Are We Nazis?

Posted on January 5th, 2010

A reader sent in a comment to last week’s post. I had written about how wonderful it was to go for a run in this amazing country. His comment was:

Well look at the price paid by the Palestinians for all these accomplishments-they live in a prison and all efforts to create that 2 state solution seem to go nowhere. The Palestianians [sic] have lost and continue to lose their land, crops and homes to settlements. The Palestianians [sic] are abused , attacked and terorized by settlers with no protection from the Isreali [sic] police and the IDF.

Germany achieved many scientific and engineering marvels and look at the price paid by the peoples of the world during WWI and WWII by the German war machine and aggession [sic].

I don’t know who wrote the comment, but I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight.

Strawberry fields forever.. in Israel!

First, I had referred to Israeli advances in all sorts of scientific endeavors. The idea that the Palestinians have paid a price because farmers in the Jordan River Valley developed a new way to grow pesticide free strawberries –  and are sharing it with the world – makes no sense.

Advances in medicine, telecommunications, and high speed computing have nothing to do with the dispute with the Palestinians. If anything, they like the rest of the world have benefited from Israeli advances. Ask any Palestinian seeking treatment in an Israeli hospital what he thinks of Israeli medical science.

At Alyn, I have seen kids from Gaza who are only alive due to Israeli technology. So I hope the author of the comment will at least agree that Palestinian suffering is not due to Israeli accomplishments.

The next comment was that Palestinians live “in a prison.” I will not deny that Israeli border restrictions make life difficult for people in Gaza. But the rulers of Gaza are engaged in a war with Israel. The war could easily be ended any second if they accepted and recognized Israel and disavowed the use of violence. But they choose not to. Can you name any country that keeps an open border with a country with which it is at war?

One wall of the "prison" is an Arab country

Besides, I always wonder why it is just Israel blamed for the “siege” of Gaza. Last time I checked on a map, Gaza borders on Egypt. Where are all the attacks against the Egyptians for keeping Gazans in a “prison?”

“all efforts to create that 2 state solution seem to go nowhere”

Well Prime Minister Netanyahu has invited Abbas over and over again to sit down and negotiate a 2 state solution. Abbas has answered that before negotiations begin, Israel must agree to give up everything. Well what would be the point of negotiations then?

We (Israel) have legitimate claims to the land in dispute as do the Palestinians. The only way to reach compromises is through serious negotiation. Yes, I share your dismay that the “peace process is going nowhere.” Why don’t you send an e-mail to Abbas about that?

“The Palestinians have lost and continue to lose their land, crops and homes to settlements.”

Some of the 250 Jews massacred in pre-State Gush Etzion

Sorry, but its just too simple a way to look at this dispute. Jews have also lost land, crops, and homes to Palestinians. The Jewish community in Hevron is a fraction of what it once was. Why? Because the Jews were murdered and the survivors driven out. Now when Jews try to reclaim historical Jewish property there, they are accused of stealing someone else’s land.

I live in Gush Etzion. There were thriving Jewish communities here before 1948. In 1948, the Jews were massacred and the towns were burnt down. In 1967, the rebuilding began and goes on to this day. What’s wrong with that?

Today, we have a court system where those who claim that someone is taking their land can seek redress. And it may surprise you, but the courts have been quite vocal in defending land that is proven to be owned by Palestinians. But you have to understand that you cannot simply label the entire “West Bank” Palestinian land. Doing so is simply inaccurate.

“The Palestinians are abused, attacked and terorized by settlers with no protection from the Isreali police and the IDF.”

There may be isolated incidents where this happens. But there are far more incidents where the police and IDF protect Palestinians from the tiny minority of Jewish extremists. Personally, as a settler, I vehemently reject any type of attacks on Palestinians or their property.

From today’s Ha’aretz:

A special border police battalion was assigned to protect the farmers from settlers’ attacks during the harvest, which began this week.

The forces – at least twice as large as in previous years, IDF officers say – were deployed around the illegal Havat Gilad outpost at the beginning of the week. On Tuesday they protected harvesters near the Yitzhar settlement and intend to safeguard other West Bank areas including around Hebron.

The Palestinians are our neighbors. They built my house and almost every other house, synagogue, and shop in Neve Daniel and every other settlement. The majority of settlers like myself believe in peaceful coexistence. Stop believing everything you read in the media. We do not terrorize them. Last time I checked we were the ones who had to guard our communities.

Is the World that dumb?

So finally you close with the old Jew baiting reference to the Nazis. Lots of people who dislike Israel try and use this, but it just doesn’t fit. We don’t murder or enslave Palestinians. We employ them, work with them, and treat them in our hospitals. While our enemies like to use propaganda to convince the world that we are monsters, these are just Big Lies.

Still, I appreciate that you wrote in and hope that you will consider my response.

I’m not a Nazi. Just a guy who runs and loves his country.

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  1. steven wolinsky says:

    your latest post was a very excellent response to someone who only sees palestinian suffering. that writer pays no attention to the palestinian provocations that lead to the israeli reactions that cause both peoples to suffer. as the son of 2 holocaust survivors, i find the reference to WWII germany especially offensive.
    to paraphrase an accurate saying “if the palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be no more war. if the israelis lay down their weapons, there will be no israel.”

  2. timur shaban says:

    i come from jordan and i just wanted to say that the image isn’t really getting through to arab communities well. comes out distorted, or doesn’t at all sometimes. i mean the news and all that. there is no right in war. i really prefer not to take sides in the whole thing. but i would love to see the day when israel will not be seen as an enemy, but just another regular country that has people with lives, and jobs, and it would be perfectly normal to see arab tourists there, and israeli tourists everywhere else. maybe sometime in the neat future. Peace! 🙂