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One child's detention in Hebron embodies the sickness of an entire regime

It takes a racist regime to produce images like this. Nothing less.

I urge readers to look closely at the pictures and videos posted today by Mairav Zonszein, which show the detention of a five-year-old in Hebron. As Mairav correctly points out, the whole process is very calm. Very routine.

I’d add one more adjective: very racist.

Look at those smug soldiers, not even flinching once or thinking twice about detaining a five-year-old. As if there’s no other way for the most powerful army in the region to handle a child who threw a stone.

Look at them, surrounding him, four or five soldiers armed to their teeth with shiny black assault weapons, his parents nowhere in sight. (Here’s where the hasbara folks go: “Well what kind of parents let a kid bla bla bla bla?” Go on, do it. Let’s just get it out of the way early.)

One of my kids is the exact same age. I’m trying to think what this kind of event would do to her, and I shudder. (Hasbara: “Ami, it wouldn’t happen because you’re more responsible than typical Palestinian parents.” Shut up, racists – who aren’t under occupation, by the way.)

It takes a racist regime to produce specimens of masculinity such as these – to not care one bit about the huge stress this child is in. One has to be in an extreme state of apathy toward that child in order to treat him like that. And apathy like that can only be the product of racism.

The nerve, to put a child so young in an army jeep.

To handcuff and blindfold his father, right in front of his eyes.

And, to make things worse, it takes a racist lieutenant colonel to reprimand his soldiers for doing that to the father and his son.

But not because of the mental damage to the child! Oh no!

Not because their actions were illegal to begin with (only children 12 and above can be detained in the West Bank according to military law)! God forbid, no!

No, this officer was angry (are you sitting down?) because they were doing “damage to hasbara!” Yup. He was angry they didn’t pay attention that there were cameras documenting the whole detention.

Stones can be dangerous, yes. Even with the amazing velocity a five-year-old’s arm can conjure up. I’m sure it must have been quite a fastball.

But if this event, a daily occurrence all over the West Bank for 46 years now, doesn’t show you how sick this whole thing is, it’s hopeless.

Totally, utterly hopeless.

Correction:
This article’s headline and text has been corrected to reflect that the child was detained and not arrested.

Related:
WATCH: IDF detains 5-year-old Palestinian in Hebron, blindfolds and handcuffs father
Detained: Testimonies from Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel
WATCH: IDF detains Palestinian children and foreign citizen in Hebron
IDF soldiers to West Bank children: ‘We are the army, be careful if we see you’

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Horrifying and sickening ….INHUMANE

      Reply to Comment
    2. Lately I’ve been thinking about all this excuse-making. Over the past two years, there has been a sharp increase in awareness of the military’s treatment of kids – much more information available, many more stories getting into the news. While this is obviously a good thing, it means that you have to put with apologia and excuses for it as well. A couple of weeks ago, I was comparing the kind of reaction I used to get to my job in the UK (work with kids with special needs and/or mental health problems, who had often been abused) with the kind of reaction I get to my job here (work with kids with special needs and/or mental health problems, who have often been abused). “That’s so awful. I don’t know how anybody can treat children like that, I really don’t,” versus, “So what were the kids doing? The army wouldn’t arrest them with no reason.” In the UK the only people who tried to excuse abusive behaviour were the abusers themselves. Not here. There are so many people with a vested interest in trying to make it look normal and acceptable. And once I realised this, I saw that there is no point in trying to reason with them about it. I used to believe that there was something to be gained from talking about the issue, thinking if only we just provided enough info on child trauma and told enough stories then people might change their minds. They won’t. Because it’s not an ‘issue’. Children beaten up in jail and threatened with sexual assault and kept in solitary after a midnight arrest aren’t ‘issues’. They’re not up for debate in the same way that some philosophical concept or theorem might be. A person who grasps this basic thing doesn’t need any convincing that what happens to kids in custody is wrong. A person who doesn’t grasp it will never be convinced. To them the kids only exist in the abstract, and the only matter in the sense that it’s bad for a country’s shiny image when their stories get out.

