The Telegraph: Stop treating the Palestinians like children

July 4, 2014 • 7:34 am

Here’s an unusual occurrence: a British journalist criticizing Palestinians instead of Israel. The journalist is Alan Johnson at the Telegraph, and his piece (on his website at the paper) is called “It’s time to stop infantilising the Palestinians.”

The first paragraph has a number of links to images I’ll reproduce, and excerpts from Johnson’s piece are indented:

The jubilant reaction of many Palestinians to the kidnapping of three Israeli teenage boys has been met in the West with a bit of a shrug. The official daily PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida has published cartoons mocking the three students and celebrating their capture.

A cartoon that appeared in the official Palestinian Authority newspaper referring to the kidnap of three Israeli teenagers, June 15 2014. (screen capture: Palestinian Media Watch) Read more: PA, Fatah cartoons gloat over teens' kidnappings | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/pa-fatah-cartoons-gloat-and-jeer-over-kidnappings/#ixzz36V1cFkDa  Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook
A cartoon that appeared in the official Palestinian Authority newspaper referring to the kidnap of three Israeli teenagers, June 15 2014. (screen capture: Palestinian Media Watch)

The Fatah Facebook page featured a cartoon of three rats dangling from a line.

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Can you believe this? What a monstrous mentality is evinced here.

Sweets have been handed out on the streets (a traditional gesture of joy and celebration).

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Celebrating the murders with free sweets.

Many children have been photographed by their parents, holding up three fingers and smiling.

kid31

Screen shot 2014-07-04 at 6.50.49 AM

Screen shot 2014-07-04 at 6.51.12 AM

(Sources of the photos and documentation here.)

An internet campaign gathers pace and “popular support for the abduction has continued to proliferate on Palestinian social media” according to the journalist Elhanan Miller. Hamas, of course, is exultant. Yes, Abu Mazen has condemned the kidnap and there have been some brave Palestinian voices raised in defence of the three youngsters, but their voices are isolated; Palestinians calling for the return of the three students have been threatened.

If you haven’t learned from this site about how the Palestinians celebrate the murder of innocents, and how their media (unlike that of Israel) is saturated with hatred towards their enemies, how cartoons like the above are a staple in Arab lands (not just Palestine), and how even children’s television shows teach young Arab children to hate Jews, you haven’t been paying attention to this site. Notice that the cartoons above appeared in the official Palestinian Authority newspaper and the Fatah Facebook page.

Johnson continues:

In part, because an anti-Zionist mindset that has taken root in the West, and at its heart is unexamined assumption – that Israelis and Palestinians are different kinds of people. Israelis have agency, responsibility and choice, Palestinians do not. In short, the world treats the Palestinians as children – ‘the pathology of paternalism’ it has been called

The unarticulated assumption of anti-Zionism is that Palestinians are a driven people, dominated by circumstances and moved by emotions; qualities associated with the world of nature. Israelis are the opposite; masters of all circumstances, rational and calculating; qualities associated with the world of culture.

This dichotomous thinking has three bad consequences.

I will just give one or two sentences about each of those consequences; do read the piece for yourself to see it all (these are direct quotes from Johnson):

  • First, by granting only one side to the conflict agency and responsibility, the dichotomy distorts key events of the conflict (e.g. the war of 1948, the collapse of the Camp David peace talks in 2000, Gaza after the 2005 disengagement). The Palestinians are cast as passive victims; a compelled people. . .
  • Second, the dichotomous understanding of Palestinians and Israelis distorts our understanding of Israel’s security. The threats Israel faces are discounted and the security measures taken by Israel reframed as motiveless and cruel acts.
  • The third consequence of this dichotomous thinking about the nature of the two peoples is the infantalisation of the Palestinians: they remain perpetually below the age of responsibility; the source of their behaviour always external to themselves, always located in Israel’s actions.

I think this third point is important, for it explains the double standard applied to Palestine vs. Israel. Were cartoons like the above published in official Israeli papers or documents, or were Israelis to hand out sweets and celebrate en masse when that Palestinian youth was killed yesterday, the world would come down hard on that behavior (especially the British media, which abhors Israel). But when Palestinians do such things,they get a pass. At best commenters will briefly mention this vicious hatred in one sentence and then go on to excoriate Israel in several paragraphs.

Have you seen any of these cartoons reproduced in Western mainstream media like the New York Times? Probably not, but of course they’re everywhere in the Middle East. Palestinians, like the outraged Muslims who killed people over the Danish cartoons, or stuck a knife in Theo van Gogh for making a 10-minute movie about Muslim misogyny, are treated like children having tantrums, and their petulance is coddled until they stop crying.

Of course there are reasons Palestinians are angry, and I don’t dismiss those reasons. As you know, I favor withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories and the creation of two states. But what I can’t condone is the murder of innocents (like the murder of the Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem two days ago, still unsolved) nor, especially, the kind of callous inhumanity that leads to things like the cartoons and pictures above.  Can you really deny that the world holds Israel to a far higher standard than they do the Palestinians? That’s a form of reverse bigotry, and kudos to Johnson for pointing it out.

His final paragraph echoes my thoughts completely:

Of course, Israel has to compromise and divide the land, making possible a Palestinian state. But if the Palestinians are treated as children, never held accountable for cultivating a culture of hate, then they will never make their own excruciating compromises for peace. And without those compromises – in a Middle East departing further from the norms of human behaviour by the day – Israel will not take risks for peace. Nor should it.

 

 

260 thoughts on “The Telegraph: Stop treating the Palestinians like children

  1. I think that’s probably the way to summarize it: the Israeli government is far from blameless, but at least neither the government nor the people celebrate the deaths of innocent children.

    How are you supposed to negotiate with people who cheer when children are murdered?

    b&

    1. You can’t negotiate with them… ever. So here’s what you do…You just take their lands and ancestral homes, herd them into a corner and deny them any rights to autonomy or a place in the world or a sense of hope. In other words, treat them like animals and then expect them to act like noble human beings.

      1. Hey Quantumbee, nice cherry picking of the conflict. Fact is Israel was a non sovereign state prior to 1948. Many Jews and Arabs came into the area between 1900 and 1948. Population went up from around 150k to 2 million in that time period. Demographics change everywhere, except they aren’t supposed to in the middle east (see Dearborn). There was a Jewish majority in the land that Partitioned to be the Jewish portion of Palestine. The Arabs started a war, and lost. If they won (no more Jews). Jews won and that gave the Arabs 4 more kicks at the can to defeat them. Ancestral homes? Everyone one this planet has an ancestral home in Africa. I don’t consider it my home and I’m not going to war to get my tree back. Nor do I care to go back to Romania, Poland, Russia or the Middle East where my grandparents or great grandparents came from.
        You have to ask why the Palestinians are in the situation they are in? And I know the answer is inconvenient so people like you have a need to remain willfully ignorant about the reasons.

          1. I’m not sure what point you are trying to mAke but you don’t seem to know anything about Hamas and Palestine.
            First and foremost the number one goal is the eradication of all Jews. A Palestinian state and land concerns are far behind their base desire of driving Israel into the sea and the genocide of Jews. This isn’t about land or freedom , it’s about hate.
            You don’t seem to be able to grasp the situation.

      2. It would be interesting if the Government of Israel took a page out of the Assad pere/fils playbook and applied Hama Rules to the Palestinians. That would give the Quantumbees of the world something to really whine about.

        1. So your remedy is for Israel to just crush the Palestinians and call it a day? Why are you so intent on ignoring what happens to these people every day in places like Hebron, especially the treatment they receive from the Israeli soldiers? Even children are harassed by them. You can easily find videos of this online. What exactly IS your remedy for all this? And why do you not see that the movement of the state of Israel to the extreme right is turning this state into something that no one who is really paying attention can apologize for?

          In fact, it is the state of Israel’s treatment of these people coupled with its thumbing of the nose to the US and insulting our Secretary of State and Vice President that is causing a lot of people to “whine”. For years this country has blindly supported the state of Israel, only to have this “ally” stab us in the back, spy on us and ignore our pleas to stop the settlements. Do you support this kind of behavior from Israel? If so, please explain that, and also explain your hostility to people trying to make sure that the PR playing field is more equal.

      3. I’m very unread on this issue. But some Palestinian voices have been heard over here, so called “conservatives”, aka the peaceful ones.

        If I remember correctly they have indeed lost their sense of hope. But not from the Israelis actions, but from the extremists among their own…

        Also, as I understand it the Gaza Palestinians have a lot of water plants that desalinate water. They have lots of valuable infrastructure, from foreign investment and other money flowing in. The problem to have the plants working … is the war on Israel.

        1. I have to ask you: For a people who’s stated goal is to drive the Jews into the sea, do they act like children with no self control?

          Or are these upstanding citizens who are desperately trying to find the best solution for everyone and who are willing to compromise for the greater good?

    2. If every single Palestinian do cheer when children are murdered, then I think Israeli government must negotiate with that kind of people.

      It may be morally(?) wrong to negotiate with terrorists, but not negotiating isnt’t very helpful either.

      1. Of course — and I probably should have clarified that.

        Israel has no choice but to negotiate. I’m just dumbfounded as to how they’re supposed to do so, and don’t have any real hopes for success of the negotiations. But that doesn’t mean that they can or should stop trying.

        Sisyphus and Tantalus come to mind….

        b&

      2. Israeli government from the beginning wanted to negotiate. Directly after the war 1948/49 (initiated by Arabs) Israel was ready to negotitate, but Arabs didn’t want to. A day after 6-days War Israel announced that it is ready to negotiate peace. Arab League in Khartum said their quite famous 3 Nos (when in the history of mankind the winner of the war asks for peace, and the losers answer “NO”?)

        It did negotiate many times. Even trying to intice palestinian leaders to negotitaiong table. Palestinin demand before they would come to the negotitiation tabel – freeze all building in the settlements. Israel did this for 10 month. Abbas waited 9.5 month to come to the negotiation table and when Israel refused to prolong this moratorium, walked out. In the latest round, quite recently, Abbas demanded that Israel releases Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails: all of them murderers as a gesture of good will. Netanyahu did this to the horror of Israeli sociaety, because those were people who murdered defenceless civillians: children, women, old men. But Israeli government wanted peace and hoped for negotiation. Then Abbas suddenly decided to build unity government with a terrorist organization Hamas, which as a stated goal has killing of all Jews, not only Israeli Jews but just all of them. This put stop to negotiations.

        Sometimes there just is no solution to the conflict – even if the the West we do not want to acknowledge such a possibility.

      1. That’s it! Inflatable technology! We’ll just surround Palestine with giant balloons to act as padded walls to keep the inmates in the asylum from hurting themselves until they come to their senses…

        …if only it were that simple….

        b&

    3. Israelis killed an innocent Palestinian child in response. There are plenty of people in Israel who do not consider Palestinians as being of equal worth as themselves too. I also saw a BBC news report two days ago where the presenter attacked an American rabbi who was sticking up for the Palestinians. Personally I’m appalled by the inability of many Americans to recognize faults in Israel’s behaviour, particularly the religious right, many of whom actually want a conflict because they believe it’ll presage the second coming.

      The virulent anti-Semitism of Palestinian broadcasting is also disgusting. Particularly appalling are the shows directed at children. However, many studies have shown that Israeli children also grow up hating their neighbours, although the indoctrination is not as blatant as that in Palestine.

      Literally thousands more Palestinians have been killed by Israel than vice versa. That does not, of course, justify killing three innocent boys, or anyone else for that matter.

      In this situation there is plenty of blame to go around. Both sides have a lot to answer for. Somehow, they have to get past the hatred and find a way to make a two state solution work.

      As always, it is the religious extremists on both sides that are the biggest problem. Right-wing Muslims are perpetual in their hatred of Jews and unable to see past that hate. Right-wing Jews are preventing their government from accepting conditions that could lead to a solution.

      1. Israelis killed an innocent Palestinian child in response.

        I have a hard time believing that.

        I can believe that there was a response by Israelis in which a bystander died, though they’re generally pretty good at avoiding civilian casualties. But your phrasing makes it sound like the Israelis sought out a Palestinian child to kill by way of retaliation, and that I’m just not buying.

        It’s not impossible, of course, but it’s such an outrageous claim that it demands extraordinary evidence for substantiation.

        b&

        1. This killing and burning of a boy of about 12 in retaliation has been widely reported in the media, and Netanyahu has acknowledged it. I don’t recall if any of the US news shows I watch covered it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if none did. I was shocked. It’s not a response I would normally expect from Israelis, but the whole country has been transfixed by the story of the three kidnapped boys since it happened, hoping for their return. To discover that they’ve been dead this whole time has affected the mood of the whole country profoundly (understandably). That someone would react in such an extreme way is sadly not unexpected.

          1. If true, then there are two questions.

            First, was the murder done at the order or with the approval of the Israeli government? I’m sure not.

            Second, will the murderer be arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced if found guilty? I’m pretty sure that’ll be the case.

            I’m not aware of even a suggestion that Hamas condemns the killing of the Israeli children, and I’m pretty certain the only way the murderers will see the inside of a courthouse is if the Israelis capture them.

            One side and one side only is operating within the rule of law, and that side isn’t the Palestinians.

            b&

          2. Sorry to burst your balloon, but it was on the NBC news, and prominently, last night, as well as the strong Palestinian reaction (rockets et al). It was also on the front page of the New York Times.

      1. I saw it. You have it ass backwards. Your head must be dizzy from the spinning. It is the Muslims who have been trying to annihilate the Jews for 70+ years. When they act sub-human and uncivilized there is no reason to give them anything. There were several chances to sign great deals but Arafat and the others wouldn’t sign. They we one signature away from having a state years ago. As long as they refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Jews then let them rot, in my opinion.

        1. That, of course, is no solution. Violence breeds violence and the buck has to stop somewhere.

          1. That’s why Israel is in a no-win situation. No matter how many peace overtures they make, no matter how long they refrain from truly unleashing their military on Palestine, Hamas and the PLO keep being the ones to re-initiate hostilities.

            I mean, Israel could, if they wanted to, carpet bomb all of Palestine in an afternoon, and finish it off by nuking every neighboring army into the stone age. If this was about all the death fantasies the Palestinian officials keep hyping, it would have been settled long ago, and not in Palestine’s favor. In contrast, Palestine keeps throwing most of what they have at Israel and never even scratching the paint, let alone making a dent militarily…but they do succeed in killing children to the cheers of the Palestinians.

            Yet Israel still has no choice but to respond in the most measured, limited, and carefully-targeted means they have, and still being the first to lay down arms in a cease fire.

            A cease fire that will, inevitably, if history is any guide, be broken yet again by the Palestinians.

            I don’t get it. I really don’t. It’s so bloody obvious that the Palestinians would be welcomed into the 21st century and soon find themselves catapulted into prosperity beyond imagination if only they stopped trying to destroy Israel. Can you imagine the kind of trade and industry possible with a true Palestinian-Israeli partnership? They’d be the reunified Germany of the Middle East. But the Palestinians want none of that.

