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As Palestinian frustration grows, young man considers armed struggle

Hakem* believes that armed struggle and the strategic use of violence is the only way to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He calls BDS ‘silly’ and says Hamas has gone soft. He calls Israel ‘the entity’ and says it must be dismantled. After that, Hakem adds, Jews are welcome to stay.

The situation in the West Bank is increasingly hopeless. The cost of living is spiraling out of control. Steady work is hard to find. Israeli settlements keep growing. And with the West Bank carved up by the Oslo Accords and Gaza under blockade, a Palestinian state seems more out of reach than ever.

While the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement seems to be picking up steam worldwide–and the nonviolent protests against the separation barrier have captured the international media’s eye–some Palestinians are calling for a renewal of armed struggle. In this context, I decided to publish excerpts of a lengthy interview I had with a young Palestinian man who is considering becoming a militant.

Like all Palestinians, Hakem’s life has been touched by the occupation. Because I promised him anonymity, I can’t give too many details. The wound is so deep that, Hakem says, “I have the ability to kill now…” And while he has yet to pick up arms, Hakem comments that he could “go the extremist way just to feel that I’m not under the control of somebody.”

Hakem would join the armed struggle against Israel “if only there was an organization to join.” Fatah means the Palestinian Authority and, like many Palestinians, Hakem sees the PA as “a branch” of Israel: “The PA is a project of the Israeli government. [It has been] since the beginning, and it’s not changed… it facilitates the Israeli job within the Palestinian society.”

He is cynical about the peace process in general, and the Oslo Agreement in particular, saying that it has just enabled Israel to do what it likes with the land.

Like many Palestinians, he’s given up on all of the Palestinian factions–”there’s no big difference between them”–including Hamas. Hakem points to Hamas’ recent move to the Gulf, remarking, “Now they are playing with Qatar and it’s about money. ” That places Hamas firmly within the American-Israeli-Gulf axis, according to Hakem, turning it into yet another group that is beholden to Western interests, like the PA.

It’s not just the Palestinian political parties that are frustrating to Hakem, “I’ve started to feel anger [towards] the Palestinian people because there is no soul or energy to do something against [Israel]. Rise up, yaani, come on. Rise up. We’re all under the feet [of the occupation].”

The Palestinian people, Hakem adds, have “no alternative project” and “need to develop something new.”

When asked about the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement, which some activists consider crucial to the Palestinian struggle, Hakem answers, “By default, by default. It’s the simple duty you can do… It’s not a big thing. The silly thing is to boycott.”

As for the non-violent protests against the separation barrier, they are “bullshit,” Hakem says. “[Israel’s] violence needs a violent reaction ….Without showing them that you are strong and that you are brave they will continue humiliating and attacking [Palestinians].”

Hakem asks to emphasize, however, that armed resistance does not mean harming civilians and that he doesn’t take issue with Jews.  The issue, for him, is that the Israeli government and military separates people and privileges the Jews over all other groups. “The problemvis with the racist system.”

So the state of Israel must be dismantled and the land must “go back to its people…”

But what about the people who live in Israel now? Will the Jews be free to stay?

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Hakem’s voice is excited. “It’s not a problem of their language [Hebrew] or the religion. “ He points to the Samaritans as a group that speaks multiple languages and straddles multiple identities. Palestinian Jews, Hakem says, could do the same.

“The Palestinians are generous, they will welcome anybody…. If you want to come to stay with me and to live with me: ahlan wasahalan. But if you want to come to control me and to [put me on] the street, then no, there is another answer for that.”

*”Hakem” asked to remain anonymous and is identified by a pseudonym

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  • COMMENTS

    1. yaaa

      So violence is the answer, Mya? I don’t have much sympathy for this story, since he wants to target me. Forgive me but I don’t want to make concessions to this sexually frustrated young man. He wants a change? Seek another way than violence; for he will end up in a grave sooner or later if that is his choice.

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    2. XYZ

      Well, Mya, are you prepared to put “Hakem’s” promise in the bank that those of us who surivive his “armed strugge” will be “allowed to stay”?
      Look at Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Algeria. The people who were or are currently slaughtering each other were all “brothers, fellow Muslims and Arabs” who love one another. We Jews, on the other hand THEY DON’T LIKE.
      I still remeber the “generous, welcoming” Palestinians throwing each other, handcuffed, off tall buildings in Gaza when the religious idealist HAMAS took over there from FATAH.

