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Killing [Palestinian] children is no longer a big deal
October 17, 2004 4:06 PM   Subscribe

Killing children is no longer a big deal  More than 30 Palestinian children were killed in the first two weeks of Operation Days of Penitence in the Gaza Strip. It's no wonder that many people term such wholesale killing of children "terror." Whereas in the overall count of all the victims of the intifada the ratio is three Palestinians killed for every Israeli killed, when it comes to children the ratio is 5:1. According to B'Tselem, the human rights organization, even before the current operation in Gaza, 557 Palestinian minors (below the age of 18) were killed, compared to 110 Israeli minors... Who would have believed that Israeli soldiers would kill hundreds of children and that the majority of Israelis would remain silent? Even the Palestinian children have become part of the dehumanization campaign: killing hundreds of them is no longer a big deal.
posted by y2karl (46 comments total)

 
As GK Chesterton said, "Children are innocent and love justice, while most adults are wicked and prefer mercy."

But honestly, without facts can we assume that every 16 and 17 year old Palestinians is automatically innocent and a true "victim" of circumstance?

This info would be more useful if it gave any sort of breakdown via age - like 0-5, 6-10, 11-14, 15-18 year olds killed... as it is there is a chance that the majority of minors killed could be 17 year old terrorist-wannabes for all we know.
posted by wfrgms at 4:24 PM on October 17, 2004


wfrgms: you can either click on or mouse over the second link above.
posted by carter at 4:27 PM on October 17, 2004


wfrgms: Face!
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:40 PM on October 17, 2004


How's that shoe taste?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:47 PM on October 17, 2004


This should prove interesting. The Palestinians turned the Israeli retreat from south Lebanon into a rout by forcing women and children to charge the Israeli positions. The Israelis weren't willing to slaughter these women and children, so they ran away.

Recently, Palestinian leaders have expressed interest in using the same technique to both turn the orderly withdrawl from the Gaza Strip into both a rout, and an opportunity "to kill as many Israelis as possible" in the process. As in to kill as many Israeli women and children as possible.

So, if someone is using their women and children as shields to attack your women and children, who has moral superiority? The Israelis have just decided that they will not permit their orderly retreat to become a rout. If the Palestinians wish to recklessly endanger their women and children, by pushing them forward against the guns, then tough. I shed no tears for them.
posted by kablam at 4:50 PM on October 17, 2004


Israel is killing Palestinian children!? Why haven't I heard about this before? We must tell everyone! etc.
posted by reklaw at 4:53 PM on October 17, 2004




As per usual, kablam didn't read the article. And people wonder why I sometimes print excerpts of the article linked. So, for kablam's continuing edification, an excerpt:

The plain fact, which must be stated clearly, is that the blood of hundreds of Palestinian children is on our hands. No tortuous explanation by the IDF Spokesman's Office or by the military correspondents about the dangers posed to soldiers by the children, and no dubious excuse by the public relations people in the Foreign Ministry about how the Palestinians are making use of children will change that fact. An army that kills so many children is an army with no restraints, an army that has lost its moral code.

As MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash) said, in a particularly emotional speech in the Knesset, it is no longer possible to claim that all these children were killed by mistake. An army doesn't make more than 500 day-to-day mistakes of identity. No, this is not a mistake but the disastrous result of a policy driven mainly by an appallingly light trigger finger and by the dehumanization of the Palestinians. Shooting at everything that moves, including children, has become normative behavior. Even the momentary mini-furor that erupted over the "confirming of the killing" of a 13-year-old girl, Iman Alhamas, did not revolve around the true question. The scandal should have been generated by the very act of the killing itself, not only by what followed.

Iman was not the only one. Mohammed Aaraj was eating a sandwich in front of his house, the last house before the cemetery of the Balata refugee camp, in Nablus, when a soldier shot him to death at fairly close range. He was six at the time of his death. Kristen Saada was in her parents' car, on the way home from a family visit, when soldiers sprayed the car with bullets. She was 12 at the time of her death. The brothers Jamil and Ahmed Abu Aziz were riding their bicycles in full daylight, on their way to buy sweets, when they sustained a direct hit from a shell fired by an Israeli tank crew. Jamil was 13, Ahmed six, at the time of their deaths.

