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Who are the Israelis refusing the call of Protective Edge?

On Saturday evening, another anti-war demonstration was held in Tel Aviv. A few hundred people marched and chanted and hoped that rumors of a drawdown were true.

With minimal numbers and attention, the demonstrations have had little impact. But there doesn’t seem much else that those opposed to the war can do.

Soldiers and reservists have another option: civil disobedience, refusal to participate.

Israeli tanks on the Israel-Gaza border. (photo: Activestills.org)

Israeli tanks on the Israel-Gaza border. (photo: Activestills.org)

It is a huge taboo. The idea of avoiding IDF service in a society whose mythical founding narrative is about protection from existential destruction is anathema even in normal times.

To refuse a draft order in wartime is practically incendiary. When I posted a status asking for contacts to refuseniks, a friend shot back “Why would anyone refuse?”

Refusal then and now

Back in 2005, when some soldiers refused service in order to avoid evacuating settlements from Gaza, I thought about when refusal is seen as legitimate.

To use the potentially explosive tool of refusal effectively, while causing the least damage, certain terms need to be met. Refusal challenges the legitimacy of democratic institutions. Refuseniks need to demonstrate acceptance of those institutions in all other matters to preserve their legitimacy. Next, refuseniks should take full responsibility for their actions – undergoing a deeply personal, decision-making process that should be as free and independent as possible.

I revisited those words now, to assess the thoughts of few individuals who refused to participate in Protective Edge. They asked that details about them be kept vague as a condition for being interviewed. Their names have been changed here.

‘You can’t change things from the inside’

Tamir is a 28-year old who served in a combat unit and as a reserve soldier. He fought in the previous Gaza war, Pillar of Defense, in 2012. But his doubts began already during his regular service. “I wasn’t politically active before being drafted. I thought the occupation wasn’t good, but I thought we had to control the Palestinians so they wouldn’t blow up buses. The army caused me to become political, when I was confronted by the occupation in the West Bank, and also when I served in Gaza and saw what happened there.

He thought that it was important to do reserve duty in order to change things from the inside. But “Little by little I realized it doesn’t matter. You can’t change things from inside, only from the outside, by voting or demonstrations. And then I realized that that doesn’t work either.”

By Pillar of Defense, he confronted a growing gap between the portrayal of army missions versus reality. “What was being described in media was not reflective of reality. What is a  ‘legitimate Hamas target?’ It can be anything that the IDF decides to blow up: a house, an orchard, a junction. They say, we’ll drop leaflets on neighborhoods so that when you go in, you can shoot anywhere, so that we can drop artillery on neighborhoods.”

Palestinian man stands in his destroyed house overlooking the bombed  Shujaiyeh neigborhood, Gaza City, July 26, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Palestinian man stands in his destroyed house overlooking the bombed Shujaiyeh neigborhood, Gaza City, July 26, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

When he was called up for Protective Edge, Tamir told his officers that he would not go, and he told them why. He packed a bag for jail, but they simply let him go. Tamir wonders if they somehow relate to the problem. “They have questions themselves. What are we about to do in Gaza? It’s in their DNA to fulfill orders, but I think they understood.” He says he’s not the only one; he heard about four or five others who refused. Together with refusal from the right, he thinks his superiors are familiar by now with the issue.

Zeev didn’t get off so easily. A 32-year old reservist, he did his mandatory service in the height of the Second Intifada – “my regiment was everywhere possible in the West Bank.” He did reserve duty; he fought in Cast Lead. By 2012, he had decided to resist the draft during Pillar of Defense, but he was not mobilized for combat.

For him, refusing is a personal political statement, not about creating a public symbol or movement. “It’s like being a vegetarian, you know you’re not going to save animals, it’s just a political statement. My very own action won’t change anything.”

He tackles the counter-argument sometimes heard among the left, that it’s better to serve so that Palestinians under occupation can encounter more humane individuals and better treatment. “In the end, it’s not the personality of the soldier that matters, it’s the whole pattern around it.”

Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian men at the Gush Etzion junction, a settlement next to the Palestinian town of Bethlehem ,on June 16, 2014 , June 16, 2014.  Over 150 Palestinians were arrested in the last nights and a tight closure was imposed on the southern West Bank city of Hebron. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian men at the Gush Etzion junction, a settlement next to the Palestinian town of Bethlehem ,on June 16, 2014 , June 16, 2014.
Over 150 Palestinians were arrested in the last nights and a tight closure was imposed on the southern West Bank city of Hebron. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Still, Zeev straddles a public statement and a completely personal choice. He wanted “to feel better about myself in the future.” He explained: “When I did go for Cast Lead, I gave the army the benefit of my doubt. Now, when I tell people that I took part in it, I feel ashamed.”

The thought process was transitional for him.

It’s a springboard for introspection. I see myself as a law abiding citizen. The participation of citizens in the government and laws is essential. It is after all a democratically elected government that reflects the current political climate in Israel  and as someone committed to democracy I have to respect that. I was taken aback by my own radicalism. Looking at myself in the mirror and saying, ‘wow, I’ve really done that.’ It’s contrary to the way I was brought up and what I believed in.

Zeev has a family and a two-year old. He knew the army could either ignore him or imprison him. After five days of communication with the army, his superiors told him to report to his unit within one hour. Instead, he left for Europe and when the IDF went to his home, he was already gone.

I spoke to a third refusenik, Roni, after he had been released from nearly three weeks in prison.

Roni, 31 years old, was also a combat soldier in his mandatory service. Over the years he realized he did not want to be part of the system.  It wasn’t a matter of one specific incident or turning point. “The whole thing was arbitrary violence, senseless violence against a civilian population.”

For him, personal reasoning spills over into social responsibility.

From my service in the Second Intifada, in the West Bank the whole time, as an officer, no one can tell me that what’s happening there is moral and that it’s a matter of security for Israelis. It’s not moral and it’s a system of control. It’s not something I can erase. I just can’t. It’s beyond my personal responsibility, I have a responsibility to my society, Palestinian and Israeli –  we have to stop.

So when he received a call-up order for Protective Edge, he reported only to say that he would not accept the draft. His officers told him:  “’If you’re here you need to go.’ I said I won’t. He said, ‘you know what that means.’”

Roni was sentenced to 20 days and was put in a prison with 15 other people from mandatory service who were there for various problems, not related to ideology or politics.

The prison staff knew the reason he was there, but otherwise, he kept it to himself. “The other prisoners didn’t know what I was in for. I decided ahead of time that if I had to sit with 15 soldiers in mandatory service I wouldn’t get out of it…I couldn’t get involved in the whole militarist conversation…they would just say with total conviction that we have to kill women and children, and it was clear that I couldn’t share this with them.”

Aside from the experience of imprisonment, humiliation, lack of freedom, and toilet-cleaning, Roni chafed under the mentality.

