Sunday, August 17, 2014

DAN GORDON: Talking Truth to Crap





I admit to being a bit cranky. 








I've been home from participating in Operation Protective Edge for about a week. I am in uniform no more, though I still wear my dog tags in solidarity with my brothers in arms, who,like all citizens of Israel, await the outcome of cease fire talks in Cairo. Because we never wanted this war. It was forced upon us by Hamas. The  current cease fire is set to expire Monday at Midnight Israel time.Hamas has repeatedly rejected and/or  violated each past cease fire, so no one knows what will happen with this one. 
I admit to being a bit cranky.  
I don't think it's PTSD, though I've been to too many funerals, had a few too many close calls with rockets and mortars, had people with whom I'd celebrated the night before be killed the next day, seen chunks of the skull of a sixteen year old blown off by shrapnel from a mortar round I successfully dodged , only through luck and the grace of a loving G-d, who, I choose to believe, still has some  use for me on the planet. 

The song " Fire and Rain " is playing on the local oldies station and I think to myself , " Oh James,you Sweet Hippie Child, you haven't seen anything," 

You haven't been in a shelter during a rocket attack trying to comfort a little girl with nothing but the BS of an adult trying to comfort a child in a rocket attack, who knows better. You haven't seen people race for cover knowing they have only seven seconds before risking being blown apart. You haven't met people who've had to lock themselves in a so called safe room, while only a few hundred meters away a dozen terrorists , armed with anti tank missiles that could incinerate their home, machine guns, grenades, thousands of rounds of ammunition and hand cuffs, with which to take them prisoner and drag them through terrorist tunnels, into underground cells, are on the prowl, and they, this sweet family in a locked room, know that they are their targets. They will live or die in the next hour, depending upon  the skill and bravery of eighteen and nineteen year old boys and girls, who are willing to lay down their lives, not to promulgate any occupation, nor subjugate another people, but to protect their homes and families, and on this particular day, some of those kids will do just that. They will lay down their lives to protect this family and others like them. The terrorists ' secret " Divine Victory Plan" to kill, maim and take hostage, Israeli men women and children will be foiled  and there will be new funerals of nineteen year olds who've given their lives to save the lives of that family huddled together behind a locked door in their home. And you think you've seen Fire and Rain, James?

Since I'm back I've become appalled by the lack of journalistic integrity I've seen in some coverage, and the sheer ignorance in the coverage of others.

 I like listening to NPR on week ends . They have a comedy game show called " Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me. " I'm driving from a friend's house and searching for it on the radio and an NPR news cast comes on. It's about Gaza , so reflexively, like all Israelis, I turn the sound up. Are we at war? Are rockets falling again? The  reporter comes on. She has well modulated, upper crust British Public School pronunciation, as she describes the plight of Palestinian Fisherman in Gaza who now have a five hundred meter limit placed on their fishing activities by the Israeli navy in the wake of the recent war. She describes it as if it is some cold-hearted, at the very least , collective punishment of innocent Gazan Fisherman.

 I mean how cruel can these Zionist oppressors of the the down trodden Gazan fishermen be?!. 

We're talking fishermen here!

 Peter was a Fisherman. Jesus preached on the shores  of  the Sea of Galilee...to Fishermen! Just like these poor Palestinian Fishermen whom the Israelis cruelly limit to fishing only five hundred meters from shore!

 Nazis!

 I can almost see a new site to match "Jesus at the Checkpoint", which tries to say if Jesus of Nazereth were alive today he would be a poor Palestinian, harassed by Roman- like, Jewish, Nazi soldiers at checkpoints in the West Bank. Jesus would be , were he alive today,  separated from his neighbors by " The Apartheid Wall"! 

.Never mind that the checkpoints were a response to, and preventative measure against, the suicide bombers who claimed a thousand Israeli lives, who blew up women and children in pizza parlors and Passover Seders.

As for the so called "Apartheid Wall" it is a security fence, only three percent of which is a thirty foot high wall. And why is there even three percent which is a thirty foot high wall.? Because for years Palestinian terrorists from Kalkiliya and Tul Karem would shoot at cars on the Trans Israel highway and kill Israelis. And by the way, since the barrier has been there , it's stopped  almost a hundred percent of the suicide attacks. Period.

It's not Apartheid you bozo! It's self preservation! 

Twenty percent of Israel's population are Arabs, many of whom define themselves as Palestinian. They sit on our Supreme Court, which recently sent a former Israeli president and a former Israeli Prime Minister to Jail. They study and teach in our universities, serve in our military, are doctors and nurses in our hospitals, and enjoy the protection of the least corrupt , most liberal judiciary in the entire Middle East. Indeed no Arab country affords them the rights they have as citizens of Israel. Does that sound like Apartheid to you? I'll tell you what sounds like Apartheid. It is the fact that virtually every Palestinian leader has said that not one Jew will remain in a Palestinian state once it is created. In other words Judenrein. Jew Free. Hitler's wet dream

But I digress. 

Pardon the rant. I said I was cranky. Back to the poor Gazan fishermen who can't fish beyond a five hundred meter limit imposed by the Israeli navy during the current war. What this Brit twit of an Oxbridge reporter fails to mention is that Hamas terrorists attempted to stage a water born terrorist attack on Zikkim beach near the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Happily, they were engaged and killed by some more 19 year old Israeli kids willing to lay down their lives to protect the Israeli civilian farmers at Kibbutz Zikkim, where the terrorists were headed. THAT'S why there's a five hundred meter  restriction! Because Hamas terrorists , posing as poor Gazan fisherman, indeed, tried to carry out a terrorist attack against our civilians.Gazan  fisherman are paying the price for Hamas terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. But the Oxbridge modulated tones never mention that. They just sadly intone her name,and solemnly bare witness to yet  another  Israeli act of  tyranny. 

Gimme a break!

 Do your homework you twit. Keep your prejudice , if you like, in the melodrama you wrote in your head before you ever even got there, but provide at least a little bit of context. Whattaya say?

All of which brings me to Jon Voigt.
Jon Voight

Mr. Voigt recently penned an open letter to Javier Bardem and his equally talented wife, Penelope Cruz, for signing an open letter condemning Israel as a war criminal without once mentioning the name , let alone the deeds of Hamas. Mr. Voigt took them to task and recounted Israel's history in a workman like fashion, hoping to educate them, and his readers regarding the facts leading up to the current conflict. 

Mr. Voigt has thus, recently been taken to task himself, by two members of Academia who have chosen to identify with the down trodden, put upon, maligned and much misunderstood freedom fighters of Hamas. 

They have done so by taking their stand  against the capitalist, pig, oppressors of the Palestinian masses, namely the dreaded Zionists. 

