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Jerusalem’s Police Chief Enraged by Exposure of ‘Captain George’

doron zahavi captain george

Doron Zahavi aka the notorious 'Captain George' (Haaretz)

Part of speaking truth to Israeli power is regularly rankling the Shabak, Mossad and even an Israeli police chief once in a while.  The more I rankle the better I’m doing my job as a blogger and supporter of Israeli democracy.  It seems I’ve enraged Jerusalem police chief, Maj. Gen. Aharon Franco, in my exposure of the true identity of the vicious thug known as Captain George, who was secretly named chief liaison to the city’s Arab community.

In an interview reported by Maariv and Haaretz, the reporter for the former wrote:

The wrath of the regional police chief extends to the exposure of the appointment [of Captain George], which was supposed to be secret.  His real name is also prohibited from publication [in Israel]…Today, after publication of his name, this only endangers him.

One has to wonder: why would Franco not want Israel to know that Doron Zahavi fills that role?  Because he was accused quite credibly by a Lebanese prisoner of sodomizing him and because Zahavi was drummed out of IDF military intelligence as a result, while his infamous detention facility (Abu Graibh, anyone?) was closed.  Or perhaps because a Jerusalem Palestinian who comes across him might take umbrage at his record of torturing Arabs?

The police chief blithely calls Zahavi the “right man in the right place” and sings his praises.  Among those who applied for the job, Franco says:

He [Zahavi] was the most professional by far.  Since his appointment relations with the Arab sector are the best that is possible.  He initiates meetings, aids in the donation of school books, and when their is a dispute in the villages, before the situation escalates, he enters into discussion with the elders…He is also the key actor in coordinating bus transportation for the Arab sector during Ramadan…

This passage is dripping in the condescension characteristic of Israeli Jews toward Palestinians.  You want to know what kind of “meetings” Zahavi “initiates?”  Here’s a representative sample.  You want to know why the city police are donating school books to Palestinian educational institutions?  Because the city funds practically nothing in the Palestinian community including education.  And as for Zahavi’s coordination of bus transportation, all I can say is, I bet he makes them run on time like a certain other historical figure known for racist views toward a different minority group.  And if he can’t get one of those elders to suppress one of those typical hot-headed spats which Arabs are known for well, he’ll just shove him in a cell and work him over a bit.  That’ll make him more amenable.

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  • Elad September 11, 2010, 6:35 AM

    Richard where are you getting your facts from ? a science fiction book ?
    you stated ” You want to know why the city police are donating school books to Palestinian educational institutions? Because the city funds practically nothing in the Palestinian community including education.”

    this is utter BS.

    a report made by a “The Association For Civil Rights In Israel” a group created by the NIF (so you can’t dismiss this as hasbarah) states that in the year 2008-2009 there were 94,464 students in east Jerusalem in the legal age (ages 6 to 16). Out of which 45.8% were attending city schools , 23.2% were attending city schools in non school structures, 16.49% were attending Muslim (waqf) Schools, 15.68% attended UN Schools, and 5.84% attended no school at all.

    from the numbers one can see that the majority is attending the public school system (which is completely funded by the city tax payers)

    there is a shortage in class rooms in east Jerusalem, the estimate is a shortage of 1500 class rooms by 2011. the municipality was actually sued in the supreme court in which the city and state obligated themselves to build 645 class rooms by 2011. out of which 245 class rooms were already completed (2009) and the estimate was for the completion of a total of 415 units by the end of 2011.

    one may ask why not complete everything there is a very simple reason for that, YOU don’t want us to build anything in east Jerusalem, and there is a real issues with available land.

    full report is available here :http://www.acri.org.il/pdf/EJeducation2009.pdf

    • Richard Silverstein September 11, 2010, 3:11 PM

      I didn’t say there weren’t schools in E. Jerusalem, I said that they receive almost no city funding which is proven by research performed on the city budget & allocations for E. Jerusalem (which are minimal–there are almost no city services provided to E. Jerusalem). That’s why they need textbooks donated.

      I didn’t say I didn’t want buildings built in E. Jerusalem to serve the native Palestinian population & you know it. I said I don’t want buildings built to expand the interloper Jewish population which is attempting to Judaize E. Jerusalem & push out the indigenous population.

