28 thoughts on “Israeli Settler Minister: We Published Pictures of Corpses for Hasbara – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. The Itamar massacre and its gruesome aftermath reminded me of something that I read a while back about the Mau Mau in Kenya:

    Here is the relevant quote from the link above:
    “Thirty-two British civilians were murdered by Mau Mau militants. The most well known Mau Mau victim was Michael Ruck, aged six, who was murdered along with his parents. Newspapers in Kenya and abroad published graphic murder details, including images of young Michael with bloodied teddy bears and trains strewn on his bedroom floor”

    The Brits attempted the same thing over fifty years ago to no avail, Kenya got its independence in the end.

    I don’t expect Israeli politicians to learn from history and to try to avoid further bloodshed. I have a sneaky suspicion that they are flogging the corpses on international media for two main reasons – a) As a future excuse for settling/not negotiating/killing Palestinians with impunity. b) As yet another attempt to demonize Palestinians so that any collaboration between lefties and Palestinians is automatically suspect – Hence the connection to Dimi’s (highly obnoxious) post from earlier this week.

  2. I could not even read the whole post. It is so unfortunate that such sick people are in position of power.

  3. What can I say ?
    It is a bad idea, no because it cannot be effective, but because it puts the state before the person.

  4. Now, we allow our own slaughtered co-religionists to be the sacrificial animals.

    Well, frankly, that was one of the major tools for bringing the state of Israel into existence, wasn’t it? Without the Shoah there might not have been the impetus necessary to create the state in a bloody war, at least not at that time. IMO turning the victims into sacrificial animals was as disgusting then as it is now, (and that’s also why I don’t use the “Holocaust” term. A “burnt offering”? Please.)

  5. Over at Mondoweiss, Max Blumenthal raises the possibility that Palestinians didn’t do it http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/after-itamar-exploring-the-cynical-logic-that-makes-everyone-a-target.html

    ‘ . . .However, even if the motives of the killer seem obvious to everyone, journalists covering the incident must be reminded there is no hard evidence that a Palestinian terrorist committed the crime. No viable armed faction has taken credit, and Israeli police are even treating Thai workers as suspects.

    Itamar is heavily guarded, surrounded by an electrified fence, and monitored 24/7 by a sophisticated system of video surveillance. Yet there is no video of the killer. Like it or not, until the identity of the killer is confirmed, the murder can only be described by journalists as an “alleged terror attack.” Legitimate outrage is no excuse to flout the basics of journalism 101.’

    Then commenter marc b. post this http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/after-itamar-exploring-the-cynical-logic-that-makes-everyone-a-target.html#comment-293395
    ‘An Asian worker is suspected of the murder of the Fogel family, a settler family from Itamar settlement near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to Palestinian press sources.

    Quds Net news quoted local residents from the area that he was infuriated with an Israeli settler for not paying him his wages carried out the killing of the settler’s family in Itamar, Palestinian press sources reported. . . ‘

    So this whole thing might be more embarrassing for the minister.

    1. The foreign worker story so far is complete speculation. The only thing I can say for sure is that they are investigating foreign workers. But to say that they even have a suspect fitting such a description is way too premature. Palestinians, like Israelis, have a vested interest in reporting this story in a certain way. So let’s await further clarification.

      1. Amen.
        And what I notice with great satisfaction: that NO Palestinian faction – no matter how ‘extremist’ it may be – has taken responsability for the odious crime of killing three children.

  6. Whatever the motives of Mr.Edelstein, those five human beings are still just as dead, the same as they were before his contribution to this tragedy. And I suppose it’s a safe bet that many more than five will meet a similar fate before the matter rests.

    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

    At the end of every human drama, when the final curtain falls and each actor has to leave the stage, one question alone remains.

    Is it God or Man that writes the book of life?
    If God, then we all may have some serious cause for complaint.
    If Man, it will take a massive rewrite to make any of us look good as we exit this place.

    It may already be too late for the Fogels. If we don’t get out collective finger out and soon, it’s probably too late for the rest of us as well.

