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Palestine Through An Israeli’s Eyes
Global Fightback has been quite critical of Israeli policy, and in the interests of fairness and objectivity we are publishing this Q & A session with Netanel Kaufman. Netanel is an Israeli citizen, and therefore has first-
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The Palestinian Crisis Through The Eyes Of An Israeli
Posted by: Globalfightback at 07:56, August 17 2015.
Thank you for agreeing to provide some insights, from an insider's point of view, about the situation within Israel regarding relations with the Palestinian territories. To begin with, I would like to ask how, from your perspective, everyday life in Israel is affected by the hostilities with the Palestinians. How does it compromise day to day life, and is there any amicable interaction between Jewish people and Palestinians living within Israel?
The conflict affects our life in a major way, it’s without a doubt the biggest issue discussed in the street or in the Knesset (our parliament), we have between 3-
The second way it influences our life is the money and the manpower that it requires, our army uses about 20% of the government’s fund, a huge chunk, and thousands of soldiers have to serve merely to keep the safety of the Israelis, dozens of fatal attacks are being thwarted by the army every week, Israel has a top priority interest to finish this conflict but all efforts ended up failing.
There are interactions to try to meet the other side but it’s very small and keeps getting smaller with the time as the sides get more radical. Today in the TV in Nablus, Ramallah and Gaza, kids are being told to go and kill all the Jews and when they grow up there is no way to make them meet a Jew just to see the other. Of course after years of terror attacks there aren’t also a lot of Israelis that would be happy to meet Palestinians, one example is very fresh and good -
That certainly doesn’t sound very hopeful. So, how did you discover the Global Fightback site?
I happened to see your post about the four kids who were killed by Israel a year ago [on the Global Fightback Facebook page, Ed.], I read some information about that, (and the fact that I speak Hebrew really helped me) and apparently the IDF has no blame in this sad incident. therefore with all the respect, I had to recommend you to check facts before posting and shaming people (or States) for things they have no responsibility in, after all you have now 108 likes (and counting), and that means 108 people who you have deceived, I’m sure that’s not your goal.
Although we have indeed shared the post you mention on the Global Fightback Facebook page I am guessing the 108 likes were for the original post on Jews For The Right Of Palestinian Return. Please provide me with a link to a story that objectively proves that the IDF were blameless and I will consider removing the post from the page.
I’m glad to find out that you are actually talking out of empathy to the casualties and not out of hate for Israel, not like a big part of the people that I get to talk to often.
Netanel, it's the objective truth that is important, lies will advance the world nowhere. Unfortunately, there are lies everywhere and your own country isn't actually innocent of disinformation. I am not anti-
I believe you, and that’s why I sent you this message in the first place, because from looking at your page people can see that you are acting out of empathy and not anti-
I’m not going to deny that my country hides information, every country in the world does that in order to protect itself, but to judge a situation is always picturing yourself in the position of each side, now picture yourself as a soldier of your country, going to fight a terror organization that declares not once that the goal is killing every Jew in Israel, not freeing Gaza along (which happened already in 2005 for 2 years) but continuing and killing every single Jew between the river and the sea, and they’ll do everything to make it happen, they will use children as human shield* and kill themselves if necessary (the motto of Hamas is "we love death as much as Jews love life"). Add to this the story of the corpses in 2004** and you can understand that we are not fighting an army, we fight radical religious fanatics who don’t care about nothing, including their children's lives, and want one thing only -
** In 2004 an Israeli APC was bombed by Hamas and the corpses were taken by the terrorists who presented and played with them proudly in the streets in Gaza.
I have now read the IDF article that you provided the link for and it does seem as if the deaths of these children was an unfortunate accident. I will add your link to the story in the timeline.