      Has Hakem forgotten the suicide bomber war of a decade ago? What did it get them? What about all the wars the Arabs initiated against Israel. If he wants more violence, he and his fellow Palestinians are the ones who are going to suffer. Food for thought.

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      • Mitchell Cohen

        I know this ain’t facebook, but “like”….

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      • I wouldn’t take any of Hakem’s ideas to the bank. Based on what Mya has written about him, I would bank only on the following: he was born under occupation and his parents were too. Mya says he’s young, so he was probably a child in the Intifada years, and the article implies that he’s seen some nasty stuff. He won’t even let his first name be used, so he’s clearly afraid, although the article contains nothing very revelatory. He could be any one of a number of teenagers and young men whom I know in Bethlehem. Based on what he says, he experiences the same sense of frustration and powerlessness as they do, and he has the same old hurts and humiliations in his background. I don’t know what his contact with Israelis and Jews outside the army has been, but it’s unlikely to have been anything very great. This is why I’m glad that Mya sat and talked to him even though the resulting article isn’t anything special. But when you look at this article, you don’t seem to pick up on these signals about what his life may be like – instead you start talking about the grand sweep of religion and political nationalism, when the focus needs to be on something much more basic, the dignity of this one guy. It might help to read his views in this light instead of trying to treat them as a fixed political blueprint. For me this story is a means of understanding more about one pretty ordinary person and what his life has been, rather than a manifesto to be debated.

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    3. Moriel Rothman

      This discourse of hyper-manliness, of showing them we are strong and only then will they change, of “Without showing them that you are strong and that you are brave they will continue humiliating and attacking” is so incredibly problematic, prevalent, and un-new.

      Honestly, I’m not sure why these views necessarily deserve a platform: it is the media that gives violence its power, it is the media that magnifies the impact and the terror of violent acts in all directions, it is the media that makes it such that violence is generally a better way to get attention than other means of resistance, so I am a bit disappointed to see +972, a magazine which I find often breaks out of the normal media paradigm (and to which I contribute myself for that very reason), giving these unsurprising, uninspiring while understandable views a platform.

      Side note to more right wing readers: Please don’t use this spin this comment as if I am saying something about Palestinians or Palestinian society per se. Israeli society is also an extremely violent society in which violence is constantly normalized and glorified, only in our case under the oxymoronic umbrella of legitimate-murder of an “official” army.

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    4. mya guarnieri

      hi moriel, thanks for your thoughtful comment. i agree that my interviewee’s opinions and the argument he attempts to make for violence are problematic. and i agree that violence begets violence and i also agree that the media plays a role in perpetuating violence. for these reasons, i think it is important to report on the non-violent movements and their progress (non-violent resistance is also “un-new” by the way). but i also think that i would be remiss as a journalist not to report on those in palestinian society who advocate for the use of armed struggle. this is a part of palestinian society. it is what it is. i also thought that my interviewee had some opinions that might challenge some of readers’ ideas about armed struggle and complicate their thoughts about militancy… many believe that the palestinian armed struggle means “pushing the jews into the sea” and, in this instance, that’s not the case. again, that doesn’t excuse the fact that this man believes violence is a acceptable tactic.

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    5. ABC

      XYZ is ignorant and racist and blind to the DAILY injustices and humiliation that the people of Palestine face. Zionists are a hateful bunch. This has been going on for 60 years XYZ.

      Who are we to judge Hakem? And yes, please DO NOT print that young man’s name, the Israeli government will hunt him down and kill him, otherwise. Hakem sees that Abbas is nothing but a puppet of the US and Israel and that Hamas is a joke. Non-violence is not solving anything and it continues to get worse.

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    6. Moriel Rothman

      Hi Mya,

      Thanks for your response. I understand the desire to spotlight Palestinian views that are not often heard in this forum, but I think it sets a problematic precedent: In the context of this interview, I don’t find the “Jews will be welcome to stay” comment to be particularly convincing, and as such, I don’t see much being revealed to us via this man’s views that we haven’t heard before. As such, it feels to me almost like we are giving this story a spotlight it does not deserve. The views expressed are not particularly note-worthy. It is basically a reframing of the “If I show them that I am a real tough violent man then they’ll get it” trope, which we hear all the time in Israeli discourse as well.

      I generally really appreciate your analyses and writing-but I don’t think this one lived up to standard, yours or +972′s, and I’m sort of upset that it was published, as I think we need to be thinking of our writing, esp. in the age of blogs and fb and twitter revolutions, as more than just reporting, but also as influencing discourse and shaping what views we want folks to respect and how we want folks to act.

