Thursday, April 29, 2010

Settler Violence at Yitzhar

If you've been reading this blog for at least the past day you'll be aware of my skepticism about the radical-left thesis that Israeli democracy is disintegrating, all because a majority of Israelis dislikes the radical left.

In this context, here's an item Alex Stein sent me yesterday, with the added comment that he was personally there. It's from the rather popular Nana website which is affiliated with Channel Ten, and it contains a Channel Ten news report about a recent incident near the settlement of Yitzhar. A joint group of Palestinians and Israelis set out to demonstrate near the settlement. At one point some of them got too close to some structure (Alex can tell us more about it, I expect), and IDF troops shot warning rounds in the air, at which point the demonstrators moved back. At this point armed settlers started shooting at the demonstrators, or anyway, near them. No one was hurt, but the troops stood by and didn't intervene.

Should they have? Probably not: IDF troops don't have the authority to arrest people, and given the range (watch the film) what is the expectation? That they shoot the settlers?

On the other and, the film eventually made it to Betselem, and from there to the army, and also - yesterday - to the media. Last night at 4am police raided Yitzhar and arrested seven settlers, though they seem meanwhile to have been released. As I was not in the interrogation cells, I cannot say what the arrests were meant to achieve.

So what does all this tell us?

1. The media seems to be dong what it should be, and no-one is shutting it down. Nor are there any complaints about its "disloyalty" or any such nonsense.

2. Betselem has a positive role to play in Israeli democracy, when it tries to fix things in Hebrew rather than run to tell the tale in English.

3. Yitzhar is and remains a serious blemish on our name, not to mention being a scandal. Someday there will be a showdown there and they'll be disarmed and disbanded; this day should have been many years ago.

4. Also someday there will be a joint demonstration of Jews and Palestinians in which both sides will recognize the wrong they've committed during this very long war, and both will commit to building a better future based on this mutual recognition. That day, however, is very far away; indeed, it's quite inconceivable. So in the meantime all joint demonstrations will have to get along with agreement that the Israelis have been bad.

Update: Alex e-mails to ask that I add that the demonstration was organized by his outfit, Combatants for Peace. So I have.

61 comments:

Alex Stein said...

I should also add that the Palestinians apologised to us for what happened. The trouble started when a group of youths approached what was basically an unmanned look-out post - everything spiralled from there. Some of the kids threw stones; CFP is very strict about adhering to non-violent principles - as soon as the trouble started everyone withdrew. As the video shows, the settlers' actions were inexcusable; with cooler heads the trouble could have perhaps been avoided. We learnt a lot from the experience, and next time I am sure we will do it better (the activity, by the way, was a joint Israeli-Palestinian tree-planting ceremony).

Alex Stein said...

I should be clearer - the kids who disrupted the ceremony weren't affiliated with CFP; that was precisely the problem - different factions in the village trying to hijack the activity for their own agendas.

Alex Stein said...

PS: I think you'll find that IDF troops often end up arresting people. Go to Bilin and ask there, for example. I think what you mean is that they don't have the authority to arrest Israelis.

Had it been Palestinian gunmen doing the shooting, we can assume that your sentiment would have been rather different.

Didi Remez said...

Yaacov,

"IDF troops don't have the authority to arrest people."

IDF thinks differently. See pp. 106-108 of document linked below.

IDF Spoeksperson: Soldiers are obligated to intervene, and arrest if necessary, especially if police are not present on scene.

Didi

Link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/30678482/A-Semblance-of-Law-HEB

Didi Remez said...

Yaacov,

"Betselem has a positive role to play in Israeli democracy, when it tries to fix things in Hebrew rather than run to tell the tale in English."

Why do you blog about Israeli affairs in English? I presume, given your bio and writing that you are bi-lingual. Who are your target audiences?

