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As violence rises, Muslim moderates must do more

My colleagues at ‘Let Us Build Pakistan’ and I have discovered various overlapping interests on certain issues and we occasionally cross-post material that we think our audiences would find relevant. Here is one such article I found interesting.

Against the background of a fresh wave of violence in the Middle East, a Muslim writer calls for introspection.

By Asif Zaidi

The following book review in The Telegraph addresses two recently published books mainly defending British Muslims. A friend sent me the article, hoping that it will help me “see the light.” But I believe the review downplays some significant problems.

[A book by Arun Kundnani ] dispels myths, pointing out that “there is no Islamic doctrine of ‘kill the unbelievers’ as anti-Islam propagandists often maintain. Islam, like other religions, provides a broad moral framework for thinking about questions of violence.” Again and again this book challenges your assumptions. It is worth reading for its examination of the word “extremism” alone. Martin Luther King, Kundnani points out, was denounced in this way.

Bowen’s book is at bottom gentle and optimistic. She suggests that over time there is no fundamental contradiction between Islam and the modern Western state…”

In fact, most members of most religious communities in Britain are patriotic and law-abiding but it is only Muslims who require constant reassurances like those in the review above. Why? The answer is simple: because most radicals have been Muslims and people like Anjem Choudary get their mug all over the television. To me, rather than constantly looking for reassurances, Muslims in Britain should be arguing against the likes of Choudary and protesting against incendiary pronouncements and actions. It is normal that in the absence of such posturing, suspicion grows. Not all Catholic priests are pedophiles. But hasn’t the fact that many cardinals turned a blind eye to those who are has drawn more opprobrium than the pedophiles themselves?

ISIS fighters ride through the Syrian city of Al-Raqqa. (photo: Islamic State)

ISIS fighters ride through the Syrian city of Al-Raqqa. (photo: Islamic State)

The silence or acquiescence of the so-called Muslim ‘moderate’ majority reinforces the perception of Muslims as a group of people who cannot, or will not, control their extremist fringes. I think this is an accurate reflection of the reality and see no problem with it. To claim that not all Muslims are terrorists, jihadists, or extremists sounds hollow. Not all men are misogynists or violent towards women, either, but we incessantly reiterate that men have a duty to stand up to sexism and misogyny. In the 1940s most Germans were not Nazis. Similarly, most Hutus did not participate in the killings of Tutsis. But the peaceful majority are irrelevant when a minority are hell bent on waging violence and imposing itself.

We don’t need huge numbers to inflict huge damage. On 9/11, less than a dozen people, in no position of power or authority, caused enough damage to change the entire world for ever. The genocide of the Native Americans or the slaughter of slave ships might be from a different era but the dark heart in mankind beats on and it is the duty of Muslims not to allow it to function under the cloak of Islam.

So to say that “not all Muslims are radical” is a misplaced assertion. The real question is what they are going to do about the ones who are radical. In recent years many Muslims have tended to describe those criticizing Islam as being “Islamophobic.” This is utterly dishonest. Non-Muslims have every right to question the teachings of Islam just as Muslims have every right to scrutinize and question the tenets of other religions. This is an inalienable right and a practice as old as the religion itself. This kind of reaction from Muslims turns lack of knowledge about Islam into a genuine fear of it. Many people question Islam because they support things which are, in truth, incompatible with Islam: abortion, gay rights, and sex before marriage. That does not mean that they do not approve of Muslims. They have also subjected their own religions to the same criticism.

Where is the uproar among the Muslims in the West against the intolerance of minorities in many Muslim countries, the murder of Christians in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria, denial of education to girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan, denial of careers to women in Saudi Arabia, death sentences for supposed adulterers in Sudan, executions of homosexuals in Iran, and “honor” killings and forced marriages just about anywhere? These, naturally, are the things that get reported. Should the media report on Muslims going to the mosque, working at the office, having dinner, and enjoying family time on the weekend? These same Muslims who refuse to murmur on these atrocities turn up by the thousands to protest against Google because Google owns YouTube and someone somewhere has posted a video that they feel insults Islam. It does not matter that the video has nothing to do with the U.S., UK, YouTube or Google – their honor has been slighted and, therefore, they must rally to the chant of the Ummah.

A fighter from the Islamic State stands in front of a tank. (photo: Islamic State)

A fighter from the Islamic State stands in front of a tank. (photo: Islamic State)

The author of the book review above fails to point out the total indifference among the British Muslim community towards the innocent Muslims being slaughtered by ISIS in Iraq. Are the nearly 200,000 killed and millions displaced from Syria worth less attention than a supposed slur posted on YouTube?

There is a reason that much of the world feels that the Muslim community is not concerned with justice, peace or progress – it is concerned with honor and with the past. And that means that they don’t care how many people die (Muslim or non-Muslim) in wars and jihads and intifadas, as long as Muslim pride is restored. If that means rioting when someone records a film, so be it. If that means murdering your daughter because she’s got a non-Muslim girlfriend, so be it. And if that means keeping Palestinians in refugee camps for three generations in rich Muslim client states of the West then so be it. It is this attitude, and no imaginary Islamophobia, that is responsible for a number of young westerners, fueled by dreams of Jihad, flying off to Syria and holy war. Of course not every Muslim is a jihadist, but it is also a fact that for every young Muslim guy who actually makes it out to the front in Syria or Iraq, it seems there are many more who sympathize with them.

According to a reliable study Muslim extremism claims 38 times more Muslim lives than non-Muslims, without accounting for Muslim wars (Iran-Iraq) and major uprisings. ISIS has crucified a number of moderate Syrian rebels – and pro-Assad fighters. As always, the terrorists are Saudi-inspired and are far more of a menace to Muslims than the West is. Therefore, to say “the West is far more responsible for Muslim terrorism than they are” shows a lamentable lack of knowledge of the history of Islam and its relations with surrounding civilizations.

In every Western or non-Muslim country where I have been, most people show no signs of animus against Muslims in general. I don’t think Muslims in the West need the reassurances that the Telegraph article and the books reviewed seek to provide. On the contrary, I think it is a shame that much-needed discussions about radical Islam immediately turn into people shouting “not all Muslims are like that” and drowning out genuine concerns.

I can express my disgust for abuse in the Catholic Church in any setting, and it is correctly assumed that I am not rebuking Christians in general. I can voice concerns about Zionism and Israeli occupation, and it is – or should be – understood that I am not rebuking Jews in general. So when others talk about the dangers of radical Islam, it should be obvious that they are not rebuking Muslims in general without explanations.

Grow up and do something about your own state of affairs. To begin with, get out of the victimhood you enjoy so much. Shut down the Salafist and the Wahabbi factories of extremism paid for by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and encourage your people to stop kids who are being radicalized. Come out in droves and condemn all female genital manipulation, all forced marriages, all tribal laws, all Jihadist militancy, all sectarianism, and all discrimination against women.

Asif Zaidi is a regular writer on the Pakistani blog Let Us Build Pakistan, where a version of this post originally appeared.

Related:
No, Hamas isn’t ISIS, ISIS isn’t Hamas
Moderate Islam meets Auschwitz

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    COMMENTS

    1. Gustav

      Thank you for posting this article. It provides some long overdue balance on the pages of + 972.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ben Zakkai

      Thank you Mr. Zaidi for your thoughtful and courageous contribution. As a Jew in Israel I do my best, which I admit is not very good, to oppose the many cruel and unjust things being done in the name of my religion and tribe. I am heartened to hear your voice.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        That’s it Ben? That’s all you can say about the article? How about a comment about what us right wingers have been trying to tell you all along?

        “[A book by Arun Kundnani ] dispels myths, pointing out that “there is no Islamic doctrine of ‘kill the unbelievers’ as anti-Islam propagandists often maintain.”

        We have been saying that about Hamas too. Seeing that you are thanking the writer about his thoughtful contribution, could you at least now entertain the thought that we were right about Hamas all along?

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben Zakkai

          Gustav, do you really think that I and all other +972 talkbackers who are severely critical of Israeli policy are also necessarily huge fans of Hamas in particular and of Islamic extremism in general? And if so, do you also think that Mr. Zaidi’s perspicacious article has now removed the scales from our eyes, so that we all must sadly agree with the cartoonish hasbara talking points that you and your confreres recycle? Is that really the kindergarten crayons-and-construction-paper intellectual universe that you inhabit?

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Gustav, do you really think that I and all other +972 talkbackers who are severely critical of Israeli policy are also necessarily huge fans of Hamas in particular”

            I can’t read your own mind Benny, you tell me. As for the others, some of them at least, sure seem to be huge fans of Hamas.

            “and of Islamic extremism in general?”

            Nah, on balance of probabilities, you come across not a fan of them. But you seem to be so busy telling all and sundry about how evil WE are, that frankly, unless someone, like me for instance, asks you, it comes across as if you don’t give a stuff about Islamic extremism.

            So instead of being hostile to me for asking, you should thank me for giving you the opportunity to explain your true position. Oh well, not to worry, one should not be surprised about ungratefulness (just joking, that is exactly what I expect from the religious lefties here).

            “And if so, do you also think that Mr. Zaidi’s perspicacious article has now removed the scales from our eyes,”

            Again, speak for yourself only. Don’t be so sure about your compadres with whom you feel so much empathy.

            “so that we all must sadly agree with the cartoonish hasbara talking points that you and your confreres recycle?”