It was a pretty desperate experience. All we got was [the free right-wing newspaper] ‘Israel Hayom.’ The soldiers only knew the Israeli narrative. It was the most militarist, aggressive, racist narrative that I ever confronted. If we read internet comments and Facebook comments, and ask if they reflect the views of the people… I came out of prison with very serious concerns.

Roni sounds sadder than the other two as he describes the social isolation of refusing. His family is full of men who served proudly in combat – from his grandfather down to his brother. They accepted any direction of his political thinking, except for this. He clashed with his older brother. “It’s one thing to be a good Israeli, but to be a good family member, you have to go. It’s the most basic thing.”

The Left and the law

For other left-wingers, these arguments don’t hold. Some who are critical of Israel’s policies and even actively opposed, do not believe in refusing a call up in wartime, or at all. They had no problem being identified in full.

Yariv Oppenheimer, the director of Peace Now but also a combat soldier and reservist (although he was not called up), told me that he sees several reasons why those who are critical of Israel should in fact serve. The first is simply – as Zeev pointed out – that in a democratic society, people must fulfill legal obligations. Such participation also gives credibility to the left-wing claims against right-wing refusal.

Uriel Ferera, a 19-year-old orthodox Jew from Beer Sheva, enters the Tel Hashomer military induction base, where he will officially announce his refusal to draft to Israeli army service, April 27, 2014. He is expected to be sentenced to military prison. (Photo: Activestills.org)

Uriel Ferera, a 19-year-old orthodox Jew from Beer Sheva, enters the Tel Hashomer military induction base, where he will officially announce his refusal to draft to Israeli army service, April 27, 2014. He is expected to be sentenced to military prison. (Photo: Activestills.org)

“The government is sovereign. Just as we sometimes ask soldiers and the army to evacuate settlements or territories, we must do this. The way to influence policy is not through refusal. In a democracy, the elected level makes decisions.”

He believes critical individuals who serve should be a check and balance on the army’s conduct.

“Soldiers have a very meaningful role in asking questions about orders, not to fulfill illegal orders, and to influence how the orders are undertaken. If we decide it doesn’t suit us and we leave the field for those with other opinions, maybe they’ll be more trigger-happy and commit worse crimes.”

Moreover, Oppenheimer is concerned that refusal will fail to generate political change – and it may have the opposite effect. “In the end, we have to realize that policy change won’t come from refusal. The opposite: I think it can make it irrelevant. [Change] can only come from the ballot box and public discussion around and during the operations.”

Uri Zaki, 39, has been an active member of the left-wing political party Meretz for over a decade. He has devoted his life to political activity – he was head of the youth faction, and was number ten on the Meretz candidate list. He spent nearly four years as the representative of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem in Washington, D.C. He is struggling to reconcile the terrible circumstances of the war and the deep problems he sees with refusal.

I’m very, very disturbed and I hope that Israel will investigate itself over …the targets, private homes, and attacks on schools and hospitals and media outlets. Still we are talking about an attack on Israel that we can’t ignore. I don’t think Israel is in a position to give up on IDF – the ‘defense’ part. You can’t ignore Israel’s right to respond when missiles are being fired at it. We can’t just turn the other cheek.

The war is distinct from ongoing occupation, in his eyes. “The West Bank is not at all about defense, no matter how much they try to sell it,” he says. “Maybe to some extent it’s defense of settlements, and of course [settlers] are citizens and they deserve protection. But that creates many more questions for me about whether to serve, to maintain the number one danger to the State of Israel.”

Perhaps the most compelling part of Uri’s story and his personal grappling, is how his mandatory army service transformed him. When he was drafted, he was not only right-wing but he was actually a young member of the Likud party. During his service, “I really served the occupation.” He worked in a prison holding Palestinians convicted of “light security offenses,” such as stone-throwing and membership in Hamas. “I realized that we are a foreign occupier and I am part of a machine whose whole role is to suppress legitimate demands for freedom. As a Zionist, who believes in the right to self-determination, I realized I was part of a system of both national and daily suppression.”

One common thread of these men’s experience is that their service as combat soldiers led them to critical conclusions about the policies that brought them there, though they reached differing answers about how to change them. But there is no easy conclusion from this observation. Uri says:

Do I say you should serve the occupation in order to change your political colors? Not necessarily. Some became more militaristic, they started out left-wing and became more skeptical, more right wing. If they were to call me to reserve duty in the West Bank today, I suppose I would go out of personal obligation to the system, but I’m not sure. I would have lots and lots of deliberations. I can’t say definitely. And I’m normally a very decisive person.

Unknown citizens

What is clear is that the number of refusals is very small. It turns out that W. H. Auden’s “Unknown Citizen” –  “When there was peace, he was for peace – when there was war, he went” describes the very well-known citizen-soldiers of Israel. Those who don’t go remain far lesser-known.

Related:
IDF to jail ultra-Orthodox Jew for refusing to serve
Israeli teens tell Netanyahu: We will not take part in occupation

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  • COMMENTS

    1. I find your articles enlightening and balanced and these remind me of the Israel that I visited and loved as a young student out of Romania…under Ceausecu!

      I pray for peace for this new Israel with her neighbours and that no more Palestnian children die!
      Shalom.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Pedro X

      Yawn. 500 Hamas supporters came out to protest in Tel Aviv. In 1982 400,000 Israelis came out to protest the 1982 Lebanese war. In the 1990s 500,000 Israelis came out to Rabin square to rally for peace. The anti-war protestors have shrunk by over 495,000 people. Apparently, most leftist have grown up and understand that sometime war is a necessary evil when faced with an enemy which professes it wants to destroy your society and kill not only your family members but Jews all over the world.

      What brought about this transformation? The bus and suicide bombings in the 1990s, the second intifada in the 2000s and continuing murder of Israeli citizens like the Fogel family, the Palmer family, Shelly Dadon, the 3 Israeli teenagers killed while going home from school or the Israli killed in today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

      There were two terror attacks today, one in Jerusalem and one near Hebrew University. These attacks clearly show the need for an Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria.

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        The main reason why the anti-war movement is much smaller right now is that there are very few Israeli casualties, thanks to Iron Dome.

        In the past, Israel felt the pain of its wars more deeply due to higher casualty and fatality rates, and the anti-war movement was therefore larger. It had little to do with the strength of the Left.

        Iron Dome’s success will continue to stifle a mass anti-war movement and thereby lengthen this war.

        Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Rubbish article with 2-cent “professor” for stupid Judeophobes, nothing more.

            Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          The rally of 500,000 Israelis for peace had nothing to do with Israeli causalities. The rally of 500,000 Israelis in November 1995 was an affirmation of the peace negotiations under the Oslo Accords. Shimon Peres enjoyed over a 20 percentage point advantage over Netanyahu in lead up to the May 1996 elections. Terrorism led by Hamas resulted in many Israeli deaths and the defeat of Peres and the election of Netanyahu who promised to reign in terror, which he did.

          The failure of Barak and the second intifada, drove Israelis to the Center and the right. The failure of Olmert, Livni, and Barak led the population back to Netanyahu. Polls in Israel show that Netanyahu has more support to act the Prime Minister than all of the other leaders of the other parties put together.

          The left has been severely diminished because the majority of the left has moved to the center and the right. Even the leader of the Labor party represents himself as the leader of the Center-Left party.

          Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            According to you, “In 1982 400,000 Israelis came out to protest the 1982 Lebanese war.”

            Right, and the major reason was huge Israeli casualties – no Iron Dome.

            “The rally of 500,000 Israelis for peace had nothing to do with Israeli causalities.”

            –>I never claimed it did, since there was no war going on at the time. ‘Anti-war movement’ is invoked when there’s a war going on, naturally.

            Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            You are wrong again. The March of 400,000 took place on September 25, 1982 which was organized by the Labor party, Shinui and Peace Now to protest the Lebanese war begun on June 6, 1982. The rally was launched in response to the 800 Palestinians killed by Christian Philangist militia a week earlier while Israel soldiers did not stop them. It had nothing to do with Israeli casualties at this date and time.

            Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          “Iron Dome’s success will continue to stifle a mass anti-war movement and thereby lengthen this war.”

          Riiiiiiiiight.

          Let’s start a campaign to vilify the Iron Dome. Let’s say that it’s use is a crime against humanity.

          You are some piece of work Goldmarx.

          Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “Let’s start a campaign to vilify the Iron Dome. Let’s say that it’s use is a crime against humanity.”

            Well, you’re welcome to do so, but I’m not interested. I’m pointing out the irony of Iron Dome, and the real reason why the current Likud regime is so enamored of it.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “Well, you’re welcome to do so,”

            I am? Well gee thanks. Don’t you even recognize irony?

            FYI, people like me don’t do campaigns like that. But people like you do!

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            You’re incapable of nuanced thought like irony – your main job is to mindlessly regurgigate Hasbarah.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            And you Goldmarx, are INCAPABLE, period.

            Sorry, let me change that …

            You are only CAPABLE of hating. Hating Israel. And you are CAPABLE of lying through your teeth.

            How on earth can someone like you have the audacity to claim that you are a Zionist and that you liked some of the thing that Ben Gurion did. Then bad mouth Israel by using phrases such as “Israeli Hasbarah central” and much worse, is beyond me.

            Here is a challenge for you. Tell us please which bits of Ben Gurion’s deeds did you like besides what he did with the Atalena?

            Go on, Fess up, Goldmarx. You hate Israel. I mean the very idea of Israel. How do I know? Because you said that you support the Palestinian Arab’s right of return. And since you do, you cannot possibly be a Zionist. Go on, fess up, the truth will set you free, Goldmarx.

            Ps: had you said Likud Hasbarah central, That would not make you anti-Zionist but the phrase Israel’s Hasbarah central, is a dead giveaway for what you are. An anti Zionist.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Hasbarah is the Israeli government’s own term for propaganda, asshole. That I use the term insultingly is automatically against the government is against all the people? Is it even anti-Zionist? Really? Because you say so, Nazi?

            Like I would let a fascist like you define me.

            I believe it was Ben Gurion who said, “We shall fight the British as if there were no Nazis. And we shall fight the Nazis as if there were no British.” I like that too.
            I also like his offer of Israel’s Presidency to Albert Einstein.

            And his deal with Stalin to arm Israel with critical weapons needed to secure Israel’s independence.

            On the other hand, you are a Nazi. C’mon, fess up. The truth will set you free. That, and one bullet in the back of your trollish head.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “On the other hand, you are a Nazi. C’mon, fess up. The truth will set you free. That, and one bullet in the back of your trollish head.”

            Spoken like a true fascist and/or a Nazi/Hamas stooge. Zionist? Not so much.

            We Zionists don’t summarily execute those we disagree with. We only kill people in wars which are forced on us by people like you. To this day, in the 65 years of Israel’s existence, we only executed only one person, Adolf Eichman, who was a war criminal responsible for the murder of millions of Jews.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “On the other hand, you are a Nazi. C’mon, fess up. The truth will set you free. That, and one bullet in the back of your trollish head.”

            This needs to be said again. Your above statement reveals what you are:

            You are here to stoke hatred between left and right wing Zionists. It won’t work. I refuse to HATE left wing Zionists. I disagree with them passionately, I am angry at them maybe even often nowadays. But I refuse to harbour murderous hatred towards them because that would be a path to our destruction. Internal warfare.

            I believe true left wing Zionists feel that way too. Only pretenders like you would like to change that because you are stooges for Hamas, Goldmarx. Try, try and try as you might, it just won’t work.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “This needs to be said again. Your above statement reveals what you are:”

            Yes, it reveals me as someone who identifies you as a neo-Nazi troll, who needs to be disposed accordingly.

            “You are here to stoke hatred between left and right wing Zionists.”

            Nope, I’m here to show my colleagues on the Left the need to stand up to bullies and trolls. The enemy needs to be identified clearly and without euphemism.

            “I refuse to HATE left wing Zionists.”

            –> Of course you hate them; you deny that they are even Zionists. You call them stooges for Hamas. You project your own fascist tendencies onto them.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “Yes, it reveals me as someone who identifies you as a neo-Nazi troll, who needs to be disposed accordingly.”

            I rest my case about who is trying to bully whom. But the fact that I am not bullyable just annoys you even more.

            “Nope, I’m here to show my colleagues on the Left the need to stand up to bullies and trolls. The enemy needs to be identified clearly and without euphemism.”

            Ooh how dramatic. You are a regular internet warrior. LOL.

            J:“I refuse to HATE left wing Zionists.”

            G:”Of course you hate them; you deny that they are even Zionists.”

            They? No, Goldie. I just denied that YOU are a Zionist.

            “You call them stooges for Hamas.”

            Them? No, Goldie, I just called YOU a stooge for Hamas.

            “You project your own fascist tendencies onto them.”

            Ho hum, if I am a fascist, then what are you? A super-Fascist?

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            J: They? No, Goldie. I just denied that YOU are a Zionist.

            G: “You call them stooges for Hamas.”

            J: Them? No, Goldie, I just called YOU a stooge for Hamas.

            Only me? Really? What about Larry Derfner and Noam Shezaf and Lisa Goldman?

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            Show me where I said anything about Larry, Lisa and Noam.

            Produce a Link please. Or accept being labelled as a liar.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            G:”On the other hand, you are a Nazi. C’mon, fess up. The truth will set you free. That, and one bullet in the back of your trollish head.”

