Prisoner Swaps

by craig on October 18, 2011 10:14 am in Uncategorized

I am ganuinely glad to see Gilad Shalit go home, and to see so many Palestinians reunited with their families. In conflict resolution we tend to refer to such events as “confidence building measures”, and there is no doubt that prisoner releases have to be a part of any eventual solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. But this is hardly an unprecedented event – I can remember three or four similar ones, with no long term effect. Still, on balance a good thing.

I find the wall to wall media coverage so laughably one-sided that I am surprisingly relaxed about it. Anybody likely to be paying the slightest attention to a news channel is going to know some background on the Israeli occupation and the plight of the Palestinians, so the ludicrous one-sidedness of the BBC and Sky News is much more likely to provoke derision than to have the desired propaganda effect.

I had the peculiar thought this morning that the crazed extremism of the Netanyahu government, with their walls and accelerated settlement building, may not be a bad thing in the long term. Another year or two of this kind of land grab and a two state solution will become patently impractical, and unacceptable to all Palestinians. As someone who has always favoured a single, secular democratic state in Israel/Palestine, I am hopeful that the two state idea, which is a Zionist trap into which well meaning but despairing liberals fell, will lose support when it becomes clear that the proposed Palestinian state is becoming an ever shrinking, increasingly disconnected series of tiny waterless and resourceless bantustans.

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  1. Craig – I wish I could share your optimism re a single, secular, democratic state in Israel/Palestine.

    Unless there is an overwhelming change of heart on the Israeli side, I cannot believe that this will ever come about. Agreed that the two-state solution can’t be acceptable – it wasn’t for nothing that Israel was a staunch supporter of the apartheid regime in South Africa. She has just carried out that Bantustan solution – and unlike world opinion regarding the South African apartheid regime, will almost certainly get away with it.

    And by the way, have you received a reply from the British Ambassador to Israel yet?

  2. Aha, next post!

  3. Can anyone give me some examples of bi-national states which work?

  4. CFI *insisted* that Hamas release Shalit. The wording highlights the importance of a single IDF squaddie as opposed to ca 10,000 Palestinians, some held for decades, many without charge or legal access to this day.

    We the undersigned call for the immediate release of Corporal Gilad Shalit. On June 25 2006, Shalit was abducted by Hamas militants in a pre-meditated cross-border terrorist attack inside Israel. Captured at the age of 19, the young solider has been held in isolation ever since and is neither permitted to send or receive messages from his family.

    Shalit’s detention is a serious violation of international humanitarian laws governing the treatment of prisoners of war, as enshrined by the Third Geneva Convention. Throughout his captivity Shalit has been denied the most basic of rights. This cruel and inhumane treatment is a blatant and direct contravention of the Third Geneva Convention.
    [you mean, like white phosphorus shells over residential areas and military reprisals against civilians? – K]
    We, insist that Hamas immediately release Gilad Shalit, and before it does so, afford him the right of communication with his family and unfettered access for the International Committee of the Red Cross to ensure his well-being.”
    List of Tory signatories also here:

  5. Craig it is true that the two nation solution is offering the Palestinians what blacks had in South Africa.

    But there is no way the Zionists will agree to being equal citizens in a country. If they wanted equality, they would have remained in, France, Russia, America and the UK where they had it.
    The reason why they created Zionism, and invaded Palestine was they wanted something more than equality.

    So the only way to get equality is to enforce equality.
    And that will come from the outside, and not from the Israeli electorate. It will come from the reunification of the middle east back in to what it was before the British and French invaded and imposed the borders that exist now. And once this is done, the reunification of Palestine back in to what it was before the British cut it off will continue.
    And this imposition will come from the people of the middle east.
    And when they do, it is up to them, the people of the region what they rule by.
    Not you.
    It is up to you to decide how the UK is ruled, and it is up to the Palestinians how Palestine is ruled.

  6. I hope he has an incurable dose of “Stockholm Syndrome”. Good news out of Gaza for once would be a bonus.

  7. @Donny – the Guardian reports that Shalit has said on Egyptian TV that “I hope this deal would contribute to the peace between Israel and Palestinians …I will be happy if all the [Palestinian] prisoners are free. It would give me great happiness.”

  8. Martin Peters

    18 Oct, 2011 - 12:16 pm

    Re the single state, I note that 1.1 million Arabs already have the vote in Israel. I don’t recall any Jews having the vote in the Palestinian territories. In fact, Israel is one of the few Middle Eastern states where Arab women have the right to vote!

