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This is what a military operation in Hebron looks like

In its invasion of the city, the army has not shied away from using live fire, blowing up the doors of homes and shops and maintaining a closure on thousands of people. The goal? Demonstrating its invincible power.

By Akram Natsheh

Nour al-Kawasma, an eight-year-old resident of Hebron, will never forget how Israeli forces suddenly declared war on his home. The young boy is still hospitalized with a head wound, days after Israeli soldiers detonated the front door of his house.

Akram al-Kawasma, Nour’s father, still carries an expression of bewilderment on his face. Nour remains in the hospital while his older brother, who was arrested during the raid, sits in jail.

Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian men at the Gush Etzion junction, a settlement next to the Palestinian town of Bethlehem ,on June 16, 2014 , June 16, 2014.  Over 150 Palestinians were arrested in the last nights and a tight closure was imposed on the southern West Bank city of Hebron. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian men at the Gush Etzion junction, June 16, 2014. (Activestills.org)

The story, as Akram tells it, began when he noticed soldiers nearing the entrance of his apartment. The area was full of soldiers carrying out house-to-house searches. This is what he told me:

I expected one of them to knock on the door, but all of a sudden there was a huge explosion, I had no idea why, and the soldiers started yelling: ‘Get out of the house!’

Just then, my son Nour was wounded by shrapnel from the explosion, and I didn’t know what to do. He was bleeding as the soldiers tried to enter, and after the door opened I told them that my son was wounded and needed an ambulance. But they did not listen because they wanted to arrest my oldest son, and that’s why they left my youngest bleeding in his mother’s arms. When my older son arrived an hour later, they took him by force, blindfolded him and threw him on the ground.

Nour, still bleeding, remained in his mother’s arms, while the soldiers prevented the ambulance from reaching the house. The soldiers shot at the Palestinian ambulance, a first aid crew, journalists and neighbors to prevent them from coming near. Only when the Israeli army’s ambulance arrived did my son finally receive treatment. He almost died because of the long delay.

Photos of the week: After kidnapping, West Bank cities under lockdown

When Akram returned to his apartment, he found everything in shambles. All the furniture had been either destroyed, torn or broken. “Couldn’t they have just entered and searched quietly?” he asks. “Why blow things up and destroy? And what did my son Nour do to deserve to be wounded and hospitalized? What sin did my sons and my nephews and neighbors commit that they deserve to suffer such emotional traumas because of the explosion and behavior of the soldiers?”

What happened to the al-Kawasma family repeated itself dozens of times throughout the search operations and raids carried by Israeli forces, which are accompanied by extremely violent actions toward the residents, journalists, first aid crews and the civil defense. The goal is always to show the invincible power of the occupation army.

Sounds of explosions are common in Hebron these days. This is not because the city is under bombardment, but because soldiers have been destroying security cameras belonging to shop owners, which were installed as a means to deter thieves. The soldiers don’t ask the owners for their their cameras, but instead confiscate them and blow up the entrances to their shops.

For the soldiers, the damage they are causing to civilians with these explosions, and the trauma they are causing to children and their families, is irrelevant. What matters is presenting an image to the settlers and the Israeli right wing that tells them the army is doing everything it can to find the three kidnapped Israelis.

The aftermath of a raid on a Palestinian home in Balata refugee camp.

The aftermath of a raid on a Palestinian home in Balata refugee camp. (Activestills.org)

During these operations, the soldiers clash with the residents and the younger ones throwing stones. In the past, the army would respond with rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas. But his time the soldiers are firing live bullets at the boys. This means there will be more fatalities in the coming days. But the number of victims doesn’t matter — Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon are interested in promoting the image of the army delivering a tough response.

Another version of the tough image is that of the soldier preventing people from crossing checkpoints, as well as putting all the residents of Hebron under collective punishment, regardless of their political leanings. What matters is that they are Palestinians and it is possible to prevent them from crossing checkpoints, to confiscate their permits and to prevent more than 700 of them from crossing for no reason other than the fact that they are residents of Hebron — the place where traces of the three missing Israelis are believed to be.

Collective punishment won’t help the army locate the missing Israelis. But it will fulfill the purpose of those meting out the punishment, which is to promote an image of Israeli military strength.

Netanyahu wants to convince his public that he can return the missing Israelis and that he is a strong leader, not only because he wants a strong home front, but also in order to protect his governing coalition and remind voters that he’s tough when the time comes to campaign for re-election. He wants to remain prime minister no matter what. He doesn’t care who is harmed, who experiences grief, who loses their children in this struggle for which they have given everything.

Akram Natsheh is a Palestinian journalist from Hebron. Read this post in Hebrew on Local Call.

More on the kidnappings:
Badawi: Is Israel trying to force a third intifada?
Omer-Man: Rights groups say response to kidnapping is collective punishment
Matar: Israel’s crackdown moves beyond Hamas militants

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    1. Bar

      “During these operations, the soldiers clash with the residents, with the younger ones throwing stones”

      And Molotov cocktail firebombs. The 15 year old who was killed yesterday was involved in a fight that included firebombs.

      Regarding this particular family, can the writer tell us whether the older son of this family is involved with a terror group and in what capacity?

      Reply to Comment
      • JG

        And in which fascist price-tags attacks are you involved, honeybunny?

        Reply to Comment
        • bar

          The IDF is clearing out Hamas infrastructure presently. At the very least, we should know if the young man is involved with Hamas and how so. I realize this bothers you, honeybunny, but it’s sort of like neglecting to mention firebombs when discussing some of the recent fighting.

          Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            Knowing the bias and hyperbole you guys routinely employ the ‘firebomb’ might easily have been a box of matches. How about you put some meat on these allegations by giving us some references just to give some reassurance that it is not solely the product of your deranged imagination?

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            Aside from the fact that you have changed ‘firebombs’ to ‘Molotov cocktail firebombs’ there appears to be no independent verification. Firebombs were allegedly thrown and not necessarily by the child that was shot dead either.

            Am I being unnecessarily sceptical? Well try this for size: check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z31GesVrBjc
            This is an official IDF video which as you can see was uploaded by idfnadesk. Go to 19:44 and you will see a bottle described as ‘a bottle of tear gas’. Three seconds later the same bottle is shown while the voice over is talking about Molotov cocktails. So what is this bottle, a Molotov cocktail or teargas? Well actually it’s neither. Stop the video and read the label and you see that it says ‘500ml SODYUM KLORUR’ (it’s Turkish). The IDF are lying through their collective teeth, because this is a bottle of Sodium chloride intravenous drip.

            Your link gives me an uncorroborated claim from a lying bunch of terrorists that a firebomb was thrown. Based on previous, the victim might just as easily have been lighting a cigarette when he was murdered.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            Hello, hello. Hmm the line’s gone dead.

            Reply to Comment
      • The al-Qawasami clan is well known as Hamas leaders, operatives and supporters. Hamas top commander in Hebron (Ayyub al-Qawasmi) was captured on March 4, 2014. He had been sought by Israel for 16 years for attacks on Israeli civilians including the death of 16 Israelis in a suicide bombing in Beersheba.

        Israel Haom reported:

        “Palestinian sources said the home belonged to Hamas officials. Neighbors said the home belonged to the Qawasmes, a Hebron family known for its links with Hamas.”

        Ynetnews reported that 2 Hamas operatives were captured in the raid conducted on Akram al-Qawasami. Maan News reported that Zaid Akram al-Qawasami was arrested at this the house of Akram al-Qawasami. Ynet, Maan and Israel Hayom all report that Israel gave a warning to the occupants before blowing open the door.

        Akram Natsheh’s and 972mag’s version does not hold up to scrunity. Israel Hayom quoted Palestinian sources at the time:

        In Hebron on Sunday night, eyewitnesses said Israeli special forces surrounded a home in the Ein Deir al-Baha neighborhood around 10:30 p.m. and called on occupants of the home to give themselves up. When no response was forthcoming, the soldiers used explosives to blast open the door and enter the home, according to some reports. Other reports said soldiers launched a missile at the home and that some of its occupants were wounded.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          Thank you.

          That changes the entire tone of this piece, doesn’t it?

          Reply to Comment
        • Richard Lightbown

          Oh sure, it’s in Israel Hayom so it has to be totally true and any report stating anything different has to be a pack of lies. Tell me, just what does not stand up to scrutiny in the +972 report? Am I supposed to discount the report that soldiers would not allow the ambulance to arrive (like they did when Iain Hook was shot in Jenin), that soldiers fired on the ambulance crew (like they used to attack Gazan medics during Cast Lead) that they did not vandalised and ransack the home (though the picture from Balata looks pretty convincing)? Just what is it you are objecting to in this report other than the fact that it describes how IDF psychopaths are going on the rampage amongst Palestinian civilians?

          Reply to Comment
          • Maan is not an Israeli source. On June 15, 2014 Maan detailed the raid. No mention was made of the IDF preventing medical personnel from treating the injured. Maan’s version of the events is similar to Israel Hayom and Ynetnews.

            “Locals said that Israeli forces in the Ein Deir al-Baha area of the city blew open the door of a house belonging to Akram al-Qawasami, injuring him and two young children.

            Al-Qawasami, his eight-year-old son Muhammad, and his young daughter Sujoud sustained shrapnel injuries, the sources said.

            Soldiers then raided the house and arrested Zaid Akram al-Qawasami.

            The Israeli forces called through a loudspeaker moments before bombing open the door.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            Your claim was ‘Akram Natsheh’s and 972mag’s version does not hold up to scrunity (sic)’. This is based on the fact that three other reports do not mention that soldiers did not allow the ambulance to arrive, did not mention that soldiers fired on the ambulance crew, did not mention that the home was trashed. Well the short report in Maan also does NOT mention that the ambulance got through promptly and safely. It does NOT mention that the home was unviolated by the soldiers (which would be worth mentioning since they routinely do trash houses). So on what basis does Akram’s report not stand up to scrutiny (given that the IDF is documented as having indulged this kind of behaviour elsewhere)? You’re calling him a liar on the sole basis of your own prejudice.

            And BTW the Maan report also cites sources saying that the Israelis called through a loudspeaker MOMENTS before bombing the door. Moments! (And in what language I wonder.) That does not go down as reasonable behaviour in my book.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      Am I the only one who is starting to get a funny feeling like this whole ‘kidnapping’ has really been invited by Israel, and perhaps even orchestrated to a certain extent? It seems like those brave IOF soldiers are not really trying to find the “missing” settlers anymore, but now more concerned with collectively punishing the Palestinians and putting the boot to Hamas.

      Something is beginning to really smell fishy around this. I hope for Netanyahu’s sake that these settlers were indeed kidnapped because his personal freedom of movement may be at stake.

