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.

*******

Judaism lost its compass

January 13th, 2010

For many decades modern Judaism in the US has focused its main attention on Tikkun Olam, making this world a better place to all humanity. The idea was to make our outstanding Mitzvot relevant to today’s world by minimizing human suffering. Kashrut laws were changed, for example, to be concerned about animal welfare. Our mitzvot that focused on Jewish welfare were broadened to care for people suffering every where, such as Darfur.

We were active in the anti-discrimination movement from the beginning. Who does not remember the murder of the Jewish youngster in the South while registering African Americans.
Who does not remember Rabbi Heschel marching hand-in-hand in protest with Reverend Martin Luther King.

But for the last decade we are ignoring the key Tikkun Olam issue of our times; the unique, all encompassing danger to all humanity- Global Warming.

I have tried to interest Jewish leaders here and on a national scale in Global Warming, but with no result. The Jews, like many Americans, are mainly focused on their own private lives, or some good souls on the immediate community. May be they feel Global Warming is the problem of the Goim, not ours. It is not a Jewish issue like Soviet Jewry was. Is it?

Is the survival of modern life, the sustainability of our world, the pending suffering of hundreds of millions of people across the globe less important than any other issue?

I have seen nearly zero participation from the Jewish community in my own town- Sacramento, and the United States in this subject. Some local actions are commendable, but ineffective. We need national voice, a powerful one.
Unless we raise large outcry, create political pressure of large magnitude, it will be ignored by the President and Congress. Congressman Waxman of Los Angeles and Senator Boxer of California have put their careers on the line to advance the fight against Global Warming. I hope they have substantial private support from powerful Jews, but they do not get the support from the Jewish community nation wide on the scale they need and deserve.

Yes, some Jewish leaders went to Congress to express their concerns about GW, but that is about that. That’s nice but not influential. Congress does listen to a mass public pressure- letters and phone calls, but they did not witness any significant, consistent, Jewish public outcry about the lack of action in Congress. Even Conservative Christian groups are working hard against Global Warming, why are we so late in our grasp of the issue?

We do not see any mass Jewish movement, no mass literature, no repeated discussions in Temples, nearly nothing of substance. I read nothing in the mass media or the web either on a strong Jewish presence on Global Warming.

We have lost our desire to make this world a better place to all humanity. We have lost our focus on Tikkun Olam.

O’ Yes, it is also an issue of Jewish survival; when our world would be in the midst of global suffering due to the deterioration of the climate, Jews may be again the scapegoat.

Egypt trying to stop Gaza smuggeling

December 10th, 2009

Finally the Egyptians are taking seriously the problem of smuggling along the southern Gaza border. The large number of Palestinian tunnels are used to smuggle luxuries, people, money to support Hamas, and especially weapons. I am sure Egypt is pressured by Israel and the US to stop the free flow of missile and rocket parts that Hamas and other groups are using to assemble their rockets that attack Israel.

The main danger is not the small, inaccurate rockets that are primitive in nature, have low explosive power and also poor accuracy. The main problem is that Hamas is assembling sophisticated rockets from Iran that can hit main Israeli canters, even Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Israeli military commanders informed the Knesset recently about this increased danger.
Adding to the danger is the continues planning by Iran to attack Israel by rockets from the south – Gaza, and the north – Hezbollah, if Israel bomb Iran’s nuclear installations.
That could put most Israelis in danger and could cripple the country.

The reality is that Hezbollah already has a much larger number of rockets than it had before the 06 war and many more long range rockets than before. Those long range rockets forced most Israelis in the North part of Israel, including Haifa, to their shelters stopping most civil and commercial activities there. If Hamas would join the fight, and there is no reason they would not, much of Israel would be frozen.

Just imagine if the West Bank would be free to have clear borders with the outside world and no Israeli military there. Any instability could lead to rocket attacks from all directions from Arab terrorists imbedded inside civilian areas. And Israel will have to counter attack with powerful forces that will kill a lot of Arab civilians.

And the world, as before, will blame Israel for inhumanity towards the Palestinians.

Matania

Egyptians build steel Gaza wall
By Christian Fraser
BBC News, Cairo

Egypt has begun constructing a huge metal wall along its border with the Gaza Strip as it attempts to cut smuggling tunnels, the BBC has learned.

When it is finished the wall will be 10-11 km (6-7 miles) long and will extend 18 metres below the surface. The Egyptians are being helped by American army engineers, who the BBC understands have designed the wall.

