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No way to defeat Jewish terrorism without ending the occupation

For the extreme right, violence against Palestinian civilians is not solely a result of racism — it is, first and foremost, a form of control.

The vast majority of settlers are not violent, although different levels of violence toward the Palestinian population in the occupied territories have accompanied the settlement enterprise since its inception. These acts of violence are never an outlier, but as a direct consequence of the situation in the West Bank.

The public turns a blind eye to this fact whenever these events happen. The responses to the murder of the 18-month-old baby Ali Dawabshe, are a sign that we will continue to ignore the bigger picture.

Israeli soldiers are seen in front of the damaged house of the Dawabsha family, which was set on fire by Jewish settlers and where 18-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha died, in the West Bank village of Duma, on July 31, 2015. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Israeli Border Policemen are seen in front of the damaged house of the Dawabsha family, which was allegedly set on fire by Jewish settlers, killing 18-month-old Palestinian Ali Saad Dawabsha, in the West Bank village of Duma, July 31, 2015. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

The defining characteristic of the occupation is that it includes two civilian populations living alongside one another, which are subject to two different legal systems. The Palestinians live under a military regime, while every Israeli who lives or even visits the settlements “brings” the Israeli law with them, including all the legal protections she or he is granted.

The second defining characteristic of the occupation is the Israeli desire to slowly expand the territory and resources for the Jewish public, while slowly lessening Palestinians’ territory. This combination — a military regime with civilian settlement — is what causes the Israeli occupation to look and feel a lot like colonialism or apartheid, even if there is not an exact overlap. This is the essence of the regime, regardless of the question of whether or not this is our forefathers’ land, or who was here first.

Colonialism always goes hand-in-hand with racism, and extreme racism is always accompanied by violence. Even if the original motivation that brings about a colonial situation is not racist, at a certain point the ruling group must somehow justify its own privileges, which inevitably leads to racist worldviews. For example, that the occupied population is not “ready” to have all their rights, or that it is inherently weak and violent; that it doesn’t appreciate life as we do; that it prefers to live in close, dirty quarters, etc. The struggle against racism in Israel — to the degree that it even exists — will fail as long as the occupation exists, since we will always need racism in order to justify the occupation.

But racism cannot fully explain the violence toward Palestinian civilians. Some of the more infamous attempts to harm Palestinians — the Jewish Underground, which carried out a murderous attack on a seminar in Hebron and attempted to blow up five Palestinian buses, was the most well known of them — were not exceptionally racist. The Jewish Underground’s goals were first and foremost political: to prevent the possible evacuation of settlements while strengthening Jewish rule over the local population through fear, intimidation and “punishing” leading figures, as was the case with their attacks on Palestinian mayors. The excuse is always the “weakness” of the central regime — what is seen as hesitancy to implement Israeli sovereignty vis-a-vis the Palestinian population. The violence was and remains a form of control.

Benzi Gopstein, a well-known settler activist and leader of the extreme right Levaha organization, disrupts olive harvest in Hebron. (Activestills)

Benzi Gopstein, a well-known settler activist and leader of the extreme right Levaha organization, disrupts olive harvest in Hebron. (Activestills)

The history of colonialism is rife with such examples. One of the most famous ones was the Organisation de l’armée secrète, a far-right paramilitary group that used terrorism to try and prevent Algeria’s independence from French colonial rule. At one point the group began targeting French citizens, such as Sartre — who supported an end to French rule — and even President De Gaulle himself.

A similar pattern has taken shape here. The central idea behind the so-called “price tag” attacks is political — tightening control over the Palestinians through “punishment” (of innocents) whether as a response to attacks on Jews or what is seen as the weakening of Jewish grip on the West Bank, usually after demolition of structures in outposts or settlements. The most minor harassment to Palestinians are usually accompanied with talks of “the need to teach them a lesson,” “to teach them respect,” and so on.