They flaunt their academic credentials  to poor Mr. Voigt, a mere actor, and present the true facts and myths surrounding Israel, even going so far as to cite like minded Jewish and Israeli academics, in order to enlighten the aforementioned, and hoplessly naive Mr. Voigt.  They, after all, have written and edited books specializing on ( their grammar , not mine) the history and contemporary realities of Israel, Zionism and Palestine. The conclusion which the professors have drawn is that the United States and Israel are to blame " for the suffering Israel has inflicted on the Palestinian people" And to ice that academic cake, and bolster their argument to  irrefutable heights, which, no mere actor could ever hope to scale, they quote that leading expert on all things Middle Eastern, none other than John Leibowitz!

 Oh...what's the matter ? You never heard of John Leibowitz? 

That's because this particular proud Jewish comic, unlike guys named  Seinfeld, Sandler, and Stiller, felt he couldn't make it merely on his talent. I mean, who ever heard of a Jewish Comedian?!. So he anglicized himself into becoming  a homey of the Oxbridge Patron Saint of Palestinian Fisherman, and thus, was born again as, Jon Stewart.

I like Jon Stewart.

I think  Jon Stewart's a funny guy.

I think he's so funny in fact, he could even have made it even if his name was Leibowitz.

But I'd no more depend on his analysis of the current conflict in the Middle East, than I would consult with Dr. Pepper about a medical condition. Dr. Pepper's a heck of a soft drink. But by Doctors, he's no doctor..

So this is not an open letter to these two bozos of new left chic Academia. But it is a refutation of the same talking points raised by their fellow travelers seeking to de legitimize Israel's very right to exist as the sovereign nation state of the Jewish people. First of all what you have to understand is,  the very notion of a sovereign Jewish state, within any borders, is anathema to this crowd. They live in an enlightened, post nationalistic mindset, where the only people in the Middle East,  entitled to be nationalists , in fact, are those who wish to establish, not a nation, but a Caliphate.

Regarding the birth of Israel in 1948,  Mr. Voigt rightly sites it having come about as a result of Israel's acceptance of the 1947 UN plan to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. The Arab League and the Palestinians, represented by their revered leader Haj Amin Al Husseini, rejected the partition plan and the establishment of ANY  Jewish State within ANY borders, and as Mr. Voigt pointed out,  Israel was subsequently " attacked by five surrounding Arab countries committed to driving them into the sea"

The professors counter that poor Mr. Voigt has been taken in by a Zionist myth. " This is a distortion of the actual history, which saw Zionism arrive on the soil of a Palestine that was already in the midst of its own modernization" The Zionists , they state, deployed " The conquest of labor" and then " the conquest of the land" to increasingly powerful effect once the British conquered Palestine in 1917" 

I have heard this particular talking point  from various radical left  Professors who have almost inexplicably cast their lot with misogynistic, gay hating, democracy hating, female genital mutilating, child bride abusing, murderous thug terrorists! I am a child of the left. I attended my first civil rights march at the age of ten. My first presidential campaign was for Jack Kennedy and my second was for Bobby. You can still find my blog supporting Barack Obama's first election on the Huffington Post. To have people who proclaim that they are for the universal rights of man, for equality of the sexes, for peace and justice, side with Hamas terrorists and claim their superiority over a Western democracy like Israel, makes me want to puke at the very perversity of the notion.

As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

 So what exactly was this " soil of a Palestine.. already in the midst of its own modernization" when Zionisim arrived? Well let's quote someone who was there, on that very soil a mere fifteen years before Zionism arrived. Mark Twain toured the Holy land in 1867. Zionism arrived in 1882. What was the soil that Twain, no slouch of a social observer he, saw and described in his book , " Innocents Abroad"?

In describing the Valley of Jezreel, he states " There is not a solitary village throughout it's whole extent - not thirty miles in either direction. There are two or three clusters of Bedouin tents, but not a single permanent habitation. One may ride ten miles, hereabouts, and not see ten human beings". 

I mention the Valley of Jezreel in particular, because that's where I was partially raised, went to high school, from whence I went into the army, where I was married, where I taught high school and farmed and wrote and where my first born son, of blessed memory, was born. " I know the Valley of Jezreel as well as I know any place on earth. It is the bread basket of Israel, home to some of the most successful and stunning agriculture on earth. It is alive and bustling with farming villages, schools , colleges, high tech industry, and agriculture R&D that is the envy of the world. It abounds in forests , each tree of which was bought and paid for by Jews around the world, as was the land itself, which was stolen from not one Palestinian, because it was worthless and desolate and sold at inflated prices to the Jews who were so insane they paid handsomely for barren soil, which they turned into paradise through...." The conquest of Labor"!

There was a time when leftists actually praised labor!. But this was Jewish labor. Jews working with their hands in back breaking labor and I am old enough to have actually known that founding generation, and their love of that land which was as bare and desolate as when Twain first visited , they made bloom through " the conquest of labor". Unlike these pious Academic poseurs, they engaged in back breaking work to plant forests and create thriving agricultural villages. They were idealistic young students who displaced no one  in their " conquest of the land" which any enlightened progressive today, should realize was carried out by the oldest and most effective ecological society in the world, The Jewish National Fund, which saw to it that Israel was the only nation on earth to enter the twenty-first century with more trees than it had in the century before. And you creeps dare to distort that into some kind of crime!?

Here's is Twain's description of the Galilee before the arrival of Zionism, " These un-peopled deserts, these rusty mounds of bareness, that never, never, never do shake the glare from their harsh outlines...; that melancholy ruin of Capernaum, this stupid village of Tiberias, slumbering under six funereal palms...A desolation here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action". That was the Galilee then. Visit it today and be amazed at " the pomp of life and action" all of which was brought in through the conquest of labor of the Zionist Jews literally reclaiming the land from the desert it had become.

Regarding Israel's acceptance of the 1947 UN partition plan and the Arab/ Palestinian rejection of same, the professors state, "  " The Zionist leadership " accepted" the terms of the 1947 Partition Plan. In reality, they had little intention of actually fulfilling them, and over the next year , through inter communal conflict and then all out war, three quarters of a million Palestinians were permanently forced from their homes".

Again the intellectual dishonesty by supposed academics is simply staggering..

