There is a Solution…

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I heartily profess to be no expert on middle eastern affairs, Judaism, Islam, Palestine, or the history of any of these regions/religions.

I am however a human being with empathy and an opinion. And a sense of fair play. Some call it common sense.

28 Palestinian children…children…have been killed in the last 24 hours. 27 Israeli soldiers have died since Operation Protective Edge has begun. Young men defending their country against an onslaught of rocket fire from the terrorist organization Hamas. They didn’t need to die.

This is the broad outline. The justifications are spewed by both sides. “They don’t recognize our right to exist…they are terrorists bent on genocide…we have a right to defend our citizens”. Hyperbolic statements are the order of the generation. And the truth lies in all corners.

The Jews have indeed suffered since the times of Ramses II. They are the so-called “chosen people” and have suffered a millenia of genocide and displacement. They are the proverbial abused child.

But study after study shows that the child who is abused, quite often becomes the abuser. And institutionally, I believe this is the case with the state of Israel.

Don’t get me wrong. They have terrorists at the door step (and tunnels) and they certainly have a responsibility to defend their state. But how much is too much?

I’m reminded of the legal concept of self-defense. An individual is allowed to use the same measure of force when repelling an assault.

Can the state of Israel claim this moral high ground? Of course not; and therein lies the fundamental problem and the solution to this conflict.

We, the United States, have wisely invested in the security of Israel for generations. However, the politicians who have been the beneficiary of this military aid…this state of the art weaponry, have been irresponsible in their deployment.

And I, as a tax paying American citizen, demand that my government take immediate action to stop the killing. We have the ability to be a game changer in this centuries old conflict, but we lack the moral courage to do it. It simply doesn’t poll well.

I see a glimmer of hope when the moderates in Israel are finally speaking out against their grossly aggressive government policies. For too long Israel has received a pass, largely as the result of empathy with their historic plight.

That ends now…at least as far as I’m concerned. It’s time for those moderates in Israel to demand restraint. To demand that their government take the moral high ground and rely on their superior defensive technologies. Put the onus of blame on the extremist in Hamas and garner the support of the region and the world.

Stop being the bully, protect your citizens through restraint. Stop the campaign to eliminate your neighbors and just take a deep breath and realize…children are dying. Innocent little boys and girls.

A paradigm shift is all that will end this endless loop of blood.

The killing must stop…

 

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About Conversations With The Moon

Divorced father of two amazing young adults. College student, plodding away at a liberal arts degree. Formerly a Fire Captain and Paramedic. Dabbler in fashion. Liberal. Believer in Karma. View all posts by Conversations With The Moon

24 responses to “There is a Solution…

  • Kenny Abitbol

    Hi, I stumbled on your post from WP Reader and am saddened by the ignorance shown above. Right off the bat, you claim “to be no expert in middle eastern affairs”, thereby nullifying any legitimate pretext you wish to divulge. While I do not look to berate through the web, I believe being educated is a step forward to solutions of all kinds. In this case, I ask you to evaluate your thesis and explain to me a SOLUTION. All you put forward is the concept of Israel, the big bad wolf, of laying down arms – implying that Israel is the instigator in all this. How many times must it be seen that Hamas, a terrorist organization controlling Gaza, WILL NOT cease sending missiles into Israel even during a ceasefire? You talk about humanity, have you looked into Hamas’s mission (its on the web)? There is a reason these guys are considered a terrorist group. Before you make ignorant posts like the above, seek out all sides (CNN, FoxNews, Al-Jazeera, JerusalemPost) and make an educated opinion. Otherwise, you are just spewing out from whichever side is winning the media war.

    • Conversations With The Moon

      So if I have an opinion you disagree with, it is therefore ignorant? I have done my research but am by no means what any academic would consider an expert. I am just another human being like you with an opinion. I am aware of the position of Hamas and I am not defending it in any way, shape or form. I am suggesting the solution begins when Israel, realizing it’s in a position of massive military superiority, takes a moderate position and stops slaughtering civilians, including an obscene number of civilians. I’m also not taking any position on who is wrong here, who started what, or any other value judgement other than offering a suggestion that Israel could and should take a more measured approach to their security, rather than their knee-jerk, overwhelming military response. Why not quit being the bully on the block and see how far that might get them in the court of public opinion in that region. You can continue to further the status quo all you want. I see children dying. The paradigm need to change.