            J: Spoken like a true fascist and/or a Nazi/Hamas stooge. Zionist? Not so much

            Since I was mimicking your rhetoric, and since you are a warmongering fascist, I guess people might mistake me for an extreme right-winger if they had no grasp of irony or context.

            “We Zionists don’t summarily execute those we disagree with”

            –> Ben Gurion did. Yitzhak Ben-Tsvi did. And Rabin was assassinated by a Zionist, as was Peace Now activist Emil Grunszweig. But my issue with you isn’t that you merely disagree with me. After all, I don’t have this problem with Kiwi or Danny, and I pointed out to you a thread where Kiwi and I disagreed respectfully.

            You were the one who started with the personal insults, questioning someone’s declared loyalty to Zionism or the existence of Israel just because folks like me point out inconvenient facts.

            This is how trolls act. You are not trying to make a sincere case; you just want to intimidate anyone who differs with the Israeli government, and you do this by bullying. The moderators of this blog have been way too kind to you; not that you appreciate it- to you, they’re just enemies of Israel and Zionism.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “Since I was mimicking your rhetoric,”

            Nah, fess up. You are acting as yourself. You mimicked no one.

            “and since you are a warmongering fascist,”

            The only fascist here is you Goldie.

            “I guess people might mistake me for an extreme right-winger if they had no grasp of irony or context.”

            No, they identify you correctly as a fascist loonie leftie.

            “Ben Gurion did.”

            Ben Gurion did not execute anyone.

            “Yitzhak Ben-Tsvi did.”

            Yitzhak Ben Tzvi did not execute anyone either.

            “And Rabin was assassinated by a Zionist,”

            He was assassinated by an individual who was crazed criminal. By the way, go look up the meaning of the word “execution”.

            “as was Peace Now activist Emil Grunszweig.”

            Yea? When was he executed, by whom? Where?Who was he? Are you name dropping again Goldie?

            “But my issue with you isn’t that you merely disagree with me.”

            No? Could have fooled me.

            “After all, I don’t have this problem with Kiwi or Danny, and I pointed out to you a thread where Kiwi and I disagreed respectfully.”

            And I just saw a post from Kiwi in which he asked you whether you may be a troll? After you challenged him about it, he said that he objected to your threats against other posters.

            How do you explain that, Goldie?

            “You were the one who started with the personal insults, questioning someone’s declared loyalty to Zionism or the existence of Israel just because folks like me point out inconvenient facts.”

            What, I am not allowed to question your loyalty when in every post you excuse Hamas while blaming Israel for everything bad that happens?

            “This is how trolls act.”

            No, that is how someone who disagrees with you acts.

            “You are not trying to make a sincere case;”

            What are you now, judge jury and executioner?

            “you just want to intimidate anyone who differs with the Israeli government,”

            Then I must be intimidating myself too because I don’t always agree about everything with the Israeli government.

            “and you do this by bullying.”

            I am the bully? Then what are you? You threatened people (me included) with death/execution. And you threatened to knock someone else’s teeth out.

            He who lives in a glass house should not throw stones.

            “The moderators of this blog have been way too kind to you; not that you appreciate it-”

            How do you want me to show them my appreciation?

            “to you, they’re just enemies of Israel and Zionism.”

            Indeed some of them are. Some are just misguided. Of course I could be wrong. And I am willing to be corrected and change my mind. But in the meanwhile, that is my opinion.

            Hey, Goldie. Here is an idea for you: ask them to ban me. Isn’t that what fascists do? They try to silence dissent.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “No, they identify you correctly as a fascist loonie leftie.”

            –>It is right-wing loonies who use fascist and leftist in the same sentence. It makes as much sense as ‘Communist rightie.’

            “Ben Gurion did not execute anyone.”
            –>Does the Altalena ring a bell?

            “Yitzhak Ben Tzvi did not execute anyone either.”

            –>n 1924, he ordered the assassination of a non-violent anti-Zionist Orthodox Jew, Jacob DeHaan, who was attempting to negotiate an agreement with the Palestinians to support unlimited Jewish emigration to Palestine in exchange for setting aside the Balfour Declaration.

            “By the way, go look up the meaning of the word “execution”.

            –>“the act of killing someone especially as punishment for a crime”, according to Merriam Webster.com. In their minds, Ben Gurion and Ben Tzvi believed that the Irgun and Jacob DeHaan had committed crimes meriting lethal punishment.

            “Yea? When was he executed, by whom? Where?Who was he? Are you name dropping again Goldie?

            –>Emil Grunzweig was executed by Yona Avrushmi, currently out on parole.

            G: “After all, I don’t have this problem with Kiwi or Danny, and I pointed out to you a thread where Kiwi and I disagreed respectfully.”
            J: “And I just saw a post from Kiwi in which he asked you whether you may be a troll? After you challenged him about it, he said that he objected to your threats against other posters. ..How do you explain that, Goldie?”

            –>Easily. Kiwi did not accuse me of being a troll against him, but against you. I replied to his post respectfully.

            “What, I am not allowed to question your loyalty when in every post you excuse Hamas while blaming Israel for everything bad that happens?”

            –>But I don’t blame Israel for everything bad that happens. I didn’t blame them for the E-bola virus or the downing of the Malaysian airplanes. But I, along with thousands of Israeli Jews, blame the Israeli government for this war.

            “No, that is how someone who disagrees with you acts.”

            –>But Danny or Kiwi have not acted that way.

            “Then I must be intimidating myself too because I don’t always agree about everything with the Israeli government.”

            –>Did I miss something? What disagreement do you have with this government? That they haven’t killed enough Palestinians?

            “I am the bully?”
            –>Yes.
            “ Then what are you?”
            –> Someone who fights the bully with no holds barred, with the only language he understands. Being nice to bullies never works.

            “How do you want me to show them my appreciation?”

            –>You can disagree all you want with other posters – just refrain from initiating personal attacks.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “It is right-wing loonies who use fascist and leftist in the same sentence. It makes as much sense as ‘Communist rightie.’”

            Right wing loonies, left wing loonies, I don’t really care. I look at this concept of left wing – right wing as a loop. At the two extremes, left wing and right wing extremists are both alike. You guys are both totalitarian tyrants who foam at the mouth when someone disagrees with you and you want to execute them. Sounds familiar, Goldie? Meet thyself.

            “Does the Altalena ring a bell?”

            That was not an execution. It was a battle. Read up on the definition of the word EXECUTION.

            “In 1924, he ordered the assassination of a non-violent anti-Zionist Orthodox Jew, Jacob DeHaan, who was attempting to negotiate an agreement with the Palestinians to support unlimited Jewish emigration to Palestine in exchange for setting aside the Balfour Declaration.”

