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Israeli Ground Invasion of Gaza Imminent

IDF heavy weaponry, including tanks and armored personnel carriers are massing near the Gaza border, signalling Israel’s intent to launch a ground invasion of the enclave.  16,000 reservists have been summoned for military service, another sign of a planned assault.  The AP has been speaking of tomorrow as the date for launching the new offensive.  If these indications prove correct, then the killing machine will move into high gear and we should expect a rise in the casualty count (on both sides).

My Israeli source tells me that there is one dominant reason why Bibi must invade. He can’t allow himself to be outdone by his rival, Ehud Olmert, who had an invasion of his own in 2009. Ehud Barak too, needs an invasion because he was defense minister during the first Gaza war and couldn’t stand for accepting less than what he “achieved” then. You may argue that this is overly cynical. My response? First, this perspective comes not from me, but from someone who has played senior roles in past governments and knows the players in this game well. Second, this should tell you how much great Israeli decisions of state are motivated by naked ambition, self-pride, and political survival. It may be true that when other world leaders launch a war they do so with strategic objectives in mind and for well-thought-out reasons. Not so, Israel. There, an election or a petty political rivalry is enough to cause the deaths of thousands. It reminds me of Nero’s fiddling while Rome burned.

no to gaza war

“No to Gaza War: Protest”

Till now, 15 Gazans have died (including several small babies) and three Israelis have died.  Today, a rocket struck Rishon Lezion, a southern suburb of Tel Aviv and a missile landed in the sea near Tel Aviv.  This is the first time these communities have seen such weapons since the 1991 Iraq War.

Israel has the Iron Dome anti-missile system. But as of yesterday, it only intercepted 20 of 80 projectiles fired into Israel. Even if we discount those which it detected would land harmlessly and which it didn’t target, clearly Iron Dome is quite fallible. It’s supposed to have an 80% success rate. I doubt it’s achieved that level of effectiveness.

In my ongoing effort to deconstruct the lies and myths of the Israeli propaganda machine, it’s been common to hear Ahmed Jabari, the assassinated leader of Hamas’ military wing, spoken of as Gaza’s Osama bin Laden. It’s a great sound byte, punchy, visceral, dramatic. But as usual with these things, if you spend a few seconds contemplating the parallel, it’s entirely inapt. Jabari and bin Laden have only one thing in common: both were Muslims. Aside from that, little or nothing. Jabari stood for Islamism in the context of Palestine. He was a Palestinian nationalist, unlike bin Laden who dreamed of a world caliphate. Jabari believed in the gun, but only as a tool, not as a permanent strategy. He was, in fact willing to negotiate with Israel when it suited his purposes, which is how the Gilad Shalit deal was reached.

A much more apt analogy is between Jabari and Israeli pre-state military heroes like Rabin, Sharon, Begin, Shamir or Avraham Stern. They too were radical in their demands. Truculent and willing to kill both the enemy (Arab and British) and their own fellow Jews if it advanced the cause of Jewish-Israeli nationalism. You hear few Israelis concede that if they look closely in the mirror they see Palestinians as reflections of themselves, their own national aspirations, and violent guerrilla past.

One of the most disturbing developments today, is this article published by Haaretz, which reveals for the first time that Gershon Baskin, who was the Israeli mediator with Jabari in the Shalit deal, had transmitted to the Hamas leader only a few hours before his murder, a draft for a permanent truce agreement.  The Israeli government appointed a staff committee to work on the project.  The deal would’ve provided for Israel and Hamas to put down their weapons over an extended period of time. The agreement, if implemented, might have radically transformed the southern front and created room for further peace initiatives.

For those of you with longer memories of the conflict, this will echo another historic assassination of a Hamas leader, Saleh Shehadeh in 2003.  At that time, news reports spoke of his exploration of a long-term deal that would’ve called for a de-escalation of the conflict with Israel.

This tells you that Israel doesn’t want stability on the Palestinian side.  It doesn’t want a responsible partner.  If a potential partner is responsible, better that he be killed.

There is yet another historical parallel here to what happened among the Palestinians in the 1970s and 80s.  Those who pursued a pragmatic approach that involved accommodation with Israel were pursued and assassinated by the radical elements of the Palestinian movement: Issam Sartawi was but one example.  The rejectionists, whether Israeli or Palestinian, need chaos in order to achieve their ends.  For Bibi, the end is permanent decimation of the Palestinians so they pose no threat to his expansionist national agenda.

Do not believe another Israeli government representative who tells you Israel wants peace, Israel wants a ceasefire (as Michael Oren mendaciously told NPR today), etc.  Israel wants war until it pulverizes the Palestinians into permanent submission.

Speaking of Michael Oren, if you heard his interview, did you note both the interviewers relatively softball questions (BBC interviewers are MUCH tougher), and the fact that they interviewed no one critical of the Gaza assault to balance his hasbara?  It reminds me of Oren’s last visit to Seattle during which Steve Scher of KUOW interviewed him for 20 minutes during which there was no guest to offer a counter-perspective, nor were listener call-ins permitted.  Our U.S. media has caved shamefully to the hasbara steamroller.  Instead of being journalists, they allow themselves to be exploited on behalf of Israel’s national interests.

I was also tickled by Oren’s practically beseeching Hamas to accept a ceasefire, one that the Islamist movement offered Israel a day or so before it murdered Ahmed Jabari.  The Gentleman Liar wants the world to believe that Israel doesn’t want to kill Gazans, but that the victims simply give them no choice. Diabolical, as is so much of Israeli hasbara these days.

The hasbarafia of UK Jewry has rallied to Israel’s defense, touting the IDF’s “Jewish ethical ethos.”  This is a moral abomination.  Killing babies is neither Jewish nor ethical.  Support this travesty if you wish.  But not in the name of Judaism.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, former leader of Reform Judaism, has also attempted to co-opt Jewish progressives by arguing that this war is just, and that continuing the intolerable status quo:

…Undermines the sovereignty of the Jewish state and strikes a fatal blow at the very raison d’etre of Zionism.

L’hefech, learned rav.  Murdering babies does far more to undermine Israeli sovereignty and the Zionist Idea.  I was raised to respect rabbis and the rabbinate.  But such nonsense reminds me that even rabbis can be just as stupid as the rest of us.

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  • mary November 16, 2012, 1:20 AM

    Gershon Baskin writes about his negotiation efforts with Jaabari and his perception of this horrible situation:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/15/assassinating-the-chance-for-calm.html

  • Fred Plester November 16, 2012, 6:40 AM

    The “Hasberafia of UK Jewry” has failed to get even the Daily Mail on its side:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2233248/Anguish-BBC-journalist-cradles-body-baby-son-died-Israeli-rocket-attack-Gaza.html

    So, apart from the Murdoch Empire, whose illegal hacking arm, NDS, is in Israel, Israel has no friends on this issue in the UK media.

