BURAK BEKDİL > Sorry to remind you (but Golda Meir was right!)

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The video of a motorcade features about a dozen Palestinian gunmen joyfully riding nine motorcycles, shooting in the air in victory and dragging behind the body of a man they had just killed on suspicion that he was collaborating with Israel. The victim was one of the six Palestinians the Palestinians had killed.

The same video also shows dozens of younger Palestinians, some aged, perhaps, 8 or 9, proudly filming the scene or taking pictures of the historic moment with their cell phones. About a day later, the mood in the Gaza Strip turned more joyful. Another “hudna” – temporary peace – had been “won,” and the enemy had been “defeated again.”

Later during the day, the international press reported celebratory bursts of gunfire, cheering and chanting, minutes after the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas came into effect. Gunmen from all corners of the Gaza City emerged on the streets to celebrate “victory.” Some of the “victors” let off fireworks from rooftops. Along Gaza City’s waterfront, a loudspeaker on a mosque repeated over and over: Allahu Akbar. God is great.

A local told the Guardian: “They bombed us, they killed our women and children, but they could not stop the resistance. So, they had to surrender and agree to stop the assassinations. They learned we cannot be defeated by their bombs.”

When Adel Mansour spoke these proud words, about 150 Palestinians and five Israelis had lost their lives. In the eight-day war, the Israeli military had targeted more than 1,500 sites in Gaza with air strikes and shelling, more than 1,000 rockets had been fired at Israel and a blast had ripped through a bus in Tel Aviv, injuring 17 people.

Yet another hudna is another victory. So think the Palestinians. And they celebrate. They celebrate their dead women and children. They celebrate the “victory” with bursts of gunfire, cheering, chanting and fireworks. Fireworks for 150 or so coffins. Fireworks to celebrate the 150 martyrs and five enemies.
Fireworks to celebrate because the enemy had failed to kill more than 150. Fireworks to celebrate because five “Jooos and six traitors” had been killed. Victory, that is. Or so think the willing martyrs.

Like the previous ones, the latest hudna is a pause, not peace. It reminds one of Ambrose Bierce’s “The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary,” which describes peace as “a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.” Peace, that is, victory.

Meanwhile, the victors keep on celebrating their victory. All the same, there is something bizarre in the whole picture. The victors celebrate their dead while the entire world, including this columnist, keeps on mourning the loss of innocent lives.

Is there something wrong with us, the silly mourners? Should we celebrate instead of mourning, like the kin of the dead do so proudly? Should Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu have cheered and chanted in Gaza instead of so humanely weeping along with the relatives of the dead and the injured?
No, I personally would prefer a human Mr. Davutoğlu instead of a foreign minister who shoots in the air in celebration of “victory.” And I would prefer a human Mr. Davutoğlu questioning the wisdom behind celebrating 150 martyrs, knowing, all the same, that my wish is sillier than the victory day celebrations in Gaza.

When I wrote in this column “Why Golda Meir was right,” (Aug. 23, 2011), I knew exactly why Israel’s fourth prime minister, or the “Mother of Israel,” was right. I still know why she was right when she said that peace in the Middle East would be possible only “when Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”


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Notice on comments

Sev Cihan

12/15/2012 2:27:23 PM

yes 8 to 9 year old children in gaza have cellphones, let me guess they have internet accesses clean water and perfect education to right?

Ken Alden

12/15/2012 7:37:24 AM

DeeeDeee, Your argument is a limp as a wer blanket; Mexico firing rockets over Texas Both enteties are sovereign nztions and you compare by a oSubjegated terretory of Gaza, where thwy fishing Harbor is useles, demolidhed by Gunbosts and All Agricultural activities are forbidden by Israel, e.t.c., Allison, by your reasoning that turmail in the MEpermits Israel to plan a starvation diet for Gza is a benovelent Act, how about this Headlines in the World Press:"ISRAEL MAY RESUME GAZA ASSASINATIONS!

DeeDee DeeDee

12/10/2012 11:19:33 PM

All of those comments justifying the terrorism of Hamas and the palestenians, please pay attention to historical facts. Israel left Gaza at 2005, they have Hamas in control -still they fired more than a 1000 rockets at civilians - mothers and children in Israeli cities. Who can justify that? What should Israel do-sit back and get killed by rockets or defend itself? What would you do if mexicans would fire rockets over Texas?

david ellison

12/6/2012 3:15:24 AM

Fascinating to read the usual anti Israel responses. Guys, look around you....violent Syria, violence in the streets of Egypt, Hamas and the PA at odds. Hamas killing suspects in the streets. Hezbollah holding the whole of Lebanon hostage to their threatened violence. I could go on... I realize it is so much easier to focus on Israel, but do you not see the logic and truth in BB's article? Hate is being cultivated and it is uncontrollable. No wonder Israel wants to close the gates.

Plain Talk

12/1/2012 5:33:54 PM

It is obvious that Mr. B. Pekdil has not heard or is ignoring the koenig Memorandum A confidential report, that was submited to Israeli Gov't in April of 1967. Since then it has never been repudiated by Israel, while Mr. Pektil is sings high Praise of Golda Meir, who claimed that Palestinians "DO NOT EXSIST" The reader will find a copy of this horendous document on the Internet.

Plain Talk

11/29/2012 5:33:32 PM

@Ms. Agnes Smith, you're right there are many problems in Gaza, some can be corrected the U.N. has passed or that Israel occupyed Gaza in '67 War, to people, israel is an invader and they are defending their Homes. As for rejoicing on death of a Spy, an parasite in their mids, it's a small victory celebration, same as does any group or nation of the entire World, including Israel!

Ameer Raschid

11/29/2012 9:27:02 AM

@Abgnes celebratıng ınstead of mournıng as unacceptable? Muslıms mourn theır loses by oppressıve Israel but refuse to vıew ıtvas a vıctory for Israelı but rather as a vıctory for those ınnocene pregnant women and babıes who have been hypocrıtıcally imurdered ın the name of self defenseınstrd they rejoıce that they wıll enter paradıse annd be wıth theır Creator unlıke the swıne that took theır lıves. Not to say that hamas does not share the blame usıng resıstance to justıfy theunIslamıc acts.

Plain Talk

11/28/2012 8:30:21 PM

@US Observer, From your lips to God's ears! Accepting the teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as a message of one and only God, these religeons are Monoatheistic teachings, the guide to our Concience and Souls. Yet one often hears religeous leaders trying to exclude one or the others beliefs, claiming exclusivity and creating communal conflicts, that lead to great Tragedies, wherein Politicians jump on the Bandwagon, for Political Gain. God help Humanity, Amen!

US Observer

11/28/2012 3:58:45 PM

It will be a good day when a man is judged on his character and not his religious beliefs. Common sense must prevail at some point in this world. If we are Gods creation, why would he instruct us to hate, kill, or persecute? Does that make sense? Religion is nothing but a country club! Being a member often leads to arrogance, intolerance, biasness and hatred towards those non members. You really think that is the way to heaven? Ugh, we are a sad lot.

Plain Talk

11/27/2012 5:41:01 AM

@Mara, I talk plainly on info gathered from Hurriet, Agence France Presse, BBC, Der Spiegel, NY Times, all sources iconsider unbiased. Obviousle you & I, do not use same sources, it's o.k. by me. Yes, there are Israeli Citizen Arabs, so by that fact alone they can not be a part of this here issue, the ones from Gaza who have jobs, are considered as"Good Arabs.All others fall victim to the "Koenig Memorandum"* and dare to object in word and/or deed are breanded "Terrorist"! *look-up on internet.
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