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Against spy revelations, Israel doth protest too much

The nation’s establishment has called the whistle-blowers of Unit 8200 every bad name, but it has no answer to their charge that information deliberately gathered on innocent Palestinians is used to blackmail them into collaborating.

Illustrative photo of digital surveillance. (Shutterstock.com)

Illustrative photo of digital surveillance. (Shutterstock.com)

The 43 refuseniks in Unit 8200, Israel’s legendary high-tech snoops, are this week’s Gideon Levys, this week’s Haneen Zoabis – the focus of patriotic hatred in the land. “Baseless slander” is what Netanyahu called their letter, published Friday in Yedioth Ahronoth, in which they declared they would no longer spy for the occupation.

Aside from being called traitors, the 43 reservists have been called cowards, spoiled brats, cynical political operatives and, as mentioned, baseless slanderers. But neither Netanyahu nor any of the other accusers have answered the whistle-blowers’ most incendiary revelation: that Unit 8200 not only spies on the phones, emails and other devices of militants, but on those of completely innocent Palestinians, hoping to find out their secrets so the Shin Bet can use the information to blackmail them into becoming collaborators.

Interviewing six of the letter’s signatories, Yedioth’s Elior Levy wrote (in Hebrew), “According to them, the Israeli public believes that intelligence is gathered only against those involved in terror. They want to publicize the fact that a substantial portion of the targets they follow are innocent people who are not connected in any way to military activity against Israel, and who interest the intelligence branches for other reasons.”

According to “N.” one of the six dissidents interviewed, “At the base they told us that if we turn up some ‘juicy’ detail, this is something important to document. For instance, economic hardship, sexual orientation, a severe illness that they or someone in their family has, or medical treatments they need.”

“N.” continued:

If you’re a homosexual who knows someone who knows a wanted man – Israel will turn your life into a misery. If you need urgent medical treatment in Israel, the West Bank or overseas – we’re on your tail. The State of Israel will let you die before it lets you go for medical treatment without your first giving information about your cousin, the wanted man. Every time we hook an innocent person who can be blackmailed for information, or to conscript him as a collaborator, that’s like gold for us and for the entire Israeli intelligence community. In a training course we actually learned and memorized the different Arabic words for homosexual.

The army spokesman’s response to these and other specific accusations goes as follows: “The concrete claims made in the report are unknown in the Intelligence Directorate.”

In an interview on TLV1 radio, I asked Noa Levy, a former draft resister who now defends others taking that route, what she thought of the army spokesman’s response. She gave a derisive laugh and said,

That is quite ridiculous, which I can say from my experience as a human rights lawyer. There are many cases of LGBT people from the Palestinian territories who get to Israel and try to get refuge after the Shin Bet blackmailed them, and they get to the point when they are known to Palestinian society as homosexuals or traitors, and [Palestinians] presume they’re informers. This phenomenon was known for a long time, but it was thought to be marginal. What these soldiers allow us to say is that it’s a general thing … a general policy. [Unit 8200]  gathers information on [Palestinian] homosexuals and uses it to turn them against family members or friends.

In Yedioth, Israel’s leading print journalist, Nahum Barnea, fully defended the truthfulness (though not the judgment) of the dissidents:

One would have expected the military to respond to this claim [of spying on innocent Palestinians to blackmail them into collaborating] with a commitment to examine it and correct any failings. Instead we got a wholesale denial – a denial that brought a cynical grin to the face of everyone who is familiar with the reality of the [intelligence-gathering] system. …

The occupation corrupts, say the refuseniks of 8200, and they’re telling the truth. In the best case, the information they pick up prevents terror; in many other cases it serves the malice, arbitrariness and stupidity of the occupation, or it provides a presentable wrapping for some deceitful government policy.

To balance out Noa Levy on the radio program, I asked Eitan Meirsdorf, a reserve Israeli soldier and head of the far-right Im Tirtzu organization at Bar-Ilan University, what he thought of Unit 8200 spying on Palestinian innocents for the purpose of blackmail. Meirsdorf, at least, was candid enough to say what the Israeli establishment is not: that he has no problem with it:

This is not specific to Israel – every single intelligence unit in the world does it. [Unit 8200] is trying to catch terrorists, and at the end of the day, as an Israeli citizen, if there’s a chance that a terrorist is going to blow up my house, my family, then yeah, I would try to do everything I could to stop them. For them to pass up a chance to catch a terrorist and then that terrorist kills Israelis – that doesn’t seem very moral to me.

In other words, in the name of Israeli security, anything and anybody goes.

As for the refuseniks’ charge that medical information on innocent Palestinians is also leveraged by the Shin Bet, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel said, “The testimony PHR gathered from [Palestinian] patients matches the description given by the reservists in Unit 8200. [Palestinian patients] tell of direct and implied blackmail, the latter being in the nature of ‘Help us and we’ll help you.’”

Read PHR’s full report on the practice

Faced with the dissidents’ revelations, official Israel has tried to change the subject, to make the dissidents themselves the subject. The army accuses them of running to the media with their complaints before going to their commanders, which sounds far-fetched, and which some of the reservists have flatly denied, saying they complained first to their commanders, but were rebuffed. The army also claims that only 10 of the 43 signatories, the officers in the group, were part of the “circle of control” in intelligence-gathering on Palestinians. The refuseniks say they were all involved in the work.

The army’s complaints seem beside the point – but that is the point: to distract attention from what these honorable young men and women are saying, because neither the army nor any other part of official Israel has any honorable answer to it.  So they lie, throw mud, threaten and rage – because when it comes to its treatment of Palestinians, Israel can’t handle the truth.

More on the 8200 refusal letter:
Resource: How the Shin Bet holds Gazans’ health ransom
IDF’s ‘start-up nation’ reservists refuse to serve the occupation
Refusal by elite IDF reservists angrily dismissed as ‘political’

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    COMMENTS

    1. bor

      First of all, hundreds of 8200 soldiers denied the claims made by the 43.

      Second, in an interview with the former head of 8200 on one of the Israeli tv channels he said that the unit does what it needs to do to protect Israelis but they have no interest in collecting unusable or useless information since it wastes effort and energy.

      It’s very simple, Larry, use your enormous powers of persuasion to convince the Palestinians to give up their designs on Israel, particularly their desire to accomplish those designs using violence, and then Israel will be able to come to an agreement with them and we can all sing kumbaya together without worrying about suicide bombings. And when you don’t have to worry about suicide bombings, you also don’t have to listen in on the husband telling the wife that he’s going to be gone and that she should know what to do with the money…

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        First of all, they denied it because they’d lose their jobs (and might even face criminal prosecution) if they didn’t.

        Also, quite obviously not all members of this unit are involved in the exact same activities, so some might not know about it.

        Secondly, incriminating information on Palestinians, that forces them to cooperate, is anything but useless to the Israeli military dictatorship in the West Bank.

        Reply to Comment
      • Manuel

        Hi Bor,

        this sounds like an explanation that comes from right-wing politicians. Politicians that only have limited methods to provide security. I must say giving somebody else the fault for own human rights violations is so childish.
        Would you want to torture suspicious people with you own hands to gather information? Or shot people, because they may be dangerous? Probably not. But electing an government that does it is so easy. Repeating that it is self-defense means not thinking about alternatives.
        When politicians say: there is no other option, people tend to switch off their brain and believe it.
        Since over 20 years bombing is the only method Israel has developed for “defending themselves”. Not very innovative I must say!
        This leads to that the world doesn’t like Israel. The security situation gets worse. Tourists will avoid Israel. Israels people will suffer. But military forces get more popular in political positions. People like bor have no other choice than repeating propaganda.

        Reply to Comment
        • bor

          Manuel, I see you’re a little weak on history and I’m happy to help you out. Twenty years ago Israel made a deal with the Palestinians that was supposed to lead to a peace agreement. The Israeli leader who signed that deal, Rabin, assumed he was signing a deal that would grant Palestinians autonomy, not a state. Nonetheless, since that deal was signed, Palestinians have been governing themselves. Israel, going far beyond what Rabin envisaged, has extended three peace offers that would have culminated in a Palestinian state and the Palestinians have refused every time.

          What has Israel received in return? A sea of suicide bombings, an ocean of sniper attacks, and a roaring stream of rocket attacks. Sadly, the attacks are directed almost always at Israeli civilians, not soldiers. Like any country, Israel doesn’t want its citizens attacked and does what it can to stop those attacks.

          One of the elements the Israelis have been using to prevent attacks is increased intelligence gathering. Along with the security barrier, returning Israeli forces to Area A for certain missions, the intelligence work has brought attacks down from hundreds of successful attacks to many attempted but for the most part failed attacks.

          This isn’t right wing or left wing. This is simply about protecting people. Does it need to be this way? Preferably not, but you’re going to have to convince the Palestinians to make peace with Israel – real peace, not a peace that is a stepping stone to more violence – and then you can complain about intrusive intelligence gathering.

          Reply to Comment
      • Jan

        An opinion piece in today’s New York Times revealed that the NSA, the same government group that has spied on leaders of other government, transmits to Israel every call made from by Palestinians in the US to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. From the NYT piece comes this “N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/17/opinion/israels-nsa-scandal.html?ref=international&_r=0

        You continue to repeat, as do so many others, that Israel was going to give away much of the West Bank and that the Palestinians turned down every offer. Do you remember when during the Oslo “negotiations” then Housing Minister Ariel Sharon defiantly announced that Israel would be doubling the number of settlements and, of course Israel did. If I, as an American Jew, knew that it was all over for a just peace surely the Palestinians had to know that as well.

        Surely you must know that the settlement project was so designed as to separate Palestnians from each other and to preclude a viable Palestinian state or entity. A video made in the early 1980s shows an Israeli military officer laying out the plans for a settlement near Nablus and he added that Israel planned to have settlements near almost every Palestinian town or village. If you look at any map of the settlements, ALL illegal under international law, you will see that goal has almost been accomplished. Netanyahu’s last land grab, unless it is halted, will ensure that there will never be a viable Palestinian state and further ensure that the people of Palestine will rightfully rise up to oppose their subjugation and oppression.

        As for the so-called “generous offer” made during Oslo, that offer wasn’t so generous. It called for three South Africa-like bantustans plus Gaza. Each bantustan would be surrounded by Israel. Israel would control the ingress and the egress, the air space, the water and all lands outside the bantustans.

        Given that there are some 600,00 illegal settlers it will be impossible to remove them. So unless Israel becomes one state for all with equal rights for all, with one person, one vote for all, Israel will become in fact The Apartheid Jewish State of Israel. How does that sound to you, Bor?

        Reply to Comment
        • bor

          “You continue to repeat, as do so many others, that Israel was going to give away much of the West Bank and that the Palestinians turned down every offer.”

          Yup. Them’s the facts, ma’am.

          “Do you remember when during the Oslo “negotiations””

          Why are negotiations “negotiations” in your universe?

          “then Housing Minister Ariel Sharon defiantly announced that Israel would be doubling the number of settlements and, of course Israel did. If I, as an American Jew, knew that it was all over for a just peace surely the Palestinians had to know that as well.”

          You’re a bit of a fool if this is what you thought. First of all, unlike you, a “just peace” to the people who use that term means invading Israel with millions of Arabs and essentially destroying the Jewish state. If that’s what you expect, then keep dreaming.

