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Punitive home demolitions are racist — and just plain wrong

Law abiding societies do not exact punishment on uninvolved parties. And it certainly doesn’t look good when the families of Palestinian terrorists are harmed while the homes of Jewish terrorists are left standing. One such punitive demolition leaves nine innocent people homeless Wednesday morning.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a statement to the press, November 11, 2014. (Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a statement to the press, November 11, 2014. (Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

“Do not discriminate between blood and blood,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday night, calling for international condemnation of a murderous attack inside a synagogue that morning. Moments later, he announced the steps he plans to take in response to the senseless bloodletting.

“This evening I ordered the demolition of the homes of the terrorists who perpetrated the massacre and the hastening of the demolition of the homes of the terrorists who perpetrated the earlier attacks,” Netanyahu told the nation, asking it to allow the state to settle scores on its behalf.

Five months earlier, Netanyahu made a similar statement after the horrific murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir. “We don’t distinguish between [Palestinian] terror and [Jewish] terror, and will deal severely with both,” the prime minister said, vowing to bring the full force of the law down upon the murderers, who he said, “have no place in Israeli society.”

Of course, Netanyahu — like his predecessors — does discriminate between blood and blood, and he does distinguish between Jewish terror and Palestinian terror.

The prime minister did not order the police or army to demolish family homes of the suspects in the Abu Khdeir murder. Then again, they, and their families who live in said homes, are Jewish.

In 2005, when Eden Natan-Zada — an army deserter and follower of Kahane Chai, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by Israel, the U.S. and the EU — killed four Arab citizens of Israel and wounded a dozen others, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon called him “a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist.” His family’s home was not demolished.

In 2002, when “Bat Ayin” underground members were arrested and convicted of attempting to bomb a Palestinian girls’ school in East Jerusalem, nobody ordered their family homes demolished.

In 1994, after settler Baruch Goldstein murdered 29 and wounded 125 Palestinian worshipers in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin called the American-born doctor a “foreign implant” and “an errant weed.” He did not order Goldstein’s family home demolished.

A decade earlier, in 1984, when members of the “Jewish Underground” terrorist group were arrested while placing bombs under Palestinian buses in Jerusalem, their harsh prison sentences were commuted. Needless to say, their family homes were not demolished.

Ineffective, illegal and just plain wrong

Israeli police on Tuesday arrested at least 10 family members of the terrorists — including their mothers — who murdered four Jewish worshipers just hours earlier. Their detentions are troublesome but they will most likely be released, assuming Israeli security services cannot directly tie them to the attack. Why? Because being related to a criminal — or even to a terrorist — is not a crime.

And yet, these family members who have committed no crime, will be punished. They will be made homeless. Why? Two reasons. The first, Netayahu explained: revenge. “As a state, we will settle accounts with all of the terrorists,” he said at his Tuesday evening press conference.

The second rationale: deterrence. How better to deter someone who is willing to die than make sure they know that you will punish their family for your deeds. Logical, perhaps. Effective, not so much.

Up until this summer, Israel hadn’t used home demolitions as a punitive measure since 2005, following an army report that said it was not an effective deterrent against terrorism.

The practice is also illegal under international law, IsraeliPalestinian and international human rights groups say.

But efficacy and legality aside, collective punishment is simply wrong. Civilized, democratic and law abiding societies do not exact punishment on uninvolved parties. They do not exact punishments that aren’t dictated by a penal code and ordered by a court.

A situation where the prime minister intentionally causes great harm and pain to completely innocent and uninvolved parties in order to exact revenge and “send a message,” and does so only to perpetrators of one race or nationality, is vigilantism, not justice.

Nine civilians left homeless

On Wednesday morning Israeli police demolished Abdelrahman Shaloudi’s family home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

Shaloudi ran down and killed two people in late October, including a three-month-old baby. He was shot and killed by Israeli security forces at the scene of that attack.

Nine people lived in the apartment Israel demolished Wednesday morning. None of them had anything to do with the attack.

