A TENACITY TO LIVE

December 31st, 2014

A little personal story

Background…

My life, starting at the ripe age of 15, when I joined the Underground to liberate Israel from British occupation, was so full of challenging events that a month seemed like a year, a year seemed like a lifetime. From running way from British bullets when gluing pamphlets in the streets, to facing the reality that my young, beloved leader, Menachem Rivenbach, only 18, was just killed in a Lechi Underground operation. So much happened, so many friends lost, and so many emotions were buried in me since I could not share them with anyone. I was not alone with this isolation, since we knew that we could be the next one to go, our emotions were well-hidden, no external recognitions of personal loss. Even when the body of our murdered kibbutz friend was in a casket on the truck with us seating around it, we just made jokes.

And we just kept going.

In the Lechi underground, I was mostly alone, until I found my girlfriend, that is. I had to be quiet and unassuming to disappear in a crowd. No personal friends. Not outside, or inside Lechi either. Secrecy above all. Unlike military, we were alone with no release by shared experiences. Just a double life of lies. I was unable to share my story and especially feelings, with anyone. I was unable to tell the truth to any one, especially not to my own family. They must not know or I would be sent away like my brother was.

After spending four years in Lechi fighting the mighty British to liberate Israel - I spent a year at the Lechi border kibbutz, Neve Yair. We were close to the Gaza strip as well as to the established kibbutz Nirim. Arab terrorists murdered savagely three of our members, a few months apart. We got numb to death. On another occasion, coincidentally, when a bullet was shot towards my heart, a tall friend, Yaacov Avnery, was walking in front of me and got the bullet in his stomach since he was taller. Badly injured, he survived. I would not have. I risked my life to get him to the hospital, but that was standard to all of us. I barely thought about it, but when I do, I thanked him in all my heart.

Our small kibbutz was full of challenges, from security to lack of water, but especially for me since I was the only technical guy there. I enjoyed building the electrical system and repairing tractors. I enjoyed dancing nearly every night, until my legs almost gave up. I risked burning to death mounting phosphorus mines under the barbed wired fence since I did not trust anyone else to be as diligent as me. I slide slowly on my back, inch by inch, underneath the barbed wired fence, mounting these fiery mines one after another and activating them. I knew all the time where every part of my body was while I slided on my back not to ignite the mines. In addition to doing all the hard technical tasks nearly alone, I had almost no rest since I also had to guard during my time off.

But the toughest thing was being far from my girlfriend R. - (I missed her a lot, she visited but did not stay in the kibbutz since she was a city girl, desiring comfort that a new kibbutz was unable to give). So, eventually I left the kibbutz after a lot of soul searching. Our Lechi leader Itzhak Shamir (later Israel Prime Minister) asked me to return to the kibbutz. It was hard for me to refuse him since I admired him considerably, but I did not want to return. I then started to relax, with no need to look behind my back if someone was ready to shoot me, either British or an Arab. I was happy to spend some time with my girlfriend, teaching new Yemenite immigrants Hebrew and a new way of life, in a transition camp, a tent city.

And then I was called to military service, I joined the Israel Defense Forces, IDF.

Two months of IDF basic training taught me to take orders, which I did not like, and train others to safely throw live hand grenades. And despite all the discipline troubles I caused my sergeant, (we actually did like one another but he ordered me frequently to run around the training grounds with my gun in the air...) He wanted to send me to officer training, but I was tired of years of duties and did not look forward to committing extra years to military service and told him: thank you, but no.

I served in the Air Force late 1950- to early 52, just 18 months, a shorter service than normal because I got 6 months credit for my four years of Lechi service. I worked in Unit 206, the electronics unit. My huge base originally was Sarafend, later called Zrifim. It was peace time and in the beginning it was not too interesting, equipment maintenance and the like. However, one thing that made it enjoyable was the daily visit from my older brother Pinhas.

Pinhas was doing his officer training at that same huge base, and he felt that he was insufficiently fit physically. So, every day he run around that huge base and visited me on the way.

It was lovely to see him frequently especially after his years in a British prison and later in a British detention camp in Africa after he was arrested as a Lechi leader.

