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Segregating the evening commute to the West Bank

Jews and Palestinians who commute from the West Bank to work in central Israel each day will soon ride separate buses home. Let’s not give too much credit to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, however. The decision to segregate the evening commute wasn’t all that creative. He only completed his predecessors’ decision to segregate the morning commute.

Palestinian workers wait in line to board an Israeli bus line meant for Palestinians only after crossing the Eyal checkpoint from the West Bank into Israel proper. (Photo by Activestills.org)

Palestinian workers wait in line to board an Israeli bus line meant for Palestinians only after crossing the Eyal checkpoint from the West Bank into Israel proper. (Photo by Activestills.org)

It’s not really segregation. Not on paper at least. Or at least the paper doesn’t use the word “segregation.” In practice, however, people of one national origin will not be allowed to ride on the same bus lines as people of another national origin — for the benefit and at the request of one group, at the expense and against the desires of the other. Call that what you will.

Here’s how it works. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, the de facto and de jure sovereign ruler of the West Bank, could have easily ordered his generals to revise Israeli military law to legally ban Palestinians from riding on the same buses as their Jewish Israeli neighbors. (It’s important to remember at this junction, no pun intended, that we are talking about two groups of people who live in the same place — the West Bank — and who each day commute back and forth to their workplaces in the same place — central Israel.)

If that military order had been issued so explicitly, however, it would actually be called segregation and understood to be segregation by the general public, which at least in theory, sometimes opposes segregation. If the defense minister had written such an order it probably would have even used the Hebrew word “hafrada,” which inconveniently means both separation and segregation. That wouldn’t have looked good. So Ya’alon found another way, one that didn’t require him to use such politically loaded words.

Read more on Palestinian laborers working in Israel

Instead, the defense minister ordered that Palestinian commuters return to their West Bank homes through a specific, dedicated checkpoint — a different checkpoint than the Jewish commuters with whom they shared their evening bus rides until now. Technically speaking, Palestinians with valid work permits are still allowed to ride Israeli buses; they just aren’t allowed to go through the checkpoints through which those buses pass. Which means they will have to travel a different route, and therefore, ride separate buses.

Let’s not give too much credit to Ya’alon, however. The decision to segregate the evening commute wasn’t all that creative. He was only completing his predecessors’ decision to segregate the morning commute.

See more photos of the segregated checkpoint here.

Palestinian workers board a new segregated bus line at the Eyal checkpoint, March 4, 2012.

Palestinian workers board a bus at the Eyal checkpoint, March 4, 2012. (Photo by Activestills.org)

On the sidelines of Ya’alon’s decision, an argument took place between two people in uniform about whether the segregation is necessitated — or even motivated — by security. According to Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon, who happens to be the commander in charge of the Israeli army’s entire operations in the West Bank (or in other words, the occupation), Palestinian and Israeli commuters sharing buses poses no security risk, Haaretz reported Sunday. Another man in uniform, one who apparently has neither name nor rank, declared that the only considerations in the new policy are security considerations. Go figure.

Don’t expect a huge fallout

The new policy will have only a couple of effects, neither of which are significant enough to endanger the two-state solution or move a single foreign government to change the course of their Mideast foreign policy.

First and foremost, the new segregated evening commute will do exactly what it was designed to: segregate the evening commute. Jewish settlers will be able to enjoy their ride home from Tel Aviv through the fertile West Bank foothills of Palestinian olive country without the annoyance of having to listen to other commuters speaking Arabic. Haaretz quoted MK Moti Yogev (The Jewish Home), a settler himself and member of the Israeli parliament’s ruling coalition, after riding one of the yet-to-be-segregated buses: “Riding these buses is unreasonable. They are full of Arabs.”

The second consequence is just slightly more politically correct, or less, depending on how you like your racism, civil rights and labor conditions. Palestinian laborers, who are forbidden from remaining inside Israel proper at night, will be forced to take longer routes home to their families every evening. Already, they arrive at the checkpoint before the crack of dawn in order to make it to work in the morning. Just another hardship of the occupation — nothing to write to the UN about.

As Amjad Iraqi wrote here on +972 when the morning buses were segregated last year:

This is certainly not the worst case of state-sanctioned discrimination in the Occupied Territories, and it won’t be the last. What makes the bus case notable, however, is that it starkly presents the pervasiveness of the state’s segregationist mentality by evoking the memory of the infamous buses under the Jim Crow laws of the southern United States.

On a related note, Arab minority rights organization Adalah filed a lawsuit against the segregation of an Israeli youth soccer league along Jewish-Palestinian lines. The decision to segregate the Jewish and Arab youth teams into different leagues was apparently made in response to complaints by Jewish parents, according to a statement by Adalah.

Related:
Palestinian-only buses serve to incentivize segregation
Photos: Israel’s ‘Palestinian only’ segregated bus lines
West Bank and East Jerusalem buses are already segregated

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    COMMENTS

    1. Richard

      “Technically speaking, Palestinians with valid work permits are still allowed to ride Israeli buses; they just aren’t allowed to go through the checkpoints through which those buses pass.”

      I guess you buried this about as well as you could under the SEGREGATION message. There’s only so much +972 can do to confuse and mislead people I guess.

      Reply to Comment
      • Of course this is segregation by slightly different means/name.

        Reply to Comment
        • Michael W

          Sounds like the segregation between citizens and non-citizens for airport arrivals.

          Reply to Comment
          • Eliza

            Of course, it sounds like that Michael W; that’s the devilish cunning of it all.

            However, Americans, if not Israelis, will be quick to sniff out the Jim Crow odour.

            I wonder if Adalah is going to approach FIFA regarding the segregation of the junior football teams. I’m assuming their protest will get short shift from the Israeli authorities – once that happens, I hope Adalah escalates this to FIFA.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Richard

      Yeah, I guess its basically apartheid that Mexican people have to use a different border crossing gate when they cross into El Paso from Juarez for work everyday. Not nearly as bad as that highway sign telling Muslims to stay of Mecca entirely.

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        Hey I’m glad you agree that all that needs to be done is return the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem and let them have their own country like Mexicans have their own country and of course, like citizens of Mexico, citizens of Palestine will get into a line separate from citizens of Israel at the border. I knew you’d see the light. See how easy it really is when your heart and your mind are in the right place?
        You see you’re analogy trips you up and unwittingly you reveal the real problem.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          Seeing as you’re all about giving shit back, what about returning Texas and California back to Mexico?

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Ok now we’re REALLY descending to the JPost talkback level of inanity here. Underlying this hackneyed old standby is the resentment the Right feels that this is the 21st Century, and “goddammit, why can’t WE have a good ol’ 18th Century colonial orgy too, just one last time, I mean it’s not our fault we got started late, and at the same time we’ll be startup nation and you know, light unto the nations and democratic and all that cool stuff too?! It’s not fair!” It always amazes me how degenerate this form of Zionism is.

            Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            Another new thing I learned:
            Apparently the Palestinians democratically decided in a referendum to be de facto annexed by Israel. Because that what happened in texas. So for your analogy to hold any weight, that mus have happened in Palestine as well. Thanks for clearing that up!

            And thanks for letting us know that Palestine in 1967 only had roughly 25k people living in it, like New Mexico when it was annexed by the US. Again making your analogy very accurate and sound.

            Thank you!

            Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        So Mexico is an occupied territory under full control of the US?

        Cool, thanks for the info bro. You learn something new every day.

        Thus: very comparable situation. Very!

        Reply to Comment
    3. Richard

      Also, taking the A/C trains east into Brooklyn, sometimes I’m the only white person in the car. De facto apartheid right there.

      Reply to Comment
      • Steve Juror

        Come on Richard, give up the case. Apartheid always loses in the end.

        Reply to Comment
        • Richard

          Apartheid only “lost” once (loses=plurality, no?), so I’m not sure that makes sense, especially since South Africa is according to the definition BDS uses still an Apartheid state.

          Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        Yeah I hear those nighttime raids from Manhattan into Brooklyn by NYPD in which they yank adults and children out of their beds in the middle of the night and hold them in indefinite detention without due process for years–I hear its a real killer. Oh and those humiliating checkpoints on the Brooklyn and Verrazano Narrows bridges manned by soldier-punks….

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben Zakkai

          Thank you Brian for destroying that jerk and letting me drink my morning coffee in peace.

