Israel

If you want to be knowledgeable about what goes on in Israel you have to read websites like Haaretz, Jerusalem Post, Forward, ynet and JTC everyday because you will not get a full picture from American newspapers or network & cable news. When I was writing diaries for daily kos, I read everyone and then some. For those of you that really care about Israel, I can’t imagine why you would not want to know the facts on the ground and keep informed.

Usually reading these papers are enough to get the picture. Sometimes I go to papers like Palestinian Chronicle or al jazeer, but I find plenty of stories just from the Israeli papers

They are obviously writing for an English speaking audience, so why not stay informed and see what is being Done in Our Name. They use our bombs paid for by American tax dollars. 30 billion plus in the next ten years. That does not include loan guarantees and non-profit donations from Americans.

I could see, people partial to Israel getting underwear in a bunch if all I wrote about were news articles from B’Tslem, Peace Now or Palestinian Chronicle, but I rarely quote them.

I also get accused of only writing about the “bad” things Israel does, I believe the term is “Israel sucks diaries”. Let me explain how I pick stories to include. Each action by a Palestinian or an Israeli either brings them closer to peace or provokes the other to do something in retaliation. After reading Israeli newspapers for close to over two years….I see a pattern. Israel provokes, Palestine responds. Obviously, this is my opinion. I firmly believe there will be peace when Israel wants peace….and not a day sooner. Billions pumped onto the Israelis economy because of the continuing wars just might act as a deterrent to peace. Don’t you think?

I don’t see the actions of either one in a vacuum. For example, last year before the kidnapping of the soldier by Gaza militants happened, a family was murdered on a beach. The kidnapping of the IDF soldier was in retaliation to the massacre of the Palestinian family on a Gaza beach. There was a time that Gazans could not enjoy their beaches because they were controlled by IDF forces and settlers. So finally Palestinians could go to their beach (after the settlements pulled out) and enjoy a picnic. But an Israel gunboat decided to join the party.

Also, just before the soldier was taken did you know a Palestinian doctor and his teenaged son were kidnapped with no charges given? See a pattern?

Just like in the states, the Israeli military has extremist elements in it.  Right-winged proponents in our military….pro-settlements proponents in the IDF. To ignore the issue will not make it go away.

Last week qassams fell in Sderot. And 5 Palestinian children were shot dead.

Funding one side, and enabling the other has brought us no closer to peace.

Very timely article, even Israeli Jews are intimidated:

Ha’aretz, Israel’s Liberal Beacon

In Israel, spirited debate was once a cultural imperative. Now it is a rare, if precious, resource, as is Ha’aretz and its emphatic liberal consciousness. Though Palestinian suicide bombers and Hezbollah rocket attacks have all but muted Israel’s high-decibel, hydra-headed politics, there is Ha’aretz, arousing and provoking with its pro-peace apostasy. Not only does the paper challenge its readers; it makes money doing it. The depth, passion and wit of its reporting recalls the best of the long-extinguished Washington Star or Britain’s once-sassy Independent. The paper routinely scoops its larger rivals, the tabloids Yediot Ahronot and Ma’ariv, particularly when it comes to US-Israeli relations, and it is the closest thing the Middle East has to an indispensable read. (It is also the only major Israeli daily with an editorial page; in June Yediot Ahronot dropped its editorial section and, like Ma’ariv, now restricts itself to signed opinion pieces.)

Ha’aretz’s opposition to Israel’s most controversial policies–the occupation of the West Bank and the incarceration of Gaza behind a fortified wall, the systematic discrimination against Israel’s Arab citizenry, last year’s war in Lebanon–makes it a life raft for anyone who despairs of the Jewish state’s rightward lurch but who is too afraid to criticize it openly for fear of being tarred as an anti-Semite, an appeaser of terrorists or a self-hating Jew.

“Israel is in a coma,” says Ha’aretz senior writer Gideon Levy, bête noire of Ha’aretz critics and patron saint to its most loyal readers for his relentless campaign against the occupation. “There was a time when you’d ask two Israelis a question and you’d get three opinions. Now you get only one.”

Like museum curators who deny a national treasure to a marauding foe, Landau and his staff preserve Israel’s tradition of dissent from the demagogues of our Age of Fear. When Ha’aretz’s coverage of seismic events has triggered a wave of subscription cancellations–most notably for its empathetic reports of Palestinian suffering in the early days of the second intifada and its condemnation of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon last year–publisher Amos Schocken has struck back with defiant editorials. When American academics John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were slandered last year for their article in The London Review of Books, which alleged a pernicious influence over US Middle East policy by the so-called Israel lobby, Ha’aretz ran an editorial that condemned the “McCarthyite policing of academia” as “deeply un-Jewish.” Last September, when violent clashes erupted between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza, auguring the climactic split that would come in June, Ha’aretz correspondent Amira Hass ruled them the inevitable result of “the extended experiment called ‘what happens when you imprison 1.3 million human beings in an enclosed space like battery hens.'”

Reportage like that regularly places Ha’aretz and its correspondents–several of whom have their own columns on the opinion page–in the cross-hairs of conservative pro-Israel groups as well as ordinary Israelis and members of the Jewish Diaspora.

The whole article is worth reading:
http://www.thenation…

Further daily readings:

http://www.haaretz.c…

http://www.ynetnews….

http://www.jta.org/c…

http://www.jpost.com…

http://www.palestine…

http://www.middle-ea…

http://english.aljaz…

http://www.khaleejti…

http://uruknet.info/…

http://www.menewslin…

http://www.atimes.co…

http://www.btselem.o…

http://www.palsolida…

http://www.pchrgaza….

http://www.peacenow….

