2008-05-06

A Palestinian Christian’s perspective on the Israeli occupation and suicide bombing

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

It is ironical that so many western Christians support or excuse the state of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians when there are both Christian Israelis and Christian Palestinians who do not. Indeed, the use of the Hebrew Bible by both Zionists and their Christian supporters to justify Zionism, illegal settlements, land confiscations, defiance of international law, humiliation and genocidal policies against the Palestinians, has been said to have turned the Old Testament almost into a current-day Mein Kampf.

Dr. Naim Ateek, a Palestinian Christian and theologian, has compared the current Israeli state to Herod. He sees “Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him”.

He has posted an article reflecting on 40 years of Israeli occupation and discussing what Palestinians, particularly Palestinian Christians, must do. It is part of a special edition of Cornerstone, titled The Great Deception: What must Palestinians do? Cornerstone is a publication of the Sabeel, the Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center.

An earlier article of his take, as a Palestinian Christian, on Suicide Bombers is also worth reading.

27 Comments

  • Joseph Wallack
    2008-05-09 03:58:38 UTC - 03:58 | Permalink

    “genocidal policies against the Palestinians, has been said to have turned the Old Testament almost into a current-day Mein Kampf.”

    If your X-Uh-Jesus wasn’t so good I’d tell you what I really think.

    What “genocidal policies” Neal (yes, this is a statement, it doesn’t need to be a question). If you bothered to survey the average Israeli you’d find that the main thing they want is peace and they do not hate the Palestinians. And “Mein Kampf”. Do some history research Neal. Which side was Allies with Hitler (again,a statement, not a question).

  • 2008-05-09 08:06:05 UTC - 08:06 | Permalink

    Your complaint is misguided. I know very well that both the “average Israeli” and the “average Palestinian” want peace. (I find it interesting that you seem to be aware of only one side’s wants in this regard.) But I also know that racism is flourishing sickeningly on both sides. Jews are called pigs and monkeys and Arabs are called cockroaches and vermin.

    You should know I have been active in my local community in promoting both Jewish and Palestinian groups and programs who are building bridges between the two peoples. I may well prepare a future blog listing some of them — as an alternative vision to the one that currently prevails and kills.

    As for “some history”, you do not appear to be well informed. The Likud party grew out of the Zionist Revisionist Party which was established by Vladimir Jabotinsky, who glorified and proudly sought to imitate Hitler’s policy of ethnic cleansing and expanding Israel’s borders over time to their biblical extent — via an “iron wall” of bayonets.

    And the Greater Israel envisioned by the Zionist movement openly uses the Bible as the justification for its territorial expansion and occupation. Few of the Jewish settlers in the illegal settlements are interested in peace unless it means the restoration of biblical borders, and they do not hide the fact that they look to the biblical injunctions to commit ethnic cleansing as their justifications.

    Out of Jabotinksy’s Revisionist movement grew the Irgun and the Stern Gang, both violent terrorist groups who left a legacy of bombings and assassinations, and one very popular Israeli Prime Minister.

    These openly genocidal (see the legal definition of the term) movements came out of the wilderness after the 1967 war. There is no question — Zionist leaders (not only those in government) have openly called for it — that the current Zionist policy has been and continues to be population transfer and the expulsion of Palestinian Arabs into “apartheid/bantustan” like enclaves and seizure of their lands and homes. A list of citations could fill a book.

    These things — as part of Likud’s current policies — are all openly debated in Israel today. It is in the U.S. that I understand there is unbalanced one-sided reporting. I read that one risks being labelled an anti-Semite if one dares criticize Zionism there. It may be true because that sometimes can tend to happen to some degree here, too.

    Zionism is a racist nationalistic ideology that belongs back in the nineteenth century where it was born along with all those other racist nationalisms that culminated in world war and ethnic crimes by more than just the Nazis. To equate anti-zionism with anti-semitism is a horrible betrayal of the Jewish people, and even of the State of Israel.

  • 2008-05-09 11:56:49 UTC - 11:56 | Permalink

    Christ, you sound like the Apologists we both deal with. Let’s make this simple. Does the Israeli government have “genocidal policies”? I guess the Kiwis aren’t quite the threat to you that the Palestinians are to the Isaraelis. Hey, I can change the subject too!

  • 2008-05-09 12:00:31 UTC - 12:00 | Permalink

    That’s a shame I sound that way to you. I do not believe Jews and Palestinians working for peace are apologists for anything, and they know how tough their task is. Far tougher than bulldozing and bombing houses and fields and piping sewage into the settlements of “cockroaches”. As for the myth of Israel’s existence being threatened by Palestinians I have raised some key points not widely known in the west here.

    I have had many dealings with boths Jews (both Zionist and anti-Zionist) and Arabs from Israel and Palestine, and from non Jews and non Arabs who have worked and lived there. The themes that come up are always the same. Jews are divided among those who live in paranoia and will always argue from slogans and tired catchcries, or outright hate, and those who vehemently and courageously oppose their religious and political extremists who since 1967 have dominated the national agenda. I am expressing nothing naive but only what is expressed by many Jews, including Israelis who know the pain too well, themselves. I hoped a Palestinian Christian’s viewpoint might provide an edge for a few western minds to glimpse the other side of the story.

    I invite you to look into both sides, and get to know a few Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza too.

    In what way did I change the subject?

  • 2008-05-09 12:35:00 UTC - 12:35 | Permalink

    Does the Israeli government have “genocidal policies”? Why can’t you answer this Neil?

  • 2008-05-09 12:47:54 UTC - 12:47 | Permalink

    I thought I had made my views very clear, apart from the fact that I thought from your first post that your questions were rhetorical.

    Yes it does. I chose the world carefully, along with ethnic cleansing, in concert with what analysts on both sides have said, and that’s why I also provided the link above to the exact legal definition of genocide.

    What has been done in the past 40 years and is being done today to the Palestinians is comparable to what was once done to the American Indians, the Australian aborigines and the blacks under the apartheid regime in South Africa. And the paranoid fears of the whites inflicting that barbarism on those natives is mirrored again among many Israelis today, unfortunately.

    Paranoia lingering from past horrors is in part driving this, and partly the paranoia is feeding off the inevitable responses that unavoidably result from the occupation and expansion of territories and bulldozing of houses and fields, along with the brutal humiliation and pain inflicted on the daily lives of Palestinians by the wall, checkpoints, and daily sonic booms, the sewage, the “random” shootings to intimidate farmers, the mass arrests and collective punishments, the wrist slzpping of Israelis who murder Palestinian children and old men and women, and the acquittal and even promotion of leaders who carry out terror campaigns in refugee and other settlements and give the nod for the massacre of thousands in a single night.

  • 2008-05-09 12:53:06 UTC - 12:53 | Permalink

    “Yes it does.”

    Thanks. And what is the most “genocidal policies” that the Israeli government has?

