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Why I object to this military campaign, even as missiles fall on my city

 On prisoners, guards and misunderstandings.

Young Palestinians wave at an Israeli military tower in the 'No-go zone' area, near the border close to the Palestinian village of As Siafa in north Gaza, May 30, 2014. The Israeli army classified broad swaths of land adjacent to the Green Line, in which soldiers are allowed to open fire at anybody who enters, even if the person poses no threat. In early 2010, the army disseminated leaflets in the Gaza Strip warning residents it is forbidden to go within 300 meters of the fence, and that all means, including gunfire, will be used against those who violate the prohibition. The lax rules of engagement in these areas endanger farmers and residents who live nearby.

Young Palestinians wave at an Israeli military tower in the ‘No-go zone’ area, near the border close to the Palestinian village of As Siafa in north Gaza, May 30, 2014. The Israeli army classified broad swaths of land adjacent to the Green Line, in which soldiers are allowed to open fire at anybody who enters, even if the person poses no threat. The Israeli power plant in Ashkelon is seen at the back

Even today, when rockets are exploding above the city I love most in the world, even when we rush into our apartment building’s stairwell and march downstairs along with the neighbors to the bicycle room that has been turned into a makeshift bomb shelter. Even now, I oppose this military operation wholeheartedly. The sight of the IAF’s attack helicopters crossing the sky, going south along the Tel Aviv coastline does not fill me with pride or gratitude – it horrifies and depresses me.

Even after operations such as Defensive Shield, Summer Rains, Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense and the Second Lebanon War, I still cannot get used to the unshakable consensus that takes hold of the Israeli public. I would still like to believe that this whole thing is a misunderstanding, and that if my own people would only give some more thought to the reality in the occupied territories, they would change their mind overnight. I want to believe that they don’t fully grasp the nature of the occupation, which is why they are so enraged by whatever the Palestinians do. This mindset leads to yet another violent Israeli response, which only paves the way for the next escalation. I do not know if this line of thinking is more naïve or more patronizing on my part, but what other explanations are there?

I keep running into Israelis who don’t know, for example, that we still control Allenby Bridge (which connects the West Bank to Jordan), and with it each entrance and exit of a every Palestinian into the West Bank; or they don’t know that the IDF still operates in Area A, supposedly under the full control of the Palestinian Authority; or that there is no 3G network in the West Bank because Israel doesn’t permit the Palestinian cellular providers to use the necessary frequencies; or that we imprison of Palestinians hundreds without trial for months and years; or any other factual, undeniable aspect of the occupation. If all this is unknown, then perhaps this is all just a big misunderstanding.

Most of the time I try to correct misconceptions and argue over such details, but if I had to explain the whole thing briefly, I would use the following metaphor: we’ve built two giant prisons. Let’s call them “West Bank Prison” and “Gaza Prison.” The West Bank Prison is similar to a minimum security facility, where prisoners get to run their own affairs as long as they behave. They are entitled to vacations from time to time and once a year they are even taken to the beach. Some lucky people get below-minimum-wage jobs in nearby factories, and when you consider the low prices in the prison canteen, it’s actually not a bad deal.

Gaza, on the other hand, is a maximum security facility. It is difficult to visit and impossible to leave. We allow in essential food, water and electricity so that the prisoners don’t die. Apart from that, we don’t really care about them – that is unless they approach the prison fence; or the “forbidden” perimeter, where anyone who wanders too close is shot; or if they try to throw something over the fence.

Indeed, they occasionally throw some homemade bombs made of things they’ve managed to smuggle into prison, and when they fall on our heads it really is unpleasant. So we send our snipers to the watchtowers built around the prison and shoot them like fish in a barrel until they calm down. And when they finally do calm down, we cease firing because we are not the kind of bastards who shoot people for fun.

