Pope Francis visits Israel’s apartheid wall in the Occupied Territories


News media were agog with the news of how during his visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories, pope Francis stopped his motorcade and went up to the apartheid wall that Israel has constructed, touched it with his head and prayed. Kelly Lynn describes, along with many photographs, how Palestinian activists managed to evade Israeli security guards and spray paint messages on the wall and a massive gate that the government had just painted over earlier to hide previous messages.

A few minutes before the pope arrived, they quickly went into action and painted new messages that read, “Pope, we need some1 to speak about justice” and “Pope, Bethlehem look like Warsaw Ghetto.” It as clear that the pope was moved by what he saw,

And then, in a glass-covered pristine white pick-up truck, he came.

“I didn’t expect the Pope to go down and start to read the sentences and meet the children and people there. He shocked us,” said Abu Srour.

He stepped onto the red-carpeted stairs of his custom ride and down onto the severed Jerusalem-Hebron Road, where he walked deliberately toward the gate, as if it was actually planned (it was not according to his security team). One must have a little more experience with His Holiness to know if his face is always so somber. But it was somber. He didn’t ignore the two young girls to his right but his solemn focus was on the gate, the Wall. Initially, he seemed to express awe as he reached out his hand to touch just under Abu Srour’s hurried handiwork, “Pope, Bethlehem look like Warsaw ghetto.”

He stayed for several minutes as guards kept the distance between him and the mostly cell phone photographers jockeying for a shot. An Israeli soldier could be seen observing the situation from the sniper tower above.

His head bowed, the Pontiff touched his forehead to the monolith before slowly retreating back to his car and continuing his route to the Nativity Church. It was an undeniable picture of solidarity for Palestinians who have suffered under the wall and its effects for a decade now.

“We just thought he will pass in front of us and just say hi or something and go to the Nativity Church, but he came and stood in front of the Wall and prayed there…it was a good thing for us as Palestinians. He’s supporting us and he respects us and he respects our suffering,” Abu Srour said.

He also visited refugee camps and met with some of the children in them.

That afternoon, he made his way to Dheisheh Refugee Camp for a ceremony and meeting with mostly children from the camp including participants from neighboring Azza and Aida camps. As his caravan entered the camp, local kids clamored against a metal barrier for a glimpse and held signs that read in English, “Every year, Israel arrests over 500 children.” After the ceremony, he was whisked away in a helicopter, rising slowly above families who had brought chairs and children to their roofs to wave.

Here are children from the Dheisheh Refugee Camp waiting to see the pope.

MG_4677-580x386

Comments

  1. colnago80 says

    Re Ranum @ #1

    Of course, Ranum fails to inform us as to why there is a wall to start with. The reason is to prevent terrorists from entering Israel and blowing up pizza parlors, among other things. I think it is a fair inference that anyone who wants the Government of Israel to tear down that wall is in favor of blowing up pizza parlors.

  2. M can help you with that. says

    @ tiko —

    If Clownstick ever gave it a rest, the unthinkable might happen: there might be some room in the discussion for people who don’t think that the only alternatives are right-wing genocidal militarism and anti-Semitic right-wing genocidal militarism. Hell, if Clownstick ever stopped his right-wing-apologist clown schtick, there might be time to hear from people like, say, the Israeli Left and assorted others who are generally anti-genocide and thus (by Clownstick’s logic) Nazis.

  3. colnago80 says

    Re tiko @ #3 & M @ #4

    Hey, tell it to the Palestinians. They are the ones who used to sneak into Israel and blow up pizza parlors. No Israelis were sneaking into the West Bank or the Gaza Strip and blowing up Mosques.

  4. says

    Ranum fails to inform us as to why there is a wall to start with

    Because a bunch of europeans took over palestine and declared the land to be theirs? Or, wait, was the wall to keep the roman legions out? I can’t recall which of the various bullshit excuses I’m supposed to be “informing” everyone about.

  5. tiko says

    @ 6 Colnago80

    Bulldozing peoples homes comes to mind,but hey they are there illegally and the Israelis have bigger guns so they totally deserve it right?

  6. thebookofdave says

    He didn’t say anything. Pope Francis rubbernecks an intentional disaster area, takes a moment of silence, and hops the first flight out without a word. Does he address the crowd of Palestinians to express deep concerns over their state of distress? Does he chide the Israeli government for institutional resource theft and police state abuses? Does he express approval of the status quo? He won’t say.