            Me? What talking points are you accusing me of? Without being specific, you can easily accuse me of being cartoonish. That is a favorite propaganda tool of people such as yourself Benny. Now if you would present a specific quote by me, or even paraphrase what cartoonish thing you think I said, then maybe you would have an argument. Then again, even then, maybe not. In the meanwhile, you are just asserting things.

            As for my “conferes”, I am only responsible for what I say. How about YOU? Do you take responsibility for what your co-religionists, oops I mean co-ideologues, say?

            “Is that really the kindergarten crayons-and-construction-paper intellectual universe that you inhabit?”

            Kindergarten? I just ahowed you in my response and based on YOUR belligerent response, which one of us belongs in the kindergarten. Hint: It ain’t me. Think about it, Benny.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            Gustav, I am rather narrowly and selfishly focused on the welfare of the country where I and my family live, which is Israel. I’m sorry that, for example, Saudi Arabia is a repressive theocracy, but that doesn’t affect me on a day-to-day basis, so I don’t have any fire in my gut making me continually criticize Saudi Arabia and advocate reform there. What I have observed is that a country can be very Muslim, Arab and/or even Palestinian, but still not carry out armed attacks on Israel. Saudi Arabia is one example, Egypt (even when it was ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood) is another, Jordan has millions of ethnic Palestinians but has had a peace treaty with Israel for 20 years now, and I’m sure you yourself could think of many other examples. So there’s no immutable genetic, neurological, psychological, cultural or religious defect in Muslims, Arabs and/or Palestinians that makes them inevitably and uncontrollably driven to blow up Israeli buses or fire rockets at Sderot. What makes the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories a persistent thorn in Israel’s side is that we’ve been standing on their necks for almost 50 years, ruling them by military dictatorship, arresting them without charge, beating and torturing and quite frequently killing them, restricting their movement and strangling their economy, all so that we can continue stealing their land, water and other resources. So they resist, just like we would, just like anyone would! And of course Israel’s occupation empowers extremists like Hamas, because people in distress tend to become more religious and more militant. So it won’t do you any good to point a finger at Hamas and say, “Ooh, they’re so evil, we can’t even talk to them, and we have to stand on their necks forever!” That’s precisely the approach that’s gotten us into our current miserable state of affairs. And you know what? I don’t have to love Hamas to agree with their demands that Israel lift its land, sea and air blockade of Gaza and allow free movement of goods and people, quit occupying a big chunk of the Strip (including agricultural lands) for a kill-on-entry buffer zone, let the poor bastards fish as we already agreed, and so on. Nobody should have to live under siege.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Gustav, I am rather narrowly and selfishly focused on the welfare of the country where I and my family live, which is Israel. I’m sorry that, for example, Saudi Arabia is a repressive theocracy, but that doesn’t affect me on a day-to-day basis, so I don’t have any fire in my gut making me continually criticize Saudi Arabia and advocate reform there.”

            If you would truly be selfish, you would know that Saudi and Qatari money finances the Islamic extremists who line up against us and therefore you would not ignore what is happening in places like Saudi Arabia.

            “What I have observed is that a country can be very Muslim, Arab and/or even Palestinian, but still not carry out armed attacks on Israel.”

            But the reverse is also true. All of those who attack us and who have been doing so over the last 100 years are Arabs and Muslims and the worst of those are/were Palestinian Arabs. So I fail to see the point that you are making here.

            “Saudi Arabia is one example,”

            Not a very good example. They have been using their petro dollars to fight us politically and actually by paid up proxies since before Israel was even created. Oh and in 1948, weren’t there some Saudi forces lined up against us too?

            “Egypt (even when it was ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood) is another,”

            Yes, but they only stopped only after they were fought to a standstill and they were lucky enough to have a Sadat, whom the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated for making peace with us.

            “Jordan has millions of ethnic Palestinians but has had a peace treaty with Israel for 20 years now,”

            Ditto for Jordan but substitute King Hussain for Sadat (fortunately the little King was not assassinated though they tried hard to do to him what they did to his grand father King Abdallah for the same reason).

            “and I’m sure you yourself could think of many other examples. So there’s no immutable genetic, neurological, psychological, cultural or religious defect in Muslims, Arabs and/or Palestinians that makes them inevitably and uncontrollably driven to blow up Israeli buses or fire rockets at Sderot.”

            That is what I call a straw man argument. Nobody claims anything about immutable laws. I tell you what we pro Israelis claim. The Arabs are an opportunistic lot. They are also extremely tribal and nationalistic. They want to gain as much as possible and if they think they can get away with it, they would not mind a zero sum gain outcome in which they would be the winners who take all. People like you are either naive or stupid or suffer from too much of wishful thinking to the extent that you are willing to give them the opportunity to gain what they want. People like Ben Gurion, Sharon, Bibi and other Israeli leaders, even on the left side of politics were hard nosed enough not to give the Arabs the opportunity to realize their dreams.That is what you can’t forgive them.

            “What makes the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories a persistent thorn in Israel’s side is that we’ve been standing on their necks for almost 50 years, ruling them by military dictatorship, arresting them without charge, beating and torturing and quite frequently killing them, restricting their movement and strangling their economy,”

            Yea, and we did all of that without any provocations on their part? No there was no Intifadah after Ehud Barak offered them a state of their own on 100% of Gaza and 97% of the West Bank. Nor did they carry out years of murderous terrorist attacks before Oslo and which if anything, escalated after Oslo but only slowed after Sharon did step on their neck and after we built the fence.

            “all so that we can continue stealing their land, water and other resources.”

            Which lands of theirs did we steal? East Jerusalem? Gush Etzion? By what logic were those Arab lands? As for some of the other settlements, both Ehud Barak and Olmert offered land offsets for some of the settlements which we would keep for security reasons. Not that legally they were obliged to because the 1967 boundaries were never borders. They were just armistice lines. No matter how often the haters of Israel pretend otherwise, there isn’t any truth to the claim that the main settlement blocks are illegal. I am prepared to debate you on that as much as you like. Repetition of a lie, does not turn a lie into truth. No matter how often the haters of Israel care to talk about “illegal settlements”.

            “So they resist, just like we would, just like anyone would!”

            They resist the existence of Israel. They could have had a Palestinian state many times over. Starting from between 1948 and 1967 when Jordan and Egypt controlled the West Bank and Gaza respectively.

            “And of course Israel’s occupation empowers extremists like Hamas, because people in distress tend to become more religious and more militant.”

            And before Hamas they were not militant enough for you?

            “So it won’t do you any good to point a finger at Hamas and say, “Ooh, they’re so evil, we can’t even talk to them, and we have to stand on their necks forever!” That’s precisely the approach that’s gotten us into our current miserable state of affairs.”

            Really? And before the occupation, pre 1967, what was their problem with us exactly? I am all ears Benny, tell me …

            “And you know what? I don’t have to love Hamas to agree with their demands that Israel lift its land, sea and air blockade of Gaza and allow free movement of goods and people, quit occupying a big chunk of the Strip (including agricultural lands) for a kill-on-entry buffer zone, let the poor bastards fish as we already agreed, and so on. Nobody should have to live under siege.”

            Benny, I am glad you are not the one calling the shots. I live here too and if we must suffer rocket fire from Hamas and their cronies, I would rather put up with their current toys than with the sophisticated rockets that they would no doubt acquire as soon as we would lift the blockade. Did you see what they did with the cement that we allowed them to import for reconstruction after our last war with them? They used it for reinforced tunnels instead of building houses as they were supposed to. You can trust Hamas, Benny dear. I trust them as far as I can throw them, which is not far.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            Well, if you really believe that we did nothing bad to the Palestinians before 1967 (like in 1948 for example), that Barak and Olmert made reasonable offers to the Palestinians (i.e. offers that you or I would accept in their place), that the settlements are legal under international law, and so on, then I’m not going to convince you otherwise. But maybe you can just think for a minute about the fact that most of the world strongly disagrees with you, which you need to take into account, strategically and tactically.
            And if you don’t think that we Israeli Jews are a similarly opportunistic, tribal and nationalist lot who want to gain as much as we can if we can get away with it – which is why so many of us oppose the creation of any Palestinian state whatsoever, even a Bantustan entity made up of leftovers, because we want to rule and occupy everything from the river to the sea, while somehow making all the Palestinians die or leave or at least shut up and accept eternal peonage – then I don’t think you really live in Israel.
            And I don’t trust Hamas any more than I trust Netanyahu or any of your other lying, brutal, fatally short-sighted heroes. I don’t have to trust Hamas, because Israel is militarily, diplomatically, technologically and economically so dominant in the region – plus we still have solid backing from our Uncle Sam, although we’re pissing that away by being jerks – that we can effectively deter and respond to any foreseeable aggression. It’s time for the IDF to return to its proper function of being a national defense force, not an occupying army.
            So here’s the Ben Zakkai peace plan, one I would agree to if I were a reasonable Palestinian: We offer the Palestinians a state within ’67 borders. We keep settlement blocs adjacent to the Green Line, but nothing deeper in – i.e. bye-bye Ariel, Maale Adumim, Jordan Valley etc. – and we compensate the Palestinians for what we’ve annexed at a 2-1 ratio with good land adjacent to our side of the Green Line, the 2-1 ratio being partial compensation to Palestine for lands we took in 1948, penalty we pay for creating settlements illegally and disincentive to further expand them while negotiations are ongoing. East Jerusalem can be their capital if they want. Palestinians get no right of return to Israel, but we pay reparations to the new State of Palestine. Palestine can have an army, airports, currency, and all the other attributes of a sovereign state (yes, I know your head is exploding, but we wouldn’t accept anything else for our own state, would we?) We’ll even build them a highway from the West Bank to Gaza. We make that offer publicly and in writing, stipulating that it’s not an initial offer subject to substantial negotiation, rather it’s a final offer subject to hammering out some details. Then let’s see what they do. If they reject the offer or accept it but continue to make war against us, we have plenty of tools at our disposal to respond appropriately. But I happen to think that despite the substantial presence and influence of maximalists on both sides, there are enough decent normal Israelis and Palestinians who just want jobs and families and lives, so we could make it work.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Well, if you really believe that we did nothing bad to the Palestinians before 1967 (like in 1948 for example),”

            Oh, we did plenty of bad things to them. We learnt that there is no pint in being nice to those who harm us and who want to get rid of us from where we belong. What would you have done instead? Beg for their mercy?

