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'If Israel keeps violating the status quo, this will become a religious war'

He left Hamas after Oslo, moved to Ramallah, and joined Abbas’ Palestinian Authority. Following the burning of the Dawabsha family and the conflagrations at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Supreme Sharia judge of the Palestinian Authority Dr. Mahmoud al-Habash warns Israel not to test Palestinian patience.

Dr. Mahmoud al-Habash, the Supreme Sharia judge of the Palestinian Authority and advisor of the Palestinian Authority, in his Ramallah office. (photo: Orly Noy)

Dr. Mahmoud al-Habash, the Supreme Sharia judge of the Palestinian Authority, in his Ramallah office. (photo: Orly Noy)

On the charred walls of the Dawabsha home in the West Bank village of Duma, the words “revenge” and “long live the Messiah” were spray-painted by the same Jewish terrorists who burned three of the four family members to death.

The graffiti troubles me. Regardless of how detestable it is, I can understand the logic of revenge; but I cannot understand those who toss in the name of the messiah. The slogan “long live the Messiah,” most closely associated with the Chabad movement, has always seemed strange to me, and the fact that it found its way to this crime is especially disturbing. Why would anyone be interested in fomenting a religious war here?

I arrive in Ramallah to visit Dr. Mahmoud al-Habash, the supreme sharia judge of the Palestinian Authority. Until June 2014, al-Habash served as the minister of religious affairs, but with the agreement to establish a Fatah-Hamas unity government, al-Habash, a former member of Hamas who left the movement in the wake of the Oslo Accords, was forced to resign.

What about Gaza?

Al-Habash is responsible for giving the central, weekly sermon every Friday. Israelis love to talk about the unabashed “incitement” in Friday sermons in order to avoid talking about the ongoing occupation. That way they can focus on the “religious war” that the Muslim world is waging against Israel. Al-Habash knows this all too well. Our meeting takes place in the dark shadow of murder of the Dawabsha family.

“Honestly, what happened in Duma does not surprise me. It was the result of years of cultivating a culture of hate. I believe that the Israeli government is directly responsible for this event — every Israeli government. The settlements and the policies of the Israeli government, led by the Israeli prime minister, for the treatment of the Palestinian people, this extremist, right-wing government whose only understanding of religion and Judaism is hatred for the other, for non-Jews. All that is forbidden by the Torah — thou shall not steal, thou shall not murder — matters only when it comes to how Jews treat one another, and becomes acceptable when it applies to non-Jews.

A Palestinian youth looks at Hebrew-language graffiti reading "revenge" on the Dawabsha family home, which was set on fire by Israeli extremists killing three members of the family, July 31, 2015. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian youth looks at Hebrew-language graffiti reading “revenge” on the Dawabsha family home, which was set on fire by Israeli extremists killing three members of the family, July 31, 2015. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

“When your justice minister, the one who is responsible for the justice system, says that Palestinian children are no more than ‘little snakes,’ she means that they must be killed when they are young. Otherwise they will grow up to become big snakes.”

I begin listing all the condemnations and expressions of disgust — both the honest and the disingenuous — that were heard on the Israeli side since the attacks. There is a feeling that this particular murder really shook Israeli society, and I tell him so.

“I am not claiming that all of Israeli society is uniform. Even the Holy Quran recognizes as much. You are Ahl al-Kitab, ‘people of the book,’ who recognize God and believe in him. I know that not all of Israeli society supports this crime. But why does this matter to me as a Palestinian? Those who hold these positions against Palestinians are also the powerful ones: the government, the settlers, and the army. Who gives the settlers weapons to shoot Palestinians? The government.

This causes the Palestinians to view all Israelis as enemies, and the moderate voice on the Palestinian side becomes silenced. Racism leads to racism, and hate leads to hate. The most dangerous thing that can happen now is that the conflict turn into a religious war. Because in a religious war, even you, a Jewish woman who supports peace, will become a target. And I will become a target as a Muslim. Every Jew across the world will become a target for every Muslim. Will you be able to withstand such a war?

Do you view the conflict as a political one or a religious one at its core?