The plan has been shrouded in secrecy, with no comment or confirmation from the Egyptian government.
The wall will take 18 months to complete.
For weeks local farmers have noticed more activity at the border where trees were being cut down, but very few of them were aware that a barrier was being built.
'Impenetrable'
That is because the barrier, made of super-strength steel, has been hidden deep underground.

The BBC has been told that it was manufactured in the US, that it fits together in similar fashion to a jigsaw, and that it has been tested to ensure it is bomb proof.
It cannot be cut or melted - in short it is impenetrable.
Intelligence sources in Egypt say the barrier is being sunk close to the perimeter wall that already exists. They claim 4km of the wall has already been completed north of the Rafah crossing, with work now beginning to the south.

The land beneath Egypt and Gaza resembles a Swiss cheese, full of holes and tunnels through which the Palestinians smuggle the everyday items they are denied by the blockade.
But the Israelis say the tunnels are also used to smuggle people, weapons, and the components of the rockets that are fired at southern Israeli towns.

The wall is not expected to stop all the smuggling, but it will force the Palestinians to go deeper and it will likely cut the hundreds of superficial tunnels closer to the surface that are used to move the bulk of the goods.
****

HOW TO CUT YOUR ENERGY USE

November 22nd, 2009

Friends asked me recently how to reduce their energy bills. Here are a few basic ideas.

As I write this I wonder how effective it is to know what to do vs. actually doing it. Too often I know what I should do, but for some reason, laziness, ego, or desire for immediate comfort, I don't do the things I know I should do. So, here is the information, it is up to you to overcome your own barriers and act. By the way, when I was the manager of the Solar Office at the California Energy Commission my staff suspected that I was not keen enough on solar energy. Why? Because too often when they tried to sell me a solar project I showed them that users can save five to ten time the potential energy from solar by simple conservation methods that were already available. Don't let the glamour of technology mislead you. Simple solutions are usually more cost-effective and more reliable.

You have to balance these suggestions with the amount of money you want to spent and the level of comfort you wish, but remember, THE MORE ENERGY YOU USE THE MORE YOU POLLUTE OUR LITTLE PLANET. The greenhouse effect is real and it is already impacting our globe. It is not a joke! The US is uniquely bad among advanced countries about admitting and doing anything nationally to reduce the greenhouse effects. Please do your part. Yes, to conserve you will have to reduce your accustomed level of "comfort." Take a few small steps at a time, but do them.

I. Natural gas for heating:
The cost of natural gas to consumers in California increased from 25 cents per therm (100,000 BTU) some 30 years ago to $1.00 now, a larger increase than any other energy source available. Price varies often, but conservation always worthwhile.

0. Add attic insulation if at all possible, at least to R-30 value in non-mountain areas. This is the most cost-effective investment you can make here. Use blown-in, fire-resistant, cellular material in most cases. You could do it yourself, if you are the type, it is quiet easy, but needs two people for some 3 hours typically. Or get several estimates from utility-approved vendors. Always study the requirements/details, even if you are not a technology minded person. If you can not understand the explanation and process, go to another vendor. It may be desirable, in colder climates in California, to add under-floor insulation too (R-13 minimum). Increasing R-value (insulation level) increases the cost only marginally.

1. Reduce the temperature in the house in winter. The higher the temperature the faster it leaks to the outdoor. Dress heavier to compensate for it with long johns, sweaters, etc. Reducing temperature by two degrees equals about 5% saving. Cut temp. at night to 60 degrees max Use automatic thermostat, with seven days programming.

Space heating is the largest energy user, cooking is not significant, water heating is moderate, just cut shower time moderately. Reduce water heater setting to the lowest temperature you wish your water to be. (Dishwashers need 140 degrees for sterilization). Hot water pipes should be insulated when possible. Insulation is low cost, labor needed if difficult access.

2. Shut curtains at night, but better during the day too; use CFL, compact fluorescence lights, it is more economical. Full curtains are effective insulators. They can make noticeable differences in comfort and energy waste. Narrow, multi-sections curtains are useless as insulators.

3. Keep all heat outlets in areas you do not use almost close. Shut the doors of these areas too. They could be your buffer zones. For example, adjust the outlets to reduce heat to bedrooms. You use them basically at night, under good blankets. We use light blankets when we read in our family room since we stay in the same spot for long times.

4. Check all windows for leaks, add strip foam insulation (typically 1/4 inch wide and 3/8 thick, one side is backed by light glue, so they are self-gluing, and easy to remove or redo) where needed.

5. We recently installed plastic-frames dual glazed windows, mostly to reduce noise. They are not economically justified, in mild climates, but they do provide more insulation and more stable room temperatures. The cost, after 4 estimates, was $4,000 for 6 windows and one patio door (higher now). Good quality, but not the highest possible energy saving since the increase in cost was way beyond the small increase in performance. No need for triple gazed windows in central CA.

