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War: Israel Launches Gaza Invasion, Assassinates Hamas Military Wing Chief

Several hours ago, Israel assassinated Ahmed Jabari along with his son, a Hamas operative and at least three other civilians in an attack that launched a new war in Gaza.  Israelis have been receiving call-ups for reserve duty as happens whenever a war or ground operation is planned.  It appears likely this is Operation Cast Lead II.

It is, of course, no accident that Israeli elections will be held in two months.  Israeli prime ministers routinely use wars to bolster their popularity.   Menachem Begin attacked the Osirak reactor shortly before elections, which he subsequently won.  Aluf Benn offers (Hebrew) a long list of such political opportunism including Operation Grapes of Wrath (1996) and Operation Cast Lead just before the 2009 elections. Bibi, being a master of political tactics (but not strategy, since he has none) wanted to leave no stone unturned in his march to victory in January.

The guy’s got a definite touch of the diabolical as well.  Today was when Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni expected to announce their return to politics and to campaigning for the next Knesset election.  In a single stroke (or should I say “a single missile”) he’s rendered virtually the entire political Opposition irrelevant.   Olmert’s been eclipsed.  Yachimovich’s social justice campaign platform is moot.  All that’s left is security and Bibi is King.  He owns security as an issue.

As happened numerous times in the past, including after the Eilat terror attack, when Israel lied in ascribing blame for the attack on Gaza and murdered 30 in revenge strikes, terror in Gaza is not the issue.  Gaza is a useful tool or canvas on which Israeli generals and politicians embellish their careers.  It’s the utmost in cynicism, but alas all too common in the debased society Israel has become.

ronen bergman israeli assassinations

Ronen Bergman: “It must be said, Israel has assassinated more than any other state…”

Further, Bibi did not yet have his own personal war to his credit.  Almost every Israeli PM has to have one.  It’s the mark by which they distinguish themselves.  Since he could not arrange a war with Iran due to U.S. intransigence, and the pig-headed obstinacy of the U.S.   electorate who refused to elect Mitt Romney, Gaza will have to do.

The first U.S. response was from the Pentagon saying they “stood shoulder to shoulder with the Israeli people in their response to terror.”  Which is ironic given that Israel engaged in an act of terror assassinating Jabari and the other Gaza civilians.  As an interesting footnote, Israeli security correspondent Ronen Bergman was interviewed for a TV show aired a few days ago about the history of the Mossad.  One interesting comment he made is that Israel has used assassination more than any other state since World War II.  He seems to be forgetting that the U.S. is likely the leader in this category.  But still it’s indicative that Bergman gives such pride of place to Israel’s prowess in murdering its political foes.

It must be said clearly, Jabari’s assassination is not an act of defense or even a response to past terror attacks against it.  It is a blatant act of provocation and an act of terror in itself.  It is akin to the 2003 assassination of Saleh Shehadeh and will, in the end, cause the deaths of more Israelis and Gazans than that ghastly massacre.  These are war crimes and must eventually be held accountable as such.

Israel knows that by murdering Jabari they’ve not dented Hamas’ military capability.  Another Jabari will arise who will out-Jabari Jabari just as Nasrallah outdid Abbas Musawi, who Israel assassinated.  Bibi needs Hamas.  He needs an eternal enemy.  It’s what makes him strong.  He and the Likud are the political equivalent of Dracula.  Just as Jefferson said the Tree of Liberty needed to be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants, the ultranationalists cynically need to drink the blood of dead Palestinians (or Iranians or Lebanese) in order to guarantee their political reign.  This is ghoulish.  It is insane.  Israeli policy is insane.

Not satisfied with pursuing war as a political objective to dominate the Palestinians, the IDF has invoked the Torah in calling this operation Pillar of Cloud (as in “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way”).  No, I’m sorry.  God doesn’t walk with killers.  My God doesn’t want blood, either Jewish or Palestinian.  My God is not an anti-jihadi.  He doesn’t hate Muslims or Arabs.  Bibi, do not debase my holy texts.  Do not exploit them in your attempt to provoke religious wars.  I’d prefer calling this new campaign Pillar of White Phosphorus, myself.

Pres. Obama must demand that the invasion stop and that Israel and Hamas observe a full ceasefire.  If Bibi refuses, Obama should convene a Security Council session to approve Palestine’s application for UN membership as a state.  He should also announce that he will abrogate all previous agreements to ostracize Hamas and that he will permit U.S. diplomats to begin discussions with the Islamist group.  It is the failure of U.S. policy in regard to Hamas and Gaza that’s gotten us into the mess we’re in now.  We share some measure of responsibility for this bloodbath.

