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The horror: ‘Breaking the Silence’ releases women’s frightful testimonies of occupation

Israel/Palestine
on 126 Comments

“Do you know what it means to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories?” With these words, Breaking the Silence has released stunning new testimonies from former soldiers, six Israeli women.
Very upsetting. Raw brutalization and debasement. Who cannot weep when they hear these women’s stories of degradation? This society has lost its soul, and these brave witnesses are open about the damage, so as to try and save Israel and Palestine– the politics are irrelevant to this work.
Full testimonies here. In the video excerpts above, the women describe the brutalization of the Palestinians, enforced by debasing peer pressure among the soldiers:
“You can’t think that they’re good hardworking people trying to survive in a closed, place.”
“Later I realized that in order to be there you have to break them, break their spirit. Breaking them means  making them wait, blindfolding them, treating them badly, writing ‘Death to Arabs’ on their vests.”
“Putting cigarettes out on them.”
One describes a smiling girl who transforms into the “roadblock queen,” a tyrant adored by Israeli soldiers.
Several describe routine thefts from Palestinians: of prayer beads, pottery, food. What is wrong with taking gifts? one said to herself.
Another: We could do whatever we wanted.
And the psychic damage of oppression is foremost in these women’s minds. That’s why they’re coming forward. One says she paid a high high price for her service, and so has her entire society.
“People don’t know what’s going on there.”
Here is a link to all the new women’s testimonies. See the ghastly headlines: “Slap,” “Collective Punishment,” “Flak Jackets with ‘Death to Arabs Written on Them'” “Throwing them into the sewage pit,” “Because I’m bored,” “Settler violence.”
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126 Responses

  1. Cliff
    June 9, 2013, 11:53 am

    None of this is surprising. A lot of us knew how Israeli fascists behave.

    I remember a lecture by Norman Finkelstein. He was talking about the IDF’s banality of evil in the territories and some Israeli woman started ranting at him.

    He cut her off and said, ‘No, you’re not going to have your way here, this isn’t the Occupied Territories.’

    That kind of petulance and entitlement are unique to Zionist Jews. Or at the least, they wear that behavior like a badge of honor.

    • Obsidian
      June 9, 2013, 12:17 pm

      “That kind of petulance and entitlement are unique to Zionist Jews”

      I guess you were on another planet during the Abu Ghraib scandal.

      • Shingo
        June 9, 2013, 6:55 pm

        I guess you were on another planet during the Abu Ghraib scandal.

        So were you.

        http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/tts/tattoo_worn_at_abu_ghraib_by_prison_guard.jpg

      • Elliot
        June 9, 2013, 11:12 pm

        Americans are famously naive and were genuinely outraged by the Abu Ghraib scandal.
        This is very different. These young men and women see their families every couple of weeks at the most and are in daily contact by phone and email. Everybody knows what’s going on.
        A friend of mine who was an officer in the West Bank in the late 80s, told me of the standard, normative abuse of Palestinians even back then.
        These soldiers were doing exactly what their superiors and their parents expected them to do. Even if all you care about are Jews, it’s shameful how the older generation brutalizes their own kids. And all the nice Jews around the world who relentlessly enforce this code of silence.

    • pabelmont
      June 9, 2013, 6:18 pm

      They know that they at lest won’t be punished within their own society for this cruelty and, at most, believe that they’ve done nothing wrong in ANYONE’S estimation (the Palestinians not being, for this purpose, people whose estimation matters). Israel uber alles means this attitude that other opinions, other ethics, moralities, laws, norms of behavior, are all irrelevant, we can do as we like.

      This is what freedom without restraint looks like (or leads to). (Someone tell Obama and Holder about this).

      • Citizen
        June 10, 2013, 4:06 am

        Obama and Holder, both with law degrees, know full well what “breaking the spirit of the law” means, but they don’t care. This means they have both read a slew of cases where defendants lost their case, because, while they were careful to walk the letter of the law, they broke the spirit of it. And both have done so, repeatedly.

        I don’t know if Israeli judges even make such a distinction. Is one even legally recognized in Israeli jurisprudence?

  2. Obsidian
    June 9, 2013, 12:04 pm

    Damning testimonies.

    Thank you Breaking the Silence.

    • German Lefty
      June 9, 2013, 1:27 pm

      Thank you Breaking the Silence.
      Oh, this statement of yours surprises me. I assumed that you would accuse these women of lying. If you understand that West Bank Palestinians are not treated equally, then why don’t you understand that Israeli Palestinians are not treated equally either? Israeli Jews are taught that Palestinians are subhumans, not just those in the West Bank or Gaza but ALL Palestinians.

      • Obsidian
        June 10, 2013, 2:53 am

        @German

        I applaud the work of Breaking the Silence. The fact that Breaking the Silence, and similar groups, operate at all shows me that Israeli society is strong and healthy and can tolerate intense and public scrutiny and self criticism.

        ” Israeli Jews are taught that Palestinians are subhumans, not just those in the West Bank or Gaza but ALL Palestinians.”

        Lefty. I’ve tried to dialogue with you but I see that it’s not working.

      • Cliff
        June 10, 2013, 5:12 am

        Yes it is good that Israel has facilitated the creation of these groups. Not facilitate in the sense that the gov. went put of its way to make the group comfortable.

        It sure hasn’t and these kinds of groups come into constant conflict with Zionism.

        The conflict internally, is between democratic principles and nationalism.

        All that being said, these groups have little effect on Israeli opinion and psyche.

        Israelis have mandatory service and have been occupying and colonizing the Palestinians for decades. This behavior is so thoroughly ingrained in Jewish Zionist agency.

        So these videos are meant for us because we do get shocked and our guiding principle is democracy.

        NOT ethno-religious nationalism and NOT ‘whats good for the Jews’ cultism.

      • German Lefty
        June 10, 2013, 7:51 am

        @ Obsidian
        The fact that Breaking the Silence, and similar groups, operate at all shows me that Israeli society is strong and healthy and can tolerate intense and public scrutiny and self criticism.
        Your reasoning is totally false. The fact that groups like “Breaking the Silence” or “Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions” are necessary at all shows how terribly criminal Israel is. Without the illegal occupation and illegal house demolitions these groups wouldn’t exist.

        I’ve tried to dialogue with you but I see that it’s not working.
        Nope. It’s me who tried to have a dialogue with you. However, you didn’t answer my questions. See here:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/proceeded-spiegel-israeli.html/comment-page-1#comment-568623

        This article shows that Israeli Jews are taught that Palestinians are inferior:
        Nurit Peled-Elhanan of Hebrew University says Israeli school textbooks depict Palestinians as ‘terrorists, refugees and primitive farmers’
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/07/israeli-school-racism-claim

      • Ecru
        June 10, 2013, 10:20 am

        “Israeli society is strong and healthy and can tolerate intense and public scrutiny and self criticism.”

        Emphasis on the “self” bit because any external public scrutiny or criticism is immediately met with the traditional cries of “ANTI-SEMITISM” “DELEGITIMISATION” and “EXISTENTIAL THREAT” followed by attempts to destroy lives, livelihoods and reputations.

      • Hostage
        June 10, 2013, 4:30 pm

        The fact that Breaking the Silence, and similar groups, operate at all shows me that Israeli society is strong and healthy and can tolerate intense and public scrutiny and self criticism.

        It looks more like you’re taking another opportunity to change the subject and prove you’re a lizard-brained blow hard on the subject of Israeli racism and wrong doing.

        In Der Judenstat, Herzl described the use of antisemitic persecution as the engine that would drive his Zionist state building enterprise. He also said that windfalls from Jewish capital transfer schemes would provide the necessary incentives required to secure the acquiescence and support of unfriendly Gentile regimes. At the same time, his Palestine Land Company Charter reserved the right of the Zionists to expropriate land and involuntarily transfer the non-Jewish population to other parts of the Ottoman Empire.

        In short, Zionists planned to instigate and capitalize upon persecution, misfortune, and human suffering to achieve their goals and transfer unwilling Jewish and Gentile populations from the very beginning. Herzl’s only justification for all of this was his unscientific and metaphysical belief in the existence of incompatible and immiscible races. He taught that it was impossible for Jews to lead normal lives among Gentiles, despite all evidence in America and Great Britain in his day to the contrary.

        Here and in other comment threads, like the ones on the Haavara agreement, you falsely claim that this record of complicity in racism, persecution, and human misery has saved lives. Have you ever stopped to ask how many it has ruined?

