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The Itamar victimization dance is disgusting

Why I fail to be impressed by the wails emanating from the religious right, in four points

The strange call for denunciation: My colleague, Dimi Reider, wrote a sensitive post, calling upon leftist activists to denounce the massacre in Itamar. A list of leftist organizations – from Peace Now to Rabbis for Human Rights – have already done so, as did the Bil’in Popular Committee against the Wall.

I must say I find this demand strange. It plays straight into the hands of the right-wingers who say the leftists are responsible for the Palestinian struggle; it dances awkwardly with Ariel’s mayor Ron Nachman’s mad waltz on the blood, in which he demanded the left be investigated for its alleged participation in the massacre. As if someone has to earnestly explain he objects to the slaughtering of infants; as if you have to explain you truly support a heavy punishment for the perpetrators, assuming they are caught and legally convicted. A denunciation is, in its way, participation in the all-too-Israeli orgy of victimization we’ve seen since yesterday morning, and your role is that of the demon who has seen the light and begs for forgiveness. No, thanks. Not from the settlers.

The Beasts: When I woke up yesterday morning and read about the massacre, there already were reports about settlers’ reprisals, pogroms which the IDF, as usual, did not stop. Were one to use the IDF’s logic, all of the settlements should be have been put under curfew as soon as the massacre took place, to prevent acts of vengeance: After all, after Baruch Goldstein carried out his massacre in the Cave of the Patriarchs, the IDF put the Palestinians under curfew, precisely for this reason. The IDF proved, once more, it either incapable or unwilling to defend the majority of the residents of the West Bank, contrary to its duty under international law.

The leaders of the settlers went into a seizure, challenging each other to be more ruthless (Hebrew). The prize goes, as usual, to the representative of Kahane and Rabbi Wolfa in the Knesset, Michael Ben Ari: “I call upon the government to carry out a ‘price tag’ [euphemism for pogrom – YG] and expel the residents of the village from which the murderers emerged, and to demolish the village and build in its place apartments for young couples of army veterans.” In short, Ben Ari wants a Lidice-like collective punishment. MK Zevulun Orlev, supposedly more moderate then Ben Ari, blamed the government for the massacre – the usual tactic of the settlers, from the 1970s onwards – and also demanded a ‘price tag’ operation.

The government rushed last night, several hours after the end of the Sabbath, to accept those settler demands, and announced it will build 500 new housing units in the settlements. This wasn’t enough for Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who demanded the price (the price tag?) to be “a thousand apartments per child.”

We’ve heard much about the bottomless monstrosity of the Palestinians who carried out the terrorist attack. What shall we say, then, of the humanity of people who measure the lives of children in acres and real estate? A teenage girl is good enough for a three-room apartment, but an infant – that’ll cost you a whole villa. And, again: This isn’t new. This is how the settlers have operated for decades. Every body is, as far as they are concerned, the equivalent of real estate. They used to call it “a proper Zionist response”: Perhaps a better name would be “construction for cadavers.”

What can you say about a public that moves so speedily from mourning to organized violence to the demand of ransom? I lived in Greater Tel Aviv when it was the preferred target for suicide bombers. Twice, all that stood between me and death was a delay of ten minutes. I never even considered the idea of grabbing the nearest Palestinian, burning his property, or beating him up. And most Israelis were just like me. We took the attacks on the chin, gritted our teeth, and kept ourselves from whining. The settlers, on the other hands, have gone native. It used to be Palestinians who brandished bloodied Israeli bodies; now it’s the settlers who do so. Things being what they are, I have a hard time accepting their demands that I join them in mourning. So sorry, you have besmirched it – and in record time.

Demons: The Israeli media preferred treating the murderers of the Fogel family as human-shaped monsters. The record was broken by Gilad Sharon, the shady son of the former prime minister, writing in Yediot. According to Sharon (Hebrew), “You can put a mask on the Palestinian wild beast, such as a speaker who speaks fluent English. You can put it in a three-piece suit and a silk tie. But once in a while – when the moon is born, when a raven defecates on the head of a howling jackal, or when the pita-bread with za’atar (hyssop) has gone wrong, the beast feels this is its night, and out of a primal instinct it goes ambushing its prey.” And to think that Netanyahu has the gall to speak of “Palestinian incitement.” President Peres brayed that “this is an act showing the lack of humanity, and no religion or faith in the world allows such acts of horror.” Peres apparently has not read the new bestseller in the settlements, “Torat Hamelech,” which not only allows those acts of horror but actively promotes them, according to the teaching that the commandment ‘though shalt not murder’ applies only to a Jew who murders a Jew.

