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Father who lost daughter in suicide attack to Israelis: Vote for peace

Abir Aramin and Smadar Elhanan (photo: Rami Elhanan)

I am voting, but I will not be endorsing any party in the upcoming elections (I wrote about for whom and how I think Israelis should vote here). Instead, I am posting a message that Rami Elhanan posted on his Facebook wall yesterday, beneath the pictures of his 14-year-old daughter who was killed in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem, and of Palestinian Abir Aramin, 10, who was shot to death by soldiers near her school.

Today, 6 years ago, 10 years old Abir Aramin was murdered outside her school in Anata. Border police “fighter” shot a rubber bullet in her back, no reason…

6 long and agonizing years have passed since we and the Combatants for Peace were standing by her bedside in Hadassah hospital, 6 years that the “most moral army in the world” has failed to find and bring to justice even one of those responsible…

6 years in which the occupation authorities continued killing of innocent people without charge – no law and no judge … Time after time after time, a circle of blood with no end and no purpose … And yesterday another Palestinian kid, 17 … the fourth this week! Thousands of innocent victims since Abir’s death…

For 6 years I have been thinking about Abir. All the time.

For 6 years I remember and remind about this innocent pure girl that never ever did any wrong to anyone.

I remember her, and I remember whoever killed her – a victim like her – both victims of the occupation.

For 15 years I have been thinking about Smadar. All the time.

For 15 years I remember and remind about this innocent pure girl that never ever did any wrong to anyone I remember her, and I remember whoever killed her – a victim like her – both victims of the occupation.

Do not forget Abir Aramin! Do not forget Smadar Elhanan!

Next Tuesday we have elections!

Vote for those who raise the flag of peace as the highest value! Vote for those who advocate Equality, brotherhood and respect between Jews and Arabs! Vote!

Related:
Vote for Arab-Jewish parties, or don’t vote at all
Meretz’s peace plan: A challenge to liberal timidity
WATCH: Finally, an Israeli politician demanding Arab-Jewish unity

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  • COMMENTS

    1. The Trespasser

      >Vote for those who advocate Equality, brotherhood and respect between Jews and Arabs! Vote!

      And the name of the party is… the name is…
      But there is no even remotely significant Arab group which is for equality with Jews.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Mitchell Cohen

      Trespasser, didn’t you know? Balad are white angels while all parties to the right of Hadash (including Meretz) are “Ziofascists”….

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        What I’m not getting is why Communism is not prohibited.

        Commies killed more people than Nazis and NEVER did anything good to any nation. Even Palestinians were displaced by commies.

        Probably it is the the principle that “everybody is equal” what attracts people who otherwise can’t even dream of being equal to anyone else.

        Reply to Comment
        • George Malent

          “Commies killed more people than Nazis and NEVER did anything good to any nation.” So we fought on the wrong side in World War II? Fewer innocent lives would have been lost if we had helped Hitler defeat Stalin?

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >So we fought on the wrong side in World War II?

            You – Americans?

            1 – USA never declared war on Nazi Germany.

            It was Germany who declared war on USA after USA declared war on Japan after Pearl Harbor. Dec 9th 1941. Until then USA and Nazi Germany were in good relations and traded goods.

            2 – US help – lendlease and such – although surely helped save numerous Russian lives was not necessary for Russia to win. Germans did not have a chance from the very beginning. Even if they’d take Moscow and St. Petersburg there still remained 9.5/10 of the country unoccupied.

            3 – Operation Overlord was commenced after it was absolutely clear that Germany is losing. It’s goal was to not let Stalin “liberate” entire Europe, not to help Russians.

            >Fewer innocent lives would have been lost if we had helped Hitler defeat Stalin?

            Communism is not only about Stalin.

            Google “mass killing under communist regimes”

            By the way, Stalin trained German pilots, armored corps and army officers in mid-late 30′s, etc., etc. – everything which post-Weimar Germany couldn’t do it at the time, accordingly to Versailles agreements – if not for that Germans would not be able to start the war at first place

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            And from the other direction…

            ” “General Motors was far more important to the Nazi war machine than Switzerland,” said Bradford Snell, who has spent two decades researching a history of the world’s largest automaker. “Switzerland was just a repository of looted funds. GM was an integral part of the German war effort. The Nazis could have invaded Poland and Russia without Switzerland. They could not have done so without GM.”