      • Elad September 11, 2010, 4:41 PM

        Richard,
        the numbers are stating your statements that the municipality / state provide almost no funding is wrong. exactly 69% of the E. Jerusalem kids who go to school do so curtsy of the public education system. i would say that numbers state that majority of the E. Jerusalem kids are getting public funds.

        dose the situation need to be improved absolutely, is it even remotely closed to what you described – not even.

        as for the denotation by the police department, give me a brake, students need to provide for themselves books, notebooks, calculators and other accessories, I assume from reading your post that you object that. maybe we should let the Jerusalem police chief know that.

        as for the land issue, there is something extremely funny about it, which is related to your other post of today.
        In the US, it is OK for anyone who owns a private property to build whatever he wants on his property, you and the American government criticized the Jerusalem Municipality and the State of Israel for letting someone do exactly that, build an hotel on a private land which he bought fair and square (shepherd hotel) . so my question is why something which is allowed by the US democracy should be prohibited by the Israeli democracy ?

        • Richard Silverstein September 11, 2010, 7:13 PM

          Once again, you’re not understanding my argument. It’s not whether or not there are public schools or how many children attend them or what percentage of all E. Jerusalem children attend them. The issue is the level of funding they receive which is minimal & miniscule. Compared to Jewish public schools the level of support is tiny. You know this & I know this. The diff. is you are standing behind arguments that have no real bearing on the substance of the argument. Tell me this? Have you ever been inside an E. Jerusalem public school? If not, I’d challenge you to do so, then visit a Jewish school & then report back to us on what you saw.

          I do not know the specific of Israeli education but I would find it almost impossible to believe that students buy all their own textbooks in Israeli public schools. If they do, this is entirely diff. than U.S. public schools & public schools in many other countries.

          In the US, it is OK for anyone who owns a private property to build whatever he wants on his property

          No, not the case at all. If you want to make statements about conditions in the U.S. you really should check whether you know what you’re talking about. There are many contingencies & conditions that must be fulfilled before someone can build a building on their own property. Building permits, environment assessments, zoning regulations, etc. But before all of these you must have legal title to the land & yr title can’t be contested by another party, otherwise you can’t build.

          First, the Shepherd Hotel was not legally owned by Irving Moskowitz. The property was stolen by “legal” subterfuge of the gov’t fr. the Palestinian owners. The gov’t, which didn’t have the right to the property to begin w. then sold it in a sweetheart deal to Moskowitz who now wants to put extremist settlers in as residents. All of which is part of an extreme right wing nationalist plot to Judaize E. Jerusalem & make it as Arab-rein as they can. So as usual, the situation is far more ambiguous than you make it out to be. But most important of all is that E. Jerusalem is conquered territory & Israel has no right to it & in a peace settlement E. Jerusalem will revert to Palestinian sovereignty. So efforts by the radical Israeli right to eliminate the Arab presence in E. Jerusalem is incredibly incendiary & contrary to international law & the prospects for peace.

          But it’s interesting you should be defending the settler right, which tells us about yr politics.

          • Elad September 11, 2010, 8:15 PM

            Once again you produce a very melodramatic statement such as ” Because the city funds practically nothing in the Palestinian community including education.”
            and when you are proven wrong, you are stating that this is not what you meant, so maybe you care to tell us what you really mean ?

            In Israel, books are not being provided by the school system. you buy your own, as well as notebooks, calculators, pens & pencils etc.

            where did you understand that i support the settler right ? i am defending democracy. The same way Israeli-Arabs have to right to buy and they are buying agricultural land in the Galil (using foreign money), the same right exist for a Jewish guy to buy property in east Jerusalem. this is called democracy. you can’t pick and choose which rule to apply where, which is what you are trying to do.
            as for the ownership of the specific hotel, it was purchased. the fact that it was bought isn’t being disputed not even by your collegues from the NIF as you can see in this report:
            http://www.ir-amim.org.il/_Uploads/dbsAttachedFiles/sheikhjarrahreview.pdf

            and yes i know that in the US you need to get the municipality approval to build on your own property, but as long as you meet the different zoning criteria they can’t tell you what to use your building for. same applies in Israel.

            when are you going to condemn abu-mazen anti-Semitic statements?

