‘Do you know how hard I work to control the rage inside of me?’

Yesterday on this site, responding to the murders of the four settlers in the West Bank Tuesday, Seham, a Palestinian-American, offered a list of settler attacks on Palestinians. David Samel, who has taken a strong stance against violent resistance, responded in a comment:

Seham, I have no doubt that many settlers, especially the ones who are in the WB for ideological rather than economic reasons, are unapologetic racists who ruthlessly exercise their power to make life miserable for the Palestinians. They even resort to murder. However, this was not a spontaneous attack by a Palestinian driven by a last-straw incident to attack one of these cruel racists. This was a pre-planned murder of random settlers executed by an armed group (there may be some question as to whether it was Hamas after all.) The people who undertook this operation coolly decided that it was the proper course of action for reasons I cannot fathom. Assuming all of your stories are true (and I don’t have the slightest reason to doubt any), it could not have been a rational decision designed to alleviate the sadistic and cruel conditions imposed by the settlers upon the Palestinians.

Seham responded to Samel later. Her comment described an incident that she has not spoken about before here, which is why we post it:

David, let’s assume that they were Hamas members or sympathizers. How insulated do you think Hamas is from daily Israeli/PA aggression, violence and detention in the West Bank?  Everyone knows about the siege in Gaza and how it affects everyone there, but, that doesn’t mean that Hamas members or sympathizers in the West Bank have it much better.  Surely you know what life is like for the average Palestinian, so do you think that Hamas members are somehow detached and unaffected by the occupation?  They, their families and their property are constantly being targeted by either the Israelis or their Palestinian appendage in the West Bank.  Besides, things are not getting any better for Palestinians in either the West Bank, Gaza or East Jerusalem and there isn’t any chance for freedom in the future, not with the expansion of the settlements going full steam ahead.  And as the settlements grow, so does the repression of all the Palestinians living around them.  Expect then, for more "cool headed" people to snap, expect that they might be Hamas or, that they might be Fatah members who resent the shift in the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank that occurred post Oslo.

Every single Palestinian in the territories has a relative that was either killed, arrested, held up at a checkpoint, or had something they owned stolen by Israelis.  

My own Palestinian story is as follows: my father had a heart attack years ago in the West Bank.  Doctors said if he would have gotten to the hospital in time, he would have survived. The taxi that was taking him to the hospital was held up at a checkpoint. We never got to see him before he died. I live in the U.S., I have not experienced a scintilla of what Palestinians living in the territories have. And do you know how hard I have to work to control the rage I feel inside of me? How Palestinians living over there do it, every single day, I can’t understand.

Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 100 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Be effective is more important. Be determined. Persuade.

    Rage is ignored, or doubled in retaliation. How many times have you seen that also?

    • Rage is human, Witty.
      My heart goes out to Seham.
      How much energy is poured out by so many of us into this issue, while Israelis dance on our shattered psyches and laugh at us as we attempt with our puny bank accounts and meagre skills to try to undo years and years of propaganda that has driven a culture mad.

      • pjdude says:

        bingo. IT seems to me that so many people demand an inhuman level of restraint from the palestinians while excusing whatever crimes of Israelis through human emotion.

    • Why don’t you become a solidarity activist and move in to a family’s house in the old city of Hebron and see just for one day how they live? Otherwise I think you should not tell people who have suffered in this cruel occupation how to feel, what to do, and what to think.

      • I assume you are “talking” to me.

        Don’t presume to attempt to shut me up.

        If you succeed, it will be a failure of your movement, in the hypocrisy of censorship in the name of supporting democracy.

        You don’t see what the fruit of rage is? You don’t see that when a Palestinian kills 4, Israel kills 400?

        How is that effective to your mind?

        A real warrior determines what their mission is, their goal, and then pursues the most effective manner to accomplish it. They control their emotions. They control their tongue.

        A real humanist “warrior” controls/uses their tongue, their actions, for the greater good (not only their own side). The most their intimacy tells them is more concise and information about the needs of that community.

        To realize good in the world, takes those that can sit together and listen to the needs of the other and articulate a mutual solution.

        Don’t make that more difficult, make it easier, please.

        • Citizen says:

          Yes, make it easier, like this guy debating with Finklestein–he’s arguing the Palestinians do not exist as a people and the occupation does not exist either:
          link to ht.ly

        • tree says:

          Maybe you should learn to control your own tongue, Richard, before you council others to do what you can not. And as MarkF suggested, a little sincere empathy would be helpful to you. You continually council others on how to be effective and engage in dialog and yet you lack the ability yourself.Maybe you should consider that the lack of positive response to your posts could be attributed to your own failure to practice what you preach. Look inward, Richard.

        • eljay says:

          >> You don’t see what the fruit of rage is? You don’t see that when a Palestinian kills 4, Israel kills 400?
          >> How is that effective to your mind?
          >> A real warrior determines what their mission is, their goal, and then pursues the most effective manner to accomplish it. They control their emotions. They control their tongue.

          Man, the stuff you come up with! A Palestinian kills four and Israel retaliates by killing 400…and you still shit on the Palestinians. No condemnation of Israel for their failure to control their emotions and their tongue? No condemnation of Israel for their slaughter of 100x the number of people killed by the Palestinians.

          Your astounding hypocrisy – disturbingly hateful in this instance – continues to amaze and disgust.

        • potsherd says:

          The best thing that could happen to this site would be shutting you up Witty.

        • IS THIS A DEFENSE??????

          You don’t see what the fruit of rage is? You don’t see that when a Palestinian kills 4, Israel kills 400?

