Where Kindness Is A Crime

Israel/Palestine
on 54 Comments

In a May 7 article, Haaretz reporter Ilana Hammerman described in dramatic detail a crime she had methodically planned and committed. In defiance of laws supposedly related to Israel’s security, Hammerman picked up three teenage Palestinian girls in their village in the West Bank, took them through the Betar checkpoint, and drove them into Tel Aviv. There they ate ice cream, visited the mall and museum, and played in the sea. Even though the girls lived just a few kilometers from the beach, Israel’s military occupation had prevented them from ever visiting it before their illegal "day of fun."

Hammerman wrote in her account of the experience, "If There Is A Heaven:"

“The end was wonderful. The last photos show them about two hours after the trip to the flea market, running in the darkness on Tel Aviv’s Banana Beach. They didn’t want to stop for even a minute at the restaurant there to have a bite to eat or something to drink, or even to just relax a bit. Instead they immediately removed their sandals again, rolled up their pants and ran into the water. And ran and ran, back and forth, in zig-zags, along the huge beach, ponytails flying in the wind. From time to time, they knelt down in the sand or crowded together in the shallow water to have their picture taken. The final photo shows two of them standing in the water, arms around each others’ waists, their backs to the camera. Only the bright color of their shirts contrasting with the dark water and the sky reveals that the two are Yasmin and Aya, because Lin was wearing a black shirt.”

But the fun ended as soon as a group called The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel filed a request with Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein demanding that Hammerman be prosecuted for breaking the country’s "Law of Entry to Israel" forbidding Israelis from assisting Palestinians in entering Israel. If Weinstein agrees to the request, Hammerman could face as much as two years in prison.

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel was founded by a religious nationalist settler named Nachi Eyal. When I reached Eyal on the phone, he maintained to me that his concern related strictly to Hammerman’s disregard for the rule of law. "She broke the law and she made a report about her breaking of the law," Eyal told me. "She wanted everyone to know that you can take Palestinians in against the law and lie to police officers and the Army. I want to send a message that no citizen in Israel can take the law into his hands and if he does they have to pay."

However, a glance at Eyal’s past campaigns and statements reveal his targeting of Hammerman as part of a broader agenda that has less to do with the rule of law than with opening a new phase in the settlement movement’s political agenda. A former aide to settlement founding father Chanan Porat, Eyal founded his Legal Forum in 2004 to combat the Israeli government’s planned evacuation of the radical Gush Katif settlement from the Gaza Strip. In recent years, the Legal Forum has focused its efforts increasingly inside the Green Line, ramping up the pressure against Palestinian citizens of Israel and anyone who advocates on their behalf.

Eyal has boasted of his latest campaign to push Jewish settlement activity in coastal cities of Israel like Jaffa, Akko and Haifa which maintain sizable communities of Palestinian citizens of Israel. He claimed he has "encouraged Jews not to put up ‘for sale’ signs in these areas in order to dissuade Arabs from buying up these properties." The Legal Forum is also intent on preventing Palestinian Israelis from building on their own land. "We are mapping Israel’s land resources, investigating illegal Arab building sites and filing suits against such building," Eyal has said.

The Legal Forum is a prominent player in right-wing efforts to disqualify Palestinian-Israeli legislators from the Knesset. In May, when Balad MK Jamal Zahalka made anti-Zionist statements during a speech in Ramallah, Eyal called on the government of Israel to revoke his citizenship. "If a member of Knesset goes to the enemy and says bad things about Israel they must pay for this," Eyal insisted to me. "Israeli democracy must have weapons to preserve the democracy or it will be destroyed."

In another recent campaign, Eyal attacked a military investigation of an Army colonel who publicly justified his use of torture techniques to compel Palestinian detainees into confessions. The investigation "ties the IDF’s hands during the war on terrorism," Eyal said, "and helps the terrorists." Eyal’s Legal Fund spearheaded the campaign to suppress a book, "The House of Dajani," that portrayed the early Zionists in unflattering terms. His efforts led to the reversal of a decision to award the book the Sapir Prize, Israel’s most prestigious literary award.

Now Eyal’s efforts are focused on ensuring that Hammerman’s kindness does not go unpunished — "they have to pay," as he said. The Attorney General has ordered the police to open an investigation of Hammerman and Eyal is confident that case will proceed to the next stage.

"I think we will succeed because [Hammerman] broke the law and she made a lot of noise," Eyal remarked. "Israel will not allow these kinds of things to continue."

About Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.

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54 Responses

  1. Leper Colonialist
    June 24, 2010, 1:28 pm

    I’ve got an idea – here in the USA let’s start designating Israelis like Ilana Hammerman as “Righteous Chosen,” or something similar.

    The annoyance factor this could provide to the likes of Foxman, Dershowitz, Morton Klein, David Harris and the rest of the Hasbara mongers would be a guilty pleasure indeed! There must be someone with deep pockets, a flair for publicity, a distaste for Hasbara and a very thick skin who could organize and finance this.

    It could be a very low-cost initiative – Mondoweiss could be the forum for this. Just publicize the words and deeds of israelis at odds with the current governing ethos of Bibi, Avigdo, Shransky and the rest, and what they’ve said and done to expose it’s cruelty and fatuity. Think about it.

    • annie
      June 24, 2010, 1:46 pm

      here in the USA let’s start designating Israelis like Ilana Hammerman as “Righteous Chosen,” or something similar.

      i think righteous jew works. after all, they weren’t chosen really. each person is responsible for the choices they make in life and should be acknowledged as such.

      • Colin Murray
        June 24, 2010, 2:38 pm

        ‘Righteous Jews’ is the term Prof. Mearsheimer uses in The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners.

      • potsherd
        June 24, 2010, 9:13 pm

        Here is a Righteous Jew: link to maannews.net

      • potsherd
        June 25, 2010, 6:49 am

        Here are a lot more: link to haaretz.com

        “But in Sheikh Jarrah there is no mistaking the good guys from the bad guys. No matter how you look at it or describe it − there is no way the settlers living there can be considered the good guys and the Palestinians the bad guys. Maybe in other places you can consider Palestinian suffering to be somehow relative, but here it’s so clear. And it doesn’t matter how what additional data you factor in or even if you ‘recruit’ Herzl [in your arguments]: It won’t make a difference.”

        I hold these Israeli Jews in mind when I encounter evil-minded people like Max.

  2. potsherd
    June 24, 2010, 1:51 pm

    Civil disobedience is the name of the game. Let Israel demonstrate its inhumanity in front of the entire world and make sure the entire world sees it.

    • Psychopathic god
      June 24, 2010, 2:56 pm

      the US Supreme Court upheld criminalization of assisting peace activists:

      Court Affirms Ban on Aiding Groups Tied to Terruh the Supreme Court on Monday upheld a federal law that makes it a crime to provide “material support” to foreign terrorist organizations, even if the help takes the form of training for peacefully resolving conflicts.

      Elana Kagan agrees:

      The decision was a victory for Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who argued the case in February

      • lysias
        June 24, 2010, 3:00 pm

        Hanging Judge Jeffreys was the villain in Captain Blood. He sentenced Dr. Peter Blood to transportation and penal servitude in the West Indies for rendering medical assistance to the rebels in Monmouth’s Rebellion.

        This Supreme Court would approve of what Judge Jeffreys did.

      • potsherd
        June 24, 2010, 4:16 pm

        It makes me want to puke when I see the so-called liberals defending Kagan from conservative attacks. It’s a knee-jerk reflex. Anything the GOP doesn’t want must be good. They can’t conceive that it might be bad for totally different reasons.

        Kagan will join the Roberts/Scalito cabal and the Supremes will be even worse than ever.

      • hayate
        June 24, 2010, 10:51 pm

        Potsherd

        It’s not a knee jerk response among the pundits, it’s a direct example of how zionist interests have subverted the american political spectrum to those of zionism, inc. This is ziofascist/fascist corruption of the political discourse taken to it’s logical “Orwellian” conclusions.

      • radii
        June 24, 2010, 6:37 pm

        Kagan is Obama’s Miers and will withdraw or not be confirmed – there is more to come out on her that is easily exploitable by the Repugs

      • hayate
        June 24, 2010, 10:44 pm

        Kagan is a ziofascist, and a regular fascist. Pure and simple. Will having another ziofascist/fascist on the sc make a difference? Probably not, it’s already 8 to 1/7 to 2, or something like that. With ziofascists/fascists dominating the american political, [cough] legal and financial landscape, working within the system to bring positive change is ludicrous. So is expecting the freakshow to put a human into a position of power.

        Expect the worst from these critters, it’s coming.