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    7. mya guarnieri

      hi moriel, thanks for your second, also thoughtful comment. you’re a writer i respect and so i appreciate your feedback and am taking it to heart and will keep it in mind.

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    8. Philos

      The Syrians biggest mistake was that they resorted to violence. The violence allowed them to be exploited by Saudi Arabia and al-Qaeda as well as entrenching Russian aid to the regime. It would be a terrible shame if the Palestinians were to resort to violence before they’ve even tried mass (un)civil disobedience.

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      • Philos, there is no “the Syrians.” Many did try civil disobedience at first–remember the funerals and how they were attacked by snipers? Some went to violence naturally, others seeing no way out, and escalating violence forces choices. I am no fan of violence at all, but it exists, and a “people” cannot be told to refrain from it or not. Mass violence is as cancer, with causes and consequences. We must understand when, how it erupts, endures, and what can be done. Sometimes, not much.

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        • Philos

          There are many Syrians who will disagree with your Orientalist claim that there are no Syrians. Who are you to make such a claim?
          .
          Again, violence was not necessarily the natural course of the uprising there. Egypt and Tunisia come to mind. Poland, Hungary and Romania at the fall of the USSR also come to mind.

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    9. sh

      Mass civil disobedience is only fine to preach to anyone else if we are going to be part of it. As has been pointed out in a comment on one of the pieces, our protesting in front of the Kirya in large numbers would have more effect than the weekly demos in the villages. But elections have been announced yet no sign of anything bubbling on the horizon at present.

      We haven’t seen any reports in +972 about the Arlozorov tent encampment that has been there for many weeks now. I passed it again on a bus yesterday and people are still there but no activities or demonstrations that I can make out. Has anyone talked to them?

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    10. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Nothing original in what he said, but I think Hakem has a pretty accurate view of the situation. He’s much more realistic than most of the +972 contributors, especially the Jewish ones.

      Everything the Palestinians have won – and they’ve won very, very much in the past 20 or 30 years – they’ve won by violence. There’s no indication that that condition will change anytime soon.

      The only thing that seems unrealistic is his idea that violent resistance doesn’t mean harming civilians. I don’t see how Palestinian militias could inflict much harm on the Israeli army, police, etc. Violent resistance means terrorism. But other than that, he’s one of the more realistic voices at +972.

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      • AJM

        “Everything the Palestinians have won … they’ve won by violence.”

        Sorry, this is just not true. One can argue that Palestinians have profited from terrorism, though that’s questionable. (For example, are Gazans and West Bank Palestinians really better off because Israel disengaged from the Strip, influenced in part by Hamas’ terror campaign?) But everything? Sorry, no.

        To pick just one example: much of the resistance of the First Intifada was nonviolent, or at the very least unarmed. The popular mobilization had results. Repeated images of IDF soldiers firing ammunition at unarmed demonstrations contributed to the rise in international support for Palestinian rights. This support, in turn, helped to bring out the pressure that led to Israel being willing to accept the Oslo accords.

        One can argue that Oslo may not be much of an achievement after all, and it certainly has disappointed. But the increase in support for Palestinian rights was tangible.

        I do not see that it can be argued that the First Intifada (much more nonviolent) was not much more successful than the Second (much more terrorism).

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        • Aaron the Fascist Troll

          I agree with you that a lot of what Palestinians have won – and, again, they’ve won an enormous amount – they won in the (first) Intifada. I didn’t live in Israel and wasn’t interested in Israel at the time, so I don’t know a lot about it, but I’d attribute those gains to violence. I call stone-throwing and Molotov cocktails violence, even though Palestinians apparently do not. (I’ve always wondered whether that’s a language translation issue.)

          Also, a large part of the Intifada’s effects, it seems, was that Israelis could no longer go to the territories for restaurants, shopping, car repair, etc. That was because of the threat of violence.

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          • RichardL

            I agree with you that stone-throwing is violence. I don’t know what Palestinians call it and perhaps they are being misquoted. Certainly a lot of foreign activists call it non-violence. I have argued the point but with little success.

            It is worth noting however that throwing stones at tanks and occupation soldiers is not terrorism. Illegal detention and abuse of minors, even if they have been throwing stones, most certainly is the application of terror. It would be nice if the correct terminology was applied more often.

