We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Netanyahu quits

“Netanyahu quits over withdrawal from Gaza”. Having got your attention, I will now admit that the Guardian story by Conal Urquhart to which I just linked dates from 8 August 2005. Despite the news of Netanyahu having quit being eighteen years out of date, it is worth your time to read. It will give you a sense of why, despite his many failings, Israelis might be willing to cut their current prime minister some slack:

Israel’s finance minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, resigned from the government yesterday, claiming its plan to withdraw from settlements in the occupied territories would allow the creation of a base for “Islamic terrorism”.

In what is widely seen as a prelude to a challenge to the leadership of the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, Mr Netanyahu submitted his letter of resignation as the cabinet met to rubber stamp the first phase of the evacuation of settlements in Gaza.

“I am not prepared to be a partner to a move which ignores reality, and proceeds blindly toward turning the Gaza Strip into a base for Islamic terrorism which will threaten the state,” he wrote.

He called it horribly right.

Here is another report from 2005, this time by the BBC, “Israel completes Gaza withdrawal”.

Israeli troops have pulled out of the Gaza Strip more than 38 years after capturing the narrow coastal area.
Tanks and armoured vehicles left under cover of darkness and the last officer shut the Kissufim border at dawn.

Thousands of jubilant Palestinians entered the former Jewish enclaves, and some set an abandoned synagogue ablaze in a settlement near Khan Younis.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas described the withdrawal as an historic and joyful day for his people.

In 2005, the Israelis finally did what so many goodhearted, decent, moderate people in their own country and worldwide had long urged them to do. They gave up land in the hope of peace. They dismantled the Jewish settlements, by force if necessary, but famously left behind high-tech greenhouses full of crops as a gift for the new owners of Gaza. The illusions of the donors who had funded that generous gesture did not last the day. The illusion that giving up the Gaza Strip would be a step towards peace lasted until October 7th, 2023, another historic and joyful day for the Palestinian people.

And now all the goodhearted, decent and moderate people – often, since the careers of newspaper columnists can span decades, literally the same people – are once again calling for Israel to be reasonable and call a ceasefire.

Until the morning of October 7th, the Israelis thought they had a ceasefire.

21 comments to Netanyahu quits

  • Kirk

    As with so many things, everything that’s happened with regards to Gaza was both predictable and inevitable, given the realities.

    That so many thought otherwise, and urged Israel to join in with the fantasy? Not what I’d term a good advertisement for their wisdom.

    Frankly, I was with Netanyahu on this issue all along. I thought the withdrawal was stupid, and that it would lead to things like October 7. The solution? I don’t have one, unless you’re willing to do the necessary, similar to what the Mongols reputedly did at Alamut.

    The Gazan Arabs are slow learners, like most inbred populations. They seem to think that they’re the only ones who can and will wreak horror in the name of their cause, and that they’re somehow immune to the effects of such things as hubris and nemesis.

    Which, now that I think about it, I’ve never encountered as a concept in any Islamic writings that I’ve read studying the culture. It’s like that’s an alien concept…

  • Fraser Orr

    I think the story about the greenhouses tells you about everything you need to know here.

  • bobby b

    Damn. That headline. Don’t scare people like that.

  • djm

    Until the morning of October 7th, the Israelis thought they had a ceasefire.

    Really ?

    So the regular fusillade of incoming rockets, bombs, shootings carried out by those pesky Pallys were just, what, homages to Guy Fawkes ?

  • jgh

    The linked-to article also shows a significant difference. The Jews buy stuff: land, facilities, supplies. Yes, the Jews *BOUGHT* the land they settled. The Palestinians steal stuff.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)


    Fair point, there was a shocking double standard. Alongside that, Israel’s very success in defending itself (e.g. Iron Dome) meant that the attacks against it were dismissed. To some extent I think Israel itself shared this attitude.

    I’m reminded of Reginald Mauldling’s controversial description of the situation in Northern Ireland in 1971, “An acceptable level of violence”. That phrase was still resented decades later, but, to be realistic, that’s the way the world works.

