Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

Unsettled

An IDF vet with ‘a great sense of discomfort about my own personal behavior’ when he patrolled the Occupied Territories now leads a group called Breaking the Silence dedicated to exposing the messy work of occupation

Print Email
Mikhael Manekin, at left, in the Old City of Hebron. The balcony belongs to an Arab resident and is surrounded by bars to protect her from stone-throwing settlers. (Michelle Goldberg)

By now, the military police and the settlers in Hebron all know Mikhael Manekin, the co-director of the Israeli anti-occupation organization Breaking the Silence. Once or twice a week, the New York-born, Baltimore-raised 31-year-old is there, leading small tour groups through the eerie, desolate zone around the central settlement in Hebron’s old city, where 800 ultra-rightist Jews are protected by about 500 Israeli soldiers. As Manekin showed me and several other journalists around on a walking tour last fall, an armored car trailed us. He said not to worry—they were protecting us from the settlers, who have attacked him in the past.

At first glance Manekin, with his trim black beard and kippa, could be one of them. Indeed, part of what makes him such a formidable peace activist is how much Zionist credibility he has. He’s an Orthodox Jew and a veteran of the elite Golani battalion, where, among other things, he protected settler roads and liaised with settler security. His last position in the military was an instructor in an officer-training academy. Like other members of Breaking the Silence, an organization of young Israeli army veterans, he can discuss the occupation with authority, because he was one of the people charged with carrying it out.

Other than the armored car, a few kids in knit skull caps, and some Orthodox women pushing baby carriages, the streets of Hebron were empty. They are, in IDF parlance, “completely sterilized,” meaning that Palestinians aren’t allowed on them. Those who need to traverse the area must cut through a nearby cemetery. Most of the Arabs who once lived near the settlers’ encampment have since left. The few that have remained mostly stay inside their apartments. Bars protect their windows and balconies from the settlers’ stones. If they must go out, they have to climb onto the roof and down a fire escape into a back alley, because the concrete outside their front doors is reserved for Jews. If they get seriously ill, they’re in trouble. “The Jewish subset of the Red Cross doesn’t treat Palestinians here,” says Manekin. “What you see a lot of times is Palestinians carrying people by foot to an area with an ambulance.”

As he talks, our driver, a bluff man in his 50s who lives in Netanya and speaks English with a heavy Israeli accent, shakes his head. “I didn’t know,” he says. “People don’t know.”

Breaking the Silence was formed almost by accident in 2004. It started as an exhibition of photographs and video testimonies by soldiers who had served in Hebron and were anguished by their own behavior. The IDF wasn’t happy—military police raided the Tel Aviv gallery where the exhibit was mounted and confiscated one of the videos—but thousands of Israelis attended. Many of them were soldiers who’d never discussed their own shame. Among them was Manekin, who’s still dealing with what he describes as a “great sense of discomfort about my own personal behavior” during his army service. He agreed to give his own testimony, and soon he was part of a nascent movement.

There was no single epiphany that radicalized Manekin, no moment when he realized that much of what he’d taken for granted about Israeli righteousness was wrong. The son of two professors—his mother teaches modern Jewish history, his father medieval Jewish philosophy—he grew up in a home that was religiously Orthodox and decidedly Zionist, if also politically liberal. He had dual Israeli-American citizenship, and he spent a lot of time going back and forth between the two countries. When he was a teenager, Manekin’s family moved to Israel full-time, and he was sent to an Orthodox high school where right-wing politics predominated.

For Manekin, being accepted into the Golani battalion was like getting into a good college. “You want to excel,” he says. He enlisted for four years, one year more than required. He served first in Southern Lebanon and then in the Nablus region in the West Bank. During that time, he did things that he’s ashamed of, though they’re the sorts of things that any soldier controlling a restive, angry population would do, such as shooting stun grenades at Palestinians to intimidate them at checkpoints. Once, when his unit was assigned to protect the route to a settlement, the soldiers commandeered a house in a nearby village to serve as a lookout, and then, suspecting others might be more suitable, they took over those instead. Manekin was troubled by the soldiers’ cavalier attitude toward Palestinian homes. When he voiced his concerns, he was summoned to the battalion general, who asked if he was uncomfortable serving in the territories.

At the time, he was indignant at the suggestion that he wasn’t ready to do everything required by his military position. But in retrospect, he realized the general was right. There is no way to maintain an occupation without cruelty and moral squalor. That’s the message of Breaking the Silence: The abuses its members document stem directly from government policy. “On the whole, the military is actually fine,” he says. “This is not about the settlers. It’s not about the military. It’s about the state.”

A large part of Breaking the Silence’s work involves collecting and disseminating soldiers’ stories about their experiences in the occupied territories—to date, the organization has interviewed over 700 combatants, including members of every unit that has fought in the territories in the last 10 years. The group has just published a harrowing new book, Occupation of the Territories: Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies 2000-2010. A selection of oral histories culled from interviews with more than a hundred soldiers, it presents episodes of the daily, casual degradation and brutality that occupation entails. Manekin’s own testimony is among them, though, in keeping with the rest of them, it’s anonymous.

Cumulatively, the testimonies describe a system intended to break the Palestinians’ will by subjugating their lives to Israeli whims, a system in which tyranny can always be justified with the rhetoric of security. Where there is self-rule, it’s granted on sufferance and can be taken away at will. The soldiers are not bad people, but, as one of them says, “It’s the power that you have in your hands. At some point it fucks you up, if you are a human being.” One soldier recounts detaining Palestinians arbitrarily, shackling them for eight or nine hours at a time. Another describes how harassing Palestinians became a form of entertainment: “One of the goals was always: I got him to cry in front of his kids, I got him to crap in his pants.”

A soldier in Hebron describes his shock at realizing how routinely settlers attack Palestinians, including women and children, with utter impunity. “And it exists here in the State of Israel, and no one knows about it, and no wants to know, and no one reports about it,” he says. There are numerous reports of soldiers smashing up Palestinian homes as a sort of catharsis. “I think it’s really like when you see people on MTV smashing their guitars on stage,” says one. “[O]ver there you have the power to act it out, and these things are not your own things, and what’s more, you’re at war.”

The book describes “mock arrests,” in which new soldiers arrest innocent Palestinians for practice. “They would actually do intelligence work to find out a Palestinian is innocent before arresting him, so as not to endanger the troops,” Mikhael says. Soldiers, he said, have two rationales for this. The first is training. Second, he says, it creates “a feeling of lack of understanding on the Palestinian side. Suddenly, an innocent person is being arrested. Nobody understands what’s happening, and the sense of insecurity and fear among the Palestinian population fits in very well with the overall strategy, which is instilling that fear in the population.”

One might see all this as the regrettable but inevitable price of self-defense. Palestinian terrorism, after all, is real, even if it has abated significantly in recent years. Many Israelis would dearly love to end the occupation if they didn’t believe doing so would put their own lives at risk. Breaking the Silence is addressed to them as well: Those who support Israeli policy have as much of a duty to understand what it entails as those who oppose it.

