dinsdag, februari 13, 2007

 

We have been made instruments of war....

http://www.forward.com/articles/a-plea-for-peace-from-a-bereaved-palestinian-fathe/

A Plea for Peace From a Bereaved Palestinian Father

| Fri. Feb 09, 2007

I fought with my daughter on the day she was shot.

On her way out the door to school, Abir announced, in that way children have of doing, that she would be playing with a friend that afternoon rather than coming straight home to study for an exam scheduled for the next day. She was 10 years old, smart, dedicated to her schoolwork and still a little girl.

She wanted to play. I told her to not even think about it.

If I could tell her anything now, it would be: Go. Do whatever you want. Play.

Because now, she never will. She will never laugh again, never hear her friends calling her name, never feel the love of her family wrapped around her at night like a warm blanket.

Abir, the third of my six children, was shot in the head as she left school January 16, caught in an altercation between Israel Border Guard troops and older kids who may or may not have been throwing rocks. She died two days later.

I know what the Israeli army has said about the incident, and I know what Abir’s older sister Arin saw with her own two eyes: Abir was running away from the troops when she suddenly stopped and fell, and blood splattered onto the ground. An independent autopsy confirms the most likely cause of death: a rubber bullet, through the back of Abir’s head. I have that bullet in my house, because poor Arin, watching her sister get shot, picked up the bullet and brought it home. I was not surprised when the Israeli army tried to blame Abir for her own death. First we were told that she was among the rock throwers; then we were told that “something” blew up in her hands — though her hands remained miraculously in tact— before she could toss it at the Border Guard jeep.

I was not surprised, but the anguish that such fabrications cause my wife and me is hard to express. Our baby was killed — must her name and innocence be desecrated, as well?

It would be easy, so easy, to hate. To seek revenge, find my own rifle, and kill three or four soldiers, in my daughter’s name. That’s the way Israelis and Palestinians have run things for a long time. Every dead child — and everyone is someone’s child — is another reason to keep killing.

I know. I used to be part of the cycle. I once spent seven years in an Israeli jail for helping to plan an armed attack against Israeli soldiers. At the time, I was disappointed that none of the soldiers was hurt.

But as I served out my sentence, I talked with many of my guards. I learned about the Jewish people’s history. I learned about the Holocaust.

And eventually I came to understand: On both sides, we have been made instruments of war. On both sides, there is pain, and grieving, and endless loss.

And the only way to make it stop is to stop it ourselves.

Many people came to support and comfort us as Abir lay dying, her small face chalk white, her eyes forever closed. Among those who never left my side were a number of men I have recently come to love as brothers, men who know my past, and who share it. Men who, like me, were trained to hate and to kill, but who now also believe that we must find a way to live with our former enemies.

Israeli men. Every one of them, a former combat soldier.

These men and I are members of Combatants for Peace. Each of us, 300 Palestinians and Israelis, was once on the front lines of the conflict. We shot, bombed, tortured and killed. We believed it was the only way to serve our people.

Now we know this not to be true. We know that to serve our people, we must fight not each other but the hatred between us. We must find a way to share this land each people holds in the depths of its soul, to build two states side by side. Only then will the mourning end.

I will not rest until the soldier responsible for my daughter’s death is put on trial, and made to face what he has done. I will see to it that the world does not forget my daughter, my lovely Abir.

But I will not seek vengeance. No, I will continue the work I have undertaken with my Israeli brothers. I will fight with all I have within me to see that Abir’s name, Abir’s blood, becomes the bridge that finally closes the gap between us, the bridge that allows Israelis and Palestinians to finally, inshallah, live in peace.

If I could tell my daughter anything, I would make her that promise. And I would tell her that I love her very, very much.

Bassam Aramin lives in Anata, just outside of Jerusalem.


May I admire you, sir? May I sit in silence out of utmost respect for you? May I cry for your hurt? May I then quitely put my arms around you and embrace you and may I please call you brother?

Tse.

