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Palestinian Holocaust and one Family’s Grief

I’ve been trying to stick to updating once every Friday – but today I saw two articles on another blog that absolutely had to be posted ASAP. I cannot believe the insanity of both of these items!

Part 1 – Israeli Defense Minister Warns of a Palestinian Holocaust

One article is about a Deputy Israeli Defense Minister who made big waves this morning by issuing the following warning:

“The more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger ’shoah’ because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.”

The Hebrew term “shoah” that is used here is almost exclusively reserved for discussing the Nazi’s genocide of European Jews during World War II. In Israeli/Jewish circles it is extremely unpopular for the term to be used of any current events, even though it does have the literal meaning of “disaster” This statement made some diplomatic shockwaves and there seems to have been some official backpedaling. In his blog post Liam Bailey even notes that the Yahoo! News article that he originally found this information in was re-worded later in the day. His full take on the situation is linked to here – please take a moment to read it.

Part 2 – One Family’s Grief

Liam Bailey also posts an important behind-the-scenes report of a Gazan family who lost their 6-month old baby to a shrapnel wound to the head during an Israeli airstrike on the Department of the Interior headquarters in Gaza. The young family lived across the street and became “collateral damage” in this sickening conflict. The mother had just finished nursing her baby when the missile slammed into the building across the street causing damage in the neighborhood and tragically destroying this young life. Click here to see Liam’s article including a YouTube video of al-Jazeerah’s reporting. (Be warned the footage shows the dead infant). BTW this happened Wednesday night. Did anyone hear about it in the news? I am deeply saddened by this report and hope you will join me in praying for peace in Gaza and especially for this family.

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B’Tselem: My Go-to Source for Human Rights Info in Palestine

Some of you may have noticed the casualty statistics that I have posted recently. For the most part those come from B’Tselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights). Where possible I try to cross-check, but I trust this organization and the information they put out. Formed by concerned Israeli citizens (including attorneys, professors, and Knesset members) back in 1989, this organization investigates and reports upon human rights violations in the Occupied Territories. This includes human rights violations perpetrated by either side of the conflict.

You might be interested in knowing that the name “B’Tselem” is from the Hebrew for “in the image of” and their website reports that the inspiration for this name comes from Genesis 1:27 that says that God created humanity in his image.

This group of concerned Israeli citizens provides vital behind-the-scenes info that is not often heard above the clamor of the major news headlines. I find that their collection of short videos is particularly helpful in getting a quick snapshot of various human rights issues that do not get covered by the major networks. Here is a 3-minute video about the forced eviction/destruction of a village near Hebron that was located between the official border between with Israel and the “Separation Barrier” that is being built well inside Palestinian territory.

Here are excerpts of two of their latest human rights reports:

B’Tselem expressed its grave concern following the renewed fighting in Gaza. During the first 2 months of 2008, Israeli security forces killed 146 Palestinians. At least 42 did not participate in the fighting when killed, and 11 were minors. Palestinians killed 2 Israeli civilians, and one member of the Israeli security forces.
On 14 February 2008, Fawaziyeh a-Dark suffered a heart attack. Soldiers at a flying checkpoint prevented the passage of the ambulance summoned for her. When her husband tried to take her by taxi, soldiers at another checkpoint blocked their passage. He was forced to take her home, by which time she died.

Please check their website from time to time.