In reality, Obama will do nothing, as happened in 2009, when he arrived at a grand bargain with Olmert to end Cast Lead the day before his Inauguration.  Until that date, the IDF had carte blanche to massacre Gazans, which they did with great aplomb.  The president has bigger fish to fry and is nothing if not a cold eyed pragmatist schooled in real politick.  He wants a budget deal and immigration reform far more than he wants to save Gazan lives.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has demanded that that country consider suspending its treaty agreements with Israel.  The question will be how far Pres. Morsi is willing to go.  UPDATE: Haaretz just announced that Egypt has recalled its ambassador for “consultations.”  Bibi has made a calculated gamble that the front line states will remain quiescent.  In the past, that would’ve held true.  But these are different times and Israel may find that the Arabs aren’t so willing to roll over and play dead.

Hasbarists, I put you on notice that you may argue till the cows come home about Jabari having  blood on his hands, but the plain truth in this case is that Jabari and Hamas were honoring the ceasefire (though Islamic Jihad wasn’t).  Even if you want to level the specious argument that Hamas was responsible for the renewed rocket fire, none of those rockets caused even an injury, let alone killed anyone.

I understand Judge Goldstone isn’t available to lead the next UN war crimes investigation. Ban Ki Moon might want to establish a short list of credible candidates to take this mandate, as we will certainly have many choices of war crimes to investigate in the coming days and weeks.


{ 71 comments… add one }
  • Tibor November 14, 2012, 10:20 AM

    This is an unjust description of the events. Israel left Gaza hoping to put that violent saga behind. Instead the opposite happened. As a matter of fact Hamas took a liberty to fire mortars and rockets, which are now far more advanced than earlier versions, whenever it felt like doing that or there was something not to its liking. They were ALWAYS aimed at civilians. Its calculation was that Israel would not respond seriously so as not to escalate matters, since being a modern Westernized society it sees the keeping of normalcy in civilian areas as a prime and goal. Just last week they fired scores of missiles with no Israeli act against them to justify that. There always come the one-too-many case and now the ball is in their court. They have to make a decision: do they want to stop once and for all shooting at Israel and then they will be left in peace, or else…

    • Mikhael November 14, 2012, 10:30 AM

      Rockets from Gaza didn’t kill any Israeli civilian in 2012.

      Israeli Army is killing civilian Palestinians right now !.

      Actually I just saw couple of pictures of dead children and one picture of burned child … probably is dead by now.

      Only the IDF you can blame.

    • Castellio November 14, 2012, 12:22 PM

      “and then they will be left in peace”

      Right. And then they will be left in peace. You actually wrote that…

      • Tibor November 14, 2012, 1:11 PM

        Castellio, I see you like playing with words – that`s OK, it is my hobby too. So here is a related one: How the Arabs plan to regain Palestine? Peace by peace…

        • Castellio November 14, 2012, 7:19 PM

          I don’t like playing with words. Nor do I like how much you enjoy misusing them.

          Really, no shame at all. People chased from native towns and cities, their water stolen, their trees and crops arbitrarily destroyed, their sole power plant bombed, their schools bombed, their imports limited to what Israel thinks “appropriate”, their ability to export denied, shot at if they come close to an arbitrarily imposed wall, and you say “They will be left in peace”…

        • Richard Silverstein November 14, 2012, 11:04 PM

          Leave the “wit” to others, please.

    • QCman November 14, 2012, 12:37 PM

      Really? Read the paragraph that starts with “Hasbarists” (one from the end), I believe it is addressed to you…

    • Tibor makes me laugh November 14, 2012, 6:19 PM

      Tibor: “Israel left Gaza hoping to put that violent saga behind.”

      He’s a thought experiment:
      The Warden of a prison decides that he has had enough of all those unruly, ungrateful prisoners, so he instructs his guards to do this:
      1) Lock down all the barracks.
      2) Lock up all the gates.
      3) Stop patrolling the grounds
      4) Shoot anyone and anything that approaches the wall.

      Having done that our Prison Warden slaps his hands together and says “There, I’ve left this prison and I’ve put this whole sorry mess behind me”.

      Q: Is his statement correct?
      A: No, it is completely incorrect

      Q: Why is it incorrect?
      A: This is still a prison, he is still the Warden, and those are still his prisoners.

      Q: So what *has* he done?
      A: He has criminally abused his position as Prison Warden by treating his prisoners in an inhuman fashion.

      Tibor, if a Prison Warden wants to end his role then He Has To Let The Prisoners Go Free, he can’t pretend that his job is at an end merely because he locks them down in a hell-hole.

      Tibor, if Israel wants to end its occupation of Gaza then it has to Give The Gazans Their Freedom, it can’t simply play-pretendies while subjecting the Gazans to a hell-hole.

