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Letter to the Editor – Massacre in Itamar

March 13, 2011 – 1:06 pm96 Comments


When discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, people often speak about the differences between the right and the wrong, between the just and the unjust, and between the truth and the lies. I feel, that there is no justification for the murder of a innocent family of 5.

This is something that should not and cannot be ignored. The children were 11, 6 and the youngest was just 3 months old. I put it to anyone to read of the horror that occurred in the settlement of Itamar at 1am on Saturday morning, and not be instantly filled with disgust, shock and rage.

To those normally left-leaning larrikins, please put your political views aside for just a second and try to view this incident objectively. Have we evolved so much over the past half a million years that we have lost our hearts, our souls, and our abilities to care?

An article published on the guardian.co.uk website on Saturday afternoon felt it tactful to finish a report on this heinous attack by saying that “Itamar… is an intensely nationalist-religious… settlement deep inside the West Bank… they believe they have a divine right to the land irrespective of legal ownership”. How on earth can we consider this type of attitude to be acceptable? Should the political and religious views of a grieving community be brought into question at a time like this? Please excuse my language but, why the hell is that relevant at all?

A few years ago, shortly after the Adass Yisrael scandal, a visiting Adass rabbi from America was clipped by a vehicle on Hotham Street and was killed. The Age newspaper, in a short article on the event, ended by saying that “this particular religious Jewish sect first made headlines several months ago, after a scandal involving suspected molestation of children at a religious Jewish school in Ripponlea”.

Do people have no tact whatsoever? The nature of comments such as these astound me and makes me wonder whether the world cares more about the stories than about the people themselves

People need to wake up and smell the hummous! Stop being so damn concerned about idle gossip, sensationalized media pieces, and politics that you have no place being involved in!

As I sit here writing this, I wonder what my family will be talking about tomorrow at the dinner table. The heartless nature of a brutal massacre that should act as a wake up call to both Israelis and Palestinians; or rather the ridiculous rhetoric and BS that keeps coming out of Charlie Sheen’s mouth.

Kovi Rose,

Caulfield, Victoria.

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  • Mohan to Kovi Rose says:

    Sorry Kovi. One cannot be selctive in condemning violations of human rights. Human rights are indivisible.

    Nothing can justify the murder of children Jewish, Arab or any one else. What lies behind the murders is clearly hatred and anger – Tell the government to leave the West Bank and remove the armed fanatics from there.

    This will be used as a convenient stick to beat the left, but it essentialy the likes of Uri Avneri, Jeff Halper and Tanya Reinhart who have been trying to prevent this atrocity, while successive governments have seen it opportune to expand settlements and destroy Palestinian livelihoods in the process.

    Atrocities breed hatred and when hatred is let loose, people perform terrible deeds. Grieving over killed children and destruction of life is human and one cannot be selective in one’s humanity.

  • Kovi Rose to Mohan says:

    Mohan, i get the feeling that you completely missed the point of my piece.
    I was NOT talking about human rights at all.
    I was NOT selective in condemning any single side in the conflict (rather i vocalized my view that this violence with get the world nowhere)
    You need to hop down of your self-righteous left-winged high horse and think about how horror like this, on BOTH sides of the conflict affect the lives of innocent people!

  • Robert says:

    And yet some will find justification, like the above commenter. This is too disgusting for words, really. People need to realise who they are supporting. They are supporting a people who commend a stabbing murder of a baby in bed. The person who did this is not in their eyes a murderer but belongs to a group of freedom fighters. This should be on the front page of every paper. Israel makes the front page for killing in defence, there is nothing one can say about what happened on Friday evening that would make this defensive. And yet, the rest of the world will be selective, Israeli children are not worth the same as Palestinian children.

  • Kovi Rose to Robert says:

    Sadly, Robert, you are right. The U.N., the Media, and the World has double standards when it comes to Israel

  • Eli says:

    I guess this is a sample of the “humanity” we can clearly expect
    Oh yes I forgot “when hatred is let loose, people perform terrible deeds”
    let’s have a kiddish!

  • Mohan to all says:

    Yes! The usual defence! They are murderers and haters we are the victims! THe UN etc have double standards. When you refuse to see that destruction of a nation in the name of a mythical right. You can see the pain and suffering of one side but close your eyes to the atrocities happening in the name of an entire faith.

    Yes, those who defend sanity and human right for all irrespective of whether they are “chosen” or not will be slandered and smeared by apologists. One is reminded of German opponents of Nazis being labelled “self-haters”.

    But then the writing on the wall is that Israel’s patron is a sinking empire, stuck in two wars, economically weakened and losing the ability to project its strength. Empires have ended this way and the US is no exception. Creating more hatred will only have catostrophic consequences when the settlements have expanded beyond control and Israel’s ability to defend them drained. A military-security behemoth is a parasite that produces nothing. It can be fed when funds and support are forthcoming, but will turn into a millstone round the neck of the society, when it runs out of money. There will be the settlers living next to an angry, brutalised and desperate people whom they have displaced and whose houses, farms and lives they have destroyed. Call it what you like, but this is a recipe for disaster.

    Only those wilfully blind refuse to face facts.

  • Mohan to Kovi Rose says:

    Soory to say this Kovi, but you are the one who is being self-righteous.”…..To those normally left-leaning larrikins, please put your political views aside for a second and ……” As I sit here writing this, I wonder what my family will talk about…. The heartlee nature of a brutal massacre that should act as a wake up call to both Israelis and Palestinans….”
    A wake up call to do what ? For Israel to double “security” around settlements and further expand them or withdraw settlements and give up the project of eretz Israel ? Or inflict collective punishment, demolish homes of the families of those involved and further incite hatred ?

    Horrors like this affect both sides and that has precisely been the point I have made. If this is not about human rights, than pray what is it about ? Isn’t the right of a baby to grow up and live a full life a human right ? Of a child to sleep without fear of being killed a human right ? Or even the right of a fanatic settler to be alive a human right ?

    The only problem is when one choses to see violations of human rights selectively.

