32 thoughts on “Abir Aramin Died in Vain – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Your headline states that Abir Aramin died in vain but the last paragraph of your article demonstrates quite the contrary.

    Remember, it was one Israeli soldier who shot this young girl, but one hundred former Israeli soldiers who built a garden in her name.

    1. That is a nice thought as far as it goes.

      But I do not think that a garden makes up for the theft of a young girl’s life by a miscreant soldier. And do not make the mistake of equating that soldier-murderer to the Combatants for Peace activists who may’ve volunteered to build the garden. And do not make the mistake of singling out only Israeli soldiers, as the group is composed of both Israeli AND Palestinian ex-soldiers. Further, these ex-soldiers have each specifically renounced the use of violence to solve the conflict, a position directly at odds with the views of the brute who killed Abir & the system which empowered him to do it.

      1. In no way do I believe that a garden makes up for the girl’s death.

        I was just arguing that she did not die in vain, in that something positive has grown, so to speak, in her honor and memory.

        The remarks about one hundred former Israeli soldiers building a garden in her name came from something I read from her father who made essentially that same point and specifically singled out the former Israel soldier component of the creation of the garden.

        I will see if I can find a link to his statement.

  2. It is indeed an horrific crime and those committed it should be put in jail.
    It is twice as bad when the supreme court fail to correct this injustice.
    My sincere condolences to the family, not that it would help them.

  3. When I read this article last year I was so happy, and I remember sending it around, adding that at least the killer of Abir Aramin would be brought to justice and sentenced, a chance the parents of Iman al-Hams did not get.
    How could I be so naive to think that the Justice of ‘The-Only-Democracy-In-The-Middle-East’ would actually sentence a soldier for killing a Palestinian, when Captain R was released ..and promoted, after shooting 15 bullets in Iman’s little body, in the buffer zone in Gaza.
    After the ‘historic victory’ back in August 2010, Bassam Aramin said: ‘”I have worked night and day for 3 1/2 years tp prove that they killed Abir …but I’ve never lost hope because I don’t want that one day my son will avenge the death of his sister”.
    An article by Rami Elhanan, the husband of Nurit Peled:

    In fact, I was wondering: has a soldier of ‘The-Most-Moral-Army-InThe-World’ ever been sentenced to prison for killing Palestinian civilians ? Well, if they want to keep up the statistics of their morality ….

  4. “מי יתן ראשי מים ועיני מקור דמעה ואבכה יומם ולילה את חללי בת עמי”
    “Let my head be water and my eyes a source of tears so that I weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people”

  5. We have a saying in German that always (sad to say there’s even room for the word “always”) comes to my mind with stories like this. It means “when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”; it’s often attributed to Bertolt Brecht.
    Easy to conclude that Dorit Beinisch has just declared all Israeli children the gander to Abir’s goose, but hopeful to see Bassam Aramin setting an example against this resignation of the spirit.

    And another quote comes to mind:
    “We will prevail, there’s no doubt about that. But we will prevail because of our defeat, because of this long way that revealed to us our causes, because of this suffering whose injustice we felt and from which we’ve learned a lesson. In this, we have learned the secret of every victory, and if we don’t lose it again one day, we will prevail for good. In this we have learned that, contrary to our previously held belief, the spirit cannot win against the sword, however the spirit united with the sword will prevail every time over the sword drawn for its own sake.”
    (Albert Camus, first “Letter to a German Friend”, July 1943, translation mine)

    1. Camus’ “Letter to a German friend” is not representative of his thinking. Camus was born in French Algeria and has always refused to take a standpoint against the French colonial rule though many Algerians asked him to.

      He wrote: “Au bout de compte, s’il faut choisir entre la justice et ma mère, je choisis ma mère” [In the end, if I have to choose between justice and my mother, I choose my mother].
      That’s a perfect illustration of the Aramin-case, I think.

      1. In the end, if I have to choose between justice and my mother, I choose my mother

        Taking his analogy literally, that’s presuming that his mother didn’t believe in justice or that believing in her meant betraying justice. Who says it has to be that way?