      Reply to Comment
      • Marcos

        You are not the only one, by far, who has suggested such an idea. However, it is hard to believe that anyone would really entertain this that this odious thought is true.

        Reply to Comment
          • Marcos

            No doubt that there were battle plans ready in case they were needed. That is what all militaries do. The repulsive idea is that the abductions were staged or that they were perpetuated by Israelis.

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            Maybe not staged, but definitely exploited for the most cynical of reasons. I have no doubt in my mind Netanyahu was happy when he first heard about the kidnapping.

            Reply to Comment
        • Johnboy

          Marcos: “However, it is hard to believe that anyone would really entertain this that this odious thought is true.”

          I personally don’t believe that Israeli security forces were involved in the kidnapping.

          But I wouldn’t be at all surprised that they encouraged the circumstances that allowed that kidnapping to take place.

          After all, Yeshiva students hitchhiking home in the middle of the night? Really?

          I find it hard to believe that the IDF didn’t know that Yeshiva students were getting into the habit of being so monumentally careless with their own safety.

          So I wouldn’t put it past the IDF to decide that, welllllll, boys will be boys, let’s pretend we didn’t see that……

          Reply to Comment
    3. Ginger Eis

      “Only when the Israeli army’s ambulance arrived did my son finally receive treatment. He almost died because of the long delay”.

      This is because Muslim-Arabs abuse and destroy everything that is civilized and beautiful they lay hands on such as using ambulances to transport bombs, guns and terrorist and hostages! You reap what you sow. The wonderful news is, however, that IDF-soldiers are not just excellent warriors but also trained paramedics who can provide emergency medical care on site using the best material medicine has to offer. IDF-soldiers give wounded Palestinians THE SAME medical treatment they give to wounded IDF-soldiers, while waiting for the arrival of an Israeli ambulance to evacuate them to an Israeli hospital. Neither the Brits nor the Americans has this kind of humanity and high moral standard.

      Reply to Comment
      • In Lebanon, the Israeli airforce used the cross on the roof of the ambulances for target practice. So much for Zionist moral standards.

        Reply to Comment
        • Jan

          Not only did the Israeli air force bomb hospitals in Lebanon in 1982, they also bombed orphanages. I have an Aug. 4, 1982 article from the Christian Science Monitor written by one of their journalists who reported on Israel’s bombing of the last standing orphanage in Beirut.

          Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        The funny (or sad) thing here:

        Ginger actually called me (and others) a racist on several occasions… in a derogatory way, no less. So she actually meant it as an insult…

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          You mean you are not a racist? That’s good to hear.

          The question is should we believe you given that you and your kind’s favorite activity is to troll sites like this and make it your business to malign my country no matter what your favorite Palestinians do to us.

          Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            … and Jan is a racist too. Anyone who says things like this, is a racist:

            “JAN:”the world has the right to think of all Jews as occupiers and oppressors.”

            All Jews huh Jan? You racist bitch. That’s what you said on another thread.

            Reply to Comment
      • David T.

        “This is because Muslim-Arabs abuse and destroy everything that is civilized and beautiful they lay hands on …”

        True, Jews would never destroy anything. Not a house, a village, a cemetary or a mosque. Especially not to create lebensraum and to build their villages of the ruins of other villages which they razed down to the ground.

        They would never dare to destroy or attack schools, kindergardens, hospitals, airports, power stations, industry, farms, olive trees …

        Especially not since 1948.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Jan

      nsttnocontentcomment

      Reply to Comment
    5. Jan

      This disgusting operation by the IDF has far more to do with showing the Palestinians that Israel is the boss and can do whatever they want than it is about rescuing the three boys.

      IDF thugs have made hundreds of arrests, broken into hundreds of homes, ransacked the homes, broken furniture, opened cupboards and thrown everything out of them, ransacked the bedrooms of children, removed mattresses from beds, broken mirrors and, in fact, acted just like a brutal Mafia on steroids.

      The kidnapping of the boys was terrible and indefensible but also terrible and indefensible is this demonic rage of the IDF who have already killed a boy of 15 who was shot in his chest.

      Those who call the IDF moral are either deliberately deluding themselves or approve of their terrible actions.

      For example there is the murder of two Palestinian boys on May 15. The IDF mouthpiece said that they were not responsible but videos and CNN showed otherwise. An autopsy on the boys, witnessed by two Israeli experts, showed that the boys were indeed killed by an IDF bullet.

      Now the IDF is demanding that the shop owner whose security cameras filmed the murders take down his security cameras. Israel, obviously wants no witness to what they do and they want to be the one to tell the story and shovel out their hasbara lies. This reminds me of the attack on the Mavi Marmara when the IDF confiscated every bit of equipment that could have been used to document the IDF raid on the boat. Even the equipment of journalists from the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald was taken from them. Furthermore the IDF shot and killed 19 year old Turkish American Furkan Dorgan who was filming the IDF assault. He was killed with a bullet to the head from close range. His camera was to the IDF, a much stronger weapon than would be a gun.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        “The IDF mouthpiece said that they were not responsible but videos and CNN showed otherwise. An autopsy on the boys, witnessed by two Israeli experts, showed that the boys were indeed killed by an IDF bullet”.
        WRONG – on all counts!
        1. “Videos and CNN” DID NOT show “otherwise”.
        2. “An autopsy on the boys DID NOT show “that the boys were indeed killed by an IDF bullet”.
        3. Only ONE of the boys was autopsied.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Marcos

      “…but because soldiers have been destroying security cameras belonging to shop owners, which were installed as a means to deter thieves. The soldiers don’t ask the owners for their their cameras, but instead confiscate them…”

      Make up your mind. Are the cameras destroyed, or confiscated?

      Reply to Comment
      • Jan

        At this moment I do not know what has happened to the security cameras that caught the murder of the two boys. What I know came from Human RIghts Watch. They said was that the owner of the building on which the security cameras are located was taken by IDF soldiers to Ofer military base where he was ordered to remove his cameras and threatened him if he did not remove them.

        Here is a link to the story of the security cameras.

        http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/06/19/israel-stop-threatening-witness-killings?utm_content=bufferbf79e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

        What I do know is that all the filming equipment of the people on the Mavi Marmara, including journalists, was confiscated. You can bet your life and the life of your family that if the equipment was returned to its rightful owners anything that would incriminate the IDF would have been removed.

        As I wrote before, Israel doesn’t want any proof of what they are doing but they should know that the truth will out most of the time.

        Reply to Comment
        • Marcos

          I see. Question: have you considered proofreading any of your posts? It would make your arguments easier to digest

          Reply to Comment
    7. Ginger Eis

      “Another version of the tough image is that of the soldier preventing people from crossing checkpoints, as well as putting all the residents of Hebron under collective punishment, regardless of their political leanings.”

      Mr. Akram Natsheh, there is NO “collective punishment” (!) and repeating that ad nauseam won’t change anything. The measure the IDF is applying in Judea and Samaria is the LEAST harmful measure any law-enforcement authority anywhere in the world can apply to save kids kidnapped by a barbaric terrorist organization and return said kids to their families. No Western country would have done better in a comparable situation and that’s why most of the world – including Arab countries – just yawn when they hear you cry “collective punishment”. Below is how the Americans do it. Read, Watch And Weep!
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2313249/Boston-bomber-search-Moment-SWAT-teams-ordered-innocent-neighbors-houses-GUNPOINT.html

      Reply to Comment
      • Jan

        I watched the video and found the actions of the Boston Swat team to be disgusting. That said, I didn’t notice them kicking doors in. I didn’t notice that over 200 Bostonians were arrested. I didn’t notice that the cops shot and killed a 15 year old boy. I didn’t notice that they ransacked the homes into which they went. The photo of the ransacked room is only one of many I have seen. The IDF wrecking crew broke mirrors, broke windows, broke furniture. As rough as were the Boston Swat team I didn’t notice them using explosives to get into the house.

        The Palestinians would be lucky to get the same treatment as did those in Boston. What the IDF did is nothing short of criminal. I wish that you would stop defending what is indefensible.

        The kidnapping of the three boys is indefensible but just as indefensible is what the IDF is doing in the West Bank. What they are doing shows their true thuggery. Moral?
        My foot. The IDF, like many other armies, has no sense of morality when they behave like animals and in this instance they are behaving even worse than animals.

        Reply to Comment
        • IlonJ

          Are you for real, Jan?

          Why would you expect the Boston police to be hostile to ordinary people in Boston? They are on the same side. Nevertheless, they had to take care:

          “A startling home-made video now shows the terrifying moments where Watertown residents were forced out of their homes at gunpoint as SWAT teams performed door-to-door searches as they hunted the second marathon bomber.”

          But Palestinian Arabs? They are hostile to Israelis. So Israeli security has to be doubly careful with them. And therefore Israeli security will definitely not be nicer to hostile Arabs than the Boston police to Bostonians. Get over your nauseating self righteousness, Jan. i hope your teenage children will get kidnapped by terrorists then we will see how you will react. Then again, someone like you probably does not have children. You are too busy espousing your BS in sites like this.

          You are o one eyed pro Jihadi terrorist lover, Jan.

          Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            Sorry to disappoint you IlonJ. I have three grown children and three grandchildren, also grown.

            I would not like to have them kidnapped and I don’t want ANY children or adults ANYWHERE to be kidnapped.

            Does the kidnapping of 200 girls in Nigeria bother you? Or would the girls have to be Jewish to make it bother you?

            Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            “Does the kidnapping of 200 girls in Nigeria bother you? Or would the girls have to be Jewish to make it bother you?”

            Huh? Where did that come from? Of course it bothers me. And the fact that your Jihadi friends perpetrated that atrocity too bothers me even more.

            What I suspect though is that you are the one who is not bothered by that either. In the same way that you are not bothered by Jihadis kidnapping good Jewish boys in my part of the world.

            And you are probably not bothered by Jihadis sentencing a Sudanese woman to death for marrying a Christian. After all, you are besotted by Jihadis Jan, aren’t you?

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            What Islamists are doing is horrifying and terrible. Were this an Islamist web site and were it in English I would give them hell. I hate what they are doing.

            But this is not an Islamist web site. If you can find me an Islamist web site where I can write in English let me know. I’ll tell them what I think of them and what I would like to do to the terrorists of Boka Haram. Would you like to know? I would line them up and kill them all or put them on a leaky boat and send them off to a deserted island. Is that good enough for you?

            I don’t have double standards unlike some on this comment thread. Evil is evil no matter who commits it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ilonj

            “If you can find me an Islamist web site where I can write in English let me know.”

            http://www.ummah.com

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            I just spent several minutes on the Muslim web site you cited. That web site is not an Islamist web site. Islamists are extremists and I saw nothing extreme on the site unless you think that the woman wanting to sell a wedding dress is extreme. I saw nothing political on that site. I saw nothing dealing with Syria, Iraq, Iran, Palestine. This is primarily a religious site and I an certainly not going there to damn their religion anymore than I would damn anyone’s religion.

            Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            But they are Muslim Arabs. And you can’t preach to them in English, like you preach to us here? After all, this is not a Zionist site either yet you have no problems in letting us know how you hate us at every turn. Why can’t you tell those Arab Muslims about how you hate what their Jihadis do? Are you afraid of their reaction Jan?

            You really are a disgusting biased and one sided person aren’t you? Either you lack the courage of your convictions to label evil wherever you see it and tell it how it is no matter who you speak to. Or more likely you are too cowardly to have convictions.

            You are like a bully in a schoolyard who only picks on the ones whom other bullies pick on. The Arabs are too scary, huh Jan?

            Reply to Comment
        • Ginger Eis

          You mean something like this:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rDOPcCxHOI

          Or like this:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORPk3udApZI

          Take your pick. The owners the houses you have in mind are known hardcore terrorist operatives, who won’t cooperate with the IDF, barricaded themselves in their homes and ready to kill IDF-soldiers and they got LESS than what they deserved. And if you send a group of teenagers to ambush and attack a US SAWAT team with Molotov cocktails, firebombs, stones, guns, etc., as Palestinians do, most- if not all of them will meet certain death. Indeed, the Palestinians are extremely lucky they are dealing with a country like Israel. Other countries aren’t so nice.

          Reply to Comment
      • rose

        To justify everything, that’s the 1st rule. Palestinians witness a brutal an unhuman occupation since decades on their last piece of land. Only a blind immoral human being can compare them with a Chechenian that wanted to kill runners in Boston. Today you feel safe and strong; in the coming life things can shift, and I hope so much that this will happen.

        Reply to Comment
        • Marcos

          Rose is only happy when Jews are miserable.

          Reply to Comment
    8. Daniel de França

      Do you want to keep up to American (government) standards? Too late. They killed most of the natives when there was no one to mourn for them, to care about them. Now, the whole world can see what Israel is doing.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Johnboy

      I wonder how long before Netanyahu jumps the shark on this issue.

      Before, indeed, the news story becomes the IDF heavy-handed tactics, and the dead Palestinian teens that result from it.

      Netanyahu is attempting to provoke a 3rd Intifada with these tactics.

      But what if he doesn’t get it?

      How much further can he escalate this before everyone notices that Israel is the ONLY party doing the escalating?

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        “Before, indeed, the news story becomes the IDF heavy-handed tactics, and the dead Palestinian teens that result from it.”

        It probably already IS JB. Thanks to one eyed arseholes like you.

        Reply to Comment
        • Johnboy

          T: “It probably already IS JB.”

          So we both agree.
          See, it is possible….

          T: “Thanks to one eyed arseholes like you.”

          And there you go, ruining the moment.

          Apparently it hasn’t occurred to you that heavy-handedness tends to get noticed, it isn’t the “noticing” that causes the “heavy-handedness”.

          Netanyahu could have kept the attention focussed on those three Israeli teenagers by responding… responsibly.

          But he couldn’t help himself, so he reacted irresponsibly by going way-over-the-top.

          Don’t blame me for that, blame Bibi.

          After all, he’s the one orchestrating this.

          Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “After all, he’s the one orchestrating this.”

            No. Arseholes like you are orchestrating hatred against us and you have been at it for decades.

            Did I say decades? I meant millenia. Antisemitism is not new. It is just being disguised as anti Zionism in modern times.

            Never mind. There are two possible outcomes:

            1. We may lose.

            2. We may win.

            If it turns out to be 1. We will make sure that everybody will lose. This time we won’t be the only ones who will be marching into gas chambers. Ignore that warning at your own peril.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            Ho-hum.

            It is monumentally unimpressive to see you rant and rave about meaningless generalities.

            I’ll repeat this again, since it escaped your notice: Netanyahu could have easily kept the attention focussed on these three Israeli teens merely by responding to their kidnapping in a responsible manner.

            There.

            That’s twice that I have said that, and I meant it both times.

            All Bibi needed to do was to refrain from going all Monkey-Shit on the Palestinian popln, but he couldn’t restrain himself.

            He did what he always does, indulging in over-reaction, and so that heavy-handedness has now become the focus of reporting.

            I’m not responsible for any of that, any more than I am responsible for your mouth-frothing, carpet-munching, antics.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Ho hum

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            It gives me chills every time I recall the remark of one of my relatives, a high ranking member of the IDF. Standing in my kitchen on a bright sunny day he said that if Israel goes they will take the rest of the world with them.

            I have often wondered since that day if Israel was using nuclear blackmail against the world and if that is why countries such as the United States say nothing about Israel’s nuclear weapons.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Nuclear blackmail Jan?

            How would that work?

            I say, it probably works like this. If we stay alive then nobody needs to worry about anything.

            What do you think Jan?

            Isn’t that how it worked and still works between Russia and the USA? They even gave it a name. They called it MAD for Mutually Assured Destruction. Does that give you a chill too?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Jan, I am certain you had/have no “relative” in the IDF. Just as your claim that your father is/was one of the Holly Wood princes; that said father was approached by Zionists pre 1948; that said Zionist lied to said father to collect money for a bi-national State even though they had a Jewish State in mind, etc. was false, so is also this latest claim. So, pls. spare us your DS. You are a Muslim-Arab. Nothing more. Nothing less. On a more serious note though, “NEVER AGAIN!” means “NEVER AGAIN!”. Never ever forget that. Even the Neturei Karta will tell you that.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            Ginger you don’t know me and you have no business making assumptions of which you have no knowledge. My father was not a Hollywood prince. He was a screenwriter and producer of two shows and a writer of several films. It was because of his abilities to produce shows that he was asked to produce a fundraiser called Stars Over Palestine. This was before Palestine became Israel. The money that was raised was to help end the British occupation. My father was a strong believer in a bi-national state. My dad also wrote a play produced in a theatre in Hollywood. The play was about Jews and Arabs working together to get the Brits out. I have that script rights in front of me. He was not a Zionist but he was a believer in Jewish ideals. My father was also on the board of our local Jewish Community Center. In 1956 he opposed the invasion of the Suez by Israel, France and England. For stating his opinion he was kicked off the board. If you don’t want to believe me I don’t give a damn.

            The relative who told me that if Israel went they would take the world with them was my now deceased brother in law who lived on a kibbutz in northern Israel. Do you think that he was lying to me? BTW, have your ever read the Samson Option by the renowned journalist Seymour Hersh? He pretty much says the same thing.

            If it makes you happy to say that I am Arab that is your problem and not mine. My heritage is Jewish as far back as I know and I know who I am and that is what is important. What you think means absolutely nothing.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            If your father (a) was “a screenwriter and producer of two shows and a writer of several films” and (b) “wrote a play produced in a theatre in Hollywood”, that would make him one of the Princes of Hollywood. He must have been a public figure and his name must have been in the public domain. As such, there is absolutely no reason to keep his name and identity secret. I intend to have this matter thoroughly researched and expose you once and for all. So, Jan, lets begin with this question: what is the name of your father?

            Reply to Comment
          • JG

            Ginger”hasabara”Ice don’t dare to ask other commentators for real names of their fathers. laughing my ass of.
            You gal are totally nuts to believe anyone give you or your slutty mossad real names to opress people

            Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            “You gal are totally nuts to believe anyone give you or your slutty mossad real names to opress people”

            You are a stupid retard JG. Do you think the Mossad would really waste it’s time coming after insignificant little worms like you and Jan?

            Only your Jihadi masters do things like that to people whom they hate. You heard of Fatwas, haven’t you, retard?

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            I have no intention of telling you my father’s name. You are not the FBI, the CIA or Mossad. Well, maybe you are Mossad.

            My father’s name is none of your damned business. He is dead now and won’t have you besmirching his memory.

            Go away Ginger. You’re a vile woman. That is, if you are a woman. I assumed you were a woman but maybe you are a man. One never knows.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            You see, Jan, your “father’s name is [my] damned business”. Why? Because you yourself made it so. Here is why: (a) you based the credibility of your entire claims on being “Jewish” and the “Jewish” values your father taught your; (b) you described your father as a Jew who was important and rich enough to be approached and lied to by Zionist in an effort to collect money from him (you need to visit your other comments on this site before denying. I keep records.); (c) you described said father as a ‘play writer’, a ‘screenwriter’, a ‘film producer’ and a ‘movie star’ thereby making him a Prince of Hollywood. Said father may not have been of the caliber of folks like Aaron Spelling et. al., but he surely is on par with the ilk of Jerry Seinfeld. As such, the issue of privacy does not arise at all and your father’s life, history and very impressive, internationally known works of art must be known public record that could very easily be found in any public domain, for example, Wikipedia, etc. To establish the truth, the info you provide will be compared to what is already public record and other claims you have made on this site. That’s the reason I pushed you into a corner to either (a) provide the info and be proven wrong or (b) refuse, obfuscate and stonewall – as any liar would. You chose the latter. I ain’t surprised, Jan.

            Ok, how about giving us the name of just ONE of the “several films” written by your father as you claimed? Surely films that are already in the public domain have no privacy-rights, no?

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            GInger, I would not want to soil the name of my father with the likes of you.

            Forget it I will never tell you anything more about my father other than the fact that we were not rich.

            Go away Ginger.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            I see you are on the run, Jan. That’s what Israel’s enemies do: they are big on lies, empty clichés and slogans, but when challenged, they take to their heels and run as fast as they can – with a strange face-saving excuse! Let there thus be no doubt in the mind of yourself, your Muslim-Arab brothers and other enemies of Zion on this site: as we beat and defeated your forefathers in the battlefields, so will beat defeat you in the intellectual domain and any other arena! You ain’t seen nothing yet.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            I am not on the run. And you are not the Grand Inquistor.

            I just Googled my father’s name and there is nothing that could tell you anything about him and his beliefs. All I will tell you is that he was not an actor and I don’t know why you made up the lie that I said he was a movie star.

            I have told no lies and if you choose not to believe what I wrote that is your problem and not mine. I no longer intend to respond to you regarding my father who passed away almost 20 years ago. Were he alive today he would feel just as I do and he would tell you to go to hell.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            You are the one who described your father as (a) a ‘play writer’, (b) a ‘screenwriter’, (c) a ‘producer of SEVERAL FILMS’, etc. Your father is thus MORE THAN a ‘movie star’ because he MAKES ‘movie stars’ and is thus a Prince of Hollywood! Oh, how dare I insult him by reducing him to a ‘movie star’! My apologies, ok? Now, when I research movies, I know exactly where to look (I mentioned Wikipedia as an example, jackass!). If your father is a “producer of SEVERAL FILMS”, there must be a record of that. OR, are you telling us that NONE of his SEVERAL FILMS made it out of the door of his house? (!!). If not, then surely you must tell of at least the title/name of ONE of his several movies. We are entitle to know that, unless of course you were lying and as such can’t name any movies made by your father, no?

