Hebrew Translation: Back To The Old "Conceptzia"
From Sol Salbe
[Another morning another suicide bombing. If the pictures on Einyan Merkazi
are any guide, it was a particularly gruesome one. But what was the point of repeating the condemnation or pointing out
that the attack was targetted at the weakest and poorest sections of Israeli society including Palestinian Israelis. You
have all heard me say that before. Readers of this News Service would have been aware of Israel’s own behaviour on this
score. So I decided to follow the old Jewish sages who advised that silence befits the wise and even the foolish and
therefore say nothing.
But I did not count on Ben-Dror Yemini. A columnist for Ma’ariv he is an Israeli equivalent to Gerard Henderson, Andrew
Bolt or Piers Ackerman; in other words your typical right-wing columnist. (Ironically even his surname means Rightist.)
But Yemini is somewhat more intelligent and far more cynical than his Australian counterparts. He is unwilling to accept
the prevailing dogma as the truth. In some ways this reflects the level of debate about the strong arm tactics used by
the Israeli security forces. It is not so much the immorality of so many of them but the fact that they are so counter
–productive. The best way to put the argument is something like “if for every terrorist we kill several spring up to
replace him/her maybe we should try something else?”But there is another aspect that comes out the hubris the dominates
the Israeli national discourse. Perhaps less hubris may lead to a clearer understanding of the problem – and lead us to
a solution? The current policy, Yemini argues smacks of conceit laden arrogant pre-conceived ideas.
But perhaps his most important message is this:
“What was the cause of the sharp reduction in terrorism - was it the General Security Service and IDF or was it the
tahdia [declared calm] -- the inter-Palestinian agreement? It is doubtful that there is an unequivocal answer for this
question. What is clear is that the speedy bombing tends to favour the second alternative. If the Palestinians want to
carry out attacks – they can. And if they want they give us some tranquillity – they can do that too. Yes, the
possibility does exist that this bombing was planned in advance without any connection to the assassination. But the
concurrence of the two events appears unlikely to be a pure coincidence. Could Islamic Jihad been that lucky?”
As you can guess I had no choice but to translate Yemini’s latest column. it deserves wide circulation –Sol Salbe]
BACK TO THE OLD “CONCEPTZIA”
Ben-Dror Yemini reminds us that as late as yesterday we were told that Islamic Jihad is incapable of resuming its
It is unlikely that anyone has forgotten it already, but just in case let me remind you: It was only two days ago that
Islamic Jihad swore revenge. That followed the khisul [“termination” - [the Israeli vernacular for assassination-
translator] of Luay Saadi, the most senior person on Israel’s wanted list. The ink hasn’t dried on the newspapers’
headlines but the bombing –apparently a revenge attack – is already upon us, somewhat earlier than expected. The Jihad
has already claimed responsibility. It has kept its word.
And it was only yesterday when we were told by security sources: “Islamic Jihad will find it difficult to re-jig its
operational capacity following the assassination.” What arrogance, the arrogance of those who told us time and time
again that the Intifada was finished. We were told that that the Palestinian were more than defeated they were
vanquished. It will be interesting to here what these sources have to say today.
What is really depressing about this narrative is the familiar odour of the infamous “Coneptzia” [pre-conceived line of
reasoning] before the Yom Kippur War [when the defence establishment chose to believe its own pre-conceived assessment
rather than trust the data it was receiving.] Those sorts of baseless comments were as supercilious then as they are
now. There was a yawning, steadily increasing gap between facts and assessment then. And just like now it was rooted in
conceit. We have seen this scene before.
Islamic Jihad’s amazing swiftness raises two serious questions. The first one is: What was the cause of the sharp
reduction in terrorism - was it the General Security Service and IDF or was it the tahdia [declared calm] -- the
inter-Palestinian agreement? It is doubtful that there is an unequivocal answer for this question. What is clear is that
the speedy bombing tends to favour the second alternative. If the Palestinians want to carry out attacks – they can. And
if they want they give us some tranquillity – they can do that too. Yes, the possibility does exist that this bombing
was planned in advance without any connection to the assassination. But the concurrence of the two events appears
unlikely to be a pure coincidence. Could Islamic Jihad been that lucky?
Khisul leads to bombing
The second question is what happened to the separation fence? The fence has been completed in the northern region.
[There has been a suggestion in a later report in Haaretz that it wasn’t -translator] So are there any gaps in the
system? It’s too early to tell. Until we know just how the suicide terrorist managed to get in, we won’t have a clear
answer. The fence has already proven its value. There is almost no argument about this. Not even one single bombing can
be ascribed to anyone crossing the Gaza Fence! There have been attempts to get through but they all failed. The only
bombing to emanate from the Gaza strip was at the Ashdod Port. It involved the use of a hiding compartment secreted on a
truck that managed to get past the inspectors at the border. It is therefore definitely too early to write the fence
No one promised us that the disengagement would lead to a period of tranquillity. Many on the Left, as well as those on
the Right predicted that terrorism would not only fail to disappear but in fact would increase. They offered various
explanations. The Hadera bombing is just one more occurrence in a continuing conflict. Those who launch Qassem rockets
do not pay attention to our planes’ sonic boom. Those rockets were launched yesterday as well. The suicide bombings, so
it seems, are also more dependent on the other side than on us.
So is the conclusion that we suffered at least five victims of murder on account of one khisul? It would be wise to
admit that it is at least food for thought. We have already seen this scene before. Assassinations lead to bombings that
lead to assassinations and on and on it goes. The balance sheet shows that that Palestinians have suffered more
casualties than we have. But heaven helps us if we take delight in that. Heaven help us even more if the top layers of
defence establishment do return to those dark days of a conceit-laden arrogant conseptzia. In the meantime I have a
feeling, maybe more than a feeling, that this precisely the case.
[The independent Middle East News Service concentrates on providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli
sources. It is sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. The views expressed here are not necessarily those
of the AJDS. These are expressed in its own statements]