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The return of punitive home demolitions

Israel orders the demolition of the family home of a man who has only been charged, and not convicted, of murder. A government official says the policy is being reinstated to ‘level the playing field’ with Palestinians, while human rights groups say the practice only harms innocents.

The Israeli government announced that it will return to demolishing the family homes of Palestinians suspected and convicted of involvement in terrorism and other violence. The first demolition order was issued against the family home of a man accused of murdering an off-duty police officer and wounding his family earlier this year.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem was quick to point out that the policy harms only innocents and not the accused. Thirteen people, including eight children, none of whom have been accused of or charged with any crime, live in the home slated to be demolished.

The order must be approved by an Israeli court.

House demolition in Anata, Northern Jerusalem, April 14, 2008 (Photo: Meged Gozani/Activestills.org)

House demolition in Anata, Northern Jerusalem, April 14, 2008 (Photo: Meged Gozani/Activestills.org)

Israel stopped using home demolitions as a punitive measure in 2005 following an Israeli army report that said the policy did not act as an effective deterrent against terrorism. In the previous four years, Israel demolished 664 Palestinian homes as punishment for family members’ suspected or proven involvement in terrorism, according to B’Tselem.

Ziad Awawde, 42, and his teenage son stand accused of murdering Baruch Mizrahi and wounding his wife and two children on Passover eve this year. Awawde was arrested in May and the Shin Bet only announced his arrest on the day of his indictment in a West Bank military court Monday. A demolition order was issued and posted on his family’s home within 24 hours.

Although Israeli military courts have an astounding 99 percent conviction rate, Awawde has yet to be convicted. His family, speaking to Channel 10 news Wednesday, denied his involvement in the murder.

Read: House demolitions – Zionism’s constant background noise

An Israeli “government official” told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that the home demolitions were being reinstated “in order to level the playing field.” Israel, according to foreign reports, has at least 100 nuclear weapons, the strongest military in the region and fully controls the entire West Bank, including areas purportedly under Palestinian Authority control.

Illegal under international law

In the decades during which Israel carried out punitive home demolitions, B’Tselem noted, “the main victims of the demolitions were family members, among them women, the elderly, and children, who bore no responsibility for the acts of their relative and were not suspected of involvement in any offense.”

According to Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the destruction of private property is permitted only “where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.” Punitive actions, of course, are not necessary for military operations, defined as “the movement, maneuvers, and actions of any sort, carried out by the armed forces with a view to combat.”

The decision to renew the policy of punitive home demolitions is in line with a number of other un-democratic and otherwise problematic measures the Israeli government is implementing, or considering, in response to the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers 12 days ago.

The home of the Palestinian Adgluni family is demolished by Israeli authorities, East Jerusalem, January 27, 2014. Israeli authorities claimed the house was built on lands that do not belong to the family. (photo: Tali Mayer/Activestills.org)

The home of the Palestinian Adgluni family is demolished by Israeli authorities, East Jerusalem, January 27, 2014. Israeli authorities claimed the house was built on lands that do not belong to the family. (photo: Tali Mayer/Activestills.org)

The military has arrested nearly 400 Palestinians since the start of Operation Brother’s Keeper, only 30 of whom, according to media reports, are actively being interrogated in relation to the kidnappings. Authorities have also stated they will keep hundreds of the arrestees in custody under administrative detention, a process in which a suspect is imprisoned without ever being charged with a crime.

Many of those arrested in the past two weeks are prisoners who were released in the 2011 Gilad Schalit prisoner swap. According to the conditions of their release, they can be re-imprisoned if they violate the individual terms of their release, which often includes restrictions on their movement. The evidence in military hearings that decide their fate is kept secret from the suspects and their attorneys.

Israel’s Channel 10 News on Monday reported that the Shin Bet was searching for reasons to keep those from the Schalit deal in custody, instead of having arrested them based on existing suspicions.

Responding to Israeli administrative detention practices, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said last year, “Under international law, detainees have the right to be informed about the reasons underlying any detention and to have the legality of their detention determined without undue delay.”

