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Palestinians agree: somebody has to mow the grass in Gaza

on 20 Comments

mowing the lawn

Israelis call their periodic attacks on Gaza “mowing the grass.”

To Palestinians, the phrase has a more traditional meaning. (Photo taken on the Gaza side of the Rafah terminal, Dec. 2012).

Henry Norr
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20 Responses

  1. just
    December 27, 2013, 9:52 am

    Such a cruel and dehumanizing phrase.

    Pretty much sums up the dark place Israel has morphed into, and seems hell- bent on pursuing.

  2. seafoid
    December 27, 2013, 10:10 am

    There is also “the neighbor procedure” where the Israeli army takes an innocent civilian for use as a human shield . And they moan about the cynicism of the Cossacks back in old Russia .

  3. ritzl
    December 27, 2013, 11:01 am

    marc b. posted this comment a few days ago. It was about “surperfluous young men” the “grass” that Israel believes it must mow), and Martin Kramer.

    Apparently this is a science-ism/rationalization away from the intractable moral issue of the inevitable consequences of occupation and deprivation. Any occupation. Any insurgency, imho.

    Whether Heinsohn was the originator or just the packager it’s not clear. What is clear is the gravitation of modern/Israeli war-thought toward manageability rather than solution, and especially away from not doing it in the first place.

    It strikes me as a “we’re smarter than everyone else that has come before us in dealing with insurgency” kind of conceit (all anti-insurgency wars fail, short of the annihilation of the insurgents). Doomed to repeat past failure.

    Great comment, marc b.

    PS. Which raises another sinister aspect in the “economic peace” strategy. Maybe this is obvious to everyone else, but it seems that Israel wants to let Palestinians have just enough quality of life so that they become very reluctant to throw it away in favor of open hostility.

  4. MLE
    December 27, 2013, 11:32 am

    “Oh my god they have grass in gaza. It must not be so bad after all” says the hasbraist

    • Walid
      December 27, 2013, 12:04 pm

      Why do people complain about life in Gaza, 3 years ago a mega mall with 10 shops opened in Gaza; and owned and operated by Hamas on top of it:

    • Sumud
      December 27, 2013, 12:05 pm

      See! Israeli Innovation has made the deserts bloom even in desolate Gaza:
      1. bomb the sewage plant
      2. prevent repairs via blockade
      3. limit electricity to further reduce effectiveness of what is left of the working plant
      4. wait for heavy rain

      Et voila! Green grass.

      • MLE
        December 27, 2013, 12:24 pm

        Look how generous Israel is. They are providing the gazans with fresh fertilizer.

  5. seafoid
    December 27, 2013, 11:36 am

    They say Gaza is not occupied. Israel controls it. They say it is not apartheid. The Palestinians have no rights but they say rights are granted by states. The Palestinians are stateless. They say this is their fault.

  6. just
    December 27, 2013, 12:39 pm

    This is beyond belief and the “pale”:

    “Dozens of Israeli soldiers respectfully rose from their seats as the Israeli national anthem began playing. The tinny recording of “Hatikva,” an ode to the Jewish yearning for the Land of Israel, wrapped up a ceremony, held in Hebrew, during which speakers thanked the troops and handed out awards.

    It looked like a typical motivational gathering for soldiers of the Jewish state — except that nearly all those in uniform weren’t Jews and Hebrew wasn’t their first language. They were Christian Arabs, a minority that has historically viewed itself as part of the Palestinian people and considered service in the army as taboo.

    The gathering — a pre-Christmas nod to Christian soldiers, who nibbled on cookies and chocolate Santas — was part of a new push by Israel’s government and a Greek Orthodox priest to persuade more Christians to enlist.

    The campaign has set off an emotional debate about identity among Christians, a tiny minority within Israel’s predominantly Muslim Arab minority. So far the numbers of Christian Arabs enlisting is negligible, but with the community’s fate possibly at stake, tempers have flared and each side has accused the other of using scare tactics and incitement.

    Father Gabriel Nadaf, the priest promoting enlistment, said Christians must serve in the army if they want to integrate into Israeli society and win access to jobs. “I believe in the shared fate of the Christian minority and the Jewish state,” he told the conference, held at a local hotel.