  7. colnago80 says

    Re Ranum @ #7

    Ah gee, I seem to recall that a bunch of Europeans did the same thing in the Western Hemisphere. But I’m sure that Ranum would willingly turn over his property in Pennsylvania to the Native Americans from whom it was stolen if asked. I would not suggest holding one’s breath on that one.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    Here are children boys from the Dheisheh Refugee Camp waiting to see the pope.

    ‘Nuff said…

  9. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @4. M can help you with that :

    .. there might be some room in the discussion for people who don’t think that the only alternatives are right-wing genocidal militarism and anti-Semitic right-wing genocidal militarism.

    See comment #21 May 17, 2014 at 11:51 am in the ‘Boko Harams atrocties in Nigeria increase’ thread :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2014/05/07/boko-harams-atrocities-in-nigeria-increase/#comment-2121560

    Both of us want better peaceful solutions – me just above in comment #19 :

    “I don’t want Iran nuked or Gaza bombed to the ground, I think they are awful nations run by awful people but, hell, they are people and we should find a better way to stop them from harming the rest of the world. I don’t want them dead. I want them to stop trying to kill and impose their ideology and violence on others. Iwant tehri culture to change and them to be freed from the brain-washing they suffer from that makes them do horrific things.

    Colnago80 comment # 18 :

    “All in all as Mr. Kavah puts it on his blog, a negotiated settlement is greatly to be preferred and is really in everybody’s best interest.’

    This is what we’re saying now, regardless of whether you take going too far in advocating measures against Jihadist terorists in the past as advocating for “mass murder” or as I and a lot of others would see it, advocating strong self defence against those who are trying to kill us and others and impose their truly brutal and nightmarish ideology on the world.

    (Original blockquoting changed to italics for cited sentences there. Bold added for emphasis.)

    Saying that Colnago 80 or myself seek genocide is thus disproven.

    Instead both of us wish for peaceful solutions that involve Israel surviving and being left in peace and security.

    Personally given the tiny size and vulnerable borders of Israel and the long history of the Islamist side trying to exterminate the Jewish state; I believe the palestinians should be resettled in Jordan. Because that was, after all, one of the two nations created by dividing the original Mandate 2/3rds to the Arabs 1/3rd to the Israelis and thus the designated Arab state from the former Imperial Turkish territory and historical Jewish region.

    I also believe this should be done by financially compensating the palestinians and with their agreement wherever possible and that some Arab Israelis who prove they are willing and able to live under Israeli law be allowed to remain if they so desire and cease trying to destroy Israel. However, Israel should NOT be expected to harbour homicidal, extremist Jihadists out to massacre its entire non-Islamic population.

  10. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    PS. Mano Singham : Modern Israel and Apartheid era South Africa are completely different cases and comparing Israel’s security fence built to protect its civilians from homicide-suicide bombings is absurd and obviously totally inaccurate.

    Israel is not racist and is fully democratic (unlike say hamas, Hezbollah or Fatah) allowing people of all skin colours and genotypes /phenotypes to live there in peace even including Arab Israelis in its knesset. (Parliament /congress equivalent.)

    To compare it and imply that its is anything like the racist apartheid state is both a slanderous untruth and diminishes the real horrors of apartheid and the peaceful struggle of the African National Congress and Nelson Mandela who did not engage in violent warfare and terrorism.

    As #2. colnago80 points out there is a very good reason for why Israel’s security fence was constructed and it has proven successful in saving innocent lives. If the Palestinians don’t like it they have – as usual – only themselves to blame for making it necessary.

  11. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @7. Marcus Ranum : “Because a bunch of europeans took over palestine and declared the land to be theirs?”

    Your utter staggering ignorance of the history Jewish history both in their presence in the South West Asian region since prehistorical times through to their horrific persecution in Europe and tehri expulsion from many Islamic nations post 1948 is duly noted.

    I suggest you inform yourself :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_history

    Before commenting on this issue further and issue an apology for such ill informed, anti-Semitic commentary.

  12. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Typo fix : Your utter staggering ignorance of the History of the Jewish people .. I meant in my first line in response to the italicised quote.

  13. sundoga says

    I more or less must agree – comparing this wall to the Apartheid regime is both inaccurate and misleading.
    I’m no fan of the Israeli government, and I’ll state for the record that the current generation of Palestinians have been dumped on from a great height. But the simple fact is, this wall has saved many lives. I personally remember the years before it was built; barely a week, it seemed, passed by without some new form of atrocity being comitted on Israeli civilians – and I don’t give a damn what their government or history was, there is no reasonable excuse for getting on a bus and obliterating a bunch of school children. Since the wall? Almost nothing.
    The Palestinians need their own state and freedom. The cost of that cannot be the security of others.

