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Thursday, 3 June 2010

Where has Frume Sarah been these past few days? With Israel the lead story the past four days, it seems unlikely that Frume Sarah has nothing to say on the issue.

And it is true. There is much to say. But I am having trouble gathering my thoughts. A sense of foreboding is holding me back. Keeping me up at night as I fret about Israel and how the world is turning ugly, refusing to recognize terrorism no matter how it’s dressed.

The scrutiny has fallen on Israel rather than those who were attempting to violate a legal blockade established four years ago by Israel following Hamas takeover of Gaza. The subsequent kidnapping of Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, and ongoing barrage of rockets into Israel proper have only served to reinforce the necessity of such a blockade.

Much of the information shared by the media is incorrect, misleading, and, in some cases, blatant fabrication. An individual’s support of the actions taken by the Israeli government is ultimately left as a personal decision. However, the reality is that Israel (and the entire Jewish community) is being vilified in the press. In an effort to educate our community, our local office of the Anti-Defamation League has provided the following talking points:

    • Israel was responding to a deliberate provocation by a flotilla of ships seeking to break the blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza.
    • This was a premeditated provocation by the leaders of the flotilla. While proclaiming themselves to be motivated by humanitarian concerns, the Free Gaza Movement is comprised of long-time anti-Israel extremists who advocate using confrontational tactics against Israel. Organizers of the flotilla embarked on a course that put in danger the lives of those aboard.
    • This loss of life is greatly regrettable and could have been prevented had the activists refrained from violence. The IDF forces had no choice but to defend themselves from the violent onslaught.
    • The Government of Israel and the IDF made repeated attempts to avoid confrontation with the flotilla. The IDF repeatedly radioed the ships and appealed to the group’s organizers to redirect the flotilla to an Israeli port, from where the goods and humanitarian aid onboard would be delivered to Gaza by established routes. The flotilla organizers, intent on sensationalist publicity and confrontation with Israeli officials, refused.

    • The initial international reaction to the incident has the appearance of a biased rush to judgment against Israel. Some in the international community, the media and anti-Israel groups have drawn knee-jerk conclusions and made unfounded allegations about Israeli culpability before all of the facts about the incident have been gathered or learned.
  • Other informative sites:

    Honest Reporting
    CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America)
    MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute)
    Stand with Us

    This is just a starting point. Frume Sarah will be back with more to say later — b’li neder.

    BTW, what humanitarian organization would bring expired medications to the very people they are meant to be helping??

    As the Psalmist teaches:

    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they prosper who love you. (Psalms 122:6)

    11 Comments leave one →
    1. Thursday, 3 June 2010 2:38 pm

      I don’t think medication that has been expired for six months is that big a deal. After the medication date, most medications simply become less effective. It’s a bit of a red herring. The fact that there was camouflage fabric is a much bigger deal.

      In response, I will be investing in Israeli stock. (EIS)

      • Frume Sarah permalink*
        Thursday, 3 June 2010 9:52 pm

        Interesting point. About the medication date. AND the camouflage. I admire your response.

    2. Thursday, 3 June 2010 3:57 pm

      Events like this make me wish that Bibi would announce that we have decided to build 10 million new homes throughout Israel- both within and beyond the Green Line.

      • Frume Sarah permalink*
        Thursday, 3 June 2010 9:53 pm

        In my most frantic and emotional and irrational moments…so do I.

        Subsidized and plentiful housing with incentives to help us all resettle.


    3. Thursday, 3 June 2010 4:54 pm

      I had a terrible day yesterday with the friend I’m staying with for a few days. I almost came home. Here is an educated woman who says she won’t read the Israeli press (“they lie”….) and things like, “I am sick of Israel using what happened to Jews during the Holocaust as a way to do anything they want to someone else.” At times like this, people’s anti-Jewish and anti Israel ignorance comes to the fore. How do you have a conversation with someone whose talking points are old, anti semitic and not only doesn’t care for the Israeli point of view, but doesn’t think it matters???

      If people really can’t figure out or don’t want to believe that this “flotilla of humanitarian aid” wasn’t political, perhaps the next ship being sent, the Rachel Corrie, might get them thinking?

      • Frume Sarah permalink*
        Thursday, 3 June 2010 9:57 pm

        Nope. I don’t think that it is going to get them thinking at all. Rachel Corrie was idealized as a martyr for the humanitarian cause. Never mind that the ISM used her as a human shield in an area in which she had no business.

        Hearing comments like the one your friend made really make me worry. Because they are not simply ignorant comments from the uneducated. They reflect, I’m afraid, a socially-acceptable, darker sentiment

    4. Friday, 4 June 2010 7:52 am

      FYI: Memri and CAMERA not linking.

      • Frume Sarah permalink*
        Saturday, 5 June 2010 10:53 pm

        Weird…just checked them and they were fine. Maybe they were overloaded with hits when you checked?

    5. Friday, 4 June 2010 12:25 pm

      frume sarah, this is an *excellent* post! very clear, to the point, and easy to follow and understand. i feel like so much of the time there’s clear, blatant misunderstanding of information when it comes to israel. thank you for sharing (what i would consider) the real deal here.

      • Frume Sarah permalink*
        Saturday, 5 June 2010 10:54 pm

        Thanks. I was very pleased when the ADL sent out these talking points because they are straightforward and clear. We sent them to our college and HS students and then to the entire shul so that everyone would have the basic info.

    6. Monday, 7 June 2010 3:14 pm

      Certain points to add here. If the peace activists really want peace this is what needs to happen and aid to Gaza.
      1 Release Gilad Shalit
      2 Stop sending rockets over to Israel
      That is what it takes. The blockade is there to save lives. This is the responsibility of any country to protect their people.
      3 Israel citizens by taxes and donations are continually bringing supplies over the border. Hamas is in charge of distribution.

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