  • Kenny Abitbol

    Merely because you disagree with me does not make you ignorant. Please don’t twist my words – Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. Furthermore, I am glad you are aware of Hamas’s position, but you still are not providing a concrete solution. You think if Israel stops their campaign to eradicate Hamas everything will be fine and dandy? That is what I mean by ignorance. Do you also realize how difficult it is to target terrorists who plant themselves in civilians’ homes, schools, hospitals, and any other infrastructure in a densely populated area? It is a tragedy, and I mean a tragedy, that over 500 Gazan citizens have lost their lives ina conflict started by a terrorist group. That does not change the fact that Hamas will not stop launching rockets, no matter what Israel does. How am I furthering the status quo? All I want to see is peace between two peoples. However, there is often a price to peace. You cannot just wish it upon a group such as Hamas which blatantly has no regard toward the citizens which they govern.

    • Conversations With The Moon

      I appreciate your position, but I do disagree with it. Perhaps we are misunderstanding each others positions. No, I am not suggesting Israel lay down it’s arms and in doing so, Hamas will simply stop their aggression. I know that won’t happen. What I’m suggesting is that Israel take a less strident approach to their security. Bombing an organization that you admit is entrenched among civilians is a no-win solution. If further alienates Israel from the international community. No Israeli civilians have been killed to my knowledge as the result of these latest round of Hamas rocket attacks. The Iron Dome worked. The Israelis soldiers that have lost their lives were killed in a, in my opinion, misguided “limited” ground war. We’ve been here before. It doesn’t result in any kind of peace. It simply antagonizes those Palestinians that are moderate and reinforces their hatred of Israel. I’m suggesting Israel step back and reevaluate their security policy. Let the Iron Dome do it’s job while seeking partnerships within the moderate faction in the Palestinian Authority and regional Arab partners. At the end of the day, it’s the guy with the gun shooting the kid throwing rocks at his house. Yes, the kid shouldn’t have been throwing the rocks, and yes the homeowner has a right to defend his home, but in no legal scenario I’m aware of is this considered an equal response to the threat.

      • Kenny Abitbol

        You speak of a “less strident” approach, and I would love to agree with you. I just don’t think you grasp exactly who Israel is dealing with. Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko-Haram, ISIL, etc… are all cuts of the same cloth. Islamic fundamentalists who want destruction of the “infidels.” Look around the world, this is not just about the Jewish people. This is about anyone who differs in their belief system. You cannot bargain with people like Hamas, because they are not looking for a this or that. You mention an “equal response” and “we’ve been here before”. Was the prisoner swap of Gilad Shalit for 1000 Hamas Militants equal? It is not fair to speak of proportionality, when one group encourages growth and the other destruction. You’re right, we have been here before (not to this degree though). Does that mean we should end it as we’ve been here before? NO. A ceasefire is meaningless to Hamas. In 1948,67,73 Israel fended off multiple nations and earned its land through toil and blood (Oh, and International Recognition – except for Iran/Hamas) – very similar to any race that conquers land. The world needs to accept that Israel is there to stay, and will exercise every right in order to defend itself.

      • kingmidget

        Kenny … are you capable of recognizing any role Israel might have played in creating the circumstances in which an entity like Hamas could exist and thrive? Are you capable of recognizing the horrible injustice that has been foisted on the Palestinian people since 1948 — that was made all the worse in the aftermath of the 1967 war? Do you know about all of the things that Israel politicians say about eliminating Palestinians? Of driving them from Gaza? Of populating Gaza with Jews to help “ease the housing crisis in Israel”? Are you aware of any of this? Are you willing to acknowledge any of this? What would you do if your home was taken from you? Would you slink away or would you stand and fight?

      • Kenny Abitbol

        Hi there Mark. You question my knowledge of the subject matter, and that is fair. However, I hate to break it to you, but I AM well-versed in Middle Eastern affairs. I have read dozens of texts from both perspectives (Israelis and Gazans), which leave me to make a highly educated opinion on this topic. Could you say the same? Or do you simply filter the news that suits your ideology? I am well aware of the corrupt politics in Israel, something EVERY country has. On the other hand, Israel is being held up to a double standard simply because it is THE LONE DEMOCRACY in the region. You speak about injustices done onto a people, and you know what, I agree with you. I am willing to acknowledge that your misguided news filter has some truths to it. I am not seeking hostility here. All I ask is you look into the whole story. Then, we can sit down and discuss a legitimate solution and not merely cries for Israel to stand down. The issue is that an innocent people (Gaza, less so the West Bank) is consistently brainwashed by a terrorist leader/group, and they then bear the brunt of the blow when the leaders terrorize another area (Israel or Egypt). I am a firm believer of freedom, believe me. I hope to serve the U.S. in the upcoming years to defend OUR right to exist. Why must Israel not?