Read: Settler violence — it comes with the territory

During my army service in the occupied territories, I encountered many of these kinds of remarks, especially in Hebron, where the friction Jews and Palestinians was and remains the most intense. Sometimes it resulted in breaking car windows or sun-heated water tanks atop of Palestinian homes. In other cases it was a slap to the face or spitting in the direction of a passerby. In Gaza and the Nablus region, the incidents usually took place near the checkpoints. I remember a few instances in which armed settlers exited their cars (especially when there was a long line, or the junction was blocked for some reason), berated and threatened the Palestinians in the very same lordly tone. It is hard to even think about that same Israeli citizen leaving his car in a traffic jam in Haifa, waving his weapon at the other drivers and yelling at the police to do their job, at least without it ending in his arrest. Why does the same person act differently on the other side of the Green Line? The difference lies in the occupation, and everyone involved knows it.

Israeli settlers at the Hebron Jewish settlement's Purim parade on the city's Shuhada Street. Itamar Ben Gvir (L), is dressed as a hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner. February 24, 2013 (Activestills.org)

Israeli settlers hold their annual Purim parade on Hebron’s Shuahda Street. The street has been closed off to Palestinian access for several years, February 24, 2013 (Activestills.org)

Of course Palestinians also try to harm Jews in the occupied territories — but the difference is that there is an entire system that works to deal with Palestinian violence. It does so vigorously, using tools that are unacceptable in Israel’s legal system: mass arrests without trial, warrantless searches (even in houses of non-suspects), torture, collective punishment (canceling entry permits to Palestinians whose family member was involved in terrorism), targeted assassinations, etc.

After the horrendous murder of the Fogel family in 2011, the army put the Palestinian village of Hawara under curfew, broke into houses and forcefully took D.N.A. samples from all the men of the village.

Any Palestinian who wrote a murderous manifesto such as the one published by Moshe Auerbach [Hebrew] — which explained how to look for Palestinian homes to light on fire while blocking the entrance of the house so that the victims are unable to escape — would be locked up for many years, or at least held in administrative detention. But Auerbach himself was released as a result of a procedural mistake by the prosecution.

IDF soldiers prevent Palestinians from plowing their land after disruptions by settlers, Sinjil, West Bank. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

IDF soldiers prevent Palestinians from plowing their land after disruptions by settlers, Sinjil, West Bank. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

When I served in the army, the IDF still defined its goals as ensuring the security of all the residents of the occupied territories. Today, however, it is made clear in briefings that the first goal is to protect Jews, and the idea that all Palestinians are enemies — even the “non-combatants” — is growing.

This is an unfathomable situation. We go about our lives feeling like the law is protecting us. Most of the time this system works, and when it doesn’t we become angry, and justifiably so. But the Palestinian population is vulnerable to arbitrary harassment, whether by soldiers or settlers.

While the Palestinian Authority spends 25 percent of its budget on security, its main role is to ensure the safety of Israelis, not Palestinians (this fact alone should have put an end to the age-old question of whether or not Israel still controls the Palestinians). A Palestinian policeman cannot arrest a settler, even if an attack was to take place before his own eyes. Palestinians are therefore dependent on the good will of the army, the police or the Shin Bet, and these bodies do not give much importance to protecting Palestinian life, aside for in a few exceptional cases.

Add to this the fact that the majority of Palestinian civilians killed in the West Bank are killed by the army itself. In comparison to the IDF, the violence of the extreme right is still marginal. And IDF violence is treated far more leniently than price tag attacks. Even in the most extreme cases, where there is a clear suspicious of murder by Israeli soldiers, the system’s instinct is to cover it up. When an investigation is pursued, it is done long after the incident took place and with limited resources (+972 published a series of incidents detailing stories of soldiers who killed Palestinians and were let off the hook) Punishment is almost nonexistent, aside from a few special cases (which are entirely symbolic).

In fact, the main reason the army investigates these cases is the need to enforce discipline on its troops, along with a desire to protect the military leadership from the International Criminal Court (a functional internal mechanism to investigate such crimes is one of the legal protections against these kinds of international criminal trials).