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        • The first intafata did not hide itself; resistence was daily, activating, monitoring, building social livelihood networks, so perforce had to be partially nonviolent. I think the Israelis gave up–and that is what happened–because of this sustained effort. Pure, exactly violence would have been easier to deal with, if that was all there was. Nonviolence can subsit in a land of some violence; but note that, generally, the actively violent did not resist those employing other, daily means–they did not know nor think how, and much likely relied on those others for housing and food, etc. Never paint a nice picture to get by the editors that be; only the likely truth, for anything is facile in effect.

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      • pelsar

        Palestinians Gains: Intifada I.

        What your not understanding about intifada i was that it was limited violence and limited to the territories. The Palestinians also built social networks at the time to control their movement.

        The actual result was a gray strike within the army reserve units. No one felt as if their life was in danger (most of the time) but we did ask what were doing there, and people started not showing up for the reserves.

        the short versions is that the Palestinians knew how much to push and where and they got results.

        Arafat came, tossed out the locals, replaced them with his corrupt friends and started intifada II which had a very different character to it…and they lost all that they had gained

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    11. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      In which language was the interview conducted? If not English, then I’m interested in knowing what word Hakem used that was translated as “extremist.” If it was Arabic, could you transliterate it, too? Thanks.

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    12. Leen

      While I myself personally do not condone violence, and personally I am a bit repulsed even by military violence, I am not surprised, nor shocked, nor even disturbed by the rhetoric. It’s normal, it’s easy and let’s face it, if put in another context, it would actually be encouraged.

      If we are talking about two other entities. Let’s say Taiwan and China. China finally decided to formally occupy Taiwan, reduce the citizens to second class citizens, and the superpower of the world, the USA, is supporting China’s decision to occupy Taiwan. Now Taiwan does not have a military, it’s been 60 years and nothing on the grounds have changed and leaders haven’t changed anything…. Now people are talking about taking up arms, fighting against the Chinese occupation. Obviously the best moral solution would be to advocate non violence, however, can you really blame people taking up arms against a foreign power occupying their land?

      Violent resistance against colonialism, occupation or oppression is not different, not new and in some ways, even famous cases such as South Africa, Northern Ireland, the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, a lot of anti-colonialist resistance all had a violent/armed resistance component to it.

      For this reason, I can’t condemn the individual for his feelings, however I DO wish civil disobedience and non-violent resistance is encourage not only through the Palestinian community but through international community and media. I mean seriously, no one screams at Israel for murdering unarmed civilians during their non-violent demonstrations and vilify those who seek to non-violently protest.

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    13. shlomo artzi

      Wow, thank you so much for devoting space to this young mans opinion. Perhaps you might also ask a Muslim why they consider Jews as pigs that use blood in secret rituals. Your credibility has increased immeasurably in my eyes.

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      • It’s astonishing to me that people who support a military occupation expect (no, demand) absolute pacifism of Palestinians, without even registering the enormity of the double standard. Supporting mandatory conscription of teenagers and conducting a military occupation, that’s not violent at all, but the moment a member of the occupied population talks about using violent resistance against the army he’s stepped beyond the pale and his ideas are suddenly on a par with blood libel.

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        • Aaron the Fascist Troll

          It’s a single standard. The Palestinians, represented by the PLO, renounced the armed struggle and declared that they would no longer use violence against Israel. Arafat broke that promise almost immediately, each time he made it. The Israelis have never declared an end to the occupation, so they’re not breaking a promise by continuing the occupation. The single standard is to expect each side to keep its promises.

          The only objection I could see is that the PLO was not authorized to represent the Palestinian people at the time these promises were made, about twenty years ago. But few made that objection at the time.

          That said, I’m not demanding that the Palestinians keep the PLO’s promise to act non-violently. That would be kind of silly, because there’s no chance of it happening.

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          • There is no Arafat now; Abbas is not one. Even when there was an Arafat, he was far from being everything. Think finer grain now. The next struggle for greater life had better be both against the occupation and against some forms of resistence in the Bank–or, I think, it is doomed to a crushing. Perhaps even otherwise. But real nonviolence is not just a struggle against the outside.