      • Shingo
        June 10, 2013, 6:53 pm

        I applaud the work of Breaking the Silence. The fact that Breaking the Silence, and similar groups, operate at all shows me that Israeli society is strong and healthy and can tolerate intense and public scrutiny and self criticism.

        So strong that any negative reporting is derided as a concerted delegitimization campaign.

      • Obsidian
        June 11, 2013, 4:41 am

        @Hostage

        ” He taught that it was impossible for Jews to lead normal lives among Gentiles, despite all evidence in America and Great Britain in his day to the contrary.”

        Yes. And there was no evidence in his day that Jews couldn’t live normal lives in Germany.

      • Obsidian
        June 11, 2013, 4:54 am

        @Hostage

        ” Have you ever stopped to ask how many it has ruined?”

        As per Black, the migration of 60,000 German Jews to Palestine was facilitated by the Transfer Agreement. Show me, during the 1930’s, whose lives were ruined as a direct consequence of that migration.

        “.. you’re a lizard-brained blow hard ..”

        Israel has a nice variety of lizards, all of which gives me great pleasure.

        http://www.nature-of-oz.com/frogs.htm

      • Hostage
        June 11, 2013, 6:06 am

        Yes. And there was no evidence in his day that Jews couldn’t live normal lives in Germany.

        Well in Herzl’s day there were 40 German states, and Jews were prohibited from even settling on some of the crown lands in regions of Austria where Herzl was a citizen. The same situation applied in Prussia and Austrian Silesia where many cities and professions were still closed to Jews.

      • Hostage
        June 11, 2013, 6:17 am

        Show me, during the 1930′s, whose lives were ruined as a direct consequence of that migration.

        Try looking at all of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians that have either been killed or dispossessed to accommodate those 60,000 people and their descendants, starting with the mandate era Arab Revolts. Then look at the impact on millions of descendants of those Palestinians who have been held hostage to the whims of Zionist interlopers to this very day.

      • Shingo
        June 11, 2013, 6:54 am

        Show me, during the 1930′s, whose lives were ruined as a direct consequence of that migration.

        Chaim Wizemann himself said that there is not a single Palestinian who’s life was not adversely affected by mass Jewish immigration.

        The 1939 White Paper was a direct result of the negative impact it as having.

      • Walker
        June 11, 2013, 8:34 am

        (This) shows me that Israeli society is strong and healthy and can tolerate intense and public scrutiny and self criticism.

        If only there were the same latitude for “intense and public scrutiny” of Israel in the public realm here.

      • Obsidian
        June 11, 2013, 9:30 am

        @Hostage

        Sounds like you won’t answer my question. No problem.
        At least you’re conceding on Black’s 60,000 migrant figures.

        BTW. The ruin of the Arabs during the Arab Revolts was wrought by the iron fist of the British Government, not, as a direct consequence of Jewish immigration from Germany.

      • piotr
        June 11, 2013, 9:08 pm

        I am not sure about Hertzl, but the current “tragedy of American Jews” is exactly the compatibility and miscibility of the races. As it was reported in an article that Mondoweiss was discussing, there is much less political intermarriage (Democrats marrying Republicans) than inter-faith. Dreaded assimilation. Former mayor of NYC is a Catholic with a Jewish girlfriend and the current one is Jewish with a Catholic girlfriend.

        Only in Israel you can feel safe that your children will date properly.

      • Hostage
        June 13, 2013, 7:35 pm

        Sounds like you won’t answer my question. No problem.

        It’s not even worth discussing Black’s temporizing claims. He simply uses magical thinking to conclude that transferring capital out of Germany somehow worked directly to save lives and avoids making any decision about the detrimental effect the Zionists had in undermining the effectiveness of the worldwide Jewish boycott. For their own part Hitler’s former sales partners in Israel prosecuted others after the war, who had done much less, for collaborating with the Nazis.

        BTW. The ruin of the Arabs during the Arab Revolts was wrought by the iron fist of the British Government, not, as a direct consequence of Jewish immigration from Germany.

        The Arab revolt was a direct consequence of British support for foreign Zionist immigration from Germany and elsewhere. We’ve already discussed the fact that Haganah units partnered with the British to conduct torture, summary executions, and that they targeted Bedouin encampments and Arab villages like Dabburiya and Hirbat-Lidd for so-called “reprisals” to deter “future terrorists”. After the revolt, it was the Jewish paramilitary Poum units, not the British, that carried out routine reprisals and collective punishments against Arab villages. http://mondoweiss.net/2013/04/diaspora-against-return.html#comment-558823

      • john h
        June 14, 2013, 2:48 am

        Ecru, you forgot to mention “self-hating Jew”.

  3. Citizen
    June 9, 2013, 12:13 pm

    On a related note, although I know Atzmon’s POV is not tolerated on this site, I think MW readers should know that Atzmon gives kudos to the Israeli media for being critical of Israel, while the US does not–here’s he’s talking about the Syrian situation: Israel’s Losing in Syrian War & Israeli media is far more tolerant of criticism than Zionist dominated Western Media http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/07/israel-is-losing-in-the-syrian-war/#.UbSoThTszJQ.twitter

    • Naftush
      June 10, 2013, 9:27 am

      I read Atzmon’s piece. It has it that (1) Israel controls the levers of British and French foreign policy and (2) Israel is losing on every front; one more good kick and it’s done for. It probably has more in common with Palestinian wishful hallucination than with anything happening or not happening in Syria.

    • Real Jew
      June 10, 2013, 2:38 pm

      “kudos to the Israeli media for being critical of Israel, while the US does not”

      Absolutely. The israeli media is far more critical of israeli policies then the US. But then again every other countries’ media is more critical then the US. That’s because israel can’t afford to have critical media in the US. The US is literally Israel’s lifeline, witbout us israel could not survive. Which is why the majority of their pro israel efforts are based in the states

  4. seafoid
    June 9, 2013, 12:40 pm

    Sabras, Israeli Jews, were always designed to be different.
    Not Palestinian Jews. Israeli.
    Not European Jews. Israeli.

    No studying. Not the kind of Jews to get pushed around. No pale skin.
    Aggressive. In your face.

    Not the kind of Jews who are incarcerated in concentration camps.
    The kind of Jews who run concentration camps.

    And then some.

  5. seafoid
    June 9, 2013, 1:55 pm

    I wonder how it affects their relationships after they leave the army and later how it affects their kids.

    • Daniel Rich
      June 9, 2013, 5:05 pm

      @ seafoid,

      2nd and 3rd generation of ‘h’ survivors.

      It seems Phil has some kind of formula as to how one’s supposed to deal with ‘h’ trauma. (b1 + b2) × h/2, if memory serves well [b = barbarians and h = holocaust].

      • Philip Weiss
        June 13, 2013, 12:03 pm

        When you isolate the formula, please send it, it will save me a lot of mental labor and anguish!

    • pabelmont
      June 9, 2013, 6:21 pm

      What are crime and familial violence stats within Israeli Jewry? I’d expect them to be high in a society based on in-your-face-but-sometimes-denied-illegality (1948-present).

      Allowing free visa-less immigration (or mere visits) by Israelis is, in this view, an open invitation to yet-more-criminality on our oh-so-pristine shores.

  6. Obsidian
    June 9, 2013, 2:26 pm

    @seafoid

    “I wonder how it affects their relationships after they leave the army and later how it affects their kids.”

    Mmm..why not go to Derry and ask someone there?

    • seafoid
      June 9, 2013, 3:27 pm

      Derry was never in a million years like Hebron. NI is part of western Europe and there are certain standards that were maintained even in the darkest days.
      The British gave everyone an education, for example. Tell me what Israel does for Qalqilya.

      A lot of British soldiers end up homeless – I worked with some of them in London.
      But they aren’t conscripts like the Bots are. So the trauma isn’t spread society wide.

    • Daniel Rich
      June 9, 2013, 4:59 pm

      @ Obsidian,

      Q: Mmm..why not go to Derry and ask someone there?

      R: One should travel to Goa to find answers to those questions…

  7. Ramzi Jaber
    June 9, 2013, 2:30 pm

    This has been going on since June 1967, day one of the occupation that I remember as a child. It has also been going on in 1948 Palestine against the Palestinians living there after the illegal establishment of the criminal zionist regime.

    I remember how these criminals would stop a school bus full of kids then force them all to exit and stand by the bus for hours and hours under the rain, all night.

    I remember “courtesy visits” by the regional colonialist commander to our house just to make sure the kids stay in line.

    I remember standing in line for 10 to 12 hours to get a permit to travel in occupied Palestine only to be asked to come again tomorrow, and again the day after, and again…. and then get refused the permit.