  • pabelmont November 16, 2012, 7:13 AM

    Great historical overview. Thanks for it and for the outrage. When will American Jews stand up and (“at long last”) have some decency in this matter?

    The Palestinians (as a whole) gave up “terror” a long time ago, especially outside The Land. In a way this is good, it is ethical, and so forth, but it is also unavailing. When they didn’t do terrorism (1948-50), “infiltrators” returning to their own lands to harvest their crops were called “terrorists” and shot. When they became “terrorists”, they were still called “terrorists’ and shot. Now that they are trying negotiation and BDS and other peaceable means, they are called “terrorists” and shot.

  • Tibor November 16, 2012, 7:21 AM

    Those agreements with Hamas have turned out to be in the past delusionary. If something happens later that was not to their liking, which is an almost-sure event given how fragile is the general situation, they immediately cry foul, claimed that the agreement was violated, demonstrations in Gaza called for scrapping it, and so on, and in no time it had become yet another worthless piece of paper, or, as headlines liked to call it “yet another ceasefire/truce has been broken” (as, for instance, is happening now weekly in Syria). Besides, last time around the proposed agreement by Hamas contained a long list of demands, including ones that related to the West-Bank too (where they have no jurisdiction but wish to appear as political patron at the expense of the PA). Well, to make a long story short, the salvation will not come from these “agreements” and something much more decisive and fundamental is needed here, namely a true change of attitude by Hamas towards Israel, which will enable a real truce and even beyond that – normal relations.

    • mary November 16, 2012, 9:23 AM

      @Tibor, can you provide an example of a time when Hamas has broken a truce?

      • Tibor November 16, 2012, 1:04 PM

        Mary, but that is exactly my point – they invariably claim that Israel is the one that violated it. Or, alternatively that it is not them but another organization done it. Take even the particular incident that provoked this last operation (and I am not claiming for a moment that it was just that one – it is of course always the accumulation of things for a long time that creates big explosions) namely, an antitank missile was fired at a military car patrolling within Israel and injured 4 soldiers. A claim was made by some that it was retaliation for a Palestinian baby that died earlier – but even if so is that an acceptable justification? After all, it in effect means that whenever they feel that it is justified, be it a prior incident, a false rumor, something not to their liking in the West-Bank, anything, they can shoot. This in turn means that all the Israeli people around that are in effect living hostages to the whims of Hamas or the Islamic Jihad or the Popular Committees etc. Just in the last week prior to the operation there mortars and no less than 100 missiles were shot into Israel. The key point is – and that you must accept – that Israel has no interest in a heated front there – so all that violence is seriously not something that it initiates or wishes to see happening.

        • mary November 16, 2012, 2:05 PM

          Rubbish. You are singing the same tired old tunes about Hamas, Hamas, Hamas but without putting up any substantiation for any of it. Your convoluted reasoning seems to suggest that because in your mind Israel didn’t violate any ceasefires, then it must have been Hamas although you can’t provide one single example of this. Oh, that inconveniently dead child isn’t an excuse to violate a truce? A murder of a civilian does not qualify as a war crime to you? Your ability to project blame is astounding, especially bearing in mind how Israel is well known for its excessive retaliation measures against any Palestinian recalcitrance, real or imagined.

          I hardly think that a population possessing the fourth largest military in the world lives at the whim of a small organization with smuggled and cobbled weapons. But this is all old stuff that has been argued in the past ad nauseum. It’s just as ridiculous now as ever to continue to try to place the perpetrator in the role of victim, so please don’t try this tactic with me. I asked you a question, and I expect that you will either be able to answer it or not.

          • Davey November 16, 2012, 7:53 PM

            Tibor is repeating the nonsensical stuff about big bad Hamas. It suits Israel to say that it wants a solution, wants “peace”, but to deep six every actual possibility. Think of Arafat and the invasion of Lebanon. This is the same thing. If Israel gets close to actual meaningful discussions, Israel creates a cause to invade and punish someone. And there goes “peace.” Too bad, well they tried. In the meantime, they gobble up the West Bank and keep the Palestinians in virtual cages. Israel is one big lie on top of another. I cannot fathom how anyone of conscience would support and defend the State of Israel. It is a criminal conspiracy aimed at robbing other people of their property, their rights and their land.

        • dickerson3870 November 16, 2012, 3:50 PM

          RE: “The key point is – and that you must accept – that Israel has no interest in a heated front there – so all that violence is seriously not something that it initiates or wishes to see happening.” ~ Tibor

          MY COMMENT: How incredibly absurd! ! !

          SEE: “Israeli Offensive in Gaza; Netanyahu’s Extremely Risky Gamble”, By Ulrike Putz, Spiegel , 11/15/12
          Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping the offensive in the Gaza Strip wins his Likud party more votes in January’s election. But the move is extremely risky. Skirmishes could escalate into a full-blown war that might weaken Hamas but shift Palestinian support behind even more radical groups.

          [EXCERPTS] Just a few hours before the launch of the deadly offensive against military targets and Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in his favorite place: in front of live television cameras. On Wednesday evening, he addressed the Israeli people with direct, aggressive words. “Today, we relayed a clear message to the Hamas organization and other terrorist organizations,” he said. “If there is a need, the military is prepared to expand the operation.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak also addressed reporters, saying that Hamas’ “consistent provocation in recent weeks … forced our hand into acting with both precision and decisiveness.”
          The dual appearance seems to betray the motives behind the most recent attacks. “When the cannons roar, we see only Netanyahu and Barak on the screen, and all the other politicians have to applaud them,” wrote the daily Haaretz in a commentary published Thursday. “The assassination of (Hamas’ top military commander Ahmed) Jabari will go down in history as another showy military action initiated by an outgoing government on the eve of an election.”
          Indeed, one can conclude that the most recent offensive against militants in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip — which started Wednesday with the killing of Jabari — has been conceived as more of a show fight for the Israeli public than the beginning of a decisive battle.
          Both Netanyahu and Barak would have good reasons for wanting to use a successful mini-campaign to score points before parliamentary elections are held on Jan. 22. Netanyahu is undoubtedly afraid that ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert could snatch votes away from his Likud party if he decides to throw his hat in the ring. In fact, there are rumors that Olmert was planning to announce his candidacy precisely on Wednesday evening. But the military action codenamed “Pillar of Defense” upset his plans.
          Defense Minister Barak can also no longer assume that his “Independence” party, which broke off from the Labor Party in January 2011, will win enough votes to keep seats in the country’s parliament, the Knesset. However, a successful offensive could boost its waning popularity enough to guarantee it some parliamentary seats. An offensive that gets the population to close ranks behind the military would also divert attention away from pressing social problems in Israel. Doing so would take the wind out of the sails of groups such as the Labor Party and cost them votes, thereby helping Netanyahu’s and Barak’s respective parties. . .

          ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-hidden-risks-of-israel-s-offensive-in-the-gaza-strip-a-867484.html

        • dickerson3870 November 16, 2012, 4:42 PM

          P.S. ALSO RE: “The key point is – and that you must accept – that Israel has no interest in a heated front there – so all that violence is seriously not something that it initiates or wishes to see happening.” ~ Tibor

          SEE: “Assassinating The Chance For Calm”, by Gershon Baskin, The Daily Beast, 11/15/12

          [EXCERPTS] Shortly after the return of Gilad Shalit, I drafted a proposal to the Government of Israel and Hamas to enter into a long term ceasefire arrangement based on the assumption that, for the time being, neither side was interested in engaging in renewed warfare. The assumption was well founded and based on the experience that I gained directly in helping to arrange a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza after the terrorist attack across the Sinai border in August 2011, while the Shalit negotiations were taking place. . .
          . . . Both Israel and Hamas had decided months ago not to take action on my proposed ceasefire option, which included within it a mechanism that would prevent Israeli pre-emptive actions and would enable Hamas to prove that it was prepared to prevent terror attacks against Israel. Both sides responded very seriously to the proposal, but without any signal that there was an openness on the other side, neither was willing to advance the possibility for testing it.
          Several weeks ago, I decided to try once again and, through my counterpart in Hamas, we both began speaking to high level officials on both sides. A few days ago I met my counterpart in Cairo and we agreed that he would draft a new proposal based on our common understanding of what was required to make it work.
          Yesterday morning, hours before Israel assassinated Ahmed Jaabari, my counterpart in Hamas presented the draft to Jaabari and to other Hamas leaders. Senior Hamas leaders on the outside had already seen it and had instructed him to check the reactions to it in Gaza. I was supposed to receive the draft yesterday evening to present to Israeli officials who were waiting for me to send it to them.
          That option is now off the table. Jaabari is dead and so is the chance for a mutually beneficial long term ceasefire understanding. Why did Benjamin Netanyahu do it? The cynical answer already offered by Aluf Benn in Haaretz is elections consideration. Cast Lead was also conducted before elections. Hitting Jaabari, according to Netanyahu’s thinking, would help him in the upcoming Israeli elections.
          Perhaps this is true, perhaps not. . .

          ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/15/assassinating-the-chance-for-calm.html

          • dickerson3870 November 16, 2012, 5:02 PM

            P.S. ALSO SEE: “Israel Approved Killing of Hamas Commander Amid Talks on Long-Term Truce” , By John Glaser, Antiwar.com, 11/15/12
            Israeli peace negotiator Gershon Baskin said Jabari’s assassination “killed the possibility of achieving a truce.”

            [EXCERPTS] . . . Just hours before Israel assassinated Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari on Tuesday, he received the draft proposal of a permanent truce agreement with Israel. But Israel approved the airstrike anyways, choosing escalation over resolution.
            Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, who helped negotiate the release of Gilad Shalit and maintained contacts with Hamas leaders, said the truce agreement included protocols for maintaining a cease-fire in the case of cross-border violence between Israel and Gaza.
            Baskin told Haaretz that senior officials in Israel knew about the pending truce agreement, but nevertheless approved the assassination, presumably knowing it would terminate the truce and escalate the conflict with Gaza. . .
            . . . “According to Baskin,” Haaretz reports, “during the past two years Jabari internalized the realization that the rounds of hostilities with Israel were beneficial neither to Hamas nor to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip and only caused suffering, and several times he acted to prevent firing by Hamas into Israel.”
            Even when Hamas was pulled into participating in rocket fire, its rockets would always land in open spaces. “And that was intentional,” Baskin said.

            ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://news.antiwar.com/2012/11/15/israel-approved-killing-of-hamas-commander-amid-talks-on-long-term-truce/

          • dickerson3870 November 17, 2012, 12:03 AM

            ● P.P.S. AND ALSO RE: “The key point is – and that you must accept – that Israel has no interest in a heated front there – so all that violence is seriously not something that it initiates or wishes to see happening.” ~ Tibor

            ● THE WORDS OF A FORMER ISRAELI BACK DURING ISRAEL’S ATTACK ON GAZA IN 2009 DURING “OPERATION CAST LEAD”: “The only thing that could unite people [in Israel] and temporarily brought out more kindness and a sense of cooperation was a feeling of being under collective threat, and in particular a ‘good wholesome war’ . . . “ ~ Avigail Abarbanel

            ● SEE: “Israel’s Trauma Psychology and the Attack on Gaza”, By Avigail Abarbanel, Sunday 4th January 2009

            [EXCERPT] One of the things that is not being discussed much in the media is how much talk there is in Israel about attacking Iran. Word on the (Israeli) street is that an air attack on Iran’s nuclear reactors is imminent. Israel has been itching for a ‘good war’ for a while now. The botched attack on Lebanon in 2006 was a psychological disappointment that did not fulfil its purpose, and only led to a deepening chasm between the political and military arms in Israel. An Israeli friend told me in disgust the other day, that there is an atmosphere of ‘national orgasm’ in Israel about the prospect of attacking Iran. While people are being bombed in Gaza, all Israelis can talk about is the coming attack on Iran. But there is a link between the two.
            Israel’s social problems have grown exponentially over the past 15 years. It’s a very different Israel now than the one I grew up in. There is more violent and organised crime than ever before, and more domestic violence and abuse of children than ever. There are more drugs and drug use, and they have drink-driving, something I have never encountered while I was still living there. This is reflected in official reports as well as in the daily newspapers. My brother who lives in Israel described to me how soldiers who spend their military service in the Occupied Palestinian territories implementing Israel’s brutal occupation, come home on weekends only to get involved in drunken armed brawls and murders. This was unheard of in my time.
            Israelis have never been particularly kind to each other. It’s one of the reasons I left actually. In my late twenties I started to grow weary of the unkind, harsh and unforgiving atmosphere around me. It was a tough place to live in not because of our ‘enemies’ but because of how people treated one another. You would believe that we were all enemies rather than people who have some kind of a shared heritage. The only thing that could unite people and temporarily brought out more kindness and a sense of cooperation was a feeling of being under collective threat, and in particular a ‘good wholesome war’ . . .

