You see what happens, Hamas . . .

“Don’t be silly,” I reassure Itzik, as we sip on our sachlabs on Rothschild, early last Thursday evening. “Nothing will happen in Tel Aviv.”

It might as well be the cue for the siren.

There are a surreal couple of seconds, during which the occupants of adjacent tables exchange puzzled, yet pregnant, glances: “Is it . . . ? What now . . . ?”

I jump up, as if stabbed with a shot of adrenaline. The dogs bark. We dart inside the café, my spanking new Galaxy S II abandoned alongside the sachlab. Clive Dunn has only been gone a week, and I have already forgotten his famous advice (though discovering that it is true, no one “like[s] it up ’em”). It is the first time I have experienced a siren not marking the commencement of Shabbat or a Holocaust/Remembrance Day.

We all huddle together at the rear of the café. A 60-something female hears my accent and, as if encouraging a boy to consummate his transition to manhood, asks me if it is my “first time”. I nod sheepishly. She imparts advice that I am in no state to listen to.

A distant boom. Perhaps two. And, within half an hour, I am home, packed, and on Highway 1 . . . on my way to the capital. I am ‘caught’ by my neighbours in the act of attempting to wheel my bag quietly out of the building. “I am not escaping,” I protest. “I have a fortieth birthday party in Jerusalem!” And it is true. But I don’t expect them to believe me. And I don’t think they do.

I tease Itzik – a Tel Aviv real estate agent who has continually belittled my second home in Jerusalem – from the car, telling him that he won’t be getting a key (‘forcing’ the coward into having to stay, instead, with his father in Petach Tikva).

And Itzik is the first to call me, gloating, the following early evening, within seconds of the siren sounding in the capital. I have darted into the stairwell, where the neighbours are quickly gathering, before shooting back in for my flatmates. My Orthodox neighbour overcomes her fear of Stuey and Dexxy, whom, until now, she has refused to even pass on the stairs. “Shit,” I exclaim, in an attempt to lighten the tension, “I left the back window open.” But the attempt at humour is lost.

I meet an American woman on Saturday who is considering taking refuge in London. Who am I to judge? I still do. And I delete an old law school friend from Facebook after he publishes this photo (right) with the caption: “Address this, Mark Regev . . .”

In fact, the next time I hear a Palestinian talk about ‘his’ olive tree, I will make it my job to find said plant, uproot it, and stick it up his . . . well, in a place that it will get no light. These people attach no value to human life, never mind olive trees.

Make no mistake, when Hamas talks about an “end to the Occupation” (which, in principle, I am also in favour of ending), it is talking about an end to Israel. And, if it was up to me, I would bring those fuckers [complaints, please, to John Fisher – he doesn’t approve of the asterisk] to their knees before even agreeing to listen to talk about a ceasefire.

There is a wonderful feeling of togetherness here at present. I had been putting the finishing touches to a blog critical of Israelis. But I can’t publish it now. These are special people. And they are giving their all for our People . . . and – if the world would only open its eyes – for the values that civilised people everywhere hold dear.

To the residents of the south, we should have empathised more fully with your sacrifice and suffering, and with the intolerable circumstances under which you have had to live this past decade. To former Defence Minister Amir Peretz, respect for promoting – when few believed in it (or you) – Iron Dome. And to the soldiers awaiting your orders on the edge of Gaza, though it looks unlikely now that you will receive them, chazak ve’ematz.

Once again, however, I leave the last words to the great – though oft misunderstood – Walter Sobchak . . .


Hamas would have done well to heed the lesson of Mr. Sobchak – as, from now on, would Iran and even Egypt (which, respectively, have supplied and allowed unhindered passage of the missiles used to attack us) – though I sincerely hope that the IDF has been picking its targets rather more calmly and prudently!

[See also Airstrike on Gaza: Israel’s Right of Self-DefenceF*ck you, too and Days of Awe, Heroes and Whores . . . sadly, all still as relevant today as they were nearly four years ago.]


46 responses to “You see what happens, Hamas . . .

  1. Wonderful article Mike!
    Stay safe wherever you are!

  2. Charles Philip Lehrer

    You tell it like it is Mike. I`m really starting to think I owe you a drink, although if you read my Flemish blog on Facebook this morning, you`d be proud of ME.

  3. Superb article Mike and genuinely moving too.

    The only reason I feel able to look you and all my Israeli friends in the eye at all at moments like this (with me here safe and sound – at least from Hamas rockets if not from their fantasist/revisionist propaganda – in Londonistan, as so graphically illustrated in your friend’s photo) is that, as an avid media junky, I am exposed to daily (and nightly) barrage of British news coverage of the crisis.

