a letter to my friend miguel from spain, after he sent me a video from gaza

Dear Miguel,

I watched the video you sent me with great horror.
It is indeed shocking and heart breaking to see the suffering of these poor people in aGaza. My heart goes out to them!!


I watch horrified as well as I see the world, cynical and hypocritical, pointing its finger at Israel without placing the blame fairly on the shoulders of both sides.

Israel has made many mistakes, I write that in my letter and I have always said it. I am the first to criticize my country and I have done so on endless occasions.

How many arab/muslim artists do you know who criticize theirs? I am sure you will not be able to name one.
Their governments have been just as foolish as mine, if not more. Their armies have been just as violent and cruel, if not MUCH more, and yet, you do not hear them cry out.

I am against the settlements. I have said it endlessly, almost destroyed my career in israel for that. I am against fantacism of all sorts. But with all due respect Miguel, there is NO WAY you can put any Jewish organization, no matter how radical, in the same basket as Hamas, Hezbollah, EL Quaida and all the rest of them. And I am saying that as stark opposition of all fanatics, jews included!

Why are there not as many civilian casualties on the Israeli side than on the Palestinian? It is clear to all that Hamas, like Hezbollah, want nothing more than to kill Israelis, as many as they can. They have claimed publicly that they are interested in the DEMISE of the Jewish people, that every cease fire is only temporary, that Israel will be blown into the sea. They are not fighting to free Palestine, they are fighting to DESTROY Israel. I did not make this up, they say it unequivocally.

When have you ever heard ANY Israeli, no matter how right wing, say they are interested in the DEMISE of the Palestinians? You haven’t. because it has never been said or thought. You have heard arguments about borders, water, security, walls, land, but these are an ongoing negotiation. Too long, much too long, dangerously drawn out by both sides, but it is a negotiation
So why then, with all the weapons from Iran, with all their will to bring a genocide on our people, are the hamas not more successful at killing our children?

One of the reasons may be that we , as opposed to some of them, protect our children. We do not hide weapons in schools and in mosques. we do not place army headquarters in the densest areas of population, we do not use women and children as human shields. An Israeli general, if he were notified that his home were to be attacked, would not even DREAM of taking his 4 wives (he would never have four wives) and 9 children to the roof and sacrifice them all in the blood bath of allah. But that is exactly what a top hamas official did when he received a call from the Israeli airforce that his house was to be bombed!

The video I have sent you is living proof, as the one you sent me is, of horror.
A hamas terrorist, pulling a child violently up from where he was hiding, to use him as a shield. Disgusting. Inhuman.
Now, will you circulate that to all your mailing list, as you have surely done with the video you sent me? Are you brave enough to be fair??

Yes, Israelis governments have been foolish, idiotic even, missing so many opportunities to make progress, but our Arab neighbors have been just as bad. we all sinned with arrogance, pride, and religious fervor. But, I have been out there supporting a Palestinian state for years, fighting to raise money for Palestinians, for their well being, for their development, I have been accused of being a traitor in my country so many times. In return, I have been attacked by pro-palestinian supporters , my concerts disrupted, my life threatened, simply because I am Israeli.

And Where is my arab parallel??
Where is the arab artist who will embrace Israel? Recognizes my right to a homeland alongside his? Fight for MY rights as I fight for his?? I am still searching.

At every moment, thousand around the globe are killed, in Afghanistan, in Sudan, in Pakistan, in India, in the former soviet union, the list is long.
Often, it is muslims killing muslims.

I wonder, why do Europeans not go out marching in protest of these atrocities? Because they are afraid somebody will raise the price of oil??

There is such a great deal of hypocricy and interests in the way things work, it makes me sick. I will not be part of that game.

Violence is horrible. Whoever chooses it as a way of life should not be surprised when it hits him. Hamas have been bombing Israel for 8 years. 8 years. I am wondering what the world expects Israel to do? Maybe they hope we will just say: ok, you win, take over the country, you killed 6 million, now kill 6 more, we give up.

Is that the way it should be??


we lost 3500 in the yom kippur war. we lost hundreds in terrorst attacks over the years. please do not wave numbers at us. we know them well! we cry for ALL THE DEAD on both sides!!

I am repeating, I believe that VIOLENCE CAN SOLVE NOTHING! I believe ONLY in dialogue, I respect the Arabs and their rights, I respect the Palestinians, I would love nothing more than to see their homeland founded alongside mine, BUT, I demand fairness and reciprocation! I will not be blamed unilaterally by a world that has little understanding of the situation, knowledge of history or any sort of objectivity. A Europe who has fought two ugly world wars that took 75 million lives (!!!!), had crusades, inquisitions, what not, the most horrible things: these are my moral judges?? No way.

