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IDF, Shin Bet in Mortal Death Spiral Over Gaza War Claims


If you’ve watched animated super-hero series or read comic books (as a father of 10 year old twins, that’s part of my job), you’ve seen those scenes where the hero and villain lock arms in mortal combat with their bodies spiraling through the universe.  Planets explode as they tumble through space in what appears to be a death spiral.

Something like that it happening in Israel as I write this.  Except that the two combatants are both villains.  There is no hero in this one, which involves the two super-villains of the Israeli security apparatus: the IDF and Shin Bet.

uvdah screenshot hamas war

Alleged Hamas secret communication: “The goal of the coming war is to conquer towns. It will be a war of liberation.”

A few days ago, Uvdah began its new TV season with a blockbuster segment (apologies that almost all the material linked in this post is in Hebrew).  Though the episode dealt with the entire Gaza war, the “money segment” featured charges by high-level Shin Bet officials that last winter the agency had forwarded to the army actionable intelligence from the field allegedly documenting Hamas plans to open a summer war against Israel.  The Islamist military wing planned a surprise attack set for summer.  It would take the war to the enemy, overwhelm border defenses, and invade Israel.  It was to be a “war of liberation.”  The goal was to conquer and hold Israeli territory.  The use of the Hebrew term “war of liberation” (milhemet shichrur) is ironic since the 1948 War is often described using the same term.  Such a troubling irony (that Hamas allegedly planned to wage its own war of liberation in which Israel would be the territory liberated) would not be lost on the average Uvdah viewer.

When an Israeli friend first sent me the Uvdah show and I read about it it sounded like a bad made-for-TV movie.  Granted some delusional Hamas official might perhaps believe such nonsense (though Hamas strikes me as far more pragmatic than many Israeli security officials), but that the Shin Bet would do so and pass it on to other agencies as a serious security threat seemed to me beyond ludicrous.  For me, it’s something like the 9/11 conspiracy theorists who tell tales of dancing Mossad agents after the fall of the Twin Towers.

One of the more glaring contradictions between the Shabak’s claim of Hamas’ strategic goals and the methods the latter actually used during the war is that Hamas’ penetration of the Israeli border never involved attacking civilians or even taking over communities.  In fact, in several instances its forces could have attacked civilians but deliberately endangered themselves by waiting for a military target.  Hamas only sought to capture soldiers in order to exchange them for its own prisoners.

Given the media glare of Israel’s foremost news magazine opening its season with this blockbuster, it’s become a Battle of the Titans.  The IDF top brass has reacted with apoplectic fury to the charges.  Despite strong efforts by the prime minister himself to calm passions and remind the army and Shabak that they were supposed to be on the same side, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz made public an unprecedented letter addressed to Netanyahu.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a high-level military official wash so much dirty laundry in public.  This is the first time the letter has been published in English:

In the TV show, Uvdah, Shabak sources crossed every moral and ethical red line.  It was a deep expression of an inter-agency lack of collegiality.  The program offered prejudicial information creating the misimpression that the Shin Bet was the sole intelligence unit for Gaza which performed its work faithfully, while AMAN, the IDF and the political echelon froze.

I strongly maintain that Shabak did not convey any warning about Hamas’ intent to wage a preemptive July war.  Never at any meeting I attended was the subject of such a war or potential [Hamas] operation raised; nor was it raised at the military or political level.

Shabak’s collaboration with the TV show glorifies it by defaming the political echelon in a way that is a moral-ethical breach.  The IDF is stigmatized as a group which refused to act upon urgent intelligence brought to it by the Shabak.  This is my strongest protest against such an act.  Such a media stunt should be investigated fully.

I am pained by this.  I never dreamed we would get to such a point.  From my perspective, exposure of intelligence in the possession of the agency’s staff and field methods used is unprecedented and dangerous.  Nor is it clear who approved such scandalous revelations.

Cabinet ministers too fumed at Yoram Cohen’s claim just after the war ended that he warned them in April about impending war.

The IDF does agree that there were reports of Hamas tunnel networks intended to cross the border into Israel in order to capture IDF soldiers and hold them ransom.  The IDF also says that it sprang into action seeking to uncover the tunnels and frustrate any cross border raid.

