Coming to terms with Gush Etzion
The varieties of compassion and national grief.
We are told by those who know, that we must have compassion
for the suffering of others, and indeed we do. The whole world must know by now
of the death of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Sheikh Yassin was head of the
Hamas, a blameless "militant" spiritual
leader, cut down mercilessly by the evil and greedy Zionists, while he was
engaged in the worthwhile pursuit of planning to send more evil Jews to
meet Allah. Everyone mourns the tragic death of the blameless
Rachel Corrie, who came to Gaza to defend Palestinian weapons smuggling tunnels
against the heartless IDF. Who can forget little Muhamed Al-Dura, who was
certainly killed by someone in front of the artful cameras of French
Every Palestinian child, and every politically correct and
compassionate advocate, knows the names of all the Zionist massacres that
ever took place, and of several that did not, and the numbers of countless
victims, real and imaginary. Who does not know of Deir Yassin? What Counterpunch
reader will not be able to tell you that in Jenin, the Zionists murdered 500
innocent Palestinians? No matter that actually 56 Palestinian Arabs
died in Jenin. No matter that most of them were armed guerillas (or
terrorists or "militants" if you like). No matter that these guerillas and
their friends were responsible for murdering over a hundred Israelis in the
previous month. Mohammed abu Nimr, a Palestinian who professes peace, explained
that the Israelis murdered 500 Palestinians in Jenin, while the Palestinians
were only engaged in nonviolent actions. Nobody remembers the names of those
murdered Israelis except their relatives and friends. Mohamed Abu Nimr
is going to bury the fact of their death as well.
You know who Muhamed Al Dura was. Probably you heard of
Rachel Corrie. Do you know Amil Almalich? Michael Ben-Sa'adon? Israel
Samolia? They were killed by a suicide bomber in Eilat just now. In a month, who
will remember their names? Who will remember that they died? It was another
"nonviolent action" of the Palestinians. If Israel decides one day, that it must
take up arms to stop suicide bombing, won't the usual people write about another
500 imaginary Palestinian victims, and entirely ignore the real Israeli victims?
In the pages of Los Angeles Times, the 500 imaginary victims
of the imaginary Jenin massacre were compared by a warped Jewish writer to the
very real Jewish victims of the Nazi SS in the Warsaw Ghetto. It is
not permissible for Jews to discuss the Holocaust in the context of the death of
Jews, as that is part of the "Holocaust Industry," but it is perfectly
fashionable to expound upon the imaginary Holocaust of the Palestinian Arabs.
Without a shred of proof, the hysterical proponents of misguided compassion
insist that the evil Zionists are perpetrating genocide and ethnic cleansing
against the Jews. The facts don't matter to these disciples of Saramago, of Ilan
Pappe and other fiction writers. What matters is emotion.
The required emotion is hatred for Israel and Zionists.
Compassion for imaginary victims is one byproduct, outrage at the imaginary
crimes of the Zionists is another. Never mind that almost all the Palestinian
Arabs are still very much alive, except for the ones who blow themselves up
in our cities and become "martyrs." No less a person than Spanish Nobel Prize
winner Jose Saramago, likewise compared the imaginary victims of Jenin
to victims of the Holocaust. It is fitting, since Senor Saramago is a
writer of fictional novels.
In past years, the Palestinian Authority, in order to educate
its people to accept peace with their Israeli neighbors no doubt, staged a
yearly Nakba ceremony, to commemorate the disaster that overcame the Palestinian
Arabs in 1948, when their leaders induced them to try to exercise their
sovereign right to annihilate the Jewish people. The effort failed, and the
perpetrators suffered. While we Israelis mark our days of mourning with a
minute of silence, Palestinian commemorations seem to require gunfire and
rioting. True pluralists must appreciate the varieties of grief. The
Palestinians made the commemoration of this event into an organized
expression of constant grief and of hate for the Jews. None of us are not
allowed to forget the Nakba in writing, in art exhibits and in demonstrations. A
genuine Nakba industry sprang up, with people bused to demonstrations, carrying
signs of their native towns, keys of their houses. The Nakba must be remembered.
Only the causes of the Nakba, like the cause of the Israeli "massacre" in
Jenin, must never be examined too closely.
When did Israelis, expelled from the old city of Jerusalem and
from Hebron in 1936 and 1948, ever demonstrate with keys to their houses? When
did the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees expelled from Arab lands
demonstrate with keys to their houses?
Palestinian grief is a public affair. It demands compassion.
It is politically correct to have compassion for Palestinian Arabs and to
describe their suffering in the minutest detail.
