Categorized | Middle East

DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

Dear All,

Just 4 not very long items tonight.  If you are interested in additionally reading the Supreme Court’s reasoning about why to deny a Nobel Prize Laureate entry, please check out http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-rejects-pro-palestinian-nobel-laureate-s-deportation-appeal-1.317188

or

 http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3964109,00.html

The verdict was to have been expected.  This, after all, is Israel.

The initial 2 items are about Israel’s military—‘the most moral army in the world,’ you know.  Actually, the first item by Amira Hass, in which soldiers reveal how they are brain washed to prepare them to do anything, could serve as a case in point for Kathleen Barry’s new book, “Unmaking War, Remaking Men.”

The 2nd item is about a soldier being photographed dancing a belly dance next to a blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinian woman.  I doubt that the Israeli army is worse than any other.  But that does not make it beautiful!

Item 3 is a brief update on population, which claims that the Jewish population in Israel is decreasing.

Item 4 is a brief justifiably bitter note about Israel denying entry to a Palestinian.

All the best,

Dorothy

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1. Haaretz Monday,

October 04, 2010

‘We were supposed to enter quietly – instead we threw grenades’

IDF soldiers speak out about the climate of fear that overshadowed their service in the West Bank.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/we-were-supposed-to-enter-quietly-instead-we-threw-grenades-1.317038

By Amira Hass

I was traveling abroad when a thunderstorm struck, but nevertheless the first thought that entered my head was, So whom are we shelling now? Local elders later said they could not remember such frightening thunder, but for me, the amazement contained no fear, that is to say, no feeling of danger. Despite my automatic thoughts, the scenery and time left no room for doubt that this was not man-made thunder.

Far from home, therefore, I understood that these primeval sounds, so full of power, had been permanently distorted, disrupted and spoiled. And this is just another conclusion for the week marking 10 years since the start of the second intifada – in Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip there are hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps even more, who confuse the sound of thunder for something else. For them, the memories of Israeli shellings have wiped out the amazement over nature’s wonders. Instead, they arouse fear.

I learned about the disconnect between fear and reality in one of the first months of the intifada (or rather, its suppression ) when an Israel Defense Forces armored vehicle suddenly appeared in our neighborhood, an eastern neighborhood of Ramallah. Everything was new and seemed unreal, and the soldier had his upper body and head sticking out of the vehicle, and was calmly speaking with some English speakers and a Hebrew speaker. Suddenly there was a muffled shot in the distance. Without embarrassment or a show of bravery, the soldier quickly ducked into the vehicle and shut the lid, to the surprise of all the bystanders. We who were exposed knew there was no danger. The shot was nothing. Perhaps the soldier was frightened, or perhaps he was following army instructions that soldiers take no chances. What was certain was that he had no idea what the real situation was on the ground.

Therefore it makes no difference that you cannot compare a Palestinian Qassam strike to an Israeli shell strike, to say nothing of a bomb. Fear is still fear, regardless of the proportions of the weapons and the quantity of ammunition. In 2003 or 2004, in the Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, I came across two Hamas members who would fire Qassams. I asked them what that achieved, and mentioned a joke that was going around Gaza – that every Qassam costs NIS 1 million, the amount of damage the Israel Defense Forces causes in Beit Hanun after every Qassam. The two explained to me unhesitatingly that they wanted Israeli women and children to live in fear just like their own women and children.

The army veterans who testified to Breaking the Silence about their service in the occupied territories during the second intifada also told stories of fear.

One soldier, for example, related how they had gone to arrest a certain person “whom we had been told was the source of all evil in the world and that Hitler was like Mother Teresa next to him, and because of him we can’t sleep at nights and he had fired at the command post of the battalion commander. All kinds of stories … You lack proportion and you go to fight after the brainwashing, which is total, and they make you feel like you have something to fear.

“I went all agitated to the arrest … (The family ) didn’t open the door because they apparently hadn’t woken up yet. After less than a minute, we broke down the door with a hammer, it was a wooden door. I expected to see terrorists and weapons but I saw a 60-year-old woman, an older man and grandchildren …

“We were supposed to enter quietly … We threw hand grenades and shot flares into the sky and this frightened the area residents.”

Another soldier told how 14-year-olds are detained: They are put in a jeep with their hands tied and their eyes covered with a piece of flannel as passersby watch. “In another minute, you could be shot. The whole situation is frightening, like … The guns are pointed at them … It was strange to aim at children.