There are, of course, no two-legged beasts; there only humans, and most of them can rationalize just about anything. The person who popularized the term “two legged beasts” in Hebrew was Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who dispatched the Israeli air force to bomb Beirut indiscriminately. The Lebanon War of 1982 cost the Lebanese no less than 17,000 dead (this number does not include the number of Palestinian and Syrian fighters killed, estimated at 9,798). The total sum of Israeli dead from terrorism since the creation of Israel did not, at that time, exceed 500. Begin, one of the more decent prime ministers we’ve had, had no qualms at killing 34 Lebanese civilians for each Israeli dead.

Hold on! How dare you compare the two? Is there any Israeli, who would kill a Palestinian child? Of course there is: You only need a bit of memory. The Bat ‘Ayin Underground (Hebrew) tried to activate a cart bomb next to a Palestinian girls’ school. Its members were acquitted of the killing of eight other Palestinians, one of them a child (then who did kill them? the case were never closed). Two of the Bat ‘Ayin conspirators were sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, another was sentenced to eight years, and two others received two years’ imprisonment each. The security coordinator of the Hadar Beitar settlement, Nahum Korman, was convicted of the killing of a 10 year-old Palestinian child, Hilmi Shusha, after hitting him on the head with the butt of his pistol. Korman was sentenced to six months of community service (!). Pinchas Wallerstein, one of the mainstays of the settler movement, chased a Palestinian boy, Rabbah Rhanem Ahmed, whom he claimed threw stones at his car, and shot him dead. Naturally – Wallerstein is a Jew and a settler – he was not charged with murder, but with manslaughter, was convicted of wrongful causing of death, and atoned for his actions with a mere four months of community service.

Korman and Wallerstein, and to a lesser extent the men of the Bat ‘Ayin group, were embraced by their communities. Turns out that if you’re a Jew who shoots a Palestinian child in the back, or bashes his head in with a pistol, or just try to blow him to kingdom come with his classmates, you’re not a two-legged beast; you’re a pillar of the community.

Such are the joys: It’s not easy to remember the last time Binyamin Netanyahu danced such a jig on spilled blood. I think it was after the attack on the number five bus in Tel Aviv, during the Rabin government. Then, Netanyahu blamed the government for the attack. Naturally, that’s not how he spins it today.

Netanyahu has finally found his excuse to stall forever, and he’s going to squeeze this lemon for all it’s worth. Now he can avoid the hated duty of yet another hollow policy speech. There was a massacre! We’re saved! Once more Israel proves it is a peace refusenik: If there are no terror attacks, there’s no reason to speak to the Palestinians; if there are any, of course, we surely can’t talk to them.

There is only one viable way to end the conflict: Non-violent Palestinian resistance. It drives Israel crazy.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Borg

      This comment was deleted because it was an ad hominem attack that did not contribute to a thoughtful debate.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Navah

      Thought provoking well balanced article in many ways…this was a hideous murder, in amongst, unfortunately, as sea of hideous back & forth abuses. The fact that anyone requests denunciation from the “left” & Peace Now illustrates how skewed people ideas really are. The left & Peace Now of course are equally horrified, they are no less Israeli & patriotic than those who put the call out! They are horrified, as any decent human beings would be. That said, the above article address a few unsavoury issues which “right-ists” sometimes prefer to sweep under the carpet. There are crazies on all sides, pure & simple. It is a very sad situation.

      Reply to Comment
    3. It is exactly this kind of article – filled with remembering, compassion, and a furious devotion of justice – that keeps me coming back again and again to +972. Thank you.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Jack

      “The Settlers”?

      What do “the settlers” have to do with the murder of an infant?

      Condemn settlement building all you want – but when you state your refusal to “join in the mourning” of the cold-blooded murder of an infant and 3 other children then you really have lost some of your humanity.