Of course it’s a political conflict. There is no conflict between the Quran and the Torah. There is no war between Muslims and Jews. But these people enlist the Torah to further their political goals. Is it possible that Allah wants these people to be murdered? It is impossible.

The Palestinians also enlist religion to promote political goals.

This is done everywhere across the world. But today, the official Palestinian establishment — the Palestinian Authority and the PLO — does not do so. On the contrary: look, I am a believer, a religious person, and my entire existence stems from religion. But I understand that religion is one thing and politics is another. There is no compromising over religion — the same does not go for politics. That is why it is so dangerous to use religion for political ends, since religion is absolute. If Allah says so then that is how it is. Can I contradict Allah or negotiate with him? No. But in politics we can negotiate.

Right-wing activist Yehuda Glick holding a book depicting the Jewish Temple while standing in front of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, May 21, 2009. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Right-wing activist Yehuda Glick holding a book depicting the Jewish Temple while standing in front of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, May 21, 2009. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

“When Palestinians murdered the family in Itamar, I condemned the murder in a Friday sermon, and said that this is wrong and against the Muslim religion. This, despite the fact that this happened at an illegal settlement and Israelis’ presence there is illegal. Mahmoud Abbas, who is also a religious man, strongly condemned the murder. But I ask you, how many Palestinian children have been murdered since 2004? How many times have Palestinians been attacked by settlers? How many times did they burn homes, mosques and churches, uproot trees, spray paint racist graffiti, throw Molotov cocktails at cars? How many were arrested?”

“Seven Palestinians were killed in July, two of them were under 16. A year ago Muhammad Abu Khdeir was kidnapped, made to drink gas, and burned alive. What was the Israeli government’s response? To murder another 2,000 people in Gaza.”

‘I am willing to die for Al-Aqsa’

Palestinian youth throw stones during clashes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al Amud, with the Aqsa Mosque seen in the background. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian youth throw stones during clashes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al Amud, with the Aqsa Mosque seen in the background. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

One cannot speak about the religious aspect of the conflict without talking about what has been happening at Al-Aqsa compound over the past few years. Attempts by many — including members of Knesset and even government ministers — to change the delicate status quo in the most explosive place in the world, is equivalent to pouring salt on Palestinian wounds. And perhaps not only the Palestinian; the entire Muslim world is looking at what is happening there. It often feels like the Israeli side simply refuses to understand what kind of powder keg they are dealing with.

“I view myself as a moderate, but I am willing to die for Al-Aqsa Mosque. Without any qualms. When a settler disparages the Prophet Muhammad in the presence of the Israeli army and Minister Uri Ariel — if I were there to hear him I could kill him with my own hands with no problem. So what do you expect from a 20 year old whose blood is boiling? You think that a young Palestinian simply decides to pick up a stone just like that? No. You are the reason. You bring him to that point.”

Is there coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority vis-a-vis maintaining the status quo at the compound? Do you coordinate with Israeli authorities?

“There is no coordination. We are not willing to have any coordination with the Israeli side in everything having to do with the Haram al-Sharif compound. None. Israel is not involved in anything having to do with Al-Aqsa Mosque. We coordinate solely with Jordan. Israel is of no relevance to this issue. Al-Aqsa is occupied territory and we are not willing to coordinate with an occupying power.”

“Following the occupation of 1967, a status quo was established vis-a-vis Al-Aqsa Mosque. From 1967 until 2000 the mosque was managed by the Waqf. After Sharon went to the compound in 2000, Israel closed the Mughrabi Bridge and began managing entry for non-Jews to the compound. This conflicted with our agreements with Jordan, as well as the understandings between Jordan and Israel. We refuse to accept this.”

Members of the Murabitat yell at Israeli Border Police in the Old City of Jerusalem, September 13, 2015. (photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh)

Members of the Murabitat yell at Israeli Border Police in the Old City of Jerusalem, September 13, 2015. (photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh)

“If Israel continues to violate the status quo, we could find ourselves in a religious war. These are two small words that contain a very big danger. I urge you: stop testing Palestinian patience. This kind of situation will lead to disaster. Is this what you want? Naftali Bennett, Yehuda Glick, the settlers, and Benjamin Netanyahu himself want this disaster. If I were an Israeli, I would put Netanyahu on trial for treason. He is ruining Israel.”

