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How Israel legitimizes vigilante terror

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Immediately after the firebombing of the occupied West Bank village of Duma that killed eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabshe and later his parents, Israeli politicians competed to see who could be more extreme in their denunciations. The further right their ideology, the more brutal their promises were.

Isaac Herzog, opposition leader and Zionist Union head, called for a full investigation.

“This is a terror attack. Israel deals harshly with terrorism, no matter who the perpetrators are,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Far-right Jewish Home party leader and Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called for the death penalty for Jewish terrorists.

But as Sa’ad and Reham Dawabshe, the young parents of baby Ali, succumbed to their wounds, the politicians who had been so vociferous were largely silent. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a statement, reiterating that Israeli forces would apprehend the killers. Herzog called the firebombing an act of terrorism. For all of the bluster, there was not a word when the Israeli government announced that the Dawabshe family is ineligible for financial compensation for terror attacks because they are not citizens of Israel.

In the most clear signal that the perpetrators will not be brought to justice, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told a group of Likud activists that security forces know the identity of the killers but would not prosecute them in order to not reveal intelligence sources.

Once again, the politicians who initially demanded crackdowns on Jewish terror were silent.

So what explains this gap between rhetoric and reality?

Veteran Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar sees this as a tactic of colonialism. “This is not new. This is just one of many incidents that the government, police and army were aware of,” Eldar explained in a telephone interview with Mondoweiss. “The message is that you can get away with murder, literally.”

Eldar recalled asking the chief of police of the occupied territory why they do not pursue Jewish terrorists. “His answer when I asked him why don’t you do anything to stop them was, he answered me with a question. ‘Who gave them the permit to live here and to take the land? Who paved the roads? Who connected them to electricity and to water?’”

“The reality is that they [politicians] encourage them,” Eldar continued. “The notion is that they are the pioneers. They are the real Zionists. They are willing to give up the good life in order to fulfill the vision of Greater Israel and moving to the hilltops. You can’t fight the mosquitoes, you have to fight the swamp. Instead, Israel is one of the only western countries where the secular government is encouraging the fundamentalists.”

This pattern is seen repeatedly throughout Israeli history.

On Purim (the Jewish holiday that celebrates vanquishing the enemies in the Persian empire) in 1994, Brooklyn-born Israeli settler and army officer Dr. Baruch Goldstein entered the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron wearing military gear during prayers. He waited until worshippers were knelt down in prayer, then opened fire with his military-issued weapon. He killed 29 men and boys and injured more than 100 before being overpowered and beaten to death. Dozens more Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military in the protests that followed.

A follower of Rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of the Jewish Defense League and the banned Kach party, Goldstein’s actions were strongly condemned by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. “I am shamed over the disgrace imposed upon us by a degenerate murderer,” he said. “You are not partners in the Zionist enterprise.”

But the actions of Rabin’s government proved otherwise. The Israeli government responded to this massacre by closing Palestinian shops on Shuhada street and partitioning the mosque between fanatical Israeli settlers and Palestinians – an arrangement that continues to this day and helped solidify Israeli control over the Palestinian city. Shortly after, Goldstein was buried in a public park in the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba he lived in. Inscribed on his grave are the words, “He gave his soul for the sake of the people of Israel, The Torah, and the Land. His hands are clean and his heart good… He was assassinated for the Sanctity of God.”

Indeed, this tactic is rooted in pre-state Zionism.

On April 10, 1948, 132 fighters of the Irgun and Stern Gang, two pre-state Zionist militias, attacked the Jerusalem village of Deir Yassin. “The Jews ordered ordered all our family to line up against the wall and they started shooting us,” twelve-year-old Fahimi Zidan recalled in David Hirst’s The Gun and the Olive Branch. By the end of the massacre, 254 Palestinians had been killed and the village had been destroyed, sending shockwaves throughout the land and causing Palestinians to flee their homes.

While Zionist leaders sharply condemned the attack, the leadership formed an alliance with the Irgun, which would officially become the Israeli military several weeks later.

While the Duma firebombing will likely not have such enormous implications on the ground as the aftermath of the Ibrahimi Mosque and Deir Yassin massacres, the attack undoubtedly advances the goals of the Israel’s national ideology – controlling maximum Palestinian land with minimum Palestinian people. The message of the Duma attack becomes two-fold: it tells vigilante attackers that they can operate with total impunity, and reinforces the message to Palestinians that they will never have security under occupation, so they should either leave the lands or quietly accept their fate.