The army has also arrested a number of elected Palestinian officials, including the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who is a member of Hamas. Twenty-three elected members of the PLC are currently being held in Israeli detention and prison facilities.

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

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    1. Danny

      “level the playing field”

      Breathtakingly deluded self-image as the victim. In the collective mind of Israel, we are eternal victims of successive holocausts, the latest perpetrators of which are none other than those blood-thirsty Palestinians.

      If Israel were a person, it would have been committed to a psychiatric asylum long ago.

      Reply to Comment
      • Baladi Akka 1948

        Or committed suicide….

        Reply to Comment
    2. Another croc of sewage water by 972 writers. International law has nothing to do with the situation. The forfeiture of property obtained by criminal means or used in criminal activities may be made subject to forfeiture by the state. Many states, provinces and countries have such laws, both criminal and civil which impose forfeiture of property as a criminal or civil remedy.

      Israel has every right to make criminal terrorists forfeit their property. This is a basic law and order issue. RICO type laws seek to punish criminals as part of criminal prosecutions. Meanwhile civil forfeiture punishes the use of property for criminal purposes.

      Reply to Comment
      • Johnboy

        CentreLeft insists comparing Israeli policies inside a occupied territory with those of a criminal justice system of a state.

        It may have escaped his attention, but the comparison he is making is with states within their own sovereign territory i.e. where the state’s criminal law has jurisdiction, and where the legislature can pass whatever criminal law it wishes.

        But this is axiomatic: an occupying power is not the sovereign, ergo, its own domestic legislation (and hence its own domestic criminal justice system) simply Has No Jurisdiction.

        Why?

        Because a state’s legal jurisdiction extents only to its own sovereign territory, that’s why.

        That’s why these matters have to be determined in an Israeli MILITARY court, which is something that appears to have escaped Centreleft’s notice.

        Why?

        Because the occupying power must administer “justice” inside an occupied territory according to the rules and regulations of INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW, not according to its own criminal law.

        Reply to Comment
        • Johnboy, even if you assert that Israel is an occupying power, which Israel denies, the occupying power has the right to maintain law and order. There is no violation of international law in using
          overwhelming force to achieve a legitimate military objective or, for that matter, a law enforcement purpose. Punishing criminal terror organizations is part of imposing law and order and a matter of self defense.

          Israel under section 51 of the UN Charter has a right of self defense when attacked. Self-defense does not limit actions to just those necessary to counter an immediate, tactical danger; rather, it is permissible to continue the use of force on a wider basis until the aggressor is defeated and no longer constitutes a threat. Anticipatory self-defense is inherent in the basic right of self-defense.

          Even section 53 of the Geneva Conventions permits Israel to do what Israel is doing out of absolute military necessity, punishing terrorists and preventing further terrorist attacks and recruitment.

          There are more than sufficient examples that house demolitions of terror or insurgent troops is permitted. The US conducted house demolitions of suspected Taliban and Iraqi terrorists, some on the ground and some from the air. No one prosecuted and convicted the Americans for exercising house demolitions.

          Israeli courts have ruled that house demolitions are legal.

          Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            CL: …”even if you assert that Israel is an occupying power, which Israel denies,”….

            Israel most certainly does not “deny” that it is an occupying power.

            The Israel High Court of Justice ruling in both “Beit Sourik” and “Alfre Menasche” has the court accepting that this is a belligerent occupation and, furthermore, in both cases the court points out that the Govt of Israel and the IDF accept that proposition.

            CL: …”the occupying power has the right to maintain law and order.”

            Nor did I ever suggest otherwise.

            What I pointed out is this: that authority to maintain law and order does not derive from the domestic law of Israel.

            Compare and contrast with your original post, where you claimed that “Many states, provinces and countries have such laws”

            That statement is simply irrelevant, and for the reasons that I have already stated i.e. the domestic law of an occupying power do not have jurisdiction within an occupied territory.