          Reply to Comment
          • Richard

            hahaha you imbecile that’s exactly what happens in NYC. Black people are raided for non-violent drug crimes and left to rot in jail for years without a trial. There was just a feature on a kid who spent THREE YEARS in rikers without a trial. You are so ignorant. Not to mention Ferguson and other shootings…but no, Israel is the world’s exceptionally evil spawn of the devil you’re right.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            The brazen, calculated refusal to differentiate obviously different issues encapsulates perfectly the trollery on this site. The poor dear does not admit to knowing the difference between isolated cases of legal dysfunction and prejudice on the one hand, and apartheid on the other. (And this in a country that elected a black president!)

            Reply to Comment
    4. Brian

      This opinion by Haaaretz editors makes it clear how much this move actually is fairly called “apartheid”:

      http://www.haaretz.com/cmlink/2.576/opinion/1.622908

      What Ya’alon is doing is making formal and obvious what has been more often informal and covert. Ya’alon, he ain’t too bright is he?

      Reply to Comment
    5. “Riding these buses is unreasonable. They are full of Arabs.”

      Damn settlers are spoiled rotten children who’ve never seen the working end of a switch. It’s amazing that the entire state of israel is held captive by the demands of these rotten people. Ya’alon (mistake in prior post calling him Ayalon – the freeway) is a monster, unfortunately one of many. He and Netanyahu et al, remind me of parents who, because they’ve never, ever disciplined their children, never, ever told them no, but met every demand, no matter how ridiculous, are now scared shitless of the fruit of their loins. Just an observation in general, but most israelis I know are horrible parents, name call their children, and overindulge them at every opportunity. I don’t think they even love their children, if they did, they would certainly work very diligently to teach them how to live in the world, not in some zio-bubble.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Gustav

      Apartheid … Apartheid …
      Apartheid …

      Repeat often enough as a mantra and a lie becomes truth for morons and haters.

      Barely more than 10 years ago, Palestinian Arabs were blowing themselves up on busses just for the privilige of taking some Jewish lives randomly.

      And the anti Israel morons here talk of apartheid because Jews are consequently reluctant to go on the busses where potential murderers may take their lives.

      And our brainiac Brian, supportedby his buddy, Benny “the impartial” hater of Israel pretends that Israel should behave as Americans who haven’t yet experienced the frequency of attacks which we endured.

      But just wait a little while. If Americans too will be subjected to the frequent attacks which we endured, just watch what they will do.

      In WW2 they interned Anerican citizens who originated from Germany, Japan and Italy into camps. Wait till they bring that practice back or worse, if Muslims give them the cause to …

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben Zakkai

        Gustav I’m having trouble believing in your honesty. You are surely well-informed enough to know that we are talking about a relatively small and select number of Palestinian workers who’ve been determined to be reliable, and that they are anyway thoroughly searched before crossing the checkpoint and getting on the bus; that they thereafter exit the buses and arrive at worksites within Israel where they could much more easily obtain the means to commit acts of violence than when they were on the bus, if they wanted to; and that even senior IDF officers responsible for the Occupied Territories admit that this latest move isn’t spurred or justified by security concerns. And don’t try to claim that even if there’s no real security concern, well we should still respect the settlers’ fear of riding the bus with Arabs, because those same settlers rely on those same Arabs to build their illegal homes, repair their cars, sell them cheap vegetables and so on. No, this is pure from-the-gut racism, as in, “Those stinking Arabs can dig ditches for me but not sit next to me on the bus.” Shame on you for failing to admit that.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Don’t you lecture me Benny. Or do if you want to, I don’t really care.

          I tell you what though. After your latest outburst, I have lost any shred of respect that I may have had for you out of our long winded previous discussions. Not that I had much respect for you after those discussions ended. But at least I felt that you were speaking from your heart even though I felt that you were deeply misguided.

          But now you revealed yourself to be a garden variety hater like many others on this site who at least have some excuse because they regurgitate second hand simplistic propaganda. But you claim to be an Israeli so you should very well know the history of this conflict and the fact that your poor lambs, the Palestinian Arabs, have a long history with us in which we were not always the perpetrators but plenty of us were victims to their hatred.

          We dehumanize them? Maybe. But they don’t dehumanize us? I’ll never forget how they lynched our two reservists in Ramallah at the beginning of the second Intifada. Hundreds of them did it and thousands of them cheered the bloody hands that one of them proudly displayed.

          Yeah Benny just gloss over such acts. Or even better, forget them and blame us all the time. But don’t expect me to think of you as a decent human being. You are biased to your eyeballs against us. That is all I know.

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Oh my god! Chemi Shakev is right! You marshal a good argument, Ben, based on real knowledge of the situation on the ground and catch them red handed so to speak and Presto!, you’re “a garden variety hater”!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            Gustav, I am not a hater, and I am not biased, but I am pissed off up to the eyeballs at the continuing and deepening theft and oppression inherent in Israel’s Occupation regime, and how it is fucking the insides out of what could be a very good country and a fine place to live. I personally do not visit this site to address peripheral issues or to prove my bona-fides to defenders of an awful status quo (like yourself) by saying, “Oh gee, Palestinians have lots of flaws and problems and have done many terrible things!”, which is obvious to anyone with half a brain anyway. Geez, Israel segregates buses and you come to defend it? What do you want to do next, force the Palestinian construction laborers who are building your illegal settlements to make bricks without straw? You would do well to ponder Auden’s immortal words – “I and the public know/What all schoolchildren learn,/Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return.” – and how they apply to Germans, Jews, Palestinians and everyone else; maybe that’ll help you get out of your Cowboys and Indians mentality. But probably not.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            I don’t know whether you are a hater or not, nor do I care. But you ARE biased. Biased to your eyeballs. And misguided to boot.

            You have had enough of the occupation? We are not in love with lording it over your Palestinian Arabs either. But what is the alternative? They point blank refuse to sign a peace deal with us and we are not willing to repeat the Gaza solution again.

            So give us the solution or shut the fuck up.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            I’m pretty sure you remember that I gave you my solution a while ago. You didn’t like it, fine, try to come up with a better one. But it seems to me that your occasional pretense of concern and open-mindedness is ultimately just a cover for hunkering down and defending all aspects of an indefensible status quo.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Benny

            Your so called solution was not a solution. It was idiotic. It was the worst of both worlds. It would involve maintaining the occupation but retreating yet again. As for me giving you a better solution? I too answered that question. There isn’t a solution today. There is only a choice between bad and worse. I choose bad, you choose worse.

            Moreover, I am not pretending that there is a short term solution, whereas you climb on your soap box every day, pound your chest, wave your arms about and blame us for being evil to your poor Palestinian Arabs who are the epitome of innocence and who would not harm a fly. In other words you are both pretentious and biased to your eye balls. There I said it again!

            Reply to Comment
          • Making bricks without straw – just excellent.

            Gee, why does that sound so familiar……………………

            Reply to Comment
      • Sarah

        If the Palestinians travelling on these buses are so dangerous, then why are they being allowed into Israel? They have been granted work permits, which means they are not deemed a security threat by the state.

        It’s segregation pure and simple.

        Reply to Comment
    7. JohnW

      Want apartheid? Look for it in Arab lands. Here, read this:

      http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_126.html

      “Racial Apartheid against Black Africans. One of the world’s most deadly examples of racism is in Sudan, where native black Sudanese have been enslaved, persecuted and slaughtered by Muslim Arabs. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the “Darfur pogrom is part of a historic continuum in which successive Arab governments have sought to entirely destroy black Africans in this biracial nation … The raison d’etre of the atrocities committed by government-supported Arab militias is the racist, fundamentalist, and undemocratic Sudanese state.” Since 1983, more than two million black Sudanese have been killed, displaced or exiled.

      Ethnic Apartheid against the Kurds. Few ethnic minorities in the Middle East have suffered as much repression as the Kurds. In Syria in 1962, hundreds of thousands of Kurds had their citizenship taken away or were denied citizenship. In 2008, the Syrian government issued Decree 49, which expelled Kurds from the country’s so-called “Arab Belt” and dispossessed them of rights to own land. The Kurdish Union Party called this an “ethnic cleansing decree … aimed at ending national Kurdish existence.” In Iran, following the Islamic revolution, the Shiite majority denied the Kurds a role in defining the new constitution, and in 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini declared a holy war against Kurdish political organizations: Entire Kurdish villages and towns were destroyed, and thousands of Kurds executed without due process.

