Saturday, July 30, 2005

How much could you remove in an hour?

Take a look around the place where you are reading this blog, and ask yourself the question, "If I had one hour to remove whatever I valued here, what would I take?" Now consider the following excerpt from this.
As we marched towards the rubble of the homes my heart was pounding. I turned a corner and saw the first heap. Stone, steel, wood, all kinds of material whose purposes were now indecipherable. It was hard to tell that this had actually been a home. Three children were sitting on top of the rubble, not saying a thing, just looking. I couldn't handle it, I turned to leave. And as I was turning I saw out of the corner of my eye, under a tree with his face in his hands, the owner of the home. He must have been around 70 years old. He was sobbing. I probably do not need to tell you my reaction.
Next to this man was a pile of chairs and table, some tapestries, etc. I asked Sami what that pile was and he replied, "It's what they were able to salvage in an hour. That's how quick the notice is. The IDF shows up with the caterpillar and crane and tells them they have one hour. After that, if they aren't out of the home, the IDF claims that they cannot be held accountable."

Thanks to Adam for pointing me to this entry, and also for telling the story of the refuseniks, loyal members of the IDF who refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories.

By the way, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has gone on record to oppose the construction by Israel of the so-called "Separation Barrier."

File under: , , , ,


callieischatty said...

I agree its sad for someone to lose their home, also, its sad that people see the need to blow up innocent civilians on busses, eating pizza or as in the case last week when a bomber put himself in the center of a group of teenage girls shopping and exploded a bomb.

If the Palestinians wanted peace and prosperity it would happen.

callieischatty said...

I also wanted to point out that I agree that people in Mexico should be helped with medical care.

You seem like a good guy, I cant help but wonder why someone as nice as you would support the anti semitism of the Pres USA church.

the only country boycotted is Isreal, not one other nation.

Isn't that odd?

Stewart said...

Thanks for joining me on my bench. I don't accept the claim that the PCUSA is anti-semitic.

Contrary to what you may have heard, the PCUSA is not boycotting Israel. It is in the process of determining how to boycott specific disapproved activities by the government of Israel.

callieischatty said...

you are welcome.

Actually I have read the PSUSA site a few times and in my humble opinion its very anti semeitic.

I believe that you are a good well intentioned person so its nothing personal.

Why do they only boycott Isreal? Why do members meet with Hizbollah and praise people who call for the murder of all Jews?

Why can't Isreal a tiny sliver of a country only 8 miles wide defend herself from suicide bombings by building a wall?

Why is it the church only boycotts the only Jewish state in the world while 22 Arab states try to wipe this country that is trying to hard to survive off the face of the earth?

And why do you support this? The church you belong to is anti semetic and in your own way you are helping them.

More Jews will die because of this and that is what is very sad.

On the PSUSA site do you see any mention of Israeli victims of Arab terror?
According to you the only people who suffer are Arabs, Jews tear down their houses and build a wall for the fun of being greedy monsters.


Stewart said...


You said "According to you the only people who suffer are Arabs, Jews tear down their houses and build a wall for the fun of being greedy monsters." Are you trying to put words in my mouth?

You ask "On the PSUSA site do you see any mention of Israeli victims of Arab terror?" You claim that the site does not acknowledge the existence of these victims.

You must have overlooked the statement, "The Assembly has approved numerous resolutions on Israel and Palestine, repeatedly affirming, clearly and unequivocally, Israel's right to exist within permanent, recognized, and "secure" borders (for example: 1969, 1974, 1977, 1983, 1989). It has deplored the cycle of escalating violence — carried out by both Palestinians and Israelis — that is rooted in Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian territories (see statements of successive Assemblies since 1967). Presbyterians have expressed concern about the loss of lives of innocent Israelis and Palestinians (see "Resolution on the Middle East," 1997, and "Resolution on Israel and Palestine: End the Occupation Now," 2003)."

Judith said...

"It has deplored the cycle of escalating violence — carried out by both Palestinians and Israelis — that is rooted in Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian territories"

No, the terrorism is rooted in the Arab bloc using the Pals as proxies to try to drive Jews out of our ancestral homeland, which we continued to return to for the past 2000 years, despite being repeatedly "ethnically cleansed" by Christians and Muslims. The terrorism began long before the occupation.

