Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Ramadan Gift From The IDF

There they go again...trying to prove to the world they're not the monsters they're often portrayed as, and doesn't the mainstream media just hate it when that happens?

"Happy Holiday: IDF Sends Tons Of Food To Gaza Arabs For Ramadan" (Israel News Network)

The Sufa crossing point into southern Gaza opened for business today as IDF troops transferred tons of food to the Palestinian Authority for distribution among the Arabs of Gaza.

Twenty trucks, carrying milk, beef and fruit, entered the Gaza district after the food transfer was coordinated between the PA and an IDF unit responsible for coordinating government activities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

The head of that unit, Col. Nir Press, said that the food transfer was approved as "an exception" to Israeli policy by General Dan Harel, head of the Southern Command of the IDF.

Since the August pullout from Gaza, crossing points from Israel into the Gaza district have been closed because Israel and the PA have failed to reach agreement on how to operate them.

Today's food transfer was made pursuant to a PA request prior to the Islamic holiday of Ramadan.

Would anybody care to wager on the likelihood that this story will appear in the New York Times? And while I'm aware of the media's motto "If it bleeds...it leads," it seems to be even more so when the IDF is involved.

18 Comments:

At 11:05 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

I am sure Duncy will be along at any moment with a caustic remark.
Remember you heard it here first that Hamas will fail because it is easier to blow thing up then to arrange trash pick ups and fix pot holes. This is the paradox of all violent extreemists.

 
At 12:40 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Good of you to bring this to attention, Rory. While it's lovely the IDF wanted to prove something to the world, it's too bad they didn't do the same for the starving Jews in Israel.

Hat tip to Muse for my comment's take on the news item: http://me-ander.blogspot.com/2005/10/last-words-of-year.html

 
At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Felis said...

"Would anybody care to wager on the likelihood that this story will appear in the New York Times? "
I can bet it won't.
I don't think that the IDF really hopeg that this exercise would change the minds of the people they fed.

 
At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Rory said...

Beakerkin,
That's exactly the reason a lot of people said Arafat would always turn down any offer the Israelis made. It meant he would have to give up his status as a "revolutionary" and instead have to deal with the mundane tasks of running a state and that was something he wasn't willing to do.

Esther,
I can certainly understand your frustration. I think I was attempting to address the issue of the anti-Israel bias in the media, rather than the policies of the government, which I think fall far short when it comes dealing with the problem of Israelis living below the poverty line.

Felis,
I suspect that, by now, the IDF has learned not to expect any kudos from either the media or the Palestinians, who have always been notorious for their ingratitude.

 
At 8:03 AM, Blogger Esther said...

OH I love what you covered here, Rory. I simply wanted to show another facet. The one you chose is very important and dead on.

 
At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Rory said...

Esther,
I'm glad you did bring up the fact that there are too many Israelis who are barely able to get by. It's something that's certainly worthy of a discussion here. I think a lot of people don't realize the level of the problem because they're under the mistaken impression that all Jews are rich. Well, as we know, all Jews aren't rich...and neither are all Israelis. I've been in some very tough neighborhoods in Israel where there are serious drug problems, a lot of domestic violence, high dropout rates, and all the other pathologies we associate with the inner cities in this country. It's a very difficult problem that the government has to do much more to resolve.

 
At 12:38 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

"Would anybody care to wager on the likelihood that this story will appear in the New York Times?"

I am going to say a 7% chance. Israel itself should hand out the supplies so the Palestinian people know where it came from.

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Felis - "I don't think that the IDF really hopeg that this exercise would change the minds of the people they fed."

The Israeli government, and the IDF by extension, have always done such deeds as "tzedakah", and never with the expectation of something in return. It is a key element of Judaism that supercedes religious and political differences.