          How is that effective to your mind?

          how is this HUMAN in your mind?????

          dear god

          Seham, Seham –
          this is for you
          The Guest House

          This being human is a guest house.
          Every morning a new arrival.

          A joy, a depression, a meanness,
          some momentary awareness comes
          as an unexpected visitor.

          Welcome and entertain them all!
          Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
          who violently sweep your house
          empty of its furniture,
          still, treat each guest honorably.
          He may be clearing you out
          for some new delight.

          The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
          meet them at the door laughing,
          and invite them in.

          Be grateful for whoever comes,
          because each has been sent
          as a guide from beyond.

          ~ Rumi ~

          it’s not much.
          please know that I understand some part of your pain and would reach out to bear it with you.

        • Chu says:

          “A real warrior determines what their mission is, their goal, and then pursues the most effective manner to accomplish it. They control their emotions. They control their tongue.”

          oh, yeah tough guy. who told you that, or did you mean ‘keyboard’ warrior?

        • Citizen says:

          A real warrior determines what their mission is, their goal, and then pursues the most effective manner to accomplish it. They control their emotions. They control their tongue. They bomb the King David Hotel and massacre at Deir Yassein. Rage is effective so long as disproportion is planned and is paid for and supported diplomatically by the lone superpower, the giant dupe acting it its own worse interests, the latest Golem.

        • rmokhtar says:

          Citizen,

          I still cannot believe that, in this day and age, people do not understand or still spout out the same lies, regarding what happened in 1948…and still subscribe to the fiction of historic “Israel”.

          When Finkelstein said that the Palestinians have already made their biggest concession in recognizing Israel on almost 80% of historic Palestine, that is how the majority of Arabs see it.

        • lyn117 says:

          If you’re implying that the Israeli killing of 400 is a reaction to the Palestinian killing of 4, as usual, you hypocritically have got the cause and effect backwards.

          As any fair-minded observer of the conflict must know, the Israeli “warriors” including many of the settlers have set out as their goal the ridding of the land of the Palestinian inhabitants. Thereby acquiring territory for the greater good for themselves, making it the “greater good” for the Palestinian side to leave. Such “greater good” for the “other side” you’ve so often stated you support.

        • You are lying about what I support.

          I’ve stated consistently that I support Israeli sovereignty at the green line, and Palestinian sovereignty at the green line, with settlers that reside in then Palestine permitted to stay as Palestinian citizens, with no allowed ethnic screens for residence.

          I DO support Israel existing, securely, and securely for civilians.

          The “warrior” comment is not about “them”, abstract, blameful, but to YOU (whomever will listen) to strengthen, to implement, to grow more effective (partially by understanding and respecting the other).

        • eljay says:

          >> I’ve stated consistently that I support Israeli sovereignty at the green line, and Palestinian sovereignty at the green line, with settlers that reside in then Palestine permitted to stay as Palestinian citizens, with no allowed ethnic screens for residence.
          >> I DO support Israel existing, securely, and securely for civilians.

          But do you support “Israeli sovereignty at the green line, with all non-Jews that reside in Israel permitted to stay as (presumably fully equal) Israeli citizens, with no allowed ethnic screens for residence”?

    • MarkF says:

      Richard,

      A few tips from a “humanist” perspective. Maybe you can word it this way:

      “Seham, I’m truly sorry for what you and your family have been through. As someone who lives comfortably in the U.S., I haven’t been through anything like this, but I might humbly suggest that you be strong , try to be determined and persuade. I know it’s easy for me to say this, but I feel this is the most effective tact.

      I understand your rage, but I think I know what you wish to accomplish, and it’s worth it for all of us.”

      You know, a bit a empathy which I’ve seen in your other posts. Not a sermon, just a suggestion.

    • Saleema says:

      Shut up Witty. Seham has laid bare her very private and heart wrenching feelings about the death of her father because of the occupation, because of the Zionism that you love and you can’t even sympathize with her? You are lecturing her on how to react to her father’s death and the circumstances he died in, and how to feel?

      You xxxxxxx Zionists want to even control the emotions of Palestinians and their reactions to the occupation? You are a disgusting human, very disgusting.

      Seham, love, I can’t even begin to imagine what you must feel everyday about what happened to your father and what is going on every day in Palestine. May God give you the strength for endurance, may He give you comfort, may He give your dad eternal peace. May God end the occupation sooner, and may He shame the murdering Zionists in front of the entire world.

      • I don’t want to control anybody’s emotions.

        I actually want Seham to successfully convey the experience of those that don’t get the light of day.

        Rage is not the way to accomplish that.

        I get that you don’t want to hear it from me. I am demon, untrustable, “xxxxxx Zionist”.

        How dare I care about my own community, my own cousins?

        But, I do.

        • Donald says:

          “How dare I care about my own community, my own cousins?

          But, I do.”

          Try arguing honestly and stop worshipping yourself.

        • James North says:

          Richard: Seham eloquently told us about losing her dad due to the occupation of the West Bank. You jumped in to comment so quickly that you came across with all the warmth of a high school debating coach, giving her tips for the next match, instead of a fellow human being. I truly doubt you would behave like this in person, but you sound callous and self-centered.
          Don’t you now wish you had waited before posting so quickly?

        • Saleema says:

          I don’t know what kind of Judaism you practice but it surely doesn’t reverberate with the one highlighted in the Quran.

          Thank God I was not born a Zionist Jew. Like my four-year old say, “We are humans and we are Muslims.”