Dan Cohen
About Dan Cohen

Dan Cohen is an independent journalist and filmmaker based in Palestine. He tweets at @dancohen3000.

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51 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    September 16, 2015, 1:25 pm

    No matter what they say or do the tanks still get airlifted to them, the fighter jets still get delivered, the billion dollar aid packages keep coming. Why should they alter their behavior?

    And that is why they are freaked out by BDS. Here are a group of people who are demanding they be held accountable for their actions and they can be neither intimidated or controlled. Nothing in Israel’s arsenal can compete with this, which is why they need to recruit their minions on power to help them. Won’t work.

    • Citizen
      September 17, 2015, 9:42 am

      Israeli press says both Obama & Kerry to meet with Netanyahu shortly & that Bibi says he lost nothing by directly attacking Iran Deal & looks forward to getting much more free weaponry from USA.

  2. eljay
    September 16, 2015, 1:45 pm

    … “The reality is that they [politicians] encourage them,” Eldar continued. “The notion is that they are the pioneers. They are the real Zionists. They are willing to give up the good life in order to fulfill the vision of Greater Israel and moving to the hilltops. … Israel is one of the only western countries where the secular government is encouraging the fundamentalists.” …

    The hard-core Zio-supremacists do the dirty work while their more-fragile co-collectivists:
    – “hold their noses”;
    – support/justify/excuse their actions; and
    – enjoy the benefits of Jewish supremacism in/and a “greater” supremacist “Jewish State”.

  3. JimMichie
    September 16, 2015, 2:50 pm

    “They encourage them”. A starkly revealing piece on the mindset of the “Zionist”. Thank you, Dan Cohen. But having covered America’s Civil Rights Movement as a journalist back in the 1960s, when the traditional, righteous morals and values of Judaism were so clearly evidenced by Jews in the vanguard of that movement, I keep asking the question: whatever happened to Judaism in Israel. How can Israel be so racist, so brutal, so cruel, so murderous, so inhumane to their “neighbors” the Palestinians, for God’s sake, how can this be! I do wish someone could respond to my extreme puzzlement!

    • rensanceman
      September 16, 2015, 7:58 pm

      “How can Israel be so racist……..” Judaism and Zionism are not the same. Judaism is the spiritual guide whereas Zionism is a colonial concept whose goal is to recapture all of Eretz Israel which includes parts of the land of its neighbors, namely Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria. One of the key tenets of Judaism is Tikkun Olam meaning ” to heal the world”. The Israeli governments have no interest in compromising this goal even though there are daily protest against the Governments’ actions. Because of the Holocaust, “Israel can do anything it wants” according to Golda Meier a former Prime Minister. As long as Israel has a sponsor like the United States, it feels immune to outside pressure. Note the large number of United Nations’ Resolutions it ignores with impunity. The state of Israel is soiling the Jewish communities throughout the world by its murderous, racist, and arrogant behavior. When it targets and murders innocent children as it did in killing over 500 during the last Gaza foray, people of conscience can not, like you, cognitively reconcile the two entities. Israel is a ” lunatic state” as so described by Norman Finklestine. I agree with that assessment and am actively doing my part in transforming this monster entity into one where Judaic principles–the good ones–are operative.

      • Citizen
        September 17, 2015, 9:44 am

        If U google the full extent of Greater Israel on a map, it’s much more than you suggest.

      • echinococcus
        September 17, 2015, 10:19 am


        The most recent official statement on the desired borders by Ben Gourion:

        The boundaries of Zionist aspiration include southern Lebanon, southern Syria, today’s Jordan, all of Cis-Jordan [West Bank] and the Sinai

        World Council of Poale Zion, 1938, Tel Aviv
        Not denied, repelled or amended since.

        The bastards were allowed to carry on spreading that kind of aggressive talk with not a peep from the British administration, while the owners of the land were jailed and killed for even thinking of protesting.

    • MHughes976
      September 17, 2015, 11:01 am

      It would have been difficult for Poale Zion to claim less than is implied by Genesis 15:18 – ‘from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates’. The Bible is the Bible.

