The joy and celebration of 450 Palestinian families and one Israeli are welcome and long overdue. Their release will be followed by a second of 550 prisoners in a few weeks (Maan has the entire list here). But we should also spare some words and sympathy for the 4,000 Palestinian prisoners who will be left behind. There are, of course, the well-known prisoners like Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Sadaat who Israel refused to free. But there is one prisoner in particular I want to mention tonight.
He is someone I’ve written about extensively: Dirar Abusisi. The one the Shabak claims is Hamas’ rocket engineer, the one who supposedly knew where Gilad Shalit was hidden. Abusisi isn’t going home. In fact, the best Israel has offered him is a 20 year plea bargain, which so far he’s refused. In addition, he’s suffering from a severe bout of kidney stones and accompanying high blood pressure according to his brother, Yousef. Dirar has joined the prisoner hunger strike which is in its 18th day. You can imagine the immense pain and suffering of having kidney stones while trying to fast.
What’s important about the news that he is on hunger strike is that this further disproves the charges of the Shabak about Abusisi. Remember they claimed he was the go-to guy for Hamas’ rocket program, the one supposedly creating a military academy so that Hamas could learn from its supposed dismal failures during Operation Cast Lead? Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails didn’t go on hunger strike because they knew their freedom was at hand and didn’t want to screw things up. Only Fatah and PFLP prisoners are on strike. So what does that make Dirar? He sure ain’t Hamas. So much for the Shabak’s lies.
No one will lobby for Dirar. Apparently, he angered Hamas when he refused their approach to recruit him. His attempt to flee to Ukraine, I believe, caused Hamas to relay word to the Mossad that their chief weapons designer had fled and was available for the taking–which the Mossad did. But now, Israel realizes it was had. And Dirar has no one to go to bat for him. He is an orphan.
Hamas still considers him persona non grata. Israel may want to get rid of the embarrassment of the episode, but it doesn’t release prisoners who haven’t yet been tried and sentenced. So that leaves him to rot in an Israeli jail cell as his health continues to deteriorate. So while 1,001 return to their loved ones for a long-awaited reunion, spare a thought for one who isn’t going home and the six children and wife who won’t get to hug him as he returns.
Have you heard that Eli Yishai is demanding the release of Yigal Amir’s brother, along with 11 other Jodu – terrorists, as some kind of twisted balance to the Shalit deal?
This is terrible. Not that anyone was deluded that Amir won’t one day be released.
Is that the corrollary to “Arabush-terrorists” or “Pali-terrorists” or “dishcloth-terrorists”???
Mind your language lest you show your true colours!
And releasing Amir’s brother is wrong, irrelevant to the matter in hand, and pathetic election orientated politics from Eli Yishai, but not “terrible”. He has anyway served 16 out of an 18 year sentance (if my memory serves me), and if this is the price for the Shas party voting for the deal instead of going with the 3 extreme right wing ministers who rejected the deal, I can live with that at least as easily as living with releasing convicted murderers whomay well murder again.
It’s a corollary to Judo – Nazis, a particular favourite of mine.
What colours would they be?
Really? You think releasing Amir’s brother is a justifiable political payment?
The blood of the murdered lay as heavily on the hands of those who whitewash the murder as it does on the hands of those who called for it. As it looks now, Netanyahu will be chief of both. And it’s not just Rabin’s murder, but the murder of Israeli “democracy”. This blood is now on your hands as well. You have earned it by allowing it to happen in your silent consent, just as you have allowed the occupation in your silent consent. As for your active consent to the occupation, well…
Yes Duck, releasing a Jewish terrorist two years short of his serving his full 18 years is a small price to pay if it enables the Shalit deal to go through. FYI Palestinian terrorist prisoners get a 10% administrative reduction in their sentences for good behaviour (not applicable to life sentences), so this is not even discrimination.
As for your personalised accusations concerning my so called white-washing or silence, then since you have no idea who I am, what I do or what I believe, this is a pure libel and would be better had it not been said at all. Especially as you do so anonymously by the childish epithet of “Duck”.
If you want to be taken seriously then reveal yourself and tell all what wonderful deeds you have done aside from contributing to this blog to further the improvement of the Zionist cause.
Is the symbolism really lost on you? Do you really not see that Amir’s release is nearing? You really don’t see what’s happening here? They are creating an automatic pardon for any Jew murdering Arabs.
Having commented on these threads for a couple of years, I have a pretty good idea what your opinions are. I also seem to remember that you are a judge, and that you have judged Palestinians as per your role in the judicial arm of the ongoing Nakba. Perhaps I’m mistaken.
“Duck” is how my friends, and even my students, call me. I’m not hiding. Still, I have no intention of spilling my personal information all over the internet.
