Israel, Justice

Time lapse video of last night's Tel Aviv march of 300,000

This is a fascinating time-lapse video of yesterday’s 300,000-person housing protest in Tel Aviv last night calling for “social justice” across a broad range of social and economic issues. That number makes it possibly the largest protest in Israel’s history, rivaled only by the protests against the Sabra and Shatila massacres during the First Lebanon War. It is definitely the largest protest ever on social issues.

47 thoughts on “Time lapse video of last night's Tel Aviv march of 300,000

  1. Here are the protesters’ demands:
    The document outlines six principles for an alliance between the state and its citizenry: minimizing social inequalities (economic, gender-based and national ) and creating social cohesion; altering the main principles of the economic system; lowering the cost of living, achieving full employment and state-imposed price controls on basic items; giving a clear priority to the areas on the outskirts of cities, both in the social and the geographic sense; treating the essential needs of the weaker population in the country, with an emphasis on the handicapped, the elderly and the sick; investment by the state in its citizenry in the fields of education, health and personal safety, and providing genuine solutions to the housing shortage, from transportation to public infrastructure.
    99.9% of the people in Israel want these things, the problem is how exactly the government is expected to come to this. These are symptoms of deep-rooted, structural problems, that are related to the reality that in many ways Israel is still a Third World country.
    Read the demands above. Who doesn’t want these things? Why don’t the protesters offer some real solutions–because I don’t think they really have any solutions; I don’t either, obviously.

  2. Maybe KFJ will endorse making the Israeli economy slightly less efficient in exchange for free healthcare and full employment, the way he did here in the US a couple of years ago. That worked out so great, $5 trillion in debt later.

  3. That worked out so great, $5 trillion in debt later.
    right. our debt was all because of healthcare… nope, has nothing to do with three wars and an unsustainable defense budget…

  4. You guys are so out of touch. Yes, it’s not Obama’s fault that we’re three years into 10% unemployment, and 20% underemployment. He’s only been President for 2.5 years, give him time to find his desk. Of course, it’s not Obama’s fault at all that our credit rating has been downgraded for the first time in history. And it’s definitely not Obama’s fault that we’ve added $5 trillion in debt in three years.
    Debt doesn’t matter when the economy is growing. Whatever Bush’s faults, his deficits never exceeded $400 Bil, and by the end of his term were under $200 Bil. Obama has us on a track to a decade of $1-2 Trillion deficits! That’s insane in the membrane. No amount of taxing the rich is going to help mend that gap. Obama killed our recovery with his inane healthcare legislation. There’s $2 Trillion in private equity that is sitting on the sidelines. Companies are afraid to spend because they don’t know what new liabilities the health care changes will impose on them.
    Face it, Obama has no answers how to create jobs, except by expanding government bureaucracy. He doesn’t even pretend to have an economic plan. Or maybe we need some more “shovel ready jobs” (6% of “stimulus”) and investments in the “green economy”? Yeah that sure helped. The only solutions he offers are robbing money from those few sectors of the economy that are still productive, like they have no choice but to stay in the US. The government’s focus has shifted from wealth creation to wealth redistribution. We’re on a downward spiral with a President who seems not to care.

    1. Victor writes:
      Debt doesn’t matter when the economy is growing.
      You have that backwards. Recessions are the time to run deficits. When the economy is growing, that’s the time to run surpluses and start paying down the debt, as Clinton did during the late-’90s boom, until Bush II squandered the surplus through wealth redistribution to the highest-income Americans.
      Obama killed our recovery with his inane healthcare legislation. There’s $2 Trillion in private equity that is sitting on the sidelines. Companies are afraid to spend because they don’t know what new liabilities the health care changes will impose on them.
      Bullshit. Companies aren’t spending because consumer demand is low, because unemployment is high. If the health care legislation were primarily responsible, we would have expected lots of private-sector investment all through 2009 (when it was still uncertain whether the health care law would pass)
      Or maybe we need some more “shovel ready jobs” (6% of “stimulus”) and investments in the “green economy”? Yeah that sure helped.
      The problem with the stimulus was that it was far too small. Obama ignored the advice of economists who warned that this was the case, and rather than blame this half-measure (which, in policy terms, was still better than nothing) on political pressures, he insisted (and, to this day, has never reversed himself) that the stimulus was the right size and didn’t need to be any larger. When the stimulus then (as predicted) failed to do enough, this opened the door for ignorant clowns such as yourself (and many others who are intentionally dishonest – I’m being dan l’chaf zechut in your case and assuming that you’re not one of these) to claim that “the stimulus failed”, i.e. that we’re in the same shape (or worse) as we would be without it (rather than the reality, that the stimulus prevented the recession from getting even deeper, and prevented many cuts by state and local governments which don’t have the option of deficit spending, but was insufficient to stimulate a recovery). Obama has thus done incalculable long-term economic damage by allowing Keynesian fiscal policy to be discredited in the political arena, but this isn’t the damage you’re talking about.

