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Open letter to David Zwartz

in

Dear Mr Zwartz,
How does it feel to be a spokesman and defender of Israel at this time? I don't envy you. It must be hard when a prominent Israeli writer, Gideon Levy, could describe Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip as “a brutal and violent operation…far beyond what was needed for protecting the people in its south.” The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, called it a war against “a helpless and defenceless imprisoned population.”
The prestigious British Medical Journal The Lancet carried a message on January 12, 2009 which began, “with sadness and urgency we, medical students, express our outrage at the brutal Israeli attacks and subsequent humanitarian disaster that is occurring in Gaza.”
A past Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir, asserted in the British newspaper The Sunday Times, on June 15, 1969 that: "There is no such thing as a Palestinian people... It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist."? Do you believe the Palestinian people don't exist? Of course, you cannot persecute a people that does not exist.
The Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, noting in an address to a joint session of the US Congress on May 24, 2006 that he had been raised with the deep conviction that the Jewish people would never have to relinquish any part of the 'land of our forefathers', added: "I believed, and to this day still believe, in our people's eternal and historic right to this entire land." What is your deep conviction Mr Zwartz? Do you believe that Israel has an “eternal and historic right to this entire land.”?
Or, on the other hand perhaps you agree with David Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, when he said “There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz but was that their [the Palestinian’s] fault? They only see one thing: We have come here and stolen their country.” (Nahum Goldmann in Le Paradoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp. 121-122.
Perhaps you are not a Zionist, Mr Zwartz, and so would not agree with Golda Meir when she said on March 8, 1969: "How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to."
The refugees in Europe during the Second World War had some chance of fleeing advancing armies. The refugees of Gaza have nowhere to shelter. Israel's blockade, which is defined in the Geneva Conventions as a war crime, trapped them. But still the blitz was unleashed upon them. Do you think that was honourable?
Since 2002, more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations have said repeatedly that if Israel obeys several UN resolutions and withdraws to the 1967 borders, leaving 22 per cent of the original Palestine for an independent Palestinian state, they will open full diplomatic relations and there will be peace. That is the position also of Hamas.
The question is, why does Israel reject that reasonable compromise and continue to build occupation settlements and annex more territory? Is the answer to be found in Israel's founding ideology, Zionism? Writing in Der Judenstaat, the work that gave birth to the Zionist movement over a hundred years ago, Theodor Herzl wrote: "For Europe we shall constitute there [in Palestine] a sector of the wall against Asia, we shall serve as the vanguard of culture against barbarism." Is that how Zionists, how Israel itself views its role? The recently-reported racist graffiti left behind by the Israeli Army on walls in the Gaza Strip suggests the possibility.
What do you support, Mr Zwartz? Those statements by Israel's leaders and the founder of Zionism? Or the views of Jewish people, both religious and non-religious, who speak out against what the State of Israel does?
In a letter to the New York Times, on December 4, 1948, Albert Einstein objected to a visit by Menachim Begin, later to become prime minister of Israel. He referred to Begin's "Freedom Party" (Tnuat Haherut), as a political party “closely akin in its organisation, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.” Einstein warned: “It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.”
Mr Zwartz, do you distance yourself from Theodor Herzl, David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir and Ehud Barak?
Leslie Bravery
Palestine Human Rights Campaign Aotearoa/New Zealand
January 21, 2009

Comments

Re: PHRC open letter to David Swartz

What is PHRC? I read through the entire letter but I'm none the wiser.

Re: PHRC open letter to David Swartz

PHRC equals Palestine Human Rights Campaign.

Re: PHRC open letter to David Swartz

Would've had more effect perhaps if you'd bothered to check the spelling of David Zwartz's name first, no?

Re: Re: PHRC open letter to David Swartz

Thank you very much for pointing out my error.
Leslie

Re: Open letter to David Zwartz

These comments come from true ignorance of, and distortion of, the facts.
Fact 1: when Israel pulled out of Gaza, it left hudreds of state of the art greenhouses for the Palestinians to use as work and food production.
Instead of that, they smashed them all simply because they were Jewish.
Fact 2: In 1948 Israel begged the so-called Palestinians to remain saying "don't go, stay, and together we will build a nation". They chose to leave and have made life unbearable in Israel with their suicide bombers and their 6000 rockets over the last 8 years or so.
Fact 3: Even the UN has admitted that the bombing of their school did not cause any deaths, all were faked by Hamas.
Fact 4: Hamas took youths off the street in the recent conflict and made them fire on houses so that people would be afraid to come out and run away. This ensured that they were killed in their homes, not by Israel fire, but by their own.
Fact 5: When Israel pulled out of Gaza, billions of dollars were given from other Arab nations to help them develop a nation because they didn't want them in their own countries - instead it was used for terrorism.
Fact 6: Hamas means "violence" and that is waht they revel in. Hamas has vowed to annihilate Israel, Israel has never said any such thing about Gaza.
Fact 7: Tell us, Mr Bravery, what would you do if I threww 6000 rocks on your roof over a period of years and I refused to stop no matter how many times you tried to stop me or no matter how many times I agreed to stop and then broke my word? How long would it be before you committed a violence against me or even killed me?
Fact 8: Within a week of the ceasefire, that double-dealing Hamas sent three rockets into Israel. And the Palestinians are victims? They are bloodthirsty, cowardly terrorists. Israelis are the victims of a cruel and dangerous people.

