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The weight of nationalism in Nabi Saleh

Palestinians suffer from Tear Gas in Nabi Saleh. Photo: Joseph Dana

Palestinians suffer from tear gas in Nabi Saleh. Photo: Joseph Dana

Getting to Nabi Saleh is not easy. The army closes all entrances very early on a Friday, the day which has seen demonstrations taking place for the past two years. This forces Israeli and international activists that wish to join the unarmed and largely nonviolent demonstrations to park kilometres away and hike through valleys and up small hills to reach the village.

Israelis soldiers were inside the village long before the demonstration began on Friday, creating an uncomfortable air of uncertainly amongst villagers. Adding to the uncertainty were the aggressive comments of one particular group of soldiers who had taken over a rooftop in the middle of the village.

“Soon,” one of the arrogant soldiers barked at an elderly villager in horribly accented English, “I will make your house go boom.” It was not clear if the solider meant that he would blow his house up or attack it with tear gas and stun grenades. Regardless, the elderly man was clearly shaken by the soldier’s violent comment.

Men and boys emerged from mid-afternoon prayers determined to continue the demonstration despite the military presence. Roughly 12% of the village’s male population, out of a total population of 500, have spent time in Israeli military jails for demonstrating. Bassem and Naji Tamimi, the Popular Committee leaders of the village, are currently in jail. They have not been sentenced, however based on similar situations in Bil’in, they will be in jail for the next year or two. Their crime: leading unarmed demonstrations which bring Israelis, Palestinians and internationals together to resist occupation.

Civilian house in Nabi Saleh after being tear gassed by Israeli soldiers Photo: Joseph Dana

Civilian house in Nabi Saleh after being tear gassed by Israeli soldiers. Photo: Joseph Dana

Within minutes, soldiers from three directions opened fire on the demonstrators. Tear gas filled the air as stun grenades went off with disorientating thunder in all directions. Most ran to the relative safety of houses but it did not help. Soldiers began firing tear gas at the houses themselves. Children, some as young as four or five years old, were choking inside their own homes and had nowhere to run. This lasted for roughly five hours as the soldiers established an undeclared curfew over Nabi Saleh.

As the sun began to set, soldiers relaxed their curfew. Due to the relentless teargas, there had been no clashes between stone throwing Palestinian youth and soldiers. The general store re-opened and a relative calm descended on the village despite the presence of a dozen heavily armed soldiers in the village centre. Occasionally the soldiers opened fire and covered the area again with tear gas. Everyone then sought refuge inside homes with the windows covered by great big rugs to keep the tear gas out. After half an hour, people slowly emerged from their homes and calm returned.

As the soldiers were finally preparing to leave for the night, the infamous ‘Skunk’ truck rolled into the village, prompting a rush of excitement from the young men of Nabi Saleh. In an act of provocation, the truck drove around the village threatening each house with its pungent chemical mixture. Village youth responded by throwing stones at the armoured truck which in turn provoked a violent reaction in the form of tear gas and rubber bullets from the patrolling soldiers. Clashes continued between soldiers and youth until 8 pm when the last solider returned to the settlement/army base of Halamish.

—-

I have been covering the saga of Nabi Saleh’s unarmed resistance to Israeli occupation since the beginning of the demonstrations over a year ago. Friday’s demonstration was different. I saw a village under curfew. I saw people forced to huddle inside their homes because they had chosen a path of unarmed resistance in the spirit of the American civil rights movement. I saw children choking on tear gas inside their own bedrooms. The only rationale that explains this behaviour is that Israel wants to harass Nabi Saleh and crush its nonviolence.

I thought to myself on the way back to Tel Aviv, what was going through the minds of the soldiers as they opened fire on Israeli and Palestinian civilians? Did they think that their behaviour was heroic? Were they driven by hate and fear? Has our nationalism got to the point where it drives people to blindly terrorize civilians exercising a basic human right? The sad answer is yes, but don’t take my word for it, come to Nabi Saleh next Friday and see for yourself.