  • 2008-05-09 13:02:29 UTC - 13:02 | Permalink

    The ongoing destruction of Palestinian culture and life, the ongoing regular destruction of their infrastructure and freedom of movement in an attempt to prevent them from forming a cohesive positive cultural identity; the ongoing expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and farms, the dividing up of their homes and pouring open sewage into their villages, the continual daily ongoing humiliation and dehumanizing treatment of those under their occupation, the driving Palestinians into bantustan enclaves, the denial of the rights of Palestinians to live as a cultural and political and independent economic entity. Is any of this news? Do you need citations?

    ————————————————————————–
    I added more to my previous post while you were posting your response to what I had originally posted — I should add the extra again here:

    What has been done in the past 40 years and is being done today to the Palestinians is comparable to what was once done to the American Indians, the Australian aborigines and the blacks under the apartheid regime in South Africa. And the paranoid fears of the whites inflicting that barbarism on those natives is mirrored again among many Israelis today, unfortunately.

    Paranoia lingering from past horrors is in part driving this, and partly the paranoia is feeding off the inevitable responses that unavoidably result from the occupation and expansion of territories and bulldozing of houses and fields, along with the brutal humiliation and pain inflicted on the daily lives of Palestinians by the wall, checkpoints, and daily sonic booms, the sewage, the “random” shootings to intimidate farmers, the mass arrests and collective punishments, the wrist slzpping of Israelis who murder Palestinian children and old men and women, and the acquittal and even promotion of leaders who carry out terror campaigns in refugee and other settlements and give the nod for the massacre of thousands in a single night.

  • 2008-05-09 13:12:18 UTC - 13:12 | Permalink

    “killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

    I find it ironic that while none of these apply to the Israeli government, several apply to the Palestinians. Not to mention the average Palestinian is exponentially more likely to suffer one of these at the hands of rival Palestinians rather than the Israeli government. Just pick one Israeli government policy Neil.

  • 2008-05-09 13:16:23 UTC - 13:16 | Permalink

    I have listed the daily facts of the execution of Israeli policies on the ground. Do you deny these are a daily reality for the Palestinians as a whole, particularly right now in Gaza?

  • 2008-05-09 13:31:53 UTC - 13:31 | Permalink

    “killing members of the group”

    Okay, citations Neal. The closest Israeli government policy I am aware of is that it is policy to disable or kill if necessary to prevent/stop a terrorist attack. I doubt if Israeli policy even states “Palestinian” here. Do you have a problem with this policy Neal? Should Israel be allowed to have policies which protect it’s population? What Israeli policy is there that promotes killing members of the Palestinians?

    If Israel does have genocidal policies they sure haven’t done a very good job of implementing them.

  • 2008-05-09 21:10:04 UTC - 21:10 | Permalink

    This turned out longer than anticipated. I have highlighted bits not so much for emphasis but to make it easier for anyone interested to skip to bits they want.

    If you are looking for a public written policy government directive you are missing the obvious. Not even Hitler put in writing what he intended for the Jews. What counts is what is happening on the ground either under government direction and/or protection and support.

    How often do we hear of teenagers or a small school child being gunned down because they walked or chased a soccer ball too close to a border guarded by Israeli soldiers? How often do we hear of “targeted killings” that kill innocents? How often do Palestinians working in their fields have shots fired over their heads in an attempt to intimidate them? How often to jets fly low over homes at supersonic speeds to terrify? How often do we hear of a Palestinian death resulting to someone needing hospital treatment as a result of brutal delays at check points? How often do we hear of a mother at her window or or a boy at a doorway randomly shot dead by a passing soldier who “mistook” them for a gunman? How often did we hear of retaliation against stone-throwing youths of a disproportionate number of (often mortal) wounds to the upper parts of bodies?

    The Kahan Commission found that Sharon, famed for his “retaliatory” massacres in El-Bureig and Qibya in 1953 (forcing people to remain inside their homes while they were blown up over them, handgrenades into window and doorways despite Jordan’s offer to help track down the murderers of an Israeli mother and child…), “bears personal responsibility” for the Arab 9/11, the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres of 3000 refugees. Sharon was subsequently rewarded with extended terms as Prime Minister.

    You said that a Palestinian is more likely to suffer violence at the hands of other Palestinians than the IDF. What is your source for that? It is true that many Palestinians despise those, including the relevant sections of Hamas, who recruited and supported suicide bombers. Many Palestinians hated them because they saw them as “using” the young, and not really caring for the families. (I base that on personal communications with both Palestinians and a white American and two white Australian friends, including a Christian, who have worked with and for the Palestinians in the West Bank.)

    It is also true that any Palestinian caught spying for the IDF is as good as dead, and there will rarely be any formality of a trial.

    (And it has now emerged that the recent conflict between Al Fatah and Hamas in Gaza was instigated and planned for by the U.S. who even trained Al Fatah for the operation.)

    But it is equally true that Hamas won overwhelmingly one of the free-est and fairest elections held in the Middle East and that their community support wings have been hugely popular. The people I have spoken to who have lived their lives or many months in the West Bank and Gaza testify that the only threats they face are from sanctions, daily humiliations at checkpoints and by IDF patrols, and low-flying supersonic aircraft, and the regular smashing of their infrastructure on grounds that it could be being used to foster an independent Palestinian spirit/culture, which could turn against Israel’s interests.

    Yes Israel has suffered many terrorist attacks, especially from suicide bombers. The people in the West Bank and particularly Gaza right now have very little to live for. So many have experienced the slaughter of their parents or siblings or children or cousins or partners, having rubbish piled in the middle of their roads so that they cannot get their crops to a market (they know if they attempt to clear the rubbish they will be confronted by troops and bulldozers to stop them), and they are forced to be treated “like cockroaches” by being kept waiting for days at checkpoints if they need to leave their village, and then having to face soldiers who will in the end on a brutal whim send them back and not let them pass, and the wall dividing homes from their farmlands, and from their families, and the bulldozing of their homes when it is time to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, and if the Palestinians stay too close then the Jewish settlements can simply pipe their sewage into their main street.

    A white American friend who shared their checkpoint experience went over to a group of women who had been refused permission to pass, and the troops tried to warn him that they were “terrorists” and “killers” and to get away from them. Every Palestinian is a “terrorist” in the eyes of too many (not all) Israelis.

    Israeli government policy in fact provokes terrorist attacks in retaliation. Most of those who were suicide bombers had lost loved ones, had nothing to live for, they had been brutalized and humiliated by the occupation repeatedly, eyes always to be lowered before checkpoint soldiers, felt that life was so unbearable under the occupation that it was far preferable to exchange their physical lives for a symbolic life. No-one would want to live under the occupation of the West Bank or Gaza by choice.

    The policies of Likud and the government currently is to maintain and consolidate the illegal settlements in the occupied territories. Past history informs us that as soon as international pressure is seen as manageable again they will expand them once more. That means more ethnic cleansing of another bit of land. Bit by bit.

    Every time Hamas or the PLO or an Arab state in concert with either of these has offered a truce or peace agreement, and I mean every time, one will hear within 48 hours of yet another massive Israeli bombing or raid or “targeted assassination” that hits a very wide target, accompanied by an official claim that the Arabs cannot be trusted, they will only use the time to regroup, etc etc.

