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Muslim and Christian cemeteries desecrated in Jaffa

“Price tag” pogromchiks desecrated cemeteries in Jaffa, as part of their attempts to cause a civil war

Hoodlums whose pride is their Jewishness have desecrated last evening – according to testimonies, less than an hour before Yom Kippur – two cemeteries in Jaffa. One of the cemeteries was Muslim, the other Orthodox Christian. The hoodlums desecrated tombstones and wrote “price tag” and “death to Arabs” on them. This being Yom Kippur, the Israeli media did not report anything yet – at least not that I’ve seen. MK Ahmed Tibi confirmed the details in an email, and you can see pictures here.  Tibi further said that “We are facing a rising wave of terrorist acts by Jewish extremists who act almost with no hindrance in the occupied territories, and have lately turned their attention to the Green Line in order to harm places sacred to Muslims and Christians. The responsibility lies wholly with the government and its apparati”. A protest vigil will be held tonight in Jaffa; you can find details about it here (Hebrew and Arabic).

As my colleague Larry Darfner noted, this latest wave of attacks by Jews comes on the background of an almost unprecedented calmness, security-wise. The fact that they boil over the Green Line is not accidental. These people, after all, are the disciples of Baruch Goldstein; if they had broader horizons, they could name Abu Musab Al Zarqawi as another mentor. Their whole purpose is ending this calmness. They want blood, fire and columns of smoke. When these will appear, they will lean back and say “we told you so.” Another point worth noting is the desecration of the Christian cemetery: Contrary to the myths, it proves that the hatred of mankind of Orthodox Judaism has little if anything to do with the current conflict with the Palestinians. It is the last in a long, under-reported attacks on Christian establishments in Israel.

Netanyahu's denouncments are mere lip service. The burned mosque in Tuba Zangariya (Photo: Activestills)

Netanyahu's denouncments are mere lip service. The burned mosque in Tuba Zangariya (Photo: Activestills)

One further wonders whether this escalation – how many more steps to the gates of hell? – is not a response, among others, to the arrest of a suspect in the burning of the mosque in Tuba Zangaria. Terror organizations often react in this way to the arrest of their members, and the whole logic of the “price tag” pogroms is to punish Palestinians for the actions of the security forces.

The guilt resides, as Tibi noted correctly, with the government of Israel. PM Netanyahu may denounce these pogroms, but he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth: He had no problem whatsoever sitting on the same platform with Dov Lior, possibly the worst of the inciting rabbis. Shmuel Elihau, the municipal rabbi of Safed, keeps drawing his government salary despite publishing illegal calls for denying apartments to Israeli Palestinians. This is the same Eliahu who openly and clearly refused to denounce the “price tag” pogroms. He is still in office. Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar – the one suspected of kidnapping and assault, not the one suspected of receiving bribes and inappropriately touching men – said this week that the burning of the mosque in Tuba Zangria “may have been a blood libel.” (Hebrew) It’s easy to imagine the uproar had, say, a Polish bishop said he opposed the burning of synagogues, but we should first ascertain this isn’t a blood libel against good Christians. Amar keeps his job as if nothing happened; we didn’t even had a proper public outcry. In short, the government of Israel looks, when trying to fight Jewish terrorism, like the Saudi government of a decade ago, facing the Salafist terrorists: It is a main source of funds to the terrorists, and they can only exist because the government’s armed forces support them.

The West Bank pogromchiks has made a mockery of the IDF’s legal obligation to protect the indigent population from them. Now they are trying to make it plain to Israeli Palestinians that they, too, will not be protected by the Zionist regime – and the latter know it’s not that the regime can’t, it’s that it won’t.