The American Jewish mainstream doesn’t like to listen to the sorts of stories that Breaking the Silence tells, but Manekin is more able to reach them than most. He was recently in the United States, giving talks in New York and Washington. When he spoke at Columbia with Peter Beinart, the political writer, the event was co-sponsored by LionPac, a campus pro-Israel group. In addition to briefing the State Department and the United Nations, he met with AIPAC, and he found the group impressively responsive.

Of course, in Israel, Manekin and his group have come under attack from the right: It’s one of the targets of the Knesset investigation into left-leaning NGOs. Manekin wrote a scathing response for the +972 blog, writing that he wouldn’t pander to his persecutors by testifying about his own Zionist bona fides before the committee. “I don’t owe them anything,” he wrote. “They don’t need to love us or tell us that we are patriots. They are doing far more damage to this place than we are.” Still, he has a charming inability to muster much outrage on his own behalf. The attacks “don’t really bother me,” he says. “We’re still part of the ruling class. I’m still a liberal Israeli Jew, so I’m not that worried.”

For all his frustrations with Israel, Manekin has no plans to go anywhere. Some of his friends are leaving—as he wrote in +972, “they want to find a place that is normal, a place that does not shame their existence. A place they can live in.” But he says, “I see my future in Israel. It’s just my home.” His 3-year-old daughter knows no language besides Hebrew. Besides, being there offers him the opportunity to put his ideals into practice. “I like to be part of changing things,” he says. “Activists in general don’t feel a sense of despair.”

Print Email
dani levi says:

This thread will be interesting.

Michael W. says:

Oh dani, you beat me to it. Get ready for the fireworks.

David Gleicher says:

This is part of a weekly series called “Israel’s Left-Wing NGOs and their Leaders.” Next week: Jeff Halper and Israel Committee Against House Demolitions. After that, B’Tzelem, Yesh Din, Gush Shalom, etc. When this series ends, it might be interesting to have a real investigative series on where their funding comes from, but that would have to be published by a different magazine.

Jerome says:

David, we all “know” their funding comes from Iranians, Nazis and the Ford Foundation. Give me a break. Jews do not have to march lock step toward fascism, and many dissent from the policies of the State of Israel. Israel certainly has a right to defend itself. But are the territories worth the cost to Israel’s demoracy?

dani levi says:

Another interesting group are Combatants for Peace. http://www.cfpeace.org

Popescu says:

We don’t usually think about the people who collect our garbage, empty our bedpans, do all kinds of shit, but we need them, because otherwise society can’t function; and we try not to think about it. Israelis are sometimes forced to do bad shit to keep their families, homes, state, etc. safe. It’s terrible and it’s tragic, and it’s psychically painful (read Avner Mandelman), but what are the alternatives? There is a real world out there.

fred lapides says:

Many many years ago I had discussed Israel with a good friend and noted that when a nation became a garrison state it inevitably became somewhat like those they feared as the ever-present enemy.

Crevecoeur, the French-American writer, in his Letters From An American Farmer, written before 1776 Revolution, noted that those people who lived on the frontier, hunted for food and a living, became aggressive and animal-like, imitating in human terms those they stalked.

I had myself become aware that decent young people could become less than decent when in war.

Just for the record I did reserve duty in the West bank for 20 years and had no problem with it. Neither did I hear anyone in my unit raise any objections. What is more important what the vast majority of soldiers who were actually there think, or a small group that receives funding from sources hostile to Israel?

Ariella says:

Inspiring and courageous. To quote Nicholas Kristoff: Israel goes out of its way to display its ugliest side to the world… Yet there’s also another Israel as well, one that I mightily admire…. The most cogent critiques of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians invariably come from Israel’s own human rights organizations.

David – these organizations are completely transparent and info on their funding is easily accessible (in stark contrast with many rightwing causes in Israel, and many of those attacking these organizations)

Popescu – there is an alternative: to end the occupation which is taking such a huge toll on Israel’s economy, standing in the world, security and moral core.

aubrey Massias says:

Very sad,I never knew that this situation existed ;how can we ever have peace under these conditions,i believe that Mikhael Manekin & “Breaking the Silence ” are doing the right thing,How does one reach out to correct
this horrible atrocity, without thoughts of revenge ?I can understand that drastic measures had to be taken to stop the Palistianians from killing/murdering JEWS,but certainly not the way in which it is being done,a better way has to be found.
The answer is, we need to lean more on our Creator ,we seem to be leaving him out of our lives,and not “listening for that still small voice ” By which we were guided in the old days;HE IS STILL AROUND TODAY BUT WE ARE NOT CONVERSING WITH HIM , as our forefathers did.

Marty Janner says:

Israel was founded on the most desirable of terms, what has emerged is a militaristic entity, which no longer enjoys these precepts. They are entitled to the right of defense, however what is occuring is absolutely without honor, destruction of Arab’s property, creating an atmosphere,for which life long residents are exposed to indignities which are not representative of a democratic state.

This young man, has every right to question these actions! I, as an individual, applaud him! It is encouraging to see to see a conscience that has awakened!

Yael Taubman says:

Excuuuuse me! which organizations are completely transparent? Funding easily accessible? Where? You are very naive. So many enemy countries and anti-semitic countries are funding these NGO’s. It’s amazing that you could say such a thing. I really wouldlike to know where to look for their accessible funding process.
Thank you.

Yael Taubman says:

PS that was for Ariella..re transparent NGO’s.

And Marty, what about the wanton destruction of Jewish property and lives during the bus and restaurant bombings, Sderot, missiles all the time from Gaza into civilian areas? The threats and amount of weaponry held by Hizbollah and Hamas as well as Fatah and ordinary Arabs?
Puleeese. Really.

this is getting incredibly tiresome, michelle goldberg’s jihad on Israel in the pages of tabletmag, week after week.

Nathaniel says:

Really gut wrenching. Would all the costs that would probably ensue from a withdrawal–anarchy/Hamas takeover, then of course the rockets on the coastal plain, then the inevitable Cast Lead-type response, then the U.N./EU ululating plus maybe even some sanctions, but also a multiple year deterrence–would these costs still be better than daily sending your kids to rule a people by force who hate you?

It seems to me the existential fear caused by being surrounded by the likes of Hamas/Hezbollah is a better alternative than generations of soldiers having to govern Palestinians like they do. Isn’t it better to wreak one month of hell (Lebanon 2006, Gaza 2008-9), than to occupy the land?

He is only one (or few like him) from thousands and thousands who served (and still serving) on the west bank. Why Michele Goldberg is not interested in their stories? Why she is not interested in stories of hundreds of people who lost their limbs or the loved ones in terrorist attacks 10 years ago that were stopped because to this “brutal” occupation? (IDF had in re-occupy many areas in 2002 and impose “brutal” measures to insure safety for both – Israelis and Palestinians). Why editors of “Tablet” cannot come to the Jerusalem central bus station, take a bus number 18 (I believe), go to Hebron and check those “facts” themselves instead of giving podium to the soviet style propaganda?

