Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Silence of the Frummies (Orthodox Jews)

In the middle of the Gaza campaign, one of my children, whose political views don't entirely mesh with mine, asked me the following question:

"Abba, I understand the people who justify our going to war in Gaza. But why don't they at least express pain at the lost of so much innocent life – loss for which we are responsible?"

I have no answer to that question. Or, rather, all the answers that come to me (the Israeli spin on the background to the war, the rocket fire in the South, the demonization of Hamas, etc.) don't really do justice to the question.

I have lived through many wars in Israel, and, like all Israelis, I am very familiar with the yorim u-vokhim (shoot first, then shed tears over the victims later) phenomenon.

But I think that this is the first war where virtually no regret has been expressed over the loss of civilian life – and I don't mean just by the chauvinistic center, but even by the so-called "left". Except for the few righteous in Sodom, and the sane voices I have been publishing, there has been nothing. If it weren't for Gideon Levy, our generation would have been swept away a long time ago.

The silence of the Orthodox, particularly, has been deafening. One young rabbi dared to venture that in war there are certain rules that must be observed. He didn't say that the IDF wasn't observing those rules, only that there are rules.

Wow, you mean there are rules of war… now that's a radical concept. I think most orthodox Jews will agree with the terrorist settler Haggai Segal, who says that the rabbinic phrase, "If somebody gets up to kill you, kill him first" should be changed to "If somebody gets up to kill you, destroy him and everything around him first."

Orthodox rabbis, not to mention the rank-and-file of baal-habatim, lay people, are quick to blame the Palestinians for the death of babies in Gaza. "It's their fault." "Better them than us." Mention "proportionality" to an orthodox Jew, and you get stares – I mean, does any orthodox Jew believe that the life of an Arab is worth the same as that of a Jew? If you can find a statement by one, let me know. And while you are at it, if you are orthodox and you will believe that they are of equal worth, let me know.

All right, so I don't expect much from orthodox rabbis and the rank-and-file. I never looked at them for moral guidance of this sort.

But what about the so-called religious doves? What about that moribund of religious organizations, Oz ve-Shalom/Netivot Shalom? Or the hesitant, Ziyyonut Datit Realit, "Realistic Religious Zionism," which burst onto the scene with so much fanfare a few years ago.

The one person who would have had some moral clarity, albeit from a liberal religious Zionist perspective, is Avi Ravitsky. But Avi was hit by a bus two years ago and is no condition to speak.

That leaves another Avi, Avi Sagi, of Bar Ilan. Don't expect much from him, although he may yet surprise. Rabbi Melchior? In the midst of an election campaign, don't expect much from him, either. Tzvia Greenberg, the so-called haredi leftwinger of Meretz? Not when it comes to Palestinians. Menachem Forman, the settlement rabbi with the weird ideas about sharing the land? He is still talking about peace, not justice. Uriel Simon? Nada. Mikky Rosen? Unfortunately, dead. Yeshayahu Leibowitz? Long dead.

Shammai Leibowitz, Avrum Burg (Is he still frum?) B. Michael. OK, that's three. Menachem Klein, and a few members of the Yedidya shul. Some orthodox academics. Anybody else?

No, for moral enlightenment we have to look at the younger generation of human rights activists who are either orthodox, or datlashim (formerly orthodox). I won't name names; you know who you are.

So here's my appeal. If you know of some orthodox Jews who are speaking out, if not in condemnation of Israel, at least with deep sympathy with the suffering of the Gazans, let me know. When I get ten men and women (you see, I will go for a conservative minyan) I will breathe easier for my generation.

On Shabbat we read about God's hardening Pharoah's heart. We Jews are Pharoah now. And the Palestinians are the Hebrews.

Thank God for the (mostly non-orthodox?) rabbis who are coming up with a statement condemning Israel's actions in Gaza, which will be up again Sunday night. See it here.

