, apparently, can the United Nations.

Almost every member of the United Nations backs the Palestinians, a non-state in the middle of the state of Israel. Why, because the Palestinians are poor, uneducated, oppressed and “occupied” by Israelis who throw rockets at them everyday? That’s the lie. Meanwhile, not one of their Arab neighbors offers any meaningful assistance to Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. No Arab nation has tried to assimilate refugees from the U.N.’s new “non-member observer state.” Jordan was supposed to be the homeland for Palestinians, yet it’s practically impossible for Palestinians to even travel to Jordan, Egypt, or anywhere else in the Muslim world, much less move there. Occasionally, the border with Egypt opens for a few hours, but usually, only guns, bullets and missiles cross into Gaza. Poor Palestinians; they should give peace a chance.

A note to President Obama, who seems somewhat ambivalent concerning the path to follow:

Mr. President,

 I am not Jewish, but I am a devout Zionist. I had the good fortune to travel in Israel, had breakfast with Ezer Weizman at his home in Caesarea, lunch with Menachem Begin in Jerusalem, and dinner with Moshe Dayan and his wife at their home near Tel Aviv – Moshe Dayan loved his Arab friends. I also met with the Commander of Air Base Etzion, which was handed over to Egypt along with the rest of the Sinai in order to make peace. I was extremely fortunate to meet these Israeli heroes; our conversations were enlightening, and for me, life changing. We visited Masada, a symbol of Jewish resolve, waded in the Dead Sea, walked in the Hassidic section of Jerusalem where I bought a Jewish Bible and read from its English translation, spent an eye-opening week in the Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv – modern, multicultural, friendly and safe – it felt like home. In the ancient port of Jaffa, we climbed down excavations into the past – when Jews and Arabs were all “Palestinians” living with their Roman conquerors. I discussed the Israeli dilemma with average citizens, Israeli soldiers, and heads of state. And no one could explain, adequately, reasonably, why any nation on earth would make it a goal to eradicate the Jewish people, or how anyone could legitimately conclude that the Jewish state is an occupying force in the area.

Mr. President, you have a difficult, but logical path to follow. Respectfully, I hope you have the courage and conviction to follow it by unequivocally supporting the state of Israel.

Israel is surrounded by Muslim countries that are ruled by despots and dictators, and overrun by renegade gangs of religious fanatics that hate America as much as they hate Israel. What are they afraid of – Israel’s success, determination, secularism, their Democracy, their formidable army? What, exactly? And why? Israel doesn’t proselytize or threaten anyone? Fortunately, it carries a big stick!

In 1967, at the conclusion of the Six Day War, Israeli forces had taken control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. The Arab plan is to take it all back piece by piece, and get rid of the Jews.

For now, Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank want to establish a state-within-a-state and share Israel's capital city. This is while Hamas, the Palestinian Sunni Islamic organization that governs the Gaza Strip lobs missiles into Israel – and the world complains when Israel retaliates. Two Muslim factions are fighting for control of their yet-to-be-established state of Palestine, and these self-declared enemies of Israel want to dictate the terms of Israel's capitulation – without recognizing Israel's right to exist! The United Nations sees nothing unusual about this, and many countries in Europe applaud their efforts.

Jordan wants peace, but still hasn’t declared an end to its decades old non-shooting war with Israel. Syria has been an implacable enemy of Israel forever. Lebanon is Syria’s dummy. And Iran has vowed to remove Israel from the face of the earth. Saudi Arabia – we’re not sure of their intentions – wouldn't let me into their country because of the Israeli stamp on my passport and the Tel Aviv Sheraton Hotel sticker on my luggage! The anti-Semites in the United Nations need someone to blame for their prejudice, ignorance and national failures. They can’t admit it, but they all need something to keep their “street” quiet, something other than their citizens’ missing freedoms.

Just a word about the “occupation” – It Isn’t! What if Mexico starts lobbing missiles into San Diego and starts calling us “occupiers?” Should we annex Southern California and give it back? Should we ask the United Nations what they think?

You may not agree with Benjamin Netanyahu – no matter, you don’t get to vote in Israeli elections. You do get to ask and work for world peace, justice, and democracy. As an American, that means you are pro-Israel, whether you are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, agnostic or atheist.

Happy Hanukkah!