    • Davey November 14, 2012, 10:40 PM

      Ah, “peace.” It can be had if only Hamas will stop rockets, that is, total capitulation. Hamas will stop when Israel is ready to offer some modicum of JUSTICE and nothing short of genocide can end the rockets, now and in the future. Israel is guilty and not Jewish, as far as I can tell. It is a criminal undertaking with that clown Bibi and his crayons at the head of the beast. My hope is that the state crosses more lines and is disowned by American Jews and hence by America. Then they can stew.

  • Rain November 14, 2012, 10:25 AM

    We know that another round in Aza will solve nothing and probably kill many. Most of whom will be Palestinians. A useless and frustrating move. However, basing an argument on the fact that the rockets fired at Israel mean nothing because they haven’t killed and injured anyone displays a desire not to understand or acknowledge the impact felt by Israelis living within Hamas rocket range.

    Obviously daily life and fear in Aza is far more acute than the other side of the border, but still it’s no easy thing to live life around a constant threat of rockets falling. When those opposed to the current Israeli leadership give legitimacy to the suffering on one side only, they behave in exactly the same way as the right-wing public here who recognize only a Jewish Israeli perspective.

    As for motives..
    1) Quieting Aza now will result in a quiet Aza by the springtime, leaving breathing space for Iran.
    2) A Bibi that does nothing may well face a backlash of southern residents at the Polls come election time. The last thing he wants.

    • Tibor November 14, 2012, 10:50 AM

      Motives continued:.
      3) The situation in Syria. Syria is in the limelight now not just globally but also within the Arab world. The intensity of events there and the extent of casualties mean that it will be harder for Hamas to attract attention to casualties in Gaza, globally and in the Arab world, if it decides to escalate. In addition, what happens there in effect neutralizes Hamas` allies: Assad and Hezbollah.

      • Little Bat November 14, 2012, 9:00 PM

        Tibor, the situation in Syria is indeed part of this, but it is hard to fit in. Hamas is part of the Brotherhood, and as such, is not an ally of the Syrian regime, nor Hezbollah. Hezbollah supports the Gaza struggle, obviously enough, at the level of rhetoric, but they also complain that Hamas oppresses converts to Shia Islam, in Gaza.

        Hamas severed contacts with Assad’s regime, once the revolt began. Even more significant, the Emir of Qatar recently visited Gaza and promised funding. Qatar is also a prime mover to overthrow the Syrian govt, and previously was active in Libya.

        So this Gaza breakout is unexpected, and disrupts the flow of events. There must be some reason for it, that I can’t see.

  • Leeor November 14, 2012, 11:08 AM

    Frankly, i’m surprised by your lack of cultural knowledge. It’s a well known fact that Israelis don’t drink the blood of Palestinians as you claim, but rather bake it into their Matsa-bread. Please be more accurate in the future, this is embarrassing.

    • Elisabeth November 15, 2012, 12:17 AM

      Leeor studied the Hasbara guide: When Israel is criticized, deflect attention by crying anti-Semitism. Yawn.

  • Marc November 14, 2012, 11:56 AM

    I take umbrage about your misrepresenting god (though not Bibi).

    This god of yours (and it is the same god the Muslims venerate and one third of the Christian god) is a blood-thirsty maniac if we’re to accept all the various scriptures – (in order of antiquated nonsense) Jewish, Christian, Moslem or Mormon. Bollocks, one and all.


  • muhammad November 14, 2012, 12:31 PM

    Typical “Israel can do no wrong” propaganda by Tibor. Yes, Israel left Gaza but it converted it to the largest open-air jail on earth in which 1.5 million “inmates” live in poverty. The sea, air and land borders are blocked by Israel. As long as Hosny Mubarak, the US/Israel puppet was in power, the calorie-numbered and counted “food” was coming in and that was it. So, the “peace” that Tibor is talking about is a graveyard peace, where everyone is so silent against Israel’s atrocities that it as if he/she is dead. The “best” peace is found in a graveyard after all.

    • shmuel November 14, 2012, 11:42 PM

      I’ve never seen a jail where its western wall is breeched and not guarded but rather supervised by friends of the inmates!

      So where is the muslim brotherhood in Egypt? Why don’t they let in all the vitally needed products to their fellow muslims that Israel doesn’t allow? Surely you must put equal blame on the new (as well as old) Egyptian regime and Israel? These are fellow Arabs, and supposed friends, and with friends like these…

      • Elisabeth November 15, 2012, 12:20 AM

        So what is your point Shmuel, except Schadenfreude?

        • shmuel November 15, 2012, 4:44 AM

          I don’t know what “Schadenfreude” is (and on principle won’t look it up, the world can manage well without the German language since it was misused and shouted about too much in the past), but my point is that you can’t keep shouting about how Israel closed in Gaza when they have a friendly nation on its west with a common border through which anything can be imported/exported.

          Calling it an open prison with 1.5 million inmates is a distortion of fact and “Palestinian hasbara” designed to awaken sympathy on false grounds.

