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'Israeli army increasing use of live fire at West Bank protests'

Despite being illegal as a crowd control weapon, eyewitness accounts and a new report by B’Tselem document the Israeli military’s increased use of 0.22 caliber live bullets against Palestinians at West Bank protests and clashes.

Photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler and Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler

An Israeli sniper aims a silenced 10/22 Ruger rifle from a tower in the separation wall in the West Bank town of Bethlehem during clashes with Palestinian youth, March 11, 2014. The clashes erupted after Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in the previous 24 hours. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

An Israeli sniper aims a silenced 10/22 Ruger rifle from a tower in the separation wall in the West Bank town of Bethlehem during clashes with Palestinian youth, March 11, 2014. The clashes erupted after Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in the previous 24 hours. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Two years ago this week, 15-year-old Palestinian Salih al-Amarin was shot in the head by Israeli forces with live ammunition. He died several days later. Al-Amarin, a resident of Azza Refugee Camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, was taking part in clashes with Israeli forces stationed on the separation wall that cuts deep into Bethlehem.

“Those soldiers sitting in their towers behind the wall, are they really in danger?” Bethlehem governor Abdi Fatah Hamayel told Sky News at the time. “There is no excuse to shoot the kids with live bullets.”

According to the same report, this and other killings at the time “prompted then Israel’s (then) commander of operations in the West Bank, Brig.-Gen. Hagai Mordechai, to call for an immediate review of its rules of engagement.”

A banner picturing Salih Al-Amarin, age 15, hangs from his home in Azza Refugee Camp prior to his funeral, January 23, 2013. Al-Amarin was shot in the head by Israeli forces on January 18, 2013 during clashes in Bethlehem's nearby Aida Refugee Camp. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

A banner picturing Salih Al-Amarin, age 15, hangs from his home in Azza Refugee Camp prior to his funeral, January 23, 2013. Al-Amarin was shot in the head by Israeli forces on January 18, 2013 during clashes in Bethlehem’s nearby Aida Refugee Camp. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

But in the months and years that followed, use of live ammunition on the streets of Bethlehem and throughout the West Bank only increased — typically 0.22 caliber bullets known as “two-twos” fired from an integrally suppressed (silenced) 10/22 Ruger rifle.

Why the Israeli military uses a silenced rifle as a crowd control weapon is puzzling and counter-intuitive. But as eyewitness to several incidents of their use on the streets of Bethlehem, I can testify that there is absolutely no audible gunshot. As one advertiser of such weapons accurately boasts, from the perspective of the shooter, “the only noise you will hear is the firing pin hitting and then, the ‘smack’ on the target.”

From the perspective of those on the receiving end, the only warnings that these shots have been fired are the sound of the bullet whizzing by and hitting the ground — or the shouts of people hit crying out for help.

Friends evacuate 13-year-old Mohammad Al-Kurdi, who was struck in the back with live ammunition fired by Israeli forces during clashes in Aida Refugee Camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, February 25, 2013. A fragment of the bullet lodged near his spine. The clashes were in response to the death of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian who died after being interrogated in Israeli custody. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Friends evacuate 13-year-old Mohammad Al-Kurdi, who was struck in the back with live ammunition fired by Israeli forces during clashes in Aida Refugee Camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, February 25, 2013. A fragment of the bullet lodged near his spine. The clashes were in response to the death of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian who died after being interrogated in Israeli custody. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Following the shooting and serious injury of 13-year-old Mohammad al-Kurdi one month after al-Amarin’s death, Mairav Zonszein reported that such bullets had been “banned by the Israeli Military Advocate General in 2001 as a means for crowd dispersal.” A military spokesperson claimed that in al-Kurdi’s case they were fired “at the Palestinian ‘main inciters’ only after makeshift grenades’ were hurled at them; standard IDF rules of engagement.” Zonszein cited another report claiming that the bullets were “used as a ‘last resort,’ authorized by a high-ranking officer on the scene.”