    This is why I say (but it’s not just me, many Jews say it too, especially in very heated debates within Israel — rarely outside) that the policies of the Zionist mainstream parties (Likud currently) are actually harming Israel. They are a betrayal of the real interests of the Israelis and Jews everywhere. They are not preventing terrorism, but continue to provoke terrorism. The do not protect but endanger Israelis and Jews everywhere.

    What is needed is an Israeli policy that really does protect its people, and an end of the daily humiliation and all too frequent terror and innocent bloodshed imposed on the Palestinians. As long as one side refuses to recognize the right of the other side to protect its population there will be violence until there finally comes a generation when one side will be reduced to the status of many American Indians and Aborigines today.

    Israeli policy has been to only talk peace with a Palestinian leader who in fact acts as Israel’s police force by helping to subdue and control the Palestinian population while settlements in occupied territories continue to expand. This is in fact what Arafat became in the end. He needed, and was supplied, gifts of handcuffs and police equipment above all else.

    Do you know people who have lived in Gaza and the West Bank? Do you read what is happening in there? What are your sources for news in those places?

    I with others discussed the situation recently with an Israeli soldier. He gave some public addresses on the situation Israel faced etc. We had many long talks. Even though he lived in Israel and had served in the army, all his understanding was based on what he had heard, on fear, on the tired old cliches and myths. He did not know, had never really personally mixed with, Palestinians. They were merely potential terrorists. Demonization in other words. Racism. Though he denied it. Every time another friend of mine related to him a personal experience with the Palestinians, the Israeli soldier simply could not respond to it. He, like a fundamentalist finding another argument to prove his point, apparently could not really comprehend what was being said from that perspective.

    (well, that got a few things out of my system… wonder if anyone will read it…. )

  • 2008-05-09 22:48:47 UTC - 22:48 | Permalink

    “What counts is what is happening on the ground either under government direction and/or protection and support.

    How often do we hear of teenagers or a small school child being gunned down because they walked or chased a soccer ball too close to a border guarded by Israeli soldiers?”

    It’s obvious by now that the reality is ironically somewhat opposite of what you have portrayed. It’s clear the Israeli government has no genocidal policy although they have the power to implement one. It’s the Palestinian government that has always had a genocidal policy towards Israel but lacked the power to implement it. In all related wars the Palestinians fully intended to wipe Israel off the map with their allies, per their Charter. Israel defended itself and won. That is all Israel is guilty of.

    I sometimes have heard of the above but per the US and Israeli press, which I trust, it is always the Palestinians lying about atrocities that never happened. The fatalities I have heard about are always in a military context, normally a genuine terrorist attack, often by a child, where tens of innocent men, women and children are saved by preventing the attack. Obviously restrictions on the Palestinians are reducing these attacks. The Palestinians are the opposite, with the attacks normally non-military. Israel mourns all attacks. The Palestinians celebrate them. That says it all. The closest you can get to a genocidal policy is an isolated military atrocity by Sharon during war. As the Israeli government investigated, publicized and condemned it you are still a long way off. Let’s get a list of Palestinians murdered by the Israeli government in a non-military setting as acknowledged by the US and Israel or at least the UN.

    The Israeli government has been negotiating to give the Palestinians their own country for most of its existence. Barak basically offered Arafat everything he asked for. Maybe this is the action of a government with genocidal policies. But towards itself and not others. The Israeli government has a responsibility to it’s citizens not to enable a hostile, sovereign country next to it with a genocidal policy towards Israel.

    What’s the solution? The Palestinians need to indicate they can co-exist with Israel by stopping state sponsored terrorism against Israel. Why can’t they do that Neal? Because it’s their policy.

  • 2008-05-10 08:18:50 UTC - 08:18 | Permalink

    “How often do we hear of teenagers or a small school child being gunned down because they walked or chased a soccer ball too close to a border guarded by Israeli soldiers?”

    Regularly. The murder of innocents is almost weekly news and has been for years. Yes, some Israeli spokesperson will always rationalize the killings and say their will be an investigation and this is mean for western media outlets. Yet the killings continue, and the perpetrators are either never or lightly even reprimanded.


    “It’s the Palestinian government that has always had a genocidal policy towards Israel ….”

    Now it is my turn to ask you for the evidence for this statement.


    “In all related wars the Palestinians fully intended to wipe Israel off the map with their allies, per their Charter. Israel defended itself and won. That is all Israel is guilty of.”

    You have made 4 statements here that are standard fare in western media, but again I will ask you to provide evidence for each one of them. I know all the standard replies, so perhaps I should just explain the facts not reported in the west. But no time at this particular moment.

    “I sometimes have heard of the above but per the US and Israeli press, which I trust, it is always the Palestinians lying about atrocities that never happened.”

    On what grounds to you trust “the US and Israeli press”? Is the Israeli as monolithic in its reporting as I understand appears to be the case re the US press? Most of what I have said has been reported in and discussed and is hotly debated among Israelis in Israel. There is more debate and freedom to air the facts and criticize Israel in Israel than there is in countries like the US where one risks charges of anti-semitism for daring to criticize the policies of the Likud party or the ideology of Zionism.

    “The fatalities I have heard about are always in a military context,”

    Yes, it is nearly always the IDF that is the instrument of the fatalities so naturally they are in a “military context”. West Bank and Gaza are under military occupation — no different from European countries once being under Nazi occupation. All response to resistance will be “in a military context”.

    But Jewish settlers and others have certainly committed atrocities against Palestinians too. Recall Hebron. But the interesting thing is that these are always reported as the work of “deranged individuals” or “some isolated group” in the west — but Palestinian attacks are, well, Palestinian! Even the murder of women is justified by some because they will have children who will grow up to be terrorists.

    “normally a genuine terrorist attack, often by a child,”

    It is more correct to say that the rationale used by the IDF or Israeli government is that they were preventing or suspecting a terrorist attack. But how often do they give the evidence they relied on? And how often do the circumstances themselves make a mockery of this? You don’t bomb an entire block of flats filled with innocents to kill one man. Well, the Israeli government has done that. “Often by a child”? What evidence do you have for this? Yes, you have read reports that the PLO did send in children for this purpose, and you hear they have done it often. But what evidence do they give? I believe I have read two such stories over the years where there was actual debatable apparent evidence.

    “Obviously restrictions on the Palestinians are reducing these attacks.”

    What evidence is there for this? The attacks happened while restrictions were in force. What do you understand by “restrictions”? Merely asking to see ID’s as people pass through? That is not what happens at checkpoints.

    “The Palestinians are the opposite, with the attacks normally non-military.”

    I do not have the figures at hand but I believe you will find that the statistics tell you the opposite — I think possibly ten times more Palestinian civilian deaths to Israeli deaths.

    “Israel mourns all attacks. The Palestinians celebrate them. That says it all.”

    This is pure racist war-time propaganda. Yes, of course that is how it is reported by those seeking support for Israeli policies. But if you were exposed to more balanced reporting you would see through this outright lie and misrepresentation.

    “The closest you can get to a genocidal policy is an isolated military atrocity by Sharon during war.”