      Reply to Comment
    5. annie

      thus far this essay most encapsulates my sentiments. thank you for making me feel not so alone with my response.

      i at least expected the bodies to be cold before the goi decided to do the expansion dance on their grave. little did i know the dance would resume before the burial.

      what good is land when your soul is lost? this is so sad.

      Reply to Comment
    6. notexactlyhuman

      Tremendous piece!

      Reply to Comment
    7. Borg

      The left & Peace Now of course are equally horrified, they are no less Israeli & patriotic than those who put the call out! …wouldnt have been able to tell that from the above article by Gurwitz. Was this an example of nonviolent resistance by Palestinians? Only if settlers are less than human. We still need an answer from Gurwitz, as the above article appears to excuse the murders

      Reply to Comment
    8. This attack was horrific, but let’s be honest here: it was the natural result of a 40+ year occupation with no end in sight.

      Why should Palestinian activists and “the left” take blame for this? I work with community groups in Baltimore City – does that mean my comrades and I should take responsibility for every murder that goes on there? Those who are politicizing this attack are disgusting opportunists.

      Reply to Comment
    9. The situation of Israel is unbalanced and nowhere is it more in evidence than the difference in treatment between a family that is killed with each member identified with names and histories in the American press, while so many many Palestinians have died not only in anonymity but completely un-noticed in the US, the country that makes the whole settlement project possible.

      I just bought a standard textbook for college courses, “American National Security”, a new sixth edition from 2009. In this 550 page tome, AIPAC has a single entry in the index and is covered in three sentences, one of which says it is the strongest lobby but says nothing about what the group does to determine U.S. policy in the Middle East.

      It isn’t just the settlers that are disconnected from cause and effect and reality in general.

      The irony of the term “price tag” is that an unpaid price has been mounting for decades that Israel refuses to see, living in a unilateral fantasy world empowered by superpower leverage. Screaming for revenge over a family, while routinely accepting the treatment of millions as animals only adds to the price that must ultimately be paid for a monomaniacal project with ever-narrowing tunnel vision.

      Who cares what the world says – treat the Palestinians even more severely!

      Young Jews in the U.S. are able to see through the fantasy to issues of justice and human rights and the common humanity of Palestinians and Jews. The zenith of Zionism has been passed.

      But instead of addressing how to wind down the Zionist project in order to preserve any aspect of it, all the leaders in the Knesset can do is debate how heavily to hit the accelerator of their undoing.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Julia, there is nothing natural about stabbing a family to death in their sleep. Your tired apologetics for cold blooded murder are appalling.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Shoded Yam

      A child and his parent approach a fence, behind which sits a docile, yet known to be bad tempered dog. The parent picks up a stick and begins to poke the dog. The dog begins to bark. After an hour of being continuously teased and poked the dog has had enough. He jumps the fence and bites both the parent and the child. Whos at fault? The dog or the childs parent?

      Reply to Comment
    12. I'll make this easy for you.

      “We’ve heard much about the bottomless monstrosity of the Palestinians who carried out the terrorist attack. What shall we say, then, of the humanity of people who measure the lives of children in acres and real estate?”

      And interesting comparison, of Palestinian monsters and Israeli humans: http://www.bintjbeil.com/articles/en/011001_hedges.html

      Come on, dogs,” the voice booms in Arabic. “Where are all the dogs of Khan Younis? Come! Come!”

      I stand up. I walk outside the hut. The invective continues to spew: “Son of a bitch!” “Son of a whore!” “Your mother’s cunt!”

      The boys dart in small packs up the sloping dunes to the electric fence that separates the camp from the Jewish settlement. They lob rocks toward two armored jeeps parked on top of the dune and mounted with loudspeakers. Three ambulances line the road below the dunes in anticipation of what is to come.

      A percussion grenade explodes. The boys, most no more than ten or eleven years old, scatter, running clumsily across the heavy sand. They descend out of sight behind a sandbank in front of me. There are no sounds of gunfire. The soldiers shoot with silencers. The bullets from the M-16 rifles tumble end over end through the children’s slight bodies. Later, in the hospital, I will see the destruction: the stomachs ripped out, the gaping holes in limbs and torsos.

