Cheap and very nasty

On Sunday, January 22nd 1995, my former husband set off early in the morning to drive to Tel Aviv for work together with a neighbour who had asked for a lift as he was starting a month’s reserve duty and needed to get to his base as early as possible. A couple of hours later their route brought them to the Beit Lid junction, where their journey came to a dramatic halt. They had arrived just seconds after a double suicide bombing which killed 21 Israelis and wounded some 69 others. Our neighbour happens to be an army medic and my former husband a Magen David Adom ambulance volunteer, so they lost no time and set to work treating the injured as best they could until the emergency services arrived with proper equipment. A few weeks later, one of the soldiers they had saved from bleeding to death got in touch, together with his parents, to say thank you. There’s a saying in Hebrew that ‘anyone who saves a life saves a whole world’, and everyone who has ever had the privilege of being able to save a life will know just how true that saying is.
On Friday, January 22nd 2010, Seth Freedman took a cheap and very nasty pot shot at Israel’s rescue mission to Haiti in yet another CiF article written in his own Bri-nylon journalistic style. Freedman concluded “It is a damning indictment of Israel that it is prepared only to come to the aid of those who fit certain political critieria, rather than that of every victim crying out for intervention.” Actually, it is a damning indictment of the writer of that sentence that because of his own political criteria he chooses not only to ignore, but to deliberately conceal the many ongoing Israeli projects which have supplied Palestinians with aid, even in the midst of war, both official and unofficial, benefiting people and even animals. Were Freedman’s aims purely humanitarian, he would surely have something to say about the PA’s cynical denial of vital medical care to some of its population. Sadly, Freedman apparently sees no moral quandary in employing his selective viewpoint as a means to push his warped political agenda and solicit praise and agreement from his below the line clones.

22 Jan 2010, 11:57AM
A bold article, Mr. Freedman — you say it as it is. You are indeed a decent human, I’ll give you that.
“Questions should be asked about why Israel ? which has proved itself incredibly capable when it comes to responding to certain humanitarian crises ? is so intransigent about assisting the Palestinians.”
Oh yes — and we all know the answer:
Israel wants as much land as it can lay its hands on, with as few Palestinians as possible living on that land.
KeithSimmonds and DWearing — excellent comments.
There are more decent human beings in this world than at first meets the eye!

22 Jan 2010, 12:11PM
Questions should be asked about why Israel ? which has proved itself incredibly capable when it comes to responding to certain humanitarian crises ? is so intransigent about assisting the Palestinians.
That is what is so depressing: a country and people who are so humane, civilised and sophisticated in one context can be so brutal and inhumane in another.
We humans seem to have the capacity to selectively disregard the humanity of other human beings, look at the history of Slavery, the Nazis and Stalinist Russia.
Israeli Jews of all people should recognise that, but they seem so caught up in their own pain and status as victims, that they seem to be able to ignore the humanity of their Palestinian neighbours. Consequently a solution could be very near but in reality is very far away. Zionism contains the seeds of it’s own destruction.
A very important piece Seth, your best yet.

Like Freedman, there was no shortage of others who also deliberately ignore Israel’s aid to Gaza.

22 Jan 2010, 10:38AM
If, as many claim, Israel’s leaders believe it to be in their long-term interests to slowly strangle Gaza’s economy and destroy its infrastructure as a means to topple Hamas, it is a reprehensible way to behave.
Exactly. It is not a question of Israel failing to help the Palestinians. It is a question of Israel deliberately imposing a humanitarian catastrophe on the Palestinians.
Israel’s policy was summed up by Dov Weisglass, an adviser to Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, earlier this year [2006]. ‘The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger,’ he said. The hunger pangs are supposed to encourage the Palestinians to force Hamas to change its attitude towards Israel or force Hamas out of government
Real humanitarians do not impose “hunger pangs” on other people’s children for political reasons. Hence the suspicion of Israel’s motives in Haiti, suspicions shared even by Israelis who have been involved in such missions themselves.

