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‘Who said that I have to be a refugee forever?’–Palestinians in Gaza reflect on living in ‘world’s largest open-air prison’

Israel/Palestine
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Young Palestinians often describe their upbringing in the Gaza Strip as serving a sentence in “the world’s largest open-air prison.” Many struggle to imagine conditions improving after experiencing more than a decade of blockade that began in 2007 as Hamas came to power.

Over recent years, movement in and out of Gaza has tapered off with the number of exit permits into Israel for healthcare and all travel through Rafah dropping to around half of the 2012 levels. Alongside this, frustration and despair became rampant after successive failures between Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reach a lasting peace agreement to end decades of conflict.

One Palestinian told Mondoweiss, he believes the decade long siege that restricts travel in and out of the Strip is “eternal.”

For a generation of young people raised under these harsh conditions, they see themselves as trapped between Israel’s refusal engage in a process that would support Palestinian statehood, and an inactive international community. Many lament Gaza has become an aid project and one that is now under economic pressure from the Trump administration. Of the nearly 2 million who live in the besieged strip, 70 percent are refugees.

In recent months Palestinian youth have protested by the tens of thousands along the fence that separates Gaza from Israel that has locally reopened a conversation about return to their historic cities and villages now part of Israel. During the 26th consecutive week of demonstrations, I asked Palestinians in Gaza what does it mean for them to live in Gaza.

Amira Abu Shrar. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Amira Abu Shrar, 26, communications officer

“Gaza is located a mere 90 miles from Haifa, but for me it might as well be Saturn. We don’t have any idea about our homeland, but girls are named after those cities: Jaffa, Nasera [Arabic for Nazareth], Haifa and Akka. If you think about traveling, you will calculate a thousand setbacks before getting out of this prison. Will the Israeli army arrest you at the Erez checkpoint? Will they ask you to collaborate? Will you be blackmailed? Will they let you come back? Because of this all young people are looking at emigrating to Turkey or to Belgium to restore their lives after Israel has destroyed their minds.

Living this life, everything is forbidden. Forbidden to travel, medical treatment, the import and export [of goods], forbidden to marry the one you love from the West Bank or from the historic Palestinian cities [In Israel].”

Hatem Heji. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Hatem Heji, 29, vehicle inspector

“Living within this concept, of the largest cage, means living like disenfranchised gorillas with a lot of injustice committed against us by the world as a whole, not just Israel. I do not know why the theory of the strong preying on the weak is applied by an independent state that is a UN member and claims respect human rights. Thinking about this is maddening.  It threatens stability in an already collapsed area, who then will take the accountability. Why are we pushed to this point?”

Aya Kassab. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Aya Kassab, 22, elementary school teacher

“The weekly protest might became the last strategy we use to guarantee that our voices are heard. Protesters merely want the Great March of Return, and the decades of consequences [we have been living under] to be included in the rest of the world’s narrative for us, rather than dismissed.

I know that no one will be returning anywhere at the end of this march. Of course they [protesters] have no plans to remove the fence. And of course this protest isn’t an attempt to somehow remove or negate the state of Israel. The last 70 years has turned the Gaza Strip into a prison where everyone is serving a life sentence; and everyone’s children will serve a life sentence too; and their children’s children, and so on.”

Ismail Heji. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Ismail Heji, 32, accountant

“This large prison turns us into a real science project. If one goes back four years and looks at the Shuja’iya residential area [in northeast Gaza] – it looked like Hiroshima after the bomb dropped down from the sky. Those residents have lost all hope in running away from bombs. It was shocking to see these people losing their children, and that no one cares anymore. Such apathy makes it impossible to refresh one’s mind to live the life of a human.

My family’s 0.7 acres of olive tree orchards have been flattened by the Israeli bulldozers four times, that made us lose our last hope that we would be able to stand on our feet again. So this feeling of depression will explode on the Israeli side. The more pressure put on the Palestinians will lead them to mass cross the fence, in which case Israel will lost control the situation.”

Nesma Nazli. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Nesma Nazli, 30, freelance journalist

“What kind of a future waits hundreds of youths who have been turned into amputees by Israeli fire? State practices such as the killing of civilians does not help realize one’s humanity. They [Israeli soldiers] practice sniping in a jungle and do not give us a single human right. We will continue so long as the international community fails, as they have done across decades, to put real pressure on Israel.  They just excels at issuing condemnation statements to Israel without any sanctions or forcing it to give the minimum rights to Palestinians. There is no escape from this large jail except struggling 7o more years, then maybe we can restore our dignity when Israel is forced to self-destruct.”

Deya’a Al-shanti. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Deya’a Al-shanti, 25, folk dancer

“No matter how many times the word ‘Palestine’ is repeated, and no matter how many pompous flag-raising ceremonies are held – at the United Nations or anywhere – we, the young Gazans look around us and see very little reason for hope. I could have been born in one of my grandfathers’ house in Jaffa. Instead, I was born in a squalid, overcrowded refugee camp to the south of Gaza. Who said that I have to be a refugee forever? Israel says that. And this answer must be changed one day. But how?

Muna Al-Sek. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Muna Al-Sek, 34, science teacher

“Israel has turned us into people thirsty for a electrical power.  Many people leave their homes when the power is cut for up to 15 hours, then they come back once the power is up to continue their daily lives. We are thirsty for food aid vouchers, our minds are far away from thinking about our right to return to our homeland. My husband and I feel desperate when we planned to enroll our kids in a private schools to get an excellent education, but our fear of the deteriorating economic conditions in Gaza do not encourage us to do so. You do not know what may happen tomorrow. Perhaps we will need these funds to rebuild our demolished home if a sudden war begins for weeks or months. Nothing here encourages to develop yourself.”

Ahmad Kahlout. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Ahmad Kahlout, 29, unemployed

“If you look at into the faces of people on the street, none would laugh with their broken hearts. Misery controls the people of Gaza.  We feel shackled due to the blockade and long years of political failures. It makes us weak-willed. Israel’s policy has converted us into ready–to-travel handbags, wanting to immigrate.

I moved back to Gaza from Syria in 2008, but I was welcomed with the first of three massive wars that killed every drop of hope for a political horizon.”

About Ahmad Kabariti

Ahmad Kabariti is a freelance journalist based in Gaza.

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37 Responses

  1. mondonut
    mondonut
    October 10, 2018, 6:04 pm

    So, so much cognitive dissonance.

    Not an ounce of blame for the Islamic militants ruling in Gaza. And a complete inability to correlate their predicament with claims to and attacks on Israel.

    And BTW, none of these people are refugees. They self identify as Palestinians and they are living on and mostly born to land they recognize as Palestine.

    • eljay
      eljay
      October 10, 2018, 7:52 pm

      || mondonut: So, so much cognitive dissonance.

      Not an ounce of blame for the Islamic militants ruling in Gaza. And a complete inability to correlate their predicament with claims to and attacks on Israel. … ||

      Yup, those women chained in the rapist’s basement aren’t as clear-headed as the rapist who, like, totally understands that:
      – he’s entitled to “self-determine” himself in them; and
      – they need to get over their “Joe hatred”, stop attacking him and just lie back and enjoy the ride.

    • bcg
      bcg
      October 10, 2018, 8:34 pm

      @Mondonut: If you’ve actually been paying attention, Hamas has surrendered – in the most face saving way possible, but they’ve surrendered.

      https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5363595,00.html

      But I’m not clear on what preventing Gazans from traveling abroad to get medical treatment has to do with Hamas – perhaps you can explain that.

      What proposal has Israel – by far the stronger party – put on the table?

