Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. On May 1, we’re saying goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

[ Edited ]

Why must the fact that Jews helped Jews bring up that question? Why try to dilute the efforts and take away the credit from Israel for their massive effort to save Ethiopians? Perhaps they were Jews that they saved, but they were Ethiopians. Israel is the Jewish homeland and Israel was resettling the Falashas to a safer place. Who else reached out to save those Jews? Why isn't that question asked instead?


Choisya wrote:

 

...BTW, do you think it was a good thing for Israel just to save the Ethiopian Jews?   Surely people, especially children, of all creeds were in desperate need at that time?   (Sir) Bob Geldorf's song and campaign 'Feed the World' also raised a great deal of money for this cause.  The song reached the top of the charts at Christmas 1984 on both sides of the Pond and sold over 3 million copies, raising $70,000 worth of food and medical supplies which Geldorf personally took to Ethiopia to make sure aid got there.

 

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

I can't help thinking that it was an odd question you asked about Israel only saving Ethiopian Jews.The fact that Israel was helping its own, was a good thing. There was really no one else who was trying to help them, was there? Don't you think the burden there was lightened by the fact that thousands of starving people were removed and relocated? What other country took in thousands of Africans? Geldorf's efforts were praiseworthy but they didn't diminish the efforts of Israel, they added to it.

 

I don't think it was a fair question, truthfully because what Israel and the Jews did should be emulated, should be praised, not discredited because they couldn't save the rest of the world. No one can do everything, not even Israel. Further, as an example of Israel reaching out to help others, let me cite this one:  When the tsunami hit in Thailand, Israel sent aid which was refused, by Sri Lanka. Israel does reach out to others. Often others do not reach out to Israel.

 

I suppose we can ask your question, in the opposite way, of all nations, religions, races, creeds, and nationalities, but somehow, most of the time, we don't. Perhaps we should be asking the African countries why they are standing by as other Africans are slaughtering each other, starving each other, not educating each other? Perhaps we should ask that of the Africans living elsewhere? Perhaps we should ask why the Arabs aren't helping the Arabs more? Of course some do, but not all. So why not ask these questions? Why not shine the spotlight there?

 

Perhaps these would be more legitimate questions than wondering why the Jews helped themselves, only, which was basically what your question addressed. Let me ask you this question...do you think there are people tripping over each other to reach out and help the Jews or Israel?  Other than the US, I don't see anyone rushing to help Israel.  Most of the time, I see people often rushing, unjustly, in a knee jerk reaction, to find ways to condemn Israel, even for the good it does,  which in some ways is what your question does, although, I honestly don't believe you meant it that way. It just seems, on the surface, to try to diminish their efforts instead of applauding them.

 

I believe that perhaps it is time for others to start helping themselves and their own, a bit more, as well. Putting their money where their mouths are, would certainly be a valuable addition to the various causes around the world.  Sure there is Oprah and Jolie who are fabulously wealthy, but where are the masses? Most people never dip into their own pockets. Ask some of our politicians how much they have given to charity. They are all about words telling others to do what is right but, often, they don't follow the example they suggest.

 

 


Choisya wrote:

 

...BTW, do you think it was a good thing for Israel just to save the Ethiopian Jews?   Surely people, especially children, of all creeds were in desperate need at that time?   (Sir) Bob Geldorf's song and campaign 'Feed the World' also raised a great deal of money for this cause.  The song reached the top of the charts at Christmas 1984 on both sides of the Pond and sold over 3 million copies, raising $70,000 worth of food and medical supplies which Geldorf personally took to Ethiopia to make sure aid got there.

 


 

 

 

Inspired Contributor
dclement04
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎09-30-2008
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

Do you or your family have "close up" or "far off" stories around the holocaust and WW2?

 

my family does not have any stories that i know of around these two events...i wish my grandfather was still alive so that i could ask him if there was a war he participated in...i could ask my other family members but we are not that close.