            (…)

            ” When American GIs invaded Europe in June 1944, they did so in jeeps, trucks and tanks manufactured by the Big Three motor companies in one of the largest crash militarization programs ever undertaken. It came as an unpleasant surprise to discover that the enemy was also driving trucks manufactured by Ford and Opel — a 100 percent GM-owned subsidiary — and flying Opel-built warplanes. (Chrysler’s role in the German rearmament effort was much less significant.)

            When the U.S. Army liberated the Ford plants in Cologne and Berlin, they found destitute foreign workers confined behind barbed wire and company documents extolling the “genius of the Fuehrer,” according to reports filed by soldiers at the scene. A U.S. Army report by investigator Henry Schneider dated Sept. 5, 1945, accused the German branch of Ford of serving as “an arsenal of Nazism, at least for military vehicles” with the “consent” of the parent company in Dearborn.

            Ford spokesman Spellich described the Schneider report as “a mischaracterization” of the activities of the American parent company and noted that Dearborn managers had frequently been kept in the dark by their German subordinates over events in Cologne.

            The relationship of Ford and GM to the Nazi regime goes back to the 1920s and 1930s, when the American car companies competed against each other for access to the lucrative German market. Hitler was an admirer of American mass production techniques and an avid reader of the antisemitic tracts penned by Henry Ford. “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration,” Hitler told a Detroit News reporter two years before becoming the German chancellor in 1933, explaining why he kept a life-size portrait of the American automaker next to his desk.”

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/daily/nov98/nazicars30.htm

            Reply to Comment
      • Mitchell, has anyone round here written that? Noam certainly hasn’t, and I don’t see that Rami Elhanan has either. Has Elhanan endorsed a specific political party, even? He seems to be more interested in getting people to base their voting choices (whatever those might be) on empathy and compassion, rather than, say, on XYZ’s unfortunate belief that violence and force are pedagogical tools with which people (like the Aramin family?) can be ‘taught a lesson’.

        I don’t think there is any party that can deliver equality and justice (this is one of many reasons why I grow increasingly interested in what Gyorgy Konrad wrote about antipolitics) but in spite of the extremely severe constraints and weaknesses within the parties, and perhaps because of them, the rationale you put behind your vote does matter still.

        Reply to Comment
        • Elisabeth

          This is about your comments in general Vicky. I really admire you. Always reasonable, always knowledgeable, and always reaching out. If you get angry, it seems noticeable in little things, but you never lash out. What can I say? Amazing.

          Reply to Comment
          • Mitchell Cohen

            Yes, I do give Vicky that. She is one of the more civilized posters here. That being said, I have seen posters here consider all parties to the right of Hadash (including Meretz) to be “Jewish Chavunistic”. I don’t have time now to look for specific posts, but they are there.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Jan

      And please read The General’s Son by Miko Peled, the son of renowned Israeli general Mati Peled and the uncle of Smader.

      Miko’s unswerving dedication to Israel and the Zionist movement was turned around after the death of Smader. He found that Palestinians are not the enemy but racism and separation are.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Aaron Gross

      I hate this schlocky Israeli sentimentalism, where families of victims are given these platforms for their heartfelt, anguished pleas for peace or strength or whatever, as if they’ve had some special wisdom granted to them. It’s been like this for as long as I’ve been in Israel, from the time when you couldn’t turn on the TV or radio without hearing Nachshon Wachsman’s father pontificating on the issue of the day. Chalk it up to another degradation of war, I guess.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Arieh

      “found that Palestinians are not the enemy but racism and separation are.”

      What? There is no racism in Palestinian society?

      You must be right then. We need to unite with them and build a shining new utopia.

      Yea right, and pigs fly.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Racism, Arieh, is not limited to any race. Violence is not monopolized by any race or side; nor is nonviolence, when it appears.

      Peace is a reaching over the Wall, and the other walls, built in minds and social life. There will be no utopia. But I believe the best chance to start something new is on the Bank. Israelis are already there. The State need only take a good look around, recognizing that young girls are just that–young girls.