I have not done much. What I have done, however, is speak out. Here, on other places on-line, and most importantly, on the streets of Palestine. In Tel-Aviv, in villages, in fields, in Jerusalem… This is how I clean my hands of the blood that covered them since I was born as a privileged citizen of an Apartheid Tyranny.
Elaine Meyrial says
If you have spoken out, in Israel, against the occupation and attempt at ethnic cleansing of Palestinians , then you are a brave man. In a video published on Mondoweiss.net, I watched American Lucas Koerner being assaulted and thrown into an Israeli police car by three thuggish “security agents” last July. Lucas was visiting Israel/Palestine as a member of Interfaith Peace Builders and had the temerity to put a small Palestinian flag on his kippah.
Your country has gone mad, violating all civilized norms of behavior – Israel desperately needs Jews in Israel and in the diaspora to demand an end to the brutality and violence with which Israel is now associated.
Duck, be so good as to explain in what way Israel is “an Apartheid Tyranny”.
Explain how it is that in this “apartheid tyranny”, an Arab judge was head of the court that sentenced the Jewish ex-President of Israel, Moshe Katzav, to 7 years imprisonment for rape. Explain how, in this “apartheid tyranny”, there are Arab Knesset members and have even been Arab Cabinet ministers. Explain the fact that in this “apartheid tyranny” Arab and Jewish footballers play together in the same teams, explain the absence of any laws against Arabs and Jews dining together, sitting together on buses, drinking from the same water fountains, swimming in the same swimming pools, attending the same cinemas, theatres and concert halls, or living in the same apartment blocks (all of which were forbidden under the South African apartheid regime).
Oh – and I find it very telling that for you, “the streets of Palestine” include Tel Aviv. So, for you, the Jewish State has no right to exist at all, in any borders whatsoever?
Now I know why you repeat the LIE that Israel is an “apartheid tyranny”.
Richard Silverstein says
So big deal, there’s a single Israeli Palestinian Supreme Court judge. Can you offer us the numbers on how many Israeli judges or lawyers there are overall in Israel who are Israeli Palestinians? 7% of Israeli judges are Israeli Palestinian, 15% of lawyers and 3% of court employees (21% of Israelis overall are Israeli Palestinian). The committee that nominates judges contains not a single Israeli Palestinian member. And a 2007 law written by Gideon Saar requires that future judicial nomination receive the approval of 7 of 9 members of this committee. Given that the body includes a number of far right members, the numbers of Israeli Palestinian judges in future will clearly fall precipitously. Did you know any of this? Do you care?
Can you also justify that no Israeli gov’t has been willing for nearly 2 decades to ask an Israeli Palestinian party to enter a ruling coalition? Can you explain why there are public swimming pools at which Israeli Jews protest that Israeli Palestinians are allowed to swim? And can you show me Israeli Palestinians who live in the same apartment blocks inside any major Israeli city (Tel Aviv or Jerusalem for example). You know there are hardly any, if there are any at all.
I find it interesting that someone who doesn’t live in Israel and knows next to nothing about the circumstances of Israeli Palestinians should attempt to claim any expertise on the subject. Tell us, have you ever visited any Israeli Palestinian villages? Met any Israeli Palestinians? Read any books by or about Israeli Palestinians?
You’re a pathetic propagandist.
First of all, let’s talk about definitions. Apartheid in South Africa was a legal system by which whites and non-whites were LEGALLY separated, prohibited BY LAW from living in the same buildings (unless the non-white was a resident servant), prohibited BY LAW from sitting next to whites in public transport, prohibited BY LAW from attending the same theatres, cinemas and places of entertainment, prohibited BY LAW even from drinking from the same water fountains, prohibited BY LAW from sitting together in the same cafes and restaurants, prohibited BY LAW from having sexual relations with each other. Native Africans could not vote or be elected to the South African parliament, they couldn’t be judges, they could not hold public office (except within the native Bantustans). When you call Israel an “apartheid state”, you are deliberately misusing the term to imply – falsely – that this is the legal case in Israel. You are twisting the word “apartheid” to mean something it never did mean and then using the term to elicit an emotive reaction from people who are familiar with the former apartheid regime in South Africa, but know nothing about the actual facts on the ground in Israel.
Secondly – George Karra, the Arab Israeli judge who sentenced THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL to 7 years in prison for rape, is NOT a Supreme Court judge. You are obviously thinking of Arab Israeli Supreme Court Judge Salim Joubran. George Karra serves on the bench of the Tel Aviv District Court, together with Judge Khaled Kaboub – two of the many Arab judges to serve throughout Israel in both the District and Magistrates’ Courts. For example – Awni Habash in the Jerusalem District Court, Ziad Hawari, Hashem Khatib, and 2 others in the Nazareth District Court, Assi Abbas in the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court, Jadda Bassoul, Nasrin Adawi (an achievement for Arab women in a Middle East where, except for Israel, women are discriminated against) and a couple of male Arab judges in the Haifa Magistrates’ Court, 9 Arab judges including 2 women out of a total of 21 in the Nazareth Magistrates’ Court, Arab judges (including women) in the Hadera Magistrates’ Court (where the Director of the Civil Liitigation Dept. is either an Arab or a Druze, I can’t tell from the name), the Acco Magistrates’ Court (1 female and 3 male judges out of a total of 11) and many, many more. The list is so long, I suggest you pick up the diary of the Israel Bar Association and take a look yourself. With numbers such as these – even if there were FEWER Arab judges – it makes nonsense of your claim that Israel is an apartheid state. There is no requirement that the percentage of Arabs in high office be exactly proportionate to their proportion in the general population to prove that Arab citizens of Israel enjoy equal rights under the law.
