Israel: Itamar massacre protests miss the point

Protesters disrupted traffic in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and elsewhere across Israel on March 13, in response to the attack in the West Bank settlement of Itamar two days earlier, in which a family of five, including an infant and a young child, were stabbed to death. Protesters, accusing the government of a too lenient security policy on the West Bank (!!!), began amassing immediately after thousands turned out for the funeral at Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem. (There were also scattered so-called “price tag” attacks on Palestinians by settlers on the West Bank, with five cars set on fire in Nablus, JP reports.) Speaking at the funeral, Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon, was clearly trying to head off protests by playing to the crowd, but that doesn’t let him off the hook for his abomination of sanctimonious illogic:

This murder reminds everyone that the struggle and conflict is not about Israel’s borders or about independence of a repressed nation but a struggle for our existence. Therefore, we cannot continue speaking about security while the essence is neglected—the essence which is Israel’s right to its land. Whoever gives up this right won’t have security either. In this difficult hour we must rise from the rubble and do the most natural thing—continue building and developing Israel.” [Ha’aretz, March 13]

Come again? Itamar is not within “Israel’s borders.” How is Israel’s “existence” threatened by an attack outside its borders? What does the attack have to do with “Israel’s right to its land” when it did not happen on Israel’s land? And as for the determination to “continue building and developing Israel…” Since Moshe Yaalon is apparently incapable of recognizing borders, perhaps he was referring to this. From Ha’aretz, March 13:

On Saturday, the ministerial committee on settlement affairs decided in a nighttime meeting to approve the construction of 500 new West Bank houses, a move that came in response to a deadly attack on a family of five in the settlement of Itamar on Friday. In the first U.S. reaction to the Israeli decision, the State Department said in a statement Sunday that Washington was deeply concerned by continuing Israeli actions with respect to settlements in the West Bank.”

“Continued Israeli settlements are illegitimate and run counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations,” the statement said, adding that “through good faith direct negotiations, the parties should mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties.”

Did they really say “in response to” the Itamar attack? “In response to” the attack they are going to engage in precisely the behavior that virtually guarantees more such atrocities? Does someone care to explain this one to us? We really don’t get it.

And spare us the lectures about how the Itamar massacre wasn’t justified, or about how we are blaming the victim. We haven’t remotely implied that it was, or that a three-month old baby is to “blame” for anything. Such arguments are just a distraction. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said on the attack:

Over the past ten years, Palestinian terror attacks perpetrated in Israel and in the Occupied Territories have killed hundreds and injured thousands of Israeli civilians, among them men, women, and children. Attacks aimed at civilians are immoral, inhuman, and illegal. Intentional killing of civilians is a grave breach of international humanitarian law and is considered a war crime that can never be justified, whatever the circumstances.

But just a few days earlier, on March 3, B’Tselem noted the apartheid-like restrictions on freedom of movement that remain in place in the West Bank city of Hebron…

Shuhada Street in the center of Hebron. The street, one of Hebron’s main thoroughfares, links the north and south of the city and passes by the major markets, the Old City , the Tomb of the Patriarchs and al-Haram al-Ibrahimi, and Israeli settlement compounds. Since October 2000, Israel has forbidden Palestinians to walk or drive on the street, although no valid military order for the closure has been presented. Along with other restrictions on Palestinian movement in the area, this has led to an economic collapse of the city center. Many residents have left, and the area has become a ghost town. Over the years, the army repeatedly claimed it was about to permit Palestinians to use the street again, but this has yet to occur.

Israeli settlers, however, are allowed to move freely on the street.

And these restrictions were imposed in response to what? More from the B’Tselem statement:

Israel began to restrict Palestinian movement along the street in 1994. After the massacre carried out by Baruch Goldstein in the Tomb of the Patriarchs that year, Israel chose to impose restrictions on the Palestinians, rather than on the Israeli settlers in the city, contending that these restrictions were necessary in order to protect the settlers’ safety.

