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Gaza Death Toll: 11 Palestinians Dead, 3 Israelis; Security Council Adjourns With No Action on Attack

UPDATE: There will be a local Seattle protest outside the Federal Building from 4-6PM tomorrow at 915 2nd Avenue.

So the grisly accounting begins.  I’ve seen this before when I reported the Lebanon War and Cast Lead.  The images of death flickering from screens.  Thanks to Bibi Netanyahu we’re doing it again.

The death toll from the IDF assault is up to eleven Palestinians, a number of them babies or small children.  The 10 month old son of a BBC Arabic staff member was killed along with his sister-in-law in an Israeli assault.  A rocket from Gaza struck an apartment building in Kiryat Malachi, 15 miles north of Gaza.  It killed three members of an Israeli family.  They are the first Israelis killed or injured from rocket attacks in many months.

If anyone had any doubt about whether there will be an invasion, these deaths put that notion to rest.  The dead will be avenged.  Blood begets blood.  So saith Bibi.

One of the most sickening responses to Operation Pillar of Cloud was that of UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who didn’t even bother to fact check her pablum arguments before the UN Security Council, that might as well have been prepared for her by Aipac.  The woman, who Pres. Obama wants to foist on us as the next secretary of state, appears to forget that while Gaza rockets may inflict “violence” on Israelis, the IDF’s violence is far more lethal and kills civilians and babies as well:

Rice said there was no justification for the violence that “Hamas and other terrorist organizations” are [sic] aiming at Israel…

“Israel, like any nation, has the right to defend itself against such vicious attacks.”

“There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately.”

First, until the murder of Ahmed Jabari, Hamas hadn’t aimed any violence at Israel for months.  It was maintaining a ceasefire and as late as three days ago offered to renew it if Israel stood down from its own attacks.  Those commenced this round of violence with the murder of a 12-year-old boy on November 8th, who was playing soccer 1,200 meters from the nearest IDF position.

There were rockets launched against southern Israel.  But not by Hamas.  They were launched by Islamic Jihad, which is not the same (contrary to the wishes of Israel advocates like Rice to whom all Palestinians look the same).  In fact, Ahmed Jabari, as Aluf Benn notes in today’s Haaretz was Gaza’s chief enforcer/peacekeeper.  Haaretz’s editor calls him “Israel’s subcontractor.”  Jabari was the main military figure preventing even more rocket fire and escalation.  In fact, it might be argued that killing him will destabilize the region even further and so allow Bibi to distract Israelis from any non-security issue which the Opposition might’ve hoped to exploit in the election campaign.  Lest you object to my overly cynical approach, read my last post which documents the series of wars historically started by Israeli leaders in the run-up to elections.

Speaking of cynicism, shall we put bets on the day the war will end?  Think about it for a second and you’ll know what my guess is…January 19th.  Remember the last war that ended on that date?  Right, Cast Lead.  Remember why?  Right, Obama’s inauguration.  That was a deal worked out surreptitiously between Israeli ambassador Michael Oren and Dan Shapiro in a late night home meeting.  Now that Obama is president he doesn’t need to send emissaries skulking through DC streets on late-night errands.  He can pick up the phone and tell Bibi he’d better be done before his second inauguration.  Barack doesn’t want any blood dripping down the Capitol steps as he intones his majesterial words.  And Bibi will.  It would also be perfect timing for Israel’s election on January 22nd.

In truth, January 19th is probably too far from now.  I’m guessing the war will last about a month.  That seems to be the maximum length of time the international community can stomach mass Israeli mayhem before it throws up its hands shouting: Enough!

Finally, would someone tell Susan Rice that killing civilians, whether they’re Israeli or Palestinian, constitutes “violence.”  And that the IDF is far more expert (six times more) at killing Palestinian civilians than the other way around.  What I find bizarre is that for apparatchiks like Rice 12 year-old Palestinian boys don’t die from Israeli violence.  I suppose they die from unfortunate accidents that can’t be helped in time of war.  They die due to the ongoing intransigence of Gazans who refuse to acquiesce in Israel’s ongoing strangulation.  Glad we got that straight.