As time passed by, I was assigned to erect tall military antennas around the country. It was fun climbing a very thin 300 feet antenna without any safety belt, and calling friends from above as they passed below, not realizing where I was. I also had to change safety red light bulbs at the top from time to time. I was very careful, I would climb one-step at a time without safety belts, no one used them then, leaving one leg inside the tower structure, and so even if I lost balance, I would be stuck safely up there. Nothing bad ever happened. I learned to be very careful from sliding under the barbed wired fence in the kibbutz.

At other times, I maintained and operated short wave transmitters at several Air Force bases. With 24 hours on and 48 hours off, week, after week, I was busy. During my off periods, I had just enough time to earn money erecting home antennas for private people on Tel Aviv roofs. It was much safer than the IDF jobs. Eliezer Sirkis, a friend from Lechi, had a radio store a short block west of Magen David Square and gave me jobs from time to time erecting roof antennas. My Air Force salary was $4 a month, and it was not sufficient even for bus tickets to go home on vacation. So I used my BSA motorcycle to drive around and worked during my time off to pay for the expensive gasoline.

With all of these risky Lechi understood and border kibbutz life behind me I thought I was safe. Little did I know what was awaiting me in a quite shelter underground.

CLOSE TO DEATH

For several months, I worked at a radio communication station in a bunker at Ramat David, an Air Force base in central Israel . At that quiet base, at that peaceful time in Israel , I came closer to death than any other time in my life.

It was a long trip to the base from my home in Tel Aviv, but working there 24 hours on and 48 hours off was a good arrangement for me. An “Egged” bus would drop me three miles from the base and I would walk to it. As long as it was good weather, it was no trouble at all, especially with a tasty compensation along the way.

The walk to the camp was between lovely apple orchards, belonging to a nearby kibbutz. Many soldiers walked back and forth to the base that way and also liked fresh green apples. They were not bashful stealing them, neither was I. The kibbutz placed foot square green and red signs all along the path saying: “private property, stay off.” And these signs were enforced by five foot high wired fences all around the orchards. Luckily they did not use barbed wired on the top like the ones that surrounded our military bases.

I love fresh fruits and vegetables and I ignored both the signs and the fences and always took my illegal apples as I passed by. I would first check left and right to see that no one was around, and listen that it was quiet for a time. I would then climb quickly the unstable fence, and pick two apples and climb back fast. I knew a lot about fences. I had already build wired fences in our Lechi kibbutz, and even climbed once a ten foot barbed wired fence, which I survived with millions of cuts, so these apple fences were a child’s play to me.

I stuffed the apples immediately in my backpack that contained spare clothes, books, etc and proceeded to the base, my home away from home.

One time I went to the base, but almost did not return. I was so close to heaven, it was sheer determination that saved my life. It was nearly noon and I was eager for a thick cheese sandwich with all the trimmings. I brought with me: tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, all so fresh- it was picked last evening and brought to market in just a few hours. After smearing the olive oil on the thick slices of black Russian bread, I spread on slices of Feta cheese and vegetables on top, almost drooling with anticipation. Meals were very important events in this boring environment.

There was very little to do alone in these underground bunkers beside reading and studying. On that day, after studying mathematics for a time, I had to stop. I became saturated with numbers and equations. My best high school friend Naftali Vilensky and I were studying mathematics. We hired a private teacher together to help us prepare and I did my homework at the bunker. We were planning to go to the US to study electronics and thought that they were probably so advanced compare to us (since we were 5 years after high school) that we better be prepared. A year later, at the University of Washington , I found out I was so advanced compare to my freshman class that after a short time they moved me to a higher level.

For safety sake, we were supposed to work in teams at the underground transmission centers, but budget cuts had eliminated that a long time ago. We were solidly alone for the duration of the 24 hours shift. No one saw us or knew that we existed. Several times a day I had to change the transmitters’ operating frequency to improve reception at the various bases across the country. We changed frequencies by changing coils, taking one out and replacing it with a different unit.

The powerful 500-watt short wave transmitters were US made, 4 feet cube, boxy, and ominously black. On the front, they had several small lights; one of them -bright red- was especially important. That light indicated that the thousand-volt DC power, enough high voltage to kill you several times over, was on. It alerted us to the danger of possible electrocution when we opened the unit. And several times a day we had to open the top of the transmitters and replace a set of coils.

Another safety feature was wisely built in- a visible power switch. In order to change the coils I had to open a 10 by 10 inch door at the top of the unit to reach the coils. As I opened that little door I saw clearly a large 2-inch long, open safety switch. I could see that the power was interrupted when the door was open by the position of the safety switch. And to be safe I looked again at the front red light. It was dark- clearly off. I believed that all was safe and I started to replace the coil.

