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So is that the new plan, Israel?

I’m now even more disgusted. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University made a statement about the ‘realities’ of their conflict.

“You have to understand the culture in which we live,” said Kedar. “The only thing that deters [Hamas leaders] is a threat to the connection between their heads and their shoulders.” When presenter Yossi Hadar asked if that “could filter down” the organization’s ranks, Kedar replied: “No, because lower down the considerations are entirely different. Terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them — the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live.”

When Hadar said, “We can’t take such steps, of course,” Kedar continued: “I’m not talking about what we should or shouldn’t do. I’m talking about the facts. The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped. That’s all. That’s the only thing that will bring him back home, in order to preserve his sister’s honor.”

He isn’t actually saying they should start raping Palestinian women, but he just threw it out there as the only way to stop suicide bombers. It’s an actively evil proposition, and it doesn’t even make sense. Would raping their mothers and sisters suddenly reconcile Palestinians to Israeli occupation and oppression? There’s not much knowledge of human behavior there.

Comments

  1. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Would raping their mothers and sisters suddenly reconcile Palestinians to Israeli occupation and oppression? There’s not much knowledge of human behavior there.

    Yeah. This guy’s gone on beyond zebra.

  2. says

    What is’t to me, when you yourselves are cause,
    If your pure maidens fall into the hand
    Of hot and forcing violation?
    What rein can hold licentious wickedness
    When down the hill he holds his fierce career?
    We may as bootless spend our vain command
    Upon the enraged soldiers in their spoil
    As send precepts to the leviathan
    To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,
    Take pity of your town and of your people,
    Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command;
    Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace
    O’erblows the filthy and contagious clouds
    Of heady murder, spoil and villany.

    You’d think in four hundred years we’d have made some moral progress…

  3. The Mellow Monkey says

    Um.

    TVTropes link:

    The Good Guy and the Bad Guy have a meeting. The Bad Guy makes an offer. The Good Guy rejects it outright because he’s the Good Guy.
    Then the Bad Guy rattles off a few offhand remarks about how beautiful the Good Guy’s wife, child, house, dog, mother, whole family, etc. are. He shows recent photos of the lovely person or thing in question, and perhaps a copy of personal information the Good Guy thought was secret. And then comments offhandedly that “It’d be a shame if [something bad] were to happen to it/them.”
    The clear implication is if the Good Guy doesn’t give the Bad Guy what he wants, [something bad] will happen to it/them.
    This generally gets the Good Guy back to the bargaining table, and shows just how bad the Bad Guy is.

    Well.

  4. profpedant says

    “The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped.”

    How does he know this? Has he conducted interviews with suicide bombers in which they said that they would not have pushed the button if they knew their sister would be raped? Has he considered what his response as someone ‘occupied’ would be to ‘an occupier’ who had a policy of ‘raping the sisters’ of those they deem to be ‘terrorists’? Would that actually deter him from violence, or would it just be a matter of being more sneaky about combating an occupier who ‘would do such things’?

    I strongly suspect that his ‘thinking’ was the crudeness of “they are not really human, so treating them inhumanely is appropriate”, with no further analysis or fact-checking. (The world would be a far better place if everyone would lead an examined life – they might still advocate reprehensible things, but at least their reasoning would not be as stupid as what Mordechai Kedar babbled.)

    [Prior experience commenting here suggests that someone will come along soon to tell me all about how I am a horrible person because of something that does not appear in the above text.]

  5. says

    Yeah, when you declare that the only way to save lives and stop a suicide bomber is to rape his sister, there’s pretty much no way you can walk it back.

  6. Kevin Kehres says

    The problem, of course, is that neither side holds anything other than the moral low ground.

    Hamas deliberately hides arms in schools and hospitals, cynically hoping that civilian casualties are the result. To score PR points.

    Israel — or at least some vocal part of Israeli society — thinks this type of reaction is a measured response. The alternative being indiscriminate killing.

    There isn’t enough disgust to go around. Seriously not enough.

  7. says

    Even talking about “sides” in this is dangerously simplistic.

    Hamas is made of various groupings of people with differing ideas of what they are about, and they are just part of the population which has many family, tribal cross connections, aims, and desires. Israel is a government made of a mosaic of factions and a people that range from beligerent to genuinely progressive, and some very dangerous nuts. Fixed view points about “the other” are all over the place.

    A solution to “the conflict” (as if there was just one) is going to require significant cultural change.

  8. nomadiq says

    The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped.

    I have an alternative idea. Lets not create a culture in which suicide bombing seems like a reasonable thing to do. Lets make a society in which religious extremism can’t be used to justify the most horrendous crimes because people simply have more important things to worry about. Lets move on from the notion that suicide bombers must be ‘deterred’, as if they just can’t help themselves like rabid animals. Let’s stop dehumanizing each other.

    I’ll be over in the corner holding my breathe until this all happens.

  9. says

    Kevin Kehres #6 says

    Hamas deliberately hides arms in schools and hospitals, cynically hoping that civilian casualties are the result. To score PR points.