  • Kevin Jaeger

    So the regular fusillade of incoming rockets, bombs, shootings carried out by those pesky Pallys were just, what, homages to Guy Fawkes ?

    Unfortunately yes, for the Israelis the best they have ever been able to hope for was that a cease fire would limit the attacks to a “tolerable level of violence”. No other country is expected to tolerate that but for some reason many people expect Israel to just live with that situation. I’ve never understood it but that has been the precedent that they set themselves.

  • Fred Z

    The final solution may work in reverse. I hope not. But the Palestinians never lose an opportunity to lose an opportunity

  • Kirk

    There is no such thing as a “tolerable level of violence”. The moment you allow such a thing to become a part of your mindset, you’re setting the stage for far worse things to come. It’s like the danegeld; once you start paying it, you’re going to keep on paying it at ever-increasing rates.

    Someone offers you violence? You end them, or they end you. It’s a binary situation; should they fail in their attack on you, they’ll just keep on coming back until they succeed or you render them incapable of inflicting violence on you and yours.

    It’s a sad but true set of facts; you cannot apply the rules of civilized conduct to people who are already operating outside of them. If you do, that’s a failure on your part, and you’ll pay the price.

  • Stonyground

    I found this in the comments at Longrider’s blog.


  • William H. Stoddard

    Kirk: This is why the old concept of a “felony” was that by committing such an act, the felon had in effect declared war on their own society. The current treatment of convicted felons often tends to forget this, even for felons who have committed acts as heinous, on a small scale, as anything the Palestinians did on a large scale.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The destruction of those greenhouses is a metaphor for not just the terrorists and death cultists of Hamas and their Iranian financial backers, but of the dark Greens/post-modernist Left more broadly.

    Changing gear ever so slightly, I noticed a reference a day ago to a book, written by the late Joan Peters, about the actual population developments leading up to the creation of Israel. It largely debunks the “Jewish settlers stole our land” narrative that I have heard even from those whom I might agree with on most issues. It is a powerful myth, but all the more in need of being taken down. Sadly, Peters’ book appears out of print. I also noted that when her book came out, it caused a storm of outrage from those who, perhaps understandably, did not like their myths being debunked.

    Here is another article about Peters.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Thank you Johnathan for the links.
    Paul Marks informed us previously that most “Palestinians” moved into greater Israel *after* the Jews, but as Paul himself admits, he doesn’t “do links”.

  • psol

    Most of the land that Jews were living on prior to the establishment the State of Israel was bought from (mostly absentee) landlords during Ottoman rule.

    It’s true that land was nationlised by the socialist governent of the new state, but that was Jewish-owned land as well as Arab-owned.

  • jgh

    The land that the *state* took over was land of the previous state – the Ottoman state administered by the British Mandate. The land that *people* took over they bought, almost entirely from Arab land owners. If the Arabs didn’t want Jews settling “their” land they shouldn’t have sold it to them in the first damn place.

  • psol


    From my recollection, they also nationalised private property. The early Israeli governments were really very left wing indeed.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    The early Israeli governments were really very left wing indeed.

    Yes, and the socialist writer and political figure, Richard Crossman, for example, was a champion of the state for precisely that reason. It was popular for Leftist/liberal parents, not just Jewish, to send their teenage children to a Kibbutz.(Crossman’s pro-Israel views drew wrath from the Israel-hating Left even back in the 60s, which shows how far back hatred of Israel goes on parts of the Left, as well as certain folk on parts of the Right, it needs to be said.)

    On a related point, here is an article from 2017 in the Guardian about the Kibbutz experience.

  • Kirk

    jgh said:

    The land that the *state* took over was land of the previous state – the Ottoman state administered by the British Mandate. The land that *people* took over they bought, almost entirely from Arab land owners. If the Arabs didn’t want Jews settling “their” land they shouldn’t have sold it to them in the first damn place.