      So I’ve decided not to waste time arguing with them any more. Between three youth groups, two special needs centres, and a few schools, I can definitely find some more productive things to do. This will hopefully be better for me too, as well as the kids – I will feel less tired and sick when I put my energy where it really matters. The apologists won’t shut up, but we don’t have to talk back to them, just tell it instead to people who will listen.

      Reply to Comment
      • I think that sounds like a much better way to spend your time, Vicky.

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      • “To them the kids only exist in the abstract” : They are seen as part of a corporate body (“Palestinians”) at war with another corporate body (“Israel”), important only as appendages of their corporate body–thus a child of 5 throwing a stone becomes a “terrorist.” This is why the logic of equal protection, human rights, and dignity is derided so: it endagers the conceptual prison of corporate logic. One can see this derision as well in labels such as “traitor” applied to one refuses army service, or, in extreme form “self hating Jew.” No deviation from the corporate battle can be allowed.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Jenny Rees

      I can’t find any video to watch. Is ‘arrest’ the word they use? Are they perhaps taking him into care and finding out who his parents are?

      Reply to Comment
    4. sh

      Reports such as this one must continue to be recorded diligently; they will stand as a testament if and when the people/institutions concerned are prepared to face and thus pay the price. Meanwhile, feeling less tired and sick becomes the goal so that what energy’s left can be funnelled into where it can be of at least some use.

      And as for Wadi’e Maswadeh, sadly already suffering hellish, possibly lifelong internal consequences from an incident that only raised a fuss for an hour or two because it happened in front of cameras, he might have the luck to be added to the list of those who get understanding and help from amazing people like Vicky.

      Reply to Comment
      • Unfortunately the vast majority of traumatised children in Palestine do not receive help. There are too many of them. On the cusp of the Second Intifada, at least 42.3% of kids meet clinical diagnostic criteria for trauma-related mental health problems in Bethlehem region alone – and since that study was conducted the rate of psychological morbidity has shot up to the point where children with these problems now outnumber those without and individual therapy can barely even make a dent. How can it, when there are so many of them? The only way out I can think of would be to embed therapeutic education principles in every single school and thereby ensure that kids are getting at least some support. Oh, and to end the occupation. But this legacy is going to continue for a long while after occupation ends.

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        • JohnW

          “Unfortunately the vast majority of traumatised children in Palestine do not receive help. There are too many of them. On the cusp of the Second Intifada, at least 42.3% of kids meet clinical diagnostic criteria”

          Yes, but I wonder why people like you never mention the other side of the story?

          Nearly half of Sderot middle schoolers surveyed by local researchers showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a study published this month.

          The study, which appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on a questionnaire given to 154 seventh and eighth graders (aged 12-13 ) in a state secular school. The data was collected in 2007-2008, when there had already thousands of rockets launched at the area from Gaza, and 15 people killed or wounded in the city.

          After analyzing their answers, it was found that 43.5 percent of the children were displaying clinical signs of PTSD.

          Reply to Comment
          • I have never denied or doubted the existence of trauma-related mental health problems among Israeli kids (or, for that matter, in adults). But this does not change the fact that under military law it is possible to arrest children, and that 90% of these will experience psychological problems post-arrest. I don’t believe that mental health problems in one population cancel out the problems faced in another, or somehow make them deserved, and I am not prepared to pit one group of children against the other in the way that you are doing here. It’s a very unfair way to behave towards kids in distress.

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          • JohnW

            “I have never denied or doubted the existence of trauma-related mental health problems among Israeli kids (or, for that matter, in adults).”

            Denial by omission is denial too!

            All you talk about here is the suffering of Palestinians. You never mention what Israelis have been subjected to by Palestinians over the last 100 years. At least until somene like me comes along and reminds you.

            Now how about stopping this endless one sided tirade and trying to look for solutions instead? Solutions in which both sides will have to compromise, not just the Israelis.

            Reply to Comment
          • I refuse to go along with the idea that this is some sort of war between two equal sides with both sides being at fault, because it isn’t. But a refusal to draw false equivalency is not a denial of anybody’s suffering. You don’t know me.

            If you really wanted, I could also relate a few anecdotes from supporting traumatised Israelis – ex-soldiers, specifically, whose service in the OPT left them in a bad way – but I suspect that’s not the depiction of Israeli suffering that you want.