          • Richard Silverstein September 11, 2010, 11:33 PM

            when you are proven wrong

            I’m getting very tired of this. First, you didn’t prove me wrong. Second, you proved that a lot of E. Jerusalem children attend public schools. That’s all you proved. You didn’t prove Israel funds their education at all. You just showed that the schools exist, which means almost nothing since schools with little funds aren’t much more than warehouses for children. Get this straight, YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS BEING THICK HEADED & not getting the pt, not me.

            So let’s make this clear. You’re done with this line of argument. DONE. No more.

            i am defending democracy.

            That’s rich. The State steals the Shepherd Hotel fr. the Husseini family, sells it to Moskowitz for a fraction of its true value & he settles Arab haters within an entirely Arab community & you claim that this is democracy?????!!! I’m losing patience w. you very, very rapidly. When you attempt lame-brain arguments like this you not only make yrself look foolish, you waste everyone’s time here. But you do prove how lame Israeli hasbara is, which you unfortunately represent.

            Prove to me that a single Israeli Palestinian has bought a hectare of Israeli land with foreign money. Prove it with credible evidence fr. credible sources. If not, you will be banned. You claim to have read my comment rules. If you did, you’ll notice that I absolutely reject arguments that are void of support or truth as this one is.

            The fact is that Israeli Palestinians have almost no right to buy Israeli land since that land is generally reserved for Jews. And even if they could buy such land Israel grants almost no building permits for Israeli Palestinian buildings, which is why there is huge overcrowding in their communities.

            Moskowitz purchased the Shepherd Hotel. That is true. But the entire transaction is a sham fr. beginning to end. A total sham. And for you even to begin to whitewash this as anything less than an incendiary provocation by Moskowitz in collusion with the Jerusalem city gov’t is insulting.

            Again, in the U.S. if the Husseini family filed a lawsuit claiming that it still owned this property as it does under any transparent legal system (not Israel, that is), then Moskowitz’s deal would be null & void. Israeli land law steals Palestinian land. Plain & simple theft. And it disgusts me to see you ignore this.

          • duck September 11, 2010, 8:35 PM

            Are you saying that in the US, land of the screw the poor, schools buy books for the students?
            I am amazed by the many ways my country is assbackwards.

            @elad – the ACRI data you stated show that about a third of these students who do go to public schools do so in “non school structures”. I think this is all we need to get an idea about how neglected the E.J public school system is.

          • Richard Silverstein September 11, 2010, 11:37 PM

            I am not boasting about the U.S. public educational system since God knows it is lacking in so many ways. But fr. what I know, Israel’s is worse. Spending for education is very low & has steadily decreased over the yrs thanks to the enlightened policies of mostly Likud led gov’ts over the yrs.

          • Elad September 11, 2010, 8:46 PM

            @ Duck
            neglected yes, i stated that.
            but neglected is extremely different then the statement Richard was trying to make.

            i think that someone who wants to have an influence, should demonstrate more responsibility, and not be a sensationalist, even if it serves his agenda.

          • Richard Silverstein September 11, 2010, 11:39 PM

            No, you didn’t concede Israeli Palestinian students were neglected. At least not until now. I’m waiting for you to dig up real figures showing per capita spending on E. Jerusalem Palestinian children compared to Jewish children in Jerusalem.

          • Itai M September 11, 2010, 9:26 PM

            @ Duck,
            i think that Elad stated exactly that. there is some neglect no doubt about it, but you have to call a spade a spade and you can’t make unsubstantiated claims like Richard did in this case.

          • Richard Silverstein September 11, 2010, 11:44 PM

            Oh, the claims are substantiated. I’ve read them. I think they’ve even been linked in previous comment threads here. But I’m challenging you to find them and publish them here because they will prove how utterly ignorant you are about how your own gov’t treats its Palestinian wards (of the state). And if you don’t or won’t it means one of two things: you’re utterly incompetent researchers or you refuse to prove yr claims. If you are confident of the truth of yr claims then you should be able to prove me wrong. I look forward to that.

            Oh hell, I’ll do the work for you since you’re so lazy. Here are some links, none of which are terribly flattering to the city gov’t or state in their support of East. Jerusalem education:

            Pupils in east Jerusalem get half funding of those in west (Ynet)–I don’t even know that I trust this statistic since it was prepared by the city’s own legal advisor, but it does confirm the massive discrepancy in funding bet. E. & W. Jerusalem.

