78 thoughts on “Israel’s Kristallnacht: Police Demolish Bedouin Mosque – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Your article is out of proportion and biased with self hatrd. Israel destroyed a synagogue few days ago, there are in Israel probably hundreds of mosques and I did see a condemnation when Muslims bomb mosques.

    [ed., this is the Hebrew original of this comment]

    אני אתרגם מה שכתבתי באנגלית
    1. ישראל הרסה בית כנסת שנבנה בניגוד לחוק.
    2. בעירק מוסלמים מפוצצים מסגדים ולא שמעתי גינוי למעשה זה. כשמוסלמים הורגים מוסלמים אנו מקבלים זאת כמובן מאליו, אולם כשיהודים הורגים מוסלמים כל העולם מזדעק.

    1. self hatrd [sic]

      Major comment rule violation. Read my comment rules if you’re not just slumming & plan to comment here again.

      I noted that in the post. These synagogues were destroyed for one reason only: because they violated the settlement freeze. If they were built now they would not be destroyed.

      I strongly urge you to have someone who knows English better help you in writing your comment or else publish it in Hebrew (which I read). I have no idea what the the last few words of your comment mean.

    2. The very notion that you brought this up, even though you clearly can’t read English well, but probably, based on what you wrote, should have understood very well that Richard already mentioned the synagogues (the same phrase you wrote appears in his blog), illustrates for me that this was a manufactured talking point ready to confront any blog that mentions this story and is critical. That’s some half-assed hasbara work ethic I’d say… ;\ If they’re gonna send trolls over here, send us the elite commando ones. Then again, that is just another code word for pirate.

      1. I did add the paragraph about the destruction of synagogues about 60 minutes after I published the original version. So I’d make an allowance for the possilbility that he might’ve read the original version w/o the paragraph about the synagoguges.

    3. A guy who quotes universalist views in a John Donne being criticized by a guy who sees universalism as anti-Semitic self-loathing. This is Israel in a nutshell.

      A nation that, for all its claims to simply want to be a “nation among nations,” doesn’t know how, doesn’t want to for that matter, and is now solely responsible — 63 years after its founding — for its own likely demise.

      Talk about self-loathing!

    4. Somehow I doubt very much that the State of Israel has destroyed synagogues inside Israel proper. The same cannot be said for mosques or churches. They have destroyed, desecreated, and confiscated and “repurposed” both.

  2. While I can readily appreciate and applaud the stance taken by Richard in relation to this incident, I still can’t quite make out if any overall strategy attaches to his remarks. Perhaps there isn’t one and only tactics are involved here. If one purpose of this blog is to catalogue and critique the many faults and failings on both sides of the divide, then that is entirely commendable. But, no matter how erudite the condemnation or the exhortation, can these, of themselves, ever be sufficient to close the files, to render justice at a level deemed acceptable to all?

    Without a specific framework upon which to append this mass of reportage and data, the vast bulk of it must fall by the wayside, fading from our collective consciousness each day, with so little of it remaining to focus and make relevant the many personal and public tragedies that haunt this unhappy region of our world.

    Perhaps, in the end, only the Recording Angel will be able to extract some sense out of all that’s happened.
    What a pity He’s never around these days, now when we really could do with the services of just such an individual.

    But, there again, maybe we don’t need him at all. Because it should be possible for us to do the job ourselves.

    ‘For there are always possibilities.’

    And yes, ‘no man is an island, alone unto himself.’

    Although there are times when he must surely wonder where exactly all the rest of us are hiding.

  3. Richard, you got it wrong.

    There’s no reason to tolerate illegal construction, even if it’s a mosque or a synagogue or a church. The state indeed respects religious beliefs as you’ve noted yourself by being careful with sacred texts.

    As for the use of force, you’ve somehow neglected to mention the following from the original article:

    “Thousands of the city’s residents reportedly hurled stones at the police officers securing the demolition”

    Do you think it’s a reasonable reaction? Would anyone in their right mind send a small police force to deal with an angry mob?

    I think it shows some good thinking on the side of the police – use overwhelming quantity for crowd control and minimal force. That way nobody got hurt.

    One more thing: You claim the Islamic Movement northern branch is being singled out here. Well, I don’t think so. The movement builds and operates many mosques and schools through Israel and they’re just fine. Besides, Israel demolishes synagogues just as eagerly.

    Again, If I can’t illegally build anything in Tel-Aviv, there’s no reason somebody should be able to in Rahat. The rule of law must be ensured.

    1. I think Richard already did a thorough job of point out the integrity of Israel’s rule of law, which varies depending on your station, religion, race and social status. The very fact that you are trying to make a moral equivalence between this Mosque’s demolition after Shabak’s quarrel with a connected organization’s leader and the illegal synagogues put up on territory THE WHOLE WORLD considers illegal (and the conditions therein are of apartheid!) shows how you aren’t a partner in any conversation that involves moral principle, normalcy as the world community knows it, or, above-all, the truth.

      This is widely evidenced without ANY manufacture. Although the United States has vetoed resolutions (hundreds — the most out of any member of the UN by far) condemning Israel for its egregiously atrocious behavior, particularly towards Palestinians,

      1. “Again, If I can’t illegally build anything in Tel-Aviv, there’s no reason somebody should be able to in Rahat. The rule of law must be ensured.”

        Palestinians of Israeli citizenship are extremely unlikely to get permits to build anything, which is why their towns tend to be so chronically overcrowded. Demolition orders are routinely issued for people’s houses. Once those homes are bulldozed, these people have nowhere to go. No Jewish citizen of Israel has been made homeless by a government-supported demolition, so don’t try and pretend that planning and building restrictions apply to Jewish and Arab citizens equally. They don’t.