            Makes no bloody sense.

            b&

            1. I don’t get it. I really don’t.

              The sad part is I think I do.

              If you grow up under the miserable conditions many palestinians do, then it is no wonder that the idea of one ultimate enemy that is to blame for all that is wrong with the world is just too tempting to resist.

              Poverty + Religion = Violence.

              Palestine needs a secular democratic party that can rally sufficient support in the wide population.

              Anyone see that happening anytime soon?

              1. The PLO? The sad thing is Israel had a much better chances during the Arafat days. Now the lunatics truly run the asylum.

              2. With Arafat?! When? When he refused to sign peace agreement which Bill Clinton blames him exclusively for or when he started the intifada? It is worth knowing that Arafat justified his signing Oslo Accord (in Arabic, to his friends who repeated this after his death, all recorded) that Oslo Accords were the Trojan Horse, the first step to destroying Israel. Some peace partner!

              3. Yawn. Anyone that makes a genuine move towards peace with Israel is marked a traitor/collaborator and has signed their own death warrant.

                No matter if a Palestinian isn’t prepared to pull the trigger (although what would a fair guess be as to the percentage that would do it?) then some deranged lunatic will come over on the instructions of a French or Dutch imam and do Allah’s work for him.

                Peace? Anytime soon? ROFL.

              4. The solution starts with the Palestinians. They must become civilized an give up their irrational behavior and go back and sign the generous treaties they shit upon in the past. The consequences should be the same as when Germany practiced the same uncivilized behavior – all out war.

              5. Are you educated in what war actually entails regardless how just you might find it?

              6. So you say.

                All out war may be a solution, but it’s a terrible effing solution.

                Besides, I’m fairly certain all the world’s muslims wouldn’t accept your suggestion lying down.

                Duck ‘n cover y’all.

              7. As proved during the Iraq war, many of the Muslims are actually cowards. They run away or hide behind women and children.

                I doubt the other Muslim nations would care if Hamas gets wiped out just like they probably don’t care whether the Islamic insurgents of ISIL are wiped out.

                Oh yeah, also Israel has nuclear weapons. Now you can duck but it won’t help.

              8. Alright, what do you reckon would happen if Israel went all in on getting to every single Hamas member?

              9. The ones killed would be dead and the ones jailed would be in jail. Neither group would be firing rockets and maybe the other Islamic terrorists would learn a lesson.

              10. Of course there would be because the brave terrorists hide behind women and children. They are too cowardly to fight like a real army.

                I am finished answering your inane questions. How about you try and come up with a constructive solution?

              11. Yeah, screw them, right?

                I don’t know if you have a personal stake in this conflict, but ffs, if you’re willing to accept what may or may not in practice result in a genocide, then it should come as no surprise to you that “the other side” is having a field day generating violent opposition.

                And before you jump on me, no that is not what Israel does ( thank bejeebus ), it is solely a respone to your suggestion.

                Btw, if I had the solution to this conflict I, for obvious reasons, wouldn’t be busy posting comments here.

                Id’ be collecting my Nobel peace-prize.

                Anyone know how much you can get for one of those on e-bay?

              12. The ones killed would largely be the women and children used as human shields, and every one would become a martyr, with hundreds of new “terrorists” rising to take the place of the fallen.

                This is the Irish Troubles and the Hatfields and the McCoys all over again. The solution won’t come from one side massacring the other, but rather the militant side finally giving up hope of a violent solution. How does that happen? Historically, it seems to require multiple generations, until the conflict has been at a low enough simmer for the great-grandchildren of the original instigators to wonder just what the fuck they’re doing killing each other in the first place.

                The Israelis, for the most part, have been at that stage for quite some time. But the proportions of militants to pacifists are, sadly, reversed amongst the Palestinians.

                b&

              13. @NewEnglandBob

                “I am finished answering your inane questions. How about you try and come up with a constructive solution?”

                Ok – Israel grants Palestine independence. Then they work out the rest of it. Done

              14. And here, you see, is the problem. They tried: they offered 95% of West Bank, the whole Gaza and East Jerusalem – Palestinians said “No”, not once but at three different occasions. They want their own, independent state so much that they are refusing getting it when it is offered. Go figuer!

              15. That is because reason only applies when dealing with reasonable people and Isreal wasn’t dealing with reasonable rational people.

              16. How foolish:

                1. They pulled out of Gaza and things got worse.

                2. The Palestinians, especially Hamas vow to annihilate all Jews. Why should Israel (which is only 40 miles wide at some points) want a neighbor like that? Look what the US did when the Soviets put some missiles in Cuba – a blockade. Then the Soviets did the sensible, reasonable thing.

              17. 1) As I pointed out before, they pulled their forces and settlers out of Gaza, but the people of Gaza are still basically in an open-air prison. What is that supposed to prove?

                2) I think if Israel made genuine moves towards more freedom for Palestinians, Hamas’ extremist viewpoint would lose a lot of support, and Israel would be seen as a valuable neighbour to have.

                But even if I’m wrong, so what? We have international methods to deal with belligerent nations. Keeping Palestinians in limbo is just cruel.

              18. You are wrong. Several times the Palestinians were offered a treaty and their own sovereign state but they refused it.

                If it is cruel then they brought it onto themselves, several times.

              19. Could you, please tell me, what good those international methods did for Syria? For Krimea? For what is going now in Ukraina? Why should Israel trust the international community which three years after the Holocaust watched (not even with a special interest) how five Arab armies invaded this newborn state? Or 1967, when Nasser promissed to massacre all the Jews and demanded that UN peacekeeping force was removed from Sinay – do you think UN decided to stay and defend those Jews? No, they immediately meekly went away. Inhabitants of Srebrnica could also say you something about the defence they got from “international methods”. Or Tutsi in Rwanda.

              20. So Palestinians should be punished for the past misdeeds of Arab nations?

                There isn’t any good justification for witholding independence. Palestine wouldn’t suddenly have the military might to drive Israel into the sea, just because they now run their own affairs.

                It’s simply unjustifiable to deny Palestinians the basic human right of self-determination.

              21. As I told you a moment ago they were offered independence more than one time and refused to take it because they just couldn’t stand not to have all their demands met.

          2. Gee, under this philosophy, the US and Britain shouldn’t have gone to war against Germany and Frankenberger. Violence breeds violence don’t you know.

            1. Hi Godwin, good to see you.

              If Palestine suddenly was in the process of invading Israel to start the eradication, then I hope you’d be generous enough to grant me some trust and, until proven otherwise, assume that I would not remain passive.

              Or should I assume that you want to kill all Palestinians slowly/ let them rot?

              1. Have you actually read ANY of the posts here? Did you not understand them?

              2. I was responding to one post that was comparing the situation that of the 1930’s.

                That canard is getting old. The two situations are not the same.

                What posts did you have in mind, though?

              3. I agree with former Secretary of State George Schulz, terrorists are not even people.

        2. “The Palestinians never pass up an opportunity to pass up an opportunity.”

          That is as true today as it was when I heard it 15 or so years ago. They could have a decent sized homeland today if only they’d accepted one of the many offers they’ve had.

  2. One of my favourite observations by Christopher Hitchens:

    “The local leaderships that are generated by the troubles in such places [as Lebanon, Gaza, Cyprus, NI and several other ‘hot spots’], do not want there to be a solution. A solution would mean that they were no longer deferred to by visiting UN or American mediators, no longer invited to ritzy high-profile international conferences, no longer treated with deference by the mass media, and no longer able to make a second living by smuggling and protection-racketeering. The power of this parasitic class was what protracted the fighting in Northern Ireland for years and years after it had become obvious to all that nobody (except the racketeers) could ‘win’. And when it was over, far to many of the racketeers became profiteers of the ‘peace process’ as well.”

    1. I agree. Another aspect is that the leaders become leaders by inflaming the public. Once they are in office they are pressured by the most militant factions to keep up the propaganda, training the children to hate, taking every opportunity to further inflame feelings. Now they are trapped.
      If one leader wants to change course and make peace he not only has to change his own mind, but the minds of everyone he has helped to inflame. So, he settles in for the long haul. No change.
      It reminds me of how the Republicans have been put in a box by the T party.

  3. at its heart is unexamined assumption – that Israelis and Palestinians are different kinds of people.

    Exactly. Until the collective consciousness wraps its head around the evidence that we all emerged out of Africa some 60-100kYa, and that these differences are based on fables from the last 2kY, between people that are genetically close, this is never going to end.

  4. “infantilising”

    That word doesn’t roll of the tongue well and I wouldn’t use it as a title. I have almost as much trouble pronouncing it as I do “femininity”.

  5. Thanks for posting the link. Of course certain areas of the UK media reflect the liberal view that the Palestinians are forever the victims and that Israel is the great oppressor but I’m not sure whether “abhors” is the right description.However, let’s not forget that the majority of UK national newspapers are fervently right wing but do not reflect the political leanings of the British public as a whole.

    I hesitate to click on the link to the actual Telegraph article however, because I know what the Telegraph commentariat will have to say. It won’t be a well argued counter to Palestinian political and religious views. It will be a long list of comments expressing outright bigotry, racism and hatred of Palestinians for the crime of being Palestinian.

  6. “at its heart is unexamined assumption – that Israelis and Palestinians are different kinds of people. ” – What do you want? From the pictures we can see that the Palestinians are indoctrinated from childhood to hate Israel. The point is to put pressure on Hamas and other Palestinian leaders who propagate such hatred. This must be similar to the brainwashing made in North Korea.

  7. Indeed. In the west we often tend to see Israel as “one of us” and hence hold it to high standards of conduct, but perhaps subconsciously tend to regard the rest of the middle east as a barbarian horde to be appeased or suppressed.

  8. Back in the days there were teens cheering about 911 in China.
    The moral standard can be incredibly low to your enemy (or the enemy in your mind), to the invader (or the invader in your mind), and to the ppl that took your “rightrous land”, at least you were told so.

  9. I have read these postings, and the informative commentary, with great interest. I was one of the many who tended to hold the Israelis and Palestinians to a double standard. But it has lately become clear to me that my views were far too simplistic, so count me as someone who has been persuaded. Yes, Israeli expansion into the occupied territories is a problem, but there is extraordinary anti-Semitism among the Palestinians, and this tradition has roots that extend to well before the creation of the state of Israel.
    Unfortunately, the more accurate picture also means that any solution will be more complicated. There is clearly not one, but two sides that need to clean up their act, and the bigger mess seems to be Palestinian.

    1. I’m with you there. Same as when I abandoned idealism (a common trait among youths), I thought I had embraced non-double standards for years after.

      It is only by meeting more skepticism that I have understood that the middle ground is over _there_. Many times, as here, thanks to Jerry!

    2. I can’t help but wonder how many of the common people really believe what’s presented as their views. I realize some of these views are presented on official media (Al-Hayat, etc.), but do most people actually hold them? Or is it a very vocal minority? I honestly don’t know.

    3. I mostly agree with you but let’s remember that Palestinians do not live in a democracy and they do not possess the same standard of living. So while it does not make sense to hold them to the same standards, it does not justify teaching the kids to cheer and celebrate the murder of innocent children.

      I think a lot of people are softer on Palestinians because they live under tougher conditions than their Israeli counterparts. But unfortunately, most liberal Westerners do not understand the nature and the scope of anti-semitism in Islam as well as many immoral practices in Islam and the political Islam on the indoctrination of children and casting their enemies as subhuman.

  10. Would treating them as adults include giving them the same amount of aid as “adult” Israel receives?

    1. Palestinians got, during those years, enormous amount of international aid, many, many times over the Marshall plan for the whole Europe. Israel absorbed all refugees both from Arab countries and from the rest of the world (inclusive remnants of European Jewry – destitute, broken physically and mentally people who survived Holocoust) without any aid from international community – no UNRWA, no nothing.

  11. Has anyone researched how many Palestinian children vs Israeli children have been killed since this all began – when – since the Jewish religion invented the idea of Israel as a nation? Of course the Holocaust didn’t help the situation any did it?

    1. Of course those numbers are readily available. What would the ratio of dead children be if Mexicans started bombing Texas in order to try to eliminate Texans and get Texas back?
      BTW, when Israel was “invented” so was the Muslim country of Pakistan (5 million people were displaced back then).
      Also, the founder of Modern Zionism was an agnostic (Herzl). Kind of hurts the Jewish religion argument, doesn’t it?

    2. Jews were and are a nation – bound by common history, tradition, culture and (yes, religion, though percentage of atheist is unusually high). Your idea that Jewish religion invented the Jewish nation is really very farfetched.

      Israelis cherish their children and do everything humanly possible to shield them. During the last 48 hour 45 rockets had fallen on the south of Israel. All children were hidden in bomb shelters. Buss stops are doubling as bomb shelters (betong reinforced), children’s playgrounds have bomb shelters build as a huge betong places of fun (caterpillars etc). There are bomb shelters in schools and hospitals.

      Palestinians, especially in Gaza, but also on the West Bank, teach children that the highest honor is to die while killing Jews. Children are taught to cherish death and “martyrs”. Instead of shielding children they are used as human shield. No wonder that there are more killed Palestinian children. But I do understand the sorrow of those who think that not enough Jewish children are killed.

      1. Well, you certainly must have read the history of the Jewish people differently than I have read it.

        Just in the Pentateuch, how many times did the Jewish God establish and then destablish the “Land of Israel”? The current State of Israel is a spec compared to the original Biblical concept.

        I think that we should never forget that Jerusalem belongs to all three Abrahamic religions and not just one.

        1. You are so right! Bible for me is a collection of fairytales, not a historic textbook. I prefer archeology, real history and documents. There is knowledge out there, ouside this “holy scripture”, you know.

          1. You know, I really don’t understand why you seem to be attacking me.

            Above, you stated: “Your idea that Jewish religion invented the Jewish nation is really very farfetched.” but you really didn’t provide any sound reason for making that statement.

            Above you also stated:”There is knowledge out there, ouside this “holy scripture”, you know.” as if I had said something about the xtian “Bible”(the first five books of which make up the Jewish Pentateuch)being a “holy scripture” or a “holy book”; of course I did no such thing; and would not do so as we know that the literature was(and continues to be) written by fallible mortals.

            I was merely trying to point out to you that the idea of the “Land of Israel” is a very ancient idea in “history” and was drawing an analogy to the current “State of Israel”. Palestinian Muslims and Palestinian Jews were at war with each other long before the current “State of Israel” was created at the end of WWII. Contrary to your apparent opinion, there is some history in the “Bible” which has been supported and verified through historical and scientific research.

            By the way, I have been a nonbeliever probably for longer than you have been alive(I’m 72 and realized at the apprx age of 12 that religious stories of gods of all shapes, sizes and color were and are nothing but fairy tales and therefore mythology).

            If I still have not made myself clear, I will try again.