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        October 10, 2018, 10:47 pm

        @bcg, Hamas has surrendered…

        Like hell they have. They remain in power, they continue to rule Gaza and they want air and sea access so they can rearm and grow stronger.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        October 11, 2018, 10:07 pm

        Hi bcg

        I didn’t see Hamas as surrendering in any way. Hamas leader Sinwar explicitly stated that he is not disarming , he only said that he doesn’t want wars:

        https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5364286,00.html

        “”And I am not saying I won’t fight anymore, indeed. I am saying that I don’t want war anymore. I want the end of the siege. You walk to the beach at sunset, and you see all these teenagers on the shore chatting and wondering what the world looks like across the sea. What life looks like. It’s breaking. And should break everybody. I want them free.”

        He did say some extremely moderate things, prominent among which was a hat tip to past Jewish contribution to the sciences and literature:

        “They (the Jewish people) were people like Freud, Einstein, Kafka. Experts of maths and philosophy.”

        A very emotionally powerful quote (to my mind, the highlight of this interview) was the one where he was trying to explain how a ceasefire with Israel with the siege lifted would give an opportunity to the younger generation of Gazans and future Gaza children to grow up under circumstances that won’t exert influences towards developing an aggressive psychology. He actually expressed the hope that time can heal present wounds and that future Gaza children, growing under freedom without siege, could turn out with a far more conciliatory mood towards the Israelis, unlike their parents who were under conditions of war and deprivation:

        “And let’s make time work for us. Heal our wounds. I have been in jail for 25 years. He lost a son—killed in a raid. Your translator—he lost two brothers. The man who served us tea—his wife died from an infection. No big deal, a cut. But there were no antibiotics, and that’s how she died. For something any pharmacist could treat. Do you think it’s easy for us? But let’s start with this ceasefire. Let’s give our kids the life we never had. And they will be better than us. With a different life, they will build a different future.”

        And the Western media were deaf. Shame to the Guardian, it didn’t even mention the interview, if I checked correctly.

      • annie
        annie
        October 11, 2018, 11:16 pm

        what an excellent article

        And it has one of the best cafés I have ever been to, which is just a wooden cart with a boiler and old iron lamps, an old empty whiskey bottles, a portrait of Che Guevara among all the photos of Umm Kulthum, and candles in little cans, because there’s no electricity. And they only have Nescafé, served on plastic tables worth a dollar each. But it has the atmosphere of a Parisian café, because it’s the hangout of all these twenty-somethings who have never been out of here, and yet—I don’t know how—they speak fluent English. and they have countless projects and endless energy. And they still want to meet me every time, despite the fact I’m translated into Hebrew as well, among other languages.

        Israel here means tanks and airstrikes, nothing else. Most of them have never seen an Israeli. This is not Ramallah, you live badly here. But really badly. Everywhere you come across wounded and amputees; and this brutal poverty. They would have all the right not to want me here. Of course, I am Italian, not Israeli, and it makes a difference. They say: It’s not Italy to besiege us; it’s not Italy that we have to address. They all want to address Israel.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        October 11, 2018, 11:36 pm

        Annie yes, i too found the article great. I remembered the quote by Francesca Borri, the Italian journalist that interviewed Hamas leader Sinwar, which you posted. I remembered both the cafe but mostly that quote about the wounded and the amputees that have become part of the Gaza scenery, the victims of the Israelis from the return Marches at the fence:

        “you live badly here. But really badly. Everywhere you come across wounded and amputees; and this brutal poverty.”

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      October 11, 2018, 10:13 am

      @mondonut

      Sigh. You keep trotting out the same bull crap.

      Reality:

      On 16 June 2009, after meeting with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Ismail Haniya, prime minister of Hamas’s Gaza Strip government, announced that “If there is a real plan to resolve the Palestinian question on the basis of the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967 [i.e. 22% of historic Palestine as per 1949 armistice agreements] and with full sovereignty, we are in favour of it.” The entity known as “Israel” ignored the offer.

      http://www.haaretz.com/isra…
      “‘We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees,’ Haniyeh said, referring to the year of Middle East war in which “Israel” captured East Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories. ” (Haaretz, December 1, 2010) No response from “Israel.”

      In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas again agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, “Israel” rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.

      https://www.haaretz.com/isr…
      “Senior Hamas Official: ‘I Think We Can All Live Here in This Land – Muslims, Christians and Jews.’” By Nir Gontarz. March 28, 2018, Haaretz. Again, no response from “Israel.”

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        October 11, 2018, 11:29 am

        @Misterioso Sigh. You keep trotting out the same bull crap

        First of all, your response is unsurprisingly entirely off topic. And what cannot be found in any of your Hamas supporting nonsense is a Hamas recognition of Israel, so of course Israel would not respond. In much the same way as your childish and ignorant insistence on referring to Israel as “the entity known as”.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        October 11, 2018, 12:00 pm

        @modonut

        Sigh. Perhaps English is not your first language. Please carefully and slowly read the quotations I have provided. They confirm that Hamas is willing to settle for a state per the 1949 armistice agreements, i.e., as of 4 June 1967. Also, anyone with an IQ over room temperature would realize that by ignoring every Hamas overture, it is the entity known as “Israel” that is preventing progress towards a peaceful settlement.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        October 11, 2018, 3:11 pm

        @Misterioso They confirm that Hamas is willing to settle for a state per the 1949…

        Try again. Nothing in those documents state Hamas is willing to “settle”, they state that Hamas is willing to “accept” a state on the armistice lines. Without offering an end of claims, without a peace treaty and without recognition of Israel.

        To use your own analogy, anyone with IQ over room temperature can easily understand that Hamas will take what they can get with no intention of ending their claim to all of Israel. Hamas is nothing if not consistent, they have continuously and consistently stated they will not accept Israel under any circumstances.

        And you are no better with your “entity known as Israel” nonsense.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        October 13, 2018, 12:31 am

        Hamas is willing for a hudna, not for mutual recognition.

        The current situation in Gaza reflects the desire of Netanyahu to curry favor with right wing voters, not to appear weak before the electorate. If not for this factor, the siege of Gaza would be ended, because even Netanyahu realizes that this is unwise. But he wants to win this election. and he needs to defend himself against the wolves baying at his door, so he is not inclined towards wisdom but to personal survival.

        (Abbas and Fatah are a complicating factor. They are opposed to ending the siege on Gaza. But I do not think Netanyahu would heed Abbas and Fatah, except for the right wing of the electorate, whose votes coincide with Fatah’s interests and oppose ending the siege.)

      • annie
        annie
        October 13, 2018, 2:18 am

        even Netanyahu realizes that this is unwise

        is this your hunch? netanyahu is not heeding abbas and fatah although i’ve read this before. mostly, i agree with your comment. but i was just wondering, about this specific italic’d comment, have you read this about him or is it your assessment.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        October 13, 2018, 10:48 am

        annie- a hunch.

    • dionissis_mitropoulos
      dionissis_mitropoulos
      October 11, 2018, 3:44 pm

      @mondonut

      Mondonut this is one of those times I realize how hard it is to strike the right emotional tone when responding to comments like yours, comments which are deeply offensive to vulnerable people who are probably reading this comment section. Normally, I feel like responding politely, and I usually follow through because, apart from my natural predilection to do so, this polite approach also happens to be the best way for a constructive discussion. Yet, seeing your first comment, where you are talking about people who live on 4 hours of electricity a day because of your beloved Israel, and where you are talking about them in such a condescending way as if they are your servants, the only way I can describe your first comment is as an instance of hegemonic emotional deafness: you are blind to salient factors that are affecting the situation of our guests from Gaza who shared their experiences with us, and you are blind to these factors because you feel deep inside you that you are so much better than them. And this is also a good description of the Israeli stance towards the Gaza people – hegemonic emotional deafness.

      Anyway, I will try to answer as non-confrontationally as possible the substantive points that you made. You said:

      “So, so much cognitive dissonance.”

      Reminder: you are addressing people from Gaza who live on 4 hours of electricity a day partly because your country, Israel, deliberately targeted their electricity production infrastructure for no legitimate military reason whatsoever. You are addressing people whose country, Palestine, is under occupation by your country, Israel. Can you try addressing them a little bit less condescendingly? Can you try not punching down so condescendingly?

