47 thoughts on “Israel’s Slaughter, Based on a Lie – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. If Netanyahu is taken to The Hague the very revealing Vanity Fair photographs of him above your posts can serve as his mug shots.

  2. you forgot the ‘tunnels’ and the massacres Hamas planned on civilians. if that had happened this incursion into Gaza would look like a street brawl in comparison to what would have happened had not the tunnels been destroyed.
    take into account that Israel has not used ground to ground missiles on Gaza-so,if as claimed, they send a salvo of 1,000 of whatever they call them IMO we should decimate the entire place as an act of self-defense.

    “It’s just another lie in the pantheon of lies that are the foundation stone of the state of Israel.”
    Quite a prejudiced statement.

    To the moderator, Richard:
    I am quite familiar with WB and aside from his uncompleted “Arcades Project” he has some 20+ worthwhile essays some of only a page in length. He has only recently become a “major figure” and neither you nor I could know what would have come of him had he not committed suicide. Either a despicable Hannah Arendt or an אוהב ישראל like GScholem.
    So it seems, at least to me, that you should not take it so personally.
    And BTW a few years before you I was at Columbia and JTS and then at the NSSResearch and HU. After that a good few years in yeshiva learning until becoming a ‘lone agent’. So we have something in common but drew different conclusions.

    1. [comment deleted: Comments denying Israel’s right to exist (and Palestine’s) are prohibited by the comment rules.]

    2. @ fake walter benjamin: Only recently become a “major figure?” Are you out of your mind? I was in graduate school 30 yrs ago and he was one of the most important literary critics and philosophers of the 20th century. You really know nothing.

      1. yes, but known only to a few. most of his works have only been translated quite recently and before that aside from two Schoken vols and a book & an essay here and there one needed to know German.

  3. I get the strong impression that fake Benjamin hasn’t sorted out his thoughts (to use an euphemism) very well. He believes, no doubt, that Israel has the fourth strongest army in the world – an article of faith for all true Israelis. Imagine that a few Palestinian raiders had managed to sneak into Israel through those tunnels. What would they have been compared to that Goliath?

    And the tunnels also didn’t make the slightest difference to the effectiveness of the rockets thanks to your great Iron Dome about which you people have been boasting so much.

    So do you really believe that they could have been conducive to a massacre compared to which the present outrage in Gaza is a “street brawl.” ? If you do you should seek professional help.

    Have a good look at that cartoon above some of Richard’s posts: “A problem of self image”. Who are you: the fearful little boy with the David Star or the muscle man looking back at him?

    Of course this muddle shows the psycho-pathology of the oppressor not unknown in a slave society where outbursts of complete irrationality show the underlying fear.

    And what is that business about a despicable Hannah Ahrendt – she, at any case, thought and wrote coherently.

    1. “she, at any case, thought and wrote coherently.”
      Heidegger and his ‘zig heil’ and her ‘banality of evil’. Heidegger was a nazi and was the last in the thread of German philosophy which opted for ‘existence over quiddity’ but his ‘existent’ had no compassion, no volition and more importantly לית דין ולית דיין
      so to me, even if she wrote coherently, is not indicative of truth. you are probably aware that GScholem refused to speak/correspond with her at a certain point.
      for me, Hannah Arendt being in a relationship with a nazi is disgusting. in addition to that she tried for many years to get him a university appointment to no avail because of his past and who he was.

      “So do you really believe that they could have been conducive to a massacre compared to which the present outrage in Gaza is a “street brawl.” ?
      I think you should brush up on your reading comprehension. My comparison was not between a possible Hamas tunnel massacre but between what would have been the reaction of the Israeli army to such an attack as opposed to what is now transpiring. Also take into account that Israel has agreed to ceasefires but Hamas fires exactly at the minute when the agreed ceasefire ends. I believe now there is another 12 hours where Israel is not attacking but neutralising the tunnel situation but they keep firing missiles. Is it so hard to understand?
      175,000 killed in Syria and ISIS killing Christians and destroying Shia’ holy places and no one says or does anything but when Israel does anything out comes all the self-hating Jews and all the anti-semitism/anti-semites.

      1. [Do NOT post links to hate shmattehs like Algemeiner in this blog. Read the comment rules. IF you do this again you will be moderated.]

        1. great letter! i am in the north of Israel and for some reason it would not open up for me so i sent the link to a friend in Jer who opened it, made it into a PDF and send it back to me.

