Zichronam Tzadikim Lebracha

As you’ve undoubtedly heard, (at least) another 15 innocent Israelis have been murdered by Hamas terrorists in a double suicide bombing in Be’er Sheva. The bombers apparently came from Hebron, where the security fence has yet to be built.

For all you out there equating the morality of Palestinian terror with the building of a security barrier, let me know if you still think that Israel’s logic is similar to that of Hamas after reading this from their leaflet:

Our religion orders us to respond in kind to aggression against us. You [Israeliis] are the ones who choose your leaders and choose to be their shields. Therefore your shields will suffer more blows…This is a gift to the newcomers [olim] who arrived recently to our land. We say to you: ‘This is your fate, so wait’.

In the face of such blatant and hateful disrespect for human life, it would be a crime not to build the barrier. Details of the bombing here.

33 thoughts on “Zichronam Tzadikim Lebracha

  1. I hate to say this, but that sounds quite a bit like the logic of hard-core right-wing Zionists towards Palestinians, no? Protecting Eretz Yisroel and all that?
    By the way – not that anyone here will believe me – I find BOTH points of view equally disgusting.

  2. ” hate to say this, but that sounds quite a bit like the logic of hard-core right-wing Zionists”
    Actually, it sounds like you have no problem saying this.
    And regarding points of view, and coming right after 15 innocent civillians were murdered by terrorists, yours takes the “disgusting” prize my dear.

  3. My concern is in protecting innocent life. The barrier has been very effective in doing just that: the number of succesful terrorist incidents has declined dramatically, and the recent taragets of Ashdod and Be’er Sheva suggest that the terrorists are having a harder time reaching the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv population centers. The barrier will serve as a temporary stop-gap until there is a large-scale movement within Palestinian society to end the terror against Israeli civilians and negotiate a real peace based on mutual respect for Palestinian and Jewish rights to self-determination.
    If you are suggesting that the extreme Israeli right sounds like Hamas, well yes, they do sometimes, and it’s unfortunate and frustrating. The incidence of Jewish terror (that is, extraordinary physical violence targeting civilians) aimed at the Palestinians is not high in spite of the reactionary views of many right wingers– I think that that points to serious cultural differences.

  4. “I think that that points to serious cultural differences.”
    Nothing can be more obvious. I mean, shouldn’t Natives being blowing up buses in Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa. 21’st century Terrorism is an invention of the Militant Islamic mind.

  5. I DO hate to say it because it makes me sick that it’s true. And if you look at the numbers, plenty of innocents have died on BOTH sides – unless you believe that being Palestinian makes innocence impossible.
    As for calling me disgusting, it’s interesting that I’m not advocating violence on anyone’s part yet to you I am worse than those who do, because I point out that the problem is not one-sided or black-and-white. (And I am NOT your dear, thank you very much )
    It’s true that there are not many acts of individual Jewish terror, but the IDF has certainly acted as an agent of terror in the past.

  6. Ronen-
    I meant the hard-right Zionism and the Hamas leaflet.
    About your commentary, I do disagree with you about the wall but I wasn’t calling you disgusting. I understand that your support of the wall comes from a need for security, not out of hatred and racism. But I think some commenters on here (and many right-wing Zionists) come from a very different place than you do.

  7. shtreimel –
    Because the CIA has NEVER used terrorism in South America (though I guess just razing peasant villages is a different kind of terrorism). Look at the US in Vietnam – destroying the village to save it.
    Look at the SLAVE TRADE for god’s sake. Look at the colonial policies of all the European empires. Look at Japanese atrocities during WW2 – and the HOlocaust for that matter. These may not be examples of modern-day terrorism, but how can you claim Muslims have a monopoly on barbarism???

  8. Ronen,
    you can change the title to zt”l – zicronam tzadikim lebracha.
    These people died, before their time, just because they live in Israel. That was their only ‘sin’.

  9. PurrpleGrrl,
    Your moral relativism, while not surprising given things I’ve read on Indymedia, is surprisingly shocking on Jewschool.

  10. Actually, 21st century terror is an outgrowth of 20th century terror, with roots well outside of Islam. Nevertheless, there has been something of an embrace of terrorist tactics among muslim extremists the world over (in the middle east, Russia, south east Asia, etc). This is very troubling, because Islam is growing so rapidly, which probably means that its extremist factions are growing too.
    And yes, while innocents have died on both sides, the Palestinians have a much easier exit strategy: reign in the terrorists. Not only will the Israelis have no reason to attack terrorists and damage civilians in so doing, but the militants will not be putting civilians at risk by using them as human shields. I do not buy the IDF=terrorists argument one bit, especially when you look at the statistics on civilian casualties between ’93-2000 as compared to since 9/00– Palestinian civilian death is largely a result of action against terrorists.
    Josh– I’m right on it, thanks.

