Write On for Israel Blog

Ari Bressman post

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I am not particularly sure how to express my feelings on this political cartoon. I am thankful that someone sees the truth about the issues in Israel. Not only are Israelis being physically attacked by rockets coming from Hamas, but somehow it is Israel who is the bad guy. Everyone is just blaming it on Israel when no one actually realizes what Israel is going through. Israel gets rockets shot at them, but that’s their fault. Israel helps Haiti, but they don’t have good intentions.

It is not just physical rockets falling on Israel, but emotional rockets are falling on Israel. Over the past few years Israel has taken a lot of criticism and a lot of anti-Semitism. A good majority of the world is against Israel and that is shown in the political cartoon. So how can we survive in the end, if all we get are these constant attacks? We have before, and we are only getting stronger. Israel has taken a lot of beatings recently, but if we keep our heads up high, nothing is impossible.

http://ivarfjeld.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/israel-under-rocket-fire.jpg

Posted by Ari Bressman

Peace Agreement is not Equal to Peace

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http://adithoughts.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/land-for-peace-20060724.jpg 

This picture shows Israel being a small patch of land, having given the rest of the land up for peace, yet, at the threat of force, Israel is being demanded to give the rest up. It is understandable that diplomacy requires compromise. However, in the Middle East, compromise is something else. Peace agreements consistently tend to mean that Israel will give land up for peace, until the next conflict, where Israel will be demanded to give more land up. I find this picture fairly descriptive, since it shows Israel having given almost everything up, but it is still not enough.

Posted by Shane Selig

Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center: Bankrupting Terrorism - One Lawsuit at a Time

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We tend to think of the role of fighting terrorists as being relegated to governments. We feel hopeless in the face of terrorism. However, this marvelous NGO has put hope into this seemingly hopeless situation. They are aiming to stop terrorism before it even starts. Terrorism requires an exuberant amount of money to perpetrate. Therefore, this organization aims to prevent the terrorist groups from obtaining money. Through legal fictions, they are able to sue in the United States. This is because the US has a law that non-US citizens can sue in the United States for crimes against humanity. They have been able to freeze $600 million in terror assets. Also, they have had the opportunity to fight for terror victims and have won over $20 million in recoveries for them. Instead of giving terroist groups recognition by negotiating with them, this recognizes that we must stop them in their tracks. The more lawsuits we are able to file against these criminals, the safer both Israel and the world will be.

Posted by Aaron Miller

Israel Apartheid Week

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http://apartheidweek.org/ 

The trailer for Israel Apartheid Week absolutely infuriated me. The longer I watched it, the more enraged I became with each part of the video. The first half of the video was the computer generated placing of high concrete slabs in various locations in Israel and the occupied territories. Right off the bat, the video was incredibly misleading. Less then three percent of the fence is actually the towering concrete walls, and it is only placed in strategic zones, such as shielding roads from potential gunfire. The video continues by saying that Palestinian justice (in terms of Israeli Apartheid Week, BDS), is a just cause and should be met with solidarity. The removal of a fence that is intentionally mislabeled as a device of apartheid which is intended to and successfully has defended Israel from Palestinian terrorism is by no means a just cause. It incenses me when organizations such as Israeli Apartheid Week fail to recognize the root of the problem and only see a fence that separates Jews from Arabs. The final kicker of the video is describes BDS as a just, noble and moral cause for equality and human rights. BDS is, almost by definition, anti-semitism. To strictly attack Israel while ignoring the reality on the ground and the cause of the problem which lies within Palestinian terrorism represents a hatred for Jews. This type of blatantly anti-Semitic and totally unfounded criticism of Israel is repulsive, and it sickens me to see such an organization mislead college students away from the reality on the ground.

Posted by Adam Schneider

Hamas Tactics Political Cartoon

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http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/middleeast/ig/Middle-East-Cartoons/Hamas-Tactics.htm

This political cartoon confused me when I first looked at it, but as I gave it a closer look, I realized that it was a very pro-Israel cartoon, but, although it made me proud that not everyone hated

Israel , the subject matter still horrified me.  The subject of the political cartoon is how Hamas terrorists use children to launch rockets and commit acts of terror, rather than allowing the children to become educated in schools.  The point that the political cartoon made was valid, and that is what disgusted me. 