          Second, the majority of “settlements” and “settlers” live in and around Jerusalem. Remember Jerusalem? Even American Jews who want a “just peace” recall that Jews have been praying to return to Jerusalem for thousands of years. Thousands!

          “Surely you must know that the settlement project was so designed as to separate Palestnians from each other and to preclude a viable Palestinian state or entity.”

          I don’t know that at all. The settlements have gone through different periods and so has Judea and Samaria. Nobody can ever explain to me why the Arabs can have a Jew-free Jordan (78% of Mandatory Palestine) and a Jew-free Judea and Samaria, particularly since Israel has 20% arab non-Jews living in it.

          “A video made in the early 1980s shows an Israeli military officer laying out the plans for a settlement near Nablus and he added that Israel planned to have settlements near almost every Palestinian town or village.”

          I don’t know the video, don’t know the officer, don’t know his authority, don’t know why it matters. Why should this are be Jew-free?

          “If you look at any map of the settlements, ALL illegal under international law,”

          Disputable.

          “you will see that goal has almost been accomplished.”

          Nah, there are lots of places still that can be settled by Jews. Remember this little fact: in the 95% of Judea and Samaria offered to the Palestinians (and rejected by them), live 20% of the settlers. 80% live in the remaining 5% that Israel would keep. It was only in 2006 that Israelis voted in Olmert on a platform of exiting Judea and Samaria and so this could have happened already. Thank heavens it didn’t or we’d have Hamas and its rockets and tunnels over there, but it could have happened. Imagine that! The Palestinians didn’t just miss an opportunity for a state, they missed the opportunity to put Israel in a very problematic situation.

          “Netanyahu’s last land grab, unless it is halted, will ensure that there will never be a viable Palestinian state”

          That 1000 dunams that had already been claimed by Israel? Nah.

          “and further ensure that the people of Palestine will rightfully rise up to oppose their subjugation and oppression.”

          They rise up because they want Israel destroyed. Period. Don’t believe it? Simply look at the history before there were 100,000 Jews in Mandatory Palestine, then look again at 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-39, 1947, 1948, 1950-56, 1964 (when the PLO was founded). No settlements existed in any of those years.

          “As for the so-called “generous offer” made during Oslo, that offer wasn’t so generous.”

          Considering that offer provided for a Palestinian state for the first time in history, it was extremely generous.

          “It called for three South Africa-like bantustans plus Gaza. Each bantustan would be surrounded by Israel. Israel would control the ingress and the egress, the air space, the water and all lands outside the bantustans.”

          You wouldn’t know a bantustan if it hit you on the head and you wouldn’t know apartheid if it knocked you on the nose. In the offer at Camp David, Israel offered the Palestinians a state. You can dismiss this, but do you, for example, see Turkey offering the Kurds a state? And the Kurds have a far better claim than the Palestinians. Yet, Israel offered a state. The offer wasn’t to Palestinian liking? Fine, negotiate. Don’t go to war. But they went to war while negotiating and Israel, stupid fools that they are, actually came back to the Palestinians with a far better offer based on the Clinton parameters.

          Do you know what happened, Jan? The Palestinians rejected changing their demand to be able to flood Israel with Arabs and rejected compromise on the Temple Mount.

          And from that point on, despite the Palestinian rejection, somehow this offer became the new benchmark. Why? Who knows. Despite its generosity, Israel was still attacked by the Palestinians, their supporters, and lots of Western governments who should know better.

          “Given that there are some 600,00 illegal settlers”

          Not illegal. And more than half live in Jerusalem in areas annexed by Israel.

          “it will be impossible to remove them.”

          There shouldn’t be Jew-free areas here.

          “So unless Israel becomes one state for all with equal rights for all, with one person, one vote for all,”

          Palestinians, in recent history, have proven they only believe in one person, one vote, one time. Israel has proven they go to elections every 2.5 years. Palestinians say they don’t want to live with Israelis and Israelis say they don’t want to live with Palestinians (most Arab Israelis say this, as well). Therefore, despite the fact that American activists want this to happen, it won’t.

          “Israel will become in fact The Apartheid Jewish State of Israel.”

          I don’t think it will. I think Israel will simply close off Areas A and B. They may not annex C, but they will treat it as if it’s annexed. And do you know why, Jan? Let me explain it to you. It’s because fools like you and the propagandists at 972 have given the Palestinians confidence that they can actually destroy Israel. So we’ve gotten the wars from Gaza, because they know that it’s great propaganda. We get the diplomatic wars in Judea and Samaria, because the PA is certain to get lots of nations to agree at the UN and lots of haters on the streets to demonstrate for them. So they think they’re invincible and it’s just a matter of waiting before they win – just as you’re predicting here with your apartheid claim. You might, instead, wish to expend your energies telling the Palestinians they’re going to lose.

          If the Palestinians were smart, they’d accept the state that they’ve been offered and declare “end of conflict.” If you were smart, you’d be expending your energy convincing them to do this. Instead, you appear, like the Palestinians leadership to fight in ways that harm Palestinians, not Israelis. Foolish.

          Reply to Comment
      • Piotr Berman

        I recommend all to note the classic two-pronged denial:

        First, nobody in our valiant and moral army does it.

        Second, they should do it, it is a solemn patriotic duty, and it is a treason to refuse to do it.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Maya Elashi

      Difficult to get valid criticism, huh?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Khaled Khalid

      Bor
      What about Israel’s designs on Palestinians? Basically what you want is for Palestinians to be obedient little Uncle Toms and slaves to Israel’s whims. Guess what: Palestinians also have dreams to live normal lives without the Israeli boot on their neck, all the land theft, daily humiliation and brutality i.e Palestinians can do without Israel’s racist Zionist policies.

      Reply to Comment
      • bor

        “What about Israel’s designs on Palestinians?”

        Designs on Palestinians? They left Gaza and they offered almost all of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians.

        “Basically what you want is for Palestinians to be obedient little Uncle Toms and slaves to Israel’s whims.”

        No, I want the Palestinians to live under democratic rule in peace with Israel. I admit that 14 years ago I had grand visions for this peaceful co-existence that have been whittled away by Palestinian suicide bombings, sniper attacks, authoritarian rule by both governments, rocket fire and diplomatic and political warfare that included many antisemitic elements, but my dream remains that the two nations could live in peace.

        “Guess what: Palestinians also have dreams to live normal lives without the Israeli boot on their neck, all the land theft, daily humiliation and brutality i.e Palestinians can do without Israel’s racist Zionist policies.”

        Israel isn’t racist and Zionism isn’t racist. If the Palestinians want to live in peace with Israel – the one thing you didn’t say they want – then they could have peace tomorrow. There isn’t an Israeli leader who wouldn’t sign off on a true peace deal tomorrow. But you have to want peace, Khaled, and stop dreaming that you’ll destroy Israel.

        Reply to Comment
      • Richard

        I don’t think they do. If they did, they would stop investing as much as they can in waging a war of attrition against Israel. Egypt just offered the Palestinians land 4X the size of Gaza and they spat on the idea. What does that tell you about their priorities?

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben Zakkai

          First, Egypt denied they made any such offer. Second, even if they had offered territory in the Sinai, it’s a wasteland. Third, even if Palestinians were offered good land in exchange for giving up most of the West Bank, why should they? Would Israelis agree to leave their homes in Israel in return for territory somwhere else? But in your mind, that Egypt-Sinai-Palestine fantasy is evidence that the Palestinians are inherently militant rejectionists who won’t settle for have decent lives. That’s the Bizarro world of Hasbara.

          Reply to Comment
          • Richard

            Coastal Sinai is not a wasteland. Egyptians live there now. You know how there are two Rafahs? One in Gaza and one in Egypt? The fact that the offer was rejected out of hand, without any consideration of how it would affect borders in the West Bank, does reveal a lot about Palestinian rejectionism. Also – I don’t work for the Israeli government, so nothing I say is hasbara. Unless you believe in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that say every pro-Israel person is paid by Israel, stop using that word as an epithet.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            Okay Richard, YOU move to coastal Sinai if it’s such a paradise. And what about the other two questions I asked you? Did Egypt actually make such an offer? And much more importantly, would you leave your home and job and community to go live in Sinai because your enemy, who had already kicked you out of a number of previous homes, thought it would be convenient for him if you disappeared? Sorry, I can’t help using the word Hasbara as an epithet when I read comments that are so poorly thought through because they utterly fail to stand in the other guy’s shoes and see things from his point of view, even if only for a moment.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Gustav

      The Palestinian Arabs have been engaged in a ruthless war, first against Palestinian Jews and then Israel for nearly 100 years. In their war against us, they used all means. As far as they are concerned, nothing is sacred. According to them, they have the right to murder all of us, men, women, children, young and old no matter when and where we are.

      But according to loonie leftists, we have no right to do anything as a countermeasure to try and stop them. This is just the latest thing in the long list of tactics which according to the loonie leftists is immoral. Here is their list again (not necessarily complete or in order of priority) …

      – No shooting back
      – No security wall
      – No riot control
      – No road blocks
      – No curfews
      – No arrests
      – No blockade
      – No targeted assassinations

      Are we allowed to surrender and plead for our lives and for the lives of those we love? Nah, that’s probably verboten too. How about are we allowed to breathe? Nah, not in Israel …

      Stupid is too kind a word for loonie lefties.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben Zakkai

        Hi Gustav. Here’s the problem in a nutshell. If you think, as I and others do, that Israel’s occupation, military dictatorship and settlement of Palestinian territories are illegal and immoral, then, unfortunately, Israel is the aggressor. And while you may find our whining about Israel’s abuses repulsive, I would venture to say that we find the aggressor’s whining about “I have a right to self-defense and everybody should stop picking on me!” even more repulsive. Few things make me want to puke more than a bully who plays the victim.

        So let’s get to the heart of the matter. Last time we traded talkbacks, you studiously avoided addressing the two issues of whether settlements enhance Israel’s security, and what would be a fair deal for the Palestinians in terms of a final settlement. Would you care to man up and answer those questions now?

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          I avoided nothing, Benny. But your verbose diatribe forced me to be equally verbose and it all got lost in the litany of the red herrings which you threw into our discussion.

          You ask me about the settlements? What would be fair? I’ll cut to the chase. I personally would have been happy with either Ehud Barak’s peace offer or even Olmert’s which was even more generous.

          But alas, what happened to those offers? For Barak’s offer we got a bloody Intifada and for Olmert’s offer we got deadly silence.

          You know what though? I am now getting to the stage where I too am giving up on those offers. I think we too should now just get bloody minded and see where that takes us. And guys like you are responsible for the hardening of my position. I am finding myself moving more and more from a relative pragmatist political centre to more and more to the political right. I am not quite an extreme rightist yet but I feel myself being attracted to them more and more. You guys are pushing people like me right into their arms.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            Well Gustav, you know from previous exchanges what I think about the lame-duck Barak and Olmert offers for a Palestinian quasi-state, so I won’t rehash that topic. And though you’ve once again declined to say whether Israel’s settlements increase our security, I’m guessing you’ll agree that the answer is obviously No. As for your increasing bloody-mindedness – for which you need to take responsibility and not blame me or others – I’ll address that in my reply to JohnW below.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “And though you’ve once again declined to say whether Israel’s settlements increase our security, I’m guessing you’ll agree that the answer is obviously No.”