Update:
Below is a video of the demonstration. Note how soldiers attempted to maintain strict curfew over the village. At times, this meant going into houses, demanding id cards while throwing tear gas and stun grenades at residents watching from their courtyards and decks.

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    COMMENTS

    1. RichardNYC

      that freedom for Nabi Saleh is a good idea doesn’t make “right of return” a good idea – trying to use the desirability of the former to promote the latter is actually a disservice to Nabi Saleh

      Reply to Comment
    2. This comment is perhaps your most bizarre.

      Reply to Comment
    3. RichardNYC

      @JD
      why’s that? Its pretty obvious that the BDS strategy is about building consensus against Israel w/legitimate demands (two state solution etc…) and then throwing in anti-Zionist demands (“right of return”, end of “apartheid” against Arab-Israelis) that, by themselves, would not seem appealing, or intellectually honest. The effect is to hijack moderate/doable positions for the sake of effecting anti-Zionist irredentism. When you are discredited for the latter, you also discredit the former. You empower the right and weaken the moderate left. If you cared about removing pesky Kfir Brigade soldiers (and Halamish) from Nabi Saleh, you would dispense with political objecitves that impair your ability to build a consensus.

      Reply to Comment
    4. RichardNYC

      You sympathy for Nabi Saleh is like the sympathy of American tourists/”activists” for Palestinian children of the “refugee camps” of Lebanon, or Gaza, for that matter. If you cared about them, you would ask only for peace, and not more.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Your comments reinforce my understanding that BDS is the most powerful form of nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation. Best, Joseph

      Reply to Comment
    6. RichardNYC

      Comment removed for personal slander

      Reply to Comment
    7. Personal slander will not be tolerated on my channel. More comments attacking my credibility will result in your banning on my channel. If you would like to engage in serious discussion then so be it, insults will not be tolerated. One more and you are gone.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Alon

      @Richardnyc
      If justice is anti-Zionist, if equality under the law is anti-Zionist, then why on earth would you subscribe to Zionism in its current texture?

      There is nothing illegitimate about the BDS movement’s call for ending the occupation nor for its call to allow for the right of return for Palestinians dispossessed by Israel. This call was borne of the truly illegitimate act; the unjust dispossession and brutal military and bureaucratic occupation of Palestinians.

      What you seem to fail to realize is that your supposedly ‘moderate’ position is the violently political one. It is the maintenance of this injustice; even going as far as to discredit and in fact crush non-violent resistance to Israeli occupation. Cheap talk of peace aside, your peace is thus enshrined in the attitude that the only peaceful Palestinian is a subdued, silent Palestinian. That you don’t see the parallels in this dynamic to our own people’s struggle for agency is tragic.

      Joseph, your work is absolutely vital. I commend you, keep it up.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Alon, your point about Zionism in its current texture is interesting and important. However, the question is not about Zionism here as Richard is not operating in a realm of debate that we can understand. Richard NYC hates that I shine light on issues affecting Israeli society and the maintenance of Israeli occupation. He is now beginning to attacking my creditability as a journalist and writer. He has not other recourse of fact. These attacks are baseless and not what this site is about. So if he continues he will be asked to leave the discussion taking place. It is his choice.

      Reply to Comment
    10. RichardNYC

      @JD
      Ok, leaving all credibility issues aside, what have you to say about the substance of my argument? That BDS cuts off its nose to spite its face?

      Reply to Comment
    11. RichardNYC

      @Alon
      But the thing is, justice is Zionist; that the Jews of the world should have self-determination is just. That Israeli Arabs already have equality under the law is just. If justice is your goal, you can sleep easy, because it has been achieved in Israel. The occupied territories are another matter – occupation is unjust, but so are rockets on Israeli civilians – is it possible to have neither? If not, which is preferable? What is most just? complex questions, and certainly fodder for discussions that delve deeper than superficial slogans about “justice is…this ism or that ism”

