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More "price tag" attacks against Peace Now

UPDATE: Just one day after a bomb threat targeted Peace Now offices in Jerusalem, the building of Hagit Ofran, the organization’s “Settlement Watch” director, was vandalized in another “Price Tag” attack. Perpetrators late Monday night spray-painted her stairwell with the words “Hagit Ofran, ZL” (an acronym used for the deceased, literally translating to “of blessed memory”); “Rabin is waiting for you,” referring to slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, whose assassination at the hands of a settler was commemorated this week; and references to illegal settler outposts slated for demolition. A car parked outside the building but not belonging to Ofran was also tagged, with the words “Price Tag” and “Death to traitors” – presumably because it bore a peace sticker.

Graffiti in Hagit Ofran's building: "Ofran, Rabin is waiting for you" (photo: Yariv Oppenheimer)

The Jerusalem offices of Peace Now were threatened Sunday evening by an anonymous person claiming to be from the “Price Tag” movement, which attacks Palestinian and leftist targets in retaliation for what it perceives as acts against the settler movement. Yariv Oppenheimer, the director of Peace Now, speaking by phone, related that around 8 P.M., a neighbor from an apartment on the floor above Peace Now’s offices was contacted through the intercom (the person contacted was not Hagit Ofran, as  Haaretz reported (Hebrew), head of the settlement construction monitoring committee). A male voice threatened that the building would be blown up in five minutes. The police were alerted, and the shocked residents were told to evacuate the building. When they left, the residents found the hallmark graffiti “Price Tag,” sprayed on the wall.

Oppenheimer relates that some of the residents saw from afar the person they suspected of making the call leaving the area. They described him as a young religious man.

The incident followed a related one from Friday, when a Star of David was sprayed in black on the wall of the building.  Following the two incidents, Oppenheimer told Haaretz:

We are worried that in the next phase, the residents of the building living near our apartment could be harmed. We filed a complaint with the police on Friday following the graffiti, which was not addressed. I hope the police see the writing on the wall…We alerted [authorities], including the Chief of Police, that Peace Now is under threat.

Ofran’s personal residence was also vandalized, about two months ago. Among the slogans was one reading “death to traitors.”

Oppenheimer placed blame directly with political figures, telling Haaretz:  “‘the behavior of the political echelons lends support to these kinds of actions. Even if they condemn it to the outside, in fact the thuggish behavior of the right has the backing of the Knesset.’” By phone, he elaborated:

I think they feel that no one can stop them, they have political backing and personal impunity, so it’s turning into a trend, unfortunately, among the right. The more active they become, the more the government is afraid to do anything and so the [Price Tag activists] are able to achieve their goal. The settler right has political power that can harm the coalition, so the political figures are worried, and it’s much easier for them just to brush over it.

The group has in the past conducted a campaign of vandalizing, arson and general destruction of property, usually on Palestinian targets in the territories as revenge for dismantling of settlements or illegal outposts. Over the last few months, the attacks have become more aggressive – including a mosque that was torched in Tuba Zanghariyya. Of late two new precedents have been set: the group has attacked IDF property in the West Bank, and then on Yom Kippur, graves in an Arab cemetery in Jaffa were desecrated. Just last week, a restaurant in Jaffa was torched with the same markings of the violent group sprayed on the walls.

Oppenheimer posted about the incident on his Facebook site, writing: “They will not deter us.”

Noa Yachot contributed to this report

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Delphine Goldberg

      It’s a scary time when the usage of the Star of David resembles the usage of the Nazi symbol.

      Off topic but did the police find anybody guilty in the settler attack in the Anatot (?) settlement Dahlia?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Henry Weinstein

      ‘Price Tag’ meant racist terrorism against ‘Arabs’
      ‘Price Tag’ means nowadays hatred terrorism against its own people
      .
      What to conclude?
      .
      ‘Price Tag’ = Fascism
      Since the beginning

      Reply to Comment
    3. sh

      @HW – “What to conclude?”
      That the Dietrich Bonhoeffer principle never fails.