I inserted my right hand inside the unit, grabbed the coil inside and froze. I saw only black with some bright stars moving around. I was awake but unable to move at all. Just a piece of granite, for all practical purpose. But something was still alive in me, my brain. I knew that high-level electricity, especially if crossing the heart from my hand to the ground, froze the muscles and thus I had negligible time to act, or die.

I ordered my body: "PULL, PULL, PULL, YOU MUST BREAK THE CONNECTION!" "DO IT NOW."

But my muscles were frozen by the one thousand volt going through me.

As electronic technician I was always careful with electricity, almost always wore rubber-soled shoes for insulation from electricity. I never wore a ring or other metal things on my fingers, to reduce likelihoods of electrocution. And luckily then, I was standing on a thin rubber mat. But none of it helped enough then.

I pulled and pulled with the last strength in my muscles. Nothing.

Finally, my determination broke my frozen state and I pulled my right hand away from the coil with the infinitely small strength I still had.

I have no idea how long it took, but it had to be in milliseconds otherwise I would not be alive. I did not feel any damage or pain. But I did not wait, I was not sure I was really ok so I ran up the concrete stairs to the ground above, saw the beautiful sunlight, breathed my lungs full again and again and said to myself loudly: “I am alive, I am alive!”

A few soldiers passed by looking at me and my strange exhilaration. One of them asked me, are you ok? You seem so white?

I wanted to tell him: if you just knew. But I told him, everything is fine. I could not explain what happened. They would not understand.

I sat on the entrance at ground level, looking around and continued to smile.

Wow! That was a close one.

Finally, after enjoying the beautiful day for a time I went back down and as I approached the door to the transmitter room, I saw again the big sign on the door:

IF YOU LOVE WINE, WOMEN AND SONG, BE CAREFUL, ELECTRICITY CAN KILL YOU.

I saw it many times before, but this time I did clearly know what it meant.

I felt then like killing the bastard who modified the safety switch. If he were there then I would have loved to give him a test of my 1000-volt DC.

I never found that idiot.

*******

Climate & Topography Shapes the Middle East

May 2nd, 2015

Muslim Volatility Can Not Be Stopped in the foreseeable future.

The poor Tunisian pushcart vendor, who started the Arab Spring by burning himself to death, had no hope. The combination of extreme poverty and police brutality lighted his match. This wide spread abject poverty is the common cause of the Arab revolts. And that is driven by increased regional droughts.

The most fundamental thing about the Arab world is that it resides in a vast hot and arid region, some almost a desert. That aridity shaped the religion and way of life of the people from their beginning. Survival is the key. Fundamental scarcity dictates that every tribe is for itself, under autocratic leadership. If you do not obey, you die.

Topography and climate shape a people and their history. Look in Yemen: mud houses on top of one another with no vegetation in sight. Most of the water in Syria and Iraq come from Turkey. Egypt has no rain; the Nile River is the only source of water for 95 million people.

The Middle East volatility cannot be stopped in the foreseeable future, since key conditions that led to it are almost impossible to improve. Israel and the West must get used to that!

The Middle East was always ready- to- explode due to a combination of: scarce water sources, tyrannical religion, women's oppression leading to a very high birth rate; large, deprived, rural population; plus tribal and sectarian hatred. Thus only dictators were able to stabilize their areas. Eliminating dictators opened the doors to massive sectarian/tribal wars. When you add to these weapons of mass destruction held by the fanatic religious leadership of Iran, it would expand the danger to the entire world.

These crucial elements are increasing the danger in the region:

1. An arid region increasing in dryness leading to massive rural hunger and frustration

2. Millions of young rural refugees moving to and destabilizing urban areas

3. Fanatical religion combined with sectarian hatred leading to ISIS and similar radical groups and mass murders,

4. Extremist Iranian religious leaders committed to obtaining nuclear weapons to subjugate the region and destroy Israel and the West

5. A driven, idealistic US president unable to fathom the complexity and explosive danger of the above

Lately two major forces are destabilizing our world order: Islamist violence and Climate Change. The recent Arab upheavals are due in a large part to the increasing aridity of the Middle East driven by Climate Change. Africa is a similar case. California is experiencing its worse draught on record, with no end in sight.