  5. Chevrie,
    Can I make a point? On the one hand, whatever our views about the healthcare legislation, can we give President Obama the benefit of the doubt that he wanted to help millions of uninsured Americans?
    On the other hand, whatever our misgivings about the two wars, can we give W. Bush the benefit of the doubt that he thought he was doing what was best to secure the world?
    Really. People might talk about things like “ObamaCare” and “Death Committees,” or Bush’s “conspiracy with the Saudi Royal Family,” but let’s just give the presidents the benefit of the doubt.
    Why isn’t everybody pointing at the true villains of the American economic downturn–the legal thieves on Wall Street? They are legal criminals, who have robbed the American people blind, while setting back the country for a generation.

  6. J1, I’m not interested in judging people on their intentions. The notion that people need a gold star for effort is revolting. Where are the results! I didn’t say Obama is a bad person, and I don’t really care. I care that his policies have trashed our economy. As for the robber barons of Wall Street, that’s nonsense. Everyone was making money off those “legal criminals”, until they weren’t.

  7. Victor,
    you’ll never find me defend any politician. they’re all criminals — even the “innocent” ones are guilty by association in my book. but president’s policies never effect the economies during their term. Bush’s time “in the black” was because of Clinton. Clinton’s years “in the red” was because of Reagan and Bush. Obama’s tenure has been marred by the destructive policies of the previous administration. it’s as simple as that. his policies have not “trashed” our economy. they haven’t helped it, but they haven’t trashed it. our economy has been trashed for years and years. it takes time for the residual effect to make itself known. and that being the case, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  8. … where’s the video?
    I’m glad that activists in Israel care about more things than the I-P conflict. Certainly demonstrates some kind of solace from the “perpetual war” society.

  9. we would have expected lots of private-sector investment all through 2009 (when it was still uncertain whether the health care law would pass)
    I don’t think you understand how private sector investment works. The bane of business is uncertainty. You actually think companies are going to invest in new equipment, R&D, employee compensation, etc. on the eve of a regulatory change that will affect 20% of the American economy, and one of the biggest expenses on their ledger?
    You’re a Keynesian true believe, BZ. I’m not. I think deficit spending, at its best, robs the market of liquidity. At its worst, as we saw with Porkulus, deficit spending underpins an inefficient government bureaucracy.
    prevented many cuts by state and local governments
    They needed to make those cuts! Government growth is neither an irresistible force of nature, nor the future hope of humanity. Porkulus rewarded government unions for their electoral support at the expense of wider unemployment. It set in motion unsustainable cost curves that we simply can’t pay for. The stimulus deepened and lengthened the recession, and just as we were coming out, Obama passed healthcare. Pow. True story.
    You’re right, Justin, Presidents don’t control the economy, but they do influence it, and they always own it. Since being elected, Obama has made business a target. It’s clear that his priority is not economy growth, it’s income redistribution. His every address on the economy floods the business cycle with uncertainty – new taxes, new regulation, new ridiculously expensive adventures in social engineering that someone, at some point, will have to pay for. Which is fine, that’s who Democrats are – redistributors of wealth. If they had just fixed the economy before pursuing their social agenda they would have been in power for a generation! But no, they couldn’t help themselves to the cookie jar.
    And I don’t like the republican slimeballs either. But they’re not in charge. The Dems had a totally free hand for two years, longer if you count congressional dominance. This is their legacy – 10% unemployment, 20% underemployment, $5 trillion in debt and more trillions in unfunded liabilities, an economy edging back into recession…
    Obama owns it. All we need to seal this deal is a Carter-style speech about turning down the thermostat and wearing a sweater to bed.
    And I’m done. No encores, por favor.

    1. Victor writes:
      You’re a Keynesian true believe, BZ. I’m not.
      I think you’re implying that I am clinging to a belief in Keynesian economics in the face of empirical evidence disproving it. I’m saying that the Obama stimulus does not constitute an empirical test of Keynesian economics, because it was far less than what the Keynesian economists recommended.
      It’s like you go to the doctor with a bacterial infection, and the doctor prescribes antibiotics for two weeks. You take the antibiotics for two days and stop. The infection gets even worse after that, so you blame the antibiotics for this worsening. If anyone tells you that you should have kept taking the antibiotics for longer, you call them an “antibiotic true believer”.
      prevented many cuts by state and local governments
      They needed to make those cuts! Government growth is neither an irresistible force of nature, nor the future hope of humanity.