      • echinococcus
        September 18, 2015, 10:35 am

        The point is that
        1. the claim is made by a strictly secular political organization (an anti-religious one, in fact)
        2. more importantly, this is still the official, non-reformulated objective of the Zionist machine, and the Zionists are allowed their theater on so-called peace talks nevertheless.

      • MHughes976
        September 19, 2015, 1:07 pm

        Yes, thanks, you’re right, echino, I hadn’t been aware of the strongly Marxist element in PZ – though I was vaguely aware of it’s being for some time an affiliate of the party I vote for. I now discover that this affiliation resulted from the personal attention to the matter of no less a person than Ben-Gurion in 1920. But PZ would not be alone in being atheist but somehow very attached to the Book of Joshua, I think.

      • echinococcus
        September 19, 2015, 8:19 pm


        Marxist? If there were only one single Marxian maxim to survive, it would be Proletarians of the World, Unite. PZ was a proto-Nazi party intent on its Lebensraum; its being admitted to the socialdemocrat Internationale by dint of being a bunch of White European colonialist murderers, the only kind of Proletarians of the World according to Labo[u]r and the French PS.

    • RobertHenryEller
      September 17, 2015, 11:37 am

      Why are you puzzled, Mr. Michie? One cannot be a Zionist (as Zionism is and has been practiced) and also claim to be a Jew, except in denial. Judaism is all but dead in Israel. I’d go so far as to say that Zionism and Zionists have “murdered” almost as many Jews as you-know-who.

  4. Jackdaw
    September 16, 2015, 3:47 pm

    “By the end of the massacre, 254 Palestinians had been killed and the village had been destroyed, sending shockwaves throughout the land and causing Palestinians to flee their homes. ”

    Not that facts matter here, about 110 Palestinians died at Deir Yassin, the higher body counts were fabricated by Jewish and Arab propagandists.

    • echinococcus
      September 16, 2015, 4:27 pm

      Jack.. daw,

      How nice and how typical of you, relying on the murderers themselves for data. How come you Zionists never seem to feel any shame?

      The only reliable and checked account is by Jacques de Reynier, impartial UN observer.
      In his book “Jérusalem : Un drapeau flottait sur la ligne de feu”, Geneva 1950:
      “There were 400 people in this village. Approximately 50 fled and three have survived but the rest were massacred on orders –as far as I can see the troops are admirably disciplined; they only act under orders.”

    • John O
      John O
      September 16, 2015, 4:57 pm

      Be careful, corvid. A favourite tactic of Holocaust deniers is to say that only a hundred thousand or so Jews died at the hands of the Nazis and the figure of six million is a fabrication…

      • lysias
        September 16, 2015, 6:39 pm

        And a favorite tactic of hasbarists is to say that, because Holocaust deniers minimize the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust, therefore the figure of six million cannot be questioned. Even though the late Raul Hilberg, who while alive was the foremost expert on the subject, said that the true figure was closer to five million.

        The hasbarists would prevent historians from doing their jobs.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        September 16, 2015, 10:17 pm

        Hilberg said that the number killed by the einsatzgruppen in Eastern Europe required an estimation and he chose to be conservative in his estimation.

      • Jackdaw
        September 17, 2015, 2:19 am

        I’m as careful as the Arab historians.
        Makhfud Samur, who took part in the battle, said that the figure did not exceed 99. Walid Khalidi mentioned one hundred. Sharif Kan’ana, whose study is the most thorough and up-to-date, put the figure at 107.

        Now leave me alone.

      • lysias
        September 17, 2015, 11:13 am

        That’s not my recollection of Hilberg’s method, but, even if you’re right, surely his example shows that the six million figure must be subject to examination and, if warranted, revision. It is not a sacred doctrine that must not be questioned.

      • Mooser
        September 17, 2015, 3:41 pm

        “Now leave me alone.” The inimitably idiotic “Jackdaw”!

        Hey, Jackie, don’t stop there, ban him from your blog! Than he will have to leave you alone!

        Oh, I shudder to think of the consequences for any commenters who ignore “Jackdaw’s” wishes! Such a klopf they’ll get!

        Leave Jackdaw alooooooooone! (just substitute “Israel” for “Brittany” and you can use it, Jack)

    • tree
      September 16, 2015, 5:08 pm

      To be completely factual the 254 number was quoted at the time by members of the Irgun and Lehi, who were responsible for the massacre. Apparently no one at the time asked the surviving villagers how many were killed.