The situation is complex, and ONLY with a fair view, with equal rights for all and with a balanced approach can this be solved.

I respect Sarkozy as I see him doing just that, and other like him. They give me hope. I hope Obama will be the same, I have great respect for him, he gives me hope.

My Palestinian and Israeli friends who work ceaselessly for peace, they give me hope.

I send you all my love and my eternal friendship.


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Comment by farjn on February 19, 2009 at 11:13pm
Just one thing to add as I can't bear going into it all. ISRAEL CREATED HAMAS in it's hope to distract the Palestinians from Political activity to religion, same as Al kaida. Isreal didn't allow any real change after Oslo and life for the Palestinians bacame harder than before (Despite the good life in Ramallah). So they voted hamas because it was their only hope to have a leadership that will not give in. If they didn't manage to kill an israeli occasionally, no one woule even think about wanting to end the occupation.
israel alone is responsible for the ongoing occupation and it's crimes of expulsion, illegal detension, terrorising of a whole nation and now also starving people to death. Israel has NO RESPECT for the life or basic rights of the Palestinians. Yes the palestinians made some mistakes in their struggle for freedom, and did not have the best leadership and yes there are also fanatics like in any society.
My fellow Israelis will rpobably need to learn to hard way. when the boycott catches and they feel isolated and criticised, maybe they will start to rethink their position and abandon the false victimhood.
Comment by Motty Bronshtein on January 13, 2009 at 9:26am

I'm not confused, as you can see I've only asked you to quote Israelis who said whatever you talked about in this site, the rest of my comment and the part you refer to was meant for EFL which has not yet replied...
Comment by Motty Bronshtein on January 12, 2009 at 9:54pm
Dear Ruach

I'm sorry to hear your reaction.

You wrote: "There are a few Israeli's on this site whoave stated openly that they want to see the demise of the Palestinian state."

Please show some examples, I'd like to see it and to express my opinion towards them, in case there are such (which I pretty much doubt).


I wrote and erased, put it together and deleted again, I have so many things to tell you, since your obviously not very proficient in this rather complicated conflict, but I've reduced everything I have to said to these questions:

Would you say the same thing if your hometown was bombed? Was the US & British forces attack over Afghanistan villages more 'humanist'? How come we didn't hear your caring voice after 8 years in which missiles were shot at the kids of Sderot? How come none of you ever said anything re the massacare in Darfur? or in Georgia? or in China? or in Mianamar?

I guess that when it comes to Israel everyone gets sensitive, I can't really tell why but it seems that only when jews kill muslims it becomes interesting...

here's some reading material for you re the war in darfur, per your request I will enlighten you re number of people killed in Baghdad, China, and Georgia.....

I understand that the pics from Gaza ain't easy, it ain't easier for me, beleive me, however, I can't get read of that feeling that whenever we do something everyone's instantly against us, without even trying to see the broader pictuer (and your comment re the Hamas's right for self defence proved it, I can't beleive it, self defence??? what self defence!!? !?)

All the best, and try to open your eyes and mind...

Comment by Milwa on January 12, 2009 at 5:49pm
I feel so much anger from your words and I think I can uderstand why:( you are tired, very tired and you can´t see the light on the end of the tunnel...as Frodo has his Sam....I hope there will always some Sam for everyone of us.....I wish you strength to resist the Dark Side....
For me I have no idea who´s fault this war was..because I think I have less objective information than I would like to have...I only know that this war begins long time ago for easy blaming one side or the other....

Wish you that you could see the light soon

PS: About war: It is sad that war is acompanying humans for all human history...it looks like we can´t help ourselves...we were made this way:( If there is any God, he made us this way...there is question if we could survive and make some progress or if this progress can make only a few of us....it all make me sad...
Comment by Lilu on January 9, 2009 at 9:42pm
ok, so, I don't know where I erred in my last reply, and no one seems to want to explain to me, so:

Ruach, in response to your question, I think that the inclusion of children and destruction of homes and infrastructure as part of taking Hamas down is not by intent of Israel, and has much more to do with the choices Hamas makes. When Hamas operates from within the civilian community, on purpose, it makes it impossible to take them down without harming civilians. If Hamas would not hide behind innocent civilians, a lot less of them, if any, would be hurt. If Hamas would not hide its weapons in underground tunnels beneath schools and homes neutralizing those weapons would not harm the infrastructure.