      Reply to Comment
    4. @SH, I’ve always admired Bonhoeffer. Which principle are you referring to?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Ben Israel

      This certainly must be unpleasant for the Peace Now people. Usually they are the ones threatening violence and disposession of other people, (Jews in Judea/Samaria)…now they are the receiving end. I hope they learn the lesson and everyone stops this terrible behavior.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Peace Now calls settlers and tells them they will blow up their houses in 10 minutes if they don’t leave? And then sprays their homes?
      .
      It certainly must be unpleasant for you, Ben Israel, to take your ever-so-tiring-dichotomy tactic to such lows. I’ve seen it before (in every post basically. The “don’t blame us, they do it too” – so childish), but this has to be one of the worst – and sad.

      Reply to Comment
    7. AYLA

      BI–wow. that’s insanely warped. I can imagine how someone with your extreme ideology could feel that Peace Now was a threat to (your vision of) Israel, but objectively they are not violent, do not threaten violence, and while I certainly won’t go here with you: they fight to uphold palestinian’s private, legal housing deeds on palestinian land, often on property that is still/currently owned/inhabited by Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Mikesailor

      The one thing that is almost guaranteed is that the police and vaunted Israeli ‘security services’ will do nothing. Noting real, that is. They may arrest someone but that ‘alleged defendant’ will soon see either no indictment and will be released because of ‘insufficient evidence’. This is the same old song and dance. Bomb threats against ‘leftists’ are approved by those like BI above. So is mosque burning, burning property etc., as long as the acts are committed by ‘his side’ against the ‘other’, whether the ‘other’ be ‘leftists’, Palestinians, or any other challengers to his views.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Henry Weinstein

      To Ben Israel
      I noticed some of your recent comments looked like Price Tag-comments written with anger on 972′s walls, but here you cross the red line.
      Because when you write “I hope they learn the lesson”, and you are speaking of Peace Now, you endorse explicitely Price Tag’s fascist methods to intimidate and shut-up political opponents.
      Is it legitimate for you to encourage hooligan behaviour, Ben Israel?
      Do you endorse fascist violence to shut-up political opposition?

      Reply to Comment
    10. RichardNYC

      Any leads?

      Reply to Comment
    11. Henry Weinstein

      Any explicit answers, Ben Israel?

      Reply to Comment
    12. Henry Weinstein

      Do I have to conclude your comment was really a Price Tag, Ben Israel?

      Reply to Comment
    13. aristeides

      Does anyone know where Ben Israel was on Sunday night?

      Reply to Comment
    14. Henry Weinstein

      Whatever one can think about them, Ben Israel, Israeli activists don’t hide in the dark or under pen names, unlike those who harass and attack them… Price Taggers & Bill Taggers.
      I’m so ashamed by your silence.
      Whatever one can think of Peace Now, they are not cowards, unlike those who are afraid of their own shadow, afraid of their own people, Price Taggers & Bill Taggers.
      Are you one of them, Ben Israel?
      Where were you last Sunday night?
      .
      Does anyone know where Ben Israel was on Sunday night?

      Reply to Comment
    15. Ben Israel

      I wrote explicitly that I oppose what these “price tag” people are doing and they should be caught and locked up. I also want Peace Now to review their tactics and stop threatening so many Jews in Judea/Samaria with expulsion and the accompanying police violence. Peace Now is attempting to destroy the settlement movement with “death by a thousand cuts”. It won’t work any more than the Sheikh Jarrah demonstrations won’t drive the Jews out of there.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Nice try, Ben. Don’t think you’ll manage to weasel your way out of this one.
      .
      I still fail to grasp your bizarre comparison between an NGO to people who make bomb threats. I wouldn’t compare Im Tirzu (and I loath them as much as you loath Peach Now) to these violent extremists. It’s apples and oranges.

      Reply to Comment
    17. RichardNYC

      @AMI
      I fully condemn this incident and others like it. But I am not sure whether it would be worse to be the victim of a fake bomb threat or to be in a settlement when a crowd tries to block the road and access to the outside. Seems like the latter is the only situation that presents real danger, as opposed to fear. Thoughts?

      Reply to Comment
    18. @nyc – as i said to israel, i can’t grasp this comparison. sorry. it’s beyond me.

      Reply to Comment
    19. RichardNYC

      @AMI
      Except that I made a different comparison. Presumably what Ben Israel is talking about (an IDF-organized eviction) isn’t the same as a protest march that cuts off a settlement filled with families from security services. When the IDF razes settlements, there is no mortal danger to willing evacuees. This might not be the case for the odd family that is besieged in a small West Bank settlement by protesters. See the difference? I think you are capable of grasping the comparison. Seems more likely you’re shocked by how reasonable it is.