            The authority to maintain law and order therefore derives from int’l humanitarian law, and Israel is prohibited from exceeding that authority.

            The author of this article has pointed out that Israel’s punitive actions in this territory **do** exceed the authority that it possesses, and in that the author is perfectly correct.

            So much so that you are utterly, completely and totally wrong when you claim otherwise.

            Reply to Comment
          • Edmond Levy, former Judge of the Supreme Court of Israel, stated in the Levy report the following:

            “upon completing the committee’s tasks, and considering the testimonies heard, the basic conclusion is that from an international law perspective, the laws of ‘occupation’ do not apply to the unique historic and legal circumstances surrounding Israel’s decades-long presence in Judea and Samaria.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            Ginger, baby, this may have escaped your attention: Levy made those arguments in a report that the Netanyahu government then r.e.f.u.s.e.d. to adopt.

            Got that?

            Here, I’ll repeat it, because this never gets old: Levy said that it was the opinion of the Levy Commission that This Was Not An Occupation, and the government of Israel then refused to adopt that opinion.

            Here, one more time, because you probably still haven’t twigged to this: the Netanyahu government had a report handed to it that says This Is Not An Occupation and the Netanyahu govt then said (quite correctly) that I Am Not Adopting This Nonsense.

            Because – du’oh! – the Levy Report was so nonsensical that not even an ubber-Zionist like Netanyahu could stomach it.

            Fancy that, heh?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Jonhboy, in addition to the high class conversation between Ben Ami and the good ole Arme Moussa as presented by ‘CenterLeft’, I would say the following: the Levy Report was conceived by some of the finest legal minds of our time. That report is an sheer exegetical analysis of International law on the subject matter of our discussion – from A to Z, and as such an excellent master piece of academic work and teaching material on International law in universities. What I honestly expected you to do is to give a substantive rebuttal of that report. I know you are capable of doing that (if not I would not have bothered responding). To call said report “nonsensical” does not make sense.

            The Justice in the HCJ-decision you cited offered no reason whatsoever why he believes that Judea and Samaria are occupied territories. And that’s a “deadly sin”. Judges are not allowed to do that, which is why ‘unreasoned parts’ of a judgment never survive an appeal against them.

            Israel neither rejected nor adopted the Levy report for purely strategic reasons. However, from the point of view of the science of International law and the logic within which it operates, Judea and Samaria are certainly not occupied. Any good student can argue that position in any BA/MA Thesis and receive a ‘cum laude’ (for the thesis).

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            Ginger, stop embarrassing yourself.

            GE: “the Levy Report was conceived by some of the finest legal minds of our time”

            Well, gosh, consider this: even the most brilliant legal mind is stumped by a hopeless brief.

            Levy was arguing a hopeless brief, and that’s why his was reduced to defending the indefensible.

            He tried, sure, he did. But he failed.

            GE: “That report is an sheer exegetical analysis of International law on the subject matter of our discussion”

            You really don’t understand Levy’s argument, do you?

            It was this:
            1) Belligerent occupations are considered to be “temporary”, but
            2) Everyone can see that Israel will never relinquish this territory, therefore
            3) This can’t be “an occupation”.

            Here, let me spell it out for you another way…..

            This is what int’l humanitarian law actually says: You seize it, you occupy it.

            But Levy was arguing this: You seize it, you occupy it…. unless you plan on keeping it…. in which case it’s yours.

            Netanyahu had an attack of the vapours when he read that, and for good reason i.e. Levy was arguing that there is a “right of conquest”, and Bibi understood perfectly well that no such right exists.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Johnboy, I think you are only interested in shouting and acting like a local champion, while deluding yourself that you are saying anything of legal value. I am not impressed and will not go down that path with you. I made that clear to you in the past. When you make (coherent) legal arguments, you shall have earned a reasoned response from me. Right now you are just being childish.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            I do believe the lightbulb has just lit up, which is why Ginger now wants to run away! run away!

            Apparently Ginger had only “read the Levy Report”, she hadn’t actually “understood it”.