Family members of Abed al-Rahman Shaloudi, who murdered two people including a small baby, stand in their apartment that Israeli authorities demolished as part of a return to punitive home demolitions, Silwan, East Jerusalem, November 19, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Family members of Abed al-Rahman Shaloudi, who murdered two people including a small baby, stand in their apartment that Israeli authorities demolished as part of a return to punitive home demolitions, Silwan, East Jerusalem, November 19, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Family members of Abed al-Rahman Shaloudi, who murdered two people including a small baby, stand in their apartment that Israeli authorities demolished as part of a return to punitive home demolitions, Silwan, East Jerusalem, November 19, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Family members of Abed al-Rahman Shaloudi, who murdered two people including a small baby, stand in their apartment that Israeli authorities demolished as part of a return to punitive home demolitions, Silwan, East Jerusalem, November 19, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Local residents look at the rubble and damage after Israeli authorities demolished the home of Abed al-Rahman Shaloudi, who murdered two people including a small baby, Silwan, East Jerusalem, November 19, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Local residents look at the rubble and damage after Israeli authorities demolished the home of Abed al-Rahman Shaloudi, who murdered two people including a small baby, Silwan, East Jerusalem, November 19, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

Related:
The return of punitive home demolitions
PHOTOS: The face of Israel’s discriminatory home demolition policy
House demolitions: Zionism’s constant background noise

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    COMMENTS

    1. The Trespasser

      “Effective, not so much.”

      As a matter of fact, EXTREMELY effective.

      The difference betweet Jewish and Muslim terror is that Jews carry acts of terror once every few years, while Muslims tend to carry acts of terror each and every day.

      Another attack in sinagogue was prevented just hours after massacre:
      http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/647/269.html?hp=1&cat=402

      Reply to Comment
      • “As a matter of fact, EXTREMELY effective”

        I think it’s more accurate to say that the destruction of Palestinian homes has been extremely satisfying to the far right GOI and many israelis, but hardly effective. Unless of course your goal is to create more chaos and acts of terror, then it seems to be very effective means of doing just that.

        “Since 1967, about 27,000 Palestinian homes and other structures (livestock pens and fencing for example) crucial for a family’s livelihood, have been demolished in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including East Jerusalem. It is impossible to know how many homes exactly because the Israeli authorities only report on the demolition of “structures,” which may be homes or may be other structures. When a seven-story apartment building is demolished containing more than 20 housing units, that is considered only one demolition. Some homes are as yet incomplete when they are demolished, but the financial loss to families (70% of the Palestinians live below the poverty line, on less than $2 a day), plus the inability to obtain decent and adequate housing, constitutes a fundamental violation of tens of thousands of people to shelter. – See more at: http://www.icahd.org/faq#sthash.vBNeYc1u.dpuf

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          You don’t have enough information to think.

          Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          The destruction of terrorists’ homes is legal according to Israeli law. Before the home demolitions were begun again the attorney-general of Israel presented his opinion before the political leaders that there was no legal obstacle to implementing this step.

          Even under international law the demolitions are legal. Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 64, states in part that the penal laws of the occupied territory shall remain in force. Under the laws of Mandate Palestine (Regulation 119 of the Defense Emergency Regulations of 1945), which has not been abrogated by Jordan, Egypt or Israel, house demolitions were and are legal.

          In Western countries forfeiture of property by those involved in criminal activity is common, including the forfeiture of homes despite the fact that other family members reside in those homes.

          The purpose of the house demolitions is to provide an economic deterrent to counter the economic incentives provided by the the Palestinian government for terrorism against Israelis. On the Palestinian side not only do the the Palestinian governments incite terror and murder against Israelis, they reward the families of terrorists with very generous salaries for life. These salaries to family members are many times the average salary earned by Palestinian wage earners.

          Reply to Comment
          • Your statement is inconsistent in two areas.

            1) There is no clear line of descent anymore for Mandate or Ottoman Law in occupied territories. The general Israeli right view is that the area is not technically occupied, as there is no prior State occupied since Jordan removed citizenship from present residents. My view is that the right is somewhat correct: there is no prior State, which means the residents devolve to the prior UN protectorate at the time of UN 181. Thus, there is an occupation, against the UN itself. Claims of prior law fail because the UN should hold the territory as the rump of failed 181. I do not see how Israel can access Ottoman or Mandate law under these circumstances. Rather, Israel makes its own law, right or wrong, on their own responsibility.

            2) Criminal forfeiture is restricted to instrumentality in crime or assets derived from crime. If a house is used for the manufacture of drugs it is an instrument in their criminal sale and manufacture, so can be seized. If a house is regularly used to coordinate criminal activity, as a boss issuing instructions, it might be liable to seizure as well. If the house was demonstrably purchased with money derived from illegal activity, such as drug sales or fraudulent banking activity, it could be similarly seized; it might even be seized in lieu of criminal assets going elsewhere, as money is fungible. But simply housing one’s family, extended or not, or sleeping in one’s home does not reach criminal fruit or instrumentality; existing is not a crime, and sleeping is part of existence.

