Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Israel's "fault": not enough civilian deaths

Today, while browsing some blogs, I came across a post (written by an American, Christian blogger) which can be summarized as the following: Israel, so far, has suffered far less civil casualties than the residents of Gaza. Conclusion: Israel is somehow at fault, because not enough of our citizens are dying.

It's pretty obvious what we need to do in order to gain worldwide sympathy, right? Just die in larger numbers... um, no. Sorry, we've already tried that multiple times in history. Doesn't work.

In addition, the operation in Gaza is "an act of excessive revenge for the kidnapping of three people". No mention that the three kidnapped teenagers - Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel (who, by the way, was an American citizen) - also happened to be brutally murdered.

I will not link to that blog because I don't want to give it traffic, but here is a copy of the email I sent the blog author:

***

Do you wonder why much fewer Israelis than Arabs have, so far, been killed in this conflict? 

The answer is simple. The Israeli protect their citizens. We invest much in devices such as the Iron Dome. Actually, to the best of our ability, we protect Gaza citizens, too. It seems Israel cares a lot more than Hamas about the citizens of Gaza. Hamas uses live people as a human shield and the death of citizens is conveniently utilized as propaganda. 

Meanwhile, Gaza and West Bank Arabs continue to receive complex and expensive treatment in Israeli hospitals, at Israeli expense. And I'm not referring to war casualties, either, but to things such as children's oncology. I saw it with my own eyes when I did my hospital internship. 

Ask yourself: can you imagine an Israeli being thus treated in a hospital in Gaza? 

Ask yourself the following question: if (hypothetically, of course) rockets were constantly launched at the southern cities of USA from across the Mexican border, how would USA react? How long would it be until a full-blown war on Mexico? And how would the lives of USA citizens be valued, against the lives of Mexican citizens? Somehow, I think Israel was a lot more patient than America would be. Israel has tolerated things that are beyond anything any reasonable country would put up with. 

Israel vacated the Gaza strip in 2005. It was a one-sided act; it was also a mistake. Why? Because ever since, the citizens of southern Israel have known no peace. Such a situation as they have been living in is intolerable. I do not doubt that the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Frenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrach served as a catalyst for the current operation in Gaza. However, this doesn't mean that the operation was unwarranted. On the contrary, I believe it was tardy in coming. I am certain that if you lived in Sderot, you would feel the same.

I also believe Israel has no way to ensure its safety but re-take control over Gaza and wipe out the Hamas entirely. 

36 comments:

August said...

The idea that there are two countries there is ultimately damaging to the Palestinians. They do not have a country, defenses, or anything- and their own neighboring Muslims/Arabs keep them where they are just as much as anyone.
And I am no where near as pro-Israel as I once was- paradoxically, perhaps, when they forced the Jews out of Gaza to give it to the Palestinians I realized they do not respect property rights. Hamas doesn't either, so all of you in the Middle East are badly served by a bunch of socialist governments that often use an ethnic right to the land as an excuse for big government socialist behavior. Meanwhile actual people need to know their property is going to remain theirs so they will have the incentive and desire to improve it. People generally do not plant seeds if they can't expect to be around by harvest.

But for politicians, an unresolved situation like Gaza is very attractive because it can be used to control the population.

Shlomo Maistre said...

Through Operation Protective Edge Israel seeks to reteach Hamas the lesson of the Six-Day War: the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel.

Shlomo Maistre said...

Anna,

Long-time reader here. I generally agree with your thoughts. I thought I'd add the full text of the email I sent to that same weblog:

You wrote:

The kidnapping of three people does not warrant this kind of extreme revenge and so many deaths.

Israel commenced Operation Protective Edge in response to incessant rocket and mortar fire from Gaza that often targets civilian population centers. Those attacks had intensified recently in (alleged) response to Israel’s arrest of hundreds of Hamas operatives, which (purportedly) occurred in reaction to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens by Hamas operatives.

The two primary reasons why the casualty statistics are so lopsided are that Israel has deployed Iron Domes (highly effective in intercepting incoming rockets) throughout its territory and Hamas manufactures, stores, and launches its rockets in hospitals, nurseries, schools, homes, Mosques, etc.

In response to a single terrorist attack that threatened far less than 1% of his nation’s civilian population, President Bush vowed to make no distinction between terrorists and those who harbor them. America invaded two nations, installed puppet governments, and maintained vast military forces in both countries for over a decade.