Major parts of the population are uneducated and most are governed by their fanatic emotions, unable to think. Add to that dropping oil income, wealth for the minority only, and tribalism and you get continuous catastrophes, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims and Christians. No outsider can solve their lack of water, their infighting, hatred, fanaticism. Benevolent dictators are their only hope for the foreseeable future.

Only Egypt President El-Sisi is a ray of hope with his desire to reduce the fanaticism of the Muslim world.

This is the world of unsymmetrical war: small groups of hard to identify people, intermixed with local population, disturbing the lives of millions of citizens, murdering every one they wish to. Aircraft carriers and advanced fighter aircraft are not able to stop these mini wars. These fighting are likely to spill over to us because with a nuclear Iran it would be harder to prevent major catastrophes in the Western world, even larger than 9/11. Iran is supporting global terrorism, and with nuclear weapons Iran would be more aggressive, and drive surrounding Arab nations to get their own nuclear weapons. Nuclear Proliferation in the volatile Middle East is an explosive situation.

President Obama innocence and misplaced idealism. I usually support the elected president, even if he is not of my choosing. Regrettably, Obama did not do well internationally. The global difficulties he faced would have been hard to solve by any president, but almost all Obama's moves were misguided and fruitless, at best. Just one example- denigrating Egypt's General el-Sisi for toppling the Muslim Brotherhood. El-Sisi should have received massive military and financial support from us, not condemnation! What was the Obama team thinking?

President Obama has a very narrow understanding of reality. Few people can truly grasp reality, but a President must! Obama has limited life experience and his dreams are not moderated by facts that he does not want to or able to grasp. Also, he selected only "YES" people for his team of advisers! He is closed in his own limited circle. And our President believes that Iran's extremely smart, immoral fanatic elite will follow their agreements. He also believes that he can civilize Iran's fanatic elite by bringing them into the "Community of Nations"

How can any educated, thinking person believes in this fantasy?

Iran will gladly supply terrorists with small nuclear bombs to ship to ours and Europe shores in any ship they want. It is that easy. Iran also has developed long range nuclear-capable missiles to reach the USA.

Wiping Israel off the map is even easier. One bomb is enough and the fact that 3 or 4 million Muslims will perish too, is immaterial, Iran said: "they will go to heaven to reap their enticing rewards."

And this is the unstable world our idealistic and oblivious President is moving us towards.

Sleep well, if you can.

I cannot.

Matania

For info on Climate Change see my blog: www.ginosaronglobalwarming.org

Time for US Redirect

February 9th, 2015

More than half a century ago, Israel warned Western governments that the time to stop terrorism is now since otherwise it will spread around the world. Everyone laughed at the Israelis and said: it is your problem, not ours.

The recent Paris attack woke some up. But they will fall asleep again. (I wrote this before the attack).

Last year tens of thousands of innocent people were murdered in the Arab world. There were also close to 500 suicide attacks with some 5,000 people dead and a much larger number injured globally, mostly in the Middle East, and Africa. Almost 100% of them by radical Muslims. Very few were in Israel.

Almost every step the US and the Western world have taken towards the volatile, atrocious Arab/Muslim world has been wrong:

The last time we did something sensible there was Desert Storm, driving Saddam back from Kuwait. Bush I was sensible to stop from taking over Iraq since we did not want to be buried there.

Destroying Saddam had destroyed Iraq and caused more civilian casualties than during Saddam peak atrocities towards his people. They had more general security and a safer life then. Of the 200,000 Christians in Iraq under Saddam, only 10% remain. Destroying Saddam gave free hand to Iran to develop its nuclear weapons with no penalty or delay. And this US Administration still think we will entice them to stop their nuclear program. How naive.

US and EU support of the Palestinians gave the world millions of unsettled Palestinians' refugees that are still hated and discriminated in all Arab countries, except Jordan. Supporting the Palestinians energized Hamas, and Hezbollah, with design of destroying Israel, and destroying the US and Western way of life after that.

US support of the erroneous, idealistic, thoughtless 1993 "peace process" gave power to master terrorists like Arafat and Abbas with the goal of terrorizing Israel to drive Jews out of the region. And they have inspired the formation of other terror groups all over the Middle East and Africa, such as ISIS.

US inability to comprehend and plan for the takeover of the Iraqi State after Saddam caused a half a million civilian deaths and immense civilian suffering in Iraq. That sad experience still did not teach the US Administration anything, and it followed by premature withdrawal of US troops from Iraq bringing in ISIS.