          • mary November 15, 2012, 7:13 AM

            Does “Camp David” ring a bell, Shmuel?

            By the way, I live in Cairo. Egyptian fighter jets have been flying over Cairo for 2 days now, a very unusual phenomenon according to the Egyptians. President Morsi has kicked out the Israeli Ambassador and recalled its Ambassador in Israel. It appears that he is much less inclined to toady to Israeli/American desires than his predecessor.

            In other words, be careful what you ask for.

          • Elisabeth November 15, 2012, 7:18 AM

            The border with Egypt is not open so you do not have a point.

            FYI Schadenfreude is part of the English language: a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction when something bad happens to someone else.The word could comfortably find a little niche in Ivrit too, as Israelis so much enjoy pointing out that the whole world, including most Arab regimes, abandons the Palestinians to Israeli aggression.

            Ivrit is being misused and shouted about too much in the present. Does that justify a similarly stupid attitude towards the language as you display towards German?

  • djf November 14, 2012, 1:03 PM

    You assert that “terror in Gaza is not the issue” and that “Jabari’s assassination is not an act of defense or even a response to past terror attacks against it.” Says who? Your interpretation gives Israel the detriment of every doubt. By the way, how would Prime Minister Silverstein have reacted to the recent barrage of rockets? I don’t mean that cynically; I’m curious as to what alternative you prefer.

  • Joel November 14, 2012, 1:13 PM

    Richard. You make no mention of the 20 caches of long range missiles Israel also destroyed today in Gaza nor does anyone seem to remember the incident two weeks ago where Israel discovered a huge tunnel that Hamas had built next to the Israeli border.
    Long range missiles for targeting Tel Aviv and offensive mega-tunnels built under the Israeli border suggests that Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari was a genuine enemy of Israel.

    • Richard Silverstein November 14, 2012, 6:19 PM

      First of all, without proof I believe nothing from the IDF. 2nd: You make no mention of the 1 yr old children murdered today (2 separate 1 yr olds I believe). When you can have 1/10 the sympathy I have for them, then we can talk. Or when the IDF only kills the same number of Palestinian civilians as Palestinians kill Israeli civilians (instead of 6 times as many), then you can talk. Till then…

    • Davey November 14, 2012, 10:44 PM

      What’s your point? Is it that finding weapons and tunnels makes it alright to slaughter mostly unarmed civilians with F-16’s, Tanks and a trained army. Is that your point? Tell me.

  • Zaviyot November 14, 2012, 1:29 PM

    This has nothing to do with the rockets on Israel, but it does have a lot to do with the IDF attacking civilians in Gaza.
    link to antiwar.com

    • Joel November 14, 2012, 9:31 PM

      No Zaviyot. The Gazans started this round of hostilities.

      link to jpost.com

      • Richard Silverstein November 14, 2012, 11:00 PM

        Oh puh-leeze. Using the JPost as proof of anything is ridiculous. Many scholarly studies (I’ve read at least two serious & credible ones & linked to one here) have proven by reviewing attacks coming from either side that Israel always initiates, Gaza always responds. Of course, Israel can point to the Gazans response to justify further escalation as it did today in justifying the mayhem it’s inflicting on innocent Gaza civilians.

        • Joel November 15, 2012, 12:40 AM

          For Jpost and the scholarly studies, which I have also read, and which prove the opposite of what you claim.

          Just show your sources that prove Israel started this.

          • Richard Silverstein November 15, 2012, 2:20 AM

            There are no credible scholarly studies showing Hamas provokes confrontations with Israel. Don’t bluff or lie. I hate that.

          • Davey November 15, 2012, 11:08 AM

            Not credible. Israel’s “diplomats” have to consult bevies of lawyers before traveling outside the country. That’s the state that we are to trust and believe! Liars and murderers!

        • Deïr Yassin November 15, 2012, 1:17 AM

          Yep, the militants shelling the Israeli jeep on saturday wounding four soldiers did so in response to the killing of 13-years old Hamid Younis Abu Daqqa on Thursday who was playing football in front of his house. Yet no MSM even bothered to mention his death. If that had been an Israeli boy…..
          link to maannews.net
          We got the usual ‘Palestinian militants attacked, Israel responded in ‘self-defense’, even in serious papers as Le Monde.
          Reading that Obama ‘condemned the rockets from Gaza’ is so revolting.
          PS. Among the casualties: 7-years old Jenan Arafat and 11-month old Ahmad Masharawi who was literally carbonised. Pictures of his mourning father holding his little body bring up violent feelings….

          • Elisabeth November 15, 2012, 7:26 AM

            You are so right: It is all Israeli ‘retaliation’ to rockets from Gaza in the papers here too. And no-one mentioned the Palestinian boy, or how it all started. It is so hard to keep wishing Israeli’s the best. I am trying very hard not to become like shmuel….