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

In an interview, Sarah Blake said she based Frankie Bard on Martha Gellhorn and Margaret Bourke-White.

Inspired Wordsmith
Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

 

Oh thank you for this discovery. I did see Martha Gellhorn in Frankie Bard, though I only read details of her life in a book about the women in Hemmingway's life. And Margaret Bourke-White was a wonderful photojournalist. Photojournalism is a profession I admire greatly. Maybe in my next life......... I probably have accumulated enough photographs and writing to get a head start. :smileyvery-happy:

thewanderingjew wrote:

In an interview, Sarah Blake said she based Frankie Bard on Martha Gellhorn and Margaret Bourke-White.


 

 

Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

 

(Off Topic)
There was really no one else who was trying to help them, was there?
Of course other countries, like Britain,  took in the Ethiopians, including Ethiopian Jews - Europe took in thousands and has taken in thousands of other African refugees from Uganda and Kenya too. In the part of London where I used to live thousands of Ugandans were settled after Idi Amin threw them out of that country. Ditto Kenya.  The difference being that Europe did not distinguish between the various religious groups.   BTW it wasn't just Geldorf's personal efforts, the UK government sent aid too.   The UK government sends a great deal of practical aid to all our former Commonwealth countries and has always done so.  We also have numerous projects to engender self-help as do all the major charities like Oxfam and Save the Children. I am currently supporting a Kenyan girl through a sewing school so that she can learn to be a dressmaker in her village - there are lots of schemes like that. Additionally, all our major supermarkets stock Fair Trade foods and that also helps people towards self-sufficiency. Most aid nowadays is directed at making the people of Africa more self-sufficient.  It is mostly in famine, drought, disaster that just food aid is sent.     
I didn't discredit Israeli efforts TWJ, any aid effort is praiseworthy but I happen to think that religion should not come into the equation.  I object to Muslims and Christians doing the same thing.  (Israeli aid was refused by Sri Lanka during the tsunami because 60 soldiers were being sent with the 150 Israeli workers sent to set up field hospitals. When the soldiers were withdrawn they accepted aid from Israel.)

What help is Israel requesting that the UK/Europe is not giving?  Israel is a wealthy country so people are unlikely to be 'tripping over each other' to help people there but when there is any disaster help is always sent from Europe. The UK has always helped Israel, right from the outset. We have a number of pro-Israeli lobbying groups in our Parliament.  If you mean that there is criticism of Israel's policies towards Gaza and the West Bank etc. yes, and some of that comes from the US too.  All countries get criticism of one sort or another, Israel is not alone in this.  It is no more a 'victim' on the international stage than any other country.  Think of the criticism that South Africa got for many years. And the criticism the US has had throughout the Bush years.  The criticism Iran gets.   And so on.  The questions you ask about Africa and Arabs are being asked but we were not talking about Africans and Arabs.  There has been a lot of criticism about other African governments not opposing Mugabe in Zimbabwe for instance.  I doubt that the US gets the same amount of publicity about what is happening in Africa as does the UK because we have close ex-colonial ties with those countries. The Queen is still the titular head of many African states.

 

Masses of poor people in drought ridden countries cannot help themselves, it is up to wealthier people to do so and to put pressure on their governments to do so.  The Arab aid organisation Blue Crescent and several others are very active in Africa and there are a number of similar charities run by Arabs and Africans.  I do not know what happens in the US.   (The country which gives most aid per GDP is actually Norway.)  

 

But these are not subjecst which are pertinent to this thread or this book.



thewanderingjew wrote:

I can't help thinking that it was an odd question you asked about Israel only saving Ethiopian Jews.The fact that Israel was helping its own, was a good thing. There was really no one else who was trying to help them, was there? Don't you think the burden there was lightened by the fact that thousands of starving people were removed and relocated? What other country took in thousands of Africans? Geldorf's efforts were praiseworthy but they didn't diminish the efforts of Israel, they added to it.