But your response begs the question. The PCUSA is not considering sanctions on anyone doing business with the Pals. All the ACTIONS are against Israel. You also avoid responding to the charge that only Israel is singled out, while its human rights record is miles better than many other nations, and many other nations build walls to keep out immigrants or refugees, but nobody gets outraged by them.

As long as only Israel is repeatedly singled out, it is antisemitism and double standards.

Also, after taking Gaza and the Wbank in a defensive war, Israel offered to give back the territories to their previous owners, Jordan and Egypt. both refused. There was never any Palestinian state, and Jordan and Egypt wanted to give Israel the headache of figuring out what to do with the Arabs living in Gaza and the Wbank.

Since the construction of the fence - which is only a wall in 3% of its length, in areas where snipers repeatedly shoot into Israel from neighboring towns - deaths of Israelis from suicide bombings have decreased to almost zero, wherever the fence has been built. The PCUSA is decrying a defensive measure which saves Israeli lives.

BTW the fence also saves Arab lives, since 20% of Israel's citizens are Arab and they also have been killed in suicide bombings.

Israel doesn't owe the Pals jobs. They can get jobs in Egypt and Jordan. (Oh, their economies don't provide jobs as much as Israel - I wonder why that is?) The Pals are smart and educated. As soon as they develop a government based in property rights and rule of law they will get investment and jobs. Right now the territories are like a mafia neighborhood full of graft and extortion, because of Arafat.

Israel cannot fix this problem for the Pals, they have to do it themselves. As long as people like you and the PCUSA make excuses for their terrorism, they will not have incentive to change.

callieischatty said...

Actually no I didn't miss the comments you pointed out.

Eli Weisel and the Simon Weisenthal Institute have pointed out the tragic anti semitism of only targeting Jewish people for this 'action'.

I myself offered the local Pres Church to have a speaker who was a family member of someone in Israel who had to live with the fear of terror every day.

Of course they refused, they had a Palestinian speaker that very weekend. The Pres Church is not interested in the other side, only in boycotting Israel.

Every time I drive by a Pres, Church I feel so sad that this institutionalized hatred of Jews has taken hold here in the US of all places.

I doubt that Judith or I can say anything to change the mind of the blogger.

People do what they want.

Sad but true.

callieischatty said...

One more comment, the US has a fence between our borders why does the Church not oppose this?

Also, why does the Church single out Israel as the only country on the planet to sanction?

Not the Sudan, not China, not Saudi Arabia...only Israel a tiny country fighting to survive.

I am shocked that you cannot see this as anti semitism when it is so obvious to others.

Stewart said...

Ad hominem arguments such as those you have offered are inherently fallacious.

Moreover, ad hominem arguments tend to distance and alienate the person spoken against, making it less likely that you will change that person's mind.

This conversation started when I drew attention to the plight of a 70 year old man who was given one hour to remove whatever he could from his home. The responses to that post justified the rapid demolition of an inhabited residence by the fact that someone else in another place had bombed a bus or a shopping center. None of the responses have connected this 70 year old displaced person with the bombings except through the implication that Palestinians were involved in the acts of terror, and the stated assumption that he must not have wanted peace and prosperity enough to deserve to keep his home. What I am hearing appears to me to be a racist argument, and I have given opportunities for you to clarify so that I could hear it in any other way. Instead of hearing clarifications, I hear repeated slurs against myself, my church, and the Palestinians in general.

I sense a lack of congruity between your insulting statements and my experience of Jewish people in the carbon-based world. Accordingly, I am consciously reminding myself not to allow your words to affect negatively how I relate to the next person I meet.

In the original post by Alyssa, I was frankly moved by her depiction of the humanity of the IDF soldiers who were in the horrendous situation of doing things under orders that she felt they could not justify to their own consciences. This is another sad consequence of the construction of an illegal wall that does not follow Israel's border or sit entirely within Israel's territory. There is more being harmed than real estate and personal property. The harms caused by the construction of the wall are being done both to Israelis and to Palestinians. And it is my understanding that both groups are Semitic.