    1. I saw the video, and looked through the website. What’s more symbolic than a heart beating in the “ennemi’s” body ?

      “Heart of Jenin”
      A German-produced awarded documentary on the organ donations of the 12-years-old Palestinian Ahmed Khatib, killed by Israeli soldiers.
      We follow his parents’ decision to give his organs to Israeli citizens, and later his father’s journey through Israel – from where his family was expulsed in ’48 – to visit three of the 5 or 6 receivers, a young Druze girl, a Bedouin boy in the Negev and a small girl from a Jewish Orthodox family.
      We experience the xenophobic reaction of the Jewish father when he realizes that the organ is “Arab”, and later when Mr Khatib goes to meet the girl in Jerusalem, the reception in the family’s apartment gives you a stomach pain. Of course, some extremists accused the documentary of antisemitism, but I think it’s a wonderful film portraying a wonderful person.
      It’s a 90 minute documentary that I really recommend – now or when you have the time:
      The English subtitles are not very readable. There’s another 60-minute version on the net, but it’s not available in my region (continental Europe).

      A twenty-minute resumé:

      1. Thank you for the link, Deir Yassin. I’d never heard of this story before, although I’ve come across others like it – there have been several incidences of kidney donation. In November 2005, thirteen-year-old Ahmed Khatib was shot by Israeli soldiers during a firefight in Jenin. He was rushed to hospital in Haifa, with the army expressing regret for mistaking him for a militant, but he couldn’t be saved. His dad Ismail made the decision to donate his son’s organs after learning of a Jewish child who was awaiting a kidney transplant in Haifa hospital at the time their son died. Describing the rationale for Ismail’s decision, Ahmed’s uncle Jamil said, “You shouldn’t need a reason to act with humanity, but he had a brother, Shawkat, who died several years ago from kidney failure. He understood what it was like.”

        There have been other cases like this. In 2001 Mazen Joulani was shot in Jerusalem, possibly in a vigilante retribution attack for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. His family donated his organs. The family of the Jewish recipient of the heart responded very positively:

        “David Cohen, whose brother, Yigal, 37, received the heart, said he was ‘surprised’ to hear that the donor was an Arab. ‘Apparently there are no borders or wars when acts of mercy are concerned. This is a noble deed on the part of the family. The very fact of the act taught me that there are other kinds of people on the other side, and maybe there are more. Through people like this we will find the path to peace.”

        The full story is here. The doctor had a similar thought to you about the heart transplant: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/1311634/Family-of-martyred-Palestinian-donates-organs-to-let-three-Israelis-live.html

        There have also been cases of Israelis donating organs to ill Palestinians. Zeev Vidro died in a suicide bombing in 2002; his family gave one of his kidneys to a Palestinian woman who was struggling to find a donor. I think it’s very important to remember stories like this, especially when murders happen. It’s a beautiful thing when people can take their grief and use it to save lives.

        1. @ Dear Vicky)
          You say you’ve never heard of this story before, BUT it is the first one that you describe in your own comment :-)) : Ahmed Khatib from Jenin. But you give me an occasion to recommend the documentary once again. The long version. The father, Ismael Khatib, is one of the Gandhi’s that the Israelis say the Palestinians don’t have 🙂 He’s leading a cultural center for children in Jenin, and if you ever go there, you should pass by.
          And thank you very much for the Zeev Vidro story. I’m maybe too sentimental, but that kind of stories make me cry more than killings …. I don’t cry at Hollywood-productions, though.
          Take care of youself in Bayt Lahem.

          1. Sorry about that, I was skim-reading! I will watch the documentary when I have a faster Internet connection.

            I know the centre you’re talking about. Cinema for Peace? They show quite a divere array of films, including Israeli ones. I love the cultural upsurge in Jenin – they’ve got the Freedom Theatre too, and a bunch of other good projects.

          2. P.S. I think the father of the little girl who received the transplant changed his mind about the value of Arab hearts, as he and his family were guests of honour at the opening of the Cinema for Peace. I didn’t know that he’d ever objected to it, but now I do I think it’s even more terrific that they went into Jenin.

          3. @ Vicky)
            It’s not Cinema for Peace, though they projected the “Heart of Jenin”-documentary.
            The name of the cultural center for children is now named “Cuneo Center for Peace” and is financed by Italian NGO’s.

            I don’t think the Levinson family were guests of honour at the opening of Cinema for Peace. Maybe you’re talking about one of the other families. Ahmed Khatib’s organs were given to six different children.

