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Dispatch from Gaza: Palestinians flock to hospital to wait out assault

Hundreds of Palestinian families have sought cover in Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital, one of the last remaining shelters that has been spared Israeli bombardment. 

GAZA CITY – In the early morning of July 19th, Rafeeq Ibrahim and his wife grabbed their four daughters and made a run for it. Their neighborhood in Shejaiya, along Gaza’s eastern border, was taking heavy artillery fire from nearby Israeli tanks. With no way to fight, their only option was flight. But what they saw next froze them in their tracks.

“As soon as we ran out the door, we saw our neighbor’s son, lying lifeless on the street,” said 47-year-old Ibrahim. “We were so stunned that we couldn’t move.”

46-year-old Rafeeq Ibrahim hasn't returned to his home since fleeing Israeli shelling on July 17. He, his wife, and four daughters live on blankets outside the Shifa Hospital emergency room. (photo: Samer Badawi)

46-year-old Rafeeq Ibrahim hasn’t returned to his home since fleeing Israeli shelling on July 17. He, his wife, and four daughters live on blankets outside the Shifa Hospital emergency room. (photo: Samer Badawi)

And then the next shell hit. Running behind other families in the dark, they had no idea where to go. They just knew it had to be some place safe.

That place was Gaza City’s Al Shifa Hospital, which so far in this “war” – a word Ibrahim used – has been spared the kind of attacks visited upon other shelters, including UN-run schools. When I visited Ibrahim’s family there on Saturday, he had been there 12 days and had no intention of leaving. “This place is the best chance we have to survive,” he said.

One glance at the grounds of this overwhelmed facility backs him up. Everywhere you look — on sidewalks, patches of grass, in hallways — are entire families, spread out on blankets and foam mattresses. Some have built makeshift tents out of sheets or cardboard boxes. Others are camped fully exposed to the elements.

These are the lucky ones, Ibrahim tells me. More than 20 percent of Gaza’s 1.8 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes over the last three weeks, since Israel’s ground offensive began. More than 280,000 of those are in UN schools. The rest squat where they can or squeeze in with extended family.

27-year-old Gamar Fawzi Ibrahim, a dialysis patient displaced from his home in Gaza City's Saftawi neighborhood, is pictured here with his eight-year-old son Fawzi. (photo: Samer Badawi)

27-year-old Gamar Fawzi Ibrahim, a dialysis patient displaced from his home in Gaza City’s Saftawi neighborhood, is pictured here with his eight-year-old son Fawzi. (photo: Samer Badawi)

At Al Shifa, they have literally been pushed to the sea. Ibrahim gestures toward the Mediterranean, which is meters away, and offers me coffee. When I ask him what he was doing before this all started, he tells me he’s been unemployed for eight years, since Israel’s siege of this 25-mile-long strip began. He’s relied on food aid and the graciousness of neighbors, but now his neighbors are no better off.

As we speak, a young man with jaundiced skin approaches and begs Ibrahim for money. He tells us he hasn’t been able to support his kids since fleeing his own tragedy in Gaza City’s Saftawi neighborhood, where an Israeli attack made his family’s home uninhabitable.

Such are the horrors of Gaza today. Each time you think it can’t get any worse, you meet someone whose misery one-ups the last. A few meters away from the Ibrahim’s encampment, I meet Sabah Abed Qtati, the 52-year-old matriarch of her family of six children. Her husband works in Dubai and has no way of returning or sending money. So she has put down mattresses for her and her children in a hallway — just outside the hospital’s morgue.

52-year-old Sabah Qtati (r) fled fighting in Gaza's Zeitoun neighborhood 17 days ago. She now lives in a hallway of Shifa hospital, next to the morgue. (photo: Samer Badawi)

52-year-old Sabah Qtati (r) fled fighting in Gaza’s Zeitoun neighborhood 17 days ago. She now lives in a hallway of Shifa hospital, next to the morgue. (photo: Samer Badawi)

Qtati fled Zeitoun, the Gaza neighborhood that suffered horrific casualties during Operation Cast Lead, which began in December 2008. Her home was hit then, too, but not like this. This time, it’s leveled. She tried to survey the damage on Friday, when the ceasefire was announced. But before they could get there, the fighting resumed, and she “lived the nightmare all over again.”

