Jewish Voice for Peace San Diego Condemns the Israeli Offensive in Gaza

by on July 18, 2014 · 44 comments

in Activism, Editor's Picks, Government, Politics

 By David Deutsch, Jonathan Graubart, and Avital Aboody, Jewish Voice for Peace, San Diego

hold israel accountableJewish Voice for Peace San Diego (JVPSD) is the local chapter of the national Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization devoted to the pursuit of peace, social justice, equality, and human rights in Israel-Palestine.

While most mainstream American Jewish organizations have long abandoned moral responsibility when it comes to Palestinians, we insist upon holding Israel accountable for its crimes, which include a nearly fifty-year occupation, a denial of Palestinian self-determination, repeated war crimes, and systematic human rights abuses.

We oppose Israel’s latest offensive on the Gaza Strip, labeled Operation “Protective Edge.” As of July 18th, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights released figures that estimated more than 80 per cent of the 260 Palestinian victims to have been killed so far were civilians. They also reported that a further 1,920 Palestinians had been wounded as a result of the conflict that began on July 8th.

The collective punishment of the Palestinian people carries the full support of the US government, which supplies much of Israel’s highly sophisticated weaponry. In Israel a mob in Tel Aviv recently sought vengeance by physically assaulting the few Israelis protesting the current assault on Gaza.

Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas of the world and home to 1.8 million Palestinians including many refugees whose parents and grandparents were expelled from their homes in what is now southern Israel, including Sderot. Gaza residents have lived under a brutal occupation for 47 years and a devastating Israeli siege for the past 7 years. The International Committee of the Red Cross denounces the siege as illegal “collective punishment.”

Operation Protective Edge has brought the crisis to new heights. Gaza’s hospitals face shortages of essential medicine and equipment and the International Red Cross delegation warns of a water shortage. Israel’s boast of providing warnings before bombings offers small comfort as the population is boxed in by Israeli and Egyptian forces with no place to go.

Operation Protective Edge is the fourth major Israeli onslaught on the civilian population of Gaza since 2006. While each has been justified in the name of security, top Israeli security officials concede that these operations have not made Israel more secure. They have simply inflicted massive suffering on an impoverished densely populated community. Collectively, these assaults amount to crimes against humanity. Such attacks provoke hate and calls for revenge, making all Israelis and Palestinians less safe.

In addition to a ceasefire JVPSD calls for a comprehensive international resolution of the Palestinian situation guided by respect for human rights, international humanitarian law and past UN resolutions. While all parties must be held accountable for war crimes and human rights abuses, the international community must also review the underlying conditions the have subjugated the Palestinians to periodic mass killings by a sophisticated modern army.

We do not excuse Hamas or other Palestinian militants for their attacks on civilians. But our unshakeable belief in justice – as Jews and as human beings – compels us to acknowledge that the root of the violence lies in the Israeli government’s commitment to the occupation of Arab lands in the West Bank and Gaza for over 47 years. The US has enabled this occupation. For real change to occur, here and in Israel, we must all speak out forcefully.

 

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Goatskull July 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm

I need to show this to a couple close friends of mine who are vehemently pro-Israel (one who served in the Israeli Defense Force in the 90’s). They’ll probably tell me where to stick this but always worth a try.

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avatar John Lawrence July 18, 2014 at 2:22 pm

It’s a case of David and Goliath, but this time Israel is Goliath and Palestine is David. As usual the people who do the suffering are innocent civilians. Gaza with 2 million people in an area smaller than the city of Detroit is basically at the mercy of Israel. Why Hamas continues to provoke Israel only to have its own innocent civilians killed is testimony to the fact of how totally irrational human beings really are. What is their point? Granted Israel has wronged them, but sacrificing their people in a vain effort to get Israel to do the right thing is entirely futile. They should try a different approach like maybe a peaceful, conciliatory one.

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avatar David July 20, 2014 at 7:50 pm

I know this is hard to understand but Israel doesn’t want peace. They have been saying they want peace for decades but a look at the record is crystal clear: They want war because war has been very good to Israel. Does it surprise anyone that Israel would say they would go anywhere and talk to anyone about peace and then refuse to talk peace with this one or that one, not have a “partner”, then when they have a “partner” to go to war to destroy the partner and possibility of peace?

The Zionists have been lying from Day one but what they really want has not changed for maybe 100 years: They want all of Palestine and no Palestinians. Once you know this, the history of the ME is simple and uncomplicated. They have been slowly killing off and discouraging Palestinian life for decades now, day after day, year after year and this Gaza operation is just one of the regular killing sprees (under cover of “war”) that is ingredient in the policies.

The crime of the Palestinians is not really that live on land coveted by the Jews, but that they live on this land as gentiles, non-Jews. The Palestinian sin is not being Jewish. If that ain’t racism, what is?

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avatar Ken Shwedel July 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm

John,

What a wonderful comment.