            Funnily enough you guss wrong. Here let me state it in black and white:

            The “settlements” increase our security. Yes they do.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Richard

      What is worse? That Israel blackmails gay Palestinians, or that Palestinian society is homophobic enough to allow this kind of blackmail to work? Haven’t decided yet.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        What a disgusting rationalization.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          What is disgusting is the constant whining of loonie lefties about whatever we do or don’t do to in order to protect ourselves from mindless terrorists who have been attacking us even before there was any “occupation” or “settlements”.

          Their one eyed bias against us is truly disgusting Ray.

          Reply to Comment
        • Richard

          Ray – I don’t think you know what it means to rationalize something. I haven’t rationalized anything. There are two problems: one problem cannot exist without the other existing too, and even though everyone should agree is worse, nobody wants to fix it. This isn’t a point about the problems themselves, its a point about the people who talk about them. You’re engaging in the same kind of logical fallacy employed by people who say “Should we be comparing Israel to Syria and North Korea?” when the issue of double standards against Israel is made. The point of explaining the double standard isn’t to see Syria or North Korea as the standard, its to discredit the people attacking Israel. See?

          Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        They’re both despicable.
        From a country that calls itself a democracy, I’d expect more decency however. If it wasn’t Israel.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Brian

      The constant lies about how all the Palestinians are incorrigible “terrorists” who just want to destroy Jews, the constant name calling, vituperation, rationalizing and cheap excuse making for what is basically brutal repression in the service of land theft–the constant dishonesty about this here by Bor, Gustav, Richard, Kolumn, etc., it’s so predictable, repetitive and tiring. So boring. They NEVER engage with the real substance of what Larry Derfner and others write. It’s all so devious. I rarely comment here but I just can’t stand the dishonesty.

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        They’re class A trolls, not interested in any form of honest discussion.

        It’s what trolls do.

        Reply to Comment
    7. JohnW

      “The constant lies about how all the Palestinians are incorrigible “terrorists”

      …..

      “he constant dishonesty about this here by Bor, Gustav, Richard, Kolumn,”

      Stop right there, Brian. What you said above is a THE lie. Bor, Richard, Column and Gustav never said that ALL Palestinians are terrorists. That is just YOUR BIG Straw Man.

      What they have been saying is that Hamas are terrorists and that Palestinian Jews (now Israeli Jews) have been at war with Palestinian Arabs and in that war, many Palestinian Arabs, not just Hamas, have been using terrorist tactics. And many Palestinian Arabs even the non terrorists, support such terror tactics.

      Spot the difference, Brian? YOU are lying about what they say and they are telling things as they really are.

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        By always talking about “the” Palestinians, instead of “some” Palestinians, they are directly implying that most, if not all of them do what they say “the Palestinians” do.

        In case of this post:
        “desire to accomplish those designs using violence” etc.

        By the way, nice strawman in answer to an alleged (but not real) strawman.

        Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        They were explicitely not saying “many”, the were saying “the”.

        Spot the difference, John?

        YOU are lying about what they say and they are telling things as fantasize they really are.

        Reply to Comment
      • Jesus, as if Begin and Shamir didn’t use terrorism when they were fighting for independence. As if they didn’t blow up Arab markets and buses when they were fighting for independence. Such hypocrisy. Winston Churchill, Bibi’s hero, compared Shamir’s Lehi organization to the Nazis because of its terrorism. And now all these great Churchill-loving, Begin-loving, Shamir-loving Israelis keep screaming about Palestinians using terrorism – when the Palestinians live under incomparably harsher rule than anything the Brits imposed on the Jews of Palestine. What a huge fraud. What a lie this country is living.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben Zakkai

          It’s even worse than that, Larry. Yes, it’s generally understood, except by Israfanatics, that the weaker oppressed side in a conflict has the right to use unorthodox means to win its freedom. Heck, in first grade I was taught that we Americans had the right to revolt rather than be subject to taxation without representation, and the way we did it was to wear woodland camouflage and shoot from behind trees at the British soldiers wearing bright red jackets and marching in straight lines. But even if that wasn’t the case — even if terror is never justified — then honest Israelis would have to face the fact that the core definition of terrorism is violence against civilians for political purposes, which is something that Israel does to Palestinians every week. The IDF & Shabak shoot demonstrators, target civilians in military ops (let’s hear the Hasbaraniks deny it!), arrest & torture political activists, and so on. All those tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians killed and wounded by Israel didn’t happen by accident. But in Israeli Orwell-speak, none of that is terror, but a Palestinian throwing a rock at an IDF soldier somehow is terror, and Abbas appealing to the UN is diplomatic terror, and BDS is economic terror. It’s all a lying word game to label the Palestinians as terrorists and therefore evil, which makes us the good guys, QED. Where’s the intellectual honesty? Have they no shame?

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          • JohnW

            “It’s even worse than that, Larry. Yes, it’s generally understood, except by Israfanatics, that the weaker oppressed side in a conflict has the right to use unorthodox means to win its freedom”

            Yes, between 2000 and 2006, eight thousand Israeli civilians were murdered or maimed. Why? Because Arafat did not like what Ehud Barak offered to Arafat. Which by the way, Clinton could not forgive Arafat for missing the historic opportunity.

            But to you it is just a game, right Benny? They are the weaker side, so we should just let them to kill us because it is their right to do so? But it isn’t our right to stop them by any means?

            I for one beg to disagree. I am for us using ANY means. Do you hear me Benny? Any means to stop them!!!

            You may be happy to have them murder your wife and kids in the name of your stupid game. Me? I will use any means to stop them even if you loonie lefties (as Gustav rightly called you) don’t like it!

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          • Ben Zakkai

            No JohnW, it is anything but a game to me. I remember the second intifada, and those were terrible years. But despite the great numbers of Israelis killed and maimed, most of us didn’t pack up our tents and leave. Nor did most Palestinians, despite suffering much greater casualties during that period. And most Gazans, despite recently suffering much heavier casualties and damage in a month and a half than Israel did during the entire five-year second intifada, aren’t leaving either. Moreover, Palestinians have for decades had very high fertility rates, much higher even than other Arab countries – probably because Israel strangles their prospects on the one hand while the international community funds their basic needs on the other, which creates a perfect baby-making storm – so there are ever more Palestinians with whom you have to reckon. We Jews and Palestinians are apparently stuck with each other, which makes me ask you (and Gustav, above), Are you guys just turning into little rage machines, or do you actually have a concrete plan? Because history indicates that generally speaking, this kind of conflict ends in one of two ways. In previous centuries it was acceptable for the dominant group to pretty much wipe out its opponent, the way American Indians and Australian aborigines were exterminated and their remnants hauled off to reservations. More recently norms have changed, and dominant powers found themselves having to reach agreements by making much greater concessions than they had anticipated, whether in India, Algeria, South Africa or Northern Ireland. You guys are not in the mood to make concessions. Are you ready, then, to murder, maim, and/or somehow exile more than 90% of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories? Perhaps the world would let Israel get away with that – the world is, after all, very good at crying about genocide after the fact but not doing very much about it while it’s actually happening – so are you guys planning to advocate genocide as Israeli policy, within our political system? I tell you, when European leftists accuse Israel of planning genocide, I tend to scoff, but you guys make me wonder; although I suppose you would call it justifiable genocide, wouldn’t you? Anyway, is that your plan?

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          • JohnW

            “We Jews and Palestinians are apparently stuck with each other,”

            You know that and I know that but I suspect that a large percentage of Palestinian Arabs just don’t want to know that. Or don’t want to accept it for now at least. They still want us gone. They don’t care where to, but they just want to dispatch us anywhere, preferably to hell if it would be up to them.

            Until you accept that we have to deal with such an attitude, you will keep on entertaining your illusions about making more and more concessions till “we get it right” and then we will just all live happily together for ever more.

            You ask me what the end game is? You won’t like my answer. Come to think of it, I am not sure that I like it either but believe me or not, unless you are suicidal, which I think you are, but most of the rest of us are not, the only solution is to play their game of attrition. We play hard ball till they are the one who get exhausted. That is not just wishful thinking. They will get exhausted because they know full well that giving up their zero sum game will not lead to their demise. In fact, the only thing which may lead to their national demise, together with ours, is not giving up.

            They have a choice. Giving up for them does not mean extermination as you seem to suggest. First, because we would never do it (unless we face national extermination ourselves) and secondly, even if we would, we would not get away with it. It would lead to our destruction too.

            On the other hand, if we weaken and give up. Or even if we make foolhardy concessions which would lead to collapse, it would mean certain extermination for us.

            So, Ben, who do you think will have the greater stamina? Us or them? I will give you two guesses. Go on have a go. Let’s see if you get it right on your first guess or on your second guess?

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        • Bor

          That’s great, Larry, keep defending Arab terrorism against Israeli civilians, which is conducted (at least attempted) by the large majority of Palestinian political streams and supported by the large majority of Palestinians, to the attacks conducted by two/three small terror groups rejected and reviled by mainstream Yishuv and Zionist movements.

          Who are you kidding?

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          • I forgot – Menachem Begin and the Irgun, and Yitzhak Shamir and the Lehi, have been erased from the pages of Israeli history in shame.

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          • bor

            No Larry, they haven’t been expunged from Israeli history, and I presume once Begin was elected PM, an entire 30 years after Israel was established, many more roads were named after their fighters, but to bring this up evades my point entirely.

            My point is that they were small groups perceived as dangerous and extremist outliers and treated as such by the mainstream Yishuv as well as Zionist movements in general.

            You know this is true.

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          • Your point is irrelevant. Begin, Shamir and their terrorists were rehabilitated, to understate the case, nearly 40 years ago when the Likud came to power, and since then they’re all officially national heroes, freedom fighters. But keep living in the past; I’m sure it’s more comfortable.

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          • bor

            I’m not living in the past. I’m looking at present history and people who try to justify Palestinian terror.

            I’m at peace with the past and don’t need to invent the terrorism parallel as you have because I’m well aware of how the Yishuv conducted itself during decades of war that it didn’t seek while seeking any outcome that would lead to some sort of self-determination.

            Your comparison is to take a couple of Jewish groups, far smaller, even in relative terms and definitely in absolute terms, than, say, the PFLP, and compare these groups to the the entire Palestinian political/military sytem and the virtual cross-the-board Palestinian support this echelon receives. To remind you, recent polls demonstrate 89% support for Palestinian rocket attacks, and if you go back a decade and look at Khalil Shikaki’s and other Palestinian pollsters’ stats, you will find 75-77% support for suicide bombings.

            Suicide bombings and the rockets are terrorism, simple and clear. Never did the Yishuv demonstrate broad support as you describe it for the Lehi and Irgun’s actions, even if you could find more than a couple of parallels to suicide bombs and rockets (you can’t).

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          • Richard

            Yeah, Begin and Shamir were rehabilitated. Its not like Washington or Jefferson owned slaves AND manages to be modern national heroes or anything. Or that Churchill was a soldier for an oppressive Empire. Or that Ghandi hated blacks. Israel’s founders are uniquely, irredeemably evil. Spot on Larry!

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          • Gustav

            Thanks for not publishing my detailed response to your earlier post Larry. I tried posting it at least four times. There was nothing rude in my response. This post is somewhat ruder than it was. It just debunked your irrelevant point about Begin and Shamir.

            But tell me this: what was the relevance of bringing them up in the first place? Yes, they committed terrorist acts in response to Arab terrorist acts which were committed by Arabs way before Begin or Shamir even came to the scene. So what? Does that now excuse Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa brigades terrorism?