Thanks to the moral temporizing of Rice, the Security Council adjourned without taking any action and has no further plans to meet on this matter.  Way to go Ban Ki Moon and Mr. President!  I suppose the one thing for which we may be thankful is that the State Department has told this Rice not to lapse into the delirium tremens that afflicted another Rice (Condoleeza) when she called the last Lebanon war the “birth pangs of Middle Eastern democracy.”

For the hasbara brigade attempting to argue that Hamas is at fault for causing the impending Gaza invasion, you have only to look over the IMEU’s factsheet/timeline of the violence over the past week, which began with the murder of the 12-year-old Palestinian boy, which was then followed by the rocket attack on the IDF jeep.  It’s useful to dust off this excellent study prepared in the aftermath of Cast Lead which documented the prevailing pattern of Israeli assault followed by Gazan response.

For those of you keeping score at home regarding targeted killings attributed to drones by the U.S. and Israel, yesterday’s assassination was brought to you by one of Israel’s drone fleet.  I imagine that this success will increase the value of these weapons for Israel’s massive arms export industry.  Note the IDF proudly featured a video of the hit on Jabari and distributed it to the world media along with a disgusting bit of war porn with a blown up image of Ahjad Jabari with the stamp “Eliminated” across the bottom of the poster.  We should expect to see the video played proudly at Israeli arms industry booths at weapons shows around the world.

The IDF, which enjoys dredging up Biblical references for its murderous forays into Palestinian lands, seems to have forgotten this important piece of Midrash.  When Pharoah’s army was drowning in the waters of the Red Sea, the angels began singing joyfully at the deliverance of the Children of Israel.  God silenced them harshly saying: “Why do you celebrate? Are not the Egyptians my creatures too?”  For those debased wretches of human beings who constitute the IDF, trampling on the bodies of your dead enemy, perhaps cutting off his scalp as a war trophy, is de rigueur.

A few pro-Israel apologists have crossed the threshold of my Twitter feed, one faulting me for my “venom” against Israel (whose government he claimed to oppose!).  If he wants to see venom, let him look at the wailing parents and children at Gaza’s hospitals today.  The human beings who produced this suffering are the ones guilty of injecting venom into this conflict.

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{ 55 comments… add one }
  • Joel November 15, 2012, 1:19 AM

    According to Yediot Ahronoth’s Ron Ben-Yishai, Jabari was ‘behind the strategy of launching attacks against Israel from the Sinai Peninsula and transferred some of Hamas’ infrastructure to the Egyptian territory’.

    • Richard Silverstein November 15, 2012, 2:16 AM

      Nuts to that. You might as well believe the moon is made of green cheese.

      Oh & Dirar Abusisi intended to found Hamas’ version of West Point. True, Scout’s Honor!

      • boten November 15, 2012, 4:06 AM

        So what your “source” said about Jabari Richard ? that he was a peaceful tree huger ?
        no wonder you guys are called useful idiots . Sure Jabari is now siting with his 72 virgins and laughing about you ( personally I hope he’s burning in hell )

        • Richard Silverstein November 15, 2012, 9:22 PM

          If so, you’ll be burning right next door when you get there. And I’ll tell Satan to turn the heat up a bit to make you nice and comfortable.

          • Cliff November 16, 2012, 10:42 AM

            The nonsensical ’72 virgins’ meme that boten spewed just now is pure bigotry and should be a bannable offense.

        • mary November 15, 2012, 11:54 PM

          I find the nonsensical reference to “72 virgins” highly offensive. Perhaps it’s better to can the tasteless wit. You’re hinting at the old hasbara assertion that only Muslims want the occupation and siege of Palestine to end, and also implying that it’s a Muslims versus Jews situation, which it is not.

    • Marc November 15, 2012, 11:54 AM

      If you believe Ron Ben Yishai, I have a slightly used bridge for sale, straight from the Macabee games. Just for you.

      Mind, there are also claims (which are probably as true as the above nonsense) that Jaabari was about to sign a permanent ceasefire with Israel.

      So – we could take BOTH claims as true and they cancel each other out :-).

      M

      • Richard Silverstein November 15, 2012, 9:33 PM

        The inside joke in that comment is that a bridge collapsed in Tel Avivi during the Maccabee Games killing several participants.

        • Marc November 15, 2012, 11:09 PM

          Actually, dumping them into the (then extra-filthy and poisoned Yarkon stream) where some drowned and some were so infected they never recovered.