            Your final point, that

            “The purpose of the house demolitions is to provide an economic deterrent to counter the economic incentives provided by the Palestinian government for terrorism against Israelis”

            even when true, fails criminal instrumentality or fruit. The house is then (without further evidence) not involved in the execution of the crime, nor is it the fruit of crime direct, as the house exists prior to the crime. The quid pro quo you offer may have salience for you, but it just does not meet the requirements of forfeiture in the West generally, although it might if, say, the crime was contracted by the Palestinian Authority with income to relatives as payment; even then, however, the tight response would be to seize the payment as, again, the house was in itself not an instrument and existed prior to the crime, so was no fruit of the crime. Generally, an asset fully derived before the crime (so, say, no continuing payments on a house with tainted money) is immune from seizure.

            What you are doing is employing a form of blood attaint where the crime spreads to relatives and their assets as such. In some cases, such housing demolitions occur even when the purported criminal has not resided there for years. This is pure blood attaint. It is used as a form of social punishment and control, but it is not acceptable in the US and I hazard most of the West, and meeting the niceties of Western law when so is just a convenience of happenstance.

            Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            (1) There was no UN protectorate. None was ever approved and passed by the Security Council. Jordan took and occupied the West Bank by force until it was ejected by Israel.

            Regulation DER 119 was part of the law of the British Mandate which has never been abrogated under Jordanian or Israeli law. Under article 43 of the Hague Conventions the new authority over a territory shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country. This includes laws under the British Mandate, including DER 119.

            (2) Civil and Criminal forfeiture laws have been more broadly applied than you note. In the United States innocent parties can be deprived of their property due to use of others of it. In one case a vehicle was forfeited to the state because the woman’s husband without her knowledge used it for sex with a prostitute. In Canada the Province of Alberta tried to seize a house of a woman whose son used a computer in the house to defraud persons on line. Landlords have been threatened with forfeiture of houses unwittingly rented out to criminals. Drug dealers’ families have been evicted from public housing even though the spouse and children had no involvement in the offence. This serves as a deterrent to other criminals and drug dealers.

            The purpose of DER 119 and Israel’s use of it is as a determent to other terrorists, terrorism will cause the forfeiture of property including your apartment or house. This is a reasonable response considering the PA rewards terrorists’ families with life long salaries in reward for the acts of terrorism. These salaries are much in excess of what an average Palestinian earns. It is an inducement to terror. Home demolitions for those who commit acts of terror seeks to level the playing field and impose a serious deterrent.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, right

            PX: “Even under international law the demolitions are legal.”

            Hague Regs, Art 50: “No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be inflicted upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they cannot be regarded as jointly and severally responsible.”

            The people being punished by this home demolition can not be regarded as “jointly responsible” for the terrorist attack, ergo, the occupying power is prohibited from demolishing their house.

            PX: ” Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 64, states in part that the penal laws of the occupied territory shall remain in force.”

            When I see the phrase “in part” I immediately suspect that Something Very Important has just been omitted.

            So I’ll help everyone here by quoting from “this part”:
            “with the exception that they may be repealed or suspended by the Occupying Power in cases where they constitute a threat to its security or an obstacle to the application of the present Convention”

            So if an existing law conflicts with a prohibition under international humanitarian law then the existing law is suspended for the duration of the occupation.

            An fair enough too, since the “authority” of an occupying power derives from the provisions of IHL, it does not derive from any pre-existing domestic law.

            And, one more time, yet again: an occupying power may not eject innocent people from their house and then demolish it merely to “send a message” to the wider popln.

            That’s prohibited, precisely because those innocent people are being punished for a crime for which they were not responsible.

            Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            Yeah right, you got it wrong, The law stays in effect unless the occupying power abrogates it for the reasons set out in the Article 64. Neither Jordan nor Israel has abrogated DER 119. So it remains a law in operation in the unsettled territories.

            Hague Article 50 does not apply. The demolitions are a deterrent to future terrorists and not collective punishment. This is obvious in the case of the dead terrorist; he can not be punished by the demolition because he is dead. However, a future terrorist can be deterred from terrorism if he knows the cost of his act will be demolition of his home. This act aims at deterrence and not punishment.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            PX: “The demolitions are a deterrent to future terrorists and not collective punishment.”