        1. Much has been written on Camus and his contradictory attachment to his native Algeria. He deeply loved the country, present in almost all his books, but the native population is only part of the setting, and he knew nothing about the history or the languages of the native population. He described the Arab and Berber population as ‘without past’.
          Camus’ own mother was still alive and living in a European neighbourhood in Algiers, when he made that statement, but the ‘mother’ is more a less a metaphore of French Algeria and ‘justice’ the war of independance that was going on when Camus said those famous words. Or the battle between the heart and the mind, the emotional and the rational.
          This man who fought German occupation in France and Franquismo in Spain from where his maternal family came, was incapable of taking a clear standpoint for justice when his own were the oppressors and stated on various occasions that he was against Algerian independance. He’s still an immense author.

          1. Camus’ stance on Algerian affairs was indeed contradictory, but his attachment to his native land was not. One can criticise his support for ongoing French colonialism, but he regarded himself and his family as “natives” in every way; summary expulsion of the French-Algerians would be an injustice on par with continued oppression and exploitation of the Arabs. In the Chronique Algerienne (which has been much misused by Benny Morris, btw) he stresses that his farmer dad had never oppressed the native Arabs the way the colonial govt did. The parallels to the pre-Zionist Yishuv in Palestine and their relations with the other natives on one hand and the Zionist late-comers on the other are obvious.

    2. I don’t know what I would do if someone came and bulldozed my home. I don’t think many here who judge Palestinians know what they would do if they were forced to live in ghettos during decades of oppression with no end in sight while their land was gradually being populated by immigrants who took to humiliating and harassing them continuously.

      I know I would look for justice. But what if that justice was no where to be found? What if sympathy and attention were all showered on the oppressor?

      I just thank my lucky stars I wasn’t born Palestinian. The only thing I can do is raise my voice in outrage against this injustice and be labeled an anti-Semite, but if I were Palestinian, I’m not sure how I’d react. I might want to wish for death or hasten it or who knows…if any one’s read “Heart of Darkness” then you’ll understand how an environment of death and destruction can turn a civilized person to violence and drive a sane person mad.

      I don’t wish that fate on anyone. I believe Palestinians have resisted their environment rather well considering. If there’s reincarnation I hope Israelis and those Zionists who support their oppression come back to earth as Palestinians…that would be real justice. But that’s just my rage talking TODAY reading about yet another injustice against a Palestinian child who was never asked whether she wanted to be born Palestinian but was so unlucky ONLY because Israel refuses to give Palestinians what we all take for granted…our freedom and the comforting thought that we are all EQUAL under the Law. But Palestinians are the only people on the planet who are denied their freedom and justice by so-called democracies! I’m thru for now; I have the luxury of a time-out from this oppression by proxy.

      Sorry for venting…or not.

  6. Zionism is incompatible with justice and democracy.

    There are many Palestinian families who have experienced hearthbreaking tragedy like this one who likewise will never see justice done while the murderers get to parade their hubris and act out their hatred for Palestinians with the blessing of the State of Israel.

    1. Please don’t use me as ammunition for yr pt of view. I never call myself a stam Zionist as that is getting into dangerous territory. I am a progressive or critical Zionist. Quite diff. than a plain Zionist & all the baggage that this term has.

      That being said, I believe that when formulated very carefully, there is a form of Zionism that is compatible with justice and democracy. But it sure ain’t the Zionism practiced by Bibi, Barak, et al.

      1. I was writing my reply and posted before I saw yours.

        While I understand you’re wanting to draw a distinction between the “progressive” Zionism you adhere to and the Zionism which governs Israel, I have to say that it enables comments such as Mann’s. I’ve seen this strategy happen before on other boards. The Right using and hiding behind the Left or progressives (which are a small minority among Zionists) to whitewash the injustice of Zionism and to camouflage the undemocratic, discriminatory policies of Israel and not in your case or rarely, but sometimes the Left defending, justifying or excusing the practices of the Right.

        I put progressive in quotes because I just don’t see how Zionism can serve progressive aspirations. Zionism is like the forbidden fruit that takes you down another path completely where paranoia, power and the need to control taint every legislative decision and policy and gnaw at the fabric of democracy like a cancer.

        In my opinion, the way to make change happen is to expose how flawed Zionism is from its inception starting with the Nakba and hammer away, gradually eroding its influence.

      2. Not using any “ammunition” and was not presenting any point of view other than the one that you just articulated here.

        Namely, that there is a form of Zionism that is compatible with justice and democracy.

        1. there is a form of Zionism that is compatible with justice and democracy.

          That’s fine by me.