Best,

Didi

Anonymous said...

a total outsider question:

if the problem is Yitzhar and it would be a job for the government to remove it,
wouldn't it then be better to demonstrate before the parliament, the ministries etc. etc. ???

mutual tree planting ceremonies seem from as afar as I am a bit quaint, if one wants to deal with a real problem

Didi
your link doesn't explain anything to me - it neither tells me who the civilians are and who the uniformed are and what it's all about.

as to Yaacov blogging in English - to the best of my knowledge he doesn't get paid for it by organisations who want to help you give Israel a bad name abroad like http://www.eed.de/

so if I want to stretch my imagination to find a "sinister" motive for him doing it then the only thing I can think of is his wanting to keep his books in the public mind - terribly unethical that one n'est-ce pas? way below taking foreigners' money to slam your country abroad, isn't it? ;-(((((

Alex
it is quite natural to be concerned first and foremost about your own - a lesson you are maybe still too young to have learned - people who are not, who are eager to sacrifice have no good record to recommend them in real life. and in this case I take it that the settlers are a lot less likely to hurt Yaacov's son than Palestinian gunmen are

Silke

Didi Remez said...

Silke,

I wasn't trying to explain anything to you. As I said before, I am not interested in debating you and I wish the best with your echo chamber. It wasn't a comment, it was a direct question to Yaacov. The only reason it's up here is because I don't have his e-mail.

Didi

Avram said...

Didi - perhaps if you look at the column on the left hand side of the site, you'll find:

yaacov dot lozowick at yahoo dot com

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Alex, what were CFP protesting? Yaacov, you should mention that Yitzhar has experienced its share of savagery over the years.

Y
D
Yaacov,

Anonymous said...

Yitzhar should be dismantled immediately. They have no respect for the law or for the soldiers that are risking their lives protecting them.

Christian Zionist said...

Stein and his organisation are a bit like the unfaithful wife who deliberately flaunts her infidelity in front of her husband until she gets the reaction she wants from him.

They are also contemptuous of democracy since - as has been pointed out - a more legitimate course of action is not to "get in the settlers' face" but rather to address the matter to the Knesset or Israeli public.

The government and Knesset seem to think the settlements a useful bargaining chip, for now. Stein and the loony-left disagree with ths aspect of national policy. Rather than provoking violence, they should act responsibly by taking the matter up with their MK's.

But responsibility seems to be the last thing one would ever associate with the radical left. Too bad the current NGO bill doesn't include a privsion to jail those like Stein who provoke or create a public disturbance with a view towards demonising compatriots in the eyes of foreigners, or who ally themslees with the Palestinian enemy.

Israel is in an existential war. An alliance with the enemy to demonise one's compatriots, is simply not the way to go about affecting national policy.

Christian Zionist said...

Stein said: "the kids who disrupted the ceremony weren't affiliated with CFP"

So, even at a lower level, Stein is using the same trick as Arafat and Hamas to achieve "plausible deniability": Create the perfect environment for "others" or "outsiders" to instigate violence or violate law, treaty, or regulation, then say, "it's not our fault."

Why does Steinian logic so often resemble that of Israel's mortal enemies?

Victor said...

Don't fall for that trap, CZ, and that goes for everyone else commenting. Calling Alex a traitor and demanding that he take responsibility for the violence he begets plays into his hands. There are no "traitors" anymore, only "opinions", whether in Israel or the US. Now he can wrap himself in the flag of freedom and justice and call you a racist, anti-democratic fascist.

The truth is, Alex wanted a confrontation at Yitzhar, because a calm situation doesn't do activists with an agenda any good. He can claim ignorance at certain "elements" from the Palestinian side hijacking the "non-violent" agenda, but how credible are such statements, the 28th time around?

Resolving conflicts between Yitzhar and surrounding Arab villages is not a thought that ever crossed his mind. By creating friction, he focuses the media and the public on the problem - 180 Jewish families who have been terrorized and attacked for three decades, and whose children are learning from the Arabs how to fight back.

Now he has an exciting story to tell, and thanks to you, he can do it while posing as a freedom-fighter. And if someone had gotten killed, well, it's not like he squeezed the trigger, right?

Anonymous said...

Oh Didi
why do you do that to me? Getting cruelly rejected like that makes me feel so terribly terribly sad - I wonder whether I'll sleep at all tonight and probably I'll get that terrible migraine again and it will be all your fault.
Silke

peterthehungarian said...

