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« Torture of Palestinian Prisoners Continues | Main | Guest Blog: Ilan Solomons »

January 06, 2010

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Shaun

Absolutely right, all is not what it seems.

Barak was loosing public credibility at an alarming rate. Initially it was as a result of his various shady business dealings coming to light, then there was the exorbitant expense he incurred while staying at a top Paris hotel. Soon after that it was discovered that he was employing an illegal worker at one of his apartments, added to this, Barak and his wife received “gift” upgrades to first class on a recent flight.

He is also facing a rebellion in the Labor party from high ranking members who are unhappy with his conduct and lack of leadership.

Conveniently Barak then decided to be the poster boy for the settlement freeze and subsequent refusal to expel saga. This gave him a wonderful public opportunity to go after the Hesder Yeshivot on this issue.

While all this has been happening there are still riots in N’illin where dozens of foreign anarchists, Arab Israeli’s, left wing protestors and Israeli security personnel are injured on a weekly basis.

The extreme right is significantly misguided and possibly even dangerous, but they are not the only ones sending threats to Barak or harming security personnel.

Informed Commentor

The far right and the far left are one and the same.

Informed Commentor

Is there a straight Israeli politician? They even worse than the lot we have here.

Steve

I support Israel, not the single state that the left wing supports and not the Halachik renegade state that the far right settlers support.

I would like to see more Israelis respect, honour and adhere to Jewish law as well, but we are far from ready to have Halachik law rule the state.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Steve, I think your reading of the "far right" is a little off.

The "far right" was, until quite recently (read: Gush Katif) quite pro the State and supported it in its many misguided adventures. It is however a little hard to support a state that throws you out of your house and hands it over to murderers to burn.

When the same state uses the army which you give your lives and those of your children to serve in, to molest your daughters, to trample your children with horses and to destroy (again) your houses - or sends same to stop you building a patio you started ten years ago and are still waiting for the bureaucracy to catch up ... well it starts getting a little more difficult to support the state.

Add to that a Defense Minister who publicly embarasses a Rosh Yeshiva - indeed a Rosh Yeshiva whose Talmidim were sent to serve him ...

Indeed the "far right" as you describe them, are finally waking up to the realisation that there sell-out of Torah to come to an accommodation with the State is not being reciprocated.

As an aside: to use the term "right" is completely lacking in meaning in the Israeli context.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Another point ... from my experience, admittedly anecdotal, you will find the "far right", (ironically enough) not supporting a halachic state indeed you'll probably find a fair percentage of the Haredi community also not supporting a "halachic" state. So I'm not sure you have a keen read on the situation, certainly your post doesn't dabble in the vast nuance.

In any event, the world is not short of nutters - but a sure way to make enemies is interfering with people's rights to quietly go about there business, build a house and live in it. When you do that to an entire population - it used to be called apartheid, and when it's claimed that Israel is doing it to Palestinians it's known as "genocide" or "ethnic cleansing" ... but it seems "settlers" are fair game even for "fellow" Jews and Israelis ... for shame.

weighing the political credibility that Israel received from the US for this little act of civil war... it is clear Barak and his band of merry men will get what they deserve, maybe now, maybe after 120. I'm patient.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Steve, apologies for the multiple posts,

Do you have a working definition for "vulgar disobedience" as opposed to "civil disobedience"?

(Obviously notwithstanding the death threats which presumably don't constitute either)

Steve

RF1,
I think signs calling for the death of Arabs is quite a clear example of vulgar disobedience.

I agree that the term "right" is lacking in meaning in this context, if you offer an alternative I don't mind using it, though I do think everyone knows what I am talking about when I use this convenient, but admittedly lazy, term.

You have described why the religious and even secular "far right" finds it difficult to support the state. They are strong motivations for disobedience. I won't argue against them. It seems that the two sides cannot be reconciled. Where does this leave Israel? On the one hand there are political realities and the threat of a single state solution. On the other there are the myriad of reasons you have always cited supporting the attachment to all of the settlements. Can Israel survive this junction? Or is this modern Zionist experiment doomed to failure?

I am sure there is a high percentage of people on the "religious far-right" who don't support a Halachic state. But the number of incidents where the legitimacy of the State is challenged and outright rejected from within is enough to warrant as a existential problem in my mind.

I estimate that the vast majority of settlers in Hebron reject the State and support a Halachic one (I have tons of photos of orange flags of Israel with the Keter of the Torah in the middle of the Magen David.)

My views, coupled with yours, which I agree with, fill me with a fatalistic view that this is an insolvable conflict.

I don't believe that the Mashiach will come and solve everything...anytime soon. Short of that, given enough time, Israel will destroy itself.


Lawrence

Steve how is the reverance for a killer like Goldstein and anti-Arab bigotry any worse than the reverance of Mahmoud Abbas, the "moderate" president of the PA for suicide bombers and other terrorist killers of Jews (which I personally documented at this blog)? If there is a difference can you clarify what that difference is?

If there is no difference, why do you go along with the conventional line that Fatah and Abbas are "moderate peace partners" or somehow could be made to fit that mold? Doesn't it make liberals and conservatives for that matter who wilfully ignore the facts and portray Abbas as a moderate, when in fact he is a radical, despicable? If not, why not?

Lawrence

The situation is indeed far more complex and nuanced than the PC brigade, including so-called moderates, like to pretend. yes there are a fair few nutters and bigots and fanatics among the settlers, however to paint all those resisting the bullying of the Israeli govt here (capitulating to the demands of opportunistic know-nothings on the one hand and anti-Semites on the other) with that same brush is dishonest and unfair.

Nowadays telling Jews not to build a patio on their property or a guest house, because it supposedly is a "root" factor in motivating Palestinians to want to reject our right to exist is known as liberalism and the "peace" process and anti-racism. In ages past it would have been called anti-Semitism, apartheid and uh fascism actually.