            Here, I spell it out again.

            Levy claimed that:
            a) *because* a belligerent occupation is intended to be temporary
            b) *but* Israel’s hold on this territory is obviously intended to be permanent
            c) *then* this shouldn’t be regarded as “an occupation”.

            That’s the core of the entire Levy Report i.e. (a) + (b) means that this territory should be regarded as “Israeli territory”.

            The problem (and apparently even Ginger now sees this) is obvious i.e. the correct legal interpretation of (a) + (b) is that Israel is engaging in an illegal act.

            That is axiomatic, since Levy has Israel claiming a “right” to permanence for a state of affairs which int’l law intends to be temporary.

            Explosive stuff, which is why Netanyahu immediately stuck the report on the shelf, and he probably had very shaky hands when doing so….

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            So sorry, CL, but the opinion expressed by an ex-judge (i.e. a private citizen) in a report that the govt commissioned but then refused to adopt it is…. worthless.

            Less than worthless, in fact, because that govt refuses to accept that opinion.

            By marked comparison, the ruling of the full bench of the Israel High Court of Justice carries enormous weight.

            Case in point: IHCJ case Beit Sourik Village Council versus the IDF Commander in the West Bank.

            The ruling says *twice* that this is a belligerent occupation, and that the IDF is the occupying power.

            It not only says this *twice*, but it uses the latin phrase to ensure that nobody could pretend that this was a mistranslation.

            And not only does the court rule *twice* that this was a belligerent occupation, but the second time it did so it pointed out that the Government of Israel agrees with the court.

            So unless you’ve got something better than the private opinion expressed by a now-dead private citizen then I’d have to say you’ve got nothing.

            Reply to Comment
          • Israeli Foreign Minister Ben Ami in a discussion with Charlie Rose and Egyptian Foreign Minister Arme Moussa in 2000 explained Israeli government position, Israel has sovereignty. The following was said in a discussion about Jerusalem.

            ” MIN. MOUSSA: What is the outer limits, sir? What is the outer limits then, to keep everything?

            MIN. BEN-AMI: Waiving Israeli sovereignty for the sake of special regime. This is outer limits.

            MIN. MOUSSA: Waiving Israeli — do you have sovereignty?

            MIN. BEN-AMI: Yes, we have.

            MIN. MOUSSA: You have occupation over the city.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: No, sir, we have sovereignty.”

            More of the discussion:

            ” MIN. BEN-AMI: We did our very best. … This where our people were born, our religion was born. This is history. This is reality. It is part of our identity. You claim in Egypt that you represent a 7,000 year history. Why should not I claim that I represent the history of the Jewish people?

            MIN. MOUSSA: You can claim that as you like, as you like, but I am not convinced. You are telling me that Jerusalem was your capital for 3,000 years?

            MIN. BEN-AMI: Look in the books of history. Yes, it is in the

            books of history.

            MIN. MOUSSA: What books of history?

            MIN. BEN-AMI: It is in the Bible.

            MIN. MOUSSA: In 1967, East Jerusalem was not in your hands. In 1967, after military occupation, you occupied this city.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: The fact that it was not in our hands doesn’t mean
            it was not ours. It belongs to us by God, by history, by religion.

            MIN. MOUSSA: Exactly, but we are talking about East Jerusalem that has been occupied by you in 1967. We are not discussing West Jerusalem.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: In a war of self-defense and because Jerusalem was the intended capital of the Jewish people.

            MIN. MOUSSA: It was not a war of self-defense but anyway, let us not discuss it. But we are not discussing West Jerusalem, we are discussing East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is Palestinian. You want to share East Jerusalem while keeping West Jerusalem with you. This is the essence of injustice, unfairness, imbalance.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: Our compromise with the political constraints and reality is that we are negotiating the future of our capital, of the fact — can you conceive of the Americans negotiating the future of Washington? Or you the future of Cairo?

            MIN. MOUSSA: No, Washington was not under foreign occupation and Cairo is not under foreign occupation but Jerusalem is divided.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: No, Jerusalem was under foreign occupation for 2,000 years. It was always our capital. This is history.