    The voting rights are equal and Arab MPs sit in the Knesset. Currently, they are outnumbered by the Jews, but, with the Arab birth rate far outstripping the Jewish one, the gap will close. Israel is importing more Jews from around the world to avoid the inevitable, although this will actually assist the integration process as Jews from abroad will be far more cosmopolitan than the locals. Meanwhile, Arabs outside Israel have few if any rights to vote and that includes the men. Hence the Arab Spring.

    The big issue in Israel is religion and not race; principally, the Arab world’s desire to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth. Of course, Israelis (the original ones from the region) and the Palestinians are ethnically close. They are all Semites and the Arab attitude is difficult to understand until you remember that the goal is the global supremacy of Islam, which has consequences reaching far beyond the borders of Israel.

  9. Counting votes is a can of worms in Israel.

    First it helps to define what Israel actually is.

    And of course, Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank have the vote! The Palestinians in their Bantustans…well…

    “On 8 May 2005, The Israeli ministerial committee for issues of legislation once again amended the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, to restrict citizenship and residence in Israel only to Palestinian men over the age of 35, and Palestinian women over the age of 25. Those in favor of the law say the law not only limits the possibility of the entrance of terrorists into Israel, but, as Ze’ev Boim asserts, allows Israel “to maintain the state’s democratic nature, but also its Jewish nature” (i.e. its Jewish demographic majority).[36] Critics, including the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,[37] say the law disproportionately affects Arab citizens of Israel, since Arabs in Israel are far more likely to have spouses from the West Bank and Gaza Strip than other Israeli citizens.[38]”

    And it is somewhat disturbing that you propose as Israel’s benchmark, the state of democracy in, say Gaza, rather than that in the *civilised* West.

    But I am sure Avigdor would agree with you.

  10. David Mitchell

    18 Oct, 2011 - 12:49 pm

    Note Gilad looks sick and undernourished the arab prisoners look well fed and healthy,One picture is worth a thousand words.Arsalan you obviously have no grip on reality.

  11. Sickness and malnutrition is pretty well a given in Gaza.

    For shame! They should build an economy! Close the checkpoints to encourage them!

  12. I see that we have some new visitors!
    David Mitchell. Gilad is alive unlike 1.5 million Palestinians.
    Approximately 1.5 million Palestinian civilians have died since 1948, including the victims of the ethnic cleansing campaigns in the west in 1948-50 and in the east since 1967. Civilian deaths have escalated dramatically in recent years since the zionists developed their obsession with the Palestinian birth-rate,and children are often the target. There is only a small fine for killing a Palestinian in cold blood. It’s based on a weapons charge, not murder. To understand the genocidal character of this vile regime,one need only glance at the responses from Zionists; at least half advocate or at least imply approval of the killing of non-jews. Advocating genocide is by the way a reportable offence on Y/A. Aproximately 2000 civilian Palestinians are killed each year. If you are Jewish and you shoot an 8-year-old Palestinian girl in cold blood, you will have your weapons license revoked for three months and pay a fine equivalent to 50-100 dollars U.S. It’s considered by the “government” to be more or less the same thing as shooting squirrels within city limits with a .22 would be in America. Zionists love to murder Palestinian children and they do it all the time. The military handles the mass-murders. We are not talking about suicide bombers or militants; those figures fall into another category. I am referring to wanton killing of civilians.
    Pappe,Itan. “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” (Oxford,2003).
    Amnesty Internation Annual Report (years 2000-2007).
    Hass,Amira. “Drinking the Waters at Gaza” (1996).
    Many more have been killed since those quotes were written, espeially during the greater Shoah known as Cast Lead.

  13. ‘Anybody likely to be paying the slightest attention to a news channel is going to know some background on the Israeli occupation and the plight of the Palestinians, so the ludicrous one-sidedness of the BBC and Sky News is much more likely to provoke derision than to have the desired propaganda effect.’
    Not really true as anyone who has manned a PSC stall will know. Most of the general public have not got a clue about the Occupation and do not know the difference between Israel and Palestine. The location of Gaza and who lives there also draws a blank. In any case, nearly all think that Israel makes deserts bloom and that the place is full of kibbutzes.

  14. The Schalits live in Mitzpe Hila, which is a communal town in northern Israel. Located in the western Galilee hills near the Lebanese border, if falls under the jurisdiction of Ma’ale Yosef Regional Council. The village was established in 1980 as part of the Lookouts in the Galilee plan, with residents initially living in prefabricated homes imported from South Africa. It was originally named Mitzpe Ziv after Har Ziv, the mountain on which it was built. However, it was later renamed Mitzpe Hila. (Wikipedia entry written by Zionists)

    This is the 1946 partition map which shows clearly that Acre was an Arab ‘state’ as it was described then.

