Israel’s Rationale for Murder: No One is Innocent

When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.

— Israeli Army Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan, 1983

Before [the Palestinians] very eyes we are possessing the land and the villages where they, and their ancestors, have lived… We are the generation of colonizers, and without the steel helmet and the gun barrel we cannot plant a tree and build a home.

— Famous Israeli Army Commander Moshe Dayan

Israel’s official excuses for extinguishing over 1,300 Palestinian lives—half of them civilian and one-third of them children— are oft-repeated by its apologists: Hamas’ rocket fire made the invasion unavoidable, and its tactics made civilian casualties inevitable.

Do these positions dovetail with—or decapitate—history? Are they logical? Are they moral? Or are they smokescreens, designed to disguise troublesome facts about both Israel’s strategy and its very origins?

The reality behind the rockets

Israel’s first argument about Hamas’ rockets fails on several levels.

It neatly—and falsely—posits Hamas as the attacker and Israel as the defender. The only problem with this pleasant fiction is that Israel has been expelling, occupying, and imprisoning Palestinians long before Hamas even came into existence.

As Israeli journalist Amira Hass wrote in January, “Gaza is not a military power that attacked its tiny, peace-loving neighbor, Israel. Gaza is a territory that Israel occupied in 1967, along with the West Bank. Its residents are part of the Palestinian people, which lost its land and its homeland in 1948.”

But how did it “lose” its homeland? After unearthing their country’s declassified archives, honest Israeli scholars have pointed to an Israeli campaign of rape, murder, and ethnic cleansing that entered full swing in 1947. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, said to a colleague shortly after Israel’s expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians, “They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?”

Why indeed? For one country to rain down rockets on another is an unprovoked crime. But for a people without a country to fire rockets on those who forcibly took their country—and who then corralled them into camps, isolated them from the world, and regularly slaughter them with weapons far deadlier than unguided projectiles—is a rather different matter.

Just as we would not begin a 10-minute tape of a batterer abusing his wife at the nine-minute mark where she may have struck back, we cannot skip through decades of Israeli ethnic cleansing, occupation, and bombardment and finger Hamas rocket fire as the starting point.

Quite apart from historical considerations, the invasion cannot be justified by rocket fire because scarcely any rockets were being fired before Israel’s own escalation. According to the Israeli military, in the ceasefire months of July, August, September, and October, the numbers of rockets fired from Gaza were one, eight, one, and two, respectively. Even those few rockets were likely fired by smaller militant groups not under Hamas’ control. In short, Hamas abided by the truce—a fact Israel recognized during those months. On November 5th, Israel itself broke the truce by launching a military operation that killed six Hamas gunmen.

On the moral level, too, the terror Israel unleashed on the Palestinian population is indefensible. A total of 23 Israelis were killed by Palestinian rockets from November 2001 to June 2008, according to a pro-Israel website. During the Gaza “war,” a total of three Israeli civilians were killed by rockets. If Israel’s recent rapid-fire slaughter of 600 civilians is “justified” by rockets that caused the death of a small number of Israeli civilians, then—applying Israel’s own logic—is Hamas not now more “justified” in continuing to launch those rockets than ever before?

How can the Israeli establishment claim the moral high ground if it borrows from the Hamas formula but ups its application of the deadly dosage one-hundred fold?

Blaming the victim

Israel’s apologists would respond here with their second argument: it is not Israel, but Hamas, that is responsible for Israel’s killing.

This, too, is specious.

Perhaps it is quaint to insist on ideas that slip out of fashion at convenient intervals, but it should be an accepted principle that those who do the killing should be held responsible for it. Israel’s partisans insist Israel is an exception (is Israel ever not an exception?) because Hamas “hides among civilians” or “uses civilians as shields” or “fires from civilian areas,” thus absolving the attacker of culpability for civilian deaths.

The force of historical truth again intercedes. The people living in Gaza’s squalid refugee camps are not there by choice or because of Hamas: they are trapped by Israel. Ethnically cleansed when Israel stole their lands in 1948, they fled to the tiny strip, which borders the sea. Then Gaza, too, was captured by Israel in 1967, leaving the people occupied by the Israeli military and surrounded by radical Jewish settlers who took the stolen land.

When this occupation “ended” in 2005 after decades of humiliation, the jailer simply moved from inside to outside the cell to better manage the inmates. Most of the Jewish settlers relocated to more stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank and Israel imposed a full-scale siege on Gaza itself as a form of collective punishment when Gazans elected Hamas, as the alternative choice, Fatah, was hopelessly venal.

The siege destroyed the economy and was never lifted even during the ceasefire. Israel barred Palestinians entry into Israel for employment, closed the sea route, and shut off fuel and food aid at will, inducing widespread suffering in one of the most densely-populated spaces on earth. One Israeli official boasted of the devastating effect in 2006, “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” Let them suffer, the Israelis said at the time, but do not let them die. That would come later.

Even the Vatican, not often inclined to pro-Muslim utterances, was recently moved to describe Gaza as a “concentration camp.”

Thus while Israel’s apologists argue that Israel should be cleared of responsibility for civilian deaths because Hamas “chose” to engage in “civilian areas”, the truth is that the Palestinians had no choice of any areas—they are trapped within the confines of the cage Israel kicked them into by dint of ethnic cleansing, occupation, and the siege.

Even on the street level, Israel has herded Palestinian civilians for easy killing. Several extended families in one part of Gaza, Zeitoun, tell the same story: soldiers forced family members to congregate in one building, fired at it, and massacred the fleeing inhabitants even as they emerged with white flags in hand. Breaking army orders, one Israeli soldier who was in Zeitoun confessed to a British newspaper that his unit had been instructed to “fire on anything that moves.” The unit was told to “shoot first and ask questions later,” he said.

Israel did not provide Hamas with an empty meadow in Switzerland on which to duel. It did not bestow Hamas with its state-of the-art American weaponry to even the odds. It did not give civilians any exit avenues before, during, or after the “fighting.” It even began its bombardment mid-day when children were out in the open switching classes. Israel, far from concerning itself with the fate of civilians, created a dense killing corridor over a period of decades and took advantage of it.