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          • JohnW

            “I refuse to go along with the idea that this is some sort of war between two equal sides with both sides being at fault, because it isn’t.”

            Of course you refuse because you whitewash one side and blame everything on the other side. You live in a cartoon world of goodies and baddies.

            “but I suspect that’s not the depiction of Israeli suffering that you want”

            You suspect right. I expect you to be un-biased and truthful. Otherwise you are just part of the anti Israel propaganda machinery which is not all that different from the propaganda machinery that operates in every war by one side or the other which only wants to spread it’s own “truth”.

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            She isn’t, she was talking about her line of work in the area in which she lives. I’m sure you can find someone doing the same work in the Sderot area. And if you do and you ask about trauma in children, do share if what you hear is substantially different from what Vicky has told you.

            Reply to Comment
          • “You suspect right. I expect you to be un-biased and truthful.”

            Except I have done some work with ex-soldiers who began to suffer psychological problems during their service. You have decided at the outset that this isn’t ‘truthful’ and that talking about it would be ‘biased’. You are cherry-picking the stories of suffering that you want to hear and discounting the ones that you don’t. If I lived in a cartoon world of goodies and baddies, I wouldn’t have considered working with ex-perpetrators even for one second – but he occupation isn’t maintained by monsters, just by people (many of them fresh out of high school) with their own uncertainties and weaknesses and worries, and that’s enough to make it awful. No baddies required. But recognising this doesn’t mean that occupier and occupied suddenly share equal responsibility for anything.

            As for working to find a solution, I don’t think that posting stuff you want to hear and using all the right buzzwords (‘compromise’, ‘both sides’, etc.) in the comments section of a blog is really going to solve anything. My contribution to solving stuff is as I wrote in my first comment above – spend more time on kids who need support and less time on arguing with people who make excuses for what was done to them.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            You want buzzwords? Here is one,

            “OCCUPATION”

            Now here is a reality check. It came about because Israel was attacked by Jordan in 1967. And it would have ended long ago had the Palestinians would have been willing to make a peace deal giving up their long cherished aim of trying to dismantle the only Jewish nation state in the world.

            As for your bias? It is self evident because the only suffering that you want to talk about is Palestinian suffering. Or when pressed, “the suffering of a minute number of ex Israeli soldiers who have guilt feelings for contributiong to Palestinian suffering”. It always leads down the same road for you. Occupation and Palestinian suffering. Never down the road of what the Palestinians need to contribute to a solution that would end the suffering of BOTH Palestinians and Israelis. You know what that is? It is known as PROPAGANDA.

            Reply to Comment
          • I didn’t say the ex-soldiers felt guilty. You just assumed that. I said that they had mental health problems. They are two different things. You can have a bad conscience without being psychologically unwell (and in fact some of the ex-soldiers whom I have worked with held views that I personally found very difficult – one of the most severely affected people I’ve ever dealt with is also one of the most right-wing). The prevalence of mental distress in the military is quite a lot higher than in the general population, irrespective of the politics of individual soldiers. We should ask why. It’s nothing to do with propaganda, it’s a basic concern for other people. When I was first asked by an acquaintance if I would consider helping the son of a friend of hers who had ended his service in Hebron with a certain set of problems, it would have been a lot easier and more comfortable for me to say no. I work with kids who have been abused, and for all I knew I could have ended up sitting face to face with one of their abusers. I was wary and a little hostile, but faced with the information that his previous attempts at seeking treatment had gone badly and that his difficulties fell within my specialist area, I had to give myself a mental shake and tell myself to get a grip – it doesn’t matter what he did, it doesn’t matter what he thinks, I can’t do anything about either of those things but I can maybe do something about the fact that he’s hurting. And this is exactly what I tend to talk about: those topics in which I have personal experience and expertise, as SH pointed out. I fail to see how paying lip service to SOLUTIONS and COMPROMISE in CAPITALS in the comments section of a blog achieves anything more substantial, and on that note, I’d like to ask you what solution-focused things you have been doing to help anyone here.

