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On display in Gaza: The true Israeli narrative

Islamic Jihad or Fatah, terrorists or guerillas, post-Oslo or pre-Oslo, the Palestinians have no right to resist our control, which we impose by full right.

Here we are again, fighting for our survival, fighting in self-defense, killing Islamic Jihad terrorists who deliberately fire rockets at innocent Israeli civilians, and all this after we got out of there completely, and after all the peace offers we made since Oslo that they rejected. You see? We have no choice.

The above is the Israeli narrative for our current targeted assassination campaign, the same one we used for Operation Cast Lead and every other onslaught we’ve visited on the Strip over the last decade: Our enemies are jihadists who won’t accept anything less than our deaths; they target innocent civilians, which further proves their intentions and essential evil;  and we’ve offered them statehood repeatedly but they rejected it every time, so war is forced on us as the last option.

This is what Israelis tell themselves, and it’s all crap. It doesn’t matter whether the terrorists are jihadists or not, it doesn’t matter if they target civilians or not, it doesn’t matter if we offered them statehood or not – we’re going to kill them if they try to break out of our control, and we will always be totally innocent, while they will always be totally guilty.

Look at this hypocrisy. We say that we kill them because they attack innocent civilians; would we not kill them if they only attacked soldiers? If instead of rockets they had Apache helicopters and F-16s and bombed IDF bases and soldiers in uniform – would we view them or treat them any differently?

Moreover, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the other religious fanatics only started fighting after the first intifada of 1987; before that it was mainly Fatah, a secular nationalist movement whose armed men now work day and night with the Shin Bet and IDF, whose leaders clink glasses with our leaders. When Fatah were the terrorists, were they one iota less loathesome, less evil in Israeli eyes than Islamic Jihad?

Finally, about our peace offers, let’s put aside the fact that we never offered the Palestinians sovereignty anywhere, never offered them the freedoms that  every nation, beginning with Israel, demands. For the sake of argument, let’s say that the Oslo Accord did offer the Palestinians a deal that, by rights, they should have accepted; let’s say Rabin, Peres, Barak, Olmert and even Netanyahu offered them a peaceful way to gain their freedom and independence, yet they rejected it. Even if that were true – what about before Oslo? Did Yitzhak Shamir offer the Palestinians statehood or anything except life under Israeli military rule? Did Menachem Begin? Did Rabin in his first term? Did Golda Meir? Did Levi Eshkol? While reasonable, well-intentioned people may argue that Israel offered the Palestinians a way out of occupation after 1993,  they can’t argue that we did so between 1967 and 1993. So if our post-Oslo peace offers make the Palestinians the aggressor and Israel the defender, what do we have to say about all those Palestinian acts of violence during the 26 years of occupation before Oslo? If today’s rocket attacks are unjustified because we offered the Palestinians a state, are we saying, then, that during all those years when nothing was on offer, the attacks were justified? Of course not. As far as we’re concerned, they were as wanton and malicious and purely evil as could possibly be, exactly like the ones today.

Post-Oslo or pre-Oslo, civilian targets or military targets, jihadist or nationalist, it makes no difference – in our eyes, the Palestinians have no right to lift a finger against our control of their lives and land. And if they do, we have the absolute right to do whatever’s necessary to stop them, from Operation Cast Lead to targeted assassinations to barring the import of macaroni.

We are the conquerors, they are the conquered – this is the true Israeli narrative.

 

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    COMMENTS

    1. Joe

      Seems like Israel is not interested in allowing Gaza to do anything, period. And then, if they’re not actually doing something, you attack first and then blame the militants for thinking about doing something.

      What next, kill all the Gazan children on the basis that they might, at some point in the future, become terrorists..?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Brainwashed Israeli

      So it doesn’t matter if they fire rocket on Israeli cities? It doesn’t matter they fired rockets even before the latest killing of humanity-loving Keissy (dozens during Feb-March)?
      Should I remind you the PLO’s stance pre-Oslo? Have the Palestinians used *anything but* illegitimate terror attacks against civilians during these years?
      Have Hammas offered to make any kind of peace with Israel?
      Seems like Hammas (and certainly Islamic Jihad) are bitter enemies, and should be treated as such. The fact that they are cowards, firing rockets at civilians from civilian areas, is regretable, but shouldn’t stop Israel from retaliating.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Joe

      I’m curious to know what you are suggesting a legitimate non-violent tactic to protest Israel might be. Capitulating doesn’t count.