  • Kovi Rose to Mohan says:

    Mohan, the unwarranted anger with which you write sickens me.
    I feel like you have physically ignored the previous response i wrote to your comment and continued with your ridiculous tirade against the ‘evil empire of israel’.
    Stop with your nonsense about “the usual defence” because i in no way placed blame on any single party.
    The UN do have double standards, and it is not merely an opinion that i and many others hold; it is a fact that millions of people in countries like Libya, Cambodia and countless others have been brutalized, murdered and denied their human rights whilst the UN focuses its time, effort and money on prejudicing against and mistreating Israel.
    I did in fact say, Mohan, that people – around the world – need to wake up and remove themselves from sensationalized media and realize that the lack of humanity behind acts such as these, is this issue at heart.
    I refuse to allow you to hijack this article’s comment section for the purposes of excreting absurd dribble about how heartless and militaristic an empire Israel is.
    I also responded to you already in stating that “i was NOT selective[ly] condemning any single side in the conflict… [nor] talking about human rights at all.
    However i will say this perhaps it would be more efficient for you to read articles before you verbally attack the author and make assumptions that take the pieces off-track.
    Understand these last words carefully Mohan: This article’s purpose is to make people comprehend the superfluous nature of politics in the realm of dealing with the murder of an innocent family. This affects both sides and should not be ignored, subjective views aside, this attack was wrong and shows that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people has gone too far and far to long.

  • Sam says:

    The link provided by Eli on getty images is sickening, however Mohan would schlep naches from this one. Why any other contributor has an expectation that they might convince him that a brutal cold blooded murder of an Israeli family is an abominable act, and that such manner of retaliation is undeserved, I do not understand based on all his previous postings.

  • Mohan to Sam says:

    To those who are not blind beyond redemption, read Haaretz, hardly has the blood dired from this massacre and Israel has cleared the building of 500 more new settlement homes in the West Bank – more destruction of homes, farms, more exclusive roads, check points, more armed thugs who beat, burn, destroy olive trees and shoot and more hatred and violence.

    Who is using the blood of innocents in cynical game of colonisation and imposing collective punishment ?

  • Kovi Rose to Mohan says:

    Mohan, i would like to congratulation you on you’re ability to read a headline.
    However, to assume that new settlement homes will result in destruction of others is ridiculous. If you had read that piece in Haaretz, you would know that those homes are being built across several pre-existing settlements and towns; not, as you would suggest, over the ruins of Palestinian homes and farms.
    Stop writing lies and slanderous rhetoric!

  • Mohan to Kovi rose 2 says:

    Sorry this is exactly the wilful blindness I spoke about. Please take the trouble of reading the report, not the headlines; the headlines say that in as many words by the way. The government has declared this as a response to the murders. Israeli minister Yeli Ishai has said 1000 homes should be built in response.

    I had never described Israel as an “evil empire'”, it is a colonial power and the expansion of settlements is ample evidence. I need not say more about selctive concern over rights. It is evident here.

    I suppose the settlements can have some selective interpretation of rights. Please take the trouble of reading Haaretz, you don’t have to take my word for it. Ishai’s statement is printed with his photograph as well, in case there is any doubt about it.

    Have a good day.

  • Mohan to Kovi rose 3 says:

    Perhaps you will be able to tell me how the settlements will exist without roads connecting them and the outside world. And will the settlers be different from the historical record of settlers burning, shooting and destroying trees and crops ? And how will the infrastructure be built unless on Palestinian land ? And will that not mean more destruction, enclosure and hatred ?

  • Mohan to eli says:

    Perhaps you have not seen videos of Israeli citizens dancing during Operation cast lead, Children autographing rocket shells.
    What does this poinscoring prove if anything apart from the fact there is hatred on both sides ?
    Not mention the fact that settlements nearly always see outposts and when the outposts are cleared the settlers burn Palestinian crops and destroy property. I am sure you are capable of finding ICHAD on line.

  • Kovi Rose to Mohan says:

    Mohan, your antics are beginning to bore me and make me tired, so please excuse my phrasing on my response in point form.
    – Israeli is not an expansionist “colonial power” as you suggest, has on many occasions offered to sacrifice all territories in question for the sake of peace (this current building is simply a non-violent protest as a matter of principle)
    – The settlements exist under the protected rights of the Oslo Accords which designates both the roads surrounding and linking them, as well as the settlements themselves, as Area C (rightfully declared as Israeli controlled)
    – I think that you are going off topic generally by the way with your talk of organizations that claim to be non-violent, yet openly support associated movements such as BDS which – as i personally witnessed – have in the past attacked innocent Israelis

    I think that perhaps you are some kind of idiot, because you refuse to accept the fact that my article was aimed at educating people about the harsh realities of the situation.
    My piece was NOT political
    it was NOT biased
    it was NOT laying blame
    it did NOT accuse ANYONE of wrongdoing
    it merely suggested that there is something seriously wrong in the world’s attitudes.

    Mohan i will not be responding to any more of your ridiculous comments on this site.
    The utter garbage that you write makes me lose enormous amounts of respect for you, and i wish that you would have the guts to publish your comments under your full name.

    You do realize that there are many other websites where you could more usefully spend your time, perhaps gaming, browsing or viewing explicit images would result in a happier and less bigoted Mohan.

    Good night and good luck

  • Mohan to Kovi Rose says:

    Well you can see the problem here – refusal to accept reality. As I said you don’t have to take my word for it. Look up ichad, red cross, Amnesty international, haaretz, Jersualem post.
    Any way have a good day. I know you will not be convinced by fact and argument.

  • Mohan 2 says:

    To the best of my knowledge the Oslo accord left out the issue of settlements for future resolution. I will be enlightened if you could quote from the relevant sections.