Here are the facts:L

There never was a state of Palestine. Never. Not once in history. Prior to WWI , what is called Palestine , which comprised Israel of today, Gaza, Judea and Samaria and all of Jordan, comprised a sleepy backwater province of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans sided with the Germans, In WWI,  and for those who don't remember, they lost the war. The League of Nations, fore runner of the UN, broke up the old Ottoman empire and at the San Remo Conference of 1921, passed a resolution " In favor of the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people.." The resolution went on to state " Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine, and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country..." the resolution went on to appoint Britain to have a mandate over Palestine  which" shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions  as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home,..The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control and Government of any foreign power" 

That last point is particularly important because Britain, in contravention of its  duties as a mandatory power, lopped off the bulk of the territory and created out of whole cloth, with 70% of what was to have been the Jewish National home , a Palestinian Arab country, and called it Transjordan, which today is known simply as Jordan. But under international law it was to have been part of " The Jewish National Home"!

In 1936 following Arab massacres of ancient Jewish communities in Hebron and Safed, The British appointed the Peel Commission, which offered to partition the 30% of remaining land into two states; one Jewish and one Arab. TWO THIRDS of the state would have gone to the Palestinian Arabs and one third to the Jews. . The Palestinian Jews  accepted the plan and the Arabs, who called themselves Arabs, and not Palestinians, again led by Haj Amin Al Husseini rejected it. The Jews accepted this tiny enclave for one reason. It was 1937 and they knew what was about to happen to the Jews of Germany and Europe. When Hitler wanted to rid Europe of its Jews, not one country in the world would take them in and they literally went up in the smoke and ash of the crematoria of Hitler's death camps. Had Israel been born, even in it's Lilliputian form in 1937, six million Jews and all their descendants would have been alive today. 

But,  say the esteemed academic supporters and enablers of Hamas and their ilk, that just proves their point. The Palestinians had no part in the holocaust, and yet they were made to pay the price by accepting into their midst the European survivors of European mass murder, that had nothing to do with them.

Really? Really?

Here are the facts, yet again, troublesome as I know they are.

When Britain went to war against Nazi Germany, the Jews of Palestine rushed to enlist in the British Army and eventually formed the Jewish Brigade which, together with it's predecessor Jewish Palestinian units,  fought valiantly in North Africa and in Europe,and played their part in the defeat of Nazi Germany.

And where was Haj Amin Al Husseini, the revered leader, indeed founder, ( and uncle of Yasser Arafat) of the Palestinian Arab Nattonal Movement?  

He was Hitler's poodle in Berlin. 

So don't peddle this revisionist crap that the Palestinians had no part in the extermination of European Jewery and Nazi war crimes, because their leader Haj Amin Al Husseini sure as hell did!

 He met with Mussolini and Himmler and Eichman and Hitler himself.

 He joined the Nazi war effort by helping recruit MUSLIM UNITS under German SS command that were responsible for mass murders in Croatia and Hungary. 

Indeed Yugoslavia sought to have Haj Amin Al Husseini indicted for war crimes, for his role in recruiting 20,000 Muslims, who participated in mass murders of Jews and others in Central Europe. In 1944,  on Radio Berlin, Haj Amin Al Husseini, the father of the Palestinian National movement said " Arabs, rise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them! This pleases God, history and religion!"

 He issued a statement saying ' Those lands suffering under the British and Bolshevik yoke impatiently await the moment when the Axis powers will emerge victorious. We must deicate ourselves to unceasing struggle against Britain, that dungeon of peoples."

That's what the leader of the Palestinian Arabs was doing when my foster father and the other members of His Majesty's Jewish Brigade were fighting and defeating the Nazis in Europe.

As to the 1948 War of Liberation, far from being invaded by five surrounding Arab countries determined to make the Mediterranean red with the blood of the Jews, the professors claim that the Arab forces were minimal and badly trained and equipped, and were sent to prevent themselves from looking like collaborators, and to prevent their rival , Haj Amin Al Husseini " from establishing a state". 

Wait a second! Did these Bozos just say the Arab armies invaded the nascent state of Israel to PREVENT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PALESTINIAN STATE?! 

You bet. That's what they said. The Arabs, not the Israelis, prevented the establishment of a Palestinian state. 

Egypt conquered Gaza and annexed it, without giving its inhabitants benefit of Egyptian citizenship. 

Jordan annexed the West Bank and all the Palestinians there became Jordanian citizens. And by the way no one at the time suggested ever turning those lands into a Palestinian state. At those times when they referred to occupied territory, they were talking about, and Hamas STILL  talks about TEL AVIV!!!

As to how badly trained and equipped the poor five invading Arab armies were..no less an expert than General George Marshal , Chairman of the Joint Chiefs during WWII and President Truman's most trusted advisor said that if the Jews declared independence they would be wiped out within two week. And he was right to think so. The " poorly equipped " Egyptians had a 10,000 man armored column less than an hour and a half drive from Tel Aviv. There was not one Israeli soldier between them and Israel's largest city. On the next morning they would drive into Tel Aviv and the two thousand year old dream of a Jewish state would be over. And what did those colonialist , imperialist, pig, Zionists have, with which to fight that 10,000 man armored column? 

They had four Czeck built ME 109 fighter planes which had been smufggled into Israel in pieces, re assembled in hangars, had never been test flown, had never had their weapons test fired, possessed neither avionics nor radios so the pilots had to communicate with each other with hand signals, and for aeronautical charts had Palestine Auto Club road maps and boyscout compasses glued to the dashboards
.
 I know because I am privileged to know the man who lead the attack of those four ME109s. He refers to me as his younger brother and it is one of the greatest honors of my life to be counted as his friend. His name is Lou Lenart. He and his three other pilots were told that the fate of the Jewish state rested on their shoulders. They were to take off and stop that armored column. I f they failed, Israel was dead. Lou pulled out onto the tarmac, looked behind him at the three other planes and saw the entire Israeli Air Force. 

But they did it. 

They stopped the Egyptian column dead in its tracks and bought Israel the time it needed to survive.

 Of the four pilots , they suffered fifty percent casualties on their first mission.

In Israel's war of Liberation in 1948 it lost one percent of its population killed. That would be the equivalent of America losing three million killed in one year. America has lost a little over one percent of that number in ten years of combat and they say America is War Weary. What do you think Israel was?

Finally, these mouth pieces for terrorist thugs, wrapping themselves in the robes of Academia, claim that it was Israel which started this current war, and not Hamas.

But that's quite simply a lie. 

And we know it's a lie because Hamas did not start digging those thirty two terrorist attack tunnels,  when Israel started it's aerial campaign against them.  Those tunnels were an offensive weapon which was to have handed Hamas their "shock and awe", their 911 moment, that would have brought Israel to it's knees. They began digging those tunnels five years ago with the cement and steel they stole from their own people, with the cement and steel that was meant to rebuild Gaza, to build schools and hospitals and prenatal clinics. And instead they used it to build terrorist attack tunnels under Israel's internationally recognized 1967 border, aimed exclusively against Israeli civilians, whom they would have murdered , maimed and taken hostage by the dozens bringing Israel to it's knees. This was their offense, planned and executed at the time of their choosing. But following their doctrine of carrying out terrorist attacks, and then claiming the mantle of victim-hood, with so called academics as their mouth pieces and enablers, they had to make it look like it was a response to Israeli aggression. So they PUBLICLY ordered the kidnap murder of three Israeli school boys on their way home from school. 

