The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror

The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror.

I think a lot of people who realize that the occupation is wrong also realize that the Palestinians have the right to resist it – to use violence against Israelis, even to kill Israelis, especially when Israel is showing zero willingness to end the occupation, which has been the case since the Netanyahu government took over (among other times in the past).

But people don’t want to say this, especially right after a terror attack like this last one that killed eight Israelis near Eilat. And there are lots of good reasons for this reticence, such as: You don’t want to further upset your own countrymen when they are grieving, you don’t want to say or write anything that could be picked up by Israel’s enemies and used as justification for killing more of us. (These are good reasons; fear of being called a traitor, for instance, is a bad reason.)

But I think it’s time to overcome this reticence, even at the cost of enflaming the already enflamed sensitivities of the Israeli public, because this unwillingness to say outright that Palestinians have the right to fight the occupation, especially now, inadvertently helps keep the occupation going.

When we say that the occupation is a terrible injustice to the Palestinians, but then say that Palestinian terror/resistance is a terrible injustice to Israel, we’re saying something that’s patently illogical to anyone but a pacifist, and there aren’t many pacifists left, certainly not in Israel. The logical, non-pacifist mind concludes that both of those statements can’t be true – that if A is hurting B and won’t stop, then B damn sure has the right to hurt A to try to make him stop. But if everybody, not only the Right but the Left, too, is saying that B, the Palestinians, don’t have the right to hurt A, the Israelis, then the logical mind concludes that Israel must not be hurting the Palestinians after all, the occupation must not be so bad, the occupation must not be hurting the Palestinians at all – because if it was, they would have the right to hurt us back, and everybody agrees that they don’t. So when they shoot at us or fire rockets at us, it’s completely unprovoked, which gives us the right, the duty, to bash them and bash them until they stop – and anybody who tries to deny us that right doesn’t have a leg to stand on, so we’re just going to keep right on bashing them. And when the Palestinians complain about the occupation, we Israelis can honestly say we don’t know what they’re talking about.

This, I’m convinced, is how the Left’s ritual condemnations of terror are translated in the Israeli public’s mind – as justification for the occupation and an iron-fist military policy.

But if, on the other hand, we were to say very forthrightly what many of us believe and the rest of us suspect – that the Palestinians, like every nation living under hostile rule, have the right to fight back, that their terrorism, especially in the face of a rejectionist Israeli government, is justified – what effect would that have? A powerful one, I think, because the truth is powerful. If those who oppose the occupation acknowledged publicly that it justifies Palestinian terrorism, then those who support the occupation would have to explain why it doesn’t. And that’s not easy for a nation that sanctifies the right to self-defense; a nation that elected Irgun leader Menachem Begin and Lehi leader Yitzhak Shamir as prime minister.

But while I think the Palestinians have the right to use terrorism against us, I don’t want  them to use it, I don’t want to see Israelis killed, and as an Israeli, I would do whatever was necessary to stop a Palestinian, oppressed or not, from killing one of my countrymen. (I also think Palestinian terrorism backfires, it turns people away from them and generates sympathy for Israel and the occupation, so I’m against terrorism on a practical level, too, but that’s besides the point.) The possibility that Israel’s enemies could use my or anybody else’s justification of terror for their campaign is a daunting one; I wouldn’t like to see this column quoted on a pro-Hamas website, and I realize it could happen.

Still, I don’t think Hamas and their allies need any more encouragement, so whatever encouragement they might take from me or any other liberal Zionist is coals to Newcastle. What’s needed very badly, however, is for Israelis to realize that the occupation is hurting the Palestinians terribly, that it’s driving them to try to kill us, that we are compelling them to engage in terrorism, that the blood of Israeli victims is ultimately on our hands, and that it’s up to us to stop provoking our own people’s murder by ending the occupation. And so long as we who oppose the occupation keep pretending that the Palestinians don’t have the right to resist it, we tacitly encourage Israelis to go on blindly killing and dying in defense of an unholy cause.

And by tacitly encouraging Israelis in their blindness, I think we endanger their lives and ours, their country and ours, much more than if we told the truth and got quoted on Hamas websites.

There’s no time for equivocation anymore, if there ever was. The mental and moral paralysis in this country must be broken. Whoever the Palestinians were who killed the eight Israelis near Eilat last week, however vile their ideology was, they were justified to attack. They had the same right to fight for their freedom as any other unfree nation in history ever had. And just like every harsh, unjust government in history bears the blame for the deaths of its own people at the hands of rebels, so Israel, which rules the Palestinians harshly and unjustly, is to blame for those eight Israeli deaths – as well as for every other Israeli death that occurred when this country was offering the Palestinians no other way to freedom.