            SOURCE – http://www.avigailabarbanel.me.uk/gaza-2009-01-04.html

            AVIGAIL ABARBANEL’S SITE - http://www.avigailabarbanel.me.uk/

          • dickerson3870 November 17, 2012, 1:10 AM

            ● P.P.P.S. ONCE AGAIN RE: “The key point is – and that you must accept – that Israel has no interest in a heated front there – so all that violence is seriously not something that it initiates or wishes to see happening.” ~ Tibor

            ● FROM URI AVNERY: “At the price of great suffering on both sides of the border, the government’s aim has been accomplished: the social issues, which threatened to assume prominence in these elections, have been pushed aside and removed from the agenda of the elections campaign.”

            ● SEE: “Gaza-Israel Violence: The Fuller Story”, By Rabbi Arthur Waskow, OpEd News, 11/16/12

            [EXCERPT] . . . Netanyahu and Barak have decided to deliberately violate a cease-fire which had just been stabilized. At the price of great and ongoing suffering on both sides of the border, the government’s aim had been accomplished: social issues will be removed from the public agenda and the election campaign.

            “Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak have decided — for the second time in a row the State of Israel will conduct general elections under the shadow of war in the Gaza Strip. The cease-fire which already started to stabilize has been broken deliberately and shattered to pieces. The inhabitants of the communities of southern Israel, who just started to breathe freely, are sent right back to air raid alarms and to running to shelters” said former Knesset Member Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom.
            “At the price of great suffering on both sides of the border, the government’s aim has been accomplished: the social issues, which threatened to assume prominence in these elections, have been pushed aside and removed from the agenda of the elections campaign. Forgotten, too, is the brave attempt of Mahmoud Abbas to address the Israeli public opinion. In the coming weeks, the headlines will be filled with constant war and death, destruction and bloodshed. When it ends at last, it will be revealed that no goal has been achieved and that the problems remain the same, or perhaps exacerbated.” . . .

            ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Gaza-Israel-Violence-The-by-Rabbi-Arthur-Wasko-121116-181.html

        • Deïr Yassin November 16, 2012, 5:39 PM

          @ Tibor
          Aren’t you just amazing ?
          You’re asking whether the death of a Palestinian boy is an acceptable justification for shelling a military car as a retaliation, but you don’t question whether the shelling of the military jeep is an acceptable justification for the air raids later that saturday, killing four civilians, all young men. So if I understand you correctly, these ‘moral questions’ only concern the Palestiinan actions. You’re so convinced of your own, i.e. Israel’s moral superiority that you don’t even see your own hypocrisy, comment after comment.
          By the way, I wonder whether the hasbara wouldn’t prefer that the Palestinian militants shelled a school and not soldiers, a legitimate target according to international law.

          You say that Israel has no interest in a heated front. Bibi has. and I read that Israel Katz, minister of Transport, has recommended that Israel cut all electricity and water and bomb Gaza until the population flees to Egypt (cf. Ali Abunimah has a translation on his blog at electronic intifada). In ten years time that’ll be mainstream thinking in Israel if it isn’t already.

          • Davey November 16, 2012, 7:57 PM

            It’s very similar to endless cant you see on blogs about “how would you respond if your homes were subject to hundreds of rockets at any time?” The answer to this is: How would you respond if your land, homes, rights and property were taken away from you and yours by Europeans at the point of a gun and you were herded into prisons to live for generations with no right to return to your ancestral home?

          • Tibor November 17, 2012, 12:57 AM

            No, no I didn`t mean that at all – a dead Palestinian boy is just as a tragedy, no question about that. What I was trying to say is that those people who hoot mortars and launch missiles at will, usually at civilian targets (and not military ones), became in effect self-appointed executioners. Something happened, perhaps by accident, or perhaps it is all just a false rumor – they shoot. They are annoyed by some political issue in the West-Bank – they shoot. They want to show defiance to Hamas (e.g. if it is the Islamic Jihad) – they shoot. Would you be ready to live within their shooting range? There is no hypocrisy or false moral superiority in trying to stop that and I am surprised that you use these “heavy cannon” charges when they don`t really belong.

          • Daniel F. November 17, 2012, 7:01 AM

            “……soldiers, a legitimate target according to international law”……How so?
            Deir Yassin
            For the Israeli government, the firing of a missile against a jeep on a routine patrol was the crossing of a red line that required a reaction.Apparently Hamas was not responsible but Israel holds Hamas accountable for whatever happens in Gaza, agree or disagree as you will, it is what it is.
            Hamas has matured politically over the years and it’s outlook is now the most pragmatic of those in Gaza,thus it is in Israel’s interest to see that Hamas does not become weaker, however the predominant feeling in Israel toward Hamas is one of extreme ambivalence and Israel is loath to see Hamas become any stronger the bare minimum needed to administer Gaza.
            The victims and potential victims of violence on both sides are pawns in a power game between players spread out across the region, for whom the safety of innocent civilians is not their primary concern, indeed the tally of innocent victims of violence is used as ammunition in a propaganda war waged before an international audience.
            The cycle of violence needs to be broken,but that is made more difficult in a situation where there are those who are not directly involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and who try to influence it for their own ulterior and unrelated motives.
            Most Israeli’s had high hopes for the Oslo process and while I agree that the aggressive settlement policy
            did much to cause the Palestinian to lose faith,the inability of the Palestinians to take what they were given and build upon it, both politically and economically, did much to cause the Israelis to lose faith.
            May G_d grant us the opportunity for peace and may we all have the courage to implement that peace through compromise,trust and hard work.

          • mary November 17, 2012, 7:22 AM

            Self appointed executioners, Tibor? Isn’t that what Israel is, whenever anyone supposedly comes too close to a separation barrier? Or whenever it is politically advantageous to look tough about the “Hamas problem,” as Bibi is doing now?

            Despite what you have been taught to believe, Hamas is not a group of bloodthirsty thugs. They are a resistance group with an armed wing who has been fighting an illegal, brutal occupation and siege. You seem to think no one should, or has the right to, resist having their homeland and future stolen from them. It’s as if you are asking for the Palestinians to totally surrender and subjugate themselves to Israel’s will, and anything less than that is seen in your eyes as unacceptable, especially when they stand up for their rights.

          • Deïr Yassin November 17, 2012, 11:53 AM

            @ Daniel F
            1. UNGA Resolution A/RES/33/24 of 29 November 1978, article 2 “Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial intégrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle”.

            2. Protocol I to the Genava Convention, article 52:
            http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/full/470?opendocument

          • Deïr Yassin November 17, 2012, 12:14 PM

            @ Tibor
            “…those people who hoot mortars and launch missiles at will, usually at civilian targets (not military ones)”

            Yeah, we know that hasbara-stick: the Palestinian militants with their home-made missiles ‘target’ civilians, but Israel – one of the strogest armies in the world, with the most sophisticated killing-material – does anything possible to avoid civilian targets.
            Please, can you explain how come a thirteen-years old boy, playing football, far away from any military installation, was killed in an air raid on Thursday 08.11, and 4 young men were killed, on Saturday 10.11, two playing football in the first air raid, and two who came running to rescue them from a near-by mourning gathering, in a second air raid before the IDF, finally, on Sunday, ‘managed’ to kill two Islamic Jihad militants ?