        1. First, Bedouins aren’t Palestinians, AFAIK.

          Second, any discrimination in building permits is possible only at a Jewish authority. There are plenty Arab cities and villages where one asks an Arab municipality for a permit. These municipalities are still overcrowded, which suggests a different reason. Sorry, your case doesn’t hold water.

          As for the mosque, it was razed because the land on which it’s built doesn’t belong to those who build it. It has nothing to do with permits. It’s a simple case of ownership. You can’t build on my lawn, I can’t on yours. These rules are important.

          1. @ Yakov)
            “First, Bedouins aren’t Palestinians”
            Who do you think you are to decide that ?
            Did you ever ask them ??
            Israel made that disgusting classification ‘Arabs’, Bedouins’ and ‘Druze’, just a modern version of the old colonial, racialist ‘divide and rule’-politics. Do you know that various leading members of the PLO are of Beduin origin. You bet THEY feel Palestinians.

          2. Bedouins aren’t Palestinians

            As far as Israel’s treatment of them they might as well be Palestinian. Israeli policy treats them just as shabbily as it treats Palestinians. And Bedouin are feeling more & more identified w. the suffering of their Palestinian cousins.

            As for the mosque, it was razed because the land on which it’s built doesn’t belong to those who build it.

            Oh, Lord. Not this again. All Bedouin settlements are on ILA land, which no one can “own.” Which has the convenient result that Bedouin may not do anything at all w/o the express consent of the ILA, which always refuses the Bedouin anything. ILA even destroys longstanding Bedouin villages like Al Arabiq which predate the establishment of the State itself.

          3. In Finland and in most civilized countries the local governmental (municipality, city and local council) level takes care of the zoning and town planning issues. Including building permits, building monitoring and demolition orders. That is part what we call local democracy. The detailed planing and permit giving is not done on the higher and highest governmental levels. Only in dictatorial countries.

            It is asthonishing that in Rahat, which is claimed to be the first Bedouin city in Israel with a population of over 40.000, somebody would built or even start building such large and expensive mosque without a building permit. Surely the town officials and town council have had reacted to it during the building phase if it would not have suited them. But “interestingly” in Israel the land usage (planing, building permits etc) is not done on the local level. It seems to be done on the district level. The Southern District which includes most of Israel and rules 1.2 million people gives in Rahat the building permits and demolition orders.

            So the situation is in reality that no Arab majority city can develop its land usage and buildings like it would be best to them and how it is done in the civilized world and most certainly in Jewish Israeli communities. The Arab city builds in good faith a mosque or a big building until it is ready. The contractors build and Israeli companies sell goods for the building for the years it takes to build and make good money. Then comes a Jewish district committee and orders orders the building to demolished. And the Jewish demolition contractor makes “good” money again. Come-on. Has anybody heard ever of a equal size Jewish buildings being destroyed in Southern district after it was finished? If the Israeli building permit system would work without severe and obvious racism, there would be about 5 Jewish demolitions in pre 67 Israel against every Arab demolition. I have not seen news about them and it is sure that there are plenty of illegal Jewish buildings in the “original” Israel. On the occupied areas are some demolitions, but considering that 99 percent of Jewish buildings there are illegal the “West Bank district” issues very little demolition orders and the demolished buildings are nothing compared to this mosque.

            Can anybody in earnest describe the Israeli building right/possibility system as normal, fair, equal and not racist? Surely it can be described, but no proof of that being so can be given. Normal explanation “problem” situation for those who claim that Israel is a normal and democratic country.

          4. Palestinian municipalities have very limited power when it comes to granting building permits, as the state determines how far a particular village or town is allowed to expand in advance. If the state has drawn a tight blue line around a particular town and said that no development can take place beyond that line, and then places the ‘authority’ to grant building permits in the hands of an Arab municipality, there is not much the municipal authorities can do. Their power is illusory. And as Richard has pointed out, these people live on ILA land anyway.

            As for the ethnicity of the residents, the term ‘Bedouin’ comes from the Arabic word ‘badw’, meaning desert. Another possible etymological root is ‘biddun’, meaning without. Both are references to nomadic heritage, nothing more. You can have Palestinian Bedouin, Jordanian Bedouin, Egyptian Bedouin, etc. They don’t form their own special ethnic or national group, all hailing from Bedouinland.

    2. There’s no reason to tolerate illegal construction

      You mean no reason to tolerate Arab illegal construction. Jewish illegal construction is tolerated regularly not to mention construction facilitated by official bribery & corruption as in Olmert’s Holyland development.

      The state indeed respects religious beliefs

      Which is why it tears down mosques…

      As for violence, let the 5,000 Seattle police come and try to tear down my synagogue here & they’ll see violence like you wouldn’t believe. How about 5,000 policemen trying to tear down Jerusalem’s main synagogue. Whadaya say? Would there be any violence? You bet there would.

      Do you think it’s a reasonable reaction?

      The violence was provoked by the government. Sacking a mosque is a flagrant act of provocation & whatever violence came in response was totally understandable. Why do you think the state sent 5,000 police to oppose the villagers & do you suppose such a massive show of force might in itself have provoked even more of a violent response fr. the Bedouin? You apologists are absolutely tone deaf, just plain deaf in fact. And you don’t really care.

      Israel demolishes synagogues just as eagerly.