    I remember waiting over three months to get my travel document to go study abroad, having to go to Jerusalem or Bet Eil every day for three months to ask about the document only to be told after three months that the application was lost.

    I can go on forever….

    • seafoid
      June 10, 2013, 3:00 am

      Go on forever, Ramzi. Zionism won’t.

    • Citizen
      June 10, 2013, 4:35 am

      @ Ramzi

      Keep going. We will never get the details of everyday life for Palestinians under Israeli control from our American media or government, or politicians. Nor will we get it from our public education or mainstream publishing industry.

  8. jonah
    June 9, 2013, 5:34 pm

    Checkpoints are used to control the movement of people from one place to another. If we look back to the origin of the checkpoints, they were mostly erected from 2000 onwards, and not surprisingly, given that the Second Palestinian Intifada – a euphemism for an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terrorism directed at the heart of Israeli cities – began at that time. The same is true for the separation barrier, which originally had and still has the purpose of preventing terrorist attacks coming from the Palestinian territories. Before that, the checkpoints were rudimentary structures which did not hinder the Palestinian people to move from a region to another, nor to go to Israel.
    So, it is helpful to put the issue in the proper perspective: there may be cases of abuses at the checkpoints and this is surely reprehensible and should be pursued, but what are checkpoints compared to the terror war engaged by Palestinian extremists against the Israeli population? Israel is preventing that the Palestinian territories may become like what is taking place before our eyes today in Syria – an area of ​​open civil war, with indiscriminate massacres of the civilian population. Checkpoints are a purposeful act of self-defense against the scourge of terrorism and chaos that plagues the Arab world.
    But on this, the human rights champions of the BDS and all the nice company are, as usual, strangely silent.

    • German Lefty
      June 10, 2013, 6:32 am

      the separation barrier, which originally had and still has the purpose of preventing terrorist attacks coming from the Palestinian territories.
      You must be kidding.
      The purpose of the Berlin Wall was to keep the indigenous people in.
      The purpose of the West Bank Wall is to keep the indigenous people out.
      Building a wall is a sign of oppression and shows a lack of democracy. The country that built the wall has to go away. Palestine must be reunited, just like Germany was reunited.

      what are checkpoints compared to the terror war engaged by Palestinian extremists against the Israeli population?
      Palestinians just defend themselves against the ongoing Zionist landgrab.
      Israel has no right to build anything in Palestine.

      • jonah
        June 10, 2013, 4:53 pm

        G.L: “Palestine must be reunited, just like Germany was reunited.”

        “Palestine”… . Wonderful name, but do you at least know where it originated?

        And tell me G.L., what makes you believe that ME and Europe are even remotely comparable? Maybe Eurocentrism?

        “Palestinians just defend themselves …”

        So why do they attack civilians in Israeli cities with bombs and missiles? Maybe you can try to be clearer about the size the land of “Palestine” should have for you, ok?

      • German Lefty
        June 10, 2013, 5:46 pm

        Wonderful name, but do you at least know where it originated?
        That’s irrelevant.

        what makes you believe that ME and Europe are even remotely comparable? Maybe Eurocentrism?
        Nope. I just pointed out certain similarities.

        So why do they attack civilians in Israeli cities with bombs and missiles?
        Most Israeli citizens served in the army. So, they aren’t really civilians. Almost all Jewish Israelis are Zionists. The Zionist state was built on stolen Palestinian land. Palestinians who fire rockets into Israel just try to free their own land from the Zionist regime.

      • straightline
        June 11, 2013, 6:53 am

        Why do they attack civilians? Here’s your answer from Avraham Burg:

        “Israel, having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, should
        not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centres of Israeli escapism. They consign themselves to Allah in our places of recreation, because their own lives are torture. They spill their own blood in our restaurants in order to ruin our appetites, because they have children and parents at home who are hungry and humiliated.”

        But I know you’ll be back asking the same question next week or the week after because you’re not here to hear the truth.

        Where did the word Palestine originate? It comes from “Philistine” – the name that the ancient Greeks gave to the people of southern coast of Canaan. And what’s your problem with that?

      • jonah
        June 11, 2013, 9:53 am

        straightline –

        I think, Avraham Burg have got it wrong. The reality is far more complex than his oversimplifications.
        It is a well established fact that Arab children are taught from an early age to hate Israel and the Jews. Incitement to hatred is present in all domains of the Palestinian society and life, at school, in politics, in the media and not least in the mosques. Furthermore, people who have committed acts of terrorism against Israel are glorified as “Shahids” (martyrs) and entitled to a full, guaranteed and regular salary by the Palestinian Authority.

        The occupation is an excuse for the perpetuation of the conflict, once the occupation will be over, there will be another excuse.

        These are embarrassing facts that the pro-Palestinian supporters will never admit, because in fact they dismantled their anti-Israeli ideological construct. For this reason, they rarely pass the censorship.

        “Where did the word Palestine originate? It comes from “Philistine” – the name that the ancient Greeks gave to the people of southern coast of Canaan. And what’s your problem with that?”

        Well, in truth the Philistines were not part of the Semitic Canaanite population. So why did the Arabs under Jordanian occupation gave themselves the name Palestinians?

      • Hostage
        June 13, 2013, 6:59 pm

        It is a well established fact that Arab children are taught from an early age to hate Israel and the Jews.

        Correction: A number studies have shown that Palestinians and Arab textbooks don’t dehumanize Israelis or Jews. They simply reflect the 60 year long state of war with an enemy entity. That on-going war is something that Israeli textbooks reflect too. See
        * “Victims of our own Narrative? http://d7hj1xx5r7f3h.cloudfront.net/Israeli-Palestinian_School_Book_Study_Report-English.pdf

        * Much Ado About Israeli and Palestinian Textbooks
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/common-ground-news-service/israeli-palestinian-textbooks_b_2679223.html

        There were four main findings of the study. First, dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the other as seen in textbooks elsewhere and of concern to the general public are rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books. Second, both Israeli and Palestinian books present unilateral national narratives that present the other as enemy, chronicle negative actions by the other directed at the self-community, and present the self-community in positive terms with actions aimed at self-protection and goals of peace. Descriptions of the other as enemy in Israeli books were generally related to violent attacks against Israelis, and Israeli books more often described Palestinians as aiming to destroy than to dominate Israel. Descriptions of the other as enemy in Palestinian books were generally related to the Jews being given (by international powers) or Israel appropriating Palestinian land and resources (e.g., water), and Palestinian books more often described Israelis as seeking to dominate than to destroy Palestinians. Historical events, while not false or fabricated, are selectively presented to reinforce each community’s national narrative.

      • Hostage
        June 13, 2013, 7:09 pm

        Well, in truth the Philistines were not part of the Semitic Canaanite population. So why did the Arabs under Jordanian occupation gave themselves the name Palestinians?

        Because the text of the Basle Program of the First Zionist Congress had deprecated the use of the archaic term “Eretz Israel”, and used the modern term “Palistina” instead?
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/23/The_%27Basel_Program%27.jpg

        According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs it had nothing to do with Jordan:

        According to historical sources, Ramla was founded at the beginning of the 8th century by the Umayyad Calif Suleiman ibn Abd el-Malik. It served as the Umayyad and Abbasid capital of the Province of Palestine (Jund Filistin), and the seat of Arab governors of the province in the 8th and 9th centuries.

        http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/History/Early%20History%20-%20Archaeology/Ramla%20-%20Arab%20Capital%20of%20the%20Province%20of%20Palestine

        Jerusalem eventually became the capital of Jund Filistin, after the Fatimids conquered the district from the Abbasids. Its principal towns were Ashkelon, Ramla, Gaza, Arsuf, Caesarea, Jaffa, Jericho, Nablus, Bayt Jibrin, and Amman. So Filistin had been the name of the province during the Arab Golden Age.

    • bijou
      June 10, 2013, 6:47 am

      You have your facts wrong, I am sorry.

      Closure first reared its ugly head in Gaza in 1989, and in the West Bank/Jerusalem in 1991. The policies were not as visible initially, but the infrastructure was indisputably being laid in place.

      Here is a source: http://www.btselem.org/freedom_of_movement/closure

      Closure is about containing and breaking the colonized, rendering their lives unlivable so they will either submit on the colonizer’s terms or emigrate. Violence provides the convenient pretext for justifying this limitation on the basic human rights of an entire people. The driving force is the desire for land without people — or, without those people.

