53 thoughts on “Palestine: Death of the Innocents Continues – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Also clearly demonstrates the problem with extrajudicial killings. If they had been out to arrest that Hamas man to take him to court, the error would have become apparent at some point and Amr would still live.

    1. Perversely enough, they did miraculously manage to not shoot, but arrest five Hamas men in the operation (apparently not Bitar though).

      1. RE: “they did miraculously manage to not shoot, but arrest five Hamas men” – fiddler
        MY QUESTION: Were these “card-carrying members” of Hamas or just what Netanyahu refers to as “fellow travelers”?

    2. Such a trgic and unnecessary death.

      A lack of care in procedure, too casual an approach compounded, perhaps, by a weariness brought on by too long a conflict. So much hate, born out of so much fear.

      Since fear is one of the main reasons that drive this struggle and delivers most of the fuel that keeps it in being, it might be to everyone’s advantage to examine that emotion in somewhat greater detail.

      Fear, certainly from the Israeli/Palestinian experience, is a difficult condition to overcome, especially when it has been left largely untreated over many decades.

      The customary treatments, those involving guarantees of good faith and best behaviour, signing accords and peace treaties, these have never had that much influence in the region. There have been too many false starts, too few positive results; never enough traction to be found when some new affront or an atrocity such as this can still drag the whole process all the way back to square one.

      The possibility of eradicating fear in all its forms may be unattainable; fear of the other, fear of the unknown, fear of oneself, of our own human nature and the depths to which we all know it can sometimes sink. These are too deep-rooted and universal for even partial extraction. But is there then a tendency to overlook the obvious when grappling with what is an all-consuming response to events and circumstances?

      What if, somehow, an even greater fear could be used to offset existing ones, supplanting those more commonly held by mere dint of size or intensity?

      Much as in the manner of a man chased by wolves through a dense forest, no thought is given to the thorns his flesh encounters in his headlong flight from danger. Not until that flight has put some safe distance between himself and his pursuers does he notice the relatively minor damage done to his person. Even then, he might think himself most fortunate that nothing more serious has happened and feel his escape from so deadly a predicament well worth the relatively small amount of pain attaching to it.

      Could this be what the situation has been calling for all along. Not just a big, bad wolf but a veritable pack of the biggest, baddest and best there has ever been; something everyone will run away from and never want go back.

      Then dare we summon up the big, bad wolf and his friends? Or will we be content to live with our conscience when incidents such as the above take place, knowing all the while that, in large measure, we could so easily have forestalled them?

      ‘..the error would have become apparent at some point and Amr would still live.’

      Yes, Mr Qawasm, under a very different set of rules, might be alive and well today.
      Maybe the time has come for us all to adopt a new set of rules. If so, it might come to pass that Mr.Qawasm and all those other Mr.Qawasms need not have died in vain.

      1. I’d call this a pile of horse poop, but horse poop is actually a useful substance.

        When are you going to stop blithely making lame excuses for murderers and theives?

        And by the way, fear is not what drives what you call the “struggle”. What drives the “struggle” is greed for more and more and more land, a lust for regional power, and not a small amount of standard-issue 18th century European colonialist racism toward non-European peoples. Until you understand this fundamental reality you will have no clue what it takes to end the “struggle”.

        1. ‘ What drives the “struggle” is greed for more and more and more land, a lust for regional power, and not a small amount of standard-issue 18th century European colonialist racism toward non-European peoples.’

          Yes, and an exact parallel can be found in the WW2 policy of lebensraum which led to the deaths of MILLIONS before it was finally eradicated in the ruins of Berlin 1945.

          That conflict took six years to run its course; this one has lasted more than ten times that much. What’s to prevent another sixty years of it and that ever increasing death toll to which the name of Amr Qawasme must now be added?

          Don’t you realise that this thing has gone on for far too long? Think of how many thousands of men, women and children have died since this blog started? And what has been the result? Mr.Qawasme could probably tell you if he were still alive to do so.