In the last five years, the minimum security prison has been pretty calm, but there have been some riots in the maximum security one, which we have managed to control with the usual routine. Still, even when both facilities were calm, we obviously didn’t open the prison doors. Rather, we made the walls higher and decreased the size of the prison yard; after all, we needed some of it for ourselves.

When we are asked why don’t we free the prisoners we explain that they refused to sign their parole papers because they don’t like our terms. For example, they don’t like that the release will be gradual, lasting 10 years or more, or that they will have to allow us to keep all kinds of items that we took from them when they were first locked up.

In addition, the head of prison intelligence compiled a report, which unequivocally states that every prisoner, each and every one of them, hates the prison guards. And as long as that is the case there is really nothing to discuss as far as we are concerned.

The prison facilities now hold a total of 3.5 million people – an entire nation – all sentenced to life. Under such conditions, prisoners can turn to desperate measures, such as suicide missions, digging long tunnels or swimming miles and storming our tanks with their old rifles. Often it ends up with a killing that looks like it was taken from some old video game. On the rare occasions that they do kill one of the guards, they hold celebrations in the prison and we become even more sickened by them. This, of course, also causes us to fear the day that they find a way to break down the walls.

I believe the prisoners will never love those who have locked them up, but there is a good chance that their children might be able to forgive – if for no other reason than a desire to move on with their lives. Naturally, there is only one way for this healing process to begin, and it has nothing to do with the fish and the barrel approach.

Hold your fire. Tear down the prison walls. Set the prisoners free.

Originally posted on my Hebrew blog at Local Call

Live blog: Escalation in Gaza – July 2014
Dispatch from Gaza: You can never be emotionally ready
[ARCHIVE – 2012]: Gaza operation will be declared a success, until the next war

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    1. “perhaps this is all just a big misunderstanding”
      When reality becomes too painful, denial is often they only way out, if you don’t want to go mad.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Erica Sender

      I agree with a lot of what you said but the rockets Hamas is launching toward Tel Aviv are NOT homemade bombs. Many are Syrian made. WHAT are we supposed to do?? They have an arsenal of 10,000 rockets?! I hate the violence but what can we do to protect ourselves and make it stop?!

      Reply to Comment
      • You could start with the obvious. The rockets from Gaza are a reaction to the zionist rampage that started 4 weeks ago under false pretences. So blame your government, not Hamas, and certainly not the Palestinians, for this cynical abuse of power masqueraded as self-defence.
        Mass murder with a special focus on women and children is never justified, not even when the victims are not Jewish.

        Reply to Comment
      • Peter Hindrup

        Just give back the land that you stole, with the assistance of the Brits in the first instance, and kept only because of the ongoing military and financial support of the US.

        Really, it is not all that difficult!

        Reply to Comment
      • Easy…..just get people like Dani Dayan and his band of thieves off their land and lift the blockade of Gaza.

        The rockets will stop.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Woody

      I suggest you stop running into the stairwell. If you’re still participating in this simple pavlovian nationalist trick, then how can we expect you to really critically analyze the conflict as a whole, Noam? Just move away from your window – no need to run – no need to get your blood pressure up. The sirens and fear are part of the Zionism, my friend.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Bruce Gould

      Well, the Israeli government could announce that it will begin negotiations with Hamas, no preconditions. I know, I know – Hamas has vowed to destroy Israel! – but maybe it’s worth trying? You know, see what the evildoers actually want, make the negotiations public…..

      Reply to Comment
    5. Lo

      For those of you who have seen the movie “Fight Club,” you may remember a scene where the character of Tyler Durden explains how manufacturer recalls work. Essentially, if the cost of a recall is not outweighed by the costs of damages and legal settlements, there is no recall (the morality of selling defective goods never enters the calculus).

      In the current Israel, where Netanyahu’s biggest threat is over his right shoulder, the “cost of recall” is even higher. The barriers to enacting the concessions required to “tear the prison walls down” (fabulous metaphor) are even more robust. The Israelis honestly feel the status quo is sustainable, and they are probably correct for the foreseeable future.

      Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        Very true economic perspective. Look at it this way: How much does Israel owe the Palestinians in reparations for 50 years of occupation? If we consider how many Palestinians have been killed, how many homes have been destroyed, how much of Palestine has been pillaged over the years, by my estimate Israel owes the Palestinians untold tens of billions of dollars, perhaps as much as $100 billion. Perhaps more. It then makes perfect sense that Israel has absolutely no economic incentive to change the status quo.

        Reply to Comment
      • Lo said: “The Israelis honestly feel the status quo is sustainable, and they are probably correct for the foreseeable future.”

        One hundred and fifty Palestinians dead. On the other side zero Israelis dead. Yet another bloodbath in a grotesquely unequal contest.

        The world is getting weary of watching the slaughter of civilians by a country in possession of the world’s most sophisticated weaponry, a country unaccountable to any… that takes pride in its obduracy and defiance.

        Unless Israel changes in a number of fundamental respects and becomes more inclusive you have to seriously question if it will have any future to defend, quite aside from a status quo.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Ben Zakkai

      I would suggest that there are two warring paradigms in competition within the Jewish Israeli population. I’ll call the first one “survivalist,” and it roughly corresponds to the first part of Hillel’s famous rhetorical teaching, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” That is the principle that guides the vast majority of Israeli Jews today. They want to hit the enemy hard and repeatedly, and also demonize the enemy while ignoring or justifying terrible things done by their own side. Their focus within Jewish history is on past Jewish suffering and on the Kahanist promise, “Never Again!” Their argument, rhetorically expressed, is that since many other peoples on Earth have founded, maintained and expanded independent states, while doing some frankly terrible things in furtherance of their national autonomy, strength and prosperity, then, “Why should the Jewish people be entitled to anything less?” To them the Jewish state is, in itself, the primary good, whose existence and welfare are worth any amount of collateral damage.

      The second paradigm, which I’ll call “idealist,” roughly corresponds to the second part of Hillel’s teaching, “If I am only for myself, who am I?” In other words, if the Jewish people have founded a state that’s just as bloody and stupid as any other state, then what do we need it for anyway? The world is already chock-full of such states, so who needs one more? That principle was alluded to a few days ago in a (Hebrew) Haaretz editorial that concluded, more or less, that what we need is a Jewish tribe worthy of its own state. It was echoed the same day by the Jewish-American writer William Saletan (for Slate magazine) when he asked, “What’s the point of a Jewish homeland without a Jewish soul?”
      The Jewish faith and religion contain strains approximating both paradigms and can be adapted to either. The Jewish survivalist, nationalist paradigm, while legitimately stressing the importance of self-interest, also tends to exaggerate and distort that value in ultimately harmful ways. It forgets that all nations, i.e. all political-geographical entities, eventually die. By way of contrast, the idealist paradigm, when tempered by clear-eyed common sense – which, I admit, very often doesn’t happen – is the one that perpetuates a moral tradition whose development and evolution have lasted for thousands of years. And it may eventually even give us a state of which we can be unreservedly proud; I can hope so, anyway.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Howard

      An intelligent article apart from the end which I see not so much as idealistic as patronizing. Why should the maltreated slaves learn to love their vicious masters. Such a concept plays right into the hands and the desires of the supremacist colonialists who propagate the narrative of their greater moral standards and worthiness to the world

      Reply to Comment
      • CigarButNoNice

        “Such a concept plays right into the hands and the desires of the supremacist colonialists who propagate the narrative of their greater moral standards and worthiness to the world”

        Congratulations, you have described the Arab imperialist propaganda machine to a T! Propaganda manipulation is indeed the way the Arab colonists gain world sympathy for their unjust cause.

        Reply to Comment
    8. Rab

      Since nobody else seems to want to point out the mistaken premises of this article, please permit me to do so.