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            Ginger, have you nothing else to do with your time but snoop around on people whose remarks you don’t like? I can only guess that you are one sick woman or man. You haven’t revealed your gender so I will guess you are a woman but unless you tell me where I can see an image of you, a true image, I won’t know and neither will anyone else.

            I would never have even mentioned that I was Jewish had it not been for the comments of those like you who throw up at the first word of criticism of Israel and say that I must be an Arab or a Muslim or, horror of horrors, both.

            You can keep asking about my dad until you fall dead of exhaustion but I am never, ever going to sully his name with the likes of you. Furthermore even if I let you know his name or what films he wrote there is nothing on the internet to indicate either his ethnic background or his feelings about Israel. You, the so-called super sleuth, would come up empty handed. And your investigation surely would not lead to me because my married name is different from my maiden name.

            So go have fun. Burn out your computer and burn out your brains. You will never know who my father is and he would not like you to know either. You are not fit to have kissed my father’s feet. You are a racist through and through and there is nothing my father hated more than racism against any group and that includes racism against Arabs as well.

            Go away Ginger. You are getting very boring. I’m going out for a lovely walk in the sunshine.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Abu Jan, you are full of lies and incomprehensible excuses – and definitely not fooling anyone.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            And you are not fooling anyone. Oh yes you are. You won’t even reveal if you are a man or a woman.

            You are so sick that you have to delve into the background of everyone who makes posts that you don’t like. Now you are even accusing Ben Zakkai of posting under several different names. I think it is time for you to either take your meds or check into the nearest mental hospital.

            BTW, calling me Abu Jan doesn’t bother me in the least since I know that it comes from an idiot who is in need of help. I understand that there is excellent mental help available in Israel. Please take advantage of that. I don’t know if you can be cured or not but you really should try.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            I see that you are hurt, very angry and getting emotional and childish, Jan. You can’t answer very simple questions put to you to verify the truth of YOUR OWN claims, but you waste so much time, space and ink insulting, defending “Ben Zakkai” (who can perfectly defend himself) and trying to divert attention to wiggle out of trouble hoping that no one will notice. That’s quite impressive, no? I already know all I need to know. For the rest, enjoy the gutter. I won’t go there with you. That’s all, Mustafa.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “If it makes you happy to say that I am Arab that is your problem and not mine. My heritage is Jewish as far back as I know and I know who I am and that is what is important. What you think means absolutely nothing.”

            Even if you really were of Jewish heritage, I don’t know why people like you insist on calling yourself Jewish.

            FACT: You live in America.

            FACT: You are not religious.

            FACT: You don’t identify with the Jewish nation of Israel.

            So, remind me Jan, what is it exactly that makes you Jewish?

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “It gives me chills every time I recall the remark of one of my relatives, a high ranking member of the IDF.”

            You have such a relative? BS! He would die of shame.

            But on the off chance that you do, he certainly would not stand in your kitchen. Nor would he eat your food. Being a high ranking officer in the IDF he would no doubt he would have survival instincts and eating food that you would prepare for him would set off alarm bells in his head. Get my drift, Jan, you little BS artist?

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            My relative died some years ago from three packs of cigarettes a day.

            He stood in my kitchen as he and his family were staying with my husband and me.

            Back in the day when my relative told me what Israel would do I was sympathetic to Israel. That was before 1982 and Israel’s attack on Lebanon. That was before I knew about what Israel was doing in the West Bank.

            My relative’s sabra children and grandchildren no longer live in Israel. They did their IDF service, married and had children. They all live happily in the US and never plan to live again in Israel.

            Tzutzik – I know you don’t want to believe anything I write and that is OK with me. If I really wanted to piss you off I could make up some wild stories but I prefer to stick to the truth.

            Trouble is that the truth can’t get through your thick skull and dim brain.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “My relative died some years ago from three packs of cigarettes a day.”

            Are you sure he didn’t die from what you fed him? Or maybe shame for you supposedly being his relative?

            As for the truth? You wouldn’t know it if you fell over it. Or more likely, you just don’t want to know it. You certainly don’t know it more then I do. You being a few thousand miles away from here and me being here. But don’t let that minor little detail worry your little head.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            I don’t know why I even bother replying to you.

            My relative died on the kibbutz in Israel where he had lived from 1948 until his death in the early 1980s.

            I am still doda to all of his children and grandchildren who no longer live in Israel but in the United States.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Whatever …

            But as I asked you two posts ago, why exactly do you bother describing yourself as Jewish? You are neither religious, nor do you identify with us as a nation. So why exactly do you bother calling yourself Jewish? For effect?

            Reply to Comment
    10. Tzutzik

      Make no mistake about it JB represents the norm of opinion and the bulk of the audience of publications such as these.

      I don’t know what game they are playing at. What they are obviously trying to do is to turn public opinion against Israel by propaganda and in order to demoralise Israelis by constantly badgering Israel and Israelis only no matter what happens on the ground. I can think of two possibilities as to why they are doing it.

      1. Their aim is to undermine the existence of Israel with the view of destroying us.

      Or

      2. They assume that they can make us agree to concessions which in their deluded minds would lead to a just and lasting peace.

      Either way, they are causing us enormous damage. And no it isn’t Netanyahu who is causing us this damage. It is they, the deluded ones, the malicious ones and the ignorant useful idiots who don’t know their left hands from their right hands and who allow themselves to be led by their collective noses by ideologues and by our enemies.

      Whatever their motives, I reiterate what I said in my above post. They better hope that Israel wins this battle too because they are playing with fire.

      Yes, this is just another phase in the 100 year war of the Arabs against Israel. Probably the most dangerous battle that we faced yet. Yes, words kill. Words literally kill. I hope they are not deluding themselves into believing that they will come out of it the clear winners and that Israel will be the only loser. That will just not happen. We will either beat this tactic of theirs too or we will all collectively go down together in a scorching heap. And by “ALL” I mean lots and lotsa people.

      Reply to Comment
      • Piotr Berman

        “Either way, they are causing us enormous damage.”

        I am a bit confused. I also read comments arguing that sites like 972mag represent a tiny, marginal and totally inconsequential group. Tzutzik claims that they inflict “enormous damage”. Is there a way of getting some stats that would resolve that question? What types of damage? Is there any way of quantifying it, say in dollars, shekels, incidents (like clinical depression or substance-abuse self-medication among patriotically inclined readers), anything?

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          Yes you are confused. Never a truer word you did say.

          + 972 is one of thousands of publications. The internet is full of such voices. I gotta say, though as extreme as it is, it is not the most extreme one.

          And yes, overall, it’s point of view is still a fringe view. But ordinary people out there don’t know much about the Middle East so it is easy to infect some of them with propaganda.

          It is an insiduous process. Initially propaganda appears to have not much effect. But slowly it takes hold as stridency and lies get repeated often enough, it takes hold and it gathers momentum. Especially if contradictory voices are muted or are not equally strident with an opposing point of view. That is the theory that you guys are working with. You learnt well from Goebbels and the writers of Pravda.

          Couple this to the self interest of Western governments not to piss off 400 million Arabs and their allies too much and we have a dangerous coctail. Dangerous for us.

          Never mind. We faced down much worse challenges in our history. But if not this time, then pray for the world Piotr.

          Reply to Comment
          • Piotr Berman

            “It is an insiduous process. Initially propaganda appears to have not much effect.”

            To me, the “insidious process” is nothing else but “the competition of ideas”. When ideas are supported by huge resources and marketing tricks it is easy to argue that they do not compete “fairly”. But if they do not have such support and rely solely on the process of convincing people gradually (or not), then I do no reasons to complain about “the process”, “damage” and so on. Simply argue that those ideas are wrong and your ideas are better.

            Calling something “insidious” is an emotional sticker that you can slap on something, and itself is a part of an “insidious meme”: that some facts should not be discussed at all, that only deviants and traitors (here, so-called Extreme Left or Radical Left) would broach such topics. Like the conducts of heroic armed forces of Israel that form a thin line between the survival of the remnants of the Jewish nation and complete annihilation. If they deem it useful to open some doors with explosive and wound minors, second guessing of such action is only sapping the strength necessary for Israel to survive. This is fascistic mode of thinking.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Piotr Berman, why is a Polish man like yourself so obsessed with Jewish affairs? My research has shown that you are not just on +972mag but also eternally on Mondoweis ranting against the Jewish State. My research has equally shown that you comment exclusively on issues relating to Jews/Israel and NOT on any other topic. That kind of inexplicable. What’s wrong with you people?!

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Hey Piotr, you asked me a question and I answered it. You thought you caught me out contradicting myself but as you see, I did not.

            Now do you want to talk about who is fascistic? Ok if you want, call me fascistic for advocating for my own people. And yes, ridicule me for my claim that we are defending ourselves from an enemy who wants to end our state.

            But you would be wrong. Just ask Hamas. They openly confirm my claim. The PA pretends to deny it but they too have the same aim as Hamas. I have proof. Do you want to discuss it here? Or shall we discuss it on another less crowded thread? Your choice. In the meanwhile, your claim that I am a fascist is just your assertion. Something that is in your imagination. I could just as well call YOU a fascist. Come to think of it, you probably ARE a fascist.

            Reply to Comment
      • Ben Zakkai

        Tzutzik, I’m going to try to get you to think differently. I write as a Jew who lives in Israel, who comes from a religious family with lots of settlers (and haredim and others), and who in the past thought and expressed himself much as you do.
        First, I gather from previous comments that for you, a Jew who’s not religious and/or doesn’t live in Israel isn’t really Jewish. Keep in mind though that there are secular and/or diaspora Jews whose Jewish identity is built on history, culture and community, and who are concerned by what the Jewish State is doing in their name. You may not like that, but you have to reckon with it.
        Second, if you like me were taught that Jews suffer more than anybody, but none of that suffering is ever our fault – or alternatively, that it’s entirely the fault of non-religious Jews failing to follow God’s commandments – and that Jews are God’s chosen people while our enemies are monsters – then please reconsider whether that makes any sense. Remain open to the possibility that the Jewish people, like any other group, have traits or tendencies with negative aspects that can and do get us into trouble sometimes; and keep in mind that Jews, like non-Jews, are flawed human beings who sometimes abuse their power horribly.
        Third, be humble about your faith when it comes to politics. If you want to enjoy the wisdom, beauty and community of religious Judaism without subjecting your faith to rational criticism, that’s fine, insofar as you choose to keep kosher, keep Shabbat etc. in your private life. But in the public sphere, irrational beliefs are an unreliable guide. You don’t want to be like the Kanaim 2000 years ago who thought that because God was with them, they could defeat the Roman Empire; or like the 17th century Jews who fell for Shabtai Zvi.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          “First, I gather from previous comments that for you, a Jew who’s not religious and/or doesn’t live in Israel isn’t really Jewish.”

