Thursday, July 17, 2008

Still Shut Down

The fellow whose name isn't Ibrahim has just unilaterally reactivated this blog, so I thought I'd remind you all that it's an inactive blog, not an active one. As I wrote at the time:

Judeo-Arab Conspiracy has been active less than two weeks, but we're shutting down. The reason for this is that I (Yaacov) raised doubts about Ibrahim's identity, and Ibrahim did not allay them.

I explained my motivation for inviting Ibrahim to join me in this exercise here. Already then we had a built-in problem, in that my identity is clear and transparent, and Google will tell you all about me, while Ibrahim ibn Yusuf is not the person's real name. I was willing to accept this, since I know from experience how hard it is, perhaps even impossible, to find an Arab willing to engage an Israeli in dialogue between equals. Israelis who start by beating their breasts are alright, but not the ones who are comfortable with their country. Apparently, Arabs who talk to that sort put themselves in danger in their own communities.

In my eagerness to engage in this dialogue I was obviously not careful enough. I asked Ibrahim some questions, and decided to accept his word when he responded. Perhaps this was a leftover from my "peace camp" years: we like to assume that the folks facing us are like us, their motivations are similar to ours, the only difference being that they're on the other side of the argument. Anyway, I didn't see any real danger in setting off on this joint project, so set off we did.

The next thing that happened was what anyone who understands the Internet could have foreseen: I began to get responses from readers who thought they knew who Ibrahim really is, readers whom I otherwise would never have encountered. Some of them supplied me with telephone numbers, creating a deeper level of contact than mere e-mails.

When I confronted Ibrahim with the information I was getting, he refrained from disproving it. Faced with the likelihood that there is nothing particularly Arab about him, I don't see how we can continue blogging at a place that defines itself as "A joint blog of a Jewish Zionist and an Arab Anti-Zionist".

The Challenge:

I continue to believe that Israel's positions (though not every single action) are generally defensible, and am willing to stand up to anyone who feels otherwise. Should there be anyone out there who wishes to continue where Ibrahim was not, they know where to find me. They will, of course, need to be google-able, if there is such a word.

Until then, it is my intention to desist from responding to anyone who is not willing to stand forth and identify themselves with their positions.

Yaacov Lozowick

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Celebrating one's own terrorists

Today the Arab terrorist Sami Kuntar is being released by Israel in exchange for the remains of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, two Israeli soldiers kidnapped and killed by Hizbullah. There is much rage in Israel about the hero's welcome that Kuntar (who killed a 4-year-old boy by smashing him against a wall) will receive in Lebanon.

And all would be OK if it were not for the implicit assertion that while the Arabs honor their terrorists, Israel doesn't. "Where are the official honors for Baruch Goldstein?," the reasoning goes.

In the first place we must observe that Israel is a country with an army. When you're a people without planes or tanks, it's quite hard to make a murder look like collateral damage. When you've got an army, it's much easier. To put it crudely, any Israeli pilot, or soldier on a tank, can intentionally kill civilians and then claim he was targetting something else. It's his word against the Palestinians', and it is quite possible --I'm not saying certain, but possible-- that some of the soldiers who get military honors in Israel (who knows, maybe even Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser) are actually cold-blooded murderers.

But of course the point can be made that, in any event, Israeli soldiers are not honored in the knowledge that they willingly killed someone innocent.

However, before the creation of the State, certain Jews were involved in serious terroristic activity, willingly killing civilians. The Palestine Post archives can help us in finding a few examples. There, you can access scanned versions of all issues of what now is the Jerusalem Post.

For instance, on 19 Feb 1948 we find on the first page:

The bomb at the marketplace on the weekly market day was later claimed by the Irgun, a Jewish terrorist group.

On 1 Apr 1948, also on the first page, we can read:

As can be seen, the Stern gang, another Jewish terrorist group, was responsible for the mining of this train.

On 14 Dec 1947, among many stories of attacks against Arab civilians reported on the first page, we read:

This attack on a crowded lane between a movie theater and a café was perpetrated by the Irgun (in the article called IZL, Irgun Zvai Leumi).

But of course, we know that both the Irgun and the Stern gang were repudiated by the Israeli society, weren't they?


In 1980, the State of Israel honored the terrorists that killed 40 Arabs on a train and 6 Arabs in a marketplace and another 6 Arabs in the street (among countless other atrocities) by awarding them State ribbons. Here's the Lehi (Stern gang) ribbon:

And here is the Irgun ribbon:

So that Israel honors its own terrorists, just like the Palestinians do; it only hopes people won't notice. But in the Internet world, with all that scanned evidence scattered all over the web, relying on the people's bad memory may not be so good an idea.