      Reply to Comment
    4. aristeides

      “The fact that they are cowards, firing … at civilians from civilian areas, is regretable, but shouldn’t stop Gazans from retaliating.”

      Reply to Comment
    5. AIG

      Of course we would view Palestinians differently if they did not attack civilians. If they only attacked the IDF, I for one would have much more respect for them and I think the conflict would be more easy to solve. That does not mean we will not fight them, but at least they would have been seen as an “honorable” enemy. In the end, the ability to make peace depends on trust, and if people fight a “clean” war, there is more chance for trust to exist.

      As things stand, after the Second Intifada, I do not trust Palestinian society one bit and am less inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. I think this is the viewpoint of many Israelis.

      Of course the battle is asymmetric and Israel is much stronger. So what? Is your contention that if Israel ever finds itself the weaker side it would be justified in targeting civilians?

      Reply to Comment
    6. AIG –

      1. The abduction of Gilad Shalit, an IDF soldier in uniform on an army base in Israel was an attack on a military target. Did that make you respect the Palestinians more?

      2. The IAF is now targeting heavily populated civilian areas in Gaza. The air strikes have killed children and old people. These are attacks on civilians.

      3. There is no such thing as a clean war.

      Reply to Comment
    7. AIG

      Lisa,

      1. Absolutely. That was an attack on a military target, the way war should be if you are forced to fight one.
      2. The IAF is targeting militants and inadvertently is hitting civilians.
      3. That is why I put clean in quotes. But there is more honorable war and less honorable. And attacking civilians just for the sake of attacking civilians as the Palestinians are doing now is just low.

      I know you are not justifying the Palestinian attacks. What is your point then? Don’t you agree that what they are doing is counterproductive?

      Reply to Comment
    8. Joe

      AIG, I think Lisa’s point is that if you condemn military strikes on civilians and attacks on military targets, you are a) condemning the IDF and b) justifying militant attacks on the IDF.

      The IDF actions are as counterproductive as the militants and vice versa.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Philos

      AIG, your arguments are reminiscent of the British complaints that the Boer refused to “fight fair” in employing guerrilla tactics against the much stronger British forces.
      .
      The British solution? Put all the Boer civilians in camps; camps that were called concentration camps, which in 1898 didn’t sound so bad. Admittedly these were not death camps but thousands of Boer civilians died from hunger and disease.

      Reply to Comment
    10. d julien

      I saw a bumper sticker which read:
      “War is terrorism on a bigger budget”

      Reply to Comment
    11. Michael W.

      Joe, same could be said for the armed Palestiniants. No matter what they do, it is them and their people that always get hurt more.

      I agree with AIG.

      Israel will only respect their right to resist when they start loving their children more than they hate Israel.

      One of the problems is that the Palestinian population is so young. There are so many young men ready to be exploited into “resistance” cells and end up being killed.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Joe

      Read my lips: The IDF actions are as counterproductive as the militants and vice versa.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Steve Wise

      Although I probably agree 99.9% with Mr. Derfner’s remarks (and certainly sensibilities) I believe there was a gesture of sorts after the 1967 war- return of land for peace-this was before there were any settlements by the way (well, of course) But things went from bad to worse since that conference in Khartoum(1974) which sort of sealed the ‘deal” for awhile. Until Sadat and the Oslo attempts. As hardlined and hardheaded and “too close to goodness” people were in 1967 there was a glimmer that soon faded.

      Reply to Comment
    14. David

      I can’t imagine why you’re not more popular with Israelis, Larry.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Thanks, Steve Wise – the land-for-peace offer made by the cabinet in 1967 was limited to the Sinai (taken from Egypt) and the Golan (taken from Syria). Israel made no offer to trade back the land where the Palestinians lived – the West Bank including east Jerusalem (taken from Jordan) and the Gaza Strip (taken from Egypt).

      Reply to Comment
    16. Steve

      Do you think Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the collective Gaza entity should someday simply declare a permanent peace with the Jewish state of Israel?

      Or do you think they should keep seeking Israel’s destruction, so Israel is forced to continue to defend itself, so the extreme-left can continue to just always insult and blame Israel for everything?