The collapse of the Syrian regime was left to its own bleeding causing more human suffering, some 4 million refugees and over 200,000 dead, killed by all participants.

Most US Administrations have been eager to "solve" the Israeli-Palestinian" problem without success, but instead escalated terrorism that only Israel was able to moderate somewhat.

We, the Western world, do not understand the most basic thing: most Muslims in the Arab world are not like us. It is not by heredity, it is essentially by culture. Certainly the majority is not terrorist but most are supporters of terrorism, the largest part by thoughts only, but some by deeds. Even that is a huge number. If the majority wanted to stop it, they would have paraded in mass in the streets against it and would not give support to it. Instead, the Palestinians danced on their roofs when Saddam bombed Israel. And Arabs spread candies in their communities when a horrific terrorism succeeded. Many are very proud of their murderers.

The majority of Muslims in the Arab world do not think like Western people, they do not feel like Western people. They are not educated to think for themselves, and their restricted religious education pushes them to follow orders, to hate the "others." And too many of them do not care about their own lives, and definitely not about other human life.

Here is what Khaled Abou El Fadl, a distinguished (moderate?) professor of law at UCLA wrote:

"I want Muslims to live by Islamic law..... the Shari'a"Shariah and Islam are inseparable," he has written, "and one cannot be without the other.", he confesses that his "primary loyalty, after God, is to the Shariah." [Shari'a is the law that among other things endorses slavery, execution for apostasy, and the repression of women, and which treats non-Muslims as second-class citizens].

Most Arab Muslims do not care about the most fundamental aspect of our own civilization:

Not about the right to life, equality, free speech, human dignity, justice, compassion, freedom. They oppose each and every aspect of our Constitution, our core beliefs. Agreements are valid until it is beneficial for them to ignore them. Islam is the superior religion. All other religions are inferiors. Some faiths must be destroyed, their followers must either convert or be killed.

Power over others is the ultimate goal

Here is what the Egyptian President just said:

Egypt's Sisi: Islamic "Thinking" Is "Antagonizing the Entire World" - Raymond Ibrahim

Speaking before Al-Azhar University and the Awqaf Ministry on New Year's Day, 2015, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said: "It's inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible! That thinking - I am not saying "religion" but "thinking" - that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world!"

"Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants - that is 7 billion - so that they themselves may live? Impossible!...We are in need of a religious revolution....This umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost - and it is being lost by our own hands." (Islam Translated)

 

It is time to grasp THE ENORMOUS DIFFERENCES OF THE CULTURES and WAY OF LIFE.

It is time to grasp that we think and feel differently due to the different culture and heritage.

It is time to grasp that we have had no successful idea what to do in that region.

It is time to admit it- we have no idea what to do with people who many of them have returned back a millennia, to the days of terror, intimidation, women subjugation, stone killing, and beheading. And we must grasp that the outside world cannot impose a change on the vast Muslim world. Such a major shift, if it comes, can only come from within. But such a change will require a very long time, may be a few centuries!

It is time to regroup and start thinking with open eyes, not with ridiculous, immature approaches that thinks the Arab world is similar to our own. And if we just knew how to talk to them nicely......

Matania

Time for US Redirect

January 9th, 2015

More than half a century ago, Israel warned Western governments that the time to stop terrorism is now since otherwise it will spread around the world. Everyone laughed at the Israelis and said: it is your problem, not ours.

The recent Paris attack woke some up. But they will fall asleep again. (I wrote this before the attack).

Last year tens of thousands of innocent people were murdered in the Arab world. There were also close to 500 suicide attacks with some 5,000 people dead and a much larger number injured globally, mostly in the Middle East, and Africa. Almost 100% of them by radical Muslims. Very few were in Israel.

Almost every step the US and the Western world have taken towards the volatile, atrocious Arab/Muslim world has been wrong:

The last time we did something sensible there was Desert Storm, driving Saddam back from Kuwait. Bush I was sensible to stop from taking over Iraq since we did not want to be buried there.

Destroying Saddam had destroyed Iraq and caused more civilian casualties than during Saddam peak atrocities towards his people. They had more general security and a safer life then. Of the 200,000 Christians in Iraq under Saddam, only 10% remain. Destroying Saddam gave free hand to Iran to develop its nuclear weapons with no penalty or delay. And this US Administration still think we will entice them to stop their nuclear program. How naive.