 

I don't think it was a fair question, truthfully because what Israel and the Jews did should be emulated, should be praised, not discredited because they couldn't save the rest of the world. No one can do everything, not even Israel. Further, as an example of Israel reaching out to help others, let me cite this one:  When the tsunami hit in Thailand, Israel sent aid which was refused, by Sri Lanka. Israel does reach out to others. Often others do not reach out to Israel.

 

I suppose we can ask your question, in the opposite way, of all nations, religions, races, creeds, and nationalities, but somehow, most of the time, we don't. Perhaps we should be asking the African countries why they are standing by as other Africans are slaughtering each other, starving each other, not educating each other? Perhaps we should ask that of the Africans living elsewhere? Perhaps we should ask why the Arabs aren't helping the Arabs more? Of course some do, but not all. So why not ask these questions? Why not shine the spotlight there?

 

Perhaps these would be more legitimate questions than wondering why the Jews helped themselves, only, which was basically what your question addressed. Let me ask you this question...do you think there are people tripping over each other to reach out and help the Jews or Israel?  Other than the US, I don't see anyone rushing to help Israel.  Most of the time, I see people often rushing, unjustly, in a knee jerk reaction, to find ways to condemn Israel, even for the good it does,  which in some ways is what your question does, although, I honestly don't believe you meant it that way. It just seems, on the surface, to try to diminish their efforts instead of applauding them.

 

I believe that perhaps it is time for others to start helping themselves and their own, a bit more, as well. Putting their money where their mouths are, would certainly be a valuable addition to the various causes around the world.  Sure there is Oprah and Jolie who are fabulously wealthy, but where are the masses? Most people never dip into their own pockets. Ask some of our politicians how much they have given to charity. They are all about words telling others to do what is right but, often, they don't follow the example they suggest.

 

 


Choisya wrote:

 

...BTW, do you think it was a good thing for Israel just to save the Ethiopian Jews?   Surely people, especially children, of all creeds were in desperate need at that time?   (Sir) Bob Geldorf's song and campaign 'Feed the World' also raised a great deal of money for this cause.  The song reached the top of the charts at Christmas 1984 on both sides of the Pond and sold over 3 million copies, raising $70,000 worth of food and medical supplies which Geldorf personally took to Ethiopia to make sure aid got there.

 


 

 

 


 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

Some of you might like to see this memorial video to the Holocaust, sung by Barbra Streisand. She begins singing about 40 seconds into it.

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

My reply about Israel helping Falasha's was in reply to a post by Bonnie 824 in which she wrote in part:  I can imagine if we were given that choice now to take millions of people as refugees, we would decline. I truly did not mean to start a political brouhaha.

I was merely showing that not everyone declines when called upon to help. I don't believe Israel's rescue effort should be diluted because you believe that others also rescued Ethiopians or because there are others suffering in the world or because you believe that Israel should not only have rescued Jews. Israel is a Jewish state. That is why Israel rescued Jews.

I checked your links and could find no information on any other country rescuing Jews. Many rescued Ethiopians. If you do know of any, I would really be interested in learning about them so could you please provide some links? The history for the rescue of Jews is sadly lacking so religion had to play a major part in Israel's effort.

If you want to make a statement saying that Israel is no more a victim on the international stage than any other country, I would love to have you send me some links to prove that, as well. Israel has been consistently denounced by the UN members while they ignore their own far worse human rights violations.

 

An Israeli professor I know, wrote:


"A sizable majority of member states in the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva endorsed the Goldstone report, and sent it on the General Assembly and Security Council. Supporters will try to get an endorsement from the Security Council to indict Israel before the International Criminal Court.
 
The resolution not only accepted the Goldstone report on the Gaza Operation, but for good measure condemned Israel for human rights violations in the West Bank and Jerusalem, including the denial of religious rights. (During times of tension, Israel does not permit entry to the Temple Mount for men under an age when they are thought to be potential troublemakers.)
 