John D, Winston says:

to Yael Taubman, I have to ask whether the treatment of Palestinians is justified by ” the wanton destruction of Jewish property and lives during the bus and restaurant bombings, Sderot, missiles all the time from Gaza into civilian areas? The threats and amount of weaponry held by Hizbollah and Hamas as well as Fatah and ordinary Arabs?
Puleeese. Really.” Frankly, the bad guys will justify the ills you speak of by the bad deeds of the Israelis.

I always believed that Israel wanted peace. I still do, but I don’t now believe that the Israeli government wants peace. I will believe it
when we see the end of IDF defense of the settlers and perhaps the arrest and prosecution of the criminals such as those vandalizing and destroying the Palestinians’ olive crops and olive trees

Pam Machefsky says:

It is sad to see this kind of one-sided, Israel-bashing piece on Tablet. In 2001, I was a tourist in Jerusalem, walking by the Prime Minister’s office, when a woman with a baby carriage asked my husband and me to stand next to her. She had a laminated photo of her father, who was killed in his study in his home in Hebron by “Palestinians” who came in a window and fatally knifed him. Israelis have the right to live in their own country, and they deserve the right to be protected, by the IDF or by the police.

Breaking the Silence is completely transparent in its funding; it has its annual financial reports on its website (something that NGO Monitor doesn’t have.) NGO Monitor has never questioned “secret funding” of Breaking the Silence; it just says that Israelis should know that they receive money from the European Union, England, and other European countries. The only reason why NGO Monitor knows this is because it was published by Breaking the Silence in their Gaza testimony book. To date nobody has found any evidence of secret funding, which is as likely as the possibility that Ahmadinejad is funding the Hebron settlers.

Yael, you have every right to think that the United Kingdom, Holland, etc. are anti-Semitic countries; NGO Monitor does not. It argues that the European Union should not be funding NGOs in a democracy like Israel. That is a debatable point, but it is legitimate.

May I suggest that before you smear an NGO like Breaking the Silence, you explain what evidence you have for such smears.

dani levi says:

What is always noteworthy after these sort of articles+threads is that we never hear any moderates. It is always pro WB fruit cakes are far lefties like Prof. Jerry Haber. When actually in Israel, the majority of people are tired of both extremes and long for moderation.
Another important omission is that there is a very long, 80-120 year story PREceding the situation we are in now ( The context ). Turning the spot light on Hebron, which is clearly sickening, distorts the picture. Focusing on 400 Zionist-subfascists does nobody any good. These people clearly did not get enough oxygen in the birth canal and then moved mostly from the USA to the WB. It is also a significant problem of the US-Jewish community which “breeds” these individuals and this state of mind.
One of the reasons why the IDF is in the WB is because of the lessons learned after three ( 3 ) wars of aggression from the Arab side. That Palestinians have this uncanny quality of ALWAYS siding with a born loser be it Saddam, bin Laden or Tehran.
The PA’s culture of glorifying terrorists and naming squares after people who murdered children does not foster trust. That Hamas won an election shows a lack of political maturity amongst the Palestinian electorate. Are they “alone” in this equation? No, certainly not. The Israelis must move as well. They did. They moved from Lebanon and Aza. Yet in both instances the other side was not clever enough to see the trip wire and move around it. They charged straight through it. And many said ” I told you so. “.

The EU, USA and Japan would have built Aza a brand new civil infrastructure, hospitals, schools, sewage treatment plants, a harbor, power station, universities, another airport, kindergarden’s, streets, vocational training centers bla bla bla and the Saudi’s would have gold plated the whole spiel. Instead we have Palestinian Islamofascists running Aza with Tehran’s hand up Hamas’s anus working the muppet.
Like in Hebron, it is to cry for.

Alexander Diamond says:

The point of the story and the thread that follows it is obscured by the predictable rhetoric that surrounds the issue of the occupation.
Doesn’t anybody get it? Everybody, all Israeli Jews, Arabs and Palestinians are victims of the occupation. If you don’t see that then more’s the pity. All of the land of Israel is under the occupation and all who live in that land lost their freedom post-1967. Without freedom there will be no peace. Freedom for all Israelis and freedom for all Palestinians. The slogan must be changed from Peace Now to Freedom First, Peace Later.

Andrew G. says:

For further information on this topic, check out this report on the West Bank (with a focus on Hebron), which aired Tuesday on Dan Rather Reports. http://tinyurl.com/4mauxf7

Lois Stavsky says:

I am so pleased that Mikhael Manekin is an observant Jew. I only wish that more members of his religious “community” could understand that their dehumanization of “the other” is hurting everyone, including themselves and the state of Israel.

Thanks for the ad hominem, dani. If you have anything substantive to say about my comment, that would be refreshing.

Leftwing NGOs in Israel are entirely transparent regarding their public funding. As non-profits (amutot) they have to be. If anybody can cite one example where this is not true, where there has been evidence of secret or unreported public funding, please share that with the group. If you can’t, then please don’t smear.

As for private funding — as far as I know, no non-profit has to divulge the identity of private donors; it it did, that would be the end of its donations. There are people who prefer to give gifts as “anonymous”. Talk to Elad or the Hebron Fund about that.

Some of the leftwing NGOs have said that they are willing to support legislation that requires all foreign funders, private and public, to be identified. The rightwing NGOs, and their Knesset patrons, have balked at this. And it is obvious why.

dani levi says:

Jerry Haber
I read your blog and am aware that you go to Bil’in, that says it all and puts you on the left wing fringe. In proximity to the BDS crowd. Haber was a binational solution man, which as we know is utopian. So you are not really contributing anything of substance other than righteous indignation, as can be seen on your blog.
We need real solutions and not dreamers.

As for the financing debate. It is obviously a phantom debate by the far right. So not worth getting into.

The problem I do see at times, is when IL left wingers accept money from say EU governments and can be placed in the proximity of the BDS movement. Or begin to be seen to be close to anti-zionists or worse. Mondoweiss, EI, hard core Palestinian/IL “academics” ( Pape ) in the US and the UK. It gives me the creeps when willingly or unwillingly the IL far left works in tandem with PAL hardliners who use the far left as leverage in their Zionism=racism discourse.
Finkelstein being a good example. A communist who approaches the entire discussion from a Marxist perspective. This is of course his right, but he is on very thin ice and is really only loved by Al Jazeera and the anti-Zionists on campus who will grab at any Jewish Straw however whacky that may be.

The solution will only come from the centre. All else is dressing.