  • SimoHurtta November 14, 2012, 2:09 PM

    This Israeli propaganda is interesting. They speak sometimes about Fajr rockets/missiles launched against Israel from Gaza.

    Fajr 3 artillery rocket is 5.2 meters long and weights over 500 kg. The launcher is 10 meters long.
    Fajr 5 artillery rocket is 6.5 meters long and weights over 900 kg. The launcher is 10 meters long.
    Fajr 7 rocket. No data can be found.

    Fajr 3 ballistic missile has an estimated range of 2000 kilometers. It uses liquid fuel. Amusingly in the wiki pages Hamas is claimed to use/have them. That kind of ballistic rocket is really massive. For what Hamas needs ballistic missiles with the range of 2000 kilometers? Even more interesting would be see how an Israeli military expert explains how Hamas would launch a Fajr-3 ballistic missile from Gaza so that Israel would not notice it.

    What is interesting how easily the international press swallows and repeats these Israeli war propaganda which makes no sense. Hamas would have ballistic missiles in Gaza come-on. Here is a picture from the Zionist propaganda machine where two Hizbollah men are carrying a Fajr-3 missile. Two men carrying a ballistic missile with the range of 2000 kilometers. Hmmm …
    link to 4.bp.blogspot.com

    In the recent news Barak announces that most Hamas’ Fajir missiles are destroyed. Well one could say so if zero of the zero existing Fajir missiles are destroyed. Well it is clear that Israel uses the Fajr missile / rocket term only to link Iran to Gaza.

    • Michael November 14, 2012, 3:42 PM

      Dear SimoHurtta,

      Seems the Israeli propoganda works only on people that can READ and COMPREHEND.

      I’m afraid you mixed up two different things – a Fajr-3 Ballistic missile:
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      and the tactical rockets with a range of 45-75 KM:
      link to en.wikipedia.org
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      You keep mixing things up with the link that you give, which is clearly a very short range (less than 5 km I’d say) rocket.
      Here’s the propoganda you meant:
      link to youtube.com

      Oh… but that really looks like a 6 meter rocket. Damn…

      • SimoHurtta November 15, 2012, 2:19 AM

        Can’t you read Michael? I clearly separated Fajr 3 artillery rocket and Fajr 3 ballistic missile. What is wrong with your “Israeli” reading skills?

        I am not claiming that Hamas has them or uses them. It is Israeli propaganda which constantly claims these Fajr missiles and rockets existing in Gaza and been used. I am only wondering how does Hamas manage to deliver and use these giant artillery rockets and missiles in firing positions when they have had clear problems in firing those small Qassam rockets which need no launching tubes. How many times have we read news where Israelis are bragging how they killed the crew trying launch those tiny Qassams. How on earth could Hamas prepare and launch much bigger weapons like Fajr 3 and 5 unnoticed? It is simply extremely difficult in a so small and closely watched urban area.

        That video you linked is amusing in its poor quality. That object lifted from the truck is most probably a piece of a water or sewer pipe. Notice that the Palestinians do not try to hide the building site. The only proof of it being Fajr 5 is that the verbal comments on the video. Remember Michael those claims when Israel claimed ambulances been used to deliver Oassams. It was a terrible embarrassment for Israel when the “missiles” in those unclear Israeli propaganda videos were proven to be stretchers for patients.

        I am laughing to the insane Israeli propaganda where they mix deliberately the terms rocket and missile and claim Hamas having and using Iranian weapons which would be almost impossible to be used in that small enclave. If the defense (=attack) minister of Israel and the IDF spokesperson speak about Fajr missiles and rockets what can we outsiders do? Believe them or not, ask questions like where and how? This Gaza operation should be renamed to Operation Pillar of Lies. In South-Israel cars are for Jews still a statistically more lethal danger than Palestinian rockets are.

        • Michael November 15, 2012, 9:01 AM

          They just hit the outskirts of Tel-Aviv. Can’t do that with a mortar or Quasam.

          Misuse and confusion between the words “rocket” and “missile” are very common in the media and everyday speach. Don’t think any Israeli source mensioned explicitly a Fajr Balistic missile

          • Shlomo November 16, 2012, 4:56 PM

            I hope hundreds hit Israel.

            Until they start suffering equally, Israelis will continue their war-making ways. Just like in the desert when they refused to get-with-the-Program and Yaweh had to kick their collective arses (yet again!), making them wander 40 years.

            Israel needs to “disappear” like the USSR and sundry other gone-like-dodo-birds regimes. Left to themselves, Israelis seem hellbent on, well, making life a living hell for others.

          • Richard Silverstein November 17, 2012, 1:43 AM

            I hope hundreds hit Israel.

            First, hundreds are hitting Israel. And what does that prove? Does it make things better somehow?

            Second, you’ve just violated an important comment rule. I do not permit anyone to advocate the deaths of others. Read the rules and respect them.