          No one takes the time to figure out what to do. Even here it’s mostly about defending or attacking one side or the other; not unlike warfare itself. That’s why I rarely concern myself with apportioning blame; not while there are so many others who can do that job much better than I.

          A question.
          What would it take to wind up this section of Richard’s blog for good? The obvious answer would be a permanent and, dare I say it, a fairly amicable settlement of the Arab/Israeli conflict.
          Not much prospect of that at the moment, is there?
          But why not?
          Considering that it’s been well over sixty years, remarkably little seems to have changed. Or been changed. All one can say is that the situation has grown worse with the passage of time. And time is a commodity that will one day run out. As it has for Mr. Qawasme. As it will for all of us in the end.

          Let’s try to leave something behind other than recriminations and blame. Because, if that is the best we can do, then it’s a poor reflection on each of us and on humanity in general.

          1. You criticize others’ discussions of the problem while offering nothing of any practical value. You pretend this is a “struggle” between equal parties with equal rights and equal grievances and refuse to recognize that there is in fact a victim and a victimizer here. You point out the obvious – that it has gone on too long – without offering any practical suggestions on how it should be ended. You offer generalized, nebulous nonsense that appears to excuse the aggressor who is, after all, poorly trained, and exhausted by the job of violently denying the rights of innocents.

            I am exhausted by your meaningless prattling. Either offer something concrete and meaningful or take a time out to think about how you can make an actual contribution.

        2. Actually “the struggle’ is not about land, and no greed involved. It is a struggle based on two criteria – security and religion.
          The religious factions on BOTH sides claim mystic and god-given rights to the land, a conflict which will always remain insoluable as long as religion exists.
          Many (most?) Israelis and Palestinians will gladly give up land for the sake of peace, but either side mistrusts the other and thinks that land = security. This is soluable in time when confidence returns as both sides will eventually cease violence.

          As for “not a small amount of standard-issue 18th century European colonialist racism toward non-European peoples” this sounds too much like Eli Yishai from Shas blowing the racist trumpet to compensate for his inadequacies. Sometimes people can be in an unfortunate mess by virtue of tens of circumstances without the need to cry “racist”.

          1. # Shmuel)
            If you could restrict yourself to speak for the Israelis, that’ll be fine. You just don’t know anything about the Palestinians. From a Palestinian point of view, it’s NOT a religious claim to the land. You’re just trying to make the Palestinian claim of RETURNING TO THEIR LAND as invalid as a religious claim of “God gave us this land”.

            You say “most Palestinians would gladly give up land for the sake of peace”. What land, you’ve already taken 78% of it !

            Where do you get your sociological insight on the Palestinians ? Don’t tell us you actually know any Palestinians, I mean as equals, or that you ever read anything serious about them. Oh, maybe you read this racist Israeli socalled anthropologist – can’t remember his name – who wrote books like “The Arab Mind”.

          2. Raphael Patai, is his name, the socalled Israeli anthropologist who wrotre “The Arab Mind”.

          3. @Deir Yassin: Here’s a link to rather pro-Palestinian site showing how holy Palestine is to Islam.

            I’ve heard countless times that Palestinians refer to the “reclaiming of Palestine” as “Jihad” which is by definition a religious precept.

            You might see yourself as secular as I see myself, but I don’t think you can deny the religious motifs to the conflict on both sides.

            As for the 78% of the land in Israel’s possession – that’s anti-hasbara again, it’s less than 40% when you talk about historic Palestine, once called “Trans-Jordan”, as you well know that many Palestinians live in what is now Jordan not as refugees but as the indiginous population there in the Eastern half of their homeland.

            Of course I know Palestinians as equals, I live in Israel, unlike you. Some of them are even nice people. What’s sociology got to do with the discussion?

            Never heard of the book “the Arab mind”, one probably comes accross it on “anti-hasbara 101”

          4. # Shmuel)
            “Here’s a link to a rather pro-palestinian site showing how holy Palestine is to Islam”.

