A PCP Anomaly Worth Considering: Arabs choose Israeli “Occupation”

It’s an axiom of PCP (especially the second variety, the Post-colonial paradigm) that occupation is inevitably and inherently evil and oppressive and humiliating, and that “resisting occupation” is the right of anyone under occupation. Indeed, occupation is so evil that any form of resistance — including suicide terrorism — is legitimate. That such an attitude is ludicrous when one considers the difference between say, the Allied occupation of Germany, and the Nazi occupation of Europe. It’s part of the moral miscalculations of the “progressive left” to identify the Israeli occupation with the Nazi one, rather than with the Allied one.

Part of what makes that identification so grotesque is that in the case of the Nazis, because they systematically used collective punishment — hundreds of civilians randomly rounded up and shot in retaliation for one Nazi soldier killed — resistance was not only difficult, but endangered the very civilians the resisters presumably sought to free. And even in those dire conditions, the resisters never engaged in attacking German civilians. In the case of the Israelis, where “collective punishment” consists of blowing up the houses of terrorists after removing the inhabitants, the “cost” of resistance is low, extremely low given the nature of the provocation.

The only way this fearful asymmetry gets “balanced” is by a chattering class of talking heads — media and academia — who constantly hammer away at the unbearable oppressiveness of the Israeli occupation. The following article offers some food for thought on the topic.

Some Palestinians prefer life in Israel
In East Jerusalem, residents say they would fight a handover to Abbas regime
October 16, 2007 at 4:52 AM EDT

JERUSALEM — After 40 years of living under Israeli occupation, two stints in Israeli prisons and a military checkpoint on the same road as his odds-and-ends shop, one would think Nabil Gheit would be happy to hear an Israeli prime minister contemplate handing over parts of East Jerusalem to Palestinian control.

But the mayor of Ras Hamis, a Palestinian neighbourhood on the eastern fringe of this divided city, says that he can’t think of a worse fate for him and his constituents than being handed over to the weak and ineffective Palestinian Authority right now.

“If there was a referendum here, no one would vote to join the Palestinian Authority,” Mr. Gheit said, smoking a water pipe as he whiled away the afternoon watching Lebanese music videos. “We will not accept it. There would be another intifada [uprising] to defend ourselves from the PA.”

There is something just a bit grotesque about using the term intifada here. At the same time as the first intifada broke out in Israel, it also broke out in Egypt. It didn’t last two days because the Egyptians — with no media coverage to worry about — machine-gunned the protesters. So all this talk of intifada is really just that, talk. Civilian protesters only stand a chance against Israel, because no matter how feckless, weak and ineffective the PA may be, they can still pick on the unarmed.

In comments that are likely to stir fierce debate on both sides, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert suggested yesterday that Israel could relinquish several Arab areas on the periphery of East Jerusalem. The idea is likely to please very few, since many Israelis consider Jerusalem indivisible, while few Palestinians would accept a peace deal that didn’t include sovereignty over the al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third-holiest site in Islam.

Those who live in the neighbourhoods Mr. Olmert spoke of handing over are nonetheless worried that Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who is seen as weak and desperate for an achievement after losing control of the Gaza Strip to the Islamist Hamas movement, will accept the offer. They dislike the idea of their neighbourhoods, which are generally more prosperous than other parts of the West Bank, being absorbed into the chaotic Palestinian territories.

“But,” the progressives will complain, “man does not live by bread alone. What about pride and self-determination? Just because the Arabs under Israeli rule are more prosperous than Arabs under Arab rule is no excuse for occupation!”

Mr. Gheit, with two posters of “the martyr Saddam Hussein” hanging over his cash register, can hardly be called an admirer of the Jewish state. But he says that an already difficult life would get worse if those living in Ras Hamis and the adjoining Shuafat refugee camp were suddenly no longer able to work in Israel, or use its publicly funded health system.

Sure. Let him have a picture of Ariel Sharon over his cash register in a PA-run state.

The 53-year-old said he’d be happy to one day live in a properly independent Palestinian state, but not one that looks anything like the corruption-racked and violence-prone areas that are split between the warring Hamas and Fatah factions. “I don’t believe in these factions. I only believe in putting bread on the table for my children. I fight only for them. At least in Israel, there’s law.”

Eloquently put, although excuse me if I don’t really believe you, Mr. Gheit. You don’t have pictures of Saddam Hussein up because you just want bread on the table for your children. You also want to have pride, and Saddam, for reasons that have a great deal to do with the pathologies of Palestinian culture, is a source of pride for you. The real tragedy here is that it’s precisely strongmen like Saddam Hussein who embody exactly why not just the current PA, but any PA one can imagine in the near to middle future, will not offer you either the rule of law or any real prosperity. Like so many Arabs who tell our gullible journalists they want democracy, Mr. Gheit wants it without having a clue as to what it takes.

Mr. Gheit said that over the past five years, some 5,000 people have moved into Ras Hamis from other parts of the West Bank, concerned that they would lose their Israeli identification cards if they didn’t live within the city limits. There would be a mass exodus into other parts of the city, or other towns in Israel, if it looked likely that Ras Hamis and Shuafat, home to a combined 50,000 people, were about to be declared no longer part of Jerusalem, he said.

People who “vote with their feet” offer real hard data on their feelings, not the blather they serve up to gullible reporters. It really costs to vote with one’s feet, to leave a home, almost always at great financial loss, to sever community ties. And in the Palestinian world, where thugs are ready to execute collaborators, at great risk to one’s family’s safety. Black hearts and red spades, anyone?

61 Responses to A PCP Anomaly Worth Considering: Arabs choose Israeli “Occupation”

  1. fp says:

    i saw a piece yesterday on israel tv about the history of expanding jerusalem after the 6th day war. large areas surrounding jerusale proper were attached as part of jerusalem, mostly arab areas including a refugee camp. then israel started building next to those areas. the criteria were completely arbitrary e.g. a certain area was left out because it contained a cigarette factory and they wanted dubek to have a monopoly in israel. nobody gave any thought to the complications that would occur if some compromise and division would be required in the future. the end result is today the arab population has exploded, it is squeezed together with jewish population and it’s almost impossible to separate. thus, in their lack of vision israel has now a huge and increasing arab population which it cannot separate from the jews. and in an area which was NOT jerusalem, but was made so arbitrarily for idiotic reasons.

    and now we learn that those arabs don’t want to live in a palestinian state. wonderful.

    don’t make the mistake believing that these people actually want to be israelis. rather they want to benefit from the advantages of israel, part. healthcare, but this won’t stop them from undermining and terrorizing it.

    and israel has only itself to blame, as is so often the case.

  2. fp says:

    including the demographic bomb, which is the most dangerous.

    between 1967 and today those areas grew from 60,000 to 250,000.

  3. shimshon says:

    i think that using the term occupation to describe the situation in the W. Bank is misleading because it assumes that everywhere is the same. There is no doubt that the E. Jerusalem arabs have it pretty good, but that does not mean that all the pals in the w.bank have it equally as good. i was in hebron last week and i must say that i way utterly disgusted with the settlers there and their treatment of the pals. the settlers showed the same behavior as we on this blog have come to expect from the pals. for example there is the grave of baruch goldstein outside hebron. it is pretty much a shrine. when we went to visit it, noam federman (a leader of radical settlers) came down and started pushing around our guides and calling the grave a holy site and called goldstein as a martyr who should be revered for what he did. goldstein for those who dont know went into the tomb of the patriarchs and shot a 20 something muslims as they were kneeling down to pray.
    downtown hebron is a ghost town because the settlers have driven the pals out. the regularly attack them, their homes, and their businesses with stones and Molotov cocktails. as a result of the conflict some roads are off limits to pals. they cant walk on some of the main streets even though both sides of the streets have (now mostly empty) palestinian houses. the occupation their is certainly not very pleasant for the pals and cannot be compared to jerusalem. we as self critical jews should do something about this. it is absolutely unacceptable that we allow “our” radicals to carry out such acts.

  4. shimshon says:

    sorry i left out some key info in the last post. the pals in hebron are certainly not innocent. there have been a number of attacks against the settlers there and a number of attacks in israel have originated from there. It is always important to keep that in mind when talking about security closures and what not, but it in no way justifies what the settlers are doing there.

