Parental angst and the Invasion of Gaza

Today I spent two hours on the phone arguing, threatening, pleading and on hold with United Airlines.

The flight my 14-year-old was on has been delayed, and it may mean she doesn’t make it to her connecting flight in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

If she misses the flight to Fargo ND, she won’t be in time to be picked up by her summer camp counselors. I have visions of her wandering the complex and incomprehensible corridors of O’Hare like a 14-year-old Chinese-American female version of Tom Hanks in the movie “Terminal,” stuck in the airport without resources or any hope of escape.

I can’t describe the anxiety, anger, or desperation I felt (still feel, because I won’t know if she gets on the next flight safely until a couple of hours from now). But I did everything I could, and now I have to wait.

And as I hung up on the latest United employee, who I might have used a profane word with (or two), I started thinking about other desperate anxious mothers, mothers with far more cause for worry than I.

I have read articles and opinion pieces and watched reports on the bombing of Gaza. I watched a report about the four boys playing soccer, killed by Israeli shelling. I saw the video of the mother of one of those children wailing in agony. The mothers (and fathers and sisters and brothers) of Gaza must live in a continual state of desperation and anxiety about their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

My older daughter (not the 14-year-old) called me at 1 am last night crying because of the killing in Gaza, and her feeling of helplessness about it. And all I could do is commiserate because I too feel helpless. As my daughter (and Jon Stewart) said, the bombs come down, and the Gazans have nowhere to go. It’s so horrible and depressing that I find myself turning away quickly from news about the invasion. I post my views and some key links on Facebook and say, “there, I’ve done what I could.” But the truth is, I’ve done nothing.

Aerial bombing explosion in Gaza Strip during Cast Lead operation on January 14 2009. It was a three-week armed conflict in the Gaza Strip during the winter of 2008-2009. ChameleonsEye /

Aerial bombing explosion in Gaza Strip during Cast Lead operation on January 14 2009. It was a three-week armed conflict in Gaza during the winter of 2008-2009. ChameleonsEye /

The thing is, we’re Jewish. My husband and I were raised on the hopes and dreams of a new Israeli nation. My parents, stingy about buying clothes, shoes or cars, contributed large sums to Israel throughout my childhood. I myself must have planted 50+ trees by the time I reached adulthood (every childhood milestone was marked by giving a dollar which “planted a tree” in Israel).

Our family has made a journey from believing Israel to be our refuge, and a nation steeped in social justice, equality and even a little awesome socialism (kibbutzim), to seeing it as a country not just flawed as are all nations, but fatally flawed by its continued devotion to the systematic oppression of the Palestinians.

The change in our views has not been a happy journey for us.

I now strongly believe that the term “pro-Israel,” applied to people who support the Israeli government actions no matter what, and who rationalize the occupation of Palestinian lands, is a total misnomer. Israel will not survive by increasing the repression of Palestinian dreams. It will not survive by continuing to drain its resources in order to try to maintain control in the West Bank and repeatedly attack Gaza. As the United Airlines employee told me when I got a bit snippy with her about my soon-to-be-lost child, this behavior will lead to a poor end. That poor end will not be limited to the Palestinians. There is nothing “pro-Israeli” about contributing to the destruction of Israel by supporting the occupation.

None of what I’m saying ignores Hamas’s contribution to this recent crisis. To say they’ve behaved badly is a serious understatement. But the crisis didn’t start with this recent conflagration. It’s the result of bad behavior on both sides over many decades. For about the last decade, however, the Palestinians in the West Bank have shown remarkable restraint and have attempted every kind of peaceful method of obtaining their objectives. Their efforts have not met with success.

What happens when a people are shut down, mistreated, badgered, stifled, battered? Eventually they turn on their oppressors and that causes more death and destruction. As Jews we know this. We’ve been battered, badgered, and mistreated over the centuries. In fact, that’s what led to the creation of the State of Israel – we were determined to be battered no more. The rallying cry at the beginning of the nation of Israel was “Never Again.”

But sadly Israel has decided that in service to Never Again, they must subjugate another people. Our view is that the end of that road is not freedom and safety, but the end of the nation of Israel.

For almost 20 years, Marti Teitelbaum used her doctorate in public health working for the Children’s Defense Fund, producing most of their numbers on children’s health, disability, health insurance, Medicaid, and immunization. Marti is the mother of two high-energy girls (a twenty-something future radical social worker, and a 13-year-old middle-school fashionista), and is married to a psychiatrist who devotes half his work life to a child mental health clinic.

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76 Responses to “Parental angst and the Invasion of Gaza”

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  4. Badgerite says:

    Just as an aside, building permits is not what lost the Palestinians almost all of their lands. Wars did. Building permits is about what is leftover.
    In this specific conflict, I think the underlying issue is the embargo. And on that I agree with the Palestinian side.