And Israel didn't fire a shot into Gaza. They just engaged in a campaign to round up Hamas terrorists in Judea and Samaria where the boys had been kidnapped and killed. 

Then Hamas started firing rockets at Israel and Israel said repeatedly ' Calm will be answered with Calm"

They must have thought to themselves , " What's a guy got to do to start a war with these Jews?!" 

Then they upped their rocket attacks to a hundred a day and Israel still said "calm will be answered with calm" while they began their aerial campaign. 

Finally a ceasefire was to have taken affect. 

Israel accepted it.
'
Hamas rejected it by launching a major rocket barrage, and then the first ff six terrorist tunnel attacks, and that's when Israel had no choice but to respond with a ground invasion to take out what was indeed an existential threat. 

Of the 1800 Palestinians killed in this conflict, 1600 of them would be alive today if Hamas had only accepted the cease fire Israel accepted immediately and unconditionally. 

But like I said, they weren't interested in a cease fire .

 This was their war and they thought they could win it. 

And don't you buy the crap these so called academics are peddling, that Hamas was the duly democratically elected government of Gaza. Hamas took power , not in an election, but in a bloody coup, machine gunning their fellow Palestinians, blindfolding, binding and throwing them off of multi story buildings. They have terrorized their own people, not only Israel. Their people, indeed, live under the yoke of occupation, but not by Israel , by Hamas. 

And as for the apologists and enablers of Hamas, who contribute to the misery of Palestinians and Israelis alike, while sitting in their club chairs in the faculty lounge, may I suggest that from now on they speak only through the orafice which Mr. Voigt has so eloquently enlarged for them, since what they are peddling is pure, unadulterated crap..

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

DAN GORDON, CIVILIAN: Tisha B'av







Psalm 122:6

"Pray for The Peace of Jerusalem
They that love thee shall prosper"

Dan Gordon
Civilian

Monday, August 4, 2014

DAN GORDON, IDF: Am Yisrael Chai

Mature wheat field in Israel
I'm in Jerusalem today today to do an interview on a Christian Television network about being a Sar El volunteer and about a few things that the main stream press doesn't seem to want to cover. This is not a "G-d is on our side" thing, I promise you. 

It's more in line with putting things in their proper historical perspective. To paraphrase Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, in order to live in israel one has to be a realist; which is to say, one must believe in miracles.

For your consideration. Make of it what you will. 

A few days before the first terrorist tunnel attack a group of religious Jews who make what is called matzah shmura for Pesach (Passover), were busy looking for very green wheat. Now this particular Matzah which they make is made from special wheat, without blemish and is literally watched over, for every step of the process, from planting to harvest to grinding, to baking the final matzah for the Passover meal. The same meal that formed The Last Supper, commemorated by our Christian brothers and sisters.

Next year is a year is shmita, the seventh year in which the Bible commands us to literally let the land have a Sabbath, to let it rest, replenish itself. Oddly enough, today's agronomists applaud the process as being ecologically sound. 

Because the land will lie fallow next year, these guys needed particularly green wheat, which could be stored for two years before being used to make the matzah. They found the wheat they were looking for in an agricultural community next to the Gaza border. They cut a deal with the farmers who sold them the wheat and they went out and harvested it all, so that the field , which had just held tall green wheat, was now completely barren. 

A few short days later the field yielded an unexpected crop. 

A homicide tunnel opended up and a dozen Hamas terrorists came out, intent upon murdering and maiming, and taking captive dozens of Israeli men women and children, in what would, and, indeed, should have been for them , "A Divine Victory". 

One can only imagine their dismay when they found that the field of tall green wheat , which was to have been their camouflage, had been completely cut down!  They were, thus, spotted immediately, and half of them killed and the other half driven back into Gaza by the IDF, thereby averting what would have been the worst terrorist attack in Israel's history. 

And all because some religious Jews were fulfilling a biblical commandment.

So I'm in Jerusalem and one of my dearest friends, Lt. Col. Danny Grossman, a highly decorated fighter pilot, makes me an offer I can't refuse. Tonight is Tisha Bi Av , It is one of the saddest days in the Jewish calendar, the worst luck day of the year. It commemorates the destruction of the First Temple and the Second Temple, and of Jerusalem, and the start of the Spanish inquisition. 

Some of the most traumatic events in the history of the Jewish people have occurred on this day and religious Jews gather at the Western wall, the remnant of the Holy Temple, to mourn and lament these disasters, in which millions of our people were slaughtered, our Temple, twice destroyed, and in which,the adversaries who sought to destroy us, seemed absolutely assured that the Jews were finally wiped off the face of the earth.

So Danny offers me a triple header. First we'll get to pay a visit to my girl friend. My girl friend is Danny's 88 year old mother, who plays a mean piano, sings the best bawdy songs of her own composition, and has a pixie smile that could light up the darkest night. I've told her on more than one occasion that if I was thirty years older I'd be chasing her around the home with my walker. 

The second thing he offers is a tour of the tunnels under the Western wall of the the Holy Temple in Jeruslem. Amazingly after all the years I've lived in Israel and all the visits to Jerusalem, I've never been in the tunnels that run beneath the wall and bring you as close to the Holy of Holies as it's possible for a Jew to get, since the Temple Mount is home now to the Al Aksa Mosque, and the sight of a Jew praying there, much less one in Uniform, would literally set off a riot that could start the Third Intifada. 

So we will visit this holiest spot of the underground portion of the Western wall close to the sight of the Holiest of Holies, tens of meters above us.

The third part of his offer is to be at the Wall for the Tisha B'av  prayers. Of all the Jews there are on the earth, tonight my friend Danny and I will be amongst the few who will be able to represent our people and be a living strand of Jewish DNA, in a history of our people's connection to Jerusalem, and this land, that stretches back thousands of years before Islam was born, and a thousand years before the birth of Christianity. 

We are the living tree of which both Islam and Christianity, are branches.

We go down into the tunnels under the wall. The tunnels were actually built by the Mamluke Moslems seven hundred years ago. They cover the original steps which led around the Temple and that portion of the Western wall closest to the holy of holies. Our guide, a former IDF paratrooper, points something out on the wall. It seems the Mamlukes used what was basically 1300 year old garbage to construct the tunnels. 

They used the stones of a long dead Roman Empire with which to build their wall. 

