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Showing posts with label Palestinians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palestinians. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gilad Shalit

Gilad Shalit captured at age 19
Although I'm a humor blogger, every now and then, news happens and I'm compelled to voice my opinion about it.

Gilad Shalit today
With the recent release of Gilad Shalit, Israel has once again shown that she is unlike any country in the world. In case you missed it, this Israeli soldier had been held prisoner by the Palestinians for five years. Yesterday he was released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. Several of these prisoners were terrorists who had made threats, carried out vicious attacks, or even murdered Israeli citizens. Israel swapped 1,027 prisoners for one, and the citizens of Israel were mostly in favor of the exchange.


Free Gilad Shalit open air concert

This is not the first time Israel has done this.  Over the last 30 years, Israel has released about 7,000 Palestinian prisoners to secure freedom for 19 Israelis and to retrieve the bodies of eight others.1

Many folks are probably asking the obvious question, "Why exchange one soldier for a thousand criminals?" If that one soldier were your son, wouldn't you do anything to get him back? That is the attitude of Israel. Every life is important and the country will do whatever it takes to get its soldiers home safely. As a result, Israel has one of the most loyal armies in the world. Those soldiers take risks because they love their country and know that the country loves them.

Let's contrast this with the mentality of Hamas who encourages their young to strap suicide belts around their wastes and kill innocent civilians. How can Israel make peace with people who hate them more than they love their own children?  


1 Wikipedia

Friday, June 3, 2011

A to Z and Back Again


It's already June, which means the Z to A Challenge has ended. A month ago, I reflected on the A to Z Challenge, and now I must reflect again. On the plus side, it's been wonderful having a theme to guided me through the blogging world--the hardest part about blogging is knowing what to write about. A-Z and Z-A has made topic choosing easier.

I have also become an expert at choosing titles to fit the given letter. For example, "From Cage to Convertible" a letter C story about adopting a dog; "Nah, I Won't Do That," an N post to fit the "Laughter is the Best Medicine Blogfest"; or "Oh, No. Not Again" my O post about an annoying Russian dating group who Skypes me. Although these topics have nothing to do with the letter they represent, I've found a way to make it work just like one closes an overfilled suitcase. You sit your tush down and make it happen.

Also through this challenge, I've had the opportunity to visit wonderful blogs and meet great followers. I've also met one foul-mouthed screwball, but that's another story. ;-)

On the negative side, everyday blogging is not necessary. Most people don't make rounds everyday, so why write so much? In fact, my Saturday posts received the most hits because folks had two days to explore. I would like to continue blogging regularly, but leave a new post up every other day.

I hope y'all will continue to visit even though the challenges are finished. Seems like just yesterday, it was April 1st and I was interviewing Agent Harold Baer for my first A to Z post. If you haven't read that one, it's one of my most popular posts. It's especially helpful for you writer types, like me, who are trying to get published. He's a wonderfully unique agent! Check him out.

If I could get you to read any post from April or May, I would like for you to read B for Backing Israel because there are a lot of facts I'd like the world to know about this fragile situation.

Thanks!
Joyce

Monday, May 30, 2011

Backing Israel

With Barack Obama's recent request for Israel to return land acquired from the 1967 war to the Palestinians, Israel has been victim to much undeserved scrutiny. First off, let's look at why giving up the 1967 borders would not be in the best interest of Israel nor the United States.

Beautiful area outside of Haifa
In 1967, approximately 465,000 troops from Egypt, Syria, and Jordan prepared to destroy Israel with a massive attack. Israel fought a vicious battle through preliminary air strikes that took out troops from above. The Israelis won this war, in which they were strongly outnumbered, in just six days. According to Wikipedia, "Opinions vary on whether this was an act of aggression or a preemptive strike." Good grief!

Why would any nation attack three countries when so outnumbered if it weren't for self-preservation? Plus, the opposition had outwardly said that they wanted to enter into a battle of annihilation. Since Israel's formation in 1948, she has repeatedly tried to negotiate peace with her neighbors and fought for the right to exist. So don't even think of saying Israel was not trying to save herself in 1967.

Through the 1967 war, Israel acquired the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the Gaza strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. Obama wants Israel to give this up? We acquired Texas from a battle with Mexico. Should we have to give up Texas too? At least if we did give up Texas, the very existence of the United States would not be in jeopardy.