            1. I didn’t mean to attack you – just to say where I cannot agree with what you wrote. Starting with who was nonbeliever longer – I beat you by 11 years. I’m 71 and I was raised in an atheistic family.
              First, there was a tribe of Hebrews which came with an idea of one god. But before there was an idea (religion) there was a tribe which in time grew into a nation. This way it was not religion that invented the Jewish nation – it was the Jewish nation that invented Judaism. Today there are plenty of Jews who belong to the Jewish nation and are atheists. This will be explanation for the first issue.
              Second, you wrote: “Well, you certainly must have read the history of the Jewish people differently than I have read it. Just in the Pentateuch, how many times did the Jewish God establish and then destablish the “Land of Israel”? The current State of Israel is a spec compared to the original Biblical concept.”
              How is it possible to understand it differently than that you are referring to the Pentateuch, the first five books of Bible as a historical source? There might be some historical facts in the Bible but I always want to know, which ones, and for that I need to rely on archeology and historical documents.
              And you are absolutely right that the war between Jews living in Palestine and Arabs living in Palestine is much, much longer than the WWII. As Efraim Karsh writes in his “Palestine Betrayed”: At the time of the Muslim occupation of Palestine in the seventh century, the country’s Jewish population ranged in the hundreds of thousands at the very least; by the 1880s, Palestine’s Jewish community had been reduced to about 24,000, or some 5 percent of the total population.

              1. I guess I’m still confused. The Jews are not a “race” of Homo, they are adherents of a specific religion that has come to be known as Judaism. As such I have a difficult time understanding how the concept of the “Land of Israel” could predate Jewish religious belief and philosophy.

                If you have never read “The Bible Unearthed” by Silberman and Finkelstein you might want to consider it.

              2. Poles and Slovacs are not different “races” (they even belong to the same group of “Slavonic” people). Both countries are Christian(Poland since 966, Slovakia a bit erlier). Try to tell them that it was religion which created their countries and the feeling of peoplehood, and that they are not really entitled to their own states! I do not really understand your problem: Jews, is a group of people with a very unusual history: the only ancient nation who preserved their history, language and culture until modern times, and the only nation which has Judaism as the main religion (there are plenty of Christian states and Islamic states) and the only nation which survived millenia of diaspora to go and re-create state (Roma, dispersed through Europe, didn’t.) But the fact that somebody’s history is unusual does not mean that they do not have the right to their own secular and democratic state.

              3. BradW, I think you are confusing a people with an invention made by that people. It is like believing that Americans did not exist before General Motors.

    3. Golda Meir once said something that I find unbearably touching: “We can forgive the Palestinians for killing our children, but we cannot forgive them for making us kill their children.” The Palestinians are still practicing this tactic with sickening enthusiasm.

      1. “we cannot forgive them for making us kill their children.”
        Great example of the tortured moral reasoning at the heart if conflict.

        1. I wonder if you understand what she meant. The Palestinian Arabs were purposely putting their own children (as they still do) in harm’s way instead of protecting them.

          1. Yes, IDF never uses children as human.. doh! Google!

            I would rather put a bullet in my own head then kill a child…. that’s just how I roll.

            1. Are you seriously suggesting that the IDF use children as human shields? That is so very far from the truth that I can hardly believe that even you subscribe to the idea.

            2. Yes, Boris, let’s see your evidence. You make a snarky comment here and don’t back it up with anything. Evidence or apologize.

              Frankly, I’m getting tired of people just coming out with ludicrous claims like this and not backing them up.

              May I point out that “doh” is not an argument?

              The management is waiting. . .

              1. To management:
                “Frankly, I’m getting tired of people just coming out with ludicrous claims like this and not backing them up.”

                I have provided sufficient evidence and an apology in reponse to your audit to merit reprieve from your accusation of making “ludicrous claims like this”.

                I am tired too, I’ll be moving on to the squirrel tufts. That’s much more enjoyable. 🙂

  12. After the Twin Towers destruction. Practically the whole of Egypt erupted into celebration (not to mention numerous other Islamic countries). Sweets were handed out in the streets, there was free public transport for 3 days, and free meals in restaurants.
    These “peaceful” muslims arejust supportive of anything that is anti-West and particularly anti-Israel, and the Western world is blind to the fact.

  13. A significant proportion of UK journalists are ant-semitic! Why do you think so many of them are happy to work for Al Jazeera and assist it in spreading its vile anti-jewish and anti-Israel propaganda.

    Don’t agree? Google, Al Jazeera programmes that have been translated from Arabic to English.

  14. I do not condone the Palestinian’s behavior, but it seems simple for me to understand it. If someone stole my family farm I would fight them any way I could. I truly hope I would not kill innocents, but I would understand that other people with different values might. This seems to me almost trivially obvious. I do not discount all the unreasonable hatred of Jews, or the religious fueled violence – and these won’t be solved by Israel’s withdrawal. But right now it seems clear that even a rational, non-bigoted person would fight Israel. As long as this is the case it provides cover for the rest. Israel has and is actively colonizing the occupied territories – did anyone wonder why Native Americans fought the US’ western expansion?

    1. Baloney. Israel pulled out of the Gaza and it accomplished nothing. The Egyptians have been as responsible as anyone for the plight of Gaza. Even other Muslims disagree with the Palestinians.

      1. Sure, they pulled out, but they still control the borders, they still control all their necessities like electricity, water and communication with the outside world, and they still basically control the lives of everyone in Gaza.

        As for the Egyptians, I’d say they’re complicit, rather than responsible (I think they don’t care that much about Palestinians, and are willing to oppress them to curry favour, but I don’t think they caused the situation to come about – Israel would have maintained their border strip on the Gaza/Egypt border if Egypt hadn’t agreed to crack the whip). But either way I hardly think saying ‘Egypt is doing it too’ is much of a defense, they’re hardly a shining light in the world of freedom and democracy.

        1. Israel pulled out of Gaza but instead of trying to find a peaceful solution, the Pslestinians fired thousands of rockets into Israel.

          What other nation would stand for that reprehensible behavior?

          It is unbelievable to me that you would defend that.

          1. Perhaps it’s unbelievable because I’m not defending what you say. I know that history and religion and culture all play a role here… but as long as Israel has an active policy of settling someone else’s land how can they expect peace?
            Look, there are plenty of people who hate Israel beyond all reason, I understand this. But as long as Israel continues to take land that isn’t theirs, can a hatred of Israel be called unreasonable?

            1. If you read all the comments posted here, you would have learned that the Israelis are not settling someone else’s land.

              Half the West Bank is called Judea. That is where the term Jew came from.

              1. So I can roll up to wherever-the-fuck my ancestors lived 3000 years ago and just take it back? Sweet

              2. Most of the settlements were on empty land which they paid for. That is until the extremists killed their own people for selling their land.

              3. To clarify that – I’m not saying Israel shouldn’t exist – I wouldn’t want anyone to jump to conclusions.

                But saying it’s ‘not someone else’s land’ because they used to live in the area? That’s nonsensical.

              4. Are you in “New England”? Would you be fine giving up your land to someone who could prove their ancestors once lived where you do now? How long did they have to live there – hundreds, thousands of years? – before title can change? Who was there before the Jews? Can THEY claim the land?
                This is preposterous… I think I can safely ignore you now.

              5. A. It was empty land.

                B. it was mandated to them in the partition where the Arabs got 80%.

                Since you don’t understand history or logic, I can ignore you now.

            2. This is a good point. And why does Israel continue to settle in disputed land? Why are the Israeli fanatics permitted to build more houses which must drive Palestinians crazy? From what I have read, it is simply because the religious right in Israel think God granted Israel the right to the land, and the religious right in Israel holds a knife to the throat of the Israeli Knesset, as they do to the Republican party in the US. But that’s only from a glancing read of the mainstream news. Am I correct?

              1. No, you are not correct. The building of houses goes on mostly in areas which in all negotiations until now were supposed to remain in Israeli hands and a different part of the territory would go in exchange to Palestinians. Do you know how much of the West Bank territories are taken by those famous “settlements”? It is around 5% (five percent). Check the facts, not propaganda.

              2. So that’s your answer, Malgorzata – that Israel is allowed to continue to steal land that isn’t theirs, and then expect peace? That is patently ridiculous. I can safely ignore you, as well as NewEnglandBob.
                Is there anyone out there that can answer an honest question – why does Israel expect peace while they continue the policy of settling the occupied territories?

            3. So, what you’re basically saying is that the act of building houses is a valid reason for wanting to drive all the Jews into the sea?

              I know, two wrongs don’t make a right but these two wrongs are not the same as each other. Also, one of these wrongs both predates the other and probably will never change.

              So, why do you hold the Palestinians to lower standards than the Israelis? Why must the Israelis first stop building houses before the Palestinians are held to account?

              1. Because Israel is a state with an army and the Palestinians are not and do not have an army.

                And my tax dollars go to support Israel, so why wouldn’t I hold them to a higher standard?

                Seriously, why would I hold them to the same standard? One’s a government that wouldn’t exist without my government and the other is a bunch of corrupt officials, terrorists and innocents.

    2. Once again: Jews didn’t steal anything. First Zionists BOUGHT land pieces, mostly deserts and swamps, from Turkish and Arab landowners to the exorbitant prices. They watered the deserts and dried the swamps and the soil started to be productive. Impoverished Arabs from terittories nearby (and from far) came to this place where suddenly there were economic opportunities. When 1947 UN proposed partition it gave to Jews parts where there was Jewish majority and Arab parts with Arab majority. As 80% of Mandat for Palestine which initially was thought of as Jewish National Home was already given to Arabs and was Judenfrie, was not enough for Arabs and they wanted Jewish part as well, they started war. More affluent Arabs moved from the harms way before hostilities started, some were urged by Arab military leaders to move and were promised the return in a week after the last Jew was killed, some took part in the hostilities and some were exiled by Israeli army. After the war Jews refused to take back the hostile population stating that most of them left voluntarily or ordered by Arabs armies so they are Arab responsibility. This newborn country, consisting to a great extend of refugees from European war and Arab persecution couldn’t afford to have a hostile population once again inside its tiny borders. Those people should have been resettled in Arab countries long time ago. But instead they are kept in refugee camp (fifth generation refugees!) as a weapon against Israel.

      1. Maybe you need to say this 10 more times so that the apologists and the Islamic Sophisticated Theologians here actually understand the history of the area.

        1. There’s never a good reason to let anything like facts or history or logic get in the way of good ol’ fashioned Jew-Hatred!

      2. I don’t see anything addressing the continued annexation of another person’s land for settlement of your own citizens. This seems extremely provocative and illegal and a reasonable person would fight it. Could either of you speak to this?

        1. You beg the question. As others have explained, nobody’s land is being annexed for settlement. It is not illegal. Yes, I know it is often said to be illegal, but that doesn’t make in illegal in fact. Your assumptions are faulty.

          1. Palestine is either an occupied area – making the settlements illegal by international law.

            Or Palestine is part of Israel – in which case you have a whole bunch of people living in your country who are denied fundamental rights that other inhabitants enjoy.

            Neither sound very good to me

            1. And neither is true. They are called “disputed territories” for a reason. The “settlements” are not “illegal”. The Palestinian territories are not part of Israel. They are in limbo because their leaders refuse to accept less than all of the state of Israel for their “Palestine”. They could have had an independent country in 1947 if they had not preferred to try to wipe Israel out as a matter of higher priority.

              1. Fair question, Sarah. I’m considering the 1967 internationally recognized border. My grasp of history is not perfect – but it was my understanding that, after the 6 days war, the international community recognized the nation of Israel within certain borders.
                Is this correct?
                Land outside of this area did not belong, legally to Israel. Again, is this correct?
                Based on that understanding, Israel has no claim on the West Bank land that it continues to colonize.
                I am open to being corrected if the argument is fact based.

              2. Jandanson: (Sorry, I’m not sure this is going to go in the right place after your question)
                You are thinking of the “Green Line”, which is not a border at all but only an armistice line from 1948. After the 6-day war in 1967 a proper boundary was to be agreed by negotiation between Israel and the PLO, to whom Jordan had turned over its claim to the disputed area between the Jordan and this armistice line. It was thought that an agreement could be reached fairly soon. (Alas, the PLO’s successor is still stalling.) Israel is not colonizing the West Bank, because if and when a final agreement is reached, it is assumed that Israel will retain control of certain areas (including where the “settlements” are) and the PA other areas. (Since Oslo, about 98% of the Palestinian population are under the PA authority.) Jews have always lived in the West Bank area, except when they were expelled by Jordan for 19 years. I think that answers your questions. I think you would find Alan Dershowitz’s “The Case for Israel” interesting. He takes about 30 common misapprehensions about Israel and explains why they are wrong or simplistic. It’s not just polemic by any means, but a reasoned and scholarly approach. He wrote the book after giving some talks on US campuses and discovering how little the students knew about the details of the thorny Israel/Palestine situation.

              3. So Israel does not have internationally recognized borders? I’d be very surprised to find out that’s true. I remember following the building of the wall and there were areas that were reported to be on Palestinian land… were all of the news reports mistaken? Again, I find that hard to believe. Are you saying that Israel has/is not settling beyond these borders? Some very respected news agencies have reported that they have/are – are all of these agencies anti-Israeli? I’ll read up on what you’ve written, for I’m interested in the truth in this area.

                On a related note… would you extend the right to colonize disputed land to Palestinians?

              4. Read up on Wikipedia (so it must be true) and two things came up – one is that you are correct, Sarah, what I was thinking of was the Green Line. The other was that almost every court or governmental body considers the settlement expansion and the annexation of Jerusalem as illegal, so I think my point stands – Israel is continuing to displace Palestinians illegally to take their land. I can understand how we can reasonably disagree on this, and I have more compassion for the pro-Israel arguments after reading this.

              5. “The Palestinian territories are not part of Israel”

                So they’re “disputed territories”, that remain under military occupation, pending some kind of decision on the fixing of the borders. This brings them squarely under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and that makes the settlements illegal.

                The fact that Israel expects that they will retain control of these areas after some future peace deal, doesn’t make it any less illegal.

              6. I know the Fourth Geneva Convention is often invoked, but is irrelevant here. It concerns sovereign states, and the WB hasn’t been part of a sovereign state since it was in the Ottoman Empire. A good rule of thumb to apply to Israel/Palestine is that whatever your initial impression, the situation is much more complex than you think.

      3. Wait. Does this mean that a cartel of Chinese billionaires can buy Montana and annex it to China? Now I’m really confused.

      4. The first part of your comment is very accurate. And many of those early pioneers were attacked by Arab robbers and killers. That’s why the kibbutz I worked on had to put up a stockade in a single night!

        Yet those Zionists and others wanted to be co-workers and friends with the Arabs, but most of the Arabs refused and some of them instead attacked innocent Jewish civilians.

        Agreed.

        Some of your other points show a one-sided view of history.

        If you haven’t already, please read Palestinian Eli Chacour’s autobiography, Blood Brothers,to see how there is another side to the history, another side to this tragedy.

        And, just, so you know, I don’t think Abbas should have anything to do with HAMAS but should support Israel against the murderous thugs.

      5. Hi Mal, you are right about the initial work of zionists in purchasing and developing the land. There is nothing to be condemned and arguably much to be lauded in that work.