  • dickerson3870 November 15, 2012, 1:42 AM

    RE: “Israel, like any nation, has the right to defend itself against such vicious attacks.” ~ UN Ambassador Susan Rice

    LOOSELY TRANSLATED: I’m determined to be the next U.S. Secretary of State, and I’ll do whatever I have to do* in order to keep AIPAC and the rest of the Likud Lobby from doing to me what they did to Charles Freeman when he was nominated by Obama to be Director of National Intelligence back in 2009!

    * SEE: “Good career move by Susan Rice”, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 1/25/12

    [EXCERPT] We don’t make this up. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. Susan Rice is ambassador to the U.N. but she has her sights on Secretary of State, and so she has made friends in the American Jewish community. Laura Rozen has the incisive report at Yahoo: “UN envoy Susan Rice addresses interest groups, in move some see advancing Secretary of State bid.”
    An unfortunate headline. There’s really just one interest group here. And I guess that group is essential to any American diplomatic career. Ask Dennis Ross.
    Rozen:
    Take, for example, Rice’s key role in the Obama administration’s high profile diplomatic lobbying against the Palestinian UN statehood recognition bid, in the run up and aftermath to Obama’s speech at the UN last September vowing to wield the United States’ UN Security Council veto if needed to block the measure. The Palestinian UN bid was and is fiercely opposed by Israel; the Obama administration’s position that Palestinian statehood can only be achieved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations was a relief to Jerusalem as well as to several American pro-Israel groups.
    Unsurprisingly, then, the reception was particularly warm when Rice addressed the American Jewish Committee National Board of Governors meeting in New York Monday afternoon
    –though it was in fact Rice’s third address to the group the past three years. . .

    SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/shrewd-susan-rice-has-made-herself-an-ambassador-to-american-jewish-community.html

  • Tibor November 15, 2012, 2:33 AM

    I think some people takes the mortars and missiles fired-at-will to Israeli towns too lightly. !00 rockets in a week? My question to the people in the planned protest in Seattle: would you take repeated reins of rockets on your neighborhood so cavalierly? Or, would you protest to your own government if it does nothing about that? The citizens of Israel are not molded from another fabric, psychological or other, than you.
    In short, the situation in Gaza is not something that Israel can be asked to live with and benignly ignore – it matters little to people if it is Hamas which fires at them or a Jihadist organization operating in an area where they are the recognized sovereign. Some fundamental re-adjustment is necessary here for both Israelis and the people in Gaza.
    And well, the path is fairly clear. Does not anybody remember that less than a mere decade ago the situation in the West-Bank looked likewise- brutal and hopeless, and, indeed, if we go back few more decades the relationships between Jews and Arabs within Israel were immensely worse than now. In other words, the trend is pretty clear, simply takes times (and the lessons that come with it), and in that regard, contrary to what is widely believed, the situation in Gaza has been recently improving meaningfully. At some point violence-fatigue will reach there too and previous experiences will be repeated – “life is about patience”, as they say, and perseverance too.

    • mary November 15, 2012, 9:09 AM

      Maybe it would be a good thing for the Israeli people to complain to their government about why Israel continually violates ceasefires and provokes retaliation from Gaza. Nothing happens in a vacuum, except in the western media which always portrays Israel as the victim, never the perpetrator.

      • Tibor November 15, 2012, 10:19 AM

        The crux of the matter lies elsewhere. Hamas wants to be a respectable government of Gaza but finds it hard to relinquish the “eternal struggle” clout and shed the militant pose. But the two just don`t go together, as was the case with Arafat, whose addiction to the guerilla glamour blocked any normalization-agreements with him, and some hard choices are needed here – can`t have them all. I actually believe that we are “almost there”, namely despite all the associated commotion, the present low-intensity warring will make Hamas repeat the route in the West-Bank (possibly with the help of outside forces as Egypt).

        • mary November 15, 2012, 12:47 PM

          Israel also needs to drop the use of disproportionate amounts of force/overkill on the Palestinians. The Israelis do not want to acknowledge the right of the Palestinians to respond to occupation and siege with armed resistance; they want a totally submissive populace whom they can happily continue to steal from until said populace gives up and goes away. It also doesn’t seem to have occurred to the Israelis that killing Hamas leaders is also not an effective way to vanquish their enemy.