Talk about blaming the victim! For those of you who don’t recall, on Feb. 25, 1994, a Jewish settler, Dr. Baruch Goldstein, opened fire on Muslim worshipers at Hebron’s Ibrahimiya Mosque—known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where compromise measures had been worked out to allow access to those of both faiths. Twenty-nine were killed before Goldstein was overpowered and beaten to death. Israeli troops shot dead some 30 Palestinians in the riots that followed. Goldstein has ever since been glorified as a “martyr” by the Israeli far right.

So we’d like to know how much overlap there is between those who reverently place stones on the grave of mass-murderer Baruch Goldstein and those who blocked traffic to protest the Itamar massacre. That Israel’s political class panders to this element instead of having the courage to speak the painful truth betrays how deeply in denial it is. And that it is not serious about getting better.

The French have a saying, Tout comprendre c’est tout pardonner—”To understand all is to forgive all.” Like many French sayings, it is total bullshit. We can recognize the systematic oppression that leads to things like the Itamar massacre and suicide bombings without endorsing them. The failure to grasp this distinction is making the hole deeper every day…

See our last posts on Israel, and the West Bank.

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  1. By ideology, tradition, law
    By ideology, tradition, law Arabs countries implement Apartheid and Genocide.
    Following real facts of Arabs/Iran values and practice:
    When we hear the speech of the Muslim brotherhood leader in Cairo delivered in Arabic, before 1 million people saying is:
    !!!!! Hitler didn’t finish the job against the Jews.
    !!!!!! Now the Muslims brotherhood will finish the job.
    It is Nazism genocide
    Pls watch the BBC program Third eye Egypt.
    *When we hear that bombs killed Christian’s prayers from Cairo to Bagdad, we hear Arabs/Iran Apartheid

    *When we hear that non Muslims have been decapitated from Algeria up the Philippines, we hear Arabs/Iran Apartheid

    *When we hear that slavery is still practice in Sudan and Golf states, we hear Arabs/Iran Apartheid

    *When we hear that Arabs kill Israeli civilians ,and later requiring to get immunity for their crimes when the defending Israel responses we hear Arabs/Iran genoside.

    *When we hear that women have been raped and the women is punished while the men are free, we hear Arabs/Iran Apartheid

    *When we hear that non Muslim praying shrines have been destroyed, we hear Arabs/Iran Apartheid

    *When we see women dressed in black sacks, we see Arabs/Iran Apartheid
    *When we learn of amputations and stoning, we see Arabs/Iran Apartheid
    * When we hear the hate preaching and teaching worldwide funded by Arab countries we hear Arabs/Iran genocide.
    ( Refer to BBC program Panorama)
    *When we learn the hate TV shows dedicated to children garden, we see Arabs/Iran genocide.
    *When we hear of honor killing of wife’s, doters, brothers, we see Arabs/Iran Apartheid.

    * Propaganda and spreading leis is what the Arabs are doing while using the lay to infidels cult named Taqiyya

    However the anti Israeli chorus will not be confused by real facts.
    They will not demonstrate, not initiate protest weeks, not vote or boycode the countries and political groups practicing the above atrocities :
    They have a mission: Building the false myth

    1. Zionism is Nazism
      How does that one sound? Because if we want to engage in kneejerk Nazi-baiting, the case is just as good on either side. What about all the endless Israeli talk of “transfer” (a nice euphemism, like “ethnic cleansing”), the Jewish graffiti in Jerusalem reading “Deport the fuckers” and “Death to the Arabs,” the blood-and-soil ideology of the settler movement, the de facto concentration camps like Ansar III, the Guernica-like tactics of Operation Cast Lead, etc? If each side just uses the Nazi analogy as a club to bash the other with instead of examining the fascistic tendencies of its own camp, then the hole will keep getting deeper…and we will have actually betrayed the real lessons of the Nazi experience.

      Let us know when you are serious about getting better.

      1. Bill: You are lost in fantasy world
        The one that should be transferred before anyone is you.

        How can one compare between soldiers that defend our country and terrorist that blow up busses with innocent civilians and slay little kids in their sleep.

        These terrorists hide behind their own people so that when the IDF comes looking for them they can sacrifice casualties from their own people so they have what to cry about on corrupted CNN and make people like you believe how bad ISRAEL is and how poor PALESTINIANS are.