            Third, you need a definite cooling off period: eight comments published in a few hour period by someone who’s never published a comment here is way over the line. And ditch the Nazi rhetoric and Holocaust historical references. They’re way over the top and give me the willies.

        • Michael November 15, 2012, 9:55 AM

          Islamic Jihad has just took responsibility for firing Fajr 5 at Tel-Aviv
          link to blogs.aljazeera.com

          So give the IDF spokesman a little more credit

    • pea November 14, 2012, 3:45 PM

      Sorry SimoHurta, you are confusing the Fajr-3 Ballistic missile (1200 mile range) with the Fajr-3 multiple-launch artillery rocket (50 mile range) which should not be confused with the Fajr F.3 training aircraft. Who comes up with this confusing nomenclature? I don’t know. But I respectfully suggest you do your research before making incorrect statements.

      • SimoHurtta November 14, 2012, 7:58 PM

        Sorry Pea, but you obviously have very limited reading skills. Well a rather common handicap in your circles. I clearly separated Fajr 3 artillery rocket and Fajr 3 ballistic missile. Israeli propaganda frequently mentions Hamas using Fajr missiles. Well there is obviously only one Fajr missile, the Fajr-3 ballistic missile. Heh heh Hamas using ballistic missiles against targets a couple kilometers away. Have you any idea how big such a ballistic missile is?

        Fajr-3 artillery rocket also is a large weapon. As you can see from the data of that weapon the rocket is over 5 meters long and weights over 400 kg. How do Hamas soldiers get those long and heavy rockets to the launching platforms. Were are those 10 meter long mobile launchers? As you can see from the pictures of Fajir-3 ARTILLERY ROCKET weapon it is big weapon system. Not a small rocket like Qassam. Where is the evidence of these large rockets. Israel constantly shows the spots where these primitive self made Qassam rockets have hit. We never are shown the rather big craters Fajr-3 type large rocket creates when “landing”. Do not claim that the Israeli defense system has destroyed all fired Faji-3 rockets.

        Pea stop drinking that IDF Fajr X3 coffee and using Dimona sugar. It is not healthy for brains and it also produces low level propaganda.

        • Nimrod November 14, 2012, 10:58 PM

          clarification about “Fajr” missiles / rockets.
          There are two different Iranian-made rockets named Fajr, so its easy to mix up between the two.
          the Fajr-3 rockets in Gaza, the same ones which were in use by Hezbullah in 2006 are the 5.2-meter long, 240 millimeter-caliber Fajr-3 artillery rocket has an estimated range of 45 kilometers or 25–30 miles, weighs 407 kilograms, and carries a 45-kilogram warhead.

          • SimoHurtta November 15, 2012, 5:47 AM

            What do you “clarify” Nimrod? That all is clarified several times. Nobody has been mixing up besides the Israeli side. For the last time – it is the Israeli side (ministers and army spokespersons) which claims constantly Iranian Fajr weapons existing in the hands of Hamas and being used by Hamas against Israel from Gaza. But where is the real evidence of that? Photos of the hits of these large rockets etc? Why should Iran smuggle to Gaza weapons which are impossible to be used? Iran smuggling to Gaza small powerful anti-tank and air defense missiles and snipper rifles make militarily sense. But not smuggling useless to big artillery rockets and ballistic missiles.

            In the wiki pages for Fajr 3 ballistic missile one of the listed users is Hamas. From where comes that “fact”? Certainly not from Iran or Hamas, they are clever enough not make such absurd claims knowing that nobody would believe them. It is 100 percent certain that “fact” origins from the claims made by Israeli sources. Surely the Israelis know that those Fajr 3 ballistic missiles do not exist in Gaza, but claiming so is the only way for Israel to link Iran to this absurd “packet”.

        • pea November 15, 2012, 2:26 AM

          Sigh. This is all really besides the point and I do not want to try Richard’s patience but I don’t recall any IDF propaganda that discusses 1200 km range ballistic missiles in the hands of Hamas.

    • Davey November 14, 2012, 10:45 PM

      They are liars, not propagandists, liars.

  • Michael November 14, 2012, 3:55 PM


    You are completely right. Israel is a fascist aggressive state. Moral corruption has spread far and wide among its people, not only among the Orthodox but also among many Ashkenazi seculars. They really view these atrocities as a pretty minimalistic self-defense, these ruffians. The values of too many of them are so different from yours. Look at the political parties – all Jewish parties accept Meretz and Hadash support the operation! And the ugliest part is – it seems they are ready to suffer for their cruel beliefs. Maybe they are even ready to face sanctions (not that they’re too afraid, looking at their counterparts from North Korea, Iran and Syria). And if sanctions will be imposed on Israel, it would only strengthen the radical paranoids.
    Now what?