I don't justify hurting innocents as part of a war. But unfortunately, Hamas has as much to do with that as Israel does if not more. I think that Hamas created the situation where in order to respond to it, which is what Israel is trying to do - respond to Hamas attacks on its own civilians and defend itself from them - innocent civilians must be harmed. What chills me even more is that it seems that to Hamas, this is favorable, as they think it either keeps them safer or benefits and legitimizes them. The Palestinian population are pawns to them, and that is horrific.

And no, I think the comparison between Israel and Nazis is wrong. As mentioned in the blog I quoted on my own blog here, I think that comparison would be correct had Israel assembeled all Israeli Arabs under its sovereignty into prison camps, denyed them basic human neccesities and exterminated them systematically without any provocation; then proceeding to invade and take over ALL of its neighbours, doing the same to anyone but the Jews of those countries. As opposed to Hamas' covenant, our declaration of independance does not include any mention of our own existence being mandated by the extermination of another country, another population. Israel's actions can be spinned in all directions to be compared to Nazi Germany, but then so can anybody else's (by the way, are you familiar with Black September?) That's why that's not what I'm talking about.
I'm talking about rhetoric, about intent. I'm talking about the similarities between the circumstances that allowed for Nazi rise to power (financial crisis, internal crisis as a result of WWI, etc) and the circumstances that allowed for Hamas rise to power (occupation, humanitarian crisis, fatah corruption, etc.). I'm talking about the similarities in Nazi propaganda (horrific imagery, de-humanization, wild slogans) and Hamas propaganda (horrific imagery, de-humanization, wild slogans....), their channels and the manipulation used to rally support - such as the anti semitic kids shows on Al Aqsa TV (ever heard of Farfur the mouse?). In Israel there is great effort to incorporate Arabs and Arabic culture into all aspects of life, for the very reason that children grow up without misunderstandings about Arab culture. Hamas does the exact opposite. It took people a while to realize what the Nazis were actually doing, to catch on that they manipulated a nation to follow them blindly into clear genocide, the elimination of an entire race. Manipulation is the key word here. The Israeli government did not manipulate its citizens into committing genocide - in fact, the Israeli government held back on retaliation for a pretty long time of attacks, 8 years of rockets, which raised alot of criticism. The Israeli people saw for themselves and experienced on their own skin the actions of Hamas, and until now, most people felt that the government was forsaking its citizens in the south in favor of the Palestinians. You can agree or disagree, but that was simply what everyone was saying.

Those are just some examples.
The similarities and the differences are in the details, that's where you should be looking for comparison - and in the details, there alot more similarities between Nazis and Hamas than there are to Israel. What irks me is, what my whole point is, that I wouldn't want the world to find out in retrospect how murderous an entity Hamas, a Palestinian Government, truly was, like it was with the Nazis. I think there are plenty of warning signs already.
Comment by Lilu on January 9, 2009 at 3:23am
moderators - I would really appreciate it if someone could please notify me why my comment responding to Ruach was deleted, I can't find any instructions on how to contact you otherwise regarding this matter.
Comment by im on January 8, 2009 at 11:52pm
Dear all!

It is difficult to leverage this conversation that can bring us to a new stage of understanding.
Is it a typical indentity questions? Who are we as human - our Identity as beings in this life? - or is it as basic survival instincts? Yes, all humans are RAW(or have the capacity to harm) .......and RAW (or WAR) is BACKWARDS!

We define ourself very often in historical definition of cultural -ethnical - tribal roots ...vertical definition --> and giving us humans to conceptual tool of speaking about your tribe and my tribe ......or in definition place - identity. Mein Land, mein Volk, mein Sprache ( to express it in German - my country, my people, my language...my, my,my )

It could be that this way of thinking is a fallacy in our thinking??? Could it be that a horizontal definition of identity ---> brotherhood of mankind - where we all are related - could be better?

Do people really have roots? I think in fact that trees have roots and that human have feet. Yes, we have cultural roots - but stigmatized in absolute has shown to be very dangerous ----> and situation of hate and violence through generations......grandfather conflicts living ahead of the next generation!

The World Forum in November 2009 is a very brave initiative: presenting topics that really matters.
The world is in a crises beyond what is happening in fight of rights to land .......our global crises is a hope of collaboration. Every place on earth is sacret ....no special place is selected by God...where is Holy land?