          Sorry Ben, I’ll respond to this first because you already got me wrong.

          I think that non religious Jews not living in Israel could be very much Jewish. But only if they are not rabidly anti Israel. I don’t mean they can’t criticise Israel. Sure they can. No one is above criticism and criticism is often good for us. It makes us think.

          But there is criticism and there is criticism. Constructive criticism is welcome. Rabid mindless unreasoned, one-sided and hateful criticism is NOT!

          My question to you is this Ben. What makes a Jew a Jew? According to me, a person may be Jewish if:

          1. He/she is a religious Jew even if he is staunchly anti Israel.

          Or

          2. He/She shed religion entirely but he/she feels part of the Jewish people/nation

          Or of course if …

          3. He/she is both religious and feels part of the Jewish people/nation.

          But Ben, if the person is none of the above then what makes him/her Jewish? Please don’t say that Jewish parents make such a person Jewish because that is a very tenuous connection. Such connection disappears within a generation or two.

          Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            By the way, Ben, I am not religious.

            And in my family no one considered non Jews to be less than human. We always considered ourselves to be part of the human race, equal with everyone and ready to learn from anyone.

            But we definitely did not consider ourselves inferior to anyone else. Nor superior. My problem is that on sites such as these I often encounter people who profess to be Jews who expect us to be angels. And unless we are, which of course we cannot be, because like you say, we are human too, they see us as devils.

            And that, Ben, really pisses me off. Their habit of judging us by one standard and letting those who hate us get away with much worse, I cannot hack that. I just cannot accept it. Call it a character flaw in me (sarcasm).

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            Gotcha.
            Certainly there are people who idealize the Palestinians and their struggle and see Israeli Jews as demons and Palestinian Arabs as angels. They’re the mirror image of the blind, rabid pro-Israel crowd, and both types, due to temperament and/or lack of experience, see the conflict in Manichean terms. Don’t, however, assume that any sharp or strident critic of Israel worships the Palestinians; on the contrary, he may be acting on the moral prescription according to which, when you see a strong guy beating the crap out of a weaker guy, you intervene forcefully to make it stop without wasting time evaluating the characteristics of the combatants; he may be a Jew committed to Israel’s welfare who deplores the corrosive, corrupting and dangerous effects of protracted Occupation; his sense of Jewish identity may be precisely what motivates him to get the Jewish house in order; and/or he may feel that sweet, moderate, soothing words won’t change the status quo, but a bucket of ice water over Israel’s head may shake things up.
            As for your questions regarding what makes a Jew a Jew, I find myself thinking, Who Cares? My Jewish identity is a part of me but not the only or necessarily the most important part, and if somebody thinks I’m not sufficiently or authentically Jewish, he’s got every right to his opinion, and I’ll be more amused than annoyed. I think that exaggerated or unbalanced tribal loyalty is what makes the whole Middle East, including Israel, so backward and divided. Coincidentally, this past week John Bell at AlJazeera and Salman Masalha at Haaretz wrote columns on that subject that I found worthwhile:
            http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/06/middle-east-death-identity-201461754411251167.html
            http://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/.premium-1.2351867

            Reply to Comment
        • Jan

          Thank you Ben for your very reasoned comment.

          Reply to Comment
    11. Ben Zakkai

      Gotcha.
      Certainly there are people who idealize the Palestinians and their struggle and see Israeli Jews as demons and Palestinian Arabs as angels. They’re the mirror image of the blind, rabid pro-Israel crowd, and both types, due to temperament and/or lack of experience, see the conflict in Manichean terms. Don’t, however, assume that any sharp or strident critic of Israel worships the Palestinians; on the contrary, he may be acting on the moral prescription according to which, when you see a strong guy beating the crap out of a weaker guy, you intervene forcefully to make it stop without wasting time evaluating the characteristics of the combatants; he may be a Jew committed to Israel’s welfare who deplores the corrosive, corrupting and dangerous effects of protracted Occupation; his sense of Jewish identity may be precisely what motivates him to get the Jewish house in order; and/or he may feel that sweet, moderate, soothing words won’t change the status quo, but a bucket of ice water over Israel’s head may shake things up.
      As for your questions regarding what makes a Jew a Jew, I find myself thinking, Who Cares? My Jewish identity is a part of me but not the only or necessarily the most important part, and if somebody thinks I’m not sufficiently or authentically Jewish, he’s got every right to his opinion, and I’ll be more amused than annoyed. I think that exaggerated or unbalanced tribal loyalty is what makes the whole Middle East, including Israel, so backward and divided. Coincidentally, this past week John Bell at AlJazeera and Salman Masalha at Haaretz wrote columns on that subject that I found worthwhile:
      http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/06/middle-east-death-identity-201461754411251167.html
      http://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/.premium-1.2 351867

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        “Certainly there are people who idealize the Palestinians and their struggle and see Israeli Jews as demons and Palestinian Arabs as angels.”

        People like Jan.

        “They’re the mirror image of the blind, rabid pro-Israel crowd, and both types, due to temperament and/or lack of experience, see the conflict in Manichean terms.”

        Yes and most Palestinian Arabs are a mirror image of the rabid pro Israel crowd. One might not like either crowd but one has to deal with reality not wishful thinking.

        So long as the rabid pro Palestinian crowd exists, there will be a rabid pro Israel crowd as well.

        No use just trying to erode one without lifting a finger to erode the other.

        “Don’t, however, assume that any sharp or strident critic of Israel worships the Palestinians;”

        I don’t ASSUME. I see the evidence in front of my eyes. The Jans of this world always blame Israel and Israel only for everything bad that happens. I have yet to hear them coming out and unequivically condemning Palestinian misdeeds, like this kidnapping and not in the same breath condemn Israel’s attempts to save those boys.

        “on the contrary, he may be acting on the moral prescription according to which, when you see a strong guy beating the crap out of a weaker guy, you intervene forcefully to make it stop without wasting time evaluating the characteristics of the combatants;”

        Yea but what if the weak guy does not want to stop the fight? What if it is obvious that he is using you “the moral guy” as his tool to weaken the stronger guy till the weaker guy becomes the strong guy after he wishes to finish off the weakened strong guy?

        You know Ben? Weakness and strength should not be the sole test as to how to stop conflicts. Sometimes it is better to stay out of it and let the two sides resolve their own conflicts because sometines the weaker guy used to be the strong guy and they still believe that time is on their side and that they can kill the so called strong guy. Get my drift?

        “he may be a Jew committed to Israel’s welfare who deplores the corrosive, corrupting and dangerous effects of protracted Occupation;”

        I don’t like occupation either. But sometimes the alternative is worse. At least till the other side exhibits reason rather than endless demands in return for not even a willingness to clearly prove that they really wish to end the conflict.

        “his sense of Jewish identity may be precisely what motivates him to get the Jewish house in order; ”

        What Jewish identity? They are neither Jews by religion or nationality. By their own choice.

        “and/or he may feel that sweet, moderate, soothing words won’t change the status quo, but a bucket of ice water over Israel’s head may shake things up.”

        What about a bucket of ice water over the Palestinian’s head? You think they haven’t committed enough crimes to deserve at least equal treatment?

        “As for your questions regarding what makes a Jew a Jew, I find myself thinking, Who Cares?”

        They the Jans of this world seem to. Why do they call themselves Jewish when they clearly don’t identify THEMSELVES as Jewish? I’ll tell you why: for effect. They want to cause maximum harm to us the Jewish people. By accentuating their so called Jewishness, they want to achieve the effect of; “see … even some Jews admit that Jews are in the wrong”

        “My Jewish identity is a part of me but not the only or necessarily the most important part, and if somebody thinks I’m not sufficiently or authentically Jewish, he’s got every right to his opinion, and I’ll be more amused than annoyed.”

        Please yourself. But that will not change facts. I can claim that I am a martian but it won’t necessarily make me a martian.

        “I think that exaggerated or unbalanced tribal loyalty is what makes the whole Middle East, including Israel, so backward and divided.”

        Correct. But you cannot have one side be fiercely tribal while the other side (us) ignores all it’s own interests and in the name of humanity submits to the tribal demands of the other. That is a recipee for total defeat and disaster.

        By the way, all of humanity is tribal to a greater or lesser extent. You might not like it but it is just a fact.

        “Coincidentally, this past week John Bell at AlJazeera and Salman Masalha at Haaretz wrote columns on that subject that I found worthwhile:”

        The Al Jazeera article was excellent. Unfortunately it does not change the facts on the ground. We can’t live with wishful thinking. We live in the real world.

        The Haaretz link said: “this page is not available” so I could not open it.

        Reply to Comment
        • Jan

          The only reason that I wrote about being Jewish is because whenever I have posted a remark critical of Israel I am assailed by those who immediately say that I must be an Arab or a Muslim or both.

          I have no wish to be either one. I find any religion that would make me cover my hair or live in a certain way to be abhorrent.

          But because you and others wanted to demean my comments alleging that I must be an Arab Muslim I found it necessary to identify myself as Jewish. I may not be the kind of Jew you like but I am as Jewish as all my Jewish friends and as my family. None of us are religious and few identify with Israel but we all think of ourselves as being Jewish and if I wanted to make aliyah it is most likely that Israel would welcome me.

          Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “I have no wish to be either one. I find any religion that would make me cover my hair or live in a certain way to be abhorrent.”

            Thank you Jan that is all I wanted to hear from you. You don’t consider yourself to be Jewish so please in the future, don’t identify yourself as Jewish. That will make you an honest person.

            As for being called an Arab, all you have to do is to deny that too. I accept that you are not an Arab either.

            What you do seem to be though is a misguided biased parrot who repeats other people’s accusations against us reflexively and you side with the Arabs against us no matter what the issues are. In other words, by your own words you set yourself up to be our sworn enemy.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            I am not your sworn enemy. I am an enemy of the Occupation and the settlements as are a fair group of Israelis. Get rid of the occupation and I’ll support you 100% as I once did.

            As for my being Jewish, I may not be religious but my heritage as far back as I know (about 4 generations) is Jewish. Therefore when I am asked my ethnicity, which sometimes happens, I can only say that my ethnicity is Jewish. My neighbor is from Japan and that is her ethnicity. My other neighbor has an Irish background. That is his ethnicity. Just because I don’t fit into your strict categorization of who is Jewish that does not mean that I am not Jewish. It is a little difficult to get rid on one’s ethnicity don’t you think? And I have no desire to do that.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            You are certainly my enemy Jan. Everything that you say about us makes you my enemy.

