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By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2009 (Sacramento)-- Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon), has introduced Assembly Concurrent resolution (ACR) 10, California's Resolution to Stand with Israel. The move has drawn praise from backers of Israel and criticism from supporters of the Palestinians.

"It's vital that we stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel as they defend themselves from terrorists," said Anderson, who introduced the measure on January 13th.

ACR 10 resolves that the Legislature supports Israel's right to seek peace and security for its citizens, the prime obligation of any government and we stand with Israel.

In addition to ACR 10 Anderson created a web site: "Californians Stand with Israel,", to tally support and keep citizens updated and informed.

Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in August 2005. Anderson's website states that "Since then the terrorist organization Hamas has launched more then 6,400 rockets from Gaza, terrorizing the civilian population of Southern Israel. As a surrogate of Iran, Hamas not only terrorizes Jewish and Christian populations around the world, it has been brutal to the Muslim Arabs living in Gaza and across Israel. Hamas has declared it will not stop its rocket attacks on Israel."

Anderson states that "ACR 10 will send a message that Californian's oppose terrorism not just when aimed at the United States, but will support our friends and allies when they are the target of brutal terrorists attacks."

The Republican Assemblyman, whose district includes most of East County, spoke at a "Stand with Israel" forum at Fresno's Cornerstone Church in mid-January. "He understands what Hamas is all about. He understands that we need to pull our money out of terrorist governments," said Pastor Jim Franklin.

But others have voiced concern over Anderson's measure.

"The war on Gaza that started on December 27, 2008 has been one of the bloodiest episodes in recent military history," said Waleed Arikat, executive director of Muslim American Society Freedom, San Diego Chapter ( "More than 1300 Palestinians have been killed and more than 5,300 have been injured during 22 days. Most of these have been civilians, including 415 children, 110 women, and 115 elderly," he said.

Arikat called the war "the latest stage in a long list of attacks by Israel on the Palestinian people, including a 19-month siege that has strangled Gaza and destroyed the economy," and said that war crimes have been documented and will be presented to the International Court at the Hague for possible prosecution of Israeli generals and politicians. He faulted the Bush administration for funding weaponry for Israel, including fighter jets, helicopters and chemical weapons.

"It is our duty as U.S. citizens to demand that our tax dollars not be used to kill innocent Palestinian civilians," concluded Arikat, who called for a lifting of the blockage and opening of border crossings to allow humanitarian aid and supplies into Palestine. Long-term, he believes that "any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must end Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem," as well as occupation of the Gaaza Strip and establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

In an editorial published in San Diego Jewish World at , Shoshana Bryen, special projects director for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, defends Israel's action.

"What is a civilized country to do when terrorists hiding amidst their own people fire ever-increasing numbers of ever-increasingly long-range and precise rockets into your civilian towns and villages? Or, "What is a civilized country to do when a terrorist organization backed by a large, wealthy revolutionary country (Iran) announces that it will no longer honor a ceasefire previously honored largely in the breach anyhow, and the terrorists announce they will increase the frequency and range of the rockets and then proceed to do so?" she writes. "Because while Israel was not retaliating, Hamas was making increasing headway in targeting Israeli towns and infrastructure, one might ask, "How long should Israel put the safety of Palestinian civilians, not on a par with its own civilians, but ahead of its own?" And, in the end, one might ask, "How long could Israel ignore the evident unwillingness or inability of Egypt to prevent the smuggling of increasingly lethal weaponry into Gaza?"

For more information on Anderson's resolution, see: &

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Supporting Israel

The Israeli government has one of the strongest militaries in the world and they are using it against unarmed citizens. Is this really what we should be supporting? The people of Gaza are desperate. They are denied food, water, electricity, medicine and help. When they fight to keep their land that Israel has taken from them, they are accused of being violent. Israel has become an occupation government where if you are Jewish you can have a beautiful home for little or no money. If you are Palestinian, your home is taken from you and bulldozed down so you have no hope of ever getting it back. I am ashamed of Israel. Of all people, they should know how terrible it is for a government to starve and beat its citizens. They should know how it feels to be contained in an area with no hope for the future. They want the rest of the world to remember the Holocaust yet they seem to have forgotten the part about what it is like to be the victims of vile and inhuman treatment. I am ashamed of Israel and ashamed of the US for supporting it in this endeavor.

Ashamed of education?

Jeanne Brown is ashamed of Israel and the US. She ought to be ashamed of her own education.

She claimed that Hamas was only fighting for what the Israelis had taken, but it seems like she has lost a few years. Israel gave Gaza back to the Palestinians, and on 9/12/2005, all Israeli military and settlers were gone. Gaza was given to the Palestinians.

In June if 2007 the “civil war” between Hamas and Fatah intensified and Hamas became the sole government in Gaza. In late June 2008, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia said that the Fatah government in the West Bank was the sole legitimate Palestinian government, and Egypt moved its embassy from Gaza to the West Bank, and he Hamas government in Gaza Strip faced international, diplomatic, and economic isolation. That is INTERNATIONAL isolation, which means many countries. After the Hamas takeover, Israel and Egypt closed its border crossings with Gaza. (Yes Egypt) European Union monitors fled the Rafah Border Crossing, on the Gaza-Israel border for fear of being kidnapped or harmed. Arab foreign ministers and Palestinian officials presented a united front against control of the border by Hamas.

Meanwhile, Israeli and Egyptian security reports claimed that Hamas continued smuggling in large quantities of explosives and arms from Egypt through tunnels. Egyptian security forces uncovered 60 tunnels in 2007.

Last weekend I chatted with an old friend. We talked about what our kids were up to, and she told me that her 16-year-old daughter had returned from a year of school in Israel. I asked her what her experience was like, and she said her daughter learned about Israel, but also she learned to move quickly. It seems that the first school was about 12 miles from the Gaza border, but after Hamas shelled the school on 3 consecutive days, the school was moved farther from the border. The move didn’t help, because the shelling did not stop. Finally, the school was moved to the North and out of range.

I am ashamed that folks, like Ms. Brown have no conception of the recent history of the Palestinian civil war, and the both sides relationship with Israel, but think they understand enough to make unsupported claims against Israel. We live closer to Mexico than the school my friend’s daughter attended. I wonder if Ms. Brown would turn her cheek if the local Mexican government was lobbing mortars and shooting rockets on her home, or her local school.