            No School for E. Jerusalem Children (JPost): According to the report by the Association for civil rights in Israel, over 5000 children in East Jerusalem will not start the new school year from lack of funding, and overcrowded class rooms.

            Stephen Lendman of Progressive Radio Network:

            Palestinian areas lack 1,500 classrooms; the shortage shows up in the 50% dropout rate; and

            — about 9,000 Palestinians are deprived of school.

            East Jerusalem’s education system hasn’t kept pace with its population growth, four times its 1967 size. As a result, around 1,500 new classrooms are needed, and 400 more by yearend 2010. Because of a lack of facilities, only half of all school-age children are enrolled in municipal schools, mostly in overcrowded, unsafe facilities, some of them makeshift.

            Where did you get yr ridiculous statistics claiming 70% were enrolled? From MEMRI?

            From Maan:

            Schools run by the Israeli Jerusalem municipal government, which provides services to the area and is obligated to under the fourth Geneva Convention, are in perhaps the worst condition of all. Israeli municipal schools serve about half of the registered school population of occupied East Jerusalem. The classrooms have on average 45 students each.

            And this is fr. a quick Google search. Imagine how much more damning statistics we could come up w. doing a full research search.

            My Israeli blogging friends add these documents, sources & posts:

            Arabs Lacking Education (Hebrew)
            Failed Grade, Ir Amin
            If you prefer Hebrew: On Municipal Inequality

          • Elad September 12, 2010, 2:31 AM

            You should know by know, that i can prove anything i write on your blog. you have experienced that and admitted to it yourself, though so far you have never done what you stated you would do.

            1. the 70% number comes from the NIF via ACRI.

            2. if you wish to see what is happening in the galil please look up the last Yoman (israel’s Arutz 1 friday news) at the link below http://www.iba.org.il/media/?recorded=recorded1 it starts at time marker 18:39 ends at time marker 32:23.

            3. as for your little statement about the Shepherd hotel, this is utter BS. the place was bought at the end of the 19 century by a group of Jewish families – who still hold the titles to the place – who gradually “left” the place in the 20’s of the 20 century, until they were forced to live once the territory was occupied by the Jordanian Legion in 1948.
            this legal right to the place, which is the reason the Palestinian claim was rejected by the court system, was even acknowledges by your friends at Ir-Amim who wrote in the report i provided the following:

            “It is important to state, that the legal right of the Jews to claim properties they owned prior to 1948, and under which evict Palestinian families who reside in these properties for 10, 20 or 30 years, is a dangerous precedence that can bare international consequences.”

          • Richard Silverstein September 12, 2010, 1:43 PM

            the 70% number comes from the NIF via ACRI.

            I don’t care who it comes from. You didn’t quote the statistics in your statement & you are misinterpreting whatever you read. 2 sources I quoted say less than 50% are in the public schools. That’s the correct figure as far as I am concerned.

            the place was bought at the end of the 19 century by a group of Jewish families – who still hold the titles to the place

            I warned you to provide credible evidence fr. a credible source to support any claim you make about this situation. You did not. I formally put you on notice that the next time you violate my comment rules you will not comment here further. Provide a legitiamate property deed here to prove your claim or you are an outright liar. You haven’t named a family that owned it. You haven’t proven why or how or that they “left” the place in the 20s or 30s. As far as I’m concerned you’re a liar.

            The court did not reject the Husseini claim because of a prior Jewish claim. Nor did Ir Amin, as you claim. More lies. They rejected it because they upheld the state’s right to confiscate “abandoned” Palestinian property. No system of law recognizes this travesty including international law. And when Israel gives up E. Jerusalem as they will in a future settlement the property will revert to its prior Palestinian rulers. I invite this alleged phantom Jewish family to file a claim for the property with an international court so that it can be fairly adjudicated. What a laugh you are. Further, I would like you to acknowledge if Jews may file claims to regain property they allegedly owned before the state was founded that Palestinians may do the same. And that Israeli courts should fairly review & accredit such legal claims of Palestinian owners. You don’t accept that, do you you hypocrite?

