Al Jazeera Publishes New Piece on Shalit Prisoner Exchange
Al Jazeera has published my first piece, dealing with the Shalit prisoner exchange. I should add that this piece was submitted about two weeks ago so some recent developments aren’t covered there. Though the issues are still very pertinent (especially Israeli military censorship, which is at play here).
There is a hold-up in the final arrangements for this deal that apparently has something to do with Israeli demands for exiling certain freed prisoners. The notion of forcing a released Palestinian prisoner into exile is difficult for Hamas to accept and appears to involve introduction of a new condition by the Israelis (a common Israeli negotiating tactic which often can often serve to derail things). Matters are very tense now as the German mediator has threatened to quit if an agreement is not reached soon. I am hoping that this happens in the coming days or weeks, but who knows?
My good friend Sol Salbe seems to believe there will be a hostage rescue attempt for Shalit before the New Year. I don’t agree, but I wouldn’t put anything past this rightist government.
I want to pre-empt some of the know-nothing comments that I expect from my hasbara trolls. Al Jazeera is accessible in Israel as a cable news offering. If it’s good enough for Israel then it’s good enough for me. There are a number of sites where I would love to be published, which has not happened yet. Unfortunately, I don’t chose where I’m published, editors choose whether to publish my work. I’m delighted that Al Jazeera has done so.
116 thoughts on “Al Jazeera Publishes New Piece on Shalit Prisoner Exchange – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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nie article…but why do oyu consider israel’s demand to exile these people a “negotiation tactic” that is supposed to derail things?
have you considered the possibillity that maybe, just MAYBE these prisoners are murderers and that history shows (previous prisoner deals) that these people go back to terrorism right after their release?
exiling them would be the smart play for the israelis since they cant do much less harm when they are living in Gaza for example instead of the west bank, or anywhere else on that matter.
about a hostage rescue deal….i dont think the current israeli govt has the audacity to do it, last time it was attempted an israeli special forces operator was killed, along with the hostage, and since then it causes them to think twice before going on such a rescue attempt
although, i have no doubt that they KNOW where shalit is held
sorry for the typos i was in a hurry (thiis is supposed to pre-empt anyone saying i cant even write proper english so my opinions shouldnt be taken seriously)
Israel introduced a new condition into the negotiations & when you do that in the midst of a stressful, prolonged negotiation it can derail everything. Frankly, I don’t know the stats about recidivism regarding Palestinian terrorists released fr. prison. But I’m not prepared to accept yr statistics or the word of the Likud governing coalition on this. I’d like to see real statistics on this before believing this is an issue. Note, I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying I await a credible proof of the claim.
Yes, the Waksman hostage rescue attempt went very wrong. I hope they don’t attempt their own for Shalit.
“maybe, just MAYBE these prisoners are murderers and that history shows (previous prisoner deals) that these people go back to terrorism right after their release?”
Murderers? Really? And how many of them have been convicted of murder or any other crime? How many of them have even been tried for any crime at all? I think if you actually took the time to investigate that you would find that the number is somewhere between damned few and none, and that most or all of them are either “security detainees” who have never seen the inside of a courtroom, or out and out political prisoners such as Marwan Barghouti. And it is a fair bet that at least some of them have been tortured.
“exiling them would be the smart play for the israelis”
Exiling them would be a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as was imprisoning them in Israel.
yup, they are all innocent peasants, imprisoned by the evil zionists only because they are palestinian!!!!! take, for example, Amana muna, who did nothing wrong, except luring an israeli teenager using the internet and then murdering him with her friends
there’s also the peaceful villager Ibrahim Hamed who was the millitary leader of hamas in Judea and Samaria untill 2006 when he was arrested (falsely of course, because there is NOTHING WRONG with orchestrating the terrorist attacks in the “moment” cafe in tel aviv amongst other attacks that he was behind)
and dont forget ahmad Sa’adat who was behind the murder of the Israeli politician Rehav’am Ze’evi- of course i expect you to say this isnt a crime either
and how dare you try to make marwan barghouti look innocent? he led the millitary branch of Fatah in 2000, in 2004 he was CONVICTED for 5 acts of murder (that were done on his order) and sentenced to jail! but of course, since the decision was made by evil israeli Zio-Fascist judges, it MUST be wrong!
so in short, according to your opinion, imprisoning these people is against the fourth geneva convention, that has to be the most twisted world-view i have ever heard of in my entire life
the REAL crime would be letting these scum back into the streets where they pose a danger
Richard- there have been several occassions where freed prisoners returned to terrorist activites and were imprisoned again, or killed, although it’s difficult to find accurate statistics for this i would do my best to get my hands on this, although i can easily name a few who did return to terrorism right after their release
Oh, so they have published the list of prisoners to be released? Wow, I hadn’t heard that. Please provide a link so I can look it over. I wonder how many of the hundreds of children Israel is holding in indefinite detention are on that list.
“according to your opinion, imprisoning these people is against the fourth geneva convention”
Please respond to what I actually said rather than fabricating a statement that will be easier to refute. I said that imprisoning them in Israel is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. That is not my opinion, it is an irrefutable fact.
Marwan Barghouti is a political prisoner. He was arrested, not coincidentally, just in time to prevent him from being a viable candidate in the Palestinian elections in which he had strong, and broad-based support and could very well have defeated Arafat and his gang of theives, a potential disaster for Israel. Unlike the majority of Fatah leaders, Marwan Barghouti is seen as non-corrupt, and non-collaborationist. He has the support not only of Fatah, but also of Hamas and other factions as well. Israel could not afford to have Arafat lose to Barghouti.
And finally, it is always fascinating to see that whereas Israel-apologists will excuse absolutely any action Israel takes to “defend” itself, Palestinians not only have no right to defend themselves at all, they also have no right to non-violent forms of protest against their own oppression, dispossession, and gradual annihilation by Israel. Non-violent leader `Abdullah Abu Rahma has been indicted for “arms possession” for the crime of collecting and displaying spent teargas shells fired at peaceful demonstrators by the Israeli Occupation Forces. As his attorney said “the army shoots at unarmed demonstrators, and when they try to show the world the violence used against them by collecting, presenting the remnants, they are persecuted and prosecuted. What’s next? Charging protesters money for the bullets shot at them?” And this is hardly the only case in which Palestinians who lead non-violent movements have been arrested and imprisoned while any outrage committed by Israel is excused on the basis of self-defense.
Do not forget Jamal Juma’ and Mohammed Othman.
no, a list was not published, but “highlight” names have been published
There have been so many examples over the decades, Mary, most of them virtually completely unknown. One of the earliest leaders of non-violent resistance was exiled by Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which our friend Ohad so despises (unless, of course, the Jews ever need it again, in which case he will embrace it passionately).
The First Intifada began as and largely remained a non-violent popular resistance movement, and many whose actions were 100% non-violent were imprisoned. I am reminded of one man who set up a facility to distribute seeds, supplies, and tools to allow Palestinians to grow their own food as one of the steps toward economic independence from Israel. He was arrested and his facility padlocked. That is one tiny example of hundreds, perhaps thousands.
The Israel government fears non-violent resistance, and more than anything it fears that non-violent resistance will become visible to the outside world, which would of course call into serious question the belief in Palestinians as inherently violent Jew-haters.