          I am declaring in front of all those that read Mondoweiss, that my humanness trumps all my other identities, and that my people are my fellow human beings.

        • Chu says:

          Face it Witty, your cousins are criminals if they squat in the West Bank.

          Witty is your time well spent hear if know one buys your argument? Name a few people in the past, i dunno, year or so, that have rallied by your side?

        • Chu says:

          “Try arguing honestly and stop worshiping yourself.” :D

          the temple of Witty shall never rest!

        • potsherd says:

          The “it’s all about me” posterboy strikes again, piling insult on top of injury. So callous and unfeeling he has to criticize the effectiveness of her comments instead of displaying a single mote of empathy.

          I’d rather a hundred jonahs of honest nastiness than one hypocritical Witty.

        • I wasn’t aware that it was the first time that Seham had mentioned that.

          I’m sorry if I offended you personally. I didn’t intend to.

          I did intend to counter the wave of conditional acceptance and/or advocacy for Hamas militia murder, and the willing expression of collective punishment towards all settlers for the actions of some.

          Its how people get dehumanized in political rage. I don’t think that you intended that affect, but a number here derived that permission.

        • RoHa says:

          “my own community”

          “My fingers” = “the fingers attached to this body”
          “My computer” = “the computer I have paid for and over which I have ownership rights”
          “My words” = “the words I speak/write”
          “My job” = “the job I perform”
          “My community” = ” …… ”

          What makes a community “yours”?

          Fill in that gap. Then decide whether that is a rational choice.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Sorry, Witty. You have to understand, after we’ve seen pictures of dead babies burned by white phosphorous who are only recognize as babies because of their basic shape and approximate mass… we can’t fawn over the Israeli Defense Force as thoroughly as you do.

          Also, none of us have sons who’ve ever considered joining in that particular brand of “fun.”

        • Donald says:

          With one or two exceptions, I think everyone here condemns the killing of the four settlers as murder. But most of us are also disgusted at how little is said about the behavior of the most fanatical settlers and of course we also despise the usual double standard where the killing of Israelis is condemned, while the killing of Palestinians or Arabs by Israelis is rationalized or explained away–Obama himself has a history of this type of hypocrisy.

          What’s different about you Richard is that you don’t have to get into a rage to dehumanize Palestinians. You do it calmly.

          “willing expression of collective punishment towards all settlers for the actions of some.”

          All the settlers are violating Palestinian rights to varying degrees. That doesn’t mean they should be killed, any more than white South Africans should have been killed but they are all profiting from an apartheid system.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Donald? Can we maybe say no exceptions? Unless you can name the one or two? Seriously, call them out. We’d all like to have at them for it.

          Meanwhile, stop giving Witty great big loopholes to drive his Mack truck full of B.S. through.

        • “I am declaring in front of all those that read Mondoweiss, that my humanness trumps all my other identities, and that my people are my fellow human beings. ”

          Except for Jews that desire to self-govern.

        • Danaa says:

          Witty “How dare I care about my own community, my own cousins?
          But, I do.”.

          Jut a an aide – that’ exactly what the Cosa Nostra guy say also. That’s what they say in Sicily to those who complain of heavy handed tactics used in mafia enforcement actions meant to increase security of those under it’s protection, maintain territorial gains and secure the rights to “trade” on it’s own terms. The mafiosi don’t like being villified any more than you do Witty, and I say, it’s largely largely for the same reasons.

          You see. they too “care” about their own community, and certainly believe that their actions are necessary to protect law and order. Cost to innocents are but a necessary, unavoidable evil. So, in the end, it depends on whether you are inside or outside. To Witty, Seham’s dad was an unfortunate side-effect of the need of his “own” community for self-preservation. He can’t master actual empathy for largely the same reasons dependents of mafia affiliates can’t allow themselves to feel too much for the victims of mafia actions. Though, again just like Witty and zionist apologists everywhere, they may well argue about tactics (like too many victims, too much too soon, too maximalist).

          One man’s zionist, is another’s mafioso. Isn’t that the real question?

        • RoHa says:

          Australian Jews have to vote (it’s compulsory here) and can run for Parliament.
          British Jews can vote and run for Parliament.
          New Zealand Jews can vote and run for Parliament.
          Canadian Jews can vote and run for Parliament.

          And so on. Isn’t this self-government?

        • Saleema says:

          I love my daughter. But when she misbehaves she gets time-out. If she consistently misbehaves, she will get a spanking.

          If someone from the human race murders then they are to be punished, not cajoled.

          Our Quran tells us that there are certain people whose hearts are sealed off to the truth, and that there are stones who can weep but not these types of people. You strike me as one of those. How sad. I shall pray for you to see the truth and have the courage to confront it.

        • Donald says:

          “Can we maybe say no exceptions? Unless you can name the one or two? Seriously, call them out. We’d all like to have at them for it.”

          No, “we” can’t say no exceptions and I’m surprised you haven’t seen the exception. Taxi is who I am thinking of. There was one other who I think is an exception, but I only glanced at his post, don’t know where it is, and won’t name him if I’m not sure. But we’ve had a discussion on what are legitimate tactics before, so I think I’m correct in saying “two exceptions”.

          “Meanwhile, stop giving Witty great big loopholes to drive his Mack truck full of B.S. through.”

          I don’t worry much about that. Even if there were zero exceptions here, and there is at least one, I know there are people elsewhere who defend Palestinian terrorism. Besides, RW doesn’t need loopholes to type B.S.

