Start A Petition

The Palestinians: A Kidnapped Society

World  (tags: Haaretz, Avraham Burg, Knesset, Former Speaker, kidnapped, youth, society, Palestinians, suffering, kidnapped nation )

- 1547 days ago -
We are willing to go out of our minds over ... three kidnap victims, but we are incapable of understanding the suffering of a whole society, its cry, and the future of an entire nation that has been kidnapped by us. Avraham Burg,ex-Speaker Knesset


We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Rose Becke (141)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 2:56 am
May these boys be found Thanks Eveyn

Rose Becke (141)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 2:57 am
Evelyn I meant Sorry!

Sherri G (128)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 2:58 am
Three teenage boys' lives depend on getting the word out. Thank You Evelyn Noted

Sam H (410)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 3:34 am

was able to read the whole article at this link:

The Palestinians: A kidnapped society


Sam H (410)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 3:35 am
I guess not!

Bruce C D (89)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 3:54 am
It is refreshing to see such honesty from an Israeli politician, even if he is only a former one. He is exactly right about the Zionist kidnapping of Palestinian society. However, the kidnapping began long before the occupation. It reached fruition in 1948 with the arbitrary declaration of Israeli statehood and the simultaneous ethnic cleansing of 3/4 of a million Palestinians. The occupation is merely to add insult to injury. Perhaps in time most Israelis can accept the whole truth, but it is nonetheless always gratifying to see these sparks of progress.

He is also right that the kidnapping of three Israelis pales in comparison with all the innocent Palestinian children and adults who are routinely kidnapped from their homes by Israeli security forces to be beaten and tortured in attempts to extract confessions for crimes they did not commit.

Yes, we should not lose concern over the three concern kidnapped Israelis, we should continue to hope that they will return to their families, safe and well. But the situation needs to be judged in the existing context and from the proper perspective.

A couple of minor or inconsequential quibbles I had with the article is that not every single Palestinian household would have had a detainee. A bit of an exaggeration, perhaps to drive home the point. Still, whatever the precise amount, it is certainly far too high. I also don't know that Netanyahu is responsible for the unification of Hamas and the PA, although he may be given some credit for assisting. I don't think the unification should necessarily be regarded in a negative light, either. It is better to make peace with a unified government than with one which is split, and there is a good chance it can exert a moderating influence on Hamas.

Sam H (410)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 3:56 am
Well, until somebody objects, you can read it here.

The Palestinians: A kidnapped society
by Avraham Burg

Our hearts are in pain over those three teenage boys whose identities we did not even know a moment ago, but who now belong to all of us. Each of them looks like my own son, the son of every one of my friends and their friends.

Like many people, I hope with all my heart that the moment will come when we see them alive among us, and that all this tension dissipates into blissful relief. I hope, with real trembling, but I cannot and do not want to ignore the silenced truth that surrounds their kidnapping.

Those three boys are truly unfortunate. They are unfortunate because of the trap of fear in which they have been captured, the uncertainty and the fact that their lives are in great danger. Our hearts are in pain, and go out to them and their families because of how, in a single moment, they had to step into the glare of publicity. And these teenagers are unfortunate because of the lie in which they have lived their lives — lives of supposed normalcy that were built upon the foundations of that greatest of Israeli injustices: the occupation.

Now let us turn from their wretchedness to our own. For us, a dramatic or traumatic event is always a very clear, refined and transparent moment. All the plans and failures, the fears and hopes, burst out.

Here are Israel's shallow prime minister and the bumbling police, the masses who cling to futile prayers and not to a moment of human peace. Here are the country's hypocritical chief rabbis, who just a month ago demanded promises from the pope regarding the future of the Jewish people, but in their daily lives remain silent about the fate of the people who are our neighbors, trampled beneath the pressure of occupation and racism under the leadership of rabbis who receive exorbitant salaries and benefits.

Suddenly everything erupts, is expressed in its very essence, emerging from the darkness into the sunlight. This is precisely the moment to examine intentions — because, as said, everything is out in the open.

First, Netanyahu’s hollowness. Not much needs to be said about it. After all, he is the one who guided all the Israeli-Palestinians talks into the tight corner of the prisoner release issue. He is also the one who, with his own words, violated Israel’s commitment to release the last group of Palestinian prisoners. He is also the one who maneuvered the Palestinian Authority into the corner of unifying with Hamas.

So what exactly is he complaining about, with his dramatic and schmaltzy comments and gestures? His immediate, conditioned, unconsidered response shows that he was just waiting for this moment, if only to say "I told you so." And now that he has, the real question surfaces: What exactly is he telling us? The painful answer: Nothing at all.

Israel's left wing, too, which is supposedly dignified, has become the gaping mouth of the carp stuffed with some sort of gray substance, lying on the Passover seder plate of the gluttonous right wing. The latter, too, are embroiled in a disgraceful fight over a piece of the pie of legitimacy that belongs to the sticky consensus.

