Hello and welcome to WHU Airlines, flight 070211, taking off to budding theocracy, a lynch averted, racist violence, and sabotage on the high seas indicating a surprising capacity for lesson-learning. Fasten your seatbelts, put on your life preservers and don’t make any wrong turns; the Weekend Holyland Update is now in session:
We’ll start with the hot-button issue most of you are probably following: The new Gaza flotilla has been foiled, for now, by a combination of diplomacy and sabotage. Greece was persuaded (probably through indirect application of monetary pressure given its dire financial straits) to prevent one of the ships from leaving port. Meanwhile, two of the other ships met with mysterious malfunctions, which Israel is smirkingly denying any involvement in while its deputy PM is (in an equally smirking manner) hinting (Hebrew) that it did have a hand in it.
I gotta say that all things considered, Israel has shown quite a capacity for learning from its errors. Had it handled the previous flotilla in the same manner (I mean the sabotage, as the diplomacy was a no go with Turkey at the time. Now the Turks are eager to tone down the hostility, so it did what Israel wanted and declared that the Irish ship, one of those that met with mysterious mechanical malaise, broke down before ever arriving in port), it would have avoided the massive diplomatic nightmare it endured last spring.
So not that I support sabotage, or Israel’s stupid siege on Gaza (which benefits Hamas more than anyone, and Israel understands this full well), but one has to admit that sabotaging ships in port is a significant improvement over shooting people in the back of the head. And since I can see no reason why Israel couldn’t have sabotaged the ships last year as well, I have no choice but to conclude that Israel WANTED the bloodshed last time around, as a sort of stupid, thuggish show of force. Nice to see that they’re capable of getting it through their thick skulls that this might not have been as desirable as it may have seemed at first.
Also important to note that the diplomatic component of this relative success was achieved not by the Foreign Ministry, headed by racist international pariah Yvette Lieberman, but by the PM himself, Bibinocchio, who has been buddying up with embattled Greek PM George Papandreou for a year now, an effort which has now paid off (although reports from Greece indicate that it was the US that ordered them to prevent the Gaza-bound ships from leaving). In other words, the Baron von Bibhausen has totally neutered the country’s diplomatic corps for the sake of his precious coalition.
Now we just have to hope that the people of Gaza, who are getting seriously fed up with the thuggish ineptitude of Hamas, manage to oust the reactionary scum and leave Israel with no reason whatsoever to continue bullying the 1.5 million residents of the world’s largest open air prison. Once Hamas is out of power, even Israel’s bitch, the US of A, will be hard-pressed to justify denying the right of Gazan fishermen to sail to where there’s actually fish in the sea (i.e. beyond a 2 mile strip).
The other big story this week was the detaining for questioning of Dov Lior, one of the leading rabies (not an error) of the jehovah-nazi faction among the settlers. Lior, a civil servant (he is paid by the state both as the rabbi of Qirayt Arba and as the head of an “arrangement yeshiva”, where students study torah and do a shortened military service ) was wanted for interrogation in connection with his endorsment of the nazi-like booklet “The King’s Torah”, for which he wrote an introduction. This lovely text states that not only is it allowed to kill any gentile who is thought to endanger Jews, even those considered “righteous among the nations” for having saved Jews and even babies if one suspects they might grow up to endanger Jews, but that any Jew may carry out these murders, without waiting for state sanction. In other words, what we have here is religious sanction for the killing of non-Jews (up to and including babies) just because some Jew decided they were a threat.
So the judo-nazis who wrote it, as well as those who expressed support for it, were wanted for questioning on suspicion of incitement to violence. But for months, Lior refused to report for questioning, asserting that the Torah trumps the laws of the state.
Eventually the po-lice got tired of being flouted, and not wanting a Waco-like standoff by coming to arrest him in his settler stronghold, they got him in his car leaving Jerusalem. Lior was detained for questioning for all of one hour, which was enough time for his supporters to swarm on the plaza in front of the Supreme Court and throw a little tantrum.