It is my expectation that guests who join me on my virtual park bench will speak respectfully to and of others. If you want to rant against people or insult them, you have or can start your own blogs for that purpose.

The Presbyterian Church has consistently supported Israel's right to exist within permanent, recognized, and secure borders. The Church is not boycotting the whole nation; it has not endorsed a boycott of Israeli goods as some are now doing. It has initiated a process of phased, selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel and Palestine. You can read more about the guidelines for this process at

If you know of multinational corporations that provide products and services, including financial services, to Palestinian organizations/groups that support or facilitate violent acts against innocent civilians, please make sure the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) knows about them. Such corporations should be considered for the progressive steps the Church is following.

callieischatty said...

Your mind is made up and nothing we can say can change it.

Sorry you are so hard hearted to the plight of Isreal.

I find it very very telling that you say because of your experience with us that you will then think perhaps less of the next Jew you meet.

We know all too well of this and so now we say no more.

Your church can do what it wants, it will anyway, what a tiny few like us say means nothing.

We Jews are few, you Christians are many and so powerful. Our words, as always fall on deaf ears.

Take care, and may God help us all.

Stewart said...

When a person has a negative interaction with another there are a number of possible responses. One can consciously take steps to ensure that it does not affect future interactions with others. One can allow the experience to function subconsciously to color future interactions. Or one can consciously decide to let the experience govern future interactions.

Those who endorse racial profiling fall in the last category.

callieischatty said...

With all due respect to you Stewart I do not see how your comment is relevant to our discussion of Isreal.

No one wanted to have a 'negative interaction' with you.

A blog is a public space for the exchage of ideas.

You never addressed the points made in Judith's comment, they were hardly 'ad hominum'.

Why not? Why didn't you answer her? It seems strange to me.

Stewart said...

I did not respond to many of the possibly rhetorical questions being posed because I was waiting for responses that would let me know what was really being asked. But I will try to answer the questions I hear.

callieischatty asked: "Why would someone as nice as you support the antisemitism of the Pres USA Church?"

I deny that the PCUSA is antisemitic.

callieischatty asked: "The only country boycotted is Israel, not one other nation. Isn't that odd?"

First, the PCUSA is not boycotting Israel; it is engaged in phased selective divestment. Second, the PCUSA has supported divestment efforts against activities in other countries until the goals were achieved. Third, the PCUSA is also including multinational corporations that provide products and services, including financial services, to Palestinian organizations/groups that support or facilitate violent acts against innocent civilians. What I find odd is your claim that Israel is being singled out.

callieischatty asked: "Why do they only boycott Isreal?"

I've answered this above, denying that there is a boycott, denying that Israel is being boycotted, and denying that Israel is singled out.

callieischatty asked: "Why do members meet with Hizbollah and praise people who call for the murder of all Jews?"

In the interest of working for peace members of the PCUSA meet with many people who will help them understand conflicts in the world. Some meetings are authorized by the church, some are not. Sometimes members listen and speak wisely; sometimes they speak when silence would have been better; sometimes they are silent when spoken words would have made a positive difference. As I understand it, the meeting of some members with Hezbollah was not officially authorized, and the PCUSA's highest officials expressed the church's position that the statements of praise for Hezbollah were "reprehensible."

callieischatty asked: "Why can't Isreal a tiny sliver of a country only 8 miles wide defend herself from suicide bombings by building a wall?"

Of course Israel can build a wall, but it should not build a wall on land that is not its own. Israel should end the occupation and build a much shorter wall on its own territory.

callieischatty asked: "Why is it the church only boycotts the only Jewish state in the world while 22 Arab states try to wipe this country that is trying to hard to survive off the face of the earth?"

This sounds like a repeat question. As above, there is not a boycott of Israel, and Israel is not singled out.

callieischatty asked: "And why do you support this? "

I support the position of my church because I believe that there is far more hope for peace and security for Israel through good relationships with its neighbors than in a cycle of escalating violence.

callieischatty asked: "On the PSUSA site do you see any mention of Israeli victims of Arab terror?"

Although you presumed to answer the question for me in the negative, I have pointed out to you that the PCUSA does recognize that there are victims of terror by both sides.

callieischatty said...