            “that Barak and Olmert made reasonable offers to the Palestinians (i.e. offers that you or I would accept in their place),”

            Not only would I have accepted those offers but I would have rushed to accept them. In fact, had they had an ounce of brain, they should have accepted the UN’s 1947 plan. You know the one? UN GA resolution 181. Why do you think they didn’t? Hint: they didn’t want us here period. And you agree with them? Ok dokey, I read you and I understand you. But guess what, I don’t go along with suicidal attitudes. Very few of us Israelis do.

            “that the settlements are legal under international law, and so on, then I’m not going to convince you otherwise.”

            You bet you won’t.

            “But maybe you can just think for a minute about the fact that most of the world strongly disagrees with you,”

            True that. I wonder why? Could it be oil? Petro dollars? The vast Islamic bloc which controls the UN when it is about Israel? Oh well. At one time the majority of the world believed in slavery. But that did not make slavery right.

            “which you need to take into account, strategically and tactically.”

            Yes, but ahead of that I take into account that the so called 1967 borders (1949 armistice lines) would be intolerable. It would expose 70% of our population centres and our international airport to direct fire from the highlands. Nope, that isn’t on. What did that arch dove, Aba Eban, call the 1967 boundaries? He called them Auschwitz borders. And he wasn’t a Likudnik. He was an arch leftie in fact.

            “And if you don’t think that we Israeli Jews are a similarly opportunistic, tribal and nationalist lot who want to gain as much as we can if we can get away with it”

            We have all sorts too, Benny, we are no angels. But on the whole, I believe that at least some of our leaders bent over backwards to try and gain peace. But in spite of your denials, I am sure, there were no Palestinian leaders who were interested in peace terms which would have given us relative security.

            ” – which is why so many of us oppose the creation of any Palestinian state whatsoever, even a Bantustan entity made up of leftovers, because we want to rule and occupy everything from the river to the sea,”

            Really? How many of us feel that way? I would say that as of now, it still isn’t the majority but as time goes on, it will change. And the Palestinians will only have themselves to thank for that and they will also have to thank people like you who constantly encourage their stupidity.

            “while somehow making all the Palestinians die or leave or at least shut up and accept eternal peonage – then I don’t think you really live in Israel.”

            I don’t? Funny that, I am beginning to think that about you.

            “And I don’t trust Hamas any more than I trust Netanyahu or any of your other lying, brutal, fatally short-sighted heroes.”

            Well then, don’t advocate solutions which would require us to risk our well being based on that non existent trust.

            “I don’t have to trust Hamas, because Israel is militarily, diplomatically, technologically and economically so dominant in the region”

            Such arrogance. Have you heard of asymmetric warfare? Look how much havoc they have been causing us since 2000. Thousands of us were killed or maimed by Hamas. And you are going to put them in a position of even greater advantage? Count me out.

            “– plus we still have solid backing from our Uncle Sam, although we’re pissing that away by being jerks – ”

            Which people like you are busily trying to chip away with your propaganda. One has to wonder what is in it for you? Are you sure you live in Israel? And if you do, are you sure you are Jewish?

            “that we can effectively deter and respond to any foreseeable aggression. It’s time for the IDF to return to its proper function of being a national defense force, not an occupying army.”

            There is only one flaw with your argument. We have tried concessions and withdrawals a number of times. Each time we tried it, there were people like you agitating for it and saying the same things as you are saying now about how our options to respond would widen if your dear Palestinians take advantage. And each time, agitators like you turned out to be wrong. Those concessions blew up in our face. Have you heard the saying, “Trick me one, shame on you. Trick me twice shame on me”? Well, guess what, Benny, we were tricked more than once. We are no longer willing to take chances which will shame us again.

            “So here’s the Ben Zakkai peace plan, …. ”

            No, I am not going there. But here is my suggestion instead: If you are really a Jewish Israeli, then form your own party and stand for elections. We will see how many of us will consider you to be our new Messiah rather than just another fool. I for one consider you to be the latter.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            No Gustav, I’m not about to found a new political party and run for office. I’m just a simple Joe, no money or connections, and besides, there’s almost no popular support in Israel for the views I hold. The people who think like you are much more numerous, they’ve been running the country for a long time, and since 2008-9 in particular they’ve had a beautiful run, starting needless wars and warping Israeli society with a vengeance.
            Conceptually, it’s pretty simple. Peace is going to be made, if ever, not by angels, but by us human beings, severely flawed though we are. Did we worry much about the Palestinians when we decided to return to Israel and found a Jewish state here? Hell no, we were preoccupied with our own troubles in Europe and elsewhere, entranced by the idea of returning to our biblical homeland, and disdainful of the natives here, whom we regarded as primitives. Did the Palestinians welcome us with open arms? Of course not, because nobody likes being swamped by waves of foreign immigrants who want to take over their country. (That also explains why they rejected the 1947 plan, which gave most of the land to the Jews despite us being only a third of the total population and also placed a third of the Arabs under Jewish rule; but we have had a genuine opportunity to make peace with Abbas, which your friends on the right intentionally torpedoed). Are we or the Palestinians going anywhere? No, we’re all here to stay. Does it do any good for us or them to ponder and spin this or that historical event endlessly in order to pin all the blame on the other side? Nope. Would the Palestinians screw us as badly as we’ve screwed them (or worse) if they were on top? Yeah, probably. But we’ve got the power, so we’ve also got more ability and responsibility to end this conflict and live in peace.
            The problem with your basic argument is its circularity. “Yeah, we’ve got to keep the Palestinians down because they hate us and want to hurt us!” But the trouble is that keeping them down just increases their hatred and desperation. You don’t have any vision of a way out of this mess, not that I’ve seen you articulate anyway. All you know how to do is hold on tight and bash everything around you with a big stick. Is that the culmination of 3,000 years of Jewish wisdom and justice?
            Two more notes. One, it just ain’t true that every Israeli withdrawal has been foolish. Giving back Sinai bought us peace with Egypt, which has been eminently worth it. Getting out of Lebanon was a blessing. Leaving Gaza, though, was done primarily for demographic reasons and to buy Israel more time to strengthen its hold on the West Bank, so it’s not surprising that paradise didn’t result.
            Two, the notion that our major security concern, which necessarily precludes getting out of the West Bank, is a missile fired from a hilltop knocking down an airliner, is frankly laughable. What, they can’t fire a missile now? Or have a sympathetic Israeli Arab fire one from Lod? Or threaten us critically in a million other ways? Please, your greed is showing.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “No Gustav, I’m not about to found a new political party and run for office.”

            Whew, and I was so worried that you would. Not.

            “there’s almost no popular support in Israel for the views I hold.”

            You bet there isn’t.

            “The people who think like you are much more numerous, they’ve been running the country for a long time, and since 2008-9 in particular they’ve had a beautiful run,

            Yes, I know Benny, most of us Israelis are stupid only people like you are the clever ones.

            “starting needless wars and warping Israeli society with a vengeance.”

            Yes, we are the ones who have started all the wars and your Palestinian Arabs are just innocent lambs who only do what they have to do. Are you serious?

            “Conceptually, it’s pretty simple. Peace is going to be made, if ever, not by angels, but by us human beings, severely flawed though we are.”

            At last we agree on something.

            “Did we worry much about the Palestinians when we decided to return to Israel and found a Jewish state here? Hell no, we were preoccupied with our own troubles in Europe and elsewhere,”

            I don’t know what point your bleeding heart is trying to make. We paid exorbitant sums of money for swamp lands which we purchased from Arabs and proceeded to cultivate those lands. What else did you expect us to do? Kiss their feet when their Mufti incited them to carry out pogroms against us such as the one in 1929 in Hebron?

            “entranced by the idea of returning to our biblical homeland, and disdainful of the natives here,”

            Are you sure the so called natives were not the ones who were disdainful of us?

            “whom we regarded as primitives.”

            Did we? I know that my grandparents who came here were lefties who were egalitarian. And so were most of the other ones who made Aliyah. But none of them were stupid enough to turn the other cheek when they were attacked.

            “Did the Palestinians welcome us with open arms? Of course not,”

            Of course not. I am glad you admit it.

            “because nobody likes being swamped by waves of foreign immigrants who want to take over their country.”

