27 thoughts on “Palestinian Dies in Bilin Protest: When Does a Killing Become a War Crime? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. http://www.awalls.org/gandhi_redux

    Do they merit that title? The army says that there is no demonstration that ends without stones being thrown and that any distinction between the nonviolent part of a demonstration and the violent part, with the stones, is completely artificial. Hatib admits that they are still very far from persuading all the village youngsters not to throw stones, but also says that there have been demonstrations without stones – and in general, he adds, the army has an interest in heating up the atmosphere.

    An example of the deliberate escalation of the situation, the Palestinians say, is a demonstration that was held in Bilin on April 28, the demonstration of the mistarvim (army undercover units who are disguised as Arabs). Despite the large number of participants, the organizers were able to uphold the decision to have a nonviolent demonstration, without stones. “Suddenly I saw six or seven people whom I don’t know throwing stones,” Hatib relates. “I ran over to them and asked them who they were and why they were throwing stones despite the decision that the demonstration would be nonviolent. One of them replied, in good Arabic, that he was from Safa and that they had come to help us. I told him to go throw stones in Safa, not here.”

    It was only afterward, when one of the stone-throwers pulled out a pistol and fired in the air, that Hatib realized the group were mistarvim. For him, that is proof that the army wanted to heat things up so it could break up the demonstration with the use of force.

    The Maccabim Brogade commander, Colonel Gedj, admits that the mistarvim – from the Masada unit of the Prisons Service – did indeed throw stones, but firmly denies that they were the first to do so. “They joined other Palestinians who were throwing stones. The Palestinians’ allegations are nonsense. I investigated and I am 100 percent convinced of that.”

    However, a judge in the Judea Military Court, Major Yair Tirosh, who heard a request to remand two Bilin residents in custody – they were accused of attacking one of the undercover men – wrote in his judgment: “There is no testimony by so much as one soldier that stones were thrown at him.”

    (In his decision to release the two on bail, the deputy president of the Military Appeals Court, Lieutenant Colonel Yoram Haniel, noted that it is very doubtful that the mistarvim had the authority to operate in the demonstration, as their authority is confined to prison facilities.)

  2. Thanks for the link. Did you notice that Meron Rapaport renamed the organisation “Anarchists Against the Fence“? LOL

  3. Someone roughly translated bits from the two videos. The first is about the shorter video, and the next two are from the longer one:

    This video is violent. There are a few words I can’t make out, but the demonstrators are telling the soldiers in Hebrew that there are children and Israelis present and they are asking them not to shoot. Bassem is shouting ” listen, wait a minute, wait a minute” before he falls to the ground. The soldiers then fire another round of tear gas as the demonstrators yell that he is injured and needs an ambulance.

    In the longer video, as [Bil’in non-violent movement leader Mohammed] Khatib is arguing with the soldier, I can’t make out all of it because they’re talking over each other, but you can clearly hear the soldier say, “do you want more gas?” These people are sick. They can see someone is on the ground and bleeding and because they know it’s a Palestinian, they don’t care.

    And the soldier is telling Khatib “Are you going to shut up?” as Khatib pleads with him to stop shooting. The Israeli who’s next to Bassem right after the shooting is just saying, there’s an injured man, bring an ambulance quickly. He asks Bassem where he was hit. The demonstrators also repeat throughout, this is a non-violent demonstration. The soldiers merely respond with teargas.

  4. I know it does not good, but I am weeping for this young man. And every tear I makes me colder, icier and hating them a little bit more.

    I see decent Jews saying, why is antisemitism on the rise in this country or that? THIS is why! THIS and all of the obscenities of Palestine are why! Israel and the ADL and the JDL and the B’nai brith which is not even for the Jewish people, they are why antisemitism is on the rise.

    Tristan was doing nothing, any more than Rachel was, or this young man was doing. Those officers were NOT threatened in the goddam least. OHH you know I am upset when I swear like that.

    That government lies, lies, lies and then cries antisemitism if you call them on it! You know what? I have stopped being afraid of that word because it means dick all when you have these things going on.

    I am so sorry soo so so very sorry that these things go on and I weep with this young man’s family for their loss. But you know, as far as the Israelis are concerned, what is the death of another Palestinian animal?

