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Nabi Saleh is where I lost my Zionism

By the time I began going to Nabi Saleh, I had spent about four years reporting on what I saw in the West Bank and Gaza, watching detachedly as my politics moved ever leftward. What I witnessed in that small West Bank village was the last straw.

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli troops during a protest to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, Nabi Saleh, West Bank, April 21, 2017. (Flash90)

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli troops during a protest to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, Nabi Saleh, West Bank, April 21, 2017. (Flash90)

A short video of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi slapping an Israeli soldier has dominated the Israeli media for the past week, and received prominent coverage internationally as well. Ahed, a Palestinian girl from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, makes a big impression with her eye-catching mane of blonde hair, the fierce, intelligent expression in her blue eyes — and her fearlessness.

One of the most striking aspects of the immense discussion generated by the video is the near-binary contrast between what Israelis and their advocates see, and what everyone else sees.

For Israelis, one of their soldiers was provoked, almost unbearably, but still managed to rise above the situation. For almost everyone else, the video shows an unarmed adolescent — who could easily, based on her appearance, be an Israeli teenager shopping at the mall — bravely confronting an armed soldier in her own village. Even without knowing the circumstances, a fully-grown man in combat gear and carrying a powerful weapon refraining from hitting a much smaller, unarmed adolescent girl, seems not remarkably praiseworthy but rather a response predicated on basic humanity and ethics.

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The Israeli media has, for the most part, promoted the army’s narrative about the incident — of a restrained and mature soldier who dealt admirably with a difficult and stressful situation involving enemy actors.

In the segment below, Yaron London, the host of an eponymously named primetime news magazine program on Channel 10, mirrors the perspective of the army. London’s guests are Or Heller, the station’s military affairs correspondent, and Jonathan (Yonatan) Pollak, a veteran anti-occupation activist:

The conversation between the three men is salutary because it provides real insight into the mentality of mainstream Israeli society. First we hear Or Heller, an experienced military affairs correspondent, repeating the army’s narrative. He expresses pride in the soldiers, makes the claim that the Tamimi family provoked the confrontation as a means of creating an anti-Israeli propaganda video, and asserts that the soldiers were only in the vicinity to prevent Palestinian residents from throwing rocks.

Yaron London, an intelligent and educated man who does, I am sure, identify as a liberal, fails to question Heller’s narrative. Both men are completely focused on the challenge those unarmed adolescent girls supposedly present to “their” soldiers, rather than on the actual violence that those soldiers visit upon the village week after week.

Jonathan Pollak was in Nabi Saleh when the incident occurred. Watch as he calmly provides the context, and note how shocked Heller and London are when Pollak refers to “your” army — rather than “our” army. (Pollak refused to serve, which is a radical act in Israel.)

An Israeli soldier warns photographers during clashes following the funeral of Mustafa Tamimi in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, December 11, 2011. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

An Israeli soldier warns photographers during clashes following the funeral of Mustafa Tamimi in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, December 11, 2011. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

This segment encapsulates the Achilles heel of the Israeli media — i.e., its willingness to report communiqués issued by the army as straight news, without any fact checking. Even though the Israeli security establishment has been caught lying on countless occasions, journalists who report for mainstream media outlets continue to accept without question the information they are given about events they neither witnessed nor verified independently.

Throughout the many months I attended Friday demonstrations in Nabi Saleh, I never saw a single reporter from an Israeli media outlet. And yet, during the drive home after those long and distressing days, the news presenter on Israel Radio would report that there had been “riots” in a West Bank village and that “our forces” responded with crowd control measures.

The Tamimi family has been demonstrating every Friday for about a decade, protesting the takeover of Nabi Saleh’s natural water spring by nearby settlers. As Bassem Tamimi once explained to me, in quite fluent Hebrew, the villagers said nothing when the army built the settlement of Halamish (originally Neve Tzuf) on their land. But when the settlers confiscated their spring, and the army then prevented the Tamimis from accessing it, Bassem and his extended family decided to draw a red line.