      Ethnic Apartheid against Palestinian Arabs. For some 40 years Palestinians have been denied citizenship in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Palestinians have been expelled from many Middle Eastern countries, including Kuwait, Jordan, Libya and Iraq. In Lebanon, Palestinians must live in designated areas, cannot own homes and are barred from 70 occupations.

      By contrast, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are self-governing. They have their own government—the Palestinian Authority—hold elections (albeit irregularly) and run all aspects of civil society.

      Religious Apartheid against Christians and Jews. Persecution, discrimination and attacks against religious minorities, especially Christians and Jews, are rampant in the Middle East. Pressure by radical Islamists has become so great that in the last 20 years some two million Christians have been driven out of their Middle East homelands. Christians in the Palestinian territories have dropped from 15 percent of the population in 1950 to just two percent today. In Egypt, two Coptic Christian churches were burned down over the past year, and according to a recent NPR report, Egyptian police commonly stand by and watch as Copts are physically attacked by Islamist vigilantes. In Saudi Arabia, Christians and Jews may not be citizens at all. Some 700,000 Jews have been forced out of Arab nations, effectively extinguishing the Jewish population in the region, except in Israel, the world’s only Jewish state. In the disputed Palestinian territories, Jews are the victims of hate-motivated murders and, according to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Jews will be banned from any future Palestinian state.”

      Reply to Comment
      • So childish to redirect a conversation by pointing the finger – “look what they’re doing. They’re terrible. We are absolute darlings compared to them”.
        You’re really damaging the “light unto the nations” piece when you go here. Really pathetic.

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          Childish?

          No, not really. When one is fighting scumbags, sometimes we too need to do bad things.

          Have you heard the saying “fighting fire with fire?”

          No? Don’t worry. Go read up about Hiroshima Nagasaki and Dresden.

          Reply to Comment
          • Sure, I’ve heard of people needing to do bad things. Ever hear of Irgun, Hadassah, the Stern gang? Talk about bad ideas, how about the creation of the zionist state, bankrolled in part by the united states, all the way up to and through the first and second gulf wars. I sure don’t want to forget all the special “operations” in Gaza, but will just focus on the operations in the last 8 years –
            Operation “Summer Rains” – 2006
            Operation “Cast Lead” – 2008 (summer rains sounds kinda pussy)
            Operation “Pillar of Defense – 2012 (oh so phallic)
            Operation “Protective Edge” 2014

            I shudder to think what 2016 will bring.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Typical Marnie response.

            But she will never mention that before the Irgun ever existed, Arabs were already busy murdering Palestinian Jews. For instance, in the 1929 Hebron massacre. And the massacre of Jews in Zefat.

            Oh and the Israeli operations in Gaza. They were unprovoked right? Of course not right. Since 2001, there has been persistent rocket fire from Gaza on 1 million Israelis in Southern Israel.

            Yes yes yes, I know, those rockets did not kill or maim enough Zionists for you. But ask yourself, what would be the reaction of the American government if Mexico would fire thousands of rockets into American townships? In fact, how would you react if you would have to endure such attacks for years? Would you tell your government not to react? Would you just lament that the poor Mexicans deserve to be left alone and they should be allowed to continue to target you?

            Gawd you people are hypocrites.

            Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            And the religious radicalization of many Palestinians, especially in Gaza, and especially by Hamas, came from nothing? It grew in a vacuum? Israel had nothing to do with it?

            Sow misery, and hatred you shall harvest.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kiwi

            The Palestinians sowed enough misery for Israelis. So it is natural for them to have reaped misery.

            Reply to Comment
          • Exactly.

            Reply to Comment
      • Sarah

        Well, yeah. But does that make it ok for Israel to do it?

        Is that the standard you want Israel to live up to? You want her compared to Sudan?

        Or would you rather Israel were compared to modern democratic countries of the west?

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          Yes, I want Israel compared to modern Western democracies when those Western democracies were fighting their war of survival against their implaccable enemies.

          Those Western democracies practiced censorship, they jailed and even executed people who were convicted of promulgating enemy propaganda (read up about Lord Haw Haw and Tokyo Rose). And they interned citizens who were born in Germany, Japan and Italy.

          Yes I want you to compare apples with apples. Israel has been fighting a 100 year war with the Arabs and we are not as draconian as the western allies were during their great war.

          Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            John W, Are you saying that every problem that Israel contends with is the fault of the Palestinians, and that Israel bears no responsibility for any part of the conflict?

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            I already answered this question after you asked the same question. See below.

            Reply to Comment
    8. “In WW2 they interned Anerican citizens who originated from Germany, Japan and Italy into camps. Wait till they bring that practice back or worse, if Muslims give them the cause to..”

      FAIL. As horrible as it is, American citizens of Japanese ancestry were INTERRED in camps. Germans and Italians did not receive this treatment, I’m guessing because they blended in so well, america being the racist country it is, I mean, was.

      I am expecting the mossad to pull some false flag operations in the states, for sure, especially since people like Ya’alon and Netanyahu are so jacked up about the thought of it they let things slip in their conversation.

      Please, if you continue to troll this site, would you at least take your meds?

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        MARNIE:”As horrible as it is, American citizens of Japanese ancestry were INTERRED in camps. Germans and Italians did not receive this treatment,

        Poor old Marnie. How wrong can you be? Go read Wikipedia again. German Americans certainly WERE detained. As were Italian non citizens.

        “The internment of German Americans refers to the detention of German and German-American citizens in the United States during World War I and World War II. Unlike the Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II and the Italian Americans who were subject to the same fate, these internees have never received an apology or reparations.[1]”

        MARNIE:”I’m guessing because they blended in so well, america being the racist country it is, I mean, was.”

        As usual you guessed wrong. Germans were detained. And the German Americans didn’t even get compensation or an apology unlike the Japanese Americans.

        By the way, are you sure you are not a closet racist yourself? Often such people get on a soap box and point the finger at others in order to distract attention from their own racist feelings.

        If I were you, Marnie dear, I would do some serious soul searching.

        Reply to Comment
        • I’m soul-searching all the time. I’m very cognizant of my many faults. I didn’t believe you but it turns out you were right – there were German/Italian americans in camps. I don’t remember ever learning about that. I apologize for calling you out as being wrong on this particular issue.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Well good for you Marnie, there is some humility in you after all.

            Reply to Comment
    9. Gustav

      False flag operations?

      Let me guess, Marnie dear, you too are a conspiracy theorist extraordinaire, right?

      The Joos perpetrated 9/11, not the Arabs, right? And even Benghazi, right? Them dirty Israeli Joos did it, right Marnie dear?

      Reply to Comment
    10. Keep guessing Gustav.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        I don’t need to. You already answered my question. You accused us of false flag operations, you little hater.

        Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        As with Ben, above, so with Marnie. The same fate. You say anything approaching the truth, catch them out, as Chemi Shalev well articulates (in Haaretz) and Presto!, you’re “a little hater.” (Even when you’re humble and honest enough as you are to admit and correct an inaccuracy.) They hate that you catch them out.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          So Marnie got caught out. Plain and simple. She had no choice but to admit it or ignore it and skulk away.

          Yes I commended her for the fact that she chose to admit it. But that should negate the other hateful deceitful simplistic accusations which she makes?

          Not quite. Only if she would admit that she is wrong on those things too would I stop calling her a hater. Get it Brian? No, of course you don’t because logic is not your forte.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Moreover, Brian dear, this is the comment that Marnie made about us on another thread:

            “Exactly but my question is These are people?”

            She dehumanized us and that makes her a hater. A hater, plain and simple.

            Reply to Comment
          • Really struck a nerve, huh? You’re more human

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Struck a nerve? No more so than when you allege that WE dehumanize Palestinian Arabs.

            I at least I am on the record of saying on this site that I am against both. You on the other hand seem to have problems with what we do but not what they do. According to you it is ok to dehumanize us but not them.

            See? That’s why I am here to criticize the critics. That’s people like you whose very reason for existence is to criticize Israel and Israelis.