I take a picture. If you look closely you can just make out the letters of one of the stones . I've attached it to this email . The letters are " FRET" That is short for Fretensis which is the name of the 10th Roman legion. The 10th Roman Legion is the one which not only conquered Jerusalem. They also destroyed the Temple and slaughtered our people, with a thorough viciousness that would not be matched again in two thousand years, when another dictator built a Reich he was sure would last a millennium


Several years later this same Roman 10th Legion not only put down the Bar Kochba revolt, the last time the Jewish people were sovereign until the modern state of Israel,  but their leader also changed the name of Jerusalem to Ilya Capitolina and the name of Judea, to Palestine. This was meant to not only wipe out the Jewish people, but the last vestiges of our memory as well. 

There would be no Jerusalem. 

It would be wiped off the map. 

It's very name would be erased.

There would be no Israel, no Judea, indeed no Jews. 

The greatest empire in the history of the world had finally crushed these stiff necked , Hebrew speaking, monotheists, who worshipped the G-D of Abraham.

And yet here we were in that tunnel, looking at that scrap from the dust bin of history, all three of us speaking Hebrew, the language that was spoken here two thousand years ago, when the mightiest army in the history of the world was sure they had put an end to us. 

And here I am in the uniform of the Israel Defense Forces ,and our guide,Yuval says, "These stones you are standing on are the actual steps that lead around the temple. Your name, Dan, is the name of one of the twelve tribes. You speak in the same language that was spoken here two thousand years ago and if you give a piece of the Dead Sea scrolls to any Israeli high school student, he can read them. And where is the Roman legion now? And where are we?"

I have two photos of my foster father, Chanan, who served in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army during WWII. It was the fore runner of the army whose uniform I so very proudly wear today. 

Hitler's empire was going to last a thousand years and he would build his Reich, he was sure, on the graves of our people after making Europe Jew Free. He was as sure of it, as the Roman 10th Legion, as sure of it as the Spanish Inquisition, as sure of it as  Hamas is of it's next Divine Victory.

The first picture is of Chanan, with three other soldiers of the Jewish Brigade. They are holding an Israeli flag as they stand beneath the Arch of Titus, the arch Ceasar built to commemorate the ultimate victory over the Jews and the final destruction and sacking of Jerusalem, the city that would never rise again. And there Chanan and his fellow Hebrew soldiers are, not only still here, still speaking Hebrew, but victorious. And where is Titus?

The second picture is of Chanan and the same three other soldiers of the Brigade . They are standing in front of the Munich beer hall where a third rate painter dreamt of a thousand year Reich, built on our graves, in a Jew Free Europe.By the time the picture was taken, Hitler was dead in his bunker. And Chanan was having a beer with the other soldiers of the Jewish Brigade who had just helped defeat the Nazis, and soon would literally fulfill the vision of the Valley of Dry bones, and help the remnants of our people come up out of their graves, as the Almighty would breath life into them, bring sinews and flesh up onto their skeleton like bodies, and bring them home into the Land of Israel.

So, in this, my second to last day in the Uniform of The Israel Defense forces, for a while, a quick note to Hamas:

We've heard louder noises than your rockets.

We've seen more terror than any you could ever dream of burrowing beneath our borders.

We've faced tyrants and empires, armies and marauders who make the worst you can do think of doing, look like the mad ravings of a fevered child.

Your own people now look at you in disgust. 

No less than Abdullah, King of Saudi Arabia has called what you've done in Gaza , "a collective massacre" caused by you, Hamas.

The Palestinian people of Gaza will look at the misery you've brought down upon them and ask, what was this for? 
Of the 1600 Palestinians who are now dead, because of the war of your making, 1400 would be alive today if only you had accepted the cease fire  which Egypt proposed and the Arab League and the President of the Palestine Authority endorsed, and which Israel accepted immediately and unconditionally, and which you rejected by launching a terrorist tunnel attack against us. 

Because you hadn't enough pictures of dead babies to show an all too gullible world, so you could claim the mantle of victimhood.

And you hadn't yet managed to pull of the spectacular, " Divine Victory" terrorist attack that would demoralize the Jews.

And it all failed!.

Your more than three thousand rockets , launched against our civilians were shot down by our Iron Dome. 

Your half dozen terrorist tunnel attacks were all foiled by the IDF.

Your tunnels, which you built, instead of building homes and hospitals and schools for your people, are in ruins.

And what was it all for?

We haven't occupied Gaza for ten years.
There was no siege until you began attacking us with rockets aimed at our civilians.

You promise your people the same thing that Titus and the 10th Roman Legion and Hitler promised theirs.
You promise to annihilate us.

And you may manage to kill a few of us in a terrorist attack. We know the price we must pay to live in this, the land of our forefathers; the land that gave birth to our language and religion and culture. The land that gave birth to the tree of which you are a branch.

Tonight we will lament the tragedies that have befallen us at the hands of other tyrants. 

But we will also give thanks to a merciful and gracious G-d for saving us from the tragedy you had planned. I believe He did it with a handful of religious Jews who followed His commandments by gathering wheat, and I know he did it with the soldiers of the IDF, who stand in a tradition stretching back to David and Joshua, and the Maccabees, and the Haganah and the Jewish Brigade.

Three words, to you , then on this Tisha bi' av:

 Am Yisrael Chai.

The People of Israel Live.

Dan Gordon 
Capt. IDF ( Res)




Sunday, August 3, 2014

DAN GORDON, IDF: It's possible, even amongst smoke and fire, to dream that it's all, already over






Yes, it's possible, yes, it's possible,
Yes, it's possible, in the jeep that just passed by,
Boys roared that it's over!
Yes, it's possible
That it will happen. It's just going to be tomorrow.









The second phase  of the Israel Defense Force's "Operation Protective Edge" is complete.

But make no mistake, this was Hamas's well planned, well financed, well thought out war. This was Hamas' offensive, painstakingly put together for years,and intended to provide Hamas with a game changing " Divine Victory" .

It was to have been a Jihadi Pearl Harbor, a terrorist version of Shock and Awe. It was to have been a sneak attack by means of terrorist tunnels dug beneath  Israel's border, aimed at murdering, maiming,and  drugging  hundreds of innocent Israeli civilians; men , women and especially children and capturing them, dragging them back into underground prison cells in Gaza and holding them, and Israel as a whole, hostage.

It would have been one of the most spectacularly brutal terrorist attacks in history. The Mumbai Massacre would have been child's play by comparison. And it was all planned, not in the name of "Resistance" or to improve the lot of the Palestinian people, who have indeed suffered under the yoke of Hamas, rather it was to be launched to solve Hamas's internal political problems.
Hamas, through a combination of greed and mismanagement  was unable to pay forty thousand of their own bureaucrats and soldiers and risked being toppled from within.
On the other hand newer, and/ or  more radical groups like ISIS , Al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad were threatening to topple Hamas because they claimed it was not militant enough.