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  6. Badgerite says:

    I say they have a right to exist as a state in that land. In 1949, the Palestinians had at least half of the land. Continual war has resulted in them having none more than any other factor.
    As for fables, comparing the outcomes of WWI to WWII and saying that after WWII the Germans became a peaceful state because they weren’t “humiliated” is ridiculous. Germany was occupied and split in two. One half of Germany remained a satellite state to the Soviet Union until the 1990s.
    The Nuremberg War Crimes trials were designed to put in high relief the crimes committed by the Nazi government. Sounds more then humiliating to me.

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  11. BeccaM says:

    Or as Mohandas Gandhi replied when asked what he thought of Western civilization: “I think it would be a good idea.”

  12. Colin says:

    Humanity would be marvelous if humans ever learned to practice it.

  13. goulo says:

    “They [Israel] are fighting an enemy that refuses to recognize their right to exist.”

    What, that’s supposed to be in contrast to the Palestinians? Were Palestinians allowed their right to exist, instead of having their land stolen from them, orchards owned for generations destroyed, more and more illegal Israeli settlements permanently occupying former Palestinian homes, subjected to disproportionate violent retaliation (multiple Palestinians die for each Israeli who dies), etc?

    A picture is worth 1000 words:

    It’s not just a matter of “an enemy that refuses to meet you even part way” on the Palestinian side. There are very influential racist extremist uncompromising religious fanatics on the Israeli side.
    E.g. see Jon Green’s more recent americablog post:

  14. BrandySpears says:

    Yeap. CNN reported on #hitlerwasright trending on twitter. There’s been windows smashed at a Belfast synagogue, British MEP ranting about Jews, German pro-Palestinians rally chanting “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight”, Belgium cafe with “No Jews Allowed” posted…. yet there are loons that want you to believe they really meant “Zionist”. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

  15. dcinsider says:

    There are also an awful lot of Israeli mothers who cower in fear for their children when Hamas rockets are shot randomly into Israel. I fear a somewhat false equivalency to say that blame is equal on both sides, as that is not accurate, but in the end, it makes very little difference to the dead on both sides.

    There is no question that regardless of who is worse, both sides have blood on their hands, and neither seems willing or able to find common ground. However, and I happen to believe in a clear two state solution, it is too much of a stretch to me to make Israel the real bad guy here. They are fighting an enemy that refuses to recognize their right to exist.

    It becomes hard to compromise with an enemy that refuses to meet you even part way.

    So while Israel’s recent actions have been horrific, Hamas invites the destruction to sew the seeds of further hatred on which they have built their political power.

  16. Bill_Perdue says:

    “THE YOUTHS of the Jewish state are attacking Palestinians in the streets of Jerusalem, just like gentile youths used to attack Jews in the streets of Europe. The Israelis of the Jewish state are rampaging on social networks, displaying hatred and a lust for revenge, unprecedented in its diabolic scope. Some unknown people from the Jewish state, purely based on his ethnicity. These are the children of the nationalistic and racist generation – Netanyahu’s offspring.

    For five years now, they have been hearing nothing but incitement, scaremongering and supremacy over Arabs from this generation’s true instructor, Prime Minister Benjamin
    Netanyahu. Not one humane word, no commiseration or equal treatment.

    They grew up with the provocative demand for recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state,” and they drew the inevitable conclusions… The Jewish state, which Israel insists the Palestinians recognize, must first recognize itself. At the end of the day, at the end of a terrible week, it seems that a Jewish state means a racist, nationalistic state, meant for Jews only.

    Source: Gideon Levy, a Haaretz columnist and a member of the newspaper’s editorial board. Levy joined Haaretz in 1982, and spent four years as the newspaper’s deputy editor.

  17. BeccaM says:

    Same. It’s very well done.

  18. Myrddin Wyllt says:

    The idea that history gives you the right to behave like a NAZI is ludicrous.

    Your history is mostly fables. Just like most history. And claiming descent from someone who might have lived in a city 2000 years ago does not give you the right to turf the current occupants out at the point of a gun, level their house and build condos that are only for people like yourself.

    Your world view is unfortunately racist.

  19. Badgerite says:

    Yes. That is it.

  20. Badgerite says:

    The Europeans who came to America could not claim a history there. That is my point. Where did names like Jerusalem come from. Are they Palestinian?