  • Kovi Rose to Sam says:

    Sam, you’re right :)

  • Mohan on Oslo 2 says:

    Area C is comprised of unpopulated areas of the West Bank, including areas of strategic importance to Israel and the settlements, where Israel retains full responsibility for Security. Oslo 2 calls for a series of further deployments under which additional parts of Area C are to be transfered to the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, except for the settlements and Israeli designated security areas. – (

    This under an interim agreement, pending decision on final status.
    Have a good day.

  • Sam says:


    Notice how this topic has been hijacked as has every other that Mohan has been involved in. Why demean yourself by having conversations with a (non) person who would be shooting his rifle into the air with delight if he was currently on the streets of Damascus?

  • Kovi Rose to Sam says:


    Yes i noticed that that was happening from the beginning, but the amusing visualization of this (non) person shooting his AK47 wildly in the air whilst screaming “Allah Akbar”, or similar, is enough to console me. For some reason i picture him with a Mohawk :P

  • Here are my thoughts on this awful attack and what we can learn from it.

  • Michael says:

    I find it a bit ironic that the post implies that “left-leaning larrikins” do not care about babies being murdered while decrying the supposed left-wing use of this incident to score political points.

    As for news reports mentioning facts, I don’t see how that’s insensitive. You might dispute the facts but do you really think reporters shouldn’t be reporting on the details? Every tragedy has a context and involves people that have had lives before the tragedy — to deliberately ignore this would be beyond ridiculous.

  • Kovi Rose to David says:

    Here here David, that was well worded and i agree with your Werdiger Peace Plan in its entirety; that is the sad truth of the matter, that the hatred but be bred and educated out. However the world should know that horrors like this are occurring, it shouldn’t just be Bibi’s problem to deal with. There is no reason that such an event should not be the common knowledge of every member of the Western world who has a phone or computer.

  • Kovi Rose to David says:

    hear hear David, that was well worded and i agree with your Werdiger Peace Plan in its entirety; that is the sad truth of the matter, that the hatred but be bred and educated out. However the world should know that horrors like this are occurring, it shouldn’t just be Bibi’s problem to deal with. There is no reason that such an event should not be the common knowledge of every member of the Western world who has a phone or computer.

  • Kovi Rose says:

    Sorry that posted a second time, i stupidly wrote “here” instead of “hear”

    To MIchael: Don’t put words in my mouth, i made no such implications about left-wing apathy. I merely asked of the left-leaners to put politics aside for the sake of human decency to understand this atrocity.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    I’m not going to get into sniping over Area C etc, but to defend the vast majority of ‘leftists’–there has been universal condemnation of this despicable act. And this includes condemnation from many Palestinian individuals and organisations —



    But this may gall many people, but I think it has to be mentioned. This is not a one-way street Many people won’t necessarily react to this killing with the same degree of horror as Jews , because for them, the occupation offers continuing acts of killing or terrorisation of civilians by settlers or the army much of it widely unreported in the general press. And when it comes to court, the sentences are light or no conviction made.

    That is not to say that I am sickened at disgusted by this criminal act.

  • philip mendes says:

    There is no (repeat no) excuse for the murder of five members of a family. We know this from countless examples of massacres of Jewish civilians inside and outside the Green Line since the first wave of suicide bombings began in 1994. The people who committed this murder – at the moment it seems to be the Fatah-aligned semi-secular al aqsa martyrs brigade rather than the Islamists – are not motivated as suggested by some on the Left by a root cause argument around the settlements or settlers. They are simply nationalist and/or religious fanatics/killers who targeted the Jews in this settlement because they were more vulnerable than alternative options within the Green Line, and because they wish to drive all Jews out of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

    Having said that, it is paramount that Israeli Greater Israel fanatics do not exploit this appalling massacre as an excuse to build further settlements deep inside the Palestinian areas that will only contribute to further tragedies of civilian deaths on both sides. The opposite policy needs to be followed: we need to find ways and means of renewing dialogue and negotiations between moderate Israelis and moderate Palestinians to find a mid-way two state compromise that isolates the extremists on both sides.

    Philip Mendes

  • philip mendes says:

    I perhaps should have added that if the Palestinian leadership had stopped this horrific behaviour at the beginning of the Intifada in late 2000 then Israeli public opinion would not have understandably swung to the right, and there almost certainly would have been a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and most of the West Bank recognized by Israel and the entire international community by the end of 2001. Every horrific act of this nature only moves the Palestinians further and further away from enjoying decent, dignified, free lives in their own state living in peace alongside Israel.

    Philip Mendes

  • Kovi Rose to Larry Stillman says:

    Larry, i am truly glad that you are mature enough to put aside squabbles over Area’s etc. You are one of few who actually understood that that was my point in this piece, i was not in fact having a go at leftists, merely asking them to put aside political views in order to view the incident purely as a human being.

  • Shira Wenig says:

    @ Philip Mendes:

    You are entitled to hope that “Greater Israel fanatics do not exploit this appalling massacre as an excuse to build further settlements deep inside the Palestinian areas”, but I hope by this you are not referring to the housing units actually approved by the government in response to this massacre, for the following reasons:

    1. These units will be located in large settlement blocs (Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim, Ariel & Modiin Ilit), not deep inside Palestinian areas.

    2. Building in areas which are widely accepted to remain part of Israel when a two-state solution eventuates is something Israel is entitled to do, not some illegitimate activity it needs an excuse for.
    A complete building freeze is a new demand not previously made of any Israeli prime minister, and Bibi’s initial acquiescence to this demand was a concession which deserved reciprocal acts of good will. It does not define a new status quo. The ability to build is the status quo; a building freeze is a reward for promised Palestinian efforts to curb violence. If violence continues, continuing the building freeze is worse than meaningless; it loses Israel yet another bargaining chip with absolutely nothing gained in return.

    But the objectionable part of your statement is the premise that building more settlements “will only contribute to further tragedies of civilian deaths on both sides”. Not only is this moral equivalence par excellence; when stated in this context it whitewashes the cold-blooded massacre of five innocent people, including little children asleep in their beds, as being part of a cycle of violence, rather than recognising it for the monstrous act that it is, and undermines your initial laudable condemnation of this atrocity.