      Reply to Comment
    20. you think i’m capable of grasping the difference? so, now you’re my shrink?
      .
      i don’t see the comparison. it’s warped.
      .
      i presume you’re speaking of anatot, where settlers and policemen attacked demonstrators. see why i don’t grasp comparing that to bomb threats and graffitti?

      Reply to Comment
    21. Ben Israel

      I am not trying to weasel out of anything. I despise both the “price tag” people AND the tactics of “Peace Now”. Does “Peace Now” expect the people who they are threatening all the time to like them? I have no problem with them advocating the policies they want, which includes supporting the expulsion of the Jews from Judea/Samaria. I DO oppose their attempts to throw Jews out of places that were built LEGALLY, WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT, by use of ‘lawfare’…legal harrassment. Also, as RichardNYC says, encouraging Arabs to make provocative demonstrations at the gates and boundary marks of the settlements is very dangerous. It is this type of activity that sets off the extremists in the other camp.

      Reply to Comment
    22. sh

      BI – “It is this type of activity that sets off the extremists in the other camp.”
      .
      Well, it’s chicken or egg isn’t it. Just to cite two out of a plethora of our own provocations of the Palestinians, it could just as well be settler activity damaging what little the Palestinians still have left to them – entirely without police or army intervention – not to mention the routing of our state’s Great Wall of Security (for whom?) that provokes extremism in their camp.
      .
      But let’s look at your other complaint: “I also want Peace Now to review their tactics and stop threatening so many Jews in Judea/Samaria with expulsion and the accompanying police violence”.
      .
      Since when is Peace Now responsible for police violence? PN and the protesters in Sheikh Jarrah that you mention are much more frequently on the receiving end of police violence than the few settlers occasionally and reluctantly slapped on the wrist by them.
      .
      Then there’s your slipping of the word “legally” to the phrase “with the support of the government”. You’re right that the government supported settlement in those places and in my view it is they who should be bearing the consequences of those actions and drawing difficult, if obvious, conclusions. But you know as well as anyone here how legal that support really is.

      Reply to Comment
    23. sh

      Dahlia, you’re right (sorry for delay in replying), I should have been more specific as the man is known for several memorable observations. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Martin_Niemöller
      .
      I meant the one quoted most often, which starts “First they came for the …. , and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a ….” and ends with “When they came for me there was no-one left to speak out”.
      http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007392

      Reply to Comment
    24. sh

      That was re my Niemoeller Principle remark.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Philip L. Davis

      Ben Israel, I am a Peace Now activist (I hate outing myself in the current political climate) and I can assure you that we do not engage in threats of any kind. Our core principle is non-violence, advocating peace with the Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese (under the formula of land for peace), and ending the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. We do not make threats. What we do is document the ILLEGAL construction of structures in sometimes quasi-legal settlements (i.e., those deemed legal by the occupation authorities) and illegal settlements, and submit our reports to the Civil Administration, Israel Police, the IDF and the Ministry of Defense. In fact we have received rewards from the MoD here for our contribution to the maintaining of security and law and order funnily enough. We also brief embassies and ambassadors when they request the information. Our organization is completely transparent and all our reports, where we receive our funds from and what our principles are can be found on our website. So to equate this vicious attack on Hagit Ofran with our work is simply incomprehensible.

      Reply to Comment
    26. Ben Israel

      Okay, you want to talk about “the chicken and the egg”? Peace Now supposedly is concerned about Jewish settlement on stolen Arab land. Well, the Israeli Supreme Court is sitting on stolen Arab land (the Sheikh Badr village). Tel Aviv University as well as the homes of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres are in Ramat Aviv which was land stolen from the Arabs of Sheikh Munis. Dr Charles Manekin and Dr Bernard Avishai who have both posted threads here at 972 both live on private Arab land in Jerusalem that was taken from the by force-Avishai even lives in a formerly Arab house.
      Now, since all the ones I have mentioned are “progressives” I would think they would be the first to be in line to return the stolen Arab land to its original owners, but I don’t see that. I see them being “righteous” on the backs of OTHER people, those in Judea/Samaria. I have been in Migron. There is no Arab village anywhere near it, the land is rocky with practically no vegetation on it. It was “state land” when it was built on. As I understand it, it was some time before Peace Now found a Palestinian who they encouraged to come forward to claim it was “private land”. That’s why I stated the gov’t supported building on these “disputed” sites…because their legal departments ruled that the sites were NOT privately owned, at least in the majority of the cases.
      The fact that Peace Now is doing this “Lawfare” shows me that they really don’t believe there is every going to be a peace agreement because in the agreement that “everyone knows the terms of” and which Olmert offered to Abbas, all these places, including the larger settlements around them would be given up anyway. Thus, Peace Now is simply carrying out a war against the settlers which has nothing to do with “justice” or with “peace”.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Sinjim