Palestinian protesters sit in front of Israeli soldiers during a protest against the occupation and in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners hunger strike, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, May 12, 2017. (Haidi Motola/Activestills.org)

Palestinian protesters sit in front of Israeli soldiers during a protest against the occupation and in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners hunger strike, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, May 12, 2017. (Haidi Motola/Activestills.org)

Every week they gather at the top of the hill inside their village, carrying flags and banners, and walk toward the road that separates them from the spring. The goal is simply to cross the road and walk to the spring. And every week, the army deploys security forces inside and around the village to stop the protesters from reaching their destination.

The way it works is this: at around noon, military vehicles enter the village and park at the bottom of its bisecting road. Security forces, heavily armed and wearing combat gear, descend from the vehicles, load their weapons, and wait. Sometimes they start shooting as soon as the demonstration begins, and sometimes they wait for a teenager to throw a stone in their direction before opening fire.

As Ben Ehrenreich notes in his New York Times Magazine article about Nabi Saleh, the army spokesperson told him there has never been a single case of a soldier being injured by a stone at those demonstrations. But over the past few years, soldiers have injured and killed several demonstrators.

alestinian, Israeli and international women enjoy a picnic near a water spring in Nabi Saleh, April 22, 2012. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian, Israeli and international women enjoy a picnic near a water spring in Nabi Saleh, April 22, 2012. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

In one now notorious incident, a soldier cracked open the rear door of his armored jeep as it was on its way out of the village, and shot a tear gas canister directly into the face of Ahed’s 21-year-old cousin Mustafa, killing him. No-one was ever censured or prosecuted for that act of murder.

These are just a few of the things I saw in Nabi Saleh.

Once, I was standing on the roof of a home with three teenage girls who lived there. We were watching the demonstration from a bit of a distance — maybe 150 meters. Suddenly one of the soldiers standing down the road pivoted in our direction, raised his weapon, aimed, and shot tear gas canisters directly at us. He shot another couple of canisters at the house, shattering the living room window. The older girl told me that her family had stopped replacing it every time the soldiers broke it; the glass had become too expensive.

I also witnessed soldiers deliberately blanketing a small house in tear gas until its occupants, coughing and retching long streams of mucus, were forced to emerge. They were two elderly women, wrinkled and bent over, and a young woman in her twenties.

Mustafa Tamimi, a 28 year-old Palestinian from Nabi Saleh, is seen seconds before he gets hit with a tear gas canister shot by an Israeli soldier from a short distance during the weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, 09.12.2011. (photo: Haim Scwarczenberg/Activestills guest photographer)

Mustafa Tamimi, a 28 year-old Palestinian from Nabi Saleh, is seen seconds before he gets hit with a tear gas canister shot by an Israeli soldier from a short distance during the weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, December 9, 2011. (Haim Scwarczenberg/Activestills guest photographer)

I’ve seen soldiers grab crying children and shove them into military vehicles, pushing aside their screaming mothers.

I’ve seen soldiers grab a young woman by her arms and drag her like a sack of potatoes for several meters along an asphalt road so hot that it melted the rubber soles of my running shoes, before tossing her into a military vehicle and driving away.

I’ve had my ankles singed black when a security officer looked me straight in the eyes and threw a stun grenade at my legs.

Israeli army sharp-shooters regularly shoot unarmed demonstrators in Nabi Saleh with both rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition. They break into houses and drag people out, arresting them on the claim that they allowed demonstrators to hide in their garden.

And then I would go back to Tel Aviv and be told by my friends that I could not have seen what I saw, because “our soldiers” do not behave that way. Soon, I had to distance myself from those friends in order to keep my own emotions in check.

An Israeli Border Police officer beats a Palestinian protester with a club during a demonstration in Nabi Saleh, January 15, 2010. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

An Israeli Border Police officer beats a Palestinian protester with a club during a demonstration in Nabi Saleh, January 15, 2010. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

I write these sordid descriptions of what I saw at the demonstrations as a means of explaining how and why that place radicalized me. After Nabi Saleh I was, in a way, broken. The impact of the violence on my psyche was exhausting and traumatic, with long-lasting effects that I still experience today.

By the time I began going to Nabi Saleh, I had spent about four years reporting on what I saw in Gaza and the West Bank, and watching detachedly as my politics moved ever leftward from the liberal place at which they started, as a consequence of what I saw on the ground. But it was in Nabi Saleh that I lost the last remnants of what I would call — for lack of a word to describe my nostalgia for the idea of a state for the Jews — my Zionism.