            Then this is a case of the destruction of property that is not being carried out as part of a “military operation”.

            In which case the prohibition of Art 53 applies: “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, right

            PX: “Hague Article 50 does not apply.”

            The Hague Regulations are International Customary Law, Pedro. They therefore apply to all occupations everywhere.

            PX: “The demolitions are a deterrent to future terrorists and not collective punishment.”

            Then you have just admitted that they are not a specific punishment for a particular crime.

            That this is an act of destruction that is intended to send out a GENERAL message to the popln at large.

            Article 50 prohibits that, Pedro.

            PX: “However, a future terrorist can be deterred from terrorism if he knows the cost of his act will be demolition of his home. This act aims at deterrence and not punishment.”

            Yet someone has just been punished, Pedro, how odd.

            And the people who have just been punished are not responsible for any crime whatsoever – you have actually just admitted that.

            So you are left with “justifying” this as being necessary to “deter” crimes that have not been committed, by persons unknown.

            Sorry, Pedro, but the people who have just had their house demolished under them are being punished for something that they not only weren’t responsible for, but for crimes that haven’t actually been committed.

            Pre-emptive post-hoc retaliatory retrospective future-proofing punishment.

            Man, doesn’t that have “Israel” written all over it….

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, right

            PX: “The law stays in effect unless the occupying power abrogates it for the reasons set out in the Article 64.”

            No, you can’t have it both ways, Pedro i.e. an occupying power can’t be prohibited by GCIV from doing *this* or *that* AND also be allowed to do *this* or *that* because a local law says so.

            Your “logic” dictates that GCIV prohibits something (in Art 53) which it then allows (in Art 64).

            That would amount to a “manifestly absurd” interpretation of the Convention.

            An EXPLICIT prohibition contained within the treaty itself must take precedence over any other IMPLICIT interpretation, otherwise you are defeating the purpose of that Convention.

            And the Vienna Convention on the Law Of Treaties says that you can not interpret a treaty in a way that defeats its purpose or which leads to manifestly absurd results.

            Your interpretation does both, Pedro.

            Article 53 of GCIV *explicitly* prohibits house demolition.

            A pre-existing domestic law that “allows” house demolition must represents exactly the “obstacle to the application of the present Convention” that is mentioned in Art 64.

            Under such circumstances the occupying power is obliged to suspend that pre-existing domestic law for the duration of this occupation.

            That’s the ONLY interpretation that does not lead to a manifestly absurd result i.e. a result wherein in the space of nine paragraphs GCIV both prohibits AND allows house demolitions.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Yeah, right

      TT: “As a matter of fact, EXTREMELY effective.”

      At what, exactly?

      The passage that you are referring to was examining the claim that house demolition is “effective” at “deterring” future acts of terrorism.

      TT: “Another attack in sinagogue was prevented just hours after massacre.”

      And that prevention can be attributed to this house demolition?

      Because if it wasn’t then that house demolition was “Effective, not so much.”

      Reply to Comment
    3. Yeah, right

      TT: “Jews carry acts of terror once every few years”

      Well, some of them certainly do.

      And those that do even have a name for it: “mowing the lawns”.

      Something in the region of 2,000 people died as a result of that last exercise in state-sponsored terrorism.

      Which is impressive in its concentrated carnage, regardless of its semi-regular biennial nature.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        “…last exercise in state-sponsored terrorism”

        That is a rubbish argument. International law explicitly allows a state to take any measures deemed necessary to protect own population against attacks from hostile entities. The very fact that Gazans on their own accord had chosen to be ruled by a terrorist organization efficiently turns entire population of Gaza into terrorists.

        Reply to Comment
        • Maybe your unbiased, totally rational logic could be applied to all israelis for the very fact that israelis, on their own accord, had chosen to be ruled by a terrorist organization efficiently turns entire population of Gaza into terrorists.
          Kinda nutty isn’t it?

          Reply to Comment
          • Should have read “Maybe your unbiased, totally rational logic could be applied to all israelis for the very fact that israelis, on their own accord, had chosen to be ruled by a terrorist organization efficiently turns entire population of Israel into terrorists.”
            Still kinda nutty isn’t it?

