7/25/2014

Tikun Olam = Mend the World

Quote:

“One of the most dynamic developments in the current Gaza war is the massive system of tunnels dug by Hamas militants in the past three years.  The tunnels honeycomb the Strip and allow access for fighters not just to the battlefield within Gaza, but to the Israeli border itself, where there was a successful attack that killed two IDF officers.  The tunnels, like those dug by Hezbollah in Lebanon, allowed Palestinian fighters to engage with the IDF when it was to their advantage and to disappear when it wasn’t.  Unlike Operation Cast Lead, when Hamas largely evaporated and gave the IDF the run of Gaza, this time Hamas has stood and fought.  Ten soldiers were killed in the 2009 war and 33 have been killed in this one.”

The quote above is from the Tikum Olam website, written by Richard Silverstein. 


Israeli tanks near Gaza (from BBC.com)

Richard is a liberal or progressive American Jew who describes himself as pro-Israel but is also highly critical of the Israeli government and the Israel Lobby.

I think I need to be really clear about this: Richard criticizes the Israeli government, and I tend to agree with him. For many years I´ve noted Israeli government behavior to be borderline criminal. And in some cases they have gone way over that threshold.

Palestinian girl crying on a Gaza Beach 
(from richardsilverstein.com)

I´m not Jewish, but as I wrote in a previous post  when I moved from Spain to the USA in the 1960´s I moved into a Jewish neighborhood, and most of my friends were Jewish. To be honest, in those early days I developed a pretty warped idea about US society, and came to believe most Americans were Jewish, with a  sprinkle of Italians, Puerto Ricans, and Africans.  I thought Americans with Anglo and   Saxon  sounding  names were either TV  and movie characters,  or  the few Manhattan super rich who ran the empire from Wall Street. So when the Six Day War broke out in 1967 I went downtown with some friends to see if I could sign up to fight with the IDF (sure,   I was brainwashed, I already admitted it).


However, the same way my Jewish New York friends convinced me it was a good idea to go defend Israel and kill Arabs, other Jews I met over the years have convinced me things just ain´t what they seem. 

Avigdor Lieberman(*) poses with pet anthropoid 
(from veOOZ.com)

And this puts me at odds with quite  a few of my old Jewish friends. At the same time, I don´t really mesh very well with my new Jewish friends because most of them happen to be a bunch of communists. So what can I say? It seems left wing Jews are the only ones willing to criticize Netanyahu and his Darth Vader clones.  

In this life we find ourselves taking sides with people we don´t necessarily agree with on everything. But I can´t sit here,  stare at reality,  and leave Richard trying to do it all by himself.  If you have the guts go on and read his blog, and meet Richard and his reality. 

Richard (photo from the Seattle Times)

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(*) Avigdor Lieberman is a really interesting character. Here´s a quote from The Forward about him:

Lieberman’s reputation as a politician on the extreme fringe came in part from his proposal to strip hundreds of thousands of Israeli Arab citizens of Israel of their citizenship as part of any future agreement with the Palestinians. Under his proposal, the geographic areas of Israel in which these Israeli citizens were concentrated would be transferred to a new Palestinian state. In exchange, the envisaged Palestinian state would agree to cede territory on which Israeli Jewish settlements sit in the currently occupied West Bank. Such a mass transfer of citizenship would violate international law without the consent of those affected. Lieberman initially made no provision for consulting Israeli Arabs about this but later changed his proposal to “transfer by consent.”

Lieberman’s domestic positions also provoke charges that he threatens Israeli democracy. Yisrael Beiteinu’s slogan in the previous elections was “no loyalty, no citizenship,” an allusion to the party’s proposed requirement that all citizens sign a loyalty oath to Israel as a Jewish state or face a loss of their right to vote. Many of Israel’s Arab citizens — almost 20% of the population — are seen as unlikely to make such a pledge."

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/165275/avigdor-liebermans-new-role-raises-worries/?p=all#ixzz38UeyItYY

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