    • Davey November 15, 2012, 7:18 PM

      No. The situation in the region is not something the Palestinians can be asked to live with. Let’s get it right, Tibor.

    • Daniel F November 15, 2012, 7:42 PM

      “In other words, the trend is pretty clear, simply takes times (and the lessons that come with it), and in that regard, contrary to what is widely believed, the situation in Gaza has been recently improving meaningfully. At some point violence-fatigue will reach there too and previous experiences will be repeated”

      So if we just wait it out, it will all blow over, the Palestinians will get fed up and go back to tending their olive trees , become Buddhists and accept reality for what it is or emigrate to Dearborn, Michigan….now why do I find that hard to believe ( but it would be so comforting if it were so).
      In life,there are cycles and there are cycles within cycles and if it appears that we are at a lower level of volatility than ten years ago it may just be a cyclic low within a cyclic low.
      I do not believe that Israel’s future is more secure now than it was ten years ago.
      I do not believe that Israel is a better place for Jews to live than it was ten years ago.
      Our future and that of the Palestinians are inexorably linked and the sooner that both we and the Palestinians come to terms with that the sooner we can both start a better future.We each have a right to self-determination with a level of separation as yet to be determined.

  • Elisabeth November 15, 2012, 5:50 AM

    I am beginning to understand your loathing of Obama, Richard. Thanks for your posts. I could not agree more with what you wrote about the disgusting name of this operation too.

    • Richard Silverstein November 15, 2012, 4:02 PM

      I don’t loathe Obama. He disappoints or angers me because he’s become part of the apparatus of power. It uses him rather than the other way round. It’s a tragegy compared to the promise he had.

      • Davey November 15, 2012, 7:20 PM

        Did he really have that promise or were we just too ready to believe our own fantasies? But I agree he is a mere instrument in the power apparatus.

  • N November 15, 2012, 8:53 AM

    Get your facts straight.
    As an Israeli citizen, who DOES NOT support this goverment and voted left wing last elections and will do the same now, many time I enjoy reading your articles and think most of them are spot on.

    You write “First, until the murder of Ahmed Jabari, Hamas hadn’t aimed any violence at Israel for months. “.
    This is not true, every single day there are rockets fired to Israel from Gaza, usually now at more peaceful times is about 4-5 rockets a day, and when most of them hit open areas, Israel try to not hit back, Exactly a week ago, a Hamas millitant group shot a tank penetraiting missile at a soldier jeep and injured 4 soldiers to a serious condition, only then Israel retaliated hitting the 2 terrorists of who shot the rocket at the jeep, then Hamas started shooting 50-60 rockets and up to a 120 rockets a day just a day before “Amud Anan” started.

    Delivering false facts doesn’t make you right, not even in your own mind I’ll imagine, I really enjoy reading here, but regarding this operation and everything concerning it you have everything wrong, I would also appreciate an honest reply rather then just getting “my sources are telling me that….”

    • Richard Silverstein November 15, 2012, 9:20 PM

      You are the 2nd hasbarist to make the false claim that the group that attacked the IDF jeep was Hamas. It was not. Haaretz reported the group was the Popular Resistance Committees. Do you even know the difference? I repeat: Hamas observed the ceasefire. Jabari was chief Hamas official. It was because of him the group observed the ceasefire. Even Aluf Benn has conceded this.

      I suggest that you don’t read Haaretz or perhaps don’t read anything. Not sure whether Yisrael HaYom even qualifies as a newspaper though perhaps you read it. As for being a “leftist” and voting “left wing,” please don’t make us laugh. That means you either voted (if you’re telling the truth at all) for Kadima or Labor, hardly “left.” Even Shelly Yachimovich told Arutz 7 Labor was no longer a left wing party.

      Do not lie. If you do you will not comment here further. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt & assume your false claim was based on ignorance & not willful lies. Before you make such statements be sure they are correct & have evidence available to support them. Those are the comment rules here.

      Also btw the jeep attack came on the heels of the IDF shooting & murdering a 12 yr old boy playing soccer hundreds of meters from the nearest IDF position. That happened just before the jeep attack. Did you forget that little incident? If so, how convenient my little leftist.