Writing this is not treason. It is an attempt at patriotism.

There is nothing to add. I fully agree! “Writing this is not treason. It is an attempt at patriotism!” Thank you, Larry!

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22 responses to “The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror

  1. I attempted to post this comment twice in your latest Jerusalem Post column, ‘Rattling the Cage: Earthquake weather’
    By LARRY DERFNER
    08/24/2011 22:12
    but it was removed on refreshing the page.

    >In my view, things are continuing to unfold along the lines recorded in the Kansas City Times, September 13, 1976.

    Google with the quotation marks
    “From the Revolutionary Spirit of ’76 to the Revolutionary Spirit of ’11″<

    It seems people have a Fear of The Truth and don't want to face it.

  2. I agree that most Israelis fear to face the truth. But, just like in other times and other places, one day they will have to face it. Soon, I believe. One day, Israelis will have to wake up, and they will look at each other and see what monsters they have become.

    Besides that, I think you misunderstood my post. I, Alice, re-posted this from Larry Defners blog.I have nothing to do with the Jerusalem Post or any other newspaper.

    Regards!

    • Thanks for clarifying this, Alice. I thought this was Larry Derfner’s personal Blog. My comment was moot in any case, since the Jerusalem Post re-instated my comments on Larry’s article.

      Perhaps you might have a comment on the latest article I wrote in my Blog yesterday,

      THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: From 19/11 to 9/11

      Click on my user name and it will bring you to it.

  3. Pingback: Read the post for which Derfner was fired: ‘The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror’

    • It is indeed Larry Defners original post. If it has been removed and if he has been fired (!!!), then I’m really glad I re-posted it!

  4. Pingback: Read the post for which Derfner was fired: ‘The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror’ | Eseaf

  5. Pingback: Jerusalem Post Fires Columnist Over Comments Justifying Palestinian Terrorism - NYTimes.com

  6. Pingback: Jerusalem Post fires Larry Derfner over blog post « Foreign Policy 4 U

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  11. Pingback: Israeli Columnist Is Fired for Writing That Palestinian Terrorism Is ‘Justified’ « Irangardy

  12. Ehud Barak once said “If I was a Palestinian, I would be a terrorist too”.

  13. What we may very well need most probably differs from what we would tend to expect. As a matter of personal opinion, I believe rewriting, or to alternatively phrase it, elaborating on the existing law of war will have the most effect on the interactions between occupiers. The U.N. has very little practical weight, but a moral weight surely. In this case, if the law clearly demonstrated the right to self defense without the loopholes for theatrical accusations on part of zionists, it would bring some semblance of good intention back on the table.

    Of all the things that disgust me, a recent article by the BBC proves most disturbing. It reads ” Israeli Army may Arm Settlers in Lieu of Statehood Bid”… as if settlers do not already arm themselves beyond reasonable standards of so called civilians. The automatic weapons that Hamas may not import into Gaza, the grenade launchers, the body armor, and heavens, the CEMENT they use to build their contemptible settlements, all denote these so called civilians as more than such. When the U.S. invades a country, they typically refer to such people as insurgents/terrorists.

    I do not in any way condone the targeting of civilians , but to sit by without pointing out the double standard of shooting science project – esque rockets at occupiers who not only defy the law of war by building housing on disputed territory, but squat on it with weapons, well I can see where fault lies…

    The leader of Hamas at one point in time made the issue even more abundantly clear the Ehud Barak’s ” I would have joined the terrorists” gem.

    ” Why don’t you provide us with helicopters, tanks, and best of all, gps guided missiles. We’ll see then how many civilians we hit.” … in retrospect, it seems like the Israeli Army can not manage the same feat – as a matter of choice.

  14. Terrific review! This is truly the type of information that needs to be shared around the internet. Shame on the Yahoo for not positioning this article higher!

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    • Thank you! But you know, many of us Bloggers share articles or just see and post the same things… That’s good, because this way more people will read these articles or see these videos!

  16. On July 22, 2009 I read an article in the Jerusalem Post I considered so significant as to understanding the Israeli mindset toward Palestinians I posted it on CNN iReports. I’m glad I did since the the article disappeared.

    So when exactly did we go nuts? With depressing regularity, our leaders say the dumbest, most vile things. And we, the public, look up at this bloated, cacophonous monstrosity of a government and think, “Everything is OK.”

    Take our public security minister, for example. This June, while reviewing antidrug operations in southern Tel Aviv, Yitzhak Aharonovitch praised an undercover cop for his grungy appearance, remarking that he looked an “Araboush.” Now for those who don’t speak bigot, Araboush is an anti-Arab epithet on par with, say, Jewboy or Hymie. In any sane Western democracy, an official caught using such language could kiss his career good-bye. But not so here.