      I am struck by how BI’s assumptions aren’t actually all that off (excluding off-the-wall beliefs such as Peace Now digging up Palestinians, or “Arabs” in his parlance, to falsely claim land that isn’t theirs).
      .
      He rightly points out that Liberal Zionists, who issue demands from their homes on privately-owned Palestinian land that settlers leave privately-owned Palestinian land, are guilty of logical inconsistency; that the settlement enterprise was started by the so-called liberal-lefties, only to turn their backs on it when it got out of hand; that Israel is putting its citizens on land only to have others demand they be removed from it.
      .
      The problem isn’t his criticisms. It’s his bizarre and reactionary conclusions that are based on a zero-sum game analysis, and that’s so much more depressing.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Jalal

      Ben Israel:also, as RichardNYC says, encouraging Arabs to make provocative demonstrations at the gates and boundary marks of the settlements is very dangerous.
      _____
      You know what is dangerous? stealing property and building settlements in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods.
      Have you ever visited Ras Al-Amoud or Silwan?
      If you didn’t, you shouldn’t be making up your own arguments on this clear case, justifying “Price tag” equates to committing “price tag”.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Borg

      Wonder if peace now members put up the graffiti on their buildings to get mileage out of it. In the early 1990s, Shin Bet created a fake right wing extremist group called “Eyal”. could be the same phenom here

      Reply to Comment
    30. Mitchell Cohen

      No doubt about it….The “price tag” extremists belong behind bars….That being said, Ben Israel is asking some very uncomfortable questions that are basically being brushed off by the usual “two wrongs don’t make a right” (regarding “progressives” living on land and/or houses stolen from Arabs)….

      Reply to Comment
    31. @mitchell – maybe they’re being brushed off because of BI’s usual-never ending “they do it, too” (which imho is a tad more childish)

      Reply to Comment
    32. Mitchell Cohen

      “They do it, too” with regards to the “price tag” attacks might be childish, but when it comes to building on former Arab villages, this is a serious (and apparently uncomfortable for many people on this site) question, especially when there are communities built over the 1967 border that are NOT built on former Arab villages, but are rebuilt Jewish communities (like Gush-Etzion, for example), as opposed to places inside the 1967 borders that are built on former Arab villages. We are not talking about spray paint or graffiti here, but deciding which communities/buildings need to be evacuated/demolished….

      Reply to Comment
    33. RichardNYC

      @JALAL
      “You know what is dangerous? stealing property and building settlements in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods.”
      —>Why is it dangerous?

      Reply to Comment
    34. RichardNYC

      @Philip
      Kudos on your work, which is strategically important. I am curious to get your thoughts on Peace Now’s definition of “private Palestinian land” which I am afraid looks like it might include land that is not really private, but would be if Israel were still operating under Ottoman Law. This seems like a potential credibility issue for you guys.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Shoded Yam

      “… when it comes to building on former Arab villages, this is a serious (and apparently uncomfortable for many people on this site) question, especially when there are communities built over the 1967 border that are NOT built on former Arab villages,
      .
      Bullsh*t, and a particularly rancid turd at that. What was done in 1948-49 (and arguably, it could be said, had to be done)in the shadow of the holocaust and a vicsous and bloody war for independence is not analagous to a land grab in 2011 perpertrated in order to warehouse Israel’s religous fanatics and other undersirables. Most rational people are willing to see the difference, even if they are uncomfortable with the events of 1948.
      .
      And the fact that Gush Etzion wasn’t built atop an arab village, does not bestow legality upon it, despite all the pseudo-legal sophistry that has been deployed to prove otherwise. Such legality (and not to mention the legality of what was done in 48′-49)will only be achieved (if at all) after negotiations with the intrested parties and a just regimen of compensation has been agreed upon. In case you haven’t noticed, 60 years of presenting Israel as a “Fait accompli”, hasn’t exactly been a ringing success. Anybody up for a nice, hot, steaming cup of legitimacy? :-D