It's a topsy-turvy world, beyond Orwellian satire.

Mahmoud Abbas continues to refuse to recognise Israel's right to exist and doesn't even pretend that the settlements have anything to do with it (at least when he's speaking Arabic to an Arab audence). He has learned well from the liar supreme Arafat. Fatah, with the blessing of Abbas the Holocaust Revisionist and lover of suicide bombers, very very recently paid glowing tribute to the female terrorist D Magrabi (sp?) who machine gunned Jewish men women and kids to death in the coastal road terrorist bus attack near Haifa in 1978. Yet Abbas is perceived as a moderate "peace partner" but a Jew who builds a home where he is not welcome because he is a ...Jooooow, is the stubborn obstacle to peace??

Does Steve think if the West Bank is Judenrein like Gaza is now, the Judenhass of Fatah is going to go away, like the melting snow in spring? Maybe Hamas will disappear too, their members and leadership agreeing to disbandon and turn to gardening and painting and the like once the Jews have abandoned their homes in Judea and Samaria or at least agreed to stop having children. The reason I make the latter remark is this - does Steve and his kind realise that in order for the settlement housing freeze to be viable, even if it had the willing participation of all the 'settlers', the Judden there would have to stop having children or their children have to leave their communities once young adults and wanting a place on their own? The Left and IAS have learned nothing from the disengagement from Gaza, the withdrawal from Lebanon, they are simply learn-proof. Don't let uncomfortable facts get in the way of ideology, political correctness and cultural and moral relativism and in fact worse than that, plain moral inversions.

Iran is going to get nuclear bombs very very soon, Hezbollah has thousands of rockets and Hamas continues to rearm in Gaza, Syria and Egypt cannot be trusted, we have no reliable allies (that includes the US) and liberals are preoccupied with Jews building guest houses and added on wings to apartment blocks in the West Bank! We could have another Yom Kippur type war on our hands, fight for our survival, except it will be worse than '73, with Hamas and Hezbollah and Syrian rockets raining down on all our cities and towns and communities. That's assuming Iran stays out of it in a direct way. Even if Israel somehow survives and fights off its enemies, thousands of Jews, soldiers and civilians, could be killed, our infrastructure devastated, our economy bankrupted - liberals would probably just go back to demands for a freeze on the settlements.

If Iran succeeds in nuking Tel Aviv, will IAS continue to blabber about the settlers being an obstacle to peace? I would actually ask Steve that question if the unthinkable ever happened but naturally I won't be alive to ask it. Will somebody ask it for me if the unthinkable ever happens? I'm being serious. In fact it's precisely because Iran and the worst case scenario doesn't bear thinking about that liberals don't and instead focus on the Jews they don't like because they are political and ideological opponents and it's cheap political point scoring. Easier to forget about Iran that way and Hamas and Hezbollah and Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood and the UN and Europe and the bumbling Chamberlain wannabe Obama etc etc.

'let us not talk falsely now, for the hour is getting late' - Bob Dylan.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Steve, I think you're confusing civil activism and vibrant democratic protests with "rejecting the legitimacy of the state".

I'm not defending the graffiti per se ... but then I don't see how this grafitti is any more meaningful that "drunk teenagers painting swastikas on the walls in the northern suburbs of JHB"

I must admit I don't think South Africa knows about democracy and civil activism and I certainly didn't "get it" until I saw the Americans in action.

Israel is not at the cross-roads - it's at a dead end. The man to reverse it up the road and get it back on track is waiting in the wings ... and Bibi is having sleepless nights, which is why he's trying to postpone the Likud primaries.

Benjamin

Re:demographics:

"the ultranationalist settlers, who make up about a quarter of all settlers"

From a 2006 pbs article. There should be better numbers somewhere. I didn't have time to read it, but this article might be of interest:

Fundamentalism in crisis - the response of the Gush Emunim rabbinical authorities to the theological dilemmas raised by Israel's Disengagement plan

Steve

Who is the man waiting in the wings?

I agree, dead ends is a more apt metaphor.

You don't honestly believe that the graffiti is the same as the drunk teenagers in JHB do you? There is real symbolism and meaning behind the graffiti backed up by violent action, and IDF records would be testimony to this since they often have to respond to settler violence against Palestinians. (I'm not getting into whether this is in response to violence from Palestinians, since that isn't relevant in a debate comparing the graffiti to the drunk teenagers.)

The graffiti is used to create a hostile and threatening atmosphere, hardly the intent of the drunk teenagers. There is also so much of it. I don't think you see a Palestinian house along Shuhada street without any threatening graffiti.

I also disagree with you about rejecting the legitimacy of the state. There are vast murals (beautifully painted) along the walls of the Hebron settlements of an alternate Israel with this orange messianic flag. Graffiti shouting medinat halachic achshav (excuse my Hebrew) is prominent. If a South African brings alternative flags to the wanderers, isn't it a symbol of a rejection on today's SA? If a Palestinian refuses to recognise an Israeli flag and instead displays his own version of this flag (a single state version) then wouldn't we say he rejects the State?

The graffiti is not the only element - and I'll agree that the decisions of the government have forced them to reject the state as you have argued, still its a rejection and I think the numbers of this group that is fed up with modern Israel are growing.

Granted the topic is vast and I don't have the capacity to deal with it thoroughly - for example, does refusing to sing the anthem constitute a rejection? Probably not if the basis stems from a religious problem with Am Chofshi. What about a refusal to recognise the authority of your municipality, or what about attacking soldiers who are only doing their job.

The main divisions in Israel used to be Jew v Arab, Secular v Religious, Sephardi v Ashkenazi but this new division between those that recognise its legitimacy and those that don't pose, to my mind, the biggest threat of a new civil war similar to the pre-State internal fighting. The Jew v Arab division at least used to unite the other divisions, but with the new division, the Jew v Arab conflict only further inflames the situation.

Dead end for sure. What next?