  15. David Mitchell

    I have a grip of the reality which makes the likes of you scream Anti-Semitism to try and shut me up.

    You want to see starvation, take a look at near enough every Arab child living under the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and much of the West Bank.

    The War Criminal Gilad spent a few years in confinement. He was a captured soldier. But everyone every Arab and Gaza and the West bank are in Israeli confinement and most were born in to Israeli confinement.

    The War Criminal Gilad was feed. If he hadn’t been, he would have been dead. Food needed for the Palestinians starving under the Israeli blockade was diverted to feed that war criminal.
    I Wasn’t there with him to see how much he was given. But when all of Palestine is liberated, and he is captured a second time. I can guarantee there will be much more food available to feed him while he awaits sentencing for being part of the Nazi Army of Israel.

  16. And

    David Mitchell

    Do you have any dietary requirements that the Pan-Islamic Khilafah needs to keep in mind when the Middle East is reunified with Jerusalem as its capital?

    You need to tell us now so preparations can be made. Otherwise don’t complain about being as skinny as Gilad due to not liking the food we give you when you come to the end of your sentence for your crimes against humanity.

  17. Martin,you should visit Israel and see how these 1,1 million with the vote are better than blacks in the Southern states.They have apartheid there.Then there are the Bedouin.. lots of them who used to roam the Negev freely,but now that is forbiddene.They are the only true Semites of the region.I would call the Israeli’s Anti Semite !! I don’t think they have or want the vote.they’ve lived there since JC ran around in his flowing robes and wellies.
    As for Islam wanting to wipe Jews off the face of the earth… what nonsense.Islam looks upon Jews and Christians as children of Abraham.The Jews in Iran are valued members of the society.Religion is not the main problem. It’s actually very Northern Ireland.Protestants were given Catholic lands… European Jews were given half of Palestine as a homeland… just half mind , they’ve been driving the indigenous majority out ever since !! And before the terrorists began their work in Palestine, there was peace between the 90% Arab and 10% jew population.The Jewish settlers in the west bank are the most extreme of Israeli’s and are living in illegal settlements.How can they legally get the vote in a country the US refuses to allow to exist ?
    Go visit Israel, it’s not the Disneyland for Arabs you seem to think.

  18. I hope I shan’t be written off as hopelessly racist if I note that Jews have a long-standing reputation for driving a hard bargain.

    In this instance, presumably that means they believe one Israeli soldier is worth at least as much as 1,000 Palestinians (and perhaps a good deal more).

    Is that something that anyone should be concerned about?

  19. Lilian El-Doufani

    18 Oct, 2011 - 2:22 pm

    Firstly, the Palestinians who have been locked up by Israel have often done nothing wrong and they do not face charges or trial. They are certainly not all suicide bombers. Many hundreds of prisoners are below 16 years old.
    Secondly, many hundreds of the Palestinians released via this deal are being deported to Turkey and elsewhere – away from their homeland. Who else in the world does that? Why do they have to leave their families and homes after being released via this deal? I don’t think it is fair. It is yet another huge compromise the Palestinians have made. Normally, you finish a sentence and get released and then go home. i.e. You’ve paid your dues.
    Thirdly, Palestinians in Israel may vote but studies have shown how little Israeli Palestinians get from the taxes they pay Israel. What about no taxation without representation. Arab representatives in the Knesset are abused and bullied. Schools get poorer funding.
    Fourthly, Palestinians will also have their homes arbitrarily demolished – not because they are suicide bombers or anything like that. It costs them huge amounts of money to apply for planning permission but they rarely get it. The Israeli Ministries/govt depts mess them about for the fun of it. They lose documents and papers and say another ministry has the file when it doesn’t. They delay and filibuster for years. Then , the Palestinians built because they are desperate. The Israelis post a notice of demolition without a date of implementation – so the Palestinians do not know what date the bulldozers will turn up. Then the Israelis charge them for demolishing their homes.
    Fifthly, Israel steals thousand of dunams of land every year, leaving PAlestinian farmers with nothing.
    Sixthly, Palestinian women are by and large free and educated. Yet the orthodox settler want to see Jewish women relegated to sitting only at the back of the buses. They have lately even made Jewish women buy their tickets at different kiosks from the men because they insist on segregation.
    Seventhly, it is a military occupation, even if you call it a civil administration.
    I am so cross I could go on forever, but I won’t. Anyone with doubts should see the story of one village at
    Who else but Israel would put demolition orders on olive trees and ancient irrigation systems while dumping sewage on Palestinian farmers land. See the above website.