            Levinson, the father of the little Menuha, had very anti-Arab statements in the film, and Ismael Khatib had to insist a lot to see the girl. When Khatib went to see them in Jerusalem, Levinson asked him why he didn’t leave for London or Turkey if it was difficult to find jobs in Jenin ;-(

            You’re right about Jenin: that’s where Arna Mer and Juliano Mer Khamis worked too. Another recommendable documentary “Arna’s Children” is on the net too

          4. Ah, it was Sameh’s parents who attended the CP opening. I didn’t realise that there was more than one female recipient – for some reason I thought the others were boys. I probably am confusing them with other transplant cases. Still, it’s quite heartening that there are so many to confuse them with.

  7. RE: “In the days of the Temple, Jews used to slaughter animals as sacrificial offerings to propitiate God. Now, we allow our own slaughtered co-religionists to be the sacrificial animals.” – R.S.
    MY SNARK: Déjà vu all over again?

    (excerpts) Zealotry was originally a political movement in 1st century Second Temple Judaism which sought to incite the people of Iudaea [Judaea] Province to rebel against the Roman Empire…
    …Zealotry was described by Josephus as one of the “four sects” at this time. The zealots have been described as one of the first examples of the use of terrorism.[1]
    Zealots [who] engaged in violence against other Jews were called the Sicarii.[9] They raided Jewish habitations and killed Jews they considered apostate and collaborators while also urging Jews to fight Romans and other Jews for the cause. Josephus paints a very bleak picture of their activities as they instituted what he characterized as a murderous “reign of terror” prior to the Jewish Temple’s destruction.
    In the Talmud, the Zealots are also called the Biryonim (בריונים) meaning “boorish”, “wild”, or “ruffians”, and are condemned for their aggression, their unwillingness to compromise to save the survivors of besieged Jerusalem, and their blind militarism.…According to the Babylonian Talmud, Gittin:56b, the Biryonim destroyed decades’ worth of food and firewood in besieged Jerusalem to force the Jews to fight the Romans out of desperation…
    …After the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in AD 70, 960 Zealots under the lead of Elazar ben Yair took refuge by capturing the Roman fortress of Masada and taking no prisoners
    Today, members of some units of the Israel Defense Forces, climb Masada and declare “Masada Shall Not Fall Again”, in Hebrew, at their graduation from basic training
    1. A Brief History of Terrorism, Center for Defense Information, 07/02/03 – http://www.cdi.org/friendlyversion/printversion.cfm?documentID=1502
    8. a b H.H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-674-39731-2, page 275
    9. A Brief History of Terrorism, ibid

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zealotry

  8. RE: “For the settlers and those who sell their message, there is nothing better than to brand the Palestinian people as Nazis, and its terrorist acts (for Palestinians as a collective entity are guilty of such murders) as expressions of a wish to genocide.” – R.S.

    A WISE SAGE, 03/12/11:

    …Terror attacks like this allow the worst of each side to sit back smugly and say: I told you so. Another example: Bibi Netanyahu’s ignorant, hateful laying of blame on the Palestinian Authority for the crime instead of on his own security forces (who control and patrol the territory surrounding the settlement):
    Benjamin Netanyahu, pointed a finger at the Palestinian Authority [and later took advantage of the deaths to announce construction of 500 new settlement homes – J.L.D.], blaming it for what he described as incitement in the mosques and by the Palestinian Authority-controlled news media. According to a statement by his office, Mr. Netanyahu said, “A society that permits such wild incitement is one that eventually brings about the murder of children.”…

    SOURCE – https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2011/03/12/death-in-itamar/

    P.S. ALSO SEE: The Wrong Side of History, by Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 03/08/11

    (excerpts)…ISRAEL IS dominated by the settlers, who resemble in spirit the Crusaders of the 12th century.
    Fundamentalist religious parties, not much different from their Iranian counterparts, play a major role in our state.
    The political and economic elite is steeped in corruption. Our democracy, in which we took so much pride, is in mortal danger.
    Some people argue that all this is happening because “Netanyahu has no policy”. Nonsense. He has a clear policy: to maintain Israel as a garrison state, to enlarge the settlements, to prevent the foundation of a real Palestinian state, and to go on without peace, in a state of eternal conflict.
    Just now it was been leaked that Netanyahu is going to give a historic speech – another one – very soon. Not in the Knesset, whose importance is approaching nil, but in the really important forum: AIPAC, the Jewish lobby in Washington…

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.counterpunch.org/avnery03082011.html

    1. The question as I see it is not so much who or what drives this situation as it goes from bad to worse but why all of us stand by and let it get so out of control.

