Update – 15 December 2011

Posted by Emily Gian on 15 December 2011 at 9:30pm:

Dear All,

Some years ago I read a story from the Holocaust on a blog that went like this:

“In the darkest despair of a Nazi concentration camp, an old Jew is constantly praying so a fellow inmate asks him why he occupies his time in this way. The old man replies that he is praying because he wants to thank his God.

“His companion is both shocked and puzzled and asks the question, ‘why?’

“After all, hadn’t the Germans murdered his wife and children, hadn’t they deprived him of his home and belongings and hadn’t they made his life miserable to the point where his existence lacked any semblance of dignity? Why the need thank his God?

“The old man answered, ‘I’m thanking god because he didn’t make me like them!'”

I was reminded of this story when I opened the Australian newspaper this morning and read the story, ‘Jewish settlers storm Israeli base’ which tells the story of a small group of Israeli settlers who stormed an Israeli army base, destroying equipment and setting fire to parts of it.

Similar acts of violence have been carried out against other army bases and against Palestinian homes and mosques over the past few months, including an attack on a mosque just a few hours ago.

The story reminded me of the man who prayed, it does not matter who the “them” is. What matters is that we as a people continue to hold ourselves up to the same high standards we have always held and never allow ourselves to believe that we are above any set of laws.
Nobody has the right to carry out an unprovoked attack on anyone, be it the Palestinians of the West Bank or the soldiers of the IDF that are risking their own lives to protect those attacking them.

The Australian article that appeared quotes Major General Avi Mizrahi, the chief of the central command of the IDF as saying, “I have not seen such hatred of Jews towards soldiers during my 30 years of service.” He continued, “The entire circle has to be closed, from the police to the prosecution… If yesterday I had arrested 20 people here, it is clear to you that they would be released the next morning”.

In response to the attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “Those who raise a hand against IDF soldiers or Israel Police personnel will be punished severely. Those who rioted at the IDF Ephraim Brigade base are like those who riot in Bilin” (see more).

He also approved the following recommendations:
1. The immediate issuing of administrative detention orders against rioters;
2. Immediately increasing the number of those barred from various areas;
3. Trying rioters in military courts;
4. Giving IDF soldiers the authority to detain people; and
5. Increasing both the number of special ISA, Israel Police, IDF and State Attorney’s Office investigation teams and the resources for investigations.

There was also a recommendation to define the rioters as terrorists, but at this stage, the Prime Minister has rejected this (see more).

I have previously written about these “price tag” attacks and I find them appalling. All elements of society need to have faith in the government, the army and the law and no citizen has the right to take the law into their own hands.

In other news, if there was a group that I would ask to be nothing like, it would most certainly be Hamas. This group, with their genocidal Covenant and their propensity for using their own people including children as human shields, yesterday celebrated its 24th year anniversary.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh addressed a rally with tens of thousands of Hamas supporters, declaring that his movement was committed to armed struggle to liberate “all the occupied Palestinian territories” and that Hamas “together with all the free peoples, will lead the fight to liberate all Palestine” (see more). For all of those people who might be confused about what “all of Palestine” means, he did call for the formation of an Arab army “to liberate Jerusalem and the Aksa Mosque very soon”. I hope that the Quartet, which is encouraging the Israelis and the Palestinians to get back to the negotiating table, understands this, especially in light of the fact that Hamas and Fatah have yet to work out the conditions of their reconciliation.

In the meantime, Hamas boasts some terrible figures of its 24 years of existence – Hamas have killed 1,365 Israelis, wounded 6,411 others, carried out 1,117 terrorist attacks including 87 suicide bombings and have fired 11,093 rockets and missiles at Israel. Most of the victims are civilians. And to top it all off, it is brainwashing an entire generation to think that violence is its only future. These images of children in Hamas uniforms holding mock rockets and rifles are tantamount in my mind to child abuse.

Of this, Hamas, its supporters and those who are apologists for this terrorist movement, are all proud and that is why I am grateful I am not like them.

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