      • Deïr Yassin November 16, 2012, 3:09 PM

        @ Richard;
        In fact, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigade, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsability for the shelling of the Israeli jeep. I read somewhere that the IDF doesn’t believe them, but I guess they have to blame Hamas one way or another.
        The Popular Resistance Committee – only present in Gaza – is a group of mostly ex-Fatah fighters who oppose the ‘accomodating’ attitude of the PA to Israel. This is the faction that Israel accused of being behind the attack in Eilat last year.

    • Davey November 15, 2012, 11:05 PM

      Nope — the rockets serve Israel unfortunately. They provide the cover for the assaults by the mechanized army. Israel is merely defending itself. Even were it as you say, which is not true, the assault is 1) incommensurate and 2.) is proven to NOT stop the rockets. So what is the excuse for the assault? It is political — Bibi making a crisis which he can handle, make Israelis first afraid (all Israeli politicians use this one!) and then show them what the IDF can do (to generally unarmed civilians) so they feel safe. I don’t buy anything you are saying: It doesn’t even sound like a consistent voice, an actual person.

  • djf November 15, 2012, 9:14 AM

    Richard, I noticed you ignored my comment to your previous post. Given the rockets being launched into Israel, what steps would Prime Minister Silverstein take to protect Israeli citizens? Aside from your general objections to Israeli policy, what do you think Israel should have done instead to protect its citizens in the immediate short term?

    • Davey November 15, 2012, 7:22 PM

      Silverstein would sit down with Palestinians and listen to their grievance and try to come up with some modicum of Justice. If I’m wrong Richard, put me right.

      • djf November 15, 2012, 7:30 PM

        And in the meantime, what about the rockets launching into Israel and threatening its citizens?

        • Andy November 15, 2012, 8:34 PM

          The long and the short of it, djf, is that if you’re not willing to lift the siege of Gaza, then you’re not serious about stopping the rockets. The people of Gaza have as much of a right to a siege-free life as you do. Lift the siege, now.

          • djf November 15, 2012, 8:42 PM

            Just to be clear, you believe Israel should lift the siege and hope that Hamas and Islamic Jihad immediately drop their weapons? Just for kicks, what do you suggest Israel do in the off-chance that Hamas and Islamic Jihad don’t immediately drop their weapons and play nice?

          • Richard Silverstein November 15, 2012, 9:25 PM

            This sort of nonsense makes me angry because, if anything, it’s the Palestinians who should (& will) distrust the Israelis to honor any agreement they sign. There was a Gaza ceasefire if you recall. Israel signed it. Who was the first to break it in a serious way? Israel. Israel has continued to kill Gazans at will since the original ceasefire was signed. Israel is untrustworthy. So don’t tell us about those wily Palestinians who can’t be trusted. It is your own kind I’m afraid who have much more to prove on that score.

      • Richard Silverstein November 16, 2012, 1:40 AM

        You bet that’s what I’d do.

    • mary November 15, 2012, 11:50 PM

      I think Richard would halt the building of settlements and lift the siege on Gaza. These two things would negate any need for violence on the part of both the Palestinians and Israel.

      • Richard Silverstein November 16, 2012, 1:34 AM

        That’s where I’d start (but not end).

        • djf November 16, 2012, 8:16 AM

          Richard, I frankly find it hard to accept that you genuinely believe that Hamas et al would simply drop their guns and disarm their rockets, and embrace the Jewish State, if only Israel would end the occupation and sift the siege.

          • mary November 16, 2012, 9:29 AM

            Why should they have to “embrace the Jewish state”? Isn’t it enough to simply stop the hostilities?

            And yes, there would be peace. Why would you think otherwise? Is it because Hamas is the boogeyman you’ve been scaring yourself with for so many years?

            It’s the occupation, stupid. If it ends, so does the reason for the resistance.

  • David November 15, 2012, 11:42 AM

    This is a message from an Israeli Civilian who is under attack by the palestinian missiles and I am currently writing from a shelter. there are rocket alarms everywhere. we are in a war. and we are scared!

    There is wide agreement from all the political wings in Israel that Israel should have respond to the violence that come from Gaza. We are not seek war, we seek peace. But sadly, the other side search only weapons to buy instead of searching friends. They develop rockets and UAV bombs to kill cilvilans. they simply want us the Israelies all dead.