22 Jan 2010, 4:33PM
Everything you mention are in the overall of Palestinian-Israeli relations nothing more than sticking plaster. How anyone who can consider the history of Palestinian ambulances which have been attacked by the IDF, Palestinian people dying while waiting at roadblocks on the way to hospital can witter on about how great the Israelis are vis-a-vis ill Palestinians has his head in the clouds (being polite).

This thread also produced some prime examples of those pushing the old Zionism/racism equivalence.

22 Jan 2010, 11:32AM
Surely this goes to the very nature of Israel as a zionist/ethnic concept.
As long as Israel is an ethnically driven state (as it currently is – see the quote that it represents world jewry) it will always obssess with maintaining the “right” racial composition. And as long as Israel is worried about racial composition it will be hostile to its immediate neighbours (the people, even if it gets on with the states) because it will want to keep them out.
If there was peace tomorrow Israel would still face a “demographic threat” as Israel has dfeined the term since it would face a wave of economic migrants – it has a successful economy whilst its neighbours don’t. Look at Netanyahu warning of the dangers of African non-Arab migrants recently – how they will “change” Israel. Security concerns cloud the issue when it is to do with Arabs but Netanyahu’s views on African migrants indicates the true reality of what needs to be overcome – in essence a racial view of the world that many subscribe to.
22 Jan 2010, 12:54PM
You’re right about comments being removed.
Israel’s immigration laws are racist and an expression of racial property rights. People like Avner believe the land “belongs” to his “race”, not that it belongs to the citizens of the country regardless of race or religion. Hence “fastracking” as you put it on on racial grounds – though to be honest for you to call it fastracking is disingenuous. You dont get fasttracked immigration into the UK or France on the basis of being the right race. In many countries you used to – the white ausrtalia policy for example or blood citizenship laws. But not in many places any more, certainly not in the developed world. Except Israel which effectively operates a blood citizenship law. Why? Because Israel is racist in its essence. Israel needs to abandon its racial nature if it is to become a normal modern country.
As for the relevance of this to the article, Seth was wondering how Israelis can be humanitarian to people far away yet cruel to people nearby. I was pointing out that the racist essence of Israel is the reason for this since its the people nearby are the ones that pose a “threat” in demographic terms in the eyes of people with racist mindsets. It goes to the core of why Israel behaves the way it does towards the Palestinians.
I don’t doubt the Israelis are doing a good job in Haiti like many others and I don’t doubt that like many others a bit of PR is part of their motivation but frankly who cares in these circumstances when the help is needed. But this article isn’t about Haiti. It’s about why the Israelis treat the Palestinians so badly.
22 Jan 2010, 2:17PM
“There is a veritable cornucopia of blogs and threads for you to rail against Israel (often on CiF).”
This article is about Israel however much you may wish it were not. Not Haiti.
“If you are unable to discuss Haiti and whatever Israeli teams are doing to help people there, could I suggest you go for a lie down?”
Nice try but this piece isn’t about the sterling job the Israeli rescue teams are doing and it is bad taste in the least for propagandists such as yourself to try and milk a natural disaster in order to imporve the image of a state you support. This article is about the treatment of Palestinians.
This article is about the disparity between Israeli treatment of Palestinians and the compassion Israel engages in elsewhere.
“I don’t intend to allow you to set the terms of this discussion.”
No, you intend the discussion to be a puff piece for the state you support. Sorry, but the discussion is about Israeli treatment of Palestinians. Here’s a quote from the author to remind you:
“Questions should be asked about why Israel ? which has proved itself incredibly capable when it comes to responding to certain humanitarian crises ? is so intransigent about assisting the Palestinians.”
I’ve given my view on why that treatment occurs – its the racist conception of Israel (a conception you would I imagine defend to your dieing breath) that is the cause. What is your view on why the treatment occurs? That is what is being discussed here.
“Since the earthquake, more Haitians have likely died from injuries/disease/entombment than Gazans in at least the past 13 months (see the cut-off date?).”
That may be so but it is irrelevant to a discussion on Israeli treatment of Palestinians. Unless you are suggesting that once more Palestinians die they too will become beneficiaries of Israeli aid?
“Well done for showing your concern.”
I’ve shown my concern elsewhere and with my pocket. Have you? Or is the hasbara taking up all your time. And this thread isn’t about Haiti – its about Israel as you well know however much you may wish it wasn’t.
People like you who want to use disasters for political ends make my skin crawl to be honest.