            Do you keep the link for next Christmas ?? I know that Palestine is holy to Islam, but we were talking about the Palestinians, not the Muslim Umma. The Palestinian claims are based on the right to return to their land, Christians and Muslims alike. You know that many of the most radical Palestinian nationalists were/are Christians, such as George Habbache or Hawatmeh. Even Sirhan Sirhan 🙁

            If you know Arabic, you know that “Jihâd” is NOT only, and not even primarily, “Holy War”. It’s a struggle, foremost an inner struggle. For instance, when I’m discussing with political Zionists I’m doing the Jihad to stay more or less polite 🙂

            “The Arab Mind” ‘educated’ a generation of socalled Arabists:

          5. Actually “the struggle’ is not about land, and no greed involved. It is a struggle based on two criteria – security and religion.

            No, actually you’re VERY wrong & the entire goal of this blog contradicts yr claims. The conflict is about power & land. Security is such a vague concept I won’t even address it. But religion is not what divides the 2 peoples or motivates their fight. There are those of course on both sides who want to turn this into a religious Holy War. But it isn’t & can’t be allowed to become one. These religions have co existed in the past & will in the future. Most Israelis are not religious & they don’t want to fight a war on behalf of Judaism. They want to fight a war if at all on behalf of their nation. That’s a political conflict, not a religious one.

            The settlers are of course a diff. story as are the radical Islamists who want to fight a war to the death against the heathen Crusaders. They want a war to the death bet. two religions so theirs will come out on top & vanquish the other. That’s Al Qaeda’s MO as well. This way lies death, death for all. Death for Israel too–and prob. Palestine.

            in civilized countries cases like this happen all the time by mistake or otherwise by over-zealous law enforcement officers

            Bullcrap. Civilized countries don’t kill thousands of innocent civilians as Israel has over time. Brutal, cruel nations do alas.

            how the case is dealt with in the press and by the courts.
            We have to wait and see on that one.

            YOU have to wait & see. The rest of us have seen this precise story so many times before we know there will be no investigation, no punishment, & the Occupation will continue on its merry way thanks to the indifference & inaction of Israelis like you.

            that’s really scraping the barrel to find Costa Rica as yor ideal example for a country without an army or police.

            Don’t let a Costa Rican hear you say that. Why is Costa Rica “scraping the bottom of the barrel?” I have no idea what this means. Have you ever been there? It’s an extraordinary country. And the fact that it has existed w/o an army for its entire history is a huge achievement. Even Switzerland, which boasts of its neutrality in conflicts, maintains a very expensive, very large army. I say to Costa Rica–bravo. And they should wear yr scrorn as a badge of pride.

          6. NO. I do try to be patient and respectful, but there is the need to cry “ractist.” It is not inflammatory: It is a factual statement of Zionist modus operandi. And, second to that, land is the issue though it is sometimes hard to separate pure greed for other people’s property (so typically Israeli) from religious fervor. And lastly, not least, it is not about security as Israel claims. The counter instances disproving the “security” hypothesis are numerous and nobody who reviews this history could possibly believe that “security” is at the heart of the matter.

            BTW, it is not about competing religious “entitlements” either. While Zionism was, in part, founded on such an irrevocable “entitlement”, the Arab claim is not fundamental religious but based on squatter’s rights of thousands of years. Zionism sold an abused people certain “rights” to “one Palestine,complete” that was not up for sale. But Zionism misjudge the will of the oppressed to resist through generations and now all it can do is remove them or kill them. And this oppression unfolds everyday before our eyes.

    3. The horrible irony is that they did successfully arrest the Hamas man they really wanted who lived one floor below. I guess they decided that 2 murders on one sweep would bring too much bad PR so they didn’t murder their actual target.

      1. But if their original intention had really been to arrest the alleged Hamas member, they would not have shot the wrong man. They would have arrested him. Liars, as always.

      2. To Sh irn,

        Maybe it’s my British persona that tends to be a little too reserved for some contributors. I wish I could criticise along with the rest of you and give vent to my anger and frustration whenever such pointless waste of life and ruinous conflict is debated here.