When he was released, the leaders of the jehovah-jugend huffed that he been held in custody, blood would have been shed. The leader of the judo-nazis in Knesset, “National Union” chairman Yaacov Katz, threatened even after his mullah’s release that “we shall settle the score with those responsible for this crime” – the crime of enforcing a legal summons, you see.
Official response was tepid, with both Bibinocchio and his Justice Minister, Yaacov Ne’eman (who was accosted later in the week upon daring to visit the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron for his ministerial responsibility for the arrest) issuing extremely restrained statements about the rule of law. Bibinocchio has, not very long ago, called Lior and his ilk “the elite commando unit leading the nation and paving the way”. (h/t @jinjirrie). Meanwhile, even so-called “moderate” state rabies were aghast at this intolerable enforcement of law on one of their own. When the judo-nazis take over, remember this moment.
Remember how last week we recalled what happened when an Arab took a wrong turn into a Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur? Well, this week it happened the other way around, when a Jew took a wrong turn into the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, and was set on by a mob. The guy may well have died, if not for the village Mukhtar (leader) who pulled him into his own home, where his three sons stood up to guard the poor guy with their lives if need be. This turned out not to be necessary, as the prestige of the Mukhtar was sufficient to hold the mob off until the police and an ambulance arrived. Lynching and mob violence are despicable no matter who does them, despite the people of Issawiya being targeted for ethnic cleansing along with a number of other East Jerusalem neighborhoods like Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, where Arabs are being evicted to make way for settlers, tourism parks and whatever isn’t Arab homes. This poor guy has nothing to do with that and didn’t deserve to be beaten for it.
Meanwhile, all over the West Bank, settlers have been stoning Palestinian cars, torching Palestinian fields and orchards, to absolutely no effective response from the powers that be. When a settler woman from the extremist settlement of Yitzhar reported that she had been mugged in the neighboring village of Hawara (which sounds wrong – what was a settler woman doing alone there?), the leadership of Yitzhar called their Hawara counterparts to threaten that unless the alleged unknown perpetrator was handed over, they could not be responsible for the results. We’ll keep you posted on that.
I knew I forgot something or two: The Israeli Knesset has approved for final vote two particularly disgusting laws. The first will criminalize the boycott of the settlements and allow anyone claiming to be hurt by a call for such a boycott to sue the person making the call for about $9,000. Let me be the first to say that I piss on this law and will continue to boycott anything made in a settlement and call on other to do so at the top of my lungs. The settlers can repo my debts.
The second repugnant piece of legislation will require Palestinians whose homes are demolished by the occupation to pay for the demolition themselves. I could point out that this is eerily similar to the nazis requiring the Jews of Germany to pay for Krystalnacht, but then I’d be accused of Godwinizing the discussion, and we can’t have that now, can we.
And another thing I forgot: In Tel Aviv, the porkers (that’s the police for you law-abiding citizens) have begun confiscating bicycles from refugees and foreign laborers who can’t prove they bought them. Of course they wouldn’t dare do this to Jewish Israelis, because it’s not like anyone keeps the receipt for their bike on their person, or in most cases at all…
The BDS campaign is aiming at Israel’s finished diamond industry, the country’s leading export commodity, claiming that it is exploiting a loophole in the Kimberly Process to combat conflict diamonds despite the fact that the diamond industry donates some $1B a year to Israel’s armed forces. Said loophole is that the Kimberly process only refers to raw diamonds and not to cut stones.
Finally, speaking of the diamond industry, In the coastal city of Natanya, once famous for being a diamond industry hub and now famous for all its crime families and underworld shootings and bombings, a Jewish man stabbed a Palestinian whom he thought was looking at his sister. Cause, you know, gotta keep the untermenschen away from our women!
That’ll do it for this week. WHU Airlines is not responsible for any illusions, sympathies or misconceptions that may have been misplaced on our tours. Please collect your senses and check your comments* (and donations, if you’ve a mind) where appropriate. Thank you for flying the crazy skies.
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