            It does? Ok then do you want Israelis to just take it on the chin? What if you or those you love are the victims? Would you just wipe your mouth, walk away and say thank you? Should we just walk away? Because otherwise we are hypocrites?

            And above all Lary, tell us what we should do about it? Should we just kiss Hamas’s feet and beg for mercy? Should we step onto the top of every hill, pound our chest and yell at the top of our voices collectively: oh forgive us oh saintPalestinians because we sinned, and you Palestinian Arabs are perfection personified? Now just give us our due punishments and we will take it because we have it coming to us?

            Well then just dream on. It won’t happen even if you keep on admonishing us till Kingdom come.

            You are doing it enough for all of us and look where it is getting you. Nowhere. We don’t like you because of it but rest assured. Hamas and their cronies don’t like you either you are just a convenient tool for them and for the international leftists who threw in their lot with the Islamo fascists for their own reasons. I know not what those reasons are other than because they hate Jews and they hate us Jews having our own independent country where we can defend ourselves.

            Reply to Comment
          • Oh, stop using Hamas as an excuse. Abu Mazen’s men have been fighting Hamas w/the IDF and Shin Bet for 10 years, and Israel laughs at him for it. It sees him as a collaborator, and he pretty much is. That’s how Israel sees Palestinians – they’re either terrorists who have to be killed, or they’re collaborators who can be owned. Don’t pretend that you’re ready for peace if only the Palestinians would play fair – you and the rest of this country have proven that to be a lie, too.

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          • Gustav

            You can’t see into my head Larry. I can only speak for myself really but I know there are many like me. For years, we have not only been ready for peace but yearned for it. But we got disappointment after disappointment. Now we no longer expect anything in our lifetime.

            So Now, you have got me pegged Larry. I am now moving into the rank of people who are extremely suspicious of your Palestinian Arabs. I now insist that they undertake real painful (for them) symbolic gestures before we should even consider giving up anything to them.

            Know what I mean? Give up their so called right of return (formally). Recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

            If they are not willing to do that then there is nothing to talk about with them. Let them do their worst and we will too. That’s what I stand for now, Larry. Benny, you take note too. This is my response to you too.

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        • Richard

          Larry – we’ve been over this before. You can go back in time far enough in any country’s history to find something bad and use it to use them of moral hypocrisy. Your “Israel’s founding generation were terrorists too” argument is stupid. Why not talk about General Custer while you’re at it?

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    8. Gustav

      “They’re class A trolls, not interested in any form of honest discussion.”

      Really? There is no one here amongst you guys who is capable of honest discussion. At one stage, I had some hope for Eliza till she came out with the following Gem:

      “In this own way, Hitler was a Zionist.”

      How can one have a serious discussion with someone like that, Felix?

      “It’s what trolls do.”

      And what do people like you do? You defend Hamas to your last breath. How can one take YOU seriously?

      “They were explicitely not saying “many”, the were saying “the”.

      OK poopsie, let me see what I can do for you. Let me correct my original sentence and incorporate your suggestion, I’ll do it with capital letters to highlight your bit. Here is what it would look like:

      “in order to protect ourselves from MANY mindless terrorists who have been attacking us even before there was any “occupation” or “settlements”.

      Feel better now, poopsie?

      “Spot the difference, John?”

      I am sure he does, Poopsie. I am sure that he realizes that your way of saying it does not alter what I said.

      “YOU are lying about what they say and they are telling things as fantasize they really are.”

      Really, poopsie? He is lying? That’s a bit harsh, don’t you think? Am I fantasizing about the 100 year war which the Palestinian Arabs have been waging against us? You know poopsie? In the middle of all wars, most people on all sides, tend to lump their enemies into an amorphous enemy. You know, your Palestinian Arabs do the same to us? Do you know what the Americans used to call you Germans during WW2? They used to call you Krauts. That’s what wars do to people. War is nasty. We Zionists hate it but your MANY of Palestinian Arabs seem to fight an endless war against us and it brings out the worst in both of us. You wanted serious discussion? Read the last couple of sentences. That was serious. Your crap on the other hand, your endless excuse making for the likes of Hamas and your word plays, make you look like a clown.

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    9. Brian

      To all troll replies above, without exception: baloney. The proof is in how you cheer on and ratify Netanyahu’s and Bennet’s and Lieberman’s extremely dishonest, extremely deceitful vilification of, purposeful undermining of, disrespecting of, Abu Mazen. You all KNOW that if these guys ever REALLY wanted peace they would shore up, strengthen Abu Mazen and treat him with respect and put all the forces of the Shin Bet and Mossad and Unit 8200 to this effort. Instead they do EXACTLY the opposite. And you know it. Now, WHO is telling the bug lie? WHO is setting up straw men? Are you kidding me? No one honest and operating in good faith believes what you tirelessly spin out here.

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      • JohnW

        You can pooh pooh us all you like Brian and even put words in our mouths but it still isn’t about Netanyahu and Bennett. They were not always in government yet your Abu Mazen whom you put on a pedestal still did not make peace. But even if he would have. Do you think Hamas would let him make peace, let alone keep the peace?

        Now I expect you to put more words in our mouths, speak in generalities, and accuse us of being trolls, because that’s the only way dishonest people like you know how to make your non-points Brian.

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    10. Brian

      The LIE: “Oh if ONLY we had a united Palestinian government to work with and if only Hamas did not exist, then we could dare to extend our trembling hand as we always have since 1947–holding an olive branch and take HUGE HUGE risks for peace and make PAINFUL PAINFUL PAINFUL COMPROMISES. Oh woe is ours, woefully.”

      THE TRUTH: “We created Hamas as a tool in our core manage-the-conflict-endlessly strategy. Admittedly, our radical pet pit bull we engineered gets out of hand once in a while and we have to yank its chain, but we need to continue to carefully feed the pit bull because our divide and conquer strategy works excellently and the last thing we really ever ever want is a united Palestinian public and government. What a nightmare that would be. Let’s face it, Hamas is the best thing since sliced bread for us, it just takes careful playing off of Hamas vs the PA so neither is ever not weak and divided and corrupt. Unit 8200 is doing an excellent job in that respect. Any more homosexuals or folks with cancer in the pipeline to exploit? Gotta keep the occupation factory humming here. And crank up the hasbara line too–there’s a special today on “extending our hand in peace only to have it slapped away, poor us”–that story about the territory in the Sinai those ingrates turned down–run that line overtime today–we can’t have any downtime on that hasbara factory line…. Yep it’s a profitable operation we got running here….and don’t let me see anyone give Abu Mazen anything but the cold shoulder at best–he’s the most dangerous guy of all.”

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        “THE TRUTH …”

        You would not know what the truth is Brian, if you fell over it.

        Like I predicted, you put words in my mouth which I did not utter and when the facts mug you, you make up your own facts or simply go into denial.

        You think we are trolls? You Brian are a far gone nutter. All this magazine needs is another loonie like you. Are you sure you did not post here before? You seem to fit in to the mold perfectly. You are a natural. When you can’t win your arguments, you resort to abuse. See, now you got me doing it to you? Because if that’s the way you guys conduct your business, then occasionally it is good to give you your own medicine even if that is exactly what you want us to do because you would rather dumb down the discussion than allow us to remind you what true history is.

        But never mind, we can do both. We will keep on mugging you with reality and facts too till you will go out of your cotton pickin’ minds.

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    11. JohnW

      Here is an example of how you people make up lies. This is what you accuse us of:

      “and don’t let me see anyone give Abu Mazen anything but the cold shoulder at best–he’s the most dangerous guy of all.”

      … and here is the fact: Near the beginning of his first term in office, Obama twisted Netanyahu’s arm to agree to a 10 month “settlements freeze”. He promised Netanyahu that in return, he would convince Abu Mazen to start negotiations. Well, he kept his promise but do you know when did Abu Mazen eventually agree to talk to Netanyahu? Let me refresh your dishonest mind Brian: a few weeks before the 10 months freeze expired. And of course, in those few weeks, predictably, they had no chance to accomplish anything and Netanyahu had nothing to show his critics in the coalition government for his concession. Had he then continued the freeze, they would have toppled his government. Which is exactly what your Abu Mazen was playing for.

      Brilliant, wasn’t it? Now I ask you: who was giving whom the cold shoulder?

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      • JohnW

        … and here is another example of your lies, Brian (any relation to Goldie?):

        “created Hamas as a tool in our core manage-the-conflict-endlessly strategy.”

        Yes, the poor Palestinian people. We CREATED Hamas for them. They really don’t want Hamas. I can really see them holding their collective noses and saying pew, Israel, we don’t want Hamas. Bloody Israel, why do you keep foisting Hamas on us. Take them away.

        Yes, Brian, you definitely live in a fantasy world in which you create your own facts to argue and to justify your predetermined conclusions.

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    12. Gustav

      “Jesus, as if Begin and Shamir didn’t use terrorism when they were fighting for independence. As if they didn’t blow up Arab markets and buses when they were fighting for independence.”

      And they were the original terrorists, right Larry? Way before they even came to the scene, there was no Arab terrorism against Jews? Of course there was. How many Jews did the Arabs murder during the Arab revolt? What happened in Hebron in 1929? How many Jews were massacred?

      “Such hypocrisy. Winston Churchill, Bibi’s hero, compared Shamir’s Lehi organization to the Nazis because of its terrorism.”

      Yes, but the Brits prohibiting the entry of Jews into Palestine and allowing them to die in German death camp was highly moral was it?

      “And now all these great Churchill-loving, Begin-loving, Shamir-loving Israelis keep screaming about Palestinians using terrorism”

      Is that wrong? Should we praise them for their terrorism against us? Are you praising them for it? If we would, do you think there would be more or less terrorism against us? Do you enjoy terrorism against us?

      “– when the Palestinians live under incomparably harsher rule than anything the Brits imposed on the Jews of Palestine.”

      Maybe, maybe not. The Brits actually executed terrorists. We only jail them. But let’s ignore that. What the Brits did was however was much more despicable. They condemned thousands of European Jews to death by refusing them a refuge in Palestine which the League of Nations designated as the homeland of the Jewish people.

      “What a huge fraud. What a lie this country is living.”

      What more do you want this country to do? Forget Bibi. He wasn’t always in power. You can hate him as much as you like. But what about previous governments? Barak offered a peace deal, Arafat said no. Olmert offered a peace deal, Abbas ignored it. Sharon withdrew from Gaza, we got rockets. And even before them, right after 1967, Israel offered to withdraw except from East Jerusalem but the Arabs didn’t even want to talk to us. What exactly do you want from us Larry? Do you want us to surrender unconditionally to Hamas? What is it you want? Just spell it out and give us a vision. A real vision instead of constant carping and criticism.

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      • Brian

        ” The Brits actually executed terrorists. We only jail them.”

        A bald-faced untruth, to put it politely.

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        • JohnW

          “A bald-faced untruth, to put it politely.”

          Which bit of it is untrue, Brian?

          You continue to deny and assert even after I gave actual examples of how YOU lie. You have no shame Brian. You are a classic propagandist. Even your claim that you don’t often post here was a lie, wasn’t Brian? Be a man, come out and admit it.

