Tonight, PBS Frontline series broadcast a documentary called Israel’s Next War, produced and created by an Israeli team of filmmakers, including Dan Setton.

The film was fascinating and focused on the Kahanist settlers and their supporters, and attempted to outline that they wish to undermine the secular democratic state of Israel and to replace it with a Jewish religious state that would take very aggressive steps against the Palestinians.

The film covered the story line of the “Jewish Underground” and the story of the Bat Ayin settlement group that attempted to bomb an Arab girls’ school. Honestly, those guys who were involved came off as rather stupid and blinded by faith. Their leaders, however, did not come off as stupid at all. Quite the contrary.

The film also suggests, particularly in brief interviews with senior members of the intelligence community, that there is grave concern that this underground still exists and will attempt to perpetrate a significant action, with the specific purpose of fomenting a war and undermining any prospective moves toward peace.

In a very telling moment in the film, Setton is interviewing Shlomi, one of the terrorists who wanted to blow up the school. He asks him, “You’re just like Hamas…It’s just like they do.” Shlomi waivers for a moment and you can see the gears inside his head churning before he answers truthfully, “Yes. Just like them.”

In an interview with Setton about the film, he is asked about the strategy of these zealots – he repeatedly comments that these are the fringe settlers and represent only thousands of people and not a significant portion of the population. He answers,

I’ll tell you what they told me. They told me that they don’t think that the IDF, the army, can defend them. They don’t think that the army is doing a good job. They think the army is soft on the Palestinians. When a suicide bomber strikes, they don’t think that the army should target the people who sent the suicide bomber. Because that’s Israel’s policy: to go after the cell, go after the leaders that sent the terrorist, bring them to justice or kill them. They say, “No. The assassin comes from the village next door. You go after the village. They kill our children, we kill theirs. They blow up our buses, we blow up a school.” This is their strategic thinking. In the long run, they believe that this is the way that they’re going to bring the conflict to a halt.

I have to admit that what they were saying seemed compelling at first because it posits a solution where you fight Palestinian terror with such brutal violence that they are forced to retreat or give up. It seems like an easy solution, and who doesn’t want revenge after innocent people are blown up in a bus or a restaurant? But then you realize what they’re advocating is far more wide-ranging, it’s terrorism against innocent civilians, and it’s the destruction of the democratic, Western state of Israel, to be replaced with an Iranian-like Jewish theocracy that will brutalize the Palestinians with the express purpose of removing them from the land.

Insanity.

The PBS website includes a number of articles and points of discussion about the settlers in general, the settlements and the zealots. It also contains an interesting and informative chronology of the development of the settlements.

More from the Dan Setton interview – note, dear Jewlicious readers, that I bring you only gems:

Question: If we look forward a couple of years, if Sharon’s disengagement proceeds and there are negotiations about the route of the Wall that runs through the West Bank — aren’t most of the people in the film going to find themselves on the other side of the Wall? How will this play out?

Setton response: I’ve heard so many ideas. One idea that I heard which is funny, I think it’s funny, they want to create a new state called the state of Judea, which would be completely detached from the state of Israel, hoping that one day they will prove to be right. And then Israel is going to join the state of Judea to form greater Israel. And the state of Judea means that they stay there, they have their own army or militias, and they fight the Arabs with their ways.

I’ve even heard settlers say that if the army was not there… that the army just gets in the way. In fact, it’s the army that is protecting the Arabs from them. There are all kinds of ideas. They don’t see themselves leaving, for the sake of peace, as a possibility at all. They don’t trust the Arabs. They don’t trust the Palestinians. They are there because they know that the land is theirs.

And when you have two sides that believe so firmly, when you have the Arab religious man or people who say that they’re willing to die for that land, and you have the Jews that say that they are willing to die for that land, it’s a forever battle. None of them will give up.

One of the most intriguing arguments that I heard was from a guy there. He asked me, “Why are you willing to compromise? Why are you willing to give them land?” And I said, “For peace. I believe in peace. I believe in coexistence.” And he says, “No. You are putting yourself in a place that proves that the land is not yours.” I said, “What do you mean?”

He said, “There was a King Solomon. And there’s the famous trial of the baby. You know, two women were fighting over a baby, and the king ordered a sword to be brought out. And one of the mothers said, `Yes, cut him, split him in two.’ And the other woman said, ‘No, you cannot split him.’ It’s hers. If you’re willing to split your country, it’s not yours.”

Update: the Washington Post’s site has published an online discussion with the show’s executive producer, Zvi Dor-Ner.