        The problem comes with your one-sided interpretation of what followed.

        “UN proposed partition it gave to Jews parts where there was Jewish majority and Arab parts with Arab majority.”

        This is stated as if it were a just and democratic activity. It is in fact gerrymandering which is viewed as basically criminal and clearly unethical activity.

        The result was to disenfranchise two sets of populations (inside and outside of Israel).

        “initially was thought of as Jewish National Home…”

        By whom, and what was the reality on the ground regarding population (demographics)?

        “…was already given to Arabs and was Judenfrie, was not enough for Arabs and they wanted Jewish part as well, they started war. ”

        Not enough for Arabs is an extremely unfair characterization. Suddenly friends and family were separated into different nations, forcing them to lose their lands or submit to a government that was imposed upon them by foreign governments. This was not about anti-semitism.

        Events could just as easily be characterized as Jews not being willing to share land with nonJews. After all the “Arabs” as you call them were in fact living with Jews already and were only asking for a single nation that included everyone.

        The reality is that it was neither. Overzealous people wanting to create a homeland for themselves jumped the gun on its practical reality by brokering a political deal with foreign powers to chisel out a nation which required the disenfranchising of others.

        Yes the disenfranchised went to war, aided in part by elements that arguably were anti-semitic in addition to having a legitimate legal/political complaint.

        “most of them left voluntarily or ordered by Arabs armies so they are Arab responsibility.”

        That is a rather convenient position to take, and contrary to rules of warfare regarding the dispossessed.

        “couldn’t afford to have a hostile population once again inside its tiny borders. Those people should have been resettled in Arab countries long time ago.”

        Not all of them fought Israel, and even those that did are allowed a right of return according to laws regarding warfare.

        Perhaps you can cite the legal concept that suggests Arab countries “should” absorb refugees, rather than allowing them to return to their original homes?

        Let me make one thing clear. Do to the extended nature of their refugee status, I do not believe all succeeding generations get a right of return. It is an impractical idea, even without the paranoid concept that they are a weapon.

        1. There was a unanimous decision of League of Nation (a predecessor of U.N.) from 1922 to build a Jewish National Home on the territories of of today’s Jordan, West Bank and Israel. This decision was never abbrogated and U.N. confirmed that all decisions by League of Nations are valid. Arabs, especially Hajj Husseini, a Hitler collaborator, disagreed. Financed partly by Germany he managed to eliminate other Arab leaders who accepted it and fought with Jews. The U.N. decision to partion what was left from this original area (a bit over 20% after 1923 Britin gave Transjordan to their client, a Saudi prince from Hashemide family) was an attempt to stop fighting and give both peoples a place to live. Jews, who desperately wanted to save the Holocaust remnants from Europe who languished in refugee camps, and persecuted Jews from Islamic countries, agreed. Arabs started war. U.N. proposal, not accepted by both parties, never became binding and remained just a suggestion. Thus decision of League of Nations never lost validity.

          Sorry for not answering your other points but I’m, pressed for time.

          1. Hi, no need to apologize for slow responses (or none). I’m also busy and only got to one of yours yesterday. You seem to be more informed than I am on the subject, and so provide some very interesting facts which I appreciate.

            The problem, I think, is that we seem to come at the same facts with a slightly different perspective and so interpretation. Another person replied to your post who was apparently an original kibbutz member? I agreed with their suggestion of further reading to challenge/broaden perspective rather than pure facts.

            In your current reply you move a bit further back to the League of Nations. I am of course aware of this and some level of the infighting and dealing. The problem is that it does not challenge my original point (perspective) regarding the legitimacy of having foreign powers divvy up someone else’s back yard.
            And you have left out the (by most common definitions) terror campaign by zionists to get a favorable decision from ruling British forces.

            It does not take an anti-zionist or anti-semite to have disagreed with both decisions by world bodies. We have been witnessing, across the world, the terrible results of foreign powers drawing up maps for others to live by.

            One can sympathize with many aspects of what early zionists were intending, especially after WW2. It is the methods of realization, where things come into question. Imposed borders on an existing population to generate what one wants, at the price of disenfranchising others, is not ethical or worthwhile.

            The question of whether war was the best response is open, but it is valid. What both sides have made after the end of the war(s), is a mess. Being the victor, and the entity with the greatest social structure/military strength, Israel carries the (legal) burden of having to act with greater care.

            1. I have a nasty feeling that I’m starting to repeat myself. But just a few points:
              Jewish terror campaign against the British (done by only part of s.k. Yishuv) was a deplorable answer to a deplorable White Paper which curtailed Jewish immigration to Palestine and effectively closed the door for Jews fleeing from Nazi Europe. It is a fact that many thousand of Jews could have been saved if not the White Paper. You can, for example, read this story about the ship “Struma”: http://sarahhonig.com/2012/02/24/another-tack-lessons-from-the-floating-coffin-another-tack-lessons-from-the-floating-coffin/. White Paper was implemented also after the war ended and Jewish survivors of the Holocaust were kept in camps in Europe and on Cyprus. (I do hope that you are aware that even greater terror campaign against British was conducted by Arabs.) Britain was so against Jewish state that – though they got the Mandate just in order to prepare a “Jewish National Home” – they couldn’t force themselves to vote for a Jewish state and abstained in the voting 27 November 1947.
              Israel didn’t want any war – it was attacked by 5 armies (with volunteers from more Arab states). After the war, what more could Israel had done than suggest peace negotiations? But the Arab side refused negotiations from the War of Independence 1948-49 until today (see the decision of the Arab League from last month not to recognize a Jewish state).
              About your main point. After the WWI four empires collapsed: Russian, German and Austrian in Europe, Ottoman in the Middle East. Something had to be done to stop the chaos. Many new states were created by the fiat of big powers (my country, Poland, was among them). You can deplore it but those are historical facts which cannot be undone. If on this basis you want to question the legitimacy of Israel, you should also question the legitimacy of all those other countries, inclusive Latvia, Czech Republic etc. in Europe and Jordan, Syria, Lebanon etc. in the Middle East.

              1. Hi Mal, well you are mainly repeating yourself by giving facts which do not have a single interpretation, as if they did. This is not to totally dismiss your perspective, which appears remarkably well informed, but I think it could use some tempering.

                In describing the terror campaign by zionists, you say that it was deplorable and yet then set up a defense for those acts. You then mention a “greater” campaign by Arabs. I do not share a perspective where debates of lesser/greater terror campaigns have any meaning, much less to grant one legitimacy over the other.

                The link you gave was a perfect example of approaching facts with a singular perspective. The horrors endured by the refugees, the ironic and deplorable indifference of nations to their fate is readily felt. However, the author’s perspective that it has lessons for how no one cares about jews, creating an analogy for jews without power, is (to my mind) inexplicably myopic and offensive.

                It certainly speaks to the problems of classes of people that are labeled undesirable, and left to fend for themselves. And of the uncaring nature of nations toward refugees in general.

                In fact, doesn’t this in some sense parallel the state of Palestinians today? I’m not suggesting they were escaping the same level of persecution, but the fact of where they are now. They are living in horrific conditions with absolutely no one wanting to take them in. And in this case, they are blocked from trying to improve conditions of their “ship.”

                Ugh… your reply had some further interesting points but this reply is already too long. I’m going to skip the question of Britain’s vote and the wars out of brevity.

                “About your main point. After the WWI four empires collapsed… Many new states were created by the fiat of big powers… You can deplore it but those are historical facts which cannot be undone. If on this basis you want to question the legitimacy of Israel, you should also question the legitimacy of all those other countries.”

                That is an excellent point. The shortest answer I can provide is that to me the legitimacy of all of these delineations were in question. I do not think (for the most part) they were done in the most productive, useful, democratic manner.

                Yet any question of the legal legitimacy of their founding, is made moot (in each case) by their practical legitimacy. Where they have been accepted by the local populations, and it is functioning then there is no point in re-examining their legitimacy.

                Israel is a strange case. Regardless of legal legitimacy, having established its existence for so long by force of arms and with extensive infrastructure, it has created a form of practical legitimacy… regardless of many of the local population not wanting it.

                In theory I would consider its foundation illegitimate, and sympathize with those who feel they got scammed in this process. But the fact remains that the question of its existence is over. It is time for those that do not like it, to get over it and move on. That is really tough to do, but necessary.

                Of course, acceptance of that fact comes with obligations which I feel Israel is not meeting. If one wants to be a legitimate, secular, democratic state then there are higher standards to play by, and practical realities they must get over.

              2. I’m sorry, but now you are repeating yourself. What is it that Israel should do, according to you, to convince the Palestinians to accept their own country on the West Bank and Gaza (which Israel proposed several times and every time Palestinians refused)? Should Israel disarm and commit suicide? That would be welcome by its Arab neighbours but I sincerely hope, not by you. Several million ethnic Germans underwent a forcible expulsion from Poland and other East European countries after WWII. Nobody calls for their “right of return”. We got a huge area of formerly German soil. Nobody calls that we return it. Germany started the war, committed unimaginable atrocities and lost. In the whole history of mankind there was always a price to pay is you started the war and you lost it. Arabs started the war 1948. Palestinian refugees are mostly thei doing. The world should force the Arab countries to take responsibility for their action – the problem of those s.k. refugees (now grandchildren and greatgrandchildren of the original refugees – 3 or 4 generations born outside the place they want to “return” to). My recipe is: dismantle the UNRWA, use those money to resettle those “Palestinian refugees”. Use all the energy international community is using to condemn and boycott Israel to force countries, in which generation after generation of those people was born, to give them citizenship and absorb them – after all, they are Arabs: the same language, the same religion, the same culture. Stop glorifying and rewarding Palestinian terror both from West Bank and Gaza. Demand immediate stop of incitment to hate Jews. I’m absolutely sure that as soon as Palestinians would renounce violence and recognize their Jewish neighbours Israel will enthusiastically help them build a thriving state.

              3. In theory I would consider its foundation illegitimate, and sympathize with those who feel they got scammed in this process.

                How very honourable of you!

                If only you would extend the same sympathy to the very people who had two thirds(!) of their population decimated and practically everything they owned “scammed” in another process.

                I simply can’t imagine what would prevent you doing so? Should I hazard a guess?

                What’s a real shame, though, is that you hammer on with your faux-concern while entirely neglecting to see “Palestinians” for what they really are. Sure, you admit that they are not entirely innocent but that’s just a concession to mask your…, hhhmmm what was it again you’re masking?

                For all their errors/mistakes/sins and everything else they’ve ever done ever since they Killed Jesus™ you’re obviously not disingenuous enough to deny that they have made a great contribution to this world.

                But for some or other reason you are unable to either give them any credit for this or to admit that these are simply not the type of people (in general, of course) who make human rights abuses their lives’ mission. I just can’t imagine what that reason might be…?

              4. Moother, your comments are getting intemperate and nasty–a tone I don’t like on this site. PLEASE tone them down. If you can’t, go elsewhere. Ideas are welcome–denigration of fellow commenters, not so much.

    3. When Samaria and Judea were overrun by Jordan in 1948 and actually annexed, there wasn’t much talk about an “occupation”. When Israel regained the land in 1967 but did not annex it, suddenly it was an “occupation”. Jordan relinquished its claim and the PLO was supposed to enter negotiations with Israel about a Palestinian Arab state–and it still hasn’t happened. Israel has not “stolen” land.

    4. Wouldn’t it be more rational to just ask the trespassers to leave? Or defer to some kind of court of law or law enforcement to evict them? Even accepting the analogy of a farmer facing squatters or invaders, it doesn’t seem rational at all to jump straight to unrestrained violence. That seems rather partisan, too.

    5. As long as this is the case it provides cover for the rest. Israel has and is actively colonizing the occupied territories – did anyone wonder why Native Americans fought the US’ western expansion?

      This is exactly why US and Canadian criticism of Israel is hypocrisy of the worst sort. Native Americans and First Nations were treated far worse then the Palestinians. Recall General Sheridan: The only good Indian is a dead Indian. And by the way, aren’t Indian Reservations a form of Apartheid?

  15. I have a dear friend who is Jewish. Though not religious, she was active in the local Jewish community for many years, and spent a year in Israel with her youth group after high school.

    Just this afternoon she was telling me how she can never bear to look at her Facebook feed when something like this happens, because of the intense hatred aimed at Palestinians by many of her Jewish friends, particularly those in Israel, and because of the denigrating and dehumanising way Palestinians are talked about.

    I have never been to Israel, but the impression I get from talking to this friend, and several other (mostly Jewish) friends who have spent time there, is that there is a quite substantial minority in Israel who would celebrate the deaths of Palestinians with just as much glee as the people in the original article are celebrating. Then there is a larger group who would never think of themselves as racist, who would never celebrate the death of a child, but who nevertheless have dehumanised Palestinians in their minds. My friend would give the example of a family she stayed with there, who lived in a progressive, artistic, left-wing community, who she would agree with on almost everything, but when they spoke about Palestinians, it was as if they were animals, mindless and without reason, and they needed to be scared into submission.

    I also get the impression that while the Israeli media is not outright racist, that plenty of news sources are more than adept at the dogwhistle, and at using language that minimises Palestinians, and reinforces their positions as outsiders and as inferior.

    Of course, it should go without saying (and yet here I am saying it) that none of this excuses or justifies anyone celebrating the deaths of these three Israeli teens, nor is it equating the degree or prevalence of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim sentiment. But it seems there is plenty of bigotry in both Israel and the Occupied Territories, both among the populace and from their goverments and political leaders. Israel just know the language of innuendo and euphemism, just as the abundant racists in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand know the language, and keep promulgating their horrible ideas, while looking shocked if anyone has the temerity to call them on it.

    1. Well, if we’re going to be even-handed, can we see the Israeli cartoons, photos, and other media outlets and social feeds that demonstrate this murder-indifferent xenophobia in their territory? I’d like very much to see evidence for it.

      1. I tried to make it quite clear what my source was on this. I can’t post my friends’ private Facebook feed, and most of the rest of what I said is the impression my Jewish friends had of Israel, after spending time there.

        I also made it clear that I wasn’t saying that racist hatred is as widespread or intense in Israel as it is in Palestine – I’m sure the anti-Semitism is worse than the anti-Muslim sentiment.

        I was just sharing what I had been talking to my friend about today, since it was relevant to the discussion.

        1. Daniel, your anecdote adds nothing to this discussion. It is not evidence of anything. It is useless and irrelevant at best, and misleading and confusing at worst. I can understand why you would have thought it worth writing, but I disagree. I think if you ask yourself what your point was, really, you’ll see that.

          1. “It is useless and irrelevant at best, and misleading and confusing at worst… I think if you ask yourself what your point was, really, you’ll see that”

            Jerry wrote a piece, talking about the disgusting anti-Semetism exhibited in the Palestinian Territories, from official sources and from the general populace.

            In response I told of a friend’s experience following this and previous incidents, of violent hatred towards Palestinians, of people who wish death upon Palestinians as retribution for the killings, and who talk of Palestinians, individually and as a whole, as being less than human, of being unworthy of the same rights and respect accorded to other people.