  20. So Tom, is it your contention that Hamas intially offered to hand back Gilad Shalit for one prisoner and the dastardly Jews drove the price up to 1000?

  21. Firstly, the Palestinians who have been locked up by Israel have often done nothing wrong and they do not face charges or trial. They are certainly not all suicide bombers. Many hundreds of prisoners are below 16 years old.

    That’s certainly true and many of the Palestinians should never have been in custody to begin with. That said, there were plenty who were in there for terrorist offences.

  22. Uzbek in the UK

    18 Oct, 2011 - 2:28 pm

    Do you really think that Jews were equal to others in Europe and particularly in Russia? Have you not forgotten Pogroms (violence against Jews in Russia, Ukraine and Belorussia)? My position is that every nation deserves to have national state. Do not get me wrong as I am not apologetic to the discrimination of Arabs in current state of Israel but at the same time I think that Jews deserve to have their own state, although not at an expense of other nations.

  23. @Angry/Tom, heh! That made me laugh. Having read Tom hereabouts for long enough, I am sure he’s no racist. But the Israelis would have to be terrible negotiators if they were insisting on releasing *more* prisoners in the swap rather than less :-)
    I think Tom’s point can be better made in noticing that everyone seems to know who Shalit is, but the names of the Palestinians seems to elude the media much more often. If an Israeli is killed or snatched in the dead of night, then the media jumps around about it, but we will often not hear of the Palestinian family shot on the beach by the IDF. The death toll on both sides runs at a ratio of 1:100, last time I checked. So yes, one could say that Palestinians are not afforded the same “value per head” as Israelis. But much of that is media/establishment bias, and thanks to the internet, cracks sometimes show in the facade.
    > That’s certainly true and many of the Palestinians should never have been
    > in custody to begin with. That said, there were plenty who were in there for
    > terrorist offences.
    Yes, agree with that. But they should all be released anyway. Terrorism is wrong on both sides, and of course there are plenty of IDF soldiers who rightfully belong in Palestinian jails. Shalit has paid their dues for all of them, and is likely innocent of their wrongdoings – and got a pretty decent sentencing discount.

  24. Uzbek in the UK

    18 Oct, 2011 - 2:42 pm

    I have read your other posts where you suggested that Zionists have been involved in Holocaust and it is pathetic to me. How could you even suggest this? And how could you suggest that Zionists brought Nazis to power when it is well known that Hitler came to power thanks to rather polite and well educated Gentlemen from London and New York who saw Hitler as better alternative to German Communists and to your surprise at that time Jews and their statehood were not an issue. Read some books man. Do not believe in everything you hear in a dark corner.

  25. Is it really true that Gilad Shalit was the Palestinians only Israeli prisoner? What bloody use is ‘The News’ if an internet trawl through the top dozen articles cant turn up how many prisoners are left!

  26. Patagonian Joan

    18 Oct, 2011 - 3:00 pm

    I haven’t seen anyone point out that Shalit was taken for one purpose – to exchange for Palestinians held by Israel – and that if Israel had wanted, and had been willing to make a deal like this earlier, he could have been freed within weeks, instead of years. I wonder if they found it convenient to have him in captivity for a while?
    Either way, what made them change their mind now? Do they want a distraction from Abbas’s statesman-at-the-UN act?

  27. Uzbek in the UK

    18 Oct, 2011 - 3:17 pm

    It is true that ideally there should be one state where both Jews and Arabs can leave together and enjoy equality in rights and responsibilities. But knowing centuries of troubles between these two ethnic groups and adding to this troubles of modern times it is hard to imagine how this single state will emerge. It is also true that current borders of Palestinian state that have been suggested by Abbas are very discriminative towards Arabs and that Arabs will only loose if UN recognise Palestine as a sovereign state. If UN recognises this proposal then any further attempts by Arabs to make any amendments to the Palestinians national border will not only be opposed by Israel and US but will also be illegal.
    It is also true that every attempt to bring both sides to peace was undermined by narrow interest of participants and particularly those who played so called ‘impartial’ role. I am afraid that until there is oil in the Middle East Palestinian problem will not be resolved and if any resolution will emerge it will not be in favour of Arabs until Arabs (and I mean all Arabs) will not start acting as a single force.