      My point here wasn’t a value judgment about what government priorities should be (on which we clearly disagree), but simply that the Obama stimulus was an even poorer empirical test of Keynesian policies than it seems: as small as the impact on federal spending was (relative to the scope of the crisis), the impact on total government spending at all levels was even smaller (because as federal spending was increasing, state and local government spending were decreasing).
      And I’m done. No encores, por favor.
      Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  10. I hope you guys check out this piece from a settler about government expenditures on the settlements, which as we know are robbing the rest of Israel’s citizens of billions of sheckels.

  11. Aharon, not sure what happened to the video code, but it’s back now.
    Victor, that post from The Muqata is avoiding the central accusation: all that money is being spent on a settlement enterprise that we all know will ultimately be dismantled would be better spent inside Israel.

  12. KFJ, none of it is going to be dismantled. The 100-200k settlers who will be beyond the border, should it ever be agreed, are not going anywhere. The point of that article was to demonstrate how the Israeli government actually spends almost nothing on the settlement “infrastructure” – barely into the tens of millions of sheckels. I hope you also noted that site security is now being provided by private security firms and volunteers (at settlement expense), not the IDF. If you remember, we had that discussion about a year ago. You were convinced that the IDF is protecting settlements, and I told you that, no, they’re not. As a side-note, did you read about the privately funded social safety net inside the settlements? Talk about social justice!
    I’m saying that the Obama stimulus does not constitute an empirical test of Keynesian economics, because it was far less than what the Keynesian economists recommended.
    Of course, BZ! And how do we know the stimulus was too small? Because it didn’t work! I HEART GOVERNMENT MENTALITY! It’s like with the Federation system. No Federation program is allowed to fail – failure to meet a single outlined objective is merely due to a “lack of resources”. The fewer students a Hillel house draws, the more money must be injected. If a trillion dollar stimulus didn’t work, let’s go for a ten trillion dollar stimulus! Why not, it’s not our money, honey! Like I said – true believer. If you prefer “clinger-on”, then so be it. You’re a Keynesian clinger-on, BZ, a “Keynesian Klingon”, as it were. P’takh!

  13. I hope you also noted that site security is now being provided by private security firms and volunteers (at settlement expense), not the IDF.
    That’s like saying that a certain gated community in Illinois is protected by its own private security firm, and not by the Illinois state police.

  14. Not exactly, J1. Private security firms in the US can do little more than call the real cops. First responder volunteers in settlements are trained for a variety of scenarios, including in the use of deadly force. Will they hold off an invading Egyptian army? No, but they can take care of themselves in most other scenarios. The model is not less private security firms and more early Hagannah.

  15. First responder volunteers in settlements are trained for a variety of scenarios, including in the use of deadly force.
    Are they trained for Operation Defensive Shield?

  16. I’m saying that the settlements’ safety is provided by things like Operation Defensive Shield, the targeted assassinations, the raids, the checkpoints, as well as the military defending the border with Jordan and the air above.
    The members of the communities and the private security firms don’t do these things.
    That’s fine, that’s the way collective societies work (or don’t work.)
    If you think the settlements have been a worthwhile endeavor than, yes, they haven’t cost any more that does the maintenance of Tel Aviv.
    On the other hand, it’s a stretch to argue that the settlers are living in their own semi-self-sufficient world, where they protect themselves and create macro-social-services for themselves . . . as if they aren’t part of the state.

  17. That’s not what I’m saying at all, J1. Although, as you well know, Defensive Shield wasn’t launched to protect the settlements. Of course, the “settlements” – what does that term even mean when Har Homa and the Jewish Quarter are included? – are an integral economic, social and political part of Israel.
    The issues I was pointing to were:
    1) The settlement “endeavor” isn’t some disproportional drain on the Israeli budget. There have been some “innovative” effort to portray the settlers as leeches, particularly by Peace Now. Frankly, though I disagreed with the sentiment, I never thought to actually question Peace Now’s numbers. Such is the power of NGO “reports”, that we tend to assume they’re assembled and published in good faith, with accurate information. At least I have thought that.
    The article I linked to above just blows that assumption out of the water. 40% of the funds Peace Now claimed were going to “settlements” were actually allocated for the security barrier, which is there to protect Tel Aviv, not the settlers. 10% of the funds are for Palestinian budget assistance. And so on. It turns out the settlers aren’t greedy pigs munching at the public trough. Which is how they’ve been portrayed for years. Go figure.
    2) The settlements are largely providing for their own day to day security. In any future Palestinian state, we can expect to see the settlement self-defense units become more capable and flexible, really embracing the paramilitary model of early Hagannah units. Of course, everything depends on Palestinian authority willingness to contain violence, but building in a redundant, Jewish-accountable capability is a priority. This is actually a personal interest of mine. Perimeter defense is fairly simple to implement, but what do you do if there are ambushes on the roads, sniper fire, etc. The Yishuv’s answer was the Palmach.

