An Open Letter to Rama:
Thank you for commenting on my previous post. I thank G-d that you survived the Hutu massacre of Tutsis in 1994. One needs to understand the history and politics of Rwanda to understand what contributed to that terrible event ( here's a site which might help: http://www.historycentral.com/nationbynation/Rwanda/history2.html) .
The same is true of the Arab/Israel conflict. Read that history, and also the history of the Jews in that region of the world. (here's a good site to begin with:
The fact is that most of the world does not understand, nor cares to understand what is going on in the Middle East today and why. They only see and hear the propaganda and 'marketing' which is shouted out the loudest and longest, by the Arabs (Israel needs a good lesson in public relations!).
In light of that, let me answer your comment on my previous post point by point.
1) "But rationnally, I cannot understand what the State of Israel is doing. It is not logical for a people that has suffered so much to be so completely blind to other people's suffering.
I assume that you are referring to the 'suffering' of the Arabs, some of whom call themselves 'Palestinians' (there was never a sovereign nation called Palestine, with a culture and language of its own. Anybody living in that region could be called a 'Palestinian'). First of all, the Arabs themselves are first and foremost responsible for their own suffering - not the Jews. Their own power-hungry radical leaders seething with hatred for the Jews are the ones who are keeping their people in the sorry state they are in now, and have been since they attacked Israel when it became a State in 1948. They themselves created the so-called 'refugee' problem and they are perpetuating it. (By the way, are you aware that there were Arab massacres of Jews living in Palestine before the creation of the state of Israel?? Look up the Hebron massacre in 1929).
The history of the Jewish people shows how humanitarian it has been to the suffering of peoples of the world at large, by aiding them and sending relief in times of catastrophe*. A most recent case is how Israel was one of the first countries to send aid to Southeast Asia when it was struck by the horrific Tsunami in December, 2004. Unfortunately, the world does not appreciate nor does it generally acknowledge Israel's aid, so it probably was not widely known that three hours after Sri Lanka called Israel for help, four doctors from Hadassah University Hospital were on a plane heading over there to assess the damage and formulate a plan.
Not many know that on December 28, two days after the Tsunami hit, an aid shipment of 82 tons was delivered by Israel which consisted of blankets, food, mineral water, generators, medicine, tents, beds, mattresses and over 4,000 bottles of serum albumin (a protein made from blood plasma) to treat trauma and malnutrition. *
Did the media publish this widely? Did they publish stories about the expert forensic help which Israel gave to Thailand, especially in Phuket with regard to victim identification (in which unfortunately Israel has great expertise because of the constant attacks by the Arabs) after this disaster? I certainly didn't read much about Israel helping in these areas. Fact is, Israel was declared a State in 1948, and beginning with the year 1953 when a severe earthquake hit islands off the west coast of Greece, Israel has been sending aid to countries suffering from natural and even man-made disasters.
So I am still trying to understand what you mean by 'blind to other people's suffering'.
The ethic of helping other people is ingrained in Israeli (Jewish) society, and originates in the Torah, the Jewish Bible, where it is written to not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor (Leviticus 19:16). Basically the Jewish People have as a whole followed for millenia what we believe to be Divine law in relating to ourselves and to others. the Jewish people as an entity are one of the most highly civilized nations on the planet.
Your next point was:
2) "I realize that there are some nasty heartless narrow-minded idiots among the Arabs. But answering their stupidity with stupidity will only breed more stupidity. And more bloodshed".
You say you do not absolve the Arabs of all culpability, but do you realize that those 'nasty heartless, narrow-minded idiots' are RUNNING their countries and dictating their behavior? They conduct themselves and relate to the world BARBARICALLY, not humanitarianly. Their raison d'etre is not to create another Arab state or to better the lives of their people, but rather the destruction of Israel. And, how is Israel answering 'stupidity with stupidity'? What do you consider 'intelligent'? Should Israel allow Hizbollah and Hamas to bomb it's towns and cities with impunity? Should Israel just lie down and be trampled to death? Because she's tried appeasement (against better judgement!) and peace proposals, and land returns, to no avail. The reason for that is the Arabs have no real interest in peace with Israel. They only have an interest in NO ISRAEL, and they act accordingly.
Your last point is:
3) "And how would that help Israel? or America? Or the little country called Rwanda...Or the world for that matter?"
Here's how: It would eliminate the terrorist threat to Israel, and show terrorists around the world that they can't bully any country into submission by bombing civilians, cities and their infrastructure such as the trains in Mombai, or Madrid in 2004 or southern Russia in 2003 or in London last year or - the list just doesn't end! It would help the only Jewish State stay alive, democratic America stay alive and strong, and yes, a little country like Rwanda feel that there are nations in the world who have the courage to stand up to terror (by the way, see the following site for a short history of Rwanda and Israel's response to the genocide perpetrated there: http://www.israaid.org.il/story_page.asp?id=212).
Why does it bother the Arabs so, that Israel exists? Take a look at this map;
Does this tiny speck look like a threat to you? Has Israel ever verbally or otherwise threatened the existence of another country? The Arab countries have; they've threatened Israel with total annihilation, time and time again. And they constantly threaten the US & the West. Why do they not want Israel in the area? Is it because they are jealous of the success of the Jewish nation in draining the swamps and making the desert bloom and creating a vibrant economy in 58 short years? Are they afraid of the historical TRUTH, that Israel has a perfect right to be in its ancient land? One thing is true: the Arab mentality is not understood by much of the world; to them, conducting a dialogue for peace, surrendering territory, and other such 'softer' responses to their acts of violence mean only one thing: weakness. You don't offer a bully flowers and candy, or he will continue to harass you. Instead, you show that you do not tolerate his actions, by vanquishing him. I would like to end with a quote by Charles Krauthammer which was published in the Weekly Standard on May 11, 1998:
"Israel is the very embodiment of Jewish continuity: It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it did 3,000 years ago. You dig the soil and you find pottery from Davidic times, coins from Bar Kokhba, and 2,000-year-old scrolls written in a script remarkably like the one that today advertises ice cream at the corner candy store."
On that note, may Good win over Evil, and may Israel prevail.
*[sources include:http://www.jafi.org.il/education/actual/tsunami/index.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents and http://www.science.co.il/Israel-history.asp]