    One thing that might be of interest to all your Israeli based readers is that of the half-dozen or so news broadcasters available to me here (i.e. BBC / ITN (which feeds Channel 5) / Channel 4 / Sky / and CNN [Europe]) is that the BBC is the only one even attempting “a modicum” of fairness. For instance, unlike their coverage of previous recent Arab/Israeli conflicts (e.g. “Cast Lead”) they are assiduous in giving equal air time to both Israeli and Palestinian contributors / victims / and commentators. This agenda of “balance” has even been enforced upon their correspondents, with the likes of the normally lamentable Jeremy Bowen being significantly reigned in and being forced to give at least a scintilla Israeli perspective. It’s crumbs I know, and in a strange way reinforces the effect of “moral equivalence” between the protagonists but, compared to the totally unreformed coverage available through their rival broadcasters (even Sky) it is a marked change in approach. Whether this is a belated effect of the highly critical Balen Report, or of a change in the editorial staff in the various BBC newsrooms I have no idea, but it has at least made listening the radio and watching the TV a little less miserable and a little more bearable than usual during a crisis such as this.

    One other thing which I only know because of my two or three daily checks on Ynet news (and other Israeli based on line news media) is that the bloodshed in Syria is continuing unabated – it might even be that Asad is utilising the distraction of the Gaza conflict to ramp up his onslaught. In fact, over 200 people have been killed in Syria since Friday! That’s exactly twice the number of Palestinians that have been killed in the week of the Gaza crisis. Yet, so far as the BBC and all the other British broadcasters are concerned Syria has virtually disappeared from the news.

    In yet another in a long line of similar exercises in disingenuousness, I’ve written to the BBC, Sky and Channel 4 News for an explanation. I’ve asked them to explain to me why Israelis killing Arabs in a war of self-defence is deemed more newsworthy than Arabs killing Arabs in a war of tribal/religious loathing. I’ll let you know what replies I receive – if any.

    In the meantime my thoughts are with you Mike, and all the brave people who share your remarkable and admirable little country.

  4. 1st & foremost: I pray that you & everyone about whom you care remain safe, well & whole!

    But … yes, I know, I’m sitting here in the USA, quite remote & safe … but …

    NO ONE … let me repeat: NO ONE — has clean hands in this! This latest disgusting turn of events is as much Bibi’s fault as it is Hamas’. Why? B/c that jeep that killed that kid playing soccer (which started all this) had crossed into Gaza — despite the denials in the Israeli press.

    Does that give them the right to react as they ALWAYS do (& as we ALL KNOW they would react)? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

    Did Bibi wait until after the US elections — to test Obama’s reaction? Did he do it before your elections so he would have an 80+% positive rating? Did he want to nudge Hamas into emtying their stockpile of rockets before he decides to attack Iran? Did he need to test the effectiveness of Iron Dome? Did he need to test the reaction of Morsi, the rest of the Arab world (which is keeping kinda quiet … so far), as well as the rest of the non-Arab world?

    Too many questions & not enough answers!

    So please, keep safe … & after this has quieted down, work for a 2-state (or maybe even a 3-state) solution … quickly … before it’s too late!

    PS: OK, I’m sure I’ve got y’all pissed off, but I can live w/ that … what I won’t do is enter into a point/counterpoint (i.e. pointless) discussion … ’nuff said.

  5. Shimona from the Palace

    MY neighbours (with one exception) didn’t even bother to leave their apartments (none of which have Secure Spaces) when the sirens went off last Friday.
    You were lucky nobody nicked your new cellphone…

    @Adam Green – “Whether this is a belated effect of the highly critical Balen Report, or of a change in the editorial staff in the various BBC newsrooms I have no idea”

    It’s NEWSNIGHT fallout…

  6. Alexa Raine nee Bloch

    LIKE!!! Keep safe Mike in whatever city you find yourself

  7. Kol hakavod Mike! you tell it like it is!

  8. If you’re theory is correct Shimona – and it may well be – then we here in the UK are in the curious position of owing the current ‘semi-fair’ BBC coverage of Israel to Jimmy Saville, amongst others. What a tangled web and all that. You just couldn’t make it up!

    On a more serious note, we just received news here of the bus bombing in Tel Aviv. I just wanted to say that I hope that all my friends in Tel Aviv (several of whom read this blog and including you Mike) are safe and well.