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avatar Joshua Namm July 18, 2014 at 6:48 pm

How do you guys live with yourselves? Our people are in serious danger and you choose to exacerbate it by handing the copious number of Jew haters and Israel haters a PR tool that they will surely use to further their sick cause. It’s appalling. Beyond that, this article is factually weak and absurdly biased (even for people whose religion is, apparently, not Judaism but leftism).

Let’s start from the beginning of this atrociously written piece.

“While most mainstream American Jewish organizations have long abandoned moral responsibility when it comes to Palestinians,..”

Really? Is that why EVERY SINGLE major Jewish institution unequivocally and forcefully condemned the murder of a Palestinian teenager last week? That is merely one example. Jewish organizations routinely condemn actions that are contrary to Jewish values. So that’s lie #1.

“More than 80 per cent of the 260 Palestinian victims to have been killed so far were civilians.”

Does it bother you at all that Hamas, by their own admission, does not allow Palestinians to seek protection in bomb shelters? If you were even remotely fair, you would also mention that Hamas purposely and routinely places strategic targets among the civilian population (including using a UN run school to store explosives-this was verified by the UN this week). What about the fact that Hamas has been targeting Israeli civilians, literally, since Israel’s immediate withdrawal from Gaza? What about the fact that Hamas has a long history of using and abusing the Palestinian people for their own purposes? As a group of supposedly concerned Jews: that seems to matter not to you.

Then there is the big, inexcusable, and most obviously pathetic lie:

“Gaza residents have lived under a brutal occupation for 47 years and a devastating Israeli siege for the past 7 years.”

If you were interested in anything but engaging in the worst form of self-hatred, you would acknowledge how Israel came to occupy Gaza. As you MUST know, Arabs rejected the idea of a Palestinian homeland when they attacked Israel in 1948, thus invalidating the UN’s original partition plan. Jordan, and not Israel, annexed what is now Gaza at that point. In 1967, despite Israel’s please to the contrary, Jordan chose to go to war with Israel. Israel won. At that point it occupied Gaza. In other words, there was no “Palestine” before 1967. That land was part of Jordan.

Additionally, Israel granted self-governance to the Gazans, through the PA, in 1994, and withdrew completely in 2005. Any thinking, concerned, fair person would have acknowledged that fact. In addition Gazans were free to come in and out of Gaza until they decided to use their new found independence to send terrorists into Israel. Terrorists that, once again, targeted civilians – including children. So that would be the source of the “brutal siege.” Israel was protecting its citizens like any sovereign nation on Earth would. Facts are a nasty thing to people like you, aren’t they?

“In addition to a ceasefire JVPSD calls for a comprehensive international resolution of the Palestinian situation guided by respect for human rights, international humanitarian law and past UN resolutions.”

Again, where is your sense of integrity? Hamas refused an Egyptian cease fire plan last week AFTER Israel agreed to it and then violated the terms of a second, UN brokered, cease fire. Israel agreed to, and observed, the terms of the second cease fire – designed to allow time for humanitarian aid to get through to the civilians Palestinian population. But that fact also seemed to have escaped your attention.

Lastly, in your rush to fulfill the worst part of every Israel hating narrative, you neglected to mention that Israel has reacted to, not only the brutal murder of three innocent Jewish boys, but a years long barrage of rockets directed at Israel from Gaza. These attacks were orchestrated by Hamas, a known and acknowledged terrorist organization, whose stated goal is the destruction of Israel and a second Jewish genocide. Israel has, like every other country on Earth, the right to protect itself. Even under those circumstances, it has taken every precaution to protect civilians. Those precautions include, but are not limited to, dropping leaflets to warn civilians of impending attacks and phone calls to residents telling them to evacuate (giving Hamas combatants time to evacuate in the process). What other nation on Earth goes to those lengths to protects innocent people caught in a war zone? The answer is no other. Arab nations certainly do not.

It is exceedingly sad to see Jewish people engaging, and reaffirming, vile examples of anti-Israel hatred. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It is a pluralistic nation that shares the American value of individual freedoms and the Jewish value of love of life. Arabs in Israel are citizens who vote and hold elected office. There is an Arab-Israeli who sits on Israel’s Supreme Court. No Arab nation would extend anything even remotely similar to Jews.

It is also very sad that any Jew would aid and abet our enemies in the way you are here. It is a sad, pathetic, and heartbreaking reminder that even during the Shoah (Holocaust) there were Jews who, inexplicably, chose to help our enemies and aid in mass murdering our people. You are, very unfortunately, no different.

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avatar bob dorn July 19, 2014 at 8:20 am

The message in this latest slaughter of innocents is that war has now become a killing of civilians. In the face of this, Joshua Namm, you are advocating the taking of an eye for an eye, whomever may be killed; in fact, some of your brothers are arguing a killing ratio of one Jew for multiple numbers of Arabs. Do you know this is racism at its worst?
Don’t ignore the message. Civilians are dying. This is not a war, it is radical, biblical vengeance killing.