As an eyewitness to this incident as well, I can state with confidence that no “makeshift grenades” or any other weapon was used that endangered soldiers’ lives. Ten minutes after al-Kurdi was shot, civilian visitors to Rachel’s Tomb could be seen watching the clashes from inside the walled compound — suggesting that neither they nor the soldiers there to protect them seemed to feel that they were in any immediate mortal danger.

At left, visitors to Rachel's Tomb, including children, pose for photos behind multiple layers of concrete barriers bordering Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, West Bank, February 25, 2013. This photo was taken 10 minutes after an Israeli army sniper in the tower on the right shot 13-year-old Mohammad Al-Kurdi in the back with  0.22 caliber ammunition during clashes protesting the death of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian who died after being interrogated in Israeli custody.

At left, visitors to Rachel’s Tomb, including children, stand behind multiple layers of concrete barriers bordering Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, West Bank, February 25, 2013. This photo was taken 10 minutes after an Israeli army sniper in the tower on the right shot 13-year-old Mohammad Al-Kurdi in the back with 0.22 caliber ammunition during clashes protesting the death of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian who died after being interrogated in Israeli custody. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

In another incident later that year, a Palestinian youth was shot through both legs above the knee. In that shooting, as I reported at the time:

Israeli forces used no tear gas or rubber-coated bullets. Live ammunition was the first response and not a “last resort.” These latest incidents seem to create an emerging pattern that the use of such weapons for crowd-dispersal are not the exception, but are becoming a matter of routine.

A Palestinian youth receives medical treatment after being shot through both legs with live 0.22 caliber ammunition from a silenced rifle fired by an Israeli soldier in a tower atop the separation wall, Bethlehem, West Bank, December 6, 2013. Several days of clashes followed the killing of three Palestinian militants by Israeli forces in Yatta. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian youth receives medical treatment after being shot through both legs with live 0.22 caliber ammunition from a silenced rifle fired by an Israeli soldier in a tower atop the separation wall, Bethlehem, West Bank, December 6, 2013. Several days of clashes followed the killing of three Palestinian militants by Israeli forces in Yatta. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

In all of these cases, the shots were fired by soldiers from protected positions atop the separation wall that cuts into Bethlehem in order to encircle the Rachel’s Tomb holy site. The wall in this area is a frequent flashpoint because of the Israeli presence in the middle of a major Palestinian community, and clashes often erupt in response to Israeli actions elsewhere — such as last summer’s offensive against the Gaza Strip, when a teenage friend of mine was shot and injured during such protests.

Arutz Sheva reported last spring that army was considering building a roof over the site to protect visitors. If defense of soldiers and civilians was the actual rationale for firing live ammunition at children, it remains baffling why much simpler methods of protection haven’t been implemented while potentially lethal force remains anything but the last resort.

Rather than preventing injury to Israeli soldiers or civilians, this use of live fire — and other potentially lethal crowd control weapons — seems largely punitive.  Amnesty International’s term for this military mentality: “trigger-happy”.

Palestinians evacuate one of two youth shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces stationed atop the separation wall during clashes in Aida Refugee Camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, November 29, 2013. The use of live ammunition followed hours of clashes in which Palestinian youth threw stones at Israeli forces who were shooting rubber- and plastic-coated steel bullets. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Palestinians evacuate one of two youth shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces stationed atop the separation wall during clashes in Aida Refugee Camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, November 29, 2013. The use of live ammunition followed hours of clashes in which Palestinian youth threw stones at Israeli forces who were shooting rubber- and plastic-coated steel bullets. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

The same day as the shooting of al-Kurdi, Israeli forces fired a shot into the wall atop the building where I and several other observers were watching and photographing the clashes — far away from the action itself. The bullet struck the wall near us — at body level.

In a similar incident more than a year later, a sniper’s bullet struck the other side of a garbage bin behind which I and another photographer were standing — on the opposite side of the street from stone-throwers. One can only speculate as to the purpose of these apparent warning shots.