The thugs of Yitzhar and the fascists of Manchester University are the two sides of the same coin.
The difference between them that the MU students are in the same camp as the heroes of the "Combatants for peace".

peterthehungarian said...

The thugs from Yitzhar and the <a href="http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3882700,00.html>fasissts of Manchester University</a> are the two sides of the same coin.
The only difference is that the MU students are the in the same camp as Stein and Remez.

Alex Stein said...

To be clear: the ceremony was a joint tree planting ceremony to demonstrate the right of the local villagers to access their land (because they are so often prevented from doing so by the settlers).

If the apologists for settler violence (Victor/Christian Zionist/Various anonymous) still insist that this was a provocation; well, that speaks for itself. I echo Didi's echo chamber remark.

Yaacov - if you're there, I hope you will respond to Didi's point re. the soldiers' conduct.

Anonymous said...

Just one question to all of you who speak in the name of democracy: Does your vision of democracy include the Palestinian residents of the West Bank, or only the Jewish ones? CZ, when you say Alex should take his case to the Knesset and the Israeli public, I wonder: what about the Palestinian public? Are they not relevant here? We are talking, after all, about the West Bank.

That argument is very reminiscent of the people in Israel who argued for a referendum before the withdrawal from Gaza, arguing that otherwise it would not be a "democratic" decision. For some strange reason, none of the people arguing for a referendum on the future of the Gaza Strip - and doing so in the name of democracy, no less - dreamed of including the Palestinians of Gaza in the vote.

At some point we will have to recognize the fact that we can't have our cake and eat it too: we can't keep ruling the WB while denying equal rights to all persons and individuals who live there. Ultimately, it really is that simple.

Yaacov said...

Actually, Didi, I'm tri-lingual.

I blog in English for two reasons. The first is as a very small contribution to strengthening Jewish awareness among American Jews, so it's an internal matter. Silke, Gavin, Christian Zionist and others are a free bonus.

The second reason, alas ever more important, is to counter the falsehoods churned out by the splinter of Israeli society you're in. Given the thirst among our enemies to hear what you have to say, my feeble efforts aren't worth much, but that's not reason enough not to try.

Yaacov said...

Annonymous -

What an odd comment. After decades in which the Palestinians said they wanted us gone, we finally left Gaza without asking them, and this was nasty of us? Care to run that by me again?

Ditto re: the West Bank. Israel has officially offered to leave it - more than 90% plus land swaps - since 2000, and the Palestinians always refuse. The last time was in September 2008: not long ago, actually. This, in spite of their endless claiming to want to be rid of us. Now we're supposed to unite with them and have a common vote, so that we can separate? I've heard lots of curious arguments in my day, but this is one of the most curious.

Anonymous said...

Also, check out Ruby Rivlin's statement tonight on the two options Israel faces: either giving up the WB or granting citizenship to the Palestinians that live there (and his surprising preference):

http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1166300.html

Anonymous said...

Yaacov,

I honestly can't tell whether you are purposely misrepresenting what I said, or whether you really didn't understand it. I didn't say it was wrong or nasty of us to leave the Gaza strip; I commented on some of the right wing arguments made by people who *opposed* the disengagement when it happened, and who based their argument on a fallacious understanding of democracy. As you may remember, there were lots of people who claimed that the disengagement would not be legitimate if it were not approved by a referendum; I was commenting on the fact that they never dreamed of including Palestinians in their "referendum", and that their concept of democratically deciding the fate of Gaza oddly did not include the Palestinian residents of Gaza themselves.

As for the WB - again, you mis-stated my argument. I am well aware of the history of the conflict, and certainly do not think Israel bears sole blame for the continuing occupation. It indeed takes two to tango, and Palestinian leadership has decidedly *not* done its share. Again, what I was commenting on was the question of democracy, how it is perceived and defined. I understand your desire to defend against attempts to lay all the blame for the current situation on Israel; but as an Israeli, do you really think the occupation and the status quo can continue on forever?

Yaacov said...

If it was up to me we'd have left the West Bank many years ago. According to all polls and election results, a majority of Israeli voters agree, and have agreed since the late 1980s at the latest.