            That is just an unproven allegation. But even if it would be true, read up on the definition of EXECUTION.

            “the act of killing someone especially as punishment for a crime”, according to Merriam Webster.com. In their minds, Ben Gurion and Ben Tzvi believed that the Irgun and Jacob DeHaan had committed crimes meriting lethal punishment.”

            Really? So now you can read the minds of dead Zionists? Impressive, LOL.

            “Emil Grunzweig was executed by Yona Avrushmi, currently out on parole.”

            And who the fuck is Yona Avrshumi?

            “Easily. Kiwi did not accuse me of being a troll against him, but against you. I replied to his post respectfully.”

            A troll is a troll, buddy. The point is that he called you a troll. Do you deny it?

            “But I don’t blame Israel for everything bad that happens. I didn’t blame them for the E-bola virus”

            Oh great. Keep digging man. The hole you are digging for yourself is getting deeeeeeper.

            “or the downing of the Malaysian airplanes.”

            Wow, you are trooper. Fancy not accusing Israel for that?

            “But I, along with thousands of Israeli Jews, blame the Israeli government for this war.”

            Maybe a few thousand Israelis as against millions of Israelis who blame Hamas. Thanks for proving my point.

            “But Danny or Kiwi have not acted that way.”

            Danny is as bad as you are. Kiwi called you a troll.

            “Did I miss something? What disagreement do you have with this government?”

            Why would I want to answer this question to an idiot such as yourself?

            “That they haven’t killed enough Palestinians?”

            You said that, I did not.

            J:“I am the bully?”
            G:”Yes.”

            Awwww, shucks, you poor thing, my heart goes out for you Goldie. See? I am not so bad after all.

            J:“ Then what are you?”
            G:”Someone who fights the bully with no holds barred, with the only language he understands. Being nice to bullies never works.”

            Gosh, you are awesome, Goldie. You are my new hero.

            “You can disagree all you want with other posters – just refrain from initiating personal attacks.”

            Personal attacks? Is calling you a hypocrite a personal attack, Goldie? Even if it is true?

            Or calling you a liar a personal attack? Even if it is true?

            Well then, I am guilty. Guilty of being brutally honest with you. What are ya gonna do about it, Goldie? Get me banned? Go ahead.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            J: And in the very next paragraph following your above quote, the link clarifies what that fight consisted of:
            “Haganah branches were established at Jewish D.P. [displaced person] camps in Europe and Haganah members accompanied the “illegal” immigrant boats”

            –>No, that is what the Haganah did on its own. When it was acting as part of the Jewish Resistance Movement, this is what all components of that movement did:

            https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/resist.html

            Here are some highlights:
            “In November 1945, the Movement showed its strength by launching a major attack on railroads all over the country and sinking several coastal patrol launches. In the following months, the Movement carried out attacks upon British police posts, coast guard stations, radar installations and air-fields.”

            In June 1946, the Jewish Resistance Movement blew up the bridges linking Palestine with neighboring states.”

            And in all this, you would have us believe that no one from the Haganah fired a shot at any British soldier??

            J: Right wing loonies, left wing loonies, I don’t really care.

            –>Exactly. You don’t care about getting the facts straight.

            G: “Does the Altalena ring a bell?”
            J: That was not an execution. It was a battle.

            –>It had characteristics of both. One does not exclude the other.

            J: Really? So now you can read the minds of dead Zionists?

            –>It’s a logical conclusion, given the tendencies of the major Zionist leaders in extreme situations.

            J: And who the fuck is Yona Avrshumi?

            –>The fact that you don’t know (and couldn’t be bothered to even look him up on Google) shows that you’re just playing a guessing game here, picking up anything and throwing it against the wall, hoping something will stick.

            J: A troll is a troll, buddy. The point is that he called you a troll. Do you deny it?
            –>Yes, I deny that was the point. The actual point was not that he called me a troll (against you). The point is, he and I had disagreements, and I addressed him respectfully throughout, which is contrary to your contention that I foam at the mouth against everybody who disagrees with me.

            J: “Wow, you are trooper. Fancy not accusing Israel for that?”

            –>Well, you did say that I blame Israel for everything bad that occurs.

            J: Maybe a few thousand Israelis as against millions of Israelis who blame Hamas. Thanks for proving my point.

            –>The point being that I am in a minority on this issue? So what?

            J: Danny is as bad as you are

            –>So what? He and I expressed our disagreements respectfully – no ‘foaming’ there.

            G:“That they haven’t killed enough Palestinians?”
            J:“You said that, I did not.”

            –>You didn’t have to. Most pro-war hawks thinks that way, especially those who can’t be bothered to disavow the remarks of Knesset Deputy Speaker Moshe Feiglin or MK Ayelet Shaked.

            J: Personal attacks? Is calling you a hypocrite a personal attack, Goldie? Even if it is true? Or calling you a liar a personal attack? Even if it is true?”

            ->You haven’t proven any of that to be true. If you don’t agree with something I regard as a fact, just say, “You’re wrong” or something like that.

            J: What are ya gonna do about it, Goldie? Get me banned? Go ahead.

            –> The moderators can see what’s going on, and they will act when they see fit. As Larry said about Steve Plaut, you’re a rabid dog.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “J: Right wing loonies, left wing loonies, I don’t really care.”

            G:”Exactly. You don’t care about getting the facts straight.”

            What are the facts? That I ignore the rants of both left wing and right wing loonies? And that worries you Goldie? LOL that says more about you than about me.

            “It had characteristics of both. One does not exclude the other.”

            If you say so Goldie. But I disagree.

            “J: Really? So now you can read the minds of dead Zionists?

            G:”It’s a logical conclusion, given the tendencies of the major Zionist leaders in extreme situations.”

            The words “logical conclusion” and you, Goldie are an oxymoron. You are incapable of thinking logically.

            “J: And who the fuck is Yona Avrshumi?

            G:”The fact that you don’t know (and couldn’t be bothered to even look him up on Google) shows that you’re just playing a guessing game here, picking up anything and throwing it against the wall, hoping something will stick.”

            I ain’t interested Goldie. You have come up with so much drivel that I am just not interested.

            “J: A troll is a troll, buddy. The point is that he called you a troll. Do you deny it?”

            G:”Yes, I deny that was the point. The actual point was not that he called me a troll (against you).”

            I’ll say it again, Kiwi called you a troll. Not just against me but against others too.

            You never threatened to knock my teeth out. You threatened someone else by that.

            Kiwi, are you there? Please set Goldie straight.

            “The point is, he and I had disagreements, and I addressed him respectfully throughout, which is contrary to your contention that I foam at the mouth against everybody who disagrees with me.”

