Yep, that was the headline on the front page of the NYTimes online.

Of course, reading the article you learn the boy in question, 12 year old Ahmed al-Khatib, was holding a toy gun amist a group of young men throwing stones and shooting at soldiers, but surely, the differnce should have been obvious.

What kind of baby killers could shoot a little boy from 130 yards whose only crime was looking remarkably like one of the people trying to kill them? Of course the better question might be what the parents were doing letting their 12 year old son play with a toy gun around soldiers and terrorists in a war zone, but let’s not dwell there.

About the author

Laya Millman


  • His parents are happy now, they have one less mouth of vermin to feed, they will get money from various rich arabs.

  • I would hope the concern would be more than *public* image.

    Anyway, I am not troubled by the headline. It isn’t accurate, rather it doesn’t say everything that it could about the story, ie. Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Boy Wielding Toy Gun in West Bank. But being acquainted with headline writers and their quirks, the reason for that I would guess is entirely prosaic: style and space. In the print edition, it is clear that no additional words would fit the layout (beneath another ME story) and the headline reflects the one-line style of similar sized and laid out pieces in its environment. I assume the online version doesn’t change the headlines of print pieces unless additional info comes in. The element of the toy gun was hardly buried. It appears in the first sentence of the piece. I would also note that at least the Times reporter, if not laya, is hedging about whether the youths around the boy were shooting as well as throwing stones. He reports it as almost an aside, in the passive tense, as an IDF claim.

    “Guns were also fired at the soldiers, the Israeli Army said.”

    I have the feeling many more would have been killed if there had been guns fired at the soldiers there would have been several youths shot, given what has happened before, but obviously I have no way of knowing that for sure.

    The headline stated a fact. It immediately, within the first 10 words, stated the circumstances of how it happened. It followed NYT style, and just speaking personally as a daily reader of the print and online editions of the NYT, I am guessing the hed was for considerations of layout not politics.

    As for Laya’s last question. Indeed, the parents if they knew their kid was going out with a toy gun are being criminally reckless. But I would also ask, what kind of situation of occupation makes a 12 year old want to take a toy gun to face soldiers with live weapons?

  • PS: Interesting. A previous version of the story that was on the NYT site *before* the print addition has all the info in the hed that laya wanted.

    This leads me to think even more that what happened was the layout for the print page forced a shortening of the hed, then the later online addition reflected what had been in the actual paper.

  • Public image my ass, you moron, they only understand brutality, that is how Sadam ruled them. You either be brutal w/ them, or else you can kiss Israel goodbye. I am not saying it is a pleasant choice, but these are the 2 choices.

  • “But I would also ask, what kind of situation of occupation makes a 12 year old want to take a toy gun to face soldiers with live weapons?”

    Oh, I dunno, perhaps the same societal forces at work that convince impressionable youth to sign up to blow themselves up? If you read the kind of Antisemitic filth that Palestinian media is saturated with, it would come as no surprise.

  • For some, definitely. Not for all. Unless you don’t admit the possibility of Palestinians as individuals with disparate views and motivations.

    I would argue you could discover much about the subject by reading accounts by IDF soldiers of their experiences beyond the green line. But if you are convinced that the only reason any Palestinian acts is because of anti-Semitic filth, those won’t help.

  • Leila: I believe that you are depicting Palestinians as mindless automatons, which is why I wrote back my equally-plausible explanation. You, in your rhetorical question, lay the blame on the Israeli presence in the disputed territories. As if the Palestinians have some sort of “occupation detection sensor”, and therefore get set off into a blind, murderous fury. If so, I wonder why that sensor was not functioning during the Egyptian and Jordanian occupations of Palestinian lands…

    If you want nuance, fine. Why don’t you cite some examples instead of writing glib explanations of complicated conflicts, and then ‘calling the kettle black’ when someone tries the same?

  • taltman, wow. And here I thought I clearly wrote that I agreed with laya about reckless parents, assuming that they knew, and that I agreed with you that anti-Semitic propaganda would motivate some. I guess all those words I typed were somehow garbled by the web. I would be happy to offer examples if you could specify which kind you mean. Do you mean examples of texts in which IDF soldiers talk about their experiences being the enforcers of the occupation and what they have done or seen others do that disturbs them? Or do you mean examples of commentary by Palestinians? Or do you mean journalistic accounts? Or ethnographic accounts? Just tell me which kind precisely and I will cite sources to read, no problem.

  • Actually, leila, the people who wonder “What kind of situation of occupation makes…” are precisely the audience for which Fatah and Hamas place children into these situations.

    It’s a nice deal, isn’t it? If it provides cover for snipers, good, and when a kid with rocks or a toy gun gets killed, you come along to reward them for it.