  28. Ms Sophie Long the recent visitor to Israel courtesy of BICOM and the Israeli government is doing her duty for the Israeli state on BBC News at the moment as Gilad Shalit is delivered to Mitzpe Hila in one of the helicopters usually used to blast the guts of the Palestinians. All beamed live to the waiting world.

  29. “I had the peculiar thought this morning that the crazed extremism of the Netanyahu government, with their walls and accelerated settlement building, may not be a bad thing in the long term. Another year or two of this kind of land grab and a two state solution will become patently impractical”

    I believe Marx called this approach ‘deepening the contradictions’. It’s tempting but very hazardous. It depends how entrenched people are in their beliefs.

    When US forces were exposed as using torture, many reacted with horror and disbelief; however the ‘true believer’ types didn’t react by condemning their leaders: instead they developed an even more intense hate complex against Muslims so they could believe torturing them was a good thing and maintain their hero-worship of the military. As a result of the large numbers of these people, both pro-torture and vicious anti-Muslim views have become normalised in the USA, with Obama tolerating continued torture of detainees, and even supposedly ‘liberal’ politicians terrified to weigh in on the side of Muslims in any dispute.

  30. Long’s co-presenter is Ben Brown who gave Jody McIntyre, a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, such a bad time when Jody had been tipped out of his wheelchair at the student protest and which caused an outcry, so much so, that the BBC had to apologize. Long and Brown’s double act is absolutely revolting as they parrot the Zionist script fresh from Kensington Green.*

    An e-mail in this afternoon –
    Anyone recall what our POW’s looked like? That is, the ones that survived the Japanese. Those in German POW camps fared moderately well until the whole country was starving. I have never heard such filth from the BBC. The linguists are very busy – ‘kidnapped’. Long interview with an eloquent and vicious Israeli at the end of World at One. Lost daughter Mila in the Pizza bombing. Shalit was a POW, part of a tank troop that had been shelling the civilians of Gaza. A war crime. Almost every time I have been there – (11) they have been shelling. The dust from the tank tracks can be seen. When …. and I were there in 2008 – the shells were landing in small fields about 300 yards away. The walls of the doctor’s office were cracked from previous explosions. The scourge.
    *location of Israeli Embassy

  31. Wingfield Hayes should try writing romantic fiction.
    At the scene

    Rupert Wingfield-Hayes

    BBC News, Tel Nof air base

    ‘The first sight of Gilad Shalit’s homecoming were three little black dots just above the horizon. Within minutes they had grown to three huge Sikorsky helicopters roaring in across the perimeter fence and hovering over the runway of the Tel Nof airbase.
    Out of sight of the cameras Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walked out to greet the young soldier.
    “Welcome home, Gilad,” the prime minister told him, before taking him to meet his parents. Speaking to the media a few minutes later, Mr Netanyahu said he had told Sgt Shalit’s parents: “I have brought you your son home.”
    In a televised address to the Israeli people, Mr Netanyahu then justified his decision to free 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in return for one Israeli. He said it had been a very difficult decision. But he said there was a need to bring home a soldier that had been sent to the battlefield by the state of Israel.’
    At least Netanyahu confirms that Israel sees Gaza as a battlefield for the IDF in which to operate.

  32. Uzbek in the UK

    18 Oct, 2011 - 4:28 pm

    Watch your language. I did not use any abusive language and one other thing you need to learn is that if you want people to HEAR what you say then SAY it POLITELY. Otherwise the only result you will reach will be IGNORANCE.
    Also by stating the following
    ‘If Zionists can’t seem to live together as equal citizens in places like Russia, they need to change what is within themselves and become able. Not go off to a nation where they or their fathers have never even visited, claim it as their own and kick out the natives inhabitants.’
    Do not you think that the same (using your knowledge and peace keeping recommendations) can be said to Palestinian Arabs living in Israel?
    Try to learn of the problem first before coming up with such revolutionary solutions.

  33. Not sure if this has already been posted. It is the list of CFoI MPs who signed a petition to Hague in 2010 demanding the release of Gilad Shalit.
    Out of the woodwork –
    CFI was delighted that over 60 MPs signed the petition. CFI were also pleased that a number of House of Lords members add support, in addition to 4 MEPs and a member of the Welsh Assembly.