“Can you also justify that no Israeli gov’t has been willing for nearly 2 decades to ask an Israeli Palestinian party to enter a ruling coalition?”
Yes, I can. A coalition is usually formed by parties who can agree at least on a basic policy. There is no obligation, even in the most progressive democracies in the world, to invite a party with which one has nothing in common, to join a coalition. Are you seriously suggesting that this is a proof that Israel is “an apartheid state”?! Really, are there no limits to your intellectual dishonesty?
Next – public swimming pools where Jews protest at Arabs being allowed to use them. Show me a swimming pool where THE LAW prohibits mixed bathing of Jews and Arabs. Sure, there are Jews who are prejudiced. That doesn’t turn Israel into an apartheid state. All over the world, you can find people who are prejudiced against others. Does that make their countries “apartheid states”?
“Only” 15% of the lawyers in Israel are Arabs? I see you took your figures from a 2-year old article from Ha’aretz. Hardly up-to-date. My impression, from personal experience, is that you underestimate the number of Israeli Arab lawyers – but even if it’s true and that Israeli “Palestinians” form 21% of the population – where in the world is it written that the number of lawyers in a given population sector must be proportional to the size of that population? BTW, I know, from personal knowledge, of at least one Arab judge who resigned from the bench after receiving death threats for being “a Zionist collaborator”. 57% of the pharmacists in Israel’s main drugstore chain (Jewish – owned, as far as I know) are Arabs and the percentage of Arabs at the Hebrew University’s School of Pharmacy far outweighs the percentage of Arabs in the general population. For some reason, the study of pharmacy is popular among the Arab Israeli population. So what?!
“Can you show me Israeli Palestinians who live in the same apartment blocks inside any major Israeli city (Tel Aviv or Jerusalem for example).”
Well, Richard, I haven’t done a street-by-street survey, but I can tell you that in MY Jerusalem apartment block (in a “Jewish” neighbourhood), there is an Arab family living in the apartment below me.
Which brings me to your final remark.
“I find it interesting that someone who doesn’t live in Israel and knows next to nothing about the circumstances of Israeli Palestinians should attempt to claim any expertise on the subject. Tell us, have you ever visited any Israeli Palestinian villages? Met any Israeli Palestinians? Read any books by or about Israeli Palestinians?”
I prefer to get my information “straight from the horse’s mouth” as it were. I have many Israeli Arab colleagues, acquaintances – and even a couple of close friends. Yes, I have visited Israeli Arab villages, my choir has a close relationship with an Israeli Arab choir from the Galilee area with whom we have carried out several cultural projects (music does, indeed, bring people together – ask Daniel Barenboim).
You know, Richard, reading your remarks – and those of not a few of your contributors – I, too “find it interesting that someone who doesn’t live in Israel and knows next to nothing about the circumstances of Israeli Palestinians should attempt to claim any expertise on the subject.”
Richard Silverstein says
What you say is nonsense. The term apartheid is used in many different contexts only some of which apply to South Africa. Israel is a racist state in the ways it treats its non-Jewish citizens. Racism and apartheid don’t have to be the law of the land for this to be true. Apartheid in Israel is de facto, not necessarily de jure, though there are scores of Israeli laws that lay out the unjust ways in which the minority are treated. I’m not going to go into the thousands of ways in which Israel inflicts suffering, inequality and disempowerment on this minority since it’s been discussed here ad nauseam before and is also highlighted in hundreds of books and articles published over the decades. The fact that you don’t read them or recognize them as legitimate is yr problem, not ours.
Yr sole argument to defend the inequity in the Israeli legal system is to say that the numbers for Israeli Palestinians don’t need to be proportionate for Israel to be a democratic state. That too is nonsense. The treatment of Israeli Palestinians in every single profession is the same as it is in the legal profession. If you look at medicine, engineering, science, media, arts, etc. in all these professions you will find Israeli Palestinians vastly underrepresented in proportion to their numbers in the Israeli populace. This is the product again of racism and the fact that Israel is a Jewish supremacist state awarding superior rights to Jews over non Jews.
