Wednesday, April 18, 2007

the lebanese

BTW, I've started facebooking now. So if any of you are on facebook, you can add me to your list.

The Lebanese are planning on taking Israel to court for reacting inproportionately to their kidnapping of our soldiers and firing missiles at us. The fact that Lebanon still exists after I had to spend the entire summer in Jerusalem tells me that we did not act proportionately enough. One of the raison de etres of a state is to protect its citizens, worrying about the enemy should not even come into the picture. They aren't even saying that Israel attacked them unprovoked. They are simply saying that 2 of our soldiers and a couple missiles are not worth the destruction that we caused.

I have some advice for the Lebanese. If it isn't worth the damage, don't start up. If they felt it was worthwhile for them to attack us, because we would only respond with what they felt was fair then there would be no such concept as Deterrence. The only way to keep people from attacking you is by making them assume that if they do they will pay for it a lot more then they want to. The only way to make them assume that is that when they actually do attack you, you make them pay more then they wanted to.

In any case, a friend of mine just came back from his reserve duty and told me that this summer's war will most probably be in the Gaza strip and they aren't really concerned with the northern border. I don't know if this should make me worry more because they will not be prepared on the northern border again or relax me because maybe they actually have decent intelligence.


Anonymous said...

You said "our soldiers" were kidnapped -- aren't you American? There were no U.S. soldiers kidnapped by Hizbollah.

rockofgalilee said...

First of all I am both American and Israeli. I currently live in Israel near the Lebanese border and I am protected by those soldiers.

Secondly, the kidnapped soldiers were Jewish, which makes them part of "my" nation.

Anonymous said...

That's fine; you're Israeli first, American second - the default position of most of the "Americans" who live here -- passport holders only. Actually, from your earlier posting on your child, American only for the convenience of the benefits you can get from Uncle Sam. From the years I've lived here in Israel, this is a commom attitude. As an American, it truly bothers me.

I would think that, if one were a true Zionist, all these people desperate to get Western passports for their kids, ready to bail on Israel at the first sign of danger, this would be very distressing.

Seems to me, you've chosen Israel -- you live here, you work here, you vote here, your kids will serve in the IDF, you pay your taxes here, you contribute your talents to the benefit of this country. You've found a country you prefer to America. Fine. Just have some integrity and renounce your U.S. citizenship.

Never has an "American" population more disdained the words of JFK -- "ask not..." than "Americans" in Israel.

rockofgalilee said...

I consider myself to be both a proud American and a proud Israeli. In other words there is no first and second. If it came to choosing between them, it would depend on the circumstance. I don't support anybody blindly. I would hope that anybody, including you, would stand up and protest and not support any effort that a government they pledge allegiance to did something that they consider to be morally offensive.

In other words there's no reason to choose. All people have 2 parents. They don't have to choose which one they like better. I have 2 countries.

I would like my children to have conveniences in both countries. They also have the right to Canadian citizenship, though we have not actualized that yet. It is not a desperation based on fear, it is a convenience that says, among many other things, that they can visit their grandparents without having to have a formal interview with the ambassador.

I have absolutely nothing against America or its policies and I have absolutely no reason to consider renouncing my citizenship.

The first definition in for citizen is "a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection"

As a native who has never done or said anything anything to undermine or delegitimize the government of the United States, there is no call for anyone to suggest that I give up my citizenship. I also stand up when I hear the Star Spangled Banner. I eat hot dogs and I like baseball.

If you do not like the American law that says that a US citizen can live anywhere they want to in the world, then petition your congressman to change it.

There are tax laws that apply to citizens living out of the country, I follow them and so does every other American I know that is living here.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting you'd compare citizenship to parentage; I think the flaw in that can be seen in that, by your argument, a child can (maybe even should) have an unlimited number of parents, as a person can have an unlimited number of nationalities. By your own standards, your children can/should have a minimum of 3 "parents", and who knows how many more "parents" they'll pick up as they go through life! You're quite the kibbutznik, aren't you?

The fact that you choose "parentage" is also interesting in that it shows what you believe what the citizen/government relationship is like: like a child in relation to his or her parent, the child just sits back and receives the largesse, love, and protection of the parent. This is such a far cry from what our country has been about, historically, it's astounding. It is a socialist view of citizenship. Again, quite the kibbutznik!

Of COURSE there's a first and a second in your nationalities -- your actions show it! And you admit, you want the Canadian and American nationalities for your kids as a "convenience". Attitudes like this do not sustain a nation; any nation whose citizens take your approach to citizenship will not last long.

What you, and the tens of thousands of other multi-nats here, are doing is, sadly, perfectly legal (though it wasn't for most of our nation's history); moral? Ethical? I don't think so. It's just one more part of the unraveling, the redefinition, of what it is to be an American. Just as lax immigration enforcement erodes our country from within, "Americans" who are truly in their hearts first and foremost allied to foreign nations erode our country from without.

You're setting up a straw man -- I never said I didn't like Americans living abroad -- I guess you didn't read my first post.

Your view of America is take, take, take. "Ask not..."

Rolling hills of green said...

you seem to be stereotyping greatly on an image you have. You obviously don't know rock at all, but I would also argue that your theory fits very few people.
The "tax benefits" can also be viewed as a little extra income to get by and everyone in this country could use that. It would be better to invest in a business here for extra income, but that isn't always possible and often takes a long time.
In regards to citizenship, you can't help where you are born and the decisions you make in your life are greater definition to who you are.
Picking up and moving to a new country is hard enough on family life without increased complications. If keeping citizenships provides easier access to all the family I cannot fathom a problem with it. Our children do not go to America every summer, nor have problems feeling part of Israeli society. And yes they know where their parents were born and there isn't anything wrong with it, it's called heritage.
I am enjoying reading your comments though, you write well.

rockofgalilee said...

I think the question here is what exactly a citizen is and why a country would give children of citizens living abroad automatic citizenship.

I also never suggested that you disliked Americans living abroad, I suggested that you didn't like the law allowing citizens abroad to maintain multiple citizenships.

I also take offense to your suggestion that I have a socialistic attitude towards citizenship and that my entire relationship with the US is only take with no give.

What does the average resident citizen give to his country? He works and pays taxes. Most of those taxes go towards services that he directly benefits from. All of the taxes that go to wards services that he doesn't benefit from are for social programs. In short, the only benefit that your average citizen provides to his country is being a part of the workforce which benefits the greater US economy. Your average citizen does not participate in the political process, aside from voting, does not perform any services for the country, does not take part in the armed forces, etc..

A citizen living out of the country can provide benefits for the US. One way is to work on providing services for residents of the US by taking advantage of the time zone difference. This is one thing that I am personally working on right now. In other words, help both the US and Israeli economy at the same time. Another thing that US citizens out of the country can do for their country is to act as an advocate. The global impression of Americans is very important to the US. By doing business the American way in Israel and by trying to fix problems where you see them gives Israelis a positive impression of America.
Those are 2 things that I personally give to America. Most Americans in Israel, at the very least, give off a positive aura of the united States.

In terms of a country as a parent, that does not mean just take take take. I don't know about in your family, but in my family everybody has responsibilities. Nobody is just getting a free ride. In the same manner a citizen has responsibilities towards his country and expects to receive the benefits provided by such.
A citizen is defined by the laws of the country, which generally associate people tied together in some manner, in the US the only required connection is place of birth or place of parents birth.
It is now almost shabbat and I have to turn off the computer so I can't finish everything that I have to say.

Have an enjoyable shabbat.