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Right-wing leader Bennett: 'When Palestinians were climbing trees, we already had a Jewish state'

Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home party and the rising star of the right, is considered the new, modern and hospitable face of the hard right. His rise in the polls has won him international attention, and the New York Times has called him “the campaign’s most dynamic and influential factor.” But underneath the smooth look there seems to be just plain old racism.

Here is Bennett in a television debate in 2010 with Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi. In the beginning, Tibi says that he sees a place for Jews (“but not settlers”) in the future Palestinian State, but then things get heated up, and that’s how it ends (2:33 min):

Tibi: I expect nothing from a settler that robbed land which is not his own. I treat you as a tumor that needs to be removed.

Bennett: Okay. When you were still climbing trees, we had a Jewish state here… We were here long before you.

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    1. Palestinian

      The last time I checked ,San Francisco is in California not Haifa .Apparently Ziothugs have lost touch with reality and live in delusion,how sad.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Aaron Gross

      Headline 1: BENNETT: “WHEN YOU WERE STILL CLIMBING TREES”

      Headline 2: TIBI: “I TREAT YOU AS A TUMOR”

      Headline 1 made it to +972; Headline 2 didn’t. Tibi is a physician, by the way.

      Thought experiment: Reverse the two speakers. Which headline makes it to +972?

      Reply to Comment
      • Michelle Borowski

        If you’re interested in thought experiments then there are a lot of things that could be reversed in Israel with interesting results: How would you react if an indigenous population of Jews were forced to live in isolated cantons, had to pass through check points in and out of their own towns, had a completely different and discriminatory set of laws applied to them by the rulers of the country they were born in, then are uniformly vilified as terrorists for daring to resist.

        Reply to Comment
        • Lori Lowenthal Marcus

          Oh, Michelle, dear, um, that is pretty much what happened. The Jews were the indigenous people, and they were thrown out and/or slaughtered (cantons were too good for them). As for “completely different and discriminatory set of laws,” every country on planet Earth treats non-citizens differently than citizens. If you mean Israeli Arabs, then the laws are virtually the same as for Israeli Jews (and Israeli Christians, for that matter). What’s more, while Arabs can and do live peaceably in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, etc., Jews can be murdered just for entering Arab-controlled cities in the disputed territories. So, what point were you trying to make?

          Reply to Comment
          • greg nichol

            There is not an anti-Israeli comment made that will not be refuted by an invested Jew. But it doesn’t really change anything now. The American public is slowly figuring out that you’re illegally building settlements on someone else’s land.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            Lori dear I am afraid that you have been the victim of brainwashing. There are Jews who have gone to the West Bank and, indeed, live there without any problems from the Palestinians. The only problems that they face is from either the settlers or from the IDF.

            I suggest that you read The General’s Son by Miko Peled, the son of Israeli general Mati Peled. Miko once felt like you but over the years he discovered that his fear was unfounded. He went many times to Palestinian villages where he was welcomed as a friend. Miko did not come with a weapon or with the intent to take the land of the villages he visited and was shown every hospitality.

            Please read this book. It might just open your mind and your heart.

            Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            Actually, there are large numbers of Israelis who once lived as a Jewish minority dhimmi among Arabs around the Middle East, and many did not have the same wonderful experience among the Arabs that Miko claims he had. That is why they left those countries, if they weren’t expelled outright.

            Reply to Comment
        • Aaron Gross

          Michelle, I’ve done the thought experiment you recommend here many, many times, so what’s your point?

          Reply to Comment
      • Luca

        But it’s true. Bennett and the way of thinking he represents are just tumors.

        Reply to Comment
    3. XYZ

      Bennett was simply paying Dr Tibi back for his vile remarks. He has my vote….this will be the first time in 20 years that the NRP has my support. He is a breath of fresh air…and he also supports equality for Israeli Arab citizens.

      Incidentally, I heard that Benjamin Disraeli made a similar comment to a British antisemite who made a similar remark to him…Disraeli said something to the effect that his ancestors were serving in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem while that fellow’s ancestors were running around naked the dreary forests of England painted blue. No one called Disraeli a ‘racist’ for that.

      Noam, I really pity you “progressives”, you are so wrapped in guilt and, I am sorry to say it, but “self-hatred” that you can’t tell when enemies are spitting in your face. You, after all, are an illegal settler to Tibi no less than Bennett is.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Aaron Gross

      I admit, I posted my first comment just based on the transcript, before watching the video. After watching, I think it’s just a silly kindergarten fight, and neither side’s words should be taken too seriously.