            I think we should ask the Palestinians who apparently manage to target civilians with their home-made rockets to share their weapons with the IDF. We could even encourage them to change weapons.

          • Daniel F. November 18, 2012, 2:39 AM

            @ Deïr Yassin

            International Committee of the Red Cross International Humanitarian Law – Treaties & DocumentsArticle 52
            1) Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals………The people in the Kyria in T.A. would argue that many civilian objects in Gaza make an effective contribution to military action and that their total or partial destruction offers a definite military advantage
            2) Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives. In so far as objects are concerned, military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage………The people in the Kyria would agree
            3) In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used……….The people in the Kyria would argue that their intelligence leaves them with no doubt.

            Excuse my being cynical but Article 52 is not really helpful

            As to UNGA Resolution A/RES/33/24
            “Importance of the universal realization of the rights of peoples to self determination and the speedy granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights” ………….you quote as follows:

            ” article 2 “Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial intégrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle”

            I remember it being quoted in smoke filled pubs, by manipulative recruiters for the provisional I.R.A. who used it to convince confused young men to plant bombs in other smoke filled pubs and maybe be subsequently shot by yet other young man who had also been recruited (but into the opposing S.A.S.) who also found a perverted satisfaction in be able to kill somebody (but in their case it was legal).

            Sorry, Deïr Yassin…..all intentional killing of others is equally wrong and only in self defense is it ever truly justified.
            Like a pebble thrown into a body of water and causing a ripple,those who initiate violence also initiate it’s reaction.

        • dickerson3870 November 16, 2012, 7:27 PM

          RE: “The key point is – and that you must accept . . .” ~ Tibor

          MY REPLY: Really? I must accept? I must accept? Over my dead body! ! !

          P.S. PLEASE CONSIDER SIGNING THE “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-please-restore-justice-and-pardon-my-dad

        • dickerson3870 November 17, 2012, 2:23 AM

          ● P.P.P.P.S. YET AGAIN RE: “The key point is – and that you must accept – that Israel has no interest in a heated front there – so all that violence is seriously not something that it initiates or wishes to see happening.” ~ Tibor

          ● SEE: “Another Superfluous War”, By Uri Avnery, OpEdNews, 11/16/2012

          [EXCERPTS] . . . One of the more miserable sights of the last few days has been the TV appearances of Shelly Yachimovich and Ya’ir Lapid. The two shining new stars in Israel’s political firmament looked like petty politicians, parroting Netanyahu’s propaganda, approving everything done.
          Both had hitched their wagons to the social protest, expecting that social issues would displace subjects like war, occupation and settlements from the agenda. When the public is occupied with the price of cottage cheese, who cares about national policy?
          I said at the time that one whiff of military action would blow away all economic and social issues as frivolous and irrelevant. This has happened now.
          Netanyahu and Barak appear many times a day on the screen. They look responsible, sober, determined, experienced. Real he-men, commanding troops, shaping events, saving the nation, routing the enemies of Israel and the entire Jewish people. . .
          . . . the real remedy is peace. Peace with the Palestinian people. Hamas has already solemnly declared that it would respect a peace agreement concluded by the PLO — i.e. Mahmoud Abbas — that would establish a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, provided this agreement were confirmed in a Palestinian referendum.
          Without it, the bloodletting will just go on, round after round. Forever.
          Peace is the answer. But when visibility is obscured by pillars of cloud, who can see that?

          ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.opednews.com/articles/4/Another-Superfluous-War-by-Uri-Avnery-121116-319.html

          PLEASE CONSIDER SIGNING THE “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION. – http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-please-restore-justice-and-pardon-my-dad

      • Mr. Cella November 16, 2012, 3:31 PM

        Mary, all you need to do is to open a news paper, Hamas had detonated a tunnel on Nov 9. Hamas has taken responsibility for the injury of an Israeli Captain 3 weeks ago and so on and so on.

        The argument Mr. Silverstein takes is that Hamas was about to reach a cease fire agreement with the State of Israel, and for that reason Hamas military wing commander was executed, it’s all find and dandy however Mr. Silverstein also tells us that Hamas doesn’t control the Gaza land and other organizations are firing in defiance of Hamas agreement. Why would anyone in the state of Israel sign a cease fire agreement with an organization that can’t control it’s own land ?

        • Richard Silverstein November 17, 2012, 1:48 AM

          3rd time ain’t the charm buddy. Hamas NEVER took credit for injuring an Israeli captain. You’re a bald-faced liar. That was the jeep attack which was perpetrated according to Haaretz by the PRC, which is most definitely NOT Hamas. The next time a hasbarists makes this claim they’re banned outright. So get the word back to all your friends at Hasbara Central, would you?

          Why would any Palestinian sign a peace agreement with a State which hasn’t honored any agreement it’s ever made with Palestinians?

          • Bob Mann November 17, 2012, 5:26 AM

            This is just to inform you that another Israeli news outlet is in fact reporting that Hamas has claimed responsibility for the jeep attack.

            Here is an excerpt and the source:

            Hamas’ military wing has accepted responsibility for firing on a jeep traveling near the Gaza border fence, claiming they launched an anti-tank missile.

            http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4306561,00.html

            Not sure if the source is reliable or not, but that might be where that claim is coming from.

          • Mr. Cella November 17, 2012, 9:39 AM

            Mr. Silverstein
            On October 24, Haaretz published an article in which Hamas is taking responsibility for the incident that took place the day before in which Capt. Ziv Shilon lost one of his hands and hurt the other while opening a fence on the Israeli side of the Fence. http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/politics/1.1849079

            I don’t lie there is no need for that. I would appreciate if you’ll act with civility towards those who have different opinions then yours.

            Thank You.

          • Richard Silverstein November 17, 2012, 11:51 AM

            One of my comment rules insists on specificity & evidence for claims. You offered none. That’s why I assumed you meant the incident of November in which an IDF jeep was attacked by the PRC. Next time you make a claim offer proof, a link, etc. Then we don’t have to waste time figuring out what you’re talking about. I will review the article you linked to to determine whether your claim is justified.

          • mary November 17, 2012, 11:49 AM

            Nice try, Mr. Cella, but you are still incorrect. The UN itself recognizes both the occupation and the siege to be illegal.