            Their country? By what measure was it only their country? The Arabs had no sovereignity on the land for centuries. They certainly did not inhabit every square inch of the land, the country was sparsely populated. Although the Arabs were the majority, they were certainly not the sole inhabitants. Jews and others too lived in Palestine for at least as long as Arabs. Even longer. Last but not least, the land was neglected and large portions of it were underdeveloped.

            “(That also explains why they rejected the 1947 plan, which gave most of the land to the Jews despite us being only a third of the total population”

            Don’t forget to mention the fact that 50% of the land which was allocated to the Jewish state, consisted of the Negev desert. The Arab state on the other hand was given mostly fertile lands.

            “and also placed a third of the Arabs under Jewish rule;”

            And those Arabs would have ended up better off because they were destined to become part of a modern industruilized state which Israel has become. Moreover, it was a big chance for the Arabs to realize their much touted (later) slogan about the democratic multi ethnic state. That was their best chance of realizing the bi-national state in which may have even become a majority. Now it will never happen.

            “but we have had a genuine opportunity to make peace with Abbas, which your friends on the right intentionally torpedoed).”

            And Abbas didn’t? By the way, I haven’t got friends either on the right or the left. The only people whom I consider to be friends are the ones who are willing to stand up for my country. Right now, those people can be found more readily on the political right.

            “Are we or the Palestinians going anywhere? No, we’re all here to stay.”

            Yes, true. But unfortunately many Arabs still don’t want to accept our right to stay here as a Jewish majority state. Bad lack for them. And while they learn to accept it, bad luck for both of us.

            “Does it do any good for us or them to ponder and spin this or that historical event endlessly in order to pin all the blame on the other side? Nope.”

            I agree. We should all look for solutions instead. But while they insist on looking back to justify their maximalist claims, we cannot afford to allow them to spin history into their one sided view. We need to counter their lies and exaggerations. Otherwise they will get the whole world on their side not just the Muslims, the extremists and the haters.

            “Would the Palestinians screw us as badly as we’ve screwed them (or worse) if they were on top? Yeah, probably.”

            Yes, definitely, not probably, but only if we let them.

            “But we’ve got the power, so we’ve also got more ability and responsibility to end this conflict and live in peace.”

            That is where you are WRONG! They are the only ones who are capable of letting go of their grievances be it real or imaginary. We have been ready for peace even before Israel was born. They were the only ones who chose to play a zero sum game. Till they choose to give that up, nothing will happen.

            “The problem with your basic argument is its circularity. “Yeah, we’ve got to keep the Palestinians down because they hate us and want to hurt us!” But the trouble is that keeping them down just increases their hatred and desperation.”

            And your answer is? Drum roll … drum roll … drum roll … to give in to every demand that they make. That isn’t an answer either. In fact, in the short term, maybe the medium term, there is NO answer. There is only a holding pattern till the Palestinian Arabs learn that they cannot and they will not reverse history and that their only hope for a happy life is to accept reality and compromise solutions.

            “You don’t have any vision of a way out of this mess, not that I’ve seen you articulate anyway. All you know how to do is hold on tight and bash everything around you with a big stick.”

            Whether what I described above is a vision or not, it does not matter. Right now it is the least bad answer. Your vision on the other hand would lead to a disaster for us and probably for the entire region. Think about it. What do you think would be our response if we would be faced with the threats which the minorities of Northern Iraq are facing from the Islamists. This is not a gentle region for the faint hearted and the weak. We learnt our lesson 70 years ago that the only people on whom we can count when we are faced with extinction, is ourselves.

            “Is that the culmination of 3,000 years of Jewish wisdom and justice?”

            You bet. Sometimes visions are not the answer. Sometimes, sheer persistence and steadfastness are the answer. Oh and staying two steps ahead of our enemies and out thinking them.

            The good news is that most of us have been endowed with both those qualities. Some, of us however, unfortunately have not. You guys are believers in instant gratification. You wrongly think that EVERYTHING has instant solutions. I wish it would be so, but it isn’t and you are simply just wrong!

            “Two more notes. One, it just ain’t true that every Israeli withdrawal has been foolish. Giving back Sinai bought us peace with Egypt, which has been eminently worth it.”

            You bet it was worth it. No arguments from me on that score. But you neglect to mention two elephants in the room when you bring up that piece of history:

            1. That withdrawal involved a visionary Arab leader, Sadat, who renounced all previous policies of denying Israel’s right to exist when he addressed the Knesset.

            2. That when we saw that we had a partner for peace in Sadat, we were prepared to hand back large amounts of lands, including the oil fields of Sinai, in exchange for peace.

            I ask you, is the situation with the Palestinian Arabs today the same? Have they got a strong leader like Sadat? Or do they have Hamas?

            “Getting out of Lebanon was a blessing.”

            Yes, but only after the 2006 Lebanon war in which Olmert and his cronies bombed half of Lebanon (the South) into smithreens. Up until then, the Arabs were crowing how Hezbollah trounced us and made us run with our tails between our legs. Consequently they drew the wrong conclusions and kidnapped our soldiers which triggered the 2006 war after which they still crowed about how they defeated us but they did not risk more adventures.

            “Leaving Gaza, though, was done primarily for demographic reasons and to buy Israel more time to strengthen its hold on the West Bank, so it’s not surprising that paradise didn’t result.”

            Whatever. You can spin it any which way you like. But with any normal people who want to make peace based on compromise, a withdrawal should be viewed as a positive gesture which should have caused them to give positive counter gestures which would eventually bring peace.

            What was Hamas’s gesture instead? ROCKETS!

            “Two, the notion that our major security concern, which necessarily precludes getting out of the West Bank, is a missile fired from a hilltop knocking down an airliner, is frankly laughable.”

            No it isn’t. We are not only talking about missiles which they could fire at our airport from the hills of Judea. But we are also talking about mortars. Oh and the idea of them shooting shoulder fired guided missiles at airliners isn’t laughable at all. Or even other more sophisticated missiles. Especially if you or your loved ones are the targets.

            “What, they can’t fire a missile now? Or have a sympathetic Israeli Arab fire one from Lod? Or threaten us critically in a million other ways? Please, your greed is showing.”

            Believe me, if they could they would. Your stupidity is showing.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            Gustav, I never get the feeling, from any of your comments, that you’ve made any effort to understand how you would feel, think, and act if you were in the Palestinians’ shoes. This is not a silly matter of being squishy-touchy-feely, rather it’s a practical necessity if you want to deal sensibly with your neighbors. For example, when I wrote that the Palestinians didn’t like “being swamped by waves of foreign immigrants who want[ed] to take over their country,” you got all indignant. But it is human nature that when one group inhabits a land at a particular point in time, and another group begins immigrating there in large numbers, the first group gets all bent out of shape, no matter how much uninhabited or undeveloped land there may be for the newcomers. Jeez, look at how Israelis break out in hives when they contemplate the possibility of having to absorb even a few thousand Eritrean or Sudanese refugees. “Oh my God, it’s going to destroy the Jewish character of the state! Please bring me my smelling salts so I don’t faint! Quick, fly them all to Uganda!” But you want Palestinians Arabs to be unreservedly grateful for having been conquered by us modern industrialized Jews. Sorry, that’s not how it works. Indians, for example, may grudgingly admit that their culture absorbed many positive things from British colonial rule, but they sure don’t want it to be restored!
            So instead of seeing the Palestinians as people who react more or less like you or I would under their circumstances, you paint them pretty uniformly as Terminator-like robots who are implacably determined to drive us all into the sea, period. That, of course, seriously limits your universe of possible solutions. All you can think of doing is to keep standing on their necks and beating them now and then to remind them who’s boss. Tell me, do you actually know any Palestinians reasonably well, personally? Or even any Israeli Arabs?
            The other thing I don’t see any awareness of in your comments is the price Israeli society pays for continuing to rule Palestinians. This, too, is just elementary human nature; it happens to every master race. We become coarse, militarized, a nation of bullies, corrupt and dishonest, racist, religiously and nationalistically cuckoo, stifling dissent and incidentally alienating much of the rest of the world. You have noticed that, haven’t you?
            And I just don’t agree with you that we Israeli Jews are such an intrinsically peace-loving race. Poor poor us, we just want to love everybody but those nasty Arabs won’t play nice. Bullshit! We’d rather have more territory than make peace. It’s all about the real estate, baby. The Good Lord Himself wants me to have a 240-square-meter villa in Psagot that I bought for only $60,000. You think I’m wrong? Okay, if security is our real motivation, then keep the IDF in the West Bank but get the settlers out, because any military officer knows that you don’t enhance security by scattering your civilian women and children among a hostile population, in fact you just endanger it. Prove to me that we want peace, not cheap housing. And while you’re at it, build houses, encourage industry and find jobs for all those displaced settlers in the south and north of Israel proper. Show me that we care about the periphery even when rockets aren’t falling.
            Plus, you failed reading comprehension on my previous comments if you concluded that my answer is to give Palestinians everything they want. I explicitly stated that they get no Right of Return from me, and I am not a starry-eyed believer in one state for all of us. But I do think we need to give the Palestinians a fair deal, because a grossly unfair deal will just prolong the conflict. If you’re stronger than your next-door neighbor, you may actually force him to agree to move the fence and let you annex half of his front lawn; but he’ll hate you thereafter, and dream of revenge. Greed is not good.
            Now what the hell do we want from the Palestinians? Abbas and Fayyad renounced violence, policed the West Bank and gave us a high degree of quiet for years – in fact Abbas endangered himself politically and personally by becoming a collaborator in the eyes of many of his own people – heck, he even publicly indicated that the sacred Palestinian Right of Return just isn’t realistic – and did we reward that with serious concessions and a generous approach to a peace agreement? Hell no, we just slapped him around and made him our bitch. Stupid, stupid.
            And no, I don’t think the Palestinians always use every means at their disposal to harm us, just like we don’t nuke them even if we could. Again, they’re not Terminator robots. You think 4 million Palestinians, over the course of decades of hostilities, couldn’t get their hands on even one Stinger or Redeye missile to knock down an El Al commercial flight? What, they can only smuggle surface-to-surface missiles through tunnels, because the surface-to-air missiles won’t fit? How do you figure that?
            Okay, over to you.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Gustav, I never get the feeling, from any of your comments, that you’ve made any effort to understand how you would feel, think, and act if you were in the Palestinians’ shoes.”

