"Where is the Palestinian Peace Now?"

You should all read Mobius’ post on his personal blog. I don’t know why he doesn’t post that stuff on Jewschool:

My flatmates Michael and Joseph attended this demonstration. (I was supposed to attend as well but I haven’t gotten a replacement passport yet so I can’t travel into the territories currently.) They came home later that day looking absolutely devastated and exasperated, explaining they’d just spent the last hour clawing their way through a cloud of tear gas. What was intended to be a peaceful demonstration, akin to the March 20th peace march in Bethlehem (which culminated in a sit-in at a local checkpoint and the singing of “We Shall Overcome”) ended in inexplicable turmoil.
When I inquired what set off the violence, they explained that undercover IDF agents slipped into the crowd and started throwing rocks at the uniformed soldiers.

And now, an email I just got from a prominent leftist Israeli scholar:

I was in the demonstration in Bil’in yesterday (Friday), and I would like to inform you of a new tactics that the army seems to have practiced there: Several people were hit by what looked like stones, that came from the direction of the village, rather than the side of the army – the three I know of are ***, *** and *** (whose last name I forgot). *** managed to see the one who did that and tried to talk to him, and in return he pushed her aggressively. She said he looked first to her like a Palestinian, and it took a minute reflection, comparing the different experiences of those hit, and remembering last week’s experience, to understand this was a “mistar’ev”. So, while last time it seemed the mista’arving were throwing stones in the direction of the army as a provocation, now they were trying to scare Israelis into believing the Palestinians are throwing stones at them.
We should be aware of this new tactics, in case it occurs again. (The stones, if it was stones, were small, and did not cause serious injury. Their danger is more psychological than physical.)

What is so scary about non-violence?

25 thoughts on “"Where is the Palestinian Peace Now?"

  1. This is a new tactic. Where was the Palestinian Peace Now before last week?
    Why the excuses for Palestinian violence? If the IDF is using dirty tricks, that’s worth writing about. But it doesn’t excuse anything else.
    Tell me, Asaf, how many rockets hit Sderot over the weekend? You can talk all you want about “peaceful” protests being busted by the IDF, but what is being done about the rockets?

  2. cut&paste http://orthodoxanarchist.com/c
    AsafST, you can’t whine about the Israeli army/police against non-violent leftist demonstrations anymore unless you bring in the orange clothes people too. Frankly, no one is allowed to demonstrate against the government. And now we have a common bond. Weird.

  3. Josh, we agree on israel’s actions to demonstrators. but lets look at the facts – when an IDF soldier shot an Israeli leftist protestor (gil naamat), everybody made a huge big deal about it. When this happens to palestinians daily, nobody gives a shit.
    In other words, its all an issue of degree, but one thing is sure: being a Jew is still helpful in any case, from right and left (13 dead palestinain Isralei protestors in october 2000, remember that? Israeli citizens, but still not Jewish) That’s the reason jewish isralei protestors (and non israeli, such as our own mobius) are called to join palestinian protests. it always reduces the level of violence.

  4. Asaf, I probably didn’t express myself too well above, so I’ll try it again.
    What I was trying to say is that there is more to non-violent protest than protesting Israeli actions. There is also the Palestinian violence to contend with.
    Israel’s Peace Now looks at what Israel is doing to harm the peace process and protests that. Where is the Palestinian movement that protests Palestinian violence? It happens all the time, virtually daily, but no one gives a shit – except maybe the army and right wingers – two groups people like you will oppose under any and all circumstances.
    So, don’t tell me that Israel is keeping a Palestinian non-violent movement from asserting itself. There is no Palestinan movement that really cares about non-violence.

  5. Josh
    If you and Asaf have a common bond, maybe you need to consider the idea that you’re both messed in the head and that the gov’t is actually doing the best it can for the future of Israel and the Jewish people.
    It’s like you hear the phone ringing in your brain but refuse to pick up.

