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WATCH: Olive trees destroyed by settlers in South Hebron Hills

Ta’ayush activists found 10 mature olive trees mangled on Saturday in an olive grove belonging to Palestinians from the village of at-Tuwani, in the South Hebron Hills. The settlers are from the illegal outpost of Havat Maon, a place known for settler violence and harassment.

(photo: Yaniv Mazor)

This 3-minute video taken by an Israeli Ta’ayush activist speaks for itself. It surveys the devastation caused to an entire grove of olive trees, which constitutes the livelihood of the Palestinian residents of the area. Such an act is not only an intentional blow to their income and basic welfare, but a total lack of respect for the land and the life that grows on the land – the land that Jewish settlers and the state claim is so important and holy to them. Anyone familiar with Palestinian culture knows that destroying an olive tree is like destroying a human life.

According to a Ta’ayush activist who is regularly in the area and is involved in the legal cases against settlers, since the beginning of 2012, over 100 olive trees have been destroyed, just in the area of Havat Maon.

Over the years there have been countless cases of attacks by Havat Maon settlers on Palestinians, Israeli activists and Palestinian property, such as olive trees and sheep. I have seen children with my own eyes, no older than 8 or 9, who spend their Saturdays cursing at Palestinian children who pass by and even throw rocks, as their parents stand around and look on. This is the area where in 2004, IDF soldiers were instructed to escort Palestinian children on their way to school because of repeated settler attacks resulting in serious injuries.

If you want more background, here is a video report made in 2009 by the Christian Peacemakers Team, who have worked extensively  in the village of at-Tuwani:

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    1. Jehudah

      Sadly, agricultural attacks in our country are too prevalent. No one benefits from them and all pay their price, directly or indirectly.
      Such attacks take the form of the despicable cutting of young trees by Jewish thugs. But, such attacks also take the form of the mass theft from agricultural communities of livestock, produce and agricultural machinery as well as the setting on fire barns and forests, carried out by Arab thugs.
      Therefore, we we condemn such activities, let us do so globally thus no appearing to justify certain forms by some people and not other forms by other thugs. Shall we?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Vadim

      I don’t know how many attacks were in the area. But how can you show a few damaged trees and automatically decide it was done by Jews and expect to taken seriously?

      By the way, the writer says that “Anyone familiar with Palestinian culture knows that destroying an olive tree is like destroying a human life” – well that can certainly explain a few things. Or are trees more valuable in the “Palestinian culture” that Jewish life?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Mairav Zonszein

      @Vadim, there are years upon years of documentation of settlers damaging Palestinian property, and in this specific case, residents said they saw settlers lurking around in the middle of the night. I suppose you assume the Israeli activists did it? Or Palestinians did it to themselves?

      Reply to Comment
    4. Jehudah

      “Palestinian culture”, in the first place is a misnomer. “Palestinians” are Arabs, mostly Muslim-Arabs, in whose culture, or civilization if you will, their values are rooted. The term “Palestinians” is a purely political one; one that disappeared from use once “Palestine” – a territory, never a nationality or a state – was divided between Arabs and Jews in the 1921/22 partition of the territory. At that time “Palestinians” consisted of Jews, Arabs, Circassians, Armenians, even Roma (Gypsies). The term “Palestinians” came to the fore again only in the 1960s, and only for political expediency. Thus, perhaps, the author of the article should be more careful about the use of the term, or, if need be, do some more learning about the subject.

      Reply to Comment
    5. idiotdefence

      @JEHUDAH or perhaps you can just look up the Balfour Declaration.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Vadim


      Please don’t assume anything about me.
      I don’t care how many years or “documentation” there are. You can’t show several trees and say Jews did it, just because it suits your agenda.

      There are also years upon years of documentation of bad deeds done by Arabs, would you assume the same about them?

      There were cases of burnt mosques which were most probably burnt by the local Arab population for their own reasons.

      There were cases of clashes between Arabs.

      There were cases of staged events for the cameras.

      There were cases where Arabs (and Jews) blatantly lied.

      If you see a damaged tree and automatically assume it was done by Jews – there’s something wrong with the way you think.

      What would you say if I told you that my car was stolen a few days ago and I’m sure it was an Arab who stole it?

      Reply to Comment
    7. Jehudah

      “The Balfour Declaration”
      It is not clear to me what the poster wishes to find in the Balfour Declaration, a document with which I am familiar and which represents the first acknowledgement in modern times of the international community’s recognition that Eretz Israel/Palestine has been the national home of the Jewish people.
      P.S. While the language of the Balfour Declaration was accepted into international law, as part of the San Remo peace conference decisions, and then the League of Nations decisions, it is not an integral part of international law.

