42 thoughts on “To Israel: The Palestinians are Coming! The Palestinians are Coming! – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. A. They’re always unarmed.
    B. They don’t have anything to do with fanaticism.
    C. The IDF can’t shoot trespassers.

    Good job, Silverstein.

  2. Another great article from Gideon Levy on this subject:
    “Look what a few hundred demonstrators can do in a day: 1948 is on the agenda. The breach of the fence in the Golan Heights was enought to breach a far older and more complex fence, bringing 1948 to center stage in the political agenda …

    Anyone who didn’t want 1967 is now getting 1947, anyone who didn’t want to evacuate the settlement of Ariel will now be forced to discuss Carmiel …

    We can arrest him and interrogate him [referring to Hassan Hijazi] as much as we like, but the sight of the young Palestinian from Syria who came to Jaffa to visit his ancestral home was an extremely impressive sight in the history of the conflict”
    For those who missed the historic event of Hassan Hijazi coming to Jaffa:
    Hijazi claimed furthermore that he didn’t want to go back to Syria where the Palestinians are well treated – Hijazi is an engineer and is working in the Syrian Ministry of Education – but that he wanted to settle down in the village from where his family was expelled in ’48. What’s Israel going to do when they come by thousands, claiming their rights (cf. the resolution 194) ?

  3. Just a quick correction… this film was from the mid sixties…not the Seventies, which made it even more interesting and funny as even less was shared between the two “great powers” as even in the seventies.

  4. I would add another comment related to your analogy to the film ( a truly great and funny film!).

    The mission of the Russians on the Island were purely harmless. Yes, the paranoia and politics of the day led to great and comic misunderstanding.

    I agree that there was nothing funny about the Syrians illegally crossing the border into Israel territory nor was any loss of life a source of humor.

    Yet the motivations for these protesters, unlike Arkin and his gang, was no accident, or “patrol party” with a harmless mission. And yes, there was real concern on the Israeli just what these people from a country that has no peace treaty with Israel were doing crossing a border, uninvited and without permission… with at least one reaching as far as Tel Aviv.

    I’m sure if israelis had tried to cross Syrian’s border trying to reach their relatives, in say Damascus, the Syrian army would have reacted just as “bellicose” as well any other army whose border has been breachd by uninvited visitors.

    Heck, if Bashir has no qualms about murdering his own people, he certainly wouldn’t hesitate to scream “The Israelis are comin’ the Israelis are comin'” and THAT would certainly be no comedy, not even a black one.

    And if a bunch of Greek nationals crossed over the border from their land into Turkey, or disputed Islands, in that same fashion and rationale, how do you think the Turkish army would respond…. or any government would respond?

    1. @ David)
      ” …the Syrians illegally crossing the border into Israeli territory …”
      Well, in fact they didn’t cross any ‘border’ nor did they enter Israeli ‘territory’. As you probably know the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights is concerned by the resolution 242 (UNSC 1967), just as the West Bank, and the annexation has been condemned (UNSC 1981, resolution 497) and isn’t recognized by any state either. We are thus talking about ‘occupied territory’ in any other language but the Israeli one.

      After the Indian-Pakistani partition, the Hasbara now serves the Greek-Turkish population exchange. Ridiculous. If you knew as much about Middle Eastern history as you apparently do about films ….

      1. DY,
        You may agree with their act as act of protest, but let’s not ignore the facts.
        There is a cease fire agreement from 1974 between Israel and Syria. That border line is defined in that agreement.
        Syrians breaking that fence and entering Israel breach that cease fire agreement. In fact the UN was supposed to keep that cease fire and they failed to do so.

    2. Well the Greeks and Turks are not in the situation of Israel and Palestinians.

      Every day tens/hundreds of illegal immigrants and smugglers violate the Greek and Turkish borders. If some tens of Greeks decide to swim to a tiny uninhabited disputed island Turks hardly will shoot them. Or vice versa. Surely there will be a small or medium sized diplomatic mess.

      Many countries, including mine, have some sort of disagreement with the neighbour of the “real” borders and often have ethnic minorities on “wrong” side of the border. But no country has exactly the situation Israel has. Most countries all have internationally recognized clear borders, Israel has not.

