Why I Do Not Blame Israel At All

There is no excuse for the shooting down of Malaysia flight MH17. That was not some rebel with a shoulder fired SAM, but a sophisticated missile battery including separate command/control, radar, and launch elements, each requiring trained operators, and having somewhat refined technical capabilities. Somebody, or should I say some group, had to work together to purposely shoot down what they certainly should have been able to identify as a civilian aircraft.


I don’t think there is much question about which side of the conflict is responsible, or where the hardware came from. As I understand Russian military command and control is fairly strict, not prone to allowing local ground commanders a lot of leeway, so… I think the only question at this point is how far up the chain of command this will be prosecuted.

Looking at the Israel/Palestinian issue from a personal perspective, it seems to me that much of our American south clings to the thought that “they” are occupied by a federalist victor of the “recent unpleasantries.” Now how would we feel if, say, Washington DC were to come under attack by missiles fired from “occupied” South Carolina by southern terrorists? Or maybe New York City by separatist remnants of the Shinicah and Manhatanoes tribes of the Wappinger Confederacy of the Seneca Indian nation (who didn’t really sell Manhattan to the Dutch for $24) because lands had been stolen? Or maybe Miami by the Seminoles? Or by Cuba? I dare say that after the first missile we as a nation would be out kicking some terrorist/separatist/indigenous people’s/Cuban butt! So why shouldn’t Israel?

The nation was established in 1948 as just the latest in a series of socio-political states created for western expediency in the region. But then again, so was “Palestine.”  As history has proven over and over again however, when unrelated peoples (think Czechoslovakia, even the Soviet Union, the English, Turkish and Roman Empires)are artificially grouped together and called a nation, it seldom works.

At least Israel is a nation of people of similar interest, heritage and purpose. That is something no other group in the region has – except of course for the hatred of the Jew.

This is not a new problem, however, in a modern world, after 66-years, one would expect some sort of peaceful arrangement. But no. Anti-Israel hostilities have been constant; the PLO agitators provoked the 1967 six day war, and in self-defense, to protect itself from Palestinian aggression, Israel occupied the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights and Gaza strip. The PLO, however, has never stopped it’s guerrilla war, not under Arafat, and not since with Hamas.  They are a people of tribes, not of nations, of nomads, not modern people. They have never been, and will never be, an organized structure that can control the radicals. That is the history of that part of the world.

Since July 8th, 1500 missiles were launched against Israel and it is enough to break the proverbial camel’s back, especially as the Hamas terrorists also brag of 10,000 more hidden in tunnels and bedrooms and shops. I’m sorry but I don’t blame Israel at all!

Like the Irish Protestants that fought for years, the Welsh and even the Scotts before them, eventually maybe some peace will come. But like the situations in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and so many other places, this issue will not be resolved any time soon I am afraid. If ever.

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Posted by on July 23, 2014. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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21 Responses to Why I Do Not Blame Israel At All

  1. Norman Rampart

    July 23, 2014 at 11:16 am

    The figures may be slightly inaccurate and, indeed, different by now, but Israel had lost 70 or 80 combat troops and the Palestinians over 300 civilians?

    Even my faulty mathematics can work out the Israeli’s have way overstepped the mark.

    Palestinian hospitals have been targeted as it is believed Hammas leaders are hidden in tunnels beneath said hospitals. And? There are NO justifiable reasons for targeting hospitals.

    The Israeli’s are long perceived as the ‘civilised’ nation amongst the ‘savages’. That ‘perception’ is very important to maintain.

    During WWII, whilst there were indeed a couple of Arab/Muslim SS Divisions, thousands of Muslims protected their Jewish neighbours – Muslim Albania was the only country in Europe in which there were more Jews after the war than there had been before the war.

    Muslim heroes included the Bosnian Dervis Korkut, who harbored a young Jewish woman resistance fighter named Mira Papo and saved the Sarajevo Haggadah, one of the most valuable Hebrew manuscripts in the world; the Turk, Selahattin Ulkumen, whose rescue of fifty Jews from the ovens of Auschwitz led to the death of his wife Mihrinissa soon after she gave birth to their son Mehmet when the Nazis retaliated for his heroism; and the Albanian Refik Vesili who – at the age of 16 – saved eight Jews by hiding them in his family’s mountain home.

    Israel needs to be careful. The support and they’ve always had is wavering a little.