Anecdotes such as the ones you offer only prove that individuals may overcome all the obstacles the Israeli system places in their way. It does not explain why the vast majority of do not succeed in breaking the ethnic barriers in their way. Individuals are just that individual. They don’t prove a rule.
Then if you exclude 20% of your population automatically from governing coalitions you are by definition a racist state. And yes, if you do this consistently and as a matter of unstated policy you are an apartheid state.
You bellyache about my source being two years old & instead of providing a more recent credible source you offer up again yr own anecdotal impression, which is certainly not credible in any way, shape or form. At least I offered a source. What did you offer? Where is it written that the numbers in any profession should approximate those in the general population? Well, this is standard practice throughout the world in determining whether states are democratic or whether they’re racist or ethnocratic. You simply attempt to argue that Israel is democratic despite the fact that all the numbers argue otherwise. Try looking for example at Brown v. Bd. of Education. The way in which the NAACP proved segregation was not by saying the law enforced it. But by arguing that the numbers of whites in whites only schools & blacks in black only schools fulfilled the definition of segregation & racism. It’s virtually the same with Israel. Numbers don’t lie. You don’t argue numbers because they’re not on yr side. Instead you argue individuals.
And you argue that an abundance of Israeli Palestinian pharmacists in a single Israeli chain or university pharmacy school means Israeli Palestinians aren’t treated overall in a racist manner by Israeli society? That’s rich.
Can you show me an Israeli Palestinian family living in a Jewish neighborhood which owns its apartment? And I’d also like you to show us statistics showing how many Israeli Palestinians live in West Jerusalem. How many do you think there are? And how many Israeli Palestinians own property in Tel Aviv? Or any major Israeli city?
You may live in Israel (I confused your UK e mail address thinking it meant you resided in the UK) but vast majority of Israeli Jews (like you) know next to nothing about Israeli Palestinians, what their lives are like, conditions under which they live, the obstacles they face, etc. You confess that you’ve read nothing about them in the sources I’ve mentioned. You know a few Israeli Palestinians again based on anecdotal individual encounters. Bravo. Come back when you can tell us what you’ve learned through serious study of the subject before you open your mouth to offer propaganda.
I’m not prepared to read thousands of words on this subject. So I suggest you move on to another subject instead of repeating yourself an infinitum on this one. Once you start repeating yrself I grow bored & my moderation finger becomes very itchy.
David Kessler says
Sephardi Jews are statistically under-represented in many professions in Israel. Is this the result of an anti-Sephardi bias (as some have in fact claimed)? Or are the causes of statistical inequality perhaps a little more complex? Is the under-representation of men in education the result of gender discrimination? And what can be made of the fact that 97 percent of the starting five in NBA basketball are black? Is it discrimation? Or is it a case of “white boys can’t jump?”
Statistics do NOT necessarily prove discrimination – at least not racial, religious or gender discrimination. They can also prove self-selection, different areas of interest or socio-economic factors that propogate from generation to generation as a result of self-imposed choices and stereotypes.
I also don’t see why parties that oppose the core values of the state should be invited into a coaltion.
Real-world experience almost invariably trumps scholarship – and I think on this point Simone has your measure.
Richard Silverstein says
Of course it is. “Some” is of course wrong. Any serious observer of Israeli society including Israelis & Mizrahim themselves know this is the case.
Sports is a different story & needs to be explained by sociological factors. Racism is racism even if you refuse to acknowledge. The rest of us, like Potter Stewart said about pornography, know it when we see it.
Of course they do when accompanied by observation of a society, the way it works, who gets rewarded & who is held back. I like yr idea of “self selection” according to which I presume Israeli Palestinians & Mizrahim “self select” for menial jobs, poor education, poor health care, and general overall discrimination. Excellent theory.
Are you claiming that all Israeli Palestinians, all Israeli Palestinian parties, & all Israeli Palestinian MKs oppose the core values of the state. Because if you did you’d either be abysmally ignorant or lying. If Israel wishes to be a democracy it will have to deal with Israeli Palestinian political parties as they are. If it wishes to be an ethnocracy then it will do its best to ignore the elected representatives of 1/5 of the nation.
Scholarship, buddy, is grounded in real world observation & anyone who observes Israeli society knows the very things you deny. It is you & Simone who are grounded in propaganda that ignores what you prefer not to see about Israel & its treatment of its non Jewish minorities.
Richard Silverstein says
You are using incorrect terminology. These are Mizrahi Jews, not Sephardi Jews. Sephardi Jews refer to Jews from Spain or who emigrated from Spain to whichever country they settled in. Mizrahi is a more all-encompassing phrase & is commonly used in Israel. And yes, there certainly is huge anti-Mizrahi sentiment & discrimination in Israel. Just look at the racist comments Shimon Peres’ brother made against Amir Peretz when he beat Shimon in a fight for Labor party leadership. Do you think such racism is an accident coming fr the Ashkenazi elites?
