Analysis News

Price tag of the Iran scare campaign revealed

Between NIS 10 and 11 billion were used in preparations for an attack that was never meant to happen. This incredibly expensive and ultimately failed political maneuver should be the focus of the next election. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks before the UN General Assembly, September 27th 2012. The effect of the cartoon bomb made most people miss the fact that Netanyahu moved the deadline for an attack till next spring (Photo: Avi Ochayon, Government Press Office)

Unless Netanyahu is crazier than is commonly assumed, Israel will not attack Iran in the near future. Until quite recently, Netanyahu stubbornly claimed that Israel must attack Iran before the 2012 U.S. presidential elections. This was a calculated attempt by Netanyahu to put pressure on Barack Obama and advance the chances of Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.

This attempt at psychological warfare utterly failed: Obama, ice-cold, didn’t blink; he referred to Netanyahu’s demands as “background noise,” and adamantly refused to change his position. He left Netanyahu with no choice but to go to his Canossa, the UN General Assembly, and to make a retreat speech there. The bomb and fuse drawing (“this is the bomb, this is the fuse…” – possibly the lowest point ever reached by an Israeli prime minister) devoured all the attention – and camouflaged the only important part of that speech. Netanyahu announced that he postponed his threat to attack Iran to the spring or summer of 2013. Anything can happen until then – and as it looks, Netanyahu will dismiss the Knesset and go to elections before that time.

So Netanyahu’s attempt at a nerve war failed. Now we must ask how much it cost us. Let’s begin with the intangibles: How much damage will Israel suffer from a president who has to consider its prime minister to be a political rival or, at the least, an ally of his political rivals? How much damage will Israel take in U.S. liberal opinion, and actually in the mind of any American patriot, when the American public will begin to understand that Israel is no ally, but at best a cross the U.S. has to bear?

Obama’s former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, told Obama last summer that Israel is “an ungrateful ally.”...

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What happened to the refugees while the state lied and the court dithered

How the state lied to the highest court in the land, how the court lapped it up, and who is really guilty here.

Last Thursday, says Adv. Omer Shatz of the Anu Plitim (We Are Refugees) NGO, he showed up at the Supreme Court with his colleague, Adv. Yiftah Cohen, to ask for an injunction ordering the 21 refugees caught between the borders of Israel and Egypt to be brought into the country. Surprisingly, he said in a phone conversation, the process went well: the judges asked the state’s counsel some difficult questions, at one point asking her whether she would agrees to the injunction.

Common court courtesy says that when the justices suggest an injunction, you cordially accept. The state’s counsel bucked protocol, and refused – and furthermore, asked for a secret session with the justices, invoking “secret intelligence” surrounding the refugees. The secret session, to which only the state’s counsel and the justices were privy, ended with the justices postponing their decision to Sunday. Several hours later, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that a “solution was reached,” as part of which two women and a boy entered an Israeli prison, and the rest of the refugees “turned back.”

This was a lie from start to finish. The state lied when it told the Court it supplied the refugees with food. It only supplied them with water – and very little water at that. Adv. Shatz interviewed the three refugees allowed into Israel – he noted he interviewed each of them separately, not as a group – and was told the soldiers only gave them three 1.5 liter bottles of water a day. That’s 4.5 liters of waters a day – for 21 people. In the desert heat. That’s about 214 ml a person per day. Less than a small soft drink bottle, which contains 220 ml.

The refugees noted that bread was thrown at them twice – a bag of sliced bread. This was probably due to a single soldier disobeying orders. The bread was thrown in the early stages of the incident, before the media and the NGOs understood what was going on. One of the bags was caught on the fence, and the refugees looked at it, unable to reach it. The second one sailed clear over the fence. The famous cloth to provide shade, supposedly supplied to the refugees by the IDF gunmen,...

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In Corrie ruling, court calls nonviolent activism 'practically violent'

An Israeli judge claims activists who oppose house demolitions - and not those who demolish them - are the perpetrators of violence.

The Israeli court system was, for a long time, the most successful fig leaf of the only Jewish state in the Middle East.  Now it has gone diving into the Hasbara morass. After “diplomatic terrorism” (opposing Israel in the world, a phrase favored by our foreign minister) and “economic terrorism” (boycotting settlements) we now have the District Court of Haifa blaming (Hebrew) the ISM organization of being  ”practically violent,” even though the court admits it had nothing to do with violence.