  9. If there is one thing I hate more than seeing asterisks in a word it is the use of the word principal instead of principle. Spellcheck has not quite eliminated all the advantages of a good primary school education

  10. What I always find darkly amusing in the hour or so before every agreed ceasefire here is how both sides, but especially our lovely cousins, increase their attacks even further. It strikes me as somewhat similar to someone who has resolved to embark on a strict diet stuffing their face with cream buns the night before!

    “If there is one thing I hate more than seeing asterisks in a word . . .”

    Though the absence of full stops at the end of sentences clearly doesn’t bother you, Fisher! At least you have now learnt to differentiate between the * sign and a comic strip Gaul.

    “I`m really starting to think I owe you a drink . . .”

    Glad it’s only taken 189 posts, Philip! 😉

  11. You deleted me from FB, which is a real shame.

    For the record I believe there has to be at the very least a two state solution to this – Israel has the right to exist, but so does Palestine. My position has never changed since those Law school days

    What the Israeli government has done historically, increased building of settlements on the West bank, and building of a wall – were all found to be illegal under International law.

    Despite claims the there is surgical targeted bombing – you know this is not the case. The United Nations says its preliminary investigation shows that 103 of the 158 people killed in Gaza were civilians. Of those, 30 were children – 12 of whom were under the age of 10. More than 1,000 people were injured.

    The actions of the Israeli government, in my opinion, cannot be defended, but this is part of a dialogue – which despite my suggestion on FB unfortunately you chose to ignore.

  12. I deleted you, Paul, because, frankly, I considered your posting of that banner to be deeply offensive (all that was missing from it was “[YOU] DRINK THE BLOOD OF OUR CHILDREN”).

    And it was not the first time. You might wish to examine why – if your Facebook postings are anything to go by – Gaza so occupies you, while the ongoing slaughter in Syria, for instance, does not.

    Re surgical targeted bombing, I know that it is exactly the case. The reason civilians die is because they are cynically used by the Islamofascist animals who ‘govern’ them (who store and fire rockets in and from schools, hospitals and mosques).

    As for the security wall, it went up after over 800 Israelis had been blown up – by the same animals – in buses, markets and cafes. And it has been a life saver. Or don’t the lives of Israeli civilians count?

    You say you believe in a “two state solution”, Paul (so do I), but you are seemingly only interested in the narrative/propaganda of one (please read this, too).

  13. Well said Mike – vis-à-vis your response to Paul whose faith in the pronouncements of the United Nations on Israel reveals exactly where he is coming from. You’ve already pointed out the apparent selectivity of Paul’s outrage with your mention of his lack of interest in the bloodshed in Syria. I also wonder how often he has railed on FB or on blogs such as this over the behaviour towards their neighbours of those two saintly stalwarts of the Security Council – China and Russia? How often, I wonder has Paul publicly ranted against the actions of China in Tibet for instance, or the slaughter of the Chechens by Russia?

    Not being a follower of Paul on FB I can’t be certain that he has never commented on these examples of state sponsored mass criminality (criminal that is by any normal human standards if not those of the UN), or the fact that his beloved UN turns a blind eye to these and many other comparable atrocities carried out by other UN members, but I’d be willing to wager that he has not. As you implied Mike, it appears that Paul suffers from the tragically common and fashionable syndrome of “Israel obsession”.

    For my sins, I found myself sitting opposite someone with a similar position to Paul on Israel at a dinner party several weeks ago. This chap, a proud self-proclaimed “liberal humanist” had even marched in London against Israel during the last war between Israel and Hezbollah (the one with the notorious “we are Hezbollah now!” banners). Interestingly, when pressed, he had to admit to me that that he had never marched against Russia during the Chechen “operation”, nor ever against China for its despicable deconstruction of Tibet, nor in solidarity with the Tamils as they were butchered in their thousands during the climax of recent Sri Lanka civil war etc etc… When I asked him what it was that made Israel’s alleged indiscretions against the Lebanese Shia community so uniquely outrageous and thus so uniquely worthy of his protest he had no explanation except to say that “in all honesty, [he]’d never really thought about it…” He also promised to go and read up on all the examples I mentioned to him of genuine state criminality and “get back to” me. Needless to say, I am yet to hear him.

  14. Quite, Adam. Here’s a report from this morning for Paul to be getting on with . . .

    Knowing Paul as I do (from our two years at law school . . . including many hours in the pub!), I am certain that his motives are not anti-Jewish. Unlike many on the Left, however, he is all to ready to unthinkingly jump on the runaway, Israel-only bashing, bandwagon.