How can it be that not one of them has gotten up and said: Everyone who is on the other side of this black line bears the responsibility. It is not pleasant, but it is the truth. And it is never pleasant, after all.

Before there is a kidnapping — why talk? Nobody is listening anyway because things are quiet. And the moment they kidnap, we must not talk (as the executive director of Peace Now said), since our kidnapped ones are gone. And once it all ends (in what could be, God forbid, a personal tragedy or a collective tragedy that nobody cares about), why should we talk? Everybody is busy once again with Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, the FIFA World Cup or the next scandal.

So this is also a pure moment of insulation. Not the insulation of homes which we are used to, but the insulation of hearts. Few people on the right and the left – except for Gideon Levy, Uri Misgav and a few other cautious and frightened commentators – are trying to grasp the deep roots of the kidnapping.

We absolve ourselves by saying, “They handed out sweets” after hearing about the kidnapping. Their happiness makes us glad, since the happier they are over our suffering, the more exempt we are from taking an interest in them and their suffering. But there is no way around it: This is a sort of happiness that demands deeper study and understanding.

All of Palestinian society is a kidnapped society. Like many of the Israelis who performed “significant service” in the army, many of the readers of this column, or their children, entered the home of a Palestinian family in the middle of the night by surprise, with violence, and simply took away the father, brother or uncle, with determination and insensitivity. That is kidnapping, and it happens every day. And what about their administrative detainees?

What is all this if not one big official, evil and unjust kidnapping that we all participate in and never pay the price for? That is the fate of tens of thousands of detainees and others under arrest, who stayed, or are staying, in Israel’s prisons – quite a few of them for no good reason, falsely imprisoned on false pretexts. The vast majority of them have been exposed to the appendages of military justice, and none of us cares a whit.

All these things have turned the topic of the prisoners into the main subject in the lives of the occupied society. There is not a single household without a detainee or prisoner. So why is it so difficult to understand their joy and our pain, fears and worry notwithstanding? It was, and can still be, otherwise.

However, as long as the Israeli government shuts all the gates of freedom, flees from all real negotiations that could solve the conflict, refuses to make good-will gestures, lies and blatantly violates its own commitments – violence is all that remains for them.

It has already been proven any number of times that kidnapping sets one free. It seems once again that Israel understands nothing but violence. What does that say about us? This response of ours — which ranges between "They deserve it" and "They are all terrorists," to "I am following orders" and "I did not know what was going on" — says more about us than it does about them.

Despite the enormous and inspiring success of Breaking the Silence (an NGO that collects testimony from soldiers who've served in the West Bank), our own total silence is still the loudest thing around us. We are willing to go out of our minds over one odd and troublesome Pollard, a lone kidnap victim or three kidnap victims, but we are incapable of understanding the suffering of a whole society, its cry, and the future of an entire nation that has been kidnapped by us.

This, too, needs to be said and heard during this moment of clarity — and as loudly as possible.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 4:39 am
Thx Evelyn. that is a pretty outstanding article, kudos to Mr Burg for speaking out the truth and what we've all been feeling and thinking for long, kudos also to Haaretz for publishing!

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 2:19 pm
Thanks Evelyn for pushing Avraham Burg to the front. He is a very outspoken and straight person - would love to have more of them inside Israel hopefully making a difference. He dares to put matters in context and I'm sure criticism will not wait for long. They'll all land on him because he states in clear terms the obvious and doesn't pussy-foot around.

Thanks also to Bruce for an excellent comment and to Sam for putting up the whole article for everyone to read.


Wednesday June 25, 2014, 8:15 pm
Noted & shared. Bookmarked site to read later. Thanks Evelyn

fly bird (26)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
Evelyn, ty for the post, and Sam for posting the article.

. (0)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 8:42 pm
what does any of this have to do with acepting jesus. we use the old testemant and he was not even born yet, isreal does not usually attack unless they are attacked. then the will kick ass. sorry for the word. i will be curious to see if it is isreal at all that kidnapped the boys or are just being blamed, they are not the devils above ground

fly bird (26)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 9:53 pm
I am trying to find words for this post. The message is clear and so well expressed. Very good that haaretz printed it!
Thank you for posting it. This is what Netanyahu and his cohorts should read and allow to enter their heads. This is how they should be confronted.
And all the politicians and societies that abuse their citizens and destroy the lives of innocent people for fake power and control - that amounts to hypocrisy and prejudices that destroy peace and prosperity.

Sam H (410)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 10:17 pm
You’re right, Daryl. I didn’t realize that such metaphors were not mentioned in the Old Testament, although it’s so a rich in other metaphors. So if you missed the intent, I wouldn’t blame you. But I couldn’t quite understand what you meant by this: “i had toldyou before i am jewish and do not want articles like this.” I hope you didn’t mean you only accept articles written by Jewish people. I think of you more highly than that.

