Images of the Occupation

The Editors

Uri Avnery on 'the face of a boy':

It is not yet clear which are more effective in the long run: the bullets or the photos.

A test case is a short clip taken recently in a remote West Bank village called al-Nabi Saleh.

Every Israeli has seen this footage many times by now. It has been shown again and again by all Israeli TV stations. Many millions around the world have seen it on their local TV. It is making the rounds in the social media.

The clip shows an incident that occurred near the village on Friday, two weeks ago. Nothing very special. Nothing terrible. Just a routine event. But the pictures are unforgettable.

You can read the whole piece here, and watch the video here.


  • 5 September 2015 at 9:33pm
    Fred Skolnik says:
    "Soldiers shoot with guns. The Palestinians shoot pictures."

    No, Uri, the Palestinians shoot Israelis.

    Between 2001 and 2014, Palestinian terrorists fired 19,000 rockets at Israel's civilian population. In addition, for the 2001-2011 period (before Operation Cast Lead), according to Hamas's own scorecard, the following attacks were carried out:

    •4303 terror attacks
    •61 suicide attacks
    •24 attempts to capture Israelis
    •423 bombings
    •90 sniper attacks
    •146 ambushes

    These included:

    *The massacre at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva killing 8 students

    *No. 32A bus, mainly carrying Israeli schoolchildren, Patt junction, Jerusalem 19 dead, 70 injured

    *Sbarro Pizzeria, Jerusalem
    15 dead, 130 injured

    *Snooker club, Rishon Letzion
    15 dead, 55 injured

    *Student cafeteria, Hebrew University , Jerusalem
    10 dead, 85 injured

    *Park Hotel Passover meal, Netanya
    30 dead, 140 injured

    In all, around 1,250 Israelis have been murdered in terrorist attacks since 2000.

    That is why there is a blockade in Gaza and that is why there are security roads, security fences, checkposts and arrests in the West Bank. Rocks too have killed Israelis and caused grievous injuries. Whoever throws rocks will be arrested, no matter how it looks on television. If the Palestinians wish to see the occupation end, they will have to repudiate terrorism and reconcile themselves to the existence of a sovereign non-Muslim state in the Middle East.

    • 9 September 2015 at 11:27am
      rupert moloch says: @ Fred Skolnik
      That timeframe suggests you're being disingenuous; it includes the 2nd Intifada.

  • 6 September 2015 at 8:37am
    Geoff Roberts says:
    Here we go. "You did that so we had no alternative but to do that." What Skolnik implies is that the Israeli forces have no option but to shoot to kill in such situations. Stones against guns? It is the logic of an Israeli government that says "We are ready to negotiate, at any time. The Palestinians can pose no preconditions, while we demand that the Palestinians accept the existence of our state in its present borders that they accept our occupation of almost half of the territory that belonged to Palestine. And disarm unconditionally. "What? You question our conditions? Then there will be no negotiations."

  • 6 September 2015 at 9:16am
    Fred Skolnik says:
    I am certainly not implying that Israeli forces should shoot to kill stone throwers, and they don't. According to B'Tselem, which is hardly sympathetic to Israel, 26 minors and 1 woman were killed in the West Bank between 2009 and 2015 (and 13 Israeli women and children). I'm not familiar with the circumstances of every death but I can assure you that the figure includes minors who attacked Israelis with lethal weapons.

    As far as negotiations are concerned, the contours of a settlement are understood by everyone. It is Abu Mazen who has refused to reopen negotiations, and it is questionable, given the strength of Hamas on the West Bamk, if he can deliver a peace agreement. Admittedly, Israel has great misgivings about the process at the present time. Under no circumstances will a situation be allowed to arise where Hamas can set up its rocket launchers 15 yards from Jewish Jerusalem.

    I can see that Hamas's terrorist attacks have made no impression on you.