The pogromchiks, like Yigal Amir and like almost all Jewish terrorists, act out of supporting communities and out of the knowledge no one will turn them in. The vast majority of the settlers and the religious community, of course, will not dare to act themselves in this way. They will simply keep a quiet support from afar. As Yoel Bin Noon, who exposed the rabbis who gave the halachic decision to murder Rabin, found to his cost, the religious have no problems treating you as an outcast; Bin Noon had to move to another settlement and hire bodyguards for a while. If the settlers were serious about denouncing the pogroms, and not just paying lip service, Dov Lior and Shmuel Eliahu would have been excommunicated ages ago. However, lighting a fire on the Sabbath will get in you in trouble in the settlements – unless that fire is in a mosque. Historians dubbed the Ku Klux Klan of the years immediately after the Civil War as the military arm of the democratic party; the pogromchiks are the military arm of the Yesha Council, and they make every effort to import West Ban mores into Israel proper.

So what can be done? We can begin by closing down the hornet’s nest, the yeshiva in Yitzhar, and ban all its teachers and students from the West Bank. The government can announce that for every “price tag” action, a hesder yeshiva – yeshivas of part-time soldiers, the mainstay of the settler movement – will be closed down. Shmuel Eliahu, and all the rabbis who signed his call to deny apartments to non-Jews, can be fired. We can, in short, present the Jewish Brotherhood with an iron wall, and inform them for every “price tag” action, they’ll pay a much more painful price tag.

But that requires resolute political will and the ability to make historical decisions. It cannot be imagined that the Netanyahu government, most of its ministers supporting the pogromchiks anyway, will be able to do so. Like the original pogromchiks, of the Czarist times, the “hill youth” know that the government has its back, and that nothing will happen to it; and that is not likely to change. Not under this government.

So maybe it is time for Israeli Palestinians to turn to the international community and demand protection, as the Israeli government can’t protect them. After all, by its actions – or rather, inaction – in the face of Jewish terrorism, the Netanyahu government is giving up a part of its sovereignty.

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    COMMENTS

    1. aristeides

      Those actions are about as likely as the US Congress or the US State Dept sanctioning Israel as a state supporter of terrorism.

      Reply to Comment
    2. RichardNYC

      So hate graffiti =
      Orthodox Jewish hatred of humanity?
      Klan? (actually murdered thousands)
      Call for international protection? (where’s the Security Council??!!)
      Baruch Goldstein? (Yossi actually loves Baruch Goldstein b/c he is an antisemite’s wet dream and perfect Jewish specimen, after Madoff)
      HYSTERICS? Yes…

      Reply to Comment
    3. ARTH

      There seems to be a lack of historical awareness or consciousness here and for what?

      Reply to Comment
    4. Ben Israel

      It seems that many of the people are lacking in political education. I recommend doing a little research into the following events:

      (1) The murder of Leningrad Communist Party Boss Sergei Kirov in 1934

      (2) The Reichstag Fire in Berlin 1933

      (3) The murder of Chaim Arlsoroff, also in 1933.

      Read about these events and their consequences.
      Then maybe what is going on here will become clearer.

      Reply to Comment
    5. NOYA

      @BEN ISRAEL

      The only thing you can brag about is your knowledge of history, but when it comes to the truth in the matter of Israeli terrorism, you’re hardly an authority one can trust.

      Nice try though on trying to lead us down the garden path by appealing to our intellectual curiosity. I know you’d love to pin this on the Palestinians, but your desperation is just too palpable.

      Reply to Comment
    6. NOYA

      @RichardNYC

      Baruch Goldstein inspired a nation of settlers to carry forward his dream: through acts of intimidation and violence will the land be cleared of Palestinian. Irgun redux.

      Reply to Comment
    7. ToivoS

      @ben israel. I know the history of Kirov’s murder and the Reichstag fire and for the life of me cannot see the relevance of those events to Yossi’s article. Are you just blowing smoke?

      Reply to Comment
    8. RichardNYC

      @NOYA
      Except they haven’t done anything of the kind – so you’re talking fiction. What people say they believe, and what they say they’ll do, doesn’t always translate into what they actually do.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Deïr Yassin

      What do you guys expect from Ben Israel, an American immigrant, who only a couple of days ago said that he was encouraging more settler thugs to join him in the West Bank, and who called Baruch Goldstein’s killing of 29 Muslims in prayer in Hebron/al-khalil an ‘incident’.
      Ben Israel is not – as I called him somewhere else – a ‘proto-fascist’ but a pure fascist, I would even say a National-Zionist !