      Whadaya, crazy? Which synaoguges? When? And don’t refer to the W. Bank synagogues because I’ve already been there & done that stupid argument.

    3. Israel demolishes synagogues just as eagerly.

      So, how about providing us with a list of synagogues Israel has destroyed inside Israel proper?

        1. YaKov, with all due respect
          on May 29 2009 minister of defense Mr. Eehu Barak stated that according to the Sasson report there are 87 foothold in the west bank, out of which 26 where illegal, some where removed, and the others are in the process of being removed.
          You know as well as i do, that removing an illegal structure is a lengthy process, the owner of the structure is receiving a note that he needs to resolve the issue, then they apply to get a license, they are rejected usually they are appealing to courts etc. etc. etc. i takes time (too much time if you ask me) but that is the process in a democratic state, and it applies to ALL citizens of Israel.

          1. It all depends on your priorities. If it’s important, you can set firm appeal deadlines by law, hire enough judges, even open a special court for those matters.

            Why do you think special labor, traffic and family courts exist in Israel? TO GET THINGS DONE. Where there’s a will, there’s a way – respecting the process and human rights.

            Question: Is there really such a will?

          2. others are in the process of being removed.

            Tell us precisely which ones were removed & on what date & provide proof. Barak doesn’t demolish illegal settlements & for every one he does not only is it immediately rebuilt but they build another five new ones. What a pathetic argument you offer.

            that is the process in a democratic state

            Israel’s is only a democracy for its Jewish citizens, not Palestinian ones.

      1. Yup, knew that was coming. One tiny diff. though. That synagogue was part of a settlement evacuation decreed by the Israeli government and opposed by no Israelis except a few hundred settlers. The state of Israel does not destroy synagogues within the Green Line period. It does destroy mosques within the Green Line.

    1. Of course not. One of the things the infuriate me as an Israeli is that there seem to be a parallel law system in the occupied territories.

      However, this has nothing to do with the occupation. Rahat is deep inside the internationally recognized borders, much like any other Israeli city.

      Therefore, what holds in Tel-Aviv should hold in Rahat.

  4. Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, also known as Reichskristallnacht, Pogromnacht, and Novemberpogrome, was a pogrom or series of attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on November 9–10, 1938.[1]

    Jewish homes were ransacked, as were shops, towns and villages, as SA stormtroopers and civilians destroyed buildings with sledgehammers, leaving the streets covered in pieces of smashed windows—the origin of the name “Night of Broken Glass.” Ninety-one Jews were killed, and 30,000 Jewish men—a quarter of all Jewish men in Germany—were taken to concentration camps, where they were tortured for months, with over 1,000 of them dying.[2] Around 1,668 synagogues were ransacked, and 267 set on fire. In Vienna alone 95 synagogues or houses of prayer were destroyed.[3]

    IS demolishing a structure that was built with no permit resembles such an event ?

    i recommended you to watch the lecture of Prof. Shtinberg from Ngo Monior, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KwYlV33A4E&feature=player_embedded,to understand why people are comparing events in Israel to the holocaust.

    1. Sorry, unfortunately I don’t speak hebrew! Any translation in english, spanish, german or french language available?

      PS: I would not compare this mosque-demolition with “Kristallnacht”, it is comparable only with single aspects, the destruction of the synagogues…

    2. # JHornet)
      We all know that NGOMonitor is a totally biased source of information. You’ve apparently never read any of Richard’s commentaries about this ‘branch’ of the Israeli Ministry of Hasbara. If you look in the archives, Richard wrote an article on NGOMonitor and Gerald Steinberg a while ago.

      The ‘Kristallnacht’ happened years before the Holocaust started (and I’m not justifying anything, just clearifying your manipulations). But at least the use of the word ‘Kristallnacht’ shocked you, may you be shocked by the act of vandalism itself too.

      1. @Deir Yassin
        “The ‘Kristallnacht’ happened years before the Holocaust started (and I’m not justifying anything, just clearifying your manipulations). But at least the use of the word ‘Kristallnacht’ shocked you, may you be shocked by the act of vandalism itself too.”

        The Holocaust began with the enaction of the “apartheid” Neuremberg laws which discriminated against Jews in a “legal” manner. Kristalnacht was a few years after this. The Holocaust doesn’t begin ex nihilo “out of nothing” when the “final solution” of mass murder of the Jewish race was put into practice.

        Rahat of course has nothing to do with the Holocaust, it is a bad solution to the impossibly beaurocratic Israeli planning laws which make any building in Israel, even closing a balcony, a Sysiphic (how do you spell that?) experience which most people, Jews and Arab try to avoid and not get caught. Very often in Israel one reads tragic stories of Jewish or Arab owned houses destroyed because of a lack of a permit and there will be a temporary uproar until the next scandal takes over the news.

        Here it’s only a little more scandalous in the news because it’s a place of worship. I’d be willing to bet that they were given umpteen warnings during the building that they must stop, which they ignored hoping the problem would just go away.

        They were of course really stupid to pick on Rahat which has a large number of Beduin who serve loyally in the IDF. But then leaders always seem to make the most stupid mistakes that any layman can see through.
        I believe it was Lord Acton, the English historian, who noted that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. He wasn’t, of course, refering only to Israeli leaders…

        1. # Shmuel)
          “The Holocaust began with the enaction of the “Apartheid” Nürnberg laws which discriminated against Jews in a “legal” manner”.

