a different side of Israel

Tag: War (page 2 of 3)

Golda Meir on Children and War

Someone just sent this to us and I thought it was worth posting…
Golda Meir:

Children in Gaza and Hamas – Updated

This is a video that was sent to us – again part of the media war I am sure – but still really disturbing. Grabbing a kid as you’re running with a weapon is just not right. Regardless of what you believe in its just wrong and well — that guy is definitely going to hell!


I just heard that the army hit a school in Gaza and there are reportedly 40 dead. It’s still not clear if these are children or civilians but regardless it sounds bad. We hear about the Hamas grabbing human shields, ambulances and taking over buildings.

Currently the Hamas has relinquished all control of responsibility of the Gaza population. They are not responsible for any of the basic services, they provide no care and answer to no one. The have basically reverted back to a terror organization without any social responsibility.

The Gaza population is the real victim here and I hope that this last attack we are starting to hear about is not going to turn out to be a civilian nightmare…

Live Gaza Feed

The expected attack on the ground is on its way since yesterday evening. I think that many are thinking of the last time we were at war and the uncertainty and mistrust we had in the people leading us. There is a different feeling in Israel today. It’s been a long time coming.. We have had enough of the attacks and the constant pain of watching Israelis living in the south of Israel under a constant barrage of missiles.

I am writing and watching the attacks in real time and its insane. We advanced in technology, medicine and supposedly awareness and we are again dragged into this. The global financial stress is not enough, we need something extra to make things interesting.

I watched “Fair and Balanced Fox News” this morning. It’s amazing to me that a News channel like this can even exist in today’s world. Geraldo Rivera was talking to Hanan Ashrawi and I switched it off. Just hearing the introduction was enough. The world is coming to an end, Iran is threatening to join the war, Hezbollah is preparing to attack from the north and terror is at the door. Balanced my ass. The only thing that station sells is fear and bad energy!!

The people in the middle of all this are the people in the south of Israel and by far worse, the Palestinian families trying to move from the North of the Gaza Strip to the South – just trying to get away from all this and literally running for their life. There are no words to describe the pain they must be going through.

On the other hand, choosing a Terror Organization like Hamas to be your leader is like going on an organized bus ride in the Rockies with a blind bus driver – at some point you are going to hit something.

There is nothing fair about all this. We as a global society are measured by the weakest link and it seems like the more advanced and the further we reach, that weak link keeps getting weaker.

The Media war is on as well and the Arab world is getting behind Gaza in all its might. Understandable. What has been unique is the Israeli side in the media war, Arab speaking Israeli officers and foreign ministry personnel were interviewed, debated and heard on Arab media channels. We are adding here the live Gaza feed from Mako the Channel 2 News channel.

It’s been less then 24 hours and hopefully this will all be over soon. For the sake of everyone involved.

Just don’t listen to Fox..

Sderot “The Musical”

It’s amazing to think that while we here in the center of Israel are carrying on a normal life there are Israelis an hour away living in a constant state of fear and under the imminent threat of a “Red Alert”. This is in Hebrew but I think anyone can understand what it’s all about…


The Missiles Are Not Sophisticated, Israel is Simply Miniscule

For the first time ever, Palestinian rockets have reached the city of Be’er-Sheva. Until today, Be’er-Sheva was never being regarded as a “border town”. If you look at the map of Israel, it sits right at the center of the map. It is also the seventh largest city in Israel.

Beer Sheva

But the truth is Be’er Sheva is less than 40 KM (25 Miles) away from the Gaza Strip (situated to the left of the map, by the sea). That’s all: 40 KM. In a country so small, the “home front” is merely a tiny bubble — one that is liable to burst anytime.

On the other side: if Israel is only a tiny line on the global map, well, Gaza is an invisible dot, where there is no “home front” at all.

When 2 hostile nations are packed together inside a tiny patch of land, the conflict affects everyone, anywhere.