  11. Ronen,
    I’m quite impressed at the stance you’ve taken:
    “…it would be a crime not to build the barrier.”
    These bombings were planned for simultaneous attacks, for maximum effectiveness. As much as the PA try to denounce these attacks, it still holds no water. Until the authorities, a very loose term, in the Palestinian’s camp start taking action against these terror attacks, nothing is going to change.
    The wall will come down when Arafat and his cabinet are able to control their ‘constituants’. Until then, Israel will have to be the responsible one. Besides, the Palestinians still profit off the wall…

  12. That’s a fascinating article about Arafat’s complacency in the security barrier Jason. I actually don’t expect Arafat to do much at all to control his constituents, nor do I really want him to. I want those constituents themselves to do some soul-searching, to stop viewing Israel as the sole source of their troubles, and realize that without a groundswell of support for peaceful negotiation via a legitimate, straight-laced gov’t, and without the end of hate-education, they will not be able to realize their national dreams.
    Israel is in a very tight spot, and it has not always acted appropriately, but the Israeli mainstream still wants peace, still cares about Palestinian human rights and still wants to achieve a 2 state solution. They just need a partner– and the security barrier (let’s refrain from calling it a wall please, as that is inaccurate) will have to hold back those trying to kill Israeli democrats (see leaflet) until that partner is available.

  13. to purplegrlll. a few questions: what is a right wing zionist? how does that differ from a zionist? do you accept zionism as legititmate movement? do jews have a right to be in israel? does israel have a right to exclude non citicizens, e.g. palestinians, from her borders? appreciate a few answers.

  14. Those pulling the strings behind the world Jihad are MOST freaked out by the increasing numbers of Aliyah-by-choice idealists streaming in from North America. The Aliyah Revolution is the most potent ideological force combatting the despair and retreat (which we have brainwashed our people to call “pragmatism”) sown by the world Jihad.

  15. Avi: The fact that there is a spectrum within Zionist thought is good– it shows that Israel allows for vibrant, passionate democracy with freedom of expression and opinion.
    Asaf: A green line fence will never happen and here’s why– Israel cannot justify uprooting tens of thousands of Israeli citizens and moving them to behind indefensible borders– it would jeopardize internal and external security, and would eliminate Israel’s bargaining power ahead of peace negotiations (not to mention the logistical issue of building a fence through the middle of Jerusalem). However, when Israel’s security is assured via a peace agreement, there will be no fence on the green line because there will be no fence at all!
    Ezra: Your accusation of brainwash by the “world Jihad” reminds me of the Z.O.G consipracy theories pointed at Jews. What the hell is that crap? The truth is that as a Zionist who believes in Jewish self-determination, I can’t support someone who says that Palestinians don’t have the same rights that I have. No jihadists brainwashed me– pragmatism is an outgrowth of my Zionism.

  16. Thanks for the back-up on the Zionism question, Ronen. Civil disagreements are the best : )
    To the rest of your questions, Avi: I say yes – STRONGLY – to all but the last. Excluding – and DEFINING – non-citizens is a sticky situation. Remember how Hitler revoked the citizenship of Jews and other undesirables? (Sorry, broke Godwin’s Law there, but still.)
    Ah, call me a moral relativist. That almost deserves it’s own Godwin’s law, doesn’t it? Oooh, and your Indymedia burn was especially good. What I LOVE about Jewschool is that it offers the full range of (Jewish) opinion on issues, instead of telling me I have to think a certain way because of my heritage.

  17. “instead of telling me I have to think a certain way because of my heritage”
    My comments had nothing to do with you “thinking a certain way”. Rather, they had to do with your way of thinking, period. I wouldn’t want you to express anything you didn’t truly feel. And you did. And I was a little repulsed given the tragedy that just occured.

  18. PurrpleGrrl
    Your “non-citizens” comment is a bit off track. There’s nothing inherently wrong in defining non-citizens; every country in the world defines who its citizens are, and everyone else is a non-citizen by definition. What you’re talking about is stripping people of citizens, which is not the same thing.
    re “Wall on the Green Line”, I’m still waiting for an answer on whether you advocate leaving the Jews of the Jewish Quarter to their fate.