 

40 comments:

uri said...

i'm a datlash, but not in israel. i'm formerly of jerusalem and efrat, but lately of cleveland, OH. unfortunately i'm largely alienated from the jewish community here.

out of curiosity, are you really going for a conservative minyan, or this a ten tzaddikim in sdom kind of scenario?

childofabraham said...

i can count a minyan in my minyan- but you would have to count women in that minyan!

Jerry Haber said...

All right, both of you --

I am going for a "Shirah Hadasha" minyan -- 10 men and 10 women.

I would like to point out that except for Uri, I have not heard from a frummy or ffb or datlash yet. The clock is ticking, folks.

Tell you what -- I promise not to "out" the orthodox who contact me. Remember, I am the pseudonymous blogger here!

What shall we call ourselves? The SFMM -- Society of Frum Moral Marranos?

Anonymous said...

Maybe we have to throw the question back at you. How come this question is on a blog and not an op-ed for YNET? How come you are not publicly making yourself the voice?
Even if Ravitsky was well, it would not matter because the baton has to be passed to a new generation.
Jerry, your not a spring chicken anymore listening to others around J-M, you are the age of a statesman.
Have you emailed Sagi? Halbertal? they would respond to your emails.
Maybe this can be used as a time for You to galvanize those in South Jerusalem, Rananah, Arad, and Modiin. Maybe start a public debate based on their answers to you.

Anonymous said...

The prior anon was me.
I am orthodox in NYC and agree with your opinion.
Also look at the blog of XGH (he keeps changing the blog's name) who agrees with you.

Yours,

uri said...

i should clarify for the record that i am not here as someone who supports the war but is sad about the deaths. i'm completely against the "war" and i consider israel's leadership, not the palestinians, to be my enemy.

but recognizing that others may join up who support the war, how about the acronym BOAT - for binfol oyvecha al tismach (don't rejoice at the downfall of your enemy - a quote from the bible, i believe).

Shmuel said...

Datlashim are relatively easy. I'm one (no longer in Israel), and I can think of a couple of friends too. I do make it to shul from time to time, but couldn't stomach it right now at the only Orthodox and very pro-Israel minyanim where I live. I've got a yohrzeit coming up, and don't know what I'll do. I keep thinking about the "heter lihitpalel im ha'avryanim", but it hardly seems enough.

childofabraham said...

hmm.... seems like our radical is a bit of a conservative after all...
say, cn one take medicine on shabbos?

Anonymous said...

Orthodoxy claims there is only one Judaism. Modern Orthodoxy clings to this delusion.Despite their protests, we are witnessing a new denomination splitting from the old. Kol Hakavod for those brave enough to form it.

Jerry Haber said...

childofabraham,

no medicine on shabbat. you got a headache? don't wimp out. suffer for your views. (of course, if suffering is too much....)

on the other hand, Rabbi Jerry is more lenient when it comes to granchildren of Abraham.

Jerry Haber said...

To Anonymous who wants me to come out and lead the masses of moral frummies -- ok, the handful -- I have a few answers.

1) I write better than I talk. Ravitsky talked better than he wrote.

2) I have no authority in Israel. I don't teach there anymore. Also, I am American, and that makes me suspect.

3) I wrote a letter to Haaretz last year supporting Avrum Burg after he wrote his book. Didn't create a stir. See under 2.

4)I plan to write a book (there, I can't believe I said it.)

5)You are free to start a draft Jerry Haber movement.

Jerry Haber said...

I couldn't find anything by XGH since last August. Can you tell him to get in contact with me. Maybe we will put together a frummy statement.

Jerry Haber said...

Uri,

BOAT is too weak. You and I are WAY past that. I am talking about not caring about killing babies, but rather justifying it. Innocent civilians are not my g-damn enemies.

Jerry Haber said...

The truth is that my blog is not on the radar of the orthodox blogs, at least it hasn't been. I couldn't find any mention of it on Gil Student's hirhurim, and that is the one I have looked at, occasionally.

Secondly, I have my own views, of course, of the modern orthodox wars (e.g., between the left and the center), but I am marginal to the modern orthodox community, both in the US and in Israel. OK, so I have done gigs at Drisha, YU, and some shuls...and my alter ego is better known. But I don't have the koah or the interest to get involved. Is that post-denominational. When I call myself "modern orthodox" I use the term sociologically.