    • Richard Silverstein November 14, 2012, 11:02 PM

      Curious what Meretz has actually said. They usually support Israeli wars as they did initially in Lebanon & Gaza.

      • shmuel November 14, 2012, 11:50 PM

        I heard Zahavah Galon the head of Meretz say on TV that it is preferable to reach a peace agreement and that the operation will acheive no long term result, but no specific support or condemnation

      • Michael November 15, 2012, 1:43 AM

        I’m asking seriously, what are you trying to achieve? How do you think you (or someone else) can change that?

        • shmuel November 15, 2012, 6:19 AM

          This Michael is the crux of the matter.

          The right in Israel believe that the more force applied the more chance of peace as the “enemy” will be like Germany after WW1 with its tail between its legs, humiliated and defeated and thus will have to accept all Israel’s demands. I heard R Shmuel Eliahu speak like that yesterday on the radio – “we musn’t show mercy, nor show western Chistrian morality”. They also believe that “the people” should overthrow hamas and our bombing them will encourage them to do so.

          The left believe that the Palestinians also have rights and thus we must negotiate a settlement as equals to acheive peace

          The centre believes nothing except what is good for holding on to a seat in the knesset and earning more money.

          What I am trying to achieve is to treat Palestinians as equals and understand their suffering, and at the same time hope that the Palestinians will also feel likewise to us, out of choice, and not because we decimated them.

          But Michael, unfortunately we can’t change it which is why the right is on the rampage and many more will be killed before we sit down and seriously negotiate. Both sides have a lot to do before that happens.

          • Davey November 15, 2012, 11:17 AM

            Schmuel — what would they “negotiate” when they sit down?

  • pabelmont November 14, 2012, 6:39 PM

    Michael: I never heard that any Israeli says he fears sanctions. Of course they make a big stink about the nibbling-around-the-edges BDS. But the USA has the international community well trained. When the ICJ issued its 2004 report on the illegality of the wall and the duty on every state to see it removed, there was no more than a ho-hum. Until the USA changes its stripes (or some nice country gets willing to undergo pressure from USA in response to a nearly purely symbolic “sanction”), there will be no sanctions on Israel. Lots in Iran which has no internationally-cognizable crimes, none on Israel.

  • Linda J November 14, 2012, 7:25 PM

    Thank you for your strong response to this cruel and calculated shredding of Gaza. If there were any justice ….

    • Tibor November 15, 2012, 2:44 AM

      Yes, indeed. if there was justice in the world then 6 million Jews in Europe wouldn`t be. … But at that time many of the now immensely sensitive souls in Europe seem to have been asleep…

      • Elisabeth November 15, 2012, 8:45 AM

        The same type that could not care less about the Jews then, now cheers the shelling of Gaza. The same type that risked their life hiding Jews then, shifted their sympathy to the Palestinians long ago.

        Using Jewish suffering at the hands of the Nazi’s to make people shut up about abuse of the Palestinians is such a sick trick. You disgust me.

      • Davey November 15, 2012, 11:10 AM

        You trivialize the Holocaust by citing it.

      • Davey November 15, 2012, 11:11 AM

        It is a signal of a bankrupt argument, like the libel “anti-semite!”

        • mary November 15, 2012, 1:00 PM

          Elisabeth, the Israelis have been making the Palestinians pay for the holocaust for 64 years.

      • Davey November 15, 2012, 10:58 PM

        And how does this remark contribute? What are we suppose to conclude from this statement?

  • dickerson3870 November 15, 2012, 1:29 AM

    ● RE: “Several hours ago, Israel assassinated Ahmed Jabari along with his son, a Hamas operative and at least three other civilians in an attack that launched a new war in Gaza. . . It is, of course, no accident that Israeli elections will be held in two months. Israeli prime ministers routinely use wars to bolster their popularity.” ~ R.S.

    ● MY COMMENT: I see this as a “twofer” for Netanyahu because this is both his electioneering in Israel’s upcoming election, and also Netanyahu’s way of reminding (the recently reelected) Obama that he is the boss; lest Obama think his reelection was some kind of a mandate for him to seek peace in the Middle East! ! !
    In other words, Netanyahu is “marking his territory”*.
    Expect a lot more of the same in this period leading up to the Israeli elections on January 22nd of 2013 (while Washington D.C. is preoccupied with the “fiscal cliff” and otherwise pretty much oblivious/asleep/dormant/hibernating until Obama’s inauguration on January 21st of 2013).

    * Territory (animal) – link to en.wikipedia.org

    ● P.S. “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – link to change.org

    • dickerson3870 November 15, 2012, 12:06 PM

      ● P.P.S. RE: “. . . Netanyahu is ‘marking his territory’ ~ me (above)

      ● MY COMMENT: It can also be seen as Netanyahu having launched a preemptive “pi··ing contest” with the recently reelected Obama.
      I wonder who will win (lol).