The attorney might want to be careful not to give them any ideas. Some jurisdictions in the US have in the past attempted to present prisoners upon release a bill for bed and board, I kid you not.
In China, I’ve read that families of those executed are charged for the bullets used to kill them
Yes, but who would use China, that pariah state, as a yardstick for humane and civilised behaviour? I mean, come on, they are alleged to harvest organs from the executed, can you imagine that?
“no, a list was not published, but “highlight” names have been published”
So you really have no idea who might be released other than some very speculative “hightlight” list, which may very well be a bit of propaganda intended to scare people like you enough to turn the population against the exchange.
Shirin, are you kidding me?
the israeli Govt is trying to censor every bit of information about this prisoner deal, they DONT WANT the information to leak to the public because they know how this will turn the tide (currently most israelis support the deal)
apparently the data was leaked to the media, who, obviously, have an interest to publish these kinds of things to cause a public commotion (just like any media in the world)
but of course, when it happens in israel, it MUST be propaganda or some kind of government stuny, figures…
either way, propaganda or no propaganda, we know murderers will be set free in this deal, replace these names with some other names of murderers, the result is the same, you are simply evading the subject by saying it is just propaganda and therefore not even relevent
Jamal Juma’ and Mohammed Othman are both Palestinian activists protesting the apartheid wall and both have been placed under administrative detention recently for their activities in the West Bank. They should be freed with or without any deal involving Shalit. People who are familiar with the human rights activities involving the wall know who both of these men are.
I am aware of the history of nonviolent resistance in Palestine and do not require elucidation on this issue. I am also familiar with the first and second Intifadas.
Mary, you should not assume that when I write something in response to you I am trying to educate you about something I think you are unaware of. What I write here is intended for a much broader audience than just the person I am replying to. Otherwise there would little or no point in arguing with any of the racists, Islamophobes, hasbarists and Israel apologists who show up here since the chances of educating them are slim to none. What they present us with is an opportunity to present a more realistic picture supported with facts, reason, and logic. If I expand on something you have said it is not because I think you need to be educated on the subject, but because I have information to add that might add to the information available to others who read this comment section.
PS Of course I know who Jamal Juma’ and Mohammed Othman are. As I said, Israel fears non-violent resistance more than it does violence. :o}
“and how dare you try to make marwan barghouti look innocent? he led the millitary branch of Fatah in 2000, in 2004 he was CONVICTED for 5 acts of murder”
As innocent as Yitzhak Shamir who was a member of the terrorist organization Lehi and ordered the assasination of Count Folke Bernadotte.
Ohad forgets that once upon a time people like him were screaming their heads off in the same way over the fact that the Israeli government was talking to `Arafat and Fatah.
This must mean that you believe the same about IDF senior officers wanted for war crimes (or who shortly will be wanted) for murdering innocent Palestinian victims. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?
By the way, you seem not to have read my comment rules. Read them. This is not a place for grandstanding or point scoring on either side. If you want to read a list of Palestinian terrorists others can read a list of Israeli terrorists. It’s useless & why I specify this type of arguing is not acceptable here. Argue to the pt & stay on topic. And stop trying to score pts. There are plenty of other places on the web to do that. Here we want to discuss the issues without resorting to propaganda.
Because of this yr future comments will be moderated until I see that you’ve read & absorbed the rules.
Which must be why you named them, right?
exactly, scroll down a few messeges and you will find it, you should stop assuming that i am trying to lie or score points- i have made a statement that i will post and i have posted, originally i thought this was a well known fact so i did not bother to post, but because of the skepticism in here i posted it
read and enjoy
We don’t know for sure who is involved in the exchange, and if it involves uncharged detainees, it doesn’t matter for all intents and purposes because if they could have been charged with a crime, they would have been.
People who have not been charged with a crime cannot rightfully be called murderers or anything else.
Barghouti is a political prisoner; his conviction was based on political motivation. He did not kill anyone.
And Shirin is correct, that exile is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. But of course, we know Israel doesn’t care about human rights.
mary, i cannot account for all prisoners, generally i have no problem with releasing “lightweight” prisoners but when it comes to murderers ita a different story
you are correct that barghouti did not personally kill anyone but he is held accountable for these deaths as he commanded and instructed the terrorists who committed these murders, he is held accountable.
another reason i despise these “human rights” is that they are misused and starting to replace common sense
if reality forces you to free a convicted murderer, then so be it, but if you have measures to prevent him from murdering again (such as exile) that is the right thing to do
but NO! the “fourth geneva convention” says you can’t- now you have a dillema- the dry law that reads on the paper (which may not be so relevent to this current case) or the logical implications of the future- releasing that prisoner who has the motivation and the means to resume terrorist activity as soon as he’s freed?
i choose the latter, sorry
You are saying that it is legitimate not to follow the rule of law, when in fact the failure to do so has caused Israel’s problems to begin with. “Dry law” – what on earth is that? Law is not just something on paper – it is our means by which we avoid committing crimes against each other. Civilization cannot exist without laws, and they are meant to be followed, not cherrypicked to conform to the agenda of any regime.
Israel has created the situations by which it has suffered terrorism. Perhaps you should look at it from that perspective. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
for some reason i dont have the option to reply to your last post, so i am replying to my own post , anyway this is a response to your last post-
dry law is an expression we use in hebrew, i thought it exists in other languages too- it means when you have a dillema between what the law says and what your own moral senses tells you…blind obedience to law is not what keeps civillizations intact, sometimes questioning a law when it is unjust is what’s best
you have a choice- to violate international law and exile these people, but at the same time save the lives of your own citizens, or, you can stay true to international law and risk the lives of your own citizens, and by that commit crimes against them as the government that is supposed to protect them
if i were the one making the decision here i would be willing to accept the label of “violator of international law” or “war criminal” because the alternative would be to commit crime against those who will be hurt in the future by these murderers
(please be aware that i am only talking about THIS SPECIFIC CASE- we are talking about exiling prisoners who are charged of murder and have a visible motivation to resume terrorism)
in our case the risk of not exiling these people (loss of civiilian lives) outweighs the “crime” of exiling these people
i like your analogy of the prevention and cure, but i dont think that this case is relevent here- letting these people back into palestinian territory is not prevention, it’s madness
You don’t get the right to call the Geneva Conventions “unjust” when it is convenient to you to do so. That’s ridiculous.
Thank God you’re not.
Sorry, Ohad, I see so many of Israel’s problems resulting from its refusal to recognize and follow international laws that your argument makes no sense at all.
When a country refuses to follow the same laws agreed to by other nations, that country becomes a rogue or pariah state, which is what Israel is, or is about to become.
You have no reason to believe there would be an enormous outbreak of terrorism or violence if you free these people, but there is every reason to believe that you will continue to experience terrorism because your practices breed and encourage terrorism.
i do have a reason to believe actually, there have been historic precedents to this, there were increases in terrorist attacks after most major prisoner exchanges, in fact, some prisoners were released, and then captured again, and are now likely to be released…i remember there was an article about this on the newspaper a few days ago, i forgot the name but i can look it up for you if you cannot find it yourself
either way, when the international law collides with the safety of your own citizens and there is a clear, visible danger to your citizens should you choose to comply with international law, would you, as the president of a state, choose to comply with international law? (im asking a general question here, not about Israel specificaly)
No way. International law isn’t an option. It is a requirement of civilized society. THose which ignore international law, as Mary has written, deserve their pariah state. And I might add that it won’t end well for them in terms of their role in history.
