Palestinians are not just irrational haters

Avraham GoldbergLast Tuesday, two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in Jerusalem, killing four rabbis and a Druze Israeli policeman. It was revealed that several of the rabbis killed were immigrants from Britain and the USA; one of them, Avraham Goldberg, had previously been a rabbi in north London. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility, but Israeli police believed the two men acted alone. The Israeli police delayed releasing the men’s bodies to their families as a supposed deterrent to others, and also demolished their family’s homes, as is now standard practice (which satisfies Israeli desire for collective punishment, although it never seems to have acted as a deterrent).

I heard Michelle Hirschfield, a cousin of the Avraham Goldberg, interviewed on BBC London radio the morning after the massacre. She claimed that her cousin was a man who was not judgemental of others and wanted peace. She also claimed that the men served as janitors at the synagogue and that “you’re not dealing with rational people”. She claimed that Goldberg had moved to Israel because he believed in the idea of Israel as a home for the Jews, because he had a decision to make as his children had grown up and left home, and had a job that he could do as well in Israel as in London. The host did not challenge her in any way, and this was an adult who had lost an adult cousin who lived in another country, not a grieving widow or bereaved mother.

How can anyone who ‘loves peace’ move from a country where there is peace, and where Jews are safe, to a country which is essentially a war zone and where the ‘security’ Jews enjoy is achieved at the expense of oppression of the displaced native population? (At the time, the IRA were still active, but they did not target Jews and posed nothing like the threat suicide bombers did in Israel at that time.) It’s true that there was a peace process going on at the time, but Jerusalem was not open to negotiation; Israeli military officers would talk to Jewish student groups in other countries, including the UK, and proclaim that Jerusalem would remain Israel’s eternal, undivided capital, something Goldberg would undoubtedly have heard in synagogues and Jewish newspapers in the UK. Zionists want ‘peace’ only in the sense that they want the Palestinians to give up their resistance, or be crushed. They do not want peaceful coexistence on equal terms.

Along with the “not rational people” remark on BBC London, this is what Hirschfield said to Sky News (her BBC interview ran similarly):

“He was worried about the situation there. He could not understand the mindset of people who had no value for life, life meant so little.

“How does one deal with people who do not value life? How can a mother say ‘I have 14 children, I want them all to be martyrs to kill a Jew’. It’s a terrible, terrible situation.

“I don’t think animals kill for the sake of killing, like these people do. He would believe that people could live side by side.”

This is the same rhetoric we hear all the time from Zionists about Palestinian terrorists: that they are senseless killers who just live to kill Jews. They make no distinction between Palestinian hatred of their Jewish oppressors, and white European hatred of a Jewish minority. There is no considering the fact that Palestinians are being systematically squeezed out of east Jerusalem, that their homeland is full of illegal Jewish settlements, that those settlements monopolise the water supply, that Palestinians are subject to curfews for the ‘safety’ of these fanatical settlers, that there are checkpoints everywhere, that Palestinians living in towns 20 miles away cannot travel across their own country without passing through several and being humiliated, that Palestinians are harassed and abused by soldiers, that their houses are invaded by soldiers for use in killing Palestinians, that they kill and imprison children for throwing stones. None of this occurs to Israelis and their friends overseas. They insist that it is all just senseless hatred and murder.

The BBC should not be allowing this kind of nonsense to be spewed across the airwaves; it should be left to the Zionist blogosphere. While I have no issue with condemning the attack, which was unprovoked and against defenceless, elderly individuals, I would also like to hear supporters of Israel condemn the abuses I detailed in the last paragraph, much of which we do not hear about, as well as the terrorism waged by those who set up their state and its intelligence forces before and after its establishment. But of course, they will not. Theirs are vital for security; the Palestinians’ attacks are without context, senseless and racist.

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  • George Carty

    that Palestinians are subject to curfews for the ‘safety’ of these fanatical settlers

    Some West Bank settlers are of course fanatics, but others were just unfortunate people who were priced out of Israel proper. I suspect a lot of the support for the occupation comes from Diaspora Jewish millionaires, who want to drive native-born Israelis into the illegal settlements so that they can take over their former residences in Israel for use as holiday homes.