The court wrote this in the decision on the civil suit filed by the family of Rachel Corrie, who was run over and killed by an Israeli D-9 bulldozer in 2003 in Rafah. Corrie was trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian house by the IDF for reasons few can remember anymore.

The court claimed the iDF was engaged in hisuf, a technocratic Hebrew term meaning literally “an act of exposure,” which in practical terms means the destruction of property, most often agricultural property but sometimes houses as well. Often, hisuf – which IDF gunmen often claimed was intended to prevent ambushes – had little to do with military necessity and everything to do with state terrorism: terrorizing the Palestinian residents out of supporting the uprising against Israel.  B’Tselem noted at the time that under the guise of hisuf, the IDF gunmen often destroyed fields of tomatoes and zucchini, often causing irreparable damage. B’Tselem called (Hebrew) this policy a policy of collective punishment.

The chief of the Civil Administration in the West Bank at the time, Brig. General Dov Tsdaka, said at the time (Hebrew):

…in Gaza, I think, they did cross the limit. After the events in Eley Sinai and Dugit, they carried out a very massive hisuf. They uprooted hundreds of dunams of strawberries, plantations and hothouses. I think this is unfair…. It will cause hatred and inflammatory [behavior?], and will draw more people into the circle of hostility. This is simply unwise. We have some instances of this in the RJS (Region of Judea and Samaria, IDF parlance for the West Bank – YZG].  Sometimes I approve a certain amount of hisuf, but when I visit the place I find our forces...

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Israeli government willingly lays foundations for Jewish terrorism

When the pogromchiks from Jerusalem go to court, they’ll have a strong case, saying they only did what was expected of them.

Israel officially condemned last week the fact Jewish terrorists attacked a Palestinian vehicle with Molotov cocktails, wounding six of its passengers. Prime Minister Netanyahu quickly had an envoy call Palestinian President Abbas, and promised him Israel would put those responsible on trial. If Abbas is buying this, given Israel’s record regarding the price-taggers, then I have some juicy bridges to sell him at very reasonable prices.

This attack took place on Thursday afternoon. Several hours later, a gang of proud Jewish hoodlums tried to lynch three Palestinians in Jerusalem. The attackers, most of whom appear to have been juveniles, were uttering cries like “a Jew is a soul, an Arab is a son of a whore” and the all-time crowd pleaser, “Death to Arabs.” The goons also tried to prevent emergency forces from treating the victims. One of them is critically wounded.

During the attack on the dorms of Palestinian students in Safed two years ago, inspired by the town’s rabbi Shmuel Eliahu’s ban on renting apartments to non-Jews, the calls of “A Jew is a soul” were heard (Hebrew). The same cry is common (Hebrew) among the fans of racist group Beitar Jerusalem (which sidelines as a soccer team). The supremacists we’re dealing with have nothing to be proud of aside from the fact of their Jewishness, used in the minimalist Orthodox sense of thinking every Jew is a priori superior to every non-Jew.

Hence the speaking of “souls” as a battle cry: a common Orthodox concept is that non-Jews do not have souls. This concept is very strong in Kabbalah (I guess Madonna is in for some nasty shock; being not just a gentile but a woman makes her a particular object of hatred), but exists elsewhere (such as in the Talmudic concept of “you [Jews] are human, they [non-Jews] are not, and Yehuda Halevi’s Kuzari, which rates being on an “inanimate-vegetable-animal-speaking being-Jew” scale).

The attackers quickly spread the lie that they went on the warpath because one of the victims tried to flirt with a Jewish girl. This fiction, the attempt to violate a pure-blooded female of the master race, is well known to us from any racism regime, from the American South to Nazi Germany. Such attacks are becoming...

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IDF invokes 'security risk' to thwart rare win for Gazan travel rights

The  NGO Gisha had reason to believe, some ten days ago, that it won a small victory: The High Court of Justice, which couldn’t stomach the tricks of the security apparatus any longer, ordered it to explain why it rejects requests by four female students from Gaza to move to the West Bank to study there (we covered the case of a fifth student here). The HCJ rarely does that; when it does, it is generally a hint that the policy defended by the government is highly unreasonable.