45 comments

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    • pfiore8 on September 9, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    and i can see how these can get out of hand… people not reading what you’ve said, but coming into this essay already armed to the teeth to tell you how wrong you are.

    but i agree and have for a long time. the treatment of palestinians is a shame of the state of israel. . . i am a jew and i think of all of the jews killed and hounded over the centuries and i wonder… for what were we chosen if not for this very thing: to wrap our arms around the palestinians, in gods name, and tell them we know what it’s like to be political castaways… turned upon and marginalized in society…

    israel should help the palestinians establlish a viable homeland and become allies and neighbors… for its own moral standing and security

    but everyday people don’t even know… on both sides.. they are pawns being moved around as the palestinian and israeli leaders want

    it’s the same here… powers that be using fear to keep their control

    it’s disgusting

  1. I followed you here. Does this make me a stalker? 🙂

    • Turkana on September 9, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    people should know that the jerusalem post is a right-wing paper, while ha’aretz is generally better.

    i agree that giving money to one side and not the other is not helpful. bush tried to isolate the palestinians by cutting off their funds, and that only further radicalized them. do the same to israel, and the result will be the same. collectively punishing a nation or a people usually backfires. look at iran. the way to make progress is to isolate the radical elements by engaging and encouraging the less radical, and by not acting like the entire nation or entire people are monolithic. it’s a given that such will not happen under the bush administration.

    since bush took office and decided to stand back, both sides of i/p have become more radical, and both have more extreme leadership, than had previously been the case. not that either had great leadership beforehand, but it has gotten much worse.

    • pico on September 9, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    and I don’t plan on it (I see what it does to civil discussion on the internets), but I do have a few constructive criticisms if you’re willing to listen.

    I don’t know the history here, but as a naive reader I was really put off by this diary.  From the very first paragraph:

    For those of you that really care about Israel, I can’t imagine why you would not want to know the facts on the ground and keep informed.

    The assumption here is that pro-Israel readers don’t read any of these sites, and they’re ignorant for doing so.  But are you responding to someone?  Because that’s a strange claim to make in the beginning of an essay, with no indication who you’re referring to.  As it reads, you’re referring to anyone who’s pro-Israel, and by extension they’re uninformed and ignorant. 

    Not the best way to start a diary, I don’t think.

    I just don’t get it.  You’re coming into a new blog, and your first diary is all about the things you’re accused of doing elsewhere.  Why?  Do you want the same baggage as elsewhere, or do you want to see if we start on a different foot that may be more productive?

    It’s ultimately up to you, but, as someone who doesn’t know the history between users here, I was really put off by this diary.  The pity is that you could present the same information (esp. the sources and why we should be reading them) in a completely neutral or positive way, rather than as a defensive strike against people you’re assuming will jump down your throat.

    And hey, maybe they will.  But why jumpstart the drama when it isn’t already here?

    • melvin on September 10, 2007 at 12:19 am

    as closely as several other folks around here. I do read things in Ha’aretz’ occasionally. And sometimes pieces at uruk.net and Khaleej Times, although not much about Israel specifically. KT often has pieces from around the Indian Ocean that don’t appear elsewhere.

    I am curious what those more in the know make of

    1) OneVoice and similar efforts.

    2) The water situation in general and in specific. (Link plucked at random from my little pile.)  Those specifics include the appalling condition of the Jordan, and the Red-Dead Conduit which the World Bank at least seems determined to ram through at this point.

    In fact there has been a contemplated diary with Jay Elias about this project, but the more I read, the more I need to know. The plan has changed so many times. There was a Red-Med canal proposed over the years, but that was a nonstarter as it would have left Israel in complete control of the whole line.

    I became interested in the project just as a feat of engineering and for its potential, one of the supposed original purposes, to stabilize the level of the Dead Sea, which is basically being starved of its previous input. There are all these other interests involved now, irrigation, of course, and potable water. Desalinized somewhere along the line from Eilat. Golf courses, you name it. And no one knows what the remaining dribs and drabs dumped in will actually do to the Dead Sea. But there is a hell of a lot of money to be made along the way.

    Anyway this is going on too long so will cut it short but this enormous, massive project would require a great cooperation, as would any other to really do anything about the Sea, the Jordan, etc., between Israel, Jordan, the Palestinians, and actually Syria and Lebanon as well, and has the potential, if it doesn’t turn into a boondoggle, to enhance the lives of a great many people. We are talking about basic security of food and water.

    It is interesting that in its current form the Red-Dead is opposed by a fairly unified group of skeptical environmentalists from all three groups.

    And other things.

    All right I will shut up. But I am more interested in issues of sustainability and development than in tribal disputes (I am sorry if that term offends anyone) and the carefully nurtured history of grievances. Of course it is impossible, but I believe with Stephen Daedalus that history is a nightmare from which we are all struggling to awaken.

    • melvin on September 10, 2007 at 12:21 am

    there are some economists pretty skeptical as well.

    • melvin on September 10, 2007 at 12:35 am

    During one of the intifadas, I don’t remember now, an agreement was reached and signed in person to leave water and sewage lines out of the line of fire, so to speak. (That doesn’t mean you don’t at the same time pursue outrageous water-rights claims.)

    An example from further afield. On Cyprus the partition of Nicosia was complete, absolute. With one exception: the sewers. They could not be partitioned because it was physically impossible, so there has always been unitary management.

  2. …I would take considerable umbrage, as would I believe most Israelis, at the notion that what happens in Israel is being done “in your name”.

    We are our own country.  America helps us, to be sure.  But we do not need you, and indeed have gotten by without you for much of our history. 

    I think that Israel should disentangle itself from the United States, and that Americans should be more aware of what goes on there.  But you are not responsible for us, and we are not a province of America either.  Getting rid of that American attitude is as important as anything else in changing Americans attitudes about Israel.

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