      Reply to Comment
    12. RichardNYC

      “your peace is thus enshrined in the attitude that the only peaceful Palestinian is a subdued, silent Palestinian”

      a straw man argument, unless you think that a Palestinian who does not fire rockets unto Israeli towns is being unjustly subdued. Ultimately questions about what is “Just” or what will achieve “peace” beg questions about what is reasonable or sympathetic about others’ demands. If you sympathize with the idea that an Arab person born in Lebanon, whose parents were born in Lebanon (or American, for that matter), have rights superior to those of a Sabra Jew, I personally do not how this achieves anything qualitatively different from current Israeli immigration law. If your answer is “international law”, I would advise you to choose a less laughable strategy

      Reply to Comment
    13. Again, BDS has produced more results, more quickly than any other form of Palestinian nonviolence. For that reason, it needs to be understood and thought about in a serious way. As an Israeli living in Israel, I support nonviolence over violence.
      I basically understand your comments as a mixture of fear and disconnection from the reality of life here. Since they are mostly attacking in nature, it leads me to believe that you are recycling rhetoric without making a wise and thoughtful opinion on the issue. I expect you to continue to attack my personal credibility since you have not presented any solid information to back up your positions attacking Palestinian nonviolence and BDS. This is all to often the case with “Zionists’ that do not live in Israel and are thus, disconnected to the actual reality of the situation here. I wish you all the best. Joseph

      Reply to Comment
    14. RichardNYC

      http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

      “Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.”

      think about whether banning me from your page is worth showing your contempt for SPJ. Anyone can read SPJ’s guidelines and draw their own conclusions

      Reply to Comment
      • I am writing a personal account of my experience in Nabi Saleh in this piece. I believe that is clear to any given reader especially this is not labeled straight news. Again, you are attacking my credibility because you do not seem to have any respond to the content of what I am writing. Slander is a serious charge and I do not make it lightly. This post also has nothing to do with BDS, which you have begun a noble crusade against using this site as your platform. That is well and good as long as you are able to abide by certain rules of conduct. I implore you not to engage in personal slander and attempt to stay on topic. I hope that this warning works, since I have not yet had the need to ban anyone on my channel and would be sad if you were the first. All the best, Joseph.

        Reply to Comment
    15. RichardNYC

      “For that reason, it needs to be understood and thought about in a serious way”

      I agree, which is why I’ve thought about BDS in a serious way, and am trying to engage you in a conversation about its long-term prospects. Any interest in responding to the substance of my argument? Or are you just interested in attacking my credibility because I don’t live in Israel? Weirdly enough, BDS incites against American Jews too through Jew-baiting vis a vis AIPAC’s power.

      Reply to Comment
    16. @Joseph – first, I must say I was glued to your Twitter report during this experience, and want to thank you for this devastatingly critical reportage. It is journalists such as yourself – embedded and undaunted when tasked with the burden of reporting all that has been witnessed – who hold up the mantle of independent journalism’s essential standing. I was exceedingly troubled not to see mention of Nabi Saleh in Haaretz, and wonder how many Israelis are aware of what took place yesterday. Do you have a sense of this?

      Reply to Comment
      • Thanks David for following my Twitter. The Israeli media largely ignores what is happening in Nabi Saleh. The reasons why this happens are complicated but my personal feeling is that there is not enough interest in Israel to cover such stories. People understand vaguely what is going on behind the myriad of walls and checkpoints Israel has set up for separation with the Palestinians. I do not think that they want the entire truth.

        Reply to Comment
    17. RichardNYC

      @JD
      Obviously my bringing up BDS is in reference to other pieces/comments of yours. I am responding to the content of this article as it relates to others you’ve written. The reasoning is clear above.