            Reply to Comment
          • jjj

            Your counter argument does not match.
            Hamas initiated the war, declined and broke all ceasefires, and tried, and hankfully failed, to execute massive ground attacks against nearby Israeli civilian villages.
            The very fact that many Gazans supported the attacks, doesn’t help either.
            As you can see, even now, many Arabs cheer to the cold blooded carnage of Jewish prayers.
            Israel responds in the way it knows – using massive fire power serving both as a deterrant (not vecy successful one – Hamas gains points from the rising Palestinian death toll), and as a means to harm the rocket firing teams.
            Unfortunately for you, you serve Hamas purposes, which have nothing to do with justice or freedom.

            Reply to Comment
          • I disagree. What you fail to acknowledge are Palestinians who are angered by the murders of Jews in the synagogue.

            Reply to Comment
        • Yeah, right

          TT: “International law explicitly allows a state to take any measures deemed necessary to protect own population against attacks from hostile entities.”

          No, THAT’s rubbish.

          The very point of International Humanitarian Law is that warfare isn’t a free-for-all.

          IHL exists to ensure that nations CAN’T simply “take any measure they deem necessary” merely because they are shouting “Self-defence! I’m doing this in self-defence!” every time they beat the snot outta’ something or someone.

          There are rules, and Israel has decided that every two or so years it will violate those rules by rolling up the sleeves and indulging in a bit o’ lawn mowing.

          State-sponsored terrorism, inflicted upon a helpless and imprisoned popln, and all done to the cheering adoration of the people who keep voting those war criminals into power.

          You must be very proud, Trespasser.

          Reply to Comment
        • Lo

          Reason #158 why it’s fun to be an American: we set the standard for “my security is better than your security.”

          As Mr. Trespasser asserts, there can be no such thing as state terrorism because states have legitimate rights to self-defense and…uh, I guess this is where the logic leprechauns are supposed to do their work.

          This is the good ol’ bottomless-pit-of-security where literally anything can be justified “because muh security.”

          Chile and Nicaragua vote in governments that want to redistribute land? Welp, that’s clearly the same thing as the USSR taking a fat dump in the middle of Los Angeles, so better go assassinate some good leaders and install some of the most sadistic dictators in recent history.

          Ho Chi Min manages to stick it to the French and does it with AKs rather than M-16s? Hey, guess we need to burn the village to save it.

          Throughout the Cold War, my country toppled governments, started wars, and abetted crimes against humanity in the name of “security”. We never got into a war with the USSR, but none of our wars contributed to that. Even today, we have idiot policies leftover from our paranoid fever days like the embargo against Cuba.

          This argument stands out as nonsense to me because I’m so immersed in it in the US. The whole reptile-brain, tribal, kill-or-be-killed lie. You presume there is a binary between “complete surrender” and “complete subjugation.” Since every problem is a nail and Israel can afford the best hammer, there is no limit to how far the Palestinians can be destroyed physically and nationally if it can be justified in the name of israeli security.

          Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, right

            Exactly right, Lo.

            Countries are not entitled to wave the words “Self-defence! Self-defence!” around themselves like it is some kind of magic wand.

            Nor are they entitled to wave those words under anyone’s nose and claim that This Means We Can Now Do Whatever We Want.

            Indeed, all that TT has just done is demonstrate that he can do an exceptionally good impersonation of South Park’s Jimbo Kern.

            JK: “It’s coming right for us!” BANG! BANG! BANG!
            TT: Self-defence! Self-defence!
            BANG! BANG! BANG!

            No difference, really….

            Reply to Comment
          • “Logic leprechauns”! Almost turned into a coffeeemaker with that one. Thanks for the morning Jolt!

            Reply to Comment
    4. What kind of sick mind would euphemistically compare the carnage unleashed on Gaza to something as innocuous as landscaping?

      Reply to Comment
      • Lo

        Alan Dershowitz comes readily to mind.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Tomer

      Mass Expulsion to Jordan is the only language the Arabs understand.

      Remember:
      No Arabs
      = No Piguim

      Reply to Comment
      • Yeah, right

        Tomer: “Mass Expulsion to Jordan is the only language the Arabs understand”

        Geneva Convention IV: “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

        … are prohibited…. regardless of their motive….

        What you are advocating is a war crime, Tomer.

        A very, very serious war crime, and anyone who acts on your advice runs the risk of ending his days swinging from the end of a gibbet.

        A light onto the nations, my arse.