Qassam Range by the Home Front Command

Qassam Range by the Home Front Command

The Propaganda War

The Kfar Qana bombing incident in Lebanon, followed by tragedies such as missile attacks in Akko, Haifa, and now, pristine Kfar Giladi, makes one wonder who really is winning the media propaganda war? For example, the two major American news networks that can be easily picked up in this part of the word, seem have very different ways of reporting the often tragic events, with a definite slant in favor of either one side or the other. Military censorship, once very easy to control by the Israeli military, is now less possible, due to the high tech world we presently live in. Use of the internet, cellular phones, Ipods, and many other means of on the spot communication, also allow media reporters to give accurate ‘as they happen’ details, without having to first write them down and then run to the nearest private or public telephone to frantically call the story in, like they had to do as recently as the Vietnam War.

Rockets in HaifaHat Tip: Dor from Haifa
Playing on already frayed and often panic stricken emotions, ‘breaking news’ events are often blown completely out of proportion, including video photo clips of dead and terribly wounded people being pulled out of destroyed buildings and carried off to receive medical attention (if still alive). The Qana incident, for example, was one of the most covered and dramatic incidents of the current conflict so far. While tragic enough on its own, still ongoing investigations, including more accurate accounts by on-the-scene Red Cross emergency personnel, now confirm that 28 people were killed in the alleged attack by Israeli aircraft, and not 57 as was so graphically reported by world media news mongers. Even the actual facts were muddied a bit, especially the 7 hour ‘time lapse’ between the aerial attack by Israeli aircraft and the time when the building housing the unfortunate victims actually collapsed, resulting in their deaths.

Photos, video shots, and even less perfect images taken by private witnesses using new cell phones with miniature video cameras installed often try to over-dramatize events in order to get the viewers’ undivided attention. Though acting under the guise of free speech and freedom of the press, are these current news propaganda methods really any different than those described in British author George Orwell’s famous novel: 1984? Orwell’s now historic novel, from which several movie versions have been made, describes a world in which huge authoritarian and oligopoly run governments have divided a post nuclear war world into three mega dictatorships: Oceana, Eurasia, and East Asia. Using dramatic film clips, television, and a political language called ‘double-speak’ peoples’ minds and actions are completely controlled by the government, using such slogans as: War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, and Slavery is Freedom.

OK, good people, don’t get me wrong. We who live in democratic societies, including Israel, do not live under such governments; and are free to choose which news ‘versions’ of events we want to hear. And, if things get too rough, we are also free to turn off our “tel-screens” and not see these horrible events at all (something completely forbidden in the ultra-authoritarian ruled society portrayed by Orwell). Many people in other countries, including ones very near to Israel, do not have such freedoms, however; and often have to watch government censored and controlled versions, including listening to ‘double speech’ type of rhetoric. Islamic republics like Iran, and Kingdoms like Saudi Arabia, probably fall into this Orwellian category, with people having to take great risks to see other ‘versions’ of current events.

Government censorship may be beneficial however, when issues of national security are at stake. To explain on television how a commando operation, or similar operation was carried out, or graphically describe damage from a bombing or missile attack in a certain location, can play in to an enemy’s hands giving them better details in order to be more accurate in their next planned attack; which appears to occur much too often. In this case, we’re not talking about Orwellian double-speak, but good common sense; especially in matters of life and death.

Cartoon that sums up events in Lebanon

Reuters alters Beirut photo

Reuters Alters Beirut PhotoRead about the good work Reuters is doing, trying I guess to improve the overall situation in our region.
Hat Tip: LGF

The War in Pictures

Thank you Dori and Marina from Haifa for sending these in
Dori took this picture of Katyushas landing off the Haifa beach.
The rest of the pictures are from a presentation circulating online.

Katyushas landing off the Haifa beach

Some Images May be Disturbing
Continue reading

Mel Gibson: Jews Are Responsible for All Wars in the World

Allison has a good story about Mel Gibson…apparently when under arrest he yelled “F*****g Jews… The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”

Mel seems to be a little stressed by the tension in the area – maybe he should come to Israel, “hang around” in Nazareth :)

New Hezbullah Bumper Sticker

This is a new bumper sticker going around.

Hezbullah Sticker

Letter to Lebanese Reporter

Shalom All,

Yes, I know it’s useless. I know that in our impossible reality, most of us think that there is no one to talk to on the other side. No one who will listen, no one to argue with, no use to waste words.

