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April 2, 2002
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Eight peace activists were shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers. The soldiers apparently (and I could be wrong) fired without provocation -- the activists were unarmed, and were marching peacefully. Israel's Justice Minister was quoted in the Miami Herald today (no web link available, sorry) as saying, "A person playing with fire should not yell when he gets burned." Essentially, what is being said here is that being a protestor is sufficient reason to be shot. The Israeli army claims to be hunting down "terrorists", but if this is how they define the word I don't feel too inclined to trust them.
posted by tweebiscuit (48 comments total)

 
Tweebiscuit, if you read the story, they weren't shot.
posted by Werd7 at 12:45 PM on April 2, 2002


Being a protestor in an area where military operations are taking place is a good reason to get shot. It's not like they were marching down Pennsylvania Ave.

They're lucky the Israelis didn't actually shoot them. As I recall, they were wounded by shrapnel and/or ricochets (not a good thing, but better than being directly hit by a bullet).
posted by CRS at 12:46 PM on April 2, 2002


... an Israeli soldier fired at the ground in front of them, officials and witnesses said ... As they approached an Israeli armored personnel carrier, a soldier in the carrier fired several shots from a rifle into the street in front of them, sending up chips of concrete, television footage showed.

They may have been wounded, but they were not shot.

(Which is not to say I condone this policy -- but I'm not sure what the protestors thought might happen when they attempted to interfere with the soldiers.)
posted by dhartung at 12:47 PM on April 2, 2002


The article implies that they were shot at, not shot. I know, I know, it's a bully tactic regardless, but it's not like they lined up dissenters against a wall, shot them in the head and took them to a remote location to be buried like some factions I could name. cough:::::::Taliban:::::::cough
posted by Karl at 12:48 PM on April 2, 2002


(Sorry, looks like four of us simultaneously posted roughly the same comment)
posted by Karl at 12:49 PM on April 2, 2002


One should not vindicate a lesser wrong by juxtaposing it with THE WRONG of our time.
posted by adnanbwp at 1:02 PM on April 2, 2002


Well, marching around yelling seems a little like a bad idea (not that "they were asking for it in that outfit" or anything). But others are foreign observers in the freshly occupied areas. Their intent is to defray excessive violence against civillians, by being American or British nationals and simply letting IDF know they're being watched.

Information on some of the British observers here.

At least observers are doing something practical. What's the EU going to do to back up its demand for a halt to the operations? I'm putting my money on "nothing."
posted by RJ Reynolds at 1:03 PM on April 2, 2002


Video of the scene is available here

The army clearly shoots at their feet, designed to injure/scare and not to kill. If they demonstrators were Palestinians, you can bet the shots would have been at the heads. And you can bet the protestors would have been throwing stones and running for cover.
posted by cell divide at 1:14 PM on April 2, 2002


Oh come on, the Israelis owe no trust of peaceful demonstration when there is a very real threat even from vehicles labeled as ambulances smuggling explosives. While I condemn the violence across the board, I have no answer for what has become an inceasingly violent war that was snatched from the jaws of peace 18 months ago. Day of rage, my ass.

At this point, I'm not sure what real alternatives there are for the Israelis other than to wall off the west bank and blockade it. There's your state, no commerce, no communications, no jobs, no support. Enjoy.
posted by shagoth at 1:24 PM on April 2, 2002


i wonder how soon sharon and his seemingly doomsday seeking pals are flying in the red heifer? and if anyone peacfully prostesting that event will get shot at?
posted by specialk420 at 1:25 PM on April 2, 2002


Shagoth, your initial point would make more sense if Israel had ever had 'trust' of demonstrations. The pattern of attacking unarmed demonstrators (even Israeli citizens of Arab descent) has been established long before the current violence. How many unarmed Palestinians were killed before a single shot was fired on the Palestinian side of the most recent conflict? 30? 50? The numbers aren't clear but the pattern is.

