so so wrongWell, well, well, look who is donning orange stars of David on their clothes to demonstrate against the disengagement plan. That’s right, the settler movement has decided that it would not only create “civil” disobedience to complicate the pullout from Gaza, but they are also going to paint themselves as equal to Holocaust victims – which, of course, means that the Israeli government and the IDF are the Nazis.

Yup, a disengagement plan, according to these self-righteous, short-sighted, selfish buffoons, is the same as genocide.

Ladies and gentlemen, Arafat, in his grave, is laughing hysterically, as are all of the rest of the Palestinian propagandists and their supporters in the Arab world and the West.

Do you suppose the settlers will make their Thai workers wear the orange stars as well?

Runner up for Buffoon of the Year would be Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire.

About the author

themiddle

58 Comments

  • I understand the settlers motives and their feelings of betrayal, but this is exploitation of the Holocaust. If Jews in Israel mock the Shoah, then why can’t anti-semites. This is settting a very bad precedent.

  • The thing is, they are not mocking it intentionally. They are completely serious about this and are now using this form of propaganda to make their case.

    Next, expect to see Palestinians wearing orange stars.

  • I would have given the award to the Nobel Laureate but you know, that’s just me. And wouldn’t the Palestinians wear green crescents? Hell, if we get enough oppressed people, we can have a veritble lucky charms of patches.

  • Well, it seems Abdul Aziz al-dumbass wants to be in the running as well. Forget it Abdul, although we do give out these awards posthumously to people who blow themselves up before reaching their intended targets, so (please) try to qualify.

  • How dare the settlers touch the holy of holies of what keeps the American exile – Jew going – the insistance the the Holocaust it to be “remembered” not avoided in the future.

    You would love to keep it locked away in your museums, taking it out once a year to show the kids, if they are interested – all the while pointing at it and shrieking hysterically when anyone intimates that the evil that raised its ugly head during the Shoah may not have been a once – in – eternity kind of thing.

    The Holocaust didn’t just happen all at once – it was a process; like so many other rivers of Jewish blood, it began with a trickle and plenty of excuses. In Israel today, the trickle has already become a stream yet you attempt to silence those who stand on the front lines by hysterical decrying the nature of their non-violent protest tactics. The only chapter in the history of American Jewry that can be more sickeningly shameful than its silence during the Holocaust is when Jews like you tell us to be silent as the rivers of blood flow once again today and as Jews once again consider turning other Jews over to those who carry on the “slaughter the Jews” frenzy so reminiscent of something my grandparents used to hear from Polish and German mobs before they were herded into trains to Auschwitz.

    Oops, I did it, didn’t I. I drew a comparison. Would it help if my grandmother, an Auschwitz survivor, agreed with me? You know, I was born and raised in the USA and passed through all of the American Jewish Holocaust memorial programming, museums, commemorations and I could have sworn the mantra recited throughout all of those experiences was to “remember history, lest we be condemned to repeat it.” What did that mean? What were you trying to say? That we should memorize all the details and watch all the testimonials so that the Germans wouldn’t build gas chambers again and incinerate us in them? Is anything short of that out of bounds for comparison lest we lend fodder to the Holocaust-deniers? Get real. We learned your lessons – and more than that, we learned from our grandparents – many of whom are still alive to say, together with us: Wake up! It is happening again!

    The most dangerous of all Holocaust-denial is that which refuses to admit that but for the IDF, it would happen again tomorrow.

    The ‘pragmatism’ that leads Jews today to be willing to forcibly expel other Jews from their homes in the hope that “maybe” things will get better, “at least for a little while” is the very same ‘pragmatism’ that enabled more than a million Hungarian Jews to be put on trains to Auschwitz with most never seeing a Nazi. The community leaders were shocked and appalled when “crazies” would spread word of ovens and people burnt to ashes. They knew things were a bit rocky with the Nazis running things, but figured cooperating was the best strategy. “We will just help them relocate the Jews, which is what they say they want – and things will get better,” they said. It was not. That is one of the lessons of the Holocaust that we are not taught at any of your million dollar museums.

    We have a future to build and many of us have been building it. While your children and grandchildren pursue consumerism, marry tolerant non-racist gentiles (presumably attending holocaust memorials annually and bringing their kids to the Museum whenever they are in D.C.), my generation is planting themselves firmly in the Land of Israel. We are building a civilization based on the document our people received at Sinai – a moral society to be a great beacon of light unto the nations. We build in the face of bullets, bombs and incitement from the very nations that fostered the Shoah only to now be threatened with expulsion from our homes, the destruction of our life’s work, the digging up of our murdered relatives from their final resting places, the demolition of our synagogues and study halls and the forced transfer of our families.

    You mean to tell me that doesn’t remind you of the Holocaust at all? Oh, is it because they might get some money in return for their shattered lives? Because they aren’t being sent directly to the gas chambers but rather just packed into what one “moderate” statesman once termed “Auschwitz borders”?

    And forget about us for a second – you are for the expulsion of these people from their homes and the destruction of their property based on the fact that they are Jewish? You look forward to a sparkling new Jew-free state of Palestine alongside Israel? You are for pursuing 80 – year-old who guarded concentration camps to the death, but giving murderous Islamic terrorists and a people that supports them a chance to “reform”?

    No Jew in my generation will one day say “I was just following orders,” and you, T_M, will never be able to say, “I didn’t know.” Not if I can help it.

    Oh, and the Nazis in the comparison would not be the IDF or the government, they would be the global Jihadists systematically slaughtering us in ways even more gruesome than Hitler came up with, if not as efficient.

  • Ezra, I feel for you. You have no idea how sympathetic I am, even how sympathetic T_M is. Granted the term “buffoon” is a little harsh, but still. You’re obviously sincere, you obviously mean well and you’ve obviously thought this out. People who I know and respect, who know you too, tell me you’re a great guy and I have no reason to not believe them.

    However, at some point you decided that it would be permissible to create division and dissent within clal yisrael. You decided to put yourself outside and above the community. You decided you’d risk precipitating… G*d knows what. Sorry Ezra. Not cool.

    My cousin Shimon just emailed me and told me he’s going to be part of the detail involved in clearing you guys away. For the record, he’s religious, wears a kippah, shomer shabbat, shomer mitzvot etc. You implied his following orders was akin to the excuses used by the murderers at Nuremburg. Sorry Ezra. Not cool.

    You’re going to make this guy who loves Israel, and loves Judaism, and has put his life on the line for the country and for you specifically, you’re going to put him in the position of having to manhandle you, your bubbies and zeydies, your children and your wives? Sorry Ezra. Not cool.

    You ostensibly claim the fault is with the jihadists, and it is. But Ezra – maarei ayin, chillul hashem – how do you think this will play out to the Nations to whom we’re supposed to be shining a light upon? Sorry Ezra. Not cool.

    Otherwise, I am frankly a little sickened by how the Holocaust has become a substitute for actual, you know, Judaism in the diaspora. It’s kind of morbid how what is left of so many people’s Jewish identity is based on a pile of dead corpses and ashes. I’m with you on that one.

    Anyhow Ezra, I’m really sorry it’s come to this. It’s sad, but one way or another, we’re gettng you out of Gaza. I hope you all stick to your commitment to non-violence, I’d hate for Shimon to get hurt, and I’d especially hate for Shimon to hurt you. You have no idea how much this saddens me.

  • Ezra, you buffoon; you prince of buffoons; you deserving winner of the prized Jewlicious “Buffoons of the Year” award that I grant only after great deliberation.

    You want to know what a Holocaust is?

    A Holocaust is when somebody wants to eradicate your physical presence from the Earth and succeeds. It is when somebody takes entire branches of generations of families and eliminates them entirely from the face of the Earth so that even photographs aren’t left behind. It is when somebody takes all of your belongings and money and confiscates them, then takes away your livelihood, your profession, your friends, your mobility, your city, and your medicines. It is when somebody takes you and your humanity and treats you like a cockroach to the extent where if he steps on dogshit, he will think nothing of telling you to kneel so he could use your fragile and broken body like a doormat to wipe the shit off (Primo Levi). It is when somebody thinks so little of you but has such power over you that he is able to take you and your brother and see if he can time how long it takes each of you to die if placed in freezing water on a freezing day, or to take you and your sister’s reproductive organs and remove them while experimenting with your bodies. It is when somebody takes your spouse, your parents, your siblings, and you, and simply, methodically, clinically and scientifically kills all of you on a schedule. It is when somebody takes your children and with forethought and foreplanning sniffs out their precious lives.

    How the hell do you have the buffoonery to compare yourself and the other Jews in Gaza (or in the West Bank, for that matter) to victims of the Holocaust, and by extension the IDF and the Government of Israel to the Nazis?

    Not only is nobody being killed here, but you folks have been offered generous subsidies to leave; $250,000 to $350,000 per household, with assistance to move to new homes inside the Green line. I understand there are further subsidies if you move to the Galilee or the Negev where Jews are needed perhaps more than in that hellhole called Gaza. Families aren’t being eradicated. Even generations of families aren’t being removed because this entire settlement project has only been able to exist since 1967 when we took Gaza over.

    Nobody is putting you in ghettoes or concentration camps. Nobody is forcing slave labor upon you. Nobody is running vicious experiments on your bodies or taking away your belongings. Nobody is murdering your family or your children.

    And nobody is taking away your right to live as a Jew.

    Au contraire, ma petite buffoon, they are giving you money – somebody else’s tax money – to vacate a home that cost you far less to buy and/or build. They are moving you into the part of the Jewish state that has international consensus as to its viability. They are kindly asking you to populate areas where your presence will create a new demographic balance so that Israel can maintain a democratic status.

    And what concerns you? That the area of Gaza will now be judenrein? For all I care, you may choose to remain there and live among the Palestinians. Amira Hass does it and she’s doing fine. Maybe you can get a job writing for Haaretz.

    You think it’s a Holocaust to remove you from one patch of land to one within consensus borders of the Jewish state so that the State of Israel can remain viable over time and so that we don’t have to use extraordinary resources to protect a few thousand Jews in a sea of Arabs? Newsflash to Mr. Buffoon: there was no Jewish state to which they could flee in WWII and nobody was compensating anybody and nobody was worried about sacrificing the blood of Jewish soldiers so that 8000 Jews could live among 1.2 million Arabs.

    When you put on a star of David to represent your victimization, remember that the original stars WERE WORN UNDER COERCION by people who had no choice at a time when their entire lives were being destroyed from under them. You are besmirching their memory. You are polluting the claim any Jew has made about the disgusting intent of the Holocaust. For your piddly, shitty political campaign you are willing to tarnish the memory of those who were victimized in the Holocaust, to attack your own government and army in vile terms that I would expect from the most vicious antisemites (and the far Left, of course), and to allow all those who do attack us for abusing the memory of the Holocaust to point their fingers and say, “Why are you complaining, look what those Jewish buffoons did in Gaza.”

  • Oh, and by the way, Ezra, I have posted on this site that I think we could use a total of two Holocaust museums, Yad VaShem and the one in DC, because the rest are a waste of money that could better be used for Jewish education, Jewish youth and Israel. I also abhor the culture of victimization that we have created around these museums and the Holocaust, a culture that needs to be eradicated. But to be fair, 18 million Holocaust museums couldn’t commit the kind of disrespect to Jews, the Holocaust or to Israel that you buffoons are managing to create with one idiotic political stunt.

  • I can tell I have hit a chord. And I am glad. I have never before engaged in the Holocaust-lingo sport that is so prevalent here. I merely was spured to respond to the fact that you so fervently believe the Holocaust to be sacrosanct that those who use its imagery in a non-violent manner to try and wake people up have stepped over some red line (drawn in your psyche by thousands upon thousands of ADL press releases).

    And CK, it is all about where you draw the line. One of the first things we learn in Basic Training is that there exists such a thing as a illegal order and that it is our obligation as a soldier in the IDF to rise above current circumstance and jurisprudence and choose that which is eternally moral – your friend Shimon draws the line at putting a gun to my head and pulling the trigger at the command of his superior officer, I draw the line at dragging a Holocaust survivor from her home in Israel.

    Another thing, I did not start this orange-star campaign. It is not my favorite mode of protest. I prefer mass civil disobedience. I am just sickened by the way the two of you can whip yourselves into a frenzy over this. Step back for a second. How is it that the folks who came up with the idea (Holocaust survivors) and my own relatives (Holocaust survivors) seem to think that this is appropriate, but you, raised on Holocaust education know so clearly when such imagery is called for.

    One last thing. Your exilic thinking is painfully apparant when you bring the fact that we are having blood money thrown at us to demonstrate the complete nothing – to – do – with – anything – that – happened – to – Jews – before – in – history – ness of the situation. I’ve got news for you, oh comfortable “supporters of Israel” of the fleshpots: We who choose to come be a part of the Jewish Project instead of/in addition to blogging about it have already made a decision made on priorities perhaps foreign to you.

