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LOCAL Interview :: Peace & War

AUDIO: Rockin' the Boat: Peretz Kidron Interview

Peretz Kidron was recently in Santa Cruz and I had an opportunity to speak with him at length. He begins here by discussing the founding of the group Yesh-Gvul.

[ Listen to the Stream or Download the mp3 ]
Peretz Kidron is an Israeli writer, journalist and translator who lives in Jerusalem. Born in Vienna, Austria in 1933, his family fled to Britain in 1938 to escape the Nazis. He migrated to Israel in 1951 and was a kibbutz member for 20 years.

In Israel, military service is required of all its citizens, including those whose conscionce says it's wrong to kill. Peretz Kidron is a former reservist, among the first to refuse service in the Occupied Territories as far back as the 1970s.

In 1979, he translated Yitzhak Rabin's memoirs and leaked a passage to the New York Times. Kidron knew just how explosive those few paragraphs would be. The lines were not in Rabin's book because they had been excised by Israeli censors. The passage told how Rabin, then a 26-year-old brigade commander, was ordered by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to expel 50,000 Arabs from the villages of Ramle and Lod during the War of Independence.

Peretz Kidron is a board member of B'Tselem, and has long been active with Yesh Gvul, Hebrew for "There is a limit" -- a group that supports soldiers who refuse to serve in the West Bank and Gaza. His recent book, "Refusenik!," is an anthology covering 30 years of Israel's refusal movement, and tells the stories of the Israeli soldiers who believe in their country but not in its actions beyond its borders. The book features numerous declarations and personal testimonies by these 'Refuseniks' from the 1982 invasion of Lebanon up to the current Palestinian situation.

Peretz Kidron was recently in Santa Cruz and I had an opportunity to speak with him at length. He begins here by discussing the founding of the group Yesh-Gvul.

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Peretz Kidron left out a lot of facts

One of Peretz Kidron's repeatedly made points is "Occupation is all the same" "the Iraq occupation is the same as the Israeli occupation".

I think Kidron is too simplistic here.

In all of his interviews Kidron failed to even mention Israel's "mini-Marshall plan" of occupation from 1967 until 1993 when the Oslo Accords were signed setting up the Palestinian Authority as the government for much of the West Bank and Gaza. Israel built 6 universities and 20 community colleges for the Palestinians with a resultant drop in illiteracy from 50% to 30%. Israel built 166 medical clinics and provided universal health insurance for the Palestinians with a resulting drop by 2/3 of infant mortality. With this act alone, Israel has saved more Palestinian lives than have been killed in the conflict.

Israel also expanded sewage treatment, water, and electrical systems for the West Bank. Israel built the Palestinians a sports stadium hoping that kids could get into sports rather than join the terror groups. The income per capita under Israeli occupation increased ten-fold and unemployment dropped from 40% to 5%.

Of course all gains began to be reversed when the PA took over in 1994. Unemployment has soared and per capita income has plummetted--mostly due to the intifada.

Israel's "occupation" is different from Iraq in a lot of ways. The USA occupation was done by a military invasion of a country that didnt threaten us.

In Israel, the threat from the Palestinian terror groups is daily.

The American people do not have any kind of history of living on the land of Iraq.

The Jewish people have lived in Gaza and the West Bank for thousands of years. The land in question is part of ancient Israel and the artifacts found by archeologists dramatically support a Jewish/Israeli presence in these area preceeding any Muslim presence.

The UN granted Israel the legal military control of the West Bank and Gaza after the 1967 war until a peace agreement could be written and signed. Since then Israel has made such a treaty with both Jordan and Egypt--who had occupied the West Bank and Gaza previously. Israel has tried 14 times since 1937 to set up an independent state of Palestine only to be thwarted at every attempt.

By contrast, the US invaded Iraq without UN support of the invasion. The govt. the US handed power over to was hand-picked by the US.

The PA people elected Arafat.

Jewish cities have existed in Gaza and the West Bank for centuries. The US has no American cities in Iraq.

So Peretz Kidron's blanket assertion that Occupation is Occupation is Occupation obscures the true reality of Israel and the Palestinian conflict.

Kidron also considers "nonsense" the fear Israelis have that the Arabs are just biding their time to attempt to genocide them. But Arab armies attacked Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973. They are too intimidated by Israel's military to do so now, but have never given up on their attempt to wipe off the face of the earth the only Jewish nation in the world.

Rantisi and Yassin---both in statements before they were killed by IDF gunships, re-iterated that the goal of Hamas is to kill all the Jews.

Kidron is either an idiot or he is paid by the Arabs. No other explanation can explain his positions.

Re: AUDIO: Rockin' the Boat: Peretz Kidron Interview

Thanks for being so reactionary, Becky. Every time you try to spin this issue, more and more people turn away from your position, and start opening up to the messages of people like Peretz.

Rockin' the Boat is an anti-Israel diatribe

Vinny---you can call me "reactionary" and feel smug in how you are in the "in" crowd of people out to bash Israel at every opportunity. You are wrong. Someday you will regret your current positions.

I also note that you have not refuted a single point I have made. I addressed some very significant ommissions in Peretz Kidron's presentations on Free Radio and at the RCNV.

I think people need to know the facts. The real facts. How many of the "eyewitnesses to Israeli brutality" do you do an independent fact check on? How do you know they didnt just make the whole story up?

You've seen the Palestinian "funerals" where the "dead" guy fell off the litter and walked away into the crowd! You mindlessly reported every "atrocity" in Jenin only to have been duped into reporting a non-massacre. Your patron Saint, Amy Goodman, likewise misreported the Jenin incursion of 2002.

My role, is to counter your misinformation and present real, genuine, verifiable facts and information that is negligently missing from your reporting on Israel ---as well as on George's show as well.

Your response is to call me names and urge people to shun me. What is the more telling behavior?

Re: AUDIO: Rockin' the Boat: Peretz Kidron Interview

"urge people to shun me."
No. You do that all by yourself :)


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