The problem begins with the highest ranks: the General Officer Commanding the IDF’s Central Command himself, who is charged with maintaining Palestinian security, was involved in the killing of an unarmed Palestinian [Hebrew]. The commander of the Binyamin Regional Brigade shot a Palestinian stone-thrower who was running away from him; a video that came to light after the incident revealed that the IDF’s version of the events was inaccurate, to say the least. These events, which take place regularly, illustrate the absurdity behind the notion that the army will protect Palestinian civilians.

Family members of 17-year-old Mohammed Sami al-Ksbeh mourns during his funeral in Qalandiya refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Ramallah July 3, 2015. A senior Israeli army officer shot and killed Ksbeh who was throwing stones near a checkpoint in the West Bank on Friday, June 3, 2015. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Family members of 17-year-old Mohammed Sami al-Ksabeh mourns during his funeral in Qalandiya refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Ramallah July 3, 2015. A senior Israeli army officer shot and killed Ksabeh who was throwing stones near a checkpoint in the West Bank on Friday, June 3, 2015. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Still, I do not support the recent calls to use all the means available to the IDF and the Shin Bet — which are used on Palestinians every day — against right-wing Jewish extremists. This approach will only increase the number of human rights violations by the occupation. No one is planning to place a settlement under curfew or take all of its men to D.N.A. tests, and for good reason. As I wrote earlier, violence is inseparable from the colonial reality in the occupied territories — without putting an end to that reality, there is no chance to properly deal with violence. Even if things cool down temporarily, the situation will only grow worse in the long run. The only solutions are the evacuation of settlements or equal rights for all.

There were people on the left who claimed in recent days that Prime Minister Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett are responsible for the murder of Ali Dawabshe. But in my eyes, their responsibility is no greater than that of centrists who believe that the occupation is tolerable, or that there is “no partner” and “no alternative,” and therefore the status quo in the occupied territories must remain for the time being. The occupation and the settlements create violence. It is true that the war against Jewish terrorism should not wait for the end of military rule — but without fighting the occupation, there is no chance of winning the battle against Jewish terrorism.

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

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    COMMENTS

    1. Write that book, Noam–seriously. It will be different, of this I am certain.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Gustav

      “or that there is “no partner” and “no alternative,” and therefore the status quo in the occupied territories must remain for the time being.”

      Oh really and you don’t think that we are right about that????!!!

      Then tell us the alternative. And point to the negotiating partner but please be serious.

      The fact is that you can pretend all you like that a secular democratic state with equal immigration rights for Arabs and Jews is the answer. But it just isn’t.

      …it isn’t because no matter how much you pretend otherwise, a state with an Arab majority would quickly become yet another Arab Muslim state with Jews at best being an oppressed minority or at worst, expelled and murdered.

      So, from our point of view it has to be a Jewish majority state. The challenge for us then is to treat the Arab minority fairly. That would be relatively easy in peaceful times but is hard when we are at war with them.

      But I am jumping the gun. The occupation cannot end for now because the Palestinian Arabs still do not want to accept the existence of a Jewish majority state. And anything else is unacceptable to us. End of story!

      Reply to Comment
      • “from our point of view it has to be a Jewish majority state. The challenge for us then is to treat the Arab minority fairly. That would be relatively easy in peaceful times but is hard when we are at war with them”

        So get out of ALL non-Israeli territory for once. http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk#googlemap Never been tried. Jewish forces illegally in non-Israeli territory the day Israel’s sovereign extent was proclaimed effective, have never withdrawn

        Peace came between Egypt and Israel AFTER Israel withdrew from all territories sovereign to Egypt, not before. http://wp.me/pDB7k-ZZ

        “The occupation cannot end for now because the Palestinian Arabs still do not want to accept the existence of a Jewish majority state.”