A bullet mark left from an apparent warning shot fired by Israeli forces at media and human rights observers stationed on a rooftop overlooking Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, West Bank, February 25, 2013. That day, clashes were taking place in response to the death of Arafat Jaradat, who died after being interrogated in Israeli custody. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

A bullet mark left from an apparent warning shot fired by Israeli forces at media and human rights observers stationed on a rooftop overlooking Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, West Bank, February 25, 2013. That day, clashes were taking place in response to the death of Arafat Jaradat, who died after being interrogated in Israeli custody. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Fast-forward to this week, and coinciding with the second anniversary of the shooting of al-Amarin, Israeli human rights group B’Telem released a report on the increased use of 0.22 caliber bullets:

The firing of this ammunition is an almost weekly occurrence in the West Bank in sites of protests and clashes. Most of those injured have been young Palestinians, including minors. Yet, in the last two months, one Palestinian woman, at least three photographers, and a foreign national who was taking part in a demonstration were also hit by these bullets. … In these instances shots were fired contrary to the strict open-fire regulations that, as a rule, prohibit live fire against stone-throwers. The only exception to this rule cited in the regulations is immediate, mortal danger. Moreover, in several cases, the soldiers intentionally engaged with stone-throwers in order to fire 0.22 bullets at them.

B’Tselem details an incident in Nabi Saleh where some 30 minutes after a demonstration was essentially over, an army sniper entered the built-up area of the village, “for no apparent reason other than provoking the youths into renewing the stone-throwing, as indeed then transpired. The sniper responded by shooting at a Palestinian youth, who was hit in the thigh.”

An Israeli army sniper holding a 10/22 Ruger rifle stands next to a jeep during the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, January 2, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

An Israeli army sniper holding a 10/22 Ruger rifle stands next to a jeep during the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, January 2, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The report also cites recent comments by the current military commander in the West Bank, Brig. Gen. Tamir Yadai, who boasted in a meeting with Israeli settlers:

I won’t say we changed the open-fire regulations, but we’ve taken a slightly [pause] tougher approach with people around here. In places where we used to fire tear-gas or rubber[-coated metal bullets], we now fire Ruger bullets and sometimes live bullets. If I remember the figures correctly, we’re at around 25 people hit here in the last three weeks. That’s a relatively high figure on any scale.

B’Tselem’s report confirms the escalation of the troubling trend that I witnessed on the streets of Bethlehem. Whatever the actual rules of engagement, Israeli military forces on the ground seem to have little trouble finding justifications for their use of potentially lethal force. Nor does there seem to be any effort by the military to bring to justice those who are using such weapons illegally.

Related:
Border cop arrested for Nakba Day killing, debunking IDF tales
IDF busy classifying different types of bullets while children are being shot

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    COMMENTS

    1. Bruce Gould

      All of this stuff, absolutely all of it, is the product of a dynamic that develops in a military occupation, and this is the longest running occupation in modern history.

      The Israeli author Avraham Burg, comments on the future of Zionism:

      From 1948 to 1976, Israel was relatively secular, socialist, and statehood was its organizing principle. In 1977, with the rise to power of Menachem Begin, this came to an end. Since then, Israel has been in its religious-nationalistic-capitalist chapter, and territory is its organizing principle. Now the country has to choose where the third chapter will take it – to religious and nationalistic aggressiveness or normalcy. The dissatisfaction with Benjamin Netanyahu is a symbol of a far deeper dissatisfaction – not only with the man, but with the stagnation, with the economic and social degeneration

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4615046,00.html

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        Interesting man, fascinating interview. Thanks, Bruce. Also interesting is the predominance of talkbacks there saying they couldn’t even finish reading it (Bar’s cousins?) or that Burg is simply crazy. Crazy, or is Hosea 9:7 applicable? If you consider Avraham Burg’s post-Zionism (with prophecy of either fundamentalist religious republic or Israel-Palestine confederation) versus Larry Derfner’s “honest liberal Zionism” (with implicit prophecy of either fundamentalist religious republic or liberal Zionist state (or Avishai’s ‘Hebrew Republic’)) who, at this point, is more realistic? I wish I knew.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn4

          They are both alarmist retards living in fantasyland. I wouldn’t use the term ‘realistic’ anywhere within the context of talking about them.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Brian

      “I won’t say we changed the open-fire regulations but….”