The only reason we're still there is that the Palestinians refuse to free us of their most important weapon against us: our occupation of them. Even once we did leave Gaza, they and their useful idiots continue to damn us for still occupying them, in spite of the total lack of any remote truth of this.

Eventually we'll leave the West Bank, I have no doubt; the sooner the better. Not Jerusalem, of course, but most of the WB.

Anonymous said...

do you whose hobby it is to make your homeland look bad ever read something like this while looking at a map or better even a globe?
If you don't do it then you are just squabbling for squabbling's sake ...
once Iran has the atom bomb it may feel quite free to unleash this "conventional" scenario and you believe whether you let the Palestinians join you in some kind of never yet heard of super democratic thing will interest the "holy" mullahs one tiny bit?

It is a pity that the military can't tell its people what's up because that would as a minimum endanger the lives of those serving, but if I'd live in Israel I would be extremely nice to anybody in uniform because it would be he/she and nobody else who'd stand between me and those of your neighbours who are obviously plain nutty.

Silke

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/world_agenda/article7110896.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=6986833

Christian Zionist said...

Anonymous: I wonder: what about the Palestinian public? Are they not relevant here?

Yes, they are relevant - and they have their own government. If their government wants to make their lives easier, it need simply reach - and obey - a peace agreement with Israel.

Yaacov, there are additional ways in which naive outside meddlers harm peace prospects. For example, if Obama promises the Palestinians a state in two years, what incentive do the Palestnians have to compromise on other issues?

Yet another death blow to peace was the Iranian-Hizbullah strategy; Kadimah seemed about to implement the "separation" policy, withdrawing behind the fence, when Nasrallah reminded Israelis that "missles dwarf a fence." Nasrallah screwed Palestinians out of their state.

If Israel leaves the West Bank, it's not outlandish to predict that the West Bank would eventually be stocked with massive numbers of Syrian- or Iranian-supplied missiles, all pointed (and occasionally fired) at Israel's heartland. The Palestinians would revert to trying to subject Israel to the death of a thousand cuts - all under the "intimdation factor" of the Iranian nuclear umbrella.

Yet worse, by limiting Israel's actions in the Gaza and Lebanese wars, the international community harmed long-term peace prospects, in that Israelis now understand that - in the event of complete withdrawal from the West Bank - the international community would not allow them to defend themselves against West Bank rockets. Thus, the Israeli public prefers to "play it safe" and not withdraw (completely) from the West Bank.

Yet worse, the idea of "international guarantees" of Israel's security after withdrawal has been vitiated by that same international community. Even for an Israeli public which has forgotten Dulles' worthless guarantees, it has seen more recently that "international observers" served no purpose in Lebanon but to protect Hizbullah, and the "international observers" at Rafah ran away entirely.

No wonder the Israeli left is out of favour; it has no practial ideas. At least the right has one practical idea - better the devil (situation) we know, than the devil we know not.

Alex Stein said...

Yaacov - is there a reason you have not responded to Didi's important point re. soldiers being able to arrest people? At the very least I'd expect some sort of correction in the text.

Didi Remez said...

Yaacov,

I do not speak for anyone but myself, unless I have been mandated to do so. Nothing I ever write indicates otherwise. Therefore, I find it surprising that, when responding to me, you find a need to refer to the actions of some amorphously defined group you presume I belong to.

If you find no need to respond to me as an individual, then simply don't. If you do, please respect my effort in engaging with you by addressing the subject under discussion.

I think that the diaspora has every business being engaged in Israeli affairs. Because much of your writing is on Israeli policies and politics, I assume that your reference to "Jewish awareness" includes this field.

Why is it not legitimate for Israelis who do not agree with you to do the same? Why are only you allowed to refer to your non-Jewish readers as "hangers-on"?

By the way, in the case of Btselem at least, a review of their publications will show that all are published in both languages.

Respectfully,

Didi

Joe in Australia said...

Alex, this is a serious question which genuinely troubles me. Your group arranges assemblies outside Jewish homes and demands that they leave. Why should I think any better of your organisation than I do of other groups that have used the same tactics at other times and in other places?