            This is mirrored by the experience of other Jewish friends who have spent time in Israel, and have family and friends there. They tell me about their social media contacts, who would never say such things publicly, but share the most vile stuff privately online. They tell me of their experience in Israel, that there is a sizeable proportion of the Israeli population who are not explicitly racist, but who talk about Palestinians in a dehumanising – and often infantilising – way. They also say that this dehumanisation sometimes carries over to the media, to commentators, to politicians and to official sources.

            Now it’s true these are just anecdotes, but these are some of my closest friends, they are intelligent, observant, thoughtful people who have shared their observations and conclusions with me over the course of many conversations. An individual’s experience may not give a true impression of the country, but the fact that multiple friends, who have visited different places at different times, who have family scattered across Israel, have drawn the same conclusions, suggests to me it is more than just a coincidence.

            If there is some substance to their claims (as I believe there is, due to how well I know these people, and the value that I put on their opinion. Others may disagree, which is why I clearly laid out the source of these claims) then I think it is worthwhile to discuss the racism and dehumanisation that occurs from both sides. I don’t intend to negate what Jerry and others have said about the disgusting words and images that have appeared in Muslim media, social and otherwise, following this abhorrent event, and on previous occasions. But over the past couple of years, as I have been reading of disgusting and hateful things said and shared by Palestinians and other Muslims, I have at the same time been exposed to the filth and bile coming from my best friend’s Facebook feed, which would equal the worst anti-Semetism I have read on WEIT for violence and hatred. And on this occasion I decided to share my friends’ experience with the readers here.

            Yes, such vile bigotry is not publicly acceptable in Israel, and that is a good thing. Making racism publicly unacceptable is an important part of stamping it out altogether, and Palestine’s allies, donors and supporters should be making it clear that they find it unacceptable too.

            But if racism persists in Israeli society, in private forums, in the form of euphemisms, innuendo and dogwhistles, and in denigrating and dehumanising attitudes and language, then that has to be a part of the conversation.

            1. That should of course be ‘anti-Semitism’ not ‘anti-Semetism’ throughout my last comment, the ipad seems to be autocorrecting to incorrect spelling for inexplicable reasons.

              1. Oh, I see. You “think it is worthwhile to discuss the racism and dehumanisation that occurs from both sides.” Ok, so on one side we have a government with an official position that Jews should be wiped from the face of the Earth, racist cartoons in official newspapers and websites, and racist children’s television shows which incite hatred and violence. On the other side, your friend (who, and we should just you here, is really smart) says Jews can be racist too. Yes, it’s important to continue stressing the equivalency here. BOTH sides are at fault. Thank you for reminding us.

            2. Yawn. Yes. You are very right. Let’s not forget to include all the details… Even the irrelevant ones.

              Does the fact that so many Israelis are awful, racist scumbags exacerbate the problem one slightest bit? Even if it did, can you say that a pocket of Palestinians who constantly launch rockets into Israel are treated better or worse than if there was a pocket of Jews in Saudi Arabia that constantly fired rockets into Muslim areas in that country?

              Let me be perfectly clear: If the latter hypothetical existed, Saudi Arabia wouldn’t need its army to wipe out that pocket of Jews. The local Muslim population would be more than happy to get their hands dirty. And Muslims would be flying in from all corners of the globe to help their “brothers” finish off those Pesky Jews™.

              So, yeah… Racism is bad, m’kay… But not all racism is equal.

              1. “Does the fact that so many Israelis are awful, racist scumbags exacerbate the problem one slightest bit?”

                To take the hypothetical that my friends’ observations are correct, yes, it obviously would. Do you suggest that the Israeli government is completely without fault in this conflict? That would be as ludicrous as claiming the PA and various groups are completely innocent. If there is a large proportion of the country who are explicitly or implicitly racist, this will impact on goverment policy, on the relative weighing of inconvenience, hardship and disruption in the lives of Palestinians, versus the convenience and benefit to Israel. And since almost(?) all Israelis must serve in the military, some of these ‘awful, racist scumbags’ would end up patrolling Palestinian towns, or stationed at checkpoints, and if their racism leads them devalue the needs of Palestinians, and treat them dismissively, that all helps to exacerbate the whole situation. Israel has a massive impact on the lives of Palestinians every day, and if that power is used callously or thoughtlessly, that helps to increase the tensions.

                “Even if it did, can you say that a pocket of Palestinians who constantly launch rockets into Israel are treated better or worse than if there was a pocket of Jews in Saudi Arabia that constantly fired rockets into Muslim areas in that country?”

                ‘We’re better than Saudi Arabia’ isn’t much of an argument.

            3. What you say now is totally different from what you suggested before, that posts HERE dehumanize and implicitly call for annihilation of the Palestinians.
              With you write here I agree in the sense that racism is present in the Israeli society in significant proportions. This is shameful and must be fought against.
              What I disagree with is the symmetry you seem to see between the Palestinians, whose racism is openly demonstrated in the official media and government policies, and Israel, where racism and calls for violence exist in the public, but not in the actions of the government and are condemned by the vast majority of Israelis.

              1. I never suggested that posts here dehumanise Palestinians, I think you have me confused with someone else and I’d like you to apologise.

                And I didn’t say there was symmetry with Palestinian racism, just that multiple friends have found that while such racism is not publicly acceptable in Israel, it remains widespread in private conversations, and that while most Israelis would deny being racist, a majority of people my friends encountered in Israel speak of Palestinians as a whole in a denigrating and dehumanising fashion.

                Yes, official Israeli policy may not be explicitly racist, but if those viewpoints remain widespread in the population, that’s going to have an impact on the actions of the government.

                It is not publicly acceptable to be racist against African-Americans in the USA (in most places at least), but who would deny that ongoing private racism, and public but subtle racism (euphemisms, dogwhistles etc.) don’t have an impact on official policies in America?

              2. You are right, of course. I somehow confused you with Glinda. I am really sorry about that.
                To the point, with all the respect to your friends, as someone who has lived here for 40 years, I can confidently say that their impression is false.
                Extremist are typically more passionate about their views and it’s not unreasonable to assume that they voice their opinion more intensely than others. This can be one cause for your friends’ confusion.
                Another may be a misinterpretation of a common view among Israelis, that in the foreseeable future there is no chance for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, not because the Palestinians are in any way less human, but because they educate themselves to hate the Jews and Israel, that indiscriminately killing Jews is desired and even the so called moderate Palestinians (like Abbas) still sell their people ideas like the right of return which no sane Israeli will ever accept.
                Nearly all Israeli see the suffering of innocent Palestinians as something regrettable. Most of us (including me) think that it is sometimes justified by the security needs of Israel, and sometimes it’s not and anyway, its never desired.
                The comparison with the Palestinians and Arabs in general in this regard is nonsensical and distorts reality.

              3. golanshahar, thanks for your reply.

                With respect, my friends are not confused. Their experience may not be representative of Israel as a whole, but the explicit and implicit racism they saw was real. The explicit, vile and violent racism that their Israeli friends post on Facebook is real – I’ve seen it myself on previous occasions (my friend prefers not to look at it any more).

                This explicit racism does come from a loud minority – but their online friends don’t criticise them, or condemn calling for mass violence against Palestinians. My friend is one of the very few who will argue against it, and when she does she rarely gets support or agreement, but does get other people supporting someone’s right to spout disgusting filth, even if they don’t agree themselves.

                As for implicit racism, well that’s a bit more subjective. I trust my friends’ judgement, because I trust my friends. I understand I can’t expect you to do the same. But it’s not misinterpreting pessimism about the peace process. It’s about people treating the genuine hardship and suffering of innocent Palestinians in a casual and dismissive manner. It’s people talking about Palestinians as if they are a caricature, unthinking, bloodthirsty, impervious to reason.

                My friends whose opinions I’m sharing are all Jewish, and grew up outside of Israel. They visited at different times, went to different places, travelled for different reasons – as part of an organised program, visiting family, etc. They all came away with a similar impression – a loud, explicitly racist minority, and a larger group who are more subtly racist, and who are also often willing to turn a blind eye to the explicit racists.

                My friends certainly met many Israelis who weren’t racist at all, from all over the political spectrum. But I doubt any would say that a majority of the people they met were neither explicitly nor implicitly racist. I know my closest friend, with whom I’ve discussed this the most, certainly found the large majority of people she met talked about Palestinians in a dismissive fashion, and treated them just as crude stereotypes, without human hopes and emotions. I’m sure most of these people, on meeting a Palestinian, would treat them perfectly politely, talk to them, be interested in their lives, think no different of them than another Israeli. But if they still think about Palestinians as a whole through the lens of a stereotype, then that’s gonna affect how they think about events that happen far away, to people they’ve never met. And if there is a large enough proportion of people who share those views – my friends think there is, I suspect you disagree, so it goes – then that would filter up into mainstream media, political parties and government policy.

                I chose to share my comment because just before reading Jerry’s post, my friend had been telling me about how her Facebook fills up with filth whenever something like the killing of these three boys occurs. People write and post and link to the most disgusting stuff, and no one calls them out.

                Yes, these are on private Facebook pages, and yes, you would get loudly criticised in Israeli society if you said these things publicly. But my friends were all shocked by how many people were willing to say these things privately, and how many people were willing to tolerate them saying those things.

                It would be a good thing if it became socially unacceptable in Palestine (and around the world) to be publicly racist – and we should all be putting pressure on Palestinian leaders to change their attitudes, especially certain left-wingers who, as Jerry has correctly pointed, all too often give Palistinians and other Muslim groups a pass on this issue. But I don’t think just because it’s pushed out of the public sphere that racism disappears, or is no longer damaging and corrosive.

                From my friends’ experience there remains enough racism under the surface in Israel to be of concern. I take their opinions seriously, because it’s the most direct access to observations of Israel I have, and I trust in their ability to observe, interpret and analyse. I shared their observations to see if anyone else had the same experience, and just to see what other people’s thoughts on the prevalence of racism in Israel, and I explained my sources to avoid misleading anyone.

                I’m sorry this comment is so long, I realise I’ve covered a lot of what I said, but my original comment wasn’t the most eloquent, and I wanted to clear up just what I was talking about.

              4. So long as you agree that this shameful racism is not representative of Israel, we are in no dispute. You are right that the time since the disappearance of the three boys so a very disturbing increase in the open display of that. It is also true that people show too much “understanding” to the the anger of the extremist mob. And yet, this is a vocal minority, not the Israeli public, and this is a key difference.
                This isn’t comparable to the openly official norm among the Palestinians of violent racism against every Jew. The efforts to find symmetry where it doesn’t exist is used to set the bar very low for the Arabs, and this is what this discussion is about.

              5. Well, with respect, I trust my close friends more than an anonymous commenter online. I’m taking on board that in your 40 years in Israel, you haven’t seen this kind of racism. But the fact that multiple people, that I know to be intelligent and switched-on, came to the same conclusions independently, suggests to me that it’s more than just having the misfortune to bump into all the assholes (and every country has ’em) during your trip to Israel.

                This racism certainly isn’t representative of all Israelis, but my friends found that a large proportion (probably over 50%) of the people they met were at least implicitly racist, and that a lot of explicit racism from the vocal minority (maybe 5-15% of people by their accounts) was allowed to pass by without comment or condemnation. I believe you when you say it is uncommon in your experience, but I believe my friends as well.

                As for symmetry, I wasn’t trying to find it. But the situation isn’t symmetrical. There is a vast disparity in power – military power of course, but also legal power, and the power over the day to day lives of Palestinians by virtue of controlling border crossings, checkpoints, permits, etc. In contrast Palestinians have little influence or affect on anything Israeli. Yes, rockets and other terror attacks on Israel and Israelis are awful, and should be stamped out, Israel is right to take action to prevent these attacks, and bring the perpetrators to justice. But as Ben Goren pointed out, the Palestinians ‘keep throwing most of what they have at Israel and never even scratching the paint, let alone making a dent militarily…’

                Every death they cause is a tragedy, and I’m not trying to minimise the loss. But I think that the ongoing hardships faced by Palestinians is a slow-burning tragedy. You may blame whoever you want for causing those ongoing hardships, I don’t think anyone’s hands are clean, but you can’t deny that Israel wields massive power over Palestinian lives, and it needs to wield it with care. The sort of racism my friends observed matters, because if that person is in the military, or becomes a politician, it could have more real impact on peoples lives, than Palestinians celebrating Israelis deaths on the street might, as abhorrent as that is.

              6. The greatest success of Arab propaganda was convincing much of the world (and you) that Israel is a Goliath and poor, little Palestinian people are defenceless David. 1948, 1967 and 1973, when Arabs still thought that they were able to push all the Jews into the see they “keep throwing most of what they have at Israel and never even scratching the paint, let alone making a dent militarily…” – as you quoted Ben Goren. Just compare the armour and manpower all those Arab states had with tiny Israel’s. When they realized that they cannot “wipe Israel of the map” in spite of their overwhelming superiority a new tactic was concocted (if I’m not misinformed, with the help of Soviet disinformation division): let’s present the Israeli-Arab conflict as a conflict between tiny Palestinian population and mighty Israel. Look, how it worked!
                And I would like to remind you that half of Jewish population in Israel are refugees and their descendants of Jews from Arab countries – people who lived in the Middle East for millenia and definitely belong to the same “race” as Arabs.

              7. You may be right that in a strict sense, they are not a race. You may consider my use of the term “racism” in this context as a shorthand meaning viewing the Palestinian as inferior in one or more ways that justify treating them in ways that you would’t treat your equals. If you read my whole posts, then you know that while I don’t think that we Israelis are free of this ugly phenomenon, I don’t think that we are worse than western nations, in conditions that make it much expectable (but DON’T justify it).

              8. I think it is amazing that Israelis are not more anti-Palestinian. My understanding is that hardly anyone in Israel has been personally unaffected by the terrorism of the intifadas. When the buses and restaurants were being blown up, everyone had relatives, friends, friends of friends, friends of relatives, relatives of friends, etc who were victims of the attacks. People are still suffering, physically and mentally, from the attacks of 10 or 15 years ago. When I hear how generous some Israelis are, officially and unofficially, I can’t help admiring them. (Among other things, I am thinking here of the medical care given to Gazans and West Bankers in Israeli hospitals.)

            4. You know, I wonder what the response of the US Government would be if folks living just across the border in Mexico were firing rockets into San Antonio and the Mexican Government took no action? I suspect the US response would be a lot tougher then the Israeli response to rockets being fired into Sderot is.

      2. Israel is a theocracy supported by my tax dollars. I do hold them to a higher standard.

        Iran, another theocracy, executes Gays. I don’t expect much of Iran.

        I certainly expect better than this.

        http://ow.ly/yNbS1

        But hey, it’s just my tax dollars. I don’t make decisions.

        I don’t have to argue that it’s equivalent. I’m happy to say they’re both wrong. But I’m only funding one side, so pardon me if more of my disgust is aimed there.

