16 thoughts on “Bush ‘Just Doesn’t Feel Right’ About Joint Abbas-Olmert Meeting – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I’d like to believe something good can be worked out with Abbas, but wouldn’t it make you feel better, Richard, if Abbas’ Fatah party were to start actually prosecuting terrorists and those who plan such attacks? For the MSM, Abbas condemns terrorist activity against soft targets like Arafat used to do too. But rather than bringing terrorists to justice, shahids are glorified or rewarded – their acts are celebrated in the streets – and collaborators who try to save Israeli civilians are executed. One message for the MSM, another thing entirely in reality.



    To be fair, Abbas revoked the rewards after public outrage, but what makes you think Abbas is seriously wants a peaceful 2 state solution? Have any of his actions – not words – indicated to you that he’s a fair broker in this process?


  2. As opposed to the long sentences received by IDF soldiers who kill Palestinian civilians, Einstein?

  3. The gov’t of Israel does not encourage, reward, or celebrate deliberate murder of Palestinian civilians. The Baruch Goldsteins of Israel are reviled by society and sentenced to long prison terms for their crimes. No such thing occurs under Fatah (whether Arafat or Abbas) control.

    Do you have faith in Abbas as an honest broker for a peaceful 2 state solution? If so, what actions has Fatah taken since Abbas’ takeover that make you believe dealing with him will bring about positive change and less suffering for all people in that region?

  4. Baruch Goldstein wasn’t sentenced to a long prison term. Do you have any actual examples?
    Goldstein and his ilk are really a sideshow anyway–the vast majority of Israeli killings of Palestinian civilians is carried out by uniformed soldiers who are not reviled by society (and a considerable portion of Israeli Jewish society reveres Goldstein anyway). Abbas may or may not be an honest broker but there’s not much evidence the government of Israel is.

  5. @Einstein: I’m not a huge fan of Abbas. But I think he wants peace and would, if he could, negotiate a peace deal. But the problem is less with Abbas than it is with Israel, which must decide how much it wants peace & what, if anything, it’s willing to give up to get it.

  6. @Einstein: Baruch Goldstein is actually worshipped by many extremist settlers who celebrate on Purim with dancing at his gravesite. Yigal Amir practically has his own right-wing fan club & those who lobby the government on his behalf. He gets conjugal visits to procreate offspring & observes their Bar Mitzvah in prison. That’s awfully generous treatment for a man who committed one of the most heinous acts in the history of the nation.

  7. 1. Here’s an example of Israeli civilians incarcerated for killing arabs. While their sentences have been reduced, they are still serving at least 10 years each for their crimes. One is serving 40 years. Meanwhile, Hamas and Fatah continue to request that palestinians jailed for killing Israelis should be set free in prisoner/military swaps.


    2. If the IDF indiscriminately kills Palestinians, recall there was a study a few years ago on combatants vs. non-combatants killed on both sides. 95% of Palestinians killed were males 12 or older, whereas it was about 55-60% male Israelis killed (meaning far more women, children, elderly killed by the Palestinians).

    Also, let’s assume you’re right. However, the IDF is mostly composed of LW progressives and has been since Israel’s inception, when labor dominated politics until the 70’s. Do you think the problem is that jewish progressives in the IDF aren’t as moral as you think you are, for some reason? I’ll bet most of them think they’re moral, outside of a few stragglers. To what do you attribute such thinking among the vast majority of the IDF’s LW progressives?

  8. @Einstein: Yes, the key phrase is “while their sentences have been reduced…” They often are. And when Hamas or Hezbollah nabs an IDF soldier Israel demands that they be freed in prisoner swaps.

    Are you implying in pt. 2 that because the IDF kills only men that this somehow indicates that their killing is “discriminate??” God, I hope that’s not yr argument. A true indication of how discriminate IDF killing is is counting the civilian deaths of which there are too many to count.

    the IDF is mostly composed of LW progressives

    Say what?? Are you plum loco? The IDF is the settlers’ best friend. Are you arguing that an Israeli army that stands by while settlers pillage & brutalize unarmed Palestinian farmers is composed of left wing progressives?? Einstein, can’t you do any better than this? I won’t deny the army has its share of progressives just as the population as a whole does. But beyond that you’re just grasping at straws.

  9. Richard,
    1. If you believe Abbas (and let’s include Arafat too, okay?) really wants peace, then why all the hateful incitement in PA media (that’s under his control) for shahids to kill Jews, rewards for these terrorists, execution of collaborating palestinians who try saving Jewish lives, and never incarcerating such terrorists despite condemning their attacks in the MSM? What actions have you seen (not words) by Abbas that indicate he really wants peace?

    2. The fact that I had to actually show evidence of Israel incarcerating its civilians for attacking/killing arabs speaks volumes of your devoted readership here. How could they not be aware that Israel not only discourages, but imprisons vigilante or renegade Jews who try to hurt or kill arabs? I think you need to admit that due to your five years of 1-sided arguments against Israel, readers who sympathize with your views get a very distorted picture of actual life in Israel.

    3. Do you actually see equivocation with this example of the PA not acting against their civilians who plan and carry out terror attacks vs. Israel and Israel’s policies in these matters? If so, how? Whether jewish terrorists have their sentences reduced or not, the fact is that it’s impossible to compare PA and Israeli policy here. Israeli society does not encourage or reward terrorism vs. Palestinian civilians – such acts are illegal and are prosecuted. The same cannot be said of the PA or Hamas. Can we at least agree that on this issue, it certainly seems Israel is FAR more devoted to peace than palestinian leadership?