    I have extended repeated invitations to Paul to visit Palestine – naturally, he has never been – but he is claiming a canine allergy! The offer is still open, Paul – I will find a solution for Stuey and Dexxy – even if I no longer wish to suffer your ignorant Facebook updates.

  15. Talking of visiting Palestine, I’ve just returned from my barber and on my way back – in Heath Street, Hampstead – I passed a very attractive young lady with a Palestinian keffiyeh (the black check variety) – draped elegantly over her milky white decleage. I couldn’t help wondering how she would be received in Gaza City so adorned…

  16. I trust you embraced “them”, Adam . . . for Palestine, of course!

  17. Alexa Raine nee Bloch

    Re the last comment about why Israel badgers don’t bash other countries who are guilty of heinous anti humanitarian crimes – surely that is missing the point? Which is that Israel is NOT guilty if such crimes and this doesn’t need to be protested against! By comparing Israel to Syria, China, Chechnya etc is to subliminally (or maybe even overtly) suggest that we are on the same level as mass murderers and dictatorships! Let’s get the correct message across – we have right on our side.

    A good argument against this whole “disproportionate” nonsense is for us to fire indiscriminately into Gaza or wherever the same amount of rockets and see what happens…maybe we should supply them with mamadim and the Irion Dome system as well – that would only be fair…..and if the same amount of Israelis get killed everyone would ignore us. What a ridiculous world we live in.

  18. I will try and write a longer reply. Thanks for the invite Mike, and as I have said in the past I would love to visit Israel, and I will.

    With regards to my selectivity, (that I have only raised Gaza) i think comments by yourself Mike and Adam are wrong. You are right to raise it, because I too believe that it is not correct to raise objections to Israeli action as the only wrong in the world.

    The thing is I am not one for wearing badges and scarves just for the hell of it. In fact I don’t wear them at all. But I am involved, both domestically and internationally in campaigns where I believe human and social rights have been affected

    I have highlighted other areas on FB and elsewhere were I think human rights have been abused. These include Iran, Kazakhstan, and Namibia.

    In fact, and for the record I am currently highlighting the case of a Kazakstan lawyer and have been successful in highlighting his case through the Haldane Society and protest letters have also been sent by the Law Society.

    I am also involved in a campaign to raise the issues of pensions being stolen by multi-national mining companies in Namibia, leaving retired miners without a penny.

    The issues I have raised about the disproportionate use of force are issues that have also been raised in Israel by Jews and Arabs alike.

    Finally, and given that you do know me Mike, the points I have raised here are not new to you. I have raised them on many occasions. At times we have agreed on points, but more often disagreed – but the discussion has always been fraternal.

  19. Well said Alexa, in the normal course of events I would agree with you. But, living as I do in London, exposed daily to the sort of uninformed views expressed by Paul, I’ve found that merely repeating what you and I know to be the truth – i.e. that Israel has right on her side – just doesn’t hack it in a hostile environment that now accepts (ipso facto) a moral equivalence between the legitimate actions of the IDF in defence of Israel with the indiscriminate terrorism of Hamas, Hezbollah and their ilk. For years now, far more eloquent pro-Israel commentators than I have produced ironclad arguments against the kind of accusations made by Paul, without any real effect. Courageous people like Melanie Philips, Alan Dershowitz and Paul Berman have devoted much of their energies making the case for Israel in print and in debate, but tragically, for the most part their efforts are so much pissing into the wind – or hurricane more like. The insane issue of supposed “disproportional’ response by Israel which you rightly point out is merely a constituent element of the hurricane of perverse opinion blowing against us.

    What I have found however, after years of painful and frustrating experience is that there are certain argument techniques which do have some effect on the unenlightened (if not the outright prejudiced). And, sadly, one of those is to use the sort of odious comparison methodology that I used above. It works along the same lines as ‘coming to bury Caesar and not to praise him’. But yes, in a perfect world, filled with informed, fair-minded people it would not be necessary.