“I don’t believe in ceasefires anymore,” she says. “I’m staying right here.”

That kind of shell-shocked logic was everywhere at Al Shifa today. The families don’t know when they’ll go back, if ever. For now, all they can do is be thankful that they and their relatives aren’t in one of the ambulances that come screaming onto these grounds several times a day, everyday.

“I don’t know how my children will ever live under a roof again,” Ibrahim says. “They’re too scared.”

Related:
Dispatch from Gaza: The bloody devolution of a ‘ceasefire’
Blaming Palestinians for their own deaths
PHOTOS: Gazans recover belongings, bodies during short-lived ceasefire

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    1. Kolumn8

      Funny, because Hamas leaders too have flocked to Shifa to wait out the assault. There is a bunker in the basement that houses most of Hamas high command and Hamas spokesmen use the hospital as their studio. A Finnish reporter yesterday reported that the Hamas terrorists were shooting rockets from the parking lot. Cynical use of human shields.

      Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        I suppose they should all go hole up in a football stadium with a huge flag reading “Come get us!” flying over it. They’re guerrillas, what the hell do you expect them to do, mouse brain?

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn8

          I expect them to care about their own civilians being killed. They don’t. By turning a hospital into a headquarters and a rocket launching site they make it a legitimate military target. Same with schools, mosques, etc. And yet people like you defend them.

          Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            It’s not a legit military target, because there are injured and homeless people in there. But I speak in vain, because, as Rorschach put it “One more body amongst foundations makes little difference.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn8

            Of course it is a legitimate military target. It has been turned into one by people that use it to conduct military operations. That they use human shields to protect them is despicable, but it doesn’t stop it from being a legitimate military target.

            The only thing that you can argue is that the civilian casualties do not compensate for the military advantage of taking out this legitimate military target, but that doesn’t change the classification of the target as a legitimate one. That is how the laws of war work.

            If you want to find the people guilty for mass civilian casualties go talk to Hamas leaders who are quite literally hiding among children and injured in a hospital while shooting rockets at Israeli civilians. I also note that you don’t bother to argue this point, because you know that it is true that Hamas is explicitly and purposefully using its civilians as human shields for its military infrastructure.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            No, I just don’t think it’s worth convincing a Zionist, at this point, that protecting innocent human life is more important than “beating” the “terrorists.” If you need to be convinced of this, you simply have a moral deficiency.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn8

            A government’s primary job is to protect its own citizens from those that wish them harm and to do so even when that enemy uses women and children as human shields.

            If there are civilian deaths during such military operations that is entirely the fault of the other side. Hamas, as the government of Gaza has quite blatantly put its own civilians in harms way by putting their houses and schools to offensive military use.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gearoid

            That’s not actually how international law works on the issue, but I’m not surprised an open shill has a less than able command of the facts.

            Reply to Comment
          • bar

            According to Ban Ki Moon Kolumn8 is right and you’re wrong. But, I guess I wouldn’t trust a UN official on this subject either.

            Reply to Comment
        • CigarButNoNice

          “They’re guerrillas, what the hell do you expect them to do,…”

          Interesting admission. Do you know how guerrilla warfare was ever overcome, throughout history? By indiscriminate retaliation against the entire population supporting the guerrilla fighters. Of course, you call that “War Crimes” in Leftspeak, thus putting a moral prohibition on states to fight guerrilla warfare while encouraging that warfare upon states as a moral right (“resistance to oppression” etc).

          The anti-Zionist, anti-Western Leftist-Islamist alliance sure loves its deluxe war terms, those that grant “the resistance” the right to wage war under any means possible (no “collateral damage,” the women and children on the other side had it coming because they’re “settlers”) while denying “the oppression” any right of self-defense (even passive measures like Iron Dome). Enjoy it while you can—until more victims of Islamic imperialist aggression wise up to your rigged rules and disregard them for the subterfuge they are.

          Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            It really shows what kind of person you are, to think that the subjugation of an entire people is justified in the name of fighting “terrorism.” You are on the same wavelength as the South Vietnamese under Diem, the French in Algeria, and (more recently) the Syrian Baathist regime. I hope you’re proud of that.

            Yeah, we have a bad habit of siding with the underdog. Nobody (outside of Israel) likes a military power who bullies the vulnerable, especially if our government covers for their state-sponsored terror, even less so in the 21st Century. What are you gonna do about it, call us anti-semites?