    Not for one moment am I suggesting we should forget that Hammas, like the PLO before them, are also culpable of atrocities but two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Israel must defend itself but it must also seek to avoid civilian casualties – there will always be some in a war but to be openly stating you are targeting civilian areas due to Hammas hiding there is barbaric. Saying you gave civilians adequate warning to get out is, frankly, pathetic.

    Israel has always needed the high moral ground and, right now, it hasn’t got it.

    It needs to get it back. And quickly.

    Having said all of that, I remain an admirer of the Israeli’s and, given what has happened when we stopped supporting Saddam and what happened in Egypt when Mubarak no longer had any support shows only too well that not supporting the leader – or country in Israel’s case – that ensures some kind of control in what you rightly say is otherwise a fragmented and factious part of the world can be disastrous for, as we have seen and as you say, the radicals move in.

    Peace is a world away eh?

    • Pennyjane Hanson

      July 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      norman. moral absolutes always trouble me….well, just about all absolutes trouble me, but moral ones in particular. if israeli intelligence had absolutely identified a nuclear missile silo parked under a hospital in gaza, and they were absolutely convinced that a missile was about to be launched from that silo aimed at tel aviv, would there still be absolutely no justification for targeting that hospital for destruction? well, not the hospital, but the silo under it….not the hospital, but the rocket launcher on the roof?

      it’s odd to me that Israel’s moral standing seems to go down coincidental with it’s escalating ability to defend itself. it’s still defending itself, what does how effectively they do it have to do with the morality of doing it?

      the body count in war, i came to realize from my own experience in vietnam, speaks nothing of the morality of the combatants…just to their military capabilities.

      • Norman Rampart

        July 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm

        I know. I do like and admire the Israeli’s but maybe if they were a bit less, or appeared a bit less gung-ho about it all.

        Still. I live in relatively peaceful and happy England. I guess if was Israeli and lived in Tel Aviv I might have far fewer moral dilemma’s when it comes to this sort of thing eh?

        • Pennyjane Hanson

          July 23, 2014 at 5:17 pm

          well….crazy as it might sound, if you don’t have a heaping helping of gung ho in war than you better get it on red ball requisition right now. i’m no fan of testosterone, that poisonous sludge, but in war you want all you can get your hands on.

          but…i see your point, from here in indiana where the only rockets we see are on tv, lifting off the pads at cape canaveral.

  2. Bill Formby

    July 23, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Stacy, you make a good argument and I understand where you are coming from. I do not pretend to understand the mind set of people in the Mideast, but I would like to play devil’s advocate for a moment. The creation of the nation state of Israel was as much about punishing certain Arab countries and rewarding Jewish people, as well as giving the Christian’s God’s people their biblical homeland back to them. This was what they wanted and this is what they got. Why they chose to be located in the most hostile place in the world for them, I don’t know, but I guess it has to do with their version of a big guy in the sky saying that it belonged to them. Since that time we have pretty well given them access to most of our advanced weaponry and given them the aid to afford it. That has, since WWII been a poke in the eye to many Islamic nations. Combine that with the fact that we imposed our hand picked ruler on Iran who was no less of a tyrant than was Saddam Hessian was to Iraq. Actually, he may have been more brutal. We have pretty much given Muslim nations a reason to hate us and the Palestinians, who were displaced by our choice of where we put the Jewish people, even more of a reason to hate both of us.
    Granted your statement is correct that the Persians were never a nation by modern terms and they were more of a nation of nomadic tribes as they had been for thousands of years. But, other than the military might of us and our allies, where did we get the right to start dividing up the world into different nations. It is somewhat similar to what us of European descent did to this country called America. We came, we saw, we conquered, and the people that were already here, well, we did with them as we pleased because there was no one to tell us no except our conscious which we left somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean while we were buying slaves.
    Human kind really cannot be trusted to resolve its on issues because they really do look out for their on interests even to the detriment of others. We have been friends and enemies with just about everyone at some point in time as long as it furthered our interests. So, do I blame Israel for fight for its existence, no. That’s called self preservation. On the other hand, do I blame the Palestinians for being angry that their entire way of life was simply taken away from them because we decided it would, no, not really. But, the world was changing at the time and they did not want to change and we did not give them a choice.