Not even Richard Goldstone was satisfied with the decision of the Human Rights Council, insofar as it did not condemn Hamas for its violations.
 
The delegates who voted for the endorsement came from Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Djbouti, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia. Some of these we should discount as international good-for-nothings allowed to yell and scream, but not permitted by the rules of the game to do anything serious. Saudi Arabia is tolerated on account of its wealth, but also kept from serious damage by existing rules and norms. Some speak in double talk, endorse what the Palestinians want, perhaps to keep some of their own people quiet, but deal with Israel. Jordan and Egypt are prominent in this group. China, India, and Russia are important for Israel, but do what they have to in order to satisfy their other interests. None of them is on the verge of taking serious actions against Israel. All are more violent than Israel in dealing with those who threaten their own regimes.
 
Indonesia has no diplomatic relations with Israel, but we have encountered large groups of Indonesian Christians in our favorite Jerusalem Chinese restaurant. The Philippines enjoys the foreign exchange earned by thousands of its people working here as care givers for the aged and infirm..."

I posted this link on another website. It is thetext of the speech delivered by a British colonel:

UN Watch Oral Statement
Delivered by Colonel Richard Kemp
UN Human Rights Council
12th Special Session, 16 October 2009
Debate on Goldstone Report

UN WATCH wrote: GENEVA, October 16, 2009 -- Today's emergency UN Human Rights Council debate on the Goldstone Report predictably saw a line-up of the world's worst abusers condemn democratic Israel for human rights violations. In a heated lynch mob atmosphere, Kuwait slammed Israel for “intentional killing, intentional destruction of civilian objects, intentional scorched-earth policy,” saying Israel “embodied the Agatha Christie novel, 'Escaped with Murder'.” Pakistan said the “horrors of Israeli occupation continue to haunt the international community’s conscience.” The Arab League said, “We must condemn Israel and force Israel to accept international legitimacy." Ahmadinejad’s Iran said “the atrocities committed against Palestinians during the aggressions on Gaza should be taken seriously” and followed up by the international community “to put an end to absolute impunity and defiance of the law.”

 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

BTW, where did you find out the info about the 60 soldiers? I would assume if there were soldiers, they were there to protect the Israelis, it certainly wasn't a large enough contingent to wage war, but all I can find out is info like this from an article in 2004:

A 150-member Israeli aid delegation canceled its mission to Sri Lanka on Tuesday, after the country - one of the hardest hit in the Asian tsunami disaster - refused to accept the Israeli team, Israel military officials said. Asian disaster

 

However, Israel is dispatching supplies at Sri Lanka's request, including 10,000 blankets contributed by the Israeli army, tents, nylon sheeting and water containers. The Israeli army's Home Front Command is organizing aid preparations.

Meanwhile, the Israeli humanitarian organization Latet ("To give") is sending a separate aid package Tuesday. It is filling a jumbo jet with 18 tons of supplies worth $50,000, at Sri Lanka's request.


The relief team that had been expected to depart for Sri Lanka on Tuesday included medical teams and representatives of the Israeli army and Defense Ministry.

The delegation was planning to assemble a medical facility comprised of specialist doctors, and to set up emergency, internal medicine and pediatric departments, as well as laboratory and X-ray facilities in the southern part of Sri Lanka.

 


Choisya wrote:

 

 (Israeli aid was refused by Sri Lanka during the tsunami because 60 soldiers were being sent with the 150 Israeli workers sent to set up field hospitals. When the soldiers were withdrawn they accepted aid from Israel.)

 

Frequent Contributor
nbmars
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎02-21-2008
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

We get two descriptions of death close upon each other: One, of the bombing in London that Frankie lives through, but that kills Harriet and little Billy's mother, among many others, and the second, of Will's struggle with Maggie during her dire labor. What is the effect of hearing of death in these two contexts? How do the emotions--shock, outrage at injustice, shame, guilt, fear--take hold of the characters (and the readers!) in each of these stories? Why would an author give us these two difficult stories one after another--are we being invited to make comparisons or draw conclusions?