    4. Most palestinian ‘militants’ are males over 12. The fact that Israel’s kills are 95% males over 12 shows they do not indiscriminately attack arabs like the arabs target Jews. There’s no equivocation here either. Simply looking at the total number of those dead is not a fair comparison. We all know if the palestinians had more effective weapons and were more successful with their attacks, the number of dead Jews would far exceed dead arabs. Intent is important here, Richard. The IDF tries to minimize civilian casualties while the arabs try to maximize them.

    5. How do prisoner/military swaps paint Palestinian leadership favorably? They want deliberate murderers of women and children completely free in their own society and they will do zero to prevent them from repeating such attacks. Can you admit this is a major obstacle to true Tikun Olam?

  10. Richard,
    As for the progressive IDF, do you seriously wish to argue that since 1948 Israel has not been one of the most progressive of societies on the planet? Is it because of current politics in Israel that you believe they’re not? It’s obvious Israel has moved more to the center but that doesn’t make the country, or its IDF, mostly conservative. Do you think most progressives within the IDF see themselves as immoral robots?

  11. Israel one of the most progressive societies on the planet, Einstein? It doesn’t even have civil marriage. Maybe someday it will decide to enter the nineteenth century.

    As for the information you gave on sentences, thank you, although its rather ironic that the article you linked to is about sentences being reduced. However, the vast majority of Israeli killers of Palestinian civilians are not “vigilante or renegade Jews” but IDF personnel, and in many cases their crimes are not even investigated, and in very few are they punished. All I’m getting from you is the same old double standard–Palestinian violence justifies Israeli violence, but nothing Israel ever does can justify Palestinian violence. What you’re demanding of the Palestinians is the same demand occupying powers always make of the occupied–that they hold the lives of their oppressors more valuable than their own. It won’t happen.

  12. Yes, Bill – believe it or not, Israel is most progressive. While not performing civil marriages, they certainly recognize all marriages performed abroad – even gay marriage – something the USA and Britain do not do. Maybe the Brits and Americans will someday step out of their puritanical societies. Nice try.

    As for the rest of your reply, the fact still remains the PLO and Hamas encourage their civilians to do whatever they want vs. any Israeli citizen. They reward terrorism and certainly never try to prosecute ANY palestinians for planning harm or acting against any particular Israeli. The same is not true of the Israeli government, which prosecutes even IDF officers, which even you admit to, just like any other civil country in the world.


    That’s a very recent article on IDF brutality. Check out comment #16 on the article. It’s a disgraceful minority you are focusing on.

  13. Its a minority of Palestinians that kill Israelis, Einstein, a somewhat smaller minority. As for Israel’s progressiveness, a country that effectively leaves personal status law in the hands of reactionary religious authorities is not progressive. Not everyone can afford a trip to Cyprus.

  14. @Einstein: Israeli society is “progressive?” Not only should we talk about civil marriage. But what about divorce? What about all manner of social procedures to which the Orthodox rabbinate has a monopoly. What about determining who is a Jew & with the stroke of a pen rendering someone non-Jewish, their marriage null & void & all their progeny bastards?

    Yr claim about Palestinians not prosecuting terrorists is bullshit. Don’t you recall there were 7 PFLP militants imprisoned in the Jericho jail for allegedly assassinating Rehavam Zeevi, till Israel mounted a faux military operation destroying the jail, kidnapping the prisoners & imprisoning them in Israel. If there’s no punishment then why were they in jail? Were they on holiday?

    Israel prosecutes almost NO IDF officers for crimes against Palestinians. If it did there would be hundreds in prison or facing charges given the numbers of civilians killed either in cold blood or through heinous negligence. You’re a pathetic apologist & not even a very good one.

  15. @Einstein:

    “Execution of collaborating Palestinians?” Since when? When was the last such act? How do you know what the PA media says? You learn this from MEMRI, CAMERA, etc. I presume.

    I’m so pleased you’ve undertaken to be a one-man band enlightening my readers as to the distorted, twisted, dishonest picture of Israeli life presented here (or so you would claim). But I like to think my readers are intelligent enough to judge for myself bet. my view & yrs. of the I-P predicament.

    Israeli society does not encourage or reward terrorism vs. Palestinian civilians – such acts are illegal and are prosecuted.

    Except when the act is committed by a member of the IDF or Border Police, when it is swept under the rug.

    Most palestinian ‘militants’ are males over 12. The fact that Israel’s kills are 95% males over 12 shows they do not indiscriminately attack arabs

    Notice that “Einstein” can’t seem to acknowledge that ‘Palestinians’ actually merits a capital “P” meaning he doesn’t acknowledge that they are a “people” which is another violation of my comment rules.

    Now, let’s examine the logic of this: since “most Palestinian militants are males over 12” and 95% of Israeli “kills” are males over 12 this proves conclusively that Israel only kills bad guys. Doesn’t this leave out the huge number of Palestinian male civilians who are killed who are over 12 but not militants????

    The IDF tries to minimize civilian casualties

    If that were true I’d have nothing to write about & I’d stop publishing this blog or rename it and write about something else. But if you can get the IDF to stop killing civlians it would go a long way to putting me out of business (which I’d love, btw). Why don’t you start now?

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