One can argue that even in the most difficult circumstances, militant groups should do their best to avoid mingling with the civilian population during active fighting. If the majority of Palestinian civilian casualties had occurred because Hamas was grabbing civilians left and right to use as shields, there should be abundant evidence.

But where is this evidence? For all its sophisticated spying equipment, satellites, reconnaissance drones, and cameras, the Israeli government has never produced any compelling proof of such a pattern. In fact, Israel officially banned reporters from even entering Gaza during its operation. Why hide the horrific practices of Hamas from the world’s eyes?

The answer, of course, is that Israel was hiding its own horrors instead. In the few cases where this was not possible—where international institutions, such as the UN, independent relief agencies, and Reuters reporters, were involved—a pattern of a different kind emerged: Israel blew up civilians and civilian supplies, agency officials decried the attack, and Israel accused Hamas of having fired from nearby. Each time, agency representatives emphatically stated that Hamas was not operating in the area and demanded proof of Israel’s claims. None was ever forthcoming.

Only in one case—the killing of 40 civilians taking shelter at a UN building—did Israel confidently claim that it had proof of Hamas fighters firing rockets nearby. But the Israeli military soon changed its story and was forced to invent a new excuse.

As if that weren’t enough, it turns out that Israel itself repeatedly used Palestinian civilians as human shields.

Even in these specific cases where Israel should have exercised restraint for sheer public-relations purposes, it displayed absolutely none. Such is the arrogance afforded overwhelming power. We can only imagine under what cruel circumstances most Palestinians, far removed from international institutions or Western journalists, were ground to dust.

This combination of history and ground reality demolishes the credibility of Israel’s excuse. For a bully to blame the victim is one thing—commonplace, even, among colonizers. But for Israel to expel its victims from their homes, force them into inhuman camps, and then fault them for dying en masse when Israel decided to kill them in a cramped cage of its own design—this is a truly novel achievement in the sphere of cruelty.

Israel is therefore no less responsible for killing civilians than slaughterhouse machinery is responsible for processing cattle.

Killing civilians as a strategy

The mountain of excuses offered by Israel strikes the honest observer as too tortuous to trek and too steep to scale. Puzzling and poring over its rationalizations is an endeavor that yields diminishing returns.

It is time to consider an obvious alternative to the official line: Israel did not “accidentally” kill hundreds of Palestinian civilians while “targeting” Hamas for launching aimless rockets. Rather, Israel purposely targeted all Palestinians because it wanted to teach them a severe lesson for not being defeated after 60 years of ongoing brutalization. The pile of civilian corpses produced by the invasion was not accidental—it was integral—to the administration of this lesson.

Advocating and applauding this approach last month was Thomas Friedman, who occasionally comments on Middle East affairs to puff and pout on Israel’s behalf from his privileged perch.

Responding to the growing perception that Israel’s stated aim of destroying Hamas outright was not feasible, Friedman defended Israel’s Gaza strategy in a January 14th New York Times column by approvingly pointing to the example of Lebanon.

In Friedman’s view, the 2006 Lebanon campaign, during which Israel killed about 1,000 Lebanese civilians and 250 Hezbollah fighters, convinced Hezbollah that trading blows with Israel was a bad idea.

To dismantle Friedman’s fantasies about Lebanon—what he smugly calls “the education of Hezbollah”—would require another article. What is important for our purposes is to see how this “education” was carried out.

Hezbollah, Friedman asserts, “challenged Israel to inflict massive civilian casualties in order to hit Hezbollah fighters.” These civilians, he continues, were “intertwined” with Hezbollah, and were also, by the way, “the families and employers of the militants.”

Translation: the guilty mingled with the innocent and the innocent were practically guilty.

Therefore, concludes Friedman, “the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians…” Israel was forced to inflict “substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large” in order to faze Hezbollah.

Translation: the only thing Israel could do—“it was not pretty, but it was logical”, Friedman avers—was to strike at civilian populations and buildings in order to teach those Arabs a lesson (“educate”) about the consequences of raising their heads.

This refreshing way of thinking neatly solves any moral problems Israel’s actions might pose.

The innocent, as we have seen, were not really innocent: they were somehow related to the militants or related to someone who might have employed militants at the local bakery. Therefore, it was permissible to kill women and children as part of a careful calculation to inflict “enough pain” and make militants think twice about future resistance.

Yes, the “education” of the Arabs is not “pretty”—but who said tuition was free?

That Israel intentionally terrorizes and kills civilians should not surprise honest observers. Giora Eiland, the former head of Israel’s National Security Council, bluntly stated what Friedman, with his penchant for unctuous prose, could not bring himself to openly say about the 2006 war:

“The only good thing that happened in the last war was the relative damage caused to Lebanon’s population…The destruction of thousands of homes of ‘innocents’ preserved some of Israel’s deterrent power. The only way to prevent another war is to make it clear that should one break out, Lebanon may be razed to the ground.”

Can any honest person describe Eiland’s logic of mass terror as “self-defense?”

That this logic was also applied in Gaza was confirmed by the news side of the New York Times. In an elliptical January 18th analysis, Times’ correspondent Ethan Bronner, a pro-Israel journalist, writes about Hamas’ tactical caution during the fighting:

“The caution is at least in part because Hamas wants to keep ruling in Gaza, not return to its previous role as a pure resistance movement. Therefore, Israeli officials say, an offensive that caused average people to suffer put pressure on Hamas in real and specific ways.”

This can easily be rephrased as, “Israeli officials launched an offensive that caused average people to suffer in order to put pressure on Hamas in real and specific ways.” Friedman’s prayers were answered—and Eiland’s ideology, implemented.

The Times also quotes an anonymous top Israeli military official as saying, “Hamas is the dominant organization in Gaza. They are the regime and feel very connected to the people. They do not want to lose that connection to the people.”

How does one make Hamas lose “that connection to the people” in an offensive that “caused average people to suffer?” The question answers itself: kill the people.