        Irrelevant. There are numerous UN Member states who do not recognize each other. It is not mandatory, there is no law demanding recognition. BTW no other state in the world has recognized Israel as the Jewish state. It’s official name is “the State of Israel”. Furthermore no state in the world has recognized Israel other than by its plea for recognition and the sovereign extent proclaimed in the plea http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk Nor has any country recognized ANY territories beyond those of Israel’s self proclaimed frontiers

        Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “A Palestinian policeman cannot arrest a settler, even if an attack was to take place before his own eyes.”

        Let’s put some context to this statement, shall we?

        The last time the Palestinian police arrested two Israeli reservists who lost their way and drove into Ramallah, during the early stages of the second Intifadah, that was their only crime, they lost their way. The unfortunate Israelis were lynched under the very noses of the Palestinian police. They were lynched by a crazed and incited mob. And the whole sordid episode was filmed by some shocked foreign journalists. I still remember one of the perpetrators proudly displaying his hands which was awash with the blood of the Israelis whom he helped to lynch.

        Reply to Comment
      • Gustav, I suspect you well know that the PA went through a rather rough internal debate during the second intifada on whether to support the IDF advance; those wanting to won the day, and now the Israeli security apparatus regularly affirms satisfaction with PA cooperation–including that during Brother’s Keeper. It is true that by building this cooperation the PA apparatus has a vested interest in its continuation, for they would be targets under upheaval. But that is exactly what one wants when building links–self interested predictability.

        As to suggestions: acknowledge you have a poorly functioning yet active confederation at the moment and build on it incrementally. I have long suggested a mechanism for extending security cooperation. Let the US grant, directly, business start money to joint Israeli Palestinian ventures. Let both Israeli and Palestinian security apparatuses have a fixed number of yearly vetoes over one of the partners in these ventures. This would provide a new link of security cooperation, and if one end uses up its veto supply it can ask the other end to employ one of its remainders. Have a commerce court with three panel judges, one Israeli, one Palestinian, one from the West, much like your High Court panels, deciding contract violations and security matters once the yearly veto quotas are exhausted. But this court would have to have sovereignty, and that you will wail against. The court would hear only these matters; its venue could be expanded later by agreement.

        This is a modest proposal. But Israel would have to forgo two forms of present power: that for the commerce court and that of the business grants, which would be direct to applicants, if they are vented by security; the US, if provider, would allow neither the PA nor Israel to control who actually receives money.

        There is no grand solution in this proposal. In fact, its underlying mechanism is that there can be no grand solution. One needs to try small things and see what then appears on the horizon, just as steps change the horizon in a walk, thereby offering new destinations. It’s all fine and cozy to say there is no partner for peace, that the other is violent unalterably–and, you do know, I think, that is exactly what some Palestinians say about Israel. These have become your true partners in conflict.

        The IDF would continue as it is. Over time, I think, if the partnerships were working, there would be political pressure to alter its daily procedures with Palestinians. And that is another reason for you to dislike the idea. All you do is step up impossibilities leaving everything as now. Already the burned family is wiped from your discourse. There is no discussion at all of how this event developed, only voiced repetition of Palestinian murders to blot the question out.

        National right extremists killed an 18 month old and left 3 others in critical condition because the High Court insisted its order to demolish two unfinished (!) buildings, employing deed fraud on private Palestinian land, be honored. Palestinians were mortally attacked because someone found a High Court order NOT dealing directly with Palestinians an affront against Yahweh. Deal with it, right nationalist, deal with it.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          @Greg

          I suspect that if you would really investigate who would be for or against at least something like your proposal, you would be surprised to find that Netanyahu would be for it but Abbas would be against it. How do I know? Because Netanyahu is on the record of expressing similar sentiments to yours. He talked about confidence building measures, economic cooperation and gradual progress. You will also find that Abbas is the one who said that they want quicker progress. I don’t necessarily blame him but if thats what he wants then he too has to compromise about what we want. But it seems he is not in the mood to do so because he thinks that he has us on the run. Yet he will find that he is profoundly mistaken.