  34. The full list of 477 Palestinian prisoners scheduled for release in the first round of swaps for Gilad Shalit:

  35. Zionist-living-in-the-UK

    Craig has seen fit to delete my posts to you. But I am glad you read it before he did.
    When it comes to my comparisons between Zionism and Nazism, I do not in anyway mean it as a an insult. But as a statement of fact.
    The same goes for racism.

    You mention the Palestinians in Palestine, which you call Israel.
    We that is a land which they not only live in but were born in, and so were their fathers and grandfathers.
    That is their land. Not the Land of someone who born in Russia, whose father and grandfathers were born in Russia going back as many generations as can be traced.
    The Homeland of the Russian is Russia even if he calls himself a Jew. When he doesn’t even believe in Judaism, and he gets to claim ownership of Palestine and a house once owned by a Palestinian, or built on a farm stolen but not paid for from a Palestinian. That IS racism, and people like yourself who justify it are racists.
    You are no different from the Nazis in Nazi Germany who invaded Poland and Russia, claiming for some Racial reason that it was theirs by right due to race, or ancestry. Real ancestry in regards to the Nazi Germans but Fabricated in regards to white European Jews.
    Whether real or imaginary, you have no right to invade someone else’s country and claim it as your own.

    If you deem that comment as an insult. Please enlighten me and explain how your Zionist nation is any different from the Nazi German fatherland?
    How your belief in the rights of Russian or American Jews over Palestine, and I include what you call as Israel as Palestine is any different to the Nazi belief that Poland and Western Russia belongs to the Germanic peoples of German instead of the Slavs that live there.
    Nazism is just a cheap copy of Zionism and Hitler is nothing but a Plagiarist.
    What he did to Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and others deemed to get in the way of his Uni-National state were just him implementing the Zionist plans for Palestine in Europe.
    And that is what you did, when Zionists expelled or exterminated 80% of Palestinians. And that is what you are doing now, and will continue to do. Unless and until you are stopped.

    Craig I attack individuals for what they say. It seems amazing to me, while you delete my posts. you tolerate posts by the likes of Martin Peters who slanders the whole race of Arabs and the religion of Islam on this very thread. Is it fear of being called an Anti-Semite or pro-Muslim that drives you to such double standards?

  36. Angrysoba, I merely observed that the Israelis were content to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for one Israeli. I made no comment about whatever bargaining may have taken place, because I am not interested in that.

    I am interested in the equivalence of 1,000 of one kind of human being to one of another kind.

    We have all read about repressive regimes which made it a practice to retaliate for the loss of any of their soldiers by killing 50, 100, 200, or more of the offending population. (Assyrians, Egyptians, Jews, Romans, Normans, English, French, Turks, Germans, Americans… take your pick).

    The common factor is the belief that “each of us is worth N of them”.

  37. Uzbek in the UK, what “centuries of troubles between these two ethnic groups” are you talking about?

    And which ethnic groups are you talking about? Israelis? They didn’t exist before 1948. Jews? Not an ethnic group.
    Jews of various ethnicities had a lot of trouble in some places, but the Christian places seemed to give it much more trouble than Muslim ones. This may be due to the fact that Christianity considered Judaism a scary heresy, while Islam considered it a viable form of worship of the same divinity.

    Conflating the ideas of ethnicity & religion, and inventing “centuries of troubles” where none such exist – these are Zionist talking points. They are designed to hide the reality that the objection to Zionism is because it put into place a plan to steal a LOT of land from a LOT of people, killed, displaced, and subjugated a LOT of people, and continues to do so. That – and not the religious affiliation – is causing troubles there. And Zionism started its racist colonization project in 1888 – not “centuries” ago.

  38. Dene Shunra
    Zionist are not Jews in anyway, shape or form.
    As well as having no Ethnic connection to Palestine other than one fabricated. The have no religious connection to it, as most of them are Atheists so do not believe in the Jewish scriptures.

    The are just a Bunch of people, from all around the world who have claimed to have some Jewish ancestry to be given a nice house in stolen Palestinian land and lots of free American money.
    People from anywhere and of any race and ethnicity can claim this to get that. As far is the Zionist government is concerned everyone is welcome except for the natives, the Palestinians who were expelled by them.

    But even if their funny fictitious claims of being descendent of ancient Israelites was true. It would not matter at all. It would make what they have done and are doing just as bad. Because it would mean a white Americans whose families left the UK 400 years ago has the right to come here, expel any black or Asian men from the houses the Blacks and Asians own. No payment, just the claim the whites were their first, with the assertion that whites in Virginia have some British ancestry.