    How do you know what is going on in the minds of the Hamas leadership? I think you may have swallowed Israeli propaganda hook, line and sinker. In fact, you are helping to spread it. I’ve never heard a more ridiculous meme as “please kill more of us” as PR stunt.

  10. says

    I’m sick of people pretending that the Palestinian side holds any significant guilt in these events.

    Anyone who says “human shields” is a fool or objectively evil. I grew up near (not in) Mayberry. The whole county is 4 times the size of Gaza, and Gaza has 25 times the population. Don’t tell me that rockets are using people as human shields when people are packed that tightly. Do the math: look at the square yards each people get, versus the kill radius of the smallest Israeli munitions being used.

  11. says

    Exactly, Improbable Joe. Here’s another reason the ‘human shields’ accusation doesn’t work. The Palestinians know full well by now (from the sheer number of civilian deaths) that the presence of sick people in a hospital or children in a school doesn’t deter the IDF from shooting anyway. So why would they use human shields if it doesn’t have any effect? Unless you follow the bizarre twisted logic that killing children makes the IDF look bad – THEREFORE it must be an evil Hamas plot.

  12. richcon says

    Tommy, that explains why they aren’t fleeing, but is precisely why people say Hamas are intentionally putting civilians in harm’s way.

    Since the UN themselves found that Hamas was using their two of own sites, *schools* they were using to house displaced Palestinians, to store missiles. This isn’t Israeli propaganda. This is the UN group most directly involved with helping Palestinian civilians.

    http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/unrwa-condemns-placement-rockets-second-time-one-its-schools

  13. richcon says

    The reason people can’t flee isn’t because Israel will kill them wherever they go. It’s because Hamas is bringing the fighting to wherever they go.

  14. richcon says

    Terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them — the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live

    More to the point of this post, that’s disgusting and I hope his university censures him for those comments. Kedar has no business blabbing on TV anymore if that’s the vomit he’s spewing.

  15. nomadiq says

    I think it’s entirely possible that some people associated with Hamas smile when a Gaza hospital is hit. Sociopaths exist everywhere and they don’t care how they get good press. But it only takes one bomb to land on a beach and kill four children to make everyone else realize it doesn’t matter where you are. You are a potential target. Under that circumstance whether you are being used as a human shield or not is fairly mute. Thats simple economics. Why would anyone bother to avoid Hamas controlled buildings? You might just be running from Hamas to your grave.

  16. nomadiq says

    @13

    Yes, if only Hamas found the decency to launch their attacks from non-civilian areas in Gaza. Oh thats right. There aren’t any. So, I wonder why Gazan’s just don’t form their own military units and defend ‘their’ territory from military locations like decent human beings? Well, I do know why. I find it beyond belief that you don’t know why.

    So it shouldn’t be much of a leap to understand why Hamas brings the fight to civilian areas. This is not a defense of Hamas tactics. But please, don’t pretend that Hamas has an option to fight without bringing a risk to Gazan’s in general. You are either very disingenuous, very much influenced by your own bias or very stupid.

  17. says

    Is it even worth pointing out that even Israel admits the kidnappings used to justify this campaign was not done in connection to Hamas?

  18. unclefrogy says

    what I do not understand at all is how and why the Israelis do not even acknowledge that in there own history they did not give in did not just vanish and stop being a problem for everybody else. what makes them think that anyone else would just because they believe their god said it was OK thousands of years ago?

    some mean and nasty part of me wants to turn the whole fucking area into black radioactive glass
    uncle frogy

  19. Trickster Goddess says

    Hamas deliberately hides arms in schools and hospitals, cynically hoping that civilian casualties are the result. To score PR points.

    And then Israel, with its “shoot the hostages” policy foolishly plays right into Hamas’ hands, time after time.

    They can’t claim to have not known there would be plenty of innocent people in those places. Even if you think those civilians are being used as human shields, when you go ahead and kill them anyway that doesn’t put you on any higher moral ground.

  20. zenlike says

    12 richcon

    Since the UN themselves found that Hamas was using their two of own sites, *schools* they were using to house displaced Palestinians, to store missiles.

    The first line of the press release you linked to (you know we can open those, right?):

    Today, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip.

  21. Holms says

    Theology vs. theology, except only one of them has a military. Therefore, everything they do is obviously the will of their (totes correct) god.

  22. Olav says

    Holms #22:

    Theology vs. theology, except only one of them has a military.

    Is that your “analysis” of the current situation in Israel/Palestine? Brilliant.

  23. Steve LaBonne says

    See, you have to understand. It was OK for Israel to turn Gaza into an oversized concentration camp. Security, you know. But when the prisoners try to rebel? That’s shocking and horrible.

    Want to spew Israeli propaganda in my face by way of response? Go right ahead. I could use a good laugh.

  24. says

    Okay two questions, I don’t even want comment until I get some better info.

    Is there a link I can get the news on this that doesn’t involve me subscribing to them?

    What part of sharia law is this not the normal reaction, (rape and kill the woman).

  25. mickll says

    @ Kevin Kehres

    “Hamas deliberately hides arms in schools and hospitals, cynically hoping that civilian casualties are the result. To score PR points”

    Probably not, but it’s a line that’ll convince some people after you’ve killed a whole heap of kids! You’re proof of that.

