Me, Myself and Yitzhar

Me: So what do you make of the whole Yitzhar story?

Myself: You mean those settlers who went on a little rampage ruining IDF equipment because we destroyed illegal homes in the Yitzhar settlement?

Me: Yes

Myself:  Oh I don’t know darling. I’ve always been a little bit of a rebel myself. I mean I just love that new black music they’re playing in the Soho clubs nowadays. I think it’s called Jazz.

Me: Oh boy…

Myself: But of course I also have the upmost respect for tradition. For King and Country darling. And I couldn’t bare that Wallace Simpson lady. Marrying a divorcee? Really, how  bourgeois

Me: I read in one of the papers that some settlers were shocked that sixty years after the Holocaust Jewish soldiers were ruining Jewish homes in the Jewish State forcing Jews to leave their homes. They couldn’t believe Jewish soldiers would even comply with orders

Myself: Like lions for lambs…there we were, complying with ridiculous orders, storming the trenches when the brass didn’t even know what a trench was

Me: I think what he meant is that soldiers should think before they act. And I think he might have point.

Myself: Here here!

Me: I mean we don’t want soldiers that just comply with any order they’re given

Myself: What a ghastly thought!

Me: We don’t need soldiers that can’t think for themselves. What is this, Germany in the 1930’s?

Myself: Ah, be still my beating heart. Germany. The cabaret, the Champagne, the young muscular eager to please German men and all those dangerous liaisons in back allies…

Me: Forget Berlin! I’m talking about Yitzhar and the fact that Israeli soldiers should be allowed and even encouraged to use their own judgment at all times

Myself: Spot on old chap! Like pilots who should refuse to bomb targets in residential areas in Gaza

Me: Yes! Wait…what?

Myself:  Pilots in the RAF, sorry IAF, who are ordered to blow up a building in the middle of a residential area in Gaza should use their judgment and refuse to carry out such orders

Me: No. That’s not what I said at all…

Myself: And Israeli soldiers should refuse to commandeer Palestinian homes during military operations given the horrific experience of the Palestinian families who are forced to spend time downstairs with the butlers and valets

Me: Have you ever been to Gaza? Palestinian homes don’t have much of an upstairs downstairs motif

Myself: So no Downtown Abbey Christmas special filmed at the Erez crossing?

Me: No! Look, I’m talking about soldiers using judgment when dealing with Jews!

Myself: So when dealing with Jews our soldiers should use their minds but when dealing with the Palestinians they should use their fists

Me: Yes! ….No!….eh?

Myself:  Look you know I love these little pow-wows of ours but I’m meeting Prince George for drinks at the Ritz so may we conclude this evening’s broadcast

Me: One more thing. I read that the settlers said that the only reason the houses in Yitzhar were destroyed in the first place was that the IDF wanted to punish settlers who had previously attacked IDF equipment and soldiers. The settlers added that we don’t live in a dictatorship and that in democracy there is no collective punishment and that it is wrong to punish all settlers for the acts of a militant minority no matter how violent that minority is

Myself: Yes well that’s certainly one of the disadvantages of democracy. In a monarchy collective punishment is both a tool for governing and a source of amusement. Just look at those lovely Irish fellows we’ve been bullying for centuries

Me: It’s hard to believe that we would use destruction of homes a sort of punishment

Myself: I say that’s a bright idea old chap! Have we ever tried ruining the homes of the Palestinians as punishment?

Me: Ah…

Myself: Wait for it-

Me: No! It’s not the same thing

Myself: There it is! And what about “collective punishment due to the actions of a militant minority no matter how violent”. Ever heard of a little blockade of a little place called Gaza?

Me: You sound like a BDS activists!

Myself: And you’re fresh out of BS old chap.



About the Author
Dr. Ilan Manor (PhD Oxford University) is a diplomacy scholar at Tel Aviv University. Manor's recent book, The Digitalization of Diplomacy, explores how digital technologies have reshaped diplomatic practices. Manor has contributed to several publications including The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and the Jewish Daily Forward. According to his Twitter bio, Manor is the inventor of the ashtray. He blogs at