I am 74 years old and have been pro-Israel my entire adult life, as were my parents. I have dear relatives, Orthodox Jews, who live in Israel. My daughter and I were in Israel a year and a half ago and visited Hebron. The treatment of Palestinians in Hebron, and the tacit permission to settlors to act outrageously and violently toward them, is inhumane and violates what we as Jews have protested against for at least three thousand years. Some of your repliers do not read Tenach with understanding, especially the Prophets, nor do they understand what it means to be a Jew and our obligation to speak out against injustice. To label those who tell the truth about the multiple costs of the settlements to Israel, in moral, economic, political, and military terms as anti-Israel,or under the thumb of anti-Israel sympathizers, is rediculous. I read extensively about Judaism and Israel, and have yet to read a cogent argument about why the settlements, for the most part, increase the security of Israel.

Jonathan Silverman says:

In 1929 the Jews in Hebron had very positive relationships with the local arabs. And they all got massacred in the most horrible ways. I won’t relate the details of the massacre, it’s just makes me so upset.
The Hebron massacre- this is a significant fact to keep in mind when discussing Hebron.

To Steve. You don’t need to read, you just need to ask residents of Sderot – was their life safer or not when Jews lived in Gaza. When you lived in Israel, did you stay in Tel-Aviv or you lived in Sderot during airraids? Not everybody in Israel can afford Tel-Aviv. You lived 74 years but still cannot understand that.

Thank you, Steve, for bringing a calm and wise voice to the “discussion.”
I’m amazed to see Breaking the Silence characterized as some sort of extreme-left-wing-tool of global anti-Israel sentiment and so on, and to see Tablet and Michelle Goldberg smeared in equally ignorant ways. If you want true radical, leftist critiques of Israel, they’re not hard to find and they bear no resemblance to the views of BTS which holds a rather mainstream anti-occupation position. Tablet and Ms Goldberg, as I see it, are careful to report rather than editorialize or advocate. Tablet publishes a fairly wide spectrum of viewpoints and, for this reader, is a valuable source of global political and cultural news of Jewish interest, in spite of the tireless efforts of a few of our beloved brothers and sisters of the right-wing persuasion to stir up some loshn hara (badmouthing). Happily, there’s also plenty of seykhel bubbling up in these comments well.

Randall says:

Israel, a light unto the nations.

I am just curious does Mr. Haber realize that he was born in USA by the pure luck. That if he would be born in Sderot he would sing now a different song.

Please take this article with a grain of salt. Michelle has shown many times her aversion to researching subjects, and seems much happier jumping straight to an uninformed opinion.

In fact… if anyone reads this, ignore this entire article and find a different source.

Well, if anyone wonders how Israel will react to any Egyptian-style peaceful protest movement against this kind of opression, the Jerusalem Post reports today that the IDF is preparing to crush it, anticipating “high casualties” on the palestinian side when the IDF “has to move in”. They are already scouting out sniping positions, oops, “observatrion positions on high hills” and rapid response teams.They are preparing their soldiers for the mental anguish of killing, ooops, “containing” peaceful protesters.

Seriously, it is becoming more and more difficult to defend the IDF as a military in the western tradition. The most moral army in the world? I dont think so.

As a former soldier in the IDF I always find these type of articles insulting. Do you think that there are many soldiers who enjoy dealing with civilian populations? Have any of you making these comments attended a briefing giving to soldiers before being sent the West bank about what is permitted and what is not? Have you gone to an IDF seminar given to soldiers about morality and war? On the other hand have you seen Palestinians celebrating and passing out candy when Israeli civilians are murdered? Have you and your family been subject to missile fire after the IDF withdrew from Gaza and Lebanon. How many of you care about the fact that the US army traveled half-way around the world to kill thousands of Iraqi and Afghan Civilians, bulldoze their villages and kill them by remote control from drones? Save us your preaching.

arcaneone says:

Breaking What Silence? A Critical Reading of Allegations from “Breaking the Silence”

On December 12, 2010, the NGO known as Breaking the Silence (BtS) published a 431-page compilation entitled Occupation of the Territories – Israeli Soldier testimonies 2000-2010. BtS claims to counter the “official Israeli position” that IDF actions are defensive in nature: “The soldiers’ testimonies describe an offensive policy that includes annexation of territory, terrorizing and tightening the control over the civilian population.”

These highly tendentious and unsubstantiated allegations were copied uncritically by media sources such as the New York Review of Books, Ha’aretz, The Independent (UK), leading Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende.

NGO Monitor’s analysis of the Breaking the Silence publication shows:

*

BtS makes sweeping accusations based on anecdotal, anonymous, and unverifiable accounts of low-level soldiers.
*

Only 30 of 183 testimonies could potentially be independently verified based on the details provided. (According to BtS, 101 individuals testified. It is unclear how many of them are responsible for multiple entries.)
*

Responses to terror and legitimate security concerns are dismissed as pretenses to “punish, deter, or tighten control over the Palestinian population” and the “intimidation, instilling of fear, and indiscriminate punishment of the Palestinian population.”
*

The incidents do not relate to decision-making in the army’s higher echelons, but rather refer entirely to allegations of low-level infractions. Many explicitly note that misconduct was opposed and punished by officers: “I have to point out that the officers were opposed to it, and they tried anyone who was involved in these things. There was a strong opposition.”
*
CONT.

arcaneone says:

CONT.

*

*

Some of the testimonies suggest radical anti-Israel political motivations. One former soldier explained that he participates in “anti-Wall” demonstrations, and another referred to settlers as “the biggest Judeo-Nazis that I have met in my life.”
*

The publishing of the compilation in English indicates that the intended audience for BtS’ distorted view is outside Israel. In the words of BtS’ Michael Manekin, “Really, the political significance is the only reason for doing it.”

Contrary to Breaking the Silence’s image as a beleaguered and oppressed group of Israeli dissidents, the NGO is free to publish its allegations without consequence or punishment. Journalists in Ha’aretz and from international papers frequently provide BtS with a platform. The Italian newspaper Il Foglio wrote that members of Breaking the Silence “risk at the most coming late to their Tel Aviv café.”

This NGO also receives extensive funding from European governments, enabling officials to artificially amplify their impact within Israel and speak and promote their ideology to international audiences.

Click here for the full analysis

dani levi says:

Alright people !
Honey Badger don’t care….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg&feature=related

arcaneone says:

THE ACTUAL jp ARTICLE:

IDF prepares over fears of Egypt-style W. Bank demos
By YAAKOV KATZ
02/18/2011 05:53

Military begins building rapid-response teams to be used to contain potential marches, protests by Palestinians.
Talkbacks (18)

Concerned by the prospect of the Palestinians replicating Egypt-style mass demonstrations with dozens of simultaneous marches and protests in the West Bank, the IDF is beginning to build rapid-response forces and to identify vantage points throughout the territories that could be used to contain such protests.

The IDF’s Central Command assesses that the Palestinians could resort to so-called nonviolent resistance, on a scale previously unknown to Israel, in the absence of peace negotiations.