  • taltman, Still unsure what examples you want, but I will just start. If you want to know about the everyday abuses of the Occupation for those not involved in throwing rocks or shooting guns, these Israeli groups’ sites will provide ample documentation.

    I could add to the list…

    If you want Israeli journalistic accounts, read Haaretz every day like me and/or Google Gideon Levy or Amira Hass, among others.

    If you prefer your accounts be on screen, again the Yavin documentary Land of the Settlers I mentioned elsewhere has interviews with active duty, ie. non-refusenik, soldiers in the territories.

    If you want an international human rights report, try


    If you want to hear from Israeli lawyers who work in the territories, including some who refuse to represent people charged with violence, Google names in this piece.

    If you want to read about children’s experiences being shot as they went about everyday activities, Google Iman al-Hams, a case in which an IDF captain’s emptying his pistol into a schoolgirl so appalled his men that they turned him in, with taped evidence. Or others mentioned in this article from the Guardian. This is just one small sample.,,1516268,00.html

    That’s a start. I had nothing bookmarked, but it took about 5 minutes. I have only mentioned Israeli and international sources. I would be happy to give Palestinian ones too if you’d like, but i would assume you would find these more credible. Maybe not.

    Finally, I cited things only in regard to the specific subject at hand, what might motivate a Palestinian to protest occupation.

  • Otter, that’s fascinating. So nobody, not even IDF veterans, should comment on what the impact of the occupation is because it would reward Hamas and their murderous ilk. I must immediately write to all those Israeli human rights groups and my Israeli anti-occupation friends and tell them to shut up.

  • Circle the wagons folks. Forcibly drag those pesky Israeli women who monitor checkpoints from their posts. Intern the lawyers. Abandon Jewish traditions of supporting human rights. Like Otter says, you are just rewarding Hamas!

  • I am sure that kid was purposely put there in the hopes that he would get killed by the Israelis so they could score another Mohammed al-Dura propaganda coup.

    The checkpoints are there to protect Jews from being murdered. Now that we know that the paleostinians hide bombs in their underwear so they can blow up the doctors who were treating their injuries, I think that Israel would be well within its rights to conduct a full strip and body cavity search on everyone who tries to cross into Israel from the terrritories. Do you honestly think that any Jew should give one good g-d damn about the “humiliation” suffered by people who have proven that they are depraved, inhuman murderers? If you don’t want people to look in your underpants, Ahmed, stop hiding bombs there.

  • Leila is right on some issues. The occupation is destructive to us in part because it forces good people to shoot at others, or wield guns at them.

    Obviously, if our soldiers weren’t there, none of this would have happened. Clearly, if the IDF wasn’t trying to arrest an Islamic Jihad activist, none of this would have happened.

    So, why are the soldiers there?

    They’re in Jenin because of the suicide bombings and other attacks by Palestinians that took place in 2000-2002. Prior to April, 2002, the Israelis were not in Jenin and the PA controlled the area. After 128 Israeli deaths to Palestinian terrorist bombings in March, 2002, the Israelis went back into Areas A where the PA was in charge.

    Why are they pursuing an Islamic Jihad terrorist? Because Islamic Jihad has continued to attack Israeli civilians over the past years. Israel could have killed this terrorist with a missile, but then the chance of collateral damage would have been higher and would have been their fault. So I guess they tried arresting him, and found a mob instead.

    So it’s easy enough to say that this is a reaction to an occupation, and maybe it is. But the occupation is also not there by magic or happenstance. The occupation could have been over by now anyway if the Palestinians had accepted Israel’s offer in 2000. They could have a state on the West Bank and Gaza by now.

    They don’t for all sorts of reasons, and both sides like to blame the other, but the war that followed – instead of coming to terms – was their fault and has led to the current situation. Furthermore, have their positions really changed from the 2000 talks? Not at all. The one thing that has changed is that the Palestinians have proven themselves armed, deadly and eager to use Israeli civilians as targets.

    So you end up with Israeli soldiers in very difficult circumstances. Were shots fired at them in this demonstration? Very possibly. Leila, in the riots of 2000 and 2001, stone-throwing demonstrators were put in the front of demonstrations while Tanzim would show up in the middle of the riot and shoot.

    If soldiers are being pelted with rocks, in the midst of an arrest of a member of a terror group, you have to assume they are extremely tense and anticipating the possibility of shooting. It is very possible somebody did shoot, and it is also possible that among the noise and melee, soldiers thought they heard shooting. Are they in the wrong to fire when they see a gun in the crowd? Is it better to wait for that gun to shoot at them? For what purpose, to avoid a bad headline?