The problem is the policy of the IDF, practiced with various degrees of severity over the last decade, preventing Gazans from travelling to the West Bank and vice versa. There is reason to believe that what the government calls a “policy of differentiation” (mediniut ha’bidul) is an attempt to sever the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, slowly pushing it towards Egypt. The IDF, which prides itself on being more moral than Hamas, does allow a small number of “humanitarian cases” to move from Gaza to the West Bank. It is not humanitarian enough, however, to allow children to move to the West Bank and live with their mothers, for instance. Even though the HCJ accepted the IDF position as a rule, it recommended several times that the IDF create an “exceptions committee,” to rule on exceptions to the ban. As par for the course, the IDF ignored this recommendation; hence the rather severe decision by the court.

But the triumphant feeling among Gisha workers (due notice: I sometimes provide Gisha with translation services on a freelance basis) quickly  evaporated. Several days ago, Major General Eitan Dangot, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, gave the court his reply (it can be seen here, in a Hebrew pdf). In article 61 of the document, Dangot claims there is a security-related reason to prevent two of the petitioners (one and two) from entering the West Bank. Dangot claims that, regarding Petitioner 1, there exists “security intelligence” that she is “in contact with terror activists, including family members of the first degree”; as to Petitioner 2, he claims there is intelligence about “her activity in a terrorist organization, and her contact with terror activists, some of whom are family members of the first degree.” As for appellants 3 and 4, he says “given certain intelligence regarding them, as we are asked to examine...

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Lesson from George Washington on dangers of Sheldon Adelson

What would George Washington think of would-be kingmaker Sheldon Adelson’s ambition regarding Israel?

Conor Friedersdorf has an interesting column in The Atlantic in which he claims that, when it comes to Israel, Obama’s actions and sentiments are much more in tune with George Washington’s famous farewell address, which warned Americans against getting entangled in other countries’ business.

I was particularly struck by one of Washington’s comments:

I thought immediately about Sheldon Adelson, the would-be kingmaker both in the U.S. and in Israel. Adelson is spending huge sums of money in both countries in order to make sure Israel becomes an apartheid state (naturally, this is not the term he would use). Even though he pays his taxes in the U.S. and not in Israel, he gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a great gift, which ought to be considered a registered contribution: the free daily Israel Hayom, which has lowered Israeli journalistic standards to new depths. He is also spending huge funds on Romney, after spending them on Newt Gingrich (remember him?). He openly says he wants Obama out of the White House.

This is where Washington’s comment about “ambitious” and “corrupt citizens” comes in. “Ambitious” in Washington times, was not a laudatory word; it still carried the Latin stink of “someone who is ambitious beyond his station, so ambitious he is a danger to the freedom of his country”; in short, someone who is ambitious enough to overthrow the state.

Given Adelson’s out-of-proportion influence; given the fact that he has basically said he is more loyal to Israel than to his declared homeland (stating that “unfortunately” he served in the U.S. Army and not the IDF), and that all that he cares about is being a good Zionist and a good citizen of Israel, perhaps loyal Americans – those who think of the U.S. first and Israel much later, if at all – should heed their first president’s words, and avoid the ambitious and corrupt Adelson as a man dangerous to the liberty of their country.

Related:
Sheldon, Newt and Bibi: Egomaniacs for a strong Israel
Campaign urges Americans in Israel to vote in November U.S. elections 



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The NYTimes has it wrong: Israel's roots are not liberal

Perhaps the greatest myth about Israel is the one the New York Times subscribes to: that it started out as a ‘liberal’ country committed to ‘human rights.’ An examination of the early days demonstrates that the country led by Ben-Gurion and Mapai was no progressive picnic.

Recently, the New York Times was bemoaning the declining state of democracy in Israel. My colleague Dahlia Scheindlin noted several errors in the facts cited by the paper. I was more struck by the concluding passage: “One of Israel’s greatest strengths is its origins as a democratic state committed to liberal values and human rights.”

This to me shows the basic misunderstanding of even a liberal-leaning newspaper regarding Israel’s foundations. The idea that Israel has “liberal roots” and institutions is perhaps the greatest success of the hasbara (state PR) campaign.

Let’s view the basic facts. Israel does not have a constitution. It was supposed to have one: what we now call the First Knesset was supposed to be a constitutional assembly, but after several debates and the pressure of Israel’s strongman, David Ben Gurion, the assembly performed what one of its members – the American Hillel Kook (“Peter Bergson”) – called a putsch, and abandoned the constitution, declaring itself the First Knesset. Cook resigned in protest; barely anyone noticed.