      Reply to Comment
      • XYZ

        Peace between the Allies and Germany and Japan in World War II was achieved by dealing a devastating defeat to those countries.

        Reply to Comment
        • sh

          So which country do you recommend be defeated to achieve peace with the Palestinians? You should listen to yourself sometimes.

          Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            Greg said that “peace was a reaching over the wall”. I was pointing out that is not how Germany and Japan were turned into peaceful, prosperous countries. They were taught a lesson in World War II that they haven’t forgotten. German and Japanese fascism and agression were not eradicated by “dialogue” and “understanding the other”. For that matter, the fall of the Communist bloc was not achieved that way either….the US and NATO maintained strong forces in Europe and other places around the world that the USSR foolishly attempted to attain strategic advantage over them which ended up bankrupting the country. Now, it is true that the USSR was, fortunately, not defeated in a war, but it was defeated by a “tsummud” (Arabic word for steadfastness) by the non-Communist world who was willing to make major sacrifices to stand up to Soviet armament and agreession in various places around the world. Israel will convince the Arabs to reach a modus-vivendi the same by demonstrating Jewish “tsummud”…that we are not going to capitulate to them. Then we can work out ways of making life better for both Jews and Arabs in the Middle East.

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            “but it was defeated by a “tsummud” (Arabic word for steadfastness)”
            It isn’t, it’s the Hebrew mistransliteration and thus mispronunciation of the Arabic word for steadfastness. So according to you the determination of the non-Communist world to stand against Soviet armament and aggression is summud; Jewish persistence is summud; and Palestinian steadfastness, only thanks to which you ever heard the garbled Israeli version of the word, is *not* summud? XYZ you really should listen to yourself sometimes.

            Reply to Comment
          • XYZ has the pure righteousness of Germany and Japan. It is sad that he sees the Bank residents as identical to these two. After all, there isn’t even a State there.

            I can only assume from XYZ’s position that we are expected to watch the further leveling of these unremitting destroyers. He is aware, is he not, that both of his exemplars were rebuilt partly at the US’s expense? This after deserved Apocalypse.

            Abbas, evil as Arafat, evil as Arafat.

            Reply to Comment
    7. Arieh

      “Racism, Arieh, is not limited to any race. Violence is not monopolized by any race or side; nor is nonviolence, when it appears”

      Agreed. And that’s why one needs to do the practical possible things. Not silly kumbaya solutions that have very little chance of working.

      But who knows? Maybe I am just a cynic.

      Reply to Comment
      • No, I suspect someone who has known hurt, or emoted with it. And so too on the other side of Wall. Yet out there, some seek a different way. I guess you can call me silly kumbaya, pure flame of intelligence, and force “solution” as the price of anger.

        When you see people on the other side as angry as you, their reasons as yours transposed, perhaps hope will come.

        Interesting: why not make fun of the father here who lost his little girl?

        Reply to Comment
        • Arieh

          “When you see people on the other side as angry as you, their reasons as yours transposed, perhaps hope will come.”

          It is more than anger, Greg. It is hatred. It is a hatred that has been festering for nearly 100 years. And humanity has already had the misfortune to see where such hatred can lead in places like Rwanda, the Balkans and in Lebanon. What was common in all those places? The attempt to artificially force people with different religions and/or ethnicities who had historical rivalries, into one state. It led to disaster.

          And the hatred of Arabs towards Jews was preceeded by feelings of supremacy and a sense of entitlement of rule over Jews. Even before the onset of modern Zionism, There have been periodic pogroms against Jewish communities in various Arab countries.

          So no thanks, Greg. We have been there and done that. We want one state to have a majority Jewish population where Jews can exercise self determination in the same way as most other people do. The Palestinians too can have their state as soon as they will accept the reality of the Jewish nation state in the Middle East.

          Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “Even before the onset of modern Zionism, There have been periodic pogroms against Jewish communities in various Arab countries.”

            If you’re going to keep justifying Zionism on that basis, it’s worth mentioning that Shmuel Yavnieli, famous for recruiting Yemeni Jews during the second aliyah period, was not concerned about their status in Yemen; ironically, he had to confront the fact those he encouraged to make aliyah were worse off in Palestine.