Ultimately, they failed and there was one Hamas raid, not as the Shabak claimed targeting Israeli civilians, but rather IDF soldiers.  Five soldiers stationed at an observation post guarding a border kibbutz were killed in that incident.  Though the program does not mention it, this was one of at least three instances in which the Hannibal Directive was invoked and an IDF soldier was likely killed by his own, perhaps deliberately so.

The TV news show documents another major operational failure of the military-intelligence apparatus during the war.  The Shabak allegedly had pinpointed the location of Mohammed Deif who, according to it, was the mastermind behind Hamas’ war plans.  He, in the minds of intelligence officials, was the dark prince of Hamas.  The target who’d escaped multiple assassination attempts.  A man living “in the shadows,” as a Shabak official says during the show.

An elaborate operation was planned to kill him involving joint efforts of the Israeli air force and Shin Bet.  Approval was given by the prime minister.  The F-16 took off, reached the target dropped its bombs and…two of them failed to explode.  Precisely the ones which were supposed to destroy the portion of the house in which they believed Deir was located.  Despite high level Israeli claims that it killed Deif, it appears they failed.  All Dayan would say during the show was “it appears there is a chance he remains alive.”  I know and any reasonably person who follows Israeli intelligence matters knows that if he were dead, they would be celebrating on camera, and not being careful and judicious in their comments.

The operational failure of the mission is mentioned but not questioned.  It’s as if it’s a matter of course that two missiles of four can fail in such an operation.  No one is blamed.  This again is typical of Israeli credulousness in the face of the national security megalith.

At no point during the Uvdah reporting on the failed assassination attempt, did anyone on camera or off note that Deif’s wife and 8 month-old son were killed in this attack along with other members of the Dalou family which owned the house.  There is no acknowledgement of civilian slaughter.  This is an example of shameful journalism.  But unfortunately reporting that characterizes the moral obtuseness of even the best of Israeli journalists (and Dayan is one of the better ones, if not among the best).

If you watch this show carefully, you won’t see a record of Shin Bet glory.  You will actually see the recounting of a series of failures of the entire security apparatus painted to look like successes.  But you wouldn’t know that from reading Ilana Dayan’s narration or the dialogue of any of the sources interviewed.  You have to read between the lines and know what they’re leaving out.

This edition of Uvdah was a love letter to Shabak.  It allowed the agency to whitewash every failure.  It allowed it to showcase a young female analyst who recounted the telephone calls she made to Gaza homeowners telling them to abandon their homes before Israel destroyed them.  She even says the Arabic words she used to warn them.  It makes the Shabak to be noble and thoughtful.  All the while you listen you know this is theater.  Theater that the average Israel views with satisfaction knowing those responsible for keeping him safe and secure are humane and decent.  They care about Gazan lives even though Gazans mean us nothing but evil, etc.

When I consulted an Israeli with some knowledge of these issues, why the Shin Bet would spin such unbelievable tales of Hamas plans to overrun Israeli defenses and take over Israeli towns, he said that the Israeli domestic security agency has felt very much sidelined by the war.  It felt that the IDF’s AMAN intelligence unit took credit for the so-called successes of Protective Edge, leaving the Shin Bet out in the cold.  Uvdah presented an opportunity for it to argue for its continued relevance.

But frankly, if this is the way Yoram Cohen is going to maintain his status as top dog in the intelligence hierarchy, he’s walked out on a branch after it’s been half sawed off.  I think a performance like this can only embarrass not just the Shabak, but the entire national security apparatus.  It looks like the two super-heroes of Israeli society are battling to the death to determine who’s the biggest, meanest and best of the lot.  How much rope does Cohen think the Israeli population will give him to do such things?

Perhaps the worst aspect of this program was that it once again encouraged Israelis to forget what really happened last summer and who really started the war.  Hamas did not initiate this war no matter what the Shabak says.  Israel initiated the war, as I’ve written here many times, with a massive West Bank pogrom.  Do not allow anyone, least of all one of Israel’s better TV news magazines to tell you otherwise.