    Would diminish the import of 9/11 by calling it “an isolated military atrocity”? And the earlier atrocities committed by Sharon are not even worth a mention? Nor his deliberate provocation of the IntaFada by walking into the area of the dome of the mosque knowing full well that he would provoke a situation that would excuse further ethnic cleansing from east Jerusalem and the West Bank?

    “As the Israeli government investigated, publicized and condemned it you are still a long way off. “

    Yes, for western media and only after intense pressure did the government investigate it. And then what happened. It found the guilty party and did nothing. It was all a media PR show.


    “Let’s get a list of Palestinians murdered by the Israeli government in a non-military setting as acknowledged by the US and Israel or at least the UN.”

    The statistics are well known. But what do you mean by a non-military setting? We are talking about resistance to a military occupation.


    “The Israeli government has been negotiating to give the Palestinians their own country for most of its existence. Barak basically offered Arafat everything he asked for. Maybe this is the action of a government with genocidal policies.”

    This is the way it is reported in the west. A look at the details of those negotiations shows that what Israel has offered Palestinians is a bantustan type existence, living in pockets divided by Israeli roads (many for Israeli use only), with Israel seizing all the best land and water supplies. This is the reality. Arafat was corrupt, being paid off handsomly by the Americans and Israelis to act as the policeman for Israel. His job was to keep “law and order”, to arrest any named suspects and if he failed to do so his headquarters or police stations would be bombed. Arafat betrayed his own people by being willing to accept the bantustan offer being made by Israel, and the permanent exclusion of Palestinians from their former homes. Yes, Arafat did have a slightly better deal at one point and let that pass, but he succumbed to the bantustan offer afterwards.


    “What’s the solution? The Palestinians need to indicate they can co-exist with Israel by stopping state sponsored terrorism against Israel. Why can’t they do that Neal? Because it’s their policy.”

    You have not mentioned once the one thing I have been trying to stress repeatedly. Occupation, ethnic cleansing and life under occupation. With Paris under Nazi occupation half of France “indicated they could co-exist” with Germany by setting up a Vichy government. What was wrong with the other half that they had to support resistance movements? And hell, they had life pretty good under German occupation compared with the Palestinians. They were not ethnically cleansed from whole village after town and pushed into arid areas and refugee camps.

    What do you mean by”state sponsored terrorism against Israel” exactly? Which state are you referring to? And what do you mean by “sponsored”?

    You have not mentioned once the illegal settlements, the evictions of Arabs from their homes and the bulldozing of their homes, or the calls for peace by the PLO and Hamas, or other “state sponsored proposals for peace with Israel”. Why not?

    Israeli policy is to maintain an illegal occupation and to systematically resettle it with their own people by forcibly expelling the original inhabitants. But you talk as if all the fault is with the Palestinians for not wanting to live peaceably with this state of affairs.

  • 2008-05-10 13:50:20 UTC - 13:50 | Permalink

    I am attempting to track down a copy of the June 1996 Observer to examine in part the claims made here — pp.99-101. You may say this was just one isolated political moment, but then one might say Sharon had one, two, four and more “isolated” incidents, — and so did Begin, and Olmert — each isolated moment comes together to create a picture that is not being conveyed through western mainstream media.

    I don’t think you realize it, but when you justify Israeli treatment of the whole Palestinian people (if that is what you are doing) on the grounds of stopping terrorist attacks, you are in fact justifying collective punishment of a whole people for the crimes of a few, a war crime. Or to justify it on grounds that Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist is to be selective indeed in one’s rationales. Indeed, it is Israel’s refusal to recognize the Palestinian’s right to exist as an independent state, even within the 1967 borders, that is a if not the major root of all the problem. (They insist on an apartheid like disconnected patchwork bantustan system.)

    There are other situations in the world where some states do not recognize others or their right to exist, but they by and large have managed to live with it for now.

    The Israeli government has never, to my knowledge, even tested Hamas to see if they truly are genuine in their truce and peace proposals, despite extended unilateral periods of cease-fire. They have always responded to such calls with contempt and blood. If I am unaware of exceptions I would appreciate being informed.

    The longer this draws out, some analysts foresee a time ahead when Israel will indeed be obliged to disband as a “Jewish” state and become a democracy for all races and creeds. But if so, we are looking at a future generation with much more blood in the meantime.

  • 2008-05-10 22:35:29 UTC - 22:35 | Permalink

    First, the most Objective criteria for who has “genocidal policies”. Neal has confessed that Israel has no Official “genocidal policies”. On the other side, Neal’s silence is an admission that for most of it’s history the Palestinians have had a “genocidal policies” towards Israel.

  • 2008-05-11 10:09:21 UTC - 10:09 | Permalink

    I will respond more completely later, but you have already said that your sources are the mainstream US and Israeli media. (Which Israeli media, by the way?) Given that it is the US and Israel who have invaded and occupied Arab territories and rejected nearly all offers of peace and truce along the way, and given the general antipathy and multifaceted de facto war situation against both the US and Israel today, do you really think that you will get a comprehensive and balanced account through the US and Israeli(?) mainstream media any more than you would get a balanced view from some Arab media?

    You still have not responded to any of the points I have made about the the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and treatment of Palestinians. Nor, I believe, to the contents of the original post. This is deja vue all over again — recall my comments when discussing with the Israeli soldier. He seemed to glaze over and simply not comprehend what was being said when personal experiences with the Palestinians was raised. There was only one possible view for him, and it had nothing to do with the realities of Palestinian experience.

    When I return home I will be in a position to respond with the citations that are apparently sought here.

    Meanwhile, I have received permission to post a related article here.

    Added about 40 minutes after the above: Nor have you responded yet to the history of Israeli and US rejectionist history of peace and truce offers from Hamas and others.

  • 2008-05-11 10:13:31 UTC - 10:13 | Permalink

    Till I return to demonstrate the Zionist (and Likud) ideology to commit genocide (in the sense destroying a people culturally and as a viable state and community) against Palestinian Arabs, just one illustration of the Zionist (not Jewish — a betrayal of Jews and the State of Israel in fact) plan to ethnically cleanse the Arabs from all but a few bantustans in the occupied territories.

    ISRAEL TO SQUEEZE ARABS FROM HOLY CITY.

    By SHYAM BHATIA, JERUSALEM.

    978 words

    9 June 1996

    The Observer

    (c) 1996

    SHEIKH Mohammed Al Hirsh is convinced he will be the first victim of the Jerusalem land grab orchestrated by right-wing Israeli settlers and ultra-Orthodox allies of Prime Minister-elect Binyamin Netanyahu.

    Confidential Israeli documents leaked to the Observer show that Netanyahu’s government has drawn up plans to devour Arab east Jerusalem and reduce its Arab community to an insignificant minority. It will end all Palestinian hopes of regaining the other half of the city or sharing it as a joint capital.

    The sheikh and his Bedouin tribe, the Jahaleen, have just lost their court battle to keep land on which they pitched their tents for decades. They are making way for 20,000 settlers who want to expand their Ma’aleh Adumim outpost, east of Jerusalem, by confiscating Arab properties.