But as it happens, the writer of this article, Avraham Burg, is mildly Jewish. I say mildly because he was the Speaker of the Knesset only from 1999 to 2003 and we can’t really count on his role as chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the world Zionist Organization. I understand that none of that is enough to establish his Jewish credentials. But as it happens, his mother, Rivka, was Jewish. So we’re stuck with his Jewishness, and we have to listen to what has to say. It’s not like he’s a Moslem, or a Jesus groupie. His credentials were handed down to him by Rivka herself and G-d. I bet no one in his right mind would dare question his qualifications or his ability to tell the truth! Now, having established that he’s a reliable source, what exactly bothers you in this article of his? I assume you read it!

But I think you were not trying to be nice to me when you told me “i guess you do not like the jews that is ok but i do not want to be invoved in bigatry.”

Absolutely! I’ll do what I can so you won’t be involved in “bigatry.” After all, you’re my friend and I don’t like any of my friends to be involved in or with bigotry. But you need to help me a little to accomplish that goal, Daryl.

Your friend as long as you want me to be,


Maria Teresa Schollhorn (42)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 11:38 pm
Thank you Sam for the full article.
The occupation is sustainable over the time only using violence in different forms. This is a fact.
We may never know what really happened if this poor boys are not found, but the kidnappings are functional of
those who don't want peace.
Thanke you Evelyn.

Ondine J (134)
Wednesday June 25, 2014, 11:53 pm
Noted, thank you Evelyn, Sam, Bruce and all who have commented, always interesting.Avraham Burg is indeed a courageous man , I imagine his life will be made difficult as a consequence of his words . This is a most complex situation and I don't pretend to understand much, however it is clear to me that there is great injustice towards the Palestinian people who have been held hostage for years. I am buoyed by the article and live in eternal hope that one day there will be peace. Prayers for the three boys and their families, it must be hell.

Lona Goudswaard (67)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 3:12 am
Thanks Evelyn for posting and Sam for making me aware of it.
Avraham Burg is a courageous man speaking out against the occupation and the way Israel maintains control over the occupied territory. He leaves no doubt that he thinks the kidnapping is very wrong, not the way problems will ever be solved an truly hopes that the three teenage boys will be found, or rather released, alive and well. But he also tries to understand where the kidnapping stems from, not condone but understand, and that is apparently a rare thing to do in Israel.

From his article I do get the sense that Avraham Burg's political days are not behind him yet, that he's preparing himself in this way, perhaps to start a new party or movement. If he has written this article with that in mind, I don't think less of it, because if he is able to gather a following who think the way he does, it could give the Israeli and the Palestinians the push to finally come to peace, which with the current government, that is trying to cater to both the ultra-religious and the populists who both oppose the Palestinians strongly, seems impossible.

Evelyn B (61)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 6:20 am
I think you could be right, Lona .... Hope it is not just a political tactic, if so.
Mind you - if it is a tactic - that also would say a lot about the potential balance of Israelis concerned about current official attitudes towards the Palestinians & peace .....

Kathleen Mireault (211)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 6:35 am
Noted. Thx, Evelyn for posting, and TY, Sam for making the article available. Thanks, also for so many cogent comments.

Sam H (410)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 6:46 am

Documentary: Children in Chains


Past Member (0)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 7:20 am
Thank you Evelyn and Sam. Interesting.....

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 7:30 am
Thanks Evelyn for posting this, and Sam H. for the forward and for copying the article here for us to read. I think that here in the U.S., the attitudes of some in the govt. and the public are slowly evolving to at least see that there are two sides to this conflict, rather than just having the knee-jerk reaction to support anything the Israeli govt. does. The Israeli govt. has only been able to carry out the Occupation and the genocide of the Palestinians because they know they've traditionally had the backing of the U.S. govt. on everything they choose to do. More people need to speak out,more companies need to divest their financial support in a movement similar to what happened in South Africa.

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 9:51 am
Berg said many other things that got missed here, like the ethnical cleansing of Jews from other countries, to a count of close to a million of robbed and sometimes killed people.

A history of Palestnian Arabs is no different from the history of other Arab groups: war in Syria, war in Iraq, etc. Each tribe against other tribes and each clan against other clans.

Until the modern thinking and individual freedoms will not replace currently prevailing Sharia and extremist dogma, Arab societies everywhere are destined to suffer the consequences they are having now.

Evelyn B (61)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 1:22 pm
The full article is here - where is anything from Burg's article missing?
And how long will you punish the Palestinians for the fact that they're being crushed, crushed, crushed ... causing reactions against their oppressors .... they weren't those who carried out ethnic cleansing of the Jews in Europe - or elsewhere if you go back further in history.

Perhaps you are confusing authors, and articles, Bob.
In the same way that you confuse Palestinians with Syrians, Iraqis, Lebanese etc ....
Sephardim and Ashkenazim are all Jews - but not interchangeable in history, culture, practices - no more identical than different people in the Arab world ....