      • demize
        June 25, 2010, 12:02 pm

        Her dad is a real scumbag. I’m guessing the apple doeesnt fall far from the tree. Shyster Upper West Side lawyer Gentrifying and ripping off tenants. link to stopmebeforeivoteagain.org

      • pineywoodslim
        June 24, 2010, 10:14 pm

        I am aware of Kagan’s, uhh, shall we charitably say less-than-desirable positions on executive/state power and am not defending those one whit, nor am I a defender of her nomination.

        But as solicitor-general, it is only accurate to say that she is a lawyer representing her client’s position. That position may coincidentally well be her own, but the representation itself says nothing about her personal views.

      • Citizen
        June 26, 2010, 7:39 am

        True, pineywoodslim. But the recent POTUS majority decision leaves us with the question: who watches the Watchers, the unelected ones who decide who shall go on, who shall come off Uncle Sam’s terrorist list? Obviously, the First Amendment is no aid to those on the terrorist list, nor is an aid to those humanitarians who seek to aid the plight of people who happen to live anywhere under a “terrorist” regime or sub-national group.

  3. Debonnaire
    June 24, 2010, 1:54 pm

    A very fine idea, LC.

  4. MRW
    June 24, 2010, 1:56 pm

    Three cheers for Ilana Hammerman! I wonder if she is any relation to Bernie Hammerman and his kids in NYC. Bernie, the diamond dealer, and wholesale jeweler — and a runner for Murder Inc when he was 11 years old on the Lower East Side — would have done something like this, but he would never have told anybody; he couldn’t.

  5. James
    June 24, 2010, 2:58 pm

    Three cheers for Ilana Hammerman! – i 2nd that!

  6. hophmi
    June 24, 2010, 3:10 pm

    I’ve got no problem with what Hammerman did. And it seems clear that a lot of these laws are not enforced. But unless you deal with the concerns that allowed such a law to be passed, you won’t get anywhere.

    • potsherd
      June 24, 2010, 4:18 pm

      Oh, now we have to bow to “concerns”.

      Zionists can take their concerns and stuff them up a black hole instead of using them as an excuse to imprison innocent children.

      • hophmi
        June 24, 2010, 4:24 pm

        Hey man, whatever you say. Just don’t be surprised if you continue to be irrelevant.

      • Mooser
        June 25, 2010, 12:47 am

        I’d trade relevancy for a clean conscience any day.
        But that’s another of my favorite Zionist-shill threats: If you won’t be a Zionist, none of the cool kids will like you.
        And of course the only answer is Putney Swopes’ “Shove it, clown!”

      • potsherd
        June 25, 2010, 6:53 am

        Whatever I say is that Zionism is based on raw selfishness, and it expects the world to share the selfish belief that any concern of Jews must be more important than the interests of any other people.

    • Citizen
      June 26, 2010, 7:43 am

      Do you have a problem with the US federal government’s lack of enforcement of the current US immigration policy against illegal immigrants and those who hire them? Or do support Obama’s plan to file suit against Arizona for its attempt to enforce current US immigration law?

  7. kapok
    June 24, 2010, 3:11 pm

    It would make a beautiful film. But it will never be made under the present dispensation.

  8. DICKERSON3870
    June 24, 2010, 7:41 pm

    RE: “Israeli democracy must have weapons to preserve the democracy or it will be destroyed.” – religious nationalist settler Nachi Eya

    MY COMMENT: Oh, boy. It’s Tool Time! “ARF! ARF! ARF!” Reminds me of “the good old days” under Herr Bush and Herr Cheney. Tools! Tools! Tools! (Weapons!) The tools to get the job done! The tools our boys need to protect us! The tools our troopers need to vanquish the evildoers! (The tools to preserve the democracy, lest it be destroyed.)

    STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL ALBERTO R. GONZALES ON THE PASSAGE OF THE USA PATRIOT ACT
    March 2, 2006

    “Since the terrible attacks of September 11, 2001, the Department of Justice’s highest priority has been to protect Americans by preventing acts of terrorism. I applaud Congress for reauthorizing each and every expiring provision of the USA PATRIOT Act and providing additional * tools * to fight terrorism and other serious crimes.”
    “This reauthorization is the product of nearly a year of serious debate and congressional oversight — an important process that demonstrated that the USA PATRIOT Act is critical to our ongoing efforts to protect Americans. This review also confirmed that the Department of Justice has used the investigative * tools * provided by the Act in a responsible manner. The reauthorization bill makes permanent vital provisions — including those that helped dismantle the ‘wall’ between intelligence and law enforcement — and also adds dozens of civil liberties safeguards. Importantly, the legislation provides additional * tools * for protecting our mass transportation systems and seaports from attack….”

