Friday, January 16, 2009

What you can't solve up close... probably can't solve from thousands of miles away either. That's a lesson every US president for the last 60 years has learned and yet, somehow never manage to pass on to the new incoming president.

Last week, the United Nations voted for a ceasefire. Good for them! I'm glad they've decided to stop firing; now back to Gaza.

This week, Barack Obama is getting ready to step into the fray. Unfortunately, as soon as he steps in, his feet are likely to get as dirty as if he went to visit George W. Bush's ranch and went a'walking in the cow fields. What each president fails to understand, what seems so obvious to Israelis, is that you cannot make peace until BOTH sides want it.

Israel has offered. Israel has compromised. Israel withdrew its people from Gaza years ago. It was a heart-wrenching, difficult, and ultimately wrong unilateral move because, as so many of us predicted, all it did was give the rocket launchers a better position from which to launch their missiles. Hebrew is not a language spoken or know by many around the world, and yet all know the one simple word for peace, "Shalom." Did you know that peace also mean, "hello" and "goodbye." Not really - we say "Allo?" when we answer the telephone, but when we meet people and then when we part from their company, we say "shalom."

Jerusalem (see the "salem" part?) - means City of Peace. It is part of our prayers and our culture and our daily yearning. We are not the obstacles to peace in the Middle East.

Compare our culture, the rhetoric of our leaders, to that of the Palestinians. You will never find an Israeli leader say about our culture what Hassan Nasrallah says about his own, "We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death."

From the head of Hizbollah himself, we hear the truth of his people...and ours. Until Barack Obama learns this truth, he is as likely to fail, as likely to step into something really foul smelling, as did his predecessors. There are things in life that nations and people cannot do alone. You can't tango alone. You can't play Poker alone, and you can't make peace with your enemies until your enemies are at least open to the possibility that they will have to live with you in the peace they too must believe is best for their people.

From Israel National News - this news item:
United States President-elect Barack Obama says he will begin dealing with the situation in Gaza immediately after coming into power. Next week, after his inauguration as president, he will appoint a team to discuss negotiations for the end of the Cast Lead operation in the area. Obama revealed his plans in an interview with the USA Today newspaper. The Middle East is complicated, he said. Conflicts that cannot be solved individually may be resolved when many areas are dealt with at once, he added.


Findalis said...

Obama will sell Israel out as soon as he can. Oslo is dead, it died 6 months after its conception. Bush made a half-hearted attempt to please his Saudi masters, that is dead.

Israelis have known from their conception as a nation that until their enemies truly want peace, there will never be peace.

And until the Arabs face up to their responsibilities for their brothers from Israel (what you know as the Palestinians), there can never be a real solution to this mess.

Renata said...

Oh, Paula. I'm drawn to this site like a magnet these days (and you know me and the Internet!!). The stupid media is swallowing the lies hook, line, and sinker, and trumpeting them willy-nilly to the unwitting public. Our NZ TV One news reporter near Sderot said today that some reaction he saw from the Israelis (celebrating a missile hit, I think) was, from his eyes, "obscene".

I see Israel wants to make Gilad Shalit part of the ceasefire deal. What a great idea!

Question about that site you mentioned where you can give donations to the soldiers--are they ok? Seems you can only be from Israel or the US to give anything, tho! :-)

Keeping you and Elie and all Israel in my prayers. Bless you all richly. Never forget that your God is in control!

Anonymous said...

Again, a wonderful postings (as all of yours are). It's just so frustrating I could scream! How come so many just don't get it! I've given up on any of the world press....but what I don't understand is why so many of my friends and family don't get it. Many do....but many who are normally nice and caring people and believe they love Israel....still talk about proportionality and we just need to "sit and talk" ...and "why can't we just stop the occupation so everything will be alright?" I send them article after article, blog after blog...and they remain blind. How sad...for them and for us. Perhaps they need to join David Landau and Standing Together and go to Sderot and the Gaza border bases and see are incredibly brave soldiers.
Thank you again, Paula and Shabbat Shalom to you and your family.
A Nahal Soldier's Mom

Anonymous said...

It takes two to negotiate. It takes one to play solitaire. Why is Israel playing solitaire? Don’t they see the other side has been out to lunch and never came back?

Uncle Shaye

Honestly Frum said...

This guy scares me to death. I still have not figured out why every American President needs as their legacy "Mid East Peace". Peace would be great, but none of these guys really want peace, all they want is a photo op and they do not do what really needs to be done (with the exception, perhaps, of Bush who tried for a while). Why not peace in Darfur? Genocide is killing people there every day. Obama said this summer that he would not stand by if his kids were being attacked. Let's see if he truly means it and does not pressure Israel to finish the job prematurely or if he was using it a gimmick to get elected, I fear the latter.

Anonymous said...

I'm an Aussie Gentile mother of 4 kids (my eldest son is 18). I understand exactly what you're saying...the hard part is trying to persuade my politicians, here in Australia, to understand it too, and to act accordingly. When I write to them I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall...

Rest assured I'm praying for you. I've been asking the Holy One to 'Do Something!' about those murderous assassins in Gaza, for quite some time (I have read their horrible 'Covenant', I know exactly what they are about, they deserve to be flattened just as Hitler's Berlin was flattened).

And I've been praying for Gilad Shalit, and I said a prayer for the little lad, Orel.

Kathy and Paula said...

I pray our new President will learn quickly .I believe he wants to think that talking will do the job, but evil does not listen to reasonable speech. Idealism does not bear fruit unless it walks hand in hand with realism. You are correct that both sides have to want a resolution.
Please stay safe.
Mother of a U.S. soldier

Shoshana said...

Today's New York Times had an article about the collapse of Zimbabwe, and how little attention is paid to the thousands of deaths by the media or governments. I thought to myself as I scanned the comments, "Someone will find a way to blame this on the Jews," and they surely did.

It infuriates me every time I hear someone whining about how miserable the lives of the Gazan Arabs are. Every picture I see of them shows well-dressed, well-nourished people, with so many cars that they have traffic jams; they have cell phones, internet access, apartment building and separare houses, Israeli-built hospitals, access to Israeli medical care when necessary, and they are physically able to have huge families and raise their children to adulthood. Yeah, they have it so bad. How many Zimbabweans, do you think, would trade places with the Arabs? (The vast majority, I would bet money, and I am not a betting woman.)

I spend all day every day looking for news from Israel. I worry endlessly about all of you, especially the men at war, from afar. I hope and pray for as few deaths and injuries to Israelis as is possible. I would be a better Jew if I could care, even a little, about the Arabs, but I am not a hypocrite, and I admit I don't. I think of Miriam singing, and at least I don't sing, or even find any pleasure in their deaths, but I cannot seem to care.

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