David Kessler says
I accept your correction of my terminology. I would note however that even in statistical terms your argument is to some extent contradicted by the fact that Iraqi Jews are not under-represented in the way that North African and Yemenite Jews are. This suggests that the causes are more complex than this alleged discrimination and that you are wrong to claim that it is only in sport that social factors play a part in the statistical discrepancies.
Statistics tell us that Mizrahi Jews as a whole are under-represented in professions in Israel. They do not tell us why. It would take a double-blind study of job/study applications of candidates of matching ability to answer this question one way or the other.
You presume that discrimination is the only explanation and also that non-professional jobs are inherently menial. But to working as a taxi driver or a self-employed plumber, carpenter or builder can be every bit as lucrative as working as an accountant or even as a junior lawyer in a country with the highest per capita number of lawyers. And it has the added benefit of being ones own master – which in some cultures is of great valuie in its own right. That is what I meant by “self-selction” which you brazenly misinterpreted.
Neither I nor the State of Israel can be held hostage to the words of Shimon Peres – any more than we should think ill of Mizrahi Jews because of the rabble-rousing statements of Bardugo.
“Scholarship, buddy, is grounded in real world observation”
In many cases it merely reflects the prejudice of the scholar.
Richard Silverstein says
It would take nothing of the sort. Israeli scholars have devoted their entire professional lives to researching & publishing on this subject. THe fact that you can’t be bothered to read any books on the subjects only shows yr own biases. The phenomenon of anti-Mizrahi racism in Israel is beyond debate (except in circles like yrs).
You appear to claim that the majority of Mizrahim are taxi drivers, plumbers, carpenters & builders leaving aside of course the tens, if not hundreds of thousands who aren’t employed at all or are employed at menial jobs where their livelihood barely scrapes the poverty level. All yr sophistry can’t explain away one in every four Israelis living in poverty and 1 in every 2 children living in poverty. A significant majority of these are the underclass of Mizrahim & Israeli Palestinians who are targeted for racial & ethnic discrimination, whether defacto or de jure.
And please don’t try to tell us that the Mizrahi “culture” causes Mizrahim to choose to have jobs in which they are self-employed. This smacks of overgeneralization if not racism. YOu don’t know anything about Mizrahi culture, so don’t pretend you do.
Sure they can. He’s the president of the nation or did you forget. When his brother makes racist slurs against a leader of the Israeli Labor party it’s a reflection on the Ashkenazi elite & state itself which is generally controlled (or at the least very heavily influenced) by their ilk.
What do you know of scholars & scholarship? An ignorant comment like this shows your own anti-academic, anti-intellectual prejudices, I’m afraid.
You’re done on this subject. Move on to another thread & another subject.
David Kessler says
“please don’t try to tell us that the Mizrahi “culture” causes Mizrahim to choose to have jobs in which they are self-employed. This smacks of overgeneralization if not racism. You don’t know anything about Mizrahi culture, so don’t pretend you do.”
First of all I know a great deal about Mizrahi culture, both from reading AND from living in Israel. For example, that phrase I used about being ones own master was in fact something I heard straight from a young member of the Mizrahi community just out of the army. I asked him why he was starting his own business in a risky area instead of going to university (which he had considered). He replied: “I’ve just spent the last three years taking orders from other people and I don’t intend to do she same for the next twenty years.” (We continued discussing it in more detail from there.)
Furthermore you claim that the explanation for the job distribution is discrimination by Ashkenazim. Yet that claim too is over-generalization. Indeed your entire argument is based on “others (whom I decline to name) have expressed similar views to mine, so I must be right.” That is not an argument: it is pathetic demagoguery.
Poverty in Israel cuts across all ethnic and religious groups. To turn it into a Jewish-Arab or Mizrahi-Ashkenazi issue is disengenuous.
Under-representation of a group in a field can be due to three causes: discrimination, inability or self-exclusion. Only if similarly qualified candicates obtain different results from the selection process can discrimination be the explanation. That IS the scientific approach. Anything else is itself prejudice.
“If Israel wishes to be a democracy it will have to deal with Israeli Palestinian political parties as they are.”
Israel is governed by an elected PARLIAMENT and Arabs are not excluded form that. Indeed Israel has proportional representation.
“He’s the president of the nation or did you forget. When his brother makes racist slurs against a leader of the Israeli Labor party it’s a reflection on the Ashkenazi elite & state itself which is generally controlled (or at the least very heavily influenced) by their ilk.”
Shimon Peres’ brother is NOT the president of the State.
“You’re done on this subject. Move on to another thread & another subject.”
I will decide when I am “done on this [or any other] subject.” The only thing that you can decide is whether you have the moral courage and intellectual honesty to publish what I say and to answer it, if you can. So far your answers have been along the lines of – “all by liberal friends know I’m right, so I don’t have to prove anything.”
When you can prove your case, let me know.