            I’m also well-read on the occupation’s history and the wider political context, given that I’m completing a doctorate in the field, but again, I don’t see anything practical to be gained in discussing these issues with you – it’s just a deflection from the central matter at hand, which is a regime that allows and fosters the detention, arrest, and abuse of minors under martial law. You might not want to focus on that, but thank God other people are beginning to, and in much larger numbers than before.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “it’s just a deflection from the central matter at hand, which is a regime that allows”

            Regime? So a democratically elected government is a regime for you?

            It would be better if you would be honest. Don’t blame a regime. If you want to blame, then be honest. Blame the majority of Israelis. Hey, we can take your hatred, we have been hated by much better haters than yourself. You are just an amateur.

            Reply to Comment
    5. jjj

      Laughable article and responses.
      Indeed, not a good thing, to say the least, to “arrest” a 5 year old boy. It is ludicrous and pathetic – sorry soldiers.
      But the story is blown wat out of proportion, as nobody was harmed, even slightly.
      The story of the 352 Gazan kids killed during Cast Lead indeed shows the brutality of the Hamas “warriors” firing rockets near schools, homes, etc.
      Indeed, had there been 352 Israeli kids killed, Hamas couldn’t have been overjoyed.

      Reply to Comment
    6. JohnW

      Yes, Israelis are racists as the following story suggests:

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/3-year-old-israelis-kidney-saves-palestinian-boy/

      “When three-year-old Noam Naor fell out the window and was pronounced clinically dead 10 days ago, his parents decided to donate his organs. One kidney was given to another Israeli child. The other saved the life of a 10-year-old Palestinian.

      The operation, carried out Sunday at the Schneider children’s ward at Petah Tikva’s Beilinson Hospital, was deemed successful.”"

      Maybe one day we will read stories like these TOO in + 972 Magazine?

      Reply to Comment
      • The issue in this post involves State/insitutional policy, not a claim covering all Israelis but a claim covering State policy as applied. To infer from State policy that “all Israelis are racist” is wrong, but the donation case you site has no impact on State policy. To say that the aggregate Israeli polity shows no sign of altering occupation policy is, as far as I can tell, factual. So, to say “all Israelis are racist” is like saying “all Palestinian children throwing stones are terrorists.” The generalization in both cases is illegitimate.

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        • JohnW

          The Peration to save the life of the Pallestinian child was carried out at the Schneider children’s ward at Petah Tikva’s Beilinson Hospital, in a state hospital by state employed Israeli doctors. Does that imply state sponsored racism?

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          • Good Lord, JohnW, one State policy does not remove the wrong of another State policy. The issue of this post is the treatment of the five year old and his father–who obeyed the summons to find himself handcuffed and blindfolded, in front of his child, for no cause, reflecting general IDF operating procedures. The State can subsidize transplants all it wants, but it will not alter the action presented here. Nor is is pay for turning one’s head away. As to the use of the term “racism” in this context, when settlers and Palestinians are subject to the same consequences for violence you may assert equal protection is invariant to race; until then, not.

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          • JohnW

            Yes, right. It is usual for racist governments to have one government instrumentality to behave in non racist humanitarian ways, while other instrumentalities behave like racists.

            Now here is a bit of reality check:

            All countries have racists who sometimes behave like racists. So acts of racism by such individuals don’t reflect government policy.

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          • Scootalol

            Yup, there’s nothing strange about that. Just look at how the United States government approaches blacks and hispanics; aid programs in one hand, police batons in the other. The existence of affirmative action and similar institutional notions DOES NOT overcome the wrongs of police abuses, WAS_centric policy, and emphasis on the needs of a very tiny (and very white) elite in regards to the economy. In the US, blacks and hispanics are served turd sandwiches, and are told “but look, the bread is fresh-baked!”

            So too with Israeli treatment of Palestinians. A few gestures here and there do not erase the foundational ethnic cleansing, nor the continued abuses and opression. They just provide meaningless soundbites for volunteer propagandists to leap from.

            Reply to Comment
    7. Shira

      Just kids being kids. Merely throwing rocks at the Jewish monkeys and pigs, as they’re encouraged to do by those using and abusing them .

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyRLyXCj3Lg

      Reply to Comment
    8. Keith Reitman

      Proverbial Question: What is a Zionist???

      Answer: A 972 Magazine reading liberal Jew (or Israeli Jew perhaps) who gets hit in the head by a rock that was thrown by a 5 year old Pal.