    The Jahaleen tribe are only dimly aware that they are victims of a much larger master plan to flood Jerusalem’s Arab neighbourhoods with tens of thousands of Jewish families. The documents favour eight target areas for building new homes exclusively for Jews, the so-called Jewish belt. By the end, Israeli planners hope, the Arabs will have to look for homes in the West Bank.

    ‘Yasser Arafat can continue to dream of turning Jerusalem into the capital of his State,’ explains one of Netanyahu’s advisers. ‘Every time he says Jerusalem is his, we will respond by building a thousand homes for Jews.’ The godfather of the master plan is Jerusalem’s deputy mayor, Shmuel Meir, a right-wing hawk, who believes the Arabs have no rights in the holy city. His ideas call for the demolition of at least 2,000 Arab homes which he claims have been built without planning permission. He also intends to shut the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s unofficial ‘foreign ministry’ in Jerusalem, Orient House, and 50 other buildings said to be affiliated to Arafat’s Palestinian Authority.

    ‘Now we can be comfortable and relaxed,’ Meir told his team at Jerusalem City Hall last week. ‘Everyone used to tell me that my ideas were crazy and no government would accept them. But now it’s only a matter of hours or days before I present my file to Binyamin Netanyahu. Work must start immediately, there’s no time to waste.’

    Among the beleaguered Arab families of Jerusalem, the mention of Meir’s name evokes panic. Those who know him call him the ‘bulldozer’. In the past three years he has been spotted in the poorer Arab sections of the city, flanked by musclemen and Arab intermediaries who pinpoint properties ripe for taking.

    He is especially remembered for the provocative takeover of six Arab homes in Silwan, a stone’s throw from the Wailing Wall. Meir says that Silwan, home to 12,000 Arabs, is built on the site of the City of David and Jews have every right to ‘return’ to the area. Today six Jewish families live in Silwan, protected by armed guards paid for by the government.

    Meir’s team has bought at least 50 additional homes in Silwan for Jewish zealots who will start to move in as the master plan is implemented. The Observer has learnt that many Arab owners and sitting tenants who agreed to sell their properties have been guaranteed visas and secure jobs in Canada and the United States. Others have been offered Israeli citizenship and new homes within the Green Line.

    Palestinian nationalists characterise Arabs who sell their homes to Jews as traitors and the Mufti of Jerusalem has warned they may face the death penalty. But the buying and selling goes on because of the huge profits that can be made. One of the humble four-room houses recently sold in Silwan was priced at $50,000 for Arabs. Meir’s ‘commandos’ obtained the property after signing a cheque for $400,000.

    Municipal officials have told the Observer that two wealthy Diaspora Jews, Ewing Moscovitch and Jack Naser, have provided most of the money required for ‘Judaising’ Jerusalem. Both have bought land in the Arab suburbs of Ras Al Amoud, Abu Dis and Jabal Mukabar, where they intend to build homes, hotels and shopping malls for Jews.

    Meir’s plan also envisages the confiscation of hundreds of acres of Arab land from the ‘Eastern Gate’ down to Ma’aleh Adumim. Meir’s priority is to use the area to build 1,700 homes only for Jews.

    Even the Mount of Olives, home to several thousand Arab families, is highlighted in Meir’s map. This is where the municipality and the government have agreed to build 120 homes for the students of a local Jewish seminary, Beir Orot, the House of Lights.

    Another team under Meir has been working overtime to find properties to buy in the Muslim quarter of the walled city. In the past four years they have secretly bought 30 more homes from Arab owners. But the most ambitious project is that of Har Homa, along the border between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The outgoing government of Shimon Peres yielded to international pressure by freezing construction. But in the next few days, bulldozers will again start levelling land for 6,500 new homes.

    ‘This is a very dangerous plot,’ said a Palestinian planner, Khalil Tafakji. He and his colleagues say that Israel’s attempt to create irreversible ‘facts on the ground’ will add to tensions and violence, creating a new intifada.

    Palestinians and left-wing Israelis who have advocated compromise say Meir’s plan will shatter forever dreams of coexistence. ‘This is the kind of plan that contains all that is needed to explode the Middle East peace process,’ says former deputy mayor Ornan Yakutieli, leader of the left-wing opposition in City Hall. ‘It means Jerusalem will never be divided and the Palestinians will never be satisfied.’.

  • 2008-05-11 00:58:20 UTC - 00:58 | Permalink

    Now that it has been established that Israel has never had an official policy of genocide towards Palestinians while Palestinians have almost always had an official policy of genocide towards Israel, let’s move on to the best potential examples of genocide, killing.

    I’ll state again that I am not aware of any documented example by an objective source of a murder of a Palestinian by the Israeli government in a non-military and non potential terrorist threat situation. The following is representative of the lack of credibility in the Palestinian press:

    http://www.snopes.com/rumors/israel.asp

    On the other side it is easy to present Palestinian murder of innocent Israeli women and children because rather than deny these actions the Palestinian government has been behind them, publicized them and cherished them, so there is no dispute as to ocurrence. Ironically, the problem goes the other way that often different factions of the Palestinians take credit for the same genocide. My only fear here is that there is not sufficient space to document the full extent of the Palestinian genocide against Israel:

    http://www.adl.org/Israel/israel_attacks.asp

    The ADL, talk about a credible expert on the subject!:

    “# April 9, 2008: Two Israeli civilians were killed and two wounded when Palestinian terrorists attacked an Israeli-controlled border crossing where fuel is piped into Gaza. The attack at the Nahal Oz depot was carried out by members of various terrorist movements, including the Popular Resistance Committees.

    Vridar response:
    Haaretz reports that Palestinians forewarned Israelis manning the Nahal Oz terminal that an attack was imminent, and that the Palestinian attackers were aiming to kidnap Israeli soldier/s. I checked a CNN report on the web where this stated motive for the attack was again reported. This seems highly credible given the Israeli press report that the civilians in the target area were given advance warning, and that there was a getaway car waiting for the attackers, and that a source for the claim was an Israeli commander.

    You have cited this as the first of many attacks, as you have plainly and repeatedly made clear, as evidence that Palestinians only kill civilians as part of a genocide campaign against Israel while Israelis only kill Palestinian civilians by accident and only as a by-product of “a military context” — or as part of a military operation.

    I submit that the first example you have cited is a case of death of civilians “in a military context”, from the military forces (such as they are) on one side against the military forces of their occupying enemy. If you disagree with this assessment, on what grounds?

    # March 6, 2008: Eight men, seven of them teenagers, were killed when a Palestinian gunman entered the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem and opened fire. The terrorist also wounded nine in the attack before he was killed at the scene.

    Vridar response:
    While I abhor violence, and both official state and privatized terrorist attacks on both sides, understanding who the targets were in this horrific act goes a long way to helping one understand the root causes of the violence. By refusing to know the full facts we will ignorantly continue to support policies that are guaranteed to continue bloodshed and torment in both Israel and Palestine.