            You are a trooper Goldie. By the time Kiwi challenged you, even you lost your arrogance and woke up to yourself. You were not going to take him on as well. Bully for you.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            I believe it was Ben Gurion who said, “We shall fight the British as if there were no Nazis. And we shall fight the Nazis as if there were no British.” I like that too.

            Another one of your distortions. Ben Gurion did not say “we shall fight the British”. This is the real quote of what he said:

            “We will fight the war as if there were no White Paper, and we will fight the White Paper as if there were no war.”

            “I also like his offer of Israel’s Presidency to Albert Einstein.”

            Ok, I am with you on that one.

            “And his deal with Stalin to arm Israel with critical weapons needed to secure Israel’s independence.”

            I am with you on that one too. But that war still continues to this day. The difference between you and me is that you are putting your head in the sand and pretending that we won and there is nothing more to worry about.

            People like me on the other hand know that Hamas is still here and if we get complacent, Ben Gurion’s victories could evaporate.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Another one of your distortions. Ben Gurion did not say “we shall fight the British”. This is the real quote of what he said:

            “We will fight the war as if there were no White Paper, and we will fight the White Paper as if there were no war.”

            –> The words may be a bit different, but the meaning is the same. No distortion there.

            “you are putting your head in the sand and pretending that we won and there is nothing more to worry about.”

            Really? Nothing more to worry about? Israel committing slow-motion genocide against a people whose leadership was created by Israel and I seem complacent to you? Does Larry and Noam seem complacent?

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “We will fight the war as if there were no White Paper, and we will fight the White Paper as if there were no war.”

            “The words may be a bit different, but the meaning is the same. No distortion there.”

            Only in your head there is no distortion. “Fighting the British” means fighting the British, the Haganah never engaged in such activities. Fighting the white paper was fighting against what was advocated in the white paper.

            As usual, you never miss an opportunity to distort facts, Goldie.

            “Really? Nothing more to worry about? Israel committing slow-motion genocide against a people whose leadership was created by Israel and I seem complacent to you?”

            Really? Genocide? More distortion.

            Unprovoked response by Israel? More denial.

            Do you seem complacent? Yep, very complacent about the dangers which Israel faces. Contrast that to your torrent of tears for Hamas and the people who elected them in democratic elections.

            “Does Larry and Noam seem complacent?”

            Huh? Why would I care what they seem? You care enough for both of us.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “Fighting the British” means fighting the British, the Haganah never engaged in such activities.

            Wrong. The Haganah fought the British because it wwouldn’t let go of policies like the White Paper:

            “At the end of the war, when it became clear that the British government had no intention of altering its Anti-Zionist policy, the Haganah began an open, organized struggle against British Mandatory rule in the framework of a unified Jewish Resistance Movement, consisting of Haganah, Irgun Zevai Le’umi – Etzel, and Lohamei Herut Yisrael—Lehi.”

            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/haganah.html

            “Contrast that to your torrent of tears for Hamas and the people who elected them in democratic elections.” Asserting that Bibi is a butcher does not require shedding tears for Hamas anymore than opposing the US war in Vietnam required sympathy for Communists.

            G: “Does Larry and Noam seem complacent?”

            J: Huh? Why would I care what they seem? You care enough for both of us.

            Because to be consistent, you should condemn them in the same terms that you condemn me. After all, Noam, Larry and I stand for the same things.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            Show me where I said anything about Larry, Lisa and Noam.

            Produce a Link please. Or accept being labelled as a liar.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “Show me where I said anything about Larry, Lisa and Noam.:

            My point is, of course, that you have NOT said anything about them when you SHOULD have since I am on ‘their’ team.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            J:“Fighting the British” means fighting the British, the Haganah never engaged in such activities.

            G:”Wrong. The Haganah fought the British because it wwouldn’t let go of policies like the White Paper:

            “At the end of the war, when it became clear that the British government had no intention of altering its Anti-Zionist policy, the Haganah began an open, organized struggle against British Mandatory rule in the framework of a unified Jewish Resistance Movement, consisting of Haganah, Irgun Zevai Le’umi – Etzel, and Lohamei Herut Yisrael—Lehi.”

            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/haganah.html

            J:And in the very next paragraph following your above quote, the link clarifies what that fight consisted of:

            “Haganah branches were established at Jewish D.P. [displaced person] camps in Europe and Haganah members accompanied the “illegal” immigrant boats”

            In other words, they smuggled Displaced European Jews into Palestine in contravention of the policies of the white paper.

            In other words, the Haganah never fired a single shot at the british.

            See, Goldie? I caught you out lying again. Lying by leaving out pertinent facts is called lying by ommission.

            “Asserting that Bibi is a butcher does not require shedding tears for Hamas anymore than opposing the US war in Vietnam required sympathy for Communists.”

            But blaming the wrong party for a war that no one likes is called lying, Goldie. And since you blame Bibi for this war, instead of Hamas, you are a liar, Goldie.

            “J:“Fighting the British” means fighting the British, the Haganah never engaged in such activities.

            G:”Wrong. The Haganah fought the British because it wwouldn’t let go of policies like the White Paper:

            “At the end of the war, when it became clear that the British government had no intention of altering its Anti-Zionist policy, the Haganah began an open, organized struggle against British Mandatory rule in the framework of a unified Jewish Resistance Movement, consisting of Haganah, Irgun Zevai Le’umi – Etzel, and Lohamei Herut Yisrael—Lehi.”

            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/haganah.html

            And in the very next paragraph following your above quote, the link clarifies what that fight consisted of:

            “Haganah branches were established at Jewish D.P. [displaced person] camps in Europe and Haganah members accompanied the “illegal” immigrant boats”

            In other words, they smuggled Displaced European Jews into Palestine in contravention of the policies of the white paper.

            In other words, the Haganah never fired a single shot against the british.

            See, Goldie? I caught you out lying again. Lying by leaving out pertinent facts is called lying by ommission.

            “Asserting that Bibi is a butcher does not require shedding tears for Hamas anymore than opposing the US war in Vietnam required sympathy for Communists.”

            But blaming the wrong party for a war that no one likes is called lying, Goldie. And since you blame Bibi for this war, instead of Hamas, you are a liar.

            “Because to be consistent, you should condemn them in the same terms that you condemn me. After all, Noam, Larry and I stand for the same things.”

            Only you? There are a few million other idiots like you worldwide out there. I condemn each idiot when I speak to them individually. Right now I am speaking to you.

            Hey buddy, again, I know what you are trying to do. You are trying to ban me, you little crypto fascist. Why don’t you complain to the management about me already. You already have plenty of ammunition. But remember this: I condemn who I want, when I want not when little twerps like you make demands on me to condemn at your command.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            J:“Fighting the British” means fighting the British, the Haganah never engaged in such activities.