    There have been numerous other occupations in the area, not to mention conquests, where the Arabs involved have not dared to attack the occupiers or conquerors. Why? Because the consequences were clear, immediate and brutal. Like the tunnel story we quoted a few weeks ago from Ha’aretz where one of the Palestinian smugglers made it clear that on the Gaza side, the Israelis would punish by destroying the house where a tunnel was found. On the Egyptian side, this smuggler said, if they found a house with a tunnel, the Egyptians would kill the entire family.

    So perhaps, contrary to your suggestion as to the harshness of the occupation that causes these demonstrations, it’s also fair to consider the idea that the Palestinians feel far safer demonstrating in front of an IDF unit, then they would in front of a Syrian, Lebanese, Egyptian, or Jordanian army unit.

    Why was the boy there? Why was he there with a gun? Was there no school? Where were his parents? His being shot is a tragedy for him and his family. It is also a terrible thing for the soldier who shot him, and the society from which the soldier comes.

  • Middle, I would definitely agree with your point that Arabs would feel safer demonstrating in front of an IDF unit than a unit from an Arab country. That said, and given that I have heard firsthand and read much testimony from IDF soldiers who have served there, shouldn’t we still be concerned with abuses? Is everything cancelled out because the situation isn’t as bad as it is in an Arab country? In the United States, should people not oppose Patriot Act provisions or other laws or administration policies that violate the constitution and American traditions just because they are less onerous than the tenets of a fascist state, which the US emphatically is not? If you care about the Bill of Rights you protest. In the case of Israel, if you are Jewish and you care about Jewish traditions of human rights, you protest. You still protect yourself, you aren’t a pushover, you aren’t naive, but you protest.

    I think I was clear. I have no idea what happened in the incident in the NYT article in terms of what shooting from non-toy guns might have happened. I just noted the journalist who wrote the piece seemed to hedge on it and that I would think more shooting would have occurred from the soldiers if it were true. There could have been shooting, or just the stoning, which is also an attack obviously. And I would not ask the IDF not to fire at a gun they see in a crowd. They have no way of knowing if it was a toy.

    The Occupation and its abuses are decades old, predate the Al Aqsa Intifada, the first intifada, suicide bombers, the settlers, etc. I am sure justifications are readily available for each and every action and procedure over the past nearly 40 years. Meanwhile many Jews, those Otter claims are rewarding Hamas, feel Israel is losing its soul or paying too great a price in other ways.

    Re. your comment on Barak’s 2000 offer. Perhaps the maps on Gush Shalom and similar Israeli peace sites have it wrong. Perhaps Barak’s offer didn’t keep in place more than 65 settlements where 85 percent of settlers lived, creating a bantustan effect all across the West Bank full of areas which they wouldn’t control or be able to pass through.

    Assuming all these peace-minded Israelis are lying about the 2000 offer, you are right, the Palestinians were very wrong to decline.

  • I liked Paris. I am sorry its ring of suburbs has been burning for eight days. I am extremely concerned about the paintings in the Louvre.

    Please don’t tell me how I should be concerned about the people not the paintings. Yes, of course.

    We don’t pray to graven images either, but we can value them highly without praying to them.

    I am not an in-fidel. I believe in G-d as much as anybody alive.

    Ten thousand Italians demonstrated in front of the Iranian embassy in Rome, for Israel:

    A kid can play with a toy gun. At home. It cannot ever, ever, ever be taken out of the house. Because this is what happens.

    “You should love my children. I don’t have to love my children. You should. I am assigning that to you. I bear no responsibility at all. You are a very bad, unconcerned person if my children get hurt. LETS FACE IT HAVE A LOT OF CHILDREN. You, I hear, don’t. I CAN LOSE A FEW AND STILL DANCE ON YOUR GRAVE. I can out-die you! And make you feel bad about it at the same time! Before you disappear, I mean. As for what happens after that, I haven’t thought that out yet. I guess life will be the way it was before 1750. That wasn’t so bad. Who cares. It’s hot here. I can’t think too hard. Nothing matters anyway. No matter what, it will still be hot here. Real hot. I’m tired. Is there any tea, woman? Darn it’s hot. Heaven is far away, and life on earth is hard. What do you want from me? This is all I know.”

  • Leila, take a 12-year old from your extended family. There must be one. Buy him a toy gun. Escort him to hostile area (you know what I mean), and give him lunch and bus-fare home. Tell him to spend the afternoon walking around this are, waving the gun. Tell him you will see him later, to discuss how it felt and what happened.

    Then face his mother. Who is a Jewish Mother. Your family will be short two, because you and the child will be mourned at the same service. The child will not make it home, and his mother will relieve you of your existence for doing this.

    All cultures are not the same.

    It is possible to be very clever and still fail Anthropology.