        But then, that’s just me; and I’m not you. I live many hundreds of miles from the region; only ever visited the place once. Very hot, lots of sand as I recall. I am neither Jew nor Arab, no relatives in the area and so see little point in merely fulminating against the problem. I would rather see it fixed and have the whole matter somehow recede into history. Simply adding my voice to the chorus can’t make that much difference as I see it. Pointing out the many defects of those engaged in this struggle/conflict/impasse/altercation/war/national confrontation/regional squabble would only leave me feeling that so much more ought to be done. And finding the current state of play would indicate that nothing much has been done.

        And I have advanced a solution to get out of this mess. Click on my name above if you want to see it. Not many people seem to like it. Perhaps the shock of actually realising that there can be a way out of this situation is too much to contemplate after 60 years wandering in the wilderness.

        And, maybe, therein lies the difficulty. After all of those same 60 years, have we have grown so used to the conflict, become too familiar with its form and character that we cannot ever envisage the possibility of its disappearance from the scene?

        If so, then there really is no hope of ending it and that cannot bode well for the future of any of us.

        1. To Shi irin,

          My apologies for the incorrect spelling of your name/ID.
          My keyboard has been playing up quite badly of late and also I’m too tired at times to properly proof-read some of my comments/replies.

  2. Aseret ha-D’varim (Ex. 34:28, Deut. 4:13 and Deut. 10:4) or Aseret ha-Mitzvot….

    Ex. 20:13


    As Steffen points out above, extra-judicial indeed, and very much extra-Judaic as well, to the best of my understanding.

    According to the Talmud, the answer will be ultimately given to the Higher Power. Am I correct?

  3. Even if they were after a Hamas militant. What did that militant do?? Did he kill someone? I don’t think so, because I haven’t heard of any Israeli dying from a terrorist act lately. It would have been splattered front page on every media site. So why were they out to kill anyone in the first place?? Because Israeli Wild Wild West unwritten laws state that “the IDF shoots first; asks questions later”!

    Israeli justice begins with an injustice and ends with a crime.

    1. Some, or all of the five men are indeed suspected of killing someone, according to Haaretz. Still, even suspected murderers aren’t routinely shot on sight – in civilised societies, that is. But that dreaded “T” word is knocking any remaining sense out of some people, especially since someone had the insane idea to call law enforcement “war”. Israel is by no means alone with this, just ask the folks a few countries farther east if counter-terrorism isn’t terrorism, too.

    2. If you had read the link in Richard’s article before commenting you’d see that the original target is a Hamas militant involved in the murder of an Israeli in a suicide attack in Dimona a few years back, and even mentioned by name.

      1. Shmuel I don’t care what the “original target” was accused of. In civilised countries, people accused of crimes are tried in court not assassinated by soldiers in the middle of the night.

        1. Well, here’s the catch 22, Light. Since the Israeli legal system excludes the death penalty, if they provide due process they will not be able to execute. Therefore, if they want to execute someone they must deny them any due process.

          1. I wrote something similar to that here recently. It’s true. Targeted killings are Israel’s standard form of capital punishment. It’s as if Israel doesn’t have or need an execution chamber. Whenever an IDF soldier goes out on such an assignment he becomes a mobile and individual firing squad wreaking justice on behalf of himself or his buddies or his regiment or his nation. It’s vile.

          2. That’s just it. Since there is no due process that allows them to execute, the only way they can execute anyone is by denying them any due process whatsoever. Thus extrajudicial execution is the method of choice because it is the only choice. The justice system does not allow for anything else.

            And Israelis used to boast

          3. As I was saying, Israelis boast about what a civilized place Israel is because the death penalty was not allowed. I used to laugh in their faces when they said that.

        2. Actually in civilized countries cases like this happen all the time by mistake or otherwise by over-zealous law enforcement officers. The question is not whether it happens but how the case is dealt with in the press and by the courts.
          We have to wait and see on that one.

          1. I know what you are trying to say although I think saying that ‘in civilized countries cases like this happen all the time’ is maybe going a bit too far. How many incidents like this have we really had in places like France, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Switzerland etc in the past 10 years? Not many think.