      What will Israel do if let’s say 500,000 unarmed women and girls with babies from Gaza decide to march to their parents and grand parents former houses and villages inside Israel? And they would be really determined (many begin to be desperate enough) with such a demonstration. Could IDF arrest all of those halve million? No it could not. Could your IDF kill lets say 100,000 of them in front of the world watching it in real time on all television channels, when the rows of marching women cross the border? Do you have enough such soldiers willing and capable to do that murdering of unarmed civilians? Even there were the soldiers who could do that, what do think would be the counter reaction? After such a mass murder Arab and Muslim regimes could not keep their armies “silent”. Jews around the world would be seen as “fair game”. That march scenario is not very far fetched and it could be reality in the near future. Even if the amount of women, girls and babies would be “only” ten thousand the result would be a total and final catastrophe for the Jewish “homeland”. Iron Domes, hundreds of nukes, thrones and US security guaranties are no defensive shields against really determined unarmed masses.

      1. 1. The Israeli Syrian relation is not “disagreement with the neighbor” but a state of war that is stabilized by a cease fire agreement.
        2. Let us take the Greek-Turks relations: Let us look at the Sismik incident in 1987, when a Turkish ship was about to enter Greek waters to conduct an oil survey. The Greek Prime Minister of the time, Andreas Papandreou, ordered the ship to be sunk if found within Greek waters.
        3. Turkey and Greece had bilateral negotiations and signed an agreement how to deal with illegal immigrants. Israel and Syria has not.
        4. Take for example the border of Israel and Egypt. There are about 30000 illegal immigrants who passed through it, at a current rate of 1000 a month. They are not being shot be Israel, in fact they are being shot by Egypt (but that is a story no one cares for). Most of those Immigrants are from African conflict zones.

        1. Free man you seem not to understand the problem. It is unnecessary to draw parallels with other countries. Israel has inside its present “area” almost 5 million stateless people whose properties Israeli Jews have mostly robbed. And some millions more outside Israel waiting and waiting…

          Golan is not on the border of Turkey and Greece or on the Russian borders or not even on the Hungarian and Romanian border. The world sees Golan as Syrian land. Only Israel and Tuvalu see it as Israeli land. Despite the little love Turks and Greeks feel toward each other they can negotiate and make some agreements. Israel not.

          The Israeli Egyptian border is and has been rather peaceful, no doubt about that. But so would be the Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian borders be if Israel would make a fair deal. 1967 borders naturally. The problem is that Israel will and can not do it. Because it has robbed to much and the result of the compromise would be a Jewish civil war. And some can still earn more money by stealing the rest of Palestinian assets before the whole “illusion” crashes down.

          By the way it is not exactly true that Egyptian only shoot on the border. Israeli soldiers have shoot smugglers, illegal immigrants and Egyptian polices.

          Free man do you know that also Finnish and Israel troops have been fighting against each other in Sinai? The troops had a real fist fight at the checkpoint Gamma (near the kilometre sign 101 on Suez Cairo road) in November 1973. The Finnish story tells that Finns did win. First it was 12 Finns against 100 Israelis and Israelis managed to tear down the UN flag, the Finns got more men and a new flag, then the Israelis were forced to leave and give the post to Finnish UN troops. I am rather sure that the Israeli military history doesn’t tell this story. You have the tendency to forget such less heroic events in IDF saga. 😀

        2. By definition, you cannot have a ceasefire and state of war co-existing. There is no state of war bet. Israel & Syria. They certainly don’t recognize ea. other & have never resolved their disagreements. But “state of war?” No.

          Everything else in your comment is OFF TOPIC & a non sequitur.

      1. No, but there is a cease fire agreement between Israel and Syria. What you call “not a border” is in fact the border line agreed apon in that cease fire agreement.

        1. No, once again NOT A BORDER. It is a ceasefire line, which is by definition temporary and meant to end hostilities after a war. Such a demarcation is meant to be adjudicated soon after hostilities are ended so that a permanent & actual border may be defined. This never happened in the case of the Syria-Israel border. So these protesters are taking things into their own hands & Syria has little quarrel w. it since Syria doesn’t accept the current boundary as a permanent border given that Israel conquered this territory & maintains its hold on it illegally according to international law.