    When the media called out Aharonovitch for the slur, all he had to do was apologize, then assure us that the comment did not represent his worldview. And we moved on because no one who belongs to Yisrael Beiteinu could possibly be racist, right? I mean, this is the same party that sought to institute loyalty oaths, ban Israeli Arab political factions and prohibit commemoration of the nakba – the defeat and dispossession of the Arab community during the War of Independence.

    Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Yisrael Beiteinu, has even suggested disenfranchising Israeli Arabs by handing over their towns to a future Palestine. Oh, and there was that stray comment about bombing the Aswan Dam in Egypt.

    Again, in a normal Israel, Lieberman would be left to rant on a soapbox next to the meat-is-murder wackos and the Raelians. But what do we do with such a dangerous demagogue? Make him foreign minister, of course! For the past couple of months, Lieberman has been serving as our voice abroad. Well, sort of. Lieberman is, in fact, so toxic that Defense Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres have to pick up much of the diplomatic slack.

    WHAT’S STRANGE is the fact that few people here seem troubled by this. Maybe it’s because we expect so little of our politicians that nothing shocks us anymore. After all, we do have a housing minister who backs Jim Crow-style segregation.

    Lecturing the Israel Bar Association earlier this month, Housing Minister Ariel Attias said that he sees it as his duty to keep Arabs out of Jewish communities in the North. Mixed towns are dangerous, he said: “Look at what happened in Acre.” Yes, let’s look at what happened in Acre. Last Yom Kippur eve, a pack of youths attacked an Arab motorist after he had driven into a mostly Jewish neighborhood. The assault then sparked an intercommunal riot that engulfed the city.

    None of this, though, matters to Attias. He doesn’t care about healing wounds; he just wants the Arabs hemmed in and out of sight. And we treat Attias like he only speaks for himself, like what he does is happening on the moon.

    Of course, not every minister in the government is prejudiced; some are just idiots. A case in point is Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz. He actually thinks that the future of Zion can be secured by changing Arabic place names on highway signs.

    Then there is Yossi Peled. This minister-without-portfolio suggests that we boycott US defense contractors and sell arms to nations not on the White House’s BFF list to register our displeasure with Barack Obama’s Mideast policies.

    Apparently, Peled wants Israel to risk $3 billion a year in foreign aid, lucrative defense projects with the US and superpower backing at the UN Security Council to keep on building in the settlements.

    A sign of still deeper dysfunction, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently told the Americans that he’d remove illegal outposts if the US took a harder line on Iran. In other words, Bibi would enforce our own laws only if first paid a political bribe.

    NOW, TO be fair, we’ve had crummy ministers before. The Bibi government is just the reductio ad absurdum of our political system – a fractured partyocracy that panders to ideological sectors, not real communities.

    See, there’s no such thing as an Israeli citizen. There are just haredi voters, secular voters, Arab voters, etc., and we all vote as if no one else existed in the country. Likewise, the politicians act as if they were responsible to no one but their parties.

    Accordingly, the system encourages behavior that borders on madness as even the center must pay homage to the radicals. Indeed, if Netanyahu were to fire Lieberman, Attias and Co., their parties would bring down his government.

    The only way to end this farce is through regional representation. By dividing the country into voter districts, we can make each and every Knesset member beholden to the people. A first-past-the-poll system in each district would likewise temper extremist positions as assorted factions would need to band together to win.

    Unfortunately, our current crop of “public servants” has no interest in fixing the status quo. So to make a change, we will need to rally from the bottom up. If we don’t, we may wake up one day to find a country not worth defending.
    From yesterday´s Jerusalem Post by Eric Schechter
    The writer is a freelance military reporter based in Tel Aviv.

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443861883&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    Go to the link and see for yourself the hatred this thought provoking article commenting on the mentality of Israel´s government leaders generated. READ THE COMMENTS.

    ARMAGEDDON the word, is derived from Har Mediggo, a physical place that was in the Roman Province of Palestine when the Revelation was given 2000 years ago. Today, Har Mediggo/Armageddon is located in Israel i.e. the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
    Reading not only the comments for this article, but so many others in the Jerusalem Post. Armageddon the word has a great probability of turning into Armageddon the world reality.

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-302362

  17. Alice, I just read your personal story from the heart. God strengthen you in dealing with such ungodly people.

    If the great Jewish Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were alive Today, speaking what they record in the Torah they would be called anti-Semite self-hating Jews and animals too, so take heart and believe in God.

    I have had a different from the norm Life experience since I came alive to the God of Abraham on February 1, 1975. I record some of that unusual experience in my Blog. Click on my name to see it.

    Shalom!

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