            Your taunt of “.. get rid of the occupation …” Is just another proof of it because you ignored what I said before. I said, I don’t like the occupation either but the alternative is worse. You also ignore Israel’s attempts in the past to get rid of the occupation and the Arabs hanging on to it for dear life to continue it lest their excuse to for their 100 year old war against us would disappear.

            Yes, a war which they started even before there was any “occupation”.

            As for your Japanese and Irish neighbors, I bet they don’t side with the enemies of their own tribes when their tribe face an existential conflict like us. Not that Ireland or Japan ever did. But I bet if an enemy would spring up and claim that they want to exile or murder all Japanese/Irish from their countries, your neighbors would be fiercely loyal to their own tribes.

            Go ahead I am prepared to hear from you that it isn’t so. But don’t expect me to believe you.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “and if I wanted to make aliyah it is most likely that Israel would welcome me.”

            I certainly would not. And I hope that if you would be honest enough to express your hatred for us in conjunction with your application to make Aliyah, our decision makers would have the betzim to tell you where to get off …

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            I don’t have any intention of making Aliyah so don’t worry. We won’t run into each other in some cafe in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Whew, you had me worried there for a minute.

            Our gain is America’s loss. Let them have you. Mind you, you seem to hate America too. Maybe you should migrate to Gaza or to Russia. Of course communism is no more in Russia. Aren’t you sad? They are now openly Russian nationalists as well as opposed to them pretending not to be when the Soviet Union still existed. They were Russian Nationalists then too. Don’t you know Jan? Everyone favors their own tribe except a few idiots who dream of a world that does not exist and want us the Jewish people to be the guinea pigs who make it happen.

            Thanks but no thanks. We pass, let someone else be the pioneers of an impossible “utopia” for a change.

            Reply to Comment
        • Ben Zakkai

          Some Palestinians want to throw us in the sea, others would be happy to accept a reasonable resolution of the conflict so we can all get on with our lives, and I don’t know exactly what percentage feels what way because I haven’t seen good data. But even the implacable Palestinian maximalists don’t scare me because given Israel’s enormous military, diplomatic, economic, technological and other advantages, Palestinians have literally no chance of doing serious damage to the State of Israel unless we help them do so. Trouble is, to my mind, since 1967, we’ve been helping them to destroy ourselves. In 1947 we got a more than reasonable deal from the UN, more than half the Mandate even though we were only a third of the population. After 1948 we got a much better deal, with most of the international community recognizing Israeli sovereignty over more than three-quarters of the Mandate, while making occasional noises about the return of Palestinian refugees but not doing anything significant to make it happen. We should have quit while we were ahead. After 1967 I could have supported a long-term military occupation for the sake of security if it hadn’t been accompanied by settlements. Experienced military men know that you don’t enhance security by scattering civilians throughout hostile territory, in fact you endanger it. We should have developed the periphery and even the largely-unpopulated Golan rather than investing so massively in the heavily-populated West Bank and to a lesser extent Gaza. Now we’re stuck. There’s not enough contiguous territory left over to offer the Palestinians a reasonable facsimile of a state, and no one can dream of evacuating large numbers of settlers. One-state solutions of the kind proposed by Palestinian triumphalists, starry-eyed Westerners and even some Israeli right-wingers seem to me highly precarious at best. Our role as perpetual Occupier has coarsened and corrupted our society, while the world at large quite understandably thinks that Israeli prefers more and more land over peace or even more than security. If we could somehow extricate ourselves from the Occupied Territories, either by agreement or even unilaterally, and after that the Palestinians continued to carry out attacks against Israel, I’d instantly and fully support punitive military action in return – and more importantly, so would most of the rest of the world – and I think Israeli deterrence would work as it does with Lebanon, Syria etc. But while we’re grabbing more land, water and other resources in the West Bank, we’re hopelessly morally compromised, divided as a society, and on the wrong side of global public opinion, which does matter. Perhaps where we differ is that you think that over-the-top criticism of Israel is the main problem, while I think the facts on the ground inevitably generate rising levels of condemnation.
          Regarding the Masalha article, for some reason my previous comment was published twice but the link was broken the second time, so maybe the first link will work for you. I’m adding a link to the English translation, titled “Looking only backwards,” although that too is subscriber/premium content to which you might not have access unless you have a subscription or they have some kind of visitor or introductory deal:
          http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.599450

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            “Some Palestinians want to throw us in the sea…”

            Your line of reasoning could had been right if Palestinians were some distinct people, like Jamaicans or Georgians.

            However, Palestinians are Arabs, part of 400-million-strong Arab Ummah, meaning that they have enough resources to throw us into the sea.

            Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        “Certainly there are people who idealize the Palestinians and their struggle and see Israeli Jews as demons and Palestinian Arabs as angels”.

        1. Welch ein lucidum intervallum’ (!), Mr. “Ben Zakkai”. You have just described yourself in your own words and in one of your most lucid moments. Finally, you got it.

        2. Perhaps, the most disgusting aspect of your distorted personality, Ben, is that you find it necessary to use different identities (Bob Wisby/Reza Lustig/Lightbown/Engelbert Luitsz, etc.) to debate the same individuals on this site with the same diatribe and screed presented as arguments! I am not troubled by that. On the contrary, it tell me how weak the enemy is and how easy to crush. You can run, Ben, but you can’t hide!

        3. Lastly, while you have the Chutzpah to open your foul mouth to deride and ridicule Jews, demonize and delegitimize the State Of Israel and wallow in your delusions that you are somehow morally superior to some who exists only in your fantasies, always remember that your freedom to do so is provided by the State Of Israel and paid- and continues to be paid for with the blood of our finest boys and girls, fathers, uncles and other relative – i.e. the same people you and the useful idiot of +972mag deride and ridicule! Never ever forget that, Ben Zakkai (and next time you compliment others and ask them to use their real name, do not impersonate known Jewish American supporters of Israel. That’s creepy).

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben Zakkai

          Ginger, I don’t think you have any idea what a terrible impression you create with your vindictive, paranoid, deceitful and threatening comments. With friends like you, Israel needs no enemies.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Riiiight. Actually Bob Wisby has said exactly the same thing in the past, Mr. Ben Zakkai! So, pls. spare me your mumbo jumbo guilt-trip. Anyway, Ben, you have quite a record on this site. Though you have been forced to somehow moderate yourself on this thread, your own words, your own diatribes and screed on this site alone speak for themselves and bear testimony to the kind of person you are. FYI, Israel has nothing to apologize for nor is she begging to be loved by anyone. No country does that and we will not accept be forced to be an exception and commit suicide in other to be loved. And as long as you continue to demonize and delegitimize Israel, we will fight you all the way until your decadent self expires out of existence.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “Some Palestinians want to throw us in the sea, others would be happy to accept a reasonable resolution of the conflict so we can all get on with our lives”

            Ben, unfortunately the strident ones are the ones who determine what happens. The only way that will ever change is if a time comes when the sensible Palestinians will say ENOUGH to the strident ones and mean it.

            And please don’t tell that is not possible. All they have to do is take a leaf out of our own book. That is exactly what Ben Gurion did to our strident ones, the Irgun. Read up on the Atalena affair:

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altalena_Affair

            “But even the implacable Palestinian maximalists don’t scare me because given Israel’s enormous military, diplomatic, economic, technological and other advantages, Palestinians have literally no chance of doing serious damage to the State of Israel”

            On this we totally disagree. Haven’t you been around between 2000 and 2004? There was a suicide bombing at least once a week and sometimes twice a week. Thousands of us died or were maimed. That may not be enough to destroy our state but it caused us serious damage. And why? Because Barak offered them a peace deal? A far reaching peace deal which only lacked the right of return. He and Clinton even offered compensation to refugees.

            “Trouble is, to my mind, since 1967, we’ve been helping them to destroy ourselves.”

            How so? Read Levi Eshkol’s proposal to the Arabs after our 1967 victory:

            https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/eshpeace.html

            What was their response? The three ‘NOs’ of Khartoum and phrases like: “What was taken by the sword, will be taken back by the sword”

            To be continued …

            Reply to Comment
    12. rafa

      Ging, find s job

      Reply to Comment
    13. Tzutzik

      “while making occasional noises about the return of Palestinian refugees but not doing anything significant to make it happen.
      We should have quit while we were ahead.”

      Quit? You better explain what you mean by that. I am not with you …

      “After 1967 I could have supported a long-term military occupation for the sake of security if it hadn’t been accompanied by settlements.”

      Listen. Right after 1967, Eshkol offered to get out of all the lands which we gained except from East Jerusalem. All he asked for is face to face negotiations leading to full recognition of Israel and a peace treaty. He got the three NOs of Khartoum as I said above.

      “Experienced military men know that you don’t enhance security by scattering civilians throughout hostile territory,”

      The “Settlements” are a major topic of discussion which I won’t get to in detail for now. But I will say this: Our presence in East Jerusalem is not just a “Settlement” we are not foreigners in a city in which we lived for thousands of years barring 19 years between 1948 and 1967. Ditto for Gush Etzion.

      As for the rest, I am willing to discuss those too. But lets just say that if mistakes were made, then the mistakes were not only made by us. The Arabs made their fair share of mistakes too.

      So the task now is to deal with the present and come up with solutions. But again, I expect Arabs to compromise too not just to act as wronged victims and play a blame game.

      To be continued …

      Reply to Comment
    14. Tzutzik

      “We should have developed the periphery and even the largely-unpopulated Golan rather than investing so massively in the heavily-populated West Bank and to a lesser extent Gaza. Now we’re stuck.”

      Now we are stuck? I hope you mean that as a collective term. They are stuck too. We either get ourselves unstuck because they the Arabs want to get unstuck too or we continue this madness together. One thing is for sure: good will cannot come only from us. Its gotta come from them too. If for no other reason than because of pure self interest.

      “There’s not enough contiguous territory left over to offer the Palestinians a reasonable facsimile of a state,”

      No, I am not buying that. I can think of at least two satisfactory solutions that could result in acceptable outcomes for both sides. I am sure there are more. What there is a short supply of though is good will. That is the show stopper. They will understand that and act on it when their self interest will dictate it to them. Right now, they are still deluding themselves to believe that someone will deliver to them their ideal solution which they always wanted on a platter.

      We are in the third phase of this long war which consists of winning the hearts and minds of the rest of the world to force Israel to it’s knees. And unfortunately publications like this and some on the left side of politics are aiding and abetting them. Of course the extreme right, Nazi types were always on their side. But it will be to the eternal shame of the left that they ended up virtually siding with Nazis against us too. All of this of course will just end up prolonging this conflict.

      “and no one can dream of evacuating large numbers of settlers.”