(Some great irony going on there!)

22 Jan 2010, 2:16PM
Careful, you’ll be saying that Zionism and anti-semitism share the same premises and conclusions next.
Now that is an uncomfortable truth.
22 Jan 2010, 3:16PM
“you repeat the same BS even though you were proven wrong in a dozen different CIF threads and you are not contributing to any discussion you just spill some hateful rubbish you heard from someone .”
You’ve never addressed my points on any thread. You simply accuse anyone who disagrees with your belief that you are entitled to engage in racism as, ironically, a racist. You are like an alcoholic HebrewHammer – until you are able to admit your problem you won’t be able to fix it. Your disease is racism.
Ah! The voice of the true racist!

To that end, many countries have passed repatriation laws giving members of the diaspora the right to return to their “kin state”. These include Armenia, China, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Norway, the Philippines, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, Chile and Turkey, and many states of the former Soviet Union.”
Firstly, even if some other states did parctice racist immigration laws, that wouldn’t entitle Israel to – it would just make those states as racist as Israel. Secondly, your list is wrong. As an example, Germany abolished its blood citizenship law – under Gerhard Schroder. If you read my posts you’ll see I point out that most developed states once upon a time operated such a racist approach (I even used the example of “white australia”) but that very few now do. This is because racism is seen as de-legitimate by civilised people in the developed world. Yet Israel continues its racism. Israel and its supporters effectively think Israel should have the unique privilege of indefinitiely existing as a racist state and that anyone who is critical of this is themselves a racist.
“Singling out Israel for doing something that is perfectly legal, and that many other countries do, is demonization”
Not that many countries do it and you are engaging in the classic Zionist propaganda tool – everyone must prove they are not anti-semitic by criticising everyone else in the world ever who has done something wrong first before saying a word about Israel. A viscious attempt to prevent criticism if I saw one. No, I don’t support any other countries operating the kind of racist immigration law Israel has. Yes, I will criticise them – show me a thread where they are being discussed and I would be happy to.

Next; some examples of those pushing the ‘ethnic cleansing’ trope.

22 Jan 2010, 12:10PM
Of I’m not suggesting that that there aren’t any “innocent victims” in Gaza however, they voted in a leadership that hate Israel, the Haitian people didn’t vote for their country to be destroyed.
Why do you insist with comments that are completely irrelevant. Yes, Haiti isn’t attacking Israel, but Haitianers are also not being attacked, occupaied, dispossesed, ethnic cleansed by Israel like the Palestinians are. Palestinian attacks are self defense against Israeli attacks. Do you have something against a people like the Palestinians defending themselves from military agression?
22 Jan 2010, 12:44PM
Israel is the most culturally, sexually and ethnically diverse state in the Middle East, and certainly more than Britain.
Absolute utter b*******.
Further more Israel’s relief effort is a cynical PR stunt designed to deflect attention from their illegal and immoral actions in Gaza.
Why fly half way across the world to help people in Haiti but allow babies to die in Gaza because they have to wait months for permits to travel for treatment.
Israel needs to learn once and for all that they have no moral integrity whatsoever because their policy of ethnic cleansing in Israel and the Occupied territories. Sort out the humanitarian situation in Gaza before you parade your “humanitarian work” elsewhere.
22 Jan 2010, 12:54PM
SPLD 22 Jan 2010, 12:47PM
to make your post make any sense, could you tell us how many Palestinians have had to leave their homes, how many Palestinians have been killed during the time you mention? Could you explain to us why Israel has been treating Palestinians the way that they have been doing, and why they don’t let the people who were ethnic cleansed come back to their homes? Could you explain why Israel doesn’t allow Palestinians to dig wells for more water when they have no water? Or why Israel doesn’t allow food to pass the borders to Gaza?
22 Jan 2010, 1:30PM
A good analysis of the tensions within post-state Zionism in your post as 12:42.
If one looks at both Zionist theory as well as pre- and post-state Zionist practice one can begin to discern Zionism in its essential aspect: the drive towards the expulsion of the Arabs.
It used to be called “transfer” now it is called “seperation” or “convergence” but the content remains the same. It is what, in normal discourse, is called ethnic cleansing. And it is absolutely central to the Zionist project, the chief means in fact through which it can be realised and maintained.
Now, the means for carrying this out have changed and changed again over the decades, for various reason, but all variations can be sumbsumed under one common heading: to Israel, the greatest amount of land with the fewest possible number of Arabs.