Still, I guess I can’t help myself. Some inner need makes me try, again, even if in a small way, to relate to things I hear or read.

This past Wednesday, Israeli newspaper “Maariv” published an article titled: “The destruction of a Nation”. The writer, a Lebanese reporter whose words were published “incognito, in order to protect her” (exact quote), describes the hell in which she has been living since the war began. She has nothing, G-d forbid, to say against Nassrallah or the Hezbollah, but she complains against Israel’s harsh response that is the reason she and her friends must currently live under fire. She writes:

“Life for us isn’t about the future any more. It’s about today. The safest way to go to work. Will I have time to stop at home and check if everything is still intact…I wonder who will stay today, will my friends leave will the thousands that are leaving…not all Lebanese people want the Hezbollah, so why should all Lebanese people have to pay?…today I am a refugee, since I can’t return to my home. Israeli airplanes have been throwing pamphlets, warning civilians to leave their neighborhood before it is bombed, a few hours later…I had where to go, others didn’t. So they stayed in their homes…and they are dying. They are dying in a war that isn’t their war…one morning we wake up after a good night’s sleep, the airplanes were quiet. The houses didn’t shake because of an attack. The nights are worst. The sound of the airplanes is terrifying. They fly above for hours before they hit, searching for pray. No one knows where the bomb will fall, and eventually you stop caring. You just want the noise to stop…

And the world is silent.”

A response is in place. True, my response isn’t complete, there are probably many aspects I haven’t discussed. And true, I am not an official representative of anything, just myself. The statement of an Israeli citizen who insists, sorry, on living here in this land. You may add, change or disagree. I am afraid that, in any case, our responses will have the same fate I mention in the end…

To the Lebanese reporter, Shalom,

It hurts, really hurts to read your words. It hurts first and foremost because your words sound so very, very familiar.

Life in the Galilee, and generally in Israel’s North, has become a long game of Russian Roulette. It didn’t happen in a week, it happened within a few minutes two weeks ago – and hasn’t stopped since. Every time you want to get out of the shelter, even for a few minutes, is a gamble: will the Hezbollah start shelling again just as I leave the shelter to get some milk and bread for my kids, who are sitting in it with me? And if it does – where is the closest hiding place? Is the local grocery store even open? Almost everything is closed. Summer tourism, that both you and me base quite a bit of our economy, is dead. Work is a forgotten dream, and those who still have jobs are afraid of the way back and forth. You see, on our side of the border, no one is throwing pamphlets to let us know when the next shelling will occur, and there is no advance noise to prepare us that the rockets are about to fall. They just do, out of the not-so-blue anymore sky. Eighty, a hundred per day. I completely understand when you say: when will this noise stop.

Of course, the roads aren’t safe either, and not only because of the bombs. If you are too close to a border, any border – and Israel is so tiny that almost always you are close to some kind of border – you must stay alert so no terrorist infiltrates and kidnaps you, or shoots you, or blows himself up with you and others. Our kids, even those who are not in shelters, know that they must be alert, suspicious, connected to the news and to their parents. That is daily life, everywhere, for all ages. They have grown accustomed, since they are 3 years old, that everywhere there is a guard that checks them and everyone else, that each little bag can become a dangerous parcel, that each smiling person can turn into the big bad wolf. It isn’t exactly the way to raise normal, healthy kids, but that’s our life and has been for a very, very long time.

More than half of the population in the north has left their homes and gone south. On our side, too, thousands can’t go home. But we don’t call them refugees. You see, for us they are simply our brothers and sisters, and Israelis everywhere are embracing them, trying to give them comfort and help till they can go back home. That’s what the citizens of a state are supposed to do for each other.

Not all of them could get away. Sorry to say, even we need time to get our act together sometimes, arrange safe transportation and secure places, especially when you need to do it under fire and while defending yourself. We have many volunteers, that is true, and they are doing miracles, but many of our elderly and needy have stayed in their homes, frightened by every explosion they hear, grateful when the blast is over, dreading the next one. We will have to deal with their trauma for many years to come.