      By the way, you do know that your country has deliberately destroyed electricity infrastructure in Gaza, because I had posted a link in a past discussion with you:

      https://mondoweiss.net/2018/09/leaves-survive-refugees/comment-page-1/#comment-928383

      Anyway, you said:

      “Not an ounce of blame [by our Gaza guests] for the Islamic militants ruling in Gaza.”

      Yes, and this makes perfect sense, because they need to address the international community that is ignoring the Gaza plight at the hands of the Israelis. Why would they dilute their message of suffering and hopelessness with references to Hamas?

      You said:

      “And a complete inability [by our guests from Gaza] to correlate their predicament with claims to and attacks on Israel.”

      By “predicament” you are euphemistically referring to what is a crippling siege that even the IDF has come to recognize is useless even for Israel’s interests. Please see my second comment here (the one which starts with the words “[Bret Stephens said]”)

      https://mondoweiss.net/2018/08/defenses-columnists-protesters/

      But, to answer your point as to why our guests are not relating their “predicament” with Hamas attacks on Israel, the answer is that they don’t do so because their “predicament” (i.e. the siege of Gaza by Israel) has nothing to do with such purported attacks by Hamas. Here is proof, from pro-Israel sources, that not even Israel blames any of the 3 wars that Israel fought in Gaza on Hamas exclusively (my last comment, response to commenter Jackdaw):

      https://mondoweiss.net/2018/08/pregnant-palestinian-daughter/

      The siege has nothing to do with Hamas’s putative aggression (the IDF is far more aggressive, plus Israel’s security establishment itself has admitted there is a collective-punishment aspect to it, irrelevant to any hypothetical arming of Hamas) and has more to do with an Israeli reluctance to sell a politically expensive ending of the siege to a vengeful Israeli public that wants to see Gaza suffer. It also has to do, I speculate, with the reluctance of some influential part of the two-stater pro-Israel activism establishment in the West, who see that the empowering of Hamas that an ending of the siege implies endangers their dream of snatching from a Palestinian collaborator (a successor of Abbas in the West Bank) a signature for a humiliating suboptimal two-state solution that does not give East Jerusalem to the Palestinians (“suboptimal two-state solution” = “two-state solution that does not give east Jerusalem to the Palestinians”). Hamas stands in the way of this, because there is no way on earth that it will acquiesce to such a suboptimal two-state solution that compromises on the holy places (Abbas too had said he wouldn’t compromise on the holy places, but if he had control of Gaza with Hamas disarmed he would have already signed such a suboptimal two-state solution. Hence, I speculate, the thunderous silence concerning the siege from supposedly moderate voices in the two-stater pro-Israel establishment – they don’t want to see empowered the only significant Palestinian faction that won’t compromise on the holy places, Hamas. If you thought the conflict was good West versus bad Muslims, as many Israelis do, think again: it’s more like Hamas is the good guy against a bull-in-a-china-shop Western hegemonic indifference incapable/unwilling of reining in its greedy offspring, Israel – greedy, in that international law is widely interpreted as not recognizing any Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem and over the holy places, and yet Israel insists on having sovereignty over them.

      So our guests from Gaza were right not to correlate their suffering due to the siege with Hamas’s behavior. Their suffering has more to do with Mr Jeffrey Goldberg’s and Mr Tom Friedman’s (i’m using the names suggestively) inability to abandon the notion that they occupy the moral high ground, and their consequent desire to keep a non-aggressive (compared to the IDF) Hamas sufficiently down so that a future Israel-collaborating Palestinian President might deliver a humiliating for Palestine suboptimal two-state solution that does not give Palestine all the holy places.

      Mononut, you said:

      “[Hamas has not surrendered, they] remain in power, they continue to rule Gaza”

      Mondonut, it was me who responded to you that Hamas had offered to Abbas civil control of Gaza. Here is our past discussion:

      https://mondoweiss.net/2018/09/leaves-survive-refugees/comment-page-1/#comment-928392

      Hamas rules Gaza because Abbas does not want to reconcile with Hamas.

      You said:

      “and they [Hamas] want air and sea access so they can rearm and grow stronger.”

      Hamas will not grow militarily significantly stronger if it acquires an airport and a port, Israel will be monitoring the shipments before they reach Gaza. Besides, isn’t Hezbollah 100 times stronger than Hamas and as anti-Israel as Hamas? Has Hezbollah given Israel any trouble since 2006? Do you think the Palestinians and the Muslims are blind? Do you think they don’t see that the International Criminal Court (ICC) won’t indict any Israeli war criminal like Colonel Ofir Winter (Hannibal Directive in August 2014, the most clear war crime of Protective Edge)? Do you think they don’t see that the ICC will only move in case a rightwing Israeli government endangers the suboptimal two-state solution that Tom and Jeffrey want? I mean, in the same way that Hezbollah does not attack Israel, Hamas won’t attack Israel even in the unlikely scenario that Hamas could acquire as much firepower as Hezbollah – they are not stupid, they realize the power differential between them and Israel, Hamas leader Sinwar said as much in his recent interview (“who would like to face a nuclear power [like Israel] with slingshots [like we Hamas have]?”. (Full disclosure: I think the world is a better place with the existence of the ICC and institutions like that, despite their morally outrageous partisanship in favor of Israel. I still want them to exist even if they have to suck up to Mr Tom and Jeffrey. It’s just that supporters of Israel are dragging down to the moral gutter the moral standards of the world, the ICC would have been far more credible and active if it had a free hand to prosecute the obvious Israeli war crimes – it would be a signal to the non-Western world that the West, when it talks about equality and justice, it means it. But, given that Tom and Jeffrey must be capable to muster the appropriate amount of righteous indignation when they slap around Walt and Meirsheimer if they dare call Israel an apartheid state, the ICC will turn a blind eye to Israeli war crimes, and will react only if it happens that Tom’s and Jeffrey’s hegemonically watered-down but still hegemonic and sub-optimal two-state solution is endangered – it is in this light that I speculatively interpret the recent (welcome, to be sure) ICC warnings against Israel (and please don’t ask me about the nuanced mechanics of it all, I only speculate about the bigger picture). As I said, I think Israel and pro-Israel activists are a source of moral stagnation, the international community’s moral standards have to be kept as low as to allow Israel’s behavior to pass moral muster. Otherwise i find it inexplicable that the ICC has not prosecuted Israeli war criminals.

      Coming back to our discussion, mondonut, the reason Hamas wants air and sea access is because the people of Gaza want them, and Hamas wants to please the people of Gaza – isn’t that the story of democratic political factions? Aren’t they all trying to be in people’s hearts?

      Hamas leader Sinwar put it wonderfully when referring to why he wants the end of the siege(here is the recent must-read interview of Hamas leader Sinwar, expressing so moderate positions that the Western media felt they had to suppress it – it was too moderate for the demonization of Hamas which pro-Israel activists have imposed at the gunpoint of anti-Semitism allegations (Corbyn’s character assassination, anyone?):

      https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5364286,00.html

      “we [the Palestinian people] are not beggars, we want to work, study, travel, like all of you [in the international community], we want to live, and to stand on our own—if we start to see a difference, we can go on. And Hamas will do its best [to keep the peace after a hypothetical end of the siege]. But there is no security, no stability, neither here nor in the region, without freedom and justice. I don’t want the peace of the graveyard.”

      Yes, mondonut, surprising as it may be to some Israelis and supporters of Israel (what with all the demonizing themes against hamas in the echo chamber of pro-Israel advocacy) the people of Gaza want the same things with us, to be able to travel, to study, to work. That’s why Hamas wants the end of the siege, to please the people of Gaza, not to rearm to attack an Israel that is a million times stronger than Hamas — a power differential that Hamas leader Sinwar explicitly recognized in the interview.