US and EU support of the Palestinians gave the world millions of unsettled Palestinians' refugees that are still hated and discriminated in all Arab countries, except Jordan. Supporting the Palestinians energized Hamas, and Hezbollah, with design of destroying Israel, and destroying the US and Western way of life after that.

US support of the erroneous, idealistic, thoughtless 1993 "peace process" gave power to master terrorists like Arafat and Abbas with the goal of terrorizing Israel to drive Jews out of the region. And they have inspired the formation of other terror groups all over the Middle East and Africa, such as ISIS.

US inability to comprehend and plan for the takeover of the Iraqi State after Saddam caused a half a million civilian deaths and immense civilian suffering in Iraq. That sad experience still did not teach the US Administration anything, and it followed by premature withdrawal of US troops from Iraq bringing in ISIS.

The collapse of the Syrian regime was left to its own bleeding causing more human suffering, some 4 million refugees and over 200,000 dead, killed by all participants.

Most US Administrations have been eager to "solve" the Israeli-Palestinian" problem without success, but instead escalated terrorism that only Israel was able to moderate somewhat.

We, the Western world, do not understand the most basic thing: most Muslims in the Arab world are not like us. It is not by heredity, it is essentially by culture. Certainly the majority is not terrorist but most are supporters of terrorism, the largest part by thoughts only, but some by deeds. Even that is a huge number. If the majority wanted to stop it, they would have paraded in mass in the streets against it and would not give support to it. Instead, the Palestinians danced on their roofs when Saddam bombed Israel. And Arabs spread candies in their communities when a horrific terrorism succeeded. Many are very proud of their murderers.

The majority of Muslims in the Arab world do not think like Western people, they do not feel like Western people. They are not educated to think for themselves, and their restricted religious education pushes them to follow orders, to hate the "others." And too many of them do not care about their own lives, and definitely not about other human life.

Here is what Khaled Abou El Fadl, a distinguished (moderate?) professor of law at UCLA wrote:

"I want Muslims to live by Islamic law..... the Shari'a"Shariah and Islam are inseparable," he has written, "and one cannot be without the other.", he confesses that his "primary loyalty, after God, is to the Shariah." [Shari'a is the law that among other things endorses slavery, execution for apostasy, and the repression of women, and which treats non-Muslims as second-class citizens].

Most Arab Muslims do not care about the most fundamental aspect of our own civilization:

Not about the right to life, equality, free speech, human dignity, justice, compassion, freedom. They oppose each and every aspect of our Constitution, our core beliefs. Agreements are valid until it is beneficial for them to ignore them. Islam is the superior religion. All other religions are inferiors. Some faiths must be destroyed, their followers must either convert or be killed.

Power over others is the ultimate goal

Here is what the Egyptian President just said:

Egypt's Sisi: Islamic "Thinking" Is "Antagonizing the Entire World" - Raymond Ibrahim

Speaking before Al-Azhar University and the Awqaf Ministry on New Year's Day, 2015, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said: "It's inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible! That thinking - I am not saying "religion" but "thinking" - that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world!"

"Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants - that is 7 billion - so that they themselves may live? Impossible!...We are in need of a religious revolution....This umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost - and it is being lost by our own hands." (Islam Translated)

 

It is time to grasp THE ENORMOUS DIFFERENCES OF THE CULTURES and WAY OF LIFE.

It is time to grasp that we think and feel differently due to the different culture and heritage.

It is time to grasp that we have had no successful idea what to do in that region.

It is time to admit it- we have no idea what to do with people who many of them have returned back a millennia, to the days of terror, intimidation, women subjugation, stone killing, and beheading. And we must grasp that the outside world cannot impose a change on the vast Muslim world. Such a major shift, if it comes, can only come from within. But such a change will require a very long time, may be a few centuries!

It is time to regroup and start thinking with open eyes, not with ridiculous, immature approaches that thinks the Arab world is similar to our own. And if we just knew how to talk to them nicely......