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          • Brian

            Well YOU may not regard six commando unit snipers extra-judicially executing, from a distance, a man standing peacefully in the doorway of his store chatting with passersby, a man easily arrested and tried, as an execution, but I do. (Multiply this scene many fold, of course.) The only difference from the crimes you accuse the British of is that the Israeli version is sneakier.
            But all this skirts the far more widespread practice of extra-judicial detainment, brutal arbitrary arrests of whoever the Israelis feel like arresting and torturing and tyrannizing. So you brutally re-arrest a whole bunch of Hamas members you promised to free because some rogue operators murdered three teenagers in the occupied West Bank. This is the equivalent of the Palestinians, if they could, driving into Tel Aviv and arresting a hundred Likud and Habayit Hayehudi members simply because Dr. Baruch Goldstein murdered Palestinians.
            I stand by what I wrote.

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      • I want Israel to offer the Palestinians statehood – i.e. the same rights of sovereignty that Israel and every other state enjoys – within the pre-67 borders, including land swaps. No Israeli PM has ever come close to making such an offer – i.e. no Israeli PM has ever come close to offering the Palestinians a state.

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        • bor

          Larry, since you know Israel has offered the Palestinians sovereignty and statehood more than once, the only possible meaning of your claim is that Israel has demanded control over elements of border crossings and airspace and therefore the offers didn’t include “same rights of sovereignty that Israel and every other state enjoys…”

          Let’s suppose for a moment that this reading of “sovereignty” is correct. Presumably, then, you are doing all in your power to help Israel achieve the confidence that it would need to have in the Palestinian leadership to give up these security needs, right?

          http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=472&fld_id=474&doc_id=10230

          We all have dreams, Larry, especially of peace, but some of us are also cognizant of history and, um, the facts. Shouldn’t you, an advocate for Palestinian rights for statehood also address the facts?

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          • Brian

            I’ll let Larry answer himself but you need to ask Netanyahu not Larry, or in addition to Larry, at least: Are are doing all in your power to help Israel AND ABU MAZEN AND THE PALESTINIANS achieve the confidence that BOTH PARTIES would need to have in the Palestinian leadership to give up these security needs?
            Netanyahu is doing the opposite of what the question asks. He works overtime and deliberately to keep Abu Mazen discredited, disdained, disrespected, disadvantaged, disconnected, disempowered. The rightists here never face up to the fact that Bibi and his ilk simply do not want a partner, a partner is the very last thing they want EXCEPT to do the dirty work of subcontracting security control in the occupied territories, which by the way Abu Mazen has done incredibly faithfully and gets ZERO credit for by Netanyahu. We come full circle to my original complaint: dishonesty and deceit.

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          • bor

            Um, during Netanyahu’s terms, Abbas has not only survived despite Hamas’s desire to destroy him, but he enjoys international credibility that Netanyahu could only dream of getting and he went to the UN and successfully spit in the US’s eye while declaring a state. Abbas is doing just fine thanks to Netanyahu.

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        • Gustav

          “no Israeli PM has ever come close to offering the Palestinians a state”

          Two Israeli PMs offered the Palestinian Arabs actual states.

          1. Ehud Barak

          2, Ehud Olmert.

          For Barak’s offer we got the 2nd Intifada resulting in 8000 dead or maimed Israelis.

          For Olmert’s offer we got ignored.

          At no stage did Abbas offer to really accept the idea of a Jewish state. All he did is pay lip service to accepting “Israel” but he obviously hopes to do everything in his power to change the demographic character of Israel in time.

          And despite your objections, I will mention Hamas which is more popular than Fatah. They are on the record of promising to do everything they can to eliminate us and our state.

          So Larry, back to my original question. What is your vision? But in your answer please tell us, HOW should we implement your vision?

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    13. Brian

      Now that IS chutzpah extraordinaire, to compare mild mannered, bowing, shuffling and scraping Abbas unfavorably with Netanyahu the Spitter-in-Chief, whose brazen interference in US politics is absolutely shameless, and who sets new records for dissembling and dishonesty. Have I mentioned dishonesty? Interesting how the theme of dishonesty just won’t go away. No one on earth now trusts the used car salesman from Caesarea and Gaza Street. How their leader is regarded doesn’t seem to bother most Israelis much, however. Interesting. I suppose announcing new settlement construction over and over again brazenly defying declared decades long US policy on this, I suppose that’s not spitting in Uncle Sam’s eye in the conceptual parallel universe you inhabit. So interesting. Really from a psychological standpoint it’s very interesting.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kiwi

        “Now that IS chutzpah extraordinaire, to compare mild mannered, bowing, shuffling and scraping Abbas unfavorably”

        Get over it and stop your propaganda. Some serial murderers are mild mannered yet they are deadly and cruel beyond reason.

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    14. There’s a basic fact: Israel is a free country that for nearly 50 years has held the Palestinians captive at gunpoint. You and the overwhelming majority of Israelis and powerful Diaspora Jews blame the Palestinians for their own subjugation. This is a defense of tyranny, and it has caused nothing less than the moral downfall of the post-1967 Jewish world.

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      • Gustav

        “You and the overwhelming majority of Israelis and powerful Diaspora Jews blame the Palestinians for their own subjugation.”

        I plead guilty as charged. I blame the Palestinian Arabs. See my previous posts. They were offered the opportunity more than once to establish their own state and at every opportunity they showed that they prefer to stick to their original ZERO SUM game of 1947.

        Yes, Larry, remember 1947? The year when the UN recommended the partitioning of Palestine, in their Resolution 181? Had the Palestinian Arabs accepted that resolution, they could have had their own shiny democratic state for 65 years?

        Instead, they rejected the resolution and on the same day they rioted and murdered Jewish Palestinians wherever they could find them. They also promised to drive the rest of us into the sea. Alas their plan didn’t work and they have been suffering ever since. Yes, it IS possible. Sometimes, people have to accept guilt for their own misfortune. That is the first step to their rehabilitation.

        Reply to Comment
      • bor

        Larry, Israel is a free country that is seeking to maintain its freedom.

        Leave “powerful Jews” out of it, because it’s simply bullshit and the Obama administration has put that lie to rest for the remainder of all time.

        I, and other supporters of Israel, including many (majority?) who supported the peace offers, the evacuation for Gaza and the Oslo Accords are being realistic about what Israel must do to defend itself. The last 14 years have been great teachers in that regard.

        We are also not quite sanguine about walking away from Jerusalem and critical border areas nearby even if the other side keeps screaming that it all belongs to them, as they have, do and will.

        As to the moral downfall of anybody, I suggest you look at yourself and your friends. The antisemitism that is bursting forth these days all over the world has always been fed by you. Always. It just took time to bubble forth until it is now openly exploding. You supported and support it at the UN, supported and support it in the media (see Matti Friedman), support and supported it in your one-state NGOs. Support and supported efforts to boycott Israel, while not supporting boycott of truly egregious human rights violators. You write this site’s propaganda in English, not in Hebrew.

        And lo and behold, antisemitism has exploded all over the world. Don’t believe me? Look at your own comment here. “Held Palestinians captive at gunpoint.” “Powerful diaspora Jews.” “Subjugation.” “Tyranny.” “Moral downfall.”

        You have zero evidence that if Israel would end the “subjucation” and “tyranny” that it would become or remain safe. On the contrary, I can point to Gaza and demonstrate that when “subjucation,” “tyranny” and “holding them at gunpoint” ended in Gaza, there is clear and plentiful evidence of precisely the opposite. Israel became much less safe, life for Palestinians became much less safe, and even more extreme extremists took over.

        If not letting them take over Judea and Samaria is “moral downfall” then perhaps you have no moral compass?

        Ironically, if the Palestinians had accepted either Olmert or Barak’s offers, which I supported, we would presently have a Hamas led state in 95% of Judea and Samaria.

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        • We’re responsible for the anti-Semitism? You’re hopeless. I don’t know why I bothered. Please have the last word.

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          • Brian

            Larry, you are correct. There is no talking to these people, there is no rational conversation to be had. It’s a waste of time.
            In the wider world, only concerted, organized, escalating economic boycott will have any effect. Since when have the Palestinians gotten anything from the Israelis without force of some kind? The problem is the Palestinians have played into the Israelis hands by being unwise about force, and compromised themelves in the process. It has to be nonviolent economic force. Nothing else will get the Israelis attention and matter to them. They win against any physical violence. And they will just shoot peaceful protesters with sponge rounds and tear gas canisters to the head at close range and bullets when the protesters don’t shut up. The Palestinians don’t need Martin Luther King — the Israelis would just laugh. Or worse. What is really needed is serious Sourh Africa level anti-apartheid style economic boycott.
            The folks here will sneer because they think it won’t happen, but all they care about is whether it will or not, practically. They have no moral perspective. They have no coherent moral answer to your indictment. As I said, there is no rational conversation to be had. We’ve all learned this the hard way here. It’s like talking to programmed robots.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “We’ve all learned this the hard way here. It’s like talking to programmed robots.”

            Funny that, I have come to think of you, yes you Brian, as a programmed Robot. Not a single one of your posts had any substance. As John said, they are full of generalizations, denials, assertions and propaganda. No substance at all …

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            I don’t owe you a lawyer’s brief, pal. And I have work outside this blog to occupy myself. I know a lot about this conflict. I think you know it and that you can’t bulls*** me and that’s tough.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Between 1948 and 1967 too, the Palestinian Arabs had the chance to establish their “shiny democratic state” in 100% of The West Bank and 100% of Gaza. Why didn’t they Larry?

            You say because the Egyptians who ruled Gaza at that time and the Jordanians who ruled the West Bank at that time, didn’t let them?

            Well then, tell me this, Larry, if you can: how many Egyptians or Jordanians did your Palestinian Arabs murder in their quest for freedom? How many Egyptian or Jordanian teenagers did they abduct and murder in the name of their fight for freedom? How many rockets did they fire at Egyptian and Jordanian population centres in their quest for freedom? Get my point …?

            Or could it be that they were perfectly happy to exist as part of those Arab nations rather than as a separate Palestinian Arab state?

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            You bothered to answer because you were certain that you’re right and I’m wrong.

            I’ll tell you what. I’m willing to consider that I’m wrong. So let’s take a look, shall we?

            Let’s pretend that we’re not Israelis but outsiders who have some interest in Middle East politics.

            Go to 972’s homepage and take a look at all the headlines (he articles, by the way, are often worse than the headlines). Now, multiply this by 365 days a year. Do you suppose this will turn any person who doesn’t know the politics, culture, society, history and circumstances in which Israel lives against not just Israel but also its supporters?

            Now add your ideological partners at Ha’aretz, B’Tzelem, the multiple other Israeli NGOs constantly blasting Israel and supporting outside interference and pressure, then add your other partners leading boycott movements across Europe and the USA in blogs, university campaigns and the media and do tell us all how your activism does not contribute to antisemitism.

            If I’m the outsider looking at all this, I get a picture of this monstrous, hateful, aggressive entity that lies about its own history and seeks to murder and pillage over the theft of some massive amount of unneeded land. And, of course, I get the impression that “powerful” unseen forces are preventing everyone else from seeing what I’m seeing. I also would conclude that Israel is morally bankrupt and I would deduce that so are its supporters.

            And here’s the catch. Even if all of this were true – which it is not – I might be sophisticated enough to differentiate between “Zionists” and “Jews” but chances are I’m not. Most people aren’t.

            You could argue that because you pose as “good Jews” who do the bidding of the anti-Israelis, you minimize the collateral damage to all Jews.

