Observations from Israel
Contrary to what the rising tide of Zionist-Fascists tell you, there are countless Jews, in the U.S. and in Israel who want peace. Two pieces from today's Ha'aretz.
Greater Sodom and its daughters
By Yossi Sarid
The settlers are the only people who make me ashamed of what I am - an Israeli and a Jew. The enemy, with its reprehensible and vile actions, makes me feel resentful and furious. But it cannot cause me shame because it is our enemy. What is it to me? I am here and the enemy is beyond the hills of darkness.
Shame is the most difficult of feelings. It is like a third-degree burn, but a skin transplant cannot cover the redness of our cheeks. The settlers are Israelis and Jews like I am and in that sense they are from my very own bone marrow, a cut from my very own flesh. They are the only ones who cause shame both to my identity and to my self-determination.
Sometimes I think that if they are the Jews, then I must be something completely different. It is not possible that we are all of the same identity, of the same family. If they, as Jews, speak and act in my name as well, then I want to be a Hottentot. I have nothing in common with them and we are strangers to each other. But perhaps the opposite is true, and we are the Jews and they are the Hottentots. At all events, we are not human brothers and if that is the case, there is no danger of a "civil war."
The disgrace, rather than the anger, makes my stomach turn and does not allow me to rest in peace. Where are we heading? What use is it to define Israel as a Jewish state a thousand times a day when every day we again realize that this is nothing but a hollow definition? What exactly is "Jewish" here - the famous "Jewish head" or the well-known "Jewish heart?"
For many years we have been aware of what is happening in Hebron, how Jews treat their neighbors there. It was a mistake from the start to plant this cancerous growth in the heart of a densely populated Arab town. It was a recipe for perpetual calamity to settle Jewish zealots alongside Muslim zealots. The second fateful mistake was when they did not uproot the growth after the massacre at the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Now a curfew has been imposed on 150,000 Palestinians in order to permit several thousand Jews to hold festivities. If they want to make merry, let them do so in their own compound. But guided tours are also held in the alleyways of the deserted and closed town with soldiers accompanying the Jewish holidaymakers and explaining the sights to them while the Palestinians peek out through the crevices. The Palestinian children cannot go to school, but the settlers can go out for a hike.
It is not the difference of outlook that makes me feel shame. There is a type of political rivalry that is dignified. But in the case of Hebron, this is not a question of a different outlook but of a different planet, one that shows signs of life, but from people who do not have human shape.
It is not merely Hebron. In recent days, we have again been enveloped by shame as settlers pick the olives of the Palestinians. There are very few acts that give rise to shame more than the act of plundering. Pillaging the produce of the villager who by the sweat of his brow has cultivated the olive tree is doubly reprehensible. They pick, they shoot and they kill - but so far, just as in Hebron, no one has been apprehended, cross examined, or paid any price. It is no-man's land.
The settlers claim that the plundering was aimed at keeping dangerous Arabs at a safe distance from the settlements. Rubbish. When they need them, they bring the Palestinians into their settlements so that they can harvest their crops and build their houses.
I also feel shamed by those who have allowed the settlers for so many years to act on whatever evil intent they want in the territories. I am ashamed of the attorney general and the state attorney and the police deployed there, who are afraid of the settlers and their political patrons. And the chief of staff, who actually speaks out sometimes but now holds his tongue as if he has not seen or heard.
I am ashamed also of ourselves for not being determined and courageous enough to eradicate this wicked element in our midst. Perhaps it is indeed easier to feel ashamed than to actually rise up against Sodom which has expanded its borders so that today it includes greater Sodom with its daughters, Tapuah and Itamar, with its capital, Hebron. This is a Sodom that is deceiving to the eye, for all we see are beautiful vistas of olive trees. This is the Sodom of the Jewish state.
The writer is the leader of the Opposition.