    The school attacked here is the educational wing of a group that might be described as a Jewish Taliban, the Gush Emunim. It was founded by Rabbi Kook who was a leading ideologue of the Gush Emunim. This settler organization believes the Palestinians are mere temporary aliens in “the biblical lands” of Greater Israel and that it is their responsibility to treat them as such according to the commands given to Joshua. That is, expulsion and servitude, until they eventually die out. That is, the same genocidal vision another European race once had for the Slavs. Despite the findings of the Karp Report, the Israeli government has winked at their violence, including murder, against Palestinians.

    That does not justify the massacre, but it does put it in a context that, if heeded and taken seriously, can go a long way to the international community beginning to ply pressure where it is really needed to end this tragedy. (Indeed, the successors of Gush Emunim are currently divided over just “how violent” they should be in practice against the Arabs.)

    P.S. I have linked a Palestinian source re the Karp Report. If you are not satisfied with that, and I urge you to consult the homepage of that article to assess exactly who the Palestinian authors actually are and whom they represent, you can find a similar discussion of the Karp Report in a New York Times article here. — do a word search on the page for “karp” and then scroll to the article.

    # February 4, 2008: A 73-year-old woman was killed and 40 people were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a shopping center in the southern city of Dimona. A second bomber was shot by a police officer who noticed him reaching for his explosive belt. Both Hamas’ armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, and Fatah’s armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Vridar comment:
    According to a BBC news report this was the first suicide attack on a town inside Israel in over a year. The same BBC news source quoted Hamas military wing spokesman as saying it was “a natural reaction to months of killing” of Palestinians by the Israeli army. The Palestinian President condemned the attack, and he also condemned an Israeli attack in the West Bank earlier that killed Palestinians. Al Jazeera reported that the suicide attack came in the wake of Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza that were launched in response to 4 of their policemen being killed by an Iraeli bombing raid.

    By retaliating against Israeli terror with their own murderous terror the culpable Palestinians, in my view, show themselves no better than the Israelis. But what is important to note in this context is that the ADL/Joseph Wallack use of this attack is misleading by giving only part of the story. By stripping out from the account the Palestinian voice expressing their rationale, and hearing only Israeli rationales in the meantime, this ‘attack’ can be used as ADL propaganda to support their racist claims against the Palestinians. When the full story is told, one sees the situation in a way that is no longer so black and white, and least of all some sort of effort to commit “genocide” against Israelis.

    # January 24, 2008: Two terrorists entered the Mekor Hayim High School Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion, south of Jerusalem, and stabbed two students. The terrorists were killed by two of the counselors in the room. The Izaddin al-Kassam’s Martyrs Brigades, the Hamas military wing, claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Vridar comment:
    This is a curious one to add to the list of “only the major attacks”. One of those killed was armed with a fake gun. The reports I have uncovered inform me that one, maybe two, counsellors, not students, were only lightly stabbed as they grappled with the two, and that the two were relatively easily overpowered very quickly. I have not been able to find any evidence at this stage that anyone claimed responsibility. One report here, another here, and one here.

    It was certainly a horrible attempted crime. But part of an act of genocide?

    But given the reason that this particular attack is listed, that is, the argument it is intended to support, there is one thing missing from this ADL account. The settlement where the attack occurred is one of the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. That by no means excuses violence of any kind, but if one wishes to understand the violence nonetheless, one must come to terms with what the Israelis were doing settled there in the first place, and the ethnic cleansing that had preceded this event.

    # January 24, 2008: Rami Zoari, 20, from Beersheba, a border police officer, was killed and another female officer was seriously wounded after terrorists approached the entrance to Shuafat refugee camp in northern Jerusalem and opened fire on a group of Israelis. The Battalions of Struggle and Return, a previously anonymous offshoot of Fatah’s Al Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack.

    # December 28, 2007: Two Israelis were killed by Palestinian terrorists while hiking outside of Hebron. A third hiker managed to escape.

    Vridar comment:
    Since you are insisting on distinguishing attacks that are in “a military context” it would only be fair to at least mention that these two hikers killed were at the time armed soldiers, albeit on leave. But the fact that they were armed, and walking around an illegal settlement in Palestinian territory, one that had experienced a particularly nasty dose of ethnic cleansing (murders), is also relevant.

    If this context is taken into focus then one begins to see a war between a state that denies the rights of Palestinians to their land, and Palestinians who are retaliating, like the American Indians did, as they are forced out of their homes. My source for this is the Israeli media. Note in this source account that the settlers claimed that by walking around Hebron they were in a sense hallowing the ground as “theirs” and no longer belonging to the Palestinians who had been evicted.

    I have removed the bulk of this post to a separate page: Reply to ADL propaganda Anyone who knows the length of the list will understand why I have removed it from here and placed it in a page of its own. But JW adds at the bottom of this list . . . .

    Of course these are only the major attacks.

    You have a criminal Palestinian government that it’s own population would describe as criminal (just not for crimes against Israel) that is impotent. The only sense of power is it’s terrorist attacks yet ironically this is the only thing it could do to prevent itself from having it’s own country.

    Note Neal that there is a direct relationship above between restrictions on the Palestinians and the security of Israel. This opens the door for a categorization of Israeli policy as defensive in nature and not offensive.

  • 2008-05-11 19:06:53 UTC - 19:06 | Permalink

    Updated an hour after original posting

    On the other side it is easy to present Palestinian murder of innocent Israeli women and children because rather than deny these actions the Palestinian government has been behind them, publicized them and cherished them, so there is no dispute as to ocurrence.

    Firstly, what is your basis for understanding that the ADL, an organization that is controversial even among Jews (seen as an apologist for Zionism, even denying Zionism’s implicit and explicit racism), is a “credible expert” source?

    Secondly, would you consider a similar list of Palestinian dead and attacks on Palestinians to be equally valid? Or does the fact that the Palestinian attackers do not wear standard military uniforms and are not under the direction of their government mean that Palestinian civilian dead do not count? Or do they not count because Israel claims to be retaliating against those claiming to be acting as part of a liberation struggle against occupation and ethnic cleansing? Or do Palestinians killed by Israelis not count because some suicide bombers acted as they did because life is such hell under daily Israeli humiliation and conditions, and they wish only revenge for their dead brothers, sisters, parents, friends who had nothing to do with terrorism themselves?

    Thirdly, what is your definition of “genocide”, since you refer to these attacks as “genocide”, and how might you compare the treatment of Israelis by Palestinians with Israeli treatment of Palestinians? Does such relative treatment have any relevance to the genocide debate?

    Fourthly, which Palestinian “government” are you referring to and would you please offer here the evidence that this/these “governments” have “cherished” the above attacks? And is there a difference between official statements of attacks on Israelis within the internationally recognized borders of Israel and attacks on those who have replaced Palestinian families after their homes were bulldozed and their fields destroyed and they were forced to live in a sewage infested village?

    Fifthly, if the above are only the “major attacks”, how do you distinguish between major and minor attacks? Where can I find a list of “minor” attacks to complete the list?

    Sixthly, you speak of “a criminal Palestinian government that its own population woud describe as criminal”. Which Palestinian government are you referring to? And what is the evidence that “its own population would describe” it as criminal? I have already spoken of the corruption of Arafat and his betrayal of the Palestinians. But I presume you mean more than Arafat.