      Reply to Comment
    8. un2here

      There are some 500000 settlers on the West Bank, trespassers across the Green Line, all of them criminals of war. That’s 10% of Israels Jewish population? which is outstanding, mildly said! That’s without even starting to count their supporters, in Israel as well as worldwide.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Kolumn9

      Oh Jesus no, not the murder of olive trees. Where is the humanity? There were these innocent olive trees casually enjoying their lives and here come those evil bloodthirsty settlers to snuff their lives out just as they were beginning to bear fruit. oh, the horror. I presume UNHRC and UNGA condemnations are on the way with an express call for the dispatch of peacekeepers to prevent genocide against the defenseless olive trees.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Jack

      These are their income, do you have a job? Lets say you find out you have been fired tommorow. Would it be ok with you?
      Now lets imagine that you put alot of money, energy to get a new job, now lets pretend you get fired from this too all of a sudden. Ok?
      Well know you know what these olive trees means for people.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Jehudah

      “I presume UNHRC and UNGA condemnations are on the way with an express call for the dispatch of peacekeepers to prevent genocide against the defenseless olive trees”.
      One suspects the UN and agencies, especially the UNHRC, will send their personnel to protect the trees much, much faster than they would do to protect the thousands of slaughtered human beings next door, in Syria.
      The reason, you ask: The people who live next door to the trees are Jews, and humanity, in the minds of those UN officials, must protect itself in the face of those Jews…

      Reply to Comment
    12. Jack

      Great, you quoted your own text and answered it. Seems like Olive trees are tough for you to talk about since you desperately begin to talk about Syria.
      And please no one belive you either feel sorry for the often fundamentalist fighters (nor pure civilians) killed in Syria nor supporting them.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Paul

      VADIM and KOLUMN9 and also Mairav, anyone familiar with Jewish Torah Law should know that destroying olive trees is strictly forbidden and specifically in times of war. This to me is what makes repeated news of this so depressing. I thought that these were religious people living in these settlements, using the torah to define the rights to the land they live on. What’s not clear about the torah on this subject?

      Dvarim 19 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by wielding an axe against them; for thou mayest eat of them, but thou shalt not cut them down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged of thee? 20 Only the trees of which thou knowest that they are not trees for food, them thou mayest destroy and cut down, that thou mayest build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it fall. (JPS Translation)

      Reply to Comment
    14. Kolumn9

      Jack, if I get fired tomorrow I wouldn’t expect it to be an international incident that is written as a sanctimonious narrative full of exaggerated and frankly what could be classified as Orientalism symbolism (“Anyone familiar with Palestinian culture”… blah blah blah.. BS stereotype for effect.). This demonstrates two things: 1) the focus on minor vandalism is somewhat exaggerated given what goes on in the world. 2) the absence of substantive subjects to write about. What’s next? Poor Palestinian boy can’t afford proper attire to dance the dabka, which anyone familiar with Palestinian culture knows is akin to slowly bleeding to death?

      Reply to Comment
    15. Kolumn9

      Jehuda, I would presume that they would first appoint a special rapporteur to Palestinian olive trees that would proceed to visit Iran and Syria to consult with all relevant parties to the conflict before declaring that the murder of oive trees is morally equivalent to suicide bombings of civilians. During the visit to Iran, Ahmedinejad will have been overheard commenting that olive trees are Islamic in nature and that jihad in their defense is an Islamic duty on all believers. The Muslim Brotherhood will in the mean time have released a statement blaming the Mossad for uprooting the olive trees in a wide-ranging plot whose goal is the elimination of the Islamic olive tree from the entirety of the Middle East. To which Ahmedinejad would respond that given the revealed nature of the plot the only way to save trees in the world in general is to eliminate the Zionist entity so that the trees worldwide can live in peace.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Piotr Berman

      The opprobrium concerned with destruction of orchards in general and olive trees in particular is a feature of Mediterranean culture extending to deep antiquity, and it is reflected in ancient Greek history and the Torah. I steal this quote from another website:

      “There are Torah laws against cutting down trees needlessly and very specifically those that produce fruit. In the Torah mankind is compared to the tree of the field. …”

      It stands to reason that in Mediterranean region where crops from trees have key importance such laws, reflected in religion and custom were present without interruption back from Bronze Age if not earlier, so of course they are not unique to Palestinians. The distinction is between communities that cultivate genuine traditions and zealots who do not know any better.