      Reply to Comment
    17. Bruce

      AIG-
      What part of the Israeli occupation and apartheid is honorable. They occupy lands, forfeit the right of the people to marry others, and bring them to Israel, take away homes of American Jews and Arabs, because they are deemed as absentee owners, jail people for years with no actual charges, take people’s house by force and disallow them to go to school. Do not provide for kids transportation to schooling, so ARAB kids have walk to school for OVER 2 HOURS! Starve them en mass, shut-down their economy….Then you expect decency and “clean” fight! Get a grip!

      Reply to Comment
    18. Richard Witty

      There are two many narratives, far far more than two.

      There are more than two narratives in Larry’s post.

      The polar ones are easy to caricature.
      1. Israel always and only right.
      2. Israel always and only wrong

      In Grossman’s description of why more Israelis aren’t dissenting, he stated that he suffers the same humbling lack of inside knowledge as any Israeli, and in a dangerous world that awareness that one doesn’t know enough of the relevant facts to form an accurate conclusion is paralyzing.

      I liken the relationships to a circle, a cycle of violence. Those that seek exclusive blamed party, hate that reasoning.

      “Its not a cycle of violence that I (or we) have contributed to”. Its them.

      But, the fact is that the violence that exists is a bicycle wheel, that would stop if not for deliberate stimuli, from BOTH communities.

      The art of making peace is to lessen the turning of the wheel, to boycott the escalation of animosity.

      I don’t know if the PRC were in process of executing a terror attack, and the targeted assassination was precise, based on reliable intelligence, timely, or if it was just cynical and opportunistic.

      Post-67, Palestinian self-determination was in a state of utter chaos. Was Jordanian sovereignty, self-determination prior to 67? Was the presence of internal conflicts among Palestinian factions relevant or irrelevant? Was international terror relevant or irrelevant?

      Never again will we be fundamentally harmed!!!!

      Never again will we fundamentally harm!!!!!

      The same human coin.

      Reply to Comment
    19. AIG

      Joe,

      Militant attacks on the IDF are justified, where did I say otherwise? Hamas and Israel are at war. I would not be happy if the IDF is attacked, but it would at least make sense to me. Attacking civilians just for attacking civilians is stupid and morally repugnant in my opinion. If for you there is no difference between attacking armed people and civilians, there is nothing much to discuss.

      It seems to me you are a pacifist. I just think that is a world view that does not work.

      Reply to Comment
    20. AIG

      Bruce,

      I don’t expect anything, I just tell you what I think and feel when the Palestinians target civilians. If you want to justify attacks against civilians because of Israel’s actions, you are treading on a very slippery moral slope. Do you really want to argue that war should be fought by whatever means possible?

      Reply to Comment
    21. Joe

      AIG, please tell me in language I can understand how Gazan militant could attack only military targets. If the IDF is not able to, why do you expect the Gazan militants would be able to – when they have considerably less resources available to them?

      And no, the only worldview that is proven in Israel/Palestine is that an eye for an eye just makes everyone blind. Might is not right.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      It’s repeated three times that this is about Gazans resisting Israeli control. But is that the issue? What if Gaza decided to declare its independence, and at the same time renounce any claim against Israel, disarm the militias, etc. Would Israel attack, because of this resistance against Israeli control? I suspect not. Maybe Larry Derfner talks to different Israelis than I do, but I don’t hear much of a desire to *control* Gaza. Mostly, a desire just not to have to worry about attacks coming from there.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      OK, I’ll justify Palestinian terrorism. Not all of it, and maybe only in the past. But much of it is (was) justified.
      *
      Terrorism is the only way to fight a settlement project. Who else are you going to attack but non-combatants, when there isn’t a combatant in sight? Once military or para-military targets start showing up, then it gets more complicated; the justice of terrorism becomes less obvious. But that’s not how it is in the early stages of settlement. Terrorism is the only means available, and its justification is necessity. Necessity to preserve the existence of one’s community. It justified Indian American terrorism against the European settlers, and it justified Palestinian terrorism against the Jews, at least until 1948, when things got more complicated.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Aaron the Fascist Bad Typist

      Typo: that should be “American Indian,” not “Indian American,” of course.