Hamas uses children in Gaza to commit acts of terror against Israel , and this is absolutely horrific.  While children in the United States learn how to read and write, the children in Gaza are taught warfare and terrorism.  When I was a freshman, I had to do a paper on child soldiers for world history.  This political cartoon reminded me somewhat of my research, because children were being used to commit acts of war, and were not allowed to go to school.  The difference between this political cartoon and my research paper, however, was the fact that the child soldiers I researched were often kidnapped and forced into war, whereas the children in the picture are taught warfare by their parents.  I cannot comprehend why any parent would want to endanger their child’s life in order to kill others.  By teaching violence to children at a young age, these parents are forever scarring their children both psychologically and possibly physically as well, if something goes wrong.  In training, a child can easily mishandle a gun or other dangerous weapon and cause permanent damage, or even death, to himself or others.

The title of the political cartoon is “Hamas tactics” and I feel like that is an adequate name.  Over the summer, I turned on the television and watched a special on CNN that focused on how many children in

Gaza go to a “summer camp” run by Hamas militants.  In Gaza , children are taught at a very young age about violence and how to use military tactics to kill Israelis.  At the camp I went to at age 5, we did arts and crafts and sports.  I never played with guns or learned how to shoot rockets and honestly, I think I’d be pretty screwed up right now if I had.  Children should be making necklaces out of fruit loops, not learning the structure of an AK-47.The political cartoon I found depicts what is occurring in Gaza with a sickening accuracy.  Hamas terrorists teach hatred and violence, and this is completely inappropriate for anyone, let alone children.  I don’t know what I, as an American teenager, could do to stop this, but I understand that what is going on in Gaza is morally wrong.  I understand this because I was educated and had a chance to form my own opinions while growing up, rather than being given a gun and told to shoot.

Posted by Talia Shalen

Malik Ali at an Anti-Israel Rally, 2008

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7MwCxG-WC0 

This video presents selections from Malik Ali's speech at an anti-Israel rally in front of the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, California on March 7th, 2008. A Pro-Israel rally by StandWithUs was taking place across the street. I found it interesting that StandWithUs decided to organize this rally on the same day as the anti-Israel rally. It could give a negative impression--that Israel and Palestinians have no hope of joining together and will always be fighting and competing, even for attention in America. On the other hand, it's important for people to realize the differences in these rallies. The video shows the people at on the Pro-Israel side of the street holding signs that read "PEACE!" or have information about the deaths of Israelis caused by rockets from Gaza. It is obvious to see that the Pro-Israel side is focusing on protecting innocent people and finding a path towards peace. On the other hand, the video shows Malik Ali's speech, which is encouraging NO negoitations and gives little hope of peace in the future, unless it involves Israel and the Zionists to be nonexistent.

A main theme in Malik Ali's speech is that Zionists are "today's Nazis." He expands that Zionists kill babies and children, which is obviously false. The Holocaust was, of course, an incredibly tragic event in Jewish History. Jews all over the world, in addition to most other people, are very sensitive to the memories and emotions that hearing about the Holocaust initiates. Anti-Israel propaganda has latched onto this sensitivity as a way to invade and affect the conscience of its viewers. Associating Jews with Nazism not only makes us seem brutal, but also creates the conflict of hypocrisy and unfairness, which is used as another reason people distrust Jews. I am appalled by this accusation, especially because it is so often used. Malik Ali was not the first or the last to use these words against Zionism, and it's scary that people support this idea, since it creates such tension and hatred towards Jews.

I think the worst part of this video is when Malik Ali makes the metaphor of "sitting down to eat cakes and cookies" with the Jews. He is referencing the offers and suggestions for negotiation with Israel. He preached that it would be unreasonable and unacceptable for the Palestinians to negotiate with "Nazis." When I heard this part of his speech, I was so frustrated. This kind of stubbornness and ignorant attitude will be the cause of a never-ending conflict. If the Palestinians never agree to negotiate successfully with Israel, the only resort for a resolution is violence. By spreading this idea, Malik Ali is adding motivation to the anti-Israel communities to discourage compromise or any peace process. This is honestly the last thing Israel needs, as it is already such a struggle to progress towards peace in the current situation.