News just broke that the Shin Bet has released a statement in which it falsely claims that it’s personnel never told Uvdah that it knew of plans by Hamas to wage a July war.  Anyone watching the show heard the agency’s officials say precisely that.  But what’s interesting about the “walk-back” is that Yossi Melman tweets that the publication of the statement was demanded by Bibi Netanyahu himself.

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marwan barghouti

Barghouti, powerful symbol of Palestinian resistance  (AP/Eitan Hess-Ashkenazi)

Marwan Barghouti is not just the most famous Palestinian political prisoner in Israeli jails.  He’s the most popular Palestinian political leader hands down.  In the past, he’s negotiated with Israeli authorities on a number of critical issues involving Israeli-Palestinian relations.  He’s been willing to serve as a bridge between the two parties despite the life sentence he’s serving for commanding Palestinian resistance during the Second Intifada.

But in light of the looming Jerusalem Intifada and Israel’s increasing obtuseness, Barghouti took a radically new tack.  He smuggled a letter from prison that called for a renewal of armed resistance against Israel:

Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi urged the Palestinian leadership to give its backing to “armed resistance” against Israel in a letter published Tuesday as a wave of violence surged.

…In a letter to mark 10 years since the death of veteran leader Yasser Arafat, Barghouthi said that “choosing global and armed resistance” was being “faithful to Arafat’s legacy, to his ideas, and his principles for which tens of thousands died as martyrs.”

“It is imperative to reconsider our choice of resistance as a way of defeating the occupier.”

His letter pointedly included other forms of resistance as legitimate as well.  But the dramatic policy change involved his call for armed struggle in light of Israel’s increasingly bellicose and provocative acts in Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods and on the Temple Mount.

The fact that Barghouti was able to smuggle the “incendiary” (to the Israelis) letter from a tightly guarded prison has to be terribly embarrassing to them.  To take revenge, the prisoner has been placed in solitary confinement (Hebrew) for a week, where he presumably won’t be able to have any contact with other Palestinian prisoners or the outside world.  While revenge may feel sweet for a time, Israel hasn’t bargained for the fact that punishing it’s most important, popular prisoner will further around anger among Palestinians.  They are already a tinder box.  This will light the match and certainly more acts of resistance will result.

 

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Border Police Killer of Two Palestinian Youths Arrested

In a development that reeks of opportunism, Israel arrested a Border Police officer who fired live ammunition at young, unarmed Palestinians protesting on Nakba Day at Beitounya, killing two of them (another post here). The video above from a surveillance camera of a Palestinian shop owner shows the killings, which happened in May 2014, clearly.  Defense Minister Bogie Yaalon claimed at the time that the video was staged and that he “knew how the system worked.”  To which I would reply: we know how the Israeli system works too.  I’m guessing the police have now decided the video wasn’t staged at all and that Yaalon was wrong.  Which means he didn’t know “the system” as well as he thought he did.

Today, the Border Police publicly revealed a small portion of a secret report on the incident.  Contrary to what the IDF reported at the time, the victims were killed by live amunition, not rubber bullets as was initially claimed.  The rest of the report may not be published by Israeli media as its under military censorship.  I’m not certain how revealing the full details of the murder of two Palestinians by the Border Police will undermine state security.  But that’s a matter only the Good Lord and the censor can understand.  We mere mortals have to suffice with the crumbs the censor will offer us.

The story about the police report was typical for Israel.  The reporter calls his story ” a dramatic development,” when the report is telling us something any sane person already knew six months ago.  Two young victims aren’t killed by rubber bullets.  Clearly, they’re killed by live ammunition.  The fact that the rest of the report is under wraps is also typical.  Everything you really want to know is sealed shut in order to protect the Israeli Stasi.  You’ll recall a judge’s secret report on the suicide of Ben Zygier had over half its content sealed under censorship.  To this day, we don’t know what she wrote because it would cause huge embarrassment to the prison authorities who negligently allowed him to kill himsef, and to the Mossad which recruited, then arrested and imprisoned him.

Censorship is the fruit of the poisonous tree of the national security state.