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        • Palestinian

          Because they are hypocrites

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    14. Palestinian

      Organized armed struggle is the only way to overcome a terrorist entity.”What was taken by force, can only be restored by force” RIP Gamal Abel Naser

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    15. RichardL

      I don’t see any of the people condemning this man giving any viable alternatives. Just sit tight and let the terrorist state of Israel do its worst. XYZ of course goes off at a tangent to avoid dealing with Israel’s vicious and unending crimes against the Palestinian people. To Shlomo it’s all a blood libel against those poor Israeli victims again. Moriel Rothman wants Hakem’s views kept out of sight, presumably along with the causes of his anger and frustration. It is outrageous that this article should disturb her comfort zone. Never mind that Hakem’s comfort zone is disturbed on a daily basis by being humiliated, treated as an inferior being, denied justice, denied civil rights, constantly under threat of being illegally detained, tortured, beaten up, shot or having his house destroyed. Under the circumstances what is so outrageous about a young man wanting to fight back against the terrorists that threaten, torment and disrupt his everyday life? Mya considers Moriel’s whining to be “thoughtful”! Well I don’t agree. And for the record Philos, the “Syrians” (which in many cases should read “foreign mercenaries”) were encouraged and helped to violence by very powerful outside forces. That will never be an option for the Palestinians.

      I have to agree with Aaron that violence is unlikely to happen without civilians being hurt. It happens in every war. But there are differences between targeting civilians, being reckless of the safety of civilians and causing genuine accidental injury to civilians. The Palestinians are already suffering injury and death from all three possibilities on a routine basis. If Israelis have to suffer the risk of accidental injury because of a new development in a situation of their own making that is not terrorism. It may not be legal under the Fourth Geneva Convention (unless certain requirements are met) but it would not be terrorism unless civilians are deliberately or recklessly harmed. And according to the words of the interviewee that is not what is being considered.

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      • The Trespasser

        RichardL
        “I don’t see any of the people condemning this man giving any viable alternatives.”
        Actually Jews were offering all kind of alternatives since the middle of 19th century.
        Palestinians were offered statehood numerous times – yet they declined it. Now they are only getting what they worked so hard on last 60 years – nothing.

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        • RichardL

          Spare us all this tosh. Zionism always intended to deprive the native population of its rights and has long been at ease with terrorism to achieve this. Are you really unaware of the bombs thrown from cars such as the one at the Haifa refinery, Irgun’s terrorist attacks on buses, Deir Yassin, Lod, the typhoid attack on Acre, the massacres at Rafah in 1956, the restriction against Israel’s Arab citizens during the first decade of the state’s existence, the use of nerve gas and other proscribed weapons against the citizens of Gaza and the ongoing terror campaign associated with the settlements?

          If you want to start educating yourself on Israel’s crimes and intentions you could start with the letter from Ben Gurion to his son that was published by the Journal of Palestine Studieshttp://www.palestine-studies.org/files/B-G%20Letter%20translation.pdf

          In that letter the poisoned dwarf wrote “The only thing that should be taken into account is what we want and what is best for us, what will lead to the objective, and which are the policies that will make us succeed and which will make us fail.” That was written in 1937.

          Go peddle your propaganda somewhere else.

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          • The Trespasser

            RichardL
            1 – Don’t tell me what to do and I won’t tell you where to go.
            2 – Your knowledge of Zionism is VERY limited. To be exact – you know nothing, besides few names, otherwise you wouldn’t be uttering such nonsense.
            3 – Jewish violence came as a response to Arab violence.

            You are completely ignoring whatever happened in Ottoman and Mandate Palestine prior to 1948
            4 – Use of nerve gas in Gaza is something new actually.
            It’s hard to believe that there are people stupid enough to believe such baseless claims.
            Yes, sir. That’s how blood libel works. Fantastic.
            5 – Poisoned Dwarf – I pure love it xD xD
            Yet insulting (dead) people is a sign of a narrow-minded bigot who has to put simple one-two word labels on everything in the world.

            So, in 1937 we did wrote such thing.

            Let’s see what else happened around 1937…

            1929 – Hebron and Safed Massacres. Arabs killed Jews.
            1935 – Nuremberg Laws stripped German Jews of their citizenship and forbade Jews to marry non-Jewish Germans.
            1936 – Chaim Weizmann wrote “The world seemed to be divided into two parts—those places where the Jews could not live and those where they could not enter.”
            1936 – Jaffa Riots. Arabs killed Jews again.

            Indeed, how could this poisoned dwarf even think of writing something in benefit of Jews?
            Jews have no right for the country of their own.
            Right, Ric?

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          • RichardL

            TT
            Can’t see that you have repudiated anything that I wrote, merely denied it without evidence. As such you have no case.