            I suspect that this argument relies on believing in a pure and perfect world where we don’t have thousands of years of bigotry towards Jews – and I’m speaking about both Muslim and Christian lands – and constant referrals to Jewish influence and power when it comes to this conflict. Of course, that’s not the way things are.

            You could argue that if, in your heart, you truly believe that Israel is in the wrong you must speak out against it. That’s fair and right. However, there are ways to do it that are far more reasonable than what 972s homepage would demonstrate.

            You don’t have to answer. I really don’t care. It would behoove you, however, to think about what I’m saying. Even if I’m only partially right, it’s something you and your friends on here need to consider.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            You don’t have anything else to do do you?

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            My guess, without knowing a thing about you but having read a number of your idiotic comments now, that my life is far more full and fulfilling than yours. The only thing missing, and which pains me greatly, is that I am unable to live in Israel presently. Great country. Great people. Great place to live.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            SEPTEMBER 5, 2014
            Is Liberal Zionism Impossible?
            BY BERNARD AVISHAI

            […]

            Lerman wants Western Jews to stick up for something more inspiring than Netanyahu—and who can blame him? But if “unquestioning solidarity” with Israel’s travails is a shallow, merely vicarious Jewish identity, so is entertaining the Jewish state’s demise in the name of “humanism.” The early Zionists also saw that, after several generations in Western countries, most Jews—grounded in liberal ethics—would be left with only a kitschy residue of Yiddish and Hebrew, and would not be sure of which Jewish rites, texts, and liturgy to save, if any. So they would glom onto the far away drama of the Jewish national home and turn its fate into a kind of obsession. This, Zionists knew, would not be resistance to assimilation but a symptom of it.

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            Israel:
            Great country. Great people. Great place to live.

            Reply to Comment
    15. Brian

      Larry, above you say:

      “Oh, stop using Hamas as an excuse. Abu Mazen’s men have been fighting Hamas w/the IDF and Shin Bet for 10 years, and Israel laughs at him for it. It sees him as a collaborator, and he pretty much is. That’s how Israel sees Palestinians – they’re either terrorists who have to be killed, or they’re collaborators who can be owned. Don’t pretend that you’re ready for peace if only the Palestinians would play fair – you and the rest of this country have proven that to be a lie, too.”

      That kind of says it all, doesn’t it? What more is there to say? These few words of yours say infinitely more than the reams of hasbara programming surrounding it. A diamond in the mud, man! Cuts through all the crap.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “That kind of says it all, doesn’t it? What more is there to say? These few words of yours say infinitely more than the reams of hasbara programming surrounding it. A diamond in the mud, man! Cuts through all the crap.”

        Crap you finished on the right note, Brian. Tou still have no substance. You still only tell propaganda and lies as John demonstrated and you still have not been able to disprove his claims about your lies.

        Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          I don’t owe any of you characters a lawyer’s brief. I know too much about this conflict for you to bull**** me and I think that bothers you. Tough.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            You know nothing Brian.
            OR you are just a liar. Pick your poison.

            Reply to Comment
          • MuslimJew

            “You know nothing Brian.
            OR you are just a liar. Pick your poison.”

            He knows you’re a brain-dead muppet, AND a lying SOS.

            Stop poisoning the well, and go tickle Israel’s taint, dhimmī.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Whatever you’re trying to say MuslimJew, it’s off base, off key, and unwelcome. I don’t need this kind of help. No need to take their incivilities one step further.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Y’all need to read the indispensable Ze’ev Sternhell, fascism expert and exceptionally intelligent and learned man, in today’s Haaretz (“It’s the colonialism they hate, not Jews”). Talk about cutting through the crap! You read it and a lot of the claptrap on this comment board is dispelled as if waving away smoke.

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            “It’s the control of the media they hate, not Jews”

            “It’s the wealth they hate, not Jews”

            “It’s the killing of Jesus they hate, not Jews”

            Or alternatively:

            “It’s the colonialism they hate, that’s why they’re going after the Chinese.”

            “It’s the colonialism they hate, that’s why they’re going after the Turks.”

            “It’s the occupation they hate, that’s why they’re going after the Moroccans.”

            “It’s the occupation they hate, that’s why they’re going after the Russians.”

            “It’s the targeted attacks they hate, that’s why they’re going after the USA.”

            And on and on and on and on.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Oh, I see you didn’t actually READ Sternhell. Your loss. By the way they ARE going after the (Western, like Israel) Russians, much much more than Israel, with sanctions. Same ol’ double standard fallacy you’re trafficking here. Larry has written some piece here about how Israel constantly complains that it is singled out but the true singling out is that Israel is actually given a pass on things that no one else gets a pass on, in other words the double standard is actually in the opposite direction than that which the Ziobots complain about. I’ll find that somewhere–I think it is on this +972 site.

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            So you intentionally evade my point and are trying to deflect.

            First of all, address all my other comparisons.

            Second, I was referring to the Russians attacking and destroying Chechnya and placing it under their rule with a fake referendum and doing so with complete impunity. Short of a few public statements by some bodies and a couple of countries, nothing happened to them. The destruction Grozny experienced would make Gazans thrilled with their excellent lot in life.

            With respect to Ukraine, the situation is still playing out which is why I wasn’t discussing it. However, I would wager that if a hard winter hits us in a couple of months, the very limited sanctions being placed upon Russia for Crimea will dissipate because they need Russian energy. I stress limited sanctions because Russia is a large and wealthy country and these sanctions aren’t serious for them whereas for a country such as Israel, they could cause severe harm.

            By the way, Ukraine is a sovereign state which did not in any way provoke, threaten or attack Russia, much less pose a threat to its citizens, or have groups from within it doing so. Israel has never had the luxury of this type of situation.

            And I’ve been reading Sternhell probably for longer than you’ve known about a little country called Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            It is so interesting how Israel wants at one and same time to preen itself on being so Western, so advanced, so up-to-date, and SO democratic, so Americas mini-me, so a member of the cognoscenti and the West, AND to be judged by the standards of North Korea and of China in Tibet. So interesting THAT double standard. Someone here called it the “I beat my wife but my neighbor rapes his kids so what are you complaining about a*sh*le leave me the f*** alone” defense–“but please keep sending me money.” The Russian sanctions are serious and they have tamed Putin considerably. But no credit there to those “antisemites” in Europe. LOL. Israel gets a pass (for 47 years and running!) no other Western club member would ever get. But please continue to whine to the contrary.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Y’all need to read the indispensable Ze’ev Sternhell, fascism expert”

            Nah. I don’t need to read the opinions of another idiot. I can think for myself, thank you very muchy. They are a dime a dozen and you are their ‘Mini Me’ mirror image, Brian.

            You guys are so booooooooooring. All you do is whine, whine and whine more.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            “I don’t need to read”

            So true. You do just fine at what you do without it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            MuslimJew? LOL.

            Go get a brain transplant. Your mother lobotomized you.

            Reply to Comment
    16. Brian

      Seriously ya’ll ought to get out Haaretz and read every piece written in those pages over the past year by two people: Ze’ev Sternhell and Peter Beinart. They take apart very clearly all the excuses and evasions. It’s always a pleasure to read clear thinkers on any subject. On the other hand, if you don’t read…. But one thing you I would advise you that you stop doing, because it exposes your utter lack of seriousness in one fell stroke, is to call them “idiots.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        I do read them from time to time Brian. That is how I know that they ARE idiots.

        They want us to become candidates for the Darwin awards. You do know what the Darwin awards are for, Brian?

        Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          Oh it’s too late, you already won it. A democratic Jewish-majority state is dead. The West Bank settlers and their enablers remind me of nothing so much as those goofy dodo birds in the comedy film Ice Age.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Oh it’s too late, you already won it.”

            Did we? I just pinched myself and I am not dreaming. We are still here, we still have our independent Jewish nation, our economy is doing quite well, we have a strong army, we have our nukes, we are making new allies and there is even a momentary lull in the fighting while your Hamasnick friends are licking their wounds.

            So, no we haven’t won the Darwin awards. And you better pray that we never will because if it would look like that we would, we wuold make sure that there would be a lot of other Darwin awardees joining us, the more the merrier. Maybe even people like you too? Hey, I hope you won’t blame us for wanting company? After all, we are a very social people you know.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “Oh it’s too late, you already won it. A democratic Jewish-majority state is dead.”

            No Goldie Locks it isn’t. We are alive and kicking. We are still a majority and we are still a democracy.

            How do I know that we are still a democracy? I know because our Arab citizens were horrified when they heard of Liberman’s plan to ship the Arabs of Galil to the shiny new democratic Palestinian Arab state together with their lands, all their assets and their belongings. Go figure, they prefer to stay with us. That tells me that we are not as mean to them as you people pretend.

            Reply to Comment
    17. Gustav

      “Oh it’s too late, you already won it”

      Did we? I just pinched myself and I am not dreaming. We are still here, we still have our independent Jewish nation, our economy is doing quite well, we have a strong army, we have our nukes, we are making new allies and there is even a momentary lull in the fighting while your Hamasnick friends are licking their wounds.

      So, no we haven’t won the Darwin awards. And you better pray that we never will because if it would look like that we would, we wuold make sure that there would be a lot of other Darwin awardees joining us, the more the merrier. Maybe even people like you too? Hey, I hope you won’t blame us for wanting company? After all, we are a very social people you know.

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        I has not realized I needed to be so literal. Insert “future” or “sustainable” between my “A” and my “democratic” and your arguments collapse.
        Gustav your grim Götterdämmerung scenario is kind of appalling and alarming. Because it is so easily avoidable by simply offering the Palestinians a fair deal and moving on with the 78% of Palestine that you have. So much bloodshed and suffering over 22%. Such a tragedy of fanaticism that to outsiders simply looks crazy, like an anorexia nervosa sufferer who has already lost 78% of her ideal body weight and insists she just has to lose the other 22% no matter the pain and suffering she causes herself and her family and others. A long time ago I learned in my professional training that the hallmark of malignant pathological narcissism was the willingness of the person(s) suffering from it to bring the whole world down around them in flames to solve their problem. This unarguably is what Hitler did to Germany in the end.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          “I has not realized I needed to be so literal. Insert “future” or “sustainable” between my “A” and my “democratic” and your arguments collapse.”

          So no you not only can tell the future but you can control it? LOL.

          You have delusions of grandeur.

          Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          “Gustav your grim Götterdämmerung scenario is kind of appalling and alarming. Because it is so easily avoidable by simply offering the Palestinians a fair deal”

          We have already offered your Palestinian Arabs a fair deal, twice in recent years. We offered them 100% of Gaza and. 97% of the West Bank plus land swaps to compensate for the 3%. They were not interested.

          Moreover, Hamas is on the record of claiming all of Israel as Arab land.

          You can deny all of that Brian and tell lies about it but those are just facts that you cannot change with lies.

          Go change the Palestinian Arab’s minds. No point in pontificating to us till you succeed. But alas, you people are not even trying to get them to compromise. All you are trying to do is to pressure us to give in on more and more issues. Well, we have had enough. It stops here and you guys can stand on your heads we will still ignore your preachings.

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Certainly there’s no point in having a conversation. Let’s end it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            So end it. I am not stopping you.

            Reply to Comment
    18. Felix Reichert

      I see the right wing loonies have officially gone completely overboard in their delusional rejection of reality.

      I say let them. Let them be an example of the vile sort of human being that contemporary mainstream zionism tends to produce.