About the author

themiddle

45 Comments

  • … as if this handful of people is REALLY the main threat to peace in the region.
    Not the organized Palestinian militias, operating in the open, who manufacture/smuggle surface-to-air missiles and open talk about driving the Jews into the sea.

    Naaah, it’s those hippies on the hills who are the real threat.

    Manufactured reports like these also started appearing during the Oslo years, in a orchestrated attempt to demonize those opposed to concessions.

    It would be a pity if American Jews get taken in – but only the most left-leaning Israelis will fall for this a second time.

    Ben-David

  • The “chronology” you link to begins (predictably) with Israel’s “aggression” in 1967 – without explaining that the West Bank was disputed territory, or that the Israelis had been hit by attacks by Jordanian irregulars for over a decade. Without mentioning the formation of the PLO years before 67, and its terror operation.

    They quote Moshe Dayan in 1973 talking about annexing the territories – but omit Israel’s repeated overtures for a land-for-peace deal immediately after the war and years after – which were rejected by the Arabs.

    Yeah, this is really “interesting and informative” – NOT.
    Ben-David

  • No, Ben David, it is interesting and informative. And here you have a chance to dispute those parts of the chronology with which you disagree.

    As for your first comment, every news report, regardless of medium, is “manufactured.” These people aren’t being “demonized.” The ones shown in this film included a trio that was convicted for trying to blow up innocent girls at their school because they were Arab. Idiots. They’re serving 12-15 years in jail now for attempted murder.

  • I’m with Ben-David on this one.
    It’s telling that this chronology doesn’t even mention Arab settlement activity. It is totally biased against Israel.

  • We should consider that a report like this on Kachniks shows where the real middle ground is. The real middle ground is Israeli policy. Radical Jews (who want to expel Arabs from all Judea and Samaria, and create a theocracy) make up one radical side of the conflict, and Palestinian terror organizations make up the other. By framing the debate this way, Israeli policy (two states with annexation of Maaleh Abumim and other large settlements) is the reasonable middle solution. The burden on Israel in negotiations will be restraining the Kachniks (from terror and occupation of the Temple Mount). This is a much better starting point for negotiations than beginning with a discussion of whether Israel will retain Maaleh Abumim.

  • I saw this last night, I know these guys are extreme, I once had a roomate go Kahene Chai on me, the guy was borderline obsessive and very unstable. BUT i still think in whole this show did a disservice to Israel and to Jews, it really made it look like all frum people think this and that there are just as many extremist crazy Israeli’s as they’re are Palestinians

  • Yisrael you are *such* a sweet little mensch:
    Israeli policy (two states with annexation of Maaleh Abumim and other large settlements) is the reasonable middle solution.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    middle of what?
    Over 70 percent of Palestinian citizens support the violent, maximalist position that you ascribe to “terrorist organizations”.

    Obviously the Palestinians are drawing a different conclusion from our continued “kick me!” niceness than what we hoped to project.

    Every Jew thinks that the guy to his right is a fanatic, and the guy to his left is too far gone. Now that you’ve carefully defined your own opinion – you can have an ice cream.

    And you can make peace with yourself – ’cause there ain’t nobody else for you to make peace with…

  • ok so far its the Israeli desire to constantly show restraint and make concessions that has intensified the conflict.And his parable about King Solomon is absolutely correct,the reason Israel cant defeat terror is because they believe that they are guilty ones.And finally while having a theocracy would be a bad idea I cant say that similar thoughts of revenge (bombing everyone) havent crossed my mind once or twice (a day)

  • Thank you, Lynn, that was interesting.

    This show was very clear in showing that the numbers of individuals involved is not large and represents a fringe. Moreover, it shows that they represent a problem for Israeli authorities who are clearly concerned and already monitoring these individuals. That suggests to me a fairly positive view of Israel.

    I would agree with Yisrael’s comments that we can view this group as one extreme, with the Hamas and Hamas-like people and their supporters on the other extreme. It certainly puts most Israelis and the Israeli government in the middle, although I would say most Palestinians (at least according to the polls) remain leaning somewhere between the middle and Hamas.

    Alex, your comment is on target in a number of ways. The parable is an interesting one, but it reveals a sense of weakness and victimhood on the part of this individual. Either that or it’s an intellectual argument for him. Israel has been and remains the stronger party in this conflict. If it gives up anything, it does so out of strength and a measured desire to achieve a peaceful outcome to a situation.

    As for revenge, I’ll admit that similar thoughts cross my mind sometimes. Restraint is difficult. And yet, that is precisely what makes me proud of Israel and its military. We all know the power it could unleash, but does not despite the Palestinian terrorism.