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Steve,

I'm not that familiar with Hebron, so it's going beyond where I can argue, but I think you're making more of the graffiti than necessary in an already inflammatory and incendiary environment. And similarly I think you're over reading the orange movement - except for the trend to now spend more time learning they're still disproportionately high contributors to the army etc. I don't have a particularly good read at "grass roots" - Shaun or RF2 may have a better feel - but a fortiori, I don't think you're in a position to call it.

As for intimidation - try walking through an Arab village the same ways Arabs swagger through Tel Aviv.

In any event, robust civil and democratic dialogue tends to include a few loud voices, and most states have at least one or two groups calling for the overhaul or replacement of government- whether they're "right wing" militia types or left wing save-the-planet through world government types.

The problem in Israel is not the citizenry questionning the state - which is healthy. It's the State delegitimizing and dehumanizing vast swathes of the population - and the chickens are now coming home to roost.

RZ

Interesting blog post about the Goldstein incident: http://michaelmakovi.blogspot.com/2009/12/assassination-of-rabin-massacre-by.html

the Hebrew prophet

For those folk who are not aware of Hevron and the Cave of Patriachs ,it,s a Mosque cum Jewish shul where Muslims have their allotted time for worship and then the local Jews have theirs .I,ve been there
where time was up for the Muslims but they deliberately came back during the Jewish allotted prayer time carrying carpets on a stretcher wailing and shouting as if there was a dead body on this stretcher ,well no such thing only prayer rugs as a shove and tipping of this charade proved ,this happens regularly and is all part of the mind games ,that,s all.

Gary

Demonizing the Jews of Judea and Samaria (half of them are children!)as all being 'far right fundamentalist extremists' is demonizing an enttire community of Jews, simply for being Jews who live in a part of the world where most the world has arbitarily dcided they should not be allowed to live-I am not commenting on what political solution should be decided on in the wider conflict, but i have stayed on the settlements and say that most the people are pretty regular families with children, many of them are not even religious, and are far more religiously tolerant that the Haredi communnities of the Mea Shearim in pre-1967 Israel
Demonizing 200 000 Jews is racist AND anti-Jewish!

Steve

Gary,
I did not say that all of the settlers reject the legitimacy of our modern Jewish state, not did I say that all of them are uncontrollable, and vying for blood.

Those that I have criticised do not need me to demonise them. They demonise themselves.

Calling me anti-Jewish, or antisemitic is a typical response to any criticisms of Israel. Well done for proving the point of the radical left. You join the likes of Nathan Geffen who has also called me antisemitic.

Steve

Defending Goldstein turns my stomach.

The stories defending him are all the same, murky facts that the public doesn't know about, a plot by an evil Israeli government that needed a scapegoat, etc etc.

Why don't his supporters just come clean and admit the truth which is either that their religious bias prevents them from seeing that one of their own could be bad or worse that they actually support the massacre of random Arabs?

You can take your pick on what the "real true story was"!

Perhaps Goldtsein arrived on the scene of a massacre that had already started and was the first victim of this Arab terror. the IDF then killed the Arabs. The Peres-Beilin-Rabin fake Jew government then invented a story that Goldtsein killed the Arabs because a story of Arabs killing Jews wasn't politically expedient at the time.

Perhaps Goldstein did kill them, but it was in self defense because the Arab pogrom had started?

Perhaps Goldstein killed them because he knew that they were planning a new pogrom?

Perhaps his supporters are just sick and deranged?

The people on the right that support these conspiracy theories (try discussing the Rabin assassination with them) suffer from the same psychological illnesses as the conspiracy theory deranged folk on the left that seek to destroy Israel.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Steve,

I think you're speaking from the neat little cocoon of polite Sandton/JHB society. If you were more intimate with the communities you so disparagingly refer to, and their people and more specifically with the government hamstrung IDF and Border Polive, you'd apply Occam's Razer.

I.e. the more likely scenario is that Goldstein decided the only way to save Jewish lives was to go postal.

Steve

Are you merely saying I am at fault for misunderstanding what drives them to this behaviour, or that I am at fault for not agreeing with this outlook - that we need religious men with weapons to let fly indiscriminately in order to save Jewish lives?

Religious Fundamentalist 1

I'm not saying you're "at fault for misunderstanding" - I'm saying you don't understand, probably because you're not close enough. Your life's experience in South Africa, and multiculti post-apartheid indoctrination does hempers you stepping into someone else's weltaunshaung.

The link to michaelmakovi.blogspot.com was quite interesting as it reflects, albeit immaturely and incompletely, the transformation of thinking that you're missing.

Moreover it's not "them to this behaviour" - it's him to that act. Fundamentally different.

Shaun

Conspiracy theorists are always looking for a way to justify a vile action that they actually agree with...
Islamist and their apologists claim that 9/11 was a neo-con or Israeli plot. Ultranationalists claim that the Rabin assassination was a shabak or Peres initiated plot, and Goldstein was a hero who saved lives.

These events and many like them are littered with inaccuracies and possible flaws. Like any capital case there is no such thing as absolute certainty. Appropriately the Sanhedrin can convict with a simple majority but they are forbidden to convict a murder suspect if the Judges vote ominously (Sanhedrin 43b-45b)

Despite the suspicions regarding the Goldstein’s action, one factor is absolutely clear. Goldstone armed himself with a rifle and entered a Muslim prayer area with the intent to kill as many people as possible.
The same is true with regards to Yigal Amir; regardless of the various suspicions, Amir admitted to firing his gun at Rabin with the intention of killing him.

Steve

Let me just add that contrary to the perception I may have created, I am not against "all settlers" nor all people on the right.

I will however, continue to be critical of those that support the acts that I have described here - death threats, delegitimisation of the State, murder, incitement to violence, etc.

This despite not being close enough to fully understand their position. None of us have a problem with absolutely and vigorously condemning Islamic extremism - even though we are not close enough to understand it.