            Reply to Comment
          • CigarButNoNice

            “…to think that the subjugation of an entire people is justified in the name of fighting ‘terrorism.’ ”

            Well, you think that the terrorization of an entire people is justified in the name of “resisting colonialism,” so I’d say you’re throwing stones while living in a house made of fragile stuff.

            “Yeah, we have a bad habit of siding with the underdog.”

            I know. It’s Underdogma, the thought-pattern where strong is automatically wrong and plight always makes right. As for me, I know for eaxmple that the Chechens, no matter how oppressed they had been under Russian rule, were wrong when they murdered (with malice aforethought, not through collateral damage!) the schoolchildren at Beslan, and the Russians were right to level their capital Grozny after that.

            “What are you gonna do about it, call us anti-semites?”

            Nope. I don’t need to. I’ll just unmask you for the apologists for Arab/Islamic imperialist and colonialist aggression against the Jewish nation and their state that you are. You mentioned the French in Algeria? What you support is colonialist-imperialist ambitions that make the 19th-century European sagas look paltry in comparison.

            No peace without justice; no justice until the Arab colonists quit their aggression against Jews living on the Jewish nation’s land, the Land of Israel. No room for colonialism in the 21st century—not even Arab colonialism!

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            As usual, you respond to my points with bromides and slogans.

            It really does say a lot, that you are for both mass destruction of life and property in Gaza now, and that you also apologize for Russia’s similar destruction of innocent lives in Chechnya, as “revenge.” Once again, you are no better than the apologists for the Syrian Baathists barrel bombing civilians in the name of fighting “Islamist terrorism.” Like it says in the Talmud, “one hundred eyes for an eye,” I suppose. As for me, if a society can only be preserved through such crimes, it is obviously not a society that sincerely values the rights of innocents, and is not worth preserving in the first place.

            Reply to Comment
          • CigarButNoNice

            So mine are “bromides and slogans” while yours are “points”? Okey dokey.

            It really does say a lot, that _you_ are an apologist for anything done in the name of “resistance” by way of guerrilla warfare. Apparently such actors are not bound by any laws or scruples. The Beslan Massacre was A-OK with you because “guerrilla fighters resisting their oppressors.” Despicable.

            In the meantime, JohnW asked you the pertinent question as to what you _would_ suggest Israel do as opposed to what you constantly say Israel mustn’t do. But I’m pretty sure the answer will be Israel should just capitulate to the Arab imperialists’ demands and continue the piecemeal surrender of Jewish land. Your enabling of imperialist aggression under the guise of “guerrilla resistance” is duly noted for the evil tactic it is. Wholly comparable to the way German imperialism justified the annexation of the Sudetenland. The Sudeten-Arabs are a handy trump card in whitewashing Arab imperialist aggression against the Jewish nation-state.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            Where did I say that I thought the Beslan school massacre was justified? I suppose I have to chose one side or the other? I’m either with the “goodies” (Netanyahu and , presumably, Putin), and give them moral support for whatever measures they deem “necessary, or I’m with the “baddies” (Hamas and Chechen nationalists), and rationalize away any crimes they commit. I can’t condemn Israel’s blatant lack of regard for the lives and dignity of innocents for the sake of disproportionate “defense” against a threat the average Israeli is probably statistically safer from than getting hit by a car, and want the occupation to end while disapproving of instances of Hamas targetting innocents. To put it plainly, to you I can’t simply be for the people of Gaza; I have to choose whether I am a Zionist/supporter of Israel or an Islamic fundamentalist.

            You simply project your own ruthlessness and gung-ho fanaticism onto me. It won’t do. I want an apology for your baseless and histrionic accusation.

            No, I dont’ think that everybody is fair game for resistance movements (least of all children). But I don’t deny them, or the people, the right to rid themselves of their oppressors if they get sick of them. I don’t approve of the FLN, bombing pied-noir cafes, but in the end I think the most important thing was that the French were forced to leave, which was what the Algerian people wanted.

            I’m getting to JohnW’s question, so be patient.

            Reply to Comment
          • CigarButNoNice

            No apology forthcoming, but I’ll say you strike me as naive rather than evil. You’re naive in thinking the Occupation means only the territories gained in the war of 1967–as far as the Arabs are concerned, Tel Aviv and Haifa are just as “occupied” as En-Gannim (Jennin in its original name) and Hebron.

