The world the settlers made

Israel/Palestine
on 101 Comments

This is the second half of a piece about my tour of four Israeli settlements in mid-January. The first half is here.

Shiloh

The first order of business in my third settlement is to get a bottle of wine. Avi drives me down the hill to visit the wine presses of a fellow American immigrant. We pass a group of Palestinian workers leaving a building site with a Jewish security guard and Avi shakes his head over the practice.

From the window of my room in Shiloh settlement, I took this photo of Palestinian workers at the unfinished house across the way, awaiting their ride back to settlement gates at end of day. January 15, 2016 (Photo: Philip Weiss)

From the window of my room in Shiloh settlement, I took this photo of Palestinian workers at the unfinished house across the way, awaiting their ride back to settlement gates at end of day. January 15, 2016 (Photo: Philip Weiss)

“The policy here is you can’t employ Palestinians from neighboring villages because they will get to know Shiloh too well and if they ever pop off, they will know the community’s vulnerabilities,” he explains. “Though why you would want to hire people who want to kill you– I don’t understand it.”

The winemaker has a substantial workshop with a pergola, a studio, and a lordly view. He beats me for $20 for his Merlot. “No sulfides,” Avi says. “And the yeast isn’t added. It’s the yeast that God put on the grapes.”

Avi’s religiosity mixes with the lithe boyish movements of a former dancer. He grew up outside Chicago and wears jeans and a rough cotton shirt and a skullcap. In the U.S. he would read bohemian/outdoorsy. You’d never think he has seven children.

We sit in the kitchen with two of his grand-daughters, then when the sun goes down he pours shot glasses of bourbon that he and a neighbor distilled, and tells me his story. It is utterly plausible, though formed by strong currents: Avi’s objections to American materialism, assimilation and anti-semitism. When Avi was young, a neighboring boy told him he wanted to be president. “President Feigenbaum? Really?” Later his dance company wouldn’t let him take off for the Sabbath, and he understood that Americans didn’t tolerate Jewish culture. And the American treatment of women seemed disrespectful to him. His New Jersey-born wife Rachel covers her hair, because the hair is something only a husband should see. Avi was fervently against the Vietnam War and the whole idea of guns, but when he came over here he didn’t feel that way at all, and joined the army for the sake of the Jewish people.

There are only two real Jewish communities left in the world now, and the American one is slowly evaporating, Avi says. He and his wife have four brothers between them and they’re all married to non-Jews and losing touch with Jewish tradition. The Jews are fleeing France; a lot of them are turning up in these hills. “A Jew belongs here,” Avi says. David Ben-Gurion once said that too. In the stairwell is a bigger-than-lifesize painting of the Zionist patriarch holding a long shovel handle. The painter is another American immigrant who left his job at the Jerusalem Post years ago after getting in hot water for suggesting how to kill Yasser Arafat.

The Merlot turns out to be very good. We drink the wine over a humble dinner. Roast beets, fennel and sweet potato. Baked potatoes. A simple salad.

Avi and Rachel lead a simple life, without a lot of things. They seem both judgmental and jealous of American materialism. It takes special people to be settlers; people who don’t mind great adversity and resistance. Avi states a biblical mantra that motivates the settlers. “Two things are won, or achieved, only through struggle. Torah, and the land of Israel.”

Theirs is a traditional community; everyone in the settlement seems to be involved in everyone else’s business. When I ask how many settlers have woodstoves, Rachel and Avi name the six or seven other families one at a time.

I ask Rachel how she’d feel if one of her children ended up living in Tel Aviv. She gets a queasy smile and says she’s not sure.

“We’re making the country more stable. It’s only so wide and surrounded by a sea of people, most of whom don’t want us here, a lot of whom want to kill us. So we’re the front lines. A lot of people in Tel Aviv don’t understand that. They have internalized the fact that people don’t want us here. They never even come here. But we are doing the work of the Jewish people.”

Avi says the Israeli government has two answers to the so-called occupation. One is to go along pretty much as things have been going—because hey, there are far worse things happening in the Middle East. The second is annexation. Avi is for annexation. He says the idea of Palestinians is a fiction.

“They’re Arabs!” he says. “What did Palestinian always mean? It meant Jews! We gave them 70 percent of Palestine already. That’s Jordan. Let them have Palestine there.”

I find Avi’s analysis of Israeli society to be more astute. He explains why the government and the bulk of Israeli Jews are behind the settlement project.

“Let’s leave the Palestinians aside, that’s a whole other question,” he says. There are three broad strains in Israeli Jewish life. First, the secular elites. The Ashkenazi socialist founders of the society threw their tefillin (prayer wrappings) off the boat when they sighted the new country in the 1930s. They were done with rabbinic Judaism. They founded the parties that later made up Labour. But they discriminated against the Mizrahim, the Jews from Arab countries, and the orthodox; and they miscalculated Israeli security in the ’73 war. So Likud rode all those forces to victory in the late 70s.

Today, Avi says, the three strains are all getting along. Mizrahi and Ashkenazi marry without an eyebrow being raised. Avi is religious, but one of his sons is going out with a secular girl. There are more and more signs of secularism even in Shiloh: some women are not covering their heads.

As for the secular left, it is folding into the right because it has stopped pushing a Palestinian state, knowing that it would threaten Israeli security. Avi and the kibbutzniks I stayed with the night before all share a core belief: they are Zionists. They believe in the need for a Jewish state in the (biblical) land of Israel. Zionists revived the Hebrew language and Jewish ritual in this land; and seculars are immersed in Torah, even if they don’t go to synagogue.

“Their children will be Jews. That’s what matters,” Avi says. That’s more than his brothers and brothers-in-law back in the States can say.

We never do get to the Palestinian constituents of Israel.

Zionism is alive and well, Avi says. “Zionist means, Jews need to govern themselves, and they need a safe place. They have never done well with the goyim, we’ve always been attacked by them.”

“That’s why my mother had six kids,” I say. “One for each million.”

Rachel puts her hand to her chest. “Was she a survivor?”

“No but it sometimes felt that way.”

“Well, if you’re connected Jewishly, you understand that,” she says.

“What if I say, we’re getting along fine with goyim in the U.S.?” I say.

“I say, good luck!” Avi says. “The campuses are a scary place to be Jewish. You can be attacked there– what I see of Arabs on campuses! We’re not safe in Europe. It has a long history of attacking Jews. And there’s still anti-semitism in America.” He tells me of country clubs and neighborhoods in Chicago that exclude Jews. Though when I ask if I could move to Shiloh with my non-Jewish wife, Avi says that wouldn’t be allowed.

He fills the woodstove for the night and we sit and stare at the fire.

“I’ll tell you something,” he says musingly. “If the world would just stop having wars for ten years, and stop all the accusations against us—then we would divert all the money we spend on the military to other uses, and we would cure cancer.”

Rachel nods. “And ALS too.”

When I brush my teeth I get a brief glimpse through Avi and Rachel’s door of Rachel’s loose hair in silhouette. She’s removed her covering for the night. I feel a wave of guilt, mixed with pity.

In the morning I find out who I displaced in my bedroom. Mikhael got home late from Jerusalem and slept on the couch. He’s got long thick dark hair and wears track pants, and when his mother comes in he flops over her shoulders and lap. He looks like a hippie, with leather thongs and a shark tooth necklace. But he’s looking forward to going into the army. “I want to play with tanks, planes and boats,” he murmurs in an adolescent slur.

The boy stretching half-naked in front of his parents before the fire feels insular and intimate, and I’m a modern. It’s time to get going.

From my window my settler host tells me we are looking at five settlements, Maale Levona, Givat Harel, Ariel, Eli, and in the foreground, Shiloh. (Photo: Philip Weiss)

From my window, my settler host tells me we are looking at five settlements, Maale Levona, Givat Harel, Ariel, Eli, and in the foreground, Shiloh. (Photo: Philip Weiss)

 

Giv'at Asaf is a small settlement pocketed off the road in the Judean Hills. Built on Palestinian land, it has blocked Palestinian villagers' access to Highway 60, which adjoins photo (Photo: Philip Weiss)

Giv’at Asaf is a small settlement pocketed off the road in the Judean Hills near Shiloh and Ofra. Built on Palestinian land, it has blocked Palestinian villagers’ access to Highway 60, which adjoins photo (Photo: Philip Weiss)

Ofra

When I first visited Israel ten years ago, my mother’s best friend who had moved to Jerusalem gave me a knit yarmulke of the nationalist variety so as to observe the Sabbath at her house, and it’s done me great service since. I spend the next day wearing it. Ofra is an orthodox settlement that shuts down completely for the Sabbath. It appears that everyone in the settlement walks through the streets to various shuls. I go to synagogue Friday night, about 200 feet from my front door. The women are invisible to me as we worship. The men are all in white shirts. Except for a guy who comes in late with luxuriant hair and a beautiful blue velvet jacket, accompanied by his son in a double-vented suit. It’s obvious they recently immigrated from France.