Thank you for your polite reply.

Elder of Ziyon said...

Your source for this story is a pro-Palestinian blog. You have not pointed out a news story that can be checked and verified, and we cannot put in in context.

Were shots being fired from this house? Did a suicide bomber live there? Was it covering a weapons-smuggling tunnel?

Do you think that Israel randomly chooses homes for demolition? Or, do you believe that homes demolished by Israel make room for Jewish settlements (a complete lie that is often published by Palestinians)?

Beyond that, although I know nothing about this blog you quote, Palestinians have a tendency to, shall we say, "exaggerate"? There are countless examples of Palestinians, from officials down to "witnesses", who claim to have seen something only to have it later revealed that it was totally made up. (See for details on just the latest example. Jenin was another egregious example, and I have cataloged many more.)

No one doubts that innocent Palestinians get hurt in the crossfire, but to report on those cases out of context is intellectually dishonest. The separation barrier between Israel nd the Palestinians has, unquestionably, saved many lives - including Palestinian lives! Does that fact not enter into the calculus of what is considered good or bad? To my possibly naive mind, inconveniencing some people to save many lives is quite a bargain. Perhaps you disagree.

I follow the Israel/Palestinian conflict very closely. There may be some times that one could argue about a specific Israeli action, but it is clear that the IDF does not make a decision to destroy a home or attack Palestinians without a very good reason, and the rare times that soldiers act out of their policy they get punished. To act as if Israel randomly harasses Palestinians is nothing short of a lie. Someohow, over a million Palestinians choose to live in Israel today, under Jewish-majority rule. If Israel was as racist as you are implying, why would that be?

To criticize Israel for doing things that are positively restrained compared to any other country in a remotely similar situation makes one wonder why Israel should be singled out.

Anonymous said...

There's only ONE question to ask of you or anyone else who decides to "debate" this issue: "Have you ever actually been to Israel or the Palestinian territories." If the answer is "no," then please be quiet. There is no way you can know what you are talking about.

There have also been many press reports lately about how seethingly anti-Israel Arab groups have infiltrated your church and its synods. American WASPS who have never set foot in Israel are easy marks for these guys. I'm sorry you're not smarter.

Israel is not perfect, but I defy anyone to produce evidence of a country that is actually more restrained given the challenges it faces every day. I am no fan of the current government and I think a lot of terrible things have been done by Israel to Arabs. But since so much more has been done to them by their fellow Arabs, I find it disgraceful to single out Israel in this way. In fact it's downright suspicious. And this is why you are being accused of Anti-Semitism.

And if I were a member of a Church that never made any such pronouncements decrying the Holocaust, (at least while it was going on), and is much more known as the bastion of Preppy exclusivity and restricted country clubs, I would really remain silent. And now, I give you this:

Top 10 Ways Jews Can Retaliate Against Presbyterian Divestment in Israel
by Jake Novak

10) Begin counter-boycott of Hellmann's Mayonnaise and Wonder Bread

9) Stop supporting all the Presbyterian comedians... oh wait, there aren't any!

8) Wear white shoes after Labor Day

7) Stop serving watercress sandwiches at Shabbat Kiddush

6) Replace Muzak in Jewish doctor's offices with Klezmer CD's

5) Secretly replace all references to John Calvin in Presbyterian doctrine with "Calvin Klein"

4) Initiate hostile takeover of L.L. Bean

3) Crash the next party at the country club

2) Water down the booze in junior's sippy cup

1) Let them do their own damn taxes!

dag said...

This is a dhimmi site.

The man has a right to do as he pleases. I refuse to have anything more to do with it.

callieischatty said...

Stewart I don't think this will change your view but I believe the Pres Church is anti semitic from my own personal experience not from some 'claim'.

I had seen the local pres church was having some Arab speakers for an interfaith thing and I offered to send someone from Israel to show how Jews feel.

No one wanted to hear the other side, and I was told that they would not want someone from Isreal to come to speak at this event.

I offered to have someone come a different time and was met with the same answer.

In any case, its not just a 'claim ' the Pres church is anti semitic.

Its a cold hard fact.

If the NAACP says a group is racist, you can take that as a fact.