    You are choosing exile for its financial benefits. You expect us to do the same. Sorry, it is not going to happen.

    CK, your friend Shimon will be fully responsible for his actions and should he participate in the expulsion, will one day be put on trial. Mark my words (by the very nature of Google, my words are indeed duly marked).

    This isn’t a game, fellas. A wiser fella than myself once said: “This isn’t ‘Nam, there are rules!”

    Call me a buffoon, call the Jews slated for expulsion buffoons, and then go sip your latte and give a hasbara workshop. We can take it. You are but hecklers, standing off of the stage of Jewish history. Your friend Shimon, however, must make the decision whether he wants to step “over the line,” as the same wise man once said.

  • Ezra, I’m glad my buffoon remarks are having some impact, please share them with your friends and colleagues, especially the Holocaust survivors who came up with this idiotic idea.

    Let them know that the Holocaust dead in my family never had a chance to determine what is appropriate imagery for political gamesmanship and as one of their few living descendants, I speak for them when I say that the orange star is defiling their memory. And please don’t worry about my feelings because you didn’t hit a nerve; don’t flatter yourself.

    Now to the interesting fleshpot comment, since it is the second time you’ve talked about diaspora thinking and our Starbucks lifestyle. First of all, nobody was accusing you of taking “blood money.” The comment was made to show the absurdity of claiming a Holocaust parallel when somebody is offering you a lot of money, and more than you paid to move there, to leave.

    Let’s be clear, and please remind your Holocaust survivor colleagues about this. They were forced to leave their homes on a trek to concentration camps and death camps with guns to their heads, without any compensation and usually accompanied by total theft of their life’s belongings. You are being offered compensation, relocation and gratitude. Not only that, but the police is being trained to move you without using any weapons. I mean how much more clear cut can the difference be?

    By the way, apropos your fleshpot remark, I happen to agree with you. You don’t deserve any compensation beyond the value of your home and even that should be up for grabs. You see, in my opinion, there should be a clear deadline whereby if you don’t accept the compensation and relocation offers, they will be taken off the table permanently. If you cost Israel an extra shekel, because it now has to train and send Shimon over there to remove you forcibly, while you tear at the fabric of the nation, you should be penalized. It won’t happen, but I bet that if that were the case, many of your families would leave before the deadline. Then we would sit here and talk about fleshpots and who would choose exile over money and money over exile.

    On a side note, let me add that I don’t care if Israel moves itself out of Gaza and leaves you behind. You want to live there by yourself, go ahead, just stop risking the lives of Israeli soldiers for your benefit.

    But since you brought it up, let’s talk about those of us who live in the diaspora and aren’t living the committed Zionist ideal you live.

    Many Jews I know who live outside of Israel are far from the fortune-seekers and comfort-seekers you describe – not that there is anything wrong with fortune and comfort seeking (where are your benefactors and donors living)? Many live out here because this is their home. Their communities are here and their home is here. Don’t forget that until 60 years ago, there was still a terrific debate in the Jewish community about Zionist ideology. Many who live here are simply not convinced that Israel is their home. I daresay that our presence in the territories is not helping them to change convictions.

    Many other Jews live outside of Israel because they cannot feed their family in Israel. The economy there is not a healthy one and hasn’t been for quite a while. I would add that the settlement movement has played a key role in this matter and is doing so again by rebelling against the pullout.

    Ironically, you can make your claims about fortune seeking Jews because your existence is heavily subsidized by others. The Israeli government builds infrastructure and roads to your settlements; provides lower cost housing; insures that families with x number of children receive government grants; pays to have lots and lots of soldiers and all their attendant support and expenses surround your communities to secure them; expedites and turns a blind eye to the movement of (usually illegal) foreign workers to your settlements; and even funds to a far greater degree than its secular counterpart the religious school system that, in turn, provides your movement with new recruits and support within Israel. I don’t even know how much of your incomes depend upon foreign contributions, but I’m willing to bet that some of you benefit from Starbucks Jews.

    Then there are those Jews who live outside of Israel because they do not wish to risk their lives defending Gush Katif. They do not wish to risk their sons’ lives if they would have to defend Gush Katif. They would risk their lives to defend Jerusalem or Kfar Saba, but that option is not given them when they are in the IDF. They have to serve where they are sent and many times large forces are sent to defend a single settlement and even outposts. That’s right. A soldier is now going to have to do miluim, at great cost to his life and income, to come and remove you because you won’t leave on your own. Previously, that soldier was risking his life and leaving his family father and husband-less, or childless, to protect your family.

    Moreover, it used to be that if you were talented, strong-willed and capable enough, you’d go to a sayeret and spend your military service running intelligence missions into Arab enemy countries. No more. These days, missions are to locate Arab operatives in the territories – valuable work to be sure, but unnecessary if we’re out of there, particularly out of Gaza.

    Now these issues may seem like a small matter to you, because you would defend your home without any discussion, but why should a person inside the Green Line support your political ideology?

    Ah, you say, how can he not, we are a part of Israel and the Jewish nation. It is the job of the IDF to protect us. Then, in the next breath, you have to make veiled threats against Shimon for “stepping over the line” because the State wants to do something that goes against your ideology.

    Why would a person who could live outside of Israel come to Israel not to defend the country – the viable state about which there is an international consensus – but to defend your belief in what the country should be? Is their life worth your faith? Want to bet that a few Bedouin clans are asking that very question this week? What happens when the State makes a decision that you don’t like? Will that person from the diaspora who made aliyah suddenly have to deal with the tear in the fabric of the nation that you have caused and take sides? Damn straight they would, and it would be your fault, just as what you are causing now is your fault.

    You want the State to behave on your terms, untenable though they may be, and nothing but your terms. Otherwise, you are not willing to participate in the same programs of the State by which you would expect Shimon, and those diaspora Jews whom you encourage to make aliyah, to abide. How hypocritical of you, Ezra. You talk about fleshpots and sacrifice, but for you it seems selfishness is more important than the collective good, and you want the sacrifice to come from all the other members of the State, even if a majority doesn’t support you and never has.

    Now, if you’re thinking that Gush Katif is no different than Tel Aviv, because once upon a time TA was also a settlement, then understand that you sound like a Palestinian. Flick away that pesky thought and stop making the Arabs’ case for them. TA is within the bounds of international consensus of what constitutes Israel, whereas Gush Katif is not. Israel needs the world and the world is turning away and is about to slap Israel hard, both diplomatically and economically. When we get out of Gaza and most of the West Bank, the world will have difficulty challenging our sovereignty and we will also be a much healthier nation.

    So your final argument becomes that you live on part of the holy Land of Israel. Right? Well, yes, it’s the Land of Israel, but I want there to be a State of Israel where I can define the country as a Jewish state and you are putting me in an impossible demographic situation. Everybody in the world sees this happening, but you and your friends, Ezra. They see a demographic timebomb if we hold on to Gaza, and all of Yehuda and Shomron. Your presence there makes no sense. Even Sharon sees this, and he is smarter than both you and I, Ezra, and a far superior strategist.

    You think there will be another war and you’ll be able to evict 3 million Palestinians? You wish, they aren’t going anywhere. You think somehow a flood will come and remove just those people you want removed? You wish, they are staying put, even if the Egyptian government has to put a couple of battalions at the border. You think that you can have enough babies or enough aliyah to change the equation? You wish, but it won’t happen if you have to contend with the 3 million Palestinians having lots of babies, as they do, in the territories. It might happen if you remove yourself from the territories (not all of the West Bank); it might happen if you build a de facto border and call it a barrier.

    What does any of this have to do with an orange star? Nothing. Your bullshit about “expulsion” is just that, bullshit. You have decided that this land is holy land because you live in it. That is circular reasoning at best. So wherever we decide to place a Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel is sacrosanct, even if leaving it strengthens the viability of the Jewish state? I don’t think so.

    What is worse is that your orange star gives permission to all those who have been comparing Israel to the Nazis to do so. The fact that your so-called survivor colleagues are agreeing to this slanderous activity is all the Jew and Israel haters will need as ammunition from now on. You have given them this powerful weapon with your narrow vision and selfish appetite.

    Are we hecklers? Not even that, just a couple of Jews posting pixels on some board in a huge universe of pixels (although I understand CK is dating some lovely women). But yes, you get to be a key player “on the stage of Jewish history.” Big man! Important man! You get to be a big player who is causing grave harm to the notion of a Jewish nation, a Jewish state, and a Jewish people. You are even desecrating our collective memory with your buffoonish pseudo-Holocaust claims.

  • Sorry I still haven’t read all the comments, just glanced for now, but Ezra has hit the nail quite squarely on the head, IMO.

    I sent this to Yad Vashem:

    No one is comparing the ‘separation’ plan to the final solution. But there are undeniable similarities with the beginning of the holocaust and the current plan to ‘resettle’ over 8000 Jews, against their will, and take away their land, their homes, their factories and farms, and exhume their dead too (Did the Nazis remove Jewish dead from their graves?) to create areas ‘free of Jews’.

    It’s time to wake up ladies and gentlemen. Once you remove one Jew from his home, and the precedent has been set, no other Jewish house is sacred, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. Did you here what’s happenning in Lod in the heart of green-line Israel? There’s a certain neighbourhood that has, over the past ten years or so, become ‘overrun’ by Arabs for various reasons. The minority of Jews are harrased, people remove their kipas to get home, and soldiers are afraid to wander the streets. The authorities are so helpless to solve the problem that the assistant mayor (likud) is suggesting that the city remove the dozens of Jews who are still around to another area. I assume next, somewhere in Europe, a city will recognize that it can’t protect a Jewish minority in a certain neighbourhood so it ‘asks’ the Jews to move too.

    If the Holocaust can’t be used in a public debate, then why do we bother to remember it (other than feel sorry for ourselves like the anti-semites claim)? When the media compared our wonderful soldiers at the violin checkpoint to the SS that forced Jews to play music for the others in the camps, that was a perfectly legitimate comparision, eh? But when a prime-minister turns on his platform and party, bends any remaining opposition and repeatly claims that his way is the only way without even justifying the forced removal of families from their homes and creating Jew free zones, criticism needs to be limited to sugary nothings.

  • Now to your comments…

    T_M,
    do you really know anything about this ‘resettlement’ law? Obviously only the headlines and assumptions you expect a caring government to make.

    So many myths;
    -there is no $250 – 350k per family. Yonatan Basi, the head of the resttlement agency has already claimed that many families will not be able to expect the same standard of living afterwards. He is also a public liar. He claimed that a 1/3 of Gaza residents called up to get estimates for compensation, even though we now this is not possible (Do the math; 8000residents including many children and only about 2000 family units. Since we know that many of the families are idealogical and haven’t called, then in some families, many people have called)

    -the plan is supposed to be executed in about six months. Not a single house is being built to relocate the families (a house takes about a year and a half to build). Assuming that their are a few hundred empty apartments in the Sderot, Kiryat Malachi, Netivot area, what will happen to the rest of the families? Ship them to 150km north to the Galil?! or 40km south to Dimona, Arad, and Beer Sheva is reasonable? A family of 5 will not fit into a two bedroom apartment either. T_M, now you’ll probably accuse these Jews of having too many kids? The trailer parks will have to be built, please don’t be so dramatic about concentration camps and ‘ghettoes’ with walls and guards’.
    -I can’t believe you’re now blaming the settlers for forcing soldiers to go through the trauma of forcibly removing people from their homes. Utterly disgusting.
    -Do you really believe that making the Gaza Strip Jew-free will make the state of Israel stronger? The next step is the entire ‘West Bank’ with 250 000 people and graves. That land has also never been in the world consensus. Now that we are back to the agreed upon 67 borders, and we get to say ‘we did our part’, do you think that everything, nay, ANYTHING will be better.

    The memory of the Holocaust teaches us that forcibly removing populations from their homes IS
    WRONG!
    The memory of the Holocaust teaches us that separating different populations based on ‘ethnic’
    differences is racist and WRONG!

    If the memory of the holocaust can’t be applied to dangerous ‘modern-day’ events, then what good is this
    memory?

  • Josh, of course these families won’t be able to have the same standard of living when they leave, for the same reason that most Israelis within the Green Line cannot have that standard of living: it is a subsidized standard of living. How many times have you heard an Israeli moving to the Shomron saying that how else is he going to be able to buy a detached house with a garden?

    I don’t know how many families or people from Gaza have called Basi, nor do I care. They are going to leave Gaza. If they wish to take advantage of the government’s largesse, great. If they don’t, they don’t.