      Reply to Comment
    18. RichardNYC

      “Slander is a serious charge and I do not make it lightly”

      Nor should you. Considering you’ve personally signed letters urging artists to boycott the country you’re meant to be covering (http://boycottisrael.info/content/joel-and-ethan-coen-dont-endorse-israels-human-rights-violations-refuse-dan-david-prize
      I’m surprised you think I should be on the defensive here. What other journalist has taken so partisan a stance w/r/t the subject of his reporting, outside the Israel/Palestine conflict? Considering this is your personal blog, over which you have total control, I don’t see how anyone could interpret my questions as slander. Its not possible for you to publish slander against yourself

      Reply to Comment
      • Clearly, you do not understand what commentary and opinion are all about. I do not hide my support for BDS and I have publicly supported the movement (by signing letters and speaking about them on this very site). When I write about BDS, I do so from a commentary perspective or I blog about different BDS related news items. This is what we refer to as an opinion and from which opinion pieces arise. There are other writers on this site like Roi Maor who have written why they are against BDS and provided thoughtful reasons. This is how 972 works. So attacking my journalist integrity is misplaced and, in my opinion, slander. You seem have to a personal crusade against BDS and this site is your current vehicle. I asked you nicely to stay on topic and this has proven to difficult.

        Reply to Comment
    19. directrob

      Keep up the good work, Nabi Saleh deserves journalists like you. Sad that it has to go badly wrong before this news reaches the major news agencies.

      Reply to Comment
    20. RichardNYC

      “@JD
      Ok, leaving all credibility issues aside, what have you to say about the substance of my argument? That BDS cuts off its nose to spite its face?”

      still waiting…

      Its possible to have credibility as an activist. My calling Omar Bargouthi an “activist” as opposed to a “journalist” is not slander, or an attack on his credibility. The interesting question is about where one draws the line between journalist and activist. Obviously its a fuzzy line, but there has to be something resembling a line for the word “journalist” to have any meaning. All opinion pieces are partisan, of course. But signing onto a boycott of an entire country’s institutions is more partisan than anything Roi Maor has written (that I’ve seen). Can you imagine an Al Jazeera journalist calling for a boycott of Syria or Bahrain? I don’t see that happening, and I think its clear why. I haven’t even seen one of their reporters call for a boycott of ISRAEL! Whenever someone does, in the OPINION section, there is a disclaimer at the bottom saying “these views do not represent Al Jazeera.” That is, Al Jazeera’s standards for objectivity in reporting are higher than yours. Its a question of degree. You seem to think that calling yourself a “journalist” is totally above board as long as you make your partisan views clear to all. It is with this idea that I take issue. I don’t see any other journalists wearing a ten gallon activist hat. Its amazing to me that you find these observations to be scandalous. Does not bode well for 972

      Reply to Comment
    21. RichardNYC

      I’ve provided a cogent argument about BDS’s flaws above. It is very much on topic. Feel free to address it at your leisure. If you’d prefer to disregard it, that’s fine, but please don’t pretend I haven’t made an actual argument here.

      Reply to Comment
    22. RichardNYC

      I see you’ve deleted my argument about BDS for “personal slander”, which is odd, because slander has to be factual, and I was expressing an opinion. I guess your abuse of legal terminology is not limited to the realm of international law. I thought 972 was supposed to be “independent”, not insecure and draconian

      Reply to Comment
    23. David

      RichardNYC
      you have touched on an interesting point regarding the authors position as a “journalist” AND activist. Also the authors use of RT-TV and the TV stations main sponsor and their actions in Grozny raise some eyebrows.
      The authors wishes for no objectivity, after all this is a blog, which pushes non-stories ( two broken wrists in the WB ) as if they were heralding the end of AIDS. The author does have a clear tendency to inflate events and make connections where the opportunity arrises. This may well lead RICHARDNYC and myself to question his credibility.
      The non violence line also gets tiring for upon closer inspection of many posted videos, be they from NGO’s or the IDF we witness acts of violence on many. The NGO’s are so sure of themselves that violence out of their ranks is not edited. Stone throwing and other acts of violence are seen.
      What the author is is mostly a mouth piece for ISM. 972 is largely a rebranding effort by the left to lose the the toxicity of the NGO’s in the WB.
      I doubt BDS will have a major impact. According to a study written about in the Forward the movement is not making much headway.
      The fear about BDS stems from the tradition of ” Kauft nicht beim Juden”, it is less a fear of what might happen, than the realisation that supposedly intelligent people now scream what has been said to the Jews for centuries. Have the Arabs not been BDSing Israel for ever?