  • Conversations With The Moon

    At the end of the day, I know that bargaining is not likely with the groups you list. That, again, is not what I’m suggesting. I’m suggesting that Israel consider building consensus with those in the region that can affect change, rather than flexing its considerable muscle. Anything short of that leads to a scenario I don’t think either of us want to see. Have a good night…

  • Kenny Abitbol

    When Israel is capable of building consensus within the Arab Spring, please let me know. These countries don’t even have consensus within their own populations. Anyways, have a good night friend.

  • kingmidget

    The problem is that there are very few moderates left in Israel. They have been shouted down, hammered into submission, they are only allowed to lurk in the dark corners of Israel society.

    • Kenny Abitbol

      Mark, this is completely untrue. Have you ever been to Israel? Have you looked at Israeli Parliament over the past few decades? The problem is that I can’t say the same with the other countries in the ME. Where are their “representative governments”?

      • kingmidget

        The “moderates” in Israeli politics have almost completely lost any influence or authority. As for your background and knowledge, I minored in Middle East Studies in college — it wasn’t a minor offered by my university, I created it specifically for myself and it was approved by the university as my minor. That was almost thirty years ago. Since then, I have never stopped reading and learning about the Middle East. I, too, read materials (books, articles, blog posts, anything and everything I can) from both sides of the conflict and have been doing so for thirty years. You’ll have to try another approach.

        What other countries do in the Middle East to their people is completely irrelevant to whether Israel is living up to its democratic ideals — which it actually can’t if it wants to remain a Jewish nation.

      • kingmidget

        I agree with you that innocent Palestinians are bearing the brunt of this and that Hamas and the other terrorist groups have significant blame for the situation. Unfortunately, while you seem to place all of the blame on Hamas and the terrorist groups, I believe there is plenty of blame to toss Israel’s way because of its policies in Gaza, the West Bank, and in Israel itself, as well as the long history of actions Israelis have taken against Palestinians. Their hands are not clean. If you are unwilling to acknowledge that, than it is you that is unwilling to consider both sides.

      • kingmidget

        Ken: Do you know who Moshe Feiglin is? I’ll help in case you don’t. He’s deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Likud — the governing party, the party of Netanyahu. Here’s what he said last week: “Gaza is part of our Land and we will remain there forever. Liberation of parts of our land forever is the only thing that justifies endangering our soldiers in battle to capture land. Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel. The coastal train line will be extended, as soon as possible, to reach the entire length of Gaza.”
        You might say that he’s just one politician. You would be right, but I could give you numerous examples of other members of the Knesset saying similar things or much worse over the past few years. Now, just for a moment, put yourself in the shoes of a Palestinian living in Gaza. You read that … do you feel safe? Do feel that you can trust the Israeli’s? Do you feel like they’re going to protect your rights and your interest?

      • Ken

        Mark,

        I am well aware of Feiglin’s comments last week. I am also well aware of comments made by all Israeli Knesset politicians, both Arab and Israeli.

        How many times have Knesset Arabs called for the extermination of Jews in Israel, removal of international recognition of a country established in 1948, or denied the Holocaust during the session? Too many.

        Does that change the fact that Hamas will be there, ceasefire or not, launching missiles into Israel? Does it change the fact that anti-semitism is as strong as its ever been in France and London? Does it change the fact that Syrians are mass killing their citizens with over 160,000 dead from the past three years? Does it change the fact that ISIL is seeking to establish a caliphate and has brought Jordan, Iraq, Iran, and Syria into a regional war? It frustrates me to an extreme why we single out Israel and hold them to a double standard. They are targeting Hamas militants and even warn the people near the rocket sites beforehand! Hamas uses its citizens as human shields to win the PR war – They have no care for their people’s lives. There is so much animosity towards the country and yet there can be no true bargaining done with Hamas and Hezbollah to alleviate the hate. I don’t believe for a minute that a two-state solution would solve anything besides bring Hamas closer to its goal of eradication of the Jews – just look at their charter.