  14. colnago80 says

    Re sundoga @ #16

    It has also preserved a number of Palestinian lives also as they were unable to commit suicide in homicide bomber attacks.

  15. says

    @ StevoR

    PS. Mano Singham : Modern Israel and Apartheid era South Africa are completely different cases and comparing Israel’s security fence built to protect its civilians from homicide-suicide bombings is absurd and obviously totally inaccurate.


    StevoR
    , I was born into, and grew up in, Apartheid South Africa. I know an Apartheid apologist when I see one. These are people who say such anodyne things such as “good fences make good neighbours”, when they are, in fact, talking about a divisive and exploitive system. You are perhaps less subtle, using terms like “security fence built to protect its civilians from homicide-suicide bombings”. Much like the less acute apologists for Apartheid. It is asif the only words that have changed in all these years is that “Swart Gevaar!” has been substituted by “Palesteinse Gevaar!”.

    And all the examples, raised in justification of the iniquities, are always as gruesome as they ever were.

    there is a very good reason for why Israel’s security fence was constructed and it has proven successful in saving innocent lives. If the Palestinians don’t like it they have – as usual – only themselves to blame for making it necessary.

    Holy Crap! You sound exactly like Hendrik Verwoerd on a bad day. Let me translate your apologetics into South African terms:

    there is a very good reason for why South Africa’s security fences were constructed and it has proven successful in saving innocent lives. If the Blacks don’t like it they have – as usual – only themselves to blame for making it necessary

    The wall that Mano refers to is crass even by the standards of the old Apartheid regime. I find your Apartheid apologetics crass even by the standards of the old Apartheid regime. Your world-view appalls me anew – every time I have the misfortune of stumbling upon your comments.

  16. says

    PS: StevoR

    To compare it and imply that its is anything like the racist apartheid state is both a slanderous untruth and diminishes the real horrors of apartheid and the peaceful struggle of the African National Congress and Nelson Mandela who did not engage in violent warfare and terrorism.

    You are blowing this out of your ring.

    Ever heard of Umkhonto we Sizwe? They carried out a terrorist attack on Ellis Park Rugby Stadium in 1988. On my brother’s birthday, they blew up my cousin. At least, they nearly did. He was lucky not to lose his legs, in spite of his injuries.

    But here’s the point StevoR: instead of building walls over such incidents, we first started thinking about what a monster each side had created in our mutual antagonism. And then started reaching out. And offering amnesty and seeking forgiveness. It has been a long and painful process, yet slowly but surely – through interaction and communication – these problems have been diminished and overcome.

    It starts not with thinking about separation (What do you think “Apartheid means?), but in coming together, speaking the truth. It takes courage to say “what if I am wrong?”, and in learning to listen.

  17. readysf says

    Everybody in the world now sees and recognizes that the Palestinians are the victims, and that the Israeli Jews are the victimizers.

    People who point this out are called anti Semitic (or, self hating Jews) and he memory of the Holocaust is invoked.

    Why does this still work? Is it the raw exercise of power to blunt the progress of BDS? Don’t Americans who play this game see that it is profoundly anti American?

    It is time for people to decide whether they are Israeli or American. The gap grows wider every day

  18. says

    @ readysf

    Don’t Americans who play this game see that it is profoundly anti American?

    Our current specimen, spouting of Bush era, reactionary, RWA apologetics is neither Israeli, nor American. He just gets his rocks off on pushing the message of the American far-right. Wait ’til he starts getting off on support of state sponsored terrorism and murder.

  19. colnago80 says

    Re reeadysf @ #20

    The BDS folks do not even attempt to hide their goal, which is the elimination of the State of Israel. Like many of the commentors on this blog, including you, Israel is considered an illegal state which has no right to exist. The accusation is that European settlers moved in starting in the 19th century and displaced native Palestinians who had lived there for generations. Well gee wiz, if that’s true, then the USA and, in fact, all the nations of the Western Hemisphere are also illegal as that’s exactly what happened there. In particular, European settlers moved in and displaced Native Americans in the US and First Nations in Canada, shoving them into “reservations”, which differ little from concentration camps. Apparently to the Singhams, and the Ranums of the world, the statute of limitations has run out on Native Americans and First Nations so they are shit out of luck. Just as a matter of interest, when does the statute of limitations run out on the Palestinians?