With regard to the rest of your comments, it does seem to me that Israel, over the course of the last few decades, has to a large extent earned its unpopularity around the world, such as Israel’s constant ignoring of UN mandates with regard, for example, to nuclear non-
In an ideal world there would, in my opinion, be no countries and no borders, for we are ultimately all one race and, despite the fact that many in Israel would probably not agree, one tribe. But such a world is not likely to materialise for a very long time, if ever, and in the here and now we have to do what we can within the constraints of the current situation. This involves compromise and open-
This vision of one big tribe with no countries, borders or religions (this one I add from John Lennon’s song) is magical but yet, as you mentioned -
You brought 3 examples of "injustice" that Israel does, let me start by refuting them:
1. Nuclear weapons:
When David Ben-
1967 is a year that changed Israel completely. Since 1964 the Egyptians did a lot of acts to tease Israel and to drug it into a war, one of them is very famous -
in 1973 Egypt and Syria (Jordan said there is no more hope to destroy Israel and didn’t join), backed up again by a lot of Muslim countries, surprised Israel with a massive attack in Yom Kippur, the annual holy day for Jews. Until this day people remember this as the biggest trauma in our history, the Arabs caught Israel off guard and did a massive damage to Israel, Israel was the closest to being vanished than ever before or after, but miraculously survived.
1991, Iraq bombs Israel with no reason, just because USA attacked them to bring Saddam down, Israel didn’t respond.
2015, Iran is going to have a nuclear weapon that will be used as they repeatedly say to "destroy Israel".
Name one country in the human's history that in 67 years suffered so many threats to its existence, one! Don’t you think that after all this we deserve something to assure us that the 1973 war will not happen again? That in the next time that someone will try to make us disappear we will have something that will frighten them? Israel has nuclear abilities for more than 50 years (according to foreign sources)!! When did it ever threaten to use it against someone? Never! because unlike North Korea, India, Russia or the USA we have those abilities to save ourselves when the day will come that the enemy will try again to kill us all. We don’t want it, we need it -
2. The building in the West Bank:
Before 1967 the West Bank was Jordanian, in 1967 Israel took it, unlike the other lands Israel took in this war (Sinai and Golan's heights) the West Bank was never claimed by Jordan -
Now the question is who owns the West Bank? Jordan doesn’t want it back, Israel has not recognized it as Israel yet, it seems to be no one's land.
Those poor people (and I really mean it -
a. It will make those 1.5-
b. The world's reaction.
The policy of Israel is not clear about this land, something that makes people angry, but one thing is sure that this land belongs to no one, so Jews come and build there, Arabs come and build there, since Jordan gave up on those lands there is no record of what field belongs to whom, it’s not an illegal settlement -
Now the second reason why we can build there, and that is the most vital point in this situation in the Middle East, the main claim actually as I see it -
70 years after that the Jews returned and built it again, it wasn’t a perfect country as the first empire that David and his son Solomon made, we still had some duties to Babylon and the empires that came after, but nevertheless it was a country that lasted for 580 years with Jewish regime.
After 2000 years here we are again, building the third Jewish state, the West Bank is called Judea and Samaria from the simple reason that the first people ever to inhabit those places were the Jews! Jerusalem was there a lot before "el kuts", this is our land from the dawn of history, and we are just claiming what we deserve, what is ours.
P.S. the story how the second one was destroyed is one of the most famous and important in the Judaism’s history and actually -
3. The "Palestinian country":
That is so simple, you see, although they want us to accept their "country" they still refuse to recognize us as the Jewish state, they still have in their goals "killing every Jew between the river and sea". They have a famous quote that they keep on saying in their mosques:
"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him".
How can I give a legitimacy to a country who wants to kill me just for who I am?? They don’t want to live in peace! They want to kill me! They don’t think with the same logic as you and I think, they are crazy anti-
Having answered your three questions I want to add another thing:
Jews have been living in the land of Israel for more than 3000 years, there were good times like David and Solomon's or those days right now, and there were bad times like 200-
I hope that I answered all of your questions, it took me a few hours to put it into words, there still a lot that hasn’t been said, but I think I covered the majority of it, if you have any other questions -
Ah, and here is a terrific 6 minute video to help demonstrate the story on a nut shell:
I must stress that I don’t actually believe that a world without borders is impossible, just improbable in the near future – and it certainly isn’t going to happen in our lifetimes. However, people alive today can perhaps help to build stepping stones to such a future world.