And no, you can't use medicine on shabbat unless you are seriously ill. And yes, I fast all the fasts, except Bahab.

Anonymous said...

Here is XGH

http://modernorthoprax.blogspot.com/

review the posts since Dec on gaza

Shmuel said...

Excuse me for trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and I understand that this is more difficult for those who feel bound by Halakhah, but ... I view Modern Orthodoxy in same light that I view Zionism (and I have drunk deeply from both wells). There may be some theoretical way of saving them morally, but in the real world, they produce nothing but grief. I say move away from the "atzas resho'im".

Jerry Haber said...

All right, there are quite a few frummies who are opposed to conduct of the Gaza war on moral grounds -- most of them daven at the Baka Shivyoni -- and some are active in organizations.

Now I am waiting for one of these men or women to write something good for nrg or ynet or haaretz. You don't have to quote pasukim, just make it clear that you are dati and you can't stand the folks who are supposed to be representing you.

We need a "Not in Our Name" statement, and it won't be forthcoming from the tziyyonut datit realit folks. And it won't come from the tired old duffers of my generation. The generation of 67has to die out -- well, at least, pass from the scened.

Anonymous said...

And no, you can't use medicine on shabbat unless you are seriously ill.
And by analogy you cant use medicine for Israel (because you bring her into disrepute) even if she is seriously ill.
So the question is how seriously ill is she?

Jerry Haber said...

Shmuel, different strokes for different folks. I am talking about the folks like me who still use the mod orth (and zionist, for that matter) rubric, though it doesn't fit well. I prefer really to think of myself as a Jew who does what he cans. Under that definition you have a zillion ideologies.

Heretic? Apikorous? Doesn't daven in a minyan during the week? Fasts on Ta'anis Esther?

Unaffiliated? Orthoprax? (I don't like that for me, since beliefs -- as heretical as they may be -- are important for me.)

The irony is that even though I usually disagreed with Ravitsky, I appreciated that he existed.

Ah, were Leibowitz here...and I didn't always agree with him, either....

William Burns said...

Frankly, you're in a lousy position to call for others to speak out if you won't put your real name on your blog. And I say this as a fan.

Shmuel said...

I'm a firm believer in the different strokes philosophy, and I too like to think of myself as "a Jew who does what he can". So why the effort to find tzadikim in Mod Orth Sdom? I don't doubt that more than a few exist, but they are almost by definition outsiders, apikorsim, freaks. I think the fact that you included datlashim is significant. We are not tinokot shenishbu. We have no excuses for our "freilikhkeit" (as a former teacher of mine once called it). Our views count less than anyone's. We are true "sonei yisroel". The more enlightened might add a "nebech" to that.

Jerry Haber said...

William, what makes you think that I haven't taken a stand under my real name? Go see who has signed the statement I authored. And, for that matter, go see the other statements I have signed for for the last nine years, all under my own name.

I don't see you condemning Samuel Clemens for taking stands under the pen name of Mark Twain. Jerry Haber is a nom de plume. Anybody who wants to know who I am has only to send me an email

Jerry Haber said...

Shmuel, I am not asking for numbers. I am just asking for one or two folks -- like a Melchior or a Ravitsky or a Simon -- to speak out. I know the community of whom I speak.

By the way, I have been fortunate to live in urban concentrations with a lot of liberal modern orthodox Jews. They are worth talking to on these issues. They are one of my communities.

Don't underestimate the pain of some of these folks, who live much of their lives like Marranos until they decide to come out. I have a former colleague at Bar Ilan who is active in Machsom Watch. She used to look like she walked out of Neshei Mizrahi. It takes a good deal of courage for her to come out. And my alter-ego (the guy who has my real name) has also spoken out, though not in a confrontational way.

Anonymous said...