  • The Louvre? 🙂 In relation to the banlieue? Mon Dieu, Paris must have shrank when I wasn’t looking.

    Interesting rant. Do you have a citation? Or you imagined it? I assume the former since you placed the entire thing in quotes. Cite?

  • Here is the piece about the developing war near Paris, as reported by the BBC.

    The quotes were around my own prose, no one said that but me. I was summarizing what I perceive to be other people’s unspoken attitudes, as deduced from their actions and positions. It is my analysis.

    I wish no one ill, by the way.

  • Jewishmother, It has spread to other French cities as well.

    But I would reassure you about the Louvre in case you unfamiliar with the suburbs/banlieue. Your paintings are safe for the time being. They were even safe in 68 when the thing was in Paris itself.

    Incidentally where is it that I said anywhere that kids should carry toy guns in hostile zones? Amazing how the web is garbling things. I could have sworn I criticized the parents, assuming they knew, and also said the soldiers had no choice but to fire at gun they saw. I am not crazy about seeing kids with toy guns in non-war zones either, but that’s another issue. Kids and others have been shot by US police because of toy guns as well, not to mention wallets that certain police decided were guns, or cell phones.

    I am not sure given all I said, why you wish me to be a candidate for passing toy guns to children and having them walk around waving them. Or why you don’t think I had a Jewish mother. Or why you bring up anthropology and failing it. But it must be all that heat you mentioned. Have some tea.

  • Leila, if you re-read my comment, you’ll note that I am concerned with abuses and the general negative effect on Israelis and soldiers because of their presence inside Palestinian areas. The question is whether the presence of these troops is a necessity, and right now it appears to be.

    As for protesting, people can and should protest all they like. They should do so peacefully. They should not protest when a terrorist is being arrested, and they should not do it with rocks and violence. Agreed?

    The “occupation and its abuses” are actually not as bad as you claim before the intifada in the ’80s and the war of 2000. The Palestinians were able to create universities, have access to hospitals and superior medical care, and plenty of jobs. In fact, they had some of the highest per capita income in the region because of the co-existence with Israel. Infant mortality rate shot up. There were fewer soldiers in their midst, and the violence was not as pronounced. Certainly, there were virtually no targeted killings, and far fewer people – civilians and terrorists – being killed.

    Sadly – and I say this with great sadness – it was Oslo that has brought about the type of Israeli presence in these areas that we see today. The Palestinians today are armed and organized and they were confident enough to launch a war.

    Was, and is, Israel losing its soul because of the soldiers who have to serve in the midst of the Palestinian population? Only to a degree. At the end of the day, every soldier and every Israeli has to ask themselves whether the presence of Israeli soldiers among Palestinians increases security for most Israelis. The answer is unequivocal: yes.

    Furthermore, it’s not as if the PA didn’t have a chance to prevent this. They could have and they blew it. In fact, they encouraged this war. So the presence of soldiers is not as insidious as it could be for most Israelis because it is perceived as a necessary tool for self-preservation.

    However, there is no question that Israelis ruling over Palestinians has a long term insidious effect, and values are affected over time in a way one would hope to avoid. That’s why I oppose being in there as we are, but am also aware that we need to be in there.

    As for the entire propaganda machine that cropped up on pro-Palestinian sites and other sources after Malley and Agha’s articles in the NY Review of Books, please spare me. First of all, there were a handful of people who saw a map with an offer, and certainly the maps you are seeing reflect the views of those Palestinians who were at the negotiations and have a reason to cover up their useless performance. These maps are also enhanced by political motivations of those who drew them. Second, there are those, like Ross and Clinton, who reject the Malley version of events. Third, whether they like it or not, all the protesters against the Israeli offer cannot deny one simple fact: a Palestinian state was offered and could exist today. Fourth, it was contiguous. Fifth, when you don’t like an offer in negotiations, you negotiate further. Instead, the Palestinians launched a war that had been planned before the talks. Then, when they proceeded to negotiate, they did it while maintaining the posture of war. Sixth, Gush Shalom uses the following language,

    “This is no generous offer. It is a humiliating demand for surrender!
    Barak’s offer gives Israel control over all the border crossings of the Palestinian State.
    No country in the world would accept that.
    The words “territorial continuity” are deceptive – No Israeli would agree to travel 50 miles from one town to another, if the real distance between them is only 5 miles.

    This impossible offer, Barak’s imperious attitude, the ongoing massive construction in the settlements, Years of Israel’s Delaying tactics and Sharon’s provocation – all these contributed to the inevitable explosion.
    In December, no maps of the Gaza Strip were shown, so we cannot illustrate Barak’s intentions there. At Taba, January 2001, Barak presented a much-improved map. The Palestinians consider it a basis for negotiation.