    Eventually, they will find out! I know that what happens after death is between the individual and Allah, but I hope that He has a special place in hell for creatures like these killers. To use a Talmudic phrase, “may they writhe in boiling excrement for time without end”.

  5. Many of us have a heart full of grief…for the family of yet another victim of the homocidal IDF and their expanding ‘orthodox’ officer killing corps.

    There is a phrase that comes to mind today and often these days –when the IOF does what it always does with IMPUNITY…maim and kill because it can. (it used to be shoot and cry but that was in the old days) Now in these evil times when extremist zealots are numerous in military’s officer corps where the occupation army of 18 year olds is used to humiliating, abusing, tormenting, torturing & worse only the term JUDEO NAZIS comes to mind–the term makes zionists apoplectic..they call such violence “security” or ‘defense’ but that’s not a new use term at all, in fact it was coined by an elderly scientist, pious orthodox Yeshayahu Liebowitz nearly 2 decades ago, to describe the malignancy growing in the colonial settlements and of the infrastructure that supports them. He warned that unless the settlements were stopped & withdrawn -only then would Israel be able to survive as a “Jewish” and “democratic” state. But today, we recognize that he did not go far enough..and explain that a multicultural, multi faith state could NOT define itself as democratic especially with F/M Lieberman’s threats of expulsions & loyalty oaths for Palestinian who are not yet close to being second class citizens.No!.
    Judeo-Nazis from Liebowitz’s 1993 prescient statement — truer today than it was sixteen years ago. How long will “Nothinyahu” (thanx Mazin) continue to play deaf dumb and blind to his own nazism?

    Rest in peace Bassem Ibrahim Abu-Rahma …and Rachel and Tom and James and all the Thousands upon thousands of dead and dying Palestinians.

    1. Miriam, I for one don’t buy it that the behavior of IDF deteriorated due to larger number of religious soldiers/officers, if I understood correctly one of your points. I don’t think religious soldiers/officers are any more likely to shoot innocent civilians than secular Israelis. I knew many religious soldiers in the military and I’d even say that most were actually more mature than their secular counterparts. To scapegoat religious soldiers is a mistake. The problem is systemic and not even confined to Jews: many abuses and killings of the Palestinian civilians in the recent years were done by Bedouin and Druze soldiers and policemen.

      1. Peter, my intention was not to (solely) blame the long deterioration only on the growing numbers of military officers of the orthodox sects…that is only part of the picture for the increase in “judeo nazism” in Israel…this is multifaceted -an increase in violence within the Israeli society, elder abuse, very high rape rates, drug usage, trafficking of women; you see, not only the very demonstrable signs of abuse against the occupied people or Palestinians inside. Noting that what was once outlawed, ( KACH ) mentality is the govt..there is no “left.”
        Religious extremists only add to the brutal downward spiral -but are not the cause; rather there many “chickens coming home to roost..” there were signs of this (Deir Yassin, 1948 Yizhar’s Khirbet Khizeh-in English/Amazon) to Morris, Walidi, Pappe, shahak I believe its always been present but we have been conditioned to not see it for what it was. We may disagree on how it happened or major factors, but not on what it is now and what must be done. There is no military solution; the colonial occupation must end; return rights and restitution must be granted and soverignty must be instituted.

      2. This is an interesting discussion. I think both of you are right. Yes, any Israeli can become a monster with a gun. You don’t have to be religious. But it’s also true that Haaretz documented the religious propaganda fomented by the military chaplainate urging soldiers not to value Palestinian life during the last war. Others have also documented the fact that Kibbutzniks used to provide the officer corps of the IDF & with the decline of the Kibbutz movement some of this has fallen to the Orthodox community and there are many more Orthodox officers. Some (but not all) of these are quite closely aligned with the settler movement.

        So it isn’t any one thing. But rather a combination of things that produces the decline in moral sensitivity and increase in brutishness among the forces.

      3. Blaming Bedouin and Druze soldiers and policemen for the abuses and killings is rather “odd”. Surely there are Bedouin and Druze soldiers and policemen and they perform a tiny part of the abuses and killings, but they operate among fellow Jewish soldiers and policemen and most importantly are under Jewish leadership. So blaming Bedouin and Druze soldiers is as naive as blaming Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian soldiers for the crimes of SS.