Bronner writes that the logic behind the punishing offensive is popularly referred to within Israel as the Hebrew equivalent of “the boss has lost it”—a kind of “calculated rage” that “evokes the image of a madman who cannot be controlled.”

It is an “image” that long ago consumed Israel proper.

A madman is by definition someone who has gone insane. Israel is a state founded on ethnic cleansing—a massive attack on civilians. Instead of confronting its original sin, it has simply repeated the same crime in various ways, each time believing that it will crush the Palestinians once and for all. Repeating the same action over and over again while expecting a different result is the very definition of insanity.

The reality of a “madman who cannot be controlled” is a traumatic one. The madman declares civilians and combatants alike guilty and subjects them all to “education” through indiscriminate killing. Though the madman arrogates the right to determine the guilt of others for acts that are both in response to and dwarfed by his own far greater atrocities, the madman himself goes unquestioned. Like a convicted batterer presiding over the trial and sentencing of his victims, the Israeli “madman” judges and punishes the very people it has brutalized and dispossessed.

Unfortunately, the prevailing attitude of allowing Israel to rain down its “calculated rage” on Palestinians is applauded not only by the Israeli military and Times newspaper columnists, but also by many American liberals, whose moral senses are conveniently swallowed up by the same serpent that slips away with their spines whenever the subject of the Israeli settler-state presents itself.

Who, then, will stand up for the Palestinians? Who will control the madman?

M. Junaid Levesque-Alam blogs about America and Islam at Crossing the Crescent and writes about American Muslim identity for WireTap magazine. Co-founder of Left Hook, a youth journal that ran from Nov. 2003 to March 2006, he works as a communications coordinator for an anti-domestic violence agency in the NYC area. He can be reached at: junaidalam1 AT Read other articles by M. Junaid, or visit M. Junaid's website.

42 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Barry said on February 14th, 2009 at 11:39am #

    That no one in the enemy camp is innocent is a driving force of Zionism. It surfaces as a phenomenon sometimes called ‘cruel zionism’ – its a way of rationalizing brutal practices towards outsiders, that to win Eretz Israel sometimes requires extreme cruelty. Cruel Zionism has been employed almost with interruption since well before the Jews declared a state in Palestine.

  2. Gideon said on February 14th, 2009 at 1:38pm #

    Moshe Dayan – A True Palestinian, Farmer, Soldier, Leader and a Visionary

    Born in 1915 in pre-Mandate Palestine in Kibutz Degania by the Sea of Galilee.

    Dear Junaid
    Thank you for bring up the image of Moshe Dayan, a born Palestinian.

    “Pioneer” is the correct translation of the word “haluz”, not “colonizer”. The founders of Degania were socialists, some of them more radical than any participants on Dissident Voice.

    My interpretation of Moshe Dayan quote is: “we cannot plant a tree and build a home” without protecting ourselves from being attacked. Working the land with a gun on your belt was a daily reality in Degania since 1910.

    Land purchase:
    In the year 1908, about 3,000 dunams of the Umm Juni land were purchased by the “Hachsharat Hayishuv” company for the Jewish National Fund.
    On October 29, 1910 ten men and two women went to Um Juni and established an independent settlement with neither exploiters nor exploited – a commune.
    It was in Degania that the principles of independent work and collective life materialized. A local museum is named: Pioneers Yard.

    In 1967, then Israeli minister of defense, Moshe Dayan, announced the Israelis were waiting for a phone call from any Arab leader. This phone call came in 1977, when Moshe Dayan was a foreign minister and led to Camp David agreement with Egypt and Palestinian right for self determination and implementation of Autonomy.
    Although Dayan was from the opposition Labor Party, he accepted the appointment because he believed, “I could significantly influence Israel’s moves towards achieving a peace arrangement with our neighboring Arab States and with the Palestinian inhabitants of Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip”
    In 1979, Dayan resigned as Foreign Minister because of disagreement with Begin about the building of settlements in the territories. Dayan was frustrated by the fact that he was not leading the Autonomy talks with the Palestinians.
    In 1981 he founded a new party, which advocated unilateral separation from Gaza and West Bank.

    This was implemented in 2005 by Sharon (another Palestinian) led Israeli government.

  3. Emma said on February 14th, 2009 at 3:12pm #

    Gideon, you are sick, like Israel.

  4. Emma said on February 14th, 2009 at 3:13pm #

    Gideon is obiously a sick guy.

  5. Gideon said on February 14th, 2009 at 3:49pm #

    “Parsley Ladies” what are they up to? Average Gaza women has six children. Mary, are the “Parsley Ladies” up for the task? Would they first find a husband with a job to support this large family or will they be relying on UK Income Support?

  6. Garrett said on February 14th, 2009 at 3:58pm #

    Isn’t it great that people like Raphael Eitan and George Kennan come right out and admit the intentions of their imperialist masters with the masses none the wiser?

    Oh, wait, that’s not great. That’s terribly depressing.

  7. Gideon said on February 14th, 2009 at 4:15pm #

    Raphael Eitan another born Palestinian
    Very crude man, nobody would call him eloquent, Ever!
    He made a number of really BAD statements, the one quoted in this article is definitely one of his worst! I am outraged by this comment. I reject, denounce and condemn it!

    In US he will be called – “redneck”. He was was proud to be one.

    But he was a man of the land to the full meaning of this word.

    Born in 1929 in Afula during the Mandate era Palestine.
    Eitan was raised in Tel Adashim moshav, population of 744 in 2006, where he spent most of his life as a farmer.
    Moshav is cooperative agricultural community of individual farms, with an emphasis on community labor.

    Land purchase:
    In 1910 Hankin on behalf of Palestine Land Land Development Corporation, bought 10,000 dunams of land in Al-Fuleh (now
    Afula), which became the home of Merchavia and Tel Adashim.

    Although he became a legislator and a minister, he is most remembered as a farmer and a soldier.