  5. Joanne says:


    A lot of pro-Israeli websites have seized on this same article, and I think they’re making too much of it. One point should be emphasized: This shopkeeper’s preference for Israel– and that by other local Palestinians–is based only on current conditions. It does not mean that they accept the existence of Israel as legitimate in principle. If the P.A. were to clean up its act dramatically, that preference for Israel would wither. In the meantime, it’s easier to live in a state with rule by law and viable social services, even if you hate the state itself. It’s a question of a lesser of two evils. Israel runs things better than the P.A., but that doesn’t mean that, ideally, these Palestinians would prefer to live permanently in a Jewish state rather than in a state of their own.

    Don’t forget that the argument could be turned around the other way. Some would argue that Zionism isn’t really needed because the Jews have found their “promised land” in America, or that Jews in the USA and Europe do very well financially, and are more secure there than they are in Israel. So, ipso facto, the Jews don’t need a state of their own to live full lives. Of course, the Jews in Europe are currently not living with a sense of total security, but assuming Israel were not an issue, that hatred of Jews by Muslims and others would not have arisen in the first place. I don’t agree with these arguments, but they could be made. And I could understand an Israeli–or any Jew–bristling upon hearing them. That’s my reaction. So, keep in mind that self-determination is an ideal for both the Arabs and Jews (and many others).

    In all fairness, I have to admit that Richard Landes’ presentation of the New York Times Magazine article is the best I’ve seen, precisely because he does include the fact that Mr. Gheit is no fan of Israel. The other internet postings I’ve seen on the subject ignore that aspect completely! Landes then makes the point that national pride is not enough: There has to be a political culture, and a model of nationhood, that isn’t pathological. Point well taken; and it’s a good answer to the progressives’ argument that bread alone is not enough. But while this argument about a pathological culture is important, it doesn’t counter the progressives’ argument altogether. Bread still isn’t enough, however, it’s just better than no bread at all.


    Thomas Kuhn’s book was one of the few that I read in graduate school that really stuck with me. I think that the concept of paradigm is very descriptive and useful, even if the word is overused as a verbal crutch. What’s fascinating is that, however accurate it may be in describing the thought patterns of scientists, it certainly is accurate in describing the thought patterns of analysts and the public when it comes to politics. I’m reminded of two things I read about years ago:

    1. Before the end of apartheid in South Africa, the overarching theme of the reporting at The New York Times was white-on-black oppression. The paper didn’t report much about black-upon-black oppression in other African states, I read somewhere, because the editors didn’t want to “confuse” their readership. I’m sorry, I have no idea how to find my source for this, but I do remember that the source was reliable.

    2. When the Sandinistas lost their first election by something like 90% to Ms. Chamorro, I believe in the late 1980s or early 1990s, there was a great deal of surprise and even shock. How did this happen? Well, better reporting from Nicaragua during the previous years would’ve revealed coercion of the local Mesquite Indians by the largely European-descended Sandinistas. The Sandinistas apparently ruled with a heavy hand, trying to impose their political and economic models on an unwilling indigenous people, and garnering a lot of resentment. But this went on mostly unreported. I only read about it once, in the aftermath of the election, in an article in The New Yorker.

    The reporting that did come out of Nicaragua at that time generally coincided with a conventional wisdom that assumed that the Sandinistas were the good guys. Everything else was ignored or not even perceived. That such an overwhelming majority of the populace hated its rulers should not have escaped notice, even before the election. But it did. Black hearts and red spades.

  6. fp says:


    as hitchens says, religion poisons everything. israel gets what it deserves for allowing religious fanatics to settle in the west bank. the chicken have come home to roost. but to be honest, I am not too worried about how the settlers treat the pals — they are reciprocating.

    i can assure you that if instead of religious fanatics you had there multiculti leftists, any nice treatment of the pals by them would have been interpreted as weakness and they would have been driven out of there pretty fast, alive or dead. it is only us who distinguish between settlers and the left; the pals see only jews.

  7. fp says:


    you’re absolutely correct. you can’t trust one word of what pals say. they tell every audience what it wants to hear, it’s part of the culture.

  8. Joanne says:

    I just want to clarify something in my comment #5 above.

    When I said that, before the end of South African apartheid, the overarching theme of reporting in The New York Times was white-on-black oppression, I meant to say that the overarching theme of its reporting ON AFRICA was white-on-black oppression. I wasn’t referring to its reporting overall.

    No matter how carefully I proof my comments before posting them, I almost always seem to miss something.

  9. fp says:

    ahem, maybe if you were more succinct there would be less risk for misses and less need for proofing :).

  10. Joanne says:

    fp, your comment was totally uncalled for.

    I’ve noticed that you sometimes take a gratuitously nasty tone with commentators here. I’m sure that my comments’ lasting a few paragraphs have offended far fewer people (indeed, I suspect no one) than your nasty little barbs.

    Where does your bitchiness come from? You don’t even know anyone here. Frankly, you are the nastiest person I’ve seen so far on this thread or on others. Why do you behave like this with strangers?

    You’re a grown-up, not in junior high school, so it shouldn’t be beyond you to keep a civil tone. Your insults add nothing to the discussion.

  11. Michael N says:

    fp, that was completely uncalled for. I’ve just been looking back through your postings and, frankly, you can be as wordy and verbose as anyone else here, so it was hypocritical too. Until your own writing reaches such a level of superiority that you earn the right to criticise others, I suggest you adopt a little humility – it would suit you better even if your writing were as precise as you evidently believe it to be. If you want people to treat you with respect, show them the same courtesy. If not, we are all capable of simply skipping your comments until you exhibit some manners. Joanne’s comments are at least as interesting as yours, and it would be a shame if she felt unwilling to contribute here because of the boorish arrogance you’ve just displayed.

  12. Michael N says:

    Seriously, if we’re going to descend to such petty vindictive levels, what does “less risk for misses” mean? Don’t you mean “less risk of misses”? That’s such clunky grammar.

    Is that seriously the level of argument you want to see here? Do you want us to ignore your arguments and pick apart your style every time you post?

  13. Michael N says:

    fp, please could you tell us all what the “6th day war” was? I must have missed that one.

  14. Joanne says:

    Thanks, Michael N, for your support.

    I’m sorry I lost my temper here, but the comment really got to me when I first read it. I was frankly taken aback.

  15. Michael N says:

    Joanne, both you and fp make valuable contributions, and it’s a shame that he wrote what he did. Even had it been accurate criticism from a master communicator it would’ve been ill-judged and out of place here.

    fp – I have nothing personal against you, I often find what you write thought-provoking and interesting and you make a valuable contribution here, I’m sure we all agree; but please, this site (and you) are better off without that patrician tone. You too often show (or appear to show, at any rate) a dismissive contempt for those who disagree with you, and if that’s really the case, what is the point of coming here to discuss these issues? Why not just book a town hall and give a lecture? (A concise and succinct lecture, naturally).

    I have nothing against you, I enjoy reading your contributions, but it would be nice if we could all treat each other with respect here, even where we disagree.

  16. Eliyahu says:

    This current loathing for “occupation” shows how ignorant about history [inc. recent history] today’s “educated” people are. The Communists were very adamant defenders of occupying Germany, Austria and Japan when the USSR was one of the powers doing it. Likewise, the British, French and USA govts were not in the least regretful or apologetic about their post-WW2 occupations. Did anyone publicly assert in those days in US, UK, France or USSR that the German population had the right to revolt against the occupying powers or slaughter their civilian populations???? Yet the big lie that occupation is always illegal as such in international law is spread widely by anti-Israel propaganda outfits without any wise pundits in the NYT or LeMonde, etc. reminding readers that not only is occupation legal, but that international law in the Geneva conventions regulates it. Just a week or so ago, John Dugard, the UN envoy official entrusted with encouraging the PLO & Hamas, justified terrorist acts against Israeli civilians. This is totally against the laws of war, the Geneva convention, UN charter, etc. Yet, Dugard gets away with his hatred for Jews and his incitement to murder Jews under UN auspices. Surely, no one in his right mind could still believe that the UN is a body promoting peace in the world.