            Furthermore you’re naive in your separation between the people (“Gaza”) and the leadership (Hamas). The people in Gaza want the same thing Hamas wants, having elected them on that basis: To dispossess the Jews of the entire Land of Israel, to loot the riches of the Jews’ cities, to kill all the Jewish males and to take all the Jewish females as concubines. Attributing peaceful aspirations of coexistence to them is wrong and naive.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            Hamas was elected chiefly for two reasons: 1. The siege. 2. PLO corruption.

            Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        “A Finnish reporter yesterday reported that the Hamas terrorists were shooting rockets from the parking lot. Cynical use of human shields.”

        Actually, she did not say that. She complained that her statement was taken out of context by the pro-Israel media. This is what she actually said:

        “During the night someone launched a rocket somewhere behind the hospital.”

        Not IN the hospital, but outside it. She does not identify who launched the rocket.

        http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/08/04/finnish-journalist-who-confirmed-hamas-using-al-shifa-hospital-to-launch-rockets-dismayed-viral-coverage-ignores-her-intended-narrative/

        Reply to Comment
    2. JohnW

      Ok Reza, point taken.

      Now tell us your solution. Must One million Israelis in Southern Israel tolerate being rocketed for another 15 years because the democratically elected Hamas wants to bully Israel into accepting it’s terms of surrender?

      Reply to Comment
      • Jan

        Must the Palestinians tolerate living under military occupation for antoerh 47 years?

        Must they tolerate more and more illegal settlements being built on their lands?

        Must they tolerate the settlements getting the lion’s share of the water of the West Bank while they get whatever is left over?

        Must they tolerate their homes being demolished, their people tear gassed or shot when they demonstrate against theft of their land?

        Must they tolerate their men, women and children being locked up in Israeli prisons, some who are never charged with a crime?

        Must the people of Gaza tolerate being locked into the world’s largest outdoor prison, a prison that is controlled by air and sea by Israel?

        How long do you expect the Palestinians to accept occupation until Israel bullies them into surrender?

        Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        I’ll give you the long version. Maybe if I flesh it out enough, you’ll listen.

        Israeli policy has been keeping you in the same cycle of periods of peace, punctuated with violence and protest, for all this time. The only sure-fire way of ending it, is ending the siege of Gaza, and the occupation in general, and accepting whatever follows as the consequences of everything leading up to that decision. Such would, in the long run, rob Hamas of its raison d’etre in the eyes of the Palestinian people: the occupation. The polls and surveys I’ve seen thrown around on this site fail to take a very important factor into consideration, which is the conditions and times these opinions and feelings are developed in. We show you photos of right-wing Israelis attacking anti-war demonstrations, tweeting racist messages and supporting the deaths of children, celebrating the massacre of innocents in Gaza over popcorn with their friends, fascistic influential politicians openly calling for ethnic cleansing and this is precisely your response; it’s not that they’re racists, or want to ethnically cleanse the Holy Land of Arabs (even though prominent politicians are calling for precisely this), it’s just an expression of righteous outrage over the rockets and three dead kids. But then you turn around and deny the Palestinians their own right to “expressions of outrage”; even signs in protests are taken to mean that it’s all just because they hate the Jews because they are Jews, and want to drive them into the sea. Nobody ever, save maybe for a Gandhi or an Anne Frank, harbors anything but ill-will towards people they perceive as abusing them or taking away their rights and dignity, regardless of “who started it” (which is, at this point, a totally worthless and counter-productive exercise in historical nitpicking). Negative attitudes by normal Palestinians towards Israel, or wishes that it didn’t exist, are as natural a response to the occupation, as cries of “Gas the Arabs!” during right-Zionist demonstrations or rallies. Yet, to you, it is the Palestinians whose anger over dead children and destroyed homes (directed towards the people who dropped the bombs) is illegitimate, while Israelis have the right to express hatred and desires for violent invasion of Gaza over rockets that have failed to kill more than a small handful of civilians and destroy any significant amount of property in an entire year.