      Reply to Comment
    24. RichardNYC

      @David
      If JD had been progressive enough to not delete my above comment, you might have seen that I do not object to the goal of eliminating settlements (if not the IDF, at least in the short term) from the West Bank. I do not see BDS as a threat because it aims to achieves this goal, but precisely because it aims to do the opposite by discrediting the moderate left through association with anti-Zionism.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Piotr Berman

      To win a war, you have to end that war. Israel has a choice:

      Option 1. Express to the full the desire to stand tall and oppress Palestinians who are phony people created specifically to annoy Jews. When this eventually will lead to a war with a bad outcome, start the Second Diaspora. Jews, reinvigorated with heroic tales of their Third Commonwealth (do I count correctly?) will be able to survive another millenium or two in the Diaspora without loosing their identity.

      Option 2. Make a peace, become yet another normal, non-heroic state.

      Proponents of Option 2 seems to be a disreputable band of misfits and dissidents, on the margin of the society that consists in 90% of healthy patriots supporting Option 1. Yet, Cassandra was a misfit, as were Issaiah and Jeremiah.

      The way I see it, proponents of Option 1 call Option 2 “anti-Zionism”, and that is a thoughtcrime. They resolutely refuse to relent their favorite activities, like dousing Palestinians with skunk water. They watch you-tube reports, and they do not see brutality, but Forces of Light fighting Forces of Darkness (NGO and Palestinians engaging in violence, like chanting something impolite).

      Remember, BDS may “make headway” or not, but this is not BDS that is threat to Israel, but the war without end. You can get rid of pesky activists in a day. Just lock them up, and declare WB a permanent closed military zone. Will it save Israel forever? Or it will simply create grave problems here and now?

      RichardNYC: what is the program of “moderate left”? The latest I heard, it was to refuse to make any statements on the conflict with Palestinians and concentrate on social issues. This is Labor. Barak-what-is-his-party is declaring that SOME peace proposal should be prepared (as long as he is not responsible for details). Kadima alleges that the government is incompetent, but without really explaning how. I did not read about Meretz lately. At least Option 1 prepares heroic tales for the next diaspora. And Option 2 explains what they mean (and yes, there is Option 2.1S and Option 2.2S).

      Reply to Comment
    26. RichardNYC

      @Piotr
      Thank you making my point for me through your deployment of straw man arguments. Your comment illustrates how successfully BDS has conflated anti-occupation views with anti-Zionist views. I support the former, not the latter, as you can see from my above comments. But you’re acting as though I’m one of the right wingers. Why is this? Its because BDS has polarized the debate, hijacked the moderate position (mine), and subjected it to association (first) with anti-Zionism, and then, by way of Likudnik/Zionist opposition to BDS, Likud’s permanent occupation strategy. Thereby, BDS has made it impossible for me to criticize anti-Zionism w/o being accused of advocating a “Great Israel” policy. Well done! Except that the only people who benefit from destruction of the moderate discourse are the Likud, and the only people who suffer are the Palestinians, who have no chance of achieving what BDS asks for.

      Reply to Comment
    27. David

      @Richardnyc
      Piotr, with his half baked understanding of the situation and his left wing rambling about all and nothing usually manages to play the side if the left winger, who thought he heard something, and then….?
      Your last point is again very precise. Sadly it is only those people ( mostly Jews and those with a firm unbiased understanding of Zionism and Israel ) who are really qualified to give constructive answers. All else is the white noise of the usual left wing suspects who join the International Human Rights Choir and sing only those notes they seem fit.
      Another point that becomes more clear as 972 progresses is that the Conflict is rather too complex to fit into say a half page comment, or a brief report from the WB with cringe like this:
      ” I thought to myself on the way back to Tel Aviv, what was going through the minds of the soldiers as they opened fire on Israeli and Palestinian civilians? Did they think that their behaviour was heroic? Were they driven by hate and fear? Has our nationalism got to the point where it drives people to blindly terrorize civilians exercising a basic human right? The sad answer is yes, but don’t take my word for it, come to Nabi Saleh next Friday and see for yourself.”