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avatar Goatskull July 19, 2014 at 7:52 pm

“Radical, Biblical, Vengeance, Killing.” We could call it RBVK for short. Would be a good name for a punk band, don’t you thing Professor Robert?

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avatar bob dorn July 20, 2014 at 9:26 am

I dunno, Professor Goatskull. Punk is not my stile.

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avatar alex shpigel July 20, 2014 at 5:51 am

This piece is just slightly biased..ok, that was sarcasm, its very biased. To say you’re a Jew that opposes the offensive in Gaza. What is it exactly that you oppose? Do you oppose Israel defending itself? Do you oppose them warning the people before they attack the building? Do you oppose them going after the stockpiles of rockets in Gaza? Or do you just oppose the existence of the Jewish state?
Lets go through history a bit. That land was was called Pelshet from the Hebrew “wandering”, probably named by the Egyptians due to the various nomadic groups and the Philistines being one of the major. There are records during the Greek period of it being referred to as Palestine. In 2 CE, the Romans conquered the region and renamed it Palestine in an attempt to cut the ties between the Jews and that land. Today, archaeological records dates all of this so tough to question history.
During the Ottoman Empire, this area was called Southern Syria and not Palestine. So still, no Palestinian people. After WW I, the British controlled this region and most of Jordan. At this time, they called its inhabitants Palestinians and so did the rest of the world until the creation of the Jewish state. At which point, they became Israeli’s and the Arabs of the area took on the title of Palestinians, or as they pronounce it “Filistines”. They have never been mentioned in any sacred Persian, Muslim, or Arabic texts up to this point. Pelshet however is mentioned many times in the Tanakh, so we know there was some designation there. Records show, there were at least 10,000 Jews living in this area at the time of the Ottoman Empire. Guess what…they never left from biblical times.
After the designation of the land for the Jews in 1947, the Arab population was given a choice to become citizens. Of course they did not like that idea and when they were told in 1948 that there was going to be an attack on the new country and it should be quick and easy, most fled to surrounding countries of Arab states. Yes, they went to where other Arabs were. Well, things didn’t go as planned and Israel kicked everyone’s butt. Well now those that fled wanted their property back.
You did fail to mention that there were over 1 MILLION displaced Jews that fled surrounding countries like Iran, Syria, Jordan in fear of their lives. Leaving EVERYTHING behind. To this day, there has been zero apology or reparations. The Arabs on the other hand have been allowed to return and even were given independence several times of course they trashed the place and you know..rockets.
As for these “Palestinians”..These are Arabs who are no different than those in Jordan and Syria. They share the same language, religion and culture. Those countries just don’t want them. Have you heard of Black September? Or how about when Kuwait kicked them out in 1991, or what about Assad starving them in Syria. Ya you forgot to mention those, must have been an oversight.
This word Genocide keeps being thrown around. There are about 400 million Arabs in the Middle East, roughly 315 million of them are Muslim. There are roughly 4 million occupants between Gaza and West Bank. That’s hardly genocide.
Israel has tried several times to create a 2 state solution, they tried giving back land, they tried giving them their own government. Every time, the outcome is the same. They, like you, want Israel gone pretty much off the map. How do you make peace with an enemy who’s end goal is your complete destruction?
Lastly, there are reports of at least 1500 rockets in the past 10 days alone. Where did those come from? Were they donated? Did they get them at bulk rate? Where is the millions the US gave them in aid? Has there been any improvement in infrastructure? Any aid for the poor? Or were they spent on rockets?
I understand there are Jews that just, I don’t know… will leave how your head works to you. But to say this is an occupation or genocide or whatever you want to call it is complete bs. Israel is the ONLY democratic country in the region. The only one that allows non Jews in its government and worship in its borders. How many Synagogues are there near Mecca? I will wait anxiously with that answer.
Lets get real, who is trying to wipe out who?

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avatar kami July 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

If you were fair, you would acknowledge that Israelis treat Palestinians the same as black Africans, during apartheid in South Africa. I don’t hate Jews, and I’m not Muslim. How can a group that was treated so horribly, having their land stolen, forced to live in camps, face horrific conditions solely on their religion, not be allowed a safe place to live….yeah, I don’t know how the Palestinians could have the nerve to want that…..

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avatar Joshua Namm July 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Another INCREDIBLY ignorant comment (from yet another person who “doesn’t hate” Jews). Their land was NOT stolen. Jews have lived in that land since, at least, two millenia before Islam even existed. The only two independent nations that have ever occupied that land before the modern state of Israel were both Jewish. In 1947 the United Nations partitioned what had been a British “protectorate.” Half was to be Jewish and half Arab. The Arabs rejected the agreement, attacked Israel and lost. In what world is that “stealing” (but you don’t hate Jews, right?). Beyond that, there has never, ever, not even once, been a country called “Palestine” or people who referred to their nationality as “Palestinian.” Until 1967 those people, properly, referred to themselves as Arabs, Syrians, and Egyptians.