        So before you go out and blab about how ZIONISM is NAZISM and give pathetic examples as “JEWISH GRAFITY” maybe you should take a deep breath and go have some shawarma.

        “LET US KNOW WHEN YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING BETTER” ?! We will get better once all terrorists and left wingers like yourself who suport them will indeed be transferred.

        1. Instant shawarma’s gonna get you
          I live on the Lower East Side, and my landlord has been trying to “transfer” me for 15 years, thank you.

          Now let’s see. You think that the killers of innocent civilians in Operation Cast Lead are just “soldiers that defend our country.” Your Palestinian counterparts think that the killers of innocent civilians in “martyrdom operations” are freedom fighters struggling to liberate their country. You guys are made for each other! You share the same totalitarian ideology—you should have a love-in!

          And I see that you openly embrace the fascistic doctrine of “transfer” while purporting to occupy the moral high ground. And I’m “lost in a fantasy world”?


      2. Stop bringing up politics in the same paragraph as dead babies
        You cannot link an attack on innocent civilians to anything politic, as you yourself seem to agree, nor can you talk about it in the same paragraph as the subject of Israeli borders. Each incident must be condemned or condoned separately. You said yourself that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict does not justify killing children, but you miss the point! Not only is it not justified, they are completely unrelated! The terrorists may claim their motive was political, but the second they attack civilians, the subject is no longer political, but humanitarian. You seem to agree with me that two wrongs don’t cancel each other out, but I say that they shouldn’t even be weighed on the same scale. In my opinion, the second you kill a baby, you no longer have any right to any defense from world media!
        The Israeli wrongs should be discussed separately, and I am sick and tired of the fact that every time a terror attack is reported on BBC or CNN, somehow the subject of Israeli borders is brought up, which indicates that even though they say that they don’t believe the attack is justified, to a certain extent they do justify it.

        1. Nothing is more political than dead babies
          Excuse me, I went to great pains to emphasize that I was not defending baby-killing. And the only reason I brought up Israel’s borders is because Moshe Yaalon did! If this was just the random act of a psycho-killer, why did Yaalon call it an “existential threat” to Israel? It seems you posted without bothering to either read or think. Try again, if you like.

          1. I read it carefully
            I read it carefully, and it would be hard for you to keep up the image of a rational and unbiased political writer if you keep responding to all of us like that. Yaalon said what he said because it doesn’t matter whether the attack was political or not. What matters is how the media, including you, sir, portray it. When news channels like the BBC casually mention that the attack took place in an illegal settlement, they are belittling the attack by making it sound political, minimizing the humanitarian aspect.

            1. Itamar is not in Israel
              Excuse me, calling out Yaalon on his implicit lies in no way “belittles” the attack or minimizes its “humanitarian aspect.” That is a perfect non-sequitur.

          2. The attack is a threat to Israel’s borders
            The attack is a threat to Israel’s borders because the Golan is an important factor in Israeli security. When the Syrians had it, they used it to attack us. Besides, I never understood why people think the Golan is part of Israel. Ever heard of conquering territory? that’s how we got all of Israel in the first place, 3000 years ago. We were at war, we fought, we won. We gained some territory. Why are everyone breathing down our necks to give it back? Back?? We owned that land way before the Syrians, the turks, or anyone else. And we were making good use of the land. Gush Katif made some of the best produce in the world. After we gave it “back”, the Arabs couldn’t get the ground to grow a thing, and all they use it for is to send missiles on us.
            And finally, your last name is Jewish, so naturally you’re out to prove that you’re not “biased” in spite of your name, and it seems the only way for a Jew to prove he’s unbiased is to go to the far left-wing.

            1. Itamar is not in the Golan
              Interesting. On one hand the Jews stole it fair square, might makes right, and naked “conquest” is legitimate. In which case, the Palestinians are equally entitled to use the most ruthless methods available to them to steal it back. But whoops—suddenly you change course and argue that your right to the land is based on prior claim, the fact that “you” (meaning the ancient Hebrews) “owned” the land “way before” the Arabs arrived. In which case, the land really belongs to the Canaanites, who everyone agrees were there before the Hebrews.