  6. Asaf, whatever, buit…
    The common bond is that we both see our Jewish entraping fellow Jews.
    It’s one thing to fire on anarchist pigs in kafiyehs who are cutting down security fences with Arabs, but having the security services plant provacateurs to literally provoke a response in return, on any side, then frankly, we know that the State is a corrupt. dictatorial, undemocratic shell that will collapse like they all have and will.
    We know today that without shabak agent Avishai Raviv pretending to be religious, marrying a religious girl under false pretenses, and then egging Yigal Amir on to “show people who the man is” (notice the quotes, not paraphrased), then we probably would still have Rabin around, or have buried him from a natural death.
    Again, if leftist or rightist Israelis are ‘making minor trouble’, that’s what police riot control is for. If Palestinian Arabs are involved, this changes the rules especially if they are ‘on the fence’ and rules of engagement are clear. But sending over plants to feed the flames and to draw fire is evil.

  7. This happens in the US too; it has long been noticed that “anarchists” (meaning only that they dressed beatnikky) whom nobody seemed to recall being in their group before show up and wreck a demonstration by attacking working class neighborhoods and cars; and of course in the case of Haymarket you have open-and-shut police provocation. After Seattle a handful of plainclothes “assimilating” cops were identified and a scrum was caused when their pics were posted on the net. More recently in Florida a demonstration witnessed not just police wierdness, but a total unquestioning toadyism on the part of journalists: this is important because the ability of a journalist to gather news, let alone be safe, depends on claims of objectivity, not embeddedness. At this same mess, the military processed nonviolent demonstrators (including elderly women) something like prisoners of war (part of a larger trend in Homeland Security colliding with Posse Commitatus).
    But Arik is replacing settlements with military outposts and Dumbya is replacing terra with s’curridy, so we must all be moving closer to not just peace but justice, yes?

  8. “And now we have a common bond. Weird.”
    Maybe these agent provacateurs are rigth-wing Israeli settlers…where is the proof that they are IDF? I don’t get it.

  9. I’m curious as well, how did they know that it was undercover IDF soldiers doing the stone throwing? Did they have little burgany berets peeking out from under a keffiyeh or something?

  10. I think a little critical thinking is in order here. We have two sources here. One is anecdotal evidence from demonstrators. The other is a mass e-mail from a “leftist Israeli scholar,” for whatever that’s worth.
    Now I wouldn’t doubt that inciting riots could be an effective psychological warfare tactic, used to demonize the demonstrators. However there are two problems. First, what would be the main benefit of this method? The cost would be enormous. Trouble for the soldiers, injured demonstrators, a blackened name for the IDF, sympathy for the demonstrators and an renewed will to demonstrate. The end would be the same as the beginning, so to speak. And you have no guarantee that Israelis wating bamba and watching it all on TV will see it the way you want it to be seen. Tricky business.
    Second, it would be too easily bungled and exposed. All it would take would be a group of demonstrators wondering who the guy throwing a rock is, and to put 2 and 2 together.
    On the other hand, crowd violence is notoriously easy to incite, even amongst people who proclaim non-violence as their credo. People lose their identities and sense of personal responsibility in crowds, and stand-offs with authority figures or counter camps quickly install an “us vs them” mentality. Interestingly, many social psychology studies have found that all it usually takes is a handful of rowdy people within the crowd to incite a riot between the two camps.
    With an absence of further reliable data, I would say the logical thing to do is to bet that this is merely another form of propaganda in the dirty game that is the Middle East Conflict.

  11. Ah the ladies bring up a good point in a humorious fashion? Sources? Proof? And please not the rantings of some apologist, leftist, anarchist, or any other type of unreliable person?

  12. Yes, the video is most revealing…
    From the very start the lefties are verbally and physically violent – from the moment they encounter the soldiers and the closed military zone, both the Israelis and the Arabs, including village elders with grey hair, are pushing and shoving the soldiers.
    No need for outside inciters – why bother? If this is what has been passing for “peaceful protest” there’s no need for provocateurs.
    The ever-narcisstic Uri Avnery is standing around with a hanky over his face from the start – he’s obviously aching for something dramatic like tear-gas, and he walks around like that for ten minutes.
    Any leftie who thinks the army would waste its time inserting provocateurs into this tiny band of protesters has an ENORMOUSLY overestimated opinion of themselves – which is typical.
    Come to a right-wing protest to see REAL numbers – and REAL orderly civil disobedience.