Muatez Amudi and Subah Subah were killed by a soldier who was standing in the village square in Burkin and fired every which way in the wake of stone-throwing. Radir Mohammed from Khan Yunis refugee camp was in a school classroom when soldiers shot her to death. She was 12 when she died. All of them were innocent of wrongdoing and were killed by soldiers acting in our name.

At least in some of these cases it was clear to the soldiers that they were shooting at children, but that didn't stop them. Palestinian children have no refuge: mortal danger lurks for them in their homes, in their schools and on their streets. Not one of the hundreds of children who have been killed deserved to die, and the responsibility for their killing cannot remain anonymous. Thus the message is conveyed to the soldiers: it's no tragedy to kill children and none of you is guilty.


Of course, facts matter little for the faith-based.
posted by y2karl at 5:02 PM on October 17, 2004


Is it I/P season already? I thought that didn't start until after the US election.
posted by Galvatron at 5:05 PM on October 17, 2004


only a matter of time before the "holy" land is just a dim green glow on the horizon.
posted by quonsar at 5:05 PM on October 17, 2004


Isn't religion wonderful?
posted by delmoi at 5:20 PM on October 17, 2004


Just so you know, both Haaretz and the Palestinian Ministry for Detainees Affairs both refer to the NGO Defence for Children International for information on human rights violations of Palestinian children.

Given that Israel has slaughtered in excess of 2000 children since the start of the second Intifada this should come as no surprise to any of us. [DCI monitoring]
posted by dmt at 5:26 PM on October 17, 2004


I: You killed my children !
P: No, you killed my children !
I: You killed more !
P: You too !
I: I'll kill more if you don't stop killing !
P: I'll kill one more then you !
I: You don't care about children and woman !
P: You care less about ours !
I: We don't kill woman and children, you use them as shield !
P: We must to protect our woman and children, yet you
don't care and kill them regardless !
I: I must protect my children and woman by killing yours !

Incredible, the problem could be solved by just stop killing each other but hey, the simple solution is "not a solution" as if killing each other isn't the real problem.
posted by elpapacito at 6:10 PM on October 17, 2004


Men, women, children, Israeli, Palestinian, Iraqi, American. The blood's all the same colour, and it just keeps a-flowin'.

I shed no tears for them.

I would shed tears for all of us, but I choose to laugh instead. We all have our coping mechanisms.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:23 PM on October 17, 2004


Hey, firefox seems to limit my mouseover length to about 40 characters. Is there a way to change that?
posted by graventy at 6:30 PM on October 17, 2004


the problem could be solved by just stop killing each other

Who would flaky leftists root for if the Palestinians weren't in a conflict? Many folks in the patchouli crowd make it a loud point not to have a TV, so baseball's not the best option.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:33 PM on October 17, 2004


It's just flat wrong, and anyone who attempts to justify it or brush it off as "it happens" is utterly morally bankrupt. Period.
posted by zoogleplex at 6:39 PM on October 17, 2004


I thought that Islamic clerics had already blessed the killing of children. Have they changed their position?
posted by Alwin at 6:45 PM on October 17, 2004


The Palestinians turned the Israeli retreat from south Lebanon into a rout by forcing women and children to charge the Israeli positions.

That would appear to be an extremely factually challenged assertion. Just off the top of my head, I believe it was a Lebanese Shiite organization known as Hezbollah who fought the Israelis during the occupation of southern Lebanon. They are not exactly the same as the Palestinians according to most people's understanding. As for the forcing forcing women and children to charge the Israeli positions.--yeah, right... As if. Source ?
posted by y2karl at 6:53 PM on October 17, 2004


I thought that Islamic clerics had already blessed the killing of children. Have they changed their position?