6. Replace old gas furnaces if you use a lot of gas and your unit is older than 20 years, or start to have trouble. Older units are in the order of 50% efficient, new ones can have up to 95% efficiency! (80% units, 2 stage units are more cost-effective). Note that the air duct system is likely to leak with time. Utilities often provide nearly full rebates ($75) for checking the leaks, and list of approved shops. Do not use duct tape to seal ducts. Use special tapes for this purpose.

7. Wood stoves may provide cheaper heat, but they do pollute the environment significantly, even good units. Don’t use.

8. Ventilate the steam out of your shower and bath into the house, it will overcome the air dryness and heat the air. Leave the warm water of a bath in place until cooled, then drain. A lot of heat in bath water which can warm the vicinity.

II. Electricity:

1. The obvious things are: shut unneeded lights, and any other appliance, especially TV, bring lights down closer to the place you need them, illumination is reduced significantly with distance. You can reduce the lamp wattage by bringing the lights closer to its use.

2. Replace standard lights with compact florescent lamps in areas you leave lights longer, kitchen, garage, outdoors, and hallways.

3. Shut off computers if not used for over an hour, or put on standby.

4. Do not use "torch lights" they are dangerous and waste a lot of electricity. Get used to dimmer environment rather then bright reflective (ceiling) lights. Direct lighting is much more cost-effective.

5. When buying electrical appliances look for the highest efficiency units. Check, but often they will pay back their higher costs with energy savings during their lifetimes, but not always! (Estimate, using ten years as life expectancy.)

6. Do not buy solar systems to heat your water or home! Prices, even with rebates, are way over priced. Your actual energy use is not significant if you use low water shower heads and do not waste hot water. It takes 50 years to payback.

7. Do not buy photovoltaic systems to generate electricity. They are extremely inefficient and not cost effective. Even with many rebates they are a waste. Better spent your money to cut your energy use then encourage ineffective, high technology wasteful solutions. The hype around them is unjustified. Put your money into conservation/weatherization.

Note: Hire a reputable, recommended, energy conservation/weatherization expert if you are serious about saving energy and are willing to spend significant money for it. Good ones will save you much more money then their consultation costs. Read utility's literature and other books on energy efficiency for your home. Financial support typically available.

III. Your car:
We all know that:
1. Buying more energy efficient cars with high reliability, such as some Honda or Toyota models, will cut gas use and reduce pollution significantly. Honda is especially advanced in reducing pollution, and having high reliability. The low-energy hybrid cars by Honda and Toyota are excellent for normal driving; very small cars are less comfortable for long distances. There is a premium price of some $4,000 to 5,000 comparable to similar-size standard gasoline engines. Also, use regular gasoline, most cars do not need higher-octane and it does not improve mileage or protect your engine.

2. Don't idle a cold engine; they get warmer faster by driving for 2 to 4 minutes at moderate speed. Idling takes much longer to heat the engine since there is little energy expanded by an idle engine.

3. Change oil at intervals, and other maintenance, specified by the carmaker, NOT THE DEALER! Typically 7500 miles, or every six months. Even if you do not use the car the oil still deteriorates. It is a small cost to change oil. Note! Dealers usually recommend much unneeded maintenance that the manufacturer never asked for. Use the regular maintenance schedule, not the “special-operating conditions”. It is rarely needed. Keep records. Do not neglect longer-term maintenance required, they can be critical. such as transmission oil change and timing belts change, typically every 90,000 miles. Often for a acceptable increase in cost (less than $100) during timing belt change you can also change the water pump.

4. Keep tire pressure at 32 for most uses, measured cold after less than one mile of driving. Otherwise, fill to 35 and re-measure in the morning. Fill spare tire as needed at every six month. Keep three flares, readily accessible, and tire replacement tools. Have a set of battery-start cables: 12 feet, heavy gage, not larger than number 6 wires. (No. 4 is superior).

5. Take driving refresher course every 5 years. You will be surprised how much you forgot.
In the last 20 years car paints are covered by a layer of protective clear plastic (since paints are now soft due to pollution requirements). Without this layer the paint deteriorates fast. Repair your clear plastic scratches, or your paint will deteriorate fast and the plastic layer breaks further.

WELL MAINTAINED CARS CAN LAST OVER 200,000 MILES.

Replace car if heavy gas user. Pollute the air, sends our money to our opponents, and increase global warming.