            MIN. MOUSSA: What history?

            MIN. BEN-AMI: The history everybody knows.

            MIN. MOUSSA: You started 50 years ago.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: No, we started three millennia ago.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            CL: “Israeli Foreign Minister Ben Ami in a discussion with Charlie Rose and Egyptian Foreign Minister Arme Moussa in 2000″…..

            OK, I can stop CL riiiiiiight there and point out that the Israeli High Court of Justice said this in **2004**
            “The general point of departure of all parties – which is also our point of departure – is that Israel holds the area in belligerent occupation (occupatio bellica).”

            Note the reference to “all parties”, meaning both the Govt of Israel and the IDF are accepting the courts ruling that this is a belligerent occupation.

            I’ll also point out that the IHCJ said this in **2005**
            “The Judea and Samaria areas are held by the State of Israel in belligerent occupation.”….”The legal meaning of this view is twofold: first, Israeli law does not apply in these areas. They have not been “annexed” to Israel. Second, the legal regime which applies in these areas is determined by public international law regarding belligerent occupation”

            Because, you know, you might want to mull the difference between
            1) a “politician talking to a reporter” and
            2) a “a govt arguing its case before a supreme court”.

            I’ll give you a hint: the former can say any old lie that suits his purpose, the latter does not have that luxury.

            Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        You’re assuming that all the accused acquired their homes illegally. We’re dealing with guerrillas, not con artists or crooked officials.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Philos

      The sea is the same sea, and the Israelis are the same Israelis

      Reply to Comment
    4. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but reducing Baruch Mizrahi, Israel’s Police Chief Superintendent, to “an off-duty police officer” seems like quite a piece of spin. He was one of the country’s top intelligence officials, not some poor schmuck.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Catron tries to justify the killing of an Israeli and attempted killing of his family by the fact that he was a chief superintendent in the police.

      Israeli forensic personnel collected more than 50 shell casings from shots which had been pumped into the motor vehicle carrying Baruch Mizrahi, his pregnant wife and children going to a seder meal.

      Baruch Mizrahi was killed and his wife and children were injured because they were Jews. The terrorist Awad had been released in the Shalit deal and had been serving time for murder of Palestinians who had assisted Israel. He told his son Az Adin that his motive for murdering Mizrahi was religious, and that “according to the religion of Islam, everyone who kills a Jews goes to paradise.”

      So it matters little if the story describes the dead Israeli as an off duty police officer or the off duty Chief Superintendent of Technology Division in the Sigint Unit going to a seder meal. He was killed because he was a Jew and for no other purpose.

      Catron seems to have no problem with this. He only has problem that the on duty status of the individual brutally killed was not correctly described in the story.

      Reply to Comment
      • My would-be antagonist, too cowardly to use his or her real name, also seems to have challenges with reading comprehension. I said nothing of the sort.

        I hope he or she will understand if I don’t take the word of an anonymous commenter with literacy problems, who seems to be using Arutz Sheva(!) as a source, on Ziad Awad’s conversations with his own family that seriously.

        But yes, an armed occupier in the West Bank is absolutely and unequivocally a fair target under any reasonable legal or moral standard. Mizrahi’s rank is rather immaterial to that question.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          “But yes, an armed occupier in the West Bank is absolutely and unequivocally a fair target under any reasonable legal or moral standard.”

          Perhaps you’ve read of something called the Oslo Accords? They are an agreement which governs relations between Israel and the Palestinians. The idea that somehow the Palestinians have a right to resist by murdering civilians, even gun-wearing civilians, is preposterous. However, please do remember that as far as you’re concerned there’s a war on between the two sides. Essentially that destroys any complaint you make make about Palestinian loss of life in demonstrations or any other hostile or suspicious activity.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            “But yes, an armed occupier in the West Bank is absolutely and unequivocally a fair target under any reasonable legal or moral standard.”