      • mcohen
        June 10, 2013, 9:28 am

        Bijou facts are correct from 2000 onwards or would like to start at the roman occupation period

      • Naftush
        June 10, 2013, 9:37 am

        The Btselem document provides no context for any of these measures except for the most emphatic one, that invoked after the eruption of the second intifada. I don’t have room or time to give much context either, so I’ll express it in general terms, having lived through it: anything ugly about the measures wasn’t a fraction as ugly as the terror wrought against Israeli civilians before each measure was taken.

      • jonah
        June 10, 2013, 4:54 pm

        Well said!

      • Shingo
        June 10, 2013, 6:43 pm

        I don’t have room or time to give much context either,

        You don’t have to. We know the context. It’s OK to kill Palestinians but not OK to kill Jews and it’s only terrorism when it happens to you.

        having lived through it: anything ugly about the measures wasn’t a fraction as ugly as the terror wrought against Israeli civilians before each measure was taken.

        What you really mean is that again, the Intifada was bad because memebers of your own tribe suffered. The fact is that Israel killed more Palestinian children than all the Israeli victims of the Intifada.

      • Elliot
        June 11, 2013, 6:43 pm

        @ Naftush:
        in general terms, having lived through it: anything ugly about the measures wasn’t a fraction as ugly as the terror wrought against Israeli civilians

        Naftush – Yours is a unique vantage point! How did you manage to live through simultaneously the Israeli and Palestinian experience?

      • jonah
        June 10, 2013, 1:27 pm

        Without control of the territory through checkpoints and military presence, Palestinian terrorists (or “shahids”, as called by their people or “freedoms fighters”, as called by their Western supporters) would have carte blanche to hit any kind of civilian target in the WB and in Israel. If terrorism was really the result of closure and colonization, as stated by the critics of Israel, how do you explain then that hundreds of suicide attacks or attempts to commit such acts were perpetrated on Israeli soil, in Israeli cities, within the 1949 lines, and only a small part in the disputed territories?
        Is the purpose of Palestinian violence to hit “colonization” or Israeli Jewish civilians wherever they are? What do you think?

      • Shingo
        June 10, 2013, 6:49 pm

        Without control of the territory through checkpoints and military presence, Palestinian terrorists (or “shahids”, as called by their people or “freedoms fighters”, as called by their Western supporters) would have carte blanche to hit any kind of civilian target in the WB and in Israel.

        Without the occupation, there would be no terrorism. The Zionist terror gangs carried out 600 terror attacks in the 1940s. Are you now suggesting the British should have remained and erected separation barriers and check points?

        how do you explain then that hundreds of suicide attacks or attempts to commit such acts were perpetrated on Israeli soil, in Israeli cities, within the 1949 lines, and only a small part in the disputed territories?

        The same way you would explain failed Zionist terror attacks against mainland Britain.

        MI5 files: Zionist terrorist plotted to kill Winston Churchill
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/8425271/MI5-files-Zionist-terrorist-plotted-to-kill-Winston-Churchill.html

      • jonah
        June 11, 2013, 1:25 am

        “Without the occupation, there would be no terrorism.”

        Wrong. There was quite a lot of terrorism against Israel before 1967 from the Gaza strip and the West Bank occupied by Jordan.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_attacks_against_Israeli_civilians_before_1967

      • eljay
        June 11, 2013, 10:20 am

        >> Is the purpose of Palestinian violence to hit “colonization” or Israeli Jewish civilians wherever they are? What do you think?

        The purpose of Palestinian violence appears to be to hit the oppressive and supremacist “Jewish State” occupier and colonizer.

        But here’s an easy way to confirm it: Have Israel end its occupation, withdraw to within Partition borders and enter into sincere negotiations with an autonomous Palestinian state for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

        If Palestinians continue to strike at Israeli Jewish civilians (and Israeli non-Jewish civilians – because they matter, too) wherever they are, I’ll concede that Palestinian violence may be related to something other than occupation and colonization.

      • Hostage
        June 11, 2013, 5:05 pm

        “Without the occupation, there would be no terrorism.”

        Wrong. There was quite a lot of terrorism against Israel before 1967 from the Gaza strip and the West Bank occupied by Jordan.

        You do realize that an armistice agreement merely transforms a belligerent occupation into an armistice occupation regime?

        BTW, “Jordan” was a new state formed by the union between Arab Palestine and Transjordan. The most notorious acts of terror were Jewish ones against Palestinians, like the attack by Ariel Sharon’s Unit 101 on the village of Kibiya in 1953. The Jordanian villagers living there were not occupation forces.

      • talknic
        June 11, 2013, 6:10 pm

        @ jonah
        ” There was quite a lot of terrorism against Israel before 1967 from the Gaza strip and the West Bank occupied by Jordan”

        Israel occupied non-Israeli territory long before 1967. According to the Israeli government, from May 22nd 1948 http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk

        The West Bank was sovereign to Jordan 1950-1967 and the territory of the UN Member State of Jordan in 1967

        BTW WikIPedia is second hand opinion, infested by and subject to propagandists

      • jonah
        June 12, 2013, 7:04 am

        If the so-called West Bank was sovereign to Jordan 1950-1967, why a sovereign state as Jordan is launched hundred of terror attacks against another neighboring sovereign state during this period? An sort of creeping war of attrition, what do you think?

      • Hostage
        June 13, 2013, 7:57 pm

        If the so-called West Bank was sovereign to Jordan 1950-1967, why a sovereign state as Jordan is launched hundred of terror attacks against another neighboring sovereign state during this period?

        Israel launched major operations that qualified as full-blown invasions, like the ones against Kibiya and Es Sammu. Jordan didn’t do anything remotely like that. Israel was shooting refugees who were merely trying to return to their homes and reporting them as “illegal infiltrators”. So many of the terror attacks it reported were bogus and had nothing to do with the government of Jordan.

        The UN Yearbook records the fact that, even after the Security Council condemned Israel for it’s flagrant aggression against the Hebron area, it sent armored tractors across no-man’s land a few months later to plow-up land in Jordan. Under those circumstances, it was reasonable for Jordan to join a regional military alliance and counter-attacked Israel when it finally started the war against it’s allies in 1967. I notice that you don’t question Israeli sovereignty or ask why it behaved in such an irrational fashion?

      • talknic
        June 13, 2013, 8:49 pm

        jonah “If the so-called West Bank was sovereign to Jordan 1950-1967, why a sovereign state as Jordan is launched hundred of terror attacks against another neighboring sovereign state during this period?”

        So called Judea and Samaria were officially rename the West Bank while under Jordanian sovereignty. The area has never been sovereign to Israel. On what date was the name of this non-Israeli territory legally reverted to Judea & Samaria and by who?

        Examples please of the State of Jordan launching terror attacks against Israelis in Israel…. If true there’d very likely be UNSC resolutions against Jordan if true …. go ahead

        “An sort of creeping war of attrition…

        Uh? Israel has been doing the creepy creeping war. Illegally claiming by 1949 more than 50% of the territory slated for an Arab state. http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk The Arab states had/have a right to restore those non-Israeli territories to Arab control

        Like all pushers of the wholly holey Hasbarrow, you have to conveniently ignore the fact it is Israel censured by the UNSC, not the states attempting to restore their rights.

        “what do you think?

        You can’t admit to anything, your Hasbara nonsense will completely unravel.

      • john h
        June 14, 2013, 3:03 am

        “BTW WikIPedia is second hand opinion, infested by and subject to propagandists”.

        You could yourself set the record straight on Wikipedia, anyone can.

    • Shingo
      June 10, 2013, 7:18 am

      If we look back to the origin of the checkpoints, they were mostly erected from 2000 onwards, and not surprisingly, given that the Second Palestinian Intifada – a euphemism for an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terrorism directed at the heart of Israeli cities – began at that time.

      Rubbish. They were erected before the Intifada, and were part of the closure. They were part of the program to steal land.

      The Apartheid Wall was also erected to steal land.

      So that puts those issues in proper perspective – occupation, ethnic cleansing and land theft.

      • jonah
        June 10, 2013, 5:13 pm

        “They were part of the program to steal land.”

        This is your reading. From the Israeli point of view it was and is a necessary act of defense against terror attacks from the WB.

        BTW, Ramadan Shalah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader, publicly admitted that Israel’s security fence is an important obstacle to the terrorist organizations. At least he is honest:

      • talknic
        June 13, 2013, 9:00 pm

        jonah “From the Israeli point of view it was and is a necessary act of defense against terror attacks from the WB”

        Uh huh. So, why aren’t the checkpoints on Israel’s border? GC VI is to protect all civilians. Why are Israeli civilians encouraged by the government of the Jewish state to settle illegally in “territories occupied” where they and their children are endangered.