            Reply to Comment
    11. Bruce Gould

      “Does The Term Apartheid Fit Israel? Of Course It Does” – LA Times editorial, May 2014

      http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-makdisi-israel-apartheid-20140518-story.html

      The Jewish state (for so it identifies itself, after all) maintains a system of formal and informal housing segregation both in Israel and in the occupied territories. It’s obvious, of course, that Jewish settlements in the West Bank aren’t exactly bursting with Palestinians. In Israel itself, however, hundreds of communities have been established for Jewish residents on land expropriated from Palestinians, in which segregation is maintained, for example, by admissions committees empowered to use ethnic criteria long since banned in the United States, or by the inability of Palestinian citizens to access land held exclusively for the Jewish people by the state-sanctioned Jewish National Fund.

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        Yes, the LA times is the authority on all evil. In your dreams.

        Now watch this video. A speech by Brigitte Gabriel who tells you some home truths about who the real villains are.

        http://rotter.net/forum/scoops1/138333.shtml

        Hint: It isn’t Israel.

        Reply to Comment
        • John W

          If Brigitte Gabriel is your source there can be no credibility.

          She is not an authority.
          She has an excellent accent when she speak Arabic, but she is not Muslim and is not an authority on Islam. She is not an authority on anything. And she has been making a fortune through fear-mongering for a while now.

          Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            As a member of the Christian minority who experienced oppression by Islamo fascists first hand, Brigitte Gabriel is eminently qualified to speak about Jihadis. Here, read this:

            “Brigitte Gabriel was born in the Marjeyoun District of Lebanon to a Maronite Christian couple, a first and only child after over twenty years of marriage.[10] She recalls that during the Lebanese Civil War, Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base near her family’s house and destroyed her home. Gabriel, who was ten years old at the time, was injured by shrapnel in the attack.[1][11] She says that she and her parents were forced to live underground in all that remained, an 8-by-10-foot (2.4 by 3.0 m) bomb shelter for seven years, with only a small kerosene heater, no sanitary systems, no electricity or running water, and little food.[12] She says she had to crawl in a roadside ditch to a spring for water to evade Muslim snipers.[12][13][14]

            According to Gabriel, at one point in the spring of 1978, a bomb explosion caused her and her parents to become trapped in the shelter for two days.[15] They were eventually rescued by three Christian militia fighters,[16] one of whom befriended Gabriel but was later killed by a land mine.[17]”

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Nah, she’s just becoming rich through fear-mongering, scaring people about Muslims.

            I am familiar with her background.

            The best was when she was going around on Fox News as an ‘expert’ explaining that the Muslim prayer “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim” is the “war cry of Allah.”

            Oh, that was a riot. If anyone here knows Hebrew at all they will instantly recognize that it is the same as in Hebrew. It means “in the name of God, the most merciful, most compassionate.”

            It is said by Muslims many times on many occasions. There is nothing scary about this prayer. It is not a “war cry”. But people who have no knowledge otherwise could easily be freaked out by her frightful misinformation.

            She cannot be taken seriously. She is one woman with a very clear agenda.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Yes, you are right Sarah. Brigitte Gabriel has a clear agenda.

            Her agenda is to counteract the relentless propaganda of extreme leftists like you on this site. She is exposing what Islamo fascists are trying to impose on this world, starting with Israel.

            Hamas is not just our imagination nor it’s it something Brigitte Gabriel invented, unfortunately.

            Barely 10 years ago, we experienced first hand what they stand for. No use you trying to gloss over that. We don’t suffer from Alzheimer’s.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Hi Gustav,

            Could you please clarify and point out where you see “relentless propaganda” in any of my comments? Also, what have I said that makes me an “extreme leftist” in your view?

            Now, to Ms. Gabriel. You are mistaken. Her agenda is to use scare tactics about Muslims telling inaccuracies while impressing ignorant people with her Arabic accent.

            Hamas exists.
            But so do Palestinians who support non-violence and who do not want to wipe Israel off the map.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Hi Gustav,

            Could you please clarify and point out where you see “relentless propaganda” in any of my comments? Also, what have I said that makes me an “extreme leftist” in your view?”

            Fair enough. You are not guilty of relentless propaganda yet. Please accept my apology. But I have what I consider to be a reasonable suspicion, based on your few comments, that you may soon justify my comment about you too. As for others on this site, I stand by what I said above.

            “Now, to Ms. Gabriel. You are mistaken. Her agenda is to use scare tactics about Muslims telling inaccuracies while impressing ignorant people with her Arabic accent.”

            See what I mean? This comment of yours about Ms Gabriel is why I am suspicious of your stance. Ms Gabriel is not just creating scare tactics. She experienced first hand the fanaticism of Jihadis during the Lebanese civil war. As did we and as did the rest of the world who have experienced just a taste of it in Bali, Barcelona, London, New York and elsewhere.

            “Hamas exists.
            But so do Palestinians who support non-violence and who do not want to wipe Israel off the map.”

            True. In fact, I would say there are many Palestinians who would prefer a peaceful solution. Unfortunately though they are not the majority. Nor are THEY the ones who set the agenda of the Palestinian people. Hamas and Islamic Jihad do. And their predecessors, equally fanatical Jihadis did the same for the last 100 years. So unfortunately, because of them, the innocents suffer, both on their side and our side because we just cannot ignore their fanatics. They won’t just disappear if we ignore them. They never have in the past when we did try to pretend (like you do) that they don’t matter. Every time we tried that, they just got stronger because they convinced gullible Palestinian Arabs that we are faltering and weakening. Only strong action on our part gets them to put their heads down temporarily.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Well, Gustav, please point to specific points in my comments that sound like “relentless propaganda.” Thank you.

            When you say Ilan Pappe was caught “falsifying” information, that is quite a smear. I think what you mean is that some other competing historians disagreed with his paraphrasing of a particular quote from Ben Gurion’s diary.

            However, if you are saying that every single footnote in his work is made up and that none of that can be found in IDF archives, that is another thing entirely. And it is a vicious rumor to spread based on no proof whatsoever.

            Are you able to see how destructive it is for Ms. Gabriel to go on TV in front of millions and mislead them by claiming that the prayer “Bismillah ir Rahman ir-Rahim” is a “war cry of Allah”?

            Can you grasp this?

            You are a fan of hers. That’s fine.

            Nevertheless, she is not an authority on Islam just because she lived in Lebanon and experienced Jihadis.

            There is not a single comment or article on 972, nor is there any Jewish “extreme leftist” [your words] who advocates for, defends or supports Jihadi Islam or violent actions by Palestinians against Israel.

            You can bring up Muslim extremists to try and scare everyone into maintaining the status quo, as you have repeatedly; you can do that as a distraction or to justify each and every action taken by the Israeli govt/military, but that’s not a particularly intelligent argument. It is transparent and manipulative.

            Watch the documentary film Budrus and you will even find Hamas members who have agreed to join the non-violent struggle. If you take a look at the group Just Vision, you will find many Palestinians who are working to bring more of their own people to join their non-violent movement using protest and civil obedience (rather than suicide bombing, for example).

            Israel must maintain her borders. But there is no need for roadblocks inside the West Bank.

            You are asking why Palestinians would be peacefully protesting…. It doesn’t matter why they’re protesting! In a democracy, it doesn’t matter why they are gathering, as long as they are allowed to do so, and are not met with military response.

            Oh—and regards to your point about the settlements which you assume I would ignore: It just doesn’t matter how much percentage of land they are on. Even 1% has the end result of an Israeli military presence inside the territories to protect those settlers, and ultimately controlling aspects of Palestinian life. So I stand by my response—Israel should get out of the territories completely, and man her borders. There is no reason to believe that the Palestinian residents of the West Bank will shoot rockets into Israel (unless Israel decides to blockade the West Bank so completely as it did to Gaza.)
            Settlers who remain in the territories will do so at their own risk.

            This would be a great first step to build trust.

            As I mentioned, there already have been meaningful steps taken by Palestinians who are interested in non-violence and who recognize Israel. They’re the ones we need to support and empower.

            Gustav, JohnW, whoever you may be, it appears that you believe the Palestinians have it just fantastic in every way, and that Israel is a wonderful, benevolent entity unlike any other government that ever existed past or present, and is simply incapable of wrongdoing.

            And for that reason, I don’t think this conversation is particularly constructive.

            So, I will say thank you and take care.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “When you say Ilan Pappe was caught “falsifying” information, that is quite a smear. I think what you mean is that some other competing historians disagreed with his paraphrasing of a particular quote from Ben Gurion’s diary.”

            Amongst other things. At least you are aware of that particular smear of Illan’s. Awareness is good. Ignoring it is not so good.