          1. If any of you believe this “Letter” was written by anyone other than an israeli supporter, then you are more delusional than I could have ever beleived.

            Walter Benjamin. Israel’s idea of a ceasefire is for everyone to cease while Israel fires. How is it a ceasefire while Israel launches destruction on Gaza under the pretext of destroying tunnels? The kinds of ceasfires I am familiar with, mean both parties stop where they are and no more violence.

            It would appear that the pure, cold-hearted cruelty that you and oyur country are capable of perpetrating, knows no bounds. You have learnt well from your earlier German oppressors.

  4. Perhaps Israel would get less criticism ‘when Israel does anything’ if it gave up the pretence that it wants peace, that it is the victim, that it never starts the violence, that the Palestinians want to drive Israel into the sea, that Israel offered the Palestinians the moon at Camp David, that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, that the wall is to protect Israelis, that the IOF is a moral army, that it was a land without a people for a people without a land etc etc

    In short, if Israel gave up being such a monumental hypocrite.

  5. “In short, if Israel gave up being such a monumental hypocrite.”
    please take into account that the charters of Hamas and the PA/PLO call for the annihilation of the Jewish state and the complete removal of Jews from Moslem holy land{sic}
    so in essence there can be no discussion of an agreement in light of their ‘weltanschauung’.

    1. [BIG comment rule violation. You are moderated. Read the comment rules if you wish to publish again. You will not be published unless you respect those rules.]

    2. (from http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/game-changing-usisrael-lies-hamas-iran-demand-palestinian-justice-destroy-israel.html)

      Regarding Israel/US claims that Hamas threatens to destroy Israel

      Hamas is a political organization that won the most recent Palestinian elections in 2006 (new elections planned for 2014); called “completely honest and fair” by President Carter. Historically, Hamas was initially encouraged and supported by Israel in effort to divide Palestinian government from unified voice in having a two-state peace between Israel and Palestine. However, peaceful coexistence with Israel is what Hamas proposes (and here), including a 10-year truce.

      Hamas’ Charter reveals US/Israel lies in omission, and more rationally provide direct refutation of this claim. In the section titled, “Our Attitudes Towards:” Section F, “Followers of other religions: the Islamic Resistance Movement is a humanistic movement,” Article 31:

      “The Islamic Resistance Movement is a humanistic movement. It takes care of human rights and is guided by Islamic tolerance when dealing with the followers of other religions. It does not antagonize anyone of them except if it is antagonized by it or stands in its way to hamper its moves and waste its efforts.

      Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – to coexist in peace and quiet with each other. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam. Past and present history are the best witness to that.

      It is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the sovereignty of Islam in this region [Palestine], because the day these followers should take over there will be nothing but carnage, displacement and terror. Everyone of them is at variance with his fellow-religionists, not to speak about followers of other religionists. Past and present history are full of examples to prove this fact.

      “They will not fight against you in a body, except in fenced towns, or from behind walls. Their strength in war among themselves is great: thou thinkest them to be united; but their hearts are divided. This, because they are people who do not understand.” (The Emigration – verse 14).

      Islam confers upon everyone his legitimate rights. Islam prevents the incursion on other people’s rights. The Zionist Nazi activities against our people will not last for long. “For the state of injustice lasts but one day, while the state of justice lasts till Doomsday.”

      “As to those who have not borne arms against you on account of religion, nor turned you out of your dwellings, Allah forbiddeth you not to deal kindly with them, and to behave justly towards them; for Allah loveth those who act justly.” (The Tried – verse 8).

      The charter continues argument that peaceful coexistence is possible despite a history from the Crusades forward to remove Palestinian political voice through foreign military invasions.

    3. It seems when Israel defines certain positions vis a vis Golan, Jerusalem, Palestine, Occupied Territories etc., they are all open to “negotiations”, but when Palestinians make any such statements, it is enough to justify Israel committing mass slaughters in the name of national survival.

      Very convenient when the goal is to keep everything and destroy the Palestinians.

  6. You wrote that “you forgot the tunnels and the massacres (plural) Hamas planned on civilians. If that had happened this incursion into Gaza would look like a street brawl in comparison to what would have happened had not the tunnels been destroyed”. So you clearly believed that those few Hamas raiders would have been able to commit massacres, plural no less, in spite of the vaunted strength of the Israeli army. My question remains relevant: who are you the fearful little boy in the cap or the muscle man.