Always a fighter, always a terrorist
By Amira Hass
These are the rules of war as laid down over the last two years:
A Palestinian is a terrorist when he attacks Israeli civilians on both sides of the Green Line - in Israel and the territories - and when he attacks Israeli soldiers at the gates of a Palestinian city. A Palestinian is a terrorist when an army unit breaks into his neighborhood with tanks and he shoots at a soldier who gets out of a tank for a moment, and he is a terrorist when he is hit by helicopter fire and is holding a rifle. Palestinians are terrorists whether they kill civilians or soldiers.
The Israeli soldier is a fighter when he shoots a missile from a helicopter or a shell from a tank at a group of people who gather in Khan Yunis, after the fighter or one of his colleagues fires a shell or a missile at a house - from which the army says a Qassam rocket was fired - and kills a man and woman. He is a fighter when he encounters two armed Palestinians in the brush. The Israeli soldier kills armed people and kills civilians. He kills senior commanders of battalions of murderous terrorists and he kills kindergarten-aged children and the elderly in their homes. More accurately, they are killed by IDF fire. Most accurately, they are killed, claim Palestinian sources.
The security authorities and the legal authorities chase down every single Palestinian terrorist. Hundreds are arrested and interrogated for information about a single person. This is war, but the Palestinians are not arrested as prisoners of war who have immunity from interrogation and trial. Their names are known, every detail of the investigation and the charge sheets against them are open and can be published. If and when a weak investigation actually identifies an Israeli soldier who deviated (meaning he killed or used his weapon improperly, or looted, or abused people at checkpoints), his identity remains concealed. In hundreds of other cases, the army says "we are unfamiliar with the complaint." In thousands of other cases, nobody bothers anymore to ask the IDF.
Thousands of Palestinians are under arrest in detention centers. Israel is a lawful state, but it deals them a more severe punishment than denial of personal liberty: it denies them family visits before their trial. Dozens of other terrorists have been convicted and sentenced to death without ever having been brought to trial. Them and the civilians who are near them. That is self defense by a lawful state attacked by a terrorist entity. Hundreds of Israelis are involved in these extra-judicial executions and are glorified. In the last two years, Palestinians killed dozens of suspected collaborators without trial or after kangaroo courts. That is despicable murder by animals, living in an entity that does not respect the law and human rights.
The Palestinians are expected to obey military orders from the State of Israel, as if they were the laws of a Palestinian state. But the state that imposes those orders and whose army controls the territories, the land, the water resources, is not responsible for the welfare of the Palestinians living in those territories. It need not behave like a normal state, since the Palestinians are not citizens with the right to vote. It need not behave like an occupying power, since the Oslo agreement freed it of that title (in the eyes of the world) when it transferred more than 90 percent of the Palestinian population to administrative control of the Palestinian Authority. The PA became responsible for its citizenry even when it was denied any authority over most of the territory in the West Bank and was unable to put down a water pipe without permission from the Civilian Administration. The PA is still responsible for the welfare and safety of the Palestinians even after its institutions were bombed and destroyed, and tanks and helicopters control the entire area, from within and without.
The terrorists endanger the civilian population by hiding among them so the IDF cannot be blamed when civilians are killed in their homes. The fighters and their personal weapons and tanks are only guests at the settlements and outposts and shoot at the Palestinian civilians whom the terrorists exploit.
The Palestinians are bloodthirsty and have only revenge as their ambition. That is proved by all the demonstrations and public opinion polls that show the Palestinians support attacks. The Israelis, whom public opinion polls showed supported the assassination of Salah Shehadeh even after it also killed 14 civilians, are never bloodthirsty nor want revenge.
The Palestinian disrupts public order when he violates a curfew imposed by the fighters in the tanks and armored jeeps. Such a Palestinian is punishable: tear gas in the best case, shooting in another. The Israeli fighter and his army protect public order and security when they prevent hundreds of thousands of children from going to school and teachers from going to work and patients from going to hospital and farmers from going to their fields and grandmothers from seeing their grandchildren.
add a comment on this article
add a comment on this article