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          • The Trespasser

            RichardL
            I only denied the obvious nonsense of your claims that Israel used nervous gas in Gaza.
            However the very fact that you’ve mentioned it only shows that your connection to the real world is very weak, which renders whatever you think or write rather useless.

            Case closed.

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        • A young Palestinian boy or girl neither accepted nor declined anything. Corporate identity ensalves to history. As I do not believe a newly born child is soaked in original sin, nor do I condemn the young for their parents. That is a writ of attainder by descent, aka blood libal in some quarters, and forbidden by the US Constitution. Think on why.

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      • Moriel Rothman

        RichardL. It is most likely that you do not live here in the region, and will not feel any personal effect of violence. It is pleasant that you can talk self-righteously about the need for violence from your armchair in the UK or the US. Let’s imagine that this violence, though, might be directed at your family– are you still so righteously in favor? And please do not make presumptions about what I want to hide. My standard is not a double standard. I am opposed to violence, to glorifying violence, and to giving threats of violence platforms that they do not deserve. Period. In fact, I spend my life working against violence– primarily the violence my side enacts through the Occupation and through the IDF. Surprise.

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        • RichardL

          Moriel. First of all I apologise for getting your gender wrong. I should have checked.

          You are right in presuming that I do not live in the region. It is also most likely that you do not live in a refugee camp such as Duheisha, and that the IDF does not come and attack you in your home in the middle of the night or decide at 15 minutes’ notice that they are going to enact the house demolition order that has been hanging over your home for the last few years. Perhaps you didn’t come home today to find that a close relative has been abducted and incarcerated and almost certainly maltreated if not tortured and you don’t know when or even if you will ever see them again. Tell me I’m wrong, please: I’ll gladly apologize.

          I am genuinely glad that you are striving to end the occupation and Israel’s other crimes against Palestinians. But is hasn’t worked has it? I’ve also been tear gassed at Bil’in and was at Nilin on a day when a man was shot in the groin. As we all know my trifling interventions also had no effect. So what are you telling Hakem? Keep a stiff upper lip for another 45 years because things might get a bit better by then? Just put up with the fact that your political leaders have sold out and they sold your birthright at Oslo to further their own ambitions. Never mind that the rest of the world is happy to let this happen. Don’t worry about it son; just don’t do anything irresponsible or silly.

          Just who are you to judge his “hyper-manliness” and call his “discourse”[…] “un-new” as though it is this year’s fashion gone wrong? So you think his views don’t deserve a platform. But then Zionists never do want the Palestinians to have a platform. They want them to suffer out of sight and they don’t want them having thoughts of their own, and the world shouldn’t hear what they say so shame on anybody that dares to print it. You call me to task for presuming what you want to hide, but I don’t need to presume. You have openly called for his opinions to be muzzled and trivialized them in justification. You ended up by saying you want to shape other people’s views and actions. Proper little control freak, aren’t we?

          Hakem talks about the POSSIBILITY of taking to violence (and here, like Aaron the Fascist Troll, I would like more nuance on what he meant and what he actually said that was translated into English as “extremism”). But he specifically emphasizes that this does not mean attacks on civilians and he denies wanting to force the Jews to leave the region. Did you read this Moriel? If so why do you ask how I feel about violence directed at my family? (Do you believe like Benny Morris and Asa Kasher and apparently some of the commentators here that all Palestinians are pathological liars? If that is the case come out and say so. If not, do not exaggerate or distort.) Hakem was not talking about directing violence against any family. (Incidentally I never wrote about directing violence against civilians apart from mentioning that it happens to Palestinians on a routine basis, neither did I write about a “need” for violence.) Apart from family members that are actively involved in human rights abuses and war crimes against Palestinians, no family member is going to be directly targeted according to this testimony. Is that distinction too subtle for you?

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        • Palestinian

          What a righteous Israeli you are ! You dont live in the West Bank , you dont live under a brutal occupation and you do not face oppression everyday .You have no right to judge those who do live under your occupation.Violence is the result of your so-called people’s little nasty project in our homeland.

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    16. Kolumn9

      What a nice young man. After he makes sure the Jews have no land to live on he will let them stay assuming they manage to live in the clouds.