      You belong to a historic people who have lived in this region for millenia. This people has for several decades, after significant fighting and wars, managed to carve for itself a sliver of territory in a huge landmass called the Middle East. This tiny sliver of land is so small that traversing it from east to west wouldn’t even merit a half-marathon if you stop at ’67 lines and might merit a full marathon if you went to the Jordan River. it’s so tiny, this sliver, that Jordan by itself (which is populated by majority Palestinians and founded by the same historic forces that brought about modern Israel) is nearly 3.5 times Israel’s size if you include Judea and Samaria.

      This sliver of land is an island of democracy, freedom, free speech, fair judiciary, etc. in a region that has none of these elements in their numerous fractious countries.

      This sliver was carved out after wars that were preferred by other groups in the region, including the local Arabs. They were violent to the Jewish minority in their midst a century ago and that hostility remained ever since. This sliver has relatively defensible border and resides on the historic homeland of the Jewish people. It may also be the homeland for the Palestinians, but that doesn’t make it any less so for the Jews.

      The Jews left Gaza in what was not envisioned as an experiment but has become one. The results? Once every couple of years the Israelis have to launch a war to try to get incessant rocket attacks to stop. Do Israelis want this war? No. It’s too expensive, too dangerous, too tiresome. But what can they do? Offer peace? They did that. Three times they’ve offered peace and 98% of the land in the two so-called prisons you describe. And the Palestinians have rejected these overtures.

      So please, stop it Noam. You are speaking to the wrong party! You need to convince the Palestinians that the sliver of land will have to remain Jewish and they can live well on what they’ve been offered and take solace in the fact that they will be in control of 84% of Mandatory Palestine (well, assuming they like King Hussein as their master).

      And as ISIS and Assad and the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military and the Saudi leadership and the Sudanese, Yemenites, and Iranians demonstrate to anybody who cares to look, if Israel lets its guard down and makes ONE MISTAKE, it and you and your family and friends and the Jewish people in general will be truly screwed.

      Reply to Comment
      • CigarButNoNice

        Deaf ears, Rab, that’s what your words will fall on. The position of the Left on Zionism has been decided – to portray it as a relic of White European Colonialism™, come hell or high water, no holds barred, no counterarguments accepted. So, unless you grovel at the feet of the so-called “indigenous Palestinians” (Arab settler-colonists really) like Rami Younis recently said, there’s no changing it: YOU A WAYCISS! Learn your place, uppity Zionists!

        Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        Your whole comment is based on a mistaken premise, Let me explain:

        “You belong to a historic people who have lived in this region for millenia. This people has for several decades, after significant fighting and wars, managed to carve for itself a sliver of territory in a huge landmass called the Middle East.”

        This is not the case. The “historic people who have lived in this region for millenia” DID NOT carve out anything.
        Immigrants from Europe did.

        The few Mizrahi Jews that lived in mandate Palestine did, for the most part, did not take part in the zionist struggle.
        The Zionist project is one of European imperialism, backed by the European colonial powers.

        Reply to Comment
        • Rab

          Go visit the Israel Museum, you ignoramus.

          Reply to Comment
        • CigarButNoNice

          “Immigrants from Europe did.”

          Here you go, Rab. Here’s your standard left-wing denial of the Jewish nation’s indigeneity in the Land of Israel in favor of the Pseudostinian narrative. Those who are too cowardly to honestly say they are against self-determination for the Jewish nation on its own land resort to portraying Zionism as a European colonial enterprise, thus tapping into the appeal of today’s acceptable Anti-White Racism. You know, the kind that calls the past Algerian repulsion of French rule “resistance” but the present native French discontent against Algerian coloni… I mean, immigration “racism.”

          And they routinely ignore the fact that the majority of Israel’s Jewish populace today is of Sephardi descent, and that it is from them that the greatest opposition to capitulation to Arab demands emanates; the only deluded peacenik persistents nowadays are of the Tel-Aviv bubble “tsfonbonim,” who nearly all are Ashkenazim. But one should never let the truth get in the way of the Manichean worldview and novel Racial Theory of the modern Left.