The gate of Ofra settlement closing the orthodox community for the Sabbath, Jan. 15, 2016 (Photo by Philip Weiss)

The gate of Ofra settlement closes the orthodox community for the Sabbath, Jan. 15, 2016 (Photo: Philip Weiss)

How safe can they feel here? Several worshipers have handguns tucked into their waistbands. I count five handguns. One of the men who’s carrying lays a semi-automatic rifle at his feet. He’s got round shoulders and could be an accountant in the States. Two other worshipers walk by with rifles dangling off their shoulders. I’ve talked to enough settlers now to know that they believe Jews have a right to live without fear wherever they please in the biblical land of Israel. But this feels like Algiers.

Check out the gun on my neighbor in the supermarket line at Ofra settlement, January 15, 2016 (Photo by Philip Weiss)

A gun in my neighbor’s waistband in the supermarket line at Ofra settlement, before Sabbath, January 15, 2016 (Photo: Philip Weiss)

My apartment is costly ($147) and in an affluent neighborhood. It belongs to a young Jewish scholar of some renown. He left at noon for the Sabbath but before going he brought me dates and a muffin and told me that Avi is right: Israeli Jews are largely unified behind a policy of continuing the occupation as it is, or annexing portions of the West Bank.

Breakfast of dates and muffin in Ofra settlement

Breakfast of dates and muffin in Ofra settlement (Photo: Philip Weiss)

“Maybe give Arabs partial citizenship within those areas as they learn to live with us. And then allow them to vote,” he says. “The problem with Oslo is that it did not make peace. It created problems all over– Palestinian expectations of a state that were not fulfilled. And Israelis came to the understanding they could not live with a Palestinian state that was hostile. Look at Gaza. If Israelis could have seen a way that a Palestinian state would be peaceful and accepting of Israel, then Oslo would have worked. You could have removed 400,000 settlers. I can’t imagine a way to remove them now.”

Book published by Ariel University at my apartment in Ofra settlement

Book published by Ariel University at my apartment in Ofra settlement. (Photo: Philip Weiss)

The walls are filled with books, and after synagogue I take down some of the English volumes. A book on Palestinians published by the settler school, Ariel University, says that Palestinians should be grateful to Israelis for their high standard of living but they’re a fifth column. “The Arab minority is fortunate that it is not located in some remote country in which the world has no interest.”

A book on Israeli mammals has a horrifying story about how Arabs allegedly treated hyenas. They’d catch a hyena, blind it with a hot steel rod, and put it in a tiny cage, 30 inches by 24. “The cage with its hyaena was wheeled to fairs and festivals and for paying a certain sum people were permitted to hit and to beat the hyaena. Therefore these hyaenas uttered their continued, weird wailing fear calls as soon as they heard or smelled approaching people.”

I fall asleep and wake up to voices and laughter. Someone must have left a radio on. It’s 11 o’clock and when I go to the back window, I see a dozen children sitting in the street chattering. I walk out to join the fun. Kids are everywhere, sitting in a traffic circle, clumped in a bus stop, playing dodge near the synagogue. Groups of older boys and girls walk by in heated discussion. This is what the Sabbath is all about. Everyone is relaxed, the children flood out into what they have for private social space.

The simple pleasures of the night makes me grin. Later I realize that I have never seen a television in all my time in the settlements.

******

My host has put out the word, and the next day after synagogue I get invited to a Sabbath lunch down the road– come at 12:30. Another guest and I sit in the living room as the women prepare the meal. He’s a doctor, and I tell him what I have learned about the settlements being the natural continuation of Jewish colonization of the land. He agrees, saying that the liberal Zionists of the first stage of Israel “did much worse” than the settlers.

“In Yafo and Haifa they expelled the Palestinians. Pushed them out and took their land. We did nothing like that. These communities are built on state land. We took no Palestinian villages here.”

The doctor says there is now consensus in Israeli Jewish life that these communities will never leave. Even a liberal Zionist judge, Edmond Levy, has ruled them legal. Of course the world still acts as if there can be a two-state solution.

“It’s just big talk,” he says slyly. “Even from Netanyahu. There’s what you say, there’s what you write, and then there’s what you really think.”

We are called to the table. I’m seated at the left elbow of the big patriarchal host, Yitzhak. His wife and two of his daughters serve us from a kitchen filled with food. Salmon, chicken, hummus, eggplant. The food is very good and our host breaks into song often during the ritual meal, thumping the table. I wonder how secular his daughters are. They seem with-it. One wears a nose ring.

For the third time I tell my mother’s line about one kid for each million. Yitzhak promptly translates it for the girls.

“What do you think of Obama?” I ask.

He sighs. “I will tell you. I love every person in the world. But he hates me and wants to destroy my country. It is good he only has a little time left, but I think he will go to the U.N. next.”

Then Yitzhak breaks into politics. For ten minutes or so he lectures his daughters sternly about left-wing human rights groups. I hear the names Ezra Nawi. Gideon Levy. B’Tselem. Breaking the Silence. Ta’ayush. Shalom Achshav (Peace Now).

I ask the doctor what our host is talking about.

“Breaking the Silence,” he says. “It is a group of lunatics who make these terrible accusations against Israel for human rights, they say. As far as I am concerned they should gather them all in one place, put them on a plane and go up and the pilot should find a way to save himself and the rest of them should crash.”

I say, “I’ve heard of Gideon Levy, he’s a writer.”

“Yes he is a lunatic among the lunatics.”

The doctor tells me that the Arabs simply “want to exterminate us.” I ask him about Duma, which is just a few miles away. The doctor tells me that he does not believe that settlers killed the Dawabshe family. The youthful settlers the government has charged were tortured.

“That was Arabs, we believe,” the doctor says. “A provocation. To get a reaction.”

Soldiers walk on the Sabbath in Ofra settlement, January 16, 2016 (Photo: Philip Weiss)

Soldiers walk on the Sabbath in Ofra settlement, January 16, 2016 (Photo: Philip Weiss)

I ask who killed Rabin, and a couple of people at the table say, Not Yigal Amir, the right-winger in prison for the crime. Others were behind the assassination. The guests tell stories about that fateful night in 1995 that undermine the official version.

It’s not the first conspiracy theory I’ve heard in the settlements. In Gush Etzion, David also said that Duma was not the work of Jews and pointed to discrepancies in the evidence. Then David showed me a picture of himself with 16 Palestinian workers on a construction site in a settlement and said that, to a man, these Palestinians asserted that the three settler teens famously killed in June 2014 not far from Gush Etzion weren’t killed by Palestinians. They died in a traffic accident, and the Israelis then concocted the story of the murder so that their army could go into Palestinian homes and steal money and jewelry. These theories strike me as evidence of the extreme pressure of such a conflict. When two sides are so opposed, the truth quickly gets politicized.

 

*******

New construction of settlement McMansions, Ofra settlement, January 16, 2016 (Photo: Philip Weiss)

New construction of settlement McMansions, Ofra settlement, January 16, 2016 (Photo: Philip Weiss)

I spend the Sabbath walking around and having more political conversations. A Californian visiting his two sisters for a wedding says he admires what they are doing but tells me his sisters lead tough meager lives. He couldn’t do it. He is angry at American Jews for not being more supportive. “90 percent of them voted for Obama or don’t have religion. Half of them have never been here. They don’t understand that Obama hates Israel, isn’t good for Jews. They will vote for Hillary as the savior.”

A highly educated woman visiting from a more secular settlement, Efrat, says she leaves her house in the hands of a Palestinian friend, but there will never be a Palestinian state. “They missed their chance.”

Though she tells me that the Israeli political establishment hasn’t fully given up the two-state solution. I ask her, What if they cut a deal and she had to leave Efrat?

“No way,” she says.

This is the Israel I’m seeing up close, a tough Jewish center-right that dominates the political culture. It is the world that Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit speaks for when he justifies Netanyahu to the remnants of the left. It is no wonder that in the last election the Labourites called themselves Zionist Camp and said nothing about the peace process.