Avram said...

Didi,

I assume you were in the army. I was NEVER told I can arrest anyone unless it was an operation. I've been a part of numerous arrests of Hamas militants but NOT once was I ever told "Soldiers are obligated to intervene, and arrest if necessary, especially if police are not present on scene."

Maybe I'm not a good 'sample' as I've never been a soldier during a major demonstrations (small ones of course) but still, I find that if that was 'fact', we'd all be told it. I've never even heard this alluded to when I am on miluim. I'm going to ask my mefaked when I go next time.

Avram

Yaacov said...

Didi,

While we've never met (so far as I know) we have mutual acquaintances, and I've also done a bit of googling. It turns out you're not merely some starry-eyed fan of these folks: you're a professional, at the heart of the industry. So I don't know who you talk for when, but I feel justified in regarding you as the professional you are, and as affiliated with the professional world you live in.

This industry, as I've often demonstrated, is about as nasty as they come, and not overly concerned with rational analysis of the situation we live in. They (and probably you) have a set of beliefs, religious in their form and irrational in their imperiousness to examination (not to mention self examination - hah!). You've never heard me advocating that their freedom of speech be curtailed, though I'm all in favor of rethinking their eagerness to accept funds from foreign governments so as to interfere in our political discussion. The same freedom of speech, however, enables me to express my derision of them.

I may actually disagree with you about the participation of non-Israeli Jews in our political discussion; anyway, my initial motivation for engaging them is cultural, not political. Fr better or worse, the ones making the decision is those of us who live here and will pay the price of being wrong.

I have often discussed the matter of English reports with various figures in the industry, including CEOs of various NGOs. They are quite open about the fact that they need to publish in English, otherwise their foreign supporters won't fund them. In other words, foreign agencies, many of them affiliated with foreign governments, pay Israelis to produce false (demonstrably false) documents damning Israeli actions and polices, so that the foreign agencies can use them to pressure the state of Israel.

Need I say any more?

Anonymous said...

Didi
when and how did Yaacov refer to me as "hanger-on" or even implied I am that kind of being?
Please show quote or apologize

Silke

Anonymous said...

Didi and Alex
I can vividly imagine how a lot of my co-Germans are fawning over you as the oh so upright fighters for human rights.

If however you could clear them all of their distorted views of Israel as in any way out of the ordinary except for being extraordinarily threatened, let alone of the mental illness commonly called anti-semitism you would find that all of a sudden the fawning would stop and you would be disdained as exactly the kind of irresponsible maligning their homeland men you acquaint me with in this comment section. Can't you get enough admiration at home that you have to portray your country as evil for the "love" of such people?

and to Alex specifically,
before you demand next time in imperious tones that Yaacov shall answer questions for the umptiest time remember that Sylvia has acquainted all the regulars with the rules of the Rules for Radicals handbook. You've have to think of something new. come on, be creative, your interest is literary, look for inspiration, surprise me.
For the time being I suggest arguments along the also in all kinds of circles very fashionalbe mantra of "things must get worse before they can get better" which much to my amazement seems to be missing from the Rules for Radicals.

Silke

Christian Zionist said...

I'm all in favor of rethinking their eagerness to accept funds from foreign governments so as to interfere in our political discussion.

Precisely - a core issue. The world has seen over centuries what happens when Christian and Islamic gentiles presume to own Jews.

So why is it acceptable for foreign, gentile governments and NGO's to control the Jews of Israel? To interfere in Israeli democracy? To engage (as the US has attempted against the Likud three times) in attempts at "regime change" in Israel?

(No, I'm not a likudnik. I simply think that choice is up to Israelis who live there and vote and do miluim, not to the whim of foreign governments or NGO's.)

The extent of neo-colonialism practised by foreign governments UN and NGOs with respect to over-riding Israeli democracy, is mind-boggling.

It is particularly shameful given the history of both Christian and Muslim worlds of one and one-half millennia of suppressing the Jewish people.