      You won’t but the ICC might. One might say that the whole ethos of the occupation is captured here.

      Reply to Comment
      • ICat

        Brian, do you think that the ICC should investigate the Iraq war and the use of drones for assassinations by the United States?

        How about arresting President Barack Obama and the top Generals of the United States Armed Forces and prosecuting them for war crimes in the Hague? Would you support that, or are you satisfied with fixating on Israel and singling out Israel and Jews?

        Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          Oh, it’s you again. The American. lol!

          I’m not satisfied with anything. I have no problem whatsoever with prosecution of any non-Israeli, including any American, in principle, if the evidence warrants it. I don’t think you ever chose to answer Bryan when he asked you “Surely, Ica,t the thing about war crimes is that they are wrong whoever commits them. How could I possibly be consistent in my moral principles without condemning British, American, Syrian, Russian or Israeli war crimes. You however are an entirely different creature…– either you have absolutely no moral principles or you do not value consistency. Which one is it – please inform us.”

          But note also that, very significantly, the Israeli leadership was presented with a clear and reasonable choice to avoid all this and refused it, as Haaretz lays out here:
          http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.637803

          Mikesailor’s angry politics aside, I’m not vouching for them in the least, he at least got it right about distraction techniques being all you’ve got. 1. Deny, deny, deny. 2. “Obsessed with Jews.” 3. “What’s the problem? Others are worse.” Actually, you got one more, your unique specialty: 4. Stream of gibberish with asinine leering sexual content. But I will say it looks like you’ve partially cleaned up your act since. I congratulate you on your progress.

          Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Apparently you are too confused today understand the question posed to you, answer that question with the same anger and vigor with which you comment on Israel. I will ask the question again. But first, here is my reply to Bryan:

            ICat
            Monday
            January 19, 2015

            Blah, blah, blah. Where have you ever condemned anyone but Israel and Jews? Tell us, on which British blogs are you condemning Britain, demanding the prosecution of the members of British Armed Forces and elected Officials? How can you even condemn what you don’t even know that exist? Here: http://972mag.com/its-always-915-in-the-west-bank-military-court/101272/, you falsely claimed that “Britain makes limited use of administrative measures today, called control orders, but these stop short of DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL, and are used to restrict movement and association by suspects without imprisoning them”! Ginger Eis ultimately demolished you and devastated you false claims, but you did not have the courage and decency to acknowledge your mistakes and apologize for your rants. In Syria, over 270.000 men, women and children have been murdered. Tell us, on which website are you ranting about their human rights and demanding the prosecution of their murders? None! Israel at the very least provides free medical care to Syrians who manage to make to the Israel-Syria border. Daily Israeli social worker cross into Jordan to aid Syrian refugees with food and medicine and clothing donated by ordinary Israelis. You on the other hand can only but claim: ‘oh, I condemn what is happening to the Syrians’ – only AFTER you are challenged on your deranged fixation on- and obsession with Jews and Israel. Indeed, your rotten anti-Semitic mind becomes ferociously lucid and awakens your odd sense of “truth and justice” ONLY when you hear the word “Jew” and/or “Israel”.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Here is the question again:

            “Brian, do you think that the ICC should investigate the Iraq war and the use of drones for assassinations by the United States?

            How about arresting President Barack Obama and the top Generals of the United States Armed Forces and prosecuting them for war crimes in the Hague? Would you support that, or are you satisfied with fixating on Israel and singling out Israel and Jews?”

            Pls. answer the question without obfuscation and caveats (which you don’t seem to have when your rant against Israel) or trying to muddy the waters. The questions are just two and very very simple, and a “Yes-” or “No” answer will do. Somehow, you are afraid to be direct and clear as you usually are when you rant against Israel and copy and paste the opinion of pundits to compensate for you intellectual shortcomings, Brian? For once in your little empty life which is occupied by Jews, Brian, have the courage to tell us what you think. Answer the questions. Now!