Comments:
Very sad incident and condolences to the father Bassam Aramin and condolences also to the many parents of Palestinian kids killed by Hamas in Gaza recently.For example Baha Balousha's three children ages 6 to 9 were shot dead by Palestinian gunmen as they were being dropped off at school in Gaza City.Terrible!
 
You are completely right Anonymous. If that father also decides to abstain from revenge on people that are not the direct murderers, my awe and respect and total admiration goes to him as well.

There's got come a stop to this spilling of blood, damnit.
 
this is a truely sad and at the same time most impressive post.

Thank you for sharing it, tsedek.
(not only, but also in context of the comments over at Nizo's blog)

condolences to Bassam Aramin and his whole family for the loss of their daughter.

Where do people like Bassam Aramin take their strength from to be able to break this cycle?
Without having suffered a similar loss and only being able to imagening it, I deeply admire him for it.
 
I have nothing to add that A from Berlin hasn't said already.

Thanks again Tse.
 
I have to say that the Palestinians are getting a little bit better on their propaganda, but not much.

The father sends his child out to throw rocks at the soldiers and this is what happens. He had no concern for his daughter before and is using her death for political purposes now.

Any one who would believe his story is way too gullible.

Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate Jews.

It looks like Arabs have a long way to go.
 
anonym:

hmm.. what would have to happen until you could believe that such a story is true?
 
What did that soldier do that was wrong?

Say for a moment that the girl wasn't among the rock throwers (which is doubtful).

Then her death would be an accident and such accidents happen in the fog of conflict. You can't really blame anyone for it.

The fact that he wants the solider to be held "responsible" shows that this guy has hate in his heart.
 
That would be for an investigation to be decided, and I think that's what this father means.

I also think that a life is worth having an investigation being held for if that life is taken away...

We're people. Not a herd - each life individually is a world. Don't forget that.

I think it's most certainly justified to kill a person that tries to kill you, it's called self-defense. I know accidents happen. But I don't accept there is no thorough objective investigation into each and every death - especially for children....

Thing is, I'm not only thinking this way for the bereaved family, I'm also convinced that this is the only way to hold on to humanity for one's own benefit.
 
Tom,
Israel should work on new methods of crowd control. These "accidents" are unfortunately all too common...
 
Excuse my language but in the fog of war Shit Happens.

You accidentally shoot and kill your own men, you perceive threats that aren't there. It's chaos.

Sure technology and better training can reduce such incidents, but they can never eliminate them totally.

I give great latitude to anyone who is willing to put his life on the line to protect others. That is what these soldiers do on a daily basis.

Mistakes happen, but I certainly wouldn't want to tie the hands of the soldiers to put them at increased risk. At some point in war you just have to understand that in conflicts innocent people die, and G-d just has to sort it out.

What would this soldier's motive be for killing this girl. Where does he gain by her death?

At worst this was an accident. But again she was probably throwing stones along with the other Palestinians, and in that case then the solider was doing his job.
 
Nizo, where's the motive here?
 
You think stone-throwing children should be shot to dead, Tom?
 
You think stones can't maim?

You think stones can't kill?

I can't see how the soldier did anything wrong. At worse she was at the wrong place at the wrong time. That would make what happened one of those unfortunate accidents of conflict. Or she could have been participating.

Did the soldier have any personal motive to kill her? Of course not.
 
Shit does happen in war, but when we look at the numbers too many kids have died for there not to be an attempt to mitigate and lessen the civilian casualties.

There needs to be no motive when there's carelessness.
 
tom said:

Mistakes happen, but I certainly wouldn't want to tie the hands of the soldiers to put them at increased risk. At some point in war you just have to understand that in conflicts innocent people die, and G-d just has to sort it out.