I write better than I talk. Ravitsky talked better than he wrote.

yes and no.

if you used your platform here for intellectual essays then your writing would come in handy. Most of your posts however are emotive "not in my name" or emotive "this wont accomplish anything".

How about a serious philosophic critique of Waltzer's justifications of Lebanon 2006 and his 2008 justification of Gaza?

Your rhetoric here is surprisingly devoid of philosophic analysis.
Discuss questions of just war, moral war, and dirty hands.
Show the poor philosophic reasoning in the holocaust to zionism narratives.
Channel the speeches of Magnes on Zionism. Present Magnes- almost all of use have not read him, except the piece in Arthur Hertzberg.
Discuss theories of nationalism.

If you did that 1) it would write your book 2) this would be become the place on the web for Philosophic analysis of the issues. You wont have a better military analysis so go theory.

Ortho in NYC

Anonymous said...

If you wrote a philosophic rebuttal to Schweid's book on Israel:National Home or Land of Destiny, especially his chapter justifying the State then you wont be ignored---you will be taken very seriously.
Show the philosophic fallacies of the stuff that comes out of Azure/Shalem.
As a emotive journalist you have no authority, so use the great power of the syllogism.

O in NYC

ronh said...

HI Jerry,

here are two.

May the One who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah bless the residents of the State of Israel who live under the daily threat of missiles of death and destruction. May the Holy One strengthen their spirit and give them resolve to withstand this crisis until it passes. May it be the will of the Most High to grant wisdom and insight to those leaders of the State charged with conducting the people's war, so that their actions are infused with courage, wisdom and intelligence which achieve a just goal. Lord of Hosts, the God of the ranks of Israel, protect the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces in the air, on the sea and land, those in battle, those on the home front, and all the rescue and security forces. Save them from every trouble and evil design, and cause the works of their hands to be for blessing and for success. May they go out in peace and return whole to their homes and loved ones.

May the Holy One who lifts up the fallen also see to the safety of those children of Ishmael who have been placed in harm's way whether by chance or by design. May they find the shelter, food, water, and medical attention that they so desperately need, and may they, too, find peace and security in their homeland swiftly and in our days. Bless the aide workers who risk their lives daily as they strive to do your work through their hands. Oh God, who is slow to anger, imbue us with the ability to hear and understand multiple perspectives and see truth, even when the truth is veiled.

O Heavenly One, bring peace to the Holy Land and eternal joy to its inhabitants, for Jacob again shall have calm and quiet with none to trouble him. And may the verse be applied to us: "But every man shall sit under his grapevine or fig tree With no one to disturb him. For it was the Lord of Hosts who spoke." May this be Your will, and let us say: Amen.

If there has ever been a time for prayer, this is that time.
If there has ever been a place forsaken, Gaza is that place.
Lord who is the creator of all children, hear our prayer this accursed day. God whom we call Blessed, turn your face to these, the children of Gaza, that they may know your blessings, and your shelter, that they may know light and warmth, where there is now only blackness and smoke, and a cold which cuts and clenches the skin.
Almighty who makes exceptions, which we call miracles, make an exception of the children of Gaza. Shield them from us and from their own. Spare them. Heal them. Let them stand in safety. Deliver them from hunger and horror and fury and grief. Deliver them from us, and from their own.
Restore to them their stolen childhoods, their birthright, which is a taste of heaven.
Remind us, O Lord, of the child Ishmael, who is the father of all the children of Gaza. How the child Ishmael was without water and left for dead in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba, so robbed of all hope, that his own mother could not bear to watch his life drain away.
Be that Lord, the God of our kinsman Ishmael, who heard his cry and sent His angel to comfort his mother Hagar.
Be that Lord, who was with Ishmael that day, and all the days after. Be that God, the All-Merciful, who opened Hagar's eyes that day, and showed her the well of water, that she could give the boy Ishmael to drink, and save his life.
Allah, whose name we call Elohim, who gives life, who knows the value and the fragility of every life, send these children your angels. Save them, the children of this place, Gaza the most beautiful, and Gaza the damned.
In this day, when the trepidation and rage and mourning that is called war, seizes our hearts and patches them in scars, we call to you, the Lord whose name is Peace:
Bless these children, and keep them from harm.
Turn Your face toward them, O Lord. Show them, as if for the first time, light and kindness, and overwhelming graciousness.