I support a Jewish presence in Hebron just as I support our continued control of most of the settlements that are our on our side of the security barrier. I do not support, however, support any unlawful behaviour of the residents of Hebron, even though I realise that they are living amongst one of the most hostile Palestinian populations imaginable.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

The "Islamic extremist" position is actually pretty easy to understand and they make their aims quite well known - sure there may be some nuances in exactly what the caliphate will look like and why the Sunni's think the Shia's are heretics ... but viz a viz the US/Israel and sundry infidels they're not quite as nuanced.

As for exactly what is being condemned, why and how, when "we" do all this condemning of terror is more nuanced than you might think - but time does not allow.

As for unlawful behaviour ... the expulsion from Gush Katif was "unlawful" but that didn't stop it.

The "law" in Israel just declared open hunting season on Jews driving along the 443. The law is an ass.

It should come as no surprise that the "settlers" after years of being delegitimised, ignored, and forced to bear the brunt of Israel's Elite Leftist insane fratricide are turning to "unlawful" behaviour. The last 15 years (at least) demonstrate exactly how useful the "law" is in Israel.

Shaun

Steve you wrote that you: “continue to be critical of those that support the acts that I have described here - death threats, delegitimisation of the State, murder, incitement to violence, etc.”

Death threats, delegitimisation and Murder? Like the way the pre-state Hagana acted toward its political opponents like Jabotinsky and Begin?
Ben-Gurion and his Hagana actually killed Jews in order to maintain the structural command of the new IDF (right or wrong?). And just to keep the revisionist in check, Jabostisky’s request to be buried in Israel was denied by various governments until Begin was elected PM in 1977.
Incitement to violence? This could be referring to the curtailment of anti-disengagement activists or the way the police handled the Amona evacuation or even the denial of Jewish prayer on the Temple mount.

Or how about Barak removing one hesder yeshiva from military participation, because The Rosh Yeshiva refused to completely condemn insubordination on religious grounds. Yet Israeli universities with entire departments that call for the Boycott of Israel and help prosecute Israeli leaders in European courts are given lucrative defence contracts with impunity.

Your statement is just too vague. As RF1 has correctly pointed out, sitting on the fence in the happy middle ground is a laughable.

RF2

Steve

Firstly you have failed in your own field of expertise. You, as the moderator of this blog are commited to combating anti Israel bias in the media. A job which you do fantastically. But it is narrow minded and ignorant of human nature to not apply the same critical reading to "Jewish" sources. The JPost is not exactly the symbol of unbiased reporting and their specific area of bias is in religious/secular and conservative/liberal issues. Shaun pointed out some of the issues which Jpost didn't bring up.

Secondly, As RF1 was quite polite in pointing out you have very little understanding of the situation on the ground in Chevron. I'm sure it makes your neo-liberal nerves tingle to see such graffiti but the anology would not be to that of teenagers in JHB (sorry RF1) it would be to an Aushwitz survivor in 1946 spraypainting "Death to Germans". Now I know the many of you will be rushing to your keyboards to counter this - this modern Jewry the Holocaust is their only sanctity of Jewish identity and so nothing can ever be compared to it. But there are still similarities that cannot be denied. I of course am not saying the Jews of Chevron have faced a genocide (not since 1929 at least) but they have faced murder and massacre continoulsy and are surrounded by an entire population who openly state that they wish to carry out a Holocaust in Chevron (and the whole of Israel for that matter). So on the topic of Jews and graffiti I think you were over reacting. Perhaps on you little stop over in Chevron they took you to the playgrounnd where 2 year old Shalhevet Tass was shot by an Arab sniper. I spent a shabbos at a family next to this playground. You will argue that there can be no excuse for Jews killing Arabs, I say you have no place to judge the writers of graffiti. Regarding Goldstein all of the above applies. Whilst I don'support his actions (at least not if the arab pogrom theories are false) I think that Jews harbouring on about the issue shows little national pride and little resolution in the face of an enemy determined to see us annihilated. Yes, Goldstein was wrong, get over it, stop apologising to the world and worry about the world apologising to you. They have far more of a reason to do so.

Much the same applies for the far right wing and any death threats, civil disobedience etc. Whether or not you disagree with these people you should at leat aknowledge that at worst they are simply an annoying extreme of the winnign side. Kind of like the fullback who tries too hard and occassionally screws up but is still wearing the team colours. These people have pride in their country and their nation and are (some of the few) that are willing to stand up to those who say we aould rather see you dead. I know its tough for, despite overwhelming evidence, to accept that a 2 state solution won't create peace but can you at least aknowledge that these people are following the evidence of the last 30 (and more specifically 4) years in their approach.

Your final error in understanding (at least for this post) is the idea that the religious right wants a "halchik" state. Lets be clear. Those sects that want a halachik state believe that it is only allowed to exist in the time of Mashiach and so even if the Knesset would be replaced be 120 rosh yeshivas and the made to be Talmud law, that state be still be as illegitimate as it is today. The vast majority would lime to see a more religious state yes, one that takes pride in its heritage but one that does not force religeon on anyone. The state was founded by and has been controlled since, by people that are anti religeon. The religeos don't want to have the law only their way, they want equality in the face of the law (and public opinion). The vast majority of even extreme right wingers serve in the army, pay taxes a contribute to welfare - their support for the state cannot be questioned. On the other hand a survey a year or 2 ago (that was very quickly hushed by the media) showed Tel Aviv, and specifically Ramat Aviv as having the lowest rates in the country for eligable Israelis joining the IDF. Steves, actions speak louder than words. Saying you support Israel but avoiding the draft and moving to America the first chance you get is not as good as saying the state ha profoundly disappointed you but drafting, staying, settling, paying and fighting.