  21. Badgerite says:

    I hadn’t finished last night replying to first reply. As to WWI versus WWII.
    WWI was ended by a ‘humiliating’ surrender. Which the Nazis always claimed to have been a betrayal by ‘bad’ Germans ( see Jews). German cities had not been destroyed and the German military was left largely intact. As well as the societal ethic. It was this ethic that Churchill saw being catered to and nurtured in his trips to Europe in the 1930’s. Many in England, in the lead uip to WWII, had seen the terms of the Versailles treaty as unjust and held the same opinion as you that but for the crushing restitution debt and the ‘humiliation’, Germany would have pursued peaceful avenues after the war.
    This had some impact on the support that Chamberlain got from Labor over the issues of armaments limits and reoccupation of the Rhineland. Churchill begged to differ. What he saw in Germany was the militarists ethic still intact and being infused into the young with a vengeance. He repeatedly tried to warn his country that what Germany was doing was not salving its ‘humiliation’ but rather preparing for a second attempt to achieve its aims militarily.
    And he was right.
    WWII was ended by outright defeat and devastation of Germany proper.
    Its cities had been bombed and Berlin was occupied. The German war machine and the German militarist ethic was completely smashed. The Marshall Plan was a necessity. But the generation raised in this devastation adopted a different societal ethic than their parents and grand parents had had. Their aims in rebuilding were different. I don’t think ‘humiliation’ had much to do with it. Devastation, maybe. Same goes for the winning side. The next generation had a different view of society and the world. The event that shaped their lives was WWII. How could they not.
    The Palestinians have been at war with Israel for going on 70 years now.
    The tactics remain the same. The Lebanon-Israeli conflict of 2006 involved the same tactic. Rockets across the border. The instigating factor to the conflict, I believe, were kidnapped Israeli soldiers. At the end of the conflict, they were traded for a Palestinian who had been in an Israeli prison for almost 20 years for a cross border raid that targeted and killed an Israeli farming family. Children included. I cannot help but notice that the tactics have remained the same and the aim has remained the same. Kill Israelis. Cross border incursion to kill or capture Israelis. ( see Gaza tunnels, suicide bombers and the wall) And a missile capability at the borders. Both Lebanon’s and Gaza’s. The decades of wars and conflicts have bred enmity and inhumanity on both sides. I doubt very much that a dismantling of the “Jim Crowe” state will change that. It isn’t as if there haven’t been factional conflict resulting in killing within the Palestinian political sphere itself. So, yes you do have to make a choice. And my choice is that both are indigenous peoples with valid claims and a right to respect.
    Russia seeks in own interests in the Middle East. If it wants to ally with repressive governments, it has a wealth of them to choose from there.
    It will choose those with oil or strategic importance. It will not alienate the various Stans that comprise its border areas by allying with Israel. Ever.
    Putin’s vision of a Russian economic union of sorts does not include Israel.
    I knew a Jewish student who went on a trip to Israel during the height of the struggle against apartheid and asked his official minder why they had allied with an apartheid state. The reply was obvious. Because they were ringed on all sides by hostile states who had actively made war on them for decades and they took their allies in the region where they could find them. ( see Entebbe airport attack). This was wrong of course, and stupid but Reagan did as well. And what was his excuse. When I look at the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict the only person I see of Mandela’s stature and philosophy is Anwar Sadat. I still think he had it right. For both sides.
    I think this failure of perception and conviction on Israel’s part is why it was so easy to tag Israel with the ‘colonizer’ tag. The issues are sometimes similar, but I do not think they are the same.
    The right of return is an issue precisely because Israeli Arabs have the right to vote and political participation in the Israeli Knesset. Otherwise, they would constitute no threat to the Israeli state. They would just be another contingent of Arabs subject to the social controls of repression in place that you complain of. And I’m sure those are real. Israeli settlers have moved into neighborhoods and virtually taken them over. I know this.
    And I am sure they are given aid by the government. But apartheid involved denial of political participation. That is not the case in Israel.
    There was one reply by someone at a different site who maintained that the two state solution would force people to accept “distasteful” borders.
    Well, compared to what? 70 years of generation after generation being sacrificed to this conflict. I believe that the two state solution is the only means to settle the conflict without more and maybe massive blood letting.
    Right of return would have to be an issue resolved. At the very least with guarantees of adequate compensation for property lost, if not outright return. But I think the conflict itself is far more distasteful than any conditions of settlement could possibly be. I think there does need to be international pressure on Israel to fairly treat the Arabs within their country and without. The Gaza embargo, for instance. Building permits. Just some good faith gestures. But that is hard to secure when they are under attack. So, international pressure must also be applied to Hamas. Currently, they are the ones who will not agree to the cease fire proposal.
    If I were Israel, I would simply stop hostilities unilaterally.
    But I think a choice does need to be made. And mine would be the two state solution.
    Sorry for the length, but it is a complicated issue. As you know.
    I understand your position. “Not in my name” and all. And I respect it.