In terms of the long view - the right of the Jewish people to self-determination - it is certainy appropriate to question the morality and motives of those (be it Didi or Alex or others) who accept foreign money and support to advance foreigners' agenda over and above the democratic choices of Israel's own electorate.

Anonymous said...

Yaacov,
You keep insisting that NGO reports are demonstrably false. Can you please give at least one concrete, specific example????

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:06
read Yaakov's on the Goldstone Report and then come back and ask questions
Silke

Alex Stein said...

JoeinAustralia - To my knowledge, CFP has never organised a demonstration demanding that Jews leave their homes.

Silke - I have never read Rules for Radicals. Nor do I consider myself a radical.

Anonymous said...

Alex
I know I know you consider yourself to be an activist but not deem it necessary to define what that is

As to the Rules for Radicals - lets assume there is somebody who is impressed by the way you post and wants to read a bit more about it, I am sure he or she will be grateful to be reminded where he/she can find it.

as you are the literary type and don't like Coelho I would recommend to you to read for guidance Jane Austen's Emma. Mr. Knightley may be a bit too much of everything but he might provide you with a lot of good ideas of how you can avoid to suggest to me again and again that Coelho must be a great influence on you

Silke

Gavin said...

Had me fooled Yaacov, writing style led me to what looks to be a false assumption. I was wondering why the focus was solely on you, had a tactical feel to it. You've had some heavy hitters try their hand, what with the folks from NIF earlier, must be doing something right huh?

Regards, Gavin.

Didi Remez said...

Yaacov,

"Distraction by association" is an easy game to play. If I was inclined to engage in it, I could probably pepper every argument I made with a supportive quote from one of your associates. The internet has made that very easy. I would also comment anonymously, making it impossible for you to do the same to me.

I don't because: (a) I'm genuinely interested in questions arising from the posts I comment on; (b) I respect your willingness to engage with those you don't agree with and am not interested in baiting you; Also, I don't write anonymously because I believe in taking personal responsibility for one's statements.

From the substantial part of your answer, I gather that the primary issue is not the fact of publication in English, but rather it's motivation -- catering to the needs of illegitimate funders. Although this argument is supported by unverifiable statements attributed to unnamed sources, I'll accept it, for the sake of the discussion, as fact.

You also say that you don't think that non-Israeli Jews should be engaged in the Israeli political debate. Rich Jewish-Americans (not to mention Christian Zionists) fund political (and in many cases oppositional) projects and movements in Israel to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year here.

This issue is directly relevant to the subject of this post: The violence-promoting (fully documented) Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva in Yitzhar is one recipient of this generosity.

If we can agree that funding is illegitimate as well, I believe we have found consensus and will gladly support a bi-partisan campaign to cease all foreign funding of controversial issues in Israel.

Respectfully,

Didi

Didi Remez said...

Aviram,

Yes. In fact, I commanded a combat company in the West Bank at the time of the Goldstein massacre and made sure to clarify the authority.

Induction is always a bad guide. In this case especially. If you skim through the rest of the report, you'll see that a section is devoted to the problem that commanders are not properly advised of their responsibilities and authorities on this issue.

Best,

Didi

Gavin said...

Didi. Is this you.....

http://www.benor.co.il/benor/team_member.asp?ID=2

I don't know how long you've been reading Yaacovs ruminations but the strongest & most persistent thread in his blog is the subject of anti-semiticism. Yaacov is a Jew first & foremost, clearly a proud one and a wonderful ambassador for your country and your people.

I doubt you're the type with enough honesty to ever admit or accept it, even privately, but the plain fact is the extremists on your left have woken the sleeping ogre. It slept for 50years after the Nazis were stilled, but it was only dormant. Now it's woken again, and feeding off every bad news report that comes out of Israel. I grew up reading about the pogroms & treatment of Jews, I never thought I'd see the day when the '30s of Nazi Germany were repeated. But they are repeating, you've recruited a vicious and malevolent enemy to your causes and they whip themselves into an ever greater Jew-hating frenzy with every new story that you feed them. They are not your friends. Take a good look at someone like Carter. He turned from a statesman into a visceral hater. It's like disease with some people, a cancer that eats away at them,. You can read bile & malevolence in his writing, the only good Jew to him is the dhimmi.