In reaction to thousands of terrorist attacks threatening well over half of his nation’s civilians, Prime Minister Netanyahu unilaterally agreed to and obeyed (for six hours) a ceasefire proposed by Egypt. Israel reluctantly invaded Gaza and almost certainly possesses not the cojones to install a puppet government there or maintain a military presence of anything close to ten years, even though, unlike the Afghanis and Iraqis, the people of Gaza not only harbor but voted into power a terrorist organization, which, by the way, is explicitly dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

Whereas Al Qaeda justifies its terrorist attacks by citing American support of Arab dictators, Hamas justifies its terrorist attacks by citing the presence of Jews between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Through Operation Protective Edge Israel seeks to reteach Hamas the lesson of the Six-Day War: the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel.

Anonymous said...

I am always saddened to hear of someone saying such hurtful things. Especially when it's coming from an American Christian blogger with the potential to reach so many people with their misinformation. Please know that not everyone here in the USA feels the same as that blogger. There are many who stand with Israel and are praying. Peace and blessings to you and yours~
Katherine M

Leah Brand-Burks said...

I have read nothing but the title of this post yet and already I feel the need to apologize for any and all ignorant, insensitive, uninformed people in my country. We as a nation have let Israel down so badly with this current president, to say it is disgraceful is an understatement. Trust me when I say, for any one person who speaks ill of or blames your country, there are thousands more of us who groan at your pain, fear, danger, and at our own pathetic response as a nation. I promise, despite our government making it appear otherwise, we DO love and care about Israel, one nation to another. And we are praying for you. G-d bless, keep and protect you all.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Dear American friends, please don't feel the need to apologize for the words of one blogger whom I already know from previous posts to be a Jew-hater.

August, I'm not as pro-Israel (pro-state of Israel) as I once was, either. The eviction of Jews from Gush Katif was like a slap of cold water on my face. I wasn't as religious then as I am now, and I wasn't a West Bank or southern resident so the situation didn't touch me personally, but still I couldn't believe they are actually going through with this folly.

Shlomo, thank you for your comment, you phrased it far better than I did.

Honey said...

Dear Anna, as the other bloggers It saddens my heart that someone would consider themselves a Christian and feel that way . We stand and Pray for Israel And The People That The Father of Abraham Isaac and Jacob Loves so much .As a Christian I am just honored to be loved by the same
G-d .
Shalom
E

Sarah R said...

I agree that there should not be more Israeli deaths, but equally there should not be more Palestinian deaths, particularly those of innocent children. Unfortunately the only result of any 'eye for an eye' policy is that everyone ends up blind. There is no possibility to wipe Hamas out - trying will only result in another generation of people who believe that Israel is the enemy and are determined to fight it. I'm currently in France, where just this last week, there have been horrifying attacks on Jewish areas and people in retaliation for Israeli attacks on Palestine. Revenge and retaliation will never achieve peace. I will continue to pray for you and your family and for peace in both Israel and Palestine.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry - I am a Christian who is praying for you and Israel every day. Cindy from New York

lavender garden said...

Good for you, Anna!

living from glory to glory said...

Dear Friend, I send my love and prayers for all of Israel and to all those that need strength and a new love for the human race. Keep safe!
We stand with you!
Roxy

Mrs. Anna T said...

Sarah, Israel is doing everything - and some will say, too much - to minimize civilian deaths in the Gaza strip. Why do I say "too much"? Because we actually risk, and lose, the lives of our soldiers in order to make sure there are no innocents standing in the line of fire. The enemy knows that and takes advantage of that. There have been instances when, because of a tiny possibility that the person ahead isn't a terrorist, our soldiers hesitated to shoot - and paid with their lives. IDF is very scrupulous on this account, perhaps more so than any other army in the world.

I think there will probably never be peace in this area in the Western sense of the word - peace as friendship. But it is possible to have peace in the way of an indefinite cease-fire, and it will ONLY happen if the enemy understands we will not allow the safety of our citizens to be compromised. Such a peace, based on fear, is all I hope for.

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Sarah R said...

