The View From My Veranda
Sheila's Letter From Jerusalem
13th January 2009.
Gaza Update 18th day of fighting
Hypocrisy! Sheer hypocrisy and cant in the general antipathy to Israel and the cries of anger at the plight of the people of Gaza. Hypocrisy, cant and humbug. Where were the voices of the likes of Human Rights Watch and Medicins son Frontieres, to say nothing of the media, when Hamas was murdering thousands of Gazan citizens? Where were they when Fatah stole the hundreds of billions of dollars given in aid to the people of Gaza (Forbes published that if the money had been used properly each Palestinian would have food a house and a car) and where was the disgust at the misuse of funds by Hamas who didn’t build villas for themselves but built up arms stores to attack both Israel and their own people? Where are the cries of revulsion that the medical supplies that Israel sent to the hospitals of Gaza have been “held back” in case one of the Hamas leaders is injured. Where was the dismay when Israeli children were suffering rocket attacks? I repeat hypocrisy and cant. Not one of the aid organizations complained to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights because according to Islam, one Moslem can kill another Moslem without rebuke but no Christian (Iraq and Afghanistan) or Jew is allowed to do so.
To put the level of hypocrisy into perspective, as Israel is being lambasted for her actions in Gaza by the UN, the media, and not a few politicians, Israel’s Foreign Office came upon this report by UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) A/63/372–S/2008/617 of military activity by forces in that country
“In the first eight months of 2008, UNAMA recorded a total of 1,445 civilian deaths, an increase of 39 per cent over the 1,040 civilian deaths recorded in the same period in 2007. Of those, 55 per cent were attributed to attacks by anti-Government elements, 40 per cent to pro-Government forces and 5 per cent to unknown agents.”
Israel mourns every human being harmed because of this war – we did not want it and we do not want it – but we will fight to protect ourselves and defend our country because apparently no-one else will. In our battle for survival the world, apparently, believes Israel is Shylock wanting his pound of flesh, not a people trying to survive.
Israel has been accused of using phosphorous in her weaponry in Gaza. Chief of Staff Ashkenazi, testifying before a Knesset Committee said that the IDF does not use any banned weaponry and the Palestinian accusations are yet another aspect of their disinformation
Our friend Dr Michael Dor, Deputy Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Heath, told us that he personally approved that 120 children be brought through from Gaza for treatment in Israel but the Hamas allowed only 3. Why? Clearly it would deny their claim that we are killing their children.
I sat at my computer screen yesterday watching in amazement as truck after 16 wheeler double truck passed through the Kerem Shalom checkpoint each overloaded with aid for the people of Gaza. Kerem Shalom, a kibbutz established on Israeli land on the border with Gaza in 1966 by those who thought that we could live together in peace. Kerem Shalom – means vineyard of peace. Today there is no vineyard and no peace. The Ministry of Defence CCTV camera captured each truck as it crossed from Israel and returned later empty. Each and every day for two to three hours this is the ritual. Who are the liars who say we are starving the Gazans?
The latest from the front line is that many “Miluimnikim” reservists have gone into Gaza to take the place of the conscripts who have gone deeper into much more dangerous territory. Each of these amazing boys and men, each leaving behind a young family, admitted fear but was prepared to do what had to be done to ensure a future for his children. Our enemy is not 3 4 or 5 thousand miles away, it is right here on our doorstep and our boys know it.
I am proud of the communities around the world who had been demonstrating their support for Israel. NY, Sydney, Toronto, Chicago, Seattle, Manchester, Paris, Antwerp, and many other towns and cities brought out the supporters. What made me proudest is the fact that unlike the “others” there were no shouts of death to anyone but rather, like in London, banners begging for peace in both Israel and Gaza because we cannot have one without the other. I am particularly proud that our friend Tim Vince was asked by the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, Rabbi Jonathan Saks, to speak at the rally in Trafalgar Square in London. We will never forget the incredible support we get from Israel’s Christian supporters.
It may seem oddly coincidental, but this week a brilliant Israeli film. “Waltz with Bashir” won the Golden Globe for best foreign film. http://waltzwithbashir.com/ Bashir Jumayel, was a young Lebanese Christian President-elect who was assassinated by the Syrians during the first Lebanese war. This extraordinary animated movie tells the tale of one man’s war. An absolute must. You will be surprised at the honesty of the end.
Tonight, as I returned from a bed-time visit with my little grand-children, Yosef Eliyahu, Talia and Ayala, I came over the hill at Nebe Samuel and yet again the moon took my breath away. As it hung there before me, huge and golden, I couldn’t help thinking that this is the same moon which is protecting our boys in Gaza. I stopped and chatted with the young soldier manning the check-point as I returned to Jerusalem wishing him a quiet and peaceful night with time to marvel at the moon.
Please G-d, bring our boys home safely. Dudu Fisher sang it for all of us “Bring him home”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYeatnIZ4h8
Love from Jerusalem with prayers toward Gaza.