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Words of the Week, V

More current-events items culled from the news (& the blogosphere).

John Ging, UN

From Terrence McCoy, “Why Hamas Stores Its Weapons Inside Hospitals, Mosques, and Schools,” in The Washington Post:
“During one short-lived lull in rocket fire, The Washington Post’s William Booth saw a ‘group of men’ at a mosque in northern Gaza. They said they had returned to clean up glass from shattered windows. ‘But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque,’ Booth wrote. He also reported that Shifa Hospital in Gaza City had ‘become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.

Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Casey tweeted an image of a Hamas spokesman giving an interview at a Gaza hospital. With the shelling, ‘You have to wonder … how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.’ The tweet was later deleted.” Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week, II

It’s beginning to look as though I should rename this feature “words of the day.” I’m going to try to remain optimistic, though, and hope that current events will become sufficiently peaceful to allow for less frequent postings–and the end of compilations.

From Nick Dyrenfurth, “Gaza and Israel: Why I Will Not Be Silent,” The Age
“Enough is enough. Ignore the sirens calls of hate. If so inclined, donate to the International Red Cross’ Israel and Gaza Appeal. Get informed. Read and share Shavit’s meditation on his country’s condition. Read and share Izzeldin Abuelaish’s heartfelt plea for peace. This is a Palestinian man who lost his three daughters during the 2008-09 Israeli-Gaza war. Stand up and reject the extremists on both sides. Don’t fall silent when you see the hashtag #HitlerWasRight pop up in your Twitter feed, or when all Palestinians are tarred with the brush of Hamas. Support moderates committed to a two-state solution. As Abuelaish implores, ‘This is a moment in history that must be captured.’ Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week, III

Again, current events compel me to share with you another batch of essential reading. (And if you’ve missed them, you might also wish to check the first two installments I shared this week.)

From Jeffrey Goldberg:
“Israel, then, is faced with three enormous and difficult tasks. It must do a much better job of minimizing Palestinian casualties as it fights Hamas, because this is a moral necessity and a strategic imperative. It must also do something it hasn’t done well at all, which is to create an alternate reality on the West Bank, one that shows Palestinians a different and brighter sort of future than the one promised by Hamas. And — and this is its main task at the moment — it must ensure that its citizens aren’t kidnapped and murdered by a group that seeks not an equitable two-state solution but the annihilation of their country.” Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week, II

There is so much important writing appearing this difficult week that I must provide a follow-up to Monday’s post.

From Liel Leibovitz:
“Anyone with a genuine commitment to human rights—not to mention sympathy for the Palestinian cause—should join Israel in its efforts to rid the world of such sheer evil and topple Hamas. To leave Hamas in power is not a moderate solution to anything. It is to become complicit in the agenda and the actions of a terrorist organization in inflicting terrible and continuing pain not only on its neighbors but also on its own people.” (“Some Concrete Facts About Hamas,” Tablet)

From Rabbi Daniel M. Cohen:
“At the same time, while there are indeed, ‘many strong opinions,’ not all opinions are equally valid. And while I know it is not politically correct to say so, some opinions are simply wrong.” (“Sorry, Jon Stewart, There Are Opinions, and There Are Facts,” New Jersey Jewish News) Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week: Jane Eisner

“But divestment is not only about wielding punishment; it’s about shaping a moral conversation. Some of us feel as good about withholding our dollars as we do about spending them. The Presbyterians stressed that the vote was a statement about the occupation, not about Israel’s right to exist or, heaven forfend, their love of their Jewish brothers and sisters.

Ah, but it is. Because when they singled out only Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be, at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence, they did hold one nation to a standard that others are not obliged or expected to meet. How is that not unfair and hypocritical? How does that not undermine Israel’s legitimacy?

As for their love for me and my Jewish brethren, it may be sincere but it’s awfully misguided. You’ll not usually find me in the Netanyahu amen corner, nor am I prone to identify anti-Semitism at every turn. But when Jewish treatment of Palestinians is judged worse than the way any other dominant group treats a minority, when it is deemed worthy of unique sanction, when other horrors around the world are ignored — how can I believe that this isn’t about the Jews? And that, my Presbyterian friends, is anti-Semitism.”

Source, Jane Eisner, “Why Presbyterian Divestment Feels Like Anti-Semitism,” in The Forward.

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