New construction in Ofra settlement (Photo by Philip Weiss)

New construction in the Ofra settlement (Photo: Philip Weiss)

The settlers’ argument that they are merely the latest extension of Zionism makes perfect sense to me. They are continuing a project begun 100 years ago. Everywhere I go in the settlements, I’ve remembered Yousef Munayyer’s argument to Peter Beinart last June in New York that if you oppose the occupation it is pointless just to boycott settlements; the state and the broader society are all behind this growth. “The government supports settlement at any time,” Netanyahu says. I also remember Munayyer’s critique that the real problem is a Zionist ideology that puts Jews and their rights–and Jewish refugees and their rights–ahead of the people who were living in this land first, many of whom became refugees from Israel. My conversations with the settlers convince me viscerally of something I have only known from reading before: the conflict won’t end until that ideology of settler colonialism infused with religion ends, and everyone has equal rights. I know there is hatred and enmity on the Palestinian side too. It won’t make for a smooth transition. But as Munayyer says, westerners must begin to imagine what one state will look like.

A continual surprise of my tour is that the American media have done so little to tell Americans about the stick-to-itiveness of the settlers and their political support. Ze’ev Elkin and Avigdor Lieberman, whose houses I walked by, are very powerful men in Israel. The media’s failure gives me a sense of responsibility– to describe the discriminatory ideology of these colonists to Americans. Ari Shavit has argued what Avi also argued to me: Israel keeps American Jews Jewish, so they must support Israel. But anti-semitism in Europe, and assimilation in the United States (my decision to marry a non-Jew, which vexes my hosts) are not really important in this conversation. What matters is the discriminatory one-state reality before my eyes. It is the world that the Zionists made.

******

The Sabbath is ending, and I go for a walk among the children. Girls of 13 and 14 are holding a broad-jump competition. A dozen of them take it very seriously. They have made two marks in the road and make running starts and try to jump from one to the other. Their innocence and joy is moving; what a wonderful way to spend the day of rest.

Settler girls have a jumping competition in the road on sabbath, Ofra, January 16, 2016 (Photo: Philip Weiss)

Settler girls have a jumping competition in the road on sabbath, Ofra, January 16, 2016 (Photo: Philip Weiss)

My walk takes me out into the wadi. I slosh through a bog to a little pond. Five adolescent boys have gathered there with a dog. The dog splashes in and out of the cold water and the boys make fun of me, as boys should. A couple of them wear yarmulkes but not all of them.

“Why are you here?” says a boy with long unruly blond hair and florid cheeks.

“I came to see, with my own eyes, the—”

“Occupation.”

“Yes. They say it is occupation,” I say.

“We love occupation.”

“They say that is the problem.”

“No, that is the problem.” He points at the Palestinian village to the north. “They are bad, we are good.”

“Some day you will live together,” I say.

“No,” says a guy with wild dark hair. “We don’t get along, Jew and Arabs. Once they were our slaves.”

“Holocaust,” says the blond guy.

“You’re joking,” I say.

“Yes. My grandfather was in Holocaust. Hungary.”

“Who did Duma?”

“Jewish. Jewish,” the boys agree.

“Yes, Jewish,” the blond kid says. “But they didn’t know– a baby. They want to burn a house. It is a small group.”

“What about the green line, what about the two state solution?”

He shakes his head. “That is the past.”

“So what is the answer?”

“I think one state, two—“

“Peoples?” I say.

“Two nations. Not religion and state together. Like USA.”

“That’s good,” I say, and shake his hand.

“We are the future,” he says.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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101 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    January 26, 2016, 1:05 pm

    Two things that leaped out at me.

    1. They are truly obsessed with how much the world supposedly hates them and they revel in it.

    2. They are in deep denial about the cruelties their community perpetrates against the Palestinians. Either the Palestinians are “framing” them or self-hating Jews are in league with the enemies of Israel.

    A community this delusional can ONLY survive by handouts.

    • Marnie
      January 27, 2016, 4:11 am

      These are the most disgusting people in the world and it’s a no brainer there’s so many Americans among them. The whining, constant whining about how they are hated. But I agree, they revel in that belief. It serves their purposes. They’ll never stop believing it. It’s “us” against the goyim. I think they believe the world is in the middle of another holocaust and they are surviving it – look at us! We’re strong. We’re torah observant (which torah?). We’re on the frontier protecting all those jerks in Tel Aviv and the rest of the world from all these “Ayrabs” whose only thoughts from dawn to dusk are cutting our throats. Speaking of which, send money. Now. Saviors of the Jews of the world isn’t free ya know.

    • rosross
      January 27, 2016, 8:06 pm

      Delusional is the word. Israel was founded in lies and delusion and the atrocities committed by invasion, occupation and colonisation have just made the lies and delusion more necessary.

      If Israel were an individual it would have been committed long ago as a dangerous psychotic, to protect itself and everyone else. But Israel is not an individual and the closest one can come to ‘committing’ a nation is to force it to its senses with BDS. End the lies, end the delusion, set Israelis free to find a semblance of sanity in the wreckage of their madness.

      The most sensible will remain in the one-state democracy and share with the indigenous Palestinians and the rest will return to the countries they or their parents left, or they will be forced to also come to their senses as they go ‘cold turkey’ on their religious addiction to subjugating non-Jews in the name of paranoid fear.

      One needs to have compassion, even while forcing Israelis to their senses because they are so delusional and paranoid they are truly very, very sick. Of course there are exceptions but they are a minority. It is the culture, society and nation in general which is desperately mentally ill.

  2. Liz
    January 26, 2016, 1:17 pm

    Such stellar investigative reporting! What a world it would be to see this run in the New Yorker or the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Thanks to Mondoweiss, and Philip, we can see it here. These thoughts and feelings of the settlers just makes this situation so much sadder because they really believe with all their hearts what they are saying. Their passion and dedication is almost…admirable. I found it especially noteworthy about the settler who was opposed to the Vietnam War while in the U.S., but now carries a gun and fights the fight for the land of Israel. Different standards for different times, and all a big mess.

    • Balfour
      January 28, 2016, 3:24 pm

      The description of Jewish Settlement society is the description of a cult- insular, suspicious of outside thought, intolerant of independent thinking. While it’s a pain that America pays the Israeli defense budget that permits the Settlements to exist in the first place, ultimately it is Judaiam that pays the ultimate price.: How can Jewish Israeli society not avoid a civil war when the illogic of Zionism is allowed to run it’s extreme course in the formation of the Settlements? Dealing with “the Arab” is going to be the least of Jewish Israel’s future problems.

      I do have one questions for the American settlers- if they hate and distrust the outside world, why don’t they renounce their U.S. Citizenship and surrender their U.S. Passports?

      • RoHa
        January 28, 2016, 3:34 pm

        “, ultimately it is Judaiam that pays the ultimate price.”

        It is the Palestinians who pay the ultimate price.

        Judaism is just a bunch if ideas, customs, and so forth. If it vanishes, no real people are harmed, though some may be dismayed.

        But Palestinians are people, with bodies to hurt and lives to lose.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2016, 2:41 am

        “How can Jewish Israeli society not avoid a civil war when the illogic of Zionism is allowed to run it’s extreme course in the formation of the Settlements?”

        Answer is in your next paragraph. Almost everybody in Israel has someplace else they can go. When Israel doesn’t meet their expectation, off they goes, not that anybody will admit that.

      • Jon66
        January 29, 2016, 8:23 am

        Roha,

        “Judaism is just a bunch if ideas, customs, and so forth. If it vanishes, no real people are harmed, though some may be dismayed.”

        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/the-world-the-settlers-made#sthash.u9eQO74U.

        Do you feel the same about Palestinian culture? If Palestinians in 50 years are all alive, but Without any customs, traditions, or traditional religion would that be OK? I wouldn’t be alright with that anymore than I would be with the disappearance of Judiasm.

      • talknic
        January 29, 2016, 9:03 am

        @ Jon66
        “If Palestinians in 50 years are all alive, but Without any customs, traditions, or traditional religion would that be OK? I wouldn’t be alright with that anymore than I would be with the disappearance of Judiasm”

        Strange, you support as state that is doing its utmost to bring about a situation you claim you wouldn’t be alright with!

      • Jon66
        January 29, 2016, 9:18 am

        Talknic,

        That is an aspect of Israel that I do not support. But I don’t see Israelis as either all good or all bad. I want to preserve the good and fix the bad. Most of the people I know, both here and there are complex creatures. Mend it, don’t end it.

      • talknic
        January 29, 2016, 11:29 am

        @ Jon66 ” I want to preserve the good and fix the bad”

        Name one good thing about occupying another people ALL THEIR LIVES while illegally acquiring their territory by war … thx … I’ll wait

        ” Mend it, don’t end it”

        How do you suggest mending 67years of illegal dispossession, occupation and territorial theft without ending the occupation?