RELATED:
Barak: IDF needs to deal with changing Mideast
Analysis: New IDF chief faces an axis of evil
Israel must keep eye on Egypt’s old guard

While there is deemed to be some possibility that such demonstrations will take place in the near future in the spirit of Egypt, Tunisia and Iran, a senior officer said it was more likely that the Palestinian Authority would prevent this from happening until after elections in September.

One senior officer said commanders were discussing ways to counter and contain large demonstrations launched simultaneously in different parts of the West Bank.

“We are preparing different responses for different scenarios to think about what we will do if there are, for example, 30 marches of several thousand people each,” the officer said. “This is something we have yet to encounter.”

One step the IDF is taking is to set up rapid-response teams that can quickly maneuver throughout the West Bank and arrive at the scene of a demonstration in its early stages in an attempt to contain it. CONT.

arcaneone says:

cont.
During the summer, the Border Police are expected to establish a new command in the West Bank after the Arava District is dismantled.

In addition, the IDF is locating strategic hilltops that can be used as vantage points from which the military could deploy reconnaissance and surveillance teams to track developments inside Palestinian towns and cities.

The concern is that in the event of multiple large-scale demonstrations, the IDF will not know how to effectively respond and contain the protests, which could lead to a high number of casualties. As a result, commanders have been instructed to prepare their soldiers mentally for how to respond in such scenarios.

Israel has been keeping a close eye on Palestinian cities in recent weeks since the revolution in Egypt, to ensure that the violence does not spread to the West Bank.

According to intelligence assessments, the Palestinians are currently interested in continuing with their plans to build up and reform the institutions they would require for statehood if they decided to make a unilateral declaration following elections in September.

Even after September, the IDF believes the PA will maintain its high-level and almost daily security coordination with the IDF. But, it is thought, the PA could, at the same time, allow and even possibly encourage civilians to launch so-called nonviolent resistance to delegitimize Israel.

arcaneone says:

HAARETZ ON HEBRON “SETTLEMENTS”

The Jewish community in Hebron celebrated this week the decision of Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar to fund Jewish heritage trips for students to the city’s Tomb of the Patriarchs.

But last week, the community suffered a setback when the Supreme Court ruled that Jews could not be given property which belonged to them in the city before 1948, and that they are also not entitled to be given any compensation for it.
Hebron 2008

Hebron 2008
Photo by: Archive

Since the re-establishment of Jewish settlement in Hebron in 1968, settlers there have repeatedly demanded the return of Jewish properties abandoned after the War of Independence.

The assets are extensive and include properties in the market area, at the Beit Hadassah compound, Beit Romano, Beit Hizkiya, Tel Rumeida and a plot nearby.

Abandoned Jewish property had been used in the past to establish a Jewish settlement in the city. The neighborhoods of Avraham Avinu, Beit Hadassah and Tel Rumeida were built this way.

The Supreme Court ruled in the past that the wishes of the owners should be taken into account in deciding the use of the properties, but rejected petitions to restore it to its owners.

In 1948, following the Jordanian occupation of the city, the properties were handed over to a Jordanian caretaker whose function was to deal with enemy properties.

The Jordanians razed large portions of the Jewish Quarter and in the 1960s King Hussein built up the market complex.

In 1967, then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan decided to continue the functioning of the office of the Jordanian caretaker, which now functions under the Civil Administration.

Only a small portion of Jewish-owned properties in the West Bank have been returned to their owners.

In 1997 the state decided that the matter would be decided in an agreement between the Civil Administration and the Jews claiming them. One of them was Yossi Ezra, from Jerusalem. CONT.

arcaneone says:

CONT.

His family was the last one to leave Hebron in 1947, the day after the UN decided on the partition plan.

Most Jews fled the city in 1929 following a massacre of 66 members of the community. Ezra is now in a legal battle to receive back the home of his parents, near the Avraham Avinu neighborhood close to the market.

“It is not abandoned property but property that was taken away,” he said.

The issue of Jewish properties in Hebron is also at the center of another petition to the High Court, filed by two Palestinians and Peace Now. The Palestinians had shops in the market that were closed down after 29 Muslims were gunned down at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in 1994. Some of the shop areas were used to expand Jewish homes and the Palestinians want the settlers removed and their property rights returned.

dani levi says:

arcaneone
WHAT ARE YOU DOING? this is all hypothetical. you are dealing with ifs and whens and maybes. Every nation has plans like this for all sorts of scenarios. It is called prudent planing.
Honey badger don’t care.

Knowing how journalism works – that story ideas don’t just magically appear and get research/travel budgets – I’m wondering if BenOr Consulting or some NGO has been feeding these story ideas to Goldberg and setting up the conntections to write these series of articles (see Goldberg’s Mondweiss and “Disobedient” articles among others). This has nothing to do with the substance of the article: I’m more interested in the mechanics of the “peace process” industry comprised of interlinked NGOs, activists, journalists etc. Bizarrely, we now have a situation where a critical mass of people on the left earn their living from commenting, investigating or intervening in the conflict in Israel. Ironically, these journalists, NGO types, activists, advisors and diplomats have vested personal financial interests in perpetuating, not ending, the conflict to keep their funding sources alive.

T/Ramat-Gan/Israel says:

According to Michelle Goldebrg( via Daily Beast ) Nir Rosen just destroyed his reputation. BUT he didn’t do so in past when he called to destroy Israel or with anti-sematic rants. That is telling you a lot about who is Michelle Goldberg and where she stands.

Congrats Tablet! From your current home page you are not far away from becoming Mondoweiss

A.L. Bell says:

@Dani Levi – Yes, I think it’s frustrating to see threads divide into “Good, Israel! Israel perfect! Israel right to kill those murderers!” vs. “Bad Israel! Bad! Bad! Bad!!!!!!!!!”

I think you can be as pessimistic about the possibility of co-existence as Meir Kahane and still want whatever occupation exists to run as honestly, politely and efficiently as possible.

And I think you can be very liberal and admit the Israelis have their hands full when dealing with the Palestinians, and that trying to manage any group of people, whether it’s elite Al Qaeda forces, ordinary Palestinian Arabs, or a classroom full of 13-year-olds, can drive people up a tree and lead to horrible results. Even if turned out that Manekin were a figment of Michelle Goldberg’s imagination, we know that there have be some soldiers messing up horribly on the West Bank, because soldiers are people, and people are flawed. If Moses could give G-d’s 10 Commandments the stone version of the blue screen of death, then bored, scared soldiers can do stupid things to people in Hebron.

I think the best reaction is to be kind to ourselves, be charitable toward the people on the other side, and try to get away from thinking that real peace is impossible because they’ve been so horrible or we’ve been so horrible.