    Seventh, what is the evidence that all Palestinians have to do is stop attacks on Israelis and they would have their own state? How do you explain the fact that Israelis have seized every opportunity to expand their illegal settlements regardless of anything Palestinians have done?

    Eighth: Why have you failed completely to address the one point I have made over and over — the occupation? You did speak of my reference to Israeli “restrictions” on Palestinians. No, that is a misrepresentation. I have spoken of the outright humiliation and dehumanizing treatment of Palestinians under occupation. You fail to understand the occupation, it seems, apparently thinking of Israel and the occupied territories and Jewish settlements in the occupied territories as all one place and entity.

    Ninth, do you have any personal connections or associations with the ADL and/or members of the ADL? This is a relevant question given the well-known reputation of the ADL, at least in circles outside the U.S.

    Tenth, Do you believe that the expansion of Jewish settlements as Palestinian homes are bulldozed is a legitimate Israeli attempt to nip the possibility of terrorist attacks in the bud?

    Eleventh, What evidence do you have that these will stop if there are no more Palestinian attacks on Israelis?

    Twelfth, How can Palestinians have a state with illegal Jewish settlements steadily displacing them in their midst, with their own peoples living in communities cut off from each other by Israeli-only roads and settlements, and without control of their own water supplies?

  • 2008-05-12 00:10:42 UTC - 00:10 | Permalink

    Neal, you have not claimed any acts of the Israeli government that meet the definition of genocide anyway but the problem you would have in trying to demonstrate it is that your main source would have to be the Palestinians and the Palestinian government has no credibility on the subject. This is a government that sends innocent children to murder innocent children. Why would lying for propaganda purposes be a problem for it. Illustrative is the Palestinian government’s attitude towards the Holocaust:

    http://www.adl.org/holocaust/denial_ME/in_own_words.asp

    “On August 25, 1997, a Palestinian Authority cultural affairs television program featured an interview with Hassan al-Agha, a Palestinian author and professor at the Islamic University in Gaza City:

    Moderator: It is well known that every year the Jews exaggerate what the Nazis did to them. They claim there were six million killed, but precise scientific research demonstrates that there were no more than 400,000. Has the complex which the Jews have as a result of the Nazis’ actions created within them psychological burdens which they are now releasing against the Palestinians?

    Al-Agha: The truth is I do not think so. Psychological baggage after forty or fifty years….I am skeptical….But I do think that we are talking about an investment. They have profited materially, spiritually, politically and economically from the talk about the Nazi killings. This investment is favorable to them and they view it as a profitable activity so they inflate the number of victims all the time. In another ten years, I do not know what number they will reach…As you know, when it comes to economics and investments, the Jews have been very experienced ever since the days of the Merchant of Venice.

    David Bar-Ilan, a spokesman for then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, released the transcript of the program to Western reporters, who covered the incident in English media. Several days later Radwan Abu Ayash, head of the Palestinian Broadcast Corporation, announced that Al-Agha’s remarks did not reflect the opinion of the Palestinian Authority, but defended them as “freedom of expression.”

    ” “Everywhere, the Jews have been the subjects of hatred and disdain because they control most of the economic resources upon which the livelihoods of many people are dependent. The clearest example of this is Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice, in which the merchant Shylock represents the image of the greedy, cunning, evil, and despised Jews. And yet, how have the Jews succeeded in brainwashing American and European public opinion and changing the image of the Jew to that of a wise, brave, ingenious and creative person to whom the world’s eyes are turned?

    “There is no alternative but to say that the success of the Jews is not coincidental but rather the result of long years of planning and a great investment of effort in order to obtain their wretched control over the world’s media….When Nazi persecutions of the Jews began, the winds began blowing in their favor. What Hitler did to the Jews actually exposed the Jewish plot. World public opinion, manipulated by the Jews, took advantages of these [persecutions], disseminating stories about a collective massacre. They concocted horrible stories of gas chambers which Hitler, they claimed used to burn them alive. The press overflowed with pictures of Jews being gunned down by Hitler’s machine guns or being pushed into gas chambers. The [press] focused on [suffering] women, children and elderly people in order to rouse empathy and claim reparations, donations, and grants from around the world.

    “The truth is that such persecution was a malicious fabrication by the Jews. It is a myth which they named ‘The Holocaust’ in order to rouse empathy. Credible historians challenge this Jewish [myth], calling for [more] persuasive evidence to be presented. The Los Angeles Historical Society declared that it would grant US$50,000 to anyone who could prove Jews had been gassed to death. Jews exerted intense pressure and cast accusations of anti-Semitism everywhere in order to silence this challenge. Even if Hitler’s onslaught facilitated the persecution of Jews to some degree, Jews certainly benefited from its aftermath…”

    from “Jewish Control of the World Media” by Seif `Ali Al-Jarwan,
    writing in the Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah.
    July 2, 1998
    (translated by MEMRI)”

    “Clue: Jewish center for eternalizing the Holocaust and the lies.
    Answer: Yad Vashem (the official Israeli Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem)

    From the February 18, 1999,
    Crossword puzzle of PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.
    (translated by USA Today, April 4, 2001)”

    “”There have been many massacres in the world. Why is this Holocaust in particular more important?….When it comes to our cause, nobody pays attention – whether it is the Crusader massacres against Muslims or the massacres against Palestinians committed by Israelis. And we don’t keep using and using these massacres to remind the world what we are owed.”

    “I never deny that the Holocaust happened, but we believe the number of 6 million is exaggerated. The Jews are using this issue, in many ways, also to blackmail the Germans financially. The Holocaust is the reason that there isn’t a bigger noise against Israel as an occupying force. The Holocaust is protecting Israel.”

    “It’s certainly not our fault if Hitler hated the Jews. Weren’t they hated pretty much everywhere?”

    Sheik Ikrima Sabri, Mufti of Jerusalem
    The New York Times, March 26, 2000″

    The Palestinian denial of the Holocaust is especially ironic as I have already pointed out that they were Allied with Hitler. Anyway, as the Palestinians have no credibility you need to document supposed Israeli atrocities with other sources.

    So what is the main thing that Israel has done that justifies your statement that it has a genocidal policy towards the Palestinians? That’s what this is all about. What is it? Why are you avoiding giving it?

  • 2008-05-12 12:06:36 UTC - 12:06 | Permalink

    You wrote: “This is a government that sends innocent children to murder innocent children.” I would ask you to substantiate that claim or withdraw it. As it stands I believe it is an outright slanderous lie worthy of the ADL. If there is evidence for this claim then I am sure your “trustworthy” source will have it. Please supply it, or withdraw this comment that, as it stands, is redolent of implicit racism.

    Zionist leaders have declared repeatedly their intention to be rid of the Palestinian people and culture from the borders of a Greater Israel, with the sole exception that some of the moderates say a small enough minority could be allowed to remain within their borders and granted paper citizenship. All the rest must be driven out. There can be no viable Palestinian state on the borders of Israel — despite PR claims that might at diplomatic times suggest otherwise. I will in forthcoming posts/comments cite these claims that go back to the very beginnings of the Zionist movement and have continued through to the current day.