Not all Israelis want war. Actually, I can tell you that almost all Israelis want peace, or at least quiet. And yet, all Israelis are paying the price. That’s how it is in a sovereign country, and that’s probably the main difference between us: if a group of people, big or tiny, had turned our life into hell, Israeli society and the Israeli government would do everything necessary to throw that group out. To destroy it. You can’t just sit passively, fumbling your fingers and crying: “but it wasn’t me” – that is a lesson we learned in kindergarten, when we learned another lesson, one of the most important lessons: social responsibility. If a group like that would drag all of Israel into a horrific war – and every war is horrific – without us doing everything to stop them, than the consequences would be our full responsibility and we would have absolutely no right to complain that “this isn’t our war”. It is. If it comes from within my sovereign state, by my citizens, it is indeed my responsibility, just like it’s my responsibility to take care of all my citizens – you know, those who need shelter, food. I can’t sit back while this malignant cancer grows in me, and then cry that it has taken over. It’s my responsibility to get rid of this malignancy on time, and if I don’t – the price is mine to pay. Or, in the case of Hezbollah, yours.

As for the world being silent – you shouldn’t be so surprised. Too many times that is the way of the world, being silent. We know, we have many, many years of experience.

I am thankful that your letter has been published in the Israeli media and that each of us could read it, freely, during these days of turmoil, even if it has to be undercover to protect you. In spite of what you may think, this is possible not because of who you are, but because of who I am. I have good reason to believe that my little letter to you won’t receive the same kind of treatment, and in my case – no undercover is necessary.

And that, I believe, is the whole difference in a nutshell.

Shabbat shalom,


p.s. I just got s call from the local grocery store. A family from Nahariya that left their home because of the bombs a week ago was about to go back when they were told to stay in the center, since the bombings are still bad. Don’t worry – they will spend the Shabbat here in Maccabim. Refugees?? No way. Guests.

A guide to handling bleeding hearts

This is a guide that was sent to me today. This is a step by step program that helps to deal with these people who believe that the army is over reacting and overly aggressive in its reaction to the situation in Lebanon. These would be the resident bleeding hearts that feel that what we are doing is violent and senseless.

Step 1: Get into the conversation and ask whether he feels that a military solution is acceptable.
Step 2: When the response is a resounding “No”, ask why not.
Step 3: Wait until he gets to the part “it just leads to further violence and the killing of innocent people…..”
Step 4: While he is in mid sentence, slap him hard on the face.
Step 5: When he tries to hit you back, bring his attention to the fact “that this is against his principles and that this reaction is dangerous and can lead to an escalation in violence”.
Step 6: Wait until he agrees to your explanation and promise to stop hitting him.
Step 7: Ask him another question and again hit him, but much harder this time.
Step 8: Repeat steps 5 to 8 until he realizes that sometimes you need to fight back.

Sounds of War in Haifa

This is what the siren sounds like and for some of you this brings back memories…

Lebanon Front Now Open for Business

Israel back in LebanonThis morning 2 soldiers were kidnapped on the northern border and so far there are 11 wounded. There is now fighting on two fronts and we are glued to the news again. There is no doubt that this was expected. Announcements in previous days calling for the kidnapping of additional soldiers by Islamic groups now prove to be the course of action in our region.

The army is chasing down the captors and an operation is underway to destroy key bridges and infrastructure in the hope of returning the soldier. People are looking at Olmert and Peretz the new prime minister and Defense Minister. This is a test for them as well and they need to balance the gut impulse and the fanatic voices in government that call for an immediate escalation and war on both fronts. On the other hand this is the Middle East. That means that when someone comes at you and tries to push you around you stomp them immediately and with conviction. This is a test for the new government and the leadership. The army is willing and more then able. It’s now time to settle the score.

Ynet News reports:

Under massive fire in a coordinated attack, Hezbollah kidnaps two IDF soldiers, demands prisoner release in exchange for troops. Israel confirms two soldiers missing. IDF strikes targets in south Lebanon, conducts ground search in bid to locate troops.

“In accordance with the obligations the Hezbollah movement has taken on itself to release the prisoners and detainees, the movement managed to capture two soldiers on the border with occupied Palestine. The two were taken to a safe place,” the Lebanese organization declared in a statement aired on its television station al-Manar.

See the Video here

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