  18. Defensive Shield wasn’t launched to protect the settlements
    You don’t think Defensive Shield effected the security of the communities in Judea and Samaria?
    The settlement “endeavor” isn’t some disproportional drain on the Israeli budget.
    This is what I wrote above: “If you think the settlements have been a worthwhile endeavor than, yes, they haven’t cost any more that does the maintenance of Tel Aviv.”
    Read carefully.
    The settlements are largely providing for their own day to day security
    I have given examples of how they aren’t above, and your response is that the IDF isn’t carrying out activities specifically with the intention to provide the settlements security . . . so the IDF is providing the settlements with security but it doesn’t count because it’s not the IDF’s only objective?
    Perimeter defense is fairly simple to implement
    It is, when the region’s strongest military is doing the other 90%.

  19. What are you arguing about? I agree with you on everything. Well, except that Defensive Shield isn’t an example of how the settlements aren’t providing for their own security. Tangentially, like how Operation Desert Storm is not an example of how the settlements aren’t providing for their own security either.

  20. This is a very interesting conversation – I’m definitely learning a lot from it, but I do want to take issue with one very specific thing that you said, Victor.

    everything depends on Palestinian authority willingness to contain violence

    I really disagree with this framing of the issue. It makes it sound like the only thing allowing Palestinian terrorism to continue is the fact that the Palestinian leadership doesn’t really care about terrorism. It lets us skip examining some of the underlying factors that make controlling it quite difficult, particularly for a government in the position of the PA.
    And for the record, I dislike it just as much when this rhetoric is applied to Israel. An example would be when the IDF is described as “brutal” or “bloodthirsty” – it makes it sound like the only problem is that the military leadership doesn’t care about civilian life, and that if they did, everything would magically be better, rather than noticing that a) the IDF acts on perceived, often legitimately, to be security threats, and b) like any army, they often use a disproportionate amount of force, and c) the disproportionality is often exaggerated by those who agree with the victims for political gain, and d) such exaggeration is also completely standard in any PR battle.
    My point is simply that systematically doubting Palestinians’ desire for peace is no better than always faulting Israel for everything that goes wrong (i.e the flotilla).

  21. Well, except that Defensive Shield isn’t an example of how the settlements aren’t providing for their own security.
    I’m not sure how to frame it then.
    If it weren’t for IDF activities–like Operation Defensive Shield–then the situation in Judea and Samaria would not be nearly as quiet as it is presently, arguably, (we can’t say for sure because the IDF is holding the West Bank.) The residents of the settlements and their private security guards standing at the shin gimmel would still be doing their best to defend their communities, but those communities wouldn’t be any where near as secure as they are presently.
    What we’re agreeing on is that Tapuach is no less part of the state of Israel than is Holon–whether that is a mistake or not is up for debate.
    What we are arguing about is whether or not Tapuach is no less part of the state of Israel than is Holon–is Yosh a state apart–practically speaking it isn’t, IMO. To you, perhaps it is.