    Finally, Kim and Ben David, you are welcome to list your objections to the chronology.

  • it still shook me to see Israeli soldiers foricbly removing other Jewish people, no matter how radical. Just hurt to see. Very sad sitation, and the worst part is, it isnt equal, if this is our FRINGE extreme group, compared to thier that shoot rockets into playgrounds and blow up civilian busses. Not exactly an equal showing.

  • I think the producer of the show, Zvi Dor-Ner, makes a good point in stating that unlike Hamas and the other Palestinian groups, this Jewish group does not revolve around a cult of death or martyrdom. That may make one of the key differences. I believe another difference lies in the sense of reasoning behind actions. Hamas and Fatah attack because they feel they are harmed by Israel’s very existence. They are therefore able to justify any attack. This group seems to attack Arabs primarily when revenge is sought. In other words, if the Arabs commit an act that this group finds reprehensible, they feel compelled and justified in a revenge attack.

  • I think if one considers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as just a power struggle, that is the best way to analyze it.
    Because if everything were based on theological terms, there is no reason why we should not get along very well with the Muslims. They are the closest religion to us in terms of theology.
    Did you know that in the middle ages, some Sephardic rabbis used to say “there is no monotheism like the monotheism of Islam”.
    So, I think that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is basically a political and economic struggle.

  • Chaim, please explain what you mean by “Esav Sonah Yaakov”
    I don’t understand what “sonah” means.

  • The film was fascinating and focused on the Kahanist settlers and their supporters, and attempted to outline that they wish to undermine the secular democratic state of Israel and to replace it with a Jewish religious state that would take very aggressive steps against the Palestinians.

    Your take on things is ‘slightly’ off. You make these Jews seem more extreme than Neturei Karta. They are not attempting to undermine the secular state. The truth you still haven’t accepted, is actually closer to what the ‘mainstream’ ultra-orthodox think and that is that the secular state is a man-made/artificial/goyish entity. Nonetheless, it is still Jewish rule that the Rambam said is an imperative mitzvah, and ‘dina d’malchuta dina’ (law of the land) should be respected, but only up to the point where it infringes/contradicts/negates the torah. The settlers and their supporters have not given up on the state, yet, but they believe that following orders to uproot Jews from their homes is against the torah and that order they won’t fulfill. They/we will still do miluim, they/we’ll still pay taxes, they will still go to work in the morning, etc… but nonetheless, the feeling is that this artificial state will crumble very easily after the trauma of this expulsion. And if your talking about insanity than you only have to read about the army/police plans to carry out this Judenrhein that Olmert said yesterday will probably be immediately expanded when they see the success of the ‘disengagement’.

    Replace it with a Jewish religious state?

    IMO,
    that will happen because the people will demand it. T_M, will you repsect a majority of Israelis voting for a halachic state? Obviously, you don’t have too much faith in am yisrael if you think a halachic state is ‘Iran-like’. Quite sad. It seems that you think that the status quo of the Jews spread over the observance spectrum is fine. It seems that you think that the continued assimilation and persecution of worldwide Jewry is just fine.

    Sad, very sad.

  • Josh, this film was not about the disengagement.

    As for an undemocratic “halachic” state? You bet I oppose it. I oppose any system that is undemocratic, and I oppose any system that allows its democracy to allow an undemocratic power to take over.

  • But what about a democratically elected halachic state? Would you support that?

    Just got into Long Beach btw. Wow. So this is what the sun is like?

  • Can a state remain democratic under halachic law? Don’t we have to defer to the rabbis, and particularly to the leadership of the rabbinate? How would the judiciary survive if halachic law dictates how all should live?

    I don’t think it’s possible, but if you show me that it is, I might consider a halachic state that is democratically elected.

  • I’ll repeat myself: It is only possible when the people want it.

    Right now, the time is not right and ‘the people’ are not mature enough. When I say mature, I mean ‘observant’ Jews and this is not something that can be easily changed, and I don’t think it should be insitutionalized either. There are many organizations that do it, the best BT manufactures are totally unaffiliated private people that radiate torah enough for others to join in. Along with that, we have the secular solution of not having kids while the religious keep churning them out and voila – in a few generations, the seculars will be a minority. But wait, they already are:

    http://www.manof.org.il/sh.asp?x=763&kind=20
    Okay, I admit that a big chunk was moved to non-secular, but the trend is interesting, not this site’s analysis of census information.

    Look at elementary school numbers here:
    http://www1.cbs.gov.il/shnaton54/st08_14.pdf
    The combined religious are have probably already overcome the non-religous.

