Guardian

What about Palestinian extremism don’t well-meaning critics of Israel understand?


On Wednesday night, when news was breaking that terrorists in Gaza had fired a volley of more than 40 rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians in the south, the Guardian’s incoming Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont reacted on Twitter as Guardianistas typically do to obfuscate such Palestinian war crimes: he highlighted one crazy quote by an Israeli in response to the attack.

The quote, by Israel’s foreign minister – threatening to reoccupy Gaza – was as hysterical as it was irrelevant, as the chances that such a re-occupation would happen are practically zero.

The habit of providing obsessive coverage to every hyperbolic or ill-considered statement by an Israeli, while ignoring even the most egregious examples of Palestinian racism and incitement to violence is not of course limited to Guardian journalists.  Indeed, even some of Israel’s friends often find it more morally satisfying to attack even minor Jewish misdeeds than far more injurious Palestinian crimes.

Whether it’s a case of liberal racism (holding groups believed to be powerless to a lower standard than those deemed to be powerful), moral myopia or antisemitism, this double standard weighs heavily on Israelis who desire more than anything to make peace with the Palestinians, but are haunted by the cognitive dissonance elicited by seeing Palestinian leaders talk peace in English to the West, while promising endless war when speaking to their own people in Arabic.

A perfect illustration of this disturbing double standard was evident when Palestinian Media Watch revealed that Senior Palestinian official Abbas Zaki said, in an interview yesterday on official PA TV, that Israelis “are an advanced instrument of evil” and that “Allah will gather them so that we can kill them.”

Here’s the video:

If you’re tempted to dismiss this call to murder as the rant of an insignificant or marginal voice, PMW explained that this simply isn’t true.

“Zaki’s public anticipation of the extermination of the Israelis is significant because, as Palestinian Media Watch has reported, he is a close associate of Mahmoud Abbas. He was sent to Syria as Mahmoud Abbas’ personal representative in October 2013, and he speaks at public events representing Fatah.

Do we even need to ask what the reaction at the Guardian, New York Times and BBC would be if a top Israeli official associated with Likud (and close associate of Netanyahu) said that ‘Palestinians were an instrument of evil and that God will gather them together so they can all be killed’?

Of course, the significance of such homicidal expressions by top Palestinians officials to the peace process is hard to overstate.  If Israelis are to make painful concessions for peace, they must have confidence that Palestinian leaders signing a final status agreement truly intend to settle the decade’s long conflict, that all historical claims are settled and that their war against the Jews has truly ended.

If Israelis – soberly aware of the price paid by previous ‘land for peace’ chimeras – don’t have confidence that a real and lasting peace will be achieved, and that the extremism and homicidal antisemitism within Palestinian society will one day end, then what incentive do they have to relinquish more than 90 percent of Judea and Samaria (and possibly east Jerusalem), thus forfeiting the IDF’s capacity to operate in these communities and thwart planned terror attacks?   

Leaving aside the pro-Palestinian UK media, many Israelis are at times also astonished by the hubris of many truly well-meaning progressive advocates for a two-state solution who, in the safety of affluent Western cities, imperiously lecture them on the risks they must take to end ‘the occupation’. 

Such peace advocates will never have to live with the consequences of their policy recommendations, and it seem quite reasonable to demand of them just a bit of humility – and some deference to Israelis for whom such decisions are more than political abstractions, and often matters of life and death.  

To put it simply:

The overwhelming majority of Israelis support current peace talks, and support a two-state solution. 

However, the overwhelming majority of Israelis also are skeptical that a two-state deal (under current circumstances) will actually lead to peace.

The failure of otherwise sober, erudite and reflective minds to keep these two ideas in their head simultaneously is at times breathtaking.

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84 replies »

  1. Sadly not surprising. The moral dissonance of “liberals” belie the veneer of their “peace advocacy.” One can only hope that true moderates begin to see through it.

    • Stop the occupation. Repatriate the settlers back to Israel. Make peace on a two-state solution basis.

      • Maybe you should tell your wannabe SS Palestinian friends of Fatah this wisdom Jmarra.
        At the moment they see a possible peace with Israel as an occasion to kill the Jews as it is demonstrated by Mr. Zaki. You naturally wouldn’t be very concerned but we are. Tough luck.

      • “Repatriate the settlers back to Israel”

        Jmarra in your ‘valued’ opinion what exactly constitutes the borders of Israel that you would like the ‘settlers’ repatriated to?

        • Any Israeli settlement built beyond the Green Line, in the territory of Palestine (West Bank & East Jerusalem & Gaza) is illegal as it was built in violation of international law.

          Not to worry. Settlers know perfectly well they live in settlements.

          • According to which international law? Could you be so kind to quote only one of them? You can’t? Interesting….