The thread was also graced by the presence of some ‘experts’ on the IDF.

22 Jan 2010, 11:05AM
Because when Israel built a field hospital in cast led operation Hamas held the injured from going to the hospital and bombed it .
Because when Trucks are trying to get into Gaza Hamas is bombing the cross’s .
and still Israel is trying to help the Palestinians when they ask for help , but Israel will not give Hamas a free hand to do whatever they want .
Every single post you make boils down to one basic assumption.
Israel has done nothing wrong. It’s all their fault (insert who “they” are as required, it doesn’t really matter)
Is this the same IDF who prevented over the course of days, the Red Cross from rescuing children from houses they’d just shelled, after first having moved those people into those houses? Or maybe you mean the IDF who prevent children’s toys from entering Gaza? Or is it the same IDF who shelled a doctor’s house from roughly a kilometre away, killing most of his family, because they saw some shadows? Or was it the IDF soldiers manning the artillery pieces that fired the white phosphorous shells?
Israel and it’s army of conscripted thugs is in no position to blame Hamas for anything as long as it is far, far worse.
22 Jan 2010, 1:38PM
The Israeli’s have saved lives. That’s good for those lives saved..
They could save thousands more on their own doorstep, and the fact they choose not to is to their eternal shame.
The IDF is a loathsome organisation full of brain washed, head full of religion conscripts who spend the vast majority of their time attacking either their neighbours or refugee camps, oblivious to what they’re actually shooting at because they don’t consider themselves responsible for their own actions. In their heads they’re always the victims regardless of the age of the person they’ve just shot.
The fact that the IDF has done something good for a change doesn’t alter it’s purpose and history one bit. It was to defend Israel, but now it’s an army of oppression enforcing a brutal land grab and ethnic cleansing in an apartheid state.
It should be the target of sanctions, not praise.
22 Jan 2010, 5:56PM
Ive no problem with recognizing the individual efforts of all countries, but before we start ordering the garlands for the IDF we ought to remember what their record actually is.
There is a record of gangsters doing good to gain a degree of respect and community support, all the easier to get up to that which gangsters do.

And in among, some just plain nasty comments.

22 Jan 2010, 3:15PM
Religious nut jobs exists in every religion .
Of course, but only in Israel does a complicit government turn a blind eye to their (very secular) aim of colonising more and more land outside the country’s proper borders.
22 Jan 2010, 3:13PM
If every Palestian home were to fall tomorrow in some sort of choosy earthquake, the IDF bulldozers would be in there in a flash to clear the rubble for nice new condos for Jewish settlers.
But you don’t need mother nature when you can make mini earthquakes with American made and sold gunships and other weapons.
The end result is the same.
22 Jan 2010, 2:50PM
Israel should not only leave Haiti, but the Khazars should pack up and leave Palestine.
22 Jan 2010, 11:09AM
Similarly, Israel and Palestine are supposedly due for an Earthquake themselves. It therefore begs the question. If it hit in the Territories what would Israels response be? Would they lead the way for Humanitarian Assistance. Or would they be more concerned about ‘security issues’ or the safety of the Settlers?

Whilst Freedman and cronies were busy indulging their Israel-bashing habit in the virtual CiF world where Israel is always wrong and Palestinians forever downtrodden and blameless, out in the real world of the Middle East, another newspaper- the Islamic jihad mouthpiece ‘Palestine Today’- was celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the suicide bombing at Beit Lid. But of course Freedman and his fans will be able to ignore facts like these precisely in the same way that they overlook the thousands of tons of aid crossing from Israel into Gaza every month, for nothing must upset their ‘world view’, no matter how inconvenient or how true.

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