    But out talk was about settlers and extremists ->

  • Well, I think Israel would be better off it became a radical Jewish theocracy and merged with Iran- it would be the pale faced ayatollahs and the slightly darker skinned ayatollahs- Ha ha ha ha! Just kidding !

  • Sorry,
    I can’t find the link where the Lubavitcher Rebbi tells the entrepreneurs behing the Israeli Gvaot Olam company drilling for oil in Israel that they will find black gold. Traded on the Israeli stock exchnage. This is not investing advice, do your own due diligence.

  • Dave, I totally disagree with you when you say the conflict is political/economic. If there is one thing I respect Daniel Pipes for before he got too famous, institutionalized and wishy-washy was that he claimed the battle over Israel to be an ‘all or nothing’ ‘conflict’. TM and Mobius think that peace is about to break out any second by ignoring and frankly (IMO) belittling both our traditions Jewish and Muslim and those who might take the bible serious as extremist.

    My opinion was reinforced this afternoon when I drove underneath the ‘golden gate’
    The explanation here is ’nuff said: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Society_&_Culture/geo/gates.html

    The muslims know our destiny (that many of us want to deny). Their smart ones know that we are currently a generally weak people, assimilating rapidly, and will disappear at this rate, but baruch hashem most aren’t smart, and more importantly, we fool ourselves into thinking that they want to follow us into secularizing themselves to peace.

    The vast majority of muslims know that the Jews are the chosen people, they know that our messiah will soon be sent to redeem us and make us ‘the undisputed chosen people’ yet they seem to have this mission to try and prevent this ‘fate’ from occuring. When they talk about our colonizing, ‘we’ usually like to project our definition of days gone past, but their use of the word is different. They truly are worried about us returning to our glory from the Euprhates to the Med and that’s one of the reasons why they try to keep us in as little territory as possible here.

    I’m sorry if some Jewish people think that life is just to waste 80 or so years of birth school work death. Our traditions places much more importance on our collective destiny to do tikkun olam b’malchut shaddai – jihad if you speak more islamic than hebrew, then just plain living together in the pursuit of happiness.

    I have no doubt that we will win in the end, but a certain people will try and make sure that we don’t get anywhere closer.

  • Ben-David, Kachniks who support terrorist acts and Palestinians who support terroist acts are both fanatics. There are many to the left and right of me who are not fanatics. I am guessing that you are in the middle with me. Though we probably have disagreements, I can’t see either of us lifting a gun against the IDF or Palestinian civilians.

  • Ben-David, Kachniks who support terrorist acts and Palestinians who support terroist acts are both fanatics. There are many to the left and right of me who are not fanatics.
    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … just not many Palestinians …

    You can make peace all you want with all those “non-fanatics” in Tel Aviv or whatever American suburb you live in.

    But the Palis are still going to lob missiles at our cities, and try to slaughter Tel-Avivis fat, non-fanatical asses – as many as they can, even if they immolate themselves in the process.

    I’m glad you’ve worked things out so nicely for yourself on paper, however. There’s nothing like the self-satisfaction that comes from knowing one is not “one of those”, not a fanatic.

    Now I – and a growing number of Israelis – are going to leave your little fantasy bubble and go back and defend ourselves, our children, and our land in the real world. We are going to do all kinds of “not nice” and “fanatical” things are are necessary to vanguish a real enemy who really (still!) wants to kill us -all of us, including you in all your glorious reasonableness, should you choose to come here.

    The State of Israel was created specifically so that Jews would have these “not nice” and “violent” tools of geopolitcal self-interest at their disposal – like any other nation. I feel enormous gratitude that my generation of Jews has merited to have these tools of self-defense – and when I (like most Israelis) shoulder these arms, I draw humility, purpose, and resolve from the memory of all those Jews who died powerless before their enemies.

    We do not glory in violence as our enemies do. Our self-defense – conducted with surgical precision – most certainly does not contradict any Jewish ideas about the sanctity of life. All it does is assert – finally, after 2000 years – that Jewish life is just as sacred, Jewish blood just as precious, as any other.

    The architects of Oslo mocked their enemies with the defeatist plaint, “what’s the alternative?”

    The alternative is vigorous, unabashed pursuit of our own self-interest. The alternative is acting like we’ve won when we’ve won. The alternative is bringing the consequences of aggression home to our enemies – instead of trying to “understand” them and be “reasonable”.