Ben Gurion opposed a constitution because he knew any such would greatly limit his own power, and would also require Israel to treat all its citizens equally. Ben Gurion, who later on would refuse to carry an ID card containing text in Arabic (and would be issued a special, Hebrew-only card), had no such intentions.

Ben Gurion spearheaded the ethnic cleansing campaign of 1947-1948, and was instrumental in the decision following the War of Independence to open fire on refugees trying to return to their villages. While paying lip service to the claim that all Israelis were full citizens, he kept the  Palestinian population of Israel under military rule (which was abolished only in late 1966); he had puppet Arab MKs and parties – but his internal security service (ShinBet) persecuted real Palestinian activists, and his police terrorized the Palestinian population. In at least one case – the Qafr Kassem massacre – Israeli border policemen massacred dozens of so-called Israeli citizens because they did not comply with a curfew order – of which they were unaware.

Ben Gurion also oversaw the massive land...

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Netanyahu lays blame for Bulgaria attack ahead of evidence

The investigation into the Burgas terror attack barely got underway when Prime Minister Netanyahu already announced that it was carried out by Iran through its proxy Hezbollah. Whether or not it in fact was, it is the public’s duty to refuse to accept the government’s claims, until they are backed up with solid evidence. 

Returning to his halcyon days as the national inciter, standing near the blood pools of suicide attack victims, the Prime Minister was quick to announce – before the sooty bus in Burgas was even removed – that the responsibility for the attack lies with Iran or its proxies. Given the fact that Israel has been carrying out a series of terror attacks there, and was connected to the Jundallah terrorist organization, a reprisal by Iran is a reasonable assumption, though it is far from certain. This lack of certainty did not prevent Netanyahu from proclaiming Iran’s guilt.

It’s not at all certain those allegations are based on fact. The Bulgarian media claimed, almost certainly because of leaks from their intelligence services, that the suicide bomber is Mehdi Muhammad Ghazali, a Swedish national who was involved in the global Jihad movement and was incarcerated in Gunatanamo Bay. Sweden denies it, as did Bulgarian officials (Hebrew); Sweden, though, says it has no idea where Ghazali is. But Bulgarian intelligence says that while Hezbollah is its main suspect (Hezbollah denies any connection to the attack, for what it’s worth) they are also considering two other possibilities: An Al Qaeda/Global Jihad attack, or an attack by Turkish terrorists, as a reprisal for the Marmara killings. In the meantime, we also learned that the Israeli embassy in Washington had to admit, several hours after Netanyahu’s comments, that “it had no proof that Iran was the instigator of the attack.” Apparently Netanyahu did not share his secret information with his embassy in a major hasbara front. Yesterday we learned (Hebrew) that the Bulgarian police is looking for a second terrorist, an American citizen. Do you know of many U.S. citizens who are Hezbollah members? And yet, the Israeli media, as a rule, did not refer to those other possibilities.

Why? Because Netanyahu framed the story within an hour: Iran, Hezbollah. The point is we don’t know anything certain yet. A “senior Israeli official” told ynet  (Hebrew) on Thursday  that “according to the indications” the Burgas attack was...

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This week's legal developments signal human rights decline

From arresting activists for erasing graffiti, to proposing a law preventing asylum seekers from sending money they earn abroad: What several judicial and juristic decisions in the past week tell us about contemporary Israel.

First incident: Last weekend, our kindly goons detained a group of Ta’ayush activists who visited the Palestinian unrecognized village of Susya. They visited the place after “price tag” pogromchiks sprayed the slogans “price tag” and “death to Arabs” near the viilage. The Civil Administration – staffed, appropriately, by IDF officers and gunmen – denied the villagers permission to delete those slogans. The officer filing that decision must have had a hard time deciding whether to file it under “stupidity” or “small minded evil.” The Ta’ayush activists managed to paint over the “price tag” slogan, and were in the middle of the dangerous maneuver of doing the same to the other slogan, when our brave policemen charged at them and detained them. The police prosecutor hastily drew up an indictment claiming that the spraying over of those slogans was as dangerous to public peace as the slogans painted a few weeks ago at Yad Vashem.

