July 25, 2014
Yesterday, I forwarded the Dana Bar-On YouTube video to my friends. A few comments came back already, including one from a very special friend. His reaction was not at all surprising, although somewhat disappointing. It reminded me why I have to continue writing this ‘Letter’. The following is what I intended writing only to him (I shall call him, Peter), but now have decided it should be part of today’s letter…
Hmmm – Your observation reminds me that I should not pass on such messages without some comment.
Peter, my letters are specially aimed at the ‘neutral public’ out there (sometimes confused with the ‘politically-correct), the ones who perhaps unwittingly give hope to the Palestinians.
You’ve presumably been watching the news; mostly heart-wrenching reports coming from Gaza. Understandable, of course, but that’s because we not only know how to defend ourselves, we make sure we can and do. The poor Gazan residents apparently do NOT know how to defend themselves; their leaders are making sure they are NOT given the means, and, as a result, have pictures….that then bring them support.
We are losing the propaganda war for such wrong reasons.
I was trying to balance them. I cannot do it with ‘the number of victims’, so tried with ‘the destruction of society’.
Yesterday was a typical day for me here. I live in an extremely well-protected area of an extremely-well protected country. We have warnings of incoming rockets – NOT from our enemy, (which country would be stupid enough to warn the enemy before hitting them??), but from our sophisticated defensive systems. The sirens went off when I was with Shira and her baby at the entrance of her building.
We rushed to the stairwell and crouched with others. Within 10 seconds from the start of the siren, we heard the booms. They were above our heads. We saw them. Tufts of cloud, indicating that, at least these had been shot down by the Iron Dome system.
We are told that, in built-up areas, MOST rockets are hit. Well, that’s good to know…We still crouch, obviously not sure whether we shall be lucky or not.
I called Aviva – no answer. I worry. I call again. She’s OK. She had to stop her car and run for cover.
Eliana, our older daughter, lives just outside Tel Aviv in a moshav. They have bad protection. These days, the kids rarely go to their pre-schools and kindergardens.
She has set up a system with a few other mothers to look after groups. But while we were crouching, so was she and the kids – at home – little protection. The doors rattled from the bangs. Later found out that one of the rockets did land nearby. Iron Dome either let one through, or does not cover that area.
What I’m trying to say is that fear has no boundaries. The more we ‘win’, the more we lose. The more suffering they incur, the more they call it a victory. And the media is, whether it wants to or not, helping.
Dana Bar-On’s life has been almost destroyed.
Reminder. She lives LEGALLY in a very beautiful kibbutz, which happens to be on the Gazan border. Last time I visited a place on the German/Swiss/Austrian/Italian border, I did not see such trauma.
Peter, the Gazans have a beautiful piece of land, part of what potentially could be a beautiful country called Palestine. I KNOW. Because I currently live in a land which is geographically identical.
66 years ago, it was legally suggested that we should be neighbours. We agreed. They didn’t. Most of Israelis would still today be prepared to go back to square one. You really think those poor Palestinians are ready? From day one, they have been brainwashed into hate, war, suffering, poverty and misery.
Dana lives RIGHT ON THEIR DOORSTEP. Why is she different? Don’t her words tell you something?
You see? I wanted to write one line; I thought that would be sufficient. It isn’t. Because terrific people like you still don’t get it.
It IS about who is right and who is wrong. I am trying to illustrate that Dana’s attitude is right, and an oppressed Gazan girl’s attitude is wrong.
If/when a solution is found, they then face generations of re-education. Most people would/should trust Dana to be a minister in whatever government is set up.
Education, tolerance, basic rights, real democratic freedom. You should know this, Peter – Israel is a place where all this is available. (Not all have learnt, of course).
The neighbouring countries, Palestine included, have a little way to go.
While writing, I have to add something…
I played tennis yesterday, this time NOT interrupted by a siren. My opponent made an interesting suggestion for what should be done when the ceasefire is declared. A reminder first of when that should be. One friend wrote this morning that it should be now, no further delay, no further casualties..
Sorry, but stop now, and it will be ONLY short-term. 100% sure there be more casualties. We all know that’s true. The ceasefire needs to be when there is some/more chance of long-term peace.
(Yes, this is MY opinion).
So, my tennis friend suggested that, for a short, interim period, there will be a chance to make some dramatic gestures.
The Gaza Strip will be devastated. The people will be senseless. Hamas will be without a voice. (Khaled Meshaal will be extradited from Syria and held for trial in the Hague).
Introduce a modern-day Marshall Plan (the original one, put together by George C. Marshall, was the US plan to rebuild a devastated Europe after WWII).
I would not involve Qatar as negotiators between Israel and the Palestinians. But, I tell you, they’re perfect as the face of the new Gaza – they’re the richest people on Earth, and they claim they want to help. What a perfect moment for the World community to do what they have been trying to do for so long.
Israel would continue the ceasefire indefinitely. No rockets, no attacks from tunnels = no need to respond.
The UN must prepare an election for Palestine, combining West Bank and Gaza. UN peacemakers (I am suffusing a cynical laugh) will be clearly supported by Israel, standing a few steps behind.
Israel should consider making a deal with Marwan Barghouti. He’s a potential new leader for the united Palestinian people. (The fact that he’s in an Israeli prison serving 5 life sentences has to be overlooked – this is a special case).
Clever management will make sure the elections are fair, and that the suppressed and oppressed population will have a real chance of true democracy (I refuse to express the thoughts are going through my mind while I write this).
And while all this is going on, the international community will come in and start, once again, to rebuild Gaza. They will, e.g., put little stickers on the concrete containers, saying ‘For above-ground use only’.
Fuel, electricity, water etc. will no longer be supplied by Israel. We shall agree that it should not be our responsibility to look after Gaza. They have made it clear that this is not what they want. Egypt, Turkey, Vatican City, whoever. Just not Israel.
UNRWA will be disbanded. All current residents of Gaza and the West Bank will become citizens of….Palestine. All Arabs who wish to live in a Jew-free environment, can move to Jordan or Gaza or Saudia Arabia. West Bank will continue to slowly move towards becoming another country like Israel, where Arabs, Jews, Christians, LBGT’s, women and pop singers can live together in peace.
I’m getting dizzy from this dream….