    I have business dealings with Europeans, and one need not scratch the surface very deeply to find that much of the world – which for 2000 years considered us less than equal – think ANY Jewish self-defense “fanatical”. And many Jews bent on assimilateion are no doubt inconvenienced and conflicted by the assertion of Jewish nationhood. To many, being an Israeli is in some sense “fanatical” and “provocative”.

    I’m proud to be such a “fanatic”.

    Ben-David

  • Ben-David, Nothing you have said suggests to me that you are a fanatic. I own an assault rifle, handguns, and a shotgun because I believe in self defense. I believe every Jew should own – and carry – a firearm for self defense, whether in New York, Tel Aviv, or Gush Katif. Although I do not yet have children, I plan to name my first son Mordechai, in memory of Mordachai Anielwicz, who in the face of certain defeat led the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

    I would guess that neither of us support killing Arab schoolchildren in response to Palestinian terror, but we would both support using an Apache Longbow to clean out a facility used to launch Palestinian terror or to wipe out conspirators to Palestinian terror. I would guess we both supported the killings of Yassin and Rantisi. There is nothing fanatical about these views.

  • I don’t think that was a more sane review. In fact, you simply repeat what Ben David says in comment #1 in this post.

    Instead of blaming PBS for some evil conspiratorial slant, why don’t you discuss the movie? Note that a longer version of this film was broadcast on Israeli tv.

  • T_M:
    Note that a longer version of this film was broadcast on Israeli tv.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    – note that this proves nothing, the Israel Broadcast Authority also broadcast the infamous “induction” into the “Eyal underground cell” – and total fabrication that was staged by Shabak agent provaceteur Avishai Raviv, and confirmed as false by the government committee that investigated the Rabin assassination.

    That was broadcast in 1994, if I remember correctly – and we ALL know that it’s been those knitted kippahs that have caused ALL the violence and unpleasantness since then…

    Here, again, another false “ultra-orthodox” underground is hyped – even as the Palestinians (again!)arm themselves for further violence and (again!) get a pass from PBS and the left-leaning mainstream media.

    Check honestreporting.com over the weekend for comment on the show.

    Ben-David

  • Yisrael:
    I would guess that neither of us support killing Arab schoolchildren in response to Palestinian terror, but we would both support using an Apache Longbow to clean out a facility used to launch Palestinian terror or to wipe out conspirators to Palestinian terror. I would guess we both supported the killings of Yassin and Rantisi. There is nothing fanatical about these views.
    – – – – – – – – – – –
    1) If you think these views are not fanatical, you haven’t spoken to enough Europeans.

    2) Would you be willing to do to Arab civilians what was done to Jews in Yamit – and is planned for the Jews of Gaza?

    If Israelis conclude from a decade of “piece”meaking that there is no hope for coexistence, and bring the situation to a conclusion by expelling civilians (under cover of the coming war, say) or by repatriating the 60-80 percent of Palis with Jordaninan, Syrian, or Egyptian citizenship – would you condemn or defend them?

    Ben-David

  • Ben-David,
    “Would you be willing to do to Arab civilians what was done to Jews in Yamit – and is planned for the Jews of Gaza?”
    I think forcibly relocating anyone is bad, but on a limited basis, yes. Palestinians will lose property to build a security wall, and to build strategic roads. Anyone forcibly relocated should receive compensation – Jew or Palestinian. However, as a practical matter, I expect more Jews will be relocated to achieve peace, whether it be negotiated or unilaterally imposed. I believe peace and defensible borders are a fair proper state justification for relocation.

    “by repatriating the 60-80 percent of Palis with Jordaninan, Syrian, or Egyptian citizenship – would you condemn or defend them?”
    I would criticise but not condemn. In the event of unilateral peace, I support building large walls, securing borders and leaving much of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians. The alternative of mass expulsion would be politically too difficult. We would antagonize not only the Palestinians, but the broader Arab world. We would certainly receive censure from the UN and the US may not use its veto to protect us in such a case. This kind of diplomatic, and possibly trade, isolation in combination with the threat of a pan-Arab war would be disasterous for us. Annexing Judea and Samaria in full while expelling Palestinians is just not a practical solution. (Not to mention, you would have to abandon the principle that those whose property is taken should be compensated, as I noted above.)

  • Uh, Ben David, my comment about the broadcast on Israeli tv was meant to show that it can’t be part of a PBS conspiracy, unless they are in cahoots with Israeli tv networks.

    Now I am not sure what conspiracy you suspect exists in making this movie but there’s no question that three men who belong to a cell the Israel security services call “Bat Ayin” were arrested for attempting an act of terror, confessed to it, and were given prison sentences for their actions.