  20. Iran, Kazakhstan, and Namibia? (Paul)

    I don’t think you understand Paul how unfair and how insulting – not to mention un-fraternal – it is to people like us that you seem to deem Israel as worthy of opprobrium as places like Iran. And while I’m about it I’d like to ask you how you feel about the United Nations being headquartered on Manhattan Island and the fate of the island’s original owners, the Lenape Indians (presuming you’ve even heard of them without resorting to Wiki)? Any chance of them getting their ancestral lands back any time soon do you suppose? Any chance of their displaced descendants having a right of return? Any chance of a two state solution whereby the Native Americans can live in dignity in their own land side by side with modern America? No? I didn’t think so. And by the way, have you visited any Indian reservations lately and if not (I had the dubious pleasure of visiting the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana five years ago), you might be interested to know that the living conditions on most reservations makes those of the average Palestinian living in Ramallah or Hebron (e.g.) seem palatial (which they often are by any comparison!). In other words, before concerning yourself with the plight of the “poor, downtrodden Palestinians” you and your UN pals might want to first get your own moral, ethical, legal and proportional” house in order first. You could make a start by staging a symbolic return of the land upon which the UN building sits to its rightful Algonquin owners. And until then, yes, your antagonism towards the State of Israel is selective, and misplaced, and hypocritical and if I were you, and or any of your UN pals I would take a good look at myself and ask myself why? And I mean that of course, most fraternally…

  21. Adam, before you launch into a rant, I was answering an accusation thrown at me – i think by you. You’d assumed that i had no interest in any other issues internationally, or indeed had never commented on them. For the record I was answering your specific point.

    I do involve myself in other issues, so yes, Iran, Namibia and Kazakhstan were examples. I take on board your point about the Tamils, and have also been on protests to the Sri Lankan embassy with an organisation called ‘Tamil Solidarity.’

    Again, Adam, before you decide to (deliberately?) misunderstand me, I have not called and would never call for the end of Israel. Certain groups on the left effectively call for ‘Jews to be driven into the sea’ – I oppose this position completely 100%.

    I believe as a minimum in a two state solution. Something that even the leaders of Israel are prepared to concede also. But again sadly Adam, you have again chosen to ignore this point. Something I made reference to above.

  22. I’m not sure I see where my comment is any more of a rant than your first contribution to this debate, which Mike removed.

    As for your involvement with genuine causes, more power to your elbow. You’re obviously a sincere and conscientious citizen, unlike most people I come across with the kind of views on Israel you expressed in that first contribution.

    As for ignoring/missing your point, well, again, I could accuse you of exactly the same thing. Yours or my opinion upon the rights or wrongs of a two state solution (it will most likely be three state if Hamas hold on to power in Gaza) is neither here nor there, It’s your total lack of understanding and empathy for the “idea of Israel” that you revealed in that first contribution which is such a wind-up for people like me.

    Until you take up Mike’s invitation and actually visit the place I fear that you will never “get the place”. I’m not stupid. I don’t for a moment believe that once there you will experience some form of Damascene (or even Tel-Avivscene) conversion but at least you might get a sense of what a truly remarkable and worthy little country Israel is. Who knows, you might even like the place. At the very least, it might give you a truer perspective.

  23. To set the record straight, Adam, I did not “remove” any “contribution to this debate”, but deleted Paul from my Facebook after he posted the banner in the photo above.

    Paul, I accept much of what you say, though you might want to think twice, in future, before disseminating such dishonestly one-sided presentations of such a complex situation. And I don’t recall you even once posting about the daily abuses of human rights – including, inter alia, the third-class status of women, and summary, public executions – under Hamas (and other Islamofascist regimes).

    Anyhow, I am confident that, once you see the totty here, you’ll be ours! 😉

  24. The BBC world service was still broadcasting 10 minutes of Philistine, sorry Palestine coverage for every one minute of Sabra coverage last Monday.

    This is probably because the proud and haughty British nation has still not got over having its ass kicked out of the place in 48′ by a bunch of amateurs, some of whom had been British trained. It’s also through fear. People hope in vain that if they back the Palestinians while marching on anti-war demos. It will make people in the Arab world think, ‘hey let’s not plan terrorist attacks against the UK and lets not put up their petrol prices.’
    No chance.

    The reason why the 2 state solution is a failure is because the Arabs won’t be governed by anyone and can’t govern themselves. Really the man on the street in Gaza wants an Israeli government not a Hamas government. Arab leaders are corrupt without exception. Arafat was given 7.5 billion to develop Gaza and the West Bank which hasn’t seen a bean of it. Apparently, it went to his wife who did a bunk to France.

    The Palestinians are just Islamised Philistines. Their forefathers filled in the wells, lifelines that our forefathers left them and more recently they trashed the beautiful area of Gush Katif that the Israelis gifted them. Some things don’t change.

  25. Re: The discussion with the righteously indignant
    For someone who is committed to modern egalitarianism, any display of national or religious identity is an obsesive compulsive disorder and a display of lunacy. There can never be any reason to draw lines between human beings and doing so smacks of pride and prejudice.
    We are proud of who we are, but we are not prejudiced. The Jewish people are a fraternity which you can choose to opt in or out of. If you do opt out of it however, you cannot at once claim to be intellectually honest because ‘you are Jewish’ and nevertheless critical of the ‘Jewish state’ and simultaeneously view the behaviour of the Jewish state as an outsider.