I often rail here about the culture of impunity that reigns when it comes to security force’s murder of Palestinians.  There is almost never accountability or culpability.  It’s interesting that in the midst of a new Intifada claiming the lives of both Jews and Palestinians, that all of a sudden Israel has found a culprit to blame for killing Palestinians.  Of course, it’s a good thing Israel has arrested someone for the earlier murders.  One hopes the police who murdered Khairuddin Hamdan will be similarly arrested (though please don’t hold your breath).

 

 

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Gila Rosenberg

Gila Rosenberg, the “Israeli Madoff,” now fighting ISIS with Iraqi Kurds

UPDATE: The censor, probably reading these posts, has thought better of censoring Rosenberg’s identity and Israeli journalists will no longer brook the wrath of the censor by naming her.  Another small victory against the national security state apparatus.  If you support this work, please make a donation using the sidebar donation options.

This story was originally broken by Eran Cicurel of Kol Yisrael (his first story did not name her).  He located and pursued Rosenberg and persuaded her to do a radio interview (Hebrew audio here).  Her English name is Gillian Rosenberg.

In this social media age, it’s apt that an ISIS-affiliated Twitter user who found Rosenberg’s Facebook profile, sporting pictures of her baking bread for her Kurdish brethren, outed her with this suitably homophobic tweet:

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Yossi Melman (and his Maariv article) and Dan Williams broke a story about a Canadian-Israeli con artist, the ‘Israeli Madoff,’ who contacted Kurdish forces via the internet and went to Iraq to fight against ISIS.  Israeli censorship prohibits journalists in Israeli from identifying her.  You’ll discover the reason below.

She is Gila Rosenberg.  A 2009 profile of her criminal exploits was published here in Maariv.  She was born and raised in Vancouver, BC.  Parents had scorched-earth divorce.  Mother forbade contact with her father and generally suffocated her emotionally.  Flew Boeing planes for a civilian airline.  To escape Mom, made aliyah to Israel from Canada.  Served in the IDF in search and rescue unit of Home Front Command.  Attempted, but failed to join Mossad.  One look at her background should’ve told them that she’d be trouble!

Economic distress then led her to a pal from the Hebrew language ulpan in which she enrolled after making aliyah.  She told him she was game for any scheme except selling her own body.  So he recruited her to be a cold-caller in an Israeli version of Nigerian internet scams, which targeted naive older Americans and bilked them out of millions of dollars.  The FBI and Israeli police fraud division were watching, taping every conversation as she called elderly Americans telling them they’d won the lottery.  They reaped tens of millions from pensioners cheated out of their life savings.  When authorities broke up the conspiracy, the Israelis agreed to have her tried in the U.S., where punishments were stiffer for such crimes.  She served four years in a U.S. prison.

Released in 2013, she looked around for something new and exciting.  Preferably something lucrative.  She chose an option not exactly criminal, but certainly in keeping with her daring, off-beat past: she decided to become an anti-Islamist soldier of fortune.  She contacted Iraqi Kurds and offered her services to them.  She said she specifically offered her military training and expertise to the Kurds.  She trained with them and is preparing to join the fighting on the Syrian border.  She called an Israeli radio station, which interviewed her live.

Rosenberg has violated Israeli law by traveling to a country considered hostile.  She could be prosecuted if she returns to Israel.  Though the only figures prosecuted for this offense are Palestinian citizens.  No Jews have been arrested or prosecuted for this infraction.

Given that Israel has potentially exported a former con artist to fight ISIS, the IDF censor thought better of revealing her identity so that her past would become known. But given that Rosenberg doesn’t serve in the IDF, it’s hard to understand what the justification for censorship is.  Do you claim military censors are entitled to prevent the world from knowing Israelis are mercenaries?  Or only when they’re fighting against Islamists?

Another interesting aspect of this case is that Israel is exporting not just weapons, but actual soldiers to fight against the Islamists.  Israelis have served as mercenaries for decades and as security consultants for dictators the world over.  But having Israeli Jews fighting in Arab lands against Islamists is a new wrinkle, even for Israel.