    There’s also no question that Yigal Amir murdered Rabin, despite all the conspiracy claims about Avishai Raviv. There’s also no question that the same rabbi who put out a pulsa denura on Rabin has just stated publicly that he now has the consent of six kabbalist rabbis (whatever those are) to go ahead and make a pulsa denura curse on Sharon.

    The PBS film went out of its way to point out that these people are a small fringe in Israel and among the settlers. Aren’t you better off acknowledging this than debating whether this film is some conspiratorial trick?

  • T_M – I am not claiming there is any vast conspiracy.

    But there IS a very concerted program of propaganda meant to ostracize and demonize the settlers.

    I don’t think that PBS and Israel TV got together and planned this – but I DO think people on the left in Israel – and in our secret service – have planted, packaged, and pushed these stories, and coordinated access to these sources – at this time for a sprecific reason.

    It was easy enough to sell this kind of story because it speaks to the stereotypes, prejudices and fears of many journalists. That’s how most successful propaganda works – it starts with widely held perceptions and gradually pulls people further in a certain direction, always building on what “everybody” already “knows”.

    That is also why it escapes detection – each specific message seems reasonable, already within the consensus. But the sum total of reportage about the settlers has a very clear slant and intent – and there is a continuing pattern of shock headlines and arrests of “hooligans” followed by… nothing, there never was a case, those arrested are release – but the release doesn’t make it to Page 1. In the aggregate, a largely law-abiding group gets demonized.

    Similarly, PBS’s disclaimer that this is just a fringe group is overrun in most viewers’ minds by their having an entire show devoted to them – which implies importance. Are the Palestinian militias being given the same amount and type of coverage now? Are there balancing reports portraying the human tragedy of those settlers facing expulsion? This is a game of impressions, not fine-print disclaimers.

    We saw this pattern of disinformation recently in Israel – during the Oslo years – and the exact same pattern is now repeating itself.

    And T_M: there is also no doubt that Avishai Raviv was an agent provacateur paid by the Shabak to fabricate anti-settler incidents and stories. That is not a “conspiracy theory” but established fact – please don’t confuse this issue with the issue of the murder itself.
    It emerged as clear fact during the inquiry that Raviv was a paid Shabak agent, and the fake “Eyal militia” swearing-in ceremony is just one of several propaganda operations by him that were clearly documented by the government’s report.

    But that’s how propaganda and prejudice work – a vaguely negative and unpopular concept of the settlers has already been planted in your head. And so any half-heard stories that confirm that germ of opinion stick – because that’s how the human mind works. And refutations or counterclaims made by settlers are inherently less believable to you – because of the inertia of the human mind. It’s that much more easy to dismiss the settlers’ claims as delusional – not on facts, but on impressions.

    I assure you, I did not think in terms of delegitimization and propaganda before coming to Israel. But the truth is that it was done then – and is being done now.

    Ben-David

  • After yesterday’s stretching of the police around Jerusalem, do you still feel this is a media conspiracy? Or is there a possibility that maybe there are some people on the Right with very different ideas as to how this conflict should proceed and are willing to do whatever it takes to do it?

  • Only 50 or so people showed up – that is, people who came to do something other than just pray.

    Money quote from the Jerusalem post:
    Jerusalem police had announced weeks ago that they
    were barring the group for holding their planned mass rally at the site, a factor which, together with the stringent security lock down in place in the Old City, clearly contributed to the dearth of protesters in the crowd.
    – – – – – – – – –
    Ooooooh, they sound pretty scary to me!!! And such disrespect of the rule of law, too…
    From the same article:
    Throughout the day, 31 far-right activists were detained by police in the Old City… Most of the detainees – including 13 minors – were subsequently released, but ordered to stay out of the city for between 12 hours and five days.
    – – – – – – – – –
    … so it’s a bunch of teenagers off of school (Passover break began this week). And the police gave everyone their photo-ops – crazy kippa guy being dragged away – then released them all with a finger-shaking “nu, nu, nu”.

    Seems to fit the pattern I have described – trumped up fears way beyond the actual turnout/behavior, showy arrests for nothing, quiet release after the photo-op has been clinched.

    Meanwhile, today’s print edition of Ha’aretz featured a front-page photo of soldiers in full protective gear trying to rein in the Palis who’d come to “pray” on the Temple mount. Compare with the photo that appears in YOUR local media.

    So you tell me:
    – who is more violent and dangerous?
    – who is using illegitimate means of protest?
    – who is being demonized far beyond their actual behavior?

    Quod Erat Demonstratum.