          1. The UN thinks different. See UN resolution 242 which clearly states:

            Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.

            Once Syria agree to follow the UN resolution, Israel will gladly withdraw, just like it did when Egypt president Saadat accepted that resolution.

          2. I just love when the Hasbara – and yes, whether you like it or not, but you’re spewing Hasbara – ask the opposite side, in this case the Syrians, to respect UN resolutions while they themselves don’t give a damn.
            How can you refer to the Syrian lack of respect for the 242 ? Israel annexed the territory in 1981, which has been condemend by the UNSC (res. 497), and you have the guts to mention the respect of the 242. Do you think wer’re all idiots around here ? If Israel has the intention of withdrawing, why the annexation ?
            We know from Moshe Dayan that this wasn’t about security, but about farmland – and I guess water too.

          3. Richard, if you are claiming that it isn’t a border, then change your orignal post, where you clearly call it
            “…Israeli Jewish response to the border violation…”.

            Please clarify your own terms… you, (unintentionally) are now denying what you originally wrote.

            With that said, whether you believe it to be a permanent border, ceasefire line or even a “line drawn in the sand” or not. It IS a line of division between two countries recognized by the UN. And the fact that Syrians and Israelis aren’t crossing this line on a daily basis, and have their patrols on both sides of this line, it is not meant to be crossed at will by civilians in either direction.

            Israelis marching into Syria would not have been met with flowers and smiles. They would have met Syrian military incarceration (or worse) and if they resisted or avoided the army they may have been shot at as well.

            Please name me a border, armistice line or any similar type of “line situation” between two countries where either side would not react with similar punitive measures against those who cross that line.

          4. It’s a ceasefire line. And I guess whatever behavior was exhibited in the past on this line will no longer necessarily be observed in future if the protests continue, as they certainly will.

            I can understand why Druze would march over the ceasefire line & violate it. But why, pray would Israelis want to march into Syria? To take even more of its territory for Israel than it has already conquered?

            The U.S. doesn’t kill Mexicans crossing our border and they come in much larger numbers. France, Spain & Italy don’t kill N. Africans crossing their borders in similar fashion & in their tens of thousands.

      2. In fact, the Syrians DO recognize the frontier on the Golan Heights as a TEMPORARY border. They signed a cease-fire agreement with Israel and agree to the stationing of a UN Force (UNDOF-United Nations Disengagement Observation Force) there to monitor the cease fire. Israel has every right to repel incursions of the type that happened on May 15, just as Syria would have the same right to deal with an Israeli incursion.

        1. It is not a “border” but a ceasefire line. That is not a border. Israel of course may kill whoever it wants whenever it wants. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the world has to sit up & applaud. Rather the rest of the world looks on these killings & sees the brutal state that Israel is and has become. Unfortunately, it is a reputation richly deserved, at least by this regime.

          Jordan has quiet guarantees from Israel and the US to preserve the country from outside attack.

          I strongly doubt it (provide proof). And do those alleged guarantees include a provision for murdering people inside Jordan at will?

          not the power of the Jordanian army which is quite small

          The so called small Jordanian army is one of the best in the M.E. & also gave Israel a bloody nose in 1948 and put up the strongest resistance of all Arab armies in 1967.

          over 1000

          Proof? As for what he’s done, he’s put Assad & his main cronies under sanction so they will be confined to Syria for the foreseeable future as long as other states go along. Would you like Assad overthrown? If so, it would be one of the first times you’ve actually diverged fr. the hasbara talking pts.

          1. I’m sure the Commandant of Sandhurst will bask in Richard’s esteem for an army whose single-minded dependence on that establishment for officer training has at least achieved a degree of military coordination rare in the Middle East.

            But only a regime that does not fear its own officers, equips them with a Sandurst training. Because blind obedience isn’t on the curriculum there, as it is elsewhere.

            Thirty years ago, I wouldn’t have thought that an American-trained Israeli officer corps would be significantly inferior to the British-trained Jordanians. However, the training of the American military has changed an awful lot in the last thirty years, and to a large extent the worrying changes in the IDF may simply be a reflection of this.