          • Itai M September 12, 2010, 8:05 AM

            Richard,
            what started this debate is your following statement : “Because the city funds practically nothing in the Palestinian community including education.”

            when 70% of the E. Jerusalem kids are using the public education system, it makes your statement untrue. because the city funds 70% of the students.

            Your book donation statement originates in lack of knowledge of the Israeli education system, and what does a student or his / her parents are required to provide. so in this case you passed unjust criticism due to your unfamiliarity. a responsible blogger would provide an apology in such a case.

            I expect from someone who wants to influence public opinion to stay away from melodramatic statements. i know you are unhappy with the way things are being handled in Israel, as many people here before me, i urge you to make aliya and work with us on chaining the system from within. unfortunately i know you will never make alyia.

          • Richard Silverstein September 12, 2010, 1:32 PM

            when 70% of the E. Jerusalem kids are using the public education system, it makes your statement untrue. because the city funds 70% of the students.

            Again & for the 4th time, you’re misreading my statement. I said the city funds “practically nothing” in the Palestinian community. I didn’t say it provides no funds for anything in the Palestinian community which is what you are claiming I said. Practically nothing means that the city provides practically no funding for Palestinian municipal services, which is factually correct. It provides a pathetically small amt. of support. End of argument. Move on. Bring it up again & you’ll be moderated.

            Regarding the book donation, I said this was a condescending gesture by a police department which routinely victimizes local Palestinians. With one hand it distribute textbooks, with another it kills, maims & beats the very same Palestinians. It’s hypocrisy pure & simple.

            I expect from someone

            I don’t give a crap what you expect & don’t waste yr time telling me.

            i urge you to make aliya

            I urge you to compel yr gov’t to make peace w. the Palestinians on fair terms that honor Palestinian interests as much as yr own & then more Jews will wish to make peace. I will not raise my children in a society at constant war w. its neighbors.

            In the 1970s when I studied in Israel I considered making aliyah but declined for the above reason. YOu will have to resolve yr own worst problems before you can expect Jews like me to join you.

          • Itai M September 12, 2010, 11:32 AM

            Richard, the IR-Amim report which Elad linked to is for the year 2008-2009 shows 69% of the E. Jerusalem students attending public schools, the one you provided is actually a newer one, and it shows 74% of the E. Jerusalem students attending public schools.
            just thought i would bring it up.

          • Richard Silverstein September 12, 2010, 1:13 PM

            That’s pure bullshit. Two separate sources say that less than half of E. Jerusalem children are in city run schools. It’s right out there for you to see–TWICE. And again, the percentage of children in the school system means nothing. It’s the quality of the education, facilities, etc. that is meaningful & on all measures these are pathetic. You’re merely an apologist. Run a good educational system for E. Jerusalem Palestinians pure & simple or else return E. Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty so they can run a proper school system.

          • Itai M September 12, 2010, 1:45 PM

            So now you are saying that the links you provide are BS ?
            the % number comes from them. of course it is not the only attribute in gauging municipality spending on education in east Jerusalem, but it is a valid place to start, and it comes from a link YOU provided.
            so i understand that we can’t use anything publish by the Israeli government because its considered Hasbarah but now we can’t use the links you provide because they are Hasbarah to ?

          • Richard Silverstein September 12, 2010, 1:52 PM

            I didn’t provide the link. Elad provided the link & then listed statistics without quoting from them. Nowhere in the report to which he linked does it explicitly say 70% of E. Jerusalem attend public schools. And in fact the statistic is directly contradicted by TWO sources I offered which I quoted verbatim AND linked to.

            it is a valid place to start

            “To start,” yes. But not to finish, which is what you did. Your own support for the claim that Jerusalem doesn’t offer “practically nothing” for E. Jerusalem education is a single suspect statistic. You offer no further proof. Hence you begin & end where you yrself admitted you should begin.

          • Itai M September 12, 2010, 2:00 PM

            It’s pointless to talk to you,
            Elad quoted from the IR-amim report. numbers there are exactly what he stated them to be, how can you even dispute that ? did you open the report ?
            then the second report you provided states 74% as the number of kids that attend schools and school in unregistered places (place rent by the city) so how can you dispute that ?
            now you are saying that one link you provided is inaccurate and should be disregarded, that tells me that you didn’t even read the report YOU provided. this is not very serious you know.