    Ben-David

  • Um, Ben David, why are you quoting the ultra-left Jerusalem Post? Let’s quote the decent and well meaning Arutz Sheva. 😀

    The police announced last week that they would not allow the fledgling Revavah organization to implement its plans to bring 10,000 Jews to the Temple Mount today. Taking no chances, the police closed the site to all Jews – but Revavah spokesmen said they would not give up their plans to try to reach Judaism’s holy site on this, the first day of the month of Nissan.

    Some 3,000 policemen were stationed in and around the Temple Mount in an effort to contain feared flare-ups.

    So let me understand. The police put out THREE THOUSAND policemen because of the newspapers and left and the government and the secret services and the demonizing.

    The didn’t put out THREE THOUSAND policemen to protect the Temple Mount because a particular group of Jews publicly promised to send 10,000 people to the Temple Mount and underlying that threat were warnings (which are still in effect, by the way) they there may be an attempt to damage the mosques on the Temple Mount. No, no, no, they did it because of demonization.

    Ben David, do you actually believe the stuff you write?

    Do you realize that this fully stretched the Israeli and certainly the Jerusalem police to its limits? Do you realize that this means that all these asshats need to do around the disengagement is make more noise about damaging the Temple Mount, and the Israeli police would not be able to cope with both events?

    Also, don’t forget that in many developed countries, false alarms to police and fire companies are considered a felony. You know why? Because you are wasting government resources and preventing certain services to be provided. (How many heart attack victims don’t make it to the hospital because the ambulance is trapped in traffic because these loonies want to jam up highways and roads? For any such death, they are responsible as if they murdered the individual).

    This is an unfortunate game these people are playing, and if they are being criticized in the media, the security services and the government, it is well earned.

  • T_M:

    1) When was the last time you heard of 3,000 policemen for a crowd of 10,000? Have you seen the video and photos? Does it look like anything NEAR that?

    The traffic police were out at major intersections to prevent more tire-burning fools. The only photo I saw indicating stepped up presence was on Haaretz’s front page – soldiers in full flak gear trying to contain the Palis, not the Jews.

    Do you know what 3,000 people look like? The entire Western Wall Plaza can barely accommodate 8-10,000 people – packing them like sardines.

    Do you know what a deployment of 3,000 policemen entails in a country the size of New Jersey?

    Do you really believe this report?

    2) Why are you favoring a retrospective/speculative article over a factual report? Can it be that the facts are inconvenient – the reality doesn’t fit the desired stereotype?

    Bottom line: the ACTUAL behavior of this demonized group did not follow the script, word got out that the protest permit was revoked – and the “crazies” ABIDED BY THE LAW.

    Their intentions were provocative, but peaceful – most of the 50 who did show up were teenagers, perforce unarmed.

    You may not agree with them, but the demonstration made sense as protest theater. We all know that tourists of all stripes enter the Temple mount, the idea that it is forbidden specifically to Jews is itself a provocative assertion of Muslim power that recalls the years when Jews could only stand on the first 7 steps of the Machpelah Cave in Hebron, and not enter.

    It also recalled Sharon’s own walk on the Temple Mount – underscoring how far he has drifted from the mandate that was given him.

    The crazies turned out to be law abiding – the rest is political grandstanding.

    3) If this underscores the weakness of the police and their inability to protect the country – so much the better. The fact that the intelligence services could not dismiss the claim that 10,000 would show merely demonstrates how widespread opposition is. Which leads to:

    4) Even if the protest had come off, it would have been valid civil disobedience. Even the handful of crazies that actually showed up did not fight – just let themselves be carried away. It’s pertinent that none of them were charged with anything.

    You’d better get used to this, dolling – it’s gonna be a long hot summer.

    Spare me the lily-white shock (I know Sharon’s uprooting their homes and all, but they’re *yelling*… that’s so *rude* of them…) We have seen this rhetorical trick being played over and over in the Israeli media – people who are SHOCKED that there is even opposition to the expulsion of Jews. Can you imagine – snivelly little people actually UPSET that the policy of unilateral concessions they voted down by a landslide is being imposed upon the country by fiat. It’s a clever, if effete, way to silence any dissent.

    This kind of thing – declaring the majority opinion to be beyond the pale – has left civil disobedience as the only method of expression that is left to many. Israel’s media and government have shut up all venues for legal protest and dissenting speech. Those who sow such oppression will reap a whirlwind.

    The police and army are clearly spooked by the widespread dissent, which is felt even in their ranks. This is GOOD – The Berlin wall fell because not because of a high-level assassination or coup, but because the policemen and other little guys walked away from the system. Considering the wreckage made of Israeli democracy by Sharon – and the contempt he has shown for the voice of the people – it’s very healthy for the police and army to get a taste of what they’re up against.