I wonder, Anna, whether the news you get and the news I get are the same. I don't presume to know the answer, but I do know that truth is the first casualty of war. From where I sit, there are more than six hundred Palestinian deaths to around 30 Israeli deaths. Even one death, on either side is far too many - all lives are precious to one who created them. There were reports yesterday on the French news about the shelling of a Palestinian hospital, and shelling of areas where the Israeli government had told Palestinians to evacuate to. Now, I'm quite aware that this news may just as well be propaganda as the news you receive, but at least from the point of view of part of the west, it seems that the Israeli retaliation is disproportionate. I don't profess to have any great understanding of the issues, but it does seem that the situation is getting worse not better. I do hope for a permanent cease fire, but I hope also for genuine and lasting peace, and I believe that counter-intuitive as it seems that non-violence is the way to achieve it. I believe that with God all things are possible. I will continue to pray for you all.

Mrs. Anna T said...

"I hope also for genuine and lasting peace, and I believe that counter-intuitive as it seems that non-violence is the way to achieve it."

Unfortunately, history teaches us a very different lesson: if someone is determined to kill you and you let them, they WILL kill you.

Jo said...

This entire issue is deeply saddening for those on both sides - when ANY innocent child dies it is tragic, whether they be Israeli or Palestinian (Jewish or Muslim) and that is the trouble with war, it kills the innocent and doesn't fix the problems. I pray for both side in this, however I fear we will see no solution in the near future.

However it is important (I do not say this to be anti Israeli), a home for the Palestinians is also important - they are people too.

Deborah said...

My husband and I were just talking this morning about the extraordinary lengths to which Israel goes to minimize civilian deaths--and the ways in which Hamas and the Palestinian leadership seem determined to increase their own civilian casualties, by placing legitimate military targets in areas shared with hospitals, mosques, and civilian homes. What other nation warns of exactly where the military strike will come, then allows time for civilians to evacuate before striking? Israel has shown great restraint.

As a conservative American Christian, I've always supported Israel--I was taught to as a child for religious reasons. As an adult (still conservative, American, and Christian, but probably less fundamentalist than I used to be), I support Israel for moral and practical reasons, without seeing a need to bring religion into it. After living for 3 years in Egypt--and currently living in another majority-Muslim country--I did develop much more sympathy for Palestinians than I used to have. Unfortunately, however, it comes down to pragmatics: If Israel is to continue to exist, war must be waged against Hamas, and as Hamas seems determined to put civilians in between Israel and valid military targets, civilian deaths will occur. This is not Israel's fault. It's the fault of Hamas. The lack of many civilian deaths on the Israeli side is not for lack of trying by Hamas; Israel simply takes more effective steps to protect civilians than Hamas is willing to consider. I'm amazed at the willful blindness of those Westerners who continue to insist on blaming Israel for choices made by Hamas.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Deborah, thank you for your comment. Indeed I cannot imagine a situation in which any country, when put in the position Israel is forced to endure, would not retaliate sooner and more forcefully than Israel did, and with a lot less consideration for the other side.

Adele said...

I think you and your readers are utterly under the influence of your mass media.
The situation on the ground is that, yes Israel does warn about attacks, but then one in between it does not attack and the Gazans don't know whether this warning is genuine or not, and there have been many instances like the latest in the UNRWA school, where 16 people were murdered while they were waiting in line for the red cross buses to take them to another place.
Another thing which I find funny is you talk about the restraint of the Israeli army while they are using internationally FORBIDDEN weapons like the white phosphorous bombs and lately a poisonous gas which is causing suffocation to Palestinians while they are inside their homes.
By the way Israel is getting amazing funds from countries like the US and other European countries and I would think that everyone now knows that Gaza has been under a siege for over 8 years, so I would think it would be just a "tiny" bit hard for them to prepare an iron dome for their security right!!?
While one of the most important needs of the Israeli soldiers is fresh underwear (http://www.dkatom.co.il/under), deodorants, toothpaste, shaving cream, insect repellents and so on, the people in Gaza are in shortage of fresh water and food just to survive. With about only one hour of electricity each day, just put yourselves in Gazan shoes and think how you would feel.
As a conclusion, the leaders of Israel know very well that ammunition is not hidden in hospitals or refugee shelters, their only aim is to kill as much as possible so that the Palestinians are taught a lesson not to think about liberation or having their own land. It is so unfair.
Israel, by committing such war crimes is signing its death warrant with its own hands, in fact it is going downwards towards an unconscious suicide.