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            I have followed the drone war debate and think the case is ambiguous. I have found myself going either way on this. I have many times said that I think Obama went too far. Both morally and strategically. Whether that means he should be prosecuted by ICC, I think it’s apples to Israel’s oranges, not two apple varieties. Charles Krauthammer, no friend of Obama’s to say the least, defends his conduct of the drone war but thinks he’s been incompetent in making his own case.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-in-defense-of-obamas-drone-war/2013/02/14/3a69d76c-76e5-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_story.html

            I may be misremembering but I think Mikesailor himself somewhere here attacks Obama’s drone war too.

            I will tell you this: I DO think George W. Bush and Dick Cheney–especially Dick Cheney–at least Bush can plead sheer stupidity in addition to other forms of being an ass, though not enough to mount it as a legal defense–should be brought before an American court if not the ICC and prosecuted for criminal abuse of power for their conduct of the invasion of Iraq–I’d be on the front row supporting the prosecutors’ presenting evidence for a fair trial. When all is said and done, all Obama has been doing for six tears is cleaning up the intractable mess left him by George W. Bush’s asinine adventure. Bush should be in jail not painting puppies on his ranch. They can give him art supplies in his cell. I’ll pay for them.

            Hey that was my first rant ever on +972!

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            And another thing, had the idiot, GWB, not exhausted America and it’s people with his utterly fatuous maneuvers, Obama would be in a much better position to take on the radical Islamists, who would themselves be in a weaker position to begin with….

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            “Whether that means he should be prosecuted by ICC, I think it’s apples to Israel’s oranges, not two apple varieties”, Brian? Here are figures that might be of interest:

            1. Arab deaths resulting from the Iraq war: 500.000. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/casualtiestotal.html

            2. Arab-Israeli conflict:
            a. Number of Jews killed in direct military conflict between Israel and Palestinians from 1920 to 2014: 24.696.
            b. Number of Palestinians deaths in direct military conflict between Israel and Palestinians from 1920 to 2014: 91.105.
            c. Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorism: 3.791.
            d. Palestinians killed by Palestinians: 2.014
            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/casualtiestotal.html

            Do the math, Brian, and think. Reflect on it all.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            “Whether that means he should be prosecuted by ICC, I think it’s apples to Israel’s oranges, not two apple varieties”, Brian? Here are figures that might be of interest:

            1. Arab deaths resulting from the Iraq war: 500.000.
            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/casualtiestotal.html

            2. Arab-Israeli conflict:
            a. Number of Jews killed in direct military confrontation between Israel and Palestinians from 1920 to 2014: 24.696.
            b. Number of Palestinians deaths in direct military confrontation between Israel and Palestinians from 1920 to 2014: 91.105.
            c. Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorism: 3.791.
            d. Palestinians killed by Palestinians: 2.014

            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/casualtiestotal.html

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            (Re-post. Original post not showing up; now split into two; lets see if this works).

            “Whether that means he should be prosecuted by ICC, I think it’s apples to Israel’s oranges, not two apple varieties”, Brian? Here are figures that might be of interest:

            1. Arab deaths resulting from the Iraq war: 500.000.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/iraq-death-toll_n_4102855.html

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            2. Arab-Israeli conflict:

            a. Number of Jews killed in direct military confrontation between Israel and Palestinians from 1920 to 2014: 24.696.
            b. Number of Palestinians deaths in direct military confrontation between Israel and Palestinians from 1920 to 2014: 91.105.
            c. Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorism: 3.791.
            d. Palestinians killed by Palestinians: 2.014