            G:”Wrong. The Haganah fought the British because it wwouldn’t let go of policies like the White Paper:

            “At the end of the war, when it became clear that the British government had no intention of altering its Anti-Zionist policy, the Haganah began an open, organized struggle against British Mandatory rule in the framework of a unified Jewish Resistance Movement, consisting of Haganah, Irgun Zevai Le’umi – Etzel, and Lohamei Herut Yisrael—Lehi.”

            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/haganah.html

            And in the very next paragraph following your above quote, the link clarifies what that fight consisted of:

            “Haganah branches were established at Jewish D.P. [displaced person] camps in Europe and Haganah members accompanied the “illegal” immigrant boats”

            In other words, they smuggled Displaced European Jews into Palestine in contravention of the policies of the white paper.

            As I said, the Haganah never fired a single shot at the british.

            See, Goldie? I caught you out lying again. Lying by leaving out pertinent facts is called lying by ommission.

            “Asserting that Bibi is a butcher does not require shedding tears for Hamas anymore than opposing the US war in Vietnam required sympathy for Communists.”

            But blaming the wrong party for a war that no one likes is called lying, Goldie. And since you blame Bibi for this war, instead of Hamas, you are a liar, Goldie.

            “Because to be consistent, you should condemn them in the same terms that you condemn me. After all, Noam, Larry and I stand for the same things.”

            Only you? There are a few million other idiots like you out there worldwide. I condemn each idiot when I speak to them individually. Right now I am speaking to you.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            J:“Fighting the British” means fighting the British, the Haganah never engaged in such activities.

            G:”Wrong. The Haganah fought the British because it wwouldn’t let go of policies like the White Paper:

            “At the end of the war, when it became clear that the British government had no intention of altering its Anti-Zionist policy, the Haganah began an open, organized struggle against British Mandatory rule in the framework of a unified Jewish Resistance Movement, consisting of Haganah, Irgun Zevai Le’umi – Etzel, and Lohamei Herut Yisrael—Lehi.”

            And in the very next paragraph following your above quote, the link clarifies what that fight consisted of:

            “Haganah branches were established at Jewish D.P. [displaced person] camps in Europe and Haganah members accompanied the “illegal” immigrant boats”

            In other words, they smuggled Displaced European Jews into Palestine in contravention of the policies of the white paper.

            As I said, the Haganah never fired a single shot at the british.

            See, Goldie? I caught you out lying again. Lying by leaving out pertinent facts is called lying by ommission.

            “Asserting that Bibi is a butcher does not require shedding tears for Hamas anymore than opposing the US war in Vietnam required sympathy for Communists.”

            But blaming the wrong party for a war that no one likes is called lying, Goldie. And since you blame Bibi for this war, instead of Hamas, you are a liar, Goldie.

            “Because to be consistent, you should condemn them in the same terms that you condemn me. After all, Noam, Larry and I stand for the same things.”

            Only you? There are a few million other idiots like you out there worldwide. I condemn each idiot when I speak to them individually. Right now I am speaking to you.

            Reply to Comment
    3. maya

      Dahlia, I dont understand why you decided to quote Oppenheimer and catalogue him as a “leftits” while he is a Zionist. at least you should have written Zionist-left which represents Shalom Ahshav. Secondly, there is a group of 50 refusniks who wrote a letter about their refusal to do miluim and to serve during Protective Edge or any other operation, they are antizionists why did you decide not to mention them?????

      Reply to Comment
    4. Maya – No decision not to mention them. We linked to a piece about them at the end. This was was simply a different story (and already a very long one…). Re: Oppenheimer, I don’t view the term “Zionist” as a litmus test for left or right. Peace Now is left relative to the Israeli political map today. Thx.

      Reply to Comment
      • Maya

        Dahlia, thank you for your reply. Since Zionism (as we know it today) is a racist ideology of ethno-religious supremacy it has no place in the left part of the political scene, therefore Peace Now is not a left wing organization, it could be called Zionist-liberal-left which explains it a bit better, though i still think that the noun “left” is misused.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Bravo refuseniks! Every refusenik who comes to Switzerland can stay for free in my holiday house (chalet)! Welcome!

      Reply to Comment
    6. The Trespasser

      Who are the Israelis refusing the call of Protective Edge?

      Let’s see…

      Hamas’ agenda is to eliminate the state of Israel, therefore whoever is against operation Protective Edge are traitors and should be dealt with accordingly.

      Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        And people say Zionism is different from fascism. I prefer to compare it to Baathism.

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          Define Zionism, Reza!!!

          You don’t even know what it is? You use the word blindly as a label of hatred. You don’t even know what Zionism is.

          Go on prove me wrong. Tell us what your understanding of the word Zionism.

          Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            A supposedly secular ideology that nevertheless relies on a hodgepodge of religious mysticism, biblical histriography and militant blood-and-soil nationalism to justify claiming an entire area solely for a single cultural/ethnic group.

            Basically the same as Baathism. Read Hana Batatu’s “The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq,” paying attention to the chapter devoted to explaining the ideological development of the original Baathist movement in Syria, and his description of the eclecticism, mysticism and magical thinking that went into the ideology Michel Aflaq developed. And then compare that to Zionism.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            And, just as with the Baathist movement, Zionism also happens to have “right wing” and “left wing” factions, which nevertheless remain similarly loyal to the “Greater Israel” project. As in Iraq, it’s the “right wing” faction (Revisionist/Neo Zionism) that has won out and become, for all intents and purposes, the state ideology. Even more disturbingly, the Likud’s Neo-Zionism, evolved directly from Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionism was inspired by European fascism, just like the Baathist doctrine of Michel Aflaq and Zaki al-Arsuzi. And the incorporation of religious Zionism into the current Zionist orthodoxy mirrors the Syrian and Iraqi Baathists cynical use of religion and religious sectarianism to entrench themselves.

            Also, the Histadrut’s (supposedly a bastion of “progressive” “labor” Zionism) history of strike-breaking and state collaborationist policies, and their history of bigotry towards Arab workers, illustrate at worst a classic “Yellow” union, and at worst a throwback to the Corporatism of the Spanish Falangists and Italian Fascists.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            You seem to be an expert on Baathism, I’ll leave that to you.

            But Zionism? You over complicate it.

            It is nothing more than the national movement of the Jewish people aiming for self determination. Modern Zionism was spawned as a result of 2000 years of persecution of Jews by haters such as yourself. Herzl, the father of modern Zionism finally came to the conclusion, during the antisemitic frenzy of the Dreyfus affair that the only hope for the Jewish people to avoid discrimination and persecution is if we have our own country in which we are a majority. Nowhere, is there in Zionist dogma anything to say that we cannot have non Jewish minorities amongst us. And Herzl was very specific in his advocacy to treat any minorities living amongst us with respect and humanity.