            And do you get the feeling that many Palestinian Arabs make an effort to understand why we found it necessary to end our 2000 year exile and establish a Jewish majority state in the half empty and very much underdeveloped land of our forefathers?

            “This is not a silly matter of being squishy-touchy-feely, rather it’s a practical necessity if you want to deal sensibly with your neighbors.”

            Believe me, I understand where they are coming from. They have accepted their stupid leaders assertions that Palestine is a wholly Arab Muslim land and that they were only willing to entertain the presence of a small number of subservient Jews.

            “For example, when I wrote that the Palestinians didn’t like “being swamped by waves of foreign immigrants who want[ed] to take over their country,” you got all indignant.”

            I don’t think I got indignant. I just pointed out that they were not the only ones who had a say in the matter.

            “But it is human nature that when one group inhabits a land at a particular point in time, and another group begins immigrating there in large numbers, the first group gets all bent out of shape, no matter how much uninhabited or undeveloped land there may be for the newcomers.”

            Yes, I agree that it is human nature. We have to deal with it granted. But they too have to deal with our human nature. We were in a corner at that time in history and the most suitable place was our ancestral homeland to get us out of that corner. Moreover, objectively speaking, that solution was both morally and legally the best one.

            And here is some news for you Benny. Some of them were actually willing to accept that fact. The Nashashibis for instance, who were one of the leaders of the Palestinians. Unfortunately though they were outmanoeuvred and out powered by another leading family, the Husseinis. That turned out to be a tragedy for both our peoples because had the Nashasibis prevailed, it could have resulted in a partnership with mutually beneficial outcomes for all of us instead of the tragedy which unfolded.

            “Jeez, look at how Israelis break out in hives when they contemplate the possibility of having to absorb even a few thousand Eritrean or Sudanese refugees. “Oh my God, it’s going to destroy the Jewish character of the state! Please bring me my smelling salts so I don’t faint! Quick, fly them all to Uganda!”

            Are you saying that all of us Israelis react like that to just a few thousand unfortunates? May I suggest that you are wrong? Could it be that once precedents are set, we could potentially talk about millions? And also, unlike the Arabs, we only have little Israel. What do the Arabs have again? Most of the Middle East and all of North Africa. Are you suggesting that they are short of liveable space?

            “But you want Palestinians Arabs to be unreservedly grateful for having been conquered by us modern industrialized Jews.”

            No, don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t want them to be anything. I just want them to stop claiming lands that don’t belong to them. Take their share of the land and let us have ours. But yes, in response to your bleeding heart comments, I did dare to point out that they would have been better off, had they cooperated with us. So would we. But alas it didn’t happen that way, no use crying over spilt milk. Only you and they insist on crying over it even though you suggested (rightly so) that we should look for solutions now instead of getting stuck in the past. But maybe what you meant was that I shouldn’t talk about the past but you should?

            “Sorry, that’s not how it works. Indians, for example, may grudgingly admit that their culture absorbed many positive things from British colonial rule, but they sure don’t want it to be restored!”

            I am glad you brought up the Indians because it gives me the opportunity to remind you that WE are the equivalents of the Indians. We are the only native population in history who were successful at restoring ourselves as an independent nation in our native homeland which was overrun by successive invaders one of whom were the Arab invaders.

            “So instead of seeing the Palestinians as people who react more or less like you or I would under their circumstances, you paint them pretty uniformly as Terminator-like robots who are implacably determined to drive us all into the sea, period.”

            Did I say invent that they want to throw us into the sea? Pardon moi. I thought that the Arabs themselves were the ones who openly said that not all that long ago. Hamas still says it.

            “That, of course, seriously limits your universe of possible solutions.”

            I am glad you recognize that fact. Of course, once Hamas for instance drop that from their platform, there may be a chance for serious talks with them too. And if they mean it, collectively as a people, be-ezrat Hashem we may be on a path to a peaceful solution.

            “All you can think of doing is to keep standing on their necks and beating them now and then to remind them who’s boss.”

            Now you are repeating yourself. We already covered this topic.

            “Tell me, do you actually know any Palestinians reasonably well, personally? Or even any Israeli Arabs?”

            Yep. I know lots of them. Even ones who see things my way and I am sure they are not just pretending. Others disagree with me but that’s life. And yes I know that they are people too. Some of them are exceptionally nice people while others are prized pricks. Which is true of any human society. The thing is though, right now, as a people, as a collective, the majority of them still choose to be our arch enemy. Simply put, most of them want to see an end to Israel. I have no empathy for such an aim. You on the other hand seem to. Thank goodness, you are very much a minority amongst us. You have a democratic right to be stupid but don’t expect the rest of us to imitate you.

            “The other thing I don’t see any awareness of in your comments is the price Israeli society pays for continuing to rule Palestinians.”

            Even more importantly, I am aware of the price that we would have to pay if we wouldn’t do what we have to do right now. You on the other hand either feign ignorance about that or you wilfully shut your eyes to it or you lack awareness entirely. I don’t know which is worse.

            “This, too, is just elementary human nature;”

            You don’t have a monopoly about the awareness of human nature. But being aware is not enough. You need to use such awareness to come up with the right answers not with wishful thinking answers.

            “it happens to every master race.”

            Oh just give it a rest. Next thing you will call us Nazis, right?

            “We become coarse, militarized, a nation of bullies, corrupt and dishonest, racist, religiously and nationalistically cuckoo, stifling dissent”

            Really? So now we stifle dissent, huh? If so, we do it a lot less than the great Western democracies did during their two world wars. Go read up on what THEY did. If you for instance feel stifled in what you say on the pages of + 972, then I just don’t know what to say. Have we ever jailed you for your silly views here in Israel, Benny?

            “and incidentally alienating much of the rest of the world.”

            Only the ones who were already either firmly in the Arab camp or the professional haters, Benny. Oh and maybe a few others in the fringes who are easily influenced because they are not aware of history and are easily swayed by professional Arab propagandists who are very active. But we have lots of friends and we too are acquiring new friends. Hey, not everyone is stupid.

            “You have noticed that, haven’t you?”

            I have only noticed that people on the internet are trying very hard to paint us to be the devils and the Arabs to be innocent victims. But I’ll say it again, not everyone is stupid and not everyone is a Jew hater.

            “And I just don’t agree with you that we Israeli Jews are such an intrinsically peace-loving race.”

            You don’t? Ok then what is your claim? We wake up with a bad hair day and we start wars against innocent peace loving Arabs who just mind their own business and wouldn’t hurt us unless we provoke them?

            “Poor poor us, we just want to love everybody but those nasty Arabs won’t play nice. Bullshit! We’d rather have more territory than make peace.”

            You mean the settlements which represent about 6% of the West Bank and for which both Ehud Barak and Olmert offsets? Oh dear. I know you would rather go back to what Aba Eban called the Aushwitz borders, but that won’t happen. If for that reason we are going to be described as war mongers then I for one will proudly wear that label, especially since I know it to be a lie.

            “It’s all about the real estate, baby.”

            No, it’s all about security baby.

            “The Good Lord Himself wants me to have a 240-square-meter villa in Psagot that I bought for only $60,000. You think I’m wrong?”

            Now you are rambling Benny.

            “Okay, if security is our real motivation, then keep the IDF in the West Bank but get the settlers out, because any military officer knows that you don’t enhance security by scattering your civilian women and children among a hostile population, in fact you just endanger it.”

            Yes I had this discussion with others like you. It actually bores me now. We will certainly not leave places like the Jewish quarter of East Jerusalem. Nor will we leave Gush Etzion. Under any circumstances. More than likely we will not uproot 300,000 of our people just to please the Arabs. Especially not unilaterally which is what you are proposing. But more than likely not even as a final outcome. If that makes me a war monger then your proposal makes you a naive appeaser who would follow in the footsteps of Neville Chamberlain to appease voracious enemies who don’t stop looking for signs of weakness in us which they can exploit to recruit more fighters amongst their people. I don’t like losing strategies like yours Benny.

            “Prove to me that we want peace, not cheap housing.”

            Why? It isn’t as if you are likely to change your mind, no matter what I say.

            “And while you’re at it, build houses, encourage industry and find jobs for all those displaced settlers in the south and north of Israel proper. Show me that we care about the periphery even when rockets aren’t falling.”

            Which displaced settlers?