  26. As a kind of addendum to this conversation Mike, I wondered what you and your readers think about the recent “settlement” announcement.

    So far as the UK response is concerned the shit’s really hit the fan, and this time I think it’s really different. I can’t remember such a unanimously hostile response against Israel , even amongst our usual media “friends” (admittedly I haven’t checked the Daily Mail) At least, so far as said “friends” are concerned the vitriol is aimed directly at Netanyahu and not at the “Israeli people” but that’s about the only crumb of comfort. It’s been so bad that for two days, while the news was fresh I went into blackout mode and listened solely to Radio 3 (it’s the same thing I do for the day or two following Spurs getting a trouncing at the hands of the Gooners).

    Seriously though, I very keen to know your take on this. I’m guessing it’s a pre-election gambit by Netanyahu? Am I right? And whatever, are they really going to go forward with this, or is it just a temperature feel? If it’s the latter, I can tell you for certain (as I’m sure you’re well aware yourself) that this will heat things up negatively diplomatically in a way not seen for years, even in the U.S.

    From a purely selfish “Anglo-Jew-Israel-supporter” perspective, what makes this even worse is that I haven’t had a chance to regroup since the Gaza business – time to regroup mentally and emotionally that is. Normally there’s a relatively large time gap between one ‘Israel in the news crisis’ and the next, but not this time. Worse still is that in a funny way, and for a very big change, whatever you over in the Holy Land thought about the outcome, Israel came out of the Gaza thing ‘relatively well’ over here and gleaned more sympathy than for many years, even to the point that the Palestinian UN recognition episode was barely covered here at all, and the little coverage there was, was mostly critical of “Palestine”. Add to that the civil strife brewing in Egypt and the increasing worries over Syria, Israel had a good opportunity to lay low and resume her watching brief, or so I had hoped.

    Just curious to know what you think. Can you tell me anything to reassure me here in the philo-Islamic liberal wilds of north London? Or will I be listening to a lot more classical music than I had planned to do in the run up to the New Year – and beyond.

  27. In a word, they suck … big time! It has nothing whatsoever to do w/ where one lives. This is 1 of the worst decisions Israel has ever taken! The settlements are the biggest obstacle to the 2-state solution & this latest fiasco will effectively serve to split West-Bank Palsetine in 2. Bibi needs to stop this nonsense* ASAP!

    *word chosen instead of what i really think!

  28. I don’t know what to think of Bibi’s latest shenanigans, Adam (though I assume they are strategic). I think I prefer just not to.

    Reading/hearing what the world thinks of us can be so depressing. And it is horrifying to consider that an ignorant peasant like Frédéric Kanouté may actually succeed in having the UEFA Under-21 Championship moved to another venue . . .!35.ks

    Take a few minutes, readers, to write to the bollix (, correcting his inaccuracies and enquiring why there is no mention on his site of, inter alia, the ongoing slaughter in Syria.

    A “2-state solution” with who exactly, Greg? Hamas?! I think they are more interested in a Final Solution. How’s California? 😉

  29. That’s a really good question, Mike … the more time that passes, it seems there might have to be a 3 or 4 state solution: Israel, Palestine (i.e. the West Bank), Hamastan (maybe not Hamastine b/c “stan” makes it sound like most of the world’s other crazy “stans”) & maybe Judea – or perhaps it might better be called Sumeria (since they’re so stuck in the past … for the settlers – then they could be responsible for their own expenses – like security – & not be a drain on Israel or the corporate American Jewish community, although the right wingnut crazies here could be free to spend their money anywhere they damn well please!).

    Califiornia’s great – unless you need water (we need to borrow a page from Israel). Sure, we’re listed as the worst-run state in the US, but ya can’t have everything. Now that we finally have a super majority in our state govt, all the right wingnuts can go jump in the ocean – or move to Idaho, Montana or Arizona! 😉

  30. Right-wing nuts, left-wing nuts . . . And you appear to have missed (ignored?!) the irony in my last question (re CA).

    Adam, I think Bibi’s (none too subtle) strategy is already becoming clear . . .

  31. As they say in Brooklyn, “I gots your irony, right here.” 😉

  32. I sent this to “Freddy” (it pains me that he was once a Spur!! – I wanted to cc Michel Platini into the message but can’t find a reliable email address. Any ideas?)