    • Pennyjane Hanson

      July 23, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      bill. i don’t propose to know much about the mindset of those in the middle east either but maybe i can help you a little. the jewish people didn’t just toss a dart at a world map and decide to create a homeland wherever it landed. you can ridicule their motives if you want but…that just obscures things, it’s not very useful to an open discussion….they have motives and they are tangible and sane.

      the jewish people believe, even if you may not, that they have a right to a homeland right where it is. they didn’t need permission or even acquiescence from one single christian…they were going there and that was that. “next year in jerusalem” came long before Christ and became an emanate necessity to them in the aftermath of the holocaust. political intrigue and devious motives came into play in all the maneuvering done at the time…isn’t that always the case? if a man jumps in the river to save a drowning baby one can’t know for sure if his motive was to save the baby or to get his name in the paper. if you believe the state of israel is about saving the baby then the motive isn’t integral to the result. if you believe it was about getting your name in the paper, then i see your point, it’s all madness.

  3. Norman Rampart

    July 23, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I just wish everyone would stop killing everyone.

  4. Stacey Gray

    July 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I note several comments here opposing the alleged targeting of civilian targets and civilian casualties. Yes, terrible, all wars and all deaths are. But this one comes with a slight difference. Remember that the action being brought by the Palestinians is a civilian uprising. There is no Army of Palestine, they don’t wear uniforms, they don’t display their politics, they are in fact civilians. Hence, every Palestinian injured is a civilian because none of them are soldiers.

    They fight from their homes, from their shops and even hospitals, or your house, shop or hospital if you happen to live in the disputed territory disputed at the moment, they don’t seem to be terribly concerned about their neighbors. They chose to launch their missiles from the neighborhood soccer field, or the bakery parking lot etc., they choose to hide behind their women and children, hide in the schools and mosques, and quite frankly as with any other guerilla war some of those “shields” are indeed legitimate military targets or are armed combatants themselves. Who can tell which woman has a rifle if her dress or a grenade in her bag, which woman, child, old or infirm is a suicide bomber, which shop holds stored weapons. It is the Palestinian fighters who choose to put their people in harm’s way. Surely there is some uninhabited area where they could face off with the Israeli Army if they choose to do so, without endangering non-combatants.

    And they have had no qualms about causing civilian casualties in Israel either. Their crude rockets are not “guided missiles, but just self-propelled bombs pointed in the direction of Israel with an… if I may quote from Tom Lehrer’s song “Werner von Braun” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEJ9HrZq7Ro) “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down”. The Palestinians don’t care where they come down, they don’t care who is on the busses they blew up or who was around the car bombs, airplanes or grenades they have exploded for years and years…. Not their concern.

    And they seem to have had no qualms about the 3 Israeli boys who were abducted June 12 and brutally murdered, an event that seems central to the current escalation by Israeli military forces. They have brought this upon themselves.

    66 years this has been going on. Few of the current Palestinian militants were even born when Israel came into existence. This is a “Family Feud”, on a grander scale (or is it lesser?) and with lethal modern military hardware admittedly, but a matter of honor passed from father to son, in the tradition of Hatfield and McCoys. And every bit as senseless.

    With things as bad as they are right now in Gaza, as they and their allies decry Israel’s military actions and socio-economic sanctions, border restrictions, control of water and power and the movement of people & supplies – Palestinian terrorists continue to rain unguided rockets onto Israel. They hide among their women and children to escape military confrontation with Israeli forces, yet blatantly, obstinately continue to target the Israeli civilians. So I find it suspect when they cry foul alleging the targeting of “civilian” targets in the strip.

    Someone on the news just asked “How long can the people continue to suffer like this” with power, water and food being restricted by Israel. I ask how long will their terrorists continue their attacks? The attacks that bring these very sanctions upon their people?

    And how long will Israel put up with it? Starting with Dresden, consider the bombing campaigns of WWII. How many millions of civilians died as the Allied forces eliminated the enemy’s ability to wage war? Is that what it will take to stop the Palestinian attacks? How many will die then?

    • Michael John Scott

      July 23, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      You make some very good points here Stacey and I can’t find myself disagreeing with any of them. While I despise war in all forms I understand that sometimes it is necessary. Israel has been bombarded day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year by the terrorists of Palestine and at some point they have to say enough. They are doing that, sad as it may be.