A thought to end with. Steve's argument is that negotiating is the only option. RF1 spoke about the possible saviour of Israeli politics. (whilst I support him wholeheartedly I am too cynical regarding the Israeli system to be sure he will succeed). As always, history is often a good teacher.
Someone close to me was recently telling me that the post six day war 1967 period was the most incredible time to be in Israel. jews could walk anywhere in the country without fear of being attacked. He described how Jews would walk through the streets of Shchem (Nablus) and Arabs would scuttle away. Yet today, after they have received trillions of dollors, weapons, self government, partial autonomy and countless other forms of aid from us, if a Jew were to walk through Nablus he would be lynched before he took his 2nd step

Gary

Goldstein's action gainst Arabs is always brought up over and over, I have no need to apologize to anyone for it.
People who have a problem with Jews living in their ancient homeland can go to hell! (apologies for the lack of nuance there)
Events like these in or near Hebron have been forgotten
http://www.education.gov.il/children/page_23.htm

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Memorial/2002/1/Danielle+Shefi.htm

Steve

Guys, this is a very difficult and emotional discussion. My views often change, what I believed last year may not be what I believe now and what I believe next year may also be different. I appreciate the points you have all made (not you Lawrence) even though I couldn't disagree more with the majority of what you have to say.

RF2, some points:

On my alleged support for negotiations:
I do not believe that negotiation is the only option. I support unilateral moves that protect the integrity of the Jewish demographics so that the Jewish State can remain a democracy. I don't believe we will see peace with the Palestinians, I am tired of them having a veto power over what we do and therefore I support unilateral moves.

my lack of understanding of Hebron
I do not agree with RF1 that Islamic fundamentalism is so clear cut that it is acceptable to respect the lack of understanding argument when it comes to Hebron but to ignore it when it comes to Islam. This smacks of double standards. Asking people not to comment because they dont understand everything in its entirety is a cop out. Using this argument with Goldtsein is a bigger cop out that either says you support the indiscriminate massacre of Arabs or that you are uncomfortable with it but are not brave enough to speak out against your fellow religious and ideological brethren.

My visits to Hebron
I have been twice, once with Ohr Someyach and once with a left-wing group. I won't comment on what the solution should be, suffice to say that I acknowledge the only reason we can visit is because of the Jews that stay there. I will not refrain from condeminig their attacks on soldiers and their inciteful graffiti.

On Goldstein and the Holocaust
I am not apologising for Goldstein. I am using him as an example of the conspiracy theory minded extremism that dwells in Hebron. Exremism because many see him as a hero. Conspiracy minded because people invent stories to avoid the truth about what happened.

You say that Goldstein was wrong, yet you say the Holocaust analogy applies to him as well. I think you should just admit that you support the symbolism of what he did and what he stands for. Jewish power, the Jewish fist etc. After all, would you condemn a Jew in the 40s for massacring a bunch of Nazis?

To summarise on Goldstein, I am not apologising. The issue isn't Goldstein, its the emphatic defense and support for him that is the issue and reason why the incident gets so much air-time from people like me.

On the Graffiti
The specific graffiti was in response to attempts to evactuate Jews from a market that belonged to the Palestinians prior to the Goldstein massacre. I think Jews who were marched to concentration camps would probably argue that there situation was worse than those of the Hebron Jews of today who felt safe enough to head over to Palestinian homes and spray paint their doors.

On the religious right
I do not think that all of the religious right want a Halachik state but I do think that a large minority do to the extent that they do not support the modern state of Israel. Your point that the secular (right and left) avoid the army is valid and causes me pause for rethink. I do agree with you on actions speaking louder than words. I'm considering your input and will think more carefully about why I seem to be developing anti-religious tendencies (even though I remain committed to my level of Judaism as being Kosher and Shomrei Shabbat) in the context of Israel.

On the saviour
Who is this saviour? Is it Feiglin?

RF2

Steve

My comment was in connection with your support for a two state solution. Unilateral, bilateral, multilateral, who cares, its giving a bunch of terrorists not only some of what they are have blowing us up for but also giving them a base to carry on killing us. I think its touching that you place maintaining democracy as the highest value in the land. I place maintaining beating hearts in Jews a little higher.

Once again, I was not saying that the Chevron situation is exactly analagous to the Holocaust. It seems I will have to spell out the analogy. Just as after the war liberated Jews were now in a safe position to, for example write anti German graffiti, but still were nursing such severe wounds so too are the residents of chevron, having faced regular murders by the neighbours but being protected enough by the army to write graffiti.

Once again, I don't support Goldsteins action. I also don't support Jews harping on about it. To quote a great man "You're either with us or against us". Golstein may have been wrong but he wasn't killing Jews. if you want to let something offend, let the killing of your brothers and sisters offend you.

Steve

RF2, your world outlook saddens me. I do not believe it is a Jewish principle to only view the killing of Jews as offensive.

If you want to control all of the land, and you do not want the Palestinians to have a state, then you either support an apartheid situation in which Jews vote but Palestinians don't, or a situation where they are forcibly removed from their homes.

Moral problems aside, to my mind your vision is not practical because Israel will be treated like Apartheid SA. The rest of the world will completely close their ties with Israel. Exports will not be sold and very few imports will arrive. The IT sector will cease to exist and the ecnonomy will crumble. In this globalised world, Israel is not big enough to survive. The only hope would be trade with some nefarious nations like China.

Most Jews in my opinion would try to leave such a country, would head for the US, and would ultimately assimilate. There would ultimately be fewer beating hearts in fewer Jews.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Steve,

RF2 can speak for himself, but I didn't understand him to imply that it is "only () the killing of Jews " which is offensive, nor that "palestinians" shouldn't have self determination (he's said explicitly elsewhere they should).

His point (as I understand it) is that negotiating with terrorists and buying them off is a stupid strategy that has failed repeatedly. Moreover, it will ultimately result in more dead people - and in particular dead Jews - which nobody (including the Israeli and South African [Jewish] Left) seem to care much about.