            “Yavneli met in Sana’a totally different Yemenites from those he met in Jaffa and Jerusalem, and he was disturbed by ‘the fact that, from many points of view, the condition of the Yemenites in Jaffa and Jerusalem is much lower than their condition here in Sana’a. This is obvious, and I can’t stop thinking about it’

            (…)

            “Yavneli goes into a detailed description of the Jewish community in Sana’a. He is overwhelmed and amazed by their economic and social organization. They live in big, beautiful houses, have meat and full-corn bread to eat, take care of orphans and cripples and are on good terms with the powers that be.” [1]

            Of course, when the Yemenites ended up in Palestine, they became menial laborers or beggars and ended up sleeping in stables away from the moshavim they worked at. And the kibbutzim flatout excluded Mideastern Jews because the halutzim preferred they go to the moshava to displace Palestinian workers.

            “Israel Bloch, a founding member of Degania, the first kibbutz, set up in 1910, viewed the problem of the Yemenite Jewish workers in the context of the new venue opened up by settlement. He said in the Second Congress of the Federation of Agricultural Workers of the Galilee that, ‘no one thinks here anymore about the conquest of labor. The question of the conquest of land is our main object at present. If we conquer the moshavot, but have no new locations, we will have another thousand or two thousand workers. But that is not our national goal. The question of labor in Petach Tikva will be solved by the mizrachim or it will not be solved at all.’

            “Joseph Bussel, the ideologue and leader of Degania, painted this new division of labor between ashkenazi and mizrachi workers in more psychological colors, ‘the ashkenazim cannot compete with the Arabs and work for the farmer under difficult conditions. The ashkenazi worker that comes from abroad will not remain a lifelong worker and will not work forever for the farmer. The reason is that he aspires to be free and refuses to be enslaved. The above mentioned role will devolve on the mizrachi Jews who after a year of learning, will stay in the moshavot and do all the “inferior” tasks. We have to divert our energy from the moshavot and not lose our strength in vain.’”[2]

            It should be clear that to the extent the second aliyah workers were interested in including Jews defined as oriental, it was only in a segregated framework and had nothing to do with how they were treated by the Muslim majority where they came from.

            [1] http://www.tau.ac.il/tarbut/tezot/bloom/EtanBloom-PhD-ArthurRuppin.pdf

            [2] Gershon Shafir, Land, Labor, 113-14

            Reply to Comment
    8. Larry Snider

      I had the privilege of meeting Rami Elhanan and his partner from the Parents Circle Mazen Faraj some years ago in Jerusalem. Calling for sanity and justice and remembering the innocent loss of life of two little girls is a signpost that one hopes will motivate people to vote for a future that includes two states and peace.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Arieh

      Sounds like a good story, Andrew, but read the following link. It details how Jews were treated in Yemen by Arabs.

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemenite_Jews

      “As the only visible “outsiders” (though their presence in Yemen predated the introduction and mass conversion of the population to Islam)[citation needed] the Jews of Yemen were treated as pariahs, second-class citizens who needed to be perennially reminded of their submission or conversion to the ruling Islamic faith. The Zaydi enforced a statute known as the Orphan’s Decree, anchored in their own 18th century legal interpretations and enforced at the end of that century. It obligated the Zaydi state to take under its protection and to educate in Islamic ways any dhimmi (i.e. non-Muslim) child whose parents had died when he or she was a minor. The Orphan’s Decree was ignored during the Ottoman rule (1872–1918), but was renewed during the period of Imam Yahya (1918–1948).[15]

      Under the Zaydi rule, the Jews were considered to be impure, and therefore forbidden to touch a Muslim or a Muslim’s food. They were obligated to humble themselves before a Muslim, to walk to the left side, and greet him first. They could not build houses higher than a Muslim’s or ride a camel or horse, and when riding on a mule or a donkey, they had to sit sideways. Upon entering the Muslim quarter a Jew had to take off his foot-gear and walk barefoot. If attacked with stones or fists by Islamic youth, a Jew was not allowed to defend himself. In such situations he had the option of fleeing or seeking intervention by a merciful Muslim passerby.[16]“

      Reply to Comment
      • Arieh

        And another thing Andrew. Israel was a hard place not just for Yemenite Jews back in the early 20th century, it was hard for all olim (newcomers). Many lived in tents and were menial laborers, even if they had skills.