My radicalization was not only a consequence of witnessing brutal violence perpetrated right in front of my eyes, by soldiers of the army that was supposed to protect me. It was also a result of my seeing the Tamimi family endure that violence week after week, seeing their relatives injured, arrested and killed, and still not coming to the conclusion that the price of resistance was too high. They simply refuse to submit.

Nariman Tamimi (left), Bassem Tamimi (center), and Ahed Tamimi seen in their home in Nabi Saleh, February 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Nariman Tamimi (left), Bassem Tamimi (center), and Ahed Tamimi seen in their home in Nabi Saleh, February 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Week after week, they welcome strangers into their home with kindness and hospitality. No one in Nabi Saleh ever expressed an ideological political opinion to me. They didn’t have to. The situation is clear; the actions of the Israeli government and security forces there are impossible to defend, on any level. And of course that is the source of the Tamimis’ strength — the knowledge that their cause is just, and that they are fighting it with ethical, nonviolent means.

The Tamimis clearly understand the power of social media. But they don’t manufacture those confrontations. In fact, I have never seen a video that comes remotely close to conveying the true brutality I saw in Nabi Saleh. Maybe you need to smell the tear gas and feel the smallness of the place to see how outrageous it is for soldiers to act as they do there: to, with a sense of entitlement, enter a village and break up a gathering of unarmed demonstrators; to kick open the doors of homes and drag off to jail unarmed people who pose no threat; to break into a house at 4 a.m., to roust a teenage girl from her bed and drag her off to jail, denying her even the right to be accompanied by a guardian.

I am sure Ahed understands very well the effect of her striking appearance. I am sure that Bassem Tamimi knows his genuine warmth and hospitality go a lot further in winning over hearts and minds than didactic political lectures ever could. With no money, and by sacrificing their own bodies and emotional well being, the Tamimis are drawing world attention to the hundreds of Palestinian children sitting in jail, who don’t have blonde hair and a strong, supportive family. They are showing the world what the occupation means, in tangible terms, to real people. They taught me, purely by example, what grassroots resistance means.

Is Israel, with all the money and manpower it pours into sophisticated advocacy campaigns via social media, really in a position to criticize the Tamimis for understanding how to publicize their own cause? As Jonathan Pollak says to Yaron London: the reason those Nabi Saleh videos make Israel look bad, is because Israel is doing bad things.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      Mrs. Goldman, you do not feel Zionist anymore. I suggest you to live in the USA or in Berlin. It will be better for you and for us. Thank you.

      Reply to Comment
      • David

        Itshak

        Thank you!! With supporters and stooges like you, Israel doesn’t need any enemies or critics. You are fighting a losing battle. Zionism is racing headlong towards history’s sewer.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Donna Joss

      Lisa, your candid article is refreshingly true. Please publish more of the true reality of the occupation. Your people need to hear it from one of their own. Thank you!

      Reply to Comment
      • Mark

        You should all be ashamed of yourselves. The ones who promote this article and believe it to be true. There is only one Democracy in the Middle East. Only one Democracy that has both Jews and Arabs serving in it’s government. That supports the rights of women, LGBT and minorities alike. That Democracy is Israel. Only this year did the “Kingdom” of Saudi Arabia allow women to drive. Syria has been at civil war for decades, mass killings, genocide. The Kurds have been denied a state in Iraq. Do any of you say anything? NO. But somehow you find the time to spend all of your effort bashing the only democracy in the Middle East. The biggest irony of it all, is that if any of you lived in one of the other Kingdoms or Tyrannical regimes in the Middle East, you would be jailed or killed for your slanderous statements. It is only because you live in Democracies like America or Israel that you are allowed to talk this way. Shame on you for distorting the truth, spreading lies and supporting hate speech.

        Reply to Comment
        • David

          Mark.

          Israel IS NOT A DEMOCRACY!!