        • MHughes976 says:

          Maybe that was me. I would have implored the Palestinians not to do it but I couldn’t have said that all armed settlers have essentially the same rights as ordinary members of any civil society anywhere, which I think is the majority view.
          It’s not that I equate settlers with soldiers, I think that armed settlement is a very different activity from armed invasion and that different considerations apply to it. (Maybe some settlers would agree.) Invading or occupying soldiers clearly do have the right – at least if they’re not engaged in an atrocity – not to be attacked by civilians: that’s the logical quid pro quo for their having the duty not to attack civilians. A German invasion of the UK in 1940 would have been calamitous but the calamity would not have given all UK citizens the right to transform themselves into combatants at one second’s notice and to kill any German soldier whom they caught unawares, just because he was an invader or occupier, which isn’t an atrocity in itself.

        • eljay says:

          >> Except for Jews that desire to self-govern.

          I don’t think anyone objects to Jews self-(self-)governing themselves. Once you introduce occupation, violence, oppression, land-theft, colonisation, expansionism, targetted assassinations and the destruction of homes, land crops and livestock into the equation, well, that’s a whole ‘nother story (as they say). One that even a humanist like you should be able to understand.

  2. Chaos4700 says:

    And this is what Zionists don’t understand. It’s funny, Seham — in fact you have more in common with, and a more comprehensive understand of, what it means to be either victims, or survivors. of the Holocaust than very probably any of the Jews who view this blog who aren’t themselves Holocaust survivors.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Wow, I’m actually shocked. I caught the article by complete chance before refreshes this morning and thought maybe I’d be the first comment, and Witty still managed to cut in front of me to browbeat the Palestinian woman for having the audacity to tell a real-life story about Palestinian suffering.

  3. annie says:

    i could explode when i hear things like this:

    The people who undertook this operation coolly decided that it was the proper course

    the first to the last articles i read about this claimed it was because for the peace talks although never once has hamas made this statement, in fact the first articles (even before hamas ‘took responsibility’) quoted a hamas spokesperson stating, in reference to the PA’s assertion it was related to the ‘peace’ talks, (paraphrasing) ‘it’s not the what the PA says’.

    over at the cess poll of conversation about this at kos i was slammed for mentioning all the arrests of alleged hamas members the week before this. twice yesterday on THIS SITE, i corrected mis statements alleging hamas won ‘in gaza’, as if the majority of people in the WB had not also elected hamas. what kind of ‘peace talks’ are these when citizens get rounded up, arrested, possibly tortured, possibly get jailed for extended periods, possibly get deported either to gaza or out of the country, families ripped apart for god knows how long and those families don’t know either. what kind of government arrests members of the ‘opposition’ to please who? and for what?

    AND, if some idf soldier riddled a body w/bullets you tell me the israeli military wouldn’t say it was part of an operation? we don’t know, you don’t know, nobody knows what initiated this attack. the fact hamas takes responsibility for it means one thing and one thing only: that they took responsibility for it. it doesn’t mean they planned it, it doesn’t mean it was calculated, it doesn’t mean jack shit. it means they stepped up to the plate and accepted one of their affiliates (which could be over 1/2 the population of the west bank, or any palestinian for all we know as far as they are concerned). we know nothing.

    • annie says:

      i should amend this

      it means they stepped up to the plate and accepted one of their affiliates

      i really have no idea who did this crime. what i do know is its a god send for israels hasbara and facilitates evicting hundreds of palestinians from the west bank.

      • hophmi says:

        Right, go ahead, Annie, say it was the Israelis who did it.

        • potsherd says:

          cui bono, hophmi.

        • marc b. says:

          i don’t recall a commenter saying that the israelis did it. maybe i missed it though. in any event, it would be something dimmer than naive to discount the possibility of proxies committing provocations. you are aware, hophmi, of the history of the use of provocation in palestine, egypt, lebanon, etc.? i mean this can’t be news to a bright lad/lady like you, can it?

        • Walid says:

          marc b., 3 commenters hinted at this possibility yesterday, but it was always at the hinting stage because f Israel’s past record on such matters, as you mentioned.

        • marc b. says:

          that was my memory of it, walid. but hophmi’s sneering condescension trumps all, insinuating the ‘conspiracy theorist’ smear.

        • Citizen says:

          Didn’t they dress up as Arabs to get inside the King David Hotel?

        • marc b. says:

          all sorts of tricky goings on. if you have a chance to read ‘buda’s wagon’ by mike davis, he has a very good chapter on the zionists’ use of the car bomb, booby-trapped orange crates, and other ‘terror’ tactics typically cited as evidence of the inherent evil of mooslums.

      • as expected, in his remarks on opening Peace negotiations at State Dept this morning, Netanyahu showcased the deaths of settler.

        Abbas was actually more diplomatic, I thought; he did touch on the killings, noted that the perps were being tracked down, etc., then brought the discourse back to the topic at hand: settlements continue, they must stop.

        No doubt Americans listening will be more responsive to Bibi than to Abbas. Bibi’s English is very American; Abbas spoke through a translator; Bibi is a showman and superconfident in the US and State Dept; Abbas, not so much.

        I must say, for all that I dislike Clinton, she did a reasonable job of introducing the parties and establishing a no nonsense atmosphere to kickoff the event.

  4. David Samel says:

    Sorry, I would love to respond to this, but I’m rushing to the airport, and must attend to other things the rest of the day. I will not get a chance to respond until tomorrow.

  5. Citizen says:

    And yet there are those who barely control their daily rage over what happened far away and not to anyone in their family–way back in 1933-’45.