    There is a big operation now in Gaza because of their recent attack from their OWN INIVATIVE.
    The reason that there are not many deads all around Israel it is because of the advance defence system that we have that defends us from the deadly rockets . In the last two days more than 250 rockets has been fired by hamas and their allies to Israeli civilians areas. keep that in mind.

    too bad that you dont draw all the facts.

    God bless Israel.

    • Richard Silverstein November 16, 2012, 1:31 AM

      I don’t care whether there’s wide agreement inside Israel on killing Gazans or whether there’s wide agreement you should all live in beach front villas in Caesarea. Just because the head of an insane asylum gets all the inmates to agree they’re sane doesn’t make it so.

      Please stay safe, but occupy your time by contemplating your shamefully cynical government and leaders which put you inside those shelters. And contemplate all those Gazan children Israel has killed while you’re at it.

      God bless humanity. God bless justice.

  • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy November 15, 2012, 1:18 PM

    Didn’t the Arab League make an offer to the Jewish State that it can have NORMAL relations with ALL Arab Countries once it returns all the land it took by force in 1967? It was made publically AND delivered by both Egypt and Jordan formally. Am I missing something here or Ilan Pappe is correct in what he says? “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestne” must be completed first!…………………..Did Susan Rice and Obama and the rest hear about that and if they did, what exactly are they doing?

    • Dr.Nothing November 15, 2012, 7:53 PM

      “Didn’t the Arab League make an offer to the Jewish State that it can have NORMAL relations with ALL Arab Countries once it returns all the land it took by force in 1967″ – Yes , but the Arab league also demand Israel to accept the return of 3-4 million the so called refugees , forcing Israel to become a second Palestinanin country next to the pure Islamic new Palestine at the west bank .

      And even so what had left from that Arab league of Assad Mubarak and Gkadaffi who passed that decision ?

      Israel bombed more than 230 targets in Gaza and less than 10 civilians were killed , seems Israel is trying to clean Gaza from Rockets and Terrorists .

      • Richard Silverstein November 15, 2012, 9:29 PM

        This is a nonsensical lie based on nothing more than your own ignorance. The Arab League (Saudi) Plan calls for realizing a Right of Return but doesn’t specify how it should be implemented. It allows for resolving claims by physical return or by monetary compensation. It makes no references whatsoever to who or how many refugees should return.

        I’m going to say this again and for the 1,000th time. If you make a claim and lie or speak ignorantly we’re going to catch you in it so don’t bother. If you make a claim make sure it is accurate and that you have evidence for it.

        If you disrespect these rules you will be exposed for a hasbarist troll and not be here long.

        The idea that murdering Gaza civilians is going to “clean” the place is odious as are you. If you want to be a brute and justify bloodletting do it elsewhere.

  • ExIsraeli November 15, 2012, 3:52 PM

    Israel is the same israel — sick, bizarre and criminal.
    Always has been & always will be. Fact.

  • Davey November 15, 2012, 7:23 PM

    There was a sizable demonstration in downtown San Diego today, about 100 or so participated. It was in front of the Federal Building. The drive-by honks were very encouraging.

  • Arie Brand November 15, 2012, 8:02 PM

    I find a bit of consolation in the fact that the former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uri Rosenthal, who on more than one occasion sabotaged a common European declaration critical of Israel, has been sent packing after the last election. He has been replaced by the social democrat Frans Timmermans who is far more critical of Likud policies.

  • Arie Brand November 15, 2012, 11:26 PM

    I wonder, Richard, whether you agree with Peter Beinart’s assessment of Obama’s stance:

    “This is what President Obama believes: that if the American Jewish community, in tandem with the Israeli government, are dead set on driving off a cliff towards a one-state solution, it is not his job to lay down on the train tracks and sacrifice his political career in order to stop them”… “If he would have wanted to do something in his second term, he would put down some marker to show that he had a mandate. But he didn’t.”

    • Richard Silverstein November 16, 2012, 1:37 AM

      More or less. But my take is that Obama has made a cold, hard political calculation. That the price of bringing peace to the ME is tearing up his presidency and administration, disrupting his domestic agenda and stalling progress on other matters that are more important to his legacy. If there was a more reasonable government in power he might do more. But chances of that happening are nil. It’s terribly sad.