          To wit:
          “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
          EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in ISRAEL [my emphasis] and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.” (Times of Israel, February 21, 2013)

          Video: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyyUvxHLYr4

          In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor acknowledges the “institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.” (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)

          “Construction, Not Destruction”
          “While Israeli Arabs constitute 20 percent of the population, Arab communities’ jurisdictions occupy just 2.5 percent of the state’s land area, and the process of approving new construction in Arab towns takes decades.” (Haaretz Editorial, April 4, 2017)

          Shlomo Gazit, retired IDF Major General: “[Israel’s] legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime.” (Haaretz, July 19, 2011)

          Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., “Israeli” nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews, and each citizen carries an appropriate identity card. While the implications of this absurdity for discrimination and racism against non-Jews are obvious, it has been upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court.

          The effect of Israel’s blatantly racist “Citizenship Law” and more than fifty other restrictions Arab citizens have to endure is well expressed by writer and Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi, “…dutifully defining the state [of Israel] as ‘Jewish and democratic,’ ignores the fact that in practice ‘democratic’ refers to Jews, and the Arabs are nothing more than citizens without citizenship.” (Ma’ariv, 1.6.2005)

          Reply to Comment
        • carmen

          The shame is on your head for refusing to see the truth or for seeing the truth and telling your own eyes they’ve betrayed you. Please peddle your ‘shame’ throwing somewhere else. You’re pathetic. BTW – the ‘state of israel’ is about as democratic as apartheid south africa was. It isn’t a democracy. People can actually tell the difference Mark, they aren’t as stupid as you seem to think they are. On with your whataboutery; comparing israel to saudi arabia doesn’t elevate israel at all. Keep polishing that turd though.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Bill Kellogg

      This shows the reason establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine was a horribe mistake. To be a Jewish State in that place it must be exclusionary and discriminatory! The only way forward for civilized society is an open state with equality which should not be a violation of Jewish values. If it is a violition of Jewish values, those values are not worthy of preservation!

      Reply to Comment
    4. Aabid

      Same is the case here in indian occupied Kashmir

      Reply to Comment
    5. Ben

      Finally, an article that deconstructs once and for all, better than anything else I’ve read, the vile “Shirley Temper, she only cries for the cameras” slander and dismissal, this exercise in massive denial by the Israeli public. And makes clear the routine disinformation that public is bathed in by their mainstream media, and that public’s participation in that process. And provides on-the-ground reporting of integrity and authenticity about what IDF troops really do in the territories. And is an account of how one courageous Israeli, because she went to see for herself and did not shut her eyes to what is really going on, became “radicalized.” Congratulations to Lisa Goldman on a really fine article.

      This is why +972 Magazine is a rare gem of independent, high quality journalism, is special, is a singular accomplishment. These writers are truly independent. And have unimpeachable integrity. And they need *your* support. Please donate today to their campaign to expand. Seven years ago, these writers started out with next to nothing and independently created something truly remarkable and sustainable. They do so much with so little funding. They have a track record of doing so much with so little. Every contribution really counts. Please make a contribution today.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Gabriela Isaac

      I suggest you to go and visit jewish communities where jews need help and they have been morally and physically damaged by arabs.
      Ihope you are not Jewish. If you are, then definitely you are a shame to the nation.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Abu Taltul

      So, you see injustice in the west bank, and now you’re an anti zionist?
      Zionism is about a country for the Jews. Not about controlling Arabs.
      The only solution is the two states solution.
      Anti zionism is not peace, it is hate that will lead to an eternal war.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Lisa, I greatly appreciate what you wrote, and identify with your feelings about the distortions of the mainstream Israeli media. The occupation must end, for the sake of both Palestinians and Israelis.

      What is not clear to me is why you title the article “Nabi Saleh is where I lost my Zionism”. Do you mean that you no longer believe in the Jewish right to national self-determination, alongside the Palestinian right to national self-determination? If you “lost your Zionism”, what have you found in its place? Hopefully, you are still a partner in the struggle for a realistic resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and are not dropping out.