  • Kovi Rose to Phillip Mendes says:

    Dr Phil, i feel like you implied in your second post, that Arafat’s rejection of Barak’s more than generous offer in 2000 was the catalyst of the 2nd intifada. Would you still, out of pure interest, consider the right of the Palestinians to negotiate similar deals? or do you think that perhaps the situation is so far gone that we may need to take the Werdiger peace plan (as suggested above) before we head back to the negotiating table??

    P.S.: I’m glad that we all, with the exception of mr mohan, can accept the unacceptable nature of this attack on every level before we even consider the politics behind it

  • Eli says:

    +972 is a blog-based web magazine that is jointly owned by a group of Israeli journalists and bloggers.

    B’TSELEM – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members

    Both are Israeli peace groups. Although there may be Palestinian born journalists etc among them, they are not Palestinian Peace groups per se. as described by Larry

    Although I find some of what Dimi Reider writes as ethically correct he does go out of his way to ensure that he is not being seen as soft on Israeli policy

  • Eli says:

    Interestingly some of Rieder’s co writers are not in total agreeance

    Yossi Gurvitz writes on the same blog site:

    “The strange call for denunciation: My colleague, Dimi Reider, wrote a sensitive post, calling upon leftist activists to denounce the massacre in Itamar. A list of leftist organizations – from Peace Now to Rabbis for Human Rights – have already done so, as did the Bil’in Popular Committee against the Wall.
    I must say I find this demand strange. It plays straight into the hands of the right-wingers who say the leftists are responsible for the Palestinian struggle;”


    what we are seeing are both left and right unable to make any sense of this murderous crime.

    Perhaps both sides will realise that the paradigm must change for everyone’s sake

  • Kovi Rose to Eli says:

    Yeh sorry eli, Larry beat you to it and posted those to links a while ago

  • Eli says:

    Kovi I know. I was making the point that Larry claimed them as voices of Palestinian condemnation when in fact they are Israeli peace groups

  • Kovi Rose to Eli says:

    I think the point that larry was trying to make, was that individuals and organizations who are normally very left-wing or pro-palestinian are condemning the attack. Either way, not really relevant

  • Ari Silbermann says:

    In terms of the politics of this all, I simply cannot say it better than this:

    Just a quick reflection. After attending the funeral on Sunday at Har Hamenuchot, hearing the hespedim for the family and seeing the bodies wrapped in tallitot being buried, amongst them the tiny body of Hadas – I caught a taxi home. The driver, an average Israeli taxi driver, asked me if I had been at the funeral to which I responded that I had. He then asked me if the family had been buried in the upper or lower section of the cemetery and I explained to him where they had been buried. As it was a bit of an odd question I asked him why he wanted to know. He told me that he wanted to go later to visit the graves.
    Amidst all of this I was reminded of the very special nature of our ocuntry and particularly our people.

  • philip mendes says:

    Shira and Kovi: I have no intention of buying into debates around the views that you and other conservatives wish to express concerning current Israeli government responses to the horrific events in Itamar. That is your agenda not mine. My views on the settlements are on the public record everywhere over many years, most notably in the attached piece from Eureka Street published in 2008.


    I don’t feel the need to change one word of that earlier article.

    Every death of any Israeli or Palestinian is a tragedy. We have to find ways of addressing the causes of violence and extremism on all sides, rather than trying to score cheap political points.


  • food for thought says:

    If Yitzhak Rabin was alive today i wonder what type of middle- east we would have…?


  • Mandi Katz says:

    Well spoken Philip.

    Shira -you distinguish between building in the suburbs or towns around Jerusalem and whether settlement building there is different to support for settlers in places not contiguous with Israel proper . I don’t agree with your conclusion on this but I think its an important discussion. But not here.

    You describe the government’s decision to approve additional building as a ‘response” to the massacre and seem to approve of that decision and the way the government has politicised this horror, but then question the decency credentials of Philp for political analysis in the wake of this.

    Philip is not saying that two two are morally equivalent. And of course they aren’t. It is very different to say that Israel’s policies cause political anger, than to say that this kind of brutality is ever justified.

    Perhaps there needs to be a time to sit with this loss and see its perpetrators for the brutes they are, before discussing the politics of this. But the government opened the floodgates on this by responding to atrocity with a building commitment. Shame on them. Why do you support that decision but say that others who then enter in to the fray of political discussion and question that decision, are equating the two morally? Is there any way they (we) can enter this discussion and be critical of the government’s decision in the wake of the murders, without being accused of equating the two morally?

    Perhaps it’s a matter of timing and separating the discussions. Bibi couldn’t even wait until the dead were buried before setting out political consequences and linking them in the most shameful way.

  • Shira Wenig says:

    Philip, please do not tell me what my “agenda” is. I don’t have one. I would have much preferred for discussion of this tragedy not to boil down to political mudslinging, but I felt compelled to respond to the link you made between building and tragedy in the second part of your post.

    @ Philip & Mandi – inasmuch as politics was brought into this discussion, you have both missed my point. I wasn’t saying that Bibi can make political statements in the aftermath of this tragedy but that Philip can’t. I was simply agreeing with Bibi’s, and disagreeing with Philip’s.
    Philip may not have meant it this way, but stating in this context that building “will only contribute to further tragedies of civilian deaths on both sides” is in poor taste and detracts from the atrocity by making it seem like a regrettable but expected outcome in a cycle of violence.

  • Kovi Rose to Dr Phil says:

    Dr Mendes, i am deeply offended by the fact that you labelled me as conservative, you assume things about me without knowing me or my true opinions.
    The fact of the matter is, this piece was intended to be entirely non-political; due to several reader’s comments, however, it has gone the other way.
    And what sort ridiculous thing to say is that, that i wish to score “cheap political points”
    Do not question my lack of concern of the death of innocent people, because if you read my article in full you will understand how troubled i truly was by this incident.

  • Reality Check says:

    What I don’t get is why do those settlers go on a rampage of Palestinians, their property and olive groves when ever a new outpost is dismantled by the Israeli army?