Your comment suggests that you missed the point being made by Avraham Burg ..
I'm not really surprised

Candy Carr (16)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 3:12 pm
Thnks for sharing

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 3:34 pm
Just a thought, Bob: maybe you can provide a link to the "correct" article where Burg "said many other things that got missed here"? That would be the easiest way to prove your claim that parts got omitted in the article posted here? Would be the most logical thing to do IMO.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 3:37 pm
What is actually quite telling that we're not reading any comments by our friends, the apologists for all and every action of Israel. Wonder if they're all on leave?

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 3:38 pm
Another comment took off into space - here's the repeat:

I wonder how come we don't read any comments by our friends, the apologists for each and every action taken by Israel no matter what. Could it be that they're on leave?

Sam H (410)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 6:17 pm
An argument can be made that the Israeli society is a kidnapped society—by Israel’s blood-thirsty, rightwing politicians.

Freya H (358)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 6:52 pm
Israel can no longer play the Holocaust Card to defend its brutal policies towards the Palestinians. More and more people are realizing this.

Sam H (410)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 7:20 pm
Interestingly enough, Freya, one of Avraham Burg’s books is “The Holocaust Is Over: We Must Rise From its Ashes.”

Of course, no one has been more outspoken about the subject than Norman Finkelstein. But his honesty, courage and clarity of vision ended up costing him his job at DePaul University, as you probably know.

Margaret Goodman (243)
Thursday June 26, 2014, 9:27 pm
Abraham Burg's compassionate and wise article shows me that there is more open diversity of opinion in Israel than in the States. For whatever reason, Americans of all faiths are scared to criticize the Israeli government at all. It looks as if AIPAC has done a good job of suppressing dissent.

Evelyn B (61)
Friday June 27, 2014, 12:41 am
Good point, Sam - in reality, if those who keep their eyes closed & those who grab every advantage from the abuses may not be "kidnapped", Israelis who dare to question and want to act in support of human rights do share some of the constraints of a kidnapped society ...

You are right, Margaret - in the US, the fear of the "anti-Semitic" label & guilt over Holocaust are powerful tools used to silence open analysis & criticism of the State of Israel. It is also true elsewhere, but to a lesser degree. The perception of all Jews as victims (actually believed by some) is an argument often brought out to shut up criticism, too. The fact that most Jews are far from being victims is carefully avoided ...

But there are also Jews in the US and elsewhere around the world (including in Israel) who dare to stand up against AIPAC and hasbara representatives, and say "NO", "NOT IN OUR NAME!" - The get called "mis-guided" ... and worse, some have their jobs & their situations attacked. But they stay standing. Any future peace will depend on such Jews reaching a significant position of counter-balance to those who build on fear & hatred.

Sam H (410)
Friday June 27, 2014, 1:08 am
Dear Margaret,

I hate myself for doing this, but may I disagree with you just a little tiny bit?

That "open diversity of opinion in Israel" wasn't enough to allow Norman Finkelstein entry into the country! As a matter of fact, he was detained, interrogated and deported from the country that was specifically founded to be home to Finkelstein and others like him.

Abo r (107)
Saturday June 28, 2014, 9:57 am
He is right about the Zionist kidnapping of Palestinian society... and it is a fact also.

(( the ethnical cleansing of Jews from other countries )) There was no ethnic cleansing you always have the same worlds since years which is not true as the Zionest paid the jews money and gave them promises and put much preasure on them to leave thier countries and immegrate to palestine and they are called OOLEEM HHADASHIM in Hebrew ( new immegrants and some already said that it was a mistake that they left thir countries as they were happy with thier neibhors and have full rights and citizenship and we do not listen to zionest propogands , I said also that 2 professors with high position went to Ethiopea and they said they spent 5 years to study the society and convense what is called the Flasha to immegrate to palestine and put nearby Ashqelon and they did nothave what they were promissed to get and the speach to the 2 prof. I know them and heard them face to face.


Evelyn B (61)
Saturday June 28, 2014, 10:38 am
The "kidnapping" extends at multiple levels, too. Pro-Zionist try to push their argument "There is no such thing as a Palestinian people; no such thing as a Palestinian history; and no Palestinian language exists. ' - but for this to be effective, anything distinctively Palestinian has to be disassociated with the Palestinians. Since there ARE very distinctive and fine characteristics, these have to be kidnapped, stolen and credited to others .....

There are trends towards taking over aspects of Palestinian culture and calling them Israeli. For example, see Palestinian Embroidery... Yet Another Stolen Folk Art.

Traditional Palestinian food is sold as "traditional Israeli" ..... causing some outcry by Palestinians who see their culture being appropriated ...

It seems to me that this all is part of the kidnapping of Palestinian society?

Abo r (107)
Sunday June 29, 2014, 4:12 pm
You are right Evelyn B the IDF Kidnapped everything includes water ,sea,land , sky and might try to Kidnappe the air.

Stephen Brian (23)
Monday June 30, 2014, 3:25 pm
The three kidnapped teenagers were killed shortly after having been taken. Hamas confirmed that the two named suspects were members. It did not explicitly claim responsibility as an organization for this, but threatened to "open the gates of hell" over the investigation of the kidnapping. I expect escalation. I recommend that anybody with friends or family in the area suggest that they leave if possible.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Monday June 30, 2014, 5:22 pm
Sorry, Stephen, but your statement regarding the gates of hell which will open up lacks completeness.