            “However, if you are saying that every single footnote in his work is made up and that none of that can be found in IDF archives, that is another thing entirely. And it is a vicious rumor to spread based on no proof whatsoever.”

            It would take too long to debunk every one of his comments about every single footnote that he made. Others have already done it in great detail. No doubt you have read them but you still believe Pappe’s one eyed interpretations? Then we will just have to disagree about him. To me he is not a historian. Historians are nuanced. This man is driven by an innate need to smear Israel. He is an out and out propagandist doing the work of Israel’s enemies.

            “Are you able to see how destructive it is for Ms. Gabriel to go on TV in front of millions and mislead them by claiming that the prayer “Bismillah ir Rahman ir-Rahim” is a “war cry of Allah”?

            Can you grasp this?”

            I am not aware of her making such a gaffe. If she did, it was an obvious mistake. But that does not negate everything else she says. It actually fits in with what Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, Al Quaida say, do and did.

            “You are a fan of hers. That’s fine.

            Nevertheless, she is not an authority on Islam just because she lived in Lebanon and experienced Jihadis.”

            I did not say she is an authority on Islam. I said she is an authority on what Islamo Fascists and Jihadis stand for and do. Heck, don’t listen to her. Just open your own eyes.

            “There is not a single comment or article on 972, nor is there any Jewish “extreme leftist” [your words] who advocates for, defends or supports Jihadi Islam or violent actions by Palestinians against Israel.”

            Yes, but there is a lot of selective reporting going on in here. The picture that is being presented is an Israel which does things in a vacuum without properly referring to what Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists are doing to Israelis which trigger Israel’s consequent behaviour. And there is also a lot of reversal of causes and effects going on in here. A pretence that Arabs react to Israel’s oppression rather than looking at real history in which for example, Israel erected the security fence in response to the 6 year suicide bombing spree against Israeli civilians by Hamas and their ilk.

            “You can bring up Muslim extremists to try and scare everyone into maintaining the status quo, as you have repeatedly; you can do that as a distraction or to justify each and every action taken by the Israeli govt/military, but that’s not a particularly intelligent argument. It is transparent and manipulative.”

            Care to explain why it is manipulative rather than a natural reaction? I have yet to hear a viable alternative solution. If I will, I will change my mind. I invite you too to give me a solution other than caving in to all Palestinian demands and hoping for the best. Our experience in Gaza makes me think that such solutions are not viable. And more than that, they are stupid.

            “Watch the documentary film Budrus and you will even find Hamas members who have agreed to join the non-violent struggle. If you take a look at the group Just Vision, you will find many Palestinians who are working to bring more of their own people to join their non-violent movement using protest and civil obedience (rather than suicide bombing, for example).”

            What we need is for the MAJORITY of Palestinian Arabs (a decisive majority to renounce Hamas’s methods and seek a peace based on compromise. The idea that because some of the Palestinians who are not even able to stand up to Hamas, are peaceful and that we should pretend that all Palestinians are like that is spurious and pointless.

            Why wasn’t Olmert’s peace offer was accepted? Do you think it did not go far enough?

            “Israel must maintain her borders. But there is no need for roadblocks inside the West Bank.”

            The history of terrorism from the West Bank tells us that we need to do what we need to do. We pay for naive wishful thinking with Israeli lives.

            “You are asking why Palestinians would be peacefully protesting…. It doesn’t matter why they’re protesting! In a democracy, it doesn’t matter why they are gathering, as long as they are allowed to do so, and are not met with military response.”

            But it does matter if they throw stones and even boulders on civilian cars which then kills Israelis.

            “Oh—and regards to your point about the settlements which you assume I would ignore: It just doesn’t matter how much percentage of land they are on. Even 1% has the end result of an Israeli military presence inside the territories to protect those settlers, and ultimately controlling aspects of Palestinian life. So I stand by my response—Israel should get out of the territories completely, and man her borders. There is no reason to believe that the Palestinian residents of the West Bank will shoot rockets into Israel (unless Israel decides to blockade the West Bank so completely as it did to Gaza.)”

            Well, Sara, you DID ignore most of what John and I said about “the settlements”. Here is just one of the points which you ignored. Why should Israel get out of the Jewish quarter of East Jerusalem? East Jerusalem was never ever exclusively Arab. Why should it become Jew free? Ditto for Gush Etzion. You also ignored our other points.

            “Settlers who remain in the territories will do so at their own risk.”

            The mere fact that you are talking about risks to 500,000 Israelis, tells a story in itself. And the mere fact that we have had 1.2 million Israeli Arab citizens since 1947, who admittedly were not always treated perfectly but nevertheless they have full rights as Israeli citizens and most of whom are horrified even to hear about the possibility of giving up that citizenship, tells a story to any intelligent observer. We must be doing many things right with them. Otherwise, they would be happy to give up their citizenship and be part of the “shiny New Democratic” Palestine which is constantly being talked about.

            “This would be a great first step to build trust.”

            I have lost count how many times we tried to build trust. Isn’t it about time for them to show us that we should trust them? Here is a suggestion: formally recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. They would be amazed at the response by ordinary Israelis …

            “As I mentioned, there already have been meaningful steps taken by Palestinians who are interested in non-violence and who recognize Israel. They’re the ones we need to support and empower.”

            While their brothers who are in the majority take advantage and rocket us or blow us up? Did you know that during the Oslo accord, terrorism against Israeli civilians increased?

            “Gustav, JohnW, whoever you may be, it appears that you believe the Palestinians have it just fantastic in every way,”

            No, we don’t but they could have a much better life if they would be willing to sign a peace deal based on compromise. Something along the lines of what Olmert already offered.

            “and that Israel is a wonderful, benevolent entity unlike any other government that ever existed past or present, and is simply incapable of wrongdoing.”

            Where did we say that?

            “And for that reason, I don’t think this conversation is particularly constructive.

            So, I will say thank you and take care.”

            Have it your way. You take care too ….

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Sarah: Very well said! (As usual.) Admirable clarity and concision and very informed. There’s nothing like authority and integrity.

            Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        Yep, that’s apartheid. It is of course not as flagrant and declared outright as the South African original, it is more creeping and covert. And there are unique aspects. Of course. But is is unquestionably apartheid. But Ya’alon, that genius of subtlety, seems intent on making it more overt. This might make it more obvious to the massively ignorant American public. But no one ever went broke underestimating the ignorance of the American public when it comes to Israel-Palestine. Bibi has gotten rich accurately assessing it.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kiwi

          Apartheid my foot.

          Since when does an occupying force required to set up busses which carry both it’s own citizens and their enemies who have been known to quite frequently commit terrorist acts against the citizens of the occupying country?

          Was occupied Japan after WW2 an apartheid system? Was occupied Germany an apartheid system?

          The propaganda against Israel is extraordinary. Shame on you people.

          Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Well, at least you admit it’s an occupation, Kiwi.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            Who does not admit that the Palestinian people of the West Bank are under occupation? Israel certainly admits it. It only disputes that the lands are under occupation. And rightly so. There has been a civil war in Palestine which resulted in an armistice agreement. No formal borders have been determined to date. That’s one of the tasks that still has to be done.

            Palestine was partitioned. Had the Arabs accepted UN resolution 181 in 1947, we would be talking about formal borders today. But the Palestinian Arabs rejected the UN resolution. That is why all those who claim that Israel occupies Palestinian lands don’t know what they are talking about. Because no borders were ever agreed upon by either party yet.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            So, John W, does that mean you place all the blame for the conflict on the Palestinians?

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            Most of it yes. But we too made mistakes.

            Thanks for asking the question though. At least it is a fair and a good question. A rarity on this site.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Thank you for saying that, JohnW. 🙂

            I am wondering also, what you envision as an ultimate solution to the problems we face?

            (PS, I can’t understand how you can place most of the blame on the Palestinians, considering how Israel got started with the intent to be a majority-Jewish country; which led to expulsions, massacres, looting… and now a seemingly-permanent occupation continues while the Israeli govt allows for settlements and colonies to persist and grow throughout the land that is supposed to be part of a Palestinian state… This is empirically unjust, isn’t it? )

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “I am wondering also, what you envision as an ultimate solution to the problems we face?”

            Two states for two peoples. One majority Jewish state (Israel) the other, the 23rd Arab Muslim state (to be called Palestine or Arabistan or whatever else they want to call it).

