Mar 3, 2010

Getting Serious With Stand With Us & IDF

I spent my evening over at the UConn Hillel for an IDF Soldiers Speak Out presentation, hosted by Stand With Us, the outstanding group that hosted my Birthright Trip back in 2008. The illustrious @YeahThatsKosher schlepped two IDF soldiers (Yoav and Avi, I believe it was) up to UConn (aka middle of nowhere) to talk to Hillel members about what it's like to be a soldier, the perception of the recent missions, the priorities of the IDF and Israel, and more. Although not too many people showed up (after all, there are more than 2,000 Jewish students on campus), it was a fairly good showing and the talk was interesting (I'm a sucker for an Israeli accent, too). Curious about Stand With Us? Here's the "About Us" from their website:
StandWithUs is an international education organization that ensures that Israel's side of the story is told in communities, campuses, libraries, the media and churches through brochures, speakers, conferences, missions to Israel, and thousands of pages of Internet resources.
StandWithUs was founded in 2001 in response to the misinformation that often surrounds the Middle East conflict, and the inappropriate often anti-Semitic language used about Israel and/or the Jewish people worldwide. StandWithUs has offices and chapters in Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Michigan, Chicago, Seattle, Orange County, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, the UK, Australia, and Israel.
They have oodles of information on their website, and this week being "Anti-Israel Apartheid Week" on so many college campuses, the website might have plenty to offer those of you out there looking for some good facts. One of the most shocking questions asked was by a much older gentleman who asked "Do you know what Israel is doing with the 3 billion dollars that the U.S. gives Israel?" The man went on and on about how Israel should be doing good things with "our" money -- after all, we want peace, so Israel should be using that money on peace. He also asked an asinine question about why Israel can't make a two-state solution out of making Gaza and the West Bank the Palestinian State.

Ahem.

Been there, done that. No sale. For those who aren't in the know, it's an all-or-nothing with the opposing parties. In the Hamas doctrine, in fact, it says flat out that peace doctrines or policies for peace are not part of the Islamic Hamas charter. Thus is thus. Now, I'm not saying the people talking peace with Israel are all Hamas, but you see what these Palestinians (who want peace) have to deal with.

My message? Read your materials, get your facts straight, know your history. Be an informed, global citizen! And most of all? Support Israel. Just do it!

And now for some post-IDF talk bus-waiting photography.


These couches look on-fire!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you ever gone to a forum where you heard Palestinians talk? You say get the facts but whose facts? It is those who win the wars that write history and the so-called "facts." I'm pro-human rights so I don't mean to come off sounding anti-Israeli, I'm not but you sound just like the people I debate with who are anti-Israeli and are unwilling to consider the other's POV.

Chaviva said...

I'm pro-human life and pro-human rights, too. And I know that the state of Israel is VERY concerned with life, it's the Jewish way. The Hamas way is human shields, human shields, casualties, and wasting as much life as long as Jewish life is cast away. That's a reality. It's in the Hamas charter. I'm not saying all Palestinians are Hamas, mind you. Because they're not. That'd be stupid, stupid, stupid to say so. I feel bad for Palestinians under the thumb of Hamas.

And yes, I've heard many Palestinians talk. I've also heard many anti-Israel/anti-Zionism people talk (Jews and non-Jews alike). I spent my summer discussing (most of the time in Hebrew) these topics with someone from Lebanon and two people who identified as Palestinian and one whose family hailed from Gaza.

Facts, unfortunately, is a loaded term. What I mean is to be informed, be completely informed. As one of the IDF soldiers said, scrutinize and analyze everything everyone tells you. Look up information, don't rely on one person or two people, or three people even.

What it comes down to, is that -- as a fairly educated woman, I think -- I consider the opinions involved. I *get* what people say, and I process it. I only *discuss* this topic with people who are equally willing to discuss the topic, the historical details (dates of attempts to split the land, what the roadblocks were, the military campaigns and their realities, etc.). I think you've misunderstood how I relate to these types of topics.

I very, VERY rarely discuss the Israeli-Palestinian topic with people. Why? 99 percent of people can't come into that kind of a conversation in a cool, calm, and collected way. It's not worth my time or energy to be spoken AT, and not WITH. Likewise, it's not worth my time to attempt and have a conversation with someone who is not willing to listen.

Do I sound less like one of those anti-Israel people who are unwilling to consider the other's POV?

I'm very pro-Israel, and this (honestly) came only after I'd visited Israel, met Kibbutzniks, met soldiers, and been in the land during the start of Cast Lead, and then returned to the U.S. and really realized how the media that I spent so much time defending was really, truly, not on a pro-Israel slant like I always thought it'd been. That being said, I'm also pro-human life. There is no price that can be put on human life, you can't compare losses. Any one loss is bad enough. I think that Israel attempts to evaluate and present peace in the best way possible. Hamas? It's in their charter to ignore peace, period.

shavuatov said...

Meh. I can't comment.

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