      Reply to Comment
    9. ohyeah

      Nobody cares. I would prefer leftists taking money from foreign governments be put in to jail. That would be beneficial.

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    10. Eliza

      It takes not only a very racist lieutentant colonel to blow his top at the IDF soldiers for detaining the child while being filmed, but also a very stupid one. The camera was still rolling and he didn’t have the presence of mind to couch his own language in more acceptable terms for hasbara purposes.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Laurent Szyster

      Congratulation, the story made it to the top three of the BBC’s news in the Middle East yesterday.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23281567

      Under the headline “Israel ‘illegally detained’ five-year-old Palestinian”, the World knows that a small kid who threw stones at people was brought back to their parents by shockingly quite soldiers.

      Who gives a flying fuck ? What the fuck makes it so fucking important ?

      Ah but, Monsieur, “One child’s detention in Hebron embodies the sickness of an entire regime” !

      You see, to focus on stuff that matters you don’t need a hundred thousand death, four millions of refugee and people eating their enemy’s heart …

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        The stuff you can do something about is the wrongs you are committing. So why not focus on that instead of pointing the finger at what you can’t remedy and imagining that that’ll get you off the hook?

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        • Laurent Szyster

          For the people suffering of impaired judgement I have to repeat the facts: kid throws stones, soldiers quietly bring back the kid to his parents, parents are fined, end of story.

          A a menial “fait divers”, an non-story, unworthy of report … but for the fetid prejudice it arouses.

          No good will come from banging that old disgusting pot. It will just serve further incitement (as if more was needed) and convince more Jews everywhere that whatever they do they will stand accused for all the ills that other peoples get away with.

          Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        “Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said the child should not have been detained because the age of criminal responsibility in Israel was 12.”

        That’s a nice, fat, leftist lie.

        Children below the age of responsibility can not stand trial, but certainly can be detained.

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        • Dave

          In the states, children are detained in the manner this child was only in the event of a capitol crime, ie-murder, rape, etc. And certainly the parents of the child would not be tied up and blindfolded, even in the event of such a crime. As for a stone throwing incident or a comparable misdemeanor in the states, a stern talking to and a call to the parents for further punishment is usually all that is deemed necessary to rectify the situation.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ilonj

            Atta go David, that’s comparing apples with apples. The states and Israel.

            I guess the states has been at war with their neighbours for 100 years right? But unlike the Palestinians, those neighbours in the states accept a stern talking to and they comply. Must be either because:

            1. The neighbours in the state are more compliant.

            2. Or authorities in the state have a way of convincing transgressors just by speaking in a certain way.

            3. Or the situation in the states is nothing like the situation that Israel faces.

            I think it is 3. What do you think David?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >In the states….

            But we are not in States, neither nowhere on the West. It is Middle East here, where cutting tongs, beheading, hanging and cannibalism are but a daily norm.

            >children are detained in the manner this child was only in the event of a capitol crime, ie-murder, rape, etc.
            And certainly the parents of the child would not be tied up and blindfolded, even in the event of such a crime.

            Western standards are not always applicable on the East.
            By the way, why do you have so many school shootings? Isn’t something wrong?

            >As for a stone throwing incident or a comparable misdemeanor in the states, a stern talking to and a call to the parents for further punishment is usually all that is deemed necessary to rectify the situation.

            Yes. In state. The situation here is rather different, however. You see, Palestinian Arab parents are not capable (if you ask them) or unwilling (if you ask me) to prevent stone-throwing.

            In either case, there is no support from that side, so IDF is forced to deal with it on its own.

            Reply to Comment
    12. Dave

      @ilonj

      What do I think? I think the mifaked plugah had every justification for reprimanding his troops after this arrest. The habara was disasterous. It took a squad of heavily armed men to complete a task (even if had been necessary) that an LAUSD elementary school teacher could have accomplished by herself. Pathetic. Furthermore, now because of this ridiculous nonsense we will have to endure the inevitable comparisons between a black and white photo of a nazi with a mauser herding a Jewish child with his hands up in the ghetto and this lovely image. No you’re absolutely right. Kudos. Good job.