      Yesterday at this spot the Israelis shot eight young men, six of whom were under the age of eighteen. One was twelve. This afternoon they kill an eleven-year-old boy, Ali Murad, and seriously wound four more, three of whom are under eighteen. Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered—death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred in Algeria, and Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo—but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Gurvitz writes that until 1982 and the Lebanon war “The total sum of Israeli dead from terrorism since the creation of Israel did not, at that time, exceed 500.” Well, since it would be impossible to deal with Gurvitz’s thought patterns in a rational sense, I thought I’d check that fact. The MFA site (http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2000/1/Terrorism%20deaths%20in%20Israel%20-%201920-1999) lists 950 dead due to Arab terror between 1949-1982. But the real problem is that Arab terror has always been the only response to Jews returning home (no negotiations, no diplomacy) and indeed, the Zionist counting begins in 1851 with Rabbi Avraham Shlomo Zalman Tzoref, who was killed in Jerusalem. Tzoref managed to obtain from Egyptian ruler Muhammad Ali, and then later from Turkish authorities, the permits to rebuild the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Old City, which Arab creditors burned down in 1721. Jewish residency and home construction is a crime for Arabs punishable by a horrible death (Tzoref was sliced with a sword and the Hebron Jews in 1929 also underwent unspeakbale savagery before being put to death) and it doesn’t make a difference geographically. This history is also applicable to Shoded Yam who (on the one hand compares Arabs to dogs and would probably get upset, like Gurvitz, at decribing Arab terrorists as ‘two-legged beasts’ or as a simple ‘beast’ as Gilad Sharon did (in the demons secgtion above) for that whatever was never docile and its bite always much worse than its bark. In the 1930s, the “Group of Five” – also tried, unsuccessfully, to bridge the gap between the Jews and the Arabs. They were Pinhas Rutenberg, Moshe Smilansky, Judah Leib Magnes, Moshe Novomeysky and Gad Frumkin. Well-meaning, moral and intellectual but all they did was encourage the worst excesses of the Arabs by displaying not only a political weakness but a yielding and surrendering so irrational that the Mufti, like the Hamas today, could only gain strength from their absurdities.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Larry Derfner

      I disagree with Yossi. The reason many leftists, myself included, felt called upon to not only condemn this massacre but to blame the killers ALONE for it, is because this was one instance in which the truth fell STRICTLY to the discredit of Palestinians, not Israelis, and we felt honor-bound to tell this “anti-Palestinian” truth as frankly as we tell the “anti-Israeli” ones. Otherwise, we are not so truthful as we think, and we are betraying the not-so-soft bigotry of treating Palestinians as people who can’t take harsh moral criticism – a bigotry we definitely don’t ever betray toward Israelis. Unfortunately, the reaction of Palestinian society as a whole to the Itamar atrocity – to blame it on Israel – shows it really does have a severe problem about taking moral responsibility, and this is yet another truth some Israeli leftists, myself included, feel called upon to tell.

      Reply to Comment
    15. I thought this essay was thought-provoking, it was fairly balanced, it did a great job demonstrating the complexities of the Israel/Palestinian struggle. I do however have one a minor critique of this essay; when Mr. Gurvitz characterized Menachem Begin as “one of the more decent prime ministers we’ve had” it either points out that Israel has had a major lack of decent leaders or it demonstrates the author’s benighted or jaded memory. To characterize a self admitted terrorist as a decent prime minister is either a cruel or a disgusting joke, either way it is inappropriate and I am disappointed that Mr. Gurvitz made such an execrable insinuation. I believe for the sake of Mr. Gurvitz’s own edification, he should either think strongly about amending that portion of his essay or elucidating his thoughts on the matter, perhaps in another essay.

      Reply to Comment
    16. KMansfield

      No one knows who the killer is. Everyone assumes it’s a palestinian out of hand. Barak calls for his price tag, against Palestinians -400 units, says they are a “one time gesture against the attack.” No evidence. What a gesture.

      Reply to Comment
    17. annie

      Who sAys the murderers were Palestinian ?

