Thursday, January 8, 2009

Where Can I Find The Palestinians Demonstrating Against Hamas?

I came across this interesting item today on the CBC News website. It was a commentary written by David Borzykowski, a graduate student at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. The title of his piece is,"Am I really a bad Jew?" (

Mr. Borzykowski complains about being called a "bad Jew" because he doesn't support the current IDF offensive against Hamas in Gaza. He then complains about the one-sidedness of "mainstream Jewish thinking." "Like any conflict and especially the Israeli-Palestinian one, there are two sides to every story," writes Borzykowski, "except it seems, among Jews."

If this statement is true then how does he explain organizations such as Jews for Justice for Palestinians? As far as I am aware there is no equivalent Palestinian organization that has been established in support of Israel. Could Mr. Borzykowski please tell me where I can find the Palestinians who are demonstrating against Hamas?

As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan put it Mr. Borzykowski is entitled to his opinion, not his facts. I would, however, have taken his opinion more seriously if he were to have a) stated the reasons he objects to the current IDF campaign in Gaza and b) put forward an alternate plan for Israel to address Hamas rockets attacks from Gaza.

Mr. Borzykowski isn't "a bad Jew." I just wish he were a more diligent one.


Dave said...

The point I was trying to make was not that I have the solution to the problem but rather that there seems to only be two sides to this conflict. Either for Israel and against Hamas or for Hamas and the Palestinians and against Israel. I was trying to say that there is another voice out there that disagrees with both sides. I left out the politics on purpose because I was using this issue to demonstrate the way that a Jew feels in a rather small Jewish community. It was meant to be more of a Jewish identity issue than a political one.

You're right there are not any Arabs protesting what has gone on, but that's because they live in a completely different society than we do. If they were to speak out against Hamas and the Palestinians they could be harmed. We are fortunate that in the society that we live in we can speak out against injustice.

The reason that I was against the offensive was not that I'm in support of Hamas but I was appalled by what I was seeing and reading. My main reason for opposing the offensive is that I question the timing of the attacks. Israel pulled out their troops by the time Obama was inaugurated. Doesn't that mean that there was something inherently unjust about what they were doing?

Israel has a right to defend itself, and I'm not against the offensive in theory, I just can't see Israel achieving their goals of stopping rocket attacks and so I have to ask the question what is the point of it all?

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

Aaron Goldstein said...

Mr. Borzykowski, I appreciate your response to my commentary on your piece which appeared on the CBC News website.

I must say though that I find your response very odd indeed. So where does one begin?

First, you state that you object to the IDF's defensive operation because you "can't see Israel achieving their goals of stopping rocket attacks and so I have to ask the question what is the point of it all?"

Well, the only obligation of government is protect its populace from threats to its security internal and external. If a government does not respond to those threats then the government might fall or at the very minimum be severely weakened thereby losing the confidence of the governed. The point is survival and the maintenance of order.

I suppose there are those who also thought Israel couldn't stop suicide bombers. Well, along comes the security fence. The Left can call the security fence a Berlin Wall all they want. The Berlin Wall kept East Germans in while the fence keeps terrorists out. So now Hamas resorts to rocket attacks and Israel must respond to that challenge. To not respond to that challenge would be an immoral dereliction of duty.

Second, because Israel initiates a ceasefire days before the Obama inauguration you conclude the IDF's defensive operation is "inherently unjust." So let me get this straight. If Israel had continued the ground operation in Gaza after Obama's inauguration all of a sudden it would not be inherently unjust? Such a notion descends the depths of disingenuousness.

This is not to say Obama's inauguration wasn't a factor in the decision to halt any further action. The best that I can tell is that Obama's people gave Olmert an indication they would not publicly support the IDF Defensive Operation. Any Obama statement critical of the operation would have given aid and comfort to Hamas and all who seek to destroy Israel. So discretion was the better part of valour and they pre-empted any harsh words from Obama.

Of course, Israel's self-control has consequences for its long term safety. Hamas will inevitably re-arm itself and either resume rocket attacks or move on to some other form of terrorism (i.e. hostage taking, hijacking, etc.) and Israel will have to defend itself whether the world likes it or not. It will be especially interesting should Bibi Netanyahu be elected next month. If Obama proceeds foolishly in the Middle East then Netanyahu will not suffer him gladly.

Ah yes, pity the poor Palestinians. Yes, Palestinians who live in Gaza will get their throats sliced if it is believed they are "collaborating" with Israel. But what about the Palestinians living in London, Boston and Winnipeg? What's keeping them from speaking out against Palestinian violence? What is their excuse?

With all due respect I don't think you've thought your argument through.