      1. You miss the report in Mabat.
        the people the IDF was after were convicted by the PA with murdering Israelis in two incidents
        1. A suicide attack in the city of Dimona (feb. 4 2008) that killed 1 and injured 38 others.
        2. The killing of 4 jewish settlers from Bit Haggai, earlier this year.
        3. they were put in a PA prison few months ago.

        for all that they were convicted and sentenced, by the court system of the Palestinian Authority.

        If i recall correctly (the name of state not the fact) Qatar applied for a pardon for all these convicted criminal, and ABu Mazen pardoned them (in defiance of any moral sense).

        Israel arrested all 4 of them, and in an attempt to arrest the 5’th he was shot to death after he made a suspicious move.
        if you’ll consider the numbers of arrest made by the IDF daily within the Palestinian Authority, if you’ll consider the number of arrest attempts that result in death, you will realize that it is possible that the soldiers honestly though that he was drawing a weapon and shot him to his death.

        usually if the subject does not show resistance those arrests end with no casualties.

        1. Of course it’s always their fault, isn’t it. I was wondering how long it would take until someone here would argue that.

          “in an attempt to arrest the 5′th he was shot to death after he made a suspicious move”

          Well, NOT the 5th one was shot to dead but an innocent man! You don’t seem to know what you are actually talking about.

          Moreover, were you present at the scene that gives you the credibility to argue who made what move? So then what move did he make? Can you describe that in a bit more detail? Did he maybe just twitch at the shock of having a bunch of soldiers in his bedroom as he woke up from his nap? Or did even have any chance at all to move before the bullets hit him?

          Come on, tell us, you seem to know it all!

          1. Steffen, seems to me you didn’t bother reading any of what i wrote.
            so again – i am sorry richard for repeating myself – the five people who were the target for the IDF Thursday night arrests, were, in fact, convicted by the Palestinian due-process, in killing of innocent Israeli civilians, they were pardoned in defiance of morals (which you steffen claim to be speaking on behalf of) and were arrested by the IDF.
            one of the attempts ended in the killing of 65 years old Amr Qawasme.
            In an interview given in the News Channel 1 yesterday, Brig. General Alon stated the reason for the incident.

            if you weren’t there how can you discredit that statement ?
            seems kind of hypocritic in your part to criticize me for drawing a conclusion about the reasons that led to the death of Amr Qawasme, while you are doing the same.

          2. Amr was NOT the target of any arrest whatsoever, neither was he ever trialed by a PA court or pardoned on Qatar’s request.

            He was shot dead while laying in bed, by several bullets fired by soldiers armed to their teeth and equipped with bullet proof vests.

            You are justifying his death and not only that, you even blame it on him.

          3. Steffen,
            i was wrong, the man who was killed wasn’t the man who was arrested later (without being killed) and wasn’t the target. the target of the arrest was living one floor down.
            it his terrible, however, i do not think that the soldiers did so intentionally, and personally believe that the statement made by Brig. General Alon. the guy appeared to be reaching for a weapon and for that he was killed.
            i’m sure the state of Israel will take full responsibility for the incident, as it did in the past.

          4. Thanks for acknowleding yr error.

            But yes, they killed Qawasmeh intentionally & in cold blood. He was sleeping in his bed. They entered after forcing his wife to remain silent. Then they shot him multiple times. And this happens if not all the time, quite often. Not just while sleeping in bed. Militants are shot in the street unarmed. Guns are often planted or the claim is made they were armed or that they resisted. These claims are shot full of whole so often I can’t even count. I would suggest that you don’t really know much about what soldiers are doing or how they’re doing it in arrest operations in the West Bank.

            the identity is revealed after he gets appointed. so you would have to continue your search.

            That’s a good pt. But of course, I don’t know if Tal knows what he’s talking about. If he does, then you’re right.

        2. in an attempt to arrest the 5′th he was shot to death after he made a suspicious move.