What would this soldier's motive be for killing this girl. Where does he gain by her death?


while i basically agree with many of your points i should say that you idealize people in general ... in my view from 5 to 15 % of people get absolutely deranged during wars and conflicts (i would say its a conservative estimate) .. it is basically the very people about whom the victims in yugoslavia and elsewhere then say - we and our neighbors were like brothers but then they came and killed our men and raped our women .. we probably have our share of these people too ...

and clearly as the situation worsens the soldiers are given very loose orders to open fire and some may be just freaking out or making mistakes but some probably abuse the orders on their own initiative ... after abu ghraiab scandal and several scandals with the UN soldiers who raped or bought sex with underage girls i reached conclusion that there is very little we can do in this respect ...

the army is certainly investigating such cases more than any other army in the world but to stop this happening without endangering soldiers or without falsely accusing those, who made mistakes because of misidentification or because their nerves were too frayed, is impossible.. not that this should be a reason not to fight wars at all but it's a good enough reason to think twice before starting them ...

of course the point that nizo makes about why so many children get hurt does not count since the palestinians from the very first moment made a heavy use of children actively encouraging them to take part in hostilities .. we are the only army in the world that is always fighting surrounded by crowds of the palestinian children ...
many times you see soldiers for hours confronting stone throwing children with only an occasional militant popping up here and there to take a shot at the soldiers..

... in any other nation i know parents would immediately call on children to go back home on seeing approaching soldiers .. the palestinian behavior in this respect is out of ordinary to say the least.. the propaganda benefits derived by the arabs and leftists from any bullet that deliberately or not hits a child are clearly too great for the palestinains or human rights organizations to make even the slightest attempt to stop this shit
 
it goes without saying that you ll never see children throwing stones on an arab tank in any war... since the arab tank is not here to shelter soldiers with its armour ... it will immediately blast these children to peaces ..
 
To be honest, I also always wonder why it is that so many children gather in places the army is engaged in various shoot-outs with militants. I never can understand the mind of a parent allowing his child to go to such place instead of telling him to get the hell out of firing range (also from militants) -

I know and respect that there is a different reality and perception in a world where violence is all around you - but the one and foremost single important thing should be your child's life and safeguarding it, under which circumstances you might live or however you perceive the world. That's a parent's obligation even for animals in the nature.

HOWEVER: that side is responsible for its own children whereas Israel is responsible for those children in her OWN way. Where Israeli children are treated like miniature queens and kings and their lives are of the highest importance it should treat the Palestinian children as well with that same idea - non-related if their own parents have either control or no control over them.

My question for Tom:

would a soldier shoot at an Israeli child throwing stones at him?

Nobody:
You are right as well. I remember a documentary quite long ago with Boogy Ayalon about his life (so no propaganda 'thing' but a filmed autobiography with no specific purpose). In a very small fragment of that documentary he said that he still couldn't sleep at night because of the mistake in which they targeted a terrorist-leader in an appartment somewhere after gaining intelligence from a Palestinian collaborator that the appartment next to it was vacant, but turned out that one whole Palestinian homeless family had squated there during that specific night of the liquidation, and most of the children got killed.

But still: too many accidents.... too many Palestinian children that are 'our' responsibility as long as the military is in control over them get killed.

I ask you to step in the footsteps of this father. Be active in furthering peace with the people you once fought and they fought you and having their army kill your daughter - most probably and I believe him - just walking home from school. I challenge you to stay as reasonable as he is. Nobody you will notice when you have a child what it means if someone wants to hurt it and what it can do to your mindset ... This father possess a greatness that raises above every human instinct (as do all the people from the 'parentscircle' underneath a link) - don't even try to diminish this fact.

Furthermore: don't make out as if all Palestinians send their children in harm's way. Notwithstanding the terrible propaganda benefitting from each tragic accident to demonize israeli's more and more - I'm convinced by what i've personally experienced and also heard about and is the overall (non-propaganda) impression - that these flocks of children surrounding each violent occasion is just a 'kometz' (how do you say kometz in english?) and it just looks like they're 'the' representation of the Palestinian attitude -

or else you wouldn't see a few hundred children everytime it happens but a few hundred-thousand...

http://www.theparentscircle.com/News.asp

(could someone please tell me how I can link, which code to use = [url] or <...> or what?)
 
The father should have warned his child that when she sees soldiers and a bunch of stone throwing children she shouldn't get in the middle of that but instead should run the other way.
 