    I have no idea what they’ll do for alternative housing and do not know what is available for them. That is an issue for the government to address.

    In the meantime, I am hoping that these 1700 families will understand that we are grateful for their sacrifice and peaceful departure from their homes. I understand that this is painful to them on many levels and hope the money they’ll get, and the eventual housing opportunities, will take away some of the hurt. I respect the Ezras of Israel for their convictions, their devotion to Israel and understand that this will cause grief to them and their families, but this pullout and disengagement will benefit the State of Israel and its future prospects, so it is a sacrifice they have to make.

    Besides, what’s wrong with Arad, Dimona and Beer Sheva? Those towns could use an infusion of energetic Zionists with drive and ambition. Why is it Zionism only in Gush Katif? It’s Zionism in Arad and Dimona as well. Ask Ben Gurion.

    I would never accuse any family of having too many children, although it would be nice if they weren’t subsidized by other members of the Israeli public.

    I don’t understand your disgust at soldiers being forced to evacuate settlers forcibly. The soldiers are people and are being forced to move against other Israelis. Why? Why is that acceptable to you? You want another Yamit? Did that protest do the country any good, or did the peace that ensued with Egypt benefit the country? The settlers have a beef with the government and since they can’t take down the government, they are taking it out on the soldiers to make a statement. I pray that nobody uses a gun on the soldiers and police.

    Your question about the benefit of removing Gaza, to be followed by most of the West Bank is a fair one and another entire discussion. In brief, I believe we will have to leave there as well because of the demographic issue, as well as the forthcoming international economic and diplomatic pressure. I also believe that Israel – the State and the nation – will benefit when we can have these battles between settlers and non-settlers behind us and get back to building a great country for the Jewish people. Finally, for ethical and practical purposes, I would like there to be far less military involvement in Palestinian lives and to achieve that, we have to eliminate most of our forces from there. The only way to achieve that is to go back to the Barak/Camp David or even the Clinton Plan. Sorry, I know that’s painful to hear but I believe we will emerge stronger for it. By the way, all of this should be done after the barrier is completed, and the barrier should include, on Israel’s side, most of the large towns on the East side of the Green Line. I hope to get to keep Ariel, but have a feeling that it will end up being a negotiating point and ultimately will be given up in lieu of compensation to the Palestinians.

    In short, YES, Israel’s existence will be much better, although I acknowledge that spiritually we will be much poorer for having given up the cradle of our nation, our religion, and our history. In a perfect world, I would like Ezra to live in peace in Gush Katif and Hebron Jews to live in Hebron in peace. In reality, I realize that this is unlikely. I want to add that I seriously do not wish to force any settler to leave. I would prefer that they be allowed to live among the Palestinians, so that they are not evicted.

    Your comments about removing populations from their homes forcibly and the dividing people on the basis of ethnic differences is disturbing, to say the least. Allow me to remind you that Palestinians are saying the same thing, as are many Iraqi and other Arab Jews. Sadly, the situation in our little corner of the world involved exactly those types of things, and in this case, the removal of Jews from Gaza does not qualify in the same way. Again, if they want to remain behind and are willing to bear any consequences of living among the Palestinians, I have no objection.

    Your final point is absurd. The only time you may use the memory of the Holocaust is when there is genocide or an act so heinous that it compares to what I’ve described in my first long comment. This removal of Gazan settlers is not even on the lowest rung of that ladder.

  • I’m personally offended by the wholesale co-opting of Zionism and the complete derision of those who live on Galut. I am a passionate Zionist, and I plan to make aliyah the minute I finish school (I suppose waiting to get my degree would make me in your eyes a loathsome self-absorbed money-grubbing Galut Jew). But not only am I a passionate Zionist, I’m completely against you people and your little Gaza experiment. Why? Because any Jew concerned with the welfare of the Jewish state (and being concerned for Israel is a main facet of Zionism) would see that 8000 hard-headed settlers who pay lip service to Zionist and Torah concerns are threatening to tear apart a nation of 5 million Jews. Is it worth it? Are your Qassam-target homes worth more than the well-being of the Jewish state?

    I supported the settlers before. Stunts like these and attitudes like yours, Ezra, have made me change my mind. Is that what you wanted to do? Make religious Zionists lose sympathy for settlers? Make religious soldiers like Shimon risk their lives to remove you? You people had already lost the support of the entire world and the Israeli left, so now you’re busily shedding the support of everyone else? Who’s going to be behind you if you keep this up, the charedim? When was the last time they picked up a gun to fight for something? Swell idea, really.

    And about your contempt for exilic thinking, or whatever half-baked oleh chadash platitudes you’re trying to spout: where do you think you and your friends in Gush Katif would be without all the fleshpot-living, exilic-thinking, money-making supporters in the Diaspora? Do you think you’d have any support at all without the efforts of committed Jews and Zionists in the Diaspora setting up those hasbara conferences you so contemptuously refer to to make the case for why you people should be allowed to live where you do (in addition to making the case for your 5 million “Jewish brothers” to live where they do)? Where do you think some of the money to buy the weapons and maintain the soldiers risking their lives to protect you comes from, if not from the coffers and from the Israel-supporting efforts of your fleshpot Galut Jews?

    You know what? Stay in Gaza. Israel and the Jewish people don’t need you.

  • glad to see some people took the “Yup, a disengagement plan, according to these self-righteous, short-sighted, selfish buffoons, is the same as genocide.”cmment as less then, “mindful debate.” Sounded more like sounded off to me as well. Settlers are easy targets. The media has them tagged as th cause of Jewish hatred in the Arab world. What a joke. “Hey, these guys are provoking us into blowing are selves up.” The average liberal Jew says, “Yeah, that’s absurd.” But somewhere inside he accepts the idea that the settlers, Äre certainly a big part of the problem.” Baloney. The PLO and the rest of the Arab goverments have ALWAYS hated the very IDEA of Israel in any shape or form. The “settlement”cry is a smoke-screen, which the US liberal Jewish community has swallowed hook, line, and sinker.

  • I am not going to play into the hands of our enemies and allow my self righteous indignation to cause me to fight with my own people. Fuck that. I love all my fellow Yiddles, from Gaza to the Golan. Above and beyond any other consideration, politics, religion, personal sensibilities, I LOVE ALL MY FELLOW YIDDLES. Sephardic, Ashkenazic, Haredi, Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Left wing, right wing, center, law abiding citizen, carreer criminal, cynical businessman, pie in the sky hippy, Yeshivah boy, LES Jewfro hipster, saint, devil, frum, atheist, ignorant, committed, single, married, divorced, bnei akiva, shomer hatzair, heck, even Edgar Bronfman. I love them all. For such a small people, we’re a pretty remarkable lot, and have never been served well by divisiveness. So my answer to all this is simple.

    Gaza dudes? I love you all. Elohim yishmor.

  • CK, while your sentiment is admirable, no matter how much you love your fellow Jews, they can still be wrong, and your ahavat Yisrael hasn’t stopped you before from calling them on it.

  • Michael – I think Israel should divest from American Jewish support. We don’t need/want your guilt-offerings. Come home and fight for whatever it is you believe in.

    And TM – I never said anyone called the compensation blood-money – I called it blood-money. Oslo’s concept of buying out the Arab’s aspirations through economic improvement proved a failure so the sequal is: expel the Jews and throw money at them.

  • CK, you are the spark of ahavat yisrael that keeps this blog together – keep it up.

    At the same time, we must call a spade a spade. We have these maniacs screaming about how the settlers are dividing the nation when they have already conceptualized the settlers as another nation entirely – outsiders – not even part of the whole of Israel. This is TM’s repeated mantra – that and the insistance that it all comes down to the fact that it is cheaper to live in Yesha. He claims to respect others’ beliefs but in reality, harbors such contempt for the ‘mitnachlim’ that he truly believes that they have withstood snipers, bombs and the hatefulness of their peers all for the sake of a slightly lower mortgage payment.

  • CK, I agree with your last posting. However, you forgot to mention the Karaites, the Samaritans, and the secular Jews,
    lol !

  • Ezra, we don’t know whether Oslo was a failure as a concept because throughout the process, we kept building…settlements.While the Arab leadership is definitely to blame for many parts of the failure of the process, and probably the vast majority of the failure, the fact remains that we kept building new settlements when we knew that any final deal would require their removal.

    Again, I repeat, for all I care, the IDF should give you guys a deadline and pull out. Those of you who don’t want to leave (“be expelled” in your Holocaust-hijacking parlance) can stay behind. Please be sure to write.

    You’re very brave here about how you can be self-sustaining. We’ll see how long you’re self-sustaining once the State and army you liken to Nazis, and those Diaspora Jews you abhor so much are no longer there to watch out for you.

    Michael, your points are well made. The Kibbutz Dati movement has also spoken out against these disengagement refuseniks.

  • T_M,
    it seems that you are full of myths today;
    – the government subsidizing settlers.
    Do you know that the GNP of gush katif is actually quite high. Per capita income (private and from local business) is practically uncomparable to most other areas in Israel and their are no tax breaks anymore (as opposed to Sderot a few kilometres away). Frankly, with the amount of taxes that citizens pay there, they’d come out ahead if they disconnected from the rest of struggling Israel and used it all locally. Gush Katif brings millions of export dollars into the country – this will be gone overnight.
    -There’s nothing wrong with Arad or BeerSheva, but if you know the least thing about basic human rights, then forcibly moving people around like pawns is a violation, and frankly a crime against humanity (now you’ll say I’ve gone too far). Since when did you become so arrogant and decide where to force Zionists to live?
    -You’re ‘settlers forcing soldiers’ claim is ridiculous. So anytime some group has a problem with their government, they should sit at home and write letters. The only one forcing soldiers to go through this traumatic experience is Sharon and this ubsurd plan to turn fighting units into demolition crews.
    -you echo the boorish claim of ‘oh I hope no settler fires his weapon’. In the past, there have been many outposts destroyed and removed, not once has a settler unholstered his weapon. If anyone is going to open fire, it’s some soldiers under orders. Behind closed government doors, it’s been already estimated that 10-20 Jews dead after the entire operation will be a fair price to pay. Ezra talked about soldiers’ rules, well I watched the Tapuach synagogue being torn down on tv and on film is a fully uniformed (falk jacket and ammo vest) officer firing on automatic (1) in the air at the start of the operation (2) – two severe violations of army procedure. #2 being most severe since you are only allowed to open fire if under attack, not to scare settlers, or perhaps the intention was to provoke those settlers to unholster their guns and have an excuse to arrest them en masse?
    -I get it now, ‘Never Again’ means only genocide, not the process that Hitler started between 1933 and 1942. So Yad Vashem only deals with gas chambers and totally ignores what leed up to them
    -I have to be convinced of one tiny benefit that Israel gains from de-Judaizing the ‘territories’ and creating an apartheid Arab-only ‘Palestine’ next door. Do you really think that a wall will allow us to ‘get on’ with building the country? The army discussed this week the possibility of tunnels being built between Judea and Samaria under the green-line and your holy separaton fence/wall/barrier.
    -A return to little-Israel will leave us weak, surrendered, and vulnerable. Abba Eban called it the Auschwitz borders. The US Armed forces in a 1967 study advised the Israel not return to the ‘green-line’.
    -precedent – remove one Jewish family from it’s legal home, and you create a precedent that any part of Israel is part of the game.
    -leaving the ‘territories’ which is ancient Israel, basically deligitmizes the entire country and justifies the Arabs claims that Israel is an unnatural creation. We give up the temple mount, hebron, bethlehem, shechem, jericho, the shilo area, the sebastia area, and we get to keep Sefad, Tiberias, West Jerusalem, and the grave of Binyamin outside of Kfar Saba.
    T_M – listen to what the Arabs claim, don’t just disregard it as ‘stupid’ propaganda, or baseless whining. And above all, don’t justify their desire for more Jew-free lands.

    Michael,
    it doesn’t matter who or what changed your mind. A selfish person today, was probably a selfish person yesterday. According to your logic, no isolated border town (Metulla, Eilat, Sderot) is worth fighting for. Arabs shoot some missiles, Jews should retreat in order to make the rest of the country safe. The day when you realize that the settlers were right the whole time will be a painful day for you. I promise.

  • Josh,

    Have you no idea of the costs of these settlements? Well, neither do I because Israeli governments have kept it hidden for many years. Nobody disputes that merely the construction involved has cost billions of dollars, not to mention the cost of sending the military in there in the numbers they have. The NY Times estimated the cost of the settlements to Israel at $10 billion, while Israelis guess about $1.5 to $2 billion per year between civilian and security needs. I’m willing to bet the number is higher. Those millions of export dollars from Gush Katif would be better earned doing the same work in the Galilee where Israel wouldn’t have to cough up mucho bucks in security needs.