      Ignore them. It’s not worth the effort.
      Obviously they’re shitting their pants as they clearly see western support for Israel eroding at an unprecedented pace.

      Reply to Comment
      • bor

        It seems the West is shitting its pants as it comes to grips with what Muslims are doing in the Middle East – proving all of Israel’s warnings to be true – and asking themselves if they should be worried about their own cities.

        This, of course, makes the criticism of Israel quite amusing to watch. Where are you, Felix? England? Belgium? France? Make sure you don’t enter the wrong neighborhoods…

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/argentine-president-says-she-was-threatened-by-islamic-state/

        Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “Obviously they’re shitting their pants as they clearly see western support for Israel eroding at an unprecedented pace”

        We are not shitting in our pants Felix. You are shitting in your pants trying so hard to force us to bend to your will.

        But you won’t succeed because if we would adopt what you are teying to force us to adopt, then we would have reason to shit in our pants.

        Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        Interesting.

        Felix Reichert referred to us as loonie right wingers. The moderators had no problems with that.

        I referred to him as a loonie left winger but my post was deleted.

        Congrats. You people have very thin skins.

        Reply to Comment
    19. Brian

      Dear Felix,

      You are right. I realize you have to stop replying at some point. Trolls, by definition need to have the last word (with made up “facts” and with inconvenient facts erased; hasbara after all is not fundamentally different from other species of propaganda). I’m struck by their tirelessness. And their seething anger. Take a quick look (a sustained look is not advised) at the shells they’re lobbing from the trenches at the +972 article, “Contradicting its own ruling, Israel’s Supreme Court legalizes segregated communities,” to get a sense of their indefatigability and their seething anger. It’s ugly. Do these folks have anything else to do?

      My analogy to the anorexia nervosa patient holds. In that tenacious behavioral disorder it’s as if a virus that routinely circulates in the general population in a non-fanatic version–i.e., “it’s good to be thin”–gets taken up onto the “hard drive” in temperamentally vulnerable individuals lacking “antivirus” protection, and goes berserk, takes over. Anorexia nervosa is a behavior driven by an overvalued idea. It’s fanaticism.

      Zionoxia Nervosa sufferers are similar. There’s no talking to them. You have to stop the behavior (unceasing settlement/occupation) and watch them closely. The alternative is to let them self-destruct but a lot of people besides themselves are going to get hurt in the process. Two states is for all practical purposes dead and they don’t seem to know it, or they know it and rejoice. If it were not so sad then I would say they are just like those goofy dodo birds in “Ice Age.” About to go extinct. It may take a while but, as in previous examples of natural selection, it won’t be pretty. These folks are in trouble. The Darwin Award (I wasn’t the one who injected this term here–uncanny how it fits–thanks Gustav!) is apt because of the well-known “demographic threat” reasons–there is a competing population with at least as much reproductive fitness (literally) and instead of doing the sensible, adaptive ecological thing and letting a measly 22% of the available habitat slip from their grimy paws, they just gotta hold onto all of it for dear life. “It’s MINE!!!, ALL MINE!!!” With crazed look like an “Ice Age” dodo bird grabbing his watermelon, grinning while he goes over a cliff. And there is this particular piece of the habitat they are especially rigid about: called Arab East Jerusalem. It’s presented by the dodos (who do not broadly suffer from a lack of intelligence so it is all the more strange and complex their Darwin Award status) as especially sacred and non-negotiable, mostly, truth be told, to foil any attempt at returning the other approximately 21%. This story does not have a happy ending.

      And it was preventable. Jared Diamond’s book, “Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed” may some day contain a belated afterword on the fate of the state of Israel (as it’s founders conceived it). Much of the reasoning he applies to the Easter Islanders and the Anasazi and the Maya and the Norse Greenlanders will apply. The Greenlanders starved to death trying to farm and raise sheep in a marginal land all the while watching the native Inuit successfully hunt in their boats and it never dawned on to try to adapt and learn the natives’ marine skills or to trade with them instead of fighting them. Their preconceptions were too fixed. So they, mighty Vikings, died out there, every last one of them. The interesting twist in the Israeli-Palestinian version of this is that the Palestinians, after decades of being incapable of adapting to the presence of the “colonists” now, in the Arab Peace Initiative and all the similar positions put forth by the reasonable Abu Mazen and his allied factions HAVE adapted (evolved) and it is the “colonists,” thinking like Norse Greenlanders, thinking that are in a superior position, a position of power, who refuse now, in 2014, to adapt.

      The colonizing Norse called the native Inuits they found in Greenland “skraelings.” The colonizing Zionists call the native people they found in the land “terrorists” (always) as well as “pals, fakestinians,” “Jordaniams,” “Syrians,” “bloodthirsty Arabs,” “the same sea,” and any number of other dismissive, derogatory and evasive terms. They secretly know Abu Mazen and Yasir Arafat couldn’t be more different–that a decisive and intelligent shift has occurred–and that’s what scares them most of all. It scares them that the Palestinians and the Arab League states HAVE evolved in crucial ways. They have NOT lived up to the cherished rightist stereotype of the unintelligent, unevolving “Arab.” While the Zionist Right and Center has not evolved. In their heart of hearts they long for Arafat. Hence they find Hamas indispensable. (Repeat after me, HAMAS = ISIS! HAMAS = ISIS! HAMAS = ISIS! HAMAS = ISIS! You are getting sleeeeeeepy now!)

      The Norse, though they felt threatened, could have survived and prospered alongside the Inuit had they developed flexibility, had they evolved, and had they looked to long term sustainability. (Anticipating the literalists here, by Israel “surviving” I mean surviving into the sustainable future as the democratic Jewish majority state it’s founders (even Jabotinsky!) envisioned.)

      Fanaticisms are intractable. Witness the gun nut lobby in the United States. No talking to em. Read Roy Isacowitz in Haaretz today (you’ll need a subscription) to learn how boycotts work on crucial levels other than the obvious mechanistic economic level, and how the dejected Afrikaners just could not understand why the rest of the world would not see them as the anti-communists they saw themselves as primarily, and how the world similarly is likely to frustrate the (center-to-right wing) Zionists by not seeing them as anti-Islamist primarily. I do think the answer here will eventually have to be the increasing marginalization of Israel in the manner done to South Africa. In order to save them from themselves. Read Isacowitz to understand why.

      As Isacowitz says, “Sanctions are effective in four ways: They impact a country’s economy, they impact the personal finances of specific individuals, often those most invested in the system, they send the message that the country’s policies are unacceptable to the wider world and they damage the self-esteem of those being boycotted.”

      Since the EU and NATO have been applying sanctions with abandon to the Russians in Ukraine, it simply will not suffice to blame coming economic sanctions and the crucial related psychological costs on “anti-Semitism.”

      Now what was I saying, Felix, about how one has to stop replying? Oy veh ist mir!

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “Dear Felix,”

        You like Felix, Brian? You can have him.

        “You are right. I realize you have to stop replying at some point. Trolls, by definition need to have the last word”

        Is that why you are trying to have the last word? Oh and anyone with a different outlook on sites like these is a troll right? Because we don’t follow party lines, right? I seem to recall such a system in Soviet Russia. I wonder what happend to them?

        “(with made up “facts” and with inconvenient facts erased;”

        Or with verbose diatribes such as this, hoping to exhaust us so that we would just skulk away? Nah, it won’t work.

        “hasbara after all is not fundamentally different from other species of propaganda).”

        Yep, you think that just by raising the word “Hasbarah” you can make the facts which we confront you just go away? But really, you can’t. Doesn’t that just make you mad?

        “I’m struck by their tirelessness.”

        Why thank you. We fight for a just cause. That’s what makes us tireless.

        “And their seething anger.”

        Funny that, you people sound at least as angry as we do even though you have much less cause to be angry since you live in your safe little ivory towers in peaceful neighborhoods. I guess, it’s the meaninglessness and boredom of your tedious little life that makes you so frustrated and meddlesome into other people’s problems. Poor champagne and latte sipping socialist. Your little suburban life is so meaningless, isn’t it? Go take up yoga or finger painting. Or even help the less fortunates in your own countries.

        “Take a quick look (a sustained look is not advised) at the shells they’re lobbing from the trenches at the +972 article”

        Yes, please do and try and use your brains for a change instead of being driven by biases and reflexive hatred.

        “Contradicting its own ruling, Israel’s Supreme Court legalizes segregated communities,”

        Really? Even if one goes along with your simplistic take on it, even then, it would not be unique to us. Fancy that. In a middle of a 100 year war of extermination against us, some of us, a snall percentage of us choose to avoid living with a people who have been waging a relentless war against us. What a crime.

        You people interned your own citizens who were immigrants from enemy countries during WW2. But all that is forgotten now because you came out on top. Well … we have not come out on top yet. Wait for 50 years of peace like you had, and we too will be at least as tolerant as most of you are. Not the likes of you of course Brian, because there is nothing tolerant about your kind. You are just a smug self satisfied bigot who has no tolerance for the “other”. Being preachy and pompous is YOUR style. You are nothing like the Average American who IS a genuinely decent person.

        “to get a sense of their indefatigability and their seething anger.”

        Yes, justifiable anger towards the likes of you, Brian.

        “It’s ugly.”

        Really? Not as ugly as YOUR attitude, Brian.

        “Do these folks have anything else to do?”

        Yes. But people like you force us to confront your ugly bias and often outright lies. Now let me retort in kind: have YOU got anything else to do? Or do you make it a habit to push your long ugly noses into business that you have no clue about?

        “My analogy to the anorexia nervosa patient holds.”

        You can stick your analogy into a place where the sun does not shine, Brian. You know as “much” about anorexia nervosa as you know about the Middle East: NOTHING!

        “In that tenacious behavioral disorder it’s as if a virus that routinely circulates in the general population in a non-fanatic version–i.e., “it’s good to be thin”–gets taken up onto the “hard drive” in temperamentally vulnerable individuals lacking “antivirus” protection,”

        See what I mean? You have an idiotic simplistic take on that terrible disorder.

        “and goes berserk,”

        You mean, it’s a disease of obsession, a bit like your obsession about us?

        “takes over. Anorexia nervosa is a behavior driven by an overvalued idea. It’s fanaticism.”

        Fanaticism like yours? Or should I have said, hatred like yours?

        “Zionoxia Nervosa sufferers are similar.”

        The only thing from which we suffer from is the hatred and ignorance of our enemies which includes people like you. But what caused you to contract the Commie-noxia disease which you are suffering from, Brian?

        “There’s no talking to them.”

        Is that why you never stop pontificating and preaching to us? Because you don’t want to talk to us?

        “You have to stop the behavior (unceasing settlement/occupation) and watch them closely.”

        Yea, right, it’s the “settlements” stupid. Sounds like you suffer from a nervous tic.

        So how come the Palestinians were murdering us before there were any settlements?

        How come they did not accept peace offers which would have given them in effect 100% of Gaza and the West Bank?

        Could it be because, for the Palestinian Arabs, even Israel proper itself is a settlement?

        “The alternative is to let them self-destruct but a lot of people besides themselves are going to get hurt in the process.”

        Don’t worry, we won’t be destroyed, period. So you won’t get hurt. At least not because of us. I won’t vouch for ISIS or Al Quaida.

        “Two states is for all practical purposes dead”

        No it isn’t.

        “and they don’t seem to know it”

        We don’t know it simply because you are wrong.

        “or they know it and rejoice.”