          “The Zionist project is one of European imperialism, backed by the European colonial powers.”

          No, the anti-Zionist project is one of Arab/Islamic imperialism, backed by the Arab/Islamic world (including colonists of theirs in the West, especially in Europe) and their left-wing stooges in Europe and America. Anti-Zionism is imperialist aggression against the Jewish nation and the Jews’ right of self-determination on their own land, the Land of Israel. Arab colonialism is the one that left-wingers support.

          Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            Since I won’t be able to visit Israel any time soon, I’m sure you guys can provide your sources. Please proove to me that the “indiginous jewish population” of mandate Palestine was the force driving the Zionist enterprise.

            (A contradiction in and of itself, of course)

            Reply to Comment
          • Rab

            A. I don’t fight straw men.

            B. Do your own research, dude. If you don’t know your history, then what are you doing commenting?

            C. Denial of Jewish history and that includes Jewish history in the Land of Israel is truly an idiotic tactic.

            D. You should visit Israel. You’ll enjoy it and it’ll be good for its economy. Also, imagine all the Jewish history you’ll see and learn, from destroyed ancient synagogues in the Golan Heights and Upper Galilee to ancient Jewish centers of Study in the lower Galilee to the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount where my ancestors worshiped and where, to this day, people still speak and pray in the same language as our predecessors.
            Enjoy the trip.

            Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            Haha nice. YOU are not fighting straw men? You’re not even able to tell me were I’m wrong, but I didn’t learn my history? Just tell me where I’m wrong, like I told Cigar where he/she was wrong. It’s as easy as that.

            I did plenty of research, so just tell me, one sentence is enough: where am I wrong exactly?

            All the history I can find backs my interpretation.

            Also, people DO NOT “still speak and worship in the language of [your] predecessors”. Sure, Hebrew was the language of rite all along. But people didn’t speak Hebrew in everyday conversations for hundreds, in fact more than a thousand years. Mizrahi spoke Arabic, and other jews spoke the language of their host countries (and occasionally Yiddish).

            As you well know.

            So your sentence should read:
            “where people AGAIN speak and still worship in the language of our predecessors”.

            If you even were talking about Hebrew, of course.

            Reply to Comment
          • Rab

            You’re wrong in your presentation of what I said. I wrote very clearly that:

            “You belong to a historic people who have lived in this region for millenia.”

            This is absolutely correct and cannot be challenged.

            “This people has for several decades, after significant fighting and wars, managed to carve for itself a sliver of territory in a huge landmass called the Middle East.”

            Also correct and cannot be challenged.

            But then you challenged anyway and since you couldn’t tackle me on absolute facts, you gave us the “The “historic people who have lived in this region for millenia” DID NOT carve out anything. Immigrants from Europe did.”

            Um, some of the immigrants were from Europe, some from Arab and Muslim lands, some from the USA. What can you do, the ancient people were dispersed all over the world. This doesn’t change anything I’ve written but it gives you some bullshit excuse to talk about European imperialism.

            To this I say: go read the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Torah, documents from thousands of years ago written in the same language as Israelis speak today primarily because this language was preserved for two millenia. Any school kid in Israel presently or in a yeshiva type institution from a Jewish community in Europe or some Arab land 300 years ago or 1000 years ago or 1500 years ago would be able to read and understand some of the Dead Sea Scrolls. That’s how deep our connection is to this place. And if you want to see how profound this connection truly is, consider that Christianity was born in the same land and yet Christians would not be able to read the Scrolls, though they would have been able to two thousand years ago.

            Seriously, go visit Israel and learn something.

            Enough of this stupidity. Really.

            Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            Ahhh Cigar, it’s gonna be fun to decostruct your bullshit. Here we go:

            1. Algerian “colonialism” in modern France. Tell me, how many laws were changed or written by the Algerian population in France? All of them, like in actual colonial times? How many Algerians rule in French politics?