    Another problem is that the notion of “occupation” is not properly applied to Israel in regard to Judea-Samaria & the Gaza Strip. These were all parts of the Jewish National Home juridically set up by the international community at the San Remo conference [April 1920], endorsed by the League of Nations in 1922, and confirmed in Article 80 of the UN charter. The UN General Assembly partition recoomendation of 11-29-47 was no more than a recommendation, as are all GA resolutions on political issues [see UN charter Arts. 10-12]. The armistice accords made at Rhodes with the intervention of Ralph Bunche [1949] did not determine borders but only armistice lines. Hence, the areas mentioned –Judea-Samaria, Gaza– remained in their legal status prior to the 1947-1949 war. That is, they remained parts of the Jewish National Home. The fact that today just about “everybody” in the international community, just about all powers, big and small, agrees that these areas are “occupied” –and the international MSM agree too– is another indication of the pervasive Judeophobia of today’s world.

    In this spirit, international law is habitually misrepresented to Israel’s detriment. Fp pointed out carter’s hypocritical refusal to see genocide in the Sudan, whereas he dishonestly applies the “apartheid” label to Israel. Further, the clause in Geneva Convention IV forbidding “transfer” of population to occupied territories does not apply to Israeli/Jewish settlements in Judea-Samaria & Gaza. Transfer means compulsory movement of population. These settlers were generally eager to move to Judea-Samaria. They were not compelled. I have an old book from the 50s [sponsored or authorized by the Int’l Comm. of the Red Cross] that discusses the purpose of that clause. It was to prevent a repeat of the Nazi deportations of Jews to occupied Poland, which the ICRC had not opposed nor even announced to the world what it knew on the grounds that int’l law did not forbid such deportations and that the ICRC should be neutral [like the Swiss govt which dominates the ICRC] and not interfere in the German war effort. Since 1967, that clause has been misrepresented as if it forbid civilians to move into “occupied” areas. So even if Judea-Samaria & Gaza were “occupied,” Geneva IV would NOT forbid Jews from moving there.

    Now to Shimshon. I don’t know in what capacity he was in Hebron lately. Was he helping the so-called “Christian peacemaker” group?? I was there before and after Oslo, last in the mid-1990s. Before Oslo, the Arabs were living close to the Jews with much less tension. It was the setting up of the palestinian authority that exacerbated and magnified the tensions and conflict there. Shimshon does not go deeply enough into the history of Hebron, that was traditionally considered a Jewish holy city and that the Jews there were oppressed under Muslim rule for centuries, and that the British incited the Arab massacre of Jews there in 1929 as part of their policy of removing Jews away from proximity to Jewish holy places. The link below tells about 19th century Hebron and has links to other posts on 19th century Hebron. French readers can find on my blog an account of Hebron by Pierre Loti. Hit link:


    Now, Shimshon, which came first, Arab massacres and other attacks on Jews, or Jewish retaliation which may or may not be justified in principle but is a reaction to Arab attacks?? I abhor the worship of Barukh Goldstein that you mention. But does Shimshon know that in January 1994, a few months after Oslo, Goldstein’s best friend, Mordecai Lapid, the father of 15 children, was murdered on the road into Hebron with one of his sons, murdered by Arab terrorists??? This was two months before the massacre that Goldstein perpetrated, but somehow only Goldstein’s deplorable act is remembered in the MSM, etc. Goldstein and many other Hebron Jews, in my opinion, were and are very aware of the 1929 massacre of 68 Jews, encouraged, aided and abetted by the British mandatory authorities, eager to drive Jews away from a Jewish holy place and holy city. Moreover, since the ongoing war began in 2000, Arabs in Hebron attacked Jews, at the instigation of the PA and various terrorist groups, and also took part in shooting at Jewish homes, stoning Jewish homes, etc. This included Arabs living in the Jewish enclave. No wonder Jews there are angry at the Arabs. Note that the Israeli “left” also hates the Hebron Jews. So do the “Christian peacemakers” that are sent by govts abroad to encourage Arabs against the Jews. That combination of enemies would make anyone feel under attack. Note that in Hebron the causality is forgotten or turned around, as Shimshon does.

    I submit that if the Arabs –and the world community, UN, major powers– are unwilling to acknowledge Jewish rights [in Hebron too], then all of their peace screaming and peace-processing will not bring peace and are not meant to bring peace.

    Lastly, those who really want peace between Israel and Arabs ought to recognize that the “palestinian people” notion serves to prevent peace, by creating a mystique that jusifies unending hatred against Jews, etc. etc, as I have discussed before on this blog. Further, the palestinian people notion is a psywar construct.

  17. shimshon says:

    For the record, i was not in Hebron with a group of christians peaceniks (i am a jew not a christian) I was with a group of ex-Israeli soldiers that served in Hebron during the 2nd Intifada.

    We have spoken at length here on this blog about the difference between those who target civilians and those who dont. In almost all cases the pals are the ones who attack civilians. Also we have discussed at length how the pals idolize their “martyrs” who murdered civilians. We have, rightly, recognized attempts to justify these acts as apologetics. Eliyahu, I am sorry to say, is doing the same thing. There is absolutely no justification for what goldstein did, and any attempt to understand or put it into context is no less helpful than understanding and putting into context the suicide attacks (which is pretty much what goldstein did) by pals who ave also had their families killed.

    as i mentioned in my second post, many of jews in hebron have indeed been killed. But eliyahu dodges the accusations i made against the settlers of Hebron. They attack and have driven out the Pals of that city. Infact the consider it a mitzvah to drive out the pals from the land which god promised the jews. This is a fringe and radical group. it is in no way representative of settlers or the occupation as a whole, but to defend them as eliyahu does, is despicable. we criticize the pals and MSM for doing exactly the same thing that eliyahu just did.

    brief comment. when a jew like eliyahu “explains” where baruch goldstein’s deed “comes from,” it sounds like justification and it arouses considerable opposition from jews who want to maintain the moral high ground for perfectly sincere reasons.

    what’s so pathetic is that someone like eliyahu has to make this point, when it should be the media who put these things in perspective. similarly anyone who knows about sabra and shatilla and not about the 7-year 100,000 ciivlian casualty civil war that preceeded it (and it’s beginnings at Damour), has no understanding of what’s going on. morality is criticial, but it’s also high octane stuff and very volatile.

    fp is given to denouncing the religious fanaticism on both sides. sadly, it’s the religious who were the first to realize that the arabs are playing a zero-sum game, and so it’s not a question of how to share. we just don’t know what to do when it’s not a question of sharing.

  18. shimshon says:

    joanne, Michael B… I agree completely. everyone has things to contribute an no one should make petty comments about the length of comments especially not someone who often does the same thing. and while FP sometimes has some interesting points (and sometimes he makes them even when he doenst) he does often make comments that do not belong here.

  19. fp says:


    as you noticed, we agree on both the settlers and the pals. indeed, we have dozens of attacks on civilians by pals for every baruch goldstein going berserk, but it’s israel that terrorrizes the pals in the western public opinion.

    the reality is that the west bank was taken by israel in self-defense and until peace is agreed upon, it belongs to it, something which the pals do not accept. it’s the insertion of gods into the equation by the pals and the settlers that poisons the conflict.

  20. fp says:

    mike n,

    we agree to disagree. i stated my opinion without animosity and incivility, as I have been ridiculously accused. if some don’t like it, tough. am i supposed to stifle myself just because what I say is not liked?

    i’m not sure just how much you’re aware of your animosity and incivility, but i would hardly use “without” as part of a sentence describing your verbal style. i do think you tend to be unnecessarily antagonistic. i tend to ignore that because i’m more interested in substance — which you contribute regularly — than in style. but i do think you could afford to watch your tone.

    It seems that you found a simple factual comment of lack of succinctness unacceptable, but the hysteric insult in reaction to it was. sorry, not very serious.

    so your entitled to your opinions on what is called and uncalled for on others’ blogs, and i am entitled to ignore them.

    As to superiority, I never claimed any. I suggest, however, that you compare my comments to others here and you won’t find the lengthy lectures that others post routinely.

    there are ways of indicating a sense of superiority without actually claiming it. fp you have an unfortunate tendency to be dismissive, and to make the same sweeping arguments again and again. i think you could use a bit more humility. it would take massive doses to cut the edge from your analysis, but in smaller doses it would definitely make people more receptive to your arguments.

  21. David M says:

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    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often.

  22. Joanne says:

    I don’t know the average length of your comments, fp, as I haven’t kept track. As long as you’re praising yourself, however, let me remind you that you’re not exactly a model of restraint when it comes to quantity. You often post a slew of comments at a time. That seems to be a pattern with you.