Naomi said...

Anna, I am a long time reader though I rarely comment. It's been a while since I have 'visited' you, but with everything that's been going on recently I just wanted to say 'hello' and 'we are praying for you.' I listen to Moody Radio here in the U.S. and Janet Parshall gives great information about what is going on. She talked about how Israelis are knocking on Palestinian doors and telling people to get out so they won't get hurt. This is far more compassionate than anyone else would be in a state of war, as you already eluded to. Every time I hear about the situation on the news, I make a point of turning it down and stopping to pray for you all with my children. We are Christians who join you in praying for the peace of Israel and we stand with you.
Shalom.

- Naomi

Naomi said...

Anna, my children and I pray for you every time we hear about your situation on the radio. We listen to Moody Radio and Janet Parshall who does her best to give good information concerning the Israeli/Palestine conflict. We had heard that the Israelis are compassionate towards their enemies just as you have eluded to. We are Christians who stand with you.

Shalom and God bless,
Naomi

Mrs. Anna T said...

"By the way Israel is getting amazing funds from countries like the US and other European countries"

Oh indeed?? I wish.

You should read articles by ISRAELI military officials who lament that, though we give our allegiance to the US, in the past years we receive pretty much nothing in return, fund-wise.

"the leaders of Israel know very well that ammunition is not hidden in hospitals or refugee shelters"

On the contrary. We know very well that ammunition and terrorists ARE hidden in hospitals, refugee shelters, schools, mosques and civil homes. It is called the human shield tactic and is widely used by terrorists who know they can't engage in open war with Israel.

You are very welcome to come to Israel (as soon as the flights are resumed) and get a healthy immersion in the local political climate. I believe it will do your judgement all the good in the world.

By the way, everyone talks about the Jewish-Muslim conflict, but people are forgetting a small minority that is hurt worse than any other in the PLO, the Gaza strip, and certain areas within the '67 borders: Christians. Christians, in particular Christian Arabs, are suffering from Muslim persecution, and I believe it is time for Christians all over the world to revolt against that.

helda said...

I really don't know what to say, I just hope that this terrible war ends soon.

Mrs. Anna T said...

By the way, I will NOT be shamed or harassed into posting comments from Israel-haters. You people have enough internet space elsewhere. Thanks very much.

Mrs. Anna T said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting your point of view - right from the heart of it. I've heard conflicting accounts, and it's informative to hear your experience.

I pray for peace for all parties involved.

- Sally

Gothelittle Rose said...

I hear this over and over again, "War doesn't solve the problem." I disagree. War has solved the majority of conflicts in the world throughout time, and it is after periods of war that we have seen the longest and most useful periods of peace.

It goes along the same line as those who say, "Spanking doesn't work." Of course spanking works. So does war. It lets someone who refuses to govern himself know that, if he will not make the effort, other people will; and he will almost certainly not like their methods. It is not the only method, and not always the best method, but it cannot be denied in cases such as this when all other methods have not only failed, but worsened the situation.

When you have a bully on the playground, any other method you use, peacemaking, withdrawing, offering goodies, will not work because he has become the type of person who takes advantage of you in order to control you. Anything you offer him will be seen as a sign of weakness and used to tighten his grip upon your neck. The only thing he will respond to is a swift and strong flattening. Then you have the opportunity to extend your mercy and your peace, and he, being humbled, is more likely to accept it. Then you can have peace, and give him a chance to learn how to be part of society.

The Gazan Palestinians used child labor, resulting in child injuries and deaths, to take concrete that Israel *gave* them to build houses for their people and reinforce tunnels into Israel for the express purpose of kidnapping and killing Israeli children.

There is no way I will personally be content with any less than the precise type of curb-stomping that I know Israel excels in providing, in which they minimize casualties among a population that Hamas leaders are deliberately offering up as sacrificial lambs (did you readers know that Hamas actually kills women and children of families that refuse to bow to them, and then blames it on Israel?) so that there will be a people left to receive the hand of mercy when they are capable of responding to it like a reasonable person.

Go for it. I cheer when Israel meets force with force because I know that the Israelis, unlike the Palestinians, will mourn every fallen child... on both sides.

Gothelittle Rose said...