            2. The majority of Jews in Israel today may be from Eastern Europe. Eastern EUROPE. Yes. They came after the Zionist enterprise had already reached its main goal: the establishment of a jewish state.
            So no. You’re wrong on all accounts if you claim that a Sephardi majority in Israel in any way contradicts the fact that Zionism was first and foremost an enterprise by European (Ashkenazi) jews.

            As is evident in Israel, even today. Just look at the leading figures in politics, media and society in general. Tell me, how many Israeli presidents were Sephardi jews? How many were prime ministers? How is the quota in the leadership of the IDF?

            Yes, Sephardi jews “adopted Zionism” late after the establishment of Israel. When Israel was already a consolidated power. But less so because of ideological conversion, but mainly for economic benefits. They saw better economic chances for themselves and their families in Israel when compared to the crumbling successor-states of the Soviet Union.

            3. The fact that more Ashkenazi are “leftists” (in the israeli sense, in every other democracy they would be called “moderate liberals”) is easy to explain: they came from western democracies. They know the values and norms of democracy better than people who came from dictatorship, as should be evident in and of itself. They came from pluralistic and open societies. Good for them!

            4. The first very vocal Anti-Zionists were Jews.

            5. How can the land of Israel be “the jews own land” when most of them are first, second or third-generation immigrants? How can it be “the jews own land” when 20% of its citizens are muslim Arabs?

            I’m looking forward to your answers to my questions.

            Reply to Comment
          • Marcos

            You sir, are an ignoramus.
            Sephardic Jews did not immigrate from the FSU.

            Reply to Comment
          • lipchitz

            Yes, Zionism was driven by European Jews. But I i’d recommend Hillel Cohen’s book Tarpat (1929) where he cites a letter from the Sephardic Jews from Sefat supporting the Balfour Declaration. Part of Cohen’s larger argument is that Sephardic Jews were driven to Zionism as early as the 1929 in response to the riots in which Jews were attacked and murdered regardless of their cultural or ideological position. The book, alas, has not yet been translated from the Hebrew into a European language.

            Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        And let’s not forget that Hamas upheld the truce made with Israel until Israel bombed Gaza a couple of weeks ago. As good as it could.

        Sure, there were rockets even before Brothers Keeper, but AS EVEN ISRAELI SECURITY CIRCLES suggest, these DID NOT come from Hamas.

        Israel broke the truce with Hamas, it’s as simple as that. Sure, Hamas could not uphold order in Gaza, and could not stop the rocket attacks be Islamic Jihad (etc.) – even though it tried!

        But this is mainly the case because of Israel’s policy of weakening Hamas every chance it gets. Mostly through economic sanctions.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Scott

      Gosh, Im surprised that Tel Aviv is your favorite city in the world. I would have guessed it to be Karbala, Iraq or Kandahar, Afghanistan. If you dont like the missiles, just go to Karbala or Kandahar. Finally, why is Gaza a prison? They have an open border with Egypt

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        They do not. You are wrong.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Average American

      This conflict is an example of Israel’s core purpose, which was set at its formation by Zionists, and that is to take over The Land Of Israel for The Jews. Do you know how much territory is The Land Of Israel? It’s Jewish Lebensraum. What’s wrong with Jewish Lebensraum you ask? What was wrong with Aryan Lebensraum I ask. Israel is using the same methods, with same self-superior attitude, so you can’t say Aryan Lebensraum was bad and punished but Jewish Lebensraum is good.

      Reply to Comment
      • CigarButNoNice

        A definition so wide for the term Lebensraum that no national movement can escape being accused of having the goal of Lebensraum.

        On that note, I can’t help wondering at your silence (if not outright support) with regard to *Arab* Lebensraum. Here the term is a lot more suitable, because the Arab nation is fighting for land way, way beyond its indigenous space (Arabia), and to steal that of another nation (the Jewish nation) to boot.

        Injustice, thy name is anti-Zionism.