      Note on the translation: Tibi actually said, “I relate to you as a cancerous tumor that needs to be removed.” Also, it should be noted that the “you” was singular.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kernod

        Cut the sanctimony. Why should the settlers presence in the West Bank, which is a result of land theft and universally deemed illegal, be tolerated as part of any resolution of the conflict? Of course they should be removed.

        Reply to Comment
        • Aaron Gross

          Huh? What did I say that was sanctimonious?

          Anyway, to answer your question, one reason is that many of the settlers were born and raised on that land and are blameless for the original theft. Why should a five-year-old settler suffer for the sins of others?

          Also, some others honestly didn’t think of themselves as settlers. I’ve known Israeli settlers who’d be shocked if you called them settlers. I came really close to becoming a settler myself, without even knowing it. There’s a wide range of moral agency there.

          I’m not saying settlers should be allowed to stay – I think they shouldn’t, for other reasons – but those are a couple good justifications for allowing the settlers to stay where they are. There are other justifications, too.

          Reply to Comment
    5. ruth

      XYZ, you feel pity for Noam and I feel pity for you. You are a little human being.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kiwi

        And Ruth I feel pity for you and your ilk.

        Reply to Comment
      • Kiwi

        You know why Ruth?

        Because you are all hypocrites of the first order. You see a splinter in the eye of those who love Israel but you don’t see a rod in your own eyes because everything that Arabs say and do is perfection as far as you are concerned. Because like you, they hate Israel.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Nazi leader of Palestine

      What race is “Palestine”?

      Haj Amin al-Husseini was a blue-eyed, pasty-faced Aryan. Uri Avnery and Richard Falk, are as white as they come. Yassir Arafat was North African; Mohammed Abbas a Russian Soviet. The amalgam of Nazi war criminal, Shari’ah-slaves, Ottoman imperialists, White Communists, Arabian Jihadists, and assorted other Jew-haters that constitute “Palestine” are not a race.

      Pointed critique of the Shari’ah is not “racist”. And it is not Islamophobic to disagree with the Ummah’s foreign policy.

      To wit:

      I disagree with the “Palestinian” alliance with Nazism – and its not racist to say so.

      I disagree with the “Palestinian” alliance with Communism – and its not racist to say so.

      I disagree with the “Palestinian” alliance with Ba’aathism – and its not racist to say so.

      I disagree with the “Palestinian” alliance with Jihadism – and its not racist to say so.

      I disagree with the “Palestinian” alliance with Khomeinism – and its not racist to say so.

      I disagree with the “Palestinian” alliance with the anti-semitic sections of the Western Left – and its not racist to say so.

      You cheapen the depredations of racism by calling anyone who disagrees with Nazism/ Mohammedanism/ Communism a “Racist”.

      Reply to Comment
    7. aristeides

      The Zionist right wing needs to get its story straight. On the one hand, they insist that the Palestinians never existed. On the other, that they not only existed, they were swinging around in the trees.

      Which, since they were at the time the same people, says a lot for the arboreal abilities of the ancient Jews.

      Reply to Comment
    8. directrob

      Given that the time of the Kingdoms is some 80+ generations ago I think it is safe to say that both men share quite a few ancesters. Those we and them arguments about 2500 years ago are plain silly.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Oriol2

      I remember my first and last visit to the Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. The Jewish guide fed us with propaganda. When talking about the 1948 War, he felt compelled to remind us of the many many many Nobel Prizes won by Jews, and added “but we are not great swimmers”. Laughs and cheers.
      The thing is,for all the unique richness of Jewish tradition and culture -which to some extent lives on in Israel-, when confronted to such idiocy I cannot avoid -sorry- thinking about a German girl whom I met some years ago when I was studying in Germany. She was one of the few upper-middle-class Germans who are candid about their racism, and she used to tell me: “Anyway you cannot deny that Germany is superior to Spain in almost everything”. One day I got fed up with her and simply answered: “Maybe Germany is superior, but not thanks to YOU”. What was simply stupid in a German university comes back to me sometimes in Israel when I attend a lecture by David Wilder -yes I did- and I think that that’s what’s become of Judaism after Martin Buber and Gershom Scholem. I suppose I would feel the same if I met this Bennett guy. The same people who support the lunatics and religious zealots in Hebron pretend to be superior to someone. It’s pathetic.

      Reply to Comment
      • Shmuel

        ” he felt compelled to remind us of the many many many Nobel Prizes won by Jews”

        Wow oriol, you are offended that he felt proud about the achievements of fellow Jews? That makes him racist?

