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Ill-conceived ‘crusade’

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As we write these words on Wednesday, more than 1,000 deluded or possibly venal souls from 43 nations are massing on the Egypt-Gaza border, agitating to cross into Gaza on Dec. 31 to protest Israel’s assault on the strip one year ago and the continuing Israeli blockade.

Some are staging a hunger strike, including an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor from the United States, who is either in her second childhood or a fool, lending the luster of age and history to a cause that does not deserve it.

As we reported last year, a war plan was approved on Dec. 24, “after some 70 Kassams and mortars slammed into southern Israel in a single day” — and after thousands of others had been lobbed onto the city of Sderot more or less daily for eight years. What nation would continue to put up with that?

What Israel did in Gaza one year ago, during Operation Cast Lead, was make war on Hamas — on Hamas, we stress, a terrorist organization determined to kill Israelis and destroy Israel. It did not make war on the people of Gaza — although Hamas, by using them as human shields and basing its operations in civilian sites like schools, mosques, and hospitals, put them in harm’s way.

Yes, there was great suffering in Gaza. More than 1,000 Palestinians were killed, and countless wounded. But Hamas valued its own people’s lives even less than it valued Israelis’ lives.

Who are these people gathered at the Gaza border? What do they know of Israel’s suffering? What do they know of Hamas’ machinations? Where do they get their information? From the seriously flawed and flat-out biased Goldstone Report? Richard Goldstone will have a lot to atone for come Yom Kippur. (His comrade in shallowness, Jimmy Carter, has already made his Al Het. See below.)

A kind of “activists’ high” surges through a crowd convinced of its righteousness.

But they are wrong — and so carried away by their wrongness they’ve lost sight of what ought to be the goal. If they care about the Gazans, if they care about the Palestinians at all, they should show their solidarity with Israel in its efforts to make peace.


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Stay tuned for the return of comments

HARRY posted 09 Jan 2010 at 12:01 AM

Thank you for publishing the letter by Alan Schwartz criticizing your ‘Fog of War’ editorial.  Mr. Schwartz and I, in my unpublished letter, selected the same scandalous statement in your editorial (“He is a general: Generals want soldiers to command. If you’re a hammer, everything you see is a nail.”) to criticize.  I hope that you received many more than two letters disagreeing and condemning your editorial.  I see little difference between your blind hatred of America’s military leaders and the blind hatred of Israel by the 1,000 ‘crusaders’ protesting Israel’s defense of its people.  Your editorial, ‘Ill conceived crusade’, described them perfectly. 
Jimmy Carter finally apologized to the Jewish community.  Who knows if it is a sincere apology?  But you have the ability in your editorials or in the editor replies statement to make a sincere apology to our military leaders.



A view from the pew


Toward an end to gun violence

It is not entirely foreign to Jews to imagine being massacred at prayer.

This is not even a question of historical memory, although our story overflows with such murderous episodes. No, we just have to think back to last November, when assassins burst into a synagogue at Har Nof, in Jerusalem, and butchered four men there as they stood lost in the Amidah, the silent prayer at the heart of the service.

Then the killers slaughtered a Druze policeman who tried to protect the daveners.

Last week, a crazed, racist 21-year-old, a loser with a bowl haircut, dead eyes, and a gun, went into the Emanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston, like Jerusalem, is an old city (although of course here in the New World we measure age in centuries; in Israel it’s in millennia). It’s been at the heart of the slave trade, and so represented evil, but it is also beautiful, graceful, quirky, and a bustling tourist destination.



Thoughts on identity

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