  13. Benda,
    sorry about not giving the Israeli police the benefit of the doubt, but unfortunately I do not trust them right now. Notwithstanding the multiple articles I read in news, I have friends who served on the force and also know folks still on the inside who are embarrased about these things and policepeople who are ‘not professional’ and/or corrupt upper-ranks. I’m sure that there are many worthy people serving on the force, but there are still so many rotten apples, and no Rodney King video will wake people up because the media is currently not interested in shaking things up right now.
    The most recent issue is about a policeman slapping a film crew member, caught on video, and then the police immediately confiscating the tape by force without a warrant.

  14. Hey Josh wake up and smell the Humus.
    That this is happening I knew years ago. Both the government AND the established settler community were happy when it was happening to Kahane.
    Its time for settler introspection and repentance.

  15. Israel must be doing the right thing if it’s pissing off the crazies on both sides of the aisle so effectively!
    I love this country!

  16. JS,
    I’m no newcomer either. Just trying to wake up the lefties, or rather expose them to their own ignorance.Where ya going to be on ID57?

  17. I’m interested in who the academic is. Ilan Pappe? Proof certainly is necessary. If it is happening, the IDF should be condemned and I will be the first to do so. If not, and this is just another rumor (such as the “poison black gas” one a little while back, or the “naked female soldier one” or the…) I would hope that the people spreading the rumor are embarrassed.
    As it stands, however, it seems much more likely that protesters were excited and threw small “symbolic” stones at the least. Are we forgetting that stone-throwing has become iconicized in Palestinian resistance culture, so much so that Edward Said, to prove his loyalty to the cause, couldn’t pass up taking a good throw at the border with Lebanon?
    I think Mobius had it right for not posting this to Jewschool—ethics on a large, public group blog require proof. Here, the evidence is leaning only in one direction: unsubstantiated rumor.

  18. There’s been several reports of this lately. here’s one from Haaretz:
    http://peaceandjustice.org/art… “three of the five protest days last week, undercover border policemen – identified as such only after they fired their pistols or arrested a number of minors – suddenly popped up among the demonstrators. Their comrades, uniformed border policemen deployed on the ridge, even threw stones at the demonstrators, a number of astonished protesters reported.”

  19. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/s
    During the clashes, undercover security forces mingled with the demonstrators and began to throw stones at the soldiers and police. Demonstrators said the undercover security forces had provoked the police and soldiers into opening fire with rubber bullets and tear gas. The demonstrators said they had not thrown stones at the soldiers and police.
    Military sources added that the undercover forces had only started throwing stones after Palestinian youths had adopted such tactics. “Stone-throwing by the undercover forces is part of the way in which they operate in such instances,” the sources said.

  20. xisnotx: you’ll have to do better than quoting Amira Hess from a leftie peace site. The second quote from Ha’aretz is more accurate: these are claims by protesters.
    josh: I have no great admiration for the Israeli police force either, or any illusions about their professionalism or their purity from political motives. But given the power play that has gripped this country since Oslo, it’s pretty transparent which masters they are serving – there has been a steady string of inappropriate behavior towards right-wingers, which is totally unmatched by similar behavior towards leftie refuseniks and protesters.
    More practically – it is always easy to predict the behavior of the thugocrats among the security forces. Not having any scruples, they are motivated above all by pragmatic considerations. And planting plainclothes agents in tiny, isolated protests that get next to no media coverage is simply a waste of the police’s time – especially as the entire country grows warmer under their feet with every passing week, and they have already suffered embarrassment at the hands of extremist right-wing punks.
    It just doesn’t add up. The notion that the security establishment would devote such attention and resources to these protests is mostly evidence of the inflated egos of navel-gazing lefties.

  21. ariel, mobius’s post was 100 percent confirmed by mainstream news. i just added the part brought by, um, not-ilan-pappe.

  22. Ben-David: The Hass article was just posted on a lefty site; it came originally from Ha’aretz.
    It’s not accurate to call these “tiny, isolated protests that get no media coverage.” They’ve been in the media almost every day in the last couple of weeks. A large picture of protestors running from troops was printed in NYT. Several MK’s took part in a large protest recently.
    That the security forces have resorted to these measures is a barometer of how threatening they consider these protests.

  23. Hard to take ol’ Benda too seriously anymore since every point he tries to make comes with a lame thrust at “liberal lefties,” and such.

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