          This is a rewriting of history. The Kristallnacht was in nov 1938 and the Holocaust, i.e. the physical destuction of Jews, Roma-Sinti and other groups started in 1941 if you consider the “Endlösung” as the beginng of the Holocaust. Others sources consider 1942 to be the starting point. I’m not 100% sure but I think Raul Hilberg consider 1942 as the starting point of the Holocaust.

          And my point was NOT the Holocaust but JHornet’s attempt to discredit Richard’s analysis by mixing up Kristallnacht and Holocaust. Same thing happened some weeks ago on a ‘concentration’ vs ‘extermination’-camp debate, and it’s a typical procedure of Hasbara spinners.

          PS. If I read you correctly, the actuel institutionalized discrimination agains Israeli Palestinians could be considered the beginning of something terrible in the future. All the more reason to react immediately.
          Aux armes, citoyens !

          1. Deir Yassin
            you ignore the fact that during the Kristalnacht many Jewish places of worship were destroyed, (all were built legally and had all necessary permits) , all across Germany.
            you also ignore the minor fact that 30,000 Jewish men—a quarter of all Jewish men in Germany—were taken to concentration, where they were tortured for months, with over 1,000 of them dying.

            no one was arrested in Rahat.
            but hey if we can get the word holocaust in there, we will get a grater audience right ?

          2. # JHornet)
            You are manupulative.
            You were the one to use the word ‘Holocaust’ – I only used it to show your abuse of the word.
            What do you know about what I ignore ?? How could I ignore ? You just wrote exactly the same thing in your last post. You didn’t even change one word.

          3. I don’t believe it. The mayor of the friggin’ town is quoted on video as calling the destruction wanton & conscienceless. The police officer defending the destruction says the mosque is built on a soccer field but never says the municipality ordered it. In fact, the ILA sent the forces to destroy the mosque & the land is controlled by the ILA which ordered the demolition.

            Don’t ya just love how the apologists argue that the victims ordered their own victimization. Remind you of anything?

          4. מבקריו של אבו-סהיבן ניסו לציירו כ”ברוך מרזל” של רהט שהורס מסגדים – בשל העובדה שהעירייה הייתה זו שהוציאה את צו ההריסה הראשוני למבנה שהוקם בניגוד לחוק. בהמשך ביקש אבו-סהיבן למשוך את הצו, ואולם מינהל מקרקעי ישראל המשיך בפעולות האכיפה. הלילה הוא גם טען שהמדינה עושה “פשע נגד אוכלוסיה שלמה”.

            The critics of Abu-Sahiven (Rahat’s mayor) tried to paint him has Rhat’s Baruch Marzel (an extreme right winger) due to the fact that it was the municipality of Rahat, who initially issued the demolition verdict to the Mosque who was built illegally. Later Abu-Sahiven tried to cancel the order but the ILA continued with the law enforcing effort

            this is what YNET states, if you don’t believe it, then i think you should add Ynet to the uncredited sources list, and don’t ever quote from there.

          5. The critics of Abu-Sahiven (Rahat’s mayor) tried to paint him has Rhat’s Baruch Marzel (an extreme right winger) due to the fact that it was the municipality of Rahat, who initially issued the demolition verdict to the Mosque who was built illegally. Later Abu-Sahiven tried to cancel the order but the ILA continued with the law enforcing effort

            Oh, you mean the ILA got a Bedouin to be its toady? How unprecedented. Israel never does such things. What did the mayor get for his collaboration against the interests of his own people? A few pieces of silver?

            And after the mayor withdrew his action the ILA had no basis for continuing except for the fact that the State, not the municipality, wanted the mosque sacked. So it wasn’t the municipaltiy, but the State which committed this abomindation.

          6. # JHornet)
            I have the impression that you don’t understand English.
            1)YOU are the one introducing the word ‘Holocaust’
            2) I oppose your use of that word saying that ‘Kristallnacht’ and ‘Holocaust’ are NOT the same thing
            3) You accuse me, twice, of dramatizing the situation in Rahat by using the word ‘Holocaust’.

            Are you sure everything is okay ?

            PS. This is a typical exemple of manipulation. You find various exemples in “The Hasbara Manual for Total Beginners”.

          7. in “The Hasbara Manual for Total Beginners”.

            Written by Frank Luntz. Not selling too well though on Amazon. JHornet may want to plug it in the comment thread to give it a sales boost.

    3. We don’t need history lessons so don’t give them. Next time make yr pt w. one sentence instead of 2 paragraphs.

      The destruction of a mosque is an act pillage, an affront to Muslim sensibilities in the same way that Kristallnacht was meant to assault Jewish sensibilities. Yes, Kristallnacht was far wider, more violent & more devasating. But the analogy still holds. And as I said, if you don’t like that historical analogy argue your way out of the Crusader analogy, which fits pretty well too.

      Do not link to propaganda sites of which NGO mointor is one. READ THE COMMENT RULES.

    4. Kristallnacht, no, despite the near coincidence of dates.

      There is far more resemblance to the more recent tactics of the Serb police and militias, who would come and demolish a mosque as a final warning. Anyone still living nearby three to four weeks later was for the chop.

      However, the differences between the Nazis and the Serbian nationalists were largely those of resource and opportunity, rather than intent and culpability.

      It is by no means a badge of honour to say that Israel might be operating a bit more like Mladic than Himmler.