  26. twas brillig (stevem) says

    The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped.

    It seems he is saying that the Hamas are only acting. out of their concept of honor. That they attack Israel to protect their womenfolk. That if attacking Israel results in their womenz being degraded, then they won’t attack. Israel doesn’t have to *start* raping etc, just convince Hamas that they *will* do so, if the attacks continue. “in order to preserve his sister’s honor.” Telling us that the whole ~conflict~ twixt Israel and Hamas is a principle of honor. Or, that to preserve her honor, a Hamas can be forced to do (or not do) anything; to maintain that honor status of his womenz.
    .
    I smell a strong case of strawmanning in that quote in the OP.

  27. says

    Nice headline, PZ. Misleadingly attributing to Israel as policy some nasty fringe opinion by a university kook not affiliated with the government. Good job.

    It’s as if someone claimed the US government was enforcing young-earth creationism because of something idiotic that Ken Ham said.

  28. nrdo says

    @ 29 Yes, when the (understandable) desire to oppose an apparent abuse policy is in play, liberals engage in the same sloppy thinking as conservatives. It’s emotion and it’s human nature.

    Regarding the comment itself though, it’s obviously not an articulation of policy, it’s a cheap rhetorical trick you hear all the time. It’s “othering” the enemy by saying that they have primitive fixation while “we” would never stoop to their level.

  29. ranmore says

    Having personal experience of the harm done by the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland I can vouch that having one religious tribe invade land occupied by a different tribe, aided and abetted by external powers, will lead to centuries of violent conflict. This conflict will last generations, as could be predicted by anyone with any sense when Zionism first emerged.

  30. says

    Sectarianism is what made my parents raise my sister and me as atheists (raised in the UK in the 60s/70s, during the IRA bombing campaigns, and my parents were from either side of the divide). I wonder how many of those in Israel and Palestine have reached the same conclusion? Though I recognize that expressing it in their context is much harder, of course, I wonder how many are secretly wishing they could just give up the whole mess and get on with having a life.

    The comment is clearly not Israeli policy, and their policies are grotesque enough at the moment that they don’t need any help looking awful. But it’s not unexpected; rape has been a weapon of war forever, and it hasn’t changed particularly (see Bosnia, for instance); if it’s not done institutionally, then it’ll be done individually and by groups, because the dehumanization that makes rape thinkable in the first place is endemic in war.

    As to the rightness of Hamas fighting back, I will say only this: Mila 18, Warsaw. How is one right and the other wrong?

  31. says

    Yes, this rape-the-women tactic is despicable, even as a thought experiment. It is also wearyingly wrong for most of our media sources to leap to conclusions too rapidly.

    When the bodies of three Israeli teenagers, kidnapped in the West Bank, were found late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not mince words. “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” he said, initiating a campaign that eventually escalated into the present conflict in the region.
    But now, officials admit the kidnappings were not Hamas’s handiwork after all. […]

    Wait. What?

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/07/hamas-didnt-kidnap-the-israeli-teens-after-all.html

    Here’s one take on the issue:

    All the illegal and immoral actions related to Operation Brother’s Keeper were justified under the premise of finding and saving the missing teens whom the Israeli government knew to be dead — cynically exploiting the tragedy to whip up public outcry in order to provoke and then confront Hamas. […]

    America AlJazeera link.

  32. Pierce R. Butler says

    Palestinians have been complaining about Israelis riding their mowers on their (the Palestinians’) lawn for generations.

    Everything else follows inevitably, except that Israelis are better shots than Minnesotans.

  33. anat says

    To Wes Aaron, @25 See Israeli scholar: ‘Only raping the sister of a terrorist can deter him’

  34. madscientist says

    Naturally I would expect Kedar to deny that Hamas is packed to the rafters with people just like him.

  35. laurentweppe says

    How does he know this? Has he conducted interviews with suicide bombers in which they said that they would not have pushed the button if they knew their sister would be raped?

    He’s either a bloodline-fetichizing sociopathic bully or a lackey of the bloodline-fetichizing sociopathic bullies coterie loudly proclaiming what they want to hear.

    ***

    Is it even worth pointing out that even Israel admits the kidnappings used to justify this campaign was not done in connection to Hamas?

    No it’s not worth it: the only people who by now are still defending the slaughter are those who, for whatever the reason, refuse to aknowledge that Netanyahu’s sole audience are the bloodthirsty far-rightists who
    1. Keep his coalition running
    2. Will pull a Rabin the second he does a serious move toward peace

  36. busterggi says

    If only the Palestinians would learn to appreciate living in their concentration camp controlled by Israel – just look how well that worked for the Jews.

  37. says

    Misleadingly attributing to Israel as policy

    But he didn’t do that; he asked a snarky question about the direction of Israeli policy.

    some nasty fringe opinion by a university kook not affiliated with the government.

    if only it were a fringe opinion, but these sorts of memes have been used by the government of Israel since Golda Meir said “we can’t forgive them for forcing us to kill their children”.