              Basing your politics on either of these notions in the 21st century is utterly abhorrent. The existence of the Palestinians is a secular fact, and their territorial rights are not abrogated by claims based on the existence of a Hebrew kingdom on the same land for less than a century some 3,000 years ago. It scares me to death that people still think like that. You are the mirror image of the jihadis who want to reconquer Spain because it was once ruled by Muslims (a point we have made before). Once again: You and your Islamist “enemies” are birds of a feather. Go have a love-in.

              I am not out to prove that I am not “biased.” I am openly “biased” in favor of justice for the Palestinians, as we all should be. I’ve had really good Palestinian-produced olive oil from the West Bank, by the way.

              1. The Palestinians were never sovereign
                You make a good point, that geopolitics is determined by the nations that outlast those that fall. The Palestinians were never sovereign, nor did they financially own the land in pre-1967 borders. The Jordanians did. They lost it in war. Giving it back when under threat is losing strategy. It would certainly encourage any enemy to demand more. As it has, by Israel, and as it would with any enemy. If the Palestinians want to contest the land, they can wage a guerrilla war against Israel. There have been many such wars in the last century, many that have been successful. What the Palestinians are doing now however is akin to only committing war crimes, without the war. They only target civilians. Many in the western world consider this simply cowardice and they could never support this (until it fades the mind). Palestinians are quite unique in their choosing soft targets. If they would choose military targets, they would perhaps have the legitimacy of every other rebel force/separatist military group etc. Further, if they were so desperate for peace, they would not demand the expulsion of the settlements. Never has there been a peaceful expulsion of any peoples. It’s quite foolish, and the double standard is a good litmus test for the sane and wise, vs the foolish or anti-semitic. The PA practically has autonomy in all matters of the state. Further, the Palestinian gov’t is hiding behind civilian attackers constantly, but in truth any government is responsible for any act of aggression that comes from within. Casualties of war are inevitable, and are expected. Self restraint is a noble ideal, but if it comes at the cost of others, it is irresponsible. Every government has a responsibility to protect their population from the enemy. This has been a basic responsibility of every government in history. Allowing one person to die for the sake of 1000 enemies is irresponsible. People like you think they are being compassionate; you are not. You are being compassionate with other people’s lives. Perhaps you will respond that you are not looking at it from a geopolitic perspective, but rather a from the perspective of humanity in general. This is a fallacy, and a losing strategy. Two countries that exist, one with your perspective, one with the traditional perspective, and your country will have a dismal chance of survival, and in fact will invite an otherwise normal relationship with the other nation to become one where you leave holes in your policy for the other nation to take advantage, and they will eventually, very likely inevitably.

                As an afterthought, just think of what would happen if Mexico would deliberately fire mortars into the United States. Suppose even better: it is not sanctioned by the Mexican government. The rage that would erupt certainly involve quite a response, and would probably end with the Mexican government paying large reparations including fines, if not full replacement of the government to boot. You can replace Mexico with any country and. the story would be the same. A similar situation (but not the same) actually happened and resulted in the Pancho Villa Expedition (not very successful). Any country in the world that would do the same. But not Israel. Quick to forgive, if only to defuse the situation. Not willing, or not demonstrating the will to go to war and kill civilians as casualties of war, not only does not prevent war, but provokes it, as it leaves a strategic vulnerability that will be prodded without even a small response until all involved are forced into war (ie. it will go too far once, where it cannot go unanswered and full war will result).

                “If one has pity on the cruel, they will end with being cruel to the pitiful”

                1. Is it only illiterate reactionaries who read my website?

                  Imagine what would happen if Mexico fired mortars into the United States? I have a better idea. Let’s imagine what would happen if US troops crossed into Mexican territory at a place where the border was disputed, thereby provoking a clash with Mexican border forces, then used this as a pretext to invade and occupy the country. And then used this position to extort a “treaty” in which Mexico surrendered a third of its territory to the US, so that the gringos would have an excuse to invade Mexico again 70 years later when Pancho Villa launched an adventurist little raid on territory that is rightly Mexican anyway if one adheres to the principle that all prior claims mean eternal sovereignty.

