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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why peace is impossible: a tiny example

Martin Fletcher of NBC writes about Danny Malhouf, a a 70-year-old Israeli plasterer from Ashkelon, who used to employ Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

According to Malhouf, Haniyeh was a good worker, and they were close friends:
"He was a good worker, he worked for me for five years on a salary. He went with my son to Netanya, all over, he came to my house and I went to his in Gaza.

"There was no border post then, we all just came and went. We went to him, I went to Jabaliya like going to my own home, we ate fish there, we lived together, no difference between Jews and Arabs. We ate together, they went to Tel Aviv in their cars, I went to his house, his old house, not the new one now! Gaza was like Tel Aviv for me.

"Weddings, funerals, we were friends. He came with his wife and two children to my daughter’s wedding. But one day his brother was killed and from that very day he became a Hamasnik."

On May 20, 1990, a mentally unstable Israeli named Ami Popper, who had been dishonorably discharged from the IDF, put on his army uniform, lined up 7 Arabs and shot them dead. One of them was Haniyeh's brother. Popper was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms for the murders (a sentence later reduced to 40 years.)

Malhouf continues:

"I went to Ismail’s house for the funeral. There were four men in masks. I thought, walla! I’m finished. I’m a dead man. Then one took off his mask and it was Ismail. He said, ‘I told you not to come. I’m finished. I’ll never come to Israel again.’ He came with me to the Erez border to make sure I was safe, and he never came back to work. I never saw him again.

"He wasn’t religious – only later when his brother died. Then I didn’t see him again till [I saw him on] TV, and he’s prime minister! But today, let him stay in the bunker.

"That day at the funeral, I told him, get better, you can’t kill the Jews, we are one state, you are many, you won’t beat us.

"What’s to talk about? They ate with us, worked with us, lived like kings. What happened? They want to get rid of us, what? Tough, we have our state, that’s it. Nothing they can do about it. There they kill each other, what did they get out of it?

"That’s it, if you see him, best wishes to Haniyeh. I say to him, Ismail, get better, stop making problems, it’s over. That’s my message to Ismail. And lose the beard. Tell him your boss, Danny the plasterer, Rachel’s husband, sends his best wishes and stop making all those problems. We all want peace."
The story, as interesting as it is, is not the point I want to make. I want to highlight a couple of comments made to this story by American Arabs:
Well, I am glad that there is somebody that's showing the truth to the world. Haniya was a peaceful man until a zionist killed his Brother (and he is one among thousands killed or captured in Israili jails).
Thank you Mr. Mahlouf for stating that the palestinian violence is a reaction to the Israeli's every day terrorism.
To the Arab mentality - even American Arabs - Haniyeh's transformation into a mass murderer is a perfectly logical consequence of his brother being killed by a nutcase. The fact that Israel punished Popper exactly as if he had killed Jews is irrelevant - this is a case of honor, and if your "family" kills one of mine, my "family" can kill as many of your as we feel we need to.
This story just proves that violence only creates more extremists. Israel's most recent carnage in Gaza will only create more hatred.
This Arab is saying that Haniyeh's transformation is perfectly natural. It would never occur to him to similarly justify Israeli actions as natural - no, that privilege belongs solely to Arabs who of course turn into extremists while Israelis are expected to be stoic adults who turn the other cheek.
What a ridiculus story! Please stop propaganding. It is not working anymore. You made a genocide, you used illegal weapons and you burned babies. Most of the killed people are kids, women and old men and you talk about peace. Stop being hepocrites and liers. You will pay your crimes sooner or later.
No comment.
Please send my message to Danny Mahlouf.

Hello Mr. Mahlouf,

Salaams.

I pray for peace between Israelis & Pastinians every moment of every day.

I also understand and value very highly the freindship
and working relationship you both had fostered based on trust.

This trust was shattered by Israli dishonored soldier
who killed innocent seven Palastinians.

I am a very proud citizen of this great country on the earth, the USA. If one kills seven innocent people he will get life sentence. In your country this heartless, barbarian, cruel Israeli was dishonorably discharged. Is this the type of justice
your country men and your Court of Justice believe in?
This man, who is trying to give a message of peace, is still so consumed with hate that he cannot read the article properly. He thinks that Popper's only punishment was to be dishonorably discharged, something that Fletcher makes clear had happened beforehand. Fletcher also says that Popper got seven consecutive life sentences. Even the most peaceful, reasonable Arab cannot think the slightest bit objectively when he is convinced beforehand of the evil of the Zionists.

And these aren't Arabs who are from Gaza - these are Americans, who understand Western mores, and they are still consumed with ugly, blind hate. If they cannot read this story and understand the point, what are the chances that their cousins in the Middle East will ever be able to accept a true peace with Israel?