  19. Aug 31, 2004 – Aviel Atash, 3, of Beersheba was one of 16 people killed in twin suicide bus bombings in Beersheba city buses. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
    Aviel was riding home with his mother, Rahel, after buying diapers at the Negev Mall, instead of going as usual to nursery school. She was seriously wounded in the explosion and hospitalized in the intensive care department at Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital. His father, Israel, identified his body with the aid of a DNA sample.
    “Aviel was their gift from God,” said a neighbor. “Every child is a treasure for its parents,” noted a relative, “but Aviel was his mother’s whole life. She married just three years ago at the age of 39, after many years of being single, and this boy was everything to her.”
    “She has endured enough tragedies in life not to have to go through this one,” recalled her husband, Israel, noting that Rahel’s sister was murdered some 20 years ago and she lost a brother in an industrial fire two years ago. “But what can one do? That’s life.”
    Aviel was enrolled in a religious nursery school. His neighbors recalled that he was a sweet child. “Rahel would always say how much the other children loved Aviel,” one said. “Rahel would walk him to nursery school singing songs to him. She was always close to him.”
    Aviel Atash is survived by his parents, Rahel and Israel, and a grandmother. He was buried at the Beersheba Cemetery.

  20. if only all the palestinians who had found themselves on israeli soil after the six day war had been treated better than they were, better than they would have been in the other middle eastern states, they would speak of israel with love and reverence and none of this would have to happen.

  21. Beth: It is out of the bounds of sanity and reason to blame Israel for the violence its civilians suffer at the hands of terrorists. Along the line, someone there must say ‘we don’t value human life when it belongs to an Israeli or to a Jew,’ and no ill treatment can justify that degradation of morality. No matter what the circumstances, I could never look myself in the mirror if I had commanded a frustrated youth to blow up himself and a three year old child.
    On a technical point, no Palestinians found themselves on Israeli soil after the Six Day War as that land was never annexed by Israel. Israel did try to get out of much of the occupied territories (see Allon plan) immediately after the war, and since ’93 they’ve been trying even harder. Barak offered Palestinians the realization of many of their national goals in 2000, but their leadership refused to even negotiate and instead chose to support murdering civilians.
    I don’t believe that Israel has always acted with prudence, but can someone explain to me why radicals believe that Palestinians are completely devoid of responsibility for their own actions? Apparently it’s not their fault that they make the decision to strap on an explosives laden belt and destroy dozens of innocent lives. There can’t be peace without mutual accountablitiy.

  22. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a watchdog organization overseeing the PA’s media, reports that the official PA daily paper granted the status of “Shahid” – Holy Martyr – to the two suicide terrorists who murdered 16 Israelis in Be’er Sheva on Tuesday. This definition of the murderers as Shahids in the opening sentence of the top story of the PA’s official Al Hayat al-Jadida newspaper stood in sharp contrast to the English-language “condemnations” issued shortly after the attack by PA official to international media.
    Reaching the status of Holy Martyr “is a supreme achievement in Islamic teaching,” reports PMW, “granting the Shahid the greatest rewards in the afterlife and a place of honor in Paradise near Mohammed’s Comrades and the Prophets.” Palestinian Media Watch

  23. “if only all the palestinians who had found themselves on israeli soil after the six day war had been treated better than they were, better than they would have been in the other middle eastern states, they would speak of israel with love and reverence and none of this would have to happen.”
    So let’s see…Jews are mistreated (to say the least) by Germans and others, but are nevertheless expected to treat others well. Why? Because that’s what we expect from human beings. But the Palestinians are apparently exempt from such requirements. Why? Are they children? Incapable of controlling their actions? Not mentally stable? Not fully human?
    Take a good look at the quote above, and tell me if you think it’s the right-wingers who dehumanize the Palestinians, or if it’s the left. When I denounce the behavior of the Palestinians, including the vast majority who cheer on the terror attacks (if not contributing more substantially to them), I am acknowledging their underlying humanity (horribly self-abused though it is).

  24. J– you have a point, but it is both the left and the right who dehumanize Palestinians. As much as the Palestinians are broadly educated to hate Jews, it is also true that young settler children are indoctrinated with the same hate for Arabs. The hilltop youth and the olive grove harassers are not respecting human dignity.
    Having said that– I believe mainstream Israeli society (including the gov’t and the IDF) have shown far more willingness to take responsibility for their actions than have the Palestinians. And the bottom line is that there will be no peace without mutual accountability.
    Has anyone noticed who Avi has been contributing nicely to the debate? maybe this marks a sea change… maybe. I will reward you for your good behavior Avi.