However the point is taken (as many have pointed out) that protesting in the middle of a war is never going to be a safe enterprise, and why should it it.
posted by cell divide at 1:28 PM on April 2, 2002


How do we know what the "will" of the Palestinian people is? They don't hold free and open elections. The people who claim to lead the Palestinian people don't tolerate dissent. As a matter of fact, if you're a Palestinian and you come out and say that maybe there should be some sort of detent with the Israelis....you're shot dead. I mean, there's something so Orwellian about this whole thing. It's like everyone's pretending there's a moral equivalency here between these two societies. HELLO??? One's a democracy and one's a totalitarian regime. Heck, in that part of the world, they're all totalitarian regimes and that's why those countries are impoverished. I guess it's just easier to blame Israel than to look at your own shortcomings.
posted by mikegre at 1:32 PM on April 2, 2002


mike-good point.

Well yeah I suppose that it's okay for soldiers to aim slightly below unarmed protesters and cameramen. Some of you people really irritate me. How'd you feel if you were protesting something and got shot at?? Not too good I'll bet. Just because they're a few thousand miles away doesn't mean they should be tolerant of this bullying. Hell, I'm even more amazed at how tolerant we are when Isreali troops have shot children throwing rocks at them.

Honestly, however, I think the troops are caught in the middle of this. Being on the front lines they have a better idea of what the Palestinian state is fighting for. I seem to remember a good number of them basically going on strike, refusing to impose the national will on Palestinian areas. I think their attitude can be summed up with "what the fuck??".
posted by Settle at 1:33 PM on April 2, 2002


"The wrong of our time"? What kind of watch do you wear?

Given that the suicide bombers/kamikazes have resorted to using ambulances as launch vehicles, this is hardly outrageous. But it is another example of a double standard in wartime.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:39 PM on April 2, 2002


Mike. The will of the people is known by young boys and girls throwing rocks at the occupying forces. It is known by Young men and women willing to die with a bang against the occupaition.

The regime might be totalitarion, all the nations there might be totalitarion. But that does not change the fact that IDF is an occupying force. It does not lessen the misery. Are you proposing that If the Palestinians would hold electiond today, tomorrow they would have a democratic government that will take roses to Sharon and kiss his feet ? Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people. Democracy does not tell how to react in face of occupation and oppression.

Blockading and building a "virtual" wall around the west bank is exactly what has been going on for a long time. There are already no jobs, no work, and no commerce. Enjoying is exactly what seems to be the Palestinians are doing.

So if one is a democracy, they have all the right to occupy, kill, and loot the other ? No one worth their weight in salt would take that.
posted by adnanbwp at 1:51 PM on April 2, 2002


What utter nonsense. You don';t get between soldiers and their goal and then say you are merely protesting peacefully. Second, the group it seems grew to twice its size after leaving the building--they were concealing Arafat's men. Itis well and good to have compassion etc but when your kid gets bglown up while eating pizza, you won't give a crap about out of town protestors.
posted by Postroad at 1:51 PM on April 2, 2002


As usual, I marvel at such ethical discourse.

Marching around yelling and carrying signs calling for an end to bloodshed is Baaaad. But marching around shooting is Good.

More shooting and killing in the Middle East. As usual. It's sure worked so far. Why change a successful game plan, eh?

Typical military mentality. From Kent State to Jerusalem, humans at their finest: spineless cretins hiding and trembling behind their guns.

As usual.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:53 PM on April 2, 2002


...it's not like they lined up dissenters against a wall, shot them in the head and took them to a remote location to be buried like some factions I could name...