In war children are killed. And no matter how hard you try, you can't prevent such accidents from occurring.

War is found between human beings. Human beings who get tired, who get scared, who sometimes misread situations. You have to allow soldiers to be human. You have to recognize that they will make mistakes and when they do it isn't their fault. It is the fog of war.

If there was some personal motive to the girl's death, like if the soldier raped and then killed her not for any military purpose then the soldier needs to be held accountable. Since that isn't the case then perhaps the soldier needs some R and R (rest and relaxation) but nothing should happen to him beyond that.

Give me a personal motive and then I would say the soldier needs to "be brought to justice." Lacking that, then it is just one of those unfortunate occurrences in war where no one is to blame (unless the girl was throwing rocks for if that is the case then she got what she deserved).
 
I'm convinced by what i've personally experienced and also heard about and is the overall (non-propaganda) impression - that these flocks of children surrounding each violent occasion is just a 'kometz' (how do you say kometz in english?) and it just looks like they're 'the' representation of the Palestinian attitude -

or else you wouldn't see a few hundred children everytime it happens but a few hundred-thousand...


a few hundreds of thousands of children cannot populate an area of a few sqare km which is usually an area covered by one operation .. only a few hundreds... more or less what you see on the tv ... of course not all the children take part ..

as to how the PA and the palestinian society work hard to keep their children from places of confrontations , i think you should better ask nizo .. he sure knows
 
this is certainly what was missing all the time - that the palestinians will start bus children by thousands wherever the army goes
 
as to how the PA and the palestinian society work hard to keep their children from places of confrontations

i didn't write that. you misunderstood. i wrote about the children themselves and their parents. the society network is overpowered by the extremists 'shahada' concept. most of the palestinians can't help that, right?

I'm gonna post a new posting, please react - it'll sorta prove what i'm saying for as far anything at all can be proven....
 
"as to how the PA and the palestinian society work hard to keep their children from places of confrontations , i think you should better ask nizo .. he sure knows "

Palestinian society doesn't do enough to shelter its children, I'll be the first to say that.

However, given Palestinian birthrates and the extremely congested living space of the camps, kids are everywhere. Which is why I think democratic and technologically advanced Israel should do more to avoid casualties.
 
Even Egypt uses water cannons to disperse protestors..
 
Anonymous said...

The father should have warned his child that when she sees soldiers and a bunch of stone throwing children she shouldn't get in the middle of that but instead should run the other way.

4:53 PM


it sounds so easy when not actually being there.....
panic, fright, reflex etc... all human instinct behavior one seems to forget if not been used :)

Never put yourself in the shoes of someone experiencing something you have not experienced yourself....
 
Nizo said...

Even Egypt uses water cannons to disperse protestors..


frankly i dont remember this ...whenever we see them on the tv it's a police beating demonstrators with sticks
 
"Never put yourself in the shoes of someone experiencing something you have not experienced yourself...."

Who says I haven't experienced it myself. Sure, I haven't been in occupied lands with soldiers with guns but I have been in situations where demonstrations were about to take place and I knew to stay out of the way otherwise I could get hurt.

Most people know to stay out of places where there is trouble happening for otherwise you might get mixed up in it.
 
I can see that we all agree on one point here - if the soldier deliberately killed the girl and he could prevent this from happening given the circumstances, he deserves punishment.

None of us had been there and we don't know what really happened there. But we all have the right moral convictions and that's what matters here.

I have to say I believe the father's words and I salute such people. There are also Israeli parents who've lost their children to Palestinian attacks and chose to forgive.

If we all take responsibility, put our hatred aside and remain committed to preserving justice, there will be peace and thus we will put our family and friends in safety.

Of course that is just an ideology that will never be realized, but the more people committed to this ideology, the closer we get to achieving this goal.
 
Never forget that the people you are dealing with are hardly even human.

They are devil's spawn.

If you disagree, check out this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEB0SvMzKzg

And this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POwLLgwCV_0
 
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