      Hamas leader Sinwar’s recent interview is a must read (here is the full version, a much bigger one than the one commenter bcg posted):

      https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5364286,00.html

      Mondonut, I blamed you for condescension, but I was unduly recriminative. I mean, if you are blameworthy for condescension , what should I say for Mr Tom Friedman who called the Arabs “crazy poor Middle Easterners” (September 5. 2018)?

      https://www.nytimes.com/column/thomas-l-friedman

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        October 11, 2018, 10:31 pm

        @dionissis_mitropoulos, blah, blah, blah, excessively long comment…

        – The current problem with electrical service in Gaza results from Hamas’ inability to reconcile with the PLO. They get all the electrical service they pay for.

        – Israel is not my country.

        – Gaza is not under Israeli occupation. Ask Hamas, they do not believe it either.

        – Your link on the IDFs supposed believe the siege is useless does not support your position. And such a ridiculous claim does not support the smell test. Why in the world would the IDF favor unfettered sea and air shipments to Gaza from their friends in Iran?

        – Are you really sourcing your own comments as proof of something? At least source a comment that pretends to state what you imagine.

        – The arming of Hamas is not hypothetical.

        – Sure Hamas offered civil control, so they can concentrate their energies on their “resistence”. Building a better life for the people of Gaza is way harder than stealing the concrete for their houses and building tunnels. And BTW, the PLO does not want civil control they want everything.

        – Ending the siege does not provide Israel with monitoring of shipments. And no, permitting Hamas to grow in size and power equal to Hezbollah is dumb idea.

        – Hamas does not want to end the siege to grow in power? Well, isn’t that nice, those Hamas boys are so sweet. I bet they just want to import rainbows and ponies for everyone!

        If Hamas were so concerned with the welfare of the Gazans they would not be so insistent on clinging to power against the best interests of the Gazans. If they were so interested in the welfare of their people they would put an end to the conditions, claims and behavior that requires the blockade to remain in place. If they were so interested in the welfare of Gaza they would stop picking fights, stop building tunnels into Israel, stop building and launching rockets. They would build homes instead of tunnels, roads instead of rockets. They would tell the Israelis they no longer claim Israel as their own, they are ending their ridiculous claims to a RoR, and that they are fully invested in building a country for their people in Gaza.

        But that will never happen so long as so many useful idiots continue to carry water for the militant thugs of Gaza.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        October 12, 2018, 8:07 pm

        PART 1

        Dear Reader, you may wish to skip this comment, I am just responding to a boorish and intellectually dishonest commenter (“mondonut”) who said almost nothing of substance but merely tried to derail the discussion.

        Ladies and gentlemen, commenter mondonut is the typical online pro-Israel advocate, and as such he is guaranteed, when the discussion is not going well for him, to try to drag any discussion into the gutter not just with his boorish rudeness but also with a variety of other behaviours that guarantee that he won’t receive answers by his interlocutors — not because they can’t answer his points, but because they can’t stand him and his rudeness and his boorishness and his other intellectually dishonest discussion-evading behaviours. Israel advocates like mondonut are not trying to discuss, they are trying to beat their opponent into submission – which is very similar to the attitude of Israel, it should be noted. It is commenters like mondonut that have led to the near-total dominance of pro-Israel advocates in online disussions about Israel/Palestine throughout the internet. I mean, who would want to talk to them when they talk like that? The tragic result is that the general public remains misinformed from this source of information – I mean the comments sections. For top level analytic philosophy discussion of a variation of this theme (“to respond or not to respond to boorish commenters like mondonut?”) please see the following discussion, together with the comment section:

        http://peasoup.us/2018/09/the-unfortunate-end-game-of-some-fraught-debates/

        Here is the major theme in this analytic philosophy link:

        “The rhetoric and tone escalate around you. It seems the distinctions you were at pains to clarify are sometimes lost in some of the complaints about your view. You become agitated and start thinking “I can’t let this take over my day and this is getting unpleasant.”
        Where do you go from there?”

        Before I respond to commenter mondonut’s sentences, I need to post a link to a past discussion I had with him. He had called “nonsense” a claim of mine. It turns out that this claim of mine was espoused by both the Israeli Defense establishment and also by the part of the US pro-Israel establishment that is represented by WINEP. In other words, he has been shown to be not just an epistemically unworthy commenter (by which I mean he can’t be taken seriously prima facie, but only in a statement by statement fashion, if someone wants to bother reading him) but also a bigmouth bullying one – for it is one thing to be an ignoramus like he is, but being an ignoramus and yet casting others as ignoramuses, like he does, is very provocative. Also, the fact that my demonstrating in this past discussion what an untrustworthy source of information he is, but without actually calling him so, helps us conclude today that he is a hardcore bully with no shame in him but a pure libido dominandi. Because today he attacks me in a similarly epistemically irresponsible way as if nothing had happened in that past discussion, where he had been demonstrated to be an ignoramus – and where I had even spared him any mocking or similar reactions (I had only pointed to him the antisocial effects of his rudeness. In retrospect, I should have called him a ziosplainer and be done with it). This was our past discussion:

        https://mondoweiss.net/2018/09/leaves-survive-refugees/comment-page-1/#comment-928413

        But let’s move to his present response to me.

        Here is mononut’s opening salvo, referring to my present comment in this thread:

        ” blah, blah, blah, excessively long comment…”

        So i guess the length of a comment counts against its being a worthy comment, according to mondonut. Either that, or he was trying to say something sufficiently defiant while putting down his interlocutor. I think it’s the latter, online Israel advocates tend to evince this tendency towards bravado. Here is a comment of mine where i had talked about this Israeli bravado:

        https://mondoweiss.net/2018/09/palestine-achieved-escaped/comment-page-1/#comment-929253

        Now, here is mondonut’s first substantive point in his present response to me:

        “The current problem with electrical service in Gaza results from Hamas’ inability to reconcile with the PLO. They get [from Israel] all the electrical service they pay for.”

        He is apparently responding to my allegation that he should have been mindful of how he talked to our Gazan guests due to his country’s, Israel’s, responsibility for the electricity situation in Gaza. And mondonut, true to the disingenuousness of online Israel advocates, ignores my link from Israel’s leading think tank on security matters that proves that Israel had deliberately destroyed electricity infrastructure in Gaza. Note also how disingenuous he is by refering to the “current” problem with electric service in Gaza. It is true that Gaza since April 2017 up to now had only 4 hours of electricity due to the sanctions of Palestinian President Abbas, whereas before that time it had 8 hours electricity a day. So mondonut is arguing tacitly that it is not Israel’s fault that Gaza has only 4 hours a day instead of 8, but he evades the point about Israel’s being partly responsible for Gaza’s having only 8 hours of electricity before April 2017 due to the Israeli destruction of electricity infrastructure. What’s even more disingenuous is that he evades Israel’s co-responsibility for the 4 hours too. Israel is co-responsible with Palestinian President Abbas because Israel could have deducted from the amount of money that it collects on behalf of Abbas as Gaza tax revenues an amount equal to the amount that was required to offset the sanctions that Abbas imposed on Gaza in the form of lack of electricity payments. In other words, if Abbas had refrained from paying an amount X for Gaza electricity, Israel should have deducted this amount X from the total amount Y that Israel gives to Abbas after collecting it as Gaza tax revenue on behalf of Abbas. Israel would be in effect deactivating the sanctions that Abbas imposed on Gaza, making Abbas to pay that amount. Here is Nathan Thrall explaining what Israel could have done (April 2018):

        https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/israelpalestine/gaza-protests-mark-shift-palestinian-national-consciousness

        “Israel should increase exports and exit permits from Gaza and use Gaza tax revenues to provide Gaza with additional electricity, regardless of any intended cuts by the PA.”