        “BTW, Ramadan Shalah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader, publicly admitted that Israel’s security fence is an important obstacle to the terrorist organizations.”

        Care to actually quote what the translation on the video says…. thx…

        Please try to be honest for once. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRp7dlgfX4E

      • eljay
        June 13, 2013, 9:34 pm

        >> From the Israeli point of view it was and is a necessary act of defense against terror attacks from the WB.

        It’s funny how Israel – in order to “defend itself” – is prepared to do all sorts of things EXCEPT:
        – immediately and completely halt its occupation and colonization of Palestine;
        – withdraw to within its / Partition borders; and
        – enter into sincere negotiations with an autonomous Palestinian state for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

      • Shingo
        June 14, 2013, 2:12 am

        From the Israeli point of view it was and is a necessary act of defense against terror attacks from the WB.

        The Nazis also imposed cruel measures under the guise of self defense, but as with Israel, no one believes it.

        Ramadan Shalah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader, publicly admitted that Israel’s security fence is an important obstacle to the terrorist organizations.

        It’s funny how this slamic Jihad leader apparently finds it an obstacle when 1,500 Palestinians manage to climb over, under and around the Apartheid wall every week.

      • miriam6
        June 11, 2013, 12:03 pm

        w miriam6 says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        June 10, 2013 at 10:54 pm
        Actually Stinko , the Wall was put in place to stop suicide bombers entering Israel and massacring innocents.
        It was a security measure that WORKED.
        No suicide bombings since the wall’s completion.
        None whatsoever.
        I remember at least 25 years ago the possibility of such a security measure as the building of a security wall
        was spoken about in the media as being contemplated by various Israeli governments.
        It was only after 1993 in the wake of nihilistic suicide murder employed by the arabs against Israel that Israel finally realised there was no other way to protect it’s civilians BUT to build the wall.
        No doubt this comment will attract the usual predictable ,misanthropic ,hateful ,nihilistic comments from certain other m.w. commenters about how Israelis deserve to be slaughtered by terrorists but the Wall DID prevent further carnage amongst the Israeli population.
        Of course the (pragmatic) Palestinians’ soon saw the error of their ways and have since then been determined to be “seen” at least to embrace “non-violent” protests in stead..
        Because massacring innocent Israeli civilians ultimately got them nowhere at all..

      • Hostage
        June 13, 2013, 6:27 pm

        miriam6 says: No suicide bombings since the wall’s completion.
        None whatsoever.

        Here’s a little lesson for you on the subject from France 24. The wall has never been completed yet: Israeli court halts construction on section of West Bank barrier http://www.france24.com/en/20130503-haaretz-israel-court-halts-construction-west-bank-barrier

        How does an imaginary wall stop terrorism?

      • Donald
        June 13, 2013, 7:41 pm

        “Of course the (pragmatic) Palestinians’ soon saw the error of their ways and have since then been determined to be “seen” at least to embrace “non-violent” protests in stead..”

        So when will the pragmatic Israelis see the error of their ways and stop their colonization program? When will they (we see it in this very thread) notice that more Palestinian civilians were killed by Israelis, far more, than the reverse? It might be that this blog chases away sensible Zionists who are willing to denounce the atrocities of their own side, but the ones who post mostly demonstrate time and again that they don’t consider Palestinian lives worth mentioning. You might think about that next time you feel inclined to rant about nihilistic hateful commenters. Condemn the atrocities on both sides or just admit (to yourself at least) that you’re a hypocrite.

        On the subject of the Wall, Hostage pointed out one fact for you to ponder, and the Lawrence of Cyberia writer has some others–

        link

      • talknic
        June 13, 2013, 11:32 pm

        @ miriam6 “the Wall was put in place to stop suicide bombers entering Israel “

        Say…. Why isn’t the wall on Israel’s border instead of being illegally built in non-Israeli territory?

        “No doubt this comment will attract the usual predictable ,misanthropic ,hateful ,nihilistic comments from certain other m.w. commenters about how Israelis deserve to be slaughtered by terrorists”

        Cite verbatim an instance from an m.w. commenter about how Israelis deserve to be slaughtered by terrorists … thx

        Say aren’t false accusations against the basic tenets of Judaism? I guess you’re not Jewish … or Christian for that matter

        “It was only after 1993 in the wake of nihilistic suicide murder employed by the arabs against Israel that Israel finally realised there was no other way to protect it’s civilians BUT to build the wall.”

        Strange. The Israeli Government was encouraging its civilians to illegally settle in “territories occupied” long before 1993 http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk

        GC VI is to protect all civilians, including those of the Occupying Power. Instead Israel ENDANGERS its own civilians, a war crime and a crime against humanity. Quite sickening.

      • tree
        June 14, 2013, 12:56 am

        It was a security measure that WORKED.

        Donald’s link from 2007 proves that it was not a security measure and it didn’t work, since thousands of illegal Palestinian workers are arrested IN ISRAEL weekly. And the Israeli security service admitted as much in 2005:

        “Shin Bet: Palestinian truce main cause for reduced terror”

        The security fence is no longer mentioned as the major factor in preventing suicide bombings, mainly because the terrorists have found ways to bypass it. The fence does make it harder for them, but the flawed inspection procedures at its checkpoints, the gaps and uncompleted sections enable suicide bombers to enter Israel.

        http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/shin-bet-palestinian-truce-main-cause-for-reduced-terror-1.61607

        Just in case someone thinks that the ability of the wall to prevent Palestinians from entering Israel without a permit has somehow been enhanced since 2007, here are two reports on the illegal Palestinian workers in Israel from 2011 and late 2012. Estimates are that between 30,000 and 40,000 Palestinians illegally enter Israel to work. Please, miriam or jonah, explain how a wall that tens of thousands of Palestinians breach on a daily basis can possibly be a deterrent to a suicide bomber. Its not possible.

        “We built Israel,” says Abbas, a young migrant worker from Salem. A decade ago, he began travelling illegally from the northern West Bank to Tel Aviv to work in construction. “We have no jobs, so the only option is to work in Israel.”

        Years ago, between 1948 and 1967, Palestinians sneaked across borders to work in their former fields in Israel. Those borders were erased after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, when Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and Sinai. After 1967, Palestinians both from Gaza and the West Bank began working on Israeli construction sites. Now, with the building of the separation wall in the West Bank, those borders exist again.
        Although men over 35 years of age can obtain security clearance to enter Israel for work, the younger generation have no choice but to travel via the paths their fathers and grandfathers used to walk legally. They are, in effect, the ghost workers of the Israeli economy.

        Israel began erecting the wall in 2002. It has since slithered deep into Palestinian land, and its checkpoints and restrictions have crippled the Palestinian economy. All the while, ghost workers – those who cross the border illegally – continue to be the bedrock of Israel’s economy. Indeed, its central bureau of statistics says about half of the approximately 220,000 foreign workers in Israel are illegal, while the Palestinian Workers’ Union estimates there are between 35,000 and 40,000 illegal workers in Israel.

        http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/palestinian-ghosts-keep-the-israeli-economy-moving

        +972 also has a report on illegal Palestinian workers in Israel:

        http://972mag.com/palestinian-employment-the-phantom-workers-of-israel/61526/

      • Shingo
        June 14, 2013, 3:07 am

        Actually Stinko , the Wall was put in place to stop suicide bombers entering Israel and massacring innocents.

        Yes Pamella Gellar, whatever you say.

        The ICJ ruled the apartheid wall to be illegal, as it was a blatant instrument to steal and annex land beyond the 1967 borders.

        It was a security measure that WORKED.

        False. 1,500 Palestinians are able to traverse the apartheid wall every week, so any determined suicide bomber would have absolutely no problem in getting into Israel. The reason suicide attacks ended is because Hamas declared an end to them in 2006.

        I remember at least 25 years ago the possibility of such a security measure as the building of a security wall was spoken about in the media as being contemplated by various Israeli governments.

        There were no suciide attacks 25 years ago, so that proves that the Wall just another stage in the ongoing process of grabbing land.

        It was only after 1993 in the wake of nihilistic suicide murder employed by the arabs against Israel that Israel finally realized there was no other way to protect it’s civilians BUT to build the wall.

        Rubbish. As Miko Peled points out in his book, by 1993, the Israelis had decided that they had stolen enough land and built enough settlements and settlements infrastructure to render any Palestinian state an impossibility.

        No doubt this comment will attract the usual predictable ,misanthropic ,hateful ,nihilistic comments from certain other m.w. commenters about how Israelis deserve to be slaughtered by terrorists but the Wall DID prevent further carnage amongst the Israeli population.