Posted by Lucy Marshall

Fight to the Finish

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In this cartoon, we see that Israeli's and Palestinians will always be battling, even when there is only one man on each side. This cartoon showed me a harsh realization that no matter what we do, we will always battle with the Palestinians no matter what negotiations are made. Although we have tried throughout history to make peace with the Palestinians, we may never be able to make peace that will last forever. O also learned that although there are many deaths and injuries from this ongoing battle, we will never learn that violence may that be the answer to the problem. In the background of the first slide of the cartoon, we see many graves on both sides of the battle, the two men continue to feud with each other, not thinking of the consequences of their actions. This cartoon also makes me extremely angry that the Israelis or the Palestinians never learn from their mistakes and that this continues pattern of fighting will never end. Even though we are attempting peace talks now, looking throughout history and looking at this cartoon, we will never learn and will always use war as a last result. Another idea that I noticed is that both teams, use dirty warfare in order to beat the other team. Although Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties, they ultimately end up killing civilians. In the cartoon, both fighters use a shovel to defeat his opponent. Although Israel has many technological advances, they still sink to the level of the Palestinians. The Israelis, along with the Palestinians, will do whatever necessary to defeat our opponents and to secure peace and security for the country of Israel. Along with the shovels, we see that the shovels were originally used to bury the rest of the members of that country. I was angered to see that despite the fact that many Israelis and Palestinians have lost many lives, the cartoon shows that the last two members don't acknowledge all these deaths. Israel cares about all the casualties that occur, but this cartoon makes no mention of this.

Posted by Ilana Lupovitch

Swastika and Jewish Star: (Not) One and the Same

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http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/img/AI_Cartoons3.jpg

I have posted here a cartoon from Syria that equates the Jews and the State of Israel with the Nazis and Nazi Germany.  Besides this comparison, the cartoon depicts  a game of tic-tac-toe played by the Nazis and the Jews using their respective symbols.  I am unsure what to make of this.  How can the Holocaust, or any part of this atrocity for that matter, be viewed as a game?  This cartoon brutally trivializes the Holocaust and most certainly downplays the death of millions that were killed by the Nazis.

This cartoon made me ask myself, "What does the Jewish State have in common with Nazi Germany?"  I was hard-pressed to find an answer.  Is Israel systematically murdering the Palestinians?  Most certainly not.  If anything, clearing all Jews from the West Bank, a form of ethnic cleansing, was something that was more Nazi-like than anything Israel has done, and this was done because of the Palestinians, not Israel.

What troubles me about this comic is that is portrays Israel as an aggressive power, which in turns means that they have no desire to seek peace.  I think that the Pro-Palestinian artist who made this cartoon really feels this way, that is, agressive and not desiring peace, but he feels more comfortable putting his beliefs on the enemy, Israel.  I am reminded of the Pro-Palestinian protesters after Operation Cast Lead, because they carried signs that compared Israel to the Nazis.  And yet, compared to the pro-Israel participants of the JUF rally, they seemed to be the agressors, the ones who were more prone to violence and spewing harsh words.

So, is Israel in anyway like they are portrayed in the cartoon?  Perhaps some political groups want the Palestinians transported to Jordan, but even this fringe group has no desire to murder the Palestinians.  This comparison should be combatted, for it makes a mockery of Israel and the Jewish people as a whole.

Posted by Aaron Miller

The Chess Board of The Middle East

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As I look at this political cartoon, I feel pity for both Palestinians and Israelis alike. In this drawing, the middle east is drawn as a chess board with the United Arab Nations as the white pieces and Israel as the black piece. In chess language, the Palestinian Territories are a pawn and Israel is a rook. Behind the pawn lies several other nations that are "allied" with Palestinian Territories all chanting "he took your square--take it back!

I am saddened by this cartoon because it is true. The people of the West Bank have been used by their neighbors for decades as an excuse to call for the destruction of Israel. Children have been manipulated and brainwashed by these extreme leaders to strap themselves with explosive, and to protect themselves, Israelis are required to delay their education to serve in the military. And while Arab Leaders sit around and live their lives as kings, lives on both sides have been lost and little progress has been made towards resolving the violence.

A seemingly never-ending battle between Israelis and Palestinian continues and people are tired of fighting. The people who live in Israel want to stop worrying that a mortar will fly in their home or that a family member will be killed or taken. The simple fact is that people just want to live normally. Ideally, this normality would be that the two peoples live side by side. However, this ideal will never be achieved if the other "pieces of the chess set" keep urging for bloodshed.