  22. RB,
    everything depends on Palestinian authority willingness to contain violence
    I wasn’t referring to the present reality, but to a hypothetical future Palestinian state. Will certain kinds of Palestinian-on-Jew violence be shrugged off by Palestinian security forces? Given the history, isn’t it irresponsible on the part of the settlement leadership not to pursue an independent self-defense capability (as do many other ethnic and religious minorities in Arab country)?
    As for the Palestinian authority “allowing terrorism”, that’s not really what I meant. Here are some examples of what I did mean:
    In a Palestinian state, will Jews be allowed to pray at our holy places (Rachel’s tomb, Cave of Machpeliah, etc) without Palestinian riots and pogroms? Will Jews get a fair hearing in Palestinian courts? Will murderers of Jews be let out of jail quietly when no one is looking, like what happened to one of the Palestinians involved in the shooting attack on settlers in which a pregnant woman and others were killed a year ago? Will Palestinian security forces actually investigate who shot at a Jew on the road, or will they hide the perpetrators?
    Palestinian society doesn’t work like American or Israeli society. There are tribes, clans, political and religious factions… all have an impact on “justice”, as such. Which is not to say that “justice” is completely impartial in any society, but this is particularly so in Palestinian society. A Palestinian judge who rules in favor of a Jew in a land dispute, for example, might expect retaliation not just against him, but against his family and clan. Abbas might be willing to release murderers of Jews, who are part of Hamas, in political negotiations with that group. And so on. These are things to consider.
    So, we’re talking from an uber-practical standpoint – to what extend do the Jews who stay in Palestine need to develop a capability to defend themselves when necessary, and even respond in a quasi-paramilitary fashion.
    The West Bank is a small place. The last attack on a settlement (Itamar) was traced back to the Palestinian village by footprints in wet earth. So let’s say the Jews have some experiences where they report an attack to Palestinian police and there is nothing done. Maybe even no one got hurt by sheer luck, but it could have ended in bloodshed. The Jews in a particular area might know where the attacks are coming from, and maybe even what family is responsible. Do they continue to take it, or do they put together a group of ten guys, veterans of Sayeret Matkal, and go out one night to “send a message”?
    But let’s not even go that far. Let’s say some irrigation pipes on Jewish land are destroyed several times. This happens all the time even now. Let’s say the Jews complain to Palestinian police and nothing is done. Can the Jews set up an ambush for the vandals and beat the snot out of them?
    As a sidenote, violence like this is not unheard of in the West Bank. There are feuds between Palestinian clans all the time – over land, over attacks on family members, over inheritance… and people are maimed and killed. I know this from personal experience. A Palestinian woman I knew very well divorced her rapist, wife-beating husband here in the US against his wishes. His family told her father and brothers to kill her. Her family refused to kill her, so his family went and killed one of her cousins back in Sinjil to redeem their honor. They raped him first. This was like three years ago and they are still clashing over it. Usually it’s just a few people get shot and everyone calms down, but sometimes it can get more serious.
    Again, these are practical consequences of living among two million Arabs, with their own culture and customs, and Jews who decide to stay in Palestine should not expect a picnic. They will be tested by Palestinian rules, not Western liberal-democratic ones. Those of us who advocate for Jews to stay must do so with the reality of the situation in mind.

  23. J1,
    Yes, absolutely, IDF presence in the West Bank helps security of settlements, no equivocation on this point. My point was that Defensive Shield wasn’t launched to protect the settlers, and the IDF isn’t in the West Bank now to defend the settlers, though it may be called to do that from time to time. The settlers have never been the preferred Palestinian target, and aside from the roads, are reasonably difficult to attack in their settlements (as opposed to an attack in Tel Aviv or Jlem), the Itamar attack notwithstanding.
    Much of the prefacing discussion was a hypothetical about a future Palestinian state, and the security commitments of Jewish communities in that state. So, yes, Tapuch is in Israel. But if it weren’t…

  24. Victor writes:
    Of course, BZ! And how do we know the stimulus was too small? Because it didn’t work!
    No. You’re just wrong about this (just like you were wrong when you said you were done with this conversation). The claim that the stimulus was too small was NOT a post-facto correction after seeing its effects. This was known BEFORE the stimulus was passed, by anyone who did the math.
    Most Democrats favored a larger stimulus, while most Republicans favored no stimulus at all. No one supported a stimulus of the size we got from a policy perspective. The only supporters of a stimulus of this particular size were nihilistic, cut-the-baby-in-half “centrists”, who arrive at their positions not based on an assessment of the merits, but because they see intrinsic merit in any position that is in between two other positions. Tragically, this was who Obama listened to.

  25. Victor, I don’t disagree with the general idea you’re advancing – that Israeli and Palestinian society are culturally different in significant ways – but I disagree with the conclusions you’re drawing.

    Do they [the Jews] continue to take it, or do they put together a group of ten guys, veterans of Sayeret Matkal, and go out one night to “send a message”?

    I’d argue that there’s an option that lies between “continuing to take it” (which implies a lack of “manliness”) and “sending a message” – namely, working through political or police channels to ensure security. Vigilante mobs don’t have a good track record on reducing crime.

    Can the Jews set up an ambush for the vandals and beat the snot out of them?

    Can they? Obviously. Should they? Depends on the objective. If we’re evaluating the whole situation from a “teach them a lesson and they won’t come back” perspective, your approach works fine. But you follow it up with a general anecdote about how violent reprisals lead to ongoing cycles of more violent reprisals. How do you expect “beating the snot” out of someone to actually solve a problem? Won’t it just piss people off even more?

  26. Do they [the Jews] continue to take it, or do they put together a group of ten guys, veterans of Sayeret Matkal, and go out one night to “send a message”?
    They don’t, because they won’t, because under this theory, Jews will remain in their homes as citizens of Palestine, which means that in another generation there won’t be Sayeret Matkal veterans living in the settlements–unless the Palestinian government agrees that its citizens join the Israeli military.
    It’s hard to debate about something theoretical anyway.