      Reply to Comment
    10. Ben Israel

      I never said Palestinians did it. I said that there are Leftist elements who want these things to happen because they feel that it will help their cause. I repeat that a 972 blogger said that the Oslo massacre was a “Gdsend” (HIS WORDS) and he was thrilled it happened and said so openly, because he thought that the Israeli right would be blamed for it because the perpetrator had mentioned Avigdor Lieberman in his writings.
      Another 972 commentor said he was hoping that a Leftist demonstrator would be killed in the numerous confrontations that occur when Arabs and their NGO provocateurs carry out demonstrations outside the settlements (I will not repeat his or her name because they later retracted the commented and regretted that they made up).
      It is quite possible that a real “right-winger” is carrying out these deads, but the fact is that the SHABAK has been singularly ineffective at tracking down the perpetrators even though they have thoroughly infiltrated the extremist groups and that the heads of the coercive arms of the state (IDF, police, SHABAK, state prosecutors office) are ALL vetted by the Labor/MERETZ Left before they are chosen, even if the Likud is in power. Thus, there is NO possibility that there is a “rogue” group of “right-wing” SHABAK people who are allowing this to happen. We also know for a fact that the “Champagne” SHABAK procateur was carrying out similar acts during Rabin’s term as Prime Minister and he knew all about it. I repeat that the only explanation for the lack of arrests for these acts which have been occurring for a couple of years is that someone in power wants them, for political reasons.
      THE PERCEPTION OF RIGHT-WING VIOLENCE HAS ALWAYS BEEN VIEWED AS SERVING THE LEFT’S POLITICAL INTERESTS.

      Reply to Comment
    11. AYLA

      @Ben Israel. Let me assure you: when we ‘left-wingers’ (people who care about all people and refuse to allow acts of hatred to be carried out in our name without condemnation) read about our own people, Jewish Israelis, cutting down olive trees (think about this: OLD OLIVE TREES), desecrating mosques (think about this: beautiful, old, sacred places of active prayer), desecrating cemeteries (do you ever think: what if that were a call to kill Jews, written on my grandmother’s grave), or not allowing farmers onto their land, or, or, or… we have many responses, and not one of them is to think, Oh good, this helps our cause. What do you think, Ben Israel, about politics and support of an Israeli State that have caused you to become so hardened? If it’s in the name of God (and I read the torah parashah each week, came to Jerusalem for Yom Kippur, and feel connected to this land as a Jew)–how can you truly believe that any ideology, beliefs, or values that lead you to be so hardened can be good for you, or the world? And if you are suggesting that left-wingers actually committed these acts, you don’t know us, and you’re unwilling to face what’s truly happening here. You know what would really help the future of Israel? People like you, condemning these acts, and saying, I’m right wing, or, if you do, I live in a settlement, and this is atrocious.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Ben Israel

      Who says “Left-wingers” have a monopoly on “compassion”? We all want what’s best for our country and the world. I firmly believe that the ONLY way to peace is for Israel to strengthen the settlements in the West Bank. The Arabs will be the biggest beneficiaries of such a peace.
      But you are being naive if you don’t think that certain politicians and security people who claim to be acting in the name of your “Left-wing” ideals are willing to carry out dirty tricks, including violence, to further their cause. I have already pointed out that there are precedents in which the Left-wing political Establishment in Israel (MAPAI-MAPAM-Labor-MERETZ) used the perception “right-wing” violence to further their political aims and to defame the Right. The Shamgar Commission Report on Rabin’s Assassination dealt at length with this pheonomenon.
      I wish to make it perfectly clear….I am not denying the possibility that “Right-wingers” are carrying out these deeds, but the fact that the security forces have seemingly not been able to stop them after several years of incidents sounds like someone in senior levels of the security services WANT these things to happen. I repeat….all the heads of all the security services must be approved of by Labor and MERETZ, even if appointed by the Likud gov’t, otherwise they will never get the nod, as was the case with the appointment Galant to be IDF Chief of Staff. They didn’t want him..they said “get something on him” and they did and he was gone. So it is very clear that top level “Left-wingers” in the security services know what is going on. I am sorry if you don’t like this.