Posted by Sam Israel

It's not the size, It's what you plan to do with it that matters

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The link above is to a cartoon. The cartoon depicts the UN, the US, and Europe as three fat men with magnifying glasses looking at a tiny bomb that Iran has made. Pulling on their sleeves and furiously trying to get their attention is Mordechai Vanunu, a former Israeli arms technician who in 1986 leaked information about Israeli weapons to the British press because he didn’t believe in weapons of mass destruction. Vanunu is trying to get these three world powers who are engrossed in Iran’s tiny little bomb to look at the elephant in the room, or cartoon. Vanunu is pointing at four enormous missiles labeled “Israel’s Nukes.” The cartoon makes it look like these three world powers are more concerned with the fact that Iran has one tiny nuke than the fact that Israel is a world nuclear power. What the cartoon fails to depict is that Israel is not hiding that she is a nuclear power. Israel has her weapons in order to protect her citizens from daily threats of extinction. Israel has been a nuclear power for quite some time and has also used the technology for things besides weapons. Israel produces medicine and new forms of technology using the knowledge of Nuclear power. So yes, Israel has weapons, but does not have them for the purpose of wiping out other nations. Iran has hid that it has been trying to develop weapons for years. Now that they have openly admitted to having nuclear power means that they will continue to develop their nuclear technology. They may not have the nuclear “repertoire” that Israel or even the US has but their plans for their weapons greatly differ from Israel’s. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has openly said he believes that Israel should be wiped off the planet. With a nuclear bomb, even a small one, Ahmadinejad could finally achieve his dream of a Middle East free of Israel. So yes, Israel has nukes, many more than Iran; as of now that is. President Ahmadinejad will stop at nothing to wipe Israel off the map and nukes are the most efficient way to do it. So world powers are much more concerned with Iran’s little bomb than Israel’s. But the truth is; it isn’t the size that matters, it’s what you plan to do with it that matters.

Posted by Becca Israel

Welcome to Gaza

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To me, this cartoon defines one of the primary struggles that Israeli military forces face in modern warfare. Depicted is an Israeli tank entering Gaza, which is represented as a sign, oriented vertically on the side of a cliff. In reality, the experience of an Israeli soldier entering the Gaza Strip for the first time must be very similar to that of falling off of a cliff. Recently our school invited comedian Joel Chasnoff to speak to us about his new book. In a discussion with our Talmud class, he shared his concern for the Israeli tank units, one of which was his own while serving in the I.D.F. According to Chasnoff, the recent conflict with Lebanon was eye-opening for Israeli tank commanders, as they recognized their futility in a hilly terrain. Suddenly, the powerful Israeli Defense Forces were subject to attack as they attempted to repair the unequipped tanks on the hills of Lebanon. So too, an Israeli soldier in a tank unit (or any unit, for that matter), would be thrown off guard by the unknown surroundings of Gaza. Israel has faced criticism for its harm of innocent civilians in responding to Palestinian attacks. However, much of this must be credited to the guerrilla warfare that each soldier must cope with on an individual basis. Israeli soldiers, at the ages of 18 and older, are required to make petrifying moral decisions on a moment’s notice as a result of the situations in Gaza. For example, a soldier may need to ask himself/herself if it is worth risking a civilian’s life when he or she is used as a human shield. How should one respond to a hospital used as a base for terrorist activity? What is the distinction between a threat and a small child throwing rocks? Is there any at all? On many levels, this is too much to ask of a developing young adult enlisted in the Israeli army. I know that I would be unable of solving these predicaments under the same conditions. With this in mind, entering Gaza may be extremely comparable to driving off of a cliff only to enter a new reality. The disorientation of warfare combined with new surroundings and ethical dilemmas can be overwhelming for even the most experienced soldiers. Hence, I find this interpretation of the conflict extremely comprehensive and personal to the thoughts of an average Israeli attempting to serve his or her country. URL: http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/middleeast/ig/Middle-East-Cartoons/Welcome-to-Gaza.htm

Posted by Jordan Shapiro

Syrian TV accuses Israel of stealing people's organs from Haiti- Utterly Ridiculous!