    Your argument about moving Israelis is precisely the one the Palestinians use when referring to 1948. Thank you for proving how the Settler Right has essentially gone about destroying Israeli arguments used against Palestinian claims. The latest occasion being, of course, this issue with the star of David and discussion of the Holocaust so the Palestinians can make the same claim.

    In case you don’t know much about Israel’s early history, most new immigrants were sent to areas of the country selected for them by the government in order to populate those areas. The idea was that the collective need was greater than personal need. If those Gush Katif settlers want to move to Tel Aviv, they may. After all, it was you who brought up their moving to Dimonah and Arad. Amos Oz lives in Arad, so perhaps you’re right that they would be unhappy there.

    Anyway, as I keep pointing out, as far as I am concerned, let them stay in Gaza, as long as Israel is out of there.

    I agree with you that the plan to demolish these settlements is absurd. I would leave them there and in the future claim the cost of these settlements against any Palestinian demands for compensation. As to the rest of your point, the settlers should stay home and write letters and try to bring the Sharon gov’t down democratically. If they cannot, and it appears they cannot, then they should pack up quietly and leave. They are tearing the nation apart and causing rifts that will be very challenging to repair.

    Look where you’ve gone next, you’re attacking the IDF again. Were you not reading the news when IDF soldiers were attacked when they tried to dismantle tiny little new outposts in the West Bank? Are you ignoring the constant chatter by the settler Right about how Sharon has gone too far? Were you not there when Yesha leaders left a meeting with Sharon and proclaimed that he is causing a civil war? What they meant was that since he didn’t acquiesce to their demands, they couldn’t help it if fighting broke out. And they meant with guns. Stop attacking the IDF please, your settlers should praise god every single day for the existence of the IDF and its soldiers. When you attack them, you sound, again, just like the Palestinians and their propagandists. It’s pretty sad, actually.

    The last time I heard the 1933-1942 Hitler government policies prior to the final solution argument was when I was debating a far Left moron. The previous time was when I was debating a Stormfront type. Congratulations on sounding just like them, comparing Israel to Nazis and helping the Palestinian cause tremendously. You have been nominated for a buffoon award.

    The rest of your commentary is a valid point of view about whether it is right and rational to create the barrier and remove ourselves from the Eastern and Western parts. I’ve already said that it is and you disagree. Fair enough. I’d just like to point out that Sharon and most of Israel’s senior leadership agree with me and not with you. The reason is that they, like me, do not see another way to strengthen ourselves. They, like me, only see us becoming more and more mired in the quicksand of a booming Palestinian population, increased military activity on our end, and looming threats of international boycotts against Israel.

    In fact, you don’t have a solution and neither does Ezra. You’re kinda hoping that a big flood will wash away the Palestinians. Sadly, that is not a rational wish.

    Before you respond, I ask you to evaluate that this post is about the buffoonery of comparing Israeli actions to Nazi actions. I ask you to reread your comments and mine relating to how you have taken on the very same arguments made by Israel’s most vicious enemies. I ask that you think carefully about whether it’s rational, or even wise, to accuse the Israeli government, its supporting citizens, the IDF, the ADL, and all those of us who don’t agree with your viewpoints on the settler Right what you are calling us.

    Stop and think, Josh.

  • TM’s sole debate strategy: “I once met a “racist” or a “leftist” or a “neo-Nazi” whose words sounded a lot like yours (read: disagreed with me) – therefore, you are all those things and I refuse to even address your points in a rational manner.”

  • Josh deserves responses, TM, not your usual hysterics. Take a deep breath and repeat after me: dialogue, not advocacy. dialogue, not advocacy. If there is anything good and holy about the blog format it is not that it allows us to catfight publicly and be documented for all of eternity by Google – the point is to sincerely entertain eachother’s ideas, respond point by point and hopefully get deeper and deeper until we arrive at the major intersections where our search for truth driverges – and if everyone remains comitted to finding truth, that is where it gets interesting.

    On that note, you flippantly dismissed many excellent points made by Josh that I would be very interested in hearing you address:

    Josh wrote: – Do you know that the GNP of gush katif is actually quite high. Per capita income (private and from local business) is practically uncomparable to most other areas in Israel and their are no tax breaks anymore (as opposed to Sderot a few kilometres away). Frankly, with the amount of taxes that citizens pay there, they’d come out ahead if they disconnected from the rest of struggling Israel and used it all locally. Gush Katif brings millions of export dollars into the country – this will be gone overnight.

    TM responded (liberal, sarcastic paraphrasing): Move ’em to the Galil, let them make money for the economy there – cost the army so damn much as is.

    Josh wrote: There’s nothing wrong with Arad or BeerSheva, but if you know the least thing about basic human rights, then forcibly moving people around like pawns is a violation, and frankly a crime against humanity (now you’ll say I’ve gone too far). Since when did you become so arrogant and decide where to force Zionists to live?

    TM responded: Um, when immigrants with nothing came to the fledgling Jewish State they were sent to live in different areas.

    Josh wrote: -I get it now, ‘Never Again’ means only genocide, not the process that Hitler started between 1933 and 1942. So Yad Vashem only deals with gas chambers and totally ignores what leed up to them

    TM: You are getting too close to my holy-of-holies – speaking about the Holocaust as though it is yours to learn from. You sound exactly like a neo-Nazi and a left-wing moron. I refuse on principle to address your cogent, convincing argument. Critical thinking is not our place when dealing with the Holocaust – the high priest of Holocaust reverance may only enter once a year on Yom HaShoa and you presume to bring ME a lesson from the Holocaust – on a weekday?

    -I have to be convinced of one tiny benefit that Israel gains from de-Judaizing the ‘territories’ and creating an apartheid Arab-only ‘Palestine’ next door. Do you really think that a wall will allow us to ‘get on’ with building the country? The army discussed this week the possibility of tunnels being built between Judea and Samaria under the green-line and your holy separaton fence/wall/barrier.

    TM: unintelligable (The original:The rest of your commentary is a valid point of view about whether it is right and rational to create the barrier and remove ourselves from the Eastern and Western parts. I’ve already said that it is and you disagree. Fair enough. I’d just like to point out that Sharon and most of Israel’s senior leadership agree with me and not with you. The reason is that they, like me, do not see another way to strengthen ourselves. They, like me, only see us becoming more and more mired in the quicksand of a booming Palestinian population, increased military activity on our end, and looming threats of international boycotts against Israel.”)

    In other words: I can’t argue that point, but we must believe with complete faith in the best judgement of our leaders when they choose to give away our eternal homeland and arm and train terrorists. Forget Oslo, the settlers are the ones that screwed that up.

    Josh wrote: -precedent – remove one Jewish family from it’s legal home, and you create a precedent that any part of Israel is part of the game.

    TM: No response whatsoever

    Josh wrote:-leaving the ‘territories’ which is ancient Israel, basically deligitmizes the entire country and justifies the Arabs claims that Israel is an unnatural creation. We give up the temple mount, hebron, bethlehem, shechem, jericho, the shilo area, the sebastia area, and we get to keep Sefad, Tiberias, West Jerusalem, and the grave of Binyamin outside of Kfar Saba.
    T_M – listen to what the Arabs claim, don’t just disregard it as ’stupid’ propaganda, or baseless whining. And above all, don’t justify their desire for more Jew-free lands.

    TM: you don’t have a solution either and neither does Ezra. “big flood” is something I remember reading in a sarcastic haaretz article lambasting the settlers and I like to say that line with a sneer. I learned that tactic in a hasbara seminar.

    Josh wrote:
    Michael,
    it doesn’t matter who or what changed your mind. A selfish person today, was probably a selfish person yesterday. According to your logic, no isolated border town (Metulla, Eilat, Sderot) is worth fighting for. Arabs shoot some missiles, Jews should retreat in order to make the rest of the country safe. The day when you realize that the settlers were right the whole time will be a painful day for you. I promise.

    Michael reponded: [‘shtika k’hoda’a’]

  • Shtikah k’hoda’ah? I’m so dreadfully sorry that I had to, you know, leave the keyboard and go do something with my life instead of eagerly anticipating Josh’s lame replies.

    Selfish? Which one of us again supports the tiny minority of Jews screaming that they’re being subjected to a Holocaust (when in reality they’re being forced to move a few miles), and which one of us cares about the opinions of the majority of Israel’s citizens and indeed world Jewry who are disgusted by this?

    According to my logic, Gush Katif is not worth fighting for. It’s not worth the lives of Israel’s soldiers and the tax dollars of Israel’s cash-strapped people to protect 8000 Gaza settlers, who have contributed so far very little beyond internal strife from the looks of it, from a million very angry Palestinians. I never said anything about Sderot or Eilat, towns that are squarely within Israel’s internationally accepted borders. Do not start redefining terms. Gush Katif is not an isolated border town. Gush Katif is a settlement. And it is a tiny settlement under constant bombardment, requiring the constant protection of the citizens of Israel in the IDF, the majority of whom do not support its existence. Why should the will of 8000 or so settlers trump the will of the majority of Israel’s citizens? Are they somehow more entitled to an opinion? Nobody is arguing that Sderot is not part of Israel. But most people are arguing that Gush Katif isn’t, and that they shouldn’t have to risk their lives and spend their money on protecting a few thousand people who live there. And a bunch of self-important mamzerim with Star of David patches aren’t going to convince them otherwise.

    The day that I realize the settlers were right will never come. Because they’re wrong.

  • In two parts:

    First off to compassionate Michael,
    I see that you’ve adopted the standard ‘Israel has borders and when we get there, the world will respect us’. The problem I (and many Israelis, not just settlers) have is that I (we) just don’t trust the world. Israel already performed a dress-rehearsal when it retreated from Lebanon, but instead of peace with Lebanon, we have about a dozen dead soldiers and civilian deaths (as well as the current war), we are scared shitless from retaliating anytime an Israeli is killed up north because Hezbollah has 10 000 surface-to-surface missiles pointed at us, and the UN is complicit with this uncertainty. I like to look at the long-term and not just the ‘pragmatic’ short-term. I totally agree that if we retreat entirely to the 67, there will be short-term quiet of a few years. After that, the second holocaust will occur, there is no doubt about that. Egypt just got permission to build 125 more Abrams A1 tanks and I ask you for what reason? We have no intentions of reconquering the sinai, and Egypt has absolutely no enemies on its other borders. I can’t believe that you’ve swallowed to story that Israel is responsible for the whole region’s problems.

    Michael the selfish person I refered to was you. You care only about yourself and don’t like that others (of the tribe) might be ruining your image. If a few Jews wanted to live in 1980s Harlem, you’d object too. Apparently, your Jewish world is limited by what the gentiles accept. Pity.

  • T_M,
    we’ve reached a dead-end on talking about the cost of settlements. My belief is that the billions spent defending Gaza, will be considered peanuts to the expenditures needed for the next phase of the war against us. The cost of having bases inside the Gaza strip buffer zone is significantly lower than trying to defend the greater population inside the green-line. Leave Gaza and northern Shomron and the war will follow us inside.

    I know a lot about Israel’s early history. The same relocation policy you so much are proud of has long since been seen to be racist/discriminatory in nature and the reason for heavy latent ‘ethnic’ tension in Israel. You see, the new immigrants sent to far off places were poor, sefardic Jews sent to the least fertile part of Israel so that certain elite ashkenazis could say that we are settling the Negev. After 50years, Israel is still dealing with the reprecussions and frankly not seriously enough to solve the problem soon. Another discriminated population back then were the religious settlers (everyone was a settler at that time). While secular settlers were given fertile land as well as swamps to dry up all over the country, the religious were only given land far out in the Beit Shean area and the Western Negev area where the sefardic Jews were sent. Only two religious kibbutzes exist in central Israel, the rest were built on the front lines of the Jordanian and Egyptian borders.

    Why do you relegate people to protesting from home? Students with grievances about unfair school practices organize sit-ins in administative offices. Do you then blame them for forcing security/police to deal with the trauma of removing them? Did you hear about the new stop-light in the bronx? “But if it comes to it, there will be civil disobedience over this.” IMO, the Gaza thing is just a more critical than a slight inconvenience to some individuals. But civil disobedience in Israel is forcing poor soldiers to deal with protesters.

    cont’d…

  • …cont’d

    Efraim Sneh this morning proudly states that he perfers a civil war over continued fighting with the Arabs. (Sorry, hebrew-only and the original article is not on the NRG site) http://www.a7.org/news.php?id=98171 He dreams of an American-like civil war to shape our country (of course he forgets about the conquering of Northern Mexico part). Peace Now is also registering hate-filled leftists to replace the soldiers who’ll refuse to participate in the operation.