            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/casualtiestotal.html

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Have you done the math, Brian? What is the result? The death of any person is a tragedy. But in wars deaths are unavoidable. Compared to the wars fought by other Western countries in other countries/continents, the casualty figures in the self-defense wars and conflicts Israel fought against the Palestinians – since 1920 – is extremely low and demonstrates once again that the IDF is the most moral army in the world. If Israel fought/fights like other Western countries (or the Arabs!), there would be no Palestinians left today to demand two state solution. I could never ever support the prosecution of any United States President, elected Official or member of the United States Armed Forces in the Hague – regardless of how strongly I disapprove of that person. It is about Sovereignty and the Supremacy of the Constitution Of The United States, not about specific individuals. And that also is exactly what krauthammer is saying, and you should not be mistaken about that. The United States has what it takes to do “Justice”. Israel does more than the United States to do “Justice” when her combat-soldiers are involved. Continuously singling out Israeli soldiers and elected Officials and applying different standard of “Justice” to them is immoral and wrong – plain and simple. When you talk about others, I don’t see the same anger, indignation and sometimes hate with which you rant about Israel. That’s a problem, Brian, a serious problem.

            Reply to Comment
          • Josh

            “The death of any person is a tragedy. But in wars deaths are unavoidable”

            I may remember you zioclown next time you whine about jewish casualties of a palestininian attack

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            What? Doubling down on technique # 2, I see. You’re incorrigible. You just simply made up that last part about “anger, indignation and hate.” Loathsome. (The funny thing is that you trolls work overtime to say personal things to people, specifically designed to provoke anger and indignation. But no one “hates” you–get over yourselves.) My “crime” is that I admire and agree with Ze’ev Sternhell, one of the least hateful people in the world. In what Neo-Stalinist show trial court would you like to try me? One thing I find interesting about Professor Sternhell: neither you nor Mikesailor can stand him. He must be doing something right.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Mikesailor

      Hairball. You’re back! And just as dumb as ever. There is a very simple answer to Brian and Bryan. The answer is “Yes” if an Israeli Jew commits a crime he should be punished like anyone else. But Yo0u just can’t bring yourself to say it, can you? Which is why we, or at least I, consider you a racist hypocritical creep. Is that a problem? Apparently not because you jeep spiting drive; after both answered you already. Why are you obsessed with Syria? The country that Israel stole land from a supposedly “annexed”? The ;land where Israeli surreptitiously aids the Syrian rebels, including but not limited to, Syrian jihadis? The country Israel continually attacks and then tries to make up excuses for why? Come now, hairball. Brian asked you a simple question. Why can’t you answer?

      Reply to Comment
    4. Bruce Gould

      A word on the consistency argument: there are many injustices in the world and it’s impossible to work on them all – just because I’m not working on the abysmal Russian human rights situation doesn’t mean I’m hypocritical for working on the abysmal Israeli human rights situation. I might add that since Israel is our client state – when they run out of ammo they ask for a shipment from us – my government has a direct influence that it doesn’t have on most other countries. And since I’m Jewish I have a genetic mutation that causes me to identify with stateless people who have been kicked in the teeth for decades. Enough of the hasbara/consistency stuff.

      Reply to Comment
      • ICat

        People with bad habits and addictions always have an excuse; they rationalize and try to explain their bad habits and addictions all away. It makes them feel better, but they delude themselves. Such is the power of addiction: self-treachery and self-delusion.

        Reply to Comment
      • ICat

        People with bad habits and addictions always have an excuse; they rationalize and try to explain their addictions all away. It makes them feel good, but they delude themselves. Such is the power of addiction: self-treachery and self-delusion.

        Reply to Comment
      • C.C. Deville

        No, you are 100% wrong and are only kidding yourself to make yourself feel better.

        Any time advocacy relies on double standards, inconsistant interpretations, and all the excuse making that you do, you are on a slippery slope and insincere.

        Imagine that you are an advocate for baby seals. You know that Norweigen fisherman club more than double that of Japanese fisherman (all hypothetical). But you notice that 85% of the worlds baby seal advocacy efforts were directed at Japan. You would know something is not right (fishy)

        And please don’t tell me it’s about your taxes or your country. You are not familiar with any other budgetary line items that do not involve Israel. Stop,making excuses aldready

        Indeed, I smell a rat.

        Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        No, they were at the shooting of a thirteen year old by an IDF sniper using a silenced 22 ruger rifle and note that no sound can be heard from the rifle and note with confidence that no “makeshift grenades” or any other weapon was used that endangered soldiers’ lives. That’s in the eighth paragraph. It helps to read beyond the first.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Bryan

      Icat – this is an article about the increasing and utterly immoral killing, maiming and injuring of civilians, often children and adolescents as a “sport”. This is something that is not easy to defend, so why don’t we change the subject. Some of us (though you are notably absent for some reason from that progressive, liberal consensus) can condemn every human rights violation, though we can do little to prevent them. As Bruce explains, as an American he feels a particular responsibility for direct American complicity in on-going war-crimes (obviously Palestine not necessarily Syria). As a Briton I have a similar view – Syria was historically part of the French “sphere of influence”; Palestine, and yes Iraq, was part of the British “sphere of influence”. Even before Britain conquered Palestine its government was cynically attempting to gain the support of Jewish bankers and Jewish revolutionaries to bolster its war-effort, and promised Jews the right to settle in that land, though not to create a state there. This (the Balfour Declaration and the subsequent British Mandate) more than anything was the motive force that ignited the conflict, though we later exacerbated the problem by reneging on our responsibilities to the indigenous population, throwing the problem onto the lap of the infant UN, colluding with Israel in wars of conquest like 1956, and providing diplomatic backing, often in the form of UN abstentions, for the maintenance of an unjust status quo. I feel that Britain’s role is a scar (but not the only one) on its international reputation, and I feel that this gives me as much right as you have to take an interest in the conflict. (P.S. it is so patently obvious that Britain’s use of administrative detention is far distant from Israel’s that I feel little necessity to defend that point of view – however if you wish to keep pressing the point I will happily do so, when time permits).

      Reply to Comment
      • ICat

        More psychotic mumbo jumbo, from an anti-Semitic old Turd trying to come across as a “progressive/liberal” and hysterically looking for a reason to explain away this clinical fixation on- and obsession with Jews and Israel. Tell us, Bryan, did you actually retire from ‘street construction work’? I ask because it has become clear to me that you are neither extremely clever nor educated. You have to be seriously deranged to think that your latest rant is either making any sense or fooling anyone. And if you are deluded enough to believe any of the inane stuff you write, maybe you should start with the Genocides and Crimes Against Humanity committed by Britain in several Continents. Clearly, none of those is important to you. All you need is to hear the word “Jew” and/or “Israel” and immediately your rotten, senile anti-Semitic mind gets ferociously lucid and awakens your odd sense of “truth” and “justice”.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bryan

          I tell you what, Icat – when you are lost for a logical and honest response – why not claim your opponent speaks “mumbo-jumbo”, is “old”, is “a turd”, is a building worker” or even go nuclear and use the accusation that will automatically win any argument: “is antisemitic”. If my cupboard was as empty as yours I would keep my mouth carefully stitched, lest I demonstrate myself to be an absolute tosser. But, hey, why break the habit of lifetime?

          Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Bryan, the anti-Semitic rants you recycle and regurgitate on this site are not just mumbo jumbo, but manifestly psychotic. They are always incoherent and devoid of logic, and your latest attempt to explain away your sick fixation on- and obsession with Jews and Israel with some gibberish about how the “Balfour Declaration” (a) is a quid pro quo from Britain for “gaining the support of Jewish bankers and Jewish revolutionaries to bolster its war-effort” and (b) only “promised Jews the right to settle in that land, though not to create a state there” is the latest example of how psychotic your deranged anti-Semitic mind is. What a turd!

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          • Bryan

            Icat – your eloquent sophistication and deeply knowledgeable analysis of the situation is a winner – I suggested in a previous comment that calling someone an anti-Semitic, mumbo-jumbo-speaking, old turd is not the best defence of your case, and lo and behold, with incredible mental-agility and resilience and perspicacity you immediately drop the accusation of my being old and replace it with the suggestion I am psychotic. I had previously thought you were on the hasbara payroll but such infantile demagogery suggests you are more likely a failed candidate for Foreign Minister – you couldn’t even get a job as a night-club bouncer.

