Saturday, November 14, 2015
All decent people mourn the death and destruction caused by the terrorists in Friday’s attacks in Paris. French President Hollande has identified the attackers as ISIS. These are truly evil people.
The Washington Post of Nov. 13 reports: 'According to reports, Hollande declared there that France was "going to lead a war," presumably against Islamist militants. He said his country's response would be "ruthless."' President Obama and other world leaders are offering their full sympathy and support.
This is in sharp contrast to the response when Israelis and Jews are the victims of terror. I am waiting for the U.S. State Department, the UN, and the EU to call on all parties to "exercise restraint" to end "the cycle of violence," to not use “excessive force” in responding, and to not use “disproportionate force.”
This is their usual mantra when Jews are killed in Israel and the territories due to terror. Are Jewish lives worth less than the lives lost in the terrible attack in France? Does not the murder of Jews by terrorists deserve the same response that Pres. Hollande now calls for?
When the Western world advocates a different response to terror by Palestinians because it somehow believes the Palestinians' alleged grievances are credible, or because the victims are Israelis or Jews, it gives a green light to terror elsewhere. In ISIS' thinking, its grievances are every bit as legitimate as those of the Palestinians, if not more so.
If terror is justified or excused, or if the victims are admonished to limit their response because of the alleged legitimacy of the attackers' grievance, terror becomes a legitimate tool for any allegedly aggrieved party.
Trying to pick and choose when terror is a legitimate tool is counterproductive and self-defeating. Excusing it or trying to mitigate the victims' response when the victims are Jews but not in other instances, demonstrates bigotry and immorality.
(Originally published in The Times of Israel)
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Thursday, November 12, 2015
The European Union moved forward today with its requirement that Israeli goods made in areas captured in the 1967 Six Day War be labeled as coming from the territories rather than from Israel. There is any number of valid reasons supporting the argument that this requirement is unfair, counterproductive, discriminatory, and anti-peace.
Knowing that these very good arguments will not convince the Europeans, who have created a sub-culture and cottage industry out of their disproportionate compassion for the “plight of the poor Palestinians” while demonizing Israel as the world’s worst oppressor, I suggest that Israeli manufacturers include the following along with the EU label requirements:
“Made by [company name] by [number of employees] making an average of [wages] per hour, [_X_] times more than the average wage in the territories, with health benefits, pension, [any other benefits], which are equal to the wages and benefits paid to Israeli employees at the company.”
The label should include a picture of one of the Palestinian employees and his family with a caption:
“[Name of employee] and his family, [names of family members in picture]. Employed [____] years. Annual salary: ________, plus benefits.”
With no faith that the valid arguments against the EU labeling requirement will convince any European, but with a habitual dedication to making rational arguments, I offer mine in addition to my proposed labeling language:
--Did the EU ask about opinions of the Palestinian workers who will lose their jobs if the labeling achieves its intended result, which are the boycott of goods and the closing of the Jewish-owned facilities? Does anyone over in Europe think that the people whose livelihoods could be at stake have a legitimate thought on the matter?
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Alan, I have a serious question that I would like to have your opinion on. Netanyahu is quoted as saying the Holocaust was not Hitler’s idea. As a Jew, I want to support Israel. I want to believe that Israel’s problems stem from individuals and groups that are vehemently anti-Zionist. But I keep hearing stories about Netanyahu’s recalcitrance to consider any reasonable peace plan and I hear so much about how non-Jews are treated poorly in Israel, that I have to question what is really going on over there. This statement by Netanyahu [regarding the Mufti and Hitler] has me wondering if he is not teetering on the edge of paranoia. What’s up with this guy?
My response, with edits:
Wow, Joe. That’s a lot of ground to cover. To really do it justice, we ought to get together for lunch when I am back in Sacramento. In the meantime, I will give it a shot.
These are very complicated issues, with lots of history and context. Most people draw their conclusions from reading the NY Times and watching CNN. I understand why, but that does not do it justice.
You and every Jew have every right to be very proud of Israel. Yes, it has many, many problems. (Find me a country that doesn’t.) But when you consider history, neighborhood, composition, threats, this place is really unbelievable.
About 8.3 million people. About one million people from the former Soviet Union, not people steeped in democracy. Millions of people or the children of people from Arab nations. Not steeped in democracy, plus many are understandably bitter about their treatment in the Arab nations and when they first arrived here. About 21% (1.7 million) of the population is Arab/Palestinian, many with torn, ambivalent feelings about their place in society.
We have bigotry, fear, racism, threats, terrorists, Iran nukes, children going off to war on a regular basis. And, yet, we have a fully functioning democracy (with problems, of course). Free press; an activist, independent court; people (Arab Knesset members) standing up in the Knesset saying things that if similar things were said in Congress, would cause them to be run out of the country as traitors; gay rights, minority rights, women’s rights, etc. etc.
Yes, we have our bigots and racists, but we have myriad of people and organizations standing up and fighting for a free press, against racism and bigotry, and for peace.