        Reply to Comment
        • Average American

          A bunch of Europeans and Russians along with a Bank decide they want a country for The Jews. They pick Palestine. They flood in and forcibly push off the land the people who were already there. What Arab Lebensraum?

          Reply to Comment
    11. I understand, very unfortunate.but, A. Did the gazans ever tell hamas ”stop antagonizing israelis, that’s not the way”. And i don’t buy your prison metaphore, very poetic, but it isn’t impossible to get a word out. Hamas was VOTED IN by the gazans. The blood of Gaza is ob hamas. What did u expect? Do u have so little respect for your own life that it’s ok to threaten it???
      B. just bcuz those rockeys from Gaza were n’t accurate or sophisticated, what ahould we do, give them better ones?
      What did they expect? A medal?

      Reply to Comment
    12. Etai

      I completely disagree with the prison metaphor.

      I think there is a better metaphor for this:

      You live in a house and have some neighbors. Most of your neighbors hate you and harass you, so you build a fence.
      Most of your neighbors also understand that when they choose yo harass you, you might retaliate. So you have come to a peace agreement with them.

      All except for one. This one neighbor, didn’t actually build his home. He lives in a temporary house.
      He was able to build it on his land, but he doesn’t want to- because that would mean he would be responsible for anything that happens within his land that might disturb his neighbors, and then the rest of the town might get upset. In addition this neighbor hates you so much, he wants you dead and wants your home.. And building his own home, although it would allow him to live comfortably, would also mean that he accepts the border of his lands, and he will never be able to fight you for yours and get the support of the town.

      So instead, this wonderful neighbor of yours, chooses to live in a temporary home, chooses to focus on making your life miserable instead of improving the quality of his, chooses to keep claim to your home so that eventually the rest of the town will believe that you’re at fault here and that your home, or a large portion of it, should be given to him.

      In fact, the rest of the town doesn’t really care- they just want this annoying person to let them live in peace- and if they need to sacrifice you to do it, so be it.

      So you do everything in your power, within your borders, to foil your neighbors plans of smuggling in weapons. But hey, if they wanted to bring in books to learn how to be doctors, build their home or even just get educated so that they can actually invent something, or create art, to provide something of value to the rest of the town- you probably wouldn’t stop them.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Noevil9

      Even idiots understand this simple explanation and comparison how come Israelis and most Jews can’t ?

      Reply to Comment
    14. Chris Powell

      But what happened when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005? Rather than accept peace, seek mutual recognition, and build itself up economically, Gaza armed itself and went to war. Would it be any different if Israel withdrew from the West Bank? Israel can get heavy-handed, but then that’s war for you, and Israel will recognize and leave alone any country that recognizes it and agrees to leave it alone. The essential problem is that Palestinians have not yet completed their civil war. A major Palestinian faction remains sworn to Israel’s destruction, and that objective probably commands the support of a majority of Palestinians. So let them have the war they want. Maybe eventually Israel will realize, as the Palestinian war faction does, that wars have to be fought to be won.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Litigator36

      This is the most biased article that I have ever read that is not from Gaza propagandist. There are few facts in it that are accurately stated, and they presume to broadcast that the majority of citizens of Israel cannot think for themselves. The overarching facts are that the “elected” representatives of Gaza and the West Bank hold the key to their own peoples peace and prosperity, but choose to lock them in the “prison” for their own purposes. I think that if they would be willing to recognize Israel and negotiate a permanent peace, the people they purport to represent would find the power to put them out of power and put in an honest government free of coercive tactics. The money that they receive from outside or earn on their own would go for health and education rather than the “home-made” rockets they buy from Iran and elsewhere. The writer should be ashamed of herself for encouraging militants to hope for sympathy rather than encouraging negotiations.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Christine Moseley

      The words of the prophet Micah 6:8 he has told you O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you:
      only to do justice
      And to love goodness,
      and to walk modestly with your God.
      We must begin!

      Reply to Comment
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