Which “camps” exactly to Palestinians live in? Gaza? Gaza has no camps. The Jews left behind homes, hospitals and greenhouses that Hamas destroyed immediately after the evacuation. The West Bank? No camps there either. Sorry.

As for your “Apartheid” claim, it is an abject insult to the people who existed under actual Apartheid. If the Israelis were imposing “Apartheid” because of the Arabs’ religion, then why are their Arab Muslims in the Knesset (the Israeli parliament)???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arab_members_of_the_Knesset

Why do Arabs serve in the Israeli army?

Please stop the lies.

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avatar michael-leonard July 23, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Mr. Namm,
kami was asking how can Jews, a people who had those things happen, do those same things to others. (I’m not saying I agree, I’m just interperting the comment for your understanding.)

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avatar David July 24, 2014 at 12:46 am

Israel left nothing in Gaza and invented a tall tale of what it left. And you either fell for that story, or wish to foist it on others. Pure nonsense. On the other hand, Palestinians left homes, orchards, businesses, bank accounts, land, livestock, roads, buildings etc. And this can be documented.

As for theft, people chased off their property and not allowed back, then inhabited by immigrants. This is the world in which this is theft. Unambiguous. What the UN did is not self-determination. Jews never owned more than 8% of Palestine. 55% of Palestine was given to 30% of the population.

Jews have lived in the region for a long long time. So have Christians and other faiths. The small number of Jews does not make for possession.

A modern Palestinian state did not exist, but people lived there, identified with living there and were a cog in the Ottoman world. Modern “nationalism” came late to Arab cultures but it came. These point about “states” are meaningless babble, part of how “complicated” the Zionists say the story really is.

It is not complicated. Armed immigrants came to Palestine with the intention of forming an exclusive state eventually, one without Palestinians. They connived, they cajoled and they lied in order to not signal the real intention, but the native population caught on soon enough. These armed immigrants pushed Palestinians off their property and took that property from them giving most of it to the Jewish Agency which cannot sell land to gentiles. This is theft.

Palestinians want recognition of injustice done them by the Jewish people. This is just like the recognition that Jewish organizations have sought from European states, in recognition of their crimes during the war years. So, the Jewish people are seeking reparations for injustice with one hand and denying reparations for injustices they perpetrate with the other hand. It stinks. Israel’s lies, its crimes, its murder of thousands over the years, all this is a crime perpetrated by the Jewish people on another people.

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avatar Howard Cort July 18, 2014 at 10:19 pm

A wonderful post, but the root of the conflict goes back to the ’48 war and its comsequemces, and even before that, including the Holocaust and the Balfour declaration, and even before that…

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avatar alex shpigel July 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Bob, you do realize that most of the civilians killed were due to their proximity to where the rockets were being fired from or stockpiled right? There are clear admissions by Hamas that this is intentionally done to protect the amo or get public outcry from the pictures after. Please site me a couple of these brothers who are advocating killing any civilians.
Vengeance killing? You may be right…for the killing of 3 Israeli teens and then the firing of over 1500 rockets in 10 days.

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avatar bob dorn July 20, 2014 at 9:15 am

It is possible, just possible, that Israel is making a mistake. Destroying weapons stockpiles doesn’t justify the ratio of civilian kills you’re tolerating. Israel’s mouthpiece two nights ago was caught claiming Hamas had sheltered its rockets in an Arab school and embarrassed by the MSNBC host who reminded him that the school had been closed down. The truth is the first casualty in war.
And you should calm down and stop lobbing your own loose claims (“There are clear admissions by Hamas…”) and flamethrower language at people who want to stop war in all its ugly and destructive versions.

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avatar Goatskull July 19, 2014 at 7:35 pm
avatar Joshua Namm July 19, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Bob Dorn: why would I ignore your message? I won’t ignore it or its profound stupidity. First of all, instead of spewing the usual anti-Israel talking points, it would have been more constructive for you to actually respond to the facts in my post. But instead of doing that, you manufactured meaning in my post that was not there because there is no rational defense for this insipid article in view of the facts. In NO place in my post did I advocate, in ANY way, the killing of civilians or an “eye for an eye.” That is a lie on your part and not worthy of any further comment. But if you want to talk about “racism” (not sure how it can be “racism when Jews and Arabs are the same race, but we’ll excuse that bit of ignorance and continue), Gaza was given complete independence five years ago. Rather than build something, Gazans decided to elect Hamas (an organization whose stated goal is a second Jewish genocide) and began firing rockets into Israel (always aimed at civilian areas, including schools). This has been going on for FIVE YEARS. Israel, like every nation on this planet, has a right to defend itself. Yet you, and people like you, ignore that fact and reserve your ire not for the activities of the Palestinians for the previous five years, but for Israel when it finally defends itself. If you want to look for the closest example of “racism,” look in the mirror.