    So Barak wasn’t a nice guy and therefore they couldn’t make peace. Great reason not to have a state!

    Israel does not give up control of the borders for security purposes and the Palestinians who have already been planning a war and will continue to smuggle in arms for the next 5 years therefore reject a state. Hmmm, brilliant.

    There are a couple of areas where borders will cause hardship to a village or two or even 20. Its residents will now have to travel far and wide to get to their destinations (by the way, this is mostly bullshit, but whatever), therefore, after struggling since 1948 and being offered a state on 100% of Gaza and 90% of the West Bank, the Palestinians reject a state. Very logical!

    Then Gush Shalom provides the most cynical point at the end. The Israelis did improve their offer – to 97% of the West Bank, Israeli land in exchange for the missing 3%, greater control for Palestinians in Jerusalem, etc. – at Taba, and the Palestinians generously consider this to be the basis of future negotiations. Haha! Hilarious! The Palestinians did not change their positions at Taba at all. They upheld the exact same disputed points as a few months earlier. They were, furthermore, doing this during a war they had launched and in the midst of numerous attacks that were purposely undermining the very government with which they were negotiating.

    Well, they blew it. So did pro-Palestinian pseudo-peace groups like Gush Shalom and others. They presented cover for the refusal to accept Israel’s offer. They created an environment justifying this war. They supported the absurd reasons given by the Palestinians for rejecting the offer of a state – something they had only seen previously in 1937 and 1947 – with most of what they had supposedly been seeking. So instead, all it has led to is the distancing of a state and ensuring that final borders will be far less generous than what was on the table.

    And yes, you can blame some of that on the Israelis. But try to imagine the world today if the Palestinians had merely said, “yes.” They blew it for themselves and for all of us. Oh, and they continue to blow it. Or has anybody disarmed terror groups or changed previous demands?

    (By the way, Leila, although we debate, I appreciate your comments and the respectful way in which you’ve addressed those who have commented – some putridly – on your comments).

  • Middle, thanks for the parenthetical kind words. I agree with you, protest should be nonviolent. And perhaps if it had been decades ago we wouldn’t be debating. I wish there were more Palestinians like Sari Nusseibeh, an advocate of nonviolent resistance. Some of the protests against the fence have been in the vein of his philosophy. I have thought a lot about whether if the Palestinians had launched a movement after Gandhi’s example or Martin Luther King’s example to demand their rights at all stages of their displacement if it would have worked. I honestly don’t know. I like to think it would have, but I have reason to doubt. At least I think it would have been worth a try.

    I didn’t like the ugly tone of the Gush Shalom site, however I am not sure who you consider actual Israeli peace groups as opposed to the pseudo you mention. Can you name some? Is being pro-Palestinian state or pro-Palestinian human rights an automatic disqualifier? Or did you mean pro-Palestinian in some other sense? Totally coopted? Uncritical? Not Zionist at all? If that is so, I know it isn’t true for the Refuseniks I have spoken with. They were all ardent Zionists and still staunchly opposed to the Occupation. But perhaps you could let me know how you distinguish between peace groups.

  • How do I distinguish between peace groups? Good question.

    I consider carefully their position on the existence of Israel. It should not be a question, but a given. One-state solutions are instant warning signs. I consider carefully their interpretation of Israeli and Zionist goals and endeavours both in the past and the present. When somebody explains the Arab-Israeli conflict by claiming the Zionists intended to clear the land of Arabs or some sort of biblican expansionism, either there are people who have little understanding of the generations that created Israel, or have a clear agenda and bias. I consider their take on suicide bombings and other attacks. For example, if they say, “We abhor suicide bombings, but we can understand why they are perpetrated,” then I have a serious problem with that group.

    I believe honest brokers respect both sides and address truthfully their circumstances and flaws. For example, depicting one side as helpless victims so their actions can be absolved is unacceptable. It can also be condescending. Excusing the anti-semitism that exists in modern Arab (and to some degree, Islamic) culture today is also unacceptable. Acknowledge that it’s there, try to go beyond excuses like “Zionists are inherently evil” and be honest about the motive and impact. Likewise when you have people on the Israeli far-Right who depict Arabs in extremely negative terms (you know, like idiots calling them vermin), don’t defend or excuse their hatred.

    A peace group should be honest about both sides equally. Neither side is pure and this is an extremely complex conflict that goes deep into the Arab and Muslim worlds (the Palestinians weren’t even players at negotiations until the ’60s and ’70s) and deep into Jewish history and culture. A real peace group treats both sides with a strong understanding of their humanity, the goals of the general populations, an understanding of their political systems and what is truly possible in both systems, a fair treatment of what is equivalent and what is not (hint: a suicide bombing is not the same as a targeted killing where innocent bystanders are killed), reasonable perspective on the objectives of both sides, and an unforgiving attitude toward manipulation of the situation by either side.