      • RoHa
        January 29, 2016, 12:05 pm

        I thought all regular readers of MW knew that I regard culture as much less important than the well-being of people.

        Let suppose that in fifty years the Palestinians are free and equal full citizens of a state* that extends from the river to the sea. Let us further suppose that they have freely given up at least their most disgusting customs**, have freely given up Islam and Christianity and become Pure Land Buddhists, and, inexplicably in an Arabic-speaking region, taken to speaking English of a standard of which even I would approve.

        I would not find that a regrettable situation, though I would urge them to speak Arabic with the neighbours.

        (*The Socialist People’s Republic of the Holy Land)

        (**Which, if they are anything like everyone else, would mean most of their customs.)

      • Jon66
        January 29, 2016, 2:55 pm

        Talknic,

        Are we talking about Israel in general or the occupation in particular as not having one good thing?

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2016, 2:58 pm

        “taken to speaking English of a standard of which even I would approve.”

        RoHa, there even are places where English completely disappears! (Why in America we haven’t spoken it for years!)
        One common language, I’m afraid we’ll never get.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2016, 3:02 pm

        “If Palestinians in 50 years are all alive, but Without any customs, traditions, or traditional religion would that be OK? I wouldn’t be alright with that”

        Gee, maybe you could get the Israeli government to sponsor a Palestinian Culture-and-History Museum. Or how’s about a retro-Palestinian chic trend in fashions?

      • talknic
        January 29, 2016, 7:48 pm

        @ Jon66 “Are we talking about Israel in general or the occupation in particular as not having one good thing?”

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/the-world-the-settlers-made#comment-822041

      • Sibiriak
        January 29, 2016, 8:14 pm

        Jon66: Are we talking about Israel in general or the occupation in particular as not having one good thing?
        ——————–

        I assumed you were talking about Israel.

        End the Occupation. Recognize Palestine. Deal with refugees. End discrimination within Israel. Maintain Israel’s Jewish majority = Liberal Zionism.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 29, 2016, 9:01 pm

        he was evading answering this question:

        Name one good thing about occupying another people ALL THEIR LIVES while illegally acquiring their territory by war … –

        so the answer would be, take your pick jon — Name one good thing about “israel in general” occupying another people ALL THEIR LIVES while illegally acquiring their territory by war … or Name one good thing about “the occupation” occupying another people ALL THEIR LIVES while illegally acquiring their territory by war … because there’s no difference, it’s the same entity responsible for “israel in general” and/or the occupation.

        besides, i want to hear the answer. is he going to do an avi shavits on us. “the nakba was worth it, even blowing up hunders in a mosque, because otherwise my family wouldn’t be safe today”. seriously, i am curious.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 29, 2016, 9:15 pm

        even if i think about the most warm and cozy non harmful entities, like little babies. let’s try that out for size, one good thing about “israel in general” occupying another people ALL THEIR LIVES while illegally acquiring their territory by war is the little jewish babies born in israel.

        or

        one good thing about “israel in general” occupying another people ALL THEIR LIVES while illegally acquiring their territory by war is the revival of hebrew and all those new words they invented.

        dead people to revive a semi-dead language? what’s more important. really, i can’t think of anyway someone could answer that question. it’s like name one good thing about the germany in general while the nazis were ending ALL THOSE LIVES. well, they were preserving the aryan race, in their own minds i suppose. yippee – not.

        only a brainwashed person could construe something was worth “occupying another people ALL THEIR LIVES while illegally acquiring their territory by war”.

      • Kris
        January 29, 2016, 8:50 pm

        @jon66: “That is an aspect of Israel that I do not support. But I don’t see Israelis as either all good or all bad. I want to preserve the good and fix the bad. ”

        Are you talking about “Israel,” or about “Israelis”? The great majority of Jewish Israelis are ethnic/religious supremacists and racists. How can this be “fixed,” and why should the Palestinians have to continue to suffer until this happens?

        Please specify what you find “good” about Israel. I have tried to imagine what that could be, and can’t come up with anything.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 29, 2016, 8:54 pm

        If Palestinians in 50 years are all alive, but Without any customs, traditions, or traditional religion would that be OK? I wouldn’t be alright with that anymore than I would be with the disappearance of Judiasm

        jon, why are you juxtaposing judaism w/palestinians? one is a religion the other is a people. that said, you know RoHa is anti religion. but you’re ratcheting up the inflammation by doing this as if he had said ‘jews are a “bunch if ideas, customs, and so forth. If it vanishes, no real people are harmed, though some may be dismayed.” ‘

        see the difference? isn’t it weird enough as it is? i am not religious, but i get people are, i have no urge to purge the world of religion or religious customs. most religious people are good people too.

      • talknic
        January 30, 2016, 3:54 am

        @ Annie Robbins “he was evading answering this question”

        Thx. Usually it’s a sign of Ziotactics 101. Attempting waste your time and resources by showing or pretending to be completely inept

        I though maybe he wasn’t very adept at reading or maybe comprehension or maybe both.
        But then he claims to be a surgeon. Surely reading skills are involved. Like identifying a patient by name. Instructions on harvesting kidneys, cornea etc

      • echinococcus
        January 30, 2016, 4:45 am

        Talknic,

        You have a way exalted idea of surgeons. The reading and understanding is done by the RN and the sweeper. The fellow-in-training sometimes helps too, if you’re lucky.

      • Jon66
        January 30, 2016, 8:45 am

        Annie,
        Many of us define Judiasm as more than just a religion. It is a set of customs, rules, ethics- a culture even if you want to break it up into subcultures. One of the charges against Usrael is that it is trying to commit ‘cultural genocide’ by suppression of Palestinian culture. If the disappearance of Judiasm and its culture is not regrettable, I asked if that was true also of other cultures.
        As to the occupation question, I still don’t know what the question is. If it is do I think a military occupation is a good thing? Then the answer is no, but I don’t think war is a good thing either. I would like to see the occupation end. If the question is, do I define Israel only by its occupation, then the answer is no. I don’t define China only by its occupation of Tibet or Morroco by its occupation of the Sahara. I don’t think humans are so one dimensional

      • Annie Robbins
        January 30, 2016, 9:55 am

        jon, what do you mean you do not understand the question? what do you mean ‘if the question is such and such’ and replacing it with something you’d rather address. you can read.

        it’s not a question anyway, it’ a challenge:

        Name one good thing about occupying another people ALL THEIR LIVES while illegally acquiring their territory by war

        i’ll make it easy: the good thing about occupying another people ALL THEIR LIVES while illegally acquiring their territory by war is:

        examples of answers:

        1. we got a country out of it.
        2. there is no good thing about occupying another people ALL THEIR LIVES while illegally acquiring their territory by war
        3. the good thing about occupying another people ALL THEIR LIVES while illegally acquiring their territory by war is there are lots of nice jewish people there now, family and such — good people.

        etc

      • Kris
        January 30, 2016, 11:05 am

        @jon66: “do I think a military occupation is a good thing? Then the answer is no, but I don’t think war is a good thing either

        So the choices are either military occupation or war? The choices are limited to military occupation or war only if Israeli Jews are determined to keep what they have stolen and to continue to steal even more.

        What about ending the occupation, ending war against Palestinians, ending the siege on Gaza, apologizing and making reparations, as a start? Isn’t this what Judaism would call for? Or does atoning for sins, etc., apply only to sins against other Jews, not sins against non-Jews?

        As far as “Judaism” goes, since the Zionist version is nothing but a smokescreen for ethnic cleansing and other crimes, shouldn’t it vanish, just like the kind of “Christianity” practiced by the Nazis? What is worth saving about Zionist Judaism, a culture or religion that promotes crimes against humanity?

        Or do you think “Judaism” is limited to “Zionism”?

      • Jon66
        January 30, 2016, 11:31 am

        Kris,
        my preferred choice would be an end to the occupation through a negotiated settlement. Israel and Egypt agreed on withdrawal from the occupied Sinai but only after a peace agreement. I don’t think there is any good from the occupation and that’s why it should end. I do think that Israel and Israelis have made significant contributions to science and technology amongst other fields.

      • echinococcus
        January 30, 2016, 2:04 pm

        “Jon66”,

        my preferred choice would be an end to the occupation through a negotiated settlement. Israel and Egypt agreed on withdrawal from the occupied Sinai but only after a peace agreement. I don’t think there is any good from the occupation and that’s why it should end.

        Finally a Zionist after my heart! Of course I approve your exceptional, peaceful approach and the occupation must end, sure.

        So when are you signing the papers and getting out of all Palestine?

        Now that you mentioned it, I suppose the Palestinians won’t object to your taking all your science and technology with you, back to wherever you came from.