    Re theophorites

    Well, StevoR is an Aussi but I am a 100% American, and no supporter of Dubya and the right wing theocrats who have hijacked the Rethuglican Party. But, of course, to the Israel bashers who post and comment here, anyone who has the temerity to support the State of Israel is a clone of Frankenberger.

  20. readysf says

    RE Colnago #22

    I am not an Israel basher (whatever that means!!), I am a truth teller.

    It is quite easy to make an argument that BDS is in fact pro Israei, if you believe that Israel’s current government policies are self destructive to Israel. Lots of people believe this, including John Kerry, many Israelis, and many Jewish Americans.

    BDS sends a message to Israel that its policies are self destructive and that this must change. It is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, if you are pro Israel.

    One could then argue that NOT supporting BDS is anti Israel, since it promotes the “moral hazard” of excessive permissiveness and is promoting Israels self-destruction. So, if you are anti BDS, then you are anti Israel.

    This is why the “establishment” is trying to stop discussion of BDS altogether. Major donors are terrorizing universities. This is completely and utterly shameful. How dare they corrupt academia for (what they believe to be) the interests of a foreign country.

  21. says

    @ colnago80

    theophorites

    If in error, the nym is: theophontes
    If meant in insult: c’est très drole!

    I am a 100% American, and no supporter of Dubya and the right wing theocrats who have hijacked the Rethuglican Party.

    I am well with all of that.

    Israel bashers


    Au contraire!

    You might gather from my previous posts, that I am promoting the middle ground in this discussion. In human terms, “Palestinians” and “Jews” are exactly the same people¹. There is no inherent reason why a compromise cannot be reached.

    In humanist terms, we may note that the architect of Apartheid was not a racist (at least not in the conventional sense) and accepted all races as equal. He was, for example, anti-Nazi. But this only made him all the more evil. Knowing this simple truth, he nevertheless differentiated between people on the basis of race, even while knowing that this was merely a visual convenience in creating the system he wished to forge. Ie: to split the population along cultural lines (even as these overlapped) in order to create a “superior” fraction to lord it over an “inferior” majority. This while fully understanding the arbitrariness and iniquity inherent in this.

    You must also understand, that any legitimate protest against this new status quo, however expressed, was treated as an attack on the system. Like the Palestinians, Black South Africans (inter alia) were expected to accept this iniquitous system without complaint. Resistance, however expressed, was violently suppressed. What constituted self-defence among the “Other” was interpreted by the Apartheid narrative as an attack on the country and all its peoples.

    I would be rather concerned that you do not see these things for what they are. Whether in the South African or Israeli context. People are people. The divisions described are artificial and arbitrary.


    ¹ In simple terms: Palestinians are merely Jews who converted to Islam. Genetically, they are only marginally more Jewish than the Jews themselves. Perhaps YHWH should cut them a break.

  22. says

    @ readysf

    BDS sends a message to Israel that its policies are self destructive and that this must change. It is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, if you are pro Israel.

    I can only encourage this as a means to bring people to the realisation that creating an “apartheid wall” in Israel is not in Israel’s best interests.

    In the case of South Africa, the sanctions brought against it, where significant in the changes they brought to the reigning mindset.

    (In case anyone was wondering…there where very strong ties between the Apartheid South African government and the apartheid Israeli government. Beyond sharing a “backs-to-the-wall” narrative, they also shared in the development of nuclear weapons and deployment systems.)

  23. says

    @ colagno82

    Before you answer me, consider this: I have lived through these narratives. I have seen them from the inside and from the outside. The apartheid Israeli narrative is very much like the Apartheid South African narrative. I see every jot and tittle in high detail. Been there, done that, got a suitcase full of T-shirts. Believe me, you have to wake up and find another course. There is no future in cloud-cuckoo-land, however urgently it is expressed.

  24. colnago80 says

    Re readsf @ #23

    It is quite easy to make an argument that BDS is in fact pro Israei,

    Ah yes, up is down, left is right, in is out, etc. George Orwell to the white courtesy phone.

  25. colnago80 says

    Re theophontes @ #24

    Sorry about the misspelling. Not intentional.

    There is no inherent reason why a compromise cannot be reached.