          As for the Israeli ex soldiers who helped build the garden, it’s important to note that they are EX-soldiers, while her killer was not. Her killer is still imbued w. the hatred & homicidal thoughts that impelled him to fire that bullet. The ex soldiers of Combatants for Peace are not. There is no natural line or association bet. her killer and those who built that garden.

          1. Abir’s father initially made the association between her killer and those who built that garden. I was merely reiterating the sentiments that he himself has expressed.

            He has also written about how his conversations with active on-duty IDF soldiers helped guide him on his path towards dialogue and collaboration with Israelis who shared his desire for peaceful coexistence.

    2. That’s the 2nd or 3rd time you try to hide behind Richard this way to score a cheap point against me. Because I know where Richard stands; I don’t respect your strategy.

      As circumstances evolve further so will Zionists of conscience. I like the man who picketed the Aipac convention with a sign hanging over his chest that read: “Recovering Zionist”, because in my opinion, there’s a withdrawal involved, and I must say, he’s being a good sport about it. But I congratulate him, because it’s not easy to let go of an illusion and to try to get others to let go. I believe the man was the object of a lot of abuse.

      Richard used to be against RoR for Palestinians with some reservations. Today, he’s modified that opinion. Denying RoR to Palestinians is cruel and racist when Jews have that privilege and right available to them. In order for justice and democracy to triumph Zionism will be sacrificed by everyone with a conscience. It will come down to that ultimatum and the “recovering Zionist” sees what I see and I respect him for his courage and humility.

      Unfortunately, you are one of those people that clings to Zionism no matter what and could care less what is sacrificed and who suffers in the process. You will use any means to justify the end, including hiding behind others who are moving away from it to preserve their humanity and integrity, instead of relying on the strength of your convictions. But you can’t do that because your convictions are invalidated by contradiction and hypocrisy so instead you misrepresent the convictions of another to shut me down.

      1. Not hiding behind anyone and not trying to “score points” of any kind.

        I simply want you (and others) to understand that Zionism does not need to be “sacrificed by everyone with a conscience” in order for peace and justice to triumph.

        All your other remarks in this post make no sense to me – I certainly have no desire or intention to “shut you down” and there is no “strategy” involved here.

        I just want people to understand that there is a form Zionism which can be compatible with the ideals you mention – and I think that this board and its owner illustrate that point quite effectively.

  7. I read the comments to the Ynetnews article rhat Richard posted on the Supreme Court decision. Something I rarely do, it’s simply too sad with all those right-wing racists.

    Nurit Peled-Elhanan – who lost her own daughter, Smardar, in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem, an advocate for peace and justice (she’s sitting on the Russell commission) – left a message (no. 8). When I read how comment no. 10 responds to her, I just feel sick, and apparently this ‘Mark from Georgia’ has no idea who Nurit Peled is. I left two comments but they weren’t posted.
    I try to imagine being in the place of Nurit Peled or Bassam Aramin, and reading/hearing people insulting me and the memory of my child. It must be inbearable.

  8. The following quote is from a letter to me from Rebecca Goldstein, a philosopher who wrote “Betraying Spinoza”, a biography of my favorite Jewish thinker. It might help you define your own attitude toward Zionism:

    “Re: Zionism: I’m sure you’re aware that some Zionists have tried to declare that Spinoza was a proto-Zionist because of a statement he made in the “Theological-Political Treatise.” Summing up his argument that the success of the kingdom of Israel was entirely political, rather than supernaturally ordained, he writes that were the political conditions of the Jews to change–though this is doubtful because of their internally degraded state–but if those conditions were to change, then they might yet accede to a position of political achievement. The intent of the comment is anti-supernatural, trying to provide an entirely naturalist context for the discussion of the kingdom of Israel (which was receiving attention by some millenarians in his contemporary Amsterdam), but some, on the basis of this comment out of context, have imagined Spinoza as an early proponent of a Jewish state. Of one thing we can be sure: Spinoza would have deplored the current Israeli state, in which the Orthodox clergy exert tyrannical power.”

  9. There is something about this childs face that reaches deep deep down inside me! I am a pacifist by nature but would be willing to make an exception in this case, if I could get hold of the demon that slaughtered her….There is a psychotic golem haunting Palestine, and its rampage has yet to finish. The world turns a blind eye whilst children like this are murdered. A pox on the lot of them!

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