Although Israel has not provided any evidence proving Hamas involvement, Israel is "thinking aloud" whether to attack Gaza big scale as punishment for the death of the teenagers. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri warned Israel against any broad offensive. Gaza militants possess thousands of rockets, and would almost certainly unleash heavy barrages at Israel IF Israel attacks.

Verbetum the spokesman said "Netanyahu should know that threats don't scare Hamas, and if he wages a war on Gaza, the gates of hell will open on him." Netanyahu's spokesman, Mark Regev, also said that Israel would step up its calls for Abbas to dissolve the unity government he recently formed with the backing of Hamas.

In the last line of Mark Regev is the core issue which plagues Netanyahu since quite some time. With the kidnapping of the teenagers - who ever did it and is responsible - he thinks he has enough reason and "evidence" to not only pressure Abbas but more importantly to force the world politicians on his side.

Quite see-through and known since months ... was there anything else new in this latest event? No. All déjà-vu and played a number of times by Israel. Sad that it's always the average citizens on both sides that pay the price; this time its the lifes of 3 young and hopefull Israelis and hundreds of destroyed Palestinian lifes - neither being responsible for the events of the last 2 weeks.

It's time again for the Mourner's Kaddish - and for what political gain? Was it really worth it? I don't believe so.

Peace and Shalom

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Monday June 30, 2014, 5:25 pm
Oh - one more thing, Stephen: how and where to should those in Gaza and the West Bank go? Knowing that the only way out is through Israel and they sure will not grant them asylum ... you don't think your last line borders on cynicism?

Evelyn B (61)
Tuesday July 1, 2014, 2:50 am
The end of these youth is very, very sad, for many reasons: not least, the loss of young lives & the pain of their families. Nevertheless, the whole situation is strange - they are now saying the youth were hitch-hiking ... presumably on the road limited to Israeli vehicles. How could any Palestinians be driving there, to pick them up? But so much easier (& politically convenient) to blame these murders on "Hamas terrorists" then to investigate the possibility of a crapulous crime ..... Which is one alternative (whether perpetrators were Palestinian or Israeli ....) which is not discussed.
Stephen -
It is not surprising if Hamas knows/ knows of people who fall under suspicion of Israeli security organisations, especially if they have links to Gaza - it would be strange if they did not, since the Security people place all who have any connection with Hamas in their lists of potential suspects. Come to that - a sizeable proportion of the Palestinian population comes under surveillance and suspicion - even when they are only involved in pacific resistance. Being on Israeli lists, even having been arrested, is not proof of guilt, either - many of the 25% of Palestinians of the OPT who have been arrested at least once have not been tried & proven guilty .... Despite "confessions" in Hebrew that have been signed by people (including kids) who don't understand what they are signing but will sign rather than continue the threats & torture ...

As for escalation - you mean, you expect another "Cast Lead"? Because for me, escalation started when the young men disappeared. For those killed,their families, the homes touched by Israeli attacks, the families unable to sleep for fear of raids, & the 100s arrested, there has already been escalation.

This is the first time I find you expressing advice that goes along with the policy of "ethnic cleansing" of the Palestinians. "I recommend that anybody with friends or family in the area suggest that they leave if possible". There are quite a few Israelis who believe that all Palestine should be "Jewish": they argue that there were and are no such people as the Palestinians, claiming that these are people who are "newcomers" and have no ancestral ties to the land. (Strange - since the Philistines were there when the tribes of Israel reached "the promised land" ... and in languages without clear vowel identification there is little difference between Philistine & "Falastine" - the Arabic word for Palestine.) But I suppose you weren't thinking of the way your advice supports such beliefs?

Even so, your advice is not sensible: As Eleonora asks - where would they go?
(Eleonora - don't worry about their being ABLE to leave, I suspect the Israeli government would facilitate such a departure ... renounce your land rights and bon voyage" .....

But where? Who could absorb such a population? And they wouldn't be considered refugees under UNRWA - while UNHCR doesn't include Palestinians because UNRWA exists for them .... In fact, they might even have difficulty being recognised as "displeced persons". Few would be able to transfer enough funds to enable them to start a new life, and they would be stateless.

Anyway, Palestinians have deep attachment to their lands, their culture, their history - something that the Jews should understand all too well, since they have built justification for the homeland on ties that held across the world for close to 2,000 years without any physical link to the land. The Palestinians who have managed to stay do not want to be cut off from their roots; those who have had to flee a "mere" 47 years (after '67 war) or almost 70 years for those forced to flee from events of 1948 are still attached to their old homes (or the ruins of these) .... and they've been away for much much less time than the Jews expecting to reclaim "their land". In fact, some remember their homes, others know from the actual memories of their parents of grandparents ... not from far distant forefathers ... It would suit some for the Palestinians to "get out" ..... but it wouldn't suit the Palestinians ....