    On the surface, this seems trivial. However, the Palestinian demand that Israel agree to resettle Palestinians in refugee camps in Israel is the reason why no agreement has been reached to date. Until the Palestinian leadership drops this demand, there is not the slightest chance of an agreement. Any Israeli Government that agreed to any such thing would not last a day in power. It ain’t going to happen. Period, end of story.

    As to the charge of apartheid leveled against Israel, the former South African prime minster, De Klerk says that the current situation in Palestine is quite different then what existed in South Africa. He does warn that if a 2 state solution is not reached and a 1 state situation is arrived at by default, then an apartheid situation is possible.

    http://goo.gl/SxMJ38

  26. says

    @ colnago80

    Sorry about the misspelling. Not intentional.

    A pity… theophorites refer to voluntary servants of a cult (as opposed to slaves). I thought you were being rather humorous.

    resettle Palestinians in refugee camps in Israel

    Not unreasonable. However, I would rather suggest integration into fully functioning cities. “Refugee camps” are notoriously unable to be self supporting. And for very good reasons. I understand the irrational fears towards Palestinian people. Irrational fear of the Other is a default. It is natural. The real threats to individual livelihoods are lying politicians, bankers,… and the like. The more people control their own destiny, the less they rely on gods, or hucksters.

    De Klerk

    Hey, I have a lot of respect for what De Klerk did. He took a chance. He had the courage to doubt his own life’s narrative. He committed himself to change. But… he does not have all the answers. I think that he, too, has become a bit despondent. And unnecessarily so.

  27. colnago80 says

    Re theophontes @ #30

    Israel already absorbed 800,000 Jews who were kicked out of various Arab countries after the 1948 war. Let the Arab countries from which they were ousted absorb the Palestinian refugees currently living in refugee camps. They are not going to be resettled in what is now Israel. It ain’t going to happen.

  28. Holms says

    Israel already absorbed 800,000 Jews who were kicked out of various Arab countries after the 1948 war. Let the Arab countries from which they were ousted absorb the Palestinian refugees currently living in refugee camps. They are not going to be resettled in what is now Israel. It ain’t going to happen.

    I bet you don’t even have the faintest grasp of how unreasonable your statement was. Essentially, you note that the jewish state took in jews, therefore they are justified in kicking out muslims and taking their land.

  29. colnago80 says

    Re Holms @ #32

    Israel doesn’t have to point to the Arab countries. They can point to the nations of the Western Hemisphere, every one of which was founded by White Europeans who killed off most of the natives and stole their land. But as I said before, apparently Holms is one of those who believe that the statute of limitations ran out on the natives of the Western Hemisphere. So by that logic, the statute of limitations will eventually run out on the Palestinians, if it hasn’t already.

  30. readysf says

    Re Colnago #27

    You can dismiss it, but some version of BDS is in fact pro Israel. If you are anti BDS, you are anti Israel.

    Instead of open debate about this, why try and bully universities? This type of moral cowardice is what is anti Israel.

    Israel appears stronger than ever…a nuclear power with growing economic strength, and apologists for its bad behavior towards Palestinians point this out….but it is rotting morally. Comparing it to its neighbors won’t work.

  31. readysf says

    #33

    You can try and justify Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by pointing to history, but you have to then start by agreeing that it is what it is….you can’t have it both ways.

  32. colnago80 says

    Re readysf @ #34

    Considering that there are more then 1 million Arabs living in Israel, the IDF must be the world’s most incompetent ethnic cleanser. The Iraqis did a much better job, cleansing Iraq of virtually all of its quarter million Jews in 1948 and subsequently. Ditto for Algeria.

  33. colnago80 says

    Re readysf @ #34

    Bully universities. Ole readysf must be living in a dream world. It’s the Israel bashers who are bullying universities. Cases in point:

    The recent decision of Brandais Un. to reverse their decision to have Ayaan Hirsi Ali give the 2014 commencement speech and receive an honorary degree after bullying by the Islamofascist organization CAIR.

    The disruption of a speech at UC Irvine by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oran by Islamofascist “students”.

    There are many more such incidents at a number of American College Campuses, which have become havens for Islamofascists.

  34. readysf says

    Colnago,

    You can flit all over the map trying to “defend” Israel from imaginary attacks, but it wont work any more.

    BDS is gaining momentum, Israel is becoming morally rotten and racist, and we will soon be seeing it as a strategic threat that has sunk its tentacles into out system of democracy via its evil lobbies with well funded billionaires.

    Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me! People like you are peeing in the wind.