  8. Barry said on February 14th, 2009 at 8:07pm #

    Gideon – ‘Pioneer’ is a subjective word, colonizer and colonist are not. Palestine was a British colony, thus the outsiders it stocked the country with are colonists. With the exception of a few early colonists (Ahad Ha’am comes to mind) virtually none was a true socialist. [There is an expression among the early Bolsheviks and fellow travelers: ‘Socialism in one country.’ It refers to the notion that perhaps socialism was not possible or at the very least, would present major obstacles if the surrounding nation’s remained capitalist. That was the dilemma the early Soviet Union faced. To alter the term a bit, what the early Jewish colonizers were doing was to create ‘socialism in one ethnic group.’ That of course is an oxymoron, because an essential goal of socialism is to transcend ethnic groups and allegiances. The early Jewish ‘Socialists’ in Palestine failed 100% on that.] You know, in the history of the institution of the kibbutz in Israel not one Palestinian has ever been invited to be a member – not even fellow citizens. So it is incorrect to think that any of the early jewish colonists were more socialist than contributors to Dissident Voice. But you are correct in stressing how radical they were. As in radical right. The Jewish racist radical right.

    Dayan correctly understood that his work in Palestine was a threat to the native natural population of that country. That is why he and other militants carried guns. To shoot natives who took umbrage at their displacement. Further, the Zionists were protected by the British. When the natives got restless, the Jews complained and the British took care of business for them.

    What was accomplished at Camp David was that Egypt got its Sinai back. Israel knew this was inevitable. The 1973 war clearly showed Israel that Egypt would never accept Israeli sovereignty over any part of Egypt. Yet it was a stupid move on the part of Sadat. The agreement with Israel removed Egypt from the struggle of the Palestinians. Sadat betrayed the Arab cause. For this, he paid with his life. So now we have Mubarak who actively cooperates with the Israelis in the siege against Gaza. Egyptians are not happy. Mubarak better keep his guard up.

    Regarding Raphael Eitan – he’s the one who said: “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” And he is also (along with Ariel Sharon) guilty of the massacres at Sabra and Shatila. Scum.

    OK – now for a more fulsome quote from Moshe Dayan: “Who are we that we should argue against their hatred? For eight years now they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their very eyes, we turn into our homestead the land and the villages in which they and their forefathers have lived. We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and the cannon we cannot plant a tree and build a home.” Scum.

  9. Barry said on February 14th, 2009 at 8:29pm #

    I don’t suppose we should be finished with Dayan so quickly.

    Probably the greatest crime of Dayan’s life was that he was an architect of Plan Dalet. Plan Dalet’s aim – successfully executed between ’47 and ’49 – was to send terror squads into the villages of Palestine. These troops would round up males between 8 and 80 (Ok, maybe 10 to 70), that is, all able-bodied males, and summarily shoot them. Others who objected would also be shot. The rest fled in horror. In this manner, the state of Israel was born. About this matter Dayan said, “ We have no solution for you. You will live like dogs. Those who will leave, will leave.”

    Dayan also understood that to accomplish the task of creating a Jewish state where none before existed the Jews themselves had to be lied to and brainwashed. Dayan said of the Israeli attacks – they “make it possible for us to maintain a high level of tension among our population and in the army. Without these actions we would have ceased to be a combative people and without the discipline of a combative people we are lost. We have to cry out that the Negev is in danger so that young men will go there.”

    A genuine Jewish hero.

  10. Shabnam said on February 14th, 2009 at 9:04pm #

    In 1901, the founder of the Zionist movement, Theodor Hertzil, visited Istanbul and tried to meet Sultan Abdul Hamid to buy Palestine.
    Sultan Abdul Hamid refused to meet him and he told his Head Of The Ministers Council
    “Advise Dr. Herzil not to take any further steps in his project. I can not give away a handful of the soil of this land for it is not my own, it is for all the Islamic Nation. The Islamic Nation that fought Jihad for the sake of this land and they have watered it with their blood. The Jews may keep their money and millions. If the Islamic Kalifah State is one day destroyed then they will be able to take Palestine without a price! But while I am alive, I would rather push a sword into my body than see the land of Palestine cut and given away from the Islamic State. This is something that will not be, I will not start cutting own bodies while we are alive.” – Sultan Abdul Hamid Han

    Sultan Abdul Hamid put A LAW OUT that NO ONE COULD SELL PALESTINIAN LANDS and put entry restrictions on Jews in Palestine, in fact he began purchasing these lands personally to anyone wanting to sell it. However, the ignorant Palestinians continued to sell their lands probably due to higher offers. Therefore, Jewish purchases were illegal and were carried out through act of bribery to corrupt officials in the Ottoman Empire.
    The governor realized that laws were not enough to prevent the sale of land to foreign Jewish settlers because many lands had been acquired by private agreements and the connivance of corrupt officials … Suffice it to say that largely as a result of that foreign interference, by 1908 when Sultan Abdul-Hamid II’s rule collapsed.

  11. Jeff said on February 15th, 2009 at 5:06am #

    I love it when people rewrite history to suit themselves, and their agenda. Let me preface my comments by stating that I am not Jewish and don’t even know anyone in that country, just a typical American who lives overseas. Like so many you attempt to blame the Israelis for the Palestinians situation (and lord knows they haven’t made it better) but history does not support this claim. The Jews came there as settlers and bought up mostly land that the Palestinians’ Jordanian landlords couldn’t get anyone else to take. Then they worked unbelievably hard to make this land prosperous AND worked hard at being good neighbors with the Palestinians nearby. Then these same landlords decided to get rid of the Jews, who were doing so much more with the land than their other tenants, and told the Palestinians to join them in a “Holy War” and drive them out. Well we all know how that turned out. And now you want to make the Israelis the scapegoat for the Palestinians being forced off their land when 1. it wasn’t their land to begin with and 2. they are the ones who left it when the went to try and kill the Jews…..and lost. Now are the Israelis good neighbors today? I doubt it. But would Americans be good neighbors if Mexicans came across the border and suicide bombed us or fired rockets into the US demanding that we give Texas or California back? Compared to what we would do the Israelis are Mother Theresa. If you want to place blame on who put the Palestinians in the situation they’re in then look to the former landlords in the Arab world. The same Arabs who will beat their chests and scream bloody murder at the Jews attacking their brothers but how many are they willing to take in to their homes? If the Jews found themselves with the tables turned and they were experiencing the plight the Palestinians are now, how many people would come to their aid, how many people would “take them in”? Oh wait, but that already happened didn’t it? It’s called History.