          Sloppy, IlanP, very sloppy. Don’t you read even Israeli papers? THe soldiers went to the wrong floor, entered the bedroom of the wanted man’s uncle, shot the latter w/o warning multiple times killing him. He was alseep & made no threatening move toward anyone. Again, this rpt was one of the early initial lies posted by the IDF which has proven to be just that. Then when they discovered their mistake they went one flight down & arrested the one they really wanted. Amr Qawasme, the victim, was 65 & not wanted by anyone for anything. Cold blooded murder.

          Yr excuse is a slightly less offensive version of the one Gen. Alon offered on Mabat. But it’s offensive nonetheless to attempt to defend the murder of an old man sleeping in his bed while his wife is doing her morning prayers.

          if the subject does not show resistance those arrests end with no casualties.

          False. I have covered here several instances in which Palestinians were murdered in cold blood in their beds while asleep. I have pictures of the blood on the sheets to prove it. This actually has happened all too often. No matter what the men are wanted for, killing them in their sleep is capital murder, execution w/o trial. And don’t tell me it doesn’t or hasn’t happened. It has.

          Pls. be more careful in future. Yr sloppiness forces us to have to correct yr errors which is really a waste of time for us.

  4. “Such a trgic and unnecessary death.

    A lack of care in procedure, too casual an approach compounded, perhaps, by a weariness brought on by too long a conflict. So much hate, born out of so much fear.

    Since fear is one of the main reasons that drive this struggle and delivers most of the fuel that keeps it in being, it might be to everyone’s advantage to examine that emotion in somewhat greater detail.”

    According to you, one could get picture that occupying forces of Palestinian lend with all possible logistics and the intelligence are “badly trained” and “tired” or “scared”? Sorry, but you are ridiculous, and your statements are insults to the victim/s. Are you trying to whitewash or obfuscate the event? You, rather, justify this murder.

    1. ‘Are you trying to whitewash or obfuscate the event? You, rather, justify this murder.’

      Have I given that impression? If I have, it’s not the one that I intended.

      I was trying to trace the root of the whole problem. Find the root, you see, and, if you cut through it, the thing dies and can then be disposed of in some orderly fashion. And it can never grow back.
      Most comments here seem to concentrate on attacking the foliage, the leaves, branches, the more visible manifestations of what’s happening this in troubled part of the world. The death/murder of Awr Qawasme is certainly one such example of that.

      My contention would be that we are all, to some extent, complicit in the murder of this man. And the many others that may yet have to share his fate.
      Why? Because after sixty years of conflict and crimes such as this, we have still not managed to end this bloody business one way or another. That we have failed to do so is unpardonable; it is a reproach, both to our humanity and our ability to think the matter through to a proper conclusion.

      14 bullets ended the life of Awr Qawasme and, of course, none of us pulled the fatal trigger.
      None of us were able to stop it from happening either. Billions of people on this planet and, somehow, a simple thing like that is still beyond our power.
      What a bunch of losers we all are; our ancestors would be ashamed of us. And God knows what our children will think.

      1. John Yorke, I do not mean to be unkind, but you have demonstrated repeatedly that you do not have a clue as to the root of the whole problem.

        1. ,All I would say is this.
          If you have the answer to the root problem confronting Palestinians, Israelis and, by extension, the rest of us, please don’t keep it to yourself. That is unless you’re choosing the historical route with details of compelling reasons why Jews should not be in Israel in the first place. Valid though some or all of these may be, they will not help to address the issues as they stand today.
          The Israelis are in Israel/Palestine and it looks as though they’ve decided to stay. Like it or not, that is a fact. Palestinians are in Palestine/Israel also and with very much the same intention.

          These two basic facts now dominate, much as they have done over all of the last sixty+ years. And they will continue to do so until some means is discovered that will allow both groups to amicably share this small part of the planet’s surface. Not only to share it but to regard it as home, a place to return to with no barriers whatsoever on entry or exit.

          Now such a thing has never happened in over three generations. And this will always be the case if matters are allowed to remain more or less as they are.