Oh yes, and:

"The situation on the ground is that, yes Israel does warn about attacks, but then one in between it does not attack and the Gazans don't know whether this warning is genuine or not"

Adele, I know that if Israeli forces see (for instance) a family gathered on the roof of a house next to their target, they abort the bombing run. Do you wish them to continue it instead, so that the Gazans will know whether the warning is genuine or not?

Which, in that case, would be the compassionate response to the situation?

Mrs. Anna T said...

Gothelittle Rose, thank you for your response. Here is something that I read on our news some days ago: mothers of soldiers on the front line sent Netanyahu a letter in which they plead him not to risk the lives of their sons for the other side's citizens. Apparently, what happens is that lives of soldiers are risked and lost in going an extra mile to prevent civilian casualties. I cannot think of any other country willing to risk its own soldiers for the enemy's citizens. I personally have very mixed feelings about it. It is very noble, of course, but the Hamas no doubt thinks us very stupid.

Anonymous said...

I also believe Israel has no way to ensure its safety but re-take control over Gaza and wipe out the Hamas entirely.

Wishful thinking. Israel will end up wiping itself out.

mozgirl1 said...

I stand for Israel.. there is no other choice.

Brandi Comeaux said...

I have been a follower for 5 years. In college, I was assigned to read a post and to describe the author without knowing any details. I was completely wrong. I was raised a Catholic in South Central Louisiana. I've struggled with my faith and now identify myself a Christian believer. Since that time in college, Ive met many people from across the world. I want you to know I support you and this blog, but most importantly, I have been praying for you and your family!

Much love,

Brandi Comeaux

Mom in Eugene said...

I hope your family stays safe, and you get to enjoy some type of peace. I agree it won't come from talks, as terrorists do not respect anything but brute force

I am a zionist 100%, because Jews deserve to have their homeland- ALL OF IT. Jews have only ADDED to the world, and are a benefit to society wherever they go. I love Israel, I fell in love with it after spending 4 months there. I learned more about history the time I spent there, than in 16 years of school.

I really cannot imagine anyone backing a group that oppresses their own people, and uses them as human shields. The only arabs that have it good in that whole region are the ISRAELI Arabs! Hamas knows they cannot win a ground war, this is why they allow killings of their own people. It is used as propaganda, to weaken the resolve of other nations to stand by Israel.

It really bums me out how many people that share my political beliefs think this stupid, wrongheaded nonsense. They fall for this propaganda, hook line and sicker. Well, I guess I get a lot of chances to educate people.

And to those that say- the "Palestinians" deserve a home too? Of course they do. They ought to go live in any one of the many nations where they share a culture and language. Like Jordan- as most of those people in Gaza are actually Jordanian!

It is not about land at all- its about killing Jews. Hamas and their Islamic brethren have NO problem saying this loudly and clearly, if only we would listen.

Shalom!

Mom in Eugene said...

I hope your family stays safe, and you get to enjoy some type of peace. I agree it won't come from talks, as terrorists do not respect anything but brute force

I am a zionist 100%, because Jews deserve to have their homeland- ALL OF IT. Jews have only ADDED to the world, and are a benefit to society wherever they go. I love Israel, I fell in love with it after spending 4 months there. I learned more about history the time I spent there, than in 16 years of school.

I really cannot imagine anyone backing a group that oppresses their own people, and uses them as human shields. The only arabs that have it good in that whole region are the ISRAELI Arabs! Hamas knows they cannot win a ground war, this is why they allow killings of their own people. It is used as propaganda, to weaken the resolve of other nations to stand by Israel.

It really bums me out how many people that share my political beliefs think this stupid, wrongheaded nonsense. They fall for this propaganda, hook line and sicker. Well, I guess I get a lot of chances to educate people.

And to those that say- the "Palestinians" deserve a home too? Of course they do. They ought to go live in any one of the many nations where they share a culture and language. Like Jordan- as most of those people in Gaza are actually Jordanian!

It is not about land at all- its about killing Jews. Hamas and their Islamic brethren have NO problem saying this loudly and clearly, if only we would listen.

Shalom!

Harshika said...

Hi i know one thing for sure. If palestinian laid down their weapons, there will be a chance for peace. If the Israelis laid down their weapons however, Israel will be wiped off. Go Israel!!