        Funny how this Pamela Gellar mini me begins a comment by referring to me as “Stinko”, and then preemptively complains about the inevitable criticism she will attract from reeling talking points from the Israeli MFA web site.

        The Wall is a complete failure.

        Of course the (pragmatic) Palestinians’ soon saw the error of their ways and have since then been determined to be “seen” at least to embrace “non-violent” protests in stead..

        And of course, this has done absolutely nothign to slow down the ongoing process of land theft, ethnic cleansing and mass murder perpetrated by the Israelis, which again, proves that the Wall had nothing to do with security.

      • Shingo
        June 14, 2013, 3:29 am

        Donald’s link from 2007 proves that it was not a security measure and it didn’t work, since thousands of illegal Palestinian workers are arrested IN ISRAEL weekly. And the Israeli security service admitted as much in 2005:

        Thanks for pointing out the sheer absurdity of Jonah’s and Miriam’s hasbra Tree.

        I’m still laughing at Miriam’s claim she is not a Zionist.

    • eljay
      June 10, 2013, 9:00 am

      >> Checkpoints are a purposeful act of self-defense against the scourge of terrorism and chaos that plagues the Arab world.

      Yes, and the chains the rapist uses to hold his victim captive in his basement are a purposeful act of self-defense against the scourge of her slaps and punches, and her attempts to escape and bring the police down on him.

      Hevven forbid that the rapist should i) stop raping his victim, ii) set his victim free and iii) be held accountable for his crimes.

      • jonah
        June 10, 2013, 5:26 pm

        Slander doesn’t help your cause, eljay.

      • eljay
        June 11, 2013, 7:36 am

        >> Slander doesn’t help your cause, eljay.

        slander: a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report.

        Well, then, it’s a good thing I didn’t resort to it!

      • jonah
        June 11, 2013, 9:02 am

        Yes, you did. Your comparison is malicious and defamatory, thus slanderous. And as such, it pursues the implicit, in fact barely concealed, purpose of demonizing the opponent. A quite well known tactic to deny Israel’s right to exist on the one hand, and to justify terrorism against Israeli Jews on the other side.

      • john h
        June 14, 2013, 3:11 am

        What you said in your 9:02 post could be said by any Palestinian regarding Israel. Demonizing, deny right to exist, justify terrorism.

      • Cliff
        June 14, 2013, 5:34 am

        Eljay did no such thing.

        He wasn’t justifying terrorism.

        And while I can’t speak for him on ‘right to exist’ – the issue is irrelevant. States have no intrinsic right to exist. They simply exist if they exist.

        Acknowledging that Israel is a fact, is enough. But acknowledging it’s RIGHT to exist means acknowledging it’s legitimacy.

        And for Palestinians and their supporters to do that would be to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Nakba since Israel only exists as it does as a JEWISH MAJORITY.

        And there is no Jewish majority without the EXPULSION of the NATIVE, INDIGENOUS people – the PALESTINIANS.

        Not Jews from around the world and some from the ME who came to Historic Palestine and drove out the indigenous population.

        So no, Israel has no ‘right’ to exist.

        And no, acknowledging the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people is not a way of justifying terrorism.

      • eljay
        June 14, 2013, 8:07 am

        >> Yes, you did.

        Nope.

        >> A quite well known tactic to deny Israel’s right to exist on the one hand …

        As I’ve said many times before, Israel exists and I believe it should continue to exist as a secular, democratic and egalitarian state within its / Partition borders. I advocate for justice, morality, equality and accountability.

        You advocate for a supremacist “Jewish State” and for “Jewish State” supremacism. You are a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist.

        >> … and to justify terrorism against Israeli Jews on the other side.

        I oppose terrorism, regardless of who commits it. I belive people who commit acts of terrorism should be held accountable for their crimes.

        You justify, excuse or gloss over past and ON-GOING acts of Jewish terrorism, ethnic cleansing, colonialism, torture, destruction and murder. You are a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist.

    • Walker
      June 11, 2013, 8:38 am

      By this idiotic logic, Egypt must be peppered with checkpoints making people wait for days and preventing pregnant women from getting to the hospital.

    • tree
      June 14, 2013, 1:29 am

      Checkpoints are used to control the movement of people from one place to another. If we look back to the origin of the checkpoints, they were mostly erected from 2000 onwards, and not surprisingly, given that the Second Palestinian Intifada – a euphemism for an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terrorism directed at the heart of Israeli cities – began at that time. The same is true for the separation barrier, which originally had and still has the purpose of preventing terrorist attacks coming from the Palestinian territories. Before that, the checkpoints were rudimentary structures which did not hinder the Palestinian people to move from a region to another, nor to go to Israel.

      There is so much that is totally wrong about these statements. First off, the checkpoint and closure system started in 1991. Amira Hass has a detailed description of the origins of the system which started at the beginning of the Gulf War and was further expanded during the Oslo period, well prior to the suicide bombings of the second intifada.

      It was the Gulf War that provided the occasion to reverse this situation of free movement for the many and prohibition for the few. From then on, there was a blanket denial of the right for all Palestinians, with exceptions being made for certain explicit categories–including workers, merchants, people in need of medical treatment, collaborators, and important Palestinian personalities–which were granted passes. In principle, this has been the rule since then, though its practice has been modified and tightened with time.

      Between the revocation of the general exit permit in 1991 and March 1993, when Israeli police began launching relentless pursuits to capture and arrest “infiltrators” and military courts started imposing heavy fines on those caught without the proper pass, the regulations were still vague. Checkpoints were not systematic and there were no “borders” per se; it was still fairly easy to sneak out, even from the Strip. Moreover, the new rules seemed to be enforced mainly concerning entry into Israel, with travel between the West Bank and Gaza being more tolerated. Still, during those first two years of closure, the number of Palestinian workers in Israel was slashed, setting off a chain of economic blows to individual Palestinian families and the community. Trips to Israel for shopping or other normal activities were already becoming a thing of the past. Gradually, travel between the West Bank and Gaza also became increasingly difficult and, finally, almost impossible.

      A second “novelty” was introduced in March 1993: the entire municipality of East Jerusalem, which Israel greatly expanded and annexed in 1967, was incorporated de facto into the no-entry Israeli territory. Ever since that time, the Palestinian cultural, religious, institutional, economic, and commercial capital has been encircled, with ever-expanding bureaucratic measures and regulations forbidding or “thinning” Palestinian entry into the city. At first, only men under forty needed permits, then women as well, and finally everybody of all ages required them.

      The Israeli pass system, introduced not long before the Madrid peace conference and at a time when the Palestinian-Israeli negotiating process was already in the planning stages, was consolidated during the Oslo years. Indeed, it was with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1994 that the special bureaucratic-military machinery of the pass system was developed, with heavy input from Shin Bet. Palestinian officials became the middlemen who either transferred the Israeli-approved permits to their fellow Palestinians or transmitted the rejection.

      The pass system turned a universal basic right into a coveted privilege–or portion of a privilege–allotted to a minority on a case-by-case basis. For the privilege was not whole: it had gradations. Some passes permitted an overnight stay in Israel, others required return by dusk, a few were for an entire month. Some restricted means of transport to the special group taxis parked outside the Erez checkpoint in the Gaza Strip; a handful allowed the use of private cars from door to door. The hand that giveth also taketh away: some months as many as 1,000 businessmen might be granted passes, other months only 300; sometimes the passes for Gazans would be for Israel and the West Bank, sometimes only for the West Bank. It was thus that an entire society was stratified and segmented on the basis of whether one had access, and in what portion, to the “privilege” of freedom of movement.

      The societal segmentation resulting from the pass system accompanied the territorial segmentation Israel initiated immediately after the 1967 war when it began colonizing the occupied territories. And like the curtailment of Palestinian movement, the process of territorial fragmentation intensified during the “decade of peace.” Not only did the settlements continue to grow, but a huge and ever-expanding network of high-quality bypass roads was built in the OPT linking Israeli settlements to each other and to Israel proper, while circumventing Palestinian communities and cutting Palestinian villages off from each other, from the larger towns, and even from their own fields and orchards.

      Hass’ complete article is archived here: http://www.miftah.org/Doc/Articles/2002/nov07e2k2.html

      Its a good one to bookmark when the Israeli rewriting of history is dredged up yet again, conveniently eliding over acts committed by Israel long before the second intifada.