      Reply to Comment
    18. @Larry: “Unfortunately, the reaction of Palestinian society as a whole to the Itamar atrocity – to blame it on Israel – shows it really does have a severe problem about taking moral responsibility, and this is yet another truth some Israeli leftists, myself included, feel called upon to tell.”

      did you see this?
      http://lnk.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=787431

      Reply to Comment
    19. Borg

      This comment was removed by a moderator.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Larry Derfner

      Thanks, Noam – Ehud Ya’ari also spoke of a couple of Palestinian journalists who talked like that. I said Palestinian society “at large” – I’ll see how things go – so far all the Facebook posts I’ve seen from Palestinians blame Israel – even the Popular Committee, while calling the murders “despicable,” blamed them on the occupation. But it’s not all one way, and thanks again for the evidence from the other way.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Shmuel

      Julia wrote that this murder is a natural outcome of 40 years of “occupation”. You know….African Americans dealt with hundreds of years of slavery, then Jim Crow and segregation. The Jews had it very rough in Europe and other places. The list of peoples oppressed is a long one.

      But only the Palestinians seem to have come up with the most horrible acts of terror to protest their situation. Did any African Americans blow up buses or did any Jews blow up restaurants filled with civilians?

      Please, spare us.

      Reply to Comment
    22. AML

      This comment was edited by a moderator.

      ‘When I woke up yesterday morning and read about the massacre, there already were reports about settlers’ reprisals, pogroms which the IDF, as usual, did not stop.’
      I notice you link to everything else except this. Why is that?

      Reply to Comment
    23. Michael W.

      And the pogrom?

      Reply to Comment
    24. Mary Hughes-Thompson

      The death of innocent children is inexcusable. Even though the Itamar settlers are known to be especially violent, these children have done no harm. It is their parents who insist on living illegally on stolen land who put their children in harm’s way. The murderers should be caught and given the same type of justice meted out to Israelis who murder Palestinian children. And all the settlers should get out of Palestine and go home to Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    25. aristeides

      Shmuel – yes, and yes.

      African slaves successfully revolted on Haiti, and they unsuccessfully rebelled in the US – Nat Turner’s rebellion and John Brown’s (led by a white man.)

      As for Jews, you’ve apparently forgotten the history of Zionist terror. http://guardian.150m.com/palestine/jewish-terrorism.htm

      Israel has a monument commemorating the terrorists as martyrs.

      Reply to Comment
    26. David

      @Larry,

      If you would like to use Facebook as a source for the whole of Palestinian public opinion, then you should also use it for the whole of American public opinion.

      http://i.imgur.com/eFYYe.jpg

      Reply to Comment
    27. Ex Israeli

      The first target should NOT be peace.
      Peace is an outcome of reconciliation.
      Reconciliation is based on implementing basic justice, rule of law, and respect for the other – none of which is characteristic of the criminal Jewish State – hell bent on using whatever means to do exactly the opposite in the name of the ‘Jewish People’ (and with the full support and encouragement of its partners in crime from the west).

      Reply to Comment
    28. editrix

      “A child and his parent approach a fence, behind which sits a docile, yet known to be bad tempered dog. The parent picks up a stick and begins to poke the dog. The dog begins to bark. After an hour of being continuously teased and poked the dog has had enough. He jumps the fence and bites both the parent and the child. Whos at fault? The dog or the childs parent?”

      Interesting analogy. So, you also agree that Palestinians are nothing but animals?

      Reply to Comment
    29. Marion L.

      Didi Reider gets it right and Gurvitz, who is most condescending to Reider, is wrong. How dare Gurvitz use a cavalier term like “victimization dance,” to dismiss the enormous grief and shock of the surviving Fogel family members, Israelis, and any people of good will in the face of these horrific murders?

      And to say that most Israelis took violent attacks “on the chin” without “whining” as if losing an entire family to murder were equivalent to not being chosen for the softball team?

      The cold detachment and insensitivity of Gurvitz is just appalling to me!

      Reply to Comment
    30. Borg

      This comment was deleted by a moderator. All related commented will be deleted.

      Reply to Comment
    31. aristeides

      This comment was edited because part of it was a response to a comment that was deleted.

