Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it (*)

The transcript of the exchange between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu has caused a shiver of indignation and of fright to shake me to the spine. As one who fell through the meshes of the Nazi persecutors, I remembered the US refusal to grant asylum to the thousand Jewish refugees on board of SS St Louis sending them to their deaths. To my mind came back the refusal to bomb the death camps despite the stunning testimony Polish underground fighter Jan Karski presented to President Roosevelt.
Hamas is an arm of Islam’s fundamentalism. Its objectives are akin to those of the Nazis. First exterminate the Jews, then dominate the World.
Let us not gamble on the outcome of the battle in Gaza because the odds are against the people of good will.

(*) George Santayana

Immediate and unconditional cease fire

President Obama, in a personal call to Prime Minister Netanyahu has asked for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire. I want to believe humanitarian concern for the increasing number of victims and the suffering of the survivors motivates President Obama’s plea. The United States and the State of Israel share the deontology derived from their constitutive charters that sets them on the same side of the global and local conflicts map. I want to believe President Obama made his unilateral demand because he has an open communication line with Prime Minister Netanyahu, but cannot reach the Hamas leadership.
I want to believe Prime Minister Netanyahu will agree to a reciprocal lull to allow the people of Gaza to celebrate Eid El Fiter. Yet, I want to believe Prime Minister Netanyahu understands that the temporary truce is a corridor to an armistice of undetermined length. This armistice will leave the security of the Israelis at the mercy of the rate at which Hamas can revamp and expand its murderous arsenal.
I want to remind President Obama that the Hamas Charter vows the eradication of the Jewish State. Hamas has materialized this vow with thousands of rockets and an intricate subterranean network extending into Israeli territory. Not the Israeli blockade, but the cost of this military activity has suffocated the economy of the Gaza Strip. Let us not forget that hundreds of semi-trailer trucks pass daily from Israel to Gaza with food, chemical, fuel, medicines and even cement used to construct the tunnels. Israel provides over 60% of the electrical power consumption of Gaza and a large proportion of its water needs. This is a hell of a blockade.
Allowing an armistice that does not deprive Hamas from its present and future military capability is a dangerous step in a march of events leading to unthinkable consequences for the Jewish people.

A paradigm of democray

As the Israeli security cabinet agreed to a prolongation of the humanitarian truce, the police granted a permit for a rally protesting the Israeli military intervention in Gaza. Five thousand protesters gathered in the Tel Aviv city hall square accusing the Israeli defense forces of criminal activity and asking for the ousting of Prime Minister Netanyahu. In this very square, 20 years ago, a hundred thousand crowd cheered Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin’s vibrant call for a peaceful settlement of the Israeli Palestinian conflict and watched in awe his collapse by the bullets of a fanatic assasin.
I draw a parallel between the two rallies, because yesterday’s protest also ended because of violence. The protesters dispersed when the humanitarian freedom fighters from Gaza broke the lull renewing mortar and rocket firing on Israeli cities and homes.
In relation to the democracy paradigm, I am convinced that many Palestinians long for peace. Yet, can anyone tell me when for the last time in Gaza or the West Bank a rally opposed the rocket attacks against Israel, or when the citizens crowded in a public square to voice their desire of a settled peace?

Tragic deadly mistakes

A little over a week ago a missile downed a passager airplane in the Ukraine killing 300 people. Either a case of mistaken identification or of an accidental launch, the result was unwanted. Still, a missile was fired and someone is responsible. With the background of the violent confrontation between Russian supported separatists and the central Ukrainian government accusing fingers have pointed in all directions, not based on material evidence but in response to ideological prejudices. The truth may never be revealed for fear of unleashing events far more painful than the death of 300 people.
By the same token, the deaths of 15 unarmed Palestinians in an UNWRA school in Beit Hanum, probably by a stray shell is a tragedy. Here however, I believe the Israeli Defense Forces will investigate the event, The truth will emerge and responsibilities will be assumed. Death is an integral element of war, but if its cause is a mistake it entails tragic consequences for both the victims and the perpetators.

Civilian casualties (continued)

The ink on my previous post had not yet dried when I heard the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva had initiated an inquiry to investigate war crimes causing the disproportionate number of “civilian” casualties in the Israel-Gaza conflict. The way this mission is defined has already determined the culptrit.

Laundering “innocent civilian victim”

From the onset of operation “Secure Edge” against the rocket attacks launched from Gaza on Israel, the media and biased humanitarians qualify the unarmed casualties as innocent victims or un-involved civilians. The purpose of this qualification is to vilify the Israeli Defense Forces and prepare favorably the public opinion for trumpeted charges of war crimes.
As an Israeli citizen and a staunch zionist that carries no weapons and has no military duties, I am still a highly involved participant in the conflict. Not only because Hamas and Jihad are targeting their rockets on my home, but also because as a citizen I am responsible for what my government does even if I may disagree with its policies. It is my sovereign duty to use all the means provided by the Human Rights Charter to oppose or support my government.
The same ruling applies to the Palestinians in Gaza. Democratic elections brought the Hamas to power, the Hamas that vows in its Charter to eradicate Israel. Cheering mass rallies celebrated the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers. Labeling the Gaza people as innocent bystanders is a gross distortion of reality.