    1. I’ve checked your e mail address & I doubt you’re ever subscribed to my site through my own subsription service though it’s possible you’ve subscribed some other way. I’ve looked up yr email & you do indeed appear to be a liberal Israeli. But what precisely troubles you about the Kristallnacht reference? Are you not troubled by the pillaging of a mosque? Or is that something you can live with? And if so, how do you live with this? How should I describe the wanton destruction of a sacred Muslim edifice? I’m just curious why you get so incensed by an alleged misuse of historical analogy but aren’t nearly as upset by the actual act I’ve criticized?? I find yr behavior at best hypocritical.

  5. Relevant highlights from the Ynet article:

    Two level of courthouses decrees that the construction was illegal and should be demolished.

    The Mosque was build overnight when northern Arabs from the other end of the country came with trucks loaded with construction material. It was build on publicly owned land, not land owned by the Mosque constructors.

    The article quotes an official saying that there are other illegally built Mosques in that Rahat but those were not demolished because they were “pissing inside the pool, not from the diving board”. In other words, this is not a Mosque; it’s a show of power and rebellion by the out of area Northern Islamic Movement.

    These are the facts. My opinion, however, is that Israel is doing a great mistake treating the Bedouins. Quite a lot of them are loyal citizens serving in the Army. They should be taken much more seriously. Israel should invest vast amounts of money and provide them with better living conditions, including Mosques for prayer. Not doing this leaves the Bedouins open to political influence from out of area provocateurs.

    1. Two level of courthouses

      You mean 2 levels of Jewish justice, don’t you?

      It was build on publicly owned land

      The entire Negev is state land. So yr distinction is meaningless. No one owns the land in the Negev esp. not in Bedouin areas. No Bedouin owns land. So in essence the ILA sets the terms. The Bedouins would need permission fr. ILA to do anything & we can all see what the ILA did to Al Arabiq. The ILA is the primary dispossessor of the Negev Bedouin. So pls. don’t insult our intelligence by yr fakery about land ownership being a legitimate issue.

      In other words, this is not a Mosque; it’s a show of power and rebellion

      Glad you concede that the demolition was indeed a politically motivated act. But can you show me any synagogue that is not really a synagogue because the motives of those who built weren’t sufficiently pure in the eyes of non Jews to justify building & dedicating it. The very notion that a Jew should have the right to decide whether a mosque is built fr. sufficiently noble intentions is an affront.

      These are the facts.

      These are Jewish Israeli facts, not “facts.”

      My opinion, however, is that Israel is doing a great mistake treating the Bedouins

      This is just liberal pablum. You undermine the entire Bedouin culture w. your apologetics on behalf of Israeli knavery & then you profess to a minimal level of liberalism. And you expect that someone here will feel thankful to you for such noblesse oblige.

      And instead of criticizing your gov’t’s treatment of the Bedouin why don’t you do something to oppose it?

      1. “And instead of criticizing your gov’t’s treatment of the Bedouin why don’t you do something to oppose it?”

        Mea Culpe. I wish I had your energy.

        There are tons of things I don’t like about Israel. I do not wish to להוציא דיבת הארץ רעה, but to name just one issue: I hate the way Israel treated its South Lebanese allies.

        For this purpose, however, there’s the lazy person’s method: Vote in the elections – I try and select the party I think is best in achieving goals and correcting faults.

        I do belive Beouins also have the right to vote.

        1. Mea Culpe. I wish I had your energy.

          Thanks. That’s a real compliment coming fr. someone who I know differs fr. my views quite often.

          Vote in the elections

          I’m sorry to say Israeli elections matter less & less.

          1. # Avi)
            So that’s all you can come up with: You hate the way Israel treated its Southern Lebanese allies, traitors according to all Lebanese nationalists.
            And I guess you hate it only from a strategic point of view, not because you really care about those people. Don’t worry, they have been taken care of !

    2. “It was build on publicly owned land”
      Oh, so the municipal government had opposed the construction and asked for the central government’s help in tearing down the building?
      Of course not. The mayor and the local government, if you care to call it that, vehemently protested the demolition instead. They were absolutely prepared to grant permission and recognition. In any normal system of democratic government, that would have been the end of it. But in the “only democracy in the Middle East”, local governments apparently do not even have the authority to develop the very communities they represent – if they happen to be majority Arab, that is.

  6. What if this whole affair could be reset in its entirety, restarted from the very beginning, folding back both time and space to the year 1948 or thereabouts?

    Would the same mistakes continue to be made? Would nothing have been learnt from events spanning so much of the intervening years? From such a standpoint, it must be presumed that a much better fist of things would be the result and that a vast sea of pain and disappointment would then avoided by so many of us.

    Only with the benefit of hindsight could this ever be imagined . But there are occasions when time and space can be manipulated to some small extent. The effect can be quite intriguing.

    As a former engineer, I am aware of a tendency in myself towards a small degree of experimentation.

    Take, for instance, my first comment here on this particular entry: number five on the list. (so far)

    I composed it – apart from the last two lines – well before I heard anything about the destruction of the mosque referred to by Richard. It was, in fact, a response to an event that had not yet happened; something destined to occur only in future time. A generic reply to a question not yet raised.

    Easily done, of course, when you know that some such event is bound to happen anyway. Still, I was a little surprised to be able to post it so soon after its completion.

    Well, none of us can reverse time except, perhaps, in dreams. Or nightmares.

    But what if we could begin all over again? Or, at least, create a whole new starting point, one in which all our experience could then hold us in good stead, a stabilising force to combat whatever problems today’s uncertain future has in store.

    Unlike most if not all of the comments here, our replies should not be confined solely to things of the past. The future is always of more immediate concern and answers to cope with that aspect of our lives must also be found.