Look up at them, O Lord. Let them see your face.
And, as if for the first time, grant them peace.

Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman of Kehilat Kol Haneshamah in Jerusalem

ronh said...

HI jerry

If there has ever been a time for prayer, this is that time.
If there has ever been a place forsaken, Gaza is that place.
Lord who is the creator of all children, hear our prayer this accursed day. God whom we call Blessed, turn your face to these, the children of Gaza, that they may know your blessings, and your shelter, that they may know light and warmth, where there is now only blackness and smoke, and a cold which cuts and clenches the skin.
Almighty who makes exceptions, which we call miracles, make an exception of the children of Gaza. Shield them from us and from their own. Spare them. Heal them. Let them stand in safety. Deliver them from hunger and horror and fury and grief. Deliver them from us, and from their own.
Restore to them their stolen childhoods, their birthright, which is a taste of heaven.
Remind us, O Lord, of the child Ishmael, who is the father of all the children of Gaza. How the child Ishmael was without water and left for dead in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba, so robbed of all hope, that his own mother could not bear to watch his life drain away.
Be that Lord, the God of our kinsman Ishmael, who heard his cry and sent His angel to comfort his mother Hagar.
Be that Lord, who was with Ishmael that day, and all the days after. Be that God, the All-Merciful, who opened Hagar's eyes that day, and showed her the well of water, that she could give the boy Ishmael to drink, and save his life.
Allah, whose name we call Elohim, who gives life, who knows the value and the fragility of every life, send these children your angels. Save them, the children of this place, Gaza the most beautiful, and Gaza the damned.
In this day, when the trepidation and rage and mourning that is called war, seizes our hearts and patches them in scars, we call to you, the Lord whose name is Peace:
Bless these children, and keep them from harm.
Turn Your face toward them, O Lord. Show them, as if for the first time, light and kindness, and overwhelming graciousness.

Look up at them, O Lord. Let them see your face.
And, as if for the first time, grant them peace.

Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman of Kehilat Kol Haneshamah in Jerusalem

Jerry Haber said...

Ortho,

Philosophy is hard. I have tried to do the sort of thing you suggest in some of my earlier posts, and in some of my Gaza posts. Joe Levine has done the same.

Few professional philosophers think much of Walzer's attempt to justify Israel's actions through his reading of just war theory.When I start writing my book, I will get into that. A much better philosopher, whose book on assymetric warfare and terrorism is eagerly awaited, is Jeff McMahon.

But ortho,good moral philosophers are specialists;my area of specialization is not moral philosophy.

It is not an issue of "philosophical fallacies" or "syllogisms"(sorry, but nobody uses syllogisms anymore).The point is not to make a better argument, but to go after what I call common sense and ordinary reasoning.

Moral outrage is emotive; it's not all about argument. You want argument, read Chomsky. He is better than I can ever be.

Jerry Haber said...

"Shield them from us and from their own . "

Ah, the pious sentiments of the enlightened colonialist.

"Save them, the children of this place, Gaza the most beautiful, and Gaza the damned."

Gaza the damned? Damned by whom? By God? By the Occupation?

Look,I know Levi's heart is in the right place. But he shouldn't be praying to God -- he should be praying to his own leaders,he should be confessing his and our sins to God and to the Palestinian people. This is not some natural disaster.

Pardon me,but it reminds me of the pious Christians who prayed for the welfare of the poor Jews during the Holocaust.Prayer is fine,but we are the perpetrators,and the prayers should be addressed to us.

You want a Jewish precedent. Go to the Yom Kippur service.

But,theologically, I find this prayer extremely troubling.

No,worse -- I find it cheap and self-serving-- including the Biblical references

Anonymous said...

But,theologically, I find this prayer extremely troubling.