  27. the elephant in the room is they’re calling for social justice in a jewish state.
    what is that supposed to even mean? being a quasi socialist-marxist experiment didn’t bring israelis the capitalist comforts they’re now enjoying on a more regular basis. so they want their cake and to eat it too? great, but how do they do that if israelis can’t stop mimicking the western world like monkey see, monkey do? Meanwhile, you’ll all note that their demands stop short of instituting a national Kibbutzim policy. I guess they’re all talk, no walk.

  28. I’d argue that there’s an option that lies between “continuing to take it” (which implies a lack of “manliness”) and “sending a message” – namely, working through political or police channels to ensure security. Vigilante mobs don’t have a good track record on reducing crime.
    RB, first, I am immensely impressed that this subject interests you. I am actually reading a book about Israel’s reprisal policy in the 1950s, much of it spearheaded by a young Ariel Sharon, first as leader of unit 101, and then as commanding officer of the paratroop battalion.
    His own conclusions, as someone directly responsible for implementing the government’s directives in operations, was that reprisals did lead to a kind of spiral of violence. However, to not respond would have been even more disastrous.
    The border regions most prone to fedayeen attacks were populated by recently arrived immigrants, many of whom had left their homelands in a state of destitution and despair, having borne violence or duress. These were already traumatized people. Building new communities on harsh soil was hard enough for them, and the constant threat of Arab terrorism made their lives all the more difficult.
    Had the army not responded forcefully, these communities would have felt abandoned, and would have deserted the border areas for the coastal plain. Sharon felt this would have had disastrous, demoralizing effects on the country’s borders and security, a constricting of economic potential, ability to attract immigrants, a weakening of the political legitimacy, etc.
    So, we’re talking about the settlements, not the state of Israel. 100-200k people, in isolated communities, not a country. But consider that the differences are not so great for the lesson to not be informative. Not responding to aggression carries its own cost. It might be less perceptible, the price of restraint, especially for those of us around the world, but it is paid in full by the people who are there. If we are talking about the goal of a durable Jewish presence inside of a future Palestinian state, we need to take into consideration the impact that not responding to violence (directed against their families and communities, their homes and their livelihoods) will have on those Jews, on their communal ability to survive.
    Note, this isn’t a matter of vigilante mobs fighting crime. We’re not talking about simple crime. It is an issue of communal security. Arabs could go steal from other Arabs – they don’t because there are serious consequences for doing so. You might get your hand chopped off. There is also a built-in, implicit acceptance that non-Muslim minorities should expect to be harassed. This doesn’t merely apply to Jews. The Christian exodus from the middle east, including both the West Bank and Gaza, has been well documented.
    In the absence (note: the absence) of a legitimate Palestinian commitment to protect Jewish communities from attack – and who can say whether this commitment will be made and kept – it is unrealistic to expect that people won’t seek to avenge their losses, will not strike back at their tormentors. The Jews of Palestine will not absorb attacks like the Christians or Samaritans. Of course, legitimate channels for redress will be tried, political, diplomatic and otherwise. But in the absence of justice, and especially in the case of implicit Palestinian government complicity in attacks on Jewish communities, which I think should be expected, it seems safe to guarantee there will be reprisals.
    There is another thing to consider. I remember this from Moshe Dayan’s memoirs, I think. Sometime in the 1950s, there was a raid by a Jordanian band across the border into Israel. They gruesomely murdered some farmers and fled back to Jordan. They also happened to be criminals, and shortly later were caught by the Jordanians for some banditry or whatever. Knowing these thugs were already in Jordanian prisons, Israel decided not to respond to the raid, and instead quietly asked King Hussein to turn them over to Israeli authorities for their crimes. Instead, King Hussein immediately ordered their release from prison. Israeli restraint and “quiet diplomacy” was interpreted as weakness.
    Again, the model is not America or Sweden, it is Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, and so on. Going through the “proper channels” is often a symbol of weakness, which will invite further attacks. Minority communities in these countries do not beg for redress of grievances. They don’t ask for their rights to be respected. No one needs a lesson in respecting the property or lives of other people. A violation is a deliberate infringement on those rights. There is no Hezbollah activity in the mountain villages of the Lebanese Druze, not because Hezbollah respects Druze rights, but because any such incursion would be met with several hundred armed Druze fighters. And when such communities surrender their guns – as did the Sunnis in Lebanon or the Christians in Egypt – they are overrun and subjugated to random violence, their capitulation waved in their face.
    Of course this is all theoretical, Jonathan1, but no more theoretical than the establishment of a Palestinian state itself. If such a state comes into being, there will be 100-200k Jews living in it, mostly in isolated Jewish communities. Make no mistake about this, they will be tested. There will be attacks on them on the roads. Their orchards will be burned down and irrigation pipes destroyed. There will be murders, heinous mutilation of bodies, rapes, mass attacks on isolated communities. Everything we saw from 1921-1949. Their responses to these events will be watched very closely by the Arabs. Their ability to survive will depend on how they react, and what level of support they receive from the Jewish community in Israel and Diaspora.
    As for Sayeret Matkal, first, a Palestinian state will definitely offer dual citizenship – practically all states do, and especially ones with large, wealthy Diasporas, which “Palestine” will have. This isn’t a question. That means Palestinian Jews will have the option to remain Israeli citizens and join the IDF.
    Second, as we see throughout the middle east, joining the army is not a prerequisite for effective insurgency-style action. These people will have complete command of the terrain. With some special training – and there is no shortage of instructors – they will know enough to defend themselves and fight back if necessary.
    Finally, Jonathan1, yes, you are terribly bitter, for immensely childish, selfish reasons, that those 100-200k Jews will not choose to live in medinat Israel, but in eretz Israel. For their contemptible treachery at wishing to stay in the cradle of our land instead of joining your Zionist fantasy, the only place for any “real” Jew, as you might put it, you want to punish them, drag them out of their homes by force, and if they resist then you’ll kill them all yourself, one by one, bullet to the head after bullet to the head, children first, especially the religious ones. Yes, I understand all that – all your wet dreams.
    And still, it doesn’t change the fact that these people will stay in their homes, on their land, that no Israeli government will force 100-200k people from their homes, if only because (given the Gazan example) it will cost $40-80 Billion. Jews are a permanent feature of the land. Will you resist this notion more forcefully than the Arabs themselves?