            And I’m sure you know that pursuant to the Camp David Accords, Egypt cannot fully open its border with Gaza, although it appears this agreement is up for “modification.”

        • mary November 17, 2012, 7:41 AM

          Why would Hamas sign a ceasefire agreement with an occupier who refuses to lift its siege despite it being fully documented that this siege is contrary to international laws?

          And as Richard says, Israel reneges on all its agreements, not only ceasefires but also prisoner swap agreements and the deal made with the hunger strikers last summer. Israel is a liar who cannot be trusted.

          • Mr. Cella November 17, 2012, 9:23 AM

            Mary,
            1. There is no siege, Israel closed it’s border with Gaza and implemented a perfectly legal (as defined by the Palmer report) blockade. Despite that PM Hesham Qandil visited Gaza on Friday, crossing from the Rafah border crossing on which Israel, at this point, does not control. Therefore since Israel doe’s not control all borders and border crossing to and from the strip – there is no siege.
            2. You and Mr. Silverstein are entitled to your own opinions you are not entitled to your own facts.
            3. Israel can’t be trusted ? I guess Hamas will find what it needs to trust the State of Israel when we will regain control over the Gaza strip.

          • Richard Silverstein November 17, 2012, 11:47 AM

            This is OFF-TOPIC. Keep your comment very carefully related to the post I wrote. Introducing arguments in favor of the illegal Israeli siege of Gaza (such as the Palmer Report) is off-topic. The Palmer Report is proof of nothing except that the UN chose international figures who were already predisposed to support some of Israel’s position regarding the siege. The report was not independent, not unbiased. Besides. you hasbarists always ignore the parts of the report that were harshly critical of Israeli policy (which there were many), which makes everything you say or claim untrustworthy.

            When you can find & quote those passages here & address them honestly, then I can take you seriously. Till then, not so much.

            Unlike you, when evidence doesn’t fully support my point of you, I acknowledge it. That’s the difference between someone who is open to reality and someone who has an ulterior motive & is closed to reality that doesn’t fit his preconceived notions.

          • mary November 17, 2012, 10:25 AM

            Do not presume to tell me whether Gaza is under siege or not; you obviously don’t live there, but I have quite a few close friends who do. If you cannot cross your border freely, cannot receive goods except by way of illegal tunnels, cannot operate a business which requires importing and exporting, do not have access to medical care and cannot sail in a boat more than 2.5 kilometers away from the beach, you are under a siege. If you are subject to air strikes, drones, and ground invasions at any time, you are under a siege. If your occupier kills you for no reason other than that you have come into his gunsights, you are under a siege.

            And if “you” think you will regain control over Gaza, you will find out just how few friends Israel really has.

          • mary November 17, 2012, 10:35 AM

            And although it is off topic, I will also remind you that the Palmer report did not claim the blockade is legal.
            http://www.google.com.eg/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&sqi=2&ved=0CCgQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.amnestyusa.org%2Fmiddle-east%2Fpalmer-report-did-not-find-gaza-blockade-legal-despite-media-headlines%2F&ei=ntenUL-oGZDIswbh7YHoCA&usg=AFQjCNHA5vQOW-68GyIylj1rQIeeA6hlPg&sig2=8kg-ZZVmU-OQAKuMyd5HKA

            “The Palmer report’s finding that the naval blockade is lawful should NOT be interpreted to mean that the entire closure regime imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip is legal. An excellent analysis of this can be found on the ‘Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement’ website.

            Gisha even goes one step farther to argue that the maritime blockade should actually be found to be illegal. In a Q&A they put together, they argue that when taken into context with the full blockade on Gaza and Israel’s failure to adhere to international law and legal obligations as an occupying power – then the maritime closure is actually illegal:

            “By preventing the passage of civilians and goods of a civilian nature to and from the Gaza Strip, Israel has paralyzed the economy of the area and caused substantial damage to key aspects of civilian life. In so doing, it has violated its obligations under international law, rendering its policy of closure – including the maritime closure – unlawful.””

          • Mr. Cella November 17, 2012, 10:40 AM

            So what are you saying Mary ?
            That Egyptian president Mr. Mohamed Morsi is cooperating with the state of Israel ? And decided for whatever reasons to close to Rafah border ? Are you blaming Israel for the way president Mohamed Morsi acts ?

            To lift the so called “siege” all your friends need to do is to call the representative they elected – by huge margins – to demand they will stop firing on us. Peace will be answered by Peace, And Peace means that no one from Hamas controlled land is firing into Israeli territory, or digging explosion tunnels. If Hamas can’t guarantee that, maybe they should consider giving the strip back to Abu-Mazen.

          • Mr. Cella November 17, 2012, 11:04 AM

            Mary this is funny
            You want to argue that the blocked was found to be illegal by the Palmer report, And as a supporting material you quote an NGO which states:” The Palmer report’s finding that the naval blockade is lawful should NOT be interpreted to mean that the entire closure regime imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip is legal”

            So as it seems to me, even Gish admits that the Palmer report found the Navel blockade to be legal and appropriate.

            The NYT reports in similar terms:
            “UNITED NATIONS — A long-awaited United Nations review of Israel’s 2010 raid on a Turkish-based flotilla in which nine passengers were killed has found that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is both legal and appropriate.”
            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/02/world/middleeast/02flotilla.html?pagewanted=all

            As i stated before, you are entitled to own opinion, you are not entitled to your own facts.

            With that said, i don’t think we should hash this subject anymore.

          • Richard Silverstein November 17, 2012, 5:45 PM

            I told you you were off topic. That means don’t do it again. You did. That means you’re moderated. Further violations msy result in losing comment privileges.

            I want a didcussion of the Palmer Report here about as much as i want root canal or an Israeli F 16 buzzing round my home.

            Ignore me at your peril.

    • dickerson3870 November 17, 2012, 3:47 PM

      ● P.P.P.P.P.S. AND YET AGAIN RE: “The key point is – and that you must accept – that Israel has no interest in a heated front there – so all that violence is seriously not something that it initiates or wishes to see happening.” ~ Tibor

      MY COMMENT: Netanyahu certainly has an interest in having a “heated front” with Gaza. Consequently, Netanyahu is very serious about initiating violence which he “wishes to see happening”.