          So, the situation is in desperate need of a big wake-up call, a policy that can shape the future of this land in a way that delivers both peace and security for all its citizens. Only when such conditions obtain can any real progress be made towards the establishment of a truly cohesive and vibrant society.

          Well, you may know how I would propose this new arrangement. Show me how you might do it and then we can both pick holes in each others version.

      2. Fear there is, no doubt. But is people who pull triggers, it is people who order other people to pull triggers – and maybe talk fear into that person to exploit it -, it is people who assemble armies to invade and destroy – also by first instilling fear among the people and then exploiting it later. Fear exists naturally but it can be talked up, exaggerated, exploited. You cannot blame fear itself for anything, fear is not an autonomous authority that takes decisions. People, individuals are the ones that take decisions.

        It was some commander’s decision to go in and make these arrests, it was some political leader’s decision to occupy the territory in which it all happened and to construct the army to do it with, it was individuals who decided to vote for that leader. It is the decision of EU and US leaders to provide resources (plenty of it) to support the decisions of subsequent leaders to continue this occupation.

        That’s were you need to look for the root causes John, not is some mystique construct that cannot be grabbed and held accountable.

        1. Well, your analysis is very sound; there are people who bear and should be made to bear responsibility for such a crime. Whether they will or not remains for future events to reveal.

          But what of the future and the next Mr. Qawasme? And the next? And the next? Any concerns for them?

          Mr.Qawasme is dead and no amount of accepted responsibility, compensation or punishment is going to alter that. All we can do at this stage is to surmise why it happened in the first place and go from there.

          Now quite a few commentators here have blamed the IDF soldiers involved and those further up the chain of command; in some cases, going all the way to the very top. And why not? The top is often where the most guilty can be found.

          But will that be the end of the matter? Will some miraculous catharsis then take hold at all levels of Israeli and Palestinian society, ushering in a new dawn when ‘peace will rule the planets and love will steer the stars?’ Most unlikely as things stand at the moment.

          And yet, ideally, isn’t that what should have happened at some point in all the sixty or so years that this conflict has been with us?

          Why is it then that this has not proved to be the case? Are we, as a race, so bereft of ideas, so conditioned by tired old methods that nothing and no one will cause us to consider alternate scenarios, new appraisals, other ways of overcoming so massive an obstacle in our path?

          Maybe we too are refusing to acknowledge our collective responsibility here; dodging the issue, blaming others for what may have become, in some small degree, a test of our own morality and resourcefulness.

          In other words, if we can’t crack this one wide open and soon, then don’t expect the next Amr Qawasme to thank us for whatever efforts we’ve all made on his behalf.

          Because, very likely, they won’t have amounted to diddly-squat.

          1. “Maybe we too are refusing to acknowledge our collective responsibility here; dodging the issue, blaming others for what may have become, in some small degree, a test of our own morality and resourcefulness.”

            I think we do have a share of the responsibility here. As I mentioned, the EU and its members states are more than happy for the occupation to exist and to continue to exist and have been ever since it started. Where were the calls for boycott until the occupation is over and the forces are withdrawn? Nada. In fact European leaders went the other way, offered free trade and other goodies to the occupying force. That does make us Europeans partially responsible for the death of Amr.

  5. RE: “Your troops kill an old man in his bed. What does that make you?” – R.S.
    ANSWER: Pod People!“They come from another world. Spawned in the light years of space. Unleashed to take over the bodies and souls of the people…”
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Pod People)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_the_Body_Snatchers
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Official Trailer [1956] (VIDEO, 02:20) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFnSxeDfENk

    1. That movie was one of the friggin’s scariest I ever saw as a child! The movie was seen as a thinly veiled commentary on the Communist hysteria of the Cold War. For Israelis then, the Palestinians are the pod people. But IDF troops obeying orders & carrying out their killings/executions w. great dispatch also resemble the demeanor of the pod people.