Richard Silverstein says
I told you you were done in this thread. You decided you’re not. Now, you’ll be moderated since you can’t seem to follow the rules.
You met a single Mizrahi who told you he was starting a self-employed business & from this you extrapolated that it was a Mizrahi cultural trademark?? THis is a human trademark. Why do you think I blog? For the same reason. But I’m not Mizrahi. I’m human. SO is your Mizrahi friend. This is a human trait, not Mizrahi.
Patently false. The groups must poverty-stricken are Haredim, Israeli Palestinians and Mizrahim. Everyone except you knows this.
Israeli Palestinians are tolerated in the Knesset. But every Israeli Palestinian MK has been investigated by the police at one time or another in acts of pure political harrassment. These MKs rarely sit on powerful committees or have any real decision making or budgetary discretionary powers. The fact that an Israeli Palestinian (btw your continuing to call them “Israeli Arabs” when NO Israeli Palestinians call themselves this further indicates yr ignorance & quasi racist attitidues) sits in Knesset means very little about the political status of Israeli Palestinians inside Israel.
The brothers are very close & Peres’ brother represents closely the views of the current president of Israel.
Sorry, but you won’t. I will. And you’ll be moderated because you’re an obnoxious person who doesn’t understand that when you comment at someone else’s blog you follow the rules or risk having yr privileges restricted, as yours now are. And if you decide you have to prove your point by violating the comment rules in future you may lose those privileges entirely.
David Kessler says
[you have again violated the rules of this blog & have lost your comment privileges, when/if you decide you can follow the rules you may return if you choose]
It’s a tyranny because the same group of people have held total economic, political, religious and military control over the country since independence. The democratic process here is irrelevant.
It’s an apartheid regime because of the comprehensive discrimination non-Jewish residents have suffered here. All you have done is show a few examples of how apartheid isn’t complete here, and you have done so dishonestly. There are a handful of Arab MKs and judges. In over sixty years, only a handful of ministers were Arab. Your other examples are also jokes. Arabs are constantly pushed away from Jewish life. Over two million Palestinians live under Israeli rule without any rights of any kind. Those that do get the right to vote are still ignored by gov’t arms that are supposed to serve them. Their homes are demolished. They can’t get proper education or jobs. The list goes on.
The entire nature of the Jewish state is that of racism.
No, the Jewish state has no right to exist. No state should exist on a religious basis, much less that of Judaism. At it’s heart, Judaism is a racist, violent religion, and only injustice can come of it.
I do believe those of Jewish descent, like myself, have a right to live in our ancestral homeland, granted that they do not infringe of the right of Palestinians in any way. This also requires at least partial, if not complete, rejection of Judaism.
Duck! You’re one mixed up guy! You say: “This also requires at least partial, if not complete, rejection of Judaism.”
Why the hell should anyone need to reject Judaism? Nothing what so ever to be ashamed of in being Jewish, if you want to reject it then go ahead, opt out. No one will miss you there.
“No, the Jewish state has no right to exist. No state should exist on a religious basis, much less that of Judaism. At it’s heart, Judaism is a racist, violent religion, and only injustice can come of it.”
Why can’t a state exist on a religious basis? If that’s what the democratically elected government and the people want, who is Mr. High and Mighty Duck to tell them they have no right to decide so? You dont like the man in the sky? Your decision, but don’t lecture to about 80% of the world that they can’t express their beliefs in democratic state form.
Your whole critique of Israel and Judaism seems to be like getting a scratch on the finger and amputating the whole arm to save it – but then you go further and say let the wound bleed to death.
Cool it! Calm down!
David Kessler says
Most of the Arab States say in their constitutions that they are “Islamic” Israel is a predominantly Jewish State, but at least it is not governed by Halacha.
You (Duck) say that “No state should exist on a religious basis, much less that of Judaism. At it’s heart, Judaism is a racist, violent religion, and only injustice can come of it.”
So other religions can have states? Would Israel’s existence be more legitimate if it emulated such practices as the stoning of adulterers (and rape victims), forcing 12-year-old girls into forced marriages, or sending Conquistadors to South America and Crusaders to the Holy Land?
Demagoguery and lies.
Islamic states are also illegitimate. I have already said so.
Israel is governed by Halacha. Funny you should miss that.
Richard Silverstein says
Oh, right, sorry, my mistake.
Well, I guess I’m just gonna take a bus on Saturday and marry my boyfriend.
Lucky that the state never forced me to pledge allegiance to it on the bible.
Good thing I didn’t receive years upon years of forced religious indoctrination.
Come on Richard. You know better than that.
Richard Silverstein says
I deeply object to this comment. Not only is it completely wrong-headed, it is racist and violates my comment rules. I am putting your future comments into moderation until you show you’ve absorbed the rules and can follow them.