    And in reponse to their barbaric acts Netanyahu promises more settlement construction.

  • Reality Check says:

    Just had a look your blog David Werdigar. Now it appears that only a few of you guys consider the West Bank as Samaria, as it was known some 2000 years ago, while the rest of the world consider the area the occupied west bank, so good luck in convincing the rest of the world of that.

    PS I don’t think your Galus Australas postings will do it.

  • Reality Check says:

    Kovi Ross, quite frankly, I am appalled at you using the tragic murder of those people to attack the left. Thank goodness you live here and not in Israel where you could vote.

    They kill us and we kill them, and now it’s our turn. Is that the way it works?

  • Larry Stillman says:

    I’m only going to take up the issue of the implied lack of denunciation by Palestinians because my previous link was not 100%. As you probably know by now, Fayyad and others have taken a stance, and nearly all the Palestinans (bar one idiot) who are on Fbook I know of are appalled, but as well, remind us of the killing of innocents in places like Gaza–we should not forget this.

    Or is this going to get whipped up, like so many other events, to avoid really doing anything, particularly with respect to the occupation and oppression that is endemic and intrinsic to it. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/netanyahu-is-ignoring-abbas-efforts-to-end-palestinian-incitement-1.349255

    But as some of you may may now know, the perpetrators may in fact not be Palestinian, as reported in both the Jpost and here http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=368554

    I wish I knew more and of course, that the perpetrators are brought to justice –and that settlers who commit violence and terror are also brought to justice. It’s a circle of death.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    For some sanity,

    also read http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/03/14/itamar-turning-victims-into-national-blood-sacrifices/

    The victims of the Itamar massacre were buried today in Israel and most who eulogized the Fogel family shouted suitably racist slogans demanding vengeance and the like. They called them a korban, or blood sacrifice on the altar of Greater Israel. But there was a still small voice of sanity, and it was from the victim’s brother:

    Motti Fogel, brother of Udi Fogel, eulogized his younger brother but warned that his death cannot be used as a tool in a national struggle.

    “All of the slogans we hear are trying to efface the simple fact that you’re dead, and nothing can efface that. This funeral has to be a private affair,” Fogel said, adding: “A man dies to himself, to his children. Udi, you are no a national event. You’re horrible death mustn’t make your life into a tool.”

    “Udi, my young brother, you made me wake up today at 6:15 in the morning, and you know how hard that is for me. Everything I could say would be a cliché. If I could, I’d chase out everyone who came here and whisper to you, ‘Udi, let’s go play soccer.’”

    …Do I wish Itamar’s residents to be “targets for brutal violence?” No. But the fact is that they make themselves a target not only by living there but by engaging in brutal acts of violence and murder against surrrounding Palestinian villages and international human rights workers who support them. Residents of the settlement have beaten up and robbed human rights activists and wounded and killed Palestinian from neighboring villages. …

  • Reality Check says:

    Indeed, the stabbing murder of an innocent defenseless baby is a crime that only a Nazi or a crazed murderer could commit. But the reality is that it is becoming all too common in this Israeli Palestinian conflict.

  • Kovi Rose to Reality Check says:

    RC, the majority of the things that you have written are ridiculous and idiotic, i will provide evidence to this by quoting from your ramblings and then invalidating them.

    – “why do those settlers go on a rampage of Palestinians…” do tell RC, when did all the settlers go on a rampage of Palestinians last? when did israeli settlers last destroy the property and olive groves of innocent Palestinians?

    – “only a few of you guys consider the West Bank as Samaria” You must be lacking a small part of your brain to not understand the geographical and political facts about the area you claim to know about. Samaria IS the name of that area of land, that is the historical and current name of the area. The title of “west bank” was only created for the purpose of the 1948 – 1967 occupation of the rightfully israeli land by the jordanians.

    – “using the tragic murder of those people to attack the left” How dare you misinterpret my words! i did nothing of the sort! i did not in any way purposefully attack the left. you make ridiculous assumptions and i request that you apologize immediately for such a slanderous accusation!

  • food for thought says:

    Hi Larry,
    Have you considered writing for the abc drum’s Unleashed website on any particular issue like the current one above?

    You would gain a broader audience.

    Keep it in mind.

    Cheers :)

  • larry stillman says:

    I am not sure if Food for thought was tongue in Cheek or not, but the text above is not my own–it is cut and pasted from Richard Silverstein whose URL is above.

    I didn’t put quotes around it all…

  • @Reality Check – thanks for noticing. The name “Samaria” has been around for much longer, and is an absolute reference, not a relative one. I also called Itamar a “town” rather than using the prejudicial “settlement” (which is almost as bad as Palestinian “refugee camps”)

  • Reality Check says:

    So David, Australia also is a relative reference. But you still have the problem of convincing the rest of the world. don’t worry about me; I don’t make a difference. Also, although changing words and using language to make people think differently is an old trick of the extreme right, “works makes you free’ comes to mind, but it don’t change reality. Again good luck, but you’ll need to reach a much wider audience than your blog at GA.

    By the way, what would you call Palestinian refugee camps. I hope not re-settlements.

  • Reality Check says:

    Kovi Rose, may I suggest you read your piece again, because many people are mis-interpretting it. Reminds of the Shiek Hallali in Sydney. Also, you should get out a bit more.

    And the evidence you provide in your intelligent and informative reponse to my rantings is most convincing. Yeah, right.

  • Reality Check says:

    I almost forgot: Dr. Rose, have a read of the eulogy by Udi Fogel for his murdered brother Motti posted above by Larry Stillman, is he an idiot as well.

    And stop taking yourself so seriously, neither you nor I are going to make a difference. And thank G-d for that.