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avatar bob dorn July 20, 2014 at 9:21 am

My apologies to Alex Shpigel. The comment below was mistakenly appended to his posting a paragraph above yours, Joshua Namm. It was meant for you, because you, Joshua Namm.
———————————————————–
It is possible, just possible, that Israel is making a mistake. Destroying weapons stockpiles doesn’t justify the ratio of civilian kills you’re tolerating. Israel’s mouthpiece two nights ago was caught claiming Hamas had sheltered its rockets in an Arab school and embarrassed by the MSNBC host who reminded him that the school had been closed down. The truth is the first casualty in war.
And you should calm down and stop lobbing your own loose claims (“There are clear admissions by Hamas…”) and flamethrower language at people who want to stop war in all its ugly and destructive versions.

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avatar Goatskull July 20, 2014 at 10:12 am

My question to you is: What should Israel do when they get fired on? Opt not to fire back because of the rick of civilian casualties?

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avatar bob dorn July 20, 2014 at 11:42 am

International help is available. International help gave Israel the territory in the first place, right?

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avatar Goatskull July 20, 2014 at 11:58 am

Yes it did but what would the international help consist of at this point?

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avatar bob dorn July 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Prof. Goatskull, see my comment below Jonathan Graubart’s, which follows.

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avatar Jonathan Graubart July 20, 2014 at 10:40 am

Thanks to all for your comments. I was saddened, however, at the descent into the most vicious demonization of our motives, trotting out the old canard of “self-hatred.” The three of us who wrote the piece and the other members of JVP all care intensely about justice and in inspiring morally responsible behavior in the Jewish community and in the United States more generally. We can disagree about what type of policies will best bring about justice and what is the best stance American Jews can take but resorting to ugly name calling simply chills discussion and projects massive intolerance. We at JVP have been devoted to extending the conversation well beyond what the bulk of American Jewish organizations have normally tolerated.

As far as bias, yes we’re biased. We indicated our bias from the beginning. But the point is our views come from a place of deep connection to the Jewish community and an eagerness to learn about Israel-Palestine and the broader context and develop an adequate moral compass. What we submitted was an op-ed focused on the current horrors. The attackers on this page noted no inaccuracies but went into a very loaded historical narrative with no effort to link it to scholarly sources.

This is not the forum to go into any detail of what happened in 1948 and 1967. For 1948, a good starting point is the edited volume, The War for Palestine (Cambridge U Press, 2007). For 1967, there’s the volume The 1967 Arab-Israeli War: Origins and Consequences (Cambridge, 2012). Notice that these are peer-reviewed careful volumes, not the rants of Mr. Namm. I note that Mr. Namm couldn’t even keep straight who controlled Gaza before 1967. It was Egypt, not Jordan.

As we noted in our column, we don’t defend Hamas or other Palestinian militants. That is one reason we called for a full international accounting of the actions committed by all parties. With regard to what started the current crisis, there is no clear focus that we can all agree on (the kidnapping of three Yeshiva students, Israel’s response of going into the West Bank, taking hundreds of prisoners, killing at least 6 Palestinians, tightening the illegal blockade) but we find it most useful to focus on the continued occupation of Gaza (no settlements or Israeli bases in Gaza but it controls the borders, periodically goes back in for military operations, intercepts all phone-internet communications which is why it has the capability to call every household; Yoram Dinstein, the distinguished Israeli law professor, agrees that because of this effective control, coupled with the Gaza and WB being considered one entity, occupation law still applies, see his International Law of Belligerent Occupation, a Cambridge publication) coupled with the siege that has left Gaza a humanitarian disaster.

In terms of what Israel can do differently as opposed to massive bombing and a ground attack in which it knows more than 75% will be noncombatants, I refer you to the International Crisis Group report, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/middle-east-north-africa/israel-palestine/b039-gaza-and-israel-new-obstacles-new-solutions.aspx

This is made up of leading nonpartisan experts, some with military experience, some ex-diplomats. the ICG has terrific contacts as you can see from its extensive interviews. It calls for Israel to accept the PLO-Hamas reconciliation worked out in April and actually follow the terms set forth to end the November 2012 Israeli onslaught, which was ending the blockade and making arrangements to monitor the borders of Gaza. The ICG added coming up with a pay to pay the salaries of 43,000 civil servant officials in Gaza who were hired after Hamas assumed complete control in 2007. Under the reconciliation accord, there were to be no Hamas officials in the new provisional government (Hamas stated it no longer wanted governing responsibility). Moreover, Abbas repeated his support for all prior agreements including the so-called Quartet and that PA forces would continue to coordinate security arrangements with Israel. The Hamas leadership raised no objection.

So, Israel, according to the leading conflict resolution international think tank had options other than bombing away. It chose not to with the reasons being that it does not want a unity Fatah-Hamas government.

As you can see, I have tried to lay out further explanation without being insulting, pointing to well-regarded sources, and not throwing out loose charges like someone is engaged in “genocide,” I wish the attackers could plausibly claim the same.