      • dickerson3870 November 15, 2012, 12:16 PM

        ● P.P.P.S. RE: “It can also be seen as Netanyahu having launched a preemptive ‘pi··ing contest’ with the recently reelected Obama. I wonder who will win (lol).” ~ me (above)

        OBAMA CONCEDES (from Common Dreams, 11/14/12):

        . . . The U.S. State Department issued a statement on Wednesday in which it said the U.S. “support[s] Israel’s right to defend itself.

        SOURCE – link to commondreams.org

  • royfus November 15, 2012, 4:20 PM

    wouldn’t it be best for hamas to renounce violence? i think it would go a long way in the path to peace considering that they have essentially been in an ongoing war with israel since their existence, and its hard to make peace during war. Firing rockets into another nation seems like warfare rather than protest of israeli policies. Plus its just dumb and accomplishes nothing but more bloodshed. maybe violence is not the answer, especially when militarily, you are drastically weaker. My opinion, hamas stop the foolish rocket violence and it wall be much harder for israel to avoid peace. I think i have this whole thing figured out, let me know if im wrong…

    • Richard Silverstein November 15, 2012, 10:18 PM

      That’s an excellent idea, if Israel were Costa Rica & didn’t have the fourth most powerful army in the world. But I’ll tell you what, I’ll personally lobby Khaled Meshal, if he hasn’t been droned to death by then, to renounce violence when you bring Israel to the table to do the same. Deal??

    • mary November 16, 2012, 5:52 AM

      Hamas is exercising its right under international law to employ armed resistance to occupation. Unfortunately, it has brought them no good result, but to require that they disarm while the occupier still maintains an armed and violent occupation is totally unreasonable. Israel shoots and bombs unarmed civilians, so why should Hamas be compelled to renounce violence when Israel has no intentions of doing so? And is more likely to violate any truce, since it has violated so many of them in the past?

      • Royfus November 16, 2012, 6:24 AM

        Valid logic both of you, however, I’m not sure of your choice of meshal is the best available. What I really wonder is whether there is a culture in gaza willing of accepting an Israeli nation and peaceful coexistence. Under a hypothetical complete cessation of violence form israel and the lifting of the siege of gaza, how long would it be before Hamas or even other states with an interest there would begin to take advantage of the reduced security situation? Do you believe there is chance of ending this conflict with hamas as the leaders of gaza rather than a relatively more moderate group such as fatah or someone else? And if not, would now not seem to be a bad time for peace negotiations and cessation of violence from Israel as the gazan leadership shows little hope of making any compromise with its enemy?…and yes the rocket attacks are plain stupid and illogical under most methods of thinking

        • mary November 16, 2012, 9:17 AM

          I have several close friends living in Gaza. They are just tired from the really shitty life Israel is inflicting on them, but they are a strong people who will not accept anything close to a peace which makes them subservient to Israel. They also want their land back, which under international law they are entitled to, or to be compensated for. Nobody is a rabid Jew hating terrorist, if that is your question. Under less stressful conditions, they don’t hate Israel or want to destroy it. However, when Israel slaughters children, pregnant women and elderly people (as has happened in the last few days), the Gazans become much less conciliatory, to say the least.

        • Shlomo November 16, 2012, 5:19 PM

          > ” I really wonder is whether there is a culture in gaza willing of accepting an Israeli nation and peaceful coexistence.”

          Funny. Germans in theh 1930s wondered the same thing about Jews. That is, could they ever-ever-ever live in peace, not be driven from endless countries for their “evil ways.”

          What did we end up calling that viewpoint?

    • Shlomo November 16, 2012, 5:14 PM

      And maybe it’d be best if….what: Jews finally admited they killed Jesus?

      Now, back on Earth and the issues: it is ISRAEL that loves war and bloodshed. Up to now.


      Because it’s not paid much of a price.

      Watch, though, what happens when “real” rockets start hitting densely-populated Israeli cities. Then Jews will start remembering what it’s like to be sitting ducks. If Syria, Iran, Hizbollah, Hamas, and Egypt decide to attack Israel all at once (nothing else seems likely to stop the mad golem that the Jewish State has become), hot damn! Peace might finally raise its bloom above the dust that was once Israel.

      Until the the sickening cycle of shite will continue, Uncle Sucker blindly backing his spoiled child. Maybe only when America is financially bankrupt (mirroring its spiritual and ethical emptiness) will things get better in the world.

      One can hope.

  • dickerson3870 November 16, 2012, 7:15 PM

    I am feeling so darn good about having voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party rather than “O’bomber”! I guess I should thank my lucky stars that I don’t live in a “swing state” where I might have felt compelled to vote for Obama/O’bomber as the (not very) “lesser evil”!

    ● Jill Stein – link to jillstein.org

    ● The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) – link to gp.org

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