  • Kovi Rose to Reality Check says:

    RC, your attempted comparison of Australia and Israel is a juxtaposition and shows very little insight whatsoever.
    Also, who the hell do you think you are to tell me to read my own piece again!? If people misinterpret what i have to say that is not my fault and i have been more that willing to correct them on my true intentions throughout the entire comment history of this piece.
    I don’t quite see what you think justifies you saying that i “should get out a bit more”. That is an entirely inappropriate judgement call; you do not know me, do not make assumptions about me.
    RC, you seem like you have just a great attitude towards life in general, going around judging strangers and calling them idiots. Also, saying that “neither you nor i are going to make a difference”, maybe stop viewing your Home Brand bottle of Vodka as half full?
    The fact of the matter is, i hope to God that you do not make a difference; because with all the world’s issues, the last thing it needs is another bigoted coward who is to scared of speaking his misinformed opinion under his/her real name.

  • larry stillman says:

    Please lay off the personal insults and stick to political argument…

  • Kovi Rose to Larry Stillman says:

    You know Larry, it upsets me that most people have missed the point of this article.
    All i wanted was for people to see the lack of humanity in the world, especially surrounding events like these.
    This piece was never meant to be political

  • strange logic says:

    A seemingly non-political stance is almost always a stand in favour of the status quo.

  • Mohan to sam says:

    helo sam! Good to see you are back at working in the dark! The great eagle of righteousness exposed as the strutting king of the barnyard walk.

  • food for thought says:

    I do engage in tongue in cheek on occasion but i think it would be a really great idea!!!

    think about it!!


  • @Reality Check – who said I was trying to convince the whole world of anything? I just write what I think, and use terms that have more meaning to me.

    As far as using evocative terms, that’s not a “trick” exclusive to any side in politics.

  • Karen says:

    Some truths:

    Palestinian/s butcher to death, Israeli family of 5 while they slept in their own house, in their own land, SAMARIA, ISRAEL.
    The Fogel family were not ‘settlers’, they were ‘residents’ of Israel, their own country.
    The only reason why this slaughter happened was because the Fogel family were Jewish.
    The names of SAMARIA and JUDEA have been so named for thousands of years, only in the early to mid 1900’s did these areas start being referred to as the West Bank and that was because Jordan had no use or name for the land.
    Jordan and Gaza also belongs to Israel – Israel take back your land which is rightfully yours. Peace will not happen when only one side wants it.

  • Reality Check says:

    Karen dear, if you feel this way why don’t you live there rather than supporting this ongoing conflict from the side line, a conflict that will see more atrosities like the murder of the Vogel family members, more killings of innocent people more heartbreak and suffering as you and your friends think you can restore how the land of Israel was in biblical times.

    Call the West Bank what ever you like but the reality is that the rest of the world, the world which we are a part of, call it the occupied West Bank. By the way, have you any plans what to do with the 2 million Palestinians who live there, who do not even get to vote in Israeli elections

  • Sam says:

    Reality Check

    This atrocity is not anything to do with the politics of the West Bank to any decent minded people. Maybe if you view the photos posted of the murdered family, and there have also been photos of the victims after the killings on the internet as well, you might allow your human side to influence your judgemental political interpretation. This is a link to living photos of the 5 murdered Fogel family members.

  • Reality Check says:

    OK Sam I’ve just seen the photos of the murdered family and I am as shocked, saddened and angered as I was before I saw the photos. Photos, Sam, do not reveal the motive of the criminal.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Reality Check – how do motives in any way at all justify or lessen the brutality of this? And if they dont, why mention them.

    The brutes who did this would kill Jews in West Jerusalem or Tel Aviv or Melbourne if they could.

  • Marky says:

    Reality check writes “a conflict that will see more atrocities” “do not reveal the motive of the criminal”

    Yes, I suppose the motive for the 40,000 rockets from Lebonon by Hizbulla was that Israel retreated from Lebanon and the 20,000 rockets from Gazza was reward for leaving Gazza…

    And you certainly need to do a reality check.

  • Kovi Rose says:

    Karen, your views are a tad right wing, but i can completely see where you are coming from.
    Sam,Mandi and Marky – i agree with you as always, mr “reality check” certainly does need to practice what his pseudonym preaches

  • Reality Check says:

    I said the photos do not reveal the motive of the criminal, Merky (matches your ability to think), not the atrocities. If yout’re going to change my words around, don’t be so damn obvious. Also, could someone get Mardi a dictionary so he/she can look up the meaning of the word “motive” (Motive is what actually motivates a person, not what you may imagine motives that person). And Professor Rose, blah, blah blah.

    There is no point in arguing with people who are so caught up in their own small, insular world views, that they just can’t see reason. But I must say, I enjoyed this for a while, but now it’s getting really boring.

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    @ Karen thank you and I will not reiterate except to support your contentions. Stupid term ‘settlers’ for people who are honest, hard working citizens of Israel proper.
    What happened in the town of Itamar on a peaceful shabbes night was insanity. The people who committed this atrocity are insane.
    Place the head of say Hamas’s three month grandchild before me and give me a knife and say ‘Kill this child because he /she will be responsible for the death of thousands’ and I COULD NOT LIFT the knife to commit such an unthinkable deed. I could see only a pure innocent child of a few months.
    The people who committed this, are SICK, TWISTED and EVIL. This is an amalek personality and if you cannot see that, then I am sorry for you must be blind.
    If we were Palestinians, we would be sending out suicide bombers and destroying mosques in fury and screaming our hatred and viciousness into the world media about what horror was committed. We do not. Shocked and anguished we mourn the needless deaths, but life goes on and we do not lower ourselves to the level of wild rantings and lootings and violence in response. The police are looking for the perpetrators.
    Sadly, no oppression or crime real or imagined justifies the killing of innocent civilians and there are courts of law, one would hope to bring criminals to justice.
    This is not the act of civilised people or even sane people. I think you could argue successfully, those who committed such an act are insane.

  • Reality Check says:

    Sorry, There is just one other thing I want to say regarding Karen’s comments. She says, “Jordon and Gaza also belong to Israel -Israel take back your land which is rightfully yours. Peace will not happen when only one side wants it”. Now why can’t the world understand that the only way to peace is if Israel takes “back” Jordon and Gaza?