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My friend recently sent me a clip which aired on a Syrian TV news report. http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2370.htm After watching this video, I was obviously shocked and very angry. How could people make such a ridiculous accusation? Furthermore, where do they get their sources to back up their accusation? Not once in the clip did the TV station give numerical facts that Israel has been "stealing" the organs of innocent Haitians. After the news station ran the story, they had two guests on the show to speak about the issue. One of the men stated that Israel trafficked organs during their operation in Gaza. The same guest continued to say that Israel isn't the one helping Haiti; the people in Gaza are the one's helping. Although it may be true that Palestinians in Gaza are trying to help Haiti, I would not consider their assistance to be greater than that of the Israelis. A Euronews.net article stated that the Palestinians donated "toys, toiletries and sweets." I'm not saying that toys, toiletries and sweets are things which are unnecessary and irrelevant to Haiti's needs, but I do believe that the assistance Israel is giving is much more important. Jerusalem Post reported that as of February 28, Israel has treated 1,111 wounded Haitians, and has performed 315 operations, including 16 baby deliveries. And as to the accusation of Israel stealing organs, when Israel arrived on the scene, they immediately formed an ethics committee which decided on who they would be able to treat and help live a substantially longer lives, and who they would have to turn away. If the Israel medical team were looking for people's organs, wouldn't they want to take in the people who were going to inevitably die, in order to take their organs afterwards? Additionally, on 13 people died during the two-week stay. The claims and accusations made by the Syrian TV station are outrageous and mind-boggling. Not only to they not have the evidence to prove their accusation, there is an abundance of evidence against their claims. It is shocking to me that a national television station can air such things, and that a wave of people can believe this nonsense.

Posted by Jason Silberman

Soldiers with an Israeli Flag

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This picture depicts two Israeli soliders trudging through the desert with guns over their shoulders and an Israeli flag shared between them. When I saw the photograph, I felt a certain melancholy (because soldiers and war in general always make me sad) but also a deep pride. I am currently reading a book called The Source by James A. Michener and in it, a fictional Israeli kibbutznik says something about Israeli soldiers that really resonated with me. He says that he loves the sight of Israeli soldiers because he grew up in Germany around the time of WWII and every German soldier he saw was out to harm or kill Jews, whereas Israeli soldiers are around for the sole purpose of protecting Jews and the Jewish homeland. So when I saw this photograph it really reminded me of the power of Michener's words, and the simple, yet deep beauty in the existence of Israeli soldiers acting as protectors of the Jewish people, especially after such a long history of persecution. The men in the photograph have no doubt struggled--they seem weary and overheated and burdened by heavy guns--and yet the soldier on the right has an enormous smile on his face as he proudly carries the Israeli flag. When I saw the picture, some of the pride in his smile and the dignity in what those men are doing was transferred to me.

Posted by Ariel Goodman

Before You Boycott Israel!

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Before I watched the youtube video, Before you boycott Israel, I was angry just from the title. The beginning of the video plays like the usual anti-Israel piece. As the video went on and the message became clearer, I learned more about Israel’s accomplishment and thought the method used was clever and got the message across loud and clear. From Agricultural, medical, and technological inventions, Israel has discovered ways to improve those products. It is amazing to see what this little country is able to produce. The video clip begins by showing viewers how to properly boycott the Jewish nation. It then goes on to explain why even hard-core anti-Israel men and women would have a difficult time dismissing all the Israeli invented items. First, the video clip instructs people not to purchase a computer with Intel products. The microchip and other technology used in laptops was developed in Israel. Microsoft products such as Windows Vista were invented in Israel. The video also advises Israels’ detractors not to use cell phones because they were invented in Israel. The video highlights the results of Israel’s hard work, vision, and brainpower. This video sends a message to anyone who hates Israel in a very clever way and urges them not to be hypocritical. I believe that most people who are against Israel do not know their accomplishments perhaps because they have been brainwashed by the media or other people. If the media were to cover some of Israel’s goals and what they achieved in only sixty-two years, people would have a different view and more respect. If a person follows all the instructions on how to boycott Israel, that person would be living in an Amish town in Pennsylvania. It is simply impossible to expel all Israeli products and products invented in Israel because we all use electronics, products related to agriculture, and medical care. Even people who are anti-Israel will continue using Israeli inventions. They are advanced in many different fields and continue to discover new ways to make daily life more efficient. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saeky9I5T9c