Might I suggest you get out of your comfort zone for a while and try researching the anti-Jewsh sentiment that has been building up over the last decade. Anti-Zionism is just another name for anti-semiticism, Yaacov knows what he's talking about. It's not the causes you support that are the issue. It's the means you use to pursue them.

Gavin

Didi Remez said...

Gavin,

As Yaacov so eloquently put it, you are a "free bonus". I'll pass on mine.

Didi

marek said...

Dear Didi,

You pass on your what?

Didi Remez said...

My free bonus.

Anonymous said...

isn't that Didi guy marvellous?
I swoon for this unsurpassable master of the unfunny wise crack

Silke

marek said...

Dear Didi,

Your free bonus was "Zionism is Nazism". Too bad Israel got this too and in a great measure thanks to you.

Yaacov said...

Didi - I think I was reasonably clear: foreign governments (and their agencies) investing in Israeli politics. I don't care which governments, nor which Israeli organizations with which politics.

Gavin said...

Not so fast Didi. The only reason I am here is because you and your kind invited me. You dragged my country, along with most of the world, into your fight against your own people.

What I said was true Didi. Anti-semiticism is on the rise and getting to be of real concern, and its due to the media feeding the masses a regular diet of lies. A lot of those lies start with you people. Ihink about it mate.

Gavin

Carrie said...

In my opinion, there is nothing worse than a Jew who runs to Europeans to help delegitimize Israel. Only a moron would rely on Europeans to "save the Jews from themselves." Do any Irishmen run to the Israeli gov't to get funds for running any radical anti-gov't groups?

I am with Yaacov. Israel should ban all foreign gov't funding for NGO's across all ideological/political lines.

Didi Remez said...

Yaacov,

You were very clear, but I asked you a different question: You stated that diaspora Jews should not take an active part in Israeli politics. If that is the case, isn't funding by them (and, adraba, Christian Zionists)of controversial political projects and organizations in Israel also not legitimate?

Didi

Victor said...

"The blanket refusal to allow the Diaspora a critical voice was shown to be shallow when the State Comptroller in Israel revealed for the first time in 1988 the sums which Diaspora philanthropists had given to political parties in the 1988 election. Forty nine gave at least $30,000 - of which twenty eight had supported the Labour Alignment. Moreover, the Likud had conducted a a fundraising campaign to collect close to $6 million from Diaspora sympathizers. This made a mockery of Diaspora non-interference in Israeli internal affairs."

A History of Modern Israel, Colin Schindler, 2008.

I'm almost done, and not impressed. On that point, however, is it common practice now, during the Israeli election cycle, or after it, to announce Diaspora contributions?

One more point related to Didi's question. I'm not someone who sees everything as having a political dimension. Yaacov, you've written in the past that you do see most everything as being political in nature, unless I read or understood your point wrong.

So, for me, raising funds for settlements in Yesha is not a political act. I'm not advocating support for any political party. I'm helping build homes and equipping kindergartens for fellow Jews, and doing so in a way that strengthens the security of "border towns", and thus the country, per halacha. For Didi, it clearly is a political act, because it strengthens the settlement movement, against his ideals.

For me, watching money go to the New Israel Fund to educate Bedouins how to write a professional resume, or how to use a computer is not a political act, either. It strengthens the state, the national project of the Jewish people, so I approve. Probably Didi doesn't consider that a political act either. But someone who think that Jewish money should be spent on Jewish ailments first, like the tens of thousands of Israeli Jews living below the poverty line, might think its a political act.

So, where do you draw that line?

Yaacov said...

Victor,

I didn't say what Didi says I said, not here, not ever. So there's no reason to argue.

Anonymous said...

Didi is a bit of a tricky issue
- on the one hand I have learnt that not feeding the beast is usually good, on the other hand Didi parades his techniques to tell people to shut up Comandante-style in a way that makes me think he is quite proud of it and so there is a balloon of self-importance that needs to be punctured.

As to funding:
why not demand they are public - certainly a mission statement like that of EED (German Protestant Church) would raise a lot of eye-brows if it were generally known and its full implications would have to be explained.