        And here is Nathan Thrall again a month later (May 2018)

        https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/israelpalestine/deadly-day-gaza-wont-be-last

        “Israel, for its part, ought to stop transferring taxes on Gaza goods to the PA government in Ramallah and instead use that money – which in any event should belong to the people of Gaza – on the territory’s most pressing needs: electricity, sewage, clean water, and jobs.”

        And here is the INSS, Israel’s leading think tank on security matters, making clear that Israel should have done exactly what Nathan Thrall suggested, which means that Israel is causally and morally responsible as much as Abbas for the reduction of electricity supply from 8 to 4 hours – because Israel could have prevented the bad outcome of 4 hours of electricity (March 2018):

        http://www.inss.org.il/publication/preparations-nakba-march-hamass-cognitive-campaign/?utm_source=activetrail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=INSS%20Insight%20No.%201036

        “Part of the Israeli effort should be reflected in immediate action to alleviate the hardship in the Gaza Strip: increasing the supply of water and electricity and significantly increasing the supply of medicines to hospitals, even if contrary to the PA’s preference – if the latter elects to continue to impose sanctions on the Gaza Strip and refuses to pay for fuel, electricity, water, and medicines. In this case, Israel should prefer the welfare of Gaza’s residents over the interest of the PA in its struggle against Hamas, and even subtract the costs of aid from tax money that Israel collects for the PA.”

        So, mondonut tried to evade Israel’s partial responsibility for the fact that Gaza had only 8 hours of electricity before April 2017 (thanks also to the deliberate destruction of Gaza electricity infrastructure by the IDF) by stating that Israel has no responsibility for the fact that Gaza had from sometime in 2017 up to now only 4 hours electricity a day, and that for that it is Abbas that is responsible, according to mondonut. It turns out, as my links prove, that Israel had as much responsibility as Abbas for the fact that Gaza had only 4 instead of 8 hours from sometime in 2017 up to now, because Israel could have secured a flow of 8 hours of electricity by going against Abbas’s wishes, as my links prove.

        But what is glaringly boorish in commenter mondonut’s demenour is that my whole point was not about casting Israel as responsible for the electricity crisis – even though it was co-responsible with Abbas from 2017 up to now. My whole point was about him, I was telling him in effect that before talking the way he did to our Gazan online guests he should have taken into account that Israel had caused them great suffering with, among other things, the flow of electricity.

        I now realize it was a waste of time. Commenter mondonut just doesn’t get what tact is – how Israeli of his.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        October 12, 2018, 8:12 pm

        PART 2

        Commenter mondonut said:

        “ Israel is not my country

        I don’t believe him, on the grounds of the conjunction of 4 reasons:
        1 English is not his native language

        2 he didn’t mention in the first opportunity he had that he allegedly isn’t Israeli. One would expect that he would have stated it in his first reply to me.

        3 he doesn’t mention his country of origin. If someone had mistaken me for an Israeli I would have immediately responded “No, I ‘m Greek”

        4 he sounds as rude as the Israelis that I have seen online in Israel/Palestine discussions. And just in case you thought that I am exaggerating, I am informing you that the problem of the Israeli rudeness is such that in Israel there is an NGO that tries to make the Israelis less rude😊 I quote from the Times of Israel:

        https://www.timesofisrael.com/an-israeli-wrestler-calls-himself-the-chutzpah-and-europe-loves-to-hate-him/

        “Like many Israelis visiting Europe, Leeor Brooks is keenly aware of his compatriots’ reputation abroad for rudeness.
        The boorish stereotype is so well known that it has its own term there – “the ugly Israeli” – and been the subject of many an awareness-raising campaign. There’s even an entire nonprofit, Good Will Ambassadors, devoted solely to educating Israelis to behave better abroad.”

        Commenter mondonut continued fighting strawmen in an attempt to waste my time. He unnecessarily said:

        “Gaza is not under Israeli occupation. Ask Hamas, they do not believe it either.”

        It is a strawman because I had never mentioned Gaza as occupied. I had referred to Palestine as occupied – not that this is a significant point, but I’m just saying. Here is how I had put it in an attempt to sensitize boorish commenter mondonut with regard to how we are supposed to talk when the other party belongs to a collective that is now being seriously harmed by our collective: “You [mondonut] are addressing people [our online guests from Gaza] whose country, Palestine, is under occupation by your country, Israel. Can you try addressing them a little bit less condescendingly?”. Did I mention Gaza as occupied? No. But commenter mondonut is the prototypical Israel advocate, always eager to bring the discussion to some predetermined talking points that the hasbara echo chamber has prepared down the years, never mind how trite the talking points may be, and never mind how irrelevant those points might be to the discussion at hand.

        But note also how corrupted his emotional world is: I was telling him in effect that his country had been harming our online guests from Gaza and that this was a reason for treating them more gently. And commenter mondonut, oblivious to everything morally relevant, made his inane comment, as if the irrelevant issue of whether Gaza is occupied or not, while Gaza is indeed under a brutal siege that has been acknowledged by the IDF as a source of suffering, could make a difference to what I was telling him.

        Yes Israel may be destroying your life, you Gazans, but you are not occupied – that’s the statement that mondonut’s behaviour expressed.

        Commenetr mondonut continued wasting my time, this time with uncharitable readings of texts. Here is what he said:

        “ Your link on the IDFs supposed believe the siege is useless does not support your position.”

        My link quotes a General from the highest echelons of the IDF Here is the link I had posted (my second comment in that linked discussion)

        https://mondoweiss.net/2018/08/defenses-columnists-protesters/

        And here is the General:

        ““the situation of Gaza’s population deteriorated dramatically compared to the period prior to 2007, particularly in light of the restrictions that Israel imposed on the Gaza Strip (in terms of traffic to and from the region, and in terms of economic activity);”

        So the General is telling us that the siege (understood as encompassing restrictions of movement of both people and products in and out of Gaza, and also as economic sanctions) made the situation of the Gaza population deteriorate dramatically after 2007. He also told us that the situation is so bad, due to the siege, that the young people feel that they have nothing to lose:

        “As far as the new generation is concerned, the situation cannot get any worse and they have nothing more to lose”

        Now the general tells us that this situation X that is a direct result of the siege, and which has made the people of Gaza feel they have nothing to lose, has made Israel very concerned about Israel’s security situation and has led Israel to the belief that the bad situation X that has resulted from the siege has made Israel see it as a very serious potential cause of future wars, wars that are seen by the General as having dramatic ramifications on the security of Israel:

        “the Israeli view of the Gaza Strip now focuses on the hardships suffered by two million Palestinians living in that congested strip of land, coupled with the understanding that their economic situation has direct, dramatic ramifications on the security situation in the region.
        Consequently, the more bleak the situation of Gazan residents becomes, the greater the chances of additional rounds of violence in this region in the future.”

        So, to recap, my link says that the siege creates a bad situation X for the Gaza people. This situation X, created by the siege, is very undesirable for Israel, as the General tells us, and its undesirability for Israel is proportional to its badness for the Gaza people, which in turn is a direct result of the siege, as the General makes clear. So we safely conclude that the siege is a source of a very undesirable situation for Israel, a situation that the General has told us Israel wants to change. So we conclude that the siege is a cause of a very undesirable situation for Israel, a situation that Israel wants to change. Am I entitled to call this siege a useless siege? I am convinced I am. If a siege is all-things-considered undesirable in the eyes of Israel, it is all-things-considered useless in the eyes of Israel, I take this to be an analytic truth. So much for the time that commenter mondonut made me waste to prove that he is so intellectually dishonest that he is going to clutch at irrelevant straws in order to destroy the discussion. By the way, here is a link that makes the point even more clearly, namely that Israel sees the siege as useless for Israel’s purposes , here is a top level General, the Director of Israel’s leading think tank on security matters:

        http://www.inss.org.il/publication/strategic-overview-reconstruction-gaza-strip-critical-imperative/

        “Israel would do well to recognize the failure of the strategy that harms the [Gaza] population’s civil conditions based on the premise that they will then turn their anger and frustration against their leadership – in this case, Hamas – and exert pressure on it to accede to Israel’s demands, or to channel its activity into the realm of social services, thereby reducing the burden on and security threat to Israel. This strategy has thus far failed to achieve its goal. On the contrary, the opposite has proven to be true.”

