Two Articles in the Sydney Morning Herald about the Value of Human Life

All Israel wants is to live in peace with its neighbours

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/all-israel-wants-is-to-live-in-peace-with-its-neighbours-20140729-zy5jn.html#ixzz392M0QFvW

 

Yair Miller is president of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/all-israel-wants-is-to-live-in-peace-with-its-neighbours-20140729-zy5jn.html#ixzz392MIL5AW

 

MH17, Gaza and the value of human life

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/mh17-gaza-and-the-value-of-human-life-20140724-zw8jn.html#ixzz392MhnNGX

 

Waleed Aly is a Fairfax columnist. He hosts Drive on ABC Radio National and is a lecturer in politics at Monash University.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/mh17-gaza-and-the-value-of-human-life-20140724-zw8jn.html#ixzz392Mp5dxZ

Wanting to understand what is happening in Gaza

Rabbi Mordecai Finley, PhD is the spiritual leader of Ohr HaTorah Synagogue in Los Angeles.

Read more: A letter to friends who want to understand what is happening in Gaza | Mordecai Finley | Ops & Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-letter-to-friends-who-want-to-understand-what-is-happening-in-gaza/#ixzz390RRFCVk
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

 

”  . . . .

The martyring of civilians in war is not that uncommon either. Thousands of Japanese committed suicide instead of surrendering to the Americans. Civilians are often proud to die for their country. Gazans, however, are not given the opportunity to choose. By hiding rocket launchers in civilian neighborhoods, by declaring war on Israel without building bomb shelter for their people, means only one thing: Hamas wants to martyr their civilians. It makes an uninformed world blame Israel. This is a very smart tactic. Just don’t fall for it.

My heart breaks for the suffering of the Palestinian people. I pray that they get their state soon, and will live peaceably alongside Israel. There will be lots of wounds to mend in this process on both sides.

But I don’t blame Israel for the civilian suffering of Palestinians that you see. It is a deliberate tactic of war intended to make you feel exactly what you are feeling: sympathy. I feel sympathy as well, but I know who has the responsibility for this suffering: Hamas.”                                                                   ‘

Read more: A letter to friends who want to understand what is happening in Gaza | Mordecai Finley | Ops & Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-letter-to-friends-who-want-to-understand-what-is-happening-in-gaza/#ixzz390Qacb2y
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

 

I CAME ACROSS THIS BLOG BY Rabbi Mordecai Finley. I FIND THIS BLOG VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING. WHAT INDEED DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE CONSTANTLY AFRAID SOME TERRORISTS IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD ARE OUT TO KILL YOU AND ALL YOUR PEOPLE?

THE LAST FEW PARAGRAPHS OF THE RABBI’S BLOG I COPIED ABOVE. THE RABBI REFERS TO HISTORY SAYING THAT the martyring of civilians in war is not that uncommon.

Displaced Persons

The other day when I was awake in bed for a while, my thoughts went to the refugees from the Eastern Ukraine. I remembered pictures of women and children in Russian refugee camps. One woman had said she wanted to stay in Russia for a limited time only so that when the fighting stops she would be able  to go back to her home town in the Ukraine. Some people may have dual citizenship. These people are of course allowed to stay in Russia indefinitely, others would have to apply for permanent residency if they want to stay in Russia.

For sure it is not a very pleasant experience to have to live in a refugee camp for weeks on end. Who knows when there is going to be peace again in these places where Ukrainians are fighting the insurgents?

TIME FOR UKRAINE TO DIVIDE? The following is an extract of an article by Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald from 2014, July 20th:

It is more than 20 years since the orderly, democratic, bloodless dissolution of Czechoslovakia took place on January 1, 1993, when the Czech Republic and Slovakia came into being as two sovereign nations. Like Ukraine, this was a nation divided with geographic neatness between language and ethnicity.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/time-for-ukraine-to-divide-20140720-zv19c.html#ixzz38LX5O0Np

 

Here is another example where a two state solution ought to be possible and why this did not happen so far:

This is taken from an ABC Australia National program called Rear Vision.

 

 

 

Israel, Palestine and the problem with the two-state solution

Tuesday 22 July 2014 4:51PM
Annabelle Quince

With Israeli troops on the ground in Gaza and casualties rising, international attention is once again focused on the Middle East peace process. The two-state solution is generally accepted as the blueprint to end the decades-old conflict, but intractable issues and deep mistrust remain on both sides, writes Annabelle Quince. 

If it wasn’t clear before this week, the Middle East peace process is in tatters. Israel has launched a ground invasion of Gaza, resulting in the deaths of more than 500 Palestinians and around 20 Israelis.

. . . . . .

 

‘The majority of the people in Israel do accept the notion of a Palestinian state, but we suspect that most Palestinians don’t accept the notion of a Jewish state. This is the problem,’ says Eiland.

‘Everybody understands that what Clinton proposed nine years ago is probably the only practical solution if we are based on the two-state solution. In other words, it is not only that the concept is well known, but also the details are well-known. So if it is so important to solve the problem, if the concept is acceptable and if the details are so well-known, what is the problem? Why both parties don’t sit together and sign an agreement, and here is the paradox, both parties don’t do it because this solution is not really desired by both sides.’

‘The maximum that the government of Israel, any government of Israel, can offer the Palestinians, is less, much less, than the minimum that any possible Palestinian leader can accept. The gap between both sides is much bigger than the way that it is perceived. Everybody is committed to say that he is committed to this solution, but no-one really, really means it.’

Which leaves the peace process where it is today, mired in mistrust and nearly a century’s worth of grievances, with the blood of both soldiers and civilians flowing once again.

Rear Vision puts contemporary events in their historical context, answering the question, ‘How did it come to this?’