      Reply to Comment
    25. “What if Gaza decided to declare its independence, and at the same time renounce any claim against Israel, disarm the militias, etc. Would Israel attack, because of this resistance against Israeli control?”
      .
      In that situation Israel would still retain control of the borders, passage of goods, and passage of people. Keeping Gaza’s tottering economy in a captive state, determining how much electricity the Strip is able to receive, imposing a three-mile fishing limit in heavily overfished waters, preventing farmers from doing agricultural work in the buffer zone on pain of being shot, and granting decent hospital treatment only to a privileged few are all aggressive actions and they all cost lives. Gazans can’t break free from this just by saying, “We’re independent now and no more rockets will be fired.” There are no rockets coming out of the West Bank, yet West Bank residents remain under the control of the Israeli authorities – they decide whose house stands, for a start.

      Reply to Comment
    26. aristeides

      Aaron – if Israel were really worried most about rockets coming from Gaza, it would stop deliberatly provoking them. The Israeli government is clearly willing to sacrifice the security of its citizens in order to make political points, provoking retaliation that endangers them. If an Israeli is hurt or killed, it provides excellent fodder for the endless wail of victimization, “they all want to kill us and drive us into the SEEEEEEE.”

      .
      Hamas has demonstrated that it is willing to maintain a ceasefire, and Israel has demonstrated more than once that it is willing to break one when it wants to whip up a small convenient military exercise. But from the chorus of the brainless, the only note that we hear is the rocket song.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      No, Gaza hasn’t met the hypothetical condition I described: disarming Hamas and Islamic Jihad, declaring univocally that it has no further claims against Israel, etc. I understand that we’re all bloodthirsty monsters, but are we *that* bloodthirsty that we’d shoot at farmers in a country that no longer threatens our security? Why would we do that, just for sport? Also, since when is control of your state’s borders control of neighboring states? Israel controls the border with Jordan. Does Israel control Jordan?
      *
      Speaking as a member of “the chorus of the brainless,” I’m skeptical that this operation was done just to provoke a response. Maybe it was – definitely a possibility. But I’d like to see the evidence.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Hamas has demonstrated that it’s willing to maintain cease-fires. So has Israel. Hamas has broken cease-fires. So has Israel. There’s room for improvement on both sides, let’s say.
      *
      I think it was Yassir Abd-Rabbo [sp?] of the PLO who once complained about Hamas breaking cease-fires with Israel. This was at a time when cease-fires were seen as a tactical (not strategic) interest of the PLO. Abd-Rabbo complained that Hamas takes the smallest technical violation by Israel and uses it as an excuse to break the cease-fire and launch an attack.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Sinjim

      @Aaron the etc.: Your hypothetical doesn’t have any relevance to real life. No one in Gaza has any intention of declaring independence for the Strip alone. The reason Israel wants to control Gaza (yes, it does want that) is precisely because of that. Gaza is Palestinian and so long as its Palestinian, Israel’s only concern will be how to keep it in line.

      Reply to Comment
    30. Piotr Berman

      There was never a ceasefire. Israel refuses to contemplate the concept. REUTERS:

      “Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed faction behind most of the rocket fire, said any truce should include an undertaking by Israel “to end assassinations”.

      The exchanges began after two chiefs of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) faction, accused by Israel of planning to attack it through Egypt’s Sinai desert, were killed in an Israeli strike on Friday.

      Israel signalled that it would not halt what it calls “preventive targeting” operations aimed at stopping rocket fire and cross-border attacks.

      ——–

      Our most sympathetic trolls ask what is the evidence that the assassinations are done just to provoke a response. Perhaps the reasons were different: what is a better way to celebrate Purim than killing some enemies? (If you are a pacifist, you may consider spitting on an Armenian.) Clearly, “preventive targetting” can be always perform, targets being guilty of sins past and planned, plus being VERY BAD PEOPLE. It is always good to kill a very bad person.

      By the way: is a double killing “the smallest technical violation”?

      Reply to Comment
    31. aristeides

      Aaron asks – “we *that* bloodthirsty that we’d shoot at farmers in a country that no longer threatens our security?”

      .
      Yes. The IDF is constantly shooting at farmers, shepherds, schoolchildren in the West Bank.

      .
      I must add, Aaron, that I don’t classify you at all among the “brainless.” I may not agree with all your comments, but they are always thought out.

      Reply to Comment
    32. John Yorke

      The dilemma is as it always is – the patient is showing no signs of improvement and all indicators suggest a very terminal outcome, probably at sometime in the not too distant future. Every medication thought to have any curative power has been administered and yet nothing seems to have worked; the disease is still rampant and only palliative care is now being given. The condition remains critical, the site of the injury inoperable and, unless some radical treatment is discovered soon, even the most optimistic prognosis holds out very little hope of salvation for the situation.