    Lets not fall for their games. What matters is the fact that they exterminated people, expelled them and stole their homes. Not their imaginary ancestry.

  39. Noam Chomsky on Israel-Palestine Prisoner Exchange, U.S. Assassination Campaign in Yemen
    MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned linguist and political dissident, spoke Monday night at Barnard College in New York City about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, just hours before Israel and Hamas completed a historic prisoner exchange. “I think [Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit] should have been released a long time ago. But there’s something missing from this whole story. There’s no pictures of Palestinian women, and no discussion, in fact, in the story of—what about the Palestinian prisoners being released? Where do they come from?” Chomsky says. “There’s a lot to say about that. So, for example, we don’t know—at least I don’t read it in the Times—whether the release includes the elected Palestinian officials who were kidnapped and imprisoned by Israel in 2007 when the United States, the European Union and Israel decided to dissolve the only freely elected legislature in the Arab world.”
    Chomsky also discusses the recent U.S. assassination of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. “Almost all of the critics, of whom there weren’t many, criticized the action or qualified it because of the fact that Awlaki was an American citizen,” Chomksy says. “That is, he was a person, unlike suspects who are intentionally murdered or collateral damage, meaning we treat them kind of like the ants we step on when we walk down the street. They’re not American citizens, so they’re unpeople, and therefore they can be freely murdered.” [includes rush transcript]

  40. I liked Ahmadinejad’s comment on the tragic FBI sting Iranian assassination plot nonsense: “Iranians are civilised people, we don’t need to assassinate people.”
    Take that, Barry Obomber

  41. From the Media Lens Message Board.
    Email to Jeremy Bowen. Galid Shalit: Israel, War and the Art of Propaganda
    Posted by The Editors on October 19, 2011, 9:09 am
    From: Colin
    Sent: 19 October 2011 01:52
    To: Jeremy.Bowen at
    Subject: Galid Shalit: Israel, War and the Art of Propaganda
    Galid Shalit is an Israeli armoured tank crew corporal seized by Hamas militants in a daring raid behind Israeli lines five years ago in which two others of his tank crew were also killed. It was a military coup in act of war between Israel and the Palestinians. A war which has seen thousands killed and thousands captured and imprisoned with many subject to torture in Israel. Those that Israel has killed in this long-running war, including hundreds of women, children and other civilians in Operation Cast Lead are termed casualties of war – notwithstanding that a majority have been non-combatants.
    But when an Israeli conscript soldier, Corporal Galid Shalit, was captured whilst on military service, he was misleadingly described as ‘kidnapped’ – a term that that is usually used in a civilian context to describe the abduction of a child.
    And the 7000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails and often subject to regular torture to obtain information are not the enemy engaged in war in which one either kills or is killed, but are termed by Israel, ‘murderers’, in an attempt to convey the impression that when Israel kills, it is the enemy but when Hamas kills it is murder. When the IDF intentionally bombs a civilian family with children in Gaza or Lebanon, or uses banned chemical weapons, it is ‘collateral damage of war’, but when Hamas kills an Israeli family, it is always the ‘murder of innocents’.
    The Israeli foreign ministry has disseminated this type of propaganda daily through its embassies and diplomatic missions worldwide for many years, but never so effectively as this week’s theatrical performance of an innocent boy being ‘abducted’ and then returned (unharmed) to his family whilst a tearful Binyamin Netanyahu, the supreme commander of the Israeli army takes the credit as Corporal Shalit, (yesterday promoted to Sergeant Major Shalit) is reunited with his family. Meanwhile, thousands of Israel’s enemies still rot in Israeli prisons and hundreds of woman and children, in both Lebanon and Gaza, lie dead.

  42. From the Media Lens Editors
    Bowen’s report
    Posted by The Editors on October 19, 2011, 10:48 am, in reply to “Re: Email to Jeremy Bowen. Galid Shalit: Israel, War and the Art of Propaganda”
    Shalit is humanised, presented as a flesh and blood individual. The Palestinians are presented as an unknown, anonymous mass. There’s ten seconds on an 11-year-old Palestinian girl waiting for her released mother. But the girl is a silent, anonymous figure; her mother an indistinct picture on a poster. They’re presented fleetingly, as strangers; they’re not humanised.