The answer was what some have come to call "The Tunnel War".

This was Hamas's secret weapon, the jewel in the crown of its terrorist arsenal.

Israel's Iron Dome and amazing civil defense system, coupled together with a courageous and disciplined home front, had limited Israel's casualties during the first eight days of the war, to one civilian killed. And that poor but caring man had been killed by a mortar round, not a rocket, while doing the good deed of handing out food and sweets to soldiers at the front. Because Israel's front is not Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, or Bosnia. Israel's front is never more than a bus ride away .

But Hamas was unconcerned that their thousand rocket attack had completely failed  to cower, or shut down the Israeli home front.  They had a secret weapon. They had spent five years and a virtual fortune which both their Qatari and Iranian backers happily gave them. They also suckered the West and Israel into donating, and allowing into Gaza, the cement and steel which they demanded with faked righteous indignation, saying it was needed to ease the suffering of the poor Palestinian people whose schools, hospitals, homes and mosques had been destroyed by a ruthless Zionist, genocidal enemy.

That was the sales pitch and the world, and Israel, bought it, hook, line and sinker.

Hamas used the steel and cement, instead, to build a vast network of terrorist attack tunnels . And they hid the entrances to these tunnels in their mosques and homes, and their rockets in their schools and hospitals!

And it failed .

That's not to say they won't stop trying.

They will .

That's not to say they won't succeed, one day, in pulling off a terrorist attack, murdering Israeli civilians and labeling that The Divine Victory they are so desperately seeking as a means of justifying the utter misery they have brought down , on the Palestinian people of Gaza, whose champions they claim to be .

(Never mind the fact that each and every one of the 1400 Palestinian deaths there have been since they rejected the first cease fire, proposed and endorsed by their own Arab and Palestinian brothers, could absolutely have been prevented. Each dead baby they so cynically parade before the media would still be alive, had Hamas only agreed to the cease fire, which Israel unconditionally and immediately accepted. )

But that was not Hamas's plan. They wanted more pictures of dead babies, in order to claim the mantle of victimhood, which would justify their tunnel terrorism against Israel.

And they failed .

Israel has foiled half a dozen terrorist tunnel attacks.  It launched a ground offensive to deal with the terrorist tunnel threat, and in two weeks discovered and destroyed thirty-one terrorist tunnels. The minute the Chief of Staff reported to the government that all the tunnels it knew of, and those it had discovered during the course of the operation, were destroyed, one phase of this campaign ended, and another began.

Israel entered Gaza with limited and well defined objectives. Those objectives having been met, Israeli forces are redeploying.

Some will remain in Gaza, continuing to degrade Hamas's offensive capabilities. Others will redeploy outside of Gaza to form a new defensive perimeter.

According to some knowledgeable commentators, reported in the international press, Israel may now enter a kind of mini war of attrition, during which time Hamas can be counted on to try to carry out another Divine victory terrorist attack against Israeli civilians, and the IDF will devote all it's resources to foiling those attempts as we have successfully done throughout this operation.

They will fire rockets. Iron Dome will shoot them down. They will continue to terrorize our civilians, and our civilians will continue to live their lives with an unbreakable  a joy, particular to Israelis .

For Israel, unfortunately there has been no war to end all wars with all those who have sought to destroy us. Rather, as Major General ( Res) Doron Almog recently told me, what we strive for is a kind of cumulative effect with those who seek our annihilation.

From 1948 to 1973 we fought five wars with various combinations of Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The cumulative effect of all those wars was that Egypt and Jordan entered into formal peace treaties with us, that have insured tranquility on those borders for forty years.

While Syria never entered into a formal peace agreement with Israel, up until the recent civil war in Syria, that border too, has been quiet for forty years.

From the late sixties until 2002 we faced a prolonged terrorist war with the PLO which found it's initial expression in the airline hijackings of the '70's.

Israel found the answer to that and today the most secure airline in the world is El Al.

After two intifadas, the first Lebanon War and Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, the cumulative effect has been that the PLO under Mahmoud Abbas, has largely abandoned terrorism against Israel, in favor of an international delegitimization campaign and demonstrations, which, though many turn violent, pale in comparison to the suicide bombings of the turn of the 21st century.

General Almog's point was that since the days of David Ben Gurion, Israel has always known there are no wars to end all wars. That much sought for day will only come when  all our neighbors accept our right to live in this tiny piece of land which is the cradle of our language , our religion , our national ethos, our heart and our soul, and ,which for two thousand years we never abandoned .

Each generation has been called  upon to pay the blood tax, to fight, neither for empire, nor caliphate nor visions of  virgins in paradise .

Each generation has had to fight for the same dream expressed in our national anthem, Hatikvah, " The Hope". 
".. To be a free people in our own land . The land of Zion and Jerusalem".

And each generation answers that call with courage and dedication. And it is not only each generation of soldiers.

We have a home front  which takes in total strangers because we are in uniform. They feed us, kick their children out of their beds so we can catch a few hours sleep, offer us their showers, wash our uniforms, laugh and some times cry with us . And most of all they bathe us in the warm light a family's love for a son or daughter, come home from the front.

Because the truth is, we are all their sons and daughters, and everyone in this loud, warm, loving, argumentative, holy and hedonist, rainbow colored country of white, brown, black, golden, gorgeous Jews, whom the Almighty has gathered according to His Word, from the four corners of the earth, and from the ashes of holocaust, and the exile of two millennia, all of us, are one, life affirming, loving, joyous- in -spite -of -everything, extraordinary, unbelievably  beautiful family.

I have an adopted cousin who was a member of one of Israel's most elite commando units; as heavy weight a warrior as exists anywhere in the word today. He once told me, "you know what the difference us.. between our soldiers ..and the Hamas and Hezbollah guys is? .. They sing songs about blood and death and war. Our soldiers.. our fighters ..our warriors, sing songs about peace."

So in that spirit, as I, in the next two days, take off my uniform and combat boots, and redeploy into civilian life, let me share with you the lyrics to one of my favorite songs.

The words don't really express it .

Google it and listen to the Sweet, sad, hopeful melody, as you read these words sung by soldiers who sing about the end of wars, instead of their  glory.

It's called "Hen Efshar - Yes, it's Possible" . It was first sung by my foster father's generation in 1948, by my generation in '67 and '73.

The soldiers of  today's " Tunnel War", on the dusty roads leading out of Gaza, are singing it still.