    And, going by what has transpired, it would be well for us if they were much better, more defined answers than those of previous generations.

  7. richard,

    you say as statement of fact that israelis set fire to mosques in the west bank….plural.

    other than the incident in which kahane’s grandson was implicated, have there been any arrests or convictions, or even proof, at least in regards to the last two incidents, that israeli’s were involved?

    and as noted by the first commenter, the government tore down a synagogue that had been built without prior approval….so what is the difference between that incident and this one?

    1. Yes, at least two mosques were burned along with holy Korans & others were defiled with graffiti & other desecrations.

      Are you arguing that in the case of the 2nd mosque just because the Border Police are incompetent, know who did the deed, but don’t arrest anyone that settlers didn’t do it? If so, I’d really like to hear you make such a patently stupid assertion. What would seal the deal for you? If I produced video evidence of the hooligans inside the mosque? Or would you then argue they’re really Palestinians dressed as settlers & engaging in provocateur behavior? Yeah, that’s what you’d argue.

  8. You “didn’t see”…? No it’s not that you didn’t see; it’s more like you don’t see; better yet, you pretend not to see.

  9. Israel’s blockade against Gaza, bombing raids on Gaza, the worst of which was Operation Cast Lead (*) which caused massive destruction of life, property and livelihood, the buffer zone, controlled borders, controlled airspace and waters contributing to the ghettoization and confinement of civilians has been compared to the Warsaw ghetto and with good reason.

    *(other attacks on Gaza produced dozens even hundreds of civilian casuaties each: Operation Days of Penitance, Operation Rainbow, Operation Summer Rains, Operation Hot Winter)

  10. The timing of this is interesting. It was done while Netanyahu was in this country meeting with U.S. officials. Once again, Netanyahu seems to be “marking his territory”. I’ll let you decide exactly what territory he was “marking”.

    1. Perhaps there will come a day when it will no longer be within the gift of these combatants to ‘mark out their territory.’ Maybe there can be others who can do the job so much better.

      But then, how does one parcel out territory in a manner that might prove acceptable to all concerned?

      I suppose it does rather depends on how generous the donor is feeling at the time.


      I think, in this matter, our collective generosity should know no bounds.

        1. Thank you for clarifying that. I had thought the territorial imperative extended only as far as Israel itself. Apparently, it can go much further.

          After this month’s US mid terms, I imagine Mr. N must be feeling a little (or maybe a lot) less pressure to rein back on further Israeli settlement in the West Bank and that other flash-point, East Jerusalem.

          Or will he surprise us all and do the statesmanlike thing; to discuss matters further and in some earnest, especially now when he may have somewhat more room to manoeuvre?

  11. Richard, the Kristallnacht comparison is idiotic. I don’t see thousands of Israelis lining up to destroy arab businesses, let alone mosques. And yes, Israel has also destroyed illegal synagogues too, not just mosques, but you wouldn’t know that since government actions against jews are not of particular interest to anyone; orthodox jews have complained about it before; there was a synagogue destroyed at Joseph’s tomb by the IDF, same as the Efrat Synagogues or Gaza synagogues (to name a few, and regardless of whether they were on palestinian soil or not, their destruction is/was as unnecessary as this mosque’s destruction), but you never talk about that you stupid hypocrite. It’s funny how Israel is the only country that is not allowed to enforce its law, Israel’s law has to be what the rest of the world decides, unlike the rest of the world of course. The so called illegal settlements are not comparable to the illegal mosque, since the illegal mosque is in Israel’s territory and it wasn’t built with the adequate papers; why is Israel the only country that shouldn’t ask for papers for any kind of construction, ESPECIALLY when it comes to mosques? I don’t see Israel demolishing mosques en masse in Israel, so you are unnecessarily outraged. Time to inform yourself, AND AFTER THAT, make an article, and one with a non-dishonest title, not the other way around. It is wrong to destroy sites of prayer, but to make it seem like Israel is deliberately targeting muslims when EVERYONE in israel has lived that, not just muslims, is tabloid quality journalism.

    1. I’d say anyone who uses the “term” idiotic to describe my choice of words must feel his ox is being gored, which is just fine by me as you clearly are a settler or settler supporter. Readers note this commenter refuses to capitalize the words “Arab” or “Palestinian,” while doing so for “Israel.” That tells you all you need to know about this fraud. If you bother to return to these threads & refuse to use commonly accepted spellings for these terms you will be banned. I don’t allow participation in these threads by those who demean either Israelis or Palestinians by refusing to use proper names & spelling when naming them.

      There aren’t many businesses for Israelis to destroy since Israeli Palestinians are a fairly poor lot. But there certainly is a great deal of provocation against Palestinians by yr friends Marzel & Ben Ari & others. They’d burn down Arab businesses in a heartbeat if they could get away w. it. In fact, others of yr friends have already tried to burn down two W. Bank mosques.

      As for destroying synagogues: asked & answered. Yr lame claim has been rebutted but you don’t even bother to read the comment threads to see others have covered the same ground as you.

      you stupid hypocrite.

      Big comment rule violation. Next time you try this you’re banned.

      the illegal mosque is in Israel’s territory

      No, actually the mosque was built on territory settled by Bedouin centuries before the State was declared. It is the State which refuses to recognize these aboriginal rights. In other words, the Bedouin were there before you or those in your family who preceded you in settling Israel. Bedouin don’t owe you or the State anything. It is the State which owes them.

  12. The picture of the big beautiful mosque at the upper left of the posting is NOT the mosque that was destroyed. It is of another mosque in Rahat.