    I even remember seeing Michael Totten twice ask you to stop posting so insistently on a thread of his, because you were taking up a lot of space with so many comments. “FP, try not to hog the comments section. 11 out of 24 comments are yours,” he said. And then, “You’re still hogging the comments after I asked you to please stop. I’ve gotten several complaints.” [http://tinyurl.com/3cjk5m]

    That’s one pattern of yours.

    The other is your insufferable arrogance. A quick breeze through that thread at Totten’s site shows the same rude, arrogant tone you often display here.

    I know that you post a lot of worthwhile comments, with good, substantive ideas. But your nasty demeanor only detracts from whatever you have to say.

    OK, I’ve said my piece. I’m not going to take the bait any more. To Shimshom and Michael N, thanks for standing up for me.

  23. Michael N says:

    “i stated my opinion without animosity and incivility, as I have been ridiculously accused”.

    fp – lack of animosity we have your word for, and I accept that of course. Civility is another matter, and in this instance almost everyone who has read the comment clearly disagrees with you. Still, your personal definition of civility obviously trumps the common understanding of the word. If only one person had accused you of arrogant rudeness, you would be entitled to dismiss it as ‘ridiculous’ – the fact that three people have so far commented should give a reasonable person pause for thought.

    “so your entitled to your opinions on what is called and uncalled for on others’ blogs, and i am entitled to ignore them.”

    Well done! That’s extremely mature of you. Joanne, and I, and Shimshon, we must be wrong about this, and you must be right! You just ignore us, you know better.

    “As to superiority, I never claimed any. I suggest, however, that you compare my comments to others here and you won’t find the lengthy lectures that others post routinely.”

    Wrong. I have, I did so before I commented at all. Not only do you lecture, you dismiss contemptuously, you frequently split your lectures up into several successive posts, and you adopt an arrogant tone lacking in others here. What your lectures sometimes lack in length (and spelling), they frequently make up for in arrogance.

    I am likewise resting my case. fp is clearly incapable of seeing himself as others see him, he has decided he has done nothing wrong despite several others disagreeing. I’d rather just discuss the issues – on which fp and I are frequently in agreement.

  24. fp says:

    which is OK for you to criticize and I won’t insult you as a consequence and ask you to stop. that’s the difference between us.

    (1) I am not aware that i praised myself

    (2) One of my principal theses is that there is overwhelming evidence to discourage hope and too much wishful thinking. so, when I come across such evidence that is very pertinent to a thread, I post it. since I don’t have any control over when and how much evidence I come across, often that results in multiple postings. in my view that is justified — it’s incumbent on me to prove it is overwhelming.

    (3) You don’t like my arrogance? Tough. Just because others don’t like my style does not give them the right to stifle comments they don’t like. At least I don’t accuse others falsely of insulting me, then turn around and insult them. That is called inconsistency.

    (4)On Totten’s blog I was exposing the nonsense in some of the comments and those who could not counter my arguments became frustrated and tried to make Totten kick me out. The fact is he never did.

    My advice: learn not to take criticism emotionally and not to assign it negative motives just because you don’t like it.

    fp, there’s an abrasiveness to your tone that’s unnecessary. address substance and not style. please.

  25. fp says:

    mike n,

    Well, when I dismiss, I usually back it up with logic and evidence. that also gives me a certain degree of certainty which others perceive as arrogance (and when I post evidence they complain of multiple postings).

    those who think the certainty is not justified ought to demonstrate it with equivalent counter logic and evidence, not to complain about my style.

    I used the term lecture to refer to length, you applied it to my posts differently. And I don’t “split”, as I explained in my reply to joanne.

    just because some claim that I’ve done something wrong does not mean I did. have you considered the possibility and I do see how other see me and I choose to ignore it? That choice is MY prerogative and mine alone.

    as I told joanne it looks like we have different notions of incivility.

  26. fp says:


    just because some have ideas about what does and does not belong here gives them only the right to express them, but not necessarily for others to accept them.

  27. shimshon says:

    fp, i am not disputing who has the right to the land. whether we agree or disagree on that subject does not matter. if the settlers have a valid claim to the land they should still not act as they do. killing un-armed people as they pray is disgusting as is defending it or idealizing it as the settlers do for goldstein. nevermind the countless other acts of violence they carry out against the pals on a weekly basis.

    further just because the pals do the same thing does not justify the settlers actions. if we start using the pals as a measure we are in big trouble.

    and finaly i dont think the MSM focuses on the hebron settlers often or at all. (has anyone seen this in the news) so this is also a matter of setting fixing the MSM depictions of the conflict. we should not ignore this simply because they are jews instead of pals. if we do we are guilty of the same things we accuse the MSM of.

  28. fp says:


    dk why you preach to the choir — I already agreed.
    I did not defend the settlers, just the opposite: I said that god on both sides does the same damage to people’s minds.

    my point was that land’s human ownership is not at issue, god’s ownership is and both sides claim it. that’s why I don’t worry when the “moral people of faith” kill each other — after all they what they deserve: to go to their favorite place, paradise. if only they left us alone, but unfortunately, they don’t.

    the MSM is too busy reporting on stagings of the pals and how israel oppresses the poor peaceful hamas. but once in a while when they do cover the settlers e.g. the ignorant Amanpour on CNN they explode it out of proportion: they, not the islamists are the main source of terror in the world.

  29. Michael N says:

    fp, you seem to have developed this absurd notion that people are trying to “stifle” you, that they object to your style. Can we agree on something here, can I make a proposal that might enable us to avoid any further nonsense arguments of this sort?

    Here’s my plan:

    fp, if several of us find your style verges on the arrogant, that you write as though your reasoning has convinced you and therefore it really isn’t necessary to treat other people’s counter-ideas with the respect they may deserve (such as your recent “yeah, right, whatever” response) – we will nevertheless ignore that and concentrate on the substance of your reasoning as opposed to your style. Similarly, we won’t comment on your spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, or multiple postings, etc. We’ll happily live with your style and concentrate on your ideas.

    And in return:

    You won’t feel the need to talk down to Joanne about how well or how badly you feel she’s writing. You won’t need to tell her that “ahem” (how smug!) she needs to write more succinctly. In short, you don’t correct her writing style and we won’t correct yours.

    I really don’t see how you can object to that. I’m sure it’s what most people here would welcome.

    Then we can all bury the hatchet and concentrate on the ideas.

  30. Michael N says:

    I love this site – I think we all agree on the settlers (occassionally an embarrassment and something should be done to curb their worst excesses) and the pal-arabs (part of a worldwide jihad, the main obstacles to peace in the region, and culturally racist mass murderers), and yet we’re arguing about it. I see the palestinians winning.

    (now I sound like fp!)

  31. fp says:

    michael n,

    you deem me arrogant with certainty, but aren’t aware at all of your own arrogant certainty that you are correct in your characterization of me.

    nobody’s trying to stifle me, but you want me to stop telling joanne what I should be free to tell her (btw, I only referred to length, not content). talk about absurd nonsense.

    tell you what, you have your plan, follow it. i have my plan and i’ll follow it. i don’t ask you to follow my plan, don’t ask me to follow yours. how’s that?

    the only hatchet i see here is yours and joanne’s, so feel free to burry it and you won’t see any from me.

    typos or misspelling aside, fp, you’re wielding a hatchet. do us all a favor and stick to content. do not comment on other people’s style of comment, but just their substance. any future comments that i find unnecessarily abrasive, i’ll erase. as i’ve said, i value your comments, but not when you begin to drive people away and fill the comment section with unnecessary diversions.

  32. Michael N says:

    Fine, continue to come across like a 14 year old. Believe me, it’s very much to your own detriment.

    “you want me to stop telling joanne what I should be free to tell her” – no, wrong again; I only proposed that if you respected her writing style we would respect yours. To most people that would seem reasonable and conciliatory, and might prevent you from further poisoning the atmosphere on this otherwise excellent site. Sadly but predictably, you responded like an immature little brat who could never conceivably be wrong about anything. For one who is so concerned with the death of education you certainly haven’t been taught how to reason. You may have learned how to win arguments, but reasoning is something altogether more flexible than your mind seems capable of.

    Goodbye – I won’t be wasting my time reading anything else you write.

  33. fp says:

    i was unaware of us arguing. i thought we were discussing, clarifying, explaining, once in a while disagreeing, trying to persuade. i wonder why others see this as arguing, when I don’t.

    there has been arguing, but usually when some leftie or multiculti has wondered in here and dumped the dogma.

    if the pals are winning it is not because we are exposing some differences here. there are much more serious and systemic reasons.