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avatar David July 20, 2014 at 8:22 pm

This is a very reasonable presentation of Jewish Voice for Peace positions. Thanks.

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avatar kami July 23, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Thank you for caring enough to try & bring the truth to the people…

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avatar bob dorn July 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Well, for starters, UN Secretary General arrived in Gaza yesterday “to help bolster regional and international efforts for a solution” to the crisis in Palestine, says the UN Security Council website. The Council, composed of 15 member states, “has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members, and each Member has one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.”
Israel’s a member of the UN.

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avatar michael-leonard July 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Um, Mr. Dorn, there’s Gaza and Israel but there IS NO PALESTINE.
Please be careful; loose words can demonstrate bias whether or not it is true.

Also, all can please see Alan Dershovitz’s commentary (http://www.aish.com/jw/me/Civilian-Deaths-in-Gaza.html) which even Steve Breen knows is absolute truth (http://www.utsandiego.com/photos/2014/jul/17/1387063/).

What is a “proportionate response” when your existance is at stake?

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avatar bob dorn July 20, 2014 at 6:24 pm

bob dorn July 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm
I don’t know whom you’re quoting about about “proportionate response” but 340 dead Palestinians and 2 dead Israelis indicates Israel is not having a difficult time establishing its military dominance of the region.
I’ve been accused of using the word “genocide,” and I have not. Another critic
has called me a racist for contrasting Jews and Arabs, and you have refused to
allow Palestine as a word.
Look this isn’t a race war, it’s a religious one. I’ve called what is proceeding
at this moment a biblical sort of vengeance and am sorry to have say it again, but it’s true.
Let’s try to get this back to the question of who’s dying, and why. Ought civilians be killed by the military in the name of self-defense? You’re not going to convince me of that.

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avatar David July 20, 2014 at 8:23 pm

How do rockets threaten one’s “existence?” The only thing threatened with extinction is the Palestinian people.

And Zionism.

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avatar Joshua Namm July 20, 2014 at 1:17 pm

First of all, to those claiming that Israel was somehow the product of humanitarian aid: that is incorrect. Beginning in the 1890s Jews started purchasing land from Arabs, in what became Israel. Virtually all of the land that comprised Israel in 1947 when the UN resolution happened was bought from Arabs. So to be clear: the land was bought and paid for. Israel was an unpopulated and desolate part of that world at that point. The Arab world did not have any interest in it, at all, until the Jews made something of it…now on to Mr. Graubart…

You were saddened? The vast number of Jews are saddened each and every time there is a hit piece like yours from someone who calls themselves Jewish. There is a place for legitimate criticism of Israeli policy, but your deception, and that is what it is, is that you couch your ugly article in terms that imply that it is merely about policy. Calling you a self-hating Jew is not a “canard,” but an obvious fact to anyone but the anti-Semitic wretches that your piece is directed at. You do what our enemies do: you vilify Israel and then drape your attacks in the self-righteous language of the far left. If you cared about justice, you would have written a fair piece, like hundreds of others out there, but instead you wrote the kind of thing that normally only appears in the pages of pieces by pro-Hamas propagandists. And once again the “the bulk of American Jewish organizations” span the political spectrum. Each and every one of them denounces any violence that is the product of revenge or unnecessary in any way. Claiming, again, that you and you alone are fairly vetting Israel’s actions is just one more lie. It is an obvious absurdity.

If you had a “deep connection” to the Jewish community, you would be working with us inside of it, not producing hit pieces in rags like this one. It is at times like this that unity within the community is crucial. Giving credence to our enemies through your dishonesty is harming the very community that you claim to have a deep connection to. Anti-Semitism is at record levels and you seem to have no qualms with stirring up a little more. Your claim that you are concerned about the Jewish community, in San Diego, or the world-wide community, is laughable. You have NO moral compass: if you did, you wouldn’t have produced a propaganda piece that would have made the Soviet era Pravda proud.

As for your sources, yes, I misspoke, I meant Egypt and not Jordan, but I assure you I have spent a lifetimes steeped in our history. But if we are talking about who can keep what straight, I will refer you to your entire op-ed which is rife with inaccuracies (which I have already detailed). It is also extremely telling that you have chosen to attack the supposed inaccuracies of my comments, but say nothing about the wildly inaccurate posts in support of your article (and then go on to self-righteously, and dishonestly, claim that you have refrained from insults). As I said, people like you are a very unwelcome reminder of the fact that there were Jews who supported the Nazis. It is unthinkable to the rest of us, but you are aiding and abetting our enemies in the same way. You did not even have the decency to print your “Op-Ed” in a Jewish newspaper (or, wait, let me guess-no one would print your pro-Hamas propaganda?).

I can cite sources too. But citing “good places to start” and notating sources is not a replacement for intellectual or factual gravitas-both of which your article is sorely lacking.
“As we noted in our column, we don’t defend Hamas or other Palestinian militants.”

That comment is simply delusional at best and an obvious lie at worst.