            That’s it Reza Lustig. No more, no less. It is a national movement of the Jewish people, just like the Palestinian Arabs have their own national movement which you perfectly accept as Halal. You only reject the Jewish national movement as non Kosher.

            Discrimination anyone?

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            Historically speaking, and ideologically speaking, I maintain that the current Revisionist/Neo Zionist orthodoxy (which basically is the premier narrative in Israeli politics) plays the same role in Israel that Baathism played in Iraq; they both morphed from secular nationalism (with the vaguest of vague “left” influence) to thoroughly racist and authoritarian ethno-centrism, which co-opted religion for political purposes.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            You can maintain anything you want Mr Lustig but it makes you no more right than if you maintain that the earth is flat.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            Yeah, I know. But am I wrong?

            Reply to Comment
          • Avdim

            Reza,

            The definition of Zionism is very simple and as definitions go very concise. From Wikipedia –

            “Zionism is a nationalist movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the creation of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the Land of Israel”

            Your over-complicated “understanding” is simply distorted by your animosity towards Israel and the plethora of irrelevant examples just show how wrong is your judgement.

            People that oppose Zionism or think we don’t deserve a state (or as the modern saying goes, should find a place with no people) and yet support Palestinian nationalism puzzle me. I mean, regardless of history – if Palestinian Arabs have nationalistic thoughts then there’s nothing to argue about their nationalistic movement’s right to exist. But if a Palestinian national movement has a right to exist, then Zionism has as well.

            To claim Palestinians deserve a state of their own, but Jews don’t deserve a Jewish state, or that Zionism is that mambo jumbo you wrote is very hypocritical.

            That’s another realization many Palestinian Arabs are missing.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            I don’t think the “nationalism” of the settler or the “pioneer” is at all legitimate, especially if other people were already there. The Afrikaners had no business lording it over the natives for the sake of their implanted “nation,” neither did the Americans, pied noir, and not the Jews.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “I don’t think the “nationalism” of the settler or the “pioneer” is at all legitimate, especially if other people were already there.”

            In 1850s, when Jews started returning to the land from which the majority of the Jews were exiled 2000 years before by the Romans and which was renamed by the Romans from Judea to Palestine and which in the 1850s was not even a sovereign state, there were maybe 350,000 people living in Palestine. Some of those were Jews who never left since Roman times.

            Today, there are about 10 million people living in the same area. So how you can assert that Palestine had room only for Arabs but not Jews, is beyond me.

            You are full of malice and bias against Jews. Particularly since you invoke the Afrikaners who have nothing to do with it. Their history was entirely different to the history of the Jewish people.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            There’s room for the Jews everywhere, and they should be welcome to live in peace wherever they seek. And in such cases, if they are oppressed or treated unfairly, they should be defended.

            Settling on somebody else’s backyard, and calling the whole area YOUR nation because it says so in some holy book, however, is a reactionary anachronism in the modern era.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “There’s room for the Jews everywhere, and they should be welcome to live in peace wherever they seek.”

            Except in our own land?

            “And in such cases, if they are oppressed or treated unfairly, they should be defended.”

            “They should be defended”? C’mon man, those are just empty words. A bit like motherhood and apple pie. The fact is that for 2000 years Jews were at the mercy of others and time and time again, when we should have been defended, we were not defended.

            “Settling on somebody else’s backyard, and calling the whole area YOUR nation because it says so in some holy book, however, is a reactionary anachronism in the modern era.”

            No it isn’t because of the holy book. Respectable historians and archeological evidence proves that the land of Israel was a sovereign Jewish state 2000 years ago and that Jews lived in that land continuously to this day. Therefore Israel is not someone else’s land, it is our land.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “Yeah, I know. But am I wrong?”

            Yes!

            Reply to Comment
    7. JohnW

      Define Zionism, Reza!

      You don’t even know what it is? You use the word blindly as a label of hatred. You don’t even know what Zionism is.

      Go on prove me wrong. Tell us what your understanding of the word Zionism..

      Reply to Comment
    8. JohnW

      J:“Fighting the British” means fighting the British, the Haganah never engaged in such activities.

      G:”Wrong. The Haganah fought the British because it wwouldn’t let go of policies like the White Paper:

      “At the end of the war, when it became clear that the British government had no intention of altering its Anti-Zionist policy, the Haganah began an open, organized struggle against British Mandatory rule in the framework of a unified Jewish Resistance Movement, consisting of Haganah, Irgun Zevai Le’umi – Etzel, and Lohamei Herut Yisrael—Lehi.”

      http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/haganah.html

      And in the very next paragraph following your above quote, the link clarifies what that fight consisted of:

      “Haganah branches were established at Jewish D.P. [displaced person] camps in Europe and Haganah members accompanied the “illegal” immigrant boats”

      In other words, they smuggled Displaced European Jews into Palestine in contravention of the policies of the white paper.

      As I said, the Haganah never fired a single shot at the british.

      See, Goldie? I caught you out lying again. Lying by leaving out pertinent facts is called lying by ommission.

      “Asserting that Bibi is a butcher does not require shedding tears for Hamas anymore than opposing the US war in Vietnam required sympathy for Communists.”

      But blaming the wrong party for a war that no one likes is called lying, Goldie. And since you blame Bibi for this war, instead of Hamas, you are a liar, Goldie.

      “Because to be consistent, you should condemn them in the same terms that you condemn me. After all, Noam, Larry and I stand for the same things.”

      Only you? There are a few million other idiots like you out there worldwide. I condemn each idiot when I speak to them individually. Right now I am speaking to you.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Goldmarx

      J: And in the very next paragraph following your above quote, the link clarifies what that fight consisted of:

      “Haganah branches were established at Jewish D.P. [displaced person] camps in Europe and Haganah members accompanied the “illegal” immigrant boats”

      In other words, they smuggled Displaced European Jews into Palestine in contravention of the policies of the white paper.”

      As usual, you willfully misread the link I provided. The link deals with Haganah activities – both what they did by themselves, and with other groups. The smuggling was NOT

      As I said, the Haganah never fired a single shot at the british.

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        “As usual, you willfully misread the link I provided. The link deals with Haganah activities – both what they did by themselves, and with other groups. The smuggling was NOT”

        But I did not misread what you first said:

        “I believe it was Ben Gurion who said, “We shall fight the British as if there were no Nazis. And we shall fight the Nazis as if there were no British.” I like that too.”

        And my point still stands. Ben Gurion never said that. He said “we shall fight the white paper” NOT fight the British.

        Nor did the Haganah ever fight the British. Some splinter Zionist groups did, but Ben Gurion’s Haganah never did. No matter which way you spin it.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Goldmarx

      The post which you are responding to is not the completed version – check above.

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        Who cares. This thread is hopelessly ruined already and you and I are both responsible for it.

        I for one apologize to Dahlia for it.

        Reply to Comment
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