      And speaking of eliding over Israeli acts, you have done exactly that jonah, in equating the second Intifada solely with suicide bombing. The second intifada began in September 2000, but the first suicide bombing didn’t take place in Israel until February 2001. In between those two dates, the IDF had fired, by their own account, over a million bullets in the West Bank. They had killed several hundred Palestinians, most of them civilians, and had forcibly invaded with tanks and gunships many major West Bank towns. Why do you feel it necessary to overlook that fact, and imply that suicide bombing came without any provoking act by Israel? Do you really not recognize Israeli violence?

  9. justicewillprevail
    June 9, 2013, 5:54 pm

    Systematic sadism. Deliberate, planned psychological warfare against an entire people who have committed the cardinal sin of being born to the wrong parents and being born in the place of their ancestors, a place coveted by people who believe in myths and fantasies to prop up their cynical exploitation and deliberate degradation of indigenous people and their culture. israeli terrorism is not just bombs and bullets, it is relentless, unbelievably small-minded, bureaucratic, Kafka-esque imposition of tactics designed to make people’s lives miserable, impoverished and stunted, with the obvious aim of grinding them into submission and flight, if not extinction. it is hard to think of any comparable regime of cruelty, and utter indifference to the fate of millions of human beings, the systematic crushing of their lives and prospects. All so that people from outside of the region can replace them with subsidised, featherbedded lives protected by a colossal military machine. it is a stunning example of sadistic cruelty and inhumanity.

  10. Stephen Shenfield
    June 9, 2013, 6:47 pm

    There is an enormous amount to be learned from the testimonies in the Breaking the Silence videos — all of them, whether the speakers are male or female. About the mechanics of the occupation, how soldiers are induced to behave in the way expected of them, the relationships between ordinary soldiers, unit commanders, and higher ups, between male and female soldiers, between soldiers and settlers, etc.

    A common refrain of these soldiers (of course, they are not typical in this respect) is that they started out with the intention of being humane, but in fact it didn’t take long for them to turn into “monsters”. The key role in transforming them was played by the unit commanders, who are obviously highly skilled at doing this (did they receive formal training to do this, I wonder).

  11. DICKERSON3870
    June 9, 2013, 8:02 pm

    RE: “You can’t think that they’re good hardworking people trying to survive in a closed, place.”
    “I realized that in order to be there you have to break them, break their spirit. Breaking them means making them wait, blindfolding them, treating them badly . . .”
    ~ former soldiers describing the brutalization of the Palestinians

    SEE: “Permanent Temporariness”, by Alastair Crooke, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:
    ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

    [EXCERPTS] . . . It was [Ariel] Sharon who pioneered the philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’ that repeatedly extended and then limited the space in which Palestinians could operate by means of an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforced regulations, and the dissection of space by settlements, roads Palestinians were not allowed to use and continually shifting borders. All of this was intended to induce in the Palestinians a sense of permanent temporariness. . .
    . . . It suits Israel to have a ‘state’ without borders so that it can keep negotiating about borders, and count on the resulting uncertainty to maintain acquiescence. . .
    . . . Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe Ya’alon, was candid when asked in an interview this year: ‘Why all these games of make-believe negotiations?’ He replied:

    Because … there are pressures. Peace Now from within, and other elements from without. So you have to manoeuvre … what we have to do is manoeuvre with the American administration and the European establishment, which are nourished by Israeli elements [and] which create the illusion that an agreement can be reached … I say that time works for those who make use of it. The founders of Zionism knew … and we in the government know how to make use of time.

    SOURCE – http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n05/alastair-crooke/permanent-temporariness

  12. Shingo
    June 9, 2013, 8:10 pm

    How long before Hophmi chimes in and criticizes this clip for taking the testimonies out of context?

    • Cliff
      June 9, 2013, 11:43 pm

      Nope, wrong hasbara formula.

      For this type of Israeli criminality it would be a whitewash and divert by saying X, Y and/or Z do much worse.

      Plus, something something suicide bombers, Hamas charter, Hamas childrens’ show, Itamar, etc.

      • Joe Ed
        June 10, 2013, 7:32 am

        Nah. Read Jonah. He points out that Israel is doing the W Bank Palestinians a favor with its roadblocks. A true Hasbarist believes in every sick effin thing Israel does

    • homingpigeon
      June 10, 2013, 2:20 am

      I’m starting to study the hasbarist assaults. On some items the story is too embarrassing and too unassailable, so they’ll leave it alone. On others there might be a little point of vulnerability, or some little crack they can get their hooks into and they really gang up in an organized way. Commentators get trapped into debating pilpuls.

  13. Obsidian
    June 10, 2013, 2:36 am

    I’ve watched nearly all the video testimonies.
    Gil’s testimony from Hebron is the most damning. She indicts the IDF and testifies how she herself ‘turned bad’. Bad stuff.
    The second to worse testimony is from the Erez crossing non-com, because she exposes the shooting of a child.
    The testimony from the canine corp soldier is fairly mild but show’s the banality of the abuses.
    The testimony form the scout unit is also mild.

    As far as chronicles of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’, I’m not even sure that the testimonies of the canine handler and scout were worthy enough for publication.

    IMHO, of course.

    • Cliff
      June 10, 2013, 5:08 am

      Only if you see these testimonies as emblematic. I see them as just part of the story. There are other soldier testimonies which are worse.

    • amigo
      June 10, 2013, 5:31 am

      Obsidian, close your eyes—now pretend it is Jews that are receiving “fairly mild”or worthy of publication, treatment.

      • Obsidian
        June 11, 2013, 11:34 am

        @amigo

        ” Obsidian, close your eyes—-now pretend it is Jews that are receiving “fairly mild”.

        When I close my eyes I see Jews being herded into the gas chambers, or lined up on the edge of pit and shot to death. When I open my eyes I read stories of Palestinians waiting for hours to get through a checkpoint.

      • Donald
        June 13, 2013, 7:46 pm

        Sure, life for Palestinians in the OT is more like life for Jews in Czarist Russia, rather than life during the Holocaust.

    • seafoid
      June 10, 2013, 6:26 am

      “Bad stuff”

      Pull the other one. It’s not “bad stuff.”
      It is a SYSTEM . All planned.

      The whole system is rotten. It starts with the lobby in DC and goes all the way to the smallest checkpoint.

      Those women are trained to be inhuman. It doesn’t come naturally. And you have to get them really early. Like age 4. In Kindergarten.

      • Obsidian
        June 11, 2013, 12:19 am

        @seafoid

        “It doesn’t come naturally. And you have to get them really early. Like age 4. In Kindergarten. ”

        My family recently made aliyah. Our 5 y.o. girl goes to Kindergarten here.

        You don’t know what you’re talking about, so you must ‘project’,(which must lead to failure).

      • seafoid
        June 11, 2013, 4:18 pm

        Obsidian

        I work with Israelis.
        And I know what that level of indoctrination takes.
        They mention Gaza or Hezbollah to me and I’m supposed to react like they said “child abuse”. It is so interesting. Israel is really fascinating

      • Obsidian
        June 11, 2013, 4:55 pm

        @seafoid

        “Israel is really fascinating”

        Why don’t you try dropping this Israel thing for a few months. Just to see if you can.
        You might even find that it’s really not so fascinating after all.

      • seafoid
        June 12, 2013, 2:24 am

        http://jewishpeacenews.blogspot.ch/2011/08/nurit-peled-elhanans-new-book-exposing.html

        “This insightful research by respected Israeli scholar Nurit Peled-Elhanan will confirm what Palestinian researchers have always known: Israel’s prevailing culture of racism, fundamentalism, support for war crimes, and apartheid against Palestinians is mainly a product of an educational system that indoctrinates Jewish-Israeli students with militant colonial values and extreme racism ….”

        Jews are not born hating Palestinians. You have to make them hate.

      • German Lefty
        June 12, 2013, 6:31 am

        They mention Gaza or Hezbollah to me and I’m supposed to react like they said “child abuse”.
        And do you tell them your views on Zionism? How do they react?

      • Donald
        June 13, 2013, 7:50 pm

        “You might even find that it’s really not so fascinating after all.”

        The more cynical part of me, the part that just wants us to wash our hands of the issue, wants the US to drop Israel and stop finding it so fascinating. Treat Israel like some Middle Eastern country with a crappy human rights record, and ignore it except when we need something, the way we do with other countries. It’d be an improvement over the current situation.

        Besides, we can perfectly well abuse human rights all by ourselves, without cheerleading for yours.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 14, 2013, 8:29 am

        “The more cynical part of me, the part that just wants us to wash our hands of the issue, wants the US to drop Israel and stop finding it so fascinating.”