            Only a suicidal mouse threatens the Tiger, Mr. Joe Carton. As you ponder what that means, pls. reflect on these words of an apostate Jew: “he who lives by the sword shall perish by the sword”. Be thus careful what you wish for.

            (Btw. Judea and Samaria are not occupied territories).

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Marxists are criminals. You should all be tried for your crimes. 50 million innocent people died in Gulags because of you.

            One day, those of you who still profess this appalling ideology will be made answerable for your crimes which you are still trying to perpetrate.

            In the meanwhile, please be aware that are all yesterday’s people.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            Ginger, you can say over and over and over again until your face turns blue and you pass out from exhaustion that the West Bank is not Occupied Territory. The fact that you say it does not make it true.

            None of the world, with the exception of Israel, has recognized that the West Bank belongs to Israel and is not Occupied Territory. If I am wrong please give me a list of all the countries in the world who recognize that the West Bank belongs to Israel. I’m waiting……………….and waiting…….and waiting…………………..

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Obviously part of the West Bank will be part of the Arab Palestinian state.

            Which part? Well … that is subject to a peace deal. In the meanwhile, the so called 1967 boundaries are just armistice lines NOT borders. The Arabs were the ones who insisted at 1949 fhat a clause should be put into the armistice agreements to indicate that those are not to be considered as borders.

            So, Jan, my dear parrot. It does not matter how many times YOU parrot what other countries who are keen to please the Arabs for their own personal gain, say. It just does not matter. You know why?

            BECAUSE THE SIGNED ARMISTICE AGREEMENT (signed by Arabs and Israelis) SAYS THAT THE 1967 BOUNDARIES ARE NOT, I REPEAT ARE NOT BORDERS!!!!

            And the majority does not rule. The law rules. You know Jan dear? At one stage the majority of the people believed that the earth was flat. And wouldn’t you know it? The majority was wrong. Don’t you just hate it Jan, dear?

            Reply to Comment
          • “Perhaps you’ve read of something called the Oslo Accords?”

            Yes, I have. Can you tell me one day, in all of recorded history, when Israel has followed them?

            (Don’t bother Googling furiously. It hasn’t, ever.)

            “However, please do remember that as far as you’re concerned there’s a war on between the two sides.”

            Well, it’s not just me. Pretty much everyone but rabid Zionists understands that a military occupation is a state of war. Go argue it with the ICRC or the UN if you like.

            “Essentially that destroys any complaint you make make about Palestinian loss of life in demonstrations or any other hostile or suspicious activity.”

            You have rather odd – non-Zionists might say psychotic – ideas about what war does and does not mean.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Could it be because the Arabs were the first to break the Oslo accords?

            Of course it could. You know that very well don’t you Joe?

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            So for Israel, the justification for not following them is “Monkey See, Monkey Do?”

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “So for Israel, the justification for not following them is “Monkey See, Monkey Do?”

            You got it on one, Reza. If two sides sign an accord then either BOTH sides abide by it or the accord is not worth the paper on which it is written.

            Accords are not designed to tie the hands of one party (ours) behind our backs while the other party (the Arabs) ignores it’s terms and does what it wants.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            Theres an old saying: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

            Those rules are set down to protect civillians from abuse. Its not some business contract. Criminal behavior is criminal behavior, regardless of who “started it.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “Theres an old saying: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

            And your interpretation of that saying, Reza, is that if the Arabs break the rules, you just look the other way and mutter something about “legitimate resistance” never mind the Oslo accords which they signed.

            But when Israel does something to mitigate the murders, kidnappings and other assorted Palestinian Arab tactics which contradict the accord, then you scream, shriek as loudly as possible at us, point to the Oslo accords and preach to Israel about how two wrongs don’t make a right?

            You know what Reza? Such dubious moral stances won’t help us protect our civilians from fanatics who don’t play by the rules. Only our own actions, whatever it takes will protect our civilians. We learnt that the hard way.