  25. Ronen – I think your comments here highlight the problems inherent in your “radical centrist” approach. We probably see the facts similarly. Yet you seem to need to appear evenhanded, even where it’s not appropriate. To say that both the left and the right dehumanize Palestinians may be technically true in that there are some on the right who do this, but clearly this discussion is about general tendencies. Look at your own statement – “As much as the Palestinians are broadly educated to hate Jews, it is also true that young settler children are indoctrinated with the same hate for Arabs”. First, what percentage of Israelis (or Jews) are settlers? What percentage of settlers are ideological settlers (rather than general Israelis looking for cheap housing)? And even then, I doubt the percentage of ideological settlers who educate their children in that manner even approaches the percentage of Palestinians who do. So in order to make your point, you compare a tiny fraction of Israelis to the Palestinians in general. (And further -among settlers who teach their children to hate Arabs – can you really compare the intensity and virulence to Arab hatred of Jews? While the lefties tend not to care to make such distinctions, the difference between the Archie Bunkers of the world and the Gestapo is huge.)
    Many Jews are embarrassed to come right out and say “we’re right; they’re wrong”. There are good reasons for this. Such statements are often the result of chauvinism, ignorance and unjustified self-love, and display a lack of introspection and self-criticism on the part of the speaker. These tendencies are (correctly) perceived as un-Jewish. BUT: another important Jewish principle is fidelity to the truth. When, following a diligent and honest study of the facts and principles relevant to a given situation, you discover that in fact the Israelis are right, there should be no embarrassment in saying so.
    All this said, I appreciate your efforts to bring sanity to some of the people on this website.

  26. J: Frankly, there is a need in this forum to cover your bases in detail. If you say the left dehumanizes Palestinians by treating them as underdeveloped children whose immorality needs to be excused until they’ve grown up, you will be attacked by all the Asafs and JBs of this site. What I was trying to do was merely step in before they do while still supporting the crux of your argument: the Palestinians do not take accountability for their actions and should.
    You will note that I qualified my remarks by saying that the Israeli mainstream (i.e. vast majority) believes in accountability. And in case there is any doubt whatsoever on my position, I believe that we’re right to believe in the fundamental right of self determination for the Jewish people in the state of Israel, and they are wrong for pursuing their national goals through terror.

  27. Ronen – I think you missed the point of my criticism. I didn’t doubt that you agreed with my argument regarding Palestinian accountability. What struck me was that you couched it in terms that gave it a facade of “evenhandedness” while retaining its general content. (This is a standard technique for politicians, who “code” their statements so that different constituencies can read their somewhat differing ideas into what is being said, but there’s no need for that on a website like this.)
    Why do this? I think it’s an indication of the limitations of locking yourself into a “moderate” position. In order to keep appearing moderate, you start to cater, at least in presentation, to the righties or lefties around you. Why are you scared of being attacked by the Asafs and JBs? I’ve seen their stuff and I’ve seen yours. They should be worried about you. If they want to make a bad faith argument by comparing the bad behavior of a handful of settlers to the atrociously bad behavior of millions of Arabs, I say let ’em. It’ll be one more opportunity to show that the lefties don’t care about facts or reason.

  28. J: I’m not catering to anyone at all, and I don’t care if I appear moderate or anything else. I am who I am, and I’m telling you what I believe– and I do in fact belive that settler behavior is a very important point. Not because their numbers are large, but because they’ve been able to hijack a number of Israeli policy issues despite their population. Furthermore, as a Jew, I feel a responsibility to improve my own community if I would like to legitimately point to problems in someone else’s. (That’s the whole accountability thing). The extremist settlers are a blight on Jewish and Zionist values.
    Nevertheless, the attacks of the far left and the far right on this site are insanely irritating and generally assinine. If I can say something now so that I don’t have to listen to them buzz in my ear like freakin’ mosquitos, believe me that it’s worth the extra sentence.
    I hope Asaf and JB aren’t worried about me, but instead open their minds to the idea of achieving peace in Israel through practical and realistic methods.

  29. hmmm, wonder how israel’s existence will be blamed for the following (though im sure pat buchcanan, robert novak, asaf, and john brown will find a way):
    BESLAN (North Ossetia), September 3 (Itar-Tass) — “Six hundred and forty-six people, including 227 children, were hospitalized following the terrorist act in Beslan,” sources in the Russian Ministry for Civil Defense and Emergencies and the North Ossetian Health Ministry told Itar-Tass.
    “The former hostages are receiving therapy in mobile hospitals and clinics of Beslan and Vladikavkaz,” the source said.
    “Four of 227 wounded children have been sent to the republican clinic in Vladikavkaz, 185 children have been taken to the Vladikavkaz children’s hospital, and 38 are in the town hospital of Beslan,” the sources said. Eighty adults are receiving therapy in the airmobile hospital, 200 in the medical emergency clinic, 32 in the republican clinic, two in the military hospital of Vladikavkaz, and four in the first town hospital of Vladikavkaz.
    The town hospital of Beslan has admitted 98 adults, two were sent to the defense ministry hospital in Vladikavkaz, and one is in the Ardon town hospital.
    “The majority of patients have bullet wounds in the back,” the sources said. [beautiful, the muslim and muslim arab terrorists shot little kids in the back as they were trying to flee — bad israel! bad budhists bad hindus –oh thats right, its the muslims who did this, what a surprise]