        1. Israel is no more a theocracy than Britain, whose titular head of state is also head of the state church, or the US, whose Supreme Court just made a highly controversial decision supporting one particular religion. Yes, there are significant religious influences in politics in all three countries, to one extent or another, but none of them rise to the level of theocracy — not by a long shot.

          Many Islamic nations, on the other hand, explicitly base their governmental and judicial systems on Sharia. That is theocracy.

          You don’t like American tax dollars supporting theocracy? Then bitch about American support of Saudi Arabia.

          b&

          1. A state who’s existence depends on forcing a religious majority may not be a theocracy but it sure isn’t a democracy.

            Could you imagine France building walls around its Muslims population centres, declaring them non-citizens, then allowing the rest of the population to vote to maintain it’s “Christian character”? Not a theocracy, but pretty distasteful as well.

            1. A state who’s existence depends on forcing a religious majority may not be a theocracy but it sure isn’t a democracy.

              True, but irrelevant; Israel does not “force a religious majority.” There’s every bit as much religious freedom in Israel as there is in the States, if not more. Religious minorities in Israel, best I know, don’t get the same shit treatment at the hands of Jews that religious minorities here in the States get at the hands of Christians.

              Could you imagine France building walls around its Muslims population centres, declaring them non-citizens, then allowing the rest of the population to vote to maintain it’s “Christian character”?

              If its Muslim population centers had a habit of firing missiles at the Eiffel Tower, I could see France isolating them…but, long before it got to that point, they’d treat it as the police and domestic terrorism matter it would so clearly be.

              And it’s surprising that you picked France, of all places for your example. They’re notorious for, for example, their language police that attempts to squash the use of foreign terms in an attempt to preserve “French character.”

              Israel, in stark contrast, does no such thing. There’s significant minority Arab representation in the Knesset, and the Israeli government goes to great lengths to preserve historic and religious sites within its borders, regardless of the religion or culture in question. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a government that does a better job at that sort of thing, especially in that part of the world. Can you imagine Saudi Arabia preserving the Western Wall or Jewish access to it? How about Iran granting Christians access to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher? Yet Muslims are welcome at the Temple Mount.

              b&

              1. Yes, I picked france for this reason but maybe the US is becoming a more appropriate example.
                This is all true, Israel has really no choice in those matters if it is to keep any degree of peace with its own Arab population and avoid further international condemnation. Last time they tried to restrict access, it started an intafada.
                You forget that anybody jewish, by religion, can be a citizen. A privilege not granted to Muslims nor anybody else claiming to be Israeli (by land claim etc.). If it did, there wouldn’t be a Jewish state, that’s the point; religious privilege.
                If one day the Knesset becomes dominated by Muslims due to demographics you would have Palestine, it’s in the interest of Israel’s survival not to let that happen.
                Personally, I think this is the way to go towards some sort of demilitarized one state solution, slowly start letting Palestinian Arabs become citizens and keep the Israeli institutions and identity to allow them to be at peace with the demographics problem.
                It’s idealistic, I realize, but would be the rational thing to do.

              2. But, of course, very rational and idealistic if rational and idealistic people support what has been going on for years in Lebanon, what is going on for three years now in Syria, what is going on in Yemen, if rational and idealistic people like what happened during Farhud and if they think that being a dhimmi and paying jizya is precisely what Jews deserve (with massacre from time to time, or why not Holocaust which some Arabs who are Holocaust deniers still are promising Jews). I just wonder why your definition of “rational” and “idealistic” differs so much from the normal content of those two concepts.

              3. n a rational world people would try to share the land regardless of religion.
                I realize there are islamofacists that would like to see nothing else then Jews (and all other non-Muslims) driven into the sea but you cannot always pick the worst of people and judge all of the by it. There are many Palestinians that are not like this. With a bit of education, economic incentive and more freedom, the situation can change.
                Look what it has done for Israeli Arabs, they actually like Israel by all accounts, don’t want to see Israel destroyed at all and are largely peaceful in the same way as American Muslims. They are the lucky ones, money jobs good life, it can do miracles.
                All I am saying is this seems to be working, keep it going.
                By your own claims Palestinian leadership is incompetent, untrustworthy and unredeemable , ok, many Palestinians will agree with you. Then Israel must go it alone as it is doing now anyway.
                How it goes about this is important. It is certainly not rational to keep this population landlocked areas, nor deport the Palestinians and it will need to deal with them somehow despite what they do, it’s inevitable.

              4. In a rational world people would try to share the land regardless of religion.

                Israel has tried to do that. Repeatedly. At least three times, there’s been a peace settlement on the table with significant Israeli concessions that the Palestinians have walked away from.

                There are many Palestinians that are not like this.

                Many? Yes. Most? No. And certainly not the leadership.

                By your own claims Palestinian leadership is incompetent, untrustworthy and unredeemable , ok, many Palestinians will agree with you. Then Israel must go it alone as it is doing now anyway.

                But there’s only so much any nation can do for peace by “going it alone.” And, Israel, to its great credit, keeps doing all one could possibly ask and then some. And they’ve indicated they’re going to keep doing so until peace prevails or Hell freezes over, whichever comes first — as they should.

                All that means is that it’s (mostly) the Palestinians to blame for the continued hostilities.

                Again, no, Israel isn’t perfect. They’re only human. But, for the most part, they’re doing the right thing. And, for the most part, the Palestinians are doing the worng thing.

                What it’ll take for the minority of Palestinians who, as you note, “are not like this,” to win the day is anybody’s guess.

                b&

          2. Oh Ben, you’re pretty funny – and so sensitive!

            It’s a Jewish fucking state. So you don’t think having rabbis making political decisions for the country makes it a theocracy? OK, call it something else. Imposing my religion in my state doesn’t make me a theocracy, but those fucking Muslims with their Sharia law… You must be a US theocrat where being a christian country is not a theocracy.

            If you don’t think it’s a theocracy then you must be one of the ones that consider their system apartheid. Because no matter how you slice it, Israel is not a western style democracy. The rabbis make sure of that. And our Supreme Court has a majority that wants to do the same here.

            Yes, Saudi Arabia, a theocracy, invaded the US on 9/11 and my government responded by invading and ethnically cleansing Iraq. And continuing to support the house of Saud. I do bitch about that. Doesn’t make anything Israel does OK. In your world I can only point to wrongs in one place?

            At the end of the day you’re agreeing with the minister that Israel is for white men?

            Clearly I hold all of these governments and politicians to a higher standard than you do.

            1. Da Roolz aside, if you’re going to paint the States as a theocracy in light of the Hobby Lobby decision, as you pretty clearly just did, then whatever reality you’re living in isn’t adequately similar to the one the rest of us are living in for this conversation to be productive.

              b&

              1. NB: There are bishops who sit by right in the House of Lords, but Britain is not a theocracy.

              2. I’m actually personally torn over Israel. I grew up with the Israel of the 60s/70s, but that is not today’s Israel. And now, as an old fart, I have a much better understanding of the cancerous effect of religion on society.

                I won’t quibble with you over the term theocracy. But what I “clearly” stated was that our supremes have a majority that would like to do the same here. Didn’t say we’re a theocracy, but you’re just being silly if you don’t think that’s where many fundamentalists here would like to put us.

                So no place is a theocracy and none of the ministers in Israel are racists. No problem.

                It’s still a Jewish state and the rabbis decide who’s Jewish. And that’s a problem and always will be. The premise of this article is that the world treats Palestinians like children but actually holds Israel accountable, which is nonsense. The world holds Israel accountable like it holds North Korea and Iran responsible. And Russia. And the USA. And…

                But Israel is a state and has one of the most deadly armed forces in the (history of) the world. The Palestinians are not and do not.

                Yes, I hold the Israelis to a higher standard than I do the entire Arab world. I expect more of them, they’re supposed to be more like us and less like Saudi Arabia. My friends tell me they are, so why wouldn’t I hold them to a higher standard?

                Below Jerry says “But unless you’re completely obtuse morally, you can’t use some tweets as the equivalent of all the hatred spewed by the Palestinian public, in public, the official hatred spewed by the official Palestinian media, and so on.”

                We’re not just talking about a handful of tweets.

                Here the sad truth is that the Israeli reaction includes not only the usual random killings by the military but also the kidnapping and murder of an Arab teen. If the perpetrators are caught I’m sure they’ll be prosecuted and the government abhors the action etc. But the point here is that a significant portion of the Israeli public is OK with that. Many? Yes. Most? No. And certainly members of the leadership are supportive. That wouldn’t have been the case 30 years ago. (Even if it turns out it wasn’t settlers that did the deed, the hostility and dehumanizing is still very real.)

                I’d agree with you that Israel took some steps forward and were shot down years ago. (Heck, the old terrorist Begin and dictator Sadat actually succeeded in ’79.) That doesn’t seem to be the case today. Israel did it’s utmost to undermine and eliminate the admittedly corrupt secular leadership of the past, leaving the Arabs in the hands of Hamas. Good luck negotiating with them.

                Religious extremists have a much bigger say on both sides of the divide today. And the antisemitism that’s been fed and is alive and kicking in the Arab world is only more visible now because we communicate images better thanks to the Internet. I remember being shocked at the crap in Arabic in the 70s and 80s. It’s more directly violent now, but it’s the same crap – and more of it.

                I’m not sure how an atheist supports a religious state. I’d say a pox on both of their houses, but too many of my friends still support Israel, live there or visit the place.

                And it’s both comical and sad that it’s the secular Jews who do the fighting and dying while the religious parasites live off the state, breed and do whatever it is that religious fundamentalists do instead of something productive. Memorize the Koran?

                If you think Israel will be able to keep this up indefinitely without destroying itself from within, good luck with that.

                I don’t have a horse in this race and I’m actually more sympathetic to my Israeli friends. But I think they’re being led down the road to ruin by the Jewish zealots who are just as obstructionist as the Arabs.

                At one time I thought Israel held the moral high ground, but it seems to me to have frittered that away. Maybe you think it’s by necessity, but with their economic and military superiority it sure seems they haven’t played it right. The best example is allowing Hamas to fill the void created by Israel. They’re an outlaw nation, really only supported by the US at this point.

                But as the world continues to shrink I’m not sure how much longer you’ll be able to be “right” in they way you are now.

          3. Not a theocracy? Then please explain how an Israeli woman could be fined $140 a day for refusing to circumcise her son. What’s the difference between a rabbinical court in Israel and a Sharia court in an Arab country?

            1. Matters of marriage and divorce are handled by religious courts. Not only Jewish, but also Muslim (which actually have more powers, for historical reasons) and others. This was legislated not by the state of Israel, but by the British mandate which largely left the Ottoman system on these matters as it was. When Israel was founded, in 1948, the laws of the mandate were continued (to the point the British precedents were binding).
              The ruling you are talking about was appealed and reversed by the Israeli Supreme Court, so if anything, it actually proves that Rabbis don’t have as much power as you want us to think.

            2. How about a citation. I am willing to bet that this was the result of divorced couple arguing over custody of the kids. There have been similar disputes in the US where one of the parents of a divorced couple wanted their sun to be circumcised and the other didn’t.

              And by the way, there are a substantial number of Jewish couples in Israel who are electing not to have their male children circumcised so there is no such law there.

              1. ” . . . one . . . wanted their sun to be circumcised and the other didn’t.”

                Both retain their coronas in any event.

              2. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/30/us-israel-circumcision-idUSKBN0F50MO20140630
                If anyone can use it, I can provide links to the court decisions in Hebrew, but I was unable to find a translation to English. The Rabbinical Court decision was indeed outrageous. The Supreme Court reversal was technically not an appeal, but was on grounds of the Rabbinical Court acting beyond its powers and it was clear, from the moment the Rabbinical Court published its decision, that it wouldn’t stand.
                Again, if this case proves anything regarding the power of religion in Israel, it’s the opposite of what bringing up this story was meant to prove.
                And yes, as you guessed, it was part of a custody dispute of a divorced couple.

        2. Also: you would do much better than to get your news from the Electronic Intifada. The minister did not, in fact, say that Israel belongs to the white man. He said that there are Arab voices who claim that Israelis think so, and he explicitly refuted those claims.

          Here’s a discussion in English, with the complete quote translated in context, along with a link to the original interview in Hebrew.

          http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/did-haaretz-turn-eli-yishai-into-a-racist-white-man/2012/06/25/

          b&

    2. Okay. Jerry has shown systematic, officially supported bigotry. Can you do the same?

      And what is this “Israel” you speak of?

      1. Oops. I forgot to update, I see there is no such evidence and that “Israel” refers to (the impressions of) one person.

        1. You need to work on reading comprehension.

          I didn’t make the claim of equivalence with what Jerry posted. I was just having a conversation today that was of relevance, and I thought I would share the perspective.

          It’s not the impressions of one person, it’s the synthesis of many conversations I have had with many friends who have collectively spent quite a bit of time in Israel. I made that quite clear in my original comment, and made no claim to any greater wisdom on the point.

          As for the “Israel” I speak of – I guess you mean this bit:

          “Israel just know the language of innuendo and euphemism…”

          That was a mistake on my part, I changed the sentence but forgot to fix it all up. My point was just that you don’t have to be explicit to be racist.

      2. Land forcefully taken (“settlements”), where prior land claims exist, appropriating it to a “Jewish state” who’s aims to keep a Jewish majority while secluding others is bigotry in action. Systematic, official and supported.
        Add to that, people are consistently detained without trail, wounded, killed, assassinated, bombed, land taken, houses taken, bulldozed over, collectively dehumanized, demonized and punished just because they have the unfortunate state of being Palestinian. If there was no hate to start with (there was), this would certainly be a good way to foster more of it.
        It makes no sense unless that’s the intention and maybe it is, it has been suggested. I find this all much more morally reprehensible then cartoons, as morally reprehensible as those are.

        3 teenagers kidnapped, Israeli response: air raids, 5 Palestinians dead including a 15 year old, many wounded and many more detained (plus a bonus revenge killing) but as long as we have Israeli state officials using flowery language to make us feel good about it, right?

        Yes, by all means, please, hold Palestinians for distasteful actions but at the same time also hold into account but also hold Israeli to account by the standards we expect any modern state to act.
        IMHO, time to stop coddling both of them, when children act badly you should take their toys (ie. weapons) away.
        De-militarize the entire territory.

    1. Here we go with the implicit moral equivalence argument. Of course there are bad Israelis and those who behave reprehensibly.But unless you’re completely obtuse morally, you can’t use some tweets as the equivalent of all the hatred spewed by the Palestinian public, in public, the official hatred spewed by the official Palestinian media, and so on. Or do you think the tweets are the same as those cartoons that I portrayed.
      JEBUS!

  16. Oh my god, I’ll never understand this.

    I just went and looked up Alan Dershowitz’s “The Case for Israel” and read some of the reviews there too (as well as the discussion here I mean), and the comments on those reviews.
    I’m still pretty much totally and utterly confused.
    I want to understand, I really do but I’m despairing of it.

