As we edge closer to the potential agreement, an interesting debate has heated up - whether or not Israel is making the right decision in pursuing this exchange. Oddly enough, I understand both sides and see no wrong in either side's points.
Those against the hostage exchange are worried that some of the ~1000 soon to be free Palestinians will commit terrorist attacks that will end the lives of tens of Israelis. They think that the success of this deal will promote more Palestinians attempts to kidnap Israeli soldiers.
Those in favor want Gilad home at all costs, relating to the plight of Gilad's parents (& family & friends) - who have been without their son for 3+ years. They also acknowledge how important it is for a 'country of soldiers' to know that we do our best to never leave our boys behind enemy lines.
Where do I stand? I'm against the deal. I think the negatives far outweigh the positives. I still wouldn't say that to Gilad's parents - nor do I feel that any of their actions to return their boy have been wrong.
Haaretz had a story today about a handful of Ashkenazi students not attending Beit Yaakov due to the high court ruling that the school must integrate Mizrachi students:
The Education Ministry on Wednesday threatened to prosecute parents of students in a West Bank settlement school under the mandatory education law, unless the students returned to their classrooms.
The Ashkenazi students of the ultra-Orthodox Beit Yaakov girls' school in Immanuel stayed home on Wednesday, yet again, as part of an organized protest against the decision by the Education Ministry and High Court to end the segregation between Sephardi and Ashkenazi students
In August, the court ruled that Beit Yaakov and the Independent Education Center have "infringed on the Sephardi students' right to equality" by segregating them from their Ashkenazi peers. It also scolded the Education Ministry for not using "all the means available to prevent discrimination."
"The court and media don't understand that this is another world," a mother who is keeping her daughter out of school said. "The Hasidic program was created because of a different religious outlook. Only pure children attend it."
"The Mizrahi students' families don't belong with the other families,"another parent said. "They have a television at home while the [Ashkenazim] speak Yiddish. The Mizrahi girls have a bad influence on our girls. No court will change anything," he added. "It's better for everyone to have separate study programs. This way each student keeps his identity - just like you wouldn't play Mizrahi and classical music on the same radio show," another resident said.
The school has 215 students from first to eighth grade, 35 percent of whom are Sephardi.
"It's a disgrace to this place, the ministry must intervene to stop the segregation once and for all," the father of one Mizrahi student said. "The Ashkenazis think they're more intelligent than we are, but what really bugs them is our skin color."
I think these righteous, elitist & racist Ashkenazim should boycott more than the school. Why not also incorporate those Mizrachi/Sefardi 'bad incluence' Rabbis like Rambam, Ramban, Ibn Ezra, Abarbanel, Hillel, Shammai etc into their boycott. I mean, you wouldn't want to hurt your kids' "identity."
And people wonder why I still harp about how this country handled the Mizrachi aliyot in the 1950s ...
Courtesy of Jewlicious:
Every Friday, protesters have been gathering [in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem] lately to protest the expulsion last August of two families from their apartments after the Israel Supreme Court ruled that the land upon which their homes were built belonged to the Sephardi Jewish community. The evacuated houses were built in the 1950s by the UNWRA in order to house Arab refugees who had fled from West Jerusalem during the 1948 war. In 1967, when Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan and reunited the city, the Palestinian families were permitted to stay on as tenants. Disputing the validity of the ownership of the land, they stopped paying rent. This led to the events that preceded the protests. As you can see, the bulk of the protesters are Jewish and Israeli. What really stood out though was at around 3:19 of the video [already edited in clip below].
One of the middle aged Palestinian women started chanting what sounds like the following: “Falasteene Bladna, al-Yahud klabna” – that would translate into “Palestine is our country! The Jews are our dogs!” – which is kind of odd – I mean the people walking by her in handcuffs were the aforementioned “Jew Dogs” who had been arrested whilst protesting in favor of the Palestinians. Maybe that’s why she was shushed? I mean am I hearing this right?
"I would like to point out one permanent assignment that is entrusted to each of us, old and young, men and women, educated and ignorant, as a group and as individuals; this assignment is the defense of our people's honor.
All too easily we allow this honor to be impinged. So far have we become used to humiliation, that in a simple curse we no longer find insult, and just say to ourselves: 'thank you for only swearing at us – after all you could also have beaten us!' Everywhere, even in public places, our ears pick up vulgar outbursts against our people, and we pretend that we did not hear them, and console ourselves that 'they did not mean us'.
This is a lie: It is always aimed at us, and we must respond. We must end this abuse of ourselves, at all costs. And it is very easy. They spit in our faces without fear, 'in passing', for no reason – not because our insulters are blessed with courage and want to pick a fight with us, but because this pleasure is so cheap for them: they will spit at us and go on their way, and nothing will happen.
We must accustom them to the thought that from now on this pleasure will come at a hefty cost. A new commandment must enter our hearts: that even where there is only one Jew, the word 'Zhid' must not be heard without response. Wise people will come and try to dissuade us: 'You are weak – what can you do?' But it is not our purpose to win in every single incident. Our objective – to create about us the belief that a slur on our national feelings is no longer what it once was, a small diversion free of cost – but will rather, with an absolute certainty and a mathematical precision, result in a sharp and unpleasant confrontation
It is the hour to prove what we truly are: A proud people, or filthy scum whose only calling is to be trodden upon."
Ze'ev Jabotinsky, What are we to do?, published 1905
There's a good chance this will be my last post of 2009. So to those celebrating, Happy New Year!