Sure, the massacre in Hebron was horrific. Sure, Jewish Israelis must have done awful things to the Palestinians, no matter whether a specific allegation is true or not. But the Germans, English and French spent about 1,000 years doing much worse things to one another than the Israelis and Palestinians have done to one another, and the Germans, English and French get along fine. I spent my entire childhood knowing that the U.S.S.R. would turn me into radioactive glass, and that never happened. So, we have sinned, and they have sinned, but, if we pray hard enough, fast well enough on Yom Kippur, donate enough money to the right charities, then maybe God will help us make peace with the Palestinians.

dani levi says:

@ A.L. Bell
I concur. What amazes me is that nobody sees that we are indeed being fed BS most of the time. Wether it is IL fascists or the BDS crowd and some of their +972 collaborators. I have to assume it is a mix of good copy and who ever screams the loudest. I live in Israel and have to say still have to meet an open racist, although I know they are out there.
What is fascinating is what DRW alluded to, and that is an unholy alliance of the Palestinian Diaspora , (Jewish) anti-Zionists, left wing Westerners and a media/internet savvy journalistic class who have no problems in dealing with clear anti-semites as long as it serves their purpose. The REUT Institute has recognized this ( http://reut-institute.org/en/Publication.aspx?PublicationId=3769 ). The delegitimization movement is using the fog of half baked ideas to press for speed. This again includes all sort of individuals and movements across the planet who have lost all sense of proportion and just want to see blood. What distinguishes these people and their message is a complete lack of understanding of detail, of the mind boggling intricacy that a hysterical Nir Rosen will never comprehend. Like Finkelstein, their views are made up before they set a foot on the ground. Having been “fed” in an echo chamber, where egos are bred like dope in a rigged grow house in the Valley. It is a potent mix, which is realized by the possibility of fame through CiF, an appearance with Amy Goodman or having your own youtube channel after sweating some HD video in Bil’in or Iraq. Assange nows that pussy is easy and there is nothing like writing for the alternative media when you are 30. They have a calling, they have an audience who “know” that the MSM is run by Jews and can not be trusted.
It reminds me of the 70s and 80s, when the US was the bogey in left wing Europe. Only when the Wall came down, and people saw the archives did they have proof what was going on. The perfidy of it all!
Yet IL must leave the WB.

dani levi says:

Nir Rosen is a case in point. Another far lefty who gives the world his point of view without full disclosure.

quote from a blog about Rosen:

” His first opportunity came with the Balkans and the second in Iraq. “My friend is one of the most hardcore leftists I have ever met,” Adesnik wrote in a later blog entry. “His mission in Baghdad is to document and expose the inner workings of American imperialism. This is the same guy who insisted that the United States bombed Kosovo in order to expand into the Balkan marketplace.” Rosen was arrested in Serbia, an experience about which he wrote for the Salon online magazine: Ten Days in a Serbian Prison. ”

Nir Rosen also wishes for a punitive bombing of Israel. It is these sort of “journalists” who feed the frenzy.
Michelle Goldberg does not, I respect her writing and ability to connect the over arching dots and her humanity immensely.
Like Finkelstein, the writers have a very specific take on a subject matter, sometimes bordering paranoia. Both Finkelstein and Rosen have something obsessive compulsive when watched on TV. And there is only ever ONE bogey man, the USA/Israel. China, Iran, Sudan etc never enter the picture. But the time spent hanging with Hezbollah or the Taliban is sadly not spent questioning their motives.

This dynamic is visible more and more.

It is not a journalism, it is propaganda.

Rabbi Tony Jutner says:

Manekin cant have it both ways. He cant on the one hand be a zionist and on the other hand, be a witness to crimes that havent been replicated since Babi Yar. Either he joins the world community of justice and repudiates the concept of a Jewish state or he cuddles up with Gush Emunim and ethnic cleansing. He must choose
AMANDLA!!!!!!

KO (Finland) says:

@Yael Taubman You, like some others, are fussing around totally irrelevant matter. I think, what you should do is to stop to think about the message itself. Is all this happening, because of Israeli policy – on an occupied territory, eh. Is it easy to bypass this by saying, that “it is just (a) leftist, (b) anti-semitic propaganda”. The only two cards in the israeli deck? Maybe enough for you, but as was seen on friday, vast majority of the world is thinking other way.

arcaneone says:

DANI LEVI–What I am doing is pointing out what Goldberg and Manekin didn’t, namely that from a source credible to the Left(Haaretz), the “colony” of Hebron is largely built on land taken by force from Jews. This is not ancient history.

What I am doing is pointing out that there is another, much more benign, interpretation of Israel’s contingency planning than that asserted in this thread(“snipers”).

What I am doing is pointing out the truth of NGO Monitor’s claims of lack of substance in the BTS charges. Note that the article did not cite even one specific incident of settler “impunity” in attacks on Palestinians. As NGO Monitor claimed, other than Manekin himself, most of the BTS charges were anonymous and impossible to verify. The whole compilation of charges relates to low-level malfeasance, not a deliberate policy by the state.

Manekin himself is quoted: “…cruelty and moral squalor. That’s the message of Breaking the Silence: The abuses its members document stem directly from government policy. “On the whole, the military is actually fine,” he says. “This is not about the settlers. It’s not about the military. It’s about the state.”, yet not a single incident is cited that links low-level malfeasance to any specific state policy, nor is there any explanation of how the state could conduct an abusive military policy without the co-operation of a “fine” military.

Meanwhile, with all the tens of thousands of individual Israeli soldiers who served on the WB during a time of intense conflict, only about 18 abusive incidents per year are even being alleged. That’s a remarkably small number, and that is the real take-away from this article.

arcaneone says:

RABBI TONY:

“…Manekin cant have it both ways. He cant on the one hand be a zionist and on the other hand, be a witness to crimes that havent been replicated since Babi Yar…”

SINCE BABI YAR:

CONGO–Over 5 million dead, thousands of mass rapes, UN forces implicated in atrocities.

SOUTH SUDAN–Over 2 million dead, mostly Black.

DARFUR–Over 300,000 dead, millions displaced, in Muslim-on-Muslim violence.

ALGERIA–Over 1 million dead in its war for independence from France. An estimated 200,000 dead in later Muslim-on-Muslim violence.

CAMBODIA–Over 1 million dead under Pol Pot.

IRAQ–Hundreds of thousands of Kurds and “marsh Arabs” murdered by Palestinian hero Saddam Pussein.

CHINA–Millions killed and blighted during the Cultural Revolution of the 1950s/60s.

SYRIA–A police state, with thousands killed at HAMA as a lesson to dissidents.

ANGOLA–Over 1 million dead in a US/USSR proxy war.

VIET NAM–Millions dead.

CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA–Millions killed or incarcerated by police states.

The above is a very partial list, as most readers are sophisticated enough to realize. Mostly, the world has looked the other way, while obsessing about the Israel/”Palestine” conflict. The Kurds were promised a country of their own after WWI; how much traction does that idea have today? Who cares about the Azeris persecuted in Iran, or the Baluchis, or the Pashtuns, or the Kashmiris, or the Kachins of authoritarian Myanmar, or the Tibetans or Uigurs of China, or the Chechens of Russia?