Posted by David Pachefsky

Orthodox Jews Betray Israel When Participating In Rally

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfTPMDm-RSw. The situation is Gaza is one that can be viewed in a very negative light. For some, the blockade is seen as inhumane, unfair, disgusting, and much more. On many levels, I agree that this situation is horrible. However, what I see as a greater crime are the thousands of rockets shot from Gaza into Israel. This video angered me for a few different reasons. Like I have stated before, the blockade is not something Israel should be proud of, however, the blockade cannot yet be stopped. Between 2007 and 2008 approximately 700 rockets were shot into Sderot. In 2006 about 1402 rockets were shot into Israel killing and wounding many. The truth is, Israel is not to blame. Hamas, a well known leading terrorist group is at fault for thousands of Israeli lives and is, thus, also at fault for the horrible situation they have their people in. This is what greatly surprised me about many people who attended this rally. They do not seem to understand that Israel does not want to go through with the blockade, but must go through with it. They also do not understand that they can be pro-Palestinian while also disagreeing with Hamas. These people who are rallying claim that Israel is committing crimes by enforcing the blockade, however, they are not recognizing the unbearable doings of Hamas towards Israel. Another aspect of this video that greatly struck me was when the orthodox Jews joined the rally. I am very offended by their actions. How can a Jew not support the state of Israel? I do not understand the betrayal of these anti-Zionist Jews and it upsets me that they support the Palestinians when Israelis are being killed daily. I understand that to them, the Jewish state should not exist, but even so, their own people are being murdered and that does not seem to matter as much as the lives of the Palestinians. If we want to survive as a people, we must start acting together and supporting each other. Otherwise, we will surely fail.

Posted by Leetal Gabel

The Palestinian Way of Warfare

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My Hebrew teacher showed this picture to my class and it really made an impression on me; it triggers a mixture of emotions. When looking at the picture I feel pride that the side that I support, the Israeli soldier, is the one protecting the baby carriage. Many pictures such as these are created for the purpose of international propaganda. They are all biased and some even show false information. Let us not forget that propaganda was one of Adolph Hitler’s most powerful tools. However, there are facts to back up the meaning of this picture. Palestinian targets often hide in crowded areas such as schools, knowing the Israelis will be hesitant to fire into a crowd of civilians. Rather than protecting their people, the Hamas leaders push their civilians out into the middle of the crossfire. In order to stop certain people from committing crimes that will endanger the lives of countless others, Israelis often do have to fire, many times injuring and killing Palestinian civilians. The Palestinians, of course, use this to their advantage, alerting the international media of the Israeli “attack” on the poor, innocent Palestinian bystanders. Those kinds of situations prove that the Palestinian civilians are just pawns in the grand schemes of the Hamas leaders. The leaders gladly endanger the lives of their elderly, women and children just to procure sympathy from the rest of the world. Everything the Palestinians do is merely to further their agenda. Not only will they not let anyone stand in their way, they often place people in their path to win the sympathy card. But this picture exemplifies the true spirit of Israel. Israeli soldiers care about more than just their missions. Israel is often held to a higher ethical standard by the rest of the world. This often gives all the other countries in the globe reason to disapprove of and criticize Israel, but it means that they believe Israel to have a higher moral ranking in the first place. This picture embodies that higher level of ethics which Israel is considered to have. The other emotion I experience when looking at this picture is sorrow and disappointment at the way in which the Palestinians use their civilians as shields. No one should ever be purposely placed in harm’s way. It is extremely depressing that this picture represents a reality; and it is even more disheartening that nothing can be done to stop this reality.

Posted by Sara Schankerman

Israeli aid in Haiti as reported by CNN

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz44iZKUMng. At this time in the 21st century, many people do not understand the severity of a natural disaster until they view it in the media. This video, originally posted on CNN.com, proved that point to me. I had not comprehended the tragedy of the earthquake until I saw this specific video. Not only does it show the wounded Haitians and dire circumstances they are in, but the camera angles are informal, and the interviews seem to be taken hurriedly and also informally. This aspect of the video showed me the desperation of the victims of the earthquake for medical attention as well as the desperation of the relief groups who need sophisticated hospitals set up as soon as possible. The focus of the video at first seemed to be on the necessity for more of these sophisticated hospitals in Haiti, but then, it shifted. I was amazed when an American doctor stated that Israel, and only Israel, had accepted Haitian patients to have surgery and other procedures performed in its sophisticated field hospitals. She also stressed the point that even America had done nothing yet to help the wounded, which surprised me as well. When the reporter showed the Israeli field hospitals, I could hear in her voice a sense of shock. This shock was in reaction to the extent of supplies and machinery Israel had brought to aid the survivors of the earthquake. When I first saw this video I was surprised that out of all the media stations reporting in Haiti, CNN was the one to post this video that blatantly praised Israel, since CNN is commonly known as a source for anti-Israel media. After viewing this video multiple times, my feelings of pride and security in Israel have not lessened a single bit. I am moved by the measures Israel has taken to assist the Haitians injured in the earthquake. Israel’s lack of ignorance and abundance of aid are signs to the world that Israel, by no means, is out of the loop on international events despite its ongoing turmoil at home.

