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The Committe for Peace, Justice, and a Bunch of Other Crap


This is cross posted by Yarden Frankl at the blog,Crossing the Yarden

I was flying back to Israel and found myself sitting next to a Jewish teen excited about his first trip to the Holy Land. I asked what the occasion was and he said that he was part of a group that was coming on a ten day study tour. I expected him to mention that the trip was part of Birthright or maybe some similar group when he surprised me by saying that the whole trip was funded by the “Committee for Peace, Justice, and……” (I stopped listening at this point.)

I mean would it make any difference what other labels this group decided to add to its name? Perhaps it was the Committee for Peace,  Justice, Motherhood, Puppies, and Apple Pie in the Middle East (The good, old CPJMPAPME!) All I know is that the nicer the name of the organization, the more I know that they probably take a rather dim view of people like me.

Don’t get me wrong. I love peace. Every Israeli I know — including us crazy settlers — is in favor of peace. Yet since when did peace in the Middle East become solely defined by Jews giving their homes to Arabs? Did the transfer of thousands of Jewish homes in Gaza to the Palestinians create peace? I’m not trying to be difficult — but I just fail to understand why peace means that Jews have to leave their homes. I guess that makes me “anti-peace.” (Which makes us much sense as saying I am anti-cycling because I don’t let others ride my bike.)

But really, I do believe in peace. I mean wouldn’t it be great if I could ride my bike over to Bet Lechem and get some hummus? Wouldn’t it be nice if Palestinians were allowed to work wherever they wanted without fear of reprisal from their own people. Wouldn’t it be absolutely fantastic if our kids didn’t have to risk their lives in the Army defending us from Abbas and his army of “peace advocates?”

Yet sadly, peace is today defined as turning over the keys to your home to someone who has never lived there and apologizing for taking so long to do so.

And let’s not forget about “Justice.” I thought I knew what the term meant. Think about it. For many years Jews lived in places like the Gush, Hevron, and the Old City of Jerusalem (and many others.) They were thrown out of their homes by invading Arab armies. Now they have returned and have rebuilt the areas. One woman I know today lives a block away from her old home in the Old City that she was tossed out of in 1948. If “justice” refers to righting a historical wrong, then we are the most “Just” people around.

But alas, I fear we have lost the battle already since we all know that when anyone talks about “Justice” in the Middle East, I won’t be invited to the party.

I asked the kid on the plane about the program. With a big, excited smile he told me that they were going “all over.” When I asked for specifics, he mentioned Ramallah, Bet Lechem, and Hevron (no, not the Jewish part.) When I asked whom they were meeting with, I heard a jam-packed schedule of Palestinians and Israeli leftists.

He explained that they were trying to hear ALL the views about the conflict, especially the ones the biased media refuse to report on. (Yeah, that’s right. This brain-washed kid actually believes that the media are biased in favor of Israel! Of course, I doubt he ever read any media reports for himself. Here’s a good place for a shamelessHonestReporting plug.)

I asked if he would be hearing the opinion of any Jews who lived in the disputed territories. He seemed a little embarrassed to admit that they would not, in fact, get to hear the opinions of Israeli settlers. That’s when I told him he was wrong. That he would in fact get to hear the opinions of a bona-fide settler. And that he would be hearing said opinions over the course of the next twelve hours right from the comfort of his airplane seat. (Lucky him!)

But alas, unless we stake out all incoming flights to Israel and look for excited teens talking about how they were about to become “Peace” and “Justice” advocates while eating humus and playing guitar, we are going to lose some otherwise well-intentioned kids.

Oddly enough, I am quite proud that so many young people are so ideal. I just wish that they were a bit more skeptical and tried to find out the truth on their own.

Because Israel could really use more people interested in true peace and real justice.

Yarden Frankl,

Peace and Justice Advocate

18 replies »

  1. “The voice of opponents no less than that of friends has a right to be heard.”

    How ironic and revealing that this article begins with you stopping listening to someone because you presumed that they were about to say something you disagreed with.

    • That is only fair because this teen was going to Israel in order NOT to hear the Jewish Israeli side. It is therefore totally appropriate that Yarden had the opportunity – and took it – to balance out this kid’s miseducation.

  2. I stopped listening at this point.

    But you made the poor kid listen for 12 hours !

    Oddly enough, I am quite proud that so many young people are so ideal. I just wish that they were a bit more skeptical and tried to find out the truth on their own.

    Because only you know what the truth is ?

    we are going to lose some otherwise well-intentioned kids.

    Because it’s all a matter of education ? If you get to these idealistic well-intentioned kids early enough maybe you can convince them how wonderful the occupation is for the Palestinians, how being ‘citizens’ without rights or benefits is for their own good, how the siphoning off of a large portion of the Israeli budget for the benefit of a small group of extremists is good for the Israeli economy and the majority of its people, etc, etc.

    Maybe it’s about time that you started listening and tried to understand why so many Jews around the world are totally disgusted by people like you and try to dissociate themselves from any identification with Israel, today’s Israel – the one they associate with people like you.