"Thru the falling leaves, Autumn already blows
The dust on the roads slowly fall still
And the day burns only towards you
And dreams of a distant meeting

Yes, it's  possible, that another evening will come
And the gate will creak to itself quietly
And your eyes will be so good
As if there was no war in the world at all

Yes, it's possible, yes, it's possible,
Yes, it's possible, in the jeep that just passed by,
Boys roared that it's over!
Yes, it's possible
That it will happen. It's just going to be tomorrow.

Yes , it's possible, that your sad room
Waits in the paleness of its walls
And calls the two of us to return
From battles, dirt roads and from autumn

Yes, it's possible that suddenly we will meet
At a vantage point, or on a dirt road
Yes, it's possible, even amongst smoke and fire
To dream that
it's all, already over

Yes, it's possible, yes, it's possible
That it will happen .
It's just going to be
Tomorrow

Dan Gordon
Capt. IDF ( Res)

DAN GORDON, IDF: Open letter to Javier & Penelope

Dear Javier and Penelope,
I'm not picking on you . Honestly. As I've repeatedly said , no one has more admiration both for your talent and your humanity than I do. But also, as I stated in my last missive, you , through you very humanity, through your natural empathy with people who are suffering, and your rage at those whom you believe to be the cause of their suffering.have become unwitting, and I believe unwilling, useful innocents, of a murderous terrorist army which sacrifices the Palestinian people of Gaza on the alter of their own political greed. And all the while, they  rain down missiles from the skies, and terror from below, in the form of terrorist tunnel attacks, against the innocent people of Israel.

But as of yesterday your innocence ended.

There is no longer any excuse for abetting murder.

I am not saying abandon your criticism of Israel, though I'll be happy to engage you in dialogue about that any day of the week, and where I find that criticism justified, I'll join you . 

,And that's not a Hollywood offer.

I am writing this missive, as I did , yesterday's, purposefully not in uniform, in T shirt and cargo pants. Neither as a soldier nor a civilian volunteer . But, like you, I write this as a a person of the Cinema, of the theater, and of literature. We three are of the same tribe, though , as I said before I worship often at the alter of your talent and artistic integrity.

In the several letters you signed , Javier, and in both your subsequent clarifications, you made eloquent pleas for the end of the violence and killing, and the suffering of the Palestinian people. You empathized with grieving Palestinian and Israeli mothers and made the plea that artists are always the first to make; for peace, an end to the agony of war  and a desire for the dawn of a new day in which mothers will not have to weep over the graves of their children.

No heart resonated more to the last part of your message than mine. I have wept over the grave of my first born son. I am a brother to every grieving parent on earth. We belong to an awful club and only we understand the pain of a parent who outlives their child. 

My friends, Hamas, is not the free and democratically elected government of Gaza. 

It is  a terrorist organization which seized power in Gaza, not from Israel , but from The Palestinian Authority in a blood thirsty coup,in which hundreds were killed and wounded, and thousands were terrorized, while all the " Useful Innocents" of the world were too busy with other things  to utter a word of protest for the suffering of innocent Palestinians. 

Hamas has repeatedly rejected every cease fire proposal and/ or humanitarian pause, since this war of their design and making, began with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli school boys on their way home from school.

But several days ago there seemed to be a turning point. 

Suddenly Hamas was requesting a cease fire. 

Miraculously almost, Hamas accepted the very Egyptian cease fire proposal which was endorsed by the Arab League and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas two weeks ago, and which Israel had accepted immediately and unconditionally. 

Hamas, then, made clear its rejection of that cease fire proposal by launching a murderous barrage of rocket attacks against Israeli cities, and by attempting to kill , maim and kidnap scores of Israeli men women and especially children, in a terrorist tunnel attack against an Israeli farming village, which thanks to a merciful G-d and the IDF was foiled.

Now however, in an about face ,Hamas was requesting the very cease fire they had previously rejected in such a murderous fashion. 

And suddenly there was hope! 

Ban Ki Moon had asked for an initial 72 hour " Humanitarian Cease fire" during which time the Palestinians of every faction , including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and a delegation from Israel, would meet in Cairo.

In the words of Secretary of State John Kerry" ..As soon as the cease fire is under way..Egypt will issue invitations to the parties to come to Cairo immediately in order to engage in serious and focussed negotiations with Egypt to address the underlying causes of this conflict."

How happy you and Penelope must have been! 

I say that without a whiff of sarcasm, because I was finally looking forward to a day without being under rocket or mortar fire ,six times a day, of not seeing a teenager have his head half blown off by shrapnel from a mortar round fired at a civilian community, which narrowly missed me, but ripped into his skull. 

I had hope of seeing my children and grandson again, of hugging and kissing them and saying , the war is over!

There was real hope that the killing, at least for now was about to end, and as Secretary Kerry said, " The underlying causes of the conflict" would be discussed " in serious and focussed negotiations". 

Finally the bullets would stop flying, the bombs and rockets and mortar rounds would stop hurling death from the skies.My friends in the south of Israel would no longer live in fear of terrorists coming up, literally in their dining halls or front lawns, armed to the teeth and bent on murdering them and their children.

 And the suffering, poor Palestinian people of Gaza, would find respite.

As both President Obama and Secretary Kerry made clear in statements filled with ill concealed outrage, at the manner in which they were so clearly used and duped by Hamas, both men made clear that they had received solid assurances from Hamas that ALL of it's factions had agreed to lay down their weapons and honor the cease fire. 

They made equally clear that, while Israeli Forces would also cease any fire, the IDF  would be free to continue destroying the terrorist tunnels burrowed beneath our borders for the sole purposes of murdering and kidnapping innocent Israeli civilians, for whom I know you have the same compassion as you do for innocent Palestinians civilians. 

Hamas gave its word that would be the case, and assured President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations and the entire international community, that they would abide by the cease fire which would begin at 8:00 a.m. the following morning.

In addition Secretary Kerry made clear that he had received like assurances from both the Qatari and Turkish governments on behalf of Hamas and all the Palestinian " Resistance " factions that the cease fire, and all it's provisions,  would be honored.

As writers, directors, and actors, how happy we all had reason to be! 

The sword of death , which had claimed so many innocent lives, was to be sheathed , at least for 72 hours! And in those 72 hours, every issue that Hamas and all it's factions wanted to raise, including the lifting of the so called siege, opening borders, building a commercial port, freeing prisoners, free movement of goods, improving the lives of their poor, suffering people, would not only be raised,  but discussed in " serious and focussed negotiations." 

The US, The UN, the Egyptians, Qataris and Turks, indeed,the whole international community, to whom you had appealed in your letter, would see to it!

AND IT WAS ALL A FILTHY LIE!!!

In fact in the annals of modern history, only Hitler's betrayal of Soviet Russia is it's equal.

It was all a scam, a hustle, a con job, and we all fell for it! 

