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Change the narrative from ‘cycle of violence’ to occupation, JVP says

Israel/Palestine
on 42 Comments

 

Posted to an Israeli Facebook page

“To hate Arabs isn’t racism, it’s having values. #IsraelDemandsRevenge.” Posted to an Israeli Facebook page in the last 24 hours.

The letter below was sent out by Rebecca Vilkomerson, head of Jewish Voice for Peace today, along with the photo above, and a link to a letter to be sent to newspapers.

16 year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair was found dead in East Jerusalem, the victim of what appears to be a price tag attack following the killing of three Israeli teenagers on the West Bank. He was the 10th Palestinian killed by the IDF or right-wing extremists in the last two weeks.

We mourn his death as we do all lost lives. And we also know we must speak the truth, so that we may change the conditions that make such unthinkable violence possible in the first place.

The ongoing Israeli occupation is at the heart of this crisis.

In addition to these deaths, across the West Bank the army has sealed off entire towns, arrested more than 400 people, and raided over 100 homes. Gazans have been subjected to more than 34 bombing raids in the same period.

These are not isolated or even rare instances of human rights violations, but the intensification of the daily enforcement of the Israeli occupation. Palestinians are subjected to home demolitions, checkpoints, arrests, and indefinite detention not randomly and occasionally, but daily and systematically.

The shedding of just one child’s blood is too much and cause for deep mourning. While we mourn the 3 Israeli teenagers who were killed in the West Bank, we also mourn families of the 1,384 Palestinian children killed by the Israeli military since 2000, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. That’s 1 Palestinian child killed by the Israeli military every 3 to 4 days.

The Israeli government is endangering lives and both fomenting and feeding off an atmosphere of vengeance and racism.

The Israeli government has continued to show little regard for either Israeli or Palestinian life. The pronouncements of Cabinet ministers, IDF officials, and the Prime Minister Netanyahu make it clear that revenge, not justice, is the main agenda. Emerging reports suggest that the government knew the fate of the teens long before that information was released, but withheld that information – indicating that the government’s primary aim has been to exploit the kidnapping to attack the infrastructure of Palestinian society.

Meanwhile, hundreds rioted in the streets of Jerusalem, chanting “death to the Arabs” and “we want war” while attacking Palestinians on the street, or in shops. Settlers burned down a Palestinian sheep farm in a price tag attack.

All lives are precious.

We refuse to mourn only the deaths of Palestinians, or only the deaths of Israelis. But that does not mean we can ignore the enormous power difference between Israelis and Palestinians, or pretend it is just a “cycle of violence” with no root cause or context. Each of these horrific incidents that harms both peoples happen in the context of an ongoing occupation, itself inherently a system of daily violence. And it is a system that by its very nature puts the lives, dignity, and human rights of all in jeopardy.

It is our responsibility to speak the truth.

The media in both Israel and the United States have thus far failed to offer critical reporting that can help readers understand the content of occupation or the degree of violence inflicted by the Israeli government’s escalation. But we can change that narrative – and we have to, if we want to end the occupation and injustice.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

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

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42 Responses

  1. just
    just
    July 2, 2014, 2:31 pm

    Thank you Rebecca Vilkomerson and JVP.

    (I wonder if the girls’ parents, friends, teachers, etc. endorse their post– will they have a conversation?)

  2. Cliff
    Cliff
    July 2, 2014, 2:52 pm

    Those girls = Nazi youth.

  3. rationalist
    rationalist
    July 2, 2014, 3:39 pm

    Supporters of Israel will never recognize that they are occupying anything. To them, the Palestinians are occupying Israel, which will always belong to the Jewish people despite having been overwhelmingly inhabited by Arab Palestinians for 1400 years until modern the creation of Israel.

    Even to just admit that Israel occupies the West Bank and Gaza is tantamount to admitting that the entire enterprise is the conquest of someone else’s land. If Israelis don’t have a right to the West Bank or Gaza, why do they have a right to any of the land that was taken by force?

  4. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    July 2, 2014, 3:49 pm

    2014: “To hate Arabs isn’t racism, it’s having values. #IsraelDemandsRevenge.”

    1936: “To hate Jews isn’t racism, it’s having values. #TheReichDemands Revenge.

    Scratch a Zionist, uncover a fascist.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      July 2, 2014, 6:11 pm

      2014: “To hate Arabs isn’t racism, it’s having values. #IsraelDemandsRevenge.”

      Waiting for MY1 to tell us how proud he is of these girls.

  5. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    July 2, 2014, 4:10 pm

    The girls reminds me of bigotted nazis in the 30s.

  6. Kay24
    Kay24
    July 2, 2014, 4:27 pm

    The calls for the death of Arabs, seeking Arabs to attack them, and the obvious hatred on websites and Facebook, and people so ignorant they think it is not racism.
    Sad state of affairs. I wonder if the nazis also were under the impression they were not racists, but having values.