      Reply to Comment
    13. AYLA

      @BenIsrael–I’m going to leave most of what you said as is–I don’t agree (which is different than not liking)–but it was an interesting read. What I actually want to understand–since I believe you represent a certain population’s argument here–is how exactly you believe that strengthening the settlements in the West Bank will help to bring peace. I probably won’t write back because I’ll certainly disagree and I’ll certainly not persuade you any more than you’ll persuade me; simply, I’m looking to understand, or to know, your/this point of view. Sincere question. thank you.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Amir.BK

      BEN: This is all well and good but since when do we consider Avoda to be leftist around these parts?

      Reply to Comment
    15. Amir.BK

      AYLA: It’s a very common view among Israeli right wingers, I’d wager saying it’s actually the mainstream right wing view where the actual “holy places” dogma is reserved to the (self-described) Religious Nationalists.
      .
      It can be summed up in many ways, it’s either a variant of “The Arabs understand only strength” or the “Israel needs to be strong in order to defend itself against the inevitable Arab invasion”

      Reply to Comment
    16. Deïr Yassin

      @ Amir
      You apparently haven’t read Ben Israel aka I_like_Ike_52 on another blog (tells you a little about his political standpoint) for very long.
      Ben Israel hates the Israeli Left & Progressives even more than he hates Arabs, because they are Jews and he thus can’t just kill or expel them.
      Just as the Goldstein massacre in Hebron was an ‘incident ‘ to Goldstein..eh non, to Ben Israel, so is Kadimah on the left. I think his far-left starts with Avoda. And he’s convinced that Meretz and Hadash is ruling Israel…. you know, the air in the hilltop settlements makes them a little dizzy.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Ben Israel

      Ayla-
      To answer your question as best I can…..I am firmly convinced the Arab-Israeli conflict is NOT an argument over territory, or Arab jealousy over Israeli economic and political success, it is an EXISTENTIAL dispute over the presence of an Israel-Jewish “dhimmi” state smack-dab in the heart of the Arab/Muslim Middle East. The Arab/Muslim world, as it is currently configured can NOT accept peace with Israel on any terms, or within any borders. It is true that Egypt and Jordan signed “peace agreements” with Israel, but as we have all seen recently, the agreements are opposed by most of the populations of both countries. Even the leaders who made them (Sadat and King Hussein) made it clear that they were no more than temporary cease-fires of the sort that Muhammed made with his enemies. Much of the ideological base for this hostility comes from the basic sources of Islam, including the Qur’an where Jews are depicted as cowards and enemies of Muhammed and the Muslims. Thus, the unilateral withdrawals of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon and Gaza reinforced hard-line Islamic political forces who could point to these moves by saying “you see, the Jews are cowards just like the Qur’an says, they even run away from their own settlements without war–thus, all we need to do is keep up the pressure and they will eventually run away from Tel-Aviv as well!”.
      Thus, there is an overwhelming desire by the populations of the Arab states opposing any peace with Israel. Israel’s foolish capitulation to Arab demands, particularly in an unilateral way has strengthened the most radical, hard-line Islamic political forces who stand to make major gains in places like Egypt and Tunisia in the event of free elections in those places….just like HAMAS won a free election in the Palestinian territories after Sharon (the “big, tough Israeli general”) ran away from Gush Katif and the Gaza Strip.