        Israeli demonstration control has clearly a doctrine. Israel’s greatest fear are peaceful demonstrations of hundreds of thousands Palestinians surrounding for example some settlements. That’s why the Palestinians movement inside the West bank is so controlled to avoid possibilities to gather wast crowds. It also serves Israel’s interest to turn every small demonstration to a violent mess because it turns away the focus from the real reason of the demonstration and supports the efforts of portraying Palestinians as violent people.

        Of course Israelis use religion increasingly in the their fight. That can be seen from numerous reports, the increasing amount Israeli “right wing” marches in Arab areas, the writings in the destroyed Gaza houses and in the pictures where orthodox Jews were writing “friendly greetings” on the artillery shells during Lebanon operation. The notion that Israeli soldiers are good behaving secular and atheist Jews and religion on their part has no influence is simply ridiculous. Israelis use religion (increasingly) exactly the same way the Islamic movements are using and numerous Christian “movements” have used in the past. And that “usage” has very little to do with each religion’s core moral values.

        1. SimoHurtta, if you understood from my comment that I was “blaming Bedouin and Druze soldiers and policemen for the abuses and killings” beyond simply pointing to the fact that many are indeed committed by them, then that was not my intention. That should be clear from what I said: “The problem is systemic”.
          My main point was that to concentrate on religious soldiers is a mistake. I don’t believe there is any causality between growing number of abuses against the Palestinians and the number of religious soldiers.

      4. I don’t know about the Bedouin but the Druze border police are notorious thugs.
        I once stood next to a Palestinian travelling companion while we were being questioned. The Druze policeman’s attitude and demeanour were absolutely repellent. It is the only occasion in my life I have seen someone shake so violently as to be unable to control his voice enough to speak.
        At the time I found this more than a little odd a he had carried off an exchange only a few minutes earlier with an IOF patrol with considerable aplomb, although I admit those soldiers were unusually civil; perfunctory, yes, but not gratuitously obstructive or offensive as many often are.
        The incident stuck in my mind partly because my companion was well educated and articulate even in English. It became quickly apparent in the exchange with the Druze policeman that he was barely literate, certainly not enough to understand my Hebrew documentation which had to be explained to him by my companion.

  6. After decades of media management, Israel has convinced the Western world that the ‘terrorists’ are out to destroy us, moving from its success in controlling the perspective on Palestine to an attempt to create consensus that constant war is necessary. They are close to success in this also. Moved by such videos, we need to reach out to our family, neighbors and friends, talk about Palestine and Afghanistan, reveal the lies and the errors, and make a concerted effort to confront Israel’s views and ‘rules.’

    Experience, both first and second hand, shows that doing so isn’t easy, but it remains necessary in order to keep our society from abandoning the goal of full and equal rights for everyone, everywhere.

  7. What goes around comes around.

    The cruel, wicked, barbaric and G-d hating Arabian “people” are going to continue to suffer so long as they continue to behave in such a wicked fashion. When the Mohammedans do teshuva – apologize to their Jewish neighbors for the Jihad, provide the billions in reparations owed to their Jewish neighbors for their Islamic-crimes, and allow the Jewish repopulation of the Historically Jewish Arabian Peninsula – there will be peace.

    v’lamalshinim al t’hi sikvah – but for the enemies of G-d (Liberals, like you, Dick) there is no Hope. There is no tshuva possible for a soulless Liberal.

    Chard al Islamiya
    Chard al Arabiya

    1. Normally, I would not approve such a despicable racist comment. But I want my readers to see what some Orthodox Jews believe about Muslims. It is instructive. This is precisely what the settlers believe and why they are so dangerous.

    2. Richard, I don’t believe Canadian is Orthodox anything. But, I have to say that from the point of view of an Abrahamic faith, Canadian’s comment is quite thought provoking – but not in the way he or she would like.

      Cruel, wicked and barbaric: That’s exactly what I thought of the IDF after reading Richard’s article and from watching the video. Canadian seems to believe that Jews are owed reparations for the crimes committed against them by Islam – as if the occupation and all that it has entailed is not reparation enough. Canadian, it would seem, is not satisfied by the Arab (and largely) muslim blood shed over this conflict, but would be satisfied by money (billions as he or she put it). Canadian, what does that say about you? You profess to speak for God, but in fact Money is your God.