      • talknic
        January 30, 2016, 7:39 pm

        @ Jon66 “my preferred choice would be an end to the occupation through a negotiated settlement.”

        What needs be negotiated? The Palestinians only ask for their LEGAL rights (and ironically the legal right of non-Jewish Israeli citizens to right of return to Israel as its territory was proclaimed) in accordance with International Law and the UN Charter that Israel ALREADY agreed to uphold.

        Israel’s claims have no legal basis what so ever

        ” Israel and Egypt agreed on withdrawal from the occupied Sinai but only after a peace agreement.”

        Wrong. Read the actual agreement

        http://wp.me/pDB7k-ZZ

        Withdrawal by Israel from Egyptian territories was to begin BEFORE peaceful relations were assumed
        No borders were negotiated. Egypt’s borders were set when it became an independent state, BEFORE Israel was declared. Only the how of withdrawal was negotiated
        From the Peace Treaty:

        Article II Determination of Final Lines and Zones
        1. In order to provide maximum security for both Parties after the final withdrawal, the lines and the Zones delineated on Map 1 are to be established and organized as follows:
        until Israeli armed forces complete withdrawal from the current J and M Lines established by the Egyptian-Israeli Agreement of September 1975, hereinafter referred to as the 1975 Agreement, up to the interim withdrawal line, all military arrangements existing under that Agreement will remain in effect, except those military arrangements otherwise provided for in this Appendix.
        Within a period of seven days after Israeli armed forces have evacuated any area located in Zone A…..
        Within a period of seven days after Israeli armed forces have evacuated any area located in Zones A or B…
        The Parties agree to remove all discriminatory barriers to normal economic relations and to terminate economic boycotts of each other upon completion of the interim withdrawal.
        As soon as possible, and not later than six months after the completion of the interim withdrawal, the Parties will enter negotiations with a view to concluding an agreement on trade and commerce for the purpose of promoting beneficial economic relations.
        1. The Parties agree to establish normal cultural relations following completion of the interim withdrawal.
        2. They agree on the desirability of cultural exchanges in all fields, and shall, as soon as possible and not later than six months after completion of the interim withdrawal, enter into negotiations with a view to concluding a cultural agreement for this purpose.
        Upon completion of the interim withdrawal, each Party will permit the free movement of the nationals and vehicles of the other into and within its territory ….etc etc

        Again, from the Israeli Government:

        March 26, 1979
        The President,
        The White House

        Dear Mr. President,
        I am pleased to be able to confirm that the Government of Israel is agreeable to the procedure set out in your letter of March 26, 1979, in which you state:
        “I have received a letter from President Sadat that, within one month after Israel completes its withdrawal to the interim line in Sinai, as provided for in the Treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, Egypt will send a resident ambassador to Israel and will receive in Egypt a resident Israeli ambassador.”
        Sincerely,
        Menachem Begin

        “I do think that Israel and Israelis have made significant contributions to science and technology amongst other fields”

        Irrelevant to the legal status of the State of Israel and its illegal activities outside of its ONLY proclaimed and Internationally recognized borders

      • Kris
        January 30, 2016, 9:08 pm

        @jon66: “my preferred choice would be an end to the occupation through a negotiated settlement…. I do think that Israel and Israelis have made significant contributions to science and technology amongst other fields.

        A “negotiated settlement”? What is there to “negotiate”? Would you “negotiate” with someone who stole your car? No, you would expect the police to put him in jail and return your car to you. What makes Zionist Jews think that they are entitled to profit from their crimes?

        BTW, Israel’s “contributions to science and technology,” etc., are underwhelming, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_inventions_and_discoveries and certainly do not outweigh the evils that Israel has carried out from day one. The world will be a much better place when Israel has joined South Africa and the Third Reich on the dust heap of history.

      • Jon66
        January 31, 2016, 2:02 pm

        Kris,

        The analogy of people and countries is a stretch. If someone stole my car I would expect the police to arrest them and then return it. If the police would not do so, I would not break into their home and stab the child’s mother to death because she ‘supported’ the criminal or was even engaged in criminal behavior. That’s why I think the analogy of two political entities in dispute is not comparable to the theft of personal property.

      • Kris
        February 1, 2016, 2:39 pm

        Jon66, are you saying that people who commit crimes are entitled to profit from them, and that is why the theft of Palestinian lands, resources, and lives by the Israeli Jews is not a crime, just a “dispute”?

      • Jon66
        February 1, 2016, 5:37 pm

        Kris,

        Kris February 1, 2016, 2:39 pm
        Jon66, are you saying that people who commit crimes are entitled to profit from them, and that is why the theft of Palestinian lands, resources, and lives by the Israeli Jews is not a crime, just a “dispute”?

        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/the-world-the-settlers-made/#sthash.TBHkELR2.dpuf

        I am saying that trying to draw an analogy between the alleged crimes of people and the alleged crimes of a state is flawed.

  3. MaxNarr
    January 26, 2016, 6:40 pm

    I hope with this expose the readers of this website can see that settlers are essentially good people, with good intentions, and rational thinkers. In any final solution these people will not be ethnically cleansed. Any “Palestinian” state can not be Judenrein.

    • amigo
      January 26, 2016, 7:08 pm

      “I hope with this expose the readers of this website can see that settlers are essentially good people, with good intentions, and rational thinkers.”maxnurd

      You obviously meant to post on another site.That response could not in ones wildest imagination be related to the article we read.

      Are you drunk.

      • lysias
        January 26, 2016, 9:40 pm

        Narr to the max.

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2016, 12:35 am

        “Are you drunk.”

        I’m sticking with my initial observation; that it resembles the character degeneration and coarsening suffered by chronic cocaine-and-alcohol abusers.

    • a blah chick
      January 26, 2016, 7:57 pm

      “…settlers are essentially good people, with good intentions, and rational thinkers”

      Bwahahahahahahaha!

    • Danaa
      January 26, 2016, 11:06 pm

      MaxNarr; “settlers are essentially good people, with good intentions, and rational thinkers”.

      So were most of the Germans during the Nazi era. Many nazi sympathizers and their families just wanted a better world in which they and their descendants could live along with their pure bloodied compatriots. All deeds – horrific as some were – armed conquests included – were justified by a form of manifest destiny, not unlike that fervently adopted by settlers of all kinds and colonialists of all stripes from times immemorial. it’s only the shape of said manifest destiny that sets them apart, whether a Quranic tract, or Torah incantations, or a new or old testament.

      In fact, there is no deed so foul that it cannot be rationalized and justified by a belief in manifest destiny. What god promised, mere humans cannot take asunder. All it takes is faith in said god, and a faithful attribution to divine origins.

      The ‘good’ settlers, with their “good” intentions and not entirely irrational thinking would surely say they can’t possibly be compared to the French in Algier or the British in Kenya, or the Spaniard in South America, much less to some foul nazis. For one, they are not as brutal (at least so far). For another, they are, indeed, even “better’ than the original zionists, so idolized by their liberal zionist bretherns. Besides, their manifest destiny is surely superior, and better proven than the flimsy claims of others, not nearly as well supported by a book of books and dusty learned Talmudic treatises. What they don’t say, and what they wcertainly won’t tell a visitor among them, is how far they would actually be willing to go in defense of the purity of their blood lines and their stake on the land. Those darker thoughs and intentions, such as are being loudly voiced, are reserved for the insiders.

      Sometimes, the worst evils reside among the best intentioned.

    • Mooser
      January 27, 2016, 12:18 am

      “I hope with this expose the readers of this website can see that settlers are essentially good people, with good intentions, and rational thinkers. In any final solution these people will not be ethnically cleansed. Any “Palestinian” state can not be Judenrein.”

      There you go , Phil!! Your work is not in vain, and all the risks are worth it! You are helping to open people’s minds.

    • diasp0ra
      January 27, 2016, 1:42 am

      @Max

      Who on earth even brought up the idea of a “Judenrein” state other than Israeli politicians?

      Not having illegal settlers within your borders does not mean having a “Judenrein” state. But keep using German terminology to try and scare people with Nazi analogies.

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2016, 1:47 am

        You must admit, it is simply astounding what “MaxNarr” thinks the word “Jew” (and its derivatives) can do. He thinks it is a magic word. A no-limit ethno-religious credit card. Get out of Jail free, pass “go” and collect $200!

      • MaxNarr
        January 27, 2016, 2:13 am

        @disp0ra so in your view the people featured in this article would not be expelled from their home and ethnically cleansed? They could stay in their homes in a future “Palestinian” state and it would not be Judenrein? Please explain your thinking.