      @tresspasser
      I was a soldier in Zahal from January 85-January 88. I actually was in Hebron for the very beginning of the first Intifada. In the casbah. Anyway some kid picked up a piece of cinderblock and chucked at us. It hit my friend standing next to me. Not hard, and he was not hurt but he was pissed. We chased the kid and caught him. He looked to be about 8 or so. We gave him a good shake and then asked him where he lived, both in Hebrew and English. Wasn’t understanding so we grabbed someone standing around to translate. Long story short, we found out where he lived, brought his ass home and knocked on the door. The mother answered. When she saw that we were holding on to her kid, she freaked out. Not at us. At him. Let me tell you something. She smacked him so hard, I felt it. So much for the supposition that they’re not parents like us.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ilonj

        @Dave

        And yet, in spite of your and hour friend’s good work and positive experience with one Palestinian parent, Palestinian children keep on coming out and throwing stones at Israelis. And sometimes this is the outcome:

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4356683,00.html

        “Vehicle carrying woman, her three daughters, crashes into truck that veered off course due to stones hurled by Palestinians in West Bank road; 3-year-old critically injured; three others moderately wounded”

        If this would have been YOUR three year old, or the 3 year old of someone that you know, would you just be pissed off and speak sternly to the parents of the perpetrators?

        More importantly: Is your example of what happens in America pertinent? Do the kids neighbours of Americans keep on throwing stones at Americans because they feel they have to prove something in their 100 year war against America? Of course not!

        Reply to Comment
        • Dave

          I can assure you sir, that whatever the provocation, my response or that of anyone in my circle, would not be directed at a 5 year old child, but rather at the state of affairs and the institutions that brought us all to this unhappy moment. As to your comments re. the pertinence of my comparison, let me just say that in America if a child is caught throwing rocks at cars or people, the authorities, rather than primarily viewing him as a “threat to the regime” (who knows? he might be?), they’d rather treat it like any other juvi crime, and concentrate on his pathologies, his home situation, his safety, and that of the general public. Call us crazy, but that’s how we like to do things. This boy was just some 5 year old kid getting into trouble. You turned him into a political symbol. He’s a 5 year old who didn’t know any better and that’s the way he should’ve been treated.

          Reply to Comment
    13. Ilonj

      Thanks for your assurance Dave. You are an exceptional human being if you would let your own 3 year old (or a friend’s) be critically injured and do nothing about it to the perpetrator/s.

      Even so, your American analogy does not stand. As I said, America’s neighbours do not conduct 100 years of war against Americans and their children do not regularly go out to the streets and throw stones randomly at all the Americans whom they encounter. Palestinian children however regularly do it to Israelis and as a consequence, sometimes, Israeli children suffer critical injuries.

      Like I said, you compared apples to oranges.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Dave

      Under the circumstances and conditions that exist in the occupied territories, the definition of “perpetrator” as it pertains to an act of violence on the part of the principles involved, becomes debatable within the context of an atmosphere where the rule of law is arbitrary and legitimate grievances on the part of the Palestinians go un redressed. While the death of a three year old is horrifying and justice should be served, it did not happen in a vacuum and inasmuch as you would like it be, it will not be viewed out of context. So at the risk of repeating myself, my response to such a tragedy had it befallen my family, would be directed at those institutions and individuals, who by dint of their positions, ideologies, arrogance, and greed are responsible for this horrible mess. That you would choose to direct your anger at a bunch of hooligans rather than at a set of circumstances that have made occurrences like this possible smacks of impotence rather than a quest for justice. As far as my analogy is concerned, of course it’s correct (arresting kids that are barely out of toddler togs never looks good anywhere it happens. Just ask the mem peh, lol). Hence your need to declare a victory where you have none ;-D

      Reply to Comment
    15. Ilonj

      No matter which way you spin it, you cannot equate a country at war with a country at peace. If you really want to compare, then maybe you should compare to how the US treated US citizens who originated from enemy countries during WWII. But someone like you probably is not even aware of that bit of US history. So let us just agree to disagree regarding your analogy of Israel with the US.

      As for the conditions that exist, you blame Israel for it. I blame the Palestinians for it. Had they accepted two peace offers just in the last decade, let alone before, they would now live side by side with Israel in their own state. But since they insist on the ROR which would result in the elimination of the Jewish state, and since they still employ violence, to try and force their will on Israel, they contribute to the prevailing conditions.