  35. colnago80 says

    Hey ready. If you are in San Francisco, you should get together with m ole bud, Richard Steven Hack. You and he would get along well with each other.

  36. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @18.,19 &21. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) :

    I was born into, and grew up in, Apartheid South Africa. I know an Apartheid apologist when I see one.

    Your first sentence may be correct – your second certainly isn’t if you are accusing me and other supporters of Israel of being apologists for Apartheid.

    I condemn Apartheid and racism. I don’t support unfairly discriminating against people on the basis of skin colour.

    Discriminating against a group of people that are trying to murder innocent people – stopping terrorists based on their chosen words and behaviour is something totally difefrent.

    You may know a lot about South Africa and its history having lived there but you seem totally ignorant and absurdly biased when it comes to Israel – because you clearly are in the Israel bashing Judaeophobic camp.

    If you haven’t been to Israel and lived in sympathy with its people then maybe you should at very least stop attacking them until you have learnt and thought more about their perspective, their side of this issue.

    These are people who say such anodyne things such as “good fences make good neighbours”, when they are, in fact, talking about a divisive and exploitive system.

    What system here? It isn’t apartheid, it is the choice of the Palestinians to adopt terrorism and refuse all the generous peace offers and behave genocidally against the tiny Jewish state when they already have 2/3rds of the original mandate land. (Jordan)

    You are perhaps less subtle, using terms like “security fence built to protect its civilians from homicide-suicide bombings”.

    You forgot to add the word ‘accurate’ there – because that is quite simply the historical and political reality.
    Israel’s security fence was built for the express purpose of preventing homicide-suicide bombings – and it has been an overwhelming success in this as #16. sundoga also points out. Colnago80 is correct too about it thereby saving Palestinian lives.

    You are thus accuse me of being a bad guy whilst you are unfairly criticising a structure that has saved lives on both sides of the conflict. That means you are wrong ethically as well as factually.

    Much like the less acute apologists for Apartheid. It is asif the only words that have changed in all these years is that “Swart Gevaar!” has been substituted by “Palesteinse Gevaar!”. And all the examples, raised in justification of the iniquities, are always as gruesome as they ever were.

    Homicide-suicide bombings and other examples of Palestinian terrorism are and always have been gruesome. Is that what you are meaning albeit with a splash of personal abuse aimed at those like me who do NOT want more people on both sides to die as established above?

    Holy Crap! You sound exactly like Hendrik Verwoerd on a bad day. Let me translate your apologetics into South African terms:
    “there is a very good reason for why South Africa’s security fences were constructed and it has proven successful in saving innocent lives. If the Blacks don’t like it they have – as usual – only themselves to blame for making it necessary”

    Well you could be almost as silly and rather funnier if you altered the text to say :

    “there is a very good reason for why Apples security fences were constructed and it has proven successful in saving innocent lives. If the Oranges don’t like it they have – as usual – only themselves to blame for making it necessary.”

    Because you are comparing as the saying goes apples with oranges or really a bird with a mushroom they’re that far apart.

    The situation is totally different from Apartheid’s unfair race based discrimination and Israel’s reasonable and self-defence based security fence.

    Again theophontes may well know South Africa but xe clearly knows stuff all about Israel and is thus making comparisons that are logically absurd and just do not follow.

    Your world-view appalls me anew – every time I have the misfortune of stumbling upon your comments.

    That people take the pro-Jihadist viewpoint as you seem to do on this issue and can such Israel bashers despite the obvious historical appalls me. Guess that means we’re even? Of course, unlike you I avoid lying about those who disagree with me online and don’t resort to personal abuse playing the argument not the person.

    Ever heard of Umkhonto we Sizwe? They carried out a terrorist attack on Ellis Park Rugby Stadium in 1988. On my brother’s birthday, they blew up my cousin. At least, they nearly did. He was lucky not to lose his legs, in spite of his injuries.

    (Italics original.)

    No I hadn’t heard of them or that attack. I’m sorry that happened to your cousin and baffled that it hasn’t made you less sympathetic to terrorist groups. Most people I think it would.

    That’s obviously the exception though and most of the campaign against Apartheid as I recall it (& ok maybe less than some do) was peaceful.

    Nelson Mandela, unlike Yasser Arafat and the leaders of Hamas & Hezbollah, was a good person who rejected terrorism and negotiated in good faith with his opponents and embraced reconciliation not endlessly attempting genocide. Again, the comparison between Apartheid and Israel is downright offensively erroneous.