Israeli grief must be handled differently however. In the
past, Jews were weak. It was not fitting to mourn for Jews, because that was
after all, the fate of Jews. No sense getting upset over the deaths of a few
more unfortunate Jews in Kishinev or Ukraine or wherever, is there? But now the
Jews in Israel are no longer victims. Now it is not fitting to mourn for Jews
because we are strong. We are therefore, "the oppressors." Jews don't get
All you folks who know about Rachel Corrie and Mohamed
al-Dura, here are pictures of evil Zionist colonialist imperialist racist
oppressors killed by "militants" of the Palestinian "resistance." Can you
identify even one of them?
Very probably you heard of Deir Yassin. Every Palestinian
knows this place, where berserk Jewish underground
fighters apparently killed about 100 civilians. Have you heard of
the Lamed Heh? Don't be ashamed. A poll showed that 50% of Israelis never
heard of the Lamed Heh either. The Lamed Heh were thirty
five young men of the Haganah, sent to bring supplies on foot to
Etzion in January of 1948. The story told of them, is
that they were seen by an Arab shepherd on the way, and though they knew he
might inform on them and call out an ambush, they would not kill him. True or
not, this story was repeated to every Israeli child, not as a warning of the
cruelty of the enemy, but as an example of the moral values of Israeli fighters.
The facts that are known for certain: they were ambushed at
dawn and murdered. They were never given a chance to surrender of course.
Their mutilated bodies were photographed by a British soldier, who left his
film in a Jerusalem shop to be developed. He never came to pick it up. About 50
years later, the film was discovered by chance. It was decided that
the pictures were too gruesome to be shown to the public. It is not politically
correct, from the anti-Zionist point of view, to have compassion for Jews.
>From the Zionist point of view, It is demoralizing to show casualties.
It is not politically correct either to mention that
massacre outside Gush
Etzion or the one that took place in May in
Gush Etzion, where a large
number of soldiers (Jewish of course) who had surrendered were mowed down. It is
not politically correct either, to mention the (Jewish of course) civilians were
murdered in Hebron or Jerusalem in 1929 or 1936.
This young man below is Danny Mas. He was the leader of the
Lamed Heh. He probably died because he would not kill an
You never heard of him before, did you? The compassionate
people of Counterpunch and the Nation never heard of him either. Naomi
Klein, who writes fiction about Jewish Nazis in Jenin, never heard of
him. He was a Palestinian martyr, more Palestinian than Izzedin al Qassam
who was a Syrian. But Danny Mas was a Jewish Palestinian, so there are no Danny
Mas terrorist squads named after him.
That is our fault. The fault of Israelis and Jews. Jews never
liked to dwell on unpleasant things. In Jewish history, time was
allowed to obliterate catastrophes. We always wanted to believe that the
previous expulsion, the previous pogrom was the last one in history. Now we are
safe. Those things always happened in the bad old country. Here in this new
place, we are safe. This country after all, is not like Czarist Russia or
medieval Poland or medieval Spain, is it? Nothing bad can happen to Jews
here. This country is modern, moderate, democratic and progressive Weimar
In Israel, or Palestine, news of Arab atrocities was hushed
up. We, the evil "Israel Lobby" don't want that news to get out.
Palestine was, and Israel is, supposed to be a safe haven for the
Jews. If we told people that Jews die here, they would say that Zionism is a
failure. And indeed, when the fiction writers of Counterpunch and the Nation
mention Israeli casualties, they invariably explain that these casualties are
"proof" of the failure of Zionism.
So how can we come to terms with Gush Etzion, with the death
of the Lamed Heh, with the deaths of over a hundred children in the recent
Palestinian "nonviolent actions," with the deaths of three people in Eilat in
the most recent suicide bombing? How are these Jewish deaths different from all
those others, in the other countries, that we don't want to think about?
They are different. Imagine if there had been an IDF in 1942,
and Israeli paratroopers could have rescued the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto,
killing their Nazi guards. No doubt the Jose Saramagos and Mohammed Abu Nimrs of
the world would explain that the Jews committed a massacre in Warsaw,
while the Germans had performed only nonviolent actions. No doubt a Naomi
Klein would explain that Jews ought to have compassion, and that the
Israelis had made her ashamed to be a Jew. But it would still be worth it, no?
Please don't have compassion for Danny Mas and the Lamed Heh,
or for the sisters and wives of these victims or for the parents of those poor
dead children. They don't want your compassion or your pity. These
people deserve your respect and love. They made their sacrifice so
that we Jews could be a free people in our own land. If you are Jewish,
even if you are a writer of anti-Zionist fantasies in the Los Angeles Times,
they died so that you could be free too.
That is how we must come to terms with Gush Etzion.
Copyright by the author 2007. Posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/01/coming-to-terms-with-gush-etzion.html where
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