            “(PS, I can’t understand how you can place most of the blame on the Palestinians, considering how Israel got started with the intent to be a majority-Jewish country;”

            It is true that our aim was to have a majority Jewish state but we DID accept UN resolution 181 which would have given us only a small majority and would have been the closest thing to a bi-national state. The Arabs were the ones who rejected that solution.

            “which led to expulsions, massacres, looting… ”

            That is where truth ends and propaganda begins. Yes, there were some expulsions. There were also many civilians fleeing from a war zone in a war which the Arabs triggered because they did not want Jews or a Jewish state in the Middle East. Moreover, there were even greater number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

            “and now a seemingly-permanent occupation continues while the Israeli govt allows for settlements and colonies to persist and grow throughout the land that is supposed to be part of a Palestinian state… This is empirically unjust, isn’t it? )”

            The occupation persists because the Palestinians are trying to dictate terms and refuse to sign a permanent peace deal with Israel.

            Your claims about “the settlements” are at the least, simplistic.

            Firstly, because the so called settlements represent no more than about 6% of the West Bank.

            Secondly, Israel, for the sake of peace, offered land swaps in exchange for keeping those settlements.

            Thirdly, Jewish presence in parts of East Jerusalem is not even illegal because Jews always lived in East Jerusalem. The only time we did not live there was for a mere 19 years because in 1948, the Arabs expelled us from there. The same applies for Gush Etzion.

            As for other settlements, the ones built on crown lands are not illegal either. You want to know why? Because the war between the Jews and Arabs of Palestine was a civil war. In other words, both Jews and Arabs were allowed to live anywhere in the land of Palestine. So as the fortunes of war change, you cannot accuse either side of illegally occupying any part of Palestine, until such time as Palestine gets formally partitioned and borders are formally negotiated and get to be recognised. That has not happened yet, has it?

            You want to dispute that? Then just think about what is happening in Syria. Right now a civil war is raging there. One possibility is that Syria may end up being partitioned into say a Sunni country and an Alawite country. In the meanwhile, as the fortunes of war change, you cannot accuse either side of being occupiers in any part of Syria which they may temporarily control. Why? Because they are both Syrians. But again, once borders are negotiated and get recognised, if those parts come under enemy control, then those areas would be considered to be occupied and building of settlements would be prohibited.

            Do you disagree, Sarah? If you do, then be my guest and please explain how the Syrian civil war is different than what the Palestinian civil war was between us and the Arabs.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Before I address any of your points, have you read any of Ilan Pappe’s work? He pulls directly from IDF archives.

            I cannot comment on Syria because I don’t know enough about it to add anything.

            Although, my feeling is that trying to use analogies and comparisons with other countries and situations is futile and leads down a road of proving and disproving the similarities.

            And, not that you asked, but my opinion is that to begin with, Israel should stop occupation inside the west bank. Protect her own borders, but stay out of Palestinian villages, farms, and roads, end arbitrary arrests, and allow peaceful protests to take place without any use of force. If settlers want to live there, it would be at their own risk.

            That would be a beginning.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Thanks for the thoughtful reply.”

            You are welcome.

            “Before I address any of your points, have you read any of Ilan Pappe’s work? He pulls directly from IDF archives.”

            Yes, and he has been caught out lying and falsifying information. Not to mention total bias and distortion. He has discredited himself many times over.

            “I cannot comment on Syria because I don’t know enough about it to add anything.”

            All you need to look at is the fact that Syria is in the midst of a civil war.

            The war between Jewish and Arab Palestinians too started out as a civil war. The only difference to Syria is that Israel declared itself as an independent state but since the Arabs were not willing to recognize it, it’s borders have not been defined. And are still not defined to this day because the Arabs now demand that Israel must withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines which were NOT borders and which are also known as the 1967 boundaries.

            “Although, my feeling is that trying to use analogies and comparisons with other countries and situations is futile and leads down a road of proving and disproving the similarities.”

            Not if you are careful to compare “apples to apples”.

            “And, not that you asked, but my opinion is that to begin with, Israel should stop occupation inside the west bank.”

            Without requiring the Palestinian Arabs to sign a formal peace deal and make a non aggression pact? That would be foolhardy. The last time we did that was in Gaza in 2005 and our reward was the election of Hamas by the Palestinian people. And also the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit by Hamas and they continued their rocket fire on us which they started in 2001.

            “Protect her own borders, but stay out of Palestinian villages, farms, and roads, end arbitrary arrests,”

            Stay out even if they fire rockets at us from those farms villages and roads? That is unreasonable. No one in our place would agree to such a deal.

            “and allow peaceful protests to take place without any use of force.”

            Hold on there Sarah. If as you say, we would withdraw, why should there be any protests?

            By the way, by peaceful, do you mean rock throwing? Because that is what they do. And some of those rocks led to some Israeli civilian deaths. I am sorry, but wecannot allow that to happen.

            “If settlers want to live there, it would be at their own risk.”

            Read what I said about the settlements. If you disagree, then show me where what I said was wrong. Ignoring what I said is not a valid debating tactic.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Hi Gustav,

            I was awaiting JohnW’s reply since I was discussing this with him.

            Or…are you the same person?

            Oh, I see what’s going on . . .

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “I was awaiting JohnW’s reply since I was discussing this with him.”

            So was I but I got frustrated waiting for him to finish what he started. So when he didn’t, I thought I would jump in and do it for him since you and I were already having a similar conversation anyway.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Well, Gustav, please point to specific points in my comments that sound like “relentless propaganda.” Thank you.

            When you say Ilan Pappe was caught “falsifying” information, that is quite a smear. I think what you mean is that some other competing historians disagreed with his paraphrasing of a particular quote from Ben Gurion’s diary.

            However, if you are saying that every single footnote in his work is made up and that none of that can be found in IDF archives, that is another thing entirely. And it is a vicious rumor to spread based on no proof whatsoever.

            Are you able to see how destructive it is for Ms. Gabriel to go on TV in front of millions and mislead them by claiming that the prayer “Bismillah ir Rahman ir-Rahim” is a “war cry of Allah”?

            Can you grasp this?

            You are a fan of hers. That’s fine.

            Nevertheless, she is not an authority on Islam just because she lived in Lebanon and experienced Jihadis.

            There is not a single comment or article on 972, nor is there any Jewish “extreme leftist” [your words] who advocates for, defends or supports Jihadi Islam or violent actions by Palestinians against Israel.

            You can bring up Muslim extremists to try and scare everyone into maintaining the status quo, as you have repeatedly; you can do that as a distraction or to justify each and every action taken by the Israeli govt/military, but that’s not a particularly intelligent argument. It is transparent and manipulative.

            Watch the documentary film Budrus and you will even find Hamas members who have agreed to join the non-violent struggle. If you take a look at the group Just Vision, you will find many Palestinians who are working to bring more of their own people to join their non-violent movement using protest and civil obedience (rather than suicide bombing, for example).

            Israel must maintain her borders. But there is no need for roadblocks inside the West Bank.

            You are asking why Palestinians would be peacefully protesting…. It doesn’t matter why they’re protesting! In a democracy, it doesn’t matter why they are gathering, as long as they are allowed to do so, and are not met with military response.

            Oh—and regards to your point about the settlements which you assume I would ignore: It just doesn’t matter how much percentage of land they are on. Even 1% has the end result of an Israeli military presence inside the territories to protect those settlers, and ultimately controlling aspects of Palestinian life. So I stand by my response—Israel should get out of the territories completely, and man her borders. There is no reason to believe that the Palestinian residents of the West Bank will shoot rockets into Israel (unless Israel decides to blockade the West Bank so completely as it did to Gaza.)
            Settlers who remain in the territories will do so at their own risk.

            This would be a great first step to build trust.

            As I mentioned, there already have been meaningful steps taken by Palestinians who are interested in non-violence and who recognize Israel. They’re the ones we need to support and empower.

            Gustav, JohnW, whoever you may be, it appears that you believe the Palestinians have it just fantastic in every way, and that Israel is a wonderful, benevolent entity unlike any other government that ever existed past or present, and is simply incapable of wrongdoing.

            And for that reason, I don’t think this conversation is particularly constructive.

            So, I will say thank you and take care.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “When you say Ilan Pappe was caught “falsifying” information, that is quite a smear. I think what you mean is that some other competing historians disagreed with his paraphrasing of a particular quote from Ben Gurion’s diary.”