  22. Bill_Perdue says:

    Zionists murder children day in and day out. Some joke about it. Fortunately they’re a tiny, hate filled minority. Like you when you say “Oh, Bill. Posting Hamas porn for those with dead kiddie fetishes again.” Your gallows humor is disrespectful.

    No one is going to hide the evidence of racist murders by zionist mass murderers, however inconvenient these facts are for those who want to deny these murders or make light of them.

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  24. BrandySpears says:

    I’m not joking. Apparently exploiting the deaths of children or to stop hiding rockets in their schools IS too much to ask of you.

  25. Myrddin Wyllt says:

    When Hamas was elected, Israel committed an act of war against Gaza immediately.

    A blockade is an act of war.

    As for voting rights, these mean nothing when there is a system of Jim Crow laws. Arabs can’t get building permits, they are humiliated by government officials. And the Likud party stands to make it worse.

    A country that has a policy of forcing out part of its population by harassing them is fundamentally racist and illegitimate. The concept of a Jewish state is to make Jews first and that means everyone else is second.

    If the jackboot fits, you wear them.

    Russia and Israel are going to be allies in the near future for the same reason Israel was always closely allied to South Africa (the Israeli bomb was made from Iranian ore and tested in South Africa).

  26. Myrddin Wyllt says:

    Ethnic cleansing isn’t any better than colonialism. In fact it is worse.

    US colonialism was very different to European. A genocide was committed on the native population to take their land. Later on it became ethnic cleansing on the Serbian model.

    European colonialism was focused on exploiting rather than removing the native population so it was not the same.

    As for the pre-WWI Jewish population, a lot of them were very upset with the sudden influx of Zionist immigrants coming in.

  27. tamarz says:

    I think you’re saying (and if so, I agree) that both peoples have a history and a connection to the land. To blame everything on one group or the other makes no sense and doesn’t move a peace process forward.

  28. tamarz says:

    Surprisingly moving (I would never have expected an animated video to have that kind of impact).

  29. tamarz says:

    The first 10 or so comments were courteous and interesting. Many of the more recent ones are just the kind of thing that Jon Stewart satirized.

  30. Bill_Perdue says:

    Zionism is a racist concept. It is a bad thing and zionists are racists.

    Zionists who pretend they have a right to murder Palestinians, steal their land, subject them to an apartheid system far worse than South Africa and who routinely engage in ethnic cleansing are interlopers – colonists whose racist attitudes are not at all different from Euro-Americans who said, and still say, ‘The only good Indian is a dead Indian’.

    That racism, the product of a deformed society founded on mass murder, land theft and brigandage extends to violent racism against Africans and to violent homophobia.

    Dozens of African asylum seekers were injured as race riots broke out in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night. … Thousands of protesters joined politicians to protest against the arrival of an estimated 60,000 asylum seekers in Israel in recent years. But after inflammatory speeches the demonstration broke out into violence

    “Survey by American research institute reveals Israel might be gay capital of Middle East, but lags behind western countries when it comes to accepting its gay brethern: only 40% of Israelis think LGBT community should be accepted, versus 88% in Spain. Huge gap exists between secular (61% support), religious (26%).,7340,L-4391274,00.html

  31. Bill_Perdue says:

    The zionist bunkerstaat is a US/NATO western sponsored col only established in 1948.

  32. Bill_Perdue says:

    There are some who joke about murdered children. Fortunately they’re a tiny, hate filled minority.

  33. goulo says:

    Coincidentally I just stumbled upon
    – lots of extremely hateful racist tweets by Israeli teenagers wishing death to all Arabs.
    And so the cycle continues…

  34. Badgerite says:

    There is absolutely no colonial power on earth that can claim a history in the region they are colonizing dating back thousands of years.
    The Romans tried to push them out. Some communities survived. They are a stubborn people. Like the Palestinians.

  35. Badgerite says:

    The settler movement is only one part of Israeli society. The Gaza was occupied by Israel until 1994. In 1994 the Israeli army forcibly removed Israeli settlers from the area and the PLA was given the right of self government
    there. When Hamas gained political control, they turned their attention to building up a missile capability and tunnels to infiltrate across the borders.
    As to equal rights, here is a link for you with some rather pertinent FACTS,
    “Arabs in Israel have equal voting rights; in fact it is one of the few places in the Middle East where Arab women may vote. Arabs in 2011 held 14 seats in the 120 seat Knesset . Israeli Arabs also held various government posts, including one who served as Israel’s ambassador to Finland and the deputy mayor of Tel Aviv. —- An Arab is also a Supreme Court Justice.”
    “Arabic, like Hebrew, is an official language in Israel. More then 300,000 Arab children attend Israeli schools. At the time of Israel’s founding, there was one Arab high school in the country. Today there are hundreds of Arab schools.”