    (mike n, don’t worry, it’s not that easy to sound like me)

  34. fp says:

    weren’t accusing me of incivility? is your latest civil, you think? seems like it’s always those who accuse others that do precisely what they accuse of.

    if you want to be taken seriously i suggest you learn something about logic and consistentcy before you criticize others for their inability to reason.
    respect is earned, not requested.

    the poison comes from you, buddy. there is none here.
    no wonder you think you’re arguing.

    try to be less emotional.

  35. fp says:

    here’s an excellent example of why the pals are winning:

    Palestinolatry doomed Holy Land trial verdict

    Consider how it actually proves my point about the collapse of education: people go not by WHAT the evidence is, but WHO is giving it. Note very carefully, though, that only israelis are assumed not to be objective and honest. It does not occur to the jury that the pals should be treated with suspicion, EVEN WHEN THE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN THEIR DEFENSE AND WRITTEN RECORD IS BLATANT!!!

    It’s the combination of disregard for knowledge and reason with the pal propaganda disseminated by the media that is killing the west.

  36. Richard Landes says:

    i’ve interspersed some remarks within some comments. let me state here some principles:
    comments at this cite should address substantive and not stylistic issues (unless it’s comments on my style and ways to improve it, which i welcome).
    if someone posts abrasive stylistic comments, please do not respond to such gratuitous remarks, even if you feel that you need to protect ladies from them.
    if someone posts such remarks, i will remove them (leaving whatever substance is to be found behind for readers).
    i would rather not have to do this, but at this point i think that we’ve reached an impasse and everyone wants the last word. as my friend Sol at Solomonia once said at a bloggers meeting, “what i really like about my blog is it’s mine, and i get to call the shots.”
    i’m very much a believer in autonomous human beings working stuff out, so i try not to be too intrusive.
    here i wish to draw the line:
    The sail of thinking keeps trimmed hard to the wind of the matter.

  37. Joanne says:

    That sounds good to me, RL.

    (also, thanks, Michael N)

    Ha! I just got in the last word. Gotcha! :-)

  38. rp says:

    Wow! I’ve been reading Augean Stables regularly now for a few days and I just found the “comments” which mostly seem to be posted by some pretty intelligent people. Not to take any sides, but I had that thought while reading Joanne’s first comment above – although there are several comments in this thread that seem to have some useful and articulate ideas for me to digest.

    Here’s a question for anyone. In reading the Landes article above I came across this: “At the same time as the first intifada broke out in Israel, it also broke out in Egypt. It didn’t last two days because the Egyptians — with no media coverage to worry about — machine-gunned the protesters.”

    I didn’t remember reading about that before so I followed the embedded link that turned out to be to a rather poorly constructed diatribe by someone I have never heard of. After doing s fruitless Google search I emailed the author asking for a link to some source material but have not heard back.

    Is this a well-known fact (that Egypt machine-gunned Palestinians in Egypt at the start of the first Intifada) that I just missed in my readings? I’d appreciate a link from anyone who knows more about this than I do. (most of you probably) Thanks

    thanks for your diligence. i’m glad you followed up. i didn’t have the time. i remember reading about the incidents at the time (this was 1987, before the internet), but that was the best i could find. i’ve also written to this fellow as well. will post as soon as i know.

  39. fp says:


    since it is your blog, it is your prerogative to set the rules.

    i have one comment about the “protection of old ladies”.

    i wasn’t talking about “old” ladies, and my guess is men tend to be more ardent in the defense of pretty ones, but… whatever.

    I always thought that ***refraining from criticism*** is actually disrespectul, because it presumes that the target cannot take it or defend her/himself, which is patronizing.

    agreed. but gratuitous criticism — and here i’m defining ad hominem/feminam attacks on matters of style gratuitous — are neither necessary nor (to use Jimbo’s term) “helpful.” i’m all for criticism, as both of my opening quotes from blake make clear.

    I’ve had treatments the calling of which incivil would be high praise, all in the name of (false) accusations that it was I who was incivil. I was never bothered by it and i never asked anybody to refrain from insults, or suggested/asked that they be edited, or warned, or worse.

    not everyone has either your thick skin or you imperviousness to an awareness of what you seem like to others.

    participation in public fora requires a thick hide. those who can’t stand the heat should get out of the kitchen.

    i can’t think of any of the regular commentators here who can’t stand the heat… when it comes to substance. the point is not to insult just because you can, but to do so when it’s necessary.

    Hitchens has stated once something to the effect that some of us don’t look for harmony, but rather prefer the life of the mind and to the question “how to live” the answer is “by disagreement”.

    opposition is true friendship. it’s a major difference btw integrity-guilt cultures of dispute and honor-shame cultures of consensus.

  40. Michael N says:

    RL; quite right, and I agree.

  41. fp says:

    oh, one more thing: the desire to not offend anybody away produces for online fora the same results as advertising-based TV programming does: polite, but bland, lowest denominator programs.

    it is fascinating to see how people invoke freedom of speech when it comes to offending muslims, but are quick to disown it when they themselves feel offended.

    problem is that offense is a function not just of the source, but of the target too. slippery slope.

    if you don’t challenge slippery slopes you get nowhere. it’s one of the arguments the left makes for not doing a dozen things to protect democratic values, including criticize islamism — that’s a siippery slope to essentialism.

    (i know, it’s a cheap shot, but i couldn’t resist. :-)

  42. fp says:

    here’s another pal who lives in israel revealing how much he wants to live there:

    Israel to come under Sharia law

  43. fp says:

    apropos feelings offended:

    Fear and hate

    To quote:

    “It should, I think, be unnecessary to point out that claims of being offended don’t, in themselves, entitle one to anything in particular, and certainly not rights of unilateral censorship.”

    But apparently that’s OK only in the abstract, not when it hits home.

  44. Michael N says:

    “Japanese soldiers unaware of the end of WWII were previously found in other remote places on the islands in the Pacific Ocean. Junior lieutenant Hiroo Onoda was found in the jungle of the Philippine island of Lubang in 1974. Another solitary soldier of one of the infantry units was found in 1972 on the island of Guam, which currently belongs to the USA”

  45. Eliyahu says:

    for rp,
    yes, I heard about riots in the Egyptian Rafiah in late 1987 at the start of the first hate movement known as the “intifada.” I was told about this by Israeli soldiers who served on the Egyptian border in those days, as I recall.

    Next, I am repelled by the unjustified invective of one Shimshon against me [“despicable” in # 17]. There is an outside chance that he did not really understand what I was saying. But his invective was unjustified in any case. I was not defending the Goldstein massacre of Arabs at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron in 1994. However, I object to making an icon out of it as shimshon seems to do. Yes, it was a real massacre unlike the al-Durah set up. But I think it important to understand why it happened, what factors were at work, what were the circumstances at the time, for the sake of history. And that means putting it into context. And this includes remembering the 1929 Arab massacre of 68 Jews in Hebron. The 1929 massacre was encouraged by the British authorities, which some Arabs agree on [on the British role, see works by Pierre van Paassen, including Forgotten Ally, and Albert Londres, Le Juif errant est arrive].

    What led to Goldstein’s acts of murder?? In 1994, there was an atmosphere of anarchy in the country set off by the Oslo accords. The rate of Arab terrorist attacks within the country was at its highest since 1967. It seemed to many that the govt was doing nothing to stop the terrorism. A number of murders of Jews took place in Judea-Samaria & Gaza. Goldstein was the son of Holocaust survivors; he had treated Arabs as well as Jews as a competent physician. Now, he may have felt that history was repeating itself, with the Israeli govt of the time in the role of the British in encouraging Arab terrorism, while Israeli “leftists” and others called for removing Jews from Hebron. And his best friend Lapid was murdered together with his [Lapid’s] son. Goldstein and other Jews living in Judea-Samaria & Gaza may have felt like cornered beasts, and some, such as Goldstein lashed out.

    I hope Shimshon isn’t going to tell me that the Jewish victims of post-Oslo terrorism in Judea-Samaria & Gaza deserved it. If he does state that position, then he is removing his guise of respect for universal human rights and the human person which he donned [# 17] in responding to my response [# 16].