                  Viva Pancho Villa!

                  Viva paragraph breaks!

                  Down with illiterate racists!

                  1. I made many points
                    I made many points in parallel, and you have responded only to one.

                    Now, in response to yours, the United States did almost exactly what you suggest. New Mexico was won by the United States in the Mexican-American War, and had just been made a state in 1912. Just four years later the United States began the Expedition.

                    Further, there are many many examples in the United States’ history of “Manifest Destiny”, in which they (we) unfairly conquered territory, and it eventually became a state. No (sane) in the world doubts the sovereignty of the United States. This is because of my point earlier, that past history is not the judge of sovereignty, but rather current military power and treaties that end wars. And anyone who challenges these treaties militarily would surely meet a quick end. But, if they were to succeed, and force a treaty affirming as such, these treaties would recognize their new-found or expansion of their sovereignty, as it has always in the history of the world.

                    You can argue perhaps that Israel is different from all other nations and has no right to win wars, and no right to destroy the enemy in wars, and no right to conquer their territory, but that would seem like a double standard, something most people would stay away from.

                    You can also say that the United States too is wrong, and if Mexico would begin to fight, they should not take more than diplomatic action, or if a state decided to secede they should allow it etc., and that other countries in the world (“non-imperialist”, not your words necessarily) would (in the past, or at present) act differently. Show me an example in world history, where a stronger sovereign nation allowed an infringement of sovereignty to go unanswered. They are few.

                    “Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.”
                    — Ronald Reagan

                    1. You should be flattered I responded at all
                      You don’t know how to write or to think or to argue coherently. Why should I waste my time with you?

                      As I’ve pointed out, you can’t make up your mind whether “past history is the judge of sovereignty” or not. One minute you argue that you’ve got a cosmic real estate deed to all historic Palestine because the ancient Hebrews had a short-lived kingdom there 3,000 years ago. Then you to switch to a might-makes-right argument that sees conquest as legitimate, in which case you have no moral grounds to complain about Palestinians throwing mortars at you. I suppose I should be grateful that you finally decided to start using paragraph breaks.

                    2. I won’t insult you
                      I won’t insult you as you have done me, but you failed to comprehend my response. I agreed with you that sovereignty is *not* determined by who were the original owners, but instead by the victors of military actions, and affirmed by treaties. I also posited that sovereignty could be changed by new military action, and the Palestinians could do this as well.

                      I did *not* argue that the bible should be used as a source to indicate ownership, because then there would be no end; the United States would have to disband, and return all land to the Native Americans, and the same could be said for much of the Eastern Hemisphere, in an incomputable fashion. So in short, I am agreeing with you on that point.

                      Why should you waste your time with me? Well, if my arguments are so stupid, they should have simple responses. If you aren’t willing to do that, it is no problem for me. I just want those arguments of yours that I deem flawed not to go unanswered.

                      As a side point, when you say “ancient Hebrews had a short-lived kingdom there 3,000 years ago”, by short-lived you mean for more than a thousand years, on and off.

                      And again, I made several arguments in parallel. It is a common strategy in debate to try to pluck on one argument, and conclude all arguments too seem a fallacy.

                      “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
                      –Winston Churchill

                    3. Every word you write is an insult to human intelligence
                      So sovereignty is not determined by the “original owners”? That wasn’t you who just wrote a few posts back “We owned that land way before the Syrians, the turks [sic], or anyone else”?

                      I am all for the United States honoring its treaty commitments with the Native Americans, and where no treaty exists, recognizing aboriginal title.

                      The unified Hebrew kingdom, that of David and Solomon, lasted less than a century. But this isn’t a particularly relevant point. If you want to stretch it out to a millennium by including the divided kingdom, the restored kingdom under Persian suzerainty, the Hasmonean dynasty, and Herod’s puppet state under Roman occupation—fine, whatever. It doesn’t weaken Palestinian territorial claims whatsoever.

                      Your arguments are scattershot and incoherent. If you want a serious response, I suggest you organize your thoughts better.

                    4. Did they have a sovereign nation in Palestine?
                      “That wasn’t you who just wrote a few posts back” – apologies for your confusion, I am not “Anonymous”, the OP of this reply.