            The significant number of friendly fire incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Americans attacked British units with fatal effect, can almost all be ascribed to a kind of self-hypnosis which American officers are now taught in order to make it easier for them to do “difficult” things. Not questioning what they are doing melds into not questioning whether or not they are shooting at the right people, and leads to disaster.

            Some of the things the IDF has been pillored for in recent years, especially here, probably wouldn’t have happened if nobody involved had been educated in so called “psychological preparation techniques.”

            A lot of American policemen are now being trained this way, too.

  5. RE: “…the IDF mowed down four of their number though they were completely unarmed.” – R.S.

    SEE: Report: Israeli snipers picked off unarmed protesters at Lebanon-Israel border ~ by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 05/22/11

    (excerpts) A May 20 report from Human Rights Watch alleges that Israeli snipers may have picked off unarmed demonstrators at the Nakba protest last Sunday in the Lebanese village of Maroun al-Rass. 10 protesters were killed in Lebanon as tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees approached the border…

    …Human Rights Watch reports:

    …At around 2:30 to 3 p.m. a Merkava tank came and released white smoke. Behind the tank and the smoke, more Israeli soldiers arrived. And at that point, we heard a lot more gunfire. It was intermittent fire, as if shot by snipers.
    Human Rights Watch observed the Israeli tank as well as what appeared to be a sniper outpost consisting of a small earth mound with a window on the side. Demonstrators close to the fence said they saw more than a dozen Israeli soldiers, many of them behind a row of trees, and a military jeep. “I heard Israeli soldiers shoot every few minutes,” the photojournalist said. “It was like the shooting was done by snipers, because after each shot we would see a wounded person fall.”…

    SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/05/report-israeli-snipers-picked-off-unarmed-protesters-at-lebanon-israel-border.html

  6. RE: “Israel may find is that the Arab world, in the aftermath of the democratic revolutions…is in no mood to back down in the face of bullies.” – R.S.

    BUT SEE: Neighborhood Bully LYRICS, by Bob Dylan, 1983 – http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/neighborhood-bully
    NEIGHBORHOOD BULLY, ISRAEL TV, ORBACH (VIDEO, 05:49) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1QsuAHLOA4

    P.S. FROM THE INTERNET: According to the Sue Fishkoff book “The Rebbe’s Army”, p.167, Bob Dylan is one of the biggest names associated with Chabad. In the early 1980s, Chabad “rescued” Dylan from a brief flirtation with Christianity, and for several years, Dylan studied with Minneapolis Rabbis Manis Friedman and Moshe Feller, whom he visited also for Shabbat dinners. Dylan made a surprise appereance at the 1988 and 1989 Chabad telethons, once playing “Hava Negila” out of tune on the harmonica.

    1. P.P.S. If Bob Dylan is going to insist that the “hired help” use only the outhouse, he really should have it regularly serviced so as to not stink up the neighborhood . At least, that seems to me to be the neighborly thing to do. But then, what do I know? After all, I’m not really much of a neighborhood bully!

      Bob Dylan’s neighbors sing outhouse blueshttp://articles.latimes.com/2009/mar/17/local/me-dylan-outhouse17

  7. That’s why there hasn’t been an armed confrontation with Jordan since 1967.

    care to point out the incident between israel and jordan where there was a need for armed confrontation?

    1. Do you remember the Khaled Meshal assassination? They actually killed him by poisoning him & he was about to die. King Hussein, however, had captured the killers & threatened dire consequences unless the antidote was provided. Luckily there was one, it was provided & Meshal did not die. But if he had died or Israel had refused to provide it, then Israel might’ve had a chance to experience the quality of the Jordanian armed forces. Bibi, who was PM at the time & approved this stupid “hit,” wisely chosen discretion as the better part of valor and backed down. If you’re as strong as Bibi, he tends to back down. He likes picking on the weaker guys.

      1. “then Israel might’ve had a chance to experience the quality of the Jordanian armed forces”

        So the entire Jordanian army would’ve responded to one death? Is this not disproportionate force? Your bias against Israel shines through with this comment.