I do not know? We all are really in trouble. How can the world contribute in this conflict. The system dynamic today, makes the industry of war secure money income for some ....so does the companies selling refugee tents ....the saving industry, for sure needed and important, but someone will be without jobs if we as human managed to change to war driven industries.....

We have to change a lot.....we need millions of new jobs in the industries of the Cultural Creatives - Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability..........how will we make Peace Sustainable? The Obama spirit - yes, we can movement! (plenty of car people without work very soon...arm production is still safe place to invest)

Culture of Peace....the dream that we can create it.
Day to day negotiation - the healing of war - .....I would like to express that ning in itself is give people around the world to communicate and share perspectives....it is fantastic.....even collaboration between all peace related initiative here on ning could have great impact.....day by day we inspire and make each other wiser and more brave......it is ordinary peopel that is creating the 3rd modernity -> where it is "normal" to talk about spirituality beyond religion.....to talk about identity beyond nationalistic and cultural stigma .....BUT as citizens of the world.

How do we break the cycle of humiliation? Human Dignity - transdisciplinary research and intregral life praxis - how will we translate complexity into common sense ?

With respect and simple joy of thanks ....please, excuse me for jumping in with an ad-hoc list of my thoughts and questions, with peace to Palestine and Isreal, bless the children
Comment by Lilu on January 8, 2009 at 1:38pm
Another thing - I feel there are similarities between the way the Nazis came to power in Germany and Hamas in Gaza. There are similarities between them in mentality, cold blooded and imperalistic aspirations, and methods of action - all can see from their speeches and rhetoric, from their violent torture and public executions of their opposers, their propaganda. They, in addition, abuse their women under primitive laws and use their own as human shields. (and this is just against their own people, without even mentioning their attitude to Jews).
And then I ask, all those who fail to understand the Israeli point of view in this - knowing today what Hitler and the Nazis were and did, if you had the option of taking them down early on when they just came to power - would you consider it unjustified? should the violence of WWII have been replaced with negotiations and dialog?
Comment by Lilu on January 8, 2009 at 1:30pm
Noa, I agree totally, but must point out there are some Israelis that have expressed a wish for the demise of all palestinians, we see this often as a burst of outrage after terrorist attacks and rocket firing (much like arab outrage after Israeli attacks in Gaza). But it just shows how similar the two peoples are, both are human beings reacting to the suffering of their own people. As long as people base their opinions of what is the truth on mainstream media and biased propaganda, than we will remain seperated. If we try to speak to each other without bias, civilian to civilian, then we see it's a human being on the other side and not a monster.

I think that people need to understand that Israel is trying to defend itself. That for us this is terror and we are reacting. I completely agree that Hamas is one of the major causes of the plight of the Palestinian people today, and unless they realize that, nothing Israel does or doesn't, will aid them in gaining independance. Independance under Hamas control is not independance. The world must understand that Hamas is imprisoning the Palestinians all by itself, and it is drawing the fire to them. Hamas is commiting crimes and human right violations against it's own people. Why does the world not come to the assistance of the Palestinians about THAT?
Comment by KoBong on January 8, 2009 at 12:50am
I feel an urgue to say the phrase "I am sorry", and yet it doesn't feel right.
I wish we had peace over here. I wish that we won't have to go to the army for self deffence.
I wish that the two nations would live in peace, and yet - I am aware of the reality that surrounds me.
Israel's army, and government have no intentios or declared thoughts of wiping out our neighbours.
Israel have never thought of intentionaly killing or destroying the pepole of palestine.
Israel had never sent people to blow up themselves in the middle of crouds, or shoot in order to kill civilliens.
and yet - Israel is in war. And many people suffer. Israelies, and Palestiniens.

We had an agreement with Hammas. It was broken. By Hammas. We didn't want to do this - but we had to fight against this terrorist organization. And they DO have a recored of being able to use inoccent people as shields in order to get a "good shot" on the international television.

Can you imagine the people of manchaster suffering missiles for 8 years without the British government fighting for their security? Because the People of Sderot had suffered houndreds and thousands of missiles in the last 8 years, and we didn't strike back - not untile now.

I am very sad fo any casualties of this war from both sides, but I am aware that this is a necessery state, and that it is the result of the Hammas regime.

I can only hope for a future of peace without Hammas. When my government can talk to a fellow government that has good intentions for both nations. And I pray for the lives of the people of Gazza, and my own people - in Sderot, Be'er-Sheva, Netivot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and many more cities and towns, that are forced to be in a state of war.


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