You seem to know so much. Please please please tell me the moral positions of the Christian Palestinian clerics as well. Oh, and the Palestinian atheists while you're at it. Because we all know people can't think for themselves or make individual ethical decisions.
posted by meehawl at 7:20 PM on October 17, 2004


"The wars of extermination have given a lot of people trouble unless they understand fully what was going on. The people in the land of Palestine were very wicked. They were given over to idolatry. They sacrificed their children. They had all kinds of abominable sex practices. They were having sex apparently with animals. They were having sex men with men and women with women. They were committing adultery and fornication. They were serving idols. As I say, they were offering their children up, and they were forsaking God.

God told the Israelites to kill them all: men, women and children; to destroy them. And that seems like a terrible thing to do. Is it or isn't it? Well, let us assume that there were two thousand of them or ten thousand of them living in the land, or whatever number, I don't have the exact number, but pick a number. And God said, "Kill them all." Well, that would seem hard, wouldn't it? But that would be 10,000 people who probably would go to hell. But if they stayed and reproduced, in thirty, forty or fifty or sixty or a hundred more years there could conceivably be ... ten thousand would grow to a hundred, a hundred thousand conceivably could grow to a million, and there would be a million people who would have to spend an eternity in Hell! And it is far more merciful to take away a few than to see in the future a hundred years down the road, and say, "Well, I'll have to take away a million people, that will be forever apart from God because the abomination is there." It's like a contagion. God saw that there was no cure for it. It wasn't going to change, and all they would do is cause trouble for the Israelites and pull the Israelites away from God and prevent the truth of God from reaching the earth. And so God in love -- and that was a loving thing -- took away a small number that he might not have to take away a large number."
- Pat Robertson
posted by troutfishing at 7:22 PM on October 17, 2004


"Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!".

Hay thanks, Mrs. Lovejoy2karl.
posted by naxosaxur at 7:44 PM on October 17, 2004


>the problem could be solved by just stop killing each other

How the hell are you supposed to settle into the land the bible promised you if the natives won't give it up without a fight?

Israel could end this today by telling the fundamentalist settlers to fuck off and begin a real attempt at building a Palestinian state. In the meantime, lets Settle for Moses, no matter what the cost!
posted by skallas at 8:05 PM on October 17, 2004


i know! let's kill god!
posted by quonsar at 8:30 PM on October 17, 2004


He *is* the single most murderous character in all of fiction, after all.
posted by interrobang at 8:41 PM on October 17, 2004


i know! let's kill god!
What? Once wasn't enough?
posted by kickingtheground at 8:44 PM on October 17, 2004


"....It is interesting, that termites don't build things, and the great builders of our nation almost to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something. He is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds. The people who have come into [our] institutions [today] are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have.... The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation." -- Pat Robertson, New York Magazine, August 18, 1986

In other words - it's no wonder the Bush White House is unconcerned with the deaths of so many Palestinian children.
posted by troutfishing at 8:59 PM on October 17, 2004


You seem to know so much. Please please please tell me the moral positions of the Christian Palestinian clerics as well. Oh, and the Palestinian atheists while you're at it. Because we all know people can't think for themselves or make individual ethical decisions.

It doesn't really matter what their positions are, does it? Once somebody checks off on the killing of children, then it becomes incumbent for all to indulge in the act in attempt to form some sort of "balance of barbarism."

And while it only takes one side to start a "brutality race", it takes all sides to agree to confine their combat actions to active participants. Unless all the Palestinians act to police themselves and end the targeting of innocents, there will be no restraining the Israelis - and no reason to.

Individuals can make decisions, but it only takes one loose cannon to set off the ammo dump - just another restatement of Niven's second law.
posted by Alwin at 9:55 PM on October 17, 2004


Holy motherfucking shit, trout, Robertson really said that? In your post above the last one? Do you have a link to source?

He really said, "It's better that we slaughter them all now, because if we let them breed there will be 10, 100, 1000 times as many people going to hell? So it's merciful to wipe them out now, when there's not so many of them!"?