Stephen Brian (23)
Tuesday July 1, 2014, 2:57 pm
Hi Eleonora :)

The "Gates of Hell" phrase came from Sami Abu Zuhri who has been identified as a Hamas spokesman.
After the Fatah / Hamas division over cooperation with the investigation, this was seen as applying to general continuation of the investigation (which Hamas apparently characterized as an act of war).

There are two strong public pieces of evidence of Hamas involvement. First, Hamas identified the suspects whose names and pictures had been released as its members. Second, Hamas' strong anti-investigation reaction, which predated the mass-arrests, suggests that they were covering for something. Hamas did not formally take responsibility for the kidnapping, though that seems likely to have been because it was botched as the kidnappers panicked and killed their hostages, believing they could not get away with them.

It is time for their families to mourn, but I don't understand why you think there was political gain in this for the perpetrators to be measured against that. Hamas' personnel seem to have no problem at all with killing Israelis. The sad fact is that this was just a trigger, not a cause, like a normal spark that happens to be in a dry forest waiting to burn. The Fatah / Hamas reconciliation meant there would be a new Palestinian election, and the last time that happened, the primary ballot-issue was which faction could put more pressure on Israel. The campaign was the Second Intifada, and there was never any reason to believe it would be different this time around.

I also don't understand what you mean about evidence being used on the international stage. At this point, I;m pretty sure Netanyahu does not believe that any mountain of evidence would sway a single government's opinion one way or the other regarding the conflict. I happen to think so as well.

Those in Gaza and the West Bank mostly have no way out. That's why I put the "if possible" in there. I hope that those with friends or family elsewhere might be able to get out in time, with those friends' or family-members' help.

Hi Evelyn :)

I don't know the nature of the road they were hitchhiking on, but there is nothing suspicious about it. The fact is that the reserved roads are effectively reserved only as long as everybody involved obeys the law. Obviously, kidnappers / murderers do not obey the law. That there was a security-breach is pretty obvious.

Yup, the escalation started with Israel's preemptive strike against Hamas, with the mass-arrests. It was coming one way or the other, either as Israel came down on Hamas or as Hamas sought to differentiate itself from Fatah prior to the elections which I understand are scheduled for around the end of this year.

I'm not suggesting ethnic cleansing. I'm suggesting escape from a region that is about to become a war-zone, to return home later. It was meant for both people with friends or family in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and with friends or family in Israel who would be in danger. Like I said to Eleonora, I don't expect that most civilians in the area will be able (or willing, but that's another matter) to escape. I hope that those with friends or family elsewhere might stand a better chance of doing so.

Also, Palestinians are unrelated to the old Philistines, except by name. The region was called "Palestine" by Romans who sought to undermine Jewish nationalism in the area after multiple revolts (or would-be revolts that were nipped in the bud). The Philistine culture was long-dead at that point. Palestinians are, however, not newcomers. The problem was that the event which divided their communal narrative from those of other Arabs in the area occurred within a generation of the first modern wave of Zionist migration, so they were not recognized as a people yet at that point. Many Israelis falsely believe, though honest error after looking only at the timeline, that the Palestinian identity was just a reaction to Zionism, an artificial subdivision of Arabs to invalidate the argument that they have many countries of their own where they can live, so as to seek foreign support by sophistry..

Stephen Brian (23)
Tuesday July 1, 2014, 3:02 pm
Anyways, I wish both of you the best. Stay safe. I'm really worried about recent developments both in the Middle East and Europe.

I think I'll get back to putting together that simulator I was working on yesterday. If I can model human migration well enough, I may be able to help with resource-allocation for refugee-crises.

Evelyn B (61)
Wednesday July 2, 2014, 6:30 am
Sam - I'll look those out - Eleonora's comment reminds me that I did see something on the debate some years ago, must refresh my memory ...

But I fully agree about "To me whether there’s a link or not is irrelevant, for people are connected to the land by virtue of their humanity, not their religious beliefs." - Palestinians of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Druze origins all have a profound attachment for their land - and "land" implies all the people who have cared for the trees, the land, the houses, the places of worship - all aspects of their humanity. - from generation to generation .... (And incidentally - something often mentioned by Israeli Jewish peace activists is their surpise at the welcome they received when they first dared visit Palestinian communities - such human generous hospitality ... so very different from what they'd been led to expect from Palestinians ....!

By the way - latest estimates of administratively detained since the start of this "round = 639 (44 last night alone. ) They are from: Hébron : 230 détenus, Naplouse : 102 détenus, Bethléem : 85 détenus, Jénine : 62 détenus, Ramallah et Al-Bireh : 61 détenus, Jérusalem : 39 détenus, Tulkarem : 25 détenus, Qalqilya : 14 détenus, Salfit : 10 détenus, Tubas : 10 détenus, Jéricho : 1 détenu.