    The demogarphic issue is twisted out of proportion. The fact is that Arab (Israeli, ‘Palestinian’, and around the world) birthrates, while still higher than ‘Westernized folks’, are dropping. The numbers used to scare the Jews are always older numbers that even today are not accurate. And even with 20% of the Israeli population, are there 20% Arab members of parliament (where the real difference is made)? No. Most Arabs vote for Jews, either Labour or Likud.

    I am insulted by you implying that I support forcibly deporting Arabs or think that this is even a solution. I have never, ever supported this ludicrous idea. In fact, the only people who voice it are my left-wing friends who say that since Israel can’t do that, the next best thing is the fence so that we don’t have see them or deal with them at all. This is from my Meretz and Labour friends. While most of Israel lived in their voluntary segregated Jewish neighbourhoods, the new settlers after 67 didn’t object to living with Arabs, working with them on a daily basis, and shopping in their stores. The Left changed that when they decided that Jews and Arabs shouldn’t live together and proposed making certain areas Jew-free.

    T_M,
    you’re not only losing on the discussion, you’re losing on technical points too. Putting words into Ezra and my mouths and also calling people names like a juvenile don’t help your credibilty as a mature, THINKING adult.

  • “T_M,
    you’re not only losing on the discussion, you’re losing on technical points too. Putting words into Ezra and my mouths and also calling people names like a juvenile don’t help your credibilty as a mature, THINKING adult.”

    Take your own advice. Putting words in my mouth doesn’t help your credibility as a mature, THINKING adult.

    How has anything I’ve said indicated that all I cared about was my own “image”? What particular “image” are you even talking about?

    This isn’t about my image or whatever nonsense you’ll think up next to muddy the core of the issue. Nor is it about Harlem in 1980 or “the gentiles.” I never mentioned the gentile world. All I ever talked about was the will of the majority of the people of Israel, and that will is for the disengagement plan. Read it carefully. Why should Israelis who don’t support Gaza settlements have to spend their money and risk their lives to protect them? Again, that has nothing to do with world opinion or Harlem or whatever. It’s solely about the Israelis themselves. My Jewish world is not limited by what “the gentiles” accept, it’s limited by what the majority of Jewish people accept. And the majority of the Jewish people, at least in Israel where it matters for the subject at hand, don’t accept Gaza settlements. Don’t believe me? A Yediot Aharonot poll found 65% of Israelis in favor of disengagement, a Ma’ariv poll found 79% in favor, and a Haaretz poll found 61% in favor. And most of the soldiers who have signed Defensive Shield’s petition to refuse to evacuate settlements were reservists who won’t be doing it anyway. The majority of Israel’s people want out of Gaza. Which does not involve the gentile world, or my image, or Lebanon, or Harlem. Don’t try to skirt around the issue: the bulk of Israel’s people are against you, and the stunts like the orange star, or the petition by Gush Katif residents to refuse any service in the IDF, are only weakening your case (which, I believe, was one of the original points).

    If it’s selfish to find the desires of millions of Israeli Jews for the disengagement to be implemented more pressing than the desire of 8000 settlers for it not to be, then I guess you’re right. I’m selfish. Coming from you people, I suppose it could almost be a compliment.

    But ultimately, it’s not worth debating with you, especially because apparently to you everyone who disagrees is contributing to the encroaching “second Holocaust” you’ve conjured up to justify yourself. You guys have already lost, and the disengagement will go on whether you cry Nazi or not. I just hope you don’t bring the country to civil war out of pique and your own sense of holiness.

  • Today In Israel

    Everyone else in the world debases the Holocaust for their own stupid purposes…. A typical post about Israel, from our Iranian friends, over at Little Green Footballs.

  • Josh, do you often give yourself grades about winning or losing a discussion? I really am very busy but will try to put aside a little time to respond later today.

  • All I know is this:

    If it were anyone else but a group of jews relocating jews, we’d all be raising hell and frothing at the mouth screaming anti-semetism and drawing comparisons to the prelude to the holocaust.

    Imagine if canada wanted to move the jewish community out of say, toronto, because the arabs there were rioting too much.

    What stops someone from declaring independence in Gaza? Do you have any doubt that the UN and arab nations would recognize it?

    Why can arabs live in Israel and not Jews in Palestine? Until we shrug and say “so what” to the thought of a jewish community there, they are not ready for their own state, period, end of discussion.

    Pulling out of gaza is a gigantic step in the direction of a palestinian state. Although I’m not against the idea in priciple, I’m not ready for that to happen.

    Are you? Really?

    Giving people their own country doesn’t automagically make them peaceful.

  • T_M
    I’ll be patient, but if you guys post a few new messages this thread will die off anyway. The subject was the orange star not the ‘retreat plan’ that we’ll have more oppurtunity to discuss. I’m guilty of having a slow day yesterday with some time to build that response.
    Let me respond to one thing;
    Why should Israelis who don’t support Gaza settlements have to spend their money and risk their lives to protect them?
    I admit that at his time, most Israeli want to chop off Gaza and forget about it (especially the lefties), but the polls you quote only tell half the story. I’e seen polls with follow up questions on specific details of the plan and the support drops drastically when people discover the actual details of the plan.
    When Israelis understand the facts and not just their ‘assumptions’ learnt from leftist tabloids and TV, they regain their sanity. That’s why the right-wing wants a referendum. This way the people will be exposed to more information and be able to smartly decide other than a loaded poll question after a long day on the job.

    Shabbat shalom,
    I’ll check back only after Shabbos.

  • Josh deserves responses, TM, not your usual hysterics.

    I think this is hilarious coming from the person defending the position that there’s a parallel between the pullout and the Holocaust. Talk about hysterics.

    Josh wrote: – Do you know that the GNP of gush katif is actually quite high. Per capita income (private and from local business) is practically uncomparable to most other areas in Israel and their are no tax breaks anymore (as opposed to Sderot a few kilometres away). Frankly, with the amount of taxes that citizens pay there, they’d come out ahead if they disconnected from the rest of struggling Israel and used it all locally. Gush Katif brings millions of export dollars into the country – this will be gone overnight.

    TM responded (liberal, sarcastic paraphrasing): Move ‘em to the Galil, let them make money for the economy there – cost the army so damn much as is.

    Yup.

    I did a little research. I cannot locate your source for per capita income in Gush Katif or even among Gazan Jews because the Central Bureau of Statistics of Israel doesn’t carry that information. So I don’t know your source, but I’d be interested in seeing it.

    According to the Jerusalem Post and the World Bank, Gush Katif and the other Gazan settlements produce $33 million per year and employ directly about 90 Israelis and 120 Palestinians. The JPost articles about Thais working in Gaza listed another 150 workers. I suspect those Thais replace the Palestinians. Haaretz mentions that the rest of the income in Gazan settlements is earned by teachers, gov’t workers, religious authorities, etc. and points out many of them have to leave Gaza to get to work.

    There are about 7500 Jews living in Gaza in about 1500-2000 households. Despite the fact that the above reveals a problem with Josh’s statement about higher per capita incomes in Gush Katif, because it doesn’t seem that people have high earning jobs or skills, and that $33 million in agricultural revenue costs quite a bit to generate (foreign workers earn $800-$1000/ month so 150 x $1000 x 12 = $1.8 million before equipment, seeding, harvesting and watering costs)
    breaks down to just $4,400 per capita revenue. Let’s simply assume, giving Josh the benefit of the doubt about higher per capita income, that if Israel’s per capita income is at $16,500, in the highly productive Gaza, Jews are earning $18,000 per capita.

    So $18,000 x 7500 = $135,000,000. If these high earning Gazan Jews earn more than 132,000 shekels/year, they are taxed at 43%. If they earn less, they are taxed at 27%. So Gaza Jews contribute either $58,050,000 or $36,450,000 per annum to Israel’s tax rolls annually. Let’s assume that the agricultural $33 million ends up with a $20 million profit taxed at Israel’s 35% corporate rate and you can add another $7,000,000. Note that Agricultural subsidies in Israel are equal to 3.3% directly, with an an unknown amount indirectly – particularly water subsidy. That’s about $1.1 million.

    So Gazan Jews’ tax contribution to the State of Israel is most likely somewhere between

    58,050,000 + 7,000,000 – 1,100,000 = $63,950,000

    and

    36,450,000 + 7,000,000 – 1,100,000 = $42,350,000

    Now let’s take a look at expenses and subsidies.

    Military: Haaretz estimates military expenditures on the territories at 2 billion shekels per year. Now we all know that figure is absurdly low, but let’s stick to it. Also, let’s assume that 10% of this money goes to Gaza and the rest to Yehuda and Shomron, although we all know that is also too low a percentage. So 200 million shekels are gone for Gaza’s defense needs (not border defense needs, settlement defense needs). Josh says defense expenses will go up if Israel leaves, but he is incorrect because Israel will be able to lower manpower, miluim conscripts, arms and ammunition used, at least one battalion, and all military equipment expenditures within Gaza.

    Military = about $45,000,000 per year (don’t laugh, we all know that this is low, but we’ll play along).

    Housing: the State of Israel subsidizes land development, construction (plus it guarantees the purchase of any housing unit developers build that goes unsold), builds infrstructure, provides 25k shekel grants to the purchase of new housing that is already inexpensively priced, provides access to generous loans, etc. In 2002, the average Israeli subsidy of a house in the territories equaled about 70k shekels. We know there were about 6000 Gazan Jews in 2000 and about 7500 now. If we assume that 350 families needed new homes, we arrive at 24,500,000 shekels in housing subsidies for Gaza just in the past 4 years.

    It gets even better: “According to the 2002 state budget, loans to eligible settlers in the territories ranged from $54,000-$84,000 for 30 years at 3 percent interest. After 10 years, 75 percent of that loan becomes a grant. There are no such loan terms within the Green Line.” Let’s stick to our 350 families and we come to another $8.75 million in subsidies.

    Additionally, “Adva found that the level of public construction (schools, synagogues, swimming pools) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the 1990s was an average of 63 percent higher than public construction inside the Green Line.” I’ll throw in a million dollars here over 4 years.

    $6m + $8.75m + $1m = $15, 750,000

    Housing: $15,750,000 over 4 years = about $4 million/year

    Education: if we give Gaza 5% of the Yesha/Gaza education budget, this is an extra 5m shekels per year. There is no question Gazan Jewish children receive superior, longer education in smaller groups with more specialists and higher paid teachers than within the Green Line.

    Education: $1.2m. Getting better education than rest of Israeli children: priceless.

    Health care: about $1m extra per year

    Taxes: cancelled rebates have not been reinstated yet but were worth about 8800 shekels per year per taxpayer. In 2001, 1980 people received an average 8800 shekel rebate 17,424,000 shekels. By the way, although subsidies were cancelled, there is a secret deal to reinstate them at higher rates for 60 settlements under greatest theat of terror – which would presumably include many Gazan communities.

    Tax subsidies = $4,350,000 per year.

    Water + electricity: also subsidized but I can’t get a handle on how much this is. Let’s say $2 million per year plus about 100 million shekels in development costs. Those development costs are behind us, so we’ll ignore them for now.

    Water+ electricity = $2 million per year

    Add them up and what do you get?

    $57.5 million in annual subsidies and support for Gaza. So at best, Gaza contributes about $5 million to Israeli coffers annually, and at worst it costs about $14 million a year in subsidies. Please note I’m trying hard to be conservative with my figures while giving you the benefit of the doubt about the higher per capita income.

    The problem is that only about $33 million dollars in Gazan income can’t be reproduced elsewhere, and even that is debatable. If most of the Gazan Jews’ income is earned at jobs like teaching and local official positions, those jobs can be reproduced in Tzfat or Dimonah. In reality, it would be hard to replace the $33 million because Gazan Jews are sitting atop a water aquifer that would need to be replaced if they are to pursue agriculture elsewhere so Israel and these people might lose this income.

    As for other costs involved in protecting you in Gaza, I can’t find the exact number but I know that 13 soldiers were killed in Gaza in May of this year. I would guess there are probably 20 to 25 dead Israeli soldiers in Gaza annually, and I would extrapolate that another 100 to 150 are seriously to severely injured every year.

    Josh wrote: There’s nothing wrong with Arad or BeerSheva, but if you know the least thing about basic human rights, then forcibly moving people around like pawns is a violation, and frankly a crime against humanity (now you’ll say I’ve gone too far). Since when did you become so arrogant and decide where to force Zionists to live?

    TM responded: Um, when immigrants with nothing came to the fledgling Jewish State they were sent to live in different areas.

    Ezra is misrepresenting my response. I believe the settlers who don’t want to leave, should be able to remain. As long as Israel is no longer responsible for their security or their subsidies (or taxes). If Israel is demanding they leave, it is because they feel they must protect Israelis and do not wish to risk any more soldiers’ lives or waste unnecessary funds on military operations.

