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What kind of article can I write about the Gaza war in my college newspaper?

Jan. 15, 2009

I was thinking about writing an article about Gaza situation in my college newspaper. I write regularly; you can even see an old article of mine here:

I want to write something favorable towards the Palestinians, but I don't want to say anything that would harm a single Jew, because I love each and every Jew. I'm strongly against Zionism, both because of the injustice of it towards the Palestinians, but also because it has led to a serious spiritual downfall of the Jewish people.

I was wondering if you might give me some ideas and perhaps review my work before I have it published. I'm interested in including some references to Torah if appropriate.

I really need your help, ... and G-d's help!

I can also use your thoughts on what kind of solution would work in Palestine for both the Jews that are there as well as the Arabs. In other words, if you were to get your way, what would Palestine look like in a post-Zionist world?

Sincerely yours,

Dear Dave,

For your article to be accepted and not to reflect badly on Jews, the crucial thing is to sound pro-Jewish. Portray the Zionists as bad for the Jews, endangering the Jews.

As material for your article, you could use some of the following things we published:

It is a mistake for the Zionists to think that with military force they can subdue Hamas. The suicide bomber goes on his mission with the knowledge that he will die, and therefore the threat of death does not scare him. The Hamas militants are not getting any weaker because the Zionists killed a few of them or even a few hundred of them or even a thousand. On the contrary, they are getting stronger due to this attack, because every civilian casualty they suffer gains them more sympathy in the world and makes the Zionists look worse.

Israeli violence leads to anti-Semitism throughout the world.

In reaction to the Mumbai attack, Levi Sokolic wrote in the Jewish Press of Dec. 24 2008:

It ought to be painfully obvious to every Jew in the world - whatever the level of his religious affiliation - that had he been in the Chabad House in Mumbai at the time of the attack, he too would have been tortured and killed for being Jewish.

Indeed, even a Jew who marches in support of the Palestinians and who hates Israel and all things Jewish would have been killed for being Jewish, had he been there.

Any Jew is a legitimate target to these depraved people. The Mumbai Chabad House was not in Israel, and the Jews in Mumbai had nothing to do with Zionism. They were about Shabbat, kosher food, prayer, and learning Torah.

Our reaction to this is: Yes, but Zionism was the cause for these people hating Jews and targeting Jews. They said so explicitly.

Before Zionism, Jews and Arabs lived in peace:

In his book With the Turks to the Suez Canal" WWI German general Friedrich Frieherr Kress von Kressenstein writes:

A phenomenon that was extremely odd was how the war caused an unprecedented upsurge in the battle between Zionists and non-Zionists, a battle that turned ugly and did little to promote Jewish interests in general. At the same time, the non-Zionists - i.e., the Jews without political goals, mainly belonging to the Orthodox stream - were the overwhelming majority in Palestine. The Zionists living in Palestine scarcely made up five percent of the population, but they were very active and fanatical, and terrorized the non-Zionists. During the war, the latter tried to free themselves from this terror with the help of the Turks . They feared, justifiably, that the activities of the Zionists would ruin the good relations that existed between the long-time Jewish inhabitants of Palestine and the Arabs, and that the Turks might adopt hard-line policies that would harm them, too."

Rabbi Baruch Kaplan, who studied in the Hebron Yeshiva in 1929, wrote:

The Arabs were very friendly people, and the Jewish People in Hebron lived together with them and had very friendly relations with them. They worked for Jews, and everybody got along just fine.

Naim Gileadi, a Jew who grew up in Iraq before WWII, wrote:

I could not have recounted any personal grievances that my family members would have lodged against the government or the Muslim majority. Our family had been treated well and had prospered, first as farmers with some 50,000 acres devoted to rice, dates and Arab horses. Then, with the Ottomans, we bought and purified gold that was shipped to Istanbul and turned into coinage. The Turks were responsible in fact for changing our name to reflect our occupation-we became Khalaschi, meaning "Makers of Pure."
Britain's pro-Zionist attitude in Palestine, however, triggered a growing anti-Zionist backlash in Iraq, as it did in all Arab countries. Writing at the end of 1934, Sir Francis Humphreys, Britain's Ambassador in Baghdad, noted that, while before WW I Iraqi Jews had enjoyed a more favorable position than any other minority in the country, since then "Zionism has sown dissension between Jews and Arabs, and a bitterness has grown up between the two peoples which did not previously exist."
People think the Zionists are saving Jewish lives with their wars.

Rabbi Avigdor Miller used to say, If you see a sign on a store saying Save 20%, then dont go in and youll save 100%. In the same way, people who are caught up in the present and miss the big picture say, Israel is doing the right thing by defending itself. But the big picture is that Israel would save far more by not existing as a state in the first place.

Throughout the history of Zionism, a consistent pattern emerges. The Zionists have focused too much on their short-term goal, while the greatest rabbis in their wisdom have viewed the big picture. In the late 1800s the Chovevei Zion claimed to be settling the land through peaceful land purchase, but the rabbis warned that their activities would lead to confrontation with the Turks. Theodor Herzl claimed to be negotiating with world leaders for a Jewish national home, but the rabbis saw that his movement would portray the Jews as a foreign and disloyal element within their home countries. In 1937, the Zionists accepted the Peel proposal to partition Palestine, forming a Jewish state and an Arab state, but the Brisker Rav cried out, How can any religious Jew contemplate this idea? We know that the Arabs will not let the partition be carried out peacefully; there will be wars and bloodshed. And it is forbidden to sacrifice even one Jewish life for the sake of founding a state. In 1947, as a large part of the Jewish world rejoiced over the UNs recommendation to partition Palestine and create a Jewish state, the Brisker Rav again reiterated that the entire concept of a Jewish state is one of constant warfare. In 1967, as most Jews rejoiced over the Zionist victory, the Satmar Rebbe cried over the Jewish soldiers who had died in battle. He wrote a book explaining that the entire war could have been avoided.

In every game that the Zionists have played to achieve their goals, they have been apparently successful in the short run, but look at the big picture: why are they playing these games to begin with? Since when has the Jewish people valued a piece of land more than Jewish lives?

What would we like to see? A single state in Palestine under which Jews and Palestinians have completely equal rights, and Palestinians have the majority. This could be easily accomplished now with the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, 1.5 in Israel proper, 1.5 in the West Bank and 2 million returning refugees. Furthermore, I can imagine some Israeli Jews would want to leave and the UN should provide a mechanism to help them to find places to live.