And yes, most presidents in the world deliberately choose to comply with international law & they do so for a reason. Because they wish to remain with the international consensus of what is civilized behavior (except Israel and countries like Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sudan, etc.)
So when Obama bombs Yemen , killing about 100 “militants” in the last few days, it is on par with “international law”? will london judges call for his arrest? will the UN send Goldstone? is America a pariah state? damn hypocrites who cite “internaional consensuse” and “civilized behaviour”, talk about a caricature left and censorship.
The thread nesting seems to be broken again.
Rafi, who in here has lauded or even justified that latest blunder/war crime? You’re the first to bring it up. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who thinks that de-facto American freedom from accountability was one of the worst things to happen to both America and the world, who would very much like to see that changed, and to whom “my President, right or wrong” is absolutely not a “progressive” position at all.
but when Richard wants to name pariah states he lists Israel with Sudan and Guinea, not America, that is no accident, and if you think that Israeli leaders are war criminals and Obama isn’t, you’re a hypocrite, “progressive” or not.
most Israel critics (not to mention haters) call Israel to adhere to “international law” to break us, not because their adimration to international conventions and treaties, all the while dismissing our security concerns, just look at the inabilty to admit the danger posess by released prisoners, an exile is a lesser evil.
it’s not about “humane and civilised behaviour” and it’s not about “accountability”, maybe in Utopia.
Oh, stop whining, Rafi.
America isn’t any model of propriety in its actions, especially those taken during the Bush II administration, but that certainly doesn’t excuse Israel for being accountable for its actions against Palestinians.
Rafi, no one is out to “break Israel,” whatever that means. The international community is tired of Israel flouting international law, which is perfectly reasonable.
And although America has committed criminal acts, it has not kept up an illegal occupation for more than 40 years. So let’s not confuse the issues; one country is not comparable to another, and one country’s actions do not legitimize the actions of the other.
You’re really despicable. What war crime is OBama guilty of? Esp. compared to the blood that drips from the c.v.’s of all Israel’s senior leaders. I’m not excusing Palestinians militants as well in this regard. But to attempt to excuse yr own country’s blood-soaked record by blaming Barack Obama is beyond pathetic.
“when Obama bombs Yemen , killing about 100 “militants” in the last few days, it is on par with “international law”?”
“will london judges call for his arrest?”
“will the UN send Goldstone?”
“,i>is America a pariah state?”
Depends whom you ask.
“damn hypocrites who cite “internaional consensuse” and “civilized behaviour”, talk about a caricature left and censorship.”
Oh boo f****** hoo, Rafi. So, Israel’s teflon is finally wearing off. Life’s not fair. Deal with it.
Actually, seeing as how the government of Yemen consented to the attacks, the ius ad bellum part, for one, is far more clear than in any situation involving Israel.
As far as I’ve read, Yemen attacked these individuals. If you have any proof otherwise I’d like to see it.
And also as far as I remember, George Bush actually assassinated a U.S. citizen in Yemen who was believed to be an Al Qaeda operative. That makes it a targeted assassination of a U.S. citizen. Shall we try Bush for violating international law before we get to Obama? Not to mention the myriad of U.S. laws that must’ve been violated in this act.
You need to explain what your remark has to do with Israel, and why two wrongs somehow make a right.
America should be harshly criticized for its actions on many fronts, including supplying military equipment and money to Israel to help it kill Palestinians. There, does that make you feel better?
You can, and should, cite historic precedents if you claim they exist.
However, you still have not addressed the other part of my comment about how these acts of terrorism do not come from a vacuum. Do you not understand cause and effect? That Israel’s policies breed terrorists?
And for heaven’s sake please explain how the Palestinians can have the strength to govern their people when Israel continually keeps them apart by meddling in their internal politics? Hamas and Fatah should be united into one government for one people, but the power plays, supported by Israel and the US, have an end result of keeping the Palestinians weak and so the occupation continues. Which, I’m sure, is the whole point.
ok, i have a short list of prisoners that were imprisoned, released, and then returned to terrorist activities
the spelling might not be 100% accurate
the following were ahamas members who were arrested, deported to lebanon (1992), and due to international pressure by “HUMAN RIGHTS” activists returned to the palestinian territories and committed terrorist acts-
abd al-aziz rantisi
abdul rahman hamed (responsible for the dolphinarium massacre)
during the 1993-1999 oslo accords thousands were released as “gestures” to the Palestinians- according to a statement by the deputy security minister on 6/8/03, no less than 854 have been re-imprisoned because they have resumed terrorist activities
amongst these a prominent name is ahmad jbara (nicknamed abu sucar) who murdered 14 israelis in 1975, immediately after his released he called publicly for the continued abductions of Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Another example is the 1985 prisoner exchange- 238 terrorists have been released, out of which 114 were imprisoned for returning to their activity (that’s 48%)
Here are a few more names-
Karim ratab younes awwis (terribely misspelled I know) he was charged of murder of a Palestinian collaborator in 1991 and was sentenced to a life sentence- he was released during “gestures” to the Palestinians
The same person was later responsible for terrorist attacks in 2003, including 27/11/01- shooting attack in Afula and murdering 2 Israelis
Nasser abu-hamaid- tried and convicted in 1990 for the murder of 5 palestinian collaborators, for several life sentences, he was released during the oslo accords
He was documented to be one of those who abused the corpses of reserve soldiers vadim norzits and yossi avrahami in the Ramallah lynch, amongst other offences
Today he is sentenced to 7 life sentences
Ahsan shuhana- released from administrative detention- in june 04 was involved in an attempt to move an explosives charge from Nablus to hamas operators in hebron, this attempt was thwarted
In august 04 he was involved in an attack on a civilian bus making it’s way to a settlement in samaria, 3 israeli civilians were wounded
In December 04 he was assassinated by Israeli special forces
Ramz Sali abu salim- released in 6th of march 2003 from arrest in ketziot prison in the negev, for membership in Hamas- in 9th of September 2003 he exploded in “café hillel” and caused the deaths of 7
Fouad kwasamma- 12/02, released from administrative detention, against Shin-bet warnings, in 18.52003 he murdered the couple gadi and dina levi
Hamis ahmad abdalla- was released in may 1985, in January 2001 was killed in a battle with the Israeli “egoz” unit
I think this is more than enough to make my point clear- there have been MANY historic precedents, released terrorists go back into their activity, and pose a serious risk to hundreds of innocent Israeli citizens
i am once again sorry for the poor spelling of some of these names (if you know hebrew writing you would understand that since nobody bothers to add nikkud under their letters, it is sometimes quite difficult to read foreign unfamilliar names written in hebrew)
Ah yes, I just love the way human rights, and especially human rights law, are such a bother – unless, of course, they apply to oneself, and then they become holy and inviolable.
What you do not seem to understand is that human rights must be universal and absolute for all human beings because if you can find an excuse to deny them to one person someone can find an excuse to deny them to any person, including the Jews. Oh wait. Someone already did that, didn’t they? And as a direct response, the world encoded human rights into that set of human rights laws you so despise, including the Fourth Geneva Convention. And of course, Israel eagerly signed onto the set of legal instruments that was created as a direct result of the denial of human rights to Jews, and as eagerly has utterly ignored them in its own conduct.