          • Richard Silverstein September 13, 2010, 12:11 AM

            Yes, this is getting tiring & you won’t comment further or else you’ll be moderated. I quoted two source explicitly saying only 50% of E. Jerusalem children attend city public schools. HALF. Not 70%. I never provided any source that said 70% or 74% of whatever else you wish to claim. You’re done on this subject. Comment on anything else you wish. But move on.

        • Deïr Yassin September 12, 2010, 2:51 AM

          # Elad
          Your claim that Palestinians buy agricultural land in al-Khalil (Galilee) with foreign money is simply not true. On the contrary, their access to land is more and more restricted. I don’t know why but in some way it seems that parks, museums, highways etc always have to be precisely on Arab land.

          On the role of the Jewish National Fund in the colonization of Palestine, a rapport from earlier this year with contributors such as Ilan Pappe:
          http;//electronicintifada.net/v2/article11078.shtml

          On the actual role of the Jewish National Fund in the discrimination of Arabs concerning access to land:
          http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11406.shtml

          In July the Knesset approved the “Jewish National Fund Bill” which sort of legalize the practice of not leasing land to Arabs. And as the NJF owns more than 90% of the land within the State of Israel, we all know what that means to the Palestinians.

          By the way reading you, I come to the conclusion that either you are a professional Hasbara spinner or you really don’t know anything about Palestinian living conditions, which then proves to me that Israel is increasingly a State of Apartheid.

      • Deïr Yassin September 12, 2010, 2:15 AM

        With all respect for ACRI and NIF, ‘ADALAH’ is in my opinion the best place to get informations on the INSTITUTIONALIZED DISCRIMINATION against Palestinians within the State of Israel. I can’t remember the last statistics, and don’t have time to look it up now, but the gap between the amount of money spent on an average pupil in the Jewish and the Arab sector is just appalling.
        And we’ve not even touched the subject of lack of liberty of teaching in the Arabic sector as far as the NAKBA is concerned.

  • Assaf September 13, 2010, 3:55 PM

    Itay and Elad, you both really missed the point. East Jerusalem kids studying in public schools is not “courtesy” of anyone. They are residents of Jerusalem (And not by choice- Our country, Israel, decided to annex them, and without bothering to make them citizens) and part of the services the municipality HAS TO provide them is education. This is no different from Jerusalem residents in Bet hakerem, rehavia, and anywhere else.

    2. A quick glance at the ACRI report suggests serious reading comprehension issues (Or perhaps the utilization of the same methodology used for the latest Im Tirzu report). The very first page (3rd paragraph) says less than 50% of the east jerusalem children study in the public school system(The Ir amim link says around 50%). Reading on a bit (page 3) refutes the land problem claim as an excuse for not building classrooms – even when plenty of land was available, the city didn’t build.

    3. Last thing. To support his claim regarding the hotel, Elad posted this quote-
    “It is important to state, that the legal right of the Jews to claim properties they owned prior to 1948, and under which evict Palestinian families who reside in these properties for 10, 20 or 30 years, is a dangerous precedence that can bare international consequences.”

    So, Elad – thank you. This quote states the problem in a nutshell- Our law says that if you lost your land years ago, you’re entitled to getting it back, but only if you happen to be Jewish. Other wise, חוק נכסי נפקדים ,says tough luck.

    • Assaf September 13, 2010, 4:25 PM

      Sorry, one more thing – even if 80% of the students in east jerusalem had gone to public school, that wouldn’t contradict the system being terribly underfunded (in east Jerusalem).
      over 90% of the people of east Jerusalem use public roads, and these roads look like shit, because the city doesn’t invest in fixing and improving them.

  • Shelley January 16, 2011, 8:47 PM

    How do you explain the fact recently reported, that 40% of Arabs in East Jerusalem would prefer to be Israeli citizens rather than being citizens of the projected Palestinian State?

    • Richard Silverstein January 16, 2011, 10:59 PM

      Do you know what the term “on topic” means? Your comment is off topic.

      Of course they’d prefer to be Israeli citizens because as non-citizens they have neither rights of Israeli citizens nor rights as citizens of a future Palestinian state. They have virtually no rights w/o citizenship.