      Marion, it isn’t “dismissing the grief” of the survivors to point out that everyone who criticized the settlers isn’t required to abase themselves in guilt for an act with which they had nothing to do.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Ex Israeli

      This comment was deleted because it was a response to a comment that was deleted for inappropriate content (hate, racism, incitement).

      Reply to Comment
    33. Shoded Yam

      Nobody deserves that. That being said, asking children to share the burden of your psychosis amounts to criminal negligence of the first order.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Shoded Yam

      “..Interesting analogy. So, you also agree that Palestinians are nothing but animals?”

      No. Thats not the logical progression. The logical progression is that the Palestinian (or Palestinians)who have committed this act would have to be put down, as you would any beast that would attack a child. The flip side of that is the parents and every adult on Itamar is arrested and sent to jail for animal abuse

      Reply to Comment
    35. Shoded Yam

      Well, obviously not the parents. But you get the picture.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Barak

      It is now the time for the Israelis to make a bold move. Tell the Arab League that they will take out Qaddafi and provide a no fly zone over Libya as a gift to the freedom loving people of Libya. This is a rare opportunity for the Israeli democracy to change the dynamic in the Middle East.

      Reply to Comment
    37. Y.

      I’ve long decided not to respond to G.’s ravings, so just one comment: If some settlers out there do commit a “price tag” action and kill a Palestinian family, then any would-be defender of them could simply copy this post entirely, change a few names (and there would be no need to travel decades to the past for examples), and end up with an at least just as accurate post excusing mass murder.

      Reply to Comment
    38. Tony

      Who is responsible for the security of the settlements? I thought that all the Jewish-only settlemenets were under the Zone controlled by the Israeli military? In other words, the colonies outside of Israel’s recognised borders are not under either the civilian or security responsibility of the PA?

      If that is the case, why isn’t there a big media campaign against the Government of Israel which has failed to protect the lives of the settlers? If it is the Government of Israel that is responsible for the security of these settlements on stolen Arab land, then why isn’t the Israeli government being held to account by the Israeli public and media?

      Reply to Comment
    39. Mitchell Cohen

      Enlightening article….Now I realize that a) a family (including 3 children under the age of 11) deserve to be slaughtered while they are sleeping because of where they live b) the Lebanon War happened because Israel had nothing better to do (the missiles raining down in the north were just a figment of her imagination) c) ALL settlers w/o exception crave Arab blood d) the polls consistently showing that the majority of Israelis are against more land concessions, certainly all the way to the armistice lines (long before this atrocity on Itamar took place) are all lies; we shouldn’t believe any of these polls, as YG knows better….I am glad I have now been set straight….

      Reply to Comment
    40. editrix

      Shoded yam, you compared the Palestinians to dogs. This has nothing to do with logical progression. This is trying to understand your own analogy. Dogs at least have the excuse of lacking human abilities of moral and ethical thinking and rational decision making when one of them mauls a 3 month old baby. What is the Palestinian murderers’ excuse? What’s the excuse for giving out sweets in Gaza to celebrate this massacre?

      I don’t recall ever hearing about a pack of dogs celebrating the mauling of a child.

      Reply to Comment
    41. Shoded Yam

      “…What is the Palestinian murderers’ excuse? What’s the excuse for giving out sweets in Gaza to celebrate this massacre?”

      Whats your excuse, einstein? Whats the excuse of people who throw rocks at school children in Hebron? Whats the excuse of people who enter villages to burn down mosques? And speaking of killing children, what was the excuse for 300+ dead kids in Gaza during the last “police action”? Whats the excuse for the beatification of Baruch Goldstein?

      “…I don’t recall ever hearing about a pack of dogs celebrating the mauling of a child.”

      Ya’ sure? Take a look in the mirror. It might jog your memory.

      You see, the problem here is that the dog will be forced to take responsabilty for his actions. Who’s gonna make sure you take responsability for yours?

      Reply to Comment
    42. Wow Shoded Yam. I don’t remotely support throwing rocks at school children (or anyone) in Hebron. I condemn burning down mosques, I most certainly do not in any way celebrate the death of innocent civilians in Gaza, and I do not consider Baruch Goldstein a saint or worthy of any kind of praise at all. You paint with extremely broad strokes there bucko.