        McNamara’s explanation of why we (America) lost in Vietnam, brought up in a previous article here, nailed it right on the head (but was ignored by you and others), applies perfectly. No, the Vietcong didn’t want to destroy America, but they did want to destroy the South Vietnamese government, and have its’ territory absorbed by the Northern government. But the reason the VC did so well wasn’t because Vietnamese peasants were all “terrorists” or “fanatics” who had been “infected” with Marxist ideology (which is how Israel would have no doubt explained it if they were the ones involved), it was because they shared a common enemy: the thieving, opposition-jailing, vote-rigging and religiously bigoted dictatorship in Saigon, and America for uncritically backing it up with money and force of arms. We went in with the attitude that whatever the Vietnamese people wanted was of no concern to us, as long as the Soviets and Chinese were contained, and Vietnam had an “anti-communist” government (no matter how undemocratic and rotten). Thus, through shooting and napalm-bombing peasants in the name of “fighting communism,” we helped Ho Chi Minh’s victory in no small part. What should we have done differently was to not treat Vietnam like a pawn on a geopolitical chessboard, and to not consider the peasant population as communist until proven otherwise. We did, and of course we realized our faulty logic only after it was too late to change anything. Just like it looks like Israel is doing.

        Just as there, a good first step to recognize that Hamas has popular support (which it most certainly does need, if it wants to have any influence in any future Palestinian state), for the same reason the VC did; people see them as opposing conditions they find unbearable and unjust, not for ideological reasons (apart from conventional nationalism). They want the siege gone, along with the occupation, so does Hamas. They’re angry at Israel for enforcing them, so is Hamas. Hamas’ greatest PR aide, thus, is Israel, which helps them by continuing the occupation, and the siege, and now (even by Zionist logic) is helping them even further by providing over a thousand martyrs in Gaza. So why you continue to insist on giving your enemy exactly what it wants is beyond the understanding everybody who is not Israeli (aside from the obvious moral problem with slaughtering that many people). It follows that, at this point, there are only two options: continue with the status quo for ever and ever, or take a risk by ending the occupation. Every other solution is merely a variation of the first option. The sole objection to the second option is a vague false dilemma imposed by your government: either things continue the way we are, or, by ceding an inch to the Palestinians without it being strictly on our terms, we effectively “surrender” to Hamas, which founds an Islamic caliphate and conquers us.

        There are a few reasons why this is unlikely. Firstly, consider that, once again, most Gazans support Hamas’ rule in their city because they share a common desire to rid themselves of the blockade (and Palestinians in general, the occupation). In the case of Gaza, for example, if the siege were lifted, normal trade relations would give the Gazan people breathing space and prosperity necessary to further develop civil society (political parties, trade unions, student groups, NGOs, etc.), and to assess Hamas’ worth (or lack thereof) as peacetime rulers. Although the opportunity horizon may well have passed, Hamas’ involvement in a Palestinian coalition government, in conditions of peace, would inevitably bring about either the group’s evolution or obsolescence. If there’s anything the last few years should have taught anyone, it’s that Arabs aren’t as politically predictable as Westerners would like to think. Consider how Egyptians soured towards Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood’s doctrinaire authoritarianism, despite all the goodwill they had built up over the years by opposing Mubarak. Consider how, despite overwhelming coverage of Islamist militias in Libya during that country’s civil war, most Libyans today are actually against those militias, and hardline Islamist politics in general, despite all the “experts” who expected them to turn the country into the next Somalia or Afghanistan after Gaddafi’s fall. And consider how the chief bogeyman for Westerners and Israelis in Syria, Islamic State, is in conflict with the entirety of the Syrian opposition, including the al-Nusra Front (which many in the FSA already view as an embarrassment, and may well end up having to fight later on). So, contrary to what you are certain will happen if the occupation and siege end, Gazans will almost certainly tire of Hamas’ authoritarianism; they want sovereignty, the right to govern themselves the way they please, and the ability to go about their lives and business in peace, not some grand Islamic Caliphate. Opinions and attitudes change depending on situation, as I said earlier, and an end to the occupation will almost certainly soften Palestinian attitudes towards Israel. Naturally, this is all in the long run, but it’s the best option you have. Either you finally take the risk the entire world is screaming at you to take in the name of basic decency and respect for the rights of others, or you perpetuate the peace-violence/protest-peace-violence/protest cycle for another half-century, for the sake of stubbornness and ideology. If you want absolute guarantees, that’s just too bad. There’s no such thing as a sure thing.