    STATEMENT OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH ON PASSAGE OF THE BILL TO REAUTHORIZE THE USA PATRIOT ACT
    March 9, 2006

    “I applaud the Senate for voting to renew the Patriot Act and overcoming the partisan attempts to block its passage. The terrorists have not lost the will or the ability to attack us. The Patriot Act is vital to the war on terror and defending our citizens against a ruthless enemy. This bill will allow our law enforcement officials to continue to use the same * tools * against terrorists that are already used against drug dealers and other criminals, while safeguarding the civil liberties of the American people.”

    Rudy Giuliani: Americans Must Use Every Legal * Tool * to Fight Terrorism
    In a recent oped featured in the New York Times, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani calls on the Senate to remember the importance of the USA PATRIOT Act in securing America:
    I support the extension of the Patriot Act for one simple reason: Americans must use every legal and constitutional * tool * in their arsenal to fight terrorism and protect their lives and liberties…

    SOURCE – link to justice.gov

  9. sam
    June 24, 2010, 8:02 pm

    Ok…I’m sorry. This is stupid. Why would you do something knowingly illegal and then publish about it using your own name? Besides being able to prosecute the person you also alert the authorities to be more strict in the future.
    I think we need to learn how to subvert the system and not brag about it in the media for publicity’s sake.
    great idea though!

    • potsherd
      June 24, 2010, 9:11 pm

      That’s how civil disobedience works. It’s a public act, defying the authorities to enforce an unjust law.

    • Mooser
      June 25, 2010, 12:49 am

      Didn’t they teach you about civil disobedience in school?

    • Shmuel
      June 25, 2010, 4:00 am

      sam,

      The idea of taking Palestinian kids out of jail for a breather and some fun is a brilliant idea, and disobeying immoral laws is a human duty. It also takes guts. Hammerman is a long-time activist and writer, who excels bringing home uncomfortable truths. In this case however, I too wonder what she hoped to accomplish by publicising her act of civil disobedience. Having been in her shoes, had I publicised my actions, I would probably have had to stop doing them, and might have deterred others from engaging in such actions. I can see the value in talking about such things, but a little more discretion might have accomplished a lot more.

      • Richard Parker
        June 25, 2010, 5:21 am

        A little more discretion would have accomplished nothing.

      • Shmuel
        June 25, 2010, 5:37 am

        A little more discretion would have accomplished nothing.

        As someone who has engaged in this kind of civil disobedience, allow me to disagree. Publicity has its purposes, but also its costs. If charged and convicted, Hammerman will probably be given a suspended sentence (I am assuming she will not be sentenced to actual jail time), that will, in all likelihood, prevent her from doing the same thing again. For the duration of the legal process against her, she will also undoubtedly be advised by her lawyers (to whom she will probably listen) to avoid such behaviour. In any event, the publicity involved will probably deter others (already few and far between) from breaking the law in such cases. So what has actually been accomplished? A protest against the inhumanity of the occupation? Nothing new there, and there are many other ways of voicing such protest.

        I agree that the story is moving and I admire Hammerman for what she’s done, but that does not preclude asking what she has accomplished and could she have accomplished more by going about things in a different fashion.

      • Citizen
        June 26, 2010, 7:54 am

        She might have remained more effective by simply taking photos
        (not the faces) of the girls enjoying themselves, and writing, publishing, & distributing an underground story–sort of like what the White Rose did back in the day? Certainly that’s easier now, and there are many medias for distribution. It’s a very captivating and poignant story. Maybe that could still be done by others?

      • Sumud
        June 25, 2010, 5:33 am

        Shmuel ~ If you follow the link to the article at The Only Democracy, Hammerman says it wasn’t a rash act, she had given it considerable thought. Sound like she’s aware of the possible consequences (prison) and wasn’t deterred – her intention is to raise awareness in Israel and abroad. That’s not going to happen if she’s discrete.

      • Shmuel
        June 25, 2010, 5:50 am

        Sumud,

        I have followed Hammerman for years, and do not doubt that she considered the consequences and is willing to pay the price. She is a good, courageous and smart woman. I am merely considering the wider cost, and suggesting that whatever awareness she has managed to raise (remember, the fact that WB Palestinians can’t go to the beach is not exactly an earth-shattering revelation, even for Israelis), might have been accomplished in a different fashion.