How easily and how happily you forget history when it suits your purpose.
shirin- i often encounter claims that we Zionists use the holocaust for political reasons, and now i see you doing the exact same
how can you possibly compare these two cases and say they are even remotely similar? the ohlocaust was a brutal violation of human rights with no justification, so it was illegal and wrong
on the other hand, exiling these prisoners might be a violation of human rights, but it prevents a larger violation of human rights (murder that these people will commit, as i have already established to be an extreme likelihood as the past shows us- somehow you have ignored that point)
so we have this- violation of their human rights, that pales in comparison to the violation of human rights that will occur if they are treated according to the fourth geneva convention
a healthy common sense would say that violating their human rights is necessary, no law is absolute because when there is a collision between two laws you have to make a decision between the two- in our case we have this dillema that i mentioned so many times- the human rights of the terrorists, or the right to life of those they are trying to hurt
now im not saying you should crush their human rights without regards, but a reasonable compromise has to be made and for that reason exile is the most logical choice to make
as the past shows us sticking blindly to these human right laws and letting these terrorists back brings more terrorism and more suffering as these people ocntinue to commit acts of terror
but of course, this doesnt interest you nor these human rights organisations, what shocks me the most is the commotion that they’ve made after the 1992 prisoners were exiled to lebanon, they made an international scandal out of it, somehow, we never heard from these “human rights” organisations again after those same people committed attacks against israeli civillians
see why i despise most human rights organisations? they are two-faced and hypocritical, or at least, most of those i’ve encountered, i am not trying to generallize but that’s what i see
It seems that yr own gov’t disagrees w. you. It has accepted a pledge that all released prisoners will not return to terrorism. And not only that, you still have not provided any evidence that released Palestinian prisoners have reverted to terror. I concede it is possible that some have. But thousands have been released. How many have become recidivists?
But I simply will not allow you to repeat this unsupported claim w/o support. That’s one of the rules here. Pls follow it.
“i often encounter claims that we Zionists use the holocaust for political reasons, and now i see you doing the exact same”
I would love to respond fully to this and what follows it, but no time now. I just have to say that I am shocked and disappointed that you are trying to equate the Zionists’ blatant and generally cynical use of the Holocaust as a marketing tool, and my reference to it as the trigger event that brought the world community together around the need for universal laws governing human rights. It is the one positive thing to have come out of the Holocaust in fact.
I will try to say more later.
Ohad, you just don’t get it. A child can understand cause and effect. You worry so much about “terrorists” to the point where you feel it is justifiable to ignore international law, and the actions committed by your country as a result do nothing more than perpetuate the violence. I have no idea why you don’t understand this simple premise.
You reap what you sow – I say that again and again, because it is a fact. Israel’s policies and actions breed terrorism, and the answer to that is not to continue to flout the law and act as a rogue, a middle eastern banana republic hiding its dirty deeds behind a phony excuse of needing to “defend ourselves.” You just don’t see the blowback, do you? Palestinian violence does not come out of a vacuum; there is a cause for which it is the effect.
I will say it again – get back behind the green line and stay there. Stop acting like hysterical children, wantonly killing and destroying in outrageously disproportionate ways. In other words, stop acting like the terrorists you fear so much.
Congratulations on Al Jazeera.
You are wrong that the media is not allowed to publish the opinions of the officials, the army’s chief of staff supports the deal, which caused the national security advisor Uzi Arad -who is against it- to mock him sunday as the head of the PTA and not the army, Arad later apologised.
The opinions of ministers are known, Lieberman against, Barak for, some are still undecided like Bibi, the only one censored is Shin Bet head, for some reason.
So you are against an attemp to rescue Gilad? sure, it’s dangerous and the odds are that there will be casualties, but with the right intel it is worth the risk, same with a prisoners deal.
Even an article published in Haaretz a day or so ago confirmed there is censorship preventing full reporting on this story. The problem is that the Israeli media can’t tell us what are the specific criteria they can’t report. So we just don’t know what we’re not learning that we should.
A hostage rescue would likely be a disaster. Of course, it could free Shalit & I could be proven wrong. But I don’t think so.
“sure, [attempting to rescue Gilad] is dangerous and the odds are that there will be casualties, but with the right intel it is worth the risk”
OK, let me get this straight. By exchanging a tiny percentage of the Palestinians Israel is holding prisoner, few if any of whom have ever been tried let alone convicted of anything, Israel can guarantee the safe return of Gilad Shalit, all in one piece, to the waiting arms of his family. You, however, consider it preferable for the State to attempt a “rescue” which you admit is dangerous and has a high probability of resulting in one or more deaths, very likely including the death of the rescuee, Gilad Shalit, himself. Now let me think….a nice, civilized prisoner exchange with zero casualties and a guaranteed safe return of Gilad Shalit versus a rescue attempt that has a high probability of ending with a dead Gilad Shalit plus additional casualties. Oh yeah, let’s go for the dead Shalit over the guaranteed safe and sound one. After all, a failed rescue attempt is so much more heroic and manly than a nice safe, sane prisoner exchange, and if it goes badly it has the added bonus of being really, really tragic and sad.
Your deep concern for Gilad Shalit’s life and limb and that of other Israelis is truly touching.
the deep concern is for the dozens if not hundreds of israelis that will be put in risk after these murderers are freed
i have nothing against the release of non-murders, some prisoners are there for rioting and other offences, that’s my idea of a “nice, civilized prisoner deal”
on the other hands, releasing people which we are CERTAIN that will return to terrorism is being careless about the lives of israeli citizens
so the risk of a rescue attempt is in my opinion justified because the alternative of releasing murderers would put more lives at stake
Ohad, let me say what every critic of Israel should have the guts to say ~ when your society revolves around the destruction and dissolution of another society, you make your civilians fair game. No country like Israel ever avoided retaliation against its own civilians and destroying at least one other civilization is the prerequisite for countries like Israel to exist, unless you think Palestinians were all desert nomads and foreign workers and Israel was built on sand dunes.
Israeli civilians are at risk because Zionism hasn’t changed from where it started, using force to take what you want. You’ll always be at risk, even if some Arab leaders can be be bribed or bullied into accepting you, until you find a way to exist without war on civilians. And that may involve giving up Zionism.
And yes, a handful of Palestinians have done terrible things that most people would find indefensible. However, they are in Israeli prisons because they are Palestinian, not because of what they did. If you think letting scum back on the street is bad, how about promoting Captain R to major? Any solution to this conflict is going to involve letting a lot of scum go free, because scum are only punished after a military solution and this conflict has none.
really? the reason a palestinian murderer is in an israeli prison is because he is a palestinian, NOT because he is a murderer?
the reason they go into Israeli prisons is because palestinian law does nothing to stop these people, on the other hand it supports them, so please, quit trying to make the actions they committed irellevent, because they are relevent.
and why do you think our society revolves around destroying palestinian society? the first Zionists actually supported settling in the negev desert to reduce friction with the arabs, there is no contradiction between Zionism and coexistence, you have a very poor view on Zionism, perhaps you consider the radical settler’s ideology to be the embodiment of Zionism but that’s far from true, the settler radicals are not REAL zionists in my opinion
and no, i dont think palestinians were all desert nomads and foreign workers, but in all honestly they had no unifying nationalism before Zionism arrived (zionism created palestinian nationalism) – beyond that, i would like you to be more specific about the point you are trying to make here because i cant give you a clear answer with such a vague arguement…
i did not understand “promoting captain R to major” – please give me more details what you are talking about.