      Exactly right. What’s done is done. The last thing we need is to make things worse. Especially since perfectly valid alternatives are available.

      “One-state solutions of the kind proposed by Palestinian triumphalists, starry-eyed Westerners and even some Israeli right-wingers seem to me highly precarious at best.”

      Precarious? I would say untenable and stupid.

      “Our role as perpetual Occupier has coarsened and corrupted our society,”

      True. But we will just have to weather that. If I only have a choice between becoming a victim or a victimiser then I would rather be the latter albeit reluctantly. But sometimes there are no easy choices. In such times we need patience, perseverance and damage control …

      “while the world at large quite understandably thinks that Israeli prefers more and more land over peace or even more than security.”

      I would say, not understandably. We showed twice in the last decade or so that we are willing to give up land for peace. Where did that get us Ben? It is time to point the blame where it belongs, the Arabs. Particularly since they have plenty of liars and misguided ones who blame us for everything. If you are an Israeli who wants to protect your kids why don’t you see that Ben? Our job is to tell our side of the story not to perpetuate THEIR propaganda, distortions, omissions and outright lies.

      “If we could somehow extricate ourselves from the Occupied Territories, either by agreement”

      Again, Ben, in just over a decade, we tried twice. The first time, we got a bloody intifada in response, the second time they didn’t even bother to respond.

      “or even unilaterally,”

      We did that too twice. On both occasions it backfired on us.

      “and after that the Palestinians continued to carry out attacks against Israel, I’d instantly and fully support punitive military action in return”

      Would you? Then I assume you are not one of those lefties who was critical of us for the 2006 Lebanon war? And Operation Cast Lead in 2008? Because you know we got heaps of abuse for those from the extreme left and even some from the political center!

      ” – and more importantly, so would most of the rest of the world – ”

      You seem to have a very short memory Ben. I don’t and I am much more cynical than you.

      “and I think Israeli deterrence would work as it does with Lebanon, Syria etc.”

      It might then again things would not be different than now except for the fact that our international airport would be overlooked by potential terrorists on the high ground. I think of it as Gaza/Sderot on steroids.

      “But while we’re grabbing more land, water and other resources in the West Bank, we’re hopelessly morally compromised,”

      Where exactly are we grabbing more land? Name the last NEW settlement/s that we built.

      “divided as a society,”

      Then let’s not be divided. Regain your sanity and come back to the mainstream. We need to hold our nerve. Please stop assisting our enemies. They have enough arseholes who assist them already.

      “and on the wrong side of global public opinion, which does matter.”

      Of course it matters. So stop helping those whose aim is to cause that to happen. It isn’t too late. As if this time, there are more peoe who support us in places like America, Canada and Australia and I would say even many ordinary Europeans are on our side. The recent elections in India brought in a very Israel friendly government. I am actually optimistic about the future. But not complacent.

      “Perhaps where we differ is that you think that over-the-top criticism of Israel is the main problem,”

      Yes.

      “while I think the facts on the ground inevitably generate rising levels of condemnation.”

      Only if we help our enemies to convince the world that facts are one sided. That the Arabs are just blameless victims and we are evil demons.

      “Regarding the Masalha article,”

      I am not a subscriber to haaretz so I can only access some articles on that site. Unfortunately that one is not one of them.

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        “Some Palestinians want to throw us in the sea, others would be happy to accept a reasonable resolution of the conflict so we can all get on with our lives”

        Ben, unfortunately the strident ones are the ones who determine what happens. The only way that will ever change is if a time comes when the sensible Palestinians will say ENOUGH to the strident ones and mean it

        And please don’t tell me that is not possible. All they have to do is take a leaf out of our own book. That is exactly what Ben Gurion did to our strident ones, the Irgun. Read up on the Atalena affair:

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altalena_Affair

        “But even the implacable Palestinian maximalists don’t scare me because given Israel’s enormous military, diplomatic, economic, technological and other advantages, Palestinians have literally no chance of doing serious damage to the State of Israel”

        On this we totally disagree. Haven’t you been around between 2000 and 2004? There was a suicide bombing at least once a week and sometimes twice a week. Thousands of us died or were maimed. That may not be enough to destroy our state but it caused us serious damage. And why? Because Barak offered them a peace deal? A far reaching peace deal which only lacked the right of return. He and Clinton even offered compensation to refugees.

        “Trouble is, to my mind, since 1967, we’ve been helping them to destroy ourselves.”

        How so? Read Levi Eshkol’s proposal to the Arabs after our 1967 victory:

        https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/eshpeace.html

        What was their response? The three ‘NOs’ of Khartoum and phrases like: “What was taken by the sword, will be taken back by the sword”

        “In 1947 we got a more than reasonable deal from the UN, more than half the Mandate”

        Yes and an Arab population with it as well as the Negev desert which made up more than half of the land designated for Israel.

        You know what, Ben? That was as close as we will ever come to having a bi-national state. But the Arabs didn’t want a bar of it nor did they want to have a bar of us. Not even a single one of us. Are you sure they changed since then? Personally, I am sure they have not. At least not yet.

        “even though we were only a third of the population.”

        Read what I said above. But I also want to add that the Arab people are not exactly short of land. Have you looked at the map lately? The area that Israel is on represents about 0.5% of the total land mass which they own. I am not going to cry tears into my beer about how they don’t have enough land to live on.

        “After 1948 we got a much better deal, with most of the international community recognizing Israeli sovereignty over more than three-quarters of the Mandate,”

        Not so fast, Ben, again read what I said above. But on top of that, are you aware that prior to 1922 Jordan was known as East Palestine and it was part of the mandate. So your figures are wrong.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben Zakkai

        This article and accompanying comment thread are just about tapped out and so am I, so I’ll forego a detailed reply and just hit a few points. I did not oppose the initiation of military action in Lebanon II and Cast Lead, but I did oppose the eventual scope of the operations, particularly the latter. Cast Lead was for me an appalling transformative experience that shook me to the core because I saw the Jews, who once proudly called themselves “Rachmanim Bnei Rachmanim,” enjoying playing the role of crazed murderers. Sorry, I’m sure you disagree, but that’s how it was for me. I think an important difference between us is that while I certainly don’t see the Palestinians as much more virtuous than the Jews, I also don’t think we’re much better than they are. I agree with you that the Palestinians must be pressured to make reasonable concessions, but we and our Uncle Sam do that quite effectively already; while Israel, which must be subjected to similar pressure, requires a different impetus, that of negative world opinion. So, regrettably, the bad publicity that makes you fear for Israel is what gives me hope. I wish it were otherwise.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          “Palestinians must be pressured to make reasonable concessions, but we and our Uncle Sam do that quite effectively already;”

          Obviously not. They have not given up even their so called right of return demand and they even play games with the recognition of Israel. They expect maximum concessions from us (evacuation of 500,000 settlers) and they don’t even offer a proper peace agreement in return.

          As for us being crazed killers. I thought we reached consensus on this before. Yes we too are human and falliable. We have our own idiots. But all of us are crazed killers? Far from it. Very far from it.

          Think about it Ben. As you said, we are militarily so much stronger than they are yet after all their provocations, all their bloody terrorism against us, only a few thousand of them paid with their lives. Contrast this with similar unbalances in power in other places. In Syria, Iraq, Lebanon (during their civil war), Serbia etc, hundreds of thousands of people on the weaker side paid with their lives.

          Yet WE are the world’s worst???!!! And we should help with THEIR propaganda against us???!!! I tell, you Ben, It’s madness. Pure madness. Some of us are plain mad!!!!

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            You got a little hyperbolic there, but that’s okay, we all do sometimes on these threads. Of course I didn’t write anywhere that Israel is the worst country or government in the world or the region, and a quick glance at Syria, Iraq or even Egypt shows that things can be much worse. And no, not every Jewish Israeli enjoyed the carnage of Cast Lead, but the general feeling was one of grim satisfaction at all the killing, maiming and destruction, even though most people privately admitted that the operation wasn’t going to topple Hamas or even stop the rockets, which meant it was mainly about blowing off steam and helping Olmert look like a tough guy. (See, I can be cynical too.) It seems that the days of Sabra/Shatila and Bus 300, when Israelis rose up and expressed outrage over military-security excesses, are far behind us, and Israel 2014 is indifferent and/or blindly supportive of the machine.
            I credit you for acknowledging in a general way that our side is not unblemished, which is more than many of Israel’s partisans are willing to do. I do wonder if you’ve been able to stand in the Palestinians’ shoes enough to feel the specific, daily deprivations and degradations they endure at our hands and at least wonder if you or I would, as Ehud Barak is famously reported to have said, do exactly what they’re doing if we were in their place. Finally, if you want to invest your time in bolstering Israel’s image abroad then I won’t in a million years try to shut you up, because I’m all for freedom of speech and because you seem like a reasonably thoughtful and concerned person who has something to contribute to the debate; but I would hope that you are also, at the same time, urging your fellow Israelis to make dedicated and painful efforts to resolve the Israeli-Arab/Palestinian conflict rather than putting it on automatic pilot, with periodic “crisis management,” while they shop for Jeeps and vacation in Eilat; because I’m not sure that time is on our side.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Ben Zakkai, no matter how much you want to suppress it and try to come off as reasonable, the radical lune in you always find a way to rear its ugly head up. You really have convinced yourself that the IDF is bloodthirsty and slaughters civilians for political purposes and to blow off steam and appear tough, and that most Israeli Jews find “satisfaction at all the killing, maiming and destruction, even though most people privately admitted that the operation wasn’t going to topple Hamas or even stop the rockets”?! You are really one irreversibly deranged s.o.a.b. and engaging in discussions with you is an absolute waste of time. But just so you know, we know you as good as you know yourself, including your double lives and all the multiple identities with which you operate on the comment sections to spread your anti-Semitic rants – sometimes even replying to yourself! You definitely fool your supporters, but you don’t fool they who matter. We will stand-by and watch as your worthless self self-destructs – gradually. Right now, you are reduced to publishing your filth on the comment sections of dumpsites such as +972mag. Though having a family, you feel lonely and seek emotional comfort from female internet personas including a +972mag female columnist you talked to about “taking [her] down the slippery road” (if you deny I will repost your comment)! You will thus continue to spiral downwards into oblivion – as your ilk do (need I give any examples?), while we watch the process to its conclusion. What a complete waste you are!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            Oh yeah I wanted also to respond to a previous comment/question of yours that for some reason I didn’t see yesterday: I was indeed in Israel during the 2d intifada, riding buses to work every day. A relative of mine was killed and a friend seriously injured, and I myself came too close for comfort to rifle fire in one instance and a bus bombing in another. The human cost was indeed terrible, and on top of that Israel’s economy suffered serious if temporary blows, so maybe I wasn’t clear enough in my previous comment when I said that the Palestinians can’t do serious damage to the State of Israel. I’ll be more specific: Even the worst terror did not bring the Palestinian maximalists within a thousand country miles of their strategic goals of undermining Israeli sovereignty, reclaiming Israeli territory or inundating Israel with Palestinian refugees. Instead they damaged their own cause and people much much more than anything they inflicted on Israel. That’s why I don’t worry about the Palestinians forcibly throwing us into the sea, but I do worry about Israel, a nation founded and dependent on moral claims like “we’re a democracy” and “remember the Holocaust,” collapsing from moral rot when we lose our compass.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            “(..). I was indeed in Israel during the 2d intifada, riding buses to work every day. A relative of mine was killed and a friend seriously injured, and I myself came too close for comfort to rifle fire in one instance and a bus bombing in another. The human cost was indeed terrible, (..)”.

