Monday, October 19, 2015


Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony on 13 September 1993.

On the brink of an opening doorway to peace in the Middle East, on Nov. 4, 1995 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin a former general and defense minister, was assassinated, by an ultra-conservative Israeli.   He’d been leading his country to sign the Oslo Peace Accords.  The hard-line leader Benjamin Netanyahu took over then, and the door remains slammed shut ever since.  I wouldn’t have remembered this except “This American Life” public radio program that was on yesterday [very worth the time listening to].   It outlines the thought of the assassins who show no remorse, and are counted as heroes by many Israelis who want no compromise with the Palestinians.  Still, in the recent past the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians favor the peace yet denied them.  While the Israeli government seems bent on a total-security-at-all-retaliatory-costs policy, based on an opportune assassination.

War between the members of these two sides now again escalates, a third Intifada being threatened as there’s no real movement for just solution to the land and power situation.  Knives and guns and army again into the fray.  The violence this times is taking five times more Palestinian lives than Israeli, which is much less than the often greater than ten to one ratio. 
The bodies of Noor Hassan, 30, and Rahaf Hassan, 2, at their funeral. They were killed by an Israeli retaliatory airstrike in Gaza. Credit Wissam Nassar for NYT
Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Kills Woman and Child, Palestinians Say -- 10-11-15 NYT

Israel is not alone in this protracted war post assassination situation.   JFK and the Unspeakable is an important book to read, as we approach Nov. 22, the date our President Kennedy was killed, just as he was moving to stop our involvement in Vietnam in 1963 [we didn’t leave until 1975].
The United States has consistently backed up those in Israel who want this take-no-prisoners approach to Israeli nation state power expansion.  But violence is never the solution, no matter which side you’re on, or which country/culture you come from—it only perpetuates more violence.

And witness the recent testimony of an Israeli citizen, victim of a mistaken vengeful attack by another Israeli.  Click on to access story & video--Jewish Man Stabbed by Fellow Israeli in Botched Revenge Attack Denounces Ethnic Violence - NYT 10-16-15


An eye for an eye
An ear for an ear
A mouth for a mouth
A toe for a toe
A tooth for a tooth
A finger for a finger
A brain for a brain
A heart for a heart
A bullet for a bullet
A soul for a soul
A Predator rocket and a bulldozer, for a suicide bomber.
The spirit of perpetual vengeant homicide and holocaust
                Thrives on the ongoing body count
Only to be extinguished by courageous acts
                Of forgiveness and reconciliation.

In the West we export the weapons, machines and money that fuel the conflagrations—
                Until the stench of human sacrifice tortures our nostrils
Reaches somehow beyond TV sets
And in the face of worldwide asphyxiation the only hope is
To renounce our addiction to the militarized oil economy
To convert our fear to trust, in being all God’s family.

                                                                                By Michael McCarthy    January 23, 2002

Dan Ephron, the Jewish journalist interviewed in the NPR program above, has written a book on the assassination, reviewed here in the New Yorker Magazine.

Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Kills Woman and Child, Palestinians Say -- 10-11-15 NYT
"So far this month, four Israelis have been killed in Palestinian gun and knife attacks in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, and several more have been wounded. Israeli forces have fatally shot at least 20 Palestinians, many of them teenagers, according to data compiled by the Palestinian Health Ministry and Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights group. More than 1,000 Palestinians have been reported injured."

No comments:

Post a Comment