Yeah...and don't forget it's not like cowardly killing people with the touch of an air conditioned finger from the comfort of a B-1 bomber like...cough...Americans...cough.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:54 PM on April 2, 2002


Well, if I stand up in front of a speeding bus I shouldn't go around whining about the bus driver's "aggression".
posted by clevershark at 1:58 PM on April 2, 2002


even if we had as active terrorism in the US, I doubt anyone would be saying 'oh, well, they just shot at their feet' if the police, US army or nat'l guard opened fire on unarmed protestors.
posted by rich at 2:01 PM on April 2, 2002


Yeah...and don't forget it's not like cowardly killing people with the touch of an air conditioned finger from the comfort of a B-1 bomber like...cough...Americans...cough.

It's not like many would pass up the option to do the same to the U.S.
posted by adampsyche at 2:01 PM on April 2, 2002


Violent Resistance = Immoral, Evil
Peaceful Resistance = Borderline Insane, Useless

Guess everyone who disagrees with Sharon is just supposed to send a very stern letter.
posted by hackly_fracture at 2:04 PM on April 2, 2002


fold and mutilate - totally. Fact remains Isreal has the guns and the land. Anything they do to international peace protesters and journalists (marching towards them, and shooting at them when they are near) is their own damn fault.
posted by Settle at 2:04 PM on April 2, 2002


it's not like cowardly killing people with the touch of an air conditioned finger

Of course, the same could apply to any country that uses aircraft, tanks, helicopters, etc...(which is pretty much all of them.) Doesn't work out quite as well as flamebait if you can't dog on the US, though, does it?

It's ludicrous to assume that the only brave soldiers are the ones with mud on them. Any soldier, from any country, in a combat zone is at risk. The risks may be different, but they're still there. A pilot may not be worried about being killed by a bomb he never saw, but a foot soldier isn't likely to worry about falling 30,000 feet to his death either.
posted by Cyrano at 2:12 PM on April 2, 2002


Interesting. Yesterday I was reading some msnbc op-ed piece about the rise of suicide bombers and laughed when the author suggested non-violent protests as an alternative. I guess this justifies my cynicism in Palestine.

Sure, protesting in the west bank isn't the safest thing to do, but they're protestors not tourists. This event only proves their point about Israel's complete lack of concern of life in the region. Ironically, a protestor is needed more somewhere where he or she is danger than safely tucked in behind a fence surrounded by police.
posted by skallas at 3:08 PM on April 2, 2002


These must be some very bright individuals. Lets have a protest in a combat zone where everyone is aware of the fact that suicide bombers wearing there deliverables can hide in any crowd. And then lets just wonder why the soldiers do not want us coming near them.

I wouldn't have aimed at the ground in front of them, I would have placed rounds on target, center mass. And I would have been right doing it.

This will only be over when Israel gets tired of playing pit for pat with the Palestinians. It is only a matter of time before we all wake up to a much larger Israel, and a lot of dead Palestinians.
posted by a3matrix at 3:19 PM on April 2, 2002


I wouldn't have aimed at the ground in front of them, I would have placed rounds on target, center mass. And I would have been right doing it.

Wow, that's really fucked up. I gently suggest an anger management class.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 3:27 PM on April 2, 2002


The problem with non-violent resistance is that it only works if you get hurt. If the demonstrators had walked unharmed past the Israeli troops, we probably wouldn't even know that they were there. If a few of them were killed while maintaining their non-violence, that would help rally world opinion even more.

30 years ago, if our parents had turned on the TV and seen demonstrators rallying peacefull around the White House and being treated respectfully by the police and National Guard, nobody's opinion would have changed. But instead they say their kids being tear-gassed and getting the crap beat out of them. That made them start asking questions.

It needs to be the Palestinians using these tactics, not foreign do-gooders. Yes, the video of a Palestinian boy dying in a crossfire did affect world opinion and made some Jewish supporters in the US wonder what they were supporting. It also added fuel to the doubts that have resulted in the Israeli military objectors.