      ● SEE: “A Pillar Built on Sand”, By John Mearsheimer, London Review of Books, 11/16/12

      [EXCERPT] . . . Israel’s leaders have a two-prong strategy for dealing with their Palestinian problem. First, they rely on the United States to provide diplomatic cover, especially in the United Nations. The key to keeping Washington on board is the Israel lobby, which pressures American leaders to side with Israel against the Palestinians and do hardly anything to stop the colonisation of the Occupied Territories.
      The second prong is Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s concept of the ‘Iron Wall’: an approach that in essence calls for beating the Palestinians into submission. Jabotinsky understood that the Palestinians would resist the Zionists’ efforts to colonise their land and subjugate them in the process. Nonetheless, he maintained that the Zionists, and eventually Israel, could punish the Palestinians so severely that they would recognise that further resistance was futile.
      Israel has employed this strategy since its founding in 1948, and both Cast Lead and Pillar of Defence are examples of it at work. In other words, Israel’s aim in bombing Gaza is not to topple Hamas or eliminate its rockets, both of which are unrealisable goals. Instead, the ongoing attacks in Gaza are part of a long-term strategy to coerce the Palestinians into giving up their pursuit of self-determination and submitting to Israeli rule in an apartheid state.
      Israel’s commitment to the Iron Wall is reflected in the fact that its leaders have said many times since Cast Lead ended in January 2009 that the IDF would eventually have to return to Gaza and inflict another beating on the Palestinians. The Israelis were under no illusion that the 2008-9 conflict had defanged Hamas. The only question for them was when the next punishment campaign would start.
      The timing of the present operation is easy to explain. For starters, President Obama has just won a second term despite Netanyahu’s transparent attempt to help Mitt Romney win the election. The prime minister’s mistake is likely to have hurt his personal relations with the president and might even threaten America’s ‘special relationship’ with Israel. A war in Gaza, however, is a good antidote for that problem, because Obama, who faces daunting economic and political challenges in the months ahead, has little choice but to back Israel to the hilt and blame the Palestinians.
      The Israeli prime minter faces an election of his own in January and as Mitchell Plitnick writes, ‘Netanyahu’s gambit of forming a joint ticket with the fascist Yisrael Beiteinu party has not yielded anything close to the polling results he had hoped for.’ A war over Gaza not only allows Netanyahu to show how tough he is when Israel’s security is at stake, but it is also likely to have a ‘rally round the flag’ effect, improving his chances of being re-elected. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2012/11/16/john-mearsheimer/a-pillar-built-on-sand/

  • bluto November 16, 2012, 11:56 AM

    I find it very interesting and positive that in the current NYTimes article up on their site Jodi Rudoren is writing with a byline of Gaza City -

  • dickerson3870 November 16, 2012, 1:58 PM

    • RE: “The hasbarafia of UK Jewry has rallied to Israel’s defense, touting the IDF’s ‘Jewish ethical ethos.’ This is a moral abomination. Killing babies is neither Jewish nor ethical. Support this travesty if you wish. But not in the name of Judaism.” ~ Richard Silverstein

    • ONE (THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHERS) OF THE REASONS I BECAME INTERESTED IN THE ISRAEL/PALESTINE ISSUE:
    I remember one particular Six Day War joke that was told by a classmate of mine (not one of my friends, who were much less chauvinistic) during my senior year of high school here in Atlanta (the year following the Six Day War). Actually, to be more accurate, I only remember the gist of the joke at this point.
    As I recall it, there was a busload of Egyptian children somewhere in the Sinai. The punchline of the joke was that the mighty Israeli military virtually vaporized the entire bus full of Egyptian children. [Riotous laughter here, excepting me.] There wasn’t a single survivor! [Ha, ha, ha (excepting me) ! ! ! ]

    • P.S. Another reason I began studying the Israel/Palestine issue was because Israel’s actions/behavior seemed so very much unlike the actions/behavior of my Jewish friends. Consequently, I have spent decades trying to understand the incongruity.

  • moshfeq November 16, 2012, 3:33 PM

    U. Avnery & N. Finkelstein consider it more likely that Israel doesn’t intend a large scale ground invasion of the strip. Avnery believes that the Israeli military has learned the lesson of minimizing civilian casualties from Cast Lead:
    http://www.avnery-news.co.il/english/index.html
    (He also claims that Hamas’ initial attack on an Israeli jeep was an Israeli trap to start this whole affair.) Finkelstein thinks that pressure from Egypt & Turkey on the US will be preventive:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpsS3rC4mpo

    • moshfeq November 16, 2012, 3:39 PM

      The above link I provided to Avnery’s article may only be valid temporarily. Here’s the more permanent link:
      http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1353080494

    • Deïr Yassin November 16, 2012, 5:13 PM

      I don’t see Avnery claiming that Hamas was responsible for the initial attack on the Israeli jeep in his article. And in fact, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigade, the armed wing of the Popular Front claimed responsability for the attack (though others did so too, afterwards), and they stated that it was a response to the death of Ahmad Younis Abu Daqqa, the youngster playing football, killed in an air raid on Thursday. So maybe the thugs in the IDF killed that boy on purpose, knowing that some militants would react.

      • moshfeq November 16, 2012, 7:57 PM

        You’re right that Avnery doesn’t specify Hamas as the culprit of the attack; he says it could have been them or some other group. But he’s apparently saying that the placing of the jeep in Palestinian line of fire may have been dangling candy in front of a kid.

        • Deïr Yassin November 17, 2012, 12:26 PM

          @ Moshfeq
          “…the placing of the jeep in Palestinian line of fire may have been dangling candy in front of a kid”
          What are you talking about ? The kid was killed in an air raid, in front of his own house, TWO DAYS prior to the shelling of the jeep. Are you trying to insinuate that Palestinian militants killed that boy ?

          • mary November 17, 2012, 11:14 PM

            “Like candy in front of a kid” is not meant literally. He means those 4 soldiers in the jeep were very conveniently in a time and place which made it easy for them to be attacked

          • Deïr Yassin November 18, 2012, 7:01 AM

            @ Mary
            Haha, thank you. I didn’t get that metaphor: the ‘Palestinians-using-their-own-kids-as-human-shields’ must have got on my nerves.
            So basically, Moshfeq – or rather Avnery – is saying that these soldiers were ‘sacrifized’ – I mean they could have been killed – in order to provoke a Palestinian shelling ?
            @ Moshfeq: if you’re still around: sorry for the misinterpretation of your comment.

          • moshfeq November 18, 2012, 2:37 PM

            As Mary & you say below, “kid & candy” was a reference to whichever-Palestinian-group-shot-at-the-jeep & the jeep; it wasn’t about the murdered Palestinian kids. My original comment was to make a counterpoint to the main topic of the blog; astute observers of the scene, like Avnery & Finkelstein, don’t think Israel intends a large-scale invasion. Only as a side note I mentioned Avnery’s suggestion about the jeep b/c I hadn’t seen others making it. He thinks the Palestinians should have known better than to attack Israeli forces on the Israeli side of the border.

