Monday, January 19, 2009

Gaza and the Madman Theory

As the Palestinians weep in the ruins of Gaza.

“I couldn't save anything,” said the elderly teacher, with tears in his eyes. “We have nothing left — no money, no food. We have nowhere else to go.”

“In my worst dreams I didn't think it would be this bad,” she sobbed. “This was the house of my children. All the pictures of my children, my diaries, my wedding ring are gone. The Israelis have wiped out my future and my past.”

The Israelis explain the madman theory.

The Israeli theory of what it tried to do here is summed up in a Hebrew phrase heard across Israel and throughout the military in the past weeks: “baal habayit hishtageya,” or “the boss has lost it.” It evokes the image of a madman who cannot be controlled.

“This phrase means that if our civilians are attacked by you, we are not going to respond in proportion but will use all means we have to cause you such damage that you will think twice in the future,” said Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser.

And all I can say is I'm just glad the killing has stopped. I hope the world can help the poor people of Gaza rebuild their shattered lives. I hope the Israelis can learn the difference between being strong and being brutal.

And of course, madness, madness.

The poor little children.

What a cruel world...


  1. Anonymous8:07 PM

    We ain't seen nothing yet. Today, it's Gaza. Tomorrow, it will be us! We have been warned already. I'm quite certain a lot of people will regret the time they did not speak out for Gazans.

  2. I just can't imagine what it would be like to suffer so much horror and destruction. Bitter tears of some modicum of relief is all I feel.

  3. I wanted to thank you, Simon, for staring unblinking into this particular abyss and speaking out so strongly. Of all of us, I think you have been the most passionate in your condemnation of the carnage and your compassion for the people of Gaza.

    Whenever I thought I couldn't look any more, I'd read your blog and remember that we must all bear witness, no matter how much it might hurt our hearts.

    Thank you.

  4. Hi Gene...thanks for that link. It is pretty scary. 911 and 40 years of occupation have taken a huge toll on the Israelis as well. I think it's made some of them callous and cruel and unable to see the big picture. I can only hope that this wretched episode will breathe some life into the peace process which is the only way out of this nightmare...

  5. Hi Beijing...I can't either. The idea of listening to the bombs fall and wondering whether you're going to be next because no place is safe sounds terrifying to me. So I simply can't imagine how frightened and traumatized the children must have been.
    It's simply inexcusable...

  6. Hi Jennifer...thanks a lot for those kind words. Coming from a blogger like you is praise indeed.
    You know I'd rather not wade into the Middle East struggle because's so depressing. And two because I'm bound to anger some of my friends on both sides of the Great Divide. But in the face of such horror and brutality I couldn't live with myself if I didn't speak out.
    I know we live in a callous world where where many have become desensitized to violence or numbed by it. But if you are human you have to draw the line somewhere. The Israelis went way over that line with their brutal assault on a place with so many children, and as I say all the time enough is enough...

  7. Anonymous3:42 PM

    I have to praise you for your awareness, and your willingness to speak out, when you didn’t really have to. But you did Simon. You did.
    The world is definitely an oblivious place, and is being manipulated via an assortment of Zionist strategies. (Here we go again…)
    I simply ask everybody to look deep into history and seek the root causes of such brutality we are seeing today. You will find, if you look in the right places, the answers.
    ‘Their’ aims are remarkably transparent; their puppets are extremely ignorant, and arrogant. And if you want to know what else is going to happen in the future, read the verses that contain PROOF. I’m not a preacher. But do not prevent yourselves from learning what has happened before us, what is happening now, and what is to come. You have nothing to lose, and the least you will find is another perspective.
    Simon, do you believe that people of this world have their senses; that they have their eyes, their ears, their intelligence?? Yet, it is as if they are deaf, dumb, and blind.
    Take care my friend.

  8. Hi Nooman...thanks for your kind comments.You say I didn't have to speak out, but actually I did. As you can see from this blog I'm just an ordinary guy...and a pretty stupid one too. But I try to be a better person, I believe in a kinder gentler world and in the friendship of all the people of this world. And what happened in Gaza shook me to my core. I simply can't stand to see that kind of senseless brutality. I know what you mean when you say that sometimes it appears as if people are deaf, dumb, and blind.
    But if we want that better world we can't give up. Even in the depths of despair every little candle counts.I live in hope that the long suffering of the Palestinian people will end soon, and that all the people of the Middle East will live in peace with each other.Don't despair my friend. One candle is just one candle. But millions of candles will light up the world...