Matania

Making Peace with your Enemies

December 2nd, 2014

The hot shower was marvelous. I was so tired and dirty after my day of farm work that I did not want to move, to have my simple meal, and just go directly to bed. The farmer I worked for was kind, but was also a taskmaster. All day long, a coworker and I had to throw huge bales of wet pea-shells on top of trucks, one after another, each one four times heavier than a bale of hay! That was not the kind of summer job I wanted, but I needed money for my next year at U of Washington, and that job near lovely Eugene, Oregon, was the only one I could find. My funds were very limited. It was 1954.

After six days of dirty, tiring farm work, just working, eating and sleeping, I needed some fun. So I grabbed a few slices from my dinner plate and went to the only movie in that small farm community.

It was Saturday night, the theater was full with people watching the war in the Pacific in vivid Technicolor. It was amazing; all US pilots were young, handsome, and brave. When a bullet killed them, they did not flinch, did not say a word, just bravely set their eyes forward as they plunged into the ocean below. All Japanese pilots, however, were ugly; when shot their blood was flowing all over them, and their faces were distorted in agony, as they plunged to the same ocean below. And the crowd was cheering with every dead Japanese.

I set there dismayed, nine years after the US won the Pacific war, the Japanese were still portrayed as monsters.

Just a few years after seeing this movie, Japan began to surpass the US in making marvelous electronic entertainment equipments (I was an electrical engineer and witnessed this transition) and was on its way to become a world economic power. How was that fast transformation possible, from militant, “kamikaze monsters,” to peaceful, hard workers, eager to make a quiet living?

Both the Germans, the murderers of 13 million Soviet civilians and 10 million Soviet soldiers, the methodic killers of the Holocaust, and the Japanese, the murderers of 12 million Chinese civilians and 3.5 million soldiers, were transformed from being our worst enemies of all times, to reasonable peace oriented people and good economic partners active in the quest for global peace..

Idealists point to that transformation saying: if the hated Japanese and Germans could be transformed from being our bloodthirsty enemies, to such good global partners, then, the militant, murder-supporting Arabs and Palestinians could do the same. Israel, therefore, should make peace with its enemies, as we did with Germany and Japan. The Israelis should take a chance and make peace with them and not be so concerned about their military security.

I wish it were so simple and true. But it is an utterly wrong comparison, because we conveniently see just a small part of the facts.

Why we stopped the Germans and Japanese in 5 year, and the Israelis/Palestinian war is now over 65 years long, with no end in sight?

The militant Germans and Japanese people were forced to transform to civil democratic societies by the sword. Germany accepted unconditional surrender after it was nearly destroyed and lost over 5 million soldiers and 2 million civilians. The USA and England inflicted such severe punishment on them that they had no other choice!

We forced the militant Japanese to accept unconditional surrender after they suffered considerable losses. Japan lost 2 million soldiers and one million civilians. Tokyo was fire bombed several times and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by atomic bombs before the Japanese agreed to unconditional surrender. They had no other choice!

The Arabs and Palestinians did not suffer as much in their wars and terrorism against Israel. The world has been protecting the Palestinians from the consequences of their aggression. Even in the clear case of the recent Gaza-rocket war, Israel had to stop before destroying Hamas and before the Gazans suffered enough to seek permanent peace. And immediately donors from across the world offered $5 billion to rebuild Gaza.

The comparison with Germany and Japan is false, the Arabs would not stop their aggression against Israel until it costs them sufficient sufferings to change their long-term desire to destroy Israel. They believe they are winners, especially with the vast, constant support of the UN, EU, and even our own US Administration.

Note, personally I do not wish more suffering on the Palestinians or the Arabs, or any one else. There is already immense suffering in this world. But sadly, no people change their long held militant ways unless they are forced to by circumstances beyond their control, as with Germany and Japan.

We must understand too that the Israelis are not just concerned about the atrocities the 2 million Palestinians could inflict on them if they had their own state on the West Bank, (a la Gaza experience) but the danger around the corner from some 300 million Arabs/Muslims who are unstable and eager to decimate Israel when the opportunity comes. Even the peace with Egypt and Jordan can be wiped out with a change in their regime, which may occur at any time.

THIS IS CRUCIAL TO GRASP:

IT IS NOT 6 MILLION POWERFUL ISRAELI JEWS AGAINST 3 MILION “WEAK” PALESTINANS,

IT IS TINY ISRAEL VS 300 MILLON MUSLIMS/ARABS ON LANDS FIVE HUDRED TIMES LARGER THAN ISRAEL, (ALMOST THE LAND SIZE AND POPUATION OF THE MIGHTY USA).

Matania