    So much of the guilt or responsibility for the Goldstein massacre also falls on arafat and the Arab terrorists who had intensified their crimes after Oslo, and on the Israeli govt of the time for failing its duties to provide security for everyone, and of course on the Israeli “left” and the foreign MSM with their usual agitation against “settlers,” their misrepresentation of international law regarding the status of Judea-Samaria & Gaza and regarding settlement. This also includes the foreign powers, like Norway, the EU, etc. that were pushing for Oslo and for “peace” and against Jewish “settlers.”

    Shimshon misrepresents the international law status by speaking dishonestly of “occupation.” He could speak of military govt on the other hand. Military govt of these areas has also been used against Jews wanting to live in JSG. Maybe Shimshon is unaware of the massive post-WW2 annexations of parts of Germany by Poland and the USSR, that is, annexations of territory that was clearly occupied. Today nobody almost cares about those annexations. The anti-“occupation” invective is only against Israel.

    Now, I am aware that Jews in Hebron have harassed Arabs in the Israeli-held zone into leaving. The harassment began with Arabs shooting and stoning Jewish homes in and around Hebron [some Jews were murdered, like 2-yr old Shalhevet Pas], etc. Could it be, Shimshon, that the Arabs or some Arabs or the Arab leadership [Hamas and arafat] meant to drive the Jews out of Hebron again as in 1929??? What about Jewish property rights in Hebron? Does Shimshon see them as being violated by the Israeli govt on behalf of “Peace Now,” and the Israeli “left,” and the EU, etc?? There is real estate in Hebron owned by Jews going way back. How about Jewish rights to real estate there, which were violated in 1929 by Arab pogromists and the British authorities??
    Would driving the Jews out of Hebron not encourage Arab terrorism and diminish Jewish rights of residence anywhere in the world, by post-facto endorsing the Arab massacre of 1929 and the subsequent, British-abetted usurpation of Jewish property in that city?? Do Jews have the right to live in a Jewish holy city [Hebron] or is that offensive to Shimshon for reasons extraneous to the situation of the Arabs there?

    I deplore the cult of Barukh Goldstein such as acted out by Noam Federman. However, Federman is about as representative of the “settlers” as Avishai Raviv. Yet, shimshon certainly implied that in his earlier post. By identifying all settlers with Federman in his earlier post, shimshon was falsely generalizing about them, although he softened his line in #17. Shimshon was demonizing the settlers. That is, he was betraying his supposed universalist commitment.

    Is Shimshon’s opposition and hostility to “settlers” based on objective actions by these people against their Arab neighbors [such as the 1994 massacre by Barukh Goldstein, only one man after all] or do the “settlers” offend him simply by living where they do? Does Shimshon accept the widespread media lies about the international law status of Judea-Samaria & Gaza, and the misrepresentation of Geneva Convention IV’s clause about “transfer” of population? In other words, do the “settlers” lose their humanity and their human rights to live because of false allegations that they violate international law?? If the media can so widely lie about the alleged al-Durah killing, why can’t they be lying about international law??

  46. fp says:

    afaiac about the only thing to consider here is the difference between

    1. a culture of hatred and death, which has done nothing but kill jews from the start, including targetting children and abusing their own children in the prnceocess.

    2. a bunch of religious fanatics who have the right to be where they are until such time as a peace agreement is worked out, who occasionally harrass arabs.

    Now, as a militant atheist I am the last to defend the actions of ANY religious fanatic, regardless of religion. But the difference between the two sides is so overwhelming, that don’t much care for the occasional goldstein in the scheme of things.

    as i said before, let the religious lunatics kill each other.

  47. shimshon says:


    You are seriously misrepresenting what I said and then attacking me on the basis of those misrepresentations. For example:

    “I hope Shimshon isn’t going to tell me that the Jewish victims of post-Oslo terrorism in Judea-Samaria & Gaza deserved it. If he does state that position, then he is removing his guise of respect for universal human rights and the human person which he donned [# 17] in responding to my response [# 16].”

    I never said that the Jews deserved it. Please show me where I even suggested it. To make up a claim and then argue on the basis of the claim you just made up is simply illogical.

    Then there is this:

    “Shimshon misrepresents the international law status by speaking dishonestly of ‘occupation.’ He could speak of military govt on the other hand.”

    Wow, another made up claim. I make no mention of international law…please show me where I did. Occupation is not necessarily illegal under international law. The US occupation of germany and japan are two examples that come to mind. so where are you getting that I discuss international law. But this is small considering that elyahu’s post fails to understand my overall point. I was arguing against using the term “occupation” Here is what I wrote in my first post: “i think that using the term occupation to describe the situation in the W. Bank is misleading…”

    Further (and very troubling) Elyahu fails to address the main charge that I made against him. That he is employing the same double standard that the MSM and Palestinian apologists use. He claims to want understand the reasons Goldstein committed his despicable acts. I never disputed that there are reasons behind what Goldstein did. But if they are important then why aren’t the circumstances of a Palestinian who has lived a despicable life and decides to become a suicide bomber. Please explain how these are different. In my mind they are not. In both cases they are apologetics.

    And, Yes, I do consider myself a adherent to universal principles. So lets consider this: The Jews of hebron were killed and kicked out in 1929. If as you say, they should be permitted to return then the universal principle you are suggesting is that those (no matter who they are) who are kicked out of their homes should be permitted to return. Well there were some pals kicked out of their homes in 48. Not all, and not even most, but only someone who is in complete denial will argue that no pals were kicked out in 48. And not all of them were combatants. There were women and children kicked out as well. Should they be permitted to return? If not please explain why in 1968 Jews (who by the way had no relation to the Jews of Hebron in 29. the settlers were ashkanazi and the Hebron jews were saphardic) to return to land that jews lived on in almost 40 years prior. Neither group has the right to return. Just as greeks and turks, Indians and Pakistanis, and ethnic germans from E. Europe don’t have the right to return. Applying this right only to jews is ridiculous.

    In summery, according to Elyahu, Jewish murders should be understood and put into context while palistinan murders shouldn’t. jews have the right to return to land that other jews were once kicked out of but Palestinians do not have the right to return to land that other Palestinians were kicked out of. Why are jews different? Why do we have rights that you do not afford to any other peoples. This is not a serious argument. If I had described a comment that claimed Palestinian murderers should be “understood” and that Arabs should be allowed to return to their homes they were kicked out of in Israel, I doubt anyone one this blog (including elyahu) would object to describing it as “despicable.” So why is it that you object to describing the same thing (said about the other side) with the same language? It should not matter who the murderers are or who the returnees are.

  48. fp says:


    >But if they are important then why aren’t the circumstances of a Palestinian who has lived a despicable life and decides to become a suicide bomber. Please explain how these are different. In my mind they are not. In both cases they are apologetics.>

    Are you serious? You bought into the propaganda lock stock and barrel.

    The pals are indoctrinated from childhood to kill jews and be martyrs. They are manipulated and exploited by imams and terror groups in adulthood. It is a sacred duty rooted in the quran and dates millenia before the state of Israel. If you think their problem is the occupation or the land, you are, like so many, gravely mistaken. Most of their suffering is self-inflicted, with the help of the arab states. They hate the jews more than they love themselves. Their honor-shame culture won’t let them accept jews. I did not think much of Sharon as a politician, but when he said that the pals are treacherous and bloodthirsty i’m afraid he was accurate. I am sure there are exceptions, but they are not the rule and they have no voice in pal society, at least not for long.

    Westerners simply cannot believe this, despite the overwhelming evidence, because they think everybody is like them.

    The point is that the pal apologetics are false, both the historical narrative, their lack of recognition of their own responsibility for their circumstances and their real motivations and goals (although Hamas is quite explicit).

    Now, I dk Goldstein and what motivated him, but (a) he is not representative of israel (b) eliyahu was not defending, but rather explaining his behavior (c) the explanation is at least accurate, not false. In short, he lost it, the pals do it as a routine.

    It is a marvel that under the circumstances in which Israel lives, there was only one Goldstein in decades. The world should be ashamed of itself for blaming instead of admiring and supporting israel.

  49. Eliyahu says:

    Shimshon, when you apply the word “occupation” to a certain territory then you are making a judgement about international law, since “occupation” is a legal term. My point is that under international law Judea-Samaria & Gaza belong to the Jewish state envisioned in the Jewish National Home project approved by the 1920 San Remo Conference, endosrsed by the League of Nations in 1922, and so on, as I have discussed in other threads on this blog. The UN General Assembly partition plan of 11-29-47 was a mere recommendation as are all General Assembly resolutions on political issues.