    And Prof. Rose, Merky and Mardi reckon I need a reality check. Well maybe I do for responding to such utter nonsense.

  • Mohan to illana says:

    Illana you seem to forget that the settlers are not living in Israel proper, but in the West Bank. Subsidised by the government and foreign donations, armed with automatic weapons, guarded by the army and the settlers are the ones who destroy crops, cut down olive trees, stone and shoot at farmers and children and write and chant “mevat arviva”.
    A great deal of the work of the Israeli peace block is helping farmers with olive harvests by shielding them from settler attacks.

    Incidentally Barak’s offer at Camp david included absorbing the settlement blocks into Israel while the Palestinians between the settlements and the Green line would live under Israeli control but without citizenship. Just one case of aparthied.

    I am quite happy to provide detailed reports, with dates and places,
    dating from Israel Shahak, in case you choose to accuse me of anti-semitism, racism, lies etc. etc.

  • Merky or Mardi says:

    Reality check, where did I change your words around? I quoted you “motive of the atrocities?? Where?

    Now who is changing whose words around. Well I think you were addressing me. With all that rambling on about merky, mardy I can’t really be sure. There were also some other things you wrote, that only brilliant people like yourself would have any idea what it meant.


  • Reality Check says:

    OK I’ll call you Marky, now I said that the PHOTOS and not the ATROCITIES, I repeat, NOT the atrocities, ITS THE PHOTOS that do not reveal the motive. Remember, Sam wanted me to see the photos of the Fogel family before the barbaric act took place in order to convince me that it was not politically motivated. Now please go back and read my comments so that they don’t appear so merky to you.

  • Ari Silbermann says:

    Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, however, was one of a number of senior PA officials who continued to imply that the Fogels were not murdered for nationalist reasons. “People and an infant were butchered in a way no Palestinian has ever done … raising questions about Israel’s rush to accuse the Palestinians,” he says.

    -Misgav Am hostage rescue when Palestinian terrorists had infiltrated from Lebanon and taken the Children’s house hostage – Sayeret Matkal rescued the hostages but found one baby murdered who’s head had been smashed by a rifle butt.

    – Maalot Infiltration by Palestinian terrorists from Lebanon in 1982
    2 Women murdered
    A couple and Four year old son murdered
    25 hostages killed including 22 children

    -Samir Kuntar(who was exchanged for the bodies of Israeli Soldiers) murdered a Policeman, Eliyahu Shachar, Danny Haran and his four year old daughter with a rock. He is a Druze who was part of the PLF.

    -Kobi Mandel and Yosef Ishran, both 14, were bludgeoned to death in a cave near their home in Tekoa.


    -Shalhevet Pass, a baby, was shot and murdered by a Palestinian sniper in Hebron.

    This is far from exhasutive.
    The Fogels were murdered in a way in which the Palestinians have always acted. Claims to the contrary are exactly the problem with our supposed ‘partners for peace’.

  • Mohan to all says:

    The balance of probability is that the masacre was by a Palestinian. What is myopic is not acknowledging the dynamic driving the conflict colonisation and ethnic cleansing of large swathes of the West Bank through settlements, exclusive roads, check points and the barrier; backed by religious fanatics, and the armed forces of Israel who destroy Palestinian livelihoods, homes, farms and shoot at farmers gathering their olive harvests.

    The way of stopping these crimes is by halting the process driving the hatred. I await the standard responses of “anti-semitism” and the other stock in trade of hasbara. I am prepared to substantiate every one of my statements with facts and figures.

  • Marky says:

    Mohan writes “The way of stopping these crimes is by halting the process driving the hatred”

    You must have missed what I wrote recently on this subject that when Israel withdrew from Lebanon, Hizbulla sent them 40,000 rockets and when they left Gazza, it was Hamas with 20,000 . There were many other similar instances. So what makes you think Israel’s current process is driving the hatred.

  • Mohan to Marky says:

    Israel did not factually withdraw from gaza, it moved the guard posts to the borders – the airspace, coast and land borders are under Israeli control ( one border is under Egyptian control which has collaborated with Israel). And Israel has turned Gaza into an open air prison with its blockade. What Israel needs to do is not unilateral shifting of guard posts in Gaza and then concentrating on the West Bank, but a negotiated settlement – responding to the Arab League resolution would be one beginning, freezing settlements would be another.

    Reagrding Lebanon, was the withdrawal the first after the collapse of the proxy Felange regime and 20 years of occupation or the second ?

  • Marky says:

    When one is shown an olive branch-and more, and then starts violence, why should they be trusted for more goodwill. Goodness knows what “rewards” more concessions would bring.

    Also pre 1967, the Arabs had all the so called occupied territories and were still threatening and provocating plenty. So again, what makes you think that Israel’s current process is driving hatred?

  • Mohan to Marky2 says:

    Well you can see the eternel victim self justification as old as the Roman empire. There are no so-called occupied territories. And the current phase of hatred is being fuelled by settlements. The pr-1967 conflict was fuelled by massive ethnic cleansing the preceded and followed the formation of Israel.

    Palestininas have lost nearly 75 per cent of their original country and even the remaining is being seized by settlements.

    Colonisation using myths is not showing an olive branch, nor is killing the refugees through bombings (Sharon’s unit 101)and shootings. The fact is Israel still has not acknowledged its history of colonisation – as for Australia has – and sections of the Zionists still deny the existance of Palestinians and sen Jordan too as their “promised” land.

    All this is well when military, financial and diplomatic support is available from the US empire. But the US empire is sinking rapidly and may not be able to project its strength for more than a decade.
    Then Israel will be left with a massive settlement zone surrounded by the people they had displaced and the enormous burden of securing them with possibly ruinous consequences for its people as well as the Palestinians.

    I am quite happy to back my historical claims with documentary evidence from the writings and work of Herzel, Jabotinsky, Weizmann, Ben Gurion, Begin, Shamir, Sharrat et al. Though I am sure you can find their writings and history.