It was meant for one thing and one thing only; to lure Israeli forces in to the tunnel entrances. 

Those were the same tunnels which the government of the United States, backed up by the UN, assured us that Hamas, and all its factions had agreed to allow us to continue destroying. 

Barely ninety minutes into the supposed cease fire, ten terrorists poured out of one of those supposedly " safe " tunnels" .

The first was the attack squad , led by a suicide bomber who immediately detonated his belt and killed two Israeli soldiers, Major Benaya Sarel ( 26) and Sgt Liel Gidoni. 

That was then followed up by the kidnapping squad, which snatched Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, and dragged his wounded or dead body back into the tunnel, and made their escape.

Javier, Penelope, it was all BS, meant to lure Israeli soldiers into a trap! 

And it was carried out under a white flag of truce!

 It's the sole purpose of the supposed cease fire, was  to kill and maim and kidnap another Gilad Shalit so Hamas could proclaim a Divine Victory, have a photo op that they hoped would make their own people forget the misery they have so callously, and consciously, brought down upon them. 

And you and I, and the President of The United States, and The Secretary of State of the United States ,and the Secretary General of the UN, all of us..we  were all the useful innocents who bought into Hamas's treachery, because WE wanted peace.

You were used! You were chumps, suckers, marks!  They used your humanity to murder for a photo op!

And they didn't just kill Israeli soldiers, they killed the cease fire.

 They killed hope. 

And along with it, I pray to G-d they killed off any illusions you may have had about them. 

At first they even bragged about it ! Musa Abu Marzuk, a leader of Hamas in Cairo for the supposed peace talks, confirmed the kidnapping and then tried to JUSTIFY it by claiming it  occurred prior to the cease fire taking effect, and thus, was fair game. 

How stupid does he think you and Penelope and I are?! 

There is no way Israel would have allowed a cease fire to go into effect, as they did at 8:00 a.m. if , prior to that, two of our soldiers had been killed and one kidnapped! We would have done, exactly what we did, reacted immediately with heavy bombardment of any escape routes to hopefully prevent the terrorists from disappearing with Hadar into the snake pit of underground, terrorist Gaza.

Then, when the outrage of the President ,and Secretary of State, and Secretary General of the UN, became apparent, Hamas did an amazing about face. 

Their own spokesman was mistaken or lying! 

They had lost contact with all cells in the area and if someone had kidnapped the Israeli soldier, they could neither confirm nor deny it!

 Like Hitler in the Sudetenland, they were blameless!

You know why we take these things so personally in Israel? Because we're all one family who shoulder the awful burden of terrorism equally. Hadar Goldin, the young soldier who was kidnapped, is the nephew of Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon. 

It's not business for us. It's personal.

Well, whattaya gonna do huh?

That's life, right?

No,it isn't . And there is something you can do, as can all those who have been asking, " What can I do to help bring about peace?". 

But you're more than just anybody. 

You're famous. 

You have a voice. When you speak it makes news. 

That's why you signed your original letters and clarifications of those letters. Because you knew that it would get out there.

You knew, and know, that unlike most of us, your voices will be heard.

You are innocents no more, my dear friends and fellow artists. 

You've been used, but the innocent part is dead and buried. 

Now you have an obligation to speak out just as forcefully, if not more so, than you did before.
Now is the time for you to organize your fellow artists and DEMAND that Hamas announce that it will agree to demilitarize Gaza in return for a Marshall plan, to truly end their people's suffering,  and allow them to live in peace. 

If you want to stick in a guarantee that, in return for laying down their weapons, under international supervision, Israel commits itself to cease any attacks against them, do it! I'll sign it with you! 

But there has to be international supervision of their borders  and inspections,to make sure they don't re arm, to make sure that the cement goes to build hospitals and schools, and prenatal clinics, not terrorist tunnels meant to murder my people. 

They can have peace and prosperity, not only an end to suffering. 

The international community can help them build Paradise on earth. 

They can become the Singapore of the Middle East with your help. And they don't have to renounce a two state solution or a just resolution of refugee issues. 

They simply have to renounce violence. 

They simply have to adopt the same stance  of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 

They have to renounce violence, abide by the Oslo accords, and strive for the independence of their people. 

Then, to paraphrase the words of the late Abba Eban, they should be prepared to be amazed at how wonderful their lives will become. 

I remember when everyone said there could be no peace between Egypt and Israel. 

We had just fought a horrific war with almost three thousand dead soldiers on our side alone in three weeks! And yet when the late President Anwar Sadat, announced he was coming to Jerusalem to make peace, Israeli families, mine amongst them, rushed to our gardens, pulled up all the flowers in them and rushed to the highway to strew them in front of his motorcade. 

He later said ,that when he saw that, he knew that peace was possible.

 He came to Jerusalem and said, no more war! 

And Israel returned EVERY SQUARE INCH OF SINAI AND UPROOTED ALL IT'S SETTLEMENTS TO DO IT! INCLUDING YAMIT, THE TOWN THEN PRIME MINISTER MENACHEM BEGIN SAID HE WOULD RETIRE TO. SO DON'T TELL ME SETTLEMENTS ARE AN OBSTACLE TO PEACE. 

WHEN ISRAELIS ARE PRESENTED WITH THE CHANCE FOR REAL PEACE, THERE ARE NO OBSTACLES WE WILL NOT OVERCOME.

Of course , Hamas's parent organization, The Muslim Brotherhood, then assassinated Anwar Sadat for his treachery.

 But then, you're no longer innocents. You know who you're dealing with.

I know that what I'm asking will be hard for you. There will be many amongst your friends who will say you are somehow betraying some sort of cause by denouncing terrorists who duped you, and proposing something that will actually relieve the suffering of the people of Gaza, rather than simply mouth useless slogans. 

, that, I know you will be seen as deserters of a cause I promise you,  is unworthy of your loyalty. 

But you can do it.

 You're brave people. 

You may think I'm dreaming. But I'm not the only one. 

I hope you join us..

There's a wonderful poem , written in World War Two I believe. It was written by Eve Merriam .

It's title is The Coward.

You, weeping wide at war, weep with me now.
Cheating a little at  peace, come near
And let us cheat together here

Look at my guilt, mirror of my shame.
Deserter, I will not turn you in;'
I am your trembling twin!

Afraid, our double knees lock in knocking
fear;
Returning from the guns we stumble upon
each other. 
Hide in my lap of terror: I am your mother.

Only we two, and yet our howling can
Encircle the world's end.
Frightened, you are my only friend.

And frightened, we are everyone.
Someone must take a stand.
Coward, take my coward's hand.

Dan Gordon
Screenwriter, playwright, novelist
Jew
Israeli
American
human being