    Second, nobody is forcing the Gazans to live anywhere. If they are forced to leave, they can still move to the community of their choice. Interestingly, they would be able to move to some hilltop in the Shomron.

    Third, Israel is using subsidies and cold hard cash to encourage the settlers to move to areas where their energy and determination, as well as their numbers, could help the state alleviate demographic concerns.

    Fourth, this is part of a process wherein the State determined once upon a time that having settlements in Gaza was beneficial to security and negotiating leverage. It subsidized untenable settlements that relied on government intervention, subsidies and military protection. The same State is now determining that while the settlements may or may not have been useful (historians can debate that), it is now in the State’s interest to terminate them. As I point out above, it would be very difficult for Gazan Jews to live in Gaza without the support of the State. If the State comes to a decision that its support is no longer going to be provided and that its security needs are better served without civilian Jews living there, then I don’t see why you were so accepting of their initial premise but now reject this one. Perhaps because it doesn’t serve your cause?

    Fifth, you are all receiving handsome compensation for your departure. If you seek more for business you are losing, ask for it – Israelis have been very generous thus far.

    Sixth, there is already one significant group of Gazan Jews looking to build up near the shore south of Ashkelon and the Government is talking to them.

    Yup, real evil.

    Josh wrote: -I get it now, ‘Never Again’ means only genocide, not the process that Hitler started between 1933 and 1942. So Yad Vashem only deals with gas chambers and totally ignores what leed up to them

    TM: You are getting too close to my holy-of-holies – speaking about the Holocaust as though it is yours to learn from. You sound exactly like a neo-Nazi and a left-wing moron. I refuse on principle to address your cogent, convincing argument. Critical thinking is not our place when dealing with the Holocaust – the high priest of Holocaust reverance may only enter once a year on Yom HaShoa and you presume to bring ME a lesson from the Holocaust – on a weekday?

    Um, Ezra, I didn’t address Josh’s comment because it was so buffoonish and moronic. I’m sorry that you think it’s a convincing and cogent argument, and I’m even more sorry I have to waste time typing out why your and his claims are absolutely false, and in fact ridiculous. I have always assumed that the people on the Stormfront and Pro-Palestinian sides who were equating the Holocaust to goings-on in Israel and the territories were ignorant or morons, but I don’t think that about you and Josh. So what’s your damage? Are you confused, blind, or seeking to promote lying propaganda?

    Let’s begin with Mein Kampf. Can you point to an Israeli leader having written any such book? Can you point to a single leader or party within the Israeli government that seeks to eliminate Jews (or Arab Israelis for that matter) from any part of what is considered Israel within the Green Line? Of the parties in the current coalition, or any coalition over the past four years, or the upcoming coalition, can you point to a single party or politician who seeks to eliminate Jews (or Arab Israelis for that matter) from any spot within the Green Line?

    Au contraire, ma grande buffoon. Can you deny that Sharon and the Likud have always been stalwart and staunch defenders and promoters of the settlements? Can you deny that all of politicians in the Cabinets, PM seats, and Knessets throughout the history of Israel, save for the Arab-Israelis who belong to the Arab and Far Left parties, have been supportive of the State being a state of the Jews for the Jews with a historic alliance between Right and Left parties supporting Jews living within Yehuda, Shomron and Gaza? Can you deny that the settlements doubled in population throughout the Oslo years with the knowledge, and at times support, of the Israeli government? Tell us again how that relates to what Hitler promised to do to the Jews before he ever got into power?

    Next. If you follow the history of how the Nazis acted against the Jews starting in 1933 and until they began implementation of the Final Solution in 1942, you will see the following. Stop me when you see a parallel between Gazan Jews and German or other European Jews:

    First, we have the blatant acts of violence and hatred against Jews in the years prior to and following 1933. Have you seen any such act of violence by Israelis against any settlers? Or are they risking their lives for you? Even those on the political spectrum that oppose the settlements continue to serve in the IDF with a relatively small number of refuseniks.

    In 1933, the Nazis launched their offensive against the Jews by creating the Civil Service law, “Civil servants who are not of Aryan (non-Jewish) descent are to be retired.” Sound like the settlers? “Persons who, according to the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service of April 7, 1933, are of non-Aryan descent may be denied admission to the bar.” Sound like the settlers? “In new admissions, care is to be taken that the number of Reich Germans who, according to the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service of April 7, 1933, are of non-Aryan descent, out of the total attending each school and each faculty, does not exceed the proportion of non-Aryans within the Reich German population.” Sound like the settlers? They burned all books by Jews in 1933. Sound like the settlers?

    In 1935, there was a public campaign to put up signs and keep Jews out of public facilities, stores and restaurants. Sounds like the settlers? The same year, the Nuremberg Laws: “Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor” banned all marriages and sexual activity between Jews and Germans. Moreover, Jewish employers were forbidden to employ female Germans under forty five years of age. Jews were forbidden to fly the Reich and national flags. Punishments included hard labor and imprisonment in camps. Sound like the settlers? “A Reich citizen is only that subject of German or kindred blood who proves by his conduct that he is willing and suited loyally to serve the German people and the Reich.” Sound like the settlers? “A Jew cannot be a Reich citizen. He is not entitled to the right to vote on political matters; he cannot hold public office…A Jew is anyone descended from at least three grandparents who are fully Jewish as regards race…Also deemed a Jew is a Jewish Mischlung subject who is descended from two fully Jewish grandparents and…who belonged to the Jewish religious community…who was married to a Jew…who is the offspring of a marriage concluded by a Jew…who is an offspring of extramarital intercourse with a Jew…” Sound like the settlers?

    Let’s jump to 1938: All passports belonging to Jews are stamped with a J. All Jewish males must add the name Israel to their name, while Jewish females must add the name Sarah. Then Kristalnacht arrives and Jews are sent to camps, all Jewish children are expelled from school and all businesses are to be Aryanized (which means they can’t be owned or managed by Jews or even have Jewish employees). Jews are barred from all public schools and universities, as well as from cinemas, theaters, and sports facilities. In many places, Jews are forbidden to enter designated “Aryan” zones.

    HAS ANY OF THIS RESEMBLED ANYTHING THAT IS HAPPENING TO THE SETTLERS WHO ARE BEING OFFERED $250K- $350K PLUS GENEROUS SUBSIDIES TO RELOCATE TO CERTAIN AREAS? Sorry to shout but I’m hysteric. 😉

    It is only in 1939, when the Nazis take over Poland, that Jews are forcibly deported from Austria and eventually, Germany, to Poland. Nobody offers them any subsidies, money, a choice of where to go, an explanation as to why, a public voice, a public debate, right to disobedience, or a democratic government they can try to influence. The kids can’t attend school, the parents may not own businesses, they are kept out of stores, their belongings have to be sold at a steep and ridiculous discount. Does this sound like the settlers? The forced move of the Jews to Poland is done with hatred and venom and is intended to root out perveived “foreigners” and a perceived “cancer” from within “Aryan” societies. Is that what the settlers are going through right now?

    Please spare us all the bullshit about genocide and any relationship between current events and the Holocaust or the events leading up to it. It is a false equation.

    (more to follow when I feel like writing some more)

  • -I have to be convinced of one tiny benefit that Israel gains from de-Judaizing the ‘territories’ and creating an apartheid Arab-only ‘Palestine’ next door. Do you really think that a wall will allow us to ‘get on’ with building the country? The army discussed this week the possibility of tunnels being built between Judea and Samaria under the green-line and your holy separaton fence/wall/barrier.

    TM: unintelligable (The original:The rest of your commentary is a valid point of view about whether it is right and rational to create the barrier and remove ourselves from the Eastern and Western parts. I’ve already said that it is and you disagree. Fair enough. I’d just like to point out that Sharon and most of Israel’s senior leadership agree with me and not with you. The reason is that they, like me, do not see another way to strengthen ourselves. They, like me, only see us becoming more and more mired in the quicksand of a booming Palestinian population, increased military activity on our end, and looming threats of international boycotts against Israel.”)

    In other words: I can’t argue that point, but we must believe with complete faith in the best judgement of our leaders when they choose to give away our eternal homeland and arm and train terrorists. Forget Oslo, the settlers are the ones that screwed that up.

    Well, Jordan is de-Judaized, and Egypt is pretty well de-Judaized. I don’t understand your point? You want to live in a Palestinian autonomy or state, be my guest. As I mentioned already, Amira Hass seems perfectly content. As a Zionist, I would think you would want to live in a Jewish state. Then again, since you liken the State to Nazi Germany, I understand your concern and desire to live in an Arab country.

    I agree that there are holy places for Jews that would have to be given up if we pull out of Yehuda and Shomron. However, I don’t believe I have any such link to Gaza. Furthermore, I have a ton of Palestinians there and would rather they remain out of my life and out of my hair even if it means giving up Hebron. I’d rather focus on the rest of Israel so I can keep it and reduce or remove the threat of losing it.

    I have come to a conscious decision that if I remain within defensible borders that have international consensus behind them, free up entire divisions and battalions from the drudgery and painful work of maintaining security over another people, enable the majority of the settlers to remain within my defensible borders, keep Jerusalem while giving up control of certain East Jerusalem neighborhoods and figuring out a way to maintain the status quo within the Old City, then I can get to work in making Israel a great state.

    I can get to work ending traffic and road accidents. I can get to work improving the economy and people’s standards of living. I can get to work reinstating positive and fruitful economic, diplomatic, academic and cultural relationships with other nations. I can get to work bringing numerous Jews from around the world who would want to come and live in a Jewish state that is socially healthy, has a solid economy, few moral ambiguities regarding its wars and occupation, and relative peace. They’re not coming right now, for the most part, until things go very wrong in their home countries.

    You don’t see this as a better scenario than de-Judaizing Gaza and most of Yehuda and Shomron?

    You don’t see that just as the Palestinians will never get what they want when it comes to areas within the Green Line, I cannot possibly expect to get everything I want?

    As for the barrier. I believe it will help tremendously.

    First, it will create a de facto border, and that is a first step in changing people’s perception of the situation and its final outcome.

    Second, this de facto border will eliminate the issue of demographics, which should be of concern to you, regardless of your dream that somehow their birth rate is slowing and ours isn’t so bad.

    Third, along with eliminating the issue of demographics, it will help tremendously in removing the concept that we are treating the Palestinians as the South Africans treated the blacks. Don’t get me wrong on this, there is no apartheid in Israel, nor do we resemble SA. However, reality and perception are two different matters and a fence dividing the two people will go a long way towards rectifying this misperception with the international community.

    Fourth, the Palestinians will have to deal with feeding themselves and creating the infrastructure for a state. They will not be able to concern themselves with war because we will continue to ensure they don’t. Tunnels are fine and good, but you can only build so many and they will never be more than a nuisance.

    Fifth, I believe the Palestinians will turn Eastward towards their natural home, Jordan. If one way is blocked, you head in the other direction. This is inevitable and will save Israel from future wars and difficulties.

    Sixth, our experience on the Jordanian and Lebanese borders is that these fences and barriers are not hermetically sealed but fairly effective. This one will be just as effective.

    Seventh, we will be able to remove the IDF from huge areas it must currently monitor with gazillions of men. We will save lives, limbs, money, equipment and will be able to strengthen other areas with these soldiers who will now be freed up. This will be able to help us in the propaganda wars tremendously.

    Eighth, it puts the ball into the international community’s court. What are they going to say? “Oh, you didn’t pull out enough?” “Oh, the Palestinians are suffering?” Of course not. They will be relieved and will find themselves in the instant position of having to send forces to stand between the Palestinians and the barrier. They will have to send funds to help the Palestinians feed their people and their economy. They will do everything in their power to ensure that the Palestinians do not persist with their desire for war. That’s right, the barrier brings to the Palestinians what they always sought, an international force. However, the force will work against the Palestinians by giving them this bear hug which culminates in a de facto peace.

    Ninth, it will save us billions of dollars in subsidies and remove the political demands and shenanigans that go on because of the territories. It will allow us to focus on growing problem areas in Israel such as the Negev and Galilee.

    Tenth, we will be able to hold our heads high from a moral perspective. The young men who serve in the IDF will no longer have to deal with the moral ambiguities of war within the midst of a civilian population on an ongoing and daily basis. The internal divisions between Right and Left in Israel will diminish and the political spectrum will begin to focus on healing divisions between secular and Orthodox and between the Haves and Have Nots – just like in most countries.

    I could continue but you get the point.

    I want to be clear that I will keep 80% of the settlers within the barrier’s line. I would also keep Gush Etzion and try to keep Ariel. I also know that it’s not a perfect solution, but the situation in which we find ourselves has few solutions and this is a pretty good one.

