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Hunting for missing justice

Israel/Palestine
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Israeli soldiers patrolling Hebron during its operation to find three missing Israelis. (Photo: Israel Defense Forces/Flickr)

Israeli soldiers patrolling Hebron during its operation to find three missing Israelis. (Photo: Israel Defense Forces/Flickr)

This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

Here we go again. Israel has launched – yet another – full-scale invasion of the West Bank. This in response to the kidnapping of three Israelis. Or is this a cover for – yet another – collective punishment because the Palestinians declared – yet again – a Palestinian state?

Allison Deger is on the scene covering this amazing story. It seems that Palestine is that unique type of state that keeps declaring itself, is continually invaded with impunity and where the state’s government is expected to and even volunteers to cooperate with the invaders.

Still, folks like Larry Derfner, in an interesting appeal to liberal Zionists,  and after detailing why everything else has failed, thinks that BDS has a chance of succeeding. It’s a last ditch effort to be sure and Defner thinks that at most there is 10 years left to try it. But what the heck, the Jewish state is worth saving. Just do it!

Here’s Derfner:

Not even Ben-Gurion would be able to rally the political support necessary to displace masses of settlers as long as there is no price to be paid for the occupation. So how much longer can liberal Zionists sit and watch the status quo remain static? If instead of trying to persuade Israel to change, two-state supporters started holding it responsible for refusing to change, it could have a jarring psychological impact on the country and its leaders.

The question answered is simply put: Not even up-in-arms BDS-active liberal Zionists can save the day for a – real – two-state solution.

The truth of the matter is that as the divestment debate is upon us, what’s left of Palestine is doubly occupied – by the Palestinian Authority and Israeli soldiers.

I am beginning to wonder whether the Palestinian Authority wants the responsibility of governing an intact, contiguous, real, Palestinian state. If that was in the cards, the political skill needed would be unparalleled. Do the Palestinian Authority and Hamas prefer the Israeli occupation with American brokering some kind of autonomy as their solution to the mirage of difficulties that would accompany Palestinian freedom?

Here’s Abbas yesterday on the subject of cooperation with Israel:

It’s in our interest that there is security coordination between us and Israel in order to protect ourselves, to protect our people,” he said. “We do not want to go back to the anarchy or destruction that happened in the second intifada

Abbas’s statement seems to confirm what Abdullah Al-Majali points out about the culpability of the Palestinian Authority:

When it comes to Zionists, all forms of logic are disregarded and the world is turned upside down: right becomes wrong and wrong becomes right; justice becomes injustice and injustice becomes justice; the victim is seen as the oppressor and the oppressor is seen as the victim; the kidnapped becomes the kidnapper while the kidnapper becomes the kidnapped.

In every stage of history, there is a force that determines moral standards and adjusts them according to its own moral compass. Today, though, we see Palestinian officials sharing our blood assuming a moral code closer to the Zionists’ standards rather than the truth and justice believed in by their own people.

Everything is upside down and we have to put it right side up again. The situation as it is makes turning things right side almost impossible.

The young Jewish – settlers – with an imperialist take on Judaism and Jewishness – have been kidnapped. They’re missing in the Zionist/Israeli/Jewish universe. But when the search assaults an entire nation, we have to turn our attention elsewhere.

To justice.

Marc H. Ellis
About Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is Professor of History and Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of the Global Prophetic. His latest book is Finding Our Voice: Embodying the Prophetic and Other Misadventures.

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9 Responses

  1. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius
    June 19, 2014, 6:21 pm

    ”The young Jewish – settlers – with an imperialist take on Judaism and Jewishness – have been kidnapped. ”

    Have they? Can you share the evidence which has led you to this conclusion, at the exclusion of all other possibilities?

    • Walid
      Walid
      June 19, 2014, 9:00 pm

      It’s shoot first, ask questions later. Now they are still on part 1; don’t confuse or distract them with questions.

  2. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    June 19, 2014, 6:30 pm

    A zionist can’t be liberal, only be liberated and set free…

    Well, as long as landlocked Switzerland can have its Mediterranean Shipping Company, I can have hope and dreams.

    • piotr
      piotr
      June 19, 2014, 9:48 pm

      Liberal Zionists do exists as a despised minority. Ynetnews.com is a decent news source, and much to the dismay of the readers, quite regularly allows them to publish their opinion. The cake is in the talkbacks. Consider this: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4531425,00.html
      More moderate replies:

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

      I think you are in dreamland. from the Pal side will only come more terror when you blame Israel !