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The two largest donors to a new pro-Israel lobbying group, the Israeli-American Council, addressed its first national conference today.  They called for Israel to pursue an implacable, hawkish, Islamophobic agenda against Iran and the Palestinians.  Sheldon Adelson, who gave the IAC its single largest donation ($2.5-million), didn’t surprise anyone with his usual Palestine-denying rhetoric.  Though it tended even more Kahanist than usual.  Adelson rejected the notion that Israel must be a democracy:

“I don’t think the Bible says anything about democracy. I think God didn’t say anything about democracy,” Adelson said. “God talked about all the good things in life. He didn’t talk about Israel remaining as a democratic state, otherwise Israel isn’t going to be a democratic state — so what?”

Israel, a democracy? So what?  That’s going to become a memorable phrase in the annals of the Israel war in the American Jewish community.

At another juncture, Adelson said:

“Israel can no longer live if you say we want to live as a democracy.”

If you’d asked me twenty years ago whether it’d be possible for a devout follower of Meir Kahane to be one of the richest men in the world and one of Israel’s strongest and richest advocates, I’d have thought you’d taken leave of your senses.  Thinking back on what I knew or believed then, it would’ve made me beyond depressed to have known what was to come.

I have no doubt that had he lived, Meir Kahane would be Israeli prime minister and Sheldon Adelson would spend unlimited amounts of money to keep him there.  Even more than he’s willing to spend on Bibi, which is considerable.

haim saban hillary clinton

Haim Saban and his Zio-soul-sister (LA Times)

But major Aipac and Democrat donor, Haim Saban, also offered shocking, memorable copy.  He told the audience that if Israel doesn’t like the Iran-western nuclear deal, it should “bomb the daylight out of the sons of bitches.”  Saban ($400,000 to IAC in 2011) is one of Hillary Clinton’s largest donors.  During her upcoming campaign, when you hear her rattle sabers on Iran or any other Israel-related subject, you’ll now know why.

Saban is also suspected by the FBI of being the Israeli Mossad asset with whom then Congresswoman Jane Harman negotiated a deal she hoped would bring her the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee.  Since Arnon Milchan has written a book reciting his considerable espionage exploits in the U.S. on behalf of the Mossad, it should come as no surprise that the Mossad would see Saban as a prime asset.  It would also come as no surprise if Saban served Israeli intelligence as a loyal, even enthusiastic resource.

The IAC is a new wrinkle on the concept of an Israel Lobby startup.  It focuses mainly on the 100,000-500,000 (depending on who’s counting) Israelis who make their home in the U.S.  Adelson believes that since they’re Israelis and already imbued with ‘Zionist values,’ they’re even more valuable assets for Israel here than American Jews.  They have the zeal, experience, and passion to convey Israel’s story to American policymakers that the rest of us Jews don’t have.  To Adelson, they are the Zionist equivalent of the Christian soldiers of the old hymn (“Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war”).

IAC strives to present itself as a “non-partisan” organization.  That’s as ridiculous as saying Adelson is non-partisan.  Perhaps what they mean is that it is not partisan in terms of U.S. politics.  That’s why it’s important to them they have both a Republican and Democrat fatcat donor.  But the lead speakers at the event were Mitt Romney, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsay Graham.  Not exactly “fair and balanced.”  The prime target for the speakers was the current Democratic president.  And as for Israel, this group is as partisan as they come.  In fact, I firmly believe it should be forced to register as an agent of the Israeli government (as should Aipac).

Saban and Adelson, who own important media properties, goaded each other into further strategic purchases of newspapers like the New York Times in order to further their pro-Israel agenda:

“Why don’t you and I go after The New York Times?” Adelson joked with Saban, later explaining that the only way to do so is by offering “significantly more than it’s worth” and thus having shareholders sue the owners if they don’t accept the offer.

At one time, Saban considered a major investment in Al Jazeera which presumably would’ve toned down its reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict.  He also participated in the bidding for the Washington Post, which Jeff Bezos eventually won.  He does own Univision.  Adelson owns Yisrael HaYom and subsidizes it to the tune of $36-million per year.  During his talk, Adelon admitted he doesn’t like journalism and believes what the rest of us call responsible journalism is “looking for the wrong, to tell the people what’s wrong in life.”  He called this perspective “insane.”