        Hamas Charter: http://fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818.htm

        My main issue is that Israel is consistently being portrayed as the villain in all this. The Jewish people turned Israel from a barren wasteland when the Arabs maintained control to an irrigated, agricultural hub in the late 1940’s. Ever since it has been internationally recognized as a state, it has had to fend off multiple countries with its miniscule army (I’m talking 48′, 67′, and 73′), and yet it still managed to pull off victories. They have had countless Nobel Prize winners and advanced faster than any country in terms of technology.

        I’m not looking to give you a biography of Israel’s success because I’m sure you are aware.

        While Israel has done all this, it does not change the fact that there are several million people who feel that they don’t belong in Israel and want a free country of their own. As you said, isn’t that everyone’s right? In my opinion, the only solution is education. Educate the Gazans that Hamas is not who they want to lead them. Once a legitimate group can come to the table and discuss, Israel needs to accept that these people are here to stay as well.

        In order for this war to end, Hamas needs to step down.

      • Conversations With The Moon

        Ken, I can truly appreciate your passion and knowledge. Ditto for Mark…truly insightful. So who is right? This is exactly my point. The paradigm needs to change (full disclosure: I wholeheartedly agree with Mark’s position). That said, I think Mark and I (not speaking for Mark) are closer to your desires than you think. Neither of us are calling for Israel to lay down arms. Nor do we believe Israel does not have a right to defend herself. What my blog posits is a different approach to her self-defense. More thoughtful, more creative, less knee-jerk aggression.

        Israel should be held to a higher standard. They are the beacon of democracy in the region and bears a responsibility for that. Why do we not harp on Hamas and ISIS and Hezbollah? Because they are radical fundamentalist barbarians with very little hope for compromise.

        Ken, the reality is that, like it or not, Israel, through Netanyahu, is losing the PR war. The disgusting acts of anti-semitism seen internationally in response to their latest military excursion and provocative rhetoric is an example. Israel is better than this and needs to rethink it’s response to these terrorists. No, it’s not okay for them to be held to the same standards as terrorist, they are better.

        For too long, Israel has received a pass, internationally, for their overarching responses to terrorism. And pragmatically, what have these exercises in overreaction wrought? Are they safer? No, they have spawned generations of Arabs and Muslims that are willing to end their lives to end Israel’s right to exist.

        I think we’re fundamentally on the same page here; I’m simply asking you and others who share your view to consider a different solution…

      • Ken

        I understand your viewpoints, Mark and Maddy. In the end it comes down to who started what, and we will just have to agree to disagree. I apologize if this was overblown, I simply felt Israel needed to be represented. While I am all for a creative solution, I have yet to see anyone propose something radically different. I hope you understand that when one see’s a post titled “There’s a solution…” and in the post it is merely abstract balks at both sides, it brings out frustration – especially to those of us who have lived there, studied the conflict, etc…

        Its been a pleasure.

        Best,

        Ken

      • Conversations With The Moon

        My pleasure as well Ken (btw, I’m Kelly, not Maddy–long story). No need to apologize; in retrospect I could have been less hyperbolic in my choice of title and probably a little more specific in my thesis. This blog post has been percolating inside me for some time now and frankly I was somewhat reticent about posting, considering the guttural responses surrounding the issue. I genuinely appreciate your civility in the manner you express your views. I’m just frustrated. I want it to stop. For all of us…

  • Kenny Abitbol

    Try another approach? I am thankful that you are educated, because the majority of internet users cannot claim as much. I have to disagree with you on the “moderates” issue, simply on the basis of an upward trending liberal growth in Israeli citizenry, let alone the world. The main issue I have with the right is its tirade of wanting a Jewish state and yet not upholding the laws stated in their religion. However without the right, I don’t see anyone else standing up for Israel’s right to exist.

    Furthermore, what other countries in the ME do DOES matter. In our world of globalization, one cannot simply pick at one nation, who is legitimately attempting to defend its right of existence, values life over death (as opposed to Islamic fundamentalists, holds peaceful elections, and does not denigrate its Arabic citizens to a lower class (as the leftist media claims). This does not mean EVERYTHING Israel does is good. There is much to be left desired, but it is an injustice, as you put, to not consider all the facts.