No,worse -- I find it cheap and self-serving-- including the Biblical references

So boychick, is there any non traditional prayer you would find not cheap and self serving-- I think your theology is seriously ill enough to take some of your own medicine even on Yom Kippur.

Jerry Haber said...

"So boychick, is there any non traditional prayer you would find not cheap and self serving-- I think your theology is seriously ill enough to take some of your own medicine even on Yom Kippur."

So let me get this straight: If I find one non traditional prayer cheap and self-serving, for reasons I outlined, this implies that I find all non-traditional prayers cheap and self-serving?

The issue was not whether the prayer was traditional or non-traditional; the issue was whether one prays to God to deliver people from one's own crimes. Isn't that shirking responsibility?

Had Levi asked God to help cure us of the illness which enables us to massacre indiscriminately civilians, I would sign on to that.

But the Lord helps those who help themselves, and we should try to put our own house in order.

Anyway, I have read and reread the prayer and I find still find it condescending and supercilious in tone. What is called for is self-criticism, true regret, and the resolve not to repeat the sins.

I will go one step further -- in appealing to the Biblical story of Ishmael the prayer is "imperialistic." for the Muslims do not recognize the divinity or authority of our scripture. How would you feel if a Christian prayed for your welfare based on a story about Jews in the New Testament? At least Levi should have appealed to the Quran's version of the story.

But I am willing to grant that his heart was in the right place. Next time he should take care of his head.

Elli said...

Jerry, And if when we pray for the safety of the Christian children among them, should it be in name of the father, the son and the holy spirit?

You might call it enlightened colonialism but I think it's just having a religious backbone. My God may love Gentile children, but He doesn't speak highly of other religious systems or view Ishmael and Isaac as being on equal footing. (He went so far as to point out that Sarah was correct on this particular point.)

Our prayers are between us and God and should reflect those sensibilities; using them as p.r. points for 3rd parties (e.g., the Nations of the World) is gross.

Anonymous said...

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLQ384376

Jerry Haber said...

Elli,

Your point is well-taken. A prayer for the welfare of the sons of Ishmael which appeals solely to Jewish sources is not more imperialistic than the prayer of any traditional religion that makes totalitarian truth claims (of course, one would be pretty selective of those sources, wouldn't one?) I am sorry if that is what I implied.

What annoyed me was the appeal to those sources in this case, where we are largely responsible for their misery. Imagine Church authorities stooping to pray for the welfare of the Jews after crusaders have slaughtered them -- without criticism of the crusaders, or without accepting guilt for that slaughter. There would be something in poor taste, even if the Christians genuinely were disturbed by the massacre. And suppose they appealed to portrayals of the Jews from their scripture in the context of such a prayer. That also would be in poor taste.

Anyway, how relevant is your point to a reform Rabbi like Levi-Kelman, who presumably is less totatlitarian than the orthodox.

Mike said...

The paper in Ha’aretz about how the IDF rabbinate empowered the soldiers is really frightening. These are natural born killers with a kippa on their head, the siddur in one hand and a Uzi in the other. Is this judaism, I wonder ? I hope not. Yes? In that case, I am glad to be just an ignorant secular Jew living in the diaspora and going once a year at the synagogue. Who needs to sit all day long in shul and studying relentlessly if it makes you a killer so easily and smoothly ?

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1058758.html

Mad Zionist said...

I'm Orthodox and am sympathetic to both Jews and arabs being killed, which is why I advocate relocating the Arabs to a more viable home so that both sides may know peace.

Isaac said...

Dear Jerry.

I am a traditional Jew, affiliating at Orthodox and “Egalidox” services, who agrees with your son’s sentiment, so much so that last week I called Marc Regev of the Foreign Ministry and pleaded with him to that effect: even if you’re right, show some regret, even remorse, that your bombs have killed so many. He said he agreed, but let’s see…

So I’m nodding along with your post, until you bust out with this:

“Most orthodox rabbis, not to mention the rank-and-file of baal-habatim, lay people, see absolutely nothing wrong with the death of babies in Gaza.”