    On the communal identity of the Jews in Hebron in 1929 you are wrong again. They were both Ashkenazim and Sefardim. And that should not be a criterion in any case for whether a Jew has a right to live in a particular place in the Land of Israel.
    To continue with the Ashkenazim in Hebron, some of the Ashkenazic families had been there for a very long time. The Maizlish family lived there in the mid-19th century, if not earlier. One of the community leaders in Hebron was a Mr Slonim. A number of Jews were murdered in his house. Slonim is a place in Belarus, so we may assume that his family had lived there at one time. I doubt that many, if any, Jews still live there today. My mother was distantly related to Jews from the town of Slonim, perhaps with that family name or the family name Harkavy. Belarus is a country in northeastern Europe –the Jews there were called Litvaks by other Yiddish-speaking Jews [Belarus was part of the old Lithuanian kingdom]. Yet my mother gave no sign in her appearance of being a northern European. You can see her photo on my blog [I wouldn’t take the risk of putting my own picture up, besides she was better looking than me]. Nor does the present Belarus govt show much eagerness to have Jews around. It does not see them as being part of their nation.

    In short, Shimshon is wrong about the communal identity of the Hebron Jews. This shows ignorance that he seems unaware of. Maybe he is too confident about the regular lies about history that prevail in his circles. Hence he needs to do a lot of study of history, Jewish history, history of the Land of Israel, the history of Arab-Jewish relations in Israel since the Arab conquest, and in Hebron in particular. And he ought to be more diffident in making judgements until he knows better.

    If Shimshon doesn’t like my looking for the context or circumstances of the Goldstein massacre, well, I will do it for the 1929 Arabs too. According to various accounts, the Hebron Arabs were stirred up false reports of massacres of Arabs by Jews in Jerusalem. These false reports were brought to Hebron by agents of the Mufti, Husseini. This demonstrates how false reporting can lead to human disaster and tragedy, as were caused by the al-Durah Affair’s false reports. Furthermore, the British authorities encouraged Arab attacks on Jews in Hebron and other places throughout the country in that same period, probably in coordination with the Mufti as part of plan, one of the objects of which was to drive the Jews away from the Jewish holy places in the country, from the neighborhood of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and from the three other Jewish holy cities, besides Jerusalem. These three holy cities are Hebron, Tiberias, and Safed. Arab anti-Jewish pogroms took places in all three of these towns, as well in Jerusalem and other places. For some glimpse of the British role, see writings by Pierre van Paassen and Albert Londres mentioned earlier.

  50. Eliyahu says:

    correction — missing words:

    stirred up BY false reports

    as part of A plan

  51. shimshon says:

    fp, if you think that there are not any Pals that have real grivences against israel you are not living in reality. there are certianly pals who have had inocent family members killed and have acted in what they felt was revenge. that does not negate that there is a wicked ideology that also motivates them. But i have news for you, there is also a wicked ideology motivating the settlers of hebron. you are right that they are not representitive of Israel or even the settler movement (i made that clear from the begining)but they think it is a mitzvah to drive out the pals, and they use violece to do so. they also honor murderers like goldstein as if they are heros who died for a holy cause. sound familure, it should, its the same twisted ideas that motivate the pals. WHat landes discribes on this blog is a human condition and it can also apply to the jews. (especialy those isolated on some hilltop). we are not immune. and if we are going to have any credibility we need to apply the same rules to ourselves that we apply to others.

    Elyahu, you cant be serious about the the west bank belonging to Israel under international law. are you really citing the leage of nations as if nothing has happed since then? there was this little event in 1948 where the UN partitioned the land. maybe you ahve heard of it. at best the terrtories are disputed.

    Here is a basic jewish hitory lesson for you. jewish comunal identity in pre-modern times was fluid. there may have been a few ashkanazim that moved to hebron over the years but there was no ashakanazi comunity there. the synagogs were saphardic. jews moved around alot. they took on the identity of the plance they lived. (for example Ashkanazi is a common surname amonf safardic jews here in israel. they had european roots but they moved and became sefardic) i spoke specificly of the settlers in hebron in 1968. they were ashkanazim and they set up an ashkanazi comunity with ashakanazi synogogs. And they had no relation to Jews of hebron pre 29.

    But again you fail to answer my critique. if the jews can return to hebron why cant a Pal return to israel. you are affording jews rights that no on else has. I hat to keep repeating my self but you are not anwering the arguments i made, so i am forced to make them again.

    you use this same tactic again when answering my arguement about applying the same standards to both sides TODAY. why are you brining up the context of the 1929 murder of the hebron jews? i agreed with you about that but it has nothing to do with what i was taling about. the example i used was modern suicide bombers in israel who have also had their lives distroyed and families killed. if you want to disput that go ahead but dont change the subjest and speak about the 1929 killings, then act as if you refuted my claim. ignoring my arguement or changing it into something you can refute will not make it go away. if you think that contextualizing murders, fine, but be consistant. I want to hear you contextualize a suicide bombing that took place in israel durring thes second intifada and then tell me if that does not sound like apologetics.

    i dont know what dream world you are living in about the IDF’s status in the W.Bank. It is not a military government. israel did not anex the land. it rules it as if it were a differnt country. so yes it is an occupation in that sence. a military occupation. I dont think the terom should be applied everywhere, especialy not to e. jerusalem but in many palces it is absolutely accurate. what happened to the arabs in israel after 48 was a military government. this is not the same thing. the pals have not been afforded any of the rights of an Israeli.

    ANd why should i not question the right of a jew to live anywhere in the land of Israel? parts of jordan were in the ancient land of israel, so was damascus. should we claim these terrtories? And you still have not answered the critque i made. you are applying a double standard. why do the jews have the right to return but the pals dont.

    i have news for you. jews are people to and while you may have fanticies about jews having special rights that no other peoples have, you are never going to convince any non-jews of this (barring of course some crazy christians in the american south).
    oh and FYI the jewish population of hebron had existed there at least since the 16th cent. I have studied plenty of history, trust me.

    so let me be clear: i you want to refute my claims please explain 1) should modern suicide bombers who lost their families be put into context? if not why should goldstein? 2)why do jews have the right of return but not the pals? these are the same arguements i have been making this whole thread, but you keep ignoring them and bringing up other arguements. we cant have a discussion that way. they way it works is that someone makes a claim and the other person either agrees or tries to refute it. dont make up new claims instead of addressing what has been said.

  52. Michael N says:

    Shimshon, this all seems to be getting quite heated, so I’m wary of entering this debate at all. But here – for what it’s worth – are my answers to your questions:

    1) should modern suicide bombers who lost their families be put into context? if not why should goldstein?

    Good question. My answer is that they should be put into context, but an informed and accurate context, rather than one that Palestinian Arabs invent and distort and feed to the media.

    I have no doubt personally about what the broad context is: a Palestinian may turn to suicide bombing because he has lost loved ones in the intifada, or the occupation, or whatever. The trouble comes when Western simpletons place the full-stop there, as though everything has been not only explained but also justified and validated. I, for example, lost a good friend to the Lockerbie bomb in which the PFLP almost certainly had a hand. That may explain, but would not morally justify my subsequent decision to attack the Lebanese grocery shop downstairs. Too often with the Palestinian Arabs, “cause” – whether their version or ours – is seen as justification. It is a different thing.

    So I am all for examining causes and contexts. Why? Because the cause and context of the current cycle of deaths is the intifada that was sparked when Arafat chose violence over an imperfect peace (that he didn’t want in any case). He was offered 90% of everything he had ever asked for, and decided that maybe another 5 years of murder and mayhem would get him the other 10%. The context and cause of the intifada? Israeli occupation. The reason for Israeli occupation? The Arab determination to destroy Israel, and the subsequent refusal of the Palestinian Arab leadership to end all ‘claims and states of belligerency’.

    2)why do jews have the right of return but not the pals?

    As a European gentile, I recognize fully that because of the way that we treated the Jewish community for centuries, the Jews can never be fully safe in this world unless there is a state in which they exercise self-determination and are never again a minority subject to arbitrary violence and persecution.