    • I’ve said this before and I will say it again here, because the experience of it was so outrageous and unsettling:

      I went to a talk sponsored by a local Jewish group, featuring Dr. Izzeldin Abu Laish. The man is a rock of sanity, and there is not a scintilla of hate or rage in him.
      In the Q&A after Dr. Abu Laish’s remarks, 4 of the 7 questions began with, “I am a Holocaust survivor,” then went on to excoriate Abu Laish in one way or another, blaming him for his own children’s deaths; blaming Palestinians for being refugees, etc.
      Abu Laish “contained his rage,” just like Seham, at who knows what cost.

      (Witty counsels:) Be effective is more important. Be determined. Persuade.
      Rage is ignored, or doubled in retaliation. How many times have you seen that also?

      Nobody criticized those in the audience who behaved so shamefully toward Izzeldin Abu Laish.

      • eljay says:

        >> In the Q&A after Dr. Abu Laish’s remarks, 4 of the 7 questions began with, “I am a Holocaust survivor,” then went on to excoriate Abu Laish in one way or another, blaming him for his own children’s deaths; blaming Palestinians for being refugees, etc.
        >> Nobody criticized those in the audience who behaved so shamefully toward Izzeldin Abu Laish.

        And a good thing, too! Can you imagine the destabilization and fear-scarring those ["Remember the] Holocaust [!"] survivors would have suffered from suggestions that they be polite and perhaps even humanize “the Other” (Mr. Abu Laish)?

      • Memphis says:

        I too Saw Dr Abulaish at the writers festival here in Ottawa, and I did not have a dry eye the entire time he was speaking. It was one of the saddest personal accounts of the conflict I have heard, and I myself was enraged and would not have blamed him for commiting vengence. He is a stronger man than I am. How this man can retain his rage and anger is beyond me. But he did make a good point. Who is he going to lash out at? The soldier who fired? Israeli citizens? or the government? If more men had the same thought process and rational as Dr Abulaish, peace would have been obtained along time ago. I honestly love that man for his ability to carry on under such adversity. First he loses his wife, and then not even a year later, loses his 3 daughters and niece.

        • Avi says:

          The problem with the constant use of the holocaust to justify crimes against Palestinians is not that the people who are peddling the use of the Holocaust for political expediency are somehow emotionally scarred. Some are, for sure. But, the vast majority have never been to Germany and only have distant relatives who are holocaust survivors. But, through their own upbringing and their own sense of superiority — both as God’s chosen and as bigots and racists — they do not see the irony of their actions and views.

          Besides, why should anyone other than the victimizers have to pay the price for the holocaust? Why is it that Germans got to stay in their own homes after WWII, but Palestinians had to bear the brunt of the crimes of the Germans?

          I doesn’t make any sense. It only makes sense in the minds of those who do not consider Palestinians — or any goy for that matter — to be human beings.

        • syvanen says:

          Avi wrote:

          Why is it that Germans got to stay in their own homes after WWII,

          Er, 12 million Germans of Sudeten, Purssian, Pomeranian or Volga descent would disagree with you on this one.

        • Avi says:

          syvanen September 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm
          Avi wrote:

          Why is it that Germans got to stay in their own homes after WWII,

          Er, 12 million Germans of Sudeten, Purssian, Pomeranian or Volga descent would disagree with you on this one.

          My point was that while Palestinians paid for Nazi crimes against Jews with their own homeland, Germans did not have to relinquish their homeland for the Jews which the Nazis targeted. Germany merely paid through the nose in reparations, but that is not the same as wiping out hundreds of villages to make way for a Zionist Jewish project.

        • Antidote says:

          I’m tired of this argument that the Palestinians payed for the crimes of the Nazis, and that Germans somehow didn’t pay enough. Nazi Germany was not a democracy. Hitler came to power with no more than a third of the popular vote. What about the other two thirds? Not all concentration camp inmates were Jewish. Most of them, in the 1930, were non-Jewish Germans. Palestine was the preferred Jewish homeland long before the Nazi crimes against Jews, and the Palestinians were victims of Zionist terror before Jews became victims of Nazi terror. A Jewish homeland in Germany was never on the Zionist agenda, and Germany was in ruins at the end of WW II. Jews were not the only ones who wanted to leave Germany and Europe. For most, the promised land was the US and Canada, not the ME. And that was true for Jews as well as Germans (and other Europeans).

        • RoHa says:

          “Most of them, in the 1930, were non-Jewish Germans.”

          Shhhh!

          “Palestine was the preferred Jewish homeland long before the Nazi crimes against Jews, and the Palestinians were victims of Zionist terror before Jews became victims of Nazi terror.”

          Shhhh!

          “Jews were not the only ones who wanted to leave Germany and Europe. For most, the promised land was the US and Canada, not the ME.”

          And Australia. But sssshhhhhh!

          Remember the Holocaust.

        • Antidote says:

          yes, Australia, also South America. Remember the Holocaust: That’s why I’m here, and why what Israel has done and is doing to the Palestinians makes my blood boil.

          I watched Tony Blair being interviewed on CBC last night. I had to turn it off at the point where he insisted that Islamist terror has absolutely nothing to do with ‘Western’ policies in the ME, and that Iraq had to be invaded for violating UN resolutions, and Iran should be next: apparently, we can’t risk putting the bomb into the hands of people who obviously don’t share ‘our values’ (he cited the ‘stoning for adultery’- case as proof!). Rick Salutin’s commentary in the Globe and Mail today provided some balance, though (without mentioning Blair)

          on being a terrorist suspect at age 7 – the case of Abu Laish’s son being denied a visa to the US:

          link to theglobeandmail.com

        • MRW says:

          Tony Blair…insisted…we can’t risk putting the bomb into the hands of people who obviously don’t share ‘our values’ (he cited the ’stoning for adultery’- case as proof!)