      1. I meant the whole situation, everything I’ve read and seen on the situation serves to confuse me- I can’t decide whose opinions I should trust on the matter, I’m strongly inclined to trust ProfCC for instance as he speaks a great deal of sense about many things that I agree with but there are others whom I respect that have differing views and I’m having trouble telling what the truth is and indeed if there is one truth.
        I suppose you’re right, I should keep reading and watching until I come to some kind of understanding of my own.

        1. Indeed, it is an extremely complex situation, and feelings run high on all sides, but there are authoritative guides through the morass. I recommend the website Honest Reporting to get a handle on biased media reports. UN Watch is also good.

  17. For the most part I agree with the points being made in this article. It is a relevant issue for discussion, particularly as extremist elements play into and are empowered by feelings of bitterness and powerlessness in those they want to exploit.

    The only areas of disagreement I feel are relevant for discussion (on my part) are these…

    1) From Prof Ceiling Cat “Can you really deny that the world holds Israel to a far higher standard than they do the Palestinians? That’s a form of reverse bigotry, and kudos to Johnson for pointing it out.”

    It is not a form of bigotry to hold established governments engaged in controlling (or occupying) territories filled with refugees to a higher standard than the refugees. This is particularly true when those refugees lack a longterm cohesive government structure.

    I agree that Israel is held to a higher standard and think that should be the expected norm. It seems strange to me to find that an odious or derogatory expectation. They are after all claiming the moral high ground. That comes with responsibilities. I personally hold my own government to higher standards than others because they are my government and I’d like it to be a virtuous entity I can be proud of!

    2) From the article with kudos from Prof Cat… “they will never make their own excruciating compromises for peace. And without those compromises – in a Middle East departing further from the norms of human behaviour by the day – Israel will not take risks for peace. Nor should it.”

    This seems to me to be falling for the same attitude (rightly) being criticized in the Palestinians. This suggests control of the situation resides wholly on the other side, and should reside on the other side.

    Basically, it argues that Israel should not be willing to take risks for peace, until symbolic steps are taken. To my mind the important factor is not whether people give up hate, it is that they comply with law.

    Right now both sides have legal grievances, and those need to be settled by adults willing to put aside cares regarding how insulting (bigoted) the other person might be outside the bargaining room. That is tough, but what is required.

    The sort of expectations stated above hand more power to Palestinian extremists by allowing them to derail solutions by what amounts to name-calling, rather than concrete and pertinent violations of terms.

    That said, as a social issue I think it is worthwhile for media and others to be open (and critical) about the behaviors cited in the article. It certainly isn’t helpful for anyone that this level of hatred and victimhood (as if there are no other solutions beyond violence, within their reach)is being fomented and accepted as if normal.

  18. “Can you really deny that the world holds Israel to a far higher standard than they do the Palestinians?”

    No!

  19. I am Israeli and wish add my own insight to the discussion and address some of the points raised above.
    1. While we don’t have a constitutional separation of church and state, Israel is a secular nation. Religion is not nearly as important in our public life as it is in the US.
    2. The West Bank is disputed land. In the charter of British mandate, it was designated, like the rest of the land, to the Jewish homeland. Since the end of the British mandate in 1948, it was never legally held by any nation. Israel has not annexed these territories (which is why the population there was not granted citizenship) and holds that their future will be decided on the negotiations table.
    3. Nearly all settlements were built on lands which did not belong to Palestinians. They were state lands or land bought from Palestinians. The very few which were built on private Palestinian lands are illegal under Israeli law and are treated accordingly.
    4. We, like any other nation I know of, have our own share of bigots and racists. While any racist is too much, most Israelis and the state of Israel isn’t. When we say that Israel is Jewish and Democratic state, which is how Israel defines itself, what it means is that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, not that Jews get any privileges or that the Jewish religious law gets any preference. A gentile Israeli citizen has exactly the same rights as a Jewish citizen. The regrettable expression of racism by Israeli citizens and politicians is not comparable to the official racism of the Palestinian authority.
    5. The Palestinian terrorists purposely target civilians. The Palestinian Authority call streets and squares after the people who do that and pay them and their families. When an Israeli servicemen are found to cause unnecessary damage to innocent people, they are tried and punished. I was personally subject to criminal investigation, following an incident where soldiers under my command killed a Palestinian elder during a battle in Rafah (in the Gaza strip). I had luck being able to prove that the the killing was a mistake which could not be avoided in the heat of the battle (in short, it was night, the man came out of his house in spite of the shooting, very close to my soldiers, carrying a stick that was mistakenly identified as a gun).

    1. 1. You must be thinking of the “other” US. Most – yes, I’d say a majority – Americans don’t have any religion in our public life. Yes, many of us have taken the Christ out of Xmas. Pisses Fox off immensely, hence their war on the New Year (it’s a minimum two holidays for christians, Xmas and New Year, not just Xmas! Throw in the Winder Solstice, Kwanzaa, Festivus and Chanukah and it’s a veritable cornucopia of holidays!)

      And I must be thinking of the “other” Israel where religious extremists spit on girls for not dressing modest enough and riot when a woman sits in the front of the bus. And get really pissed when their military exemption is taken away.

      I wonder why secular Israelis put up with that crap, but then you probably feel the same about us here in the US.

      1. When a senior official at the Israeli ministry of education suggested that creationism has its merits, he lost his job the next day. Abortions isn’t an issue. We just do it. You take exceptional demonstrations of extremism, which are condemned by nearly everybody, and conclude from them that Israel is a theocracy. This is as idiotic as thinking that the entire US is Lenanon, Misouri.

    2. 1) A nation defined as a Jewish nation who’s existence is dependent on a forced religious demographic is not a secular nation, in principle, despite what is in practice. If the current policy of allowing free citizenship for Jewish population as a majority fails and it looses the baby “arms race” with Israeli Arabs, the secular nature of Israel will truly be tested.
      If is very difficult but not impossible to separate Israeli nationalism from the religion.
      One way of doing this is stop allowing the unsecular concept of allowing Jews with no provable recent connection to the land free citizenship and rather treat all religions equally in this regard, including Muslims. It is utter bigotry to allow rights to land where prior claims exists just because of religion, yet deny others that do based solely on religion. I have yet to hear about Israel Arab settlements, it almost makes no sense.
      If the nation is truly secular it would not fear the “right of return”.
      This is what you get when you mix state and religion.

      2) You have the ’67 international binding UN 242 agreement which defines Israel’s borders. It was re-affirmed as part of the Oslo accords.
      What’s the problem here? Why so greedy? Share, and before somebody says “we already offered 95% blah blah, they refused” well, try again! Peace is hard. You certainly don’t use it as an excuse to take more land and to collectively punish!

      3) Palestinians don’t agree, neither does the UN. Typically land bought by jews does not necessarily belong to Israel anyway (another conflation of the term “Jewish state”). If Chinese buy all the land on Long Island it does not become China.
      The settlements are internationally recognized as illegal (see 2). The West Bank is not Israeli territory. At best, it’s disputed,
      which means, don’t touch..
      Why play word salad all the time to avoid international obligations?

      4) Israel citizens may enjoy the benefits of a modern society but it does not allow the same for the Palestinians via its foreign policy. If Palestinians were israeli citizens there would be no problem. See above. Either Palestinians are citizens or not, If they are not then Israel is judged by its foreign policies not domestic.

      5) Yes, many Palestinians (not solely religious extremists) consider Israel the enemy (see above) and honor their partisans in the same way Israel does and many other nations in history have done. You may have accidentally killed somebody with a stick, but don’t be surprised when you their son’s picture is hanging on the wall with other partisans.
      It seems a lot of people are reading from the same lines. It’s not important if “avoiding casualties” causes close to 10x more casualties of civilians (including children) then those who claim are not. “We are being nice about” and flowery words counts for nothing. Targeted assassinations using missiles targeting public places, killer drones, the latest Gaza incursion, consistent collective punishment for the kidnappings; consistent violations of Geneva convention. I would ask you to watch some YouTube on settlers and the IDF but it seems you had a front row seat. I’m really sorry to hear that.
      If the US or UN found out that Israeli armies were creating pits full of dead Palestinians, Israel would see its international support vanish overnight and probably would be forced back to the ’67 borders.
      It would be a Palestinian wet dream, Israel is not so stupid. It’s would be PR nightmare not even Israel could manage (but I wouldn’t count in it).
      Israel must appear to act appropriately if it is to maintain the benefits (and economy) it enjoys as a western nation, as it has Palestinians at its mercy.
      This is why it does have the greater moral imperative. The conquerer IS held more morally accountable then those it has conquered, being a democracy is not an excuse. This parent/child -like relationship must be dismantled if there is any expectation for Palestinians to not to act as children.

      It has been rightly been stated and generally acknowledged that religious fruit cakes are dominating and harming Palestinian discourse but it should not distract from the important fact that Israel is an enabler in an abusive co-dependent relationship with its policies.

        1. Unless those comments agree with Jerry’s and the commentariat’s views on the Palestinians. You are then free to write an entire book here, if you so desire.

          1. You know what, Glinda? I’ve reproved many other people who AGREE with the “commentariat” for writing posts that are too long, and asking them to shorten them before I post them. I do that privately,as I wrote to Boris as well, but I didn’t ask him to shorten his comment, even though it’s “anti-commentariat” You seem to have missed all the comments in this and other posts on Israel where there is plenty of disagreement.

            You’re simply a rude and disagreeable person, one who actually is disingenuous with this comment (made out of ignorance of this site) and for that I suggest you find other sites to frequent.

      1. Uncritically qeciting Arab propaganda slogans does not advance the discussion.
        1. While Judaism is a religion, it’s also a national identity and the latter is what we refer to when we say that Israel is a Jewish state. Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people. I feel no need to apologize for that. This does not make Israel any less secular.
        The Jews’ right for self determination isn’t smaller than that of the Koreans, The Poles o the French.
        The partition plan from 1947 talked about a Jewish state. As such, it makes perfect sense to encourage Jews to return to their ancient homeland.
        2. Neither the 242 nor the Oslo accords define Israel’s border. I challenge you to prove me wrong.
        3. I have already said myself that the future of the West Bank will be decided on the negotiations table. Until this future is decided, Jews have the right to live there, just like the Palestinians.
        Acquiring land legally indeed does not mean that it becomes a part of Israel. However, it does mean that the land isn’t “stolen”.
        4. OK…
        5. Israel make huge efforts, risk lives and invest billions in defending its citizens. The Palestinians use their own population as a means of war. This does not eliminate Israel’s legal right and moral obligation to defend its own population. If the Palestinians did not use their children against us, they wouldn’t die. That’s simple, and I am no going to kill a couple of Israeli children just to make you happy with the balance.

        1. I am not interested in propaganda, neither should you I hope, so do follow along…
          1. “.. it makes perfect sense to encourage Jews to return to their ancient homeland.” This makes no sense in many fronts .. 1. My belief determines my citizenship. 2. Jews of european origin have more rights then Semitic people to the land? How? How could you possibly determine this anyway, religion alone? Genetic test? How is this secular? Bigotry and racism at its finest.
          2. “Neither the 242 nor the Oslo accords define Israel’s border. I challenge you to prove me wrong.”
          Yes, I know, it’s always easier to find interpretations, holes and excuses to make your borders bigger to your advantage. The courage and sacrifices required to make peace is much harder. The “green line” is the best compromise and starting point that everybody could possibly agree to and live in peace. Once everybody, including Palestinians realize this, the better. Hawkish attitudes don’t work for peace, both sides.
          3. “However, it does mean that the land isn’t “stolen”.” If it the Chinese who bought long island became part of China without an agreement of the states, It would be stolen.

          5. Despite the flowery language and claims of “the enemy made me do It” the results are the same. Especially when the enemy is a conquered people, the conquerer is not in a position to make moral judgments. You are fighting an enemy without an army ie. a civilian population.
          Otherwise, give the same rights afforded to your own citizens. Oh wait, they’re not Jewish. Maybe they should all convert en masse to solve the problem.
          I’ve heard it said that Islam is a direct branch off of Judaism, so they are half way there already.
          It’s all too ridiculous for me, this stuff belongs in the past not in the new global world.

      2. Boris- Thank you for this analysis. It lends much needed balance to many of the other essays in this discussion.

  20. I think we should simply cut to the gist of what many comments here are saying:

    “The Palestinians are not human beings. Therefore, to treat them as human beings is pointless and counterproductive. Once we cease attempting to view them as human in even the broadest possible sense, we recognize that there is only one true solution for dealing with them.”

    Jerry, I am a Jew and I am appalled at the implications in much of what I’m reading here.

          1. I will add that the Palestinian authority and Hamas are consistent violators of Palestinian human rights and do much to dehumanize their own people. Palestinians live in fear if their own government and the fascist gangs like Hamas that will kill.
            I think (hope) what commenters are usually are referring to comments here is the Palestinian leadership and Hamas,etc. I can’t disagree, are incompetent and despicable. It’s worse then it’s ever been.
            However , I do find some comments contemplating “all out war” and nuclear military options against a civilian population of “Muslim cowards” without the means to defend itself to be in bad taste. No mater how incompetent and harsh the governance and criminal gangs roaming inside it are, there can be no justification for this. It is also an egregious war crime.
            This may not be a call for extermination but could certainly interpreted this way by some (obviously), so I hope commenters could be little more specific and little less clumsy about what they are writing about, in some cases.
            Just a friendly suggestion. Glinda, I am sure nobody meant it this way. It’s better to ask for clarification.

            1. To be fair, the term “sub-human” has been bandied about in these parts.

              But it is clear from the context that this is a viscous synonym for “barbarian” and nothing more.

              On the other hand, there have been centuries long dehumanising campaigns from the Muslim side.

              Jews are referred to consistently as rats and pigs and dogs. And it doesn’t take a genius to realise that this is real dehumanisation.

              But people like Glinda aren’t be able to pet their Jew-Hatred aside for more than a millisecond to actually think about anything.

              Lost cause and all.

        1. Glinda, you must either cite the posts you’re referring to or apologize for implying that commenters want Palestinians wiped out. That’s a terrible accusation and I want you to documented in in your next post.

          1. Jerry, you are capable of reading. I needn’t backtrack through these comments to cite examples. They are there in disgusting plenitude for those who aren’t seeking to exculpate Israels’s supporters, no matter what. I stated that much of what is to be found here can be reduced down to the rationalization of ‘Palestinians are incapable of reasoning and negotiation, thus do not warrant being treated with on the level one would treat with an enemy whom one at least did the courtesy of recognizing as belonging to the same order of existence as oneself.’ I.e., dehumanization. We don’t need to scroll down the sad rollcall of human genocide to see what proceeds from that first step.

            And if you are trying to say that many of the comments here are not saying precisely this–that the Palestinians do not warrant anything but brutal retaliation from Israel, and assuredly do not warrant any attempt to recognize their claims as anything other than the bellowings of reasonless savages who don’t deserve a hearing at the table–then, Jerry, you are simply being disingenuous.

            I expect nothing more to come from pointing this out than to be banned from your site, a phenomenon I’ve witnessed at second-hand here in the past, meted out to those don’t spout the correct party line. Nonetheless, my words still stand.