            • Israeli settlements in the territory of Palestine run contrary to article 49-6 of the fourth Geneva convention which prohibits the occupying power from transferring its population into the occupied territory. The International Court of Justice has confirmed that Israeli settlements in the State of Palestine are illegal.

              • Only only a small but very significant problem asshole:
                The law quoted by you has nothing to do with the Jewish settlements on the West Bank.
                The ICJC never confirmed its illegality but if they did they didn’t have the legal authority on this matter at all. Try harder…

                • Peter, not only are you rude, you are also ignorant.

                  The International Court of Justice confirmed that Israeli settlements in the territory of the state of Palestine are illegal in its 2004 ruling.

                • In your wet dreams. They published an advisory opinion about the matter – because they don’t have any legal authority to decide on it. Speak about ignorance…
                  And am I being rude? Of course I’m speaking to you – a card carrying wannabe mass-murderer.

              • Wrong again. The Geneva Conventions do not apply because that territory was not taken from the non-existent sovereign state of Palestine. The ICJ was tasked with finding a ruling based on the flawed premise that it was illegal.

                • Gosh… Far right wing activists trying to convince other far right wing activists that illegal settlements are legal… It is Purim!

                  • Too bad that libero-fascists can’t celebrate Purim. Their warped minds can’t free themselves from their sick Israel obsession.

                • A troll attempting to usurp the moniker of a regular commenter also tries to usurp legally binding International Law to assert that a non-border military armistice line between Israel and an illegal Jordanian land grab is really an internationally binding border between Israel and an until fairly recently unknown 3rd party. Part and parcel of this vituperative exercise in jive is to vomit terms such as “right-wing” as if that too were an argument.

          • Jmarra my question was what exactly constitutes the borders of Israel.

            Are you suggesting that in your opinion the borders of Israel are, what you refer to as, ‘the Green Line’?

      • What about Gaza, Fuckwad? No occupation of Gaza for over 8 years.

        Eat a bag of dicks. Choke on bag of dicks. Drop dead from dick consumption.

        That will bring peace to everyone within your shouting range, Fuckface.

        • Kouf, Gaza has been under land, sea and air Israeli blockade since 2007.

          You are extremely rude and, it seems, ignorant as well.

          • So Gaza is under Israeli blockade on its border with Egypt… Ignorance again you extremely sensitive white lily of a Jew-hating loser.

              • Listen it is a well known facts that Jew haters have very limited intellectual abilities but your case is really extraordinary. Not speaking about the fact that there is no entity on Earth called State of Palestine so it can’t be occupied by anybody, but you spoke about blockade and not occupation Remember asshole? Blockade. Let’s repeat blockade!
                Instead of you I would think for a second about the two categories: occupation and blockade. For your information they are more or less contradiction in terms. If A country applies a blockade against B entity it means that B is not occupied by A.
                I acknowledge that understanding this simple logic is way above your mental abilities so please don’t try to overload your single poor brain cell. Instead try to explain to yourself how the murderous intentions of your boss demonstrated on the clip in the article will make easier to make peace.

          • You’re worried about my demeanor to your anonymous self, and yet you’re not really worried about the veracity of your statements that makes one want to see you die from overt dick consumption.

            See, at some point in time, you’re gonna have to figure it out on your own. I’m not going to hold your hand, Moron.

          • “Enlightened” Jmarra knows not the difference between a military occupation and a legal weapons blockade nor the meaning of two borders nor can Jmarra bring himself to acknowledge moral agency for anyone Arab or Muslim.

      • @Jmarra – an appeal to human rights, dignity and respect for people before States is something that pro-Israelis cannot fathom. This is motivated by pure greed and arrogance on their part – the Holocaust card is usually played to make people feel bad, but we both know that it has no baring on today’s humanitarian problems.

        @the rest of you, you have never once explained why you think you’re racially and morally superior. You’re cowards, and without US $$ are up sh*t creek without a paddle – why not advocate a ‘just’ peace, with dignity for all?

        • You’re the ignorant coward in that you’re afraid of the truth. Israel doesn’t get any economic aid from the US government. A worm is morally superior to the likes of you.

            • Preferential trade deals: Israel isn’t even among the top four partners for the US and even if it was, so what? Name ONE country in the world that does not have preferred trading partners.
              Loans: The US simply gives money to other countries that waste it. Such as non-existent “Palestine.”
              Guaranteed purchase agreements: Again so what? Those bonds are paid back and they have excellent ratings, so it makes good business sense. Furthermore, a strong, resilient Israel is strategically important to the US as its only reliable ally in the region.
              Access to military hardware: That is manufactured on US soil supporting the US economy.

              You neglect to mention the fact that the US pressures Israel into withdrawing from lucrative contracts.