    • Pennyjane Hanson

      July 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      moral equivalency? when those three israeli boys were kidnapped off the street, tortured and murdered, the perpetrators were hailed by the palestinian authority, hamas and even one of the suspect’s mother’s as hero’s. the palestinian authority denied any help to the israeli authorities to identify and bring the perpetrator’s to justice.

      when one palestinian boy was kidnapped and murdered in retaliation the israeli authorities launched an immediate investigation and have since arrested six suspects and have committed themselves to bringing them to justice.

      when i’m sitting around my safe little dinner table deciding who is the good guy and who is the bad guy, i find things like this informative.

    • Norman Rampart

      July 24, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      I know your right really Stacey. I’m just a bit of a wimp when it comes to wars and stuff – unless its a movie….

      • Bill Formby

        July 24, 2014 at 11:50 pm

        Pennyjane, so far as I know, historically, the Mideast has long been a land of nomadic people. Of course this pre dates the biblical account of the world being created by a God so it does not necessarily gel with who has what right to a specific piece of land. Even before Rome conquered Israel, Alexander the Great had conquered and ruled over most all of the land that the Arabs and Jewish and Muslim people now fight over. This only proves that they fight over religious ideology because historically that piece of land has belong to whom ever could hold on to it by force. The Jewish people, when one speaks of the Holocaust, were slaughter by the Germans, not by the Muslims or the Arabs (that is those people who originated from that part of the world that was once known as Arabia). The Holocaust was about a madman who saw the Jewish people as inferior. But he also saw everyone else who was not of Aryan birth as inferior and would have, if allowed, killed everyone not so born. The issue in the Middle East is a religious conundrum that everyone seems to want to make to make it about territory. It is the same thing they have been fighting over since the sixth century A.D. Nothing has changed and nothing will change unless everyone decides to stop forcing their religious beliefs on others. It is really just that simple. Millions and millions of people have died and will continue to die over the fact that other people believe different than others. That is almost as stupid and as insane as Hitler was except this insanity resides in people who purportedly believe in peace. What a crazy damn world.

        • Michael John Scott

          July 25, 2014 at 10:54 am

          Hitler wasn’t a madman, at least not in the clinical sense. Der Fuehrer wasn’t insane. On the contrary, he was as sane as anyone, only with different goals and objectives. He made choices, rational choices in his mind, to take certain actions to achieve certain goals. To him, and his legions of followers, these were perfectly sound decisions based on a worthy goal. Quite frankly had he died before his invasion of Poland he would have gone down in history as Adolph the Great, having enacted some of the first laws governing the treatment of animals, anti-smoking regulations, a car for all the folk, and the very first freeway system, the autobahn, copied by Ike after the war, among other things. His designs on Europe and Russia were two fold: lebensraum, or living space for the people of the Reich, and ethnic cleansing, both of which he accomplished with an uncanny efficiency precisely because he had so much help. As he neared the end of his “reign” so to speak, he suffered a variety of health conditions that didn’t help his decision making, and that worked against his ability to make rational choices. I would list them but life is too short.

  5. Pennyjane Hanson

    July 25, 2014 at 12:45 am

    bill. i guess it just that you can so casually dismiss the beliefs of others whose beliefs differ from your own that allows you to state that, necessarily, fighting was going on before creation. of course you are right and us poor idiots who don’t think just like you are wrong about everything.

    has it ever occurred to you that it might just be that kind of arrogance and disrespect that causes so much of the fighting you so disdain?

    just to help you along a little…hitler didn’t hate jews because of their religion, if that were the case he’d have celebrated those who converted instead of herding them into the gas chamber alongside the practicing jews. he hated them for the same reason the arabs do, it’s tribal. his tribe was best, he disdained all religion…except his tribe’s….nazism. religion is just the low hanging fruit picked by people who lack the intellectual curiosity to reach above it.

    what you seem to be unable, or unwilling, to grasp is that the jews are one of the many tribes that call that part of the world home. you don’t have to like it, heck, you don’t even have to believe it, you can believe the sun goes around the earth if you want….but that doesn’t change a thing over there….they believe it. the jews do and so do the arabs. the same fighting has gone on for as long as we have history to record. as the religions have come and gone, the fighting marches right along, unaffected.

    people fight each other who are not of their tribe. that’s a trait evolutionists consider a plus in our evolutionary development, banding together is good for survival.

    the question is, will we know it when that trait becomes counter productive, when it degrades us as a species instead of enhances us? will we change with it or will it destroy us before we catch on. will we ever decide to stop demeaning and insulting people over THEIR religion while we sing the praises of our own? does your tribe have to die for mine to survive? insults are a prelude to war, so stop acting like an innocent observer as you participate.