    According to Al Jazerra the destroyed mosque was a two stories. According to Ynet is was constructed in the parking lot of a soccer stadium. If you look at the picture of the actual demolition, below and to the right of the beautiful mosque picture, it is obvious these are two different buildings.

    While in theory it shouldn’t matter if the destroyed mosque was big or small, ugly or beautiful, in fact we all know that it does. I imagine that this was an honest mistake on your part – but pictures should be fact checked just as much as text.

    1. Thanks for correcting. I found the picture of the mosque at a site which spoke of the religious radicalization of Bedouin & Islamic Movement influence there & assumed it was the same mosque. I knew there were 4 mosques. If anyone has a picture of the destroyed mosque before demolition pls. let me know.

  13. What I don’t understand is why you call yourself a “Zionist” at all. As far as I can see, your wildly provocative rhetoric about “Israel’s Kristallnacht” (which you can see all over the net now, thanks to you) and “Crusaders” leads to one conclusion only: that Israel is an illegitimate entity. To believe that is, of course, your prerogative, but why not have the courage of what seem to be your convictions? Furthermore, though the mosque demolition was a brutal and shameful act, you should be ashamed of yourself for comparing it to Kristallnacht.

    1. Israel is the one committing these injustices, not me. I only call ’em as I see ’em. If you don’t like the analogies I’d advise you to get Israel to change its policies. I’d love Israel to become a peaceful, sleepy place where nothing much of anything (war-wise) happens & I have nothing to write about. So far, that eventuality doesn’t seem likely.

      I am not ashamed of anything & I am a proud critical Zionist. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

      And study up on yr ZIonist history. You’ll find that there are many kinds of Zionists, not just Bibi Netanyahu or even Ehud Barak.

      1. ‘I’d love Israel to become a peaceful, sleepy place where nothing much of anything (war-wise) happens & I have nothing to write about. So far, that eventuality doesn’t seem likely.’

        No, not much chance of that happening very soon, is there?

        It’s just that it’s never been easy for the human beings to halt hostilities when these types of conflict are ongoing. Not, that is, until defeat is staring them in the face and the consequences of continuing are seen to be absolutely ruinous for them and theirs. The historical record is strewn with such examples.

        In WW 2, it finally took two atomic bombs to force Japan to surrender; that and a large number of quite massive and bloody defeats beforehand. The combined armies of several nations were needed to break the Nazi hold on Germany and, even then, there were still elements in both countries wanting to carry on the fight. Breaking off from warfare is a lot harder than being drawn into it. One might even invoke the more geographically relevant example of Masada to demonstrate that, rarely, is there ever any good way to end these matters.

        But today is not 1945; nor are we back in 1st century Israel. It’s late in the year 2010 and you’d think by now we would have discovered some better means to manage these disputes, especially one that has dragged on for well over sixty years. The fact that we have not done so is manifestly obvious. This would point to a remarkable lack of imagination and resolve on our part and, quite possibly, to an unpardonable degree of indifference for the fate of others of our kind.

        Surely, by now, we must have accumulated sufficient maturity and experience to effectively address these problems. The real enemy here lies within ourselves; a primitive human nature that is our common heritage. Somehow, we must seek victory over millennia of conditioning and make that work for us rather than against.

        Tricky thing to do, of course. But not impossible. The myriad mind of Man is more than capable of such a task.

        The only thing that puzzles me is why we haven’t done so already.


  14. I’d have preferred a headline that didn’t risk playing into the hands of Kevin Quinn and the “November the Ninth Society”.

    A neo-Nazi group seemingly populated almost exclusively by erstwhile IRA information-gathers and target-identifiers. The very definition of the Devil making work for idle hands.

    It’s highly likely that we will see a Quinn pamphlet exploiting this issue in due course. Unless, of course, he’s actually learned from being jailed the last time, which I doubt.

    Handing ammunition to haters like Quinn is just one reason why Israel would be safer if crass tactics were avoided. Survival walks a tightrope, it does not clog-dance upon the high wire.

    1. # Medawar)
      Do you think the neo-Nazi Kevin-Thing you’re talking about reads Richard’s blog ? 😉 As soon as he sees “Tikun Olam Making a better World”, he’ll run away.

      As far as your historical analysis is concerned, comparing with the Serbian ethnic cleasing in Bosnia and elswhere might be closer, but
      1) Do you know the word for ‘ethnic-oriented vandalism’ in Serbian ?
      2) If you do, do you think anyone else does ?
      3) and even if everyone knew that word, would it have the same impact on people here of whom many are Jews and concerning the Middle Eastern context ?

      1. Quinn and his followers read all kinds of stuff looking for material they can twist and abuse. More to the point, they put standing google searches on certain keywords, which spares them an awful lot of effort: they will get an e-mail every day for each keyword, telling them what’s been published. The event their group is named after would be a rather obvious candidate for a keyword.

        Impact and accuracy are two different things.

        It might have a chastening effect on Israel’s leaders, too, if their policies were to be directly compared with high level figures currently going through the trial process in the Hague.

        I am not at all sure that Quinn should be treated lightly: he’s got about 300 supporters (which is about as many as Bin Laden has in Yemen and that’s sufficient to cause a lot of trouble) and as I observed, they probably have more professional skill at terrorist activity than most of those making more noise and grabbing more headlines.

        The various Islamist terrorists who have plotted strikes in the UK, have generally spent something like five years on each plot, and so far, only the 7/7 group managed to make bombs capable of exploding, with admitted carnage.