      None of this means that I think the situation is hopeless. Far from it. Israel has grown and moved ahead in spite of over 60 years of Arab hostility. Israel is moving further and further ahead of the Arab countries in all fields….military, economic, socially, etc. However, the only way this wall of Arab intransigence can be broken is by ISRAEL STANDING FIRM ON ITS RIGHTS. That means supporting the Jewish right to live all over the country as was recognized in the Balfour Declaration. Jews lived in many places in Judea/Samaria (the West Bank) before 1948, including east Jerusalem, Gaza, Shechem (Nablus), Hevron, Yatta, the Golan Heights, etc. If the Jews show the Arabs that we are no less attached to our land as they are to theirs, they will eventually understand that it is futile to oppose Israel and that a reasonable accomodation can be reached regarding the West Bank giving Arabs the ability to rule themselves while maintaining Jewish rights to live there as well. In the short-to-medium term, the best that can be hoped for is a MODUS-VIVENDI, which is being developed at this very moment. Once the Arabs realize that Israel is here to stay and will not give up Jewish rights in the country, then this radical political Islam will become discredited, just as Nasserite pan-Arabism became discredited by their defeat in the Six-Day War. However, I believe it will take some decades until this happens, so we are just going to have to tough it out. We have proven we can do this until now and I am confident we can continue. I hope this answers your question, at least to some extent.

      Reply to Comment
    18. AYLA

      @BenIsrael–thank you very much for this response. I was somewhat familiar with this point of view, but I understand where people like yourself, who hold these beliefs, are coming from better, now. I appreciate it.

      Reply to Comment
    19. AYLA

      p.s. There is a lot I could say. Since this post is about the desecration of the cemeteries, I’ll limit my response to one thing: Young people in Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, generally do not hate us because we are here. They hate us because while we were praying on Yom Kippur (and I was actually in an orthodox — though egalitarian and liberally politicked–minyan all day in Jerusalem, the Leader Minyan)–while we were there, they were seeing images of “death to arabs” written by Israelis all over the television and internet. Young people in Egypt, and Syria, and probably Lebanon and a good percentage of Jordan–do not know any israelis. All they know is the hate crimes they see in the media. And those crimes are real–it’s not a ‘brainwashing’. And they don’t see themselves as separate from Palestinians–the Palestinians we are killed and whose mosques and graves and trees we are desecrating are their brothers and sisters. I firmly believe that THAT is why they hate us. I’ve heard many people say, You stop killing our brothers and sisters (and something like and let them live in freedom): then Welcome. They don’t hate Jews, they hate Israelis, and I believe not simply for being here. There is a lot of trauma from 1948 that lives in people here, and for those who live in our neighboring countries, it’s the images they see weekly of us killing them. They believe we hate them, and want them dead. Just like many Israelis believe the Palestinians want to wipe them out, but it is not true of the vast majority of Palestinians. I believe that the biggest problems come from our not knowing each other, and from the media showing the less than 1% on both sides that commit heinous crimes. Not that those crimes should not get media attention–just, this is all we know of each other. Walls and fences do not help. Not teaching arabic in Israel anymore does not help. And it’s not just the media. My Palestinian friends– whom I’m only privileged to know because they’re in Israel getting masters and phd degrees, so they are highly educated and exposed–grew up only knowing Israelis as young soldiers who humiliated (and often worse) their parents, grandparents, friends, and selves. Even people in East Jerusalem had no other experience of Israelis. Ben Israel–there is probably some truth in your argument. But when an entire generation–and as you well know, 40 years is enough time to erase one’s memory of what came before–knows only this Israeli–palestinians from their own painful experiences of watching their mother cry as their home was demolished, and our neighbors from the media and hate crimes–don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, our actions have SOMETHING to do with why they don’t accept our presence, here?