      Several decades later, in 1988, in a research study from the Palestinian Bir Zeit University, the surviving villagers of Deir Yassin were actually asked to number and name those who were killed. According to villagers’ memories the number killed was 107. Pretty much immediately afterwards this new lower number was glommed onto by various and sundry Zionists , including the ZOA. (Perhaps the first case of the ZOA accepting Palestinian sources.) Of course in this case it was because the 1988 Palestinian figures were lower than the professed Irgun numbers reported by international newspapers immediately after the massacre.

      At present time some Zionist apologists even try to imply that the larger number was the result of “Arab propagandists” rather than from the perpetrators themselves, and ignore the fact that the lower number was the result of a Palestinian study, not an Israeli one. The GOI has still refused to declassify any documents (including pictures taken after the massacre) from Deir Yassin, despite the fact that it is now nearly another 30 years past the usual 30 year mark for declassifying Israeli government documents.

      As a personal aside, I’m not sure that a number arrived at 40 years after the fact is necessarily the most accurate either. I would suspect it to be somewhat lower than the actual number, memories being what they are. So the number is probably somewhere in between the two figures, IMHO.

      • Citizen
        September 17, 2015, 9:47 am

        I thought the usual number of years that had to pass before Israeli declassification was unique, 50 years, and I read it’s actually longer.

    • pjdude
      September 18, 2015, 8:40 pm

      so were supposed to believe you a pathological liar and terror supporter rather than people whose honesty has never been called into question?

  5. benedict
    September 16, 2015, 4:24 pm

    1. I don’t recall any case in which hamas paid compensation to Israeli victims of terrorism. Why is it automatically assumed that Israel must compensate Palestinian victims of terrorism? In any case the family can make a special appeal to a committee in the Defense Ministry to request compensation. Considering the current public climate the appeal will probably be approved.
    2. You don’t even mention that ibrahimi mosque is also a jewish holy site known as me’arat ha’makhpela. (In fact the jewish designation of the site predates Islamic times being copiously mentioned by Josephus and talmud). Dividing the site seems to be the most sensible move considering the conflicting claims. I would expect a future Palestinian administration to do the same.
    3. The writing on a private tomb does not reflect the position of Israel’s gvt. Tha treatment of Goldstein’s tomb is not different then to one given to the tomb of the notorious arab terrorist iz addin el kassam in the old arab cemetery next to nesher.
    4. According sharik kanana’s authoritative study, number of unarmed people killed at deir yassin was about 100, with another 12 armed dead. The massacre was denounced by all mainstream jewish parties.
    5. The Irgun didn’t become Israel army. In fact the irgun was forced to disband and its members accepted to the IDF on an individual basis. About 3 months after deir yassin IDF forces (under command of yitzkhak rabin) actually shelled the irgun’s main supply ship, killing a score of irgun members and almost killing Begin himself.
    6. A day after deir yassin 78 docters etc. where murdered in the Hadassah convoy. No arab leader condemned the massacre. Based on dan cohen’s warped logic that is proof that Palestinians have a pattern of condoning terrorism against jews.

    • tree
      September 16, 2015, 5:45 pm

      A day after deir yassin 78 docters etc. where murdered in the Hadassah convoy. No arab leader condemned the massacre.

      From Wikipedia( yes I know its not the best source, but in this case it provides valuable context):

      The Hadassah convoy massacre took place on April 13, 1948, when a convoy, escorted by Haganah militia, bringing medical and military supplies and personnel to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus was ambushed by Arab forces.[1][2]
      Seventy-eight Jewish doctors, nurses, students, patients, faculty members and Haganah fighters, and one British soldier were killed in the attack. Dozens of unidentified bodies, burned beyond recognition, were buried in a mass grave in the Sanhedria Cemetery. The Jewish Agency claimed that the massacre was a gross violation of international humanitarian law, and demanded action be taken against a breach of the Geneva Conventions.[1] The Arabs claimed they had attacked a military formation, that all members of the convoy had engaged in combat, and that it had been impossible to distinguish combatants from civilians. An enquiry was conducted. Eventually an agreement was reached to separate military from humanitarian convoys.[2]

      More on the inquiry:

      (T)he Jewish Agency requested that the Red Cross intervene over what they called a grave Arab violation of the conventions. An inquiry conducted among the Arabs, Jews and the British suggested the circumstances were more complex. The firefight had lasted several hours, indicating that the convoy was armed. The Arabs claimed that they had attacked the military formation by blowing up the armoured cars. They were unable to make a distinction between military and civilians because, they maintained, all the Jews, including the medical personnel, had taken part in the battle.[2] The Jews claimed that they had the right to protect their medical convoys with troops. They admitted in the end, according to Jacques de Reynier, that they had been relieving the unit at the Hadassah hospital and furnishing the troop there with ammunition with the same convoys as those of the Red Shield. This practice was justified, they said, because the role of that troop was exclusively one of defending the hospital. De Reynier repeated the position of the Red Cross, that a mobil medical unit must move around unarmed and always separately from combat units. One had a choice between having recourse to armed protection or the protection of the Geneva Conventions and the Red Cross flag. Both staging troops in a position of strategic importance, and refurnishing them with supplies, de Reynier argued, had nothing to do with the hospital’s functions. The Jewish Agency had been prepared to have the troop stationed there withdrawn and its protection entrusted to the Red Cross, but was overruled by the Haganah, which insisted that convoys to the hospital could not pass unless they went under military escort. De Reynier then volunteered to put this to the test with a practical proof that an unarmed convoy could pass. The following day, without warning the Arabs, he led a small column of vehicles, under a Red Cross flag, while the following cars displayed the red shield. Their passage passed without a shot fired, and de Reynier argued that this was proof that the Arabs respected the Red Cross. The result was that leaders on both sides eventually ordered that military operations were to be separated from activities associated with medical assistance and the Red Cross.[2]

      • benedict
        September 16, 2015, 7:29 pm


        So then murdering 78 doctors and nurses becomes OK if they happen to be traveling in a convoy that happens to be carrying some weapons? That seems awfully similar to the excuse offered by Israeli hasbara in justifying attacks on schools and hospitals in Gaza. Amazing how hasbara of all nationalities turns out to be so similar.

        It also sounds amazingly similar to the excuses offered by irgun in justifying deir yassin. After all the villagers were sheltering a unit of Iraqi soldiers and arab irregulars. And the deir yassin was part of the arab siege on jewish Jerusalem. So then everything goes and all forms of bloodshed are justified. How lovely.

      • echinococcus
        September 17, 2015, 12:49 am

        Until the Tsahalista murderers cease and desist, we’ll call it what they call it: collateral damage. Sue me.

      • annie
        September 17, 2015, 2:18 pm

        benedict: That seems awfully similar to the excuse offered by Israeli hasbara in justifying attacks on schools and hospitals in Gaza.

        sorry, i am not recalling hearing about any battles taking place at schools or hospitals in gaza that fit this description:

        ‘The firefight had lasted several hours, indicating that the schools and hospitals were armed. The idf were unable to make a distinction between military and civilians because, they maintained, all the palestinians, including the medical personnel, had taken part in the battle.’

        do you have a supporting link for your allegation?

      • pjdude
        September 18, 2015, 10:01 pm

        bendict the moment the picked up weapons and opened fire they lost their protections and became combatants. and not all of that 78 were docters or nurses.

        benedict its standard practice to leave docs unarmed.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      September 16, 2015, 6:38 pm

      1. “Why is it automatically assumed that Israel must compensate Palestinian victims of terrorism?”

      This is from Aljazeera 8/21/2015: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who visited the Dawabsheh family in Tel Hashomer hours after the attack, took advantage of a photo op with Ahmed to condemn “terrorism wherever it comes from, whatever side of the fence.” Away from the cameras, he also promised the family that he would cover their medical expenses and pay to rebuild their home.”

      So far they’ve got nothing.

      2. “You don’t even mention that ibrahimi mosque is also a jewish holy site known as me’arat ha’makhpela. (In fact the jewish designation of the site predates Islamic times being copiously mentioned by Josephus and talmud)”

      So frickin’ what. It is now a mosque but many Zionists seem unable to accept that. As for dividing it up I guess you’re okay with Hebronites having to walk on part of the street while the Jews get the rest and why close the market? It’s racist, it’s dispicable, you should be ashamed.

      3.”Tha treatment of Goldstein’s tomb is not different then to one given to the tomb of the notorious arab terrorist iz addin el kassam in the old arab cemetery next to nesher.”