    As for the leadership comment by Ezra, I have to say that you are speaking to the wrong person. You keep guessing wrong about me, Ezra, because you have a closed mind about who might disagree with you. However, I do know a few things. The fiercest opponents to the barrier are the Palestinians and the Right-most settlers. Right there, I know I’m on the right track because the Palestinians consider me their enemy and want Israel to fall, and the Gush Emunim (et al) settlers don’t seem to view a possibility for peace and would rather keep Israel embroiled in its current situation until their hoped-for miraculous departure of the Palestinians happens. So these two enemies of the barrier indicate that I’m on the right track.

    I also learn a lot from those who support the barrier. Not only do most Israelis support it, but Barak and Sharon support it. How often do you find consensus between these men? Not often. On this issue, however, they agree. Knowing that they have far more information at their fingertips than I, and knowing they are strong military leaders with Sharon being one of the finest strategists Israel has ever had (face it, he’s world class), I feel that to sit there in your comfortable Gazan communities – created in large part thanks to Sharon and people who think like him – protected by the very soldiers these men have trained, the likelihood of you having a better sense of what will happen is very small.

    In fact, your interests are in conflict with what they want to do, so how can you claim to know or understand better? You can’t. This must be a difficult task for Sharon, to dismantle something he has supported for decades, but he doesn’t have an interest to protect as you do. I trust him on this issue despite my general reservations about him.

    I hope that was intelligible, Ezra.

  • Josh wrote: -precedent – remove one Jewish family from it’s legal home, and you create a precedent that any part of Israel is part of the game.

    TM: No response whatsoever

    Why? I’m able to differentiate between areas within the Green Line and areas without. I have plenty of red lines that I won’t cross and that don’t even concern me because nobody will be willing to give them up. There is no slippery slope here; the territories are the territories and what isn’t is not.

    Anyway, a precedent was established in Yamit. It’s given us over 20 years of cold but real peace with Egypt.

    Josh wrote:-leaving the ‘territories’ which is ancient Israel, basically deligitmizes the entire country and justifies the Arabs claims that Israel is an unnatural creation. We give up the temple mount, hebron, bethlehem, shechem, jericho, the shilo area, the sebastia area, and we get to keep Sefad, Tiberias, West Jerusalem, and the grave of Binyamin outside of Kfar Saba.
    T_M – listen to what the Arabs claim, don’t just disregard it as ’stupid’ propaganda, or baseless whining. And above all, don’t justify their desire for more Jew-free lands.

    TM: you don’t have a solution either and neither does Ezra. “big flood” is something I remember reading in a sarcastic haaretz article lambasting the settlers and I like to say that line with a sneer. I learned that tactic in a hasbara seminar.

    I don’t justify their desire for Jew-free lands. How many times have I said it? GO.LIVE.WITH.THEM.

    I’ve written enough above about this. I will add that whether I like it or not, there are 3 million Palestinians who live mostly in the areas with these holy sites of mine. I could risk more soldiers’ lives, the enmity of the international community, the possibility of keeping the Jewish state democratic and Jewish, the moral fabric of my society, and the very economy and people’s ability to live and function in a healthy society. Or, I could realize that while it pains me greatly, I can chop off that part of Israel and its history, hand it off to the Palestinians, and heal Israel while ensuring its viability.

    I also have no intention of giving up the Temple Mount. Also, if you haven’t noticed, places like Shechem and Jericho are so heavily populated by Palestinians that I have no idea how you would “keep them” other than to always have plenty of soldiers around – and even then you can’t be sure of security.

    I dismiss your claim about delegitimizing the whole country because the country was legitimate before 1967, and its aspirations which were far more limited in 1947 were legitimate as well.

    Ezra, once again, you make some comment about Haaretz and hasbara. Dude, the last thing I need is a hasbara class, but thanks for thinking of me. As for the flood idea, I was simply bringing up a biblical reference so that as a believing Jew, you would “get it.” I certainly didn’t read it in Haaretz. For the record, there are many commentators at Haaretz who I would hope will stay behind when Israel pulls out. Let them live among the Palestinians with you.

    TM’s sole debate strategy: “I once met a “racist” or a “leftist” or a “neo-Nazi” whose words sounded a lot like yours (read: disagreed with me) – therefore, you are all those things and I refuse to even address your points in a rational manner.”

    I wrote a great deal before the previous two comments and this one. That you chose to ignore what I wrote speaks more about your inability to address those comments than mine. As you so inaptly put it to Michael, ’shtika k’hoda’a’.

    Now here are my questions for you, Ezra:

    1. How do you feel when soldiers give up their lives and limbs so that you and yours can continue to live as 7500 Jews in a sea of 1.2 million Palestinians?

    2. What do you think will happen eventually that will allow Israel to win this war?

    3. What do you think will happen with the demographics of the situation?

    4. Do you believe that Gaza will be rid of its Palestinians but you will remain? How will this happen? Do you have a position about these issues with respect to Yehuda and Shomron? Feel free to mention a flood if that’s what you believe.

    5. If you perceive this forced pullout by Israel and your forced removal from Gaza as immoral and Nazi-like (your concept, not mine, I feel Israel and the IDF are moral and absolutely un-Nazi-like), why do you accept the protection of the State? Why do you accept the state’s subsidies or live in a community that accepts them and was founded by the State? Why do you allow the instrument of this Nazi-like State, the IDF, to protect you?

    6. How do you explain that just a couple of years ago, Sharon was the darling of the settlers, but is now badmouthed as a traitor or as someone who has lost his capacity to see reality?

    7. Do you not find it odd that you are now attacking Sharon, Foxman, the IDF and the State? Is it healthy when everybody becomes your enemy, even your supporters and friends? Do you believe that the nature of your accusations and attacks is a fair type of criticism? Doesn’t it bother you that your remarks and comments mirror those of the Palestinians, the international Far Right and Far Left?

    8. In order to remain close to the cradle of Jewish civilization, would you be willing to remain behind and live among the Palestinians?

    9. You are a faithful Jew. You obviously believe that Israel is in the wrong in this matter. Ostensibly, this goes against your faith. Would you raise arms against a State that violates what you consider holy? Second part of this question is would you put your faith above democracy if Israel found itself in demographic difficulties or if you felt the State’s choices forced you to give up too much of what you consider basic tenets of faith?

    10. Are you going to keep making hasbara class jokes when I write? 😉

  • T_M,
    you definitely win on points. I don’t have time to debunk many of your claims, but I’ll give a stab at just a few off the top. Once again, you win.

    -it is now in the State’s interest to terminate them.
    -handsome compensation
    -significant group looking into Ashekelon homes
    -attacking the IDF

    The ‘state’ never decided that it was in our (Israel and world Jewry) best interests to leave Gaza, North Shomron, (and very shortly the rest of Yesha in a ‘hopefully’ more ‘respectful’ way than the IDFs hasty retreat from Lebanon in three days instead of a few months). If tomorrow, Sharon changes his mind, steps down from power, or has a heartattack, you’ll see how fast the ‘State’ and all Sharon’s supporters quickly reverse policy. Only Sharon and his mysterious reasons have decided. The people voted against this plan when they sent Mitzna packing in the last elections. On the other hand, the left is really hoping that Sharon is killed, since that would totally delegitimize anything Jewish/right/settler for several years. I hope he isn’t sacrificed like Rabin was. Remember this: everyone knows that the settlers do not benefit from Sharon being killed.

    The compensation is not handsome at all, or even fair market value. Your 250-350k might be an average amount taking into account the factory owners equity.

    The ‘significant group’ is the north Gaza residents who do not have as much invested in their settlements. (why these need to be destroyed is beyond me since they are already inside the border/fence).

    Last thing; stop claiming that I’m attacking the IDF and the State. I’m a Merkava tank commander in the reserves that (according to the brigade commander) does more miluim than most of the country and other miluimnikim too. I have no problem doing full miluim service in Yesha (where I live) and your attempted guilt-trip for me (and Ezra-though don’t know where he lives) sending young Israelis in harms way to defend settlers is utterly warped.

  • Oh,
    sorry, just a couple of more things;

    -mirroring anti-semitic pro-palestinian claims.

    I prefer to listen to the propaganda and not flippantly dismiss it as simple rhetoric. If Hezbollah still does view our retreat as comlpete, the Palestinians will not accept anything less than every piece of land (you trust the world too much). When Abu Mazen says that he is not giving up the demand for the temple mount, I believe him.

    live among the Palestinians

    I already do. In just under four hours, the recorded muzein is going to go off (I very rarely notice but my little daughter did the day we killed Yassin, yemach shmo). If they accept my/our right to exist on land undeniably bought fair and square, I will happily return to shop at their stores and return to use them as workers too. You actually justify the Palestinian culture of hate by insisting that the only solution is for Jews to be removed. Why don’t you first accept Arab acceptance of Israelis as equal humans. I remind you that there were virtually no ‘checkpoints’ in September 2000 and no ‘occupation’ (since you think the ‘occupation’ is only of Yesha, and I listen to the Arabs when they claim that it is entire Israel).

  • Josh,

    Sharon remains in power despite the fact that the parliamentary system can knock him off his perch. That is all that’s required in this democratic state. There have been no-confidence votes in the past weeks and he’s won them all. In the recent Likud voting round, his supporters won critical support. Netanyahu is going along with this and hasn’t resigned. This suggests that enough of the Right in the Knesset is supportive of Sharon and his key policy move of the disengagement. When you add Labor and Shinui which have both expressed support, you have a definite majority for the pullout. When you consider the polls, which you want to claim are invalid, there is widespread majority support for the pullout.

    Your comment about the Left wishing that Sharon will be killed is preposterous. Please think about what you are claiming here. In fact, don’t just think about that, consider that you’ve attacked Sharon and the Israeli Left in the same paragraph. Doesn’t that make you question your own ideas?

    The $250k-$350k is fair market value and more. First of all, my understanding is that businesses will be compensated and these numbers represent what a household will get for leaving their house. Second, these houses cost almost all of the Gazan Jews far less to buy and that amount was subsidized as I show above. Third, without the IDF there to protect Gazan Jews, I would expect the “fair market value” of these homes to plummet.

    The North Gaza residents are still Gazan Jews. They don’t have as much invested? That’s a claim you make but they might feel differently. Or perhaps they are being pragmatic and realize this isn’t a bad thing for Israel and will happen anyway.

    My “guilt trip” about your and other Israelis’ service in Gaza is right on point. It is the point!! One of the reasons for the pullout is to enable Israel to utilize the IDF in a more efficient manner and to save lives. 7500 Jews among 1.2 million Palestinians is a tough equation. 57% of terror attacks, as defined by the IDF, take place in Gaza against residents and against soldiers. This is happening despite the fact that 7500 settlers represent about 3-4% of the total number of settlers in the territories. And yet, not a single suicide bomber has gotten out of Gaza (except for the two Brit hidden by the ISM who got through because of their foreign identification). It makes sense that lives will be saved if we could get our troops out of there.

    The point of the “guilt trip” is also what this post and discussion are about. Josh, this post is about Jews in Gaza and their supporters putting on a star of David as if they are victims to Israel like Jews in WWII were victims to Nazi Germany. The corrollary is is that the IDF, which will assist in the removal of the settlers, is akin to the German Army of WWII. If you and Ezra were not defending this indefensible position of those settlers with the stars of David, I would not bring up the disgusting nature of this parallel or the hypocrisy of slandering and libeling the very people and organization putting their lives at risk to protect these families. Don’t you, as a soldier, feel that it’s not fair to equate you with a Nazi soldier?

    The issue of Palestinian propaganda.

    I know this world quite well and agree with you that there is much to learn from it. However, there is also a great deal of disinformation that is used very cleverly in order to manipulate people’s thoughts and emotions about this conflict. Two key areas are the Holocaust and SA apartheid as parallels to what is happening in the territories to the Palestinians as they live under Israeli rule. They make claims about ethnic cleansing and how Israel hasn’t committed genocide yet, but if one follows the development of Nazi Germany 1933-1942, one would see parallels between today’s Palestinians and the Jews of then. It is shocking that you would use the same argument. If you respect what they say so much, and believe they are to be believed when they say something, then why would you defend this pullout in similar terms? You know Israel is nothing like Nazi Germany and there is no comparison between the situations. This is completely screwed up any way you look at it.

    Your last point is an interesting one. I don’t expect that Muslim Palestinians will accept Israelis as equal humans for a very long time to come. I happen to agree with your final comments about what they consider to be “occupied” and what they don’t. We agree on these issues.