The answer is “precious few”, despite documented human rights abuses that make Israel/”Palestine” look like “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm”.
To answer KO, the vast majority of Israel’s critics have tolerated or even profited by these abuses up to and including the present. The vast majority of the world would sell Israel out in a heartbeat to keep the arms-for-oil trade booming and to(temporarily)appease their Muslim radicals. Does anyone dispute anything in this post?

This report has no credibility. By referring to the Jews who live in Hebron as settlers and ultra-rightists, Michelle Goldberg only parrots the narrative of the anti-Israel activists. As arcaneone pointed out, Manekin contradicts himself in implying this is state policy.

My first trip to Israel was in 1976, and the youth tour took us to Hebron and Cave of Machpela. There was no indication that Jews didn’t belong there. I visited again on my own in the 1980′s before Intifada 1, and still there was no indication that Jews did not belong there.

In fact there has been a Jewish presence in Hebron since Abraham (though I will admittedly plead ignorant of the number of Jews who stayed there during the Jordanian occupation. It may have been 0.)

So what changed in 1987/1988? It was not the facts. Jews have lived in Hebron for centuries. Our forefathers and mothers are buried there. The Muslims recognize this. These facts did not change. Truth did not change.

What changed was the story that people tell. In the new story, Fatah is not a group of terrorists bent on destroying the Jewish population; it is the leadership of the “Palestinian people” who have struggled for so long to have their own Palestinian state, against the Jewish settlers who have suddenly stolen their land.

When I served in the IDF, I too became annoyed with the way the army treated the Arab villagers. My solution was to not treat them in the same way. It proved helpful. By treating the Arabs as people they saw a Jewish soldier as a human being. If Mannekin did not have the presence of mind to do the same when he was a soldier, he is right to feel ashamed of his actions. But he is wrong to perpetrate a lie.

arcaneone says:

At least part of the problem of Jewish anti-Zionism is caused by the puff it gives to the egos of its practitioners. Self-knowledge and self-criticism are highly regarded; thus, in their own minds the Jewish anti-Zionists inflate their moral standing not by protecting their “tribe” from criticism but by obsessively focusing criticism on it, as if this proved their broadmindedness and lack of a double standard.

This has led to what might be called “competitive credulity”, in which ever-more-extreme accusations are hurled about, with no concern at all for realism. Thus, one of the most frequent slurs we see is that the Israelis are subjecting Gaza to Warsaw Ghetto conditions. This is widely asserted and clearly believed by a substantial number of muddle-heads, as if the real Nazis would have provided the besieged Jews with food, water, electricity, and medicines. Ridiculous, yet people are convinced of it in true Orwellian fashion.

a concerned jew says:

when minorities in america complained for years about police brutality, most white americans did not believe it. however, after the videotaped beating of rodney king in los angeles, the police rape by on Abner Louima while in police custody in new york, and the systematic torture of “noncombatant” prisoners by American military in Guantánamo, such allegations are no longer easily ignored and those making the accusations are not called unAmerican, except by some who should be ashamed of themselves. i don’t know if the allegations set out in the article are correct, but i cannot understand how anyone can justify a Jew being cruel to another human being or calling the person who speaks out about it as anti-Zionist. If we deserve to keep the Land of Israel we have to act like correctly, humanely. it is one thing to retake jewish property or claim arab property on behalf of the state, indeed the right of the government to take property for public use is built into the US constitution; but once their property is reclaimed or taken, we shouldn’t degrade those who formerly possessed the property, nor accuse those who stand up and object as traitors.

arcaneone says:

CONCERNED JEW–

I don’t object to people criticizing Israel. I object to journalists who elide important information, as in the above article, which counterhistorically avoids any reference to the Hebron ”settlement”‘s former Jewish ownership, implying, incorrectly, that the “settlement” is just a naked land grab. That writers and “human rights advocates” are doing this validates the charge of anti-Zionism against them.

I pointed out a number of inconsistencies in the article, such as the fact that it contained no specific incidents at all to back up its charge of “settler impunity”, and no process was described by which an “evil” state could impose an abusive military regime without the co-operation of what Manekin called a “fine” military, or how Manekin could call the military “fine” if it were in fact co-operating in abuse. Scan the entire article and you will find not one word to describe BTS’ methodology in verifying the allegations brought to its attention. Don’t such standards matter? Wouldn’t you like to know, rather than jumping blindly on the “I am superior because I criticize Israel obsessively” bandwagon?

I would like to believe there is a difference between journalism and propagandizing. The above article, with its many flaws and distortions, does not rise to the level of journalism, and it is obvious the intent of Goldberg/Manekin is to harm Israel through manipulation of highly selective information.

reuven says:

Ah, how the mighty have fallen. A lovely project like Tablet, broad-minded and filled with interesting articles, tough and fair interviews, a spectrum of views . . . now it’s an organ for JStreet, or seemingly so. What is this tribute to BTS? Where did that Etgar piece come from? Yes, we as Jews should be self-critical, but this does not mean always accepting the worst we can think of ourselves as obvious and unchallenged truth.

By the way, something more textually based as a parsha column would also be appreciated. The present approach seems to be pick out some current events topic, throw it at the parsha, and see if it sticks. That works as USY conventions (sorry USY – it also works at NCSY and NIFTY), but most here have moved beyond that.

Guys, you have a good thing going here – don’t muck it up!

To concerned Jew. You don’t want to abolish the entire police force in the light of videotaped beating of Rodney King or due to some other instances of documented abuses of power by police, do you? The intent of the author of this article as well as of Mr. Mannekin is to abolish occupation in the light of few instances of abuses by few individuals and thus put in grave danger the entire Israeli population, the way you would put in danger everybody in USA if you’d irresponsibly abolish the police force. Now, if someone wants intentionally to put in danger the whole population of the country he is citizen of – the name “traitor” for such individual is very appropriate.

Rabbi Tony Jutner says:

I routinely demonize, defame and hold the zionist entity to double standards. I hope Mr Manekin will oneday testify at the Hague about the extent of zionist war crimes, that make what is going on in Libya look like a lovers quarrel

arcaneone says:

MOSHE ARENS, HAARETZ, 2/22/11

Who are the people, including the editorial writers of this newspaper, who have gone ballistic over the education minister’s announcement that students should be taken on heritage trips to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron? Are they Zionists, non-Zionists, post-Zionists or anti-Zionists? Have their roots in the Land of Israel withered over the years, or have they lost hold of their senses in these tumultuous times?

