Japan Should Stop Provoking the Sea

Posted on March 15th, 2011

So are the Japanese to blame for provoking the sea? After all, they are the ones who have decided to live in an area where earthquakes occur. While the current situation is a tragedy, don’t the Japanese themselves share some of the blame?

O.K. before I get lynched, let me say very quickly that my heart goes out to all the victims of the tragedy in Japan. My wife is Japanese and she has many family members there (so far everyone is accounted for thankfully.) I have put details on how you can help below.

No, one one should ever write what I wrote above. Certainly no journalist would ever get away with it. You simply do not blame the victims of tragedy.

Yet when it comes to Israel, there are those who think that it is entirely appropriate to do just that. The LA Times now has an editorial where they essentially blame the Fogels for their own deaths.

The point is that no matter how abhorrent the murders are, it serves no purpose to aggravate the provocation that led to them in the first place. (Building Jewish housing in the settlements.)

Hello? How did the Fogel children provoke their own deaths? By living? Is that asinine reasoning any different than blaming the Japanese children for living near the sea? Does anyone really think that building a house can be equated with murder? (Well, apparently people like the LA Times editors do.)

We can have reasonable disputes about the wisdom of adding houses to settlements. But to suggest that construction of homes is part of a cycle of violence that includes the slaughter of babies in their beds is just sickening.

The word “provocation” means something that causes an angry response. If the LA Times really wanted to know what “provoked” the baby killers, all they would have to do is read the Palestinian Authority’s official newspaper. Then they might understand that a constant stream of incitement against Israel and Israelis is the real cause of the atrocities.

As I have written before, when you confer your people’s highest honors on terrorists, it really is no big surprise that you end up with more terrorists.

In my book, the LA Times and people who think like that are the real “provocation.”

Again, our thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese victims of the earthquake whose scale is still being calculated. If you are anywhere near the Syracuse area on March 27, Stella’s parents are having a fund-raiser at their restaurant. Details on the Ichiban Facebook page. If you want to make a donation, here is a list of  organizations.

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  1. Zac Johnson says:

    Hi Yarden,
    I’m interested in you unpacking a few statements you made above. Do you actually not see a difference between Jewish families building homes in a place like Itamar (surrounded by Palestinians) and people living in Japan (it started being inhabited around 30,000 BCE)?

    Also, what is your opinion about building settlements in the WB in general?


  2. If you are implying that the Jewish presence in Itamar is only as old as the modern day settlement, I would beg to differ. But I don’t think I ever was saying who had more rights to their land, that was not my point.

    My point is bringing up the terrible tragedy in Japan was not to imply that the two situations were somehow equal. It was simply that it is wrong to blame victims for being victimized, regardless of where they live. The Fogels were murdered, and even if they live on disputed land, they were still innocent victims.

    In general although I do not see a peace agreement any time soon, I believe the bulk of settlement construction should be in consensus areas that would have to remain a part of Israel in any conceivable peace agreement.