    • lysias
      lysias
      July 2, 2014, 5:14 pm

      The Nazis were very conscious of being racists, but they considered that an essential part, perhaps the highest part, of their values. You just have to read Mein Kampf to see how central it was.

      To quote Hitler’s book: “Die ewige Natur rächt unerbittlich die Übertretung ihrer Gebote. So glaube ich heute im Sinne des allmächtigen Schöpfers zu handeln: Indem ich mich des Juden erwehre, kämpfe ich für das Werk des Herrn“ [Eternal Nature avenges violations of her laws inexorably. Thus, I believe that today I am carrying out the will of the almighty Creator: By resisting the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.]

      • lysias
        lysias
        July 2, 2014, 5:35 pm

        It occurs to me that “commandments” is a better translation than “laws” of “Gebote” in that context.

  7. seafoid
    seafoid
    July 2, 2014, 4:28 pm

    The occupation is nearly 50. JVP are a bit late to the party. Could have done with them in 82. But great work from them now.

  8. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    July 2, 2014, 4:28 pm

    The truth must be a word with PTSD beyond my peripheral imagination.

    There are no ‘cycles of violence,’ only ‘stupid human beings’ who can’t seem to ‘help themselves.’

    Another One Bites The Dust… so… when will this perpetual madness finally stop/halt/end/cease to exist?

  9. hophmi
    hophmi
    July 2, 2014, 4:40 pm

    “It is our responsibility to speak the truth.”

    Then say something – anything – about the Palestinian incitement that leads not only to kidnapping, but to Palestinian society celebrating kidnapping.

    You don’t speak the truth. You speak the spin, like most people with a cause.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      July 2, 2014, 4:55 pm

      “Then say something – anything – about the Palestinian incitement that leads not only to kidnapping, but to Palestinian society celebrating kidnapping.”

      Then you say something — anything — about the criminal Zionist occupation of Palestine and the satanic oppression of Palestinians — and it the overwhelming support that brutality gets from Jews and Jewish organizations worldwide, that has led to the Palestinians taking such measures in response. You don’t get to pretend that all of the Zionists’ crimes of the past 100+ years never happened.

      “You don’t speak the truth. You speak the spin, like most people with a cause.”

      LMAO. Considering that you favor the continued oppression of one group by another based on nothing but their ethno-religous background (of course, where it is your group that benefits; when it doesn’t you sing a different tune, hypocrite), you really have guts.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 2, 2014, 5:21 pm

        Have condemned the Israeli occupation many times and have called for it to end and for two states. #BDSfail. When the last time you condemned Palestinian terrorism, woodpecker?

        Daniel Rich cites an antisemitic video asserting that Jews knew about 9/11 in advance. His comment should be deleted.

      • just
        just
        July 2, 2014, 5:30 pm

        LOL.

        Are you 9 years old?

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 2, 2014, 8:22 pm

        The moderators have been told again and again not to permit comments that out people’s identities in this way. STOP IT NOW. I WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        July 2, 2014, 9:37 pm

        Hoppy, if anyone was trying to ‘out’ your identity, they would drop your whole name into a comment. Not just tease you with a forename or initial. That’s just letting you know we know it. Woody’s just getting back at you for calling him ‘Woodpecker’ (and remembering how you stomped your feet when James North did the same).

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        July 2, 2014, 7:35 pm

        @ Woody
        Mr B_____ doesn’t like being referred to by his forename.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 4, 2014, 12:57 am

        “STOP IT NOW. I WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED.”

        Leave Hophmi alooooooone!!!!

      • Djinn
        Djinn
        July 2, 2014, 9:02 pm

        I hate to agree with Hophmi and will likely need a shower after this post but trying to out people here is a sucky thing to do.

        Some of us use pseudonyms for very specific reasons. Safety, work related, retaining some ability to travel to and from Palestine.

        Sneakily outing people when you yourself are using a pseudonym is particularly unhelpful.

      • eljay
        eljay
        July 2, 2014, 9:13 pm

        >> I hate to agree with Hophmi and will likely need a shower after this post but trying to out people here is a sucky thing to do.

        hophmeee is a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist and an advocate and apologist for the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel, but I agree that he is as entitled to his privacy here at Mondoweiss as others are to theirs.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        July 2, 2014, 9:56 pm

        “I hate to agree with Hophmi and will likely need a shower after this post but trying to out people here is a sucky thing to do.”

        Well, you may be right. But, as “just” noted, acting like a 9 year old is a pretty sucky thing, as well. So, deleting both posts is fine and probably for the best.

      • chinese box
        chinese box
        July 3, 2014, 7:12 am

        “The moderators have been told again and again not to permit comments that out people’s identities in this way. STOP IT NOW. I WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED.”