        1. Nonsense & total rhetorical bad faith. Does the IDF respond w full force to Palestinian terror attacks? Of course not. You could at least make a semi aerious attempt to argue in good faith & not pass off such limp argument as serious.

          1. What I mean is that when it comes to countries other than Israel, you are suddenly very sensitive to issues of sovereignty and have great sympathy for the country’s feeling of offense and desire to respond.

          2. You don’t seem to understand that there is a difference between unarmed protesters entering Israeli-conquered Syrian territory and Israeli assassins entering Jordan & assassinating a foreign leader there. Most of the rest of us understand the diff. why not you?

  8. Richard: You think Israel hasn’t had an armed conflict with Jordan since 1967 because of Jordan’s formidable military prowess? I’m just trying to understand your point…

    1. One of the main reasons. There may be others like a more pragmatic royal family. But it doesn’t hurt that Jordan has the most powerful military in the region, or one of the most. Jordan not only isn’t challenged militarily by Israel, it isn’t challenged by any other Arab nation either. There’s a reason for that.

      1. Yeah, the reason other countries haven’t challenged the Jordanian army since the Syrians tried and were chased out in 1970 by the threat of Israeli intervention, is that Jordan has quiet guarantees from Israel and the US to preserve the country from outside attack. THAT is what causes others to stay away, not the power of the Jordanian army which is quite small compared to others.

      2. Israel’s armed forces are roughly 4 times the size of Jordan’s. In fact, Strategy Page ranks Jordan’s armed forces 8th in the Middle East behind Algeria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt.

        1. The notion that Egypt’s army is of superior quality to Jordan’s is ludicrous. If you want to argue that the U.S. has provided advanced weapons systems to the Egyptian army this I concede. But I’d stack Jordan up favorably against the Egyptians any day. Far better discipline, training, cohesion, & strategic/ tactical doctrine.

        2. Jordan’s Army is made up of 100,000 soldiers, Egypt’s has 468,000. Egypt has 630 combat aircraft to Jordan’s 120. As to Armored Fighting Vehicles, Egypt has 7000 to Jordan’s 2500. During the War of Independence, the Jordanian Legion was a pretty cohesive fighting force, headed by Pasha Glubb and a cadre of British Officers. Notable victories included the Kfar Etzion Massacre and the expulsion of the Jews from the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and subsequent looting and destruction of the synagogues. In battles between Israel and Jordan from 1956 onward, after transfer of command from British to Jordanian officers, Israel scored overwhelming victories. In any case, I really have no idea how you can place Jordan’s Army above Egypt’s. I’ll say it’s a bold and unique assessment, one I haven’t ever seen before. I don’t say that to belittle it – I’m not being sarcastic at all and if you happen to find a link to any serious military analyst who shares this opinion, I’d be most interested to read it.

        3. No no of course size isn’t everything and Jordan’s military is generally well regarded but they do not possess ballistic missiles and much of their technology is a bit out dated from what I’ve read. I’m sure they’re quite capable but I hardly see them as any kind of serious threat to Israel for any number of reasons.

  9. “Does Bibi think Barack will cheer him on as Bush did when Israel slaughtered over 1,000 Lebanese civilians in 2006?”

    Barack also defended Israel’s behavior in that war in one of his speeches to AIPAC (probably the 2007 speech, but I’m not going to google for it), just as State Department recently defended Israel’s conduct in the Gaza War. I’m not sure what Israel would do if tens of thousands of protestors marched to the borders, but I wouldn’t count on any US condemnation for any action Israel took.

    1. Though on the other hand, I agree Barack wouldn’t cheer on a mass shooting. The US would lose whatever tiny shreds of credibility it might conceivably have in the Mideast if it did that. Perhaps even Bibi understands this.

    2. What has Barack done to stop the Syrian regime from slaughtering over 1000 of their own people? Did Obama do like he did to his ally Mubarak who was told to leave as of yesterday?

  10. in France, as the evil red equivalent of “the russians are coming”, we had the classic “Les chinois à Paris” by Jean Yanne, there’s a scene when chinese troops arrive in France, all frenchies on the roads already killed each other 🙂

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