  29. Maybe I’m making things sound way more bleak than necessary. The basics are such: There will be around 100 Jewish communities in a future Palestinian state. These communities may experience harassment of an ethnic-religious basis, ranging from discrimination and racism to vandalism and theft to violent attacks against individuals and, in the worst conceivable case, against entire communities.
    Effective advocacy in Ramallah, Jerusalem and Washington can ensure that the situation is prevented from escalating out of control. But, between a civil war (which is what happened the last time Jews and Arabs lived together unattended) and peace, there is a wide swath of possibilities. This means Jewish communities must develop certain kinds of capabilities – perimeter surveillance, first responder teams, contingency plans, etc. – and cannot rely on the Palestinian state to do this for them.
    Ultimately, the future of these communities is related to how their level of preparedness, their responses to this harassment, what amount of societal integration they can achieve in Palestine, and the level of diplomatic, economic and moral support they are given by the Jewish world.

  30. Finally, Jonathan1, yes, you are terribly bitter, for immensely childish, selfish reasons, that those 100-200k Jews will not choose to live in medinat Israel, but in eretz Israel.
    I’m bitter? For the 499,000th time, if there were to be a partition, and Palestine agreed, I’d have no problem with those Jews staying in their home, in Eretz Israel.
    Bitter? Have you ever heard of the term “projection?”
    For their contemptible treachery at wishing to stay in the cradle of our land instead of joining your Zionist fantasy
    For the 499,001th time, if there were to be a partition, and Palestine agreed, I’d have no problem with those Jews staying in their home, in Eretz Israel.
    I’ve accepted that this carnation of Zionism will not work, however, so we should try to go for one, bi-national state–in which case those Jews could stay in their home, in Eretz Yisrael.
    (499,002nd time).
    the only place for any “real” Jew, as you might put it, you want to punish them, drag them out of their homes by force, and if they resist then you’ll kill them all yourself, one by one, bullet to the head after bullet to the head, children first, especially the religious ones. Yes, I understand all that – all your wet dreams.
    I hereby promise that I will pay you $1 million (US) if you can show me a place where I wrote that any “real” Jew must live in the state of Israel.
    I’m now advocating murder of children because I don’t agree with your political views? What the f-ck are you talking about?
    This is stemming from your statement that an evacuation of settlements would lead to civil war–meaning that the settlers would go against the wishes of the freely elected government, and start shooting at the police/soldiers sent to evacuate them. And I said that in that kind of scenario–which I can’t imagine actually happening–then I would side with the Israeli government 100/100 times. Then you asked me how I came to such a GHASTLY view–not backing settlers who would shoot at Israeli police, in your scenario–and I talked about being being in the Disengagement and having 14-year-old kippah-wearing boys calling me a Nazi. So, that’s been translated into me having all kinds of scars and bitterness and anger, regarding this issue .. . so that I can’t see straight about who I would side with should Israeli soldiers come under fire.
    So, for the record, if you had asked me in 2004, I would have said the exact same thing: In your scenario, which I can’t imagine actually happening and I don’t want to happen, I would have sided with the Israeli government.
    I don’t know how many times I can write the same thing with you, and have you translate that into saying that I want to see children shot in the head.