      • diasp0ra
        January 27, 2016, 6:33 am

        @Max

        If these people accepted to become Palestinians living in a Palestinian state, why would they be expelled?

        Palestinian is a nationality that could include anyone in theory, regardless of religion or ethnicity or race or culture.

        There is also a world of a difference between people residing legally and illegally somewhere. It’s not far fetched or irrational for colonists to be removed from a territory they occupied, that would not be considered ethnic cleansing. That would be withdrawing settlers who should not be there in the first place.

        But as I said, if they wanted to become Palestinians (in the national sense), or even dual citizens, who lived according to the law and were under the sovereignty of the Palestinian government like every other Palestinian citizen (no IDF presence, no Israeli interference in running their affairs) then I see no reason for them to be removed. However, I doubt very much that they would agree to that.

        “Judenrein” is a scare word, using German terminology to evoke Nazi comparisons. Removing illegal settlers from an occupied area is not the same as banning Jews from living in a Palestinian state. Settler, Zionist, Jew, Israeli are not all interchangeable.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        January 27, 2016, 11:08 am

        “They could stay in their homes in a future “Palestinian” state and it would not be Judenrein?”

        Firstly, they’re not ‘their’ homes. They are squats built on land stolen from the indigenous Palestinian people (no scarequotes from me). These people are criminals. And notice while you wail about the very distant possibility of a Palestinian state where your colonial settlers would not be welcome, you ignore the fact that not one single Palestinian lives in these ‘settlements’ which are to all extents and purposes Jewish-only colonies. Arabrein, if you prefer.

        In any case, perhaps in the event of the establishment of a Palestinian state – which of course these ‘settlers’ would do every single thing in their power to prevent – why shouldn’t the state get to decide who lives within its borders? Don’t most states reserve that right? Perhaps that state would be magnanimous and allow these ‘settlers’ to remain, provided they adhered to the laws of that land, which might include renouncing any other citizenship.

        But, how cute is it that you are way more exercised over what is at most a hypothetical problem, and ignore the immense suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people by your precious ‘settlers’?

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2016, 12:06 pm

        “These people are criminals.”

        Judge: “How does the defendant plead?”
        Defense: “We plead ‘Guilty, but Jewish'”
        Judge: “Oh, that’s allright then, (Bang) Case dismissed!

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        January 27, 2016, 5:25 pm

        Judge: “How does the defendant plead?”
        Defense: “We plead ‘Guilty, but Jewish’”
        Judge: “Oh, that’s allright then, (Bang) Case dismissed!

        I’ve always thought it must be nice to be Jewish. Nothing is ever your fault.

      • Shmuel
        January 27, 2016, 5:31 pm

        I’ve always thought it must be nice to be Jewish. Nothing is ever your fault

        Nothing or everything. Depends on who you ask.

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2016, 5:50 pm

        “Nothing or everything. Depends on who you ask.”

        Well, certainly not Zionism. We are not gonna take responsibility for that. Not the “fault” or blame,(that is something different ) but the responsibility for it.

      • Kris
        January 30, 2016, 10:14 am

        @MaxNarr: “@disp0ra so in your view the people featured in this article would not be expelled from their home and ethnically cleansed?

        diasp0ra is very forgiving, and says that if these Jewish thieves become Palestinians, they can stay. I don’t see why these people should be allowed to keep what they have stolen. They should be evicted ASAP, by force if necessary.

        Being removed from stolen property is not “ethnic cleansing,” it is justice.

    • talknic
      January 27, 2016, 6:23 am

      @ MaxNarr

      “I hope with this expose the readers of this website can see that settlers are essentially good people, with good intentions, and rational thinkers”

      Only a complete moron purposefully endangers their families by illegally settling in Occupied Territories

      If they were essentially good people, with good intentions, and rational thinkers, they’d f#ck off back to Israel.

      • Rashers2
        January 27, 2016, 3:54 pm

        It is extremely difficult, reading these articles and @Max’s inane, exclusivist, supremacist sh*t, not to wish they’d all f*ck off back to Lyon, Minsk, Brooklyn, Philadelphia or wherever it is they REALLY come from.

      • echinococcus
        January 27, 2016, 5:57 pm

        You’re too charitable. It’s not only the morons who do that, but also conscious criminals.
        Also, “Israel” is an area illegally invaded by aliens. Anyone with good intentions should head back to the Bronx or to Kishinev, stat.

    • Talkback
      January 27, 2016, 8:25 am

      MaxNarr: “Any “Palestinian” state can not be Judenrein.”

      Doesn’t have to be. Uri Davis for example is a Palestinian. But Israelis will still be illegal in Palestine, because it is forbidden for citizens of an occupying state to settle in occupied territories wether they are Jewish or not.

      I’m also glad that you are against making Israel or all of its Jewish communities arabrein and that you also call for the right to return for all.

    • zaid
      January 27, 2016, 10:32 am

      Help spread the word Max

      Send this article to all your friends and co workers.

      • MaxNarr
        January 27, 2016, 11:19 am

        Absolutely Zaid, I love this article. It shows the difference between Jewish settlers who are doing the right thing and will continue massively settling the entire of Palestine, and terrorist groups like Hamas which I have never seen exposed on this website.

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2016, 4:41 pm

        “Absolutely Zaid, I love this article.”

        Make sure to show it to Rebbe Jonathon and spread the nachos (extra cheesy) to the entire village.

      • talknic
        January 27, 2016, 5:00 pm

        @ MaxNarr “Jewish settlers who are doing the right thing and will continue massively settling the entire of Palestine”

        Only a moron would call territorial theft, dispossession and illegally settling in non-Israeli territory ‘doing the right thing’

        The picture you paint is very clear, keep up the good work

      • Annie Robbins
        January 27, 2016, 5:06 pm

        i’m w/zaid, spread the word max. and share your admiration. every little bit helps.

      • zaid
        January 27, 2016, 6:05 pm

        MAx

        So we agree on the Article , Great .
        Update us on the list of people you will send this article to.

      • eljay
        January 27, 2016, 10:11 pm

        || MaxNarr: … Jewish settlers who are doing the right thing and will continue massively settling the entire of Palestine … ||

        The bigger the “Thousand Year Jewish State”, the harder it will fall. And the uglier will be the blowback. Why do you hate Jews so much?! :-(

      • Talkback
        January 28, 2016, 9:39 am

        MaxNarr: “It shows the difference between Jewish settlers who are doing the right thing and will continue massively settling the entire of Palestine, …”

        Today I learned from MaxNarr that a Jew commiting violations of humanitarian law is a Jew “doing the right thing”.

    • rosross
      January 27, 2016, 8:08 pm

      The topic is delusion so your comment is apt.

      There will not be a Palestinian State because that is now impossible. There is no way that a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital and contiguous borders where the Palestinians have full and absolute control over their air, land and sea borders, can be formed.

      The only outcome now is one democratic state shared by Israeli colonists and Palestinian indigenous alike.

    • Waterbuoy
      January 28, 2016, 12:37 pm

      Not evil, simply subject to self-justifying delusions. from a lifetime of Hasbara.

  4. sawah
    January 26, 2016, 6:50 pm

    a blah chick

    .. yes, agree, memories of apartheid South Africa

  5. Kay24
    January 27, 2016, 12:34 am

    UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon harshly criticizes Israel’s illegal settlements, and even explains why the Palestinians are reacting violently.

    TYPICAL ZIONIST RESPONSE FROM NUTTY BOY – HE ACCUSES BAN KI -MOON OF ENCOURAGING TERRORISM (AND DOES NOT ADDRESS THEIR CRIME OF STEALING LANDS FOR THOSE CURSED ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS). HAVE THEY MASTERED THE ART OF DEFLECTION OR WHAT? HERE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IS A CUNNING EXAMPLE OF HOW TO TAKE ATTENTION AWAY FROM ONE’S CRIMES BY ATTACKING THE MESSENGER.

    “Progress toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians requires that Israel freeze its settlement-building in the West Bank, the U.N. secretary-general said Tuesday, calling the settlement activities “an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community.”

    Addressing the U.N. Security Council’s periodic Middle East debate, Ban Ki-moon also urged both sides to act now “to prevent the two-state solution from slipping away forever.” He condemned rocket fire from militant groups in Gaza into Israel but focused his strongest comments on Israel’s settlement-building.

    “As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation,” the U.N. chief said.

    Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war. Palestinians demand the territory as part of their future state. Last week, Israel approved the expropriation of some 370 acres (150 hectares) of land in another part of the territory.

    Most of the international community views Israeli settlements in the territory as illegal or illegitimate.