Unbelievable. He justifies cold-blooded genocide with the Bible and calls it God's mercy on the hellbound. Absolutely astounding.

How a person can read the words of Jesus, memorize them as I'm sure Pat has, and make a pronouncement like that, is utterly beyond my wildest cynical imaginings. Totally devoid of empathy or conscience. A complete sociopath.
posted by zoogleplex at 11:24 PM on October 17, 2004


Unless all the Palestinians act to police themselves and end the targeting of innocents, there will be no restraining the Israelis - and no reason to.


That is the most hideous apology for the murder of children that I have ever read. You are a repulsive human being.
posted by sic at 2:46 AM on October 18, 2004


zoogleplex - that first quote was directly from a 700 Club transcript.

"Pat Robertson, The 700 Club television program, May 6, 1985, justifying and celebrating the wholesale genocide allegedly committed by the early invading Israelites. Excerpted from "Genocidal Act of 'Love'" by Elliott Finesse, and critically edited by Cliff Walker; some portions are contained in Robert Boston, The Most Dangerous Man in America."

The second - Robertson's advocacy of a genocidal "godly fumigation" was from New York magazine, August 18, 1986, p.24
posted by troutfishing at 3:39 AM on October 18, 2004


Unless all the Palestinians act to police themselves and end the targeting of innocents, there will be no restraining the Israelis - and no reason to.

So the actions of the few, or the the one, give you justification for the collective punishment of the whole?

That's a strategy Reinhard Heydrich would have really got behind. Congratulations.
posted by meehawl at 4:57 AM on October 18, 2004


troutfishing ... that's appalling ... and someone please inform him that some termites build mounts ... i'm quite offended by this ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:55 AM on October 18, 2004


So the actions of the few, or the the one, give you justification for the collective punishment of the whole?

You're right. We should have just used sanctions and diplomacy with the (insert WWII Axis participant) and asked them kindly to stop bombing us.
posted by eas98 at 6:47 AM on October 18, 2004


The same writer had a story in Ha-aretz earlier making it pretty clear that (in a reckless manner contrary to Israel's national interest) Israeli policy doesn't care much more about the life of Palestinian kids than their deaths.

Mohammed Aaraj was eating a sandwich in front of his house, the last house before the cemetery of the Balata refugee camp, in Nablus, when a soldier shot him to death at fairly close range. He was six at the time of his death.

This from an Israeli writing in the first person plural, in Ha-aretz, Israel's equivalent of the New York Times. (I know, you're waiting for your "I don't believe Ha-aretz" button from freeperbling.com, to make it clear you're a friend of Israel.) But wait:

This info would be more useful if it gave any sort of breakdown via age

The main article linked contains some of this info: 42 of the children who have been killed were 10; 20 were seven; and eight were two years old when they died. The youngest victims are 13 newborn infants. But go on talking about "terrorist-wannabes for all we know" if that makes you feel better.
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:20 AM on October 18, 2004


You're right. We should have just used sanctions and diplomacy with the (insert WWII Axis participant) and asked them kindly to stop bombing us.

No, we should have just killed all of the German/Japanese/Italian children. After all, it was justified.
posted by sic at 9:23 AM on October 18, 2004


No, we should have just killed all of the German/Japanese/Italian children. After all, it was justified.

"We" did in fact kill thousands upon thousands of them. This is generally what happens in war. Obivously the only way to stop the killing of children is to stop the war and that will take political sacrifices from BOTH sides. The notion, as skallas says that "Israel could end this today by telling the fundamentalist settlers to fuck off and begin a real attempt at building a Palestinian state." is pure nonsense. No unilateral move will solve this conflict.
posted by gwint at 10:17 AM on October 18, 2004


Article on Palestinian children from the UK Independent:

"Children of the revolution: There is a crisis in Palestinian family life amid the death and devastation in Gaza. But both sides of the conflict accuse their enemies of indifference to the fate of children caught up in the conflict."
posted by carter at 10:53 AM on October 18, 2004


We should have just used sanctions and diplomacy with the (insert WWII Axis participant) and asked them kindly to stop bombing us.