On the other hand, the denial of certain Palestinians of the connection Jews have to the Temple Mount worriers many Jews, and not only religious ones.

“On this issue, like on every issue, there are two narratives: the Palestinian narrative, according to which historic Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, and the Israeli narrative according to which the land is Jewish land. So what do we do now? A certain reality already exists. In your history there was never any Jewish presence in certain areas on the coast, but look, you built cities there. I understand that if we stay with the historical narratives, we won’t get anywhere.”

“Personally I can tell you that as a religious person I reject all narratives according to which Jews have rights to Al-Quds. But I understand that you, as a Jew, believe something else, and I respect your belief. According to my belief, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa are exclusively Muslim. I am a believer. You do not agree with me, but you must respect my beliefs.”

Palestinian youth hold a Palestinian flag outside the Aqsa Mosque in the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound, East Jerusalem. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian youth hold a Palestinian flag outside the Aqsa Mosque in the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound, East Jerusalem. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

“Our problem is not competing historical narratives. Our problem is the political reality. If you want to turn this from a political problem to a historical or religious one, you won’t find yourselves facing 10 million Palestinians, but rather 2 billion Muslims. Are you able to deal with 2 billion Muslims? I don’t think so. If the Muslim world goes to war over Al-Aqsa, it will be willing to sacrifice even a billion out of those 2 billion. But how many Jews do you think will be left? Therefore it is in your best interest to leave the conflict in the sphere of politics.”

The Israeli fear is that if you do not recognize my historic right to this place, you do not recognize my right to be here.

“I am not interested in mixing the two issues. There is a religious issue, a historic issue, and a political issue. I can have a discussion on religion with clerics alone. I cannot have a historical discussion, because I am not a historian. But we must talk about the political issue.”

“After all, if we want to talk about historic rights, then my parents were born in Ashkelon. My grandfather is buried in Ashkelon, I have seen his grave. If the issue is a historic one, then I want to return to Ashkelon. But because the issue is a political one, then I want a Palestinian state within 1967 borders. Ashkelon will not be included in it. I want only 22 percent of my historic land. It is in the best interest of Israelis that we speak in political rather than historic or religious terms.”

And what will happen to the 350,000 settlers?

“650,000 including the ones in Jerusalem. They will all have to leave, until the very last one of them. Not a single Israeli will be left in the State of Palestine, even Ahmed Tibi.”

Even those with a Palestinian passport?

“Look, I can speak like a politician, but I wish to say it to you simply: we do not want them. It is not possible and it is illogical — it just won’t work. Let them live and be healthy, but far away from us. As far away as possible. Sharon removed settlers from Gaza, Begin removed them from Yamit. In 1948 you removed a million Palestinians with great efficiency. I believe that you will be able to remove 650,000 settlers.”

From Hamas to Abbas

File photo of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

File photo of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

I remind myself that this man, who is speaking about a Palestinian state on 22 percent of historic Palestine, was a former member of Hamas and one of the founders of its armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

“I joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 1979,” says al-Habash, “and when Hamas was established in 1988, no one knew my name except for Israeli intelligence. I was the first cleric of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas to be arrested by Israel.”

“After my release from prison I was one of the founders of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades in 1991. 1992 saw the expulsion of 415 Hamas and Islamic Jihad members to Lebanon (in the wake of the kidnapping and murder of Border Policeman Nissim Toledan, O.N.), and I managed to escape. For half a year I hid in the alleyways of Gaza. I didn’t sleep at home, I changed my address, I didn’t drive a car, and I evaded expulsion.”

“In 1993 came the Oslo Accords, and Hamas faced a dilemma: how to deal with the new reality after the agreement. I believed that we needed to be realistic, and that Hamas needed to be part of the political process and join the PLO. This is where the disagreements began. Eventually I left Hamas on May 3, 1994, and continued to work as a non-affiliated, independent cleric until the 2007 revolution. In 2007 I came here to Ramallah.