    If you want to understand what’s unfolding in Israel, you’d better get beyond PC assumptions (religious=fanatic, etc.), and get used to reading between the lines.

    Ben-David

  • Ben David, what more do you want from me? I quoted Arutz Sheva for you, dude. Arutz Sheva. Okay? They use adjectives like “radical” to describe Peace Now. They report 3000 police. Now you want me to disbelieve Haaretz, Jpost and Arutz Sheva, not to mention PBS and the NY Times. At some point we have to believe that there is some truth to the report even if you don’t believe it.

    And exposing Israel’s weaknesses? Is that what these people are trying to do? That would be called traitorous in other places, don’t you think? I hope their objective is not to show the weakness of Israel’s defense because that serves the purpose of our enemies.

    As for protesting the disengagement, please let them do so all they want. They should do it safely, in areas where they can’t cause harm or disruption, and without veiled hints at damage to a very holy place to the Moslems.

    Finally, your comment about Israeli democracy and its wreckage is disproven by all of the recent prostitution and blackmail we saw from certain parties. The fact Sharon needed to cut deals shows that the process, ugly as it is, works. He had to earn a majority in a number of fora, and he did so. Maybe this vocal minority of extremists needs to get a grip on the fact that they’re a minority. Even the settlers in Gaza are negotiating now.

  • While there is absolutey no defence whatsoever of ANY military actionn PURPOSELY taken against any non-combatant demographic, let us look at some real number.

    Inter-communal violence there dates from 1920. From 1948 until 2008 (The date I am posting this, albeit late as to the thread) there have been a GRAND TOTAL of 2- TWO successful attacks of any kind against any Arab non-commbatants and in terms of attempted attacks WORLDWIDE (as oposed top just within Israel) 4. Six attacks counting both, in an 88 year old period.

    How many have attacks by Arabs on Jews? Care to venture a guess? How about this issue: Between the 2 sides, how many Jews have been arested and prosecuted for such offences? Any idea? How many Arabs even arrested (forget prosecution)? THAT answer is of course VERY simple: ZERO, NOT A SINGLE ONE, EVER.

    Even with Israel being instrumental in the creation of the lauded PA Infantry (1800 men strong in addition to the 23,000 in excess icertified and armed as Oslo Era Police/Security Force), trained by the US, they have arrested only one person and then because we was a member of HAMAS (thus part and parcel of their cevctarian HAMAS/Fatah fighting has EVEN been questioning.

    On the other hand poor Israel. Just under 600 people, the youngest being a 14 year old female incarcerated for simply asking if Israel should even allow a 5th Column to operate internally and without impunity. Arab MKs selling secrets to Hezboollah and by proximity to Iran, Syira, and HAMAS (their 4 way tactcal and military alliance inked in Damascus last year).

    Jews in Israel can have their lives turned upside down for simply mouthing wordfs to the effect that “Israel is a Jewish a country and should remain the same,”while Arabs can go so far as to say ,” Jews stole Palestine and one day it will stand again UNITED.”

    Watch al Akhsa TV, read the PA Curriculum, review classroom strategies and lessons plans where so called “Suicide Bombers” are called “Heroes of the Resistance” anmd then tell us how “evil” those “arrogant” “Settlers” really are.

    A land that has only ever held Jewish Nations, bereft of Jews only since the 1st half the 20th Cenrty CE/AD because Arabs made it so…not claim any Jew living there is a “Settler.” How qwuickly the world forgets, how sad it is…

    In case it has escaped the readership, in 2005 Israeli UNILATERALLY took it upon itself to cede ALL of Gaza as well as 4 Districts in the so called “West Bank.” It had publicly stated that the rest of the “WB” sould be the next to go within 18 months.

    Then Sharon had a stroke, HAMAS staged a coup in Gaza, and any and all plans became wayside clutter as HAMAS again manipulated evenbts to suit its own sorry agenda.

    All is not lost though, as we speak Israel and the PA sit in negotiations that have managed to lower the retained “WB” land (retained by Israel in Final Statius) to a mere 6%.

    Despite the very best efforts of true extremists in both camps (and NO, Kahanism per se does not represent “Extremism” any more than the American Republic Party encompasses everything “right-wing” iin America), ISrael will cede the majority of the so called “WB” excepting our holiest and most culturally important sites, combined with the most strategically available parcels of land.

    Rachamim Ben Ami

Leave a Comment