“At the same time, you also aim your weapons at everything around … Apparently because you are afraid because you’re in an unfamiliar situation and also because they tell you to do that … When you don’t know the situation … you are no less frightened than they are.”

And there is another soldier who suddenly understood, during Operation Defensive Shield, that “the tank is a crazy source of fire. You’re moving around in (a populated area ) with all these refugee villages around and all these clumsy weapons, and you fire in a place like that. To fire with a cannon inside a neighborhood … I felt bad.

“Defensive Shield is a complicated and hysterical story … they constantly spoke in terms of war. It took me two or three months to understand … that I hadn’t returned from a war. I was in some campaign … that was worthless in many senses.

“And all the time there was that terminology of shoot in every direction, at anything that moves, and all the time the word war was repeated. The mood among the fighters, among ourselves, even inside the tank, was as if we were in a time machine, as if we were in our tank in some kind of Six Day [war] … To this day, I go around with the feeling that someone from the outside orchestrated the atmosphere.”

Another veteran said: “When I was a soldier I thought there was logic behind things. When I became a commander I understood that there isn’t really a logic. I understood that most of it was motivated by political reasons and if you have the forces, you find the action … You go into homes, you see people peeing from fear … or little children crying. Not something that shocked me too much at the time but … not too many things shocked me at the time.”

Amira Hass 

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2. Haaretz Monday,

October 04, 2010

YouTube clip shows IDF soldier belly-dancing beside bound Palestinian woman  [to see this disgusting clip, use the link below. D]

A number of IDF soldiers have over the last year faced investigation and penalty for documenting themselves performing questionable acts in front of Palestinian prisoners or while on patrol.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/youtube-clip-shows-idf-soldier-belly-dancing-beside-bound-palestinian-woman-1.317177

By Haaretz Service

A new video uploaded to YouTube shows an Israel Defense Forces soldier wriggling in a belly dance beside a bound and handcuffed Palestinian woman, to the cheers of his comrades who were documenting the incident.

The IDF’s internal investigation department ordered an immediate probe into the matter after the Ch. 10 television program Tzinor Laila caught wind of the clip on the internet. The full clip and the details behind the incident will be broadcast on the show just before midnight on Monday.

A number of IDF soldiers have over the last year faced investigation and penalty for documenting themselves performing questionable acts in front of Palestinian prisoners or while on patrol.

In August, former soldier Eden Abergil raised controversy by posting pictures of herself beside a bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoner on her Facebook page.

Days later, three IDF soldiers were arrested taking photographs of themselves alongside cuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees using their cellphones.

Photographs uploaded by Abergil and labeled “IDF – the best time of my life,” depicted her smiling next to Palestinian prisoners with their hands bound and their eyes covered.

A comment attached to one of the photos of the soldier smiling in front of two blindfold men and posted by one of Abergil’s friends read “That looks really sexy for you,” with Abergil’s response reading: “I wonder if he is on Facebook too – I’ll have to tag him in the photo.”

A comment allegedly added by Abergil to her Facebook page later that wee said that she would “gladly kill Arabs – even slaughter them.”

“In war there are no rules,” Abergil allegedly wrote on the wall of her profile page.

Other soldiers faced disciplinary action over the last year for uploading video of themselves stopping a patrol in the West Bank to dance to American electro-pop singer Kesha’s hit Tick Tock.

The video “Batallion 50 Rock the Hebron Casbah” shows six dancing Nahal Brigade soldiers, armed and wearing bulletproof vests, patrolling as a Muslim call to prayer is heard. Then the music changes and they break into a Macarena-like dance.

The video was uploaded over the weekend, and quickly spread across Facebook pages and blogs before it was removed by those who uploaded it.

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3. Haaretz Monday,

October 04, 2010

Jewish population in Israel is declining

Despite a million immigrants over the past two decades, the percentage of Jews in the Israeli population is declining.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/jewish-population-in-israel-is-declining-1.317042

By Arnon Soffer

I took up Moshe Arens’ suggestion, made on this page last month (“Demographic bogey” ), to take a look at the figures of the Central Bureau of Statistics that he finds so encouraging. And what do I find? For one, that the statistics bureau deals only with data within the Green Line, namely Israel, and data about the Jews of Judea and Samaria. As far as the Arabs in the territories are concerned, we will have to look elsewhere.