    Where we differ, is that you say that we therefore have to be held hostage by them and continue to fight our wars and never allow Israel to develop into a regular nation. You are saying that we must continue to send our 18 and 19 year olds to lord over a civilian population including many people who could be their parents. I don’t want them to tell me how to run my life, my country, my ethics, my morals, my military, my government. If I am to run them for myself, I must do what I can to remove myself from their core and focus on where I am strongest. It’s just a smart strategic move. Everything I write in my comments above revolves around this issue. One of the key advantages to Israel with both the barrier and the Gaza pullout is that they will have to contend with Israel’s absence. In 2002, they had an advantage because Israel wasn’t in a position to address their terror. Now, with the barrier, a much better anti-terror infrastructure, the removal of 1.2 million Palestinians from our burden, etc., that advantage will disappear. We will be able to develop our country differently and you will be able to live and fight for your beliefs within a more realistic context.

    By the way, I didn’t win anything. The idea is that you’ve expressed your ideas and I mine. Heck, I’m even sorry I called you a buffoon. 😉

    B’shalom.

  • T_M wrote: Heck, I’m even sorry I called you a buffoon. 😉

    Wow. We may have made some significant progress right there …

  • One very important point:
    T_M, You obsessively pretend the orange Star of David is aimed at equating PM Sharon and the IDF with the Nazis when that is simply false. All direct quotes from the Holocaust survivors who started the initiative, and the activists who are keeping it going despite the backing down of the Yesha and Gush Katif councils (under very intense intimidation) say clearly: Those killing Jews today are no different from the Nazis in their aspirations, if not their efficiency. Those Jews hoping that compliance with their demands for Judenrein areas (even under the guise of it being “in our best interest, all of the sudden) are espousing the same strategy as the Judenrat did. Read up.

    It is the Judenrat we are talking about. Now I understand there is a major educational gap amongst world Jewry as to what exactly the Judenrat are (I recommend Ben Hecht’s Perfidy, or if that’s not scholarly enough for you, leftist Tom Segev’s The Seventh Million, which corraberates all claims made in Perfidy).

    This is an extremely touchy subject and before you go yelling about Stormfront and building all your cute little straw men I want you to really examine the analogy. You may still find it abhorrent, but I hope you will stop making the deceptive claim that the stars are our way of calling ourselves (I drive a D9 on Reserve duty, dude)and the Sharon government Nazis. I know you don’t expect such complex analogies from the right and I know it was purposely misrepresented in Haaretz, so I can forgive you up to this point. I will respond to your large list of questions soon, with God’s help.

  • Ezra, you’re making me laugh. After everything I’ve written in this post and comments, you wonder whether I know about the Judenrate. You also make me laugh because after all I’ve written, you think all I read is Haaretz. My friend, I even read the online news at Arutz Sheva and derive great mirthful joy from my rare visits to Debka.

    You know what? Not only do I know enough about Judenrate to have studied the actions of Judenrate at the university level, but I will go one step further and claim that this was not what Josh meant and you supported when he wrote and you quoted as follows:

    Josh wrote: -I get it now, ‘Never Again’ means only genocide, not the process that Hitler started between 1933 and 1942. So Yad Vashem only deals with gas chambers and totally ignores what lead up to them

    [Ezra wrote to comment on TM’s response to that:] TM: You are getting too close to my holy-of-holies – speaking about the Holocaust as though it is yours to learn from. You sound exactly like a neo-Nazi and a left-wing moron. I refuse on principle to address your cogent, convincing argument. Critical thinking is not our place when dealing with the Holocaust – the high priest of Holocaust reverance may only enter once a year on Yom HaShoa and you presume to bring ME a lesson from the Holocaust – on a weekday?

    So the whole 1933-1942 story was a ruse and a front for the real matter at stake, which is that we are talking about the Judenrate now.

    Great. So now Arik Sharon, Shaul Mofaz and Benjamin Netanyahu are all likened not to Nazis, but to the Judenrat. Ezra, this is an improvement. Really, at least you’re withdrawing the claim that they and the State are like Nazis. I’m filled with joy. Nay, I’m brimming with joy!!!

    Now listen, as I understand it, many in Haredi and Orthodox communities in Israel read Hecht’s Perfidy and Segev’s book as the penultimate sources on the Judenrate. These books are not all of the information out there. The whole issue of the Judenrate is fairly complex because there were so many of them (I think around 140) and they behaved differently as groups while even individual members within particular Judenrate behaved differently. Some chairmen of Judenrate, for example, were very supportive of all underground activities by Jews, regardless of personal or collective risks.

    We could have an entire discussion about Judenrate but let’s quash this unfortunate comparison instead.

    Ezra, the Judenrate were founded and controlled by the Nazis. No such situation exists in this instance, Israel’s gov’t is democratically elected.

    Judenrat actions were taken under the confines of their respective committees, while this government and those that preceded it have the democratic support of their parties and the general population.

    Judenrate did not operate openly. Israeli governments are scrutinized by media and politicians of all political stripes.

    Judenrate actions inevitably involved providing Nazis with manpower, community acquiescence, and eventually lists and sometimes expulsion compliance. All of the above were pressed upon the Judenrate by the Nazis. Israel governments, including this one and especially this PM, have developed, funded, built, subsidized and supported settlements, including in Gaza.

    This pullout is unilateral and the idea was conceived by Israel, not any other party. In fact, if you research the matter, you’ll learn that the Palestinians, Americans, Europeans all opposed this unilateral move. It took a Sharon tour of foreign lands where he explained his motives and goals, to earn their approval. The Judenrate took orders from the Nazis.

    The Judenrate had their backs up against the wall in every sense – they were sometimes killed if they didn’t adhere to Nazi orders. Sharon is in no such situation. In fact, he is now working from a position of strength against the Palestinians.

    No matter how you slice it, the stars of David as used by settlers in this instance don’t cut it. The comparison to any facet of the Holocaust doesn’t work – as was made very clear by all those survivors who publicly excoriated the settlers for this buffoonish act. The idea of comparing Israeli leadership and Basi to Judenrat is unfortunate on many levels, not the least of which is that the Judenrate and their members were not usually bad men or collaborators. What is even more unfortunate is that some Judenrat leaders were killed by Jews, like the Warsaw Judenrat chairman. They were killed for collaboration with the Nazis. Once you and your friends start accusing people of being like the Judenrate and their members, how do you know that some person who buys your claims won’t take it upon himself to kill Basi or Sharon?

    Enough already with the lashon hara against your government, Ezra. If you want to resist, do so peacefully, but stop with the vile attacks on Israel and its leadership and be sure not to cause harm or trouble to any policeman or soldier who come to remove you. Stop seeing yourself as a victim of Holocaust proportions, Ezra. At worst, you are a victim of the mistaken enthusiasm of certain Israeli leaders and governments to secure and grow the lands we took over in 1967. This move, however, is the right one. Even if you are right and Gaza is important to Israel from a strategic point of view, it is better than the area remain one without 7500 civilians so the IDF doesn’t need to concern itself with the security of such a small group and can dedicate its troops to fighting the real threat.

    I do hope you’ll respond to my ten questions above. Please note they are not meant to be a trap. I am genuinely curious.

  • Now, with the barrier, a much better anti-terror infrastructure, the removal of 1.2 million Palestinians from our burden, etc., that advantage will disappear.

    You see the main issue as Israel being better off after withdrawing from Gaza and North Samaria, but I see the main issue of Israel being dissected for some temporary ‘piece’ and quiet to be able to live ‘regular lives’ – whatever that means – as we place trust in the ‘world’ to care about us as a ‘regular country’.

    The Palestinians don’t want to talk to us before we give ‘back’ all territory up to the 67 lines. The negotiation begins afterwards. ‘We’ always seem to project our tendancy to compromise on the Arabs who are consistant in NEVER compromising. Read the following article and then tell me that the conflict will end after withdrawing from every cm/inch of Yesha. We will not accept settlements, and that includes Ma’aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel,” Abbas said.

    Abu Mazen repeats hard line on Jerusalem, refugees, etc.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/518888.html

    There will always be something for them to pick at so we will never be able to develop Israel into a ‘regular country’ (hop over, it already is despite what most Jews think) but we will always find more land ‘not worth defending’. I say we take a stand now and say Israel is important to us – accept us.

    We were just about to win the war. Attacks were down drastically and Hamas, IJ, Fatah, and Tanzim ‘leaders’ are in hiding. The Palestinian polls were finally showing a drop in support of suicide massacres (from 80%+ to only 70%+), but then came Sharon and gave them hope that the violence works. The same thing happenned to a much more reluctant Shamir/Rabin. We had outlasted the intifada, but then the PLO was welcomed into Israel and suddenly some of Barry Chamish’s theories became credible. The army warned that the retreat is not a good idea (they’ve since been shut up), but Sharon keeps repeating that ‘you don’t know how much pressure I am under’. By whom? The US congress and senate are far more pro-Israel than Sharon right now, but how can they dismiss what the Prime Minister says?

    10 000 Palestinians leave the area every month permanently and more would leave if the emmigration lawyers could be subsidized. Support for continuing the hostilities was decreasing. They were about to give up, but for some alterior reason we surrendered first…

    …and gave them hope.

  • Josh, maybe you are right.

    If you look at the stats, you’ll see that in 1948, there were no Jews in Gaza and about 230,000 Arabs.

    In 1967, there were no Jews in Gaza (although there was a viable, energetic Jewish State that was primarily missing the Old City of Jerusalem in order to be whole) and about 370,000 Palestinians.

    In 1990, there were about 4700 Jews living in Gaza, and approximately 670,000 Palestinians.

    In 2000, there were about 6000 Jews living in Gaza and 1,000,000 Palestinians.

    Today, there are 7500 Jews in Gaza and 1.2-1.3 million Palestinians.

    The last number indicates that they have more or less doubled their population over 14 years. While the Jewish population increased by 2800 souls, they doubed and grew by 600,000 souls with 200,000 to 300,000 delivered by the Arafat stork over the last four years alone.

    If they are going to double again, that would mean another 1.2 million Palestinians over the next 14 years. There would be 12,000 – 15,000 Jews living in Gaza if your community can grow at the same pace as now.

    If you’re right about 120,000 Palestinians leaving per year, then of course you are right and there won’t be any Palestinians in Gaza within 25 years while 12,000-15,000 Gazan Jews live there. So where is this statistic coming from and how do you explain a population growth of 200,000 to 300,000 over the past 4 years if your stats are correct?

  • I got the number as an estimate from an emmigration lawyer as well as standing at the checkpoint on the eastern side of Jericho which is the only exit port for them to leave Israel. The buses leave in the direction of the Jordanian border crossing full, but the returning buses are at most 3/4’s full, and the poor soldier who does this for his whole service (I was just there for miluim) confirmed that more leave than come back. (the number does not refer to Gaza Arabs but all of Yesha Arabs)

    google “80,000 Palestinians emigrated from territories” for one example, sorry I can’t find the more recent article in Haaretz.

    I don’t know what your obsession is with deporting Arabs, but I already said that I don’t believe in it. All I want is for them to stop killing us. Modern society demands, birth-control, and the hassle to raise large families that most ‘normal’ people can’t handle today all lead to falling Arab birthrates across the Middle East and are among some reasons why I do not believe in the ‘demographic’ bullcrap that warrants hoarding Jews into smaller areas to artificially claim ‘majority’. Once we leave Gaza and the ‘West Bank’, the ‘demographic’ problem will get worse though, as ‘refugees’ and others trickle into the newly recreated ‘Palestine’ and surprise, surprise, Israel will ALWAYS be responsible for their welfare. (I already posted once that in the ‘separation plan’. Sharon volunteers to rebuild the Palestinian economy with your Israeli Bonds money no less.

    Last but not least, AFAIK, there has only been one semi-legit census in the ‘Palestinian’ areas in the past decade. Anything else is estimates – I wonder how electoral lists will be drawn up for the ‘election’ in two weeks.

  • GAZA SETTLERS VS. BLOGGERS, FILM AT 11
    There’s a fascinating post and comments thread going on at Jewlicious.com. I highly, highly recommend reading the whole thing. If you ever wanted to read a series of cogent arguments, pro and con and both sides backed up by statistics, about the upcom…

  • Ezra wrote: T_M, You obsessively pretend the orange Star of David is aimed at equating PM Sharon and the IDF with the Nazis when that is simply false.

    Well Ezra, down here at the foot of McGill University in Montreal, we don’t get as much Torah learnin’ as we’d like, what with all the sippin’ lattes and munching on curried chicken here in the grand bosom of Babylon and whatnot. But I’ve danced the horah in Tzfat, so I know a thing or two … for instance, even an ignorant sephardic Jew like me knows vaguely of the concept of ma’arei ayin and chilul hashem. So regardless of your intentions, you ought to have taken that into account when contemplating the appropriateness of appropriating holocaust imagery to criticize fellow Yids. But what the hell do I know …

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