      Reply to Comment
    20. AYLA

      pps.–and please, please, I DO know that Jews have a lot of trauma from 1948, too! I don’t want us to respond to one person’s truth by countering it with another. It’s ALL TRUE.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Bosko

      Ayla
      I don’t think you REALLY understood Ben Israel’s post at all. You may have read it but you haven’t assimilated it. I agree with him. And I might add to what he said. The Arab people, not all of them but the majority of them, have longer memories than you give them credit for. It is a matter of national pride for them to wipe out past real and perceivex humiliations. Unfortunately it means that they want to snuff out Israel. That’s the only way, they feel that those humiliations would be negated.
      .
      I also agree with Ben Israel’s solution. Steadfastness in face of whatever they conceive and dish out. Will they ever give up? Not unless their culture evolves as all cultures do evolve. In the meanwile, they can only be persuaded to give it a rest if the price that they have to pay for their pursuit of their national pass time, the hatred of Israel and Zionists, will be too high for them to bear.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Deïr Yassin

      Ben Israel now claims that he has the right to squat Palestinian land because of the Balfour Declaration. After the “God gave us this land” now it’s Balfour !
      The Balfour Declaration states:
      “His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment of a NATIONAL HOME for the Jewish people ….. it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which may prejudice the civil and religious right of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”.

      The Balfour Declaration was one of the first results of the Zionist Lobby (cf. Weizman and Sokolow’s role) and the Balfour Declaration – issued by a colonial power – has no validity compared with my Mother’s Declaration:
      “Sanarji’u yawman” [We Shall Return Some Day].

      Reply to Comment
    23. Bosko

      Ayla
      About your friends who you say are not haters and who would have no desire to wipe out Israel “if only Israel would behave itself”. Even if the rest of us would accept their premise that its’ all Israels’ fault. Can you tell us the sample size that your friends represent? I would say they are statistically insignificant as compared to the ones who voted for Hamas in 2006. And that happened soon after the unilateral Gaza withdrawal by Israel. Was that an example of Israeli misbehaviour in their opinion? Or was it as Ben Israel said, a retreat and a sign of weakness by Israel?

      Reply to Comment
    24. AYLA

      Bosco–quotation marks are for quotations. Please never, ever quote me again unless you are using my words. I’m a writing, and I take that seriously. Thank you. also, per your paraphrasing, i never said it was all israel’s fault. i guess that people who don’t truly listen assume that others can’t as well. I’m suggesting something much more comprehensive than giving back this or that land, and I agree with Ben Israel, that’s not the issue, and yes, Gaza is indicative of that. You have a point, which is that I could have begun my response by telling BenISrael what exactly I did understand about what he was saying. I try not to spend all day, here. The question I posed to Ben Israel was, and I quote, “don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, our actions have SOMETHING to do with why they don’t accept our presence, here?” I believe there is a way to make it strongly clear that we, Jews, are here to stay, AND to acknowledge and apologize for our wrongdoings (not because it’s all our fault, never said that), and to honor each other’s histories, and to validate each other’s connection to this land (various as it may be, it’s deep for everyone), and to make it possible for everyone to live here in freedom and with dignity, and for the palestinians who fled after massacres such as, dare I say, Deir Yassin, to return (and yes, I know that there were massacres against us as well–honor both histories), and and and. Bosco, most Palestinians don’t want to wipe Israel out. They know we’re here. They know we’re not leaving. We make it very, very hard for them to accept this with open hearts, but they accept it none-the-less, and they don’t want to fight. They want to live. I’m done responding here, except maybe to Ben Israel if he, er, returns.

      Reply to Comment
    25. AYLA

      p.s. I just went to a website that @Palestinian had recommended to me, and instead of calling for an ‘apology’, as I just did in my rushed response to you, @Bosco, they, Israeli Jews, called “To commemorate, witness, acknowledge, and repair” in reference to what Palestinians suffered when they fled in/around 1948. Much more thoughtful than an apology; I concur. And then let the repair work begin, from, and with, both/every side(s).