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Kathi December 17, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Judd, actually Jewish presence in Hebron goes back much further than 800 years. It is mentioned in the bible so that would be closer to 3000 years or more.
Jac Flanders December 17, 2012 at 08:58 PM
(#2 Flying Over Israel) They were descending rapidly, the increased air pressure causing their ears to "pop." As the Israeli pilots banked the plane sharply to the right, Herb Gluck aimed his Nikon F-3 out the window at the boat-shaped mountain that was gradually filling his viewfinder. Masada overlooks the Dead Sea, jutting precipitously from the desert floor. Except for the stepped,m round-edged foothills leading to the sea, they might have been flying over Utah or Nevada - not the Negev. "King Herod built it around a hundred years before Christ," Jac yelled to Herb over the noise of the engines. "See there, you can see the outlines of the Roman camps, and the ramp they built to reach the Jews." "I brought the wrong lens," Herb cursed. They were too close to get the whole mountain in frame, then as they sped south and climbed, Masada retreated under the wing and disappeared into the desert. After a while, Avi, the television representative from Tel Aviv, said absentmindedly, not loud enough for the rest of the passengers to hear, "We're giving this part of Israel to the Egyptians in April." He meant that area taken in the Six Day War, of course. (continued next)
Kathi December 17, 2012 at 09:03 PM
mfriedrich, yes it does depend on when you start watching the movie & you seem to be starting it rather late. As Judd brings out the murder of Jews there went back well before 1948. & Hebron was far from the only instance. It was going on at the time of Israeli independence. We have all seen examples of Arab or Muslim mobs stirred up by cartoons or rumors--often false--that end up killing people. This was going on there before Israeli independence. Yes, it was not all the Palestinians & not all Muslims, but it has been going on for years before Israeli independence. & the actually peaceful palestinians suffered & were driven out as much by the terrorist leadership & continue to suffer as a result of that. So many of those palestinians that truly were peaceful were driven out by all the turmoil & then unable to return. Yes, the Irgun & some similar did terrorist actions also in response to the attacks against Jews. Not right response, but it was for a limited period of time & was a wrong response to attacks on Jews. So you, like so many seem to be starting your movie maybe a little after partition or maybe a little before in part, but mostly after the 1967 war. & yes, humanly speaking I don't see a lot of hope for peace in the middle East. & finally, you apparently don't believe it but 1 reason for the US to continue helping Israel--besides countering the Arab oil $--is God's promise of blessing to those who bless Israel.
Jac Flanders December 17, 2012 at 09:10 PM
(#3 Flying Over Israel) Moses led the Jews out of Egypt into the Sinai, Jesus walked through the Negev, the Romans found nearly a thousand zealots dead at Masada, King Hussein kicked the P.L.O. out of Jordan . . . and now, an American Jew and a confirmed agnostic were flying through Sumaria and Judea in a plane flown by Israeli Air Force pilots in Spring 1982. It was an occasion for questions - and the working title of the book became, "The Question Is ..." (continued next)
Kathi December 17, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Continuing, While many don't believe God has anything to do w this, how else do you even explain the survival of the Jews w all the attempts to wipe them out over several millennia? Not sure if there is any other group, that had had so many attacks against it that has survived this long as a distinct people. But 1 word of warning about peace in the middle east. One is coming, probably from Europe who will seemingly miraculously broker peace. He will seem like a savior & be hailed for his achievement & will be a very capable leader who will gain popularity. Israel & those against her will sign a 7 year peace treaty brokered by him. You can imagine how 1 who is able to get that done would be acclaimed. Religious leaders will also praise him. & he will gain more & more power. You can read about him in the bible in Daniel, Revelation & elsewhere. He is the one who has been called the anti-Christ. & like when Hitler started gaining power, he seemed to speak to the needs of the downtrodden Germans & he seemed a savior to them. He did not come on the scene as the way we know him now. As he gained popularity people did not see the horror that was to come. & so it will be w this future world leader who will bring middle East peace--for a very few years before the horror. But true peace will not come until Jesus returns visibly to earth & sets up rule. Then there truly will be peace. So if you see someone bringing peace before, beware & grab a bible & read.
Jac Flanders December 17, 2012 at 09:23 PM
(Final - Flying over Israel) In many discussions between February 1981 and April 1982, the leaders and movers of the State of Israel talked about their 35-year-old nation, about their four thousand year struggle for survival, about their feelings towards Christians and Arabs, and about living together. It may be that no single truth exists to solve Israel's problems, to unite Arabs, Christians and Jews. But, the questions shape a kind of solution: If our answers are vastly different, even to the death . . . we are all asking similar questions.