    The last four months have seen near-daily Palestinian attacks that have killed 25 Israelis and an American student. At least 149 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, about two-thirds of them identified by Israel as attackers. The rest have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops.

    Israel blames the violence on Palestinian incitement. Palestinians say the attacks stem from frustration at nearly five decades of Israeli military rule.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Ban’s comments “give a tail wind to terrorism,” and he said the U.N. “long ago lost its neutrality and its moral strength.”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/un-chief-ban-ki-moon-calls-on-israel-to-freeze-settlement-building/article28394018/

    This is a shameless display of deviousness and greed, followed by deflection and casting blame.

  6. yonah fredman
    January 27, 2016, 2:41 am

    Left wing, anti Zionist journalists, have two favorite subjects for their interviews: far right wing Jews and far left wing Jews. With the evaporation of the Israeli center, it is now much easier to find far right wing Jews, making it all so simple (simplistic).

    If the Middle East was as calm and peaceful as the American Middle West, then the dastardly nature of the existence of Israel, (meaning: Israel’s refusal to assimilate into the Middle East) would ring truer. but face it: the Arab middle east is clearly dysfunctional. Maybe the blame should be spread (Israel’s strategy of dependence on great power politics, certainly adds to the general dysfunction. And the great powers from the time of the Brits and French before WWII all the way to the time of the Americans and the Russians in the aftermath of WWII, have hardly been interested in long term progress in the vital areas of democracy, prosperity and education.) But here we are five years after the dawn of the Arab Spring and the overwhelming thrust of opinion is that the Arab world would have been better off if only there had been no spring (and no American war against Iraq) and Saddam Hussein still ruled Iraq and Basher Assad’s cruel dictatorship had never been challenged. Maybe most of the world is still mired in the economic, educational and political backwardness that possessed the world in 1914, but certainly the Arab world has taken few steps to indicate that it has benefited from a century of nonTurkish rule. The Arab countries are one hell of a mess and to tout assimilation into the Middle East as a cure for the future of the Jews and Arabs of Palestine-Israel is just nonsense at this point of time.

    It is this dynamic, a sea of turmoil, that is the key factor that determines the relationship of Israel to the West Bank. It would certainly be better if there had never been a settler movement, if it had remained the small movement that it was back in 1972 when I first visited israel. The justification for not handing the west bank to the PLO or to the general chaos of the region or to whoever emerges victorious in Iraq and Syria would be far simpler if there had been no settler aspect to the military occupation that followed the 67 war. If there were fewer than ten thousand settlers (as there were in 1972), then the Zionist movement could justify their presence in the West Bank as a military necessity, but the settler movement takes a justifiable military occupation and turns it into an impossible to justify settler occupation.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      January 27, 2016, 11:11 am

      “t face it: the Arab middle east is clearly dysfunctional.”

      A suggestion, Yonah: If you and your fellow Israelis don’t find the neighbourhood to your liking, why don’t you up and leave? It’s not like you were ever invited in the first place. Many/most of you have other passports anyway. I can assure you that not one person in the region will shed a single tear for you when you go. In fact, they’d throw a party to celebrate. So would I.

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2016, 11:29 am

        “A suggestion, Yonah: If you and your fellow Israelis…”

        Ah, no, MDM. “Yonah does not live in Israel He makes his picante sauce in New York City! (I will forego the traditional response, “Get a rope!”)

        He couldn’t make it in Jerusalem. Made it ‘too hot to hold him’, is what he told us.

      • YoniFalic
        January 27, 2016, 12:04 pm

        When Yossi ben Naim receives Spanish citizenship, I hope he makes use of it to find a new home in Spain.

        English version of story: http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/.premium-1.699055

        Hebrew version of story: http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/education/1.2827852

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        January 27, 2016, 12:33 pm

        Oh yes, I forgot that this ”passionate Zionist” lives alongside so many other ”passionate Zionists” in New York City.

        Can’t be all that passionate.

    • Talkback
      January 28, 2016, 9:42 am

      yonah fredman: “It would certainly be better if there had never been a settler movement, if it had remained the small movement that it was back in 1972 …”

      Make it 1882, Yonah.

  7. yonah fredman
    January 27, 2016, 2:58 am

    Avi’s assessment of the labor Zionist dominance of Israeli politics (or Palestinian pre 1948 politics is ignorant:

    The Ashkenazi socialist founders of the society threw their tefillin (prayer wrappings) off the boat when they sighted the new country in the 1930s. They were done with rabbinic Judaism. They founded the parties that later made up Labour. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/the-world-the-settlers-made#comment-160684.

    Throwing tefilin into the harbor near Ellis Island, maybe. Throwing tefilin off the boat when they got to Israel, well, first off, most Jews who came to Israel came by land routes, and the socialists stopped putting on tefilin when they were back in Plonsk and their rebellion against the rabbis certainly preceded their emigration to Palestine. And the leaders arrived between 1905 and 1914 and not in the 1930’s. the massive migration to Israel between 1920 and 1939 when the Jewish population increased from 85,000 to 400,000 was not socialist in nature it was primarily bourgeois escaping antisemitic Poland and Germany. The Socialist founders tried to pick and choose only those Jews who would fit into their preconception of a rural agrarian society, but in fact the vast numbers were artisans and middle class city dwellers. (who would have gone to America if America had not imposed strict rules limiting immigration from nonNordic Europe. )

  8. Fritz
    January 27, 2016, 6:00 am

    “good rational people”? What sort of people engage with airbnb? People have less money but are open minded to other people, that means “good”, humble people. That means also neither Avigdor Lieberman nor other big settlers will be part of airbnb. So it may be that Phil was trapped by the selection of people by the airbnb system?

  9. Denis
    January 27, 2016, 6:43 am

    The lady from Efrat says of the Palestinians: “They missed their chance.” They didn’t miss it; they sold it – at least those in the WB did.

    Phil says it over and over, he shows more than one photo of Palestinian workers to drive home the point: It’s the Palestinians who are building those settlements. And they have been for 50 years. This is not slave labor; it’s paid. IOW, here’s a shekel, go slit your throat and the throats of your children. And they do.

    The Palestinians built those settlements for a price, what right have they to complain now about settlements? If they claim the land is theirs, then why would they build houses for Jews on it?

    I know, I know. The Palestinians are poor. They need the money. That’s the ole’ prostitutes’ rationalization. Give me a shekel and I’ll do whatever you want – maybe after a while my life will improve and I can move on to banking or politics. Americans often try to analogize from Palestinians to AmerIndians. Yeah, I don’t think so. How many AmerIndians debased themselves to the point of building towns for the white pricks who were running them off the land?

    The Palestinians missed their chance alright, when they began abetting the theft of their own land. Sometimes the victim really is the architect of his own misery. As long as the Palestinians voluntarily participate in the Judiazation of the WB, I have a hard time finding sympathy for them. Instead of stabbing a bunch of iJews and getting blown away themselves, why don’t the Palestinians just quit building the Jews’ houses and laying their infrastructure?

    Gaza . . . now that’s a different matter altogether.

    • Sibiriak
      January 27, 2016, 7:04 am

      Denis: The Palestinians missed their chance alright, when they began abetting the theft of their own land.
      ———————————-

      You’re saying that land wouldn’t have been stolen if a few Palestinians hadn’t “abetted” the theft? The settlements wouldn’t have been built if there had been no Palestinians to help build them? The Palestinians would have their state and be living in freedom now?

      You’re saying the Palestinian people as a whole voluntarily waived their rights to national self-determination and freedom from oppression because a small number of Palestinians chose, or felt compelled by circumstances, to work for their oppressors (as typically occurs in colonialism)?

      Extremely dubious propositions, in my view.

      • Kay24
        January 27, 2016, 8:10 am

        But then stealing land from the victims, and then blaming them for their plight, is nothing new in the world of zionists. They have far too many dubious propositions, in my view.

        It seems the hasbarats are running short of excuses.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 27, 2016, 8:45 am

        sibirak, he’s saying worse than that, he’s saying palestinians are the “architect” of their “own misery”. this is akin to saying jews are the architects of the holocaust, something that is forbidden here. i don’t know how this comment passed moderation.

    • just
      January 27, 2016, 8:18 am

      What an awful comment, “Denis”.

    • diasp0ra
      January 27, 2016, 8:59 am

      @Denis

      What a terribly ignorant and insulting comment to make.

      You have no idea what you’re talking about, and it’s clear you have no idea how colonialism works either.

    • zaid
      January 27, 2016, 10:53 am

      “I have a hard time finding sympathy for them.”

      Then what are you doing in this website! Go find another cause.Go join Peta.