Jerusalem
As Benjamin Netanyahu said when he addressed our congress, he is willing to make painful compromises in the name of peace, but Jerusalem must never again be divided. Only when controlled by the Jewish state has Jerusalem been open to world tourism. Being a most significant area, it is important that Christians, Jews, and Muslims from all over the world be able to come visit this place of religious significance. When Jordan controlled this area, no one was allowed to visit. He went on further to say that the Palestinians need a homeland and he recognizes this, but they refuse to recognize the right of Jews to have a homeland too.

Although it's been almost a week since Netanyahu addressed congress, I have yet to hear a Palestinian leader come forward and state that Israel has a right to exist. Now stop and think about this for a moment. All the Palestinians have to do is acknowledge Israel's right to exist, and they will receive land and peace, and they have not done this? In light of this fact, many people are saying that the problems in the middle east are all Israel's fault. How can Israel expect to give up land to people who refuse to acknowledge their right to exist? What would giving up land accomplish in the name of peace, when the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel? Would giving up land change anything when the Palestinian leaders refuse to say six words? Israel has given and given to the Palestinian people and nothing has changed. Remember the news reports that showed films of the Israeli soldiers dragging it's own people out of their homes so Palestinians could move in? These folks were crying and screaming when removed from their homes, but it was all in vein.

As for giving up the Golan Heights to an enemy, this would be suicide! Back before the six day war, Syria used the Golan Heights, with an average altitude of 3,300 feet, to cascade missiles down on Israeli citizens. If one stands at the top of this area, all of Israel is in view. If someone stated that you do not have the rights to exist, would you give them the mountainous land that overlooks your nation? I don't think so.

Another point, is the Jewish settlers who live in regions acquired from the six day war. To give up this land would mean uprooting approximately 250,000 people from their homes simply because they are Jewish. We have a word for this: ethnic cleansing!

Beach at Eilat
Although Palestinians lived in land that was captured during the six day war, they have not been forced out of their homes. In fact, Israel has bent over backwards trying to allow them a normal lifestyle after their land was acquired by a new government. The only changes were that Israel required that school text books be purged of anti-Semitic language and anti-Israel wordings. Israel provided economic assistance and allowed these areas more rights than what they had under Arab rule. The people were allowed free travel to Jordan, and during the elections women and non-property owners were given the right to vote for the first time ever. Furthermore, Arabs were allowed to choose whether they wanted to be citizens of Jordan or Israel. If they chose Israel, they were recognized as citizens and given the right to seek representation in the Knesset.

I've also heard United States citizens complain about the money that the United States has given in support of Israel. The reality, this is just a pittance in comparison to what it would cost our nation if Israel did not exist. As the only democracy in the middle east, Israel has patrolled the area, so that we don't have to. The cost of placing our troops in the middle east and making sure these nations do not attack us, would be astronomical!

Furthermore, our friendship with Israel has improved many of our military weapons. We send our weapons to Israel, their scientists improve their construction, and they send them back to us. This alone is worth millions.

campus at Haifa University
As for Israel being a democracy, they most certainly are, but not to their advantage in some respects. If you think the fighting in our congress is bad, check out Israel's. Although we have multiple parties in our nation, only two have any real say in the running of our country. This is not the case in Israel. They have multiple parties represented in their Knesset. Citizens do not vote for the person but rather the party. As long as a party gets a vote of two percent of the population, they may acquire representation in the Knesset political assembly; therefore, multiple parties of varying platforms are all represented in their house. In fact, there are several people serving in the Knesset whose platform is the destruction of Israel! Israel allows these people to have a say too. Could you imagine electing someone to congress who has strongly stated that they want to destroy the United States? That's what Israel does in their true democracy!

Finally, much of the news toward Israel has been slanted against them. I even wonder what exactly Obama did say as opposed to what the media claims he said. After he made his damaging comments, he addressed APAIC, an Israeli pro-lobby organization that met in DC, and received a standing ovation. Why would APAIC applaud Obama if he made awful claims against Israel? I have to wonder.

My daughter is just now finishing up a semester abroad at the University of Haifa. Enclosed are a few photos that I have stolen from her blog. If you'd like to see more beautiful pictures and read about her experiences, you may visit her at http://ahavahfromisrael.tumblr.com