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Netanyahu's lesson from killing of Israeli soldier in Hebron: Fortify occupation

Just hours after an Israeli soldier was shot to death by a Palestinian sniper in Hebron Sunday, while the body was still warm, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that settlers should inhabit more and more of the occupied West bank city. As Haaretz reported, Netanyahu said:

Anyone who tries to uproot us from the city of our patriarchs will achieve the opposite. We will continue to fight terrorism… with one hand, while strengthening the settlement with the other.

And in that one paradoxical statement lies most of the problem. How and why does Israeli leadership seek to continue strengthening the settlements – which necessarily means increasing military control and violence that further entrenches the repression of Palestinian civilians – and expect to bring safety to Israeli citizens, much less to Israeli soldiers guarding this reckless and unsustainable way of life?

Am I, or any rational citizen, supposed to feel comforted, at ease or safer by Netanyahu’s statement? Is this really the lesson that should be learned from the killing? Will this prevent the next soldier from being killed?

Segrageted Shuhada Street in Hebron, February 2012 (photo: Hithabrut-Tarabut)

Hebron is the cesspool of occupation, the place where the most vile ramifications of Israel’s policy of segregation and military control are most acutely visible. The city is a ghost town where Palestinians are barred from walking down the main street of their city; where they can no longer open their businesses; where settlers move around freely with 24-hour army protection; where settlers live on the upper floors of the same houses as Palestinians, separated by a wire fence through which they throw eggs, liquids and garbage at them; where Palestinian children as young as five are detained, while Israeli children never face the consequences of their violent actions; where settlers who attack a Palestinian are not arrested because it is the Sabbath.

Last night, just hours after the killing, Netanyahu ordered settlers who took over a house in Hebron in April 2012 and were then evacuated to immediately move back into it “without delay,” despite the fact that there is no legal authorization for it – thereby directly undermining the country’s rule of law.

The lesson the prime minister wants us to learn from the killing of an Israeli soldier whose duty it is to protect a violent and unsustainable occupation is that we should have much much more of it.

Welcome to Hebron, where the rule of law is non-existent
WATCH: IDF detains 5-year old in Hebron, handcuffs, blindfolds father
The market square is empty in Hebron
WATCH: A Jew-only street and a Palestinian dirt path in Hebron

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    1. Mairav, I am sorry that you have to live like this but you must remember that Israel’s only purpose is to be a safe haven for Jewish people everywhere for when the next annihilation attempt happens. It’s not to live in peace it’s to have all the land and the reources (without the people) to house the 12 million Jews who will supposedly flock to Israel when the next holocaust happens…

      Unless you there in Israel change that mindset and renounce this goal, nothing will ever change until of course Israel succeeded in ethnically cleansing all of Palestine and taking all the land. Netanyahu hopes that eventually Israel-Palestine will be cleared of all Palestinians and that all the land and resources will be in Jewish hands. In that sense his response to this unfortunate shooting is perfectly consistent. Netanyahu and mainstream Israel do not want peace, or at least peace is not at the top of the priority list.

      Netanyahu’s government and every government that’s ever existed in Israel have always worked consistently for the same goal. Give up the idea of maintaining a Jewish state (or rather ghetto) at the expense of the indigenous people of Palestine, and your problems are over! Criticising Netanyahu is pointless, he is just fulfilling Israel’s original and consistent charter or mission for which almost every Israeli Jew subscribes as well as many Zionist Jews around the world. I admire your spirit and your position to some extent but it actually only helps to confuse the issues. Tell people why things are the way they are. People do not understand why Israel behaves the way it does. It’s not about peace it’s about a Jewish safe-haven (to which by the way I will never return).

      Reply to Comment
    2. EYES2C

      Yitzhak Rabin did not dare to evict the Judo-Nazis from Hebron. Then Fascist Igal Amir killed him, bringing upon us Netanyahu, who continues to incite against peace.