        Mondonut continues on the same theme of my claim that Israel sees now the siege as useless, oblivious to how much he is about to ridicule himself by calling my own claim “ridiculous”. Here is the intellectually suicidal commenter mondonut forcing himself to laugh at me:

        “ Your link on the IDFs supposed believe the siege is useless does not support your position. And such a ridiculous claim does not support the smell test.

        What was that ridiculous claim of mine? That the IDF considers the siege useless. And what did General Udi Dekel, the Director of Israel’s leading think tank on security matters told us? I quote him again from the link above: “Israel would do well to recognize the failure of the strategy that harms the [Gaza] population’s civil conditions …This strategy has thus far failed to achieve its goal. On the contrary, the opposite has proven to be true”.

        It turns out that the ridiculous claim was mondonut’s, who finds ridiculous an idea (namely, that the siege is useless) that is accepted as common wisdom in the highest echelons of the IDF as my links from pro-Israel sources prove.

        Now, as with all intellectually dishonest people, commenter mondonut is going to attempt semantic escapes from the untenable positions that his straw-clutching is leading him. Here he is now, changing the appropriate for our discussion meaning of the expression “useless siege”, making it to mean something enough strawman-like so that he can defeat it, here is commenter mondonut:

        “Why in the world would the IDF favor unfettered sea and air shipments to Gaza from their friends in Iran?”

        The quick answer to commenter mondonut is that the IDF never said that it supports unfettered sea and air shipments to Gaza. It is an obvious assumption that if the IDF allows for a port and/or airport for Gaza, the shipments will be monitored by the IDF before they enter Gaza. What’s more, I myself never said that the IDF supports such an unfettered move of shipments to Gaza without prior IDF inspection. In fact, in my comment to which mondonut is responding I specifically explained that the IDF would be inspecting incoming shipments, lest there be weapons inside. Here is how I put it: “ Hamas will not grow militarily significantly stronger if it acquires an airport and a port, Israel will be monitoring the shipments before they reach Gaza”. So much for strawman mondonut.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        October 12, 2018, 8:19 pm

        PART 3

        After I read his next one-liner I thought of stopping responding to him. But then it occurred to me that it is not everyday that someone demonstrates so much intellectual dishonesty as he did in his following response to me, so I thought I should respond to it for scientific reasons. Here is what he told me:

        “Are you really sourcing your own comments as proof of something? At least source a comment that pretends to state what you imagine”.

        I had indeed posted 4 links to past comments of mine but, contrary to commenter mondonut’s disingenuous tacit suggestion that I posted personal views as proof of something, each link of my own past comments that I posted included links from pro-Israel sources. What’s more, I even stated this to mondonut in some cases, but mondonut is right now pretending that he didn’t know that the past comments of mine that I posted were meant to be read for their content in pro-Israel links. Let me waste some time in order to conclusively prove how incredibly intellectually dishonest commenter mondonut is. The first past comment of mine that I linked to was accompanied by my saying explicitly to mondonut that I was linlking to this comment of mine because it included a link relevant to the electricity in gaza. Here is what I said to mondonut: “By the way, you [mondonut] do know that your country has deliberately destroyed electricity infrastructure in Gaza, because I had posted a link in a past discussion with you”. So mondonut knew very well why I posted a past comment of mine: it was because it included a relevant link.

        The second past comment of mine that I posted was a link to the General that we discussed above and it was accompanied by the following words that I said to mondonut: “…a crippling siege that even the IDF has come to recognize is useless even for Israel’s interests. Please see my second comment here (the one which starts with the words “[Bret Stephens said]”)” I think that even the brain dead would understand that the link to my past comment included a link that proves that the IDF finds the siege useless. So mondonut knew that this second past comment of mine that I linked to was meant to have in it a link relevant to the discussion, and that, therefore, I was linking to it on account of its containing a relevant link.

        The third past comment of mine that I posted couldn’t have been more explicit as to why I was posting it: I was posting it because it included a relevant link, and I had said so to commenter mondonut, even though he now pretends not to understand why exactly I was linking to my past comments. Here is what I said to mondonut: “Here is proof, from pro-Israel sources, that not even Israel blames any of the 3 wars that Israel fought in Gaza on Hamas exclusively (my last comment, response to commenter Jackdaw)”.

        As far as the 4th past comment of mine that I posted that mondonut claims that he doesn’t understand why I posted it, the reason for posting it was abundantly clear to mondonut because it was a link to a past discussion I had with him where I had responded to him with pro-Israel links proving, once again, that mondomut was wrong in his claims. In other words, mondonut knew that I was posting this past discussion because this past discussion with him included relevant links to our present subject. Here is what I said here to mondonut: “Mondonut, it was me who responded to you that Hamas had offered to Abbas civil control of Gaza. Here is our past discussion. … Hamas rules Gaza because Abbas does not want to reconcile with Hamas”.

        So let me restate mondonut’s intellectually dishonest question:

        “Are you really sourcing your own comments as proof of something?”

        No. As I have just demonstrated I was sourcing my own past comments because they included pro-Israel links relevant to the present discussion. What’s more, I just proved that mondonut is, or should have been, aware why I am sourcing my past comments, and that I certainly do so on account of their containing relevant links from pro-Israel sources. Which means that mondonut is either so brain dead that he doesn’t understand what I was explicitly saying, or that he is so intellectually dishonest as to try to derail the discussion. I believe he is both.

        Mondonut, in a fit of ziosplaining, continued by saying:

        “And BTW, the PLO does not want civil control they want everything.”

        Why is that ziosplaining? Well, he is telling me in a matter-of-factly way a truth that he is aware that I know because I had told this truth to him myself in a past discussion we had, namely that Hamas had offered to Abbas (i.e. the PLO, “Abbas” and “PLO” can be used as synonymous for the purposes of this discussion) civil control of Gaza but that Abbas insisted on Hamas’s disarmament too so that he will also have control of the military. Here is the link that proves that he was ziosplaining:

        https://mondoweiss.net/2018/09/leaves-survive-refugees/comment-page-1/#comment-928392

        And here is what I had told him in that past discussion:

        “Surely, you [mondonut] must have heard somewhere that Hamas had offered to Abbas civil control of Gaza… Abbas is asking that Hamas disarm here and now, as a precondition for his assuming responsibility for Gaza ruling… Abbas … is refusing to come and rule Gaza even though Hamas is willing to cede all civil control to him.”

        So it is obvious that I knew the truth that Abbas does not want mere civil control but also control over the weapons of Gaza, a truth that commenter mondonut repeated to me as a “by the way” truth – that breezily!!! 😊 Ziosplaining, as I said: commenter mondonut helps himself to a position of epistemic authority higher than mine by citing a piece of information that, for his bad luck, it was me who had talked to him about it before he mentioned it now to me. 😊 But never mind his ziosplaining hubris, It is kind of obvious through my few encounters with him here in mondoweiss who the better informed one is on the issues we have discussed. Plus, I am not even remotely as rude as he is 😊

        Commenter mondonut kept his secret weapon for the end: the naivete allegation. In a combination of indignation at my (non-veridically perceived, to be sure) epistemic insouciance coupled with putting words that I never said in my mouth, he said:

        “Hamas does not want to end the siege to grow in power? Well, isn’t that nice, those Hamas boys are so sweet. I bet they just want to import rainbows and ponies for everyone!”