Although you have made a very good case for Israel’s policies I have to say that there are conflicting views on the internet from those sympathetic with the Palestine cause, and I suspect that the real truth lies somewhere in between these views. For example, having watched the YouTube link you sent I feel I should draw your attention to this one, which shows a somewhat differing point of view – and surprisingly, from a Jewish source:
I cannot dispute your claim that the Arab nations were very hostile to the creation of Israel during the 1947 UN Partition Plan, and I can’t help thinking, looking at the patchwork-
"In a speech at the General Assembly Hall at Flushing Meadow, New York, on Friday, 28 November 1947, Iraq’s Foreign Minister, Fadel Jamall, included the following statement: Partition imposed against the will of the majority of the people will jeopardize peace and harmony in the Middle East. Not only the uprising of the Arabs of Palestine is to be expected, but the masses in the Arab world cannot be restrained. The Arab-
Perhaps, in view of the above words, the UN, possibly influenced by Zionist lobbying, was too hasty to draw up the borderlines that defined the state of Israel, and maybe both Israelis and Palestinians would have been better served if things had been delayed for months or even years until both sides had reached an amicable settlement. It may have been that much bloodshed could have been avoided and thousands of lives saved.
Although you say that, prior to this Partition Plan, the Arabs in the area hadn’t defined themselves as Palestinians, to my knowledge the term Palestinian is very old, dating back about 3,000 years, and is therefore more or less as old as the term Jews. Therefore, both peoples seem to have an ancient heritage and a presence in the region.
I take a lot of the points you have made regarding the various aggressions of Arab nations such as Egypt and Syria, and accept that these actions would have been immensely worrying to Israel’s leaders at the time, but these facts don’t convince me that Israel should have any disposition to totally ignore UN mandates with regard to nuclear non-
The whole Middle East situation is obviously immensely complex, and I accept that a native such as yourself is likely to have a lot more knowledge of the area and its history than myself. However, there have to be reasons why your views, and those of the Israeli government, are not shared by so many people around the world. Some of it might be down to anti-
You asked a great question, I’ve thought till today that the answer is well known and I’m glad you brought it up.
Let me take you back again 2000 years ago to the second period of the Jewish country in the land of Israel. As I wrote before there were (according to history findings) two of those, after the Romans destroyed the second state they tried to rule over the Jews with brutal laws against the religion that led to the rebellion of Bar Kokhva, a famous story that every Jew would know. The rebellion was very hard and long, and eventually the Romans suppressed it after huge loses for both sides. As an act of disconnecting the Jews from the land the romans changed the name to "Palestina" and banned any religious act.
That is what started the hardest era for the Jewish people, most of the Jews were exiled, the country was demolished and only 2000 years after they came back.
Now when we've found out what is the name "Palestina" let’s find out who are the people that call themselves "Palestinians":
During those 2000 years lots of empires ruled the land, the Muslims started to appear around the 18th and the19th century when the Ottomans (Turkish) had it, during those centuries historians tell about big waves of immigrants from Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt and also a few Jews came since in this time Muslims and Jews were quite allies. In the end of the 19th century Theodor Hertzel established Zionism and huge waves of Jews started to come, that changed the balance in the area, because in this time the big Muslim empire was the ruler, the Muslims in Israel enjoyed better conditions than the Jews.
Mark Twain was an American author that went to travel the world, and when he came to Israel in 1869 he describes the land in his book as empty deserts, no one that took care of the ills and the cripples, and generally as a land with no one, Hertzel said it then as "people with no land to a land with no people".
When the British came in 1917 they promised to establish a Jewish colony in the land of Palestina (Balfour statement), the Arabs didn’t claim for anything since they were not a nation with any definition. That brings us to the big Arabic rebellions in 1926 and 1936 (the Arabic rebellion and not the Palestinian rebellion, again, they were just hobos that lived in tents and small villages). After that was the holocaust that brought thousands of Jews to Israel, May 14, 1948, and the continuation we already discussed above. In the whole process nobody knew what Palestinians are, since the hobos who lived in the villages and the tents that Twain describes did not define themselves whatsoever. (Btw, until today most of the people in Gaza are called "El-
For conclusion, there is no connection between the name "Palestina" that the Romans gave to the land of Israel and the Arabs that are living today in Israel, it’s a conspiracy that’s meant to "kill all the Jews between the river and the sea" as lots of "Palestinian" leaders keep saying.