      I would direct people to photos of the gravesites on the internet, they are easily found. Al Qassam’s is rather simple but Goldstein’s is far more elaborate. It sits alone in a circle of stone and it is clearly meant to be a shrine. People routinely make pilgrimages to it and leave stones and it is clear he is held in esteem by the local settlers. And the state of Israel allows this shrine to a mass murderer.

      • benedict
        September 17, 2015, 2:53 pm

        Why be so obtuse? It is common for IDF spokespeople to claim that so-snd-so place was bombed because rockets were fired close by, or because fighters were using it as a positions. In fact the excuses offered by right wingers about deir yassin are remarkably similar.
        Somehow when arabs use the same lame excuses you tend to be much more understanding. It almost seems as though you truly believe that Palestinian arabes are incapable of acting murderously. Why do you think so? Is the human nature of Palestinian Arabs inherently different then Palestinian Jews?

      • annie
        September 17, 2015, 7:36 pm

        Why be so obtuse?

        so that would be a ‘no’, you do not have a supporting link to back up your allegation of a firefight (or firefights) lasting several hours indicating that schools and hospitals were armed and the idf were unable to make a distinction between military and civilians because, they maintained, all the palestinians, including the medical personnel, had taken part in a battle’

        that’s what i figured.

      • annie
        September 17, 2015, 7:42 pm

        Is the human nature of Palestinian Arabs inherently different then Palestinian Jews? – See more at:

        the nature/mindframe of an oppressor, invader and colonist are inherently different than that of the oppressed person defending their home, land and country.

      • benedict
        September 17, 2015, 2:56 pm

        a blah –

        How do you ever hope to implement a 1SS when you refuse to recognize that the ibrahimi mosque is as holy and important to jews as it is to Muslims?

      • benedict
        September 19, 2015, 7:58 pm


        In the weeks proceeding the hadasa slaughter jewish convoys were routinely attacked by arab forces. Dozens of civilians were killed in these atakes. Indeed attacking convoys was a major pillar of the arab offensive aimed at weakening the yishuv.
        Your argument basically justifies the behavior of IDF during naqba since in most cases villages attacked and destroyed included fighters who picked up arms and became combatants.

      • echinococcus
        September 20, 2015, 12:08 am

        “Benedict” – Yishuv, Mishuv. All bullshit. The invaders are invaders, they started war and they get war –as much as the victims can give. One side has all the rights to resist and the other has no right to “defend itself” but just to get the hell out, PDQ. That simple. You gonna whine and whimper for a lot longer?

      • benedict
        September 20, 2015, 8:46 am


        Right of self defense cuts both ways.
        Pjdude was arguing that by protecting themselves from anticipated attack hadasah convoy became a legitimate military target. Io just pointed out that by using this standard most IDF actions during 1948 can by similarly excused.
        The jews of Jerusalem had the same right to defend themselves as the Arabs. They had absolutely no obligation to go anywhere.

      • echinococcus
        September 20, 2015, 11:37 am

        Balderdash, Baruch. There would have been “the Jews of Jerusalem” in the absence of Zionist invasion. Meaning some 50 years earlier, with no need to fight for an invader state.

      • benedict
        September 20, 2015, 5:50 pm


        You claim that the Jews in JLM had no need to protect themselves despite the fact that they were exposed to severe attacks in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-1937.

        It is a curious fact that in many cases the brunt of Arab violence was focused not on “Zionist invaders” but on the devout communities of the non-Zionist old yishuv in places like Gaza, hebron, jaffa, safed, the old city of JLM, meah shearim, beit yisrael. The fact that they were non-zionist didn’t protect them. In fact it made them more vulnerable to arab violence since the Zionists hade arms and the old yishuv didn’t.

        Similarly, during 1948 Arab artillery pounded all parts of JLM equally including the most devout haredi areas. The arab siege equally effected all Jewish inhabitants. And the entire population of the Jewish quarter was ethnically cleaned. Obviously, by 1948 and probably much earlier the arab violence was aimed at all jews, not only at extreme Zionist. Hence the need for self protection.