      Reply to Comment
    26. Ben Israel

      Ayla-
      You say “they know we are not leaving”. Really? Remeber the Crusader state? Very strong, lasted 200 years, yet it disappeared into the sands of history. Remember the British presence here? A very powerful, world-girdling global empire. Disappeared as well. Now, you know and I know that Israel is not the same as them. We are native to this country, BUT THE ARABS DON’T BELIEVE SO. That is why they deny the Biblical history of the country, and that is why they deny the existence of the two Batei Mikdash (Holy Temples) in Jerusalam. This new capitulation that we are hearing about today is further proof to them that we are “weaker than a spider’s web” as Nasrallah put it. This gives them hope that we will go the way of the Crusaders and the British. Don’t fool yourself.
      These endless displays of weakness make war inevitable, I am sorry to say. We will win again, but at what cost?

      Reply to Comment
    27. Bosko

      Ayla said …
      .
      “o–quotation marks are for quotations. Please never, ever quote me again unless you are using my words”
      .
      I guess you must be referring to this part of my sentence …
      .
      [quote]”if only Israel would behave itself”[quote]
      .
      Sorry, I was not trying to quote YOU. I used quotation marks to show how ridiculous the notion is. In hindsight I should not have used quotation marks because I can see how you or anyone else can misundarstand that as a direct quotation of you. I understand your annoyance about it, those types of things annoy me too.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Bosko

      Ayla
      And now I will let you continue your discussions with Ben Israel exclusively, as you wish.

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    29. AYLA

      @BenIsrael–Yes, denial of our biblical history, or any/anyone’s history, upsets me, too. People could acknowledge our history, ie the Second Temple, and still object to our using it as a dictate to be here in their place; they don’t have to re-write history to object. revisionist history is a big problem, globally. Though, not knowing someone’s history, and not honoring each other’s histories, is another way of erasing it, and we are all guilty of that sin. You didn’t respond to my response to you. I actually regret that response to Bosko– I responded too quickly, got too into the details, and some of what I said doesn’t reflect what I mean, deeply. But anyway. Yes, I do believe that the vast majority of Palestinians accept, however reluctantly, our lasting presence here. I believe that mostly from talking to Palestinian friends who share what others in their community think/feel/believe. You can learn a lot about what a large group of people believe from talking to some, just as I gained a much deeper understanding of what many religious Jews living in settlements believe today by hearing you. Thank you for that. I didn’t respond to most of what you said directly because there was nothing really for me to say (as we suspected, it didn’t change my own views, and also I have no interest in trying to persuade you, beyond the response I sent to you), but I do understand you now much better–where you are coming from and why–and that counts for something. To back up my gut feelings having talked to people, there are polls that show that the majority of Palestinians accept (again, however reluctantly) our presence here, and Aziz Abu Sarah has said the same, as have many Palestinian writers and speakers. I’ve been been involved with organizational, in-person “peace” discussions with many palestinians–all men, since women often have a harder time attending these things–who have all said the same, and have said that reflects the majority; they want to move on to talk about their freedoms/rights, moving forward. AND, check out all these peaceful protests (school kids and teachers protesting just today, in Hebron). Do you think it’s all a sham, and that once they have a state, they’ll attack? They’re tired of fighting (which doesn’t mean they can’t be driven to fight). They want to live their lives. Have you talked to many (any?) Palestinians about all this? Seriously–you should. I believe that existential fear is holding us way back, and this is not a time to be held back–everything is changing. We’re either going to engage in big changes here, or there’s going to be a big war. The latter could confirm your suspicions, but I believe it’s possible to avoid. I also don’t believe we’re understood as colonizers like the British by Palestinians. Occupiers, yes, but that’s different, and also different than occupiers of other countries, who are complete foreigners; we’re our own unique situation. Anyway, look, we’re not going to persuade each other. I would urge you to talk to Palestinians, in some neutral way, and ask them. You could start here on this blog, though obviously it’s better to talk to people in person. You know who I think do hate us right now? Egyptians, per my response to you, above. We are the common enemy of many of our neighbors, and I’m sorry, but yes, I believe that is because of our actions, not our mere existence, coupled with some serious, post-revolution unrest that makes it easier to put energy into hating us than to face that mess. This is more into the details of this discussion than I wanted to go. I don’t think this is going anywhere. Thanks for your original response. Take care.

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