        [I’m replying here because the reply button is missing under hophmi’s other comment]

        LOL. I agree in general that people shouldn’t be outed, but you outed yourself some time ago by being careless with your different user handles on other sites, and then attacking MW from those places. What did you expect? Blame yourself.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 4, 2014, 12:58 am

        “A forename is hardly an identity!”

        Especially when “Hophmi” immediately admits it is correct.

      • AbigailOK
        AbigailOK
        July 3, 2014, 9:17 am

        @ Hophmi Why sidetrack people with a false logic and talk about Palestinian terrorism? This all is Israeli state terrorism. Nothing more, nothing less and I fully agree with Vilkomerson. It is a daily occurrence. Against indigeneous people.

        There is no proof any Palestinian did it nor any Palestinian organization. You ignorantly and stupidly fall for everything your beloved Fuehrer says? And thus it is true? What does that say of you?

        Demolition of suspects’ homes. Suspects. No court or verdict in sight. Guilty without any court decision nor proof. But because it serves the Israeli racist agenda. And after a verdict if guilty one gets a jail sentence for kidnapping and killing someone. In most countries, that is, where any judiciary is based on just laws and real universal values. Sadly, such things do not happen inside the state of Israel.
        The daily despicable violence both by the IDF (and border police) and settlers which all go with impunity would have to speak to you if you have any real values. Not a word about that. You agree with those policies?

        But lip service about a – in fact made impossible by the settler industry done by subsequent Israeli governments – two-state solution on virtual paper must be your credentials? Not good enough.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 3, 2014, 10:12 am

        Daniel Rich cites an antisemitic video asserting that Jews knew about 9/11 in advance. His comment should be deleted.

        Because it’s antisemitic to assert that Jews can even know something in advance, right?

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      July 2, 2014, 4:59 pm

      @ hophmi,

      Q: … but to Palestinian society celebrating kidnapping. You don’t speak the truth. You speak the spin, like most people with a cause.

      R: Were you 1 of the 5 dancing Israelis arrested on 9/11?

      Hate fuels destruction, so…, lets toss some more innocent lives into the bonfire that guides the Apartheid State through the murky darkness of its unjustifiable ‘raison d’être.’

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      July 2, 2014, 6:15 pm

      Then say something – anything – about the Palestinian incitement that leads not only to kidnapping, but to Palestinian society celebrating kidnapping.

      You’re a shameless liar Hop. The incitement begins and ends with the occupation. Even if you ignore that, Israeli police murdered 2 Palestinian boys a few weeks ago, so if you want to discuss the inciting incident, that would be the place to start.

      As is always the case with you Zios, history only begins when it affects your own tribe.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 4, 2014, 1:05 am

        “about the Palestinian incitement”

        Zionists think they can presume on the Jews of America to any extent they want, and get away with it.
        I think it’s about time for a Declaration of Independence. And we’ll get it soon. It won’t be too long before we realize it’s pretty much them or us. And I, for one, have no intention of going down with their ship, if I can help it.

  10. Abierno
    Abierno
    July 2, 2014, 5:14 pm

    As more information is released regarding the timing of Shin Bet knowledge of
    demise of the teens (see articles on this site) as well as the identifies of the alleged
    kidnappers, it would appear that this tragic event was exploited to inflame and incite
    the Israeli public. Be that as it may, when the prime minister of a country and his minions call for revenge (especially a country which identifies itself as the “only democracy in the Middle East) is this not incitement?
    Could I call attention to the massacre at Utoya, Norway wherein Anders Brevik
    killed 77 unarmed teenagers and wounded 300 more who were attending a labor party camp. Despite this essentially exterminating much of generation of politically active youth, soon to be citizens, there were no calls for revenge, for retributive
    justice or for disproportionate response. Max Fisher in his outstanding Atlantic
    article published in August of 2012 describes Norway’s philosophy of “restorative
    justice” which focusses not on revenge but sober, dignified treatment. This system
    results in far lower crime and recidivism rates than more punitive systems (such
    as that in the US and Israel.) But these are terrorists, you say. Fisher points out
    that Saudi Arabia, in applying this system to terrorists and violent extremists has
    experienced considerable success.

  11. Citizen
    Citizen
    July 2, 2014, 6:02 pm

    what about the big red one? The us defeat of Nazi germany?

  12. Jon66
    Jon66
    July 2, 2014, 7:27 pm

    If they were my daughters, I’d sit them down, explain their asinine behavior, and make them hold an apology sign. This language has no place in a civilized society.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      July 2, 2014, 8:30 pm

      This language has no place in a civilized society.

      Sadly, it has become the norm in Israel. They probably have successful careers in politics awaiting them.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      July 4, 2014, 1:08 am

      “This language has no place in a civilized society.”