        Reply to Comment
        • liz silman

          What would you do, Tomer, if Jordan does not want to take the millions of people that you want to expel from their homes? This talk of mass expulsion that is so often touted by the extreme right is a complete joke. What will the international community be doing when Israel tries to round up millions of Palestinians and force them out of their homes, presumably at gunpoint. Want to see immediate and crippling sanctions imposed on Israel and international troops battling Israel forces? You’ve just written the recipe for that to happen. Even if we live in an alternative universe where the above was not to happen, what would Israel do when they got to the Jordanian border and neither Jordan or presumably the armies of every other Arab countries would permit them to enter? If the extreme right have plans they should at least try and make them vaguely credible. This oft-touted talk of mass expulsion is complete nonsense. Sorry, Tomer, but even Israel cannot achieve all your goals.

          Reply to Comment
    6. Bruce Gould

      Have you thought about enrolling in the New Zion School of Palestinian Psychology?

      *we’ll teach you everything about how they think – and you’ll never have to talk to a Palestinian – ever!

      *80% of our students form new countries – where other people live! We’ll teach you how!

      *free financing – U.S. government guaranteed!

      Reply to Comment
    7. And for a limited time only, an occupation certified bulldozer, courtesy of Caterpillar!

      Reply to Comment
    8. TrespasserTwo

      Yeah, these tactics DO work. Asymetric retailiation and unstoppable hate are yielding perfect results. Remmeber germany: 8 millions of jews before, 0,004 after a dozen year long campaign to force them out. Right, Tomer? Eventually you should consider side effects…

      Reply to Comment
    9. Yaakov S.

      And so Bibi adds to his long list of human rights abuses. The whole world is fed up with racist, apartheid Israel, and, when the U.S. is freed from the pernicious influence and control of AIPAC and its right wing, fascist collaborators, Israel will be
      totally isolated. Mowing the lawn indeed.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Mareli

      Collective punishment is often employed in the military to encourage innocent members of the platoon to exact their own penalties on the guilty and to encourage the members to police themselves. I don’t know how effective it is in civilian life, but it is often done to children by irate parents as well. Not such a good idea.

      Reply to Comment
    11. NIna YF

      Maybe I’m a bit slow…. but would it be possible to dispense with the term “terrorist” here (seeing as how the word is overused and overdetermined), and call it “murder” instead? No matter who does it?

      Another question: why home demolitions? Why not arrest the suspected killers, and subject them to the due process of the law?

      Seems to me there’s something wrong with the way these kinds of crimes get described and codified.

      But then again… silly me.

      Reply to Comment
    12. GKJames

      To those who claim that the demolitions are lawful: You certainly can say that they’re lawful because an Israeli court said so. You also can continue to claim that you are one with the civilized West (“the sole democracy in the region” and all that). But you can’t do both.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Josh

      For every house they destroy, this will trigger 5 next young Paleastinians to attack the opressors force and citizens. Logical thinking people would get that. Bu nor Bibi and our fascist Feiglin fans here.
      Now waiting for Einsatzgruppen-Tomer to deport me.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Avdim

      1. You look at a house demolition as a punitive act – in this sense it is wrong. I look at it as an attempt to deter. Maybe someone will think twice before murdering knowing how much his family will get hurt.

      2. According to you, there is no way to fight terrorists besides surrendering to them. There’s nothing effective you can do against someone that is willing to die just to kill Jews – checkpoints are “wrong”, house demolitions are “wrong”, military operations are “wrong”, the separation fence is “wrong”, everything is wrong besides the complete surrender to the terrorist whims. Does that make any sense to you?!

      3. Look at your examples of Jewish terrorism – 2014, 2005, 2002, 1994, 1984. Sadly, the number of events from the other side is vastly larger – it’s a phenomenon worth fighting.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Advim –
      “Look at your examples of Jewish terrorism – 2014, 2005, 2002, 1994, 1984. Sadly, the number of events from the other side is vastly larger – it’s a phenomenon worth fighting.”

      It’s a phenomenon that came out of nowhere? Nothing precipitated this? On average, one Palestinian is killed every 3 days. 2200+ were killed between July and August 2014. Less than 80 Israelis died. Netanyahu is bent on destruction. Do you believe the proper response from Palestinians is “quiet”. They’re combatting the occupation is their duty and their right as occupied people. Targetting civilians is criminal. Retaliatory house demolitions is criminal. The wall is criminal.

      What would your behavior be like under occupation and all of the indignities and suffering that went with it? Just askin’.