Jay Berman December 17, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Thank you Jac .... that was excellent !
Kathi December 17, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Nothing like very radical, biased info. How's that Arab Spring working out now? Some of us who have seen movements before to get rid of a dictator only to have a totalitarian govt which is worse come in were fearful that would happen in Egypt & it seems to be happening. Whether those who thought they were getting freedom & democracy wlll be be able to turn things in that direction remains to be seen but it doesn't look like they have enough political unity & leadership to actually form & keep what they want. & like happened in Cuba (when Castro ousted the right-wing dictator Bautista), it seems that repression of non-Islamists is already happening.
Bob Chase SEA COAST EXCLUSIVE PROPERTIES December 17, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I strongly believe Kathi ought to be our next Sect of State!
Bob Chase SEA COAST EXCLUSIVE PROPERTIES December 17, 2012 at 09:53 PM
And Jac as Ambassador to the UN.
SPB December 17, 2012 at 10:13 PM
by supporting Israel on an internet message board? Thats quite the threshold you've got there...
Bob Chase SEA COAST EXCLUSIVE PROPERTIES December 17, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Hey thanks SPB...Glad you have a sense of humor. I think both would be a far cry better then Kerry or Rice since neither have shown any Chutzpah.
SPB December 17, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Kerry would bore foreign leaders into submission, then, while in a drooling stupor he would strike like a cobra... a very... lethargically....paced... cobra. I think Danny Trejo would be the best Sec. of State ever. Just send him over with a large knife and have him stare down the other side. He would communicate solely with satisfied grunts for yes, knife sharpening for no. Downright terrifying. As you can see my standards aren't much higher.
Kathi December 18, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Jay, do need to remember that not all Palestinians are hostile to Israel & not all of them are Musilms. There were a lot of Christians among them, although more of them fled earlier. & of course some of them are right here in OC. I have friends among them.
Kathi December 18, 2012 at 02:37 AM
& on a related issue, what about this proposal to give I think its 20 F16s (I may have the # wrong) advanced fighter planes to Egypt, even after Morsi has come out w his decrees, & presumably even after the protests have resumed against them. A US military leader in the area commented about the long standing alliance w Egypt as though no changes in govt had taken place & as though that long relationship is relevant to the issue right now. It seems going ahead w the deal, especially at this time would send a signal to Morsi to go right ahead ruling by decree & heading toward sharia law. We need someone w both diplomacy & wisdom that is not so naive as to believe that things like the hopes of the Arab Spring will turn out the way those on the street wanted. Someone who understands the middle East & Islam so as to not unnecessarily offend them but who also can put them on notice that we have free speech in America. So if someone in America does or says something that is offensive to them, that this person can put things in perspective--such as in the case of that film trailer that supposedly sparked riots & calls for him to be punished. In that case a small group made a trashy, offensive film. But we have free speech so he is entitled to say & do offensive things. & to point out that it is absurd to blame all of America for what 1 person or a few do or say. Its part of our freedom that we should not be ashamed of--even if we don't like what they said!
Jay Berman December 18, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Funny thing Kathi ... I was on a cruise with a large group of singles last year .. they set you up with a roommate if you want one .. I do so I can get a suite ... anyway, my roommate was a Palestinian doctor ... his parents got him out and to the US where he went to school and became an anesthesiologist ... nice guy ... imagine that, a Jew and a Palestinian sharing 600 square feet for a week ..
SPB December 18, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Ah, Kathi, but your problem here is that you make sense. That automatically disqualifies anyone from a successful career in government.
Kathi December 18, 2012 at 05:45 AM
SPB, well the way things are going & recently much worse due to years of stupid, short sighted decisions--like putting off dealing w existing entitlement programs & instead adding another, among all sorts of other things. I don't have a lot of hope about all of this so not looking to govt to solve much. I look to the bible for my hope, while participating & voting & doing what I can in my sphere that I can influence. & as far as the original topic, its a tough 1. The Palestinians who were living peacefully had their lives disrupted by others. Israel had to take steps to protect itself because of the terrorists among those in power among the PLO. & before the 6 day war, the Arab countries didn't really do anything much to help the Palestinians when they controlled the West Bank & Gaza. Some did go to other countries such as Syria & I heard that a friend's relatives were hiding out back last Summer because of the fighting. Not sure what has happened to them since. Both in the middle East & here in the US, problems have been kicked down the road & they don't go away. They just tend to get worse.
