Posted by: Lister | January 18, 2009

Gideon Levy responds

Levy’s response is to an article by AB Yehoshua, also published at Haaretz. Regarding the old canard of the “occupation being over,” Levy says:

[…] The residents of Gaza have never had ownership of “their own piece of land,” as you have claimed. We left Gaza because of our own interests and needs, and then we imprisoned them. We cut the territory off from the rest of the world and the occupied West Bank, and did not permit them to construct an air or sea port. We control their population registrar and their currency – and having their own military is out of the question – and then you argue that the occupation is over?

We have crushed their livelihood, besieged them for two years, and you claim they “have expelled the Israeli occupation”? The occupation of Gaza has simply taken on a new form: a fence instead of settlements. The jailers stand guard on the outside instead of the inside.

On the “lesson taught Hamas”:

This war is in your opinion “the only way to induce Hamas to understand.” Even if we ignore the condescending tone of your remark, I would have expected more of a writer. I would have expected a renowned writer to be familiar with the history of national uprisings: They cannot be put down forcibly.

Despite all the destructive force we used in this war, I still can’t see how the Palestinians have been influenced; Qassams are still being launched into Israel. They and the world have clearly taken away something else from the last few weeks – that Israel is a dangerous and violent country that lacks scruples. Do you wish to live in a country with such a reputation? A country that proudly announces it has gone “crazy,” as some Israeli ministers have said in regard to the army’s operation in Gaza? I don’t.

Uri Avnery also wrote about the “boss has gone mad” angle.

In this war, politicians and generals have repeatedly quoted the words: “The boss has gone mad!” originally shouted by vegetable vendors in the market, in the sense of “The boss has gone crazy and is selling the tomatoes at a loss!” But in the course of time the jest has turned into a deadly doctrine that often appears in Israeli public discourse: in order to deter our enemies, we must behave like madmen, go on the rampage, kill and destroy mercilessly.

In this war, this has become political and military dogma: only if we kill “them” disproportionately, killing a thousand of “them” for ten of “ours”, will they understand that it’s not worth it to mess with us. It will be “seared into their consciousness” (a favorite Israeli phrase these days). After this, they will think twice before launching another Qassam rocket against us, even in response to what we do, whatever that may be.

Avnery began his article with a poem by Heinrich Heine:

For a thousand years and more
We have had an understanding
You allow me to breathe
I accept your crazy raging

Sometimes, when the days get darker
Strange moods come upon you
Till you decorate your claws
With the lifeblood from my veins

Now our friendship is firmer
Getting stronger by the day
Since the raging started in me
Daily more and more like you

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Responses

  1. I love the poem by Heinrich Heine…it so describes the history of Palestinian affect on Israel…spend a lifetime killing Israeli people and then try to tell the world they are victimized! It goes beyond a rational person to accept that this is anything but outrageously and obviously the work of insane people. I am NOT Jewish but wish I were and I’d be in the IDF and into GAZA in a minute. I side with those who have endured years, years, and decades of terrorism, centuries of terrorism. SCHOOL busses bombed by terrorists who die while killing many children…those are what I remember when access to Israel was free. Couples and families having a nice lunch only to be blown to bits by someone who kills themselves too…These things are done by people who are absolutely insane and who don’t know how to get what they want…I remember clearly people having a coffee on a weekend and someone walks in and KILLS them all. Hearing about these kinds of things on a weekly basis and thinking “kick those radicals out or kill them all, and don’t let them in however you can do it!” Gaza is a result of consistent, incessant, and prolonged determination to NOT have a country. Do you really believe those who kill innocents go to paradise and then get their hands on virgins? This is absolutely out of this world and THAT should be what you all fight against NOT a country of people who have been victimized the world over. Radical Muslims are “victimized” of their OWN DOING and should STOP and focus on peace at all costs, allowing others to exist, bettering their world and maybe they could be happy for a change. In the meantime…those who hate all things Israeli or “WEST”, YOU MUST give up those things that represent Israel and the west in general. Throw away your cell phone; Israel developed that, get rid of your NIKE shoes; throw away your PUMA shirt and anything else with MADE in ? Give up sending rockets onto people daily and then invent something yourselves!!!!! Why does no Arab country accept Palestinians as citizens? Oh, yes, it’s only Israel who must give in to terrorists. Fundamental and radical and terrorist Islamist’s. GO AWAY and concern yourself with something else you may be good at and leave international affairs to those who actually know something…you are a very dangerous man who causes damage to a great world and your country. We should all be fighting against the systematic infiltration of Muslim’s into our society via intimidation and threats…this will continue I predict until freedom of expression and all rights of non-Muslims are extinguished…we don’t understand the coercion these people are capable of…support our cause or we kill you or your family. We don’t see it because it’s not something we are familiar with…we would never do it so neither would they….that is naivety at its most pure state. This problem is the new terrorist threat and what is so very odd is that non-muslims are helping them do it….sounds like the collaborators of the NAZI’s.

  2. Hi Donna,

    I love the poem by Heinrich Heine…it so describes the history of Palestinian affect on Israel…

    It does do that. But I think you may have missed the point.

    Do you really believe those who kill innocents go to paradise and then get their hands on virgins?

    Do you think that is their motivation? Or are you just ranting?

    In the meantime…those who hate all things Israeli or “WEST”, YOU MUST give up those things that represent Israel and the west in general. Throw away your cell phone; Israel developed that, get rid of your NIKE shoes; throw away your PUMA shirt and anything else with MADE in ?

    The old arguments just go round and round. Strangely, those of us who wished to change Apartheid South Africa weren’t scared into submission at the idea of joining a boycott. Neither are we by this new incarnation of the argument.

    Boycotting doesn’t mean going without. I don’t buy Intel, I buy AMD. And I choose AMD because Intel has a chip plant in Kiryat Gat, an Israeli city established in 1955 on the location of the nearby Palestinian village of Iraq al-Manshiyya, which was depopulated in 1948.

    But you buy whatever you like, Donna.

    As for your rant about the “infiltration of Muslim’s into our society”… Please, please, please use that line everytime you defend Israel. You have convinced me to change my ways. The argument always works. Honest.

  3. Lister,

    I suppose changing your opinion is impossible, thus no one will try to. I believe what Donna ‘rants’ about is that many people criticize Israel without criticizing the Palestinians. For example, was the village ‘depopulated’ in 1948 by the Jews or by incoming Arab armies? While I believe the answer for you it obvious, for most objective people it is not.

    By the way, according to many materials found in Palestinians’ houses and institutions (some I have seen personally) many suicide bombers actually do blow themselves up or kill themselves in any other way because they want: a) to become a martyr and thus be glorified among Palestinians; and b ) to get to heaven and get virgins and other free stuff.

  4. You too, Jon.
    You are exactly the ambassador for Israel that the world needs. I only wish you could have Mark Regev’s job.


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