Re: Re: Open letter to David Zwartz

Your offensive, racist comments, and I quote: “. . . the Palestinians are victims? They are bloodthirsty, cowardly terrorists. Israelis are the victims of a cruel and dangerous people.”, reveal the true nature of Zionism. That mentality is what drives Israel's human rights abuses such as occupation and collective punishment. Racism is irrational and those who would defend the crimes committed by Israel's rulers must, of necessity, resort to irrational argument and downright lies.
Your contempt for the Palestinian people is also revealed in the wild and ludicrous assertion that Hamas fired on its own people. In the Gaza Strip not one international observer, either from the UN or the professions such as medicine and journalism, would give credence to such a preposterous suggestion. Furthermore, most observers agree that Palestinian support for Hamas, since it was democratically elected into office, has grown as a result of Israel's grisly and disproportionate offensive.
People throughout history have sought to resist occupation and blockade. The right to resist both is recognised in international law. International law also outlaws racism.

Re: Open letter to David Zwartz

I really don't understand your letter - you quoted many known anti-Israeli spokespeople (including some Israelis) who surprisingly are critical of Israel.
Then you quote a few Zionist leaders out of context, giving no indication what they meant by their statements.
You mis-quote Hamas, who are very clear that they do NOT accept Israel's right to exist under any circumstances, but you fail to make any coherent statement about what's going on in Gaza.

is there any point to this letter, or were you just trying to link a group of unrelated quotes

Re: Re: Open letter to David Zwartz

There was a point to my letter and that was to get answers following 22 days of the most horrendous violence rained down by Israel on a defenceless and captive people. It is not enough to complain that the Zionist quotes were “taken out of context”, to convince your readers you need to explain what you believe their words did mean and how quoting them may have done them an injustice. You may be surprised that many Jews, some of them quite prominent, express disgust at Israel's behaviour. You shouldn't be, most of humanity shares that view.
Israeli violence is gratuitous and unnecessary. In international law it is Israel that is the belligerent occupying power. Israel and Hamas entered into a truce that began in June last year and was due for renewal in December. Accordingly, Hamas ceased its rocket assaults and prevented the firing of rockets by other groups such as Islamic Jihad – even Israel’s intelligence agencies acknowledged this. In return, Israel was supposed to stop its targeted assassinations and military incursions into the Gaza Strip. This understanding was seriously violated on November 4, when the Israeli Army invaded Gaza and killed six members of Hamas. Hamas responded by launching Qassam rockets and Grad missiles but it also offered to renew and extend the truce, on condition that Israel end its blockade. The people of Gaza had also suffered constant Israeli incursions in which Palestinian farmland and crops were ruined by Israeli Army bulldozers. The Israeli Navy repeatedly attacked and intimidated Palestinian fishermen. They did this while their blockade was already reducing the people of Gaza to a state of semi-starvation.
Israel's barbaric assault on the Gaza Strip had nothing to do with ending Hamas rocket fire. The rockets were used as an excuse to punish the Palestinian people for resisting occupation and blockade. The action was never intended to halt the rocket fire altogether, as has now become apparent. Israel could have protected its people in southern Israel very easily by accepting the extended truce offered by Hamas. Instead, the Zionist state preferred to exploit the vulnerability of its people for political purposes.
Whatever you think of Hamas, keeping the ceasefire would have saved lives and property and could have led to a more permanent peace.
Leslie

Re: Re: Open letter to David Zwartz

There was a point to my letter and that was to get answers following 22 days of the most horrendous violence rained down by Israel on a defenceless and captive people. It is not enough to complain that the Zionist quotes were “taken out of context”, to convince your readers you need to explain what you believe their words did mean and how quoting them may have done them an injustice. You may be surprised that many Jews, some of them quite prominent, express disgust at Israel's behaviour. You shouldn't be, most of humanity shares that view.
Israeli violence is gratuitous and unnecessary. In international law it is Israel that is the belligerent occupying power. Israel and Hamas entered into a truce that began in June last year and was due for renewal in December. Accordingly, Hamas ceased its rocket assaults and prevented the firing of rockets by other groups such as Islamic Jihad – even Israel’s intelligence agencies acknowledged this. In return, Israel was supposed to stop its targeted assassinations and military incursions into the Gaza Strip. This understanding was seriously violated on November 4, when the Israeli Army invaded Gaza and killed six members of Hamas. Hamas responded by launching Qassam rockets and Grad missiles but it also offered to renew and extend the truce, on condition that Israel end its blockade. The people of Gaza had also suffered constant Israeli incursions in which Palestinian farmland and crops were ruined by Israeli Army bulldozers. The Israeli Navy repeatedly attacked and intimidated Palestinian fishermen. They did this while their blockade was already reducing the people of Gaza to a state of semi-starvation.
Israel's barbaric assault on the Gaza Strip had nothing to do with ending Hamas rocket fire. The rockets were used as an excuse to punish the Palestinian people for resisting occupation and blockade. The action was never intended to halt the rocket fire altogether, as has now become apparent. Israel could have protected its people in southern Israel very easily by accepting the extended truce offered by Hamas. Instead, the Zionist state preferred to exploit the vulnerability of its people for political purposes.
Whatever you think of Hamas, keeping the ceasefire would have saved lives and property and could have led to a more permanent peace.
Leslie

Re: Re: Re: Open letter to David Zwartz

"Hamas" stands for Harakat Al Muqawama Al-Isalamia, "Movement of the Islamic Resistance". Hamas only translates as "violence" in Hebrew. It actually means "zeal" in Arabic. But that just shows your Judeao-centric world view Lynette.

I don't know about the so called facts you present Lynette, but the important thing to discuss a way forward. To resolution. Israel's actions only provoke escalation. Do you want one state or two? Do you acknowledge Palestinians rights to a state? Or should they live in Buntustans amongst Jewish-Only Settlements? WOuld you prefer to exterminate them?

The basic FACT that you disregard Lynette is that Israel was established as a Jewish State on Arab land. You cannot expect this to occur without violence even if the Israeli did ask the Arabs to stay. Perhaps you believe in Jewish (religious) dogma that says the land is solely for Jewish use?