“With regard to what started the current crisis, there is no clear focus that we can all agree on.”

Israel has stated several times that the current operation was because of a constant influx of rockets into Israel from Gaza. The rockets attacks (aimed at civilians) have been happening since the Israeli withdrawal. As I am sure scholars of your caliber must understand, Israel withdrew fully from Gaza. It left behind homes, green houses and infrastructure that Hamas promptly destroyed. Instead of making something of Gaza (like the Jews did with the rest of Israel), it chose to start firing rockets into Israel almost immediately. I realize that those facts upset your ugly narrative, but it is obvious to everyone what caused the current operation. Your continued obfuscation does not obviate the facts. I am thrilled that Yoram Dinstein agrees with you, but all but the morally dim or the exceedingly delusional understand that Gaza was free to do as it pleased after the occupation ended. It chose violence (once again) and Israel has the obligation, like every country on Earth, to protect its people.

Implying that Abbas has acted as a good faith partner in peace is as absurd as most of your other claims. It’s very simple: entering into a unity government with an organization (Hamas) whose stated goal is a second Jewish genocide, invalidates any possible credibility the man had as a legitimate partner in peace. Once again, you neglect to mention several of the facts: particularly the fact that Israel has offered, on at least two separate occasions, to give the Palestinians their own state. Each time they refused. Your “canard” is that you act as though the Palestinian leadership has shown any genuine interest in a two state solution. When, in fact, they have made it increasingly clear that they want a one state “solution,” and their desire is for that state to compromise all of what is now Israel. You must know this and your unwillingness to acknowledge it betrays your own obvious feelings toward the Jewish state. Oh I am sorry, did that conflict with the findings of the “leading conflict resolution international think tank”? Because the international community has never shown any bias toward Israel (heavy sarcasm intended).
“As you can see, I have tried to lay out further explanation without being insulting, pointing to well-regarded sources, and not throwing out loose charges like someone is engaged in “genocide,” I wish the attackers could plausibly claim the same.’”

Your sources are “well regarded” by yourself. The world of Academia is steeped in the same type of bias that you have engaged in here. It is not I, but Hamas and a growing number of people around the world, that are publicly advocating a second Jewish genocide. It is not an insult, but a fact, albeit an ugly one. That your feelings are hurt by the truth is not my concern. What is my concern is that people understand that your piece is inaccurate, biased, and dangerous.

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avatar David July 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm

You are long winded. I’ll have to take the lies one by one:

1.”Virtually all of the land that comprised Israel in 1947 when the UN resolution happened was bought from Arabs.” Untrue. Jews never owned more than 8% of Mandate Palestine. 55% of this land was granted to Jews in the UN Partition Plan which was not recognized by the Palestinians who felt (rightly) that NO PART of their country should be sliced away for an immigrant population.

2. “Israel was an unpopulated and desolate part of that world at that point.” Untrue. It was populated with Palestinians who are human beings despite what the Zionists think. Not only this but these Palestinians had a high level of culture and life in Palestine, reflective of the Levant in general. It was all destroyed by Zionism to make way for an ethnic state for Jews.

3.” If you had a “deep connection” to the Jewish community, you would be working with us inside of it, not producing hit pieces in rags like this one. It is at times like this that unity within the community is crucial.” Mr. Graubart does not hate himself, I will assure anyone. I can speak about his feelings for people like you, however. It is the false idol of Zionism, i.e. the State, that has ruined that “community” that you think should “unite.” When a Zionist speaks about “uniting”, my instinct is to run fast the other way because what he means is “see it my way”, support an ethnic nationalism even though such states have proven to be pretty undesirable. Zionism, the stupid idea that a religious community should also identify itself as a “national” community, is the main cause of ME instability and it has fractured the Jewish community, leaving the best and brightest outside the fold, often up in arms in defiance of Zionism as possible. I can give you some names, if you like. I would start with Einstein and Freud, but we can go from there. It is clear that the best and brightest of the Jewish people were not Zionists, did not, do not gravitate to the racist idea of the state, the blasphemous idol of state worship.

4.As I said, people like you are a very unwelcome reminder of the fact that there were Jews who supported the Nazis. ” Unfortunately, there is not a single argument about Zionism and Israel in which the defender does not invoke either the Holocaust or Hitler to make a point. The truth is that you sir are much closer to the betrayer than Mr. Graubart. You cleave to a ideology that is, in all important respects, a mirror of Nazism, an ideology that is fundamentally racist AND supremacist, just like Adolf and his guys. You argue for an ideology that thinks nothing of territorial conquest and acquisition (remember Adolf?), evokes tribal ties and lusts rather than reason, is militaristic, racist and conformist. Much, much closer to the nasty Nazis than Graubart.

5.”As I am sure scholars of your caliber must understand, Israel withdrew fully from Gaza.” Not so. Israel did not “fully” withdraw. It kept Gaza in blockade (act of war!). I see now that you intend to repeat the whole slew of hasbarist lies, and frankly, I have other things to do than painstakingly go over the emptiness of this tall tale with you.