MFriedrich December 18, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Kathi, earlier I posted about Palestine and the Ottoman Empire. Trust me, I'm not joining the film late.
MFriedrich December 18, 2012 at 06:12 AM
God has to be the worst real estate broker the world has ever seen. If he was all-powerful and all-knowing, and recruiting a 5 star culture to be on "his team", and also declaring an ideal geographic location to make the best and most important stuff go down, then surely he should have picked the Jains and someplace cool like Australia or Tahiti. Selecting Jews, Muslims, Christians as your messengers, and strip of dry wasteland in the desert seems like either a colossal celestial mistake or one gigantic practical joke.
MFriedrich December 18, 2012 at 06:19 AM
Yes, I don't deny that Israel is in a precarious situation. They are surrounded by enemies, and have taken drastic measures outward and inward to preserve their culture, identity, religious traditions and dare I say "race". These are their objectives, and that's there business. What I don't understand is why Israel's precarious and unfortunate geography and national defense situation has to be a problem for the US taxpayers? I don't care how many US companies operate there. That's their business risk, not the US taxpayers' burden. We should be friends with Israel. We should trade with them. We should support them. It's pathetic. It's like a 64 year old man who is still living with his parents, and everyone is perpetually pissed off at him. Got to let him get on with it.
Kathi December 18, 2012 at 06:31 AM
mfriedrich, well actually it is reported that at the time the Jews were coming from Egypt back to the promised land, that it seemed to be very productive--a land flowing w milk & honey. One of the promises to Israel was blessing if they continued to follow God & judgement if they were not following Him (we see that played out in the book of Judges & the whole rest of the OT). Part of the promised blessing for them being faithful was the earlier & latter rains. So I'm guessing that it used to get more rain than it does now. But w irrigation I understand that it is very productive agriculturally. But God also said of the nation of Israel that He didn't choose them because of how good they were--same w the others. Its called God's grace. I sure don't understand all of His workings although I understand much better than when I started getting to know Him, but His grace is evident throughout the bible. He gives us good things, not because we deserve them, but because He wants to. Grace is God's Riches At Christ's Expense as it has been put. He gives us good things we don't deserve, & by His Grace & what Jesus did for us, we don't get the bad things we do deserve. But we still live in a world that for the most part is going its own way apart from God & so we all bear the consequences of that.
MFriedrich December 18, 2012 at 06:43 AM
Kathi, I don't much care what Israel does. They can build settlements they want. They can reconstruct the Temple that was razed in 70 A.D. and raze it again. Don't much care. But they need to finally stop clutching Mother America's skirt (and purse) every time their crazy neighbors get pissed off. It's not our fight anymore. Having a democratic neighbor in the Middle East is nice. But it's not a strategic necessity anymore. The biblical rationale to support Israel has to be the worst ever. We might as well dump billions of taxpayer dollars to excute global circumcision missions because King David was such an obvious fan, or fund a global program supporting the stoning of non-virgin girls on their wedding nights while we're at it. You seem confused about the wealth of Israel's neighbors. None of them are oil rich. Lebanon? Uh no. Syria? Nope. Jordan? Hahahaha. Egypt. No. And the more distant ones who are oil rich stopped sending money years ago because the ROI from Hamas and the Palestinian Authority really sucks.
MFriedrich December 18, 2012 at 06:58 AM
"Continuing, While many don't believe God has anything to do w this, how else do you even explain the survival of the Jews w all the attempts to wipe them out over several millennia? Not sure if there is any other group, that had had so many attacks against it that has survived this long as a distinct people." Oh the only explanation has to be a supernatural one. No other culture survives such persecution! Because there's a celestial video camera in the sky who sees all you do, judges you for what you think, what you wear, what you eat, who you sleep with and in what position. Also, after 5 billion earth years of having His arms folded, this God decides to intervene in earthly affairs over 3,500 years ago. He doesn't dip his mitts into China where people can read. No, he picks the most backward, tribal, warlike, illiterate location he can find on the planet to reveal himself and his message -repeatedly, mind you, because this almight God - a supposed all-powerful and all-knowing being, would not hire decent marketing communications team to ensure the message and the brand stick.
MFriedrich December 18, 2012 at 07:13 AM
"His grace is evident in the Bible". There's only 1 verse in the Bible that I really like, Kathi. It's ironic that it was somehow placed in a book of the Bible so drenched with blood, violence and human suffering, but oh well: Leviticus 19:18. It's a good one. Maybe a few drops of divine grace there. But then there are tons of revolting, deplorable verses like Jeremiah 19:9 or Psalm 137, 9, Deuteronomy 22:28-29, or all of 1 Samuel Chapter 15, which almost cancels the good one out completely. No need for someone to interpret for me what's behind Exodus 22:18. God's grace resonates through the pages. An interesting peace of literature to be sure, but apply and use in the 21st century as a moral compass document? Or worse as a roadmap for foreign and fiscal policy? I'm afraid not.