I’ve been writing fairly apocalyptic posts about developments in Israel lately.  About the self-destructive nature of the country’s leaders as they face what may become a new Intifada, but this one inside Israel.  If we now add to this the insane bellicosity of billionaires like Adelson and Saban, we’re approaching a perfect storm.  If Israel had no allies, no trade partners, no donors, it would be forced to trim its ideological sails.  But donors like these encourage the baying of the Zionist hounds.  They both “love the smell of napalm in the morning.”  They both are going for the jugular.  They both are implacable enemies of realism and pragmatism.  Just the opposite of what Israel needs at this juncture.  All I can say is that with friends like these Israel, in its current incarnation, will hasten its own demise.

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kafr cana protests

Israeli police use skunk cannon firing environmental poison on Kafr Cana protesters

Yesterday, I was the first media outlet outside the Arab world to report the true story (and video) of the Israeli police murder of Khairuddin Hamdan in the Galilee town of Cana.  Since then, the news has crossed the world like wildfire.  There is now a general strike in the Palestinian sector (in Israel).  The town’s residents have protested with burning tires and tremendous anger against the cold-blooded execution of one of their own.  Video I offered shows clearly that while Hamdan did assault the outside of a police vehicle, he was clearly retreating from a policeman who opened fire at close range and murdered him with multiple gun shots.  The first police statement falsely claimed Hamdan had tried to stab them with a knife (the only thing Hamdan stabbed–and it’s not even clear what implement he held in his hands–was the vehicle itself).  At no point did Hamdan pose a danger to any police officer.

It’s worth quoting here an insightful op-ed in Maariv by Amir Zohar on the absolute cluelessness of the Israelis police in this instance (please know that when I translate an article and use the term “Arab” it’s not my choice, but the author’s, which is why I put it in quotation marks below):

You don’t have to be an “Arab” to write angrily here about the police of the Northern District [Galilee].  You don’t have to be a legal scholar or left-wing journalist, God forbid, in order to determine that a police officer killed Arab civilian, Khir Hamdan, in cold blood and with the connivance of his masked poisonous colleagues who tainted the physical evidence both at the scene [of the crime] and the corpse itself, which they dragged on the ground like a sack of potatoes into their well-appointed, armored van.  It was a real deluxe operation by officers lacking any communal awareness or basic knowledge of the regulations concerning evidence and workplace behavior of the police.

All this was whitewashed by their commanders and police spokespersons who, throughout the night, published mendacious statements about the Arab youth who ran at the police with a knife pointed directly at them.  And that just before he stabbed them they fired in the air as required, before opening fire causing the mortal wounding and death of Hamdan…

All this, which continued being aired even into the morning, was a lie.  The police hadn’t taken into account technology and social media, which even “primitive” Arabs know how to use.

For the information of the regional spokesperson, the policeman didn’t fire in the air.  Rather, he fired into the back of the fleeing suspect.  This is documented by the same video cameras which Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch threatens to use against the residents of East Jerusalem.  This is the video camera which exposed the lies of the police.  Technological justice works both ways it appears, as opposed to political justice [which only works one way]…

For no less than this, when white policemen killed a Black thief, entire cities in the U.S. burned for weeks.  Israel has its own [unrest known as] Intifadas, and it appears the police are begging for a new one.  The behavior of police in Kafr Cana points to the fact that their commanders haven’t learned anything about how to deal with civilian unrest, as was shown in the events of October 2000 [when 13 Palestinian protesters were killed by this same unit of Israeli police]…

The calls by Aharonovitch and other rightist Knesset members to shoot to kill terrorists in Jerusalem, may lead to their political burial in the Galilee, if the riots of Kafr Cana spread throughout the Arab communities in Israel and the PA.

amos biderman cartoon bibi gas fire

Bibi spills a few drops on a fire over which Moshe Feiglin, Uri Ariel, Tzipi Hatovely and Miri Regev are shooting gasoline  (Amos Biderman)

A few days ago, after settlers stormed the Temple Mount and Israeli police desecrated the Al Aqsa mosque, spurring retaliatory terror attacks against Israeli Jews, Bibi Netanyahu mouthed some platitudes calling on his own ultra-nationalist MKs not to fan the fires of incitement.  But those MKs mostly paid no heed.  Deputy Knesset speaker Feiglin was at the forefront.  Minister Uri Ariel moved himself into nice ex-Palestinian digs in East Jerusalem.   The settler pyromaniacs had a field day in their bid to provoke religious war.  Cartoonist Amos Biderman seems almost to be channeling this tweet I published in his latest cartoon.