The day the Palestinians march peacefully before the Israeli military and get cut down in their tracks (on TV, mind you) is the day that the Israeli government will fall and the occupation will be over. Yes, a bunch of them will get killed. Yes, it will have to be a very self-disciplined movement. But their tactics so far have earned them nothing but more war and death.
posted by norm29 at 3:29 PM on April 2, 2002


I'm sorry, but the thought of a couple of dozen protestors walking into a war-zone and not expecting to get hurt is just INSANE. Stupid is as stupid does, and this has to be one of the most stupid political actions I've seen in a while. Are you really going to approach a tank filled with the soldiers of a people who have been suffering one terrorist attack a day for the past week, chanting and yelling.

They're lucky they aren't dead.
posted by Neale at 3:31 PM on April 2, 2002


Yes, maybe they could teach me to hug the suicide bombers.
posted by a3matrix at 3:33 PM on April 2, 2002


From the article: The group, calling itself Grassroots International Protection for the Palestinian People, wants to shield Arafat from Israeli troops who have taken over most of his compound.

Their stated goal is protecting the Israeli army's target. Israel has declared war. If you attempt to stop their troops, you are not peacefully protesting, you are joining the war.

That doesn't make shooting in front of them right, but I don't think comparisons to shooting innocent bystanders are legit.

I'm sorry, but I have a lot more sympathy for Israelis and Palestinians whose lives have been torn apart by the conflict than I do for this group.
posted by jewishbuddha at 3:36 PM on April 2, 2002


It is only a matter of time before we all wake up to a much larger Israel, and a lot of dead Palestinians.

What many of you can't accept is that the vast majority of Israelis--at least 90%--have no interest in the territories, and would evict those wacky settlers TODAY if it meant peace.

But it wouldn't. Those in control on the Palestinian side want Israel totally gone. Why? Consciously, because they think it's there's. Unconsciously, because they can't accept that they are a subdivision of a failed society, economically and politically. The Jews, as always, are the scapegoat.

If the settlements were gone, and Israel left East Jerusalem and the territories and gaza, the suicide bombers would be in West Jerusalem. And Haifa. And Elat.

So, all the Israelis can do is clean out the territories of the instrumentalities of death, and just hope the Palestinians wake up and end their denial.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:36 PM on April 2, 2002


This will only be over when Israel gets tired of playing pit for pat with the Palestinians. It is only a matter of time before we all wake up to a much larger Israel, and a lot of dead Palestinians.


Surely Sir, you jest !!

Or else, YOU BASTARD !!!
posted by adnanbwp at 3:38 PM on April 2, 2002


The problem with non-violent resistance is that it only works if you get hurt. If the demonstrators had walked unharmed past the Israeli troops, we probably wouldn't even know that they were there. If a few of them were killed while maintaining their non-violence, that would help rally world opinion even more.

Very true. Non-violent resistence is most powerful, when it is responded to by violence. But it only works if the non-violent protesters are the people being oppressed. Unfortunately what we have here are westerners doing the protesting and getting hurt. That does nothing to enoble the Palestinian cause. What's scared me for years is that there seem to be more and more Palestinians willing to sacrifice their lives by blowing themselves up in hotels and malls, yet none by standing in front of tanks.
posted by dchase at 3:59 PM on April 2, 2002


Typical military mentality. From Kent State to Jerusalem

Jerusalem is a long way from Kent State. Israel is now officially at war and no one was staging sit-ins at Danang or My Lai. The dozens of suicide bombers have probably removed the opportunity for peaceful protest by using an everyday normal appearance as camouflage. I can't fault the soldiers, protesting in a war zone is just blatantly stupid.

Israel has shown restraint for almost two years and despite appearances, still is.

As usual, these comments are mostly echoes of each other. Those supporting either side are restating the same ideas over and over hoping for the last word through vocal attrition. Not much point in my pointing that out, but it's become the way of public discourse and it's starting to really depress me.
posted by joemaller at 4:08 PM on April 2, 2002


Those supporting either side are restating the same ideas over and over hoping for the last word through vocal attrition. Not much point in my pointing that out, but it's become the way of public discourse and it's starting to really depress me.