Now, frankly I was not disturbed by the spraying of Yad Vashem. I mean, these were nonsense slogans meant to shock the Jewish public, which rebranded Yad Vashem as a scared site a long time ago. As such, those slogans not only were not “dangerous to the public”; on the contrary, they provided a public service, by making a few people re-think the dogma they were taught by the Zionist regime. Yes, some insignificant damage was inflicted on public property, but that’s something a democracy should bear without complaint.

But never mind that: the police failed to notice the situation is quite the opposite. The activists were deleting offensive slogans, not writing them – and writing those slogans, by the way, is illegal in Israel. Even so, the police promptly prosecuted not the people who wrote the illegal slogans – which it is unlikely it will ever apprehend – but the people who tried to remove them.

Second incident: Prior to the Disengagement of 2005, the settlers and their helpers carried out several terror attacks, particularly against Palestinians, trying to coax Palestinians to counter-terrorism, which would blow the Disengagement plan up. That is, there were trying to prolong their presence on stolen land by spilling...

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Military surveillance vehicle reappears to track Tel Aviv protest

The police and the army have yet to provide an explanation for the deployment of  a military surveillance vehicle – nicknamed the Raccoon – that followed the social justice protesters in Tel Aviv last week. It was not clear who the vehicle belonged to: it looks like an army vehicle but was operated by Border Police officers last week – or at least that is what the IDF claimed.

Last night (Saturday) the vehicle made another appearance in Tel Aviv, this time escorting the counter protest to the one organized by the establishment against “draft dodgers.” It made its way past the protesters as they gathered at the meeting point on Kaplan Street, and then parked not too far away from where the protest took place at Habima Square –  in a spot designated strictly for employee parking.

I tried to get close to the vehicle in order to figure out – by identifying its license plate – who it actually belongs to: the IDF or the Border Police. The former uses military numerals, while the latter uses police numerals. The Raccoon had no number on it at all. Shortly thereafter, a semi-undercover cop approached me (he was wearing civilian clothing but was overtly carrying a radio device on this left shoulder) and removed me from the area.

If this Raccoon is in fact a police vehicle, why was it not equipped with the appropriate police license numbers? Unless it is a combat vehicle, like a tank or APC (armored personnel carriers), which wouldn’t have license numbers? If it is in fact a military vehicle, why did the IDF lend it to the Border Police for actions taking place inside Tel Aviv?

MK (Hadash) Dov Khenin submitted a query questioning the government’s use of a military surveillance vehicle against peaceful protesters. He has yet to receive an answer. The police also deployed undercover cops – or more accurately, semi-undercover – who videotaped the protest and broadcast it in real time to their headquarters.

It was easy to identify them as a result of the antenna protruding from their backs. The only democracy in the Middle East looks much more Middle East than democratic recently. Whoever thought the occupation would stop at the Green Line should think again.

Translated from Hebrew...

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Report by British jurists reminds of the horrors of Israeli child detention

The report – which specifies at least six violations of the UN convention on children’s rights –  spotlights the horrors Israelis have grown accustomed to.

A report by a group of distinguished British jurists, published on Tuesday, reached the conclusion that Israel violates the Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), of which it is a signatory, by its behavior in the Occupied Territories, and that in a few cases it is also in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The report was made at the behest of the British Foreign Ministry, whose officials said they intend to “challenge Israel” over its policy regarding the detention of Palestinian children.

The report itself is measured and careful, and in and of itself, contains little that is new to anyone familiar, for instance, with B’Tselem’s report on the issue. It reports what every Israeli must know and what many Palestinians have experienced: the invasion of a home at night; the dragging of a child out of his bed; handcuffing and blindfolding him, even though he is no threat to the armed-to-the-hilt gunmen who detain him; dragging him away into a far interrogation facility, without the presence of a relative; a hostile interrogation, often including threats of violence and sometimes actual violence; the demand to incriminate others; the prevention of contact with a relative or a lawyer; the long detention, months turning into years, without a trial; and that trial’s foregone conclusion, known well in advance.

All of which is well known. So well known, our hearts have grown callous. How many Israeli adults did not see Palestinian children sitting on the ground, hands cuffed behind their backs, their eyes blindfolded with gun cloth? Those who dwell in darkness grow used to it. And then a group of British jurists comes along, turning a searchlight at them, and show them how far they are from the civilized norm. In a few cold sentences they remove the thin film of “the only democratic country in the Middle East,” leaving you just with a “country in the Middle East.”