      Quran has a bit different perspective, two trees are used as “parables of goodness”, the date tree and the olive tree.
      “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e., it neither gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e., nor does it get sun-rays only in the afternoon – but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything.” [al-Nur 24:35]

      If I understand correctly, the olive tree is a message of God to mankind showing how to be good, so destroying an olive tree would be like desecration of the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and this is a terrible no-no.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Jack

      Answer my question. Would it be ok if you got fired repeatedly from jobs?

      Reply to Comment
    18. Kolumn9, there is hardly any coverage when Palestinian olive trees are uprooted, unless you choose to seek it out on activist blogs. It’s rare for these events to make it into the international media because people don’t see it as important in the grand scheme of things. However, this is quite a poor village that derives its income from farming, so those trees are definitely important to the inhabitants, whose income is already unstable enough as it is. The analogy of you being fired only works if you’re fired because of your ethnicity, and your neighbours’ desire to run you out of your home on the basis of it. If that happened to you, you’d have every right to expect the full support of law behind you – and obviously Tuwani residents haven’t got that. It’s easy to dismiss it as trivial when it’s not you who lives with the consequences.
      This story reminds me of a poem by Ferial Abu Haikal, the headteacher of Cordoba School in Hebron, which she wrote after she and her family were barred from accessing their olive groves by the military. Settlers from Tel Rumeida later tried to set the groves ablaze. I’ve got an English translation lying about somewhere. If I find it I will post it later on.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Vadim


      Burning, uprooting or damaging trees is wrong – when it is done by Jews or Arabs. Both sides do it too frequently for my taste.

      All I said was – you can’t automatically blame someone just because it fits your agenda.

      Reply to Comment
    20. catherine

      I am really sad to read cynism in some of the texts above. I spent 3 months as a volunteer in the so called occupied territories, and I was shocked to see the violence of the settlers against peasants in the region (and the military refraining from action)We were especially needed on friday evening and saturday, the holy days. I myself was spit upon- i was 57 at the time. I got to respect those who give their professional life to protect the lives and livelihoods of simple people. Live and let live, don’t steel land and ruin property. How simple can it be.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Pagael John

      100’s of trees where vandalised in different areas in my country for no apparent reason, blaming settlers or Arabs is pointless unless you catch the culprits and find the motive.

      Reply to Comment
    22. RichardL

      Jehudah and Vadim: An honest question, and forgive me if this is naive. I have not heard of Arabs “burning, uprooting or damaging trees” or ” mass theft from agricultural communities of livestock, produce and agricultural machinery as well as the setting on fire barns and forests, carried out by Arab thugs.”
      Please can you supply references (for all the actions mentioned), preferably contemporary (last ten years for example)? And please keep it on topic to Israel/Palestine. Thanks.

      and Kolumn 9: I suspect you mean ‘substantial’ or perhaps ‘meaningful’ rather than ‘substantive’.If that should be the case then since you apparently find this topic insubstantial or insignificant, why do you waste so much of your time writing on these blogs? (The question is more important to me than the vocabulary, but I wanted to make sure I understood your meaning.)

      Reply to Comment
    23. Shaun

    24. Vadim

      “there is hardly any coverage when Palestinian olive trees are uprooted” – Are you serious? These events are on the front pages of every Israeli newspaper. Every time a graffiti is sprayed somewhere, or a tree damaged or something burnt – and there is a slight chance it was performed by Jews – the Israeli media will present it as a work of settlers.

      Since these kind of events to not fit the agenda of the press (including the Israeli one) you want find them in Ynet or Haarez.
      Here are some links (in Hebrew)



      Regarding theft of livestock and agricultural machinery, I could only find speculations – no clear statistics (don’t think it’s politically correct to investigate this and Israeli police doesn’t doesn’t have such statistics). Yet it is a real issue and I once witnessed such an event.

      Reply to Comment
    25. ““Palestinians” are Arabs, mostly Muslim-Arabs, in whose culture, or civilization if you will, their values are rooted. The term “Palestinians” is a purely political one; one that disappeared from use once “Palestine” – a territory, never a nationality or a state – was divided between Arabs and Jews in the 1921/22 partition of the territory. ”

      Um, really? You mean the coins of the mandate-run territory west of the Jordan didn’t bear the legend “Palestine-EI”? Okey doke then.

      Reply to Comment
    26. RichardL

      Shaun/Vadim: thanks for the links, but seriously do you guys look at the videos you reference? I have other things to do with my time as well.