    • Because only you know what the truth is ?
      Yarden certainly knows a lot more truth, from her own personal experience, than any of these pseudo-peace organizations. In any event, where did Yarden say that only she knew the truth? You are twisting her words. How unsurprising.

      Because it’s all a matter of education ?
      Yes.

      ” If you get to these idealistic well-intentioned kids early enough maybe you can convince them how wonderful the occupation Israel is for the Palestinians and Israelis, how being ‘citizens’ without rights or and benefits is for their own good, how the siphoning off of a large the major portion of the Israeli Palestinian aid budget from international donors for the benefit of a small group of terrorists and extremists is good so terrible for the Israeli Palestinian economy and the majority of its people, etc, etc. ”

      There, I fixed it for you.

      Maybe it’s about time that you started listening and tried to understand why so many Jews around the world are totally disgusted by people like you and try to dissociate themselves from any identification with Israel, today’s Israel – the one they associate with people like you.
      Please provide documented numbers. Because all the latest polls and figures show growing support for Israel amongst Jewish populations.

      people like you
      The classical antisemitic trope.

      • Brilliant ! The classic CifWatch trope : if the same nonsense is posted again and again, then it will become the truth. “Israel is wonderful for the Palestinians” – LOL . How about addressing the issues for a change ?

          • I addressed all the issues in my comment.

            I noticed. You crossed them out. I suppose that can be considered as “addressing” them. Just cross out the word “occupation”, for example, and you have dealt with it. Welcome to CifWatch.

    • You know, MTC, I’ve considered saying this to you for quite a while whenever the subject comes up, but have so far held back. I think, however, that the time has come.

      Whatever your views on Israeli towns and villages over the ‘green line’, that is no excuse for ignorant, bigoted and personal attacks on the people who live there. It is no excuse for branding them with one homogeneous world view, one ideology or one political viewpoint.

      Your use of phrases such as ‘people like you’ is stereotypical and bigoted. It borders on something akin to racism and it is very ugly to behold.

      • This entire thread revolves around the first paragraph, where the author hears one sentence, immediately classifies and labels the youngster, and in his own words “I stopped listening at this point”. This is also a stereotyped and bigoted view, but obviously one that does not bother you. Perhaps if you were to consider the endless inanities and inconsistencies in his arguments you would understand why so many Jewish youngsters are morally repulsed by any identification with Israel. But I know you have stopped listening at this point and are instinctively preparing an answer that blames the stereotyped other. “People like you” means people who do not listen, people who are incapable of comprehending that others may have a different opinion, people who express an embarrassing and condescending air of moral superiority.

        • “People like you” means people who do not listen, people who are incapable of comprehending that others may have a different opinion, people who express an embarrassing and condescending air of moral superiority.”

          THAT is exactly what you are doing yourself, in particular by dehumanising an entire group of people by stereotyping them according to their postcodes.

          • Sorry, but I listened and replied seriously. The writer represents a philosophy shared by many and so any comments that criticize his article will criticize the entire group. This is no different from the many articles and comments here that criticize people identified with the Israeli left. They too “brand [the left] with one homogeneous world view, one ideology or one political viewpoint”. That doesn’t bother me, even though I strongly disagree with the criticism, because that is the nature of political arguments. I really can’t see why you are so upset. Perhaps you can explain how I could criticize Frankl without criticizing everyone who agrees with his philosophy, as expressed in the article.

  3. I mean wouldn’t it be great if I could ride my bike over to Bet Lechem and get some hummus? Wouldn’t it be nice if Palestinians were allowed to work wherever they wanted without fear of reprisal from their own people.

    But this is exactly the situation that existed from 1967 to 1987, a fact that you conveniently forget to mention. Very convenient, because then you would have to explain why the situation changed in 1987.

    • Well, why did the situation change in 1987? It was because of the outbreak of the first intifada. You sound like you’re blaming Israel for that.

      Oh, wait..

        • It started because of belief in a rumuor (so typical of Arab society) and continued to grow due to incitement from Arafat’s headquarters in Tunis – far away and safe from the deadly action. He always was a coward.

          The first intifada

          • Yours is the funny comment of the day.
            – Arafat was more surprised by the outbreak of the Intifada than Israel.
            – The intifada was locally organized; the names of the leaders are well-known and they were interviewed extensively in the Israeli press in the following years.
            – Arafat was in Tunis because he was exiled there by Israel from Lebanon in 1982.
            – the fact that the PLO was out of the picture in Tunis was an important factor in the decision of these local leaders to take the initiative.

            And of course you totally ignore the real causes of the Intifada. Uprisings don’t start one day just because of a rumour. If the belief in rumours is so typical of Arab society (no doubt you are an expert) why did it take 20 years for the Intifada to erupt – there must have been similar rumours all the time.

            So please enlighten us – what were the REAL causes of the first Intifada ?

              • Typical CifWatch reply : ignorant poster makes ignorant statement, then tries to shift responsibility to person who points out ignorance in order to wiggle out of embarrassing situation.

                Why don’t you just be honest and admit that you have no idea what the causes of the 1st intifada were ?