            “Plus, you failed reading comprehension on my previous comments if you concluded that my answer is to give Palestinians everything they want. I explicitly stated that they get no Right of Return from me,”

            Ok that’s good. But unfortunately, right now, that would mean that you too could not make peace with them. Just ask Hamas. Or even Fatah.

            “and I am not a starry-eyed believer in one state for all of us.”

            That’s a concession? Had you believed in that, I would have called you a surrender monkey. At least I didn’t call you that, give me credit.

            “But I do think we need to give the Palestinians a fair deal, because a grossly unfair deal will just prolong the conflict.”

            My problem with the solution which you call “a fair deal” is that it is grossly unfair to us because it involves us giving up too much for too little and with significant risks to us to boot.

            “If you’re stronger than your next-door neighbor, you may actually force him to agree to move the fence and let you annex half of his front lawn; but he’ll hate you thereafter, and dream of revenge. Greed is not good.”

            Not a good analogy. Here we are dealing with a neighbor who already hates us irrespective of what we do (now please don’t trot out your silly argument that not all of them hate us. You know exactly what I am saying. A significant number of them do. And there is nothing we can do to change that short of collectively skulking away or cutting our own throats and we are not going to do that). So, I will do the next best thing, I will mitigate the risks to me and to those I care about. They can then go on hating us but at least they will have less chance to kill us.

            “Now what the hell do we want from the Palestinians? Abbas and Fayyad renounced violence, policed the West Bank and gave us a high degree of quiet for years – in fact Abbas endangered himself politically and personally by becoming a collaborator in the eyes of many of his own people – heck, he even publicly indicated that the sacred Palestinian Right of Return just isn’t realistic –”

            Did he translate all that to a formal offer like Barak and Olmert did? Or were those comments just publicity stunts? Not that such utterances are unwelcome but on their own they are just not enough.

            Oh but I nearly forgot. What about Hamas? Are they too on board with that? Of course not!

            “and did we reward that with serious concessions and a generous approach to a peace agreement?”

            What concessions have you got in mind? To date, all the formal concessions that were made were carried out by Israel. Unfortunately though every time we make concessions you people find a spin which attempts to negate our concessions. Want some examples where you too were guilty of that? Here: bantustans, Gaza withdrawal was just a ploy … want me to go on? I could even go back to Oslo before which Arafat and his cronies were flushed down the toilet before Rabin pulled them out. You remember? Arafat and Fatah became pariahs because of their support for Saddam in Gulf War 1.

            “Hell no, we just slapped him around and made him our bitch. Stupid, stupid.”

            Yea, that sounds catchy but it just does not stack up to reality. The Arabs are the ones who are good at slapping us around politically at the UN and they are the ones who want to make us their bitch whom they hope to eventually dispose of. But it won’t happen, no thanks to people like you of course.

            “And no, I don’t think the Palestinians always use every means at their disposal to harm us,”

            Not much huh? 15 years of rocket fire not enough for you? And that’s not all either. I couldn’t possibly do it justice if I would attempt to list the history of the atrocities which they perpetrated against us for nearly 100 years now. Of course, now you will trot out our responses to their atrocities now. How predictable. But you would just ignore cause and effect.

            “just like we don’t nuke them even if we could.”

            Is that a good thing or a bad thing, Benny? I am losing track with you.

            “Again, they’re not Terminator robots.”

            They don’t have to be. They just keep the conflict alive long enough, so they think, till we get tired. That’s their theory. And with people like you, they are right. With the rest of us, they will find that they will tire first and then we will have a peace deal.

            “You think 4 million Palestinians, over the course of decades of hostilities, couldn’t get their hands on even one Stinger or Redeye missile to knock down an El Al commercial flight?”

            You bet I think that. Thanks to our security apparatus, such as Shin Bet.

            “What, they can only smuggle surface-to-surface missiles through tunnels, because the surface-to-air missiles won’t fit? How do you figure that? Okay, over to you.”

            They did not smuggle surface to surface missiles either. Is there anything that you know which I don’t? But tell me this: if you are so certain that they could have shot down planes, why didn’t they? Is it because they are people with conscience who only murder Israeli infants like Shalevet Paz whom one of their snipers shot in the forehead? Or the Fogel family whom they slaughtered in the Middle of the night? Or the three Israeli teenagers whom they abducted and shot in cold blood recently? Or the countless number of suicide bombings they carried out before the security fence was erected? … Or … Or … I could go on.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            Gustav, is there some Hasbara University where they teach you guys to quote back critical talkbacks line by line and respond to each assertion? That must be tiring, not to mention time-consuming.
            Yeah, neither side understands the other, and both have plenty of maximalists, including toxic religious nationalists. The Nashashibis didn’t call the tune, neither did Judah Magnes and Martin Buber. You think we’re the good guys and they’re the villains. I say we all stink –actually I never called the Palestinians innocent lambs as you asserted – but our enormous power advantage lets us wield much more control and inflict much more suffering. You think continued occupation and settlement is the answer, I completely disagree.
            Do you really think I want Israel to be destroyed? Watch out for hyperbole, it undercuts other more sensible things that you might be saying. And did you really bring up Neville Chamberlain? Groan …….
            Re the Sudanese/Eritreans: we’ve shut down the border, there are no millions coming.
            On stifling dissent: Recently, and especially during the latest bomb-fest, we’ve seen Israeli teachers fired for expressing left-wing views; other Israelis, mostly Arabs, fired from their jobs for criticizing Operation Protective Edge, and more than a thousand arrested for taking part in demonstrations; Jewish anti-war demonstrators denied permits or, alternatively, roughed up by right-wing counterdemonstrators while police looked on approvingly; Haneen Zoabi having her Knesset privileges suspended for six months, and even being subjected to criminal investigation, for expressing unpopular opinions; the government and courts denying B’Tselem’s right to run a radio ad just reading the names of the dead in Gaza, and afterwards punishing B’Tselem by revoking their right to employ national service youth; but oh yeah, Benzi Gupstein convinced a court to let him demonstrate against a Jewish-Muslim wedding, so I guess there is freedom of speech in Israel. Am I supposed to derive consolation from the Alien and Sedition Acts that the US enacted in WWI or the Japanese internment approved by the Korematsu decision in WWII? Sorry, when I was six years old my Mom taught me that I couldn’t excuse my poor conduct by pointing to somebody else’s misdeeds, which later had the incidental effect of making me immune to most Hasbara.
            You need to read more foreign news if you don’t realize that Israel’s atrocities and shenanigans are alienating many people of good will all over the world, including – crucially – the younger generation of (non-Orthodox) Jews in the US. Yes, we’ve also picked up support from a new right-wing Indian Prime Minister and some Republican Senators who want Sheldon Adelson’s campaign cash, but on balance we’re losing, and rightly so, because you can only put so much lipstick on a pig.
            And don’t give me that crap about only 6% of the West Bank. Shylock only wanted less than 1% of Antonio’s flesh (I know you’ll love that analogy!) In real estate as in biology, location is everything.
            You lost me on the missiles – didn’t Hamas smuggle in Grads, for example? I know we didn’t grant them an import permit …
            Okay, I’m too busy and beat to respond to the more piddly stuff, so that’ll do for now.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Gustav, is there some Hasbara University where they teach you guys to quote back critical talkbacks line by line and respond to each assertion?”

            Thanks for the compliment Benny but no thanks. No need to have gone to university, I have a natural talents.

            “That must be tiring, not to mention time-consuming.”

            Now you are concerned for my well being?

            “Yeah, neither side understands the other, and both have plenty of maximalists, including toxic religious nationalists.”

            Yep, that’s human nature too but I have to point out that our side, unlike theirs, is still not dominated by the maximalists. I do however see a time coming when that might change if the Palestinian Arabs continue this way. And if they think that things are bad now …

            “The Nashashibis didn’t call the tune,”

            No, I said that too. The reason I brought them up though was to counter your assertion that the Palestinian Arabs had no other way to react than the way in which they DID react.

            “neither did Judah Magnes and Martin Buber. You think we’re the good guys and they’re the villains. I say we all stink”

            Ok Benny, we are the bad guys. I see the light. It is their job to tell the world how evil WE are and that everything is OUR fault. And it is OUR job to react with empathy to how they feel and to echo what they say about us to the world.

            I have only one problem with your foolish view of the world though, who will stand up for us then? Or are we so evil that all we deserve is damnation? At least be honest and admit that that’s what you really stand for. Don’t beat about the bush and pretend that you don’t want to see Israel destroyed. Or are you just stupid and you think that no one can hurt us?

            “–actually I never called the Palestinians innocent lambs as you asserted –”

            I said that in response to your claim that we are the ones who START needless wars. Start, not react to provocations mind you …

            “but our enormous power advantage lets us wield much more control and inflict much more suffering.”

            You already brought up that chestnut and I showed you how simplistic you are. You like repeating yourself don’t you?

            “You think continued occupation and settlement is the answer,”

            Actually, what I said was that right now we have no choice but to maintain the occupation till they come to their senses. But let’s not quibble.

            “I completely disagree.”

            Yea, so you said.

            “Do you really think I want Israel to be destroyed?”

            Let me put it this way: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Does that answer your question?

            “Watch out for hyperbole, it undercuts other more sensible things that you might be saying.”

            Thanks for the warning. Same to you.

            “And did you really bring up Neville Chamberlain? Groan …….”

            You don’t like it? I thought it was very apt though.

            “Re the Sudanese/Eritreans: we’ve shut down the border, there are no millions coming.”

