Punnadhammo Bhikkhu Response

Dear Punnadhammo Bhikkhu,

Regarding your posting/article/letter on the Toronto Star:

I thought you would enjoy the included/attached image, containing a wise quote from Golda Meir: "We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us." Posted by Picasa

It is established fact that the cowardly terrorists use their own civilian people (even children!) as shields in many ways.

Anti-Israel and anti-Semite terrorists (such as "Hezbollah") leave Israel and Jews no recourse. If we followed your advice, Jews would not have their home-land, and furthermore would be even closer to annihilation.

I agree that the most recent "war" in the Middle East [as with any other war] is awful. I wish that more Arabs and Muslims would take your advice and be more proactive in stopping their brethren from terrorizing Jews. Living in your forest monastery retreat, your perspective on world events is clearly deficient. I would recommend that you spend your time further researching Middle East events and history, before you put your foot in your mouth again. This war is more about the existence Israel than the control of a river. In virtually all situations following the establishment of Israel (in which even the UN was involved), Israel's actions have been in self-defense. Even Shaolin Monks behaved in a similar fashion, learning and training to defend themselves when peace was not an option.

Israelis lead the way to a "moral revolution" in being a wellspring of goodness for the world and their neighbours, while the latter allow terrorists and hate-mongers to encroach upon Israel's border. Such extreme transgressions require severe response & reaction. Israel's actions are a direct result of Lebanon's disgusting complacency, as the latter permitted Hezbollah to saturate Southern Lebanon with schools preaching hate, violence, use of weapons, etc.

I am proud to be a Canadian in support of Israel. I support Prime Minister Harper's stance towards the Middle East, as I have a lot of Shakhmundes family that was killed in the Holocaust. Check Yad Vashem's Shoah Victims' Database if you do not believe me. Canada is not failing our ethical litmus test, but people like you are undermining it!

Please learn to be more reasonable for the future,
Daniel Shakhmundes



Blogger Ajahn Punnadhammo said...

Thanks for taking notice of my opinion piece. In your rebuttal you rely on the popular "talking point" that Hizbollah were hiding among civilians. This seems to be the main justification used by apologists for this awful war, so I was not surprised to see it. This is a very weak argument for several reasons;

1. Even if true, it is no justification for Israel's bombing of civilian areas under international law. Both Israel and Hizbollah would be equally guilty.

2. As I stated in my article, the rocket-launchers are mobile, and the Israeli strikes only hit where the launchers used to be. This means the bombings were not militarily effective, but simply revenge killing or collective punishment.

3. In no case can this defence be used to justify the bombings in Beirut and elsewhere in Northern Lebanon.

4. Most telling; it may not even be true. Independent journalist Mitch Prothero, who works in Lebanon, has called it a myth.
He acknowledges that Hizbollah is a ruthless gang but gives sound, cynical reasons why they strictly avoid civilians while engaging in operations (fear of collaborators)

I also don't understand why you have to drag the holocaust into the debate. Something that happened on another continent, in another century, cannot be used as an excuse to commit further mass murders now.

I would also question your characterization of Israel as a moral beacon. Try telling that to the people of Gaza or Jenin. Israel may have started with high ideals but has not been acting very ethically in recent years in the occupied territories. The facts are too well known to require further reference, but if you insist, I can give you links to inform you. I don't think I'm the one who needs to do further research.

One last reference; here is a very good article that explains the real reason for this war

Israel's Water Wars

23 August, 2006 18:31  
Blogger Shak said...


Your words such as "apologists" and "very weak argument" denote the fact that you overlook the fundamental issues. I know that such words better-describe you, so I will take a moment to give you another dose of reality.

1. Go look up international law and ask why Lebanon has permitted Hizb'allah to become militarized and violent, flying their disgusting yellow flags in Israel's face at the Lebanese border. I have seen the flags from the Israeli border! I have been there; have you?

2. Is it not tragic that Lebanese civilians have to suffer from the complacency of their communities and government to deal with a social plague/disease? Unfortunately, it is well known that Iran and Syria are part of the problem. Let me know if you still do not understand the role of national and international infrastructure in furthering the hate-filled terrorists known as Hezbollah.

3. Tell that to the terrorists who refuse to let the Jews have a tiny sliver of their home-land. Israel and the Jewish people should not have to risk extinction and oppression over the pathetic leadership of the neighbour(s). You are a person of high ideals who does not realize that he lives in a world that is not perfect!

4. Let's skip this point, since "it may not even be true", since you already make enough poor speculation. How naive are you to question that a "ruthless gang" would strictly avoid civilians? From where do you think they recruit and spread their propaganda?!

The holocaust has been "dragged in" because it is an example of international complacency. About half of the entire Jewish population was wiped out. You lead me to believe that you are just hoping for a repeat incident. It's a small world after all. Your comment of "mass murders" disgusts me, as if Israel has committed something as heinous as genocide.

As for the instability in places like Gaza, ask yourself why their Arab/Muslim counterparts put money into terrorism and hate-propaganda against the Jews, rather than developing the communities in need? Arafat was a great example of this middle eastern perversion.

Here are a couple links that demonstrate what your opinions/ideas/theories lead to:

Montreal Jewish school attacked
Masked man with firebomb attacks Montreal Jewish school

Anti-semitic attacks rise sparks concern

Australia: Record for anti-Semitic incidents
Anti-Semitic Hate Wave Rolls Across Britain and Australia

Let's get to the point here, Ajahn: You are a monk who permits and promotes hate and genocide against Jews. I have studied Buddhism in university, and am a Canadian citizen, and from every angle, I must say that your words are a Shame upon you.

08 September, 2006 13:29  

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