          I wonder what Tony Blair’s position is on Torat Ha’Melech by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, the 230-page book of laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew.

        • Koshiro says:

          @ Avi
          Well, not hundreds, but thousands of German villages, plus towns and large cities were “wiped out” in the Soviet/Polish annexations of Pomerania, Silesia and East Prussia. Incidentally, you could fit the whole of Israel into about half of Silesia, which is much richer in resources on top of it.
          These annexations and expulsion were not in the slightest about “paying” somebody, and certainly not about compensating Jews. They were about Stalin’s political goals, and his ability to play Roosevelt and Churchill for suckers.

  6. hophmi says:

    Every Israeli has a relative or friend or knows a family with a relative or friend who was killed in the terrorist attack. It does not excuse pulling up alongside a car and shooting the people inside.

    Seham might ask what kind of behavior led to the checkpoints that kept his father from getting to the hospital. It was terrorist attacks like the one in Hebron.

    • The location of the checkpoints would seem to contradict your point. The vast majority of checkpoints, and other road barriers, are not between the occupied territories and Israel (ie the green line, where you would think they would be if their purpose is to protect Israelis), but instead between Palestinian areas and Palestinian areas. The last numbers from the UN in Oct. 09 list 578 “closure obstacles” in the occupied territories – 69 permanently staffed checkpoints, 21 “partial checkpoints,” and 488 unstaffed obstacles (roadblocks, earthmounds, road barriers, gates and trenches). Not one of these barriers are on the green line.

      The checkpoints are not about Israeli safety, but restricting Palestinian movement. See the UN reports here on the subject – link to ochaopt.org.

    • Walid says:

      Sorry to learn what happened with your dad, Seham. I’m also sorry for the imbecilic response you got from Richard. I’m not a Palestinian but I’m enraged all the time at what is happening to the Palestinian people. I just heard Netanyahu’s opening statement and as anticipated, he stressed that the most important thing that has to be agreed on in these talks is the recognition that Israel is a Jewish state and we all know its implication on the over one million Palestinians living inside Israel. Abbas the collaborator that doesn’t even speak for most of the Palestinians in the occupied territories will be asked to recognize away the rights of Palestinian-Israelis as well as all those other dispossessed Palestinians in refugee camps and in other countries. That’s enraging too.

    • potsherd says:

      And what kind of behavior led to the terrorist attacks? If illegal Jewish settlements were not established in Hebron, there would be no terrorist attacks on them.

      btw, hophmi, did I miss your denunciation of the genocidal remarks of Ovadia Yosef, calling for terrorist attacks on Palestinians?

      • hophmi says:

        I denounce Ovadia Yosef’s remarks. I do not think the Sephardim take them at face value.

        Did I miss your condemnation of the daily incitement on Palestinian TV?

        @ Adam: Let’s stop the word games and the nonsense. Restricting Palestinian movement and protecting Israelis are not two mutually exclusive ideas, and you know it. The fact of the matter is that the checkpoints came as a result of the terrorism. No terrorism, no checkpoints.

        • Avi says:

          @ Adam: Let’s stop the word games and the nonsense. Restricting Palestinian movement and protecting Israelis are not two mutually exclusive ideas, and you know it. The fact of the matter is that the checkpoints came as a result of the terrorism. No terrorism, no checkpoints.

          Nice circular logic there. This so-called terrorism to which you refer, what brought it on? Are Palestinians predisposed to carry out acts of “terrorism” because they are Arabs? Oh no wait, it’s because they’re all a bunch of anti-Semites. Got it. Surely, occupying their land, shooting their kids and expelling them from their homes had nothing to do with it. [T]he checkpoints came as a result of the terrorism. That is what Israeli hasbara tells you to repeat, but have you ever paused to think how ludicrous such claims are? Have you ever paused to think how such ludicrous statements make you look?

          You know, you’re not that special. If you regularly need to feel persecuted in order to satisfy your ego or alleviate the side effects of your boring lifestyle, might I suggest you get a hobby?

        • eljay says:

          >> The fact of the matter is that the checkpoints came as a result of the terrorism. No terrorism, no checkpoints.

          And the terrorism came as a result of the occupation. No occupation, no terrorism.

          That was way too easy… ;-)

        • potsherd says:

          What does the Palestinian TV incite for? That Palestinians should go to Queens and murder Jews there, throw them out of their homes and move in, shove the Jews into ghettos where they have to pass through checkpoints to go to their schools and workplaces? Sure, I’d denounce that.

          But somehow I don’t think that’s what’s going on.

        • tree says:

          Checkpoints came BEFORE the terrorism. The checkpoint and pass system in the occupied territories started prior to Oslo, in 1991. The system was expanded during Oslo and and made much more punitive after the second intifada, but the system was in place long before any Palestinian terrorism. its much more logical to blame terrorism on the checkpoints (among other violations of Palestinians civil rights) than it is to blame the checkpoints on terrorism.

          Amira Hass explains it at length here:

          link to palestine-studies.org

          And Israeli writer Yitzhak Laor on the same subject in Haaretz in 2004:

          If not for the self-deceit of the Israelis, they would have succeeded in reading a long time ago what every Palestinian knows and has added to his vernacular during the past 13 years as al-mahsum (plural: al-mahasim) – the Arabized version of the Hebrew word for checkpoint (mahsom).