      It reminds me of this terrible plight that Japan is in right now.

      There, the primary cause of the disaster was a magnitude 9 earthquake, the offshoot of a battle between two titanic forces, each deep within the ocean floor. In its aftermath, an overwhelming tsunami and consequent setbacks with nuclear power stations have elevated the initial problem to one of truly gargantuan proportions.

      What would the Japanese have given for some means to ease and divert the build-up in geological pressure that has delivered such cataclysmic blows? Quite a lot, I would imagine.

      The parallel here is almost exact.
      Palestinians and Israelis have contended with each other for generations over the same small piece of this Earth. As both sides grapple with the situation in very unstable conditions, tensions inevitably start to rise; stress increases until a breaking point is reached. And the result? A series of shocks and aftershocks, every one of which leaves death, destruction and desolation in its wake.

      What would the Palestinians and the Israelis give for some means to ease and divert the build-up of the many pressures long active on their own patch of real estate? Quite a lot, I would imagine.

      Well, humanity’s control over earthquakes is, as yet, still in its infancy. The best we can do is to try to predict where and when these occur and then relay some warning to all those nearest the epicentre.

      But what about control over the forces that Mankind itself generates?
      Have we any chance there of reigning in those even more incomprehensible disasters that too many men still continue to visit upon their fellows?

  9. When Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish spoke in Los Angeles recently he held back tears as he described what remained of his daughters and niece after they were literally blown to pieces in a bedroom of their Gaza home. We listened and witnessed the pain on his face and we wept too, imagining the horror of those moments two years ago. We didn’t need to see photographs, and there weren’t any to be seen. On the web there are pictures of these beautiful girls laughing together, playing together, studying. Dr Izzeldin understood that putting graphic photographs of their broken and bloodied bodies in glorious color on the internet would do nothing to alleviate his suffering. I am embarrassed for the Fogel family and for those who decided to exploit their tragedy in such a tasteless manner.

  10. <<>>

    There are plenty of examples in the Tanach of various graphic displays to make a strong statement and motivate emotion and action including displaying bodies.
    A body of an executed criminal is left to hang till the evening to make sure people see his fate and not follow his example.
    A body of the concubine of Givah (an innocent victim) was cut into 12 pieces each sent to one of the tribes of Israel to arouse their anger at the actions of Benjaminites who raped her and caused her death:
    Shoftim (Judges) 19:29 http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15827
    And one can bring more such examples.
    What do you know of worst sins? You seem to reinterpret Judaism to suit the current zeitgeist and your own sentiments as you go along. Do you have a religious authority you follow without a question? If not why deny Edelstein the same rights you reserve for yourself to interpret Torah and Judaism as you feel like.
    Anyway Israel has many Torah scholars who are free to criticize Edelstein’s decisions to release the pictures. Since none of them has done so perhaps such a use of these images is within the consensus of Jewish law and practice.and it is you who has to paraphrase your words has has allowed Liberalism to become your religion, while abandoning your actual religion?

  11. If Al-Jazeera and other Arab news outlets can repeatedly broadcast gruesome pictures of Arabs/Muslims who are killed in order to “stir up” their people, why can’t Israel do the same for Jewish victims?

  12. There’s a letter in today’s Daily Mail, which suggests that the killer was not actually Palestinian, but a Thai workman who had not been paid.

    There must be some possibility this is true, or the Mail probably wouldn’t have printed it. This would make a complete nonsense of a great deal of the comment about Holocaust revisionism, etc.

    Though I’m a bit wary of the sudden change of scapegoats.

    Though it might reinforce my earlier point about not responding to provocations, (at least until you know who they came from!)

    The letter in the mail suggested that Israeli police and soldiers had rounded up all the Thai construction workers in the area, but had not said anything to the press to defuse all the anti-palestinian hate. It’s that detail which lends credence to all this.

    It would be interesting to know to what extent Thai workers are being used to avoid employing Palestinians? Though I suppose there are many building trades, steelwork and so on, where they might have skills not available locally.

    1. I haven’t seen any proof that Israeli police have actually taken the Thai worker theory seriously. It’s an unsubstantiated claim as far as I can tell.

      They did question Thai workers, but I think that was more to rule out suspects than because they felt a Thai would’ve committed the crime.

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