      • echinococcus
        September 20, 2015, 6:23 pm

        More demented nonsense from Baruch. The Zionist invasion starts in 1897 at the latest.
        Invaders have no right to defend themselves, period.
        The Jewish Palestinians may have had some clashes with other communities –no place was free of them in the Ottoman empire. But they certainly did never try to ethnically cleanse Palestine from the Palestinians. Many of the local Jews were beaten, tortured and exiled by the Zionists. The Zionists were opposed by the owners of the sovereignty and land, of course, including many local Jews.We are talking about the late arrivals, the invaders of 1897, who have no right to be there and still have no right to “defend themselves”.
        Let’s not include the earlier 1882 colonizers, as they had expressed no intentions of usurping the sovereignty, or the local Palestinian Jews, provided they did not join the Zionists.

    • zaid
      September 16, 2015, 7:19 pm

      what about israel official glorification of the terrorist Menachem Begin.’does it represent the government position

      and not to forget Bengorion the ethnic cleanser.

      • RoHa
        September 16, 2015, 7:53 pm

        “Bengorion the ethnic cleanser”

        Any good for cleaning toilets?

      • zaid
        September 17, 2015, 2:31 am

        good one

  6. BI
    September 16, 2015, 9:43 pm

    Great insight. Now the question is ‘how is it that we can’t pin the following on Israel: The new Apartheid is UGLIER than the 1st”?=>

  7. WH
    September 17, 2015, 2:13 am

    And this is the ruling occupier, not the resistance.

  8. just
    September 17, 2015, 8:01 am

    wrt Rabin:

    “Rabin, the Last Day review – form and structure hamper Israeli PM murder story

    Docudrama about the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin takes aim at Netanyahu, but puts stylistic cinema above propaganda

    Amos Gitai won’t be receiving any gifts from prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu next Purim. His new film, Rabin, the Last Day, minces no words and charges him as morally culpable for the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Not that Netanyahu personally called Rabin a Nazi or carried a coffin in effigy (others did that), but he and his wave of rightwing politics fanned the flames of sedition after the Oslo Accords. A movie with a charge this extreme, and the courtroom scenes that convincingly connect the dots, ought to make for a major international discussion. But that discussion is unlikely to happen, because this isn’t the work of Michael Moore or Oliver Stone. This is Amos Gitai: an iconoclast at times, but an artist first. …”

    Dan~ thank you very much for this cogent article.

  9. Citizen
    September 17, 2015, 9:51 am

    Whatever, if U watched the GOP debate last night you know the clearest winner was Bibi Netanyahu. Obama already knows; he & Kerry are meeting shortly to double town on even more huge free weapon gifts to Israel, sort of a way to apologize to Bibi for trying a diplomatic solution to Iran’s lack of nukes, while saying nothing about Israel’s huge stockpile of same.

  10. gracie fr
    gracie fr
    September 17, 2015, 3:57 pm

    Execution by fire has always been about more than just killing. It carries a message. The masked men who threw the Molotov cocktail into the Dawabshehs’ bedroom made their message explicit, leaving graffiti of a Star of David with NEKAMA! (Hebrew for revenge) sprayed on the wall.
    This brand of Jewish terrorism is not new. In 2002 a clandestine group of Jewish settlers attempted to blow up a Palestinian girls’ school. In 1994 an American-born Jewish settler gunned down twenty-nine Palestinians while they were praying in Hebron. A decade earlier a number of loosely connected underground cells carried out terrorist attacks against Palestinian targets, including the Islamic college in Hebron, public buses, and West Bank mayors.

    The roots of contemporary Jewish terrorism lie in the radical movements and individuals who roamed Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s. Two new books, Bruce Hoffman’s Anonymous Soldiers and Patrick Bishop’s The Reckoning, explore these roots.

  11. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    September 20, 2015, 7:42 am

    Statements like this always push my buttons: benedict-“Your argument basically justifies the behavior of IDF during naqba since in most cases villages attacked and destroyed included fighters who picked up arms and became combatants.”

    Sweet baby Jesus, it’s called self-defense! They were fighting against people who were taking over their country! Also the almost ethnic cleansing of Nazareth proves that you did not need to engage in defense to be expelled.

  12. benedict
    September 20, 2015, 10:17 am

    Both sides claimed self defense.
    Operation nachshon was an effort by jewish forces to break the Arab siege on the Jewish parts of Jerusalem, a clear act of self defense. Deir yassin was a small part of operation nachshon. Does that justify the massacre? Of course not.
    Same with the hadasah convoy or any other arab atrocity.

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