        That’s not going to happen. Unfortunately, there are too many people with financial and political power in the US then they can make the federal government dance to their tune. Those people are devoted and loyal to this alien state to the point that they would rather see the US government’s deputation destroyed than have anything happened to their little zionist dung heap. Until we can burn that tick off of the US body politic, there will be no change.

  14. just
    June 10, 2013, 6:50 am

    1S1P1V.

    Some brotherhood and sisterhood would be welcome, as well. Thank you ladies, for telling some of the truth.

    It’s long past time.

  15. amigo
    June 10, 2013, 6:50 am

    Last post should read, “Not” worthy of publication, treatment.

  16. amigo
    June 10, 2013, 6:58 am

    Ah yes, The most moral army in the world and Light unto the Nations.

    No thanks Zioville, wont be using your mantra as an example of how to live.

    Your actions against the Palestinian people makes England,s behavior in Ireland seem almost saintly.

    But worry not , the day of atonement is nigh and the price will be the end of Israel.

    • john h
      June 14, 2013, 3:31 am

      “But worry not , the day of atonement is nigh and the price will be the end of Israel.”

      And what will take the place of Zioville?

    • amigo
      June 11, 2013, 5:20 am

      I had to stop eating my breakfast after she stated she jumped for joy at being sent to Hebron.

      Her brainwashing obviously began long before she joined up.

      All very sickening.

  17. giladg
    June 10, 2013, 9:33 am

    Those who turned “bad” only have themselves to blame. Had they been caught doing some of the things they said they did, they would have been sent to jail.
    They do not represent the IDF. They represent themselves. Unfortunately there will always be bad apples in conflict situations. Israel does a good job of keeping the number of bad apples to a minimum. Even though more can be done in this department, ‘breaking the silence” exaggerates the situation. And remember that there are NGO’s like “machsom watch” who monitor many of the these contact situations. So please Mr. Weiss, I don’t mind you bringing up these topics. I do mind when the sensationalism jumps out of the page and the saliva drips from your mouth.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      June 10, 2013, 5:14 pm

      The stories told in the videos are completely inconsistent with the “bad apples” interpretation. Can you really not see that? Or perhaps you haven’t listened carefully to them? Or perhaps you are deliberately lying about them?

      The “silence breakers” are deviants in the sense that although they were socialized into the general brutality they initially wanted to behave humanely. Because Gil initially treated Palestinian prisoners in a relatively humane way (giving them water, keeping them in the shade out of the hot sun, not kicking them, etc.) she was ridiculed and ostracized, denied weekend leave, and given extra guard duty. These pressures sufficed to make her conform. The higher ups encouraged soldiers to “develop their creativity” in thinking up new ways to be cruel to Palestinians. The message that runs consistently through all the videos is that brutality is the norm, not the exception.

    • Shingo
      June 10, 2013, 6:51 pm

      They do not represent the IDF. They represent themselves

      Yeah, I’m sure Eichman, Hess and co only represented themselves , not the Nazi party. Just a bad apples no doubt.

    • Blank State
      June 11, 2013, 12:08 am

      “Had they been caught doing some of the things they said they did, they would have been sent to jail”

      Actual history belies that assertion. It is well known that IDF abuses are rarely prosecuted to a conviction, if prosecuted at all.

      But hey, nice try. (Not really.) I knew you ziobots would eventually come up with something disgustingly disingenuous. You never disappoint.

    • Cliff
      June 11, 2013, 5:37 am

      GiladG

      you are a liar

      Yesh Din studies have proven that there is no accountability in the IDF.

    • Walker
      June 11, 2013, 8:47 am

      giladg, could you please post some links documenting cases where IDF soldiers were “sent to jail” for doing the things described in these videos?

      • ritzl
        June 11, 2013, 5:30 pm

        @Walker Screw “described.” In the “Girls on Fire” video alone, there are at least three women getting beaten for nothing.

        Then there are videos of:

        • The future commander of the IDF officer training facility rifle-butting a Danish cyclist across the bridge of the nose.

        • The handcuffed and blindfolded man led behind the IDF jeep and shot in the thigh (B’Tselem supplied camera).

        • The priest being beaten and stomped while laying on the ground.

        • The schoolgirls in Hebron getting stoned (while IDF looks on).

        • The kid that came to the checkpoint with a birthday cake and ended up getting shot three times in the back.

        The list is endless, and is more endless today than it was yesterday. (I can go grab links if anyone wants, but we’ve all seen them, or ones like them.)

        There may have been some minor punishments for these video-documented crimes, but is anyone in jail for them?

        Perhaps more entertaining would be if giladg explained why in each case little or no jail time was handed out.

      • giladg
        June 12, 2013, 7:42 am

        I invite you to wade through the archives of the Israeli newspapers, if you know Hebrew that is. Take my word for it Walker, you will find numerous documented cases. Those who love to attack Israel just happen to conveniently skip over these articles when building their databases of negative stories. You would have to be the ultimate naive person on this earth to think that Mondoweiss is going to store any information that will show Israel in a positive light.

      • Hostage
        June 13, 2013, 7:43 pm

        I invite you to wade through the archives of the Israeli newspapers, if you know Hebrew that is.

        He asked you to post links. FYI, the Israeli Karp Commission report, and drawers full of UN reports, including the report of the Goldstone mission and the UN HRC follow-up reports attest to the fact that the IDF routinely closes out cases involving even the most serious crimes against Palestinians without gathering any evidence or conducting any serious investigations, e.g. http://www.palestine-studies.org/books.aspx?id=337&href=details

      • talknic
        June 13, 2013, 8:18 pm

        giladg “You would have to be the ultimate naive person on this earth to think that Mondoweiss is going to store any information that will show Israel in a positive light”

        You would have to be the ultimate naive person on this earth to think there is anything positive to say about any state while it is still illegally acquiring territory by war, illegally annexing territory illegally acquired by war and illegally settling territory illegally acquired by war.

        You would have to be the ultimate naive person on this earth to think there is anything positive to say about any state while it is breaching International Law, the UN Charter and relative conventions adopted to in large part because of what ^&*&^%$ Nazis did to our Jewish fellows. Rather odd for a Jewish state … no? Yet that’s precisely what you’re supportive of. WEIRD!!

        “Take my word for it Walker

        Uh? You call for evidence of assertions, back your assertions in the same manner. Go ahead…..

      • Cliff
        June 14, 2013, 6:34 am

        why should we take your word for it?

        why don’t you substantiate your arguments?

    • Elliot
      June 11, 2013, 10:53 pm

      They do not represent the IDF
      A childhood friend of mine was a platoon commander in the Givati combat brigade. All Israeli combat soldiers serve considerable lengths of their time enforcing the Occupation. One one furlough from a West Bank tour of duty, he told me how he was a stickler for treating Palestinians as fairly as possible, but that he felt alone in doing so. I asked him about the official rules. His reply was: all the rules accomplish is that if I want to comply with them, I have the authority to do so. Their existence does not mean that these standards are normative. Far from it, none of the other officers and units that I serve with do so.
      This was twenty five years ago but his reply struck me as remarkable.

  18. iResistDe4iAm
    June 10, 2013, 10:35 am

    Palestinians are the most ethnically-cleansed, stateless, defenceless, collectively-punished people on earth.
    Palestinians are the most occupied, interrogated, imprisoned, tortured, summarily-executed people on earth.
    Palestinians are the most ghettoized, segregated, evicted, impoverished, monitored, curfewed people on earth.
    Palestinians are the most besieged, blockaded, walled-in, barricaded, checkpointed, roadblocked people on earth.
    Palestinians are the most air, sea & land bombed, cluster & phosphorus bombed people on earth.
    Palestinians are the most systematically brutalized people on earth.

    The world is beset by many natural disasters, but Palestine is the world’s longest (65 years) man-made UNNATURAL disaster.

  19. Sherri Munnerlyn
    June 10, 2013, 12:23 pm

    I cannot access the Breaking The Silence website, is there another link they can be viewed at?

  20. Blank State
    June 10, 2013, 12:39 pm

    I see the Jewish women that wish to pray at the Wailing Wall need police protection if they attempt to do so. Seems the “only democracy in the Middle East” is havin’ a tough time living up to its self-proffessed claims to fame. Not only are Palestinian women treated as inferior beings, so too are Jewish women by a huge segment of the Israeli population.

    Lets send these folks a few more billion of our tax dollars, eh? Shared values indeed. Trouble is, they only share values with the scumbags running things in DC. It sure as hell ain’t the values I hold, nor the values I was brainwashed into believing our nation stood for.

    Where’s our hasbara spewing trolls on this thread? Kinda hard to write a justification script for this one, eh?

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