So on what grounds (other than they can, because they "suspect" them) are they holding all these?
Evidence - what is this? Not anything required if one is attacking Palestinians .... After all, there are experts in the prisons who know how to get signed confessions (in Hebrew) ......

Evelyn B (61)
Wednesday July 2, 2014, 11:12 am
Stephen - perhaps it is simply that you forgot that if they leave now, they may not be allowed to return when things calm down - because that is how things work under the occupation .... so your "kind advice" implies permanent departure ... to where, and how to survive there?

I'm glad you recognise that Palestinians are not newcomers .... there are some who keep saying "there were no such people", "they were moved in by the Arabs" etc etc ..... many statements that deny a very real ethnic group with distinctive history and culture ...

I would hesitate to be categorical about "no link" - with today's advances in genetics, you might have some big surprises!! I'd be very surprised if there were no lines of descent including the original Philistines ..... and probably, actually, some blood ties also to the tribes of Israel - possibly through the male line only (thereby not "true" Jews!) Throw in some Crusaders, some Saracens, a pinch of Hittites, Egyptians, Perses ..... from transitting warriors ..... but a core line of roots to the geographic area - nomadic life-style or sedentary.

The "hell" reference didn't start with the threatening words made recently by a Hamas spokesperson - it was already "promised" by Israel shortly after the youths were reported missing. And was also thrown around in previous confrontations ... Rather farcical from Hamas, since they are so out-powered by Israel that the people of Gaza live the greatest hell each time. Not that it's not pretty hellish for Palestinians in East Jerusalem & the West Bank ...

You say "There are two strong public pieces of evidence of Hamas involvement. First, Hamas identified the suspects whose names and pictures had been released as its members. Second, Hamas' strong anti-investigation reaction, which predated the mass-arrests, suggests that they were covering for something. Hamas did not formally take responsibility for the kidnapping, though that seems likely to have been because it was botched as the kidnappers panicked and killed their hostages, believing they could not get away with them. "

I have trouble believing that someone with your capacity to reflect really sees these as "proof".
Frankly - I would expect any suspects named by Israel to have some ties to some group resisting Israel ... and Israel is very keep to blame Hamas, so I would expect them to name as suspects specific Hamas members .
However - with hundred of "suspects" incarcerated, of all ages .... I do not necessarily place total trust in the identification ...... Not all of those have committed ANY crime, yet they are "suspects" ...

As for Hamas' position on the way the" investigations" have been carried out .... well, they are not alone: there have been a number of articles in the Israeli press criticising the style. Would you expect Hamas to open all doors and invite IDF to have free movement and action across Gaza? That WOULD have sparked outrage ... with reason. Because IDF soldiers do not have a good reputation as unbiased police forces ... from bitter experience (and as recognised by former IDF soldiers ...)

Evelyn B (61)
Wednesday July 2, 2014, 11:13 am
Good luck with your model - but don't forget to build in considerations of insecurity, loss of rights to place of origin, the hell of being stateless ......

Sam H (410)
Wednesday July 2, 2014, 11:31 am

If you were really sincere in your concern about the safety of people over there, one would expect that your invitation to leave would be addressed to the Israelis and the settlers in particular, for you seem to be basing that “concern” on Hamas’s threat to "open the gates of hell."

Have you followed your own recommendation and advised your friends and family in the area to leave?

Sam H (410)
Wednesday July 2, 2014, 12:18 pm

I don’t have time to write more about this issue at the moment, but the works of Shlomo Sand and Eran Elhaik are of interest if we’re starting to address the Jewish and Palestinian connection to the Holy Land.

Sand who is an Israeli professor of history at Tel Aviv University settled that issue in his book, “The Invention of the Jewish People.” His findings were further corroborated by the Johns Hopkins University geneticist Dr. Eran Elhaik in his genetic study, "The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses."

Consulting the works of these two scholars may be of interest to those interested in the topic. To me whether there’s a link or not is irrelevant, for people are connected to the land by virtue of their humanity, not their religious beliefs.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Wednesday July 2, 2014, 1:16 pm
Thank you, Stephen, for confirming what I said regarding the "gates of hell".

I assume you would want to re-think what you state here?

"There are two strong public pieces of evidence of Hamas involvement. First, Hamas identified the suspects whose names and pictures had been released as its members. Second, Hamas' strong anti-investigation reaction, which predated the mass-arrests, suggests that they were covering for something. Hamas did not formally take responsibility for the kidnapping, though that seems likely to have been because it was botched as the kidnappers panicked and killed their hostages, believing they could not get away with them."

Just because someone identifies a perpetrator as a member doesn't automatically mean that the whole org is responsible. Or would you apply your same logic to the IDF, the settlers, the Isaeli extremists et al.?

If one is to take your second argument ("... Hamas' strong anti-investigation reaction, which predated the mass-arrests, suggests that they were covering for something.") then Israel is constantly covering up for something as they profoundly and always refuse any investigation; see Jenin, see Gaza 2006, 2008/9, Lebanon 2006 to name just a few.