Toward the end of the conversation, the lights of the entire building turn off and the sound of jets can be heard from outside. “Maybe they heard that there is a Jewish woman here and they came to save you,” he says with a smile. “Actually, if they knew you were here, maybe they prefer that we keep you and you don’t go back. Ahalan wa sahalan. You can be the president’s advisor on Iranian affairs.”

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Jason Kidd

      Orly. Please.

      With the Palistinians, it’s been religious since day 1.
      Please. See every conflict involving their compatriots from the Barbary Pirates to 9/11.
      They even have special religious trees that help them in battle.
      They are allowed by religioun to make farcical treaties to help their cause.
      Always. About. Religion. With. Them. War is an ingrained part of their culture.
      Wake. The. F. Up. Already

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ben

      “Sharon removed settlers from Gaza, Begin removed them from Yamit. In 1948 you removed a million Palestinians with great efficiency. I believe that you will be able to remove 650,000 settlers.”

      “After all, if we want to talk about historic rights, then my parents were born in Ashkelon. My grandfather is buried in Ashkelon, I have seen his grave. If the issue is a historic one, then I want to return to Ashkelon. But because the issue is a political one, then I want a Palestinian state within 1967 borders. Ashkelon will not be included in it. I want only 22 percent of my historic land. It is in the best interest of Israelis that we speak in political rather than historic or religious terms.”

      Oh dear. What shall we do? A problematic intelligent, peacemaking Muslim who has evolved and has a mature understanding of reality that he articulates well. Better pull out the rhetoric about Barbary Pirates. Move along now children. Nothing to see here.

      Reply to Comment
      • Panama

        Yes, what a great offer Ben!
        He is willing to have 1 Palistinian renounce the right of return.
        What a serious statesman to make such an offer

        Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        No Benny, not a single “settler” will move from their home. Sharon’s experiment did not work. The more gestures we make the more morons like you vilify us.

        As for the 700K (not 1 million) Pali refugees, you might want to mention the 1 million Jewish refugees from Arab countries too.

        And, you might also want to mention that as a result of the war of your Palis against us, in 1948, 1% of our population lost their lives. And many more got maimed.

        Americans would have gone berserk if they would have suffered such casualties in any of their wars. What the Palis got from us was small fry compared to what they would have got from anyone else for what they did to us. Don’t believe me? Just ask the Chechens how the Russians ended up keeping them quiet. Still don’t believe me? Speak to the Japanese about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Still don’t believe me? Speak to the Germans about Dresden. Still don’t believe me? Speak to the Serbs about their wars in the Balkans.

        Now go put your head in an oven or play in traffic you tiresome one eyed little hater.

        Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Just for the record, a 1% rate of fatalities in a war for America would be somewhere between the death of 3 to 3.5 million Americans.

        Oh and I forgot to mention the record of the Turks and their genocide of Armenians. Oh and let’s not go past our dear neighbors either. What is their record in wars which they have the upper hand? Just think of the Lebanese civil war. The record of Iraqis both before and after Bush’s invasion (Iran Iraq war anyone? Halbja anyone?). Oh and the record of such “benevolent paternalistic” leaders such as Assad senior and junior. The history of wars in Yemen? ISIS anyone?

        Have you anything to say about any of that Benny? I am sure you have your stupid spin. You have a skin thicker than a rhino’s. It is impossible to embarrass you. You clown.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Panama

      “In 1948 you removed a million Palestinians with great efficiency”

      The man is nothing more than a crude liar. Until the Palistinians can inject truth into their narrative,they will not get very far.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Jason Kidd

      One often hears the libel of Aparteid hurled against Isrsel (often by commenters in this blog).

      If you believe Israel to be a true apartheid state, please tell us all: Which Israeli hospitals refuse to admit Israeli Arabs? Which Israeli restaurants refuse to serve Israeli Arabs? Which Israeli universities refuse to admit Israeli Arabs? Which Israeli buses refuse to board Israeli Arabs? In what elections are Israeli Arabs not allowed to vote? In what area of public life are Arab women not allowed to serve?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        It’s definitely apartheid. Arab and Jewish people are treated very differently and the differences are severe and entrenched. It meets the definition of an apartheid state enshrined in Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the ICC: a state that commits inhumane acts in the context of an “institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” Roy Isacowitz explains:
        http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.674291

        “It is not right-wing governments that institutionalized racial domination here; the process started decades before they took power.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Yea Benny, by your definition, wherever there is or was war between two peoples, apartheid is/was practiced. Coz neither side treats the OTHER people by the same standards as it treats it’s own people.