So, just as a final point, would it be correct to conclude that you and, in your opinion, most other Israelis, would support the idea of both Israelis and Palestinians living side by side on their own land, provided that both sides and their allies in other countries accepted such a peaceful co-
Of course, after all we all want to live a better life, the conflict took from us a lot of blood, agony and grief, and we all dream about the day it will end. It’s getting harder and harder to believe that we will be able to live side by side with those Arabs specifically, but the hope will always keep us working for a better future, 50 years ago it was hard to imagine us living in peace with Egypt and here we are, the nature of the people is peace and hopefully one day it will happen.
Netanel, thank you very much for your frank and informative opinions. If I can get somebody representing the Palestinian point of view to write down their thoughts sometime in the future I would do that too, and perhaps by looking at both sets of views we can find some common ground. In the meantime I am thankful for your offer of publishing your thoughts, which have provided myself and hopefully other readers with some new insights into the Israeli-
Readers are invited to express their own views on the dialogue above. Please keep your comments respectful of all parties involved.
Tagged as: israel, palestine, middle east,
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Please note that this interview will shortly be incorporated into a larger series of Question and Answer articles entitled Grass Roots, interviewing people from all around the globe who have something to say about the world based on their own knowledge and/or local perspective. Contact us via the Contact page if you want to take part.
Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:57:25
Anthony, I find your reminiscences interesting and your comments very insightful. So many of us are coming to a similar conclusion about the existence of this secretive cabal that seeks to control us (and to a considerable degree they have already succeeded, even before the likes of Monsanto gain control over the food supply and international treaties such as TTP and TTIP provide them with immunity from the constraints of democratically voiced opposition). I'm guessing from what you've said that during your internet research you've come across the story of the Rothschilds. They are certainly a very secretive family, and although I wouldn't treat everything in the extensive archive linked below as gospel it does ask some very searching questions, both as to actually who controls our planet and, as you say, how much of our written history we should believe. My own view with regard to the Jews is similar to yours, and it is reflected in the introductory paragraphs at the link below: that, like the rest of us, they are largely the puppets of a hidden cabal. The linked article goes even further, claiming that most of the Jewish people in high places today are not genuine Jews, and that the Zionism they preach does not conform to the teachings of Judaism. It further paints a chilling picture that suggests that the many Jews who were exterminated in the Nazi death camps were, like Hitler himself, mere pawns in a wider, and very sinister game. It's important that humanity discovers the genuine truths surrounding these affairs, and that a sanitised version of events is not what future generations inherit; otherwise the future they build will be founded on lies, and its foundations will not withstand the onslaught of time. People reading this should cut, paste and archive the information in the link below, because already a more detailed timeline at iamthewitness.com appears to have been removed from the internet. http://www.rense.com/general88/hist.htm
Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:55:07
After long friendships with Jews, without their race ever being raised as a matter of any real concern or dispute, I do not believe myself to be anti –Semitic, in fact I am not even sure what the words signify. What I am sure of is that Jews, like the rest of us, are subjected to propagandistic persuasion which in the presence of real or imagined threats can induce them to support ideas and behaviour that they would otherwise reject. I am also of the opinion that our two world wars were contrived and avoidable and that Hitler was himself a victim of engineered circumstances as well as of his own ego. Englishmen of all people should be able to confess to the fact that one learns little about a nation’s history from its own history books. Until long after the WW2 air attacks upon England, of which I have some childhood memories. I was of the opinion that I understood the nature of that war and the bestiality of Mr Hitler who was totally responsible for all of it. Many years later when flying on a business trip across Germany with older, senior colleagues, we looked out of the windows. Both the men with me had served in the Royal Air Force, both were kindly, likeable types who, as a junior, I was pleased to be with. As they looked they reminisced upon the fact that the last time they had witnessed this city at night was during the allied raids. “It was a just sheet of flames” they agreed with each other, the semi-
Thu, 21 Jan 2016 23:48:29