        Reply to Comment
    3. JohnW

      Much as I tried, I did not have the stomach to read through your long diatribe.

      Here is my much shorter response.

      Yes, it does matter who started the violence and the hatred. No matter which way you want to twist things we cannot escape history. Sadat understood that, that’s why he extended the hand of peace to us and that’s why we accepted his olive branch and got out of the whole of Sinai.

      The Palestinians and their rabid supporters such as you and Jan, on the other hand have an elephant’s memory about the suffering that we caused them but at the same time, they and you have Alzheimers when it comes to remembering the hate and violence that they perpetrated against us which in turn caused us to respond.

      That’s all I have to say. And one more thing; there will never be peace so long as you persist with this one eyed behavior because we are not stupid. You will not bluff us into making anymore unilateral concessions because every time we did, you perceived it as weakness and you increased the level of hatred and violence against us. This is not brainwashing. This is personal experience. You forget where I live and you think that Iorget what I experienced personally from our “loving neighbors” and your kind just in the last 15 years or so. After Barak’s peace offer we got the intifada and Durban. After the unilateral Gaza withdrawal we got more rockets. That’s not brainwashing. That’s fact.

      Keep your tactics up and you will cause a disaster. Nobody, I repeat nobody will end up happy. Try something that worked. Take a leaf out of Sadat’s book. Nothing else will work. Trust me on that Ya Habibi!!!!

      Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        Who is “you?” I’m not a member of Hamas.

        If you failed to read through my “diatribe,” then you obviously aren’t qualified to rebut it. So we’ll leave it it that, and assume your nationalism is more important than your logic and morality.

        And the fact that historical arguments are counterproductive is proved by the very fact that you are using them to feebly object to what I proposed.

        And the point I was trying to make about Vietnam was that the VC did well for the same reason Hamas is doing well; popular discontentment with conditions on the ground, not ideology.

        You, and all of your fellow Zionists, are a paranoid, delusional, xenophobic lot, and so you would never implement a reasonable solution on your own, anyway. If such a solution does come about, it will be because the rest of the world forced it on you at gunpoint. And on that day, we’ll all tell you the same thing: we gave you a chance to cooperate willingly.

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          Who is “we”? A bunch of nomatterwhattheydo pro Palestinian extreme leftists? Stop over estimating yourselves. You are a nuisance, but you will never force us to do anything at gun point.

          But if I am wrong, even then you won’t be able to force us to do anything. And if as you say, you will try to force us at gun point then you better pray for the Middle East and be prepared for a quick forced transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

          Aha, I just had a Eureka moment. Perhaps that is exactly why the so called “progressive extreme left” is siding with the Arabs. You are actively seeking to bring forward such a scenario. You are trying to give the world shock therapy by forcing your vision for the world on them. But you are wrong because all you would achieve is ruin for the world. Not just economic ruin but physical ruin. If you think wars now are nasty, just wait and see what kinds of wars would come about in a world where the ugly spectre of starvation would become a common thing in an overpopulated world with diminished resources.

          Like all anarchists, you limit your thinking on how to vandalise the status quo. You have not a shred of intention to try and figure out what to replace it with and how you would do it other than espousing messianic utopian wishful thinking. You are no different from the religious people whom the left so despises. Your thinking too is based on pure faith and wishful thinking.

          Reply to Comment
    4. JohnW

      Oh and spare us Mcnamara’s reasons why America lost in Vietnam.

      Our situation is nothing like America’s was in Vietnam. You know why? Because after Americans had enough of Vietnam, they could just go back to their cozy homes in the good old US of A and relax.

      We on the other hand live in a very rough neighbourhood where weakness is punished severely. Moreover, this is the only home we have. We have nowhere else to go to even if we would want to. So we will stay here no matter what and will fight tooth and nail to keep our homes and independence which your “friendly Palestinian Arabs” want to take from us. And you know what? If we lose, the whole region will lose. That is how serious we are about defending ourselves.
      Corner us at your peril! That’s not a threat. That is a promise. Don’t even try to making soothing noises that we are paranoid and that there are no real threats against us. We are not foolable anymore. We got fooled 70 years ago in Europe and we believe in the saying:

      “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”

      Reply to Comment
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