Should You Kill, Break Your Creed, or Start A War To Save A Life

Syrian gas attack reported by French newspaper Le Monde, August 22, 2013
Israelis are yacking and quacking about the killing all around us. In Syria the killing is beyond belief, yet there is very little action and even less criticism of other countries’ silence. The Americans (in the form of president Obama) are criticized for not making good on their promise to act. Some countries are calling for support of rebels in the form of “No Fly Zone”. This is what tipped the balance in Libya. Yet no real action from the Americans or the UN. In Israel the leadership is calling for careful and distant treatment of war activities in neighboring countries. Israel is still fearful of long term commitment like the eighteen years spent in Lebanon. Then the second Lebanon war which started out on basis of one cross border incursion. At this point in time, the Israeli streets does not have the appetite for another war. 

ventually morality discussion turns into Israel’s role in the
slaughter around our borders. When a few thousands were killed in
Syria, and there were tens of thousands of refugees going to Turkey,
Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, Israel was able to ignore the war there.
But today, there are a hundred thousand estimated killed and two
million refugees. While the US, France, Russia and China can ignore
and claim to be neutral. They can also claim to be distant countries.
They can also claim to be neutral in other atrocities, Bosnia, Iraq,
even African genocides. But Israel has believed in higher moral
standards. Israel has blamed European countries and most countries
involved in World War II for not helping the Jews of Europe at their
darkest times. Israel has criticized just as many countries over the
last sixty five years for turning a blind eye to atrocities all
around the globe. The state has also taken a front seat in helping
refugees who ended up at it’s borders. Even refugees from as far
lands as Cambodia during their darkest days.
But it seems like Israel has become as bureaucratic and forgetful
of it’s history as other countries. For as many atrocities as we have
seen recently, every country has had it’s own share of immoral and
disgusting killings. Yet every country has its own reasons and
justifications not to take in refugees, not to stop killings, and
eventually even turn a blind eye and even vote against UN
intervention. Israelis hear about the danger of crossing the Syrian
border, since Israel and Syria have been so diligent in keeping the
cease fire. Israeli military leaders are claiming how Bashar al-Assad
as a leader has been “good” to Israel. Israeli political thinkers
are warning against giving other organizations such as Hezbollah an
excuse to attack from Lebanon if Israel enters Syria on the rebel
side. Historians and military commentators (mostly retired generals)
are warning against setting a precedence of Israel intervention in
other country’s civil wars. If we enter Syria, will we enter Egypt
when the tide turns against the military? Will this give other
countries in the region to enter situations they don’t like? Will
Turkey enter Iraq? or even Syria? Will Israel eventually fight Turkey
and bring in a bigger military situation we are not expecting? In war
there are no guarantees. Anything can happen. Yet, some still say,
these are all excuses to see a hundred thousand people killed, mostly
civilians. Something the Jews who came from Europe really don’t like
to see, or even hear about…
To be continued…  

The Politicization of Israeli Economy and Foreign Investment

Rosa Parks with Martin Luther King Jr. – unintended speaker of truth…
This topic would not have come up in my writing if not for a
recent comment by UN secretary general in his visit to Israel (see:
http://www.un.org/sg/). According
to reports, Ban Ki-moon said to students in a speech a few days ago:

“Unfortunately, because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
Israel has been weighed down by criticism and suffered from bias and
sometimes even discrimination,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
admitted during his visit to Jerusalem
, according to the European
Jewish Press (EJP).

This admission is good news to Israelis which have been
complaining about negative bias no only in the UN. What seems like a
new revelation, is the secretary’s explanation which amounted to
something like “what do you expect, after such long and bitter
Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. Israelis are accustomed to negative
bias from foreign government (and government representatives).
Israelis have experienced with bad treatment when visiting foreign
countries. Even treatment at embassies representing foreign
governments IN ISRAEL, have been known to treat Israelis badly. Is
this a new step in honesty from UN officials? Will UN officials be
able to limit discrimination from member states? At least in the UN?

Some changes happen quietly and in time gain momentum. When Rosa
Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. started their journeys in speaking
out for discrimination, neither one thought of becoming an icon for
justice. Yet the world and circumstances lead them to become not only
famous, also able to change how the world perceives truth (or is it
reality?) I am not saying that Ban Ki-moon is the next King, but he
may be the first one in a long time to call a spade a spade. Maybe
this is what Israelis need. Someone who will stop saying all kind of
things, besides the truth.
How is this all tied to Israel’s economy and foreign investment?
Actually, in a very big way. When the world is full of hate and lies
about Israel’s stance with the Palestinians, everyone who has an ax
to grind uses it as an excuse. These days, the European Union want
products manufactured by Israeli companies in Palestinian territories
labeled differently than product coming from proper Israeli (pre-1967
borders). European Union member states and union organizations are
threatening not to trade equally with Israeli companies who are not
going to label their products accordingly. This may put pressure on
Israel and companies who are based here. Which is what some believe
will be the only way Israel capitulate to Palestinian requests.
Economic sanctions are not effective most times, yet they can cause
economic pressure on the target country. This is certainly not fair,
as Ban Ki-moon would say.