The people who do care about dad Jews, ironically enough are the settlers and "right wingers" you're trying to villify

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Steve,

more specifically to your sanctions/boycott point:

- are you suggesting it's a fair trade to loose a few Jews from time to time in terrorist attacks in order to have the worlds (dubious) blessings of trade?
- can you point out which other country, currently engaged in gross human rights abuses have sanctions leveled against them?

Countries are as immoral as their people. They will trade with whomever can provide what they want at the best price. Indeed your China example disproves your own thesis.

Lawrence

Jewry as always in Israel faces nothing less than the risk of a second Holocaust and the fact is liberals whether they realise it or not are pushing for the final solution by pushing for the two state solution. This is the harsh reality which Steve and others don't want to face. A two state "solution" is a recipe for Israel's destruction as Rf2 alludes to and for the reasons he alludes to, although he does not explicitly state them. Steve ignores this entirely.

I myself have pointed out why a two state solution is fine in theory, if we were dealing with Buddhists or Hindus or Apache Indians in Judea and Samaria, but we are not. In practice the two state solution is a death warrant for Israel for the reasons I laid out very clearly on the Pollock-Isaacs debate thread way back when, which Steve is still incapable of comprehending. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, the fact that many say they wish us well as they simultaneously unknowingly sign our death warrants and the death warrants of our loved ones isn't much cause for comfort.

Steve further up finally admits there will never be peace with the Palestinians (because of course they don't want peace), and then he says lets give these Palestinians who he admits don't want peace, their own state! And their state will be a terrorist state, liberal denial to the contrary since the PA and Fatah are terror-sponsers who do not accept Israel's right to exist. Never mind Hamas. That's what would give us fewer Jews with fewer beating hearts, a terrorist fascist Islamist state on Israel's eastern border that cuts deep inside Israel and near divides the very tiny nation in two. What could go wrong?

I'm curious Steve how the two state solution, offered as a solution to the Palestinian/Israel conflict, is a solution to radical Islam which is itself inseperable from Islam. The Arab Muslim/Israel conflict is ultimately rooted in radical Islam, so how does a Palestinian state change this?

If the Palestinians get their own state will they cease to take radical Islam seriously, or even a little less seriously at the very least? Can you tell us why, especially in light of what happened in Gaza after the Israeli withdrawal?

The lessons from Gaza and Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon are obvious. Well to those of us who actually want to see a more secure Israel that stands at least a fighting chance of survival.

Some of us don't want to learn. To Steve multi-culti liberalism matters more to him than anything else, even Israel's survival while he pretends the opposite.

RF2

"Israel will be treated like Apartheid SA. The rest of the world will completely close their ties with Israel. Exports will not be sold and very few imports will arrive"

Sorry isn't that the case now? And didn't it start after Oslo, when we started giving them all these things you speak of.

Rf1 has clarrified my points quite well.

In essence, I wiill say again that just because I don't yet have a better plan doesn't mean yours is any less idiotic and counter to all evidence. Yours is the same argument that proposed the Gaza pullout and we received neither peace nor international approval for it.
The Maintanence of democracy is not the highest value, the maintainance of jewish life is. if we need to keep the status quo unitl we find a practical solution then so be it.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

I think we're conflating two issues, i.e. democracy / self determination as opposed to giving homicidal enemies a say in your future.

Steve

Israel doesn't have the might of China. I think Apartheid SA as a democracy for the whites is a better example of how Israel would be treated.

I do not think its fair trade to lose a few Jews. I am sorry if that is what I implied. I believe that the approach you and RF2 loosely advocate will result in the loss of even more Jews since I see it resulting in us eventually losing all of Israel. That is the fatalistic point from which I am basing my argument. I guess I should ask you the equally unfair (and insulting) question, is it fair trade to lose Jews so that a few can continue to live outside of the security barrier? You falsely impute indecent motives on me because you disagree with strategic/tactical moves that I think can best safeguard Israel.

RF2's statement "if you want to let something offend, let the killing of your brothers and sisters offend you" suggests (1) that I don't find the killing of Jews offensive - this is nonsense - and (2) that there is no need to view the killing of others as offensive.

Steve

Lawrence, just a reminder, I don't read your comments ;-)

Shaun

Steve it seems like you are verbally stumbling yourself in an attempt to justify a doomed position.

You admit that you “don’t believe we will see peace with the Palestinians.” If this is true then you agree with RF2 who writes that any negotiations are superfluous and only serve the Palestinian side, and will ultimately cause more Jews to die.

It is also bewildering how you can still “support unilateral moves that protect the integrity of the Jewish demographics.”
Every unilateral move made by Israel over the past 20 years has resulted in death, destruction and a significant dent to Israel’s world standing.

With this in mind, perhaps you could explain how after 20 years of failed negotiations (with an enemy that you admit dose not want to live in peace) disastrous unilateral moves, and thousands of dead Israelis to prove all this futility, you can still talk about a two state solution?


RF2

Steve

In fairness, your denographics argument is compelling. When I heard Olmert describing it in JHb in late 2004 to justify the Gaza pullout I myself was fairly taken and left with an uneasy feeling.

But no matter how compelling you simply cannot ignore that facts.
Fact 1: We pulled out of gaza and gave them independence

Fact 2: Israels world standing has worsened since with comparisons of apartheid and worse inceasing drastically after yhe pullout (as did calls for boycouts)

Fact 3: Post pullout the enemy built fortifications, developed a massive terrorist infrastructure and fired around 10 000 rockets at us.

How exactly will a 2 state solution improve this? How will having a Gaza just 4 km from Kfar Saba prevent losing greater Israel?

Steve, you are not the first to believe and hope above the given facts that peace can be achieved by appeasing the enemy. Google "Chamberlain" for a comprehensive summary on the matter. For some extra info you might wanted to get the BBC series The World at War.

Lawrence

Steve just a reminder I think you are living in a parallel universe, so really your snide remarks don't mean too much to me.

to everybody else...