      Reply to Comment
    43. Shoded Yam

      Good for you. Speaking of broad brushes, I see you’ve annointed yourself spokesman for the collective once again. You know Dave, I have to hand it you. When I met you on Scopus, lo those many years ago, you were just another weasel in a kipah srulgah. I admire the way you were able to parley that persona into a popular and influential website on the Jewish blogosphere. While it speaks well of your skills as a carnival barker, I’m not sure it relects well upon the rest of us. Now, now don’t get upset. I’m sure that you and your sycophants over at Jewlicous enjoy the adoration of the street. How could they not? Who could resist that heady cocktail of sturm und drang Jewish exceptionalism coupled with feel good palatives? 😀

      Reply to Comment
    44. Michael T

      “It used to be Palestinians who brandished bloodied Israeli bodies; now it’s the settlers who do so.”
      Excuse me. Palestinians as being originalist in brandishing bloodied bodies is utterly misleading and dare i say racist formulation. It was the Lechi brigades who first began setting bombs to explode in crowded places in Israel/Palestine, it was the Hagana who wrapped their whole lore around bloody gore and death. Since this site is an English language publication, there is absolutely no excuse to repeat Zionist myths about demonic Palestinians of the past to justify your criticism of Israeli hysteria as portrayed in that Dimi Reider piece.

      Reply to Comment
    45. Excuse me. Palestinians as being originalist in brandishing bloodied bodies is utterly misleading and dare i say racist formulation.

      Are Palestinians a race now?

      I spent some years in a newsroom. I vividly remember Palestinian fighters brandishing body parts of slain Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip (they blew up something, can’t remember if it was the tank attack or one of the APCs attacks) in front of Reuters’ cameras. The fact that most respectable news services did not show these does not mean they did not happen. And I assume you may still remember that great hit from the early days of the Second Intifada, of the young Palestinian whose hands were soaked with the blood of recently lynched IDF prisoners.

      Such apologias do the Palestinian cause no favors. If you are busy denying the brutal sides of the Palestinian struggle, you are harming efforts for civilizing them.

      It was the Lechi brigades who first began setting bombs to explode in crowded places in Israel/Palestine

      It was the Irgun, to be precise (Lechi came later, after the Irgun split in 1940). Which has nothing whatsoever to do with my point.

      it was the Hagana who wrapped their whole lore around bloody gore and death.

      Interesting. Do you need a reminder why was there a need for the Hagana in the first place?

      Since this site is an English language publication, there is absolutely no excuse to repeat Zionist myths

      Jeez, I think this is the first time in some 20 years I was called a Zionist. And no, these are no myths.

      Reply to Comment
    46. Michael T

      Yossi, it is a shame you apparently don’t converse much with people from the Pro-Palestinian movement who aren’t either Post-Zionist or Israelis.
      Racism in Israel towards Palestinians is like crosses in the Vatican.
      I did not deny the brutal side of Palestinian resistance, nor do I agree to its rhetoric elevation above brutality visited upon Palestinians on a monthly basis by the IOF.
      I didn’t even call you the “Z” word, but reading your justification of Hagana (IE proto-IOF) brutality, maybe I should have been more daring to suggest that.

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    47. marc b.

      “I never even considered the idea of grabbing the nearest Palestinian, burning his property, or beating him up. And most Israelis were just like me. We took the attacks on the chin, gritted our teeth, and kept ourselves from whining. The settlers, on the other hands, have gone native. It used to be Palestinians who brandished bloodied Israeli bodies; now it’s the settlers who do so.”

      there has been a fair bit of controversy over this statement of yours. as a point of clarification, who is the ‘we’ you refer to taking it ‘on the chin’, and who you contrast with ‘the settlers’? are you referring to israelis, jew and non-jew alike?

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    48. there has been a fair bit of controversy over this statement of yours. as a point of clarification, who is the ‘we’ you refer to taking it ‘on the chin’, and who you contrast with ‘the settlers’? are you referring to israelis, jew and non-jew alike?

      And a rather silly controversy it was. Yes, that’s precisely what I meant.

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    49. marc b.

      thank you for your response, but i’d hardly call the controversy silly. when you divide a country into ‘us’ versus ‘them’ categories, it could hardly have been surprising that your categorization might raise some questions.

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