      1. RE: “IDF troops obeying orders & carrying out their killings/executions w. great dispatch also resemble the demeanor of the pod people.” – R. Silverstein
        ALSO SEE:On the Morning Following the Putsch ~ by Yossi Gurvitz, Wish You Orwell , 01/06/11

        (excerpts)…What we saw last night was a final breaking of the rules of the games, the use of an investigation for the persecution of political rivals, the Israeli equivalent of the burning of the Reichstag…People who still mistakenly think Israel is the “only democracy in the Middle East” should be informed this title is no longer relevant. One doubts whether Ayalon, Kirshenbaum, Danon and the rest understand just how much aid they provide to the de-legitimization of Israel, but the process ought to be completed: finish off the legitimacy of the Zionist regime and the Liberman-Ayalon government. No loyalty must be shown to such a regime, if we hope to salvage something of what used to be Israel. If Israel is to live, the Zionist regime must pass away. This must be said everywhere, but particularly outside of Israel. As in a long series of fascist regimes – from Italy through Germany to the Serbia of Milosevic – the people [“Pod People” – J.L.D.] living under such regimes cannot save themselves, cannot wake out of the nightmare on their own, but require a strong external intervention…

        ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://ygurvitz.net/?p=97

        1. P.S.
          FROM PAUL GOLDBERG, Open Left, 01/07/11
          (excerpt)…A more significanly more sophisticated version of this explanation can be gleaned from this passage of an essay by Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates (Chip Berlet. 2008. “The United States: Messianism, Apocalypticism, and Political Religion.” In Roger Griffin, Matthew Feldman, and John Tortice, eds., The Sacred in Twentieth Century Politics: Essays in Honour of Professor Stanley G. Payne, pp. 221-257. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan):

          In a political religion, some secular entity is sacralized. If this entity is merely venerated, it is not a political religion. What is the problem if people worship a sacred cabbage? If the entity is something that people need to defend through political action, then we have a political religion.
          Roger Griffin writes of the palingenetic call for the heroic rebirth of the nation after a period of decay and decline. This involves the perception that time is running out for good to triumph over evil. This apocalyptic and dualistic vision interpolates heroic warriors for the cosmological battle. Using a “chrono-ethological” approach, Griffin points to the elements of “mystic purification and immortality” embraced by those who sacralize a particular entity that needs defense. It is the apocalyptic dream of perfection that creates the nightmare of totalitarian movements and political religions.
          Aggression and violence occurs when a palingenetic apocalyptic movement becomes politically active and demands in a totalitarian way that the sacred entity is “an absolute principle of collective existence, considers it the main source of values for individual and mass behaviour, and exalts it as the supreme ethical precept of public life.” This divides the society into those that defend the sacred entity and those from whom the sacred entity needs to be defended…

          ENTIRE POST – http://openleft.com/diary/21335/from-superpredators-to-acorn-public-employee-unionsthe-evolution-of-conservative-demons-today

      2. RE: “That movie was one of the friggin’s scariest I ever saw as a child!” – R. Silverstein
        MY COMMENT: I agree. The only thing it was missing was a Bernard Herrmann score (à la The Day the Earth Stood Still).
        FROM WIKIPEDIA: …The phrase “Bernard Herrmann lives” is graffitied under a train overpass at the intersection of Bethlehem Pike, Skippack Pk (PA Route 73), and Camp Hill Rd. near Flourtown, Pennsylvania. It has been there for at least 20 years…
        SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Herrmann

    2. RE: “Pod People” – me, above

      (excerpts) I spent one day in Bil’in…There was a Japanese woman staying there as well, a real estate agent from Kobe, a gentle and friendly person.
      Over the next day she would tell me a few times, in her limited English, that Israeli people are not normal. This while looking at soldiers with tear gas and machine guns waiting for us, unarmed protestors, regular people, doing nothing other than showing our disapproval of the wall. The wall was wrong for stealing farmland and water. Wrong for making space for Jewish-only settlements. Wrong because a concrete wall surrounding a people on all sides is a prison wall…

      SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/01/they-spoke-to-each-other-in-arabic-about-the-nature-of-love-they-said-they-will-keep-doing-this-till-the-world-takes-notice.html

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