  • Marky says:

    So the current phase of hatred- targeting men women and children-you say is due to the settlements. 67 conflict was for other reasons. They and you will always find reasons to justify this hatred. As I wrote before, the retreats by Israel and subsequent rockets are proof that this hatred targeting happens-settlements or no settlements.

    And you deliberately turned my words around. I said “shown an olive branch” referring to the withdrawal from Gazza etc. Where did I write that colonisation is showing an olive branch??

  • Mohan to Marky3 says:

    You said isarel is showing an olive branch – while the fact is colonisation is contuning regardless of the olive branch or none. The other way of putting it would be to claim that the clonfict has no history and is happenning for unexplained reasons or unexplained hatred – of course history would fly out of the window.

    I had offered to show the colonial history behind the conflict – dsiprove it if you can.

  • Marky says:

    You seem to have missed the point completely. I was responding to your comment that “The way of stopping these crimes is by halting the process driving the hatred(settlements)”

    And I have shown that the actions of the Arabs show that this is incorrect.

  • Mohan to Marky again says:

    Sorry you seem to be deliberately ignoring the facts I had pointed out – that Gaza is under a siege and its borders are under Israeli control while Israel is extending settlements in the West Bank.

    If it is your view that destroying homes, farms and building settlements with armed fanatics with exclusive roads, check posts connecting the settlements and the shooting of farmers at harvest and the building of the barrier whic combine to confine Palestinians in open prisons, hoes not crause hatred say so.

  • Marky says:

    What I am saying is that the Arabs hatred/terrorism etc. is/was there- settlements or no settlements. The actions of the Arabs have proven this time and again.

    So clearly your comment that by stopping the settlements these crimes will stop, is incorrect.

  • ilana Leeds says:

    Mohan I have neither the time or the patience left to argue with you. My beliefs call them what you may, are this.
    The Shomron region and what you so gaily term the ‘West Bank’ is Israel. What is the west bank west of?
    I frankly believe the rot and the biggest mistake started with givng away Sinai. Israel would be in a far better position, both psychologically and nationally if they had not given away the Sinai. Ah yes I can actually hear the the blood of biological Jews like Deborah Stone boiling at this statement and Larry Stillman’s and Mark Baker’s screams of outrage as well. But you know what, I don’t care.
    My blood boils at the needless waste of life, little children slaughtered by people that their PM says ‘have not got a history of violence against children.’ (????????) I beg to differ and let’s start the history lesson with Kibbutz Ma’alot, shall we in the seventies? Arafat’s Fatah organisation killed 22 children when they took over the children’s house. Big brave Palestinian Freedom fighters against fierce little Israeli babies attacking them deadly rattles and dummies. Like little Hadassa Fogel Z’l – the person who cut her tiny throat – are they going to give that big brave man a Nobel Peace Prize no less?
    Murder is murder and this family was sleeping at home peacefully on a shabbes night as most Jewish people with sense and religious leanings are on a Shabbes night.
    Are they any less human because they happen to live in the Shomron region over the imaginary ‘green line’ that divides Israel one against the other? Are people so foolish as to believe this hogwash about ‘giving back’ land – it is not giving back, it is giving away land. It will not bring peace. It is appeasement. LOOK where appeasement got the world in 1939. Human nature has not changed. Fools you are if you believe that. WAKE UP!
    I am an Israeli Australian citizen. Yes I was born here. My mother was Austrian and how Jewish ‘biologically I do not know. My father yes, Jewish Ancestry but you know I do not call myself a Jew by choice. What is choice anyway if you believe that ultimately we all do Hashem’s will and some things may not be a choice but where we are led for our own refinement of character and experiences needed by our neshama for this lifetime. Hitler did like even partial biological Jews even so I find the term biological Jew offensive. Jews are Jews where they are religious or not, we are all part of the same nation. Until everyone can own the family at Itamar and feel for those kids and their grandparents and their siblings, aunts and uncles, we are a nation divided against itself.
    I for one, can not be so hard as to say, ‘Oh, they are ‘settlers’ and therefore ………’ If it was a non religious Jew killed on the streets of Tel Aviv, I can weep with horror and anguish, because it is needles loss of life and unnecessary. Do we have to justify the crimes committed against innocents and people who do not harm to others, but go about their business.
    Until you can own the Fogel family as your family and not justify their murder in any shape or form, you have the portion of the Rasha at the seder table……

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Can I have fries with that?

  • Malki Rose says:


    I agree with what I believe to be the singular essence of your post.

    Innocent children slaughtered while they sleep is to be viewed in its only true context.
    A disgusting and unforgivably evil crime, for which their should be NO OTHER ‘ifs’, ‘buts’ or ‘because ofs’.

    To date I have not read a single blog, Facebook post or news article on this issue which simply states this entirely inexcusably evil f/act without then placing it in what the writer believes is an understandable or forgivable context.

  • Paul says:

    Those photos are awful! The MP was right to condemn the BBC’s coverage.

    My 2 cents.


  • Marky says:

    “Can I have fries with that?”

    To join the silly sausage?

  • Mohan to marky says:

    Eds: Comment removed. Mohan, it seems that on every article you comment on, regardless of the topic, you end up trying to making the claim that supposed ‘colonisation’ is the root cause of everything. You have been warned about this before. Also, constantly writing comments demanding other correspondents write various ridiculous proofs unrelated to the topic of the article is inappropriate behaviour, not to mention irritating to most of our readers.

    From now onwards, unless your comment is deemed relevant and appropriate to the topic, it will not be published.

  • ilana Leeds says:

    Eds: Comment removed. Ilana, if you have a question for Deborah Stone, you could contact her at the ADC. It is not a fair assumption to assume that Ms Stone is reading the 94th comment of any particular article, let alone one she is not the author of, and has not at this stage even left a comment on.

  • Mohan to editors says:

    Eds: Comment removed. Mohan, you have been warned before about trivialising genocide, and you have again delved into that area. Your comments will not be published on this site anymore unless there is a substantial change in the content of your contributions.

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