    Chances are that you’re not going to find many groups who fit the bill on, say, the long lists of groups one finds at Electronic Intifada. There are a couple of Israeli groups that I think are more open to this. Peace Now probably has gone through periods where it has realistically addressed much of the above. On the Palestinian side, it’s hard to know who is genuine and who isn’t, because some of their more prominent activists were under Arafat’s control while speaking on behalf of the Palestinians. I think Nusseibeh is a reasonable example of somebody who is partial to his own side but understands and seems to have a fair approach to the other.

    I wrote that very quickly and will probably regret answering such a deep question without much deliberation, but it’ll have to do for now.

  • I figure that when les jeunes de les cites start threatening to torch paintings in the Louvre rather than synagogues, les flics will shoot to kill.

    This is an armed insurrection and sooner or later the Frogs will have to face up to the fact that they have taken the asp to their bosom and make some tough choices.

    Only a matter of time. Then we’ll see how the famous humanisme Francais compares to Israeli “brutality”.

  • What do you expect when they are fed this(oh an Muhammed even admitted that sometimes Satan did speak to him and he could not tell the difference):
    This article says that Jews have been cursed and made into pigs(that’s not very kosher now is it:-( ).

    Looks like Allah loves Jews:

    But he also loves Christians too:

    And he doesn’t like women much(must have been before he became a prophet because it looks like he got a lot of women then, by force of course):

    To be honest these people are horribly brain washed, it’s a shame.

  • The bottom line here guys is there are two distinct world views on most issues, conservative leaning and liberal leaning. The NYT by their own admission is liberal leaning. They don’t like conflicts period, especially if offense is used as a defense against the perceived weaker, apparently no matter how bad the behavior of the weaker.

    If you had the time to search NYT headlines during the formative years of Israel and its struggle to survive against its perceived stronger neighbors, I am sure you would find much more friendly headlines. Now that Israel has been so successful and strong, both militarily and economically, you no longer are in need of their support.

    NYT’s choice of this headline was no accident or oversight, even with Leila’s excellent explanation in defense of it. I accept it likely did need shorting, but there were so many ways to do this in a more Israeli-friendly way. I could even accept it as just an anomaly, if this were not just another of a liberal pattern at NYT.

    They don’t mean harm by this understand, and may not even realize the bias. They actual believe they are helping Israel save lives if it helps end their offensive defense with international pressure. Maybe they’re right, but the history of Israel’s struggle for survival and safety say it is highly risky and Israels primary goal, and responsibility, is to save Israeli lives.

  • “Terrorists”…
    Do you actually think these people are at fault for defending their land which they have now occupied for quite some time.

    “It is the duty of every jew to be a jew before he is a human being.” – That is a damn fine statement.

  • I think that the point is being missed entirly. One one hand the “Palestinians” have a valid complaint in the treatment of them by others, in some cases the IDF or the “settlers”, and for sure in other cases by their own leaders and by leaders from other Arab countries. However, to use the term “occupied territories” is where this whole discussion is going stray. The Arab people are being afflicted by the IDF, and so are the Jews living in the same areas. A tragedy on two sides. Jews not being able to live peacefully in the Land of Israel and Arabs being used as puppets in the worlds reluctancy to safely provide Jews the opportunity to do so.
    Doesn’t anyone think it odd that no one is suggesting the possibility of Jews living in Arab ruled Gaza, or the west bank? Israel happens to be the only county in the Middle East that allows, protects and activly encourages Jews, Arabs, Christians and many others to live together. And they are handing over parts of Israel to a people that not only doesn’t want Jews, but also is expelling christians as well. I can and do admit that the indevidual palestinian is being treated horrible, but that in no way gives him right to the land or to terrorize the ones living in the land.

  • NO NO, of COURSE Leila has a Jewish Mother, I NEVER meant that she did not. I was just demonstrating that there is a big cultural difference between mothers, Jewish and not Jewish ones. Jewish mothers would never allow their children to be militarized, but other mothers view it as desirable and normal, and even, for cultural, political, philosophic,and religious reasons, do not have too much of a problem if the result is an early demise of the child. Much honor comes to the family and the mother.

    As for Leila giving her nephew a toy gun to brandish in a hostile area, I am quite aware she never would. I was being sarcastic. I was pointing out how awful it is to do things like that, by making her imagine herself doing it, the horror, the unthinkable. But others do it coolly, and accept the consequences.

    As for Anthropology, the study of human cultures, I meant that without its insights, people make false assumptions that other cultures think the same as we do. They most emphatically do not.