          You are a regular genius Benny, LOL.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            My ability to make rudimentary distinctions among concepts does not make me a genius but your limitations in grasping such distinctions has implications that direct our attention to the vulnerabilities associated with the opposite end of intelligence dimension. LoL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “…but your limitations in grasping such distinctions…”

            Ooh, little Benny wants to talk concepts. Shall we then?

            The Palestinian Arabs have been waging a 100 year war to try to prevent the existence of a Jewish state even on a single inch of the land to which both sides have a claim. This was in opposition to UN GA Resolution 181 which voted for two states, one Arab state and one Jewish state. Yes the resolution mentioned the words “Jewish State” specifically.

            The Palestinian Arabs have been losing the war but they still refuse to sign a peace deal which renounces their policy of war against the Jewish state. Instead they commit sporadic terrorist acts and try all sorts of other trickery to try and get out of declaring an end of their war on the Jewish state.

            Every country has the right to protect it’s own citizens so in this war, Israel has had to keep the occupation going and carry out draconian measures in order to minimize harm to it’s citizens from the enemy. Benny pretends that such measures constitute apartheid.

            One has to laugh though. In all other wars that human beings ever fought with one another, mostly over land as well as other things, each side did and does it’s level best to subdue and oppress it’s enemy. Do we claim that all those parties who do that to one another practice apartheid? Nope!

            Enough concepts for you Benny? I hope your tiny brain won’t explode under the pressure, LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Nah. It’s definitely apartheid. On the face of it. That’s indisputable. It’s other concepts besides that that need to be looked at. And the core truth is that the impasse today is about Israel maintaining the status quo. And the truth is that any real solution, any fair and genuine and workable shift off the status quo, is guaranteed to make you and much of the Israeli public hostile, angry and bitter, Gustav. That is, even more than you already are.

            In this article–

            http://972mag.com/ending-the-occupation-no-way-around-direct-pressure-on-israel/40025/
            By Noam Sheizaf | April 2, 2012
            Ending the occupation: No way around direct pressure on Israel

            –and the two articles at the top that preceded it and that Noam links to, Noam lays out all the debating points that are for the most part distractions or propaganda, yours included–

            (“The security-oriented debate regarding the withdrawal from the West Bank is mostly a façade or a pretext used to avoid concessions, since no absolute security guarantees can be given to Israel by a second or even third party.”

            “According to this line, Israel has made up its mind to leave the West Bank and even engaged in several attempts to do so; only to be met with violence and hostility from the Palestinian side. Critics would claim that the Israeli policy objective is not maintaining a Jewish majority but rather colonizing as much land as possible, hence the settlements and the reluctance to leave the West Bank.”)

            –and gets to the real issues.

            “…the major problem right now is that an inherently immoral order represents the most desirable political option for Israelis…”

            Israel has never faced the real choice between one and two states. It always faced the choice between one state, two states and the status quo….”

            “…Since the question is not one state vs. two state but rather change vs. status quo, those looking to end the occupation should ask themselves what kind of pressure they are willing to support in order to make the status quo less desirable for Israelis. This is the toughest problem an Israeli, or a person who cares about Israel, can face – yet it’s probably the single most urgent moral dilemma on the agenda today. The rest of the debate, for the most part, is just propaganda….

            The combination of local pressure – mostly by Palestinians, with the support of some Israelis – together with international pressure, both on grassroots level and on diplomatic and official channels, is likely to make most of the Israeli public hostile, angry and bitter, but also more open to change, as the status quo seems less and less preferable. This would be our moment of truth, in which we will witness what sort of transformation – if any – our country is still capable of.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Jason Kidd

            Seems like Ben (aka Lenny drop of Mice and Men) learned a new word.