    But here’s the point StevoR: instead of building walls over such incidents, we first started thinking about what a monster each side had created in our mutual antagonism. And then started reaching out. And offering amnesty and seeking forgiveness. It has been a long and painful process, yet slowly but surely – through interaction and communication – these problems have been diminished and overcome.

    Israel has done that already – its offered peace, it has repeatedly reached out and even given back without peace treaty, whole cities and regions like Gaza. Sadly this has to be a two way thing and Hamas and the other Palestinians have NOT reciprocated.

    Its all very well to expect Israel to do as you suggest – they’ve tried! But if the other side isn’t willing to do the same – what then? The problem here is stark and clear – the Palestinians don’t want to negotiate and make peace. If they did it could’ve happened long ago. They’d have been much happier and better off – so many lives would’ve been saved – had the Palestinians &/ or Arabs (as they used to be known until around the 1970s) taken almost any of the generous offers Israel made. But the Palestinians keep famously “never failing to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity for peace.”

    Yet you and others like you keep blaming the wrong side for this. Israel’s tried that, Palestinians reject it – and Israel cops the blame. How can you not see how wrong you are Theophontes (& Mano Singham & other’s bashing Israel too) in every sense of the word, seriously, how?

    It starts not with thinking about separation (What do you think “Apartheid means?), but in coming together, speaking the truth. It takes courage to say “what if I am wrong?”, and in learning to listen.

    Nice speech and I actually agree with it. Have you tried telling this to Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad? If you can get them to agree and to see Israelis as humans who deserve respect and to live in peace with them then and only then will we finally have peace.

    BTW. Do you apply those words to yourself Theophontes? I actually do.

    Our current specimen, ..

    I’m not a specimen I’m a person – don’t other and seek to dehumanise me.

    .. spouting of Bush era, reactionary, RWA apologetics..

    Not true. I’m not right wing I opposed Bush in his era and think he got a lot of things horribly wrong, nor am I doing apologetics. I make up my own mind on the merits and facts of each issue. I support equal marriage,abortion on demand, euthanasia as a human right and taking action to fight Global Overheating. I support science and oppose religion being forced on people. I oppose racism and bigotry and misogyny and anti-semitism.

    ..is neither Israeli, nor American.

    Correct for once – I’m Australian.

    He just gets his rocks off on pushing the message of the American far-right.

    Wrong. Totally as addressed already above. How I “get my rocks off” is entirely my business and has nothing to do with this blog or FTB at all.

    Wait ’til he starts getting off on support of state sponsored terrorism and murder.

    I don’t support either of those things – murder is a horrific crime which is always unethical and something I strongly oppose and the states that actually sponsor terrorism are the Islamic ones such as Iran and previously Iraq and Pakistan.

    NB. Counter-terrorism as done by groups like the CIA, ASIO and Mossad is something entirely different which shouldn’t be confused with actual state sponsorship of terrorism. Was that what you were mistakenly thinking of there Theophontes?

  37. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Blockquote fail – the offensively insulting and inaccurate line : Wait ’til he (I) starts getting off on support of state sponsored terrorism and murder. “ was theophontes and meant to be in quotes.

  38. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ 24. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) :

    “There is no inherent reason why a compromise cannot be reached.

    I really wish that were true. Sadly, here are five reasons why it is not :

    Inherent reason I) Hamas.

    Reason II) Hezbollah.

    Reason III) islamic Jihad.

    Reason IV) Collectively, the general Palestinian refusal to compromise, to give up terrorism, to give up on trying to exterminate Israel and accept a fair peace offer.

    Reason (V) Also the Palestinians determination to flood an already tiny land with vulnerable borders with a population of foreign born “Palestinian” “refugees” most of whoem have lived all their lives in other Arab nations as a result of these Arab nations (such human rights paragons as Sadadm’s Iraq, the Assad’s Syria, and King Hussein’s Jordan) refusal to do the right thing by resettling and absorbing these descendents of people who fled in the hope of returning quickly after the Jews had been “driven into the sea.” (I.e. been genocidally massacred by the invading Arab armies in 1948.)

    In simple terms: Palestinians are merely Jews who converted to Islam. Genetically, they are only marginally more Jewish than the Jews themselves. Perhaps YHWH should cut them a break.

    (Emphasis added.) I think you meant ‘less’ there not ‘more’! Also alternatively, maybe Allah should tell the Palestinians to be a bit nicer, learn to share and love thy neighbour instead!