Matania Ginosar, Dr. of Environmental Science & Electrical Engineer. Emphasis: cost-effective alternative energies.
March, 2001. Updated 11/09

My other web: ginosaronglobalwarming.org

November 17th, 2009

As you may remember from some of my previous blogs here I believe global warming is a critical issue, one of the most significant issues of this century.
As an environmental scientist and electrical engineer and previously the manager of the Solar Energy Office and the Wind Energy program for the State of California I have been involved in global warming issues for many years.

You may, therefore, be interested to read my other blog on global warming:
Ginosar on global warming.org but NO SPACES

Ginosaronglobalwarming.org

Please mention this site to other people too. I would appreciate it.

Matania

November 13th, 2009

Outstanding Israel

While we are in the middle of continuous verbal attacks on Israel by the Arab-dominated UN and much of the rest of the misguided nations, we need to remind ourselves how outstanding Israel really is . We can be very proud in our support of this outstanding nation.

Israel is a little over sixty years old, and it had its share of mistakes, like all nations. But I am extremely proud of the way Israel has been conducting itself in many areas, even before its liberation from British occupation. I was there, I witness it. We were educated to learn Arabic, to respect their culture, to try to build the region together. We were so surprise by the violent attacks on Israelis on so many occasions. And that before Israel was a free nation.
Let me focus here only on Israel military conduct after its independence.

With one or two exceptions, all countries have been born by wars. War of liberation or by revolution, but they did not emerge pure and clean without spilling a lot of innocent blood. Just think about the many European wars, some lasting a hundred years, Remember WWI and WWII and the spilling of blood of millions of civilians, not only by Germany, Italy and Japan, but also by the U.S., and England, the “liberators” of Europe. Churchill wanted to poison German civilian population after the Germany bombed London with V2 rockets. The USSR murdered millions of its own people, and Stalin sent one million of his soldiers to death trying to stop the German advance on just one city alone- Stalingrad. There are many real stories of inhumanity by most nations, from the support of Hitler’s Germany by Sweden, Spain, and Switzerland to the surrender of France and Norway to Hitler and France sending Jews to German concentration camps even when they were not forced to do so
And many of these nations have the temerity of accusing Israel of immoral behavior by defending its civilians from murderous, continuous rocket attacks from Hezbollah on the north or Hamas in the south.

There is no nation on earth that even remotely could imitate the tremendous tolerance of the Israeli people and government to the unstoppable hate, anti-Semitism and anti Israeli propaganda coupled with military attacks by the Arabs. Some 23,000, twenty three thousands! Israelis were murdered by Arabs in the different wars imposed on Israel and by terrorist attacks. Under similar circumstances most other countries would attack their tormentors and would spill blood all around, military and civilians alike, but Israel rarely attack back, and always with great concern about enemy lives.
Israel has one of the strongest military in the world. It has the third most powerful air force in the world. If it wanted it could destroy all the Arab countries combined in a few days. But not. Israelis are more concerned about the life of the enemy civilian population than the Arab themselves, more than the Palestinians themselves. Most Palestinians do not care about their own brothers and murder one another at will. Just witness the frequent murderous fights between the different fractions of Palestinians terrorists, from Hamas against Fata, and one branch of terrorists against the other. And often they hang their private enemies by accusing them of being Israeli spies.

It is simply amazing how much care Israel took to reduce Gaza’ civilian casualties during its attack on Gaza. It used leaflets, phone calls and laud speakers to warn the civilians ahead of attacks. It is amazing how an Israeli pilot under orders to blow up the main bridge between Beirut and Syria during the 2006 Lebanon war, refused to do it since he felt he may kill too many civilians. And although I personally do not agree with his conduct since he probably caused more Israeli casualties, still, I am proud of him and his attitude. And there is very large number of similar stories how Israeli soldiers were going beyond the call of duty to save Palestinian lives.

Israeli feels that human life is so important that they suffer emotional pains if they kill innocent civilians while protecting themselves. The Palestinians, however, again and again emphasized that this “Israeli weakness of caring about human lives” gives the Arab extremists the upper hand, since they do not care about their own lives or the lives of their own brothers.

I am extremely proud of the ability, the willingness, and the courage of the Israel people to care about their humanity, in the midst of an Arab world that doesn’t not give a damn about human lives.
The values that Israeli hold so important that no other country, not the US, not the Europeans, not the Russians, not the Chinese, name any country that can or will do what Israelis are willing to do to remain human under the worst of circumstances.

Please watch this short testimony by a British commander on the outstanding Israeli conduct:

http://hosem.gotdns.com/Colonel-Richard-Kemp-Challenges-Goldstone-Report-e.html

Matania