The jurists have found that within Israel proper, it actually observes the UNCRC; the problem is what happens in the Occupied Territories. They state loud and clear that “Israel should not discriminate between...

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On racism, Foreign Ministry worried about image, not reality

Diplomats warn that reports of Israeli attitudes and acts towards refugees may harm Israel’s image, ignoring the acts themselves.

Our Foreign Ministry finds itself in a quandary. Israel brutally expels refugees from South Sudan, and runs a vicious and racist campaign against refugees from Sudan. Ministers and MKs are competing to see who can lead a more beastly campaign of hatred. The current winner is Madam MK and former IDF Spokeswomen Miri “I did not intend to compare the refugees to human beings” Regev, but the race is far from over.

This, reports activist Rotem Ilan (Hebrew), is how the Oz Unit (refugee headhunting unit, dregs of Israeli society so low they couldn’t even get in to the police) sounds in action: “Do you want me to fuck you in the ass? You like it, it shows” (Oz officer to an activist); “The father said he does not love you anymore, and you can fly for all he cares” (Oz officer to a mother and daughter held in custody, asking to say their goodbyes to the child’s father); “If you need to go to the bathroom, just piss in your dress” (Oz officer to a priest in traditional African garb, who actually had a residency permit); “What am I, a bell boy? Do I have to carry your luggage? You don’t want to [carry it], see if I care” (Oz officer during an arrest of a family with three children, yesterday).

Veteran journalist Yael Gvirtz described (Hebrew) some of the deportees: “A girl with hideous burns (whose mother and brother are already detained), [to be deported] to a country with no medical infrastructure… A person seriously ill with diabetes, who knows deportation consigns him to death, because there is no insulin to be gotten there. Just two of the stories, because this night is so difficult as it is. And what would the next picture be? The disaster area (and then the Israeli government will surely send an IDF flying hospital, to show the world how humane we are…)”

Oz’s activity has been described by one of its officers, Asaf Khayoun – every criminal has a name – as follows (Hebrew): “Coming into a house, there’s excitement in that. You want to find them. I just love enforcement. A few weeks ago we went to a house in Savion to check information about an...

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Netanyahu uses illegal settlement affair to teach leftists a lesson

Prime Minister Netanyahu is directing the ‘price tag’ method at NGOs and the judicial system, stating that his government will act against those trying to enforce what little rights the Palestinians have.

In the last couple of years, we’ve witnessed a series of pogroms by settlers or their supporters, directed either at the IDF or, more often, Palestinians. These attacks, which received the common moniker of “price tags”, were orchestrated by several settler leaders, and the concept behind them was that each time the government tried to dislodge a settlement or an outpost, someone else would suffer. Generally, the settler turned the Palestinians into their hostages in order to deter the government and the military from enforcing eviction notices against them.

Just yesterday, a “price tag” attack was committed in Neve Shalom, a mixed Arab-Jewish village, by vandals who identified as opposers of the decision to move Ulpana. Cars were vandalized with messages like “Death to Arabs” and “Regards from Ulpana.”

This week, we have seen Prime Minister Netanyahu embracing the same vengeful method. In his Knesset speech following the Ulpana debacle (the Netanyahu government pledged to build 851 new apartments in the West Bank, as well as uproot and transport the five Ulpana houses, at a staggering cost), Netanyahu said:

I tell those who think they can use the judicial system to hurt settlement, that they are mistaken, because in practice, the exact opposite will occur. Instead of shrinking Beit El – Beit El has expanded.  Instead of hurting settlement, settlement has been strengthened.

A quick overview of the facts is essential. The Ulpana Hill buildings were built on stolen Palestinian land, taken on the basis of fabricated documents. This is uncontested either by the courts or the state. Most of the settlers living there were evidently aware of the land’s shady status, as they did not purchase apartments there, but rather rented. The judicial process demanding the removal of the trespassers has been going on for years. Finally, the High Court of Justice left the government with no alternative but to evacuate the squatters – and now the government will indemnify them for their failed land heist, at the public’s expense.

But Netanyahu goes further. His threat is directed both at the Palestinians and Israeli NGOs: if you try to save individual Palestinians by, lo...

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