What truly astounded me about the aftermath of the Cana killing is that instead offering the usual mealy-mouthed platitudes and half-hearted consolation, Bibi Netanyahu has thrown the murder in the faces of the victims.  His statement today reminded me of the sort of cold, heartless response you’d hear from an Egyptian Pharaoh or a dictator like Hitler hoping to provoke a conflagration:

Israel is a nation of law. We will not tolerate disturbances and rioting. We will act against those who throw stones, block roads and call for the establishment of a Palestinian state in place of the State of Israel. Whoever does not honor Israeli law will be punished with utmost severity. I will instruct the Interior Minister to evaluate revoking the citizenship of those who call for the destruction of the State of Israel.

Who is he kidding?  A ‘nation of law?’  For whom?  Jews perhaps, if you’re the right kind.  He ponderously won’t tolerate “disturbances” by Palestinians, but will tolerate, even praise, murder by his own police.  He condemns stone-throwing and blocking roads, while omitting the incident that spurred the rioting: murder.  As for “not honoring Israeli law,” it is the police who’ve done so.  Unless Israeli law says police officers may murder Israeli citizens in cold blood, then it isn’t the residents of Cana who are lawless, but officers of the state.

As for revoking citizenship of Israeli Palestinians who condemn Israel, what self-respecting one would not condemn this regime as hateful to Palestinians.  What self-respecting Palestinian wouldn’t see this regime as lawless?

Bibi is baring his fangs. The bloody fangs he inherited from his father, Jabotinsky’s right-hand henchman.  He’s reverting to a primitive Revisionist-Zionist life form, one that sees enemies everywhere and destruction at every corner.  When this “Zio-type” is cornered it becomes particularly virulent, particularly enraged, and capable of even more extreme violence than normal.

This statement by Bibi marks true desperation.  He is so frightened of the looming Jerusalem Intifada and recent terror attacks there by East Jerusalem Palestinians, that he sees the Cana developments as a claw reaching out to the heart of Israeli society.  Instead of Jerusalemites who aren’t Israelis citizens, those in Cana are.  Once Israeli Palestinians begin rejecting the existence of the state of which they’re citizens, it could be only a matter of time before the ‘affliction’ sweeps the Palestinian communities.

Though I’m not a fan of the game of chicken, nor do I especially enjoy the prospect of apocalypse, the more extreme the Israeli leadership becomes, the more false-steps it makes, the more blood it spills, the closer it comes to the end of the line.  I don’t mean the end of the line for Israel.  But rather for the current iteration, a state based on corruption, ethnic and religious hatred, repression, and authoritarian rule.

Bibi wants to revoke MK Haneen Zoabi’s citizenship? Go right ahead.  He wants to expel Palestinians en masse (as he said publicly he wanted to do in 1988)?  You want to kill Palestinians in cold blood?  The more you do the less chance you have of survival.  So go right ahead.  Mount those corpses on the ritual bonfire of Likudist vanity.  Stack them so high they blot out the sun.  Then when the EU comes to visit and wonders why all is dark, the answer will be self-evident.  Then the American’s and Europeans will have no choice but to acknowledge the worst and take action, no matter how late.

Genocide? Religious holy war? Bring it on.  Not that I want it personally.  But it appears to be coming.  Bibi’s statement above is the equivalent of “bring it!”  So it might as well happen sooner than later.  The sooner it does, the less will die.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  Many will die anyway (alas probably most Palestinian).  But it’s all a matter of degrees.

I await that fateful day, when Bibi or his successor gives the order to his IDF chief of staff to fire on thousands of Palestinians.  The question is what will the troops do?  Will they follow orders as they’re told and commit mass murder for all the world to see.  Or will there be some fundamental break.  Will some soldiers throw down their weapons either before or during the encounter?  Will they say: we’ve had enough of this; our leaders don’t speak for us; this is not our war, let them fight it?