            Liar! You see, Mr. Ben Zakkai, smart liars (which you obviously are not) know not to make false claims that can very easily be verified. Maybe you can begin by telling us: (a) name(s) of the terrorist incident(s) (b) the date(s) of- and (c) the place(s) where the terrorist incidents you describe took place. All the victims of (incl. witnesses to) terror incidents in Israel are known and your identity is also known. If the stuff you claim is true, there will be record linking you to them in the way you describe. Dare you accept this challenge? Or are you going to continue to lie to manipulate the thought-process of others?

            Reply to Comment
        • Ginger Eis

          “I saw the Jews (.) enjoying playing the role of crazed murderers.”

          Ben Zakkai, you can’t even keep track of what you have said months ago using a different identity. And you think a dunce like yourself scares anyone with the filth you publish on dumpsites such as Mondoweiss? Keep deluding yourself! And btw. the 99% of what you said here contradicts all of your records on this site. If you deny I will start reposting them and let anyone who cares to compare and contrast. Indeed, you moderate the radical lune in you when you know you are under scrutiny. That kind of fits well into the pathology of one who lives double lives as you do. I guess your type is of the caliber that very really, really scares the hell out of Israel?

          Reply to Comment
    15. Tzutzik

      Yes I did get a bit over the top but not necessarily against what you said here at least now. I compliment you too for a much more reasoned approach here than what I saw from you in the past.

      As for me urging my fellow Israelis for restraint, of course I do. But in some situations it really is difficult.

      Can I walk in the Palestinians shoes? Yes and no. I am not going to pretend that I am better than them. They certainly never tried to walk in OUR shoes. They have very short memories about the wrongs which they have done and still perpetrate which in turn causes us to do what we do which in turn causes them … and so on. I am sure you get my drift. But where you would fail me (wrongly IMHO) is that I am the type of person who wants to trace everything back to the beginning and on that score, I firmly believe that the Palestinians are more at fault than we are for the misery that befell both them and us.

      What would I have done had I been their leader 100 years ago? I would have done what the Nashashibis advocated rather than what Haj Amin El Husseini unleashed. Here read about them if you don’t already know about them:

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashashibi

      “The Nashashibi family was considered to be politically moderate when compared to the more militant views of the Husayni family. The Nashashibis favoured political, rather than violent, opposition to the British mandate and Zionism.[3]”

      Both we Jews and Arabs, Palestinians included, would have been better off had their views prevailed amongst the Palestinian Arabs. But alas, that wasn’t what happened so here we are. And as I said, the only way things will be fixed is with good will on both sides. Good will just from us is a waste of time no matter what strident anti Zionists claim about the fact that we are much stronger and that therefore we should show the way. I just don’t agree with that approach because it never worked for us in the past. Whenever we tried it, they mistakenly interpreted it as weakness and things got worse, not better. It is high time for our Palestinian adversaries to turn a new leaf. Preferably taken out of the book of their old leaders, the Nashashibis. But for the moment, that is just a silly dream.

      So in the meanwhile, we need to just plod on and do damage control. Sometimes, trying to FORCE solutions does more harm than good. Just my opinion ….

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        “Even the worst terror did not bring the Palestinian maximalists within a thousand country miles of their strategic goals of undermining Israeli sovereignty, reclaiming Israeli territory or inundating Israel with Palestinian refugees”

        Two things I have to say about that.

        1. That was bad enough but things could get much worse if we give give up too much for too little. Remember what I said about our international airport being under their noses as they look down on it from high ground? And our main population centres? Gaza/Sderot on steroid?

        2. In a situation such as the above which lasted nearly 4 years, if it lasts longer the next time, how long before some of us lose our nerve and either react really over the top? Bringing down more international fury on us with consequences? Either way, if it lasts too long and If Abbas would manage to unleash a more wide spread BDS on top of that. what do you think some Israelis would do? Morale would be rock bottom. There would be infighting much more than even now and let’s face it, some Israelis would pack their bags. Is that enough to make you think of a doomsday scenario?

        I don’t think such a scenario is entirely out of the question. Now let me try and make it even more scary:

        If it would really look like Israel’s survival is at stake, what would stop us from saying “never again” and act accordingly, Get my drift?

        Hamas is not stupid. That is what they are aiming at. To get Israel’s hands tied behind it’s back by pressure from the international community while they thoroughly choke us with their terror campaign. Now do you see why I am so strident with some of the people here who deny history, exaggerate everything and tell lies about us while at the same time exonerate the Palestinians from all responsibility?

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        • Ben Zakkai

          Interesting stuff about the Nashashibis. Too bad the warmongers generally call the tune, at least in this part of the world. I don’t know how we’re going to generate the good will of which you speak when both sides insist on hitting each other over the head. The past week has been a particularly bad one for the forces of good will.
          So here’s my silly dream: If I was in charge of Israeli policy – which I’m most certainly not – I’d make the following rough offer to the Palestinians, which I consider to be a reasonable offer that I would accept in their place: “You get a state in the West Bank and Gaza. You can have an army, airports, seaports, control over your aquifers and minerals, and all the other incidents of a real sovereign state. We keep the settlements adjacent to the Green Line, but not the ones deeper in your territory. For the land over the Green Line that we’re annexing we compensate you with comparably good land at a ration of 2:1. You can have your capital in East Jerusalem if you want. No Palestinian refugees or their descendants will be allowed into Israel, but we’ll pay you reparations and work on the diplomatic front to get other countries to grant citizenship and full rights to their resident Palestinians. We’ll build you a superhighway from the West Bank to Gaza. We’ll also let Israeli Arabs who want to renounce their Israeli citizenship and move to Palestine do so, and we’ll cede you a chunk of land roughly proportionate to the number who choose that option, say around Umm El-Fahm. That’s our best and final offer. We can hash out the minor details, but we’re not making any more major concessions.”
          Then, if the Palestinians say no, I reluctantly conclude that they’re insufficiently interested in a reasonable agreement and better relations with Israel. Then I’ll switch gears and adopt the Tzutzik damage control option.
          Oh, I’ve just seen your last comment. I don’t know if Hamas is stupid or not. They haven’t exactly run up a string of successes and accomplishments for their people, and their international standing and support are very low. But that’s not the main point. The main point it that existential fears are tricky. To the extent that they’re legitimate and well-grounded, one ignores them at one’s peril. But if they’re imaginary or exaggerated, one endangers one’s security by lashing out. The really tough part is coming up with an accurate threat estimation. I start from the premise that in the age of long-range missiles and suitcase nukes, there is no purely military or technological solution that will keep us completely safe. An enemy doesn’t need to be sitting on a hilltop overlooking Ben-Gurion Airport to hit us hard; he can do so from much farther away, or from much closer. What we want is for that enemy to fear the stick of our potential retaliation on the one hand, which means we need to be strong, smart and determined; but he’s also got to want the carrot of a decent or at least bearable life on the other hand, because if he’s miserable and hopeless because of us, feeling like he’s got nothing to lose, then he’s at his most dangerous. I half-referred to that earlier when I said that we’re stuck. We’ve been standing on our enemy’s neck for many years, quite reasonably claiming that he hates us and will harm us if we let him stand up; but continuing to stand on his neck isn’t going to make him hate us any less, will it? So then we have to stand on his neck forever, don’t we? Or do we take a chance? And if so, how? Not easy questions to answer.

          Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “I don’t know how we’re going to generate the good will of which you speak when both sides insist on hitting each other over the head.”

            You don’t see it because right now you and I don’t see this whole situation the same way at all.

            The way I see it is that right now they have no incentive to show any good will at all because as dire as you might perceive their situation they are nowhere near as badly off as you think. And more than that. They see a way, as I described above, to exhaust us and to realise their old supremacist dreams. Yes it involves sacrifices on their part but they are willing to make those sacrifices (by “they” I mean their decision makers and probably enough of their ordinary people too).

            I ask you, if that is their thinking, why exactly should they bother to exhibit good will?

            So you might ask, what will make them change their ways and try good will? IMHO it is not something that is likely to happen soon. I think that they embarked on a war of attrition against us both politically and militarily (terrorism). They fancy themselves as a patient people who as they often claim, “love death more than we love life”. What we therefore need to do is to convince them that they are wrong. That we are even more patient than they are and that we are prepared to play their silly game for as many generations as they are willing to extend it. If they see that, then THEY will be the ones who get nervous. However, for that to work, we cannot afford to let them introduce things like a full fledged BDS and other sanctions into the equation.

            You might ask, how long will this take? And why would a people on whose throats we are supposedly standing ever exhibit good will? Yes, I know you already asked that. And my answer is that we are not standing on their throats anywhere near as much as you make out. Their bellies are full, they are paid off by international sponsors, they have hope of final victory and they are hero worshipped by some. But what happens if over time all that begins to erode? Maybe slowly, even imperceptibly but nevertheless, steadily? What if the Palestinians become yesterday’s news as the rest of the world tires of hearing about them and ends up being worried about their own problems? In my opinion that is exactly how things will unfold if we hold our nerve, don’t panic and don’t push THEIR wheelbarrow instead of ours. And yes, make sure that they can also have a carrot if they are willing to be serious about solving this conflict. Not necessarily as much of the carrot as you outlined above, but a carrot nevertheless. Something workable that they could live with and we could live with too. What is that? I am thinking more in terms of what Ehud Barak offered but they must not get the feeling that whatever happens they can always have that option at the end. They must be made to realise that such an offer may not always be there if they keep on playing games and go for broke. In other words, they need to understand that if they prolong resolution, they will pay a price tag for their delaying tactics. I know they don’t believe it. But they need to be convinced over time that it is so.

            You think I am heartless? Maybe so. But I think that what the Palestinian Arabs and Arabs have been doing for the last 100 years was even more heartless. I’ll use a cliche, we have to be cruel to be kind. Anything that will lead to the resolution of this conflict will be kind. Even if it happens later rather than never.

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