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          • ICat

            More psychotic rants from an old turd. And of course any Israeli who defends his/her country has to be “on the hasbara payroll” of Israeli government – in your old, deranged anti-Semitic mind. And talking about “a job as a night-club bouncer”, is that what you retired from a few years ago? You said yourself that you are retired – remember? (The quality of) your rants and diatribes on this site and the lack of internal logic in those rants and diatribe give away your (intellectual) background and the sort of job you must have retired from – construction work, garbage collector – maybe?

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          • Bryan

            in my whole career as a garbage collector I never ever encountered as much garbage as I encounter here in 5 minutes from the eloquent, principled, logical defenders of Zionism who could not possibly stoop to ad hominem attacks, if they were sufficiently educated to understand such concepts.

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          • ICat

            Talking about ad hominem attacks, Bryan, ALL of your comments on this site are nothing but rants, diatribes and blood libel against Israel and criminalization of the Jewish People – simply put: an exhibition of the vilest forms of old European anti-Semitism as evidenced by your viper-father David Duke/David Icke. I won’t allow that to stand and will fight you all the way and will defeat you both on the intellectual level and every other level. This is a promise, you little old turd.

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          • Bryan

            Much as I’d love to engage with you intellectually I don’t think it works like that – it is an either / or, not a both. You react instinctively and viscerally with your gut, demonstrating you wide range of insults to any point made that you do not like, and attempting to silence opposing points of view by a constant refrain that they are mumbo-jumbo, ranting, libellous and anti-semitic diatribes. If you react with your intellect, with your mind, your knowledge and your logic you automatically reject those rumblings that come from your belly, you instinctively understand that your case is not strengthened by farting in your opponents face. You understand that your intellectual opponent may be misguided or misinformed or may simply have different principles from your own, but you accept that your opponent has a right to his opinions without attempting to bully him into silence. So if you are capable of it do please respond with your intellect, but accept that when your intellect fails you your gut still needs to be kept under control.

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          • ICat

            There is nothing, wholly nothing ever intelligent or intellectual or logical in any of your anti-Semitic rants and diatribes. If you doubt it, I will start reproducing them here (you have quite an astonishing record on this site). And my analysis of your rants is that you are – contrary to your pretensions and claims – very limited intellectually and the fact that you have to constantly rant about how “intellectual” you are says a lot more about you than you could ever realize: intellectual insecurity/inferiority complex! Get that straight and stop deluding yourself, you little old turd.

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    6. Mikesailor

      Can someone please explain how using silencers on a .22 caliber rifle is acceptable as a crowd control measure? Doesn’t this reek of criminality for I’ve never heard of any other country using such methods on an unarmed population. And the Zionists complain about an ICC investigation? It cannot come too soon.

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    7. Gustav

      Why should anyone explain anything to odious Nazis like you Mikey?

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      • Bryan

        Classic – are you a secret anti-Zionist, Gustav, because you couldn’t have better satirized the “case for Israel”? i.e. when an apparently unanswerable point is made, don’t quietly ignore it, don’t just change the subject, and ask “what about” Iranian, Syrian and indeed Hamas defenders and their tactics? No fight the good fight, ensure that the deterrent might of the internet Hagannah is not brought into question – simply insult your opponent. Could you not have simply waited for one one of the many professional soldiers who fight for Israel to come along with a plausible explanation – like say its better for military morale to be suspected of being silent assassins rather than recognized as cold-blooded murderers.

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    8. Mikesailor

      Poor Gussie. Got your knickers in a twist? All I’ve said is true, so if you have an answer to the question, why don’t you post it? Even hasbara can’t “explain” it?

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    9. Karl

      Ryan ==could not== halt the Liberation of Spain from its Arabic-colonialist occupiers; Ryan ==can not== halt the Liberation of Rakhine from its Arabic-colonialist occupiers; and he ==will not== be able to halt the Liberation of the Hebrew homeland from its Arabic-colonialist occupiers.

      Dear Arabic neighborss, buy your apartment in Amman ==now== before the prices go up….

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