Posted by Aliza Jaffe

Iranian Nuclear Weapons Political Cartoon

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This political cartoon caught my eye because it presents a very real political issue in a lighthearted, opinionated fashion. The conflict in the Middle East between Israel and its neighboring countries is a provocative issue for many, including President Obama. In this cartoon, Obama is lecturing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the importance of the President’s “road map to peace.” In the eyes of Barack Obama, according to this cartoon, obtaining a full peace agreement through negotiations with Israel’s surrounding countries is the most pressing issue for the Jewish State. While the President looks confident about his plans, a very uncomfortable Netanyahu clearly sees something that Obama does not. For Israel’s Prime Minister, the most pressing issue facing his country is national security. This cartoon clearly highlights the differences of opinions between the two politicians. When it comes to politics, it’s easy to get swept away in the ideal quest for peace in the Middle East. Whether its settlement policies, border negotiations or even cease-fire agreements, liberal politicians tend to hold more idealistic stances on such issues. One of the reasons this cartoon was so attention grabbing for me was because I agree with the cartoonist’s stance on the issue of Iran becoming a nuclear power. I think that while peace is an important long-term goal to strive towards, far more pressing for Israel is the country’s national security. I believe that Israel’s safety should forever remain at the top the Prime Minister’s priority list.

Posted by Sarah Scheinman

Iranian nuclear weapon cartoon

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This political cartoon caught my eye because it presents a very real political issue in a lighthearted, opinionated fashion. The conflict in the Middle East between Israel and its neighboring countries is a provocative issue for many, including President Obama. In this cartoon, Obama is lecturing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the importance of the President’s “road map to peace.” In the eyes of Barack Obama, according to this cartoon, obtaining a full peace agreement through negotiations with Israel’s surrounding countries is the most pressing issue for the Jewish State. While the President looks confident about his plans, a very uncomfortable Netanyahu clearly sees something that Obama does not. For Israel’s Prime Minister, the most pressing issue facing his country is national security. This cartoon clearly highlights the differences of opinions between the two politicians. When it comes to politics, it’s easy to get swept away in the ideal quest for peace in the Middle East. Whether its settlement policies, border negotiations or even cease-fire agreements, liberal politicians tend to hold more idealistic stances on such issues. One of the reasons this cartoon was so attention grabbing for me was because I agree with the cartoonist’s stance on the issue of Iran becoming a nuclear power. I think that while peace is an important long-term goal to strive towards, far more pressing for Israel is the country’s national security. I believe that Israel’s safety should forever remain at the top the Prime Minister’s priority list.

Posted by Sarah Scheinman

Israel's supprt in Haiti takes a hit in the media

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwQM6-lLlrM 

I have posted a link to a video that was uploaded to youtube in late January. The important part of the video starts at 1:05. Many news sources have regarded this video as what sparked the accusations of Israel’s actions in Haiti. For those of you who don’t know, Israel’s support for Haiti has recently taken a hit in the media. Several people, including the man speaking in this video, have accused Israel of using the Haiti earthquake as a means to show off their new, advanced technology and there have even been such claims as Israel is harvesting organs from their Haitian patients and is only looking to make a profit off of others’ misfortune. These are some of the key points made in the video and when I heard them for the first time, I was absolutely appalled. The man speaking is merely provoking controversy over something that should only be viewed as a humanitarian effort. It is also important to note that anyone watching this video who doesn’t have basic knowledge on Israel or its policies would begin to seriously question Israel’s moral standing in the world. Yes, these ridiculous accusations may be obviously false to many of us, but there are significant repercussions that came from this video and it’s shocking to think that some people can be so completely misinformed or unaware of the truth of a country that we all know and love. Although, as Jason pointed out in his post, the claims about Israel’s involvement in organ trafficking are absolutely absurd, I believe that it is equally ludicrous to say that Israel is trying to make money off of the Haiti catastrophe by “showboating” their technology. To think that Israel would ever try to profit off of such an event is detestable and, even though I know this to be completely untrue, I can’t help but think about all the nations and people to which this accusation actually does apply.