That’s actually ridiculous. Ahmed Sadaat, who you referenced in an earlier comment was actually in a Palestinian prison serving a sentence for his crime, when Israel launched a military operation to destroy his prison & kidnapped him & threw him in an Israeli prison. He was never tried by an Israeli court for his crime.
You are correct, andrew. You reap what you sow.
But I’m sure the apartheid wall will keep the newly released murderers away, right? That’s why you built the wall, correct?
You have to look at the perspectives – terrorists or resistance fighters? Suicide bombing is terrorism; however, belonging to a political party in opposition to the occupation is not.
Israel tossed Hamas’ parliament into prison when it won the elections in Gaza in 2006. Those men are not terrorists and should be released.
Fatah is still a legitimate resistence, somehow, but Hamas, calling in it’;s charter for the destruction of israel and making racist, even antisemite claims (and i have plenty of quotes there) can hardly be called a legitimate resistence- they are comparable to fascist regimes like the Nazis except they have a religious motivation behind them- which makes them even more fanatic
Hamas is a legitimate Palestinian national movement & it’s charter does not render it illegitimate. The Nazi analogy is a violation of my comment rules. Don’t use this analogy again or risk causing curtailment of yr comment privileges.
“palestinian law does nothing to stop these people”
Which doesn’t have jurisdiction outside the Area A. If the West Bank was a real sovereign state free of Israeli control, it could police itself. And it has to be assumed any Palestinian defendant was railroaded through the military court system.
If it was just the first Zionists, there might’ve been a few disparate communities here and there, although as Jamestown demonstrates, even one colony is not harmless. Once they attached themselves to a military power, namely the British, conflict was inevitable. Of course even during the Ottoman era the settlements were not neutral as peasants were evicted from the newly-acquired land (which was usually bought through legal loopholes).
I hope that bit about nationalism wasn’t supposed to be a pro-Zionist argument.
for captain r read:
And finally, please spare us the song and dance about how we have to pay attention to Hamas’ anti-Jewish rhetoric. When they create a permanent arms economy, talk about a final reckoning with France, discuss the need for new territories in the east and enact forced sterilization then you can start comparing them to Nazis. If not liking Jews makes you a Nazi, that could easily go for Herzl, Balfour and Ben-Gurion (middle eastern Jews in his case).
“the reason a palestinian murderer is in an israeli prison is because he is a palestinian, NOT because he is a murderer?”
The numbers tend to support that at least one reason a Palestinian murderer is in an Israeli prison is that he is a Palestinian.
“the reason they go into Israeli prisons is because palestinian law does nothing to stop these people”
So, Palestinian law should be for the purpose of protecting Israeli Jews who are conducting the illegal occupation and colonization of Palestinian land.
“and why do you think our society revolves around destroying palestinian society?”
Once again, please do not fabricate statements that are easy to refute in place of the statements people have actually made. Address what I have actually said or do not address me at all. No one has said your society revolves around destroying Palestinian society.
“the first Zionists actually supported settling in the negev desert to reduce friction with the arabs”
What utter rubbish! Zionists have never settled anywhere for the sake of relations with the “Arabs” (more accurately known in this context as Palestinians). Exactly whom do you think you are addressing here, some naive American who gets all their information from Zionist tracts? Give us a break.
“there is no contradiction between Zionism and coexistence”
Tell that to mainstream Zionists starting with Herzl, who understood well the necessity of cleansing the land of indigenous non-Jews. True, they did not originally intend to do it violently because they had no idea that the Palestinians might actually be attached to the land of their ancestors, the place they were born, grew up, and had their homes, farms, businesses, families, neighbors, cemeteries, monuments, and all that was familiar and dear to them. Herzl made it explicit that he believed if denied a means of livelihood in Palestine the Palestinians would simply pick up and go somewhere else, despiste generations of family history in Palestine.
“you have a very poor view on Zionism…”
Can’t speak for Mary, but my view on Zionism is based primarily on a study of history.
“zionism created palestinian nationalism”
So much Zionist BS, so little time! This one is straight out of Zionist Self-Serving Mythology About the “Arabs” 101, and historically incorrect. It is, in fact, straight out of a chapter from the Joan Peters fraud. Convenient, though. It IS certainly true that Zionism strengthened and solidified Palestinian nationalism over the years. Nothing like being dispossessed, and having one’s existence denied to magnify one’s sense of identity. It is also true that Palestinian nationalism, although it had some “help” from Zionism, has followed pretty much the same trajectory and timing as nationalism has had in the rest of the Arab world, and evidence is that it would have progressed right along with the rest of the various nationalisms in that part of the world with or without Zionism.
“and why do you think our society revolves around destroying palestinian society?”
Once again, please do not fabricate statements that are easy to refute in place of the statements people have actually made.
I actually said that.
“I actually said that.”
Well, then, I take back what I said, then. In this case he was not making it up.
Andrew, thanks for publishing the link to the story about “captain R.” I read it, but wonder if Ohad has. Otherwise Ohad would by now surely have expressed his worries about captain R. returning to his previous activities of finishing off wounded Palestinian children. (Certainly now that R. has been released AND awarded with a promotion and payment of compensation for being ‘wrongfully’ detained.)
shirin, you seriously need to stop blaming me for making things up all the time and actually READ who i am talknig with
and no, im sorry, palestinian nationallity has been virtually null before Zionism, please note that i am not saying palestinian nationality is not legitimate, but it developed alongside zionists, and the fact that the arabs of palestine had no unifying nationality, made some jews believe that it was a “land without a people for a people without a land” – at the time the land of palestine was considered by arabs to be part of “bilad al-sham” which also included syria- when the british and the french created artificial borders the arabs first objected it, but then as Zionism spreaded it solidified the palestinian nationality- i really cant understand why pro-palestinians try to fight this so fiercely, it really doesnt matter who has deeper roots, both us and them are both stuck in this land and have to find a solution together, it doesnt MATTER who came first
regarding my statement about the negev settlement- David ben-gurion actually encouraged settlement in the negev to reduce friction with the arabs, he made it a public statement, and tried to make an example by moving into the negev himself
regarding the palestinian law not stopping murderers- no, palestinian law shouldnt defend israelis, but it should persecute murderers just like in any civillized society, and when it fails to do so and considers these murderers national heroes it is OUR role to bring them to justice
Andrew- fine, not the Nazi’s but i wsill compare them to the KKK or any other racist organisation you can imagine, its not just that they dont like jews, but their charter is filled with libels and opinions that are comparable to the spanish inquisition, saying that they are NOT an antisemite organisation is being blind- again i was assuming these quotes were a known fact , i will bring them here if necessary (although, if you can find them yourself it would be much easier for me, it took me a while to compile the prisoner list that i HOPED people would find themselves, but i was disappointed)
No, you won’t. We’ve dealt with scores of right wing commenters here like you seeking to score big pts against Hamas with an irrelevant document which no one in Hamas or elsewhere pays any attention to. If you wish to criticize Hamas you will have to do better by dealing with its current policies & behavior & not a 20 yr old document.