      First link: only mentions “rising crime”, “stolen property”, “drug dealers” (and “Bedouin” of course).
      Times of Israel link – the only valid link you supplied. Features a story of livestock theft to Jews in Galilee and to both Jews and Bedouin in the Negev apparently in an area of disputed land rights.
      Your Google link did not work. Searching ‘Arabs destroy Israeli crops’ on Google Israel delivers one story of Gazan rockets setting fire to 100 acres of wheat fields in 2007 (i.e. not really on topic). There are then four stories of Israelis damaging Palestinian crops (one in the Negev), one on destruction of Jewish trees in 1936; and one complaint by Gazan farmers about the blockade. So nothing there.
      The other three stories (supposedly on trees!) include an article on riots on Jerusalem. Another is a settler denial from Yitzhar that they cut Palestinian trees. The third covers pictures (three in total if I go to the Tazpit Unit website)of ONE man with a chainsaw felling ONE olive branch and then cutting it up. The article alleges this is Arabs and Leftists staging a price tag attack. Now I realize this might pass for sufficient evidence in a West Bank military court. But seriously, any court of justice is going throw this out pronto, and courts in Washington state would very likely charge any litigants for wasting their time with such pathetic “evidence”.
      Vadim: Funny how you link to pro-settler websites. Gales Blog is a story of the increase in car thefts in Israel. (Yes!). There is another story where a settlement that is illegal under Israeli law (established on private Palestinian land perhaps?) had its newly planted olive trees uprooted. Do you object to this?
      Your story about thefts of agricultural equipment seems to have some validity though it is only an allegation that Arabs were the culprits. The video of the scrub fire does seem to be arson but even looking at on full screen the figures are so small it is impossible to know who they might be. I will accept that there is an allegation, but you need better evidence to make the claims you have here. A link from this report goes to a page which states “NGOs like B’tselem that openly incite terror activities in Judea and Samaria.” You have got to pretty biased to take that libel seriously.
      I think you guys have got a lot more work to do yet to make your case. You asked me if I am serious. I’m a damned sight more serious than the fairy stories and trivia you have sent me to waste my time on. Ditch the propaganda and get real.

      Reply to Comment
    27. This is a hate crime. It says “you are not wanted here.” Jewish history knows something about such crimes.
      So long as the vanguard settler ideology is not interdicted in such matters, that ideology attaches to the State of Israel. Those in the State know these actions occur; they willingly allow Israeli State unauthorized settlements to proceed. Which means that the State effectively authorizes their presence and actions. Hate crimes such as this thus attach to the State.
      Kolumn9 is new, younger than before. Bring back the older one; he had some integrity, agreeing or not.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Vadim

      Let’s use your own standards on this article:
      1. A site that is very anti settlement biased
      2. Showing a bunch of uprooted trees
      3. Showing to evidence of Jewish envelopment (except someone claiming some of the people saw “settlers” at night, they are very easy to identify because of their horns)
      4. Claiming that such attacks are numerous and cite similar sites.

      The conclusion – “Olive trees destroyed by settlers in South Hebron Hills”.

      I think both sides do nasty things, including damaging trees and lying. You think that peaceful Arabs ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itamar_attack ) are constantly under attack by brutal horned settlers – and everything else is propaganda.

      What do you think about the following allegations?
      1. Settlers use wild boars to uproot trees and attack Arabs
      2. Jews spread AIDS and drugs in the West bank
      3. Israel dumps toxic waste in the West bank

      BTW – Pro-settler websites are no different in their bias than this site or other Arab of extreme left sites. All have agenda, none professional enough to ignore it. You have to read everything and the truth is probably somewhere in between.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Vadim,
      Not a single settlement is justfied by any Palestinian act of violence. Not a single settler. Without doubt, the failure of the State of Israel to prevent all settlements unauthorized under its own terms is effectively active policy towards settlements. The ideology of the vanguard setters attaches to the State of Israel. This ideology is religiously based. Claiming the settlers autonomous is irrelevant, as the State could interdict them, but does not. With each act, each settlement, more confrontation will arise.
      I conclude it is de facto State policy to expand via settlers; that is, expansion is viewed as a State good. Then the tool of expansion, the vanguard settler ideology, based on a very strong reading of Torah, attaches to the State. Otherwise–stop the vanguard settlers, which is surely in the power of the State.
      Enough word games. The ideology of the vanguard settlers attaches to the State. I don’t like it; maybe you do, I know not.