  43. Poor Corporal Gilad Shalit! Conscripted into Israel’s national army, shoved in an IDF tank, taught how to shell enemy positions i.e. Palestinian houses, captured in his own tank on Israeli territory when he was half asleep, his two fellow tank crew killed. Imprisoned by the enemy for five years without any outside contact. Repatriated in exchange for 1000 Palestinian freedom fighters i.e. the Arab Stern Gang terrorists. Taken to Egypt, bundled quickly into an IDF uniform to give the impression of a military man and flown to the Israeli border to be reunited with his family and, wait for it, to salute the amazing superbinyamin Netanyahu who can procure the release of anyone, if given five years or so.

    But, wait! That’s not all! Shalit turns out to be human. A regular guy just like me or you or our little brother. Funny that! Because Palestinians are not human! They are not like you or me or Gilad Shalit! Palestinians don’t need homes to live in. Or olive groves. Or essential supplies and medicines. And Palestinian women don’t have babies like we do, or our mothers and sisters do, because Arab women are well, just numbers, not real like you or me. Their families are not real families like ours. They are mostly terrorists, not like us regular guys. They kill people in order to regain their land and homes, and assets. We don’t – do we? I mean, we don’t actually kill anyone, do we? Those 700 odd non-combatants including hundreds of women and children in Gaza that were killed, was a mistake, or if not a mistake then unavoidable. I mean they could have emigrated to France or Herzliya couldn’t they, during our attack of Operation Cast Lead. We gave them adequate warning that we would kill. AND WE DID. Women, children, anyone.

    We didn’t really intend to kill anyone or to inflict collective punishment upon a civilian population because that is illegal isn’t it? We know that. It was, er .. collateral damage, that’s what it was! COLLATERAL DAMAGE! As for the white phosphorus and the schools. Well, that was just a mistake. We didn’t know it was a banned chemical weapon, So we’re sorry! Whaddya want, blood? Look! We just want to live in peace, on our land and on your land, in our villages and in your villages, in our houses and in your houses, to tend our olive groves and to acquire yours – well you’re not here anymore are you?

    Of course, I’ve always wondered why we Israelis are human and Arabs are not. To me they look the same. Legs, eyes, stomachs, hair. They eat pitta bread as we eat pitta bread. They bleed as we bleed. They die, as we die, if you shoot them. They cry, as we cry, if you torture them. And if they are dispossessed, they strive to regain what is rightfully theirs. We do that also – only we’re not quite sure what is ours and what is yours.

    What we do know is that Shalit is actually also just a number. A young lad who had no option but to be conscripted and to attack Palestinian homes when so ordered, or to kill the enemy – you know, those men, women and children who we are told don’t bleed like we do, because they’re the Arab Stern Gang terrorists. And I thought they were freedom fighters. One thing that I am sure of is that Gilad Shalit doesn’t want, and never wanted, to steal anyone’s land. But he wasn’t given the choice as to whether to support illegal settlements and/or to kill freedom fighters. He just followed orders. Have I heard that before?

    The trick is to humanize your own whilst dehumanizing the enemy. That way, you get your side to kill the other with no problem. It’s simple. That’s why Gilad Shalit is everyone’s son or younger brother whilst Palestinian freedom fighters and their sons, mothers and daughters are just terrorists. Not worth the time of day, really. And, as always. It’s not the defense minister, or the prime minister, or indeed any minister who gets captured, killed or incarcerated – it’s the poor mug, the conscripted soldier carrying out orders to fulfil a political agenda. C’est la vie! Nothing changes.


  44. ‘Hannibal’ policy: Israel’s plan to kill its own soldiers

    Jonathan Cook

    The National

    Oct 26, 2011
    [..] As Sgt Shalit made his way back to Israel, Hamas leaders warned that they were preparing to capture other soldiers unless Israel began releasing more of the many thousands of Palestinians remaining in jail.

    A response came quickly from the Israeli army’s former chief rabbi, Avichai Rontsky, the spiritual guide until last year to tens of thousands of recruits. He proposed that Israel stop arresting Palestinians and execute them instead. Quoting scriptures as justification, he said Palestinian suspects should be “killed while sleeping at home”.

    Gideon Saar, the education minister and hawkish ally of the prime minister, spoke for many this week as he articulated the myth of an Israeli moral superiority. The oath soldiers made to the army was not one-sided, he said. “Each soldier who embarks on a mission knows that if, heaven forbid, he is injured, he will not be abandoned by his friends, who, in the spirit of the IDF, would risk their lives to save him.”

    But the surprising and inconvenient truth is that official Israeli institutions, including its army, value the lives of Jewish Israelis no more than they do Palestinians – except insofar as it is necessary to keep public opinion onside and the ranks of the conscript army filled.[…]

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