I realize this is my invented version of a scenario.  It may not, probably will not happen precisely this way.  But Israel’s future depends on whether there are those who awaken from their moral stupor and act in some way to signal their opposition.  I don’t expect (though I’d like to see) any White Rose society of dissident resisters.  But I would like to see the Israeli F.W. deKlerks turn their backs on their birthright and go over to the other side.  It would be the beginning of the end.  Or as Churchill once said: “not the beginning of the end, but perhaps the end of the beginning.”  Because this promises to be a long process.  Latter-day Israel and all the corrupt,unjust premises on which it’s based will not be transformed overnight.  There is still a great deal of fight left in this Judean regime.

 

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Tonight, Israeli police in the village of Cana in lower Nazareth attempted to arrest (Hebrew) a Palestinian resident of the town on suspicion that he’s tossed a stun grenade as part of a family conflict.   When they arrived, this video shows Khairuddin Hamdan, age 20, attacking the vehicle with what appears to be a bar, though police claim it was a knife.  He appears to be striking the vehicle, possibly to protest the arrest of the original suspect.

khairuddin hamdan murdered palestinian

Khairuddin Hamdan, Palestinian murdered by Israeli police

The video then shows a police officer exiting the vehicle and immediately pumping several bullets into Hamdan from close range (perhaps 4-6 feet away).  Hamdan immediately crumples to the ground.  This was little more than a cold-blooded execution.  In western nations, when someone attacks a police car they usually aren’t murdered for it.

The police, perhaps believing there was no video of the killing, provided Ynet with a patently false account of what occurred.  They claimed both that Hamdan drew a knife and that he attempted to stab them.  The video clearly indicates there was no attempt to stab them as they were inside their vehicle and never in danger.

Now that the police have been caught red-handed in outright murder, their story will undoubtedly change to account for the new evidence.  The new story will undoubtedly be just as lame as the first one.

They will angrily search out the source of the video.  They’ll arrest the owner of the surveillance camera and confiscate the footage.  They’ll claim the footage was doctored or that it omits some preceding incident that led to the killing.  They’ll try their damndest to get themselves off the hook.  But they’ll fail in the end.

I’m afraid it won’t matter much because Israeli Jews don’t care whether their police officers murder Palestinians.  It’s a minor offense.  No one will be held accountable for this.  An investigation will find that the officers “feared for their lives” and the use of firearms was justified.  It will be business as usual because Palestinian lives are cheap.

rioting in nazareth

Rioting and fires broke out as youth rampaged in Cana to protest the murder of Khairuddin Hamdan by Israeli police (Alarab.net)

Cana, where the killing took place, is often identified with the Galilean village of the same name in the story of Jesus.  There he attended a wedding and, when the wine ran out, he transformed water into wine.  Israeli police are having much less success at transforming the facts of this case into the fraud they’ve concocted.  They should’ve let Jesus perform the miracles and done their own jobs right, instead of acting as hired killers for the State.

Palestinian witnesses to the murder said that the confrontation could’ve been resolved without a resort to gunfire and that the police are little more than criminals themselves.  Residents made clear that they don’t want the police in their midst at all as they don’t trust them to do anything but what happened last night.  The video clearly indicates why.

The false police account is a feeble attempt to link this murder to the string of terror attacks by Jerusalem Palestinians against Israeli Jews.  But this incident appears not to be a terror attack at all, unless you count the police murder as a terror attack.

After the killing, young residents of the town rioted, lit fires and closed access to the community.

If Israeli police wish to light a fire not just in Jerusalem, but in all Palestinian communities in Israel, they couldn’t do better than what they did tonight.  Instead of a Jerusalem Intifada, we might have an Israel-wide Intifada.  Undoubtedly, Pres. Reuven Rivlin will be visiting the village and there will be touching pictures of him embracing the local imam or mukhtar.  He will speak soothing words and talk about historic injustices done to Palestinians.  All of which will mean precious little as nothing will change inside Israeli society.

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