    I understand now that the comparison with the “street brawl” (we won’t argue about it but I think it is a most unseemly word in view of what has just happened) was in relation to an even more murderous onslaught your compatriots would have committed if those hypothetical massacres had taken place. Frankly, I don’t believe that Israel needs such an instigation. Its capacity for murder is limitless and can be evoked any time under any pretext.

    Israel’s real beef with Ahrendt is, of course, that she was against the partition of Palestine and had hoped for a bi-national state. Also her less than enthusiastic view of the stance of the Jewish Agency towards Nazism, and her “failure” to turn Eichmann into a cheap monster fit to chase little Israeli children to bed with, has not been forgiven. So now her personal loyalty to Heidegger must serve to smear her.

    In the mid 1980’s I attended (and participated) in the Hannah Ahrendt conference in Sydney. I recall that her later successor in the chair of philosophy at the New School for Social Research, Agnes Heller, was there. There were many papers and a lot ofd comments but nobody touched on her relation to Heidegger (though Elisabeth Young-Brühl had already provided information on this in her biography of Ahrendt a few years earlier). We were dealing with her ideas, not her personal life. The accusation that she was in any way forgiving about Nazism is scandalous.

    As to recent attempts by Bernhard Wasserstein (slavishly followed by Ron Rosenbaum) to detract from her intellectual stature I refer you to Irving Louis Horowitz’s dignified reaction to that.

    1. “So you clearly believed that those few Hamas raiders would have been able to commit massacres, ”
      in the given scenario{supposedly rosh hashanah, there would have been no military presence and to either massacre or abduct women and children would have been very easy seeing that the tunnels were not known of.

      1. You Israelis create the scenario, you attribute it to your target of choice, you define what they would have done and then YOU proceed to take revenge for the picture YOU painted.

        You guys have no qualms about this?

  7. Fake Benjamin brings up the matter of the charters again, Israel’s lifeline in the defence of its total unwillingness to come to an agreement. In reality he knows of course what the real lie of the land is viz that the PLO long ago recognised Israel and that Hamas has lately shown signs that it will bow before the inevitable. But sharing in the “monumental hypocrisy” of that country he prefers to talk about the charters. Here pro memory:

    September 9, 1993
    Yitzhak Rabin
    Prime Minister of Israel

    Mr. Prime Minister,
    The signing of the Declaration of Principles marks a new era…I would like to confirm the following PLO commitments: The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security. The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. The PLO commits itself…to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations…the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators…the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently, the PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.

    Yasser Arafat.
    Chairman: The Palestine Liberation Organisation

    1. ‘fake benjamin’
      resorting to ad hominems now?
      the name is unimportant, the content is the important.

      1. @ walter benjamin: Appropriating the name & reputation of one of the greatest intellectuals of the 20th century is certainly important, noteworthy & discredits everything you’re trying to do here. As for your “content” it’s not terribly impressive.

    1. wb: “and you believe Arafat?”

      An odd argument, belied by the insistence of scoundrels like Netanyahu that Arafat/Abbas/whoever must make declaratory statements in favour of whatever unreasonable demand he insists on plucking out of his arse.

      If such statements had no meaning then:
      a) Netanyahu would have no reason to demand them, and
      b) Arafat/Abbas/etc would have no problems accommodating whatever Whacky Idea he comes up with.

      Yet both the Israelis and the Palestinians clearly believe that such statement are, indeed, a very big deal and can not be taken lightly.

      So they certainly both *act* as though such declaratory statements become binding upon whomever utters them, which is precisely why Netanyahu becomes so obsessively insistent about demanding them and the Palestinians become so obstinently resentful in refusing his demands.

      Maybe they both know something that you don’t e.g. such utterances are A Very Big Deal Indeed, and once uttered can not be reneged upon.

      After all, if they weren’t then Bibi simply wouldn’t care one way or the other, and nor would either Arafat nor Abbas.

      Yet, clearly, they did -and do – care a great deal…. how odd, heh?

  8. Another cheap shot. Ask me this question about Netanyahu.
    I repeat here what I have written earlier elsewhere:

    In 1996 the PNC voted 504 –54 to annul anything in the PLO Charter that contradicted the Oslo agreement. The amended version seemed to satisfy Yitzhak Rabin’s cabinet.

    It was mainly at the insistence of Rabin’s successor, Binyamin Netanyahu, that the PLO had to go through the same exercise again – as happened in December 1998, during the presence of President Clinton.