    His spokesman warned that unlike Israel, the rest of the Middle East is a dangerous place for Christians. “They are burning churches, they are slaughtering them (Christians), they are raping the girls,” said the aide, Shadi Khalloul, referring to the targeting of Christian communities in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere by Islamic militants.

    Arab Christians opposed to army service — the large majority in the community, according to its spokesmen — say the real goal is to divide and weaken Israel’s 1.7 million Arabs, made up of Muslims, Christians and Druze, who follow a secretive offshoot of Islam.”

    You can read the whole thing there.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      December 27, 2013, 2:10 pm

      I’m not surprised that these people would demean themselves in this way.

    • ToivoS
      December 27, 2013, 2:20 pm

      Given that the Christian communities in Iraq, Syria and Egypt are under brutal assault these days by islamists I find it hard to criticize those priests who are encouraging young Christians to find a protector from somewhere.

      The US certainly has not shown much interest in the fate of these Christian communities. It is US ally Saudi Arabia that is backing the Salafi militias that are carrying out these pogroms. Since the US invaded Iraq the number of Christians in Iraq has been reduced by half.

      It has been one big mystery to me as to why the Christian churches in the West have shown so little sympathy for their theological compatriots in the ME. They have been almost entirely silent about Israeli suppression of Christians in Palestine and I have heard nothing from them about the Saudi backed pogroms that have emerged in the last decade.

      • Walid
        December 27, 2013, 2:48 pm

        “The US certainly has not shown much interest in the fate of these Christian communities. ”

        No so, Toivo, at just about the time Mubarak fell and the sky was falling all over the Copts, the US opened its doors wide open to whole families that were accepted immediately for immigration to the US. Those that wanted out of Egypt jumped on the occasion but for most Egyptian Christians, they wanted to stay in their country and take their chances there.

        In France during Sarkosy’s final days in office about a year or so ago, he offered the Lebanese Maronite Patriarch to bring all of Lebanon’s Christians to France and in his words “as we did with the Christians of Iraq”. The Patriarch turned down the offer and told Sarkosy that he was on a mission to bring the Christians back to the Middle East. This got the Patriarch in deep trouble with the pro-US faction in Lebanon and relations with the Patriarch remain strained because of his refusal. This was the second time the West tried to empty Lebanon of its Christians; the first time was in the late 70s with Kissinger that had actually sent ships to Lebanon to pick up the Christians but they refused to leave.

        Syrian Christian refugees are accepted by the hundreds for temporary 2-year immigration to Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, renewable in case the war continued in Syria and it’s a foregone conclusion that once in these countries, their stay would become permanent. They have the same standing offer from Australia.

        There’s more, but you get the general idea that for whatever reason, the West appears to be very interested in taking the Christians out of the Middle East. The Americans with the help of another Arab country did a heck of a good job emptying Iraq of most of its Christians.

      • ToivoS
        December 27, 2013, 10:21 pm

        Walid, I stand corrected. I have been quite aware that those Christians have been granted admission into Western nations. I first became aware of the plight of the Iraqi Christians after meeting a few immigrants from the US invasion of Iraq. I should have specified the mystery was why the US has not shown any interest in preserving those Christian communities.

        They have an amazing history. Those Christians have lived in Iraq, Syria and Egypt longer than Christians in the Western parts of the Roman empire. Yet all the West offers is sanctuary in France and the US. If that is their fate then it means the extinction of communities that have lived in the ME for 2000 years.

        I remain perplexed. Why have not Western Christian churches given them more support?

  7. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    December 27, 2013, 12:49 pm

    Slightly off-topic, but not much: the Israelis have once again cut off fuel shipments into Gaza, forcing a shut-down of the power plant and reduction of electrical service from the 12 hours per day they’ve had for the last couple of weeks (thanks to a shipment of fuel oil from Qatar) back down to six hours a day.

    • just
      December 27, 2013, 12:57 pm

      All against International Law re: Occupation.

      And yet nobody is holding Israel to account for any of their cruelty. Certainly not the US.

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