              Just another typical British libero-fascist. Your sick, mendacious obsession with Israel underscores your elective ignorance.

        • Oh, and by the way if you want to know what moral superiority looks like, this is it:

          You’re not fit to shine those soldiers boots.

        • Interesting that you would make an appeal for the rights of people ahead of states considering your chosen moniker is “resolution242,” a UN Security Council resolution based on the rights of states (in which a state of Palestine was not even on the radar). Clearly you don’t understand it. Then you follow with the usual intellectual and moral inversions casting Jew as Arab and Arab as Jew with the usual anti-Semitic tropes thrown in probably just for some sadomasochistic thrill.

          “@the rest of you, you have never once explained why you think you’re racially and morally superior. ”
          This is projection on your part. Again, a complete intellectual and moral inversion, this time including yourself.

          • States do not have ‘rights’ – you clearly do not understand international law – people do however.

            The UN is a club of states, so ALL resolutions pertain to matters of the state – there is nothing shocking or surprising about that – nor is the choice of name anything other than a very important attempt to explain what this resolution means in a historical and lexical context.

            Israel is notorious for spouting off about the “‘new’ new (new) anti-Antisemitism”, accusations of which curiously materalise every time its reprimanded for a war crime, gross violation of human rights or illegal blockage/siege on the international state. It doesn’t fool anyone, and people are already starting to not care about its future existence – after all, the #right of a state to exist# is a nonsense concept: all we care abut is respect for international law, human rights and a just peace.

            Why don’t you ‘lot’?

            • You keep embarrassing yourself with your ignorance. The UN was not set up to be a parliament. A “club” doesn’t impart that kind of authority.

            • I may not understand International Law. For example, how can over 300 resolutions be passed against Israel while no resolutions have been passed against Syria. Unless it’s cool to kill 150,000 in 3 years as opposed to having killed less than 10,000 in bout 70 years.

              And you want to talk about Moral Superiority. Why do you insist on using a batshit strawman’s argument rather than stay on the topic with its actual facts at hand? May I suggest it’s because you don’t want to settle for peace but rather you wish to demand a total capitulation to your ill thought, joke of a premise?

              Yo, Genius – YA’LL COULD HAVE HAD A STATE 13 YEARS AGO. YOU STILL CAN HAVE THAT STATE. IT’S BEING GIVEN TO YOU ON A SILVER FUCKING PLATTER YOU GOOF.

        • “an appeal to human rights, dignity and respect for people before States is something that pro-Israelis cannot fathom.

          Calling you an Asshole limits the scope of asshole to you, as the individual I am referring to. While your comment chooses to blanket all pro-Israelis as lacking the ability to bring peace and dignity “to all” EVEN THOUGH it is Israel who has made all the peace measures in the 40+ years of this one-sided relationship.

          YOU are an IDIOTIC, HISTORICALLY ILLITERATE JACKHOLE. Not all of Palestine JUST the dipshit morons who continuously insist that their need to justify murder and slander Israel as a racist society because YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND IT.

          As if you 40+ of your futility hasn’t proven to you that your actions and wants and methods of bullshit ain’t working.

          Yes. YOU are an idiot. Abbas is a waste of space. And poor, pathetic Jmarra couldn’t argue his way out of the piss stained sheet covering his pointy, dimwitted head.

    • What about “stop the occupation, stop the settlement logic” dont’t Israeli settler groups understand?

      • How could we do that – we who are evil without principles and are an advanced instrument of evil? Anyway our presence here is the will of Allah making easier the mass killing of us. Do you question and argue with your boss? You have no shame….

        • Peter, how many people in Israel have been killed or injured by rockets in the past five years?

          • Sadly for you only a few. And have you ever thought about the reason why? Not because Israel spent a lot of money to create and maintain anti-rocket systems?
            And Israelis have been living the “close to shelter” life doesn’t count naturally.
            But could you tell what is the connection between the number of Israeli casualties and the the bloodthirsty dreams of your bosses?

          • Poor Jmarra. Not enough dead people to make himself happy.

            You can always kill yourself. Sheeet, Pardner, I expect all your worries to be gone once you stop breathing.

          • If you think that they’re so harmless, why don’t you spend about a week in Sderot and try to catch them? Of course, in your warped mind, that’s something that Jews should have to suffer.

      • Jmarra asks: What about “stop the occupation, stop the settlement logic” dont’t Israeli settler groups understand?
        They understand that nothing Israel can do will bring peace, no concessions are ever enough for the PA and Hamas and so, for safety’s sake, they understand it is best to stay put.

          • Noam

            You need to try harder than that if you want to be as charming and progressive as the justice for Palestine advocate, Abbas Zaki.