      Reply to Comment
    36. Philip L. Davis

      RichardNYC, as far as I am aware and to the best of my understanding the definitions we use for private Palestinian land are those to be found in the Israeli law books, and designated by the Civil Administration. Although it does effect our logical consistency what we are doing is playing by the occupation authority’s rule book by taking them to court over settlements like Migron and others. This is our weak point. However, this is the only way to gain traction and publicity on this issue within Israel sadly. Furthermore, we reject out of hand the argument presented by BI and Danny Ayalon which claims that the West Bank are not “occupied territories” but rather “disputed” and that UN Resolution 181 is not in effect. This argument essentially means that the entire territory from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River is disputed territory.
      We are in favor of Jewish national self-determination and Palestinian national self-determination in two viable states based on the 1967 frontiers. That is our position and therefore we do not see our homes in Tel Aviv or West Jerusalem or in Haifa as being illegitimate nor will we sink into such childish arguments. Abu Mazen even said a 1967 based solution will be an end to the conflict.

      Reply to Comment
    37. RichardNYC

      @PHILIP
      I see. Thanks for clearing that up. I think maybe it would be better to be a little more publicly skeptical about what Abu Mazen says, or what other Palestinian leaders say, since your assessments of Palestinian good faith seem like a different credibility problem. I understand, of course, that you’re trying to sell a Palestinian state, and you’re trying to convince ppl that the existence of such a thing will be positive. But there’s a way to do that without staking your reputation on Arab leaders who talk out of both sides of their mouths. Think “arrangement”, not “solution.”

      Reply to Comment
    38. Mitchell Cohen

      @Shoded Yam,

      I thought you don’t argue with dipsh*ts and weasels. Wouldn’t want you to break your vow.

      Reply to Comment
    39. @shoded and mitchell – I’ve banned readers before for using language like that on +972. I’ve already warned Shoded before on other posts.
      .
      Usually I give three strikes. This time I’ll give only one.
      .
      Thanks, and keep it clean.

      Reply to Comment
    40. Mitchell Cohen

      Sorry Ami, my bad….

      Reply to Comment
    41. Shoded Yam

      Not quite a vow, more like a rule of thumb. Have you ever heard of something so revolting, that its very odiousness becomes art itself? You’re weaseling was masterful, so in this instance I made an exception. :-)

      Reply to Comment
    42. Mitchell Cohen

      “You’re weaseling was masterful, so in this instance I made an exception.” [End of Shoded Yam]

      Fine, so I’ll add to my “weaseling”:

      a) You contradict yourself by first stating: “What was done in 1948-49 (and arguably, it could be said, had to be done)in the shadow of the holocaust and a vicsous and bloody war for independence is not analagous to a land grab in 2011 perpertrated in order to warehouse Israel’s religous fanatics and other undersirables. Most rational people are willing to see the difference, even if they are uncomfortable with the events of 1948.” and then later on stating: “In case you haven’t noticed, 60 years of presenting Israel as a “Fait accompli”, hasn’t exactly been a ringing success.” [End of Shoded Yam] So I guess most “rational” people don’t see the difference.

      b) “And the fact that Gush Etzion wasn’t built atop an arab village, does not bestow legality upon it, despite all the pseudo-legal sophistry that has been deployed to prove otherwise. Such legality (and not to mention the legality of what was done in 48′-49)will only be achieved (if at all) after negotiations with the intrested parties and a just regimen of compensation has been agreed upon.” [End of Shoded Yam] It is not just that Gush Etzion was not built on an Arab village, but that it is a reconstructed Jewish community that was ethnically cleansed in 1948. And, if you want to talk about negotiations, even the Geneva Accords which were proposed by dovish Yossi Beillin and sent to every household in Israel mentioned land swaps in a final negotiation, which would include Israel holding onto the large settlement blocs and swapping land within the 1967 borders in return. Even Jimmy Carter (not exactly the biggest fan of Israel, let alone Greater Israel) stated, when he visited Neveh Daniel in Gush-Etzion, that he always envisioned Israel hanging onto the settlement blocs that straddle the green line. So, those who expect Israel to return to the 1967 lines NETO are in the minority.