      Written in a world of black&white where questioning of oneself has ceased and the audience is waiting for their good night story. But, alas, we can sleep well because the author is asking pertinent questions on behalf of a country at war and answers them all for us looks like a perfect fit.

      I see there was violence on behalf of the villagers. How does that fit in with the authors penchant for non-violence?

      Reply to Comment
    28. Piotr Berman

      Richard: I made a simple preposition that either Israel wages war without end, with one set of consequences, or it reaches an end of this war, which would require a profound change of the policy and behavior, a change that currently seems deeply unpopular.

      And I asked what is “moderate left” solution. Your answer: “But you’re acting as though I’m one of the right wingers. Why is this? Its because BDS has polarized the debate, hijacked the moderate position (mine), and subjected it to association (first) with anti-Zionism, and then, by way of Likudnik/Zionist opposition to BDS, Likud’s permanent occupation strategy.”

      How one can hijack a secret position? Moderate discourse was severely damaged because Israeli moderates developed a severe case of self-shame and incoherence. While the right wing or hawkish side is pretty clear: settlements today, settlements tomorrow, settlements forever. Clamp the siege on Gaza forever, and gradually remove Palestinians from Area C. (Much to the chagrin of more extreme right wing.)

      What is puzzling is that there are several positions that one can cite, so Richard can simply reply “I support Olmert’s plan, Taba plan, parameters of Arab initiative, Geneva accords, whatever. One sentence would do.

      Reply to Comment
    29. David, I am afraid that I must warn you about the language of your comments. It seems that you are wading into a hate filled zone which will not be tolerated on this channel. Please try to monitor your language or I will be forced to do so. This is a warning. This is not a platform for you to attack the left, me or other people commenting. You are not allowed to be a bully in this forum.

      I have written about the unarmed nature of the demonstrations in Nabi Saleh. I have witnessed more than I can count. One Friday, this demonstration was nonviolent. When Palestinian youth began to throw stones, which was for a brief moment as the soldiers were leaving the village, it was noted. As noted clearly in the piece and even in the question posed as the end, if you do not believe me then come and see for yourself.

      I do not work for the ISM and I have never been associated with them. This line of thinking is bogus and unnecessary.

      Your comments have become basically attacks against myself and the left. This is not a platform for your ranting or attacking. I needed to warn Richard NYC three times and it is unclear whether he understood the message. This is your first and only warning. Debate does not equal attacking. Please consider whether or not you would like to remain in this debate as an equal with a valuable point of view.
      Best, Joseph

      Reply to Comment
    30. Richard from NYC and I have engaged in lengthy debates about this. He is free to argue that the BDS movement has some sinister, covert agenda.

      There is no need to invest so much effort in countering this. The principles of BDS are compatible with diverse political solutions. If Richard doesn’t accept that, let him smear us.

      I for one support the 2ss (for now). Noam Chomsky has argued very well in favour of this approach.

      BTW Richard wants us to join Kadima (sic!) and support Tzipi Livni (sic!). That’s his “peace vision” (or lack thereof).

      ofer
      (speaking on behalf of myself only)

      Reply to Comment
    31. RichardNYC

      @Piotr
      I support Olmert plan, more or less

      Reply to Comment
    32. Rashid Ali

      It would be unfortunate if the success of BDS were to stop at ending the 1967 occupation, when this is not the root cause of the problem. BDS can be a valuable nonviolent tool for solving the mistake of 1948. I think that the distinguished playright Tony Kushner would agree with me. For instance, if there was one Palestine, where would the Palestinians return to if the former israelis were still occupying Palestines most valuable territories? Even if the Palestinians were armed with Ottoman deeds to their properties, the litigation would take years, and the frustration would turn into violence. Would a UN force seize properties from israelis to give to Palestinians?These seem intractable solutions, so I propose that a mechanism be set up, perhaps funded by the Jewish trillionare Jorge Soros, to fund the israeli right of return