And your posts are different because???
posted by skallas at 4:11 PM on April 2, 2002


thanks skallas.
posted by joemaller at 4:33 PM on April 2, 2002


Can we please put the democracy vs terrorists argument to bed? Israel is really not a democracy in the Western sense, it was founded as a state with laws favoring one ethnic group over all others. Political parties in disagreement with the concept of a state based along these lines are banned.
posted by dydecker at 4:36 PM on April 2, 2002


that link
posted by dydecker at 4:38 PM on April 2, 2002


thanks skallas.

I'm not trying to be a smart-ass, but you expressed one of the 'typical' opinions you decry. This is the same carbon copy pro-Isreal statement one finds in threads like these written by you:

Israel has shown restraint for almost two years and despite appearances, still is.

I'm not going to go into the larger issue of what the limits and uses of an online discussion forum are, but you do not seem to be free from your own criticism.
posted by skallas at 4:48 PM on April 2, 2002


it was founded as a state with laws favoring one ethnic group over all others.

It was founded because no country, including the US, would accept jewish refugees at the end of WW2. After hundreds of years of murder and oppression, Israel created itself as a safe haven for jews. If you choose to start citing history in 1946, the formation of Israel might seem unjust. Zionism, and the foundations of modern Israel, right or wrong, goes back much, much further.

BTW, that link seems equal to a biography of Bill Clinton linked from NewsMax. Isolated, partisan media sources are part of the problem. Israeli and Arab papers seem to be covering two completely different conflicts.
posted by joemaller at 4:56 PM on April 2, 2002


I'm not going to go into the larger issue of what the limits and uses of an online discussion forum are, but you do not seem to be free from your own criticism.

Not a criticism, a lament.
la-ment n.
1. A feeling or an expression of grief; a lamentation.
posted by joemaller at 5:00 PM on April 2, 2002


Letting protesters walk up to you in the middle of a war zone, where one of the things you're at war over is suicide bombers, makes as much sense as letting Al Queda open an airline.
posted by billman at 5:55 PM on April 2, 2002


Actually, I just read the story entitled DEBKAfile’s Military Sources Reveal: IDF Clobbers First Palestinian Suicide Unit on Debka.com. I say, let them shoot the journalists/pacifists, etc. They're asses to be there. Or they're worse.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:22 PM on April 2, 2002


People engaged in peaceful resistance do expect to get hurt. They're trying to stop something that they believe is an atrocity, and many of them are willing to die for their beliefs. They're just not willing to kill for them.
posted by shylock at 8:21 PM on April 2, 2002


This is about the same as the United States trying to go after the terrorists at Tora Bora and "peaceful unarmed protestors" standing in between the US military and Al Qaeda. Do you think the US would put up for this?
posted by yevge at 10:06 PM on April 2, 2002


The will of the people is known by young boys and girls throwing rocks at the occupying forces

adnanbwp, one wonders when the morality of Hamas will be questioned for indoctrinating young children to hate, putting them through militant training, and finally sending them out to confront an army to become martyred for propaganda.
posted by semmi at 10:40 PM on April 2, 2002


semmi, what training does it require to collect stones, and practicce throwing them as far as possible ? And also, the IDF does a pretty good job indoctrinating hate in young children, by killing their parents, brothers, sisters and cousins. These young boys and girls have nothing to do with Hamas. It seems you think that Palestinians stop confronting the occupation and oppression, some how every thing will be solved. Well it may be, but then the whole idea of freedom goes down the drain. This is an apartheid and they have the right to protest/confront as much as they can. If the world media is finally seeing young boys and girls being shot while throwing rocks, then quit shooting and stop the occupaton. The issue is not why these boys and girls are throwing rocks, the issue is why there is still an occupation, which seems to be growing by the minute.
posted by adnanbwp at 8:01 AM on April 3, 2002


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