I participate in a mailing list with subscribers from all the world. The recent events in Qana provoked a discussion. In this discussion, a Leftist suggested to me that it would be a good idea if I were to write to some Tel Aviv newspaper editor and explain that it is immoral to bomb civilians.
Not expecting better from the Arabs, I am not amazed anymore at their hypocrisy at approval of Israeli civilian deaths from rockets, yet crying foul when Arab civilians, who proclaim readiness to die in the war against Israel – get their wish and die – only because they die from Israeli bombs rather than from exploding themselves in middle of crowds of Jewish civilians.
HOW MANY ISRAELI CIVILIANS HAVE TO DIE IN ORDER FOR THE IDF TO REGAIN ITS FREEDOM TO ACT TO PROTECT THE REST OF US FROM HIZBOLLAH MISSILES?
Obviously one or two (the usual number of casualties of missile attacks) are not enough. How many of us do you, bloodthirsty Leftists, want to die before you reluctantly allow us to defend ourselves against enemies, who use human shields forcing us to kill civilians in any act of self-defense we commit?
Someone wrote a black humor based article (Catch 22, in Hebrew) in his blog.
Most of the talkbacks to the article demonstrate that most of the readers in Israel did not exactly internalize the values of freedom of expression and black humor.
Where is the Yiddish humor heritage when we need it?
Any relationship between the publicized schedule of broadcasts of channels 1 and 10 and the actual broadcasts has been lost.
As a consequence, yesterday I missed my weekly infusions of “Veronica Mars” (channel 10), “The Simpsons” and “Stargate” (channel 1). I expect to miss also “Lost” (channel 10, tonight).
World of potential for mercy and compassion,
of room for grace and reconciliation,
teach all your children in the Middle East:
Jews, Muslims and Christians,
Bahai’s, Druzes and Buddhists,
Atheists and Agnosticians,
Palestinians and Israelis and Syrians and Iranians,
Let us value and love our fellow human beings
more than we value our beliefs, God or Gods.
Let hatred be turned into love, fear to trust, despair to hope,
oppression to freedom, occupation to liberation,
that violent encounters may be replaced by loving embraces,
and peace and justice could be experienced by all.
Let us swear that we shall never let Gods incite war and hatred among human beings.
In the build-up toward the 2nd Gulf War at 2003, the deaf in Israel were at last issued beepers to alert them under the same circumstances that airstrike sirens are activated.
My beeper appears to work – I got several test messages. However, according to unconfirmed report from someone, there may be a delay of as long as 5 minutes from the hearies’ siren activation until messages are sent to the beepers. This report is still not confirmed, and I hope that we’ll not have the opportunity to put the beepers to live test.
The more serious problem is that three Israeli TV channels (channels 1, 2 and 10) broadcast news several hours each day, and they sometimes repeat themselves. Yet there are no universal captioning or Sign Language interpreting in the news – not even when they are repeated and therefore are not truly live broadcasts, which are still difficult to caption.
I decided to try to compare the civilian losses from the British Blitz during World War II to the Israeli civilian losses during the Al-Aqsa intifada.
According to Wikipedia, about 43,000 British civilians were killed.
The only Internet source I found for estimating the total British population during World War II was Population Losses in World War II by Country by Andrew Gregorovich. According to this source, total British losses were 350,000 people, who were 0.7% of the total population i.e. total population of Great Britain at the time was 50 million.
During the Al-Aqsa intifada, about 1000 Israeli civilians were killed, and this was about 0.015% of the total Israeli population (about 6.5 million). The civilian British Blitz losses were about 0.086% of the total British population. In other words, as far as Israeli civilian losses are concerned, Al-Aqsa intifada had Israeli civilian casualty rate about 18% of that of the British Blitz.
And don’t ask me to compare the Palestinian casualties. They were the aggressors and they were the ones, who sent nominally-civilian suicide bombers, and they were the ones who brainwashed their youth that it is noble to die while killing Israeli civilians of all genders and ages and regardless of religion.
… is to read the tome “The Shepherd – The Life Story of Ariel Sharon” by Nir Hefez and Gadi Bloom.
I am still in the year 1969, but I am already impressed by the circuitousness of his life story. He was groomed by David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel. In the 1950’s he founded Unit 101 and later, in spite of quarrels with other commanders of IDF, he was made responsible for developing methodologies and training soldiers. He already exhibited the qualities of thorough preparations and rigorous postmortem analyses, which served him well in his career.
If his qualities were not needed for defending Israel against its enemies, he would probably have become an agricultural or biotechnology tycoon by now.
On Tuesday evening, I attended the memorial event for IDF and terror casualties, which was held in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv.
The event consisted of introductory words, appearances by singers, some music, speeches (by the mayor of Tel Aviv and the top man of IDF) and some video clips consisting of interviews with bereaved family members.
This was the first time such an event was fully accessible to me as a deaf. There was a Sign Language interpreter. We had two rows of chairs reserved for the deaf near the position of the interpreter. The video clips were fully subtitled (!).
Kudos to the organizers, who made the event accessible to the Israeli deaf and allowed them to share the grief with the other Israelis.
Recently I saw a LiveJournal entry by someone (name does not really matter, as several people hold the same attitude) who claims that Israeli soldiers, who fight Palestinians in Rafah and other places, are war criminals.
I replied and complained that they are overlooking the nature of the enemy of those Israeli soldiers. This is an enemy who is not fighting for its own liberty or economic advantage. This is an enemy who is fighting to kill the people of those Israeli soldiers.
The typical Leftist closed-eyed attitude was manifested in the reply by that someone: “Your comments are not welcome in my journal. go away.” accompanied by no attempt to counter the points which I made.
I would like to raise the general issue. How do you deal with people who have been brainwashed to believe that they must kill you? Do you kill them only because of the crazy memes that they carry in their brains? By this logic, one third of the Germans would have had to be killed at end of World War II due to their having been infected with the Nazi meme.In the case of the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the problem is that the youths are brainwashed by their elders to believe in the virtue of becoming suicide bombers and killing Israeli civilian children, women and men; and that 72 virgins are waiting in the Garden of Eden for anyone who has committed such an act.According to the established Western standards of law, such brainwashed people are not legally responsible for their actions. This means that they should not be tried in court for their attempts to be suicide bombers. However, they can be institutionalized as legally insane.
Such a treatment would have been feasible if the number of people infected with the Suicide Bomber meme were on order of hundreds, or at most, thousands. However, when about 60% of the multi-million Palestinian population are infected with the Suicide Bomber meme, what can be done to deal with the situation?
I’d say that the ethics of the situation are similar to the ethics of dealing with an high mortality rate plague. If you do not have the resources to isolate and treat all sick people in an area, you cordon them off and let them die. You do try to treat sick people wherever their number is small. If a powerful and effective medicine is found against the disease, you of course venture into the cordoned-off area and try to treat as many people as possible at as short time as possible.
But, when the disease consists of poisonous memes in the brains of large percentage of the people in an area – what is the appropriate treatment?