      Reply to Comment
      • carmen

        “Zionism (Hebrew: צִיּוֹנוּת‬ Tsiyyonut Hebrew pronunciation: [t͡sijo̞ˈnut] after Zion) is the national movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel (roughly corresponding to Canaan, the Holy Land, or the region of Palestine).[1][2][3][4] Modern Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in Central and Eastern Europe as a national revival movement, both in reaction to newer waves of antisemitism and as an imitative response to other exclusionary nationalist movements.[5][6][7] Soon after this, most leaders of the movement associated the main goal with creating the desired state in Palestine, then an area controlled by the Ottoman Empire.” Wikipedia

        There is no place in the above definition for anyone but jews. You’re definition is an attempt at being slick. The zionist movement is a religious supremacist one to this day. You post can’t be serious – “Do you mean that you no longer believe in the Jewish right to national self-determination, alongside the Palestinian right to national self-determination? If you “lost your Zionism”, what have you found in its place? Hopefully, you are still a partner in the struggle for a realistic resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and are not dropping out.” There is no place for zionism in the 21st century. There is a place for one land for all people, not a jewish supremacist state or an islamic state; a democratic state with citizenship and equal rights for all.

        Losing zionism is good, the withdrawal may be hard (depending how intransigent the addiction to racial supremacy is) but to finally get that out of your system and join the rest of your brothers and sisters who believe we are all equal, we all have rights to live our lives unmolested and that our children deserve a better future, without a nationalistic, zionist supremacist ideology poisoning it.

        Reply to Comment
    9. tim foal

      you changed not a thing in my mind. you may not agree, but the thirst for violence didn’t begin with occupation or Israel taking away land. Jews lived in the land in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. following several porgoms in qhich jews were maimed murdered and driven for homes they had lived in for centuries they ran for their lives. in 1947 the UN offered a 2 state solution which was rejected by the Arabs. and bloody attacks and clashes continued following the UN creating and recognizing a sovrgn land. war was delared by ARABS in 1948, 1956 and 1967. it was in 1967 when jordan attacks israel and got the asses handed to them Israel reclaimed the land that was taken from them! this is not an occupation. when the USA gives texas arizona etc back to mexico then we can talk about land that israel “took and is “occupying”. as far as the helpless palastinians that is another heap of BS. the leaders in GAZA and the west back live in mansions. yes majestic homes with pools multi car garages and the like. they give nothing to their people to keep them down and angry so the israeli’s can be blamed….that is the MO

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        “you changed not a thing in my mind”

        Nothing ever will. It would be as useful to have a talk with Tom Cruise about why Scientology is a criminal organization.

        “this is not an occupation”

        If it’s not, then it’s apartheid. When are you going to extend citizenship and basic human rights to the millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem who living under Israeli-imposed apartheid?

        Reply to Comment
    10. Sabrina Speaker

      Lisa how much were u paid to fabricate these lies? Shame on you! There is no occupation the West Bank belonged to Jordan before 1967; when Israel was attacked by Jordan among others ( 6 days war), Israel conquered these territories from their enemies; there would never be a need of a strong military presence in the West Bank if the Palestinians accepted to coexist in peace. They want the Jews out of the West Bank as much as they want them out of telaviv.
      Wake up!

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        +972 Magazine is uncorrupt, the epitome of integrity. Unlike so many others.* It’s one of the things that sets +972 apart. Their recent funding campaign is testament to this. So the most ludicrous charge that can be flung at a +972 Magazine writer is “how much did you get paid for this?” But you can help +972 Magazine move to an expanded footing where their writers can be paid something. These talented citizen-journalists have a proven track record of doing so much with so little. Your contribution counts. Please donate today, Sabrina. Click on the button above on this page to support independent journialism.

        *Unlike the Israeli papers that took money to churn out state-sponsored anti-BDS propaganda:
        https://972mag.com/the-israeli-government-is-paying-for-anti-bds-journalism/131718/

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        “…to coexist in peace…”

        An Orwellian euphemism for something much less nice.

        “They want the Jews out of the West Bank…”

        “Once upon a time the Jews wanted the British out of Palestine. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

        Reply to Comment
      • David

        Sabrina.
        Israel started the ’67 war, not the Arabs.

        To wit:

        Prime Minister Menachem Begin, former Minister without portfolio in PM Levi Eshkol’s cabinet, while addressing Israel’s National Defence College on 8 August 1982: “In June, 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” (New York Times, 21 August 1982)

        Meir Amit, chief of Israel’s Mossad: “Egypt was not ready for a war and Nasser did not want a war.”