            1. You will apologize for calling me disingenuous. And I am not going to read every comment looking for the ones you say call for the extirpation of Palestinians. I haven’t seen any in the comments I’ve read.

              Do you see all the comments that don’t spout the party line in this thread, including yours? People don’t get banned for disagreeing rationally and civilly; they get banned for being rude to the host or other posters.

              As you have been with your name-calling.

    1. Wow… Nice strawman!

      You’re using the old “dehumanise them then exterminate them” tactic we all know so well.

      Are you really sure that people here are calling for the extermination of Arabs?

      1. Wow, nice strawman. The ‘Maybe you’d better rethink your argument in light of my persuasive “we all know that old tactic so well” line’.

        Yes, Moother. I’m really sure of just that. You’re correct in that ‘dehumanize and then exterminate’ is a very old tactic, and it works altogether too well very much of the time.

        1. Me:

          Are you really sure that people here are calling for the extermination of Arabs?

          You:

          Yes, Moother. I’m really sure of just that.

          Jerry has asked you twice to provide evidence of that. Frankly, I don’t think he’d put up with it and neither would anyone else.

          You’re just a disingenuous troll.

          That’s as polite as I can be. So I’ll stop there.

          1. “It would be interesting if the Government of Israel took a page out of the Assad pere/fils playbook and applied Hama Rules to the Palestinians.”

            This comment was up top. Look up “Hama Rules”.

            “As long as they refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Jews then let them rot, in my opinion.”

            If you go back and read my comments in response to some of these, you will see that Glinda is not the only one who felt that undercurrent of approval in this discussion for dehumanizing the Palestinians.

            1. In some fairness, I was not advocating this position. I was pointing out that things could be much worse for the Palestinians (they could be in Syria or Iraq for instance).

              1. Thanks for responding. Your comment did not come across as the way you explain it. I really do feel that whenever Jerry presents this issue, there is definite bias up front for Israel and a certain over the top harshness about the Palestinians that comes over in the comments in response. All I was pointing out was that Glinda’s feelings about the tone of the comments were not hers alone.

              2. In all fairness, I’m an ignorant toad and had no idea what “Hama Rules” was on first pass nor did I bother to look it up until you asked me to several hours later.

                That said, I’m not entirely brain-dead and, wonder of wonders, managed to decode the author’s intended meaning none the less.

                Interesting that you and Glinda made the same error. It seems clear to me, then, that in order to see that post as incitement to murder one would need to need to be interpreting everything they read here with a specific set of prejewdices.

                See what I did there?

  21. The historical arguments in this conflict mean little to me, I’m interested in peoples lives and their well being.
    My short answer for this festering quagmire would be to lift the Palestinians up by their boot straps and into a standard of living they could not contemplate losing.
    In weakening and removing Hamas influence,show how a cycle of violence when removed, can bring benefits that these people have forgotten exist and all that means to daily life.
    I am of course assuming the Israeli’s enjoy a better standard of living (all things considered) and it can only lift with a more peaceful neighbour.
    We have the research and evidence (historical and otherwise) to ditch this meaningless tit for tat and raise the bar for all of us.
    I will add from my high horse, the photographs above do show an immaturity and stupidity you would expect from a child, very sad.

    1. Yes, you are right, the future is important, not the past. It doesn’t mean that history is irrelevant. Where is the key to the future? Let’s look at it from another angle – history of economy.
      Second half of XX’s century can be called an age of economic miracles. Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, China, and many others (please do not forget Botswana). You can’t see any Arab country among those who changed feudal society into a modern one. What was behind those so called miracles? There is a long answer and a short one. The Economist compared once economic reforms in Russia and China, and concluded: “In China they knew that you must start your reforms from agriculture.” In other words, you can start building islands of modernity but you can’t modernize society without modernizing the most backward and most neglected part of society.
      The very idea of Israeli-Palestinian conflict is very misleading. Palestinians are just the chosen people to conceal the religious character of Muslim–modernity conflict. In Muslim dominated world’s elites experimented with secularism combined with Russian style socialism and with introduction of modern industry without changes in social structure. With enormous financial resources from oil export they could build some impressive towns but nothing else.
      Compare it to Botswana, a country which was half a century ago the poorest country in the world. Winning independence in 1966 it is now the fastest developing country in the world. It haven’t got oil, it got diamonds, it haven’t got Arafat or Nasser but the first president was Seretse Khama, a man who decided that windfall money can be useful if used for strengthening farmers, education, infrastructure and defense against terror coming from neighbouring countries.
      The very first economic miracles in second half of XX’s century (in Germany and Japan) were pushed by US, later American administration was not only critical when, for example, general Park introduced his reforms in Korea but were actively fighting them with economical sanctions.
      In Afghanistan America spend billions on fighting terrorism and arming so called Afghan allies but only some lousy millions on changing Afghan agriculture.
      If only Palestinians understood that their biggest enemy is Arab League, not Israel. That the West in not helping but stabilising this conflict through UNRWA and uncontrolled river of money which goes not to the people but to corrupted elites, to mosque, for political indoctrination and to finance terrorism, they could start real reforms. Palestinians are victims of their own elites plus the Arab League and the West must stop helping those who terrorize the Palestinian people.

  22. Seriously, Boris. Can’t you just provide us with a link to the place(s) where you get your info from?

    I’m genuinely curious.

    1. Hi Jesper. No unfortunately I can’t give you a Chinese room. 🙂
      There is a lot of information on the internet, UN reports, humanitarian organizations, Israeli media, books, Wikipedia, etc. that you can generally find yourself.
      It’s good to try to get it from both perspectives but I try to use information that is not controversial (obviously not easy, “you’re dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t”.)
      There is a lot of propaganda and it is difficult to stay above the fray and try to understand what it would take to make peace in the morass of hate.
      Anyway, it doesn’t take rocket science to know that a military containment of a civilian population could ever work. So. a lot of my argument is derived from common sense and caring about the individual, despite their ethnicity and political history. Somebody called it “materialist”.
      Israel obviously needs a clear strategy on the Palestinians situation because it cannot maintain the current situation. Peace will never come this way.
      It obviously cannot absorb the Palestinian population as is, as it would threaten the Israeli state but at the same time it is settling the west bank. This information is not controversial information.
      So, what’s the solution?
      Getting rid of all the Palestinian hatred for Jews, Hamas and a good ethical Palestinian leadership is a great start but it’s not enough.
      Even if you were to wave the magic want and get rid of it tomorrow, which is what everybody hopes, it would still not change the fact that there are many Arabs living on the west bank that are not Israelis, in highly fragmented state that it will refuse to absorb on religious grounds yet must somehow contain.

      1. Howdy. Boris. 🙂

        There is a lot of information on the internet, UN reports, humanitarian organizations, Israeli media, books, Wikipedia, etc. that you can generally find yourself.

        Indeed, but I was curious about your online sources.

        There is a lot of propaganda and it is difficult to stay above the fray…

        Which is why I’m curious. I don’t know if you’re expecting me to dismiss your sources, but seriously dude, I’m just trying to find out what online sources you can recommend regarding this conflict because I’m curious.

        Don’t hold out on a heathen, man. That’s not cool.

        1. My recommendation is start with UN resolutions and reports. Also read the Israeli and Palestinian interpretations and rebuttals and commentary. It gives you a good sense of the history.
          “Pro-Israel” authors Benny Morris. “Pro-Palestine” author Edward Said. Those are generalization but you get the picture.
          The Jewish virtual library is pretty good and all the Israeli dailies.
          Palestinian sources suck because of the lack of freedom of open press so I don’t bother.
          There are some NGOs that report from occupied territories.
          Anyway, thats a start.

          1. My recommendation is start with UN resolutions and reports. Also read the Israeli and Palestinian interpretations and rebuttals and commentary. It gives you a good sense of the history.
            “Pro-Israel” authors Benny Morris. “Pro-Palestine” author Edward Said. Those are generalization but you get the picture.

            Thank you, but once again I was thinking of specific online sources. I’m well aware of the UN reports.

            The Jewish virtual library is pretty good and all the Israeli dailies.

            There we go. Any of the dailies you’d recommend in particular?

            Palestinian sources suck because of the lack of freedom of open press so I don’t bother.

            Are there really no online Palestinian sources who are reporting unbiased news?

            1. We’re already seen what you can expect from Palestinian authoritative sources, Jerry has already posted what you can expect there.
              Because there is no freedom of press in Palestine you don’t see any internal criticism in their news. That’s a bad sign, so yeah, don’t expect to see any introspection on their news sites. The crack down on dissent in a bad way.
              You can search for online news in English for google. JPost, Haazetz, YNet, etc. Israeli news generally has a diverse set of opinions across the board.

              1. Well, that’s a sad state of affairs. I’d at least expect there were some palestinians ( ex-pats with old friends maybe ) who were reporting on things from an unbiased point of view. Since you can’t give me the lowdown I guess I’ll have to overcome my laziness and dig for some myself. Bugger.

                Thanks for your inputs, though. Always good to hear how other people get things done.

          2. You know, the quacks and morons that always seem to know that vaccines cause autism and that climate change is a conspiracy always have these same gambits:

            I do my own research… There links are out there if you’d just look…

            Of course, they’re only really interested in hearsay and aren’t ever bothered with anything like *evidence*

            You can just dismiss these types of people out of hand. They’re empty vessels.

  23. So what are we to make of the current state of affairs?

    It appears that the same level of hatred can be seen on the Israeli side, including ridiculously offensive pictures…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/03/world/middleeast/israels-justice-minister-condemns-incitement-on-facebook.html

    It is nice to see the account in question was condemned and apparently pulled down. That however does leave us with some evidence of what could going around in private as well (as suggested by another poster in this thread).

    And now it appears that the kidnapped Palestinian boy was likely murdered by Israelis (burnt alive in fact), removing speculation it could have been an “honor killing”…

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28182704

    And if that were not enough, his cousin was beaten in custody by Israeli police (same article). I have no idea if the video is actually the kid being beaten or not, but if so that is unbelievable brutality by a professional military/police organization.

    1. Same level of hatred? Really? If you believe that the Israeli government promulgates hatred of the same level as does the Palestinian news organs and television, you’re just flat wrong. This false “equality” is ridiculous. By the way, the Israelis have arrested suspects in the heinous murder of that Palestinian lad. Do you think the Palestinians will bring to justice those who murdered the three Israelis? After all, if there’s “equality,” as you mention, then that should happen, too.

      You don’t believe that, and neither does anyone else. Those murderers will be seen by Hamas as heroes!

      This kind of touting of false equality, which flies in the face of all the facts, is ludicrous. Really, you think that Palestine excoriates the murderers of the Israeli teenagers just as much as Iraelis excoriate and arrest the murderer of the Palestinian youth?

      Get real, please. It’s amazing to me that people can convince themselves of an equality of immorality that flies in the face of all the facts. Are you really that obtuse?

        1. I guess that I SHOULD provide some further comment. This diary provides photos of Israelis on a Facebook page (with 35,000 likes) holding up signs that say, “Hating Arabs isn’t racism, it’s values.” or and Israeli soldier pointing a gun at the camera and saying, “Let us simply spray (them with bullets).

          Or this “After the funeral for the three slain Israeli teens on July 1, angry mobs of hundreds began roaming the streets of Jerusalem chanting “Death to Arabs,” attacking Palestinians and promising blood by nightfall.”

          Or this, Chemi Shalev of Haaretz, witnessing the genocidal chants from Israelis and reading reports of Israeli police saving Palestinian citizens from the mobs, wrote the following:

          Make no mistake: the gangs of Jewish ruffians man-hunting for Arabs are no aberration. Theirs was not a one-time outpouring of uncontrollable rage following the discovery of the bodies of the three kidnapped students. Their inflamed hatred does not exist in a vacuum: it is an ongoing presence, growing by the day, encompassing ever larger segments of Israeli society, nurtured in a public environment of resentment, insularity and victimhood, fostered and fed by politicians and pundits.”

          In order to foster a balanced and rational conversation about the I/P issue, these facts should not be ignored.

      1. ProfCC, I never claimed, and do not believe, that the Israeli government promulgates the same level of hatred as Palestinian news organs.

        So you are correct, such an equation is ridiculous.

        Further, my post explicitly stated that the Israeli government condemned the site (to which I gave them kudos). And my first post on this thread (perhaps you did not read it)explicitly agreed with your point that hatred was being fomented among Palestinians, and that this should be called out!

        I absolutely agree that Hamas would decorate the killers of the Israelis as heroes. This is perhaps why I criticized them in every post where I have mentioned them. Right?

        I even originally granted that the kidnapping/ murders of the Israelis were by Hamas, despite their denial.

        What I said in my last reply is that the same LEVEL of hatred can be seen on the Israeli side, which is to say among Israelis (not the gov’t). Is this not the case? You can see the photos and what they say. And some Israelis just burnt a child alive.

        The point is that there exists a similar level of hostility within the populations. I did not claim that this was equally widespread or that the Israeli government was worse or equal to the Palestinian factions in fighting it.

        I started with a question to you (and others), and gave some pretty uncontroversial facts about how the situation is developing.

        I was interested in your (and others) take on these things, and am a bit startled by your reaction.

        To answer your question, no I am not that obtuse, and I wish you would retract your claim (or prove) that I ever said they were on some equal moral plain. I think you read something into my post that was never there.

        1. What? You said they were on the same level of hatred. Here’s your quote:

          It appears that the same level of hatred can be seen on the Israeli side, including ridiculously offensive pictures…

          Now you say this:

          ProfCC, I never claimed, and do not believe, that the Israeli government promulgates the same level of hatred as Palestinian news organs.

          Those don’t sound too different to me. Further, even if you meant Israelis as a whole and not just the government, you’re still wrong. You are touting moral equality of Israelis and Palestinians, and don’t pretend pretend otherwise.

    2. This is the tone of just one Jewish website: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/1470bcf9077a15fe – shame, horror an hope that the perpetrators will be prosecuted with the whole severity of law. This is the reaction of most of the Israeli society – though not all. If you treat Jewish Israelis like other people you will know that they have their share of criminals, fanatics and scoundrels. But they do not give the tone to the society and they do not make laws. I would like to see anything similar from the Palestinian society about the killing of three Israeli teenagers or any other atrocity, like the murder of the Fogel family. What I’ve seem was a lame condemnation from one person, Mahmoud Abbas, for which he was castigated by many, I’ve seen mass street demonstration demanding bloody revenge on Jews for the murder of Mohamed Abu Khdeir, Molotov coctails thrown on Jewish synagogues, Jewish drivers beaten…
      The day Palestinian society reacts to crimes perpetrated by Palestinians the way Israeli society reacts to this crime will be the first day of the possible peace.

  24. After thinking about this since it was posted, I finally realized what the pictures of the celebrating Palestinians reminded me of.

    It was the reports of the way people celebrated whenever someone was executed for witchcraft in Medieval Europe.

    1. So then look at the photos provided by David Harris Gershon in the link I provided Jerry and tell me what they remind you of.

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