      • Davey November 16, 2012, 11:37 AM

        History may not forgive Obama for this inaction. There may even be a chance, I think, that this nothing will become the earmark of his tenure in the books…like Nixon and Watergate…LBJ and Viet Nam. Ok – not bloody likely, but we can try.

  • Tibor November 16, 2012, 12:30 AM

    Some people keep forgetting that the “Israeli project”, in its entirety, is a strategic one – trying to overcome step by step, phase by phase, the dissonance with the physical environment that it is in the midst of. The pseudo-moralistic preaching to Israel is laughable – the “suffering” of the Palestinians is a footnote compared to what goes on in its surroundings and in fact they are in a much better position than most. So is also, the obsession with Israel as the main source of regional troubles, which if removed paradise and tranquility descend on the region. Every reasonable person can see that this is ridiculous, if not tragic, thinking, reminiscent of the old anti-Semitic line in Europe that the Jews threaten those countries and if only they were gone all will alright (hard to believe now, but that was a mainstream line of thought in the most respectable circles in many countries in Europe – so it is not just about the “bad” Nazis, which were made, conveniently, the “shock absorbers” of it all). This time around though, this senseless line of thinking does not impress those who matter, they understand better – we have seen it consistently in the US Senate (which just supported Israel`s present moves) and the House.

    • Richard Silverstein November 16, 2012, 1:34 AM

      You have come dangerously close to saying that those who argue against the Gaza war and are critical of Israeli policy are anti-Semitic. This is treif here. Don’t go there again, not even remotely near. Read the comment rules carefully and follow them.

    • mary November 16, 2012, 5:32 AM

      Of course the Senate “supported Israel’s present moves” – they’re all bought and paid for by AIPAC and the Christian Zionists. Don’t use those political whores to gauge the morality or rightness of Israel’s actions or you will lose whatever moral compass you might possess.

      Speaking of which – how can you remain in such denial as to the immorality of the continued treatment of Palestinians by Israel and, while lauding the US Senate for moral correctness, refuse to recognize the world’s civil society which condemns this unhuman siege and occupation? You call it “ridiculous” and “anti-Semitic.” How is it so, please tell us. It is supposedly OK to kill Palestinians, keep them under occupation and steal their land, put them under a blockade, yet you think anyone who criticizes this just simply hates Jews. It’s just amazing.

      • Davey November 16, 2012, 11:44 AM

        BS. Israel is a primary source of instability in the region. The other, of course, is the US. As for picking on little ole Israel, that State has earned its reputation big time and deserves to be pummeled for all its bs, racism, lies, theft and murder. Zionism was a weak, even silly, idea at inception, unacceptable to the best and the brightest, but it has grown to be a monster that only conscienceless people can abide. I will not allow you to denigrate the suffering of Palestinians under an illegal occupation and, yes, the US Congress has been purchased outright and we voters will have to put this right and elect better people.

    • dickerson3870 November 16, 2012, 4:07 PM

      RE: “This time around though, this senseless line of thinking does not impress those who matter, they understand better – we have seen it consistently in the US Senate (which just supported Israel`s present moves) and the House.” ~ Tibor

      MY COMMENT: The U.S. Senate is often the “ground zero” of “senseless line[s] of thinking”. I’ll take Uri Avnery’s “line of thinking” over that of the U.S. Senate any day! ! !

      SEE: “Bibi and the Yo-Yos”, by Uri Avnery, Antiwar.com, 05/26/11:

      [EXCERPT] It was all rather disgusting.
      There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu.