            Ok, if Israel is Aparteid, please amswer at least one of the following:
            Name an Israeli hospital/university/public building that refuses entry to Arabs.
            Your inability to so puts your erroneous. claim to rest.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Nonsense Benny. Wanna know about apartheid? Listen to someone who experienced it first hand in South Africa…

            http://youtu.be/AcEL-NlxBk0

            People like you are racists Benny for pretending that Jews standing up for our self determination as a Jewish state, as voted on by the UN in it’s GA Resolution 181, is racist.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            No, no. That won’t do. You’re changing the subject to something about your self-definition as a state, or even an ethnocratic state I’m gathering, and making some strange link to racism of others that is not logically connected. No, I still hold that it’s apartheid. Yep. Sorry. I argue that Israel and its occupied territories indeed constitute an apartheid state system. It meets the definition of an apartheid state laid out in Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the ICC: a state that commits inhumane acts in the context of an “institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

            The mistake or the dodge many make–including the South African minister–is to say that there are differences between Greater Israel and Apartheid South Africa and to assume that that is decisive. But that’s wrong. Those differences, while they are real, are not defining, while some crucial similarities are defining. The Rome Statute does not refer to South Africa in its definition of apartheid. South Africa was *an* example of apartheid, not the exclusive model of apartheid. Don’t get me wrong, there are many terrible things South Africa did that Israel has not done, or done to the same degree, but again, those differences are not determinative.

            Roy Isacowitz explains. See also the supporting opinion of Bradley Burston that Roy links to:
            http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.674291

            Apartheid policies put Israel on path to becoming failed state
            It is not right-wing governments that institutionalized racial domination here; the process started decades before they took power.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jason Kidd

            Faled state. Lol.
            Meanwhile, you cannot provide one example,of Aparteid

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            No Benny, you are ignoring my post. Here it is again. South African apartheid was apartheid. Watch the you tube video. Israel does not practice apartheid. Hey the person who lived through it should know.

            http://youtu.be/AcEL-NlxBk0

            As for oppressing another people. Yes, in war that happens. They are oppressing us too in their own way. But not according to bloody minded one eyed racist propagandists like you. Yes, murdering our children, blowing us up and firing rockets onto our civilians is oppression too which invites draconian measures from us in return.

            Hey baby, war is war. Nobody is nice to the enemy in war. I hope you personally find it out one day on your own skin. We will see how altruistic you will be to a person who wants to murder you and those you love.

            PS
            Do you love anyone Benny? Other than your adopted pets, the saint Palestinians?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Actually, while doggedly running after me to say the same mistaken thing over and over, you’re doggedly ignoring my correction to your mistake, including the paragraph that begins “The mistake or the dodge many make….” At this point I feel no further need to correct your mistake, just as I feel no need to try change the direction in which the sun will come up tomorrow morning because no matter what I say or do it’s still going to come up in the East, nor do I feel any need to respond for the thousandth time to your monotonous “we the Saintly Hebrews are at 100 years war with the Muslims and our war crimes are cool that’s war baby but stone throwing is horrible just horrible” malarkey. Blah blah blah…I hope you personally have your neighbor move into your house and occupy it and humiliate you ceaselessly for 48 years blah blah blah and we will see how altruistic and forgiving you will be to a person who is stealing your land and your water and terrifying your kids at 3:00 AM for practice blah blah blah….Gustav while you’re at it asking me who I love, why don’t you tell us intimate details of the cool valiant loving things you did in the territories as a sacred Hebrew warrior for which war crimes are cool because that’s war baby and stone throwers must be put down by shooting them and bones must be broken because no one throws stones at the Lords of the Land? You share with all of us the intimate details of that and I’ll tell you who I love.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Actually, you have not said a single thing which specifically corrected “my mistake” other than confirm that bad things happen in war. All you did was asserted and spoke in generalities whereas I specifically refuted your obnoxious allegation that what we do is practice apartheid. You also doggedly maintain that we are the only ones who do those bad things which is patently false.

            As I said, by your logic, all sides in all wars practice apartheid because they do bad things to each other.

            One last thing (cos I hope you will skulk off now, otherwise this isn’t the last thing)…

            Sawsan Khalife, you know, she is the one who will be replacing Noam Sheizaf, admits that she and many other Palestinian activists have been educated in Hebrew University. Do such things happen in an Apartheid System? Of course not, you twit!