        Israeli Chief of Staff Rabin: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” (Le Monde, 25 February, 1968)

        Prime Minister Eshkol: “The Egyptian layout in the Sinai and the general military buildup there testified to a military defensive Egyptian set-up south of Israel.” (Yediot Aharonot, l8 October 1967)

        Robert McNamara, U.S. Secretary of Defence: “Three separate intelligence groups had looked carefully into the matter [and] it was our best judgment that a UAR attack was not imminent.” (The Vantage Point, Lyndon Johnson, p. 293)

        An article published in the New York Times (4 June 1967) just hours before Israel attacked notes that Major General Indar Jit Rikhye, Commander of UNEF in the Middle East, “who toured the Egyptian front, confirms that Egyptian troops were not poised for an offensive.”

        On May 26, in reply to Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban’s assertion that according to Israeli intelligence, “an Egyptian and Syrian attack is imminent,” Secretary of State Dean Rusk dismissed the claim and assured Eban that Israel faced no threat of attack from Egypt. On the same day, during a meeting at the Pentagon, Eban was also told by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and his aides that “…Egyptian forces were not in an aggressive posture and that Israel was not opening itself to peril by not attacking immediately. The contrary was true, Eban was told.” (Donald Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem, pp. 140-41)

        BTW, as the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) Commander, Major General Idar Jit Rikhye, revealed, Nasser was not enforcing the blockade of the Tiran straits: “[The Egyptian] navy had searched a couple of ships after the establishment of the blockade and thereafter relaxed its implementation.”

        Ezer Weizman, former commander of Israel’s Air Force confirmed in his memoirs that Israel spent years meticulously planning the attack against Egypt: “For five years I had been talking of this operation, explaining it, hatching it, dreaming of it, manufacturing it link by link, training men to carry it out.” Recalling how he felt at 7:30 A.M. on 5 June 1967, Weizman wrote: “Now in a quarter of an hour, we would know if it was only a dream or whether it would come true….” (Donald Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem…, p. 202)

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          So much core right wing propaganda, 50 years worth, dismantled in one outstanding post by David.

          Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Sabrina: “They want the Jews out of the West Bank…”

        Except they do NOT want the Jews out of the West Bank. They want the illegally-transferred-in, colonizing Israeli nationals out of the West Bank. That is an important and accurate distinction and it is cheap anti-Semitizing propaganda to say otherwise.

        Reply to Comment
    11. Syed Shah

      Thank you for bringing the truth. I appreciate you with this article you portrayed a real picture of Israeli forces I salute your honesty and bravery.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Irvin Watkins

      Past time to consider how Israel defines what Jewish people are. R we people who love books and culture or people who love violence like those G?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        Check out Sam Kriss’s explanation of the Zionist’s pathologically skewed self-image:

        “This dangerous shift in Jewish identity would not be possible without some kind of violence. Early zionism was fixated on the idea of a ‘New Jew’: while Jews in the diaspora were sedentary, spiritual, intellectual, and the objects of state violence, the New Jew would be an active, tanned, muscular agricultural fascist, the subject of state violence, a creature virtually indistinguishable from the porcine Gentile peasants who had so brutally suppressed the Jews over the centuries. The birth of this figure required the erasure of all Jewish history up until its creation. The past would be prologue, a brief coda between the Kingdom and the State of Israel, expressible only as that period in which the Jews allowed themselves to suffer. Diaspora could only ever mean suffering; the Jew in exile – in other words, the Jew as such – became an object of near-pathological loathing. Every antisemitic slander was repeated: the Jews really were weak, ugly, etiolated, usurious; the goal of zionism was to put a spade in one hand, a rifle in the other, and turn them into something else. With bullets and bloodshed they would get rid of the cringing Jews of the past: it was an article of faith among those zionist pioneers that, before long, all Jews would become the New Jew.”

        https://samkriss.com/2015/07/25/why-zionism-is-antisemitism/

        Reply to Comment
    13. AronS

      Just harmless non-violent non-Jewish children, attacked by horned Jews looking for their Matza…heard this crap before. But putting that aside…