Shaun writes:
You admit that you “don’t believe we will see peace with the Palestinians.” If this is true then you agree with RF2 who writes that any negotiations are superfluous and only serve the Palestinian side, and will ultimately cause more Jews to die.

I wrote the same thing above, writing:
Steve further up finally admits there will never be peace with the Palestinians (because of course they don't want peace), and then he says lets give these Palestinians who he admits don't want peace, their own state!

Shaun don't expect Steve to recognise never mind explain his contradiction here. I actually think the way to explain this contradiction is that Steve tries to reconcile his heartfelt pro-Israel stance with PC talking points on the Middle-East and Leftist cultural relativism, which of course is impossible and the result is exactly this kind of contradiction.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

Chaps, remember to play the ball, not the man.

Steve is a well intentioned mentsch committed to thinking through the ideas and discussing them. We will yet get him to drop his post-apartheid paradigm rose-tinted glasses and see the world for what it is.

Lawrence

yes Hillel you are right, that is to play the ball and not the man. I just end up taking my frustrations out on Steve. After all he is the one who started this blog with Mike, keeps it going without getting any material profit from it, and of course it takes up the time I'm sure he doesn't have.

Also he's the one (and Mike) who had to bear the brunt of those threatening baseless attacks on IAS from those bullying know-nothings (and that's the kindest thing I can say about them) Nathan Geffen, Isaacs and Jonathan Berger; not the rest of us sitting on the sidelines.

Actually on the subject of Nathan Geffen that reminds me, I just want to bring up a few things that I think are important to address. Steve makes mention of some of Geffen's disgraceful behaviour on some very recent thread, that Geffen accused him of anti-Semitism! I know this doesn't appear to make any sense but I want to explain the psychology here (since nobody else has), namely the reason that Geffen called Steve an anti-Semite. He did so because he is one himself, he couldn't have called Steve an anti-Semite unless he is one himself. It is an unintended entirely unconscious projection. He has called me a racist (meaning an anti-Arab) which is a lie for the same reason, projection of his own racism. Steve or Mike actually apologised to him for my non-existent racism for which Geffen didn't even come up with any evidence (which Geffen can't of course because Geffen was lying as usual). I didn't even call IAS out on this and I should have. This is just one reason for my frustration.

In fact did you guys know that Norman Finkelstein, one of the most notorious Jewish anti-Semites in the world and an open Hezbollah supporter and pathological liar beloved by Holocaust Deniers (and Finkelstein is proud of it - he boasts of their support on his website!) personally praised South African "Jews", that included of course Geffen and Doron Isaacs, for their anti-Israel stance on the Gaza conflict a year ago, at his website? What does that tell us about Geffen and his ilk that they specifically earned the personal stamp of approval from one of the most notorious anti-Semitic (Hezbollah supporting) Leftists anywhere in the world? Any time Geffen says anything about Israel, Hezbollah supporter and Jew-hating liar supremo Finkelstein's specific praise and endorsement of him and his fellow SA anti-Israel "Jews" should be brought up. Watch him squirm and project - ie call the messenger a racist.

Gary

The sad thing is that anti-Israel racists like Geffen, Doron Isaacs and Jonathan Berger can say whatever they like against Israel and her people and friends-even going so far as Berger did when he said that Hamas killing of Israeli civillians and children is not a war crime or a crime against humanity
But we have not got the free reign that they have lest they accuse us of racism, homophobia and even ironically anti-Semitism.
I get accused of racism for opposing COSATU but COSATU get defended for marching on a Jewish community center, burning a flag of a sovereign nation and threatening Jewish families and Jews with physical harm and hell.
when we point out the hypocrisy of the pathological hatred for Israel by leftwing homosexuals, despite the fact that Israel is the ONLY country in the middle east that is tolerant of homosexuals we are accused of homophobia.
when we point of the hypocrisy of Western and South AFrican feminists for refusing to condmmn atrocities against women in Muslim countries we are accused of sexism.
In fact we need to keep on the offensive and let Geffen, Isaacs and Berger know we will not tolerate their racist ISRAELPHOBIA
The UN definition of racism inclused hatred of a country which almost the entire international Left, and ALL anti-Zionists are guilty of.

Gary

What also comes to mind is the likes of Dennis
Davis who routinely identifies with those who daily refer to Israelis as 'Nazis' but when Mike Berger conmpared Hamas to the Nazis he threatened Mike Berger "If you ever again compare Palestinians to Nazis, I will take you to the equality commission"
It's all about the unlimited freedom of speech the Burn-Israel crowd have including the most vile hate-speech against Israel and her friends compared to how we Israel-supporters have to be so careful about what we say and how we say it.

Lawrence

Gary you write
"Jonathan Berger can say whatever they like against Israel and her people and friends-even going so far as Berger did when he said that Hamas killing of Israeli civillians and children is not a war crime or a crime against humanity"

I'm obviously no fan of Berger, and I hold him in the same contempt as I do his buddies Geffen and Isaacs. Yet I don't know if Berger ever said what you accuse him of. Gary can you back up that claim with evidence? If you can't you should retract it. There is enough evidence out there (like his thoughtleader piece) that J Berger prattles rubbish on Israel and its defenders, calling SA's chief rabbi a fundamentalist is just one of them. Let's stick to the record. Seriously Gary you have to be careful what you write. Check if you can verify that claim you make against Berger, because it sounds doubtful.

Incidentally Berger is an openly gay man like his anti-Semitic buddy Zachie Achmat, I just remark on this because it touches on what Gary points to - the incredible hypocrisy of the so-called liberals on the Middle-East. I am writing this from a cafe in TA where two twentysomething lesbian girls are sitting not far from me, open about their uh fondness for one another. Nobody gives them a second glance. Let's see their Palestinian lesbian sisters try that openly in downtown Ramallah or Gaza City. No didn't think so.