Same thing with the Simon Weisethal Institute, if they say you guys are bigots maybe you should stop a sec and think.

I don't think you are bad people. Just very misguided.

Stewart said...

elder of ziyon said:

"You have not pointed out a news story that can be checked and verified, and we cannot put in in context."

According to the eye witness source the date of the house demolitions was July 27, 2005. The location of the demolitions was Al Khader. Go ahead and check it out and put it in context. She says there were two house demolitions in Al Khader that day. Were there so many more than two house demolitions that day in Al Khader that it is impossible to put in context?

Stewart said...

an anonymous commenter said:

"There's only ONE question to ask of you or anyone else who decides to "debate" this issue: "Have you ever actually been to Israel or the Palestinian territories." If the answer is "no," then please be quiet. There is no way you can know what you are talking about."

No I have not been to Israel or the Palestinian territories. Perhaps I should. But when other Presbyterians whom I trust visit those places and tell me about their experiences, I'll rely on their reports.

I invite the anonymous commenter to meet me here in Tarentum, Pennsylvania before making more comments about prep schools (didn't attend one) and country clubs (never belonged to one). You'll have to explain the Hellmann's (don't use it), watercress sandwiches (don't eat them), sippy cup (don't have one), and Muzak (don't play it) comments to me because they've gone completely over my head. Otherwise, very funny.

Elder of Ziyon said...

I cannot find any Israeli news source that discusses the demolitions. I did find a pro-Palestinian web page that showed that Israel had already planned to expand a road near Al Khader, involving land confiscation, in 1998, to build a bypass road for the security of Jewish settlements. It is entirely possible that this is part of that plan from seven years ago - meaning that the Palestinians knew about it years beforehand as well, not "an hour."

And many times Palestinians would build houses illegally - they also do "land grabs".

This is conjecture on my part, but it makes much more sense that Israel would be implementing a well-known plan rather than suddenly going in to demolish a house randomly as implied by Palestinian and other Arab sources. After all, they have no interest in publicizing Israel's plans from beforehand. And the Arab news stories about this demolition in Al-Khader all claimed that Israel was going to build settlements there, which is of course absurd - settlements are built generally some distance from Arab villages.

On that same day Israel did demolish a terrorist house in Jenin.

callieischatty said...

Stewart the Pres sources you 'trust' such as Adam freely admit they spent NO time in Israel with any Jews as all and made a concious choice in the matter.

How can anyone regard such as source as 'trustworthy'?

This is not a credible witness in my opinion.

Perhaps the lives of people who could have been murdered trying to evacuate Gaza don't mean anything to you but they have families who care about them.

Its common for Arabs to shoot at Jews from those houses.

Sad, but stuff like that can save lives.

And to believe outright lies because it suits your paradigm is pretty silly.

dag said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
callieischatty said...

Sometimes the lucky ones are dead

Where we hear in the news about the numbers of people killed in terror attacks sometimes this can be misleading. While 25 people may actually be killed, many many more suffer serious injuries.

The bombers intend this and so they use nails in the bomb to maim as many bystanders as possible.

Here is a list of people who have been identified as needing help and prayers.

