Sunday, January 04, 2009

voices of reason

who don't blindly follow just because they are told to

eric yoffie's op-ed

"A second J Street statement was worse by far. It could find no moral difference between the actions of Hamas and other Palestinian militants, who have launched more than 5,000 rockets and mortar shells at Israeli civilians in the past three years, and the long-delayed response of Israel, which finally lost patience and responded to the pleas of its battered citizens in the south. “Neither Israelis nor Palestinians have a monopoly on right or wrong,” it said, and it suggested that there was no reason and no way to judge between them: “While there is nothing ‘right’ in raining rockets on Israeli families or dispatching suicide bombers, there is nothing ‘right’ in punishing a million and a half already-suffering Gazans for the actions of the extremists among them.”

These words are deeply distressing because they are morally deficient, profoundly out of touch with Jewish sentiment and also appallingly naïve. A cease-fire instituted by Hamas would be welcome, and Israel would be quick to respond. A cease-fire imposed on Israel would allow Hamas to escape the consequences of its actions yet again and would lead in short order to the renewal of its campaign of terror. Hamas, it should be noted, is not a government; it is a terrorist gang. And as long as the thugs of Hamas can act with impunity, no Israeli government of the right or the left will agree to a two-state solution or any other kind of peace. Doves take note: To be a dove of influence, you must be a realist, firm in your principles but shorn of all illusions."

j street's response

"J Street understands that Hamas is a terrorist organization and a harsh enemy. We are neither dovish nor pacifist, nor are we blindly opposed to the use of force. We support Israel in defending and protecting its citizens from attack, including through military action if necessary and appropriate to the threat. We believe, however, that force cannot be Israel’s only or preponderant response – even to Hamas.

We are pragmatists grounded in the real world and the lessons it teaches. As such – and as avid supporters of Israel – we are asking whether the specific actions taken by Israel in Gaza actually do advance Israel’s and America’s interests. In this case, J Street believes they do not. We believe that the actions taken this week – disproportionate to the threat and escalatory in nature – will be seen, with time, as counterproductive. They will further isolate Israel and the US internationally, deepen hatred among the Palestinian and Israel peoples, foment extremism throughout the Arab world and undercut the position of more moderate Arab regimes"

and fyi yoffie- here's a poll that shows how the americans divide up over the issue. we are apparently more nuanced than you are.


fjb said...

Hey Bet, my apologies for the vulgar explosion over at my spot today. I managed to text with Sameh Habeeb for a very short time this morning. It's looking bad, very bad and I don't know how much longer they can hang on, but I promised him I would keep trying to get the truth out. Many Gazans now have no water, let alone electricity, food and medical supplies. The Israelis are lying about the aid getting through. Sometimes it feels like walking through quicksand.

billie said...

fi- don't apologize. when we lose our outrage at atrocities and crimes against humanity- the neocons have won. part of being a human being is feeling empathy for fellow humans- as equals. regardless of religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. this isn't really about that- and that is what disgusts me so. this is pure, unadulterated greed. it is a land grab for profit- and it really is that simple. the israeli zionists aided by the american and other western european governments over the last 60 years- have committed atrocities that we killed saddam hussein over (allegedly)- and yet, the ruling elite is ok with that because it's for profit- and those folks are poor and brown.

many folks just don't know the real truth about anything because here in america- we are fed judeo-christian propaganda over all of our airwaves. there is no true journalism here anymore. for that- you have to look to the foreign press.