          The fact is that the checkpoints are not a product of the intifada. When the truth is written about the history of the checkpoints, and not from the chronicles taken from the desk of the army commanders, it will become clear that the checkpoints gave birth to the intifada. They were born in 1991, two years before the Oslo Accords, and were greatly reinforced after these agreements were signed. Only complete blindness on the part of Israelis – who know more about the chic restaurants in New York than they do about the checkpoints in the West Bank, the checkpoints that divide and slice it, turning its citizens into the victims of good or sadistic soldiers – only this blindness could have begotten the “surprise” of Autumn 2000: What did they want? After all, everything was already OK.

          But from the perspective of someone waiting long hours in line, it does not matter whether the soldiers standing facing you is a sadist or a nice guy. Ask any Israeli who is forced to wait 15 minutes in line at the bank if there is any difference whether the teller is nice or not when his turn finally comes. But something more important can be learned from the Israelis’ hatred of lines: they have no idea what the Palestinians experience on a daily basis.

          The checkpoint system is not part of the intifada, but it did grow and strengthen “thanks” to it. The checkpoint system is also not going to end when the intifada is over. The checkpoint system belongs entirely to the Israeli unwillingness to give up all of the territory of the West Bank, including all of the settlements. The checkpoint system is aimed at ensuring Israeli control over the lives of the Palestinians. Thus, it was strengthened after the signing of the Oslo Accords.

          From this perspective, the settlements are not the reason for the checkpoints. The “isolated” settlements and the settlement blocs – part of the “new” consensus of the Oslo era – are the pretext for the checkpoints, but they reveal their real function: We are present everywhere, we will split the Palestinian territory in every way, we will control them.

          Anyone who knows the West Bank since the Oslo Accords knows how much humiliation tens of thousands of people have experienced at the checkpoints. Anyone who knows the Oslo Accords from the Palestinian side knows how they looked there: Besides the expropriations, the bypass roads and the expansion of settlements, the checkpoints were their nightmare, a nightmare we knew nothing about.

          more…

          link to haaretz.com

        • Keith says:

          TREE- Excellent comment. The underlying cause of Israel’s actions is the ongoing ethnic cleansing and expansion of areas of control. This is conquest, pure and simple. Why else has Israel refrained from declaring permanent borders?

    • Avi says:

      Seham might ask what kind of behavior led to the checkpoints that kept his father from getting to the hospital. It was terrorist attacks like the one in Hebron.

      Seham is a “she”. But, since you’re a Jewish American I suppose we can forgive you that mistake.

  7. Seham says:

    Seham might ask what kind of behavior led to the checkpoints that kept his father from getting to the hospital. It was terrorist attacks like the one in Hebron.,

    It’s called collective punishment and it is illegal and in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Furthermore, your comment about the behaviors that led to my father’s death can be thrown back at you.

    What are the collective behaviors of the settlers in Hebron, in particular the “Hill Top Youth:” link to forward.com

    that have a long and documented history of being racist, violent, religious extremists?

    • Chaos4700 says:

      You’re lecturing a Zionist about the intricacies of international law and social justice?

      Witty’s like the smartest Zionist on the blog, and even he thinks social justice is a myth.

      At any rate, I appreciate the incredible reserves of patience you have, dealing with these second-rate crooks paying lip service to Judaism who caused your father to die, and now spit in your eye in response to your grief.

  8. Taxi says:

    There is only rage left as emotional currency after 64 years of brutality which continues as I write this.

    I’m not Palestinian and I can barely contain the rage I feel as a witness to their continuing slaughter and misery in refugeedom.

    For instance, if my mother and I were going somewhere and were stopped at an armed checkpoint and humiliated, why I’d surely forgive the thugs for my discomfort, but I would NEVER EVER FORGIVE OR FORGET a humiliation inflicted on my own mother. Substitute father, child, spouse and sibling for mother here and I would still feel a rage so strong.

    Bearing this in mind, I can only say that Palestinian civilians are better people for their mindblowing depth and ability at controlling their rage and practicing the difficult virtue of ‘patience’.

    Seham, on your behalf, your father’s behalf and his father’s, I curse the black day Hertzel sat down to write his swindling manifesto on zionism!

    • Taxi,
      You don’t know long-term dissent if rage is the only product of struggle.

      Character, deep kindness, determination, compassion for humanity is also a product.

      From the holocaust, there are three characteristic responses:

      1. Rage against everything German, everything other (Never Again)
      2. Compassion for all suffering humanity (Never Again, To Anyone)
      3. Politicization of what would be compassion into rage (Ever Again)

  9. Dr. Norman Finkelstein, one of the most soft spoken lecturers I’ve ever seen, occassionally has his rage unleashed. At his several of his recent talks on Operation Cast Lead and the assault on gaza (“This Time We Went Too Far”), students in opposition to the facts he was presenting would stand up during the Q&A and explain that they had family members killed in the Holocaust and how dare he try to excuse the actions of murderers and thugs and take the side of terrorists. They further accused him of working with terror groups for the destruction of Israel by his dissemination of accounts unfavorable to Israel (basically Alan Dershowitz talking points).

    You could see the fuse being lit as this quiet and gentle man was roused to an animated passion as he recounted the circumstances in the camps that his parents escaped when most all the rest of his relatives did not, and that he would not sit idly by as their memories were tarnished by those who would use their deaths and tragedy as an excuse to brutalize some other group without the power needed to fully prevent what was being done to them.