          As for me stepping up impossibilities? How so? I am on the record of supporting Ehud Olmert’s and Ehud Barak’s peace proposals. Are you saying those were impossibilities? If so, then on that, we disagree. Oh, the only other thing which I would now add, is that the Palestinian Arab population should recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people in a referendum. Following that, a peace deal should be signed which formally reflects this recognition and a peace deal based on the two Ehud’s proposals should then be implemented. That would result in the implementation of the two state solution and an end to the occupation.

          Can you please explain to me why the above is impossible, Greg?

          Reply to Comment
    3. Gustav

      Oh and one more thing…

      You want so called settlement expansion to stop? I say so called, because building new homes within the perimeters of existing settlements is NOT expansion. But please yourselves. Call it what you will…

      …you want that to stop? Get the Palestinian Arabs to sign a peace deal with us. That means, they have to specifically accept the Jewish nation state.

      …if they do, the borders will be defined at long last. After that, I guarantee that there will be no expansion by Israeli Jews into the Palestinian Arab state. There… that would solve your problem with the “settlements”.

      …but of course, that will not happen because the Palestinian Arabs refuse to accept a deal which would leave a viable Jewish nation state in existence.

      There you have it. That is the crux of the problem!!!

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Ah but then Noam says, why don’t we just go back to the 1967 borders, wind up “the settlements” and move 500,000 “settlers” back to Israel and live within a Jewish majority state?

        …why indeed. Because that would…

        …leave us with vulnerable borders which would have a width of about 15 miles and being overlooked by hills, near where 80% of our population lives. Our planes which leave or land at our international airport would be within the rangevof rocket and mortar fire as would our major industrial complexes, not to mention most of our civilians. Do we want to experience what Sderot experienced since 2000? Nah!

        …and it does not stop there. What about housing 500,000 “settlers” whom we would uproot? Israel already had protests because of housing shortages do we want to make that worse? Nah!

        …but wait, there is more. If the Palestinian Arabs won’t renounce their old policy of objecting to the existence of the Jewish nation state then what guarantee would there be that terrorism would stop? They would continue it under the guise that they are fighting for the rights of the Arab minority rights in Israel. And they would do so no matter how fairly they would be treated. They would claim that we are discriminating against them because they have no equal immigration rights as Jewish citizens of Israel. And that is a red line for us. We cannot grant equal immigration rights to Arabs because that would lead to us becoming a minority and from then, there would be a slippery slope!

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          “No partner.” – check

          Demographic threat” -check

          “We treat Arabs just fine. That’s easy.” -check

          Dr. Netanyahu’s patented “Jewish State” invention – check

          Emotive distraction re 2nd intifada and call it “context” while make sure to ignore massive genuine security cooperation now and for years – check

          “We’ll keep munching on slice after slice of the now less than 22% of the pizza on the table (burp!) but I swear we want to split the pie fairly and hey, what?, what’s not to trust? Because what we really want is peace. (burp)” – check

          “They just refuse a deal and we are sooooo generous” – check

          “Defensible borders blah blah blah” – check

          “Nah!” -check

          “Settlers can’t possibly be uprooted. Are you crazy?! Blah blah blah.” – check

          “Nah!” -check

          “Oh what can we ever do we are helpless. We will just have to continue to occupy them. I mean we just hate it but we have no choice.” – check

          “Jewish nation state nostrum. Oh wait did I already mention that? – check

          “Demographic threat.” Oh wait did I already mention that? – check

          “Terrorism” – check

          Did I mention how fairly we treat them?” – check

          Get really angry. That’ll show ’em. – check

          The occupation corrupts us??!! Nah!” -check

          Carefully ignore every true point Noam made and made with exceptional insight and knowingness – check

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Not responding to my post: check

            Raising straw men: check.

            Ignore all our concerns: check.

            Lament the lot of the poor poor Palestinians: check

            A classic Benny post. And he is not alone. This is the attitude that prevails amongst most ideologues of his kind. A classic example why there is a stalemate. So long as this attitude prevails, there will be nothing new. It will be more of the same. That’s it!