        When I lived in Jerusalem, I regularly had “illegal” Palestinian workers staying in my house – a criminal offence. I hope that I helped these men earn the living that draconian laws tried to deny them. Had I written an article about my refusal to obey an immoral law, with details of what I had done, I might have been fined or even gone to jail, but I would certainly have been of no further use to these men. Furthermore, others contemplating such disobedience might have been deterred from doing so. It’s not a straightforward decision.

      • Sumud
        June 25, 2010, 6:21 am

        You’re right Shmuel – she absolutely won’t be able to do it again. It’s a gamble then – that the publicity generated now will be larger in effect than the future restrictions she, and others will face. I hope it works out that way. If she does go to prison, maybe a string of copycat crimes would follow. It’s one way of clogging up a Kafka-esque machine.

      • LeaNder
        June 25, 2010, 3:48 pm

        Shmuel, I can see your point, and appreciate your telling us about your personal experiences.

        But maybe I am a humanitarian “maximalist” to use this wonderful Wittism. I find these laws really, really frightening. Even more that you seem to presume that she must necessarily loose in court. It’s about three girls, a holiday with ice cream and the beach.

        Imagine she wins and she can free Israelis of these laws at least bring about some slow moderations. She needs huge support networks both inside and outside Israel.

      • Shmuel
        June 25, 2010, 4:08 pm

        Leander,

        The laws are incredibly frightening, but what is more frightening is that they enjoy huge popular support. I presume Hammerman will lose in court, because Ezra Nawi lost in court and Arik Ascherman lost in court and countless Palestinians have lost in court – for nothing more than upholding human dignity. After decades of fighting like a lioness, Leah Tsemel gave up. The draconian laws are there to be enforced, and Israel courts are notoriously cowardly when it comes to “security offences”.

        To the extent that the court will see the harmlessness and even good intentions in what Hammerman has done, it will give her a suspended sentence – because the law is the law, and it’s a slippery slope, and these girls were innocent, but they could have been terrorists, and others will think that they can imitate Hammerman’s action with impunity, severely compromising the security of the state, and so on and so forth. The learned judges will undoubtedly cite precedents and practise their rhetorical skills – maybe quoting some Bible or Maimonides, but they will not see Ilana Hammerman and her action and the three imprisoned girls, and the millions like them. As my university German teacher (Hamburg-born) used to say: Ordnung muss sein!

      • hophmi
        June 25, 2010, 4:14 pm

        Again, why did the laws come into being? Because of terrorism. Because suicide bombers dressed up as regular people and blew up Israelis, making the Israelis fear that Palestinians from the territories might be human bombs. Either Israeli can allow their country to become a minefield, or they can protect their borders against infiltration and have some semblence of security. I’m open to other practical suggestions.

        I don’t see what the alternative is here.

      • LeaNder
        June 25, 2010, 5:34 pm

        I thought about Agamben, and the State of Exception and bare life, or life stripped of all it’s rights. Political theology and Israel.

        And yes, that’s much more frightening:

        but what is more frightening is that they enjoy huge popular support.

        Unfortunately it seems to be true.

      • Sumud
        June 27, 2010, 3:48 am

        “Either Israeli can allow their country to become a minefield, or they can protect their borders against infiltration and have some semblence of security. I’m open to other practical suggestions.

        I don’t see what the alternative is here.”

        What borders are you talking about hophmi? Has Israel actually fixed al it’s borders? No.

        My practical suggestion is withdraw from all of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, also the other Syrian and Lebanese occupied territory. Fix the borders of Israel for all time. He hapy with 78% of historical Palestine. Take up the Arab League’s longstanding offer Arab Peace Initiative and begin to enjoy the immense benefits normalisation of relations with Israel’s neighbours will bring. Do not initiate wars on Israel’s neighbours – including the Palestinian state. If any of Israel’s neighbours actually attack Israel – including the Palestinian state – respond militarily. Military action in actual self-defence would enjoy the support of the world community. Continuously launching wars will not.

        A great leader could achieve this. Instead we have Netanyahu and Livni.

  10. hayate
    June 24, 2010, 8:53 pm

    Kindness was a crime in the jim crow american south, as well. And in some cases, resulted in lynchings.

    Humans don’t treat other humans like that.

    • hophmi
      June 25, 2010, 4:15 pm

      Blacks in the Jim Crow South did not go around straping bombs to themselves and blowing up white people.