Say what?! Hurtful? Utterly false? The Orthodox Israelis I know are quite “rank and file” (which means they don’t live in Baka, Rechiavia, or speak English as a first language). But they see plenty wrong with the death of civilians (children and adults even more than babies). One of them is quite right-wing politically but has registered a similar protest to government officials she knows.

Being generous, I can only assume you exaggerate for effect, the effect being, hopefully, the protest from Orthodox lay people : “No – were’ not monsters!” But you’ve already written out such protesters as exceptions anyway, and slandered the rest of their community. See a yarmulke – see a moral monster. If that’s your message, you’ve made it loud and clear. And it’s both false and harmful.

Isaac

p.s. If I sound shrill and over-upset, I’m sorry. I was offended by the remark. Nothing personal.

Jerry Haber said...

Isaac, you are right. The statement was uncalled for, and I knew it when I wrote it. I let myself go. I am going to tone it, because as it stands, it is offensive.

But Isaac, I have yet to hear any sentiments of regret from the orthodox leaders or baal-habatim, and the silence is still deafening. This post has been up for a week, almost ,and still nothing. Is there a single sermon, a dvar Torah, which expresses sincere pain and regret for what happened to the Palestinian children.

Anonymous said...

You guys are beyond the pale. Forget orthodox/non-orthodox. If your baby daughter was murdered (G-d forbid) would you grieve for her more than for her murderer? If you have human blood in your veins than I suppose you would. But you expect us to be different.

I don't believe a SINGLE poster here has lived the last 8 years in Sderot. We bury soldiers who have died for all you high-falutin' "moral" individuals. We have buried individuals (including children) indiscriminately hit by missiles. Yes, just cruddy little non-sophisticated rockets and missiles! We kicked close to 10,000 fine hard working productive Jews out of their homes and left those people-the Gazans you feel so much for-the greenhouses. Is it our fault that they then burned and destroyed everything with orgasmic joy?
THEY voted for HAMAS. THEY live without their freedoms because of that. Just ask any Gazan girl who is seen outside alone with a male who is not her relative or fiance (oh yeah, and they have mistakenly killed an engaged couple out together who they thought weren't engaged.) Yes, they said "Sorry" to the families! You obviously don't have sons in dangerous units, who endanger themselves EVERY DAY for us.
Pontificate, but your pontifications will not help keep our country alive. These Gazans are brainwashing their kids every day against us and my kids learn in memlachti dati schools and no they DON'T learn this hatred. No, their ISN'T symmetry between our "evil" and their evil. We DO endanger our boys' lives to cut down on their civilian deaths and that is not very moral to me. If they didn't attack us we wouldn't go in. I wish you all would be just a little concerned with dead Jews, too. I don't want to kill anybody or be happy from anyone's death but being physically, and emotionally threatened 24/7 does take its toll. I wonder if the infant, Shalhevet Pas's, death hurt you one hundredth as much as the death of the "civilians of Gaza" who were happily used as human shields by their terrorist family members. I bet you didn't write about her.

And just admit it, there is NO WAY to be as moral as you want to be AND still give US, AM YISRAEL a minimum of protection. You shake your heads in phoney shame and offer us no tangible course of action to continue to live here, unharmed, and not hurt a tireless enemy who is willing to spend every penny it doesn't steal on our demise.

Jerry Haber said...

Anonymous,

Spoken like a true tribalist.

But that's cool. I am sure you won't lose any sleep over how your kids come back from the mamalakhti school.

Tell you what. Let the Palestinians put you in occupation for forty years after stealing your land; then let them put a siege on you because you voted Likud, which doesnt recognize the *right* of the Palestinans to a state in Eretz Yisrael.

We will see how liberal you are. I mean, if you manage to be so illiberal when you are (inadvertantly, of course,) killing more civilians than Hamas is, including more babies, when the firepower over Gaza in one night exceeds the firepower over Sederot for forty years -- let's see how you react if the sandal is on the other foot.

Hamas, I believe, would be moderates compared to your ilk.

And this is what Zionism has done to us?