            Amongst other things. At least you are aware of that particular smear of Illan’s. Awareness is good. Ignoring it is not so good.

            “However, if you are saying that every single footnote in his work is made up and that none of that can be found in IDF archives, that is another thing entirely. And it is a vicious rumor to spread based on no proof whatsoever.”

            It would take too long to debunk every one of his comments about every single footnote that he made. Others have already done it in great detail. No doubt you have read them but you still believe Pappe’s one eyed interpretations? Then we will just have to disagree about him. To me he is not a historian. Historians are nuanced. This man is driven by an innate need to smear Israel. He is an out and out propagandist doing the work of Israel’s enemies.

            “Are you able to see how destructive it is for Ms. Gabriel to go on TV in front of millions and mislead them by claiming that the prayer “Bismillah ir Rahman ir-Rahim” is a “war cry of Allah”?

            Can you grasp this?”

            I am not aware of her making such a gaffe. If she did, it was an obvious mistake. But that does not negate everything else she says. It actually fits in with what Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, Al Quaida say, do and did.

            “You are a fan of hers. That’s fine.

            Nevertheless, she is not an authority on Islam just because she lived in Lebanon and experienced Jihadis.”

            I did not say she is an authority on Islam. I said she is an authority on what Islamo Fascists and Jihadis stand for and do. Heck, don’t listen to her. Just open your own eyes.

            “There is not a single comment or article on 972, nor is there any Jewish “extreme leftist” [your words] who advocates for, defends or supports Jihadi Islam or violent actions by Palestinians against Israel.”

            Yes, but there is a lot of selective reporting going on in here. The picture that is being presented is an Israel which does things in a vacuum without properly referring to what Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists are doing to Israelis which trigger Israel’s consequent behaviour. And there is also a lot of reversal of causes and effects going on in here. A pretence that Arabs react to Israel’s oppression rather than looking at real history in which for example, Israel erected the security fence in response to the 6 year suicide bombing spree against Israeli civilians by Hamas and their ilk.

            “You can bring up Muslim extremists to try and scare everyone into maintaining the status quo, as you have repeatedly; you can do that as a distraction or to justify each and every action taken by the Israeli govt/military, but that’s not a particularly intelligent argument. It is transparent and manipulative.”

            Care to explain why it is manipulative rather than a natural reaction? I have yet to hear a viable alternative solution. If I will, I will change my mind. I invite you too to give me a solution other than caving in to all Palestinian demands and hoping for the best. Our experience in Gaza makes me think that such solutions are not viable. And more than that, they are stupid.

            “Watch the documentary film Budrus and you will even find Hamas members who have agreed to join the non-violent struggle. If you take a look at the group Just Vision, you will find many Palestinians who are working to bring more of their own people to join their non-violent movement using protest and civil obedience (rather than suicide bombing, for example).”

            What we need is for the MAJORITY of Palestinian Arabs (a decisive majority to renounce Hamas’s methods and seek a peace based on compromise. The idea that because some of the Palestinians who are not even able to stand up to Hamas, are peaceful and that we should pretend that all Palestinians are like that is spurious and pointless.

            Why wasn’t Olmert’s peace offer was accepted? Do you think it did not go far enough?

            “Israel must maintain her borders. But there is no need for roadblocks inside the West Bank.”

            The history of terrorism from the West Bank tells us that we need to do what we need to do. We pay for naive wishful thinking with Israeli lives.

            “You are asking why Palestinians would be peacefully protesting…. It doesn’t matter why they’re protesting! In a democracy, it doesn’t matter why they are gathering, as long as they are allowed to do so, and are not met with military response.”

            But it does matter if they throw stones and even boulders on civilian cars which then kills Israelis.

            “Oh—and regards to your point about the settlements which you assume I would ignore: It just doesn’t matter how much percentage of land they are on. Even 1% has the end result of an Israeli military presence inside the territories to protect those settlers, and ultimately controlling aspects of Palestinian life. So I stand by my response—Israel should get out of the territories completely, and man her borders. There is no reason to believe that the Palestinian residents of the West Bank will shoot rockets into Israel (unless Israel decides to blockade the West Bank so completely as it did to Gaza.)”

            Well, Sara, you DID ignore most of what John and I said about “the settlements”. Here is just one of the points which you ignored. Why should Israel get out of the Jewish quarter of East Jerusalem? East Jerusalem was never ever exclusively Arab. Why should it become Jew free? Ditto for Gush Etzion. You also ignored our other points.

            “Settlers who remain in the territories will do so at their own risk.”

            The mere fact that you are talking about risks to 500,000 Israelis, tells a story in itself. And the mere fact that we have had 1.2 million Israeli Arab citizens since 1947, who admittedly were not always treated perfectly but nevertheless they have full rights as Israeli citizens and most of whom are horrified even to hear about the possibility of giving up that citizenship, tells a story to any intelligent observer. We must be doing many things right with them. Otherwise, they would be happy to give up their citizenship and be part of the “shiny New Democratic” Palestine which is constantly being talked about.

            “This would be a great first step to build trust.”

            I have lost count how many times we tried to build trust. Isn’t it about time for them to show us that we should trust them? Here is a suggestion: formally recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. They would be amazed at the response by ordinary Israelis …

            “As I mentioned, there already have been meaningful steps taken by Palestinians who are interested in non-violence and who recognize Israel. They’re the ones we need to support and empower.”

            While their brothers who are in the majority take advantage and rocket us or blow us up? Did you know that during the Oslo accord, terrorism against Israeli civilians increased?

            “Gustav, JohnW, whoever you may be, it appears that you believe the Palestinians have it just fantastic in every way,”

            No, we don’t but they could have a much better life if they would be willing to sign a peace deal based on compromise. Something along the lines of what Olmert already offered.

            “and that Israel is a wonderful, benevolent entity unlike any other government that ever existed past or present, and is simply incapable of wrongdoing.”

            Where did we say that?

            “And for that reason, I don’t think this conversation is particularly constructive.

            So, I will say thank you and take care.”

            Have it your way. You take care too …

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    12. Average American

      Great, we’ve cleared up that more people than just Japanese were interred in WW2 by USA, it wasn’t only about Japanese. Now we can also clear up that more people than just Jews were interred and killed in WW2 by Germany, it wasn’t only about Jews. And we can clear up that what Israel is doing right now isn’t only about Palestinians, it’s about anyone who is not Jewish.

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      • Did you read the story about Rivlin’s speech posted here today? Maybe everyone’s learning curve is improving – here’s hoping

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    13. Brian

      Sayed Kashua in the New Yorker:

      I know that in Israel people shout and carry on, How dare you compare us to South Africa? But what’s going on in the territories is separation based on race. The fact is, a settler can vote, move around freely, get Social Security and medical insurance, and a Palestinian can’t— that is separation based on race. And it’s not only in the territories but also inside the 1948 borders, when we’re talking about Arab citizens like me. How can you read in the papers this week that the Supreme Court has rejected a petition against the Admissions Committees Law, which is aimed at preventing Arab citizens from gaining access to state lands—state lands that were owned by Arabs not too long ago. (This has been happening for a long time, but now the practice has legal authority.) Is there any word but racist to describe the fact that a citizen can’t live wherever he wants in his own country, that an Arab citizen has no access to more than eighty per cent of the territory of his own country?

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      • Kiwi

        Nonsense Brian.

        Separation of the Hebrews of Israel and the Arabs of the West Bank is the same as the separation of bosnian Muslims and Serbs. Or the occupied Germans after WW2 from American civilians. Or any other two warring nations.

        Nice try to make propaganda though. Keep trying. Some people are impressed by it but only the ones who profess the same religion that you have. The leftist religion.

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        • Brian

          The main technique of hasbara is distraction. Kashua, far more knowledgable about this than you will ever be, says “And it’s not only in the territories but also inside the 1948 borders, when we’re talking about Arab citizens like me…..”

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      • JohnW

        Brian and his apartheid fixation.

        According to him, after WW2, France was one of the occupying forces of Germany. German and French citizens did not travel on the same buses. So France was an apartheid state.

        Personally I don’t agree. But if Brian says so it must be true.

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        • Brian

          The main technique of hasbara is distraction. Kashua, far more knowledgable about this than you will ever be, says “And it’s not only in the territories but also inside the 1948 borders, when we’re talking about Arab citizens like me…..”