    You talk of rights of return as though they were natural laws, like gravity. That is to miss the point. There already is a state with a Palestinian Arab majority – Jordan, and there may in the future be one called the Islamic Republic of Palestine or something similar. There are already many, huge muslim majority or Arab majority states in the world. The Palestinian and Arab aim has been to ensure that there is not a single majority Jewish state in the land which is the historical homeland of the Jews. The fact is, Europe either aided and abetted the genocide of Jews, or at best shrugged (with noble exceptions), and in some cases – Poland being the most obvious – continued the killings even after the war was ended.

    That’s why the Palestinians don’t have the right to return – because if they did, yet again there would be no country where Jewish people could exercise self-determination. No existing state was destroyed when Israel declared statehood and the right of return. The Palestinian right of return would ultimately destroy the world’s single, tiny Jewish state.

    The right of return is not a universal, natural law. Humans organise themselves ‘artificially’, and always have.

  53. Eliyahu says:

    Shimshon, I really don’t trust you, or rather, I don’t trust your knowledge. And certainly not what you sincerely believe that you know, which may be utterly false. You also have a problem with reading comprehension in English. I think that my previous posts have sufficiently addressed the issue of the international law status of the Jewish National Home. Why you seem not to have understood what I wrote above is either failure to read everything or reading comprehension difficulties.

    Elyahu, you cant be serious about the the west bank belonging to Israel under international law. are you really citing the leage of nations as if nothing has happed since then? there was this little event in 1948 where the UN partitioned the land. maybe you ahve heard of it. at best the terrtories are disputed. Your sarcasm is infantile when it is detached from real knowledge. But it’s typical of columnists in HaArets, Ma`ariv & Idiot, especially in HaArets.

    I pointed out above that the 11-29-47 UN partition resolution was a General Assembly recommendation [not a binding decision]. Furthermore, the 1949 Rhodes armistice accords did not fix boundaries or legal borders between Israel and any Arab state. The accords merely fixed armistice lines. The Jordanian delegate to the UN made that very point a few days before the start of the Six Day War on 5 June 1967, speaking especially about the Green Line. In short, the legal status of the “West Bank” remained as it was before 11-29-47. Israel did accept the 1947 partition resolution, but the Arab states and Arabs in the country made war against that resolution. So the recommendation became by rights meaningless. The Arabs cannot come now and say that they accept the partition plan of 11-29-47 after having failed in war against it. It’s too late.

    Then you ask why the Arabs can’t come back to Arab-owned real estate from before the 1947-49 war, if Jews can go back to Hebron. Without going back to the original Arab conquest in the 7th century and the subsequent usurpation of real estate by the invaders/occupiers –which you and, to be fair, many others would consider unfair– the fact is that the Arabs were aggressors against Jews in the country starting in 1920, with British encouragement to be sure. In 1920, Arab mobs incited by Haj Amin el-Husseini drove Jews out of the Muslim and Christian quarters in the Old City of Jerusalem [they were stopped by armed Jews before getting into the Jewish quarter]. These ethnic cleansing attacks were repeated in a series of pogroms in various parts of the country and over the years, 1921, 1929, 1936-38, etc. Should the Arabs now be given the chance to finish the work that they started in 1920 and continued intermittently over the years, with British encouragement to be sure??? Should the aggressors be rewarded?? I refer to both the assaults before the UN Gen’l Assembly partition recommendation and those after it, the aggressions in 1947-49, in 1967, 1973

    Now, since you persist in your ignorance about the Jews in Hebron, and persist in claiming to know more than someone with more experience, let’s go back to Hebron 1929. The newspaper Yerushalayim, Shavu`on la`am [a Jerusalem weekly], published a list of dead and wounded Hebron Jews in its issue of 29 August 1929. For whatever reason, perhaps because they were anticipating Shimshon’s crass ignorance in the year 2007, they published the communal affiliation of the victims along with their names, occupation, place of birth [if available], etc. So we have Eliezer Dan Slonim, 30, from Hebron [born in Hebron], Ashkenazi, clerk/official; Moshe Gozlan, 18, from Hebron, Sefardi; Abraham Yeini, 70, from Constantinople, Sefardi; Esther Gershon, Sefardi, laundrywoman & seamstress; Clara Hason, Sefardi, wife of the Hakham [Sefardi rabbi]; Simha Yits’haq Broyda, from Vilkomir [Ukraine or Belarus], Ashkenazi, yeshiva student; Menahem Segal, from Sokolov, Ashkenazi, son of an innkeeper, and so on. The list shows plenty of both Ashkenazim & Sefardim. I believe that now both Sefardim and Ashkenazim live in both Hebron and nearby Qiryat Arba`.

    One does lose patience with crass ignorance that pretends to superior knowledge. It is also time for shimshon to realize that the press lies very often, intentionally and not intentionally, sometimes on account of ignorance, as does Shimshon. Just because HaArets prints everyday that Judea-Samaria is “occupied” does not make it so. Nor can anything in the NYTimes be taken as automatically reliable info.

  54. fp says:


    >fp, if you think that there are not any Pals that have real grivences against israel you are not living in reality.

    if that’s what you understood my position to be, I don’t see much point in clarification, because it won’t help. given your accusation that eliyahu has set up a straw man and demolished it, I dk whether to laugh or cry. and as eliyahu points out, you don’t know much either.

    I suggest you do some serious education from proper sources before you pronounce on the subject. I can suggest some, but my guess is that you won’t follow through, because you don’t think you need it.

  55. fp says:


    Also important point: most of the arabs living in the area which is now israel were lebanese, syrians and egyptians who immigrated there to take advantage of the development that the jews started.

    the so-called occupied territories were jordanian and egyptian, not palestinians. question begged is, then, why did not a palestinian state arise before israel gained control in a defensive war? the answer, of course, is that the palestinian people is an arab fabrication intended to deny israel’s existence, which kept in dire circumstances such that it will be seething and a constant weapon against israel. the rest is commentary.

  56. fp says:

    ah, yes, grievances. they have no end when it comes to the pals — they are a walking grievance and nothing else. so much so that they end up believing even those they manufacture.

    if you have not heard of al Dura, here’s hamas:


  57. Michael N says:

    fp – indeed, and I believe that even Arab testimony before one of the pre-partition commissions stated that the Arabs in the area were southern Syrians, that there was no distinct Palestinian people as such.

  58. Eliyahu says:

    Michael N, Arab expert witnesses testifying before the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry on Palestine [1946] denied that there was or had ever been such a place as “palestine.” It was all Syria. To the extent that these witnesses may have been sincere, they were probably thinking in terms of bilad ash-Sham, a traditional Arab & Muslim geographic term, usually translated as Syria or Greater Syria and including the Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan of today, roughly speaking. The Arabs did not traditionally see Israel –or palestine if one likes– as a separate country [although the term Filastin was used from the Arab conquest up to the Crusades to refer only to the southern part of the country –grosso modo– which the Romans/Byzantines had called Palaestina Secunda]. The term Filastin was NOT used by the post-Crusade Mamluk and Ottoman empires to refer to any territory or district. Nor did they have any district or province with borders even close to those of the Jewish National Home aka Palestine set up by the San Remo Conference and the League of Nations [1920,1922].

    As to your friend killed in the Lockerbie bombing. It is very upsetting to have that happen, and I remember the dread I felt after hearing a big bomb go off here in Jerusalem. When I first heard it, I hoped it was something else. But it was on a bus crowded with families and children. I had heard a bomb a couple of years earlier but I thought that it was just a loud backfire from a truck.

  59. Michael N says:

    Eliyahu, many thanks for clearing that issue up for me with a finely detailed response. Much appreciated.

    There is nothing that needs to be said about the savagery you describe. It has happened to us here in London only once (though the carnage was nearly repeated two weeks later, but failed thanks to defective explosive materials) and I am sincerely sorry that it will take further atrocities before the British media understand that the threat is serious, and is a minor version of the same threat that your grossly vilified country faces.

  60. fp says:

    the media realizes it’s serious but deludes itself that it is the behavior and policies of the west that invite atrocties. therefore, each time they happen they blame the west.

  61. […] Henning Mankells propaganda för Ramallahregimen har inte heller något stöd hos den arabiska befolkningen i Jerusalem, som motsätter sig en delning av staden, och som inte vill att östra Jerusalem ska lämnas över till den korrumperade och diktatoriska palestinska regimen. Se exempelvis här, här, här, här och här. […]

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