                      “The unified Hebrew kingdom, that of David and Solomon” – for matters of sovereignty it doesn’t matter if there is a “kingdom”. They were sovereign for almost 400 years prior, under the rulership of “judges”. And though divided as a kingdom neither side was Palestinian, they were both Jewish. And yes, there was a break of 100 years in between, under the Babylonians. When they were restored under the Persian Empire, they were sovereign in almost all ways, just as any other member of the empire was. And finally the Hasmonian dynasty came to an end not long before the end of the millennium, making it more than one thousand years of Jewish sovereignty. Again I am not making the argument that this should be the deciding factor of sovereignty today. I am merely stating history (from the bible’s perspective) that you are trying to play down in your answer to those who use it to claim sovereignty.

                      “It doesn’t weaken Palestinian territorial claims whatsoever” – so what are their territorial claims? Did they have a sovereign nation in Palestine before 1967? Before 1948? IF you are talking of ownership of individuals, then let them take it up with the courts. If it is about sovereign claims, let them go to war with Israel. Either way, exclusively committing war crimes (ie. only and explicitly attacking civilians) makes them barbaric compared with any other guerrilla warfare effort.

                      “He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.”
                      — Napoleon Bonaparte

                    5. It doesn’t matter if they did or not
                      Palestinian claims are based on 1,300 years (at least) of occupancy of the land. It makes no difference that they never had a “sovereign nation” before—they are absolutely entitled to struggle for one. I’m glad you acknowledge that they have the right to wage armed resistance, although if Israel would withdraw to its legal borders, they wouldn’t have to. Israelis are in a very, very poor position to accuse others of “war crimes.”

                      You seem to be fond of quoting militarists and megalomaniacs. I prefer to quote scholars and freedom fighters.

                      “I see no other way than to begin now to speak about sharing the land that has thrust us together, and sharing it in a truly democratic way, with equal rights for each citizen. There can be no reconciliation unless both peoples, two communities of suffering, resolve that their existence is a secular fact, and that it has to be dealt with as such.”

                      —Edward Said, Palestinian scholar and freedom fighter, 1935-2003

                    6. “Israelis are in a very, very poor position…”
                      “Israelis are in a very, very poor position to accuse others of ‘war crimes.'” – The Israelis do not have to accuse anything of anyone. Unnecessarily killing civilians during war is a war crime. The Palestinians do this almost exclusively. Israelis at least claim not to, and we can debate about whether or not they do all you want without conclusion, but they certainly don’t do it exclusively. Their intent of engaging the enemy (such as in Gaza) is in response to thousands of rockets targeting civilians exclusively. Thus this is where the the Palestinians depart from the rest of civilization, as I have stated many times, in that they are *not* implementing guerrilla warfare, but rather simple murder to strike fear. As for Israeli war crimes, again, it is debatable. Personally I disagree with you – certainly, as in any war there is surely some amount of criminality by Israeli individuals (and some are prosecuted by Israeli courts), but the government is not, from what I can tell, responsible for any war crimes. Thus your assertion is not in good faith.

                      “I’m glad you acknowledge that they have the right to wage armed resistance” – yes, but they aren’t waging resistance, they aren’t waging war, they are just waging the “crime” part of “war crimes”, as I have stated many times prior.

                      “If Israel would withdraw to its legal borders” – first, what makes the pre-1967 borders legal? What makes the borders of the United States’ borders legal? What makes the borders of any country legal? War, and treaties. That also makes the current borders of Israel legal as well, so your midargument assertion is false IMO.

                      “If Israel would withdraw to its legal borders, they wouldn’t have to” – I agree with the right of anyone to wage armed resistance, but at their own risk, as the host nation can and will use the same right to fight back and eliminate the resistance.

                      “I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land”
                      — Mahmoud Abbas

                    7. Weasel words
                      Your slippery little weasel word is “unnecessarily.” The obvious implication is that it was necessary to kill 1,300 Palestinians in Operation Cast Lead. Look, go argue with Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN Human Rights Council. They all say Israel is guilty of war crimes.