    Yes, I saw his rage; at the lies, the injustice, the hypocrisy…but it was not an irrational rage. It was the outrage we all should be experiencing in the face of such wanton oppression. He continued with his very calm responses to the questions that weren’t loaded, and the opposition group left en masse, to give the appearance of being disgusted with his viewpoints, but in truth because they could not counter his assertions, because he had truth and the facts on his side.

    It is an unphill battle countering so many false memes, and I myself drift between abject pessimism to cautious optimism. More people are speaking out and coming out of the woodwork to express their support (unthinkable just a short time ago). I hope this will be enough to shift the dynamic.

    YouTube vids available showing examples of the above – Search “Dr. F and the crying girl” or see his full lecture from USC (with Q&A) on above topic available online.

    • Finkelstein is powerful but imo he plays with the emotions that Holocaust can dredge up.
      This video, for example — link to youtube.com
      he puts more words in the kid’s mouth than a “soft-spoken . . .patient” person might have done, he staged the buildup for effect, and he turned the question from the Iran holocaust conference to a declaration of his own holocaust bona fides. I was not impressed. It would have been more intellectually honest, and a more direct response to the question, if he had instructed the questioner about the legitimacy of studying the holocaust.

      the part of this video that was massively impressive was his statement about how Germany is now the most moral state in Europe, and that Israel could benefit from a major defeat, as Germany did.

      • I couldn’t really make out the young man’s question. Finkelstein intitially responds, “You know I didn’t attend”. My hearing and the sound quality both have problems. It appears there might have been a bit of showbaoting on Finkelstein’s part there, but just as any mention of Hezbollah or Hamas is meant to be damning enough all by itself, they want the Iran Holocaust conference to be in the same catagory. I am not a denier or a revisionist, but I don’t like that allowable historical research (and particularly findings) are legislated and that the wrong views can get you jailed. Thought crimes are not the mark of a free and open society.

        Whatever you think about the official 9/11 narrative, imagine that falling under the same statutes.

  10. Kathleen says:

    “The people who undertook this operation coolly decided that it was the proper course of action for reasons I cannot fathom.”

    Cool calculated murder from either side is brutal and wrong.

    My dear deceased friend Art Gish who went to live with Palestinians the last 15 years witnessed horrible abuses by Israeli settlers on Palestinian men, women and children. There are no excuses for these murders not the Mavi Marmara executions. But constant humiliation, abuse, houses being bulldozed, killings etc foment anger, hatred and sometimes explodes in violence/

    Pro Palestine (67 Border)
    Pro Israel
    Pro Peace

  11. Kathleen says:

    Art Gish I/P activist
    link to mideastchristians.virtualactivism.net

    Seham thanks for keeping us informed

  12. tree says:

    Seham might ask what kind of behavior led to the checkpoints that kept his father from getting to the hospital. It was terrorist attacks like the one in Hebron.

    Like the terrorist attack at the Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994? Oh, wait, that was done by Jewish terrorists, and Palestinians were the victims, so no checkpoints were necessary, right? After all, we can’t be limiting the Jewish “right” to violate Palestinian rights in the Occupied Territories.

    Hypocrite.

    And Adam’s totally on the money. The checkpoints aren’t for security, they are there to crush the Palestinian economy and force them to accept their inferior status.

    Seham, I’m so sorry to hear about your father. Your anger is completely understandable, and its a shame that some posters here are so heartless and insensitive. Does supporting Zionism necessarily lead to such callousness? It seems like it.

  13. Seham says:

    Thanks for the kind sentiments, solidarity and poetry.

  14. robin says:

    Seham, my heart sinks when I read the story of your father. All I can say is that, despite the lecturing attitude of some other commenters, I think you demonstrate incredible grace.

    And compiling records of apartheid’s daily tragedies and outrages is both a valuable and monumental task. I truly appreciate your contributions to this site.

  15. “Be effective” is a blessing, not a curse, and barely a criticism.

    I hope Seham hears that.

  16. RoHa says:

    Seham, my father died of a heart attack in his own home, while he was making a joke to my mother. That was bad enough for me, and all I had to feel was grief.

    Your mastery of your rage is awesome, especially since your work in publicising further Israeli atrocities must add to that rage. You have my sincere admiration.

  17. the pair says:

    I’m in awe of the restraint most Palestinians show on a daily basis. And Iraqis. And Afghans. For every attack by a small group, how many keep it inside despite how justifiable their blazing, boiling hatred may be?

    This also reminds me of one of Bill Maher’s fouler statements – shared no doubt by many or perhaps most of the “civilized West”:

    “Our religious fanatics act stupid, but their religious fanatics blow people up”. Apparently the US military has no religious fanatics in its collective ranks…but I digress. The Israelis, to the minds of these people, have the implicit “right” to be angry and lash out. They’re the “victims” no matter what. Just looks at the bruises they got on that evil flotilla! But someone loses a child or a parent or a brother or a sister to a drunk IDF soldier or a settler with a baseball bat? Shut up and take it, terrorist.

    Americans have the luxury or taking out their spoiled, banal anger at Tea Party protests. When Palestinians protest peacefully in response to legitimate grievances, they run the serious risk of death by tear gas canister. To the uppity colonialists (Maher, Hitchens, 99.9% of US media) that see every act of anger as “terrorism”, try giving people a useful outlet. Otherwise, shut your bourgeois mouths and thank your Great God Capitalism that you don’t have to cross 10 checkpoints to get to your 10 shekel-a-day job.