The Meaning of "Tzedakah"
"Tzedakah" is the Hebrew word for the acts that we call "charity" in English: giving aid, assistance and money to the poor and needy or to other worthy causes. However, the nature of tzedakah is very different from the idea of charity. The word "charity" suggests benevolence and generosity, a magnanimous act by the wealthy and powerful for the benefit of the poor and needy. The word "tzedakah" is derived from the Hebrew root Tzade-Dalet-Qof, meaning righteousness, justice or fairness. In Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous, magnanimous act; it is simply an act of justice and righteousness, the performance of a duty, giving the poor their due.

http://www.jewfaq.org/tzedakah.htm

"The Obligation of Tzedakah
Giving to the poor is an obligation in Judaism, a duty that cannot be forsaken even by those who are themselves in need. Some sages have said that tzedakah is the highest of all commandments, equal to all of them combined, and that a person who does not perform tzedakah is equivalent to an idol worshipper. Tzedakah is one of the three acts that gain us forgiveness from our sins. The High Holiday liturgy states that G-d has inscribed a judgment against all who have sinned, but teshuvah (repentance), tefilah (prayer) and tzedakah can reverse the decree. See Days of Awe."

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Of course, one might ask why the Israeli government not do more for the impoverished of Israel and less for others?

It would be a fair question and I would seek to know the details of whatever social welfare programs are in place already in Israel.

Perhaps the Israeli government feels that those programs that are in place are sufficient to meet the needs of its citizens.

It certainly warrants investifgation.

 
At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Felis said...

Mark,
"It is a key element of Judaism that supercedes religious and political differences."

This is the point I was trying to make.
That it was NOT just another PR exercise.

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Felis - Gotcha. I kind of figured you knew about tzedakah. I just wanted to clarify it for any Gentile readers. Or gentle readers.

 
At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Rory said...

Gindy,
"Israel itself should hand out the supplies so the Palestinian people know where it came from."

We would certainly hope a gesture like that would have a positive impact, but the cynic in me makes me wonder if, because so many Palestinians have been brainwashed, they might be convinced it was a plot to poison them.

Mark,
Thanks for providing that information. You made an excellent point.

As far as the social welfare programs in Israel are concerned, I guess that, like in any other country, it's never enough, but there are serious problems in that society that need to be addressed. Of course, those four years of having their country turned into a slaughterhouse by Palestinian suicide bombers no doubt put a tremendous strain on their resources.

Felis,
It sounds as if you understand Israel better than some Israelis do.

 
At 4:53 AM, Blogger Mark said...

because so many Palestinians have been brainwashed, they might be convinced it was a plot to poison them.

Check this out:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20051004/D8D1H1PG0.html

The Yemen cases all stem from an outbreak in Nigeria two years ago, which occurred after Islamic clerics urged parents to boycott the vaccine for fear it was part of an American anti-Muslim plot. The polio that then erupted in Nigeria spread first to Chad, then to nearby Sudan - and then across the Red Sea into Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

 
At 7:35 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Mark, that is wild. They are their own worst enemy.

 
At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Rory said...

Mark,
I wish I could tell you that this was a unique event, or even that it was only relegated to Muslim countries. Unfortunately, we need look no further than the demented rantings of Louis Farrakhan about the levees in New Orleans being dynamited in order to flood predominantly black neighborhoods in an effort to preserve white ones.

Esther,
They definitely are, and it would almost be laughable if the consequences weren't so serious sometimes.

 
At 8:12 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Rory - Louis Farrakhan and Muslim countries. What's the dif? LOL It's still a Muslim phenomenon so I think it's safe to say that stupidity like this isn't exactly an American phenom just because idiots like Farrakhan engage in it as well.

 
At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Rory said...

Mark,
The point I wanted to make was how widespread these sorts of conspiracy theories are. They don't only emanate from certain Islamic societies that we might consider to be medieval, but they're also a product of some Muslim groups in our own country, like the Nation of Islam.

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

What a great find, Rory. Every time I turn around, I see something new to be proud of Israel over. I wish more people in our world could understand the merit and gratification of being righteous. And you're right, we'll only find out about this story from blogs and such.

Also, right along with Rosh Hashana, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes Muslims well for Ramadan.

 

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