Do NOT go off of a Hamas charter tangent here.
Are we talking about Hamas’ refusal to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist? Cause I read that they dropped that:
As far as I know Hamas has not acknowledged Israel’s so-called “right to exist” – at best a ridiculous demand from any Palestinian. Hamas has, however, accepted Israel’s existence within the green line, and has stated explicitly that it will agree to Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital, which is all Israelis can reasonably expect of anyone.
Heavens to betsy bugs! OK, I’ll try again. Comments going weird places. Up yonder what I wanted to say. (ready now, going to hit submit comment, fingers crossed, this has never occurred before I don’t think-sorry Richard)
Hi Shirin, I was replying to Richard’s statement about the Hamas charter but my comment didn’t go where it was supposed to go. It’s just that I’ve read that argument so many times, so I found these two links that should deflate that line of thinking. They say the same thing you just said. 🙂
“Fatah is still a legitimate resistence, somehow, but Hamas, calling in it’;s charter for the destruction of israel and making racist, even antisemite claims (and i have plenty of quotes there) can hardly be called a legitimate resistence- they are comparable to fascist regimes like the Nazis except they have a religious motivation behind them- which makes them even more fanatic”
I get it now. The only “legitimate” resistance groups are those who are nonviolent even in the fact of extreme Zionist violence. Which is BS because there are many nonviolent resistance fighters (Othman and Juma among them) who engage only in nonviolent forms of resistance.
Hamas fights air strikes and ground assaults, and the IDF shooting Palestinian civilians including children, by firing rockets and voicing a desire to destroy Israel. Are you serious in trying to put them on equal footing with you in terms of strength and ability? You know damned well that Hamas cannot destroy Israel.
You cannot keep on killing and killing, and hope you’ve eliminated your enemies because you are breeding them by your actions. Make peace, stop the aggression against Palestinians, stop stealing from those people and stop exploiting them, and you might just make some progress.
Nicely said, Mary.
“shirin, you seriously need to stop blaming me for making things up all the time and actually READ who i am talknig with”
I acknowledged my error in that one case. On the other hand, there have been multiple other cases in which you have seriously misrepresented what I and others said in order to give yourself a better argument. I am not suggesting you did it consciously, but you most certainly did it on more than one occasion.
“and no, im sorry, palestinian nationallity has been virtually null before Zionism”
That simply contradicts historical fact. I would refer you to the study by the late Baruch Kimmerling, among others. I can cite chapter and verse for you if you like, but I do not have time to look up the references at the moment. I appreciate your acknowledgment that Palestinian nationalism is legitimate, but I simply cannot let you get away with the fiction that it began with and consequently as a result of Zionism.
“i really cant understand why pro-palestinians try to fight this so fiercely”
That is not difficult. We fight it because it is false, and not coincidentally because it is, for Zionists, completely self-serving.
“it really doesnt matter who has deeper roots”
Yeah, it kind of does, although it is not something I generally make an issue of.
“both us and them are both stuck in this land and have to find a solution together, it doesnt MATTER who came first”
What matters is that Palestine had a settled population when the Zionists decided to turn it into a state for European Jews. What matters is that the mainstream view of those European Zionists was that the existing population – or at least the non-Jewish majority – had to be removed from the land to accommodate their ambitions of creating a European Jewish state. And what matters is that they accomplished that, ultimately “by blood and fire”, and that the project of removing the non-Jewish indigenous population continues to this day by a variety of means, including but not limited to “blood and fire”. So yes, it matters.
And yes, ultimately the two parties must find a way to live in the land together, which would never have been a problem had the Zionists accepted the rights of the Palestinians to begin with. And it is absolutely clear which party is putting insurmountable obstacles in the way of the coexistence that you appear to accept.
“David ben-gurion actually encouraged settlement in the negev to reduce friction with the arabs, he made it a public statement, and tried to make an example by moving into the negev himself”
David ben-Gurion made a lot of public statements that were contradicted by his private statements and his actions. I don’t believe for a moment that he promoted the colonization of the negev OR moved there in order to improve relations with the “Arabs”.
And finally, at least for now, when Israel prosecutes (not persecutes) murderers of Palestinians (and gays, and other marginal persons) then you will have the right to demand that Palestinian authorities prosecute murderers also. Until then, I suggest you clean up your own house before you criticize others’ housekeeping.
Stop putting 3 million Palestinians at risk 24/7, and you will be amazed how quickly the risk to Israelis will cease.
Aren’t we glad the Israeli gov’t isn’t using you as their consultant on this matter. If so, Shalit would never be released.
After three years and with his freedom so close to reality, you would opt to risk throwing it all away and probably getting this young man, and other people, killed? Put a cork in the testosterone and be reasonable. Hamas did not keep Shalit alive for three years except for the sincere desire to negotiate the release of Palestinian prisoners. When they are released, Shalit will be released. Why don’t you just let it play out?
this has nothing to do with testosterone, are you serious?
i do want him released, i really do, but im not narrowminded enough to see only that part of the situation, his release would be a happy occassion to all israelis, withotu a doubt, but several months after, when an ex-prisoner that was released in the deal, commits an attack on israelis, who will be held accountable, and what will be said to the families who lost their sons?
i also find it ridiculous for combat soldiers in the israeli army who risk their lives and arrest a very wanted terrorist who is guilty of crimes against israelis to have to hunt that person down AGAIN because he was freed in a prisoner exchange
Are you kidding? It has EVERYTHING to do with testosterone. MUCH preferable to stage a manly, heroic rescue with the high likelihood of getting the rescuee and others killed than to get the prisoner released in one piece.
no, its MUCH preferable to avoid the high casualty rate that will be caused by dozens if not hundreds of murderers going loose, and then having to explain to the families of the victims that “we had to put a cork on the testosterone”
Congratulations, Richard. I think this explains where the trolls are coming from, but take it as a compliment. The stronger your voice becomes, the harder they will try to shout you down. And by the way, it’s a great article too.
I hope the Likuds don’t try to do something foolish at this late date, unless they’re cold blooded enough to attempt a rescue knowing it will be botched, then using it as an excuse for another brutal rampage on Gaza. Patience and caution have kept Gilad Shalit in good health and safety; this is a prudent course to continue following. InshaAllah, this patience will be rewarded.
Pretty good analysis in your Al Jazeera article, especially with regard to Marwan Barghouti. There are a lot of risks though. Time will tell.
We won’t know if Barghouti will be released until the time comes. I think Abbas is pretty much washed up, and Barghouti will give the Israelis the “negotiating partner” they have claimed they want – but actions speak louder than words. There has been nothing showing good faith in wanting to resume negotiations. The so-called settlement freeze is as phony as a three-dollar bill. I don’t know whether Barghouti would get beyond this impasse if he ends up in Abbas’ place at the bargaining table.
I am really happy that Al Jazeera are now publishing you Richard. I did write to them myself and let them know that such a great writer should be snapped up by them, because he will show the Arabs that not all Zionists are like Lieberman, and many want peace.