    There are people who do not view childhood or death or war in the same way we do. We assume there is a lot of basic common ground. There is not. For instance, I remarked, there are plenty of people on the other side who are not especially enamored of modernity at all. We all assume air conditioning, scientificly sophisticated medicine and tolerant social conditions are worth their cost. But not everybody sees it that way! The cost, as they see it, is the breakdown of traditional social mores. They would rather take their chances with heat, illness and intolerance than have their daughters end up immodest and infertile. Being immodest and infertile seem to go to together, in their view. That is what they observe when they look at us! After all they mostly know us from the movies. And anyway, our birthrate is there for all to see. Or not see. We don’t have one.

    Here is what is suspicious: as the West has no birthrate, why do they not just wait us out? That would be logical and easy. Their interest in winning with warfare, instead of just time, must mean that there is more to their story. It probably has to do with using warfare to distract and organize their own people. Or, they be simply worried that their own people might choose the path of immorality and extinction which we are on. We are very good at marketing!

    I still think they should not militarize anybody under the age of 18. But their methods have done very well for them, so who am I to quibble?

    What I was pointing out was the dangerous and annoying (to me) refusal to see things for what they are instead of what we wish they were.\

    As for wishes, my wishes are the same as yours. Peace and prosperity for all, with morality.

  • Yes, TM, I agree, Leila has a very high level tone. She has both intelligence and a willingness to really think about what others say. That is not common.

  • “Having a divergence of opinion” and “the right to have your opinion” and “free marketplace of ideas” and “liberty of conscience” and “that’s what makes a horserace” are WESTERN notions.

    These notions have had tremendous utility in improving Western material conditions: “build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door”.

    That marries free thought with commercial enterprise. The result has been plenty and peace. Great stuff. In OUR opinion, not necessarily in everybody’s.

    These “divergences of opinion” have tremendous potential for social destabilization. Divergence of opinion was only accepted in the West after a lot of uneasiness and warfare, over many centuries.

    Others do not necessarily prize air-conditioning, adequate food and medicine, or the security of one’s person, more than social cohesion. They may not have much enthusiasm for “divergence of opinion”. They may see social cohesion as by far the highest possible good, hugely more important than “the rights of the individual”! The “rights of the individual” are not that big a deal in other cultures; far, far below the good of society at large.

    Our people want to be allowed to be nice. It is a nice wish, but what guarantees that it will be granted?

    Remember Golda Meir’s famous remark about “there will be peace when….” ?

    There seems to be more than one way to love a child. You can love him right into martyr status, at age 12, and that still counts as loving him, in some cultures.

    Now what?

  • regarding France:

    “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
    — Frederick Douglass

  • “Forces good people to shoot guns at others” – hey, wait a minute.

    TM, my father was a good person, and he shot guns at lots of people. That did not stop him from being a good person at all.

    The people on the receving end had a different social idea than he did. It was Nazism, and the war was World War II.

    The best man won. Boom.

    Since when is shooting a gun at a man bad? It depends on who the man is, and why you are shooting him, doesn’t it? Sometimes you have to do that. To remain moral, it has to be necessary. And you should not enjoy it. Ideally.

    The Nazis only let committed pacifists shave them. They were the only people they trusted to wield a straight-razor so near their throats, as they lay back in the barber’s chair. Pacifism is not always good. The barbers should have taken them out.

    I mean, right?

    You personally would shoot lots of people, cheerfully and very, very efficiently, if they had the poor judgment to threaten you and yours.

    I don’t know you, but I feel sure of that.

    If only life were easier!

    War is very bad, but losing is worse. Yes, it is.

  • I heard this from a friend…. “the best thing we learned from hitler is some times we have to stop talking about peace and start dropping bombs”

  • There is nothing to learn from Hitler.

    Except maybe that one should not mess with the Americans.

  • ummm, I think his message was do not mess with the Jews, a recurring theme throughout history. Americans will be just a memory in a few generations, just like the greeks, romans and soon the phalestinians.

  • Yes, the Jews have the eternal promise of G-d.

    But I think the Americans are going to stick around. I have a lot of confidence in them. After all, they are right. They are wonderful people.

    Please, no avalanche of evidence to the contrary.

  • Hi, I am a German and I watched TV-News a few minutes ago. They told about a 12-year old palestinian boy, who was accidently shot, because he played with a toy gun. His father agreed to give organs of his son to jewish children.

    What a great sign of peace and international understanding! As a father of 3 children, I wanted to contact and encourage him on his way. So I googled for “Ahmed al-Khatib” and detect the jewlicious-Website.

    On this website I read about “one less mouth of vermin to feed” and what can be learned from Hitler.