      So do they throw the rocks and they don’t hurt or they don’t throw rocks? And is that non-violent or is it violent? No law enforcement agency in any part of the free world would tolerate their forces being slapped, rocks thrown, or even the presence of unauthorised demonstrations and we all know that more than this goes on at such places. This is what law enforcement looks like – maybe not pretty but that’s what it means. If you don’t want to enforce law, give the keys to hamas or any other anarchist.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Where to begin here with this pile of the stalest, deceitful propaganda?
        The blatant, shameless anti-Semitizing of the first sentence?
        The fact that the Israeli soldiers are never hurt by thrown rocks, and know they won’t be, that it is all a ritual protest?
        That fact that no demonstrations, even the most peaceful ones, are ever authorized?
        The fact that military law is extended to Arabs but civilian law to Jews, in a clearly apartheid arrangement for 50 years? (Construing the Civil Administration-IDF-dual court system complex as “a law enforcement agency” says so much about how little you understand.)
        The fact that utterly brutal “law enforcement” by military troops is visited on Palestinians nightly in their sleeping villages and homes but marauding settlers never have law enforcement applied to them? (Just read the “License to Kill Series of +972 Magazine if you care to know the truth but I doubt you care to know the truth, and would rather assiduously defend your ignorance.)

        This post by AronS shows the walls of entrenched, “everybody knows” kind of disinformation right wing Israelis and their diaspora supporters surround themselves with and defend. And it shows the need for the on-the-ground reporting and truth telling and authenticity of +972 Magazine. To break through. Please donate to their campaign to expand their abilities. Please donate before December 31st! They need your support. Every donation counts!

        Reply to Comment
    14. Erica

      I didnt need to go to Nabi Saleh to lose mine

      Reply to Comment
    15. Sheldon Ranz

      Lisa: Your article is necessary reading, especially for American Jews who are naïve about the occupation.

      No doubt crimes have been committed in the name of Zionism. Yet far greater crimes have been committed in the name of socialism, and yet today, many of us forgive those crimes as we toast (and voted for) Bernie Sanders for President. After taking in the latest Bibi atrocity, binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix, relax, get a good night’s rest, and, when confronted with the cool air of a new winter day, consider supporting the Palestinian-led BDS movement as a Zionist. Social Democrats USA is a left-wing organization that has taken that plunge, and the sky has not fallen.

      Reply to Comment
    16. carmen

      Your best IMO Ms. Goldman. You’ve described what lead up to your awakening clearly and honestly. I hope the effect your experience in Nabi Saleh will soften the hearts of israelis who see only what they want to see, or what they’ve been instructed to see by those who continue to live a lie. So you lose a few ‘friends’ here and there? It’s only their loss. God bless the Tamimi family and you for your excellent reporting.

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      • Lewis from Afula

        End the aparteid……………………………….by repatriating 2 Million Jordanians back to the East Bank.

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        • Ben

          Your New Year’s resolution is to finally admit that it’s apartheid? God works in wondrous ways.

          Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          In Lewis from Afula’s grim choice between apartheid on the one hand, and WWII-style, Geneva Conventions-obliterating mass population transfer and ethnic cleansing on the other hand, lies the hopelessness, dysfunctionality, dead end quality and sheer irrationality of the right wing position. There is no usable future in this choice. To say the least.

          Netanyahu, weak, craven, desperately seeking protection from the far right to keep the prosecutors at bay and cling to power and try to avoid Olmert’s and Nixon’s fates, is unable to keep the right from destroying everything. There is no adult at the wheel.

          The obvious, rational, workable third choice is to accept living within the 67 borders.

          Months ago, Ravit Hecht pointed out the significance of Netanyahu giving the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel the ultimatum of meeting with Breaking the Silence or meeting with him. Now Gabriel has repeated his use of the word “apartheid” and the right wing is beside itself. I think the right, at least its more rational elements, senses the dead end trap it has finally made for itself:

          With Ultimatum to German FM, Netanyahu Gives World a Simple Choice
          The choice Netanyahu has given the world and above all Israelis is simple: maintaining control of the territories, probably through an apartheid regime, or accepting an Israel in its 1967 borders
          read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.785625?v=3E843F6D68FEAEE41F79C408D70CF7E7

          Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            I am glad that Ben has agreed with me that these people ARE JORDANANS. That is the first step to repatriating them home.
            Well done, Ben !!!!

            Reply to Comment
    17. Phil Jones

      Please correct me if I am mistaken, but didn’t Hitler have his apologists? I think some people found it easy to support and justify his actions and to blame his victims. Who could have learned this lesson so well?

      Reply to Comment
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