    September 4, 2004 — THE mass murder of children revolts the human psyche. Herod sending his henchmen to massacre the infants of Bethlehem haunts the Gospels. Nothing in our time was crueler than what the Germans did to children during the Holocaust. Slaughtering the innocents violates a universal human taboo.
    Or a nearly universal one. Those Muslims who preach Jihad against the West decided years ago that killing Jewish or Christian children is not only acceptable, but pleasing to their god when done by “martyrs.”
    It isn’t politically correct to say this, of course. We’re supposed to pretend that Islam is a “religion of peace.” All right, then: It’s time for Muslims to stand up for the once-noble, nearly lost traditions of their faith and condemn what Arab and Chechen terrorists and blasphemers did in the Russian town of Beslan.
    If Muslim religious leaders around the world will not publicly condemn the taking of children as hostages and their subsequent slaughter — if those “men of faith” will not issue a condemnation without reservations or caveats — then no one need pretend any longer that all religions are equally sound and moral.
    Islam has been a great and humane faith in the past. Now far too many of its adherents condone, actively or passively, the mass murder of school kids. Instead of condemnations of the Muslim “Jihadis” responsible for butchering more than 200 women and children in cold blood, we will hear spiteful counter-accusations about imaginary atrocities supposedly committed by Western militaries.
    Well, the cold fact is that Western soldiers, whether Americans, Brits, Russians or Israelis, do not take hundreds of children hostage, then shoot them in cold blood while detonating bombs in their midst. The Muslim world can lie to itself, but we need lie no longer.
    The tragedy in southern Russia occurred thousands of miles from the United States, but, in essence, that massacre happened next door. The parents, teachers and students kept for days without water or food in a sweltering school building before being butchered were our children, our sisters, our wives, our parents.
    The mass hostage situation wasn’t about Chechen rebels (and at least 10 Arabs) opposing the Russian government. It was a continuation of the universal struggle between good and evil. And there is no doubt which side is evil, scorned though the word may be by our own elite.
    How can any human being with a shred of conscience dismiss what occurred in that school as anything less than evil?
    The attack in Beslan wasn’t about Russia’s brutal incompetence in Chechnya — as counter-productive as Moscow’s grim heavy-handedness may have been. It was about religious bigotry so profound that the believer can hold a gun to a child’s head, pull the trigger and term the act “divine justice.”
    We will hear complaints that the Russian special forces should have waited — even after the terrorists began shooting children. Negotiations are the heroin of Westerners addicted to self-delusion. Who among us would have waited when he or she saw fleeing children cut down by automatic weapons? The urge to protect children is as primal as any impulse we ever feel.
    Make no mistake: No blame attaches to the Russians for the massacre at that school. The guilt is entirely upon the Islamic extremists who have led the religion they claim to cherish into the realms of nightmare.
    There will be repercussions. Having suffered the hijacking and destruction of two passenger jets, a deadly bombing at a Moscow subway station and a massacre in a primary school all in less than two weeks, the Kremlin will have learned to rue the day it imagined that there was anything to gain by opposing American efforts against terrorists, whether Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein.
    As they inevitably do, the terrorists reminded the world of their heartless barbarism. Even if France manages to beg the release of its kidnapped journalists in Iraq, it has begun to sense its vulnerability. And all Europeans with a vestige of sense will recognize that the school seizure in Russia could easily repeat itself in Languedoc or Umbria, Bavaria or Kent.
    An attack on children is an attack on all of humanity.
    No matter what differences Western states discover to divide them, the terrorists will bring us together in the end. Their atrocities expose all wishful thinking for what it is.
    A final thought: Did any of those protesters who came to Manhattan to denounce our liberation of 50 million Muslims stay an extra day to protest the massacre in Russia? Of course not.
    The protesters no more care for dead Russian children than they care for dead Kurds or for the hundreds of thousands of Arabs that Saddam Hussein executed. Or for the ongoing Arab-Muslim slaughter of blacks in Sudan. Nothing’s a crime to those protesters unless the deed was committed by America.
    The butchery in Russia was a crime against humanity. In every respect. Was any war ever more necessary or just than the War on Terror?
    And what will terror’s apologists say when the killers come for their own children?

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