  12. RH2 said on February 15th, 2009 at 2:04pm #

    Gideon said (“Parsley Ladies” what are they up to? Average Gaza women has six children. Mary, are the “Parsley Ladies” up for the task? Would they first find a husband with a job to support this large family or will they be relying on UK Income Support?).

    How many children have average Israeli women? How many settlers/occupiers has your Zionist tribe imported from abroad? Has your tribe given Palestinian husbands any chance to find a job? Where does your income come from? Germany/US/UK/Holocaust revenues?

  13. RH2 said on February 15th, 2009 at 3:25pm #


    The Ottoman Empire was too cruel to care about people. The “Laws” , which Barry elsewhere on DV mentioned that Palestine was not lawless as the “Brits” came in and applied some of them , were not laws for the protection of natives or the “Islamic Nation”, but wretched and ruthless regulations protecting the interests of the Ottomans, before they were driven out by the British.

  14. Ray said on February 15th, 2009 at 6:26pm #

    What exactly is “dissident” about this article? It’s the same old run-of-the-mill apologeticism for terrorism and the same old boring antisemiticism-covered-up-as-anti-Zionism drivel we’ve been hearing in mainstream media and public opinion for ages. Usually propounded by people with an agenda, i.e. Islamists, Hamas themselves, or bored North American / European middle-class wannabe-humanitarians who love to do bit of finger pointing between their morning müsli and “yoga” classes. Especially when the only people listening are like-minded sheep in the same herd. It’s so much more fun when everybody nods and nobody points out reality. Nice try. I’m out of here.

  15. Barry said on February 15th, 2009 at 7:19pm #

    I’m not sure what the discussion is about total fertility counts among Palestinian women – but Orthodox Jewish women hold their own in this regard. BIG families.

  16. Brian said on February 15th, 2009 at 7:41pm #

    Economic sanctions against Israel. Now!

    And divestiture

  17. Hue Longer said on February 15th, 2009 at 9:02pm #

    Before you leave for good, could you direct me to any main stream source for anti -Zionism? I’m having trouble finding independent journalism showing it….maybe I have been looking too far away?

  18. Barry said on February 16th, 2009 at 7:40am #

    Ray thinks Israel should be allowed to occupy as much land as it wants of other people’s land, and that it should be celebrated and subsidized by the US. Now what could possibly be wrong with that?

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass, Ray.

  19. RH2 said on February 16th, 2009 at 11:36am #


    Have your Semites fraudly described as Zionists here offered anything more than boring being tracked, threatened and victimized? Fed up with mainstream media disseminating Antisemitism and Zionism? I guess you watch FoxNews everyday.

  20. Ray said on February 16th, 2009 at 4:49pm #


    I’m having trouble finding independent journalism showing it…


    Barry: What other people’s land? Thanks for confirming my statement. Oh, and I don’t give a shit about what the U.S. does, it doesn’t receive my taxes or votes and will do what it wants anyway. But since you’re telepathically gifted, you knew that.

    RH2: No, I don’t watch FoxNews. Too loud and Republican-biased for my taste. Bad journalitic quality. Typical American trash. Anyway: “…tracked, threatened and victimized?” How predictable.

  21. Barry said on February 16th, 2009 at 5:27pm #

    Ray – The land of the native natural people of the region – Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrian, Egyptian, Jordanian. That’s whose land the Zionists have stolen and continue to steal. If you support Israel in its present incarnation then you support US subsidies and US cover in the UN. Because otherwise, Israel is the ‘Jewish state’ no more.

  22. Hue Longer said on February 16th, 2009 at 10:06pm #

    Seriously Ray….This place is good, but not much else out there there that I’ve found. Middle Eastern Focus on KPFK is the only non print source I’ve heard that doesn’t go out of its way to be neutral.

    So which mainstream source have you discovered that is anti Zionist?

  23. Jacob said on February 17th, 2009 at 4:20am #

    Barry – I’m quite confused about the natives you are referring to. The indigenous majority you are referring to are Arabs and Egyptians. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine (Mandate) all came to be after World War I by Western powers.

  24. Gideon said on February 17th, 2009 at 6:47am #

    Israel Rationale for Self Defense – No Murderer Can Hide
    Deliberate and Indiscriminant Targeting of Civilian Population is Terrorism!
    Hamas abuse of Gazan as Human Shield is Perfidy and is Humanitarian disaster!

    Since 2000: 10,750 Israeli civilian casualties would have been if 100% terrorist attacks succeeded, based on Barry’s numbers.

    It looks like all these Israeli security measures paying off!

    Israeli CIVILIAN (women, children, elderly) casualties, DELIBERATELY targeted by Palestinian terror attacks: 10,750

    Palestinian total casualties: 6,258

    THAT’S a RATIO of 1.7 “kill ratio in favor of Palestinians” as you call it.

    Please ALL help me to make the necessary adjustments and answer a coupe of preliminary questions about the composition of Palestinian casualties:

    How many homicide bombers who blew themselves up?
    How many killed themselves and any members of their families in explosives accidents, both preparing and storing ammunitions?
    How many were executed by Palestinians security forces (“collaborators”)?
    How many killed in scurmishes between Hamas, PLO and other “fighters”?
    How many women have been used as combatants?
    How many children ( under age of 17) have been used as combatants?

    This is not a full list, but it may help as a start to bring some clarity to the numbers.

  25. Gideon said on February 17th, 2009 at 9:09am #

    Israel Rationale for Self Defense – No Murderer Can Hide!
    Hamas deliberate civilian targeting is TERRORISM!

    Since 2000: more than 10,750 Israeli civilians were targeted a and 10,750 civilian casualties would have been if 100% terrorist

    attacks succeeded, based on Barry’s numbers.

    It looks like all these Israeli security measures paying off!