    Dear Mr Kanouté,

    I would find it easier to take you seriously on the Israel/Gaza issue if you were not plying your very lucrative trade in China. Are you aware of the unspeakable evils that your current host government perpetrates against the innocent population of Tibet, or is it that your selective outrage over Israel has blinded you to the genocide and ethnic and cultural cleansing going on under your own nose. It is little short of tragic that you are able to use your celebrity to disseminate such biased and one-sided prejudice against one nation, caught in a desperate daily struggle for its very existence while wilfully ignoring the dire plight of the millions of Tibetans being murdered and persecuted by the government of your employers. Shame on you.

  33. well said … kol hakavod!

  34. …as for Bibi’s strategy, Mike, it just seems like high risk petulance to me, It gives the Palestinian’s the satisfaction of knowing that their little UN adventure pressed exactly the Israeli buttons they intended. This plays straight into their gleeful hands. It’s the strategy of the second rate card sharp and just plain dumb!

  35. Politics aside, both Jewish and Palestinian people need more homes in and around Jerusalem so they have to build either way.

  36. But the Jews don’t have to build onto Palestinian land & we don’t have to kick them out into the street & otherwise destroy their homes to do it … THAT’S Bibi’s aveirah! 😦

  37. What about making the disputed new settlement mixed, with, on every street, alternate Jewish and Palestinian homes? To encourage dialogue, each pair of houses could even be forced to share the same clothes lines and mangal.

    You see, you don’t have to have gone to Cambridge (and to be Lord Levy’s son), to talk shite.

    PS Frédéric Kanouté’s ignorance (see above) is not so surprising when you read under “Personal life” here.

  38. Gee, Mike, aside from the facts that neither side wants that nor can they stand each other, it’s a great idea – NOT! Let me suggest you put your great legal mind to work on creating a tenable solution.

  39. Who ever said Yanks don’t get irony?

  40. Regarding Frederic Mike – ahhh! I should have guessed.

  41. Before you solve a problem you need correctly diagnose its cause. So lets address the great big book of middle east clichés which some have swallowed.

    1. This conflict is not about land. It is not about settlements and it is not about whether the border should be over here or over there.

    2. It is and always will be about the arab refusal to accept a state of Israel within any borders whatsoever. Given this is the stated position of both Hamas and the “moderates” in Fatah, this point should not be overlooked.

    3. The PLO was founded in 1964 – 3 years before there was any occupation, when not one single Jew lived anywhere beyond the green line.

    4. That same charter mentioned Jerusalem as many times as the Koran mentions Jerusalem – not once. It was of course changed after 1967.

    5. The 1967 lines are not borders. They never have been and they have no legal basis whatsoever. They are armistice lines – they are simply where the respective armies happened to be on 10 March 1949 when the armistice agreement was signed.

    6. The armistice agreement itself makes explicitly clear that these lines are NOT legal borders and have no legal standing, and it was the Arab League who insisted on this stipulation in the agreement.

    7. There is no such thing as “Palestinian land” since there has never been an independent state of Palestine………..EVER. No such country has ever existed from the dawn of time until this very day.

    8. UN resolution 242 passed by the Security Council in the aftermath of the 6 day war explicitly does NOT require Israel to return all of the land captured in return for secure and recognised boundaries, in spite of furious Arab League and Soviet lobbying at the time for it to do so.

    9. This was no oversight on the part of the Security Council, and this is not the unintentional consequences of ambiguous wording. The resolution’s wording and intention were quite deliberate.

    10. Therefore the UN SC resolution governing these lands allows Israel to retain some of them as part of a negotiated settlement. Abbas of course has refused to sit down and talk even Israel stopped building.

    11. A UN general assembly motion cannot overrule a Security Council resolution, as stipulated by the UN Charter itself. 100 GA motions does not have any force in international law, especially so when contradicting a SC resolution. Simply stating over and over that it is “illegal” or “Palestinian land” does not make it so.

    12. There are over 1.5 million Arabs who are citizens of Israel (20% of the population). Abbas has openly stated that in any new state of Palestine he will not allow 1 single Jew to reside. Surely this racist agenda deserves condemnation and not relative silence and acquiescence. I must have missed the howls of protest across the globe.

    13. If an Israeli PM said that in any future peace agreement, every single Arab will have to leave Israel there would be justifiable worldwide condemnation.

    14. Everyone knows the basic contours of what a 2 state solution looks likes. If Abbas, Hamas and the general population were agreeable to coexistence it could be worked out in a matter of days.

    15. In any such agreement Maale Adumin and the “E1” area would remain part of Israel. Abbas himself has acknowledged this – check out the transcript of wikileaks in what was widely called the “Palestine Papers”.