      It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death.
      What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to?
      The sight of these hundreds of parliamentarians jumping up and clapping their hands, again and again and again and again, with the Leader graciously acknowledging with a movement of his hand, was reminiscent of other regimes. Only this time it was not the local dictator who compelled this adulation, but a foreign one.
      The most depressing part of it was that there was not a single lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – who dared to resist. When I was a 9 year old boy in Germany, I dared to leave my right arm hanging by my side when all my schoolmates raised theirs in the Nazi salute and sang Hitler’s anthem. Is there no one in Washington DC who has that simple courage? Is it really Washington IOT – Israel Occupied Territory – as the anti-Semites assert? . . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://original.antiwar.com/avnery/2011/05/25/bibi-and-the-yo-yos/

    • dickerson3870 November 16, 2012, 4:24 PM

      RE: “This time around though, this senseless line of thinking does not impress those who matter, they understand better – we have seen it consistently in the US Senate (which just supported Israel`s present moves) and the House.” ~ Tibor

      MY COMMENT: See the excerpt below for an explanation of why the our elected officials are deathly afraid of not supporting “Israel’s present moves”. It doesn’t have anything to do with being impressed, or not being impressed, with any “line of thinking”. It has more to do with what M.J. Rosenbeg refers to as AIPAC’S “treasure trove of information” (a/k/a “dirt”) on members of Congress.

      SEE: “Why the U.S. Media Barely Covered Brutal Right-Wing Race Riots in Tel Aviv”, By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 6/17/12

      [EXCERPTS] . . . Recently, Middle East analyst MJ Rosenberg appeared on the AlterNet Radio Hour to discuss the Tel Aviv riots, the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear program and how the Israel lobby helps narrow the discourse around Israel in the United States. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion (you can listen to the whole interview here.)
      [EXCERPTS]
      • JOSHUA HOLLAND: From your inside perspective on that organization [AIPAC], what did you see as far as their tendency to call out criticism that they think is illegitimate or beyond the pale?
      • MJ ROSENBERG: They [AIPAC] consider all criticism of Israel illegitimate. It’s all beyond the pale. I suppose their definition would be if by some miracle someone like Joseph Lieberman made a statement critical of Israel it would be legitimate. When I worked there in the ’80s, back before everyone had computers, they had a big war room where all they did was assemble every bit of data on members of Congress, on candidates, but also on writers, celebrities – anyone in the public eye.
      In those days they would just put them in these folders. They always had at hand all this negative information — what they considered negative information — to tar people as being anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic. That stuff would be given to reporters if something came up. They were either initiated on their own to give to reporters or some reporter called them because they had a treasure trove of information.
      They still operate that way. In those days they did it directly; now they have former staffers and people who are close to the organization in the blogging world and political world who do it for them. They do it so much. When you read that someone is anti-Israel they’re the ones putting it out there. They’ve got the data. . .

      ENTIRE (LIGHTLY EDITED) TRANSCRIPT – http://www.alternet.org/story/155866/why_the_u.s._media_barely_covered_brutal_right-wing_race_riots_in_tel_aviv?paging=off

      • dickerson3870 November 16, 2012, 7:03 PM

        P.S. ALSO RE: “This time around though, this senseless line of thinking does not impress those who matter, they understand better – we have seen it consistently in the US Senate (which just supported Israel`s present moves) and the House.” ~ Tibor

        MY COMMENT: See the excerpt below for another explanation of why the our elected officials are deathly afraid of not supporting “Israel’s present moves”. It doesn’t have anything to do with being impressed, or not being impressed, with any “line of thinking”. It has more to do with lobbying and campaign contributions.

        SEE: “Friedman line, ‘Congress is bought and paid for by Israel lobby,’ is shot heard round the world”, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 12/15/11

        [EXCERPT] The last time Tom Friedman shocked the American Jewish community was in 1982 when he said that Israel’s bombardment of Beirut was “indiscriminate.” The word was disputed by his copy editors, but Friedman prevailed, and it made his career. The ponderous pontiff has now outdone himself with his laser shot at the Israel lobby in yesterday’s column, writing the “standing ovation [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby”. . .

        SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/friedman-line-congress-is-bought-and-paid-for-by-israel-lobby-is-shot-heard-round-the-world.html

  • Mary Hughes Thompson November 16, 2012, 9:25 AM

    Over two hundred of us demonstrated outside the Israeli consulate in West Los Angeles yesterday. For once we were covered on local TV news. Demonstrations are being held all over the world over the next days. Today outside the White House in Washington.

  • Mary Hughes Thompson November 16, 2012, 9:27 AM

    If anyone wants to get up-to-the-minute video eports from Gaza, the best source now is Harry Fear, live streaming. Constant explosions interrupt his reports.
    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/operation-pillar-of-cloud

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