  • 6 September 2015 at 11:15am
    Geoff Roberts says:
    The Palestinians (and most everybody else) want a two-state settlement. As the Prime Minister and several of his ministers have rejected the proposal, how can the 'contours of a settlement' be accepted by the Palestinians? What does Netanyahu want? That the Palestinians go away? Where is the readiness to find a compromise when it is the Palestinians who have to accept pre-conditions that eradicate the basis of their negotiating platform? Sooner or probably later there has to be a settlement acceptable to both sides, or is that not an alternative. The Israeli government is straining at the leash to 'take action' against Iran. Now that would really solve the problem wouldn't it?

    • 6 September 2015 at 11:37am
      Fred Skolnik says: @ Geoff Roberts
      Netanyahu wants the terrorists to go away, to answer your question simply. Netanyahu has not rejected the idea of a two-state solution. He also does not have preconditions. He has positions, just as the Palestinians do, but he does not demand that the Palestinians accept the Israeli position as a condition for reopening negotiations. He understands, however, that as long a Hamas with its declared aim of destroying the State of Israel remains in a position to overrun any independent Palestinian state and bring terror to the heart of Israel, it will be very difficult for anyone responsible for Israel's security to reach an agreement with Abu Mazen.

  • 8 September 2015 at 6:21am
    farthington says:
    And the origins of the second intifada?
    Israel's repression of the first intifada,
    And the origins of the first intifada?
    Let's get one thing straight, Fred, Hamas, no matter how sdious, is a resistance movement.
    Before the resistance movements came what?
    It helps to dig a little further than the hasbara spreadsheet.

    • 8 September 2015 at 6:51am
      Fred Skolnik says: @ farthington
      Statements or arguments are either true or false. Calling them hasbara is a meaningless copout.

      Before the "resistance movements" came the Six-Day War. I was in Jerusalem on June 5, 1967, and experienced Hussein's unprovoked and indiscriminate bombardment of the Jewish city. Where were you? In Sheboygan? In Timbuktu? Fast asleep? Digging? You start a war, you lose a war, you get your territory occupied. That's the oldest story in history.

    • 8 September 2015 at 2:40pm
      Locus says: @ Fred Skolnik
      There's occupations and occupations though, as you know. Quite a difference between "France occupying the Ruhr, 1920s" and "France occupying Algeria, C19-C20."

    • 8 September 2015 at 3:57pm
      Fred Skolnik says: @ Locus
      A better example would be "and the Arabs occupying the Middle East, North Africa and Spain in a rampage of rape, massacre and forced conversion."

      I doubt if you have any firt-hand knowledge of the nature of the Israeli occupation, other than the horror stories you read in biased second- and third-hand English-language sources and are unequipped to verify or evaluate. I served on active reserve duty in the Israeli army for nearly 20 years and can say that with the exception of very occasional instances of misconduct on the part of individuals, all Israeli security measures are exclusively and legitimately aimed at preventing terrorist acts.

    • 9 September 2015 at 11:34am
      rupert moloch says: @ Fred Skolnik
      What a singular person you are, Fred Skolnik!

      Every single former Israeli reservist or conscript that I've ever met recounted the ubiquitous and quotidian horror of the job - casual brutalities visited on Palestinians. Hmmm... I imagine you rather enjoyed your work.

    • 9 September 2015 at 12:13pm
      Fred Skolnik says: @ rupert moloch
      Dear Mr. Moloch

      I somehow doubt that, unless you have met very few or move in extreme left wing circles where Israeli reservists magically turn up to berate Israel. I have certainly talked to a few more Israelis than you have and I have furthermore actually lived the experience of the occupation, which very few Israelis would define as a "horror" or in terms of casual brutality unless it suited his political ideology, though no one likes to do reserve duty for reasons that may be hidden from people like yourself who have never served in an army. It would be wiser on your part not to make categorical statements about what you are unequipped to verify.

  • 8 September 2015 at 4:47pm
    Locus says:
    I don't doubt your conviction. I believe General Massu had similar feelings back in the day. (To re-introduce the comparison you quite neatly excised there.)

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