      Yariv lives in a fantasy land

      what a load of nonsense. never read so much garbage in my life. you are gallut jew

      But other comments are less tolerant

      Investigate Pieces Now for treason.

      Arrest Oppenheimer for treason

      Oppenheimer gets good money from leftists U.S.people as well as from European and American NGO’s.I really doubt he’s worth it.
      Rod , Fargo N.Dakota [a person from USA would not harp about NGOs, it is Israeli peculiarity, so I view it as native Israeli voice]

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

      However, the government plays a difficult game. It is quite easy to rise the public emotions in Israel, and then proceed with a stream of resolute actions, stern speeches, photos of arrested Hamasniks, confiscated weapons (although I have seen two pics, one with some weapons, another with normal shaving raisors), enthusiastic soldiers, tied soldiers, but in the past, it only created an urge for more. For all the hue and cry, very few “Pals” are getting killed, some measures border with comical (changing conditions of prisoners? replacing unpalatable gruel with even more unpalatable gruel? this is the wrath of the State?), there will be a chorus condemning the government for “coddling”, not doing enough etc. Moreover, at some point there would have to be a de-escalation, a string of defiant messages from Hamas that once again they survived, recriminations and so on. This is how Kadima and Labor lost elections after Cast Lead.

      If the boys will be found, in spite of all effort to confiscate flags, raisors, interrupt traffic here (for very long time) and there (interminently) and arresting totally irrelevant people, it will turn well for the ruling coalition. But the odds are even at best.

  3. Walid
    Walid
    June 19, 2014, 8:56 pm

    “It’s in our interest that there is security coordination between us and Israel in order to protect ourselves, to protect our people,” he said. “We do not want to go back to the anarchy or destruction that happened in the second intifada” (President Abbas)

    You’d think there’s a joint effort underway to clean house before the coming Palestinian elections. Was the recently signed agreement a sham?

  4. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    June 19, 2014, 9:04 pm

    @ M&M MDM,

    Q: Can you share the evidence which has led you to this conclusion, at the exclusion of all other possibilities?

    R: I would like to invoke article 19 of the Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 1
    Charter of the International Military Tribunal
    : The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence.

    If they can live with it, so can I…

  5. just
    just
    June 20, 2014, 7:30 am

    Something strange in Haaretz:

    “NEW YORK – It’s not easy to find accurate data about the number of Israelis living in the United States. The Israeli government and the Jewish Agency are in no hurry to give out such information, which might be due to the simple fact that no one has precise numbers. Be that as it may, the numbers being bandied about these days range from 200,000 to 1 million.
    ……..
    Readers who have reached this point may be confused, and with good reason. The major issue is: Who is an Israeli? Are we talking about someone who was born in Israel and lived most of his life there until he decided to emigrate? Should American-born children of Israelis be counted? What about grandchildren? Under Israeli law, such individuals are considered Israelis even if they have never set foot in Israel. Should someone who immigrated to Israel from Russia, lived there a few years, holds an Israeli passport, and now lives in the United States be considered an Israeli?

    Some claim that many of the Israelis residing in the United States are there illegally. Others base their calculations on “data” they received from Israeli government ministries. In some cases, the starting point for the calculation is the U.S. census.

    In any event, it should be noted, say those in-the-know, that Israelis don’t like to be counted and the official surveys anyway don’t include “illegals.” Nor is it certain that everyone who registers at an Israeli consulate is an emigrant: Some come for a few years, receive consular services and become part of the statistics.

    The upshot of all this? We may never know exactly how many Israelis there are in America.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/.premium-1.599966

    Does INS know? The State Dept? DHS? IRS? Bueller?

    Does Barbara Boxer?

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      June 20, 2014, 8:38 am

      “The upshot of all this? We may never know exactly how many Israelis there are in America.”

      Great. As if their proxies in AIPAC weren’t bad enough, they’re establishing forward troop deployments!

  6. just
    just
    June 20, 2014, 10:49 am

    “JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s public prosecution on Friday transferred seven Palestinian prisoners released in a 2011 swap deal to Haifa’s central court for re-sentencing, a prisoners group said.

    The detention and retrial of the prisoners, however, is a breach of the deal possibly related to the ongoing Israeli search operation across the West Bank, and could potentially have wide-reaching consequences for other freed prisoners.”

    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=706341

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