    • bryan
      January 27, 2016, 12:40 pm

      Crazy argument – many Palestinians were compelled (by lack of other opportunities) or choose (in order to survive) to work in the settlements (either in construction or other menial tasks). Therefore no one can complain about the Zionist settlement project adversely affecting Palestinians.

      Equally, millions of impoverished workers in America, Europe and every other continent, are compelled or choose to work for corporations, earning often little more than poverty wages, in order to allow the plutocrats to amass their wealth. Therefore noone can complain about the inequality and injustice which is intrinsic to capitalist systems. No, of course we can – we live in a system where the dice are stacked against us, and where we will use every resource to obtain justice – as will the Palestinians. And one day the capitalists (especially the corporate lawyers, the investment bankers, the casino owners, the property speculators, the venture capitalists and other vultures – so often, coincidentally, supporters of Zionism) will experience the grapes of wrath, and be trampled underfoot.

      • MHughes976
        January 27, 2016, 1:40 pm

        I think that Denis is producing something comparable to the remarks of Hilberg and Arendt about the destruction of European Jewry, which caused great anger (though they did not agree with each other in many respects) by saying that the victims, through their efforts to make the best of the reality they faced, bore some of the blame. I don’t think that Denis is a Nakba justifier. We have heard similar sentiments from Theo.
        I’ve never found Hilberg-Arendt that persuasive. Arendt, very much influenced by Plato, should have paid more regard to Plato’s picture of tyranny in full flood. Outsider calls for victims to face reality less and resist it more can be somewhat imperceptive.

      • MHughes976
        January 27, 2016, 2:07 pm

        There is a long article in Norman Finkelstrein’s blog by Nathaniel Popper ‘In Memory of a Mensch’ about Hilberg, his relationship (quite negative; they never met) with Arendt, and alleged Jewish responsibilities. 2010, July I think.

      • Shmuel
        January 27, 2016, 3:42 pm

        I think the Hilberg-Arendt analogy is apt, although Arendt’s criticism was aimed at the leaders and Judenräte, rather than ordinary Jews, arguing that although passive resistance was not without cost, it was a viable strategy (in terms of overall lives saved) and the leaders would/could have known that.

        Colonialism has mechanisms of its own (some shared with the Nazi process of dehumanisation of “inferior races”) that serve to exploit native labour, create dependence on the colonisers, reduce resistance and generally “colonise the mind”.

    • Mooser
      January 27, 2016, 4:46 pm

      “The Palestinians missed their chance alright…”

      “Denis”, if you are suggesting that the only possible course for the Palestinians was to eliminate any Zionist invader, (and gee, they would need to do something else to the Jews already there to avoid Zionist infiltration, so bye-bye, and sorry) as soon as they stepped foot in Palestine, well, I can understand why you feel that way, but I don’t think it’ll get past the Mods.
      Is there any other another possible interpretation for your comment, “Denis”?

      • echinococcus
        January 27, 2016, 6:13 pm

        Thank you for the suggestion that Zionist invaders should have been eliminated on arrival, Mooser. Very true, but traditional Palestinian hospitality delayed the reaction by many years. Then, when they woke up, there was the not insubstantial fact of the Ottoman Empire. Then that of the British mandate. Then there was the genocide and they were playing the victims. Then… it’s never the right time, somehow.

    • Rashers2
      January 27, 2016, 11:05 pm

      What a condescending I-mention-not you are, @Denis! In a colonial situation or an occupation, the occupied population has Hobson’s choice whether or not to work for the occupier: I’m a Palestinian in the OWB; for reasons directly connected to the occupation, my family lands (if they have not been stolen from me) no longer provide me with adequate means of subsistence; my only alternative sources of employment are with construction companies building homes for settlers or in factories built by the occupiers. Do I allow myself and my family to starve or do I accept the means of survival open to me? Gee, that’s a really hard decision; let me think about it and get back to you……
      You reveal much about yourself by pulling out the prostitution analogy: of course, most prostitutes (those not physically enslaved) have a choice. That choice, however, is also sometimes between prostitution and destitution. Living on a hilltop doesn’t gift you the moral high ground.

  10. Ramzi Jaber
    January 27, 2016, 11:21 am

    Phil, thank you very much for the two posts about your experience in the ILLEGAL settlements built by the colonial zionists in Palestine. You lived and saw what we have been living and experiencing each and every day since the zionists started to steal Palestine over 100 years ago.

    Many Palestinian grandparents including mine told us endless stories of how criminal zionists kicked us out of our homes. How they threatened to kill us just like they did in Deir Yassin. I lived it myself in the 1967 war of aggression by zionists against Palestinians where they would drop flyers from planes and drive around in cars with loudspeakers telling us to leave now for our safety.

    About 500 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed in 1948. ILLEGAL CITIES were built on their ruins. Please read these…

    Omrim Yeshna Eretz – Once upon a Land, A Tour Guide
    http://www.zochrot.org/en/book/54011

    Erased from Space and Consciousness: Israel and the Depopulated Palestinian Villages of 1948
    http://www.zochrot.org/en/book/54566

    Nakba
    http://www.zochrot.org/en/contentAccordion/nakba

  11. Ramzi Jaber
    January 27, 2016, 11:45 am

    Oh Phil, you made me cry my friend…………….

    Please listen to this song by Ahmad Kaabour, Erhal (“leave”). I provided English translation below.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfrOwQaq4qU

    I remind us all that zionists want us Palestinians all out of Palestine but we are not going anywhere.
    . Palestine – it never was a land with no people!
    . Palestine – standing tall (in pain), proud (always), and free (soon)!

    ===========================

    Erhal (Leave) by Ahmad Kaabour

    Leave
    They told me
    Soldiers who came from afar.

    They entered my house
    Killed my child
    Raped my wife
    And told me to leave.

    They dug in my face a cave
    They stepped on my body
    They planted in my heart a bullet
    They set up for me a tent.

    I said I will remain a giant
    A wound hugging my grave
    And I knocked the door of my nation
    But my nation was sleeping
    And I stayed all alone
    While my nation were dreaming
    And told me to leave.

    This is my country
    And know that the young
    From the nation of dreams
    Owns the final saying.

    From the prisons of night
    The morning will be disarmed
    And a storm will emerge.

  12. Ossinev
    January 27, 2016, 12:27 pm

    @Annie
    “this is akin to saying jews are the architects of the holocaust, something that is forbidden here”

    I thought it was the Grand Mufti ?

  13. brent
    January 27, 2016, 9:36 pm

    Bigotry cannot long stand against campaigns for EQUALITY.

    That rallied the world against South African policies, brought marriage rights to gays, etc.

    The most direct route to two states is a campaign for equality in one state.

  14. Waterbuoy
    January 28, 2016, 12:41 pm

    Thank you for these articles!
    A true and unvarnished look at the mindset(s) among some of the settlers.
    It certainly looks like some of them need to go independently and live with /meet Palestinians living under occupation as have Levy, Hass, and several of my acquaintences. That won’t happen as they live in fear.
    I was reminded of this excellent article from last year.
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/too-late-for-effective-jewish-terror-crackdown-ex-security-chief-says/

  15. Boomer
    January 28, 2016, 5:33 pm

    I’ve always said that I don’t know whether a “one state solution” or a “two state solution” would be “better” (whatever that means). Likewise I’ve always said that my opinion about that is irrelevant, since I don’t have a vote there. As an American, my concern is with American policy, which has been to enable the oppression and dispossession of the Palestinians.

    That said, one practical advantage of a two-state approach for an American who wants to see America follow a more just and humane policy, was that it at least would be fairly clear cut, and could be enforced (in theory), with the threat of UN sanctions (if the U.S. were to support that threat). The resulting “state” might be lacking in some respects, but it would be more than the status quo under Israel’s occupation.

    When i read reports like these from Phil, it is less clear to me how the world can get Israel to give Palestinians equal rights in a single state. There is, of course, the example of South Africa. Perhaps what was possible there will be possible in Israel. But I expect that Israel will find endless ways to obstruct and defeat that. I expect the U.S. will continue to extend its financial, military, and diplomatic support to Israel while that obstruction continues. I see little hope for improvements for Palestinians, or for Americans who seek a just and humane policy with regard to the region.

  16. Waterbuoy
    January 28, 2016, 11:38 pm

    Deluded as most of them are, the colonizers you’ve been visiting with seem somewhat generally better-intentioned that the Gush Emunim settlers of Hebron discussed in this interview about the new film “The Settlers”.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2016/1/28/the_settlers_new_film_reveals_history?utm_source=Democracy+Now!&utm_campaign=1f4296aea8-Daily_Digest&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fa2346a853-1f4296aea8-191649801

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