    I have already said, from the very beginning of this discussion, that there is racism on both sides. So what is your point here in bringing up one of many possible examples of racism that can be demonstrated on either side?

    I also asked you why you would expect to find a fairer account in mainstream US media than in Palestinian media. By merely pointing to an obvious and well known deficiency in Palestinian media you are only avoiding my question.

    You made a gratuitous and false presumption that my sources are the Palestinian media. Actually I don’t know that I have read a Palestinian news source except on very rare occasions, certainly not as often as I have read Israeli news sources.

    Have you read my replies you would have seen that one of my sources was a British newspaper, an article from which I quoted in full and which you have ignored. Another one of my many sources I have posted in a separate article on this blog and linked to it from these comments, and you would have no excuse for thinking that source had anything to do with the Palestinian media, either.

    Further, why do you appear oblivious to anything I have written about the ongoing humiliation and dehumanizing treatment of the Palestinians, the raids and ongoing regular destruction of infrastructure that keep any unified and viable Palestinian culture from emerging, the Bantustan isolating of Palestinian enclaves, the ethnic cleansing, the bulldozing of homes, the pouring of sewage into the streets of Palestinian villages, the ongoing shooting in the direction of Palestinian farmers and low-flying supersonic flights to keep the people terrorized, — and then turn around and say all I am referring to are justifiable “restrictions” imposed by the Israelis?

    Do you simply not believe, or are you simply unaware, that these are ongoing conditions?

    I have described the picture of Palestinian suffering that is genocide. Are you incapable if comprehending the suffering of Palestinian Arabs? Or do you, like ex Prime Minister Golda Meir, claim that Palestinians do not even really exist?

    The Zionist ideology dominating the major and many minor parties in the Israeli government is fortunately, and very courageously, opposed by many Jews, including an increasing number of military personnel. I have given one illustration of one decision of a previous Israeli government seeking to ethnically cleanse East Jerusalem, and you surely know of the ongoing expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied territories, and the Bantustan offers they call “peace”. And surely your “trustworthy” new sources have informed you of the Israeli government’s rejection of recent peace and truce offers, and their response to each of these by expanding more the illegal settlements, bulldozing more Palestinian homes, and bombing raids on “suspected” terrorists.

    Zionist leaders, including prominent Israeli prime ministers and other military leaders, have made no secret of their desire to wide out the Palestinian life from their presumption of the borders of a Greater Israel. They will only tolerate equal rights, at least on paper, on condition that the Arab population will be kept to a bare minimum. This intended destruction of a people and their culture is genocide.

    I have responded to your question, and will give further citations of Zionism’s intentions behind their practices. Please respond to my questions, not only but including the twelve itemized in a recent comment, and to the answers I have already given but that you have hitherto avoided.

    P.S. Another comment of yours intrigued me. What is your source for “the Palestinians” having been “allied with Hitler”? You have cited racist comments among Arabs since the war about Hitler, but you have also directly said that “the Palestinians” “were allied with Hitler”. Please supply a source for this. (I can, if you think it relevant to the argument, give you evidence that at least one Jewish group in Palestine was sympathetic for a time with Hitler.)


    P.P.S. You have spoken of Palestinian sources as if they are all of one piece. Have you investigated Palestinian sources (various kinds from various sectors) yourself or do you just rely on a few selections from an ADL website to tell you all there is to know about anything said by a Palestinian? I think you have some serious racist assumptions if this is the case.

  • 2008-05-12 13:00:11 UTC - 13:00 | Permalink

    Joseph, I have begun to check the list of “major attacks” you cited from ADL and would like to share with you the results of the first of my findings — sourced by the Israeli press and CNN, your trusted US and Israeli media.

    Your #1 citation was: “# April 9, 2008: Two Israeli civilians were killed and two wounded when Palestinian terrorists attacked an Israeli-controlled border crossing where fuel is piped into Gaza. The attack at the Nahal Oz depot was carried out by members of various terrorist movements, including the Popular Resistance Committees.

    Haaretz reports that Palestinians forewarned Israelis manning the Nahal Oz terminal that an attack was imminent, and that the Palestinian attackers were probably aiming to kidnap an Israeli soldier. I checked a CNN report on the web where this motive was repeatedly reported from those claiming responsibility for the attack. This seems highly credible given the Israeli press report that the civilians in the target area were given advance warning, and that there was a getaway car waiting for the attackers.

    You have cited this as the first of many attacks, as you have plainly and repeatedly made clear, as evidence that Palestinians only kill civilians as part of a genocide campaign against Israel while Israelis only kill Palestinian civilians by accident and only as a by-product of “a military context” — or as part of a military operation.

    I submit that the first example you have cited is a case of death of civilians “in a military context”, from the military forces (such as they are) on one side against the military forces of their occupying enemy. If you disagree with this assessment, on what grounds?

    2.39 pm: I have since added another commentary on the second on your adl list of major attacks. — in the post itself above. Will continue to do this as I get time to study them one by one. So check that space. — it’s the comment dated: May 11, 2008 at 12:58 am — (a bit out of chronological order because there is a delay on any comment coming through with an attached url.)

  • 2008-05-13 05:53:37 UTC - 05:53 | Permalink

    Joseph, I’m just reviewing some of the specifics of your claims for more granular responses and happened to notice what I’d missed on my first reading: You said

    The following is representative of the lack of credibility in the Palestinian press:

    http://www.snopes.com/rumors/israel.asp

    Did you actually read what was on that page? I know I only skimmed it the first time. Maybe you did too. But, um, look again — your “credible” source appears to have given you a bum steer.

    The article is not from the Palestinian Press at all! Woops!

    Or do you, as too many Americans in a neo-con government appear to do, think of all Arabs as alike, just all bad and of one piece? So that little details like who’s who and what’s what in their world are mere incidental details? If your source of the above was ADL maybe that should alert you that maybe all Arabs do look alike to whomever gave you that link as a “representative of . . . the Palestinian Press”, and maybe it really is too much effort for them to be bothered to try to tell them apart.

    But presumably you are familiar enough with “the Palestinian Press” to assume that such an article really is “representative”, so perhaps you can show another legitimate example that is indeed “representative” to support your case. (The link I’ve provided is to just one online list of Palestinian newspapers to help you.)

  • 2008-05-15 07:29:43 UTC - 07:29 | Permalink

    I’ve constructed a new page for Palestinian News Sources, which includes the English language media published by Palestinians — including some by, or in association with, Palestinians living outside Palestine (Israel does not make it easy for ordinary Palestinians who leave to return).

    (And by the way, for what it’s worth, since the 9/11 Jewish conspiracy theory was held up as “representative of the Palestinian Press” here, I first heard of that Jewish Conspiracy Theory from white racist sources in America.)

  • 2008-05-20 06:59:14 UTC - 06:59 | Permalink

    One sees why one would seek to claim that the Palestinian media is all lies and not worth reading. Perish the thought that anything here, or here, might even have half an ounce of underlying truth to it.

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