            Talking about circular arguments, maybe you should keep track of what YOU say too. Isn’t that what you were critical about?

            “On stifling dissent: Recently, and especially during the latest bomb-fest, we’ve seen Israeli teachers fired for expressing left-wing views; other Israelis, mostly Arabs, fired from their jobs for criticizing Operation Protective Edge,”

            Oh dear, are you sure? I am not for that. Why can’t we just be like the rest of the world? They deal with such situations so much better than us when they have the same circumstances. Oh but wait …

            What was that you said about human nature?

            “and more than a thousand arrested for taking part in demonstrations; Jewish anti-war demonstrators denied permits or,”

            Again, I am not for that unless of course they deliberately create havoc and affect the rights of other citizens to go about their daily business in peace.

            Again, how uniquely Israeli this phenomenon you outline?

            “alternatively, roughed up by right-wing counterdemonstrators while police looked on approvingly;”

            Now that, I am really against. No joke. That’s the last thing we need. But alas, human nature again. Stupid human nature. The perpetrators should be punished.

            Having said that, such things do happen in all democracies. Even in Paris and Berlin where antiSemites were besieging synagogues when they were demonstrating their democratic rights to try and kill Jews for what Israel was doing in Gaza.

            “Haneen Zoabi having her Knesset privileges suspended for six months, and even being subjected to criminal investigation, for expressing unpopular opinions;

            Oh dear, that bad huh? That’s anti democratic? I wonder what would have happened to her in any other place involved in 100 year war with it’s neighbors, if she would call for the destruction of her own country in the parliament? Eh, hmmmmmm, Benny?

            “the government and courts denying B’Tselem’s right to run a radio ad just reading the names of the dead in Gaza, and afterwards punishing B’Tselem by revoking their right to employ national service youth;”

            Oh dear, were they going to read out the names of the Israeli dead, injured and traumatized say in the last 15 years or so? No? Fancy that. The gall of Israel to stop running enemy propaganda on Israeli airwaves. What will they stoop to next?

            “but oh yeah, Benzi Gupstein convinced a court to let him demonstrate against a Jewish-Muslim wedding,”

            But that you wanted to stop? It figures, you are a real liberal aren’t you? By the way, I WOULD have stopped it if it would have been up to me. I guess, I am a bit of a fascist, aren’t I?

            “so I guess there is freedom of speech in Israel.”

            Obviously you don’t think so because unless things perfectly fit your world view, it is completely broken. Isn’t it? It is either PERFECT democracy according to your definition of it, or it is fascism. Nothing in between, eh, Benny?

            “Am I supposed to derive consolation from the Alien and Sedition Acts that the US enacted in WWI or the Japanese internment approved by the Korematsu decision in WWII?”

            Far be it from me to tell you what you should derive consolation from. I am just saying that we are the same as other people and maybe occasionally even better.

            “Sorry, when I was six years old my Mom taught me that I couldn’t excuse my poor conduct by pointing to somebody else’s misdeeds,”

            Did she also teach you to ignore poor conduct by others against you and just take what they dish out on your cheek? She didn’t do you any favors, Benny.

            “which later had the incidental effect of making me immune to most Hasbara.”

            But not to Taqiya, right?

            “You need to read more foreign news if you don’t realize that Israel’s atrocities and shenanigans are alienating many people of good will all over the world,”

            If true, then you are one of the ones who help that phenomenon, Benny.

            “including – crucially – the younger generation of (non-Orthodox) Jews in the US.”

            Oh dear, you almost seem concerned about it. But you know what? I trust the common sense of the young generation. I am not worried about the atypical radical elements who get excited about the idea of being controversial. Even some of those will return to the fold after they mature and their eyes open to the nationalistic supremacism which the Arabs stand for.

            “Yes, we’ve also picked up support from a new right-wing Indian Prime Minister and some Republican Senators who want Sheldon Adelson’s campaign cash,”

            As opposed to the Arab petro dollars which are on offer to anyone who wants to bash us?

            “but on balance we’re losing, and rightly so,”

            Rightly so? That says it all. It tells us where your loyalty is. Yes, I know your response to that. You are a humanist and non partizan.

            Pity our enemies are not exactly humanists, non tribal, non supremacists, and non partizan.

            Your type balances the equation. They root for themselves and you root for them too. I’ll tell you what isn’t human nature. Your attitude isn’t. It seems to be some kind of pathological clinical illness from which some of us Jews suffer from. Something akin to self flaggelation and masochism.

            “because you can only put so much lipstick on a pig.”

            You people love that pig analogy don’t you? Well, it’s harmless enough, good for a laugh at least.

            “And don’t give me that crap about only 6% of the West Bank.”

            I will if I want to. Sue me!

            “Shylock only wanted less than 1% of Antonio’s flesh (I know you’ll love that analogy!)”

            I expect nothing less from you. A fictional figure conjured up by a very talented writer in the middle ages who wrote a culturally appropriate image of what people thought of Jews in those days. Again, please feel free to enjoy your self flaggelation, Benny, you did say you were Jewish, didn’t you? That’s why I mention self flaggelation.

            “In real estate as in biology, location is everything.”

            Yes, I know, I know, I know, we have to be sensitive to their needs but they don’t have to be sensitive to our needs. Forgive me, Benny, I am a slow learner.

            Or maybe I just don’t want to learn from the likes of you?

            “You lost me on the missiles – didn’t Hamas smuggle in Grads, for example?”

            I lost you way before that, Benny, as you lost me with your silly, ‘not for this earth’ preachings.

            “I know we didn’t grant them an import permit …”

            Didn’t we? We are such mean people …

            “Okay, I’m too busy and beat to respond to the more piddly stuff, so that’ll do for now.”

            So long buddy, till next time.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            One more thing Benny, I just can’t resist mentioning it after our lengthy exchange of views. After this, I’ll leave you alone, I promise …

            People of your political persuasion fall over backwards to point out to us how human Palestinians are and how it is plain old human nature which makes them react how they do react.

            But when it comes to us, you suddenly suffer amnesia and ignore how we too react to provocations and violence, like all humans do.

            Could it be that the real explanation for your selectivity is that in your eyes we are not human? Even if you don’t admit such things openly to yourselves, could it be that subliminally that is how you think?

            That too is human nature, Benny, to try and dehumanize one’s enemy. That must make you lot very human. But not in a flattering way.

            Are you there Benny? Or did I just waste my time with you?

            Reply to Comment
          • MuslimJew

            “[I]f we must suffer rocket fire from Hamas and their cronies, I would rather put up with their current toys than with the sophisticated rockets that they would no doubt acquire as soon as we would lift the blockade.”

            Thank you for admitting that the Palestinians are your hostages.

            “Did you see what they did with the cement that we allowed them to import for reconstruction after our last war with them?”

            Did you see what you did with the state we gave you, the money we continually give you, and the advanced weaponry we let you have?

            “They used it for reinforced tunnels instead of building houses as they were supposed to.”

            These houses they were supposed to be building, were they supposed to build them when your dick was in their mouth, or in their asshole?

            “You can trust Hamas, Benny dear. I trust them as far as I can throw them, which is not far.”

            Princess had better release her hostages then, before someone throws her off a cliff.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Thank you for admitting that the Palestinians are your hostages.”

            Yes and we have been their hostages for 100 years. We are each other’s hostages.

            “Did you see what you did with the state we gave you,”

            Who is the “WE” you are talking about? But thanks for asking. We built a modern technologically advanced western democracy from the state that we liberated in 1948. It is a state which is the envy of it’s neighbors and in which it’s 1.2 million Arab minority citizens are better off than most Arabs in neighbouring Arab countries.

            “the money we continually give you,”

            What money are you personally giving us Muslim? But since you ask, our presence here assures the only reliable ally which the West has in the Middle East. You don’t believe me? Then just look what can happen to the West’s other allies in this region. Overnight, they turn from a precarious dependent ally to deadly enemies. Example: Iran.

            “and the advanced weaponry we let you have?”

            I didn’t know you personally let us have advanced weaponry, Muslim. But in any case we make a lot of our own weapons now too. Not only that but during the Cold War, we passed on captured Soviet weapons systems such as radars and even a MIG fighter plane for analysis by the US. So we earn our keep. Nor does anyone need to shed their blood for us because we fight our own wars, unlike Kuwait. Want more? We saved the ass of Jordan’s King Hussain a few decades ago, after the US asked us to line up our army at Syria’s border when they threatened to invade Jordan who was cleaning up Palestinian gangs after they grew to be too big for their boots in Jordan. Do you recall that? No? Why not? After all, Hussain showed us how to deal with terrorist thugs when he killed thousands of them. That’s when the so called black September terror group was formed, remember?

            “These houses they were supposed to be building, were they supposed to build them when your dick was in their mouth, or in their asshole?”

            Aw shucks Muslim, you are so poetic with your words. I so enjoy it when you are angry.

            “Princess had better release her hostages then, before someone throws her off a cliff.”

            You and whose army, Muslim? Did anyone tell you, you are an idiot? No? Probably because you are too insignificant, you little worm.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Goldmarx

      You right-wingers were never ‘right’ about Hamas’; you right-wingers CREATED Hamas as a weapon against Arafat. That was a crime against the Jewish people, and for that you right-wingers will be brought to justice.

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        “you right-wingers CREATED Hamas as a weapon against Arafat.”