I really hope you go places now Richard, the exposure is terrific, as hopefully they may now put you on one of their live shows you know. If you speak Hebrew like you said you do, even better as Israel has a bureaux i think, but i’m not sure, due to the war and Hamas propoganda, they have had tiffs, where they close down and then re-open.
But I think even Tel Aviv realise that it’s better to be on Al Jazeera rather than off, becauuse you get to say what you want to a huge audience. It’s not just Arab, you have the channel translated into many languages in the Muslim world, Turkey, Pakistan, and so on.
But even if not, you can be on the English channel which is very influental, it rivals the BBC in quality. I hope they eventually give you a little spot in the broadcasting. We need men like you to team up with prominent Arabs and bring peace to the region. Arabs and others who are fed lies by their media will see first hand that it is not all like they are told and there is another side to it.
Good for you Richard, nobody deserves it better:)
You’re living proof that a good one man blogger can really hit the big time with perseverance:)
I’m not sure I’ve “hit the big time,” but thank you so much for your good wishes & suggesting that I query Al Jazeera to begin with.
maybe i was too enthusiastic, but there are many writers who would give their right arms to be published on Al Jazeera. Also now that they “know” you, you have a foot in the door, and can move up into their other projects.
Wikipedia does say
In 2004, Al Jazeera was voted by brandchannel.com readers as the fifth most influential global brand behind Apple Computer, Google, Ikea and Starbucks.
and also don’t forget to try the BBC online Web service too, but more than the British one, I think it’s the right wing American media that needs voices like yours. Fox is crap with right wing nuts, and CNN is better, but try to get on there, they need voices like yours,
Regarding the comments on the military censorship..every country even the US, UK has censors in place during war or in military matters and media have to abide by them.
The U.S. does not have censorship even in wartime as far as I know. That’s doesn’t mean the military doesn’t try to control the media. But I’m not aware of censorship.
RE: “Israeli demands for exiling certain freed prisoners”
MY COMMENT: Will the U.S. and Europe agree to take in these people (and their families) and allow them to travel freely so as to give talks about the situation in Gaza and Judea/Samaria? In that event, it might not be such a bad idea.
P.S. It is my understanding that Israel wants to exile approximately 100 such detainees/prisoners.
Maybe the US and Israel wouldn’t like it, but I’d sure like to see it.
RE: “Maybe the US and Israel wouldn’t like it” – Mary
ME: Hence the adage “be careful what you wish for”. Hamas should insist the U.S. and Europe agree to take in these freed detainees/prisoners (and their families) and allow them to travel freely so as to give talks. If Israel and the U.S. don’t like it, then tough…..tomatoes (no exile)!
RE: “Hamas should insist the U.S. and Europe agree to take in these freed detainees/prisoners (and their families)”
ME: Perhaps half of them in Europe and half in the good old U.S.A.
Oh noes!!! The US of A wouldn’t agree to that, they still can’t figure out what to do with the Gitmo inmates. You know the ones – haven’t been charged with a crime, have been tortured. If nobody wants those guys, they’re certainly not going to want some Hamas “terrorists” for neighbors, either.
Good piece, Richard, and hopefully it will be the first of many for Al Jazeera.
I must take issue, though, with your referring to Gilan Shalit as having been “abducted”, though that is preferable to the term “kidnapped”. Shalit is an active-duty soldier who was performing his military responsibilities at the time, so he was captured and taken pisoner, not “abducted”. I hope we can all arrange to avoid repeating thefo=
I want to echo Andrews comments. No Israeli is a civilian and is thus fair game for the resistance. In addition, certain activities are culturally ingrained. Hitting the enemy where they eat or dance is endogenous to Middle Eastern cultures, thus condemning these endogenous forms of resistance is a form of racism itself. I thus cannot condemn the so called bombings of the dolphinarium or other restaurants,because in the cultural milieu of the Middle East, these are acceptable activities. FOr 6 decades, we have been telling israelis that they endanger Jews everywhere because the resistance could spread out of Palestine. If you want peace, you must return ALL of Palestine
This comment constitutes a gross violation of my comment rules. Read these rules before commenting again. Your future comments will be moderated & further violations will cause yr privileges to be revoked.
“No Israeli is a civilian and is thus fair game for the resistance. In addition, certain activities are culturally ingrained. Hitting the enemy where they eat or dance is endogenous to Middle Eastern cultures, thus condemning these endogenous forms of resistance is a form of racism itself.”
Shirin rolls eyes, shakes head, and smirks derisively.
I think this person is a troll, but whether of the extreme right or left variety, I don’t know. Periodically I get such strange comments & I don’t know what to make of them. They’re so bloodthirsty that they would actually seem to be fraudulent & written by right-wingers posing as extreme left wingers, which makes sense in a strange, perverted sort of way.
She’s caricaturing what she thinks are leftwing positions. You know, it’s racist to let Arabs off the hook and tell Big Daddy Israel not to discipline them.
Yep. Nothing about it rings true. I would agree with Andrew that it is a rather lame attempt to caricature left wing positions.
Right-wing troll, I’d say. Choosing the name Stella Goldschlag is somewhat of a giveaway.
Agree, and thanks for the link, I didn’t know about the real Stella Goldschlag. Diana Tovar’s article is fascinating, in stark contrast to the execrable piece in the Holocaust Chronicle.
Oh, she’s calling anti-Zionist Jews collaborators. Because that’s exactly what Marek Edelman was.
If your claim about Edelman is serious, it seems not only cruel, but possibly erroneous.
I wasn’t calling Marek Edelman a collaborator. I was using him as an example of how ridiculous it is to call anti-Zionist Jews collabs since that’s what “Stella Goldschlag” was doing.
Sorry for misunderstanding you.
Thanks for that bit of research. Yet another troll, albeit a slightly more savvy one than most.
Mary just sighs at the racism in this comment. Yeah, all middle eastern cultures are inherently violent, thus, suicide bombings are “acceptable.”
No Israeli is a civilian and is thus fair game for the resistance.
You get a D+ in echoing my comments.
Congratulations on making into Al Jazeera!
Like many other regulars who support you here, I feel a sense of personal triumph to read your words of sanity reaching far and wide.
May we all live so see true peace as the norm to humanity than the exception.
well, this is going to bwe my last post, i have to admit these conversations here were “enlightening” in a way
while i respect some of those with whom i discussed here, i am shocked by how hypocritical some posts here can get- i was requested to bring evidence that palestinian prisoners return to terrorism, so i brought some statistical data, (that around 48% get arrested again) and osme sample names
somehow, it was claimed that it does not constitute any kind of evidence because “a few names are not enough”
am i to assume i need to dig up the names of every individual person who was re-arrested? that’s ridiculous, i also dont expect you to consider the statistics of how many people returned to prison because, quite simply, you are automatically skeptic about anything that has to do with the Israeli government
somehow that kind of skepticism was only directed at me, other posters are free to get away with comments such as “it must be assumed that those prisoners were tortured” or that “it is obvious that even if they were tried, they were railroaded through the millitary court system”
it feels like i was immediately labelled as a “hasbarat troll” because i dared to have opinions different than oyurs, it’s funny because i imagined people who surf these kind of websites to be open-minded
still, somehow, my main points were disregarded in almost any posts i made, nobody bothered to answer one simple question, practically all i discussed when it came to the prisoner exchange boiled down to this simple question-
were you a head of a state, and you were given this kind of choice, would you release prisoners and endanger your own civillians , thus violating their human rights in the future, or commit a lesser violation of human rights and exile the prisoners?
the only “answer” i received is that “human rights are absolute so you cant violate them” – again ignoring the main point- either way here human rights will be broken, you can choose between a greater evil or a lesser evil, but of course, i expect “human rights” activists such as yourselves to be able to comprehend these kinds of situations….
i actually came here with hopes of a constructive conversation, i really am disappointed, weither way, i will not continue to troll these pages because i see its no use
either way, if you feel like commenting to this, feel free, i will come back to read this tomorrow, but i am not posting here again, have fun
I sometimes miss comments posted here for various reasons. I appear to have missed yours. Pls. send me the link to yr stats on Palestinian recidivism. I will review it. But I also caution you that the reliability of this statistic depends on the source.