      Reply to Comment
    33. Sylvia

      “I propose that a mechanism be set up, perhaps funded by the Jewish trillionare Jorge Soros, to fund the israeli right of return”

      yes! Millions of Israelis from Arab-Muslim countries and their descendents are anticipating with trepidation the day George Soros helps them realize their “right of return” and reintegrates them in their former blessed status of dhimmis.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Leonid Levin

      People, I implore you to stop arguing with the likes of Richard Nyc, David, Sylvia, etc. Their language is offensive, their personal attacks are vicious, their tricks are too obvious. They hijack threads and turn meaningful discussion into a circus. Please, let them be, do not respond, and they’ll vanish from this site by themselves.

      This article is about popular nonviolent struggle for Palestinian land and justice.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Arlosoroff

      People, I implore you to stop arguing with the likes of Leonid Levin. His language is offensive, his personal attacks are vicious, his tricks are too obvious. He doesnt like it when people have discussions on threads, on subects that are all highly interdependent and not seperte. He then accusses them of hijacking threads and turning meaningful discussion into a circuses.

      This article is about popular nonviolent struggle for Palestinian land and justice, and so is a discussion on BDS.

      Im sorry i had to resort to that, but this is ridiculous.

      Reply to Comment
    36. richard Allen

      Sylvia, you and I argue frequently, but I have to give you some friendly advice–don’t even bother responding to comments about Jewish repatriation from the anti-semitic commenters–They are convinced that all Jews come from Russia and are Ashkenazi, and have no interest in the truth, and in responding, you only give them the false notion that their views are interesting or valid. (Many of them are still caught up in a Pan-Arabist worldview, which is why I think it’s a good idea for Mizrahim to identify as Arab Jews–it gives them just as much claim to Israel as any other Arab. But for these commenters to acknowledge that there are Middle-Eastern Jews means they may also have to see that claim as valid, but they are driven more by hatred of Jews than justice for Palestinians.)

      Reply to Comment
    37. Sylvia

      Richard Allen
      Not everything unpleasant is antisemitic. Actually, a “solution” of what to do with the Israeli Jews is discussed as-we-speak on dozens of Arabic sites from facebook to Youtube preparing for the “Third islamic Palestinian Intifada” scheduled to start this coming Friday as a peaceful non-violent popular uprising in the letter and spirit of the Arab Spring continuing on Sunday Naqba Day then morph into a violent one, with mass movements of people heading to the border.

      Their motto is “Palestine will be liberated and we are the ones who will liberate it”. They are so sure that they will prevail that they are seriously discussing the methods of our evacuation from Israel. Some have called on Israelis to head for the ports and sail out.
      This is the context of Rashid’s “idea” to get Soros to “facilitate” our evacuation.

      The point of the non-violent popular resistance is to provoke the israeli soldiers and make them look like Kaddafi or Bashar Asad.
      There will be demonstrations of support all over the world. The schedules and places and time of rallies are already out. Hamas, Pallywood, AlJazeera NGOs flotillas lawyers, all are ready to go.

      As to what to call ourselves, we know how we caqll ourselves and we’ll stick with that.

      Reply to Comment
    38. Ben Israel

      So what if we look like Bashar Assad? His army is staying loyal, they are using whatever force is necessary to intimidate the opposition, and what is most important, the US under Saint Obama has given him carte blanche to use whatever repression he needs to get maintain control. Obama only pushes around pro-American lackeys like Mubarak. Enemies of the US are coddled, presumably because they are more “authentic” and because Obama and his acolytes apparently view Noam Chomsky as their inspiration.
      Israel could do a lot worse than learn from Assad.

      Reply to Comment
    39. richard Allen

      You’re right Sylvia, I fully believe that not everything unpleasant is anti-semitic–I think the term anti-semitism is thrown around far too much when anyone dares criticise Israel, but when someone invokes disproven propaganda about the ethnic origins of Ashkenazim AS a criticism of Israel? That’s anti-semitism.

      Reply to Comment
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