  11. RoHa
    June 25, 2010, 12:27 am

    Giving teenage Palestinian girls ice-cream, and giving them a chance to run on a beach without being shelled! Has this Hammerman woman no understanding of what is necessary for Israel’s security?

  12. Richard Parker
    June 25, 2010, 3:36 am

    This Hammerman woman deserves to be put away for years. Deliberately smuggling three (3!) teenage Palestinian girls (any one of whom could have been a suicide bomber!!!!!) for a day on the beach in Tel Aviv. Criminal.

    Nachi Eyal, for his courage in crossing the Green Line in the opposite direction, and settling there, in contravention of countless treaties and international laws will probably be given a medal.

  13. Richard Parker
    June 25, 2010, 4:09 am

    Excuse the non-sequitur; I’ve just read Ilana Hammerman’s original Ha’aretz piece,
    link to haaretz.com
    and was very moved by it.

    Can you imagine being in your late teens, an hour’s drive away from the sea, and never seen it before in your whole life?

    This is the reality of Israeli Apartheid.

    • Sumud
      June 25, 2010, 6:12 am

      Agreed RP. It’s a long lovely piece of writing.

      I was struck by the account of the three young ladies overhearing other students at the university speaking arabic. It’s the story of a reunion, even if the parties never exchange a word. How horrid and obscene the Palestinian nation has been divided and in some cases imprisoned: Palestinians in Israel | Palestinians in the West Bank | Palestinians in Gaza | Palestinian Refugees | Diaspora Palestinians – and never [hardly ever] the twain shall meet.

      I was struck also by Hammerman’s closing sentences, how the day was a moment of liberation for her also, and not just her partners in crime.

      • Shmuel
        June 25, 2010, 6:20 am

        How horrid and obscene the Palestinian nation has been divided and in some cases imprisoned: Palestinians in Israel | Palestinians in the West Bank | Palestinians in Gaza | Palestinian Refugees | Diaspora Palestinians – and never [hardly ever] the twain shall meet.

        Last night, I saw part of a documentary, in which Palestinians in Jordan, the WB, Israel and the UK are interviewed – highlighting this terribly painful issue. There was an elderly man, originally from the ethnically cleansed village of Al-Masmiyyam who said: “You have brothers: One is Syrian, one Lebanese, one Egyptian. A man dies without seeing his brother. It is a horrible tragedy.”

      • Shmuel
        June 25, 2010, 6:24 am
      • Sumud
        June 25, 2010, 6:35 am

        Ugh. It’s truly a living nightmare.

        It’s why my blood boils when I hear armchair zionists like RW (so committed he won’t even make aliyah) try to dictate who is and who is not eligible for right of return. This fundamental lack of decency and humanity guarantees dooms zionism.

      • Citizen
        June 26, 2010, 8:16 am

        Sumud, Witty is a self-declared liberal zionist; his goal is that Israel always be “Israel as Israel.” Seems to me he has never clarified precisely how this goal goes along with the Torah announcement that the Jewish nation’s agenda is to be “a nation of priests.”
        Does he mean each Jew, each Jewish Israeli too, be a philosopher king or queen? Who is relegated to being the unwashed mob of true democracy in such types of scenarios?

      • Citizen
        June 26, 2010, 8:18 am

        Further, if the purpose of zionism, of Israel, is to guarantee the survival of Jews in a world where anti-semitism is always right around the corner, what does this insurance policy have to do with being a nation of priests? Is G-D both a real estate agent and an insurance broker?

  14. droog
    June 25, 2010, 5:40 am

    Three Palestinian teenagers go to Tel-Aviv beach, have a great time and maybe see some positive aspects of Israeli Jews, and this is a bad thing according to Zionism?, this lends credance to the argument that most Zionists actions display a latent fear of peace.
    Its like the hebrew speaking filipino children about being deported, they would be considered as nationals in any western democracy, they would probably be on the news as a success story of whatever nationality it was, a score in the new melting-pot world of soft power.

  15. Edwina
    June 25, 2010, 11:49 am

    Thank goodness there are always people like Ilana Hammerman — people whose good sense and common decency can be counted on to defeat the aims of oppressors everywhere. It is people like her — German, Dutch or Swede — that hid Jews from the Nazis. It is a shame that most Israelis learned the lesson of the Holocaust as “never again for Jews”, not “never again anywhere”.

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