      Jon66, try and be understanding. Aren’t those girls from Israel? What are the chances their parents will “sit them down…and etc”? How on earth would they know anything about “civilised society.”

  13. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    July 2, 2014, 7:42 pm

    I am not sure what the wisest Palestinian strategy happens to be at this time. From a moral point of view killing civilians is despicable. But let us leave morality out of this for a moment and figure out strategy. The killing of the three Jewish settler teens evokes a response from the current coalition and might solidify the right wing gains in the next Knesset. Thus in the long run, the cause and effect of it will be forgotten by the masses who watch it on t.v., but the net effect of endless cycle of violence has maybe more of an affect on the masses in America than the “turn the other cheek” nonviolence of the post 2nd intifada era. Or: the violence against these teens leads to violence by the Zionists against us leads to violence in the region against the Zionists. Simmer, hate, simmer. Maybe this is the best strategy. I don’t know.

    Larry Derfner feels that if the BDS movement turns serious over the next decade the move of Israelis post Netanyahu will be to give up Maale Adumim. Doesn’t look like it to me.

    I don’t think the United States ever found its footing (as a world power) after the end of the cold war. the persian gulf wars, the bombings here and there, afghanistan, they don’t add up to a mission, they add up to a mess. On the other hand I think that nations in the Pacific want the US to counter balance China.

    Y’know in myths, the hero conquers the world. He buries his sword or hands it off and he goes to the monastery and seeks god. Well, in the post cold war world, the US has never found a mission and these wars in Iraq are very strange and it could very well be that the pro Israel contingent skewed and screwed American policy.
    It seems to be that the Middle East or large chunks of it around Iraq and Syria are going to be ruled by people whose organizing principle is Islam and the stalemate of despots versus Islam is going to continue for a while.

    I cannot see anything short of a constitutional convention or a politician of extraordinary powers to bring about serious change in campaign finance and so the American parties will be slow in figuring out a post Cold War role of the US in the world. The anemic recovery might portend that things will get worse, but to me, that is not good news and if actuarial charts grant me 29 years and 3 months and 14 days, I do not expect to see meaningful campaign finance reform. The left wing of the democratic party that is the natural constituency both for campaign finance reform and anti Israel and that makes that party the more interesting. Traditional Jewish allegiance to that party since FDR is what makes the coming clash in that party so interesting.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      July 4, 2014, 1:12 am

      “I am not sure what the wisest Palestinian strategy happens to be at this time”

      Yep, Yonah, and you, with your deep, derp, concern for the Palestinians, I’m sure you’ll be the first person they ask!

      Is there no end to Zionist presumption? Why don’t we go back to some of your earlier comments on this affair and extrapolate your advice from them?

  14. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    July 2, 2014, 9:14 pm

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/02/usg-intimidated-by-its-own-mercenaries/

    Violence has a way of finding its victims. So has racism.
    Israel today reminds Pakistan of 80s .

  15. tokyobk
    tokyobk
    July 2, 2014, 9:33 pm

    JVP is right here and right generally on where the focus should be.

    Every thing other than the universal application of justice within a international and consistent local legal framework, and based on the best practices of tolerant open societies, is not just a distraction but harmful.

    The Occupation has been a disaster for everyone, first and foremost -perhaps all importantly- living humans, especially Palestinian humans, though even the Israelis presumably benefiting from the overlord status.

    Secondarily, it stains the historic Jewish presence in Hebron, a holy city, which Jews have always lived in and always revered. This also saddens me greatly.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      July 4, 2014, 1:17 am

      “Secondarily, it stains the historic Jewish presence in Hebron, a holy city, which Jews have always lived in and always revered. This also saddens me greatly.”

      What a great way of letting us know what your real priorities are.

  16. just
    just
    July 3, 2014, 7:18 am

    “The Algerian national football team are to donate their entire World Cup prize fund to the embattled people of Gaza, it has been reported.

    According to quotes attributed to Algeria’s star striker Islam Slimani, the team will give up all of the estimated $9 million (£5.25 million) they received as valiant losers in the round of 16.

    Though Slimani himself plays for Sporting Lisbon and is touted for an even bigger move this summer, the reported donation will be a greater sacrifice for members of the squad based at more modest clubs in Algeria, Tunisia, the lower French leagues and Watford.

    Yet according to the Jordanian football writer Waleed Abu Nada, Slimani said: “They need it more than us.””

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/worldcup/algeria-to-donate-9m-world-cup-prize-money-to-people-of-gaza-because-they-need-it-more-than-us-9581338.html

    Nine million acts of kindness.

    • Exchequer
      Exchequer
      July 4, 2014, 1:06 am

      Thanks for the info & link.

      Now of course these Algerian players will be on the U.S. terrorist list…

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        July 4, 2014, 3:49 am

        Now of course these Algerian players will be on the U.S. terrorist list…

        Yes, or listed for financing terrorism

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