      Reply to Comment
    43. Shoded Yam

      You should’ve quit while you were ahead.
      .
      Ethnically cleansed or not, land swaps, land shmaps, the final status of Gush Etzion and the rest of the occupied territories will only be known after a negotiated settlement has been achieved. Until such time, any and all settlement or residential construction not directly associated with the actual administration of the territories is illegal, according to international law.
      .
      “…Even Jimmy Carter (not exactly the biggest fan of Israel, let alone Greater Israel) stated, when he visited Neveh Daniel in Gush-Etzion, that he always envisioned Israel hanging onto the settlement blocs that straddle the green line. So, those who expect Israel to return to the 1967 lines NETO are in the minority.”
      .
      Wow. What about a courtesy flush? ;). Dollars to donuts, if it was possible to ask him, how much you wanna bet that Jimmy Carter only envisioned such an outcome as a result of negotiations, not as a consequence of Israeli fiat.

      Reply to Comment
    44. Shoded Yam

      “…So I guess most “rational” people don’t see the difference.”
      .
      No. I said they would be willing to see the difference. But you’re right. I should’ve completed the thought. They’d be willing to see the difference provided that you don’t make it impossible for them to do so. But you already knew that. You’re grasping at straws.

      Reply to Comment
    45. Mitchell Cohen

      “You should’ve quit while you were ahead.” [End of Shoded Yam] That’s no fun….:-)

      “Ethnically cleansed or not, land swaps, land shmaps, the final status of Gush Etzion and the rest of the occupied territories will only be known after a negotiated settlement has been achieved. Until such time, any and all settlement or residential construction not directly associated with the actual administration of the territories is illegal, according to international law.” [End of Shoded Yam] Well, not everyone agrees. And even if they did, if after negotiations, it is decided that every single community over the 1967 line no longer belongs to Israel, so the Arabs have nice looking houses, schools, municipal centers, parks, streets, roads, etc. that they can do with as they please. If they still belong to Israel, then we keep living in them.
      “Wow. What about a courtesy flush? ;) . Dollars to donuts, if it was possible to ask him, how much you wanna bet that Jimmy Carter only envisioned such an outcome as a result of negotiations, not as a consequence of Israeli fiat.” [End of Shoded Yam] I’ll try to find time in my hectic schedule to email him….
      “No. I said they would be willing to see the difference. But you’re right. I should’ve completed the thought. They’d be willing to see the difference provided that you don’t make it impossible for them to do so. But you already knew that. You’re grasping at straws.”[End of Shoded Yam] Sure, an Arab who is still holding a key to some house his grandfather owned in Yaffo really cares about the Holocaust or the bloody War for Independence.

      Reply to Comment
    46. Shoded Yam

      “…Sure, an Arab who is still holding a key to some house his grandfather owned in Yaffo really cares about the Holocaust or the bloody War for Independence.”
      .
      I don’t know one way or the other. One thing I do know. You’re afraid to find out.

      Reply to Comment
    47. Philip L. Davis

      RichardNYC, using your logic then the positions of consecutive Israeli administrations cannot be taken seriously either. Israel has reneged on its pledges repeatedly and is widely considered by its friends to be the one that is presenting obstacles to negotiations, especially since the election of the current administration. Either we take political leaders at their word and attempt to forge ahead or we sink into a mire of cynicism in which politics cannot take place. Personally, I find it palatable to be conducting negotiations with Abu Mazen rather than Khaled Meshal…

      Reply to Comment
    48. RichardNYC

      @PHILIP
      you’re right: from a Palestinian or international perspective, settlement building and other Israeli policies look like bad faith. But I thought Peace Now was mostly interested in persuading ISRAELIS to support a Palestinian state. If that’s your goal, I don’t see why you think its constructive to persuade Israelis that their cynicism is hypocritical-how is that relevant to your goal? I agree that negotiations with Abu Mazen are preferable to none (or to negotiations with Hamas); all I’m saying is that its possible to support a Palestinian state with guarantees (demilitarized state, land swaps in strategic areas etc.) while acknowledging that SOME Palestinians will keep fighting, just that they won’t have the power to really do anything. That way more ppl will get on board and more people will trust you. I don’t think that changing the tone to a pragmatic one, instead of guaranteeing ppl 100% solutions based on Abu Mazen’s public statements, is going to sink anyone into a mire of cynicism. If anything, the amount of faith some leftists put in the Palestinians feeds cynicism. I don’t think we disagree in principle – this is an empirical disagreement.