            Maybe if it ever happens to you personally, in the country which you live, you might understand that one day. But if you’ll find a better way, please tell us we will be eager to learn from you. Till then, we will do what works for us. And we won’t listen to outsiders who preach to us.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            No. You follow the rules you agreed to follow. That’s how a democracy is supposed to operate.

            Your idea of “mitigation,” has always, without exception, involved innocent civilians paying for the crimes of others. Obviously, you couldn’t care less, because the only lives that matter to you are Jewish lives, and “an eye for an eye” is more important than taking care to do no harm.

            And nothing has yet convinced us that mass arresting members of a political party, many of whom aren’t “terrorists” (whose guilt in the kidnappings no evidence has yet been given for), and sending in the entire army is honestly just to find those kids. It is “mitigating” nothing, and only bringing Israel more ill-will from its occupied subjects. It’s a cynical Kissingerian use of a crime as a pretext for screwing with Palestinian politics and “modifying” them more to Israel’s liking.

            Guess what? You may not like the rules, or think they get you “results,” but that’s what comes with being a democracy: having, and following, rules and laws, and respecting peoples’ rights. Every single dictator who ever perverted their country’s democracy, from Chiang to Fujimori, said they did it to “protect” or “save” their country and people. So I don’t buy this “it’s to save lives” crap; we’ve heard it too many times from the wrong people. So join the club, and find a way to “mitigate” the violence that doesn’t involve collateral damage or taking away other peoples’ freedom and sovreignty, or go join the “other” club.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            “Yes, I have. Can you tell me one day, in all of recorded history, when Israel has followed them?

            (Don’t bother Googling furiously. It hasn’t, ever.)”

            I don’t need to do a Google search at all. This is simply an idiotic, ignorant comment by you. The PA governs 98% of Palestinians in the areas under its control. Hamas governs 100% in areas under its control. That is due to Oslo. Tax collections, water distribution, defense-coordination, the creation of Areas A, B and C, are all part of Oslo and they are indeed functioning and in place.

            “Well, it’s not just me. Pretty much everyone but rabid Zionists understands that a military occupation is a state of war. Go argue it with the ICRC or the UN if you like.”

            If the Oslo Accords and the bodies functioning under them represent a state of war, then you misunderstand Oslo. It’s true that you and Israel’s enemies perceive this as a war, but that’s not what this internationally sanctioned treaty which governs both parties says.

            “You have rather odd – non-Zionists might say psychotic – ideas about what war does and does not mean.”

            No. If you want to claim that there’s a war and this justifies certain actions, then you have to accept the whole enchilada. You can’t pick and choose whatever seems convenient for your latest anti-Israel diatribe.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Jan

      When the terrorist Baruch Goldstein murdered 29 Muslims at prayer in their mosque was his home demolished? Of course not. Were the Jews of Hebron put under curfew after this act of terrorism? Of course not. But during that same period Israel was demolishing homes of Palestinians and it was the Palestinians who were put under curfew. It was the Palestinians who were punished not only by losing their loved ones but punished by being forced to stay in their homes. The Jews of Hebron at the same time were free to walk around even though it was one of their own who was the terrorist. In fact the terrorist Goldstein was so honored that a plaque was made in his honor.

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        Fuck off Jan

        They are on their own side. Not on our side. So we too are on our own side. Not on their side.

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    7. Tzutzik

      This is the bastard who murdered the policeman and attacked his kids and wife.

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4533556,00.html

      “Israeli killed on Passover eve was murdered by Palestinian freed in Shalit deal
      Cleared for publication: Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi was killed by Ziad Awad, a Palestinian freed from an Israeli jail as part of the prisoner deal that freed Gilad Shalit.

      I wonder when will we release more of these murderers in a swap again. I hope never!

      Reply to Comment
    8. rick

      The through-line is ethnic cleansing. Provocation precedes resistance- often criminal- bringing more repression, as ethnic cleansing moves forward always. Blame the victim and persecute the weaker party and call it “law” or “defense against terrorism”, but always pursue ethnic cleansing. That what Settler States do, until they’re forced to do otherwise.

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