    Apparently Netanyahu’s cabinet was satisfied with the proceedings that then took place. Netanyahu himself expressed his satisfaction very soon after the December 1998 PNC meeting. Vol.17 of the Documents from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the years 1998 – 1999 gives this account of Netanyahu’s reaction:

    “Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his satisfaction at the result of the PNC vote today, achieved as a result of the firm stance taken by the Government of Israel on the issue of the vote to revoke those clauses in the Palestinian Charter calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.”

    However, some members of the Knesset soon found occasion for legal nitpicking, among other things with the argument that the two third majority of PNC-members, required for Charter change, had not been quite there (it was a miracle that Arafat got as many together as he did).

    Netanyahu too soon changed front. The bar had to be raised, as Chomsky puts it. He now insisted that the annulment of certain clauses in the Charter was not enough and that the whole Charter had to be presented in its revised form. Since then he has been repeating, ad nauseam, that this has not been done – a complaint for which he has found a willing echo among the ‘right or wrong, my country’ school.

    Arafat had to pull the whole exercise off in the face of opposition from other factions in the PLO and to insist that the whole revised Charter would be presented was just one bridge too far, particularly as Israel was not living up to its own obligations under the Oslo agreement, especially regarding the release of prisoners and the activity re settlements, as Netanyahu knew full well.

  9. Richard, I can’t prove it to you by sources, and you don’t have to take my word for it, but I have been privy to info that shows irrefutably that Hamas is behind the murder of the 3 teenagers.
    I have no idea why the police spokesman said what he said, if he said it, but I know I am right on this one.

    1. @ Shmuel: Sorry Shmuel, many Israeli & foreign journalists have not only said Hamas wasn’t involved, they’ve proven it. Saying you don’t know whether Mickey Rosenfeld said what Jon Donnison said he did is ridiculous. Do you think BBC reporters make up what their sources say to them?

      Sorry, I don’t accept or trust secret information that people won’t share with me.

  10. Arie – exactly what ‘signs’ has Hamas shown that bring in line with the PLO or the PA and recognize Israel?
    Joining or forming a government in the PA does in no way mean adopting Fatah policy, neither by declaration or inference. Arafat did go a long way forward with Peres and Rabin, but Hamas are nowhere near there.

    1. Shmuel: “but Hamas are nowhere near there” . No, and if it is up to Netanyahu they will never get there.

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      Home  > Israel & the Region
      Hamas would accept peace with Israel, West Bank leader says
      In first, Sheikh Hassan Yousef says Islamists will support an accord should it pass a referendum, offers interim cease-fire
      BY AVI ISSACHAROFF March 25, 2014, 9:26 am 59


      Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters during a rally to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the assassination of the group’s spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin in an Israeli airstrike a decade ago, in Gaza City, Sunday, March 23, 2014. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

      Avi Issacharoff
      Avi Issacharoff, The Times of Israel’s Middle East analyst, fills the same role for Walla, the leading portal in Israel. … [More]
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      A top Hamas official in the West Bank said his hard-line group would accept a peace deal between the Palestinian Authority and Israel should it win approval in a national referendum.
      Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email 
and never miss our top stories   FREE SIGN UP!
      “It is our right to oppose an agreement that [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas brings, like you have your own opposition, but I stress here: we will accept the results of a national referendum and the decision of the majority,” Sheikh Hassan Yousef told The Times of Israel.

      Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has promised to bring any agreement with Israel to a referendum that would include the Palestinian diaspora.
      Yousef’s words mark a departure for Hamas, which in the past has rejected any deal with Israel and has refused even to recognise the state. However, Yousef said there could be peace if Israel withdraws to the 1967 lines, which Hamas leaders in the past have said they would accept.

      Sheikh Hassan Yousef. (Screen capture: YouTube via Fox News)
      “If Israel will accept the rights of our nation and allow the establishment of the Palestinian state with full sovereignty like any other people, in my estimation it is possible there will be peace. However, so far Israel ignores the rights of the Palestinian nation. Hamas agrees to the idea of creating a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with full sovereignty. The occupation forces must leave our lands they occupied in 1967,” he said.
      Speaking from his Ramallah office, Yousef said that Hamas would be willing to abandon terror attacks against Israel should the two sides agree on a cease-fire.
      “The movement [Hamas] is prepared to sign a hudna [temporary cease-fire] agreement with the occupying Israeli power, for a period of time agreed upon by the two sides,” he said.
      According to Yousef, who was released from Israeli prison two months ago, the Palestinian nation is not interested in further suffering.