      But, before we write off the Israeli-Palestinian case as being too toxic to save, it must never be forgotten that we human beings are ever a resourceful and a resilient species. We haven’t come as far as we have by mere chance; there is in us some element that will always seek out an answer, even when the question has been asked a thousand times before – and with not once having gained any meaningful reply.

      Keyhole surgery is never going to provide the answer. We have to cut deep and wide to excise the mass of cancerous tissue that is the real problem here.

      http://yorketowers.blogspot.com

      We will get nowhere if we all keep thinking on so small a scale.

      Reply to Comment
    33. AIG

      Joe,

      If the Palestinians cannot hit military targets, they should not fire rockets. I do not expect them to always be able to hit only military people, but how about at least 20% of the time? In the recent tit for tat, Israel has mostly killed militants as even the Palestinians admit.

      In addition, what they are doing is not effective, so why are they doing it? It does not help them in any way. They lose any good will there is in the Israeli public to support a generous agreement, one that can only be built on trust.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Aaron, I have a friend who works with the Civil Peace Service, sailing on the observation boat ‘Olivia’ alongside the Palestinian fishing fleet. They are often attacked by water cannon before they get even two miles out. The navy has also used live ammunition against them, and the ‘Olivia’ was so badly damaged at one point that it couldn’t sail. The fishing hasakas are tiny. They pose no conceivable threat, yet they’re harassed day in and day out. Equally, people in Gaza have died for wandering in areas that aren’t even expressly declared as prohibited. The buffer zone isn’t static; an area that people may use today could be prohibited tomorrow, and there are homes standing in that zone. Forcing people to live in this chronic uncertainty doesn’t halt violence, it foments it. Essentially you’re arguing that Hamas and Islamic Jihad should respond to this with complete pacifism, to demonstrate that they pose no threat…to their heavily militarised occupier. And what is the reward? To be like the West Bank, that paradise of civil liberty?
      .
      I don’t see the soldiers who maintain this situation as monsters or motivated by bloodthirstiness. Things like drones and Sentry Tech take the blood out of killing; it becomes sanitised. When you’re part of a military system, it also becomes easy to lose that sense of personal responsibility; you’re just one cog, and if it weren’t you performing this task it would only be somebody else. This is a view that I’ve often heard from soldiers in Hebron. It is the situation that is inherently bloodthirsty and illogical, not the individuals.
      .
      My landlady’s house is a powerful illustration of what I mean:
      .
      http://bethlehemblogger.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/anastashouse.jpg?w=400&h=300
      .
      http://bethlehemblogger.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/view.jpg
      .
      Behind the wall to the right is Rachel’s Tomb and the military base. Behind the wall to the rear is a Bethlehem street (featuring a bakery selling terrific knaffeh). We can still sustain our knaffeh addiction; we just have to go the long way round, following the wall. Behind the wall to the left is nothing. Just a patch of Bethlehem land. So why is our house blocked in on three sides when the army base only lies on one? What’s the point of shutting out the sunlight? Why do we have to hike to reach a street that’s physically two feet from the front door? This house embodies the occupation’s security measures: there is no logic in them.
      .
      The Gazan farmers and fishermen who get fired upon in the buffer zone pose no more threat to Israeli security than the coriander that the authorities forbade Gaza from importing, or those hairdressers whom the authorities would not permit to travel to the West Bank for a course. This is about control. The soldier in the watchtower overlooking our corner (good morning, and would you mind not looking when I’m practising ballet? It’s making me self-conscious. Thanks) might not agree with it, but he’s still part of it. You don’t have to be a monster to sit in that tower, or to deny passage to a sick person at a checkpoint, or to open fire on Gaza’s fishing fleet. You just have to be a conscript who didn’t say no.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Piotr Berman

      Fascist Troll: No, Gaza hasn’t met the hypothetical condition I described: disarming Hamas and Islamic Jihad, declaring univocally that it has no further claims against Israel, etc.

      And what would you magnanimously bestow on Gaza after satisfying all of that (especially etc.)?
      Unrestricted use of the airport and ports, and access to the sea?