The following were injured in the December 12th 2001 bus attack near Emanuel:
ELIEZER CHAIM BEN DVORA, who was in a coma, is now able to drive. He has begun working around his house as a preparation to return to work. He is a plumber.
YOSEF YEHUDA BEN SULTANA, from Emanuel, is going through outpatient therapy for short term memory loss. He has not returned to work.
Some of the names from the Dec. 1st '01Ben Yehuda bombing:
ERAN BEN SIMA, injured in the BEN YEHUDA bombing, is still in outpatient rehab with improvements. He has some more head surgery ahead of him.
ADI BAT MOLLY, injured in the BEN YEHUDA bombing, is preparing to do a Seudat Hodayah soon but my source says she does not know how well Adi is functioning.
SHARON CHAIM BEN GILA is "celebrating" his 23rd birthday, today at Hadassah HAR HATZOFIM Hospital, still completely paralyzed except for his right hand. He asks almost without respite where he is, why he's there and what happened. (He has nail lodged in his brain that is inoperable.) His mother is opening a special account for the bed he needs. Meantime, all welcome donations can be sent to him at Sharon Chaim Mamon, 14 Sirotzkin Street, Romema, Jerusalem 94423.
MATANEL YECHEIL BEN ORNA, age 21, was shot in his hand in Hebron on August 23rd. I received the following message: Matanel got married last month, in a very joyous wedding! His hand however, is still in a special bandage/brace, with more therapy to go. I know that you take people off the list who are surely more injured than he is. In Hebron, our custom is to continue to pray for people until they have a complete recovery. Unfortunately, Matanel is still far from that point.
CHANA TOVA CHAYA BAT PESCHA, the 31 year old mother of a young girl, who was seriously injured in the Sbarro bomb blast the summer of '01 has passed a year of being unconscious. She is now staying off the respirator most of the time, except when there are complications like when she had pneumonia recently. She passed that but had fever last SHABBAT. Her body is still fighting though and we need to keep praying.
TZIPPORAH BAT TECHIYA, age 14 (now15), was seriously injured in a driveby shooting on August 5th, '01 when her mother was murdered, suffered a spinal injury, is back in school with a wheelchair.
Her father, SHIMON DAVID BEN CHANA GITTEL is now working. I received the following message about both of them: they are learning to go about their routines in their respective wheelchairs and are continuing to attend out-patient therapy. There is still room for improvement, and therefore, I would suggest keeping up the prayers for them.
NOA BAT ILANA's, the third of three women soldiers who were seriously injured when the Arab bus driver rammed into them at the bus stop, still suffers from her memory loss. Her father says that she is doing OK but not much improvement.
*ARIEL BEN LIA RIVKA, the baby from Atzmona who was attacked with mortar shells before PESACH '01, is now home and going to nursery school with an aide. He is no longer doing therapy in Jerusalem, rather in Sdederot and Beersheva, which is much closer and easier on him and the family.
SHLOMO BEN SHLOMIT, of Nerya (Tel Mon Bet), the father of three, was shot in the arm causing nerve damage is continuing to improve slowly.
*YOSEF BEN ESTHER, of Nerya (Tel Mon Bet), who was shot almost two years ago, is paralyzed. He is married and now living in Kfar Saba. He STILL needs our prayers.
DOVID HOVAV BEN DAGANIT, the soldier who was seriously injured in Alei Sinia is getting stronger all the time but his intestine has still not been taken care of. He won't have the surgery for another six months or so.

Stewart said...

An anonymous commenter said:

"And if I were a member of a Church that never made any such pronouncements decrying the Holocaust, (at least while it was going on), ... I would really remain silent."

Thank you for this information. As you might guess, I was neither alive nor a Presbyterian at the time of the Holocaust. I had not heard before this that the Presbyterian Church had been silent during the Holocaust. I am trying to learn more about what was going on in the Presbyterian Church then, what they knew about the Holocaust, and when they knew it. It is going to take some time for me to find the right resources (which may well be offline).

Stewart said...

callieischatty said:

"Here is a list of people who have been identified as needing help and prayers."

Thank you for posting this list of prayer requests for victims of terrorst violence

callieischatty said...

you are welcome Stewart.

I posted it to provide some context for why conversations like this become so emtional for Jewish people.

Almost every family in Isreal, a small country with a relatively tiny population of only 6 million has been touched by terrorism.

The wall, and the checkpoints are intended to prevent more of this.

dag said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stewart said...

The posts dated Wednesday, August 10, 2005 4:59:41 PM and Saturday, August 13, 2005 3:37:47 PM were deleted for inappropriate language.

callieischatty said...

Well there is no reason to curse that is for certain.

I would have removed comments like that from my blog too.

You are invited to stop by Stewart, if you want to.

All sorts of people from places as far away as Pakistan come by and comment.

Its interesting to see different ideas about things.

Thats the point of blogging really.

Stewart said...

Thank you for the invitation to visit your blog. I have checked from time to time on what people are discussing there, and will probably visit more in the future.

I understand the intention of the separation barrier to preserve life on both sides.

Right now the government of Israel is taking courageous and risky steps toward peace in the disengagement and evacuation of Gaza. It seems to me that this is a time to pray for the people on both sides that the steps being taken will bear fruit that makes for a safer world for all.

callieischatty said...