    Israeli CIVILIAN (women, children, elderly) casualties, DELIBERATELY targeted

    by Palestinian terror attacks: 10,750

    Palestinian total casualties: 6,258

    THAT’S a RATIO of 1.7 “kill ratio in favor of Palestinians” as you call it.

    Please ALL help me to make the necessary adjustments and answer a coupe of

    preliminary questions about the composition of Palestinian casualties:

    How many homicide bombers who blew themselves up?
    How many killed themselves and any members of their families in explosives

    accidents, both preparing and storing ammunitions?
    How many were executed by Palestinians security forces (“colaborators”)?
    How many killed in skirmishes between Hamas, PLO and other “fighters”?
    How many women have been used as combatants?
    How many children ( under age of 17) have been used as combatants?

    This is not a full list, but it may help as a start to bring some clarity to the numbers.

  26. mary said on February 17th, 2009 at 12:42pm #

    @Barry 15th Feb.

    It will not please Gideon to read this piece from Ha’aretz on the fecundity of an Israeli family. Perhaps it might stop him making his racist remarks about the size of Palestinian families. Both cases are unsustainable in our over-populated world.

  27. mary said on February 18th, 2009 at 12:35am #

    The pirates of the Mediterranean. Following the ramming of the boat Dignity by an Israeli gunship and the diversion of the ship Tali and its passengers by armed marines to Ashdod, the Israeli Navy continues its evil work. This time a simple fisherman two miles offshore and going about his work quite legally is critically injured.

    This is the sort of vessel that the cowards put up against a little fishing boat.

    From Free Gaza this morning.

    Gazan coast becoming a ‘no-go’ zone
    16th February, 2009

    On Saturday 14th February, 23 year-old Rafiq abu Reala was shot by Israeli naval forces whilst fishing in Gazan territorial waters, approximately two nautical miles out from the port of Gaza city. He was in a simple fishing vessel, not much larger than a rowing boat, with a small outboard engine, known locally as a ‘hassaka’. Rafiq, his brother Rajab and another friend were following the course of a shoal of fish. A group of five more hassakas were out at the time, about a kilometre to the west of Rafiq’s boat, further out to sea. An Israeli naval gunboat approached the area and began shooting at the other hassakas, which quickly changed course and headed east, back towards shore.

    Suddenly Rafiq realised the gunboat was bearing down on their hassaka. As he recounted the events of that day, Rafiq likened the predatory nature of the naval vessel to that of a wolf. It circled their fishing boat and began shooting heavy ammunition in their direction. The three terrified fishermen threw themselves down flat in the bottom of their boat. The Israeli captain ordered them via megaphone to raise their nets and leave the area. At this point the gunboat was less then 20 metres from Rafiq’s hassaka. The second time the gunboat came around no attempt was made to communicate with the fishermen. Rafiq was desperately pulling in the nets with his back facing the gunboat. An M-16 assault rifle was fired hitting him twice with explosive ‘dum-dum’ bullets, which peppered his back with shrapnel from the bullets themselves.

    The force of the shots threw him in the water, plunging him down about six or seven metres below the surface. Rajab asked their friend to control the boat while he rescued Rafiq. Being a strong swimmer, he dived in after Rafiq and pulled him out of the water into the hassaka. However, Rafiq was unconscious by this time. The outboard was being slowed down by the weight of the nets so they headed towards another hassaka 300 metres away where they dumped the nets. The fishermen in this vessel had a mobile phone and made an emergency call. The stricken hassaka reached port at the same time as the ambulance arrived and Rafiq was taken to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza city in a serious condition.

    A couple of days later it was possible to visit Rafiq in hospital. He was weak and in a lot of pain, with some difficulty breathing, but was beginning to improve. His x-ray clearly indicated the presence of the bullet shrapnel between his shoulder and his spine. An enquiry regarding the possibility of surgery to remove the fragments was met with a solemn “no” from Rafiq’s uncle, present at his bedside, who explained, “The pieces are too many, too small and too widespread. His whole back would have to be opened up.” It is not only Rafiq’s back which has the metal shards still embedded in it; the shrapnel also penetrated his lungs. They sustained pulmonary contusions, resulting in a haemothorax. The only treatment Rafiq can benefit from at this time is to have blood drained which is collecting in the pleural cavity in the upper left side of his chest. 1.5 litres of blood was initially drained off when he was first admitted but this amount later decreased and stabilised. Medication is limited to painkillers and antibiotics.

    It could take Rafiq months to fully recover yet he has a family to support. He married just six months ago and his wife is now expecting their first baby. After five years of working as a fisherman, he has experienced Israeli naval forces firing warning shots on many occasions but this was the first time he has been directly targeted. However, Rajab survived being shot in the chest by the Israeli navy two and a half years ago. It is sobering to note that 14 Gazan fishermen have been killed by the Israeli navy since 2000. Rafiq described the level shooting on Saturday like an open war. Fishermen were attacked from Wadi Gaza, south of Gaza city, all the way to the north of Gaza. A number of hassakas were targeted that day, some vessels sustaining serious damage from the shooting.

    Palestinian fishermen have come under daily assaults from Israeli gunboats since Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire which supposedly came into force on 18th January. Reports of heavy gunfire and even missile fire are now becoming the ‘norm’. Rafiq is the third Gazan fisherman to be shot by the Israeli navy during this non-existant ceasefire. On 26th January, Alaa al-Habil was shot in the lower leg whilst trawling less than one nautical mile off the coast of Gaza. On 6th February, Mahmoud al-Nadar was shot in both legs whilst 1.5 nautical miles off the coast of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. Nowadays it is unthinkable for fishermen to venture beyond three nautical miles from the Gazan coast, with many vessels staying just metres from the beach. However, Gazan territorial waters reach 12 nautical miles offshore – indeed, the Oslo Accords grant a fishing zone extending as far as 20 nautical miles.

    Israel is attempting to create arbitrary ‘no-go’ zones in the sea – enforced solely by the gun. They might succeed if it weren’t for the resilience of the fishermen. All this is akin to what is happening on land. The Israeli Occupation Force has declared an area of Palestinian land a kilometre in from the Green Line a ‘closed military zone’, affecting an audacious land grab which threatens to swallow a vast swathe of rich agricultural land all the way along the eastern length of the Gaza strip.