Gary

Yes, he did write it on this blog-that as a lawyer he can confirm that attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians is not legally classifiable as a war crime.

Gary

Lawrence, just see if the Homosexual rights acitivists respond to what we say about gay rights in Israel and not in the Arab world.
They simply will not condemmn what is done by anyone who is anti-Israel or anti-Western, in any terms or under any circumstances.

Lawrence

Gary the same goes for womens' rights. There are even Jewish feminists, never mind Western feminists as a whole, a notable example is Naomi Klein, who are viciously anti-Israel, anti-West and engage in some of the most awful apologetics for Islamic extremism and Islamist terror.

Feminists for Sharia Law, basically. One of the few genuine feminists left is Jewish New Yorker Phyllis Chesler whose book "The Death of Feminism" exposes this kind of insanity and hypocrisy from the Western Feminist Left. She has also done a lot to expose Leftwing anti-Semitism.

Truth really is stranger than fiction. That is why I write further up that it is beyond Orwellian, the world we live in. George Orwell himself could never have imagined this, nor Jonathan Swift before him. If you could go back in a time machine fifty years and explain to intelligent people the state of the liberal 'intellegentsia' in the Western World at the dawn of the twenty-first century they would think you were making it up.

Gary

A very good analysis of this phenomenon is United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror by Jamie Glazov.
Avaiable on Amazon and Kalahari

Gary

Regarding the phenomena of Western (often Jewish born) feminists, such as Naomi Klein and Andrea Dworkin who who are viciously anti-Israel and anti-West and engage in some of the most hideous apologetics for Islamic atrocities against and opression of women. Part of this stems from their hatred of feminine sexuality and therefore approval of the Islamists brutal supression of this, regardless of the suffering of the Muslim women involved.

RF2

Steve

You asked for my position:

This link explains fairly well. Feiglin added to this an estimate. According to him if funding for the Oslo paln were diverted around 250 000 dollars per family could be offeref to those wishing to leave

Shaun

I think its time we start taking a closer look at the despicable left wing, both far and near.

According to the IDF in 2009, more Israeli security personnel were wounded in clashes with left wing elements on a monthly basis than with right wingers over the entire year.

This is just physical violence, what about the Israeli propagandists working at Hebrew U and Tel-Aviv U who are speaking in favor of boycotting their own universities?

We could also look at the recent articles by left wing Israelis’ who have called the Israeli delegation in Haiti, a “smoke screen to divert attention away from Israel’s evil face”


On of my favorites is a proposed Knesset law (Introduced by the left wing opposition) to ban foreign ownership of Israeli papers.
This has become an issue recently because left leaning print media dominance in Israel is being threatened by the growing trend in Israeli society to read the free Yisrael hayom paper; A right leaning paper owned by Sheldon Alderson. According to some Meretz Knesset members a foreign owner of Israeli media is a threat to Israeli democracy.
Maybe we should look at the mount of foreign money that left wing Israeli NGO’s spend on prosecuting an demonizing Israel?


What about the Ehud Barak who has decided to have Israeli uniforms made in China to save money. Funny how saving money or Israeli jobs weren’t on his mind when he spent a few million on a fancy Paris hotel.

The despicable left wing indeed!


RF2

Barak's hypocracy aside

Is his job to spend as little as possible on things like uniforms, to leave more for things like weapons.Or does the army's job include stimulating the economy with eg. contracts for clothing? I was listening to this discussion on Galatz the other day - intersting arguments both ways

Shaun


Greater leaders were aware of the amazing social potential inherent in Israeli military service. In order to harness this potential, throughout its history, the IDF has developed immigrant integration programs that help integrate new Olim into Israeli society via the IDF, educational programs that provide “youth at risk” the chance to further their education and succeed via various IDF programs and many other such programs that serve to entrench the idea that the IDF is the “peoples” army (tzah am).

The IDF is Israel’s largest employer and it is also the counties largest spender.

The symbolism of having IDF uniforms made in china is painfully obvious and run completely contrary to the ethos of a “Peoples Army” (tzah am). Especially when we consider those who will loose their jobs are the minim waged factory workers in the southern and northern peripheral areas. Both as a defense minister and as the head of the labor party Barak should be aware of this.
And yes, Barak's hypocracy is relevant. If he chooses to save money by sending defence out sousing jobs overseas he should be just as cautious when spending millions of fancy hotels in Paris. As a minister and former member of the labour unions, I would expect Barak to be aware of the amount of money the government will spend on unemployment benefits for laid of workers and their families.



RF2

I was not suggesting that his hypocracy is not relavent. But there are far worse things I can say about the man and my point was rather that regardless of how corrupt the man is, there is a valid argument to be made that outsourcing things like uniform production will allow more money for other things. The symbolism issue is also important and it cannot be scoffed. You're argument regarding using the military as a vehicle for social development is compelling but there are those that argue that the programmes weaken the army both financially and physically. I do not necessarily agree, the issues are far more complex, but the argument can nevertheless be made. It can be said that instead of a peoples army it should first be an army to protect the people.

Lastly, regarding his position as labour party leader, this is one of the very few good things I have to say about the traitor to this country. It is to be commended that he seperates (in this very particular issue) his agenda as labour party leader and his responsibility as defence minister

Wessel van Rensburg

I feel sorry for old Steve.

I come by here every now and gain to see what you boys are nattering on about, partly because I think there is many parallels between your situation and that of Afrikaners.

Steve strikes my as a good guy who loves what he is - and wants to see Israel prosper. As a beacon of enlightenment.

Afrikaans poet NP van Wyk Louw said that its better for a people to cease to exist than to live on in injustice. Perhaps "a few less beating hearts" is worth the jewish state's overall survival.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

I love that Marxist rhetoric, sacrifice the few for the g(o)od of the collective. Go Wessel!

RF2

And who gets to decide which hearts can stay beating?
Are some Israelis more equal than others?

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