Saturday, November 24, 2012

About the Gaza War, another view...

On second thought               On the first Friday in December, I’d decided to show my class the PBS documentary from its Secrets of the Dead series, “Mumbai Massacre,” about the killing spree that began in India on November 26, 2008---almost four years before the latest war in Gaza.

But, for a reason that may surprise you, I won’t.

The reason? Its images didn’t match ones I’d seen shortly after it happened. PBS’ were almost sanguine; they interviewed survivors, especially one Muslim couple spared because he remembered one surah of the Koran. Although they witnessed a number of the senseless shooting murders of infidel non-Muslims, they didn’t see the psychopathic hacking and slicing deaths of a young Jewish Rabbi and his pregnant wife at the Chabad House. [Warning: Graphic Photos of Mumbai Chabad House Massacre  Images inside the Mumbai Chabad House after the Nov. 26 massacre. Warning: Some of the photos contained on this page are explicit and graphic. -]

That wasn’t part of the script. Near the end of “Mumbai Massacre” were a few comments that almost suggested that the killers were really misguided youths who weren’t all that bad. Such compassion smacked of Stockholm Syndrome; it wasn’t what I wanted my class to see.

Snipping out the cold and demonic truth about the anti-Semitic jihadists served only to make their brutality palatable. That creates an unreliable image.

I’ve had a similar feeling about the UNWRA, a UN group that supports Palestinian refugees the same way an absent parent supports their offspring: badly. What I hadn’t understood about UNWRA is why America pays about 35% of its annual budget. [please see: UNRWA  The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East - UNRWA - provides assistance, protection and advocacy for registered Palestine -]

When I had a chance to ask an executive of a large American Christian organization with strong ties to Israel’s leadership about continued support for UNWRA, I received an answer that appeared to be strikingly candid.

“Why do we continue to fund people who are committed to destroying Israel?” I’d asked.

“Because the Israelis want us to,” he answered.

“But why?” I asked in disbelief.

“They’re concerned about alienating the Palestinians who like them.” He shrugged in commiseration.

That was almost two years ago, two years after the Cast Lead operation (2008-2009). Cast Lead had ended with a treaty that was meant to serve to make that the last skirmish between Gazans and Israel. It didn’t work any better than Ariel Sharon’s forced evacuation of all Jews from Gaza. (A sign of that erroneous price paid for peace came immediately after the forced evacuation when the Gazans destroyed millions of dollars worth of hothouses left for them to use to create their own export business. Please see: - Despite funds and protection, Gaza greenhouses ...  Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on ... Sharon has said one reason for the Gaza pullout... -)

During the recent eight day long skirmish, a sense of déjà vu was irrepressible; many joined me in thinking it would end badly. Most felt that the poorly made truce would only serve to promote another attack and more missiles from Gaza.
Almost all of my Israeli correspondents expressed that same feeling.

One didn’t. He is a dear and respected friend, a Holocaust survivor. In a message that shook my certainty, he wrote:

On the subject of the war, thank God that this war is over for a while. It made no sense to continue it. We achieved what we set out to do and Hamas, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, has learned a lesson and we will have some quiet for a while. This war also opened the gates to some kind of understanding between Israel, the US, Egypt and Hamas. The biggest loser in this war is Iran which had a strong foothold in Gaza representing the Shiites. Between the two evils, Sunnis and Shiites, it is more practical for Israel to prefer the Sunnis. Iran is our deadliest enemy as they base their hatred for us on religious grounds. The new Egyptian ruler Mursi, is much more practical. Egypt is in ruins and depends on American financial help to keep afloat. Mursi didn't have to be pressed too hard by Obama to practically impose a ceasefire on Hamas. After the hammering Gaza got from our air force, they were ready for it anyway. Mursi wants to be the leader in the Arab world and considers Shiite Iran as the biggest threat to him. Ironically, Israel finds itself having the same interest as Mursi.
Mursi got us out of the necessity to invade Gaza with a million and a half Arabs to be fed. Even if we defeated Hamas, this would only play into the Iranian branches of Jihad Islami who were only waiting for Hamas to fall. Most Israelis were for going in and finishing Hamas, but this was an emotional reaction where reason was required. Of course, in the Middle East, like in the Middle East, reason is in short supply. 

                             B. Koplen 11/24/12

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