You make a very basic, & objectionable error in conflating Israel with Judaism. Judaism is no more violent or racist than any other world religion. And you’ve ignored the tenets of Judaism that contradict your own benighted views.
I repeat: the views you’ve expressed have no place here. Period. I will not countenance your expressing them here no more than I would countenance an Islamophobe writing the same garbage about Islam.
In what way is it racist? I have attacked a religion, not a race. You are robbing racism of it’s horrible meaning when you label such an opinion as racist. Of course you know this. Rightists do it all the time, when they accuse critics of Israel of racism.
I am not conflating Israel with Judaism. We have been over this before, perhaps I should give up. I am accusing Judaism as the source of Israel’s ills. YOUR brand of Judaism, as liberal and tolerant as it is, is not what they call “כוונת המשורר”. Reform Judaism is almost a whole other religion, devoid of the original meaning of the faith. This is evident in it’s persecution here in Israel.
In the past, whenever someone makes outrages and offensive claims, you allow them the opportunity to prove it. If Judaism is too close to home for you, than there is nothing I can do, even though I do not see my claim as at all offensive. If you do allow it, I’ll be happy to write down the numerous tenets that reinforce my views.
Richard Silverstein says
I don’t care to argue whether calling Judaism the despicable names you have is “merely” whatever you wish to call it or racist. I simply don’t have the stomach to debate this. What you wrote is hateful to me and violates my comment rules & I won’t stand for it.
More utter stupidity. Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionism are not “whole other religions” and not “devoid of the original meaning of the faith.” You’re an utter blithering idiot when speaking on these issues.
It is perfectly acceptable to attack the ways in which Judaism is practiced in Israel, to attack settler rabbis, religious chauvinism, etc. I do this myself & regularly. But it is not acceptable to make blanket statements about all of Judaism being racist or whatever other nonsense you’ve spouted.
The way Judaism is practised in Israel is the RIGHT way. Every scholar from Moses to Moses ben-Maimon would agree.
“I simply don’t have the stomach to debate this”
Perhaps that is the problem.
“The joy and celebration of 450 Palestinian families and one Israeli are welcome and long overdue…But we should also spare some words and sympathy for the 4,000 Palestinian prisoners who will be left behind.”
You find it a matter for joy that cold-blooded murderers, such as the woman who drove the Sbarro bomber to his destination and also smuggled in the bomb he used is to be released do you?
You share the “joy” that the woman who seduced a teenaged Israeli boy to come to Ramallah, where she helped murder him, is to be released, do you?
And you have “sympathy” for the terrorists left behind, do you?
Well, that certainly tells us a LOT about you and your real motivations.
Richard Silverstein says
Spare us the hypocritical righteous indignation. If Palestine had as powerful an intelligence capability as Israel and all the IDF officers who’ve murdered civilians in cold blood would be in Palestinian jails, then I’d entertain yr outrage as sincere. But as none of the worst perpetrators of murder & mayhem against Palestinian civilians are ever prosecuted by anyone, let alone the IDF, I dismiss you as what you are, a out & out hypocrite.
I’m happy that Gilad Shalit is coming home. I really am. I have hoped for such a deal for a long time.
However, let us not forget that Shalit was a member of an occupying force. He was a legitimate target. The tank operators on the border of Gaza have a lot of innocent blood on their hands. In a better world, Shalit would be tried for his crimes.
The Palestinian prisoners, however, are members of a legitimate resistance. Israel has no right to hold them. Their freedom is just. They are not terrorists – there is no such thing as “terrorists”. Some of them, a small part, are not without their own guilt. They too should, in a better world, be tried. Israel does not have any right to do this though.
David Kessler says
Gilad Shalit wasn’t a member of an occupyiong force. He was a member of an army that defends a democratic country against the dictatorships that seek to destroy that democracy. The Palestinian prisoners are terrorists and murderers who have been found guilty of their heinous crimes by law courts after fair trials in which they had the benefit of legal counsel.
The Palestinian prisoners were held at known locations and permitted visits from family members, as well as having access to all manner of trainign and education and recreational activities. Gilad Shalit was held incommunicado and not allowed Red Cross visits. At the time of his abducation by terrorists, Gilad Shalit wore a uniform and carried arms openly. The terrorists who kidnapped him wore no uniform and did not carry arms openly – in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
Richard Silverstein says
Of course he was. What do you think the OCCUPATION is, a Tea Party? Israel occupies Palestinian territory and uses its army to do so. And stop with the nonsense about dictatorships. That’s hasbarist nonsense, a red herring & has nothing to do with Gilad Shalit or why he was captured. As for terrorists & murderers let’s speak about the Israelis who murdered 1,100 Palestinian civilians during Operation Cast Lead or the 1 yr old child murdered after the Eilat terror attack when Israel assassinated the leaders of the PRC even though it provided no proof that it had participated in the attack in any way. The only diff. between Palestinian terrorists & IDF officers is that the latter aren’t arrested for their killings. The reason for that is that the PA doesn’t have the same power to apprehend Israelis that Israel has to apprehend Palestinian militants. If it did, then the shoe would be on the other foot.