    A few old jews, who survived the concentration camps, come to our schools every year and tell us about the things, which shall never happen again. And I take my children to this lectures to learn what they must’nt forget ever.

    After visiting your website with all this hate against the palestinians, I have to tell my children that Hitler has won his battle partially: It looks like he turned some of his victims into barbarians 60 years after his death.

  • I partially agree with you Frank. It is sad that a bunch of Jews are on their computors whining and complaing about a group of people who in their mission statment declair the destruction of the Jewish people and the state of Israel as the only outcome they are willing to settle on.
    What we learn from shitler(may his name be erased) we do not actually learn from the man himself, but from his evil presence in the world. Dometimes there is genuine evil in the world, and you can negotiations, hold peace talks, etc etc till you are blue in the face but the evil will still be there. AT some point the good in the world has to stop dreaming of peace with the aggressors, dictators, the TERRORISTS, and just start droping bombs. I am a peacefull person. All I want to do is live in my home in the judean hills with my family and some goats, I don;t care who lives on the hill across from me. But I am positive that if the people on the pother hill start calling for my destruction and killing my brothers and sisters on busses and cafes, I will not hesitate to defend my own. The irony of our present situation over here in Israel, is just that. We are trying to live peacefully here. The torah does not say that muslims and christians can not live in Israel with us. the Koran calls us infidels, the PA wants to drive us into the sea, muslim teenagers are rioting in france as we speak, and Frank calls us barbarians. I am sorry, but sometimes we have to think outside of our media boxes and start looking at the reality of the situation on the bigger picture.

  • Actually, what’s offensive about Frank’s post is that he, as the father of three children, is unable to focus on the fact that we have a wide range of diverging opinions here. Instead, he focuses exclusively on one horrible comment and then smears us all.

  • “It looks like he(hitler) turned some of his victims into barbarians 60 years after his death”

    No Frank, actually they’re still being treated barbarically, still trying to be eliminated, 60 years after hitler’s death. By the same human stupidity that obsessed him.

    I’m sure you can understand an ‘attitude’ by one or two here and there, no?

  • In reply to people who refer to the occupation being older than the intifada- Do you know why the intifada hasn’t been around that long? Because the palestinian masses really didn’t care that much besides a few that had been paid and equipped by the Soviets. Once the rest of the world forced Israel to let the PLA to gain more influence they started teaching their children that us Jews are evil zionist scum that deserve to be murdered.
    There is a reason rebelions only work when a nations relinquishes some power. It’s not like people have some inherant intuition that makes them rebel when another ethnic group is controlling their land. The funny thing is that even the most progressive and democratic countries would crush a revolt with more resolve than Israel has, but since it is Jews doing it we have to operate under a microscope. Our soldiers shoot people when they are threatened and hold them up at checkpoints when they try to blow up our women and children and yet the world reacts as if we are putting them in camps.

  • @themiddle, @jack:
    No, I don’t call you all barbarians, only those, who posted these unworthy comments. Of course you have to defend yourself, when you are attacked or someone wants to drive you into the sea. I am glad, that Israel has got the power to avert these threats.

    I think, that you cannot defend yourself only with force and violence. You ALSO have to shake hands with peace-searching palestinians and to stand up against Extremist in your own ranks. As you are the more powerful part in this conflict, it’s (in my opinion) your duty to do the first steps to peace. In this context, I have a lot of respect for leaving the settlements in Gaza.

    Hate is so counterproductive to recognize and eliminate the reasons of the palestinian conflict. As you are aware, we have riots in underprivileged regions in france. Some young people are burning cars, schools and even a mosque. They just need a common enemy and I think we get a micro-intifada here in europe.

    We must punish the criminals, encourage the peaceful AND enhance the circumstances of this people. When they have the feeling, that their bad life doesn’t care anyone, they will still lash about (like children, which get not enough love and strictness). This way is so much more laborious than calling the police to fight against them. But in my opinion it is the only way, even for the palestinian conflict.

    You might argue, that I’m far away from your country and don’t know, whats really going on in Israel. That is right; and I didn’t lost anyone because of a suicide attacker. But it might be an advantage for detecting the solution to look at the situation without hate and daily discrimination.

  • I just read the whole thread, not only the first postings as previous to my first article. Sorry to Leila and many others, if I affronted you. I definitely didn’t mean you with the word “barbarian”, but only the authors of some terrifying postings.

    I read some sophisticated opinions and there should be hardly any advice from an external like me, that you didn’t already thought about. Please think also about what can be done to set an end to violence.

    What about school partnerships? Pupils writing letters, learning to understand and taking care of each other? Is this too naive? There must be some brave people, who start unorthodox activities like the father of Ahmed al-Khatib.