    16. From reading some press reports one might be excused from believing that so much land has been taken up by “settlements” that there is barely enough room for the Palestinians to form their state. Actually these settlements account for barely 1.5% of the total land mass as even Saeb Erekat has acknowledged. In any final settlement, this too will be compensated by land swaps.

    Conclusion: the ONLY obstacle to peace is the racist, hate mongering PA and the culture of death & bigotry they have fostered among generations of Arabs. The irony is, that compared to Hamas, they are the moderates.

    If there was any tiny movement toward genuine peaceful coexistence on the part of the PA/Hamas a deal could be worked out in a couple of days.

    I would have thought Gregg given the policies you have espoused for 20 years have caused 2 wars, thousands of rocket and mortar attacks against civilians, hundreds of actual and attempted suicide bombings and thousands of dead, wounded and maimed Jews that a period of quiet reflection on your part would now be in order.

  42. I really can’t arue this poit by point, but you’re right — the base is racism, clear & unabashed. Unfortunately, the racism exists on both sides, although I hasten to add that it is FAR, FAR greater on the Arab side, b’li doubt. What you say about resolving things in “a couple of days” is true of almost any or all negotiations =IF= you take the heat out of them. A large part of the problem is that it’s almost impossible to remove the heat — it’s like Thai or Mexican food w/o the peppers. 😉

    The 1 point I can’t help but focus on is your #7. True, there never was a “Palestine.” Except that it now exists & all solutions =must= deal w/ the problem =as it exists= or there can not be a solution. In order for Israel to remain BOTH a democracy (once defined as “the worst form of govt, except for everything else”) AND a Jewish-majority State (which we all desperately need & want) there needs to be a 2-, 3-, or 4-state solution!

    Why not “only” 2 states, you might ask? B/c of the old adage: 2 Jews, 3 opinions LOL … & when you add in Semitic Arabs, hoo-boy … the # of opinions must, almost by definition, at least double! 😉

    As a dyed-in-the wool paciifist, I can’t condone blood on my hands, period, not by either/any side. I can’t help but be struck by Golde Meir’s z”l heartrending words (or at least attributed to her) — that she could forgive the Arabs for killing her children; what she couldn’t forgive them for was forcing her children to kill theirs. Halavai — it MUST stop!!!

  43. Alexa Raine nee Bloch

    Brilliantly said!! This should get more recognition!!

  44. Just following on from something David said regarding the founding of the PLO in 1964 – (Apologies if I’ve mentioned this before) The next time readers of this blog find themselves in conversation with Israel bashers (a common occurrence here for me in the UK and in Spain) ask them what they think the status of Gaza and the West Bank was between 1949 and 1967. During the last fifteen years or so I must have asked this question to literally dozens of “educated” and “informed” people, and to a man and a woman, not one of them could answer the question accurately (the most common answer being – after a moment or two of head scratching – Palestine?)The normal response to this exposure of their ignorance is then to tell me that “raking up history” won’t achieve peace.anyhow – which would be fine, but for the fact that most of these same Israel bashers are only too happy to absorb the the Arab revised history of the region (including a fantastical ancient history claiming a Palestinian link with the Philistines!!) hook-line-and-sinker to back up and feed their own prejudice.

  45. Sometimes they behave like Philistines. (I wonder … is that anything like Steve Martin’s walk like an Egyption? LOL)

    I would hope you aren’t placing me among the ranks of Israel bashers, but IMHO it really doesn’t matter what the situation was – what’s important is what’s happening now. The clock cannot be turned back & like it or not, we must face the reality of the present (as we look toward the future), & so it’s time for the 2- or 3-state solution.

  46. Please don’t insult the Philistines, who, together with their fellow traveller “Sea Peoples” – despite their bad press in the Tanakh – were a highly civilised and developed people (probably of Minoan origin) who introduced all sorts of agricultural and cultural advancements into ancient Canaan/Israel, and who were damn good soldiers too by the way; because of their technological advantages and military superiority over the indigenous peoples were able, despite being significantly outnumbered, to gain control over the Sharon Valley and most of the Jezreel plain for centuries; so confining most of the envious pastoral Hebrews to the arid uplands of east central Israel (Manasseh/Ephraim/Benjamin/Judah). The Philistines also did a good line in bacon and beer. Given the choice of a nice little well appointed seaside apartment just off Dagon square with all the latest ceramic mod cons in ancient Philistine Ashkelon or a life chasing goats over rocky wastes of southern Judah, I know what I would have chosen. Kind of reminds me of something now I come to think of it!

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