Here you seem to (intentionally?) misunderstand what I said: "...but I don't understand why you think there was political gain in this for the perpetrators...". I stated clearly (or so I thought) that the political gain is on Netanyahu's side as he tried in vain since months to convince the whole world to refuse the Palestinian Unity Government. That was and is my statement - Netanyahu would have sold his grandmother or his wife (number ?) to achieve this aim.

"Hamas' personnel seem to have no problem at all with killing Israelis." Did Israel ever have the slightest of problems to kill Palestinians with and without perceived reasons? Your statement proves what exactly? Personally I believe I wouldn't have a big problem killing someone who comes and occupies my land, steals whatever he can, mains and kills my family - I hope and believe that I'd be able to pull the trigger too.

Somehow it seems to me that you're in the "snap-in - snap-out" phase again which Evelyn has pointed out a few times in the past?


Eleonora Oldani (37)
Wednesday July 2, 2014, 1:26 pm
Evelyn - you said it perfectly! "I have trouble believing that someone with your capacity to reflect really sees these as "proof". "

I refuse to accept something as proven just because the Israeli Gov says so - sorry, not good enough. What's really appalling but not surprising is that they destroyed the houses of these two Hamas members without the shred of evidence. BUT if those two were the culprits - why don't they let go the other 500 or so arrested "suspects"? Stupid question I know ... but nonetheless valid I think ...

Sam, I do recall when Shlomo Sand's book came on the market; the stirr it caused and the outcry of some Zionists and Jewish extremists! Also when the genetic proof came out some years ago that the Palestinian Arabs and the Jewish Arabs are basically "brothers". Looking back it still makes me chuckle how frantic they were in denying any genetic links to the despised Palestinian Arabs. They even went so far as to take some genetic illness as proof that they are a race ... forgetting that many non-Jewish Eastern Europeans suffer the same illness ... and some other folks too. It amazes me always to which extent one is willing to go to proof the impossible.

I sign whole-heartedly to your last line: "To me whether there’s a link or not is irrelevant, for people are connected to the land by virtue of their humanity, not their religious beliefs."

Stay safe!

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday July 2, 2014, 7:07 pm
Hi Evelyn :)

No worries. The models from which I plan on building are those of the greatest insecurity imaginable, ecological models for animal-populations that face certain death if they don't move. No concept of the protection of a state.

Hi Sam :)

Unfortunately, the only friends I have there cannot leave. My family already did. I'm basing my concern on the understanding that the conditions which led up to the 2nd Intifada are repeating.

Hi Eleonora :)

The identification of a member as a perpetrator is never, alone, proof of organizational responsibility. However, when combined with the fact that ht organization has openly declared a policy of supporting such behaviour, it's pretty strong supporting evidence. It's a necessary-but-insufficient condition. Hamas' anti-investigation reaction went beyond almost anything I've ever seen. Not only did it protest Israeli investigation (as expected and as is analogous to any organization protesting foreign investigators), but as an organization, it protested cooperation by Palestinian law-enforcement with the investigation as ordered by Abbas.

Again, these aren't proof, but they're about as strong evidence as can ever be expected to be gathered in a case like this and the standard of evidence demanded must always reflect what can practically be gathered for cases like the one in question. Balancing that against the presumption of innocence, which I believe should hold on all levels, this regularly leads to dilemmas in judgment, both in politicized and non-politicized cases.

The other hundreds of arrested "suspects" were mostly, I understand, never actually charged with kidnapping. They were arrested for suspected involvement with organizations like Hamas, as a preemptive strike in the escalation which had been inevitable for months.

I was unclear about your belief regarding the perpetrator. Again, why would you assume that Netanyahu was behind killing his own people and somehow dumping the bodies around Hebron. False-flag operations are actually a whole lot tougher to manage in a democracy than one might imagine. All it would take is a single political partisan of another party somewhere in the command-structure to totally destroy Netanyahu's career (and probably get him thrown in prison) should he try something like that. Where serious political rivalry is peacefully permitted, false flag operations like that are incredibly rare, and for good reason. Anybody smart enough to do it would be smart enough not to try, especially in Israel where if you want three opinions you only need to ask two people.

It's not really a "snap-in" / "snap-out" phase. The fact is that I genuinely see both sides, something I have found to be incredibly rare here on Care2. Would you believe that I sometimes get the same sort of "snap-in" / "snap-out" response from the other side of the political spectrum when I point out that Palestinians have legitimate concerns? This is just me recognizing both sides' concerns and the facts of the situation.

I'm off in North America pretty safe here. I hope you stay sage where you are. Seriously, I'm concerned about former MB rank-and-file getting inspired by ISIS (now "The Caliphate", their fourth name that I've heard) to do something horrible in Egypt. If the feces strike the turbine, let me know. I may be able to talk to some people who might be able to help you out. Stay safe!

fly bird (26)
Wednesday July 16, 2014, 11:53 pm
VIDEO: The Gaza Bombardment - What You're Not Being Told
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in World

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.