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    17. I think this piece brave journalism for obvious reasons. The view the young man articulates could be called “anti-bantu ideology,” and it cannot but grow. I have begun to see the total consequences of occupation as a growing involuntary servitude. So:’Hakem comments that he could “go the extremist way just to feel that I’m not under the control of somebody.”’ This feeling of effective life servitude has to be growing, and it is as foolish to ignore the sentiment as to deny one has cancer when doctors say otherwise. Eventually this ideology will network, become socially active. Perhaps if you legislate against what Mya G had done here you can make the thought vanish. After all, similar quashing is being tried in the Boycott Law.

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    18. I have followed +972 for a number of years and always find it refreshing. Mya Guarnieri is brave enough to allow a young member of the occupied and suppressed Palestinians to express his thoughts, and there is no need for her to apologize for that. On the contrary, with the decades long peace process a joke, the oppressor must be confronted with the result of its flawed policies. That an Israeli journalist is brave enough to do so is commendable.

      As regards the majority of the reactions which dismiss any violence that Hakem considers, as a European – who like the Jews has been occupied by Nazi-Germany – I feel armed resistance against an occupier is legitimate, especially if all attempts to arrive at peaceful resolutions with the occupier – who is supported in every respect by the not so honest broker the USA – have failed.

      Just to quote from retired US Army Special Forces colonel Jean-François Angevin-Romey’s open letter of December 29, 2008 to Barack Obama: “I must ask, Mr. President-elect, what we Americans would do were we occupied, had we lived through the Intifadas, seen our young men arrested and tortured – some to death – or killed throwing stones at Israeli tanks built with American money, bombed to bits by U.S. Hellfire missiles fired from U.S. Cobra helicopters, shot by American M-16 rifles and munitions; or having watched our homes rubbled before our eyes, and today, as in Gaza, our families deprived of basic nutrition, medical care, and above all, dignity? Or rather, what would any self-respecting American not do to drive out or kill the Occupant?”

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Paul Lookman,
        “Especially if all attempts to arrive at peaceful resolutions with the occupier – who is supported in every respect by the not so honest broker the USA – have failed.”
        What kind of alternative history were you studying?
        Arabs have consequently turned down all and every offer made by international community and Israel.
        Beginning with the UN Partition Plan – and even earlier attempts, and ending with Ehud Barak’s offer.

        You see, the only peace Palestinian Arabs are willing to accept is one state ruled by Arabs in which Jews are minority.
        However I’m afraid that your are going have a hard time persuading Jews that actually they don’t need own country.

        Reply to Comment
        • An all too transparent pick from my contribution, Trespasser, combined with the usual bold but ever so oversimplified statements to kill any dialogue.

          As regards “persuading Jews …”, the fact that the political-Zionist project was flawed from its conception is dawning upon ever more opinion leaders worldwide. With 25% non-Jews in Israel, today’s world community will not accept the concept of “Israel, a Jewish and democratic state”. To quote Jerome Slater: “It is a disgraceful state, and an increasingly ignorant and in many ways disgraceful society, a pariah state that fully deserves its pariah status.” (http://www.jeromeslater.com/2012/08/my-correspondence-with-jodi-rudoren.html)

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Paul,
            Could you please answer one question?
            Do Jews have a right for their own Jewish state?
            Just “yes” or “no”.

            Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            Who is Jerome Slater and why should I care what he thinks? Israel has diplomatic relations with more countries than any time in its history and flourishing economic relations with much of the world, including the burgeoning economies of India, China, the Far East, Latin America and newly upgraded relations with the EU. What “pariah” status?

            Reply to Comment
      • Maya

        “….as a European – who like the Jews has been occupied by Nazi-Germany – I feel armed resistance against an occupier is legitimate.”

        The Jews were “occupied” by Nazi Germany? No. The Jews in Nazi occpation zones were exterminated.

        Reply to Comment
    19. Trespasser, Maya: My last post in this discussion. Jews are welcome to a state of their own but not by Shoah-ing. Armed resistance against NAZI-German occupation was legitimate for Europeans, incl. Jewish Europeans. For further guidance: welcome on my weblog.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Leen

      If anything, this young man’s views on violence and armed struggle is an alarm. If non violence does not reap any tangible results, continued suppression, unfortunately people would start to consider violence. This isn’t something new when it comes to occupation and self-determination, unfortunately.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Richard Witty

      Whether armed struggle is understandable, justified, called for, it will be a DISASTER for the Palestinian people and aspirations for either a separate viable state or for integration into a single state.

      There is no other single action that would do two things:

      1. Elect likud again
      2. Change hearts and minds of Israelis, and the European world, for the very gross negative, resembling the second intifada

      ALL of the gains of sympathy for Palestinian people, history, aspirations, will go out the window, by the self-appointed vanguard action of militancy.