      The enemy of God is the man who professes to speak for God (yes, we’ve had prophets over the years, but prophets are not men – they are higher than men) and who judges another man before God. How can you state that there is no hope for Richard, unless you speak for God? I’m reminded of an old Hadith: A prostitute was forgiven by God, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave all of her sins because of that. (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 538).

      So you see, it’s not “soulless liberals” you need to be worrying about, Canadian, it’s people like you. I will pray for you insha’Allah.

      I’m sorry if anybody is offended, but it really winds me up when people bring God in to a conflict created by man.

  8. Beautiful village. Beautiful people. Very upset.
    I am so relieved there are many Jewish opponents of this wanton barbarism.

  9. Richard – I think you should let at least one racist comment through a post, if one comes ( you could set up a routine disclaimer. 🙂 Haaretz has tamed down their comment section; comments by people who I recall making bigoted remarks in the past now are not accessible, although listed. I stopped reading H. comments because of the degree of hatred expressed, and I am not lamenting the loss, but it seems important to be able to tell how many people still feel that way, and to hear what the current narrative is. …a thought.

    Darn’d if I don’t shirk from being required to say, yes, this is a war crime. But you are right; Israel’s Defence Force is killing unarmed people and I think that action constitutes a war crime. They are doing so with impunity. The crime is bigger than Israel: Israel is our actor in this, will we or not, because we fund it. So we are the ones who are guilty. No wonder I didn’t want to agree.

    1. I’m sorry you feel that way about Muslims. But, in response to your three points:

      1) “According to all interpretations, the Jewish religion teaches that for someone to attain forgiveness from G-d for their sins, they first need to ask forgiveness from their fellow man.” There is a major flaw here that sticks out so much I’m surprised you haven’t picked up on it: a person’s intentions – for example, if a man murders another man and then makes an intention to seek forgiveness from the widow but is himself murdered on the way, would God forgive him because of his intention to seek out the widow and ask for her forgiveness or would God not forgive him because he was unable to reach the widow? Nobody can say for certain who will and will not be forgiven by God. So, your first point of condemning all Muslims to hell is refuted.

      2) If it was up to me, I’d give you all the wealth in the world, and then some. You’d get the whole of Arabia too if that’s what you want. If the cost of peace in the Middle East is a worldly one – that of land and wealth – then you are welcomed to them. As I said before, your God is obviously Money.

      3) You already have “dhimmis” in Israel – they are called Palestinians. Only, they are unprotected. You’re wrong that Islam could have been a great monotheistic religion – it is a great monotheistic religion. The problems don’t lie with the religion, they lie with its people. The same goes for all monotheistic religions.

      Richard, I apologise for starting a religious debate on your site but I had to respond.

  10. Noam Sheizaf, of PromisedLand.blogspot, submitted both a racist comment and one derogatory to gay people to Ynet.co.il , which he considers better than other sites in screening out such comments. The
    “…even on Ynet, one can describe all the Arabs as an existential threat to Jews, and to call for collective action against them – and pass for a legitimate side in a debate…” But a “gay-bashing…comment as similar as possible…wasn’t published.” He goes on to state:
    “.. the number of the comments to the Tibi article is very high – 626 by now, with the absolute majority being explicitly racist or Anti-Arabs. This goes to show not only that racism against Arabs is fair game in Israel, but that there are many people eager to express such views.”

    The University of Dayton, Ill has an interesting website which provides a variety of information about racism. A few signs of racism, (Copyright © 1999. Rajiv Kapur. All Rights Reserved:
    Reducing people of other races to racial stereotypes.
    Latent hate. An exaggerated reaction to any misconduct from a
    person of the other race
    Constant references to race.
    Condescending attitude or behavior

    The article is worth reading, and periodically reviewing, as is the site.

  11. Canadian’s first post told me everything I need to know about him/her. Makes one ashamed to be a Canadian.

  12. From 9/29/00 to 02/23/09, more than 6000 Palestinians and 1000 Israelis have died in the I/P conflict. 1,497 are accounted as Palestinian children; 123 as Israeli children. At least 30,129 Palestinans and 8,864 Israelis have been wounded. Operation Cast Lead is estimated to have caused between $1.6 and 1.9 billion dollars in damage to Gaza and surrounding areas.

    There is no question about which actor causes the most harm.

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