Michael Jackson

A Farewell 

When it becomes necessary for a person to dissolve the bands that have connected him to a political forum, a decent respect for the opinions of his relatively few regular readers requires that he declare the causes which impel him to this separation.

I have been disappointed in some responses to my posts. Some responses verge on the racist and imperialist. But these responses are mere pinpricks of displeasure compared to the larger issue described below.

However, before I get to this larger issue, let me briefly state my principal beliefs on the Israel-Palestinian-World issue.

Where I stand

  1. Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state
  2. Denying Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is antisemitic
  3. Israel has a right to respond militarily to the October 7th atrocity
  4. The right of the Palestinian people to a state (yes, they are a people despite some frankly racist statements posted on TOI stating otherwise)
  5. The world has the right to severely criticize Israel for the mass killing of Gazan civilians
  6. Most of the world in the past half-century has directed sharp focus and criticism towards Israel. Simultaneously, the world generally ignores more egregious human rights violations in dozens of other countries.
  7. The long-term Israeli policy of West Bank settlements is wrong.
  8. I am highly critical of many states and governments. An alphabetical, but incomplete, list follows: Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Cuba, Egypt, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, North Korea, Myanmar, Nigeria, Qatar, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, UAE, USA, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Yemen. But Israel hurts me the most.

The larger issue

The thousands of deaths of Gazan civilians are horrific. I am not going to enter the stormy waters of how many would have been saved had alternative Israeli military actions been pursued. Inevitably, any major military action would have killed thousands.

As I stated above, I support military action but believe there are alternatives, fewer “killing field” paths.

My larger issue is not what Israel did. It is how many Israelis, many Orthodox American Jews, and many TOI political bloggers are reacting to the Israel-Gaza war.  Their attitude towards the mass deaths of Gazan civilians is morally disgraceful.  They focus on the hostages, both saved, imprisoned, and killed. They dwell on the bravery and alleged “purity of arms” of the IDF. They scorn UN hypocrisy. They fear Hezbollah and Iranian aggression. They express disgust at the pro-Palestinian protesters on US campuses. They downplay the horror of extremist settler pogroms of West Bank Arabs. Yet their moral obtuseness blinds them to the killing of thousands of young Gazan children. Such a young child was 7-year-old Nada Wissam Amin Houssana, alive on October 7th, and dead by October 26th. Nearly a hundred other Houssanas died with her.

I am shocked and disgusted at the basic lack of humanity, decency, and morality in large swathes of the Jewish people. These folk openly betray Jewish values. I am fed up dealing with such people.

I say “Farewell” but I will read responses to this post. I may return in a few months so my departure may be more of a “le-hitra-ot”. We shall see.

About the Author
Born in London in 1949. Studied Maths at Warwick University. Came to Israel (WUJS program at Arad) in 1971. I became a citizen and served in the army in 1973. Returned to the UK in 1974. Worked in Information Systems. Married an American Orthodox woman in 1977 and moved to America. For a few years I have led a retiree philosophy class.
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