  36. Basil says:

    I was surprised by this post — I had not seen anything previously here on this issue. I can only assume that Americablog was in the PEP camp (progressive except for Palestine). This post is ok, as a limited lamentation about Israel, but that is all it is. More importantly, I cannot help but notice that there are no Arab-American voices on this blog, nor are there any Palestinian voices, who could better explain their lives, their historical context, their present reality. It’s a shame. It reflects an institutional racism, and there is no excuse for it.

  37. Badgerite says:

    No one, certainly not me, said the Palestinians were not indigenous. I see both as indigenous and total bullshit is the assumption that all the Jews converted. There were Jewish communities there. Regardless of what they told the conqueror du jour. And the point is that the people originated there . It is part of their history. There is literally no colonial power you can say that about. None. They are not colonizers.

  38. BrandySpears says:

    You say Zionist lake it’s a bad thing.
    Zionism (Hebrew: צִיּוֹנוּת, translit. Tsiyonut) is the national movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the creation of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the Land of Israel .

    Sort of like saying homosexualist.

  39. BrandySpears says:

    Oh, Bill. Posting Hamas porn for those with dead kiddie fetishes again. Well played. Meanwhile, the United Nations asked AGAIN today for the terrorists to quit hiding rockets in schools. AGAIN. Is it too much to ask for Hamas (and their cheerleaders) to quit exploiting children’s lives and deaths?

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  42. Myrddin Wyllt says:

    True, but a large fraction of the population that stayed converted first to pagan religions that the Roman’s permitted and later on there were conversions to Islam and to Christianity.

    The Palestinian people have been there for thousands of years.

    Pre 70CE Judaism was a fusion of local pagan traditions with Zorastrian beliefs. It had far more in common with the neighboring religions than it was different. There is one supreme creator God and a bunch of lesser demi-Gods. Only instead of calling them Gods they are called angels and daemons.

    We don’t know much about the temple cult or what its beliefs were but we do know that it wasn’t the only sect. We know the names of some: Essenes, Sadducees, Philistines, Zealots. We also know that there was a large non-Jewish population in the area, the Samaritans.

    When you get down to it, the idea that the population that remained in Judea lost their Jewish faith taught by Moses while this group that was kidnapped and taken off to Babylon in captivity where they were exposed to the only other monatheistic religion in the region kept the pure faith is utter bullshit. So is the notion that the per-diaspora population would be so intent on resisting assimilation at the start of 1900 years of maintaining the traditions etc.

    What we do know is that after 70CE there was a mass deportation from parts of the area and in 135CE the Romans made another mass deportation and imposed a total ban on any open observance of what was then the Jewish faith in the region.

    There are many examples of that sort of event in history and in every one the bulk of the population that is not deported converts. Catholicism replaced the per-columbian religions in South America. Islam replaced Christianity in Spain and then it reverted.

    The notion that the Palestinians are not the indigenous population of the area is racist religious bullcrap.

  43. Bill_Perdue says:

    “the murder of Rabin proved that the settler movement is not prepared to make peace.” All the leaders of zionist colony have taken part in ethnic cleansing campaigns. Rabin is no exception.

    From counterpunch –

  44. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s very difficult to be a neighbor of the colonists and avoid war.

    The reason is clear. Their operating definition of peace is a piece of Syria, a chunk of Jordan, a piece of Egypt, swallowing Palestine whole and later maybe a slice of Turkey.

  45. Myrddin Wyllt says:

    Whatever Israel demonstrated in the past, the murder of Rabin proved that the settler movement is not prepared to make peace. And the current Likud government is 100% behind the settler movement and 100% opposed to any two state solution.

    The only way there is going to be peace is if the Israeli government dismantles the Jim Crow apartheid system. Palestinians have to be treated as human beings and not garbage. A member of Netanyahu’s party recently called for genocide, others talk about ‘transfer’ which is code for ethnic cleansing or gas ovens.

    The UK suffered worse during the blitz. The reason that we have had peace since WWII is that we learned the lessons of the settlement after WWI. Great care was taken to not humiliate Germany.

    We are not forced to pick sides here. We are fully entitled to tell Israel that our support comes at the cost of dismantling all the infrastructure of discrimination in Israel. No more loans, no more weapons until a Palestinian has the same chance of getting a building permit as a Jew, until the right of return of a Palestinian born in Haifa is respected just as Zionists insist that my children have the right to return to a country none of their known ancestors has lived in.

    The two state solution is dead. A ‘Jews only state’ is an abomination.