        With his first sentence, in the form of a rhetorical question, he gives me the incredulous stare for my having said or implied that Hamas’s wanting an end to the siege is irrelevant to a Hamas’s wish to grow in power. Except that I never said or implied that Hamas’s wish for an end to the siege is irrelevant to a Hamas’s wish to grow in power. What I had said was that Hamas does not wish to grow in power with the aim of attacking Israel . In other words, what I had categorically excluded was a wish for aggression on the part of Hamas, not a wish for power which could be used defensively, and which probably exists in Hamas’s mindset, even though the by far stronger motive for wanting the siege to end is Hamas’s wish to please the people of Gaza so that Hamas will be entrenched as their leader, and as the leader of the Palestinian people in general. My comment was clearly meant to deactivate any worries that an ending of the Gaza siege will bring about attacks by Hamas against Israel. I never meant to exclude a wish of Hamas to be strong so as to be capable to defend itself in case Israel attacks Hamas. Here is what I had said (emphasis added):

        “the reason Hamas wants air and sea access is because the people of Gaza want them , and Hamas wants to please the people of Gaza – isn’t that the story of democratic political factions? Aren’t they all trying to be in people’s hearts?…That’s why Hamas wants the end of the siege, to please the people of Gaza, not to rearm to attack an Israel that is a million times stronger than Hamas — a power differential that Hamas leader Sinwar explicitly recognized in the interview.”

        In other words, what I said in effect was that it’s not the case that Hamas’s wish for the siege to end is based on a Hamas wish to grow in power with the aim of attacking Israel”

        I never said that it’s not the case that Hamas’s wish for the siege to end is based on a Hamas wish to grow in power, simpliciter.

        This, of course, did not prevent mondonut from concluding with the ziosplainer’s trademark – the expression “useful idiots”, reserved contemptuously by Israel advocates for those who might dare suggest that Hamas or Islamism in general might not be such a threat as Matthew Levitt or Daniel Pipes have it. Here is mondonut, drunk in his rueful lamenting of the state of the anti-Israel world’s naivete:

        “so many useful idiots continue to carry water for the militant thugs of Gaza”.

        Never mind that the putatively numerous useful idiots are nonexistent, that there is almost no public person of some significance that dares associate with Hamas, at the gunpoint of anti-Semitism allegations – Corbyn was assassinated in cold blood with anti-Semitism allegations for daring to be not so careful in his associations with Islamists and with Hamas. Here is a relevant observation by Nathan Thrall:

        https://d2071andvip0wj.cloudfront.net/b060-averting-war-in-gaza.pdf

        “the Europeans are too divided, … deferential to the U.S. on Israel-Palestine policy, and frightened of Israeli condemnations and accusations of anti-Semitism to recognise a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 lines;

        In interviews with Crisis Group, officials from the European Union and its member states offered a variety of reasons for their unwillingness to offer recognition of Palestinian statehood on the pre-1967 lines:

        that Israel and Jewish organisations will attack the EU and its member states, accusing them of bias and anti-Semitism. Crisis Group interviews, European diplomats”

        I grant that reminding this truth to mondonut is cruel – I mean, bursting the bubble that momdonut lives in is cruel, no? But then I soothe myself by reminding me that I had to do it, because when the hunters play the role of the victim, well, someone needs to tell them. Plus, no matter what I say to mondonut, I will never be a boor like he is 😊

    • dionissis_mitropoulos
      dionissis_mitropoulos
      October 11, 2018, 4:30 pm

      I wish the best to all our friends from Gaza who shared with us their despair about this barbaric siege.

      Ms Aya Kassab’s despair was especially bleak:

      “the Gaza Strip … [is] … a prison where everyone is serving a life sentence; and everyone’s children will serve a life sentence too; and their children’s children, and so on.”

      I can’t think of anything to say, except for a call to keep our hopes high. And i guess i sound trite.

    • dionissis_mitropoulos
      dionissis_mitropoulos
      October 11, 2018, 5:51 pm

      @mondonut

      You said:

      “Hamas will take what they can get with no intention of ending their claim to all of Israel. Hamas is nothing if not consistent, they have continuously and consistently stated they will not accept Israel under any circumstances. “

      Correspondingly, Israel will get what it can without intention of ceding all of east Jerusalem to the Palestinians. Israel is nothing if not consistent, it has continuously and consistently stated that it will not cede the Temple Mount to the Palestinians.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        October 11, 2018, 9:49 pm

        @dionissis_mitropoulos, stated that it will not cede the Temple Mount to the Palestinians.

        Why in the world would the Israelis divide the city of Jerusalem to appease the weak claim of the Palestinians?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        October 11, 2018, 11:16 pm

        mondonut- Thus there will be no peace. No Temple Mount handed over to the Moslems, no peace. You say, ” There will be no peace any way. They want Jaffa, not the Temple Mount.” Maybe so. But no Haram el sharif. no peace.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        October 11, 2018, 11:21 pm

        It is impossible for the Palestinians to sign a peace that has Israeli soldiers keeping West Bank Palestinians from entering the Temple Mount. An international force in Jerusalem or a Palestinian/Zionist force in Jerusalem might be a middle ground. Might be. But it is impossible that the Palestinians will have to pass through an Israeli checkpoint to get from Bet Lehem to the temple mount.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        October 12, 2018, 9:09 am

        mondonut, you said

        “Why in the world would the Israelis divide the city of Jerusalem to appease the weak claim of the Palestinians?”

        There are many independent reasons, but never mind, i was only tacitly making the point that the putative Hamas intransigence you were alluding to could be seen as a justifiable response to Israeli intransigence over east Jerusalem and its holy places.

        By the way, if Israel were to offer all of east Jerusalem it could ask in return eternal peace and recognition not just from Hamas and Palestine, but from almost the whole Muslim world, i.e. Iran, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, every Muslim group and country of significance, Sunni or Shia. We are talking about the biggest win-win in the history of negotiations, Israel getting peace with the Muslim world and also Western recognition of Israel’s positive role in eradicating the retaliatory Islamic terrorism that came as a result of prior Western aggression — for with the Temple Mount safe back in Muslim hands the recruitment pool for terrorism by ISIS or Al Qaeda will dwindle(“if there is a Western war against Islam, how come they gave us (Muslims) back the Temple Mount?”, this will be the counterargument to recruiters/radicalizers who use the so-called war-on-Islam frame; yes, I know I am oversimplifying). Plus, if you the Israelis have peace with all the Muslim world, the US and European pro-Israel activists won’t need any more to agitate against Iran or against Syria or against Turkey or against the Muslim Brotherhood or against whoever happens to be the enemy du jour of Israel. I mean that there won’t be any “need” for military interventions in the Middle East anymore. Also, if Israel has such a peace with the Muslim world that the Muslim populations can live with, then Israel won’t need to influence Western governments to support Middle East dictators – as Israel is doing today. All the present instability in the Muslim world is due to the fact that the West, at the behest of Israel or pro-Israel activists (sometimes they disagree among them), is intervening in the Muslim world instead of letting the Muslim world find its own long term balance (in a bloody way or not) without outside interventions – Jeffery Goldberg in 2014 was agitating for attacks against ISIS before ISIS had fired a single shot against the West, and without any serious probability that ISIS would indeed attack the West some time in the future. Iran could have contained ISIS together with Russia (maybe even leaving a small patch of land for ISIS to exercise its own frightening version of Islam), without any need for Western military interference. Jeffrey in 2014 stated he didn’t want the ISIS-bred instability to spread in Jordan because that would be bad for Israel too. My guess is that the reason he saw it that way was that Israel would have to intervene very heavy-handedly to avoid ISIS’s taking over Jordan, and this would mean that Israel’s image would be tarnished with all the killing of civilians that Israel’s heavy-handed tactics entail. So the Jeffreys, I am convinced, got Obama to hatch a Western coalition to attack ISIS, so that the West, instead of Israel ,would do the required killing of ISIS – thus sparing Israel from a tarnished image. Well, it seems that Jeffrey’s whim got us Westerners into an unnecessary war that has cost us innumerable civic liberties in counterterrorism laws in an attempt to defend against ISIS’s retaliation to our unprovoked Western aggression (by the way, all of ISIS’s statements assuming responsibility for attacks in the West stated that the attacks were retaliation to the Western coalition’s bombings against ISIS).