SPB December 18, 2012 at 11:04 PM
m, I agree. The fact of the matter is that the bible cannot be taken as a word for word account for modern living without completely upending human rights. The old testament was written for bronze age jews, not 21st century Americans. To allow it to dictate our foreign policy would be nuts. Oh, and to reply to a previous statement made by Kathi: The gypsies have been just as persecuted. They have suffered ethnic cleansing and banishment just like Jews. The Kurds are another. They've suffered quite a bit. We don't even need to get into all of the ethnic cleansing that occurred to various African cultures... oh, and I suppose quite a few Native American populations have had it a bit rough. When it comes down to it, lots of people have been wronged through out the course of history, but the answer to those wrongs cannot be to just screw a different group of people.
Kathi December 19, 2012 at 12:22 AM
mfriedrich, well interesting that you only find the 1 verse to like. The preceding ones also talk about how to treat people fairly. There are lots of verses of God's grace in Isaiah & other places as well & the New Testament is full of God's grace. The book of Ruth is also a story of grace & there are lots of others in both OT & NT. You might try reading it in context some time. You would find a lot more passages of God's grace & maybe some better understanding of the more difficult ones. & the bible is very relevant for today. Many of the commandments in the OT were for that specific time & situation. The NT makes it clear that we are not under law today but under grace. But there are lessons to learn from all of it. Also much of the OT was specifically for the nation of Israel. Don't know if you have ever read 1 Cor 13, the love chapter. I find the bible very relevant to my life today. Of course not everybody who says they believe & follow it actually does consistently--I know I fall short. But it does set a standard of love, not just praying for people, but reaching out & meeting their needs, putting other's 1st. All those tough things that don't come naturally to use. I find I need God's empowering to enable me to love when people abuse me, etc. But you are being like many today who want to pick things out of the context of the whole & put God on trial. The last few chapters of the book of Job are interesting in that regard.
Kathi December 19, 2012 at 12:32 AM
SPB, actually the bible can be taken as a guide, but yes, much of the OT was for the nation of Israel at that time. & yes, many others have been persecuted (you left out the Armenians) but I don't know of such ongoing attempts to not just persecute but to wipe them out, going back maybe 3000 years or so. Most of the ones you cite have been in the last 200 years & probably not as continuous attacks by many different nations over so long a time. & my point was not that it is an excuse to treat others badly, but rather an example of God's preserving them as He promised He would. I have already commented that the Palestinians have suffered, a lot of it because of the terrorists among them that caused Israel to take defensive steps to preserve themselves. Unfortunately many of the current Palestinian leaders--especially Hamas in Gaza don't care about their own people, but shoot rockets from populated areas--using their own people, whether voluntarily or not as human shields. There is no easy solution, but as others have said, if Israel laid down their arms they would be wiped out. If the Palestinians laid down their arms, there would be peace. Unfortunately many of the Palestinians, as other civilian populations have done in the past, are suffering because of what their leaders are doing, which brings retaliation. Israel has been very restrained in responding to the continual rocket attacks on populated areas.
SPB December 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I agree, the bible should be taken as a guide, which is why I find the notion of using it as a word for word account on how to conduct our domestic and foreign policies to be troubling. Square peg, round hole, etc etc. You have of course acknowledged the suffering of the Palestinians, but I think you are a little too eager too assume the good intentions of the state of Israel. The fact is the West Bank has done what you asked and laid down its arms. In exchange, all they have seen is more settlement building, water confiscation and farm razing. From a Palestinian perspective it shows that their only 2 options are living in squalor, or launching rockets while living in squalor. People in America always threaten violent revolution over much much less. I think people living in Southern Lebanon would disagree with you on that whole "restrained" notion. I'm not condoning the rocket attacks, just looking at their cause from the perspective of the people firing them.
SPB December 19, 2012 at 06:05 PM
@ Jay, thats the thing, Palestinians and Jews are essentially the same people. We are all loud, talk with our hands, have awesome food and put family, education and tradition in high regard. Maybe the solution to the problem would be to make all Jews and Arabs in Israel/Palestine roommates for a week. Reality TV at its finest.

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