  46. BeccaM says:

    So it’s everybody else’s fault. The surrounding Arab nations attacked the invading colonial settlers — who, if you’ve read the history, themselves engaged in terrorist tactics — so the Palestinians forevermore must suffer. Not just the guilty, but all of them. Crammed into ghettos with no hope.

    Got it. No hope for peace ever until every last angry Palestinian has been exterminated, right?

    Because that’s how this all ends. Violence begets violence.

  47. Bill_Perdue says:

    The Romans pushed them out. When they returned in 1948 it was as mainly European invaders and booodthirsty colonists. That was demonstrated by the massacre at Deir Yassin and other localities.

  48. Bill_Perdue says:

    “Since 2001, Palestinian militants have launched thousands of rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip as part of the continuing Arab–Israeli conflict. As of July 2014 the attacks have killed 28 people…” wiki

    Uncounted tens of thousands of Palestinians have been murdered and millions forced from their home and lands to make room for colonists.

  49. Badgerite says:

    There were Jewish populations in Israel continuously dating back over 2000 years.
    Some of them stayed.

  50. Badgerite says:

    Because Israel has demonstrated in the past the desire and the capacity to make peace ( see Anwar Sadat ). I would suggest international monitors on borders, but it is highly likely, as in Lebanon during their civil wars, that the international monitors would be attacked as well. But, could not that be a solution to the problem of the Gaza border? I’m just asking.

  51. Badgerite says:

    It doesn’t really tell the whole story. The war on Israel by all of the neighboring states at the behest of the Palestinians resulted in the 49 to 67 borders. In 67, there was yet another attack. And you left out the the 1973 Arab-Israeli war (Yom Kippur War ) where Egypt lost the Sinai and, but for the intervention of America, to end hostilities, would have lost more.
    After Anwar Sadat made a visit to Israel and demonstrated a genuine desire for peace, a settlement was reached whereby the Sinai was returned to Egypt. This is a rather crucial detail in the ‘Story of the Maps’. Egypt has never made war on Israel since then. And Israel has never made war on Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood killed Anwar Sadat for this heresy. I would suggest that Anwar Sadat showed a way to retrieve lost Arab lands and that would be through ending the continual state of war and reaching a peace agreement with Israel. So long as Hamas and Hezbollah ( currently otherwise occupied in Syria ) choose war against Israel from the borders of Lebanon and Gaza,
    what chance is there for a settlement of any kind in this conflict. If you think conflict would leave the land if only Israel were not there, I think one only take a cursory look around the region and that neighborhood in particular to conclude otherwise.
    For me, the best way for this conflict to end is the way Anwar Sadat chose. I don’t think the peace process should ever be given up on. Ever.

  52. Bill_Perdue says:

    Are you sure that you didn’t work for LBJ and Nixon during the Vietnam War. Are you related to Westmoreland? Powell?

  53. Myrddin Wyllt says:

    How many Israelis were killed? How many Palestinians?

    The answer is virtually none and tens of thousands.

    The Israeli military is ‘targeting Palestinian civilians for death’ far more often and with far greater effect than Israel.

    Both sides are committing war crimes. Neither side has an excuse. The reason that we have international rules of war is precisely so that actions like those of Hamas can be condemned and prosecuted. But it is not for the international community to take sides when a government is committing war crimes as well.

    Responding to Hamas was a fool’s move by Netanyahu. He did what they wanted him to which is to respond. Neither side cares about live Palestinian children, they both much prefer them dead. Netanyahu because he is a racist monster and Hamas because they like martyrs.

    The US supplied Iron dome has allowed Israel to attack the Palestinians with impunity. Which means that the US is a party here. Why is the US choosing sides between two groups of barbarians?

  54. Bill_Perdue says:

    The zionist colony was founded in 1948 with mass murder.

  55. ProfJonathan says:

    It’s astonishing to me that you ignore not only the massive multinational Arab attacks on the much smaller Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, but also the fact that between 1949 and 1967, it was Jordan which controlled the West Bank, and Egypt which controlled Gaza. Neither Arab, Muslim nation offered its captured territory to the Palestinians for a state (particularly since the Arab rejection of the 1947 partition plan eliminated the planned Palestinian state in the first place), and even after Jordan lost the West Bank in 1967, it continued its claim of sovereignty over the territory (its claim, not that of a Palestinian state) for two more decades. Oh, and don’t forget that Egypt also has a border to Gaza, and it’s *Israel* which provides power, water and supplies to Gaza, even while it is being attacked from Gaza.

  56. Bill_Perdue says:

    The zionist police are incompetent.

    Several people were responsible for the burning of that child and many more zionist lynch mobs, in and out of uniform. are responsible for the deliberate and widespread murders of Palestinians, especially children.