      I am not whitewashing everything that Israel does But unlike you I am putting perspective on it. The Palestinians are not just innocent victims. It is not a case of them just having rights. They have responsibilities as well. And Israelis are not always the victimisers. Israelis too are victims and Israelis too have human rights. And no, we can’t blame Israeli politicians for stones that Palestinians throw. Nor can we blame Israeli politicians for the unwillingness of Palestinians to make a peace which would leave in-tact the Jewish state.

      Reply to Comment
      • The US Congress apologized for the internment of Japanese American citizens some time ago. If you go to Topaz, the internment camp site in Utah, you will find a very high flying American flag with a large plack on the ground, detailing what happened. Topaz is in the middle of nowhere in the high Utah desert; all of the prefabricated buildings are gone, only narrow dirt roads remain–along with small Boy Scount signs noting what used to be where (“living block 44, hospital, guard house…”). You may also be interesed to know that the Justice Department was opposed to the internments, but FDR allowed them to prevent friction with the military. Even there, while Pacific Home Command wanted the camps, other generals testified before Congress that they were completely unnecessary, as the Japanese had no capacity to launch a homeland attack. There you go–history.

        Reply to Comment
    16. Dave

      I wouldn’t make any assumptions about the breadth of my knowledge of American History. I’m well aware of the internment camps and I actually know one or two former residents of Manzanar. Country at war? Please. You’re a country at war when Hezbollah is shooting rockets at you from Sidon. You’re a country at war when Hamas fires rockets and you fire back. By the way, during such times I don’t remember Beersheva, Ashdod, Sderot, etc being placed under martial law, you know, since you’re a country at war. You know when you’re not a country at war? When your army is used to subjugate populations (in lieu of actual security operations because since when is a 5 year old judged to be a security threat by any one other than a thief who fears apprehension and censure) for the purposes of an illegal land grab. See the difference? On one hand the military is being used to defend the borders during an actual exchange of fire. On the other, the army is being used as cover for and to facilitate robbery. Some guy in Tel Aviv is not actually threatened by some kid in hebron with a stone, but not surprisingly some guy living in an illegal settlement is. And since the number of casualties suffered by settlers at the hands of the indigenous population is relatively low, an entire army is being used so Noa and Dan in Efrat, Rivka and Yankel in Hebron don’t have to feel deligitimized. Right. So not a war, but an exercise in public relations.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Ilonj

      “The US Congress apologized for the internment of Japanese American citizens some time ago”

      I don’t know why, Mr Pollock, but I have a gut feeling that 60 years after the war will end with the Palestinians, Israel too will feel safe to apologise for some of the things that it did wrong.

      @Dave

      You might want to pretend that the definition of war is only when there is a non stop shooting war. But real life is not like that. So long as the other side does not give up on it’s objective to destroy your rights as a people and backs it up with sporadic violence, yes even by primitive weapons such as stones and often much worse, the war goes on.

      Also, Dave, Israel has a responsibility to protect all it’s citizens, not just it’s elites in Tel Aviv. And that is true even if they live in the Jewish quarter of East Jerusalem or Gush Etzion, places from which Jews were ethnically cleansed by Arabs in 1948.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Dave

      So what are you? One of these clowns living on some hill top somewhere with an interest free mortgage and subsidized utilities? What is it you think you know about “real life”, dipstick? So what’s “real life”? Sending your kids to arrest someone elses 5 year old kids? And don’t kid yourselves, you may see yourselves as Israelis deservant of all the protections afforded to those who are not living in settlements, but there are many Israelis fairly or unfairly who do not. Moreover they are increasingly unwilling to risk their children’s lives and substance in some quixotic attempt to stave off the inevitable, not to mention unwilling to inflict the irreparable damage done to the mental state of their children after having been involved in operations such as the one described above. Christ, who wouldn’t be effed up after that?

      Reply to Comment
    19. Ilonj

      “So what are you?”

      It does not matter what I am, friend. Nor does it matter who you are, friend. What matters is that we had a discussion and a difference of opinion. And now you start with inisinuations, accusations and personal abuse.