        If you are going to try and perpetrate simplistic lies, Goldie, then be a bit more consistent.

        If what you say above would be true, how come you also claim that Israel and the USA orchestrated a coup against Hamas in 2007 in which they hoped that Fatah would replace Hamas in Gaza?

        Reply to Comment
        • Eliza

          The claim that Israel/USA orchestrated the attempted coup against Hamas is consistent with the claim that Israel ‘created’ Hamas.

          Hamas was supported by Israel to act as a foil against Fatah. The division of the Palestinian people into two camps antagonistic to each other suits Israel or Zionism very well.

          It was the recent reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas that prompted the last little carnage in Gaza by Israel. To destroy this unity is the real political goal of Protective Edge.

          We now hear that there is a permanent cease-fire; and it appears thus far that Fatah/Hamas unity has not been broken. On that count alone, Israel did not gain its political goals. Or so I think.

          Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “The claim that Israel/USA orchestrated the attempted coup against Hamas is consistent with the claim that Israel ‘created’ Hamas.

            Hamas was supported by Israel to act as a foil against Fatah.”

            Eliza, foil may be right. At least back in the early days in the 1980s when we did not know any better. Much like you used Al Quaida as a foil against the Soviets in Afghanistan before you knew better.

            But that wasn’t what Goldie claimed. He claimed that we “CREATED” Hamas. And that makes him and you too a clown if you agree with him.

            Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “and for that you right-wingers will be brought to justice.”

        Really? What are you going to do to us? Bore us to death with your endless repetitive propaganda?

        Reply to Comment
        • MuslimJew

          “Really? What are you going to do to us? Bore us to death with your endless repetitive propaganda?”

          Really. There is no “us”. You will be taken to a place with nice, soft walls.


          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Really. There is no “us”. You will be taken to a place with nice, soft walls”

            Aw, Muslim, you are boring me.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Ike

      I never dreamed I would see a piece like this at 972. I am glad to be surprised.
      Saying that “most Muslims are not radicals” does not really say anything. Those who do not participate in the horrors we are saying can have one of several different views.

      (1) “I fully support the radicals, I just don’t have the courage to do it myself” or

      (2) “Those doing these acts mean well but I think there is not need to go so far” or

      (3) “Those doing these things mean well, but they are mistaken because the could cause an anti-Muslim reaction” by non-Muslims” or

      (4) “Those doing these things are mistaken and we should re-educate them into the proper path”. or

      (5) “Those doing these things are criminals who must be opposed completely by good Muslims everywhere”.

      Remaining silent in the face of these horrors can only lead non-Muslims to think that the silent majority deep down sympathizes with the extremists. The Moderates MUST speak out if they really oppose these atrocities if they are to prevent world Islam from getting a very negative image.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Gert

      There is so much wrong with this article that it’s hard to know where to start.

      “To me, rather than constantly looking for reassurances, Muslims in Britain should be arguing against the likes of Choudary and protesting against incendiary pronouncements and actions. It is normal that in the absence of such posturing, suspicion grows.”

      Nonsense, like anti-Semitism, Islamophobia isn’t rational and denunciations of radical Muslims by moderate ones isn’t going to make it go away. Compliance with that majority demand will only embolden that majority in demanding further concessions from its minority guests, without making such demands of itself.

      “So to say that “not all Muslims are radical” is a misplaced assertion. The real question is what they are going to do about the ones who are radical. In recent years many Muslims have tended to describe those criticizing Islam as being “Islamophobic.” This is utterly dishonest.”

      Does the author also demand that her fellow Jews denounce the excesses of Zionism? Should she? NO. Should innocent Jews worldwide be made to feel caught in the cross fire? NO.

      If I’m a member of a minority group and some members of that group went on a killing spree in my host country, then why would I then be or feel obliged to denounce the perpetrators on the basis that I’m ‘part of that group’? Of course not: if I’m innocent I’m innocent and that should be enough. Everything else is racist ‘guilt by association’, of the kind we now also see in European anti-Semitic incidents following ongoing Zionist aggression towards Palestinians.

      Criticizing an entire religion is also folly: Islam (or Judaism or Christianity) is far from a monolithic bloc. And what is often perpetrated in the name of G-d, mostly has other underlying causes than mere faith in old and obsolete books.

      “I can voice concerns about Zionism and Israeli occupation, and it is – or should be – understood that I am not rebuking Jews in general. So when others talk about the dangers of radical Islam, it should be obvious that they are not rebuking Muslims in general without explanations.”

      And yet for your concerns about Zionism and the Israeli occupation you’ve undoubtedly countless times been called a ‘second class Jew’, ‘not a real Jew’, a ‘self-hating Jew’, a ‘muzzie lover’, a ‘mouthpiece for terrorists’ and a ‘traitor’.

      By the author’s ‘logic’ innocent Israeli Muslim Arabs would have a duty to denounce more radical Palestinian elements, as well as ISIS and Boko Haram to boot. But having nothing to do with those manifestations they aren’t obliged to anything of that sort.

      In essence the author subscribes to the racist/supremacist view that the majority has the right to make demands on the minority, for whatever reasons and echoes of centre/far Right thinking can clearly be heard in this piece. So much for ‘equality under the Law’ for ALL…

      Reply to Comment
      • Thomas

        Wow. This article was written by a Muslim man.

        How foolish do you feel now?

        Reply to Comment
        • Yeah, I mean he’s Muslim so he MUST be right.

          By your “reasoning” bin Laden must have been right too.

          Twit.

          Reply to Comment
    6. “Remaining silent in the face of these horrors can only lead non-Muslims to think that the silent majority deep down sympathizes with the extremists.”

      Only those like you, who are already convinced Islam is up to no good, would believe ‘the silent majority’ erm… ‘deep down sympathizes with the extremists’.

      Can you also elaborate what needs to be done with those suspected by you to ‘deep down sympathize with the extremists’? Internment perhaps, just to be on the ‘safe’ side?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ike

        If the vast majority of Muslims completely reject what Da’ash (ISIS) stands for then how on earth are they able to recruit so many new volunteers, apparently including not a few from proseperous Western countries?

        Reply to Comment
        • Do you have any numbers?

          You’ve nailed your colours to the mast. No amount of moderates denouncing radicals will change your mind.

          What you do here is circular. You start from an Islamophobic premise. Then demand that moderate Muslims denounce radical ones. When they don’t in sufficient numbers to your taste, you conclude you were right all along.

          Reply to Comment
    7. Average American

      You guys are over-complicating this. It’s very simple. It’s not about anyone but Israel. Israel was created to expand into surrounding territories to control The Land Of Israel for The Jews. What does a map of The Land of Israel look like? Just look at the map on Begin’s terrorist Irgun posters. Nothing has changed since then. Israel has been and will continue to fulfill that charter of expansion, and doesn’t care if the surrounding territories fight back, and doesn’t care what it has to do to get there.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “You guys are over-complicating this … ”

        Oh dear, it’s Average Arab sounding off again. One has to wonder how come he doesn’t bore himself to death repeating the same old nonsense over and over again.

        Reply to Comment
      • GilGamesh

        what nonsense, Israel has given back way more land than it currently occupies. If the purpose of Israel was expansion they are sure doing a piss poor job of it.

        Reply to Comment
        • MuslimJew

          “what nonsense, Israel has given back way more land than it currently occupies. If the purpose of Israel was expansion they are sure doing a piss poor job of it.”

          Israel is expanding. Your brain is getting smaller.

          Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            excited to be starting the 3rd grade MJ?

            Reply to Comment
    8. Average American

      Oh Gustav you’re dodging again. I suppose you’ve never heard of Zionism before. Your government has if you haven’t.

      Reply to Comment
      • Thomas

        Go away you odious troll

        Reply to Comment
      • Thomas

        Thank you Dahlia for posting this article.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Kiwi

      “Oh Gustav you’re dodging again.”

      What exactly did he dodge? Your stupidity?

      Reply to Comment
      • MuslimJew

        “What exactly did he dodge? Your stupidity?”

        No, his own stupidity.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Aw Muslim, say something clever.
          Waiting … waiting … waiting …

          Reply to Comment
          • Do you also address people from other religions/ethnicities that way?

            Like ‘Oy, Jew, say something’ ?

            And do you think that is a clever thing to do?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Sigh

            Read the name he gave himself: “MuslimJew”. Do I need to spell out his full silly name just so you won’t be able to make your silly point?

            Go on, get it over with drop the ‘R’ word. You people klutch at straws.

            This comment of Gert’s typifies the standards that the haters of Israel adopt when attacking Israel too. When they have nothing to pick on, they just make accusations up. But people all over the world are beginning to wake up to their hate filled world.

            Reply to Comment
    10. Gustav

      One more thing Benny, I just can’t resist mentioning it after our lengthy exchange of views.

      People of your political persuasion fall over backwards to point out to us how human Palestinians are and how it is plain old human nature which makes them react how they do react.

      But when it comes to us, you suddenly suffer amnesia and ignore how we too react to provocations and violence, like all humans do.

      Could it be that the real explanation for your selectivity is that in your eyes we are not human? Even if you don’t admit such things openly to yourselves, could it be that subliminally that is how you think?

      That too is human nature, Benny, to try and dehumanize one’s enemy. That must make you lot very human. But not in a flattering way.

      Are you there Benny? Or did I just waste my time with you???

      Reply to Comment
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