Would people please stop with this tired, false analogy? "It's just like the Nazi's! It's just like Napolean! It's just like Genghis Khan! It's just like my ex-girlfriend!" No. It's nothing like any of those things.

No unilateral move will solve this conflict.

And you know this because...?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:10 AM on October 18, 2004


Well that's certainly correct, gwint. The only move that will solve the conflict is if both sides bilaterally stop killing each other.

It's not rocket science.

On preview: CD, who knows, it might stop if one side stops killing the other. But looking at recent history I doubt it very much.
posted by zoogleplex at 11:21 AM on October 18, 2004


Unilateral moves will not end the violence. But they can go very far in helping to end the territorial conflict that inspires it. For example, if Israel were to declare a border, that would help. Or if the Palestinian factions were to say, without hedging, what their territorial ambitions are. However these moves cannot take place because each side is afraid that by limiting their ambitions, even in words, it will lead to a loss under any final settlement. This is precisely why outside intervention is the only possible way to solve the conflict.

Personally, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, I believe that a second Bush administration is probably the best hope the Palestinians have as far as US mediation goes in the next 10 years or so. Only a second-term president is able to make the political sacrifices necessary to stand up to the Israelis and their lock on Congress, and the general Bush group has shown a willingness in the past to try to force both sides to the peace table. Also, the Bush team would like to show that they can make war and peace, if given the chance... just as Baker/Bush did in 1991.
posted by cell divide at 11:44 AM on October 18, 2004


Personally, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, I believe that a second Bush administration is probably the best hope the Palestinians have...

Sorry, I stopped listening.
posted by iamck at 12:10 PM on October 18, 2004


cell divide: I understand what you're saying, but the Bush administration has given no indication that they would reverse their Israel policy. Right now you have a confederacy of liars operating on the premise that these are terrorists, that they have no nationalistic intent, just more mayhem because they hate our way of life. Bush can point to Israel, Israel can point to Russia, Russia can point to Indonesia, etc. As long as everyone keeps spouting the same rhetoric and supporting each other, the house of cards remains standing.

If Bush were to say to the Israelis, "Hey, those Palestinians just want a homeland of their own after you kicked them out of your country, and perhaps you should stop trying to show off by killing innocent people," they could just say, "Oh yeah, well what about Iraq?" Bush needs the Palestinians to be terrorists as much as Israel needs the Iraqi insurgents to be terrorists, otherwise you can ix-nay their egitamacy-ley.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:32 PM on October 18, 2004


Legitimacy is a two way street (er, I mean, egitamacy-ley is a wo-tay treet-say) Anyway, indiscriminantly firing Qassam rockets that kill Israeli children doesn't exactly help to dissuade the rest of the world that Palestinians = terrorist (Israeli's actions have the same negative impact on their standing in the world as well, of course)
posted by gwint at 1:06 PM on October 18, 2004


From my perspective, no first-termer has the power to make anything happen in Israel/Palestine. Furthermore, Bush is the only American president to ever call for (or even utter the words) a Palestinian state. He is also the only one who has used the language of resolution 242 as a basis for Israeli withdrawal. On several issues, Kerry is more "pro-Israel" then Bush, such as Kerry's support for the Wall. Lastly, the imperial designs of many in the Bush team will eventually require a settlement in Israel/Palestine to move the region forward.

Note that I am not saying that the Bush administration is the savior of the Palestinian cause, far from it. I'm just saying that the best hope they have to get a fair settlement imposed by the outside world in the next 10 years is with Bush's second term.
posted by cell divide at 1:39 PM on October 18, 2004


Bush is the only American president to ever call for (or even utter the words) a Palestinian state.

The kind of "State" Bush and his cronies have in mind is a Bantustan. Or, rather, a number of Bantustans.
posted by meehawl at 2:57 PM on October 18, 2004


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