  6. Bill Formby

    July 25, 2014 at 11:48 am

    PennyJane, even with your misrepresentations of what I actually said or meant, we still came to the same conclusion. I did not say or mean to say that anyone was wrong to believe whatever they wanted to believe. I have no problem with anyone’s religion as long as it makes them happy and helps them them through their day. However, when they choose to kill others because those others believe differently, then I think their is a problem If one reads through the Old Testament or Torah, their are many instances where the God of the Jewish people order them to perpetuate wars against people and kill every man, woman, and child, and even their animals because their belief is not in him. Surprisingly enough, the same God, Allah, orders the Muslims to do the same. The problem is that he did not make it clear that they were not to fight each other. Even more of a joke on humanity, if this were reality, is that they were to kill each other, and others in the name of love and peace. Your use of the term “tribal” may, from an anthropological standpoint be accurate, but the tribes of the Mideast were normally the same beliefs. Many of their wars may have been over territory but they may could have co existed had not not been so different in their belief system.

    • Pennyjane Hanson

      July 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      bill. i may have misrepresented what you meant, but you’d have to be more specific before i’d agree that i misrepresented what you said.

      in reading through the old testament, the torah, i do find that divine mandate you speak of recorded…i also find it defied in Joshua’s initial incursion into canaan and file thirteened by the end of the second battle. so much for religion being the cause. it seems that pragmatism even trumped religion back in the old days.

      maybe we can agree that religion is often used as a cover for war and genocide, but i don’t find a lot of evidence for it being a prime cause. i reiterate what i said before, religion is the low hanging fruit picked by those who lack the intellectual curiosity to reach above it. if i want to kill you i can always say my religion demands it…that relieves me of responsibility and allows me to keep the truth secret. but the truth usually comes out that i wanted to kill you for pragmatic reasons, and, oh, by the way, my religion demands it. for you to blame my religion for my actions is picking that low hanging fruit, buying into my ruse instead of reaching above the ruse and figuring out why i had my religion single you out for destruction.

      neither of us is really talking about any real religion, at least no divinely inspired theology.

      again….as a species we have been fighting each other for as long as we have been here. the religions come and go, the fighting continues unaffected. even if religion makes a good cover, it’s not the cause. blaming the woes of the world on religion is just picking low hanging fruit. insulting the religion of others is just buying into the cover story, the truth eludes you….you become a participant in the religious wars, playing the game, atheist or not.

  7. Bill Formby

    July 26, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Then I have no dog in this fight. As the Knights Templar went on their crusades, for what I am not sure, because I know only, as you put it, their cover story. The Spanish Inquisition occurred also, as I am sure you know, only as a cover story. When people are duped into believing that their higher power is asking, requiring, wishing, wanting or however you would like to phrase it, everyone to believe as they do even to the point of using violence to make others believe the same as them, then I would say that their belief system is leading them to kill for their higher power. Now I may not have your intellect, as I think you phrased it, and this may be just a great cover story for tyrants to lead people into wars that they would otherwise not be fighting, and admittedly it would be a good one, but in the end the results are the same. People are killing other people at the behest of someone who is not actually in the line of fire.
    I am not really sure why I got into this silly argument to begin with because it seems like I am much like a the horses on a merry go round. No matter how fast or slow I go I always end up in the same place.
    Sine Die.

  8. Pennyjane Hanson

    July 26, 2014 at 3:16 am

    now you’re starting to get it. it wasn’t religion killed the Christ, it was power and control. that is was done in the name of religion was a cover story. as long as we buy into the cover story we’re missing out on the real story, we’re blaming the blameless and letting the real culprit off the hook.

  9. Bill Formby

    July 28, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    How silly can you get. To say that something was done in the name of religion but was not about religion is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Religion is about power and control. Otherwise there would be no need for people to believe in a god. If everyone believed in themselves they would not need an artificial belief system.

    • Michael John Scott

      July 28, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      Well said Bill.

    • Anonymous

      July 29, 2014 at 11:03 am

      how silly can you get? i’m not sure…..it’s pretty silly, i think, to blame something that is misused instead of the one who misused said something….but i don’t know if that’ really as silly as you can get.