The Palestinian prisoners are treated miserably which is why they’ve been on hunger strike for the past three weeks–or did you miss that? But you don’t care about them or their living conditions do you. 5,200 of them living in misery many of them for decades.
Stop with the nonsense about violation of Geneva Conventions. Israel has violated more Geneva Conventions in one year than any Palestinian could violate in a lifetime.
I don’t mind if you provide reasonable argument. But what you’ve offered here is old, regurgitated hasbarist junk. If you can’t think independently & offer original arguments that you didn’t read elsewhere & regurgitate here, then don’t bother. You turn the threads into a soccer match in which you offer plays that stopped being useful to other teams years ago. Scoring pts is useless here. Think for yrself & argue yr own original thoughts.
David Kessler says
“Of course he was. What do you think the OCCUPATION is, a Tea Party?”
Gilad Shalit was kidnapped outside Gaza AFTER Israel had withdrawn from Gaza and forcibly evicted Jews living there. It was not an attempt to fight against injustice, but rather at attempt to cash in on perceived weakness.
“The only diff. between Palestinian terrorists & IDF officers is that the latter aren’t arrested for their killings.”
Not true. If Israeli soldiers kill without lawful cause they are subject to prosecution. The fact that some people disagree with specific decisions on when to prosecute or not prosecuate does not gainsay this fact.
“The reason for that is that the PA doesn’t have the same power to apprehend Israelis that Israel has to apprehend Palestinian militants. If it did, then the shoe would be on the other foot.”
If the Arabs thought of Shalit as some one who had violated their rights, they would feel as conflicted about his release as Israelis feel about the release of 1000 terrorists. In fact they show no sign of conflicted feelings. That is because they know they had no right to hold him in the first place.
“Stop with the nonsense about violation of Geneva Conventions. Israel has violated more Geneva Conventions in one year than any Palestinian could violate in a lifetime.”
Pure Palestinian hasbara.
Richard Silverstein says
Give me a break. Who and what do you think he was guarding? He was guarding Gaza. I don’t care where he was physically. He was enforcing the Occupation. And stop with the junk about Gaza not being occupied. Under every reasonable definition of international law it is occupied. It doesn’t matter whether Shalit’s feet stood on Israeli or Gazan soil. He was an occupier. And the Occupation certainly IS an injustice confirmed by international law as well.
IDF soldiers are “subject to prosecution.” That’s an interesting articulation. I couldn’t give a fig whether a soldier is subject to prosecution, an enema, or a ticket tape parade. The fact is that soldiers are not prosecuted for murdering Palestinians. They’re simply not. Of all the thousands of killings of Palestinian civilians if there’ve been 3 prosecutions I’d be shocked. So “subject to prosecution” my arse.
Palestinians had as much right to capture and hold him as Israel has to steal and hold Palestinian lands and maintain the Occupation. When the latter ends so will the captures.
You use that label to describe anything I write one more time & you’ll be in comment moderation hell. I am not Palestinian and you will not refer to me as such in any way shape or form.
David Kessler says
“And the Occupation certainly IS an injustice confirmed by international law as well.”
Even if I were swayed by your overly broard definition of occupation, the fact is that occupation is in fact not necessarily a derogatory term, nor is it automatically illegal. After the war the allies occupied Germany. I know of no international lawyer who brands that illegal or even unjust.
Subject to prosecution means they will be prosecuted if the Judge Advocate General of the IDF determines that there is a case to answer – not merely if you (or I) think there is a case to answer. It is thus in most countries. Merely claiming that Israelis have murdered Palestinians and not been prosecuted is an accusation – and like all accusations it hinges on proof – or in this case, the lack thereof.
“Palestinians had as much right to capture and hold him as Israel has to steal and hold Palestinian lands and maintain the Occupation.”
So now kidnapping a person is equivalent to “stealing” land? They kidnapped him and held him incommunicado (yes in breach of the Geneva Conventions – whether that FACT bothers you or not). It is interesting that they do not have any conflicted feelings about his release. The reason for that is that he always was – in their eyes – simply a pawn and a hostage to be traded for murderers and terrorists.
“You use that label to describe anything I write one more time & you’ll be in comment moderation hell. I am not Palestinian and you will not refer to me as such in any way shape or form.”
A) I never said you WERE a Palestinian – merely that your allegation of widespread Israeli violations of the Geneva Convention is a claim that is made frequently (and falsely) made by Palestinian propagandists.
B) You accused me of using “habara” – your standard response to arguments that you cannot refute.
C) You have an exagerated idea of your own importance if you think of your moderation as “hell”. Even in your own terms the language is wrong. Banning is (presumably) hell. Moderation is… maybe purgatory.