But there's the problem - I've spent a bit of time on that website Gavin posted which includes Didi prominently. For none of the organisations I spent time on I could find donor lists like the one AKUS posted the other day.

This outcome left me a bit frustrated because I find following the money trail so often not only satisfying but also enlightening.

Silke

PS: and thanks Gavin that's why I'm here also
- trying to find some idea, any idea how one can do anything against those heaps of stinking s...t which seem to grow everywhere - look at the poster by which Mearsheimer's lecture was announced.- I am told the flag is from a racist organisation of Boers which intentionally took its inspiration from the NS-flag, but Mearsheimer is no anti-semite, of course not, not he, he is a realist and

note to Didi
- from afar that merges easily whether it is your intention or not
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_0tkTIeDkTAg/S8HQrSQFlGI/AAAAAAAABjI/Hpz-uq2ligw/s1600/mearsheimer+for+websitesmall.jpg

Didi Remez said...

Yaacov,

Here are your two quotes from above. If I have misinterpreted them, please clarify and attempt to substantially answer my questions.

1. "I blog in English for two reasons. The first is as a very small contribution to strengthening Jewish awareness among American Jews, so it's an internal matter. Silke, Gavin, Christian Zionist and others are a free bonus."

2. "I may actually disagree with you about the participation of non-Israeli Jews in our political discussion;" said in response to mine "I think that the diaspora has every business being engaged in Israeli affairs."

Respectfully,

Didi

Anonymous said...

Didi

who funds the outfits you list here???????
Silke

http://www.benor.co.il/benor/team_member.asp?ID=2

Didi Remez said...

Silke,

Follow the hyperlinks, you'll find them fully transparent.

If you're going to engage in "distraction by association," you might want expand you're investigative endeavors to association not voluntarily provided by you targets. In this case, however, you'll find none.

BTW -- Please stop using flirtatious language with me ("swooning", "rejection", "migraine", etc.) it demeans you and insults my wife.

Didi

Yaacov said...

"May", Didi, note the word "may". It could also have been "may not": I simply refused to get into that discussion. It's actually an important one, of course, but I wasn't in it and am not now, either.

You also might note that serious folks such as Silke and Gavin are talking to you.

Didi Remez said...

Yaacov,

1. This point is very material to the issue you have raised here and elsewhere -- who can legitimately say what and where. Not taking a position on the issue may keep all your argumentative options open, but is unworthy of an honest intellectual.
2. So noted. However, I am interested in your thinking, not theirs. This is especially true, because commenters have more than once tried to answer for you, only to be contradicted by your response when it came.

Respectfully,

Didi

Anonymous said...

Didi
I can't remember a single incidence where I have been contradicted by a follow-up comment by Yaacov

on the other hand I remember lots and lors of comments by Yaacov and others where my view of matters was voiced a lot better than I could have ever done, where they elaborated, enhanced, changed direction etc. etc. and to boot all prefectly understandably to me without ever forcing me to use that old professional tool of mine "read slowly and aloud" which I have to resort to again and again if I want to even get a vague idea of what you are trying to say - which - come to think of it - reminds me a lot of how I felt when way way back our 68ers tried to explain to us why we were stupid to work for a living.

Silke

PS: is there anywhere a full list of words you consider flirtatious and which will insult your wife, if they show up in a comment thread in which you participate?

Anonymous said...

Didi
ooops - just remembered there was one incidence where I'd "protested" against something Yaacov had written and he felt it necessary to "clarify" - if you want to label that as my having been contradicted, it would be OK with me.

Silke

Gavin said...

Thanks Yaacov but that's ok. There was just something bugging me since Didi started posting and I've learnt to trust my instincts. He seemed too professional, single- minded and like a barrister trying to trap someone on points of law. I was just getting a bit protective & you can look after yourself ok.... I'll keep out of it.

I hope you don't mind me saying but I get a bit concerned when you put yourself out there, I know how nasty this business is too. I enjoy the rambling voyage on Jewish culture too, don't understand half of it but it is interesting.

Regards, Gavin