      Reply to Comment
      • Avdim

        “It’s a phenomenon that came out of nowhere?”

        It’s a phenomenon that came out of an antisemitic religious society that supports it. Terrorism existed here for more than a century and too many civilians on both sides were harmed on both sides. Yet the support for violent acts against civilians is very controversial on one side and very supported on another.

        “Nothing precipitated this?”

        Jews living among Arabs. What do you think of the conditions in which Palestinians were held in camps in Arab states, without rights? Without no visible future? For decades? How much hatred do you see between Palestinians and those states? How many houses were just demolished by Egypt in Raffah? For how long was the Raffah-Egypt border closed? How much hatred do you see there?

        How many preachers call to kill Egyptians as revenge? Syrians? Lebanese? Jordanians?

        Can it be that us being Jews is the real cause? Nah…

        “On average, one Palestinian is killed every 3 days. 2200+ were killed between July and August 2014. Less than 80 Israelis died.”

        On average during what period? There were periods when dozens of Israeli civilians were murdered EVERY DAY…

        The ratio doesn’t matter at all, it’s just a symptom. Us being stronger doesn’t make us any less moral. When you love martyrs and death, when you fire from crowded civilian centers, when defending your civilians during a conflict is not a priority, when you demand 1000+ prisoners for one captured soldier – don’t be surprised when your civilians suffer more.

        “Netanyahu is bent on destruction.”

        I think this is nonsense. Look at Syria if you want to know what destruction is. There were days when Assad has destroyed more before breakfast than Israel did during the entire operation. I’m not trying to justify or shift the attention, but you claim that our prime minister is bent on destruction at the very least understand what you’re saying and back it up with something.

        “Do you believe the proper response from Palestinians is “quiet”. They’re combatting the occupation is their duty and their right as occupied people.”

        There is no “proper” response, it’s not a game or a simulation. This is their lives and the lives of their children we’re talking about here. They can either work to make their lives BETTER or WORSE. For more than a century they have done everything they can to make their lives worse. Call it proper, call it their duty or their tight – I call it STUPID.

        The SMART and correct path – stop and reject ALL violence, recognize Israel as a JEWISH state, find a good compromise with Israel and start living. Normalization will hopefully come in time, but even if not – a cold peace is better than what’s happening now. Egypt and Jordan did it and everyone has benefited from it.

        “Targetting civilians is criminal. Retaliatory house demolitions is criminal. The wall is criminal.”

        Like I said, we should all lay down and die. Everything else is criminal.

        “What would your behavior be like under occupation and all of the indignities and suffering that went with it? Just askin’.”

        If I had any power to affect the situation – find a solution to change the situation so my children would have a better life.

        If I was a person without power – find a solution for my family to have a better life.

        Improving one’s life, improving the life of your family – that’s the real goal, don’t you get it?!

        “Ending the occupation”, “Protecting Al-Aqsa”, “Destroying the Zionist entity”, “Restoring Muslim\Arab honor”, “The Right of Return” are goals fueled by money and other interests. They only bring death and destruction – because that is what they are meant and planned to bring…

        One path has less “honor” and a better future, the other one is very “honorable” and “proper”? Which one do you prefer? Just askin’.

        Reply to Comment
        • Liz

          If Palestinians should hate the Arab states that gave them at least shelter and security why should they not hate the Israelis who occupied their land and took their homes?

          Reply to Comment
          • Avdim

            “shelter and security”? Are you serious?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinians_in_Lebanon

            http://rsq.oxfordjournals.org/content/28/2-3/531.short

            I’ll quote –

            “Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in “appalling social and economic conditions”

            “Egyptian policy towards the estimated 50,000–70,000 Palestinians residing on its territory has resulted in depriving them of basic rights.”

            As usual, the best decision was to say in Israel…

            Now your question seems a bit out of place, doesn’t it?

            I didn’t say they SHOULD hate anyone. I wondered why is there NO hatred towards those countries but so much hatred towards Israel. Egypt recently demolished dozens of homes, did you hear outraged cries for revenge? Egypt closes and opens its borders whenever it wishes, do you hear cries that they are making Gazans starve and cause a slow genocide and that Egypt must be destroyed for its crimes?

            See a small difference?

            Reply to Comment
        • Ray

          How big of you to suggest another people choose “practicality” over “honor.” Why don’t you practice what you preach, by asking Netanyahu to retract Israel’s stupid demand for the PA to recognize them as a “Jewish State?” Or is Jewish honor more important than Palestinian honor?