      Reply to Comment
    30. Vadim


      Not a single Palestinian act of violence is justfied by any settlement. Not a single bombing. Without doubt, the failure of the PO \ Hamas to prevent all violence (not really unauthorized under its own terms) is effectively active policy towards violence. The ideology of the vanguard terrorists is attaches to the Palestinian leadership. This ideology is religiously based. Claiming the terrorists autonomous is irrelevant, as Hamas and PO could interdict them, but does not. With each bombing, each rocket, more confrontation will arise.

      Of course the de facto State policy is to expand via settlers, that is why we left Sinai and Gaza. Just like Pink-Washing, this is Withdrawal-Washing – we hide our expansionist and land grabbing policy by giving land away.

      Reply to Comment
    31. RichardL

      Vadim: Will you please explain why, in your terminology, Palestinians who indulge in violence are “terrorists”, but Jews who live contrary to international law, (and often contrary to Israeli law which is already heavily biased to their cause) on Palestinian land and are accused by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of conducting terror attacks on Palestinians in neighbouring villages are called “settlers”. (ref. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/un-warns-250-000-palestinians-vulnerable-to-settler-violence-1.261591) Why the double standards?
      I don’t buy into your reluctance to blame nearby Jewish terrorists for attacks on Palestinian olive trees. Here’s one quote “for every act of destruction [of an outpost] in the southern Hebron hills we will set fire to Samaria [northern West Bank], and for a container destroyed near Har Bracha [settlement in Nablus area] we will exact a price in the southern Hebron hills” (originally from Ma’ariv and retrieved from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/dplc/dv/dplc20091202ocha_/dplc20091202ocha_en.pdf) See also page 3 of the same report “[On 4 December 2008] incidents of stone-throwing at key road junctions, setting fire and vandalizing Palestinian property, cutting down olive trees, and slashing vehicle tires by groups of settlers occurred in at least 12 other locations throughout the West Bank.” And “[On 1 June 2009] Israeli settlers set fire to approximately 1,300 olive trees and 280 dunums of wheat and barley crops belonging to residents of a number of Palestinian villages along Road 60”. On page 4 “[July 2009] Israeli settlers, some of them riding horses, set fire to over 1,000 olive trees of five Palestinian communities”. It is also worth considering the comments of IDF Major-General Gadi Shamni (on page 5) “There has been a rise in Jewish violence in Judea and Samaria [i.e. West Bank]. In the past, only a few dozen individuals took part in such activity, but today that number has grown into the hundreds […] These hundreds are engaged in conspiratorial actions against Palestinians and the security forces.” The map on page 7 indicates that At-Tuwari (where the attacks in this article occurred) is considered “a highly vulnerable community” and is within 2 kilometres of a “settlement source of risk” (Ma’on) and 5 kilometres from two other such sources (Suseya and Karmel).
      OCHA’s fact sheet for November 2011 http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_settler_violence_FactSheet_October_2011_english.pdf begins with the statement “The number of settler attacks resulting in Palestinian casualties and property damage has increased by 32% in 2011 compared to 2010, and by over 144% compared to 2009.” The casualties incidentally included three deaths in 2011.
      So yes, I have no problem in taking very seriously the accusation that these attacks were likely done by Jews. There are dangerous Jews very close to this site with a record of serial terrorist violence and vandalism against this village. You have absolutely no case in arguing that it might be otherwise. (And I consider that this site is biased against criminal behaviour, not against any terrorist group in particular. But where do you stand on the application of international law and the prevention of breaches of it, particularly with regard to the incidents cited by OCHA for example?)
      You write “Of course the de facto State policy is to expand via settlers”. Too right it is. You know very well the settlements are expanding and that the state approves of them, supports them and allows virtual free reign to terrorist activities emanating from them while Levy says it is all legal. Your sarcasm hides nothing of Israeli state policy that follows on directly from policies secretly enunciated by Ben-Gurion at least as early as 1937 http://www.palestine-studies.org/files/B-G%20Letter%20translation.pdf if not by Herzl on page 711 in Vol II of his diaries.
      It may or may not justify Palestinian violence, particularly on the scale of the Itamar attack but it sure as Hell goes out of its way to provoke it.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Piotr Berman

      The results of web searches indicate that either:

      violence and agricultural sabotage by settlers is many orders of magnitude larger than similar acts against the settlers, or

      unlike Palestinian villagers, settlers are uniquely inept in using web media to show their plights.

      The second alternative is highly unlikely. For example, Arutz Sheva has large staff and quite high technical quality, while Palestinian web resources like MAAN look to be published by scant staff with quite poor knowledge of English.