But — as for a second Jewish genocide, this is not in the offing at all, and you know it. What is in the offing is a genocide of Palestinians, in fact it is on-going.

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avatar Joshua Namm July 20, 2014 at 1:22 pm

For those of you who continually mention the “ratio of civilians killed,” what you are really saying is that you would not be complaining as much if more Jews died. Lovely. That Israel has technology to protect its people, does not somehow make the incursion into Gaza any less moral or necessary. Once again, there is copious evidence that Hamas is purposely using its people as shields and hindering their ability to stay safe. It is at Hamas, and not Israel, that your rage should be directed (if you actually cared about the Palestinians, which I do not believe that you do).

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avatar bob dorn July 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm

I don’t know whom you’re quoting about about “proportionate response” but 340 dead Palestinians and 2 dead Israelis indicates Israel is not having a difficult time establishing its military dominance of the region.
I’ve been accused of using the word “genocide,” and I have not. Another critic
has called me a racist for contrasting Jews and Arabs, and you have refused to
allow Palestine as a word.
Look this isn’t a race war, it’s a religious one. I’ve called what is proceeding
at this moment a biblical sort of vengeance and am sorry to have say it again, but it’s true.
Let’s try to get this back to the question of who’s dying, and why. Ought civilians be killed by the military in the name of self-defense? You’re not going to convince me of that.

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avatar Joshua Namm July 20, 2014 at 9:53 pm

I will not be responding to “David’s” comments because it is the usual anti-Israel, anti-Semitic tripe disguised as concern for human rights. He’s a bigot and, and like all bigots, isn’t worthy of wasting time on. But, I hope that the authors of the Op-Ed read replies such as his and understand why writing a piece like this is so heinously wrong. If you do not get that, then, what can I say, you are just as bad as David here and really are self-hating Jews. You have played directly into the hands of the people who hate us and would like nothing more than to see us removed from this planet. By doing so, you made the world just a little bit less safe for every single Jew on Earth. I hope your proud of yourselves boys…

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avatar David July 20, 2014 at 10:10 pm

One other thought. You say I’m a bigot, but today I heard guys like you chanting “Death to Arabs!” Who’s the bigot? See “inverted” — get it?

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avatar David July 20, 2014 at 10:12 pm

The only Jews I truly hate are Menachem Begin and Netanyahu, these plastic poseurs, conning a people that should know better.

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avatar David July 20, 2014 at 10:13 pm

(I can’t help myself.) Beyond your self-involvement, what about the safety of other people, like Palestinians?

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avatar David July 20, 2014 at 10:08 pm

They all hate you, huh? And because you’re Jewish, right? What did you do to make them hate you? Nothing? Then, why you? Maybe you just think they all hate you? Is that possible? Could you be wrong?

I do not, as a rule, go for ad hominem about the speaker but rather respond to the message. But what do you do when there is no message? One piece of advice: You are an unhealthy type and could use some therapy to make your perceptions and feelings like the rest of us as opposed to “paranoid supremacist.” Try it, you’ll like it.

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avatar William James Woodward July 26, 2014 at 9:38 am

David, it is so good to see someone of the Jewish faith coming out with the truth that not all Jewish people support the military offensive that Israel has mounted against Palestinians in the Gaza strip. When a non-Jew makes any kind of statement against Israel’s ongoing attacks against surrounding Arab nations over the past 60 year we get branded as Anti-Semitic, because many just can’t seem to see or understand the separation between politics and religion. To them attacking the politics is also attacking the religion, which is absolutely ridiculous. At least it becomes much more difficult for these people to say that a member of the Jewish faith is an Anti-Semite if he speaks out against Israel. You have great courage for taking a stand.

It matters not who is right or who is wrong, it matters not who did what to whom. What matters here is only one thing, that innocent men, women and children are being killed at a horrific rate. Over 1000 civilians have been killed in the Gaza strip since the beginning of this offensive. Israel boasts that they’ve taken extraordinary measures to make sure that civilian casualties are kept to a minimum. Pure rubbish, if they truly were doing so they wouldn’t be targetting residential neighborhoods, hospitals and schools in the first place. This has nothing whatsoever to do with “security”, but rather, expansionism, domination and unbridled vengeance on Israel’s part. This is why in the recent vote by the United Nations Human Rights Council only the United States, who for their own political interests has blindly backed Israel and the ongoing aggression for decades, voted against the resolution.

I thank you and commend you for your honesty and courage in speaking out against this senseless violence that escalated beyond all acceptable levels.

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avatar David July 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm

We must do what we can to stop this. You can bet that if the fight were not in the US interests, as defined by the administration, it could be stopped in a moment. The US is responsible for this assault and I can barely contain myself when I hear the adminstration, Kerry or other spokespeople saying how “heartbreaking” it all is.

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avatar Goatskull July 26, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Go git em.

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