          Reply to Comment
          • Avdim

            I’m for practicality over honor and stupidity for both sides.

            1. Do you really believe that this demand is what keeping peace and prosperity from this region? What does that say about our neighbors? That they sacrifice their future just because they can’t make this recognition?

            2. If I thought for a second that this demand was keeping peace from materializing I would demand that our PM would drop it.

            3. Given a two state solution. What countries do you think there should be here? I bet you think a Palestinian state and Israel. Why not a generic Arab state and Israel? Given two national movements, why can’t one be recognized as Palestinian and the other one Jewish?

            4. I think this recognition is essential. It’s an affirmation that we have a right to exist here, not as some vague entity but as the culmination of Zionism – the JEWISH national movement. It’s an affirmation of the end of the conflict.

            Reply to Comment
    16. Me: “What would your behavior be like under occupation and all of the indignities and suffering that went with it? Just askin’.”

      You: “Improving one’s life, improving the life of your family –that’s the real goal, don’t you get it?!”

      Me: That’s a really sanitized, almost greeting card response in my opinion. It’s always easy to assume the moral authority when you aren’t experiencing the reality of Palestinian existence. I don’t believe Jews are any more moral than Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindi, etc., so I take offense at your high-handed approach to answer to my question re: what would your behavior be like if you were under occupation. I believe the majority of Palestinians are striving for a better life for their children, they hold their children very dear and love them as much as Jews love their children, though there is this nasty propaganda that they don’t. I don’t know how they manage under the circumstances they are forced to live under, but I have a lot of admiration for their their tenacity and resilience in the face of it all.

      You: On average during what period? There were periods when dozens of Israeli civilians were murdered EVERY DAY…

      EVERY DAY? Are you sure you want to stand by this claim?

      For my part I do apologize and it is actually a Palestinian child every 3 days –

      “One Palestinian Child has been Killed by Israel Every 3 Days for the Past 13 Years”

      By Middle East Monitor
      Global Research, July 02, 2014
      Middle East Monitor 4 June 2014

      Theme: Crimes against Humanity

      In-depth Report: PALESTINE

      Official statistics from the Ministry of Information in Ramallah have revealed that 1,518 Palestinian children were killed by Israel’s occupation forces from the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000 up to April 2013. That’s the equivalent of one Palestinian child killed by Israel every 3 days for almost 13 years. The ministry added that the number of children injured by the Israelis since the start of the Second Intifada against Israel’s occupation has now reached 6,000.

      “The International Day for the Protection of Children is on June 1,” said a spokesman, “but Palestinian children are still subject to attacks by the Israelis and Jewish settlers on an almost daily basis.”

      Noting that 2012 saw an unprecedented rise in the number of children arrested by Israeli forces, the report pointed out that 9,000 Palestinians under 18 years old have been arrested since the end of September 2000. Almost half of the Palestinian population is under 18. Almost two hundred and fifty Palestinian minors are being held in prison by Israel; 47 of them are children under 16 years of age.

      No matter what you assume I think, I don’t want anymore killing, period. I don’t believe Netanyahu is interested in peace between Israel and Palestine, but is only insterested in piece by piece theft of land. I don’t know what it will take to achieve peace but my feeling is the Palestinians have had the majority of pain and suffering inflicted on them and peace is not going to be painless.
      I think the entire world has run out of patience with Israel/Palestine and until the demand or the pressure or whatever it will take to change the status quo happens, things will continue as they have.

      “Ending the Occupation”, “Protecting Al-Aqsa”, “Destroying the Zionist entity”, “Restoring Muslim\Arab honor”, “The Right of Return” are goals fueled by money and other interests. They only bring death and destruction – because that is what they are meant and planned to bring…

      You realize that almost every fund raiser with Israel’s name attached to it, most every special interest all over the world that has Israel’s name attached to it has only one goal in mind.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Yeah, right

      PX: “The law stays in effect unless the occupying power abrogates it for the reasons set out in the Article 64.”

      No, you can’t have it both ways, Pedro i.e. an occupying power can’t be prohibited by GCIV from doing *this* or *that* AND also be allowed to carry out *this* or *that* because a local law says so.

      That argument is a manifestly absurd interpretation of Art 64 and, as such, must be wrong.

      The explicit prohibition contained within the treaty must take precedence, otherwise the point of even having a Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War becomes moot.

      Reply to Comment
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