      Reply to Comment
    36. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Sinjim, my hypothetical wasn’t supposed to have relevance to real life. That’s why it was a hypothetical! I used it to show the mistake in Larry Derfner’s thinking. The end of Israel’s policy, he says, is control; but in this hypothetical situation, Israel would not be interested in control. Therefore the end of Israel’s policy must be something else. You also attribute to Israelis an amazing degree of interest in the lives of Palestinians, an interest that I haven’t noticed.
      *
      Vicky, I have no doubt that Israeli soldiers are doing many unnecessarily awful things. But I was talking about a hypothetical situation, whereas in reality we’re in a state of war with the inhabitants of Gaza, where they are fighting for the annihilation of the State of Israel (not just for an airport or whatever). That explains but of course does not at all excuse the things you mention.

      Reply to Comment
    37. Jazzy

      Larry: the meta-historical morality zone is a black hole of nonsense. When Israel has intelligence about an attack on its sovereign territory, on soldiers or civilians, it has the right to act in self-defense. I don’t know why you call yourself a Zionist if you want to make Israel’s sovereignty conditional on passing some kind of retrospective 30-year moral psychology exam. Detached from reality.

      Reply to Comment
    38. Jazzy, I don’t even know what meta-historical morality is, but about the right to self-defense, as a Zionist, I say Israel has that right, and as a human being, I say everybody does, including the Palestinians. Do I want them to fire rockets at us? Uh, no. But when we assert control over them, we should expect them to react the way we would if anyone tried to control us – the way many Zionists did react, and all of them wanted to react, when the British controlled Palestine. And if we faced up to what we were doing, we would stop controlling them and they, out of self-preservation if not morality, would stop firing rockets at us. I don’t consider that an anti-Zionist argument. As for being detached from reality, I’d say that applies to the people who insist that we’re not doing anything to the Palestinians that might make them want to do us harm.

      Reply to Comment
    39. Jazzy

      Larry: “And if we faced up to what we were doing, we would stop controlling them and they, out of self-preservation if not morality, would stop firing rockets at us.”
      What “control”? You’re entire point rests on this word, and yet these is no explanation of what you think it means. What’s left of Israel’s control of Gaza? Airspace violations by drones? Restrictions on fisherman? I must be misunderstanding you because I cannot believe you actually think that the rockets would stop if Israel simply respected Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters.

      Reply to Comment
    40. Fine, Jazzy, let some foreign country blockade Israel’s coast and airspace so that nothing and nobody comes in or goes out – and if we resist, according to your logic, our lives are forfeit. Also, let a foreign country flood Israel’s South and Center with soldiers and settlers who take our land and rule our lives at gunpoint, and if any of us in the South, Center or even the “unoccupied” North resists, according to your logic, our lives are forfeit. And when we tell this foreign country, which is a billion times stronger than Israel, to let us be free, you will understand when he says, “Fuck you.”

      Reply to Comment
    41. AIG

      Larry,

      Let’s compare apples to apples using your example. If a country much stronger than Israel occupied parts of Israel and then left some of those parts, I would not support firing rockets at them knowing that the result would be a blockade.

      I know you just based on your writing, but I am quite sure that even if the shoe were on the other foot you would not be advocating or supporting shooting rockets at civilians.

      Look at our own history. Zionism is an ideology that succeeded because its proponents were extremely pragmatic. Over decades, Ben-Gurion and his generation built democratic institutions and the Hagana. They meticulously added one dunam and another goat.

      If Ben-Gurion were leading the Gazans, would he be firing rockets? No, he would be in Arab countries raising money for investments in Gaza. He would be maximizing what they have instead of adopting an all or nothing strategy.

      The Palestinians have genuine grievances, but they have to stop shooting themselves in the foot and become much more pragmatic.

      Reply to Comment
    42. aristeides

      AIG – how would the money for the investments in Gaza reach it, given the existence of the Israeli blockade? How would the goods purchased by the money reach it? Israel has blocked off all peaceful roads to resolution in Gaza, leaving only rockets.

      Reply to Comment
    43. AIG

      ARISTEIDES,

      There would not be a blockade were it not for the violence. If when Israel withdrew from Gaza, there would have been no cross border attacks, the situation would be completely different. And the solution to Gaza is in Palestinian hands. If Hamas and the other militant factions commit to not importing weapons and allowing credible inspection of such efforts; if they hand over their current rockets to the Egyptians and commit to no violence, the blockade would be history in a matter of months.

      Israel did not start the blockade right after pulling out of Gaza. The blockade is the result of the Hamas taking over and advocating a violent solution to the conflict.