      Reply to Comment
      • rsgengland

        Are you accusing the Jews of setting up extermination camps for the Arabs, by your Judo-Nazi comments.
        The Nazis committed the worst crime in human history; the attempt to totally eradicate the JEWS AND GYPSIES.
        That is where the Nazis earned their notoriety; the pre-planned, mechanized murder of six million Jews and six million others.
        Is this what you are accusing Jews of with your Judo-Nazi comment.
        Comparing Jews to Nazis is Antisemitism at its most basic and nasty.
        Stalin killed millions.
        Mao killed millions.
        Turkey killed a million Kurds.
        I have not heard anyone calling them Nazis.
        It seems to be an accusation leveled only at Jews by Antisemites and/or ignorant, uneducated philistines.
        Protestations about using the Antisemitic card by Israel to avoid censure carry no weight.
        Your comments and comparisons are both odious and ANTISEMITIC. Period

        Reply to Comment
        • Ed

          So somebody used to word ‘nazi’ … is that a cue to forget the question in hand and start banging on about Stalin, Turkey and anything else you can think of?

          You can bring up any example of murder from history you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that here, right now in 2013, Israelis are brutally occupying Palestinians in Hebron.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            What Israeli is doing in in Hebron is merely preventing Palestinian Arab murderers from exterminating civilian Jewish population.

            Regretfully, the only effective way of doing so is occupation and control.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ed

            If you think the settlers in Hebron are peace-loving civilians who only want to live in harmony with Palestinians, all I can suggest is that you go and spend five minutes in Hebron and look around you.

            Reply to Comment
        • “and six million others”
          Really, you are getting more cautious now, aren’t you? In case you might turn out to be wrong after all.

          Reply to Comment
        • EYES2C

          Suggest you read Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz, who was an outspoken critic of Israeli values and national policy. His remarks accusing Israeli soldiers of a “Judeo-Nazi” mentality provoked a public outcry amongst Israelis. What angers the majority of Israelis is the emotive language Prof Leibowitz used to make his points: comparing the settlers to ‘Judeo-Nazis’, and declaring that Israeli undercover army units are no better than Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement. Prof Leibowitz – a pious Jew – did not see himself as particularly radical.

          Reply to Comment
        • Average American

          It is fair to list other people who have been massacred. Many kinds of people. We should include the Native Indians of North America, and the Tutsi of Rwanda. It’s not just the Jews who suffered, they’re not special, they don’t have a monopoly on suffering nor on causing suffering.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Chris Hedges described Zionism very well in his latest column:
      “I have spent time with mass killers, warlords and death squad leaders as a reporter in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. Some are psychopaths who relish acts of sadism, torture and murder. But others, maybe most, see killing as a job, a profession, good for their careers and status. They enjoy playing God. They revel in the hypermasculine world of force where theft and rape are perks. They proudly refine the techniques of murder to snuff out one life after another, largely numb to the terror and cruelty they inflict. And, when they are not killing, they can sometimes be disarmingly charming and gracious. Some are decent fathers and sentimental with their wives and mistresses. They can dote on their pets.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Vadim

        Just to set things straight –
        Chris Hedges was not speaking about Zionism or Israel at all. He was speaking generally and his column (
        http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_act_of_killing_20130923//) is about a documentary about Indonesian death squad leaders (I don’t know if they were Muslim or not).

        You took some general description of mass murderers and somehow thought it was an appropriate description of Zionism. Not a certain Israeli policy or certain Israelis. Zionism as a whole. The national movement of the Jews, the idea that Jews deserve to have a state in their ancient homeland.


        Reply to Comment
        • Hedges writes about ‘The Act of Killing’ as anybody can see. That’s what has been happening to the Palestinians from the first day the Zionists set foot on the Palestinian’s homeland.
          Zionism is not the national movement of the Jews, and never was. And Palestine is not the ancient homeland of the Jews. It doesn’t stop to amaze me how people who base their “rights” on mythology can’t see that it was precisely this kind of mythology that caused them so much suffering.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            The vast majority of Jews will disagree with you on both counts. It doesn’t stop to amaze me how many people throughout the ages demand that we abandon our beliefs.

            Reply to Comment
          • You must be 2000 years old then. We mortals get over things like that. We love the Spanish now, no grudge about the inquisition. I’m serious.

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            Nobody is asking you to abandon your beliefs. You can believe whatever you want SO LONG AS IT DOESN’T INFRINGE UPON THE LAW. If your beliefs cause real harm to others (e.g. by subjecting the Palestinians to a brutal dictatorial apartheid regime going on 50 years), then the world will naturally seek to correct that.

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            And please stop speaking on behalf of Jews the world over. Most Jews are liberal progressives and want to have nothing to do with Israel’s messianic behavior.