        See, mondout, how much everyone stands to gain if you the Israelis finally decide to give these holy places back? The Western populations will be on the way to be free from terrorism, free from liberty-stifling counterterrorism laws, free from Western-spooks surveillance, and the Muslim populations will be on the way to be free from their kleptocratic autocrats. Not to mention the end of the torment of the occupied Palestinians. The happy outcomes in the Middle East won’t happen in a day, there are traumatized hotheads that will keep creating trouble. But their number will be dwindling, I speculate.

        But now I admit I am being irrational. I am asking of Israel to abandon an us-versus-them mentality and to engage in win-win solutions. What next, am I about to reach the heights of irrationality by asking the Israelis to self-criticize?

        P.S. Some time I should post links in defense of all my claims about ISIS.

    • dionissis_mitropoulos
      dionissis_mitropoulos
      October 11, 2018, 9:07 pm

      @mondonut

      You said to misterioso (emphasis added):

      “And what cannot be found in any of your [misterioso’s] Hamas supporting nonsense is a Hamas recognition of Israel, so of course Israel would not respond [to Hamas’s overtures towards a peaceful settlement].”

      I am not sure why you are so certain (“of course” ) that Israel should not respond to Hamas’s overtures. You say that Israel is justified not to respond on the grounds that Hamas has not “recognized “ Israel, but this did not prevent a swath of Israeli members of the defense establishment (an ex Chief of the Mossad included) to suggest that Israel should definitely talk to Hamas. For many links that prove my claim see my comment:

      https://mondoweiss.net/2018/08/attorney-determine-campaign/comment-page-1/#comment-927212

      This means that a hypothetical Israel’s engagement of Hamas in open dialogue, in spite of what you see as a fatal flaw of Hamas, is a respectable position, certainly unworthy of the short shrift you gave to it (“of course”). All these connoisseurs from the Israeli defense establishment see it in Israel’s interests to engage in dialogue with Hamas.

  2. Boomer
    Boomer
    October 10, 2018, 6:58 pm

    Thanks, Ahmad, for these eloquent stories. Because they are true and cogent, they inflame people like mondonut. The answer, it seems, is that generations of Zionists and others in Israel and elsewhere (some Jewish, some not) have said that Palestinians must be refugees. Because the U.S. has done so much to help Israel make Palestinians into refugees, I think we owe those who want it a ticket to the U.S. and a Green Card to start a new life in a new land. Not a perfect option, but better than what they have now. But Trump won’t allow that.

  3. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    October 11, 2018, 8:44 am

    Shame on the entire world for allowing itself to be intimidated by israel. Shame on the Zionists, shame on israel, shame on israelis. And I continue to be ashamed of my Jewish background.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      October 12, 2018, 9:14 am

      And I am accordingly ashamed continually of my American background because my government is the enabler of Israel’s continual rogue conduct.

  4. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    October 11, 2018, 8:54 am

    “Israel’s refusal to engage in a process that would support Palestinian statehood”
    How long did Israel try to negotiate a peace deal before it became apparent what the Palestinians really wanted? To accuse Israel of unwillingness in this regard is to be dishonest.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      October 11, 2018, 10:33 am

      @Mayhem

      More bull crap from Hasbara Central. If ignorance is bliss, you must be very happy.
      Then again, it is patently obvious that you and your ilk have no interest in the truth.

      Regarding Hamas, see my response above to modonut, your fellow bungling con artist.

      Also, for the record:
      By signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO accepted UNSC Res. 242 and thereby agreed to recognize a sovereign Israel within the 1949 armistice lines, i.e., as of 4 June 1967 – 78% of mandated Palestine.

      The PLO also agreed to the US/EU/UN supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, which offers the entity known as “Israel” full recognition as a sovereign state (per UNSC Res. 242, i.e., within its June 4/67 boundaries with possible minor, equal and mutually agreed land swaps), exchange of ambassadors, trade, tourism, etc., if “Israel” complies with international law (e.g., the UN Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute, binding on all UN members.) Fully aware of “Israel’s” demographic concerns, the Beirut initiative does not demand the return of all Palestinian refugees. In accordance with “Israel’s” pledge given to the UNGA in 1949 and by signing the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol to abide by UNGA Res. 194 regarding the then 800,000 Palestinian refugees (determined by Walter Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry) as a precondition for admittance to the UN (after being rejected twice), the Arab League’s Initiative “calls upon Israel to affirm” that it agrees to help pursue the “achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem…” “Israel” ignored the Arab League’s peace proposal.

      Other peace initiatives that Israeli governments have rebuffed include: U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers’ The Rogers Plan (1969); The Scranton Mission on behalf of President Nixon (1970); Egyptian President Sadat’s land for peace and mutual recognition proposal (1971); U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s call for a Geneva international conference (1977); Saudi Arabian King Fahd’s peace offer (1981); U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s Reagan Plan (1982); U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz’s Schultz Plan (1988); U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s Baker Plan (1989); and the previously noted 1993 Oslo accords signed by Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that unravelled following the latter’s assassination and subsequent return to power of the Likud party from 1996-1999 under Benjamin Netanyahu; continuation of the Taba II negotiations (2001); the unofficial Geneva Peace Initiative of November/December 2003; and the 2014 Kerry Initiative.

      As for the much touted 2000 Camp David Summit, working in tandem, Barak and Clinton tried to shove a very bad deal down Arafat’s throat. It could only be rejected. Suffice to quote Shlomo Ben-Ami, then Israel’s foreign minister and lead negotiator at Camp David: “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well.” (National Public Radio, 14 February 2006.)

      The “offer” made in 2008 by then Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was never seen as serious because it lacked cabinet approval, he was under indictment with only a few weeks left in office, had a 6% favorable rating, and, therefore, couldn’t have closed the deal, even if the Palestinians had accepted it. (Olmert was imprisoned.)

      Unfortunately, Israel’s response to every peace overture from the Palestinians, including Hamas, and Arab states, has been rapidly increasing illegal settlement construction along with escalating dispossession and oppression of the indigenous inhabitants in occupied Palestine and other Arab lands.

      As for Netanyahu and the Likud party, here’s a brief summation of their positions that are contrary to international law and explain why the conflict continues:

      The Likud Party Platform:
      a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”
      b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”
      c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”
      d. “…. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

  5. WebSkipper
    WebSkipper
    October 11, 2018, 9:49 am

    Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has called Gaza “the largest concentration camp ever to exist.”

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      October 11, 2018, 10:39 am

      @WebSkipper

      Also, for the record:

      Baruch Kimmerling, Professor of Sociology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem: “The laws of Israel have become the laws of a master people and the morality that of lords of the land.”

    • bcg
      bcg
      October 11, 2018, 11:47 am

      And let’s not forget David Cameron’s remark –

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-10778110

      UK Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the blockade of the Gaza Strip, describing the territory as a “prison camp”.

  6. Jethro
    Jethro
    October 12, 2018, 10:57 pm

    Why is the troll mondonut still here? Do we really need more practice countering stale hasbara? Do zionists really need to look worse than they already do?

    I’d much rather read about how to solve the problem without them.

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      October 13, 2018, 9:34 am

      re: “Why is the troll mondonut still here? Do we really need more practice countering stale hasbara? Do zionists really need to look worse than they already do? I’d much rather read about how to solve the problem without them.”

      I understand how you feel, Jethro, but the way I look at it, Zionist trolls also serve a purpose. They help to document the ugly reality that oppresses Palestinians. With their own words, they condemn themselves.

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