      The forced migration to Jordan will be adopted by Israel.

      NO political change for the better will happen by dramatic action (this is not the 1970′s), nor fast. ALL political change will happen by patient determination, same as every other successful movement that seeks to end without committing evil (literally) or passively accepting evil.

      Maybe the three century struggle is what is being described. I hope not.

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        “There is no other single action that would do two things:

        1. Elect likud again
        2. Change hearts and minds of Israelis, and the European world, for the very gross negative, resembling the second intifada”

        1. Likud will be elected “again” even if the Palestinians stay non-violent (actually Kadima was elected in the last election)
        2. And they will be elected precisely because hearts and minds have not changed since the 2nd intifada. I suspect Hakem’s desperation stems from that.

        It must take enormous self-control for a normally constituted young lad to remain non-violent when thugs are destroying his family’s wells, the produce he and his family have toiled for, with complete impunity (never mind all the other daily inconveniences). They have no protection and no recourse. And we lecture them on non-violence instead of going and screaming our outrage in the hundreds of thousands in front of the ministries and offices (or the state of Israel’s representations abroad) that produced and perpetuate this situation.

        Reply to Comment
        • richard witty

          Armed struggle is more of the same when change is needed.

          Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Sh,
          “And we lecture them on non-violence instead of going and screaming our outrage in the hundreds of thousands in front of the ministries and offices (or the state of Israel’s representations abroad) that produced and perpetuate this situation.”

          Palestinian Arabs have no-one to blame but themselves for the current situation.
          They have begun violence long before the state of Israel appeared on maps and now they are facing consequences of their leader’s mistakes.

          Reply to Comment
    22. XYZ

      Once again, we see the falsehood propagated here by those who understand or justify violence against Israel saying that “Israel has refused to end the occupation”. IT IS THE ARABS WHO REFUSE TO MAKE A COMPROMISE PEACE that would end the occupation. Note that Hakem won’t accept any Jewish state. All he will say is that he is generous enough not to throw all of us in the sea. It is his mentality and those who support it that are going to cause endless frustration and failure for the Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
      • The vanguard settlers have not been curtailed; that attaches their ideology of ownership of the Bank to the State. Bibi has made it clear that he will not let the courts be used “against us.” Absolutely nothing is lost by stopping and removing vanguard settlements if you really want an accord with resident Palestinians. Rather, you want to place near religious guilt on the other side to justify continued expansion. Hakem’s nascent ideology is a warning sign to all sides. If you treat all the Bank as infected with Hakems you guarantee resurgent violence. Should I be silenced for saying this as a supporter of violence? As said before, you do not cure cancer by denying its efficacy.

        Reply to Comment
        • XYZ

          Greg said:
          ————————————
          Hakem’s nascent ideology is a warning sign to all sides.
          ————————————

          “Nascent” ideology? Where have you been for the last 100 years, Greg? Are you one of these Jewish Leftists who think the Arab-Israeli conflict began in 1967? There has been organized Arab violence against the Jewish Yishuv since 1920. They were saying the same thing as Hakem then and ever since.
          The Arabs do no accept the existence of any Jewish state within any borders, as Hakem has stated. But even if the Jews had not set up a state in 1948, there still would have been a civil war between Arabs and Jews then and the Arabs, driven by the extremists in their camp, would have worked to drive the Jews out of the country entirely. It simply would have been another version of Lebanon.

          Any removal of settlements simply makes the Arabs think the Jews are folding up, just as happened after the destruction of Gush Katif, and this would stoke increased violence. That is why no contractual peace will be possible, only an evolving modus vivendi. Hakem will realize eventually that his violence is a dead-end for the Palestinian people and their only way forward is by them deciding they want a better life for themselves, and an ideologically pure jihad will only lead to defeat for them.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            You are wrong, XYZ.
            Organized violence against Jews begun at least 100 years earlier.
            However for Greg Pollock and such there is only one kind of violence exists – Jewish violence towards Arabs. Whatever happening outside that simply does not interest them. I guess it has to do with certain mental state.

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            “Organized violence against Jews begun at least 100 years earlier.”
            Care to back that up with evidence, Trespasser? It isn’t that this claim isn’t made by various sources of a certain inclination, but it isn’t backed up there either. The concrete evidence supplied always seems to begin in 1920 for some reason.

            Reply to Comment
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