November 29, 2012
THE PALESTINIANS SEEK A STATUS UPGRADE AT THE UNITED
If the Palestinian Authority succeeds today in gaining
United Nations approval for an upgraded status (non-member state), what will
--While the Palestinians may accomplish their objective at
the United Nations, the average Palestinian in the West Bank and elsewhere may
eventually be disappointed as no 'facts on the ground' leading to a better life
for them are certain to result from this action.
--Secondly, the U.N. vote does nothing to move Israelis and
Palestinians closer to peace.
--Finally, if the Palestinians are looking for a
dramatic move beyond today’s quickly fading spotlights and headlines generated
at the U.N., let them immediately return to the negotiating table with Israel
for direct talks.
[Israel Action Network]
A LOCAL COMMENT ON THE ISRAEL-HAMAS CONFLICT
The Oakland Press (theoaklandpress.com), Serving Oakland
GUEST OPINION: Moral equivalency missing in Israeli-Hamas
Thursday, November 29, 2012
By Rachel Kapen
Being an Israeli-American, I am naturally perceived as being
pro-Israel relating to the prolonged and festering Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, and indeed I am. I have an unequivocal commitment to the right of the
Jewish state to exist in peace and tranquility, something its leaders have
desired since its establishment on May 14, 1948, which created the modern
manifestation of the old kingdoms of Israel and Judea. However, I also possess
a measure of objectivity allowing me to acknowledge the validity of the claims
of the other side. That’s something, I admit, not all my Israeli brethren
possess, but I believe it is essential to fruitful negotiations hopefully
leading to a lasting peace.
Alas, as far as the current fight of rockets between the
Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Israel, there is only one way to look at it.
Israel’s only aim is to destroy the launching pads of destructive and deadly
rockets which has made life unbearable for many months in the southern towns
and cities of the country. The rockets have the ability to reach Tel Aviv and
Jerusalem, which are located in the center of Israel.
Because of the daily carnage in Gaza causes greater
casualties than those on the Israeli side, many question the validity of the
Israeli government’s motive of defending its citizens, which places the
terrorist organization Hamas and the Israeli government on the same moral
equivalency. But nothing can be further from the truth.
The simple reason for the many Gaza casualties is that Hamas
purposely places its launching pads in the midst of crowded civilian venues,
such as apartment buildings, schools and even hospitals. No amount of Israeli
caution can prevent the death and injury of citizens including women, children,
and the elderly.
Before pointing an accusatory finger at the the Israeli
Defense Forces, one should understand the true nature of this unfortunate
fighting. No government can sit idle when its citizens are bombarded for many
months. The Israeli government is doing what a democratic government is
supposed to do: take care of its population. There is no equivalency whatsoever
between the bombing by Hamas of Israeli population centers with the express aim
to destroy and kill and the targeted destruction by Israel of the deadly
rockets and its launching sites that make life in Israel increasingly
With a ceasefire in effect, there is celebration in Gaza and
mostly an air of skepticism in Israel. Only time will tell how durable this
ceasefire will be.
Rachel Kapen, of West Bloomfield Township, was born and
raised in Israel. She has taught Hebrew in Israel and in the United States. She
has written for New York’s Lamishpaha Hebrew Monthly.
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