  31. and if they resist then you’ll kill them all yourself, one by one, bullet to the head after bullet to the head, children first, especially the religious ones. Yes, I understand all that – all your wet dreams
    What the f-ck is this?

  32. Ok, good. Sometimes I write the worst thing I can imagine to get ahead of the curve in these kinds of discussion on Jewschool. That way whatever your response will be, it will recoil from the extreme on inertia. A self-defense mechanism developed to curtail the verbal violence trauma I’ve become accustomed to.

  33. What can I tell you, Victor. I made a huge mistake in revealing something personal to you in this forum, in that I saw much ugliness from settlers when I was in the army during the Disengagement.
    Anything written here is open game, so you’re never going to let me live that down, and I can’t blame you for that.
    Any conversation about the settlements is just going to turn into you accusing me of being some type of figure akin to Michael from “The Deer Hunter,” who can’t get over my scars from 2005 and wants revenge on the settlers. Maybe I am; I’m not a psychologist.
    I really can’t say for sure.

  34. For what it’s worth, J1, I can tell you that the current settler leadership considers the Gaza withdrawal a PR disaster. They feel making it an emotional issue of people’s homes and livelihoods was a big mistake and turned a lot of Israelis against them, because on the one hand the nation made a hard strategic choice, and on the other hand, the Gaza settlers made the country pay a heavy emotional price for it. Israelis like you were bound to get angry that your compassion for fellow jews would be thrown back in your face. There have been changes in leadership as a result.
    The West Bank is a different place. The settlements are tied into security and strategic issues, a much larger economic base, jewish historical sites, etc. The arguments for why they should be removed by force, at enormous cost, are not really compelling, in my opinion. And keeping them in place offers knock-on advantages for Israel, even with a 2 state solution.
    You didn’t make a mistake sharing with me what you experienced. But you did make a very powerful impression. The prospect of Jew-on-Jew violence shakes me to my core.

  35. Like I said, anything written in this forum can will be used against us.
    Believe me, I’ve picked up on all of the subtle remarks you’ve made toward me over the years, that I’m like this Vietnam Vet who cannot get over my past and wants to take revenge on the settlers by busting into their homes and dragging them out and shooting them in the face, etc.
    On a consious level, I know my political views weren’t any different before and after 2005, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t written such extreme things in this forum . . .
    but for some reason whenever the issue of the West Bank arises you keep talking about my scars and my personal anger and dreams of ripping innocent people out of their homes and my wet dreams about shooting children in the head . . .
    so maybe you’re just on to something I don’t see–I’m not a shrink
    In any case, nobody will have to leave their homes, because the whole thing’s just not going to work anyway–the two communities have become too intertangled, and there isn’t enough room for two states anyway.
    And, as the expression goes, I’m done in this stream. No encores, por favor.

  36. I’m sorry, Jonathan1, I didn’t intend to phrase my remarks as callously as they came out. You’re right, whenever we talk about the settlers, I read this subterranean hostility in your words, framed by the experience of talking to you about these issues for years. No, of course, I’ve never considered for a moment that you’re violent in the least. It was a terrible choice of words on my part, and I’m sorry to have posted it.
    But the reason why I posted it is, as I wrote above, because I feel this underlying hostility. I’ve been so shocked by certain comments over the years, particularly about the settlers, that I now prefer to just write the most outrageous possible statement myself, preemptively. At least that way I know it’s ridiculous, and it tends to rob the oxygen from others making hysterical remarks.
    I wasn’t trying to “win” the thread that only you and I are still reading, and I had no intention of using anything against you. It was nothing more than what I described above. Again, I’m sorry.

  37. Apology accepted of course.
    Like I said, we are all liable for anything we say about ourselves in this kind of forum, so of course you have the right to write whatever you see fit.

  38. That number makes it possibly the largest protest in Israel’s history, rivaled only by the protests against the Sabra and Shatila massacres during the First Lebanon War
    Isn’t it clever to simply ignore the massive demonstrations against the Oslo process and then the Disengagement, that had hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating…
    Jameel

  39. Jameel, what hundreds of thousands? The mainstream Israeli media makes no caveats to any such other protests you’re referring to. The uncontested largest protest in Israel’s history until J14 was September 25, 1982, where 300,000 Israelis protested in Tel Aviv demanding an investigation into the Sabra and Shatila massacres.

  40. Only Jew on Jew violence shakes your core Victor? Why is it different from Jew on Palestinian violence (which is much more common).

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