 

This is such a good question.  I think the context makes a huge difference.  The labor incident seems "normal" because it is part of everyday life, while the deaths in the war seem unjust and random (as Will pointed out himself).  But in truth both contexts involved death that was unjust and random.

New User
smeather30
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

Frankie thinks proudly of how Londoners "can't help" but go about their lives as they usually do, and at the same time is furious at how American's go about their own ordinary lives without any impact from the war abroad. What makes ordinary life bravery on one coast and complacency on the other? Are you furious at the Americans with Frankie?

I wasn't mad at the Americans for going on with their lives, and didn't think it was fair to be mad at them for something they knew nothing about.  There was very little information available to them - there wasn't easy accessibility to information like we have today, and the censors allowed very little of the truth to get through.  In reading more about that time period, it seems that for a long time even very few Europeans knew what was truly happening to the Jews.  I was mostly frustrated with the lack of information available.

 

Does Harriet seem to be the only character who has some sense of what might be happening?

Harriet seemed to be the only one who knew what was happening to the Jews, because she seemed to be the only one really paying attention.  She noticed the small things like the notices asking where a loved one was.  Frankie recites a story about Martha Gellhorn visiting Smith College and speaking about the Depression.  Miss Gellhorn tells them to "Pay attention.  For God's sake, pay attention."  I think this is very apt as so often we miss the things happening right in front of us because we're too wrapped up in our lives.

 

 

Correspondent
nlsamson
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

I think that both Maggies death, and the reporting from Frankie influence Will.  I think Will is very moved by what he is listening to each night on the radio, and when Maggie dies, I think the guilt of her death, adds to the feeling of helplessness.  (at least I would like to think he felt he needed to do something to in a sense "give back")

 

There are no stories in our family of WWII.  I think this has been part of the reason why so much of this book has touched me in the way it has.  I have found myself sitting in a crowded room reading, moved to tears.

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away" - unknown
Contributor
sailorreader
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎02-08-2008
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

During terrorist bombings, not so long ago, I heard a British announcer say that British people were strong and would go about life just as they had in the past.

 

Since 911, as Americans, I don't believe that we have gone on about life in the same fashion.  We have had law changes, attitude changes, money changes, etc.

 

I have often wondered what the statement made by an English announcer really meant.  I believe this book shed light on what it was like to go through the torture of a war, right in the middle of it.

 

Frankie, I felt was more "American" than she wanted to admit.  I don't think she took the bombing "in stride" as the English had done.  Instead she seemed to be overwhelmed with all that she saw and reported on.

 

 

sailorreader
Frequent Contributor
dj5775
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎03-22-2009
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

Frankie's voice and stories reach everyone who tunes in to hear her reports. The death of Maggie affected Will's decision along with the new reports her listened to with Emma, but I think he feels he failed, he has a family history he's not proud of and in going to England he's just running from his issues.

ct
Correspondent
HannibalCat
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
0 Kudos

Re: War, Up Close and Far off

 


dj5775 wrote:

Frankie's voice and stories reach everyone who tunes in to hear her reports. The death of Maggie affected Will's decision along with the new reports her listened to with Emma, but I think he feels he failed, he has a family history he's not proud of and in going to England he's just running from his issues.


 

Yes. I believe the same thing. Although I feel a bit harsher regarding his true character. However, the death of Maggie really did him in. It is a very sad thing that led eventually to his death, when in all respects, it should not have been so. He did the best he could, he had not had much experience, and inexperience can lead to missing things that a more experienced doctor would have picked up. It isn't even a mistake, it is a lack of knowledge that contributed to his missing the signs of problems. The whole thing just supports the human suffering that war causes.