      So this discussion ends for now, till the next time after you calm down.

      Reply to Comment
      • Dave

        I’m very calm but clearly you’re upset. Stop whining. You want to make passive aggressive comments and cast subtle little aspersions as to my life experiences or erudition or lack thereof? Here’s another little lesson in “real life”. You messed with a bull and you got gored by the horns. You should be more careful how you talk to strangers. That way your feelings won’t get hurt.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ilonj

          “You messed with a bull and you got gored by the horns. You should be more careful how you talk to strangers. That way your feelings won’t get hurt.”

          LOL

          Reply to Comment
          • Dave

            Hey Ilon,
            I’m not the one who’s pissing and moaning about personal abuse. I’m more than willing to tolerate your little barbs provided you don’t cry like a b*itch when I have to kick you in the ass for being a pain. Figuratively speaking, of course. ;-)

            Reply to Comment
          • Ilonj

            “I have to kick you in the ass for being a pain.”

            Hey Dave

            You are a legend in your own mind.

            Reply to Comment
          • Dave

            Yeah, sure, ok. Whatever floats your boat kiddo.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ilonj

            @Bull … er ah … Sorry @Dave

            I am glad we are in agreement at long last.

            Till next time then. And then you will also be able to tell Daddy which of my barbs hurt you so much so I can make it all better for you.

            Reply to Comment
          • Dave

            All this drama just because I called you a dipstick? I’m just glad to see you can roll with the punches. I shudder to think what would happen if you couldn’t. :-D

            Reply to Comment
          • Ilonj

            Drama? What Drama? I just suggested that we should pick up the conversation when you calm yourself down. Then you started complaining about passive agression, kicking ass and tried to prove what a great alpha male you are. In other words, you came out with a lot of bull.

            All I then did was laugh at you. No drama for me, LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Dave

            That’s not what happened. You decided you wanted to be a wise-ass and I decided to bitch slap you. When you cried about; “personal abuse” and so on, I felt that I had a responsibility to explain to you, as I would to any child, why you were being punished. Look your snark by itself is meaningless but I’m not too fond of the delivery system. By the way, in your comment before last, you signed off with; “till the next time”. So is this “the next time” or are we still on “the first time”? I’m a little unclear on this whole “first time – next time” thing. lol

            Reply to Comment
    20. Joel

      “One of my kids is the exact same age.”

      Mine too, and my five year old doesn’t walk the streets unsupervised.

      Reply to Comment
    21. JohnW

      Not true Dave. I looked through the posts and it happened exactly as Ilonj said. He acted as an adult and you made a fool of yourself.

      Reply to Comment
      • Dave

        Well then John, either reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit or your eyes are lying too you. I’d have that checked.

        Reply to Comment
    22. Ilonj

      “…. lying too you….”

      No son. You gotta speak proper English.

      “…. lying to you….”

      LOL

      Reply to Comment
      • Dave

        Nothing shows impotence and a lack of imagination more than pointing out typos and grammatical errors. This just stopped being interesting. Meeting adjourned.

        Reply to Comment
    23. Ilonj

      For me, it stopped being interesting quite a few posts ago. At least we now agree on this.

      Reply to Comment
    24. charles-jerusalem

      Ami,
      Why don’t you emigrate to Europe. You will experience the sickness of other regimes.
      Until further notice, Israel is not a regime. The parlement is elected and so is the prime minister.
      You as a journalist can say whatever you want, any journalist can do so.
      If I go to the hospital, there is no segregation between minorities and the jewish majority.
      You want to speak about refugees? after everything that we do to them, they are better treated in Israel than in Europe where it is punished by law just to be human with them.
      Ok, we are bad to our ennemy but we are not that bad. Look what’s going on around us.

      Reply to Comment
    25. geez

      Hmm. Om the one hand, there’s a radical leftwing journalist howling in anguish about how he wants me to focus on just one picture that embodies everything. On the other hand, there are all the comolexities of the Middle East, in which Arab regimes and militiamen and women use children, women and even livestock as pawns in a game whose end goal is to kill as many Jews (or any other denomination they want to see annihilated for that matter). Tough one.

      Reply to Comment
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