    2. @ Shmuel: Hamas not only joined a unity government, it essentially accepted having almost no power in it. What more do you want, for Hamas to agree to disband?? Then would you agree that it’s a reasonable partner? After it’s dead?

  11. Israel keeps claiming that the Palestinians want to drive the Israelis into the sea, hoping that the rest of the world won’t notice that it’s Israel that is actually doing all the destruction, whether that is by massacres in Gaza or the incremental erasure of Palestine in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. More hypocrisy.

  12. Shmuel, about your alleged irrefutable evidence that Hamas was behind the murder of these teenagers: I don’t know whether Richard will take your word for it but I certainly don’t. Right from the start most outside commentators that I have read refused to believe that Hamas was behind this because it had nothing to gain from this – on the contrary. Also right from the start the deed was ascribed to a criminal family with only tenuous links with Hamas. The words of that policemen therefore come as old news and are only noteworthy because they come from that side.

    1. They gained much popularity amongst Palestinians. I recall the 3 finger salute being omnipresent for a while. If they weren’t responsible, they still accepted the praise of the people for it.

      It seems to me that not everything Hamas does is for military advantage. If it were, then the current situation of destruction and death in Gaza would be regarded as a failure.

      1. If they manage to get the blockade lifted that’s a success.

        I don’t like Hamas and don’t trust them any more than I trust the Israeli government (well, maybe a little more, but that’s setting the bar so low it’s not really praise),but the world has once again taught the Palestinians a lesson. You can put 1.8 million Palestinians in an open air prison and the world doesn’t give a damn. It pays attention when there is a war.

        Incidentally, if somehow Hamas could place Israel under a similar blockade until the occupation was ended, Western politicians and pundits would denounce it as a vicious antisemitic act of collective punishment and would break the blockade immediately.

        1. Yes Donald. Even the slightest attempt at blockading Israel today would cause the US to run to its support. In 1967 Israel deemed the blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba, that was by no means vital to its economy, a sufficient pretext for going to war, even though President Johnson was in the process of forming a naval squadron (for which the Dutch and Australians had volunteered) to lift the blockade. He had announced that if Israel was the first to go to war it couldn’t count on American support and didn’t stick to that of course. Even the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty with an American loss of life virtually similar to that of Israel now amazingly didn’t disturb the relation.

          President De Gaulle who had made a similar announcement stuck to it.

          It is worth recalling that at the beginning of the war then Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol had publicly announced that Israel was not going to retain any of the territory it might occupy in the course of its military operations. When sometime after the conflict the then Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, reminded Israel’s Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, of this promise the latter merely shrugged his shoulders and said “we changed our mind” (see Rusk’s “As I Saw it”). It was the worst step Israel could possibly have taken and more than likely against the better judgment of Eban himself. It was the hubris of Dayan that probably played a critical role here.

      2. ” I recall the 3 finger salute being omnipresent for a while. ”
        Yeah, sure… I can see it: Israeli Arabs flashing the three finger salute all over the place. They are lucky if they don’t get lynched just walking around these days, so do you really want me to believe they were courting death en masse?

          1. Slevdi.
            …er..Hey doc, can you say, “Mohammed Abu Khdeir”?
            Or, maybe burning someone alive inside AND outside, is not QUITE a lynching, eh?
            Your collective cocoon of denial must also be protected by an Israeli Anti-Think Iron Dome.

  13. Richard, I thought you were banning hasbara. The arguments produced by “Walter Benjamin” are identical to those endlessly repeated by hasbarists on the Guardian, at least.

    1. Stretch:
      On various Australian free & subscription news websites e.g. Crikey, New Matilda, a tsunami of hasbara has emerged since this latest Israeli slaughter began….with little or no success, given that posts against Israel are running at approx 10 to 1. There is clearly a better grasp by the global audience of the realities on the ground in Gaza than ever before.
      Interestingly, there are 2 hasbara types this time round – first, the indignant secular Jewish person railing against the evil Hamas terrorists & those anti-semites who support Hamas, and second, the softly softly stooge that “I have relatives & friends in Israel who are cowering in their homes due to the incessant, deadly Hamas terrorist attacks…please help them”.

      Other posters to these websites,and on Facebook have clearly woken up to hasbara, and it’s evident that this Israeli attempt at countering global public revulsion at the IDF’s current slaughter of mainly innocent civilians, is failing badly.

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