        We are not in the habit of rejoicing about how badly others feel. But we learnt the hard way that we should not make ourselves vulnerable or rely on others to guarantee OUR well being because invariably we end up drawing the short straw.

        “If it were not so sad then I would say they are just like those goofy dodo birds in “Ice Age.”

        Aw shucks, Brian, stop being a hypocrite and pretend that you even entertain an iota of sadness for us.

        “About to go extinct. It may take a while but, as in previous examples of natural selection,”

        Any report of our demise is premature and exaggerated. Or … don’t count your chooks before they hatch. But yes, we do understand how badly you wish to see us dead.

        “it won’t be pretty.”

        No it won’t be either pretty or ugly. It just won’t happen.

        “These folks are in trouble.”

        You only wish …

        “The Darwin Award (I wasn’t the one who injected this term here–uncanny how it fits–thanks Gustav!) is apt because of the well-known “demographic threat”

        What demographic threat? There are 6 million Israeli Jews and 1.2 million Israeli Arabs. Our growth rate is trending up, theirs is trending down. What can I say?

        As for the Arabs in the WB and Gaza, they will never be citizens of Israel.

        “there is a competing population with at least as much reproductive fitness (literally) and instead of doing the sensible, adaptive ecological thing and letting a measly 22% of the available habitat slip from their grimy paws,”

        Hey, why are you ignoring history? Twice in the last 15 years we offered land for peace but they wanted Israel too. Never mind, they will come around.

        “they just gotta hold onto all of it for dear life. “It’s MINE!!!, ALL MINE!!!”

        Again you are denying very recent history. Remember Barak’s and Olmert’s peace offers involving relinquishing of all the land which you are talking about? Or are you in denial?

        “With crazed look like an “Ice Age” dodo bird grabbing his watermelon, grinning while he goes over a cliff.

        Wow, you are a regular poet. Pity you are making it all up.

        “And there is this particular piece of the habitat they are especially rigid about: called Arab East Jerusalem.”

        Arab East Jerusalem? You mean the one which has the 2000 year old Jewish quarter in it? And our holiest site, the Western wal? Some Arab East Jerusalem.

        By the way, Olmert offered to share East Jerusalem but as usual, he got ignored.

        “It’s presented by the dodos (who do not broadly suffer from a lack of intelligence so it is all the more strange and complex their Darwin Award status) as especially sacred and non-negotiable”

        Do you call the offer to share a place which had thousands of years of Jewish history, intransigent? Ok, that must be because it makes you mentally comfortable to deny reality.

        “mostly, truth be told, to foil any attempt at returning the other approximately 21%.”

        You mean Arab intransigence is our intransigence? That’s a bit like defending a tantrum prone kid who threatens to hold his breath and hope to die when the parents call his bluff.

        “This story does not have a happy ending.”

        Only for the haters of Israel. Because they won’t bluff us into putting our heads into a noose.

        “And it was preventable. Jared Diamond’s book, “Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed” may some day contain a belated afterword on the fate of the state of Israel (as it’s founders conceived it).”

        Oh dear … I feel another one of your crazy analogies coming on.

        “Much of the reasoning he applies to the Easter Islanders and the Anasazi and the Maya and the Norse Greenlanders will apply. The Greenlanders starved to death trying to farm and raise sheep in a marginal land all the while watching the native Inuit successfully hunt in their boats and it never dawned on to try to adapt and learn the natives’ marine skills or to trade with them instead of fighting them. Their preconceptions were too fixed. So they, mighty Vikings, died out there, every last one of them.”

        Yep, I was right. Irrelevant analogies. Sigh …

        “The interesting twist in the Israeli-Palestinian version of this is that the Palestinians, after decades of being incapable of adapting to the presence of the “colonists”

        Yea, right, we are colonists. You just betrayed yourself you hypocrite. We live in our ancestral homeland, a land which the Jewish people never gave up and where Jews always lived and in which we have a long history. But we are colonists.

        But you people are not colonists. Nor are the Arabs. Wanna tell us where YOU live Brian?

        “now, in the Arab Peace Initiative and all the similar positions put forth by the reasonable Abu Mazen”

        Reasonable? What exactly makes him reasonable? His refusal to recognize us as the nation state of the Jewish people? Or his insistence on the right of return? So what exactly was he offering in exchange for us giving up land and essentially making us more vulnerable? I tell you what he is offering: exactly NOTHING!!!

        “and his allied factions HAVE adapted (evolved)”

        You mean Hamas? Yea are nearly forgot about them. They have adapted? How exactly? They still claim ALL of Israel as Arab Muslim land. Some evolution huh?

        “and it is the “colonists,” thinking like Norse Greenlanders, thinking that are in a superior position, a position of power, who refuse now, in 2014, to adapt.”

        Norse, Greenlanders smorse, Pinklanders whatever. You are rambling, Brian.

        “The colonizing Norse called the native Inuits they found in Greenland “skraelings.”

        Really? And is that relevant? How exactly?

        “The colonizing Zionists call the native people they found in the land “terrorists” (always) as well as “pals, fakestinians,” “Jordaniams,” “Syrians,” “bloodthirsty Arabs,”

        No. We just recognize the fact that they as a people have been fighting a 100 year war against us and yes, in that war they resorted to terrorist tactics. Which bit of that is untrue?

        “the same sea,” and any number of other dismissive, derogatory and evasive terms”

        And they don’t call us derogatory terms? Or even you? Or even any other people who were in a long bloody war with enemies? We are so uniquely eeeeeevil aren’t we Brian?

        “They secretly know Abu Mazen and Yasir Arafat couldn’t be more different”

        How exactly are they different? They are both shifty. They are both intransigent. They both say one thing to Western journalists and politicians and different things to their own people. I do admit though that Abu Mazen is less scruffy looking than Arafat was and is more urbane. But sorry, thats just isn’t enough.

        “–that a decisive and intelligent shift has occurred–”

        You are right, Abu Mazen is a bit more sneaky.

        “and that’s what scares them most of all. It scares them that the Palestinians and the Arab League states HAVE evolved in crucial ways.”

        Really? Have they given up their so called right of return yet? Have they agreed to recognize us as the nation state of the Jewish people yet? No? I didn’t think so. Therefore they have not evolved yet.

        “They have NOT lived up to the cherished rightist stereotype of the unintelligent, unevolving “Arab.”

        That must be your stereotype. We have much greater respect for their talent to do us harm. That’s why we are not willing to dismiss them lightly like you leftists seem to.

        “While the Zionist Right and Center has not evolved. In their heart of hearts they long for Arafat.”

        Whaaaaat? No we don’t. But we don’t particularly like Abu Mazen either. Not that liking has anything to do with it. We don’t have to like him in order to make peace. But he does have to meet our demands too if he wants us to meet his demands. You do know what quid pro quo means, Brian?

        “Hence they find Hamas indispensable. (Repeat after me, HAMAS = ISIS! HAMAS = ISIS! HAMAS = ISIS! HAMAS = ISIS! You are getting sleeeeeeepy now!)”

        Okey dokey, I get your drift. Hamas and ISIS put you to sleep? I just hope that ISIS won’t put you into permanent sleep (see how nice I am to you Brian?). But rest assured, Hamas won’t put US to sleep, either temporary or permanent because we won’t let them.

        “The Norse, though they felt threatened, could have survived and prospered alongside the Inuit had they developed flexibility, had they evolved, and had they looked to long term sustainability”

        Oh no, not your Norse again. Now YOU are putting me to sleep.

        “(Anticipating the literalists here, by Israel “surviving” I mean surviving into the sustainable future as the democratic Jewish majority state it’s founders (even Jabotinsky!) envisioned.)”

        We will. No thanks to the likes of you though.

        “Fanaticisms are intractable.”

        Yes, Brian, you are an example of a fanatic. Your thinking is based on a kind of a religious faith based beliefs rather than on rational thinking and weighing up evidence which exists right in front of your nose.

        “Witness the gun nut lobby in the United States. No talking to em.”

        Oh no, you are side tracking again with an irrelevancy. Are you just trying to lengthen your post in order to obfuscate?

        “Read Roy Isacowitz in Haaretz today (you’ll need a subscription) to learn how boycotts work on crucial levels other than the obvious mechanistic economic level,”

        Scare tactics won’t work. We are not easily scared. We are a very hardy people who faced down much worse odds than anything your ilk can conceive of.

        “and how the dejected Afrikaners just could not understand why the rest of the world would not see them as the anti-communists they saw themselves as primarily,”

        Sigh … we are neither Afrikaners. Nor are we easily dejected.

        “and how the world similarly is likely to frustrate the (center-to-right wing) Zionists by not seeing them as anti-Islamist primarily.”

        You cannot be more wrong, dude. Never assume that the rest of the world is like you. Watch this space Brian, you are going to eat your arrogant words which you speak here. We have lots of Friends in the world and even our non friends will be looking to emulate our methods as to how to fight the rising menace of the Jihadis. Watch, learn and weep, Brian.

        “I do think the answer here will eventually have to be the increasing marginalization of Israel in the manner done to South Africa.

        You do think? Stop exaggerating Brian. At most, I believe that you are driven by your amygdala rather than by your more rational higher intellectual parts of your brain. I am of course making the assumption that you do possess some of those too but then again, I don’t really know you do I?

        “In order to save them from themselves. Read Isacowitz to understand why.”

        Yea, I sure will … because Isacowitz (who?) is the authority on everything? Well? Is he, Brian? Maybe not so much huh?

        “As Isacowitz says, “Sanctions are effective in four ways: They impact a country’s economy,”

        Yea? Wow … That sounds incredibly insightful.

        “they impact the personal finances of specific individuals,”

        Yea? Wow … I am in awe of his gigantic intellect. What was his name again?

        “they send the message that the country’s policies are unacceptable to the wider world”

        Yea? If only huh?

        “and they damage the self-esteem of those being boycotted.”

        No, no way … our self esteem is indestructable Brian. Sorry, it’s because of our Jewish mothers. What’s his face didn’t figure on our Jewish mothers, did he?

        “Since the EU and NATO have been applying sanctions with abandon to the Russians in Ukraine, it simply will not suffice to blame coming economic sanctions and the crucial related psychological costs on “anti-Semitism.”

        We won’t have to. They won’t apply any significant sanctions on us. How do you like them apples, Brian?

        “Now what was I saying, Felix, about how one has to stop replying? Oy veh ist mir!”

        Yea, exactly, what exactly were you trying to say, Brian?

        Reply to Comment
    20. Brian

      Thanks for the line by line exegesis! It’s illuminating!

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        I mean, of course, Illuminating in the direction opposite of that which you intended. It draws out all the emptiness, confusions and outright incomprehension of the reactionary right here.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          By royal decree, right Brian? The only problem is that you are not royalty nor did you justify your assertion. Unlike me who backed up every fact which was mentioned.

          So which one of us is the troll, Brian?

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Oh, truth be told, my view is that I did not put out the trolling lines in these waters but took the bait sure enough and was on the hook for a while here. I’m off the hook now and headed out for deeper waters, captain. Call me Ishmael, Queequeg! I’ll let you have the last word.

            Reply to Comment
    21. Victor Arajs

      While I am gratified that the reservists have embarassed israel, I still cannot tell whether they did it for publicity or genuine disgust at zionism. The only way to tell is for the reservists to really separate from any fruit of the occupation, namely by publically burning their passports outside of Orient house

      Reply to Comment
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