            They display contempt and in turn they beget contempt. No real discussion. We just talk AT each other.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Emotive distraction re 2nd intifada and call it “context” while make sure to ignore massive genuine security cooperation now and for years – check”

            Yea? And how effective is it?

            Did it stop terror attacks against us? Nah – check

            Did it stop the rocket fire against us? Nah – check.

            Did it stop the incitement and stone throwings? Nah – check.

            I will stop just there, even though there is more to it. But what does Benny want us to do because the PA pretends to cooperate with us? He wants us to forgive and forget the past and present terrorism and kiss their feet. Here Benny, read my lips: Nah, it ain’t gonna happen. Because in the scheme of things this so called security cooperation is just a mirage and a PR exercise. The real terrorism is stopped by us. Not by the PA. But even we are not 100% effective. The PA? I trust them as far as I can throw them when it comes to real security. They sorta go through the motion with one hand and create security problems for us with their other hand.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Gustav

      Not responding to my post: check

      Raising straw men: check.

      Ignore all our concerns: check.

      Lament the lot of the poor poor Palestinians: check

      A classic Benny post. And he is not alone. This is the attitude that prevails amongst most ideologues of his kind. A classic example why there is a stalemate. So long as this attitude prevails, there will be nothing new. It will be more of the same. That’s it!

      They display contempt and in turn they beget contempt. No real discussion. We just talk AT each other.

      PS.
      Greg, you are a bit of an exception in your latest post at least. I will respond to you shortly.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Ben

      One can’t have it both ways. The whole “we’d love to withdraw but we just can’t yet because it’s unsafe” line of pleading is fatally undermined by the fact that incessant expansion of outposts and settlements, directed with enormous effort and resources from the very top, is unnecessary for security and incompatible with the stated aim. Either the Israelis say they want to withdraw and they seek peace *and* at the same time stop their further encroachments, or they keep encroaching and keep revealing themselves to be saying one thing but doing another. They can’t have it both ways. The “we’ll stop encroaching *after* they sign a deal we like” position (while in the same breath saying “reverse a settlement and withdraw?, how could we do that? don’t you know we have a housing crisis? (while also backing the guy who could not give a rat’s patootie about the housing crisis this side of the green line)) is so implausibly obtuse as a negotiating strategy and so incoherent on the face of it as a political strategy that a person who owns such a strategy can’t possibly be taken seriously.

      Talknic, above, puts the whole matter most succinctly.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “One cannot have it both ways” says Benny. And indeed we can’t. The problem though is that Benny either does not read what he is told or more likely he is slow on the uptake.

        …for instance, he obviously did not read or did not want to understand what I said in my above post where I said this…

        “You want so called settlement expansion to stop? I say so called, because building new homes within the perimeters of existing settlements is NOT expansion.”

        …and For Benny’s information, we will never evacuate the existing major settlement blocks. Why? Because the solution is land swaps.

        As for me saying that many of us would like to see the end of the occupation? There is nothing contradictory about that…

        …all I am saying is that I and people like me are not comfortable about being occupiers. But right now, we see no alternative to it because if we unilaterally stop the occupation, or give in to the demands of the Palestinian Arabs about the type of “peace deal” which they are willing to sign, we would be worse off.

        …Benny professes not to understand what I am saying, why?

        1. Because he does not want to understand…

        2. He is too dim witted?

        …nah I’ll be kind. I think it is (1), because even a teenager would understand what I am saying.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Hey Benny, dear…

          Have you ever heard of a saying …

          “I will choose the lesser of two evils”

          Nah? Ok, if that doesn’t explain my position to you then nothing will…sigh.

          Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          “I and people like me are not comfortable about being occupiers”

          You look pretty comfortable to me. Comfortable enough to look for obstacles not seek solutions. Comfortable enough to give ultimatums, and to rigidly stereotype and categorize to the point of demonization, and not seek common ground or empathize with the other side’s problems one bit. Comfortable enough with the “violence [that] is inseparable from the colonial reality in the occupied territories”, “the absurdity behind the notion that the army will protect Palestinian civilians”, with mass arrests without trial, warrantless searches even in houses of non-suspects, torture, collective punishment, targeted assassinations, etc. Comfortable enough with Gopstein, above. Comfortable enough with the guy with the yellow face paint and the two characters to his left, above, in Hebron. Comfortable enough with the IDF soldiers preventing Palestinians from plowing their land after disruptions by settlers, Sinjil, above. Looks like you’re not “not comfortable” enough. It will probably take some form of boycott and divestment and sanctions to make you “not comfortable” enough. We are at the end of a long road of other options offered Israel and spoon fed it by the endlessly patient Americans and endlessly forbearing Europeans who are then told to shove it. Noam Sheizaf is truly uncomfortable. The gulf between you and him in comfortableness is Israel in 2015 in a nutshell. A study in human variation that contains multitudes.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            We seek no solutions – check. Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak did not seek solutions. Their solutions were just a figment of my imagination.

            We demonize and categorize – check. But you don’t Benny, right? To you, settlers are not even human beings and Palestinian Arabs never commit wrongs. Example, the lynching of our two reservists which I mentioned a few posts ago above, is just emotive and irrelevant clap trap, right Benny?

            Last but not least, Benny. What are you comfortable with? Let’s see, posting your one sided diatribe in here day in day out as if you have nothing else to do than threaten fire and brimstone on us while quoting your co-ideologues without having an original thought yourself.

            Nuff said, Benny. We are too well informed, your propaganda and preachings fall on deaf ears. Go back and tell your masters that you need more training because we are onto your nonsense and we catch you out time and time again.

            PS
            Netanyahu is not Israel. He is just our current leader while we are happy with him. But the war between us and the Palestinians did not start with Netanyahu no matter how much you pretend that it did.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “We demonize and categorize – check. But you don’t Benny, right?”

            No I do not. But Gopstein and the Kach guy with the yellow war paint on have a demonic quality to them as human beings. Look at those pictures.

            “To you, settlers are not even human beings”

            Oh no. Human. All too human. That’s why they need to be treated as such and not sacred creatures the government both reveres and fears.

            “and Palestinian Arabs never commit wrongs.”

            Not true. But their problems and their wrongs in no way no how translate into a justification for the occupation and the incessant whine, “oh yeah, well look at what they do to us!” is not a justification. Noam lays out why.

            “threaten fire and brimstone on us…the war between us and the Palestinians”

            As the hilarious Kreiselman so aptly put it:

            “You’re wallowing in your own crap. This whole twisted, paranoid, victimhood thing is your hang up. Not mine….”

            The only word I might add there is “self-righteous.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ignored my comment about Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert’s peace offers – check.

            Ignored my comment that Israel is not Netanyahu – check.

            Ignored my comment that there are no new settlements being built. Only new buildings within existing perimeters. – check.

            GUSTAV:“We demonize and categorize – check. But you don’t Benny, right?”

            BEN:No I do not. But Gopstein and the Kach guy with the yellow war paint on have a demonic quality to them as human beings. Look at those pictures.

            Check. That paragraph speaks for itself.

            Then he proceeds to ignore my comment about how heartless he [Benny] sounded about the lynching of our two reservists. – Check.

            GUSTAV:“and Palestinian Arabs never commit wrongs.”

            BEN:”Not true. But their problems and their wrongs in no way no how translate into a justification for the occupation and the incessant whine, “oh yeah, well look at what they do to us!” is not a justification. Noam lays out why.”

            But what neither you nor Noam lay out is how to end the occupation. A very important little detail which I keep on bringing up because as I keep on saying…

            1. The occupation is not a good thing.

            2. The currently offered alternatives to it are worse.

            If I am wrong about 2) then prove me wrong but ya’ all run from that question. Why?

            BEN:”As the hilarious Kreiselman so aptly put it…”

            I am not interested in what your sock puppet says. Here we are trying to have a serious discussion. Wanna continue it? Or wanna ruin it by bringing in your silly antics again?

            Reply to Comment
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Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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Illustrations: Eran Mendel