    International human rights observers are currently accompanying farmers determined to harvest their crops in one such area. In the months prior to Israel’s war on Gaza, members of ISM Gaza Strip were accompanying Palestinian fishermen on a regular basis and witnessed countless acts of Israeli military aggression against them whilst in Gazan territorial waters, despite a six-month ceasefire agreement holding at the time.

    The international community remains silent about these daily violations of international human rights law. One cannot help wondering what an outcry there would inevitably be if the tables were turned and an Israeli civilian received similar injuries. Such an incident would scupper current negotiations attempting to broker a more genuine long-term ceasefire. Yet whilst it is Palestinian civilians who suffer such atrocities, the world gazes on, indifferent.

  28. Barry said on February 18th, 2009 at 4:40pm #

    Jacob – The people of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria have ancestry in the region going back to the Neolithic Age. The Zionists overwhelmingly arrived in the early 20th century.

    You are naming nations, I’m naming people. Not confused anymore, are you?

  29. Barry said on February 18th, 2009 at 4:48pm #

    Hi Mary. The only caveat I’d offer regarding overpopulation is that first worlders (and that would be me) consume far more planetary resources than do those in the less-developed world. So an American or German or Japanese family with 2 children is probably the equivalent of a Congolese or Bolivian or Cambodian family having 15 or 20 children. I’m making those numbers up but you get the idea. Of course, if the capitalists have their way, everybody in China and India will have a car. That seems to be the direction we are headed – dark times ahead!

  30. Gideon said on February 19th, 2009 at 3:06pm #

    Gaza: Highest fertility in the world, Lowest GDP in Middle East = Welfare State, supported by UNRWA

    Future: Economic development the only possible cure
    Gaza Youth Buldge – who can handle the challenge?

    Middle East demographics (source: Wikipedia 2005)
    Gaza Jordan Egypt Syria Lebanon Israel
    Birth Rate 3.95% 2.01% 2.29% 2.83% 1.89% 2.08
    Fertility 5.19 2.63 2.83 2.73 1.92 2.9
    GDP / Capita $600 $4,906 $5,495 $4,491 $11,279 $27,146

    1948 — 200,000
    1967 – 280,000 – Growth rate 1.7%
    2006 – 1,480,200 – Growth rate 8.7%
    2005 -present – Growth rate 5%

    Most analysts believe its unsustainable.

    SocioEconomic view of Gaza Strip (before recent fighting) does not look good.
    Yes Gaza residents lost most of well paying jobs in Israel and former Israeli settlements in Gaza.
    Israeli have no incentive to employ people who are coming to murder them at their work places.

    Gaza wanted independence, here you are independent.

    Hamas is ABSOLUTELY accountable to Gazans for their well being: economic and security and carries full responsibility before it’s people.

    A Difficult Future for the Gaza Strip
    UN Chronicle
    “Gaza is in a state of collapse. It cannot support the socio-economic needs of its population on its own territory”
    “Since job creation is unlikely to keep pace with population growth in the Gaza Strip, he suggested that migration of workers–
    and the remittances to their home country–were the best way to create stability in the territory”
    “unless immediate and large-scale improvements are made to the economy in Gaza, unemployment levels are expected to rise
    sharply over the next five years (from 30% to nearly 60%).”

  31. Barry said on February 19th, 2009 at 3:17pm #

    Gideon is getting desperate. He knows now that Gaza is regarded as illegally occupied by the entire world – and has seen the official UN stamp of same. He knows that the Palestinians were there before the Jews were, they were there when the Jews left, and when the Zionists arrived a few years ago. He knows that Palestine was ethnically cleansed of its native natural population in 47 -49, he knows Israel attacked its neighbors in 67 in order to secure the rest of Palestine and now he understands that Jews are capable of all the inhuman excesses of any population group. Thus he no longer has any moral or legal legs to stand on. So he resorts to fanciful tales of welfare and over-population though even here he knows that Israel is the only first world nation on foreign aid life support. All the other countries receiving aid are underdeveloped. Ultimately, Gideon is proud of Israel’s achievement of being the world’s goniff state. The clock is ticking.

  32. mary said on February 22nd, 2009 at 9:13am #

    How cruel and cold-blooded the IDF are. They kill one young farmer, lawfully attempting to earn his living, as if he was a rabbit and a few weeks later shoot at his cousin, wounding him in the leg. This e-mail from Jenny, an International Solidarity Worker in Gaza.

    I believe Gideon refers to these farmers and workers as ‘Parsley’ people. They are Palestinians working on their own land.
    Israeli Military Shoot Gaza Farmer – 18th February 2009 – Jenny

    On Tuesday 27th January 2009, in Al Faraheen, Israeli forces shot at several farmers, killing 27 year old farm worker, Anwar al-Breem, Mohammed’s cousin.

    Video by ISM Gaza Strip:

    On Wednesday, February 18, Israeli forces shot a twenty year-old Palestinian farmer as he worked his land in the village of Al-Faraheen, east of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip.

    International Human Rights Activists were accompanying the group of farmers at the time as they worked approximately 500m from the Green Line.

    Mohammad al-Breem, 20, was shot in the right leg as the farmers, together with the international Human Rights Activists, attempted to leave the area having worked on their land for 2 hours in full view of the Israeli forces situated along the Green Line.

    As the farmers were loading up the parsley and spinach from the agricultural lands shots were fired from Israeli forces on the border. Mohammad was shot in the right leg and evacuated, while still under fire, to hospital.

    International Human Rights Activists have repeatedly witnessed Palestinian farmers being shot at by Israeli forces as they attempt to work on agricultural land situated within 700m of the Green Line.

  33. Ray said on March 10th, 2009 at 8:10am #

    Hey kids, assignment time! Write a one-pargraph answer to the following question:

    If roles were reversed, i.e. if the Palestinians were in the Israeli’s position (including superior military power) and vice versa, how long do you think it would take before the Israelis would be wiped out 100%?