What is so encouraging about the figures for 2010? I found that within Israel, Jews constitute 75.5 percent of the population, but that the proportion in 1998 was 79.2 percent, and 81.7 percent in 1988. In other words, the percentage of Jews in the Israeli population is constantly declining, in spite of the influx of about 1 million immigrants over the past two decades.

According to the forecasts, in 2015 the percentage of Jews will decline to 73.5 percent, and will drop to 70.6 percent by 2025. Only in 2030 will there be, for the first time, a miniscule increase in the proportion of Jews, bringing us to 72 percent. What is there here to make Arens happy?

If to this harsh data we add foreign workers, immigrants from Africa, tourists who did not return to their homeland and Palestinians who enter the country and don’t return home, then the percentage of Jews drops to 70 percent of the inhabitants of Israel. What’s so wonderful here? It’s an unpleasant picture.

But in recent months Arens has been preaching in favor of the annexation of Judea and Samaria to Israel (according to him, that is the way to prevent the existence of two states in this narrow space ). Of course, that poses a serious demographic problem. So what does Arens do? He receives data from some American team, which enables him to count how many Arabs live in Judea and Samaria, how many have left, how many are leaving and how many will leave the Land of Israel in the future. He also keeps tabs on the number of births and deaths and asserts “scientifically” that only 1.5 million people live in Judea and Samaria. If we erase 1 million Arabs from the board, then there is a Jewish majority in the Land of Israel; the redeemer has come to Zion and the demographic bogey is dead.

But I don’t rely on American teams, and instead turn to the head of the Civil Administration in the Israel Defense Forces, who reports to me that there are presently about 2.6 million Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria, and in Gaza their number is estimated at 1.5 million. Anyone who doesn’t rely on the IDF can access the figures of the Palestinian statistics bureau, whose last census was held in 2007, under the aegis of representatives of the Norwegian government; their numbers are similar to those of the IDF (after subtracting the residents of Jerusalem who were already counted by the Israeli statistics bureau ). In both cases it turns out that, not counting Gaza or foreign residents, Jews constitute 59 percent of the total population in the Land of Israel. If you do count Gaza and foreign residents, there are somewhat fewer Jews than there are Palestinian Arabs.

There is no choice but to deal with forecasts for the next decade or two, and it turns out that by then the proportion of Jews will have declined to 42 percent. That means an end to the Jewish entity in the Middle East. The demographic bogey, then, is alive and threatening after all, and we still haven’t discussed the density of the population or the issues of internal security that we can expect from a hostile population of millions of people.

There is no choice but to tell Arens that the right-wing Betar ideology on which he was raised went bankrupt a long time ago and it won’t help if he virtually erases 1.5 million Arabs from the territories. They are here. The conclusion is frighteningly simple: Whoever brings about the establishment of a single binational state in the Land of Israel will doom the Jews of Israel to destruction. We, the sane majority who still live here, will not allow anyone to do that.

The writer is a professor emeritus at the University of Haifa.

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4. Denied entry

The daughter of Israel tells the daughter of Jerusalem: You have no place here,,, not with your Palestinian husband ,,, not in the home of your family… You are DENIED ENTRY.  You can no more live with your husband in your city, because we are building a “Jewish state” and President Obama , Sarkouzy and Berlusconi have already blessed our intentions… We are only accepting Jewish immigrants,,, no Palestinians or Americans , You decide. You are not allowed in, because you went for ten years to study and work in the US… because you hold an American Citizenship. Here is your “denied entry” stamp in red on your Navy blue American Passport… go home,,, go to the US…

“E” was born in Jerusalem, the home of her parent’s families. She lived in Jerusalem two thirds of her life and one third in the US were her father’s family had citizenship status granted to her when she was a child. She married “O”, a Jerusalemite too who works and resides and tax payer in Jerusalem on permanent residency status. It was given to him by Israel upon its “law of entry to Israel”!!!…as an immigrant somehow!!! As if he entered Israel!!!

No names are published …fearing the Israeli authorities will black list them both… and the punishment goes on ,,,, the Nakba goes on ,,, the displacement goes on……..and the world is kept silent,,, kept unjust,,, and human rights goes down the garbage bin when it comes to Palestinians….

What do you call this???

Yusef Daher

Executive Secretary

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Jerusalem Inter-Church Centre – JIC

P.O.Box 741, Jerusalem 91000 

Tel :+972 (0)2 627 4534 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +972 (0)2 627 4534      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, 628 9858 ( Ext. 105)

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