They seem to have forgotten the very foundation of Zionism: that the Jewish State is located in the Land of Israel just because it is the ancient homeland of the Jewish people, and that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are the icons of the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel – constant reminders to one and all that the Land of Israel is the ancient homeland of the Jewish people, who have returned after 2,000 years in exile.
hebron – Reuters – February 22 2011

The Tomb of the Patriarchs is one of the icons of the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel − a constant reminder that the Land of Israel is the ancient homeland of the Jewish people.
Photo by: Reuters

They seem to have fallen under the spell of the “1967 borders.” They are infatuated by the “Green Line” drawn like a scar across the Land of Israel. West of this line Israel is kosher, not an occupier of another people, but east of that line, you had better watch out. These, they hold, are occupied territories where Israel rules over another people, and no Jew should be living there, or God forbid, be allowed to settle there.

So what is this sacrosanct Green Line? It is nothing more than the armistice line agreed between representatives of Israel and Jordan at Rhodes on April 24, 1949. It was never intended to be a border between two nations. It simply represented, with some modifications, the line where the fighting during Israel’s War of Independence ceased. CONT

arcaneone says:

cont
The British-officered and -equipped Jordanian Arab Legion that had invaded the newborn state of Israel on May 15, 1948 had reached the point during the fighting where its commander, Glubb Pasha, realized that unless Jordan agreed to a cease-fire, the Israeli army was going to advance to the Jordan River and his army would be powerless to stop it.

The armistice left the biblical heartland of ancient Israel, the mountains of Samaria and Judea, the major historical and biblical sites of the Jewish people, east of the armistice line. The War of Independence brigade commanders Moshe Dayan and Yosef Tabenkin had urged the Israel Defense Forces’ General Staff to allow them to capture the Old City of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron, but they were halted by the cease-fire of October 22, 1948.

With Jordan in control of these areas, not only were Jews not allowed to live there, but during the 18 years of Jordanian occupation, Jews were denied access to the Western Wall, the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s tomb. Masada, a site visited over the years by almost all Israelis, young and old, came under Israeli control only in March 1949, when IDF units moving from Be’er Sheva reached the Dead Sea at Sodom and Ein Gedi. One can imagine that had this “last-minute” operation not taken place, the very same people who now complain about students visiting the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron would be arguing against visits CONT

arcaneone says:

CONT

to Masada, located in “occupied territory.”

This perverse objection by some to visits east of the March 1949 armistice lines seems to be part of a wider boycott movement of the whole area. Whether it is Ariel or Hebron, these rootless Israelis will not set foot there. They give credence to the frequently heard Arab propaganda that the Jewish claim of a historic connection to this land is nothing but fiction.

The supporters of the “two-state solution,” who insist that Israel withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines and consider Judea and Samaria to be occupied territory, seem to give no thought to assuring contact between the Jewish people and these sites if such a withdrawal were to take place. Was this even on the agenda in the negotiations between Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat, or between Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni and the Palestinian Authority?

Perhaps supporters of the “two-state solution” would prefer to sever the connection between the Jewish people and the sites that are reminders of the Jewish people’s connection to the Land of Israel. That might be one explanation for the objections voiced to visits by Israeli students to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

more anti zionist Tablet blah blah blah

Michael Rose says:

Even a secular Jew, whose faith is his own business, can remember something from 15 years of Hebrew school and 51 years of going to shul (on and off):

“You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” [Exodus 22: 21]

“When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do them wrong. The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” [Leviticus 19:33-34]

“Justice, justice shall you pursue” [Deuteronomy 16:20]

If your readers are going to give scriptural foundation for Jews to have a presence in Hebron (or anywhere else), then they still have much work to do to be faithful to the overarching spirit of Torah set forth in the verses above, and not just its territorial letter.

It is not anti-Zionist to be appalled by the facts of Breaking the Silence. It seems to be un-Zionist (in the most meaningful sense of Zionism) not to be able to admit any thoughtful reaction to this information as a valid component of the discussion. Jews have been disputing with each other for millennia without political consequences. Now our time has come to dispute with political consequences. This is the vast challenge Torah lays before us in the verses above, whether we go to shul or not, whether we take the words literally or not, whether we live in ha’aretz or not.

Divided we stand. United we may yet be, in peaceful coexistence with our Arab brothers and sisters.

To continue analogy with a police. Police is a necessary evil. If every citizen would live according the law we wouldn’t need to have an agency for enforcing that law. Same is true for the occupation: if every Palestinian, every Palestinian leader would act according to the treaties and promises there would be no need for Israeli occupation. The argument that not only guilty ones but innocent people also are suffering from the occupation is true for the police too because quite often police mistreats innocent persons as well. But such unfortunate incidents do not trigger calls for the abolishment of police because even lefties realize that benefit of having law enforcement agency overwhelms its all shortcomings. However the same lefties cannot understand that this same argument is also correct for the occupation. What prevents them to realize it? Does anyone know the answer? Improve occupation? Yes. Abolish it? No.

arcaneone says:

MICHAEL ROSE:

“…“Justice, justice shall you pursue” [Deuteronomy 16:20]

If your readers are going to give scriptural foundation for Jews to have a presence in Hebron (or anywhere else), then they still have much work to do to be faithful to the overarching spirit of Torah set forth in the verses above, and not just its territorial letter.

It is not anti-Zionist to be appalled by the facts of Breaking the Silence…”

Clearly, there is a moral aspect to the debate over the “Occupation”. There are SOME bad apples in the Israeli Army. That is not in dispute.
If the only standard is absolute perfection, every country would fall short.

The real questions are:
1)The “Occupation” is to some degree morally corrosive to the individuals that must enforce it. What real alternative is there to “Occupation” in the near term, given the chasm between Fatah and Hamas and the winds of change now sweeping thru the Arab world?

2)Why believe that any treaty will be enforced, given the complete failure to control Hezbollah in Lebanon?

3)You write of the facts presented by BTS, yet exactly zero SPECIFIC crimes were alleged, just “I made him cry,”(when?where?who?)and like allegations, entirely unsupported. A phenomenon has been noted of Israelis “proud to be ashamed to be Israeli”, and the same is happening it Jewish communities(or should I say “communities”?)around the world.

In a truly Orwellian sense, some Jewish(and other)individuals are constructing almost an alternative reality of progressively-larger inflammatory charges against Israel. These charges are generally disprovable, but remain widely accepted. Orwell’s mechanism for achieving this belief in things known to be untrue was the pervasive fear epitomized by the Hitler and Stalin regimes.

Today, the hook to Orwellian mind control is much softer. All you need do is believe in emotionalist nonsense and obsessively criticize Israel every time some telegenic tyke on the West Bank gets a hangnail.

I’ve said that least 3485349 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

This is the coolest article I have seen, I will spread the news how to get clear skin

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Unsettled

An IDF vet with ‘a great sense of discomfort about my own personal behavior’ when he patrolled the Occupied Territories now leads a group called Breaking the Silence dedicated to exposing the messy work of occupation

More on Tablet:

LARP-ing at the Crematorium (in a Suburban Hyatt Hotel)

By Olivia Simone — A live-action role-playing game set up a scenario with ‘inmates’ and a ‘furnace.’ What could go wrong?