Opinion

'Flourishing' Israel Is Drenched in Palestinian Blood

Israelis who look in wonderment at their country's success while their neighbors bleed from sniper fire should seek to find out where they lost their humanity

Mourners hold back a relative of Palestinian Hamdan Abu Amshah, who was killed along Israel's border with Gaza, during his funeral in Beit Hanoun town, in the northern Gaza Strip March 31, 2018.
\ SUHAIB SALEM/ REUTERS

“Never before in history has the Jewish state flourished the way it does today,” Israel Harel wrote in his Haaretz column on Friday, the day after a closure was imposed on some three million Palestinians in the West Bank, which was on top of the two million Palestinians under siege in Gaza. On Friday, when the Jewish state was “flourishing” as never before, Israeli army snipers shot 16 Palestinians to death (all but two of them, at most, unarmed) and wounded more than 700 others. The country, “flourishing” as never before, is also drenched in a lot of Palestinian blood.

Millions are celebrating Passover on the Israeli side while masses of others are burying their dead on the other side. And those Israelis who feel wonderment over how their country is flourishing while their neighbors bleed from sniper fire coming from the Israeli side should seek to find out where they lost their humanity. It may be the height of economic prosperity, but it is happening alongside the depths of moral deterioration.

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This year’s spring bloom has faded in the wake of the Palestinian blood that has flowed on Gaza’s sand dunes. The night of the Passover seder, which for years has been accompanied by a closure of the territories, was colored black. Israelis were reading in the Passover Haggadah how cruelly they were treated by the goyim thousands of years ago, while on the other side, the goyim were sitting and counting their dead – online – killed at the hands of the victims of the past.

And according to Roni Daniel, military correspondent of the Israel Television News Company, the scenario was even more absurd: The Israeli soldiers who shot at Palestinians during the day, sat down to a seder meal that evening and read the Haggadah. It would be interesting to know what God they pray to.

It’s very strange how it has escaped the attention of the Israeli media – which manage to reach as far as the bedroom of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s son Yair – that the residents of the Gaza Strip are subject to a horrible blockade, that two million human beings are living in the largest prison in history, and that it is actually because of the inhumane conditions in which they live that all of the fanatics rise to leadership positions there.

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How can the media accept the military’s version of events, claiming that most of those killed were “terrorists”? It’s strange. “Terrorists” without Qassam rockets? Without explosive belts? Without snipers? If they are there without the means to kill, what makes them terrorists? Please note: Every Palestinian body taking a walk on the Palestinian side that meets an Israeli bullet is a terrorist. The innocent bullet of “our forces” only hits hostile Palestinians who are up to no good.

In addition, it is claimed that the video clip from over the weekend that shows a young Palestinian being shot in the back while running at a distance from the border fence is a Palestinian fabrication. The list of Palestinian “fabrications” is already endless. It extends from the “alleged” killing in the year 2000 of a young Gazan, Mohammed al-Dura, who according to an Israeli army investigation is still alive, to Mohammed Tamimi, the cousin of West Bank teenager Ahed Tamimi, who sustained a head injury from a fall off a bicycle rather than from Israeli army weapons fire, and now to this weekend’s events. It’s all lies, lies, lies and the Israeli media simply repeat it.

Gaza footage shows protester shot in the back while running away from Israeli border

Meanwhile, strange things are happening on the ground. Like the saying in Israel that only the right wing can make peace, it can also be said that the popular, nonviolent struggle that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seeks apparently can only be translated by Hamas into the language of action. Abbas thinks the popular, nonviolent struggle is carried out in negotiating rooms, but he’s forgetting that it also requires masses taking to the streets. Today Hamas is implementing the second part. Many have said, correctly, that this kind of struggle is the occupation forces’ worst nightmare.

And let’s conclude with the left-wing Israeli political camp. Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg should be congratulated for her strong criticism of the Israeli army’s light trigger finger, as she put it, as well as her demand for an official inquiry into the handling of the events on the Gazan border. Israel’s right wing has viciously attacked her, as “enemies of the people” are attacked in totalitarian countries.So there are situations in which one should not apologize. Yes, when you adhere to a proper moral position, don’t apologize. If Meretz hadn’t existed, it would have had to have been invented.