  34. bozh said on March 10th, 2009 at 8:45am #

    darn it rayo, you’re still cheeky. you’ve left out quite a few important details in your [in]famous ‘comparison’.
    one of which is that one can’t compare an event with a nonevent.

    even so, you assume that israelis don’t want to expell all pal’ns; they do but are unable to do this; US must first approve it and before that many oiless lands also must give their OK.
    and, what, no OK for that from italy, belgium, france, germany, among others.

    and if the roles were reversed wld judeo-christian bloc be for pal’ns?still against them! right? US especially! right?
    so, rayo go back and give us more comparisons. tnx

  35. Ray said on March 10th, 2009 at 8:59am #


    Fail. Additional fail for spelling and grammar. I asked a simple question. Anyone out there who can give a simple, direct answer without any evasive tactics? Particularly, I’m not interested in your theories about the involvement of the U.S./the “West” etc. Just simply: Do you think, given the (obviously) hypothetical situation described above, that complete annihilation of Israelis would be unlikely if Palestinians had the technical and strategic means to bring that annihilation about?

  36. bozh said on March 10th, 2009 at 9:43am #

    this time you have asked a better question. we can only assume what pal’sn wld do to and with of the three folks with the judaic shamanism.

    but first a caveat? let us not be absolutist about evalauting that there is only one question and only one answer to your qustion or any issue.
    every question contains a plethora of other questions; one is really opening a can of worms.

    as for my grammar/spelling, it makes not much difference, to me, that it is incorrect if u understod the message. please forget about verbal brilliance; it is, to me, just a strategem.

    if pal’ns had the power to utterly over power israelis, they may opt for at least three steps:
    expell ?all ashk’c; possibly not all seph’c and miz’c jews.
    then they cld demand that people like barak, ohlmert, et al be tried for war crimes.
    then they cld kill at least several T criminals.
    but you want only one answer! so here it is: pal’ns wld hug and kiss ?all israelis and celebrate peace.

  37. danny ray said on March 10th, 2009 at 10:29am #

    Bozh, I want you to know that Ray and danny ray are two different people. Thanks

  38. bozh said on March 10th, 2009 at 12:51pm #

    danny ray. i got it. tx

  39. Suthiano said on March 10th, 2009 at 12:58pm #

    Ray’s question is ridiculous. If the Palistinians were the Israelis, then they wouldn’t be the Palestinians.

    Further demonstration of absurdity: If the polish jews were the nazis, and the nazis were the polish jews, don’t you think the polish jews (nazis) would exterminate the nazis (polish jews)?

    Ray expresses old fallacy of false dichotomy: since one never wants to be the slave, one should always be the master.

    Of course, a more advanced (less naive) way to understand things would be: since no one ever wants to be a slave, there should be no masters.

    So Ray: if you were a Palestinian, would you want your freedom?

    assumming only answer is yes, then how would you go about obtaining it?

  40. Tree said on March 10th, 2009 at 1:02pm #

    Here’s an interesting article on Israel’s extensive espionage against the US.

  41. Ray said on March 10th, 2009 at 3:50pm #

    Amazing (and telling) how you people are absolutely unable to answer a simple question. Nice try with the false dichotomy. Anyone with two brain cells and a tiny fraction of imagination — not to speak of common sense — should understand that it’s a hypothetical question that assumes for argument’s sake that Palestinians and Israelis would still act in accordance with their current (i.e. actual, real, non-hypothetical) attitudes, intentions and dispositions. The fact that you pretend not to understand this and go off on tangents shows your inability to assume rhetoric and argumentative constraint. All you can do is hammer on the same old nail.

    Well, bozh did finally come up with this:

    but you want only one answer! so here it is: pal’ns wld hug and kiss ?all israelis and celebrate peace.

    Thank you. Either that’s supposed to be sarcastic, in which case you have my respect for at least making me laugh. If it’s not meant sarcastically then all that’s left is to pray. Too bad I’m not a theist.

    So Ray: if you were a Palestinian, would you want your freedom?

    Yes, of course I would have deluded myself into thinking that I’m a victim. Based on indoctrination by my faith and leaders I’d be frustrated by the fact that Palestine — which of course includes all of current Israel — is under the rule of the kuffar. I would fight with all my might to re-conquer taht particular part of Dar al-Harb, and be joyful at the prospect of sending as many Jewish pigs to Hell as possible while doing so. I’d love to become a martyr for that cause, since it has threefold advantages:

    1. I get to Paradise immediately, and get to have an eternally lasting fuck fest with beautiful “wide-eyed” virgins.
    2. I please Allah by blowing up Jewish apes along with myself.
    3. As a martyr, I get to choose 70 (read: seventy) people who will be granted immediate entry to Paradise, too. That being a generous number, it should accommodate my family (well, maybe except for that uncle I always hated, or my mother-in-law) and all my buddies.

    I would have no problems with this. Furthermore, I would have the last laugh seeing that yet more Western couch-potato revolutionaries (you know, the ill-informed type passionately spewing forth righteous indignation on Internet forums and blogs) salute and celebrate me and my brethren for finally having “justice” on my side.

  42. Ray said on March 10th, 2009 at 4:05pm #

    Oh, and regarding this:

    as for my grammar/spelling, it makes not much difference, to me, that it is incorrect if u understod the message. please forget about verbal brilliance; it is, to me, just a strategem.

    If you’re not a native English speaker of course it would be arrogant to expect your grammar and spelling to be wonderful. If that’s the case, then I apologize. Although I should add that learning proper English is not that hard, it’s not my native language either, I know what I’m talking about.

    But to say that “verbal brilliance” (I’d call it plain intelligble, coherent sentences) it’s just a strategem is pretty lame, reminds me of Creationists who say that the theory of evolution is just a strategy employed by unbelievers to detract from the fact that it all happened in seven minus one days. Besides, show a little self-respect by not talking/writing like a 13-year old. Again, if you are indeed of that age, I apologize and commend you on taking interest in matters such as these. We could do with more people taking part in political/historical discourse, even if we don’t agree. That’s democracy 🙂