Other commenters replied forthrightly to yr question saying yes, a national leader must abide by international law & cannot take law into their own hands even if they believe it MAY (note that word) protect their own citizens fr. some indeterminate future attack.
For what it is worth, Ohad:
– I, for one, did not label you as anything, nor did I assume you were either a hasbarist, or a troll.
– No one here said “it must be assumed that those prisoners were tortured” or anything like that, so again you are making up something in order to create for yourself an easy argument. I said that “it is a fair bet that at least some of them have been tortured”, which is very, very different from “it must be assumed that those prisoners were tortured”. Unlike what you claim I said my statement was very reasonable and realistic based on Israel’s record of routinely torturing Palestinians whom they detain and imprison for any reason or for no stated reason. How many other countries in this world have been so brazen as to openly make torture legal for heaven’s sake?! Israel has even been known to torture children, for god’s sake, some of them quite young. So I stand by my statement that it is a fair bet that at least some of the prisoners who are to be released were tortured.
– I answered your question, as Richard pointed out. I would further point out to you that you have some serious misconceptions about matters involving human rights, and should learn a bit more about the principles involved. No, either way human rights will not be violated. It cannot in any way or under any condition be a violation of Israeli human rights to honour the human rights of others. It is not a question of what “human right activists like us” can comprehend, it is a matter of understanding the universal stature of human rights, and the fact that you cannot deny human rights to anyone for any reason. Along those lines I would suggest that had Israel and its Zionist founders cared more for human rights all along things would be very, very different both historically and in the present day.
Sorry you are disappointed, and sorry, really, that you don’t want to stick around.
And a brief comment from me – Shirin, your commentary was excellent in this thread. You stated your views eloquently, logically and your supporting information is accurate.
You have also correctly identified the core issue here, that being the human rights of all persons. Human rights laws cannot be cherrypicked for any reason, not least of which is an imagined scenario of future recidivism. This is precisely the kind of evil that keeps innocent people locked up in Israeli prisons and in places such as Bagram and Guantanamo. It is not acceptable to keep people incarcerated because of what you think they might do in the future. And for heaven’s sake, one country’s citizens’ rights should not be preferred over another’s, which is what Ohad clearly advocates in his comments. He is implying that a Palestinian is a lesser human than an Israeli, and that seems to be a significantly common attitude among some Israelis I know.
Thank you for the kind words, Mary.
Unfortunately, Obama is giving legitimacy to so-called “preventive detention” by advocating and adopting it himself in the case of Guantanamo detainees, and no doubt others – additional evidence that as low as my expectations of him were, they were not low enough.
And you are so right that Ohad and others are setting Israeli Jews above Palestinians on the humanity scale. This goes directly against the most fundamental and essential principle of human rights concepts and laws, which is and must be absolute, that all human beings are equal and are entitled to the same rights on the same basis regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, age, gender, education, socio-economic status, or even other legal status. That includes the worst of the worst, the best of the best, and everyone in between. Unfortunately, in the thinking of some people, including our friend Ohad, all human beings are equal, but some are more human than others.
Coincidentally or not coincidentally, both the US and Israel engage in this suspension of habeas corpus and “administrative detention,” as well as “enhanced interrogations.” Obama is just what I expected him to be, another robotic stooge of the Congress which is controlled by special interests. He is a man of pretty words but no action, having proven himself to be a moral coward no better than George W. Bush. I did not dare to hope for anything from Obama, not after seeing him grovel before AIPAC while on the campaign stump.
You’re right again; some people are more human than others, apparently. White Christians qualify before brown Muslims, and the rich before the poor. It is so easy for Americans to put the people who have funny-sounding names and funny-sounding languages and who wear funny-looking clothes further down on the humanity scale.
Human rights laws seem to have become optional; the circumstances where they are applied appear to be chosen from out of thin air, to fit the needs of an agenda and not to fulfill a moral imperative. The true test of humanity is to apply the laws equally to all people, not only those whom we “like”; we must treat the murderer, the rapist, the terrorist with as much compassion and humanity as the innocent child. This is the test of our humanity.
OK, forgive me for jumping in here, but a few commentors went off in the direction of this subject so I wanted to make a comment if I may.
The Saudi air force has been striking Yemeni “rebels” since Nov 3
Fighting between Saudi forces and the rebels kicked off on November 3, when the kingdom accused the rebels of killing a border guard and occupying two villages in its territory.
Saudi jets began bombing rebel positions the following day.
Prince Khaled said on Tuesday that the fighting has killed 73 Saudi soldiers, wounded 470 and left 26 missing.
That article, dated three days ago states KSA gave them three days to withdraw from Saudi territory or they will “destroy” them.
People lose track of the fact that the regime of Saudi Arabia is Bin Laden’s nemesis. This situation is damn near impossible to get to the bottom of-the news being so hard to come by. According to some reports it was Yemeni forces that struck this compound where the imam was thought to be, other sources say it was KSA. If it was KSA-these are American purchased arms, the air force trained by Northrop. Now a convenient terrorist who supposedly was trained in Yemen attempts a terrorist plot on board a Detroit bound plane.
The BBC reported on Dec 14 that the Saudi air force struck a market in Yemen and killed 70. Yemeni sources denied the attack by KSA! This latest assault SUPPOSEDLY was carried out by the Yemeni air force with Saudi and American intelligence.
I know, I’m not making sense. BUT, Prince Khaled of Saudi Arabia made the statement that 73 Saudi military have been killed. This isn’t anything to be overlooked whatsoever vis a vis Israel because at the same time you have “Bin Laden’s daughter” showing up at the Saudi embassy in Iran! Maybe it’s just me but there sure are a whole lot of interesting things going on at the same time here! Yemen is suddenly in the SPOTLIGHT, Israel always has Iran in it’s crosshairs, pretty damn serious border fighting going on on the southern border of Saudi Arabia-with the US eager to lend a hand.
Things are getting REAL dangerous here guys, and it goes way beyond that plane incident and this one airstrike that has been in our news. Something is in the air and I for one would sure like to know what the hell it is because it REEKS.
How the heck did my comment end up way up there? Sorry, I must have done something wrong obviously. Anyhoo-just wanted to note that UNUSUAL things are going on in the Middle East-beyond the norm which we all know there is no such thing.
That’s okay. You have so many bumholes passing through I probably shouldn’t use flippancy/sarcasm.