            • After this attack by mortar how many killed , injured, are the Palestinians the most inept “terrorists” on the planet , they all want to kill you , you all say that, but the facts are very very few are dying. Unlike the Palestinians. Live likely they have to for a day ,a week , a year, then you will know what real fear is.

              • Noam

                Are you talking to me? Is that sanctimonious whining disguising your disappointment that the Palestinians can’t teach the Jews a lesson the good old European way?

                • Well, the Islamist is trying to imitate his Mohammad, in a westernised way, somehow funny.

                • So, Noam, we’re back to ‘baby.’ That’s interesting, because you heroes fire rockets at Israeli children to terrorize them and make them run for shelter. This makes them feel manly, baby.

              • Your despair about the ineptness of your murderous pets is understandable Noam,
                The quality of their creativity is on par with the quality of their supporters.

                • Noam, you mean-spirited, cowardly Jew-baiter, at last we find some common ground; ” It will come , sadly , for all who are corrupt”. Yes indeed – Gadaffi, Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood’s corrupt and fascist regimes, all bitten the dust. Assad hanging on to his pan-Arab paradise by the skin of his murderous teeth, while Israel makes you froth at the mouth with hatred, constantly reminding you that the days of Jewish powerlessness are long gone.

              • Yeah, that’s why their population has increased more than fivefold since the “Occupation” started.

                What did you say above, “utter tosh?”

      • What logic? We have seen no indication whatsoever that it would lead to peace, or even temporary calm. So why do it? I can only conclude that those who advocate it want something other than peace.

  2. “If Israelis are to make painful concessions for peace, they must have confidence that Palestinian leaders signing a final status agreement truly intend to settle the decade’s long conflict, that all historical claims are settled and that their war against the Jews has truly ended.”

    This is the crux of the issue for Israelis. It is is always reduced in discourse to something that has to do with paranoia than anything real to justify the continuous onslaught of criticism against Israel.

    I spoke to my friend about Arab attitudes towards Jews and israel in particular. He comes from Algeria and arrived in the UK believing Jews to have horns and were satanic and all the other nice things that Jews are described as being, only finding to his surprise that the people he got on with the most , and who helped him the most were a number of Jewish people. No surprise of course. But I asked him whether all this anger expressed was rhetoric or an intended objective. He was honest to tell me without hesitation, that given the chance to dominate , to expect the worst. No surprise there either.

  3. Joshua:

    “It is is always reduced in discourse to something that has to do with paranoia than anything real to justify the continuous onslaught of criticism against Israel.”

    This for example is what we see in Jordan.
    A peaceful border with a peace deal and yet it takes one small incident which is yet to be investigated to trigger such hate fest in their parlament.

    http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/140312-jordan-parliament-wants-israeli-envoy-kicked-out

    So if we are having issues with the 2 Arab neighbours we are already at peace with what could be the outcome of further peace deals however secure they seem to be?

    Are we to assume that Hamas or PIJ ideologies will vanish into thin air after a deal is signed?
    Are we to assume thet attitudes will change?

  4. Whether it’s a case of liberal racism (holding groups believed to be powerless to a lower standard than those deemed to be powerful), moral myopia or antisemitism, this double standard weighs heavily on Israelis who desire more than anything to make peace with the Palestinians, but are haunted by the cognitive dissonance elicited by seeing Palestinian leaders talk peace in English to the West, while promising endless war when speaking to their own people in Arabic.

    Why not antisemitism?
    Whether according to Dershowitz in 2013 or to a poll in 2003

  5. I notice The Guardian is running a film review for the new Scarlett Johansson film Under the Skin with the headline [Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin: ‘prick her and she doesn’t bleed’]. Anyone familiar with Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice will recognize the reference. This seems to me to be an entirely gratuitous (and somewhat negative) reference to Ms Johansson’s Jewish origins or am I just reading too much into it? What do other readers think?

    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/mar/15/scarlett-johansson-under-skin-extraterrestrial

      • “…what does that have to do with the subject of this thread?”

        Sorry Gerald I should have inserted a preamble on the lines of “Sorry I know it’s off topic….”

        Since it’s a current Guardian article I mistakenly thought it might be appropriate to draw this blog’s attention to it on a current thread rather than bury it in one of the Johansson threads from a couple of months ago.. Feel free to ignore my (lack of) input and once again apologies for going off-topic.

  6. Well done Adam. It’s beyond obvious to any rational individual, Israeli or not, what the true intentions of the Palestinian Islamists is–their words and deeds toward Israel have repeatedly shown them to be irretrievably hostile and hateful.

    Only a liberal mush-mouthed moron like Beaumont could ignore the obvious “elephant in the room” when it comes to the lack of peace in the Mideast, i.e. relentless Palestinian non-acceptance of and violence toward Israel.

    Just more predictable racist claptrap from the Guardian goofs.