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        • Brian

          If 67 years after 1945 France were still, inside France!, making Germans ride separate buses, THAT would be apartheid! Last I heard though the French got out of Germany decades ago and things have gone well. Even in terms of “security.” LoL! The main technique of hasbara is distraction.

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          • Gustav

            “If 67 years after 1945 France were still, inside France!, making Germans ride separate buses, THAT would be apartheid!”

            No it would not be apartheid. Not even in a 1000 years. It would be self preservation.

            And if the Germans would have been as stupid as YOUR Palestinian Arabs and would still insist that they want to impose German rule on France, the French would treat the Germans much more severely than we treat YOUR Palestinian Arabs who still want to take over our country and make it an Arab country.

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          • Brian

            Gustav this is plainly not a winning analogy for you so I’m stupefied by your dogged pursuit here. I’d quit before you get too far behind. Last time I checked the French were NOT occupying the Rhineland in obstinate defiance of international law and the overwhelming international consensus. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Though there might be an impoverished island in the South Pacific you could buy off to support the French occupation of Germany. And it’s interesting because I do remember that the Germans invaded and occupied France very brutally but somehow the French never took it upon themselves to grab the Rhineland in 1945 and settle it bit by relentless bit based on some ancient Gallic mythology while professing to the world they wanted peace with the Germans. No it’s only the Russians, those paragons of humane western democratic values, who brutally occupied Germany for decades. In the service ostensibly of another fanatical “ism” and one purporting to be diametrically opposed to fascism but not really. These Russians are now, of course, one of the main blocs supporting the occupation.

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          • Gustav

            You are absolutely right. The last time you checked, the French were not occupying Germany. But I’ll say it again, because you either don’t read or you don’t comprehend. That was because Germany surrendered, accepted the peace terms of the allies and signed a peace deal. So the occupation ended within a few years.

            Had it not done so, had Germany been as stupid as your Palestinians, it would have remained occupied to this date. And German citizens would not be riding on French buses if like your Palestinians, they would be potential terrorists.

            In such circumstances, no person in their right mind, would accuse the French of apartheid. Except people like you perhaps. But you and your ilk don’t count.

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          • Brian

            I know you will say it again, and again, and again, with spectacular illogic, but France is still not occupying Germany.

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          • Gustav

            You are the one with the spectacular illogic. I told you that France is not occupying Germany any more because Germany signed a peace deal. The Palestinians on the other hand are unwilling to sign a peace deal.

            Now go on, repeat yourself again, clown.

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          • Brian

            To state the utterly obvious, Germany would not sign a peace deal either if France occupied its Western half and refused to get out and salted the country with messianic French settlers who destroyed German farmers’ fields, etc., etc., etc. Distraction, distraction, distraction. The main technique of hasbara is distraction. And illogic. Draw me the borders.

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          • Gustav

            Actually Germany surrendered unconditionally and agreed to the peace terms which the allies imposed on her which included loss of German lands. Not only that, but ethnic Germans were expelled from those lands. Here, read this:

            “German Reichsdeutsche (German citizens) and citizens of other European states who claimed German ethnicity were forced out of eastern Europe to migrate to Germany and Austria during the later stages of World War II and the post-war period. The areas of expulsion included former eastern territories of Germany, which were transferred to Poland and the Soviet Union after the war, as well as areas annexed or occupied by Nazi Germany in pre-war Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, northern Yugoslavia and other states of Central and Eastern Europe.”

            See Brian? Yet another one of your assertions has gone down the drain.

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          • Brian

            There you have it. I know full well the history. I was waiting to see how far you carried the analogy and as I suspected, you reveal your real game: unconditional surrender of a defeated Palestinian Arab people with victor’s justice meted out by the Jews. Unconditionally. Except for a few bones you throw them. This has always been Bibi’is game:
            “They must lower their expectations.” “The statements of the USA are unhelpful because they only encourage the Palestinians to have higher expectations.” Contemptuous disregard for human dignity if it’s not Jewish. Yeah, their shockingly high aspirations for 22% of their historic land that is and the eastern Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. With swaps. Netanyahu is a cruel occupier with a shrunken “chickenshit” personality. No one in the west can stand him. No. One. So you reveal who you are very well, Gustav.

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          • Brian

            Although you already did that with your comments to marnie.

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          • Gustav

            Yeah, poor old Marnie who wasn’t rude. She just dehumanized people whose views she does not like and told us to “F … off”

            Was I wrong to deal with her as she dealt with us? Don’t answer that Brian. I am not interested in your answer. You are biased and rude to your eyeball yourself. It was just a rhetorical question.

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          • Gustav

            “There you have it. I know full well the history.”

            You didn’t act as if you did.

            “I was waiting to see how far you carried the analogy”

            You mean you pretended that the unlike Israel, the allies were generous to Germany that is why Germany was willing to sign a peace deal? But you knew that was not the case but it suited you to pretend that so you could smear Israel with the label apartheid? Now do you understand why I call you a biased hater?

            “and as I suspected, you reveal your real game: unconditional surrender of a defeated Palestinian Arab people with victor’s justice meted out by the Jews. Unconditionally. Except for a few bones you throw them.”

            If that’s how you describe Olmert’s 2008 peace offer to Abbas, which Abbas ignored, then that further reveals YOUR agenda. You are even further gone than I thought you were. You are a Hamasnik.

            “This has always been Bibi’is game:”

            It may or may not be Bibi’s game. But irrespective of Bibi, Abbas has shown that he wants Israel to capitulate to his demands while he is willing to give Israel precisely NOTHING in return.

            “They must lower their expectations.” “The statements of the USA are unhelpful because they only encourage the Palestinians to have higher expectations.” Contemptuous disregard for human dignity if it’s not Jewish.”

            Yea, but you have no problems demanding that Israel should retreat, retreat and retreat more till there is nothing left to retreat to.

            “Yeah, their shockingly high aspirations for 22% of their historic land that is and the eastern Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. With swaps.”

            … which Olmert already offered them but Abbas ignored the offer.

            “Netanyahu is a cruel occupier with a shrunken “chickenshit” personality. No one in the west can stand him. No. One. So you reveal who you are very well, Gustav.”

            Even if true, that isn’t the issue we are discussing. Netanyahu is not Israel. He is just the leader of a party which was democratically elected and who for now is able to lead a coalition government. But shrunken “chickenshit” people like you were vilifying Israel since before Netanyahu was even born and you will go on doing it long after Netanyahu will be gone because you don’t just hate Netanyahu but you hate Israel too.

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    14. Brian

      Bernard Avishai:

      ————-
      ” It is false to state that Abbas rebuffed Olmert’s plan. It is false to say that the Palestinians were unwilling to pursue further negotiations in the wake of Olmert’s offer…

      On the contrary both Olmert and Abbas emphasized to me that neither side rejected the plan; both understood that they had the basis for a continuing negotiation….

      They did not agree yet on a number; and, swap or no swap, Abbas did not accept the border as Olmert had mapped it out, with Ariel, Maaleh Adumim, and Efrat—that is 5.9 percent of the West Bank—incorporated into Israel. The Palestinians wanted a plan in which 1.9 percent would be Israeli, which would allow 62 percent of settlers to remain in place. But closing such gaps is what just American mediation would be for.

      Why did Abbas not come back immediately with a counter-proposal? Well, from Abbas’s point of view, Olmert’s was the counter-proposal…..”

      ———————-

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      • Gustav

        “Why did Abbas not come back immediately with a counter-proposal? Well, from Abbas’s point of view, Olmert’s was the counter-proposal…..”

        Yea right, so Abbas sat back for 6 months ignoring Olmert’s “counter proposal” which included EVERYTHING that you have been claiming should be offered by Israel, NOW.

        … and he waited with abated breath till Olmert consequently would lose the election to Netanyahu. Then Abbas looked skyward and muttered, thank you Allah and ever since then he is pointing the finger at Netanyahu and repeats ad nauseam settlements … settlements … settlements … Netanyahu …. Netanyahu …. Netanyahu …. his fault …. his fault … his fault …

        And seasoned propagandists like you Brian, faithfully echo him. You might fool some. But you don’t fool those of us who follow history. Nor does Abbas. He does not fool us either. And unfortunately for you guys, we the voters in Israel decide.

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