  39. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @20. & 23. readysf :

    Everybody in the world now sees and recognizes that the Palestinians are the victims, and that the Israeli Jews are the victimizers.

    Everybody? Every human on the planet!?

    Agrees with that very dodgy Israel bashing assertion?

    Bzzzt! Wrong. Just laughably wrong. For starters there’s me, Colnago80, John Kerry, President Obama, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, ex-PM Julia Gillard, liberal author, lawyer and jurist Alan Dershowitz, Lebanese born activist Brigitte Gabriel*, the members of the Friends of Israel Initiative**, the members of the Friends of Israel (Western Australia) group *** and the list goes on and on.

    In actual fact, despite the false impression you may get from reading some FTB and other far left blogs (which are very oddly and counter productively often pro-islamist in large sections), the vast majority of Westerners support Israel not the Palestinians as Pew research polls for example (http : // www (dot) pewresearch (dot) org / fact-tank / 2014/ 02 / 27 / strong – support – for- israel – in – u – s – cuts – across – religious – lines/ ) show.

    People who point this out are called anti Semitic (or, self hating Jews) and the memory of the Holocaust is invoked.

    Why shouldn’t it be? Godwin’s law aside, if someone is unreasonably attacking Israel then it *is* often due to anti-Semitism whether that person realises that or not. Should we just ignore the anti-Semitic / Judaeophobic undercurrent behind the Israel bashing?

    Why does this still work? (1) Is it the raw exercise of power to blunt the progress of BDS? (2) Don’t Americans who play this game see that it is profoundly anti American? (3)

    1) Because its still true in many cases?

    2) No. Also why do you think boycotting Jewish business is okay to do?

    (3) No – and no it isn’t. Israel is one of the USA’s strongest, closest and best allies and vice-versa. The Palestinians danced in the streets when Osama bin Laden attacked New York on 9-11 and started the War on Terror. (Although that name is misleading – ‘War on Jihadist groups’ would have been better.)

    It is time for people to decide whether they are Israeli or American. The gap grows wider every day.

    What a meaningless and divisive bit of nasty rhetoric that is. Some people here are Israelis, many are American, many are neither, a few could be both. What gap grows wider? What’s that supposed to even mean – that you think the USA and Israel are drifting towards war or something?

    I am not an Israel basher (whatever that means!!), I am a truth teller.

    Bzzt. Wrong. To be a “truth teller” you need to telling the truth – its already clear form above that you aren’t doing this although you clearly erroneously think you are. What you have told is misleading polemical opinion not fact.

    It is quite easy to make an argument that BDS is in fact pro Israei, if you believe that Israel’s current government policies are self destructive to Israel. Lots of people believe this, including John Kerry, many Israelis, and many Jewish Americans.

    Yet BDS is clearly aimed at attacking Israel and is de facto anti-Semitic because it targets business’es and companies based solely on the fact that they are Jewish so again, you are wrong in every way.

    BDS sends a message to Israel (1) that its policies are self destructive and that this must change. (2) It is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, if you are pro Israel. (3)

    1) Not just to Israel – it attacks Jewish people around the world and their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association and pursuit of happiness .

    2) It actually tells the Jewish people that anti-semitism is rising fast in the world again even after the Shoah. Ironically that says to Jews that Israel really is more necessary as a safe haven and homeland of their own than ever.

    3) LOL. Can you really believe your own words here? Seriously!? BDS is a Judaeophobic hate campaign with a sanctimonious veneer of being “pro-palestinian” (in effect pro-palestinian terrorism) pure and simple.

    One could then argue that NOT supporting BDS is anti Israel, since it promotes the “moral hazard” of excessive permissiveness and is promoting Israels self-destruction. So, if you are anti BDS, then you are anti Israel.

    Wow. How totally twisted can you think? What absurd, stupid rubbish. The knots you tie yourself into trying to pretend an anti-Semitic hate campaign isn’t just that!

    This is why the “establishment” is trying to stop discussion of BDS altogether. Major donors are terrorizing universities. This is completely and utterly shameful. How dare they corrupt academia for (what they believe to be) the interests of a foreign country?

    What colnago80 said in #37. Also how ironic given the whole BDS hate group is designed at bullying and silencing Jewish academics, businesses and other voices.

    * See her superb and moving and accurate speech here :

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/gabriel.asp

    ** see wikipedia page. (Cut’n’paste into search box.)

    *** See : http : / / www (dot) foiwa (dot) org (dot) au /

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