        To put it bluntly, Israel was a third world country in it’s early days. It was built up by the blood and sweat of all it’s people from scratch. Most Jews did not have it easy whether they were yemenites, Ashkenazis or wherever. No it was not paradise on earth and yes there were ethnic rivalries as one would expect in the melting pot that Israel was for all the Jews who were making Aliyah from different parts of the Galut (Diasporah).

        The bottom line is that those who were willing to work hard, to put up with hardship and make an effort to integrate and who were willing and able to educate themselves and their children, had the opportunity to better themselves.

        The negative ones, the carpers and the disgruntled ones (like many on this site) were left behind. On the whole, the Yemenite Jews were not amongst those and they became useful members of Israeli society.

        Reply to Comment
        • XYZ

          I agree with what you wrote, but just one note–
          You correctly used the word for Jews living outside Israel as “The Galut”, but you incorrectly translated it as “diaspora”. The proper translation is “Exile”, i.e. Jews who are living outside Eretz Israel are in an unnatural state of exile. The Hebrew term for “Diaspora” is “tefutzot”, which is now used eumphemistically to describe the galut-exile, because Jews who are living in exile aren’t comfortable being reminded of that fact.

          Reply to Comment
        • andrew r

          Then there are rough edges that don’t fit in your slick rebuttal, like the reliance of the moshavim on cheaper Arab labor and the fact the Yemenites were brought over for the express purpose of replacing the Arabs (Of course that did not work out). Arabs played their part in building “Israel” even without considering most of Israel is built on dispossessed Palestinian property.

          Reply to Comment
    10. Arieh

      “like the reliance of the moshavim on cheaper Arab labor and the fact the Yemenites were brought over for the express purpose of replacing the Arabs”

      Oh dear Andrew. So you know better than us?

      For your information, as a child, I lived in a Moshav and there were neither Arab workers nor Yemenites doing the hard labor. My parents and other Moshavniks were doing EVERYTHING that had to be done. There were no maids or servants.

      Do you even know that most early Zionists were left wing idealists? Their ideology was that good Zionists (Halutzim – pioneers) had to work and till the land with their own hands. Have you heard of Kibutzim? There are still a few left. But in the early days there were lots more of them. They were the Zionist version of collective farms.

      But you don’t have to believe me. You just go on reading snippets from books written by some self critical Jews (not necessarily a bad thing if written and read in context) as well as Arab propaganda publications (designed to mislead the unwary – like you).

      Reply to Comment
      • andrew r

        I’m talking about the moshava circa late 19th/early 20th century. You are advised to reread my long post above if you’re wondering that I’ve heard of the kibbutzim.

        “Do you even know that most early Zionists were left wing idealists? Their ideology was that good Zionists (Halutzim – pioneers) had to work and till the land with their own hands.”

        That’s in the stuff I’ve been citing. The upshot is they thought no one except them (i.e. Jews) should be working the land of Israel. Which was a bit of a problem for them since ~90% of Palestinians were not Jewish.

        Reply to Comment
    11. Arieh

      “That’s in the stuff I’ve been citing. The upshot is they thought no one except them (i.e. Jews) should be working the land of Israel. Which was a bit of a problem for them since ~90% of Palestinians were not Jewish.”

      Hey dude, I don’t know who you are confusing more, me or yourself? You are a complete moving target.

      First you complain that fat cat moshavniks used cheap labor (Arabs and Yemenite Jews) to build up the Jewish state.

      Then you complain that Jews wanted to do everything themselves and deprived Arabs of work.

      Make up your mind what your real complaint is. Right now it seems as if you are saying:

      “HEADS, Jews lose, TAILS anti Israel propagandists win.

      In the meanwhile, I know what I know. My parents and their fellow Moshavniks worked hard to make a living. They exploited no one and deprived no one of work. There were no Arabs queueing up around the corner begging to be employed.

      But you know what Andrew? You just go on believing what you want to believe including the BS that you are being fed. I don’t really care.

      Reply to Comment
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