            Reply to Comment
          • Average American

            Please allow this to be an opportunity to tell me more about your beliefs. Most average Americans don’t know much about the core beliefs that guide the Jewish people, including what in their eyes is a non-Jew’s place. We have read, however, some disturbing ideas in translations of the Talmud, which is supposed to be your guiding book. One example: Paying a non-Jew for his work can be done at your convenience, and possibly never, if he was so foolish as to assume he would be paid immediately and did not make a payment schedule agreement with you in advance. This only borders on robbery, for actual robbery is taking something that he already had. Is this one of your beliefs that you don’t want to change? Another example from the Talmud: A Jewish man bought from a non-Jew a bowl for the agreed price of four zuz. The Jewish man paid one zuz less. If the non-Jew was so careless as to not count his change, then the Jew can keep the bowl for less than he agreed to pay. Is that one of your beliefs? Here’s an example from the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, representing his country, who said non-Jews are like donkeys to serve the Jews, and God keeps non-Jews alive for that purpose. Is that one of your beliefs?

            Reply to Comment
          • Vadim

            This is not the homeland of the Jews, Jews have not prayed hundreds of years to return here. Zionism is not the national movement of the Jews, that’s why it has not created a Jewish state. Our rights are based on mythology but Arabs have lived here for at least a billion years (some say they are related to the Homo Jihadus – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zso89F2-nsk). And when the impoverished Jews of the first Alliyot came, local Arabs welcomed them with love but all they could do is kill Arabs, that’s why the came here.

            I wanted to share a poem with you, written by Raed Salah, it clearly shows all the love we got here –

            You Jews are criminal bombers of mosques,
            Slaughterers of pregnant women and babies.
            Robbers and germs in all times,
            The Creator sentenced you to be loser monkeys,
            Victory belongs to Muslims, from the Nile to the Euphrates.

            I find this poem lovely, don’t you? I think you and Raed could be good friends.

            Reply to Comment
          • Average American

            Well, I’m not sure it’s good for either side to call the other monkeys or other trash of some kind. It’s ok to ask about beliefs, intentions, attitudes, facts. Draw your conclusions in your mind, but maybe not call each other names.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Giora Me'ir

      Typical colonizer behavior. Engage in collective punishment by deepening the colonization.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Danny

      I fear you are giving Netanyahu a little too much credit. He has no plan, whatsoever, of further entrenching the occupation of Hebron because he knows it is the craziest settlement in the West Bank that has the least chance of staying put after an agreement is reached with the Palestinians. But Netanyahu has crazy people in his party and government whom he must placate. With Danon and Hotoveli on the one hand, and Bennet and Strock on the other, he is trapped between a rock and a hard place. If he had some guts, he would do like Sharon and quit the Likud and form a new, saner party.

      Reply to Comment
      • XYZ

        And just like Sharon’s party, KADIMAH, it would implode after a few years and the Likud, under new leadership still advocating its traditional policies, would remain the largest party. The Left collaposed politically because it doesn’t stand for anything and its “peace” policies have failed. The Likud’s policies promoting traditional Zionist values must resonate with the majority of the population, seeing as how the party remains on top in spite of having formerly popular leaders like Sharon and Livni betraying it.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Average American

      No, there is no rule of law as Americans think of it anyway. The rule in Israel is an ideology, and there is no other morality than that. You’re correct, the ideology has been consistent from the inception of Israel. It is Zionism. Zionism seems to have some disturbing aspects. The U.N. found and declared that Zionism contains racism and national socialism. Contains the ideas that Jewish people are inherently better than other people, other people are a threat to the purity of The Jewish State, and armed action against those other people glorifies the national identity. Wow.

      Reply to Comment
    7. I wouldn’t want patriarchs who would demand I subject people to this kind of life.

      There seems to be an uptake of reprisal violence among (some) Palestinians. A flare up is inevitable. Since Israel cannot inflict unwaranted harm by definition, this will be further proof that “the situation” is in inherent in Palestinians. All one can do is press down harder.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Jozef

      Do you think Hevron must be judenrein?

      No but tolérance And fraternity.

      A new Ramat Aviv.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Hebron musn’t be Judenfrei.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Boris Godin

      Hebron is Jewish Capital since King David. Most of old houses in Hevron is Jewish houses-you can see “Mezuzot” on these buildings.
      Arabs stole these buildigs and many
      ather things after Pogrom 1929
      And now they want sitl our history.

      Reply to Comment
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