      • Davey November 16, 2012, 8:04 PM

        It’s a little more than just “maybe.” Israel controlsl the whole show from start to finish, that’s what occupation and oppression is about. It is a show, a script, calculated to achieve a certain level of excitement (and no more!) and show Israel as tough, but fair and Netanyahu as a warrior as rough and tough as Barak. It is a circus.

        • mary November 16, 2012, 11:38 PM

          Correct. Even now, Israel’s Iron Shield defense has stopped only about 20 rockets, so I’ve read.

          Just as it did with Operation Cast Lead in 2008, Israel has performed provocative acts and reacts with drastic extreme retaliation. It has bombed 2 UNRWA schools so far, despite its ubiquitous claims that it only targets “terrorists.” It has bombed civilian homes and killed infants. Now the ground invasion is imminent.

          Israel will not act with common sense, and so it is useless to speculate that it is not going to mount a large land invasion. It has called up 75,000 reservists. The only bright side to this is that Bibi could be blowing his reelection by doing so.

          I spoke at length last night with one of my closest friends, who happens to be a Gazan. Imagine if you will, feeling like a condemned prisoner waiting for the executioner and praying for any reprieve; that is what it’s like to be in Gaza now. There are no bomb shelters (how could there be, with no materials with which to build them?), there is no way to escape what is coming. He is a young man, one of the luckier ones because he has 2 jobs when so many have no work at all. His university degree is useless; he has spoken many times of the life he lives, a life of extremes alternating between absolute terror and suffocating boredom. He said that all the people can do is endure, and endure.

          Once more, it became very clear to me that Israel doesn’t want peace, that Hamas is not the reason for all of this mayhem, and that the objective is ethnic cleansing, and perhaps genocide.

          • Davey November 17, 2012, 1:50 PM

            Of course. The central theorem of Zionism is unambiguous. It calls for Jewish ethnic sovereignty over the whole of Palestine, meaning Jewish Zionist power over the lives (and deaths!) of any other people in the proclaimed arena. Like all ethnic nationalism, it is built on myths.

      • Joel November 17, 2012, 12:49 PM

        [ed., further such snarky, offensive comments may endanger your comment privileges]

  • dar November 16, 2012, 4:32 PM

    and yet, in the midst of all this Sturm und Drang:
    [via Douglas McLennan’s artsjournal.com ,’Daniel Barenboim Founds Music Academy For The Middle East’]
    http://www.morgenpost.de/kultur/berlin-kultur/article111007081/Barenboim-startet-Musikakademie-in-Berlin.html

  • Fred Plester November 16, 2012, 10:14 PM

    Given the rift between Hamas and Assad, and therefore Iran, this action could have been designed to rebuild the anti-Israel alliance.

    Perhaps, given that if NATO were to summon the bottle to intervene in Syria, their Special Forces might even end up working with Hamas, it is designed to remind America that all Arabs are enemies, etc.

    I don’t think they will succeed in forcing a racist world view on the current White House (unless they claim that Arabs run BP or something), and they are going to have to face the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars did not buy them a racist White House.

    It may be, also, that Bibi wanted a thorough shakedown of the Iron Dome system before an attack on Iran provokes a ten-times-bigger rocket barrage from Hezbollah.

    I note that what the BBC called a “build up of heavy armour” on the border with Gaza, appeared to be nearly all bulldozers. This seems to be the IDF’s terror weapon of choice these days.

    PS.
    There are unintended consequences, too: A friend in Texas says that the barrage of anti-Obama hatred which Adelson and Rove churned out, with some help from Trump, has massively fueled the secessionist movement there, which was already far stronger than those outside the state seemed to appreciate. She doesn’t think this is going to result in a liberal, multi-cultural democracy between the rump USA and Mexico.

    It’s NOT a question of Anglo-Saxon versus Hispanic, because the rich white Texans driving this are almost all descendants of mid-nineteenth century German immigrants who arrived post-Alamo. They do not actually think along the kind of John Wayne movie lines which other Americans associate with Texans. Their mind-set is more like the Nambian ranchers who still fly the Imperial German flag outside their homes (even today, even after Independence and majority rule). What Adelson and Rove have done, is give them a free $200M or so’s worth of extreme propaganda, which is all the more useful because they can genuinely claim not to be its authors.

    • Davey November 17, 2012, 6:15 PM

      Let’s hope Texas does secede. It would be a net savings for the “loyal” states. Even if that is wrong, it’s worth a price to get rid of Texas Kulture. (Doing some research on Texas Divorce law some years back, I discovered that slave laws were still on the books and that the “yield” of a slave was not the work performed but their children! Is that unbelievable! As I did not own any slaves, the law had no effect.) I know “off topic.” But interesting.

  • moshfeq November 17, 2012, 8:24 AM

    Since some prefer watching videos to reading articles, here’s an interview w/ G. Baskin on his indirect negotiations w/ Ja’abari: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/11/16/israeli_negotiator_hamas_commander_was_assassinated

  • Davey November 17, 2012, 2:04 PM

    I am appalled by Daniel F.’s remarks, no doubt heartfelt. Israel controls the entire show, now and at the time of Oslo. The thought that completely beggars my imagination is this: Having dictated Oslo, providing vague promises of a future Palestinian state in exchange for real Israeli gains in the present, having done this to eager Palestinians, Israel then disregarded every required substantive proposition at will, leaving only the hollow form. The settlements were a clear message that the promise of a Palestinian state was a big fat lie and even the most innocent and naive Palestinians could not fail to read the tea leaves. Daniel F., you can hope and pray til the cows come home — this is Israel’s doing from start to finish. That criminal state is liable and I personally will not let these liars and con men off the hook for an instant by being “objective” and dwelling on Palestinian failings. I am outraged that such mealy-mouthed stuff pretends to be constructive.

  • Davey November 18, 2012, 10:14 AM

    Daniel F. “remembers” IRA recruitment to make his point about targeting civilians. Israel has never hesitated to target civilians for the sole purpose of inflicting terror. Cast Lead was such an assault. Palestinians are defending themselves. If Israelis are “defending” themselves, why is all the fighting and ordnance in Gaza? I’d say Daniel F. just doesn’t like organizations aimed at opposing the imperialists. They should all just talk, eh? Talk like Oslo didn’t mean anything because it was dictated by power.

  • dickerson3870 November 16, 2012, 1:48 PM

    ● 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 16, 2012, 7:22 PM

    ● 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)

    AND THE WINNER IS . . . . NETANYAHU (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 – http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/14-1

    ● P.P.P.S. PLEASE CONSIDER SIGNING THE “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-please-restore-justice-and-pardon-my-dad

  • dickerson3870 November 16, 2012, 7:12 PM

    ● 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 – http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/14-1

    ● P.P.P.S. PLEASE SIGN THE “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-please-restore-justice-and-pardon-my-dad