    • kingmidget

      Everything I read about Israel reaches the conclusion that “moderates” in Israel are a dwindling breed compared to ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. I’d love to know what you have that backs up your claim.

      As for your claim that nobody holds Syria or ISIL or other horrible countries or terrorist groups to the same standard, I find that laughable. Syria is now a pariah country — actually has been for years. There are reports in the media every day about ISIL atrocities and what it is doing in the area it now controls Odd thing though is that the mainstream media in America never reports on the things Israel is doing to Arabs that live in Israel and those that live in the Occupied Territories. That is my point. You want balance, but you seem to ignore that there is very little balance in what is reported in this country and the balance tips heavily in favor of Israel, not the other way around. Your final words are “it is an injustice, as you put, to not consider all the facts.” You’re exactly right. Let’s do that. You still haven’t responded to my challenge to explain how Palestinians living in Gaza might react to Feiglin’s statement, instead turning to all of the horrible things the Arabs do. Here’s a question for you … when was the last time an Arab serving in the Knesset called for the extermination of the Jews living in Israel? Feiglin’s comment was last week.

  • kingmidget

    By the way, it won’t stop until the country with the most power continues to play the victim card.

    • Ken

      I mistakenly set off a firestorm here, and this will be my final post. Your antagonizing and rhetorical questions about “how Palestinians would feel” make it to be. If you want the final word, good for you – whatever lets you sleep at night. You are obviously not reading what I have written, and are just looking to argue for arguments’ sake. I have made my points as to where I stand (Hamas started this and Israel must defend itself) and where I agree with you (Israel and Hamas must seek an end to this fighting, and BOTH must make and hold by their future concessions).

      How do you think Palestinians would feel after comments like that?? TERRIBLE. Who is denying that? Let’s put Feiglin’s comments into perspective. Rockets are pouring in and his soldiers are dying. He wants to end it and just like political war-hawks in America, that is how he sees it happening. Whether you agree or not is at your discretion. However, if you continue to antagonize those who disagree with you and say “put yourself in their shoes”, I will turn around and say that you could never understand what it is like to be Israel, a nation that has never gained acceptance by the barbarians surrounding them and has had to face multiple wars in the toughest of circumstances.

      Feiglin’s comments were last week… and?? Arabs in the Knesset such as Zahalka and the Balad party are causing trouble ALL THE TIME. It simply won’t make your news feeds, because its not what you want to see.

      I accept that Israel is not doing everything correctly. There is plenty of blame to go around. But don’t think for a second that I will not stand by them when a terrorist organization launches rockets and cries for the extermination of the Jewish people. I will criticize them for the many mistakes they have made in the past (including treatment of those in Gaza and the West Bank), but I will not criticize them for holding their ground

      Here’s a rhetorical question for you: How would you feel if your nation was being bombed every day, even after you established a “ceasefire”? Please, quit with the antagonizing BS.

      By the way, you might want to check your last post: “By the way, it won’t stop until the country with the most power continues to play the victim card.” It doesn’t make sense, but I get what you are trying to say.

      Finally, take a look at what the pathetic UNHRC and High Commissioner Navi Pillay proposed today. Don’t tell me the international community supports Israel. All of their “alleged friends” who denounce Hamas as a terrorist group abstained aside from the United States. Who has done the same for ISIL and Syria? Double standard all the way.

      • kingmidget

        No, you get the final word. Impossible to discuss something with somebody who refuses to do so. I asked you when the last time was that an Arab member of the Knesset called for the extermination of the Jews in Israel and your response was that they “cause trouble” all the time. You pay lip service to fairness, but are unwilling to debate the subject fairly.

        You’re right my last comment included a typo … replace “until” with “as long as”.

      • kingmidget

        By the way … You didn’t set off a firestorm. We’re trying to have a conversation. But I find it fascinating that you think it antagonizing and rhetorical to imagine how the other side feels. It is exactly that response that makes finding a solution impossible. If neither side is willing to consider or acknowledge the impact of its actions on the other progress is impossible. And let me be very clear about something … Feiglin’s statement is about a lot more than an emotional response to the bombs and the death of the three teenagers, it is a statement about the dream of Greater Israel in which Arab claims to the same land are meaningless.

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