        Get over yourself, you pompous ass. Reminder: Most normal people feel pride about the achievements of their fellow nationals. Get over it.

        Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Worth noticing that you weren’t able to prove that Germany is not superior to Spain.

        Reply to Comment
    10. David Shalev, Esq.

      Tibi calls the settlers a cancerous growth first (that presumably needs to be amputated) and then Bennett answer shim with a less vile statement. Bennett has the upper hand in his debating Etiquette

      Reply to Comment
      • Aaron Gross

        That was how I misunderstood it from the English translation, too. Then I watched the video: Tibi is using the singular “you,” not the plural. He’s saying he relates to Bennett as a cancerous tumor. Earlier, Tibi had said that settlers were welcome to stay in the state of Palestine, but as Palestinian citizens, not as settlers.

        Reply to Comment
        • Arieh

          ” Tibi had said that settlers were welcome to stay in the state of Palestine, but as Palestinian citizens, not as settlers.”

          But the PLO ambassador Maen Areakat says this:

          “The future independent Palestinian state will not include a Jewish minority, a top Palestinian official told USA Today on Wednesday, adding that it was in the best interest of both peoples to “be separated.”

          Go figure …

          Reply to Comment
    11. XYZ

      Jan claimed above:
      ————————–
      There are Jews who have gone to the West Bank and, indeed, live there without any problems from the Palestinians. The only problems that they face is from either the settlers or from the IDF.
      —————————-

      While it is true that there are Jews who hang out in Palestinian society, the situation is not as simple as Jan is trying to get us to believe it is. While many pro-Palestinian people like to idealize them and view them as peaceful, saintly victims as opposed to the evil, violent warmongering Israelis, it is more complex than that. Not all people who have come to identify with them and live with them have been treated so well as Miko claims he has.

      First, there was Professor Glock, a non-Jewish American who wanted to set up a Palestinian Archaeology faculty. He was murdered:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Glock

      Then there was actor Julian Mer-Khamis whose mother was an Israel-Jew and whose father was an Israeli Arab Christian. Juliano at first served in the IDF but then who decided to identify as a Palestinian. He set up something like a “revolutionary theater” in Jenin in order to raise the conciousness of the youth there in their struggle against Israel. He was repeatedly warned by local Palestinian elements to get out of town, but he didn’t listen. He was murdered as well, and the Palestinian Aurthority hasn’t been too energetic in pursuing the culprits, who apparently have a lot of political backing:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juliano_Mer-Khamis

      Shortly after Juliano was murdered, an Italian pro-Palestinian activist named Vittoria Arrigoni who went to live in Gaza was nurdered:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vittorio_Arrigoni#Manhunt

      Thus, being a “friend of the Palestinian people” does not make one necessarily immune to violence in their society.

      Reply to Comment
      • Jan

        XYZ – First of all when you say that Jews lived as dhimmis, what would you say of how the Palestinians live under occupation? Their situation is far worse than was that of Jews living in Arab countries. The Palestinians have seen their lands stolen from them, their livelihoods destroyed as settlements and the aparthied wall grab their agricultural land and their people killed and imprisoned. Thousands of Palestinian homes have been demolished since Israel took over the West Bank and Gaza. I suspect that the same fate did not befall the Jews of Arab countries before 1948.

        You mention several murders in the West Bank which are indeed tragic. Now can you say honestly that there are no murders in Israel? Have you forgotten the murder of Yitzak Rabin or of Emil Grunzwieg? Those are among the two best known murders in Israel but there are many more. Can you with a straight face say that there is no violence in Israeli society among Israeli Jews? I don’t think you can.

        Reply to Comment
        • Arieh

          Jan says:
          “…Their situation is far worse than was that of Jews living in Arab countries”

          How do you know, Jan? Are you are an authority on this subject? Obviously not.

          Now read the following link and learn:

          http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths3/MFtreatment.html

          Too Jewish for you?

          Then read the following link too:

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

          Here is just one of many many many instances of persecutions of Jews by Arabs:

          “The Damascus affair occurred in 1840, when a French monk and his servant disappeared in Damascus. Immediately following, a charge of ritual murder was brought against a large number of Jews in the city including children who were tortured.”

          Reply to Comment
        • XYZ

          Of course, Israel has crime and murders just like all other countries, INCLUDING the Palestinians. You were claiming that Palestinians welcome Jews and others to live with them. Well, no doubt some do, but others don’t, as I have shown. All those killed that I mentioned were pro-Palestinians activists, killed for political reasons. If I may use some logic….if Palestinians are willing to kill friends of theirs, on political grounds, then how can I be certain they would welcome large numbers of Jews, with whom they have historical grievances, amongst their midst?