    They haven’t yet reached totals equaling those of the US in Vietnam and Iraq but it’s not for a lack of trying.

  57. ProfJonathan says:

    During the decade (2005-2014) you claim Gaza has been “quiet,” it has fired more than 11,000 missiles into Israel, targeting Israel’s civilians for death. How by *any* definition is that “quiet”?

  58. Badgerite says:

    As to the young Palestinian youth who was burned alive in a revenge killing, the person who did that is in custody in Israel and will be charged with his death. The same cannot be said for whoever kidnapped and killed the three Israeli teens.

  59. SkippyFlipjack says:

    No, but it’s a duplicate of an image that’s around in lots of forms. Google around, you should be able to find the same image at higher resolution and with data sources.

  60. BeccaM says:

    You remind me of the guy who, after beating and starving his dog, keeping it stuffed into a kennel far too small for it, then wonders incredulously why the dog seems inclined to bite, rather than fawning over its master for the treatment.

    Doesn’t mean it’s a good dog that went bad for no particular reason. It means someone made it that way.

    If the Israelis had treated fairly with the indigenous Palestinian people from ’47 on, it’d be a whole different situation there. Instead, they embarked on a campaign of confiscation and state-sponsored repression, which led to terrorist uprising, which led to clampdowns and disproportionate collective punishment, which led to more terrorism and targeting of civilians, which led to apartheid and economic blockades and more confiscations, which led to… Well, I’m sure you get the idea.

    As HereinDC notes below, it takes two to tango, and both the Palestinian AND Israeli extremists have been happy to keep the music going for nearly 60 years now.

  61. GarySFBCN says:

    Tells the story – do you have a link to the source for this? I’d like to use it.

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  63. Badgerite says:

    Very good post. Agree completely.

  64. tamarz says:

    I think you and I have had some interesting discussions over the years on DailyKos (this is not meant sarcastically — I really meant interesting).
    I am not shifting responsibility away from Hamas. I think their main purpose is maintaining their control and the death of fellow Palestinians enhances their power. I have no doubt that their rockets are intended to provoke violence from Israel.
    OTOH, leadership on the West Bank has been quite opposite of that. If Israel had moved toward a better relationship with West Bank Palestinians, had respected their land, their commerce, their freedom of movement, had responded well to the peaceful protests (my older daughter was involved in some of those), and had withdrawn from the illegal settlements, I think the Israel/Palestine situation would look very different now. (If you doubt how badly West Bank Palestinians are treated, look at the testimony from IDF soldiers: )
    Hamas is the leading edge of ugly (except for the splinter groups that are even worse) in the Palestinian community. Sadly, the right wing in Israel is the leading edge of ugly in the Israeli community and they have successfully managed to join with Hamas in making sure there is no peace. Netanyahu is an opportunist and I think it’s quite clear that he and his political allies have no intention of allowing Palestinians to form a viable nation. The groups on both sides who want peace lose out to the extremists on both sides and the people most harmed are the Gazan civilians.

  65. SkippyFlipjack says:

    I can’t imagine why Hamas would have no desire for peace..

  66. HereinDC says:

    It takes 2 to Tango ProfJonathan.

  67. Bill_Perdue says:

    The zionist colony in Palestine doesn’t really have any future.

    It’s based on colonialism and the colonists contempt and hatred for native peoples (the only good Indian, Algerian, Palestinian, Zulu) is a dead one.

    Add to that the day in and day out toll of murders by colonialist thugs in and out of uniform (1), the theft of a whole nation, brigandage and a form or racist apartheid that’s far, far worse than that which existed in pre-Mandela South Africa and you have a recipe for a fight to the death. We’ve seen the Arab Spring, an uprising based on militant workers who’ve rejected islamists spread from Tehran to Tunis and Cairo, to Sana’a and Al Manama, to Istanbul and Ankara and from Iraq to Afghanistan. Soon it will be the Arab Summer. They’ll decide the fate of Palestine, not the colonists and the US.

    (1) The death toll will of course be much higher this year, and includes one young man burned alive, but “In 2013, Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, most in circumstances that suggest the killings were unlawful. Israeli authorities destroyed homes and other property under discriminatory practices, forcibly displacing hundreds of Palestinian residents in West Bank areas under Israeli control. Israel imposed severe restrictions on Palestinians’ right to freedom of movement, continued to build unlawful settlements in occupied territory, and arbitrarily detained Palestinians, including children and peaceful protesters. The death toll in this latest incident of ethnic cleansing will soon pass 600, including a large percentage of children.