      So yes, there is plenty the Palestinians can do that is peaceful. Don’t you think it is a little demeaning to the Palestinians that you believe that Israel has decided for them what are the means it should use and that they are left with only the “option” of shooting rockets (which you agreed is not effective and therefore not a real option)?

      Reply to Comment
    44. AIG, Israel hasn’t lifted the air and sea blockade of Gaza, or offered or dreamed of lifting it, since it invaded Gaza in the Six Day War. Same goes for the West Bank. And in its negotiations w/the Palestinian Authority, the IDF and Shin Bet’s security partner, Israel has never, to my knowledge, offered to let the PA control its own borders and airspace. Sorry, we’re not as well-meaning and generous to the Palestinians as you think.

      Reply to Comment
    45. AIG

      Larry,

      1) What do you say to people who think that not controlling Gaza’s airspace after 9/11 does not make sense?

      2) What do you say to people who point out the large amounts of weapons smuggled into Gaza by the sea route?

      I want to give Palestinians control, but how can you do that unless there is some trust? The way to build trust is to have each side take a little step and have the other side reciprocate. Giant leaps forward are not going to work. Imagine we give Gazans control of their air space and a Gaza plane crashes into Ashdod. I cringe to think about the casualties and what will follow.

      My two cents are the following. Instead of talking about things not likely to happen, let’s advocate small confidence building steps that are not viewed as risky by either side. For example, I propose the Israeli government allow more exports of agriculture products from Gaza. Can the Palestinians make a small move in return? The idea is to start building a virtuous circle of trust.

      Reply to Comment
    46. Jazzy

      Larry: Ok, so just to get this clear – you think that the rocket fire is justified by
      (1) The naval blockade of Gaza
      (2) IAF activities in Gaza airspace
      (3) Settlements in the West Bank.
      Is this right?

      Reply to Comment
    47. aristeides

      AIG – I don’t know where you people get these ideas. “All the Palestinians have to do is turn into peaceflowers, and they’ll have a state, yadda yadda.”
      .
      The blockade of Gaza long predates the withdrawal of the settlers. Israel has stated that it will never be lifted. Israel has also stated that it will never talk to, let alone negotiate, with Hamas. Hamas has maintained ceasefires on many occasions, and Israel has never reciprocated by lifting the blockade.

      .
      When Hamas won the Palestinian elections, it offered Israel a comprehensive truce, which Israel instantly rebuffed by making attacks on Islamic Jihad members. The situation in Gaza is entirely in Israeli hands and always has been. Nothing the Palestinians can do will ever change this.

      Reply to Comment
    48. AIG

      ARISTEIDES,

      I disagree with you about the facts and you misinterpret what I said.

      But what is more interesting is your fatalistic view. You seem to believe the Palestinians have no hope because Israel holds all the cards. According to you, all they can do is fire ineffective missiles from Gaza. You hold a very strange position.

      Reply to Comment
    49. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Just wanted to say that I really liked AIG’s comment of 10:04am. Small gestures of goodwill have sometimes worked. Not very often, but sometimes. My impression just from reading some news stories is that the relatively good situation in Judea and Samaria (I said relatively, OK?) is largely a result of such a process.
      *
      As I understand Larry’s position, if we would just give back half the land we stole from the Palestinians and not try to control their import of arms, etc., then they would stop attacking us and, de facto at least, accept a Jewish state inside of Palestine. Basically an unofficial cease-fire lasting indefinitely. Sorry for being sarcastic, but that’s what I read him as saying. I get that from his emphasis on our control of the stolen territory that we did give back rather than our control of the stolen territory that none of us (including Larry) has any intention of ever giving back.
      *
      It’s undeniable that in the short run, Israeli actions in Gaza lead to flare-ups. But I read Larry as suggesting that if we would just leave Gaza alone, the way we do Jordan, for instance, then they wouldn’t attack us. Apparently Jazzy got the same impression. Maybe a clarification would be helpful.

      Reply to Comment
    50. aristeides

      AIG – facts are facts. Disagreeing with them doesn’t change anything.

      .
      You do, however, correctly infer my position. Israel is never going to do the sort of thing that Aaron, in the post above, suggests will not work, and so the Palestinians have no hope. None.

      .
      But what I would ask Aaron is – why not try leaving Gaza alone? Why is this so hard to contemplate?

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