          Reply to Comment
        • XYZ

          Of course, Israel has crime and murders just like all other countries, INCLUDING the Palestinians. You were claiming that Palestinians welcome Jews and others to live with them. Well, no doubt some do, but others don’t, as I have shown. All those killed that I mentioned were pro-Palestinians activists, killed for political reasons. If I may use some logic….if Palestinians are willing to kill friends of theirs, on political grounds, then how can I be certain they would welcome large numbers of Jews, with whom they have historical grievances, amongst their midst?

          Read this piece about the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member who proposed that Egyptian Jews in Israel return to live in Egypt. Note the part at the end where it talks about strong opposition to this. Keep this in mind when you hear Muslim apologists claim that they “hold Jews and Judaism in the highest regard, they only have a problem with Zionists”–

          http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-will-cease-to-exist-within-the-decade-adviser-to-egyptian-president-predicts/

          Reply to Comment
    12. Danny

      Tibi put Bennet in his little pocket (not that it’s such a hard thing to do), and exposed Bennet and his electorate for the despicable racists that they are.
      .
      I am seriously considering voting for MK Tibi’s party!

      Reply to Comment
      • Shmuel

        “Tibi put Bennet in his little pocket (not that it’s such a hard thing to do), and exposed Bennet and his electorate for the despicable racists that they are.”

        Then you are obviously impressed by baffoons. Because thats what Tibi proved himself to be in this debate.
        .
        “I am seriously considering voting for MK Tibi’s party!”

        Spare us Danny. You are not fooling anyone. Thats whom you always vote for we all know that. And you would vote for the Nazi party too if they would be allowed to run. The ones that hate Jews and Israel most, thats whom you vote for. We know your kind.

        Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          Tibi is nothing special if judged on absolute terms. But relative to Bennet and some of the other right-wing neanderthals running to the knesset, he is head and shoulders above the average in terms of intelligence and coherence. I would daresay Tibi is far more eloquent than all of the right put together. And his remark on the settlers being like a cancerous growth in Israel’s body? I couldn’t agree more.
          .
          Last election, I voted for Hadash. But I think they aren’t sticking their necks out enough against the right-wing fascists, like Tibi and Zuabi are.

          Reply to Comment
          • Mitchell Cohen

            @Danny, I remember you saying you were living in the States and “gave up being an Israeli”. So, are you flying here for the elections?

            Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            I cannot speak for Baffoons but as probable owner of a few Neandertal genes I feel offended by you comparing Neandertal with right wing Knesset members.

            Reply to Comment
    13. Jogortha

      Well, technically, the Roman empire had sovereignty over that land 2000 years ago. what about their rights? what about the rights of Canaanites? you see how ridiculous is the Zionist claim of sovereignty based on religious beliefs?

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        The people that created the country were hardly religious. Zionists claim a Jewish connection to the land of Israel and a Jewish right to self-determination. The first is hardly in dispute given the origin of the Jewish people in Israel. In order to dispute the second you would need to go down the Jews are not a people line of reasoning.

        Bringing up the Canaanites and Roman Empire doesn’t really help your case very much. The first are gone and no one speaks for them. The Roman Empire achieved undisputed dominance in Israel by killing and forcing out nearly all the Jews during the Jewish-Roman wars. Not a great example to use when disputing Jewish rights to Israel.

        Reply to Comment
    14. Khaled Khalid

      So when African refugees are called “Cancerous Infiltrators” and “Niggers” by Right Wing Israeli Thugs it’s not vile but when a Palestinian says it about obnoxious Israeli KKK Settlers in the West Bank???

      “We were here Long before you”
      …So that’s the name of the game now?? Does the Right Wing really want to go there??

      By that same Right Wing logic then Jews should get out of New York, California and all North America. And South America, And South Africa, and Australia, and Canada, and Europe. And Russia and Ukraine.
      …Still want Palestinians to Climb a Tree???

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        No, silly.

        By the same logic Jews could be forcibly removed from “New York, California and all North America. And South America, And South Africa, and Australia, and Canada, and Europe. And Russia and Ukraine.”

        It happened before quite a few times, so there is no indication that it won’t happen in the future.

        And guess where to they are gonna be removed? Until 1948 there was only one option: gas chambers; however nowadays any state which would decide to get rid of all Jews won’t have to spend time and effort exterminating them.

        Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        I don’t know that I want them to climb trees, but I know a 77 year old Palestinian that climbed a really tall one and has no idea how to get down.

        Reply to Comment
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