            She also admits that she and her fellow activists are actively fighting to establish their state not just in the West Bank but in Israel proper. They are pushing for their state from the river to the sea. Nothing less will satisfy them. But you are expecting us to sit idly by with our hands folded in our lap while they do that? You are out of your cotton pickin’ little mind, Benny!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            …as far as this dogged emotive allegation about “land theft” that allegation too is at the least, simplistic if not entirely false.

            This 100 year war has been a war about land. They claim 100% ownership of Palestine which is our historic homeland. So we dispute that claim and since they were not prepared to stop their zero sum game, we too have claimed more of the land than the original land which the UN voted for us.

            Get it, Benny? They made war on us because they want 100% of the land and we fought back and claim more land too. It’s only fair! They want more… We want more…

            And now that they forced us to shed our blood (and theirs) – yes, Benny, that’s war we won’t be relinquishing lands which in any case, historically, was part of our ancestral homeland.

            You and they can doggedly assert that this is land theft but that doesn’t make it so. Jerusalem is a case in point. Since the mid 1800s, it had a majority Jewish population. Yet just because the Jordanian Army was able to occupy part of East Jerusalem for 19 years, between 1948 and 1967 and evict it of it’s Jewish population for that very brief period, you bunch of propagandists and would be revisionist historians claim that we are occupiers of our own city and that it constitutes land theft. One can only feel a mixture of pity and contempt towards people such as yourself, Benny.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Actually, you have not said a single thing which specifically corrected “my mistake” other than confirm that bad things happen in war. All you did was asserted and spoke in generalities whereas I specifically refuted your obnoxious allegation that what we practice apartheid. You also doggedly maintain that we are the only ones who do those bad things which is patently false.

            As I said, by your logic, all sides in all wars practice apartheid because they do bad things to each other.

            One last thing (cos I hope you will skulk off now, otherwise this isn’t the last thing)…

            Sawsan Khalife, you know, she is the one who will be replacing Noam Sheizaf, admits that she and many other Palestinian activists have been educated in Hebrew University. Do such things happen in an Apartheid System? Of course not, you twit!

            She also admits that she and her fellow activists are actively fighting to establish their state not just in the West Bank but in Israel proper. They are pushing for their state from the river to the sea. Nothing less will satisfy them. But you are expecting us to sit idly by with our hands folded in our lap while they do that? You are out of your cotton pickin’ little mind, Benny!

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          • Gustav

            Talking about markey blah blah blah…

            The idea that all your Palestinian Arabs have been doing is throwing stones at us while we have been moving into their homes and killing them is a monstrous lie you little shit!

            They have been murdering us for 100 years even before there was “occupation”. Even before Israel existed. Go read up on the Hebron massacre of 1929. Your saintly Palestinians have been committing many other similar massacres for many years.

            In 1948, after the UN resolution for the Jewish state, they rioted and did their usual things. They murdered any Jew they could find.

            In the ensuing war between 1948-49, we lost 1% of our population. A horrific casualty rate. Americans would have done to them what you guys did at Hiroshima and Nagasaki if you guys would have suffered such casualty rates in any of your wars. What do you thinks the Russians would have done? Ask the Chechens.

            Even today while we have our foot on the throats of your Palestinian Arabs, they sporadically murder Jews at every opportunity. “Just stone throwers” pretends Benny… Go play in traffic you lying little shit!

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          • Gustav

            Oh and Benny, neither we Jews, nor the Arabs are a racial group. We are both ethnic groups.

            So all this talk about “one racial group oppressing another racial group” and “apartheid” is just an Orwellian word play designed to demonize and malign the Jewish state. The term psychological warfare explains it all…

            Pick a word, “apartheid” which evokes abhorence in most decent human beings and pretend that Israel is guilty of a similar practice which existed in Apartheid South Africa. Yes, despite your pretence, South Africa has everything to do with your type of propaganda. You try to appeal to that ready made groundswell of antipathy that the system of South African Apartheid evoked and make use of it.

            Orwelian propaganda anyone…? It’s alive and well thanks to the Bennies of this world.

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