    Back around the end of the 19th Century, a bunch of my collateral family were heavily involved in missionary work in China and the Middle East. I’ve seen the correspondence that produced, and it was fascinating reading… A good deal of the 20th Century’s violence and destruction suddenly snaps into focus, when you are reading about what the Japanese were doing in China during the interwar years. So, too, with the land that became Israel. The correspondence describes what was going on around them, and the commentary it provided about the land dealings between the Ottomans and the nascent Zionists were… Illuminating. The Jews were not agriculturalists, at all, and were getting ripped off by whatever Ottoman official they dealt with. They’d buy land, work to improve it, and then have it given away to Arabs out from under them by the Ottomans. Lots of little fiddles, lots of little con jobs… If you read between the lines, you can tell that there’s little real documentation until the British started the Mandate up, after WWI. The Ottomans were not very careful or concerned with documentation; whoever was there last, with the largest bribes, usually got the paperwork. Next guy? More money? New papers… All solemnly stamped and attested.

    I don’t think I’d believe a damn thing dating from those years, no matter who produced it or who benefited from it. Make me king for a day, and I’d be going through everything, throwing it out, and saying “OK, who’s taken the best care of the land, so far…?”, and giving them the care of it until they stop taking care of it. You look at the condition of the rest of the Middle East, being as it has gone from the “Fertile Crescent” to “Wasteland” under the care of the Arab? Yeah; time to take it back for people who don’t make desert wherever they go.

  • JohnK

    One thing the British Empire was good at was land registries. There will be a full record of who owned what in the Palestine Mandate up to 1948.

  • Paul Marks

    Sharon was a good soldier (he led a force over the Suez canal in 1973 – yes Egypt did NOT win that war on the battlefield) – but he did not understood people driven by principles, perhaps because Sharon was such a practical and pragmatic man that he did not understand people who were directed by principles – whether the principles are good or evil is beside the point, the point is that they are principles, and pragmatic people do not understand people who are driven by principles.

    “But if you carry on down this path you will lose everything and your own children will die” – to which the man of principle replies “So what? I will kill you anyway – for God has commanded that you, and everyone you love, must die! And I will destroy all those you love in the most humiliating and agonising way I can – for God has ordered that also, and I delight in it”.

    “Bibi”, at least in 2005, seems to have understood the situation better.

    Sadly the intelligence services, both Israeli and American, who have conspired to “get rid of Bibi” and think they can use certain groups for their own purposes, have no understanding of what they are dealing with – men, and women, of principle are NOT stupid (as the intelligence services incorrectly believe).

    The “International Community” (with their “Agendas” and all the rest of it) think they are very clever – they may be clever, but they are not wise. They have no understanding of the most important things.

  • Kirk

    The “International Community” is mostly composed of those self-same people we’re railing against everywhere else, the soi-disant “elites” that have signally munged up the world around us. Same breed of idiot that supports Hamas also supports “defunding the police” and “decarceration”, with similar impact down at the local levels.

    The problem exists all through the network of “do good” NGO organizations; it’s not just George Soros, either. The various foundations and other multi-billion dollar organizations that gin all this nonsensical crap up are manned and supported by a horde of idiots educated far past their intellectual capacities, and who have fallen into high-paying jobs as a result of their connections and good intent. It’s a damn mess, all the way around, and untwining it almost requires the complete and total destruction of modern society. We really only have an equivalence in history when you go back and look at the monastic religious infrastructure that Henry the Eighth tore down, and which the French Revolution destroyed in France. Someone is going to have to tear out these institutions by the roots, pauperize their participants, and then prevent them from ever arising again. The amount of sheer damage they’ve done to the world is truly remarkable, and they’ve done so on the back of the very system they’re trying to tear down in the name of some idealist view of humanity.

    I honestly can’t think of too many of these NGO outfits that have actually done the good they claim to be doing. Even the medical ones have tended to bring in rather more problems than they solve, and when you link it all together? It’s a damn mess that they’ve created, while getting wealthy and creating more and more problems for the average person. If you knew the salaries that some of these cretins command, working with the “homeless”? You’d suffer an epiphany about why the problem ain’t ever going away. It won’t, until people like these “do-gooder” types can’t make any money at their destructive trade.