Yes I agree its a big chance they are taking in leaving Gaza.

Hamas has called for more war, and this time even more suicide bombings.

Lets hope that people can talk instead of bomb each other and that clear heads prevail.

I wanted to point out that Adam whose blog you link to has Hamas slogans on his web site of his summer travels.

He also refers to them as a 'political organizition' and runs links to their 'news' organization.

The charter of Hamas, easy to google, is the establishment of a world wide Islamic state by violence.

He attended a summer camp this year and said he met with people from this group.

My point in this isn't to bash him, but Hamas is an illegal violent anti semitic group.

If good people such as you, who really seem to want peace, get associated with those who side with Hamas it becomes very upsetting to people.

The message can be lost.

To exist is to resist, at the top of Adams blog is the main slogan of Hamas.

I wasn't sure if you knew that.

In any case, nice to have met you I have enjoyed your cool blog and be well and keep up your great work.

Stewart said...

callieischatty said

"I wanted to point out that Adam whose blog you link to has Hamas slogans on his web site of his summer travels."

I had not noticed the slogan in the banner on Adam's blog from the Holy Land. When I googled for Hamas slogans, I came across many slogans but gave up paging throught the search results to find a reference to this one.

I am not disputing that Hamas may use this slogan, but it strikes me as the kind of slogan that any group that understands itself as part of a resistance movement might embrace.

Presbyterian relationships with Palestinians go back at least 150 years, long before the establishment of modern Israel, or the formation of Hamas. We relate to the indigenous Christian churches in the Middle East, and their goals are emphatically not the Hamas goal of the establishment of an Islamic state.

In our conversations with those churches our representatives regularly raise our church's concern that Israel must continue and be secure.

I believe that Adam saw the things that he reported in his blog. I don't believe that he saw the whole story; no human being can be everywhere and see from all perspectives at once. By the same token, another group of Presbyterians visited Israel this year and stayed with Israeli hosts and came away believing that the house demolitions had stopped. I believe that they too told what they saw, but it was not the whole story.

Continuing to pray for peace.

callieischatty said...

On his blog pro musings he refers to Hamas as a 'political group' clearly this is not the case.

When a blogger posted the wikipedia entry on Hamas he closed comments on his blog.

I can understand the relationships with Christians.

What I cannot understand, and havent been able to grasp is how people who claim to be Christians can put up the slogan of Hamas, can be untroubled by anothers affiliation with this group etc.

I don't think its something I will ever get.

It seems Presbytarians have their minds made up.

I don't understand it, and I know most Jewish people and alot of good Presbytarians don't either.

I don't think it solves anything to try and talk about it.

Sometimes when we try to have a conversation to educate someone to another side of things, we only educate ourselves.

Take care, and yes, lets all pray and hope for peace for all the earth.


Stewart said...

I condemn the use of violence for terrorism.

Based on what I read about Hamas in Wikipedia, it is at least partially a political organization. Their goal, the elimination of Israel, is unacceptable in addition to being unrealistic.

Can you help me understand why you see the slogan "To exist is to resist" as a Hamas slogan? According to Wikipedia, their main slogan is "God is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of God is the loftiest of its wishes." I don't understand some of what this longer slogan means, but the parts I do understand I don't like.

I've posted a blog entry to discuss the meaning of the short slogan at if you want to join that conversation.


callieischatty said...

Thank you Stewart that is very kind of you to have invited me.

Its very hard to understand what Hamas is talking about I agree.

Its very violent and has certainly produced nothing but misery for both Palestinians and Israeli's alike from what I have read.

The reason I believe that to be a Hamas slogan is not from their web site but rather from the blogs of open Hamas supporters.

Its a common slogan they use.

In any case, as I said, in America we can all agree to disagree.

Certainly while I don't agree with some of the methods of the Church in this matter I do admire the end goal they seek, a just peace for everyone.

Also, I have found other work the Church does, in places like Mexico and Africa to be very inspirational.

Lets hope now that Israel is withdrawing things can improve for everyone there.

I will look in on that discussion but I don't know if I have much to add.

(Altho that does't always stop me! :+})