    The Arab spring
    Anti-zionist demonstrations sweep Europe

    The wanton and indiscriminate murder of children
    Hospitals deliberately bombed

  68. Myrddin Wyllt says:

    The game of ‘they are responsible’ is always easy to win if you cut off consideration to a bad act by the other side. Why did Hamas start sending rockets? Well that was because Israeli troops had killed a dozen Palestinians and arrested hundreds in their response to the kidnap of the three Israeli kids which was in return a response to…

    Telling me how bad Hamas is won’t make me forgive Likud and Netanyahu. Likud and Hamas are both hate mongers, they both have members who regularly speak about the other side in terms that amount to calling for genocide. I distinguish between the actions of Likud and the Israeli people just as I distinguish between the actions of George W. Bush and the US people.

    Like many on the left I have been watching Israel tread an awfully thin line for a long time now. US supporters are essentially asked to give a blind check for every action and atrocity. When Likud proposes to take land from Palestinians at the point of a gun to build homes for Jews this is none of our business, it is an internal Israeli decision. When the time comes to send money or weapons to Israel or block criticism in the UN then our support is taken for granted.

    I think a lot of people are fed up of being taken for granted and they are not prepared to give Israel a blank check any more. Blind support for a cause can easily become blind opposition.

    The West Bank and Gaza have been pretty quiet for a decade now but Israel has done absolutely nothing to improve the situation for Palestinians, In fact they have deliberately been making it worse with the blockade. I am strong, there is no danger so why make any concessions is their cry. Now that the missiles are being fired they complain that they can’t make concessions because they are under threat.

    At the end of the day the only safety guarantee the US owes Israelis is the promise of an air ticket home to the US if necessary. That is it. We don’t have any responsibility to help people run a Jim Crow apartheid state in Jesusland.

  69. ProfJonathan says:

    With respect, Ms. Teitelbaum, your essay goes out of its way to shift actual responsibility away from Hamas, which has done far worse indeed than “behaved badly.” Israel did not “repeatedly attack Gaza”; it was repeatedly attacked *from* Hamas in Gaza, with literally thousands of missiles and mortars targeting its non-combatant citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike. In Gaza, meanwhile, Hamas took millions of dollars and numerous tons of concrete meant for its residents’ homes and other buildings and used them instead to build bunkers for its leaders and tunnels through which to invade Israel and smuggle more missiles. Oh, and Hamas purposely stores and fires those missiles among and within Gaza’s schools, homes, playgrounds, mosques and hospitals, hoping for Israeli counterstrikes that will kill the innocent Gazan civilians nearby. Who, of course, don’t have bomb shelters because Hamas has built bunkers and tunnels instead.

    Note that Israel is not bombing or sending mass ground forces into the West Bank or Arab communities in Israel itself. This current crisis was desired, caused by and is being perpetuated by Hamas in Gaza, which has no desire for peace either with Israel or for its own citizens. To ignore (or understate) that *fact* undermines the legitimacy of your heartfelt call for positive lives for Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.

  70. The_Fixer says:

    As always, it takes a mother’s perspective to bring us back to earth and show us what’s really important. Good luck to your daughters in their travels, Marti.

  71. Indigo says:


  72. heimaey says:

    I have issues about the general existence of Israel, but the fact is it’s been around since 1947 and now we have a couple generations that have lived there and well…so now what? The fact is that Israelis have the power to maintain the peace in the region (or at least not let it get to this), but they don’t. They’re bullies and to a large extent, even though they are a “democracy” their existence is based on a fundamental theological structure of right to land that stretches back to King David. They run an apartheid state and they’re committing many of the same crimes that led to the creation of modern day Israel. It’s inexcusable. They have the power here, and they are choosing to over-flex their muscles and the entire world should shame them for it.

  73. lynchie says:

    If I was an alien and visited the earth i would be appalled at the lack of humanity now in place. We accept killing people whether its an airline shot down or bombing civilians in Gaza. In both cases the world looks on and no one will stop it or put pressure on it to it. Europe is worried about their financial interests in Russia, gas, oil and trade. In Gaza i guess its ok for civilians to be killed to make your point and this applies to both sides. We certainly kicked the shit out of hundreds of thousands in Iraq to bring them democracy.
    We have not evolved as a society we are stuck in the dark ages and frankly I don’t see us ever have the common sense to stop this war, killing, take advantage of the lesser of us syndrome. I don’t want to hear who is more right or it was that guys fault. We simply have to say enough. No more bombing, no more killing, no more rockets.

  74. rmthunter says:

    Nice to see a rational piece on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. She’s right — it goes way back, neither side has behaved well in the past 65 years, but the Palestinians seem to have been trying for the last decade. It’s going to take someone with more balls than Netanyahu can summon up to change it.

    In the meantime, we’ve got our own Israel uber Alles crowd who think a loser like Netanyahu should be determining our foreign policy. Lucky us.

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