Posted by Alex Rokni

Boycott Israel Counter Video

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saeky9I5T9c. As the video begins you know that it is going to be a play on the people who want to boycott products of the state of Israel, based on the fact that the font makes the english look like arabic writing. It starts off by making quick remarks like one that claims boycotts don't usually work because, "Many Arab nations can't go an intifada without drinking a coca-cola." It starts off by describing things in the office as well as everyday technology and the massive roll Israel plays in it. The video tells people to not use any cell phones, instant messaging, laptops made in the 20th century, voicemail, most windows operating platforms, etc. What I found very amusing is that the narrator is so calm, compared to the people who actually call for a boycott are always seen yelling. As the video describes the aid Israel has given to various countries that have suffered as a result of natural disaster, it tells people living there to, "please kill yourself. This shows video shows just how unaware people seem to be regarding how much their lives are impacted by the Jewish State. Regarding something that is so emotional, intense and longstanding, I think this is a great way for us to sit back and laugh at people who think they are boycotting Israel, but also to take pride in the fact that Israel has done so much not only for the Jewish people but also humanity. The video end though with the harsh reality we currently are in. It goes through the anti-Israel sentiment that is so popular on the internet (which can even be seen right below the video in the comment section). It also goes through some organizations and people dedicated to the boycott and divestment of Israel. It leaves you with reality.

Posted by Evan Gewirtz

Welcome to Gaza: A Not-So-Humorous Funny

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I am Average Joe. I sit down with a nice, big mug of coffee to read the Sunday morning paper and flip to my second favorite part, the editorial comics. I don’t really keep up with what’s going on in the world and I don’t really care all that much. I’m an American, why do countries on the other side of the Atlantic matter all that much anyhow? However, when my wife and I go out for dinner with intellectual friends and they start discussing world affairs, I like to be able to contribute to the conversation somewhat. What better way to get a brief overview than looking at the funnies? As I look through, I see a cartoon called “Welcome to Gaza” about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. People have been talking about that a lot lately, so I take a closer look. I see an Israeli tank falling over a cliff and down at the bottom a sign reads ‘Welcome to Gaza.’ I laugh at the cartoon and think to myself, ‘Boy, these Israelis have created quite the pit in Gaza. It’s no wonder the whole world hates them. What hypocrites.’

I am not Average Joe.

I am a young Jewish American woman who is deeply upset by the comics I read as I open up my Sunday paper. I am dismayed by a particular one that is titled “Welcome to Gaza.” People will see that cartoon and think that it is Israel’s army that has created the deep hole that is the situation in Gaza, which just isn’t true! Do people not understand that Hamas has created that pit? I have had the privilege of traveling to Israel a number of times in my life and have witnessed what it is that defines Israel. It is a strong commitment to her people’s safety and wellbeing, not of Jews alone, but of anyone who inhabits the land. I would argue that Israel is the most virtuous country on Earth as it has constantly sacrificed what rightfully belongs to it for the sake of peace. This peace is not just for Israelis, but for Palestinians as well. However, Hamas will not budge. It has created a pit of despair for its people and Israel has not created a war against humanity, rather, Hamas has staged it. This reminds me of a quote that William Randolph Hearst once told an artist just before the Spanish American war, “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.” Hamas has done just that. By sacrificing the lives of its own people and showing today’s sensationalist media just the right photos of its women and children intentionally placed in harm’s way, Hamas has framed Israel for a war it has not committed.

The average Joes of the world see these pictures. They read the cartoons. They believe every word. Frankly, I am disgusted.

Posted by Gabriella Meltzer

Posting pictures and videos

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As of now, we cannot embed pictures or videos directly on the blog. Instead, just copy and paste a link to the image or video, and readers will click to view.

Welcome to the Write On for Israel Blog

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Alright, Write On Fellows... It took a bit longer than anticipated, but your blog is now available! Please post your thoughts here, and comment on your colleagues' posts. Refer to your assignment handout from the February seminar for precise details, and let the conversation begin! (While anyone can read the blog -- and you should feel free to direct friends and family here to read what you're writing -- only Fellows and faculty can post or comment. Your posts may be subject to a review process, but if much time elapses after you write something and it does not appear, please contact me.)