                      I agree that the current borders of Israel are legal. Those borders are the Green Line. The Occupied Territories are occupied. That’s why they are called Occupied Territories. Remember?

                      Amid all the endless Israeli talk about “transfer” and how all the Palestinians should decamp for Jordan, how can you use the Abbas quote with a straight face? Cast the beam from thine own eye.

                    8. “The obvious implication is is that it was necessary to kill”
                      “The obvious implication is that it was necessary to kill 1,300 Palestinians in Operation Cast Lead” – If 1300 Palestinians civilians were killed in Operation Cast Lead while Israelis were *trying* to kill military targets, than they were not unnecessary. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN Human Rights Council are all regarded as true word by the left, and biased by the right, so we do not have common ground to rely on their opinions. Further, I agreed that Israeli individuals might be guilty of war crimes, as in any war. Israel as a government is not IMO. You are entitlted to yours, but it is fact (I hope you agree) that the Palestinians explicitly target civilians as a strategy. They don’t in general send suicide bombers on military bases; they go to civilian gathering spots. They split the throats of the a civilian household. They slit the throat of a child. This isn’t out of the ordinary.

                      “I agree that the current borders of Israel are legal. Those borders are the Green Line” – Very well, I know we disagree about what the current borders are, but you skipped the question? What makes the pre-1967 borders, ie. “Those borders are the Green Line”, legal? The same thing makes the post-1967 borders including the “Occupied Territories” part of sovereign Israel. Victory in war.

                      “Amid all the endless Israeli talk about “transfer” and how all the Palestinians should decamp for Jordan” – I know not of what you talk about. Please respond with a quote of anyone of Netanyahu’s caliber saying anything to that effect.

                      “Cast the beam from thine own eye” – it was a mere quote, not a reflection of my opinion, nor of the Israeli’s. It simply demonstrates the double standard that exists, in that those like you in the world are fine with that (Israeli’s not being allowed to live in the PA territory at all). I am not Israeli (full disclosure: I am Jewish).

                      “There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.”
                      — George Orwell

                    9. The double standard is all yours
                      If the Israelis were trying to kill only military targets in Cast Lead, they certainly weren’t trying very hard. Those blown up by “martyrdom operations” and those killed as “collateral damage” are just as dead, and body for body Israel is way, way ahead. As the apologists for terrorism always point out, it is the weapon of the weak. Go argue with Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN Human Rights Council.

                      The 1967 borders are accepted by the international community, and the neighboring states all agreed to them as ceasefire lines. Look, if might makes right, what is the use of arguing at all? What difference does it make who kills civilians and who doesn’t? What difference does it make what is legal and what isn’t? Perfect intellectual inconsistency.

                      “With the evacuation of the Arab community from the valleys we achieve, for the first time in our history, a real Jewish state… And we must first of all cast off the weakness of thought and will and prejudice—that [says that] this transfer is impracticable.”

                      —David Ben Gurion

                      “With compulsory transfer we [would] have vast areas… I support compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it.”

                      —David Ben Gurion

                      “The possibility of a large-scale transfer of a population by force was demonstrated when the Greeks and the Turks were transferred [after World War I]. In the present war [World War II] the idea of transfering a population is gaining more sympathy as a means of solving the dangerous and painful problem of national minorities.”

                      —David Ben Gurion

                      “Complete transfer without compulsion—and ruthless compulsion at that—is hardly imaginable… [T]he majority of the Arabs could hardly be expected to leave voluntarily within the short period of time which can materially affect our problem.”

                      —David Ben Gurion

                      “Don’t worry about the demographic density of the Arabs. When I was born in Petach Tikva, we were entirely surrounded by Arab villages. They have all since disappeared.”

                      —cabinet minister Mordechai Zippori to settlers near Nabuls, 1982

                      “[T]ransfer of the Arabs is indeed achievable and it is only the unwillingness of Israeli leaders to discuss it or carry it out that stands in the way.”

                      —”The Logistics of Transfer ” manifesto, Gamla settler organization, 2002

                      “When you look at it, transfer is the only conclusion. It is the only light at the end of the tunnel.”