        Whenever we saw an IRA cell active on the mainland, the usual pattern was an attack every fortnight, with the attack being prepared and executed in a four day period, usually over a weekend, and the other ten days would be a holiday for the bombers -who would do absolutely nothing whilst a much larger group scouted targets, looked at police responses and all the other legwork tasks. During the attack phase, the larger group would likewise do absolutely nothing.

        Quinn’s recruitment seems to have been amongst that larger group of ex-IRA “volunteers”. Which tells us two things: he’s got far more idea of what’s actually needed for a sustained and effective campaign than the numerous other extremist leaders in the UK -and that there is something in his history or his social circle that allows him to move in Irish Republican circles and recruit, without being shown the door or having a Black and Decker taken to his kneecaps.

        If his group starts planting bombs at all, there will be no hesitant learning curve, the tempo will be many times faster than with the Islamists, and the targets will be predominantly Jewish. Unlike most of the IRA campaigns, the attacks will be designed for the maximum of casualties rather than the maximum of economic disruption.

        His covert funding mechanism is fuel duty fraud, which is another point in common with the more extreme factions of the IRA.

  15. Richard,

    For obvious reasons the Israeli authorities rarely demolish mosques. Such a course of action would only add oil to the fire for no good purpose and would not further the cause of Zionism in any way. Neither are they in the habit of using them for hoarding munitions where one carries the risk of causing a little of one’s own home improvements. Your overblown tirade against the actions taken in Rahat does your cause no good either. You appear apoplectic with rage over what amounts to a planning refusal and its inevitable consequences. ‘Kristallnacht!’, for pity’s sake, do you know what you sound like? Moreover, in your enthusiasm to spread the good news of Israel’s racist and wanton destruction of Muslim holy places you neglect to get a handle on the facts. Why were you so keen to repeat the dubious figure of 5 thousand police officers descending on Rahat in their predawn raid? Did you even stop and think for one moment how unlikely that figure is? Did you consider the consequences of having this outrageous lie get repeated verbatim across Blogland?

    No, you clearly did not as facts and context mean very little to you.

    The number of officers will be shown to be more like 700. Not that you care because you’re not listening.

    Well done, Richard, keep up the good work.

    1. For obvious reasons the Israeli authorities rarely demolish mosques. Such a course of action would only add oil to the fire for no good purpose and would not further the cause of Zionism in any way.

      You mean, precisely the outcome of this case, right??

      Neither are they in the habit of using them for hoarding munitions

      You mean you didn’t know that Lehi used synagogues to store munitions in the pre-State era? I have a picture of an Israeli monument that commemorates precisely this practice. You wouldn’t mean to egregiously one sided in damning the one practice while vouchsafing for the other, would you?

      Your overblown tirade

      You mean the stance I took which caused apologists like you to howl with righteous indignation?

      You appear apoplectic with rage

      No, I save the rage for the residents of Rahat who rioted at this outrageous provocation.

      in your enthusiasm to spread the good news of Israel’s racist and wanton destruction of Muslim holy places

      Look, I didn’t tear down the mosque. Your friends in the ILA & police did. I have no enthusiasm whatsover for Israeli insanity. I don’t wish Israel to go up in flames. I wish for peace. It’s your friends who are doing yr side in I’m afraid.

      Why were you so keen to repeat the dubious figure of 5 thousand police officers descending on Rahat in their predawn raid?

      Ummm, maybe because that was the figure specified by major Israeli publications? Possibly that’s the reason…Take it up with Haaretz who got the figure from Israeli gov’t sources likely & whose reporter was likely at the scene.

      The number of officers will be shown to be more like 700.

      OK, so we have a choice: the word of a Haaretz reporter or a nudnik like you who wasn’t there, prob isn’t even in Israel & cites no source or proof for his claim. It’s a tough choice, but I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you. I pick the reporter who knows what he’s talking about & not the guy with the upper part of his anatomy firmly ensconced in a lower part of his anatomy.

      keep up the good work.

      I will, thanks. When I get the response of people like you I know I’m doing precisely the job I should be.

      1. Richard,

        I didn’t think it would take very long for even Haaretz to revise their figures.


        “Hundreds of police officers entered the Negev Bedouin town of Rahat early Sunday morning and demolished a mosque that had been built about seven months ago without proper construction permits.”

        Next time, don’t be so keen to jump to your usual conclusions.




  16. The thing is this.

    Is the relationship between these two opposing sides, Arab and Jew, getting any better? Indeed, is there much of a relationship there at all? That is the benchmark against which all developments should be judged.

    Events, like that of demolishing a viable mosque, are unlikely to be construed as an improvement in the overall situation. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter, this does seem to indicate a woeful lack of long-term judgement and sensitivity in those initiating such an action. In some ways, it could be said to represent, in microcosm, the larger picture that most of us now tend to see. A heavy-handed Israel bearing down on much less powerful neighbours.

    Here I think the Israeli position can be summed up in a line by Robert Frost.

    ‘How Hard It Is To Keep From Being King When It’s In You And In The Situation.’

    OK, it is hard to step down when you appear to be top dog and there’s nobody about to challenge your right to that title. You find yourself holding on to power. Or, maybe, it has too strong a hold on you. However, such power has a tendency to make some people excessively paranoid, a not uncommon condition among the majority of rulers.

    Somehow, you have to learn to let go. Or find out how to release your grip, to share kingship in a way that does not diminish you but allows others to also partake of its benefits. And its burdens.

    And, if you can’t find that way, then, maybe it will have to be found for you.

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