      It is true that Palestinian sources are sometimes given to exaggeration, although I do not see that they do it more frequently than followers of other Abrahamic religions. One possible exaggeration is attributing the activity of wild boars to the settlers. After all, they seem to be indigenous to the region. According to http://natureisrael.com/mammals.html :

      Wild boar are perhaps Israel’s most obnoxious large mammal, a lumbering creature renowned for its grumpy temper.

      Because no photo is provided, and no indication if the creatures are quadrupedal or bipedal, it could be an oblique reference to settlers who are renown for grumpy temper and also may reach “the weight in exceess of 200 lb, especially males” and “damage crops”.

      Reply to Comment
    33. vadim

      There is another option you don’t mention – the media is not an objective source of information. They all have their agendas and most are not processional enough to put it aside and do their work properly. The Israeli media is a great example of what I’m saying – there are scores of examples of events being ignored (such as Arabs uprooting trees or damaging crops), events that are downplayed (Arabs attacking Jews described as “clashes”, terror attacks described as “incidents”) and events which are exaggerated (graffiti on a mosque described as Jewish Terrorism, edited videos made by Betselem or the one we’re shown here – described as a documentary with real evidence of Jewish Terrorism).

      So when you look the web for events – you only get the point of view of the editors of the largest sites. Other sites (with other agendas – and therefore with different information) are labelled as Pro-Settler, as if that makes them less reliable.

      “It is true that Palestinian sources are sometimes given to exaggeration”. Jews stealing organs? Using wild boars? Plan to destroy the Dome of rock? Spreading AIDS and drugs? The “massacre” in Jenin? Countless staged events (Pallywood)? You can claim that Israeli sources (as much as any other) are not always accurate. But there’s still a difference between that and a routinely use of blatant lies and fabrications.

      Reply to Comment
    34. vadim


      I don’t understand your question. When I speak of a group of people that indulge in violence – I call them terrorists. When I speak of a group of people that indulge in building houses and raising families in disputed areas in Israel – I call them settlers.

      The UN has proven its bias, corruption and overall uselessness in countless cases. To me, the opinion of the UN has as much moral weight as the opinion of Hamas.

      The international law is something everyone quotes and few truly understand. I’m no lawyer, but there is no set of “International laws” upon which you can decide what’s legal and what’s not. It’s much more complex than that and your statements about this or that being against international law are oversimplifications.

      You don’t have to buy my reluctance to automatically accuse Jews without any evidence. If that suits your view and makes you feel better – then go ahead, just don’t lecture others about moral standards.

      The Arabs are people like all of us. They are not animals to be provoked into violence and they should take responsibility for their actions. You can provoke me into cursing you, punching you, maybe even doing something worse as a personal vengeance. You could not provoke me into planning an attack and massacring an entire family, exploding in a bus full of unfamiliar people or murdering an infant with a sniper rifle. These acts are not provoked, they are performed to achieve political means. Nothing, and I repeat – NOTHING – justifies them. This sort of violence, it’s justification and glorification is a social sickness of our Arab neighbours and should be a source of shame.

      So – if someone building a house on an empty land (often paid for) or a graffiti on a building – makes you want to sharpen your axe and chop some random Jew’s head off “in retaliation” – you should seriously consider professional treatment.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Piotr Berman

      Vadim: impartial media does not give a damn about what happens and what does not happen in West Bank etc. Luckily, the miracle of technology allows politically engaged observers to document their claims, and one can compare the quality of their claims, however politically motivated the observations are.

      So we can compare the suffering of the settlers as documented by sites like Arutz Sheva with the suffering of Palestinians as documented by B’Tselem etc. In the meantime, impartial observers provide us with restaurant reviews. Although I must admit that my rosy views of restaurant reviews are in part based on the fact that I could never afford to visit the reviewed restaurants and that I never read scathing critiques of those reviews, so for all I know, they are paragons of objectivity. Also, in the few cases I had time and money to check for myself, the food was good.

      Reply to Comment
    36. RichardL

      That’s a pretty clear apology for Zionist racist apartheid Vadim.

      Reply to Comment
    37. Vadim


      I must admin I didn’t understand your response. Could you clarify it? What did I exactly apologize for? In what meaning do you use the word Zionist as an adjective?

      Where are you from?

      Reply to Comment
    38. jehad momani- Jordan

      the main question is how to stop all this and how to put an end to this Struggle ,any ideas ?

      Reply to Comment
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