                      —MK Benny Elon, 2002

                      “1. An independent state, under Arafat or someone just as thuggish.
                      2. Military occupation by Israel.
                      3. Re-incorporation into a Jordanian-Palestinian nation.
                      4. Some sort of UN trusteeship.
                      5. Expulsion from the West Bank and Gaza, those territories then incorporated into Israel.

                      When I say ‘the best option,’ I don’t mean ‘best for the Palestinians.’ I don’t think they have any good options. Being Arabs, they are incapable of constructing a rational polity, so their future is probably hopeless whatever happens… Would expulsion be hard on the Palestinians? I suppose it would. Would it be any harder than options 1 thru 4? I doubt it. Do I really give a flying falafel one way or the other? No, not really.”

                      —John Derbyshire, contributing editor to National Review, on “best options” for the Palestinian problem, 2002

                      “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”

                      — George Orwell

                    10. “They certainly weren’t trying very hard”
                      “They certainly weren’t trying very hard” – Which is subjunctive, and is your opinion. I disagree: the Israeli’s could simply have bombed from the air without any casualties to their own at all, and killed multitudes more.

                      “The 1967 borders are accepted by the international community” – the “international community” does determine sovereignty.

                      “and the neighboring states all agreed to them as ceasefire lines” – as they did for the post 1967 borders! The ceasefires were signed after Israel had captured the Gaza strip, the Golan and the West Bank.

                      You quote David Ben Gurion, but I have to scratch my head … he was largely out of politics by the time the Six Day War (1967) began, never mind being the leader.

                      Mordechai Zippori is so obscure that a google search for “MK Benny Elon” gives less than 7000 thousand results. He has been out of politics since 1984. You can find far far more stupendous statements by the Arab MKs. Oh right! There are Arab MKs … I don’t see any Jews in the PA government … now and in the future. Further, there is no country in the world, AFAIK that does not allow someone not of their own nationality to own land, which is what Abbas was implying would happen if the PA became sovereign.

                      Minister of Tourism Benny Elon you mean? Surely a policy making position … One that he no longer holds! He is no longer involved in politics.

                      John Derbyshire?? What hand does he have in the Israeli gov’t ….

                      Now let me requote you: “Amid all the endless Israeli talk about ‘transfer’ and how all the Palestinians should decamp for Jordan … “. Endless talks? Seems Just Plain Wrong to me.

                      And in answer to your Orwell quote: I am not Israeli, definitely not an Israeli nationalist. There are so many many things I disapprove of in the Israeli gov’t, including atrocities it has committed to its own people, and is currently committing by being irresponsible in negotiations with the PA. I am not here to voice those though, because you have gone overboard in the other direction.

                      “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty and democracy?”
                      — Mohandas Gandhi

                    11. “subjunctive”?
                      You don’t know the difference between “subjunctive” and “subjective.” I knew you would find an excuse to dismiss all my quotes. Not an Israeli nationalist? Rght, and I’m not bald. You have more than had your say. Go clutter up someone else’s blog now. ‘Bye.

                    12. I devoted enough of my time
                      I devoted enough of my time to debate with you thinking that you could listen to reason and admit when you’re wrong. You have not done that, and you have insulted everyone who has taken their time writing a thought-out response to you. If only all those who speak against us could sound so ridiculous, as you do, then we can effectively rule out the media as being a threat to Israel. You are wrong, wrong in every single thing you have said, wrong in the way you have said it, and wrong for thinking the Palestinians need you to stand up for them. In the end of the day, they are motivated by hate, and we’re motivated by self-defense. Don’t even dare to argue that point! I’ve seen both sides, not as a visitor, like you, but as someone who has to go through the same thing every single day. I don’t think that you could ever admit when Israel is right.
                      And finally, take a look at these videos, and focus on what’s said, not who said it:

                    13. The political wisdom of Gene Simmons
                      Gee, thanks. I thought I was finally rid of you. Sorry guy, but you are the one who has not responded to any of my arguments. Saying things like “they are motivated by hate, and we’re motivated by self-defense” isn’t an argument at all, it is a mere subjective assertion—and one which defies the most elementary logic. Putting mosques to the torch is not a manifestation of hate? Will you please get lost already?