      Reply to Comment
    49. aristeides

      Ben Israel emphasizes the legality of the settlements according to Israeli law. In the US, a while back, it was legal to own slaves. Legal, but wrong. Groups of abolitionists worked to abolish slavery and free slaves, and they were attacked by pro-slavery interests, some of them lynched. The lynching was not legal, even if the law enforcement authorities were complicit.

      .
      In the US, less of a while back, it was legal to keep blacks from voting and exercizing other civil rights. Legal, but wrong. Groups of freedom riders worked to extend civil rights to blacks, and they were attacked by pro-segregation interests, some of them murdered. The murders were not legal, even if the law enforcement authorities were complicit.

      .
      This is why I’m not impressed by your claim that the settlements are legal according to Israeli law. Many injustices have been legal in the history of unjust states. And Peace Now stands in the long tradition of opposition to it. But even in Israel, threats to lynch activists are illegel. Even when the law enforcement authorities are complicit.

      Reply to Comment
    50. Henry Weinstein

      To Ben Tag and others
      .
      You didn’t wrote explicitely that you “oppose what these ‘price tag’ people are doing and they should be caught and locked up”. You wrote that “usually the Peace Now people (…) are the ones threatening violence and dispossession of (…) Jews in Judea/Samaria. Now they are the receiving end”, i.e according to you Peace Now’s “threatening violence” is the cause which provoked several Price Tag’s attacks against this NGO and its director. And you concluded in your initial comment writing “I hope they learn the lesson and everyone stops this terrible behavior”.
      .
      Because you wrote “I hope they learn the lesson”, which is a very violent and offensive way to implicitely justify Price Tag’s terror methods, I asked you if you endorsed “Price Tag’s fascist methods to intimidate and shut-up political opponents”: “Is it legitimate for you to encourage hooligan behaviour, Ben Israel? Do you endorse fascist violence to shut-up political opposition”?
      Finally you answered writing you “oppose what these ‘price tag’ people are doing and they should be caught and locked up. I also want Peace Now to review their tactics and stop threatening (…) Jews in Judea/Samaria”.
      Zoom on this, after zooming on “I hope they learn the lesson”: “I also want Peace Now to review their tactics”.
      Do you aspire to become the next director of Peace Now, Ben?
      First thing to change, the name of course: War Now, much less threatening for settlers in Judea/Samaria.
      .
      Thus you oppose what Price Tagger Hooligans are doing, but you still consider it’s up to Peace Now to ‘stop threatening them’ (= to dissolve itself), which means you think Price Tag’s attacks are regrettable over-reacting self-defense methods, and not fascist methods to intimidate and shut-up political opponents.
      And not a word of apology explaining you regret to wrote “I hope they learn the lesson”. Have you read the Updated post, Ben?
      .
      Then you managed to smoke out everyone using the lure of ’1948′s war of independence= stolen Arab land’. And you pretend to be a Zionist! And you sign this by ‘Ben Israel’! You smoked out everyone because you refused to answer to Philip L.Davis of Peace Now, who took the time to write explicit significant comments on this thread (thank you, Philip).
      What can I say, Ben Hamas?
      I felt close to Nicolas Sarkozy’s words about Bibi, reading your lure.
      .
      The political issue raised by Dahlia’s (UPDATED) post, and many recent warning posts on 972, is the growing political violence perpetrated with total impunity by radical settlers and their supporters.
      There should be Zero Tolerance for such fascist anti-democratic criminal blackmailing-Mafia style tactics. But there is more than tolerance: why the Knesset people (to speak like Ben “I hope they learn the lesson”) so eager to pass bills restricting and even prohibiting political debate in Israel (Anti-Boycott legislative Price Tag, for instance) don’t feel any urgence to pass a criminal Law designed specifically to fight explicitely against Price Tag’s terrorists?
      Here is where the debate should be, not on planet Gossip, and Yossi Gurvitz is right, it’s time to question the ideology behind these terror ‘Grab Freedom’ attacks on democracy.

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